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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lenovo x200

Published October 23, 2008 at 10:45:13 AM, by Travis Simon

Design & Features


Today were putting the Lenovo x200 through its course. The x200 is the smaller brother to the now infamous x300, and an upgrade to the x61 series of earlier years (best in class for ultraportable as far as were concerned). Although being smaller, and lacking an optical drive, the x200 doesnt seem too tiny nor as thin as the x300, and developing most of its hardships with the battery bay and standard tracking devices. Of course, this is a very near end pre-consumer level model were reviewing, so Im sure things have gotten ironed out as soon as this review hits the shelf as far as fit and finish is concerned (more at the end of the review on that)

The x200 is a 12.1 widescreen ultraportable, in which it features the new Montevina platform, (not to be confused with actual Centrino 2 certification as it makes no claim to being certifiedyet) and runs the Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 at 2.4 GHz. It Features a 1066 MHz FSB with a 3mb cache limit and a nice low 25 TDP. Big measurements (although technical) would be the newer FSB and low TDP otherwise, marking a smaller die for the CPU and no increase in cache limit. We cant always win, but its a step in the right direction. Our pre-consumer unit came pretty loaded consulting the ordering screen from Lenovo. It did skimp us on the operating system, only touting Vista basic and WWAN feature, but did allow us an extra gigabyte of RAM, fingerprint reader, 160 GB HDD and Integrated Bluetooth, making the running total around $1,600.


Case look and feel

The case is standard Lenovo x series styling there is little to no color variations, sticking with its stark black rubber like finish, branding stamped across the base of the LCD lid, which is held to the strong chassis by the now loved/hated steel hinges. There is also suitably efficient LED readouts at the top telling some simple status changes of your unit.

The x200 features the tapered front end, housing the media card reader and LCD release latch. If you seen one x series Lenovo, youve pretty much seen them all as far as styling is concerned. Although Im not flattered by it, it does hold its own for material and minimalists. It is made of the strong magnesium allowing very little flex, and this time around, features two run off points underneath the laptop for spilled liquid.

Although I didnt feel like testing this feature, its nice to note and Im sure will save some busy coffee / cola drinker one morning.

Size & Weight
The size is very nice, featuring a decently slim profile, very thin LCD housing, and weighs just under 2.95 lb with the 4 cell battery. However, our unit came packaged with the extended 9 cell battery, which extrudes out the rear pretty awfully.

Yes, you do gain that tremendous battery life, but it makes this ultraportable larger than it should, and weighs just about as heavy as a 14.1 counterpart nearing almost 3.7 pounds. Looks will deceive you if you arent prepared for this change.


The keyboard again is strict Lenovo X series styling and specifications, holding cues to previous models before it, featuring alphanumeric typing keys that are spaced 18.5 mm vertically and 18.2 mm horizontally, which is defined as full-sized by ISO/IEC 15412. The stroke travel is a full 2.5 mm, which is always a pleasure to type on.
But, unlike the SL series that was also released, this still features the track-point nub in the center. Although keen for space saving design, and a following crowd of aficionados, I would have much rather seen an implemented track pad, and even make it multi-touch based like the Asus series that we just reviewed, to help aid in all those cramped Fn buttons. Am I nitpicking? Of course, but lets lay that out there.

Display quality

The display is a 1280x800 widescreen 16:10 aspect ratio display. There are 15 levels of brightness offered with a max output nearing 200 nits, a 50 nit increase of the former x61, and a welcomed addition. I noticed it didnt have very great side to side viewing angles on some PDF documents, but mostly, color representation was very decent, with adequate indoor backlighting. Outdoors seemed a bit washy or mixed results, which might harbor others to look into a more transflexive notebook option if they are constantly outdoors.


Connectivity is pretty standard, albeit changed from its predecessor, and a bit different from its thinner, lighter, much more expensive brother the x300. First and foremost, there is no optical drive. It doesnt list as an option of ordering one, so picking up a slim USB 2.0 self powered drive (a la the one the U110 we reviewed earlier came with) would be a handy option if you plan on using this machine to view, read, burn, or transfer optical media with. This might be a deal breaker for a lot of people but foreseeing the available prices and capacities for flash drives, SD media, and wireless data banks it might not to others.

The left side houses the power jack, exhaust, 2 USB ports, monitor-out, Gigabit Ethernet, ExpressCard 54mm slot, and the wireless LAN on-off switch. This is to note that it turns off all wireless options, Bluetooth and WLAN. Im not sure about WWAN as my unit did not come configured to use this.

The front, as mentioned earlier, can contain either a 5-1 media reader, or an SD card slot. Ours totes the SD card reader slot.

The right, with our configured unit, came with another USB port, headphone out, microphone, modem port, and lock slot.

The rear houses nothing other than the obtrusive battery (in being fair, it was just a bit too big for my taste.)

Even though WWAN wasnt configured in our pre-consumer level test system, the antenna that is needed to utilize these features is installed by default, so its simply a matter of inserting the WWAN card into the bay inside the x200, call up new service, and away you go. Since I dont utilize a company or hardware to test that feature, I can only say that it is possible to upgrade to using it.
Memory can be configured a few ways, which can handle up to 3 GB of internal memory. Which, is all Windows Vista Basic would utilize anyways, so if you feel cramped, you can do a little memory management there.

Hard drive capacity is another relative upgrade, with Lenovos website listing solid state 64gb as an option, and all the way up to a 320gb 5400 rpm drive. As a note, were sure it could handle the newer 7200rpm drives that are 320 GB but were not 100% positive.


4G WiMAX Now Available Throughout Hawaii

December 01, 2009 at 02:12:36 PM, by Daniel Shain Rating: 0 out of 5

Clearwire has rolled out WiMAX in Hawaii today, continuing to add more and more states as its coverage expands.

Coverage is now available in both Maui and Honolulu, and they claim service can now reach the vast majority (800,000 out of 1,200,000) of citizens in Hawaii, with 4G services blanketing 1,759 square miles of Oahu, Maui and Lanai.

4G coverage can sustain download speeds of 3-6Mbps, with "bursts" of up to 10Mbps. Clearwire plans to extend CLEAR's coverage to the following cities by the end of 2009: Atlanta and Milledgeville, GA; Baltimore, MD; Boise, ID; Chicago, IL; Las Vegas, NV; Philadelphia, PA; Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro, NC; Honolulu and Maui, HI; Seattle and Bellingham, WA; Portland, OR; and Dallas/Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Austin, Abilene, Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Killeen/Temple, Lubbock, Midland/Odessa, Waco and Wichita Falls, TX.

For those who it is available to, service charges begin at $30/month.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

DNA technology : The beginning of new chapter in microchip industry

International Business Machines Corporation, the computer hardware giant is looking for alternate models for developing new design for next generation micro-chips. One of the options that IBM is really looking upto is the structure of human genetic material, DNA.

For decades chip makers have been designing smaller and smaller patterns of the next generation chips to enhance speed and reduce power consumption. The company has announced an advancement of a method to arrange DNA origami structures on surfaces compatible with present semiconductor manufacturing equipment.

Moore's Law, named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, states that the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit doubles roughly every two years. But this may not be sustainable for chips with geometries under 22 nanometers. According to a recent report, by 2014, the new semiconductor manufacturing equipment will threaten and challenge Moore's Law. Also, the new chip plants cost billions of dollars to build.

The new DNA Platform

The Big Blue takes the inspiration from the structure of DNA molecules, where millions of carbon nanotubes could be deposited and self-assembled into precise patterns by sticking to the DNA molecules. According to the report, this structure may provide a way to reach sub-22-nanometer lithography down to 6 nanometers--more economically. Hence, the approach could pave the way to create tiny circuits that could form the basis of smaller, more powerful computer chips.

DNA origami

DNA origami, developed by Paul Rothemund, involves nanoscale folding of viral DNA aided by multiple smaller "staple" strands called as oligonucleotide strands. These short DNA segments help in effective folding of the viral DNA into any desired 2D/3D shape through complementary base pairing. These short structures (6nm) can be used as an attachment site for nanoscale components. Hence, DNA nanostructures of different shapes can be prepared with dimensions of 100–150 nm on an edge and a thickness of the width of the DNA double helix.

Shapes can be observed via fluorescence microscopy when DNA is coupled to fluorescent materials. But, the crux of the process is the discovery of the template material and deposition conditions to afford high selectivity so that origami binds only to the patterns of "sticky patches" and nowhere else.

Benefits of new DNA Platform

The new approach of using DNA nanostructures for preparing chip structure can benefit the chip maker as it provides a basis of miniature circuit boards. It could be used for the precise assembly of components such as carbon nanotubes, nanowires and nanoparticles as the dimensions and the coordinates of DNA are known. Working on a nanoplatform offers ability to the company to work at dimensions significantly smaller than possible with conventional semiconductor fabrication techniques.

Hence, the new platform opens up the possibility of creating functional devices using nanotechnology to provide smaller and power saving devices.


The use of DNA structure for next generation chips is a bold step towards new innovation and research techniques. If successful, it will provide new horizon to the chip industry and will create more efficient chips which will save space and energy.

SAP Business One vs. Microsoft Dynamics GP: - highlights for consultant

We would rather like to give you opinions from both sides – Microsoft and SAP. Both products target mid-size businesses in the USA, Europe (however Microsoft Great Plains – Dynamics GP will be leaving continental Europe market starting with version 10.0 – somewhere in the year of 2008, where Microsoft Business Solutions will probably stake on Microsoft Dynamics NAV – again this is contingent to the progress with Project Green or now Microsoft Dynamics project). Let’s come to the topic:

• Microsoft Dynamics GP strong points. Microsoft, being leader in Operating Systems, Office Products, and also having such platforms as Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server – can now capitalize on ERP technology infrastructure, which includes ERP integration: SQL heterogeneous queries, Sharepoint workflows, web portals. At the same time, long time presence on the market for such products as Microsoft Outlook gives Microsoft the option to count on Outlook user experience – Microsoft Dynamics products will not require user training (from the interface intuitiveness standpoint) – Microsoft Dynamics CRM has Outlook Client, Microsoft Dynamics GP will have tighter integration with Outlook in its version 9.0. Making some comments on another Microsoft product – Microsoft Small Business Accounting – it is integrated with MS Outlook, where you can create invoices and promote outlook contacts to your MS SBA customers.

• SAP Business One. This product was purchased by SAP from Israel software development company four years ago. The driven reason was probably the need to go down to mid-size and even small clientele, plus SAP needed such product to be easily adaptable to Multilanguage and complex international taxation rules. SAP Business One has CRM, ERP/Production modules and technically can serve as ERP/MRP/CRM for manufacturing or servicing subsidiary of large corporation. SAP Business One has modern architecture and design and this is what could be a strong point in decision making to select ERP platform. SAP Business One has integration to Microsoft Office – it could use email messaging through MS Outlook client / SMTP and in integrate with MS Office on the level of COM objects.

• Microsoft Dynamics arguments. At the time when Microsoft Dynamics / Project Green are working to enable Microsoft ERP products to work with Microsoft Office technologies SAP is several years behind in this direction. SAP is currently contracting Microsoft to enable SAP mySAP integration with Microsoft Office. Microsoft has this strong argument against SAP Business One – SAP deploys industry Experts who are very strong in general ERP/MRP plus probably Business and Industry Vertical Consulting to implement ERP from midsize business, where technology consulting and expertise come first. The result is longer implementation cycle plus complexity with SAP Business One integration with technology innovative and legacy products.

• SAP Business One Arguments. Microsoft is trying to trap you to its technical solutions and proprietary technologies. It is enough if we give you excellent ERP platform which has good integration tools to Microsoft Office plus enables some integration with Windows platform itself – you can use VB.Net or C#.Net (our commentary – you can have your SAP Business One to communicate with outside world with such non-Microsoft platforms as IBM Lotus Notes Domino and use Lotus Notes as Document workflow).

• Additional Microsoft Arguments. There are analytics out there on the ERP strategic research market who support Microsoft in the opinion that SAP Business One will need technology advances (such as developing its own Office platform or tighter cooperation with Microsoft Office products) to stay current with the ERP market I the year of 2010.

• Additional Considerations. Of course SAP has additional bells and whistles, such as language switch – you can switch from German, French or Brazilian Portuguese to US English by pressing Cnrtl key combination. Microsoft Dexterity was designed in earlier 1990th and doesn’t support such a nice functionality and Unicode – the question frequently asked by the prospect from China, India and Arabic World.
Generally, changing the file extension of a file is not a good idea.
When you double-click a file that has the right extension, it will open with the correct program. For example, a file with a .txt file will open in a text editor, and a file with a .jpg extension will open in an image viewer.

If you change a file's extension, it may cause the file not to open. Take, for example, the JPEG image below:

While the file used in the example is from a Macintosh computer, the same principles apply to both Mac and Windows platforms.

The filename of this file is "rose.jpg" and is formatted as a JPEG image. Let's see what happens if we try to change the file extension to ".gif," which is the extension GIF images use. By clicking the filename twice (slower than a double-click), we can change the filename. We replace ".jpg" with ".gif" and hit Enter.

When this change is made in Mac OS X, an alert pops up asking us to verify that we want to make the change.

This alert is for good reason, as it warns the user that the file may open in a different application if the extension is changed. The truth is, the file may not open at all. To be on the safe side, Mac OS X selects "Keep .jpg" as the default option.

But we decide to make the change and click the "Use .gif" option. The filename is changed as seen below:

The rose.jpg file opened fine in Photoshop before we changed the file extension. Now that we changed the extension let's see what happens when we drag it to Photoshop.

Photoshop tries to open the file, but is unable to. Instead, we get an error message.

Because Photoshop was expecting a GIF file type, based on the file extension, it tried to parse a GIF file. However, the file is actually formatted as a JPEG file, so PhotoShop registers an error when attempting to open it.

When you change a file's extension, you change the way programs on your computer read the file. The problem is, changing the file extension does not change the file type. In other words, when you change a file's extension, it does not change the way the file is formatted.

By modifying a file extension of a certain file, you may cause programs on your computer to read the file incorrectly, which may prevent it from opening. This is why it is typically not a good idea to change file extensions.

Sometimes, changing a file extension may be a good idea.

While file extensions should typically be left alone, there may be times when changing a file's extension is the only way to get it to open. For example, you may receive an e-mail attachment called "report.pdf" that is actually formatted as a Word document.

When you double-click the file, Acrobat Reader will most likely try to open the file, since Acrobat Reader is what most computers use to view PDFs. Since Acrobat Reader is expecting a PDF, when it encounters a Word document, it may not be able to open the file. If you change the filename to "report.doc," the file should open in Microsoft Word. Since the file type is a Word document, the file should open without a problem.

Changing a file's extension can "force" the file to open in a different program. This can be useful when a file will not open using the default program. However, a better way to change what program opens a certain file is to modify the file's properties.

See Changing What Program Opens a File in Windows and Changing What Program Opens a File on a Mac for more information.
The product was first launched in 2002 (Microsoft Project Server 2002) the main of the product is to have a centralized location for all the projects to be stored in, then have different types of users role to use this location to manage time, cost and resources involved in these projects.

Since the first release of the product to the market Microsoft have invested in developing the product and adding more members to the EPM solution suite of products, hence Microsoft released Project Server 2003 and 2007 versions which came with even stronger integration the other Microsoft products such as SharePoint. Microsoft also introduced in 2006 a new member to the suite of products an acquired software from a company called UMT, Microsoft called the newly acquired product Microsoft Portfolio Server.

The Microsoft EPM Solution by Microsoft is developed to address some key areas of Project Management and these are:

Consistency of quality project information across the organization

Microsoft EPM can support a standard approach to the initiation and management of small, medium and large projects and programs. The solution enhances the ability to achieve a defined process which each project. Each project in Project Server can have a set of standard attributes resulting from the process, providing consistency and a regular set of information on which reports can be based.

Resource Capacity Management and Planning

Microsoft EPM can be used to model organisational resource capacity by introducing an enterprise resource pool. The centralised resource pool will store resource availability data based on resource calendars and resource assignments, including projects and non-projects task assignments and actual work. This combination is providing a solution to support the management and planning of resource utilisation and capacity.

More efficient and accurate reporting

Microsoft Project Server and Portfolio Server has the ability to produce real time reports using system generated data, providing organizations with more efficient and accurate reporting capabilities, while also reducing the level of required resources currently dedicated to the provisioning of these tasks. This includes automated consolidated reporting of projects, programs and portfolios.

Improved visibility and collaboration among project teams

Providing centralised project workspace sites (based on Microsoft SharePoint technology) to allow visibility of project artefacts (such as projects’ documents, risks, issues, change requests, etc) and report on them, without the need to manually process requests and email these artefacts. Provide a platform which support mechanisms for communications including, team sites, discussion logs, task lists, announcements etc.

Improved time tracking

Providing team members a web interface to capture project tasks updates and a timesheet interface which will provide a more detailed accurate time record for each project. This method improves time-tracking accuracy by focusing team members’ attention on authorised activities and the durations of those tasks.

Better Estimation of Project Delivery

Introduce a solution to provide more accurate estimation of project (optimistic and pessimistic) timeframes. EPM provides project planning and tracking features that will supports accurate methods for predicting project delivery dates. When these features are used within the framework of improved planning and tracking processes, project schedules and budgets will be more reliable and can be used as historical data for future projects.

Both Project Server and Portfolio Server are highly configurable and customizable platform, organizations can configure them in a way that aligns with the their business requirements and expectation, organizations can configure workflows, objects attributes, security model, look and feel and reporting. Both applications comes with API (applications programmable interface) which gives organizations the ability to extend the application and allows it to provide more functionality it also allows organizations to integrate Project Server or Portfolio Server with other tools and application (such as the ERP systems).

Microsoft is planning to release the next version of Project Server (Project Server 2010) on the first of half of 2010, the new version will have more enterprise ready architecture and will have a more.

One Stop Shop to Buy Latest Gadgets and Gizmos

Today’s era can rightly be called the technological era as there are some or the other new technological gadgets and gizmos getting introduced in the market day-in and day-out. Gone are those old days of using heavy mobile phones that could be used only for making calls or the huge computers desktops. Now-a-days mobile phones have turned the whole world into a global village and this has led the consumers to buy cell phones, laptop, and several other electronic gadgets online.

Internet has made it possible to buy online gadgets easily without moving out of the house. A wide collection of electronic items are on sale on various online shopping sites. The gadget makers vigorously update and innovate the electronic devices to attract the user. It is for this sole reason that the recently available gadgets are so much compact, stylish looking and are multi-functional. These gadgets are meant for the use of all generations and all the people around the globe.

However, since there are plenty of websites offering online gadgets shopping, it becomes quite over whelming to choose the right one out of all. A good way to buy the cell phone online is by making a good comparison of the prices and the models over the internet. In fact, sites like Amazon.com or ebay.com can also provide you with the latest phone at much lower price. A wide range of laptops of various sizes and configuration are also available. Buying laptops online can be very beneficial as all the latest models can be found on the internet which might not be available in the local stores. Not only this, there are specific websites that deal with the selling of only laptops and can hence provide you with an array of laptops manufactured by ace companies.

Online gadget shopping is thus, the most satisfying shopping method as you get to compare prices of the various brands and that too from the comfort of your home. Also you can look for websites that offers frees shipping of the gadgets too. Hope this will help you to shop better this festive season.

photo of Bradley Mitchell Bradley's Wireless / Networking Blog

Wireless locators help track down the physical location of people or things. Personal locators, for example, are small devices that plot your position on a map. They are especially useful when lost while driving. Child trackers comprise a wireless transmitter fastened to the child and a receiver carried by the parent. When the child moves outside of a set range from the parent, the transmitter alerts the parent with sound. Other kinds of wireless locators are even designed to help you find missing keys or tools.

Wireless locators generally don't use Wi-Fi. Instead, each one features its own radio communication protocol. Personal locators typically also utilize GPS technology to plot physical coordinates precisely. Although these devices sound cool, research wireless locator products carefully before purchasing. Consumers historically have had many complaints about their reliability, the useful range of signals and alerts, and battery life.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Wireless Internet For Notebook Computers

There is no surprise that the world we are living in becomes increasingly wireless. More and more people use wireless internet for notebook computers for their daily activities replacing in this way the need of a wired connection. Technology quickly responded to our need to be constantly connected to our business, family or friends.

So, modern inventions are not only perceived as a way of entertaining people, but as a necessity for daily activities. Notebook computers and cell phones may be considered as our struggle to become a wireless world.


But, first of all we should try to define a notebook computer. Laptops or notebook computers are small, easy to be carried, personal computers (PC). Another major difference between a laptop and a traditional computer is the display screen. Notebook computers use a flat-panel technology to produce a light display screen.

All notebook computers come with battery packs that gives anyone the possibility to use his laptop without plugging it in for a while. Therefore, a laptop is used for mobile computing.

The portable computers respond to our need to be constantly connected to others. So, there is no wonder that only in the year of 2005 over 42 million notebooks had been produced, and since then the market for laptops is growing at a rate of 20% each year. The portability and wireless communication seem to be very popular among people around the world. The growth of wireless internet for notebook computers people can meet with each other without having to leave their computers. This is why many businesses allow the use of internet among their employees.

Moreover, nowadays, several locations throughout the city offer laptop internet access. These places are known as hot-spots.
Businessman at an airport restaurent

You can use wireless internet for your portable computer from your home as well. Wireless networks are easy to install and use at home. Wireless internet for laptops will allow you to work in any room of the house. In order to get a wireless network, you should use a wireless card capable of receiving and sending Wi-Fi signals. These signals are standardized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Most notebook computers have the capacity of turning on and off a wireless signal when it is needed. The process helps to conserve energy when operating from battery power. Wi-fi uses complex and sophisticated passwords which are difficult to break, providing at the same time a high internet security.
girl with notebook and cloud

All in all, wireless notebook computers are very appreciated and popular not only in the world of computers, but among people as well. Being divided of wires it reduces the cost of network expansion and it can be used in places where cables can not reach, like outdoor spaces. Wireless internet for laptops is easy to use and allows you to stay in touch not only with your family and friends, but with your business as well. Students also find that portable computers are easier to manage; they can carry them wherever they go, improving their social and intellectual skills. Wireless internet for notebook computers are a definite plus for the world in which we live in.

Stay in touch, stay wireless!

Acer Aspire 5335 Notebook User Reviews

The multimedia laptop range is very important for any manufacturer. This range alone is responsible for over a half of the total sells within the numbers of a global manufacturer, such as Toshiba or Acer. Nowadays, the technology is more affordable (cheaper within every six months due to the exponential function of the technologic evolution). This enabled developing of better equipped with higher performances laptops. Toshiba is one of the few manufacturers that don't keep their older models for sale (too much). Acer on the other hand is continuously upgrading models, or releasing new ones without removing the older products. Even more, the official Acer web store is not that well organized because off all these models, launched by over a year ago and upgraded with newer models.

For instance the Aspire family has no more than 38 laptop models, within eight different lines (in the Europe) and 34 laptop models within seven different lines in North America. One of the common lines between these two markets is the Aspire 5xxx line, well structured with several powerful laptops models. The structure was developed rather different than the Aspire 6xxx. However, the Aspire 5xxx includes several common basic ideas from Aspire 6xxx, such as the branded technology within different products lines. For instance, Toshiba includes within the same laptop model different branded technologies (AMD and Intel), in different configurations. Acer has developed in the same range of the Aspire 5xxx a different line for the AMD powered laptops (very similar to the Aspire 6530 - AMD versus Aspire 6930 - Intel).


Therefore, the Aspire 5536 is the latest upgrade to the Aspire 5530 - AMD powered. Both these laptop models are still in the Acer's portfolio, either the Europe one or the North America portfolio. The Aspire 5536 is the latest solution from Acer for anyone who wants an excellent multimedia laptop within a specific price range, powered by AMD. The Aspire 5536 is truly a work of art in the average laptop range with powerful processors, high quality graphic chipset, excellent 15 inches TFT LCD display (including the latest Cine Crystal technology), and the latest Dolby surround sound system (third generation to be more exact).

The multimedia package is completed by adding to the equation he Blu-ray Disc drive, creating the best averaged priced multimedia laptop, indestructible by any other future competitors (at least until 2010). The Aspire 5536 is a new laptop model in the Aspire range. Therefore, it sports the Gemstone design, including the same excellent features and main disadvantages. The Gemstone design, as I said in other articles, looks great, it is build almost flawlessly, but in time it will lose its greatness. Since the lid is made out of a black vanishing into blue glossy plastic. The result in visual terms is extraordinary. However, the lid is a fingerprint magnet and easy to scratch, even with the minor accident like dropping a clutch pencil on it.

The rest of the Acer 5536 is made out of matte black plastic. Even the keyboard surface is not the same nice patterned surface found on Aspire 6xxx. Keep in mind that this is a cheaper version of Aspire 6xxx. Compromises had to be made, when Acer included the latest technology, within an affordable laptop. Even more, the overall design is not the most modern on the market. The cover LCD doesn't work like a hinge. Even so, Acer didn't include any ports or slots on the back side. The only element found on the back side is the cooling vent. The left side of the Aspire 5536 includes the DC in jack, the RJ 11 port, HDMI port with the HDCP support, VGA port, two USB 2.0 ports, headphone line out jack, microphone in jack, and the Line in jack.

On the right side you can find the RJ 45 LAN port, the Kensington lock, another two 2.0 USB ports, and the DVD drive. The American version of 5536 sports only the Super Multi DVD drive (compatible with several formats), while the European version of Aspire 5536 includes, depending on the configuration either a Blu-ray Disc / Super Multi DVD double layer drive, or the Super Multi DVD (with several compatible format, common within the majority of laptops on the market). The only element you will find on the front side is the memory card reader, compatible with xD Picture Card, Secure Digital card, Memory Stick PRO, Multimedia card, and the Memory Stick memory card.

The build quality is how I said before, almost flawless. Just "almost" because remember this design (all plastic body) is not durable in time. Even so, the Aspire 5536 feels solid and looks great. With a varying height from front to rear 26 mm (or 1.03 inches) to 37 mm (or 1.5 inches), wide of 383 mm (or 15.1 inches), deep of 250 mm (or 9.9 inches), the Aspire 5536 weights about 2.8 Kg (or 5.94 lbs) including the battery. These values mean one thing, this laptop is tub o used indoors and not outdoors. Buy it if you need a great desktop replacement with performances in the multimedia department. Regarding the battery, both European and American versions of Aspire 5536 (within all available configurations) can only be equipped with the six cell Lithium Ion battery with 48.8 Watts, which should charge itself completely within 2.5 hours if the laptop is turned off, or 3.5 hours if the laptop is in use.

Once you open the Aspire 5536 you will see a full keyboard, with all the 11 function keys, easy launch buttons (such as volume controls, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other customizable launch buttons), and the media keys (featuring the play, pause, stop, fast forward, and rewind). The keyboard has good sized keys, which offer sufficient feedback. No flex is involved when pressing them. Under the keyboard you can find the touch pad, which sports the latest multi touch technology (however, you should expect Apple MacBook Pro multi touch). The touch pad is easy to use, thanks to the sufficient patterned material. The feedback is average and the overall user experience (with the keyboard included) is great.

You shouldn't have any problems not even when you use this laptop in a hurry. Acer included into the Aspire 5536 an excellent 15.6 inches TFT LCD with a WXGA high definition resolution (also known as 1366 x 768 pixels), sporting the latest Acer CrystalBrite technology. The brightness is the best found on an Acer laptop, 220 nit on the center of the display. However, this value is by far as high as the 300 nit found on the Apple MacBook, but comparable with what Toshiba has to offer. This display sports a 16 to 9 aspect ratio, capable of rendering up to 16.7 million colors. The TFT LCD's brightness is sufficient for indoors us, and acceptable under direct sunlight. To complete the multimedia experience Acer also added a 3rd generation Dolby surround sound system (within two built in stereo speakers).

You get 5 in 1 channel surround sound output, with excellent volume and bass, thanks to all the embedded technology including the Dolby Natural Bass, Dolby High Frequency Enhancer technologies, and many other more. The connectivity is ensured by the Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, 56 Kb per second modem, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 2.0 plus the enhanced data rate, four 2.0 USB ports, HDMI and VGA port. American 5536 and European 5536 (with all their configurations), sport the same connectivity package, the same display, the same chipset (AMD M780G) and battery package. The American Aspire 5536 configurations are shipped only with Windows Vista Home Premium.

There are six available configurations within the North American Acer portfolio, the 5105, 5883, 5165, 5663, 5218, and the 5244; the Aspire 5536 5105 includes the AMD Athlon X2 Dual Core Processor QL 64 with 2.1 GHz, 1 MB L2 cache, 3 GB DDR 2 557 SDRAM, ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics, and the 250 GB hard drive. The Aspire 5536 5883 differs from the 5105 configuration by the 320 GB hard drive. The Aspire 5536 5165 includes the AMD X2 Turion Dual Core Mobile Processor RM 72 with 2.1 GHz, 1 MB L2 cache, 320 GB hard drive, ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics, and the 3 GB DDR2 SDRAM.

The fourth generation of 5536, 5663 sports the AMD Athlon X2 Dual Core Processor QL 64 with 2.1 GHz, 1 MB L2 cache, the same graphic chipset, the 320 GB hard drive, and 3 GB DDR 2 667 SDRAM. The only difference between the 5663 and the 5218 is the newer processor, AMD Athlon X2 Dual Core Processor QL 65 with the same performances 2.1 GHz, 1 MB L2 cache. The 5224 is basically 5663, but with one year warranty, opposed to the two year warranty offered for the 5663. The European configurations of the 5536 are better equipped (Acer included an Express Card slot with 54 mm Express Card compatibility). You get about six different configurations of the Aspire 5536, 643G25MN, 643G50MN, 744G32MN, 744G32MN, 623G50MN, 744G32MN VHP32ATGB1 MC.

These eight configurations are shipped with either Windows Vista Home Basic, or the Windows Vista Home Premium. The only Vista Home Basic laptop is the 5536 643G25MN, which includes the AMD Athlon Q64 with 1 MB L2 cache 3.5 MHz FSB and 2.1 GHz, ATI Radeon Graphics with 256 MB, 250 GB hard drive with 5400 rotations per minute, and the 3 GB RAM memory unit. The rest of the available configurations include the Vista Home Premium. The Aspire 5536 643G50MN sports the same processor as the 643G25MN, the 500 GB hard drive with 5400 rotations per minute, 3 GB RAM memory, and ATI Radeon HD 3200 Graphics with 256 MB. The next configuration, 744G32MN sports the AMD Turion RM 74 with 2.2 GHz 800 MHz FSB, 1 MB L2 cache, 320 GB hard drive with 5400 rotations per minute, the same graphic chipset and 4 GB DDR2 667 SDRAM. The fourth configuration is Aspire 5536G 744G32 MN and is basically 5536 744 G32MN with a better graphic chipset, the ATI HD 4570 graphics with 512 MB.

Acer included into the Aspire 5536 623G50MN the AMD Athlon QL 62 2.0 GHz, 1 MB L2 cache, with 3.6 MHz FSB, the 500 GB 5400 rotation per minute, only a shared graphics, and 3 GB DDR2 667 SDRAM. Last but not least, the 744G32MN VHP32ATGB1 MC sports an AMD Turion RM 74 with 2.2 GHz, 1 MB L2 cache with 800 MHz FSB, 320 GB hard drive with 5400 rotations per minute, the ATI Radeon HD 3200 with improved memory to 512 MB, and 4 GB DDR2 SDRAM. Overall, both American and European versions of Aspire 5536 provide sufficient hardware specs for the average price level.

You get good performances (even do the technology is not the fastest), excellent multimedia features (including the display, Dolby Sound, and graphic chipsets), for less than $900 (depending on the configuration). If you are looking for a desktop replacement with high multimedia performances for less money (then the laptops found in Toshiba's portfolio, and even Apple's portfolio), then the Aspire 5536 might just be what you are looking for, or maybe even more.

Sony Vaio Notebook Computers Class Action

In the last week I have written about laptops created to replace the desktop computers. However, in the light of the recent Windows 7 launch, I found several intriguing products, which can't be included within no pre-determined range. Sure, some of you might say that this manufacturer is trying its best so copy Apple's iMacs. But I am certain you are wrong. The answer to the "Why?" question is pretty straight forward, these computers are not better improved version of the old desktop computers, and yet not portable as laptops, and definitely not iPod touch or iPhones. Sony delivered an excellent product that merges a pre determined location laptop (within the desktop replacement range) with touch screen.

Thanks to the included Windows 7, the L Series from Vaio will deliver enough touch screen features that will make the usage a fun game. I have to praise Sony for delivering an excellent product, with touch screen features, which Apple is still trying to include into a tablet (from the latest rumors). Even more, its price is comparable with the entry level MacBook Pro (and you can imagine that its specs are much better than the 13 inches MacBook Pro). In terms of design this Sony L Series touch screen computer delivers an extraordinary design, "conservative meets exquisite" I might add. First of all let's talk functionality.


The L Series touch PC can either be mounted on a wall, or kept on the desktop thanks to the adjustable stand. This stand can be used to obtain the proper viewing angle for anyone that will use the Sony L Series. Even more, you can certainly use this touch computer without the included keyboard in order to save the space.

The overall design is amazing. The stand looks extremely well build and engineered, since it has to keep the whole weight of this device within two legs united (this means a bigger pressure on the gravitational point of this device). Since Sony only delivers a 24 inches model, I guess that any other bigger screens could not sport the same design because of the gravitational force and gravitational point (Sony would have to redesign the stand, losing the excellent design embedded in the L Series).

The touch screen computer sports a front case made out of black glossy plastic, with an excellent contrast delivered by the silver "Sony" logo. The back case includes a matte black to grey plastic, which feels nice at touch and is quite impressive in terms of built. The L Series sports an eye-catching design for sure, and delivers a solid build quality. It easily rises up to the Sony build reputation. With a height of 16.9 inches, wide of 22.9 inches, deep of 7.4 inches, this computer weights about 27.6 lbs.

Sony included on the back side several important inputs and outputs such as video input, HDMI input, Power, digital and analog cable, Ethernet port, Optical Out, three 2.0 USB ports. On the above side, Sony included the Power button, and the Display Off Switch (or Lock). The right side of the L Series touch screen computer includes the confirm selection button, volume controls, Menu button, and Blu-ray CD / DVD playback / burning drive. On the left side Sony added the Memory Stick Media Slot with Magic Gate Functionality, SD memory card slot, i.LINK connector 4-pin, another 2.0 USB ports, headphone jack, microphone jack, and Line in Stereo jack. Sony delivers a nice keyboard for this computer, with all the necessary keys for a great usability.

Also the keys are well sized with sufficient space between them. Even more, all the keys and keyboard are made from a durable black matte plastic, which improves even more the user experience. A nice feature is that you can include the keyboard within the stand to create a unitary design. One of the most important elements within this Sony touch screen computer from the L Series is the display. Even more important since it features so many multi touch functions that will certainly is the purchase factor in many potential customers - future purchase relationship.

Sony included in this device an excellent 24 inches touch screen LCD with a full high definition resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The multi touch controls will enable your access to several essential digital domains such as Internet, social networks, movies, digital TV, and many other more.

The multi touch technology is at the beginning, but it provides a solid functionality (at least within this Sony computer) with no freezes or glitches. This computer was carefully engineered to provide the ultimate user experience, wrapped in a futuristic design concept. It can even deliver the best gaming experience you could ever possibly imagine, thanks to the HDMI port you can easily connect your Play Station 3 and enjoy a multi touch gaming experience (joystick is still possible).

Here are a few multi touch functions you can try on this touch screen display, tap and double tap, rotate (touch two spots on a photo and twist to rotate it in real time), drag (drag a file or image similar process when using the mouse), press and tap, flick left and flick right, scroll, and zoom (very iPhone and iPod touch like).

The connectivity is ensured the fast Ethernet RJ 45 protocol, the Gigabit Ethernet with 10 Base T / 100 Base T / 1000 Base T, the Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g/n support, the Integrated Bluetooth stereo with A2DP profile, five 2.0 USB ports, HDMI port, the NTSC / ATSC TV Tuner, memory stick PRO media slot and the Secure Digital memory card slot. Regarding the hardware specifications you might need to sit down because the following hardware specs are going to shock you at least. Let's start with something a little "normal", the L Series touch screen computer sports a 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Processor (the Q8400S model), with 1333 MHz FSB (also known as front side bus speed), up to 4 MB advanced smart, L2 cache.

The memory department is ensured by the excellent hard drive, 1 TB hard disk drive with 7200 rotations per minute, and up to 6 GB DDR2 SDRAM on board, expandable value up to 12 GB DDR2 SDRAM. The audio department is represented by the Intel High Definition audio digital live (developed in partnership with Dolby). Sony also included an excellent graphic chipset, NVIDIA GeForce GT 240M GPU with 1 GB dedicated VRAM (depending on the configuration chose you can configure your computer with the NVIDIA GeForce G210M GPU with 512 MB dedicated VRAM).

In terms of hardware, this computer is amazing, and the Apple equivalent would probably cost about $3500, while this computer only costs $1.149.99 - starting price. Not only is the hardware department amazing within the L Series from Sony Vaio but it is also completed with a full software package including the latest (truly worthy of the title, successor of XP) Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit version, 30 day trial version of Norton Internet Security, 90 day trial version of AOL, 60 day trial for the Microsoft Works SE 9.0 with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007.


Sony also added a few branded applications, such as Vaio media gallery, Vaio movie story, click to disc editor, Vaio Media plus multimedia streaming software, and Vaio Startup Assistant. An educated guess would be, that the Vaio L Series touch screen computer will successfully bring 30% of old Apple customers, who are tired to use boot camp, since Windows is much more evolved now thanks to 7.

Let's face it, Snow and Snow Leopard are good operating systems, but you need a Windows to stay in touch with the real world and not the Apple branded world. However, I doubt that this laptop meets desktop computer will be a market success. Even so, Sony proves once again that it can create unique products with excellent design, flawless build quality, extraordinary performances, for less money than other manufacturers.

Mac VS. Windows Notebooks

Yesterday I presented an interesting Sony computer, extremely powerful with multi touch features. It can't be considered a desktop computer since it sports different format, but it can be considered to be part of a new range, a merged range between the laptops and old computer desktop. It's less than $1200 price tag is surely appealing for some, but a deal breaker for others. Therefore, Sony introduced a cheaper version, part of the JS Series. Its design is certainly familiar with the one found on the touch screen model from the L Series. However, there are a few differences, such as the ports and inputs layout, and the silver look. This computer looks astonishing.

The black style of the L Series was replaced in the JS Series with silver - titanium look. Although top part of this computer lacks angular corners, while the bottom part of this computer sports a geometric form factor, with a curbed stand that sustains the computer. Between the computer and the stand you get an empty space, where you can insert the keyboard in order to save some space. This design sports a flexible viewing angle. Therefore, you are not going to have any problems within finding the correct position. Both front and rear sides are made out of great silver - metallic materials, with a build quality beyond exceptional. This computer not only looks great but it also provides a solid build quality.


Within the silver look, the Sony Vaio JS Series resembles looks like the latest iMacs. With a height of 16.1 inches, and wide of 19.2 inches, this design includes a 20.1 inches screen size. The front side of this computer only includes the "Sony" silver logo (hard to see because of the silver finish), and the built in webcam. The back side includes three USB 2.0 ports, the Ethernet port, i.Link, DC in, and SPDIF out. The top side of this Vaio computer only includes the power on and off button. On the right side Sony included the built in CD / DVD drive (but you can chose to include the Blu-ray drive from the option list).

On the left side, Sony included all the left ports and slots, such as Memory Stick Pro slot, Secure Digital card slot, another two USB 2.0 ports, headphone jack, and microphone jack, line in, wireless on and off switch. Sony added in the JS Series, a hideaway keyboard, which is a full keyboard, with good sized keys and sufficient space between them. This keyboard is ergonomic and the keys included provide sufficient feedback when used. As I said before you can store this keyboard under the display, within the special holding space.

Sony included a 20.1 inches widescreen LCD with a resolution of 1680 x 1050 pixels (full high definition resolution). This display is capable of rendering up to 16 million colors. Beside the brilliant colors, this display also features the anti-glare technology. The built in speakers offer an excellent audio experience thanks to the Intel High Definition Audio with Dolby. The connectivity is well ensured by the Fast Ethernet - RJ 45 profile, Wi-Fi with 802.11 b/g/n, Gigabit Ethernet with 10 Base T / 100 Base TX / 1000 Base T, integrated Bluetooth version 2.0 including the latest A2DP profile for listening to wireless dual channel music / sound effects, five USB 2.0 ports, Memory Stick PRO media slot and the Secure Digital card slot. In terms of power issues, the minimum power requirement is valued at 168 Watts + 10 %. This computer features several features that can easily compete with the features package found on the Vaio L Series. However, the main feature, multi touch display, lacks.

Even more, the full hardware specification is rather cheaper than the L Series hardware. Even so, this computer, with the minimum configuration (under $900 price tag) is still better equipped than many Apple computer configurations. This Vaio computer sports a 2.70 GHz Intel Pentium processor with a 2 MB L2 cache, 800 MHz FSB. In the memory and storage department you get a 500 GB hard drive with a 7200 rotation per minute value, and 4 GG DDR2 SDRAM. The graphic performances are ensured by the NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS GPU with 256 MB dedicated VRAM or Intel Graphic Media Accelerator X4500 HD.

Sony offers this Vaio computer for less than you might think $849.99 price tag. However, you can easily configure your very own model; depending on how much you want this Vaio to cost, or what hardware specifications you need. Because o good news never comes alone, you will be happy to know that Sony really decided to add within all its Vaio computers the new Windows 7. The JS Series ships with Microsoft Windows 7, the Home Premium with the 64 bit edition. You also get Microsoft Works SE 9.0 and a 60 day trial version of the Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 software.

The provided antivirus is in fact a 30 day trial version of the Norton Internet Security 2009. Even more, Sony included another four branded software applications, such as VAIO Startup Assistant, Click to Disc Editor, VAIO Movie Story, and the VAIO Media plus Multimedia Streaming Software. Overall this Vaio computer is certainly a smaller version of yesterday's L Series multi touch computer. Even so, you have to take into consideration that Sony provides a full pack features for less money than its direct competitor, Apple computers. Also, the iMacs are not the only excellent designed and build computers anymore.

The Vaio JS Series and the Vaio L Series are serious adversaries of the 20 inches and 24 inches Apple iMacs (even with the latest applied refresh). The retail box of Vaio JS Series includes several interesting accessories; beside the all in one computer you also get the USB Optical Mouse, the AC adapter, the mandatory power cable, and the USB keyboard.

Therefore, if you were so happy of the five USB 2.0 ports, it is time to get back to reality since you will only get three usable USB 2.0 ports. My advice to anyone that is looking to buy a laptop as a desktop replacement is to look first at this new range of computers. You might be surprised of what this range has to offer, more performances for less money.