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All posts tagged "dell"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dell XPS 14 Gone After Four Months - We Hardly Knew Ye

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 01:00 AM

"Sure, it was only about four months ago that Dell released its XPS 14, but unfortunately, those looking to snatch up the Core i5, NVIDIA GeForce 400M-powered laptop today will have a mighty hard time. Some keen-eyed tipsters noticed that Dell's 14-inch mainstream system was out of stock, and a quick call to one of our friends at Dell confirmed that the smallest version of the series won't actually be making a comeback. However, that's not because the system didn't sell well -- Dell maintains that it actually exceeded sales expectations."

Despite being around only four months, and selling fairly well, Dell has apparently killed-off this model while re-tooling for Intel Sandy Bridge technology, and "thin and light" products - to be ready later this year. Thinner and lighter is always good, especially if accompanied by "cheaper" or "same price," more power, and better battery life. Early Sandy Bridge benchmarks give a thumbs-up for power and battery life, with end-user cost yet to be determined.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dell Streak 7 Reviewed by Engadget Battery Lacking

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Dell Streak" @ 03:00 AM

"Sure, the Streak 7 may just look like an enlarged version of the 5-inch version, but they differ in more than just screen size: the 7 packs a powerful 1GHz dual-core Tegra T20 processor, 1.3 megapixel front facing camera, 5 megapixel lens on the rear, T-Mobile "4G" HSPA+ connectivity, and 16GB of internal memory. The tablet runs Android 2.2 with Dell's Stage UI for now, but Dell promises an upgrade to Honeycomb once it's ready. It sounds like one of the more well-rounded 7-inch tablets on the market right now and at just $200 on contract at T-Mobile (it's $450 without), it's actually quite well priced. However, there are quite a few things that are going to keep 7-inch tablet seekers from forking over the cash."

Looks like another close but no cigar. I'm itching for a 7 inch tablet but after already being burned on one that wasn't ready for prime time, I'm pretty gun shy. Hopefully there should be a plethora of acceptable options in less than 6 months.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dell Streak 7 Available On Groundhog Day

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Dell Streak" @ 12:00 AM

"We've known about the Dell Streak 7 since it was introduced at CES 2011. However, today T-Mobile shared pricing and availability details for the upcoming Android slate. Starting February 2nd, you will be able to buy the tablet from T-Mobile for $199 (after $50 rebate) with a 2-year contract or for $449 without a contract."

With a 7-inch 800x480 capacitive screen, dual cameras, 16GB memory and Android 2.2, the Dell Streak 7 seems to be competitively priced with its main competition, the Samsung Galaxy Tab. A 5GB per month data plan from T-Mobile will cost $39.99 monthly for 4G HSPA+ service where available (T-Mobile allows Wi-Fi mobile hot spots/Tethering). Early testing shows that the Streak 7 "has plenty of power, but its endurance is sorely lacking." Lots of Pros and Cons, and the early consensus it that this is a good start, but not yet a challenger to the Galaxy Tab or the iPad. It'll be interesting to see how T-Mobile positions the Streak 7 vis-a-vis the Galaxy Tab. Laptop goes so far as to recommend skipping the Streak 7, and recommends buying the Galaxy Tab, or waiting for the LG-G Slate or the Motorola Xoom. Nice to see real products arriving at last!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Let The Tablet Wars Begin!

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 09:30 PM

"Welcome to the tablet era. Thanks to a revolution started by the iPad, tablet sales are expected to nearly triple this year. Why all the fuss? Tablets power on instantly, provide access to the full web, and last nearly all day on a charge. Plus, you can run all sorts of apps that entertain and boost productivity."

I really enjoy LAPTOP's head-to-head reviews, and this article is no exception. It includes tablets from some "lesser" manufacturers, and also from Samsung (Galaxy Tab), Viewsonic (G Tablet and ViewPad 7) and, perhaps most interesting, Dell's (Inspiron Duo) Netvertible. This is a good summary review, with links to full reviews, and quite a few videos of the tablets in action. For those of you wanting a Windows tablet, check out the ExoPC Slate. Dell's Duo is intriguing, but may not be ready for primetime in this first iteration. I'm still waiting for a Galaxy Tab wifi-only, unbundled version, as it seems to be "the benchmark for everything else."

Friday, January 14, 2011

CES 2011: Dell Streak 7 Hands-On

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Streak" @ 08:00 AM

There was practically a rugby scrum immediately following the Dell press conference in the side are where the products were available for hands-on, so this is me filming someone else playing with the device. Looks pretty slick, and the performance looks great - very smooth and fluid. I've been waiting for more seven-inch slates to hit the market before making a buying decision; the Dell Streak 7 is definitely on my short list.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

CES 2011: Dell's Press Conference Announcing the Dell Streak 7, Venue Phone, and Other New Hardware

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 04:00 PM

For full-screen viewing, click click on the video above and watch it on YouTube.

This is a video shot in Las Vegas at CES 2011, the Consumer Electronics Show. This is the first time the Dell Streak 7 has been officially unveiled, along with the Dell Venue, and the un-named 10 inch tablet. Other announced hardware includes a 3D version of the XPS 17 laptop, a new Alienware Aurora desktop PC, a new XPS 8300 desktop PC, and a few other odds and ends. The press conference was almost an hour long, so I tried to include only the interesting parts. Enjoy!

CES 2011: Dell Teases 10 Inch Tablet

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Streak" @ 03:30 PM

Click over to the YouTube version for a full screen option.

I have a longer video of the Dell CES 2011 press conference coming up, but I wanted to put this short video out first: Dell has become known for showing an early prototype device for a few seconds at each of their CES press event, and true to form, they showed off a 10 inch tablet - it looked similar in design to the current generation of Dell Streak, but the focus seemed to be on business/enterprise use, so it might not ship under that brand. Nice to see Dell is fleshing out the tablet line-up though!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Which Shift Key Do You Primarily Use?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 12:00 PM

After reading Chris' post about what makes a perfect keyboard, it got me thinking about Shift keys. In Canada, many laptop brands ship their laptops with a French/English keyboard, and when they do, the left shift key is cut in half to make room for an extra French-language key. The net result is that any touch typist trying to use that keyboard, if they're not accustomed to it, will constantly be missing the left shift key. I'm one of those people, and I flat-out refuse to purchase any laptop that doesn't have a full-sized shift key. That means no HP laptops for me - every single one of their consumer laptops sold in Canada have the shrunken left keyboard; it's one of the main reasons I tend to go for Dell laptops. I'm pleased that Apple allows you to choose what kind of keyboard you want on your laptop and wished more companies offered users that choice. If I primarily used the right shift key, however, I wouldn't have my choices curtailed.

What about you? Which shift key do you primarily use? I use the left shift key 100% of the time - never even touching the right-hand shift key.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Details Leak on Dell's Forthcoming 7 Inch Streak

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Streak" @ 05:30 PM

"The last few days have seen a succession of leaked photos and ads for the Dell Streak 7, the company's upcoming tablet. Engadget first published stills from an upcoming ad for the 7-inch tablet, and according to the images, you can expect a similar design to the 5-inch Dell Streak and the same Dell Stage UI running the latest version of Android 2.2."

Dell's five-inch Streak has garnered a few decent reviews, but in the end I think five inches isn't big enough for an ideal tablet experience. Despite what Mr. Jobs might think about seven inch slates, I think it's an ideal size that blends a fairly portable size (think jacket pocket) with a reasonable screen size. I personally think a seven inch slate is the ideal size for my needs; I'm hoping something will catch my eye at CES!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dell Inspiron Mini 10 4G (T-Mobile 4G/3G)

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 11:30 PM

"While the iPad may have stolen some thunder from the world of netbooks, there are still plenty of small and portable devices with Windows 7 and a keyboard ready to deliver on the go productivity and in the case of the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 4G from T-Mobile, do it with the speed of 4G."

Offering speedy 4G T-Mobile connectivity (5Mbps reported, assuming downstream, fallback to 3G, where available), specs include Windows 7 Starter Edition, an Intel Atom N450 at 1.66GHz, 1GB RAM, 160GB hard drive, 10.1-inch glossy 1024x600 screen, 92% keyboard, webcam, and a 6-cell battery that gets a bit over 6 hours of usage. Targeted at business users, online pricing for the Mini 10 4G starts at $229 on a two-year contract, or $449 retail, plus a monthly fee for WAN connectivity - $40 per month for 5GB (overage free/reduced speed after cap is reached) data. Are we ready for 4G? I sure am.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Review of the Dell Vostro V130: Not Quite There

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 10:00 PM

"Here's the not-so-secret secret about Dell's new small-business laptop, the Vostro V130: it's not really just for small-business users. Although the Vostro series slots in alongside Dell's Latitude as non-consumer-oriented laptops, the thin, sturdy, compact 13.3-inch Vostro V130 feels more like a more affordable offspring of the original Dell Adamo. The V130 is an upgrade to last year's Vostro V13, outfitted with HDMI-out and new, faster CPUs. Available in a wide variety of configurations ranging from $429 up to a MacBook Air-level $1,073, the Vostro V130 is less of an individual product than it is the latest in a line of high-concept designs kicked off by the original Adamo."

Constructed of aluminum and magnesium, the lightweight and strong Vostro V130 is aimed at small businesses, but would make a decent consumer notebook, with 13-inch matte screen, reasonable fast processor and integrated graphics, quality components and a decent out-the-door price. Almost every review so far has rated it highly, except for the lousy (just a bit over 2 hours) battery life that brings down the final rating. Starting at $429 and climbing to over $1000, configuration options are plentiful. Puzzling design choices, higher-end components, but scrimping on the battery. Is this today's attempt to keep cost down? Would you be happy with a new laptop with only a bit more than two hours of battery capacity? Maybe in a small business, where it's plugged-in most of the time.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dell Vostro V130 with Hyperbaric Cooling

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 01:00 AM

"Back when we reviewed the Dell Vostro V13 we had a few complaints, including the fact that it lasted less than three hours on a charge and lacked an HDMI port. Well, Dell's gone and taken care of at least one of those issues with its new Vostro V130."

Dell's upgrade to the original V13 is noteworthy in that it now has HDMI-out, but still has rotten battery life. At about 3.5-pounds, this 13.3-inch laptop is well-made, and affordable. Intel® Advanced Cooling (Hyperbaric) Technology promises to keep the V130 quieter and cooler. Starting at $429 (USD), the V130 is available now from Dell.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dell Inspiron Duo is a Delight

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 10:00 AM

"The Dell Inspiron Duo, the company’s first convertible netbook won’t ship until mid-December, but we had a chance to spend some quality time with a preproduction unit today. After a few hours of fooling with the 10.1-inch, $550 slate’s unique swivel screen and Dell’s custom UI layer for Windows 7, we’re encouraged and eager to see what the final build holds."

I find it amusing that with all the rage that slate tablets are, there is plenty of talk about docks for them which include keyboards. Docks, which in some ways, defeat the purpose and benefits of what slates offer over their convertible brethren. Deep within the recesses of my mind, a memory whispers that the flip style screen has been done long before in the form of the Vadem Clio, and it would not surprise me that even older designs have existed. What is nice is to see that Dell has added an extra interface for use with the Duo when in slate mode. I do not know if it is enough to cover up the underpinnings that is Windows 7, but it shows that manufacturers are recognizing that touch and keyboard/mouse interfaces are separate entities. Now if they would only offer slightly more graphical horsepower, this thing would be a surefire hit.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dell Goes Streaking With Rogers

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:00 PM

"With this rollout, Canada joins the UK, the United States, Australia and India to become the most recent country where we've officially launched it. What’s a Dell Streak? This unique pocket tablet offers some of the best on-the-go entertainment, navigation and social connectivity in a pocket friendly size."

For those of you who looking for some tablet love but do not want to go with an iPad, there are plenty of options, among which, the Streak seems to be gaining a lot of attention. The good? It offers a lot of tablet-like goodness. The bad? It is an interesting size which might not suit a lot of people. It is also curiously sticking with Android 1.6. The worst? It is only available through Rogers in Canada. I will not object to Rogers as a provider, though like any provider in Canada, I have heard numerous complaints, but it would have been nice to see it available through other providers as well. Still, with the holidays soon approaching, I expect that I will be seeing quite a few of these around town. Of course, one does not really need an excuse to get a new toy, right?

What Happened to Dell's Customization?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 12:00 PM

I don't know about you, but I feel like Dell's customization options have become dramatically restricted over the past year or so - it's like they're trying to get out of the custom, built-to-order computer business and into the "Buy Model A or Model B" business. I can't tell you how many times over the past year I've tried to spec out a computer or laptop and found that I'm locked into a "template" where the CPU, screen resolution, and GPU are locked down - allowing customization of the RAM and hard drive, and that's about it.

Case in point: the above computer is the Dell Inspiron All-in-One desktop computer. My wife's aunt is looking for a new computer, and an all-in-one would have several advantages for her. Dell Canada's email promo talked up the touch-screen aspect, so I assumed that the touch screen was an integral part of the product and included in all versions - it's not. When you go to the product page, there are three configurations you can chose from: Read more...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

MacBook Pro Alternative: Dell XPS L501X

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 11:00 PM

"We've lamented the state of Windows laptops on numerous occasions; the formula is "tried and true", but that doesn't mean we like it. Put in reasonably fast components, give us sufficient memory and hard drive capacity...and then match this with a cheap (usually glossy) plastic case and the least expensive (again, glossy) LCD panel you can find. Acer (and sub-company Gateway) has truly perfected the art, with a keyboard that all three of our laptop reviewers dislike/loathe/vilify, but they're certainly not the only culprit. ASUS, Toshiba, Dell, HP, and many others use variations of the same basic pattern, and what we're left with is a matter of finding out who if anyone can make something that truly stands out from the crowd."

Having both Apple OS X and Windows laptops, I'm always on the quest for the perfect Windows laptop, to complement my MacBook Pro. Quite often impressive components are put into a Windows laptop, but then there is way too much cheap plastic. The Dell XPS line is back, and the L501X (considered by some to be a replacement for the Studio XPS 16) has very impressive specs, and for about $1000 you can get a magnesium alloy frame, Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, a 7200-rpm 500GB HDD, a 15.6-inch LED screen with 1920x1080 resolution (1080p) and Optimus switching graphics, great JBL speakers with subwoofer, Skype-certified HD webcam, and my 'must have,' a backlit keyboard. Options abound, including a 9-cell battery to greatly increase untethered time. Direct comparisons seem to be between this system, the basic MacBook Pro, the HP Envy line, and the ASUS N82Jv. Definitely worth a look - for half the price of a comparably equipped MacBook Pro.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dell XPS (Xtreme Performance System) 14: We're Back!

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 09:30 AM

"When Dell told us of its plans to revive its tried and true XPS laptop line we were pretty darn excited. With so much brand dilution in the past few years -- there's been the Adamo XPS and the Studio XPS -- the products have noticeably strayed from providing the rock solid gaming and multimedia experience they were once known for. There's a reason XPS stands for Xtreme Performance System, right?! The new line, which includes 14-, 15-, 17-inch systems, has all the ingredients to set it back on track -- including Core i5 / i7 processors, NVIDIA GeForce 400M graphics with Optimus, JBL speakers, a backlit keyboard, an HD webcam and a solid aluminum lid - but has Dell succeeded in creating a well-rounded multimedia machine?"

Always informative and amusing to read a review, followed closely by reading the comments. Dell's revived XPS line offers great specs, including a great sound system, Optimus switching graphics, an HD videocam, and, a backlit keyboard - all for $899. But, the 14-inch system only offers a 1366x768 ("low res") screen, and that set the commenters ablaze (no upgrade is offered in resolution for the 14-inch model). Many comparisons to HP's Envy 14, lots of comments about the flared back-side (donkey butt) and lack of VGA out. At 5.35-pounds, it's slightly thick and heavy, and suffers from mediocre battery life, but a 9-cell upgrade is offered for $40. I find it a positive sign that the XPS line is back.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Official Dell Inspiron Duo Sneak-Peek Video

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 09:21 AM

It's definitely an eye-catching, unique design in a field of otherwise nearly-identical netbooks - the question is, what kind of a price premium will Dell ask for this? If it's a small one (say, $50 to $75), I think it will work. If Dell charges $100+ for this, it will be a harder sell...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dell XPS 15: Multimedia Powerhouse for Under $900

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 04:30 PM

"With plenty of solid mainstream notebooks available for under $700, a machine with a nearly $900 starting price needs to bring something special to the table. Fortunately, Dell's XPS 15 (starting at $849) offers a lot more than just a Core i5 processor and 1GB Nvidia graphics card."

Starting at $849 (with many available options) and a bit bulky at 6.1-pounds, the Dell XPS 15 offers a lot for users looking for more of a high-end laptop. Great JBL sound and the ability to play 3D video (when coupled with a compatible 3D TV). The XPS 15 is able to make Skype HD 720p calls (but results weren't optimal). With a silver anodized aluminum lid, Dell bucks the trend toward designer cases here, but I personally like the more classic look. The keyboard is backlit, but the keys are flat, rather than (chiclet) island-style. Video playback is smooth at 720p and 1080p. The overall verdict: great for multimedia; adequate for gaming; battery life is below average; gets rather warm in use, but overall, a great laptop for use around the house (because of the short battery life.

Tags: hardware, dell, xps 15

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dell Simplifies Consumer Product Line-up

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 06:00 PM

"We knew something was going on with Dell's branding with the resurrection of the XPS laptop line, and this morning we caught up with a few of the company's executives to learn all about the entire restructuring. As you can see above, there will now be three core brands -- Inspiron, XPS and Alienware -- all focusing on different "performance seekers."

Dell's product line up has grown bloated and out of control over the years, and this is a much-needed effort to streamline it. Will it help change the perception that people have as being Dell as a "budget" provider of computers? Maybe - but I think Dell also needs to focus more on releasing fewer, but better, products. Releasing a new laptop every month means less engineering and design effort put into each product - and Dell needs to do better in both.

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