Monthly Archives: October, 2008

Windows 7 Screenshots

Gizmodo has a few screenshots and boot video of the Windows 7 (pre-beta) interface:

http://gizmodo.com/5069661/windows-7-walkthrough-boot-video-and-impressions

Added 11/03/08

More screenshots of Windows 7 from winsupersite.com

http://www.winsupersite.com/win7/win7_m3_install.asp

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Android Video Reviews

Here are a few video reviews of the Google Android G1 Phone along with apps:

http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/10/22/android-video-reviews-from-appvee/

The 1lb Asus Eee Box mini PC

The very green Asus Eee Box is basically a very small and portable Desktop PC that can easily hide behind your monitor. This device is quite similar to a netbook – only without the keyboard, screen and battery. It consumes only 20 watts of power on average, and will make a great entertainment device. At the heart of this tiny little system is a very netbook like Intel Atom CPU, 1GB RAM, 80GB Hard drive and a built in Wireless N card.

For more info visit:

http://event.asus.com/eeepc/microsites/eeebox/en/index.html

Great review of the Lenovo S10 netbook!

Came across a good video review of the Lenovo Ideapad S10 netbook on hothardware.com. I must say this is the best video review I’ve seen so far of the S10 — which includes power consumption tests!

The video and review can be seen here:

http://hothardware.com/Articles/Lenovos-IdeaPad-S10-Netbook-HotHardware-Video-Spotlight/

Technology making a difference!

I get inspired whenever I see technology making a difference worldwide, whether it’s the One Laptop per Child Project or in this case a device I came across while listening to a podcast by Dr. Charles Stanley of In Touch Ministries. The device is called the In Touch Messenger. It’s basically a solar-powered, water-resistant portable audio player that contains 35 powerful and inspiring sermons. So far 50,000 of these Messengers are in the hands of U.S. Troops with more on the way. Phase 2 of this initiative will distribute another 60,000 units worldwide.

Visit www.intouch.org for more information or to donate to this project.

New MacBooks!

At exactly 1pm EDT (10am PDT) i logged onto Engadget’s live blog of the event and patiently read The Details as it was being revealed one-by-one by Ryan Block of GDGT. My first impressions were that the black keyboard stood out, almost as if it didn’t mesh well with the design. The “made from a single block of aluminum” construction technique is impressive (although i wonder if it’s original) and i can certainly see why this unibody design would be very strong. I was not impressed by the pricing though, i was expecting an entry level system priced at around $899.

The current 13″ Macbook will now start at $999. The next-gen 13″ starts at $1299 and $1599 while the next-gen 15″ Pro starts at $1999 and $2499. There is a next-gen 17″ Pro as well that starts at $2799.

Click HERE for much more info and expert opinions


What’s New in Intel’s Centrino 2 Platform

This guest article was written by Emma Best from laptopical.com, an excellent site for informative laptop news and the latest reviews for laptop computers.

After an anticipated wait for the new Centrino platform, previously codenamed Montevina, Intel revealed its latest edition to the laptop computer world, the Centrino 2. In spite of the name, Centrino 2 is far from the first update to Intel’s successful Centrino platform, which consists of a number of CPUs, mainboard chipsets, integrated graphics processors and a wireless network interface. However, it was getting increasingly harder for the customer to distinguish between the different generations, and a name change was apparently overdue.

More Computing Power at a Lower Power Draw

Centrino 2 is perhaps not as revolutionary as the name would have it, but it has some new and updated features that bring more computing power to its users. It has a new Gigabit controller, DDR3 memory support, a faster front-side bus, energy-efficient CPUs and new wireless cards. The new front-side bus (FSB) is now a whopping 1066MHz, as opposed to its 800MHz in its predecessor. Intel offers integrated blue-ray friendly graphics along with various wireless chipsets.

The new IGP (integrated Graphics Processor) 4500MHD is according to Intel twice as powerful as the previous X3100, but that hardly means that it kicks ass in the latest 3D games. The important additions are enhancements to assisting in high definition video; there is full blue-ray support, such as HDMI with HDCP encryption and DisplayPort. These new upgrades come with lag-free playback, which will make the visual experience a smoother ride.

Previous incarnations of Centrino has the Intel Wi-Fi Link 5000 Series. Now it’s been upgraded to the 5100 and 5300 series. They both have a larger antenna array, but the 5100 has a throughput of 300 Mbps and the 5300 has a 450 Mbps. The 5300 also boasts two times the range of the earlier Wi-Fi link 4965.

New Energy-Efficient CPUs

Intel has brought a new line of processors that encourage energy efficiency while upholding the standard voltage. These processors have been named the “P” line. The 2.26-GHz P8400, the 2.4 GHz P8600 and the 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P9500 are among the 25 watt processors.

The Core 2 Duos also come in a higher thermal design power (TDP). The 2.53 GHz T9400 and the 2.8 GHz T9600 are a 35W. These processors are slightly less expensive and more powerful, but at the cost of a shorter battery life and more heat.

If you want even more power, the 3.06 GHz Extreme X9100 comes in a 44W. Unfortunately with a higher TDP – the battery life is low because of the greater power and speed.

DELL vs HP, The Battle for the Longest Battery Life!

The battery on my trustworthy Latitude D410 will last a mere 2 hours on a good day. This kind of battery life is expected for a 3 year old system. That wasn’t always the case though. When new, it had the ability to last up to 3.5 hours if configured properly. To me this basically meant I could work for a decent amount of time, without having to lug my power adapter with me everywhere I go.

Battery life has become one of the most important factors when considering a laptop purchase. The fact is many laptop manufacturers brag about battery life. Some promise up to 4 or even 6 hours battery life on even their most affordable systems. It is important to note however, that your “real world” results will certainly vary from the manufacturer’s lab test results.

Now imagine if you will, a laptop that promises up to 19 or even 24 hours of battery life. What would this mean to you? Depending on who you are and how you use your laptop, it could mean the ability to work all day and all night – being able to work while flying from New York to Hong Kong non-stop (16 hours) – being able to work in a remote region of the world where the nearest electrical outlet is miles away.

Welcome to the “Battle for the Longest Battery Life” featuring Dell in one corner, and HP in the other. I am going to take a look at quite possibly two of the most dependable and feature packed business laptops available today. Allow me to introduce the Dell Latitude E6400 and the HP EliteBook 6930p.

Latitude E6400

Let’s begin with Dell, who says its Latitude E6400 (pictured below) if configured properly and equipped with a 9-cell primary and a 12-cell battery slice will last up to 19 hours.

Latitude E6400

Latitude E6400

Photo credit: http://www.dell.com

“19 HOUR BATTERY LIFE …OUR LONGEST EVER”

By configured properly Dell explains; a Solid State Drive (SSD), Mobile Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics chip and of course a 9-cell primary battery (instead of the standard 6-cell) and a special 12-cell battery slice which attaches to the bottom of the system (shown below)

Software configuration is also necessary

E6400 Battery Slice

E6400 Battery Slice

“27% longer life than HP compares the Latitude E6400 Dell lab test results above to the HP EliteBook 6930p”

The statement above pertains to the HP EliteBook when the announced battery life was up to 15 hours.

EliteBook 6930p

Now let’s have a look at what HP has to put forward. Like the Latitude E6400 the EliteBook 6930p uses a specific configuration as well, which includes a 6-cell (55 WHr) Li-Ion primary battery, 80 GB SSD, a LED display and an Ultra Capacity Battery.

Software configuration is also necessary

HP EliteBook 6930p

HP EliteBook 6930p

Photo credit: http://www.hp.com

“While Dell was busy working on getting 19 hours of battery life, we were putting the finishing touches on getting up to 24 hours.”

“Dude your Dell died 5 hours ago!”

Let the games begin – This is obviously a serious competition between Dell and HP.

EliteBook Ultra Capacity Battery

Business travelers you ought to be drooling. Competition to make your lives easier! This would mean no more futile searches for power outlets at the airport. Less frequent “Your battery is critically low” messages.

Let’s talk about safety. Some of you may be concerned about carry around a system fully loaded with lithium-ion batteries. Both Dell and HP take measures to enhance the safety and reliability of these batteries. We really don’t need a repeat of the infamous exploding laptop. By the way, HP says they were “the only top notebook manufacturer in 2006 and 2007 to not have a battery recall, when other manufacturers experienced major safety issues and recalls”. I think that was directed at Dell.

HP Battery Safety features

HP Battery Safety features

Images from www.HP.com regarding its safety standards

It’s also interesting to note that the TSA issued this travel alert:

Effective January 1, 2008, the Department of Transportation will prohibit loose lithium batteries in checked baggage.

Learn more about it here: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/batteries.shtm

Here’s a breakdown of what it will cost you for the extra battery life:

Latitude E6400

  • The standard 6-cell battery is included at no additional cost
  • To upgrade from the standard 6-cell to a 9-cell primary battery will cost an additional $99
  • The 12-cell High-Capacity Battery Slice will cost an additional $399.

EliteBook 6930p

  • The standard 6-cell battery is included at no additional cost
  • The 12-cell Ultra-Capacity Battery will cost an additional $209.00

And the Winner is… The EliteBook 6930p

In conclusion the HP came out on top. It simply costs less to configure the HP with the necessary battery cells to last up to 24 hours. HP manages to use a combined total of 18 battery cells (6-cell primary + 12-cell add-on) to achieve 24 hours, verses Dell which uses a combined total of 21 battery cells (9-cell primary upgrade + 12-cell add-on) to achieve 19 hours. If you are thinking about making a purchase, I recommend visiting each manufacturer’s website to get up-to-date information regarding configuration and prices.

Author: Wayne Osborne

http://www.LapGeek.com

Feel free to comment and add any missing info or important details