Monthly Archives: August 2013

HP touchsmart 15-b153nr SleekBook

As name suggests, HP touchsmart 15-b153nr is a touchscreen sleekbook which runs on AMD A-Series A8-4555M APU. This sleekbook is HP’s latest 15-.6”inch low cost mainstream laptop and available at around $400. it is  hard to find a laptop within this price range  with similar features. It comes with 6GB RAM and 750GB harddrive. There is no optical drive in this laptop notebook. The actual ultrabook costs a lot. However, if you don’t need high end performance and your requirements are limited to basic tasks like typing, browsing and watching videos then this HP 15-b153nr touchsmart will be able to handle the tasks easily. Let us discuss the features of  sleekbook in details.

HP 15-b153nr  specs and performance

At first glimpse, the slimness of this HP touchsmart sleekbook  will attract user. The 15-b153nr model comes with 1.6 GHz AMD A8-4555M quad-core APU. With the help of turbo charge 3.0 feature the frequency can boost up to 2.4 GHz. It comes with Integrated AMD Radeon HD 7600G. With 6 GB memory it can stream audio and video smoothly. If you compare it with Intel CPU, AMD A8-4555M is comparable with 3rd generation core i3 ULV processors. However, multitasking will be better compared to core i3 equipped laptop or sleekbook.  This machine does not support CPU or GPU intensive tasks. Gaming is hard in this machine. Some low end games can be played. With 6 GB of memory, user can open number of tabs in their browser or can multitask. Though it is quad core equipped machine, user can’t expect to perform job like video editing or running professional applications.

The HP touchsmart 15-b153nr is a 15.6-inch mainstream machine. The touch screen is responsive and compatible with windows 8 interface. The display offers 1366*768 pixel native resolution. It is incorporated with 750GB, 5400 rpm hard drive. User can store enough video and music files. The system already comes with a number of preloaded softwares.

When it comes to connectivity, there are three USB ports. Two of them are USB 3.0, and the third is USB 2.0. Other ports include 1 HDMI, 1 RJ-45 (LAN) and 1 Headphone-out/microphone-in combo jack. As told earlier there is no optical drive. VGA port is missing as well. There is an SD card reader and a HD webcam.

Encased in glossy polycarbonate outfit, HP touchsmart 15-b153nr comes with 4-Cell 37WHr 2.55Ah lithium-ion battery pack. The battery life the machine is up to 4 hours depending upon usage. Dedicated numeric keypad is included in the keyboard. Network connectivity is supported by Fast Ethernet and 802.11 b/g/n wi-fi. Bluetooth feature is missing.

Pros of HP 15-b153nr

Touch laptop at budget price

USB 3.0 port

Cons of HP touchsmart 15-b153nr 

Missing integrated optical drive (generally not available in sleekbook)

Acer Aspire E1-572-6870

Acer recently unveiled Acer Aspire E1-572-6870 which is powered by 4th generation Intel core i5-4200U processor. Encased in black plastic glossy cover, it boasts of almost all the necessary features that a regular computer should have. However, missing optical drive might disappoint a few but, nowadays; it is a trend with most of the models available in market. Manufacturers prefer to do away with optical drive to make laptop or notebook sleek and within budget.  With integrated Intel HD 4400 graphics and 4GB memory, casual gamer would be happy with this laptop. The price of Acer E1-572-6870 is $450 (runs on sale at Newegg). The alternate part number of this machine is Aspire NX.M8EAA.002. Here is a brief review about its specification and performance.

specification and performance of E1-572-6870 laptop

Acer Aspire E1-572-6870 is powered by Intel core i5-4200U dual core CPU which operates with base frequency of 1.6 GHz and can turbo boost up to 2.6 GHz. It comes with 3 MB of cache. It features hyperthreading feature as well. Thus multi threaded application will run more efficiently.  This 4th generation Intel CPU is built on Haswell architecture. Not delving deep into the architecture, it’s worth mentioning here that the processor is good enough for day to day work as well as streaming movies and videos. It can be used for running photo editing applications. The cpu is paired with Intel HD 4400 graphic chip. Games like simcity 3, fifa 13 will run smoothly. However, COD black ops will run in low details and setting. The CPU unit is energy efficient with its 15 W TDP rating.

Acer E1-572-6870 comes with 4GB DDR3L SDRAM and upgradable up to 8GB.  500GB hard drive with 5400 rpm speed is storage solution for this laptop. Windows  8 comes as preinstalled operating system.

The 15.6” Active Matrix TFT Color LCD delivers max 1366*768 resolution that supports up to 720p HD video. The keyboard comes with dedicated numeric Keyboard.

Connectivity features include 2 USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 port, secure digital card reader, RJ 45 connector, HDMI output and VGA output

Supported Network connectivity features are 802.11 b/g/n and Gigabit Ethernet LAN.

The battery of Acer Aspire E1-572-6870 is 4 cell li-ion 2500 mAH battery offers up to 4 hours of battery life, on single charge

Pros of Acer E1-572-6870

Affordable price for 4th generation core i5 powered laptop, which will improve productivity.

USB 3.0

Cons of Acer E1-572-6870

Missing optical drive

Average battery life

Canon PIXMA MG2220 All-in-One Inkjet Printer

Canon Pixma MG2220  all-in-one inkjet printer is available in the market for more than a year now and still is one of the most sought after printers. Priced at $29 (approx. at Wal-Mart), it is one of the cheapest all-in-one printers. However, features like Auto Duplex printing (ADP) and Automatic document feeder are not available with this printer. Other features like LCD display and direct printing from USB media and media card like SD card are also missing in this printer. But one should not expect such features at this price. The biggest disadvantage with this printer is the missing Wi-Fi support. Canon Pixma MG2220 is truly a basic AIO printer. Off late, people have mostly been interested in multifunction printers or simply all-in-one printer, which can do more than printing like scanning and photo copying. Such printers come in handy and meet requirements of both personal and home office needs.

Canon PIXMA MG2220 features

Canon PIXMA MG2220 not only prints color or b/w documents, it can print photos as well. The Pixma MG flagship of Canon is photo-centric model. The images that can be printed per minute by this printer are approximately 8 pages, in case of mono chromatic content. If you printing multi colored contents, it is roughly close to 5 pages, on an average. The performance of this printer is relatively slow as compared with sits rival. The print resolutions supported are 600 X 600 dots per inch, for black colored content, and it is 4800 X 1200 dots per inch, for multi color contents.

The types of prints that can be done are envelopes, labels, photo paper, letter size and heavy matte paper printing. The feeder can handle automatic page feeding of up to hundred pages; the copier functionality helps the user to take photo copies within 30 seconds. Scanning is actually optical based and supports maximum of 1200 X 2400 dots per inch.

There are many compatible cartridges with Canon PIXMA MG2220. For black color you can use PG-240, PG-240XL, PG-240XXL and for color refill, CL-24 and CL-241XL are available. The printer is compatible with all versions and sub versions of Microsoft Windows operating system like WINDOWS 8, 7, vista and for Mac OS,  supported versions are  X 10.5.8, 10.6 and 10.711. There is no support for Linux so far, as mentioned in the data sheet, which means the manufacturer doesn’t directly support Linux compatibility.

Design

Canon MG2220 pixma model measures 17.7″W x 12.0″D x 6.0″H and weighs only 11.7 lbs. The printer is cuboid in shape and comes with plain black finish. The control panel is simple with no LCD display on it. However, it is easy to use. Nowadays Inkjet printers are most commonly used printers – as it provides quality print and the printer is less expensive. Only drawback with an inkjet printer is that ink cartridge needs to be refilled very frequently as it runs out of ink very soon. The printing per page is relatively high.

Connectivity

Canon MG2220 printer can support only USB connectivity. You need USB cable to hook up the device with a computer.

Pros and cons

The maximum size it can print is letter size paper, thus, bigger size printings can’t be handled by this printer. Also, lack of Linux support restricts the printer usage to Windows and few versions of Mac OS. You need to buy a USB cable as well. Common observation shows the cartridge runs empty very soon and makes it difficult for someone who has lots of printing to do.

Canon PIXMA MG2220 inkjet printer is best suited for home and home office; especially if your printing requirement is not much. It is a basic printer that lacks wireless feature. Envelopes and High Resolution Paper are not allowed for border less printing. However, under $30 (at Walmart) this is a great buy.

 

HP Pavilion 15-e020us

Like its predecessor, HP Pavilion 15-e020us Laptop Computer features the unique profile of a budget laptop.  It comes with 750GB hard drive and 2 USB 3.0 ports.  Powered by 3rd generation Intel core i3-3110M, one might expect good performance from this core i3 HP laptop. The laptop will meet all the requirements for day to day computing, such as typing word documents or surfing internet. However, if you are an avid gamer then you must select a computer with higher spec.  Low end games can be played in this laptop with low details and setting but demanding games will hardly run on this laptop computer. The price of this laptop ranges from $350-$500. At the time of publishing, HP 15-e020us model runs close to $350 at Office Depot. Alternate model number of this laptop is E0M61UA#ABA

HP Pavilion 15-e020us specification and performance

HP Pavilion 15-e020us Laptop comes with Intel core i3-3110M dual core processor. It is a 3rd generation Ivy Bridge processor. The processor operates with 2.4 GHz frequency. Merged with Intel HD 4000 graphics, it suits student, home and home office user. With 4GB memory, the laptop is able to run common applications efficiently, such as Office software, Internet communication and video playback. Users can watch video in HD environment as well.  When it comes to gaming, games like star craft 2, Fifa 13 can be played in this laptop.

The 15.6” HD Bright View LED-backlit display offers 1366×768 resolution that supports 720 p content.  750GB hard drive comes with preinstalled windows operating system.  The laptop doesn’t come with touch screen feature.

System memory offered is 4GB and can be upgraded up to 8GB. It sports glossy black look and is made of polycarbonate material.  The laptop comes with good connectivity features which include :

2 USB 3.0

1 USB 2.0

1 HDMI

1 VGA

1 RJ-45

1 Headphone-out/microphone-in combo jack

HP 15-e020us comes with 6 cell 47whr battery pack which delivers up to 5 hours of battery life, on single charge. The network connectivity features 802.11 b/g/n wi-fi and Fast Ethernet. It comes with HD webcam and DVD burner.

Pros of HP 15-e020us

The main advantage of this laptop is the 750 GB hard drive without spending too much.

It has 2 USB 3.0 ports

Cons of HP Pavilion 15-e020us

Not a touch screen laptop

No Bluetooth

Dell 1160w Wireless Mono Laser Printer

If you are looking to buy a printer for your home or office, where your printing needs are more and you have more people who are going to use the printer then DELL 1160W is the model that you should be buying. Dell 1160W is a mono chrome laser printer which has wireless connectivity.

Mono chrome laser printer is black and white printer. In simple words this printer can print only in black and grey color and it can’t print colored content. But if you consider the price and if you don’t require color printing, then it is a good printing solution.

This laser printer can allow the user to print as many as 20 pages per minute and it can support resolution of 600 X 600 dots per inch and the duty cycle of this printer is Ten thousand pages per month. This is way beyond any of the normal usage.

The printer has both USB and wireless connectivity. It is ideal for both home and office usage. For a home user it is going to more of recipe printing and basic printing and for office usage it will be more of document printing where there is no real need for a color printer. Since the printer can be accessed through wireless connectivity it allows multiple devices to provide the data to the printer, like you can print something from your mobile directly.

The printer can hold up to 150 pages at the input. The printer has around 32 MB of RAM thus there can be many documents which can be queued up and printed in a shorter time.

Pros

  • The main advantage that should be mentioned here is that Dell 1160W is compatible with all the operating systems that are available in market like all flavors of Microsoft Windows, Linux and MacOS. Thus it provides complete interoperability to the user. Dell 1160W is not AirPrint compatible. Thus, wi-fi printing environment will not support Apple devices.
  • Easy to set up
  • Wireless provides hassle free connectivity and helps you avoid the connecting cable issues, the wireless standards supported are 802.11 b/g and n.

 

Cons

  • The main drawback is that Dell 1160W can’t print colored content and it is just a stand alone printer. There is no support for printing sizes which are as big as A3 and A2. The maximum print size is 8.5 inch X 14 inch, which is other wise called legal size paper.
  • There are no add-on features like copying, scanning and faxing. But for a home and minimal office where cost effective printing solution is needed this printer is the best option.
  • Print quality is not very high quality

Dell 1160W also has energy star qualified and with a rating of 1.2 also it is RoHS compliant which means this printer is eco-friendly and consumes only less power for its working.As it is for all the consumer electronics items that are available this printer too comes with one year limited warranty given by the manufacturer. The price of this printer is anything between $50-$100

 

HP Pavilion 15-e028us or HP E1X73UA

In a crowded field of mid-sized 15.6” laptop, HP Pavilion 15-e028us or HP model E1X73UA is the latest entry. It is equipped with 2.9GHz AMD A6- 5350M Accelerated Processor.  It comes with standard 15.6” display and 4GB hard drive. The machine incorporates 750GB HDD. Those who want to store ample videos and photos can chose this laptop.  When it comes to gaming, the laptop will support low end games with good fps. However, if you are thinking of running Battlefield 3, crisis 2 in this laptop, it will give you hard times. On the other hand, it will provide you perfect video playback. The laptop is on sale with a price tag of $400 (approx.) at Staples. Only time will tell how quickly HP Pavilion E1X73UA establishes itself as a popular consumers ‘choice.

HP Pavilion 15-e028us, E1X73UA Specs and performance

Starting with processor review, AMD A6-5350M is a dual core Processor or APU which operates with 2.9 GHz base frequency. Thanks to turbo core feature, base frequency of the APU can increase up to 3.5GHz on demand. There is only 1MB of L2 cache. Paired with Radeon HD 8450G graphics, it can manage daily tasks flawlessly, including office work, web browsing and streaming HD video. HP Pavilion 15-e028us doesn’t support full HD playback in its own display but users can watch full HD on external device that supports 1080p playback. There is a HDMI output which allows you to connect your laptop to HDTV or any other HDMI compatible devices.  If you compare AMD A6-5350M with Intel CPU, overall performance of AMD APU is not better than Intel core i3-3110M.

HP Pavilion 15-e028us, E1X73UA, laptop offers 4 gigs of memory. 2 slots of memory are available with the laptop and each slot supports 4GB. Therefore, user can upgrade memory up to 8GB. Speed of the memory is 1600 MHZ

Storage solution with this laptop includes 750GB hard drive and it spins at 5400rpm frequency. Windows 8 operating system is preinstalled in it. The laptop doesn’t offer touch screen feature and 15.6-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit display offers 1366×768 that can support 720p HD. HP Pavilion 15-e020us laptop comes with Intel core i3-3110M dual core processor with integrated graphics and rest of the features are similar to HP Pavilion 15-e028us. there is not big difference between the price of these two laptops.

Connectivity features for the laptop includes

Multi-Format Digital Media Card Reader for Secure Digital cards & Multimedia cards

2 USB 3.0

1 Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0

1 HDMI

1 VGA (15-pin)

1 RJ-45 (LAN)

HD webcam

DVD burner

1 Headphone-out/microphone-in combo jack

HP Pavilion 15-e028us offers both Fast Ethernet and 802.11 b/g/n wi-fi.  Bluetooth feature is missing. The Full-size keyboard is integrated with dedicated numeric keypad

The 6 cell 47whr battery offers upto 5 hours of battery life

Pros of HP Pavilion 15-e028us, E1X73UA

Decent storage solution

USB 3.0 port

Cons of HP Pavilion 15-e028us

No Bluetooth feature

No touch screen feature

Toshiba Satellite C855D-S5201 15.6″ Laptop

Toshiba satellite C855D-S5201 may not look fascinating to users who are looking for a budget laptop that delivers more than regular computing. However, those who need a computer for typing, browsing internet, viewing and storing, Toshiba C855D-S5201 will meet their requirement with its low end E1-1200 Accelerated Processor, 4GB DDR3 memory and 640 GB SATA drive. The main advantage of this laptop is that it offers enough room for storage.  It is a Windows 8 laptop without touch screen feature. USB 3.0 port is missing in this machine which, however, is not that significant unless you have to transfer pools of file from one media to another.  The main disadvantage of model: C855D-S5201 is that it lacks HDMI output.  Here is a brief overview of the laptop:

Toshiba Satellite C855D-S5201 specification and performance 

Toshiba Satellite C855D-S5201 is integrated with AMD E1-1200 APU which is a dual core processor and operates with 1.4GHz frequency. It comes with 512KB level 2 cache per core. Now what kind of performance we can expect from this processor unit?

With AMD Radeon HD 7310 graphic,s the processor can deliver performance for social media, mailing, typing office documents, internet browsing and playing videos.  In fact, it can stream HD videos as well. The 15.6” display of this laptop offers 1366*768 pixel resolution and, therefore, offers 720p HD resolution. When it comes to gaming, Toshiba C855D-S5201 is not suitable for gaming. Even low end games will not run smoothly. The laptop offers preinstalled optical drive.

Satellite C855D-S5201 comes with 4GB DDR3 memory. The memory speed is 1600MHz. 640GB hard drive rotates with 5400 rpm speed. There is a HD webcam with microphone.

Connectivity features include 3 USB 2.0 ports, VGA port, and memory card reader. There is no HDMI output.

Network connectivity features includes Fast Ethernet and 802.11 b/g/n wi-fi.

The 48whr, 6 cell battery pack of Toshiba Satellite C855D-S5201 offers up to 4 hours of battery life.

Pros of Toshiba satellite C855D-S5201

640 GB hard drive

Budget laptop

Cons of Toshiba C855D-S5201

No HDMI

NO Bluetooth

NO USB 3.0 ports

AT $300 this laptop is a good choice for home use and for students who don’t need to run high end applications.

 

Comparison: AMD A6-1450 APU vs Intel Celeron 1037U

AMD A6-1450 is a quad core mobile APU or accelerated processor which is designed for ultrabooks, tablets and thin laptops. The basic frequency of this processor is 1 GHz but the APU is integrated with AMD turbo core feature, thus, the frequency can boost up to 1.4GHz. A6-1450 APU is fabricated with 28nm technology.  This processor comes with 2MB of L2 cache. The TDP rating of this processor is 8W

On the other hand, Intel Celeron 1037U is a dual core processor and is intended for ultrabooks and small to midsize laptops. Each core operates with 1.8GHz frequency and has 2MB of L3 cache. It doesn’t come with turboboost technology. So clock speed can’t be boosted up.  The TDP rating of Celeron 1037U is 18W.

As AMD A6-1450 is a quad core processor, it can handle multithreaded applications or multitasking, with its four cores, much efficiently than Celeron 1037U. If operating frequency is your point of concern then the Celeron processor would make a better choice.

Energy Consumption 

When it comes to power consumption, AMD A6-1450A APU is more energy efficient than Celeron 1037U processor.

Graphics

AMD A6-1450 comes with Radeon HD 8250 graphics that operates with a maximum of 400MHz/300MHz frequency and is supported by DirectX 11. On the other hand, Intel Celeron 1037U comes with Intel HD Graphics built for IVY bridge processor that operates with 350 MHz base frequency. Frequency can boost up to 1Ghz. It supports DirectX11 as well. Considering the performance, there is not much of a difference between these two graphics.  Both are low end graphics and support casual gaming only.

Advance features comparison

AMD A6-1450 comes with AES technology, which helps in securing your data. This feature is missing in Intel 1037U. AMD processor also features AMD Turbo Dock technology that permits a tablet device to increase its performance when paired with a compatible base unit.  However, not all devices that incorporate this APU, offer AMD Turbo Dock technology. It depends on manufacturer of the device.

Again, Intel Celeron 1037U comes with executable disable bit that offers protection from malicious software and certain viruses.

With higher operating frequency and more cache, Intel Celeron 1037U scores better over AMD A6-1450. The passmark score for Intel Celeron 1037U is 1929 and that for AMD A6-1450 it is 1577.

ASUS X401U-BE20602Z

ASUS X401U-BE20602Z is 14” thin laptop which his integrated with AMD E2-1800 APU. At a price tag of $250 (at Best Buy 23rd August deal), Asus X401U- BE20602Z is one of the least expensive 14-inch laptops. It comes with 4GB single channel memory and 500GB storage solution. In our review, we will discuss if this laptop is capable of delivering enough performance for regular computing or not.

Performance and specification of ASUS X401U-BE20602Z

ASUS X401U-BE20602Z comes with plastic case with dotted pattern all over the body. Again removal of optical drive and plastic build makes this laptop light in weight. Under the hood it offers AMD E series E2-1800 APU which is a dual core processor with TDP rating of 18W. The processor operates with 1.7GHz clock speed.

The integrated Radeon HD 7340 GPU offers good performance when it comes to basic computing. However, while comparing it with latest integrated graphics, it is not up to the mark. Thus users should not expect too much gaming or running high end programs on this laptop. User can play low end games with low fps. When it comes to streaming video, smooth video streaming in non HD environment is not a problem. The 14” LED backlit display ofASUS X401U-BE20602Z supports up to 720p HD video play back with its 1366*768 resolution.

The memory type it supports is DDR3 1333/1066 MHz SDRAM. The operating system is Windows 8 and the laptop comes preinstalled with 500GB hard drive.

Like other ASUS’s thin laptop this model also comes with Chiclet style keyboard.  The touchpad is of good size and there is full sized arrow Keys. The Right side of the laptop holds 3.5 mm combo audio jack, 1 USB 3.0, HDMI-out, Ethernet connector, SD card reader, VGA-out. The left side has Kensington lock, AC power, 1 USB 2.0 port. As discussed earlier, optical driver is missing in this laptop. Thus, 2 USB ports are not sufficient, if user needs an external drive.

Network connectivity is supported by gigabit Ethernet LAN and integrated 802.11 b/g/n wi-fi

ASUS X401U-BE20602Z offers 6Cells 4400 mAh 47 Whrs battery. Though idle run time of the battery is over 5 hours yet, in wireless browsing environment, it is expected to deliver around 3 hours of battery life.

Pros of ASUS X401U-BE20602Z

Affordable

Large touch pad

500GB hard drive

Cons of ASUS X401U-BE20602Z

Only 2 USB ports

No Bluetooth support

Asus X502CA-RB01

Asus X502CA-RB01 is a Windows 8 based new notebook laptop and is available at Fry’s at discount price. Buyers will get this notebook, integrated with Intel Celeron 1007U processor and 320GB hard drive, at a discounted price of $258.00. It can accomplish daily computing tasks, such as typing documents, emailing and surfing internet, without any problem. However, it’s not a gaming computer.  This notebook shouldn’t be your choice, if you want to perform CPU intensive tasks. Here is a brief review of Asus X502CA-RB01.

Asus X502CA-RB01 specification and performance

Asus X502CA-RB01 is based on Intel Celeron 1007U processor which operates with 1.5GHz clock speed. This is a dual core processor and has 2MB of L3 Cache. The processor is paired with integrated Intel HD graphics that shares system memory and this graphics is the only solution for this laptop. With 17W TDP rating the processor is energy efficient. The unit doesn’t support high end applications.

Asus X502CA-RB01 comes with 4GB on-board memory. It means SO-DIMM is hard soldered to the board and is, therefore, hard to replace. Lots of thin laptops and ultrabooks are now available with on board memory. The memory type it supports is DDR3 1600(O.C.) MHz SDRAM. The storage option includes 320GB, 5400rpm hard drive. The specs will support basic computing. Windows 8 comes as preinstalled OS on the laptop.

The notebook comes with HD webcam and ports include

  •  1x USB 3.0 port
  • 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • 1x Audio Jack
  • 1x LAN RJ-45
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x Card Reader
  • 1x VGA Display

The 15.6” blacklit  glare display offers  1366×768 resolution and 16.9 widescreen aspect . The touch screen feature is not available with this laptop.

When it comes to connectivity, it offers 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet and 802.11 b/g/n wifi. This model doesn’t include Bluetooth support.

The chicklet style keyboard comes with dedicated numeric keypad and the touchpad is big in size.

The laptop comes with 38WHrs,2-cell Li-ion polymer Battery Pack and offers  up to 5 hours of battery life, depending upon usage. Asus X502CA-RB01 runs noiselessly.

Pros of Asus X502CA-RB01

Budget laptop for basic computing

Runs Quietly

USB 3.0 port

Cons of Asus  X502CA-RB01

No bluetooth