Monthly Archives: February 2012

Lenovo B570-1068AJU Review- Intel Pentium B950 Processor

Model B570-1068AJU is Lenovo’s latest addition to the computer market and is intended for students and home users. Being a budget laptop, the build is not very attractive but it is sturdy. Lenovo B570-1068AJU belongs to the family of laptops with standard 15.6” screen size. At the time of publishing this article, it is available at $300, at Best Buy.  Besides being affordable, consumer will get a 0.3 megapixel webcam and HDMI output, either of which is generally not found, in laptops or notebooks, within this price range. However, 3GB memory is not considered enough for a Windows 7 home premium based laptop, if you intend to do lots of multitasking or memory intensive tasks. Available memory with the laptop can be considered good for web browsing and processing office documents, though.

The silver gray Lenovo B570-1068AJU is integrated with Intel Pentium B950 dual core processor, which is step up of earlier released Pentium B940 processor. The only difference between these processors is the operating frequency. Intel Pentium B950 operates with slightly greater frequency; it works with 2.1GHz while B940 operates with 2GHz, other specs remain more or less the same between the two processors. Like B940, Pentium B950 also comprises of 2MB of cache. The processor is good enough for day to day computing, including light gaming and photo editing.

Like any other Sandy Bridge processor, Intel Pentium B950 processor package also comprises of Intel HD 3000 graphics, which rests on the same die. The graphics is better than earlier Intel integrated HD graphics and delivers crisp pictures. You can watch high definition videos, up to 720p, on Lenovo B570-1068AJU. HDMI output available with the laptop helps in transferring images and videos, to external HD monitors on HDTV. Consumers can watch videos or photos in full HD, if their HDTV or monitor supports this feature. When it comes to gaming, neither the processor nor the graphics, supports extreme gaming. Also, amount of memory is too low for such gaming. Low end games and old games can be played in this laptop, under controlled settings. For instance, users can play world of warcraft, Sims 2 etc. in low to medium details and settings.

Model B570-1068AJU offers 3GB DDR3 memory and 320GB hard drive. However, users can upgrade memory up to 8GB. The 15.6” screen features LED backlit HD display with 1366 by 768 pixels resolution.

Besides HDMI output, Lenovo B570-1068AJU provides  4 USB 2.0 ports, VGA output,  Audio output and RJ-45, which helps setting up external devices like printers. Other notable features available with the laptop are 6-in-1 media card reader and DVD burner.

Communication features integrated with Lenovo’s model B570-1068AJU laptop enables user to log onto the internet in different ways. There is support for 802.11 b/g/n wi-fi and Gigabit LAN. However, no Bluetooth support is available.

It also comes with finger print reader, which is also generally missing in budget laptops. The Chiclet style keyboard helps in easy typing.

At $300, B570-1068AJU does offer a lot to students and home users, even with its short comings on the memory part.

Motorola ATRIX front view

Motorola ATRIX 4G Review

Motorola ATRIX4G – The future of smartphones

Motorola and AT&T’s joint innovation, Motorola ATRIX 4G, unveiled at CES 2011, got rave reviews and  went on to bag 10 awards. Dubbed as the most powerful smartphone in the world, ATRIX 4G, is truly a product of the future.  Motorola Press release highlights the uniqueness of ATRIX 4G with following words, “The world’s most powerful smartphone packs the power and capabilities of a PC in your pocket through Motorola’s revolutionary webtop”.

Let’s have a closure look at the features of ATRIX 4G.

Look wise Motorola ATRIX is thin and stylish and is made of smooth black plastic with a fade pattern on the back panel. This Candy bar form factor Android smartphone is just 2.5 × 4.6 × 0.4 inches and weighs 4.8 ounces.  Its 4 inch display screen produces sharp picture at a resolution of 960X540 pixels. It can be placed next only to Apple’s 960X640 Retina Display on the iPhone 4. ATRIX 4G provides a biometric fingerprint reader, as an extra layer of security, which can be used to unlock the phone instead of providing passcode.

At the core of Motorola ATRIX 4G is Android 2.2 Froyo running on Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, a dual core processor (ARM Cortex-A9 cores) with each core running at 1 GHz, capable of delivering up to two GHz of processing power and 1GB of RAM. This in itself makes ATRIX 4G a powerhouse.  Motorola has plans to update the phone to Android 2.3. It also boasts of world’s first qHD display for a smartphone.  ATRIX 4G sports bright and crisp screen with 4.0 inch qHD display having 24-bit color graphics, making indoors and outdoors reading equally comfortable.

Motorola ATRIX supports HD video capture and replay for most multimedia standards. This means you can make your own video in High Definition and watch it either on a desktop or a HD Television.  Storage is not an issue as the phone comes with a 16GB internal memory and provides the option to add MicroSD card upto 32GB. It comes with two cameras, a 5MP camera at the back and a VGA camera at the front for video chat.

ATRIX 4G provides 9 hours of talk time with its 1930 mAH lithium cell battery pack.

Laptop dock

What makes ATRIX 4G stand apart from the rest of the crowd is Motorola’s proprietary webtop application and two accessory docks. The webtop application, a customized build of Linux over Android, enables users to run multiple tasks without interruption such as running Android application, browsing websites on a full Firefox browser, making phone calls and sending instant messages.

The Motorola Laptop dock comes with 11.6 inch screen and fully functional keyboard. It has its own three-cell battery pack and can deliver up to 8 hours of battery life. All you need to do, to bring your ATRIX 4G to life, is to dock it into the back of Laptop Dock.  Now experience the power of true mobility with an active machine hooked on to internet.

The other companion dock for ATRIX 4G, Motorola HD Multimedia Dock, comes with three USB ports and one HDMI port. You can easily connect a mouse, a keyboard, multimedia speakers and HDMI compatible monitor or an HD television to the multimedia Dock.

Motorola ATRIX 4G is supposed to operate on AT&T’s HSPA+ network.  However, AT&T still hasn’t officially launched the new network, so it is difficult to accurately evaluate the Smartphone’s speed. Currently Motorola ATRIX will connect to HSPA+ network, but may not give 4G speeds until its official launch.

With such revolutionary concepts turned into reality, the Motorola ATRIX 4G shows us what the future of mobile computing could be in coming years. There might be some bugs along the way which need to be dealt with, before we can actually enjoy the fruits of such an innovation. On the downside, a price tag of around $500, for both the phone and the laptop dock, makes ATRIX 4G slightly overpriced.

Intel Core i5-2430M Processor Review-2.4GHz frequecy

Intel Core i5-2430M is latest addition to Intel’s Core i5 Sandy Bridge mobile processors. It is a worthy successor to its previous model, Intel core i5-2410M.  Besides clock speed and implementation of AES, there are no significant differences between these two processors. Both belong to Sandy Bridge Core i5 family and are intended for mid-level notebooks and laptops.  Core i5-2430M was launched at Q4 2011, much later than i5-2410M. Here are more details about the processor –

Intel i5-2430M is a dual core processor and operates with 2.4GHz frequency. Due to the presence of Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, the frequency can boost up to 3.0GHz. However, overclocking depends on number of factors which are as follows-

As per Intel, the Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 is triggered when the Operating System needs the highest processor performance and depends on following factors :

  • Number of active cores
  • Estimated usage of current
  • Estimated usage of  power
  • Temperature of the processor

If the processor is working below these limits and applications demand additional performance, then the frequency of the processor will rises up dynamically to maximum limit.

Intel core i5-2430M also comes with Hyper Threading technology, which enables each core to run two threads simultaneously.

3MB of smart cache is associated with the processor .The cache memory can be shared by both, processor cores and graphics. We have also seen 3MB of smart cache in 1st generation of processors, but in that case, graphics was not able to share cache memory.  The instruction set is 64 bit and it fits into PPGA988 socket. Maximum TDP of the processor is 35 watt.

Core i5-2430M is fabricated with 32nm technology and the processor die itself houses graphics, so graphics is also fabricated with 32nm. The graphics is known as Intel HD 3000 graphics, which operates with 650MHz frequency, and can Turbo Boost up to 1.2GHz. The graphics supports HDMI, DVI and dual display and it is capable of decoding HD videos. The graphics can be comparable with any entry level dedicated graphics.

Intel core i5-2430M also comes with integrated dual channel memory controller. It supports a maximum of 16GB memory. It supports DDR3-1066 and DDR3-1333 memory speed grade. It connects with other chipsets through DMI which transfer data of 5GT/s

Intel core i5-2430M is incorporated with advanced technologies like Virtualization and AES New instruction. AES New instruction comprises of seven new instructions. This works faster and provides affordable data protection with enhanced security. It makes ubiquitous encryption possible in areas where it was earlier unachievable. It makes your data safe from malicious attacks. However, Intel Core i5-2410M is devoid of AES new instruction.

Benchmark:-

The passmark score for core i3-2430M is 3304, at the time of publishing the article. Windows 7 experience index is 4.5 ( user given ).

HP ProBook 4530s XU074UT Review

When it comes to professional notebooks from HP, the first name that comes to mind is HP Probook. HP Probook notebook or laptops are now available with Sandy bridge processor and come with loads of other feature as well. The model is named as HP Probook 4530s. This sturdy piece of engineering comes with metallic grey outfit with brushed aluminum finish. The model comes with different specs, from low end to high end Sandy Bridge processor (core i3- i7 ). However, if you don’t need to execute high end tasks then you can look for HP ProBook 4530s XU074UT which is available at a pretty affordable price of $480 at circuitcity, at the time of writing this review. However, original price of the notebook is more than $600.

HP ProBook 4530s XU074UT specifications and verdicts

HP 4530s XU074UT Probook is equipped with Intel core i3-2310M Sandy Bridge processor which is a dual core processor and boasts of an impressive 3MB dynamically shared cache. Similar to earlier core i3 M series Arrandale processor, it is a dual core processor with integrated DDR3 memory controller, DMI on the processor and supports hyperthreading technology. One distinct feature which distinguishes these two processors is Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX). The graphics is integrated with processor and delivers high performing than earlier Intel GMA HD graphics which comes with Arrandale CPU. The benchmark is higher for core i3-2310M as compared with core i3-380M.

 

HP 4530s XU074UT comes with Intel HD Graphics 3000. Actually it is integrated with CPU and doesn’t have its own memory. It shares memory from L3 cache memory of CPU and system memory.  Though it is an upgraded version of previous generation of Intel GMA HD card yet it is not considered as high end gaming card. You can, however, play lots of newer version of games in low to medium details and setting like call of duty- Black ops, Battle field bad company etc.

 

Tests conducted by notebook check.net revealed that some games like Left 4 Dead 2 and Supreme Commander are too dark to play. As HP ProBook 4530s XU074UT is intended for professional users so we are not emphasizing more on gaming.

 

While considering performance of professional softwares, as memory is only 3GB, the result may not be impressive. So, you may find it difficult to run latest CAD software on this machine.  However, RAM can be upgraded to 8GB.

 

The laptop comes with 250GB hard disk space with 7,200 rpm speed and Windows 7 Professional 32-Bit operating system

 

Other significant features of HP ProBook 4530s XU074UT include

One express card slot

DVD burner

4 USB ports

1 HDMI ports

Bluetooth

802.11 b/g/n wi-fi

10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN

webcam

 

The battery life of HP ProBook 4530s XU074UT is claimed to be up to 6.25 hours. It comes with spill resistant keyboard. This notebook is the latest business class from HP notebook. Not only the features of this notebook are impressive, it is sturdy as well.

 

HP g7-1260us Review 17.3” laptop

A good computer manufacture always seeks to improve on earlier models and unveils updated models on regular interval.  HP g7-1260us 17.3” laptop is a true example of this philosophy, which is a successor to HP g7-1150us. This particular model is equipped with Intel Core i3-2330M Sandy Bridge Processor which is the latest Core i3 processor. The laptop sports a sturdy chassis and well positioned keypad and mouse pad. It also has a dedicated numeric keypad. However, half-sized up and down arrow keys are only exceptions.  But there are other features which make this laptop more significant like 640GB hard drive and 4GB memory.  One can consider HP pavilion g7-1260us as desktop replacement, if there is no requirement to perform power demanding tasks.  The price of this 17.3” laptop ranges between $560-$650 and the price varies from store to store. Following are other significant features of HP g7-1260us:

HP g7-1260us 17.3” laptop is powered by Intel core i3-2330M dual core processor, which is based on Intel Sandy Bridge architecture. The processor operates with 2.2 GHz frequency and comprises of 3MB of cache memory. Like any other core i3 processor it also incorporates Hyper Threading technology, which means 2 processor cores can run 4 threads at the same times. Thus it is capable of providing better multitasking features. In terms of operating speed, Core i3-2330M is faster than Core i3-2310M, but in real life you won’t find any significant difference.  Read more about Intel core i3-2330M:

HP Pavilion g7-1260us comes with Intel GMA HD 3000 graphics, which is merged in processor chip. This is one of the features of Sandy Bridge Architecture.  When it comes to graphics performance, GMA HD 3000 delivers unbelievable visual experience.  Though it is integrated graphics, still it comprises of advanced image processing technologies which help in removing jitter and create crisper visuals. It provides complete color control, allows contrast and skin tone enhancements that produce intense, deep colors on the screen. The graphics is capable of streaming high definition (HD) video playback seamlessly. It also supports HDMI, thus user can view laptop contents on their HDTV. While gaming users can play lots of game in low to medium details including starcraft 2 , world of warcraft, half life 2, Sims3 etc.

HP g7-1260us offers 4GB DDR3 memory with two memory slots. Among the two, one is empty and another is used by 4GB memory. Users can upgrade memory up to 8GB. The laptop is integrated with 640GB hard drive which comes with traditional 5400 rpm speed.  This model comes preinstalled with 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium OS and features a built-in Webcam with integrated microphone, DVD burner, 2-in-1 media card reader, Fast Ethernet and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.

The 17.3-inch LED-backlit display of g7-1260us has a resolution of 1600 by 900 pixels. The glossy screen is decently bright and offers good image quality. Speaker quality is appealing and Altec Lansing speakers are good enough. Available ports include 3USB 2.0 ports, 1 HDMI, 1VGA and audio jacks.

6-cell 47WHr lithium-ion battery provides up to 4 to 5 hrs of battery life

Pros of HP g7-1260us

Decent price-performance ratio

640GB hard drive

Cons of HP pavilion g7-1260us

No Bluetooth support

Bottom line

Though HP Pavilion g7-1260us is not a high performing machine, still it is good one for browsing, word processing, casual photo editing, occasional gaming and other multimedia tasks. In a nutshell,  it’s a good deal.

Acer aspire AS5250-BZ467 Review powered by AMD E series E-450

Laptop market could be attractive due to the fact that it’s a multibillion dollar market, but it is also a very competitive market. To attract more customers, companies are manufacturing improved, faster, lighter version of same laptop that their rivals are unveiling.  For instance, Acer Aspire AS5250-BZ467 which is equipped with latest AMD E series E-450 accelerated processor and features 4GB memory and 500GB hard drive. In terms of memory, disk space and processor capacity, it can be easily compared with HP 2000-239dx. Here is a brief review of specifications of Acer AS5250-BZ467

 

Starting with processor, Acer aspire AS5250-BZ467 is powered by AMD E series E-450 accelerated processor. The E-450 APU is a successor to AMD E-350. The processor is a dual core processor and operates with 1.65GHz frequency. Since the processor belongs to AMD fusion series as well, the processor cores, graphics and memory controller are fused into a single chip. 1 MB L2 cache memory is associated with processor core. The graphics integrated in the chip is AMD Radeon HD 6320 graphics. Performance wise, E-450 is expected to perform better than E-350, as processor cores operate at higher frequency. Also, graphics will offer better performance due to integration of Turbo Core technology, but not very significantly, as basic frequency of graphics of E-350(AMD Radeon HD 6310) and E-450 are same. The graphics is DirectX 11 capable and 256MB of system memory is used as buffer. In addition to this, it uses system memory, as per processing requirement. However, if you are going to play some most recent games like COD  blackops on your new laptop, then, this one is not for you. You can play older games of call of duty, in low details and settings. As it supports HD playback up to 720p, you can watch HD movies, videos on your laptop

 

Acer AS5250-BZ467 offers 4GB DDR3 memory in two slots. User can upgrade memory up to 8GB. The type of memory used is DDR3-1066. It offers 500GB hard drive which is more than enough. The hard drive spins with 5,400 rpm speed. The laptop comes installed with Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium operating system.

The display of Acer AS5250-BZ467 is of standard size which means 15.6 inches when measured diagonally and features HD Widescreen CineCrystal LCD display with native resolution of 1366*768

When comes to ports and connectivity, Acer Aspire AS5250-BZ467 includes 3 USB 2.0 ports, VGA port, audio jacks and 2-in-1 media card reader. But it doesn’t have HDMI output. Supported network connectivity options are Fast Ethernet and 802.11b/g/n wi-fi. No Bluetooth support available though.

The laptop comes with 0.3MP webcam and a DVD burner.

It offers 4.5 hrs of battery life with its 6 cell 44mAh battery pack.

The original price of Acer Aspire AS5250-BZ467 is around $500, which seems to be overpriced, even if we consider its 500GB hard drive and 4GB memory.  However, there is nothing to do with the original price, as most of the resellers are selling it at discounted price. Anything under $400 could be considered a decent price for the laptop.

Another interesting point to note is that Aspire AS5250-E454G50Mikk Notebook and Acer Aspire AS5250-BZ467 are the same model.

Dell IM5030-1719OBK Review

Laptops can be a good choice when it comes to presenting a nice gift to your father. However, you might think that it is an expensive choice. But, nowadays, lots of companies have unleashed affordable computers with almost all necessary computing functionalities. Dell has recently unveiled IM5030-1719OBK which comprises of AMD dual core processor, 4GB memory and 320 GB disk space.  It can be considered a decent laptop for fathers unless they are 3D game addicted or don’t need to perform any complicated task on a computer. The price of Dell IM5030-1719OBK is around $550. However, the price is little high when compared to other laptops, with similar specs, available in the market. The advantage of this laptop, over others, is that it has one half mini PCMCIA slot that supports external hardware.

 

Processor- Dell IM5030-1719OBK is equipped with AMD Athlon II X2 P360 processor which is a dual core processor which operates with 2.3 GHz frequency. The processor is considerably faster than Celeron 900 mobile processor and latest AMD Zacate E series E-240 processor. Due to presence of two cores, it will be able to provide you enhanced multitasking features. It also has 1MB L2 cache.

 

Graphics- You may find that most entry or mid level AMD mobile processors are coming  with ATI Radeon HD 4250 graphics which is onboard graphics and doesn’t have its own memory. However, it is capable of displaying HD videos. It also supports gaming up to some extent. The graphics is supported by Microsoft DirectX 10.

 

RAM- IM5030-1719OBK model of Dell comes with 4GB DDR3 memory which is decent amount of memory. Very few laptops in this segment come with 4GB RAM. Memory can be upgraded up to 6GB.

 

Hard Drive- – Dell IM5030-1719OBK comes with 320GB hard drive with 5,400 rpm speed. Now if you compare with price than I personally feel that 500GB HDD should be there. Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition is preinstalled into it.

 

Display- Dell IM5030-1719OBK laptop comes with regular screen size of 15.6” when measure diagonally with LED backlight high definition display. The resolution of the display is 1366*768 (max)

 

Webcam- The laptop comes with 0.3MP camera which many people think is of low quality. However, from point of video chat, it’s going to be your face at close range. You don’t require 2MP to do the job, 0.3 MP is sufficient to display your face with enough details.

 

Other features of IM5030-1719OBK are as following

10/100 Mbps fast Ethernet

802.11 b/g/n wi-fi connectivity

3 USB 2.0 ports

one half mini  PCMCIA slot

Downside of the Dell IM5030-1719OBK

It doesn’t have HDMI output

No Bluetooth

No Gigabit Ethernet

 

Considering the price and features of Dell IM5030-1719OBK it looks expensive; however, it has PCMCIA slot which is an added advantage.

 

What is 4G LTE

Introduction to 4G LTE

Experts around the world are working hard to meet ever increasing need to have even faster mobile internet connection. Mobile broadband services are rising in the US market. Currently, Wimax network technology, based on IEEE standards, is leading the market with Sprint and Intel as its prime supporters.  However, Wimax will soon face a rival that can probably shake its base. The 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) feature is coming our way in near future. Its arrival is most expected in March 2011 to fulfill the standards set forth by International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The LTE version of high speed 4G wireless internet connection is expected to compliment your mobile devices. It can give a backseat to your domestic internet connection as it will provide overall solution for laptops, phones and other mobile devices. It is designed to facilitate easy internet access, games as well as IPOV transmission.

Overview of 4G LTE Technology

Both, 4G LTE and Wimax, use OFDM wireless technology which is also known as Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing. This technology helps in transmitting the data in several parallel data channels. Both are more relevant to transfer data.  LTE technology is designed to speed up the download to 100 mbps at higher mobility and 1Gbps at lower mobility with the uploading speed of 50 mbps which is much higher than the currently available downloading speed of 6mbps and uploading speed of 1 mbps. This means you can easily download two MP3 files, of 5 minutes duration each, in a second which will otherwise take 14 minutes to download, using the current mobile internet connection. Wimax equipments will also have cheaper rates.

According to ITU standards, 4G LTE is expected to allow roaming connections with home network, making it more reliable. It will also have the flexibility to support huge array of local service providers with various applications, making it a cost effective solution to the end user. It will also support user friendly applications, along with the equipment adapted for overall use. It is also clear that Verizon wireless and AT&T mobility are planning to upgrade their network to 4G LTE.  Carrying all these advanced features 4G LTE will surely take some more time to come in market. Whereas, Wimax is already present in the market,  to serve the current needs.  Eventually, both 4G and Wimax will enhance its potentiality and will offer high end competition to the current broadband services.

Wikipedia defines the technology as “4G stands for the fourth generation of cellular wireless standards. It is a successor to 3G and 2G families of standards. Speed requirements for 4G service set the peak download speed at 100 Mbit/s for high mobility communication (such as from trains and cars) and 1 Gbit/s for low mobility communication (such as pedestrians and stationary users).

A 4G system is expected to provide a comprehensive and secure all-IP based mobile broadband solution to smartphones, laptop computer wireless modems and other mobile devices.Facilities such as ultra-broadband Internet access, IP telephony, gaming services, and streamed multimedia may be provided to users.”

Check out here if your city is covered by Verizon 4G LTE :

http://network4g.verizonwireless.com/#/coverage