Category Archives: Computers

Dell Vostro V131 Review

NOTE: This is a first draft / outline. The review will be updated with more info and photos… Startup time and hard drive Slow startup with conventional hard drive and a bit of bloatware (trend micro, Dell utilities) Hard drive space from factory: 262GB free of 283GB Cooling and fan noise It has one dinky little cooling fan. Small fan = has to spin fast. So when the fan kicks in you really notice it. Thankfully, the fan is not on

Acer Aspire AS7560 review

Here are my impressions of the Acer Aspire AS7560 laptop: Pros: Decent keyboard, WITH full numpad Supports TWO hard drives… dual hard drive support is quite rare in a machine this inexpensive Responsive trackpad with good two finger scrolling Easy upgrading. Loosening a few screws allows for access to two DDR3 RAM slots and two SATA hard drive bays. Cons: Occasional CPU noise even during relatively low load situations CPU cooling fanis audible during program loading (even FireFox etc.) then

Razer Blade 17″ gaming laptop review

The Razer Blade laptop is one of the most intriguing ‘gaming’ laptops to come along in quite a while. There have been a lot of “hands on” previews posted since the laptop was announced but only recently have real reviews stared to come online. As I find real reviews I will be posting them here along with some comments: Razer Blade review — Engadget Gaming Screen size 17.3 inches Screen resolution 1920 x 1080 Processor speed 2.8 GHz System RAM 8

Tip: shock protection unnecessary if you have a SSD!

The Lenovo X220 ThinkPad, as well as many Dell & HP laptops, ship with a form of anti-shock protection enabled by default. This is great if your laptop has a conventional hard drive that can be easily damaged by a fall or drop. The laptop is smart enough to pause disk activity and ‘park’ the head (or other similar techniques) to prevent disk damage. However, if your laptop is exclusively using a SSD (solid state drive) then that protection is

7mm SSD list / 7mm HD list

UPDATE 2012.05.30: added a list of 7mm SSD and 7mm HDD at the end of this post… The most-excellent Lenovo Thinkpad X220 laptop supports a rather odd thickness for its hard drive/SSD: 7mm This is unusual since most laptop drives are 9.5mm and some are fatties coming in at 12mm or 12.5mm. However, the 7mm thin drives are likely to become more and more common as Ultrabooks and other similar devices require thinner drives to maintain their low profile 🙂 So,

Ultimate triple monitor setup (for work, not particularly for gaming)

While preparing to redo my office, I am planning the “ultimate” LCD monitor setup. Let me clarify that I mean ultimate for my purposes: server management (RDP/SSH/etc.), email, spreadsheets, some image editing, minimal gaming. This is not ultimate in the gaming sense nor is it going to be as wild as some of the setups I have blogged about! UPDATE: 2011.11.01 [end update] Currently I am  using a Dell M6500 docked with a dual monitor setup: 30″ Dell 3007WFP – I

[HOWTO] upgrading M4400 (RAM, CPU, SSD, BIOS)

NOTE: you can also view all the entries in this Q & A series… I received the following question on my previous post about upgrading a Dell M4400 laptop: Q. Great J.D. Thank you. I also have an M4400. I purchased it a year or so ago so that I could have a portable solution as I explore 3D graphics programs such as 3DSMax etc…Based on your above post (and a few others) I have purchased a qx9300 quad core processor,

Overclocking a Dell M4400 [success] [HOWTO]

Last night I stably overclocked my Dell M4400 from 2.8GHz to 2.9Ghz using ThrottleStop and the dual IDA (Intel Dynamic Acceleration) mode. The laptop is still running coolly and the WEI score for the CPU even went up from 6.4 to 6.5 🙂 My understanding is that IDA is basically TurboBoost in an earlier form. So it is pretty darn cool to be using a precursor of TurboBoost on a laptop this old! PS I plan on posting step by