Get the LATITUDE D630 NOTEBOOK for only $949

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Latitude D630 Notebook with Intel Core2 Duo Processor, Genuine Windows XP Home Edition or Genuine Windows Vista Home Basic, 120GB* hard drive, 1GB memory* and Draft N wireless card for 5x faster connectivity and 2x the range*.

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Dell Vostro 1000 Peformance

Dell Vostro 1000 use AMD Turion and Sempron processor family . It’s pretty amazing how AMD went from being competitive with its mobile processors 2 years ago to being almost stagnant and non-competitive today. They haven’t updated their mobile processors in quite some time.





Dell Vostro 1000 (bqdwi4a_6)

Dell Vostro 1000

Dell Vostro 1000 Mobile AMD Sempron Processor 3600+ 1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHZ, 2 Dimm 15.4 inch Wide Screen XGA LCD Anti-Glare Display 200GB 7200RPM Hard Drive 8X DVD+/-RW with double-layer DVD+R write capability, Cyberlink Power DVD ATI Radeon® Xpress 1150 256MB HyperMemory™ (integrated) Integrated Audio




However, if you’re not going to be using a laptop for high-end demanding work, then the cheaper AMD offerings might be just the right ticket. Dell obviously is able to sell the Vostro 1000 for cheaper because it contains a budget AMD processor. The AMD Sempron and Turion processors offered will run Office applications and web browsers just fine. If you’re a multi-tasking fiend and have several applications open at once, you might be upset by the performance of the processor, but if you’re more of a one task at a time person then it won’t make any difference to you if there’s an AMD Sempron 3000 processor or a much more expensive (and faster) Intel Core 2 Duo 2.20 GHz processor powering your laptop.

One thing that’s probably as important as the processor is getting enough memory. If you go with Windows XP I would say 1GB is the optimal amount of memory, but you could get away with just 512MB. If you’re running Windows Vista then you really want 2GB of memory, but you could get away with just 1GB. The Vostro 1000 under review has Windows XP installed. With 512MB of memory it runs ‘okay’, but it does lag a bit when opening programs or clicking on menus. If there was 1 – 2GB of memory in this machine that lag would definitely go away.

The hard drive offerings for the Vostro 1000 range from 60GB – 120GB. They’re all the same speed of 5400RPM, which is adequate. I’d go with 80GB or up for storage, if you think you’ll be storing a lot of videos and music then the 120GB size is preferable. If the only thing you’ll be storing is word docs, power point presentations and email then 80GB should be fine.


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Save $200 on all Inspiron notebook purchases over $899

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Limited time and quantity offer: Beginning 11/29/2007 6:00 AM through 12/6/2007 6:00 AM CT or after 10,000 coupon redemptions (whichever occurs first)

Restrictions: Offer may not be combinable with mail in rebates, dollars off, percentages, or select other promotions. One offer may be applied per cart at checkout. Coupon code expires after first 10,000 redemptions or earlier if offer is terminated earlier. The Home & Home Office site and offers contained herein valid only for end users and not for resellers and/or online auctions. Offers subject to change, not combinable with all other offers. Taxes, shipping, handling and other fees apply. U.S. Dell Home and Home Office new purchases only. Purchase limit of 5 systems per order, but coupon discount applies to only 1 system per cart. Limit of 5 systems per customer please. Dell reserves the right to cancel orders arising from pricing or other errors.


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Limited time and quantity offer: Beginning 11/29/2007 6:00 AM through 12/6/2007 6:00 AM CT or after 10,000 coupon redemptions (whichever occurs first)

Restrictions: Offer may not be combinable with mail in rebates, dollars off, percentages, or select other promotions. One offer may be applied per cart at checkout. Coupon code expires after first 10,000 redemptions or earlier if offer is terminated earlier. The Home & Home Office site and offers contained herein valid only for end users and not for resellers and/or online auctions. Offers subject to change, not combinable with all other offers. Taxes, shipping, handling and other fees apply. U.S. Dell Home and Home Office new purchases only. Purchase limit of 5 systems per order, but coupon discount applies to only 1 system per cart. Limit of 5 systems per customer please. Dell reserves the right to cancel orders arising from pricing or other errors.


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Limited time and quantity offer: Beginning 11/29/2007 8:00 AM through 12/13/2007 5:59 AM CT or after 4,000 coupon redemptions (whichever occurs first)

Restrictions: Offer may not be combinable with mail in rebates, dollars off, percentages, or select other promotions. One offer may be applied per cart at checkout. Coupon code expires after first 4,000 redemptions or earlier if offer is terminated earlier. The Home & Home Office site and offers contained herein valid only for end users and not for resellers and/or online auctions. Offers subject to change, not combinable with all other offers. Taxes, shipping, handling and other fees apply. U.S. Dell Home and Home Office new purchases only. Purchase limit of 5 systems per order, but coupon discount applies to only 1 system per cart. Limit of 5 systems per customer please. Dell reserves the right to cancel orders arising from pricing or other errors.


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HP Pavilion dv2550 SE review

HP Pavilion dv2550 SE is built on Intel’s Centrino Duo (Santa Rosa) platform, and is marketed as an “Entertainment PC”. The notebook has been used daily for a period of 40 days at the time of review. The specs of HP Pavilion dv2550 SE are as follows:

· Processor: Intel Core2Duo T5250 1.5GHz
· Ram: 2GB
· Video: Integrated Intel GMA X3100 (384Mb shared)
· Screen: 14” BrightView Widescreen WXGA 1280 x 800
· Hard Drive: 160Gb, 5400rpm
· Wireless: Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG
· Battery: 12 Cell
· Ports: 5-in-1 integrated Digital Media Reader, 3 USB 2.0, 2 Headphone out, 1 microphone-in, VGA (15-pin), S-video, RJ-11 (modem), RJ -45 (LAN), expansion port, Firewire, Consumer IR.
· OS: Windows Vista Home Premium
HP Pavilion dv2550 SE will soon be sold via HP.com as the configurable Pavilion dv2600t, but currently is only available via Best Buy.
HP Pavilions are some of the best looking notebooks available, with a sleek appearance and clean lines. They are an attempt at reducing the trend of Mac Book popularity by breaking free of the utilitarian mold. HP Pavilion dv2550 SE takes this design and further improves it, adding the “Verve” Imprint finish with a unique pattern and attractive colors. HP has put great detail into the finish, including printing the wave pattern right onto the trackpad.

HP Pavilion dv2550 SE build quality is good, and pretty much identical to the previous dv2000 generation notebooks. While not as strong as a ThinkPad, its construction can be considered above average for this price range. Overall it feels sturdy, everything fits together snugly, and the screen hinges are comfortably stiff (minimal bounce). The plastics used feel strong and scratch resistant. However, without a magnesium frame in the screen, there is a little flex, and when pressed from behind there are screen ripples at the top left where some internal part is pressing against the display. The screen can be extended back to a maximum of 45 degrees. After a month of use, I am beginning to notice keyboard marks on the screen. They do come off when rubbed with the included microfiber cloth.
HP Pavilion dv2550 SE includes a 12 cell battery which raises the notebook off the desk. This may be undesirable to some people because of the added thickness and weight, but it does offer improved cooling and longer battery life. However, because the battery is off-center, it becomes a little awkward when supported by a lap.
Conclusion:
HP Pavilion dv2550 SE Verve is aimed at people looking for a compact and stylish laptop for their everyday computing need. It is a great multimedia notebook with 160 GB of storage and 2 GB or RAM. While not intended for modern 3D gaming warfare, it will handle light gaming and offers excellent performance for value. However, for a special edition notebook, a faster processor would have been nice.
One major complaint I have for HP is the use of the Verve Imprint Finish on their upcoming dv2600 series notebooks. They take the one feature that makes it a special edition and include it on an entire line of notebooks which offer no new functionality over HP Pavilion dv2550 SE.
Pros
· Looks great
· Very little heat or noise
· Long battery life
· 2Gb or Ram
· Excellent speakers
Cons
· No 802.11n wireless
· No Bluetooth
· No DVI/HDMI
· The Verve Imprint finish can be found on dv2600 series notebooks


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HP Pavilion dv2550 SE Screen

For anyone who has seen HP’s BrightView glossy screens, they appear bright, crisp, and vibrant – very impressive. However, they do have their flaws. Viewing angles are poor (not a big concern on laptops used by one person), and the glossy screen is very reflective (useless outdoors). Even with these concerns I would still pick this screen over any other option. However, caution must be taken when editing photos due to the contrast differences with slight changes in viewing angle. The 1280x800 resolution is well suiting of the 14” screen size. Backlighting is very even, with a barely noticeable dimming at the bottom corners.
HP Pavilion dv2550 SE I purchased came with a very annoying bright green stuck pixel. I returned it to Best Buy only to receive a new screen with a dead pixel. I decided that the dead pixel would be tolerable, as it is no more noticeable than dust accumulation on the screen. At the launch of HP Pavilion dv2550 SE in Canada, many people in the forums were complaining of stuck and dead pixels – it seems HP knowingly or unknowingly released a batch of screens with quality issues.


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HP Pavilion dv2550 SE Processor and Performance:

HP Pavilion dv2550 SE is equipped with a 1.5Ghz Intel T5250 Core 2 Duo processor. It is the slowest of Intel’s Santa Rosa chips (excluding their low power chips), but is far from slow. I was hesitant purchasing a notebook with a “value” processor, but realized it is more than capable for most computing tasks. If your hobby is video editing, 3D rendering, or scientific computing, I would look elsewhere. However, if you edit the odd video, render a few 3D scenes, or simulate the occasional turbulent flow model, the dv2550se is more than capable – it will just take a little longer.

The same can be said for the integrated Intel X3100 graphic included in this notebook. It is more than capable at handling HD video, the odd game, and Vista Aero. However, if you want to play modern 3D games in all their glory, look elsewhere.

While the CPU and GPU offer only base performance in this Special Edition notebook, HP can at least be commended for including 2Gb of RAM. In a Vista world, 2Gb is almost a prerequisite for multitasking with applications like Word, Firefox, Photoshop, and AutoCAD.

Like in most laptops, a 5400rpm HDD is the major performance bottle neck. As this notebook is intended to replace my desktop (the current trend), I have yet to become used to a slower hard drive. However, having a 12 cell battery makes upgrading to a 7200rmp HDD very appealing.


Continue Read HP Pavilion dv2550 SE Processor and Performance:

HP Pavilion dv2550 SE Peripheral

HP Pavilion dv2550 SE Input and Output Ports

HP Pavilion dv2550 SE includes the following ports: a 5-in-1 integrated Digital Media Reader, 3 USB 2.0, 2 Headphone out, 1 microphone-in, VGA (15-pin), S-video, RJ-11 (modem), RJ -45 (LAN), expansion port, Firewire, ExpressCard reader.
Considering HP is marketing their new Pavilions as Entertainment PC’s, I am a little disappointed that they do not include a digital video-out port (DVI or HDMI). With almost all TV’s you find on display in stores today being digital, and the Centrino Duo platform supporting HDMI, it would only make sense to include 1 digital out rather than 2 analogue signals.

HP Pavilion dv2550 SE Wireless

HP Pavilion dv2550 SE has built in 802.11agb wireless. It can easily be turned on or off using the switch at the front of the notebook. Unfortunately HP has chosen not to include Bluetooth or 802.11n wireless. However, if you mainly use wireless for the internet, the included 802.11agb works very well – I have reached speeds of 10MB.
HP Pavilion dv2550 SE has built in consumer IR. Included is a little remote that fits into the Expresscard slot. It is used to control Windows Media Center and QuickPlay.

HP Pavilion dv2550 SE Battery
The 12 cell battery lasts a long time. I can carry it around all day without searching for a power source.
I performed the following battery kill test to measure it’s performance:
· Watch a DVD movie with volume on medium.
· run wPrime stability test (1 thread).
· run a virus scan.
· Wireless turned on
During this test, the CPU was operating at an average of 80%. It took 2hours and 3min before the computer shut itself down.

HP Pavilion dv2550 SE Heat and Noise
Heat and noise are almost nonexistent in HP Pavilion dv2550 SE. Intel’s Core 2 Duo processors are very efficient and generate little heat. Additionally, having integrated graphics further reduces power consumption and heat generation. Most of the time the fan is off or operating below ambient noise levels. At high speeds, the fan does not “whine”, nor is it high pitched. When the load is removed the fan quickly returns to its low speed.
The hard drive is the only part which seems to generate heat, warming up the left wrist pad – enough to cause a mild sweat. I’m not sure if the problem is because HP does not adequately remove heat from the area, or because they are installing HDDs that generate excessive heat. Either way, it is only mildly annoying.
The DVD drive is loud when spinning at full speed. However, it is tolerable while watching a DVD movie.

HP Pavilion dv2550 SE Keyboard and Touchpad

Both the keyboard and touchpad are quite comfortable and easy to use. The placement of the ‘delete’, ‘home’, and ‘end’ keys are much better than some notebooks I have used. There is no noticeable flex in the keyboard. The blue backlit heat sensitive media buttons at the top of the keyboard are both attractive and functional. However, accidently brushing against the QuickPlay buttons will launch the QuickPlay software.


Continue Read HP Pavilion dv2550 SE Peripheral

Gateway M-6816 screen

Although the 1280x800 resolution display on Gateway M-6816 is far from high definition, the screen provides rich colors, superb clarity and good brightness. There were absolutely no problems with the screen on our review unit: the refresh rate seems excellent when videos or games with fast motion are displayed and there are no stuck pixels. As is common with glossy screens, colors and contrast are quite good and both images and video "pop" off the screen. Brightness is good but not quite as impressive as some of the screens we've seen in the last year. For example, at maximum brightness there is enough light coming from the screen to make for an enjoyable viewing experience but not enough light to cause eye strain.

Horizontal viewing angles are average and the backlight brightness remains even across the screen while viewing at extreme horizontal angles. There is some minor color inversion when you view the screen from sharp vertical angles (such as standing above the notebook or looking up at the screen from the floor. Of course, as with any glossy screen reflection from room lights can become a problem depending on the room and the lights.


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Gateway M-6816 Keyboard, Touchpad and Other Input Buttons

Keyboard on Gateway M-6816 was a welcome improvement over most keyboards we see on consumer notebooks. The keys have a good texture with excellent cushion and travel. The keys aren't as silent in operation as those found on more expensive business class notebooks, but there was minimal "clack" while typing. Gateway M-6816 also includes dedicated page up, page down, home, and end keys. Of special note is the fact that the keyboard has almost no flex across the board. Even with significant pressure applied, the keyboard on Gateway M-6816 remained quite firm.

Gateway M-6816 touchpad was responsive with a nice texture and felt durable. The scroll section of the touchpad is clearly marked and immediately responsive for page scrolling. The touchpad buttons have deep, cushioned feedback and responded well to normal pressure. That said, the touchpad buttons did make loud "clicks" when pressed which may prove annoying to some users (or office coworkers).

As mentioned previously, the media buttons on Gateway M-6816 are integrated above the notebook's keyboard in a brushed-metal multimedia control panel. The media buttons are actually located under the smooth-cut "tooth" pattern in the metal and respond instantly to light pressure. These buttons allow you to instantly start Windows Media Player, watch a DVD, listen to a CD or music file, or control iTunes with ease. A touch-sensitive volume adjustment is located to the right of the media buttons and lights up with blue LED back lighting when pressed.


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Gateway M-6816 Review

Gateway M-6816 is a multimedia performance in a sleek, stylish design. Packing Intel Core 2 Duo processors, plenty of RAM and large-capacity hard drives these budget notebooks are certainly attractive to many consumers looking for a portable multimedia center for bringing movies, music and digital photos on the go. But do the latest notebooks from Gateway offer more than good looks? Let's take a closer look.
Our Gateway M-6816 review unit features the following specifications:
· Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit)
· Intel Core 2 Duo processor T5250 (1.5GHz)
· 15.4" Ultrabright WXGA TFT LCD
· 2GB DDR2 system RAM
· 160GB PATA HDD (5400rpm)
· Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 (up to 384MB shared)
· DVD+-RW SuperMulti dual layer drive
· 10/100 Ethernet
· Wireless LAN: Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 802.11a/b/g
· 1.3 megapixel webcam
· 5-in-1 memory card reader
· ExpressCard 54 slot
· 6-cell Li-Ion battery (2400mAh)
· Dimensions: 1.1 - 1.5" (H) x 14.00" (W) x 10.00" (D)
· Weight: 6.29 lbs
· Warranty: One Year Parts and Labor Limited Warranty

Gateway M-6816 features a striking all-new design with a "graphic-inlay premium finish," that looks quite similar to the Imprint Finish on the latest generation of HP notebooks. That said, Gateway's choice of dark spots which gradually fade away is much more subtle than anything we've seen in HP's Imprint Finish. Gateway M-6816 appears durable, with an eye-catching design thanks in no small part to the thick plastics and metal accents. Integrated above the notebook's keyboard is a brushed-metal multimedia control panel, featuring smooth-cut keys in a "tooth" pattern and a touch-sensitive volume adjustment.
The lid hinge feels surprisingly solid for a consumer notebook in this price range and the rounded edges of the notebook make for a much cleaner and thinner overall appearance. To be perfectly honest, the only potentially negative issue about the build and design is the choice of glossy plastics/coatings on the screen lid and palm rests. The glossy plastic is a magnet for fingerprints.
Gateway M-6816 Conclusion
Gateway M-6816 is a solid consumer notebook with plenty of power for everyday use. The quality 15.4" glossy display, durable build, sizable hard drive, and reasonably cool temperatures help make Gateway M-6816 a real value. The Core 2 Duo processor and solid 2GB of RAM mean this Gateway has enough performance to keep the average user quite happy as long as you don't care about playing the latest video games.
Bottom line, Gateway M-6816 is an excellent value in the 15.4" consumer notebook class. That said, for a little bit more money you can find similar notebooks with dedicated graphics cards for reasonable gaming performance.
Pros:
· Good performance for everyday use
· Nice screen
· Solid, stylish construction
· Minimal heat and noise
Cons:
· Glossy plastics around screen and on palm rests are prone to fingerprints
· Only three USB ports ... unacceptable on a 15.4" notebook
· Annoying pop-up web camera control panel


Continue Read Gateway M-6816 Review

Toshiba Tecra M9 Keyboard and Touchpad

Toshiba Tecra M9 keyboard has very light typing feel, and is very comfortable to type on. Key texture feels perfect for a business notebook, and gives your fingers just the right amount of grip that you would expect from a high quality keyboard. Typing for long periods of time on this notebook may get to you though, as poor support structures underneath the keyboard give it an almost bouncing feel. Depending on where you type on certain parts of the notebook, you will also get an echoing sound from the keyboard.




Toshiba Tecra M9-S5515 Laptop Computer Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7500, 2.2GHz, with Centrino Pro Technology, 2GB RAM, 160GB Hard Drive, 14.1-inch WXGA+ TFT Di

Toshiba Tecra M9-S5515 Laptop Computer Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7500, 2.2GHz, with Centrino Pro Technology, 2GB RAM, 160GB Hard Drive, 14.1-inch WXGA+ TFT Di

The flagship of Toshiba's innovative Tecra notebook family, the Tecra M9 Series is a superlative blend of performance, durability and data security, designed for productivity-minded professionals. Powered by Intel Centrino Pro processor technology -- including Intel Core 2 Duo Processors -- and optimized for Windows Vista , Tecra M9 enables users to complete far more work in far less time. The vibrant, widescreen 14.1 display and outstanding graphics combine with Windows Aero to bring screen images to life. To ensure long-term durability and investment protection, Toshiba subjected the Tecra M9 to extreme quality testing conditions throughout the design process, and then bolstered it with 3rd generation EasyGuard technology. As a result, the Tecra M9 better withstands the daily rigors of mobile computing. With added spill, drop, shock resistance, this mobile masterpiece takes platform longevity to a whole new level. Excellent expandability, plus enhanced aesthetics and ergonomics, make Tecra M9 the centerpiece in any forward-looking, mobile computing strategy.




Toshiba lists the keyboard as being spill resistant, and even goes on to say the following, "Toshiba also improved their spill resistant keyboard to help protect against accidental spills of liquids, including soda, beer and coffee with cream and sugar, an upgrade from the previous protection against water."
Toshiba Tecra M9 touchpad has a nice mild matte texture, and worked just as you would expect. The included drivers give you plenty of customization options for all the touch zones on the touchpad, as well as adjusting speed and sensitivity. The default settings had the sensitivity slightly low requiring a heavy pressure, which I adjusted upwards to allow a softer touch.
The pointer stick worked just as expected, and had plenty of adjustments in the control panel. The only feature that seemed missing was a center button for the pointer to allow scrolling. It was comfortable to use, but my main preference on this size of notebook is the touchpad.


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Gateway M-6816 Battery, Heat and Noise

Heat and Noise
Gateway M-6816 does an excellent job of controlling both internal heat and noise. The cooling fan was rarely louder than a whisper even on the high setting. The massive copper heatsink visible through the air vent on the left side of the notebook likely contributes to Gateway M-6816's ability to keep temperatures under control. CPU temperatures peaked at no more than 52 degrees Celsius during benchmarks and hard drive temperatures averaged less than 40 degrees Celsius. The palm rests never became too hot during our tests and the left palm rest spiked at no more than 92 degrees Fahrenheit. The bottom of the notebook remained reasonably cool never exceeding the upper 90s. The hottest temperature reading we took during our review was the fan exhaust temperature during benchmarking, which reached 102 degrees Fahrenheit in our office (77 degrees room temperature). Bottom line, Gateway M-6816 stays cool.

Battery
Battery life on Gateway M-6816 with the standard 6-cell battery was only average. With the screen brightness set to full, wireless on, and Vista power settings set to "Balanced," the Gateway powered down in just more than two and a half hours (2 hours and 18 minutes). With power management set to "Power Saver" and screen at half brightness the battery lasted 3 hours and 2 minutes while browsing the web. We hoped Gateway M-6816 would do better in terms of battery life thanks to the integrated graphics, but this wasn't the case.


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HP Pavilion dv6500z Review

HP Pavilion dv6500z is gaming and multimedia notebooks.use AMD processor, the graphics card is an HDMI port, giving this notebook a front and center position in any home theater.

Our review unit of HP Pavilion dv6500z as configured with the following pecifications:

• Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit)
• AMD Turion 64 X2 Dual-Core Mobile Technology TL-60
• nVidia nForce 630M chipset
• Broadcom 4321AG 802.11a/b/g/draft-n
• 2GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM (2 x 1GB, maximum capacity 4GB)
• 160GB Seagate 5400.3 (reviewed with 80GB Seagate 5400.3)
• 8x DVD (+/-R double layer) drive
• 15.4" 1280x800 w/ webcam (WXGA,Glossy)
• nVidia 8400M GS
• Expresscard slot/54
• 5-in-1 media card reader
• HDMI, VGA, S-Video, Expansion Port, Modem, 1Gb LAN, IEEE 1394,Serial, and Mic/Two Headphone connectors
• Three USB 2.0 ports
• Dimensions (WxDxH): 14x10.1x1.3/1.45” at rubber feet
• Weight: 6lbs 1.5oz with 6-cell (6lbs 11.6oz with 12-cell), 6lbs 12.6oz travel weight
• 60W (20V x 3.25A) 100-240V AC adapter (13.6oz)
• 6-Cell Lithium Ion Battery 55Wh (11.5oz)
• 12-Cell Lithium Ion Battery 95 Wh (1lb 5.7oz)
• 1-Year Standard Limited Warranty

The dv6500z
has a very nice sleek design, with a beautiful glossy feel. The display cover has the durable plastic Imprint finish, which holds up quite well to minor abrasion without scratching. The body has all smooth, rounded edges, making it really comfortable in your hand while carrying it around. The screen also sports a latchless design, removing the release switch from the front of the lid. The removal of this part also helps when it comes to picking out a slipcase for the notebook, as latches will sometimes snag on tight fitting cases. Although the lid lacks any latch to keep it held shut, the hinges feel fairly strong, keeping the lid secure. The cover itself feels quite durable, and is fairly rigid. The lid feels fairly strong, but pressing firmly onto the back of the cover will produce ripples on the screen.

Opening up the notebook, you see a similar imprint finish surrounding the keyboard. It has the same super durable finish, but the panels themselves don’t feel that strong. Moderate pressure from your thumb is enough to flex the palmrest surface.
The body of HP Pavilion dv6500z feels pretty durable, and doesn’t creak when being held. The plastic used for the bottom of the notebook seemed to be of a high quality material. All of the access panels were thick enough to not cave in under pressure, even at the cooling vents where the material was not solid. All of the user upgradable components had an easy to remove panel, including the harddrive, ram, wireless cards, and backup battery. The optical bay was also user upgradable or swappable, with a single set screw.

Conclusion
HP Pavilion dv6500z turned out to be a pretty nice budget multimedia notebook. The build quality and material selection was excellent, and the durable imprint finish holds up great to wear. Although the screen could have been improved, it was still fairly nice. The keyboard and touchpad turned out to be superb, and the finish on the touchpad couldn’t have been better. Add the HDMI output into the mix, and it’s hard not to recommend this notebook.
Pros
• Durable Imprint Finish
• Super smooth accurate touchpad
• HDMI, VGA, and S-Video Outputs (everything you could ask for)
Cons
• Some flex to the palmrest under pressure
• Display cover doesn’t stop the LCD from making ripples under strong pressure


Continue Read HP Pavilion dv6500z Review

Toshiba Tecra M9 battery and heat

Battery Life
With screen brightness at 80 percent, wireless enabled, "balanced" profile set, and accessing web pages on occasion the system managed 2 hours and 29 minutes on its 6-cell battery. I do not believe this system would be able to watch a full length movie in flight without an extended battery present. Manufacturers estimated battery life was listed as "up to 3.38hrs", but I don't see how that would be possible at anything close to average use.




Toshiba Tecra M9-S5514X Laptop Computer Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7500, 2.2GHz, with Centrino Pro Technology, 1GB RAM, 120GB Hard Drive, 14.1-inch WXGA+ TFT D

Toshiba Tecra M9-S5514X Laptop Computer Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7500, 2.2GHz, with Centrino Pro Technology, 1GB RAM, 120GB Hard Drive, 14.1-inch WXGA+ TFT D

The flagship of Toshiba's innovative Tecra notebook family, the Tecra M9 Series is a superlative blend of performance, durability and data security, designed for productivity-minded professionals. Powered by Intel Centrino Pro processor technology -- including Intel Core 2 Duo Processors -- and optimized for Windows Vista , Tecra M9 enables users to complete far more work in far less time. The vibrant, widescreen 14.1 display and outstanding graphics combine with Windows Aero to bring screen images to life. To ensure long-term durability and investment protection, Toshiba subjected the Tecra M9 to extreme quality testing conditions throughout the design process, and then bolstered it with 3rd generation EasyGuard technology. As a result, the Tecra M9 better withstands the daily rigors of mobile computing. With added spill, drop, shock resistance, this mobile masterpiece takes platform longevity to a whole new level. Excellent expandability, plus enhanced aesthetics and ergonomics, make Tecra M9 the centerpiece in any forward-looking, mobile computing strategy.





Heat
Thermal performance of the notebook was of concern through most of this review. The exhaust vent during normal use put out heat between 110 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. While running PCMark05 exhaust temperatures reached a record 150 degrees, higher than any notebook I have reviewed in the past. During the first run through PCMark05, the wireless card vanished from Windows Device Manager (from what I could only imagine as overheating) and Device Manager was unable to locate the wireless card until the notebook cooled down.

Fan noise was always present after the system had been on for over 15-20 minutes, and it was warm enough to always heat up objects nearby. Using our decibel meter, the fan noise at low speed registered 45dB at 6" away from the vent. It blended in with most other office noises, but could stand out in a very quiet classroom.


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Toshiba Tecra M9 review

Toshiba Tecra M9 is a business-grade notebook competing against the Dell D630 and Lenovo T61. It is an update to the older Tecra M5, using the latest 800MHz Santa Rosa Intel platform. Compared to the Lenovo T61, HP 6910p, and Dell Vostro 1400, its starting price of $1,349 is slightly higher from the rest. Let's see how this notebook stands up to the rest in the pack.




Toshiba Tecra M9-S5512X Laptop Computer Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7100, 1.8GHz, with Centrino Pro Technology, 1GB RAM, 80GB Hard Drive, 14.1-inch WXGA TFT Dis

Toshiba Tecra M9-S5512X Laptop Computer Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7100, 1.8GHz, with Centrino Pro Technology, 1GB RAM, 80GB Hard Drive, 14.1-inch WXGA TFT Dis


The flagship of Toshiba's innovative Tecra notebook family, Toshiba Tecra M9 Series is a superlative blend of performance, durability and data security, designed for productivity-minded professionals. Powered by Intel Centrino Pro processor technology -- including Intel Core 2 Duo Processors -- and optimized for Windows Vista , Tecra M9 enables users to complete far more work in far less time. The vibrant, widescreen 14.1 display and outstanding graphics combine with Windows Aero to bring screen images to life. To ensure long-term durability and investment protection, Toshiba subjected the Tecra M9 to extreme quality testing conditions throughout the design process, and then bolstered it with 3rd generation EasyGuard technology. As a result, the Tecra M9 better withstands the daily rigors of mobile computing. With added spill, drop, shock resistance, this mobile masterpiece takes platform longevity to a whole new level. Excellent expandability, plus enhanced aesthetics and ergonomics, make Tecra M9 the centerpiece in any forward-looking, mobile computing strategy.





Design of Toshiba Tecra M9 is not unlike many other business notebooks; very basic and professional looking. The display cover and keyboard are a simple matte silver color, with no sleek sloping curves, just mildly rounded edges all around. The rest of the notebook is black plastic, leading to a design that would blend in with most Thinkpads or Latitudes around the office.

The build quality of the laptop does not feel up to par with most other business grade laptops in the same price range. The palmrest and keyboard exhibit a lot of flex, which is pretty uncommon for this class of notebook. The display lid feels fairly cheap with its thin plastic, but it did prevent ripples from showing on the screen from all but hard presses to the cover. The bottom of the notebook features a Swiss cheese style of cutouts, which has to be the most I have ever seen on a notebook to date. I would have to imagine that they are for heat dispersion, but as you will read on the notebook does get very warm under average stress.


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