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All posts tagged "dell"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dell Offers Adamo Posing As Low Cost Laptop

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 08:30 AM

"What if you took an original Adamo, shaved a couple pounds off the weight and a grand off the price? You'd end up with something pretty close to the new Dell Vostro V13. We just got a quick look at the machine, and while some of the cheaper materials Dell is using here certainly came through, the total package is still quite impressive -- and the price unimpeachable."

The Dell Adamo must be one of Dell's "halo" products, because with the release of Vostro V13, I think you would be hard pressed to pay the premium that the Adamo commands. Sure, the Vostro V13 is not quite as powerful, but it has plenty of juice for your everyday tasks. Thin is definitely in, and almost every manufacturer now has a laptop that will fit in a manila envelope. What is most remarkable is the base price for the V13, which sits it right in the high end netbook territory. With reasonably powered laptops with this kind of design this cheap, are the netbook's days numbered?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Meet the Dell Inspiron Zino HD

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 02:00 AM

Zune HD? No, the Zino HD! What a curious little machine. It looks like a Mac Mini to some degree, but in my opinion lacks the style of the Studio Hybrid, another machine in Dell's line-up that competes in the small-desktop category. What it lacks in style, however, it makes up for in hardware horsepower: it can be configured with a 1 TB 7200 RPM hard drive, 6 GB of RAM, an ATI Radeon HD 4330 512MB GPU, and a Blu-ray drive. The somewhat downer? For a CPU the best you can get is a 1.8 Ghz AMD X2 6850E. That's the Neo CPU that's in the HP dv2 and other thin-and-light laptops. It's not a bad CPU - it's far more powerful than an Atom processor - but any Core 2 Duo CPU would kick the silicon out of it. And you can get the much more powerful CPU in the Studio Hybrid.

So what you have here is a machine that would do well as an HTPC, or an office workstation-type machine. No known pricing yet in USD - the Dell Ireland pricing makes the maxed out version of this machine in at around the $1300 USD mark...which is a bit pricey. We'll see what tomorrow holds for and

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Dell Adamo XPS is Thinner Than A Breadbox, Way Thinner

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 03:00 PM

"The Dell Adamo XPS is hitting the market this month as the world’s thinnest notebook. In this GBM InkShow you’ll get to see exactly how thin it is compared to an iPhone, a quarter and another thin and light notebook."

Remember when the Macbook Air got attention for being able to fit comfortably inside a manilla envelope? Well, since then, the race for thin was on and Dell currently has the crown with their newly released Dell Adamo XPS. Coming in just shy of 10mm thick at its thickest part, it could probably be used to cut through shoes, tomatoes and tin cans. Fortunately, Dell has not compromised performance, much, with a respectable Core2Duo CPU and the standard compliment of connectivity options. The most unusual part? How the Adamo XPS opens up and rests on a surface. While unique, it may not provide you with the same flexibility as your typical laptop. Check GottaBeMobile's video to see the thing in action!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Words, or a Dell Latitude 2100

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 06:30 AM

"Starting from October 15, we are bringing you the Where Do You Like to Learn photography competition. We are kicking-off the month-long contest, where we want you to show us where you like to learn! Whether it’s in your favorite bookstore or on your living room floor; in your neighborhood park or your best friend’s backyard, we can all be a little more creative with where we choose to study. Learning can take place anywhere!"

Dell's Edu4U group is looking for inspiration. They want students (under 18, with the help of their parents or teacher) to submit pictures of where they like to learn the most. What's up for grabs is a Latitude 2100 for the student, and a tablet PC and projector for his or her classroom. Quite nice for snapping a few photos. Dell will be posting the photos from the top 5 finalists online, giving everyone a chance to vote on their favourite so it will be an interesting way to see how different people study. The contest closes on November 15th, so start taking pictures!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dell Lets Engadget Peek at the Adamo XPS

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:45 AM

That right there is the Dell Adamo XPS. And, according to Engadget, Dell waved it around for a minute, didn't say much about it, then went back to talking about their new designs based on OPI nail polish. Huh? Yeah, exactly. I'm all for customization, but I think it's pretty cheesy that it says the name of the design and "OPI" on the lid. I mean, come on, this isn't some ad-supported free product, it's a laptop someone is buying. Who wants to advertise for OPI? Anyway, I believe this is the first time that Dell has brought to the table a customized design that isn't a sticker - HP has been the company that has offered slick designs baked into the shell, but Dell has been stuck offering stickers. Times are a chagin'!

If you're a baseball fan, you'll appreciate the Major League Baseball designs - there are some pretty cool, aggressive designs in that gallery.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thin, Light, and Oh So Nice - Dell Latitude Z 600

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:30 AM

"It's not every day you see something thoroughly distinct in the laptop scene -- or even barely off the beaten path -- so we were quite happy to behold Dell's new Latitude Z 600 outside of the narrow confines of the FCC. The machine combines a 16-inch 1600 x 900 display with a Core 2 Duo processor and a thin (0.57-inch) and light (4.5 pounds) chassis -- a rather rare trifecta. Dell's gone with premium soft touch materials, a large multitouch touchpad, a 2 megapixel webcam with included security and document scanning (like business cards) software, and a rather novel capacitive "EdgeTouch" sensor on the side that can be tapped for a quick launch bar of apps."

As you would expect, a $2,000 plus machine does come with quite a few premium features. Dell, really threw the kitchen sink in on this one though. Highlights include an instant on Linux based system to supplement the Vista based system, induction charging, and wireless docking.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Dell Customer Service: Yes, It's Really That Awful

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 11:30 AM

I found this video when fired up the YouTube player on my Samsung BD-P1600 - which magically appeared after a firmware update - and was fumbling around the clumsy software client Samsung made for browsing YouTube videos. What didn't magically appear with the last firmware update was better DVD playback; when I put in a regular DVD, even one brand new out of the package, there's a 90% chance at some point during the movie I'll see the playback sputter, pause, or distort in some way. Blu-ray playback is flawless. The BD-1600 is the player that Samsung sent me to replace the disastrous BD-P1500 that I bought last year. They only offered to replace it after I had sent it back in for repairs twice, and called back again about playback problems for the third time. But I digress...let's get back to Dell.

Generally, I'm a fan of Dell - I think my XPS M1330 is a great laptop, and my office has four Dell monitors in it. I believe that Dell makes good products at reasonable prices. But their customer service is, in a word, atrocious. Read more...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dell's Adamo Laptop: A Looker, but Light on Power & Speed

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:00 AM

This is my review video of the Dell Adamo laptop - please check out my unboxing and first impressions video if you haven't already. This is easily the most impressive Dell product I've ever looked at from a design perspective - if you took the name Dell off the laptop, you'd never know it was created by the world's second biggest computer maker. The materials, the design, the build-quality, the fit and finish, the attention to detail: all are mind-blowingly excellent. But the hardware performance and price tag that comes with it? Much less impressive.

This is the "Admire" model, which features a 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor (SU9300), 2 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD drive, Windows Vista 64-bit, a 13.4 inch 16:9 aspect ratio 1366 x 768, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, Bluetooth 2.0, a back-lit keyboard, two USB ports, one USB/eSATA combo port, gigabit Ethernet, Display Port out (it comes with an adaptor for Display Port to DVI), 802.11n WiFi, built-in speakers, and a 40-watt hour battery that's rated to last five hours. As you can tell from my video, five hours would only be possible if the display was so dim it would only be readable in the dark, and you couldn't actually use it for anything during those five hours. Read more...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dell's New Studio 11z Notebook

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

A few weeks back, Dell released a new laptop: the Studio 11z. No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to get Dell to send me press releases about their new products, so you'll have to pardon the fact that this is late. The 11z is also only available from Dell USA (and perhaps elsewhere), but not Dell Canada, so I can't order one to review it. But enough griping from me, let's look at what the 11z brings to the table.

Dell continues to expand their laptop line across different screen sizes: the 11z features an 11.6 inch WLED screen at 1366 x 768 resolution. Unlike almost every other Dell laptop available, the 11z has zero customization options. It uses a Intel Celeron 723 CPU (1.2GHz, 800MHz, 1MB cache) that's supposed to offer 39% better performance than the Atom N270 CPU. The 11z has 2 GB of RAM, uses Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit, uses an Intel GS45 graphics chipset, has two 1 watt speakers, 802.11a/b/g WiFi, an integrated 1.3 megapixel camera with a microphone, and a 250 GB 4200rpm hard drive. Ports? HDMI output, three USB, 3-1 memory card reader, audio line-out, microphone input, and 10/100 Ethernet. No optical drive, naturally. The battery is an anaemic 3-cell 24 watt hour, no doubt contributing to the thin 0.92 inch profile (1.02 inches thick at the back). There's a 6-cell battery option "coming soon" that will boost battery life into the 6 hour range. It weighs in at 3.05 pounds.

UPDATE: Guess it helps to mention the price! Dell is selling the 11z for $449. That's netbook ballpark pricing - this is definitely some serious competition for the HP dv2 as well, though that product brings a real GPU to the table...not to mention nicer design.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dell Mini 9 Reborn as Vostro A90?

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 AM

"For the on-the-go professional or frequent business traveler, the Vostro A90 is the ideal mobile business Internet companion that will keep you moving and connected to your business. Discover the advantages yourself: Lightweight (only 1.07 kg/2.36 lbs), ultra compact design will keep you highly mobile, Easy to purchase, setup and maintain, and Backed by Dell’s worry-free services and support designed for small business."

This appears to be the discontinued Dell Mini 9 re-branded for the business set. I personally love the 9 inch form factor, but I'm wondering if the screen isn't just a hair too small for most business types. It remains to be seen if this model retains the desirability as a perfect Hackintosh. We shall just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Get Transformers on a Kingston USB Flash Drive

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 09:00 PM

I was poking around Dell Canada's Web site today, looking at their latest configuration of the Dell Mini 10 - which now includes GPS incidentally - and noticed something rather curious. Dell was giving away a free 2 GB Kingston USB flash drive that includes a digital copy of the movie "Transformers". That's not something I've seen before - I'm starting to see digital versions of movies coming via managed copy with Blu-ray discs such as Watchmen, but coming pre-loaded on a flash drive? That's an interesting way to sell hardware...pre-loaded with content. Only in this case it's a promo from Dell where you get it for free.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Dell Studio 14z Notebook: A Real Contender

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 07:30 AM

[It should say REVIEW and not UNBOXING in the video; it's a total failure on my part to not change that. Whoops! Since the source files are deleted, so I can't fix it.]

Here it is, the "mega review" of this laptop, a follow-up from my unboxing video. This video is quite long because I go into a lot of detail about battery tests, performance benchmarks, and the pros and cons of this notebook. I hope everyone enjoys the level of detail!

This notebook, shown here in ruby red, is a little different that most notebooks in that it lacks a CD/DVD drive - but it's no netbook! It has a 14 inch, 16:9 aspect ratio screen running at 1600 x 900 resolution, which is Dell's 900p resolution option (an upgrade). The standard resolution is 720p, which is 1280 x 720. Read more...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Dell Studio 14z Unboxing & First Impressions Video

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:30 AM

This is an unboxing and first impressions video of the Dell Inspiron Studio 14z (I mistakenly thought it was called the Inspiron 14z, but it's not an Inspiron, it's a Studio notebook). This notebook, shown here in ruby red, is a little different that most notebooks in that it lacks a CD/DVD drive - but it's no netbook! It has a 14 inch, 16:9 aspect ratio screen running at 1600 x 900 resolution, which is Dell's 900p resolution option (an upgrade). The standard resolution is 720p, which is 1280 x 720. Read more...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dell Launches Online Software Store

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 03:00 PM

Another online store store? Yeah, that's what I thought, but I noticed something in the press info I was sent: this is the first non-Microsoft site that's able to offer some Microsoft software for download, namely Office. There are also some cost-savings in the digital download versions: Office Home & Student 2007 is 13% less expensive than what the retail copies are sold for (I just checked Best Buy to confirm). So, not bad - though based on how often I see people I know lose their Office install disc, I wonder how quickly they'll lose or delete the Office 2007 install file. But I digress...this is USA only for now. There's a fair bit of software in there, though be sure to check retail costs to compare: I thought Roxio Creator 2009 was a good price at 40% off the MSRP of $99 USD (making it $59.99), but I checked Best Buy and the retail price is only $49.99 right now. It pays to shop around a bit!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Why Do Big Companies Educate Their Customers So Poorly?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 07:00 AM

The above is a screen shot taken from, using their online tool for comparing Harmony remotes. This tool is designed to allow potential customers to select the Harmony remote that will work best for them. But why is it then that the two remotes, one nearly double the price of the other (The 510 street price is $99), come up as identical in the comparison tool? Is Logitech really trying to sell a remote for twice as much that doesn't do anything different than the less expensive one? It turns out, no, they're not - but it sure looks that way, doesn't it?

I did a bit of research on my own and discovered that the 670 model has PVR-specific controls, while the 510 model does not. This is a pretty important fact for a customer to know, since I'm willing to bet a very high percentage of people buying a Harmony remote own a PVR. So why isn't that listed as a difference between the two products? Logitech is doing a poor job of educating buyers on the differences between their products here, and they're certainly not alone. The online computer-ordering process is among the worst offenders at putting choices in front of the customer and doing a horrible job at explaining what those choices actually mean. Read more...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dell Inspiron Mini 9 - R.I.P.

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 AM

"As some of you with sharp eyes noted over the weekend, today marks the official retirement of the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, our first entry into the netbook market. It was a successful product by any number of measures, including the unofficial "modders dream" device with owners adding GPS modules, installing different OS, upgrading memory, etc."

Since the 10v is mostly the same except for the slightly larger screen, it makes sense to discontinue the 9. I'm assuming the 10 has out sold the 9 by a considerable margin since being released, making this a pretty easy decision for Dell. Having netbooks with both 9 and 10 inch screens, I do think the 10 inch models are the best fit for a majority of users.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dell Releases Studio 14z Laptops, Lacks Optical Drive

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:13 AM

"The new Studio 14z is Dell's thinnest and lightest Studio laptop, packed full of necessities to keep you roaming around your world with everything you need. And with its creative edge inside and out, you'll be more than surprised by its affordable price. Complement your personal style with a choice of five vibrant colors and one unique pattern. Available in Red, Blue, Green, Promise Pink, Purple and Black Chain Link, the new Studio 14z is so stylish, you'll be double-checking its affordable price. And with every purchase of a Promise Pink StudioTM 15 laptop, Dell will donate $5.00 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, one of the world's largest breast cancer organizations."

Well now...this is the first 14 inch laptop I can think of that has lacked an optical drive from the start. Are we witnessing the death of optical drives? It seems like we might be, and I don't think that's such a bad thing, at least on smaller notebooks where the space can be put to better uses. The question is, what advantages does the 14z have over other notebooks that have optical drives? I'm struggling to find one - they're even doing double-duty with the ExpressCard34 slot, because it houses the memory card reader. That's slick - I like that. I think the lack of an optical drive allowed them to make it thinner and lighter...I'd have hoped for more battery life, but thin and light is also good. Prices look to start at $649 USD and go up to $1629 USD if you max everything out. The maxed-out specs look like this: 2.2 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo T6600, 14" 900p screen (Dell hides what resolution that is - 1600 x 900 I think), 5 GB RAM (what an odd number - must be 1 GB soldered onto the motherboard), 500 GB 7200 RPM hard drive, NVIDIA 9400M G graphics card, 802.11n, 8-cell 74 wHr battery, Bluetooth, and a coloured shell. Not a bad config actually...

UPDATE: Looks like Dell Canada allows you to configure the 14z with the T9550 Intel Core 2, which is 2.66 Ghz and has a 6 MB cache. Nice! Too bad it's a $420 CAD price jump above the baseline 2 Ghz CPU. Ouch!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dell Gets Colourful With Inspiron 545 and 545s Desktop PCs

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 01:56 PM

There are only two interesting things about the Dell Inspiron 537 (picture above) and 537s (pictured below): they come in eight different colours, and by default they lack an optical drive - though that last point is confusing because text on Dell's site says the optical drive is optional ("Store more with the optional optical drive and up to 8GB memory"), and the photos seem to back that up, yet when I try to configure one there's already a 16x DVD drive included in the configuration and it can't be removed. So...yeah. I'm not sure what Dell is up to here. I'm all for colour, because I do think it's a differentiator in the marketplace, but I'd have preferred to see Dell do a Shuttle-like formfactor. That would have been slick! Prices for both the 537 and 537s start at $299 USD. The model numbers also vary from country to country: in Canada they're the 545 and 545s.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dell's New Touch Screen All-In-One

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:00 AM

"Reach out and explore the Studio One 19’s 18.5" display with optional multi-touch screen functionality on a choice of 4 color fabric trim options or Solid Pure White trim border. Crystal clear 16:9 widescreen flat panel HD display. User-friendly touch applications with optional multi-touch screen. Powerful NVIDIA® graphics with up to an Intel® Quad-Core processor. Optional wireless keyboard and mouse and optional built-in WiFi."

Wow, a very sexy design from Dell! Well at least the white one is. The other colors do look a bit ugly to me. Touch screen models start at $799. I like touch screen on a mobile device but I just don't see them being very ergonomic in this configuration.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How Dell Adamo Designers Hid The Labels

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 08:30 AM

"The Adamo is clean. Unlike almost every other Windows laptop you can buy, it has no "Designed for Windows" or "Intel Inside" stickers glued to the palm rest. Turn it over, and instead of a jigsaw puzzle of FCC approval stickers, serial number tags, and Microsoft certifications, there's a metal builder's plate with Dell, Intel, and Microsoft logos subtly printed on it. There's even a special magnetic cover hiding a required licensing sticker."

In pretty much every laptop review/video I do, I complain about the labels. To me, they ruin the design aesthetic of the laptop. They add zero value to the user - it's not like they're going to forget they're running Windows Vista - and are usually difficult to remove. The laptop OEMs need to push back - hard - on Microsoft and Intel the way Dell has done with the Adamo. I don't mind so much if the labels are on the bottom of the laptop, but I can see why Dell wanted to keep the bottom of the Adamo clean. I'd like to see more of this from OEMs, all the way down the line.

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