Archive for May, 2008

Fastest hard disk: WD VelociRaptor

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Are you looking for the fastest hard disk drive? Maybe you already know Western Digital’s VelociRaptor (10,000 rpm, 300 GB). Reviews at Tom’s Hardware and AnandTech state clearly that it improves a lot earlier Raptors, being faster, more silent and less hot.

Don’t wait for more, it’s already available at Buy.com.

Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS Hard Drive - 300GB - 10000rpm - Serial ATA/300 - Serial ATA - Internal Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS Hard Drive – 300GB – 10000rpm – Serial ATA/300 – Serial ATA – InternalEngineered for maximum speed! The VelociRaptor has evolved! PC enthusiasts” favorite 10,000 RPM SATA drive is now faster than ever, with a SATA 3 Gb/s interface and 16 MB cache, to deliver performance that”s up to 35% faster than its speedy older brother.

Sadly, there isn’t something similar for laptops…

MSI Wind video

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

CNET Crave shows a video of the 10″ MSI Wind (keep in mind that there is going to be a 9″ version too) with Windows XP. It seems a really good machine, and the monitor is matte, a very important feature for laptops to be used often outdoors.

Looking for a printer: HP Deskjet 6940

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Our good old Epson Stylus Color 440 was having some issues, so the hunt for a new printer began. After some research, I decided in favor of the HP Deskjet 6940. This is not exactly a review, but a general, personal opinion about this printer.

Reasons for buying: it has Ethernet connection, pricing is OK (99 € including VAT) and most reviews and opinions were good. I purchased it at HP Spain through the “Zona HP” (HP Zone) in the Spanish version of this site itself, optimitza.com. I’m pretty happy with the purchase, saving a few minor points.

  • I got the printer the next day of ordering it!
  • I got defective driver CDs, and the naming of this printer’s software at HP’s site is not very clear. After trying almost everything, I found the right driver, labeled “Default Minimum 2A”. I ran it, selected “Add a device” and, after telling the firewall to allow access to the device, the printer was installed. I repeated the operation in the rest of the computers in the network.
  • Black-and-white printing is fast and of good quality. I didn’t measure it myself, but according to the specifications it prints drafts at 36 ppm. It’s pretty silent.
  • Keeping in mind that it is not a photographic printer, quality of color pictures is very good using the included ink cartridges.

I think it’s a very good purchase. In case I find any problem, I’m going to post it here.

Deskjet 6940 Color Ink Jet Printer Deskjet 6940 Color Ink Jet Printer

Deskjet 6940 is HP’s affordable performance print solution for professional printing at office and home. Work the way you want to with wired Ethernet printing and print sharing with up to five computers. Work more productively with breakthrough speeds up to 36 ppm black, up to 27 ppm color in D


Dell Mini Inspiron: pictures of Dell’s low-cost ultraportable

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

At the moment we don’t know a lot about it, but there are some pictures of Dell’s low-cost ultraportable and they look really promising.

Dell Mini Inspiron

More pictures at Gizmodo. Found in Engadget.

AMD Puma by June 3rd and Intel Centrino 2 by August

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

AMD is having hard times lately, but this time they have been lucky: while, as a consequence of several problems, Intel confirms the delay of its complete Centrino 2 platform until August, AMD is going to present its alternative to Centrino 2 by June 3rd. Laptops are more and more important in the industry so, if Puma laptops deliver to the promises, AMD could get an important advantage over Intel.

Puma laptops are going to sport Turion Ultra processors and Mobility Radeon HD 3200 as integrated graphics. Dedicated options include Mobility Radeon 3450, 3650 and 3850. As current dual core processors are powerful enough for the most common tasks, the energy efficiency and graphics performance of these laptops are going to be of capital importance to determine its success. They are going to be presented at Computex.

Issues with Centrino 2 (Montevina)

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

According to X-bit labs, Intel may have issues with the wireless network controller and integrated graphics card of the Intel GM45 chipset included in the new laptop platform Centrino 2 (also known as Montevina). Centrino 2 laptops are expected to be released around the first week of June.

The consequences of such issues are difficult to predict, but could involve delays in the release of some Centrino 2 laptops or modifications to the initial configurations (like 802.11a/b/g wireless network instead of 802.11n). That could mean good news for AMD, if these problems translate in actual delays, because laptops based on AMD’s new platform (Puma) are going to be released in the same time frame.

Update: both Infoworld and CNET confirm that Centrino 2 launch is going to be delayed. The first processors of the platform (P8400, P8600, T9600 and X9100) and some of the chipsets are expected by July 14th, but the complete platform will be available later.

Good laptop reviews of the week: Acer Aspire 8920, Asus Lamborghini VX3 and others

Monday, May 26th, 2008

These are the laptop review I’ve found this week:

  • Acer Aspire 8920-6671 (multimedia laptop, 18.4″): CNET.
  • Airis Kira 300 N1170 (ultraportable 11.1″): Xataka (in Spanish).
  • Asus Lamborghini VX3-A1Y (12.1″): Laptop Magazine.
  • Dell Vostro 1310 (13,3″): CNET.
  • Fujitsu Lifebook A6120 (15.4″): Laptop Magazine.
  • Fujitsu Lifebook T2010 (Tablet PC 12.1″): Tablet PC Review.
  • HP 2133 Mini-Note PC (ultraportable 9″): Trusted Reviews.
  • HP Compaq 8710w (mobile workstation, 17″): Notebook Review.
  • Lenovo Ideapad U110 vs Lenovo Thinkpad X300 (ultraportables, 11.1 and 13.3″ respectively): Crave.
  • Lenovo Thinkpad X300 (ultraportable 13.3″): Xataka (in Spanish).

Laptop processor benchmarks at Tom’s Hardware

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

A lot of technical specs are published but, at the end of the day, the only way to know for a fact the actual performance of a processor are benchmarks. That’s the reason Tom’s Hardware benchmark charts are so valuable to computer buyers. Today they just updated the laptop processor benchmark charts. They hold a worthy information that complements greatly the laptop processor benchmark charts at Notebookcheck. In addition, in the news story about the chart update they talk about the immediate future of laptop processors. Recommended.

AMD GAME! initiative and PC gaming problems

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Mark Hachman talks at Extremetech about AMD’s Game! Initiative and some of the problems associated to PC gaming. He makes his proposal of a rating system to state what PC do you need to run what games, and what games you can run with your PC. The proposal is not bad, but I think most gamers would agree in that there is already a de facto standard for PC gaming benchmarks: 3DMark. But there are 2 steps lacking to use 3D Mark values as a true rating system for the PC gaming industry:

  1. State the mark achieved in PCs and graphics cards.
  2. State the mark needed to run the game in the “system requirements” area. Something like: 1500 for Basic experience, 3000 for Standard experience, 9000 for Extreme experience, or similar. Experience levels should be defined to match a given resolution and image quality.

Maybe a benchmark better than 3D Mark could be developed, but I think a benchmark-based aproach is the ideal. My laptop scores 360 in 3DMark 06 and that tells to any gamer that it’s not suitable for playing most games: I don’t have to say anything more about its specs. You get the idea.
Other approaches are possible: i.e., I’ve been wondering for a long time about the creation of a database joining graphics cards with frames per second achieved in games: if enough people contributed, it would be useful. The point is: to create an objective way to relate performance offered with performance needed, and use it in PCs and games. Does it seem so difficult?

Update: more info about the topic at Ars Technica, Digital Trends, Engadget, Gizmodo. I find specially interesting the article about AMD Game! at PC Perspective.

Good laptop reviews of the week: Asus Eee PC 900, Toshiba Satellite M305 and more

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Here you have the laptop reviews I have found this week:

ASUS Eee PC 900 8.9in 12G SSD 1GB DDR2 Windows XP loaded EEEPC900-W017 Intel Celeron M 430 1.70 GHz 8.9in 12GB (SSD) HDD 1GB PC2-3200 (DDR2-400) 802.11b/g Windo

ASUS Eee PC 900 8.9in 12G SSD 1GB DDR2 Windows XP loaded EEEPC900-W017 Intel Celeron M 430 1.70 GHz 8.9in 12GB (SSD) HDD 1GB PC2-3200 (DDR2-400) 802.11b/g Windo

ASUS Eee PC 900 8.9in 12G SSD 1GB DDR2 Windows XP loaded EEEPC900-W017 Intel Celeron M 430 1.70 GHz 8.9in 12GB (SSD) HDD 1GB PC2-3200 (DDR2-400) 802.11b/g Windo