Archive for January, 2011

Toshiba Satellite L645-S4104 Review

January 30th, 2011 No comments

Toshiba Satellite L645-S4104 is 14 inch notebook powered by the Intel core i3-380M processor, which makes it a decent notebook for entry level as well as for moderate computing needs in home and office. The core i3-380M is a 2.53 GHz notebook which has been seen in many a recently launched notebook. It does not has the turbo boost, however, we have found it significantly outperforms other processors which are coming is entry level notebooks including Athlon ii P340 and the Pentium P6100 and P6200.

As part of the Toshiba Satellite L645-S4104 Review we present the basic features of the notebook taken from the Toshiba’s site.

– Intel core i3-380M, 2.53 GHz, dual core, 3 MB Cache, Hyperthreading, no turbo boost
– 4 MB RAM, 500 GB Hard Disk
– 14 inch Screen, 1366 x 768 pixel resolution
– 2 USB Ports and one USB / eSATA combo port
– HDMI output
– DVD drive
– Graphics Engine – Mobile Intel graphics
– Integrated webcam
– Wired and wireless 802.11b/g/n networking

Clearly, the notebook comes with everything that is needed in an entry level notebook. You should not find any performance lag, unless you need to run some program or application which need heavy computing.

The HDMI out put in Toshiba Satellite L645-S4104 is really a nice feature to have, as, you can connect the notebook with HDTV with a single cable for a hassle free display of the notebook content on a TV.

The Toshiba Satellite L645-S4104 is moderately priced at $679.99. If you are in tight budget and performance computing is not your requirement you may like to look for some of the Inte’s Pentium P6100 based notebooks or the AMD’s dual core P340 based notebooks.

Toshiba Satellite L645-S4104 Pros

– Has HDMI output

Toshiba Satellite L645-S4104 Cons
– Slightly pricey
– Not suitable for high end gaming

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Toshiba Satellite M645-S4115 Review

January 30th, 2011 1 comment

Toshiba Satellite M645-S4115 is a 14 inch notebook that can be classified as a mid range notebook with its core i5-480M processor. The notebook comes with 4 GB of RAM and 640 GB of hard disk. Its other notable feature includes the support for the HDMI output that can be used to display the contents on an LCD TV with HDMI input.

As part of the Toshiba Satellite M645-S4115 Review we are presenting a concise specifcation, pulled directly from the Toshiba’s website. This will help you make a quick analysis for the suitability of this notebook for your application. So here it goes

– Intel core i5-480M, dual core processor,2.66 GHz 3 MB L3 Cache, Turbo boost 2.9 GHz
– 4 GB DDR3 RAM, 640 GB Hard Disk
– 14 inch screen at 1366 x 768 resolution
– HDMI output
– 2 USB 2.0 port and a USB / eSATA combo port
– Integrated Webcam
– Wired and Wireless networking
– DVD Drive

As you can see from the list of the features, the Toshiba Satellite M645-S4115 has everything that you need in an entry level to moderate power computing. The Intel’s core i5-480M is decently powered with is 2.66 GHz clock frequency. The turbo boost is especially useful as it increases the core frequency on demand for a short period of time. This is exactly matches the real life computing requirements.

The Toshiba Satellite M645-S4115 is however, slightly pricey at a $774 according to the MSRP suggested by Toshiba. You may also like to look for the latest Sandy Bridge based notebooks. At about $200 or so you really get a performance notebook that will last for many years to come.

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Top 10 reasons to hate Apple iPad / iPad 2

January 30th, 2011 23 comments

Top 10 Reasons to Hate Apple iPad / iPad 2

The purpose of this article is not to ridicule iPad, a revolutionary product, at least as far as the sales figures go and as far as the reaction of the people en masse is concerned. But then every product has its merits and demerits. We expect that Apple can work on some of these on future releases of iPad and iPad 2.

1. Apple iPad does not support printing – As compared to a netbook, printing document is never seamless with Apple iPad. There are applications, some of them at $10 or so, that claim to work on wifi printers, but the support for printers is not universal. In this area, the iPad suffers from the same problem the Linux has. In Linux, at least you can try to post your problem and someone from the open source community can come to your help.

2. There is no SD Card slot – Apple charges an extra $100 for 32 GB version iPad in comparison to the 16 GB version. Why not give 16 GB version with a SD slot ? People will buy a 16GB SD card just for $30 from eBay. The SD card slot could be used for seamlessly transferring the data between a camera and the Apple iPad.

3. There is no USB slot – At least not directly. You will need an Apple Dock that sells for $29. It is only then that you get the access to the USB port. Do you know any netbook or a notebook which needs an additional adapter to extend the USB slot.

4. Apple iPad can break easily, mechanically – Apple touts the iPad as thin. However, if you consider the cover that it comes with, its thickness becomes pretty close to some of the thin notebooks around. And if you remove the cover, the iPad will break if it happens to fall on a hard floor.

5. iPad does not come with a Camera – You go to buy a notebook or a netbook under $400 and it does not come with an integrated camera. Will you buy it ? Absolutely no. Integrated camera has become a Universal requirement in almost all the notebook, netbook and it was reasonable to expect one in a $600+ device called iPad.

Update – As pointed by John, the iPad2 does come with camera. However when the first iPad was launched there is no camera.

6. Is there a way you can open two windows in an iPad – True, iPad does support multitasking, in the sense that you can listen to Pandora while browsing safari. But can you really do the multitasking as far as the real world tasks are concerned. Can you browse safari while chatting on AIM ? I would like to know how.

7. No Support for HDMI – Look at the AMD’s fusion E-350 based notebooks and netbooks, these sub $450 netbooks and notebooks come with great leap in graphics performance and almost all of them come with HDMI ouput. All you need is a simple, single inexpensive HDMI cable universally available. Hook it to your HDTV and you are ready to go. Instead, Apple wants you to buy another white box, that they call Apple TV.

8. No real keyboard – This is actually not a very good reason to hate iPad. Its touch interface has been designed in a different way. But think of the Toshiba convertible netbook design – the Toshiba M780, for example. When it folds, its becomes like an iPad, and if you open up, you get a full fledged keyboard.

9. Apple iPad is a closed Ecosystem– Apple does not support any browser other than Safari. Imagine your Windows operating system not allowing any browser other than the internet explorer. Apple is a closed system – it only allows things that it wants. There is some merit in this path, however, we found banning the Google Voice too offensive. It allows only approved applications.

10. The 10th reason will be selected from your comment. So feel free to come up with your own reason to hate Apple iPad. We will select your reason and post here.

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Does iPad come with SD Card

January 30th, 2011 No comments

Many people have been asking this question – Does the iPad comes with and SD card slot ? The short answer is NO – and not only it does not come with an SD card slot, it is also not supported in any iPad dock. This is unlike the USB port, where at least you can get an extension by hooking an iPad dock.

The SD Card slot that would have been flushing with the edge of the iPad would have been a great boon to the photographers, camera users. You could simply take out the SD card from your camera put it in the iPad, and could start browsing the pictures in the SD Card. You could also browse through the videos shot on your SD Card. And if you needed to transfer the text files on between the computer and the iPad, SD card could have been very useful.

If you look at the price structure of the Apple iPad, you will notice that the iPad 16GB comes for $499 while the 32 GB Model comes at $100 extra at $599. Now consider another fact – a 16 GB extra SD Card comes for $30 or so on ebay. We have found it for even less at ebay, but for the sake of argument, let us say it is $30. Now you have two options to buy Apple – An iPad with 16 GB with and additional 16GB SD card at $530 or an iPad with $32 GB at $600. Which one will you prefer. And consider the flexibility that comes with the SD card. You will normally leave the SD card in the iPad, but, in case you need to transfer the data between a camera and the iPad, you just take out the SD Card from the Camera and insert it into the iPad and browse through the pictures. Is not the life easier ?

But then this does not fit into the Apple’s biz model. They will not be making extra dollars for the 16 GB space. $100 for 16 GB space is ridiculously high even by the Flash based storage standard.

An additional SD Card will also help transfer the data seamlessly between an iPad and a Windows machine. Say, for example you do some typing on your iPad while traveling. You can transfer the text document on the SD card, take it to your notebook or desktop in office and print it from the office printer.

Apple designers are you listening. Can you consider an SD card slot in the next version of the iPad ?

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Does iPad has a USB port

January 30th, 2011 No comments

USB stands for Universal Serial Port and every single decent product seems to come with a Serial port. Computers come with USB, Laptops come with USB, netbook come with USB, Cameras come with USB, HDTVs come with USB, printers come with USB, Camcorders come with USB. So the obvious question is Does iPad come with a USB port.

The short answer is – no iPad does not come with a USB port. You can not connect a USB pen drive to an iPad, not at least directly. You can not connect a USB printer from an iPad and hope to print the contents form the iPad to a printer. You can not transfer files using a USB pen drive. Very unlike the netbook which typically have 2 or 3 USB ports that you can use to print the documents, transfer files using the USB pen drives and connect hundreds of devices that come on USB.

But there is a solution. Not a very good solution, but it does exist. And Apple makes money out of it. They sell a separate device, that they call docking system. The connection of the USB pin is available on the iPad but it gets extended through the docking system. But you will have to buy the socking system separately. The iPad dock comes for $29. So if you are looking for a USB connection extension you may like buy the iPad dock.

Separating the USB from the main system helps keep the iPad design slim. Unfortunately, it adds to the headache of the users who have to maintain the docking system which eventually leads to lack of mobility, in case they plan to use the dock.

The docking system can also be used to do some additional things. Example

– You can Connect the dock to computer with the USB cable to sync iPad and charge its battery.
-You can connect the dock to a TV or video projector with the VGA Adapter or the Apple Component or Composite AV Cable.
– You can also Connect the dock to a stereo input or speakers with AV cable or a stereo audio cable and play music from iPad.

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