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All posts tagged "laptops"

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top Gadgets of the Decade?

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 04:00 PM

"As 2009 winds down and we try to come up with new and clever ways of referring to the early years of this century, there's really only one thing left to do: declare our ten favorite gadgets of the aughts and show them off in chronological order."

The end of a year always produces a series of lists: Best of the Year, Worst of the Year, and so on. Naturally, the end of a decade brings about all the more reflection, and you can find various lists for the "2000's" almost anywhere you care to look. The good folks at Engadget have created one that may be of particular interest: the "Ten Gadgets That Defined the Decade" - from the Canon Digital ELPH camera to the ASUS Eee PC 900 netbook. The article is interesting, and I particularly enjoyed the handful of alternative thoughts provided. But the most fascinating thing to me was that - with all of the items listed - the feedback for the article seems to primarily debate the merits of Microsoft's Xbox 360 vs Sony's Playstation 2! What would your "Top Ten" be for the 2000's? Or do you think this list stands unchallenged?

Ion Netbook Roundup

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

"It's been more than a year since NVIDIA announced its Ion platform, promising to bring HD video and gaming to the underpowered Atom CPU. After all the hold ups, we started to wonder if we'd ever see the platform packed inside a netbook, so imagine our surprise when no less than four Ion-based machines launched in the past few months. With bigger screens, better specs, more graphics muscle and, of course, the resulting higher price tag, each of these Ion machines promises quite a bit, but which one lives up to the hype?"

Click through for Engadget's full comparison. But the short version is too little, too late and that most users won't like the trade off of cost and battery life for increased horsepower.

Tags: hardware, laptops, ion

Saturday, December 26, 2009

ASUS Eee PC 1201N

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

"The rundown of the 1201N is that it provides good battery life, great multimedia aspects, adequate overall system performance, and borderline gaming. It does this in a package that's slightly larger than your typical netbook, but it's comparable to the 11.6" offerings. The larger size makes for a more comfortable keyboard, at least in my experience; those with less beefy hands might be fine with 10.1" and smaller netbooks. The 1201N keyboard also has a better feel compared to the 1005PE I tested, where the keys felt loose."

The line keeps bluring between what is a notebook and what is a netbook. Larger chassis and screen, plus dual core processors eliminate some of the criteria that have traditionally been used to differentiate between the two. Case in point, if you added an optical drive to the 1201N, it would pretty much be a low to mid-range notebook.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Live in Canada? Enter the Rescue a Dell Mini Contest!

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Events" @ 05:30 PM

"There are 21 compact, go-anywhere Mini 10v red laptops that need rescuing and if you help, you could take one home! Here's how: The contest begins December 18, 2009 at 12:00pm EST and one winner will be randomly selected almost every weekday starting December 21, 2009 after 5pm EST. Visit the Rescue a Mini tab on Dell's Facebook page Didn't win on Facebook? Don't fret! There's a bonus 22nd Mini 10v that needs rescuing on Twitter! To enter, follow Dell on Twitter and @reply Dell @DellHomeSalesCA with the hashtag (#RESCUEAMINI) and tell us why you could #RescueAMini. The @reply winner will be chosen by a panel of Dell judges. Contest closes January 21, 2010 at 5:00pm EST. Visit Rescue a Mini for a complete list of rules and regulations."

Here's one for all of our Canadian readers! Fortunately, we own a Dell Mini 10v, or else this announcement might have found itself accidentally misplaced out of jealousy. The 10v may not be the technology leader among netbooks, but we have been quite impressed with ours thus far - and "free" covers a lot of faults. If you need more incentive, and a few minutes of entertainment, you can view the video Dell created for this contest at

Intel Says Netbooks Should Not Be So Powerful

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

"NVIDIA’s ION platform combines an Atom processor with NVIDIA GeForce graphics. The result is a computer platform that gives you notebooks and desktops with low power processors and the ability to handle 1080p HD video playback, Blu-Ray decoding, and a fair amount of 3D graphics processing for modern video games."

So Intel considers the ION platform as too much for the netbook platform. This certainly explains the incremental improvements seen in PineTrail. One the one hand, one could argue that Intel is just protecting their more profitable streams with the CULV line of CPUs. After all, Intel is a business, and they like profits. However, the idea that Intel is telling what I, the customer, wants and being put into a particular cubbyhole just rubs me wrong. The concept of a small, lightweight, powerful, long lasting computer appeals to be for some reason, and I see the NVIDIA ION as a step in that direction. It is the march of progress. I remember over a decade ago, the equivalent of the netbook, while really expensive, were considerably slower. The NVIDIA ION is just pushing the limits to what will be considered normal in a couple of years.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Litl Webbook

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:30 PM

"The litl webbook gets you online and more. It's an internet computer that works great with your favorite websites. But, the litl also flips over to create a new view of the web. Our intuitive interface and no-maintenance approach make it simple and carefree. Even better with optional remote control."

They certainly have some interesting design features. I really like the easel format, but I'm less than sold on the keyboard layout. Also, for $699, I'd really like to see touchscreen. I'm hoping we will start seeing some netbooks with a tablet form factor that can replicate a lot of these features at a better price point soon.

PineTrail and the ASUS PC1005PE; Better, Faster, Sorta, Kinda

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 02:00 PM

"The Atom N450 processor has been launched today and it's comprised of a single core Atom chip with on-die graphics and memory controller. This level of integration, as we've shown you recently, is also coming to Intel's notebook platforms, but today Atom gets it first for netbooks. In the pages ahead we'll take a closer look at a new Eee PC from Asus with this new low-power Atom technology under its hood, as well as a view of the chip itself and its capabilities."

With the exception of ION, netbooks have been rather boring lately. All of them have a 8.9 inch to 10 11 12 inch screen, single core Atom CPU, HDD, webcam, WiFi and a base OS. While PineTrail will not revolutionize anything, it will raise the minimum bar a little with slightly better CPU and GPU performance. You still will not be able to handle HD video, or play any current generation game, but it does run faster overall, and manages to do so while not really changing the power requirements, which means the netbooks of tomorrow will still be able to run for most of the day. Overall, I think its nice that Intel has updated the platform, but it is much ado about nothing, and NVidia's ION and ION2 stand to make much more of a difference in the netbook market.

Acer Ferrari One

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

"Acer America, part of the world’s second largest PC vendor1, today debuted the new Ferrari One notebook PC to U.S. customers. An Acer exclusive, the Ferrari One is a full-featured, 11.6-inch notebook PC utilizing the same exquisite details and performance features celebrated by Scudetto Ferrari, the world’s most prestigious racing team."

If you are looking for a laptop that will let you overcompensate the way no other laptop can, check out the Acer Ferrari. Seriously, it does look nice, but I'm not sure I'd want the ribbing I'd get from my friends if I pulled this out in public. It would have gone nicely with the Ferrari poster I had in my bedroom......when I was 12.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tegra 2 Details Coming At CES

Posted by Josh Sorenson in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:30 PM

"Full details regarding Tegra 2 are unknown, but it's expected to have roughly twice the power and graphical capabilities of the original and be based on 40nm processes. The current-gen Tegra is already capable of 1080p HD video; Hara says NVIDIA's goal is the desktop internet and media experience in a portable device:"

The first Tegra chip is mouth watering enough, but imagine a chip that can handle twice what the current Tegra does. That is just what Nvidia's Tegra 2 is rumored to do. They are set to release more details at CES 2010, including some demo products from their partners. The first half of next year will bring us tablet PCs, smartbooks, netbooks, and MIDs all powered by Tegra 2. Later down the line will we see a second generation Zune HD based off of the new chip? Or a Windows phone? Only time will tell on that one.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Make Your Netbook A Bit Touchy

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

"If the buzz is to be believed, 2010 will be the year of the touchscreen tablet PC, with multiple major manufacturers lining up products that they claim will give us a carry-anywhere way to read e-books, watch movies and surf the Web. And while I suppose I could just buy one of these machines, I thought it’d be more fun to make my own touchscreen PC out of last year’s “it” computer: the lowly netbook."

Netbooks have been 2009's hot product, but one thing they have been lacking are touchscreen capabilities. Touchscreen tablets have been rumored for quite some time with some buried in mystery like the mythical Apple Tablet and others steeped in drama, such as the CrunchPad turned Joo Joo. Fortunately, you do not have to wait for these anymore, since with a low cost upgrade and a few hours of work, you can easily turn your existing netbook into a touch friendly computer. Popular Mechanics shows you how, but one thing I would warn you about before joining the touch revolution is that at least with most current netbooks, they are far from touch optimized. So consider adding touch as a fun weekend project, not as a way to revolutionize the way you'll use your computer, because right now, the way the interfaces are, it definitely will not.

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?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

ASUS Prepares To Release Dual Core Goodness

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 07:30 AM

"Today we got a first look at the Eee PC 1201N, which will sell for $499 with Windows 7 Premium. This 12.1-inch system looks a lot like a larger 1008HA, a design we like. It’s a sleek 1.3 inches thick, only 3.2 pounds, and sports the same dimpled trackpad as the 1008HA but the chiclet-style keyboard seen on the 1000HE."

With a 12.1 inch screen, I am not quite sure that I would consider this a netbook, but it certainly contains the guts of one. The big difference here, of course, is that this is the first ION based netbook that also offers a dual core CPU, namely the Atom 330. The 330 has be absent from netbooks probably because of battery life concerns, but that has not stopped ASUS from giving it a go, and I am anxious to see how this affects performance over anything else. With a listed battery life of 5 hours, it should also last long enough for the casual trip as well. Laptop Magazine only has a pre-production version right now, so a review is not available, but one should be forthcoming soon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

For HP, Envy is a 13 inch Notebook

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

"Intentional or not it bears more in resemblance with Apple's lineup than its own predecessors, it's part of the very first wave of computers with Windows 7 pre-installed, it places a large emphasis on battery life but still manages great performance, and it's a "luxury" PC that actually provides some pretty good excuses for its inflated pricetag. We've spent a nice solid week with the laptop, so find out if the Envy 13 can live up to its promise after the break."

HP has been a busy boy. In the past couple of months, it has released the HP Mini 311, dm3 and now for its premium line of ultra-portables, we have the Envy 13. It is pretty. It does perform well. It also comes with an optional battery slice to give you that all day computing. But none of these really make the Envy 13 stand out. The only new thing that it can really trumpet is that it uses Windows 7. I am trying hard to come out with something to say that makes the Envy 13 a must buy, especially something to justify the $1700 price tag, but I cannot. Can anyone think of why someone would pay the price of several netbooks for this?

ASUS G51J Provides Powerful Gaming On The Go

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 08:00 AM

"One of the companies that is looking to serve up a number of new Win7-based rigs is Asus, and without a doubt they have assembled an interesting and compelling offering in their G51J-A1 notebook. Hitting the sweet spot between the average-sized 15" machine and the full-on desktop replacement, the refreshed G51 maintains the 15" form factor yet packs enough horsepower to plow through even the latest game titles."

It was no surprise when some manufacturers started coming out with Core i7 laptops. What is nice about the latest one from ASUS is that they squeezed it into a 15.6" screen sized format, instead of the 17"+ behemoths. Some compromises were made, but at 7.2 pounds, it no longer feels like you're carrying half the internets with you. HotHardware doles out the details on this aspiring gaming rig, and they like what they see with only a few reservations. I for one think that it all might be worth it just to see eight logical processors listed on a laptop this size!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

HP dm3 Gives You All Day Computing

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 08:00 AM

"Ultrathin and decked out in brushed aluminum, the HP Pavilion dm3t is one of the best looking notebooks of the year. In fact, it looks more expensive than its price tag would suggest (starting at $649; $839 as configured). And thanks to an Ultra-Low Voltage Intel processor, this Windows 7 system lasts all day on a charge while offering good performance compared to the competition."

While netbooks have been all the rage, the notebook class has definitely been stagnating. Stylish ultrathin laptops like the Dell Adamo XPS and powerhouse Core i7 laptops get most of the attention, but the middle of the road laptops like the HP dm3 are worth a look. The dm3 has all the regular bells and whistles expected of a laptop but has the notable exception of having an extremely long battery life, topping over 9 hours. Being the paranoid geek that I am, I am rarely away from a power outlet, but the idea of being able to go anywhere and not have to worry about being near an outlet is a tempting prospect indeed!

Tags: hardware, hp, laptops, dm3t

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!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

HP Envy 15 Walkthrough Video from

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

Curious about the new HP Envy 15? Xavier got some hands-on time with the Envy 15, and this video is a walkthrough with HP's Kevin Wentzel. Am I the only one who's feeling very "iffy" about the design on the lid? I thought it was originally going to be a design-free lid, which I thought was a great idea...but looking at the unit in this video, I see a very busy design that frankly really detracts from the overall aesthetic of the very clean design. What do you think?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Behold the HP Mini 311! Powerhouse Netbook!

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

"When is a netbook not a netbook? PC makers have been looking to expand the definition of these systems by outfitting them with larger screens and bigger batteries, but one constant has remained: a low-powered processor that limits their use to surfing the Web, checking e-mail, editing documents, and watching standard-def video."

Laptop Magazine is one of the first publications to get a review of the eagerly anticipated HP Mini 311 out of the gate. The HP Mini represents one of the first NVidia ION powered netbooks to come to market. The review covers all the details you need to know about the sweet little device, and yes, it plays games faster than in slide show mode, and yes, it is capable of 1080p video, provided you are playing back something that is GPU accelerated (Flash 10.1 cannot come early enough!) and yes, it can even do video editing at a reasonable speed. Unfortunately, I see two things that could potentially make the Mini 311 less attractive. First, with a 11.6" screen, the Mini 311 comes dangerously close to entering the notebook market. This is probably on purpose though, since people are finding lilliputian screens hard to watch for an extended period of time. Second, why, oh why does it have a single core CPU? Still, at a launch price of $399, it is really hard to knock this beauty and it will probably find its way into many homes soon.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dual Screen Laptop Market Gets Crowded

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

"Sure, gScreen is slowly mastering the art of grainy video teasers with its dual-panel portable, but here at its CEATEC booth, Kohjinsha's got quite a looker of its own, on display in a very clear and well-lit case. We're looking at two 10.1-inch LCDs each capable of outputting at either 1024 x 600 or 1366 x 768 resolution, and if one is all you need, it's a sliding mechanism to hide the other monitor."

I suppose laptop manufacturers are trying really hard to differentiate themselves these days since the traditional clam-shell form factor is no longer enough. Here we have a prototype notebook from Kohjinsha that sports dual screens. While they are not the first company to try this, it definitely shows that companies are willing to stray a little more from the netbook/notebook design. While I am sure there are some who say that just getting a bigger screen is better, I have always preferred having logically separated screens, and this baby folds up smaller than a high resolution 15 inch or bigger laptop, though it is admittedly thicker. The only thing that worries me about this laptop is that it could be top heavy, making how far you can adjust the viewing angle difficult. For more details, check out Engadget's video.

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.

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