Acer Aspire X1700-U3700A desktop PC

April 10th, 2009

The Acer Aspire X1700-U3700A is an elegant desktop that adapts a fully powered PC into its small chassis. It also has sufficient oomph to run a number of programs and is still affordably priced. The Acer Aspire X1700 is deigned into the small-form-factor chassis which means it might occupy a lot of space than a traditional mini tower computer. The system measure around 12.4 by 10.4 by 3.9 inches or you can even compare its size to a reference dictionary. Included in the chassis are Intel Pentium Dual Core E2220 processor which includes the same architecture like Intel Core Duo 2, a capacious 640 GB hard drive, 4 GB of DDR2-800 system memory and NVIDIA GeForce G100 graphics card along with DVI and HDMI outputs. As the Acer Aspire X1700 is very compact you can even use it as a home theatre cabinet or just connect it with the HDMI port of your HDTV. This will let you watch web videos from YouTube or Hulu even on your TV. However this Acer X1700 lacks Blu-ray drive which does not let you watch Blu-ray movies through it but you can still watch DVD movies in the in built DVD burner.

The in built 640 GB hard drive is also capable of holding a number of downloaded videos. There is also the GeForce G100 card which inhabits the online PCIe x16 slot sand the 56k modem occupies the PCE x1 slot which means there is not remaining card slot. Apart from this the assortment includes the traditional Microsoft Office 60 day trial, Acer Game zone, eSobi, McAfee Internet Security with 60 day trial and also the link to Acer Store where you can find Acer accessories and even extended warranties. However the Acer Arcade Live program suggests that it is just another online gaming store. Some other features of Arcade Live would help in video editing, media sharing through Home Media Connect of Acer and even burning personalized DVDs. However even though this sounds great there are some functions which pivot on hardware which is missing like the TV tuner, but you can externally add a USB tuners to its 9 USB ports on the long FireWire Port.

The Acer Aspire X1700 is packed with sufficient amount of power in its compact chassis. The system was also able to complete the Windows Media Encoder test sin jut about a minute and 16 seconds and completed the Photoshop CS4 test in 2 mins and 16 seconds which is comparatively faster than the eMachine ET1161-03. This means that a bit more investment can pay off big times regarding extra performance. Its faster rig along with the over clocked quad core processors can end the WME test in just about 30 seconds while the CS4 test in about a minute. Overall the Acer Aspire X1700-U3700A is a petty capable system in the budget PC standards which is much more powerful compared to other budged priced machines. The Acer Aspire X1700-U3700A is growing in popularity.

Asus Eee 1620 nettop PC

April 10th, 2009

The tiny and low priced laptops or netbgooks that are mainly geared for web surfing have increasingly become omnipresent in the PC marketplace. There are nettops which are equivalent to desktops and although they are lesser known they retain the same low price and low power orientation as the netbooks. There have been several efforts at the nettops through the ASUS Eee Box and Zonbu Desktop Mini. However, as both these need an external display the monitor of the new ASUS Eee Top 1602 is in built making it the first innovative all in one nettop PC. This Eee Top pc is an excellent alternative to low price desktop computers and also as a netbook. This system is designed to run windows XP rather than Linux. Additionally the Eee Top 1602 also features a pleasing touch screen with a wider display than any low cost netbook.

When you first see it the ASUS Eee Top 1602 seems alike an all in one scaled down desktop PC. The system is in built with 15.6 inch LCD display and you can find all the components located behind the screen. Its display runs are around 1,366 by 768 resolution with an aspect ration of 16:9. Additionally unlike the Sony VAIO and iMac all in one desktop this ASUS Eee Top does not have any optical drive which means it does not have the ability to play Blu-ray movies or DVDs unless you use external USB drive. However this features of watching is anyway download and web-based.

This ASUS Eee Top 1602 features both in built wireless Wi-Fi networking and Ethernet to make it like a netbook or a powerful notebook. Therefore connecting the nettop is very easy like just hooking up the Ethernet wired router with Cat V cable. Additionally surfing the internet is also speedy like that you might expect from a netbook. During the review the QuickTime 720p videos seemed good but they can be a bit jerky when there is lot of action on the screen. However, the screen looks petty fine when viewing it, but the images washes out little steeper viewing angles. However the screen which is designed with pop-out stylus with the keyboard can support single touch. The best thing is that the screen features a matte finish which helps in hiding the fingerprints much better than a glossy one.

There is a handle built on the back of the PC which helps you to carry it from one room to another. The Eee Top is also light weighting just about 10 pounds. The other great thing is that the Eee Top 1602 is very quiet and it is hard to hear any noise coming from it. This is because it includes low power Intel Atom n270 processor along with Integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics. This system is packed with 160GB hard drive offering plenty of space for photos, music and programs. There is however just 1GB of system memory but is sufficient enough to run the pre-installed Windows XP.

Cybernet iOne-GX31 all-in-one PC

April 10th, 2009

The great success of iMac line of systems depicts that the all in one PC can actually work for business purposes. The all new Cybernet iOne-GX31 is an excellent quad core powered all in one computer that is geared mainly for business purpose. It is designed as a touch screen system which would work perfectly for web navigation and for purpose built solutions such as cash register terminals and data gathering. The PC is well built and is sufficiently fast for business use. This all in one system works fine for tight cubicles and with shared workspaces as it is capable of avoiding tangle of wires coming from a computer.

The Cybernet Company has great experience in placing their space saving systems sin institutional organizations like hospitals and offices. The markets are almost successful for the rugged and compact design of iOne. Their previous model was a computer built into a keyboard and they have moved further to a more all in one PC design. The Cybernet iOne-GX31 is designed into an excellent 19 inch LCD monitor and its wide4screen format is very preferable as it lets you view two pages in a document at a time.

The review system had an optional touch screen including a single touch screen which used a simple mouse click interface and does not rely on the tablet PC interface like the Vista business systems. The touch screen is very responsive as the touch interface is mainly designed to allow users get through their forms much faster like when feeding in data on the service terminal. Although the iOne-GX31 does not come with a mouse and keyboard you can still add your own.

Inside the Cybernet iOne-GX31 is the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 processor, a 250GB hard drive, 4 GB of DDR2 SDRAM and Intel GMA 3100 graphics chipset. The use of integrated graphics of Cybernet makes the iOne much more compact, and because of this integrated graphics the system cannot run high end 3D programs such as games but this is not a big issue in business based units. There is also an HDMI out port which is also HDCP compatible and lets you do multi-monitor setups and even connect larger external display to this system.  Additionally the system also comes with a DVD burner including a TV tuner but it is only analog cable ready which will not work with over the air ATSC digital TV signals. Although this would be little disappointing for some home users it is unlikely to matter the business purposes. You can still use the TV tuner for playback from a DVD or a VCR or use another analog video source if you are using the system as info desk. Overall the Cybernet iOne-GX31 is an excellent business product as most of its features like the analog TV tuner generally don’t work well for home use. Additionally the iOne also perfectly fits in shared and cramped workspaces such as hospital services desk or a reception desk. It boasts of a good build quality and being quad core powered it offers great performance.

Dell Studio XPS 435 desktop PC

April 10th, 2009

It seems that Dell is trying out new snazzier designs for their new desktop computers. Their new Dell Studio XPS 435 along with the 22 inch widescreen monitors turns absolutely away from the silver and black boxes of their previous Inspiron and XPS models. Apart from its new fresh exterior the Dell Studio XPS 435 also has an impressive Core i7 powered interior. The XPS 435 perfectly combines its power at the digital content creation and the high end computing with the touch of 3D gaming prowess.

The Dell Studio XPS 435 is somewhat tilted backwards. According to Dell this system has been designed keeping in mind user convenience as the power button, media card slots, four USB ports, recessed media tray and the optical drives are all angled up so that they can be easily reached while sitting on the desk. The system includes bright white side cases similar to those in early Apple products but the front is glossy and translucent black. However the border merging these two is shown off by a brilliant crimson orange color. There is a recessed media tray on the top of the system which is designed to rest your digital camera, MP3 player and external hard drive when it is connected to any one of the top mounted USB ports.

The Dell Studio XPS 435 benefits a power user system as the unit is designed with Intel Core i7-920 processor along with 6 GB of DDR3 SDRAM. Additionally you can even configure the system with nearly a whopping 24GB of memory with Core i7-965 or i7-940 Extreme Edition processor. The already included Intel Core i7-920 is a compact quad core processor featuring Hyper Threading and so it would theoretically work on eight streams of data at one time making it suitable for multimedia tasks. The review system features 1GB ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics card offering it the ability to play the latest 3D games like World in Conflict and Crisis.

The XPS 435 system is powered by 475 watt power supply which is sufficient power for the quad core CPU and the single high powered graphics card. However even though this Dell XPS 435 is not much expandable like the XPS 730x the system still provides space for additional hardware which is a lot more than the average mini tower desktop. The system is designed with two free PCie x1 card slots including one free PCIe x8 slot with space for nearly three more hard drives and for an optical drive. The PCIe/PCI car retention bar designed by Dell is very interesting making it easy to move if you need to add another card and still holds the card securely. However the best thing is that performance offered by this system is really good. It lets you play Crysis and World in Conflict at nearly 1,280 by 1,024 resolutions. Additionally the multimedia speed is also satisfying which yields a quick 36 second time for Windows Media Encoder test and the system is also very quick on the new Photoshop CS4 test, completing it within one minute and 12 seconds.

eMachines ET1161-03 budget PC

April 10th, 2009

The eMachines ET1161-03 is an excellent inexpensive system that comes from the stalwart budget computer makers. The components of the system are very common which include a dual core AMD Athlon processor, a decent size hard drive, a few GB or RAM, weak integrated graphics, some space for upgrades and an affordable price. This system would surely get the job done if you want a basic PC without any frills, but at this low price it is hard to overlook the ever more outdated parts thrown in by eMachines.

This ET1161-03 is designed in the familiar silver and black mini tower case of eMachines offering you little room compared to any web surfing based mini netbook or desktop. It includes the traditional DVD burner along with a digital media card reader and a simple ball mouse and keyboard. It also offers some space for your upgrades and also includes an internal hard drive with an optical drive, a PCIe x16 graphics card and two PCIe x1 cards. The system would function well in 250 watt power supply, and so make sure to wisely choose your upgrades while a high powered graphics card might even overload the system. However there are no open DIMM slots and so in order to upgrade the memory you will have to erase some out.

This ET1161-03 has a traditional crapware suspect as it includes Microsoft Office 60 day trial, eMachines games powered by WildTanget, ads for EarthLink and a short 60 day trial copy of Norton 360 antivirus. Additionally the ET1161-03 is designed with a dual-core Athlon X2 4400+ processor which is basically a budget AMD processor. It is hard to expect great performance from this budget PC. As the device has a previous GeForce 6150 integrated graphics it might not run the regular DX10 games. You will have to install the DX10 capable graphics card in the PCIe x16 slot of the system to play games but the system might hardly manage it well.

This system was capable to gather a sub 400 score wit the 3DMark06 test. It completed the Windows Media Encoder test easily in a minute and 32 seconds but it took more than a minute to finish the Photoshop CS3 test. Therefore if you are looking for a speedy PC that can replace your old slower one then it is probably not the right option. When the system was compared to Lenovo Idea Centre K210 budget system the ET1161-03 is a bit more affordable while the other offers your money’s worth. The K210 is much lighter on crapware while also features an antibacterial keyboard and boasts of having recent technology. If web browsing is your primary requirements then the ASUS Eee Box is a great option. Overall, the eMachine ET1161-03 is a competent budget computer and having a price tag of around $400 it would surely get attention of the people. However for this lower price you would get a yesterday’s technology system. This does not mean it is a bad PC, but there are still great bargain systems if you need a faster and more attractive desktop system.

Z5 from Logitech

April 8th, 2009

It is actually very uncommon to find a pair of $100 PC speakers which sound good as there are much less which offer useful and advanced features. However the Z-5 PC speakers form Logitech challenges expectations by offering not just outstanding quality audio for the price of $99.99 but also includes a software and a special remote control combo which can control music library with just a simple setup. Benefiting from quality sounds for this price range can actually be enough but is also includes some extras.

The Logitech Z-5 is a stereo computer speaker system which is powered through one of the USB ports of your computer. These two speakers measure around 9.8 x 3.6 x 3.6 inches, which stand tall and slim on your desktop. They are designed to look sharp but the cloth grills which cover the drivers cannot be removed which can attract smudges and dust quite easily. There is a cable which connects the one speaker to the USB port and then connects to the other but there is also an extension cable offered if you need to have the speakers far apart. Additionally the right speaker also comes designed with an 3.5mm auxiliary input to connect your MP3 players or some other sound devices and it also includes a white LED to indicate power.

Although the small 3.5 x 1.2 x 0.3 inch frame the included remote control is actually very useful which also comes with a software that can easily configure the speakers to control the music library. The few buttons included on the remote control are volume, power, track backward and forward buttons and a keen button which immediately starts up your preferred music software when pressed like your windows media player of Apple iTunes. After you have completed the easy setup and installation process the play and skip buttons of the remote control would start navigating through and easily select your music with nearly no lag time. Additionally powering these speakers would also open the music library of your choice automatically if you wish to. The Logitech Z-5 is a simple and incredibly useful features system which most speakers with higher price tag might include.

However, this entire set is rather not very powerful as it can draw about 2 watts of power through the USB connection but they are loud enough for a typical office use. The range of frequency starts from 70 Hz which means that there is no subwoofer included. However to make up for this, the Z-5 offers excellent audio performance although its inability of handling louder music at higher volumes. The company has placed their drivers on the back and front panels of the speaker system which means that the sound is delivered towards the listener and also in the opposite direction. This feature helps in creating a spread out stereo image without depending on the 3-D imaging effects. Therefore this property provides another great touch to the affordable pair of computer speakers that offer you more value and great benefits.

Lexmark printer C910dn

April 8th, 2009

Lexmark C910dn has until today been the most costly printer which is almost 50 percent more compared to the second expensive model. However what you receive from this high price is the lowest cost per colour page since claimed and also a lot heavier duty handling capabilities when studied with both the primary unit and the options available. The Lexmark C910dn has the standard paper capacity of about 1,200 sheets which is nearly twice more than other colour printers. It comes with a maximum input capacity of nearly 5,300 sheets and it also includes an additional finisher which offers features like hole-punching, stapling and offset-stacking. In case you need a huge level of paper handling capabilities then odds are right that you would print enough for a lower cost per page to make a huge difference. This means that you might save nearly 1 cent over per colour paper and if you would be printing around 6,000 colour a month then you can save nearly $720 a year.

There is also an additional physical setup but you might probably not have to handle the 237 pound device. The included IPP setup, network setup and administrative tools are almost the same like the monochrome Lexmark T620dn but are considerably less automated than any Xerox or HP tools. It is up to you to get its IP address and enter the numbers and also decide whether you need to install Lexmark ports along with the driver installation or install them later from the driver properties option.

The Lexmark C910dn falls second regarding its speed tests in colour printers as it was around 5 ppm less than its higher speed mode. This printer took around 10.7 ppm on the tests which was much closer to that of HP colour LaserJet which is rated at around 21 ppm and is clocked at nearly 10.1 on average. However the print quality of Lexmark C910dn ranged average on the tests but the pictures or photos delivered from the device seemed very film quality while the text also seemed easily readable. Regarding its graphics the colours were rightfully saturated and were brilliant. You will face no problems with its registration like those in some previous LED engines. This device can be placed third among all the colour printers which are available as the tests showed some scatter and background problems but the output delivered was an outstanding solid area uniformity as there was a measure of difference in its overall amount of toner used for the solid areas.

However, the bottom line is that the Lexmark C910dn itself makes a classis device. if you might not be printing much pages to take advantages from this heavy duty paper capacity and from its cost per paper savings then there is no reason you should opt for it. However if you have a lot of printing requirements then the aforementioned two mentioned features are perfectly combined to offer you an great looking output with acceptable performance which is just good enough to justify its high price.

Motorola Bluetooth headset H780

April 8th, 2009

Motorola had been the first company to compete in the intense Bluetooth headset industry. The company had a line of folding models during 2003 while there were also a few bulky predecessors before these models. However, the latest model called the H780 is designed with CrystalTalk noise cancellation technology of Motorola along with audio enhancement technology. It also features a 9mm drivers which is designed to perfectly fit above 90 percent of buyers and also includes dual mics to help in noise suppression. The Motorola H780 package also includes an AC charger adapter along with 3 different sizes cushions and a foldout instructional manual. The device measures around 1.9 x 0.7 by 0.5 inches and weights just about 0.4 ounces. It is perfectly designed to fit large handsets like the Plantronics Voyager 520 and even small models such as Samsung WEP700.

The double tone gray plastic body of the H780 is designed with a few more buttons which you might not find in a typical headset. There is a dedicated power switch son the top along with 2 other volume buttons. The unit’s front section features chrome call button with a small noise cancellation button and there is also a small visible rectangular microphone between these buttons. You will find the main light indicator and the second mic fixed on the other side. There is nothing at the unit’s back which is a hard rubber earbud.

The H780 is designed with a flexible ear hook which makes it easy to wear the small device. Motorola has also incorporated their EasyPair technology to simplify pairing the device with other mobile phones. The device also includes a multipoint mode which lets the device easily pairs with 2 mobile phones simultaneously. These two new features actually mirror what the recent competing headsets actually offer. When you first on this headset it would immediately turn into Easypair mode and the light would also stay dark blue rather than displaying the standard red and blue alternative pattern.

However, when tested with a range of voice calls the Motorola H780 proved to offer overall clear, sufficient volume and great quality. However, the user’s voice sounded a bit tiny and harsh on the other end but it was acceptably clear. The other person however did not find any problem in hearing but could surely tell a headset was used. On the positive side the Motorola H780 is clearly unaltered by any outdoor wind noise. When you enable the noise canceling circuit you can actually drive smoothly without any background noise.

The downside of the headset is its range. This means that you can just move around 5 feet away from your phone. It is a downside because there are other Bluetooth devices that let you move at least 10 feet way from the phone. You can easily check the batter status by just holding the volume buttons pressed down which will flash the red, yellow or green lights to indicate the charge level remaining. Overall, this headset makes a good and affordable choice but you can as well consider other devices.

Samsung LN46A850 HGTV

April 8th, 2009

The manufacturers are currently looking to have great depths in their upcoming premium panels and the all new Samsung LN46A850 which in 1.9 inches is the thinnest HDTV of the company. Additionally the colours of LN46A850 are brilliantly accurate, its reproduction of high and standard definition sources is admirably detailed and its video black inky dark. This new HDTV from Samsung comes packed with some useful extras which means it offers great support in network streaming of your multimedia content, but the best thing is that it is attractive and comes as a affordably prices thin cabinet television.

The Samsung LN46A850 boasts of a glossy black frame, which surrounds its screen that is designed with a subtle reddish amber with outer edges. When you compare this unit with other Samsung HDTV series like A750 the screen frame is actually narrowed by one third and it measures around 2 inches wide and 3 inches wide from the bottom. The swivel action table stand of LN46A850 is perfectly constructed from a rectangular shaped sheet comprising of tempered glass that complements the TV frame. The Samsung LN46A850 comes with two elegantly designed remote controls. One is the main remote control which has an identical design to the fully backlit and updated like that of A950 series and the other is a mini remote nearly palm size which includes volume, channel and power controls in a simple arrangement making it easier for children and guest to use.

The A/V ports on this LN46A850 include 4 HDMI ports along with VGA, two component video inputs and RF input for antenna use. Additionally it also has a digital audio output which operates with almost any connected source. However the multimedia audio output is only available when you use the integrated DTV tuner of the TV and all the other sources are only limited to just stereo output. There is also a USB port on the left side which can easily read JPEG and MP3 files. The Ethernet port at the back of the TV allows local access to your compliant server devices that contain pictures, audio and video files. A windows based computer can also utilize the provided Samsung PC share manager software to access multimedia content from a network connection.

There is a Just Scan picture setting in the LN46A850 which is mapped around every 1080i/p video pixel which is perfect for the 1080p resolution. Apart form this the pre adjusted movie picture preset of the LN46A850 actually produced a colour response which was almost a perfect match compared to the standards used in HD video production. As the Samsung LN46A850 uses an outstanding calibrated picture settings it offers an impressive picture contrast of nearly 3,487:1 which is one of the best results you might have come across. Although the power consumption has steadily declined the estimated operating cost of LN46A850 which is around $3.7 a month with its default picture setup is fairly good when compared to the similar $5.18 a month of Sony KDL-46Z4100.

Sony DVDirect – converts your old VHS tapes

April 8th, 2009

The analog technology has moved entirely to digital and you might be a bit worried with your huge VHS collection. Additionally purchasing sand running the capture card and also finding out how to use them on your computer to convert your tapes to digital files can also be complicated. However Sony offers you a great alternative by offering their DVDirect VRD-MC5 which offers an excellent method to convert all your VHS collection to DVD format with jut a click. Additionally you can even do this without using your PS and you can even watch what is being recorded on the 2.5 inch LCD screen of the device.

However when you see the DVDirect for the first time you might not know what it does as it does not look like the traditional external optical drive. It incorporates a flat design like a DVD player. Sony has actually made the screen bigger by an inch to make it similar in size to their VRD-MC1, but the screen quality of the VRD-MC5 is comparatively much better. The buttons are placed very conveniently with a big red button to record videos or photos. There are arrow keys to help in navigating the menu and you also have to stop button for self-explanatory.

The VRD-MC5 makes an excellent tool to capture videos from your camcorder but its main function is to convert your old VHS tapes into digital or DVD format. You will just require an AV cable in either yellow, white or red to connect the device to a VCR. After hitting the play button on the VCR the DVDirect VRD-MC5 would automatically stream the included videos on its screen. You can stop or record the streaming at any point. Additionally you can also set an automatic timer through its menu. This process is the same like that in a camcorder but you might have to purchase an additional cable to transfer the data. The DVDirect also supports excellent high definition camcorders like Sony HDV 1080i and HDR-HC3 hyndycam. However the device does not support other formats of HD camcorders.

Its selection menu includes several other functions compared to the previous one which means that is plenty to do to enhance your DVD experience. You will first have to choose the right mode from the 5 different quality recording modes which range from the recording time that starts from one hour to nearly six hours in SLP. To maximize the DVD space without compromising the video quality you can just use the SP mode. Sony has added 4 new basic titles menus in different styles and colours that you choose from but you cannot add any special effect, transitions or something fancy. However the company has removed the capability of DVDrict to connect to a USB printer or PC as like it previously did, and you also cannot use any external USB DVD burner for the computer. You only have the USB port through which you can only connect a USB camcorder. However there are 3 multimedia card slots which can support memory stick , CompactFlash, xD, SD, MS and Duo formats.