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Plantronics M3000

Plantronics M3000

Do you use a Bluetooth mobile phone that supports the Headset or Hands-free profiles? If you do, then the Plantronics M3000 -- a Bluetooth headset that works wirelessly within 10m of your mobile -- could be for you. If you're considering such a move, the most important factors are: the design (is it comfortable to wear; does it look stupid?); the functionality (how easy is it to make, receive and manipulate calls?); and the performance (how good is the audio quality; how long does the battery last?). We find that the M3000 scores well in some, but not all, of these areas.

August 5, 2003 by in Hardware

Maxdata Pro 7000X

Maxdata Pro 7000X

Maxdata's first Centrino-based notebook has an odd mix of characteristics. Notably, it's got excellent battery life, yet lacks portability. And despite having a 15in. screen, its native resolution is only 1,024 by 768 pixels. These contradictions mean that although the Pro 7000X is respectable enough in each individual area, it doesn't really cut it either as a mobile machine or as a desktop replacement system.

August 4, 2003 by in Laptops

Nokia 3650

Nokia 3650

Nokia's tri-band, GPRS- and Bluetooth-equipped 3650 succeeds the innovative <A HREF="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/review/15/2/2733.html">7650</A>. Its most visible feature is a circular keypad -- a stylistic departure that could have limited appeal. However, the 3650's most popular feature will undoubtedly be its stills and video multimedia messaging capability.

July 30, 2003 by in Mobility

HP iPAQ H5550

HP iPAQ H5550

Hewlett Packard's former top-of-the-line iPAQ, the <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/review/12/1/2861.html">H5450</A> showed promise as a useful wireless handheld, but some performance issues kept it from living up to its full potential. Now the company is serving up a tuned-up, improved version of that earlier high-end model: the H5550 (£499 inc. VAT, list price), which includes a healthy 128MB of RAM and the latest Pocket PC operating system. Although it may be a bit much for the average consumer, corporate buyers will find it to be a powerful jack-of-all-trades. It's the Pocket PC equivalent of Palm's <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/review/12/1/4081.html">Tungsten C</A>, minus the integrated keyboard.

July 29, 2003 by in Mobility

Asus S1N

Asus S1N

This ultraportable 1.6GHz Centrino notebook from Asus achieves its slimline dimensions and sub-2kg system weight by moving the optical drive onto an external module, which may not suit everyone. But it's a nicely designed system that performs well enough to cope with today's business productivity applications. Battery life could be better, but it's still well worth considering for your mobile workers.

July 28, 2003 by in Laptops

SuSE Linux Desktop

SuSE Linux Desktop

To investigate SuSE's Linux Desktop, which is based on the company's Linux Enterprise Server technology, we ran it alongside a number of Windows systems in a 'live' editorial production environment for around two weeks. The idea was to see how well this business-oriented operating system/application software bundle worked for a moderately technical user working in a Windows-dominated world.

July 28, 2003 by in Enterprise Software

Iomega NAS P850m

Iomega NAS P850m

There aren't many computer manufacturers who sell kit with price points ranging from £50 to £15,000, but Iomega is one of them. The company boldly entered the NAS market about a year ago and recently launched its second iteration of NAS (Network Attached Storage) solutions, adding five new devices to its range, which now offers capacities from 120GB to 1.44TB. The previous range was confined to the 1U form factor, while the current range now features two high-capacity 2U devices. We examined the P850M, the most fully-featured (and expensive) model.

July 24, 2003 by in Storage

Palm Tungsten T2

Palm Tungsten T2

The Tungsten T2 succeeds the <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/review/12/1/2134.html">Tungsten T</A> which was the first handheld to ship with version 5 of Palm OS. The company has since announced new devices at both ends of the market, including the camera-equipped <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/review/12/1/3878.html">Zire 71</A> for consumers and the Wi-Fi-enabled <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/review/12/1/4081.html">Tungsten C</A> for business users. The Tungsten T2 is very much an evolutionary development, offering only a smattering of changes over the Tungsten T.

July 23, 2003 by in Mobility

Dell Latitude D400

Dell Latitude D400

Dell's Latitude D400 series is one of the best-looking and most affordable Pentium M ultraportables on the market. We have tested an entry-level 1.3GHz version with 128MB of RAM, which predictably isn't a great performer; also, its 2 hour 41 minute battery life trails the scores posted by most competing Pentium M/Centrino notebooks. Nevertheless, the D400 offers an impressive array of wireless options, ranging from standard 802.11b (which can make this a true Centrino system), to various combinations of 802.11a, b and g. Businesses will also like the built-in smart-card reader, and everyone should appreciate the low starting price.

July 22, 2003 by in Laptops

HP LaserJet 2300dtn

HP LaserJet 2300dtn

Hewlett-Packard's LaserJet 2300dtn (along with the rest of the LaserJet 2300 monochrome laser product line) gives offices a useful mid-range option between desktop lasers for individuals and 'big box' models for business. The most basic LaserJet 2300L, with its 20 page per minute (ppm) engine and a single stacked input tray (plus a multipurpose tray), is a step up in speed, paper capacity and print volume from the HP LaserJet 1300. It could serve one or two people who print a lot of documents, or it could be networked for an office. The LaserJet 2300dtn shows how the product line can grow to fit your needs. It has a faster engine, loads of paper capacity and a higher monthly print volume, plus a 10/100 Ethernet interface and automatic duplexing. Compared to its higher-end cousins, the LaserJet 4200 series, it offers many of the same features -- but at a lower cost. And as our tests show, the LaserJet 2300dtn fills its role with aplomb.

July 21, 2003 by in Printers

iChat AV Beta

iChat AV Beta

With iChat AV Beta, Apple brings one-step video and audio to its still-new instant-messaging tool. In beta form, iChat's performance is spotty, but it's easier to use and configure than the video-enabled <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/review/41/1/4803.html">MSN Messenger 6.0 public beta</A> and better implemented than the video chat in Yahoo Messenger (both are for Windows only). iChat AV is a pleasure to use while it's free, but Apple plans to charge $29 for it when the current beta expires on December 31 2003 (UK pricing TBA), unless you upgrade to the £99 (inc. VAT) OS X 10.3 Panther. Using it also requires either a free AOL Instant Messenger account; a free, iChat-only .Mac screen name; or a £69 per-year .Mac account. Toss in Apple's new £119 (inc. VAT) iSight FireWire camera (which isn't specifically required, although some brand of FireWire cam is), and iChat AV is starting to look like an expensive corporate tool.

July 18, 2003 by in Developer

Sony CLIE PEG-NX73V

Sony CLIE PEG-NX73V

The NX73V's predecessor was the <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/review/12/1/2372.html">NX70V</A>, a device with a similar hardware design and list price to this one. Things have moved on since the NX70V won our Editors' Choice award back in December 2002, though, and this device updates the earlier model.

July 17, 2003 by in Mobility

Philips DesXcape 150DM

Philips DesXcape 150DM

Just because Philips's DesXcape 150DM is a wireless monitor that you can use away from your desktop PC shouldn't mean compromising on performance -- although you will have to accept higher costs until more Smart Displays reach the market and economies of scale bring the price down. The DesXcape 150DM certainly doesn't compromise on style: it's sleek, elegant and stylish and has an optional wireless keyboard that wouldn't look out of place on an executive desk. The 88-key keyboard is comfortable to use, and is equipped with a trackpad so you don't need to balance a mouse on your knee.

July 16, 2003 by in Hardware

Acer Aspire 1705 SCi

Acer Aspire 1705 SCi

Acer was the first PC manufacturer to announce a notebook with a 17in. screen. Since then a number of others, including Toshiba, have followed suit, but the Aspire 1705 SCi is the first system we've had in for review. Can any computer with an integrated 17in. display really be called a notebook? Perhaps it can. However, any use of the term 'portable' with reference to this 7.1kg monster will certainly raise eyebrows.

July 15, 2003 by in Laptops

Orange SPV E100

Orange SPV E100

When a new iteration of Microsoft’s <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/review/12/1/4778.html">Pocket PC operating system</A> was announced recently, the absence of any news on the Smartphone platform was notable. The additional fact that Microsoft has only one Smartphone partner in the UK (Orange) might suggest that the company’s assault on the mobile phone market is in trouble. However, Orange clearly thinks otherwise, because it has just revamped its original SPV (the acronym sounds for Sound, Pictures, Video) with a new model, the SPV E100. This phone fixes a number of deficiencies of the <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/review/15/1/2142.html">original SPV</A>.

July 9, 2003 by in Mobility

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