If you missed last year’s free Xbox 360 with the purchase of a Windows PC deal from Microsoft here's some good news. Microsoft is repeating the offer Dell M11x R3 Battery .Buy a qualifying laptop or desktop PC with a starting price of at least $699 (or $599 in Canada) and you’ll get a free Xbox 360 4GB gaming system with your purchase. The 4G Xbox 360 retails for $199.99, so this is a pretty sweet offer for students looking to buy a new laptop for school anyway. After all, hard-working students need some downtime too. (By the way Dell Alienware M11x Adapter , Microsoft has another Xbox 360 offer that doesn’t require a PC purchase or student status: $99 for the Xbox with Kinect—but you have to sign up for a 2-year Xbox Live Gold membership at $14.99 per month.)The free Xbox 360 promotion runs from now until midnight September 8, according to the offer page on New Egg. Other participating retailers in the US include Best Buy DELL M17x R3 Adapter , Dell.com, Fry’s Electronics, HPDirect.com, and Microsoft Stores.
Students or their parents will need to verify their school enrollment. Last year, the offer was open to students 16 years or older, but this year the offer is open to primary and secondary school students as well as college students DELL Alienware P08G Battery .
Unfortunately, Microsoft’s announcement for this offer on the Windows Team Blog doesn’t mention any other promotions if you don’t want that free Xbox 360, such as 10% off your Windows laptop or desktop PC DELL M17x Battery , which was offered last year.GreenSmart's $55 Kea Laptop Daypack, a medium-sized backpack with a built-in laptop sleeve and plenty of smaller pockets, is so comfortable to wear that it's difficult to believe the bag is made from recycled plastic bottles.
GreenSmart proudly constructs all of the company's bags out of materials made from recycled plastic bottles--every inch of the Kea was once a bottle that's been ground up, spun into yarn, woven into fabric DELL Alienware M14x Adapter , and then sewn into the bag. The end result is a flexible material that feels like a soft canvas or nylon. The Kea is available in Ocean Blue (blue and grey exterior with an orange interior) or Mocha (two shades of brown with a grey interior) DELL Alienware M15x Battery .
The backpack has a 14-inch, padded laptop sleeve that really is for 14-inch (or smaller) notebooks--I tried to cram a 15-inch MacBook Pro into it, just to see if I could, but was unsuccessful. It's a great fit, however DELL M18x Adapter , for a 13-inch MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, either of which fits snugly inside the sleeve without much wiggle room, so it feels quite secure. A 13-inch MacBook inside a thin sleeve or case would even fit. The Kea of course can be used with an 11-inch MacBook Air or an iPad, but there's quite a bit of wiggle room--I'd recommend putting one of these smaller devices inside an additional case or sleeve just to add a bit more protection Dell 1425 Battery .
Apart from the inner laptop sleeve, the Kea's main zippered compartment has two smaller mesh pockets (either of them great for an iPhone) and one larger zippered pouch (perhaps for your MacBook's charger) Dell Inspiron 1427 Battery . There's also a zippered pocket out the outside of the bag; this pocket hosts a mesh flap, four slots for cards, two pen slots, and another pocket.
My only gripe with the backpack is its shape DELL XPS 14 Adapter . The Kea has bottom panel that's about seven inches deep, front to back, so you might assume that the bag would expand to up to seven inches deep most of the way to the top. But once you zip the pack closed, the front-to-back depth at the top is much smaller. While this is a common design for backpacks DELL XPS 15 Battery , for whatever reason it gives the Kea a particularly unbalanced appearance. And since the material isn't stretchy, stuffing the pack with books or other rigid items leaves a gap of open space at the bottom-front of the backpack, and this space is nearly impossible to access once the bag is full. I also didn't find the Ocean Blue option to be particularly stylish--either the color or the overall design DELL XPS 17 Adapter .
My only gripe with the backpack is its shape DELL XPS L401x Battery . The Kea has bottom panel that's about seven inches deep, front to back, so you might assume that the bag would expand to up to seven inches deep most of the way to the top. But once you zip the pack closed, the front-to-back depth at the top is much smaller. While this is a common design for backpacks DELL XPS L501x Adapter , for whatever reason it gives the Kea a particularly unbalanced appearance. And since the material isn't stretchy, stuffing the pack with books or other rigid items leaves a gap of open space at the bottom-front of the backpack, and this space is nearly impossible to access once the bag is full. I also didn't find the Ocean Blue option to be particularly stylish--either the color or the overall design DELL XPS L701x Battery .
Intel is still the market leader in this highly competitive chips race and, unfortunately, going on CPU performance alone Dell D505 Battery , Trinity still lags behind. Both VR-Zone and HotHardware say the Trinity A10 gets “blown out of the water” by Intel’s Ivy Bridge Core i7 CPU--and even against Intel’s second-generation Sandy Bridge mobile chips in some tests Dell Latitude D510 Adapter .
AMD positions its top-of-the-line A10 series against Intel’s lower-end Core i7 and higher-end Core i5 chips. Yet an Ivy Bridge mid-range i5-2410M had a 25% CPU performance advantage over the Trinity A10-4600, according to AnandTech’s comparisons using PCMark Dell D520 Adapter .
VR Zone is frank in its assessment, calling Trinity’s single threaded applications and raw memory performance “abysmal.”Still, AnandTech says Trinity’s new is a step forward from the CPU cores used in Llano Dell Latitude D530 Adapter . Trinity was about 20 percent faster than Llano in the reviewer’s general CPU performance tests--close to AMD’s 25 percent promise.Taking the synthetic test results (on a prototype laptop) with a grain of salt, an AMD Trinity-based laptop may tempt you, depending on your needs Dell Latitude D600 Battery .
If you require a mobile powerhouse with the best processing performance possible, an Intel quad-core i7 will be your better bet. But if you’re a gamer or want longer battery life in your laptop Dell Latitude D610 Battery , AMD has an edge over Intel.And despite the less-than-overwhelming overall CPU performance gains, Trinity-based laptops will be more than fine for mainstream tasks.Also not to be dismissed: Trinity-equipped laptops will, in general, be cheaper than laptops equipped with Ivy Bridge processors. For instance, AMD’s ultrathin laptops are set to be priced about $200 lower than Intel Ultrabooks Dell Studio 1440n Adapter .
The HP Envy Sleekbook with AMD processor is the first example of this; the Sleekbook is $150 cheaper than HP’s new Envy Ultrabooks with Intel processors.Remember a couple weeks ago when we discussed Ivy Bridge CPUs running a lot hotter than Sandy Bridge CPUs when overclocked? Well Loyd Case found a site that did a little experimentation and solved the mystery Dell 14z Adapter . (Hint: it's the awful thermal compound Intel uses.)
We're joined by Facebook expert Mark Sullivan to talk about the impact of Facebook's IPO, which should happen today. I think we're all in agreement that the company is way overvaulued Dell Studio 14zn Adapter , and will start snapping up other companies when the big flood of money comes in. With any luck, they'll avoid Yahoo's object lesson in how not to spend money.Ultrabooks are sleek, super-thin laptops that often feature a silver, wedge or tapering design--yes Dell Inspiron 14 Battery , just like the Apple MacBook Air.
However, despite Ultrabooks’ design similarities with Apple’s popular ultraportable, Ultrabooks really are a unique new breed of Windows laptops. They offer a distinct combination of performance, good looks Dell 1464 Battery , and features--some not available on the MacBook Air. Let's take a look.Ultrabooks are sleek, super-thin laptops that often feature a silver, wedge or tapering design--yes, just like the Apple MacBook Air Dell Inspiron 15 Battery .
However, despite Ultrabooks’ design similarities with Apple’s popular ultraportable, Ultrabooks really are a unique new breed of Windows laptops. They offer a distinct combination of performance Dell Inspiron 15 (1564) Adapter , good looks, and features--some not available on the MacBook Air. Let's take a look.The history of laptops shrinking in size suggests this is true. In fact, in 2003--five years before Apple introduced the MacBook Air--Sony introduced another premium, super-thin laptop: The Vaio X505 (also known as the Vaio PCG-X505, or the "505 Extreme") Dell 1564 Battery . This 1.8-pound laptop tapered down to 0.4 inches at the front (thinner than the Air) and had the sleek metallic body found on Ultrabooks today.
Look a little closer at some Ultrabooks that may look like MacBook Air clones, and you’ll find that laptop makers have added their own touches or improvements to the design. The Envy Spectre XT, for example Dell Inspiron 17 Adapter , has a magnesium body with a brushed design and a rubber coating on the bottom of the laptop; Apple uses aluminum with no pattern or bottom coating.The LG P430 has a brushed aluminum shell and black chiclet keyboard, but LG uses a thin bezel to cram a 14-inch (on the diagonal) display into the P430’s 13.3-inch footprint Dell 17 (1764) Battery .
The LG P430 has a brushed aluminum shell and black chiclet keyboard FUJITSU B6110 Battery , but LG uses a thin bezel to cram a 14-inch (on the diagonal) display into the P430’s 13.3-inch footprint.Good looks aren’t everything, however. Even though some laptops do look exactly like the MacBook Air, often there are significant differences inside. Besides running Windows FUJITSU LifeBook B6110D Adapter , using Intel processors, and meeting the thinness requirement, laptop makers are free to adapt Intel’s specifications for Ultrabooks as they see fit.
Some Ultrabooks push the dimensions of Ultrabooks with larger displays: Examples are the 15.6-inch Acer Timeline M3 and the 14-inch Samsung Series 5 Ultra. (The latter even packs an optical drive.) And Ultrabooks FUJITSU N3400 Battery , like the Asus Zenbooks, are coming soon with full HD 1080p resolution on matte In-Plane Switching (IPS) displays, for wider viewing angles and richer color.Good looks aren’t everything, however. Even though some laptops do look exactly like the MacBook Air, often there are significant differences inside FUJITSU LifeBook N3410 Adapter . Besides running Windows, using Intel processors, and meeting the thinness requirement, laptop makers are free to adapt Intel’s specifications for Ultrabooks as they see fit.
Some Ultrabooks push the dimensions of Ultrabooks with larger displays: Examples are the 15.6-inch Acer Timeline M3 and the 14-inch Samsung Series 5 Ultra. (The latter even packs an optical drive.) And Ultrabooks FUJITSU N3430 Adapter , like the Asus Zenbooks, are coming soon with full HD 1080p resolution on matte In-Plane Switching (IPS) displays, for wider viewing angles and richer color.
The MSI GT70 is a formidable everyday performer, as well as an excellent gaming machine. When the unit's closed, it even looks the part. Flip it open FUJITSU LifeBook N6110 Battery , and MSI might have been better off shooting for an under-the-radar aesthetic rather than incorporating what look like elements from a Cadillac body kit. Appearances aside (beauty is in the eye of the beholder), the GT70 is a very powerful laptop with only minor foibles FUJITSU N6400 Adapter .
What's most surprising about the GT70 is its battery life—5 hours and 10 minutes FUJITSU LifeBook N6410 Battery . That's positively Methuselah-like for a desktop replacement this powerful—and is partly due to a capacious 87 watt-hour battery and a less voracious third-gen Intel Core i7-3610QM CPU. Our $2000 test unit also sported 16GB of memory, dual SanDisk U100 60GB solid-state drives configured in RAID 0 FUJITSU N6420 Adapter , a 700GB hard drive, and a Blu-ray burner. Other, cheaper configurations are differentiated only by more sedate storage options.
The GT70's ports and connectivity are state of the art: three USB 3.0 ports FUJITSU LifeBook N6460 Adapter , eSATA, gigabit ethernet, and Killer 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (450 megabits per second), HDMI and VGA video out, an SD card slot, and surround audio. The latter is output via two additional jacks sitting beside the normal headphone and microphone jacks FUJITSU LifeBook N6470 Battery . All are gold-plated, which makes them less prone to oxidation and offers a slightly firmer connection, but doesn't improve sound quality.
Speaking of which, while the GT70's 17.3-inch, 1920-by-1200-pixel display and video playback are top-notch FUJITSU C1320 Battery , the audio is significantly less so. Through headphones the sound was decent, but from the speakers it was muddy and seemingly distorted at higher levels. I wasn't in love with the signal output to external speakers either. Call the audio just passable, despite all the marketing hype and the onboard subwoofer FUJITSU LifeBook C1320D Battery .
The gaming frame rates delivered by the GT70's Nvidia GTX670M GPU are very playable FUJITSU C1321 Adapter , if not quite all the way up the scale. At 1920 by 1080, Crysis 2 dragged a bit when set to high or ultra detail. Dirt 3 was just barely workable at maximum settings. You'll probably need to dial down the detail slightly for smooth game play at the screen's full capacity with most modern titles FUJITSU FMV-Q8220 Battery .
The MSI GT70 also turned in a score of 145 on WorldBench 7, which is very fast, though 55 points off the pace set by the Origin EON17-S, a far pricier unit with an unlocked, overclocked Core i7-3920XM CPU that runs almost 2GHz faster FUJITSU FMV-Q8230 Adapter . Still, the feel of GT70's Windows 7 OS and applications is snappy and them some. Our test system also had one of the quickest Windows boot times we've yet seen from a laptop—a mere 25.8 seconds. That includes the initialization of the Intel Rapid Storage RAID controller as well as the network boot utility FUJITSU FMV-Q8240 Battery .
The GT70 induced more than my usual quota of gazing at the review subject in a theta (trancelike) state, largely thanks to the time I had the keyboard's tricolor backlights in pulsating "breathe" mode Fujitsu LifeBook Q2010 Adapter . There are also normal, dual, and gaming modes that are a tad less transfixing. The keyboard seems to type nicely and has a full numeric keypad, but that may have been an illusion I suffered while in my semihypnotic state. I also imagined that the touchpad and buttons have a nice feel. The laptop has a prominent on/off switch for the keypad and buttons FUJITSU LifeBook P8010 Battery .
On startup, MSI shows you a somewhat busy desktop. Depending on your point of view, you'll think of MSI as considerately providing a lot of value-added software, or saddling you with a lot of useless craplets FUJITSU LifeBook P8020 Adapter . The short list of apps includes Norton Online Backup, Magix Video Easy SE and Music Maker 16, and the Qualcomm Atheros Killer Network Manager. KLM is provided to control the keyboard backlighting, and Cyberlink's YouCam utility is included in the 720p Webcam.
The GT70 is heavy: 8.4 pounds by its lonesome, and 10.6 pounds in combination with the hefty AC power brick FUJITSU P8010 Battery . It's also large at 16.9 inches wide by 11.1 inches deep by 2.4 inches high. But it's a desktop replacement, a category you shouldn't be shopping if you're not looking to develop your arm musculature.
The laptop does have several mild annoyances Fujitsu FMV-270LS Adapter . It has no physical eject button for the Blu-ray player disc tray. Instead, a touch control for this is at the top of the keyboard deck, but the included S-Bar toolbar app must be running in order for it to work under Windows. I don't like toolbars. The button does, however, function at boot time sans software Fujitsu LifeBook P1110 Battery . Also, I was unable to permanently disable the Bigfoot network boot agent in the GT70's BIOS—it kept turning itself back on for some as-yet-to-be-explained reason.
I also ran my own primitive test of the Bigfoot Killer Wi-Fi Fujitsu LifeBook P1120 Adapter . You most likely need a 450-mbps-capable router to get the full effect of its bandwidth. My Linksys E3000 router is up to only 300 mbps. Still, the GT70 transferred 15GB of largish files at only 10 mbps—while my 6-year old Asus laptop using 802.11g managed 12 mbps. It can be said fearlessly—your results may or may not live up to the hype Fujitsu P2000 Battery .
All in all, while the styling might be considered amateurish, and some minor idiosyncrasies exist, MSI has put together an all-around winning package in the GT70. Its 5-hour-plus battery life sets it apart from other high-performance heavyweights, and it's a full $1500 less than its aforementioned EON17-S rival Fujitsu LifeBook P2040 Battery .