Archive for December, 2008

How to choose CPU for your next laptop

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Now days, even regular central processing units, i.e. CPUs seem to be potent enough to counter their ‘desktop cousins’ in each and every application apart from gaming. This thing aids in explaining why the sales of laptops are starting to overtake the sales of desktops. If you’re using a personal computer for personal productivity or business, it’s any time more convenient to purchase a computer which you can carry along with you.

However, having shopped for a laptop can prove to be a dreadful experience; just because it exists in loads of sizes and shapes. Manufacturers who sell their wares through online means present prebuilt rigs. At the same time, they also present build-to-order machines wherein you can get to decide the components wanted by you. That is, indeed, one of the greatest options. It can, however, make shopping experience much more intimidating as there’re a lot of permutations for choosing from.

It is simple enough for picking something such as a ‘Wi-Fi adapter’. 802.11g is a prescribed fare in several configurations, particularly at lower end. 802.11n is offered in the form of one of the extra-cost options. This thing holds true for optical drive and hard disk as well. The actual challenge lies within having chosen the appropriate CPU for various needs.

Babel tower

Intel Corp., and Advanced Micro Devices Inc., i.e. the top chip makers of the US surely do not make the work easy. Both of them are coming up with certain product names which were never heard off before. Moreover, these names reveal a bit or literally nothing regarding the product.

For instance, look at Core 2 line of Intel. All of them seem to be dual-core processors. However, the fact is that any of the Core 2 processors can contain any number of cores; right from 1 to 4 inside. ‘2′ in ‘Core 2′ symbolizes that it’s the 2nd generation of ‘Core’ processor of Intel. The naming scheme of AMD isn’t better. Now, just pay attention: What is the exact difference between an ‘AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core Processor for laptops and AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core processor for laptops?

It isn’t just the nomenclature that is making things all that confusing: It is the overabundance of ‘clock speeds’ in which the chips come. Intel especially is notorious in terms of pushing out various models whose differences are just price tags and clock speeds.

Make use of this guide

Dual-core central processing units are, at present, a sweet spot with respect to mobile processors. This thing, of course, holds true till you look out for an ‘ultra light laptop’, or you are running out of funds. If you show interest in having seen raw specifications for every mobile CPU, we can guide you through our ‘quick reference charts’.

You might have noticed that processors from Intel have been under greater focus as compared to those from AMD. This can be attributed to the fact that ‘Intel’ has completely knocked ‘AMD’ out of the market of mobile CPUs.

Low cost “netbooks” to cope with the economy

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Call it ‘getting small to acquire big’, but expected declines in sales of personal computer and of, course, an extremely weak economy have almost every major PC maker hunting for streamlined, low-cost laptops- most commonly called ‘netbooks’- as one of the ways of reviving the market, from the futuristic point of view.

The ‘netbook’ goes on to take concept of ‘notebook PC’ to a level smaller than ever before. A netbook conventionally consists of a screen which has width of < 10 inches (diagonally), does not carry optical drive, and happens to run on Atom processor of Microsoft Corp. Most of the laptops employ either Windows XP OS or one of the versions of ‘open-source, Linux-based software’. The weight of one laptop is around 3 pounds. Some of them might weigh less as well.

With regards to consumer, though, actual allure is likely to come from price tag. This is due to the fact that several notebooks begin with price as less as $349. Moreover, makers of PC are very well aware of the reality that low prices can open up an entirely new market amongst buyers who might be holding back with regards to buying a computer, as far as present economic climate is concerned.

As per John New, a ‘global product marketing manager’ associated with Dell Inc., the theory of PC is tried to be re-conceived. As per his opinion, with novel form factors and price points, there’s a lot of appeal to netbook, particularly when parents look at buying a personal computer for children. Dell went on to have launched its 1st notebook, i.e. the 9-inch ‘Inspiron Mini’, on 4th of September. Economical feasibility is the basic reason behind Dell entering the market. As per experts, with notebooks, prices have gone down. However, these products aren’t designed for competing at price points. However, netbooks are designed for reaching some price levels, that too, from initial conception.

Apart from Apple Inc., every major PC Company has now entered the market of netbooks. Asus’ Eee PC launched last year was hugely seen as one of the catalysts for this sector. As per search carried out by NPD Group’s Display, < 1 mn netbooks had been sold all over the world in the year 2007. However, this figure has been expected to increase to > 14 mn by end of 2008.

The above-mentioned numbers are much similar to the other predictions. It has been estimated that sales of netbooks would cross 35 mn units by the year 2012, when segment would account for almost 1/3rd of total sales of laptops. The fact that netbooks go on to represent a novel category in PC market cannot be ignored. Moreover, the promoters have betted that several users would trade off certain computing power to obtain a small form-factor, along with an extremely low price. IDC, one amongst the technology research firms, also went on to raise its outlook with regards to mini-PCs off late.

Cannon imageClass MF4370

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

The all new Cannon imageClass MF4370dn is one of the latest generations of reasonably priced monochrome laser all in one (AIO) printer. The small size, low price and its light weights makes it a perfect personal all in one printer to fit any office size. The best thing is that the printer features the new network connector feature and also the ability to scan, print and fax through the network. This means that it can serve perfectly even as a shared printer for small and large offices. Even better, the printer offers high quality output especially for text along with fast speed that makes it a greeting choice in almost any environment.

Features

Apart form scanning, faxing and printing through the network the new Canon imageClass MF4379dn also works as the standalone fax and copier machine. However, the all in one device lacks the ability to scan through the email but you it is designed with the PageManager version 7.15 through which you can easily scan your documents and also send them to your email program easily as you just have to click and drag.

Some of the office friendly features of this all in one printer include fax multi-page document easily, copy and 35 sheet ADF or automatic doc7ument feeder to scan and it can also scan legal size documents. The ADF scan feature however scans just the single side of the page but there is also the duplexer feature that prints on both the sides and the copies also provides an option to print double sided copies just from the single sided originals which you can activate by just pressing the button at the front panel.

However a small requirement of this personal AIO printer is that it must be small to comfortably fit the office desk without taking over the desktop. This Canon imageClass MF4370dn weights nearly about 27.6 pounds which means a person can easily move it. Setting up the AIO printer to the network is entirely standard as you just have to find a perfect spot for it to load the toner cartridge and the paper then to connect the power cord and cables and finally you can run the automated installation process from the provided disc.

The Cannon imageClass MF4370dn printer was also tested on the Windows XP operating system and according to Canon the printer is packed with all the drivers including the entire set of programs that might be required for Vista, Windows 2000 and for Windows Server 2003. additionally you can also download the fax and printer drivers from the website of Canon for Mac 10.2.8 and the later versions and can also download scan drivers for 3.9 and later versions. As mentioned, Cannon imageClass MF4370dn printer is truly fast as canon rates the printer engine at nearly 23 pages per minute. Additionally the AIO printer also stands out when it comes to printing quality text, whereas in case of photo and graphics quality they both are for monochrome laser and this printer shows good results.

Toshiba Satellite M305-S4835

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Finding the perfect laptop that is adaptable enough to fulfill all your portable needs and your home computing needs can be a bit tough. However the Toshiba Satellite M305-S4835 has perfectly managed to strike both ends of computing needs. The laptop combines a frame which is light enough to carry along while providing decent screen which is full of features that are commanding enough to handle most multimedia tasks and well-organized enough to keep powering rather running out of juices. Overall, the new Toshiba Satellite M305-S4835 includes almost all the requirements for a perfect portable and compact home laptop needs which a reasonable starting price to make it an excellent package.

This compact M 3.5 which is nearly about 6.9 x 13.2 inches perfectly fits a travel bag but regarding its thickness, Toshiba might have gained the idea from Apple’s 0.7 inch MacBook. However you should know that the in built optical driver is actually the big and essential part that makes the system thick. The weight of the notebook is not more than 5.5 pounds including its super battery.

If you need an easily portable laptop then a 14″ screen will generally be the maximum size to be considered which makes the 14.1″ screen of this laptop a perfect option. This is because with a 12″ screen laptop you can loose important features while the 15″ can be really big to carry about. The widescreen of Toshiba Satellite M305-S4835 is bright where photos and movies are popped wit the help of glossy layer of the screen. However the 1,280 by 800 resolution is almost the common resolution that is found in most of the laptops which is rather quite good.

Although facing a bit discouragement in its design the Toshiba Satellite M305-S4835 offers you more feature for money equal to purchasing a 13″ MacBook. The M305 features three USB ports which function the same as those of HP dv2800t and Dell 1310. However these three USB ports offer sleep and charge feature of Toshiba meaning they can easily power an iPod, a GPS device, a cell phone or any other external USB peripheral. The laptop also features a dual layer DVD burner including an eSATA port and a FireWire port. Apart from this the Toshiba Satellite M305-S4835 also comes packed with Centrino 2 Wi-Fi, however sprint WiMAX and Internet WWAN are currently not supported.

The performance is very satisfying for a laptop in this particular size and price range. The Toshiba Satellite M305-S4835 includes the 2.0-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7350 which is located at the lower end of the processor line and is very powerful or the same as that of P8400 of Dell 1310 and P8600 of MacBook. This is made up by the laptop through its impressive 4GB memory. Additionally the laptop comes with Windows Vista 64-bit operating system and so it can technically use all the memory that is installed according to the task. Although the Intel integrated graphics of this laptop are perfectly fine for any laptop user the MacBook 13 inch and Dell 1320 manage to make us more powerful, but is makes a perfect power laptop package with reasonable price range.

NVIDIA GeForce Release New Drivers

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

If you are using a GeForce 200-series or 8800 series or a 9 series desktop GPU then you will surely be excited about the good news you have. The new NVIDIA GeForce has releases their new 180 drivers that will surely give your system a performance boast, which means that it will increase your computer system performance. Most of the people have downloaded and also installed the latest GeForce Release 180 drivers or the 180.48 drivers of NVIDIA for their GTX 280 systems and GTX 260 systems and they have found a noticeable and dramatic difference in the performance of their computer system.

NVIDIA are actually very frank about boasting their new drivers. They have also released some highlights that make some courageous claims. NVIDIA states that this new GeForce release 180 drivers will

  • Increase the performance to nearly about 18 percent in the world of conflicts
  • Increase the performance to nearly about 80 percent for Lost Planet: Colonies
  • Increase the performance to nearly about 18 percent in Race Driver: GRID
  • Increase the performance to nearly about 38 percent in Far Cry 2
  • Increase performance to up to 25 percent in the Devil May Cry 4
  • Nearly 10 percent performance increase for Crysis Warhead
  • Increase the performance to nearly 15 percent for Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
  • It increases the performance in BioShock to nearly 13 percent
  • The same performance increase of 13 percent in Assassin’s Creed and
  • Increase performance to nearly 10 percent in 3DMark Vantage the performance preset.

With some of the quick tests that were carried out on Vista Ultimate 64-bit system that had GTX 260/QZ9770 and 8GB of RAM which is system that is daily used but is not optimized for gaming and the tests showed some remarkable improvements in its performance. These performance increases are:

  • World of Conflicts to nearly 11 percent
  • Far Cry 2 to nearly 18 percent
  • Crysis Warhead to nearly 7 percent and
  • 3DMark Vantage showed up nearly 7 percent performance increase.

Apart from this there an overall system performance increase was also observed. Those who conducted the tests feel that the graphics were much smoother and also the odd hesitation that were felt before in most parts of the Far Cry 2 and Crysis Warhead games which both run at very high graphics quality was entirely vanished. These are surely some of the best results that you can avail from a driver update.

Additionally NVIDIA has also included some new features like:

  • Enables NVIDIA PhysX acceleration for a keen GeForce graphics card as it used one card is used for graphics while dedicates a different card for PhysX processing for the changing physical effects in the game.
  • NVIDIA SLI Multi-monitor support is enabled letting you utilize two monitors supported by GeForce cards under SLI mode. Through this feature you can easily switch between a 3D gaming mode in full-screen and multi-monitor desktop mode.
  • It enables NVIDIA SLI technology for SLI certified Intel X58-based motherboards that have GPU as GeForce 9800 GTX, GeForce 9800 GTX+, GeForce 9800 GX2, GeForce GTX 260 and GeForce GTX 280.

HP Pavilion DV5 Laptop

Friday, December 5th, 2008

The latest HP pavilion DV5 laptop is truly one of the best deals one can make, when it comes to design and durability. This laptop has features such as 250 GB hard drive and 4 GB memory. It even has a screen size of 15.4 inches and operates on 64-bit Windows Vista Premium. Even though its performance is purely average, the DV5 HP pavilion laptop has attractive design which makes it one of the best budget system one has seen in recent times. This HP pavilion laptop is an entertainment notebook which has a white backlit emblem and an imprint 2 design which is pleasing to your eyes however what really set’s this laptop different from others is its piano black display and the complete chrome keyboard.

Its 15.4 inches screen display possess 1,280 by 800 resolution and normally uses  a bright view coating for providing wide angle for viewing and vivid colors. Besides that, it even possesses 1.3 mega-pixels of built-in webcam. Compared to screen display of other laptops, this screen display does imitate ambient brightness however not till the point to get distracted. Also, the included Altec speakers were perfectly cut and placed above the low-powered speakers which were found in most of the low budget systems. Due to the lack of capacity of reproducing profound bass tones, these speakers can handle higher volume without any alteration. The full size silver keyboard blends perfectly with the rest on the deck and is comfortable to use as even the mouse buttons and the touch pad.

Below the deck you have the strip which contains sensitive control buttons, a power switch and a volume slider. This latest HP DV% pavilion laptop even comes with a durable remote control, an express card slot and a windows media center. This laptop offers additional connectivity ports compared to the other budget notebooks which have expensive mainstream systems. Moreover, you can even get four USB ports along with one HDMI output and one external SATA port to connect high speed devices. The five card reader slot and the expansion port connectors are located to the left of the system and the DVD burner along with the light-scribe technology is located to the right of the system.

Its 250 GB hard drive also provides sufficient space for storing plenty of data for your projects. This laptop also comes with a configured 2GHz Core 2 processor, an integrated Intel 4500MHD graphic solution and a 2 GB memory. Since its performance result is lots more from the other budget notebooks, what would you expect from a budget notebook like HP DV5 laptop? However, it was seen that the media encoding score of this laptop was around 7 minutes and 45 seconds which was more than enough for a laptop to offer better performance. Compared to this the Lenovo SL500 laptop score was around 5 minutes and 5 seconds while the Fujitsu A1110 laptop scored just 5 minutes. This means that HP DV5 laptop is better than the other budget notebooks.  This HP DV5 will not win over you with killer speeds however it is surely the most featured budget notebook that is available in the market.

Asus Subcompact EEE PC

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Asus EEE PC

The Asus EEE PC is simply fantastic. Who would have ever thought that sub-compact laptop would ever become popular where it is thought bigger is better. All want more of a storage space and a bigger screen with loads of features. Despite of this, Asus EEE PC has seen an increasing number of sales every month.

The most surprising thing is that Asus EEE PC is sub-compact laptop which runs on the Linux instead of Windows. It is suitable for the pigeonholes kind of purchasers to the technophiles and geeks. Mac and Macbook are both geeky type of devices and the Mac’s OS share has gone from 9 percent to about 14 percent in the current year. Linux usage on the low end computers are growing. Everex gPC is sold out at the Walmart over the web. Consequently, Gpc has pulled from the Walmart to the retail stores because the geeks do not shop at mortar stores for the tech gear. Currently Asus EEE PC 4G Surf has made a place amongst the top 10 in the list of Computers and Hardware at Amazon, beating the Apple models too.

Growing popularity of Asus EEE PC

The main reason for growing popularity of Asus EEE PC is that they are cheaper even than the iPhones. Keyboard and screen are quite smaller as compared to the conventional laptops. However, it is usable completely. If you are bored of carryiong along the PDA type phone that features a folding keyboard then try out the Asus EEE PC. It should cost you somewhere around the same price.

It costs somehwree around $300 to $500 which is quite affordable. It features an in-built camera, 3 USB ports, MMC/SD memory card slot, and durable solid state drive.. It features WiFi b/g 10/ 100 wired connections also the Xandros Linux installed. The screen resolution is 800 x 480. it weights just 2 lbs and makes a great gadget for personal usage. It is no bigger than the hardcover book.

The manufacturing company has predicted 2 million unit sales for 2008. It is significant for Linux based OS. It need not be a surprise. However, one popular hack is converting Asus EEE PC to the Windows XP. Linux is excellent. However, some consumers have found having a major common complaint that it isn’t user friendly or isn’t meant for the first time users. This is where exactly the geek factor comes into the picture. Geeks are the happiest customers. Even though Xandros distribution is quite user friendly, average non-geek would run problems while plugging in at the store has brought out digital camera, printer or iPod. The comment squeaks would attest on this but those geeks would boast about how much easy to use the Asus EEE PC is.

Asustek is soon going to play to masses and release Windows XP version of Asus EEE PC that has installed from factory. In one month, Asus EEE PC 4G and the 12G were released with the installation of Windows XP Home. Main difference between the two is of an increased screen size to the 8.3″, allowing the default 1280 x 600 resolutions. With Windows version selling out well, the Asus should not have any problems reaching the set goals for 2008.