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“ISTE’s NECC will be the first public forum at which we not only show a working prototype of the $100 Laptop, but also provide hands-on access to developer machines. Furthermore, selected conference attendees will be invited to participate in our developer program.”DigitalTrends reviews Sony’s $1,799 UX50 UMPC (Ultra MObile PC). It recieved the editors choice award with a score of nine. Pros: Responsive, Beautiful design, 2 cameras, fully keyboard, bright touch screen. Cons: Price, confusing differences between Japanes and US models.

June 22nd – Novatel Wireless announced it has started its pre-commercial shipments of the Merlin UX870 ExpressCard, designed for both North American and European HSDPA networks.The Merlin XU870 is a tri-band HSDPA/UMTS and quad-band EDGE/GPRS product, which allows for worldwide roaming between HSDPA networks in both North America and Europe. It is initially configured for 3.6Mbps data speeds, but as soon as 7.2Mbps service is available, it can be upgraded with a software utility to boost its speed to 7.2Mbps.Peter Leparulo, CEO of Novatel Wireless commented:

“The Merlin XU870 ExpressCard is our second external ExpressCard/34 solution for notebook platforms that either contain both PCMCIA and ExpressCard slots or only ExpressCard slots. By delivering our pre-commercial Merlin XU870 HSDPA ExpressCards for North American and European markets, ahead of schedule, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to leading the way in ExpressCard mobile broadband development.”The Clevo TN121R is an interesting convertible tablet notebook. It came customized from AVA Direct, with its 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo processor and 200GB hard drive. This 12.1″ tablet is a tiny powerhouse, great for college students or business professionals who need a travel companion.The Clevo TN121R is a solid tablet. The chassis feels sturdy and there is no flex in the body. The casing underneath feels a little cheap, but this isn’t a huge problem. It weighs in around 4.7lbs. and is the perfect size for traveling. It does look a little odd though since it doesn’t have any branding. It is a Clevo, but it came customized from AVA Direct so the badges are gone.

Overall the Toshiba P25 laptop has a very unique design. The corners are rounded for comfort. If you look closely at the notebook you will be hard pressed to find an exact straight edge. Even the long edges have a slight curve to them, making for not only a sleek look, but a comfortable feel when carrying the device. The DVD and CD controls are located on the front middle, but just slightly under the front edge. This placement ensures you do not inadvertently press a button while in the middle of watching your favorite DVD. By default these buttons are turned off. You just have to push the mode button for 4 seconds to activate them; the same action will deactivate them if they are currently active. A unique feature is that you can play audio CDs without having the laptop turned on. This means you don’t have to boot to Windows in order to play CDs. The DVD/CD tray is uniquely located at the front of the notebook; it comes out forward towards you when opening. At first I thought this was going to be a downfall in design, but after using the notebook in my recliner, I found that because of the large 17″ screen the notebook is wider than most and fits perfectly in my lap between the recliners arm rests. If I were sitting in my favorite recliner and wanted to pop the CD tray out to the side, it would be challenged by the arm of the chair, so this front loading design turned out to be a plus in my case! If you have the P25 placed on a desk it might also be easier to access the drive from a front location. The drive doesn’t pop out far enough that you would have to back away from your desk when opening it, so in actual fact the access is easier by having the drive here.. USB ports are located on both the side and rear of the notebook, it’s best to plug devices that you won’t switch out much, such as a printer, to the back of the notebook and a device such as a USB flash drive into one of the side USB ports.

I was pleased the Toshiba P25 came equipped with a DVD burner that is capable of burning DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM disc. Although this drive is branded as a DVD-SuperMulti drive, you can still burn CDs. DVDs are great for large amounts of data, but as the blank DVD discs are more expensive you’ll want to stick with CD-R and CD-RW discs as data storage media when you have under 740MB of data.The P25 I have comes with an integrated 802.11 b/g card. Built-in Wi-Fi is an important feature to have in any laptop you buy these days. I have tried the P25 with both my older D-Link (802.11b standard) AirPlus Access point and with my new Linksys 2.4GHz (802.11g standard) wireless router. The Toshiba P25 performed perfectly with both models. Compared to my older laptop in which I used a PCMCIA card that stuck out of the notebook, I have found that the P25 built-in Wi-Fi gets a much better signal strength then my older laptop.

The new HP Pavilion dm1 (also called the Pavilion dm1z) is an 11-inch notebook that uses the latest AMD Fusion technology to combine a fast dual-core processor and powerful graphics inside a budget-priced netbook alternative. Is this the best new notebook for 2011? Keep reading to find out.The new HP Pavilion dm1 is an evolutionary update to last year’s Pavilion dm1z and the dv2 from 2009. Stylistically, the dm1 has more in common with the dm3. In fact, if you place the new dm1 side by side with last year’s dm3, you’ll see that this 11-inch notebook is basically a smaller version of the dm3. At first glance it’s easy to mistake the dm1z for one of the dozens of HP netbooks that have shown up over the last few years. Fortunately, the Pavilion dm1 has a lot more to offer than those low-performance netbooks.

Build quality is on par with what we’ve seen from the rest of the HP Pavilion Ultraportable notebooks and HP mini netbooks. The plastics used in the chassis are durable and thick enough to prevent flex or cracking under pressure. The plastic screen lid provides adequate protection for the screen but the middle of the lid does bend inward under firm pressure (be careful jamming this into overhead compartments on your next flight). The lid also features an attractive matte black paint job with black pinstriping done in glossy paint. This makes fingerprint smudges far less visible than what we see on laptop lids with glossy paint jobs. Opening up the screen, the hinges have enough tension to hold the screen in place when it’s motionless but not enough tension to hold the screen in place when you’re carrying it around. The rest of the body of the notebook seems to be well designed with minimal chassis flex and no obvious creaks from the plastics.

The HP Mini 2140, like last year’s Mini-note 2133, has a great design. Everyone in our office agrees that this ultra-mobile laptop has a solid chassis and attractive look. The brushed aluminum and plastic casing is durable and hides fingerprints well. It also keeps the Mini 2140 lightweight; only weighing in around 2.4 lbs as configured. The sleek business appeal feels at home in the corporate world, but the Mini 2140 is targeted toward students as well. One look at this machine and you can see why. Who wouldn’t want an inexpensive mini notebook to toss in a backpack between classes, especially one that pretty much has a full-size keyboard?

The touchpad on the P25 is straight forward. Toshiba provided a utility that allows you to turn off the touchpad and use an external mouse if you prefer that method of input. The one item lacking in this laptop was the ability to turn off the touchpad’s “TAP” for clicking. In case you are not familiar with a touchpad device, when you tap on a touchpad it registers the same as a left mouse button double-click. Most touchpads have a utility to disable the “TAP” feature so when you are sliding your finger up the pad and need to remove it and continue your slide, it does not register as a double click and dom something such as launch a hyperlink. I called Toshiba about this issue and they said a new Alps driver would be out soon to provide this functionality of disabling the tap. Toshiba recommended waiting for the release of the exact driver designed for the P25 notebook, but did mention drivers already existed for other Toshiba notebooks that allowed users to do this. Having found out about these drivers and locating them on the Toshiba website, I couldn’t help but try them out to see if they worked for the P25. And guess what? They did! So I was able to download an Alps touchpad driver from Toshiba’s web site and disable all the touchpad’s special features without a problem.

The P25 has virtually no noticeable noise to speak of, even though it is a large notebook and you would expect for it to generate quite a bit of sound. The hard drive is very quiet. During intense CPU usage, such as when gaming or using multiple applications, the fans can come on and have an air moving sound to them, but there is no annoying fan whine to speak of. There is no getting around the size. If you want a 17″ notebook you’re most likely going to have to deal with a laptop that’s rather heavy. And there’s no exception for the P25. This notebook is large, and weighs in at about 10lbs. If you need to be on the move a lot, this may not be the best choice for you. But if you’re like me and want a big beautiful 17″ screen, super performance, then this is the notebook of choice. The Toshiba P25 is without a doubt classified as a desktop replacement style notebook. So if you want to chuck your desktop computer and yet still want something that has a large screen for easy viewing and a good amount of power, then the P25 might be right for you..

I was looking for a laptop that I could take to university with me in the fall, but it was important that it would last a long time and be able to run Vista when that comes out – as well as running XGL in Linux, portability was less important as it is likely to spend most of the time on my desk so I didn’t have to worry so much about size or weight. Initially I was going to buy a Lenovo Z61m but the wait here was too long so I got impatient and ordered this, I’m confident that these specs will remain respectable for few years yet and the X1800 graphics card should have no problems at all with Vista and any games I may want to play.This is my first desktop replacement laptop, and it replaces a Toshiba Portege so I hope the increased performance is worth the move from a 12″ screen and 1.2kg to a 17″ screen and over 4kg.

I ordered late on Friday and it arrived just before mid-day on Saturday which is pretty good service. The total cost was 943 GBP including Saturday delivery (about 1750 USD / 1350 EUR)The first thing that strikes you about this laptop, and may stop you from wanting it is that it’s big. Very big. The 17″ screen means that it’s about 1.5 times as wide as a normal laptop, combined with the weight (4kg) means it’s not something you can carry anywhere, or use on your lap for long periods of time. The trade off is obviously portability against performance and screen real estate.

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