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  1. 1. 3d hdtv: ready for primetime? MARCH 2010 nexus one Hands on with Google’s First Phone The next Generation of netbooks our essential Tips for new Mac ConvertsTablets 2.0Why 2010 Could (Finally) Be Their Year
  2. 2. MARCH 2010 vol. 29 no. 3 44 CovER SToRY ThE yEAr Of ThE TAbLET Though the tablet concept has been around for years, it never really took off—until now. Check out our in-depth report on why 2010’s tablets are going to transform laptop computing.PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION MARCH 2010
  3. 3. 12 18 25 FIRST looKS TECH nEwS2 CONSUMEr ELECTrONICS 5 frONT SIDE Google nexus one (T-Mobile) Tech companies offering help in Haiti; inside Intel and Micron’s Canon EoS 7D flash memory plant; the new Aliph Jawbone Icon breed of netbooks. Plus Quick looks8 hArDWArE oPInIonS Sony vAIo vPC-l117FX/B 2 fIrST WOrD: Polywell MiniBox P5500C LANCE ULANOff Toshiba Satellite T115-S1105 38 JOhN C. DvOrAk ASUS G51J-1B 3D 40 SASChA SEGAN Epson Artisan 810 42 DAN COSTA Plus Quick looks28 bUSINESS SolUTIonS 54 GOING MAC lenovo ThinkPad Edge 13 How to make a seamless switch vMware Fusion 3.0 from PC to Mac. MailChimp 62 kILL yOUr PhONE32 SOfTWArE How to deactivate your phone Mobile web browsers remotely if it is lost or stolen. norton online Backup 2.0 64 CUSTOMIZE WINDOWS 7 SafeCentral 2.6 13 fun tricks to make win 7 Plus Quick looks your own.68 ThE bEST STUffPC Magazine Digital Edition, ISSn 0888-8507, is published monthly at $24.97 for one year. Ziff Davis Media Inc., 28 East 28th Street, new York nY 10016-7940. MARCH 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION
  4. 4. FIRST WORD LANCE ULANOFFThe iPad: A Must-Have?A “magical” device. That’s what I tried to look at the iPad in the context Apple chief executive Steve of all the questions I received on Twitter, as Jobs called the new iPad. well as the general confusion I still see swirl- And Apple execs said it so ing around this tablet. It’s not a replacement often that I began to imag- for the iPhone or iPod touch, nor will it sup-ine pixie-dust falling from the ceiling of the plant your go-to laptop. Steve Jobs wants itYerba Buena Art Center, landing gently on to sit in the middle. I can see that. The deviceour throbbing skulls, slowly but surely lull- feels like middleware.ing us into the belief that Jobs and company It’s really not for phone calls, has no physi-had introduced something otherworldly. cal keyboard (you can buy one as an acces- Even hours later, I’m having trouble sort- sory) or a mouse. And once you handle theing out my feelings. I saw the demos, heard iPad, you quickly realize that it’s way too bigthe words and even had some hands-on for any pocket. The iPad’s size alone ensurestime with the iPad. It is gorgeous. But I’d say that this won’t enjoy iPhone-like ubiquity. Atit is more practical than “magical.” about 9 inches and 1.5 pounds, you’ll take it out when you’re on the couch, riding theSmoke and Mirrors? train, and probably on the airplane.Steve Jobs’ assertion that the existing 75million iPhone and iPod touch custom- This Reader Won’t Save Publishingers already know how to use this device I tried reading The New York Times on theruns counter to the idea of magical. Magic iPad, complete with embedded video. Itis something we don’t understand and can was nice, but not revolutionary. This devicescarcely believe. Like Jobs said, we know has zero chance of saving the publishingthis product. industry. Like any digital platform, it offers When I tried it out, I spent zero time figur- an evolutionary possibility to beleaguereding out how to use it. The iPad works exactly print publications, but I saw nothing thatlike an iPhone, for heaven’s sake. Nothing made me say, “This is it!”enchanted about that. As expected, the iPad is a reading device. PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION MARCH 2010
  5. 5. The iPad works exactly like an iPhone, for heaven’s sake. Nothing enchanted about that.I have to say that the execution of the entire the only audience groan of the whole event.e-book experience, from the flipstand cover (For more on this, see Sascha Segan’s col-to the iBook store, looks great. As I “flipped” umn on page 40.) But the biggest disap-through a book on the iPad, I kept com- pointment for me is the lack of a stylus.paring it to my Kindle, which is not as easy Apple did show off an updated “Brushes”to do as you might think. In a nutshell, the app, which lets you use your fingers to paintiPad’s gesture-based page-turning is simply and draw professional-level art. That’s nice,awesome. but the artist in me wants a drawing imple- ment. Other things the iPad is missing, suchOther Nice Features as a camera, will eventually be added.The nearly-full-size virtual keyboard was apleasant surprise, not only because Apple Reaching a Verdictincluded it, but because it seems to work My perspective may change once we putso well. Forget thumb-typing; this device is the iPad through the ringer. Gaming lookedtoo big for that, but when I set it down on a good in the demo, but what kind of restric-table, I was able to type quite nicely. tions will Apple be putting on these apps? The biggest story here may not have been And the rated battery life is only underwhat you can do on the iPad or even the optimal situations (and how will that ratedexcellent $499 entry-level price. For me it life hold up a year or two from now?). Aswas Apple’s under-the-hood innovation. As for durability, I’d say it’s about as durable asI predicted, Apple introduced its own chip, any other Apple product, but if you drop itprobably using its internal PA Semi team face down on concrete—well, that could beto build the do-it-all A4. In my brief hands- a different story.on, I typed, browsed the Web, checked out Bottom line: If you feel like there’s a hole inphotos, read books and watched full-screen your life and you’ve identified it as the spacevideo. It never hiccuped. between your smartphone and your lap- top, the iPad is the product for you. For theWhat’s Missing rest of us, who have done things like investApple didn’t deliver on every wish. There’s in an Amazon Kindle and more traditionalno camera, a surprising omission for some- netbooks, the decision may be much, muchthing I still think is aimed at people who like tougher.to create. Something else Apple left out of Follow Me oN TwiTTer! Catch the chief’sthe iPad: Verizon! Apple has doggedly stuck comments on the latest tech developments atwith ATT, an announcement that produced twitter.com/LanceUlanoff. MARCH 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION
  6. 6. Editor-in-ChiEf, pC magazinE nEtwork Lance Ulanoff ®Editor Stephanie ChangdirECtor of onLinE ContEnt, EXECUtiVE prodUCEr Vicki B. JacobsonEXECUtiVE EditorDan Costaart dirECtor Richard J. Demler www.pcmag.comEditoriaL prodUCtion dirECtor Nicholas CosmopC Labs dirECtor, managing Editor (Laptops, dEsktops) Laarni Almendrala Ragazamanaging Editors Sean Carroll (software, security, Internet), Eric Griffith (business,networking), Tony Hoffman (printers, scanners), Matthew Murray (ExtremeTech),Sascha Segan (mobile), Wendy Sheehan Donnell (consumer electronics)sEnior Editors Brian Heater (PCMag.com), Carol Mangis (blogs, community),Erik Rhey (Digital Edition)pC Labs LEad anaLysts Cisco Cheng (laptops), Tim Gideon (consumer electronics),Samara Lynn (business, networking), Michael Muchmore (software), Neil J. Rubenking(security), Joel Santo Domingo (desktops), M. David Stone (printers, scanners)anaLysts Dan Evans (DIY, hardware), PJ Jacobowitz (consumer electronics)inVEntory ControL Coordinator Nicole Grahamstaff photographEr Scott SchedivypCmag.Com managEr, onLinE prodUCtion Yun-San TsaiprodUCErs Mark Lamorgese, Whitney A. ReynoldsnEws Editor Mark HachmannEws rEportEr Chloe Albanesiusstaff Editors Jennifer Bergen (blogs), Gregg Binder (printers, scanners), Zachary Honig(consumer electronics), Errol Pierre-Louis (software, security, Internet)assistant Editors Sean Ludwig (mobile), Natalie Shoemaker (hardware)CommErCE prodUCErs Iman Edwards, Arielle RochetteUtiLity program managEr Tim SmithCrEatiVE dirECtor Chris Phillips prodUCtion artist Guyang ChenContribUting Editors Helen Bradley, John R. Delaney, Richard V. Dragan, John C. Dvorak,Craig Ellison, Galen Fott, Bill Howard, Don Labriola, Jamie Lendino, Jim Louderback,Bill Machrone, Edward Mendelson, Jan Ozer, Neil Randall, Matthew D. Sarrel, Larry Seltzer Kenneth J. Detlet 212-503-5252ViCE prEsidEnt, digitaL saLEsViCE prEsidEnt, markEting James Selden 212-503-4689markEting managEr Lindsay Garrison 212-503-5270wEb dEsignEr Yoland OuiyaadVErtising offiCE 28 E. 28th St., New York, NY 10016-7940; phone, 800-336-2423,212-503-3500; fax, 212-503-5000For advertising information go to www.pcmagmedia.comziff daVis mEdia inC.ChiEf EXECUtiVE offiCEr Jason Young Neil GlassChiEf finanCiaL offiCEr and sEnior ViCE prEsidEntChiEf opErating offiCEr Steve SuttonsEnior ViCE prEsidEnt Lance Ulanoff (Content, PC Magazine Network)gEnEraL CoUnsEL Stephen HicksViCE prEsidEnt James Selden (Marketing and Sales Development,Consumer/Small-Business Group)EXECUtiVE dirECtor Larry Chevres (Internet Technology)dirECtor Nyasha Bass (Licensing)thE indEpEndEnt gUidE PC Magazine is the Independent Guide to Technology. Our mission is to test and review computer-and Internet-related products and services and report fairly and objectively on the results. Our editors do not invest in firmswhose products or services we review, nor do we accept travel tickets or other gifts of value from such firms. Except wherenoted, PC Magazine reviews are of products and services that are currently available. Our reviews are written without regard toadvertising or business relationships with any vendor.how to ContaCt thE Editors We welcome comments from readers. Send your comments to Internet address pcmag@pcmag.com or to PC Magazine, 28 E. 28th St., New York, NY 10016-7940. Please include a daytime telephone number. PCMagazine’s general number is 212-503-3500. The West Coast Operations number is 415-547-8000. We cannot look up storiesfrom past issues, recommend products, or diagnose problems with your PC by phone. An index of past issues is at www.pcmag.com/previous_issues. For a list of upcoming stories, browse www.pcmag.com. For a full description of who on staffcovers what, go to www.pcmag.com/whocoverswhat. 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  7. 7. Front What’s New from the World of TechTechnology’sHelping HandThe tech industry is stepping up to aid Haiti relief.When a disastrous earthquake struck Haiti those who needed it most, either stuck on aon January 12, many Americans felt help- tarmac or stranded outside Port Au Prince.less, watching as relief and rescue efforts But the technology industry is mobilizingwere stymied by Haiti’s crumbling infra- to change that. Some are providing forumsstructure, lack of organization, and other to keep us informed and abreast of ways tologistical challenges. Food, medicine, and donate, as well as making equipment andmanpower were just beyond the reach of financial donations of their own.Photo: AFP/Getty Images MARCH 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION
  8. 8. frONTsIDE Stone pointed to a num- ber of organizations taking donations and urged mem- bers to follow groups like the Red Cross (@redcross) and Oxfam (@oxfam). Along with donating $1 million to aid organizations, Google has also let users donate directly to UNICEF or CARE using Google Checkout.AD-HOC NETWOrk TSF’s emergency telecom center in Haiti. Making Connections Major mobile providers areMobilizing the Web also getting into the game by accepting For example, Facebook has launched a text-based donations. For example, you can“Global Relief” page designed to spotlight donate $10 to the Red Cross Internationalefforts to help respond to natural disasters. Relief Fund by texting “HAITI” to 90999.The Help Earthquake Survivors in Haiti effort In addition, the ATT Foundation donatedfrom Oxfam America had already raised $50,000 to Telecoms Sans Frontieres (TSF),$33,000 via Facebook Causes. Members a humanitarian organization specializing incan also purchase an Oxfam-sponsored emergency telecommunications.“Water for Haiti” charity gift on Facebook Speaking of which, Telecoms San Fron-for 70 credits, which will provide one clean tieres has deployed two emergencyjug of water to survivors. The American Red response teams to Haiti to establish emer-Cross and Partner in Health have also raised gency telecom centers for response work-thousands through Facebook Causes. ers and calling centers to provide free, “The devastating earthquake in Haiti has two-minute calls to anywhere in the worldunderscored the Internet’s critical role in for residents displaced by the disaster.connecting the world’s population in times Another group called NetHope went toof tragedy,” wrote Facebook spokesman Haiti to set up a VSAT satellite using WiMAXAndrew Noyes in an e-mail. that will restore Internet connectivity to relief And Twitter co-founder Biz Stone wrote organizations there. According to a piecein a blog post that “the atmosphere at Twit- written by NetHope CEO William Brindleyter HQ is heavy and based on the Trending for The Huffington Post, “With connectivityTopics an overwhelming number of Twitter restored, agencies will have the tools theyusers feel the same.” need to speed the delivery of much needed PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION MARCH 2010
  9. 9. relief. It will also help speed the recovery and Inmarsat is also providing its Broadbandrebuilding efforts, the next critical step after Global Area Network (BGAN) terminals tothe emergency aid phase.” TSF, and DBSD Satellite Services is provid- To help keep relief efforts running through ing the U.S. government with its S-bandthe night, the Florida-based solar lighting satellite capacity for two-way mobile com-company Sol Inc. has provided $300,000 munications or broadcast video servicesin solar lights to the shaken country. Sol Inc. throughout Puerto Rico. In a public state-also sent a ground team to make sure the ment, Kerry says that while the initial out-lights were installed and used properly. pouring of aid is appreciated, a sustained For its part, the U.S. government has also effort from the tech industry and others islent a high-tech hand. According to Mas- what’s needed to truly help the people ofsachusetts Senator John Kerry, CapRock Haiti.Communications, a satellite services pro- “We will need to help tomorrow, and thevider, gave satellite communications sup- day after,” Kerry says. “Next month and theport and connectivity to the U.S. Marines month after. And far into next year.”—ChloeCorps in Haiti. Mobile satellite company Albanesius, Troy Dreier, and Erik Rhey go with it. PC Magazine for iPhone Zinio’s iPhone App Have fun reading your favorite magazines (and get access to them on your pc and mac too). Zinio.com/GoWithIt
  10. 10. frONTsIDEExtremeTechBehind the Scenes:IM FlashExtremeTech gets exclusivephotos inside Intel and Micron’sflash memory plant.quALITy CONTrOL A worker performs real-time defect analysis on a semiconductor wafer. THE MIDWAy At the plant’s “50-yard line” hall- way, materials are moved along tracks overhead.WAfEr bATH These front-opening unified pods CONDuCTOr CLOsE-uP Here a 300-mm wafer(FOUPs) take wafers through a “wet process.” is shown in detail inside a FOUP.TO vIEW THE ENTIrE sLIDEsHOW ONLINE, CLICk HErE. PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION MARCH 2010
  11. 11. BEST of our BlogS GOODCLEANTECH Honda Unveils Solar Hydrogen Station Honda has announced a strik- ing solar hydrogen station prototype that will let fuel-cell electric-vehicle owners fill up at home overnight. The integrated unit is designed to fit in a common householdGEArLOG garage, and can produceA Gamer’s Keyboard enough hydrogen (0.5kg) viaPC gamers, especially those who have trouble with multi-button key an eight-hour overnight fill topresses, perk up your ears. Microsoft has unleashed the SideWinder power daily commuting of upX4 keyboard ($59.95 list). With some keyboards, pressing multiple to 10,000 miles per year forkeys simultaneously (to execute a special move, perhaps) causes a the Honda FCX Clarity andproblem where not all the key presses are recorded. The unreported other fuel-cell vehicles. Hondakey presses are called “ghosts,” since the computer doesn’t see them. hopes the new Solar Hydro-The SideWinder is built differently, so that gamers can press up to gen Station will combine with26 keys at once and the computer will recognize each key. Besides upcoming “Smart Grid” energyanti-ghosting, this SideWinder lets players manually toggle from systems to let users fill up with-standard mode into one of two gaming modes, automatically switch out storing hydrogen and withprofiles, program macro keys, and record macros during a game. It lower CO2 emissions, thanks toalso offers backlit keys and quick-access media keys.—Troy Dreier off-peak electrical power. No word yet on a price or release date.—Jamie LendinosECurITy WATCHNew Chrome Security FeaturesGoogle has announced a number of security enhancements that arebeing implemented in Chrome. One such feature is Strict-Transport-Security, an HTTP response header that a site can send to a browserto tell it only to communicate with the site via HTTPS. This shouldprovide extra security against snooping, although it’s not bullet-proof. Another is the postMessage API, a method of embedding gad-gets in Web pages with rich communications capabilities to otherpage code, but retaining better security than previous methodsallowed. All the major browsers implement it.—Larry Seltzer BEST of ThE InTErnET ANTENNA CADMus vIDZbIGGEr Antenna is a free Adobe AIR Cadmus is a Web service that VidzBigger is a Chrome app application that you can aggregates Twitter or Friend- that rearranges YouTube’s download and use to browse Feed updates and organizes layout so the video plays at its stations around the globe them into trends and topics. largest size (without going full- that are streaming on the You can also add and follow screen). Video information is Web. You can even save your RSS feeds.—AH on the left, and comments are favorites.—Alan Henry on the right.—AH MARCH 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION
  12. 12. frONTsIDEConnected TravelerRethinking the NetbIf you thought a netbook’snot for your travel bag, takeanother look.There may be a number of reasons why,as a traveler, you chose not to buy anetbook. Maybe you were under-whelmed by the low-power IntelAtom processors. Or your handsfelt like cloven hooves on thosetiny keyboards. Or maybe it was thepuny screen or lack of advanced fea-tures that kept you away from these lit-tle laptops. Well, a lot has changed sincenetbooks first hit the scene. The next gen-eration of netbooks boasts features such as 1full-size keyboards, faster processors, andamazing battery life. Here are a few exam-ples of new netbooks we’ve tested in PCLabs. Nb30-N410 ($400 direct, l l l l h ). Here Given the latest tech craze for touch you get many of the features and power ofscreens, it seems only natural that netbooks a standard laptop, including a full-size key-would follow suit. Enter the [1] HP Mini board, 3G option, and great battery life.102 ($400 direct, l l l l m ), a 10-inch And tree-hugging travelers will feel bettertouch-screen netbook with a sleek exterior, knowing that this model earned our Green-fast hard drive, and the option to upgrade Tech Approved seal for energy efficiency,to a 6-cell battery, giving you a whopping advanced green certifications, and Toshi-11 hours of juice. It also comes loaded with ba’s great recycling program.Windows 7. If speed is what you need on the road, Arguably the best bang-for-your-buck then look no further than the [3] Asusnetbook out there is the [2] Toshiba Mini EeePC 1201N ($485 street, l l l l m ). This10 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION MARCH 2010 Product name in rED indicates Editors’ Choice.
  13. 13. book 4 3 2 little powerhouse packs a dual-core Intel 1032R also has great battery life (8 hours Atom processor, Nvidia Ion graphics, and 35 minutes) and some handy included soft- 2GB of RAM. To sweeten the deal, this sys- ware in HP’s QuickWeb and CloudDrive. tem also comes with a big 12-inch screen. And for travelers on a budget, the [] Acer The tradeoff for speed, however, is battery Aspire One (AO32h-22) ($300 street, life (this system clocked only 4 hours on our l l l l m ) is priced lower than most of its tests). competitors and offers awesome battery Many travelers like to watch movies or do life (over 9 hours) as well as a wide touch- multimedia work on the road. In that case, pad, a two-year warranty, and Intel’s latest the [4] HP Mini 210-1032Nr ($349.99 list, “Pine Trail” components. Though it doesn’t l l l h m ) is worth a look. Along with good quite measure up to others in performance, multimedia performance, the Mini 210- it is good for basic computing.—Erik Rhey MARCH 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 11
  14. 14. Click to T
  15. 15. Test Drive
  16. 16. 12182832 INSIDE CONsuMEr ELECTrONICs HArDWArE BusINEss sOFTWArE First Google Nexus One Google’s G Not Great— T he worst thing about the Google Nexus One is Google. The most powerful and sleek- est Android phone so far, the Nexus One gives techies an awesome springboard to make their Linux- phone dreams come true. The hardware is almost heartbreakingly beautiful. But with an emotionless interface and an abysmal retail and support experience, it’s just not the right choice for the average smart- phone buyer—and it’s no threat to either the iPhone or the Motorola Droid. This 4.7- by 2.3- by 0.4-inch (HWD)Google Nexus One$179.99 to $529.99 list beauty weighs 4.6 ounces and feels unusu-Ll l h m ally slim and solid. Most of the phonePrOs Fastest Android phone yet. Beautiful consists of a 3.7-inch touch screen withhardware. Super-bright screen. excellent graphics performance. The phoneCONs No phone or in-person support. Confus-ing pricing and service options. No voice dial- comes with 180MB of onboard memorying or transcription over Bluetooth. and a 4GB card, expandable to 32GB. Even12 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION MARCH 2010
  17. 17. Our ratINGS kEy: l l l l l EXCELLENT l l l l m VErY GOOD l l l m m GOOD l l m m m FAIr l m m m m POOrGood—But—First Phone though the Nexus One has the fastest pro- model, I found none in my testing experi- cessor of any phone in the U.S., its touch ence. The Nexus One’s 1-GHz Snapdragon buttons are occasionally sluggish, and the processor burned through our benchmarks, lack of multitouch is an unfortunate missing proving to be much faster than the pro- piece on the phone’s otherwise decent soft- cessors found on other Android phones, ware keyboard. Google has also spruced up including the Motorola Droid. Graphics per- Android’s interface a bit with the new Ver- formance is also kicked up a notch, with the sion 2.1, which features “live” animated wall- Nexus One scoring 26.7 frames per second papers and an animated, better-looking (fps), compared with the Droid’s 20.8 fps. photo gallery. As for multimedia, this phone And battery life for the Nexus One is very played MP3, AAC, WAV, and OGG audio good for a 3G phone, turning in a score of fine, and played MPEG4 Simple Profile vid- 6 hours, 25 minutes. eos well, but H.264 videos suffered from If the Google Nexus One was sold and blockiness and dropped frames. Also, the supported by T-Mobile and dressed up with 5-megapixel camera took unusually sharp HTC’s Sense UI, I’d be madly in love with this photos. phone. As is, the Nexus One shouts “beta” in In testing, the Nexus One showed accept- all the areas Google has control over: soft- able voice quality, especially with its fancy ware, sales, service, and support. noise-cancellation feature. Although prob- —Sascha Segan lems with 3G have been reported with this CLICK HErE FOr MOrE MARCH 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 13
  18. 18. FIRST LOOKS CONSUMER ELECTRONICS Canon EOS 7D $1,699 list (body only) Ll l l m PROS Excellent still-image and HD-video quality. Fast performance. Various HD video recording options. CONS Pricey. Video recording is not as simple as with a dedicated camcorder.Canon EOS 7DA D-SLR ThatFocuses on VideoT he 18-megapixel Canon EOS on’s intuitive menus 7D takes beautiful pictures When shooting through the viewfinder, in a wide variety of lighting the shutter lag was only 0.47 second—a situations. But the true lure very good score that drops to 2.17 seconds of the 7D is that it’s the only when shooting in Live View mode. Also, thesub-$2,000 D-SLR that offers a multitude shot-to-shot time was a lightning-fast 8of high-definition video-capture options. frames per second (fps). And using ImatestIf versatile HD video isn’t a priority for you, to evaluate image quality, I found that thethere’s still a lot to like in this camera. 7D produced spectacular, virtually noise- Though its body is slightly smaller than free images.those of higher-end Canon D-SLRs (which There’s no denying that the 7D is a tal-use larger sensors), the 7D’s build and feel ented D-SLR—but at $1,700 without a lens,are appealing. The camera weighs 2.06 it’s not cheap. Unless you need the versa-pounds without a lens and is comfortable tile HD video options, 18 megapixels, orto hold. The 7D features a large 3-inch, the speedy still-image capture that the 7DLive View LCD, and the viewfinder offers 19 provides, you can get similar image qualityautofocus points. The controls are also easy from lower-priced Canon and Nikon D-SLRs.to use: Buttons are well-placed and a large —PJ Jacobowitzscroll wheel helps you cruise through Can- CLICK HERE FOR MORE14 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION MARCH 2010
  19. 19. FIRsT LOOKs CONsUMER ELECTRONICs Aliph Jawbone Icon $99 list Ll l l m PROs First Bluetooth head- set with mobile apps. Excel- lent sound quality. Improved controls. Many design options. Costs less than prior versions. CONs Short battery life. Fussy ear hook.Aliph Jawbone IconAliph’s Iconic Headset We have a new leader in Blue- tooth headset with apps, including those tooth headsets. The Aliph Jaw- that provide one of six voices in languages bone Icon is the best-designed like Spanish, French, and German. You can and potentially the most flexible also program speed dial numbers, update Bluetooth headset on the market, the firmware, or even add new dialing appsthanks to its new application platform. The for voice-enabled 411 search.Icon is smaller and lighter than our other On our tests, voice quality was good, buttop-ranked headsets, with numerous new not perfect: a little nasal and trebly sound-features and a streamlined control scheme. ing, but smooth and not harsh. The IconCombined with stellar all-around perfor- evens out the volume of incoming calls,mance, its plusses are enough to unseat the including between multiple speakers in alarger Plantronics Voyager Pro as our new conference call. Noise cancellation was stel-Editors’ Choice. lar and the range for Bluetooth was also The Icon comes in six different designs, good at more than 15 feet from the handset.each with distinctive textures and finishes. Battery life, however, is short at just 3 hoursIt measures 0.7 by 1.8 by 0.9 inches (HWD) and 32 minutes of talk time. Overall, theand weighs just 0.3 ounces. There’s a dedi- Icon is a winner, but just by a hair. There arecated power switch on the back, which other worthy headsets out there if the Iconcan avoid accidental power-ups in a jacket doesn’t appeal.—Jamie Lendinopocket or bag. The Icon is also the first Blue- CLICK HERE FOR MORE MARCH 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 15
  20. 20. QuICk LOOks CONsuMEr ELECTrONICs SMARTPHONES BlackBerry Bold 9700 Palm Pre Plus LG Chocolate LG Shine II $99.99 to $449.99 direct With two-year contract, Touch VX8575 $119.99 to $269.99 direct $249.99 list $79.99 to $259.99 list Ll l l m Ll l h m Ll l l m Ll l h m • Near-perfect design • Palm’s webOS is really • Sublime voice quality • Sleek brushed aluminum • Beautiful display user-friendly • Solid music and video design • Great voice quality • Works as a Wi-Fi hotspot playback • Very good voice quality PROS • Robust media sync • Snappy performance • Sharp camera options • Excellent battery life • Middling browser • Muddy voice quality • Messaging options • Short battery life • Buggy video player • No voice dialing remain thin, and most • Stiff controls • Lacks the T-Mobile • Fewer apps than most cost extra • Proprietary headphone CONS version’s unlimited Wi-Fi other platforms jack calling The Bold 9700 is a smart, The Palm Pre Plus is an The Chocolate Touch is a LG plays it safe with the shrewd update to the wildly e-mail, music, and calen- top-notch voice phone with Shine II, an incremental BOTTOM LINE popular Bold 9000—and dar-oriented smartphone stellar media capabilities, upgrade that retains the proof that there’s still a with a twist: it’ll get your but heavy e-mailers should original’s beautiful alu- place for QWERTY key- laptop online (at a price). stick with a phone with a minum slider design and boards. hardware keyboard. excellent call quality. ATT; 2.4-inch, 480-by-360 Verizon Wireless; 3.7-inch, Verizon Wireless; 3.0-inch, ATT; 2.2-inch, 240-by- screen; 3.2MP camera; 320-by-480 color touch 240-by-400 screen; 3.2MP 320 screen; 2MP camera; Bluetooth; 4.3 by 2.4 by 0.6 screen; Bluetooth; 3MP camera; Bluetooth; 4.3 by Bluetooth; 4.2 by 2.0 by 0.5 inches (HWD); 4.3 ounces. camera. 2.2 by 0.5 inches (HWD); inches; 4.4 ounces. SPECS 4.2 ounces. Product name in RED indicates Editors’ Choice.16 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION MARCH 2010
  21. 21. SPEAKERS HDTVS GPSBowers Wilkins Insignia NS-L42X-10A TomTom XL 340-S LIVE Insignia NS-CNV43Zeppelin Mini $749.99 direct $239.95 list $199.99 list$399.95 listLl l h m Ll l m m Ll l h m Ll l m m• One of the best sound- • Inexpensive • Real-time traffic • Good value ing iPod docks in its price • Five HDMI ports • Integrates Web-based • Touch scree features hap- range • Two-year warranty services tic feedback• Compact, elegant design • No ads • Real-time traffic reports• Connects to PC via USB • Accurate routing• Only for iPhone, iPod • Uninspired design • Expensive monthly fees • Sluggish touch, and recent iPods • Oversaturated colors • Automatic rerouting needs • Small POI database with• Remote lacks full iPod • Some de-interlacing and a re-think some search limitations navigation motion-error issues • Monthly fees kick in after• No video output • Lacks a USB port and Web three months connectivityFor a $400 iPod speaker If you can get past its lack- The XL 340-S LIVE is a Best Buy’s NS-CNV43 is adock, the Zeppelin Mini luster design and somewhat solid navigator and a good solid GPS device thanks tolacks some features that antiquated feature set, the example of what’s pos- its always-on Google con-an expensive unit should NS-L42X-10A is a solid deal sible with connected GPS nectivity and bargain price,have—but it looks and for a 42-inch LCD HDTV. devices, but there’s room for but it’s not a particularlysounds amazing. improvement. great navigator otherwise.iPod speaker dock; 2-chan- 42 inches; 1,920 by 1,080 Automobile GPS; 3D view; Bluetooth receiver; 4.3-inchnel audio; remote; 6.8 by native resolution; 1080p; 4.3-inch touch screen; 3.2 by touch screen; 3D view; 3.212.6 by 4 inches (HWD). 120-Hz refresh rate; 16:9 4.8 by 1.1 inches (HWD). by 4.8 by 0.7 inches (HWD). aspect ratio. Visit pcmag.com for the full reviews of these and other consumer electronics products. MARCH 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 17
  22. 22. FIRST LOOKS HARDwARESony VAIO VPC-L117FX/BSony’s Top-NotchAll-in-OneA mong all-in-one desktop On our tests, the VPC-L117FX/B showed PCs, the VAIO VPC-L117FX/ very good performance numbers, with top B is certainly one of the best scores on our Photoshop CS4 test (1 minute looking. It resembles a 24- 39 seconds) and Windows Media Encoder inch HDTV, but inside that test (43 seconds), making it a great choicesexy shell is the heart of a power user’s PC: for multimedia buffs and competitive inquad-core Intel processor, 6GB of memory, the field of all-in-one desktops, including1TB hard drive, Blu-ray burner, and a decent the dual-core powered Apple iMac 27-inchNvidia graphics card. Placement in the (Core 2 Duo) and the HP TouchSmart 600-kitchen, den, home office, and living room 1055. For gaming, it played World in Conflictcome to mind, but it could also work as a TV at a smooth 39 frames per second (fps) butreplacement in your bedroom. was a little too slow on Crysis (30 fps), prov- This VAIO’s touch screen (1,920 by 1,080 ing it is acceptable for light gaming.resolution, which is true 1080p HD) has an As a high-end all-in-one desktop PC, theATSC tuner, HDMI-in ports, and viewing Blu- VPC-L117FX/B is a little pricey, but you canray videos give you that “view through a win- rationalize the added expense if you con-dow” effect. There’s a slot built into the base sider the system has one of the best screensof the unit, so you can stow the wireless key- out there, as well as high-quality compo-board when not in use. The touch screen is nents. The HP TouchSmart 600-1055 stillresponsive, though there’s a bit of a learning holds on to our Editors’ Choice for a morecurve. There’s very little in the way of bloat- polished implementation of touch tech-ware on this system, and the included VAIO nology in Windows 7, along with the bestMedia Gallery and Movie Story are some of bang for the buck, but this VAIO is defi-the most intuitive and easiest-to-use multi- nitely worth a look.—Joel Santo Domingomedia apps outside of Apple’s iLife suite. CLICK HERE FOR MOREI SPECS 2.66-GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400S processor; 6GB SDRAM; 1TB SATA hard drive; Nvidia GeForce GT 240M graphics; Blu-ray (BD-RE) drive; integrated 24-inch widescreen; integrated stereo speakers; Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.18 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION MARCH 2010
  23. 23. Sony VAIO VPC-L117FX/B$2,000 listll l l mPROS Quad Core power. Touch screen. Full CONS Quite expensive. Only 30-day trial sub-1080p display. HDMI input. Blu-ray burner (not scription to Norton Internet Security. Mediajust a reader). Minimized bloatware. Unified software not connected to social networking.media app for photos, music, and videos. Wire-less keyboard and mouse. Sexy design.PERFORMANCE TESTS WinDoWs MeDia PHotosHoPL High scores are best. M Low scores are best. PCMark 3DMark Van- WorLD in enCoDer M Cs4 MBold type denotes first place. Vantage* L tage* L Crysis** L ConfLiCt ** L min:sec min:sec Sony VAIO VPC-L117FX/B 4,462 10,813 30 39 0:43 1:39 Apple iMac (27-inch Core 2 Duo) 4,862 10,167 48 53 0:59 1:46 HP TouchSmart 600-1055 PC 4,318 6,006 18 22 1:05 2:18 Product name in RED indicates editors’ Choice. n/a—not applicable: the product could not complete the test, or the test was not compatible. * this test was run at 1,024 by 768 resolution. **this test was run at 1,280 by 1,024 resolution. MARCH 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 19
  24. 24. FIRST LOOKS HARDwAREPolywell MiniBox P5500CPrice: $1,850 direct, $2,099 with a 23-inchwidescreen monitorLl l l mPROS Compact form factor. Long 5-year servicewarranty. Very good 3D scores. CrossFire and SLI(2-card) compatible motherboard.CONS Some fan noise. Larger than other smallform factor gaming rigs.Polywell MiniBox P5500CPolywell’sSpacious-Yet-Small PCT he MiniBox P5500C isn’t as easier to move. The build quality is decent sleek as the Falcon Northwest though unremarkable, and the system’s fan FragBox or AVADirect GT3 noise is clearly audible. Like other small sys- gaming systems, but it does tem builders, Polywell keeps the included have a lot of internal space software load light.for components, while keeping the spirit of The MiniBox’s processor and graphicsa small-form-factor gaming rig intact. This card helped it achieve top-notch gamingsystem comes with Intel Core i7-870 power performance, such as 95 frames per secondand a single ATI Radeon HD 4890 graphics (fps) on Crysis and 124 fps on World in Con-card, so it has the power to smack around flict. It also excelled on multimedia tests: 28your opponents on the game grid. Or, with seconds for Windows Media Encoder anda Blu-ray player and over 3TB of drive space 1:18 on Photoshop CS4. Compared with(spread over three drives), it can serve as a the competition, the MiniBox is good, butvideo workstation. a bit overpriced. But I’d still recommend it The MiniBox sits in a reasonably compact for semi-nomadic multimedia mavens whocase—9.5 by 11.5 by 14 inches (HWD). It won’t need blazing performance and a lot of drivewin any beauty contests, but it does have a space in a semi-portable package.windowed side panel showing off the graph- —Joel Santo Domingoics card. There’s a handle on the front so it’s CLICK HERE FOR MOREI SPECS 2.93-GHz Intel Core i7-870 processor; 4GB SDRAM; 1.5TB SATA hard drive and two 1TB SATA hard drives in a RAID 0 array; ATI Radeon HD 4890 graphics card; Blu-ray combo drive; Creative Inspire T6100 5.1 speakers; Windows 7 Ultimate.20 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION MARCH 2010
  25. 25. Spring Into Storage Savings! Spring is here, and it’s time for some serious file cleanup. Need a convenient 2TB My Book™ World Edition way to store and transport pictures and Automatic and continuous backup for every computer on your network music? How about a device that can Access your files from anywhere with MioNet technology stream files to any computer on your local Supports Windows XP/Vista and network? PC Connection Express has the Mac OS X Tiger or Leopardlatest technologies and brands you rely on— Onlywith all the savings you need. $ 24995 #94493311TB Network Space 2 500GB FreeAgent Go™ Centralize, share, and back up your Incredibly thin form factor provides you files at home with the ultimate portable storage solution Includes LaCie Network Assistant Automatic backup software protects your USB 2.0 and Ethernet connectivity data while encryption technology keepsOnly important files private USB 2.0 connectivity$ 16995 #10996673 Only $ 9995 #88774482TB StorCenter™ ix4-200d NAS Server 2TB TeraStation™ ES NAS RAID 5, 10 for increased data protection Front-loading hot-swappable Device-to-device replication using hard drives Rsync-powered copy jobs RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, and JBOD Dual Gigabit Ethernet connectivity Gigabit Ethernet connectivity with Jumbo Frame supportOnly 579 #10365628$ Only $ 659 #10998898 Shown with drives exposedLTO Ultrium 3 400/800GB LTO Ultrium 4 800GB/1.6TBTape Cartridge Tape Cartridge Up to 80MB/s native data throughput Up to 170MB/s native data throughput Lifetime warranty Lifetime warrantyOnly Only$ 26 95 #5650352 $ 3795 #7727237 These offers are only available while supplies last. Call or click now!1.800 .600 .8451www.PCConnectionExpress.com©2010 PC Connection, Inc. All rights reserved. PC Connection Express is a registered trademark of PC Connection, Inc. or its subsidiaries. All copyrights and trademarks remain the property of their respective owners. #16708 02/10
  26. 26. FIRST LOOKS HaRdwaREToshiba Satellite T115-S1105Toshiba’s SpeedyNetbook Electing not to use an Intel Atom processor doesn’t exempt you from being called a netbook. Case in point: The Toshiba Satellite T115-S1105 comes with Windows7 (most netbooks have Windows XP) anduses an Intel Consumer Ultra Low Voltage(CULV) processor. Not to mention its price,11.6-inch widescreen, and 7 hours of batterylife makes it competitive with some of thebest netbooks in the business. But the typ- Toshiba Satellite T115-S1105 $480 streeting and navigating experiences still need Ll l h msome work. pROS Best processor on a netbook. 1080p vid- Thanks to the low-powered processor, the eos played back beautifully. Good resolution. Lightweight. Runs on DDR3 memory. HDMI-OutT115-S1105 is razor-thin, with Toshiba’s sig- included. Excellent battery life. Speedy net-nature “Fusion” design. The lid and palm rest book. Affordable.areas are made of a combination of plastics COnS Poorly designed mouse buttons. Subpar keyboard. Poor speaker placement.and infused patterns similar to a laminateprocess. The 11.6-inch widescreen is biggerand has a higher maximum resolution than outscored every netbook we’ve tested. Andthose of most netbooks. It also has a full-size you don’t need an Nvidia Ion–based plat-keyboard, something most netbooks lack. form to play back 1080p videos; the T115’sHowever, the keys feel a little flimsy and gen- ULV processors and memory configurationerate a bit of noise when typing. Also, the handled them beautifully. So although therechrome-plated mouse buttons are stiff. is a lot to love about this netbook, I suggest Its CULV processor gave the T115-S1105 you try out the keyboard and mouse beforean advantage over most netbooks on our taking the plunge.—Cisco Chengbenchmarks. On SYSMark 2007 Preview, it CLICK HERE FOR MOREI SpECS 1.3-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU2700; 2GB SDRAM; 250GB hard drive; Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics; 11.6-inch display; Realtek 802.11n Wi-Fi; 3.3 pounds; 61-Wh battery; Windows 7 Home Premium.22 pC MaGaZInE dIGITaL EdITIOn MARCH 2010
  27. 27. Recharge Anywhere. Protective case with built-in battery Finally a power solution for your life on the go.Portable Chargers for all your mobile electronics.
  28. 28. FIRST LOOKS HARDwAREAsus G51J-1B 3D$1,700 streetLl l h mPROS 3D game play done right. 3D glasseswork and fit well. Fast Core i7 processor. Goodgraphics card. Back-lit keyboard. Comfortablepalm rests. Dual hard drives. Exceptional soundsystem.CONS Screen resolution is low fora gaming laptop. 3D effects limitedto games only. Expensive.Asus G51J-1B 3DAsus’s 3D LaptopS tereoscopic 3D technology, pad. And, of course, there’s the 15.6-inch which typically involves put- 3D widescreen, which uses an active shut- ting on a pair of 3D glasses and ter method to display left and right images watching images leap out at in alternating frames, optimized by a very you, is already a big hit in mov- fast refresh rate (120 Hz). The display, ofies. Now laptop makers are hoping to cash course, isn’t the only requirement in orderin. The Aspire 5738DG-6165 earned the to be immersed into a 3D environment. Thedistinction of being the first 3D laptop, but bundled Nvidia GeForce 3D Vision Kit con-Asus is right behind with the G51J-1B 3D. sists of a pair of wireless, stereoscopic 3DIf this were strictly a review about the 3D glasses and an infrared base station.experience, this system would be the vic- On test games that support 3D, the gametor. And integrating speedy parts made the play was very convincing, even though thegaming experience that much more worth- resolution is low compared with other gam-while. But just like the Acer 5738DG, the 3D ing systems. And don’t expect much porta-technology benefits gamers only. bility, with just 1 hour 25 minutes of battery The G51J-1B is bulky and heavy, tipping the life. So while its 3D performance is strong,scales at 7.5 pounds. The system features a the G51J-1B 3D is still a niche product mostfull size, island-style keyboard (underlit with can probably live without.—Cisco Chengwhite LEDs) and a half-size numeric key- CLICK HERE FOR MOREI SPECS 1.6-GHz Intel Core i7-720QM processor; 4GB SDRAM; two 320GB hard drives; Nvidia GeForce GTX 260M graphics; 15.6-inch 3D display; Intel Wi-Fi Link 1000; 7.5 pounds; 53-Wh battery; Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit).24 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION MARCH 2010
  29. 29. FIRsT LOOKs HARDwAREEpson Artisan 810$299.99 directLl l l mPROs Fast. Ethernet and Wi-Fi. Prints, scans, and faxesover a network. Duplexer. Au-tomatic document feeder.CONs Sub-par text quality.Low paper capacity.Epson Artisan 810A Feature-RichHome MFPW hether you’re looking Bridge cameras, memory cards, and USB for a home all-in-one keys; and a 3.5-inch color LCD for preview- (AIO) with high-qual- ing photos before printing. You also get the ity photo output or a 810’s 7.8-inch touch screen front panel. home-office AIO with On our business applications suite, thefast speed and office features, the Epson 810’s score was 7 minutes 59 seconds, mak-Artisan 810 should be on your short list. ing it one of the fastest ink jet AIOs in itsFollowing in the footsteps of the Artisan price range. Photo print speed is also rea-800, the 810 leans towards home use while sonably fast, averaging 59 seconds for aretaining office-friendly features. 4-by-6 and 2:04 for an 8-by-10 print. As for The 810 offers both Ethernet and Wi- output quality, text was mediocre, show-Fi support, making it easy to share. It can ing a grayish look that would make longprint, scan, and fax over a network; work documents hard to read, and graphics wereas a standalone copier and fax machine; typical for an ink jet. So overall, the 810’sand scan to e-mail over a network. In addi- combination of speed, quality, and featurestion to faxing and e-mailing, the AIO’s most makes it a highly attractive choice for homenotable office-centric feature is a 30-page and light-duty home office use, as long asautomatic document feeder (ADF). Its you’re comfortable with the relatively lowphotocentric features include high-quality text quality.—M. David Stoneoutput; the ability to print directly from Pict- CLICK HERE FOR MORE MARCH 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 25
  30. 30. QuICk LOOks HARDWARE DESKTOPS NETBOOKS LAPTOPS HP Pavilion p6347c-b Apple Mac mini LG X120 Fujitsu LifeBook P3010 $800 list (Core 2 Duo 2.26 GHz) $400 street $549 direct $599 list ll l h m Ll l m m Ll l m m Ll l m m • Quad Core power • GreenTech-approved • Clean design • Fast Intel Neo processor • Lots of memory • Compact • Comfy mouse buttons • 2GB of memory • Ample hard-drive space • Quiet • Embedded 3G wireless • Full-size keyboard PROS • Included 23-inch HD • Dual-core performance card • 11-inch widescreen monitor • Windows compatible • Priced competitively— • Large hard drive • Two-year warranty • FireWire 800 without a contract • Weak integrated graphics • No Blu-ray option • Small keyboard • Small touchpad • Only 60-day Norton • No keyboard or mouse • Not many stand-out • No HDMI-Out subscription • 30-inch LCD support netbook features • Below-average battery CONS • No HDMI port on desktop requires optional • Small battery life • Lots of bloatware DVI adapter • Only available at • Too expensive RadioShack The HP Pavilion p6347c-b is The Mac mini is the entry The X120 is LG’s first The LifeBook P3010 is a a good power user system point for the Apple faith- netbook attempt in the latecomer to the oversized BOTTOM LINE for bargain hunters prowl- ful and is a small, cheap United States, and it has netbook space, and it ing their local warehouse computer, but a number of embedded 3G—provided doesn’t have enough good store. low-cost nettops offer more you commit to a 2-year, to outweigh the bad. bang for the buck. $60-per-month contract. 2.8-GHz AMD Athlon 630 2.26-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6-GHz Intel Atom N270 1.6-GHz AMD Athlon Neo processor; 6GB SDRAM; P7550 processor; 2GB processor; 1GB SDRAM; MV-40 processor; 2GB 640GB SATA hard drive; ATI SDRAM; 160GB SATA hard 160GB, hard drive; Intel SDRAM; 320GB hard Radeon HD 4200 graphics; drive; nVidia GeForce GMA 950 graphics; 10.1- drive; ATI Radeon HD 3200 SPECS DVD±RW drive; 23-inch 9400M graphics; DVD±RW inch display; Realtek graphics; 11.6-inch display; widescreen; Windows 7 drive; Mac OS X 10.6. 802.11g Wi-Fi; 2.8 pounds; Atheros 802.11g Wi-Fi; 3.5 Home Premium (64-bit). 46-Wh battery; Windows pounds; 54-Wh battery; XP Home. Windows 7 Home Premium. Product name in RED indicates Editors’ Choice.26 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION MARCH 2010
  31. 31. PRINTERSHP Pavilion dv7-2273cl Lexmark Platinum HP Photosmart A646 Lexmark Interpret S405$999 list Pro905 Compact Printer $129 direct $399.99 direct $149.99 directLl l h m Ll l h m Ll l h m Ll l h m• Attractive design • Fast photos • Touch screen with gener- • Fast for both business• Beautiful 17.3-inch screen • Two-sided printing ally well-designed menus applications and photos• Blu-ray drive included • Automatic document • Prints 5-by-7s, 4-by-6s, • Reasonably high-quality• Slick MediaSmart feeder and panoramas up to 4 by output software • Works as standalone 12 inches • Standalone fax and copier e-mail sender• Lots of bloatware • Slow for business • Speed is acceptable • Low paper capacity• Lacks full HD display applications but slow • Relatively high cost • Several features don’t • Messages on the LCD per page work quite they way they can be confusing shouldA head-turning desktop Aimed primarily at a busy The A646 is a worthy The S405 offers surprisinglyreplacement, the Pavilion micro or home office, the successor to the Editors’ fast speed, good-qualitydv7-2273cl has a gorgeous Pro905 is packed with Choice A636 in many ways, output, and AIO features fordisplay and packs a Blu-ray office-centric features plus but it falters badly on ease both home and home office.drive for under a grand. the ability to download mini- of use. apps from the Web.2.2-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo AIO ink-jet; 1-pass color; Ink-jet; 1-pass color; direct AIO ink-jet; 1-pass color;T6600 processor; 4GB LCD preview screen; 8-in-1 printing from cameras; LCD direct printing from camer-SDRAM; 320GB hard drive; media card reader; duplex- preview screen; 20-sheet as; 8-in-1 media card reader;ATI Mobility Radeon HD ing; 12.1 by 18.3 by 15.4 input capacity; 5.3 by 9.9 flatbed scanner; 8 by 18.8 by4650 graphics; 17.3-inch inches (HWD). by 4.6 inches (HWD); 2.4 13.3 inches (HWD).display; 6.7 pounds; 73-Wh pounds.battery; Windows 7 HomePremium. Visit pcmag.com for the full reviews of these and scores of other hardware products. MARCH 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 27
  32. 32. FIRsT LOOKs busINEssLenovo ThinkPad Edge 13A ThinkPadMakeoverL enovo’s ThinkPad series has high enough so that the ThinkPad “feeling” clung to the same corporate is still there. The transition is made even eas- look longer than any other in ier by retaining the original ThinkPad navi- the business. But the Think- gation. Otherwise, the Edge 13’s feature set Pad line could only go so long isn’t better or worse than any other CULV orbefore customers got the impression that small business laptop.they’re buying the same thing over and The Edge 13 is one of the few laptops thatover. So how do you redesign something are not launching with Intel’s latest “Arran-that’s considered blasphemy to redesign? dale” platform. Instead, it uses a slightlyThe answer: baby steps. The ThinkPad Edge slower, previous-generation CULV platform.13 is a compelling makeover that still bears The Edge 13 fared badly among its competi-the sacred ThinkPad seal. tion in PCMark Vantage, but video encod- The Edge 13 weighs 3.9 pounds and ing and Cinebench R10 scores were in linemeasures less than an inch thick. The lid is with those of the Asus UL30A-A1 (thoughtrimmed with silver and it’s glossy, destined they trailed the Acer Aspire AS3810T by ato be laden with finger prints and smudges. significant margin). Although the Edge 13’sA matte black and a red version are also 6-cell battery scored almost 7 hours (6:58)available, paring down on the unsightly in MobileMark 2007 tests, it came up wellmarks. short against the Asus and Acer compari- Its 13-inch widescreen is generic at best in son systems.that its resolution tops out at 1,366-by-768. Overall, the Edge 13 is a solid buy for busi-The keyboard is perhaps the most surpris- nesses if you can snag it for less than itsing change, adopting an island-style layout listed price ($899). Otherwise, the HP Pro-made popular by the Apple MacBook Pro Book 5310m or Asus UL30A-A1 offer more13-inch, and used in other CULV laptops. bang for the buck.—Cisco ChengHowever, each key cap is curved and raised CLICK HERE FOR MOREI sPECs 1.3-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU7300 processor; 4GB SDRAM; 320GB hard drive; Intel GMA 4500MHD graph- ics; 13.3-inch display; Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6250 Wi-Fi; 3.9 pounds; 63-Wh battery; Windows 7 Professional.28 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION MARCH 2010
  33. 33. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 13$899 directLl l h mPROs Best Island-style key-board yet. Dual pointingdevices. Superb navigating ex-perience. Lightweight. Afford-able. Embedded 3G option.CONs New shiny lid is asmudge magnet. Not thespeediest CULV laptop.PERFORMANCE TEsTs MoBiLeMark WindoWs Media PHotosHoPL High scores are best. M Low scores are best. PcMark 2007 L encoder M cs4 MBold type denotes first place. Vantage* L hr: min min:sec cineBencH r10 L min:sec Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 13 2,338 6:58 1:42 2,700 1:06 Acer Aspire Timeline AS3810T (6415) 2,800 8:40 1:48 3,304 0:48 Asus UL30A-A1 2,462 10:27 3:11 1,595 1:04 HP ProBook 5310m n/a 5:18 1:07 4,732 0:44 Product name in RED indicates editors’ choice. n/a—not applicable: the system could not complete this test. *this test was run at the default resolution (1,024 by 768). MARCH 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 29
  34. 34. FIRsT LOOKs busINEss VMware Fusion 3 $79.99 direct Ll l l m PROs Fast, reliable, effective virtu- alization software. Tight integration between Windows applications and Mac OS. Highly configurable. CONs Some migration issues.VMware Fusion 3Marry Mac and WindowsV Mware Fusion 3 brings the to install a fresh Windows system, you’ll vast range of Linux and Win- need a full installation disc. If you already dows software to your Mac. have a separate Windows system installed Like its closest rival, Parallels under Boot Camp, you can run that system Desktop 5 for the Mac, Fusion in a Fusion window, and you’ll still be able tocreates a “virtual machine” that transforms boot directly into Boot Camp.any Mac into an all-purpose system that’s In my tests, I ran Windows machines fournot limited by its own OS. different ways under Fusion: accessing my You can run non-Mac apps in individual existing Boot Camp Windows XP partition,windows or full-screen. You can even make creating a Windows XP virtual machinethem the default applications for opening using Fusion’s installation assistant, run-specific Mac file types. If you don’t want to ning a virtual Linux system, and finally, usingbe confined to just programs, you can run a VMware’s Migration Assistant to importcomplete Windows system from your Mac, existing Windows 7 and Vista systems intowith the OS X desktop always a keystroke or Fusion over my network. Aside from somemouse click away—and drag files between minor bumps, my apps ran perfectly. Thisthe systems whenever you want. leads me to conclude that Fusion is well- To set up a Windows system in Fusion, designed, quick, and effective. Any Mac useryou can use an included utility to import who needs to run Windows software shoulda copy of your existing Windows system have a copy.—Edward Mendelsonacross a network connection. Or, if you want CLICK HERE FOR MORE30 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION MARCH 2010
  35. 35. FIRsT LOOKs busINEssMailChimpFree with 500 subscriber limit and 3,000 sends; of help resources. Several tools to customize$30 per month for more than 500 subscribers marketing e-mail campaigns.Ll l h m CONs Built-in reporting lacks intuitive work-PROs Low cost e-mail lists. Integrates with flow. Reports do not give real-time data. SlowGoogle Analytics for real business insight. Lots to refresh.MailChimpTame E-mail MarketingD espite an odd mascot that of the other bundled CRM components, and looks like an anime take on just want a service for e-mail campaigns. Curious George, MailChimp Using MailChimp involves three steps: means serious business, not creating an e-mail list and importing or add- monkey business, for market- ing contacts, creating a campaign usinging. It’s a cloud service that manages e-mail one of four styles (HTML e-mail, plain text,marketing campaigns and aids users in not “split,” and RSS-driven), and finally, review-crossing that fine line between spammers ing campaign reports. In testing, I found aand successful e-mail marketers. few glitches and annoyances, but nothing With MailChimp, you can create e-mail that was a dealbreaker. There needs to belists, track who’s viewed your message, and some honing of the workflow within theintegrate your marketing data with third- interface, but it is nonetheless a nice serviceparty apps like Google Docs and Zoho. to handle an always-growing need of busi-MailChimp provides the same type of ser- nesses, grassroots organizations, and poli-vice that some CRM systems (like Sales- ticians: getting the message out via e-mail.force) provide. However, it is ideal for the —Samara Lynnsmall-business owner who may not need all CLICK HERE FOR MORE MARCH 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 31
  36. 36. fIrST LOOkS SOfTWArEMobile Web BrowsersSurf on the GoY our Web-surfing experience York Times home page loaded completely in on a smartphone is only as 54 seconds, which was reduced to 50 sec- good as its browser. From onds after turning on Turbo. While scrolling their rudimentary beginnings, speeds are improved, and the kinetic scroll- mobile Web browsers have ing is welcome, it can still feel sluggish, evencome a long way in speed, sophistication, over a 3G connection. Despite those qualms,and features. Here we review three of the Opera Mobile 10 remains a slick browser.top contenders for the Windows Mobileand BlackBerry platforms. Skyfire 1.5 The new Skyfire 1.5 is a significant upgradeOpera Mobile 10 (Beta 2) that remedies nearly all of the original ver-Opera’s various mobile browsers have been sion’s flaws. It’s a godsend for Windowsgo-to upgrades for years. But several newer Mobile users and even superior to Operacompetitors—including the excellent Sky- Mobile 9.7 Turbo.fire 1.5 and the Java-based BOLT 1.6—have New features here include VGA (640-moved the bar forward. The public beta by-480) and WVGA (800-by-480) screenof Opera Mobile 10 contains a refreshed support, a revamped user interface, moreinterface, simple zoom controls, and faster finger-friendly buttons, a full-screen mode,performance. Though it still lacks Flash com- and the ability to pan or flick the screenpatibility, it is nonetheless a worthy down- to move in multiple directions. On ourload that embarrasses the stock Microsoft tests, Skyfire 1.5 simply flattened Internetand Nokia browsers. Explorer 6 Mobile, Windows Mobile 6.5’s The main user interface here looks sharp, stock browser. Skyfire Labs optimized Sky-with a revamped icon strip, a Safari 4–like fire 1.5’s server connections to speed upSpeed Dial launch page, and an auto-com- page rendering and overall response times,plete feature in the address bar. In testing, and it shows. Over a Wi-Fi connection, Sky-most desktop pages looked sharp. With fire loaded the desktop USA Today homeUSA Today’s home page, the browser had page in 10 seconds and The New York Timesenough data over Wi-Fi to return control home page in 16 seconds. Skyfire’s down-within 9 seconds, though the browser took sides are that it’s dependent on access to51 seconds to deliver the full page. The New Skyfire’s own servers. And there’s also still32 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION MARCH 2010
  37. 37. BOLT 1.6 Free Ll l l m PrOS Speedy. Supports streaming video. Maximizes how much you see. CONS Default font is reallyOpera Mobile 10 (Beta 2) Skyfire 1.5 tiny. Only supports one win- dow at a time. Works on fewerFree Free phones than Opera Mini. StallsLl l l m Ll l l m if it can’t contact proxy server.PrOS Accurate page render- PrOS Transparent interface. CLICk HErE fOr MOrEing. Transparent, full-featured Supports AJAX, Flash, anduser interface. Nifty Speed Silverlight content. Fast loadDial feature. Robust bookmark times. Accurate page render-and password management. ing. Smooth video streaming.Not dependent on Opera’s CONS No tabbed browsingservers in order to work. or multiple window support.CONS No Flash support. Slug- Doesn’t work if it can’t seegish to complete page loads. Skyfire’s servers.CLICk HErE fOr MOrE CLICk HErE fOr MOrEno tabbed browsing or multiple window ity aren’t up to Opera’s standards.support. But we’re willing to accept those Like Opera Mini and Skyfire 1.5, BOLT is aflaws in exchange for its excellent page ren- proxy browser, which means you can experi-dering and streaming media skills. If you ence slowdowns if there’s a stall in contactinghave a Windows Mobile device, you need Bitstream’s servers, which we encounteredthis browser. in testing. When it didn’t glitch, BOLT was really fast. It rendered most pages slightlyBOLT 1.6 faster than Opera Mini did. Pages look good,Bitstream’s BOLT browser for BlackBerrys and you see more of a page at once than youand feature phones has come a long way do in Opera. It can also stream media fromsince our last review six months ago. This ver- various Web sites. BOLT’s overall UI isn’t assion offers fast rendering of desktop-quality slick as Opera Mini’s but if speed is what youpages and a few tricks that Opera Mini can’t need, BOLT is your browser.match, though its interface and compatibil- —Jamie Lendino and Sascha Segan MARCH 2010 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION 33
  38. 38. FIRsT LOOKs sOFTwARE Norton Online Backup 2.0 $49.99 direct per year Ll l h m PROs Simple, Web-based, tabbed interface. Up to five computers can share one account. Works with Macs. Shares stored files via e-mail. Backs up open files. Lets you search backed-up content. CONs No on-demand backup for a single file or folder. No “live” file watching for instant backup. No Windows Explorer right-click integration.Norton Online Backup 2.0Revved-Up BackupS ymantec’s first attempt at Nor- est interest is that the service will now let ton Online Backup earlier this you share access to specified files or folders year lacked many capabili- backed up online. Since the data’s already in ties we expect from an online the cloud, why not let users securely share it backup service. Norton did from any Internet connection?have a slick Web-based interface and let In testing, I could easily share a file fromyou back up files from up to five PCs, how- my online storage from the Home screen.ever. In addition to addressing many of the I just had to click on the File Actions but-deficits in this newest release, Symantec has ton for the PC I wanted to share from, andalso added tabs to the interface, simplified choose “Email File Links.” This let me entersetup, and added some key improvements. multiple recipients’ e-mail addresses and Among the new features in Version 2.0 specify a download password (if I wantedare a Mac OS version, file-version saving one), and offered the same search or direc-for up to 90 days (in case you mistakenly tory tree navigation to find the files I wantedchange a backed-up file), search, open-file to share. Overall, this version representsbackup, and storage management (with the some major strides, and addresses the mostability to purge files from your backup list). important of my concerns with the originalThe service can also now handle mapped version—making it a welcome addition tonetwork and local drives, including tempo- the Norton line.—Michael Muchmorerary USB key drives. But perhaps of great- CLICK HERE FOR MORE34 PC MAGAZINE DIGITAL EDITION MARCH 2010