Laptop Thoughts: News & Reviews on Laptops, Netbooks, Slates, and More.

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All posts tagged "laptops"

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tablets Replacing Laptops? Three Requirements

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 12:30 PM

"With features like LTE connectivity, ultra-high-resolution displays, and laptop-like processing power, tablets have made their way into tens of millions of homes, and they’ve done it seemingly overnight. But despite popularity that borders on ubiquity and specs that edge them ever closer to desktops, it’s a rare house where a tablet has replaced a full-fledged computer. Why is that? Why haven’t more people scrapped their PCs for the sleeker, cheaper tablets?"

Interesting opinions on what it'll take for tablets to (someday) replace laptops. Three basic requirements: more feedback from the tablet for tasks; quicker reflexes - tablet response on touch actions are about 8-10x slower than mouse and keyboard actions; split personality, or a watered-down experience - tablets need to run the processes that laptops run. An additional requirement is that tablets need to be seen as more than luxury devices. When I can pull out my iPad and truly edit an Excel spreadsheet, I'll consider that tablets have arrived.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Manfrotto Unica VII Messenger Bag ~ Near Perfect Camera Bag

Posted by Stacie Huckeba in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 04:17 PM

Product Category: Camera Bag
Manufacturer: Manfrotto
Where to Buy: Best Buy, Amazon
Price: $50 - $99 USD
Holds: DSLR with lens attached as well as 1 to 2 other lenses, 17" Macbook (15.4" laptop) and personal effects.
Specifications: Product Height 12.2", Product Width 7.5", Product Depth18.9",Product Weight 2.2 lbs.


  • Lightweight;
  • Cost Effective;
  • Lots of Storage Space.


  • Shoulder Pad is not Comfortable;
  • No Regular Tripod Attachment;
  • No Easy Access Side Pockets.

Summary: The Manfrotto Unica VII Messenger Bag is a great camera bag for photographers on the go or who travel frequently. It is stylish and has an easy access top zipper that lets you get to all your gear in a hurry. That same zipper makes it easy to grab your laptop out for airport security checkpoints and, yes, the whole bag is carry-on friendly for both domestic and international flights.

The ability to carry a pro body with a battery pack attached and a 17 inch laptop along with other lenses and equipment without weighing a ton or requiring you to stop and find a place to sit your bag down in order to access your equipment is a lifesaver. The messenger bag style makes it easy to carry around all day and doesn't scream "I have an expensive camera in here!". The price point on this can't be beat - at $50 - $100, it easily compares to bags twice the price. Read more...

Monday, August 1, 2011

iTwin: Your Missing Link Has Been Found

Posted by Chris Sacksteder in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

iTwin first picture

Product Category: File Sharing Utility
Manufacturer: iTwin, Inc.
Where to Buy: Amazon [Affiliate]
Price: $99.99 USD
System Requirements: Windows 7, XP or Vista (32-bit or 64-bit)
Specifications: Size: 90mm x 21mm x 8mm; 50g. Symmetrical USB (2.0) connectors, LED activity lights.


  • Easy to use.
  • Can connect two computers to copy files when other means don't work.
  • Easier than connecting to a remote file share.


  • May not be as good as connecting to a file share.
  • Needs access to company's server to operate.
  • No local help or trouble-shooting options.

Summary: This is a unique little device that enables secure file sharing between two (and only two) computers, and may be just the thing you need when other methods are blocked by company firewalls or home routers, or are simply too difficult to set up by a novice user. The company's slick marketing-oriented web site may over state its features, but it works well. Read more...

Monday, May 9, 2011

The LapDawg X4: A New Breed You Can Cuddle With

Posted by Eric Juillerat in "Laptop Thoughts Accessories" @ 09:00 AM

When life's circumstances breed new technology, great things happen. The LapDawg X4 is a good example. If you use your laptop to get your email in bed, browse the Internet from the chaise longe, or work in non-office environments, the LapDawg X4 is for you! Or, if you are just looking for the ultimate in ergonomic adaptability, you need to read on. Read more...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Laptop's Round Up of 7+ Hour Run-Time Notebooks

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 01:30 PM

"A good laptop should last 5 hours on a charge. A great one will give you nearly a full workday's worth of juice for surfing the web, checking e-mail and social networking updates, and getting other stuff done. That's why we made the cut-off for this elite group of portables 7 hours. All of these machines were able to surf the web continuously with the screen on 40 percent brightness (about the default level when you unplug a notebook) for at least that amount of time."

Sometimes you want raw power in a laptop, and other times you want something that will keeping going and going and going - just like that damnable bunny with the drum! Laptop Magazine has pulled together the longest lasting laptops and netbooks that they've reviewed recently, and the results are impressive. Keep in mind these are products that have been tested to last longer than seven hours, which is a big difference from simply rounding up laptops that on paper say they last seven hours. If you're looking for a laptop that lasts and lasts, this list is a good place to start.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Everki Track Laptop Messenger Bag

Posted by Chris Baxter in "Laptop Thoughts Accessories" @ 09:00 AM

Product Category: Laptop Bag
Manufacturer: Everki
Where to Buy: Amazon (affiliate link)
Price: $59.99
Specifications: Length: 16.54 in., Width: 7.09 in., Height: 12.99 in., Weight 1.98 lbs.


  • Handy compartment designed for Apple iPad or any other similar sized tablet computer;
  • Lots of additional compartments to store other electronics, including power cords;
  • Small enough in size to take anywhere, yet can hold a lot more equipment than you would think.
  • Clasps on front flap are difficult to manage while on the move;
  • The bag only accommodates up to a 15.6" laptop.

Summary: The Everki Track Laptop Messenger Bag, is a bag with a twist. It comes with a compartment especially designed to carry an Apple iPad. Given the wildly popular reception the iPad has received since its debut, there have been a lot of products designed to carry and protect it, but this is the first time I have seen a solution designed into a laptop bag, and that makes it rather unique. While some people might argue that the whole reason they bought an iPad was to ditch their laptop, for other people, myself included, that just isn't realistic. As handy as my iPad is, there are just some things that are done more efficiently with a laptop. So how do I easily carry both? Everki attempts to answer that question with their Track Laptop Bag. Just how successful are they? Let's see!


Monday, November 15, 2010

MacBook Air: Best Laptop Ever!?

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

"I picked up a new MacBook Air a few days after it was first introduced and have been using it as my primary mobile computer since then. If you want to skip reading a long block of text, I'll get to the point. The new MacBook Air is the best laptop I've ever purchased or used."

Can't really say that I disagree here. My experiences with my smaller (11.6-inch, 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD) MacBook Air are pretty similar. Astoundingly easy to carry around, although I don't think I'd get as extreme as the author - I don't want to carry it in a jacket pocket. Powerful? I've done some admittedly non-scientific performance tests against my new MacBook Pro with a Core i7 processor: simultaneously installing MS Office 2011 for the Mac, the MBA finished far ahead of the MUCH faster processor-equipped (but standard hard drive equipped) MBP. Of course, your mileage may vary. I expect that it'll be a great travel companion as well, but I haven't had a chance yet to test it out on an airplane tray table. Despite all the gnashing of teeth when the (only) 64GB SSD is mentioned, after installing everything that I need for (business) travel, I still have 40GB free. Even throwing on a movie or two and some music will not tax storage capacity. Coming from the days of floppy-only laptops, I find it a (fun) challenge to manage storage. This may not be everyone's best laptop ever, but it is for me! So far ...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

When it Comes to Storage, SSD or HDD?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 09:00 AM

"Solid-state drives (SSDs) make for a pretty great upgrade, but they aren't without their downsides (most notably, their high cost and low amounts of space). While the answer to "are they worth it?" is fairly subjective, there are a number of factors that can influence the usefulness of a solid-state drive."

While solid-state drives definitely appear to be the future, traditional hard drives will probably be here for many, many years to come. Their huge storage capacities and fair transfer speeds have kept them in the running and the standard choice for most consumers but SSDs are increasing in popularity, especially in notebooks. While I am tempted to jump onto the SSD bandwagon, my storage needs outstrip my speed needs, and external storage devices are just too much of a hassle. Still, I am waiting for the day when a 500GB SSD can be had for under $100. Okay, you can stop laughing now.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

College Students Willing to Pay More for Upgraded Laptop Audio

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 12:00 PM

"A study conducted by Dolby Laboratories pegs the fulcrum of change on the shifting notebook shopping tastes of the back-to-school crowd. Specifically, the survey cites the mindsets of college students as the harbinger of increased focus on punchy audio and media capability in notebooks. In a survey of 300 college students and 300 non-college students, the latter reported that they would likely spend $719 on a PC with an ideal audio setup; college students, however, tapped out at a Benji Franklin higher, $824."

Of course the reasoning behind this is pretty obvious. For many college students, their laptop is more than just their computer, it is their home entertainment system, so paying a premium for something that does the job is certainly in order. Still, no matter what the upgrade, nothing is going to beat a set of external speakers.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Best Netbooks and Laptops for Back to School

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Other Laptops & Netbooks" @ 03:00 AM

"You didn't think we'd let back to school season roll around without rounding up the latest gear, did you? Good, because here at Engadget we understand that not only is heading off to college nerve wracking, but picking out the best gadgets can as equally scary. We couldn't think of kicking off our back to school guide with anything but our top netbook / laptop choices since, you know, a good performing and well-rounded machine is absolutely essential for those hours of Facebook stalking, err of homework and studying. No matter what your budget, we've got you covered with recommendations and loads of mobile computing options."

I usually find that most of these guides recommend more horsepower than is really necessary.  I see too many parents investing in a high-powered machine for their first years student with the plan that it will last them all four years.  I usually recommend a pretty low end laptop for the first two years.  Even a low end netbook can surf the web for research and run your basic office apps.  They can also handle Hulu and Netflix streaming for entertainment needs.  But the laptop is probably the better choice just for the larger screen/keyboard/DVD drive.  They should also invest in an external backup solution and be religious about using it, if not, that first lost paper the night before it is due is going to be a painful lesson.  Next, I recommend taking that big pile of money you saved by going cheap and putting it aside for when you get that call that your child's laptop has been lost/stolen/breaks.  Finally, by the time they've reached their junior year and are in a specific program that might require specialized software and a higher powered computer, hopefully with market price declines you may still have enough left over to buy a more powerful machine than you originally planned to buy when they first started school.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Notebook Bundle Giveaway at

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 01:00 PM

"How would you like to win a mobility bundle that includes an HP Pavilion dm4 notebook, Beats by Dre headphones and a Canon PowerShot SD1300 camera? All you have to do to enter this giveaway is answer a few questions in our July 2010 survey about your recent or planned computer purchase."

Nice prize bundle, since I plan on winning, you should not even bother entering.  But if you insist, you should head over to, take their survey, and enter the contest.  Open to US residents only.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Quanta Ships 4.8 Million Laptops in June 2010

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Laptops & Netbooks" @ 07:00 PM

"Quanta Computer, the world's largest contract laptop computer maker, set record highs for shipments and revenue in the month of June, a sign demand for technology products hasn't stumbled despite fears of debt problems in some parts of Europe."

In a still-slumping economy, this is an amazing number of laptops built and shipped. Quanta manufactures laptops for Dell, HP and Sony, amongst others. Quanta expects the number to drop somewhat for July, but pick up again in August. This astounding record number was due in part to an easing of a shortage of Intel's Annandale Core i3 and Core i5 laptop microprocessors. 2010 has also seen shortages of other laptop components such as LCD screens and DRAM memory. Manufacturers had been waiting for these processors to create thinner ("slimmer") laptops, with Intel's supply expected to catch-up to demand by the end of June 2010. Faster, Lighter, Cheaper! 

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Libretto Reimagined

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 03:00 PM

"It’s hard not to compare the Toshiba Libretto W100 to the ill-fated Microsoft Courier or the equally ill-fated original concept designs for the next-generation OLPC XO Laptop. But the Libretto W100 is something different. The computer runs Windows 7, has an Intel ULV processor, and has a starting price of nearly $1100."

The original Libretto brings back fond memories for me of days gone by; where computers were basic tools to do word processing and spreadsheet. How things have changed! The reimagined Libretto does look pretty, and I think the concept has some merit, but I wuestion the choice of a 7" display. There is a reason why manufacturers started offering 8.9", 10" and 11" netbooks. Unless one eats six pounds of carrots a day, a 7" display at a decent resolution is a test worse than an optometrist. With a screen that small, Windows 7 is probably not the best operating system to go with.

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