Most of us do work while on the move, and in such situations an ultra light laptop with good battery output is what we require the most. The Acer Aspire Timeline series 1830T-3721 is one the ultra portable laptops with a whooping 6 hour Acer as07b31 battery life and under thousand dollar range, is one the hot favorites for those who normally work out of office.
Build – Design – Hardware
The laptop design is on the lines of Aspire One Netbook and weighs approximately 3 pounds. Its easy to carry this laptop and it is powered by Intel Core i5 for solid performance. The body is fingerprint proof, and sturdy enough to withstand the jerks and bumps. This small machine does get heated up, but it’s manageable. The 11.6’ screen is compared to a netbook screen, but its far better than any netbook available today.
Keyboard – Mouse – Webcam
The keys are textured, the keyboard is spacious and like all Acer laptops this machine too has flat keys. The right and left Shift keys are big in size, useful to manage all those shortcuts. The touchpad is almost invisible, but quite sensitive and responds well to your touch. The right and left click buttons are equally comfortable. The inbuilt web camera serves its purpose and its good for those frequent Skype video calls.
Connectivity – Ports – Battery
3 USb ports, HDMI Output, Multi Media card reader, Ethernet Slot, VGA Output, Mic and headphone jacks support this laptop the most. This Wi-Fi enabled laptop has an excellent battery life of 6 hours and for that very reason its called the “Small Wonder”
Model – Dell Latitude E6410
Processor – Intel Core i5 520UM 1.06 GHz
Operating System – 64-bit – Microsoft Windows 7 Professional
Display – 11.6 inch 16:9, 1366×768 pixel
Graphics Card – Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD Graphics
Ram – 4GB PC 8500
Hard Drive – Hitachi 320GB 5400rpm 8MB Cache
CD/DVD – 8X DVD burner
Wireless Network – Broadcom 802.11n (abgn), 2.1+EDR Bluetooth
Webcam – Inbuilt high resolution 3.0 Megapixel webcam
USB Ports – 3 USB 2.0 ports
Battery type – 63 Wh Lithium-Ion, 5800mAh AL10D56
Dimensions – 28 x 285 x 204 [in mm]
Extra – 24 months warranty
Pros & Cons
- Really good Battery Life
- Travel Friendly
- Spacious keyboard
- Good graphics
- HDMI Output
- Light Weight
- Touchpad is small
- Webcam quality is poor
- Speaker quality is mediocre
Lenovo has refreshed its ThinkPad laptop line-up for business and appears to be one of the first to start pushing ultrabooks for business.
CNET’s Scott Stein has details on the entire lineup, but the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, a 14-inch ultrabook is the front runner.
The X1 Carbon is an update to Lenovo’s previous X1. The ThinkPad X1, updated with the latest Intel chips, has carbon fiber, promises fast charges and includes a high-resolution screen.
The carbon-fiber 2012 ThinkPad X1 is a true 14-inch ultrabook that claims to be the world’s lightest at that size (3 pounds). A 1,600×900 resolution screen, carbon fiber roll-cage, 3G broadband, and the return of last year’s Rapid Charge Lenovo Thinkpad r60 Battery (which charges the Acer as07b31 replacement battery up to 80% in 30 minutes) round out the features.
Pricing is yet to be determined, but Lenovo is only the first in. HP, Dell and a host of others will push ultrabooks on corporations.
Laptop battery to a laptop is what sword to a warrior. It’s the backup power of your all-day-working laptop, especially for those business gentlemen. Every laptop company equips different batteries and even the same laptop company has different types of batteries for different models. So, how to make out your particular one? Of course, you could purchase it directly from the origin company, but it means they would cost you the earth!! (For instance, Dell was said to charge four times more than elsewhere you can get one). It deserves to pay so much more? No, actually, there are some online laptop battery stores, like the Batteries-company.com, is trustworthy enough.
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If you’re looking for the replacing battery, refer to your old one, and the model number should be on it. What if no? Just log onto the manufacturer’s website and look up your laptop model and its accessories. Find the battery you need, note down the model number. The category ‘Laptop Batteries’ inbatteries-company.com.au and aussiebattery.com concludes almost all kind of laptop batteries in all models, just click on the brand category to find it, or just simply input your model number in the top search column.
Price is the most important concern for most of us PC fans, for a high performance ratio would always attract our attention. Buyers beware, there are thousands of small online discount electronics stores that promise one thing and then may send you the Japanese version of the battery that may not work for your laptop. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. The laptop batteries on batterylicious.com, as one of their best sellers, though in relatively lowest price, have never been sent back for the reason of unfitting, which can eliminate your worry of mismatching situation.
3. High Quality and Stability
This is crucial for choosing your laptop by checking its quality and stability. Even the origin manufacture of the battery cannot promise its quality out of any problem, so once you find any instability of the battery, just contact the store for an exchange. The laptop batteries on batteries-company.com, which was bought in directly from the origin manufacturers, can be guaranteed trough its thoughtful service. Generally speaking, the batteries were in good condition in life-long, excluding any worries of explosion or leakage, etc.
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Are you always unsatisfied of your laptop computer batteries, for its small capacity and short using time? These are major problem for most laptop batteries, why? It is just like adding ice in cola in many restaurants, see? These kinds of batteries will cost you the earth by replacing them again and again! Laptop guys, the specialized batteries are you choices! With longer using time and larger capacity, those batteries worth your buying, even in a little higher price. Batteries-company.com, as the world-known distributor of laptop batteries, stocks thousands of specialized batteries for you laptop fans and game zealots.
In all, choosing an appropriate store for appropriate laptop batteries is fatal for your beloved laptop, for which those trustworthy distributers are needed for consideration. As the world-known and professional distributer of Replacement Laptop Batteries in the world, Batteries-company.com would be your brilliant choice.
You can get it drivin’. You can get it flyin’. You can get it loungin’ in a hotel … Matter o’ fact, I got it now. Movies streaming from a wireless hard drive.
A new wireless hard drive from Seagate is set to revolutionise the way travellers store and share movies, photos and info while they’re on the move.
The GoFlex Satellite hard drive is much like a standard USB hard drive, except that it has an inbuilt battery that lasts for five hours between charges, and high speed Wi-Fi built in.
As a result, anything a traveller has loaded on to the hard drive is available to their laptop, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch or Android-based smartphone.
The Wi-Fi built in to the hard drive is the fastest available — the “N” type — which Seagate says will allow up to three iPads to stream a movie at once from the hard drive.
(On the flip-side, it’s no more than three — Seagate is limiting the maximum number of devices that can connect to the hard drive to three at any one time — a precautionary measure to ensure good performance for each user.)
Laptop users can access files on the hard drive directly on their computers without an app — it comes up in My Computer or the Mac OS X “shared devices” list as a networked hard drive.
It also comes with a compact A/C wall charger, as well as a car charger for use on the road. (Nice that Seagate is not going down the path of providing nothing but the USB cord for charging, as Apple has done with iPods nowadays.)
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It comes with a three year warranty, too — longer than most bits of tech, and especially good for travellers who might be subjecting the drive to a bit of rough and tumble.
The capacity of the hard drive is 500GB, which should be enough for 300 movies at 720P HD resolution.
Seagate has made a special app for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch which provides a menu system for accessing stuff stored on the hard drive. You can already download it from the iTunes App Store though the drive itself won’t be available until July.
The Dell Precision M4600 is one of the most powerful 15-inch mobile workstations available. Just be ready for high costs if you customize it.
- Great 1080p IPS display option
- Plenty of ports
- Extreme performance
Dell Precision M4600 Full Review: Mobile Workstation Muscle
A “mobile workstation” isn’t the same as a typical business notebook and the 15-inch Dell Precision M4600 isn’t the same as a typical mobile workstation. This impressively durable powerhouse is available with just about every high-end component you can imagine … but is it worth spending more than $4,000 on a mobile workstation? Keep reading to find out.
Build and Design
The Precision M4600 certainly looks like the old, boxy Dell business notebooks from the previous decade, but there’s something to be said for the idea that form follows function. The thick chassis is made of a combination of aluminum and magnesium alloy in order to give this mobile workstation some added durability.
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Granted, most of the graphic artists and engineers using mobile workstations are keeping them at a desk, but if you need to travel with your PC then all that thick metal will keep those high-priced components safe.
The screen lid is pretty rigid and provides enough protection to prevent the screen from distorting when you press on the back of the display. We wouldn’t recommend standing on the lid, but it should survive an accidental drop without any trouble. The screen hinges are very strong with enough tension to require two hands to open the lid. The remainder of the notebook is similarly tough with no obvious signs of chassis flex under pressure and no “squeaks or creaks” when you try to twist the notebook in your hands. In short, this is a very solid mobile workstation.
The bottom of the M4600 is pretty well sealed at first glance. You’ll have to remove the Dell Inspiron 1520 Laptop Battery from the bottom of the notebook to reveal the three screws that have to be removed in order to access the various internal components. The M4600 uses two large cooling fans to help keep the system cool but there are actually four air intakes to make sure there’s plenty of air flow for high-power processors and graphics.
Ports and Features
A mobile workstation is very much focused on business and it’s pretty common for people to need to connect a mobile workstation to a wide variety of external storage devices and displays. To that end, Dell provides five USB ports (two USB 2.0, two USB 3.0 and an eSATA/USB 2.0 combo port), FireWire, and even an ExpressCard slot for expanding your port options. In addition, you get three video out ports (VGA, HDMI and DisplayPort). Sure, the M4600 is pretty thick, but you get a great deal of connectivity in return.
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Looking for a laptop that can run for most of the day without a recharge?
The boffins at technology site CNET Australia reckon that HP‘s Folio 13 Ultrabook should be top of your list, as it gallops along for almost six and a half hours on a single tank of juice.
Two more HP laptops follow the Folio – the Envy Spectre 14 and the Pavilion dm1 – before the field widens to include models from Lenovo, Dell, Asus and Toshiba.
Apple’s MacBook Air makes a surprisingly late appearance in the field, with the 13 inch model in twelfth place based on a battery life of 4 hours 43 minutes.
CNET’s aptly-named Laptops with long battery life 2012 report assesses the battery life of each notebook reviewed by the site using a pair of real-world tests.
The heavy-duty test sees the laptop playing a HD video with both screen brightness and volume wound up to full. A light HP nc6000 notebook battery test trims the screen brightness to 40 per cent and visits three different websites every 20 seconds.
CNET Australia reviews editor Craig Simms says this snapshot of the current market will be continuously updated as new laptops are released.
It can be difficult to trust a laptop maker’s own figures on battery life because “things will change depending on usage patterns” as well as how the manufacturer chooses to measure battery life, says Simms.
“Some will quote incredibly light-use battery benchmarks with most things turned off and the screen set to the lowest brightness — a totally unrealistic use scenario” he tells Australian Business Traveller. ”Others, such as Samsung, tend to be more honest with their Dell Inspiron n5010 battery life estimates, using video playback stats instead.”
And while Ultrabooks are helping to set new benchmarks for battery life, Simms says he would be disappointed “if a 13 inch ultrabook didn’t hit at least four and a half hours of light use with screen brightness around 40%. The better ones can exceed six hours.”
A raft of advances in laptop technology is also helping drive battery life towards true all-day capability.
“Since the MacBook Air, quite a few laptops have (adopted) non-user removable batteries, allowing for custom shapes that allow the manufacturer to maximise battery storage for their specific laptop” Simms explains.
“Intel’s ultra-low voltage processors have made quite an impact on power draw, and yet only sacrifice minimally on performance, while on more powerful laptops, graphics switching technology that allows AMD and Nvidia graphics to switch to less power-hungry Intel graphics when the more powerful cards aren’t needed helps the laptop to save on Dell inspiron e1505 battery.”
Simms also sees the widespread use of LED back lighting in displays, “automatically dimming the screen after a period of disuse and smart dimming of screens in different light situations” as helping extend battery life.
Other Ultrabook-type trends such as dropping CD/DVD drives and replacing spinning mechanical hard disks with solid-state drives have also done their part to eke out more hours between recharges.
Notebook Li-ion rechargeable batteries are appearing more prevailing as most Business Heads are at present being to go along with the Notebook PC instead of the Personal Assistants, As your notebook PC is not connected with major energy outlet, in that situation notebook li-ion battery of your Dell notebook PC turn into the main power source and therefore it is to be chosen with utmost attention.
When buying your Laptop li-ion rechargeable battery, consider carefully regarding the load you will place on on your notebook PC when you are away from a major power electrical outlet. Similar to all kinds of batteries, Laptop PC li-ion batteries comes in several kinds of brands & at different prices. The cost of the laptop PC battery does not comprise the powerfulness of a li-ion batteries. Try to acquire li-ion rechargeable batteries from the reliable source. Notebook shops and few electronic shops are favorable sites to buy the equivalent batteries. Although various li-ion rechargeable batteries can be utilized by the laptop PC, make sure that you see and taken in to regard guiding principles those were included in instruction booklet that got for your Laptop.
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While your Notebook PC li-ion battery may last anywhere in-between 3 to12 hours. The extra complex tasks you perform with your Laptop PC affects the performance of the li-ion battery. The laptop PC li-ion battery is again chargeable. Therefore, you must make reliable your Dell Battery is fully charge before using for the first time.
The Laptop power pack will be the easy source of energy when far away from the main power supply even though you could not depend to your battery pack as the sole energy of the notebook. The less you utilize the li-ion rechargeable battery, the longer li-ion batteries will work. You should simply utilize the li-ion rechargeable battery to power your notebook when away from a significant power supply WALL socket. Due to the reality that which more customers may be relaying on electronic Laptop in place of the lot of group of materials for drag around, so many companies are now producing Notebook PCs.
Doing more than single task in your laptop increases usage of ROM & Processor which uses more battery power. Performing different experiments we have been initiated that the laptop delivers finest execution by maintaining not more than one application in stead of using many tasks at an instance therefore you have to close up every programs and also still the simple task too. Ending the present program for performing new task. For performing many tasks at a time Central processing unit consumes more battery energy. Active handling of multiple programs needs to batter the memory which consumes more battery energy too. So doing not more than single task reduces the usage of the CPU and Hard disk which gives best performance of Notebook.
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Maintaining your Notebook with less heat allows effective action. That will be maintained Cool by via cool pad where several brand names can be available in market places including with usb ports & Cooling method also, We are necessary to dirt free the fans for the laptop regularly that whether inflow and outflow of the air vents might have blocked with much particles or dust, this arise due to placing laptop on leg and variant areas which were not dirt free properly, by putting laptop PC’s on lap get health problems also to us. Try to Avoid placing laptop under straight to sunshine, stove .Thus, there might be no difficulty in getting a acceptable equal li-ion battery at a inexpensive value from exceldigital(UK)
Any Notebook consumer need to achieve the Dell Notebook power pack end as long as workable. However no question of it any Li-ion rechargeable battery has a Specific life spam. Thus if we can follow the above worthy Li-ion notebook battery suggestions that can work to prolong laptop battery pack life.
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Call 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.
Click 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.
Click 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.
Click 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.
Click 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.
Click 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.
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.
Click 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).
Click 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).
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.
Click 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.
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.
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.
Click 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.
If you were lucky enough to get an HP TouchPad this time last year during their “fire sale” for $99 (16GB) or the $149 (32GB) your Android luck hasn’t run out yet. Remember, Android first came to the HP TouchPad via CM7, Gingerbread. A few months later, Android 4.0 came to the HP TouchPad, bringing a true tablet UI to the 10″ popular slate. The CyanogenMod development community continues to grace the HP TouchPad, this time with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean showing up via an unofficial CM10 preview release.
This preview released is exactly what it says it is. A preview of things to come. WiFi seems to be working great and many apps are working as you can see from the demo video below. As of right now, audio does not work and you cannot play videos via YouTube or from the Gallery. However, you can play videos via the MX Player app (without audio). Besides those minor hiccups, Jelly Bean is buttery smooth on the TouchPad as advertised and Google Now even works!
If you’re itching to pull the trigger to give this preview release of Jelly Bean, CM10 a try, here’s how you can get started:
The following is assumed you are familiar with installing CM7 or CM9 on your HP TouchPad. Please proceed at your own risk.
PLEASE DO A NANDROID BACKUP BEFORE PROCEEDING.
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Download the following 4 files:
ClockworkMod or TWRP 2.1.1
Place them in your cminstall directory on your HP TouchPad (the same directory you used to put Android on your HP Touchpad originally.)
Download the NEW ACMEInstaller v3 for CM10
Connect your Touchpad to your computer via USB cable.
Reboot your TouchPad into the HP Recovery.
Launch a command prompt window. (CMD)
Navigate to the location where your ACMEINstaller3 file is located.
Type: novacom.exe boot mem:// < ACMEInstaller3
Your HP TouchPad will begin installing the CM10 preview release.
Looking to power up your iPhone with the best free and cheap apps out there? Our first edition of the Lifehacker Pack for iPhone rounds up our favorite must-have iPhone applications.
Whether you just bought a new iPhone or you’re simply looking for some of the best basic apps for your device, the list below should be plenty to get you started. The majority of the apps are free unless otherwise noted, and where they’re not free, we aimed for cheap. And when a default application is incredibly useful and blows all its competition out of the water—we included it, too. It’s a big list, so here’s an index if you want to quickly jump to a section:
Where most mobile companion apps tend to offer a lot less than their desktop counterparts, ubiquitous capture tool Evernote takes full advantage of the iPhone to make the mobile app worthy of standing on its own. In addition to capturing regular text, you can grab voice notes and photos as well. Since Evernote performs OCR (optical character recognition) on all your images, any text in the pictures you add to Evernote will be searchable. For example, you could take a snapshot of a menu in a restaurant and later search it just like it was a text document.
Simplenote is a key component in the holy grail of ubiquitous text capture
, and rightfully so. Simplenote allows for speedy note entry on your iPhone, plus it syncs with the likewise free
Simplenote service so your notes are always available wherever you want them.
If you haven’t used TripIt to manage your travel itineraries, you’ve been missing out. We’ve already discussed its merits, but the free iPhone app makes it even easier to manage your trip. It’s a natural extensions of the service, since if you’re traveling it’s more than likely that you’re not at your computer.
Instapaper / ReadItLater:
Instapaper and ReadItLater both serve the purpose of saving web content for later reading, and both offer free and paid versions, but they’re still notably different. Instapaper offers you a straightforward and simple way of reading saved content. ReadItLater is a little more feature-rich. Both are great options and you can try them for free to see which you prefer.
Apple’s voice recognition handles a few tasks but misses some key features that Dragon Dictation helps to fill in. If typing is not an option, or you’re just feeling lazy, Dragon Dictation will type it up for you. You can send a text message or an email directly from the app, and it also integrates with Facebook and Twitter. Although not perfect, Dragon Dictation is surprisingly accurate and will let you correct any mistakes it makes.
Mint: If you’re not using Mint to keep track of you finances, you should be. It’ll keep track of all your accounts and provide you with useful statistics and budgeting information to help you manage your money better. If you’re looking for something a little more hands-on, however, Jumsoft Money is a great free app as well—you just input everything yourself.
If you’ve found Mobile Safari to be a bit lacking, you’re not alone. Atomic Browser can help, providing true tabbed browsing, private browsing mode, user-agent spoofing (handy for watching Netflix on your iPhone
), and a ton of features you’ve come to expect as part of your web-browsing experience.
Imagine being able to use your iPhone to make phone calls! (Har har.) Now that Skype works over 3G and can take advantage of iOS 4′s multitasking capabilities, it’s actually a viable alternative to using your mobile minutes. Even if you don’t want to go so far as to replace your regular phone, it’s still a great tool for making international calls on the cheap and chatting with your Skype contacts on the go.
If you don’t like paying a ridiculous amount of money for small amounts of data, Textfree Unlimited lets you send and receive text messages at no costs. You can even set up a phone number specifically for the app. While Textfree used to only provide free text messages, now the app is free as well. The trade-off is that you get ads, but you have the option to pay to remove them.
Another great minute-saver is LucyPhone (check out our quick review), the app that waits on hold so you don’t have to. If you’re calling a popular business, LucyPhone’s directory may even save you the step of going through the phone tree to get to the right department. While you might confuse the customer service representative on the other end, LucyPhone takes all the pain of waiting on hold—including the loss of your mobile minutes.
With a couple of $10 multi-service IM clients available, Meebo stands out especially because it’s free. Being free doesn’t make it bad, however. It’s an attractive app with the ability to integrate tons of IM services, making it our IM app of choice.
You could drown in Twitter apps on the iPhone, but the official option is free and one of the best. In addition to tweeting and direct-messaging, you can also share photos and videos. Thanks to the iPhone’s GPS, Twitter is location-aware and can provide you with nearby tweets so you can figure out what people are talking about in your area in real time.
The official Facebook app on the iPhone is great for general updates and messages, but it becomes especially useful when all your contacts flood in. If your address book is missing a number, just find your friend in the Facebook app and click the call button. You can also keep track of events, check your news feed, and edit your profile.
Maps (Default App)
While Android’s version of Google Maps blows it out of the water, the built-in Maps application on the iPhone is still pretty great. Drivers can check real-time traffic and get simple directions to just about anywhere. Even if you don’t drive, walking and public transportation directions are available. With street view integration and a few other neat features, Maps is easily one of the most useful apps on the iPhone.
While the iPhone has a few free turn-by-turn navigation apps (and none of them are even encroaching on the territory of perfect), MapQuest4Mobile feels more like the real deal than any of the others. In my personal experience I found it gave directions too late in quite a few cases, but it’s hard to argue with free. If you want a commanding, computerized female voice barking directions at you (occasionally after you’ve missed your exit), and you don’t want to pay a lot for the privilege, you’ve found your match.
Although not free (weighing in on the more expensive side at $2.99), GasBuddy is the sort of app that can pay for itself after one use. If you’re always on the lookout for cheap gas, GasBuddy will give you options by proximity and price. You can filter by fuel grade, and it can even help you find a diesel gas station.
If you’ve ever wanted to see a movie on a whim, Movies Now scratches that itch. While it handles regular movie showtimes, too, it’s main function uses your location and the current time to find upcoming showtimes near you. If you find a movie you like, you can buy tickets through movietickets.com directly from the app. The catch: It’s $2. While there are certainly free options in the movie showtimes arena (like the IMDb app below), Movies Now has a great location-based twist.
You have quite a few fitness apps to choose from on the iPhone. One of those happens to be RunKeeper, and lucky us, it has a great free version. RunKeeper uses your iPhone’s GPS to track your run and provide you with statistics, giving you the statistical benefits of a treadmill when you’re outside the gym. It integrates with your music library and lets you share your activities. While the built-in Nike+ app is also pretty nice, RunKeeper doesn’t require the purchase of any additional hardware and lets you choose your brand of shoes.
Find My iPhone:
Even if you’re not a MobileMe subscriber, you’ve probably heard a bit about Find My iPhone in the news. It’s already tracked down a few iPhone thieves, but is probably more commonly used when you’ve just misplaced your phone. While you have to shell out $99 a year for a MobileMe account to get any use out of the app, it’s a must if you’re already a MobileMe subscriber.
Would it truly be a Lifehacker Pack without file-syncing app extraordinaire Dropbox? While the iPhone version of Dropbox isn’t quite as useful as Dropbox on your computer, it makes for a nice companion. If you’re using Dropbox for all sorts of clever things
, it’s always nice having access to your sync’d files from your phone. While the Dropbox app can download anything the iPhone (or a third-party app) can display, you can also save key files on your phone as well.
If you like frequent push notifications, you’ll probably like Boxcar. Boxcar integrates with Twitter, Facebook, email, RSS, and Growl to grab updates of nearly anything you want and push them to your phone. If you want to be alerted the moment something changes, Boxcar will get the job done.
PasteFire / MyPhoneDesktop:
PasteFire and MyPhoneDesktop do the same thing—they aim to make getting text from your desktop to your iPhone a bit easier. Both use push and both integrate with your machine to send content. The biggest difference is price: PasteFire is free and MyPhoneDesktop costs a whopping $5. So why mention MyPhoneDesktop? I think it works better. Still, no penalty for trying PasteFire. MyPhoneDesktop is really only worth a look if the free option doesn’t cut it for you.
If you want to use your iPhone as a wireless trackpad for your Mac or Windows PC, that’s precisely what Touch Mouse can help you accomplish. It also includes keyboard functionality so you can make use of your iPhone’s keyboard to input text. While this is not terribly practical or speedy for use with just any machine, if you have a computer hooked up to your television it’s a convenient way to navigate without the clutter of a keyboard and mouse on your couch.
Pandora’s always been a favorite on the iPhone, but with multitasking support in iOS 4 it becomes so much more useful. Now that you can listen to your personalized Pandora radio stations in the background, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better, free way to discover new music.
Although it’s nearing a year without an update, Apple’s Remote app is still pretty incredible. If you want to control your iTunes library remotely, or turn your iPhone into a multi-room wireless remote
(in the event your have an Airport Express or AppleTV), there’s really no better option—especially for free.
Air Video / StreamToMe:
Air Video and StreamToMe are both apps that help you stream video from your computer to your iPhone, no matter where you are. They’re especially compelling when you want to watch something at, say, the gym and you didn’t have time to transcode and sync it to your device first. Whether you’re connected to Wi-Fi or 3G, you can stream video directly to your phone from anywhere you are (the quality of your connection permitting, of course). Both apps have some subtle differences, such as StreamToMe’s ability to stream more than just video and Air Video’s option to pre-encode content for easier streaming, and either are worth the price of admission: $2.99.
iBooks / Kindle / Stanza:
It’s hard to consider any of the iPhone ebook readers the best choice because they’re pretty similar. They all let you read on your phone, they all let you purchase books, and they’re all free to download. While I’m partial to the Kindle app, it’s mainly because I started with ebooks via the Kindle. Pick the ebook app that works the best for you—or don’t, since they’re all free downloads.
Food and Entertainment
Yelp has yet to fail me when I’m on a search for some good, nearby eats. It also comes with some semi-secret, fully-nifty augmented reality
. If you’re looking for nearby food (or anything, really), Yelp is a great (free) way to find your best options.
The one thing Yelp won’t do is hand you a menu for the restaurants it suggests, and that’s where MenuPages comes in. While it can feel a little clunky at times, it’s indispensable when you’re in need of a menu on the go.
IMDb is a great resources for movie information, and the app does a good job of focusing a lot of information onto your iPhone’s small screen. What’s also great about the IMDb app is that it also serves as an excellent free option for finding movie showtimes.
TV Forecast performs the simple function of keeping track of when the next episode of any show is going to air. Enter in just about any show that’s currently running and TV Forecast will provide you with an attractive schedule tailored just for you. While you can grab the free version of TV Listings instead and save yourself $1.99, TV Forecast is a better option.
While you can always watch Netflix on your jailbroken iPhone with a little work, if you’re looking for a way to manage your old-fashioned Netflix queue you can do that nicely with PhoneFlicks. The functionality here is pretty basic, letting you edit your queue and find new titles through search or browsing, but it gets the job done and doesn’t cost you a penny.
Art and Photography
If you’re looking for a free, full-featured iPhone camera upgrade you should check out Joby’s Gorillacam. It provides a huge set of features, including a self-timer, time-lapse photography, anti-shake, three-shot burst, and more. Update: We’re hearing that Gorillacam may have a potential spyware issue. While we can’t tell for certain, you may want to proceed with caution.
If you really want to make the most of your iPhone’s camera, check out Snapture. It might set you back $1.99, but it’s a popular alternative to the iPhone’s built-in camera app. In addition to helping you take better photos, you’ll also find some basic image editing tools. Snapture’s main draw, however, is how easy it makes it to quickly pull out your iPhone and take a picture. Simply open the app, tap the screen, and you’ve got a photo.
HipstaMatic aims to emulate old cameras and film stocks, providing some pretty compelling results. But be warned: it’s one of those apps that can get pretty addictive, and you can shell out $1 each time you want to try out a new lens or flash.
Pano’s one of the more expensive apps in the list, at $3, but it can create some enormous, impressive panoramas right on your iPhone. It works by taking multiple shots and stitching them together. While the results aren’t always perfect, they’re often stunning.
While SketchBook is the sort of app that excels on a big screen, like the iPad’s, it’s nonetheless a great drawing app on the iPhone. With several brushes and pencils, you’ll be surprised what you can actually draw with this app. When you’re done, you can even export a PSD (Photoshop Document) or the flattened image. $3, but if you’re really into sketching, you’ll likely consider it worth the price.
With over 225,000 in the iTunes App Store it can be pretty tough to narrow it down. If you’ve got a great app suggestion we missed, share it in the comments.
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