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

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All posts tagged "reviews"


Monday, June 27, 2011

The HP dv7t Wants all your Hard Work

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM

http://www.laptopmag.com/review/lap...ad-edition.aspx

"With a name like Pavilion dv7t Quad Edition, you know HP's latest 17-inch desktop replacement is no slowpoke. In addition to a blazing second-generation Intel Quad Core i7 processor and switchable AMD graphics, this aluminum-bodied speedster (starting at $1,099) packs both a 7,200-rpm hard drive and a 120GB SSD to give shoppers the best of both worlds. On the other hand, the $1,604 asking price for our configuration is hardly chump change. Is the dv7t Quad Edition splurge-worthy?"

Most people pick notebooks because they are portable, light and flexible. Most notebooks do that job well. However, there are some people want an incredible powerhouse and that is where the HP dv7t Quad Edition comes in. There are several manufacturers that make desktop replacements and all come with a beefy CPU, a beefy GPU and usually, a beefy design. A second generation Core i7 CPU and a higher end mobile video card means the HP dv7t will crunch through anything you will likely need, bolstered by a SSD. With options like this, is there a practical reason why desktops still exist?

Tags: hardware, hp, reviews, dv7t

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Vogel's RingO: A Universal Tablet Mounting System

Posted by Eric Juillerat in "Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad" @ 10:00 AM

There are 15,873,213.5 iPad cases and stands, and dozens of iPad mounts. While that statement may not be completely accurate, it would be fair to say there are a lot. So what's with another review of the same old stuff? In a word, "System". A complete and comprehensive eco-system of compatible cases, stands and mounts for tablets. And as far as I can see, there may only be a few tablet "Systems" in existence. We're going to look at one - Vogel's RingO Universal Mounting System. Welcome to the Pros, my friend.

Read more...


Friday, May 20, 2011

A Look At The Lenovo Thinkpad X1

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 08:30 AM

http://thisismynext.com/2011/05/16/...cklit-keyboard/

"Sure, Lenovo hasn’t done a great job of keeping a lid on its new premium ultraportable, but that doesn’t mean the official unveil of the Thinkpad X1 is any less exciting. The 13-inch laptop is far from just another thin and light ThinkPad in Lenovo’s stash — this one is actually packed to the little red nub with new tech and a totally fresh design."

When I hear the name Thinkpad, I think battle hardened workhorse laptop. Of course, that comes from growing up with them as the corporate laptop of choice when the Thinkpads were still under the IBM banner. The X1 is a thin, light and updated with the latest tech while still keeping that classic black slate look. I do not know if it is considered as trendy or as hip as a Macbook or Samsung Series 9, but I every Thinkpad I have had has been a trusted and comfortable companion. Do any of you have a favourite laptop? A strong friend who has been with you through thick and thin?


Friday, May 13, 2011

Not Sure What SSD to Buy? How About a Guide?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:30 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...mance,2880.html

This is the first installment in a new series recommending the best solid-state drives you can buy at any given budget level. With so many SSDs piling up, all based on the same few controllers, it’s time for us "to start identifying the real winners. Detailed solid state drive specifications and reviews are great—that is, if you have the time to do the research. However, at the end of the day, what an enthusiast needs is the best SSD within a certain budget."

As SSDs are becoming more common place and cheaper, it is about time that a guide be published letting you know which one is most worth your simoleons. There are lots of reasons to upgrade, from better performance to increased battery life. I still worry about the lifespan of SSDs as I have heard some horror stories but a proper backup regimen should take care of most of those problems. You do have a proper backup regimen you follow, right?

Tags: hardware, reviews, ssd

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, May 5, 2011

Verbatim Store 'n' Go SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive

Posted by Chris Sacksteder in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 09:00 AM

Verbatim Store 'n' Go

Product Category: Portable Disk Drive
Manufacturer: Verbatim
Where to Buy: Amazon [Affiliate]
Price: $75.24 USD
System Requirements: USB 3.0 port
Specifications: Available in 500GB, 750GB, and 1TB capacities. Size 121mm x 80mm x 15mm. Weight: 115g. Supplied cable: 62cm.

Pros:

  • Small and light.
  • Good value.
  • Great warranty (seven years)

Cons:

  • Not close to "transfer speed up to 10x faster than USB 2.0"
  • Supplied cable is rather short.

Summary: At last, USB 3.0 devices are becoming widely available and at prices close to 2.0 disks. With transfer rates theoretically 10X as fast as USB 2.0, should you consider a USB 3.0 disk for backups and data transfer? Yes, but don't get your hopes too high. Your backups won't be going 10 times faster. Read more...


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We Want You: Thoughts Media Review Team Seeking Writers

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Thoughts Media Status Updates" @ 09:00 AM

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 hardware, software, and accessories then give their honest opinions about them.

Our areas of focus include laptops, netbooks, slates, tablets, Windows Phones, the Microsoft Zune, Android phones, the iPhone, iMacs, Macbooks, iPad, and other digital devices such as digital cameras, video cameras, photo editing software, printers, scanners, video editing software...and pretty much anything else related to creating, editing, and sharing anything digital. Oh, and don't forget about headphones and nearly any other gizmo out there from portable batteries to memory cards to power bars. We focus on the Windows and OSX platforms, along with Windows Phone, iOS, and Android for mobile platforms.

If it's technology-related, odds are good that it can be covered on one of our sites - and that means you can write about it. It's important to understand that you won't be writing for a single site - you can review any product you want as long as it fits into one of the areas of focus that our network covers. That gives you a lot of freedom to cover exciting stuff!

We're looking for people with a solid grasp of the English language, but you don't have to be the next John Grisham to qualify. Impressive writing skills are less important than having an appetite for thoroughly testing technology and sharing your thoughts with others. Part of the review team application process is writing a trial article, and we'll get a good feel for your writing ability from that.

Interested? We have more information on this page, including a FAQ that's worth looking at. I'm looking to add at least a dozen new faces to the review team, so if you're interested, please apply! I'm also happy to answer any questions you might have that aren't covered in the FAQ, so please post them here and I'll respond.


Monday, April 11, 2011

The March of Progress: The ASUS K53E Reviewed

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 12:30 PM

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4262/...re-sandy-bridge

"ntel has taken the stock K53E and fitted it with a faster i5-2520M processor, which should be a moderate performance bump from the K53E with i5-2410M and a healthy upgrade from the non-Turbo i3-2310M model. The i5-2520M runs at a stock clock speed of 2.5GHz with Turbo modes running at up to 3.2GHz; in contrast, the i5-2410M checks in at 2.3GHz with a 2.9GHz max Turbo, and the poor i3-2310M runs at a constant 2.1GHz. There are a few other changes as well, depending on which model you want to take as the baseline."

As new form factors continue to amaze and entertain, the workhorse that is now the laptop, or notebook, if you prefer, continues improving. The ASUS K53E is not going to break any records, but it does show that notebooks are not standing still. The question mostly comes down to when is the right time to buy a computer? Special sales put aside, I have generally believed that the best time to buy is when you absolutely need it. Waiting until a particular model comes out only gives you more time to get interested in something even further down the line.


Friday, April 8, 2011

That Sweet Sound is Coming from Your Laptop

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

http://blog.laptopmag.com/best-soun...-be-your-stereo

Every time we review a notebook, we test out its speakers by playing a few tunes and videos–and usually come away unimpressed. But laptop makers are now paying a lot more attention to both volume and fidelity, in some cases touting sound quality as a reason to buy their wares. With that in mind, we rounded up four systems that boast enhanced audio capabilities.

A few years ago, if someone told me that one should expect excellent sound through a laptop, I would have laughed at them. Then stop, take a breath, and laugh some more. Things have changed recently, part of which I think is driven by the increasing use of computers as media terminals for watching movies and music. While I still sincerely doubt that any laptop short of what would be classified as a "transportable computer" could have sound comparable to a proper stereo, they have improved. Unfortunately, to benefit from this, you still appear to have to choose one of the bigger laptops. I imagine this is probably a physical and technical limitation rather than a conscious choice by manufacturers. Still, I find that excluding bass, most laptops, even really light and tiny ones will generally provide "good enough" sound for casual listening. What about you? Are you picky about your listening environment, or do things like stock earbuds and netbook audio do just fine?


Monday, April 4, 2011

Battle of the Blades! Laptop Style!

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

http://blog.laptopmag.com/apple-mac...amsung-series-9

"Apple really upped the ante with the latest 13-inch MacBook Air, slimming down its iconic design even more while adding a higher-res display and a lot more battery life. Just as important, the 13-inch Air ($1,299) integrates flash memory in a way that gives the machine an instant-on feel. Well, now there’s a Windows laptop that’s ready to take Apple’s star ultraportable head on. The Samsung Series 9 ($1,649) features a super-sexy and sturdy aircraft-grade metal chassis, a more powerful processor, backlit keyboard, and gesture-tastic clickpad. Is this machine you’ve been dreaming of, or is Apple’s slim marvel still the champ?"

Thin is in. The evolution of the laptop has generally tended towards thinner and lighter models. There are models that fit the desktop replacement motif and those that are on a tight budget. But the real hotness comes to laptops so thin that they can split atoms with their lids. They are so thin that you would swear they only exist in two dimensions. The Air captured a lot of people's attention when it was first released, and other manufacturers have been trying to get the same kind of media darling status that the Air produces. Is the Samsung Series 9 the new ultra-thin to beat, or does the Macbook Air remain king of its domain?


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The ViewPad 10s 3G Reviewed

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

http://www.pocket-lint.com/review/5...d-10s-3g-review

"It’s a shame that ViewSonic couldn’t ape the design of the ViewPad 7 in some way, or bring some of the official Google certification that the smaller device has. As we’ve seen a number of times before with Android tablets (from Advent, Archos, Creative, etc.), the ViewPad 10s comes with Android 2.2, but misses out on the Google endorsement, so that means no official Gmail, Google Maps, Contact, Calendar, Android Market…"

Whether you like the easy to view 10" tablet, or prefer a more slvete 7" pocketable, it is a good year to want a tablet. Dual core tablets are becoming more common, and there are enough manufacturers out there that you actually have a selection in quality and price. The ViewPad 10s is a decent contender, and the price makes thing that much more attractive. 3G, of course, is a nice bonus, and I am pleased to see that at least one Canadian carrier has decided to offer a multiple-device bucket when it comes to 3G data. The only downside it seems with many of the Android tablets coming out is lack of Android Market support. I know there are certain technical (Read:Google) reasons for this, but until there is a sizeable competitor, these tablets will remain hobbled.


The Joy Factory iPad Wall/Cabinet Mount

Posted by Eric Juillerat in "Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad" @ 07:00 AM

Seinfeld fans out there will recall how George felt about crushed red velvet. To borrow his sentiments, I'd wrap myself in carbon fiber if I could. If it has carbon fiber in it, I have to have it; mountain bike, watch, ring, Lamborghini Aventador, it doesn't really matter. So when I saw that The Joy Factory had just released a carbon fiber iPad mount, well, yeah, it had to come home. Read more...


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

HTC Takes a Flyer On Tablets

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

http://www.netbooknews.com/22518/ht...ailed-hands-on/

"The HTC Flyer picks up on HTC’s now-familiar unibody design. The 7-inch 1024 x 600 screen offers up HTC Sense, now customised for use on a tablet. Than means it works in landscape much more naturally making much better use of the screen space on offer. The HTC Flyer is very much a HTC Sense tablet meaning it won’t be launching on Honeycomb."

Hooray for tablets! By the end of the year, everyone is going to be selling their own kind of tablet. HTC, though, has its own plans and the Flyer looks to be a good option when it becomes available. The video makes it look fairly fluid and fast though the stylus, at least for me, is a welcome addition. Touch has revolutionized mobile computing, but it just feels a bit inaccurate to me. For many things, it does not make a difference, but I can see myself whipping out the tablet to do some notes once in a while. Does the HTC Flyer perk your interest, or do you only have eyes for the iPad2?


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

We Want You: Thoughts Media Review Team Seeking Writers

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Thoughts Media Status Updates" @ 10:00 AM

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 hardware, software, and accessories then give their honest opinions about them.

Our areas of focus include laptops, netbooks, slates, tablets, Windows Phones, the Microsoft Zune, Android phones, the iPhone, iMacs, Macbooks, iPad, and other digital devices such as digital cameras, video cameras, photo editing software, printers, scanners, video editing software...and pretty much anything else related to creating, editing, and sharing anything digital. Oh, and don't forget about headphones and nearly any other gizmo out there from portable batteries to memory cards to power bars. We focus on the Windows and OSX platforms, along with Windows Phone, iOS, and Android for mobile platforms.

If it's technology-related, odds are good that it can be covered on one of our sites - and that means you can write about it. It's important to understand that you won't be writing for a single site - you can review any product you want as long as it fits into one of the areas of focus that our network covers. That gives you a lot of freedom to cover exciting stuff!

We're looking for people with a solid grasp of the English language, but you don't have to be the next John Grisham to qualify. Impressive writing skills are less important than having an appetite for thoroughly testing technology and sharing your thoughts with others. Part of the review team application process is writing a trial article, and we'll get a good feel for your writing ability from that.

Interested? We have more information on this page, including a FAQ that's worth looking at. I'm looking to add at least a dozen new faces to the review team, so if you're interested, please apply! I'm also happy to answer any questions you might have that aren't covered in the FAQ, so please post them here and I'll respond.


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.

Pros:

  • 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.
Cons:
  • 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!

Read more...


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Archos Updates Their Androids for More Tablet Power

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

http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/24/...-tablet-review/

"Whether it was the mediocre reviews or the competition coming up behind them, the French company knew it was time to step it up, and its Archos 70 and 101 attempt to right all those wrongs. The 7- and 10-inch tablet both have Android 2.2, 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processors, and capacitive screens. Oh, and don't forget the front-facing VGA cameras. With each ringing up at $299, has Archos finally mastered the art of the cheap tablet?"

Archos has been making tablets for quite some time, but not in the traditional sense. For a couple of years, their Portable Media Players have morphed into tablet-like devices, following trends seen in the iPod and other media devices. With Android maturing, they have thrown their lot in with Google and largely focused on building their media player empire on the platform. It sounds like a good idea, and it probably makes things a lot easier to develop, though I am curious how well they can differentiate themselves from the bazillion other Android based tablets out there. Their media software is sound, which is to be expected, but there are Android apps that offer significant codec support as well, so I guess it will come down to polish. Can Archos maintain itself as a premium media player company?


Saturday, November 13, 2010

ASUS Sells SeaShells With The 1015PN

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM

http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/12/...-1015pn-review/

"If you've laid eyes on any of ASUS' recent "Seashell" netbooks, the 1015PN will look extremely familiar. It's got the same soft-to-the touch lid as the 1015PE and 1215N as well as the same chassis design. We're happy to see that ASUS exterminated the traces of glossy plastic around the exterior of the system, however, there are still some glossy surfaces that didn't make the cut -- the wide screen bezel and keyboard deck still love fingerprints."

The ASUS 1015PN probably comes close to the cutting edge in terms of netbooks. Lightweight and tiny, but packing some extra GPU oomph for situations when you either want to do a little bit of light gaming, movie watching, or even some video rendering. The dual core CPU is also a nice plus which I hope will come to dominate the netbook, or any computing market for that matter. The performance just becomes that much smoother, especially when dealing with multi-tasking, or even multiple tabs when web browsing. Is it worth replcing your older netbook? Probably not. Most netbooks are quite capable of handling everyday tasks. But if you are in the market for one, or find yourself wanting a little more, you could hardly do worse than the 1015PN. That or take the next step and choose and ultralight notebook, maybe one with a CULV processor.


Monday, November 8, 2010

We Want You: Thoughts Media Review Team Seeking Contributors

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Thoughts Media Status Updates" @ 09:00 AM

Help! We have more products to review than we know what to do with! 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 hardware, software, and accessories then give their honest opinions about them.

Our areas of focus include laptops, netbooks, slates, tablets, Windows Phones, the Microsoft Zune, Android phones, the iPhone, iMacs, Macbooks, the iPad, and other digital devices such as digital cameras, video cameras, photo editing software, printers, scanners, video editing software...and pretty much anything else related to creating, editing, and sharing anything digital. Oh, and don't forget about headphones and nearly any other gizmo out there from portable batteries to memory cards to power bars. We focus on the Windows and OS X platforms, along with Windows Phone, iOS, and Android for mobile platforms.

If it's technology-related, odds are good that it can be covered on one of our sites - and that means you can write about it. It's important to understand that you won't be writing for a single site - you can review any product you want as long as it fits into one of the areas of focus that our network covers.

If you have a Windows Phone 7 phone, or are planning on getting one soon, we're especially interested in you because we want to start offering regular reviews of Windows Phone 7 applications. The same goes for iPhone and Android apps.

We're looking for people with a solid grasp of the English language, but you don't have to be the next John Grisham to qualify. Impressive writing skills are less important than having an appetite for thoroughly testing technology and sharing your thoughts with others. Part of the review team application process is writing a trial article, and we'll get a good feel for your writing ability from that.

Interested? We have more information on this page, including a FAQ that's worth looking at. I'm looking to add at least ten new faces to the review team, so if you're interested, please apply! I'm also happy to answer any questions you might have that aren't covered in the FAQ, so please post them here and I'll respond, or drop me a line directly.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

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

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

http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/05/...-xps-14-review/

"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.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

60 Days With The iPad; Now What?

Posted by Eric Juillerat in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 07:00 AM

Product Category: Tablet
Manufacturer: Apple
Where to Buy: Amazon.com [Affiliate]
Price: $779 USD (tested)
System Requirements: iTunes 9.1 or later, MAC or PC with available USB port.
Specifications: 9.7-inch Multi-Touch display, 64GB, Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1, 3G GSM/EDGE ATT only, 1.6 pounds (0.73 kg), 9.56 inches by 7.74 inches. Features vary by model.

Pros:

  • Extreme geek appeal;
  • Convenient, fun and easy to use;
  • Mail, Synchronization;
  • Great battery life.

Cons:

  • Expensive;
  • Heavy;
  • ATT fees;
  • Limited productivity.

Summary: If you liked Star Trek, you had no choice, you had to get an iPad; and so did I. As I exited the Apple store with my big flashy bag in hand, I made the whooshing sound of the Enterprises' automated doors, and headed home knowing my life had just changed. 60 days later, I am left wondering - Now what? It's not that it's not a useful device - it is. It's not that it's not fun - it certainly can be. But I find myself constantly trying to justify it in a sea of laptops, netbooks, and e-readers. If this sounds like blasphemy, perhaps it is. Or, perhaps I've been able to avoid being sucked into the reality distortion field broadcast from Cupertino, and into space? Let's investigate.

Read more...


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