Monthly Archives: July 2008

Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E/H

Sony Vaio FW-139E/H

The Sony Vaio FW139E/H is a laptop with some interesting specs.  First things first, it’s $1100 with Free Shipping at Newegg.com.  What makes this laptop special is the high definition 16.4 inch widescreen (1600×900).  That 16:9 aspect ratio for all your widescreen movies.  So this laptop is a perfect desktop replacement.  At 6.4 pounds, it can be portable, but not recommended.  This is definitely the laptop for movie buffs that travel a lot.  It’s also good for everyday home use.  It packs enough power to tackle whatever you throw at it and a roomy 250GB hard drive for lots of storage.

Specs:

Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 2.26 GHz
3GB DDR2 Memory
250GB Hard Drive  5400 RPM
DVD R/RW Drive
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3470 256MB
16.4 inch Widescreen 1600×900

Windows Vista Home Premium
Wireless 802.11b/g
Bluetooth
VGA Port
HDMI port
1.3MP Webcam
Dimensions: 15.1″ x 10.3″ x 1.14-1.46″

Sony Vaio FW139E/H

sony vaio fw139E/H

Sony Vaio FW

Creative Zen 8GB – Ipod Alternative

If you’re like me, I’m not an iPod Fan.  I’m not sure what it is, but I always look elsewhere for my portable audio needs.  I also don’t like how the iPod goes obsolete so quickly.  There’s a new iPod every couple of months.

So I always turn to Creative to deliver functional players with outstanding sound quality.  Meet the Creative Zen.

Creative Zen Portable Audio Player

Pros:

  • Thin and Lightweight
  • Built in FM Turner
  • 30 hour audio playback
  • SDHC expandable Memory Slot
  • Video Playback
  • Photo viewer

Cons:

  • Dust and fingerprint magnet
  • No included case

These come in 2, 4, 8, 16, and 32GB varieties.  Prices range from $70 for the 2GB to over $200 for the 32GB model.  The 8 GB is my recommendation for most people.  You can always add a cheap SDHC card if you need more space.  The 8GB is currently $115 with Free Shipping at Newegg.com.

Review: Lenovo IdeaPad Y510

I never had the intention of reviewing the IdeaPad from Lenovo.   Reason is that I would always recommend a ThinkPad.  When I met my college buddy for lunch today, he was carrying one of these around.

Lenovo IdeaPad Y510

Specs:

Intel Pentium Dual Core T2390 (1.86GHz)
3GB DDR2 Memory
160GB Hard drive
DL DVD Burner
15.4″ WXGA Screen (1280×800)
6.4 lbs.
4 hours battery life
Wifi, 10/100 LAN, 56K Modem
6-in-1 Card reader
Windows Vista Home Premium

Price at Newegg.com is $599.99 after $50 Mail in Rebate (Expire 10/2008), with Free Shipping.  You really can’t beat this price for such a quality laptop.  It definitely has more style than the more conservative and business-like ThinkPad.

This particular laptop is good for light use.  The processor is on the slow side but is more than adequate for web browsing, emailing, Microsoft Office, and other light use.  Don’t expect to edit photos on this machine.  You’ll need something with more power.

For $799.99 after $100 Mail in rebate and free shipping, you get the exact same notebook with a Intel Core 2 Duo T5750 (2.0 GHz) CPU, 250 GB Hard Drive, .  This has more muscle for all your picture and video needs.  The Lenovo IdeaPad Y510-5132U is available here.

-Monkey

MSI Wi-fi Problem

MSI Wind Wi-fi Problems If you are one of the lucky few that bought an MSI Wind, you might be experiencing some problems with the Wi-fi.  It will connect and then disconnect.  No matter what you do, the connection will disconnect.

Fortunately, it’s a simple fix.  Head over to MSI’s support webiste, CLICK HERE FOR MSI SUPPORT SITE, and download the new WLAN driver.  Follow the directions for the install and you should be all set.

Laptops for Students

When I was in school, not too long ago, laptops were pretty expensive.   They were huge, heavy, didn’t last more than 3 hours.  I also hear from many people that their laptopsare not durable.  Most say the life of their laptops is about 1 year…maybe 2.  That’s why I buy business laptops.

Pros

  • The build quality is better.  It has to stand all that traveling and abuse.
  • The warranty is usually longer than consumer laptops.
  • You won’t need a new one in a couple of years.

Cons

  • They more expensive.  But it’ll last longer.
  • They not very visually appealing.  It’s a computer, not an accessory.

Here are 3 recommendations for three different students.

1.   Take notes, surf the web, emails, writing papers, music, youtube, and very portable 9 inch screen.

The Asus Eee 901 will do the job.  It’s just about $550 everywhere.  Click here to get Free Shipping on this product from Buy.com.

2.  I want the same thing as #1 but a little faster with a bigger screen.

I recommend the Lenovo Thinkpad X61s.  It has a 12.1 inch screen and the Lenovo Thinkpad legendary build quality. This cost $1,165.99.  It more expensive but will last a while.  My 4 year old Thinkpad is still my daily computer.  Click here to get Free Shipping on this laptop at Buy.com

3.  I want to play games on my computer.

To me, gaming on a laptop is the toughest thing you can do to a laptop.  To play games, the computer has to work very hard.  The Acer TravelMate 5720-6370 has an Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 2400 HT Video Card.  This will cost you $1,315 and Free Shipping at Buy.com.  The downside of this system is that it will get hot and the battery won’t last longer than 3 hours.

acer-travelmate-5270-6370

MSI Wind

The MSI Wind is no where in sight.  A lucky few already had their’s shipped.  However, for the rest of us, we have to wait because it is not available at major retailers.  But I think waiting may be the better option at this point.  The current units are being shipped with a 3-cell battery.  The new Intel Atom CPU consumes less power, but with the puny 3-cell battery, you’re looking at 3 hours of up time.

I would wait a month for the unit to ship with the 6-cell battery, good for at least 5 hours of up time.

Features:

  • 10″ WSVGA LCD 1024×600 (LED Backlight)
  • Intel Atom N270 CPU 1.6 GHz
  • Intel GMA950 Integrated Graphics
  • 1 GB DDR2 667 MHz memory
  • 80GB Hard Drive 2.5″ SATA
  • 10/100 LAN & Built in 802.11b/g WLAN & Bluetooth
  • 4 in 1 Card Reader
  • 1.3 MP Webcam
  • 3 USB 2.0 Ports
  • 1 VGA port
  • 1 Mic in, 1 Headphone out
  • 10.23″(L) x 7.08″(D) x 0.748″~1.24″(H)

-Monkey

Gadget Review Part 2: Asus Eee PC

I’ve been using an Asus Eee PC 4G for a few months now.  I originally bought it to be a companion PC for my work laptop.  I don’t like to mix business and personal.

Right off the bat, I complained about the tiny keyboard.  I have fat fingers.  Then there’s the tiny screen, 7 inches.  It’s hard to view web pages at 800×480 resolution.  Everything involved scrolling on the tiny track pad.  But it served its purpose.  It was small, lightweight, and handled the job of basic computing.

So what now?  I’m tired of squinting to read the screen.  I’m tired of mashing 3 tiny keys under my finger.  I think I’ll be upgrading to the MSI Wind.  After all, I got my economic stimulus rebate and I have to spend it right?  More about the MSI Wind later.

-Monkey

Gadget Review: Amazon Kindle

The Amazon Kindle is a good gadget for geeks that love to read.  You can even get RSS feeds on this through the built-in Wireless EVDO network.  Oh, here’s the kicker, you don’t have to pay for the connection.  The Kindle comes with the service straight out of the box courtesy of Amazon.  If you’re a die hard geek and want to spurlge, this is the gadget for you.

Pros:

  • Lightweight means very portable
  • Clear text
  • Carry your whole library with you without the bulk
  • Built in connectivity – Shop for books right on the Kindle
  • Long battery life

Cons:

  • It cost $369
  • You still have to pay for the books (about $10 each)

Click here to check out the Kindle at Amazon.com

-Monkey

Moving from Blogger to Dreamhost and WP

Hey All,

Popmonkeys has officially moved to Dreamhost for hosting and a different look.  The different look will come soon.  The transition from blogger to WP was a little nerve racking for me.  The blogger version still exists at http://popmonkeys.blogspot.com.

Dreamhost definitely made it pretty easy to transition a domain name, hosted by someone else, and the one click install of wordpress on the server.  Their tech support is pretty good, very responsive and super helpful.  I think there was a lot of user error on my part.  Sorry.  I’m not an server admin.

If you google Dreamhost+Wordpress, you’ll find a coupon code for some more interesting benefits of moving over.  Prices are not too bad.  Overall, I recommend Dreamhost to anyone that wants a custom WordPress blog.

-Monkey