Tags Posts tagged with "Notebook"

Notebook

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UMID Mini-NetbookIn size its rival would be the Nintendo DS, but in function it can rival some decent laptops. With 1GB of RAM, a 1.3 mega-pixel webcam, a mini-USB port, wireless connectivity (WIMAX, WiBro, HSDPA), and a card reader, the UMID is a formidable netbook.  It probably would not be considered a netbook, though.  Like the IMOVIO iKIT handtop computer, it’s more of a mini-netbook.  You could almost call it a pocket-sized laptop.  It’s screen is 4.8", touch screen enabled, and runs at 1024×600 resolution.  The device is powered by Intel’s Atom processor @ 1.33 GHz. It packs quite a punch for such a small device. Some sources on the Internet claim the mini-netbook can support Linux, Windows XP, and even Windows Vista.

The casing looks great, even though there hasn’t been any word on the exact dimensions. It almost looks like the new PDAs or stylish cell phones, but a little bigger. It’s not available outside of Korea yet, but we’re just excited as everyone else. Pricing information should be available soon.
 

Earlier this year Lenovo released their ThinkPad X300, a great notebook for the business minded. Recently, the X300 has been updated to the ThinkPad X301 model. With many improvements from its already great predecessor, you can expect great things from the X301.

Familiar, Sturdy Design

When it comes to design, the Lenovo X301 has the same look as most other ThinkPad notebooks that have come before it.  It’s a personal choice if you like the ThinkPad design.  Some think it’s dull, some people believe it to be simple and effective.  It’s a matter of opinion either way.  However, there’s no argument that ThinkPad machines have some strong characteristics that stand out from the competition.  The X301 laptop weighs a little less than 3.5lbs with an 8X DVD burner and a 6-cell battery equipped.  The X301’s exterior is squared off and has a matte black finish. It’s dimensions are 12.5 x 9.1 x 0.9, and just like it’s predecessor the X300, the sides are slightly tapered. The X301 is a beautifully constructed machine with Lenovo’s internal roll cage design and a carbon and class fiber interior, which according to Lenovo, is not only stronger but lighter than titanium.

ThinkPad X301

The keyboard deck and outer shell utilize a new rubberized soft touch paint which helps provide a more secure grip and a more comfortable feel. The X301 has all the regular connectors and ports with three USB 2.0, Ethernet, microphone and headphone jacks, DisplayPort, and a VGA connector. Unfortunately, no memory card slot is included with this laptop, which means you’ll have to use a USB card reader device or adapter to read from memory cards.

ThinkPad X301 Design

Display and Speakers

The X301 employs a LED-backlit, 13.3″ (1440×900 resolution) display with a matte finish that prevents most glare. The high resolution certainly makes a difference when viewing documents and web pages, though the default text may be too small for some eyes. The backlit, low-reflectivity LED keeps the display legible when outdoors.  Rich colors and wide viewing angles are available for watching DVDs and other content. The stereo speakers lacked low-end punch, but due to their close proximity (they’re located in the palmrest), the volume was clear and loud. Above the display is a 1.3 megapixel webcam that provided somewhat dark visuals when tested through video chat.

ThinkPad X301 Display Screen

With the high resolution (1440×900) 13.3″ screen, the X301 is great for surfing the web and viewing documents. The LED display is amazingly clear for viewing outdoors because it’s extremely low reflectivity negates glare. The ThinkPad X301 features wide viewing angles with rich colors, which makes watching a DVD or other content more enjoyable.  The 1.3 megapixel camera (located above the display) was a little dark during the video chat tests performed via MSN Messenger.

First-Class Ergonomics

In line with all the other ThinkPad models, the X301 features a magnificent keyboard that definitely ranks with the top runners in the business. The typing experience is excellent because the keyboard provides space in between individual keys. The X301 includes a touchpad and a pointing stick (located between the G and H keys) for navigation. The touchpad may be small for some users since the design accommodates for the larger keys. A biometric fingerprint reader is integrated to the right of the touchpad to help keep private business away from unauthorized individuals.  Above the keyboard, you’ll notice buttons for volume, mute, ThinkVantage (for launching Lenovo’s system utilities), and, of course, the power button.

ThinkPad X301 Keyboard

Performance

The base configuration is equipped with 2GB of RAM and an Intel Core 2 Due (1.4GHz) U9400 Ultra Low Voltage processor.  The ThinkPad X301 achieved a PCMark Vantage score of 3157, which is 400 points higher than most ultraportables. It’s a great score, but still falls about 60 points shy of the Sony VAIO VGN-Z530N’s and almost 500 points shy of the Lenovo ThinkPad X200.

The X301 didn’t fare so well on all of its graphics tests. On the 3DMark03 benchmark, the X301 (which is powered by an Intel GMA X4500MHD graphics card) netted an 1812, a score that’s 400 points higher than its competitors and its predecessor the X300.  However, the 3DMark06 score was 200 points less than other machines in its category. F.E.A.R was also tested in auto-detect mode, and the game ran at a miniscule 14fps. When the settings were increased to maximum, it ran at only 6fps. W.O.W ran at 27.4fps, which is okay, but it is important to remember that this is not a gaming laptop, and should not be expected to out perform Alienware, for example.

Lenovo’s X301’s boot-up time was a little slower than expected. The X301, with its 64GB SSD, took about 1 minute and 37 seconds to boot-up Windows Vista, almost 30 seconds slower than the average ultraportable and 48 seconds slower than the older X300. The SSD did not disappoint and definitely lived up to its fast transfer time copying a 5 GB folder in about 2 minutes and 40 seconds, however. The SSD has a transfer rate of 32.4 megabytes per second, which is miles ahead of the 13.4 megabyte per second transfer rate of competitors using mechanical drives. If 64GB does not fill your needs for capacity, an upgrade option is available for a 128GB SSD, which costs $400.

Test Results

PCMark Vantage / 3DMark03 / 3DMark06 3,157 – 1,812 – 683
Battery Life 3:29
F.E.A.R. (auto-detect/max) 14/6fps
W.O.W. (auto-detect) / File Transfer Test 27.4fps – 32.4 MB/s
Boot time (m:ss) 1:37
Wireless Performance (15/50 ft) 20.8 MB/s – 18.7 MB/s

 

Wi-Fi and Battery Life

The 802.11a/g/n Wi-Fi moves data at an excellent speed of 20.8 MB/s at a distance of 15 feet from the access point, and 18.7 MB/s at 50 feet.  These are nice improvements over the 16.7 MB/s and 16.1 MB/s averages presented by the X300, and made for a pleasant surfing experience. Although the default configuration does not include integrated mobile broadband, you can add a 3G connection from AT&T ($80) or Verizon Wireless ($150), which also features integrated GPS. The X301 will support WiMAX and Ultra-Wideband technologies when they become available.

When it comes to long battery life, the X301 definitely falls short by quite a bit. Its six cell battery lasted only 3 hours and a half during tests.  On the same test, Sony’s VAIO VGN-Z530N lasted 5 hours.  A little more should be expected out of ultraportable laptops when it comes to battery life (at least 4 hours).

Software, Security, and Warranty

Those who care about security on their portable computers will definitely appreciate the X301’s full disk encryption, centrally managed passwords, ability to disable the BIOS port, and remote lockdown. The machine is covered with an extendable 1 year warranty and 24/7 tech support. Included with the X301 is Lenovo Camera Center, a 60-day trial to Microsoft Office, Access Connections 5, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and Roxio Creator Business Edition.

The X300 was an outstanding laptop released by Lenovo, but they have definitely done a nice job with the ThinkPad X301. They took all the good aspects from the X300, and made them better for the X301. With the new Centrino 2 platform and an ultra-fast 64GB SSD, the X301 comes at a price. If you’re looking for an amazing business notebook, though, it will not disappoint. One thing we’d have to mention, however, is that you should consider investing in a spare battery.

Technical Specifications

CPU 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U9400 ULV
RAM Included 2GB
RAM Upgradable To 4GB
Hard Drive Size 64GB
Hard Drive Speed 90MB/s Read and 70MB/s Write
Hard Drive Type SSD Drive
Optical Drive Type DVD+RW
Optical Drive Speed 8X
Display Size (inches) 13.3
Native Resolution 1440×900
Graphics Card Intel GMA X4500MHD
Video Memory 384MB
Wi-Fi 802.11a/g/n
Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.0
Mobile Broadband Optional Add-on 3G connection from AT&T ($80) or Verizon Wireless ($150)
Operating System MS Windows Vista Business
Ports (excluding USB) DisplayPort; Ethernet; Headphone; Microphone; VGA
USB Ports 3
Card Slot(s) N/A
Warranty/Support One-year parts and labor/24/7 toll-free phone
Size 12.5 x 9.1 x 0.9 inches
Weight 3.4 pounds

 

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ASUS G50V-A1 Gaming NotebookThe ASUS G50V-A1 is a new 15.4" gaming notebook to hit the market this holiday season.  The G50V-A1 is one of the best machines produced by ASUS performance-wise, but it has other issues that should be considered if your intention is to use the "gaming notebook" heavily for its intended purpose.

The notebook offers excellent performance powered with an Intel Core 2 Duo T9400, high-quality WSXGA+ screen, and numerous features that make the system stand out.  It is even bundled with useful accessories that do not normally come with a laptop, including a backpack and gaming mouse. The G50V is covered with a two-year warranty, and the first year includes accident damage coverage as well.  The ASUS G50V-A1 also comes with a recovery disk that can be useful in the case of emergency.

If the system was marketed as a business machine, we could stop there with an exceptional review.  However, while the laptop offers great stock performance, the G50V-A1’s over clocking and power management abilities didn’t fare so well. Even though the machine was nearly flawless during regular usage, it’s always a plus for it to perform during rigorous benchmark tests (WorldBench, Mobilemark, etc.). Another serious issue is that it lacks driver support for widescreen resolution (1440×900), which would come in handy. It runs perfectly in its normal resolution of 1680×1050, but having to step down to 1280×768 for a decent widescreen resolution is not a good look.

The G50V-A1 comes with Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit, with 4GB of DDR2-800 RAM. The notebook includes an 8X DVD-RW Super Multi drive, 8-in-1 memory card reader, built-in 1.3-megapixel webcam, and Intel Wireless WiFi Link 5100AGN with built-in Bluetooth support.  Overall, the G50V is a quality gaming platform.  The design and numerous features are great. The graphics card it uses (the NVIDIA GeForce 9700 GT) is a bit of an undershot for ASUS since it’s quite underpowered for a gaming laptop.

The A1 can be purchased for a little under $1600, but it may be overpriced since the ASUS G50Vt-X1 can be purchased for $1,250. It’s a cheaper machine, but it has a Core 2 Duo processor, a 15.6" 1366×758 display, and a NVIDIA GeForce 9800M GS, which is simply a better graphics card for a gaming platform.

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Panasonic Toughbook F8, W8, and T8 NotebooksPanasonic has released a new Toughbook model as well as updated two of their existing products.  The new product is the Toughbook F8, while the models updated include the Toughbook W8 ultra portable laptop and the stylish Toughbook T8 tablet PC. Taking design tips from what Panasonic likes to call the "walking worker", the Toughbook T8 is definitely a contender in the notebook market, with extras such as a stylus, touch screen, and screen rotating software. With a surprisingly convenient rubber hands strap and a 12.1" tough LCD screen, the T8 sports a power saving Intel Core 2 Duo processor, is expandable to 4GB of RAM, is capable of providing 7 hours of battery life, and offers a 120GB hard drive.

It’s sister model, the Toughbook W8, has an anti-glare LCD display that is also 12.1". The main difference between the two machines is that the W8 weighs in slightly less and that the Panasonic Toughbook T8 has the ergonomic hand strap missing from the Toughbook W8. Also, the T8 includes Display Image Rotation software the W8 does not. The T8 weighs about 3.3 pounds, and the Toughbook W8 weighs in at a light 3 pounds. Both machines have exceptional battery life because of the low voltage Intel Duo Core processors utilized.

Both models come with Windows Vista Business pre-installed, but they can also be downgraded to XP if preferred.  Both models also come with complete wireless capabilities, including Bluetooth. Pricing on the Toughbook notebooks starts at $2,099. For the durability and power these machines can provide, it’s well worth the money for many users.

As for the Panasonic Toughbook F8, it is proudly branded as the world’s lightest 3G-ready notebook, wielding a 14.1" wide display and an internal optical drive. The Toughbook F8 took a page out of the book of its predecessor, the T8, by adding a handle. This gives it somewhat of a small briefcase appearance when shut. It comes with a DVD burner and a 160GB hard disk drive. Selling for $2,499, the laptop could be irresistible for businesses that require Panasonic’s expertise in designing solid, reliable, and highly durable portable computers.

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Lenovo Ideapad S10 NetbookThe Lenovo Ideapad S10 is a small, efficient, and affordable laptop with a 10" diagonal screen.  Smaller laptops are increasingly popular, and Lenovo’s great reputation for quality laptops makes the Ideapad of particular interest.  The S10 goes to the market for just $399, making it an affordable option that could be the perfect gift this holiday season.

The Ideapad S10 will be available in five colors, but currently only black and white are available.  Red, blue, and pink are the other choices that will be available in the near future. The system weighs around 2.65lbs, making it an ultra-portable well-suited for businessmen, college students, or anyone else on the go.  Being priced at only $399, there are, of course, some downsides such as the lower-power processor and 3-cell battery that provides for only 3 hours of usage unplugged. The low-capacity battery is used because of its size/weight so that the overall weight of the Ideapad S10 is minimized.  However, we feel that Lenovo should have still offered a higher capacity battery as an upgrade option.  The Ideapad keyboard also does not live up to the ThinkPad standard.

As for the notebook’s performance, it uses an Intel Atom N270 processor @ 1.6 GHZ and 1 GB of DDR2 memory. It’s no Alienware, but it does the job for the average user. It can handle around 6 light-weight programs and one or two heavy applications at once. Hard-core programs like Maya, Photoshop, and After-Effects might be too much for the system to handle. The small size of this laptop is something that will catch the eyes of people who love to move around, and its pricing is a great option for this holiday season.

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Imovio iKit Mini Netbook ComputerWe’ve all seen small laptops, and we’ve also seen mini-laptops now referred to as netbooks.  Now let’s take a look at a mini-netbook!  IMOVIO has released the iKIT, a tiny pocket-sized netbook which dimensions are 9.5cm by 6.5cm and a petite 15.5mm high. The laptop is just as portable as modern-day cell phones. The device features a full QWERTY keyboard, is Wi-Fi enabled, has an 8GB SD card slot, a 2.8 inch QVGA display, and the capability to add a HSDPA dongle via the optional internal USB connection. Doing so makes the iKIT a reasonable alternative to a laptop. Another noteworthy feature is the access to multimedia and webcam with a press of a button using its dedicated hotkeys.

Dr Jack Torobin, CEO of IMOVIO, says “Many consumers can’t afford the latest smart phone or mini-PC gadget, while others simply can’t use or just don’t like the existing form factors. This means that large groups of people still don’t fully utilize mobile data. These users, mainly women and teens, still want to have the ability to send email, browse the web, and update their online profiles whilst they are out and about.”

Based on Linux 2.419 OS, IMOVI’s iKIT mini-netbook will cost around $170, which is quite reasonable compared to the prices of other similar gadgets. This item is well-positioned to be a hit this holiday season with the current economic client, if the general public is ready for the non-Windows machine.  However, it could have greatly benefited from better battery life and 3G connectivity.

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CyberPower Gamer Xtreme M1 NotebookRecently, Alienware released their portable monster, the M17, easily topping the charts as the best laptop around.  However, a few days ago, custom gaming PC builder CyberPower introduced a rival to the M1. The name of the PC is the Gamer Xtreme M1, and this gaming system can stand up to most Alienware machines that have been released.  The downside is that CyberPower decided to install a standard DVD burner rather than a Blu-ray optical drive, which seems odd considering everything is moving HD now.

Aside from that, the CyberPower Gamer Xtreme M1 comes fully loaded with an ultra clear 17" WUXGA TFT LCD display which runs at 1920×1200 pixels. Powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo Extreme processor, you won’t have to worry about slow operation, or opening too many applications with the 4GB of DDR3 that is also featured. The notebook comes with built-in dual ATI Mobile Radeon 512MB DDR2 graphics cards in a CrossfireX configuration. It also offers built-in bluetooth, a 2MP camera (webcam), and fingerprint sensor.  The laptop is presented to buyers with a pre-installed copy of Window Vista.

With Christmas around the corner, this is a great present for gaming enthusiasts. Pricing starts at  $2199, and the system is customizable.

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Asus N20A Ultraportable NotebookASUS is new to the notebook and desktop PC market.  They have long been known for making quality motherboards, video cards, and other PC components, but the company has just recently entered the field of custom desktop and notebook computers.  The ASUS N20A notebook is ultra-portable, sleek, and stylish, yet it also offers top of the line security and high-end specifications to meet the needs of business users. The system’s display is a 12.1" WXGA, glare resistant color shine screen.  It features the ASUS Express Gate, which provides an 8-second boot time to a Linux-based environment with web browsing and basic tools.  Other features of the ASUS N20A include facial recognition technology, a fingerprint reader, and eSATA connectivity.

ASUS used state-of-the-art technology in the production of the N20A notebook. ASUS’s Unique Infusion Technology provides a scratch resistant exterior and helps maintain the system’s "brand new" sheen, even after prolonged use. Its additional operating system known as Express Gate enables a rapid boot up for quick access to everyday features, such as your web browser, instant messenger, music player, and more. The facial recognition system, otherwise known as SmartLogon, recognizes the users face and can logon without having to press a key. It also looks for changes in the users facial features and no matter the lighting, it can normally detect the user. Using the AuthenTec fingerprint sensor with Trueprint Technology, the ASUS N20A can accurately read anyone’s fingerprint as well.

As for the system’s actual specifications, it boasts an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, Intel GMA X4500HD integrated graphics, up to 4GB of DDR2 RAM, up to 320GB hard drive, 1280×800 resolution display, 1.3 megapixel webcam, HDMI and VGA output ports, DVD burner, Wi-Fi connectivity, ExpressCard expansion slot, 8-in-1 memory card reader, and optional Bluetooth and 3.5G connectivity support.  The ASUS N20A ships with Windows Vista pre-installed, with prices starting from $999, and increasing depending on your configuration.

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Alienware M17 Gaming NotebookAlienware’s latest M17 gaming notebook is feature-packed with ATI CrossFire multi-GPU technology (ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3870 GPUs), Intel’s first mobile quad-core CPU (Core 2 Extreme QX9300), up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM, as much as 1TB disk storage (via dual 500GB HDDs in a RAID0 configuration), enhanced sound system (two speakers, with a built-in subwoofer), backlit keyboard, and much more.  The system is 17, and offers two display options (a standard LCD with a 1440×900 screen resolution or a Clearview WUXGA LCD with a 1920×1200 resolution).  The notebook features the Intel PM45 + ICH9M-E chipset, which can be outfitted with a TV tuner as well. The laptop is powered by a 12-cell lithium-ion battery.

Although the pricing begins quite reasonably for an Alienware system ($1,399), expect to pay significantly more for a fully-loaded configuration.

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Fujitsu LifeBook N7010 NotebookFujitsu today released the first notebook PC that includes a secondary touchscreen display. The 4-inch touchscreen is embedded above the desktop replacement machine’s keyboard. It can be used to control media or launch applications without accessing the main screen. The 16-inch notebook uses Intel’s Centrino 2 processor technology (dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo SU9300 Ultra Low Voltage processor). The LifeBook N7010 offers a removable dust-filter, spill-resistant keyboard, and shock mounted hard drive, as well as up to 6.15 hours of battery life.

Full Specifications:

  • Intel Centrino 2 Technology
  • Intel Core 2 Duo SU9300 Ultra Low Voltage Processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • Optional SSD (Solid State Drive)
  • Integrated eSata Port
  • Gesture-enabled Touchpad for Convenient Navigation, Zooming, and Panning
  • Blu-ray optical Drive
  • 16" Wide-Aspect Crystal View Display
  • ATI Radeon HD 3470 Graphics with 256MB GDDR3 Dedicated Graphics Memory
  • Integrated 1.3MP Webcam
  • Built-in 802.11a/g/n Wi-Fi Wireless and Bluetooth
  • HDMI Port
  • Removable Dust Filter
  • Spill-resistant Keyboard
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Operating System

The Fujitsu LifeBook N7010 will be available on 10th November for $1,499.

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