Sabtu, 28 Maret 2015

Assessment: Gigabyte P34Wv3

Laptop Reviews - This is the Clark Kent involving laptops. Like your alter ego involving Superman, this gaming notebook computer cuts an humble appearance but hides a strong force. It is often a machine that permits you to run the most current games smoothly.
The source of its power may be the Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M chips, the second-most strong mobile graphics chips in Nvidia's secure. It packs enough grunt to run Crysis 3 with around 30 frames per second at full-high-definition resolution sufficient reason for the graphics establishing at High.

While you will find faster gaming laptops on the market, the Gigabyte strikes a good balance between effectiveness and portability. With around 1. 8kg, this 14-inch laptop is about light adequate to lug about everywhere.

It seems to be good, too. Sure, it is significantly less sleek as the most recent ultrabooks, but its aluminium chassis isn't that much thicker. In fact, the Gigabyte (20. 9mm) is thinner compared to 13-inch Apple MacBook Expert with Retina show (21. 9mm), nevertheless Apple's laptop weighs in at less, at 1. 58kg.

The Gigabyte's matte screen has good looking at angles. Colours usually are vibrant, though the display doesn't have any touch function. For any 14-inch display, your 1, 920 x 1, 080-pixel screen resolution must be more than enough.

The keyboard will be backlit. The LED is white instead of the typical red or maybe blue ones favoured by gaming equipment.

If this laptop incorporates a weakness, it may be the dual fans which keep it awesome. When spinning with maximum speed, your noise they generate is distracting.

You possibly can, of course, drown out your noise by arriving the volume or wear a couple headphones. You also can reduce the fan speed using the Gigabyte Smart Supervisor app.

But although changing the enthusiast mode to Stealth will be recommended for typical computing tasks, it truly is probably best to let the fans run with high speed when doing offers.

I would also advice that you disable your Windows logo key via the Smart Manager to prevent accidentally hitting the item and disrupting your own gaming session.

It has both a solid-state drive and a hard drive. That pairing ensures games and apps insert quickly, while having enough storage for most users.

This laptop can be acquired at Gameproshop (at Funan along with Sim Lim malls). It is not cheap but you will find few gaming notebooks as capable along with portable as this kind of.

An excellent all-rounder that is ideal for working adults that has a gaming hobby.

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H.P Stream 11-d023tu Evaluate: Low-Cost Laptop With a Bold Sense involving Style

Laptop Reviews - Entry-level laptops most often have just the least specifications, but they're powerful enough to deal with most everyday tasks. Sometimes, compromises are made in order to accommodate otherwise expensive features for example a touchscreen, and occasionally style is much more important than overall performance. Today, we also come with an emerging category involving tablets that manage Windows and feature external keyboards in order to be used productively when you may need. In all this specific, it can be hard to determine which tradeoffs acknowledge and where the correct balance lies.
HP has think of a device that provides us another option - the revolutionary Stream 11-d023tu. It's part of some devices that emphasise portability and online connectivity, and so it breaks from your usual common criteria that we miss when it comes to laptop specifications. The Stream lineup also incorporates a laptop with the 13-inch screen and also a tablet with a great 8-inch screen, but cures have today would be the smaller clamshell product, the Stream 11.

Even as it doesn't have any kind of powerful hardware to provide, it does come with an integrated 3G modem. You can only pop a SIM card right slot privately and you'll be online with out a Wi-Fi hotspot. This is a pretty unique attribute, and is a lot more convenient than by using a 3G dongle.

Appear and feel

There's no driving around it: The HP Stream 11 is usually an eye-catching device, and not anyone will think this is the good thing, or that it is been done to the right reasons. H . P . has experimented withcolourful pastels previous to, but the Flow 11 takes unusual design to your whole new level. The entire exterior is a bright blue, except for the mirror-finished HP logo at the center of the sport bike helmet. The texture senses good, but it in your time with the device it picked way up smudges, sweat and oil from our fingers very easily, and even bought scuffed when being placed in or pulled outside of bags.

However, the genuine shock comes whenever you open the sport bike helmet - the keyboard deck features a bright blue gradient running from your back to the top and because of which obviously wasn't unique enough, someone in HP's design studio thought we would throw in the white polka-dot pattern also. The keyboard keys will also be white, and so there is indeed a lot going on whenever you look down in the lower half on this device.

Sure, it sticks out, but that truly isn't always great. HP says it had been clearly meant to make the Stream 11 be noticeable in a group of black in addition to grey laptops that is certainly certainly true. As with any design and so distinct, there are going to be people who pick the Stream 11 due to the looks alone and the same (or greater) variety who don't buy it even if they think it is just a good product.

There is no variant with a sober colour scheme. In fact you will find there's bright pink option in some markets, and HP is undecided whether to introduce the idea in India - so this is actually the company's idea involving safe and neutral!

Colour aside, there's not significant to see. All ports are within the right: one headset plug, one USB two. 0 port, one USB 3. 0 vent and an HDMI online video output. That isn't a lot, considering this product isn't particularly sleek. On the left, you'll find the Kensington lock slot machine game, the power inlet, the SIM cards slot (full size) and an Sdcard slot. The battery is usually sealed inside and there isn't a fan that requirements vents, so nothing is to see within the bottom. The stereo speakers are within the curve of the bottom lip, so they fire forwards nevertheless downwards.

The screen isn't going to support touch feedback, and so it isn't covered with reflective goblet. The matte finish is a relief, but the tv screen itself isn't of high quality. There's also a great deal of blue plastic all-around it, which is the only area of the Stream 11 that makes it look a very little childish, reminding us of devices for example Intel's Classmate LAPTOP OR COMPUTER.


The HP Flow 11 is powered by the lowly Intel Celeron N2840 PC, which is the dual-core model in addition to runs at two. 16GHz. This particular processor is based on the Bay Trail architecture that is usually associated along with low-powered Atom processors, not the Haswell architectural mastery which powers almost all of Intel's desktop in addition to laptop CPUs. There is certainly 2GB of GOOD OLD RAM, which is your minimum acceptable amount currently.

HP has lower a corner with regards to the amount involving storage available. The Stream 11 features only 32GB involving solid-state memory that is again more widespread of tablets in comparison with laptops. This is usually disappointing, and HP tries to spell out it away simply by pointing out your ubiquity of impair storage services currently, and the undeniable fact that 32GB of flash will be a lot faster than a spinning hard disk drive.

Strangely, the SD cards slot can simply handle cards of up to 32GB, which is merely ridiculous to people. SDXC capacity support wouldn't normally have cost a whole lot extra, and even tablets today enable more expansion. With Internet access still too slow-moving and expensive for anyone to rely with cloud services, buyers who must store more than a few documents will really need to get used to carrying a portable hard disk drive around.

The screen resolution is obviously 1366x768, though that's not too bad for an 11. 6-inch tv screen. However the screen itself is not of high quality. Viewing angles aren't good, colours are generally dull, and it isn't really visible enough underneath indoor office lighting until you pump the brightness nearly all the way up.

The keyboard is almost full-sized and typing comfort wasn't a problem. Only the arrow essential cluster is cramped, as HP always contends on doing. The actual trackpad is huge and responsive sufficient, but its mechanism is a little wobbly and the whole lot sinks a little whenever you touch it.

The actual Stream 11 works the 64-bit variation of Windows 8. 1 and includes a one-year Microsoft Office 365 subscription, consisting of 1TB of OneDrive space to the duration. McAfee LiveSafe is usually preinstalled and there are also a few spammy apps for example Tripadvisor, MySMS, The elements Channel and HP's personal Connected Music.


We calibrated our expectations in the Stream 11 dependant on its low-grade Celeron, and our instincts turned out to be accurate. Performance was barely much better than what we'd expect from your netbook or pill. The Stream 11 booted rapidly thanks to your flash storage, but there have been definitely times when the device lagged without even a lot load. Menus took a 2nd to pop way up, programs didn't load very snappily, and also the Windows 8 spinning-ring cursor created frequent appearances. In spite of this, all other devices as of this price level, regardless of size or form, perform roughly the same.

The benchmarks don't surprise us a lot, except that both 3DMark and PCMark were unable to run for you to completion. Only PCMark's House scenario finished in addition to gave us the score of 1777 items, which was with par with entry-level notebook computers and tablets. POVray finished running in thirty minutes, 13 seconds although Cinebench gave people a CPU score of 70 (multi-threaded) -- both scores effectively below those in the HP Pavilion 13-b102TU we reviewed a short while ago, illustrating the kind of tasks that are really crippled because of the low-end processor.

SiSoft SANDRA pointed out favourable performance scores to the storage subsystem, which isn't a surprise. The processor became available looking weak, especially in non-accelerated tasks for example data encryption bandwidth.

The one area when the Stream 11 did do much better than contemporary devices had been battery life. Battery pack Eater Pro happened to run for 5 a long time, 2 minutes previous to Windows automatically shut down, which should indicate you could get a full workday's use outside the Stream 11 about the same charge.

We definitely wouldn't normally try to manage even moderately challenging 3D games and programs within the Stream 11. First, there would barely be adequate space to install them, and beyond they just wouldn't work well.

A label within the hinge promises "DTS Studio Sound" even though the Stream 11 could get pretty loud devoid of distorting, sound wasn't very rich or perhaps deep. Most of our test tracks, throughout musical genres, sounded tinny and severe.


At 1. 27kg, the Stream 11 is concerning as portable as other laptops involving its size. Its price is usually quite attractive, considering that clamshells are simpler to work with than tablets along with folding keyboard insures. However, the Stream 11 features a different focus in comparison with most laptops, and not anyone will think ditching onboard storage in preference of a SIM card slot is a worthwhile tradeoff.

There are a variety of people this product would work for: students, seniors, field workers, not to mention those who choose it due to the style. It also seems like just the right balance for fundamental productivity without distractions, making it an appealing device for colleges and colleges.

In contrast, HP might get limited its potential audience while using garish design -- it's hard to imagine any large, considerable company equipping it's entire mobile workforce with bright violet polka-dotted laptops, even if the balance involving cost, connectivity and portability is merely right.

A simple explore any shopping web site will throw up a long list of black laptops along with better specifications within this price range which are larger and more substantial, but a much bigger sober. Other alternatives include Chromebooks and tablets like the Swipe Ultimate 3G (Review) in addition to Notion Ink Cain (Review | Pictures).

In the long run, while the Stream 11 seems like a laptop, it won't really offer all of the range of efficiency that laptops carry out. With the performance of the tablet but absolutely no touchscreen, it winds up feeling just like a reimagined minilaptop. What would really make this product interesting is usually if HP were to offer a deal with mobile carrier's networks for a reasonable amount of free 3G data every 4 weeks. For now however, we would advise buyers considering the Stream 11 to believe very carefully about whether it will suit their requirements.


Low price tag
Integrated 3G modem
Good battery life


No sober coloration option
Low amount of storage space
Minimal performance.

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Lenovo ThinkPad T450s Assessment

Laptop Reviews - Lenovo's notebook uses the same chassis as their predecessor, the ThinkPad T440s, and that's a very important thing. With the T450s' oblong shape and raven-black cover, sides and underside, the device has got the quiet but sophisticated ThinkPad aesthetic that's equally at your home in the boardroom or the cafe. The red TrackPoint pointing stick and red-striped buttons include small splashes associated with color. ThinkPad logos using glowing red lights to the dot in the "i" lay on the lid plus the deck, blinking to exhibit you when one's body is asleep.
Despite the fact that don't like the ThinkPad T450s' old-fashioned looks, you must love its sturdiness. With a carbon-fiber cover, magnesium body in addition to interior roll cage, the notebook is designed to take some neglect, passing MIL-SPEC testing for extreme temperature, humidity, vibration, crushed stone, shocks and infection. The company additionally tests the T450s simply by opening the device's s / s hinges 30, 000 times in addition to dropping metal balls within the machine from over the meter in the air. The keyboard also offers a drain to help you it survive splatters.

If typing ease and comfort and speed are essential to you, there is no better choice compared to the ThinkPad T450s

On 13 x 8. 9 by 0. 83 inches width and 3. 8 kilos, the ThinkPad T450s (touch-screen version) just isn't the thinnest or maybe lightest business laptop in its measurement range, but it had been more than svelte enough personally to carry all around indoors or bring to figure in my laptop bag. If you have a regular display as opposed to the touch screen your review model included, your ThinkPad T450s is going to be just 3. 5 kilos. This makes it the same weight as the 13-inch MacBook Professional (12. 4 by 8. 6 by. 71 inches, 3. 5 pounds), though somewhat larger.

Lenovo's own ThinkPad X1 Carbon features a 14-inch screen and is particularly significantly thinner in addition to lighter (13 by 8. 9 by 0. 73 inches width, 3. 07 pounds), nevertheless it costs more, and it has shorter battery living and shallower recommendations. Using the extended battery as opposed to the default adds 0. some pounds of excess weight and 0. 3 inches of thickness on the bottom back from the T450s, but getting a lot more than double the battery life is going to be worth it for a lot of users.


If typing ease and comfort and speed are essential to you, there is no better choice compared to the ThinkPad T450s, which includes the best notebook keyboard money can find. It's even superior to many other ThinkPads. Having 1. 9mm associated with travel and 63 gary of actuation push (55-60 is typical), the keys possess a strong tactile believe makes typing unbelievably comfortable and precise. Almost as good is the subtle indentation inside the keys themselves, making it easy to feel towards you around and stay clear of adjacent-key errors.

Due to the fantastic key sense, I achieved an interest rate of 96 words for each minute on the Five Thumbs Typing Analyze, matching the highest score I've ever before gotten and well above the 70 to 86 wpm I usually score on some other laptops. The keyboard comes standard which has a two-mode backlight, which was a lot more than bright enough with its lower setting and even more powerful on the greater one.

TrackPoint in addition to Touchpad

Like some other ThinkPads, the T450s incorporates two different directed devices: a touchpad and also a TrackPoint pointing keep. I prefer the TrackPoint, because it provides much more exact navigation, allowing us to highlight wording, click small icons and zoom from side of the screen on the other, without having to be able to lift my hands off of the home row.

The particular ThinkPad T450s functions dedicated left, right and center buttons to the TrackPoint. This is a huge improvement on the 2013-2014 ThinkPads, which built just about all three buttons into the top of the clickpad, forcing stick users to relocate their fingers straight down further and press with much better force. Lenovo got a number of well-deserved criticism when planning on taking dedicated buttons away within the T440s, so the corporation deserves some credit for hearing its customers in addition to bringing those buttons back within the current model.

If you need a more traditional touchpad, the ThinkPad T450s' 3. 9 by 2. 25-inch clickpad a lot more than fits the costs. It offered smooth navigation across the desktop in the tests while precisely registering multi-touch gestures including pinch-to-zoom, two-finger rotate in addition to four-finger swipe for showing the task manager. Many gestures, including Windows 8's swipe to alter apps, were disabled automatically, but after going to the Advanced Settings on top of things Panel, I could turn them just about all on. I also found that it was easier to relocate my pointer throughout the screen in a single motion after converting the speed from the touchpad up a few notches.


The particular 1, 920 by 1, 080 touchscreen display screen provided sharp, colorful images in our tests. When I viewed a 1080p trailer to the Avengers: Age associated with Ultron, the red throughout Black Widow's hair plus the green in the Hulk's skin made an appearance deep and wealthy, while the combat scarring on Chief America's shield definitely stood out.

The T450s' display managed to produce 100. 8 percent from the sRGB gamut with our color check, which means that it can show significantly more shades than the average notebook in their category (76. 6 percent), the X1 H2o and (86 percent) plus the MacBook Pro (91 percent). Their colors are moderately accurate, as the idea returned a Delta e error rate associated with 3. 9 (0 is perfect), a score that's decent but not as strong as the MacBook Pro's 1. 2 mark.

At 236 nits with our light meter, the T450s' screen just isn't as bright as the 242-nit category average, and far beneath the MacBook Pro's blinding 389 nits. Viewing angles were solid up to about 60 degrees to the left or right, with some loss in dark shades in more extreme positions. However, the glossy touchscreen display screen shows fingerprints rather prominently in dark-colored areas.

The screen responded quickly and accurately to all of my touches, whether I was tapping over a tiny window widget or swiping in on the left to change apps. The digitizer helps 10 points associated with touch, as I could draw with all my fingers while doing so in Windows Fresh paint and perform multi-touch gestures, such as pinch-to-zoom with ease.


While nearly high fidelity, the ThinkPad T450s's audio system provide sound which is loud enough to fill a large room and hugely accurate. Whether My spouse and i was playing Tag Ronson's drum-centric "Uptown Funk" or maybe Chic's bass-heavy "Good Periods, " the audio was suitable to dance to and failed to suffer any tinniness or maybe distortion.

Dolby Digital Furthermore audio software promotes the sound quality somewhat and permits you to customize the equalizer or decide on profiles, including people for movies, tunes and gaming. After i toggled the Dolby application to off, the music sounded somewhat flat.


The particular ThinkPad T450s stayed at pleasantly cool through our tests. After quarter-hour of streaming online video at full display screen, the touchpad scored just 82 levels, the keyboard clocked in with a mere 85 degrees plus the underside was merely 89 degrees Fahrenheit. We consider temperature below 95 degrees acceptable and the ones below 90 levels imperceptible. In some other words, you would not feel any warm under normal conditions.


Unlike thin notebooks, such as the ThinkPad X1 H2o and, the ThinkPad T450s features a full compliment associated with ports, letting you connect to a variety of peripherals and networks without using a dongle. On the right side take a seat a USB 3. 0 dock, an Ethernet relationship, VGA out, the headphone/mic jack, a Kensington lock slot and also a 4-in-1 card readers. A number associated with business notebooks lack Ethernet, making it much harder to connect to be able to wired networks, in addition to VGA, which remains to be standard on quite a few conferencing systems in addition to projectors.

The remaining side houses the mini DisplayPort out and two far more USB 3. 0 plug-ins, for a full of 3. In contrast, the MacBook Pro has no Ethernet port, plus the X1 Carbon comes with an extender port, which usually requires an adapter. The X1 H2o and also lacks an Sdcard reader.


The particular T450s' 720p cam captured colorful graphics of my deal with, which were somewhat noisy under the somewhat dim fluorescent lights in our office. In an exceptionally dark room, the picture had been more pixilated but nevertheless vibrant and thorough. Frequent video-conferencers may appreciate the notebook's dual-array microphones, which is often optimized for possibly single- or multi-voice talks.


With their 2. 3-GHz Intel Core i5-5300U, 8GB associated with RAM and 256GB SSD, our configuration from the ThinkPad T450s was a lot more than powerful enough to handle any productivity job. On Geekbench 3, a synthetic standard that measures effectiveness, the T450s scored 5, 993. That's below the 7, 082 thin-and-light laptop category average yet on par using similarly specced systems much like the ThinkPad X1 H2o and. The MacBook Pro 13-inch and 2. 7-GHz Core i5-5257U were significantly faster, notching 7, 113.

Suited to office work, the ThinkPad T450s took just 4 minutes and 41 seconds to accomplish the Laptop Mag Spreadsheet Macro check, which involves related 20, 000 names using addresses in OpenOffice Calc. Would you minute faster compared to the category average (5: 41) and 33 seconds quicker compared to the T440s (5: 14). The particular MacBook Pro fared better, finishing in only 3: 28.

To its speedy 256GB Toshiba SSD, the T450s concluded the Laptop Mag File Transfer test in only 34 seconds. Would you rate of 149. 7 MBps, concerning 40 percent previously mentioned the 104. 2 MBps category average but not quite as fast as the MacBook Pro, which notched an interest rate of 386 MBps.

The harder than 15 time of battery life is sufficient juice to fly from The big apple to Taiwan


Though nobody would certainly mistake the ThinkPad T450s to get a gaming machine, their integrated Intel HIGH-DEFINITION Graphics 5, 500 design processor is rapid enough for casual gaming and critical productivity. The laptop scored 59, 843 with 3DMark Ice Thunderstorm Unlimited, a man made benchmark that procedures graphics. That amount is slightly guiding the 65, 420 class average, but many products inside the thin-and-light category are made with discrete design.

When we energized a game of World of warcraft, the T450s achieved an extremely playable rate associated with 36 fps throughout 1080p resolution with the default settings, greater than the MacBook Professional (24 fps). If we turned the unique effects up, that rate dropped to a slide-show-like 14 fps, which was actually a bit less than the also-weak MacBook Professional (17 fps).

Battery power Life

If you need enough juice to generate it through a worldwide flight (with Wi-Fi on), obtain the ThinkPad T450s, pop in Lenovo's high-capacity battery and ready yourself for epic endurance. With the six-cell battery pack attached, our T450s with touchscreen display screen lasted a robust 15 hours in addition to 26 minutes That's long enough to be able to fly from The big apple to Taiwan plus much more than double the 6-hour and 8-minute thin-and-light laptop category average.

That 15: 26 time is usually more than several hours longer compared to the MacBook Pro 13-inch's moment (12: 04) in addition to nearly double the ThinkPad X1 Carbon's moment of 8 time. Thanks to their power-efficient fifth age group (Broadwell) Core i5 CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT, the T450s even improved within the T440s (12: 37) simply by nearly 3 time. Considering that contact screens drain additional power than standard displays, the nontouch configuration from the T450s probably will last several time longer.

With the standard three-cell battery, the T450s lasted the more-pedestrian 7 time and 31 minutes. However, you can buy the six-cell type, which is the same exact battery as used by the T440s, from e-tailers like Amazon had to have $78. Hopefully, Lenovo will begin offering this battery being a configuration option rapidly, just as it did using the T440s.

In addition to its additional battery, the T450s comes with an internal pack that gives some of their power and permits you to hot swap products without shutting from the machine.

Configuration Selections

Our review configuration from the Lenovo ThinkPad T450s includes a current street cost of $1, 592. 10. For your price, you obtain the notebook with the Core i5-5300U CENTRAL PROCESSING UNIT, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, Glass windows 8. 1 Pro and also a 1080p touch display screen. Lenovo lets you configure the system to order, and you can save a lot of money by choosing inexpensive options. The touchscreen display screen alone adds $310 on the base price.

The base type ThinkPad T450s costs an exceptionally reasonable $881 and features a 2. 2-GHz Core i5-5200U CPU, 4GB associated with RAM, a 500GB hard disk, Windows 8. 1 non-Pro and also a 1, 600 by 900 nontouch display screen.

To get the very best mix of cost and features, we recommend setting up the T450s which has a 1080p nontouch display screen ($70), which provides you with a sharp image, along with extended battery life and also a lighter chassis. Select the 2. 2-GHz Core i5-5200U CPU that isn't much slower compared to the Core i5-5300U with our review program, but costs $100 fewer. If you can certainly live with fewer internal storage, the 128GB SSD is a $90 premium versus $280 to the 256GB model. If then when the six-cell rear battery can be found as an alternative, it's worth every single penny; on the T440s, it was merely a $5 premium.

Application and Warranty

Lenovo preloads the ThinkPad T450s which has a few helpful utilities and no less than crapware. The touch-friendly Settings application permits you to control audio, wifi, power and TrackPoint/ touchpad options. Lenovo Companion provides entry to the company's service forums, system revisions and user books, along with a mixture of Lenovo promotional content and links to be able to news on a variety of sites. Lenovo Fingerprint Manager allows you to set up the optional fingerprint readers.

Lenovo QuickControl permits you to use your smartphone being a remote control, moving the pointer all around, typing into job areas and pausing or maybe playing media, but if you ask me it frequently shut off from my Galaxy Note 3. Shareit provides a fast and simple way to sync files which has a mobile device in excess of Wi-Fi. Reachit searches a nearby storage on all of your devices (Windows, Android or iOS) while doing so.

The T450s also incorporates Pokki Start Food selection, a third-party app that sits inside the taskbar and launches its own "Start menu" with no actually replacing or enhancing your Windows 8. 1 Commence button. A lot from the options in Pokki's software lead you to the company's app store, which makes the main menu feel more like a promotion compared to a useful utility. Glass windows 8. 1 users who desire a useful Commence menu replacement have a lot of other options, such as Classic Shell, the free download.

Lenovo backs the ThinkPad T450s which has a standard one-year warrantee on parts in addition to labor. You can find an extended warranty that climbs up to four years or add-on on-site service in addition to accidental damage defense, with prices which range from $39 up to be able to $399.

Bottom Range

Even if you just aren't buying it pertaining to business, the ThinkPad T450s is the better notebook for having work done. You will find other laptops using solid performance in addition to high-res screens inside the $850+ price variety, but the T450s holds head and shoulder muscles above the crowd using its best-in-the industry keyboard set, durable chassis in addition to epic battery living.

If you're trying to find more portability and are prepared to accept less battery pack life and keyboard set comfort, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a strong choice. If you would like more performance and also a brighter display, the MacBook Pro ought to be near the top of your respective list. However, if you're looking for the ultimate combined productivity and portability, the ThinkPad T450s is your best option.

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Jumat, 27 Maret 2015

New 12-inch MacBook vs iPad Air 2: Should you buy Apple's ultra-portable laptop or super-slim tablet?

New 12-inch MacBook vs iPad Air 2

Is the new 12-inch MacBook or the iPad Air 2 the right portable device for you? Our comparison looks at the design, specs, features and price of Apple's newest laptop and tablet to help you make the buying decision.

Should I buy the new 12-inch MacBook or an iPad Air 2? I want a super-portable computing device for web browsing, email, some light work and a little gaming on the go.

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With the launch of the new 12-inch MacBook, Apple has added yet another super-portable computing device to an already impressive line-up: the iPad Air 2 tablet, for example, which launched in October 2014, is similarly slimline and exceptionally portable, as well as fast and beautifully designed. But which of the two is the better option for Apple fans on the go?

In our 12-inch MacBook vs iPad Air 2 comparison article we discuss and compare the specs, design, features and value for money offered by the new 12-inch MacBook and the iPad Air 2, and help Apple fans decide which of the two is right for them - or if some other (Apple or non-Apple) product could be a better option.

New 12-inch MacBook vs iPad Air 2: The basics

Apple's new 12-inch MacBook is a marvel of portability. It's by a distance the slimmest laptop Apple has ever made, and the lightest too; although some compromises have been made to achieve these things - such as, controversially, stripping back its port allocation to a single USB-C point for both data and power (and a headphone port).

But if you like slim and light, Apple's flagship tablet deserves a mention, because it's both of those things and (by the standards of a tablet at any rate) exceptionally fast too.

To get really basic, here's what you need to know about each:

The 12-inch MacBook is a laptop with a standard clamshell design, meaning the keyboard half and the screen half fold together when it's closed. The keyboard is integrated and non-detachable, as is generally the case with laptops.

The (non touchscreen) display measures 12 inches, diagonally from corner to corner, and has a resolution of 2304 x 1440 pixels. The MacBook comes with a dual-core Intel Core M processor - either 1.1GHz or 1.2GHz, depending on how much you want to spend - and 8GB of RAM (but we'll get into tech specs in more detail in a bit).

It runs the Mac OS X operating system (currently it comes with Yosemite preinstalled, but will most likely be able to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.11 for free when it launches later this year) and any of the wide range of software apps that are compatible with OS X. (You can also run Windows on the MacBook using Boot Camp, and this unlocks the even larger range of Windows-compatible software.)

New 12-inch MacBook vs iPad Air 2 comparison

The iPad Air 2 is a tablet. It doesn't have an integrated hardware keyboard, although you can buy a range of detachable wireless keyboards and keyboard cases to go with the iPad. In most situations a software keyboard will appear on the screen - this is less effective than a hardware keyboard because your fingers don't get any feedback (accurate touch-typing isn't really an option, unless auto-correct is on good form) but it usually does a solid job.

The (touchscreen) display measures 9.7 inches, diagonally from corner to corner, and has a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. The iPad Air 2 comes with a mobile processor, the A8X chip. (Apple doesn't release the specs of its mobile chips but it's rumoured that this is a triple-core with a clock speed of 1.5GHz.) It has 2GB of RAM.

The iPad runs the iOS operating system (it currently comes with iOS 8 preinstalled but will be able to update to iOS 9 when it comes out later this year) and virtually all of the 1.4 million or so apps available on the Apple App Store. (A little over half of these are officially iPad-compatible, but you can run most iPhone-only apps on an iPad, either blown up artificially to fill the full screen - which may result in pixellated, poor-quality graphics - or in a small window in the centre of the screen.) You can jailbreak an iPad to run unauthorised apps, but if you aren't willing to do this you are restricted to Apple-approved apps only.

Has that helped your decision? If not, we had better move on to more detailed analysis of the two devices.
New 12-inch MacBook vs iPad Air 2: Portability, dimensions and weight

We're looking at these devices from the perspective of highly mobile users, computing, gaming and entertaining themselves on the go. So portability is a key factor.

12-inch MacBook: 280.5mm x 196.5mm x 3.5–13.1mm. Weight: 920g
iPad Air 2: 240 mm x 169.5 mm x 6.1 mm. Weight: 437g (for WiFi-only model) or 444g (for cellular model)

(I've converted the MacBook's figures to mm and grams for ease of comparison, so there may be some minor rounding errors.)

As you can see, the 12-inch MacBook is comparable in terms of height, width and depth: it's about 17 percent longer and 16 percent wider than the iPad Air 2 (laid flat in landscape configuration) and similarly slender. But it's more than twice as heavy. If pure portability is your aim, the iPad Air 2 is the stronger option here.

Part of the reason why the MacBook is so much heavier is down to the integrated keyboard, which we'll discuss next.

New 12-inch MacBook vs iPad Air 2: Keyboard and touchpad

If you want to use your device for mobile working, consider the importance to you of a hardware keyboard. If this is crucial, then you'll need to factor in the cost, weight and general inconvenience of a separate keyboard when planning an iPad purchase. The Logitech Type+ Keyboard Folio Case for iPad Air 2, for instance, will add £79.95 to the bill and 425g to the weight, almost eliminating the weight advantage.

New 12-inch MacBook vs iPad Air 2 comparison

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But do you need a hardware keyboard? Many people find software keyboards (such as the default system keyboard in iOS) fine for short or even mid-length typing assignments, but almost everyone prefers a hard keyboard for long-form, proper work - they are almost always quicker and more accurate in the long term. If you'll mainly be typing out emails and iMessages, the software keyboard will do you proud. If you intend to write essays, news articles or frequent lengthy blog posts, you may need to think about a separate keyboard - although the ability to take the keyboard off and leave it behind when you just want to play games on the train is a nice bonus.

The keyboard in the 12-inch MacBook, by the way, is clearly something that Apple is proud of. The company is keen to stress that it's a full-size keyboard, for one thing, even though what it really means is that the keys are full-size - something that's impressive in a laptop that's so petite. Still, in order to squeeze the keyboard into the portable chassis the keys have been placed unusually close together, so typing may not be quite as smooth and flowing (at least as first) as when you're using the giant model that came with your PC.

And the keys themselves have been redesigned with a new 'butterfly' mechanism instead of the old 'scissor' one. We're not sure that's such a big deal, mind you, and would certainly want to spend some quality time playing with it; it seems mainly designed to allow for accurate key presses in a slimline laptop chassis.

On a related note, the 12-inch MacBook - like the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, but unlike all the other MacBooks that Apple sells - comes with a redesigned touchpad. This is called the Force Touch, and incorporates some minor haptic elements. In essence, you can do hard presses and soft presses, and specify to OS X what each one does. It's fun but again, we're still getting used to it.

New 12-inch MacBook vs iPad Air 2: Screen

The MacBook has a bigger screen, and that alone may make the decision for some potential buyers. (Funnily enough, the dimensions of the new MacBook's screen pretty much matches what we were expecting from the iPad Pro or iPad Plus; it's possible that sightings of components for the MacBook was what started that rumour in the first place…)

A 12-inch screen might not seem drastically bigger than a 9.7-inch one, but in terms of screen area it's (very roughly) an extra 40 percent of space. That can make all the difference if you like watching films or playing graphically arresting games, or just want to be able to view the whole of a spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation. (The degree to which those latter two activities are possible on the iPad is something we'll discuss in the software section later.)

The iPad Air 2's screen is a shade sharper than the MacBook's: its pixels are less stretched out, with a pixel density of 264 pixels per inch (ppi) to the MacBook's 226ppi. Mind you, you're likely to use the MacBook with your eyes further from the screen (you should do, certainly), so the general principle is that less visual sharpness is necessary to achieve a similar eye-fooling effect.

One other point that will probably stand in the iPad's favour: its display is a touchscreen, which makes general use a little more instant, and a little more intuitive. You just touch the icon with your finger and move it, or swipe the page up and down as if it's a physical object you're moving. Watch a child playing with an iPad and you'll understand how user-friendly its control system really is, and how unnecessarily complicated we've made computing, with our keyboards, touchpads and mice.
New 12-inch MacBook vs iPad Air 2: Performance

We're going to get to specs in a moment, but first let's pick out one particular aspect: processing power.

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Direct comparisons between the processing muscle of the 12-inch MacBook and the iPad Air 2 are pointless as well as tricky, because no single piece of software will run on both devices. What counts is how well each device copes with the range of software available to it. (And how well that range of software accomplishes what you want to do, but we'll address that in the software section.)

The iPad Air 2's A8X chip is according to report clocked only a little faster than the MacBook's Intel Core M (although it is believed to be triple- rather than dual-core) but within its class it's a completely different story. The A8X is class-leading, and the iPad Air 2 is about as fast as any tablet in 2015. It can run any of the software on the App Store with contemptuous ease.

By contrast, and by the standards of the laptop market, the 12-inch MacBook is generally felt to be a little underpowered. OS X-compatible software has the potential to be run by a wide range of hardware, from the Mac mini to the Mac Pro, and there's plenty of software out there that the 12-inch MacBook will struggle to handle - such as a fair few recent games.

Whether this is a problem for you depends on what you want to do with your device. The really demanding software - the stuff that people run on a Mac Pro - encompasses graphical design suites, video editors, photo editors and the like, as well as high-end games. If that's what you want to run, the 12-inch MacBook is not for you, but then again, with the exception of gaming (which, in the slightly more limited form that iOS games take when compared to desktop ones, the iPad Air 2 excels at) an iPad probably isn't for you either. We would recommend one of Apple's powerful MacBook Pro laptops, most likely, or a Mac desktop (an iMac or a Mac Pro).

If you're going to use your device for surfing the web, email, a little work and a little light gaming, as we discussed at the start, the MacBook will do you fine. As will the iPad Air 2, although its range of available software is more limited. More on that shortly.

We'll update this comparison with some detailed speed testing once we've got the MacBook in our labs. But here's how the iPad Air 2 compares to its fellow Apple tablets. It's a bit of a powerhouse:

New 12-inch MacBook vs iPad Air 2: Tech specs

Here are a few more tech specs to give you an idea of the respective power and capabilities of the two devices. One thing that may be worth pointing out is the RAM allocation: the 12-inch MacBook has four times as much, which may help to overcome some of the disadvantages of its slower processor

New 12-inch MacBook vs iPad Air 2: Software

Other than the hardware keyboard, this is the big differentiator between the MacBook and the iPad. They run completely different and separate libraries of software, as well as a different operating system under it all.

The MacBook is based on Mac OS X, a 'desktop OS' and one that is therefore amenable to a certain amount of tinkering and customisation. Less so than most desktop OSes, admittedly, but far more so than iOS, the mobile operating system that the iPad is based on.

iOS - unless you are willing to jailbreak it - is a sealed system, allowing software downloads only if they come from one specific storefront (the iOS App Store) and the bare minimum of customisation - you can't even delete any of the pre-installed apps that are on the device when you buy it. (This does seem to be improving slowly, however. In iOS 8, the most recent version, Apple added the ability to download and install third-party system-wide keyboards, for instance, and allowed limited and mediated data exchange between third-party apps.)

More importantly than customisability, however, is the range of software that these systems can run. Developers have been making software for OS X for more than a decade, and the range of compatible apps is huge - and that's ignoring the even bigger range of Windows software that you can use if you use Boot Camp to run Windows on the MacBook. Mac software runs the gamut from high-end designer tools to simple utilities and a decent range of games. The range of office/productivity software on Mac is extensive.

iOS has a lot of apps too - there's more than 700,000 iPad-compatible offerings on the App Store - but they are rarely as ambitious as the top-end software on Mac OS X. The debate still rages concerning the iPad's feasibility as a work tool: most now agree that it can serve in this capacity, with Microsoft's Office apps now among the wide variety of productivity tools available on iOS, but few would deny that it's more limited in this respect than a Mac.

So available software is an important factor to consider, in tandem with careful analysis of the activities you plan to do on your device. Certain activities are catered for better by desktop platforms (graphical design, long-article word processing), and certain sub-categories too: in the gaming sphere, for instance, there are lots of brilliant tower-defence and puzzle games on the iPad, but only a few desktop-standard first-person shooters.

New 12-inch MacBook vs iPad Air 2: Battery life

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The 12-inch MacBook has a more substantial battery unit than the iPad Air 2 (39.7-watt-hours, compared with 27.3-watt-hours), but because of its greater power demands it's likely to last a little less away from a mains supply. Apple rates the MacBook at 9 hours of wireless web surfing, and the iPad at 10, and our testing has always backed up the honesty - modesty, even - of Apple's battery life claims.

Indeed, recent testing we've been running on the new MacBook Pro has seen some startlingly high figures, so you may find that your 12-inch MacBook last considerably longer than the listed figure in practice.

New 12-inch MacBook vs iPad Air 2: Buying decision

The iPad Air 2 and the new 12-inch MacBook feel like similar products - both beautiful, light, slimline computing devices, available in black, silver and gold, that are aimed at the Apple fan on the go. They're both based on a single data/power port too.

But there are some big differences to consider. While both are very portable by the standards of their category, the iPad is a lot more portable - assuming you can live without a hardware keyboard. If you're going to be doing a lot of typing, you should factor in the extra cost and weight of a separate keyboard case.

The key difference is the fact that the MacBook runs Mac OS X and the iPad runs iOS, and despite continual rumours that these system are going to merge they remain distinct platforms tailored to different use scenarios.

If you're looking for a work device, principally, the MacBook is the better option of the two here. There's a better range of work software on OS X, the hardware keyboard and Force Touch touchpad will be a crucial advantage over a touchscreen, and the extra screen space will be a boon.

If you're looking at a mobile companion for a little light work but mostly email, web surfing and light gaming, the iPad is more appealing. It's cheaper, it's lighter, it's got access to the huge range of casual games on iOS (and has the power to deal with even the most advanced games on there too) and it's incredibly user-friendly - even more so than the Mac.

But don't ignore your other options. On the Apple front, remember the MacBook Air, which is also very portable and comes with more ports - this is a good device for light work, and can come with a 13-inch screen if you want. It's also a cheaper option than the 12-inch MacBook. The MacBook Pro is a better option than the 12-inch MacBook for work that's going to place heavy demands on the processor (music production and video editing, say). And there are cheaper iPads (the older iPad Air 1, or one of the small iPad minis) that may lack the iPad Air 2's processing power but still do the job.

Finally, even thought this is Macworld you shouldn't discount the possibility of buying from someone other than Apple. Windows laptops are almost always cheaper than a OS X laptop of equivalent power, and if you like or are used to the Windows platform you can benefit from the huge library of Windows software. We think Macs are worth the extra money because of their high build quality and security, and the user-friendliness of OS X, but plenty of people disagree with us. See our Mac vs PC article for more thoughts on that front.

And there are non-iPad tablets out there, even though we tend to think the Android alternatives are consistently of a lower quality than Apple's tablets. An Android tablet is likely to be a cheaper option, and Android is a far more customisable operating system than iOS; there are pros and cons to both sides.

Hopefully this has been helpful. Good luck, and happy computing.


If you're looking for a work device first and foremost, the MacBook is the better option. There's a better range of work software on OS X, the hardware keyboard and Force Touch touchpad will be a crucial advantage over a touchscreen, and the extra screen space will be a boon. If you're mostly going to be using email, web surfing and light gaming, the iPad is more appealing. It's cheaper, it's lighter, it's got access to the huge range of casual games on iOS (and has the power to deal with even the most advanced games on there too) and it's incredibly user-friendly - even more so than the Mac.

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Rabu, 25 Maret 2015

Gigabyte Brix S BXi7H-5500 Broadwell Mini PC Review

Laptop Reviews - Gigabyte Brix S BXi7H-5500 Broadwell Mini PC Review, Gigabyte's Brix line-up of small form factor systems is the company’s answer to the teeny, tiny NUC from Intel. These ridiculously small PCs pack all the power of a laptop, or a budget desktop, into a box small enough to fit in your palm. These wee PCs are marketed to non-gamers and people who need a basic, no-nonsense PC with a tiny footprint. Think people who need a PC for a kiosk or for basic, day to day computing. These little brick PCs are basically made to mount behind a monitor, and use mobile parts and solid-state components to keep the noise and heat to a minimum.
One big difference between these Ultra small form factor PCs and traditional PCs is that these little boxes are mostly sold as barebones PCs, meaning they come with some but not all the components needed to run. The basic loadout consists of a CPU, power supply, motherboard, chassis, and wireless card, so it’s up to you to install your own memory and storage. Once you drop them into their slots inside the chassis and install an OS, you have yourself a fully-functional PC.

The last time we examined the Gigabyte Brix in April of last year, it performed quite well, but was somewhat noisy and ran hot. Gigabyte has learned from this experience, and has outfitted this latest model with a shiny new Broadwell CPU from Intel. Yes, Broadwell, which are the all-new 14nm CPUs we’ve been salivating over since before Haswell hit the scene.

The particular chip that's the star of the show today is dubbed the Intel Core i7-5500U. This is a dual-core chip with hyperthreading, 4MB of L2 cache and a super-low TDP of just 15w. The CPU includes onboard graphics care of the on-die Intel HD Graphics 5500 series engine.

These chips are Intel’s 5th generation Core processors, and because of the die shrink from 22nm to 14nm they should offer better performance-per-watt, a smaller footprint, and stronger integrated graphics compared to the previous generation.

You can see the full specifications below:
In addition to its Broadwell CPU this Brix model also sports a wireless card that supports 80211.AC (and older flavors) as well as Bluetooth and NFC. It offers two empty SO-DIMM slots that can hold up to 16GB of DDR3 clocked to 1866MHz, and it also has an empty mSATA port as well as a traditional SATA port that is on a flexible cable in case you want to add an mSATA SSD and a 2.5” drive. There’s also an M.2 PCIe slot but the wireless card occupies it.

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The ASUS Zenbook UX305 Review

Laptop Review - The ASUS Zenbook UX305 Review, It was way back in 2011 that ASUS launched the Zenbook series. The original UX21E and UX31E were the first of the thin and light Ultrabooks from ASUS to bear the Zenbook brand, and featured an all-aluminum chassis. ASUS has kept the styling consistent over the years, and refined their Zenbook with each new model. The new UX305 is their thinnest and lightest incarnation to date and keeps the Zenbook aluminum frame, with the distinctive concentric-circle finish on the lid, and squeezes the laptop down to an incredible 12.3 mm thickness.
Part of that story is what is powering the UX305. Intel’s Core M processor is a 4.5 watt chip which has compressed the entire system on a chip into a much smaller package than the traditional Core processors that have powered the other Zenbooks. ASUS has created a system board with a ten-layer high-density PCB which is only 0.83 mm thick, and roughly the size of a six-inch smartphone. Core M, with its low Thermal Design Power (TDP), also enables fanless devices, and ASUS has done this to provide a laptop computing system with no moving parts at all, and therefore it is virtually silent.

The most amazing thing about the ASUS UX305 though is that the company has crafted an all-aluminum, thin, light, and capable Ultrabook for only $699. With this kind of price point, one would expect sacrifices to be made in the specifications, but that is not really the case at all. For the base starting price, the UX305 comes with the Core M-5Y10 processor which has a base clock of 800 Mhz and boost to 2 GHz, along with 8 GB of LPDDR3-1600, and a 256 GB Solid State Drive. The display is a 13.3 inch 1080p IPS panel, and in April a 3200x1800 model will be available which includes multi-touch.

For the US market, the $699 5Y10, 8GB, 256 GB 1080p model will be the base, however they will offer other configurations in other markets. As far as specifications, there is very little to complain about. ASUS has still managed to fit a 45 Wh battery onboard, and it has all of the ports one would expect of a modern Ultrabook, with three USB 3.0 ports including one port with sleep charging, a micro-HDMI port, a headset jack, and a micro SD card slot. They have even fitted a 720p webcam. Really the only spec that that might be considered cutting corners is the 802.11n wireless, but some models will come with 802.11ac as well. ASUS has packed all of this into just 1.2 kg, so the UX305 is very light too.

One look at the UX305 and you can instantly tell that ASUS is going for those who are after a premium Ultrabook, but with a budget price. However that budget does not mean that it skimps on the necessities like storage or RAM. At CES, I was hopeful that the push to lower cost devices with solid state storage would be right around the corner, and clearly that is the case. Many of us who follow technology get asked for recommendations on devices to purchase, and it was difficult to find a quality device for a reasonable price that included solid state storage. ASUS has shattered that barrier with a 256 GB SSD at this price point.

They have also changed the perception about design and feel of a mid-priced notebook.

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Philips Spotify Connect SW750M review

The Philips Spotify Connect SW750M is a reasonably priced multiroom speaker, as long as you’re a Spotify Premium subscriber

Laptop Reviews - Philips Spotify Connect SW750M review, Most multiroom speaker manufacturers try to support as many streaming services as possible, even releasing updates to add new services as they appear. However, even as the streaming music landscape becomes more competitive, one service still stands well ahead of all others – Spotify.

Spotify is proving so popular that Philips has partnered with the company for its first multiroom speaker system, eschewing all other services for an exclusive deal. That means that unless you have a Spotify Premium subscription, which provides access to Spotify Connect for streaming to wireless speakers, the SW750M will be nothing more than a large paperweight.

As Spotify Connect is a multiroom platform, you can add as many SW750M units to your home network as you can afford, and place them anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection. The Philips SpeakerSet Multiroom Manager app, available for iOS and Android, is the easiest way to connect extra speakers to your network, as an alternative browser-based setup will force you to connect to each speaker directly via Wi-Fi Direct in order to input your home network’s details. The process is at least straightforward, with a setup wizard taking you through the process with simple instructions.

Beyond setting up the speakers, the smartphone app is also used for grouping the speakers together and assigning different names, to help you easily identify which speaker to use. That’s about as useful as the app gets, however. Music playback is controlled entirely through the Spotify app using the Spotify Connect interface for selecting speakers. Once more than one set of speakers is grouped, they will essentially function as one speaker appearing as a group in the Spotify app. This is a bit frustrating if you later decide you only want to use the one speaker - you’ll need to then jump back into the Philips app to ungroup them before jumping back into Spotify. It would have been good if speakers could be grouped but still function independently as well.

It’s a shame the SW750M isn’t much to look at, either. It has a plain design, with a large black front face covered by a black speaker grille. Viewed from the top down it has an elliptical shape with silver accents, and the speaker angles backwards to help diffuse sound around the room. It doesn’t have anywhere near the same wow factor as other multiroom speakers from the likes of Sonos or Samsung.

Basic controls on the top include volume, track skipping and a play/pause button. One particularly useful feature is the SW750M’s ‘one-press’ functionality that resumes the last song you’ve played on Spotify just by hitting play. This is independent of what device you last used Spotify on, so you could be listening on a smartphone, laptop or tablet and pressing the play button will resume where you left off. If you listen to Spotify on your commute home, you could instantly switch to the speakers once you get in. It’s a small touch but we found it incredibly convenient.

This also means you don’t need to have a device within arm’s reach if you want to just put some music on. There isn’t a display of any kind, however, so you’ll need to have queued up a playlist beforehand. It also means there’s no way to change albums or playlists from the speaker itself.

The SW750M uses four speaker drivers, which output a combined 20W. There are two 3in woofers with rear bass reflex ports, which are paired with two 35mm tweeters. There is a strong but not unpleasant bass presence, pushing the overall sound signature towards the warmer side. If we were being picky we would have liked more crispness and detail in the mid tones and treble, as we found our Menahan Street Band test tracks lost some of their delicateness.

There is also a distinct directionality to the sound output. You’ll want to be relatively straight on to the speakers to enjoy the best sound quality. Moving to the sides and the sound definitely became thinner. At least there wasn’t a strong drop-off in quality along with it.

The speakers are able to reach a maximum volume more than loud enough to fill a medium to large-sized room, however it becomes muddy at the maximum level. Volume controls in Spotify weren’t particularly linear, either. The speakers suddenly gain a lot of volume rapidly from around 95% upwards. Overall, sound quality is more than respectable for a speaker of its price, though nothing groundbreaking.

If you are a Spotify subscriber and it’s your main music service, the SW750M makes a lot of sense. Each speaker can rival the sound quality of mid-range models from other manufacturers, but at an entry-level price.

They have a nice level of simplicity, especially with the one-press functionality for quickly playing music. However, there’s no 3.5mm auxiliary connection or Bluetooth, both of which would have made these a far more versatile set of speakers and the omission is a real shame. If you are in need of greater versatility, consider the Samsung SHAPE M3, which has more streaming service compatibility and better connectivity.

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Dell Latitude 7350 Review: Is It Good for Business?

Laptop Reviews - Dell Latitude 7350 Review: Is It Good for Business?, You won't find many devices quite like this one. The Latitude 7350 is one of the biggest detachable laptops out there, combining a whopping 13-inch tablet with a snap-on keyboard dock. You also get a sharp, bright display; snappy performance; and long battery life.
But due to its relatively large size and weight, this isn't the device for someone who wants a tablet first. Instead, it's for business users who want a solid 13-inch notebook with a screen that can detach occasionally, whether it's for digital note taking with Dell's optional stylus, or maybe just to watch Netflix after work. If that's what you want out of your next work laptop, the Latitude 7350 is your best bet.

But think hard about how much you want that detachable screen. When combined with the keyboard, the Latitude is thicker and heftier than some more traditional notebooks that have similar specs, including several hybrid models with screens that fold backward 180 degrees instead of detaching.

 If you didn't know any better, you wouldn't realize that the Latitude 7350 was a hybrid at all. When docked with its keyboard, the Latitude looks like any other slim laptop, and that's a good thing. The machine's matte plastic design is understated but attractive, and metal trim adds a touch of sophistication.

The 13-inch display, while a great size for a laptop screen, makes for a really hefty tablet. Alone, the slate weighs a whopping 2.05 lbs. For context, that's more than twice as much as the 9.7-inch, 0.96-lb. iPad Air 2, and even significantly more than the 12.2-inch, 1.75-lb. Surface Pro 3. Unless you're using the Latitude as part of your workout routine, you won't want to hold this device aloft for long, even without the keyboard attached.

Snapping on the keyboard makes the Latitude even heftier, as it comes in at 3.73 lbs. Since there aren't many 13-inch detachables to compare this device to, let's see how it stacks up to folding hybrids in its size range. The featherweight Yoga 3 Pro is one of the lightest of these hybrids, weighing just 2.62 lbs. The HP Spectre X360 is also lighter than the keyboard-equipped Latitude, weighing 3.17 lbs. Both the Yoga and Spectre have specs and prices in the same ballpark as the Latitude.

When combined with its keyboard, the Latitude is also bit chunky, measuring 0.79 inches thick. The Yoga 3 Pro is just a half-inch thick, while the Spectre X360 measures 0.63 inches. The Surface Pro 3, which has the most powerful processor among these machines, is also very thin with its cover attached: just 0.56 inches, thanks to its super-thin keyboard cover.

Don't get me wrong — the Latitude 7350 is still extremely thin and light for a 13-inch laptop. But if you're going to pay this much for your next work machine, there are more portable options out there. That's something to consider if you plan on lugging the device around on your daily commute.

 Other 13-inch laptops boast much higher resolutions, but the Latitude's 1080p display is more than adequate for a machine of this size. It's on par with the HP Spectre X360, which also sports a 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080-pixel screen. Most importantly, the Latitude's screen renders sharp, readable text, and images are bright, with good contrast and color accuracy.

Some competing machines push more pixels. The Yoga 3 Pro has a 13.3-inch, 3,200 x 1,800-pixel screen, while the Surface Pro 3 sports an impressive 2,160 x 1,440 pixels. On the other hand, the Latitude's native 1080p resolution makes it more likely to play nicely with your desktop monitor if you plan on docking the laptop to your desktop.

It's also pretty bright, with a max brightness of about 309 nits. That beats out the category average of 255 nits, making the Latitude 7350 easier to use outdoors or in direct sunlight.

Compared to most flimsy tablet keyboards, the Latitude's snap-on deck feels sturdy and luxurious. Pairing the tablet with the keyboard could be easier, since it requires you to blindly align three connector pins with the bottom of the tablet. Once they're connected, though, opening the tablet lid feels buttery smooth. Disconnecting the tablet is as easy as sliding a small button on the side of the hinge.

 The keys themselves are well-spaced and offer good feedback when pressed. They also provide a good amount of travel, which is a big plus; deeper keys are more comfortable for extended typing sessions. The generous wrist wrests are another perk. Plus, you can turn on a backlight for the keys to keep working in dim lighting. Overall, the Latitude's keyboard is a winner.

It also includes a large, responsive touchpad. Mousing around feels precise, and gestures like two-finger scrolling work well. There are no discrete buttons, but the pad delivers satisfying clicks when pressed.

Viewing angles

Like other hybrids of its kind, the Latitude is top-heavy; most of the weight is in the tablet portion, not the keyboard. As a result, you can't tip the Latitude's display back quite as far as you can on a traditional laptop, or else it would tip over. When connected to the keyboard, the Latitude's screen can be opened about 40 degrees past the straight up-and-down position.

When using the device in your lap, you might occasionally wish that you could tilt the display back just a little farther, but overall it's not a big issue. And it's a lot more generous that the 15 degrees of freedom afforded by Dell's smaller hybrid, the Venue 11 Pro, which is practically unusable in your lap. Plus, the Latitude's gorgeous IPS display provides wide viewing angles, so colors don't get washed out when viewing the screen from above or to the side.

 The Latitude tablet itself offers only a charging port and headphone jack, but the keyboard dock adds all the ports you'd expect from a basic notebook. That includes a pair of USB 3.0 ports for connecting accessories like a mouse or external hard drive, a Mini DisplayPort connector for linking your device to a larger monitor and a full-size SD card slot for expanding the tablet's storage.

There's no Ethernet port, which might be an issue if your company's network security policy requires a wired Internet connection, though not many convertible notebooks offer that option. You can buy a USB-to-Ethernet adapter, if you don't mind it hogging one of your two USB slots.

Stylus support

One of the best reasons to own a hybrid like this, as opposed to a traditional laptop computer, is so you can pair the laptop with a stylus to take notes right on the screen. Digital note-taking apps like OneNote and Evernote are great because they save your notes to the cloud, so they're backed up and accessible on any device.

The Latitude 7350 doesn't come with a stylus or a pressure-sensitive display, but Dell does sell an active stylus separately. Dell's stylus works pretty well for basic note taking. It has a pressure-sensitive tip, an important feature to make digital handwriting feel accurate and natural. But note taking with this Dell doesn't feel as smooth or precise as tablets with pressure sensitivity built into the display, like the Surface Pro 3 or Lenovo ThinkPad 10. Compared to the Surface Pro 3 pen, the Dell stylus produces lines with a bit of wobble.

The Dell pen was used with the Venue 11 Pro in this comparison shot, but it should produce similar results on the Latitude. 

One other point to note: The Latitude's narrow, 16:9 aspect ratio is a bit awkward for note taking. I prefer the Surface Pro 3's wider, 3:2 aspect ratio, which is closer to the dimensions of a standard sheet of paper.

 While Dell offers a snap-in docking station for its Venue line of tablets, the Latitude line doesn't get that special treatment. Instead, Dell offers a dock that plugs into the Latitude 7350 via the notebook's USB 3.0 port. Regardless, the dock does add a huge array of extra ports, including two USB 2.0 ports, three USB 3.0 ports, two HDMI-out ports, one DisplayPort, an Ethernet port for wired Internet and a headphone jack. That's a lot of connectivity options, which is great for business users who want to use their devices at their work desks with a larger monitor (or three) and peripherals like a desktop keyboard, mouse or external hard drive.


Our Latitude 7350 review unit is powered by Intel's Core M-5Y10c processor, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of solid-state drive (SSD) storage. The Core M processor provides good performance without the need for a loud, spinning fan inside, but it's not as powerful as Intel's Core i-series chips.

Still, Core M gives the Latitude 7350 good performance for everyday tasks. On the Geekbench 3 benchmark test, which measures overall performance, the Latitude scored a solid 4,541, which is higher than the 4,291 ultraportable notebook category average. The score also puts the Latitude on par with the Yoga 3 Pro (4,571). The Spectre X fared slightly better, with a score of 5,614.

The bottom line is that the Latitude 7350 provides more than enough processing power for daily business activities. During my testing time, I noticed that apps opened and closed quickly, and multitasking felt snappy. Other notebooks are better for more intensive tasks like serious photo or video editing, though.

 The Latitude's long battery life helps justify its relative heft. Dell's hybrid actually has two batteries: one inside the tablet itself and an extra battery in the keyboard. Together, they let the notebook run for 8 hours and 35 minutes, which is longer than the 7:57 average in the ultraportable category. It also far outlasted the Yoga 3 Pro (6:08). The HP Spectre x360 has better longevity, though, running for an amazing 9 hours and 28 minutes.

As a standalone tablet, the Latitude ran for just 7 hours and 10 minutes. That's less than the Surface Pro 3, which lacks a secondary battery and ran for 7:27, though it has a smaller display.

The Latitude isn't the longest-lasting hybrid out there, but its secondary battery gives it very good battery life if you plan to use the device primarily as a notebook instead of a tablet.

Pricing and configurations

The Latitude 7350 isn't cheap, starting at $1,200 with an Intel Core M-5Y10c processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. You can get a slightly faster processor for $1,349, and upgrade to 8GB of RAM for $1,419. If you can afford it, I recommend going for 8GB of RAM to future-proof your machine. If you need more storage, your only option is the top-end model, with 256GB of SSD storage for $1,550.

The Yoga 3 Pro is a slightly better deal. Although it starts at $1,300, the base model comes with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The Spectre x360 starts at a significantly cheaper $900, though you'll have to spend $1,150 to upgrade to 8GB of RAM. The most comparable Surface Pro 3 model, which comes with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256 of storage, also costs $1,150.

Bottom line

The Latitude 7350 is an extremely well-rounded package. It offers most of the features you could want in a premium notebook, including a gorgeous display, long battery life and good performance for daily business tasks.

But the machine is more notebook than tablet. That's because the display, while detachable, is a bit large and bulky to carry around. But it's a great size for a laptop screen, and the ability to use it separately on occasion, especially for digital note taking, is a nice bonus.

The Latitude is pricey, though, especially if you want more memory than the baseline model offers. It's relatively heavy compared to its premium competitors. I recommend considering folding laptops like the Yoga 3 Pro or Spectre X360, since they offer a similar user experience in a lighter package. But if you really want a big detachable hybrid, Dell's Latitude 7350 offers plenty of bang for your buck.

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Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi review – A new Windows laptop/tablet hybrid

Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi review – A new Windows laptop/tablet hybrid 

Laptop Reviews - Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi,  Are they the future? We’ve seen plenty of convertible devices over the years, and none is more familiar with this market than Asus. The company has been transforming for years. This newest member to its lineup, the T300 Chi, further explores the growing world with a full-on PC/tablet hybrid. And it starts at just $700.
Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi review – A new Windows laptop/tablet hybrid
The 12.5-inch Windows 8.1 device can dock right into a keyboard, giving users the flexibility to attach and detach depending on the situation. Getting work done? Attach. Watching Netflix? Detach. Either way, you’re getting a device that comes packing the Intel Core M processor, 64GB or 128GB of storage, and 4GB or 8GB options. Some of the ports include a 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD, micro-USB 3.0 and micro-HDMI.

While the bezels are thick-is, the tablet itself looks quite nice, which is typical in the Asus camp; the company has consistently produced some attractive kit, and the T300 Chi is among its best. And the mechanism for attaching the keyboard is as easy as magnets. Just align the two connectors and everything will snap into place. And they’re strong, too, so you should have no worries about either accidentally attaching from the other.

We haven’t yet really put the Chi through its paces, but it did handle some older PC games with aplomb. To be clear, this is by no means a gaming machine, and it’ll likely be slow for video and photo editing, but it can (maybe) run more intensive tasks if you’re in a pinch. This is by no means on the level of a Core i5, but there’s seemingly enough muscle to push it out of its comfort zone every so often.

That said, we’ve found that the Chi’s battery is just decent so far, though we’ll have to spend more time with it to really get an idea of how long it’ll last.

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Samsung Galaxy Prevail 2 Specs Reviews

Laptop Reviews - This phone Samsung Galaxy Prevail 2 Specs Reviews, the Samsung Galaxy S2 4G is obviously not the newest version of this phone available. If you want the very newest and best (The Samsung Galaxy S3), you won't get that on any other budget priced contract free carrier. This phone is, however, very adequate, and by far the best phone ever offered for this low of a total cost of ownership. I highly recommend that you consider this phone, but also look at the Virgin Mobile version of it, because their service is similar but their pricing is more flexible.
I have had six different Android phones on pre-paid carriers, including the HTC EVO 4G, Motorola Triumph, Optimus, etcetera. I bought this phone in November 2012 at Radio Shack, the day that it became available. I still have an HTC Evo 4G in our family, but personally have been using this phone for over a month now, quite heavily.

This Samsung Galaxy S2 4G runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), which is currently (at the time of this review) one version behind the newest versions of Android (Jelly Bean 4.1 & 4.2). It has a fast dual core processor, good 8MP camera, is 4G capable, has great battery life, and has overall great performance. Although it has been out for over a year on Sprint, it is not nearly as far behind the mainstream as previous non-contract/prepaid offerings have been.

Size. This phone is more similar in size to the Motorola Triumph than it is to the bulkier HTC EVO V 4G. With a 4.52" AMOLED touch screen and a thin body, it is the most compact phone for the screen size that non-contract/prepaid have ever had available. I really like the form factor. After using it for about a week without a case, I put an Otterbox Defender on it. That case bulks the phone up quite a bit, but it is still comfortable. I like it with or without the case, but got the case because of my clumsiness and lifestyle.

Cases. Since this phone is identical to the one that has been on Sprint for over a year, there are plenty of great cases available for it, including ones from top of the line companies like Otter Box. There are many times more accessories available for it than for previous non-contract/prepaid, except for the HTC Evo V 4G which also had a lot of cases to choose from.

Screen. I love the 4.52" screen size, and this one is even sharper and more vivid than the one on the HTC Evo 4G, which was better than the Motorola Triumph. It is great.

Touch Screen. The touch screen is very responsive, accurate, and precise. By far the best touch screen I've ever used. Even better (or equal to) the one on the Apple Ipod Touch. I use that comparison because I've always felt that the Touch was better than the Android phones I'd had in the past. The HTC Evo V 4G is the same in this regard. Both phones have excellent touch screens.

Keyboard. The touch screen keyboard on this phone is awesome. The touchscreen keyboard on the HTC EVO V 4G was far better than any of the previous non-contract/prepaid offerings, and this one on the Samsung Galaxy S2 is even better.

Battery. The battery life on this phone is incredible because of its increased size and better power management and network management. It lasts 3 times longer than the battery on the Motorola Triumph, and about twice as long as the one on the HTC EVO V 4G. I like that this phone gives you an actual percentage reading for the battery instead of just the imprecise icon.

Network management. This phone is great at making seamless transitions between 3G, 4G, and Wifi, always switching to the best available choice. The HTC Evo V 4G used to give me some problems in this area. The S2 is flawless at this.

Camera. The 8MP camera on this phone is far better than any cell phone I've ever had. I think that it rivals the iPhone and in most conditions can fully replace your compact point and shoot camera. The video camera shoots 1080p video and is also very good.

4G. Samsung Galaxy Prevail 2 Specs Having 4G is great, especially since the Sprint 3G network is a little slow sometimes.

Internet Sharing. The ability to share this phone's internet connection is awesome and works really well. It works great on both 3G and especially 4G. It is simple to use, and at $15 a month is a much better value than a Mifi card.

Call Quality. The call quality is great on this phone, and is much better than the Motorola Triumph which sometimes sounded muffled, and slightly better than the HTC EVO V 4G which wasn't bad. It is clear for both you and the person you are talking to.

Bluetooth. The Bluetooth on this phone works great both with a headset and with my car. I love how it seamlessly transitions from my Podcast Application (Doggcatcher), Navigation, and phone calls.

Processor. This phone is snappy and doesn't seem to have any processor induced lag at all. No matter what I run or play, it works the way it is supposed to, even when I'm multi-tasking. The processor seems to be more than adequate.

Durability. This phone is no more or less durable than any of the other plastic smart phones out there. I personally wish that more phones were available with unibody metal housings. I used to wish the same things about laptops and they are finally moving that way. Hopefully more phones will be more durable in the future. Anyway, this phone is adequate in this area.

Reliability. So far, I have had no issues with applications or functions crashing on this phone. It works consistently and flawlessly. I will update this review if I find anything getting hung-up or crashing. I have had the phone since they first released it, and still haven't had any problems. My experience in this area was the same on the HTC EVO V 4G.

If there are any topics that you wanted me to address that I failed to, please let me know in the comments and I will update this review for you.