12/10/2009 12:20:00 AM | Posted in


It's relieving to say, therefore, that the 13-inch Asus UL30A-A1 is a thin-and-light that we'd gladly carry around in our bag for a good long time to come. With a sturdy frame, a decently performing new Core 2 Duo CULV processor as opposed to the disappointing single-core Core 2 Solo CULVs we've seen, and really good battery life, it's close to a complete package for a sub-$1000 laptop that doesn't resort to an Atom processor.

With a solid-feeling chassis, the Asus UL30A-A1 has a plastic feel, but unlike some low-cost laptops, you shouldn't be worried about it breaking if you don't hold it right. The bottom's generic black matte plastic is topped with a glossy silvery plastic on the interior, surrounding a very MacBook-esque chiclet-style raised keyboard. Glossy black plastic surrounds the upper lid's inset glossy screen, while the back is covered in what feels like a thin overlay of aluminum. Even though the UL30A-A1 does look (from a distance) somewhat MacBook-esque, the overall construction is far more budget-minded. To this thin-and-light's credit, the battery is well integrated into the space behind the keyboard and between the two display hinges.


Product summary

The good: Strong battery life; reasonable price; slim design.

The bad: Some keyboard flex; touchy touch pad; feels a bit cheap.

The bottom line: If you're in the market for an affordable thin-and-light, the Asus UL30A-A1 provides great value and a solid Core 2 Duo CULV processor in an attractive package.


Asus UL30A-A1 Technical Specifications

General

* Width 12.9 in
* Depth 9.3 in
* Height 0.9 in
* Weight 3.7 lbs
* Notebook type Ultraportable (Under 4 lbs.)

Processor

* Processor Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 / 1300 MHz
* Data bus speed 800 MHz
* Chipset type Intel 45GS Express

Cache Memory

* Type L2 cache
* Cache size 2 MB

RAM

* Installed Size 4 GB / 4 GB (max)
* Technology DDR3 SDRAM

Storage Controller

* Storage controller type Serial ATA

Storage

* Floppy Drive None
* Hard Drive 500 GB - 5400 rpm
* Storage Removable None
* Hard drive type Standard

Display

* Display Type 13.3 in TFT
* Max Resolution 1366 x 768
* Features Glare display

Video

* Graphics Processor / Vendor Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500MHD

Audio

* Audio output type Sound card
* Audio Input Microphone

Input Device(s)

* Input device type Keyboard , Touchpad

Networking

* Data link protocol Ethernet , Fast Ethernet

Expansion / Connectivity

* Expansion Slots Total (Free) Memory , Memory card reader
* Interfaces 3 x USB 2.0 - USB 2.0 , 1 x Ethernet - RJ-45 , 1 x Display / video - VGA , 1 x Microphone , 1 x Headphones , 1 x HDMI

Miscellaneous

* Features 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN , Camera

Power

* Power provided 40 Watt

Battery

* Installed Qty 1

Operating System / Software

* OS Provided Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium
* Software Drivers & Utilities , ASUS SmartLogon , ASUS Net4Switch , ASUS Live Update , ASUS MultiFrame , ASUS NB Probe + , ASUS Wireless Console , ASUS Splendid , ASUS Express Gate , ASUS Screen Saver , ASUS Data Security Manager , Virtual Camera

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12/05/2009 03:45:00 AM | Posted in


The "v" in the Dell Mini 10v's name is seemingly there to indicate value for thrifty Netbook shoppers. The system is in many ways hard to distinguish from its more expensive cousin and is one of the better under-$299 Netbook packages we've seen.

Like most of the Netbooks we've reviewed, the Dell Mini 10v uses the 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor (although one interesting exception is the non-v version of the Mini 10, which uses the Atom's Z530 alternative). Its performance was exactly in line with typical Netbooks, and it works well for basic Netbook tasks, including Web surfing, basic media viewing, and working on office docs, which is what these low-cost, low-power systems are primarily intended for.

Dell Inspiron Mini 10v Technical Specifications

* Processor Intel Atom N270 / 1.6 GHz
* Memory 1GB
* Harddrive 160GB
* OS Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition SP3

Product Summary

The good: Same basic chassis as Dell's more expensive Netbooks; very low entry price.

The bad: Limited configuration options; inset screen is not as nice as the Mini 10's edge-to-edge glass.

The bottom line: Dell's Mini 10v keeps a lot of the features of the more expensive Mini 10, while dropping the price below $300. It's one of only a handful of $299 Netbooks that doesn't look and feel especially cheap.

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5/10/2009 04:38:00 AM | Posted in

This configuration of the Panasonic ToughBook F8 is a 3.7-pound, rugged notebook computer.Compared to other rugged notebooks on the market, it is midpriced at around $2,620.The 14.1 inch widescreen has a native resolution of 1280 x 800, which is fairly standard among laptops.Powered by the Intel Core 2 Duo chip.This notebook includes a 160GB hard disk and 3 GB of memory.

Product summary

Pros: Has only a 3.7-pound weight, which is somewhat lighter than some similarly priced notebooks.The built in Bluetooth connectivity will let you pair headphones or sync your mobile contacts.

Cons: Has only a 160GB hard drive.This is not out of line with the product's price, but is smaller than the average notebook on the market today.Integrated graphics controllers that rely on shared RAM are sometimes an acceptable trade-off for budget-minded users.

Suitability: A rugged notebook, suited for for industrial use.The sturdy frame and other features are part of this system's rugged design which make it more suitable for outdoor or industrial settings.If you have a wireless network at home, wirelessly browse the Web from any room in your house with this Wi-Fi enabled notebook.The excellent battery performance will keep your system running longer without plugging in.Archive your digital videos using this laptop's DVD writer.An anti-theft security tether can be fastened into the built-in lock slot.

Value: Overall, this notebook's features seem very weak for its price, compared to most other notebooks.

Panasonic Toughbook F8 Technical Specifications

General

* Platform Technology Intel Centrino 2 with vPro Technology
* Built-in Devices Stereo speakers , Bluetooth antenna , Wireless LAN antenna
* Embedded Security Trusted Platform Module (TPM 1.2) Security Chip
* Rugged Design Yes
* Width 12.8 in
* Depth 9.9 in
* Height 1.9 in
* Weight 3.7 lbs
* Notebook type Ultraportable (Under 4 lbs.), Rugged
* Wireless capabilities IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11 n (draft), Bluetooth

Processor

* Processor Intel Core 2 Duo SP9300 / 2.26 GHz
* Multi-Core processor technology Dual-Core
* 64-bit processor Yes
* Data bus speed 1066 MHz
* Chipset type Mobile Intel GS45 Express

Cache Memory

* Type L2 cache
* Cache size 6 MB

RAM

* Installed Size 3 GB
* Technology DDR2 SDRAM - 667 MHz
* Memory specification compliance PC2-5300
* RAM configuration features 1 x 1 GB + 1 x 2 GB

Environmental Parameters

* Environmental & energy standards compliance EPEAT silver, EPEAT Silver

Storage

* Floppy Drive None
* Hard Drive 160 GB
* Storage Removable None
* Hard drive type Portable

Optical Storage

* Type DVD?RW (?R DL) / DVD-RAM

Optical Storage (2nd)

* 2nd optical storage type None

Card Reader

* Card reader type Card reader
* Supported flash memory cards SD Memory Card , SDHC Memory Card

Display

* Display Type 14.1 in TFT active matrix
* Max Resolution 1280 x 800 ( WXGA )
* Widescreen Display Yes
* Features Anti-glare
* Screen type Widescreen

Video

* Graphics Processor / Vendor Intel GMA 4500MHD Dynamic Video Memory Technology 5.0
* Video Memory VRAM
* Max Allocated RAM Size 285 MB

Audio

* Audio output type Sound card
* Audio codec AD1883
* Audio output compliant standards High Definition Audio

Input Device(s)

* Input device type Keyboard , Touchpad

Telecom

* Modem Fax / modem
* Max transfer rate 56 Kbps

Networking

* Networking Network adapter
* Networking / Wireless LAN Supported Yes
* Wireless NIC Intel WiFi Link 5100
* Data link protocol Ethernet , IEEE 802.11a , IEEE 802.11b , IEEE 802.11g , Fast Ethernet , Gigabit Ethernet , Bluetooth 2.0 EDR , IEEE 802.11n (draft)
* Networking standards IEEE 802.11a , IEEE 802.11b , IEEE 802.11g , Bluetooth 2.0 , IEEE 802.11n (draft)

Expansion / Connectivity

* Expansion Slots Total (Free) 1 ( 1 ) x PC Card - Type II
* Interfaces 1 x Docking / port replicator - 78 pin docking , 1 x Display / video - VGA - 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15) , 1 x Audio - Line-out/headphones - Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm , 1 x Audio - Line-in/microphone - Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm , 3 x Hi-Speed USB - 4 pin USB Type A , 1 x Network - Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T - RJ-45 , 1 x Modem - Phone line - RJ-11

Miscellaneous

* Features System password , Hard drive password , Security lock slot (cable lock sold separately)
* Compliant Standards ACPI

Power

* Power device form factor External
* Voltage Required AC 120/230 V

Battery

* Technology Lithium ion
* Installed Qty 1
* Battery capacity 5800 mAh
* Mfr estimated battery life 6 hour(s)

Operating System / Software

* OS Provided Microsoft Windows Vista Business / XP Professional downgrade
* Software DMI Viewer , Adobe Reader , Recovery DVD , Roxio Creator LJB , InterVideo WinDVD 8 , Hard Disk Data Erase Utility

Manufacturer Warranty

* Service & Support 3 years warranty
* Service & Support Details Limited warranty - Parts and labor - 3 years
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4/26/2009 01:24:00 AM | Posted in


Samsung has made laptops for pretty much every laptop-consuming corner of the globe except the U.S (an arrangement that's never particularly bothered us). The Q1 Ultra UMPC is as close as Samsung has come to selling a laptop here, but in the fall of 2008, the company decided to take on the challenging American market. One standout product from the initial lineup is the X460, a slim 14-inch laptop with a unique look.

Clearly aimed at the premium buyer, the $1,699 Samsung X460 has a similarly thin profile as the MacBook Air (albeit slightly larger to accommodate the 14-inch screen), and a distinctive chassis that mixes glossy black plastic with red brushed metal. Components are decent, with discrete Nvidia GeForce 9200 graphics and an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 processor, but it's still overpriced for what you get--about $600 more than 14-inch systems, such as the Asus X83VM-X1 (with better graphics) or the Toshiba Satellite E105 (with only integrated graphics, but a backlit keyboard) that delivery comparable performance.

Product summary

The good: Very slim and lightweight; distinctive look; excellent battery life; solid brushed-metal construction; comfortable keyboard.

The bad: Overpriced compared with comparable 14-inch laptops; you'll need to appreciate a black-and-red color scheme.

The bottom line: If you want a thin-and-light 14-inch laptop or just love the distinctive look, the Samsung X460 is an impressive piece of hardware, but you'll find better value elsewhere.

Samsung X460 Technical Specifications

General

* Platform Technology Intel Centrino 2
* Built-in Devices Bluetooth antenna , Wireless LAN antenna
* Width 13.3 in
* Depth 9.7 in
* Height 1.3 in
* Weight 4 lbs
* Localization United States
* Notebook type Ultraportable (Under 4 lbs.)
* Wireless capabilities IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11 n (draft), Bluetooth

Processor

* Processor Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 / 2.26 GHz
* Multi-Core processor technology Dual-Core
* 64-bit processor Yes
* Data bus speed 1066 MHz

Cache Memory

* Type L2 cache
* Cache size 3 MB

RAM

* Installed Size 3 GB / 4 GB (max)
* Technology DDR3 SDRAM - 1066 MHz
* RAM configuration features 1 x 1 GB + 1 x 2 GB

Storage Controller

* Storage controller type Serial ATA
* Storage Controller / Serial ATA Interface Serial ATA-150

Storage

* Floppy Drive None
* Hard Drive 320 GB - Serial ATA-150 - 5400 rpm
* Storage Removable None
* Hard drive type Portable

Optical Storage

* Type DVD?RW (?R DL) / DVD-RAM

Optical Storage (2nd)

* 2nd optical storage type None

Card Reader

* Card reader type 7 in 2 card reader
* Supported flash memory cards MMCplus , Memory Stick , MultiMediaCard , SD Memory Card , XD-Picture Card , Memory Stick Pro , SDHC Memory Card

Display

* Display Type 14.1 in TFT active matrix
* Max Resolution 1280 x 800 ( WXGA )
* Widescreen Display Yes
* Features SuperBright technology
* Screen type Widescreen

Video

* Graphics Processor / Vendor NVIDIA GeForce 9200M GS
* Video Memory GDDR3 SDRAM - 256 MB

Audio

* Audio output type Sound card
* Audio Input Microphone

Notebook Camera

* Camera Type Integrated
* Notebook Camera / Sensor Resolution 1.3 Megapixel

Input Device(s)

* Input device type Keyboard , Touchpad
* Features Anti-bacteria coating

Telecom

* Modem Fax / modem
* Max transfer rate 56 Kbps
* Protocols & Specifications ITU V.92

Networking

* Networking Network adapter
* Networking / Wireless LAN Supported Yes
* Data link protocol Ethernet , IEEE 802.11a , IEEE 802.11b , IEEE 802.11g , Fast Ethernet , Gigabit Ethernet , Bluetooth 2.0 EDR , IEEE 802.11n (draft)
* Networking standards IEEE 802.11a , IEEE 802.11b , IEEE 802.11g , Bluetooth 2.0 , IEEE 802.11n (draft)

Expansion / Connectivity

* Expansion Slots Total (Free) 2 ( 0 ) x Memory , 1 ( 1 ) x ExpressCard/34
* Interfaces 1 x Display / video - VGA - 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15) , 1 x Audio / video - HDMI - 19 pin HDMI Type A , 1 x Headphones - Output - Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm , 1 x Microphone - Input - Mini-phone 3.5 mm , 3 x Hi-Speed USB - 4 pin USB Type A , 1 x Network - Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T - RJ-45 , 1 x Modem - Phone line - RJ-11 , 1 x Docking / port replicator

Miscellaneous

* Features 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless LAN , Camera , Bluetooth 2.0 , Intergrated fingerprint sensor

Battery

* Technology 6-cell Lithium ion
* Installed Qty 1
* Mfr estimated battery life 5 hour(s)

Operating System / Software

* OS Provided Microsoft Windows Vista Business
* Software Magic Doctor , McAfee VirusScan , Samsung Update Plus , Adobe Acrobat Reader , Samsung Play AV Station , Samsung Easy Battery Manager , Samsung Easy Display Manager , Samsung Easy Speed Up Manager , Samsung Recovery Solution III , Microsoft Office Professional 2007 (60 days trial)

Manufacturer Warranty

* Service & Support 1 year warranty
* Service & Support Details Limited warranty - Parts and labor - 1 year

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4/25/2009 04:00:00 AM | Posted in

MacBook Pro is a brilliantly designed Premium notebook with excellent workmanship, which is to our opinion worth the high price. As in former models the ratio of performance and weight is excellent. Furthermore, Apple could also keep the emissions very low (under usual load).

Disadvantages are once again the mediocre interface equipment and the reflections of the 'glossy' screen.

For user who want to run this notebook mainly under Windows (per Bootcamp parallel installation) it is important that the results are not that perfect as under Mac Os X (because the battery runtime is shorter, the drivers for the input devices are worse, and the system noise is louder). The performance is thanks to Core 2 Duo with high clock-rate and a fast middle-class graphics card as expected very good. Compared to the predecessor model there aren't many changes in games except of the slightly faster graphics card.

Competitors of the MacBook Pro are the powerful business and workstation models from Dell (e.g., Precision M4400), HP, or also Lenovo (Thinkpad T500). Even the clearly cheaper multimedia consumer notebooks, e.g., the Acer Aspire5930G have a comparable performance. The strongest competitor in the consumer sector is the smaller MacBook also made by Apple. It mainly differs by a smaller size, the smaller and slightly worse screen, and the lower graphic performance.

Product summary

The good: New aluminum unibody construction comes to the 17-inch model; useful multitouch trackpad gestures; attractive edge-to-edge glass on display; dual graphics provide more power or more battery life.

The bad: All-clicking trackpad is a bit awkward; matte screen option costs extra; switching GPUs is not as seamless as it should be.

The bottom line: A little late to the party, Apple's redesigned 17-inch MacBook Pro joins the 15-inch model with a redesigned aluminum body, new trackpad with expanded functionality, and a dual-graphics setup for either longer battery life or better performance.

Apple MacBook Pro 2009 Technical Specifications

General

* Built-in Devices Stereo speakers , Bluetooth antenna , Wireless LAN antenna
* Width 15.5 in
* Depth 10.5 in
* Height 1 in
* Weight 6.6 lbs
* Notebook type Mid-size laptops (6-7.5 lbs.)
* Wireless capabilities IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11 n (draft), Bluetooth

Processor

* Processor Intel Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz
* Multi-Core processor technology Dual-Core
* 64-bit processor Yes
* Data bus speed 1066 MHz

Cache Memory

* Type L2 cache
* Cache size 6 MB

RAM

* Installed Size 4 GB / 8 GB (max)
* Technology DDR3 SDRAM - 1066 MHz
* Memory specification compliance PC3-8500
* RAM form factor SO DIMM 204-pin
* RAM configuration features 2 x 2 GB

Environmental Parameters

* Environmental & energy standards compliance EPA Energy Star, EPEAT Gold
* Min Operating Temperature 50 ?F
* Max Operating Temperature 95 ?F
* Humidity Range Operating 0 - 90%

Storage Controller

* Storage controller type Serial ATA
* Storage Controller / Serial ATA Interface Serial ATA-300

Storage

* Floppy Drive None
* Hard Drive 320 GB - Serial ATA-150 - 5400 rpm
* Storage Removable None
* Hard drive type Portable

Optical Storage

* Type DVD?RW (?R DL) - Integrated
* CD / DVD read speed 24x (CD) / 8x (DVD)
* CD / DVD write speed 24x (CD) / 8x (DVD?R) / 4x (DVD?R DL)
* CD / DVD rewrite speed 10x (CD) / 4x (DVD?RW)

Optical Storage (2nd)

* 2nd optical storage type None

Display

* Display Type 17 in TFT active matrix
* Max Resolution 1920 x 1200 ( WUXGA )
* Widescreen Display Yes
* Features Glossy , LED-backlit
* Screen type Widescreen

Video

* Graphics Processor / Vendor NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT / GeForce 9400M
* Video Memory GDDR3 SDRAM - 512 MB

Audio

* Audio output type Sound card
* Audio Input Microphone

Notebook Camera

* Camera Type Integrated

Input Device(s)

* Input device type Trackpad , Backlit keyboard
* Features Multi-touch technology

Telecom

* Modem None

Networking

* Networking Network adapter
* Networking / Wireless LAN Supported Yes
* Data link protocol Ethernet , IEEE 802.11a , IEEE 802.11b , IEEE 802.11g , Fast Ethernet , Gigabit Ethernet , Bluetooth 2.1 EDR , IEEE 802.11n (draft)
* Networking standards IEEE 802.11a , IEEE 802.11b , IEEE 802.11g , Bluetooth 2.1 , IEEE 802.11n (draft)

Expansion / Connectivity

* Expansion Slots Total (Free) 1 ( 1 ) x ExpressCard/34 , 2 ( 0 ) x Memory - SO DIMM 204-pin
* Interfaces 1 x Network - Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T - RJ-45 , 1 x IEEE 1394b (FireWire 800) - 9 pin FireWire 800 , 3 x Hi-Speed USB - 4 pin USB Type A , 1 x Display / video - Apple mini-DisplayPort , 1 x Audio - SPDIF input/line-in - Mini-phone 3.5 mm / TOSLINK , 1 x Audio - SPDIF output/headphones - Mini-phone 3.5 mm / TOSLINK

Miscellaneous

* Included Accessories Cleaning cloth
* Features Aluminum enclosure , Ambient light sensor , Security lock slot (cable lock sold separately)

Power

* Power device form factor External
* Voltage Required AC 120/230 V

Battery

* Technology Lithium polymer
* Installed Qty 1
* Battery capacity 95 Wh
* Mfr estimated battery life 8 hour(s)

Operating System / Software

* OS Provided Apple MacOS X 10.5
* Software Front Row , Apple iCal , Apple iChat , Photo Booth , Apple Safari , Apple Spaces , Apple Dashboard , Apple QuickTime , Apple Spotlight , Apple iLife '08 , Apple DVD Player , Apple Quick Look , Apple Address Book , Apple Time Machine , Apple Mac OS X Mail , Drivers & Utilities , Apple XCode Developer Tools

Manufacturer Warranty

* Service & Support 1 year warranty
* Service & Support Details Limited warranty - 1 year , Technical support - Phone consulting - 90 days

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4/18/2009 02:53:00 AM | Posted in

The Sony Vaio VGN-FW351 is a refined, attractive laptop, keeping in line with Sony's trademark high-end aesthetics. Decked out in a gray and silver palette called Titanium Gray, the system is reminiscent of an Apple MacBook Pro, but the respectably loud speakers are above the keyboard instead of off to the sides and the keys themselves are white, not black. (This is a fixed retail-only configuration; a version with a black keyboard is available directly from Sony.)

Product summary

The good: Blu-ray combo drive; separate multimedia controls; attractive design.

The bad: Slow performance for a system in this price range; resolution isn't suited for 1080p Blu-ray content.

The bottom line: While its overall specs are somewhat lower end for the price, the Sony Vaio VGN-FW351J/H makes up for it with sharp design and Blu-ray playback.


Sony VAIO G1 Technical Specifications

General

* Platform Technology Intel Centrino
* Built-in Devices Stereo speakers , Wireless LAN antenna
* Width 15 in
* Depth 10.2 in
* Height 1.5 in
* Weight 6.6 lbs
* Color Titanium gray
* Notebook type Mid-size laptops (6-7.5 lbs.), Budget
* Wireless capabilities IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11 n (draft)

Processor

* Processor Intel Core 2 Duo T6400 / 2 GHz
* Multi-Core processor technology Dual-Core
* 64-bit processor Yes
* Data bus speed 800 MHz
* Chipset type Mobile Intel GM45 Express

Cache Memory

* Type L2 cache
* Cache size 2 MB

RAM

* Installed Size 4 GB / 8 GB (max)
* Technology DDR2 SDRAM - 800 MHz
* Memory specification compliance PC2-6400
* RAM configuration features 2 x 2 GB

Storage Controller

* Storage controller type Serial ATA

Storage

* Floppy Drive None
* Hard Drive 320 GB - Serial ATA-150 - 5400 rpm
* Storage Removable None
* Hard drive type Standard

Optical Storage

* Type DVD?RW (?R DL) / DVD-RAM / BD-ROM - Integrated

Optical Storage (2nd)

* 2nd optical storage type None

Card Reader

* Card reader type Card reader
* Supported flash memory cards SD Memory Card , Memory Stick Duo

Display

* Display Type 16.4 in TFT active matrix
* Max Resolution 1600 x 900
* Widescreen Display Yes
* Features X BRITE-ECO
* Screen type Widescreen

Video

* Graphics Processor / Vendor Intel GMA 4500MHD Dynamic Video Memory Technology 5.0
* Total Available Graphics Memory 1759 MB

Audio

* Audio output type Sound card
* Audio output compliant standards Dolby Sound Room
* Audio Input Microphone

Notebook Camera

* Camera Type Integrated
* Notebook Camera / Sensor Resolution 1.3 Megapixel

Input Device(s)

* Input device type Keyboard , Touchpad
* Keyboard localization and layout QWERTY

Telecom

* Modem Fax / modem
* Max transfer rate 56 Kbps
* Protocols & Specifications ITU V.90 , ITU V.92

Networking

* Networking Network adapter
* Networking / Wireless LAN Supported Yes
* Data link protocol Ethernet , IEEE 802.11b , IEEE 802.11g , Fast Ethernet , Gigabit Ethernet , IEEE 802.11n (draft)
* Networking standards IEEE 802.11b , IEEE 802.11g , IEEE 802.11n (draft)


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4/16/2009 09:05:00 PM | Posted in

An affordable option that will fit into any budget, the Dell Vostro A860 Laptop offers great mobility and connectivity for the individual who needs a little more versatility from a work computer.

Dell Vostro A860 Technical Specifications

* Processor Celeron M 2.16GHz
* Memory 1GB DDR2
* Harddrive 160GB
* OS Vista Basic
* Weight 5.4lbs
* Screen 15.4 inches
* Screen resolution 1366x768
* Graphic Card Intel GMA X3100
* Battery Life 2.5 hours

Product summary

The good: Unbeatable Price.

The bad: Sound Quality poor. Battery lifetime VERY limited.

The bottom line: An affordable, mobile solution that meets the needs of everyday business computing.
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4/10/2009 02:42:00 AM | Posted in

While there are better looking netbooks on the market, the Eee PC 1000HE comes at a very attractive price point and offers excellent battery life. It's also very easy to use thanks to the large keyboard, and has all the features that the competition offer plus a little extra. Combine these aspects and you have one of the best netbooks currently available.

Asus Eee PC 1000HE Technical Specifications

* Processor Atom N280 1.66GHz
* Memory 1GB DDR2
* Harddrive 160GB
* OS Windows XP Home
* Weight 3lbs
* Screen 10 inches
* Screen resolution 1024x600
* Graphic Card Intel GMA 950
* Battery Life 7.5 hours

Product summary

The good: Excellent battery life; improved keyboard; competitively priced.

The bad: Slightly faster Intel Atom CPU fails to impress; other Netbook-makers have shown more innovation.

The bottom line: Asus practically invented the Netbook market, and the Eee PC 1000HE is an overdue overhaul that offers a new CPU and great battery life, but misses some of the competition's bells and whistles.

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4/08/2009 01:34:00 AM | Posted in

You don't expect a whole lot of battery life from a 15-inch laptop with a 6-cell battery, but the IdeaPad was still able to deliver 2 hours and 45 minutes during average to heavy use that involved browsing and using Word while playing music and video files in the background. Watch a DVD and you can shave roughly half an hour off that total.

So far, Lenovo has only delivered durable, quality laptops and continues to do so in its IdeaPad consumer series. If you're on the market for a 15.4-inch entertainment laptop, the Y530 is definitely worth considering.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y530 Technical Specifications

* Processor 2GHz P7350 Core 2 Duo
* Memory 2GB DDR2
* Harddrive 250GB
* OS Windows Vista Home Premium
* Weight 6.6 lbs
* Screen 15.4"
* Screen resolution 1280x800
* Graphic Card Nvidia 9300M GS
* Battery Life 2:45

Product summary

The good: Simple, subdued design with solid construction; reasonably priced; light-touch media controls; Dolby Home Theater sound with four speakers plus subwoofer; face recognition software; decent battery life.

The bad: Overly reflective screen; heavier than similar-size systems.

The bottom line: Though its subdued design may strike some as square, but the midsize Lenovo IdeaPad Y530 delivers a decent media experience for less than $1,000.

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4/08/2009 01:18:00 AM | Posted in

If you're looking for a netbook, the Mini 9 should definitely be taken into consideration - it's a solid, highly customizable little laptop available at a very attractive price point.

Dell Mini 9 Technical Specifications

* Processor Atom N270 1.6GHz
* Memory 512MB-1GB
* Harddrive 4GB-64GB
* OS Linux (Ubuntu)/Windows XP Home
* Weight 2.3lbs
* Screen 9
* Screen resolution 1024x600
* Graphic Card Intel GMA950
* Battery Life 3:07

Product summary

The good: More configurable than other Netbooks; good battery life; XP and Linux OS options.

The bad: Some awkward keyboard compromises; no SSD options larger than 16GB.

The bottom line: Dell's entry into the Netbook market means it's time to take these low-cost, low-power PCs seriously. The Inspiron Mini 9 is an excellent example of the form, if not radically different from the competition.

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2/27/2009 11:26:00 AM | Posted in

The HP Mini 2140 shares the same basic silhouette as the earlier Mini 1000 and Mini-Note 2133 systems from HP. Because it has an aluminum case, like the 2133, it's a half-pound heavier than the plastic Mini 1000; it's a trade-off that may be worth it, however, as the metallic Mini 2140 feels as if it'll stand up to the rigors of the road better than a plastic Netbook.

HP Mini 2140 Technical Specifications

* Processor 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270
* Memory 1GB, 800MHz DDR2
* Hard drive 160GB 5,400rpm
* Chipset Mobile Intel 945GSE
* Graphics Intel GMA 950 (integrated)
* Operating system Windows XP Home Edition SP2
* Dimensions 10.3 inches wide by 6.5 inches deep
* Height 1.1 inches
* Screen size (diagonal) 10.1 inches
* System weight / Weight with AC adapter 3.0/3.8 pounds

Product summary

The good: Solid metal construction; full ExpressCard/54 slot; big keyboard.

The bad: Odd resolution loses a few pixels; no mobile-broadband options (yet); awkward mouse button placement.

The bottom line: HP offers a premium version of its plastic Mini 1000 while keeping the price down, making the Mini 2140 the Netbook to beat.

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2/14/2009 11:43:00 AM | Posted in

Meet the M305 from Toshiba. It features the new Fusion Finish - a gloss and appeal that makes this laptop seem to fit in a rather more expensive looking niche. The LCD lid is an amazing gloss with chrome letters, and the that treatment is carried straight onto the display as well - with it's 1280x800 display, it seems crisp and vibrant gathering this is only a 14.1 inch display. The keyboard also gets the glossy finish.

Satellite M305 Technical Specifications

* Processor 2.1 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T8100
* Memory 3GB DDR2 RAM
* Harddrive 250gb SATA 5400rpm
* OS Windows Vista Home Premium
* Weight 5.2 pounds
* Screen 14.1 inches
* Screen resolution 1280x800
* Graphic Card Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
* Battery Life 170 minutes

Product summary

The good: Stylish new design; charges USB devices, even when off.

The bad: Glossy finish attracts fingerprints; way too much bloatware; Sleep-and-Charge feature is turned off by default.

The bottom line: Toshiba's new Satellites, including the 14-inch M305, offer a reasonable mix of performance and price, but are weighed down by excessive out-of-the-box advertising links.

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2/14/2009 11:25:00 AM | Posted in

All in all, the Lenovo S10 is a nice-looking netbook that performs predictably. It can definitely be recommended, but I would opt for an upgrade to at least 1GB of RAM. Unlike some other netbooks, the S10 is also thankfully very easy to upgrade.

Lenovo IdeaPad S10 Technical Specifications

* Processor 1.6GHz Atom N270
* Memory 512MB
* Harddrive 80GB
* OS Windows XP Home
* Weight 2.4lbs
* Screen 10.2 inches
* Screen resolution 1024x600
* Graphic Card Intel GMA950
* Battery Life 3.5 Hours

Product summary

The good: Includes ExpressCard slot; decent keyboard.

The bad: No SSD hard drive options; unimpressive battery life.

The bottom line: Lenovo's "me, too!" entry in the Netbook sweepstakes, the IdeaPad S10, gets the price and features right, but falls behind on battery life.

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2/12/2009 08:19:00 AM | Posted in

It has a Blu-ray winning HD format war. Toshiba attempted to release an HD solution in the Qosmio G45 laptop. The laptop comes with a HD-DVD burner as well as a plethora of features to support a theater-like experience starting from the powerful speakers to the razor sharp 17-inch widescreen display Large and in charge, the Qosmio G45 comes with a black-piano finish lid that contrasts the white keyboard. Although the aesthetic design is quite impressive, picking up the laptop isn�t quite impressive. The laptop weighs in at a massive 10 pounds, which will either break your back or enlarge your biceps.

Toshiba Qosmio G45 Technical Specifications

* Processor Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 2.5GHz
* Memory 3GB DDR2 RAM
* Harddrive 320GB
* OS Windows Vista Ultimate
* Weight 10.6 pounds
* Screen 17-inch
* Screen resolution 1920x1200
* Graphic Card Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT 512MB
* Battery Life 2 hours

Product summary

The good: Penryn update puts latest Intel CPU in flagship laptop; 17-inch display does 1080p; large volume jogwheel and other media controls are easier and more enjoyable to use; includes external TV tuner and remote

The bad: Saddled with HD DVD drive; not configurable

The bottom line: Toshiba's high-end Qosmio G45-AV690 is great for movies and multimedia, and its onboard controls are fun to use--but the recordable HD DVD drive means you're paying extra for a dead technology.

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2/12/2009 08:11:00 AM | Posted in

Like most Lenovo keyboards, the one on the Y530 is a pleasure to type on, and above it is a row of touch sensitive, orange-glowing buttons for media control; both are quite nice-looking and useful. The touchpad is slightly larger than average, and is very accurate and comfortable to the touch.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y530 Technical Specifications

* Processor 2GHz P7350 Core 2 Duo
* Memory 2GB DDR2
* Harddrive 250GB
* OS Windows Vista Home Premium
* Weight 6.6 lbs
* Screen 15.4"
* Screen resolution 1280x800
* Graphic Card Nvidia 9300M GS
* Battery Life 2:45

Product summary

The good: Simple, subdued design with solid construction; reasonably priced; light-touch media controls; Dolby Home Theater sound with four speakers plus subwoofer; face recognition software; decent battery life.

The bad: Overly reflective screen; heavier than similar-size systems.

The bottom line: Though its subdued design may strike some as square, but the midsize Lenovo IdeaPad Y530 delivers a decent media experience for less than $1,000.

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2/09/2009 07:43:00 AM | Posted in

Enclosed in a silvery design that attempts to mimic a space ship from out of this world, the Alienware m15x doesnt look anything completely striking. In fact, it seems Alienware wanted to maintain a more conservative look with the m15x than their typical offshoot Alien-looking design found in the past. In terms of build-quality, the m15x faces creaks and groans. If one moved the lid, even before the lid angle is adjusted, it emits a creaky staircase noise. Even worse, it doesn't make much difference where you grip the lid.

Alienware m15x Gaming Laptop Technical Specifications

* Processor Intel Core 2 Extreme X9000 2.8 GHz
* Memory 4 GB Dual Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM
* Harddrive 200GB 7200 RPM
* OS Windows Vista Ultimate
* Weight 7.8 lb
* Screen 15.4-inch Widescreen
* Screen resolution 1920x1200
* Graphic Card 512MB Nvidia GeForce 8800M GTX

Product summary

The good: Top-of-the-line components; backlit keyboard is a cool touch; highest resolution we've seen in a 15-inch display; one of the fastest laptops on the planet right now.

The bad: Still not as slick looking as it should be; thick, clunky chassis; touch pad hard to use.

The bottom line: Alienware's amazingly powerful flagship Area-51 m15x has the insides down, but our finicky aesthetic sense isn't sold on the look of this otherwise awesome 15-inch powerhouse of a gaming laptop.

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2/09/2009 07:29:00 AM | Posted in

This stylish laptop with a brushed metal look should be quite durable, as it meets the U.S. military standard for high temperatures, vibration, dust, humidity and altitude. HP is also pushing for its scratch-resistant DuraFinish treatment, which protects the palm rest, touchpad and display cover areas.

Inside the EliteBook 6930p is some solid and customizable hardware including Intel Centrino 2 processors and shock-mounted hard drives. Graphics power is provided by an (optional) ATI Mobility Radeon 3450 with 128 or 256MB of dedicated memory.

HP EliteBook 6930p Technical Specifications

* Processor 2-2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
* Memory Up to 8GB DDR2
* Harddrive 120-250 GB
* OS Microsoft Windows XP Pro
* Weight 4.7 lbs (2.1 kg)
* Screen 14
* Screen resolution 1440x900
* Graphic Card ATI Mobility Radeon HD3450

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2/08/2009 03:40:00 AM | Posted in

Acer sponsorship of the Scuderia Ferrari racing team brings the compact Acer Ferrari 1000 Laptop. Featuring Carbon Fiber lid, fierce candy red trim, and the speed-invoking Ferrari logo. The similarities do not stop at the exterior, as the Ferrari 1000 is filled with power, thanks to its AMD Turion Dual Core chip and 768 MB RAM. Light weight, it weighs four pounds (3.85 lb.) and with a thickness of only 1.36 inches means its designed for portability.

Acer Ferrari 1000 Technical Specifications

* Processor AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-56 1.8 GHz
* Memory 768 MB DDR2
* Harddrive 160GB
* OS Windows XP Pro
* Weight 4 pounds
* Screen 12.1
* Screen resolution 1280 x 800
* Graphic Card ATI Radeon Xpress 1150
* Battery Life 3.5 hours

Product summary

Pros: Has only a 3.7-pound weight, which is lighter than some similarly priced notebooks.Also, this notebook comes with Microsoft Windows Vista ultimate and Microsoft Windows Vista OS, which is somewhat more favorable than some similarly priced notebooks.This notebook comes with a memory stick slot, making it easy to swap digital photos, wav clips, and other files with your Palm Pilot.

Cons: Only has a turion 64 X2 mobile technology processor, which is somewhat less efficient than some similarly priced notebooks.For example, the Sony VAIO SZ491N/X, a 3.7-pound notebook at around $1, 600, has a Core 2 Duo processor.The Acer Ferrari 1000-5123 comes with no-frills word processing software  if you often need to create presentations you will likely need to upgrade to a more powerful office suite.

Suitability: Suitable for those who consider weight the most important feature.Preserve favorite home movies for future generations by saving them onto DVD with this computer's DVD writer.If you have a wireless network at home, wirelessly browse the Internet from any room in your house with this Wi-Fi enabled laptop.

Value: In view of its relatively inexpensive price, this notebook has great features for the money.For example, when it comes to screen size, the average price of ultra compact products with a similar screen size is considerably more.

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2/08/2009 03:21:00 AM | Posted in

Asus’ G50Vt rolls an impressive array of hardware into a bulky-but-inexpensive package, with a heavy-handed dose of flair smeared on top. While the style might not be for everyone, and battery life makes its wall adapter an essential umbilical cord for use, it offers a very reasonably priced and playable system for those who want to game on the go without dropping thousands on pricy boutique systems.

Asus G50VT Technical Specifications

* Processor 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
* Memory 4GB DDR2
* Harddrive 640GB
* OS Windows Vista Home Premium
* Screen 15.4

Pros:
• Screaming performance
• Reasonable price
• Unique look
• Convenient secondary display
• Stellar connectivity

Cons:
• Awful battery life
• Extremely large, heavy
• Loud styling
• Mediocre sound quality
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2/06/2009 06:41:00 AM | Posted in

Alienware Area-51 m17x Technical Specifications

* Processor Intel Core 2 Duo
* Memory 1GB DDR2
* Harddrive 1.5TB
* OS Windows Vista Home Premium
* Screen 17
* Graphic Card NVIDIA SLI

Product summary

The good: Highest-end components; imposing design; fantastic performance.

The bad: Starting configurations are overpriced; touch controls are a bit wonky.

The bottom line: If you're looking to drop some major change on a show-off gaming laptop, it's hard to do better than the Alienware Area-51 m17x, a mean-looking, high-performance black slab.
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2/06/2009 06:35:00 AM | Posted in

Promoted by Toshiba as a desktop alternative for the business class, the L350 is indeed powerful enough to do your everday tasks, but that power comes in a large and clunky package that leaves mobility something to be desired.

Meet Toshiba's L350 laptop computer from their Satellite Pro lineup. It is a budget computer for today's business professional promoting all the features you need, without the fuss and flair of much more.

Toshiba L350 Technical Specifications

* Processor Intel Core2 Duo Processor T8100
* Memory 2GB 667Mhz DDR2
* Harddrive 160GB 5,400rpm SATA
* OS Windows XP Pro
* Weight 7.1 - 9.3 lbs
* Screen 17 inches
* Screen resolution 1440x900
* Graphic Card Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
* Battery Life 3.75 hours

Product summary

Pros: Has 1440 x 900 native screen resolution, which is somewhat higher than some similarly priced notebooks.In fact, the typical cost of a product with this high a native screen resolution is $1,630.Also, this notebook has a 17-inch screen size, which is larger than some similarly priced notebooks.By way of comparison, the typical cost of a product with this large a screen size is $1,540.

Cons: Has a 7.1-pound weight, which is somewhat heavier than some similarly priced notebooks.For example, the HP Business nc4200, at around $970, has only a 4-pound weight.This notebook's Intel GMA X3100 graphics chip uses system memory, which sometimes results in slower performance.

Suitability: A general-purpose notebook, suited for general mobile computing.Archive your digital videos using this notebook's DVD writer.Comes with advanced word processing software -- capable of producing all the complex documents you may need to publish.If you have a wireless network at home, wirelessly browse the Web from any room in your house with this Wi-Fi enabled laptop.

Value: In view of its relatively inexpensive price, this notebook has great features for the money.For example, when it comes to screen size, the average price of mainstream products with a similar screen size is considerably more -- in fact around $1,558.Generally, not targeted at the gaming crowd, this computer will likely fulfill more modest notebook needs.

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2/05/2009 05:47:00 AM | Posted in

Gathering the 17" widescreen in true high definition, the Asus M70sa has a plethora of connection inputs, and some serious storage space under the hood. With 1tb of hard drive space, a speedy Intel Core2Duo T9300 and a whopping 1gb of video memory, it truly fits into the mobile entertainment category.

Asus M70sa Technical Specifications

* Processor Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T9300 (2.5GHz, 6MB L2, 800MHz FSB
* Memory 4GB
* Harddrive 1TB (Terabyte)
* OS Windows Vista Home Premium
* Weight 8.3 lbs
* Screen 17 inches
* Screen resolution 1920x1200
* Graphic Card ATI Radeon HD3650
* Battery Life 2 hours

Product summary

The good: Upscale, CE-like design; full HD-resolution screen with handy automatic display settings; Blu-ray drive and 1TB of storage; multimode touch pad; full complement of ports and connections; decent battery life.

The bad: Large and heavy; 32-bit OS leaves 1GB of RAM sitting dormant; midrange GPU does not offer top-notch gaming performance; doesn't ship with a Media Center remote.

The bottom line: You can find Blu-ray-equipped desktop replacements for less, but no other media laptop currently offers as many features for the price as the Asus M70.

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2/05/2009 05:42:00 AM | Posted in

Its sleek, it's small, and available in Red or Black colors to match your designer taste. What is this? Would you believe it's an ultraportable from Lenovo? The IdeaPad U110 is Lenovo's attempt to grab consumer's attention with an ultraportable designed to turn heads. It's everything a business professional would want in an ultra light machine, without the suit and tie conservative look found in its bigger ThinkPad brothers.

IdeaPad U110 Technical Specifications

* Processor Intel Core 2 Duo L7500 1.6 GHz
* Memory 2GB DDR2 RAM
* Harddrive 120GB
* OS Microsoft Windows Vista
* Weight 3 pounds
* Screen 1366 by 768
* Screen resolution 1366x768
* Graphic Card Intel GMA X3100
* Battery Life 3 hours

Product summary

The good: Gorgeous design; lightweight, yet solid construction; sharp screen resolution; comfortable keyboard; ships with two batteries.

The bad: Lacks a built-in optical drive; glossy screen finish sometimes produces annoying reflections; piano finish on keyboard is prone to smudges; fixed configuration can't be customized; no WWAN option.

The bottom line: The 11.1-inch Lenovo IdeaPad U110 is the most beautiful laptop we've seen in years, and behind those good looks is a well-appointed, fairly priced ultraportable. Despite a few minor nitpicks, we recommend the IdeaPad U110 to those who want a lightweight, eye-catching laptop for frequent travel.

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2/05/2009 05:36:00 AM | Posted in

It's obvious that the Vaio TZ from Sony has been designed from the ground up with 100% mobility in mind. It looks stunning in its carbon fiber casing and remarkably thin design, and with up to eight hours of battery life, there is very little that discerning road warriors won't appreciate about the TZ.

Sony Vaio TZ Technical Specifications

* Processor 1.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U7700 (Low Voltage)
* Memory 2 GB DDR2
* Harddrive 64 GB SSD (Solid State Drive)
* OS Windows Vista Business
* Weight 2.65 lbs. (1.2 kg)
* Screen 11.1 inches
* Screen resolution 1366x768
* Graphic Card Intel GMA 900
* Battery Life 8 hours

Pros: Has only a 2.6-pound weight, which is considerably lighter than some similarly priced notebooks.Also, this notebook has a 320GB hard drive, which is considerably larger than some similarly priced notebooks.

Cons: Integrated graphics controllers that rely on shared video memory are sometimes an acceptable trade-off for budget-minded users.

Suitability: Suitable for those who consider weight the most important feature.Preserve favorite home movies for future generations by saving them onto DVD with this computer's DVD writer.Includes advanced word processing software -- fine for most serious business or academic document authors.Make your home movies sing by using the bundled video software to edit material uploaded from a digital camcorder.If you have a wireless network at home, wirelessly browse the Internet from any room in your house with this Wi-Fi enabled laptop.

Value: In general, this notebook's features are as expected for this price.However, the average price of ultra compact products with a similar screen size is quite a bit less.

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2/04/2009 07:16:00 AM | Posted in

Sony VAIO Z Technical Specifications

* Processor 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile P9500
* Memory 3GB DDR3
* Harddrive 320GB
* OS Windows Vista Business
* Weight 3.31 lbs
* Screen 13.1
* Screen resolution 1366 x 768 (WXGA)
* Graphic Card NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS

Product Summary

Pros: - very light
- long battery hours
- bluray drive & HDMI slot
- small yet powerful enough to play some high end games

Cons: - expensive
- slight battery drain problem
- 1 color only
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2/04/2009 07:09:00 AM | Posted in

A highly diverse series of business-oriented laptops ranging from tiny 8.9" ultraportables up to more traditional models like the one we're looking at today. The Fujitsu Lifebook 8410 is quite large and heavy for a business laptop with its 15.4-inch frame and 6 pounds (2.7 kg), so those who travel a lot might want to opt for one of the smaller models in the Lifebook lineup. That being said, the 8410 is quite pleasing to the eye with a nice-looking aluminum LCD cover and an overall build that looks solid.

Fujitsu Lifebook 8410 Technical Specifications

* Processor 2.1 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 3 MB L2 Cache, 800 MHz
* Memory 2 GB 667 MHz DDR 2
* Harddrive 120 GB 5,400 rpm SATA
* OS Windows Vista Business
* Weight 6 lbs (2.7 kg)
* Screen 15.4 inches
* Screen resolution 1280x800

Product summary

The good: Interesting design, particularly for a mainstream business laptop; comfortable keyboard; plenty of ports

The bad: Overpriced; so-so battery life.

The bottom line: Although it's a solidly constructed business laptop with an appealing design and decent performance, it's hard to make a case for the Fujitsu LifeBook E8410 because it costs much more than competing 15-inch models.

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2/04/2009 07:00:00 AM | Posted in

Although it looks completely different (apart from its measures,) the Lenovo X300 is a direct competitor to the MacBook Air; it's a 13.3" super-slim, business oriented laptop that fits into a standard size interoffice envelope.

Lenovo X300 Technical Specifications

* Processor 1.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo L7100 (Low Voltage)
* Memory 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2
* Harddrive 64 GB Solid State Drive
* OS Windows Vista Business/Windows XP
* Weight 2.93-3.51 lbs (1.33-1.59 kg)
* Screen 13.3 inches
* Screen resolution 1440x900

Product summary

The good: Extremely thin and light; sleekest ThinkPad yet; built-in DVD burner, plus WWAN, GPS, and wireless USB.

The bad: Solid-state drive comes at a high premium; touch pad's location makes it easy to accidentally graze while typing.

The bottom line: The ThinkPad X300 breaks new ground by packing a broad display, full-size keyboard, and nearly every feature a mobile user needs into a sleek, lightweight case.

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2/03/2009 04:44:00 AM | Posted in

I have covered ultra portable laptops before, and like those heftier ones before it, the Portege makes you wonder how many moving parts can be fit in such a lithe frame.

Portege R500 Series: A Wafer-Thin Wonder Technical Specifications

* Processor 1.2-1.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo ULV
* Memory 1 or 2 GB, 667MHz DDR2
* Harddrive 120GB SATA 5400rpm (Optional 64GB SSD)
* OS Windows Vista Business
* Weight 1.72-2.40 pounds (0.8-1 kg)
* Screen 12.1 inches
* Screen resolution 1280x800
* Graphic Card Intel GMA950
* Battery Life 7.5 hours

Product summary

The good: Extremely thin and light laptop; includes solid-state hard drive.

The bad: Fixed configuration; no mobile broadband; expensive external optical drive option; ULV CPU limits performance without seeming to do all that much to extend battery life.

The bottom line: Toshiba's SSD version of the Portege R500 may be the best ultraportable laptop available right now, and it packs in much of what the MacBook Air lacks while weighing nearly half as much.

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2/03/2009 04:29:00 AM | Posted in

Value and performance are two factors that appeal to almost every buyer looking for a new notebook, and that's what the 1525 Inspiron offers in abundance.

Dell inspiron 1525 Technical Specifications

* Processor 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7250, 800MHz FSB
* Memory 2GB DDR2, 667MHz
* Harddrive 120GB 5,400rpm SATA
* OS Windows Vista Home Premium
* Weight 5.9 pounds (2.7 kg)
* Screen 15.4 inches
* Screen resolution 1280x800
* Graphic Card Intel GMA X3100 IGP
* Battery Life 3-3.5 hours

Product summary

The good: Slimmed-down design; low starting price; high-end extras are available, including HDMI and touch-sensitive media control buttons.

The bad: Not as many configuration options as some of Dell's other laptops; plastic construction feels somewhat flimsy; base $499 configuration about as powerful as an abacus.

The bottom line: Taking consumer complaints to heart, Dell updates its mainstream 15-inch laptop with the Inspiron 1525. It's thinner, lighter, and less expensive than its predecessor.

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1/29/2009 06:53:00 AM | Posted in

In a nice touch, the MacBook uses magnets instead of a physical latch to hold the lid closed. A small notch on the front edge affords just enough room for your finger, and the lid and case separate very nicely. Lifting the lid reveals a gray keyboard deck, which should hide dirt better than the iBook's pure white interior. The keys themselves are flat on top with rounded edges, and they are spaced farther apart than the MacBook Pro's and PowerBook's.

Apple MacBook Technical Specifications

* Processor 2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile
* Memory 1GB DDR2
* Harddrive 120GB
* OS Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard
* Weight 5.0 lbs
* Screen 13.3"
* Screen resolution 1280 x 800
* Graphic Card Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
* Battery Life 4,5 hours

Product summary

The good: Thin and light; robust software package, including Mac OS X Tiger; magnetic lid latch and scrollable touch pad; DVD burner; built-in Webcam; remote control; can run Windows XP using Apple's free Boot Camp utility.

The bad: Nonnative software runs slowly on Mac OS; lacks media card reader and some other ports; higher-end configurations are much more expensive than similarly configured Windows laptops; only 90 days of toll-free tech support.

The bottom line: With the MacBook, Apple has corrected a handful of the iBook's shortcomings, hit a reasonable price point, and delivered a laptop that makes a great compromise between size and portability.

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1/29/2009 06:45:00 AM | Posted in

It’s the best value-priced notebook on the planet for me, because of its super cute size and stylish design, its friendly user interface (that offers only six easy-to-understand options: Internet, Work, Learn, Play, Settings, and Favorites), it’s very lightweight, and it’s so cheap.
Asus Eee PC 701 Technical Specifications

* Processor 900Mhz Intel Pentium M ULV
* Memory 512MB
* Harddrive 4GB SSD
* OS Xandros-based Linux
* Weight 2 pounds (0.92 kg)
* Screen 7 inches
* Screen resolution 800x480
* Graphic Card Intel GMA 900 IGP
* Battery Life 3 hours
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1/29/2009 06:19:00 AM | Posted in

A couple of years ago a middle weight business laptop would have cost you over a grand. Today less than 500 dollars will snag you an Athlon dual core powered Vostro 1000, sporting a 15.4 inch wide-screen display and some quality touches like a mylar sealed keyboard and magnesium alloy chassis. Laptopical's Todd Gold offers his opinion on this discount offering from Dell.

Dell Vostro 1000 Technical Specifications

* Processor 1.9GHz AMD Athlon 64 Mobile TK57, 667Mhz FSB
* Memory 2GB 667 MHz DDR2
* Harddrive 120GB 5,400rpm SATA
* OS Windows Vista Business
* Weight 6.26 pounds (2.84 kg)
* Screen 15.4 inches
* Screen resolution 1280x800
* Graphic Card ATI Radeon Xpress 1150 IGP
* Battery Life 1-2 hours

Product summary

The good: Reasonably priced; attractive design; antiglare display; corporate-level security, including TPM; thorough feature set; decent battery life; support package focused on small business.

The bad: Keyboard feels cheap; cramped touch pad.

The bottom line: Small-business owners who would otherwise buy a consumer laptop should consider the full-featured, 13.3-inch Dell Vostro 1310.

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1/28/2009 05:26:00 AM | Posted in

Dell Latitude E6400 Technical Specifications

* Processor 2.40GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
* Memory 1.0GB
* Harddrive 160GB
* OS Windows Vista Home Basic
* Screen 14,1"
* Graphic Card Intel Graphics Media Accelerator

Product summary

The good: Sharp new design; tons of business-friendly features; highly configurable; excellent battery.

The bad: Merely average performance; somewhat heavy.

The bottom line: A total revamp of Dell's ubiquitous business laptop line, the Latitude E6400 offers Intel's latest Centrino 2 mobile platform and introduces a brushed-metal design that works at home or office, but the real highlight here is the long battery life.

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1/28/2009 05:20:00 AM | Posted in

One of the major complaints about ultraportables is the fact that their svelte frames are not packed with the performance of their desktop replacement cousins. Well Acer's Travelmate 6292 suffers no such weakness, it's loaded with a 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo processor, boasts 2GB of RAM and a more than ample 160GB hard drive.

Acer TravelMate 6292 Technical Specifications

* Processor 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, 800MHz FSB
* Memory 2GB 667 MHz DDR2
* Harddrive 160 GB 5,400rpm SATA
* OS Windows Vista Business
* Weight 4.5 pounds (2 kg)
* Screen 12.1 inches
* Screen resolution 1280x800
* Graphic Card Intel GMA X3100 IGP
* Battery Life 5 hours

Product summary

Description: The Acer TravelMate 6292-6856 is a 4.6-pound, consumer level notebook computer.Compared to other general-purpose notebooks on the market, it is relatively inexpensive at around $1,025.Has Wi-Fi (wireless connectivity) built-in.

Pros: Has a plug-in module media bay, which is considerably more favorable than some similarly priced notebooks.In fact, the typical cost of a product with this favorable a media bay is $1,465.Also, this notebook has only a 4.6-pound weight, which is somewhat lighter than some similarly priced notebooks.By way of comparison, the typical cost of a product with this light a weight is $1,345.Has a modular media bay -- meaning its DVD? RW(? R DL) / DVD-RAM drive is removable, allowing you easily to swap it out for alternative or upgraded units.This is a Santa Rosa Centrino.

Cons: Has only a 12.1-inch screen size, which is considerably smaller than some similarly priced notebooks.For example, the Dell Studio 17, a -pound notebook at around $1, 055, has a 17.0 screen size.The Acer TravelMate 6292-6856 comes with simple word processing software  if you often need access to special character sets you will likely need to upgrade to a full-fledged office suite.Integrated graphics controllers that rely on shared RAM are sometimes an acceptable trade-off for budget-minded users.

Suitability: A general-purpose notebook, suited for general mobile computing.Archive your digital videos using this notebook's DVD burner.If you have a wireless network at home, wirelessly browse the Web from any room in your house with this Wi-Fi enabled laptop.

Value: Given its relatively inexpensive price, this notebook has great features for the money.For example, when it comes to screen size, the average price of mainstream products with a similar screen size is quite a bit more -- right around $1,341.Generally, not targeted at the gaming crowd, this computer will likely fulfill more modest laptop needs.

Suggestions:
(1) Given this device's Wi-Fi capability, you may want to get a wireless access point for your home, so that you can browse the Web more conveniently from any room.
(2) To get the most out of this laptop's Bluetooth capability, you could have a Bluetooth-enabled headset, PDA or other device, and be able to link it wirelessly to your computer within a range of 20-or-so feet inside the same room.

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1/28/2009 05:12:00 AM | Posted in

Being a blogger, I still come to grips with the notion that things exist in this world that I might never attain: a Ferrari, a supermodel, the CEO position at a Fortune 500 corporation. Should I add the Sony VAIO VGN-AR590E?

Sony VAIO VGN-AR590E Technical Specifications

* Processor 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 800 MHz FSB
* Memory 2GB 667 MHz DDR 2
* Harddrive 320GB 5400rpm SATA
* OS Windows Vista Home Premium
* Weight 8.2 pounds (3.7 kg)
* Screen 17 inches
* Screen resolution 1920x1200
* Graphic Card Intel GMA 950
* Battery Life 4-6 hours

Product summary

Description: The Sony VAIO VGN-AR590E is an 8.4-pound, consumer level notebook computer.Compared to other mainstream consumer notebooks on the market, it is expensive at around $3,555.Has Wi-Fi (wireless connectivity) built-in.

Pros: Has a BD-RE removable disc drive, which is considerably more favorable than some similarly priced notebooks.Also, this notebook has 1920 x 1200 native screen resolution, which is higher than some similarly priced notebooks.This is a Santa Rosa Centrino.

Cons: Has an 8.4-pound weight, which is somewhat heavier than some similarly priced notebooks.For example, the Sony VAIO BX540BWA, at around $3, 320, has only a 5.1-pound weight.
Suitability: Suited for those who just need a basic notebook.Includes advanced word processing software -- capable of producing all the complex documents you may need to publish.Use the bundled video software to direct movies uploaded from a digital camcorder.Develop your digital darkroom savvy using the photo editing software bundled with this laptop.If you have a wireless network at home, wirelessly browse the Web from any room in your house with this Wi-Fi enabled laptop.

Value: Overall, this notebook's price seems hard to justify, with respect to its features.

Suggestions:
(1) Given this device's Wi-Fi capability, you may want to get a wireless access point for your home, so that you can browse the Web more conveniently from any room.
(2) To get the most out of this computer's Bluetooth capability, you could have a Bluetooth-enabled headset, handheld or other device, and be able to link it wirelessly to your computer within a range of 20-or-so feet inside the same room.

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1/27/2009 05:02:00 AM | Posted in

The tx2000 is a follow-up of the - surprise - tx1000 that came out last year. This one has been upgraded with some new technology, including an active digitizer from Wacom instead of the resistive digitizer used in the previous model.

HP Pavilion tx2000 Tablet Technical Specifications

* Processor 2.3 GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-66
* Harddrive 250GB SATA 5400rpm
* OS Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit
* Weight 4.26 pounds (1.92 kg)
* Screen 12 inches
* Screen resolution 1280x800

Product summary
The good: Dual-mode active pen and touch screen makes tablet use easier and more accurate than last year's model; includes credit-card remote control; excellent battery life; handy controls built into lid.
The bad: Slightly bigger and heavier than a 12-inch laptop should be; limited configuration options; battery is large and makes for slightly awkward setup; missing a FireWire jack.

The bottom line: HP's Pavilion tx2000 combines a convertible tablet design with an entertainment-focused laptop to create an interesting hybrid, thanks to an improved tablet screen and mini remote control.

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1/27/2009 04:52:00 AM | Posted in

When I think of stylish notebooks Apple's Macbook Pro, Fujitsu's Lifebook Q2010 and Sony's range of Vaios all spring to mind. However there's always space on the laptop catwalk for something as classy as Lenovo's Thinkpad Reserve Edition.

ThinkPad R61-14W Technical Specifications

* Processor 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 800MHz FSB
* Memory 2GB 667Mhz DDR2
* Harddrive 100GB 7,200rpm SATA
* OS Windows Vista Business
* Weight 5.4 pounds (2.5 kg)
* Screen 14.1 inches
* Screen resolution 1440x900
* Graphic Card Nvidia Quadro NVS 140M
* Battery Life 2 hours

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1/27/2009 04:40:00 AM | Posted in

Sometimes brown is the new black. Or sometimes it's pastels. But never, ever, does the old black go out of fashion. It always comes back.

Samsung R20 Technical Specifications

* Processor 1.73GHz Intel Core Duo T2250 2MB L2 Cache
* Memory 1GB 533MHz DDR2 (2x512MB)
* Harddrive 160GB 4,200rpm SATA
* OS Windows Vista Home Premium
* Weight 5.3 pounds (2.4 kg)
* Screen 14.1 inches
* Screen resolution 1280x800
* Graphic Card ATI Radeon Xpress 1250 IGP
* Battery Life 1.5-2.2 hours
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1/26/2009 04:10:00 AM | Posted in

Macbook Pro Technical Specifications

* Processor 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7500, 4MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB
* Memory 2GB 667 MHz DDR2
* Harddrive 120GB 5,400rpm SATA
* OS Mac OS X
* Weight 5.6 pounds (2.54 kg)
* Screen 15.4 inches
* Screen resolution 1440x900
* Graphic Card Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT
* Battery Life 5-6 hours

Product summary

The good: Updated CPUs, improved battery life, adds touch pad gestures from the MacBook Air.

The bad: Small performance premium over the cheaper 13-inch MacBook; only 90 days of toll-free technical support; still no SD card reader.

The bottom line: A solid, if predictable, upgrade to the MacBook Pro line, but noteworthy for stealing the MacBook Air's best feature--expanded gesture controls for the touch pad.

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1/26/2009 03:58:00 AM | Posted in

Start your engines, drivers. But don't expect to be winning any races. Such is the race-time decision posed by the new Acer Ferrari 5005WLMi.

Acer 5005 Ferrari Notebook Technical Specifications


* Processor 2GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-60
* Memory 2GB
* Harddrive 160GB 5,400rpm SATA
* OS Windows XP Pro
* Weight 6.6 pounds (3 kg)
* Screen 15.4 inches
* Screen resolution 1680x1050
* Graphic Card ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 256MB
* Battery Life 3.5 hours

Product summary

The good: Cool design; strong performance; decent battery life; ergonomic keyboard; slot-loading DVD burner.

The bad: Expensive; lacks multimedia controls; reflective screen; video looks grainy.

The bottom line: We like almost everything about the Acer Ferrari 5000, except for the price.
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1/26/2009 03:53:00 AM | Posted in

Available in a choice of white, brown, or silver, Sony's Vaio NR has some stylish design touches but offers an entry level price and specs.

Sony VAIO G1 Technical Specifications

* Processor 1.2GHz Intel Core Solo U1400
* Memory 512 MB
* Harddrive 80GB 4,200rpm p-ATA
* OS Windows XP Professional
* Weight 2.1 pounds (0.9 kg)
* Screen 12.1 inches
* Screen resolution 1024x768
* Graphic Card Intel GMA 950
* Battery Life 4-6 hours

The carbon-fiber TX series is Sony's thinnest and lightest laptop line, perhaps the most lightweight ultraportable on the market, but it still includes features such as instant-on technology, Bluetooth, and a double-layer DVD burner.
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1/25/2009 06:16:00 AM | Posted in

Macbook Air Technical Specifications

* Processor 1.6-1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 800 MHz FSB
* Memory 2 GB DDR2 667 MHz
* Harddrive 80 GB 4,200 rpm P-ATA (Optional 64 GB SSD)
* OS Mac OS X
* Weight 3 pounds (1.36 kg)
* Screen 13.3 inches
* Screen resolution 1280x800

Product summary

The good: Incredibly thin yet surprisingly sturdy; new trackpad gesture controls are very useful; remote optical drive makes living without a built-in drive much easier.

The bad: Very limited connectivity; slower than other MacBooks; SSD hard-drive option is ridiculously expensive and standard hard drive is small; battery is not user replaceable.

The bottom line: The design is revolutionary, but Apple's MacBook Air will appeal to a smaller, more specialized audience than the standard MacBook, thanks to a stripped-down set of connections and features.

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