Sunday, 14 of February of 2016

Archives from month » March, 2011

HP Pavilion DM4-1160US 14-Inch Laptop PC Review

The all-new HP Pavilion dm4-1160us 14-inch Laptop PC scores right at the outset with its portability. Hp has tried to ensure that this notebook does not weigh much and is not too cumbersome. It also has an integrated fingerprint detector to heighten the security factor. However, despite the small size, it aims to have a good amount of entertainment features as well, which is why it has a 720p display, Dolby Advanced Surround Support and WiDi.

This Pavillion series laptop comes with an Intel Core-i5 450M processor running at 2.4Ghz, along with 2GB of DDR3 SDRAM (expandable up to 8GB). Graphics is a bit of a let down because it is embedded on the mainboard and has a shared memory. But it can be pushed up to 1696MB, so you can have a decent amount of graphics power with enough memory on the system. The display is a 1366×768, 14inch LED LCD display that is helped by HP’s proprietary BrightView technology. It comes with Windows 7 Home Premium Pre-(64-bit) pre-installed. Other than the Dolby Advanced Surround, the laptop also features Altec Lansing speakers. It has both HDMI and VGA out with 2 USB 2.0 ports and one USB2.0/e-SATA combo port. It also has a 5-in-1 card reader.

To use the WiDi On it, you will have to use the Netgear Push2TV adapter with your HDTV/Projector but it is a small investment to make for those who center their home entertainment around their laptop. And for those who are looking for a compact set up, laptops make perfect sense. WiDi just ensures that there’s wire mess either. Your laptop is will stream HD content wirelessly to your Push2TV connected HDTV without needing to have one or more of it’s ports blocked with adapters or getting bogged down with wires. WiDi’s true advantage hence is the fact that it is completely built in.

The HP Pavilion dm4-1160us 14-inch Laptop PC is selling on Amazon for $700, which is a good bargain for the number of features that this laptop has. Good for anyone who’s looking for an entertainment option on a budget.

NETGEAR Push2TV TV TV Adapter for Intel Wireless Display PTV1000 (Black) Review

The NETGEAR Push2TV TV Adapter for Intel Wireless Display PTV1000, is a companion device to Intel’s WiDi wireless HD streaming technology. It allows the any HDTV/Projector/Device with an HDMI input to display the wireless stream from a WiDi computer. Basically, it acts as the receiver for the wireless stream. It is sold separately and is not included with WiDi laptops. However, if you have a WiDi laptop, it can be worthwhile for you to make the purchase.

Connecting the Push2TV to a TV is quite simple. The connection needs to be done with an HDMI or an AV composite connector and from there on, all it takes is a few clicks of the mouse on the laptop. On being connected, the HDTV works like a second monitor, thereby allowing the user to use it for any application he desires. He can continue to access the web or play games on the big screen just as he would do on a laptop screen. The screen can also be used to access all the applications present on the laptop. However, due to a lack of HDCP compliancy, Blu-Ray and movie playback is not yet supported on the NETGEAR Push2TV.

The Push2TV adaptor comes in an extremely compact and conveniently designed box that approximately measures only 4.17 x 5.43 x 1.25 inches and weighs as little as 5.56 pounds. It is small enough to be carried around even. The sleek design also makes it easy for the user to switch between TVs. The adaptor comes with an HDMI cable included, an installation guide and a power adaptor. The NETGEAR Push2TV TV Adapter for Intel Wireless Display PTV1000 is selling on Amazon for $75 right now and it comes with a 1year warranty.

ASUS U43JC-X1 14-Inch Bamboo Laptop Review

The ASUS U43JC-X1 14-Inch Bamboo Laptop is projected as an all out entertainment laptop. It is a well-powered laptop with a 2.4Ghz Intel Core-i5-450m processor at the core of it. It also has a turbo boost feature that can take the processing power up to 2.66Ghz. It features a Nvidia G310M Graphics solution with 1GB of dedicated VRAM and NVIDIA’s intelligent graphics switching Optimus feature to save power. It comes with 4GB of DDR3 RAM (maximum) and comes with WiFi (b/g/n) and of course, WiDi.

WiDi, as you might know by now, is Intel’s very Wireless HD content streaming technology. It cannot be purchased on its own and to get it you must buy a laptop or PC that comes with WiDi. However, since it comes built in to your system, it has the advantage of working seamlessly with your system. No set up hassles and no blocking the precious few ports that a laptop has. This is the true advantage of WiDi — being set up right on the mainboard.

Talking about ports, this one also has HDMI out, so if you already have a wireless kit that accepts HDMI out, you can then simply plug it in to your own system rather than buy the Push2TV appendage. It also has a USB 3.0 port, which promises a blazing fast speed of  4.8 Gbits/s. Doing that math, that means you can plonk down 25GB in 70 seconds flat. So speed is not an issue with the U43Jc-X1.

The display is quite standard but good quality. 1366×768 LED backlit LCD display, which means it covers resolutions of up to 720p. The laptop comes with Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit pre-installed and it has an 8-cell 5600mAh battery that promises up to 10 hours of battery life. Of course, that is under testing conditions. Under real life conditions, you can expect around 5-6 hours of battery life under moderate usage. Too much video or gaming will definitely lower that mark down further.

The ASUS U43JC-X1 14-Inch Bamboo Laptop is selling on Amazon for $900 right now and it is quite a value for money deal.

GefenTV Wireless for HDMI 60 GHz Review

The GefenTV Wireless for HDMI 60 GHz is a wireless transceiver kit for connecting a HDMI source to a HDMI compatible output unit. With several other similar HDMI wireless transceiver kits in the market, GefenTV tries to stand out with its high-end quality and it certainly has the look for it too. The GTV-WIRELESSHD also separates itself from the competition when it comes to the price. At over $700, it is definitely not a casual investment. However, if you are serious about your home theater set up and really want  it to be wireless without any compromise on the quality of both audio and video.

The GefenTV’s biggest advantage, in my opinion, is its ability to stream uncompressed HDMI 1.3 audio and video over 30 feet in any direction. And it can also maintain resolutions of up to 1080p60, which is commendable. It supports up to 8 channels of 24bit@192Khz LPCM audio — as an audiophile I find that quite impressive. It is enough to win me over. Another good thing about it is that the firmware is upgradeable via the built-in RS-232 port. So there aren’t that many hoops to jump through and it is definitely preferable over no upgrades at all. Because this is a first generation device, you can rest assured that you will see some upgrades coming downstream soon. One more feature that I like is that it is HDCP compliant, making sure that you can stream all the HD content that you have, including the protected ones.

Other than the core features, you have an LED array to indicate operational status. Also, it has a 36-antenna array, much like some of the newer routers in the market. Thanks to this, there’s a steady signal and no drops or disconnections.

The GefenTV Wireless for HDMI 60 GHz is going for $719 on Amazon right now.

D-Link Wireless HD Media Player Review

The D-Link Wireless HD Media Player is a digital media player hub that wirelessly connects to your PC and also connects to the Internet via WiFi. Its features include high-quality uncompressed HDMI 1.3 audio and video. It gives remote display of resolutions up to 1080p60 to a distance of 30 feet. This wireless HD media player supports up to 8 –CH. 24-bit 192 kHz LPCM audio. The firmware can be upgraded thanks to the built-in USB port and standard connections 802.11g and b. There are also LEDs that indicate the functional status of the machine. It also comes with a powerful array of internal 36-Antenna — a recent design feature found in a lot of WiFi routers to increase signal strength and throughput. The device can out put to HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface), Coax Digital Audio, Composite Audio and Video, Optical Digital Audio and S-Video. So you are not likely to run out of options for common A/V connectors.

It comes in a compact size of 16 x 19.8 x 3.7 inches and weighs around 5.4 pounds. You can currently only get it in the US but D-Link has plans for introducing it to the other countries.

The D-Link player can stream media easily from the computer to your home entertainment system. The video playback high quality as long as the source is good. Audio is also reportedly quite good. Since it connects to your network through WiFi, it can access online services like online radio and video. You can also access media files form a USB stick. The player also supports software like Windows Connect Now.

Format support is extensive: MP3, WMA, AIFF, WAV and Ogg Vorbis. In images, it supports, JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF, JPEG2000 and GIF while in videos, WMV9, MPEG 1, MPEG 2, MPEG 4, Xvid, AVI (MPEG-4 Layer Only).

The D-Link Wireless HD Media Player Starts from $99 (used) on Amazon, which is a really great price for the amount of features it packs in. Over all, I’d say it is a really good bargain.

HP Pavilion dv5-2130us Laptop PC Review

The HP Pavilion dv5-2130us laptop PC is a 14.5 inch diagonal (13366 x 768) HD LED bearing device. It is positioned as an entertainment hub more than anything else, which explains it carrying WiDi with it. It is powerd by an Intel Core i3-370M Processor (2.40GHz, 3MB L3 Cache) and has 4GB DDR3 SDRAM memory, expandable up to 8GB. Storage is in the form of a Serial ATA hard drive and it comes with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit pre-installed. Graphics is handled by the inbuilt Intel HD graphics chip. It comes with an integrated 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN, Wireless LAN 802.11b / g WLAN.

There is a 5 in 1 memory card reader, 3 USB ports (2.0), one HDMI, VGA (15-pin); 1 RJ -45 (LAN), 1 Headphone-out and 1 Microphone-in. One good thing about it is that you can video chat in low light conditions due to it’s built in TrueVision HP webcam. It also has Lightscribe for custom CD labels. The laptop uses the puffy HP ClickPad and full size island size chiclet keyboard making navigation easy.

But my main focus is the WiDi that it comes with. It streams your media content, from photos to videos and music, right on to your HDTV and to your home theatre set up by extension. However, you will have to invest in a Netgear Push2TV adapter for your HDTV separately. It does not come with the laptop, which is a bit of a let down. However, having WiDi inbuilt makes sure that you do not have to plug in a separate dongle and it also gives you easier access to your media files. WiDi is an Intel developed technology, which also means that it works seamlessly with the laptop. So there’s no setup to be done. The HP Pavilion dv5-2130us laptop PC is going for $610 on Amazon right now, which makes it good value for money.

The Asus U33JC-A1 13.3-inch Laptop (Bamboo) Review

The Asus U33JC-A1 13.3-inch Laptop (Bamboo) is a notebook that has a 13.3-inch HD LED-backlit display and boasts of an impressive battery life of 10 hours. It also features the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 that is around ten times faster than the USB 2.0. It runs on the Intel Core i3 processor and its other features include a 4GB DDR3 system memory, a 500GB hard drive, a 2.0MP webcam, a multi-touch trackpad, and Windows 7 Home Premium. It has a streamlined bamboo design, in order to reduce the use of plastic material by 15%. The Optimus Technology allows for a smooth streaming of video and audio on the 1366 x 768 resolution display and also has the option of HDMI connectivity. The HDMI is perfectly compatible with LCD, Plasma, DLP screens and projectors. It features Intel’s WiDi technology, allowing you to stream HD content wirelessly to your HDTV or projector.

This means that you are definitely paying extra for your laptop to have WiDi but you will also have to buy the Netgear  Push2TV WiDi adapter ($72 on Amazon) separately for your HDTV to receive WiDi streams. However, once you have invested that in to your setup, the results are worth it. Since there are no extra bit to attach to your laptop, you get a clean set up to watch your video content through your home theatre screen. Also, given the powerful graphics hardware built in to the thing, you will definitely be getting a high quality video playback experience.

One complaint that I have with the laptop itself is the glossy screen. At this price point, is it too much to ask for a matte finish? Other than that, the Asus U33JC-A1 13.3-inch Laptop (Bamboo) is quite a capable notebook and will be able to handle most of your entertainment needs, including some good on the go gaming action.