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All posts tagged "notebook"


Thursday, January 8, 2009

HP Mini 1000 XP Edition Unboxing and First Impressions

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

A few days before leaving for CES 2009, I received an HP Mini 1000 for review - I'd been trying to get my hands on one of these since they were first announced, and was sadly unsuccessful. They say good things some to those who wait, and I was sent not only the HP Mini 1000 XP Edition, but also the HP Mini 1000 Vivian Tam edition. The Vivian Tam edition, which we posted some glorious photos of last year, was specifically for my wife to test out. I'll be doing another Real World Review to cover the Vivian Tam Mini 1000, but when it comes to the regular Mini 1000 I'll be doing the usual: videos!

I managed to shoot and edit this unboxing and first impressions video the night before I left for CES. The unit they sent me is the high-end configuration: Windows XP SP3, and in the configuration I was sent, costs $489 USD directly from HP. It has an Intel 1.6 Ghz Atom CPU, 1 GB of RAM, a 60 GB 4500 RPM hard drive, an SDHC card reader, two USB ports, 802.11 b/g WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 3-cell battery. The screen resolution is 1024 x 600, though HP strangely lists it was 1024 x 576 on the box. Read more...


Sunday, December 21, 2008

HP Mini 1000 Impresses Notebooks.com

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

http://www.notebooks.com/2008/12/10...s-choice-award/

"The Mini 1000 I reviewed is an excellent choice and value for someone that understands the limitations of a netbook. It’s highly portable and its keyboard makes it much more useful than netbooks with smaller keys. The configuration in this review has a retail price of $464.99 and will provide the vast majority of consumers a solid portable web, email and productivity experience. Business professionals looking for an enterprise-class computer should avoid the Mini 1000, along with all current netbooks."

Notebooks.com puts the HP Mini 1000 through its paces, and finds a lot to like. From the touch-typable keyboard to the stylish looks, the Mini 1000 addresses many of the complaints of first generation netbooks. They do recognize that this netbook is targeted towards the consumer market. It definately sounds like netbooks have found a sweet spot in terms of size and usability which closely matches the ultraportable segment. Thankfuly, they're much cheaper! Now HP is looking to make Netbooks fashion aware. While their styling doesn't quite suit my tastes, I'm sure some people covet their dark copper look, or the soon to be released Vivienne Tam edition.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Laptop Magazine Reviews Samsung R610

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 04:00 PM

http://www.laptopmag.com/review/lap...msung-r610.aspx

"The Samsung R610-64G hovers in a strange place between a traditional mainstream notebook and a full-fledged multimedia desktop replacement. A svelte 6 pounds (for its size), the R610 is the lightest 16-inch notebook we’ve tested, and with a street price of $999, it’s also one of the cheapest. Its classy black chassis is one of the most attractive we’ve seen in this form. But to achieve its low price, the R610 skimps on performance and features such as dedicated media controls, a full HD screen, and a Blu-ray drive option."

While netbooks are the trend du jour, Samsung has come out with a fairly light 16" notebook. While the price is a tempting $999, Laptop Magazine finds the machine a little weak when it comes to performance. Looking at the spec sheet, it isn't hard to see why. It's hobbled with a 2Ghz Core 2 Duo, a 5,400rpm hard drive and a paltry 1366 x 768 screen. The worst part is the 6-cell battery that gives you an estimated 2.5 hours which means you might be able to watch all of "The Dark Knight." It looks like Samsung cut a few too many corners to meet a sub-$1000 price tag. Wouldn't you expect a bit more if you wanted to go for a 16" screen? A high resolution screen paired with a Blu-Ray drive? The ability to watch a full movie without hunting for a power plug?


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...


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.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

HP Mini 1000 Product Specifications

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:08 PM

Here are the specifications for the HP Mini 1000. Look for my summary tomorrow morning/afternoon of a conference call I attended on Monday. This is one netbook I'm quite excited about!

Operating System Options: Genuine Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Basic Service Pack 3 for ULCPC Program, or Mobile Internet Experience (MIE) built on Linux (Ubuntu).

Processor: Intel Atom N270 Processor (1.6 GHz)

Chipset: Intel 945GSE + ICH7M, 533MHz FSB

Memory: DDR2 SDRAM, 533MHz, one DIMM slot. On the XP Home model, the options are 512 MB or 1 GB (there's a hard limit of 1 GB due to the operating system). On the HP MIE model, options are 512 MB, 1 GB, or 2 GB. Read more...


The HP Mini 1000 Mobile Internet Experience in Pictures

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:06 PM


The HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition in Pictures

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:03 PM


The HP Mini 1000 in Pictures

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:01 PM


HP Expands Mini PC Portfolio Designed for Mobility, Social Media and Fashion

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:00 PM

Here's the official press release for the new HP Mini 1000 series netbooks. Look for a bunch of tasty photos to follow right quick!

"PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 29, 2008 – Following the success of its education-focused mini PC introduced in April, HP today expanded the HP Mini family with three models of a new HP Mini 1000 line. This array of minis – one of the widest offerings in the industry – addresses the needs of Internet-centric consumers, mobile professionals, always-on social media enthusiasts and fashion-forward women.

“Staying connected to your world – however you define it – is increasingly important to people on the go,” said Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager, Notebook Global Business Unit, Personal Systems Group, HP. “That’s why HP is excited to address this new high-growth market with a portfolio of head-turning mini companion PCs that are fun and easy to use.” Read more...


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).


Spotlight Turns to Notebooks Part 1: The New MacBooks

Posted by Vincent Ferrari in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 06:27 PM

http://www.apple.com/macbook

"To build something truly different, you need to work in a truly different way. Apple designers and engineers work together through every stage of product development. It’s a partnership that makes innovation possible. And it’s exactly how the new MacBook was created. With its breakthrough unibody enclosure, industry-first features, and environmentally sound design, it’s a revolution in the way notebooks are made."

Apple made the first refresh of its consumer-level laptop line in over 2 years today with the launch of the new MacBook. It still has a 13.3" glossy display at 1280 x 800, BlueTooth, 802.11n wireless, and all the other features you've come to know and love, but they've done some interesting new stuff. Gone are the plastic enclosure (the mid-tier and high-tier MacBooks now rock an aluminum shell Apple is calling "Unibody"), the MiniDVI port (replaced with the new Mini Displayport connector) and Firewire 400. Making their debut are a new mobile chipset from NVIDIA which Apple claims is up to five times faster than the current Intel integrated graphics, and a very fast 1066MHz frontside bus. The new MacBooks will start at $1299 for a 2.0 Ghz Model with a 160GB HD and $1599 for a 2.4 Ghz model with a 250GB HD. The top tier model also includes a backlit keyboard for all your night-typing needs.

Worthy of note is that along with the new aluminum-bodied MacBooks, the 13.3" white model will stick around at $999 for those looking to do an Apple laptop on a budget.


Friday, October 10, 2008

12.1-inch Dell E Slim Laptop

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 03:00 PM

http://www.engadget.com/2008/10/10/...ed-in-the-wild/

"It's hard to say what we've come across here, but if our retinas aren't deceiving us too badly, this looks to be an in the wild shot (sans blur, amazingly) of Dell's forthcoming E Slim. If you'll recall, we caught a glimpse of said device way back in June, and the two look at least marginally similar using the oh-so-scientific eyeball test. But look, even if this thing isn't the E Slim (though we're guessing it is until proven otherwise), we've been told on numerous occasions that Dell is mulling the idea of pumping out a netbook with a 10- to 12-inch display. An accompanying screenshot of the unit's internals was also provided, and while the model may say Optiplex1210, we're guessing that's just there for prototyping purposes; besides, the listed CPU matches up quite nicely with the aforementioned E Slim specs that slipped out this summer."

I'm not convinced this is a new Dell netbook. Why? Because the System Properties screenshot over on Engadget shows a CPU speed of 1.33 Ghz - I can't imagine Dell using anything other than the Intel Atom at 1.6 Ghz, or perhaps the dual-core version (which is also at 1.6 Ghz). And that's Windows Vista, which isn't netbook friendly - especially with only a 1.33 GHz CPU. Instead I think this is a Macbook Air compeditor - which is great, I'm all for thin and light notebooks...as long as they don't compromise too much on battery life.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

HP Finally Gets on the 13.3" Train

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

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105...10055508-1.html

"If 12 is too small and 14 too big, HP now has a laptop to sell you. With the Pavilion dv3500t, the company has slotted a 13-inch model into its already crowded laptop lineup. The dv3500t features a choice of four Intel Core 2 Duo processors (up to the T9400), up to 8GB of RAM, a 512MB Nvidia GeForce 9300M GS graphics card, and up to a 400GB hard drive. The 13.3-inch display features a 1280x800 resolution, and an LED-backlit display is offered for an added $100, which HP indicates will shave nearly a half pound off the system's 4.1-pound weight. Unlike most of HP's laptops, the Pavilion dv3500 does not offer a parallel AMD version (a dv3500z, say, to the Intel-based dv3500t)."

I'm a big fan of small laptops, and a 13.3" screen is a great size for a laptop - it's small enough to be easily portable, but large enough that you don't feel like you're compromising your work style. What amazes me is that it took HP this long to get on board with this size of laptop - they've got to be the last company making notebooks to get here, but at least they finally arrived. I would have preferred to see the optical drive be removable and space for a secondary battery, because I suspect the 6-cell battery humps out the back in a big, ugly way. Also, 1280 x 800 is what I got on my Dell XPS M1330 over a year ago - 1440 x 900 would have been a nice advancement. Still, it's nice to see them releasing a laptop at this size, because their 12" tx2500 Tablet PC isn't going to be for everyone - the tx2500 is surprisingly bulky for a 12 inch laptop.


Engadget: Voodoo Envy 133 Unboxing and Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 09:00 AM

http://www.engadget.com/2008/10/03/...nd-impressions/

"HP's Voodoo Envy 133, first announced in June, has struggled a bit off the blocks, with manufacturing problems keeping it out of buyers hands until last month. Of course, HP has a good excuse: carbon fiber. The notoriously difficult material wasn't used sparingly on the Envy 133, and if you've been looking for a laptop dripping with the synthetic material, HP's got your number. We mention this to remind ourselves that, like the MacBook Air before it, this laptop is about looks first, function second, and the Envy 133 succeeds in that regard wildly. There's always room for taste in these things, but HP makes quite a statement here no matter what your persuasion."

The Voodoo Envy 133 looks like one tasty laptop - I'm considering it for my next laptop purchase when I eventually replace my XPS M1330, but the high-gloss surface gives me pause. High-gloss, fingerprint-prone surfaces drive me nuts on phones, so on the much bigger surface area of a laptop, I might have a nervous breakdown. The specs on the laptop look great, although having an X3100 GPU is somewhat limiting as I learned with my Dell Studio Hybrid - I'm surprised HP didn't go with an ATI solution instead. Perhaps for the second generation model? Regardless of my quibbles, this is one unique laptop in the Windows space and it looks like there are great things ahead for HP and Voodoo.


Friday, September 26, 2008

Are Dell Inspiron Mini 9's Delayed? Or Just Mine?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 01:20 PM

I ordered my Dell Inspiron Mini 9 the morning of the first day it was available in Canada, which was 48 hours after it was launched in the US (September 4th). Originally I was given a delivery date of September 22nd, but a few days ago that was bumped to October 6th. What's equally strange is that Dell's order status page is reporting that I placed this order on the 18th of September rather than the 6th. I'm seeing unboxing videos on YouTube, and reviews popping up online, so it seems that at least some people are getting their units. It's also probable that because Canada, Australia, and a few other countries came after the USA/UK/Germany in the launch, those countries are soaking up all the early inventory. Any Digital Home Thoughts readers ordered one of these and received it yet?


Monday, September 15, 2008

HP Launches New HDX Laptops, New TouchSmart PCs, and Lots More

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:22 PM

http://www.hp.com

I was just about to crawl into bed, but HP's PR people sent me a press release with gobs of new products, and so I forsake sleep to deliver the news to you, the good readers of Digital Home Thoughts. :-) I just love it when these companies release products late at night...and my wife really appreciates it as well. Hah!


That sexy looking beast above is the HP HDX18: a brand new Centrino 2-based notebook that has some seriously sweet features. It boasts a 16:9 aspect ratio 18.4 inch screen at 1920 x 1080 resolution, driven by an NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT with 512 MB of RAM. There's 4 GB of DDR2 system RAM, two 250 GB 5400 RPM hard drives (really? not 7200 RPM?) for a total of 500 GB of storage, a LightScribe super-multi DVD burner, Bluetooth 2.0, and Intel 802.11 a/g/n WiFi. It also has an HDMI port, a "triple bass sub-woofer", an eSATA port, gigabit Ethernet, a 5 in 1 media card reader, an ExpressCard 54 slot, a 4-pin Firewire connection, and at the heart of it all is an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU running at 2.26 Ghz with 3 MB of cache, and 64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium SP1. It weighs in at a hefty 8.9 pounds, and has an 8-cell battery. The full specs are in this PDF file.

The smaller brother of the HDX18, above we have the HDX16. It's very similar in overall design to its big brother, but smaller: it has a 16" screen, also in 16:9 aspect ratio, and the resolution is 1366 x 768. The same NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT drives the screen, so if you're into gaming, you'll get better frame rates from this lower-resolution screen. The HDX16 has a single hard drive, 320 GB in size, but still boasts 4 GB of RAM, the same CPU, same wireless features, same DVD drive, etc. It has a smaller 6-cell battery instead of the 8-cell battery in the HDX18. The full specs are in this PDF file.

The full press release is after the break, along with more images I've interwoven into the release. It's a bit late for me to summerize all the new products, but the most noteworthy beyond these two laptops is probably the HP TouchSmart IQ816 (pictured above). It has a massive 25.5 inch screen running at 1920 x 1200 resolution, powered by an NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GS HD CPU with 512 MB RAM. The CPU is an Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 running at 2.10 Ghz, and there's 4 GB of RAM and a 750 GB 7200 RPM hard drive to round out the offering. The usual gigabit Ethernet, 802.1 b/g/n WiFi, webcam, NTSC tuner (with OTA HD), and built-in microphone are included. The full specs are in this PDF file. Read more...


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