HP Spectre x360 Review: Strong Competitor In The Ultrabook Market

Although HP has been a pioneer of notebooks, it could not compete well in the Ultrabook market. However, HP lovers can now rejoice as the company is ready with the Spectre x360 Ultrabook.

HP Spectre x360 emerges to be a strong competitor in the Ultrabook marketSpectre x360 Ultrabook At a Glance

Boasting a sturdy metallic hinge, the device has kept its stylish look intact without compromising on practicality. An extra large glass track pad also attracts attention. The device works a dual purpose as it can be used in the notebook form or as a tablet. To suit working as a laptop, it is supported by a backlit keyboard that allow users to work even in low light conditions. The touchscreen feature of the device helps while using it as a tablet. 

Meant for everyday use, Spectre x360 comes with a  QHD display, which makes it the perfect choice for those who do video or photo editing on the device. The best part is its lightweight and slender look that makes it easy to carry. However, that does not compromise its functioning as it comes with an Intel Core i7 5500U (2.4 GHz with Turbo Boost Upto 3 GHz) powerful processor. Operating on Windows 8.1, the device can stay cool even when heavy duty works are performed. Priced around Rs. 1, 25, 000, it also offers a strong battery support for extensive use.

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HP Envy 17 3D: Does the Makeover Help?

HP initially launched the Envy 17 3D notebook sometime last year in its premium range of offerings. Aimed primarily at avid gamers, the original Envy 17 3D went up against veterans in the game like Asus and Alienware. But it didn’t find as many takers the first time around, and HP ended up drawing a lot of flak for the clunky design and heating issues. Has HP finally managed to get it right after giving the Envy 17 3D a much-needed makeover?

Said to be inspired by the 17-inch Macbook Pro, the Envy 17 3D is designed to be the ideal choice for multimedia and gaming. With a Blu-Ray player, stereoscopic 3D and high quality sound provisions, it can be considered a formidable competitor to the Dell XPS 17, which also has a 3D version. The very first impression of the Envy 17 3D is quite striking – an all black metallic body with a unibody design also feels sturdy and solid to hold. However, on the downside, the semi-matte finish of the top cover is a bit of a fingerprint magnet, so you need to keep a cloth handy to polish it to a shine often. Weighing 3.34 kgs, it is slightly bulkier than your average laptop, but for its size and features, you don’t mind the weight at all.

The Envy 17 3D package includes active shutter 3D glasses, which you can use on the notebook’s full HD screen. AMD HD3D and TriDef 3D Ignition lets you view movies and games in 3D. On the inside, the Envy 17 3D is powered by a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, and 8GB of DDR3 RAM to give you an exemplary gaming experience. An AMD Radeon HD 7690 chip powers the graphics, but you also have the option of switching to Intel’s integrated HD Graphics 3000 for greater power efficiency. By default, the Envy 17 3D has a 750GB HDD, but you can choose to upgrade to various combinations of HDD and SSD drives as well. Also included is a 1MP “HP TrueVision HD” webcam as well as a built-in mic.

The Envy 17 3D has 3 USB 3.0 ports as well as 1 USB 2.0 port along the sides of the notebook. One of the best features of this notebook is the presence of 2 full-size DisplayPorts so you can connect it up to multiple monitors simultaneously. You also have 1 HDMI port and a memory card reader on the side. Powerful connectivity options including Intel Centrino’s Ultimate-N 6300 wireless network adapter for superfast Wi-Fi as well as a Bluetooth 4.0 adapter will leave you lusting after this notebook even more. A high capacity 6-cell battery can provide power to the Envy 17 3D for over 5 hours, which is far more than you can expect for a laptop of this configuration.

The Envy 17 3D comes with a limited 2-year warranty, which you can choose to extend by signing up for HP’s “Care Pack” Services. The starting price of $1449.99 might be considered slightly on the steeper side, but for all that it packs within it, we think it’s just right.… Read the rest

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Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E430: Go Professional, Without Burning a Hole in the Pocket!

Lenovo has recently jumped up in rankings to become the second-largest PC maker around the world. Its widely popular ThinkPad series of notebooks have helped it retain its growth over the years, and Lenovo now plans to go after the small and medium business (SMB) enterprises with its new range of products. Keeping with its latest strategy of targeting SMBs that continue to drive growth despite the stark economic conditions globally, the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E430 is the latest notebook priced reasonably, without compromising on the performance and overall quality of the device.

The E430 sports a 14 inch screen and is highly lightweight and portable, starting from just 4.7 pounds. Pick from antiglare or glossy options for the HD screen. Its battery life is also enhanced and promises to last over 8 hours on a single charge. Highly stylish, the E430 comes with a brushed aluminum exterior, and is available in various color options including black with chrome, or soft-touch black, red, or blue. The E430 features Dolby Advanced Audio to produce crystal clear sound at maximum volume. It even comes with a 720p HD camera integrated on top of the screen.

The E430 comes equipped with many cool features including a spill-resistant AccuType keyboard design, 3 powerful USB 3.0 ports for high speed data transfer, a fingerprint reader for better security, and enhanced VOIP capabilities. Conveniently placed buttons on the keyboard let you mute your camera, mic, or speakers with just one press. Lenovo’s One Key Recovery Pro software ensures that you will never have to worry about losing your data in the unfortunate event of a laptop crash, and is pre-installed in the E430.

The E430 notebook is powered by the latest Intel Core i3 processors, which can be upgraded up to Intel Core i7 processors, integrated Intel HD graphics cards, and configurations up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM for high performance. It also features the Lenovo hard disk drive performance booster technology that lets its hard drive perform up to 184% better than normal hard disks. For storage, you get up to 500GB HDD or even up to 16GB mSATA, if required.

The E430 offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and also comes with a built-in 4-in-1 card reader. A multi-touch touchpad lets you pinch and zoom web pages and other content on the screen. The E430 is available on the Lenovo website with a starting price of $539.10 and comes with a default 1-year limited warranty, which you can opt to expand to up to 4 years by paying extra.… Read the rest

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The Laptop Vs. The MACtop

For the ’show-off’ aspect of our personality, it’s well justified to pay a few extra bucks to acquire the elusive half eaten apple on our machine, isn’t it?

If you’re one of those who’s tired of choosing your newest machine, we’re here to make your choice easy. In the Harry Potter series it was prophesized that every wizard is destined to a specific type of wand and if attained, great things can be expected from the twosome. Similarly, each one of us is a wizard and our notebook is our wand with which we create our own worlds, our own magic and hence, it is imperative that we choose the perfect machine that serves our needs.

The entire Notebook market can be divided into three segments – the economic buy, the performance-cum-quality driven buy, and finally, the buy to flaunt. And unarguably, the new MacBook Pro basic model falls in the third category. I believe we all subscribe to the fact that a MacBook is not an economically logical buy. The few extra thousand bucks might not be justified, if you think about the distinguished features it offers. Take, for instance, the Facetime HD webcam, the new Intel connectivity platform – Thunderbolt, and an SDXC card slot capable of addressing a 2TB SD memory card (if that ever comes into market). All said, the sleek design would be the real calling for true Apple fans and to top it further, the new Retina Display Feature of Apple promises to make your viewing experience a real pleasure.

Despite all this, the very few customization options and almost impossible upgrades make it a very tough call to decide on the huge investment that the machine calls for. Another drawback that is passed on as a legacy from all previous MacTops is the overheating problem and the problem of battery life. Our dear half eaten fruit logo-ed company is known for its innovation has somehow, proved to be a failure in addressing such basic issues.

When it comes to notebooks driven by high performance and quality, my personal favorite is the new Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook. With its elegant elemental Silver Aluminum body and a powerful core i5 2467M processor with Turbo Boost 2.0, this little devil is sure to take your breath away. The backlit keyboard, large touch pad, edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass over the display, and small footprint all add up to an impressive package. And all this at a competitive price when compared to the various other Ultrabooks available in the market, including the MacBook Air. Although coming late into the Ultrabooks market, Dell sure did prove its worth all over again. However, our job is not to tell you the goodies right? Let’s bring out the real picture. After a lot of detailed inspection, the only drawback we could find with this hotselling machine is that the RAM is only upgradable to as much as 4GB. Makes us a little sad doesn’t it?

Not lagging far behind in competition in terms of performance and price is the new Viao S Series. If you are one of those colorful personalities passionate about the aesthetics and feel of your machine, the Sony VAIO S VPCSA290X is a buy waiting for you. This baby offers you ample speed and performance augmented with excellent design features–all at a fairly nominal price. This would be an ideal choice for an economic buyer who is ready to compromise on some levels to get the best value for money. But if you’re looking into the segment of laptops at a premium price, you’ll not be the one who is ready to compromise on average speed, average sound and average performance right? Therefore, Sony has to understand that if they have to offer such an average product, just labeling it a Viao and marketing itself at a premium product won’t bring them any good.

A quick glance on the specifications is as follows:

  Apple Macbook Pro (basic model) Dell 13 Ultrabook Sony VAIO S VPCSA290X
Processor 2.3GHz Intel Core i5 2nd generation Intel® Core™ i5-2467M processor (1.60 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 2.30 GHz,TPM) 2.3-GHz Intel Core i5-2410M
Memory 4GB upgradable to 8GB 4GB Dual Channel DDR3 1333MHz Memory 4GB upgradable to 8GB
Hard Drive 320 GB SATA 128GB Solid State Drive 500GB SATA
Display Type 13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with support for millions of colors Elemental Silver Aluminum and 13.3″ Hi-Def (720p) True Life(1366×768) WLED Display with 1.3MP Webcam 13.3″ LED backlit display (1600×900)
Operating System OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit (English) MS Windows 7 Professional (64-bit)
Optical Drive DVD Burner DVD Burner
Graphics Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 Intel HD Graphics 3000 AMD Radeon HD 6630M/Intel HD
Video Memory 384MB 384MB 1 GB


To sum it up, it’s up to you as to which features you’re willing to compromise on and what negatives aren’t frustrating enough for you even after shelling out the extra moolah. If you want it sleek, you have to compromise on a few features. If you want it powerful and fast, you’ll have to buy an icepack to keep you and your machine cool. If you want nothing and know nothing, there’s always a Viao round the corner that’ll be perfect for you!… Read the rest

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