Dell’s XPS 12 with Intel’s Haswell processor Offers 9.5 hours Battery life

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Dell unveiled their latest PCs with Intel’s Haswell processor, Dell’s XPS 12. It is a laptop-tablet hybrid,and the battery life of it is 9.5 hours.

 Dell's XPS 12 with Intel's Haswell processor

Dell’s XPS 12 with Intel’s Haswell processor

The thin and light-weight XPS twelve has been redesigned and can associate with Intel’s Core i5 or i7 chips, reckoning on the configuration. The laptop’s battery life is quite 3 hours longer than its precursor, same Cami Collins, XPS product manager at dingle.

The laptop’s announcement coincides with Intel’s launch of Haswell chips at Computex trade exhibition in Taiwan. Intel has claimed that Haswell chips can improve laptop computer battery life by five hundredth compared to previous Core processors code-named vine Bridge, that shipped last year.

The XPS twelve offers laptop computer and pill practicality because of a revolving screen connected to the hinge. The screen is turned in a very circular motion and placed flat on the keyboard to show the device into a pill.

The screen cannot be detached, therefore the device might feel thicker and bulkier than keyboard-free tablets. The device is 1st a laptop computer, and might be a pill once required, Collins same.

There ar many folks inquisitive about hybrids and would love a keyboard, Collins same. For people who desire a pill 1st, dingle offers XPS ten and Latitude ten, to that a separate keyboard accent is connected, Collins same.

The laptop computer is additionally 63%t quicker, and graphics ar one.6% quicker than the precursor, dingle claimed. The laptop computer includes a full high-definition screen and NFC (near-field communication) capabilities.

Starting at $1,119, the XPS twelve can become obtainable worldwide, tho’ a date wasn’t proclaimed. The hybrid can vie against a bevy of dual-functionality devices being proclaimed at Computex by Acer, MSI and alternative firms.

Dell additionally proclaimed the XPS twenty seven all-in-one with Haswell processors and Windows eight. The all-in-one includes a 2560 x 1440-pixel screen, and a Thunderbolt port therefore peripherals like auxiliary storage devices is connected to the computer. The computer supports up to 2TB of storage. it’s priced beginning at $1,599 and can become obtainable worldwide in June. facultative solid-state drive storage and Nvidia distinct graphics cards ar obtainable.

Dell additionally proclaimed the XPS 8700 desktop with Haswell chips for users WHO wish the flexibility to expand, upgrade and connect peripherals. The desktop will support up to 32GB of memory and 4TB of storage in four bays. It additionally has six USB three.0 ports to host external peripherals. the value of the desktop wasn’t in real time obtainable, however it’ll become obtainable worldwide.

 

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Notebook Battery Technology of Several Laptop Manufacturers

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Now let us talk about the laptop battery technology of several brands. Lightweight, flexible, simple to hold a portable computer brand, these options conjointly enable users to discretionary, anytime, anyplace employing a laptop. however the portable computer is?Apple battery replacement ?life, personal computer technology has been a bottleneck, if the facility has been ready to prolong the additional wondrous life. so we are able to be really free-wheeling use of notebook computers and luxuriate in the right mobile applications.We area unit happy to examine that several notebook makers area unit perpetually operating to defend the mobile application, providing a very versatile application platform.

Toshiba electric cell

Toshiba is that the response within the quickest company in March this year has launched the most recent electric cell. The alcohol fuel cells for power provide with just about 10cc, provides ten hours of replacement Toshiba battery life (not the check of time), mobile applications will absolutely guarantee the time, even on the road to relish a optical disc motion picture, or play a number of games Board can work without concern of impact.

Although this battery size somewhat giant, however it’s plain that this battery so we actually relish the fun of mobile applications, needn’t worry regarding it 2 or 3 hours of battery life can it have an effect on the work, don’t at any time carrying the significant power adapter.

1 minutes to finish eightieth of the charge

The HP battery charging time is longer for the shortcomings of portable computer development of latest merchandise, it are often completed at intervals one minute eightieth of battery capability is stuffed. Meanwhile, the battery remains atiny low lithium-ion battery, energy density blessings.

The new batteries use nano-particles as new materials, nano-particles with a balance of fastened technology, the primary time the electrical polarization, therefore, not solely to attain a brand new battery quick charging, and charging and discharging the battery once a thousand cycles the capability loss of just one, that makes the merchandise have an extended life cycle. additionally, even in temperatures as low as minus forty ℃, this product will keep eightieth of the discharge capability, absolutely well-tried its ability to temperature atmosphere, ready to span the temperature vary of stable performance.

LG Fuel Cells

Shorter life caused embarrassment attaches nice importance to makers, LG is additionally active during this space associated with analysis and development, the employment of alcohol electric cell portable computer official look this year, and can before long reach the top market.It is understood, LG engineered a tool of this electric cell, through the device are often element, alcohol and different energy into voltage, and general notebook battery distinction is that fuel cells don’t need to charge, as long because the provide of fuel are often run. At a similar time, this lifetime of the electric cell up to 4000 hours, on top of the common battery lifetime of eight times. Life, for a quick portable computer battery provides ten hours of HP EliteBook 2530p battery life (not the check of time).The only regret is that the present style of this battery is simply plug-in kind, we’d like to hold the work alone. However, this hassle are often utilized in exchange for ten hours of application time, i feel each friend would agree.

30 seconds is choked with ultra-thin battery

NEC declared a brand new ultra-thin reversible battery are often bent. The battery it uses a zero.3mm ultra-thin electrodes, the employment of special materials for the solution so it are often completed at intervals thirty seconds the battery charge. appearance from the surface, this battery as a American state card, will store power per sq. metric linear unit 1mAh, and no reversible batteries usually utilized in ancient significant metal atomic number 48 and lead pollution to the atmosphere.

Solar charger portable computer bag

In addition, some shrewd makers still request a breakthrough in different ways that, following this charge at any time exploitation solar power for the personal computer bag could be a nice plan.

The higher than is that the Eclipse Gear star R & D of a portable computer bag. The portable computer bag with integrated star cells on one aspect, you’ll be able to move into the personal computer users bag, whereas the employment of solar power to recharge the portable computer batteries work. When selecting a battery, manufacturers will often list an amount of “cells,” where each cell has a certain capacity. Lithium Ion battery with max. cells and additional component battery is highly recommended.

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High-Energy Batteries

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Tesla Motors, the manufacturer of high-performance electric vehicles, battery Panasonic laptop Acer employment and consumer electronics giant, to develop the next generation of batteries. The partnership is designed to help improve Tesla reduce the cost of batteries and range of vehicles.
Panasonic announced two high-energy batteries (Battery Aspire One Aspire 3680 Battery Aspire 5050 Battery) for electric vehicles. These new batteries store as much energy as 30 percent more than its previous lithium-ion batteries, and this increased capacity could increase, in theory, an area of ??the vehicle by a similar amount, and therefore one of the main problems addressed in the context of the electric car.
The other major challenge for electric vehicles, the cost of batteries. Tesla is not the announcement of the potential cost savings to come with batteries, but JB Straubel, Tesla Motors Officer Chief Technology Officer, said Aspire 3030 battery Aspire 3050 battery costs have been steadily declining to about 8 percent year.
Tesla plans to incorporate Panasonic cells in the battery, and works with Panasonic cells in refined for use in cars develop, Straubel said. To do this, Tesla is based on data from the 1000 cars it so far, have been moved to over a million miles pulling collected. Tesla currently obtains its batteries from a variety of manufacturers.
This procedure Tesla cars are not immediately additional area of ??new battery cells of high energy, Straubel said, there is a long process of validating the effectiveness of new cells. In addition, the actual range will vary up. (For example, electronic controls keep the battery fully discharged from, to help improve the safety and reliability of full discharges can damage some materials aspire 5550 battery Aspire 5560 battery. Controls how the battery depends its chemical composition and other details of the cell design.)
In theory, silicon electrodes hold much more energy than carbon electrodes, replace Aspire 5570 battery Aspire 5580 battery, but tend to swell and break silicon electrodes. You must be tested to ensure that these problems have been resolved.

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Heat affects Laptop Battery Life

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Heat is a killer of all batteries and high temperatures cannot always be avoided. This is the case with a battery inside a laptop, a starter battery under the hood of a car and stationary batteries in a tin shelter under the hot sun. As a guideline, each 8°C (15°F) rise in temperature cuts the life of a sealed lead acid battery in half. A VRLA batteryfor stationary applications that would last 10 years at 25°C (77°F) would only live for five years if operated at 33°C (95°F). Once the battery is damaged by heat, the capacity cannot be restored. The life of a battery also depends on the activity and is shortened if the inspiron e1705 battery is stressed with frequent discharge.
According to the 2010 BCI Failure Mode Study, starter batteries have become more heat-resistant over the past 10 years. In the 2000 study, a change of 7°C (12°F) affected battery life by roughly one year; in 2010 the heat tolerance has widened to 12°C (22°F). In 1962, a starter inspiron e1705 battery lasted 34 months, and in 2000 the life expectancy had increased to 41 months. In 2010, BCI reports an average age of 55 months of use. The cooler North attains 59 months and the warmer South 47 months.
Cranking the engine poses minimal stress on a starter battery. This changes in a start-stop function of a micro hybrid. The micro hybrid turns the IC engine off at a red traffic light and restarts it when the traffic flows. This results in about 2,000 micro cycles per year. Data obtained from car manufacturers show a capacity drop to about 60 percent after two years of use in this configuration. To solve the problem, automakers are using specialty AGM and other variations that are more robust than the regular lead acid. Read more about Alternate Battery Systems. Figure 5 shows the drop in capacity after 700 micro cycles. The simulated start-stop test was performed in Cadex laboratories. CCA remains high.
Test method: The test inspiron e1705 battery was fully charged and then discharged to 70 percent to resemble the SoC of a micro hybrid in real life. The battery was then discharged at 25A for 40 seconds to simulate engine off condition at stoplight with the headlight on, before cranking the engine at 400A and recharging. The CCA readings were taken with the Spectro CA-12.
The cell voltages on a battery string must be similar, and this is especially important for higher-voltage VRLA batteries. With time, individual cells fall out of line, and applying an equalizing charge every six months or so should theoretically bring the cells back to similar voltage levels. While equalizing will boost the needy cells, the healthy cell get stressed if the equalizing charge is applied carelessly. What makes this service so difficult is the inability to accurately measure the condition of each cell and provide the right dose of remedy. Gel and AGM batteries have lower overcharge acceptance than the flooded version and different equalizing conditions apply. Always refer to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Water permeation, or loss of electrolyte, is a concern with sealed lead acid batteries, and overcharging contributes to this condition. While flooded systems accept water, a fill-up is not possible with VRLA. Adding water has been tried, but this does not offer a reliable fix. Experimenting with watering turns the VRLA into unreliable xps m1330 battery that needs high maintenance.
Flooded lead acid batteries are one of the most reliable systems. With good maintenance these batteries last up to 20 years. The disadvantages are the need for watering and providing good ventilation. When VRLA was introduced in the 1980s, manufacturers claimed similar life expectancy to flooded systems, and the telecom industry switched to these maintenance-free batteries,latitude d830 Battery ,inspiron 510m battery. By mid 1990 it became apparent that the life for VRLA did not replicate that of a flooded type; the useful service life was limited to only 5–10 years. It was furthermore noticed that exposing the batteries to temperatures above 40°C (104°F) could cause a thermal runaway condition due to dry-out.
A new lead acid battery should have an open circuit voltage of 2.125V/cell. At this time, the battery is fully charged. During buyer acceptance, the lead acid may drop to between 2.120V and 2.125V/cell. Shipping, dealer storage and installation will decrease the voltage further but the latitude d830 Battery ,inspiron 510m battery should never go much below 2.10V/cell. This would cause sulfation. Battery type, applying a charge or discharge within 24 hours before taking a voltage measurement, as well as temperature will affect the voltage reading. A lower temperature raises the OCV; warm ambient lowers it.

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Eight tips for Laptop battery life maintenance

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1. When there is no external power, if the laptop can be working temporarily without a PCMCIA card slot, it is recommended to remove the card first to extend battery life time.

2. Room temperature (20-30 degrees) is the optimum working temperature of the battery. The too high or too low temperature operating environment will reduce battery usage time.

3. It is not correct to remove the battery for extended battery life when the environment can provide a stable power supply. Take Asus laptop for example, when the battery is fully charged, its charging circuit will automatically shut down, and so it will not overcharge.
4. It is suggested that an average of three months to conduct a battery power correction action is proper.

5. Minimize the number of battery usage.
The battery charge and discharge times are directly related to the life of it. The battery will forward to a retirement step for each charge. It is suggested that you try to use an external power supply as possible as you can.

6. Use an external power supply when the battery is removed.
Some users often plug the power of the laptop with the battery several times in a day, which does more damage to the battery. Because every access to an external power supply is the equivalent of charging the battery, the battery life shortened by a naturally.

7. Exhaust battery before the charge and Avoid charging time is too long
Regardless of your notebook uses lithium or NiMH, be sure to make the power exhausted after the full (capacity less than 1%), which is the best way to avoid the memory effect. Lithium also has memory effect, but its memory effect is smaller than nickel-metal hydride Bale.

8. The usual precautions
Prevent exposure, prevent damp and prevent the erosion of chemical liquids in daily use. Avoid battery touch with metal objects etc.

Whatever, if your battery worked out, you can definitely buy another high quality ones from  laptop battery providers.

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HP Envy 14 Spectre

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 HP Envy 14 Spectre

Overview

The HP Envy 14 Spectre is the latest and best-named Ultrabook to hit the shelves, and with the combined draw of HP’s premium Envy range, and Dr Dre’s urban cool Beats brand, it’s going to be very hard to ignore.

We’re well into the Ultrabook race by now and we’ve already been impressed by the Asus Zenbook UX31, Acer Aspire S3 and most recently by the Dell XPS 13, perhaps the toughest rival that the HP Envy 14 Spectre faces in the battle for our hard-earned pennies.

And HP’s newest baby is taking an interesting approach to the competition by being less concerned with a size zero frame. The HP Envy 14 Spectre is 20mm thin, and weighs 1.8kg – hefty for an Ultrabook.

But the slight bulk enables it to throw around some extra connectivity and features that other Ultrabooks, perhaps save the Toshiba Satellite Z830, can’t match.

Hands on: hp envy 14 spectre review

Of course, before we start dreamily idolising this shiny new offering, there are a couple of points that need to be looked at. Firstly, the fact that the HP is built around an Intel Core i5-2467M processor, rather than the Core i7 CPUs on offer inside the likes of the Dell and Acer mean that for all its bulk, the Spectre lacks power.

You might also be forgiven for thinking that this lower-spec processor will have a pleasing effect on the price of the computer. Not so.

The HP Envy 14 Spectre costs a sphincter-tightening £1,100 in the UK, and $1,400 in the US. That’s a clear £200 more expensive than the Dell, and in these hardened times; a penny saved is a penny earned… or something.

But before you click away in disgust, there are a number of excellent features that the HP Envy 14 Spectre has to offer, and we have to say that it’s one of the best-looking Ultrabooks we’ve yet seen. Clearly a lot of time and effort has gone into its design and development.

Specifications

HP envy 14 spectre review

Shunning the aluminium silver outer design favoured by other Ultrabooks such as the Dell XPS 13 or the Acer Aspire S3, the HP Envy 14 Spectre boasts a black Gorilla Glass lid with a slick, glossy finish. Adding the final touch is the bright HP logo nestled in the corner.

Although it looks great, the inevitable downside is that the surface of the lid will quickly attract dust and smudgy fingerprints – more so than any other Ultrabook we’ve seen.

A backlit, isolation-style keyboard lurks underneath, and is one of the most comfortable we’ve used on an Ultrabook. The greater depth of the chassis gives a better travel to the keys, and the result is comfy typing all day long.

HP envy 14 spectre review

A neat trick is the ability of the keyboard to sense your proximity, and dim itself when you move away from the laptop, saving power.

Of course, any discussion of the Spectre’s features starts and ends with the Beats audio. The speakers do a decent job of producing a rich, full sound – but slap a pair of Beats headphones on and you’re ready to experience the best sound we’ve heard from an Ultrabook since the Bang & Olufsen-packing Asus Zenbook UX31.

Anyone who has used any of HP’s other laptops, including the Envy and Pavilion ranges, will be at home with the extra choice Beats gives you.

You can open up a control panel to tweak all aspects of the Envy 14 Spectre’s audio performance. There are also several bonus modes to take advantage of, such as noise and echo cancellation.

HP envy 14 spectre review

The HP Envy 14 Spectre also features a small Beats-branded clickwheel on the chassis that enables you to quickly alter the volume of the speakers.

Arguably, the HP Envy 14 Spectre’s 14-inch screen should get as much praise as the Beats audio. The 1600 x 900 pixel resolution is a step up from other Ultrabooks such as the Lenovo IdeaPad U300S, and we marvelled at the crystal clear high-definition visuals.

Not only that, but the HP Envy 14 Spectre has a tiny bezel, allowing the 14-inch screen to sit nicely inside a 13.3-inch chassis.

Performance

HP envy 14 spectre review

TechRadar Labs

TechRadar labs

Cinebench 10: 7, 336
3D Mark ’06: 3, 377
Battery Eater ’05: 206 minutes

Ultrabooks are all members of the Sandy Bridge family, and the HP Envy 14 Spectre is built around an Intel Core i5-2467M CPU operating at 1.60GHz and 4GB RAM.

It’s not the fastest or highest-spec chip we’ve seen in an Ultrabook, and rivals will triumph on raw power. This is reflected in the Cinebench scores we recorded, in which the Spectre posted less than rivals including the Acer Aspire S3.

But general day-to-day use is unaffected, and the HP Envy 14 Spectre kept up with our multitasking needs. In part a justification for the higher price tag is that both Adobe’s Premier Elements and Photoshop Elements editing suites come preinstalled, and ran perfectly when we tried a spot of on-the-fly photo editing.

Unfortunately, though, we had a lot of problems with the trackpad. It was responsive enough when moving the cursor, but the integrated mouse buttons were a pain to use. We appreciate the nicer look of integrated buttons, but the irritation of repeated clicks to select and execute slightly tarnishes the overall experience.

HP envy 14 spectre review

Although the HP Envy 14 Spectre can cope with the demanding graphical performance of video editing, or running several intensive websites at once, don’t buy this expecting a gaming platform.

The integrated GPU is powerful enough, thanks to the Sandy Bridge heritage, but it won’t be boasting the latest Assassin’s Creed title.

We don’t know what the thought process was behind naming this laptop the Spectre, but it could be to do with the almost silent way in which it goes about its business, thanks to the SSD drive and its lack of moving parts.

The Spectre remained cool to the touch during operation and, like other Ultrabooks, is available with either a 256GB or 128GB SSD internal hard drive.

According to HP, the Envy 14 Spectre will offer you a reasonable nine hours of battery life. We ran our high-stress benchmarking tests and recorded an impressive score of 206 minutes.

Avoid our brute force attack on the battery and you should have no trouble getting through a day without the company of the AC adaptor. Just keep the volume down.

Verdict

HP envy 14 spectre review

We see the HP Envy 14 Spectre as being the ‘cool kid’ of the Ultrabook class, with its Beats audio branding, high resolution 14-inch screen and Gorilla Glass casing. It’s a highly usable laptop, with only the integrated click buttons on the touchpad giving us grief.

We liked

At first, we had worries about the slightly chunkier casing, but this was tempered by the joy we felt when we spotted the HDMI port and Ethernet port that HP has included on the chassis. We’ve lamented the lack of connectivity on other Ultrabooks, and having the option for a wired internet connection and the use of an external monitor is music to our ears.

On the subject of music, this is undoubtedly the Ultrabook for media enthusiasts. The screen is gloriously crisp and the extra audio technology on board gives you options to tweak and alter the sound to get your albums sounding the way you want. Invest in a decent pair of headphones or an amplifier and you can make this your sole media machine.

We disliked

Ultrabooks are meant to be light, airy and portable computers. By any other laptop standards, the HP Envy 14 Spectre is a classy ultra-portable. But, when you put it up against the other Ultrabooks, it’s inescapably bulky.

It just comes in under the weight limit set out in Intel’s specifications for Ultrabooks, and business users might be more swayed by the svelt curves of the Dell XPS 13 or the functionality of the Toshiba Satellite Z830.

We also got increasingly frustrated with the integrated click buttons on the touchpad. We know the overall effect is a nicer aesthetic, but unfortunately the usability suffers as a result. Often we would just rely on the double-tap to select files and launch programs instead.

Final verdict

We’re deep into the second round of Ultrabook releases by now, and we feel the HP Envy 14 Spectre sits alongside the Dell XPS 13 at the top of the heap. But these are two different machines with different focuses.

The HP Envy 14 Spectre is the most media-centred Ultrabook, with a larger 14-inch screen, 1600 x 900 pixel resolution and Beats audio technology. But it won’t win over fans looking for performance and portability, due to the lower spec processor and bulky Gorilla Glass chassis.

If you can overcome the steep asking price then the HP Envy 14 Spectre is a well-built and stylish way to transport and enjoy your music, movies and do a spot of image editing.

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Toshiba Qosmio F750

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 Toshiba Qosmio F750

Toshiba’s all-conquering Qosmio range was the first to bring us glasses-free 3D, and we were so impressed with the X770 that we awarded it 4.5 stars. The Qosmio F750 continues the tradition, albeit with a couple of drawbacks.

The sub-standard keyboard and paltry battery life might put some off, but anyone looking for a movie powerhouse won’t fail to be impressed.

The bright red outer design is eye-catching and complemented by the glossy all-black look under the lid. White LEDs around the touchpad, power button and hotkeys also add a bit of visual flair.

Unsurprisingly though, it’s neither light nor svelte. Measuring in at 386 x 265 x 39mm with a weight of 3.2kg the Qosmio is more of a desk-based PC replacement than a portable gaming machine.

Once you fire up the laptop though, the lack of portability gets lost in a storm of power provided by the Intel Core i7-2630QM CPU and Nvidia GeForce GT540M dedicated graphics chip.

Interacting with the Qosmio is made all the better by the fantastic screen Toshiba has incorporated. Capable of full 1080p high-definition visuals, the screen is bright, crisp and coated with the reflective Super-TFT coating that adds a degree of richness to the colours in pictures and movies.

The standout feature is, of course, the glasses-free 3D effect. By using the webcam to track your eyes, you can move your heads freely while retaining the 3D image unlike, for example, Nintendo’s 3DS game system which requires you to keep your head in one position for the 3D effect.

While 3D will appeal to some, others might not be converted yet – and to be fair, the effect isn’t as impressive when compared with the standard Active Shutter 3D system. But considering the price of the glasses, and the prospect of losing them, we’re more than happy with this alternative.

TechRadar Labs

TechRadar labs

Battery Eater ’05: 76 minutes
Cinebench: 16875
3DMark 2006: 8173

Average usability

While the screen and sheer power is fantastic, some of the usability suffers. The keyboard is a standard, flat affair and although the keys are nicely sized, there’s some definite flex around the centre and we doubt it could cut it as a serious gaming keyboard.

Things are better when it comes to the touchpad; it’s responsive and has a non-glossy surface that is comfortable to use. The only drawback is it’s a little on the small side. For serious gaming, you’re going to want to invest in a USB mouse.

Where the Qosmio really falls down is on battery life. Given the specifications we didn’t expect much in terms of longevity but the Qosmio F750 gave out after only 74 minutes. It’s a problem, but not a deal-breaker. The F750 isn’t trying to be an ultraportable and to buy it thinking so is a mistake. In fact, its big brother the Qosmio X770-107 couldn’t even manage an hour and gave out after 44 minutes.

We can’t help but like the Qosmio a lot and its decisive pros and cons list should make it an easy decision. If you want hardcore visuals and processing power, we’d recommend it – although we’d advise you to also invest in a decent USB mouse and keyboard.

If you’re less fussed about power over battery, and don’t like 3D, then save your £1,300 for a different machine.

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Disgo Tablet 7000

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 Disgo Tablet 7000

Catch a glimpse of the Disgo 7000 and you’d be forgiven for thinking that Apple had discovered yet another form-factor and wedged a product into that gap. It looks like a Kindle-esque, novel-sized tab squeezed inbetween the iPhone and iPad.

Given the company’s impeccable sense of style, that a sub-£100 Android tablet could be mentioned in the same breath is quite a compliment to Disgo’s budget gadget.

The resemblance is undeniable, though. Sitting idle it has the same seamless black bevel and glossy, fingerprint-attracting sheen as Apple’s touchscreen devices. It’s only when you flip the 7000 over to reveal the matt plastic reverse side that the disparity in manufacturing cost is revealed.

This is a handsome piece of kit that unashamedly imitates more expensive technology. It’s also a convenient size – at 10.5mm thick it’s slimmer than the majority of budget clunkers we’ve seen so far.

The modest proportions mean it’s more like an e-book reader than an iPad, but that makes it comfortable to hold, convenient for reading and easy to stow in a bag. It’s also flattering to the 800 x 480 pixel screen which is a much lower resolution for a 7″ tablet, as most have a 1024 x 600 panel.

Of course it doesn’t leave a great deal of space for physical buttons. The back button is front and centre below the screen, but the power, home, menu and volume buttons are arranged along the narrow right-hand side of the device as you hold it in portrait, which can lead to the odd accidental press as you’re getting to grips with the device.

Battery life is also unspectacular, though not atrocious, finally giving up the ghost after three hours of video at full brightness.

Making a connection

Connectivity is generous. There’s a MicroSD port to bolster the tiny 4GB of internal storage (a card is all but essential if you want to add music and videos to the device) and mini HDMI to allow you to watch videos on an attached TV.

The most surprising feature is that there is not just one mini USB port but two at the base of the device. The one positioned in the centre is a standard connector, for plugging the tablet into a computer. The second one, offset to the right, is a USB host controller and works with an adaptor included in the box.

The dongle turns it into a USB port like you’d find on a laptop. This means if you have media stored on a standard USB stick you can view it on the tablet and if you tire of typing on a touchscreen, you can plug in a USB keyboard to ease the pain. It’s a thoughtful addition that makes the device far more flexible for the newcomers than tablets in this price range will surely attract.

At what cost?

Disgo tablet 7000 review

At that price there are always going to be sacrifices though, and the two biggest ones are par for the course when it comes to tablets in this class.

The first is a hardware limitation: the Disgo 7000 has a resistive rather than capacitive touchscreen. What this means that you can only press in one place at a time, meaning no multi-touch trickery like pinching to zoom, and it does make typing much more laborious.

As for the 7000’s own performance, it’s relatively accurate, meaning you’ll rarely hit the wrong letter on the on-screen keyboard, but you do have to press quite hard to get a response at all, which is very frustrating. You’ll often see that unnerving LCD discolouration as you push down on the display and typing anything more than quick notes is likely to become pretty tiresome.

The second problem is one of software, as the Disgo 7000 features the ageing Android 2.3 ‘Gingerbread’ OS. While it remains functional for straightforward things like web browsing, email and media (and is an improvement on Android 2.2 which stinks up many of the other budget tabs), it’s still old technology.

More worrying is the lack of the Android Marketplace – owing to licensing costs, you won’t find a sub-£100 Android tab that has Marketplace support and that seriously limits your options.

It’s by no means the end of apps – Disgo attempts to mitigate the loss of Marketplace by including the GetJar downloader which features many of the more popular apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype. But there’s no denying that the vast majority of Android apps, particularly the paid ones, simply can’t be downloaded. This means no Angry Birds, no BBC iPlayer and certainly no Cut The Rope.

If you’re yet to be convinced by the tablet revolution and unsure of whether you need something that sits between a smartphone and a laptop in your life, the Disgo 7000 presents an ideal way to dip your toe in. For around £75 you’re getting a tablet that not only performs the basic functions you’d hope for, but also one that you wouldn’t be ashamed to leave sitting on the coffee table when a friend dropped by.

Admittedly, you’re sacrificing performance and features, but you’re talking about a device that costs around a sixth of the price of the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Don’t expect it to compete with an iPad or the Samsung Galaxy, but if you’re terrified by the price tags attached to bijou technology, the Disgo 7000 is a modest but desirable tablet that punches well above its weight.

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HP dm4-3000ea Beats Edition

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 HP dm4-3000ea Beats Edition

HP’s Pavilion range was never going to offer the same ‘wow factor’ as its premium Envy line and we couldn’t pick out its previous dm4 Pavilion in a line up.

But HP’s new dm4-3000ea Pavilion Beats Edition is far from anonymous.

Thanks to the ubiquity of Beats Audio technology, HP has decided to give its non-descript dm4 Pavilion a chassis overhaul and specs update. That upgrade does bump up the price to £849, so it’s not the very best value for money, but the Beats redesign is a success for various reasons.

It looks super-modern without being too cool for school, enjoys a solid feel for a 14-inch multimedia portable and – most importantly – it sounds absolutely fantastic.

Punching above its weight

Despite its slinky dimensions (338 x 225 x 32 mm), the dm4-3000ea is fairly heavy. A weight of 2kg for such a small chassis is surprising, but every component – including the great backlit keyboard – feels robust and well-made (although it’s not the solid mag-alloy chassis that HP puts in its Envy laptops; just serviceable plastic here).

The board marries the same soft red and matte black hues that adorns the case. The Beats logo also sits front and centre, which could annoy, but the font design is so nice it actually really works.

It can be hard to type on dinkier laptops’ keyboards, but the dm4-3000ea Pavilion Beats Edition is the exception to the rule . It felt much better than the first dm4 Pavilion board and has isolated chiclet keys with a solid bounce.

HP has also binned the miniature navigation keys, making it fine to use for long periods for multi-tasking and browsing online. Our only bone of contention was the unresponsive touch tech on the trackpad which is still a novelty.

The 14-inch display is powered by 1366 x 768 LED-backlit BrightView screen, which works perfectly well in most brightness conditions. It’s not over-glossy and coped admirably with the darker hues of The Dark Knight. We also had no problems streaming high-definition video content. Clearly, the HP dm4-3000ea Pavilion Beats Edition won’t have any problems performing most multimedia tasks.

HP also gets bonus points for adding one of the better in-built webcams available. Thanks to the TrueVision low-light tech, it managed to pick us out accurately enough in murky lighting.

Under the hood

HP beats laptop

The rest of the specs under the hood are decent enough to make sure HP’s dm4-3000ea Pavilion Beats Edition didn’t suffer any staccato playback – even on number crunching apps.

HP has bundled a 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5-2450M processor, a 500GB SATA hard drive and 4GB of memory with space for two more sticks if you fancy an upgrade. That should be enough oomph to boot the OS from cold in no time at all… but, irritatingly, HP has added the usual bloatware gubbins to slow everything down. That said, some of the pre-loaded software, like Norton and Windows Office Starter Edition is actually useful.

TechRadar Labs

tech labs

Battery Eater ’05: 174 minutes
Cinebench: 5629
3DMark 2006: 5622

Performance in our lab tests produced steady if unspectacular results, especially when you consider the power available from that Intel Core i5 chip. A score of 5629 in our processor benchmarks means that it’s more than adept at multitasking, but it does seem low when compared with laptops such as the Packard Bell TS11 which achieved better lab tests.

Graphics were equally unspectacular, and we also got a mid-range score of 5622 in our 3D Mark tests. This is enough for light gaming, thanks to 1GB of dedicated graphics on its AMD Radeon HD 7470M GPU. Just don’t expect to get anything out of Battlefield 3 or Modern Warfare 3, though.

The 174-minute battery life using Battery Eater Pro’s Readers’ Test was pretty good – especially when you bear in mind that it has a 6-cell battery.

So, the question remains, how do you get enjoy audio fidelity on such a small laptop? The simple answer is to plug in decent headphones and bypass the traditionally tinny laptop speakers.

If you’re not a fan of headphones, a more permanent solution is to upgrade to superior audio components.

While the Beats audio results good, you still can’t been hooking up a decent set of speakers. That said, for audio on the go, the dm4-3000ea Pavilion Beats Edition comes highly recommended – and HP even throws in a pair of Dr Dre’s Solo headphones as part of the package.

Overall the HP dm4-3000sa is a capable portable laptop, for those who want style while they’re on the move. Admittedly, it’s not packed with power, and there are lighter machines for the money, but the Beats credentials give it cool credibility that will attract students and younger users.

Anyone who does invest will be rewarded with a solid performer capable of work and play on the move, but those with demanding needs will want to look at portables backed up by a bit more grunt.

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Corsair Vengeance M60 gaming mouse

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 Corsair Vengeance M60 gaming mouse

Overview

This Corsair Vengeance M60 mouse represents the next step for Corsair – peripherals.

Specifically, high-end peripherals designed for the gamer who’s prepared to pay a little more for a rugged build and enhanced usability.

The Vengeance M60 FPS gaming mouse is a prime example of that – premium components, eight-button functionality, and all the extras like adjustable DPI buttons and a mega-low DPI ‘sniper’ button that’s rapidly becoming the standard for a gaming rodent.

Corsair has a pretty impressive pedigree across a number of fields. The Californian company started out producing L2 cache modules, and today it’s still go-to guy for performance RAM like the Vengeance and Dominator DDR3 ranges.

In recent times we’ve seen speaker systems, power supplies, PC chassis and USB flash drives all bearing the Corsair name, and by and large it signals a mark of the highest quality.

The specs for this new mouse are impressive, but can Corsair really pull off a flawless debut into the mouse market with the Corsair Vengeance M60?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the answer’s yes.

Verdict

There are two mice in Corsair’s fledgling range – the M90 caters for the MMO gamer’s needs, and as such sports fifteen programmable buttons.

This M60 sets its sights square and true on the first-person shooter afficionado, for whom split seconds and DPI figures are everything.

With that said, even the grouchiest CS:S gamer will be happy with the Corsair Vengeance M60’s performance.

Corsair vengeance m60

The jury’s still out on whether DPI really makes a huge difference, but the M60’s adjustable polling rate, high tracking speed and low-friction PTFE pads make for a noticeably smooth experience.

And if you’re still hung up on that DPI comment, it’s 100 dots higher than our previous darling of the rodent world, Mad Catz’s Cyborg R.A.T. 7.

This is a mouse that lots of clever people have sat and thought about for a long time – that much is evident in its ergonomic design.

The sniper button feels well-placed enough that you’d actually use it, and the thumb rest blends perfectly into your mouse mat.

Having experimented with the M60 it turns out to be comfortable in all but the most improbable hand position, which is worth thinking about if you’re such a pro gamer that you’ve analysed your own grip.

Show off.

You don’t have to be Fatal1ty to expect more adjustable weighting though, and that’s sadly off the menu with this mouse. All you get are three removable weights in the base, so you can make it lighter but not heavier is that is your bag.

Take an eyeful of the price tag and you’ll understand why the Corsair Vengeance M60 doesn’t offer this – it’s clear that most of the money has been spent on its remarkable build quality – but it does lose ground to the similarly-priced R.A.T. 5 from Mad Catz here, which is far more adjustable by weight.

We liked

For a debut effort, the Corsair Vengeance M60 mouse is incredible.

It’s hard to pick a fault with it if you’re a FPS gamer. Primarily, you want a comfortable mouse that doesn’t have a ton of buttons you’ll keep accidentally pressing at a fair price, and Corsair’s rodent ticks all those boxes with confidence.

The adjustable DPI and sniper button are useful additions in a layout that otherwise shows restraint, and it feels like it could survive a nuclear blast.

We disliked

It is missing out on more fully-adjustable weights and a free-rolling wheel, but the low price eases those concerns considerably.

Final word

Corsair’s debut mouse hits the ground running – right to the front of the pack.

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