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All posts tagged "laptops"


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 Dell.com 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

HP Pavilion dv3z is Happily Middle of the Road

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:00 PM

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,281...2129TX1K0000530

"Affordable and lightweight laptops are few and far between: You'd have to settle for either a netbook or a desktop replacement laptop in order to spend less than $1,000. I'd like to see more systems that don't skimp on screen real estate yet are still relatively light, in the range of 4 to 5 pounds. The HP Pavilion dv3z ($980 direct), a 13-inch lightweight beauty, easily meets these criteria while keeping prices in the three-digit range. The only catch is that you'll have to settle for AMD parts, which, unfortunately, aren't as fast as their Intel counterparts. If your workloads are as light as this system, however, performance shouldn't matter."

This is the sweet spot for a lot of users. If you are looking for small, but not too small and need some power, but not too much power, and need something inexpensive, but not super inexpensive, then you are the target market.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dell Unveils Full Details for Adamo Laptop

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

http://www.adamobydell.com/us

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?


Real World Reviews: The Vivienne Tam HP Mini 1000

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

This is a new type of review that I'm experimenting with - rather than me doing an exhaustive review of a product, I'm giving a a product to someone else for a couple of weeks and asking them about their experience using it. I think there's a lot of value in real-world testing of products by people who aren't experts, because as much as I try to put on my "Everyman Hat" when I'm testing a product, I still carry bias with me. In this case, it was my wife Ashley who was given the HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition netbook to use over a period of a month, because, hey, it's made for women so who better to test it?

Q: Let's start with first impressions. What did you think of the HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition when you first saw it?

A: I loved it! I had no idea that any laptop companies had even thought of partnering with world class designers to make the laptops they were selling more aesthetically appealing to their customers - specifically women. Everywhere I take my HP Mini, I get tons of compliments and people asking me what it is and where I got it! It's definitely a great conversation piece.

Q: So beyond the initial impact of the design and colour, what did you think of the size and weight?

A: Again, I love this about it: it's so small, light and compact. I could put it in my purse and carry it with me to a meeting if I needed to. The only downside is the comparatively huge power brick and cables. With such a small device, it would sure be nice to have an equally small power brick! Read more...


Monday, March 16, 2009

Lenovo Pocket Yoga is Like Splenda

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 04:00 PM

http://dvice.com/archives/2009/03/l...vo_pocket_y.php

"There's not much info on this sexy little devil yet, but it looks to have a nice wide screen that can be flipped around and act as a touchscreen tablet, and it's very close to being small enough to fit in a pocket comfortably, but not quite. It looks slick and is sure to be expensive, as is the way with things moving towards the space between two types of device."

I say it is like Splenda because while sweet it is also a fake. OK, fake may be a bit harsh, but according to some other postings I've seen, this was a Lenovo concept design from a few years back that went nowhere. Too bad though, I like this better than Sony's similar offering.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

6-cell Battery Goodness Now Available for HP Mini 1000

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 06:00 PM

http://www.engadget.com/2009/03/13/...order-for-real/

"You may still not be able to get that VGA adapter, but it looks like HP Mini 1000 users can now finally get their hands on the six-cell battery for the netbook, which should provide a significant boost over the stock three-cell battery. As you may recall, this follows a brief spat of seeming availability in January but, judging from some of the responses on the HP Mini forums, it looks like HP has since canceled the few orders that got through before the battery was pulled from its site."

I'm guessing but the shape of the bump on the battery, that it will boost the rear of the laptop along with boosting your battery life. Looks like it is currently available for $95.99. If you use coupon code SV2130, you should be able to lop an extra $10 off of that.


Friday, March 13, 2009

The Ravishing Red Netbook: HP's Vivienne Tam Edition Mini 1000

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 02:52 PM

This is my video review of the HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition netbook. Since the hardware and design of the laptop (other than the colour) is identical to the HP Mini 1000, please check out my HP Mini 1000 unboxing and first impressions video for my thoughts on that part of the experience. Just like the top-end HP Mini 1000, the Vivienne Tam edition runs Windows XP SP3, and in the configuration I was sent, costs $724 USD directly from HP. It has an Intel 1.6 Ghz Atom CPU, 1 GB of RAM, a 60 GB 4200 RPM hard drive, an SDHC card reader, two USB ports, 802.11 b/g WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 3-cell battery. Watch for an upcoming written Q&A interview with person who has the most experience using this netbook: my wife!

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.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dell Teases Inspiron Mini 10 Features

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

http://www.dell.com/content/product...s=19&l=en&s=dhs

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 Dell.ca 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.


Friday, February 27, 2009

HP's Big and Bold HDX X18 Laptop Reviewed

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

This my video review of the HP HDX X18-1058ca, the big and beautiful desktop-replacement laptop from HP. If you haven't watched my unboxing video, be sure to check that out first. This laptop features an 18.4 inch, 1920 x 1080 (1080p), 16 by 9 aspect ratio screen, and weighs in at 8.9 pounds (4.06 kg). It features an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 CPU (2.26 GHz, 3 MB L2 Cache, 1066 MHz FSB ), 4 GB of DDR2 RAM, a 320 GB 5400 RPM SATA drive, a LightScribe Blu-Ray ROM with SuperMulti DVD±R/RW Double Layer, Integrated 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet, Intel WiFi Link 5100AGN (that's 802.11a/g/n), four USB ports, an ExpressCard 54 slot, and a 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics card. Priced on February 3rd at HP.com, the laptop would cost $1363.99 USD. This exact model number is only available in Canada where it was available for $1599.99 CAD as a holiday special and at this point it's not being offered any more. The more commonly available version, currently offered from Best Buy Canada, is the HDX X18-1180ca, which is a quad-core CPU model and sells for $2199 CAD. Read more...


Friday, February 13, 2009

HP Mini Accessories Trickling Into Market

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

http://www.hp.com/united-states/cam...ccessories.html

I've been spending a lot of time with the HP Mini 1000 lately, in all three flavours: the Windows XP-based Mini 1000, the Vivienne Tam Mini 1000, and lately the Mobile Internet Edition or "Mini Mi". It's by far my #1 favourite netbook right now - I haven't booted up my MSI Wind in a month. As good as the HP Mini 1000 is though, it's strange how HP released a product with basically zero accessories for it available at launch - it's only now that these accessories are starting to become available. From the top left, going clockwise, we have the 3-cell battery, the Mobile Mini Drive, the AC power brick, an external DVD burner, a VGA cable, and a sleeve. The VGA cable in particular is a glaring omission: for mobile professionals who want to travel ultra-light, but still need to hook up to a projector, not having the ability to do so is a deal breaker. And given the price premium that HP is charging for the Mini 1000, it's a shame that there's no carrying case included in the box.

What's not shown above is something I saw at CES 2009: a 6-cell battery. It was an interesting design because unlike most netbooks on the market, the HP Mini 1000's battery isn't right at the back, it's in a bit - and that means thaty can't do the "rear hump" like most companies can. The 6-cell battery for the Mini 1000 comes out the bottom and creates a hump that almost looks like a stand for the netbook. Pretty interesting design - I'm not sure how practical it is, hopefully I can get my hands on one. The battery life is about the only complaint I have with the Mini 1000 - it just does't last long enough, but that's pretty much what I expected from a 3-cell battery.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dell Exchange: Recycle Your Old Technology

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

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/...id=913137&s=dhs

"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.


Monday, February 9, 2009

CES 2009: HP Notebook Teardown @ CNTRSTG

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 04:47 PM

I shot more video at CES 2009 than I have at previous shows, and it seems that one of the side-effects of that is forgetting to publish all of it! This is a video that was recorded on January 9th while I was attending CNTRSTG.

Matt McAndrew from HP's commercial notebook group, talks about some of the things that HP does with their commercial notebooks to increase the reliability and durability factors.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Maximum PC Looks At The HP HDX 18 Entertainment PC

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 09:23 AM

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/re...MC-R3A917316679

"HP's HDX 18 Entertainment PC is a notebook, but not in the portability sense of the word. With an 18.4-inch diagonal screen and a carry weight of 10 pounds, 9 ounces, you might occasionally move this monster from room to room, but you won't take it everywhere you go-certainly not without the aid of a lifting belt. Of course, the large size does have its merits. The aforementioned screen, for instance, sports a 1920x1080p resolution for ample desktop space and a true high-def movie experience, made all the more vivid by the screen's glossy surface."

I'm in the midst of testing this notebook myself, so I won't share with you what I think of it just yet, but if you're interested in a powerful notebook with a really big screen, the HDX X-18 is definitely worth considering. Checkout Maximum PC's review for more details.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Anandtech Previews The Nvidia ION

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

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3509

"NVIDIA’s Ion comes in as an alternative two-chip solution. The GeForce 9400M is a single chip, the other chip is the Atom, the two make up Ion. You get a modern memory controller as well, supporting both DDR2 and DDR3 memory (up to DDR3-1066). Graphics performance is better than Intel and you get full HD video decode support."

Anandtech has their hands on an NVidia ION reference platform and put the wee board through a quick set of benchmarks and tests. NVidia ION looks like it will give netbooks a chance to be more than a light duty computer. The pairing makes it possible to watch Bluray movies and play games, albeit with very low settings. Currently, Atom based netbooks run off of the aging 945G chipset. While capable, it doesn't take advantage of advancements over the past few years like faster memory. The tests Anandtech go through shows how much the Atom is hobbled with its current partner. Is the potential enough to make you wait on your ultra-portable purchase?


Big and Bold: Unboxing The HP HDX X18

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:10 AM

This is an unboxing and first impressions video of the HP HDX X18-1058ca. This laptop features an 18.4 inch, 1920 x 1080 (1080p), 16 by 9 aspect ratio screen, and weighs in at 8.9 pounds (4.06 kg). It features an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 CPU (2.26 GHz, 3 MB L2 Cache, 1066 MHz FSB ), 4 GB of DDR2 RAM, a 320 GB 5400 RPM SATA drive, a LightScribe Blu-Ray ROM with SuperMulti DVD±R/RW Double Layer, Integrated 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet, Intel WiFi Link 5100AGN, four USB ports, an ExpressCard 54 slot, and a 512MB NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics card.

Priced on February 3rd at HP.com, the laptop would cost $1363.99 USD. This exact model number is only available in Canada where it was available for $1599.99 CAD as a holiday special and at this point it's not being offered any more. The more commonly available version, currently on sale from Best Buy Canada, is the HDX X18-1180ca, which is a quad-core CPU model and sells for $2199 CAD.

Look for a follow up video review later this week. The audio on this video is unfortunately not up to par - I neglected to take off the shotgun microphone I had attached to the camera, and as a result it didn't pick up my voice as well as the integrated microphone. I hadn't done an unboxing video in so long, I was rusty!

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, January 16, 2009

CES 2009: HP's dv2 and dv3 Notebooks

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:24 PM

Kevin Wenzel, technical marketing manager for HP, walks through some of the features of the new dv2 and dv3 notebooks from HP. I've written some thoughts about the dv2 and dv3 - they're definitely two noteworthy laptops that I'm looking forward to checking out in greater detail.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

CES 2009: Touch the Future (HP)

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 09:17 PM

Phil McKinney, vice president and chief technology officer for the Personal Systems Group at HP, gives a talk on the history of HP and touch computing. It's a fascinating look at where HP has been with touch, and where they're going. Phil is a world-class geek and a very smart guy. Well worth the view!


CES 2009: The HP/Voodoo Firefly Monster "Laptop"

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 12:59 PM

Rahul Sood from Voodoo Computers walks us through the never-to-be-released prototype Firefly "laptop"...it's really just a computer you can move from room to room. Rahul calls the battery a "UPS", which is likely pretty accurate. This is one monster machine, featuring a quad-core CPU, dual GPUs in SLI mode, and even two screens. Filmed at CNTRSTG.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dell Launches New Line of Latitude Business Notebooks, Claims 19 Hours of Battery Life

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 05:27 PM

http://www.electronista.com/article....latitude.2008/

"Dell today launched the new Latitude line, ushering in a significant refresh of its business systems. The new models have a new streamlined design with the choice of multiple shell colors and take cues both from recent PC designs like the Studio as well as the MacBook Pro; the new systems now have backlit keyboards, a magnesium shell designed to be strong, and an extra-thin design. The mainstream models are the thinnest ever in the mid-size class, the Texas-based company claims, while its ultraportable E4200 model weighs as little as 2.2 pounds. The company also claims to have set a record for battery performance using a combination of proprietary software as well as Intel's Centrino 2 platform. The mid-grade Latitude E6400 with an extended 12-cell battery can last up to 19 hours on a single charge, according to Dell. A standard nine-cell battery also manages 10 hours. The company also promises a revamped power brick that can recover as much as 80 percent of the charge in one hour, and USB ports that will charge phones and other devices even when the system is completely turned off."

I tend not to pay that much attention to Dell's Latitude notebooks because they're usually as ugly as sin, but this new generation looks pretty good. The battery life claims of 19 hours really caught my eye - it seems that Dell is doing this with battery slice technology. Meaning these new notebooks have a power port on the bottom that a thin battery snaps into. This is similar to what HP has done with some of their business-class notebooks, but this technology has yet to make it into any consumer-grade notebook that I can think of. That's a real shame, because as a consumer I really care about battery life - and giving me a big-ass hump battery isn't much of a solution. After the break, there's a video with some Dell staffers talking about the new notebooks and how they compete against the Macbook Air and other ultra-portable laptops. Read more...


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