Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Toshiba' Slim T100 Series Gains Windows 7

Windows 7With the anticipated launch of Windows 7, we are seeing a ton of new laptops coming out that already have Windows 7 integrated into them. Toshiba has just launched a new line of slim laptops entitled the T100 series. Toshiba has unveiled two new laptops for the T100 series, the 13.5-inch T135 and the 11.6-inch T115. Each device is less than one inch thick with multi-touch touchpads and LED backlight displays.

One new feature included in the T100 series, as well as most of the recent Toshiba laptops, is the extremely useful sleep-and-charge feature. The sleep-and-charge feature lets you connect an iPod or other device to the USB port to allow you to charge them even if the system is in sleep mode or off.

These two devices have some nice specs about them. The T115 comes with your choice Toshiba T115 of an Intel Pentium processor SU4100 or Intel Celeron processor 7435 and a starting 250GB (5400 RPM) HDD7 disk with up to 4GB of memory. The T115 also has Windows 7 Home Premium OS, eSATA/USB combo port with USB Sleep-and-Charge, 1 HDMI port, built-in webcam with Toshiba Face Recognition, stereo speakers, microphone, 5-in-1 memory card reader slot, Toshiba Hard Drive Impact sensor, 802.11 b/g/n wireless 8 10/100 Ethernet, a 6-cell battery with up to 9hrs of charge and an 11.6-inch diagonal widescreen HD TruBrite LED Backlit display. All of this comes in at around $450.

The T135 comes with your choice of an Intel Pentium SU4100 processor or Intel Toshiba T135Pentium SU2700 and a starting 250GB (5400 RPM) HDD disk with up to 8GB of memory. The T135 also has Windows 7 Home Premium OS, eSATA/USB combo port with USB Sleep-and-Charge, 1 HDMI port, built-in webcam with Toshiba Face Recognition, stereo speakers, microphone, 5-in-1 memory card reader slot, Toshiba Hard Drive Impact, 802.11 b/g/n wireless and 10/100 Ethernet, a 6-cell battery with up to 9hrs of charge and a 13.3-inch diagonal widescreen HD TruBrite LED Backlit display. The T135 is a little more expensive than the T115 coming in at around $600.

With the release of Windows 7 growing ever nearer, we can expect most laptops coming out in the future to be equipped with Windows 7 and if Windows 7 delivers even some of what it promises then we can all be excited. You can pick up both the T115 and the T135 on October 22, 2009.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

HP's Envy: 13 & 15 Inch Laptops

HP's Envy: 13 & 15 Inch Laptops

Hewlett Packard's new "Envy" line of laptops is sleek and stylish, and according to PC World, looks a lot like Apple's MacBook Pro line.

The 13.1 inch model or the "Envy 13" has a sharp 1366 x 768 pixel screen and lots of power for its small frame. For $1700, you get a 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SL9400 CPU with 3GB of RAM (including an extra DIMM slot), plus a 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 GPU. For low-end tasks, the laptop throttles the GPU and shifts down to the integrated Intel GPU, extending battery life.

The thin 12.6 x 8.5 x 0.8 inch frame contains a 250 GB had drive and an external 8x DVD-RW drive. It provides two batteries: the standard four-cell battery along with a thinner six-cell battery that sits underneath it. It supposedly has enough power to handle the 64-bit version of Windows 7.

The comfortable keyboard and mouse are backed up by a series of quick-access multimedia buttons along with an "Instant On" feature for browsing the web and playing multimedia files. The laptop also features two USB ports, 802.11n, optional Bluetooh, HDMI-out and a combination headphone/microphone jack that is also suitable for a cell phone headset.

There is also an Envy 15 in the works, but HP hasn't been quick to release the details. What is known is that the machine is a 15-inch model, weighs 5.18 pounds, and will feature a "Future Intel Core i7 Processor" with up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM and 1 GB discrete ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830. That laptop will retail at $1799. More details will be released at next week's Intel Developer's Forum.

Both the Envy 13 and the Envy 15 will go on sale October 18, just in time for the holiday season.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Crossing the Border? Leave Your Laptops at Home

Crossing the Border? Leave Your Laptops at Home
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued some new rules regarding what border officials can and can't do with your laptops and any other electronic media storage device. Despite a lawsuit from the ACLU, the rules are very similar to those put in place by the Bush administration with a few slight changes. According to the DHS website, the rules will "enhance transparency, accountability and oversight of electronic media searches at U.S. ports of entry and includes new administrative procedures designed to reflect broad considerations of civil liberties and privacy protections."

Either way, border officials can still seize and search your laptop, MP3 player, or flash drives without warning and can look at any file on it without reason. The new rules require those performing the search to keep the item for no longer than a 30 day period and keep laptop owners informed of the search's progress. The Association for Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) has said they believe border officials make images of the laptops' hard drive and return the laptops to their owners by mail, with copied files being stored for an indefinite amount of time.

In any event, if you are traveling beyond the border, there are a few ways to be prepared, just in case your laptop is seized. Chances are, if you're traveling for business or even for pleasure, there are files on your computer that will need while on your trip. Here are some ways to avoid being stuck without important information:

  • This is a no-brainer, but store your files in multiple locations. Take advantage of external drives and discs, or even an internet-based storage system such as Google Docs that will allow you to access information anytime, anywhere.

  • If the information stored on your laptop is pertinent to your job, make sure you inform border agents verbally and if possible, in writing. According tot he ACTE, this will help you retain more legal rights.

  • Consider a Laptop Rental. By renting a laptop and having it delivered to your destination, you'll avoid the hassle of dealing with the issue all together, have one less piece of equipment to carry on your trip, and you won't risk unexpected loss or damage that might occur during any type of search and seizure.
According to PCWorld, only 46 laptops have been subject to seizure in the last ten months, but it's always better to be safe than sorry!

Monday, September 7, 2009

New Apple Tablet

New Apple Tablet

Steve Jobs is back to work at Apple, just months after having a liver transplant, and sources say he is spending most of his time focused on the company's new tablet device. According to the Wall Street Journal, the team of people working on the tablet are under much scrutiny from their company's CEO. The article also states that this is the third attempt at the tablet, the first one failed due to a low battery life, the second one due to insufficient memory. Jobs, himself, has confirmed that most of that information is correct, but didn't specify any details. There is still no word on when an Apple tablet might actually become available to the public or what kind of impact it will have but if the success of Jobs' last pet project - the iPhone - is any indication, the tablet could change the way many people view technology.

There have been many rumors about the Apple tablet in recent months. Some say a September unveiling is in the works, others say November and some say not until 2010. A report from Barron's claims the device will be marketed for mostly media play (with an Apple TV tie-in) and gaming. Regardless of when and what, there is no doubt the rest of the industry is waiting to see what exactly Jobs and Apple have planned.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Netbook shipments growing at twice the rate of Notebooks

A newly released report from DisplaySearch shows a growing trend in the world of portable computers. In the 2nd quarter of 2009 netbooks had a net growth of 40%, while notebooks only grew 22%. To date netbooks now hold 22.2% of the portable computer market, its even more impressive when you compare that to the 2nd quarter just a year ago, when netbooks only accounted for 5.6% of the market.

Many factors could be playing into this surge. The bad economy which may be causing potential notebook buyers to rethink their needs and go with the cheaper, slimmer version. Netbooks also have been growing in popularity with promotions from companies like Verizon, Sprint, Comcast and Qwest offering discounted netbooks for new customers. The increase is also likely due to growing netbook sales in latin America and China, where new computer users and first time buyers may not need all the extra amenities that come with a notebook or desktop computer.