Laptop Reviews

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Featured laptops:

Dell D600 Laptop 1.6ghz 40gb DVD/CDRW B Grade Includes Genuine XP Professional restore cd!

The Latitude D600 is designed for users who require maximum performance in a mainstream notebook. Even with its thin & light design, the D600 doesn’t skimp on performance offering the ideal blend of power and efficiency using the Intel® Pentium® M processors and the ATI® Mobility Radeon 9000 video chipset. The D600 offers Intel Pentium Mobile Technology featuring the Pentium M processor, Wireless MiniPCI card. B grade may have screen impressions, red tint at boot and other defects such as hair line cracks, missing feet and/or doors.

  • 1.4 GHZ CPU, WIFI; 512 MB Ram
  • 40 GB Hard Drive; DVD Drive
  • XP with Genuine Reinstall Cd

Rating: (out of 14 reviews)

Price:

Dell D600 Laptop 1.6ghz 40gb DVD/CDRW B Grade Includes Genuine XP Professional restore cd! Reviews

Review by J. Bolton:

This is a great laptop for the price. It functions beautifully for basic use (school, work, surfing the web, etc.). I have had absolutely no trouble with mine, and would highly recommend this product to everyday users.

I’ve seen a couple of bad reviews simply because users purchased this computer with the intent to make it their “gaming” computer, and then were disappointed with the outcome. Check the specs and your game requirements first. If you truly want a gaming computer, you probably shouldn’t be looking at Laptops in the first place.

It’s a great computer at a reasonable price. If you just need something for work, school, and surfing the web, it’s perfect.

Buy Dell D600 Laptop 1.6ghz 40gb DVD/CDRW B Grade Includes Genuine XP Professional restore cd! now for only !

Acer Aspire AS1410-8414 11.6-Inch Sapphire Blue Laptop – 6 Hour Battery Life

Acer® Aspire AS1410-8414 Notebook comes with these specs: Intel® Centrino® Mobile Processor Technology- Intel® Core™2 Solo Processor ULV SU3500, Windows Vista® Home Premium with Service Pack 1, 11.6″ HD WXGA Acer CrystalBrite™ LED-backlit Display, Mobile Intel® GS45 Express Chipset, 2048MB DDR2 667MHz Memory, Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD, 250GB SATA Hard Drive, Acer Crystal Eye Webcam, Multi-in-1 Digital Media Card Reader, Dolby Sound Room® Audio Enhancement, Intel® WiFi Link 5100 802.11a/b/g/Draft-N, 3 – USB 2.0 Ports, 1 – HDMI™ Port, Multi-gesture Touchpad, 6-cell Li-ion Battery (4400 mAh), up to 6-hours of battery life, 3.08 lbs. | 1.4 kg (system unit

  • 1.4GHz Intel Core2 Solo ULV SU3500 Processor
  • 2048MB DDR2 667MHz Memory, 250GB SATA Hard Drive
  • Acer Crystal Eye Webcam, Intel WiFi Link 5100 802.11a/b/g/Draft-N, 1 HDMI port
  • Windows Vista Home Premium (SP 1), 6-cell Li-ion Battery (4400 mAh)
  • 11.6″ HD WXGA Acer CrystalBrite LED-backlit Display, Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD

Rating: (out of 149 reviews)

List Price: $ 449.99
Price: $ 399.99

Acer Aspire AS1410-8414 11.6-Inch Sapphire Blue Laptop – 6 Hour Battery Life Reviews

Review by Dave:

I keep checking out the Netbooks that come into the hardware lab where I work, looking for something to replace a cheap one I bought for my kids to play with, but they all just seem too small. As a result I’ve been poking around the high-end of the Netbook spectrum / low end of the Ultra-portable spectrum for something more usable. The Acer Aspire 1410 series does a great job of bridging the gap between small low cost “Netbooks” and more expensive “Ultra-portables” (which is what Acer classes this as). It manages to overcome many of the short comings of Netbooks without getting anywhere near the 00+ price range of most ultra-portables. It has a few drawbacks, notably material quality: like a lot of Acer products the plastic molding is attractive and the tolerances are tight. However the quality of the plastic is more in line with what you would expect with a Netbook (which is to say it is lower density plastic and more likely to scratch or break). To me it’s reasonable that the overall component quality is lower than what I would get if I spent 00 (display not as nice, finish not as refined, buttons not as responsive, etc…). Still, overall this is a well put together computer with good build quality considering the price. While I didn’t end up buying one myself if might be the right fit for you: if you are on a budget and you need a small laptop that can do more than browse web pages this would be a very good choice.

Let’s go over the specs:

CPU: The Core 2 ULV SU3500 is a great CPU choice and far more powerful than the Atom CPU found in most Netbooks. This is a single core (as opposed to the two core “Core2 Duo”) Ultra Low Voltage cpu running at 1.4GHz. Depending on the exact application this CPU is about 3-6x more powerful than the typical Atom Processor. It also has 3 MB of cache (cache is a form of on-chip high speed memory) vs the Atom’s 512 KB. With 6x the cache of the Atom this CPU is going to spend a lot more time running instructions and a lot less time waiting on the memory sub-system. It also helps that the Core 2 ULV SU3500 memory bus is about 25% faster than what you will find on an Atom. The Core2 is technically more power hungry than the Atom but when running applications the difference isn’t significant (5 watts for the Core2 vs 1.5 watts for Atom). The main difference happens when in standby or sleep mode where the Atom will use much less power than the Core2 (because the kind of transistors on the Atom “leak” less power than those used on the Core2 when in those modes). So if you need long battery life while carrying your computer around in standby with brief periods of activity you might prefer the Atom based Netbooks (say for sales calls on the road). I think most users will probably prefer the Core2 – I know that I do. Update: there may be a dual core version of this coming out soon. It’s on the list to arrive where I work but that doesn’t mean it will be sold in the US.

MEMORY: 2GB of DDR2 RAM is plenty and the 667Mhz memory speed is good enough (faster notebooks go up to 1066Mhz). This system runs Vista which is more memory hungry than the Windows XP or Linux found on most Netbooks so 2GB, while enough, doesn’t go as far as you might think. Still, as long as your aren’t planning on doing any really serious gaming 2GB will handle the typical office application with no troubles.

HDD: The 250GB HDD has plenty of storage given that most users don’t use more than 50GB. Serious gamers and video encoders will need a lot more space than this.

DISPLAY: The 11.6″ 1366×768 screen looks good and is a lot more useable than the 8-10″ screens found on most Netbooks. The resolution is much better than what you will find on most Netbooks and it is reasonably bright (200 nits vs 300+ nits on higher end laptop). I passed on this model because the viewing angle is limited (the manufacturer list the viewing angles as 60vert/90horiz compared to 120v/140h on a high end display) and my sons like to sit with me and watch YouTube videos. The limited viewing angles might be a selling point for somebody traveling who would prefer not to share what’s on their screen with others. So while Acer clearly saved some money here it’s still a good display: unless you need a really high quality LCD I think most people will be pretty happy with this screen (again it’s far better than what you’ll find in most Netbooks). For those few who care it’s made by AU Optronics and I think it’s model B116XW01.

GRAPHICS: The Intel Mobile GMA X4500HD graphics won’t impress any gamers but if you’re running business applications it will do just fine. Update: they loaded Autocad on this thing at work and it wasn’t pretty. It might have been a driver issue but the render times were terrible. It’s not really a surprise but don’t buy this to run your CAD software. Of course for most users this won’t be an issue.

AUDIO: notebooks are not known for great speaker sound and this notebook doesn’t break from that trend. Again it’s better than most Netbooks but not by a lot. Update: With headphones on I found the sound to be fine.

DRIVES: Like most Netbooks and Ultra-portables this has no CD or DVD drive. I recommend buying an external CD Drive. The software industry may start to switch over to USB drives soon (Windows 7 will be sold on USB drives) so this may not be a big deal for much longer. Today it’s a pain to not have a CDROM.

BATTERY: The 6 cell battery is perfect for this notebook (thanks to the low power components). This notebook is probably too small for an 8 cell to fit cleanly but the 4 cell found in most Netbooks just isn’t adequate, even for an Atom CPU. This 6 cell battery will provide about 3-5 hours of real use though with aggressive power saving modes you can get over six hours. Update: we have two of these in our hardware lab and it was just pointed it out to me that one (which came pre-release) had a higher capacity battery than the release version (5600mAH vs. 4400mAH). I’ve adjusted my battery life numbers down to reflect the release version. Interestingly the non-US version of this laptop has the higher capacity battery. I can only assume Acer was trying to bring the price down to compete in the tight US netbook market.

WEIGHT: Coming in a 3.1 lbs this is tiny bit heavier than the typical Netbook but not by much (Netbooks will range from 2-3lbs). Most regular notebooks are 6-8 lbs.

WIRELESS: The usual Intel 5100 A/G/N supports the most common standards (“A” and “G”) along with the new “N” standard. You should have no trouble connecting to wireless networks. This is pretty standard though a few laptops will support 3G out of the box.

In short: while this notebook isn’t perfect it is well built and unlike most Netbooks, actually has a decent CPU. It’s small and light but big enough that you can actually use it. If you’ve got 1K-2K to spend you can get a better Ultra-Portable notebook (I’m partial to Sony’s and Apple’s offerings in that segment) but in this price range there isn’t much competition.

Oh I should note that while this model is dark blue, Acer makes this in two other colors you can buy:

Acer Aspire AS1410-8913 11.6-Inch Ruby Red

Acer Aspire AS1410-8804 11.6-Inch Black

Also if you’re outside the US this might be sold as the “Acer Timeline 1810T” locally and may have slightly different specs (such as a better battery).

Buy Acer Aspire AS1410-8414 11.6-Inch Sapphire Blue Laptop – 6 Hour Battery Life now for only $ 399.99!

Toshiba Satellite L505-GS5037 TruBrite 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black)

Offering impressive everyday performance and affordability, the Satellite L505 laptop brings you the Toshiba quality you deserve for handling life’s essentials at home, school or work. This easy-to-use, all-purpose, eco-conscious laptop gives you ample processing power, memory and storage for surfing the Net, downloading video, checking email, managing household finances or studying for finals. It also offers wireless broadband connectivity to keep you plugged into what’s happening, along with ports for enjoying and sharing your media. A stunning diagonal 15.6” high-def display lends a whole new visual dimension to whatever you’re doing. New Toshiba productivity help you master your

  • 2.13GHz Intel Core i3-330M Processor
  • 4GB 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM Memory
  • 500GB Serial ATA Hard Disk Drive (5400RPM); DVD SuperMulti Drive with Labelflash supporting 11 formats
  • 15.6″ CCFL (16:9) 1366×768 Display; Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD
  • Window 7 Home Premium 64-bit

List Price: $ 713.99
Price: $ 649.99

Toshiba Satellite L505-S5993 TruBrite 15.6-Inch Grey/Black Laptop – 2 Hours 25 Minutes of Battery Life (Windows 7 Home Premium)

Offering solid performance and impressive affordability, the Satellite L505 laptop is tailor made for handling life’s essentials at home, school or work. Surfing the Net, downloading video, checking email, managing household finances or studying for finals, this easy-to-use, all-purpose, eco-conscious machine makes an excellent first-time or secondary laptop. It gives you ample processing power, memory and storage for getting things done. It also offers convenient connectivity options for staying in touch, along with ports for enjoying and sharing pictures and playlists. A stunning high-def display lends a new visual dimension to whatever you’re doing. While an all-new Fusion Finish design

  • 2.1GHz Intel Pentium T4300 Processor
  • 4GB Memory
  • 500GB Serial ATA Hard Drive, DVD SuperMulti Drive
  • 15.6″ High-def Display
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, 2 Hours 25 Minutes of Battery Life

Rating: (out of 56 reviews)

List Price: $ 639.99
Price: $ 567.89

Toshiba Satellite L505-S5993 TruBrite 15.6-Inch Grey/Black Laptop – 2 Hours 25 Minutes of Battery Life (Windows 7 Home Premium) Reviews

Review by A. ALAWADI:

This is my second laptop and my first was Toshiba too. The first one stayed with me for Four years and did start to die.

So I decided to purchase this during the Black Friday Deal and the price was seducing! I got it a few days ago and wow!

This laptop is worth every dollar! The only thing you might consider before purchasing is that the battery doesn’t stay too long when unplugged. If you need it for home use then this is it and at an amazing price!

Buy Toshiba Satellite L505-S5993 TruBrite 15.6-Inch Grey/Black Laptop – 2 Hours 25 Minutes of Battery Life (Windows 7 Home Premium) now for only $ 567.89!

Samsung NC10-13GB 10.1-Inch Blue Netbook – Up to 6 Hours of Battery Life

NC Series Netbook NC10-13GB. 10.1″ Wide screen VGA Blue Netbook. Display Resolution: 1024 x 600 WSVGA Display Brightness: 220 nits Processor: Intel Atom processor N270 Processor Speed: 1.6 GHz 533 MHz Front Side Bus 512 KB Level 2 Cache Hard Drive Size: 160 GB 2.5 HDD 5400 RPM SATA Memory Size: 1 GB DDR2 expandable to 2 GB (single slot) I/O Ports: 3-USB 2.0 VGA Headphone out Mic-in Internal Mic RJ45 3-in-1 Multi-memory Card Slot (SD SDHC MMC) Graphics: Intel GMA 950 Optical Disk Drive: N/A (External – Optional) Connectivity: 802.11 b/g WiFi Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR 10/100 BaseTX LAN

  • 1.6GHz Intel N270 Atom Processor (533 MHz Front Side Bus 512 KB Level 2 Cache)
  • 1 GB DDR2 RAM, Expandable to 2 GB (single slot)
  • 160GB SATA Hard Drive (5400 RPM), 802.11 b/g WiFi
  • Genuine Microsoft XP Home (SP3), 6-Cell Lithium Ion 5200 mAh Battery
  • 10.1″ Widescreen WSVGA 1024×600 Display, Intel GMA 950 Graphics

Rating: (out of 25 reviews)

List Price: $ 381.99
Price: $ 284.99

Samsung NC10-13GB 10.1-Inch Blue Netbook – Up to 6 Hours of Battery Life Reviews

Review by Christopher Fox:

I have only owned this netbook for about 2 months but so far it is fantastic. i bought mine refurbished from tech for less. it runs great. webcam is sub par, the only reason i gave this 4 stars. I would totally make this purchase again. i go to a community college with a reputation for things getting stolen from vehicles. this netbook allows me to have a computer at school that i don’t have to worry about getting stolen as much as say a laptop notebook which is about double the price.

Most things you can do via usb these days and i have taken full advantage of the 3 or 4 ports available. i haven’t tried the vga output yet. my battery life is good, usually about 4 or 5 hours, watching video and everything, varies depending on what you do and how bright the screen is. Hot keys on this computer are GREAT. so easy to use. For example if i hold down the Fn button and press say the up arrow on the keyboard, it turns up my volume, everything is well labeled and well placed. I have also had problems playing video in HD from youtube. however its not to bad playing fairly memory intensive .mkv files which are high quality video files, i wouldn’t suggest it but its doable. internet has been great, i have used IE, chrome and firefox. i use iTunes and zune, no problems there. i also installed microsoft office 2007 without a hitch as well as [...]. both work great. i use a program called dameon tools to trick the computer into thinking there is a cd drive and mounting an .iso file to play certain games, i played starcraft and it worked great as well as the old command and conquer and red alery 1 and 2. i used an 1TB external hard drive with it, no problems. so far everything has been dandy.

also suggestions i have is to download a program called dropbox which allows you to store 2GB worth of stuff free and allows for easy transfer of files to netbook, its been awesome for me so far.

Dec. 28 2009 update

Things are still working great. I hooked it up to the back of a 22 inch LCD monitor at my house and it works fantastic, didn’t lose any clarity and since I will be moving out soon this will be my only computer for awhile. So anyone who is worried about hooking it up to a larger monitor, fear not. The samsung software that comes with the netbook runs updates every once in awhile. I’m not sure if the resolution size came with the netbook or if it was part of an update. I also tried skype on the netbook and it worked great, the webcam on the netbook is far from perfect but sound from the netbook’s mic was clear and video not as grainy as I thought it would be. So, good for those who use skype as well.

Feb. 20 2010 update

I have had a few instances using this netbook when the screen has gone white momentarily. I did not know about this problem until it happened to me and found that there are others who have had the problem and that it gets worse and worse until eventually they have had to send it to samsung to get fixed under warranty. All the things I read said that the process of sending it to samsung was quick and easy, sometimes taking less than 48 hrs, but i think that this problem should be made known to those in the market for a netbook. I’m sure they have fixed the error with the newer models, its a problem with the cord connecting from the screen to the motherboard i believe. mine is one of the older ones, but the white scree thing hasn’t happened for about a month and only happened on 3 occasions in the 5 months i’ve had it. i use this netbook frequently so thats not bad. not sure what caused it but i decided not to send it in. I am also currently hooked up to a 23 inch asus lcd monitor and it is working great. the netbook is good for when i travel and when i get home i can use this on a 1920×1080 resolution screen which is just fantastic. completely fills almost all my computer needs for a fraction of the price and i get the portability of a netbook. one complaint i do have is that it has a hard time playing youtube videos in the HD setting, same for facebook. HOWEVER i have read up on this and it is a problem with ALL netbooks, the 1.6ghz processor just can’t handle streaming video at that quality. however if you download the youtube video and then play it through windows media player for example, it runs flawlessly. Hope that helps anyone who is currently in the market for a netbook, i would still say this is one of the best purchases i have made.

Buy Samsung NC10-13GB 10.1-Inch Blue Netbook – Up to 6 Hours of Battery Life now for only $ 284.99!

Apple MacBook MC207LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop

The MacBook uses a graphics processor that economizes space in a whole new way. A traditional computer logic board contains multiple components: the CPU, two chips that control communication throughout the computer, and the graphics processor. The logic board in the MacBook contains only two components: the CPU and a graphics processor with all of the core logic built into a single chip.Open your MacBook and you’re instantly greeted by glorious full screen brightness. Anything you view, including the glossy widescreen display itself, is a spectacular experience. The LED-backlit display is more power efficient. And it’s mercury- and arsenic-free, so

  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging
  • 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB on-chip shared L2 cache running 1:1 with processor speed
  • 250GB Hard Drive, 8x Double-layer SuperDrive, 2GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM
  • 13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with support for millions of colors
  • Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard, up to 7 Hours of Battery Life

Rating: (out of 64 reviews)

List Price: $ 999.00
Price: Too low to display

Apple MacBook MC207LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop Reviews

Review by D. Bowman:

Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1UZDPX5TFLZ8G

I made this video to hopefully add a little more life to the product.

Snow Leopard adds a lot more than I thought.

This is a great computer if you want to play with pics, surf the web, mess with your music collection.

This is not the Mac if you want serious processing power of lots of inputs to create a home network.

Look to a MacBook Pro or iMac for that.

I would have given it 5 stars if it had more inputs.

This is a pricy computer already, now I have to spend more to get adaptors.

I wish it was still available in black or you could opt for the non-glaze display.

I hope you enjoy the video, I had fun making it.

Buy Apple MacBook MC207LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop now for only Too low to display!

Acer Aspire One AOD150-1920 10.1-Inch Ruby Red Netbook – 6.5 Hour Battery Life

Acer redefines mobile connectivity with the Aspire One, the revolutionary Netbook featuring a 10.1″ display and fun, powerful computing features delivering an optimal on-the-go Internet experience. Browse the Internet, check email, share photos, webcam, check sport scores, listen to music and enjoy a variety of entertainment in a small compact design that you can take anywhere.

  • 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 Processor
  • 1 GB RAM; Wi-Fi (802.11b / g) enabled
  • 160 GB Hard Drive (without operating system), Integrated 802.11b/g, Wi-Fi Certified
  • 10.1-Inch Display, Includes Acer Crystal Eye webcam
  • Windows XP Home with SP3, 6 Cell Battery (6 1/2 Hours of Battery Life)

Rating: (out of 496 reviews)

List Price: $ 319.99
Price: $ 329.00

Acer Aspire One AOD150-1920 10.1-Inch Ruby Red Netbook – 6.5 Hour Battery Life Reviews

Review by T. Orkun:

I ordered my Acer Aspire One 10.1 Netbook (AOD150-1165) on Feb 28, 2009 from Amazon. Item shipped on March 2nd and arrived on March 14.

When I ordered only Sapphire Blue color was available but I am happy with Sapphire Blue. It looks very attractive. I would normally order either white or black model but I am glad they were not available :) The only thing I can complain is that it easily gets finger marks so I try not to touch the shiny surfaces.

When you unpack the box and hold it on your hand, you will realise how light this is (especially if you have been lugging a 17″ laptop) This is very transportable and ideal for those small airplane tray tables (or your lap)

The 1.6Ghz N270 Intel Atom processor is a single core processor but it is pretty snappy and certainly more than enough for most office type usage. The Netbook ships with Windows XP Home w/SP3 installed instead of Vista so to me it feels as responsive as (or better than) a Core 2 Duo based laptop running Vista.

The unit is rather quiet. The fan or hard disk noise is minimal. The fan does not kick in often during normal use. It might be more active with some heavy CPU/HD activity tasks.

The screen is 1024×600 CrystalBright (shiny) type LCD but very comfortable to read under various light conditions. There is an integrated 0.3M megapixel (640×480) webcam and microphone embedded in the screen frame. Ideal to use a video phone/conferencing software like Skype, etc. BTW, to gain some vertical space on desktop, you might want to set Windows XP taskbar to auto-hide and pop-up when you move the cursor to the edge of the screen.

The keyboard is actually pretty well designed. Unlike some models from competitors, the shift, control, alt, tab, enter, backspace keys are all in the right places. Initially, I found the keys a bit small but after a few days of use, you get used to and avoid hitting two keys. The arrow keys could have been a bit bigger as there is room along the lower right side of the keyboard.

The touchpad on this model is made by Synaptics and is pretty configurable. Like everything else it is a bit small but works acceptably well. It would have been better if it was made wider. Touchpad buttons is another story. They are correctly placed below the touchpad but instead of using two independent buttons the designers chose to use one bar over the two buttons. This made the buttons much harder to press. I would have preferred two independent buttons. I think this is the biggest complaint about the design of this netbook. Nevertheless, the buttons do get softer over time. I have softened the buttons out by pressing both ends of the button bar at the same time repeatedly. I do this a number of times before using the laptop each day. So, it is not that hopeless.

Well, I do try to get myself used to build-in keyboard and mouse but those that are doing extensive work can still attach a regular USB keyboard and a USB mouse. For example, Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 3000 is a perfect match.

Alternatively, you can tap on the touchpad instead of pressing the buttons. The synaptics touchpad is pretty configurable. You can configure a corner of the touchpad for right button and anywhere else would be left button.

The speakers for this netbook is under it. They are pretty loud and sound quality is pretty decent. However, since the speaker openings are underside of the netbook, if you are holding it on a soft surface such as carpet or bed the sound can get muffled as the openings will be blocked. It’s not a very good idea to keep it on the soft surfaces for a long time anyway as this will block the fan vents as well and cause the netbook to overheat.

There is 1GB RAM memory on DDR2 SODIMM module installed (mine was made by Samsung). There is no on-board soldered memory (the description on Amazon is incorrect and is referring to older 8.9″ model). The memory is easily upgradable to 2GB by replacing the SODIMM module. I upgraded the memory on 10.1″ Aspire One to 2GB by installing a “Mushkin 2GB 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Laptop Memory – Retail” module (Mushkin part #991618). It works great! Please note that this module has CAS4 (4-4-4-12) timing instead of more common CAS5 (5-5-5-16). In other words, it is slightly faster memory as it has less wait states :)

The hard disk is a Hitachi HTS543216L9A300, 160GB 2.5″ 5400rpm, Serial ATA, 8MB Cache disk. It’s pretty quiet. I think there is plenty of space for most applications. If you need more you can attach an external USB hard drive or the hard disk itself can be upgraded almost as easily as the RAM memory.

The wireless chip (AR5007EG) is made by Atheros and supports 802.11b/g. The range is decent enough. I had no issues connecting to my home WiFi Access Point, at work or other free public hotspots. I used wifi at Starbucks, Barnes and Noble Bookstore and McDonald’s among others (I get free WiFi at these locations since I have AT&T DSL). However, some users are reporting that they have some issues. The Atheros driver installed by default is old (version 7.6.0.260). The latest I have found for the AR5007EG wifi chipset is version 7.6.1.244 (dated 2/25/2009) and I believe might solve issues that some people are experiencing. (As a convenience, I’ve provided instructions at the bottom of this review for access to updated drivers) The device properties indicate that the WiFi chip is setup for maximum power saving. By the way, just like RAM and HDD, the wireless module is also accessible. Who knows, someone (or Acer) would come up with an replacement module for 802.11n or a Bluetooth+WiFi combo.

There is no build-in bluetooth capability. If you need to interface with Bluetooth devices you will need to buy a USB adapter such as Cirago Bluetooth BTA3210 v2.1 EDR Class 2 Micro Bluetooth Adapter or you can get a combo with a bluetooth mouse such as Logitech VX Nano Cordless Laser Mouse for Notebooks (Black) Update: Apparently, Acer Aspire One AOD150 models build for some Asian markets do come with build-in Bluetooth. It’s a pity Bluetooth is not included for American version. :(

Like many other early adopters, the laptop arrived with Panasonic Built 5800mAh, 59W battery. It lasts 7-8hrs under normal office type work with Wi-Fi enabled. This is a bigger capacity battery than it would ship normally (4400mAh, also 6-cell) but most everyone got the larger one so far.

There are 3x USB 2.0 ports, 1x 10/100 Ethernet port, 1x VGA external monitor port and a single Multi-format flash memory card reader/writer (again, Amazon’s description is incorrect about 2nd SD card slot). There are also a headphone and external microphone jacks and a Kensington style lock slot.

There is also a slot for 3G SIM chip beside the battery. My netbook did have the slot but no 3G hardware in there to accept the SIM card. Presumably some models will be equipped to have 3G wireless capability.

Unlike 8.9″ predecessor, this 10.1 model did not come with a case. I picked a Neoprene sleeve from a local store that is designed for an 11″ laptop (Sony VAIO 11.1-Inch Neoprene protection case). Please note that with 6-cell battery the width of the netbook is about 8.5″. So, most 10″ cases with width around 7-8″ will either not fit or will require signficant stretching so choose your case accordingly. Actually, I personally use two cases. The neoprene sleeve goes inside a larger 12-13″ laptop bag with enough storage pockets for the charger and other cables. When I go out to a cafe, I only take the netbook in sleeve and leave the rest in the car.

The netbook also does not come with system recovery disks. There is a Acer recovery utility pre-installed that will generate your recovery disks for you. You should do this as soon as possible. You never know when you will need them. You will need a USB attached CD/DVD writer and some recordable media (6 CD-Rs for System Recovery + 2 for Apps and Drivers, OR alternatively 2 DVD-R for Recovery + 1 DVD-R for Apps and Drivers). I’ve purchased a NU Slim USB External SuperMulti Drive DVD Burner ESW860 and worked for me well. It’s slim enough to carry along with your netbook and you can watch DVDs if you like. You should be able to use it on any other laptop or desktop computer with USB 2.0 interface. Update: You can also order a set of recover CDs directly from Acer for . You need to go to Acer Support Website www.acerpanam.com and click on US on the map and select “eRecovery CD Purchase” link. It will verify the serial number of your netbook first.

Besides Windows XP Home, there is MS Works, a trial version of Microsoft Office 2007, a 30-day version of McAfee anti-virus suite and a couple other trialware installed. These can be uninstalled from Control Panel easily if desired (or needed).

Overall, I am very satisfied with it and highly recommend it. Obviously, I cannot talk about Customer Support/Service as I did not need to use the service. If your aim is to run your usual applications and surf the net with a decent screen size, this is the right one.

——

Update: Updating Atheros AR5007EG WiFi driver:

You can download version 7.6.1.244 (2/25/2009) driver free from Softpedia. Go to drivers.softpedia.com and enter AR5007EG at the top search box. Download the zip file (ar5_ar9_7.6.1.244.zip) and unzip it. Then go to Install_CD sub-folder and run setup.exe. When prompted choose to upgrade the driver. It’s simple and painless… If you are still having problems after driver update, change the channel of your AP/Router. There may be high interference from a nearby wifi router/access point. Good luck!

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Dell Inspiron i1545-4583JBK 1545 15.6-Inch Laptop (Jet Black)

Meet the Inspiron 15 — a 15.6″ laptop computer for your everyday needs. With an attractive, stylish design and mobile technology, this laptop features everything you want for everyday computing. The Inspiron 15 offers a modern black palmrest. Not to mention Intel Pentium Dual Core processors, a Dell Dock and optional facial recognition software, all at a value within reach. Includes Microsoft Works and a 30-day trial of McAfee SecurityCenter with anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall.Dell Inspiron 15: Streamlined Design, Powerful Processing Stay connected wherever you roam with the Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop in black, which features a bright, vivid 15.6-inch

  • 2.2GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core T4400 Processor (1MB cache, 800MHz FSB)
  • 4GB System Memory; Media Card Reader; 10/100 Ethernet; Wireless 802.11 b/g Card
  • 320GB Hard Drive; DVD/CD±R/RW Optical Drive – Plays and creates CDs and DVDs
  • 15.6″ Display; Integrated Intel 4500 MHD Media Accelerator Graphics; Built-in 1.3MP webcam
  • Windows 7 Home Premium Operating System (64-bit); 6-cell Battery; High Definition Audio 2.0

Rating: (out of 1 reviews)

List Price: $ 619.99
Price: $ 615.19

Dell Inspiron i1545-4583JBK 1545 15.6-Inch Laptop (Jet Black) Reviews

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Dell Inspiron 1545 15.6-Inch Jet Black Laptop – Up to 4 Hours 34 Minutes of Battery Life (Windows 7 Home Premium)

Meet the Inspiron 15 — a 15.6-Inch laptop computer for your everyday needs. With an attractive, stylish design and mobile technology, this laptop features everything you want for everyday computing. The Inspiron 15 offers a modern black palmrest. Not to mention Intel Core 2 Duo processors, a Dell Dock and optional facial recognition software, all at a value within reach. *Based on Dell Lab testing. Battery life varies by configuration, operating conditions and other factors. Maximum battery capacity decreases with time and use.Stay connected wherever you roam with the Dell Inspiron 1545 laptop in black, which features a bright,

  • 2.1GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core T4300 Processor
  • 4GB Memory
  • 250GB Hard Drive, DVD±R/RW Optical Drive
  • 15.6″ Display, Integrated Intel 4500 MHD Media Accelerator Graphics
  • Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit), *Up to 4 Hours 34 Minutes of Battery Life

Rating: (out of 28 reviews)

List Price: $ 619.99
Price: $ 535.00

Dell Inspiron 1545 15.6-Inch Jet Black Laptop – Up to 4 Hours 34 Minutes of Battery Life (Windows 7 Home Premium) Reviews

Review by Andrea L. Polk:

I’ve owned several laptops and would be considered an intermediate to advanced computer user. I’ve built my own desktops, tweaked a few laptops and owned various brands of laptops including HP, Fujitsu, Sony and Dell (Inspiron, Latitude and XPS series).

I purchased this laptop directly from Dell based upon Consumer Report’s November 2009 article recommendations where the Dell Inspiron 1545 was rated a ‘Best Buy’ for every day computing. I purchased it for my husband who will use it primarily for watching an occasional movie from Netflix streaming wirelessly on our home network, emailing to share jokes and videos with his friends, and browsing the Internet.

After setting it up, which other than running into a snag with my home network was a breeze, and playing with it for about an hour, these are my impressions.

The PROS:

+ Comes with Windows 7 – no need to upgrade, and the 64-bit combined with the more than adequate memory makes things move nicely. Slightly different than Vista’s look, but should be easy to use.

+ Adequate hard drive (mine came with a 320) for storing photos, videos and music.

+ Great 1.3mp webcam which delivers pretty nice snapshots (not too grainy) as well as excellent video (very little drag of movement).

+ Good speakers! Better than those on my Dell XPS, for which I paid 30% more less than a year ago.

+ 3 usb ports

+ Bright 15.6″ display; nice size. I sometimes find the 13″ on the XPS too small and the Fujitsu had a 17″ which is fine for a desktop replacement but really adds weight to the overall unit.

+ Virtually silent running. No fan noise to speak of and yet…

+ Stays cool to the touch! Not worried about overheating on this one.

The CONS:

- Keyboard is OK, but not as responsive as some others I’ve used.

- The touchpad seems a tad small and the buttons (left/right click) seem too low by comparison to the keyboard. It could be the size of my hands (small…) but I tend to think it’s just the layout.

- The high gloss finish inside and the glossy display (versus matte finish) look cool, but do show fingerprints and reflect light to the point of sometimes being a nuisance.

- There is no ‘media only’ button like on the XPS where you don’t have to turn on the computer to watch a movie, but this is something that higher end laptops would have and may simply be a perk to paying more.

- Heavier than some others, but at under six pounds, it’s still not too bad.

- Matte finish on the outside shows greasy smudges where you’ve touched it. I have the same issue with my XPS, but frankly I’ve never found a finish that doesn’t show something.

- Not a multi-media or gaming powerhouse. It will play dvd’s and games, but if you’re buying a laptop and really into those things, spend a bit more and make sure you upgrade your video and audio to support your interests. The 4GB of memory really helps as much as anything and I didn’t notice any issues with the media I tested.

SET-UP:

The only issue I had with setting up this laptop was with my home network not being accepted because Windows 7 didn’t like the security settings I had in place. I could get the 1545 to recognize my network, but it wouldn’t connect until I changed the settings. I had my wireless settings on WEP and Windows 7 wanted WPA. Once I changed the settings, the laptop connected. I then had to go to 8 different devices on my network and make sure they were happy. Only one item: Myine Electronics IR001 WiFi Internet Radio Adaptor wasn’t happy, but eventually accepted the settings with some concentrated tweaking.

BATTERY LIFE:

Battery life seems to be about 3.5 hours. I think the 4+ hour estimate is high, but that undoubtedly is also based upon what things you are doing on the laptop and mobile power settings.

CONCLUSION:

If you purchase this Dell you are getting a solid workhorse for every day computing for a fair price. I think it’s quality is certainly higher than an Acer with the same specs, and backed by a 1 year warranty from Dell. (Having had a Dell laptop that needed the keyboard replaced recently, I truly think the warranty service provided by Dell – they came to my house the next day – is exceptional and worth the small price hike over some other brands.)

The Dell Inspiron 1545 is perfect for a student, a grandma who likes to email or wants to keep up with the grandkids on Skype, or anyone who has no need for the latest and greatest gaming, multi-media computer. For a laptop with a webcam, 4GB memory, and Windows 7 (64-bit) that’s ready to fly right out of the box… it’s a good choice.

**WIRELESS NOTE: If you are having trouble connecting to a wireless network, be sure you check the included ’set-up guide’, page 10, to find the wireless key on your keyboard. You can inadvertently press this key and turn off your wireless capabilities. Handy on airplanes… not so handy at home.

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HP Pavilion DV6-1354US 15.6-Inch Black Laptop – Up to 4 Hours of Battery Life (Windows 7 Home Premium)

For those who want an all-in-one performance notebook with rich multimedia features, the HP Pavilion dv6 Entertainment series delivers excellent mobile performance that looks as great as it runs. Powered by the latest processor and graphics technologies, it delivers the features you need to support your digital lifestyle. Enjoy full-screen viewing of HD TV and movies with the 16:9 display. Enjoy your photos and videos on HD TVs with the HDMI port (cable sold separately). Chat face to face with the HP Webcam and add fun special effects. Enter data quickly with the separate numeric keypad. Look good on the

  • 2.2GHz Intel Core2 Duo T6600 Processor (2MB L2 Cache, 800 MHz FSB)
  • 4 GB DDR3 RAM (2 Dimm), Max supported: 8 GB
  • 500 GB (5400RPM) SATA Hard Drive, LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD±R/RW with Double Layer Support
  • 15.6″ Diagonal High Definition HP LED BrightView Display(1366×768); Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD (shared) with up to 1.6 GB total available graphics memory
  • Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, *Up to 4 Hours of Battery Life

Rating: (out of 36 reviews)

List Price: $ 799.99
Price: $ 769.99

HP Pavilion DV6-1354US 15.6-Inch Black Laptop – Up to 4 Hours of Battery Life (Windows 7 Home Premium) Reviews

Review by Chris Bemis:

I purchased model DV6-1354US with 500gb hard drive and 6 cell battery. I use this laptop for editing photos with Adobe Photoshop CS4, as well as editing audio with Adobe Audition 2.0.

I have a five year old HP laptop running XP and it is still going strong. Despite outsourced Indian phone support, I was able to communicate support issues effectively. I am confident in future hardware performance and support from HP.

Transition from XP to Windows 7 was intuitive. The new taskbar is my favorite improvement. Followed by much better graphic interface and widgets. Some of my XP software causes Windows 7 to turn off Aero mode. I feel that windows has caught up with Apple in terms of graphics and workflow.

As far as laptop is concerned, Dave from Portland has a great review comparing the different models available on Amazon. The DV6-1354US is sufficient for me to use Adobe Photoshop and Audition, as well as multitask.

I will never go to a laptop again without a numeric keypad, this was an unexpected plus. I do miss the old HP media controls above the keyboard. They are replaced now by a volume and wireless control. I like that they are no longer buttons but touch sensitive surfaces above the keyboard.

The DV6 is quieter and cooler than my old HP. The power cord is beefier, which was always a problem with my old HP. Although I would prefer a magnetic power cord like Apple offers. Compared to other manufacturers, I would have to say that HP has the best price for great, reliable hardware.

Everything is a wonderful improvement except for the sound. Frequently, friends would ask where the music was coming from when I used my old DV1000. I felt that the sound was very rich for such a small system. I find the DV6 to have a much shallower, smaller sound that finds trouble filling a bedroom. For this reason, I drop the DV6 to four stars.

Also, the DV6 doesn’t come with recovery disks. You need 3 DVD+R or -R (not RW) disks to create your own.

Overall, I really enjoy this computer, and probably will continue to enjoy it for another 5 to 7 years until RAM is in petabytes and laptops cook dinners. If I had to do it again I would still choose it over an Acer, Asus, Dell, Mac, or Sony.

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ASUS UL30A-X5 Thin and Light 13.3-Inch Black Laptop – 12 Hours of Battery Life (Windows 7 Home Premium)

Weighing less than 4lbs and measuring less than an inch thin, the new ASUS UL30A-X5 is a harmonious blend of form and function. Powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo ultra-low voltage processor, it boasts an impressive 12 hour battery life for all-day computing. It also sports user-centric features such as a multi-gesture touchpad and provides an impressive multimedia entertainment experience with Altec Lansing speakers and SRS Premium Sound. All of these features and more are shrouded in a robust brushed aluminum lid that not only looks magnificent, but also helps in maintaining the notebook’s stylish exterior day after day.

  • 1.3GHz Intel SU7300 Core 2 Duo Processor
  • 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 2 slots, 4GB Max
  • 500GB SATA Hard Drive (5400 RPM)
  • 13.3″ HD LED LCD Display, Intel GMA 4500MHD, Wi-Fi 802.11 bgn, 0.3M Webcam
  • Windows 7 Home Premium Operating System (64 bit)

Rating: (out of 80 reviews)

List Price: $ 729.00
Price: $ 679.99

ASUS UL30A-X5 Thin and Light 13.3-Inch Black Laptop – 12 Hours of Battery Life (Windows 7 Home Premium) Reviews

Review by Jeff Carroll:

Just received my Asus UL30A-X5 yesterday. After much review, and a try-out with an Acer 1410, I decided that I wanted a full-sized chiclet/island keyboard and the larger screen. I’m already quite pleased with my decision. At the

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DELL LATITUDE D600 CENTRINO LAPTOP 512MB 30GB WIFI XP PRO 14″ LCD LAPTOP

This latitude series has the new modern style silver casing and is extremely fast, thin and lightweight. The Dell Latitude D600 has all of the standard ports and slots required for everyday use.
(1) Headphone and (1) Microphone jacks, an IrDA port, and (1) Type II PC Card slot line the left edge. (2) Speakers with middling sound occupy the front-edge corners. (4) USB 2.0, (1) S-Video TV-out, (1) 56Kbps modem, (1) 10/100/1000 Ethernet, (1)Printer, (1) VGA, and (1) Serial ports stretch out across the rear edge. Includes both a pointing stick in the middle of the spacious keyboard and

  • CENTRINO CPU 512MB 30GB
  • Windows XP PRO Wireless

Rating: (out of 4 reviews)

Price:

DELL LATITUDE D600 CENTRINO LAPTOP 512MB 30GB WIFI XP PRO 14″ LCD LAPTOP Reviews

Review by N. P. Mayer:

- Loaded with USEFUL programs.

- Perfect for a college student/or anyone who just wants to sit on the couch and work/surfing net/etc.

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HP Pavilion G60-230US 16.0-Inch Laptop

Pared down to the essentials, the new G60-230US is defined by minimalist lines. High-gloss reflective top cover and palm rest area surfaces contrast cleanly with matte everywhere else. HP Imprint finish in piano black on the top cover with silver across the palm rest and touchpad provides greater durability than traditional painted surfaces. The streamlined look is enhanced with a color-matched keyboard and touchpad. The HP G60-230US delivers easy-to-use entertainment. Enjoy full-screen DVD playback on the crystal-clear 16:9 16.0-inch diagonal HP Brightview display. Burn audio CDs and DVDs to share your favorite songs and video clips with friends and family.

  • 2.0 GHz Intel Pentium T4200 Dual-Core Processor
  • 3 GB RAM (4 GB max)
  • 320 GB Hard Drive, LightScribe dual-layer DVD Drive
  • Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit, SP1)
  • 16-inch screen, Intel GMA 4500M graphics (up to 1319 MB total)

Rating: (out of 61 reviews)

List Price: $ 914.00
Price: $ 945.00

HP Pavilion G60-230US 16.0-Inch Laptop Reviews

Review by Clark Hamblen:

I don’t know about the other reviewer’s experience, but I can say that I love everything about this computer. The screen is bright and the colors are vivid. I have listened to other laptop speakers, and these sound very good. The keyboard is wonderful to type on. I had to uninstall some bloatware, but that was expected. Will upgrade to a 12 cell battery as soon as I can afford to. I highly recommend this laptop to anyone who wants a well made machine. Read the specs listed above and you will find that this machine has everything you would want in a laptop or desktop replacement. Con: somewhat large and slightly heavy, but then again your going to carry it in a bag anyways!

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Apple MacBook Pro MB990LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop

MacBook Pro brings high performance and precision design to everyone. Every new MacBook Pro features a breakthrough, long-lasting battery that delivers up to 7 hours of wireless productivity on a single charge and can be recharged up to 1000 times—nearly three times the lifespan of typical notebook batteries. The new LED-backlit display has a 60 percent greater color gamut than that of previous generations, giving you richer, more vibrant colors. Every MacBook Pro features the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics processor, which provides an outstanding graphics experience for everyday tasks. Power your way through the latest 3D games—including Call of

  • Ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging
  • 2.26 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor
  • 160 GB Hard Drive, DVD/CD SuperDrive, 2 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 13.3 inch LED Display, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics
  • Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard Operating System

Rating: (out of 169 reviews)

List Price: $ 1,199.00
Price: Too low to display

Apple MacBook Pro MB990LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop Reviews

Review by Jeffrey Stanley:

This is my first Mac computer. My first four computers ran Win 3.1, Windows 95, XP, and Vista (from about 1995-present). I have quite a lot of time spent on each of them. Switching from Windows to Mac is not difficult, but it can be a bit frustrating for a week or so. There are Windows features that you will miss, but they are mostly overcome by overall advantages in my opinion.

I’ve spent two weeks with this machine now. If I had written this review after one day, I would have probably stated that I regretted the switch to Mac. After getting more proficient with the machine and realizing how well it works, I would definitely recommend it to a friend.

This review is going to be a mix of my impressions of both the hardware and the Mac operating system from a new Mac user perspective.

The only difference between my machine and the one on this product page is that I ordered directly from Apple and upgraded the hard drive to 250GB (from the 160GB base option). I am using 2gb of ram and the lower-end processor.

My Mac OS impressions:

The biggest thing I missed from Windows at first was the task bar. Mac uses the “dock” to replace the task bar. The dock is kind of like the quick launch toolbar in Windows spread out across the entire bar, with large icons. Having used windows with a task bar for the past 13 years, I missed the ability to see all open programs and switch between them with the task bar. The dock has a tiny dot below the icon on running-programs, but nothing else to separate it from other program and folder icons. The dock is not nearly as useful for multitasking as the task bar.

The saving grace that rescues the Mac from awkward app-switching while multitasking is called expose. Expose is activated by either pressing a key or using a multitouch gesture (four-finger swipe). Expose uses the entire screen to display all open windows and allow you to switch between them. It’s like alt+tab on steroids. Having used the machine for a couple weeks, I miss using expose when I use my Windows machine. As much as I hated the dock at first, I have to give the advantage to the Mac for managing multiple windows while multitasking.

The controls for open-windows are quite different than in MS-Windows. In Mac, there is a resize, hide, and minimize button instead of maximize, minimize, restore, and close. To close an app on the mac you need to use a menu command or keyboard shortcut. The Mac resize button kind of works like restore/maximize, only it’s a bit more awkward. A commenter here pointed out that it resizes the window for ideal viewing without using the entire screen. I find myself resizing windows by dragging corners more than I ever did on a Windows machine. I really miss the ability to maximize, if for no other reason but to avoid distractions. The green resize button may be better on an enormous monitor, but not on a 13″ notebook. When you minimize or hide an app on the Mac, it is only available from the dock and is hidden from expose. I’ll give the window size-management advantage to Windows in this contest. The windows system is just easier and more logical in my opinion. It isn’t a deal-breaker, but I do miss the Windows “window controls.” If you are a frequent user of the F11 key while web browsing in Windows you’ll have to kiss that feature goodbye. Neither Firefox nor Safari will go full-screen.

Windows Explorer is “replaced” with an app called Finder. Finder is kind of like the start menu and an explorer window all rolled up into one. Compared with older versions of Windows, finder is adequate but Vista’s explorer is quite a bit easier and more logical to use. I prefer Vista’s preview pane to Mac’s coverflow. I miss the “up folder” button. I have found myself mostly using the view that puts files, folders and apps into a column view for easiest computer browsing, and it just isn’t as elegant as Windows Vista. The lack of a maximize button has caused frustration especially in the finder, because the finder likes to stay in a very small window unless you drag the corners.

The Safari web browser is nice and quick and has a decent security reputation. I have been switching back and forth between Safari and Firefox. Firefox has crashed a couple of times and I really like being able to use multitouch gestures with Safari, so I’m leaning toward making Safari my main web tool. Reading RSS feeds, and the bookmark toolbar are really well done in Safari. Browsers are so personal that it’s difficult to recommend one over the other, but as a Firefox user in Windows I think I have high standard and Safari has met or exceeded them.

I absolutely hate the iPhoto app. Iphoto does not allow you to organize and browse your photos in folders. It imports your pictures and sorts them itself based on time/date stamps on the photos. This works fine for personal vacation snapshots but it completely mixed up the rest of my images. Folders that were neatly organized for work projects, and fun web clippings, and adult stuff were all shuffled into one big mess after I imported my image collection. I ended up just deleting all of them and not using iphoto at all. Right now I’m just using Finder to browse my photos and the preview app to view them. Light editing work isn’t possible in the preview app and I still haven’t decided what to use for a basic photo editor yet. Vista’s photo app is junk but it’s still superior to iPhoto if you like to keep your photos organized using your own folder system. I know people who love iphoto. It comes down to whether you want the ability to organize your collection yourself. If you have a big mess of photos, you’ll love iphoto’s ability to organize them via event and face recognition.

Edited to add: you can organize your photos into “albums” after you import them into iPhoto, but be prepared to spend a lot of time reorganizing everything. Even after you organize into albums, the main library screen gives you views of your entire collection (perhaps things you don’t want everyone to see).

I have not used Garage Band or iMovie yet. I’ll update later when I get a chance.

Edited to add: I played with garage band a bit and it’s pretty powerful. It allows you to import and export AAC and MP3 tracks and record sound in multiple tracks. Very easy to use. The only other audio app i’ve ever used is audacity and I much prefer Garage Band. I haven’t used any of the music lessons it offers yet but plan to soon.

I played with iMovie for a few minutes and it seems pretty nice and very intuitive. I actually don’t mind Windows Movie Maker, which is included with Vista. I would not consider it a big step up from Win Movie Maker, but it’s a nice app.

The mail, calendar, and address book apps are basic but work very very well. The address app will import common file types easily. It will sync with yahoo out of the box. Address book will only sync with Google contacts if you own an iPhone or iPod Touch.

Everyone has an opinion about iTunes. I’m a big fan of it. It’s exactly like the windows version only it runs a bit faster without the bugs. If you have an iPhone or iPod touch, the Windows-iTunes bug with time/date being wrong after the computer sleeps is not an issue on the Mac.

Time machine is the Mac’s backup app. It is amazing and very simple. I’m using an external drive plugged into my Apple Airport wireless router, as a backup disk. My wireless disk showed up on my desktop instantly once I plugged it into the router. Time machine noticed the external drive right away and went to work backing up my files (after asking permission of course). Now my machine automatically backs up any changes every hour as long as I’m in range of my wireless access point. Time machine is a big load off my mind. If I ever have a drive failure or my computer is destroyed I have an exact backup of everything without remembering to backup my files. Vista will backup according to a set schedule, but it lacks the ability to easily look through backups for specific files. Time machine is wonderful and make wireless backup effortless.

The Mac disk utility is almost as good as the one in Vista and it’s easier to use. It’s far superior to the one in XP. I used it to format my external wireless drive because the Mac router couldn’t read NTFS formating (although the computer can read NTFS drives via USB for some reason).

The graphics control software is a joy to use. When I plug in my external monitor it immediately extends my desktop to the new monitor. Adjusting everything from resolution to rotation couldn’t be any easier.

Boot camp is a utility that allows you to create a partition and install Windows as a secondary boot system (you need to own or buy a legal single-disk 32bit copy of either Windows XP or Windows Vista). When you start up the boot camp utility, it gives you a choice between using either 5 or 32 GB of space for the Windows partition. I learned the hard way that Windows XP SP3 won’t fit into 5GB. You need to give it at least the 32 GB (which left me with almost exactly 200GB on my “250″ GB drive). Installing Windows using the Boot Camp utility is very very easy. Once you get Windows loaded, your OSX install disk makes quick work of installing drivers for all of your laptop’s hardware. It’s too bad that Nvidia and HP aren’t as good at putting together easy Windows driver packages as Apple. In order to boot into Windows, you simply press the “option” key during bootup and it allows you to choose which OS to run. Windows XP absolutely screams on this hardware.

The hardware:

The hardware is where this computer really shines.

The biggest advantage is stability. My last computer purchase was a vista machine. To say that I had stability and hardware compatibility issues with my HP Vista desktop is an understatement. The main reason I turned to mac for this purchase was the fact that the hardware, drivers, and software are made for each other. This machine has ran flawlessly for the past two weeks. I did have two crashes of the Firefox browser while watching Flash video, but only the browser went down rather than the entire system.

I have connected an external monitor, camera, ipod, USB drive, and router to this machine. All of the drivers were already installed and everything has “just worked.” The hardware is a joy to use when it just works. It is difficult to put into words how happy I am with the lack of effort in using this machine.

The speed isn’t blazing-fast but it runs very well, even with many many apps and windows running. My Vista desktop has similar specs, but my new Mac feels slightly faster.

One outstanding productivity feature of this machine is the touch pad. I honestly prefer it to using a mouse for office and browsing tasks. I can’t say enough good things about the multitouch gestures. Two finger scrolling, two finger right-click, three finger forward and back in Safari, and four finger expose make this machine feel like like it is part of you. Having the entire surface of the touchpad as the button is brilliant, especially for drag and drop operations. The large size of the touchpad makes it very precise.

The keyboard is really nice. At first I thought the keys were a bit soft and the travel was too shallow, but I quickly got used to it and now prefer it to my more “clicky” desktop keyboard. I don’t know how I lived this long without a backlit keyboard. The backlight is more useful than I thought it would be.

The display is beautiful. It has good color, a wide viewing angle, and is plenty bright for indoor environments. I would prefer that the screen wasn’t glass, but the reflections aren’t as bad as I feared. If there is a bright light source behind you, you’ll need to angle the screen to reduce the glare but it’s workable.

The DVD drive is a DVD drive. It feels slow and makes a lot of noise. I’ve never owned an optical drive that I considered fast and quiet, and this one isn’t any exception. It works well, but isn’t anything special.

The battery life is incredible. The seven hour battery life is not an exaggeration if you are using the computer for light browsing and office apps. Expect about 4-5 hours if you’re using it for heavy web browsing and a bit of media. Listening to music with the display off would easily last over the advertised 7 hours. Streaming high definition video on netflix using wireless will knock it down to at or below three hours. I haven’t watched DVD movies on battery power but I expect it to barely get you through a single two hour film with a bit left over.

The size and weight are ideal for portability. 4.5lbs doesn’t exactly feel light until you compare it to similarly spec’d machines that weigh a full pound (20%) more. I wouldn’t want a larger machine if I had to lug it around much.

The speakers are quite good for a small light machine. Don’t expect much bass, but the sound is very clear with good mids and highs. The speakers are plenty loud for listening to podcasts or music in a semi-quiet medium sized room or office. I won’t need to pack external speakers for use in my hotel room when I travel, like my last laptop.

The “magsafe” power adapter is more than just a gimmick, and more than just a way to avoid tripping and breaking your machine. The “power brick” itself is a lot smaller than my last dell laptop. It’s exactly the same size as the USB wall adapters that used to be included with ipods. The cord is 6ft long and the brick includes fold-out wings to wrap the cord around. It is very well thought-out for travel. With the cord wrapped up and the plug folded into the body, the power brick only takes up about 2.5″ x 3″ x 1″ in your bag. When you are using it at home or at the office there is an included 6ft extension cord for the power brick so you aren’t as tethered to your desk.

The computer runs very cool compared to most laptops. Also, there are no vents where super-heated air blows out. While I’m sure it uses a fan, I’ve never audibly actually heard it run or felt a stream of warm air from it. I think it may vent through ports and the keyboard but it runs cool enough that you don’t notice it. Edited to add: it does get rather warm when watching high resolution video, but stays quite cool when web browsing or using normal office apps. Even when very warm, the fan is still quiet (the only way to actually hear the fan is to hold it near your ear).

The only drawback to the hardware compared to Windows machines is the fact that there is no option to hibernate when closing the lid. It sleeps when you close the lid but it still is using a small amount of power. If you’re only going to be away for a couple hours this isn’t an issue, but you must completely shut down when on battery power if you’re going to be away much longer.

This machine is a lot more expensive than similarly spec’d Windows machines but I feel that it’s worth the money. I’m a very satisfied Mac switcher.

Buy Apple MacBook Pro MB990LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop now for only Too low to display!

Apple iBook G3 500Mhz 128MB 10Gb CDROM 12.1” OS X OFFICE 2004 Plus Upgraded Models Available

Calling all you Apple enthusiasts! This Apple iBook G3 notebook is looking for a good home. Pre-installed components include an Apple G3 500MHz processor, 128 MB of RAM, a 10 GB hard drive. The Apple iBook notebook has Mac OS 10 pre-installed and a Cdrom drive ready to access media. Watch vivid images on its 12.1-inch TFT LCD and listen to integrated audio with its built-in speakers. Connect to the Internet with via its integrated ethernet, or 56K modem. If you’ve always wanted an Apple notebook but couldn’t afford one, this Apple iBook is for you!
Laptop has cdrom drive which

  • Apple iBook G3 500MHz Notebook General Features: White/Silver/Clear Color
  • Mac OS 10 pre-installed G3 500 MHz processor 128MB RAM 10 GB hard drive CDROM Drive 12.1-inch TFT
  • Integrated video Integrated audio with built-in speakers Integrated 56K modem
  • Integrated 10/100 ethernet Keyboard with TouchPad I/O Ports
  • Power Adapter, Battery with all indicators lit, duration not guaranteed.

Rating: (out of 13 reviews)

Price:

Apple iBook G3 500Mhz 128MB 10Gb CDROM 12.1” OS X OFFICE 2004 Plus Upgraded Models Available Reviews

Review by The Chach:

This little white computer rocks. Don’t know where they got them from, and how they are able to sell them for so cheap. I hope they didn’t fall off the back of a truck. (Just Kidding.) I’m very impressed, though. I’ve been a Mac user for 8 years. This is just another example of Macs great craftsmanship. I would suggest this Mac to anyone who wants to have everything and be up-to-date in the Mac world without paying ,2000 and up. There’s only a few minor suggestions I have: download the newest software after installing Mac OS X Tiger (It costs about a 0 bucks.), google search Firefox and install it, and go to apple.com and search in the support section for this Mac, iBook G4, so you can get the user’s manual. That’s about it, and it will be running like you paid ,400 for it.

And where are the blemishes!!??? I didn’t see any. Awesome deal, awesome Mac. You guys rock!!!

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