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

Be sure to register in our forums and post your comments - we want to hear from you!

Android Thoughts

Loading feed...

Windows Phone Thoughts

Loading feed...

Digital Home Thoughts

Loading feed...

All posts tagged "windows 7"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

HP Unveils its First Business Ultrabook: Folio 13

Posted by Michael Knutson in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 11:00 AM

"PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 16, 2011 - HP today introduced its first business UltrabookTM, which features a thin and light design, strong security options and a responsive solid state hard drive for the ultimate mobile experience. The HP Folio13 also delivers up to 9 hours of battery life, the highest performance available among Ultrabook devices currently on the market."

Looks a bit like a small MacBook Pro, eh? A nice feature set, and, meets one of my requirements, a backlit keyboard. RJ-45 (Ethernet) and USB 3.0 ports are included, and a 128GB SSD is standard. An embedded TPM (security) chip will be included in some models (January 2012), allowing secure authentication and data encryption. With a 13.3-inch BrightView screen, Intel Core processors, and a very good webcam, this 18mm thin ultrabook weighs-in at about 3.3-pounds (~1.5kg). HP's Press Release (see link) stated that the Folio 13 will be available starting December 7th, with prices starting at $899.99. I've been looking for a new Windows laptop, and the Folio may jump to my short list.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet P1 with Windows 7 Introduced

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:00 PM

"We know, we know -- Windows 8 isn't splashing down on consumer devices for a good long while, but seriously, how's a boy to get excited about something that's already old hat? And moreover, something that has never, ever worked out. Every single Windows 7 tablet that we've tested has suffered a similar fate: too bulky, too sluggish, not longevous enough and too difficult to to operate sans a keyboard and mouse. That said, Lenovo's providing a darkhorse option for those uninterested in its duo of new Honeycomb tablets, with the IdeaPad Tablet P1 bringing Windows 7 into a familiar 10.1-inch shell."

Going where others have basically failed, Lenovo has introduced a Windows 7 tablet. The IdeaPad Tablet P1 sports an Intel 1.5GHz processor, a 1280x800 10.1-inch capacitive screen, up to 2GB RAM, up to 64GB of SSD storage, WiFi and 3G (WCDMA/EVDO) , a USB "connector," microSD slot, bluetooth, stylus input support, a docking port, a 2-megapixel webcam,a 2-cell battery lasting about 6-hours, and in gray or orange (the back). Availability is scheduled for Q4 2011, and no details are available yet on price. Personally I think that there is pent-up demand for a good Windows "business" tablet (me included), so I'll be interested, if it becomes a reality.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Want an Xbox? Buy a Notebook!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 12:00 PM

"The deal is designed to combat the Apple promotion which offers a free iPod Nano with MacBook purchase during the same time period. In a pure dollars and cents view, the Microsoft deal is better because the starting price is much lower and the price of an Xbox 360 4GB is $50 more."

Being a student is hard and Microsoft hears your pain. That is probably why they have decided on being generous in their promotion to let students get their game on with a free Xbox! No, this is not some chain email where you have to forward to 50 friends, and you do not have to become a fan of some random group on Facebook. All you have to do is buy from a select group of Windows 7 notebooks. Maybe this is a drive to keep notebook sales up as tablet sales continue to sky rocket. Maybe they figure that there are a lot of students who have turned in their PS3s and need a new gaming console. Whatever the reason, it looks like a fair deal for anyone looking for a new computer and does not mind some fun on the side!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Group Icons in the Windows 7 Taskbar with Bins

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

One word: clever. The Windows 7 taskbar - sometimes called the "Superbar" - is light years better than what we had with Windows Vista. Ever used Vista on a high-res display and tried to target the tiny Quickbar icons? Painful! Windows 7 made that pain go away, but now it's easy to end up with a plethora of icons and no good way to organize them. Enter Bins: this app allows you to group icons together on the taskbar, creating groups in whatever way makes sense to you (putting all your browser shortcuts together for instance). There's a free public beta right now, after which the developer will presumably charge a few bucks for the utility.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Acer Iconia 6120: Dual Screen Delight

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Acer Laptops & Netbooks" @ 10:00 AM

"The Acer Iconia 6120 isn't the first dual-screen Windows 7 tablet on the block. The Toshiba Libretto W105 had two 7-inch displays and was about the size and weight of a paperback, but its short battery life and lackluster software doomed that device to collectible status. The Iconia is different. It's more like a coffee table book, a book that features two large 14-inch displays and innovative touch-enabled software, plus a Core i5 processor. But does this $1,199 tablet-book represent the future of laptops, or is it just a pricey experiment destined to appeal only to early adopters?"

A bit heavy at around 6-pounds, the Iconia 6120 is an interesting experiment. Metal on the outside, gorilla glass on the inside. No physical keyboard at all. Upgrades are a no-brainer, as opening the bottom is simple, and the entire insides are exposed. The huge virtual keyboard looks easy to use, and even has a click sound available to simulate physical virtual key presses. Battery life is short, as one would expect with two screens, the processor is quick, and heat is tolerable, if on the warm side. Consensus is that the Iconia 6120 is innovative, with decent touch software, but it could be lighter, with better battery life.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

One Tablet OS is not Enough

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

"Moving on, there's a highly intriguing new tablet in the waiting -- the ViewPad 10Pro. This 10-incher (shown after the break) is a "professional" slate with dual-boot functionality, enabling users to tap into Android 2.2 or Windows 7 Professional at their leisure."

It happens to me all the time. I am out on the road, working away on my Windows 7 tablet, and I think, "You know what would be great? If I could switch to Android and do my stuff through that OS for a while". It looks like ViewSonic has been read my mind! The ViewPad 10Pro. No more compromises! You get the best of both worlds. I only hope that in Android mode, there are some more tangible benefits than just having access to some Froyo goodness like extended battery life. Dual boot tablets have been tried before, and companies are still trying to find a sweet spot. Maybe the ViewPad 10Pro will do just that.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Are Developers Lazy, or is Windows 7 Broken?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Talk" @ 11:00 AM

The above screen shot is what I saw after upgrading Evernote on Windows 7 yesterday. The white icon used to be my Evernote icon, but after the upgrade the icon becomes broken. When clicked on, this error pops up:

I can click Yes in response to that error, or if I right-click on the icon and select to Unpin the icon, it will be removed. Then I click and drag the application shortcut on the desktop back onto my taskbar. The question is, why should I have to do that every time I do a software upgrade? I see this frequently with TweetDeck, iTunes, and basically every other app I can think of that updates frequently. It only takes about 10 seconds to fix every time it happens, but I find myself asking the question "Why should I have to fix this?".

Not being a developer, I have no idea why this happens: is there something broken in the Windows 7 software upgrade system that doesn't allow you to update the shortcut already in place to work with your software? Or, better yet, why is it breaking in the first place? I seriously doubt that the .exe file the shortcut links to is changing.

Does anyone know what's going on here?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Windows 7 and SSD Makes For Fast Computer

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

"I’ve been using SSD-equipped PCs with Windows 7 since October 2009, and I now have two laptops and one desktop PC that are fitted with these superfast drives. Over the holidays, I set out to fine-tune the storage configuration in all three systems and was able to increase overall system performance dramatically. In a follow-up post, I’ll explain exactly what you need to know to squeeze maximum performance out of an SSD."

Time is money. That is what they say at least. If you have ever gone for a coffee while waiting for your computer to start up, or had to decide whether it is worth it to start up your computer to check something online, you can probably appreciate what SSDs have to offer. It is not just boot times, but the whole computing experience that can benefit from the zippy qualities of SSDs. Compromises are made of course, with SSDs generally being much more expensive than your traditional hard drive, and their storage capacity is often much smaller but sometimes, all you want is speed!

Being an old fogey, I still prefer the old hard drive. Mostly because I like the extra capacity and cost effectiveness of it. Since I tend to leave my computer turned on with my programs almost always running, many of the speed benefits of an SSD are lost on me. I admit to being tempted to using one for my laptop, but I tend to keep that baby trimmed down so that its boot time to usefulness is pretty quick. Is it worth the switch? Have any of you done your own comparisons and cannot live without the speed boost that an SSD provides? Did you find that you had to make tweaks to get the most out of it? What do you use your computer for that makes the ugpade worthwhile?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

CES 2011: The Lenovo IdeaPad U1 Demo

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

This is a very brief demo of the Lenovo IdeaPad U1, an interesting tablet/laptop hybrid computer. The screen detaches and you have an Android 2.2-based tablet computer, and when you dock it with the main chassis, you have a full-fleged Windows 7 computer. I think it's great to see companies pushing the envelope of what's possible with computer designs like this - we need more of that in an industry where, all too often, companies are afraid to experiment in case they fail. My hat is off to Lenovo for stepping out with this design.

Engadget has further details on the product that, while originally was announces at CES 2010, seemed to become more official at CES 2011.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Microsoft: The Tablet Bridesmaid, Never the Bride?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 04:30 PM

"A decade ago Bill Gates, founder and former chief executive of Microsoft, presented a new class of computing to the world: a tablet PC that offered a fully functional computer with the "intuitive aspects of pencil and paper." Since then, Microsoft has struggled to gain traction with a slate-like device, yet each year the company announces new products, software or operating systems that try to promote a world of Windows-based slate computers."

Above: Bert Keely, a Microsoft software architect, shows a prototype of the first ‘Tablet PC' in 2000. Photo courtesy of the New York Times.

I'm trying not to unfairly jump to any conclusions yet, but here's what I predict I'll see at CES 2011: tablet/slate computers running Windows 7 that are heavier, slower, more expensive, and have significantly worse battery life than comparable iOS and Android slates. And that doesn't even factor in the user interface issues. Windows 7 is quite usable on a touch input basis...on a 20+ inch screen. On a 7 to 10 inch screen? Not so much. I'd love to be wrong, but I'll go out on a limb and say that Microsoft hasn't yet admitted to themselves that Windows is not the most appropriate operating system for lightweight slate devices.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Samsung Gloria: 10-inch Tablet Running Windows 7?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 12:30 AM

"According to rumors originally posted on Blogeee, Samsung is set to launch a 10-inch tablet in March or April, 2011. The device, called Gloria, is said to boast a full slide-out keyboard."

As Blogeee asks, Fini les Galaxy Tab? Is a replacement already lined up? All rumors to this point, but Samsung has had a tablet with a keyboard back in 2007, the split-keyboard Q1 Ultra, so it isn't beyond the realm of possibility. Another rumor speculates that Samsung is also developing a custom UI to make Windows more touch-friendly. No additional details are available, but a guesstimate of availability is March/April 2011.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Acer Slates Coming in Windows and Android Flavours

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

"It looks like the tablet gold rush has another big prospector coming into town. At its global press event today in New York, Acer announced that it is launching three new consumer slates in 2011. Two of the slates, a 7-inch and a 10-inch will have the next version Android and arrive in April 2011, but are dependent on the release of Google’s next major update to its OS. Another 10-incher will have Windows 7 and arrive in February 2011."

With all these companies releasing tablets, you would think that they are a hot commodity. Truthfully, I am surprised that a lot of these announcements are coming out now and for release dates marked for next year. The holiday season is right upon us, and missing out on this critical time means that come February, a lot of people will already be brandishing their 10" silvery black toys and not be interested in whatever anyone else is offering, no matter how good, powerful or slick it might be. The Android versions will face even longer delays, most likely owing to the extra resolution these tablets offer.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Does the New MacBook Air Worry Microsoft?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 08:00 PM;inTheNewsNow

"Ordinarily, the release of a single ultraportable Mac should not be reason for Redmond to quake in its boots, but yesterday's announcements by Apple should give the Windows team plenty of reason to fear. It's not that the product itself will put that much of a further dent in Microsoft's still-massive share of the PC market. However, the product demonstrates some capabilities that the Mac now can offer that Microsoft would seem to have a tough time matching."

My guess is, no, they're probably a bit sorry that they didn't push harder (and sooner) on the SSD concept, but their market share remains overwhelming, so worry, probably not. The gauntlet has been thrown down. There -are- Windows-based laptops that match-up well with the new MacBook Air, when hardware is compared (the Sony Vaio X is mentioned). But, Mac OS X really gets a boost when run on an SSD. The instant-on (from sleep mode) really is instant. When I'm done with Windows, close the lid. Ditto for the Mac. Open the lid, both come back, the Mac almost immediately, Windows needs a bit more time to awaken.

As for building more 'iPad-like' features into the Mac, it's a good idea as long as the 'old ways' continue to work. Windows has had touch capabilities going way back as well, so as operating systems evolve, we can expect the distinctions to blur a bit. Witness BootCamp and virtualization. Admittedly one-way to this point, but maybe the Hackintosh community will succeed (and/or be commercialized).

The concept of an App Store for the Mac is intriguing. Anyone who has ever searched for software for the Mac or Windows (or Linux) knows how iffy the whole process can be. Bad code, Viruses, Spyware, Keystroke Loggers, ad nauseam, are rampant. A "trusted" source is really the Holy Grail of software, so of course Microsoft will follow. Again, who benefits besides Apple and Microsoft? All of us.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Slate or iPad: Motorcycle or Bicycle

Posted by Michael Knutson in "HP Slate" @ 07:00 PM

"HP released its Slate 500 tablet this week. Immediately, everyone started comparing it with Apple's iPad. But the two devices have nothing significant in common. They are in entirely different device categories and can even be thought of as opposites."

image credit: uebergizmo / HP

A well-balanced article contrasting HP's new Slate with the iPad. Different tools to get to different end results for very different classes of users. The author describes the Slate as built using technology nearing the end of the line for the WIMP (windows, icons, menus, pointing devices) interface, and he thinks that in the future most mobile devices will be built using the new paradigm (as represented by the iPad), and will be predominantly MPG (multitouch, physics, gestures) computers. I do like the motorcycle vs. bicycle vision. But in real life, add an RV to the mix. Today when traveling for business, I pack a "work" laptop (locked-down, no fun stuff), that, with charger weighs say 6-pounds (~2.70 kg) - queue the RV. And quite often also an iPad tags along for down-time. In the near future I'll be able to carry an HP Slate and an iPad, at half the weight, twice the battery life, same amount accomplished - and my back and shoulders will thank me. I'll have the metaphorical motorcycle for work, and the bicycle for fun. And, as the Slate enters the mainstream, I'm sure that "fun" will be available, just as, at some point "work" will sneak onto the iPad. As the old saying goes,"use the right tool for the job."

Making Windows 7 More Tablet Friendly

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Laptop Thoughts Software" @ 04:00 AM

"As someone who believes in open platforms and user choice, I want Windows 7 to compete in the tablet space. After all, there are millions of applications that run under Microsoft’s desktop OS and there’s no app store gate keeper to stop anyone from writing and distributing software. Unfortunately, as I (and others) have seen on a number of tablets lately, the Windows 7 UI just doesn’t work well with finger input. On the bright side, we hear that Microsoft is working on a more touch-friendly interface for Windows, which is supposed to be based on the “big buttons” of Media Center."

This article is spot on. I just picked up a new netbook that converts into a tablet and runs Windows 7. After messing around a bit with the tablet functionality, I don't think I'll be making much use of it. This article hits the main reasons, and it was a relief to see that these are legitimate issue with the OS, not just that I wasn't using it correctly or hadn't read the manual type issues.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tegatech Tega v2 10.1-inch Tablet Running Windows/Android

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 05:00 PM

"We haven't seen many -- okay, any -- Windows 7 slates from major manufactures (i.e. HP, Lenovo, ASUS) like Steve Ballmer promised back in July, but one thing is for certain, smaller companies aren't just sitting around waiting for the other shoe, er slates to drop. We've already gotten our hands on products from the likes of CTL and Netbook Navigator, but Australian-based Tegatech also wants a piece of the large touchscreen pie with its 10.1-inch Tega v2."

As the reviewer mentions, this tablet is "pretty much a netbook that has lost its keyboard." Decent specs: an Intel Atom N455 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 32GB SSD that boots Windows 7 Home Premium, 0.5-inch / 1.9-pounds. And it boots alternatively into Android, but unfortunately V1.6. The aluminum back makes the Tega feel a bit like an iPad, except for the cheesy plastic buttons. Viewsonic's ViewPad happens to be using the same chassis. The 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen works well, and is a fingerprint magnet. The consensus here is that Windows 7 just isn't a tablet OS (yet). Even with the Thinix Touch extensions, it doesn't quite hit the mark.

Quirks abound on the tablet, especially irritating is (according to the review) accidently turning WiFi off and on by using the back button on the tablet. I'm really looking forward to Windows tablets, but they don't appear to be there quite yet.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Netbook Navigator Nav 9 Slate PC = The Suck

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 04:00 PM

"With friends like these, Microsoft doesn't need enemies. Reminiscent of the exceedingly mediocre Archos 9 PCTablet, little-known company Netbook Navigator is entering the market with the 8.9-inch Nav 9. This Windows 7 slate has even shorter battery life and an equally frustrating resistive touchscreen. Oh, and it costs almost as much as two entry-level iPads. It's a shame, too, since Microsoft, already late to the tablet game, has barely any Windows 7 slates to show for all of its talk about going after the iPad with "big guns." So far, this seems the best its partners can do."

Ouch. But you really have to wonder what the guys at Netbook Navigator were thinking with this product? "Hey, let's make something that's twice as heavy as an iPad, an awful resistive touch screen, and costs twice as much as an iPad. Win? WIN! <high fives all around>" If you can't bring a product to market with some sort of notable advantage over your competitor, what's the point? Sure, it can run real Windows applications, but with a battery life of only 2 hours and 47 minutes, you won't be doing that for long. Windows 7 is an ugly choice for slates - that seems to be a clear fact based on what we've seen thus far.

Monday, September 6, 2010

ViewSonic ViewPad 10 With Windows and Android Coming Soon

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

"Today we had more hands-on time with ViewSonic's other exciting new tablet, the ViewPad 10. That's the dual Windows 7/Android slate I mentioned yesterday. For a Windows slate it has some pretty impressive specs. And just as with the ViewPad 7, ViewSonic avoids the mistakes that hindered other similar devices we've seen this past year. But is it awesome enough to compete with the iPad or Toshiba's Folio 100?"

The ViewPad 10 (10-inch screen) seems to be destined to be one of several 'business-class' tablets soon to be appearing on the scene. Details are a bit sketchy at this point, but the demo system was running Windows Home Premium 32, with full touch capabilities, and the Android version is 1.6, apparently the latest version supported by Intel. The tablet uses an Intel Atom N455 processor with a 16GB SSD, so performance promises to be at least equal to a comparably equipped netbook. Weight is 1.6 kg (3.5 pounds) so this is no lightweight tablet, but the form factor should allow it to be easily carried. Availability is 'soon' for Europe, and 'unknown' this side of the Atlantic, and price is estimated to be 549 Euros.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Toshiba Libretto W100 Unboxing and Review

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 07:30 AM

"Toshiba's Libretto W100 is an exceedingly expensive way to get dual LCD touchscreens in a clamshell device, so you'll forgive us if we pay close attention to early unboxing reports to see if its worth the $1,400+ importers are currently asking."

At about $1,400, the Libretto W100 Windows 7 tablet sports two (2) 7-inch 1024x600 LCDs in a clamshell form factor that can open to lie flat on a table or work surface, or be used side-by-side when used as a eReader. Sporting a battery that lasts two hours (a larger four-hour battery pack is included), the first generation W100 can be rotated to work in portrait or landscape orientation (using both screens). With Windows 7 Home Premium, 62GB SSD, 2GB RAM and an Intel dual core processor onboard, simply hit the keyboard button to switch one of the screens into any of five haptic keyboards. Both screens can be used by Windows and linked into one larger screen. This is intriguing technology, seemingly well implemented by Toshiba. Check out the unboxing videos, I think that you'll be impressed! I am!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Macallan Coming Soon to Windows 7 Tablet

Posted by Chris Gohlke in "Laptop Thoughts Software" @ 03:00 AM

A lot of the UI certainly seem to be pulled from the Zune/Media Center interface, at least as a strong inspiration. But the peel back/page turn does look kind of interesting. They say we will see this in quarter 3 of 2010 from a major manufacturer. Given that we are already 1/3 of the way in, I find that kind of doubtful.

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Reviews & Articles

Loading feed...


Loading feed...

Sponsored links