From the looks of it, you probably wouldn’t figure iBuypower’s M865TU for a gaming notebook. Its aesthetic is much more subdued than typical representatives of that class. The chassis is covered in a subtly textured black plastic, with tasteful silver trim around the edges and the touch pad. Unlike other gaming notebooks, backlighting is limited to the power button and an unobtrusive iBuypower logo on the notebook’s lid. Furthermore, the 15-inch M865TU is smaller than many gaming rigs and has a more streamlined formfactor.
But despite its smaller stature and no-nonsense appearance, the M865TU’s got game. That’s courtesy of the Nvidia GTX 260M GPU under its hood. Based on a reworked G92 chip, which uses a smaller, faster process (55nm vs. 65nm) and features slightly higher clocks, the GTX 260M proves more capable than previous-generation G92 mobile parts. For example, the M865TU performed almost 30 percent better in Far Cry 2 and Call of Duty 4 than the 9800M GTX-equipped Qosmio X305 we reviewed in June, with scores of 31.3fps and 58.3fps, respectively, at the notebook’s 1680x1050 native res and the highest quality settings. (This month, we jettisoned the games we have previously used for notebooks reviews in favor of FC2 and CoD4, which are far more indicative of a GPU’s prowess—expect to see these titles integrated into our benchmark chart going forward.)
In August, Nikon introduced the world’s first digicam with a built-in video projector. The Coolpix S1000pj has a tiny projector—called a picoprojector—that can display photos and videos at 640x480-pixel resolution. In a dark room, projected images are visible up to six feet away, up to 40 inches wide.
Although picoprojector technology has been appearing in small video projectors and a few other devices, the S1000pj moves this revolutionary technology into a mainstream consumer product. Soon, “embedded” picoprojectors will be everywhere.
An embedded picoprojector is one that’s built into a device other than a stand-alone video projector. Digital cameras, video camcorders, and camera-equipped cell phones are obvious candidates. Embedded picoprojectors will probably become as common as webcams in notebook computers. Hand-held videogames, media players, portable TVs, and ebook readers are additional possibilities. Picoprojectors will be used for advertising displays, vehicle entertainment systems, heads-up control panels, and other applications that can benefit from their space-saving properties.
I was recently reviewing different graphics programs for showing video files when I noticed that Explorer now refuses to display a miniature version of video graphics files when I go to the thumbnail view. It still shows miniatures of picture files (.jpeg and .bmp) but not video files. What would cause this? Is it possible to fix it without reinstalling the OS (XP Pro)? The video files show the miniature version when exported to another computer, so there must be something different with my OS. I’ve tried everything I could think of but no luck.
Everyone and their CPU-cooler-manufacturing mother are jumping aboard the skyscraper-formfactor bandwagon, hoping to match the performance of Thermalright’s Ultra-120 eXtreme and Noctua’s NH-U12P air coolers. Last month we tested Zalman’s attempt, and this month we have Thermaltake’s answer, the ISGC-300, one of a series of four ISGC-branded air coolers recently released into the wild. Thermaltake’s creative relationship with the English language is responsible for the ISGC moniker, which stands for “Inspiration of Silent Gaming Cooling.”
The ISGC-300 consists of a copper heat exchanger with four heat pipes running into a tower of 33 saw-toothed fins. At 6.24 inches high by five inches wide by 2.8 inches deep, it’s slightly shorter and narrower than Thermalright’s Ultra-120, but about a quarter-inch deeper. A 12cm white Thermaltake hydrodynamic-bearing fan is held onto the front using metal clips in a manner reminiscent of the Noctua NH-U12P. The nine-bladed fan is quiet and includes a variable-speed switch in lieu of a four-pin PVM connector. At its quietest, it’s nearly silent; at its loudest, it’s still damned quiet.
I have a month-old computer with a 64GB Falcon SSD for my OS and my most frequently played games. After I first installed the OS and all my games I had roughly 13GB of free space. Everything I’ve downloaded and installed since then has gone on my secondary drive; I have not added anything new to the primary drive. Despite this, I now have just 137MB free on my primary drive and am getting warnings of low disk space. Where is my available space going? I did a disk clean-up and that hardly freed any space. I’m running 64-bit Vista SP1. Any help would be appreciated.
Every computer collects dust over time. When the computer is running, it creates a field of static electricity, which in turn attracts clumps of dust and hair. These cluttering particles can easily collect around your processor, power supply, and case fans, and can block airflow and lead to overheating. This is why an important part of taking care of a computer is making sure that it’s clean.
To that end, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to clean your computer hardware and peripherals to make your rig look as good as new. We took a 4-year-old computer and thoroughly cleaned it using a few household supplies. All it took was a little bit of patience and a few hours and we managed to get some impressive results. Follow along below to achieve the same cleanliness Zen with your own machine.
Learn how to properly clean your PC after the jump.
The guts of the Lenovo IdeaPad S12 are virtually identical to the IdeaPad S10 that we reviewed back in 2008—1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 CPU, 1GB DDR2 RAM, 160GB HDD, and integrated Intel GMA950 graphics. The difference is the body. At 11.4 inches wide, this is one of the largest “netbooks” we’ve ever tested. The S12 has a 12.1-inch WXGA screen with a 1280x800 native resolution—far superior to the netbook-standard 1024x600, and much more usable. The glossy screen is impressively bright even at low LED-backlight levels.
The S12’s keyboard features large, comfortable keys and is a joy to type on, although as usual, Lenovo has mixed up where the Ctrl and Fn keys should be. The glossy black patterned lid and matte-black ABS frame make the S12 one of the best-looking and best-constructed netbooks we’ve ever tested, although the battery is a little wobbly and the lid is a fingerprint magnet. Both RAM and hard drive are easily accessible and upgradeable.
One thing I learned while attending art school was that anyone who thinks he or she is an Artist-with-a-capital-A, isn’t. Anyone who tries to produce Art—complete with layers of meaning and a message and prepackaged interpretations that they are just dying for some sensitive soul to uncover, is inevitably going to produce self-conscious garbage. It will probably be boring, almost certainly ugly, and without question, philosophically tendentious.
In any art, pure technique (honed by hard work and diligent practice) and pure instinct (some mystical combination of observation, perception, and interpretation, most of it subconscious) mingle to create something that speaks as “art.” You can’t fake it.
Thus, when I boot a pretentious art-house game like The Path, I know I’m in for instant seating at the crap buffet, complete with a tepid chaser of trite, high-school-level philosophy about MEANINGFUL THINGS. The Path is… words fail me.
Last fall, Intel slapped the solid state drive market on the back of the head with the release of the 80GB X25-M MLC drive. That drive absolutely trounced the competition with its 200MB/s read speeds, incredibly low random-access times, and best of all, no random-write stuttering or cache overflows. The first X25-M garnered a Kick Ass Award and defeated all comers in our last SSD roundup (November 2008), but the market has come a long way since then. With powerful competition from drives sporting Indilinx and Samsung controllers, can the 160GB X25-M maintain Intel’s crown?
The 160GB X25-M ships in a silvery chassis, unlike its predecessor’s black, and is 7mm tall—an included spacer accommodates 9.5mm drive bays. Intel’s kicked the flash manufacturing process down from 50nm to 34nm, and retained native SATA and Native Command Queuing from its previous iteration.
Windows 7 is out, and many of you have gone through the process of upgrading to the new OS with a clean install. And while you'll enjoy the new features like Aero Snap and an ISO burner (finally!), Windows 7 still lacks some basic functionality that we've come to expect from using PCs on a daily basis. For example, cloud storage file syncing and wide compression format compatibility are things we've taken for granted from essential freeware and open-source applications. Here's our list of five utilities that we really wish Microsoft bundled with Windows 7. And if you agree with us, use one of our recommended user-friendly auto-installers to get these apps.