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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How To Know If You Steal WiFi With Your Laptop Battery?

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How To Know If You Steal WiFi With Your Laptop Battery?

Internet Wireless networks are an increasingly common reality in all cities, probably a year ago when we placed our crawler networks using the notebook or smartphone we found 10% of what we see today, WiFi wireless networks are becoming ever more present in different businesses, homes, businesses, banks. So many new routers of companies that sell them have incredible reach and more powerful every day.

So unless you put a good password with several different protections it is available to “outsiders” who weaken our signal to use Internet browsing and can be seriously affected, as well as having a potential gateway for “criminals virtual.” So today we show you how to tell if someone outside of our home or business we are “stealing” our WiFi network and therefore internet.

Luckily for all there are some techniques that allow us to identify the possible “thief” as it is possible to disconnect and prevent this in the future violate our connection. A simple method is to observe the lights on the router, for this disconnect all computers and WiFi devices we have in our home and observe the behavior of the dell vostro 2510 battery. If the lights are still flashing probably have someone using our network.

This method while not as efficient as if our neighbor is using little band are not going to receive such oscillation of the LED. Another slightly more complex technique is to access the router control panel and check which are the connected computers. The control panel is very simple go to “My network”, “Device List” or something similar and we will find a list of DHCP clients. Here are the listings on the network, if we have two computer in our house and we see four on the list no doubt they are stealing our internet.

If we are being robbed no doubt we must do something, the first step and very simple to protect your network with a password “strong.” This is important not to use simple passwords, easy to identify as birthdays, phone numbers, etc. We should always use special characters and a mixture of numbers and letters. Another great alternative is to use a dell latitude e5420 battery with the router.

In this case we have to know the addresses of all devices you wish to connect to our network. Electronic devices generally come with a WiFi network MAC address on a label on the device itself or in the manual. Moreover we have several programs online that give us true walls against people who want to connect to our network, perform these steps if we will undoubtedly feel a great shortage of Internet flow when downloading programs, music or films but also at great risk of being infected with viruses or steal our information.

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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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Asus G74SX

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 Asus G74SX

If you’re after a machine to play Battlefield 3, Skyrim and Modern Warfare 3, look no further. The Asus G74S is a mammoth gaming laptop, which has the power to play all the latest titles, and while you might not get as much for your money when compared with full form desktops, it’s up there with the best.

Buying a gaming laptop offers fantastic pay offs in terms of space and portability. If you don’t have room for a hulking desktop system, or like to have the option of taking your laptop away from your home, the Asus G74S is perfect.

The G74S is a whopping 17.3″ and features a full HD screen, which makes games look great. The screen is matte, so no pesky reflections will ruin your experience. While this technology takes the life out of images, the full 1920 x 1080 resolution keeps things looking great, and is just as adept at playing movies too.

Bright and beautiful

The panel is stunningly bright – great for gaming in dark rooms, and it’s also 3D-enabled, using Nvidia’s 3D Vision active-shutter technology. This means the panel has super-swift refresh rates, which makes day-to-day tasks feel snappier too.

It’s one of the slickest integrations of 3D tech we’ve seen, and with the receiver built into the body of the G74S, there was no fuss getting it working. All the content we tried looked fantastic.

To play the latest games you need the latest technology, and a top-of-the-range mobile Intel Core i7 2630QM processor is included here, which aced our lab tests. It’s up there with the biggest and baddest systems, and is the same chip found in the more famous Alienware M18x.

Anyone who makes a large gaming laptop will immediately be compared with the Alienware, but we think that the Asus is more than a match for its extra-terrestrial rival. There’s 8GB of RAM, which is double that found on the stingy M18x.

TechRadar Labs

tech labs

Battery Eater ’05: 86 minutes
Cinebench: 16914
3DMark 2006: 15270

The hard drive is also a whopping 1.5TB (that’s 1500GB) which, in today’s terms, means almost unlimited space. The Alienware M18x ships with just 250GB, which gives you an idea of the great value offered by the G74S over its competitors.

What’s more, there’s also a Blu-ray drive to boot, so you can play the latest movies in high-definition.

At 4.6kg, you can get some idea of the build quality of the Asus G74S. It weighs the same as four Toshiba Ultrabooks, and is as solid as any laptop you’ll find.

Looks are uninspiring, and there’s no keyboard back lighting, or flashy extras, but that’s no great loss. The Asus G74S is a fantastic, power-packed gaming machine, which will also appeal to movie lovers looking for a desktop-replacement system too.

The screen and built-in 3D, as well as the colossal storage, make it good value buy, in spite of the high price.

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Introduce Laptop Dell XPS 14z

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Introduce Laptop Dell XPS 14z

Not so long ago we looked at the laptop Dell Inspiron 14z. And now we have a model on the operating table with a similar name. Twins? Just relatives? Or is it namesakes and nothing more? Try to understand.

Outwardly, the two “chetarnadtsatzed” resemble each other only vaguely. The same, by and large, only joint cap to the body: in both notebook hinges are “upright” and not on the edge of the shell, and indented. In the case of Dell Inspiron 14z is more pronounced, and in the Dell XPS 14z is noticeable only at certain angles. The most important aspect of mismatched design – the materials used. In the low-cost Inspiron 14z plastic housing, with a decorative ornament from the “shredded” the metal.

In the XPS 14z all noticeably more interesting: the lower half of the body and the outside cover is made of anodized aluminum, like the MacBook. But, unlike the MacBook, “working surface» Dell XPS 14z – that is, the plane on which the keyboard and touchpad – not aluminum and plastic. The plastic is painted in gray color and looks much darker than aluminum.

In general, highly original approach: all the beauty of metal, for which the user actually pays to hide at the bottom and the back of the lid. A user is referred to propose the same realm of synthetic materials, as in the cheaper models. For example, openwork lattice air intake holes on the metal bottom of the XPS 14z looks just wonderful. And the same pattern – speaker grille – on the plastic panels for painting turned out pretty oplyvshim.

Typically, a company copying creatively reinterpreted design Apple, limited to the exterior. But the Dell decided to go one step further: to heighten the resemblance copied More innovative thinking and OSD-will adjust the volume, brightness, and the like. And rethink the most creative – even cleaned. Keyboard Dell XPS 14z looks interesting and somewhat unusual, and has the correct layout is well established.

Perhaps the main advantage of the keyboard XPS 14z – the presence of illumination. It is made less accurately than in Samsung 700Z5A, But its function copes well: in the dark buttons clearly visible. The touchpad is quite large, covering the right, the finger glides on it good and comfortable. Physical buttons that can be called a pleasant surprise, considering that the design of this laptop is innovative thinking you know someone.

In front of the case, obviously, is the battery. Therefore, no Front useful elements at all – there simply is empty. By the same token is not used, and about a third of each side. So the right fit only optical drive, and the left – a memory card reader, audio jacks and one of the two “exhaust” vents. The bulk of the ports are concentrated behind. Use them, of course, inconvenient. Terribly uncomfortable, to be exact to the end.

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Acer TravelMate 8481T

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 Acer TravelMate 8481T

When it comes to battery life, Acer’s TravelMate 8481T is the laptop to beat. It’s not all that surprising when you see the battery protruding from the back of the chassis, practically doubling the breadth of the machine.

But, if you need to pack the TravelMate away, simply unclip the battery and it shrinks from 41mm thick to only 24mm. Our battery benchmark test – supplemented with looped high-def video – took 326 minutes to run down the TravelMate, so we’d expect that this machine would get you through a mains-free eight hour day with standard use.

Apart from the battery, there are other features that mark this laptop out as a travel device. Its 14-inch screen dispenses with Super-TFT reflective coating, instead opting for a matt-TFT finish. This means that, while movies and pictures won’t look as colourful or vibrant, the TravelMate can be used in bright environments – like airports or train carriages without annoying glare being reflected on the screen.

Even with the screen brightness set to maximum, the display is noticeably darker than other laptops. This is an extra way to maximise battery performance, as the biggest drain on any laptop’s power supply is keeping the screen bright.

There’s also a fingerprint scanner nestled between the click buttons below the touchpad, lending saved documents an extra layer of security.

Boasting Acer’s favoured raised keyboard, typing is also comfortable, thanks to a decent amount of travel, but not without some serious flex. Because the battery protrudes the way it does, you’re typing at a raised angle, much more comfortable than on a traditional flat laptop.

While we might be tempted to lump the TravelMate in with the Port

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Acer Aspire S3

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 Acer Aspire S3

Overview

The first-generation ultrabook war is getting bloody, with the Toshiba Satellite Z830 and Lenovo Ideapad U300S emerging from the pits to take on the Asus Zenbook and this machine, the Acer Aspire S Series. This four-way battle royale should be a fierce contest, but can Acer do enough to beat down the super-thin-yet-powerful laptop competition?

The Taiwanese company certainly has experience producing every variety of laptop, from the ultra-portable Timeline range of models such as the Acer Aspire Timeline X 3820TZ to the mighty Ethos multimedia machines including the Acer Aspire Ethos 5943G.

One of its dinkiest offerings yet, the 13.3-inch Acer Aspire S3-951 is an appealing prospect for regular travellers.

The Intel Core i7 2637M version we tested is priced at £900 in the UK and costs $1300 in the US (where it has the more specific name of Acer Aspire S3-951-6432), which is enticing, considering the impressive specs list.

A less powerful Core i5 model can be bought for £700 in the UK, while in the US there are three cheaper Core i5 machines, two of which cost $900, while one retails at $1199.

Acer aspire s3-951 review

At 1.38kg, the Acer Aspire S3-951 is a similar weight to the other ultrabooks and just slips in under Intel’s specified 1.4kg ultrabook weight. Even a skinny eight-year-old could carry this laptop around all day, although we wouldn’t trust some whippersnapper with a piece of kit like this.

With a thickness of 19mm at its widest point, the Acer Aspire S3-951 may not be as size-zero slender as the Toshiba Satellite Z830 or Asus Zenbook UX21, but it’s certainly thin enough to slide into a backpack, briefcase or even an oversized handbag.

However, even though the lid is impressively slim, it’s also tough enough to take a pounding. There’s almost no flex in the centre, so the display remains protected even when the laptop is bumping around in a bag. The brushed aluminium surface repels fingerprints and other marks, keeping it clean and shiny.

We were also pleased to see sturdy hinges, which hold the screen still even when you’re pounding the keyboard. This solid build quality continues throughout the rest of the chassis. We found no worrying weak spots, although we’re not convinced that the Acer Aspire S3-951 would survive a fall from a desk.

Acer aspire s3-951 review

One potential peril of compact laptops is that usability might suffer – the reduced chassis space means smaller keyboards, the nemesis of anyone with fat sausage fingers. Thankfully the Acer Aspire S3-951 doesn’t suffer too much from its stunted stature.

Shift and Ctrl keys are well-sized, although the Enter key is squashed into a single row and the arrow keys are almost comically tiny. Touch typing was a breeze. We bashed out emails and articles for hours at a time without our hands cramping up, and with minimal errors. While the shallow key travel is unavoidable, it isn’t as bad as the Asus Zenbook‘s (which feels like you’re tapping on a solid piece of plastic).

The Acer Aspire S3-951’s touchpad is also a decent size, but is cursed with integrated mouse buttons. Instead of having separate mouse buttons, you need to push the left and right corners of the pad down to simulate mouse clicks. Frankly, it’s a horrible experience.

Anyone who’s used one of these touchpads will know the deal. Often when you push the corners in to select a menu option, the cursor will skip across the screen, leading to incorrect menu selections. Considering how fiddly Windows menus can be, we came close to busting out the power tools and giving the Acer Aspire S3-951 a few new air vents.

Our advice is, stick to tapping the surface for mouse clicks. It’s a little hit and miss, but might save your blood pressure.

Specifications

Acer aspire s3-951 review

The Acer Aspire S3-951’s compact build means you’re stuck with a small screen, but the 13.3-inch display is perfectly serviceable for both business and pleasure. It isn’t the brightest screen ever, but the 1366 x 768-pixel resolution means images are sharp.

HD movies look crisp, if not particularly vibrant.

Although 13.3 inches doesn’t give you a huge viewing area for the latest blockbuster films, it’s perfectly fine when you’re on the move and sat right in front of your laptop. The sharp resolution is also perfect when you’re working on tables or spreadsheets.

However, the glossy Super-TFT finish is reflective, which is a hindrance if you want to use the Acer Aspire S3-951 outdoors. Anyone who’s regularly out and about will prefer the matt screen of the Toshiba Satellite Z830.

Acer aspire s3-951 review

Business users will be happy to see an HDMI port and two USB ports crammed onto the rear of the slender chassis. Accessing them is a little awkward, and fans of wired networking should check out the Toshiba Satellite Z830, which has a built-in Ethernet port. However, the Acer Aspire S3-951 is pretty much standard when it comes to ultrabooks.

If you have tons of files to lug around, you’ll need to use one of the USB ports to hook up an external hard drive. Despite the specs listing a 240GB solid state drive, the Acer Aspire S3-951 only reported 200GB of storage space available. This fills up far too quickly, especially if you’re hoping to carry some music or movies with you, although at least it gives you super speedy and reliable access to your data.

You also have an SD card reader for extra storage.

Aside from that, the Acer Aspire S3-951 is typically light on features. A 1.3MP webcam positioned just above the screen enables you to video chat with mates or colleagues, and that’s your lot. However, at least the Acer Aspire S3-951 doesn’t come laden with dozens of useless app trials that clog up your hard drive and constantly pester you with annoying pop-ups.

Performance

Acer aspire s3-951 review

TechRadar Labs

tech labs

Cinebench 10: 8,827
3D Mark ’06: 3,279
Battery Eater ’05: 149 minutes

The real selling point of the Acer Aspire S3-951 is the impressive set of components stuffed in its tiny gullet. Gone are the days of clunky low-voltage CPUs plaguing ultra-portable laptops.

The dual-core Intel Core i7 2637M processor stormed through our Cinebench tests, proving well matched to any task we threw at it.

Backed up by 4GB of memory, we had no problem multitasking with all kinds of software. Applications loaded quickly (helped in part by that speedy solid state drive) and ran smoothly. In fact, the Acer Aspire S3-951 proved to be the most powerful ultrabook we’ve reviewed, narrowly beating the Core i7 Asus Zenbook UX31.

Acer aspire s3-951 review

Graphical performance is dependable, thanks to the flexibility of the Sandy Bridge chipset. Although the GPU is integrated, it’s still capable of running multimedia software such as photo and video editing suites, without suffering from glitches or crashes.

Of course, you aren’t going to get any serious gaming done on an ultrabook. Older games will run as expected, and you won’t have any trouble smashing your mates at a game of online Scrabble. But try testing it with a recent FPS game and you’ll meet a stuttering mess.

Even when we ran fairly demanding software, we were impressed by how cool and quiet the Acer Aspire S3-951 remained. The SSD obviously helps, because there are no spinning discs to contend with. The area around the vents (positioned at the rear of the laptop) remains cool at all times.

Acer aspire s3-951 review

Unfortunately the battery life was a lot less impressive. We ran HD video on loop and were disappointed when the Acer Aspire S3-951 died after just 149 minutes. This isn’t a disastrous performance, but it is below average for a modern laptop – we usually get around three hours of movie action before the screen fades to black.

Considering this is an ultrabook built for portability, the result is even more disappointing. The Asus Zenbook, for example, survived for over four hours with the same test. If you’re looking for a new laptop, you’ll have to seriously consider what’s more important to you – performance or longevity.

Verdict

Acer aspire s3-951 review

We’ve tested the first generation of ultrabooks, and so far we’ve liked what we’ve seen.

This attractive blend of performance and portability might not be new (as Apple fanboys will be quick to point out), and we’re not sure why it’s taken Intel’s intervention to stimulate manufacturers into producing mini laptops such as the Acer Aspire S3-951. However, for anyone who’s a regular road hog, the ultrabook is an enticing prospect.

We liked

The Acer Aspire S3-951’s slender chassis may not be as stupefyingly thin or sleek as the Asus Zenbook, but it’s still compact enough to fit in almost any bag. It’s also impressively tough considering the girth, with a firm lid and tough body.

We were impressed by the excellent Intel Core i7 processor performance, and saw next to no slowdown when running several applications at once. Multimedia software runs fine, and the ultrabook starts up and shuts down in no time at all.

If you need a machine to bash out emails and documents on the move, the Acer Aspire S3-951’s keyboard will do the job. It isn’t too cramped, despite the compact frame, with the exception of the miniscule arrow keys.

We disliked

Unfortunately, for a laptop marketed on its portability, the Acer Aspire S3-951’s battery life is pants. Just two and a half hours of movie playback on a single charge is below average, even for a bog-standard entry-level laptop.

We also had massive issues with the touchpad. Those integrated mouse buttons are a massive pain, and we resorted to tapping the surface to select menu options instead.

Anyone with a huge media collection will need to cart around an external hard drive, because only 200GB of storage space is available on the 240GB SSD.

Final verdict

While the Acer Aspire S3-951 is a well-built and powerful ultrabook, which offers good value for money, we were more drawn to the Toshiba Satellite Z830 and the Asus Zenbook. However, a cut-price Core i5 version of the Acer Aspire S3-951 can be had if your budget is tight, and nobody will be disappointed by the excellent performance of this Core i7 model.

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Toshiba Satellite Z830-10U

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 Toshiba Satellite Z830-10U

Overview

If you wanted a stylishly light and powerful Toshiba laptop, you would immediately look to the Japanese company’s Portege R830. That is, until you came across the Toshiba Satellite Z830-10U, priced at £999 in the UK (the US price isn’t yet available).

Toshiba’s shiny entry into the ultrabook market will go up against the likes of the Acer Aspire S3 and the Asus Zenbook UX21.

These super light and thin laptops are already among us, and are aiming to take some of the limelight away from the Apple MacBook Air. Helped by chip manufacturer Intel, which laid out very specific price and performance requirements for manufacturers, the Ultrabook is set to become a common sight in 2012.

At its thickest point, the Satellite Z830-10U measures only 16mm across, but Toshiba has still packed in Sandy Bridge power and given us one of the best trackpads we’ve yet seen on an ultrabook. It’s not without niggles, however, and we found parts of the chassis to be inferior to stronger machines such as the Asus Zenbook and the MacBook Air.

Toshiba satellite z830-10u review

The 13.3-inch Satellite Z830-10U is truly an ultrabook for the road. Giving us not only the lightest chassis we’ve yet seen, but also an excellent battery life, this could be the answer for frequent travellers who need a long-lasting machine full of performance for under £1,000.

Although this has the same 128GB solid state drive (SSD) that we’ve seen elsewhere, it offers better connectivity than other ultrabooks currently on the market. In what could quickly become its main selling point, the Toshiba Satellite Z830-10U gives you three USB ports, of which one is USB 3.0, and an Ethernet connection – the only ultrabook to do so.

We enjoyed our time with the Toshiba Satellite Z830-10U and looked past a couple of irritating points to find that it is certainly one of the ultrabooks you should be considering.

It sits alongside cheaper brother the Toshiba Satellite Z830-10T, which costs £899 in the UK or $849 in the US, while Toshiba’s Port

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