Digital Home Thoughts - News & Reviews for the Digital Home

Be sure to register in our forums and post your comments - we want to hear from you!


Zune Thoughts

Loading feed...

Apple Thoughts

Loading feed...

Laptop Thoughts

Loading feed...





All posts tagged "laptop"


Friday, September 4, 2009

Dell's Gorgeous Adamo Laptop Unboxed

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 01:00 PM

This is an unboxing and first impressions video of the Dell Adamo laptop. 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? 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 5 hours. Read more...


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...


Monday, July 13, 2009

Thank You UPS! It's Netbook/Laptop Day

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 02:30 PM

On top we have the HP Mini 110, and on the bottom we have a Dell Adamo - both delivered by UPS today. I think I'm more excited about the HP Mini 110 (known as the Mini 1100 in Canada) to be honest, because I'm a big fan of the HP Mini 1000 and this is supposed to be a refind version of that. The Dell Adamo is going to look great, but given the hardware specs it has, I'm not sure how well it's going to perform. I guess we'll see!


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...


Friday, June 19, 2009

HP Pavilion dv2 Unboxing and First Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:00 AM

This is an unboxing and first impressions video of the HP Pavilion dv2 notebook (the dv2z-1199us) in moonlight white. This thin and light notebook from HP, running Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit, features the AMD Turion Neo X2 Dual-Core CPU (1.6 Ghz, 1 MB L2 cache), a 320 GM 5400 RPM hard drive, 4 GB of RAM, an external Blu-ray ROM/DVD burner drive, a 1.3 megapixel Web cam, 12.1 inch WXGA (1280 x 800) BrightView screen, 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3410 GPU, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, 5-in-1 memory card reader, and powered by a 6-cell battery. Read more...


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dell Releases Studio 14z Laptops, Lacks Optical Drive

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

http://www.dell.com/content/product...&ref=lthp&s=dhs

"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!


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dell Continues to Offer New Features on Mini 10 Netbook

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 04:00 PM

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellst...top-inspiron-10

Just a few days ago Dell started offering a higher-resolution option on their Mini 10, and now they've added new sticker designs (shown above) and, more importantly, a 56WHr 6-cell battery for only $30 USD extra. In typical Dell fashion, there's no photo to show the user how much it sticks out the back, but I'm happy to see this option - netbooks with 6-cell batteries see a big boost in battery life. I've yet to do my video review of the Dell Mini 10 (just getting over a cold), but with a 6-cell battery, a higher resolution screen, and 802.11n WiFi, the Dell Mini 10 you can order today is significantly different from the Dell Mini 10 that I ordered a month ago.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Dell Now Offering HD Resolution on Mini 10

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 12:12 PM

http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/p...&ref=lthp&s=dhs

I got tipped off about this update on my Mini 10 Unboxing Video - and sure enough, in the UK, Canada, and USA Dell is now offering the Mini 10 with a 1366 x 768 screen resolution option. This exceeds the 1280 x 720 resolution requirement for 720p, so Dell can legitimately call this an HD display. On Dell.com (USA) the upgrade costs $35, well-worth the price in my opinion. The Dell UK site says their displays are "TrueLife" displays, which neither Dell USA or Dell Canada mentions, so I'm not sure if this is something only available in the UK, or if all the Mini 10 displays around the world are TrueLife displays.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Two Great Netbook Accessories

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:50 PM

This is a video review of two great accessories that I recommend every netbook owner get: a USB-powered DVD burner, and a shorter power cable. The DVD burner in question is a Samsung SE-S084B/RSBN External Slim USB DVD-Writer - it requires two USB ports to function, so as I explain in the video, you'll need a USB extension cable to reach two USB ports on most laptops. The power cable is a 1ft. Notebook / Laptop Power Cable C5 Cloverleaf Plug from Cyberguys - it's great for shaving off some bulk from your travel bag.

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.


Friday, February 27, 2009

HP Pavilion dv2 Ultra-thin Notebook

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

http://blogs.amd.com/patmoorhead/ar...etbook-neo.aspx

"In the background of all the netbook debate, AMD quietly announced the “Yukon” platform for ultrathin notebooks. We wanted to provide something different, something more. We wanted to provide a rich entertainment experience at an affordable price. So when I got the chance to play with a real, live Yukon-based, HP Pavilion dv2 Entertainment ultrathin notebook, of course I jumped on it, and wanted to share those experiences with you. Because the unit is a prototype sample and isn’t expected to be released until March, I won’t be able to share everything with you, but I will share as much as I can."

Looks like a sweet competitor for the Macbook Air. Come on though HP, there is more gloss on that thing than on an 80's hair band. I know this looks great in the press pictures and on the shelf, but after 10 minutes of use, they end up looking filthy.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

HP Unleashes Two New Notebooks: The dv2 and dv3

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 12:57 AM

http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/p...9/090106xc.html

HP has released two new notebooks this week, and I've had a bit of a chance to get some hands on time with them at the CNTRSTG event. First impressions are that they're both solid contenders in certain markets. The dv2 (pictured above) is a thin device (0.98 inches), fairly lightweight (3.8 pounds), has a 12.1 inch screen, and uses a new 25-watt 1.6 Ghz CPU from AMD called the Neo. It uses quite a bit more power than the Intel Atom (OK, that's a gross understatement...25 watts on the Neo vs. 2.5 watts on the Atom), but it's more capable - especially when paired with the ATI Radeon HD3410 which should allow it to play back HD video with ease...including 1080p Blu-Ray content (an optional external Blu-Ray drive will be sold). No Atom-based netbook I've tested has been able to play back 720p h.264 content. HDMI out and a starting price of $699 will make this an extremely compelling notebook for a lot of people. I predict this will be a hot seller for HP - assuming they can get it into the retail channel where people can see it.

The dv2 has great fit and finish, and feels really good in terms of build quality. The chrome side-panels are slightly suspect from a style point of view, but hey, you can't have it all. I never thought I'd prefer a white notebook over a black one, but the black one is such a horrible fingerprint magnet I think I'd prefer the white one if only to hide the smudges better. Do consumers really prefer the shiny-glossy-everywhere look? They must, because the whole industry is going in that direction, model after model. I guess I'm the grumpy old man that remembers the days when I didn't have to polish my notebook every day to have it look remotely clean.

The dv3 is a step up in size and power over the dv2 in every way: it features a 13.3 inch screen, can rock up to an AMD Turion X2 Ultra Dual-Core CPU at 2.4 GHz, up to 8 GB of RAM, a ATI Radeon 3200 GPU, up to a 400 GB hard drive (no 7200 RPM option though, boo!), a back-lit keyboard, a slot-loading DVD drive, and the choice of a 6 or 9-cell battery. Pricing starts at $799.

Below is a snippet from the full press release where HP lists several of their new products.

"The sleek HP Pavilion dv2 and Pavilion dv3 Series Entertainment Notebook PCs provide stylish mobility and performance at a great value. The dv2 provides productivity and rich entertainment capability while measuring just under 1-inch thick and starting at 3.8 pounds.(1) Plus, powerful discrete graphics and a full range of connectivity options make it easy for customers to work and play on the go. A variety of high-capacity hard drive options up to 500 gigabytes (GB)(2) provide ample room for photos, music and other content.

The notebook is powered by a specially designed new AMD Athlon Neo Processor-based platform and features a sturdy magnesium casing, 12.1-inch diagonal LED BrightView display and a nearly full-size keyboard. It will be available in two striking finishes with matching HP Imprint designs on the palm rest: Espresso and Moonlight." Read more...


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lenovo Showscases Dual Screen Laptop

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

http://www.crunchgear.com/2008/12/1...ts-two-screens/

"This really doesn’t look like something that will catch on, but it’s certainly momentous. The Lenovo W700DS has one 17-inch display like its predecessor, and another 10-inch one that slides out from behind. Madness, you say? Yeah, I agree."

I've always found that the extra screen real estate of a second monitor adds considerably to productivity and it has always frustrated me that laptops have always lacked an effective option to have a second monitor. Yes, many laptops do offer secondary displays, but hooking up an extra monitor, and positioning it to compliment the main display is quirky at best. While some my balk, I'm finding this new laptop from Lenovo deliciously tempting. While the 10 inch display is a bit small, it can still be useful for showing handy supporting information on whatever I'm working at.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Netbooks Disappoint Michael Arrington

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 01:00 AM

http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/2...nt-good-enough/

"A typical Netbook has a 7 inch screen, an Intel Atom or Via Nano processor, a solid state (flash) hard drive and a keyboard that’s 80-85% standard size. Most have Wifi. Some have other bells and whistles like bluetooth, a camera, etc. I find Netbooks unusable for three reasons: they’re underpowered as PCs, the screen is too small for web surfing, and the keyboard is so small that effective typing is impossible. The basic problem as I see it: Netbooks are designed to appeal to two very different markets - the price sensitive and the size sensitive. The two are really mutually exclusive."

Michael Arrington has posted a scathing article on Netbooks, describing them as a inadequate for the markets it is targeted for and even takes the opportunity to plug his concept tablet. I have to disgree, as I see Netbooks happily serving many customers. On paper Netbooks definately do not impress, but their purpose is to serve as a lightweight, mobile companion. I think Arrington has fallen into the same trap that many others do in seeing a Netbook that is the same form factor as a notebook, his expectation is that it is a notebook. Netbooks fill a much different need, with customers, not techies, who just want to be able to access the Internet to check their email, IM their buddies, and twitter a bit. Netbooks are capable of a bit more, of course, but even in only serving that much, they probably fit 80-90% of what a customer needs. Does Arrington have a point? Sure. But I think he's only highlighting that Netbooks have a limited use for someone into tech. Tell me there's at least one person other than myself that have welcomed Netbooks with open arms.


Friday, November 21, 2008

The Acer Aspire One: Your Next Netbook?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 04:20 PM

This is my review of the Acer Aspire One, a popular netbook with some fairly typical specs: a 1.6 Ghz Intel Atom CPU, 1 GB RAM, an 8.9 inch screen, a 120 GB hard drive, 802.11b/g, a 6 cell battery, and running Windows XP Home. Pricing varies - I paid around $439 for this, but Acer has changed the product slightly - they're now shipping it with a 160 GB hard drive, and there are several version of the Aspire One on the market, including an entry-level unit with Linux. I shot this review over a month ago, so keep that in mind when I mention not having the MSI Wind yet.

I should mention that my primary complaint about this netbook has apparently been addressed in the form of an updated BIOS: I found the fact that the fan was constantly running at high RPMs to be quite irritating, but I've been told that a new BIOS update addresses this issue by slowing down the fan when it's not needed. If that issue has been properly addressed, I'd have no trouble recommending this netbook to someone looking for one - it offers a lot of value for the dollar.

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 seems to have better hearing when it comes to fans than most people.

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.


HP tx1000 Laptop: Problems Galore?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 12:42 PM

http://xiirus.net/articles/article-hp-pavilion-tx1220us-disappearing-wireles s-network-card-fix-t522o.aspx

A concerned Digital Home Thoughts reader reached out to me recently to ask me to look into this issue of the tx1000 failures, and not owning a tx1000 I have no personal experience with this, but it seems like something is very wrong with this line of laptops. Lots of angry forum comments, and blog entries about the problem with an equally huge number of forum comments from users who have GPU failures, wireless card failures, and more. I've generally hard good experiences with HP laptops, but reading all these frustrated comments certainly seems to indicate that HP has failed their customers in a significant way. HP, what's up?


Monday, November 17, 2008

Dell Inspiron Mini 9: Not The Netbook For Me

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:27 AM

This is my review 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.

There's a lot to like about the Dell netbook, but it's not without significant shortcomings from my perspective. On the plus side, the build quality is top-notch. In fact, I'd venture to say that it's the best-built Dell notebook I've ever had my hands on. It feel very solid and durable, with a fit and finish that's light years above other netbooks. Considering how cheap most other netbooks look, you might think that's not saying much, but holding the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 in your hands just feels...good. The keyboard is a bit on the small side, but that's not unusual for a netbook with an 8.9 inch screen. Read more...


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Notebooks.com Hands-On With the New HP Mini 1000

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

http://www.notebooks.com/2008/10/28...cs-and-details/

"HP is finally getting into the consumer netbook game with the Pavilion Mini 1000, an Atom-powered computer that runs Windows XP or Ubuntu with an HP customized user interface. I got a chance to sit down with HP's Kevin Wentzel last week and shot a bunch of video and photos. The first version of the HP Mini 1000 features a 10.2-inch glossy display and weighs in at 2.4 pounds. A 2.25-pound version with an 8.9-inch display will be coming soon."

Xavier from Notebooks.com was fortunate enough to have some hands-on time with the new HP Mini 1000, and he has a lot of great information on it, including two videos - the one above, and one on the Mobile Internet Edition (MIE) that shows the customized Linux user interface.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Samsung Notebooks Come to North American Shores

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:00 PM

http://www.dailytech.com/Samsung+No...rticle13198.htm

"The X360 will feature 128GB of SSD storage in a system sized much like the MacBook Air at $2,499. The MacBook Air with the 64GB SSD option retails for $2,598. Samsung's X360 weighs 2.8 pounds and achieves the lightweight by using a magnesium chassis and aluminum. To compete with the cheaper MacBook Air with an 80GB HDD at $1,799, Samsung will be releasing the 160GB X460. The X460 will retail for $1,899 providing twice the storage for $100 more. Samsung is also going to be launching a line of larger desktop replacement notebooks for business users. In addition to full notebooks, Samsung will also be unveiling its NC10 netbook in America. The NC10 will retail for $499 and features a 10.2-inch LCD and 160GB of storage. Samsung's NC10 will slot right between the higher-end Asus Eee netbooks and smaller full-scale notebook computers."

I know there are quite a few fans of Samsung products out there, so I'm sure you will be happy to know you can now get them in the US without having to resort to import companies. I'll be especially interested in the specs and design/build of their netbook.


Monday, October 27, 2008

HP Mini-Note 1000 Pops Up: Starts at $399

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:31 AM

http://thetechnicist.typepad.com/th...hoppingcom.html

"HP's update to their popular MiniNote netbook has shown up on their consumer website, HPShopping.com. Called the Mini 1000, it appears to share a similar design to the older MiniNote, though it is now in a black colour. This likely means that in the move to the consumer side, HP has ditched the aluminum build for glossy black plastic like on the competing Aspire One, Dell Mini, and EEE <insert arcane model number here>. Based on the model number, it would be safe to assume it has a 10" screen, as reported by James and Kevin at jkontherun last month. While the MiniNote used a very high resolution (full WXGA, 1280x768) 8.9" screen, I would assume that the Mini 1000 (too many Minis....) has the same 10.2" 1024x600 (WSVGA) LED backlit screen as the Wind, S10, the EEEs, and whatever else. A starting price of $399 puts it a full $100 cheaper than it used to be, and at the exact price point of the Wind, S10, and EEE 1000H."

If you recall my review of the HP 2133 Mini-Note, you'll know that while I was impressed with the build quality, I was less impressed with the choice of the underpowered VIA CPU, the limited battery life, and the generally poor performance of Vista on the hardware. Speculation abounds on the exact specifications, but I agree with the above assessment: it will have a 10 inch screen, run the same 1280 x 768 resolution as the 2133 Mini-Note but be more viewable due to the bigger screen size, and will likely be using an Intel Atom CPU running at 1.6 Ghz. I just hope they can bump up that battery life, or offer a 6-cell battery that isn't too big. It's great to see HP re-vamping the Mini-Note so quickly - it's going to be a great Christmas season for netbook buyers!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Spotlight Turns to Notebooks Part 3: The MacBook Air

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:00 PM

http://www.apple.com/macbookair

"With a new integrated graphics processor, MacBook Air changes the game and just about everything you do with it. The NVIDIA GeForce 9400M provides up to an amazing 4x performance boost over the original MacBook Air. Photos appear in iPhoto quickly. Transitions in Keynote are seamless. Games play more smoothly. And movie and video playback is better than ever before. No other ultraportable offers such amazing performance in such a slim design."

Not to be left out of the refreshing fun, the MacBook Air got a spec bump today also. Apple added their new Mini DisplayPort connector for video, and dropped the new GeForce 9400M in to replace the weak Intel integrated graphics it was originally configured with. The new Air is available in two flavors; a 1.6 GHz model for $1799 and a 1.83 GHz model for $2499 (this model also includes an SSD as the default storage option).


Featured Product

The Canon PowerShot S100 - The incredibly fun and small camera that offers you 12.1 megapixels with a bright f/2.0 lens and full 1080p video recording . MORE INFO

News Tip or Feedback?

Contact us

Thoughts Media Sites

Windows Phone Thoughts

Digital Home Thoughts

Zune Thoughts

Apple Thoughts

Laptop Thoughts

Android Thoughts

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...

News

Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...

News

Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...

News

Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...

News

Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...

News

Loading feed...