Essential guide to care your laptop battery, laptop adapter, power tools battery

Nokia unveils Symbian Belle-powered smart phones

Nokia has showcased an update for its Symbian platform, along with three soon-to-land handsets running the operating system.

Dubbed Symbian Belle, the revamped OS boosts the number of homescreens available on a phone from three to six to allow users more space to store apps, as well as providing more scope to customise their layouts with new, different sized live widgets.

Nokia has also added an Android-style pull down menu and taskbar to access notifications from any of the home screens. And perhaps most excitingly, it has brought Near Field Communications (NFC) tech to the phones for the first time to enable Nokia phone owners to use their handsets to pay for low ticket items by swiping them over a reader.

Contacts, videos and images can also now be shared with other NFC-enabled devices too and there’s the option to unlock new content in games by touching two Symbian Belle devices together.

nokia smart phone Nokia unveils Symbian Belle powered smart phones

Heading Nokia’s Symbian Belle charge are three handsets, dubbed the 600, 700 and 701.

Billed as Nokia’s smallest-ever smartphone with dimensions of 110 x 50.7 x 9.7mm, the 700 teams a 1GHz processor with a 3.2 inch AMOLED screen ClearBlack display, expandable memory of up to 32GB via microSD card support and a five-megapixel camera.

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Despite the similarity of their titles, the 701 is a real step up. Features include an eight-megapixel camera, secondary snapper for video calls and a 3.5-inch touchscreen that Nokia claims is the “brightest-ever mobile phone display”.

And completing the triumvirate is the 600. Designed for music fans, this is Nokia’s loudest phone so far and offers the option to stream music wirelessly to NFC-enabled accessories. It’s also home to a five-megapixel camera and a 1GHz processor and will be available at a lower price point to the 700 and 701.

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Battery extenders for HTC, Samsung, Blackberry smart phones

powerskins battery extenders batteries company.com  300x167 Battery extenders for HTC, Samsung, Blackberry smart phonesBattery cases are no longer the exclusive domain of iPhones, as Android-based phones ramp up in popularity.

One of the most annoying aspects of travelling is running out of battery on your smartphone just when you really need it — when checking emails just after getting off a long flight, or trying to access maps in a foreign city.

iPhone users have had a good range of options to bump up their battery life, but there haven’t been any for people getting inadequate battery life from handsets like the HTC Desire HD, Samsung Galaxy S2, Google Nexus S or BlackBerry.

A new range of smartphone battery skins from XPAL is now addressing that gap in the marketplace.

XPAL says it is tackling the challenge of making battery cases for a broader range of handsets head-on, even though Android/BlackBerry/Windows Phone 7 handsets often have a shelf life of less than six months.

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Currently, XPAL has cases available for:

  • HTC HD7
  • HTC HD2
  • Samsung Galaxy i9000 / i9003
  • HTC Desire HD
  • Samsung i9020T
  • Google Nexus S
  • BlackBerry 8520
  • BlackBerry 8530
  • BlackBerry 9700
  • BlackBerry 9780
  • HTC Sensation
  • Samsung Galaxy S2 (available end of August)

powerskin htc desire hd 232x300 Battery extenders for HTC, Samsung, Blackberry smart phones

Above: a PowerSkin on an HTC Desire HD.

The PowerSkins all have a capacity of between 1200mAh and 1620mAh, depending on the phone model, which means that they deliver roughly the battery life of the handset’s inbuilt battery again.

Because charging the handset’s inbuilt battery too often can wear it out prematurely, PowerSkins also come with an on/off switch so you can decide when to start giving your handset additional juice — the best strategy is usually to only do so when the handset’s inbuilt laptop battery is about to run out.

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Full review MSI GT60 gaming laptop

msi laptop battery Full review MSI GT60 gaming laptopCall it the attack of the awesome ivy. MSI’s GT60 gaming notebook is one of the first notebooks to hit the market with Intel’s third-generation Ivy Bridge processor. Combine that with a vibrant 1080p display, good audio quality and a powerful Nvidia GPU and you’ve got a recipe for hours of questing, grinding and saving the day at a rather affordable price.

Design

MSI%20GT60 g5 Full review MSI GT60 gaming laptopClick to EnlargeThe GT60 isn’t as pretty as say, the Alienware M17x, but it’s still a handsome piece of machinery. While we loved the lid’s center panel of black brushed aluminum with a backlit MSI logo, we’re not fans of the wide strips of plastic lining the sides and bottom. However, the side panels’ distinct slope created some interesting angles throughout the design we couldn’t help but admire.

The notebook’s interior mimics the lid, featuring plastic side panels with a brushed black aluminum palm rest. However, our eyes were consistently drawn to the top of the keyboard deck and the glossy black plastic function key bar. Reminiscent of a Transformer headpiece, the angular bar ensconces a pair of speakers and the large chrome power button in the middle. It also holds touch controls for Wi-Fi, touchpad and Turbo.

We don’t foresee many people moving the 7.8-pound MSI GT60 anywhere further than another room in their house. However, the notebook’s 14.9 x 10.2 x 1.8-inch frame can fit into a large backpack or messenger back.

Display

MSI%20KLM Full review MSI GT60 gaming laptopClick to EnlargeThe MSI GT60′s 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080p full HD display delivered mesmerizing color and crisp detail, whether we were reading text, watching video or playing games. At 268 lux, the GT60 outshines the 220 lux desktop replacement category average.

We really appreciate the matte display on this rig, which eliminated the chance of any errant reflections spoiling our view. Viewing angles were nice and wide, maintaining color accuracy from just about every sitting position we tried.

Speaking of reflections, details in the 1080p YouTube trailer of “MIB 3″ were so sharp we could clearly make out many of the reflections in the characters’ chrome weaponry. We enjoyed the bleached white sterility of the MIB office. We noticed small instances of fuzziness in a couple of background scenes, but they were few and far between.

During the opening scenes of “Portal 2,” we were enthralled with the ruined sterility of the Aperture Labs as GlaDos came back on line. There was a beautiful juxtaposition of lush green jungle vines woven between the sterile white surfaces of the test rooms and the cold gray steel of the girters and studs holding the lab together. When we finally got our hands on the portal gun and began wielding the titular blue and orange portals, they were nice and bright, offering a much-needed contrast against the stark white backgrounds.

Audio

THX%20Sound%20Pro Full review MSI GT60 gaming laptopClick to EnlargePowered by Dynaudio Premium speakers, a subwoofer and the THX Studio Pro control panel (pictured), we enjoyed a great sound experience. Although the GT60′s audio defintitely benefits from the THX control panel, we couldn’t tweak as many things as we would have liked. We could only move a slider on settings such as Surround, Crystalizer and Smart Speaker. It would have been nice to adjust settings for Music, Movies and Gaming similar to what HP’s Beats Audio control panel offers.

Still, trumpets on Jay-Z’s “Roc Boyz (And The Winner Is…)” were loud and triumphant, meshing easily with the rapper’s braggadocios tenor. However, the bass was lost somewhere in between.

The system redeemed itself as we played through “Portal 2,” where we were rewarded with the delicate clinks of empty bullet casings hitting tiled floors from adorable, but deadly turrets. Fighting enemies in “Batman: Arkham City,” yielded satisfying fwaps, ughs and whooshes. Dive bombing from tall buildings provided a satisfying rush of air and a hearty crunch as we used some unsuspecting bad guy to cushion our landing.

Keyboard

MSI%20GT60 g1 Full review MSI GT60 gaming laptopClick to EnlargeSimilar to Alienware notebooks, the MSI GT60 features an island-style keyboard with a full number pad with customizable colored backlighting. We enjoyed configuring our keyboard to our color-coded liking using MSI’s Keyboard LED Manager. While we would have loved the ability to blend colors similar to Alienware’s Command Center utility, we created a pretty bad-ass looking keyboard. The 10 keyboard statuses (including Standard, Idle, Gaming, Normal, Breathing) added a welcome level depth and customization.

The black flat keys were a little on the small side, especially the Backspace and Right Shift keys. Still, we enjoyed ample feedback and achieved 55 words per minute with a 1 percent error rate on the Ten Thumbs Typing Test. That’s slightly higher than our desktop average.

Touchpad

MSI%20GT60 g17 Full review MSI GT60 gaming laptopClick to EnlargeThe glossy polygonal border surrounding the 3 x 1.8 inch brushed aluminum touchpad make it appear smaller than it actually is (pictured). We had no problem sliding our fingers across the stimulating striated surface.

When typing, it’s important to keep your hands curled–one person in our office found that is his hand brushed against it while typing, the pointer moved, causing the cursor to jump. We were also slightly dismayed by the lack of multitouch functionality such as pinch-to-zoom; it’s not crucial for gaming, but would be nice to include. We’re also usually not fans of the single mouse bar, but the GT60′s chrome bar was responsive provided nice, firm feedback.

Heat

After 15 minutes of running a Hulu video at fullscreen, the touchpad, space between the G & H keys, and underside of the notebook measured a relatively cool 78, 87 and 81 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, we were able to use the notebook in our laptop for more than an hour with no discomfort.

Things became slightly warmer after playing “Batman: Arkham Asylum” for 15 minutes. We measured the touchpad at 84 degrees with the space between the G & H keys and the underside measuring 93 and 86 degrees, respectively. These measurements are still below our 95-degree threshold for an uncomfortable notebook.

Ports

MSI%20GT60 g13 Full review MSI GT60 gaming laptopClick to EnlargeA lone USB 2.0 port resides on the notebook’s left side along with jacks for heaphones, a mic, audio in and audio out accompanied by a tray-loading DVD burner. Three USB 3.0 ports and a 7-in-1 card reader can be found on the right. Ports for HDMI, eSATA, VGA and Gigabit Ethernet jack sit along the notebook’s rear(pictured).

Webcam

webcam Full review MSI GT60 gaming laptopClick to EnlargeImages from the MSI GT60′s 720p webcam were fairly sharp under florescent lighting using CyberLink YouCam. We could see the stitching in our sweater along with the logo. There was a small amount of oversaturation, but our skin tone and gray sweater looked pretty accurate (pictured).

Performance

Talk about super-powered. The MSI GT60 features a third-generation (Ivy Bridge) 2.3-GHz Intel Core i7-3610QM processor with 12GB of RAM, dual 500GB 7,200-rpm hard drives and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 670M GPU with 3GB of VRAM. We had an absolute blast cleaning up the mean streets of Gotham in “Batman: Arkham City.” As we played, we had 10 open tabs in both Google Chrome and Internet Explorer while running a full virus scan. The Dark Knight went about his crime-fighting duties without any noticeable latency.

The GT60 delivered impressive scores on our synthetic tests. The rig notched 3,336 in PCMark 07, a bit above the 3,163 desktop replacement category average. The ASUS G75VW-DS71 and its third-generation 2.3-GHz Core i7-3610QM quad-core processor scored a lower 3,041.

Booting the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Premium only took the GT60 53 seconds, thanks to the dual 500GB 7,200-rpm hard drives. That’s enough to beat the 0:60 category average and the G75VW-DS71′s time of 0:66.

The GT60′s dual drives duplicated 4.97GB of mixed media files in 1 minute and 8 seconds, a blazing fast transfer rate of 74.8 MBps, far above the 37.4 MBps category average. The G75VW-DS71 (30 MBps) was left in the dust.

During the OpenOffice Test, the GT60 matched 20,000 names to their corresponding addresses in 4 minutes and 26 seconds. That’s slightly below the 4:24 desktop replacement average.

Graphics and Gaming

Playing games on the MSI GT60 is an absolute joy. We couldn’t keep the smile off our faces during “Batman: Arkham City” as we cleared out a room of 10 or more thugs. We made easy work of them with fluid roundhouse kicks, batarangs and backhands, with our ebony cape billowing menacingly all the while. The views of the dilapidated prison were grim, yet breathtaking complete with neon signs glowing weakly against the unshakable gloom of the night sky.

The GT60 delivered synthetic benchmarks that were almost as awesome as battling the undead juggernaut Solomon Grundy. The notebook’s Nvidia GeForce GTX 670M GPU with 3GB of VRAM delivered an epic 19,359 on the 3DMark06 benchmark. That’s 6,408 points above the 12,951 desktop replacement average. The ASUS G75VW-DS71 and its GeForce GTX 660M GPUs with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM scored a respectable 16,028.

When we ran the “World of Warcraft” benchmark, the GT60 notched a face-melting frame rate of 190 fps on Good at 1920 x 1080p. That was more than enough to best the G75VW’s score of 158 fps and the category average of 142 fps. When we cranked the test up to maximum, the GT60′s score dropped to 106 fps.

We also ran a few benchmarks with the graphically taxing “Batman: Arkham City.” With DX11 on, 4X MSAA, Graphics Very High and the resolution at 1366 x 768 pixels, the MSI GT60 scored an impressive 47 fps while the G75VW notched 31fps on the same settings. When we switched to 1920 x 1080p, the GT60′s frame rate dropped to 28 fps, slightly below playable.

Traversing the sprawling campus of Aperture Labs was challenging, but it was never an ugly experience on the GT60. Shooting the portal gun was nice and slick. Our favorite part was hurtling towards the ground before placing a portal that would catapult us to another part of the test. The illusion of speed was both exhilarating and dizzying.

Software

MSI%20Battery%20Calibration Full review MSI GT60 gaming laptopClick to EnlargeMSI doesn’t bog the GT60 down with needless software, installing a skeleton crew of utilities and software. There’s MSI SuperCharger that automatically detects and charges attached mobile devices. We also liked S-Bar, a panel of shortcuts for programs, Windows accessories, and function keys.

Additional MSI-branded programs include MSI VGA Overclock, Battery Calibration (pictured) and BurnRecovery.

Fellow gamers will appreciate the addition of Qualcomm Atheros Killer Network Manager. The software identifies important activities such as gaming, video and audio network data, ensuring that the receive priority for high-speed connectivity.

Other third-party software includes Windows Live, Microsoft Office Starter, Google Chrome, Adobe Reader X, Norton Online Backup and a 30-day free trial of Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security 2012.

The MSI GT60 comes with a 2-year Limited Warranty.

Configurations

Our $1,559 review unit of the GT60 features a 2.3-GHz Intel Core i7-3610QM processor with 12GB of RAM, dual 500GB 7,200-rpm hard drives and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 670M GPU with 3GB of VRAM.

The $1,399 base model (GT683-841US) offers a 2.2-GHz Intel Core i7-2670QM CPU, 12GB of RAM, a 750GB 7,200-rpm hard drive and Nvidia GeForce GTX 560M with 1.5GB of RAM. There’s also the $1,499 GT683DX-840US, which comes equipped with a faster Nvidia GeForce GTX 570M GPU with 1.5GB of RAM.

Battery Life

During the Dell inspiron 1545 battery Test (continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi), the GT60 lasted 4 hours and 37 minutes. That’s 1 hour and 2 minutes longer than the 3:35 desktop replacement category average. The ASUS G75VW-DS71 only lasted 3:11.

Verdict

MSI%20GT60 g7 Full review MSI GT60 gaming laptopClick to EnlargeMSI managed to pack a ton of power into a relatively portable and affordable platform. For $1,599, gamers walk away with a notebook that’s equipped with Intel’s quad-core Ivy Bridge processor, a seriously powerful Nvidia GPU and a design that can keep its cool during a heavy gaming session. Gamers should also consider the Alienware M14x. Although it has a smaller 14-inch screen, the $1,499 M14x offers an Intel Ivy Bridge CPU, 12GB of RAM, a 750GB 7,200-rpm hard drive and a 2GB Nvidia GeForce GT 650M with Optimus. Overall, the MSI GT60 is an excellent choice for hardcore gamers or consumers searching for a notebook that can handle the most demanding tasks.

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Top 10 things you need to know about Windows Phone 7.1 Mango

A quick and easy guide to everything that’s good about Microsoft’s Mango update.

Microsoft’s Mango update for Windows Phone, also known as Windows Phone 7.1, has been mooted for months. But the Big M has finally handed over full details of what we can expect from the next-gen version of the ace mobile operating system. Dive in now and read our Top 10 things you need to know about Windows Phone 7.1 Mango.

1 It’ll be available for all current Windows Phones

windows phone 7 smartphones batteries company.com  Top 10 things you need to know about Windows Phone 7.1 Mango

Perhaps the best news of all. Microsoft isn’t cutting off any older Windows Phones, meaning the likes of the HTC Mozart and Samsung Omnia 7 will be getting the update. This should give it good ammunition to fling at Apple and Google, both of whom have copped flack for not upgrading legacy devices.

2 Bing search has been given an overhaul

This is a seriously impressive update, with visual, audio and voice search. Visual search lets you snap pics of products and barcodes, before delivering local pricing and availability. A new Local Scout feature will track your location and give you results fine tuned to where you are.

3 Twitter and LinkedIn are coming

twitter logo 520x300x24 fill Top 10 things you need to know about Windows Phone 7.1 Mango

One of the big misses with Windows Phone 7’s contacts app was the lack of Twitter integration. Happily, this is being added, along with LinkedIn, so you’ll be able to see the latest updates from contacts on these social networks in one place.

4 New partners are on board for 7.1

acer large 520x300x24 fill Top 10 things you need to know about Windows Phone 7.1 Mango

Nokia is obviously the big new addition to the Windows Phone family. But Microsoft has confirmed that Acer, ZTE and Fujtisu are also joining the party. That means it should be able to expand hugely in Asia, as well as offer more choice on top of phones from the likes of HTC, LG and Samsung.

5 It won’t be out until autumn

autumn 520x300x24 fill Top 10 things you need to know about Windows Phone 7.1 Mango

The bad news: Mango is being held back for a few months. That could work in Microsoft’s favour in terms of getting apps ready for it, but may also hamstring it what with the expected September release of iOS 5 and the Q4 release of Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

6 Conversation threads integrate IM, text and Facebook chats

facebook logo large 520x300x24 fill Top 10 things you need to know about Windows Phone 7.1 Mango

Cross platform integration has been one of Windows Phone’s strong points. Mango adds a new conversations feature so you can natter with any given friend no matter what service they’re using. That means if they stop using text and switch to IM, you’ll still be able to see your previous conversation.

7 Multitasking is here at last

This has been known for months, but one of Windows Phone 7’s biggest misses is finally on its way. Multitasking should hopefully mean more devs are willing to bring their apps to WP 7.1.

8 Live Tiles have been bolstered with more live app info

windows phone 7 mango 520x300x24 fill Top 10 things you need to know about Windows Phone 7.1 Mango

Arguably the best feature of WP7 was its Live Tiles’ ability to show real time information without having to dive into apps. The National Rail app was a great example. Microsoft says it’s bolstering this, with the chance to get more essential news delivered to the homescreen.

9 Contact group tiles promised

With Mango, you’ll be able to pull together groups of contacts, pin them to the homescreen and then email, SMS or call them at the press of a button. This will help push WP 7.1 is a decent workplace solution, as well as a winning consumer OS.

10 Devs can get working on it straight away

Devs have been told they can get going on updating their current apps and working on new ones straight away. Microsoft has already released the software development kit, so app fanatics can bring new Live Tile layers and improved features to their add-ons from the get go.

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Lithium-Ion Batteries Market Set for Boom Courtesy of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

batteries1 Lithium Ion Batteries Market Set for Boom Courtesy of Hybrid and Electric VehiclesDriven by plunging prices and accelerating demand from the electric and hybrid automobile market, lithium-ion will emerge as the world’s leading rechargeable battery technology and achieve 350 percent revenue growth from 2010 to 2020, according to a new IHS iSuppli Rechargeable Batteries Special Report from information and analysis provider IHS (NYSE: IHS).

Global lithium-ion battery revenue is expected to expand to $53.7 billion in 2020, up from $11.8 billion in 2010, as presented in the figure below. Revenue will rise to $31.4 billion in 2015, allowing lithium-ion to surpass the current dominant rechargeable battery technology, lead acid.r banner2 Lithium Ion Batteries Market Set for Boom Courtesy of Hybrid and Electric VehiclesWhile lithium-ion will find wide usage in mobile electronics products such as cellphones and notebook PCs, usage in cars will fuel the bulk of sales growth.

“Lithium-ion at present is much more expensive than alternative technologies, costing two to three times as much as sodium-sulfur, lead-acid and nickel-metal-hydride rechargeable batteries,” said Satoru Oyama, principal analyst of Japan electronics research for IHS. “However, lithium-ion pricing will decline much more rapidly than the other technologies, coming close to cost parity in 2015, and then becoming the least expensive type of rechargeable battery in 2020. Combined with the inherent advantages of the technology, the increasingly competitive cost of lithium-ion will cause car makers to employ it as their battery technology of choice in future electric and hybrid vehicles.”

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Lithium: Just What the Doctor Ordered for Automotive

Lithium-ion delivers several enhancements compared to other rechargeable battery technologies.

These advantages include more flexible form factors and lighter weight. Furthermore, lithium-ion devices have no memory effect, meaning they maintain their full capacity even after a partial recharge. Finally, lithium-ion laptop batteries are considered to be more environmentally safe than other technologies.

These features make lithium-ion particularly attractive for electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Because of this, the automotive segment will be the leading market for lithium-ion batteries by 2015, surpassing the current top application, notebook PCs.

Lithium’s Elements of Success in Electric and Hybrid Cars

The dominant battery technology used in hybrid cars now is nickel-metal-hydride. More than 1 million hybrids with nickel-metal-hydride batteries were shipped in 2010, led by the Toyota Prius.

However, shipments of nickel-metal-hydride batteries to the hybrid market will not grow in the future as the use of lithium-ion begins to take off.

One concern regarding the use of first-generation lithium-ion batteries in cars is safety. There can be a risk of fire using existing lithium-ion battery materials due to the high temperatures involved. There have been documented incidents of lithium-ion battery fires in smaller devices, such as PCs and mobile phones.

To achieve acceptable safety levels for hybrid and electric vehicle batteries, lithium-ion battery makers must take steps to prevent internal short circuits which can cause external damage. These steps include improving control of power generation during discharges and enhancing the management of rapid charging.

While automotive will be the dominant market for lithium-ion batteries, notebook PCs and cellphones will remain major markets for the technology, accounting for $12.3 billion in revenue in 2010, up from $7.8 billion in 2010.

Other major uses for lithium-ion batteries include use in solar power systems, smart electricity grids and electric tools.

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Top 10 Professional Cameras

A digital single-lens reflex camera (digital SLR or DSLR) is a digital camera that uses a mechanical mirror system and pentaprism to direct light from the lens to an optical viewfinder on the back of the camera.
Professional dSLR cameras are fundamental for serious photographers. From top-of-the-line resolution to fully customizable settings, professional dSLRs combine functions and performance to create professional quality photos with every shot.

10. Canon EOS 50D

Cannon EOS 50 Top 10 Professional Cameras

  • Resolution 14.6 MP
  • Continuous Shooting Speed 6.5 fps
  • Battery Life 620 shots
  • LCD Screen Size 3 in.
  • Warranty 1 year
  • Focal Length 18mm – 55 mm
  • Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 sec
  • Memory CF.

9. Olympus E-30

Olympus E 30 Top 10 Professional Cameras

  • New 12MP LiveMOS sensor (E-3: 10.1 MP)
  • Brighter and larger LCD screen
  • E-30 has a mode dial
  • Art Filters, multiple exposures, aspect ratio options and lots of scene modes
  • No card door lock, no eyepiece shutter
  • Glass fiber reinforced plastic vs weatherproof magnesium alloy body shell
  • Slightly (8mm) shorter and around 115g lighter
  • Slightly smaller viewfinder with reduced frame coverage
  • AF fine tuning for up to 20 lenses (and per AF point!)
  • Built-in digital level guage
  • Contrast detect (Imager) AF with face detection
  • Slightly reduced raw buffer size (12 frames)
  • Adds vertical panning mode to stabilizer (IS3

8. Pentax K-7

Pentax K 7 Top 10 Professional Cameras

  • 14.6 MP
  • 720p/1536 x 1024 HD video recording
  • Smaller magnesium/steel alloy body
  • Revised viewfinder (less magnified but with greater coverage)
  • Updated sensor with four-channel readout
  • 3.0″ VGA (920,000 dot) LCD
  • New shutter mechanism with 1/8000th shutter speed
  • Faster continuous shooting (up to 5.2 fps)
  • 77 segment exposure metering sensor
  • Revised autofocus algorithms
  • AF illumination lamp
  • New dust removal system
  • HDMI output
  • New dedicated ISO button
  • Distortion and chromatic aberration correction for DA and DFA lenses (also available in RAW conversion using supplied software)
  • Adjustable dynamic range highlight and shadow correction
  • Three-shot in-camera HDR capture
  • Electronic level indicator
  • Composition adjustment (Uses the SR system to reposition the sensor to fine-tune composition)

7. Olympus E-3

olympus e 3 550x412 Top 10 Professional Cameras

  • New sensor (10MP Live MOS vs 5MP CCD) and latest TruPic III processor
  • Live view
  • Sensor-shift image stabilization
  • All-new autofocus system (11-point AF, claimed to be world’s fastest with certain zoom lenses)
  • Faster continuous shooting, bigger buffer
  • Higher top shutter speed (1/8000 sec) and higher flash sync speed (1/250 sec)
  • Improved viewfinder (bigger, brighter)
  • Bigger, higher resolution vari angle screen
  • Masses more customization options

6. Nikon D5000

Nikon D5000 550x519 Top 10 Professional Cameras

  • 12.9 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor (effective pixels: 12.3 million)
  • 2.7″ tilt and swivel LCD monitor (230,000 dots)
  • Movie capture at up to 1280 x 720 (720p) 24 fps with mono sound
  • Live View with contrast-detect AF, face detection and subject tracking
  • Image sensor cleaning (sensor shake)
  • 11 AF points (with 3D tracking)
  • IS0 200-3200 range (100-6400 expanded)
  • 4 frames per second continuous shooting (buffer: 7 RAW, 25 JPEG fine, 100 JPEG Normal)
  • Expeed image processing engine
  • Extensive in-camera retouching including raw development and straightening
  • Connector for optional GPS unit (fits on hot shoe)
  • New battery with increased capacity
  • 72 thumbnail and calendar view in playback

5. Nikon D90

Nikon D90 550x412 Top 10 Professional Cameras

  • 12.9 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor (effective pixels: 12.3 million)
  • 3.0-inch 920,000 pixel (VGA x 3 colors) TFT-LCD (same as D3 and D300)
  • Live View with contrast-detect AF, face detection
  • Image sensor cleaning (sensor shake)
  • Illuminated focus points
  • Movie capture at up to 1280 x 720 (720p) 24 fps with mono sound
  • IS0 200-3200 range (100-6400 expanded)
  • 4.5 frames per second continuous shooting (buffer: 7 RAW, 25 JPEG fine, 100 JPEG Normal)
  • Expeed image processing engine
  • 3D tracking AF (11 point)
  • Short startup time, viewfinder blackout and shutter lag
  • Slightly improved viewfinder (96% frame coverage)
  • Extensive in-camera retouching including raw development and straightening
  • Improved user interface
  • New optional compact GPS unit (fits on hot shoe)
  • Same battery and vertical grip as D80
  • Vignetting control in-camera
  • 72 thumbnail and calendar view in playback

4. Nikon D300S

Nikon d300s Top 10 Professional Cameras

  • 13.1 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor (effective pixels: 12.3 million)
  • 720p HD video
  • 3.0″ LCD monitor (920,000 dots)
  • Image sensor cleaning (sensor shake)
  • 51 AF points (with 3D tracking)
  • IS0 200-3200 range (6400 expanded)
  • 7 frames per second continuous shooting (buffer: 17 RAW, 44 JPEG fine, 100 JPEG Normal)
  • Expeed image processing
  • Picture Controls – image parameters consistent with all current Nikon DSLRs
  • Same EN-EL3e battery as D300
  • 72 thumbnail view in playback
  • 14-bit A/D conversion
  • Super fast operation (power-up 13 ms, shutter lag 45 ms, black-out 100 ms)
  • Shutter life 150,000 exposures
  • Multi-CAM3500DX Auto Focus sensor (51-point, 15 cross-type, more vertical coverage)
  • Auto-focus tracking by color (using information from 1005-pixel AE sensor)
  • Auto-focus calibration (fine-tuning) now available (fixed body or up to 20 separate lens settings)
  • Scene Recognition System (uses AE sensor, AF sensor)
  • Picture Control image parameter presets (replace Color Modes I, II and III)
  • Custom image parameters now support brightness as well as contrast
  • Compact Flash UDMA support
  • Live View with either phase detect (mirror up/down) or contrast detect Auto Focus
  • HDMI HD video output
  • ‘Active D-Lighting’ (adjusts metering as well as applying D-Lighting curve)
  • Detailed ‘Control Panel’ type display on LCD monitor, changes color in darkness
  • New MB-D10 vertical grip fully integrates into body, multi battery type compatible
  • Buttons sealed against moisture

3. Canon EOS 7D

Cannon EOS 7D Top 10 Professional Cameras

  • 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 8 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 1080p HD video recording with manual controls
  • 3.0 inch Clear View II LCD screen with 920,000 dots
  • 19-point AF system (all cross-type)
  • 1.0x magnification and 100% coverage viewfinder
  • Wireless flash control
  • Environmental sealing

2. Sony Alpha a850

Sony ADSLR a8501 550x444 Top 10 Professional Cameras

  • 24.6 MP 35mm format full-frame CMOS sensor (still the highest res in class)
  • SteadyShot INSIDE full frame image sensor shift stabilization (world first)
  • Dual Bionz processors
  • Eye-level glass Penta-prism OVF, 98% coverage, 0.74x magnification
  • 9 point AF with 10 assist points, center dual-cross AF w/2.8 sensor
  • 3 frames per second burst
  • 3 User programmable custom memory modes on mode dial
  • Advanced Dynamic Range Optimizer (5 step selectable)
  • 40 segment honeycomb metering
  • 3.0″ 921K pixel Photo Quality (270 dpi) LCD display, 100% coverage
  • Direct HDMI output
  • ISO 200-3200 (ISO 100-6400 expanded range)
  • User interchangeable focusing screens (3 options)
  • CF Type I/II and MS slots, LI-ION battery, STAMINA 880 shots
  • Weight 850g (without battery, card, accs)
  • Optional vertical Grip
  • Magnesium Alloy body and rubber seals for dust and moisture resistance
  • AF micro adjustment

1. Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Cannon EOS 5D 550x412 Top 10 Professional Cameras
2 550x217 Top 10 Professional Cameras
15 Top 10 Professional Cameras

  • New 21.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor with improved EOS Integrated Cleaning System (E.I.C.S.)
  • New Full HD 1080 resolution movie recording
  • 3.9 frames per second continuous shooting
  • High performance DIGIC 4 providing superb image quality
  • Maximum 310 large JPEG images in a single burst with a UDMA card
  • 3.0” VGA (920k dots) Clear View LCD
  • ISO 100-6400 (expansion from 50 up to 25,600)
  • 9 AF points + 6 Assist AF points
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2

Sony new Vaio SA and SB-series with docking stations and battery slices

Sony is equipping its new Vaio SA-series and SB-series with docking stations and battery slices. The laptop battery life is going to double, and the annoying plugging in of power cables will be a thing of the past.
Sony laptop battery Sony new Vaio SA and SB series with docking stations and battery slicesSony Vaio VPC-SB1Z9EB with Battery Slice VGP-BPSC24 on the Docking Station VGP-PRS20

Who hasn’t stared jealously at the extensive docking and battery options available for the business class models from HP, Lenovo or Dell? Now Vaio users can profit from these features too. The mainstream consumer series, Vaio SA and SB, come with docking stations and battery slices, granting the user the ultimate battery life experience.

Docking Station VGP-PRS20

The docking station, VGP-PRS20 (about 129 Euros), uses a power adapter cable which is similar to that of the notebook (mixing the two up won’t cause any problems). As the user will have two power cables which serve the same purpose, he/she can leave the cable of the docking station plugged in during a trip for simplicity sake. The docking station can be used to recharge batteries (including the battery slice) and the slider on the right side allows the user to switch to “Extended Laptop Battery” mode.

The docking port offers HDMI, VGA, 4 USB ports (no USB 3.0; those are only available on the notebooks themselves) and 2 x RJ45 (LAN) ports. As soon as the Vaio is placed on the docking port, the HDMI, VGA and RJ45 ports of the laptop can no longer be used, and to prevent anyone from doing so, the docking station has two plastic flaps on the side which block these ports effectively.

The placement of the device does not involve the use of any latches or locks. This means: place the laptop on the two protruding bumps and you’re done. The subnotebook will not slip due to two securing hooks (silver) which stick out of the base unit and secure the model so that it doesn’t fall.

372f7ff2cf Sony new Vaio SA and SB series with docking stations and battery slices
VGP-PRS20: Point of view
88d2433cb8 Sony new Vaio SA and SB series with docking stations and battery slices
VGP-PRS20: Lying on top
d0aa6036e5 Sony new Vaio SA and SB series with docking stations and battery slices
VGP-PRS20: Port blockers
6c66647404 Sony new Vaio SA and SB series with docking stations and battery slices
VGP-PRS20: Connector

Battery Slice VGP-BPSC24

The VGP-BPSC24 battery slice is a flat battery (Li-Polymer, 6 cell), which fits under the base unit of the Vaio SA- and SB series models. It has a capacity of 4.400 mAh or 49 Wh (11.1V). The notebooks have have a connector on the bottom which allows them to attach themselves to the slice battery. However, this connector is not the same as the one found on the docking port. This additional battery slice VGP-BPSC24 costs around 130 Euros and weighs 520 grams.

During notebook use, the laptop batteries are designed in such a way that the slice battery will be used first. The slice battery can be charged via the notebook or  through a small charging dongle (while the battery is not connected), so theoretically, the 13.3 inch device can run the entire day without internet.

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Acer TravelMate 5320 battery, Brand New 4400mAh Only AU $64.66

IBM ThinkPad R50 Battery, Brand New 4000mAh Only AU $55.26

The black battery slice looks good when attached to the notebook, even though its colour only fits to that of the black Vaio SB. The latch has two metal hooks on the locking side. The holes for these hooks, on the other side, are made of synthetic material. To prevent an accidental unlocking, the security mechanism is two-fold (lock and release). The perpendicular hole in the middle of the slice battery is for the docking station (without this hole, the slice HP COMPAQ Business Notebook NC6400 Battery would raise the laptop enough to free the non-functioning ports).

Laptop Computer Battery Run time

For our test we used the series model VPC-SB1S1E/W with an i5-2410M processor. This model comes with a 50 Wh battery (4.540 mAh). We dimmed the brightness to roughly 100 cd/m² during our test. The CPU load was low while surfing on the web (no videos, only websites). One downside is that the charging of the duo packet (notebook battery + battery slice) takes a while: 5:46 hours.

WLAN-Test @50 Wh Standard: 314 minutes (5:14h)

WLAN-Test @50 Wh + 49 Wh: 648 minutes (10:48h)

Thanks to the docking station and battery slice, the user is spared the chaos of  cables all over the place, and the mobility is doubled. These two additional features are fully compatible with each other, which means that the Vaio notebook can still sit on the docking station, even if the slice battery is attached. These features are sure to immensely increase the comfort of the user, as both the Vaio SA (not available yet) and the Vaio SB can connect within one second to these peripheral devices.

a98a981650 Sony new Vaio SA and SB series with docking stations and battery slices
Docking Station VGP-PRS20: USB 3.0 is only available on the device

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11

How To Maximize Battery Life Of HTC Thunderbolt

thunderbolt battery life batteries company.com  How To Maximize Battery Life Of HTC ThunderboltEven though the HTC Thunderbolt didn’t make our longest-lasting smartphones list, that doesn’t mean owners have to settle for short battery life. It is possible to squeeze all-day power out of the phone. We’ve found a slew of simple things you can do to get more hours off the charger without making your phone pointless as a mobile computing device (that don’t involve a bulky battery).

Remember, the HTC EVO 4G had some longevity issues, too, and we suggested you check out these tips over at Good and Evo (25+ at last count) to make it last longer. Several of these apply to the Thunderbolt as well. The forum-goers over at Android Central have a monster thread about the topic. And, of course, we have our own (general) battery tips for Android phones. After mining these tips for my own Thunderbolt, I’ve been able to get 12 – 16 hours on a regular basis.

Here are the tips:

  • I lowered my default screen brightness to 25%. Your needs may vary, especially if you spend more time outdoors.
  • I leave my WiFi radio on constantly. This doesn’t drain much battery when it’s not within range of a network it knows and isn’t constantly searching for networks to connect to because I disabled WiFi notifications. This keeps the phone from updating me every time a network comes in range, which is every 3 feet in NYC. By leaving the WiFi on, I don’t have to remember to connect to a network when I’m at home or work or other places I frequent. This saves a lot of battery power.
  • I also changed the WiFi sleep policy to Never so that the phone uses WiFi (when connected) even if the screen is off.
  • I disabled Always On mobile data. All of my services still sync just fine. Background Data is still on.
  • I disabled data roaming. Most of the time I’m in a normal service area.
  • I usually turn off my screen when I don’t need it out of habit, so my screen timeout time is long — 5 minutes. However, if you tend to just leave your phone off to the side when you’re done, set this lower.
  • I’ve turned off auto-sync for services I don’t use (News, Stocks) and upped the sync interval for apps and services I don’t check very often. Be sure to go into individual apps that sync data to do this as well.
  • Every now and then I poke my head into Settings > About Phone > Battery > Battery Level to see what’s using the most power. Sometimes it’s a system setting or component, but sometimes it’s an app updating too frequently. Then I can adjust.
  • The only home screen widget I use is the HTC clock/weather app. I deleted FriendStream first thing.
  • I disabled “Movie Updates” in the BlockBuster app.

I didn’t condition or bump charge my battery, though that’s a step I might take in the future depending on how badly this battery degrades over time.

Anyway, this is just 10 things out of around 30 tips all told. I’m not sacrificing any functionality I desire, I’m getting all the data I need/want in a timely manner, and I have all-day battery life. Win. Check the sources for more tips to see which ones you can deploy to add some life to your Thunderbolt. And if you have any new battery usage tips, let us know in the comments!

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3

Apple MacBook laptop batteries susceptible to hack attacks

Kristal Apple MacBook laptop batteries susceptible to hack attacksNow that Apple has endowed the Mac operating system with state-of-the-art security protections, a researcher has devised new attacks that target the machine’s battery.

Charlie Miller, well known for his numerous attacks on iPhones and Macs, may not have achieved his ultimate objective of making a Mac spontaneously combust, but he has figured out how to permanently disable the battery. And in time, he said, it also may be possible to remotely hijack a machine by manipulating the firmware on one of the stored power supply’s chips.

“What I found was you can make any change you want to the software that runs on the laptop battery,” Miller, who is principal research consultant at security firm Accuvant and the other coauthor of The Mac Hacker’s Handbook, told The Reg. “I also saw that you can mess up the chip so it won’t function anymore. You can’t recover from that. You couldn’t even take it to the genius bar.”

The flaw making all of this possible is the result of Apple’s decision to ship MacBook batteries without changing the passwords needed to run updates or make low-level changes to their embedded controllers. By reverse-engineering past updates, he had no trouble deducing the pass codes.

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With these, Miller was able to make changes to the battery firmware that bricked the Apple a1175 battery. The hack doesn’t sound all that interesting until you consider that any changes will survive a complete reinstallation of the MacBook’s operating system. Miller theorized that if there’s a way to cause the firmware to exploit a vulnerability in Mac OS X, his laptop battery pack hack could open the door to system compromises that persist even after disinfection of reinstallation.

Miller will be presenting his findings at next month’s Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. At his talk, he will also release a software tool that patches the vulnerability by changing the default passwords that ship with 15 inch macbook pro battery.

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3

Top Tips to Save Your iPad Battery Life – batteries-company.com

Just got your new iPad, and you’re already worrying about the battery draining? Chill out, live a little, and play some Flight Control HD.

But once you’ve inducted your shiny new toy into your fleet of gadgets, and you’re ready to take him for a night out on the town in celebration, you can start to think about ways to conserve battery life.

First up, this article is going to come with a couple of caveats. For one, the iPad is, in many ways, a large iPod touch or iPhone, so a lot of the tips we give in this article will be very familiar to current Apple enthusiasts.

And secondly, the iPad’s battery is an incredible creature, capable of pumping out 12 hours of constant tapping, stroking, touching and caressing, regardless of Apple‘s meagre ten hour claims. Power conservation will rarely be on your list of concerns.

But there’ll always come a time when your HP Probook 4710S Battery is on life support, there’s not a power socket in sight and you still have a good half hour of public transport to endure.

Whatever can you do to ensure your magic rectangle has the power to see you all the way home? Well, you’d better read on to find out.

Turn off power sapping functionality

battery wifi Top Tips to Save Your iPad Battery Life   batteries company.com

Yeah, my wi-fi hotspot is called Jim. I bet yours is something boring like Netgear or BT.

Bluetooth is the first to go. Unless you’re waggling a jailbreak-enabled Wii Remote on the last train out of Paddington, there’s probably not much use having this wireless technology clogging up your iPad. Shut it off in settings.

Wi-fi is also a good one to turn-off. You might not even be connected to a hotspot, but the little tablet is still trying to find connections every five seconds, in an undying eagerness to please its new owner.

Besides, if you’re reading a Tom Clancy novel or playing Angry Birds, do you really need web connection? Cut it loose in the Settings menu.

Location services next. I think you can afford to stop telling your three faithful Foursquare followers your exact geographical location for twenty minutes. Unless you’re geo-caching, shut it off.

You could also nix your push notifications, but if you’re still intent on bring told you have a new email, a new tweet, or that your turnips need harvesting, there could be a better way.

Quit pushing, and fetch less often

battery fetch Top Tips to Save Your iPad Battery Life   batteries company.com

You can turn off push email in the Fetch New Data menu, and select how often it will check for mail.

If you set up your email correctly, you can get your server to alert your iPad the nanosecond it receives a new electronic letter.

And we know its helpful for your productivity to know someones left cookies on their desk the moment it happens, but what’s an extra 15 minutes to wait?

No cookies, that’s what. But if you’re in a Heathrow bound tube, it won’t really matter anyway.

Turn off push notifications, and set it to fetch your emails instead. From here, you can make your golden retriever-like iPad pop off and look for new emails every quarter of an hour, every 30 minutes, or hourly. Or you can even set it manually, so it’ll only tax your battery when you load the the Mail, Calendar, or Contacts apps.

Choose less strenuous activities

battery book Top Tips to Save Your iPad Battery Life   batteries company.com

If only we could compromise. Perhaps with a Plants vs Zombies book, for example.

If you’re seriously running low on laptop battery, maybe you should give that seven hour Plants vs Zombies marathon or complete Lost Season 6 re-watch a raincheck. Anything with constantly moving graphics, especially 3D ones or physics based games, will sap your battery at a far greater pace than say, a nice iBook.

You do remember books, don’t you? The ones with pages and little stories and characters named Boo Radley. Sometimes they’ll even have pictures, and they won’t kill your power source as fast as a picture of a red bird, flying through the air towards a flimsy structure filled with pigs.

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Audio is good, too, because you can turn the screen off entirely, saving literally hours of battery life. Music is a good traditional choice, but keep your iPad loaded with audiobooks and podcasts in case something different takes your fancy.

Turn the brightness down

battery bright Top Tips to Save Your iPad Battery Life   batteries company.com

iPad screenshots don’t capture the device’s current brightness, so I had to use the extent of my Photoshop skills to bring you this image. Enjoy.

The iPad has an exquisite screen. A big glossy finished, high resolution, multi-touch bastard. It looks lovely when the brightness is on full blast, of course, but that’ll drain your battery quicker than a plug drains a sink. Which is very fast, obviously.

It’s good for your eyes, too. Reading large swathes of text on a brightly lit tablet is like reading a book that’s printed on a light bulb. Or the sun.

So it’s not just good for your iPad’s health, but yours too. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander and all that. And the goose is an iPad, in this twisted, tortured metaphor.

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