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Showing posts from October, 2010

Trends Lenovo IdeaCentre Q150

We meet again with Lenovo product reviews. The Lenovo IdeaCentre Q150 ($399 direct) is a simply designed nettop, made to be placed on your desk or bolted behind an HDTV or large LCD monitor. It's one of the best Web video/photo/music media consumption devices out there, once you've hooked up to a big screen.

Design and Features
At 6.75 by 0.80 by 6 inches (HWD), the Q150 is even more compact than tiny PCs like the Apple Mac mini ($699 list, 4.5 stars) or eMachines Mini-e ER1402-05 ($299.99 list, 4 stars). It has no distinctive features, easily blending in with any decor. The Q150 looks like a black silicone trivet you'd keep in your kitchen to prevent hot pans from damaging your table. Because of its slim form, you could bolt it to the back of a large screen monitor or HDTV with the included VESA mounting bracket. Once bolted to the back of a big screen, the display effectively becomes a large all-in-one PC.

Multimedia, Digital Entertainment System, Nettop

eMachines EL1352-10e Product Reviews

If you're looking to spend $500 period, then the eMachines EL1352-10e ($499.99), a Costco desktop, is a complete desktop PC that includes a 20-inch widescreen monitor in a single box. It's more capable than other nettops in its price range, plus it's still more compact than most of the mini-towers out there. The EL1352 is a good example of a simple PC that can serve many functions for a decent price.

Processor Family
AMD Athlon II
3 GB
Storage Capacity (as Tested)
300 GB
Graphics Card
nVidia GeForce 6150 SE
Primary Optical Drive
Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Design
The EL1352 is a compact, small form factor (SFF) desktop PC with enough space inside for a full-sized DVD burner and internal hard drive. Contrast this with the eMachines Mini-e ER1402-05 ($299.99 list, 4 stars), which is a nettop you can hide behind an HDTV. The Mini-e and nettops like it are so compact because it uses a notebook-class drive and lack…

Bing Versus Google

It seems as if Google is concerned, once again, about developing a social network which will enable it to compete with Microsoft's conjunction with Facebook.

This is going to be the comedy act of the year.
Numerous articles floating around seem to promote the idea that Google may be unable to compete with the likes of Bing once the great social network of Facebook opens the kimono to Microsoft. The argument states: because there is so much personal information about me on Facebook (I actually don't have a Facebook account), that when I search for something on Bing, a cloud of personal information can be analyzed to improve search results. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

First of all, it doesn't make any sense. If I am looking for a schedule of events in San Francisco, what does my Facebook data have to do with it? If I am trying to find the exact date Thomas Jefferson was born, then what does Facebook have to do with it?

This entire gambit is unfortunately…

Trends OS Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7 is a brand-new thing. Microsoft's total mobile OS reboot is bold and fresh. It's also definitely a Version 1.0. Zune fans will be immediately impressed, but for everyone else, buying into Windows Phone 7 is taking a gamble that Microsoft will sand away the rough edges quickly.

For now, Windows Phone 7 is arriving on six phones in the U.S.: the Samsung Focus ($199.99, 4 stars), HTC Surround ($199.99, 3 stars) and LG Quantum on AT&T; the HTC HD7 and Dell Venue Pro on T-Mobile; and the HTC 7 Pro on Sprint. Verizon has said it may support the OS in 2011, but hasn't made any clear commitments.

All the initial Windows Phone 7 models have a lot in common. They run on the Qualcomm QSD8250, 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 chipset. They all have 800-by-480 screens, 5-megapixel cameras, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and FM radios. They vary in terms of hardware keyboards, phone performance, camera quality, preloaded software, and available storage.

The Basic Interface
Windows Phone 7's…

Trends Sony Walkman NWZ-E353

Sony E Series Walkman (NWZ-E353) MP3 player is very reasonably priced. Not only do you get 4GB of storage, a 2-inch screen, and photo and video support, but for far less than the new Apple iPod nano ($149; 8GB, 2.5 stars), which has a smaller 1.54-inch screen and offers no video support at all. Sony could have stopped there and had a modest-but-cheap product on its hands, and that's what the company did. The Archos 3cam vision ($99; 8GB, 3.5 stars) has a video recorder and Samsung's YP-R0 ($99.99; 8GB, 3.5 stars) has a better user interface and earphones than your average budget player, but the E Series is no-frills device. It's works well, but is a bit boring when compared with other low-price players.

Storage Capacity (as Tested)
4 GB
Player Type
Flash MP3 Player
Music Playback Formats
AAC, MP3, WMA, Protected WMA
Photo formats
Video Formats
3.7 x 1.75 x 0.4 inches Design and Features
Sony's E Series NWZ-E353 comes in blue, black…

Finepix Real 3D W3 From Fujifilm

The $499.95 Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W3 is a true 3D camera—it packs two lenses and two image sensors into a pocket-friendly build. The W3 snaps large 10-megapixel 3D images, and shoots 3D video in 720p24 high-definition that you can view in 3D on the camera's LCD, or on a 3D HDTV or a 3D-enabled PC. With the touch of a button, the W3 also becomes a capable (though expensive and somewhat bulky) 2D camera. The W3 is not a difficult camera to operate, but shooting photos that look good in 3D can be challenging. Not every image you shoot is going to look good in 3D—in fact, most images I shot during testing were very difficult to view, and some actually hurt my eyes to look at.

10 MP
Media Format
Secure Digital High Capacity
35-mm Equivalent (Wide)
35-mm Equivalent (Telephoto)
Optical Zoom
3 x
LCD size
3.5 inches
Wireless Connectivity
HD Video Capture
Yes Design and Features
Other than the two lenses, the camera looks like an ordinary 2D camera.…

Brother MFC-9320CW Product Reviews

Some multi-function printers (MFPs, aka all-in-ones or AIOs) deliver lots of features. Others emphasize high-quality print output. The Brother MFC-9320CW ($500 street) focuses squarely on speed, with the fastest overall time on our tests for its price class. If print speed is one of your key concerns, this may be just the color MFP you're looking for.

The MFC-9320CW is an LED printer, a category that's usually grouped with lasers, because it's basically a variation on the same technology. The difference is that instead of using lasers, LED printers use LEDs to draw the image of each page as the first step in printing.

Printer Category
Color or Monochrome
1-pass color
Technology (for laser category only)
Connection Type
USB, Ethernet, Wireless
Maximum Standard Paper Size
Direct Printing from Cameras
Rated speed at Default Resolution (Mono)
17 ppm
Rated Speed at Default Resolution (Color)
17 ppm
Standalone Copier and Fax
Copier, Fax

Canon Pixma iX7000 Product Reviews

The Canon Pixma iX7000 Inkjet Business Printer is the third inkjet printer I've seen in the past several months that can print on tabloid (11- by 17-inch) or larger-size paper and is aimed tightly at small offices—particularly micro and home offices. Together with the Epson Work, it represents a newfound interest on the part of these three manufacturers in offering budget tabloid printers suitable for a small office on a tight budget.

The Canon printer is the most expensive of the three, but also the one with the fewest compromises. It's second to the HP printer for speed, and second to the Epson printer for output quality, but not by much in either case. On the plus side, it offers an Ethernet connector, which the Epson printer lacks, and it outshines both the HP and Epson printers when it comes to paper handling.

Printer Category
Ink Jet
Printer Only
Color or Monochrome
1-pass color
Ink Jet Type
Standard All-Purpose
Connection Type
USB, Ethernet
Maximum Standard…

Asus U45Jc-A1 Product Reviews

Asus has the chops to make an outstanding laptop, as it proven with the U30Jc-A1 ($899 street, 4.5 stars)—a 13-inch lightweight that is powerful, sexy, and battery efficient. Its latest offering, the Asus U45Jc-A1 ($867 street), bumps the screen size to a 14-inch widescreen, while retaining all the goodies that made its smaller sibling so successful. A sleek metallic frame, Nvidia switchable graphics, and over 9 hours of battery life are just the tip of the iceberg. Thus, the U30Jc-A1 passes the torch to the U45Jc-A1, making the latter the new Editors' Choice in the mainstream category, and one of the best laptops I've tested.

General Purpose, Media
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Processor Speed
2.4 GHz
Processor Name
Intel Core i3-370M
4 GB
4.7 lb
Screen Size
14 inches
Screen Size Type
Graphics Card
Intel GMA HD
2nd Graphics Card
nVidia GeForce 310M
Storage Capacity (as Tested)
500 GB
Networking Options

New Trends Polywell MiniBox X5800x-3D

The Polywell MiniBox X5800x-3D ($2,099 street, $2,499 with 23-inch monitor) is a jack-of-all-trades desktop PC: It can be used for gaming, multimedia tasks, movie watching, and it's tagged with the latest of buzzwords, 3D. It has Intel's quad-core i7-930 CPU, Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 graphics, Blu-ray, and a very spacious hard drive. While it's a little pricey for a game box, nomadic gamers should look at this system for use at home and at LAN parties. specialized Otherwise you should look at alternative systems to save money or consider something with more expandability.

Gaming, Mainstream, Digital Entertainment System
Processor Family
Intel Core i7
6 GB
Storage Capacity (as Tested)
2000 GB
Graphics Card
nVidia GeForce GTX 480
Primary Optical Drive
Blu-Ray Disc
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Design and Features
At 9.12 by 7.12 by 9.25-inch (HWD), the X5800x-3D is compact compared with a tower, but still big w…

Care to Watch Google TV?

Just to complete my reviews about Google TV, on this post I wanna ask you a question. Do you want to view the Internet on your TV? With all of the activity in IPTV these days, this is one of the key questions that is at the heart of whether IPTV eventually succeeds or fails. Since TVs were invented, we have been trained to sit in front of them and consume not interact with them. And only recently have we had to multitask with our TV. Even though we've had picture in picture for years, it took news scrolls at the bottom of our TV screens to train our brains. So, how will consumers integrate the new and even more complex IPTV features into their TV viewing experience?

One of the traits of consumers that has emboldened the IPTV crowd to push forward is the fact that many people sit on their couch and use their laptops or tablets while watching TV. They reason that if they multi-task in this fashion, they may be willing do it on the bigger screen. While I accept the fact that people m…

Photoshop CS5 Extended Reviews

Arthur C. Clarke postulated that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," and every new release of Adobe's industry-standard bitmap image-editor, Photoshop, comes closer to proving that true. The newest, Photoshop CS5 ($699 to $999 list, $199–$899 list for upgrades), implements features that aid in selection, painting, and high dynamic range (HDR) photography, as well as a new capability that's as close to digital prestidigitation as we've yet seen. Photoshop CS5 may not be a must-have revision for every user, but it's an outstanding, easy-to-use, and—yes—magical release that shows Adobe isn't yet done changing the game.

Business, Personal, Enterprise, Professional
OS Compatibility
Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS, Windows 7 Photoshop's Content-Aware Fill
The most eye-popping of the changes here is Content-Aware Fill. Sound familiar? It should—Photoshop CS4 ($700 - $1,000 street, ) added Content-Aware S…

Latest Trends Xbox 360 (250GB)

Microsoft was the first to enter this current console-gaming generation with its original Xbox 360, a hulk of a system that beat both Nintendo and Sony to the punch. Despite the millions of Xboxes sold (or possibly because of it), the 360 line—encompassing the Xbox 360 Core, Xbox 360 Elite, Xbox 360 Pro, and Xbox 360 Arcade has been plagued by the infamous red ring of death, a fatal design flaw that caused some overheated Xbox 360 units to shut down and become inoperable. It also lacked built-in Wi-Fi (a feature that Sony's competing PlayStation 3 has included since it's launch), and the hard drive, which protruded slightly from the system, gave it an even bulkier appearance. Microsoft aims to remedy all of these ills with its latest $299.99 (list) Xbox 360 (250GB). Dubbed the "Xbox 360 slim" by both journalists and consumers, the redesigned Xbox 360 has the same horsepower, game library, and rich online experience as previous Xbox 360 models, but contains several ke…

Trends Samsung Acclaim SCH-R880

The Samsung Acclaim ($79.99 direct) is a fine handset with one main problem: it isn't as powerful as the HTC Desire, our current Editors' Choice for US Cellular phones. Instead, it's in that lower tier of Android smartphones which cost less up front, but are slower and not quite as easy to use. If you want a hardware keyboard and a touch screen in one handset, the Acclaim will get the job done, but it doesn't stand out otherwise.

Service Provider
US Cellular
Screen Size
3.2 inches
Screen Details
320-by-480, 65K-color TFT LCD capactive touch screen
850, 1900
High-Speed Data
1xRTT, EVDO Rev 0
Processor Speed
800 MHz Design, Call Quality, and Apps
The Acclaim measures 4.5 by 2.3 by 0.6 inches and weighs 4.6 ounces. It's actually a few tenths of an ounce lighter than the HTC Desire, despite the fact that the Acclaim includes a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and the Desire doesn't. The plastic body is a combination of glossy and matte…