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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Logitech Laptop Speaker Z305

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 Logitech Laptop Speaker Z305

Many laptops are plagued with speakers that can only produce tinny and unsatisfactory sounds. Many of us use our laptops to watch and listen to media – either stuff we’ve downloaded, ripped or streamed from services such as BBC iPlayer – so having under-powered speakers can leave a lot to be desired.

The Logitech Laptop Speaker Z305 is a simple solution that plugs into a USB port and can be hooked on to the back of your laptop. The resulting audio quality is very good, and a huge improvement on most laptop speakers. The sounds are rich and full, and increase the output volume over what you’d usually achieve from laptop speakers.

The speakers are powered by USB, so there’s no need for extra batteries.

Verdict

While the design won’t win any awards, the speaker doesn’t look bad, and the ability to hook them onto the back of a laptop is a nice touch. The speaker is thin and easy to carry around as well. On the packaging it claims the design helps to achieve “360 sound”, which means you can hear them wherever you stand in a room.

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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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GDesk, iPhone theme for Symbian 5th Edition

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GDesk, iPhone theme for Symbian 5th Edition

Increase the collection of GDesk Themes: Today we announce a theme based on the interface of the iPhone. We can say that the theme is very basic, as happens on the phone to Apple (at least up to firmware 3), but very fast in its use.

Crazy Goblins: World War II, arriving in a beautiful third-person Shooter Game

TouchArcade shows the first images of what will be a new third-person shooter game., Diasponibile soon in the App Store. The game is called Crazy Goblins: World War II. The developers who are creating have indicated that the work is still being improved and that soon it will offer its first video-game.

Even in terms of graphics the game looks well built, although the certainty is given by the video that will follow in the coming days. The game should still be available for next month.

We will keep you informed on this new titoloo, showing the possible future Screenshots and videos will be released. For now, no information on the weapons, missions and purpose of the game. We look forward to.

Poll: Improve Android updates? And if they were paid?

It is useless to deny it, revealing a certain discontent common regardless of whether it is Samsung, HTC, Acer, Sony Ericsson and other manufacturers, with respect to the Android software updates.

On the one hand there are the manufacturers: to develop a product, create the hardware, optimized the Android software, and especially change the interface specific UI is definitely a job for a week. The times are much longer than one interface is more complex and diverse. Continuously updates released by Google certainly does not help to keep up and also all the manufacturers need to think about different phones and not to a single device at the same time.

There are other users: who spends 400/500 € for a phone you expect, with good reason, to receive a long-lasting support, a series of updates that improve the software features and a clear transparent and sincere on the part communications company. In addition, the customer expects to receive updates for distribution terminals that are not too old and can accommodate a “major update” with the hardware Inventory report. The customer expects spending 400/500 € a life cycle of the phone at least 18/24 months.

This unfortunately seems to happen and the reasons are many and as always linked to the economic factor.

But how could we find a meeting point between the interests of the houses and those of users?

Copy the way Apple could be a very clever solution by releasing the “major update” for a fee. This would mean that, if a phone comes out with Android 2.1, and is updated while keeping the same version, the update will be released without charge. If, however, after months, is updated to a higher version, say Android 2.2, this can be paid aggironameto (5 / 10 € for example).

In practice, if we take a Hero released in late September with Cupcake 1.5, this nine months after receiving the update 2.1. This update may be issued to pay, perhaps to 9 €. With this system, the houses could recover the money “spent on” development and might be encouraged to release the first update.

By applying this methodology in a larger scale, an update released Android 2.2 to a Hero maybe in November or December at an extra charge, increase the life of the phone and do not abandon to its fate after a few months.

An optical simplistic and does not take into account other factors, and perhaps more specific regulation, but, assuming remaining generalist.

Steve Jobs WWDC 2010 focused on the iPhone OS

In a little less than a month will see Apple’s most anticipated event: the presentation of new-generation iPhone. Together, the iPhone will be released the final version of the new firmware 4.0. During the WWDC, Apple will be rewarded by the best applications for iPhone and Mac, but this year’s Design Awards, or the award of the Application, will be exclusively dedicated to the iPhone OS, leaving the Mac

Many developers who create their own app for the Mac have felt saddened by this decision, to the point that Gansrigler Matthias, Flickery maker, has decided to send an email to Steve Jobs to know the reasons for this choice.

In the email, Matthias wonders why Apple has put aside the Design Awards for Mac developers and if there are hopes for the future.

Steve’s answer, strangely than usual argued:

We are focusing primarily (but not exclusively) on iPhone OS this year. Maybe next year we will focus mainly on Mac Just as is the normal cycle of things. No hidden meaning in everything.

Coming straight to the point, Steve admits that this year the work dedicated to the iPhone OS are really the most important. With the launch of the iPad and the imminent launch of the new iPhone, even within the resources of Cupertino are working on mainly two mobile devices.

So expect great things from this new OS for the time being only the third beta.

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Review: Dell XPS 14z

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Review: Dell XPS 14z

Overview

We first checked out Dell’s XPS 14z at IFA, a slightly dinkier version of its excellent XPS 15z laptop. The XPS 14z hits stores today and we’ve already spent a few days snuggling up and getting to know it.

While a 14-inch version of a 15-inch laptop might seem a little pointless, we were impressed by how slim and light the XPS 14z turned out. With its 23mm build and 2kg weight, it more closely resembles a 13-inch portable. The XPS 15z wasn’t exactly a chubster, but commuters will want to consider this laptop first.

The slender body may seem less impressive compared to the upcoming slew of ultrabooks, including the ridiculously skinny Asus Zenbook which is just 9mm thick. However, we had no problem slipping the XPS 14z into our backpack and carrying it around all weekend.

In terms of design, almost nothing except the size has been changed from the XPS 15z. You get the same beautiful brushed metal finish, which feels as solid as it looks – we pushed and prodded every inch and found no worrying weak spots. Even the paper-thin aluminium lid is firm enough to take a pounding, so you won’t need to pad your bag with bubblewrap.

An isolation-style keyboard fills the centre of the XPS 14z’s chassis, bordered at both sides by the built-in speakers. We love the curved design of the keys, which gives them a futuristic appearance. They’re firmly set and comfortable to type on, while typos are a rarity thanks to the gaps between each key.

Dell xps 14z

The board is surprisingly well-sized too, despite not stretching the width of the laptop. The tiny arrow keys are the only casualty. As with the XPS 15z, the board is backlit for late-night sessions, and Dell also touts it as ‘spill-resistant’. However, we didn’t have the guts to assault it with a bottle of Evian.

We also liked the spacious touchpad, which thankfully avoids the irritating integrated mouse buttons you find on many compact laptops. Instead, the XPS 14z has two dedicated buttons underneath. The pad also supports multi-touch gesturing, as is the norm.

Our only issues with the design are the stiff lid hinges, which to be fair at least keeps the screen still when you’re on rocky public transport. The screen only tilts 45 degrees back from vertical, so finding a comfortable viewing angle can be tricky when the XPS 14z is resting on your lap.

Specifications

Dell xps 14z

The Dell XPS 15z was a perfect way to enjoy HD movies on the go, thanks to its 1080p screen. The dinkier XPS 14z display isn’t quite as sharp, featuring a standard 1366 x 768-pixel resolution, but video still looks pleasingly crisp.

Images are also colourfully reproduced, but we were disappointed by the brightness levels – even with the settings turned to maximum, the XPS 14z’s screen isn’t as bright as the 15z’s. Viewing angles are also merely acceptable. However, the edge-to-edge glass gives the display a classy appearance which complements the slick design.

The built-in speakers are once again powerful enough to fill a small room. Sound is a little tinny on top volume, so audiophiles will want to hook up an external pair, but if all you need is a little background music you won’t be disappointed.

Regular travelers will want a sizeable hard drive for carrying their entire media collection around, and the XPS 14z doesn’t disappoint, packing in 500GB of storage. The drive spins at 7200rpm, faster than the standard 5400rpm, so software loads quickly and movies stream perfectly.

A 7-in-1 memory card slot can be used to boost storage space further, or access your holiday snaps on the move. The slender body also houses a slot-loading optical drive, so you can watch DVDs and install games from disc. Quite a few compact laptops skip on the DVD drive, so it’s good to see Dell cram one into the XPS 14z.

Other features are limited to a 1.3MP webcam for chatting with friends and family. We were surprised by the lack of ports, with only two USB connections available (one of them USB 3.0). Thankfully you get HDMI and Mini DisplayPort connections for hooking up a television, monitor or projector, but that’s your lot.

Networking is standard, with 802.11n and Gigabit Ethernet available for getting online. You also have Bluetooth 3.0 support for transferring files with mobile phones and hooking up headsets.

Performance

Dell xps 14z

The Dell XPS 14z comes in two Intel Sandy Bridge flavours: Core i5 and Core i7. We tested the Core i5 2430M version which performed typically well in our benchmarking tests. This powerful CPU is backed up by 6GB of memory, and even with bucketloads of programs running at once, we saw no slowdown.

Our model also packed an Nvidia GeForce GT 525M graphics card for gaming and running multimedia applications. This card is getting on a bit and we were disappointed by the stilted performance during testing. Recent games will stutter, unless you turn detail levels down to low or medium – you’re better off sticking with older titles.

If you want to play the latest games, we’d recommend boosting your budget and looking at a gaming machine such as the MSI GT680 or Alienware M11x instead. The Alienware M11x is a similar weight although a lot chunkier, but more than makes up for it with fantastic all-round performance.

Although you can’t smash up terrorists in high detail, you can easily run video-editing software and other multimedia applications. HD movies play perfectly too. And despite featuring some powerful components stuffed into a slender chassis, the XPS 14z remains cool and quiet at almost all times. Only when we inserted a DVD did it make any real noise.

We were also impressed by the excellent battery life, something the XPS 14z has in common with its elder brother. Usually Sandy Bridge laptops are defeated by the ruthless Battery Eater test in under three hours, but this portable played HD video on a loop for 200 minutes before finally submitting. This is almost as good as the XPS 15z’s four hour longevity, and beats most other multimedia laptops we’ve seen lately.

TechRadar Labs

tech labs

Cinebench 10: 9769
3D Mark ’06: 5345
Battery Eater ’05: 200 mins

Verdict

When we first heard that a 14-inch version of the XPS 15z was in the workings, we were intrigued and excited, but also curious at how much difference an inch would make.

We Liked

As it turned out, that inch makes a considerable difference. The XPS 14z is surprisingly slender compared to its elder sibling, and a good chunk lighter too at just 2kg. The same slick brushed metal design is in place, and is just as drool-worthy, while the edge-to-edge glass of the display is a classy touch.

Build quality is also just as strong. There’s nary a weak spot, from the solid chassis to the ridiculously thin aluminium lid, while the isolation-style keyboard is a pleasure to type on.

Movie and music fans also have plenty to enjoy. The XPS 14z’s 500GB hard drive gives you plenty of space for a large media collection, and spins fast to keep things streaming smoothly. The 14-inch screen is colourful and crisp, while the speakers are better than most we hear.

Performance is good enough to run the latest multimedia software, and the Intel Core i5 Sandy Bridge processor won’t be out of date any time soon. Yet despite these powerful components, we still managed well over three hours of intensive use before the battery died.

We Disliked

Unfortunately, some sacrifices have been made in slimming down the mighty XPS 15z. The screen only tilts back 45 degrees on its stiff hinges, and the Full HD 1080p resolution has been lost. We were also disappointed by how dim it was, even on the highest settings.

There’s obviously less space for ports, especially as Dell has crammed in a slot-loading optical drive, but the two USB ports seem a little stingy. Peripherals fans will want to invest in a USB hub.

The XPS 14z is also less graphically capable than its bigger brother, and we found the latest games were stuttery affairs unless we turned detail settings right down. Gamers should look elsewhere for their fix.

Verdict

The XPS 14z is a more compact ultraportable version of one of the best laptops of 2011. While it isn’t quite as technically impressive, it’s still an excellent machine that can keep you entertained and productive on the move.

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Review: MSI GT680

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Review: MSI GT680

The MSI GT680 is exactly what you want from a gaming machine. Raw power, great speakers and a chassis that looks like it began life as an X-Files prop.

The limited battery life and flimsy keyboard mean you won’t want to use this as a work machine but it’s excellent value for gaming.

Beginning with the design, the MSI GT680 continues the gaming laptop trend of aggressive styling, plenty of bulk and blinking LEDs. The black plastic chassis isn’t going for subtlety and the large speaker grilles next to the screen hinges are immediately noticeable. As is the chrome border around the touchpad and the banks of orange LEDs edging the screen and palm rest.

Unfortunately, while the LEDs look cool, they aren’t particularly bright and are easily forgotten when using the laptop in any brightly-lit environment.

The build quality doesn’t extend to the keyboard, which flexes horrendously. It looks nice, and there is plenty of space for typing, but it feels flimsy when working for any length of time.

The 15.6-inch screen is smaller than some of the other gaming and multimedia laptops we’ve seen, but this does mean you can fit the MSI into conventional laptop bags for some mobile gaming. At least, this would be the case if it didn’t weigh 3.5kg and have a battery life of 122 minutes.

The screen has a Super-TFT coating that adds plenty of colour and depth to games and movies. However, it isn’t nearly as bright as some machines we’ve reviewed, such as the Dell Latitude XFR.

The sound, meanwhile, took full advantage of the Dynaudio speakers and filled the room with gunshots, screeching tyres and the anguished cries of wounded henchmen.

Top specifications

Inside the MSI GT680 are some very impressive components. The Sandy Bridge Intel CPU is a top-spec Core i7 2630QM and the 8GB of RAM is twice as much as we’re used to.

Unsurprisingly the dedicated graphic card is one of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 460M models and capable of running the latest games on their highest detail settings without affecting the frame rate.

TechRadar Labs

tech labs

Battery Eater ’05: 122 minutes
Cinebench: 17212
3DMark 2006: 13936

MSI has included plenty of connectivity and the GT680 boasts two USB 3.0 ports for faster connections to external drives and peripherals. Elsewhere there are two regular USB ports, HDMI and VGA slots for external monitors, an eSata port and a Gigabit Ethernet connection if you don’t fancy using the 802.11n Wi-Fi to connect to the internet. We’re also pleased to see a Blu-ray drive included as standard.

In most cases, we can recommend gaming laptops because their superior spec means they are suited to almost any task. Not in this case. If you’re a gamer, we’d suggest the MSI because of the way it looks and the excellent performance from that Intel Core i7 processor. If you’re not a gamer the irritating keyboard and mediocre battery life all count against the MSI as an all-rounder.

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Special USB Memory

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USB flash disc with lighter in an elegant design. Allows you to easily transfer and
carry important data on you at any time. Thanks to fast USB 2.0 bus, it provides
recording at up to 7.5 Mbs. It can also be connected during operation and the
majority of the new operating systems do not require drivers.

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