In our August 2009 ultraportable notebook roundup we fell hard for Toshiba’s Portégé R600—the lightest, sleekest ultraportable notebook we’d ever tested. At $2,150, however, that notebook isn’t cheap.
This month we tested Toshiba’s more affordable ultraportable, the Portégé A605, to see how this consumer-class model compares with its fancier business-class kin.
In looks, the two machines are quite different. While the R600 wowed us with its silver, svelte stylishness, the A605 looks more commonplace. Inside and out, it’s adorned with that shiny black plastic you see everywhere these days, which looks really good… until you smudge it. Its keyboard, thankfully, has the same fingerprint-proof silver coating as the R600’s, and more importantly, sports the same full-size dimensions that make typing on it easy. The A605, which measures 11.3x8.8x1.2 inches, is close in size to the R600, just not as wafer-thin, and it’s a noticeable three-quarters of a pound heavier. Like the R600, the A605 offers a generous selection of ports and expandability options, including a USB/eSATA port (in addition to two standard USB ports), an ExpressCard slot, and an SD media reader.
I am running 64-bit Windows 7 RC1, and can access only 3GB of my 4GB of RAM! I’m running an Asus P5B Deluxe with BIOS v. 8.00.12, a Core2 Duo E6600, and four 1GB DDR2 DIMMs. Asus’s website says that my motherboard can go up to 8GB of RAM, so why does it say only 3GB is used? I have taken out all the DIMMs and tested them individually and they all seem to work fine by themselves.
Read our answer to Joshua's question after the jump.
D-Link’s DIR-685 Wi-Fi router generated a lot of buzz at CES this past January. And when we took a gander at its spec sheet, we thought it a contender for Best of the Best in the router category; something that would finally displace the Linksys WRT600N, which is becoming hard to find. Alas, ’twas not to be.
The problem certainly isn’t with the DIR-685’s feature set: This router is absolutely loaded with goodies. The 3.2-inch color LCD can inform you of the router’s status and configuration; present digital photos from Flickr, Picasa, and Facebook; display RSS feeds, such as sports scores, weather reports, and stock quotes; and a lot more (this is one router your significant other won’t insist be hidden in a closet).
Next up, there’s a 2.5-inch internal SATA hard drive bay, which can turn the router into a NAS box (complemented by a built-in FTP server and BitTorrent software). There are two USB ports featuring D-Link’s SharePort technology, which allows you to plug in both an external hard drive and a printer and share these devices with any computer on the network. The router’s four-port gigabit switch automatically powers down any ports not in use to save a modest amount of energy.
In your “Better, Faster, Stronger” article (July 2009), one of the tricks you recommend is to defrag my computer. I have Vista and I am trying to do a full defrag through the command line. It will not allow it without an “administrator command prompt.” What is an administrator command prompt? I am the only user and my account is an administrator account. Any advice?
The Zalman CNPS line (especially the long-lived 9000 series) is known for its distinctive copper-finned air coolers, which are nearly always organized in a circular pattern around the fan. This arrangement worked well for a long time, with the CNPS9700 and 9900 garnering rave reviews in these pages. But all the top-performing coolers we’ve tested recently (July’s Thermalright U120-eXtreme and August’s Noctua U12P) have had one thing in common: a skyscraper formfactor, whereby a tall stack of closely packed cooling fins jut upward, with one or more 12cm fans strapped to the side. Now, Zalman is getting in on the game with its latest CNPS cooler, the 10X Extreme, which takes the skyscraper-and-12cm-fan design and adds variable-speed fan control.
The Zalman CNPS 10X Extreme sports five heat pipes running through a closely packed array of black nickel-plated fins. It’s a great look, and proves that Zalman doesn’t just do copper well. The fan remote can be slotted into the plastic cowl at the top of the heatsink or, more usefully, be routed to the outside of your case with the included extension wire. The fan has three auto-speed settings: low (up to 1,500rpm), mid (up to 1,950rpm) and high (up to 2,150rpm), and one manual dial, for fine-tuning between 1,000rpm and 2,150rpm.
I often get questions in email, or at conferences or parties, about points of IP law. I try to explain that I Am Not A Lawyer or that, dang, this is a party, but most people’s questions about what’s illegal are easy to answer (ripping DVDs: yes; ripping audio CDs: no; drunkenly singing “Happy Birthday” through a bullhorn at a wedding: yes; making a mashup song: depends what state you’re in). But I’ve realized that’s not really what people are asking me, because there’s a big difference between telling you what’s illegal and telling you what not to do.
Unlike much of law, copyright law requires that the rights holder go to the trouble of suing. If they don’t want to, you can claim their masterwork as your own and do a rendition in armpit farts on national TV, make a mint selling the recording, and never have a spot of trouble with the authorities.
Cooler Master wowed us last year with its full-tower HAF 932, which garnered Maximum PC’s coveted Kick Ass Award (November 2008). Now we’ve gotten our hands on the midtower version of the HAF, the 922, and it looks awfully familiar.
Superficially, the HAF 922 is like a cross between the full-tower HAF 932 and last month’s CM Storm Sniper. In fact, HAF 922’s interior is virtually identical to the Sniper’s—it has the same fixed motherboard tray with the CPU backplate cutout, cable tie-downs, and cable-routing holes. The five 5.25-inch drive bays use the same toolless retaining mechanism, and the five 3.5-inch hard drive bays use the same slide-out toolless trays. But where the Sniper had toolless PCI locking mechanisms, the HAF opts for more-traditional thumbscrews. And the interior of the HAF, unlike the Sniper’s, is unpainted metal (although the Sniper’s motherboard tray isn’t painted, either).
I am starting to back up all my files to CD in anticipation of buying a new computer this fall when Windows 7 becomes available.
I have a Windows 98SE system using Office 2000 and I cannot find my Outlook 2000 .pst files so I can save them to CD and then move them to the new system when it arrives. I have searched the entire disk for “*.pst” and the only thing it shows is the “default.pst” file which is way too small (300KB) to be the file I want. Also, is there a way to save my Outlook settings so they can be moved to the new Outlook?
Read the answer to Allan's question after the jump.
Canon’s original Digital Rebel 300D lit the fuse that started the sub-$1,000 digital-SLR war. With the “DRebel” now in its fifth iteration, it’s hard to believe just how far this camera has come.
The original DRebel sported a dust-sensitive 6.3MP CMOS sensor and a pathetic four-shot JPEG buffer. The new EOS Rebel T1i 500D ups the megapixels to 15.1 and features a massive 170-shot JPEG buffer at 3.4fps. Dust cleaning, once rare in DSLRs, is featured, as is Live View, or the ability to use the LCD screen to focus and frame a shot. The three-inch screen is a gorgeous 920K pixels and makes smaller and lower-res screens seem antiquated.
The real eyebrow-raising feature of the Rebel T1i, though, is its support for 720p and 1080p video modes. While we once believed that DSLRs would never do video, it’s now the top checkbox on newer models. The T1i supports 720p at 30fps, but at 1080p resolution the frame rate drops to a nearly unbearable 20fps. Video is compressed using H.264 and is stored in a QuickTime .MOV container.
Two years after dismissing, and even mocking, the Wii Remote, Microsoft has had a change of heart about motion control. Project Natal is an attempt to get rid of the controller altogether, replacing it with a tool that combines an “RGB camera, depth sensor, multi-array microphone, and custom processor running proprietary software.”
All of this provides full-body 3D motion capture, facial recognition, and voice recognition, then converts that information into real-time game control. The figures onscreen respond to your movements and even react to emotions based on facial expressions.
You know Microsoft is serious when it wheels out the big guns to deliver the overstatement. Such as when Steven Spielberg was asked for his thoughts on Project Natal at this year’s E3: “This is a pivotal moment that will carry with it a wave of change, the ripples of which will reach far beyond video games.”