Samsung 200B5A

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 Samsung 200B5A

Samsung has a great reputation for top-quality machines at great prices. The 200B5A adds to the list and is a usable and powerful business laptop let down only slightly by limited graphics.

While the staid, black chassis won’t win any awards for design, it provides a neutral look to suit all tastes. The hard-wearing plastics and firm panels provide a sturdy feel and the whole machine feels extremely well put together.

The thick screen panel is also extremely firm and Samsung claims it will withstand up to 500kg of pressure. As with all but the Alienware M11x, this is not a laptop built with portability in mind. At 2.5kg it is quite a heavy machine and you won’t want to use it as your main laptop if you travel a lot. This is backed up by a 136-minute battery life that provides only basic mobility.

The excellent user interface is a pleasure to work with and this is a great machine to use for extended periods. While the spill-resistant keyboard shuns the use of an isolated design, the firm keys, comfortable typing action and smooth movement ensure the board is quiet, accurate and responsive.

The touchpad is slightly less reactive and feels sluggish at first. Once you increase the pointer speed in Windows 7, though, it feels a bit sharper. The mouse buttons, on the other hand, are excellent. They are easy to access when working at speed and respond well, no matter how hard or soft you press them.

Another strength is the Samsung’s great screen. The 15.6-inch panel uses a glossy coating to improve colour and contrast, but it is the least reflective example we’ve seen. Whether working in direct sunlight or under harsh lighting, you can always see the screen clearly, with images rendered sharply and brightly.

Capable performance

The Samsung’s Intel Celeron P4600 processor means that it is outperformed by its Intel Core-powered rivals, but the difference is not as vast as expected. At no time did we see any notable slowdown and the Samsung runs quickly and efficiently at all times.

Graphics performance is where things fall down slightly. While not nearly as limited as the Toshiba Satellite Pro C660-1UX, the integrated Intel graphics card is very underpowered and won’t suit gaming or media editing. There is enough power for enjoying your photos and videos, however, which is sure to suit most people’s needs.

TechRadar Labs

tech labs

Battery Eater ’05: 136 minutes
Cinebench: 5209
3DMark 2006: 1237

Samsung 200b5a

In terms of storage, the Samsung is capable, if unexceptional. The 320GB hard drive will hold large collections of music, photos and videos, but is bettered by the Acer Aspire 5943G, Advent Monza E1 and Lenovo B570. Most users will be more than satisfied with the storage on offer, though, and the anti-shock drive protects against damage if the laptop is dropped.

You can also back up your files to DVD and CD using the built-in DVD rewriter, making it easy to create movie, music and photo discs. A seven-in-one card reader is also in place and offers broad media card compatibility, letting you share files with a wide range of the most popular multimedia card formats.

While the B200B5A is not the most stylish or powerful laptop, its resilience, great screen visibility and strong usability make it an easy laptop to like. If you need a tough and capable machine that will stand up to years of demanding daily use, then this is certainly a great choice.

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Review: Acer Aspire 5830T

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Review: Acer Aspire 5830T

Although billed as a business laptop, Acer’s Aspire 5830T also suits as a family laptop, or simply an entertainment machine.

One of Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge processors runs the show, and is comfortably powerful enough to handle various applications at the same time. We played with complex editing software, surfed the web and enjoyed some 1980s pop music, all at once, with no slowdown.

The lack of a dedicated GPU means you won’t be able to play the latest games but you can play around with photos and even our home movies using software such as Adobe Photoshop Elements and Corel VideoStudio Pro, while high-definition movies play smoothly and look fantastic. The built-in speakers do a surprisingly decent job, too.

The 15.6-inch widescreen display is great for both work and play. It’s reasonably bright and pleasingly vibrant, which brings your photos and videos to life. The only downside is the glossy Super-TFT finish, which is highly reflective.

Still, if you plan on taking this laptop out and about, you won’t have too much trouble packing its slender chassis into a bag. At 2.5kg, it’s also light enough to carry around without cracking your spine.

We did notice some flex around the edges, but the lid is solid enough to protect the laptop on the move. You can work on battery power for four to five hours if you limit yourself to basic office tasks, but battery life drops to just under three hours when watching a movie.

TechRadar Labs

tech labs

Battery Eater ’05: 165 minutes
Cinebench: 7464
3DMark 2006: 4176

Comfortable keyboard

Typists are well served by the isolation-style keyboard, with keys poking out through individual holes to separate them out. This is great news for touch-typists, as you’re less likely to hit the wrong key by mistake. With the exception of the dinky arrow keys, the board is well sized and even finds room for a separate numeric keypad.

The touchpad is a little too compact, but is smooth, responsive and the touch-sensitive scrollbar is useful for jumping through documents and web pages.

A generous 640GB hard drive gives you plenty of space for carrying your files and software, as well as a huge media collection. You can store hundreds of thousands of songs and photos, or hundreds of full-length movies.

For a business laptop there are surprisingly few other features. Four USB ports can be used to connect peripherals, including a speedy USB 3.0 port that can charge portable devices even when the laptop is hibernating. You also have VGA and HDMI ports for attaching a monitor or projector, for presentations or showing off your pics and movies.

While the Aspire 5830T offers nothing remarkable compared to other mid-price professional laptops, it also has very few flaws to speak of. If you need a machine to keep you productive and entertained on the go, there are much worse options.

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Dell Announces 2011 Business Laptop Lineup

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Dell has announced its 2011 business PC lineup, including new laptops, tablets and mobile workstations.

The refreshed Dell Latitude line includes the Latitude E5420 and E5520 notebooks for budget-minded customers, the business-rugged Latitude E6520, E6420, E6320, E6220, and E6420 ATG laptops, all with MIL-STD tested Tri-Metal cases and durable displays, and the Latitude XT3 convertible tablet.

The systems have new chassis designs and are based on 2nd Generation Intel Core processors.

Dell says that details on the upcoming Precision M6600 and M4600 mobile workstations will be available in the coming months and that the company also plans to launch a 10-inch Windows 7 business tablet later this year.

The Dell Latitude E5000 series will start at $859. Availability info and pricing for other systems will be released in the coming weeks.

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Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 11 Business Ultraportable Announced

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Lenovo has expanded its ThinkPad Edge laptop family for small businesses with the 11.6-inch ThinkPad Edge 11.

The 1.1-inch thin Edge 11 starts at less than three pounds. It’s now the smallest and lightest ThinkPad Edge model and offers the choice of Intel Core/Pentium or AMD Vision Pro Athlon ultra low voltage processors, and a battery life of up to seven hours.

Lenovo’s new laptop provides Wi-Fi and optional 3G or 4G/WiMAX connectivity, and has a contemporary style spill-proof keyboard, webcam, three USB ports, an HDMI port, and a 4-in-1 media card reader.

The ThinkPad Edge 11 runs Windows 7 OS and comes in three color choices: Midnight Black Glossy, Midnight Black Smooth and Heatwave Red Glossy.

The notebook is available immediately through business partners and starts at $449, according to Lenovo.

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Samsung Launches P80 Premium, P30 Essential Laptops, NB30 Pro Netbook

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Samsung has announced the P80 Premium (P480, P580) and P30 Essential (P430, P530) series laptops, and NB30 Pro netbook, all designed for business users.

The 14-inch P480 and 15.6-inch P580 feature the Intel Core i5-430M processor, Intel GMA HD integrated graphics, up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, up to 320GB of hard disk capacity, 1366×768 LED-backlit displays, a 0.3MP web camera, integrated microphone, stereo speakers, 802.11n WiFi, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, and Windows 7 Professional operating system.

The 4.9-pound P480 and 5.5-pound P580 will be available late May for a price of $999.

Samsung’s 14-inch P430 and 15-inch P530 are lower-end models and feature the Intel Core i3-330M processor, Intel HD integrated GPU, up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM, up to 250GB HDD, 1366×768 LED-backlit screens, a 0.3MP web camera, 802.11n WiFi, Ethernet LAN, and Windows 7 Pro.

Weighing 4.9 and 5.5 pounds, respectively, the P30 P430 and P530 Essential series laptops will start shipping in late May for $849.

The 10.1-inch Samsung NB30 Pro netbook, a business version of the regular NB30 model, includes the Intel Atom N450 processor, Intel GMA3150 integrated graphics, up to 2GB of DDR2 memory, up to 160GB of hard disk space, 1024×600 display, 0.3MP web camera, stereo speakers, 802.11n wireless, Ethernet LAN, three USB ports, up to 6.5 hours of battery life, and Windows 7 Professional operating system.

The 2.73-pound NB30 Pro will be also available in late May for a price of $519.

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First Tablet for Mobile Collaboration

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Cisco has unveiled Cisco Cius, a “first-of-its-kind” business tablet designed for mobile collaboration.

The 1.15-pound Cius has a 7-inch display and Android operating system. The device delivers virtual desktop integration with access to the full range of Cisco collaboration and communication applications, including HD video.

Cisco’s Cius features an Intel Atom 1.6GHz processor, 32GB of flash memory, an 8-hour detachable battery, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3G/4G mobile broadband, Gigabit LAN, Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity, a front-mounted 720p 30fps HD camera, and a 5-megapixel rear facing camera.

Optionally, customers can get an optional HD audio docking station with a telephone handset speakerphone, DisplayPort and USB ports.

General availability of the Cius is expected in the first quarter of 2011.

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HP ProBook 4425s Business Laptop

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The HP ProBook 4425s 14-inch business laptop based on the new 2010 AMD Mainstream Notebook Platform is now available for purchase.

The ProBook 4425s comes with the AMD Phenom II Quad-Core P920 processor at 1.6GHz, Turion II Dual-Core P520 2.3GHz, or Athlon II Dual-Core P320 2.1GHz CPU, ATI Radeon HD 4250 integrated graphics, up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, up to 500GB of hard disk space, and a DVD burner.

Its LED-backlit anti-glare or optionally glossy display has a resolution of 1366×768-pixels.

HP’s new laptop also includes an integrated 2MP web camera, stereo speakers, a microphone, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth, Gigabit LAN, three USB ports, an eSATA/USB port, an ExpressCard slot, a media card reader, VGA and HDMI outputs, a spill-resistant keyboard, and a multi-touch trackpad.

The HP ProBook 4425s with the standard 6-cell battery starts at 4.71 pounds without the optical drive, or 5 pounds with ODD.

Operating system choices include Windows 7 (Professional, Home, and Starter), Vista and SUSE Linux Enterprise 11.

The ProBook 4425s is available via THE HP official site for the starting price of $619.

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Dell Latitude 13 Business Ultraportable Announced

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Dell announced today the Latitude 13 business ultraportable, “the world’s thinnest 13-inch commercial client laptop”.

The Dell Latitude 13 features various corporate-class technologies, such as remote manageability, desktop virtualization through certification from Citrix and VMware, full disk encryption, and Trusted Platform Module (TPM), as well as Dell ImageDirect service which “lets IT create, update and deploy system images 24/7 from a secure online location.”

Dell’s laptop supports mobile broadband connectivity and 802.11g/n WiFi, and features optional solid state drives, optional external Blu-ray drive, and built-in webcam and microphone.

Dell also announced addition of the Intel Core i5 and i7 dual-core processors to the Precision M6500 17″ mobile workstation. The M6500 is currently available with the quad-core Core i7 CPUs.

The Latitude 13 and the dual-core Precision M6500 will be available for order in the coming weeks, the PC maker says.

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Dell Vostro 1014 & 1015 Laptops

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Laptop Vostro 1014-1015

Dell has released the 14-inch Vostro 1014 and and the 15.6″ Vostro 1015, the new affordable laptops for business users.

The notebooks include 1280×720 anti-glare LED backlight displays, Intel’s Core 2 Duo or Celeron processors, the Intel GMA 4500MHD integrated graphics, up to 4GB of DDR2 RAM, up to 320GB of hard drive space, a DVD burner, a 6-cell battery, optional 2MP web camera, a single speaker, 802.11b/g WiFi, Ethernet LAN, and 56k modem connections, four USB ports, an ExpressCard/34 slot, a 5-in-1 card reader, a VGA output, and a Firewire port.

The Vostro 1014 and 1015 come with Windows Vista or Windows 7 pre-installed and start at $429 at dell.com.

Back in August, Dell has also announced the Vostro 1088 with the 14″ display and the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 512MB video card. However, the notebook is not available yet.

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Lenovo ThinkPad SL410

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The Lenovo ThinkPad SL410 is a new affordable 14-inch notebook for small and medium business customers.

The laptop comes with the Intel Celeron or Intel Core 2 Duo processor, the Intel GMA 4500MHD or 4500M integrated graphics, up to 4GB of DDR3 system memory, up to 320GB of hard drive space, a DVD burner, and a 6-cell 4-hour battery. The 14.0″ glossy or anti-glare LED backlight display has a resolution of 1366×768 pixels.

Lenovo’s ThinkPad SL410 has an integrated 2MP web camera and dual microphones, 802.11n WiFi, optional WiMAX and Bluetooth, optionally built-in AT&T mobile broadband connection, an Ethernet LAN port, optional fingerprint reader, three USB ports and one eSATA/USB combo port, an ExpressCard/34 slot, a 7-in-1media card reader, and HDMI and VGA outputs.

With the 6-cell battery, the SL410 starts at 5.1 lbs and runs Windows 7 OS.

The laptop is available now for a starting price of $499 at Lenovo’s website.

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