Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dell Vostro V130: A Fancier Vostro

Dell unleashed a brand new Vostro today in the form of the Vostro V130, the latest and most stunning addition to Dell's Vostro lineup of laptops. The V130 is designed with the wants and needs of on-the-go entrepreneurs in its cross-hairs. This new device combines great style with reliable durability as well as top notch security as an added bonus. What is better about the V130 is that it is one of the thinnest laptops in the series, measuring 0.65", and also one of the lightest, weighing in at only 3.5 pounds.

There is a lot to boast about with the V130. The laptop is a 13-inch model constructed from sturdy aluminum which is reinforced with zinc hinges and a magnesium alloy palm rest. The V130 is also the very first ultra-thin laptop to offer Hyperbaric Cooling, allowing it to stay quieter and cooler than most other laptops.

To increase the productivity of the V130, the laptop is able to run Windows 7 with ease while at the same time performing everyday tasks effortlessly due to the new Intel Core ULV processor. The V130 also comes equipped with a full keyboard and a 13.3-inch HD WLED display as well as a host of other features. Users are able to choose their own level of 24/7 coverage with optional Dell ProSupport services and even Accidental Damage Services2. In addition to that, users can also get help with DellConnect 3. This allows tech-support agents to troubleshoot your system and even repair it remotely.

According to Vice President of Small and Medium Business Research at IDC, Ray Boggs, "Small and mid-sized firms are re-examining their IT needs and are ready to implement technology that gives them comprehensive access to all the capabilities they need, even while on the road. Notebook PCs are on SMB shopping lists in a big way as firms shift from desktops and implement product refreshes that have long been delayed. Dell continues to keep SMB needs in focus with effective design, connectivity options and more processing muscle."

The V130 is not only being hailed as an all around great laptop but also as the perfect laptop for small businesses around the country. The Vostro V130 laptop from Dell, being praised as the best in the entire Vostro series, cleans up a lot of issues people had with the first version, the Dell Vostro V13. Small business owners should definitely take a look at this device if an ultra portable on the go laptop is something they have been looking for. The Vostro V130 from Dell is available now for a starting price of $429.
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Social Media-Focused Netbook Released

jolibook netbook
A new social media-focused netbook was released in the UK on Wednesday, November 24th. The developers of Jolicloud, a popular version of Linux that was first introduced in 2008, have just released their own netbook. The Jolibook by Vye was specifically designed to cater to users who mostly utilize their PC for their many different social media needs ranging from social networking to watching movies or YouTube videos.

Fortunate for individuals in the U.S. who are interested in such a social media netbook, Jolicloud’s Web site advertises that the netbook, which is £279.99, (roughly $380 in the United States) is available in the “UK only for now.” This insinuates that there will most likely be a global push of the netbook sometime soon.

What really makes the Jolibook stand out from the crowd of 10.1-inch netbooks available right now is not just its social media focus, but also its Jolicloud OS. If you currently have Google Chrome, you can sign up for a sample browser version of the OS. The browser version is what some would describe as a “glorified bookmark.” You can easily add different shortcuts to things like Twitter, Facebook, Farmville, New York Times Skimmer, etc., and you can also download apps that will open up new tabs to multiple other pages at once. Basically, you can have all of your favorite Web services in an easily-accessible layout that even gives you the ability to explore and find new apps that you are unfamiliar with.

Another interesting app with Jolicloud allows you to add other Jolicloud users to your streaming feed. When you do this, you will then be able to see the different apps that they have used and enjoyed that you might be interested in. On top of that, there is also local and Web-based storage with Jolicloud. It links you to various services that you can store your data with like Box.net, Dropbox, and ZumoDrive.

The Jolibook has a very chic, stylish, eye-catching design that is sure to appeal to a younger audience, possibly ranging somewhere from 15 to 25 years old. Despite the flashy lid of the netbook, the inside is a pretty standard design. The keyboard keys are spaced out at a very comfortable distance, but unfortunately, at times the touchpad on the device can be a little jumpy.

On the inside the Jolibook features 1024 x 600 resolution, an Intel GMA 3150 graphics card, 1 GB of DDR3 memory, a 1.5-GHz Intel Atom N550 processor, and a 250GB hard drive. The battery is supposed to last up to seven hours (which most likely is a slightly inflated number), and the netbook features a variety of ports including: 3 USB 2.0 ports, an 8-in-1 card reader, VGA port, Eathernet port, Bluetooth v2.1, built-in 300k pixel web cam, and microphone and headphone jack.

Performance-wise, the Jolibook is incredibly quick, much faster than any available Windows system, and can boot up from being cold within 20 seconds.

Although as of right now the Jolibook is only available in the UK, it seems as though it will be available in the U.S. and other countries sometime in the near future. It is definitely a great portable device for teens and younger adults. It has great features, decent battery life, a web cam, and the oh so very intriguing Jolicloud OS. If you’re looking for a snazzy, artsy-looking netbook that is jam-packed with all the features you could possible need to handle all of your social media cravings and needs, then the Jolibook is the netbook for you. For more information you should check out Jolicloud’s official website.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Apple Mac Book Air 2010 Gets the Colorware Treatment

Do you smell that? It smells like fresh baked cookies and crazy packed shopping malls. That's right, it's the holidays again and many people will be scouring the stores for the best holiday gifts they can find for that special someone in their life. One of the most popular gifts many people will be asking for is none other than the Mac Book Air from Apple.

Now what many of you may already know is that the Mac Book Air is a great laptop, but it doesn't look that exciting. There isn't anything about it that makes it look any better than any other laptop out there.......until now. Thanks to Colorware, Mac Book aficionados can feel even more like an individual.

If you are looking to acquire a Mac Book Air 2010, it can be custom tailored to your specific color specifications. The only thing Colorware asks in return is a measly $1,850. Sure, many of you out there can make fun of the price and say how "expensive" it is but let's be honest, that isn't that much for a completely customized Mac Book Air 2010.

There is one, big resounding problem with this option from Colorware. Should you be one of the fortunate fancy pants out there who already owns a Mac Book Air 2010 you can not send it into Colorware to be refinished. You have to buy a completely brand new device from Colorware themselves. Customers have the option of buying the 11.6-inch model or the 13-inch model, whichever floats their boat. (Update - You can now send in your Macbook Air Design Studio for colorization.)

The devices that Colorware already has on display for their customizations are really cool-looking and to me it seems like they are really worth it. But then again the choice is up to you. However, they may make a great Christmas present.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

PeeWee Pivot 2.0

Children are naturally curious. Most of the time when they see an adult, whether it be a parent or whatever, they generally want to copy or mimic what they see. I can't tell you how many times I have witnessed my younger cousins pretending to talk on the phone or play with an iPod. While their general curiosity is cute, I can't say that it doesn't get me a little on edge when I see the little buggers looking at my laptop or phone with eager anticipation.

Most people are very reserved about handing over expensive pieces of technology to younger individuals. The tendency of young children to find a way to break something expensive or valuable is something that makes people think twice before letting their kid play on their laptop. That is why the company PeeWee exists. PeeWee is one of the leading manufacturers of computer products and accessories, and they have just announced the availability of the all new Pivot 2.0 laptop.

The Pivot 2.0 is rugged, durable and lightweight and it is also fully loaded and features a 180° rotating touchscreen tablet and camera, 15 educational games, Microsoft XP Home, Intel Atom N450 processor, retractable carrying handle and a water resistant keyboard. The Pivot 2.0 features a durable exterior case as well as incredible security protection. The sturdy plastic shell, rubber slip-resistant grips and water resistant keyboard are all perfect features for a child's laptop.

The Pivot 2.0 is able to withstand the everyday hustle and bustle of a kid including traveling to and from school, playing in the car or just relaxing at home. To ensure maximum safety and protection, the Pivot 2.0 comes standard with two security software suites. PeeWee Patrol and Privacy has the ability to limit how much time the children spend on the computer browsing and playing games. This feature also blocks inappropriate sites and prevents children from changing any system settings. Parents can even take screen shots, view browsing history and control the laptop remotely.

Parents can get the Pivot 2.0 from PeeWee now for a reasonable $500. This looks like it would make an excellent Christmas present for any child who is very into technology. With the fact that the Pivot 2.0 is damn near indestructible, this is the perfect children's laptop.
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Substantial Increase in Sales for Lenovo

lenovo sales increase
Lenovo notebooks are just flying off the shelves this quarter. Lenovo’s report for their second fiscal quarter states that there has been substantial growth in the sales of their PCs, allowing them to have a small profit increase and a large revenue increase.

The company reported $5.8 billion in consolidated sales, a 41 percent year-over-year increase, and a profit of $77 million, which is a 45 percent increase from the same period in 2009. On a worldwide basis, Lenvo said that their PC sales have increased by 33 percent.

Lenovo chairman Liu Chuanzhi said, “Lenovo continued to deliver excellent results, highlighting the balance in our business. In line with our 'Protect-Attack' strategy, the China, mature markets and emerging markets have all been growing steadily.”

He also added, “There are three aspects that the Board is particularly satisfied with, first: management's visionary decision to increase investment in R&D and brand building, second: the leadership team, which is working effectively and efficiently, with good rapport, third: Lenovo's culture of meeting commitments and taking ownership is being embraced and fully adopted by our employees worldwide. When a company has a solid leadership team, the right strategy, and a strong corporate culture, this company will be sustainable and enduring. Lenovo continues moving in this direction."

The company has said that their notebook sales comprise more than 60 percent of their overall sales revenues. Compared to last year, this is an increase of 40 percent. Notebook sales themselves have increased 38 percent this year, which is fantastic compared to the average 13 percent industry growth rate. Lenovo also said that 33 percent of their sales were made up of desktop computers, which increased by 26 percent and is 5 percent ahead of the average industry growth. On a side note, Lenovo sold its 60-millionth ThinkPad notebook in October. Its popularity has definitely added to their sales numbers.

Lenovo has just been doing well in all aspects of their products. Obviously, their PC industry has been booming, but also in their first quarter, their new smartphones brought in over $217 million in revenues.

Unfortunately, Lenovo has not yet announced a date to ship their Android-based LePad tablet outside of the U.S. Many people are speculating that the company is waiting for the next revision of the Android platform before they ship their product globally.

"TBR believes Lenovo has delayed the release of the LePad tablet into the markets outside of China until Android's new OS arrives in late 2011," Emily Searles wrote in a research note. "The company said that it views the mobile device market as a marathon, not a sprint, and does not wish to rush into the market with a device that will not fully meet customers' expectations. TBR believes even in the mobile device marathon, Lenovo will face consequences from providing its competition with a head start. By 2011 Samsung, Dell, and HP will have established tablet market share, and Apple's iPad will have released its second version. Lenovo's hesitation to release the LePad may reduce its opportunity, even if the wait means an upgraded OS. TBR believes the loss in revenue from late market emergence will be greater than consumer dissatisfaction from Android's current OS."

It’s great to see companies flourishing despite some of the economic difficulties. Lenovo is doing great, and hopefully the company will continue going in this direction. Once they release their LePad, I feel that their sales will just increase even more. The question is when this will really happen. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, Lenovo should continue to flourish and grow, and their PC sales should do the same.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lenovo's New IdeaPad U260

Lenovo IdeaPad U260Lenovo has this quirky way about them in the sense that they like to sneak laptops out to the market without them receiving any fanfare whatsoever. And just as the saying goes, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks", Lenovo has done it again with their newest device, the IdeaPad U260, an interesting device with a brand new chassis, 12.5-inch screen, 3.04lb weight and 0.71 inches of thickness.

From what we have gathered about the IdeaPad U260, the device seems to be aimed directly at portability. The device has no optical drive, contains ULV Core i3/i5 processors and only a single 4-cell battery. The device also only contains two USB 2.0 ports and does not have an ExpressCard slot. Details on the battery are scarce, however, Lenovo says that the battery contains four hours of "runtime". A single SO-DIMM slot is all you get for memory, but some RAM could be soldered directly to the motherboard which would give you 4GB of RAM.

Full specifications include Bluetooth, b/g/n WiFi, 4GB of RAM and a 320GB HDD. Considering the fact that the device is an IdeaPad, you do get some pretty nifty color options. Consumers will be able to decide if Mocha Brown or Clementine Orange suits their tastes better.

The 12.5-inch HD-resolution display is only available in an anti-glare finish, which is a welcome change from the typical glossy-only consumer laptop displays. Video output is achieved via VGA outputs as well as HDMI outputs which is nice to see because it lets the consumer know that Lenovo isn't trying to cheap out on them.

Pricing is still to be determined though considering that the chassis is thin, light and composed entirely of magnesium-alloy, you can almost guarantee that this isn't your bottom bin laptop. Keep checking back here periodically for updates on pricing as well as an official release date as soon as Lenovo gives us one.
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Wireless 1080p to Your TV with Asus WiCast

Asus WiCastIntel's Wireless Display (WiDi) technology has been very mixed since it landed not too long ago. If you really break it down, there is a lot to sift through and a lot of things to consider. Things like latency, the limitations of 720p, being stuck with Intel HD graphics, purchasing the wireless box for your television and, what could possibly be the most important question, whether this is practical or not.

In regards to all of this, decision making has been split. Vivek seems to really like the system, whereas it seems a whole heck of a lot simpler to just buy an HDMI cable and plug it in. Even if you remove the factor of practicality, there are still a few very frustrating limitations. However, Asus seeks to lay those limitations to rest with the new WiCast setup they have just created.

Asus, acording to a recent press release, has promised almost invisible latency, full 1080p video and even compatibility with anything that has an HDMI port. Probably the biggest thing people will have to overcome when first using WiCast is the initial setup. There are a bunch of little pieces of hardware included in the box like two WiCast boxes, transmitter, receiver, two HDMI cables, two AC adapters and a single USB cable. Thankfully, there are not installation disks and the manual is pretty thin.

Both the transmitter and receiver have an AC adapter, HDMI and mini-USB ports. The receiver's mini-USB port is covered though it can be used to power the device. The receiver's USB is most likely going to be your preferred method of powering the transmitter. This means that the second AC adapter is not necessary but could also be used as an emergency backup or if all the USB ports on your laptop are occupied.

As far as installation goes that is pretty much it. Everything else is pretty self-explanatory and once you hook up your HDMI cables you can pretty much call it a day. This is one of the best things WiCast has over Intel's WiDi, no software to install and no hardware limitations outside of the HDMI port.

Getting the Asus WiCast to work is really quite easy. According to the manual, syncing the transmitter and receiver could take up to a minute but that all depends on how far away the two are from each other. The wireless monitor of your computer should appear as any traditional wired one should and switching audio over from your computer to WiCast is simple.

1080p works great with no latency and the audio sounds as good as anything. Range between the transmitter and receiver is said to be 33 feet though keeping it more than five to seven feet away isn't recommended if you are looking for the best quality. One cool feature is that the WICast is device agnostic which means you can use it with an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or any other type of HDMI-equipped hardware. The only problem is if you are running the WiCast off of your laptop's battery, then your laptop will take a significant hit in battery life.

Overall, the WiCast is a great value for anybody looking for a device like this, and at $200 you won't go broke trying to get one.
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ClickSafe Laptop Lock from Kensington

clicksafe laptop lock
Have you ever been concerned about the safety of your laptop? Well, Kensington has been providing computer accessories and peripherals to consumers since 1981 when they released their System Saver, a cooling fan and surge protector for the Apple II. The newest addition to their line of security devices is the ClickSafe Laptop Lock. Although the product may not completely prevent a thief from stealing your laptop, it will definitely slow them down.

So what exactly is the ClickSafe Lock you may ask? Well, its design is very similar to that of a bike lock. The outside is comprised of a hard plastic, while the inside is made up of a carbon reinforced cable. The ClickSafe weighs a mere 0.41 pounds and features a wire that can be stretched 61 inches. This allows you enough room to anchor the device onto a chair or table leg.

To attach the anchor the ClickSafe utilizes the case slot of a laptop. Attaching the lock is a single step process that gives you instant security. Unfortunately, some older laptops and a few newer ones do not support the case slot that is necessary to utilize the ClickSafe device. Most laptops support a case slot except, surprisingly, the MacBook Air and the Toshiba Portege R705-P35.

Along with the anchor and the cable, Kensington also includes two keys, a plastic holder for the anchor and small tool to screw in the anchor. One important thing to note is that you should probably register your two keys with Kensington because if you happen to lose them, it will be almost impossible to get the lock off.

As I mentioned above, attaching the anchor and the lock is quite simple. You even hear a “click” that allows you to know that your device is truly protected and safe. Once your laptop is locked with the ClickSafe and securely fastened to a sturdy piece of furniture, it is completely impossible to pry open the lock. The wire has even been tested to see if someone would be able to destroy it so that they could get away with your laptop. Scissors were able to easily cut through the plastic covering of the wire, but to actually cut the carbon cable itself would take hours of labor intensive work. To snap the cord it would be necessary to utilize bolt cutters.

Unfortunately, the ClickSafe Laptop Lock cannot completely guarantee that your laptop will not be stolen, but it will definitely give you some confidence in the fact that it will definitely make stealing your laptop a very difficult and tedious task. This key lock from Kensington may seem to be more focused towards business users, but the company has promised that they will be releasing a combination lock sometime this spring that will be designed more for the average consumer.

The Kensington ClickSafe Laptop Lock can give users added assurance about the security of their laptop. If you utilize you laptop often in public places, I think that it is a great idea to have extra security like a laptop lock. If you’re interested in making sure that your laptop is extra safe, the ClickSafe Laptop Lock could be exactly what you need.

The ClickSafe Laptop Lock is now available from Kensington for $69.99.

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