Monday, 8 of February of 2016

Category » Laptops/Notebooks

Windows 7 outdoes Windows 8, For the First Time!

Not always do you find a successor being outdone by a predecessor. Be it in the mobile niche or the software niche, the successor is expected to tame its predecessor and eventually shoot it down to oblivion. However, that’s not the case with Windows 8.

It’s reported that the month of September saw Windows 8 pick up 0.61% more of market share that made its total market share stand at around 8.02%, the first time it has crossed the 8% threshold since its launch. However, Windows 7 too picked up 0.8 percent market share in September, outdoing the pace of growth of Windows 8. Now, Windows 7 holds a market share of 46.43%.

While incidents such as these do have a rare occurrence today, on the bright side this is the first time Windows 7 has outdone Windows 8 since the latter’s launch. What can be found as a probable reason for this event is that Microsoft has been employing a different strategy for two different market groups. While Microsoft is trying to engage more consumers to buy Windows 8, it is trying to sell more of Windows 7 to its enterprise clients, many of whom mostly use Windows XP even today. Windows XP is stil lthe favorite of many for viewing web pages, web designs and working on their PCs.

However, Windows 8 hasn’t exactly been flying off the racks either. Having met decent amount of success in the tablet niche, many users still shy away from using Windows 8. It’s to be seen how quickly Windows 8 manages to cross the 10% barrier. If the trend continues as it’s today, the mark should be crossed by early January or so. What will add to the portfolio of Windows 8 is the upcoming Windows 8.1 update and the launch of two news Surface tablets by Microsoft by end of this year. What’s concerning for Microsoft though is that it’s total market share is dangerously hovering just above 90% and the day shouldnt be taht far when we see Microsoft’s market share come below 90% for the first time.


Ultrabooks Are The New Flavor Of Tech: Intel Releases Massive Ultrabook Promotion

Acer Aspire S3-951-6646 13.3-Inch Ultrabook

Acer Aspire S3-951-6646 13.3-Inch Ultrabook on Amazon

Intel has launched a branding and promotion campaign designed to uplift Ultrabooks in the eyes of the masses. According to the message Intel is trying to push, Ultrabooks represent the new generation, or as they put it, the new “era” for computing.

Ultrabooks, as most of you must know by now, are ultra thin portable computers that replace the tablets of the world by being as light and also as fast. These are Intel Core processor based machines and the brand is owned and controlled by Intel. These would have replaced the already dying breed of netbooks but the price difference is what keeps that from happening.

The marketing campaign for Ultrabooks is the apparently the largest ever launched by Intel after their 2003 Intel Centrino campaign. Centrino was a milestone for the IT industry because it brought things like WiFi to laptops and made them standard issue everywhere.

The campaign is both online and on print and TV. With the hundreds of millions of dollars that Intel is putting in to this campaign, the company is definitely matching the efforts of the rest of the industry when it comes to Ultrabooks. Intel has been really bullish on this new standard even though it is essentially the PC counterpart of the MacBook Air.

The main selling points for the Ultrabooks over the MacBook Air is usually the availability of Windows and the better specs and larger size for the same price. A lot of people want a fully native Windows machine that allows them to run all their complicate productivity applications. This group of people have been sorely missing a category of devices that will be a bridge between the extremely light and portable tablets and the heavy, production oriented laptops that most of us heft around right now.

Ultrabooks are meant to fill up that gap and also provide a much-needed variety in the market. The MacBook Air is just one model and for $1000 you can buy the 11inch model. But for approximately the same price you can get an Ultrabook that is 13.3inch and is also much faster with a larger SSD unit. And there are multiple of these models to choose from.

With every major PC maker entering the Ultrabook market by summer this year, consumers will have their pick from the likes of HP (world’s largest PC manufacturer), Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, Asus and more.

Ultrabooks will also get another leg up once Windows 8 is launched. Windows 8 stands to bring a brand new UI to the market for the world’s most commonly used OS and with it will come Ultrabooks with hybrid designs for converting to tablets. Windows 8 will also make the Ultrabooks run faster and have instant-on features that are as speedy as tablets.

MSI GT783 Gaming Laptop Launched With GTX 580M GPU

MSI GT780DXR-095US 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop - Black

MSI GT780DXR-095US 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop - Black

For those gamers who demand top notch gaming performance on the go, MSI has launched the GT783 series gaming laptops. Packing the powerful GTX 580m GPU from NVIDIA, these supercharged 17inch mobile gaming machines come with 2.2GHz Core i7 2670QM quad-core processor and a dedicated 2GB graphics memory. This is standard across the GT783 series, as is the 17.3inch full 1080p HD display which will make your games come alive. This series is the follow up to the similarly specced GT780DXR-095US laptop.

Meanwhile, the GT783R variant comes with a whopping 12GB of DDR3 RAM and twin 750GB HDDs in a RAID array. If you are looking for more performance, there’s the GT783 with a mindboggling 16GB of DDR3 RAM. This laptop trades in the twin 750GB HDDs for a 128GB SSD for super fast performance. Both have their own unique advantages and at 8.6 pounds, neither are really meant for constant lugging around. However, if you want to carry your gaming rig around, this is definitely one of the best options.

As you can imagine from the configuration, the price tag is on the pocket-burning side of things. The GT783R can be yours for $2,300 and the GT783 is going for $2,500. For those who want to get started immediately, there’s a bundle featuring Battlefield 3 pre-installation with a headset, gaming mouse and some accessories.

Given the performance hardware on these laptops (including the older GT780DXR-095US), it will have absolutely no problems burning through the latest games even at high FPS settings. This would mean really smooth gameplay with some amazing results. No one should ask about the battery life though. With that much system memory and graphics memory always at work in tandem with the powerful CPU and GPU — you will be lucky to have one full fragging session without plugging your laptop in to a wall socket. But then, you are certainly not looking to play in the bus or while travelling in the train with these 17inch beasts. So most gamers would be content with the amazing performance they are getting.

Both of these laptops are essentially desktop replacements and are meant to save space on your desk and account for a good amount of portability without sacrificing on performance.

Both laptops have identical design and are different only in terms of internal hardware. It has specific gaming oriented design features such as different key backlight colors for separate keyboard regions. It also has dedicated shortcut buttons on top of the keyboard for quick access to various features. It has a completely black plastic finish with the MSI logo in silver on the back cover and underneath the display.

MSI GT783 Gaming Laptop

MSI GT783 Gaming Laptop

Comparable models on the market include the 18inch Alienware M18x, which comes to about 3,500 with an anodized aluminum chassis and more SSD storage. In comparison, you are getting almost the same performance parts without the extra 1.1inch diagonal screen space, metal chassis and the extra SSD storage for about $1000 less. Looked at from this angle, it’s actually a pretty good deal. There’s also the predecessor model called the GT780DXR-095US which is also a 17inch gaming laptop and now it comes for around $1700 and has very similar specs with Core i7 quad-core processor, 12GB RAM, 128GB SSD and 1.5GB Graphics memory with a GTX 570M discrete GPU. Quite the bargain actually.

Philips SWW1890/27 Wireless HD Net Connect Review

Philips SWW1890/27 Wireless HD Net Connect

Philips SWW1890/27 Wireless HD Net Connect

The Philips SWW1890/27 Wireless HD Net Connect is a computer to Wireless HD wireless transmission kit. It includes a HDMI dongle that is plugged in to your laptop/desktop’s HDMI port and a receiver that has a HDMI output to which you can connect your HD TV or projector. Setup is completely painless for this kit. It is truly plug and play. Just plug the transmitter dongle and connect the display to the receiver and you are done.

However, both units need a constant power supply. The receiver comes with its own power adapter for this purpose. The dongle however needs to pull it from the computer’s hub. For this, you will need to plug an extra cable from the dongle in to one of your USB ports. So even though it is a completely wireless set up, it blocks up one USB port. Once both are powered up and running, the pairing happens automatically and there’s no intervention necessary from the user.

Running a WHDI chip in the background, this kit from Philips transmits uncompressed HD signals over the 5GHz band. This ensures that the kit does not interfere with other wireless devices or receive interference from them. The transmitted signal is maintained at 1080p at 60GHz, giving your pristine HD quality without the hassle of wires. Since this based on WHDI, there’s no visible lag and is a good kit to be using for gaming that requires real time response from your transmitter and receiver. The best thing about this kit is that it does not require line of sight and can be placed across a distance of 23foot (6 meters) range — which is enough for you to sit on the couch with your laptop and transmit the images to the TV or projector. It is definitely designed to connect devices within the same room.

Philips SWW1890/27 Wireless HD Net Connect is designed to look very sleek. It has an over all dark finish that blends right in with the rest of your a/v equipment and sits in perfectly in most kinds living room décor. Its staid yet stylish looks are also similarly well-matched to a corporate environment. If you are presenting from an HDMI port equipped laptop to an HD projector — you can use this kit to avoid long wires in the boardroom. It is perfect for a permanent set up inside the boardroom of your company as well. Everything on your laptop will be shown at perfect 1080p HD. You can use it to either give you an extended desktop so that you can separate displays or you can mirror everything that’s happening on your screen.

Buyer reviewfor the Philips SWW1890/27 Wireless HD Net Connect in places like Amazon is quite positive. Users report enjoying the flexibility of a no line of sight setup and the great image quality that this set up provides. For the price, it provides really good performance and is very stable as well.

HP Wireless TV Connect Review

HP Wireless TV Connect

HP Wireless TV Connect

The HP Wireless TV Connect is a wireless HD connection kit that uses Amimon’s WHDI technology to broadcast HD signals over a wireless connection. It comes in the usual transmitter & receiver pair and it is optimized for use with desktops and laptops.

The transmitter and the receiver are designed as simple black boxes with a matte finish and strategically placed heat vents. The transmitter and the receiver units both have a nicely styled vertical stands to sit on. The transmitter also comes with a hanging bracket or clip that can allows it to be clipped on the back of the lid, somewhat like how webcams can be clipped on to laptop screens.

Set up is extremely simple since the connection is over HDMI, which is a dedicated display port. It is purely plug and play without any drivers. This also means that it can work on any computer with an HDMI out regardless of the OS.

Both units require external power. The receiver unit comes it with its own power source and it needs to stay powered at all times to be operational. The transmitter draws power from a free USB port on the computer. Both require HDMI ports to connect to. HP has thoughtfully added a USB splitter cable so that the USB port used for powering the device does not become blocked altogether and can be used by other devices. However, this device will only be able to use the USB port for data transfer and not for drawing power.

The box also contains the stands, the clip, two HDMI cables, power adapter for the receiver and a USB cable.

The kit supports video resolutions of up to 1080p @60Hz. Audio support includes S/PDIF DTS HD, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby, Digital Plus, AC-3 (5.1 channel) and HCDP 1.0. It has a transmission range of up to 5 meters (about 17 feet), which is often enough for a multi-room setup. There is no requirement for line of sight, which is a problem for many other Wireless HD kits like this.

The HP Wireless TV Connect can thus transmit full HD audio and video, including surround sound for your home theatre system. The HP TV connect is good for streaming HD videos and movies from your laptop and also for sharing photos and using your HDTV or projector as an external display for more workspace. Buyers have also reported good gaming experience through the kit because of almost negligible lag.

Since the transmitter is a large box, it is better suited to permanent set ups between your desktop and HDTV even though it is encouraged for use with laptops. However, the transmitter does not need to connect to anything other than the laptop for power and input, there are no wires tying your laptop down to one spot and you can easily move around.

Buyer reviews note that the HP Wireless TV Connect also works for computers with only VGA ports through a VGA to HDMI converter but the resolution will not reach HD because of the limitations of the VGA standard. Picture quality over HDMI is quite good with vivid colors.

ASUS U30JC-B1 13.3-Inch Laptop (Silver) Review

The ASUS U30JC-B1 13.3-Inch Laptop is an entertainment machine that looks small but works big. Loaded with a 2.4GHz Intel Core i3-370M multicore processor and 4GB of DDR3 1066MHz RAM (2GB x 2 slots, 4GB Maximum) it can handle your everyday tasks and multitasking with ease. It’s entertainment features come complete with a Nvidia G310M Graphics card with 512MB of dedicated DDR3 VRAM and Intel’s WiDi Wireless HD technology. This coupled along with NVIDIA’s Optimus intelligent graphics switching technology makes it a formidable machine that has a good battery life despite having powerful graphics.

It has a chiclet style keyboard with flat, isolated keys which make for comfortable typing and a smooth touchpad with a single bar button. The silver finish on it is spread throughout the laptop except for the bezel which is black.

It has a 320GB 5400RPM Hard Disk drive, a super multi optical drive and comes with a 64bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium pre-installed. The storage space is enough for the average user carry around his/her music collection, ebook, audiobooks and movies. The optical drive is capable of reading and writing DVD’s and you can easily watch your DVD’s on this laptop.

The 13.3 inch display is a good mid-ground between portability and a good amount of screen space. It has a native resolution of 1366×768, giving you a 720p HD display. The Nvidia G310M Graphics card makes it moderately good gaming laptop. It should be able to run most modern games at a acceptable FPS rates, with the exception of the really graphics heavy games.

With Intel’s WiDi built in and an HDMI out port readily available, this laptop gives you multiple ways of connecting the laptop to your HD TV or HD projector. To connect the laptop to your HDTV or projector wirelessly, you will need Neatgear’s Push2TV dongle that will allow the device to access the wireless HD stream from your laptop. This will allow you to enjoy your games and movies on a grand HD TV or Projector.

The ASUS U30JC-B1 13.3-Inch Laptop is a powerful entertainment hub and for under $800, it is a very good buy for those  looking to have a versatile machine that will take care of all their entertainment needs. Playing games, watching movies, surfing on multiple tabs and multi-tasking to boot — this laptop will do it all and also double up as a powerful office machine if you want it to.

ASUS U30JC-X3K 13.3-Inch Laptop Review

ASUS U30JC-X3K 13.3-Inch Laptop

The ASUS U30JC-X3K 13.3-Inch Laptop is a 13 inch laptop that packs in quite a bit of punch for its size. It is powered by a 2.26GHz Intel Core i3-35M processor, which is coupled with 4GB of 1066MHz DDR3 RAM and a super multi optical disk drive. But the reason behind our interest is that it comes with Intel’s Wireless Display (WiDi) wireless networking capability. This allows the user to wirelessly stream the contents of the laptop screen to any HD screen. It is similar to what the Wireless HD transceiver kits do but since this is built in, there’s no hassle of having to connect a dongle or similar to the laptop and then having to look for a power source or blocking up the few USB ports there are.

At 13 inches, the U30JC-X3k is the perfect size for a portable entertainment hub. It is small enough to to be comfortably carried around and has enough horsepower for smoothly playing back HD video content (local and streaming). It will also be good for some moderate gaming action thanks to the dedicated NVIDIA G310M graphics. Since it also comes with NVIDIA Optimus intelligent graphics switching technology, it also ensures that the battery life will be decent despite it having powerful graphics.

The display is standard fare — a 13.3 inch, 1366×768 pixel screen coupled with LED backlighting. It has a decent viewing angle and has a 0.3mp webcam on top part of the bezel, which is a slight let down because of the very low resolution. However, you can still have your video chats directly on your TV screen and if you are receiving HD video from the other end it will be all the better.

The 500 GB hard drive gives you a generous amount of storage space for all the media that you would like to carry around with you. As a portable entertainment machine, you can easily carry around handpicked HD movies on the ASUS U30JC-X3K 13.3-Inch Laptop is a 13 inch laptop and stream it to any HD TV using the WiDi receiver dongle. You will have to but the WiDi dongle separately. It is called Push2TV, is manufactured by Netgear an is available for purchase online.

HP Pavilion dv6-3150us 15.6-Inch Laptop PC Review

The HP Pavilion dv6-3150us 15.6-Inch Laptop PC is a great portable entertainment solution. If you are looking for a compact system that is capable of handling all your media and give you a great visual experience, then this laptop does fit the bill. This is especially true if you are looking to use it at home as an entertainment hub because it has Intel’s Wireless Display built right in to which allows you to stream the contents of your screen to any HDTV that is compatible with the WiDi adapter.

The 2.53Ghz Intel Core i5-460M processor powering the the laptop is coupled with 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM (expandable up to 8GB), which makes for a good combo for an entertainment machine. It has ample storage space on its 640GB 5400rpm SATA HDD and comes pre-installed with Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.

The screen is well-suited for watching video content. It is a 15.6inch LED backlit HD display with a native 720p resolution support. The graphics support is onboard, so it won’t be able to handle hardcore gaming. However, the Intel HD graphics with up to 1696MB memory is perfectly suited for playing back HD content and some games that don’t need that much graphics horse power.

There are 4 USB .20 ports on the dv6-3150us with one being a USB/e-SATA combo. It has both HDMI and VGA — a good thing for video enthusiasts. There’s a 5-in-1 card reader and the usual Ethernet and audio ports. All together, HP has made sure that you have more or less everything that an average user might need. The DVD drive is super multi with LightScribe built in. It has Dolby Advanced Audio with Altec Lansing Speakers, ensuring really clear and crisp Audio.

WiFi 802.11b/g/n is built in along with Intel’s Wireless Display which allows you to steam your content to a HD Screen wirelessly. You will be needing the separately sold Netgear Push2TV WiDi adapter to receive the WiDi signals transmitted by the laptop. However, it is only a small investment in order to have a smooth wireless display solution that does not clutter your laptop’s ports.

At around $800 on Amazon, the HP Pavilion dv6-3150us 15.6-Inch Laptop PC quite a good deal.

Toshiba Satellite M645-S4047 LED TruBrite 14-Inch Laptop Review

The Toshiba Satellite M645-S4047 LED TruBrite 14-Inch Laptop is aimed at the mobile entertainment market that demands power and flexibility at the same time. This is where the Satellite M645-S4047 really shines. It is an Intel Core i5-450m 2.4GHz powered laptop that borders on ultraportable because it is a 14 inch device. It features the built in Turbo-boost technology that allows you to overclock the processor to 2.66GHz.

It comes with 4GB of installed memory, which is expandable up to 8GB. One snag with this laptop is that it only has onboard, Intel Graphics with a shared memory that is dynamically allocated between 64MB-1694MB depending on what you are doing. It is okay for all your average stuff like surfing, crunching spreadsheets, watching movies and also some gaming action. But if you are looking for a machine that will do justice to your gaming needs, you will have to look at a higher price bracket. Over all, it is a package that is more geared towards mainstream entertainment and it covers all the usual areas.

It’s 14inch screen at a native 720p resolution gives you a good HD experience. The onboard graphics is quite capable of handling all your HD content. The 16:9 aspect ratio makes it especially well suited for watching movies on the go. It comes with a healthy amount of storage — 500GB SATA HDD, although it is 5400 rpm.

On the connectivity front, it integrates an Intel Wireless-N WiFi with Intel’s own Wireless Display or WiDi technology. This enables you to stream your laptop’s display directly on to an HD screen, whether it be an HDTV or an HD projector. You will need the separately sold NetGear Push2TV adapter for receiving the signal but since it is all built in, it makes sure that there is absolutely no hassle when it comes to the laptop itself. There’s no dongle blocking up the ports and there’s no power cable dangling unless you want to plug it in.

On the whole, the Toshiba Satellite M645-S4047 LED TruBrite 14-Inch Laptop is a great piece of equipment to have, especially for those looking at a budget price.

ASUS U53JC-A1 15.6-Inch Thin and Light Bamboo Laptop Review

The ASUS U53JC-A1 15.6-Inch Thin and Light Bamboo Laptop comes with a dual-core Intel Core i5-450M processors with the Turbo Boost overclock feature to push it up to 2.66GHz. It also features Nvidia G310M graphics with 1 GB of dedicated VRAM and Optimus Technology for intelligent graphics switching to save battery life. It has 4GB of DDR3 1066 MHz RAM — arranged in 2 slots of 2 GB each. The hard drive has a capacity of 640 GB with an RPM speed of 5400. It comes with a super multi optical drive and Windows 7 Home Premium pre-installed. On the connectivity front, it has Windows wireless 802.11b/g/n and also WiDi (Wireless Display) — Intel’s wireless HD streaming feature. There’s also Bluetooth.

This is a laptop geared towards entertainment, a point driven home by the specs and the 15.6 inch HD LED display. There are HDMI and USB 3.0 ports and an 8 cell 5600 mAh battery with a rated battery life of 10 hours. In reality, you can expect a around 6-7 hours with average usage including surfing, some video and music playing.

The U53JC-A1 is a good laptop to have if you are looking for something that is going to be good for entertainment on the go. With 1GB of dedicate graphics and 4GB memory, gaming is quite good on this Intel Core-i5 machine. And since this is a WiDi enabled model, you can easily stream that game to the larger display if your HDTV of HD projector. WiDi requires that you have the Netgear Push2TV (sold separately) for receiving the WiDi signals from your laptop. But even though you have to invest separately for Push2Tv, having the transmission device onboard makes things much cleaner around your laptop. WiDi uses the same Intel wireless architecture, so it is not an additional drain on your system either.

Overall, as a mobile entertainment system, the ASUS U53JC-A1 15.6-Inch Thin and Light Bamboo Laptop is a pretty good option to have around.