Saturday, October 30, 2010

Buying a Business Laptop

buying a business laptop
A laptop is almost essential when it comes to business these days. Whether you’re going on a business trip or getting some work done from home, a laptop is a very important thing to have. Now business laptops may not be the sleekest laptops out there right now but looks aren’t really the important thing when it comes to purchasing a business laptop.

So what exactly makes up a business laptop you might ask? Well, here’s what you should be looking for…

In most business laptops you will find a dual-core processor and in some a quad-core processor. In a laptop that you will be utilizing for business purposes, you will want to have at least 4GB of RAM. Anything less than 4GB isn’t really worth the few dollars that you will save and anything over 4GB just really isn’t necessary. Having the right amount of memory allows you to not only multi-task easily, but also allows you to utilize multimedia programs faster.

You will most likely be using your business laptop for videos, photos, and PowerPoint slides during business meetings, therefore it is important to have a good-sized hard drive. You really need anywhere between 320GB and 500GB of hard drive space.

For consumer PCs optical drives are becoming less and less necessary, but most IT managers still feel that they are necessary for business purposes. You may need to occasionally burn a CD or DVD for a customer or supplier, which means you should make sure that your laptop includes a CD/DVD burner.

High-powered graphics are not necessary on your business laptop. Integrated graphics are what most business oriented laptops will include and that’s really all that you need because you most likely won’t be doing any gaming on your system.

Obviously, having a wireless connection is essential, but really, a built-in Wi-Fi connection is standard on laptops these days. The only issue with depending on this is that when you’re out and about and need to get on the Internet, you are forced to find a hot spot or unprotected network.

Due to this issue, a lot of business laptops are now shipping out with a mobile broadband or a 3G wireless modem built into them. These then work in conjunction with service providers like Verizon and AT&T who can bring broadband speeds to your laptop wherever there is a cell phone signal. Unfortunately, data plans from service providers aren’t exactly cheap. They can cost anywhere from $60-$80 per month. The good news is that there is a new wireless standard that could save businesses a lot of money. WiMax, or 4G wireless, is beginning to emerge. It is a Wi-Fi connection that spans across an entire city. Service providers Sprint and Clearwire have started putting up WiMax towers and have already established them in 54 cities. These plans cost anywhere from $20-$40 per month. This is definitely a great solution if you happen to be in a city with a tower.

Battery life is very important on a business laptop because you want your battery to last during extended periods such as a long flight. If the laptop that you are considering offers different size batteries, like six-cell or nine-cell, always choose the more cells because the more cells there are the better the battery life will be. Of course the more cells in the battery, the heavier it will be, but battery life is very important so it’s worth the extra weight.

Final Thoughts
Obviously there is a lot to consider when buying a business laptop. You should definitely do your research before selecting just any old laptop. Hopefully these tips give you an idea of what you should be looking for. Laptops are becoming a staple in the business world, but finding the right laptop doesn’t have difficult. If you follow these few guidelines, you should easily be able to find the business laptop that fits you and all of your business needs.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Apple Now Offering iPad Engravings

Apple iPad Engravings"I love you sweetheart." "Happy Anniversary Darling." Merry Christmas Mom." All of these sweet messages are perfect to put on a ring, picture frame or plaque for that special someone in your life. However, nothing shows how much these words truly mean unless they are engraved on the back of a fresh new iPad.

That's right, why not get your mom, child or significant other a gift that keeps on giving all year round and always reminds them of how much they mean to you? In line with rumors that surfaced this past summer, the good folks over at Apple have decided to include a free engraving with all new Apple iPad purchases. That's correct, free.

Apple product enthusiasts will be able to include two full lines of text to the top of the back panel of their iPad at no additional cost to them. However, the people at Apple have stated that having an engraving done on your iPad will incur an additional one to three days of shipping time to your order.

Not too long ago, rumors suggested that Apple wanted to offer the free engravings from the very beginning of the iPad launch. However, pre-orders and sales were too high and doing so would have delayed production. The engraving for the iPad works exactly the same way as the engravings for the iPod, allowing customers to add their personal engravings during the ordering process.

So why not give that special person in your life, whether it be a parent, sibling, grandparent or significant other, something really special, an iPad with a personal message expressing just exactly how you feel about them? This is a perfect gift for the upcoming holiday season, so be sure to place your order as soon as possible.
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Sunday, October 24, 2010

4G-Enabled Dell Netbook and Notebook from Sprint

dell netbooks and notebooks from Sprint
Phone companies simply are not satisfied with just providing cell phones anymore. They have begun to expand their product lines to include laptops, netbooks, notebooks, and tablets. Just recently, Verizon announced that they would begin to carry Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab this fall. AT&T is offering the iPad in their stores as well, and other carriers like T-Mobile and Sprint are following suit and beginning to carry devices other than just cell phones.

As of Wednesday, October 20th, Sprint announced that they were partnering up with Dell to provide the first dual-mode 3G/4G-embedded netbook and notebook, the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook and Inspiron 11z notebook.

"It’s great to see these two products being made available within Sprint stores across the nation. The addition of these two exciting 4G-embedded Dell products fits nicely within our current ecosystem of fixed and dual-mode devices that also includes phones, mobile broadband cards, mobile hotspots, and routers,” said Fared Adib, the vice president of Sprint’s product and development.

Both of the devices are going to come complete with countless useful features. The Mini 10 and the 11z will both come preinstalled with Windows Live Essentials 2011. This allows users to easily sync and share content on the Web with their PCs and phones. Windows Live includes: Hotmail, Messenger, SkyDrive, Photo Gallery, and more.

Sprints says that the Mini 10 is “perfect for students, consumers, and small businesses that rely on Internet access, Web browsing, and social networking to stay connected.” It comes with Windows 7 Starter and features a 1.66-GHz Intel Atom processor, a 10.1-inch screen with 1,024 x 600 resolution, 1GB of memory, and 250GB of hard drive. It will be available for business customers on October 31st and will be available in Sprint stores and on their website on November 14th. This netbook is a great deal. It is free with a $100 mail-in rebate for customers who sign a two-year contract.

Sprint says that the 11z notebook, on the other hand, “is a perfect solution for business users and consumers who want more computing power.” It will feature a 1.2-GHz Intel Core processor, an 11.6-inch screen with 1,366 x 768 resolution, 2GB of memory (expandable to 4GB), 250GB of hard drive, and an HDMI out. The Dell notebook will be available in print stores and online as of November 14th. It will be available for $149.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate for customers who sign a two-year contract.

The 3G/4G plan from Sprint will be available for $59.99 a month, and the 3G plan will be $39.99 a month.

It is extremely exciting to see Sprint expanding their product line to include tablets as well as netbooks and notebooks. These are some excellent products from Dell. If you’re looking for a netbook or notebook to utilize mainly for Internet purposes, the Inspiron Mini 10 netbook or the Inspiron 11z notebook could be just what you are looking for.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dell XPS 14, XPS 15 and XPS 17 Leaked

Dell XPS 14, XPS 15 and XPS 17A slew of new laptops from Dell has, despite Dell's best efforts, been leaked to the public thanks to the chummy guys over at Logicbuy. They have a nice new trio of laptops from Round Rock, and the new Studio machines are conveniently dubbed as the XPS 14, XPS 15 and XPS 17. These pre-release leaks seem to be becoming a signature of Dell.

The three laptops are said to come with a whole lot of different features including anodized aluminum shells as well as brushed aluminum palm rests. In addition to that, the XPS 14, XPS 15 and XPS 16 are also supposed to come with NVIDIA Optimus switchable graphics, which lets you go up to the GeForce GTS 445M on the XPS 17, as well as options for Blu-ray drives, 16GB of RAM and Core i7 CPUs.

From the pictures of the laptops that are out now, it would seem that Logicbuy simply stumbled upon a few prematurely published Dell pages. This is good news, however. With these pictures surfacing like they are, it just means that Dell's launch date for the XPS 14, XPS 15 and XPS 17 isn't too far away.

This is good news for Dell lovers out there as they can get there hands on what appears to be a fairly decent Dell laptop in the near future. As this is leaked information, it is limited. There has been no leaked information on an official release date nor an official price for either the XPS 14, XPS 15 or XPS 17. But keep your eyes and ears open and keep checking back here periodically for the latest details.
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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Verbatim's SuperSpeed Store 'n' Go Hard Drive

verbatim superspeed hard driveBacking up your hard drive can be a huge pain in the neck. It can be a long painstaking task, but with Verbatim’s Store ‘n’ Go SuperSpeed USB 3.0 compact portable hard drive that all changes. This hard drive is much faster than the devices that have been available previously.

The Store ‘n’ Go SuperSpeed is offered in a 500GB and a 750GB capacity, which will be available later this month. In November there will also be a hard drive in a 1TB capacity. These devices offer quick connectivity whenever you may need it.

The hard drive is sleek and attractive looking with its shiny black finish. The USB 3.0 portable hard drive is bus-powered and backwardly compatible with USB 2.0 ports. This ensures that all of the content the user needs is accessible. Verbatim includes Nero BackItUp & Burn software from Windows, a completely free trial of Norton Online Backup with up to 5GB of online storage, and a seven-year warranty.

Verbatim’s Director of Marketing, Charles Klinker, said, “We’re excited to introduce the Store ‘n’ Go, the first portable hard drive in Verbatim’s USB 3.0 collection, and allow consumers to experience a significant improvement in data transfer speeds that will let them complete their tasks in a fraction of the time. With the Store ‘n’ Go users can seamlessly enter into the new generation of USB 3.0 and safely and reliably share, store and back-up their data anytime, anywhere.”
If you’re looking for a quick convenient way to back up your information, Verbatim’s Store ‘n’ Go SuperSpeed USB 3.0 hard drive could be exactly what you’re looking for.

For more information check out Verbatim’s website.

Relax, enjoy your business trip, company project, convention or trade show. Your Tech Travel Agent will handle your computer rental needs including delivery, installation and pickup after the rental.

Is the iPad Stealing Laptop Sales?

ipad vs laptopThe iPad is a phenomenal technological device. It has been a huge success for Apple, but is this new gadget stealing all the laptop sales? Are consumers beginning to choose this ultraportable tablet over the much bulkier option of a laptop?

According to a survey conducted by NPD, Apple’s iPad is not having a particularly significant impact on the sales of laptops. The research group found that only 13 percent of those who purchased an iPad did so instead of buying a laptop. NPD also polled consumers who have bought these iPads and asked them if they had bought Apple’s tablet device in place of a dedicated eBook reader. Twenty-four percent of those surveyed said that they had.

When Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, first introduced Apple’s iPad in January, he said that the device was meant to be a “third screen.” What he meant by this was that the iPad was not supposed to be a replacement for a desktop computer or a laptop. The iPad was really meant to create a whole new branch of computer technology, the tablet branch. Apple was not trying to replace desktops or laptops. Their strategy was very different from that. They believed that consumers who were considering replacing or upgrading their old desktop computer or laptop might decide to put off that purchase and instead buy an iPad in its place.

The iPad is certainly a wildly successful device, but there are definitely some limitations to be found with the tablet. There are other tablet devices that companies are releasing in an attempt to add the “laptop aspects” that Apple omitted with their original iPad, but will that really allow these companies to compete with laptop sales? Apple is even planning to release a new and improved version of the iPad sometime soon, but will that really make a difference? I personally feel that the iPad and other tablets like it are incredibly fascinating devices. They are ultraportable and extremely convenient, but there are simply tasks that are much easier to do on a laptop instead of a tablet. No one is going to want to write a whole paper on a tablet. It would simply be too annoying to try to type on. Yes, there is a keyboard and stand that can be purchased for the iPad, but if you use a keyboard and a stand, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of being ultraportable?

I do not think that the laptop industry needs to feel threatened by tablets right now. Laptop sales are still fantastic, despite the various releases of new tablets. Consumers love the concept of tablets, but it certainly does not seem like they are viewing them as laptop replacements. Laptop producers have no reason to be worried. Despite their popularity, tablets will not be taking over their industry any time soon.

Relax, enjoy your business trip, company project, convention or trade show. Your Tech Travel Agent will handle your computer rental needs including delivery, installation and pickup after the rental.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rugged Notebooks' Eagle Series

Rugged Notebooks Eagle SeriesRugged Notebooks announced yesterday the Eagle Series Rugged Notebook for public safety, military and other demanding work environments. The Eagle Series has a lot of nice features including meeting FBI user-authentication guidelines for computers accessing National Crime Information Center (NCIC) data. Because of this the Eagle Series has a built-in biometric fingerprint reader as well as a SmartCard (CAC) reader.

Among the fingerprint and SmartCard readers, the Eagle Series also includes absolute Computrace in the BIOS for asset tracking as well as theft/loss recovery. This enables tracking of the device if it has been stolen or lost and remotely deletes any or all information stored on the computer.

There are also some Ruggedized features included into the Eagle Series. Some of these features include drop/shock/spill protection tested to United States Military 810F and 810G standards, a rubber Guard Protection System which protects the LCD screen from shocks, a lock on the DVD Super Multi Drive to prevent accidental opening, attached port covers to protect against dust and moisture and a sealed touchpad.

The notebook itself is 5.5 pounds and offers a 14.1 inch WXGA/WXG LCD screen, Intel Core 2 Duo processor, HDMI port and up to 8GB high speed 800MHz RAM. Users can get optional upgrades like a touchscreen display, a propriety transflective sunlight display for viewing in bright outdoors, 10/100/1000 LAN, RAID 0/1 dual hard drive for instantaneous backup, fully encrypted hard drive, broadband 3G, GPS, Bluetooth, Webcam, an RS-232 serial port and Windows 7 or XP Professional operating systems.

According to Alan Shad, President of Rugged Notebooks, "Our Eagle series is a new breed of rugged laptop, offering users a lightweight, high performance notebook ruggedized for tough conditions in the field while being fully compliant with the latest security standards. All these features and our premiere customer support are available at a price to meet today's restrictive budgets."

If a high performance laptop that can withstand even the military is exactly what you have been looking for then you should definitely consider the Eagle Series from Rugged Notebooks. The have the power to take anything you can throw at them, literally.
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lenovo ThinkPads Surpass 60 Million Sales

Lenovo ThinkPadLenovo announced today that sales of their ThinkPad Laptops will surpass 60 million units sold this month. According to the company, more than 14 ThinkPad laptops are sold every 60 seconds. This contributes to Lenovo's position as the fastest growing major PC company in the world.

Throughout the evolution of the ThinkPad, which began a mere 18 years ago to date, the laptop has recorded many groundbreaking innovation firsts like creating the very first spill resistant keyboard as well as protective roll cage. However, in celebration of reaching 60 million units sold, Lenovo is increasing the graphics of their ThinkPads by adding the NVIDIA Optimus technology to the ThinkPad T410, T410s and T510 laptops.

"Long recognized as a hallmark for innovation and excellence, ThinkPad has been the trusted laptop brand for business users around the world for nearly two decades," said Peter Hortensius, Senior Vice President of ThinkPad Product Group for Lenovo. "With Lenovo, ThinkPad has grown even stronger for quality, reliability and performance, and we'll continue to drive our commitment to innovation further as we design future ThinkPad laptops."

The ThinkPad has over 2,000 different design awards and has helped transform laptop computing and changed the way people use their PCs. Some of ThinkPad's famous first innovations include:

- First modern laptop to fly in space
- First with a spill resistant keyboard
- First with built-in CD-ROM
- First with built-in DVD-ROM
- First with built-in wireless
- First with embedded security subsystem
- First with built-in fingerprint reader
- First thinnest, lightest, full-function 13-inch laptop
- First dual screen mobile workstation

In celebration of this great milestone, Lenovo is rewarding customers with a Customer Appreciation Event which features up to 15% discounted pricing on select ThinkPad models purchased in the United States. The promotion begins today and lasts all the way through October 8, 2010.

NVIDIA Optimus technology makes graphics automatic, instantaneous and seamless. Users won't have to manually force switching to reduce performance or save battery life. Now you have the ability to extend battery life and electrify multimedia performance. ThinkPad laptops with Optimus can achieve up to 33% longer battery life per charge which comes out to about an extra hour.

According to Rene Haas, General Manager of Notebook Products at NVIDIA, "New technologies like NVIDIA Optimus are making ThinkPads even smarter. Never before has there been a solution that so effectively eliminates the tradeoffs between riveting graphics performance and long battery life. Visual content is the most popular and important form of data today, and we've built the NVIDIA NVS 3100M graphics processor to be the perfect processor for the task."

The ThinkPad T410, T410s and T510 laptops with NVIDIA Optimus technology are immediately available through business partners of Lenovo or on Lenovo's Website. Pricing starts at $1,299 for the T410 and T510 and $1,849 for the T410s.
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Friday, October 1, 2010

Is There an iMac Touch in Apple’s Future?

touchscreen imacCould the next iMac possibly come complete with a touch screen? It has been reported that Sintek Phototronics has been sending samples of its projected capacitive touch screens to Apple. This has led people to ask questions about the next version of the iMac.

The big issue with adding projected capacitive touch screens to the iMac devices concerns the size of the screens. It is very complex to create a projected capacitive touch screen that is larger than 20-inches. iMacs come in 21.5-inch and 27-inch versions. Despite the difficulty of the task, Sintek has a 5.3G plant, which is one of the largest production lines for these screens, so it should not be too hard for the company to figure out the kinks for Apple.

DigiTimes has reported that Apple’s touch screen version of the iMac would feature the touch sensor and cover glass in one single panel instead of the traditional way of placing the cover glass over the sensor. This cuts down on the thickness and weight of the panel.

About a month before this news about Apple’s possible touch screen iMac, it was revealed that Apple had filed for a European patent. This patent was discovered by Patently Apple, but it only described the possibility of switching back and forth between a touch screen mode.

Now all of this is rumor and speculation, but there are other Apple rumors in the past that have turned out to be true. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if this one is. It would be amazing to have a touch screen iMac made available by Apple. I think that it could definitely be a huge hit. Everything is moving in the touch screen direction, so it makes sense that the iMac goes touch capable as well. Hopefully Apple will give us some sort of statement regarding the rumors soon. Until then, we will all have to wait patiently and see if this development comes about.

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