XFX Double D Black Edition HD 7850 and HD 7870 Review: Kings of the Midrange?

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Who is this XFX? This is a brand that I have not dealt with in a long time. In fact, the last time I had an XFX card was some five years ago, and it was in the form of the GeForce 8800 GTX XXX Edition. This was a pretty awesome card for the time, and it seemed to last forever in terms of performance and features in the new DX 10 world that was 2007/2008. This was a heavily overclocked card, and it would get really loud during gaming sessions. I can honestly say though that this particular card was troublefree and well built.



XFX has not always had a great reputation though, and the company has gone through some very interesting twists and turns over the years. XFX is a subsidiary of Pine Technologies. Initially XFX dealt strictly with NVIDIA based products, but a few years back when the graphics market became really tight, NVIDIA dropped several manufacturers and focused their attention on the bigger partners. Among the victims of this tightening were BFG Technologies and XFX. Unlike BFG, XFX was able to negotiate successfully with AMD to transition their product lineup to Radeon products. Since then XFX has been very aggressive in pursuing unique designs based on these AMD products. While previous generation designs did not step far from the reference products, this latest generation is a big step forward for XFX.


Click to continue reading the entire review.


In terms of quality XFX had it rough for a while. Return rates appeared to be much higher than other players in the market, and there were a lot of complaints about customer service. XFX took this to heart and introduced their Double Lifetime warranty. This promised the initial user/buyer a full, lifetime warranty. If that user decided to give or sell the card to another, then they had the option of transferring the lifetime warranty to that other person. This unfortunately came to a screeching halt early this year. XFX discontinued the double lifetime warranty concept, but they did replace it with something that was still “ok” in terms of industry standards. XFX now offers a 2 year limited warranty on their products with an optional 1 year extension. They do still offer the ability to transfer the warranty to another user, so that is a definite plus when we consider that upgrade cycles are sometimes pretty compressed in the graphics market.

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Lifting the lid reveals the included pack materials.? Again, not entirely impressive, but not bad either.


The HD 7000 series of products from XFX are a massive shift for them in terms of design. While the PCBs all look to be reference products, XFX has taken a keen interest in thermals and have introduced a whole new series of coolers that hope to catch up to the competition. The competition in this case is MSI and Asus. These two companies have done more to push unique cooling solutions than any other. MSI in particular was one that redefined graphics cooling with their “Superpipe” and Twin Frozr products, not to mention pushing the limits of design with their Lightning series of cards. XFX appears halfway there with their cooler designs.

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The card is fairly well protected, but not a piece of foam in sight.? The card is essentially triple boxed in, so shipping damage would have to be extreme to actually hurt the card.


Today we are looking at a pair of cards from XFX that represent the high end of the HD 7850 and HD 7870 series of cards. These products are both Black Editions of the Double Dissipation class of cooling. These products are overclocked out of the box and they introduce a new set of specifications for the entire card as a whole.

New Features and Components ?
Review Index: XFX Throws into the Midrange RingNew Features and ComponentsImpressions of the XFX Double-D Black Edition HD 7870 and HD 7850Test Setup and Results: 3D Mark 2011Results: 3D Mark VantageResults: AvPResults: SkyrimResults: Battlefield 3Results: DiRT 3Power, Temperature, and OverclockingConclusion: Wrapping up the XFX 7800 Cards Comments Post a comment May 26, 2012 | 02:13 AM – Posted by bjv2370

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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 7750

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 Acer Aspire 7750

At first glance, the Acer Aspire 7750 seems like a good choice for a 17-inch multimedia laptop. It has a simple, clean design with plenty of storage space and powerful speakers. Unfortunately, a couple of underlying issues pull the overall experience down somewhat.

Firstly, the grey and silver plastic design is nondescript. It looks much nicer on the inside of the laptop, though, offset against the black keyboard and screen bezel.

As this is a 17-inch laptop, there’s lots of space to go around, and Acer accentuates this by putting a regular keyboard square in the middle of the chassis, adding a touchpad and leaving it at that.

There are no hotkeys, no flashing lights and although it’s difficult to tell from the picture, the chassis feels expansive and spacious. All well and good, until you realise that the build quality (of the keyboard in particular) is pretty shabby. We felt quite a bit of flex around the edges of the chassis and the keyboard was practically bouncing up and down as we typed.

The machine isn’t particularly heavy at 2.9kg, but since most people buying a 17-inch laptop aren’t looking for portability we’d be happy with a few extra grammes in exchange for a more solid build.

While we’re on the subject, we’re going to assume most people buy a 17-inch laptop for the screen – be it to browse the web or watch a movie. The screen here is decent, complete with Super-TFT reflective coating, but the 1366 x 766 pixel resolution limits you to 720p HD content when, really, we’d quite fancy the full-blown effect of a 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Similarly, the integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics card means the latest games and editing suite will have trouble running here.

Huge hard drive

If you want to put your media on the Aspire 7750 – high-definition or otherwise – you have a huge 720GB hard drive to fill up. If music is your thing, then the Dolby Advanced Audio speakers will go some way to convincing you this is the laptop to buy. You can get plenty of volume, but at no point does the audio become fuzzy or distorted – no mean feat for a laptop.

General performance is no slouch either. The Aspire rocks an Intel Core i5-2410M CPU that coped admirably with both our benchmark tests and general usage. We should probably attribute some of that to the generous 6GB of RAM Acer has stashed away inside. It’s more than the average 4GB and while it won’t make much of a performance difference for the average user, it will help your laptop last that little bit longer into the future.

TechRadar Labs

tech labs

Battery Eater ’05: 135 minutes
Cinebench: 9652
3DMark 2006: 4646

Yet, in spite of the positives, we have difficulty recommending the Aspire because it doesn’t specifically do what we want a 17-inch laptop to do – which is provide an awesome visual experience.

We understand Acer wanting to keep the price down, but a better choice would be the Dell Inspiron 17R or the Lenovo G770.

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D-Link DIR-645

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 D-Link DIR-645

Overview and performance

The D-Link DIR-645 (or the Whole Home Router 1000 as it’s called in the US) is the latest D-Link push on injecting style into its home routers. Every networking company goes through this at some point, in an attempt to avoid yet-another-box syndrome. D-Link has done a good job of making this black totem of wireless technology look like it could have apes pawing at it seeking enlightenment.

On the face of it, this 2.4GHz-only device doesn’t seem all that, with 802.11n technology dating back to the

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Review: Toshiba Qosmio X770

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Review: Toshiba Qosmio X770

Overview

Although it’s easy to dismiss 3D as a gimmick that might disappear in a couple of years, there’s no denying its current popularity. As a result, we’ve seen plenty of 3D-compatible laptops in recent times, such as Sony’s ridiculously enormous VAIO F-Series and the HP Envy 17 3D.

Some 3D laptops were heavier than a baby elephant, while some of the earlier models made us so nauseous that we almost threw up and passed out.

One of the best reasons to buy an Nvidia 3D Vision laptop is the huge variety of supported games. All of the AAA titles such as Battlefield, Portal and Fifa now come 3D-ready, and we have to admit that the extra dimension really does immerse you in the game. There’s nothing like squinting down the barrel of a shotgun as a screaming Nazi hurtles out of the screen at you.

Toshiba qosmio x770-107

Toshiba’s Qosmio X770-107 is clearly intended for 3D gaming, with its red-and-black rough-edge design. Thankfully it’s a lot more subtle than the likes of Alienware’s laptops, with their glowing headlights and angular spacecraft bodies, and it’s also a bit lighter than most gaming laptops.

However, the bulky 3.7kg body is still best left on a desk at home. Only Captain America would use this as an everyday travel companion.

The Toshiba Qosmio X770-107’s chassis is reasonably solid, although the palm rests and edges do flex under pressure.

The keyboard is thankfully a lot firmer, with its keys separated out in the popular isolation-style design. You’re less likely to bash the wrong key during frantic action games, and it’s also a great board to touch-type on.

We especially liked the subtle red backlighting, for those late-night gaming sessions.

Above the keyboard is a row of media shortcut keys. These can be used to adjust the volume, play and pause your media, and of course turn the 3D graphics on and off.

Specifications

Toshiba qosmio x770-107

Setting up the 3D is a simple two-minute task using Nvidia’s software. We were watching 3D movies on the Toshiba Qosmio X770-107 in no time, and simultaneously taking abuse from co-workers over the dorky glasses.

Those glasses are a major repellent, and if you wear spectacles to correct your vision, the two definitely don’t sit together comfortably. The biggest problem is the extra pressure around the bridge of the nose. We felt a migraine coming on after just a few minutes, and had to switch to contact lenses to continue.

Still, if your eyes aren’t knackered like ours, you’ll find the experience a lot more entertaining.

The 3D graphics are a good excuse to play classics such as Battlefield 2 all over again, and we were particularly impressed by driving games, where the 3D made it easier to judge corners and distances.

The Toshiba Qosmio X770-107 will also keep your sprogs quiet, thanks to the plethora of 3D cartoons and movies.

We’ve found that 3D-compatible screens are often rather dim, but this laptop’s 17.3-inch display is a refreshing exception. Not only is it comfortably bright, it’s also pleasingly vibrant. The full HD 1080p resolution means you can enjoy HD movies and the latest games with crystal-clear visuals.

We’re often derogatory about laptop speakers, but the harman/kardon efforts built into the Toshiba Qosmio X770-107 are impressively powerful. The bass is especially strong, and our dubstep samples made the entire chassis vibrate.

Of course, music buffs are going to need a dedicated external pair to hear every note as it was intended, but for the purposes of films and games, you can’t go wrong.

If you have a meaty collection of games and movies, you can carry a huge number around on the 1TB hard drive. The Toshiba Qosmio X770-107 might be a bulky machine, but at least you won’t have to lug an external hard drive around too.

If you’re carrying the laptop around during use, Toshiba’s built-in HDD protection shuts the drive down so it doesn’t get damaged. You also get a built-in Blu-ray drive, while an HDMI port lets you hook up a widescreen TV at home.

Performance

Toshiba qosmio x770-107

Of course, you can have all the 3D whiz-gimmickry you like, but if the laptop’s specs are rubbish, any game you play is going to be a juddering mess. Thankfully, the Toshiba Qosmio X770-107 packs in some powerful components.

The brain of the operation is an Intel Core i7 2630QM processor, running at 2GHz. This quad-core beauty is one of Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge efforts, and the scores we churned out of Cinebench were mightily impressive.

Toshiba’s Qosmio X770-107 is as powerful as some top-end gaming machines, including Alienware’s M14X and M18X. Backed up by a generous 8GB of memory, you’ll have no trouble running any modern game, or the very best editing software.

You can run your games with the highest possible graphics settings too, thanks to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 560M graphics card. We didn’t notice any frame rate issues, even when playing intensive titles such as Crysis 2. Few other laptops have produced such a confident graphical performance in recent times.

Despite the impressive performance, this laptop is whisper-quiet. Even during the most intensive gun battles, we heard almost no whirring and creaking from the Toshiba Qosmio X770-107’s innards. The chassis also stays relatively cool, apart from the vents on the left side, which gush hot air.

Unfortunately, the Toshiba Qosmio X770-107’s battery dies faster than a lemming in Dover. We didn’t even get an hour into a movie before it gave up. This is a poor effort even for a powerful laptop like this – especially when you consider that the Alienware M18X clung on for a little over an hour. You’ll need to pack the charger if you lug this beast outside.

Cinebench 10: 17063
3D Mark 06: 15114
Battery Eater: 44 mins

Verdict

Toshiba qosmio x770-107

Whether 3D is here to stay or a mere flash in the pan, there’s no ignoring its popularity. Toshiba’s Qosmio X770-107 is another laptop that caters to the considerable 3D public demand, but does so with style and a considerable amount of grunt.

We liked

The 17.3-inch screen is a great way to take in a movie, either in 2D or 3D, thanks to its sharp 1080p resolution and impressive vibrancy. It’s also a surprisingly bright panel, which is rare for a 3D laptop.

We have to admit, the Nvidia 3D Vision tech works well with certain games, especially driving simulators and trusty FPS games. However, even if you aren’t too bothered about the 3D effects, there’s still plenty for gamers to enjoy here.

You can play any modern title thanks to the Intel Core i7 Sandy Bridge processor, backed up by 8GB of memory, and the dedicated Nvidia GeForce graphics card means those frantic gun battles look amazing. You can also enjoy HD movies via the built-in Blu-ray drive.

We disliked

Not everyone will enjoy the black-and-red design, but it’s less garish than some other gaming laptops. However, like its rivals, you can’t lug the Toshiba Qosmio X770-107 around on a regular basis. The bulky 3.7kg chassis is difficult to fit in a bag and a pain to drag around on public transport, while the battery life sucks.

Final verdict

If you’re looking for a gaming laptop and are sold by the 3D gimmick, the Qosmio offers everything you could possibly need.

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Review: Patriot Gamer 2 AMD Black Edition

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Review: Patriot Gamer 2 AMD Black Edition

Overview

Memory maestro Patriot has launched the Patriot Gamer 2 AMD Black Edition DDR3 4GB RAM kit specifically aimed at the AMD crowd. With the launch of AMD’s new Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), Llano, RAM is a vital performance component again.

Since the launch of Intel’s Sandy Bridge architecture, there has been a whole raft of memory modules launched claiming to be the ideal support for the new chipset. Indeed, Kingston’s HyperX Plug n Play claimed the same thing, but with, it has to said, a lot more justification than most.

Well now it’s the turn of the thorn in Intel’s side, AMD, to get some memory attention. It’s been a long time coming.

OK, compared to some of the blazingly fast modules that have been launched to support the Sandy Bridge platform, Patriot’s Gamer 2 AMD Black Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) PC3-12800 kit may seem, well, a bit conservative to say the least. At just 1600MHz, it’s a little slow.

But even so, it does make a nice change to see a company giving some component love to AMD. Even if – marketing spiel aside – the memory will work in any modern motherboard, be it made by AMD or Intel.

Benchmarks

Patriot gamer 2 amd black edition

We tested all the Patriot Gamer 2 AMD Black Edition memory in an Asus F1A75-V Pro motherboard using an AMD A6-3650 APU.

Once we finished testing at stock speeds, we gave it a tweak but just using its stock 1.65V voltage setting. A quick adjustment to the bus speed got us to the next step up – 1866MHz. While the system booted up Windows perfectly and ran SiSoft Sandra’s memory bandwidth benchmark without a problem, when we tried to run World in Conflict there were all sorts of issues with the game freezing.

Eventually we got it to boot and run both benchmarks without any problems at 1840MHz, which is still a pretty impressive boost over the stock speeds, especially without having to tinker with any voltages.

Patriot g2 amd black ed benches

Verdict

Patriot gamer 2 amd black edition

It’s been a long time coming but the Patriot Gamer 2 AMD Black Edition and others suggest we should now see AMD platforms getting some dedicated love from memory manufacturers.

That’s mainly thanks to the new Llano platform, with its strong memory performance, and AMD’s 990FX chipset and Bulldozer combo. It’s been a very long time since AMD had a strong enough offering to entice manufacturers into putting its badge on their products.

Hopefully these new platforms will see the end of one of AMD’s annoying platform traits when it comes to overclocking – they used to be quite fussy when it came to memory running at high speeds. So the prospect of getting ultra-fast memory kits designed for AMD platforms is an interesting one.

We liked


You wouldn’t class Patriot’s Gamer 2 AMD Black Edition RAM as a world-beater, especially at its stock 1600MHz speed. That said, it has bags of potential – as we found out during testing.

Thanks to its fairly relaxed 9-9-9-24 latency settings it does overclock very nicely, even at the 1.65V stock voltage. Even though it will reach the next step up from 1600MHz – 1866MHz – we couldn’t get it to run stably while playing the game World in Conflict.

We also liked the fact that the modules are low profile. You may be wondering why that’s of any importance. Well, wait until you get a large third-party CPU cooler, which usually make the first memory slot redundant. Normally it’s impossible to get a stick of memory into the slot because of these coolers, but with the Gamer 2 AMD Black Edition module you stand a fighting chance of actually using the slot.

We disliked


There’s not much to dislike about the Patriot’s Gamer 2 AMD Black Edition. It does what it says on the tin and shows some good overclocking potential. Its stock speed out of the box is a little conservative, however.

Final verdict

It may not be the fastest memory out of the box but it does show plenty of potential for the current Llano platform and the upcoming Bulldozer technology.

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BlackBerry Storm 2, many initiatives and awards for the new Touch Rim

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BlackBerry Storm 2, many initiatives and awards for the new Touch Rim

BlackBerry at the launch of the new Storm 2 has created a nice promotional campaign that will reach the main Italian cities. Well 7 will be the activities of street marketing branded BlackBerry and TIM. It will be fun and a huge box that launches BlackBerry messages in the sky, at 20,000 and still branded soap bubbles, a daily update on all the news of the product, 100,000 cards (Zcard), a new website and finally, a contest prize and the creation of the “Over The Top” on Facebook.

After Bologna and Padua today (March 11), then Naples (March 18), Palermo (19 March), Genoa (24 March), Turin (March 25), Milan (March 29) and Rome (March 31), host BlackBerry Box for one day, with special machines that a particular mechanism will form in heaven, and will throw the words “Tim” and the shape of the BlackBerry (R) Storm2. Three attractive sides of the totem will show all the new technology and multimedia features of the BlackBerry (R) Storm2 (TM), while the fourth side of the totem pole there will be all the information about the new offer TIMxSMARTPHONE that with only € 2.00 a week makes to navigate, to send mail and meet friends on social networks.

During the day, 4 hostesses will run into the streets to passers-by showing the BlackBerry (R) Storm2 (TM) and honored with a branded box of soap bubbles. In addition, you will be given a copy of the newspaper “INCREDIBLE NEWS.” A fun edition that will generate interest and give you all the information about the product and its innovative performance, not to mention the new TIMxSMARTPHONE exclusive price, the steps to access the site, to participate in the competition and become part of the Facebook community.

But not only. The hostesses also distribute special Zcard, to discover the new augmented reality and show a creative and spectacular features of the new BlackBerry (R) Storm2 (TM). If you are not in possession of Zcard you can print the icon from the site and make a virtual journey into the product.

In addition, those who purchase the new BlackBerry (R) Storm2 will have the opportunity to participate in the great contest “Win a trip to the day” in a European capital. The trip will consist of a voucher worth € 500.00 to spend on the portal www.opodo.com.

Anyone who wants further groped luck can do so by subscribing to the group “Over the Top” on Facebook. At the final draw prize winner will have as the famous machine for 4 hours inflammation: can locate where they want and throw the message in the sky winner.

So many initiatives for new entry in the consumer world by BB Rim and its services.

NOVA Gameloft available in Lite version (Video)

The FPS game from Gameloft, NOVA, is now also available in Lite version. Being a free verson you can only play the first levels of the game. We can still see the great graphics and good gameplay that even the most hectic of the game behaves in an optimal manner.

Here is a video showing the game in action.

Nokia wins the award for R & D

The last Nordic / UK Business Awards, Nokia has won the award for Research & Development. Nokia develops, in fact, its nanotecnlogia at its research center in Cambridge.

Finland has always been the home is committed to the development of new concepts and new technologies for their device. In addition to research in the field of hi-tech, Nokia remains a particular concern regarding the environmental impact of its products. The future and the increasing miniaturization definitely associated with nanotechnology will lead to new frontiers and new terminals that are just concepts for now (photo).

An award is therefore important that projects to a future Nokia increasingly open and open source.

Android 2.1 to 150 €, with Vodafone 845 can be

Android seems to be a new arrival with the primavara. The terminal is the Vodafone 845, anonymous enough name for a phone that could have a significant following. It is actually an entry-level Google, Vodafone branded and services including 360 (single operator) with very interesting features:

* Android Eclair 2.1
* Services Vodafone 360
* 3G and HSDPA
* 3.2 megapixel camera
* GPS
* Bluetooth 2.1
* Wi-Fi
* 2.8-inch screen with 240 × 320 pixel technology resolution
* 512mb of internal memory
* Battery 1200 mAh
* Micro SD Expansion

Very interesting features especially when you consider the retail price: 150 €. Currently there are no high-resolution images, but the size will be very similar to the HTC Tattoo. Not defined the amount of RAM even though the presence of Eclair 2.1 since its release bodes well in 256MB. Due out in May.

Steve Jobs, 136esimo place as the world’s richest person

The site has compiled the new Forbes list of richest men in the world. The world number one is the Mexican Carlos Slim Helu, which undermines even the position of Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft.

The “our” Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, came to 136esimo place in the standings. We believe that in 2010, thanks to the success that will most certainly the new Apple products (especially iPad and iPhone 4G), Steve earnings increase enough to enter the top 100 richest people in the world … that if no steps bad anyway …

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A Light business notebook

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With the people’s pace of life increasingly fast,people want to reduce the burden of life.Easepecially the business people,their pressure is even worse,and as the close contacts with business,the notebook vgp-bps9aturn into an indispensable helper for business people.In the past the heavy form do not meet current needs of business people,even becoming a burden for business people.In such cases,under the premise of homogeneity in performance,businesses have started to introduce thin business notebooks.

ASUS U36J notebook vgp-bpl9 is a main light business notebook,which is specially launched from Asus.Although Core Duo I3-380 processor and NVIDIA GT310M alone significantly are the same entry-level hardware configuration,but for business users,they are fully capable of providing adequate performance of office support.And 2GB memory,500GB hard drive and also belong to the mainstream of the current configuration.

Slightly different,the ASUS U36J notebook faded original business class notebook that serious coat layer of rigid,simple replacement of a more professional faces.Around the commercial notebook market now,most of them have adopted a metal body.On the one hand the whole metal body can make the notebookDell Vosr1o 1710 バッテリーlook more rich texture,on the other hand is to make the body more rigid.This ASUS U36j laptop’s also body on the use of magnesium alloy material.

ASUS U36j laptop’s the roof after a soft touch nano coating, while the bottom of the fuselage is a breakthrough to join the glass fiber material.The new shell design,lighter weight magnesium alloy material,high hardness,resistance to stress more hp pavilion dv6000バッテリー features.Nano super anti-fouling coatings,anti-corrosion and anti-radiation capabilities,as well as high tensile strength of glass fiber material,the advantages of heat shock resistance to high humidity combined together to create a light and a more robust model.

As located in the commercial,ASUS U36J laptop’s appearance is not very bright.The body’s design is simple and clear,providing products from the official figure,only two colors,a silver line of products can be used by men and women,and the black lines that are suitable for older users to buy.ASUS U36J notebook’s vgp-bps9a/bscreen axis damping force of the control is very good,the user can easily open the screen with one hand.

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