Lenovo x200

Design & Features


Today were putting the Lenovo x200 through its course. The x200 is the smaller brother to the now infamous x300, and an upgrade to the x61 series of earlier years (best in class for ultraportable as far as were concerned). Although being smaller, and lacking an optical drive, the x200 doesnt seem too tiny nor as thin as the x300, and developing most of its hardships with the battery bay and standard tracking devices. Of course, this is a very near end pre-consumer level model were reviewing, so Im sure things have gotten ironed out as soon as this review hits the shelf as far as fit and finish is concerned (more at the end of the review on that)

The x200 is a 12.1 widescreen ultraportable, in which it features the new Montevina platform, (not to be confused with actual Centrino 2 certification as it makes no claim to being certifiedyet) and runs the Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 at 2.4 GHz. It Features a 1066 MHz FSB with a 3mb cache limit and a nice low 25 TDP. Big measurements (although technical) would be the newer FSB and low TDP otherwise, marking a smaller die for the CPU and no increase in cache limit. We cant always win, but its a step in the right direction. Our pre-consumer unit came pretty loaded consulting the ordering screen from Lenovo. It did skimp us on the operating system, only touting Vista basic and WWAN feature, but did allow us an extra gigabyte of RAM, fingerprint reader, 160 GB HDD and Integrated Bluetooth, making the running total around $1,600.


Case look and feel

The case is standard Lenovo x series styling there is little to no color variations, sticking with its stark black rubber like finish, branding stamped across the base of the LCD lid, which is held to the strong chassis by the now loved/hated steel hinges. There is also suitably efficient LED readouts at the top telling some simple status changes of your unit.

The x200 features the tapered front end, housing the media card reader and LCD release latch. If you seen one x series Lenovo, youve pretty much seen them all as far as styling is concerned. Although Im not flattered by it, it does hold its own for material and minimalists. It is made of the strong magnesium allowing very little flex, and this time around, features two run off points underneath the laptop for spilled liquid.

Although I didnt feel like testing this feature, its nice to note and Im sure will save some busy coffee / cola drinker one morning.

Size & Weight
The size is very nice, featuring a decently slim profile, very thin LCD housing, and weighs just under 2.95 lb with the 4 cell battery. However, our unit came packaged with the extended 9 cell battery, which extrudes out the rear pretty awfully.

Yes, you do gain that tremendous battery life, but it makes this ultraportable larger than it should, and weighs just about as heavy as a 14.1 counterpart nearing almost 3.7 pounds. Looks will deceive you if you arent prepared for this change.


The keyboard again is strict Lenovo X series styling and specifications, holding cues to previous models before it, featuring alphanumeric typing keys that are spaced 18.5 mm vertically and 18.2 mm horizontally, which is defined as full-sized by ISO/IEC 15412. The stroke travel is a full 2.5 mm, which is always a pleasure to type on.
But, unlike the SL series that was also released, this still features the track-point nub in the center. Although keen for space saving design, and a following crowd of aficionados, I would have much rather seen an implemented track pad, and even make it multi-touch based like the Asus series that we just reviewed, to help aid in all those cramped Fn buttons. Am I nitpicking? Of course, but lets lay that out there.

Display quality

The display is a 1280x800 widescreen 16:10 aspect ratio display. There are 15 levels of brightness offered with a max output nearing 200 nits, a 50 nit increase of the former x61, and a welcomed addition. I noticed it didnt have very great side to side viewing angles on some PDF documents, but mostly, color representation was very decent, with adequate indoor backlighting. Outdoors seemed a bit washy or mixed results, which might harbor others to look into a more transflexive notebook option if they are constantly outdoors.


Connectivity is pretty standard, albeit changed from its predecessor, and a bit different from its thinner, lighter, much more expensive brother the x300. First and foremost, there is no optical drive. It doesnt list as an option of ordering one, so picking up a slim USB 2.0 self powered drive (a la the one the U110 we reviewed earlier came with) would be a handy option if you plan on using this machine to view, read, burn, or transfer optical media with. This might be a deal breaker for a lot of people but foreseeing the available prices and capacities for flash drives, SD media, and wireless data banks it might not to others.

The left side houses the power jack, exhaust, 2 USB ports, monitor-out, Gigabit Ethernet, ExpressCard 54mm slot, and the wireless LAN on-off switch. This is to note that it turns off all wireless options, Bluetooth and WLAN. Im not sure about WWAN as my unit did not come configured to use this.

The front, as mentioned earlier, can contain either a 5-1 media reader, or an SD card slot. Ours totes the SD card reader slot.

The right, with our configured unit, came with another USB port, headphone out, microphone, modem port, and lock slot.

The rear houses nothing other than the obtrusive battery (in being fair, it was just a bit too big for my taste.)

Even though WWAN wasnt configured in our pre-consumer level test system, the antenna that is needed to utilize these features is installed by default, so its simply a matter of inserting the WWAN card into the bay inside the x200, call up new service, and away you go. Since I dont utilize a company or hardware to test that feature, I can only say that it is possible to upgrade to using it.
Memory can be configured a few ways, which can handle up to 3 GB of internal memory. Which, is all Windows Vista Basic would utilize anyways, so if you feel cramped, you can do a little memory management there.

Hard drive capacity is another relative upgrade, with Lenovos website listing solid state 64gb as an option, and all the way up to a 320gb 5400 rpm drive. As a note, were sure it could handle the newer 7200rpm drives that are 320 GB but were not 100% positive.


Acer Aspire Timeline 1820PT Now Available in the UK

December 11, 2009 at 05:12:29 PM, by Daniel Shain Rating: 0 out of 5

Acer's Aspire Timeline 1820PT convertible tablet PC is now available in the UK, with an estimated shipping date of January 25th 2010.

The Aspire Timeline 1820PT is a convertible tablet with multitouch functionality for both finger and pen input. The notebook will come with a 1.3GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core ULV SU4100 CPU, 3GB RAM and a 160GB HDD for £529.99 (roughly $858).

Other features include Intel's GMA4500MHD for graphics, an HDMI port, up to 8 hours of rated battery life and Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit. A version of this computer is expected to be available in the US soon, although no exact pricing or availability is yet known.

About Laptop Computers and Notebook Computers

Today's laptop computers. Laptops are mobile personal computers that weigh significantly less than 10 lbs. Much more capable and convenient than some of the most popular desktop computers today, laptops have developed from specialized usage to the choice for all-around computing needs. The development of LCD (liquid crystal display) technology provided the means for creating thin and clear flat panel displays in a compact computer. They can easily be combined with projectors to offer group viewing of PowerPoint presentations, for example.

What's different about notebook computers? The term laptop computer and notebook computer are used interchangeably today. During earlier evolutionary years of the technology's development, the term 'notebook' was often applied to the lightest weight and smallest units being created, but the units and terminology are now virtually the same. However, a new category has developed of "ultra-light laptops" that pack as much performance as possible into a small package, providing users with a screen size of 12" diagonal or less.

laptop computers

Sony VAIO TZ Ultraportable Review

Design & Features

Sony's newest ultra portable laptop is as light as air. With its amazingly thin and light design, the TZ laptop is definitely for the mobile user. It has a stylish design, from the green power button to the carbon fiber casing. On paper and in pictures, there's nothing not to like about the TZ from top to bottom!

The design of the TZ is truly breath taking. The TZ is incredibly light and thin with a weight around 2.65 lbs (when equipped with SSD) and a thickness of less than 2 inches.

The left side houses the power port, ventilation exhaust, 2 USB ports, while the other side sports the monitor output, DVD drive and power button. The signature left side charge, right side enable remains on the TZ.

Our review model had a carbon fiber casing that makes the TZ look like a piece of modern art.

To accentuate the design even further, the keyboard bezel has a glossy, piano finish. Unlike most laptop keyboards, however, the TZ has raised keys.

Furthermore, the keys are spaced out, which surprisingly doesn't hinder typing. Unfortunately since the keys are so small, it can be difficult to type; especially for people with big hands.

The main design concern I had when using the TZ was the noise. The laptop had a constant hum that was apparent when in a quiet room. The hard drive wouldn't make any noise given it is an SSD, but it might have been due to a constantly running fan since the laptop never got hot at all.

It also comes with a DVDRW drive and 2.0 mega pixel MotionEye camera integrated into the LCD screen. While not quite as stripped as the MacBook Air, the TZ doesn't overwhelm with connectivity. You've got VGA output, 2 USB, LAN, dial-up, Firewire, and SD/Memorystick slot as well as audio and mic jacks.

While the laptop itself is a little over 1" thin, the screen itself is nearly paper-thin. The display maxes out at 1366x768 and thanks in part to the XBRITE technology the colors are bright and vivid. We were overall very pleased with the screen, but it remains to be seen how durable something that thin could possibly be.

The Sony TZ won’t break any performance records, but with a lower clocked Ultra Low Voltage processor this is to be expected. Regardless, performance should be more than sufficient for the standard day to day usage. On the bright side, this sleek ultraportable does have excellent battery life.

On a full charge, under normal usage, the battery lasted around 8 hours! It even lasted watching a whole movie on DVD and still had power left for another 2-plus hours. Between the Ultra Low Voltage processor, LED backlit screen, solid state drive, and hefty battery, the TZ certainly was designed with battery life in mind.


Samsonite Pro-DLX Medium Laptop Briefcase Review


Geared for the business traveler, this year Samsonite introduced the new Pro-DLX line that combines functionality, versatility and style. The model we tested is the Samsonite Pro-DLX Medium Laptop Briefcase, which is a semi-light and functional carrying case that projects a professional image, thanks to its subtle and seamless design.

This bag features several convenient pockets, protective sleeves, and a removable laptop sleeve capable of holding 15-inch laptops. Notepads, documents, mice and all your essential mobile gear can go with you in style and comfort.

The Pro-DLX Medium Laptop Briefcase is what we characterize as a premium bag, aimed at style-conscious business travelers who place a bigger emphasis on a brand's cachet and stylish looks than strictly price alone. Priced at $189.99, this premium bag holds a limited lifetime warranty and a design that exemplifies elegance with business fusion.


Design - External

Measuring 18-inches long, 15.5-inches tall, and 5.5-inches thick, the Pro-DLX is considered a medium sized bag, but is still feasible for easy transportation. Relative to its medium size, it offers plenty of storage. The weight will add up substantially when books, a laptop, and other accessories are hauled around so the weight of the bag empty is an important factor to consider. At almost 5.5 pounds empty, the Pro-DLX isn't the lightest bag around [compared to the 2.2 pound Samsonite L35 ], but the well-constructive padding and over 16 pockets make the bag practical for its size.

The exterior is composed of 2520 Denier Armored Nylon combined with 1682 Denier Armored Nylon, offering robust protection. The nylon texture is tightly woven and well-constructed, thick enough to withstand abrasions and tears. Covered in black with a touch of orange, this color scheme gives the case a very conservative look.

The carry handle is made from soft Nappa leather that is rugged yet comfortable when carrying the case briefcase style.

Very comfortable handles

Nice little name tag holder that can easily be tucked away.

The leather material is also found at the bottom section of the bag, for a high class look.

Leather down there

On the back panel, there is an external zipper pocket that could hold flat documents and accessories for quick & easy access. It could also be used to pass through a suitcase handle by unzipping the bottom section.

Unfortunately, the back panel area isn't comprised of any type of soft breathable mesh material for extra comfort against your body.

When carrying a heavy load, having a comfortable shoulder pad is essential. The shoulder pad is packed with three gel-infused pads for added comfort.

Comfortable shoulder pad thanks to the gel-infused pads.

The shoulder pad also helps distribute weight evenly on your shoulder, especially when you have a full load and ergonomically designed with a slight contour to support your shoulder.

Toshiba Qosmio G35-AV650


Toshiba's Qosmio line of notebooks are the poster children for multimedia excellence. Always loaded with the latest mobile technology from Intel, gorgeous and bright screens, Windows XP Media Center Edition, TV tuner, and plenty of other multimedia goodies. Today we're looking at the Qosmio G35-AV650, the current middle-of-the-line Qosmio model available. The Qosmio multimedia experience starts at $2,399 with the G35-AV600, but goes up to the G35-AV660 at $3,499.

The AV650 uses Intel's Centrino Duo platform, sporting the T2500 2.0GHz processor and 3945ABG wireless card. You get a high resolution WUXGA (1920x1200) screen powered by NVIDIA's GeForce Go 7600 with 256MB of GDDR3 VRAM. Every port you could want is on this puppy, including HDMI video output perfect for watching HD-DVD movies on your high definition home theater. Speaking of HD-DVD of course, the Qosmio AV650 sports an optical drive capable of playing HD-DVD movies! Enticed by this feature filled Qosmio yet? Read on to find out what other surprises this laptop has in store!


Let's just put it this way: none. Weighing in at a hefty 10.1lbs, the only people wanting to tote this around are looking for a workout at the same time. With dimensions of 16" x 11.6" x 1.79", you aren't likely to be able to open this up on your seatback tray in coach class on an airpline either. Any questions?

Case and Design
Like most entertainment electronics these days, the Qosmio is designed to be pleasing in both form and function. The silver-on-black theme is attractive, but subtle. When you open the Qosmio, you'll notice the polished black interior reflecting back at you. The brushed silver mouse buttons & volume control, striking large speakers, and blue accent lights really stand out.

On the front you'll find a large LED indicator panel with the following indicators left to right: AC Power, System Power, Battery, Hard Drive Activity, Media card reader, and WiFi.

If that weren't enough, you've got a system control panel at the top of the keyboard, left to right: Power, TV Playback, CD/DVD Playback, Play/Pause, Stop/Eject, Previous, Next, Record, Brightness Down, Brightness Up, Dolby Sound enable, TV Output enable. And the final control feature of this system, the stylish silver volume knob:

The overall design quality of the Qosmio is rather high, with fit and finish being top notch. Our only complaint is in regards to the screen and how it is secured to the notebook, which you can read more about in the Display section.

For those who perused our Portege M400 review, you'll remember well the odd-ball keyboard arrangement Toshiba notebooks have. The Start & Context Menu keys are in the upper right and the Tilde & Delete keys are on either side of the spacebar. This configuration makes fast typing very difficult at first, but one does get used to it. Weird layout aside, the quality of the keyboard was excellent. There is no flexing, fairly quiet when typing fast, and comfortable to use for long periods of time.

Toshiba Portege M400-S933


Tablet notebook users fit in a very small and specialized niche of computing needs: they want the ability to be portable, but also the flexibility to compute without having to break out a keyboard and mouse/touchpad. There are pure tablet PC's which have no user input built-in except for a stylus and there are also hybrid units that can transform between standard notebook and tablet mode, like the Toshiba we're looking at today.

The Toshiba Portege M400-S933 (here on referred to as the M400) is a new hybrid tablet notebook based on Intel's Centrino Solo platform. Using the Core Solo T1300 (1.66GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 667MHz FSB), Intel's 3945ABG wireless card, and the 915GM chipset, the M400 brings the latest in single-core performance and battery life. The features continue with 512MB DDR2 RAM, a spacious 80GB 5400RPM SATA hard drive, 5-in-1 card reader, and integrated CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive. Your tablet experience will be conducted using a 12" XGA screen, powered by Intel's GMA950 integrated graphics. In the past users have had to compromise the hardware in their tablet to get a reasonably small machine, but Intel's latest technology allows for all the features of a regular notebook with the flexibility of a tablet.

If the tablet experience is for you, then Toshiba's Portege M400 series is worth a long, hard look. The build quality of this machine is outstanding and Toshiba has an extremely comprehensive software package to customize the tablet to your every desire. Battery life is a little weak, but keeping the chassis reasonably light means sacrificing a little on battery capacity; the digitizer that allows the tablet interface also draws some extra power. The system's performance is more than adequate for any normal usage and the $1899 price tag is a steal for the features & quality oozing out of the Portege M400-S933.


Most people looking at a 12" notebook want something considered "ultraportable," but the dual-nature of this machine makes it substantially bulkier than your standard ultraportable. Weighing in at a hefty 4.5lbs and measuring 11.6" x 9.8" x 1.53", the 12" M400 has the size and feel of a 14-15" notebook without the screen real estate. If you're in need of a tablet that doesn't sacrifice traditional computing (i.e. via a keyboard & touchpad), the M400's size can be easily overlooked.

Case and Design
Toshiba went with a fairly conventional design, and a well built one at that. Dressed mostly in grey with some black accents and black LCD bezel, the M400 has a simple yet modern look.

The only LED indicators are located on the front bezel of the machine, and with the way the LCD sits slightly back from the front edge you can view the LEDs with the notebook opened or closed. From left to right you have AC Power, Power Indicator, Battery 1 status, Battery 2 status, Hard Drive Activity, and Wireless indicator.

ASUS Eee PC 1005HA

The ASUS Eee PC 1005HA is ASUS’ update to their popular Eee PC 1000HA, and continues the tradition of excellent netbooks. The 10.1-inch unit weighs in at only 2.8lbs, and at its thinnest point is well under an inch thick. The keyboard was solid, the trackpad multitouch, and the overall design glossy and stylish. Most important of all though, the battery life was impressive, even when compared against other netbooks. The internals are what you’d expect, with an Intel Atom N280 1.66GHz, 160GB HDD, and 1GB RAM. Are there enough features to justify picking it over netbooks with similar performance? Read on to find out.

Case Look and Feel

The 1005HA features ASUS’ “seashell” design, which includes a fairly sharp taper from the wider back of the netbook to the thinner front. The entire machine is covered front and back in a bright gloss, with only the matte keys of the keyboard spared the shiny expense. It does look nice, but is exceptionally prone to fingerprints. The lid is all black except for a silver “Eee” emblazoned in the center and towards the top. The front of the display features the glossy screen surrounded by a somewhat thick black frame, the top of which houses the integrated webcam. The display is secured to the rest of the unit with two thick hinges, which extend along with the display below the keyboard to save space.

The glossless keyboard begins about an inch in from the top edge, and sits flush with the sides of the case. The top of the touchpad is flush to the keyboard and the touchpad buttons are flush to the bottom of the case, a clear space saving gesture. The overall look is very smooth and all the status lights are subtle. The feel is solid as a whole, although the back of the netbook is a little heavier as a result of the taper.

Size & Weight

The Eee PC 1005HA is not the smallest or thinnest netbook on the market, but fares well on both counts. The weight of 2.8lbs felt very light and easy to carry. I actually carried the 1005HA in its protective sleeve inside the power cord pocket (instead of the power cord) of my standard 15” laptop case earlier today, and barely noticed the difference, even from a strictly visual perspective. With dimensions of 10.3 x 7 x 1.4 inches, but measuring only .89” at its thinnest point, there is little bulkiness to worry about.


The Eee PC 1005HA has a number of features that serve to make life a little easier for the user. Some of these are standard functions built into the keyboard, such as brightness up and down, volume up and down or mute, Wifi on/off and suspend. A more interesting feature built into the keyboard is ASUS’ “Super Hybrid Engine,” which allows one to quickly overclock/underclock the computer for the sake of battery life or performance. There is also a dedicated button for disabling the trackpad.

ASUS has also built some interesting software into the 1005HA. Most notable is the “Eee Docking software,” which is a somewhat customizable dock built into the top of the screen (though location is adjustable). It has 4 sections, the Eee Arena , Eee Sharing, Eee Xperience and Eee Tools. Each of these has quick links to a number of applications, including Data sync for syncing with another computer, Eee Storage to access your free 10GB online storage, music/media applications, and parental controls. All these and a few other programs are easily accessible from the start menu as well.

Apple MacBook 13-inch

The new 13-inch widescreen Apple MacBook is the powerful new value laptop, replacing the Apple iBook. Available in both white and black colors, the MacBook is Apple's first completely redesigned Intel-based laptop in the thin and light spectrum. Although this laptop is meant to be thin-and-light, weighing 5.2 pounds is relatively heavy for its size. But built to last, the MacBook is composed of a durable polycarbonate shell that provides a unique solid feel. The brightly lit, glossy widescreen display is breathtaking, and the keyboard is top notch in comfort and tactile feedback.

The MacBook's new features have raised the standard for what value-focused laptop should be. While the rest of Apple's computers have simply just received Intel chips in similar enclosures to their PowerPC predecessors (like the MacBook Pro), the MacBook was built from the ground up using Intel's fast and efficient Core Duo processor. The MacBook is arguably the ultimate companion for students and even business professionals since Apple officially supports Windows XP via the BootCamp software.

Some major improvements over the iBook include a wider trackpad, magnetic LCD closure, MagSafe AC adaptor, fantastic keyboard (which can easily be removed for disassembly), and a built-in iSight webcam. Apple has also recently upgraded their iLife suite of software packages, as well as its Front Row multimedia software. Meanwhile, other hardware improvements include improved feet on bottom of the laptop so that they do not fall off, as well as internal improvements including customer replaceable hard drive, digital audio-input, extensive wireless connectivity options, extend desktop support with external display, and extended battery life. However, if you are a high performance user, hardcore gamer or graphic designer you may want to consider Apple's MacBook Pro lineup for more horsepower and standard performance features.


Weighing in at 5.2 pounds, 1.08' thick, 12.78' wide, and 8.92' deep the 13-inch MacBook isn't the most portable machine out there. This 13.3' machine weighs closer to most 14-15' laptops, but shouldn't trouble most users with its size.

13-inch black MacBook on top, 15-inch MacBook Pro on bottom

Case and Design
When the computer is on, the glowing white Apple logo radiates from the black matte finish to add aesthetic appeal. Similar to the Apple iPod, the MacBook is available in black or white colors to give users more personal preference.

The form factor and aesthetic nature of the MacBook is arguably superior to other thin and light notebooks in its class. The case is made of a durable polycarbonate with a matte-like feel. Much like the Apple iPod, the new MacBook features a very simplistic look and feel. Everything is right where it needs to be.

All peripherals are plugged in on the left of the keyboard, the Superdrive to the right of the keyboard, and the keyboard features the standard Apple keys. The only other items visually present are the LCD, track pad, an IR port, and indicator light next to it, the glowing Apple logo on the lid, and that's it. This computer relishes in simplicity, yet is just as efficient if not more so than any other laptop.

The keyboard has a rounded edge bezel and is offset deep enough so that when the notebook is closed, the keyboard cannot come in contact with the MacBook's screen. This is a considerable improvement over Apple's iBook that was known for key marks on its screen. The new keyboard has flatter keys that have been separated from each other so they aren't touching. This is a new keyboard design for an Apple laptop, but it is a considerable improvement. The new keyboard only takes a short while to get used to and once you do you may miss it when using any other.

Enlarge Image

Upgrading and Expansion
Unlike the past Apple portable machines, the MacBook makes upgrading easy, with easily upgradeable hard drive and RAM.

Inserting RAM into the MacBook is as simple as pulling a lever, and placing the new RAM into the slot and lever loading mechanism.

If the above images make it look simple to remove the hard drive, it is because it actually is that simple.

Feel free to upgrade your hard drive!