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Review Dell Precision M4600: Mobile Workstation Muscle

Review Summary:

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.

Pros

  • Great 1080p IPS display option
  • Plenty of ports
  • Extreme performance

Cons

  • Poor laptop battery life
  • Thick and heavy
  • Weak backlit keyboard
  • Expensive if heavily customized

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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WiFi Napping – An Adorable Way To Double Mobile Phone Battery Life

A Duke University student named Justin Manweiler has created a way to extend the battery life of mobile devices by making changes to WiFi technology. He calls it “SleepWell.”

The more wireless devices there are in a space, the higher the drain is on each one’s mobile phone battery as they access the internet. Downloading a movie in a city uses more battery power than downloading a movie in a rural area over a public WiFi network.

Manweiler’s system embraces this — when your WiFi-enabled device is in standby and it detects other WiFi devices that are actively using the network, it puts its connection to sleep. This saves battery life both for your own device and for the one using the connection.

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As WiFi becomes more and more prevalent in public venues, we’re excited that we might not have to be bringing spare batteries and battery chargers everywhere.

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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.

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

Battery 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)

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

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.

Design

MSI GT60Click 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 GT60Click 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

MSI GT60Click 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&#x2026;)” 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 GT60Click 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 gt60 trackpadClick 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 gt60 portsClick 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

webcamClick 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 gt60 battery calibrationClick 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 GT60Click 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Driven 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.While 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 (DSLR)

  • 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 (DSLR)

  • 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 (DSLR)

  • 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 (DSLR)

  • 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 (DSLR)

  • 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 (DSLR)

  • 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 (DSLR)

  • 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 (DSLR)

  • 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 (DSLR)

  • 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 (DSLR)
2 550x217 Top 10 Professional Cameras (DSLR)
15 Top 10 Professional Cameras (DSLR)

  • 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
See also:

Top 10 Web Apps We Love

Top 5 best Digital Cameras in 2011

Top 10 Smart Phones in 2011

Top 5 Attractive Widgets To Personalize Your Android Phone

Top 10 Must Have iPad 2 Apps For New And Existing Users

Top 10 cheap Android mobile phones

Top 10 Laptop Battery Usage Tips, Hacks and Tricks

Top 10 iPhone & Android apps that changed the world

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2

How to Charge a Dell Latitude D620 Battery

The Dell Latitude D620 is a laptop computer that uses a Dell laptop battery to power the computer when it is not plugged in to a power outlet. Over time this battery can become degraded to the point where you need to change it, or you might need to change it so you can swap a discharged laptop battery pack for one that is fully charged.

Instructions:

1. Shut down your Latitude D620 laptop.

2. Turn the computer upside down.

3. Slide the battery release latch so the battery pops up from the system.

4. Remove the Dell Latitude D620 Laptop Battery from the system.

5. Insert your new laptop battery into the system in the same configuration as the old battery.

Tagcloud: charge Dell latitude d620 battery, Dell Latitude D620 Battery, Dell laptop batteries, Apple laptop batteries, Acer laptop batteries, Toshiba pa3533u-1bas battery, Dell latitude d531 battery

Laptop Batteries Maintenance & Care Related Articles:

Dell latitude d620 laptop battery buying tips

Replacement Laptop Batteries Value

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5

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 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.

VGP-PRS20: Point of view
VGP-PRS20: Point of view
VGP-PRS20: Lying on top
VGP-PRS20: Lying on top
VGP-PRS20: Port blockers
VGP-PRS20: Port blockers
VGP-PRS20: Connector
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.

Acer Aspire 3000 Battery, Brand New 4400mAh Only AU$77.89

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.

Docking Station VGP-PRS20: USB 3.0 is only available on the device
Docking Station VGP-PRS20: USB 3.0 is only available on the device

See Also

Dell Latitude E6420 ATG – A Fast, Tough and Pricey Business Laptop

Lenovo ThinkPad T420s Laptop Reviews

Helpful laptop battery troubleshooting tips

Properly Laptop Battery Care Guide

How to Use and Maintenance of Your Laptop Batteries

Dell latitude d620 battery buying tips

How to Charge a Dell Latitude D620 Laptop Battery

6 Tips for buying new laptop battery

How to maximize your Apple laptop battery charge

Increase your laptop battery life significantly by manage Wi-Fi

Extend laptop battery life and performance ultimate instructions

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