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

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All posts tagged "notebook"

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lenovo IdeaPad U260 Promo Video

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Laptops & Netbooks" @ 12:00 PM

I hadn't heard of this upcoming product until watching this video, but it sure does look quite nice - assuming the price point is right and the battery life is decent, I thin Lenovo could have a real winner on their hands here!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Don't Particularly Want to Buy a Macbook Air: What Other Options Do I Have?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 08:00 AM

OK readers, here's the deal: I'm on the hunt for a new laptop, and I have certain specs that I want the laptop to have. Shockingly, the new 13.3" Macbook Air seems to come closest to the mark...but, given a choice, I'd prefer to not give Apple more of my money. I have no plans to run OS X regularly on it, so something that's built specifically for Windows 7 is more to my liking (rather than using Boot Camp on the Air). Read more...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dell Launches New XPS Notebook Line

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 09:51 AM

Available in three sizes - I'm really glad to see the 14" in there - the new Dell XPS laptops start at $899 for the 14" model, $849 for the 15" model, and $949 for the 17" model. They're Skype certified, feature JBL speakers, and can be configured with up to a Core i7 CPU. Unfortunately, the 14" model is stuck at a low-res 1280 x 720 screen with no option for a high-res screen. It's extremely frustrating to me trying to find a laptop that has a 14" screen at 1440 x 900 resolution. Dell doesn't seem to offer anything with that resolution any more...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lightweight Notebook Built Panasonic Tough

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

"Panasonic's Toughbook line hasn't only been impressing in extreme durability lately, but also in extreme weight-loss. Joining the 3.2-pound Tougbook C1, is the newest 12.1-inch Toughbook S9, which weighs just three pounds. And yes, Panny's claiming it's the lightest 12-incher with an optical drive, and our quick research seems to prove that claim right."

There was a time when the Panasonic Toughbooks were hefty behemoths that had considerable extra weight to make them last the abuse Toughbooks are famous to handling. The new Toughbooks do not look too different from more traditional laptops, but the specifications and price tell a different story. For those of you who want a notebook that can weather storms on a boat, or stand ready for you at a construction site, you might not have any other choice. To be honest though, I would likely end up buying two or three laptops and just keep the others as spares instead of going with one like this. What about you?

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Dual (15-Inch) Screen Notebook from Acer in 2011?

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

"In what appears to be the latest craze, next to tablets of course, it looks like Acer is working on a dual screen notebook, similar to the Toshiba Libretto W100. Similar but different that is. The leaked dual screen notebook from Acer adds larger screens and a much more powerful processor - as well as a bit of heft."

Definitely an unconfirmed rumour (with a dodgy picture) at this point, Acer's dual-screen notebook may have two 15-inch screens, may be powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, and may appear late in 2011. I'd imagine that this prototype, if it really exists, will need some major work to see the light of day. Battery life? 30 minutes? Fun to speculate though!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Bag For Every Occasion

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 09:00 AM,281...,2368701,00.asp

"School's back in session, and so you've picked out that great new laptop, got your classroom essentials, and you're pumped to head back to class. You're missing just one thing: a great laptop bag to carry it all in. Whether you're looking for something simple and sleek or roomy and full of handy pockets, we have your top picks for fall."

Everyone I see and their toy dog has a laptop, notebook, netbook or slate these days. They do not schlep them around naked to the world though. The ideal carry case can come from anything like a sleeve to a nearly indestructible Pelican case. From the looks of it, there seems to be two trends. Many bags have a more utilitarian look, or one that is designed to fit everything, or stylish type, of which you will probably need to buy several different bags to match each outfit you have. I am partial to traditional laptop cases myself, especially if they have rollers. I tend to carry a lot of gear with me, from the power brick, power bar, mouse, mouse pad, external hard drive, flash drives, extra batteries, tools such as a screwdriver and canned air, headphones, spare CDs and DVDs along with their cases, an assortment of pens and lest I forget, the laptop, it all adds up to something that weighs enough to lower the height of my car by several inches. What about you?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Laptop Touchpads: Why Do They Often Suck so Much?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 11:00 AM

"When you think about how much laptops have evolved over the past couple of years, it's staggering. You can now get screaming-fast quad-core power inside a machine that weighs less than 4 pounds. Many notebooks can switch between integrated and discrete graphics on the fly. You'll even find some models with 3D displays or tech that lets you stream video wirelessly to your HDTV. Yet even with all of these advancements, notebooks have taken serious steps back in some ways. The "evolution" of the touchpad seems to have moved from a utilitarian pointing device to a mere decoration."

Mark Spoonauer over at Laptop Magazine has a point: touchpads are still a real hit or miss affair on laptops. I reviewed the dm3 just like Spoonauer did, and both of us had the same conclusion: how could HP release something so shockingly awful? What were the designers thinking, and more so, how did such an obviously awful implementation make it into a shipping product? I've seen some truly awful touchpads, but I've also seen some really great ones. I don't think it's a matter of personal opinion: a touchpad should be responsive, easy to use, not interfere with you when you're typing (even if you brush the touchpad surface), and have buttons that are easily clickable.

I part ways with Spoonauer when it comes to his praising of pointing sticks - I've always found them to be more of a hassle than anything else. Where do you stand on touchpad versus pointing stick? And what's the worse, or best, touchpad you've had on a laptop? I thought that the touchpad on my Dell XPS M1330 was perfect - I had zero complaints with it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Engadget and Laptop Magazine Review the Dell Inspiron M101z

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 03:30 PM

Laptop: "And the award for most improved ultraportable goes to...Seriously, Dell has done a really nice job revamping the 11-inch member of its Inspiron family, banishing the lackluster touchpad with integrated buttons and slightly cramped keyboard in favor of a design that's much easier to use. And the Inspiron M101z (starting at $449; $579 as configured) is easier on the eyes, too, featuring bold color options and a sleek forward hinge design. When you add in powerful speakers and a dual-core AMD processor with ATI graphics, this 3.4-pound machine runs circles around your typical netbook. But is it the best value in its class?"

Enadget: "...we can't help but think Dell's new Inspiron M101z could be our favorite yet. Yes, unfortunately, our review unit was adorned in that bright pink color above that's most likely causing your eyes to tear, but don't let its sissy exterior fool you -- it's powered by AMD's new dual-core Athlon Neo II processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 320GB 7,200rpm hard drive. Yep, she's a heartbreaker on paper, but hit the break to find out if the $579 M101z is in fact a worthy companion."

Verdict? Engadget gave it a 7/10, and liked it because of the build quality, great keyboard, fast performance, and solid graphics performance. They knocked it for the thicker-than-normal size, and weak battery life (3 hours 35 minutes in their video run-down test). The results from Laptop Magazine were about the same; the less-punishing Web surfing test had the M101z lasting 4 hours 54 minutes, but the category average is 5 hours 33 minutes. Still, it offers decent bang for the buck and is worth considering.

Dell Officially Announces the Inspiron M101z

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 12:05 PM

"Dell today announced the latest in compact computing - the ultra-portable and ultra-stylish Inspiron M101z laptop. The perfect combination of size, weight, performance and contemporary lux looks, the Inspiron M101z is the ideal on-the-go, easy-to-use laptop PC for today's mobile population. Whether a student running between classes or a mom trying to keep the kids entertained, carrying this ultrathin sub-4-pound[i] laptop that fits easily in a handbag or backpack helps lighten the load. Despite its diminutive size, the Inspiron M101z laptop packs performance punch, nimbly stepping through everyday tasks quickly and delivering impressive playback of streaming movies and HD videos."

I already posted about this last month, but it looks like it's now official: Dell has released the Inspiron M101z. Anything different from the post from last month? Not really - the 6-cell battery is standard, but there's a 9-cell battery coming this fall that should offer a decent boost to the battery life. Pricing in Canada starts at $449 CAD.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

HP's Envy 14 Laptop Put Under the Microscope by Engadget and Laptop Magazine

Posted by Jason Dunn in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 05:00 AM

Engadget: "The HP Envy 14 is like the final revision of a C+ term paper that always had potential, but just needed an bit of extra information and refinement to get an A. In fact, when HP introduced the Envy 14, the company was rather blunt about the fact that many of the issues that plagued the original Envy systems had been addressed, including the lack of an optical drive and backlight keyboard, the frustrating touchpad and the heat caused by the Core i7 processor."

Laptop: "About a year has passed since HP released its Envy 13 and 15, high-style notebooks aimed directly at Apple's MacBook Pros. We generally liked the designs of these metal-bodied machines, but their high prices and mediocre ergonomics dampened our enthusiasm. Now here comes the Envy 14, which starts at $999 ($1,289 as configured)."

I've read both the Engadget and Laptop review, and they've both given the Envy 14 an 80% rating - which is quite good for a Windows laptop. Note I said "for a Windows laptop" - most Mac laptops tend to get rated slightly higher, but that's pretty typical industry-wide. All in all, the Envy 14 looks like a real contender - but it's a shame HP couldn't do more with the battery life. The Envy 14 supports HP's battery slice technology, but the slice costs a staggering $200...that's 20% of the base Envy 14 price. Yeeouch! Still, expensive or not, I'm glad HP offers it - it's my opinion that laptop makers have gotten lazy when it comes to offering innovative extended battery options. Read more...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dell Inspiron M101z: AMD + 11.6" Screen

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 02:00 PM

I guess this is Dell's answer to the HP dm1 - it features an 11.6" screen at 1366 x 768 resolution, Windows 7 Home Premium, an ATI RS880M GPU, 2 to 4 GB of RAM, under four pounds, 6.5 hours battery life from a six-cell battery, a 250 GB or 320 GB hard drive, and either the AMD Athlon II Neo K125 single core CPU (at 1.6 Ghz) or the dual core K325 also at 1.6 Ghz. Holy hell does AMD need to smack their branding team upside the head - every generation they tack on another word to their CPU names and they get harder and harder to spit out. Just call it the AMD Neo, OK? Read more...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dell Launches Inspiron R Series Laptops

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Dell Laptops & Netbooks" @ 12:10 PM

"Today, more than ever, families are looking to technology as an extra set of hands - one that helps them stay connected, quickly cross items off daily ‘to-do' lists, and keep them entertained. The new Inspiron R laptops were designed with this in mind - making it easier than ever to access personal files and securely share photos and videos wirelessly, as well to enjoy the ideal mobile personal entertainment hub, offering smooth video playback, surround sound and a built-in Webcam. Wrapped in curvy edges, smooth lines and available in four unique colorful finishes with chrome accents, the Inspiron R laptops are as beautifully designed as they are useful. With several display sizes ranging from 14-inch models that fit perfectly in a messenger bag, to home and dorm room-friendly 15- and 17-inch versions, the Inspiron R boasts a contemporary and sleek appearance that will make anyone feel good about bringing it out in the classroom or the local coffee shop."

Dell's new series of Inspiron R laptops are your typical budget affairs, albeit with a fit of extra flair - the design looks pretty nice, and with the rounded edges, gives the laptops a less brick-like appearance. Prices start at $549 USD and go up to $979 USD. Curiously, as I look at the product page for the Inspiron R series, I can't help but notice that there are virtually no hardware customization options. The one and only choice for hardware customization is the colour - red, black, blue, or pink. Read more...

Friday, June 11, 2010

HP's tm2 Laptop: Unboxing and First Impressions

Posted by Jason Dunn in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 12:40 PM

This is an unboxing and first impressions video of the HP tm2 laptop [affiliate] - also known as a tablet PC because of the touch screen, though it's worth pointing out that HP doesn't use that term anymore. The exact model I'm reviewing is the 1070ca, on loan to me for a few weeks from HP Canada. The exact model and configuration will change depending on where you are in the world, but the basics are the same. Read more...

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