/* Newly cheap laptops, netbooks, computers */

Sunday, November 20, 2011

ASUS Zenbook UX21E DH71 Thin Light Ultrabook

ASUS Zenbook UX21E-DH71 11.6-Inch Thin and Light Ultrabook (Silver Aluminum)

Brand ASUS

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Product Features
* 11.6" (1366x768) HD LED / Intel Core i7-2677M Dual Core (1.8GHz) / .67" Thin and Only 2.42lbs Light
* 4GB DDR3 RAM / 128GB SSD / Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit) / 802.11BGN
* 0.3M Pixel / Bluetooth 4.0 / 1 USB 3.0 Port / 1 USB 2.0 Port / Micro HDMI Port
* 1YR Global Warranty / 1YR Accidental Damage Protection / 30-Day Zero Bright Dot / 24-7 Tech Support

Product Description
# Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
# Display: 11.6-inch HD display (1366 x 768)
# CPU: 2nd Generation Intel Core i7-2677M Processor (Turbo Boost up to 2.9Ghz)
# Graphics: Intel UMA
# Wireless: 802.11 b/g/n (@ 2.4GHz)
# Bluetooth: BT 4.0
# Memory: 4GB DDR3
# Storage: 128GB Solid State Drive
# Camera: 0.3 megapixel
# Speakers: Stereo Speakers powered by Bang & Olufsen ICEPower®
# Microphone: Microphone
# Input / Output:1 x Mic-in/ Headphone-out, 1 x mini VGA port for external monitor, 1x micro HDMI, , 1x USB 2.0 ports, 1x USB 3.0 1x micro HDMI
# Battery: 6 cell
# Dimensions: 11.77 x 7.72 x 0.12 ~ 0.67 -inches (W x D x H)
# Weight: 2.43lbs (with 6 cell battery)
# Color: Silver

Product Details
# Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches ; 2.4 pounds
# Shipping Weight: 6 pounds

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(1) COMPUTING PERFORMANCE - First of all, in terms of the primary computing performance, including the CPU and memory performance, they're very similar, and both are very good. Asus' own tests say that the Zenbook is faster, but I don't feel much of it. This is, however, mainly because both are so fast. Comparing the speed of the CPU and memory of these two computers really has very little practical meaning. Only labs would be interested in doing that. Who is going to choose a computer over another because one opens up Microsoft Word in 1.5 seconds versus the other's 1.7 seconds? You see what I mean.

ZenBook does have much faster data transfer through its USB 3 port. It is easily multiple times faster than MacBook air's USB 2. But unless you routinely transfer very large files, I'm not sure if this is so important. Also, MacBook Air has a thunderbolt port which I've not tested in comparison with the ZenBook.

ZenBook also uses a much faster SSD (nearly twice as fast as that of the MacBook Air), but for some reason, I did not notice a very big difference in actual performance. Again, it's probably because both are already superfast for daily tasks. Gamers may tell a different story, but why do you buy an ultracompact laptop like these if you are a gamer?

(2) DESIGN AND BUILD QUALITY - Both computers are extremely well-designed and well built. To me, the ZenBook is almost a bit too pretty (a bit too showy and trendy to my taste). This is usually a problem I have with Mac products, but now, you've got a Windows product that beats that. I wish they would make a ZenBook in all black, and with a more plain business looking (but keep the feel of the high-quality and compactness). Had Lenovo made a similar machine maintaining the basic black square-edged ThinkPad style with the same compactness and thermal performance (see below), I would nearly certainly buy the ThinkPad instead. But there's nothing even in the radar screen on the ThinkPad side, so I caved in.

(3) BATTERY LIFE - The smaller ZenBook (UX21) uses a 35W battery and has 5+ hrs of battery life, comparable to that of MacBook Air. I did not do a strict test. But both are very good. The key is that both laptops would run through a whole day, even a busy day. That's what matters. Once a laptop reaches an all-day battery life, further extension of the battery life really no longer matters that much, unless of course it then reaches much longer to become days or even a week. You will be doing an overnight charging anyway. It's the mid-day recharging that brings trouble.

-very sleek looking & feeling
-sandforce ssd
-adapters, case, etc. included!
-high resolution screen
-price point, build quality
-power cable has led to indicate charging/done

-very annoying keyboard - takes a lot of getting used to - often does not register my keystrokes
-very annoying touchpad - too sensitive - requires some tweaking. installed the updated driver hopefully that will help
-no thunderbolt
-mediocre battery life - reports 3-4 hours. my dell 15z gets 6-7
-speakers are only so-so loud. nothing to go crazy about
-impossible (well, very difficult) to open with one hand.
-integrated graphics / no nvidia optimus
-could use an sd/microsd slot :(
-standard power port... apple totally wins on this one.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Samsung Series 5 Chromebook

Samsung Series 5 Wi-Fi Chromebook (Titan Silver)

Brand Samsung

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Product Features
* Processor: 1.66 GHz Intel Atom dual-core N570 processor
* Storage: 16 GB solid-state drive (SSD)
* Communications: Wireless-N Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n)
* Ports: Two USB 2.0, 4-in-1 memory card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC)
* Audio: Built-in stereo speakers, combo headphone/microphone jack

Product Description
Key Specifications

* Processor: 1.66 GHz Intel Atom dual-core N570 processor
* Storage: 16 GB solid-state drive (SSD)
* System Memory: 2 GB
* Communications: Wireless-N Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n)
* Ports: Two USB 2.0, 4-in-1 memory card reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC)
* Video out: VGA (via included dongle)
* Audio: Built-in stereo speakers, combo headphone/microphone jack
* Battery: 6-cell battery for up to 8.5 hours of use
* Webcam: 1-megapixel

Product Details
# Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 8.6 x 0.8 inches ; 3.3 pounds
# Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds

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I have been using it for a few days now, and I also own a very powerful windows laptop and a Galaxy tab tablet.

- No "Home", "delete" and "End" keys
- the Keyboard is awesome, much better than my $2400 Dell laptop.
- It is as light and looks very cool
- touchpad is very tough to get used to but very usable.
- Screen is very nice but not wide-angle screen though
Overall, the hardware is very solid.

- no surprise here, a chrome browser with some extra such as Terminal, file manager, etc
- Boot up time is super fast.. it takes me less than 2 seconds, verus 30 seconds of my windows 7 laptop.
- cannot do much with the current web apps from web store.
- Play angry bird is nice but not as good as my galaxy tab tablet (touchscreen)

The hardware is great. The trackpad is great. The keyboard is fantastic. The size of the laptop is perfect. The battery life is beautiful. Ambient light sensor? Awesome. Webcam? HD and awesome.

Look, it's a simple notebook. Go read more about it before you buy it. See what others say. It's a great device for school. I can't imagine anything else doing what the Chromebook does in my college classes. I can leave it on (with the screen on) for all day in class and look up stuff and type notes in Springpad/Google Docs all while being on Google+ talking to friends and monitoring my text messages from Google Voice in the browser via the extension.

I was instantly able to type at full speed on it. I'd also like to add that the island keys are pretty sweet. I read A LOT of reviews that complained about the track pad. Some of these were based on an earlier prototype Google used to develop the chromebooks. Others were specifically for this product. I, personally, like the track pad. It took me about 10 minutes to get used to it. What makes it different is it's lack of buttons and clickable surface. You actually press down on the pad and can feel it 'click'. You have to use a couple of fingers to scroll and drag items, but after minimal practice I thought it became pretty natural.

Friday, November 18, 2011

ASUS A53E EH91 Versatile Entertainment Laptop

ASUS A53E-EH91 15.6-Inch Versatile Entertainment Laptop (Black)

Brand ASUS

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Product Features
* 2.1 GHz Intel Pentium B950
* 320 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
* 15.6-Inch Screen, Intel GMA HD
* Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Product Description
Key Features

* Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core B950 Processor with Intel GMA HD Graphics for better multi-tasking and rich, smooth, built-in visuals (Learn more)
* ASUS Power4Gear optimizes system performance for increased performance and longer mobility (Learn more)
* IceCool Technology makes use of superior component engineering combined with the aluminum surface to keep the palm rest and typing surfaces cool (Learn more)
* ASUS Palm-Proof Technology prevents accidental input by intelligently distinguishing between palm and finger contact (Learn more)
* SuperSpeed USB 3.0 for quicker device charging and up to 10x faster transfers than USB 2.01 (Learn more)
* Altec Lansing speakers enhanced with SRS Premium Sound produce crisp, clear audio reproduction

Product Details
# Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 10.1 x 1.4 inches ; 5.7 pounds
# Shipping Weight: 8.7 pounds

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Processor, Memory, and Motherboard

* Hardware Platform: PC
* Processor: 2.1 GHz
* Memory Slots: 2

Hard Drive

* Size: 320 GB
* Speed: 5400 rpm


* Speakers: Altec Lansing HD

Ports and Connectivity

* USB 2.0 Ports: 2
* VGA Video Out Ports: 1

Cases and Expandability

* Size (LWH): 15.12 inches, 10.12 inches, 1.4 inches
* Weight: 5.72 pounds


* Wireless Type: 802.11bgn