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All posts tagged "dell"

Monday, March 23, 2009 Gets Some Hands-On With the Dell Adamo

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 01:40 PM

"I got my hands on Dell's Adamo, which is world's thinnest notebook and the most stylish Dell I've ever seen. It is a beautiful piece of machinery and something I'd like to own. Adamo is Dell's new luxury label and while it's made by Dell, it has nothing in common with other notebooks sold by the company."

My pal Xavier over at had a bit of hands-on time with the new Dell Adamo (being the BSG fan that I am, I keep wanting to call it the "Adama", which it sounds like Xavier does) and it's certainly something brand new from Dell: a luxury computer. Starting at $1999 USD and going all the way up to $3000 USD, it's certainly the most "cost be damned" laptop that Dell has ever released. In the video Xavier goes through the unboxing, and Dell has certainly done some interesting things with the design, the accessories, and even the packaging. Read more...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Unboxing the Dell Inspiron Mini 10

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:46 PM

Today the courier delivered a box I was looking forward to opening: this is an unboxing and first impressions video of the Dell Inspiron Mini 10, a new netbook model that Dell has just released. As configured from Dell Canada, it cost me $559 CAD. The same configuration on as of March 19th costs $504 USD. This Mini 10 is cherry red in colour, uses the Intel Atom Z530 (1.6 Ghz) CPU, has 1 GB of DDR2 RAM, uses Windows XP SP3, has a 10.1 inch 16:9 aspect ratio screen (1024 x 576 resolution), a 160 GB 5400 RPM 2.5 inch hard drive, a 1.3 megapixel Webcam, a 802.11g WiFi card, and is powered by a 3-cell 24 WHr battery.

I mention in the review that one of the issues right off the bat with the Dell Mini 10 is the cost: I can order an Acer Aspire One in ruby red, today, for $459.99 CAD, a full $100 less expensive than the Dell Mini 10. The Acer Aspire one comes with 160 GB of storage, 1 GB of RAM, and uses a slightly older CPU - the Intel Atom N270 - but it's the same clock speed as the newer Z530 that the Dell uses. Surprisingly, the Acer also comes with a 6-cell battery. The build quality on the Dell Mini 10 is excellent, but $100 better? That's the question. I'll let you know once I get a chance to use it more - watch for my full video review a couple of weeks from now!

Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, and his sometimes obedient dog.

Do you enjoy using new hardware, software and accessories, then sharing your experience with others? Then join us on the Thoughts Media Review Team! We're looking for individuals who find it fun to test new gear and give their honest opinions about the experience. It's a volunteer role with some great perks. Interested? Then click here for more information.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Intel Core i7 CPU: Kicking Ass & Taking Names

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 01:40 PM

Every benchmark out there confirms it, but there's nothing like experiencing the results for yourself first-hand: a Dell Studio XPS computer equipped with a Core i7 CPU that I ordered a couple of weeks ago showed up a couple of days ago, and I immediately wanted to benchmark it to understand how in real-world scenarios it would provide a speed boost for the types of things I do, namely video and photo editing/encoding.

My current media editing rig is the one that I built back in September, based around a Shuttle SD39P2, and upgraded a bit since I wrote that article: a Core 2 Quad CPU (Q6600) overclocked to 2.8 Ghz and 4 GB of Kingston HyperX DDR2 RAM now power that system. Time to pit it against the new CPU from Intel: the Core i7. The Core i7 is a quad core CPU, but each core has hyperthreading enabled, so the right application can take advantage of up to eight threads of processing power. It also has 8 MB of cache, and is created with a 45nm process. The Core i7 is a truly next-gen processor - it's the "tock" of their tick-tock strategy for moving CPU technology forward and represents a significant leap forward form the 65nm Q6600 CPU I'm using now.

So how did I do a real-world benchmark on this beast of a processor? I installed ProShow Gold 4.0 because it scales really well to multiple processors. I loaded it up with 50 photos, and cranked out a 1080p (1920 x 1080) MPEG2 file with buttery-smooth transitions between each photo. I ran the same test on my Core 2 Quad CPU machine after down-clocking it to 2.67 Ghz, and compared the results...the Core i7 is one fast CPU! Read more...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dell Unveils Full Details for Adamo Laptop

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:20 AM

Today Dell officially unveiled their Adamo notebook, and it looks like an impressive piece of hardware - definitely not your typical Dell product. Some of the highlights I gleaned from browsing the micro-site: the keyboard is backlit and has "scalloped" keys, which I think is a fancy way of saying they slope inward. The laptop is only 16.4 mm thin, has three USB ports on the back (along with an Ethernet port), and boasts a 16:9 aspect ratio, 13.4 inch 1280 x 720 display with "edge to edge" glass - the bezel looks incredibly thin. Dell claims 4 hours 53 minutes of battery life from a single charge, and under the hood it has either a 1.4 Ghz or 1.2 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, either 4 GB or 2 GB DDR3 RAM, Wireless N, and Bluetooth 2.1. There are two colours, "Onyx" (black) and "Pearl" (white), and two basic configurations for each: "Admire" (1.2 GHZ CPU, 2 GB RAM, $1999 USD) and "Desire" (1.4 Ghz CPU, 4 GB RAM, $2699 USD). Each comes with a 128 GB solid state drive for storage. Dell has an assortment of accessories for the Adamo line, including an external optical drive (that's right folks, no optical drive in this thing!), and a Tumi leather sleeve. The external optical drive comes in two flavours: a slot-loading DVD-RW drive for $120 or a slot-loading Blu-ray drive for a pricey $350.

So I guess the question is, in the worst economic environment in nearly a century, Dell releases a luxery laptop - who's going to buy it? People are flocking to low-cost netbooks because they offer great value for the dollar. I think Dell's Adamo has a rough road ahead of it. Anyone got their credit card ready?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Taking a Peek At The Dell Studio One 19

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 09:30 AM

"Dell's Studio One 19 attempts to take what HP's big, black obelisk of sleek touchiness (the HP TouchSmart IQ506) got right -- and wrong -- and hit a slightly different demographic: Non-nerds. At least that's the pitch Dell spokespeople give."

The effort to push All-in-Ones have existed for well over a decade, with the most prominent one probably being the iMac. While the iMac was a great success for Apple, I've yet to see any Windows based All-in-One truly succeed, and while I suppose laptops and their brethren could fall into that category, I'm not counting them. HP recently took another stab with the HP TouchSmart, and now Dell is having their go at it. The specifications are nothing outstanding, but they'll provide a good experience for most computing uses. I've noticed that they also feature multi-touch as an option, something not normally found in other All-in-Ones, but any vertically mounted touch device raises concerns of "gorilla arm." If the Studio One 19 was laid close to flat, I think it'd be much easier to play with. Maybe that's just my tablet and Microsoft Surface (I wish!) experience coming though. Has anyone tried working against a vertical interface for an extended period of time? It's tiring!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dell Teases Inspiron Mini 10 Features

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 02:31 PM

Dell is doing something really puzzling with their Mini 10 netbooks, and I can't quite wrap my head around the logic of it. At CES they announced the Mini 10 with some really surprising features, including GPS, a built-in TV tuner, and several other options you don't typically see in netbooks. When I saw that Dell Canada was releasing the Mini 10, I placed an order to get one to review. Imagine my surprise when I was configuring it and saw no features beyond the basics offered on every other netbook out there today (well, other than the colours offered). I dug around the Mini 10 product pages, and found this text:

"Coming Soon: The following Inspiron Mini 10 features will be available at a later date:

  • HD capabilities - Enjoy your favorite movies on the optional 720p Hi-def 10.1¨ seamless display.
  • More Storage - Do even more with optional 2GB memory and optional 250GB hard drive.
  • Navigation - Know your way like the back of your hand using the optional GPS with optional internal WWAN support.
  • Design Studio - Personalize your Mini 10 with cool designs from the artist, Tristen Eaton, in Dell's Design Studio.
  • Long battery life - No need to sacrifice weight for battery life. The Inspiron Mini 10 provides extended battery life while keeping the weight of the system under 3 pounds. 3-cell: approx. 3 hours. 6-cell: approx. 6.5 hours
  • The New TV - Watch your favorite TV shows with the internal digital TV tuner."

In the many years I've been running my tech sites, I've never seen a company promote an unreleased, improved version of a product on the pages for a current product they're selling. Talk about killing sales! Nobody wants to order a product and find out that it's already obsolete before they order it. A Dell Mini 10 with all those features will certainly be more expensive than the already expensive Dell Mini 10 that's offered today, but most consumers doubtless want the option to have these improved features. Dell, where's your head at?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Dell, Why Don't You Know The Definition of HD?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 03:23 PM

I placed an order for a Dell Mini 10 last week, and I noticed something odd about how they list the products on the Web site: you can see that above. A 10.1" "Hi-Def" screen? 1280 x 720 is the resolution of 720p, and that's the minimum resolution that can be considered "HD". What's the screen resolution on the Mini 10? 1024x576. While it might look close in terms of numbers, it's a jump that we have yet to see any netbook make, and it irks me to see Dell's marketing department abuse the term HD. If it's not at least 1280 x 720, it can't be called HD.

Here's an interesting fact that I noticed when plumbing the depths of the Dell Mini 10 spec sheet: unlike virtually every other netbook out there today, including the Dell Mini 9, the Mini 10 doesn't use the Intel 945 chipset. Instead, it uses the Intel US15W chipset. Why does this matter? The 945 chipset uses 7 watts of power; the US15W uses 2.3 watts. That's roughly 300% less power consumption, and when you consider the fact that the Atom Z530 CPU in the Mini 10 only uses 2 watts under full load, you can see that the new chipset is a much better choice for this netbook. Will it have any measurable impact on the battery life of the Mini 10? It's too soon to tell, but it's nice to see Dell advancing the technology inside netbooks.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dell Tempts with the XPS 435

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 07:00 PM

"The XPS 435 can be found on Dell's website, a quick glance at the specs shows that it is indeed a top of the line PC: Core i7 Extreme, powerful graphics, optional Blu-Ray drive, up to 24GB of RAM and up to 4.5TB of hard drive space makes it a powerhouse."

I can accept the choice of the Core i7 Extreme; it's just about the fastest thing out there short of using liquid nitrogen. I can see someone using 4.5TB of hard drive space as my own storage farm is close to the same. A slick Radeon HD4870 GPU is also a good choice and it'll even handle Crysis, mostly. But I'm trying to wrap my head around why someone, short of server uses or editing really, really high resolution photos, would need 24GB of RAM. But this is supposed to be Dell's premium, top of the line, showcase PC, so why not? It looks slick, and has some thoughtful features like a set of three USB ports, media card reader and inset tray on top of the case for easy access. The only thing they haven't shown is the princely sum you'll need to pay for a computer that can probably run more than 6 copies of World of Warcraft at the same time.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Does Building Your Own PC Really Save You Money?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 04:01 PM

We've had an interesting discussion about the pros and cons of self-building a PC, and some of the comments were around whether or not it saves money to build the PC yourself. Some people said that it did for them, but since that flew in the case of my own experience, I decided to do a little experiment. I went to and priced out the following Intel Core i7-based system:

The price from Dell for that? $999 Canadian. To create a comparison, I went to the online store of my local computer parts store, which tends to be quite affordable. See how I did after the break. Read more...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dell Exchange: Recycle Your Old Technology

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 12:01 PM

"Trade your excess technology for the latest from Dell with Dell Exchange - and do your part for the environment. Turn everything from unwanted PCs to mobile phones, digital cameras and MP3 players into Dell Gift Cards. You'll clear some much-needed desk space for your new Dell products while keeping your old items out of the landfill. It's a win-win-win situation."

Got some old technology gear lying around? You could turn it into Dell gift certificates with Dell Exchange. It's definitely better to recycle your hardware than to toss it the garbage, but don't overlook local charities and even friends and family members: you might be able to give someone your old technology and have it benefit them far more than the tiny sum of money you'd get by trading it in.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dell Launches The XPS One 24 Desktop

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:53 AM

Dell launched a new version of their XPS One, this time featuring a 24 inch screen with a curious Dell-specified resolution of 1900 x 1200 (I suspect it's really 1920 x 1200). Noteworthy features are a one-cable connection to the machine, an optional Blu-ray drive, 2.0 megapixel Web cam with dual-array microphones, JBL stereo speakers with a built-in sub-woofer, a wireless mouse and keyboard with an integrated mouse-pad, and a quad-core Intel CPU. I've never owned an all-in-one computer, largely because they tend to be pricey and require too much compromise, but this unit from Dell covers most of the bases quite well. Still probably not the product for me though!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dell Joins Nettop Craze

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 06:00 PM

"Dell just dropped the new tiny-tower OptiPlex 160 for businesses and educational markets looking to save space and "go green." This 1.85-inch thick machine packs the usual assortment of ports, and an integrated power supply (no brick!), but unfortunately forgoes the integrated disc drive. The $563 base model incorporates a single-core Intel Atom processor, 80GB HDD, 1GB RAM, integrated video, and Vista Home Basic SP1 -- most of which reminds us of the Eee Box, other than the extra two Benjamins Dell's asking for. "

I remember the time when Nettops weren't called Nettops, but just really expensive, tiny desktop PCs. The first one that comes to mind for me is the Compaq iPaq Desktop, which came out sometime in 2001. With the Dell joining the recent Nettop explosion, it does suggest that it is now a serious market. The Optiplex is definately targeted towards the business segment, and the space freed up and power savings combined makes this quite attractive. It's still a tempting purchase for home as well since all its benefits still apply for home use, especially for somewhere like the kitchen, where it can be mounted to the back of a monitor.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Netbook Unboxing and First Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:50 AM

This is an unboxing and first impressions video of the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, Dell's first step into the world of low-cost netbooks. The Mini 9 that I ordered has Windows XP, a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom CPU, 16 GB solid-state flash storage, 1 GB of RAM, a 4 cell battery, and an 8.9 inch at 1024 x 600 resolution. The Linux-based versions start at $349 USD, and the XP-based versions start at $399. If you get the XP-based version with every option, it's about $480 USD. Check out the video below, and watch for my review to follow shortly.

Please rate the video and subscribe to our channel. Thanks for your support!

Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, and his sometimes obedient dog. He's still searching for the ultimate netbook.

Do you enjoy using new hardware, software and accessories, then sharing your experience with others? Then join us on the Thoughts Media Review Team! We're looking for individuals who find it fun to test new gear and give their honest opinions about the experience. It's a volunteer role with some great perks. Interested? Then click here for more information.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

HP vs. Dell: Who Keeps Your System Updated Better?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 11:00 AM

Historically, I've always had custom-picked PCs built for me, or I've assembled them myself using Shuttle XPCs as the basis for the build. When it came to laptops, I was a three-consecutive-model Fujitsu guy, so I didn't have a lot of experience when it came to long-term ownership of more mainstream brands such as Dell and HP. In the past year, I've switched gears a bit and now own two HP Pavilion Slimline desktop computers, a Dell XPS M1330 laptop, and am in the process of reviewing an HP tx2000 laptop. I've noticed something quite interesting regarding the software tools that HP and Dell use for keeping the computer running smooth: HP's tools are very sophisticated, and Dell's tools are quite crude.

Let's talk about updates for a minute: while Windows Update does a great job at keeping the Windows operating system up to date with patches, it's much less useful when it comes to hardware drivers and software application updates. More often than not, I've found that if I listen to Windows Update and download an updated hardware driver, I end up screwing up my system in some fashion. So while Microsoft will eventually improve the tool to the point where I'll trust it again, for now if there are driver updates for the system, it's up to the system manufacturer to make that as easy and transparent as possible for the user. Read more...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Announcing Dell's Cutting-Edge PC Design: Built From Bamboo and Milk Jugs??!

Posted by Tim Williamson in "Digital Home News" @ 01:00 PM

"Dell today unveiled a "never before seen" environmentally conscious computer clad in bamboo, which occupies 81 percent of the space typically taken by a traditional PC tower. While specifications were sparse, Earth2Tech reveals that the computer is made of 70 percent recycled materials, such as old bottles, milk jugs, and detergent cases, and that it would be available later this year for between $500 and $700."

Looks like Dell is attempting to cash in on the push (frenzy) to go "green". I think it's a great idea to use recycled materials, as long as that means the price doesn't become inflated just for being a "green" PC. I'm not a fan of the bamboo finish (hopefully they'll offer some other finishes), but if you want a PC in a Mac mini form-factor, then this might be the PC you're looking for. Would you be willing to dish out $500-$700 (or pay a premium) for an eco-friendly PC?

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