Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 | Tech news | No Comments
When official site of popular OEM makers update any info, its likely that it wont go unnoticed despite their ‘No comments, please’ reaction. Recently, Acer announced how good its Chromebooks were faring against Windows 8 OS models and Windows 8 seemed a failure OS in market capturing terms. Now next in line of release is HP with its own 14 inch Chromebook. Yes, its bigger than 11.6-inch offered from Acer or lenovo, but the resolution remains the same (1366 x 768 p). The hint from “code words” is that exact details will be coming in February 17th or so. But the major specs are as such :
Its a 1.1 GHz Celeron processor, which is obvious will suck with over heating. Also battery life is about 4 hours, while other market sellers like Samsung offer more (or at least claim to offer) more than that, but then its obvious we will see a budget price set by HP against existing 3 players. HP is known to set prices in a way different from other brands. There will be a 16 GB SSD and 2 GB working RAM memory. That is pretty much the info we have right now. There doesn’t seem any major change from what other chrome sellers are selling right now. Only distinguishing factor here can be its ease of use in terms of physical body parts, like keys, Anti-glare, touchpad and such accessories. An exact info on ports and other outlets will also help.
P.S – HP Chromebook is going under ‘Pavilion’ series of HP.
Friday, January 25th, 2013 | Laptop reviews | No Comments
If you are one of those who don’t believe much in Intel’s ‘Tick and Tock’ update in processors and still want (or budgeted) to/comfortable with 2nd generation or Sandy bridge processors, then Latitude E6520 is for you. Its a commercial purpose serving laptop with special focus on its docking capabilities The best part is that its got more customization options in terms of various parts like Display screen, Graphic card, processor, OS and storage. Basically, its a 15.6″ notebook with LED screen. You can choose from HD, HD+ and FHD quality screen. The FHD will give 1920 x 1080 p Anti-Glare LED screen. Interestingly, there is a touchscreen model too, a 1366 x 768 p Multi-touch screen display model. The OS is still Windows 7 if you order from Dell officially. Around the display is a protective seal to protect screen from any misshapes. The screen can be turn 180° around (handy when you wanna watch something while sleeping). On top of display is a FHD (better than HD in resolution) webcam and noise reducing microphone. The laptop weighs about 2.5 Kg and about 35 mm thick at max. thickness point. The body is rugged black Tri-Metal design seen in most of dell laptops. The make it look more professional and stylish, the lid is given Anodized aluminum finish. The hinges are made of steel and internal frame made from magnesium alloy. The use of various metal alloys at different parts and protective coatings make this quite durable laptop making it resistive against frequent bumps and scratches.
For processor, you can get all three options present in Sandy bridge lineup, Core i3/i5 or i7. Plus, if you think you need a dedicated graphic card, you can have a NVIDIA 512 MB RAM (NVS 4200M) discrete graphic card. I think at least 1 GB standard graphic card ought to be given. Having 512 MB dedicated VRAM is not going to give full justification when you are really using graphics or video in any form of work. Memory RAM can be chosen from 2 to 8 GB in accordance with 2 slots provided in motherboard (1333 MHz DDR3 type). For storage, you can have a HDD of 750 GB (7200 rpm), 500 GB (5400 rpm) or just got for SSD of 256 GB or 128 GB.
When you see the sides of the laptop, you will find a handful of ports. There are 4 USB 2.0 ports along with bunch of other standard ports like Docking connector, total 3 Card slots (2 mini !), smart card reader, optical bay, etc. The audio port is combo. So basically, latitude E6520 is a full spec commercially fit laptop but has been a bit left out with latest technology like USB 3.0 and Bluetooth v4.0 (This one has V 3.0). The DVD ROM is optional and swappable built. You can easily swap it IN/OUT.
For Wi-Fi, there are range of hardware providers for it. Intel’s Centrino to Dell’s wireless hardware. With Dell, you have an option for HSPA mini Card too, which comes with GPS feature. The keyboard an be chosen backlit if you want one. I love its keyboard as its got 2 things which I personally prefer. 1) NumPad and 2) Full sized Direction keys (Used in older notebooks). The Direction keys or commonly called Up/Down/Left/Right keys are usually quite small ones. The keyboard is properly compact rather than spaced keys.
By default it will have a 4 cell battery but you can go up to 9 cell battery option to get longer hours. of course, it will add to the overall weight of the laptop. There is also a whole range of docking accessories accompanying this model. There is E-View laptops stand which can also be used to mount newer Dell LCD monitors. The price is a bit high, which is obvious with such load of specs. The price for 4 cell battery and Core i3 processor model starts with above ₹ 70,000 in India and will reach up to ₹ 90,000-₹ 1,00,000 as you keep adding better processor, RAM and battery.
Thursday, January 24th, 2013 | Tablet | No Comments
Latitude 10 is a business tab from Dell run on Windows 8 Pro OS. Although it is now also available in ‘essential’ (basic) version for $499 outside India, but not in India yet. Back in September, Dell announced this tab along with Ultrabook 6430u. It runs on Intel’s Dual Core Z2760 processor from its Atom series, the series rolled out by Intel specially to cater tablet and netbook devices. The RAM is 2 GB DDR2 and 64 GB SSD for tablet. Its better than regular 32 GB seen in most of the other high end tablets too, like Iconia W5 from acer.
Talking about the physical appearance, its a black colour slate with 10.5 mm thickness with solid feel. It weighs about 650 gm with its 2 cell battery. The build is magnesium alloy frame, seen in most of dell products. The display screen is fabulous part, it comes with stylus which is optional. The screen is 1366 x 768 p IPS LED screen with Corning Gorilla glass. Its Multi-touch capacitive screen up to 10 fingers. Its got a 8 MP rear facing and a 2 MP front facing HD cameras. Inbuilt noise reduction microphone and speakers too. 1 USB port, 1 micro-USB for charging, a dock connector, micro-HDMI and a micro SIM slot as well. with microSIM, you can use it as a phone purpose as well, of course that would look awkward with this big size screen. There is also a combo audio port and lock slot facility as well. Th essential model here lacks micro-SIM port and WWAN connectivity. But dock connector is present in both models, essential and non-essential both.
It has Wi-Fi but no Bluetooth, while it has WWAN, not much of use for common consumers. You can also have a external optical drive if you need one, sold by Dell optionally with this tab. Also you an alternatively choose 4 cell battery is you want longer battery life (above 12 hours). The 2 cell will also give 7-8 hours of battery life. But 4 cell will have another 200-250 gm weight to the slate. Plus, the best part is that its battery is swappable. Means, it can be easily replaced by any guy using it. Also you can charge via docking station, which makes docking station one of the most important accessory of this tablet. You can use it as full PC by attaching mouse and keyboard to dock station.
The price is a bit high, but for people who love windows 8 and tablet this is sure considering. Its got great battery life, easy apps use with windows 8 OS, multi-capacitive touch screen with stylus and plenty of ports for functionality. It will be releasing here in February this year with price above ₹ 40,000, about ₹ 42,500 in India. Its still one of the costliest tablet in market, but there are very few or rarely anyone with windows 8 OS (announced yet) with such specs to compete this one.
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 | Laptop reviews | No Comments
There is a lot to talk about XT3 laptop-cum-tablet. This is one of the types of innovative model released early in market by Dell, which unfortunately didn’t take off much, partially owing to technical difficulties related to touchscreen at user end (complaints, will state later on it) and not so slim look either. Despite improvements from XT2 model, not much has been done to make it a hit, heavy weight being one of the issues. But that said, it otherwise is worth taking a look model.
Latitude XT3 is a 13.3-inch model with touch screen which can be rotated as flexibly as possible. You can turn the display against the hinge and about the hinge simultaneously When released back in 2011, it was a fancy and new type of model, when convertibles were still not heard of. There are will be 3 models or so in Indian marker, due to options it ahs to offer in terms of specs. The display can be chosen from Reduced Glare LED or normal LED. Both 1366 x 768 p resolution accompanied by a stylus pen. A HD webcam with dual-array microphone is fitted on top. Although, there have been issues reported with few manufacturing defects in stylus functioning. The stylus here is used as a focus for moving cursor. The stylus is amazing, whenever your move the stylus away from the screen, about 1 inch or so, the cursor still follows the stylus.
Talking about its physical appearance, there’s a bulgy raised part at its bottom rear part to allow it to properly gripped in hands. Its thickness is 31 mm and comes in one of those traditional black, grey, whitish combination of design. Here’s a look of it :
The corners of the chassis are magnesium alloy reinforcements. The bottom part is screw less making hardware access easier. Also a cooling outlet/fan is present at bottom which may create problems as RAM is quite near to it. RAM overheating can create problems with overall working of PC apps and software’s The body overall weighs about 2.0 Kg, a bit on heavy side.
Talking about specs, you can now have 3rd Gen. processors or even Sandy bridge ones. From Sandy bridge, you can have Core i7 (2640M) or Core i5 (2520M) and Windows 7 as OS. Although Windows 8 will run, but there is no driver support for it from Dell. The 2 slots of DDR3 RAM will give up to 8 GB RAM. But mind that here there is no dedicated GPU for handling graphics and only integrated Intel HD 3000 will work. Choose from 7200 rpm SATA of 320 GB or complete SSD of 256 GB. There is an option of optical drive but it further increases your total base thickness (Pay extra for it). You can have a DVD+/-RW made from E-Modular Bay or from XT3 media base.
While enough connectivity options are given, including GPS as well as mobile broadband. Not to mention Bluetooth as well as Wi-Fi which is a must nowadays As this is a 2011 model and no updates have followed, you will be stuck with USB 2.0 ports. 3 USB 2.0 ports and one with eSATA combo. There is memory card reader, 2 mini card slots, Smartcard and fingerprint readers, LAN, VGA, HDMI, etc. So there is plenty of outreach to external connectivity in this model. Good thing with it’s 65 Watt adapter is that its compatible with other latitude series models. Even adapters and docking ports of other models of latitude series are compatible with XT3.
The tablet part can be experienced when you close the screen by rotating it, on the keyboard, which looks like some 40 mm thick tablet with hell lots of ports everywhere The 13.3 inch screen can be used in any proper orientation, top, bottom or normal sideways. This is convenient for reading long texts and paras. It supports up to multiple 4-5 fingers easily while drawing. So its Multi-touch features. But flawless screen touch is definitely not its strong feature.
The keyboard is spill resistant and compact one with backlit. You can even get a standard keyboard too if you don’t like backlit. Its not ‘tappy’ (its noiseless while typing) while its more firm when used. People have actually loved this non-chiclet keyboard. The battery can be used 9 cell instead of standard 6 cell (with which it comes by default). With media modules and battery slices of previous models of latitude lineup compatible with this one, its a cost saver feature. The battery is in front part of the chassis as back part is made for gripping. The 9 cell further makes the body more heavy to carry, especially if you have notion of tablet in mind. While battery life is still poor with 6 cell Li battery. But the bright side is that it comes with lots of small specs and features while does give you the functionality of convertible, if not lightweight, still a convertible.
The price is quite hefty, starting around ₹ 90,000 and so. A 3rd gen. processor would only come above ₹ 1,00,000.
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 | Tablet | No Comments
Acer’s Iconia W5 series tablet is both stylish and productive tool for you on the go. With as much as 18 hours of total battery life when attached to its keyboard, is perfect for long hour report making or even watching couple of long videos. Its a 10.1-inch tablet with LED display screen of 16:9 ratio and 1366 x 768 p resolution. This is a windows 8 based OS and powered by Intel processor. It weighs about 580 gms and thickness of less than 9 mm (we talking about tablet still, not keyboard dock).
The processor is 2 core Atom Z2760 1.8 GHz from Intel. This was one of the very few tablets actually first with Intel processors in market. But still processor is atom based while price is not justified with it. Although it does run windows 8, it is still heavy as a system whole. Plus Atom processor at given high price (above Rs. 30K in India) makes it highly comparable to several other in same price segment. It comes with 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM. The display is multi-touch and TFT LCD. The flash memory is 32 GB with microSD card slot for expansion.
When attached to dock keyboard, it can turn 295° around the hinge, which is a great feature, tilting your screen as much as you want. The body is all silver and keyboard dock cost hefty additionally to main tab price. It has Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth. There is a USB 2.0 port both in tablet as well in dock keyboard. Also a micro-HDMI port is present in tab. A classic 8 MP rear and 2.1 MP front facing camera is as well present, ideal for using it as camera also. The rear one can be used to take 1080p videos as well.
AcerCloud cloud storage from acer can be used to store all your data online and with quick Wi-Fi connect can be easily accessed. Plus with windows 8 apps, a decent display tab is fun to use. The nice part is its 3540 mAh 2 cell battery which gives above 15 hours battery life when docked to its keyboard. Note that this much battery life is with dock keyboard and not as standalone tablet. The keyboard is spaced and non-numeric but a bit heavy. The only major advantage of this whole system is its 16-17 hours battery life.
Monday, January 21st, 2013 | Tech news | No Comments
Couple of hours ago in Japan, Sony released Xperia Z tab which was also speculated 3-4 days back. This is one of the thinnest 10.1 inch tab in the market right now, less than 7 mm, to be precise, 6.9 mm thickness. Whats stunning is its 1920 x 1200 p screen.
Processor : 1.5 GHz Quad-core from Qualcom (No.-APQ8064). This hints me for 4G LTE connectivity as well as NFC.
Screen : As stated above, 10.1 inch with Mobile Bravia Engine 2. Watching videos will be more fantastic experience.
RAM : 2 GB
OS : Android 4.1
Storage : 32 GB internal and a microSD expansion slot.
Weighs : About 0.5 kg (Not more than 500 gm).
Camera : 8.1 MP rear side.
Sound : Sony’s own Virtual surround sound 3D technology (S-Force) speakers.
Resistance : No worries if you accidentally slit some water on it. its Dust and Water proof made.
Colour : Black and white colour models.
Reviewers have directly compared this tab with Nexus 10. Still no hint of pricing is yet given nor its release info anywhere outside Japan or Asia continent.
Sunday, January 20th, 2013 | Laptop reviews | No Comments
ENVY dv6-7200 series is a high config, both entertainment (specially) reliable model and equally useful for professionals. HP India now ships with only Windows 8 OS for this model, not even 7. But this is not a touchscreen laptop even it comes only in Windows 8. As far as looks are concerned, it has that Sleekbook glossy look weighing 2.45 Kg. The Midnight black colour it comes with looks stylish enough for portability (metallic), although its as thick as 33 mm from base to keyboard.
The display screen is diagonal 15.6″ HD LED backlit with 1366 x 768 p resolution. There’s an HP logo on bottom left of lid. There are 2 models particularly in dv6-7200 series in India, 7206tx and 7207tx, the only difference being RAM and storage. The 7206tx has 8 GB RAM and 1 TB storage while 7207tx has 6 GB RAM and 750 GB HDD. The processor is Intel Core i7-3630QM with 6 MB cache memory. There is DDR3 1600 MHz RAM slots (Total 2) which gives up to 8 GB RAM. For handling heavy graphics, a dedicated 2 GB VRAM NVIDIA graphic card GT 630M is present. So specs wise, its pretty good for any work except overclocking. 2 GB VRAM is quite enough for handling any graphics work and games too.
Talking about ports, it has 3 USB 3.0 ports apart from 1 USB 2.0 port. Other standard ports include RJ-45, VGA, Headphone, microphone and HDMI. I also love its keypad as its numeric type, perfect for gaming as well as those who deal much with numbers. What i dislike is making direction keys (left, right, up, down) smaller. Those are one of the most important keys, making them smaller makes no sense to me. The touchpad is also multi-touch gesture features and large enough to have ample space to slide your fingers. For security, it has fingerprint reader too.
It has those amazing Beats audio speakers, that too 4 plus sub-woofer This renders amazing sound experience whole watching movies in group or gaming. Its truly a score in entertainment factors with dedicated GPU and beats audio speakers. Then there is in-built HD webcam and dual array microphone. DVD Burner is also present along with. For wireless connectivity, Bluetooth along with Wi-Fi is given.
The 6 cell battery life is one good thing here. It gives 8-9 hours of battery life on the run. Customer reviews on dv6 series models is overall positive. The starting price is Rs. 68,000 + for model no. 7207tx while additional Rs. 4,000 for 7206tx. This is pretty costly considering non-ultrabook category notebook but it does have latest features including 3rd generation processor chip, dedicated NVIDIA graphic card, Beats audio speakers, etc. Although there is a Rs. 60,000 ultrabook in ENVY Series 4-1002tx, which also has pretty decent specs and battery life.
Friday, January 18th, 2013 | Tablet | No Comments
Code named ‘Kona’ and will be sold as Galaxy Note 8.0 is what the latest buzz on leaks from Samsung is. Yes, Samsung is planning an 8-inch tablet to compete niche models like Apple’s iPad min and several other tablets like Nexus from Google. It’s gonna come with latest Android 4.2 Jelly bean and will also have a stylus pen. The screen will be LCD and 8 inch long. The specs are rumored to be 2 GB RAM, which is double than most of Notes type device. Although storage is going to be either 16 or 32 GB option but it has micro-USB and micro-SD card slots.
Rumors also tell that 2 versions of tablet, one with cellular SIM and other without it will come. No doubt, it has other wireless option as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Plus not to forget cameras both in front and rear, front being 1.3 MP while rear being 5 MP. The company is planning to unveil this at Mobile World Conference starting on Feb 25th this year (2013). We don’t know yet its exact availability this year and pricing. It will be interesting to see if it can match the demand its predecessors created.
Thursday, January 17th, 2013 | Tech news | No Comments
After Samsung and Acer, there’s another market player who will also offer Chrome OS, Lenovo. Lenovo will release 11.6″ diagonal 1366 x 768 p (Anti-glare screen) Thinkpad Chromebook X131e in February end. Although, this is purely targeted for schools market, students and grad college goers. This is not a mainstream laptop (which i figure none of the Chromebooks really is). The Built is more stronger this time, its got reinforced corner bends to sustain bumps and slips and also much stronger hinges which were extensively tested by fatigue cycle.
The physical built is done using portability size and rough usage factor in mind. But its a bit heavier than other Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung. But it also has a 6 cell battery which lenovo claims is enough for a students day at his institute. Processor is some random Intel chip while it has 3 USB ports. Initially lenovo will be giving bulk orders to schools and institutions and later on release for retail market, which is quite rational way to sell this laptop right now.
Google also gives Hardware and other support for school Chromebooks. As a matter of fact, Chromebooks are much easily supplied and labored than windows run laptops. Although this is largely web based laptop with no hassles like security, SATA’s, etc. It relies much on cloud IT services than on laptop. You can also check Windows based Chromebook sold for $199 from lenovo. Couple of days back, Samsung upgraded its Chromebook with Sandy bridge processors if you really want to check out for buying a Chromebook.
Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 | Laptop reviews | No Comments
Acer Aspire V5-431 is an absolute no brainer in today’s time when laptops at least have Sandy bridge CPU’s. But still its a cool laptop, mainly because its cheap and touchscreen featured. There are 3 models, 11.6″,14″ and 15.6″ touch display screen models in V5-431. The display is TFT colour LCD with 16:9 aspect ratio. In India, it comes with an Intel Pentium 987 Dual-Core 1.5 GHz processor with 2 MB Cache memory. There are 2 DDR3 RAM slots giving total 8 GB max. memory. 500 GB HDD as storage with no SSD. These are the only Core specs for this laptop.
The display is 10 point touchscreen and this model now comes with Windows 8 as OS. But this is no tablet-cum-laptop type hybrid device as touchscreen is just a feature of this laptop. Its not a convertible either. So definitely rule out the possibility to completely use it as tablet. The standard pixels is 1366 x 768 for this machine. It’s not downgraded in accessory portion as it comes with 1 USB 3.0 and a pair of USB 2.0 ports plus VGA and Network RJ-45 port too. For wireless it has Bluetooth as well as Broadcom made Wi-Fi. The 14 inch model is 23 mm thick and weighs 2.1 kg roughly. Its also got 1.3 MP webcam and in-built microphone. There is SD Card reader port as well. The 4 Cell battery roughly gives 3-3.5 hours battery life.
The keyboard is spaced with no numpad but large trackpad. Its one of those laptops having traditional long L shaped ‘Enter’ Key found even in Aspire S3 model.
While this laptop is no use if you want to run games or professional work software’s but can opted for mobility purpose and basic computing works. The only thing you may like is its slim and sleek look, making it feel like some Sleekbook or even Ultrabook. But as far as performance is concerned, I am not even sure whether it can support higher format video files as well, flawlessly. The price is around ₹ 26,000 with Windows 7 and can also be obtained Linus or DOS based model. The main drawback is much outdated processor and no GPU at all. The colour options as Misty silver and Smoky black. The Silver colour looks more fashionable than black one.