Sunday, February 28, 2010

Netbooks Aren't Replacing Notebooks

Netbooks Aren't Replacing Notebooks

According to a survey from, over half of consumers do not see netbooks as a replacement for their traditional laptops. Of those surveyed, 55% said a netbook is a nice compliment to their laptops but they'd never buy one to replace it.

The findings probably aren't all that surprising. Sure, netbooks are cheaper and smaller, which makes them more portable but the point of having a laptop at all is so that it is portable, right? Most people prefer doing most of their tasks on their laptop that is capable of handling anything they might run across. The reasons? 54% said the netbooks are too uncomfortable due to size, 50% were unhappy with the lack of CD drive, 49% didn't like the lack of storage, 38% felt the computers are too slow, 26% don't feel they can run their multi-media files on them, 16% believe the netbooks won't run their games as well, and 14% had other reasons for their feelings.

On the other hand, 45% of people do see netbooks as laptop replacements. This could mean any number of things but it seems as though a lot of people aren't in need of big screens and lots of power for their everyday computing needs. The study defined a netbook as any laptop with a smaller than 11-inch screen, that cost less than $500.

The survey does point out that the netbooks have caused an overall drop in the price of computers. In December 2008, the average laptop cost around $800, compared to $654 in December 2009. They also noted that the average netbook user falls into the 45-64 years old age category. It used to be that 35-54 year olds preferred the smaller computers.

Looking for Laptop Rental information? Visit our Tech Travel Agent Laptop Rental Page for a variety of laptop rental solutions for business or personal use. Or call today at 800-736-8772.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

MSI Introduces Two New Gaming Laptops

MSI Introduces Two New Gaming Laptops

MSI has announced that it is adding two new models to its line of GX gaming laptops. The MSI GX740 and GX640 feature Intel Core i5 and support the latest DirectX11 gaming standard.

According to the company, these are the slimmest, lightest gaming laptops available. But as many point out, gaming laptops are usually pretty big and heavy, so that's not saying too much. Anyway, the GX640 weighs roughly six pounds and has a 15.4 inch screen. It measures about 14 x 10 x 1.5 inches. The GX740 is slightly bigger with a 17 inch display and weighs a little over 7 pounds. It measures around 15.5 x 11 x 1.5 inches.

In addition to the Core i5 processors, the laptops each come with an ATi Mobility Radeon 3D discrete graphics card, which, as mentioned, supports DirectX 11. The GX740 comes with the ATI Radeon HD 5870 card, while the GX640 comes with the HD5850 model. Both cards have 1GB of GDDR5 graphics memory. The cards are said to use less power, yet provide excellent visuals.

The laptops have several other exciting features. In addition to running Windows 7 Home Premium, both come with 4GB of RAM, Wi-Fi, a 2Mp webcam, a four-in-one card reader, SRS-certified Premium Sound speakers a digital 7.1 optical surround output feature, and a 640GB hard drive.

For sound performance, the GX740 incorporates five speakers into its design: two hi-fi 3D speakers above the keyboard, a woofer for deep bass in the computer's base, and two more hi-fi 3D speakers in the front. The GX6540 only has two speakers.

The laptops are also "green." They feature an ECO function button that allows you to switch between five different power levels, based on what type of task you are performing.

Both laptops will be available in the United Kingdom March. No word on how much they will cost in the United States.

Looking for Laptop Rental information? Visit our Tech Travel Agent Laptop Rental Page for a variety of laptop rental solutions for business or personal use. Or call today at 800-736-8772.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lenovo's New G-Series Laptops

Lenovo's New G-Series Laptops

Last week, Lenovo announced two new additions to its G-Series family of laptops. The budget laptops are powerful with a AMD Turion II Dual-Core processors integrated ATI Radeon HD graphics. Both the G455 and G555 have 16:9 widescreen HD displays, come with Windows 7, and support DirectX 10. They also feature a few favorite Lenovo applications, including OneKey Rescue System, VeriFace face recognition for security, Energy Management 5.0 software for efficiency, and a repair and recovery tool among others.

Both laptops will be available in the United States in March and will start around $449.

Looking for Laptop Rental information? Visit our Tech Travel Agent Laptop Rental Page for a variety of laptop rental solutions for business or personal use. Or call today at 800-736-8772.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hanwha Japan's Tube-Powered USB Dongle

Hanwha Japan H-TubeWhen you think of vacuum tubes for your computer you don't typically think about DTS surround sound. But after Hanwha Japan gets its gadgets in your hands you may think otherwise. The company has just unveiled a new USB dongle that may very well make you want to get your DTS surround sound from a pair of headphones.

Vacuum tubes, typically, are used to boost the power signal in tube or valve amplifiers. However, Hanwha Japan has figured out a way to take that technology and create a USB dongle with a headphone jack that will give you DTS Surround Sound.

Introducing the X-Tube, a USB dongle that allows you to upgrade your computer with DTS sound. Also known as the AS301DTS, the X-Tube contains a vacuum tube-shaped headphone jack that glows blue when in use. However, when you combine that dongle with its software and compatible DTS AH-516 headphones, you get DTS Surround Sensation, or DTS surround sound from 2 speakers.

This sounds great though the only problem is that the software can only be used with machines running Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 which means all you Mac users out there are out of luck. The good news is that with the purchase of the X-Tube you get the software disk and headphones bundled with it. The device isn't available in the US just yet but is available in Japan for $45 and if you desperately want to get this then check out Geek Stuff 4 U, as they are able to ship one to you.

The MacBook Pro Laptop Rental is the best choice when needing temporary portable Macintosh Power. It's more durable with more features than the MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro is called the Mobile Warrior by Mac Expert, Danny Fey. Call 800-736-8772 to reserve your next laptop rental.

Friday, February 12, 2010

HP Compaq Airlife 100

HP Compaq Airlife 100HP has just unveiled its newest laptop, the Compaq Airlife 100. It seems that in order for a laptop to be a "smartbook" it has to have a smartphone's components in a netbook's body. The Airlife 100 is a laptop the likes of which we have yet to see and is definitely one that will turn heads and get people talking.

Why is the Airlife going to cause so much commotion? Maybe because the device is built on top of an Android OS platform with an unconfirmed, but highly likely, Qualcomm 1GHz SnapDragon CPU, a 16GB SSD, webcam, SD card slot, 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity and, the coolest part, a 10.1-inch touch screen display. There are also some helpful shortcut keys around the trackpad

The Airlife is said to rock a solid 12-hour battery life with an incredible 10 days of standby. The Airlife was announced in partnership with Telefonica so this "smartbook" will be offered as a subsidized part of mobile broadband service plans in Latin America as well as Europe this spring. HP might rebrand it under the HP Mini brand when it hits us here in the states but as of now there is no word on a US release date or pricing.

Looking for Laptop Rental information? Visit our Tech Travel Agent Laptop Rental Page for a variety of laptop rental solutions for business or personal use. Or call today at 800-736-8772.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Worst Possible Passwords

worst passwordsDo you really spend much time coming up with passwords for the variety of different websites that you utilize? Do you ever think about whether or not they’re really secure? Now if its some unimportant website that just happens to need a password, then maybe its not a big deal, but if its something like your online banking, then I think that you should definitely pay a little more attention.

This December, the popular photo sharing site,, was hacked. A list of user names and passwords was exposed on the Web for everyone to see. About a month later, Imperva, a security analysis firm, had compiled the most common passwords for the site, and it was pretty crazy.

The most popular password by a long shot was “123456.” 290,731 users utilized this simplistic password. 79,078 users had the less complex “12345” as their password. This was able to fulfill the minimum character requirement set down by the site, but obviously does very little for security.

Security experts have been telling people for years that they need to use more complex, secure passwords, especially since hackers are becoming more and more sophisticated. The RockYou analysis showed that 30 percent of users chose to use a password that was less than six characters long and 40 percent of their users only used lowercase letters in their password.

Imperva released a report that stated, “Assuming an attacker with a DSL connection of 55KBPS upload rate and that each attempt is 0.5KB in size, it means that the attacker can have 110 attempts per second. At this rate, a hacker will gain access to one new account every second or just less than 17 minutes to compromise 1000 accounts.”

Other popular passwords that surfaced included: “password,” “rockyou” the website’s name, “abc123,” and simple first names. Imperva gave some tips on creating a password. They recommended that users evade any letter and number combination passwords that appear in the dictionary. To have the strongest possible password, it is recommended that you use both upper and lower case letters and incorporate some numbers and special characters. Imperva showed that a mere 4% of users have special characters in their password. They said, “Just ten years ago, hacked Hotmail passwords showed little change. This means that the users, if allowed to, will choose very weak passwords even for sites that hold their most private data.”

People just need to be careful. It may not seem like a big deal at first, but when your own account gets hacked into, I think that it will seem a little bigger deal than you might have thought.

Looking for Laptop Rental information? Visit our Tech Travel Agent Laptop Rental Page for a variety of laptop rental solutions for business or personal use. Or call today at 800-736-8772.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Coming Soon: Samsung's Transparent Laptop

Coming Soon: Samsung's Transparent Laptop

As I sat here tonight, watching the Super Bowl while trying to get a little work done on my laptop, I thought to myself, wouldn't it be cool if there was a laptop that you could see through. Turns out, there is. Or there will be soon if Samsung has anything to do with it. The transparent laptop the company introduced last month at the Consumer Electronics Show is set to be released within about a year, the company has announced.

However, before the laptop with the transparent AMOLED display comes out, a media player, the IceTouch MP3 player, which plays radio, video, and displays photos, will be released. Not a lot is known about the media player, aside from the fact that you'll be able to see through the small two-inch display and it should sell for about $300.

The laptop is said to feature a 14-inch screen with the transparent AMOLED technology. Red Sullivan, the Vice President of Samsung's American audio and digital imaging marketing said he imagines all Samsung's audio-visual products will sooner feature the technology. "We want to be the first in this market."

There's no word on why Samsung is so fascinated by this AMOLED technology. Sure, it looks cool, but as far as the media player is concerned, I can see it being slightly useful when I'm out for a walk or jog and am in danger of tripping over something when engrossed in selecting a song or playlist, but the laptop? Unless I find myself working while trying to watch the Super Bowl again next year, it just seems like it'd be distracting and it wouldn't leave a lot of room for privacy.

Looking for Laptop Rental information? Visit our Tech Travel Agent Laptop Rental Page for a variety of laptop rental solutions for business or personal use. Or call today at 800-736-8772.

Friday, February 5, 2010

ASUS Eee PC 10008P

ASUS Eee PC 1008PThe 10008P has some new features about it and ones that will certainly make people take a second look at it. ASUS brought in a top designer to re-imagine the look of the 1008P giving it a Digi-Wave lid which resembles crocodile skin. The design gives it a higher-class look. The 1008P comes in a hot pink or matte coffee finish which may be less desirable to some buyers.

The Eee PC1008P is a lot thinner than most other netbooks on the market with a 1-inch thick chassis. All the ports are hidden behind rubber flaps. There is a mini VGA port on the left side of the device as well as a VGA adapter that pops out of the bottom of the netbook. All the other standard ports are located on the sides of the device though there are only two USB ports as opposed to the more traditional three.

The keyboard and touch pad is the same as the 1005PE. The popular rubber dot touchpad and chiclet keyboard are included as well. Viewing angles are still poor, even with the frame less 10.1-inch screen. Internal specs are basically the same as nearly all of the Pine Trail netbooks on the market with an Intel Atom N450 processor, 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard-drive.

One of the biggest changes to the device comes with the battery. Due to the thinness of the 1008P, only a three-cell, 31Wh battery could be installed. This means your average battery life is going to be around 3hrs. On a positive not the battery is removable and you can pick up an extra one for around $50 though swapping them out on the go could prove to be annoying.

While the netbook looks great, it seems that the new looks came at the price of performance. The price tag of $499 seemed great at first until the specs came out. You would probably be better off getting a cheaper model that has slightly better specs but a less-than-desirable design.

Looking for Laptop Rental information? Visit our Tech Travel Agent Laptop Rental Page for a variety of laptop rental solutions for business or personal use. Or call today at 800-736-8772.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Choosing the Right Laptop For You

Choosing the Right Laptop For You

It's a new year and one goal people often have is to purchase a new computer. These days, it seems as though laptops are becoming the computer of choice. Maybe you want to upgrade your current model, or maybe you're making the switch from a desktop, but how do you know which one to buy? There are so many choices out there. And for the average computer user, sifting through them all can be time-consuming and such a hassle that it leaves you somewhat stressed out and maybe deciding against that new purchase after all.

There are so many choices to make with variations in performance, power, price, etc.. The most important thing to know is what you plan to use the computer for. This can help you narrow down what type of laptop you need and go from there. The four main categories of laptops are: netbooks, ultraportables, all-purpose laptops, and desktop replacements. Here, we'll break down each category, so you can decide which one is the right one for you.


Good: If you are always on the go and simply use the laptop to check email or take notes in class or business meetings.
Bad: If you spend a lot of time on your computer and run many different applications.

Netbooks are small, light, and great if you need to carry your laptop around all day with you, but they aren't very powerful. They can be used for mundane tasks such as surfing the internet, checking email, and word processing, but if use your computer a lot, this isn't the computer for you. It might make a good companion to your main desktop or laptop, but I wouldn't buy it as your main computer.

The average netbook is about three pounds and has a screen size of six to ten inches. They cost around $300-400. The small screen resolution and low amount of RAM (usually 1 GB) makes it difficult to work with photos and spread sheets or stream video. Also, many websites, games and other applications won't fit well on your screen. Also, if you ever want to use your laptop to load a CD or DVD, most netbooks don't have optical drives. However, on the plus-side, the average battery life of the newer netbooks is 5-6 hours which is a huge improvement over most laptops.


Good: If you're on-the-go but need more from your laptop.

Bad: If you play a lot of graphics-intense games or stream a lot of video

Ultraportables are slip and light like a netbook but have a little more power. It may be a little bigger than a netbook, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. You'll get more RAM (usually about 4-6 GB), a larger screen, and more power. If you need more from your computer than the netbook can offer, but you still find yourself on-the-go, then you might want to consider an Ultraportable.

Most screens range from 11-14 inches, and the computers usually weigh about 3 -4 1/2 pounds. Battery life is still fairly decent - 4 to 6 hours - but these laptops will cost you at least $600-800, with some costing even $1,000 and above. Compared to the netbook, your computer will perform much better, especially when you're using multiple applications at once. But while you can use them to stream video or play 3-D games, the quality may not be up to your standards. Also, if you need to load discs, a lot of ultraportables are forgoing the optical drive in the name of being thinner.

All-Purpose Laptops

Good: If you want to customize your laptop to fit your needs.

Bad: If you are on-the-go and need a long-lasting battery.

The all-purpose laptops pretty much fit any need. They are powerful enough to do most anything you want with them, but they are still small enough that they can be portable. In this category, you will find more variety than you will anywhere else. There are laptops with all sorts features, styles and purposes.

On average, an all-purpose laptops has a screen of 14-16 inches and weighs more than 4 1/2 pounds (usually topping out at 8 pounds). Even the most basic of these laptops will have about 4GB of RAM. Prices can be as cheap at $400, but can go up to more than $1500 if you are looking for a lot of add-ons or more power. Optical drives and Blu-ray Disc drives are generally optional on most all-purpose models. And one of the best things about the all-purpose laptops is that you can sort of mold it to fit your needs with upgrades and add-ons; just don't forget you have to pay for them. Also, if you plan to use your laptop outside of your home, most all-purpose models have a pretty short battery life (2-5 hours maximum), so you'll want to be somewhere where you can plug it in.

Desktop Replacements

Good: If you're a gamer, photographer, or video editor.

Bad: If you're looking something portable and light-weight.

If you want to make your laptop your main computer and you want it to function just as your desktop did, the desktop-replacement, also called the "power laptop," may be the right solution. These models are larger with screen sizes from 16-18.4 inches and weigh anywhere from 8 - 12 pounds. When it comes to power, storage, and memory, these models are also top-of-the line. And if you edit graphics or video often, you won't have a problem.

On the other hand, if you're looking for a laptop you can carry around easily, this one isn't what you want. Sure, they're portable and if you use it in your home, they an be moved from room to room without a problem, but lugging them along in a briefcase or backpack all day isn't an ideal situation. And they cost more. Cheaper models may cost around $1,000 but they can get up to about $2,000.

If you're a hard-core gamer or you use your laptop for professional reasons such as editing and uploading video and photos, a desktop-replacement is perfect for you.

The MacBook Pro Laptop Rental is the best choice when needing temporary portable Macintosh Power. It's more durable with more features than the MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro is called the Mobile Warrior by Mac Expert, Danny Fey. Call 800-736-8772 to reserve your next laptop rental.