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Dell Inspiron 9100

Dell Inspiron 9100

There was a time when notebooks described as 'desktop replacement' systems simply featured the most powerful mobile technology of the day, along with a big screen, a built-in optical drive, perhaps a floppy drive too, and plenty of I/O ports. Nowadays, though, manufacturers really mean it when they talk about desktop replacement, using desktop-class CPUs and graphics accelerators to deliver uncompromising performance and functionality. Dell's Inspiron 9100 is a case in point: a very sturdy 15.4in.-screened behemoth weighing over 4kg, this system delivers the goods, and at an attractive price too: the base model comes in at just £869 (ex. VAT), although our top-of-the-range review configuration will set you back around £400 more than this.

March 17, 2004 by in Laptops

Sony Ericsson Chatpen CHA-30

Sony Ericsson Chatpen CHA-30

Although Sony Ericsson’s Chatpen CHA-30 is rounder than the similarly Anoto-based <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/inputdevices/0,39023910,39119056,00.htm">Nokia SU-1B Digital Pen</A> and less comfortable to hold than the equally rotund <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/inputdevices/0,39023910,39118051,00.htm">Logitech io Personal Digital Pen</A>, it makes up for these drawbacks with its impressive connectivity. A notable difference between the Chatpen and Logitech's and Nokia's devices is that the Chatpen has no USB connection. The charger fits in the end opposite the nib and all data transfers are wireless, via Bluetooth.

March 11, 2004 by in Hardware

LaCie USB Slim DVD±RW

LaCie USB Slim DVD±RW

Many ultraportable notebooks achieve their low size and weight by sacrificing removable media drives. These are usually found in a separate docking station which you need to take with you if you need to read CDs or DVDs, taking your travel weight back up again. LaCie wants to save you this trouble with its slim DVD±RW drive. What's more, the company is offering a bit of style, since the drive's case is designed by F A Porsche.

March 9, 2004 by in Storage

Sharp Zaurus SL-C860

Sharp Zaurus SL-C860

If you thought Palm and Pocket PC were your only options as far as handheld devices are concerned, think again. Sharp has a range of handhelds called Zaurus which run the Linux operating system. These are very popular in Japan, but few models have made it to the UK -- officially, at least. However, it's possible to get hold of the latest Zaurus models through a company called <A href="http://www.shirtpocket.co.uk">ShirtPocket</A>, which offers the £565 SL-C860 (reviewed here) and a slightly less expensive alternative, the £469 SL-C750 (prices include import service and VAT).

March 8, 2004 by in Mobility

Acer TravelMate 250PE Tablet PC

Acer TravelMate 250PE Tablet PC

<A href="http://insight.zdnet.co.uk/0,39020415,39147361,00.htm">Tablet PCs</A> have yet to achieve the kind of popularity that Microsoft -- developer of the Tablet PC version of Windows XP -- and its OEMs might like. But hardware manufacturers remain committed to the idea. Acer proves the point with the TravelMate 250PE, a take on the tablet format that's different from any other we've seen to date.

March 4, 2004 by in Mobility

Eten P300

Eten P300

Microsoft OS fans seeking a connected device face a dilemma. Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Phone Edition caters for more than just data and voice telephony, and can provide all the portable computing that some users require. But the hardware is relatively bulky, and it can be tricky to use for voice calls. Windows Mobile 2003 for Pocket PC Smartphone edition, on the other hand, is limited in terms of features, but more phone-like in portability. On paper, the £351.33 (inc. VAT) P300 handheld/phone combo from Eten looks like a good compromise between the two extremes.

February 27, 2004 by in Smartphones

Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop Pro

Microsoft Wireless Optical Desktop Pro

Microsoft's Wireless Optical Desktop Pro is very similar to the <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/inputdevices/0,39023910,39118060,00.htm">Desktop Elite</A>, but features the natural keyboard design which some people may find more comfortable to type on. Although this helps with the ergonomics of the desktop, there are also some points that detract from the comfort of using this desktop set.

February 19, 2004 by in Hardware

Dell Latitude D505

Dell Latitude D505

Dell's Latitude D505 range is aimed at cost-conscious business buyers, with systems starting at just £699 (ex. VAT). The D505 is a straightforward two-spindle notebook that isn't especially thin (3.31cm) or light (2.3kg), despite Dell's classification, and which bears a close family resemblance to the <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/notebooks/0,39023985,39145636,00.htm">Inspiron 510m</A> that we recently reviewed. Because this is a 'business' notebook, the D505 is soberly clad in silver-grey plastic, and runs Windows XP Professional rather than Home. Although it's available in a range of Pentium M-based configurations, our review sample gave us the chance to evaluate the new Celeron M processor, which is a cut-down version of Intel's flagship mobile CPU.

February 17, 2004 by in Laptops

Vodafone Power Handheld

Vodafone Power Handheld

Mobile professionals are forever seeking the Holy Grail of portable computing: always-on, high-speed data connection; a screen big enough and with high enough resolution to allow serious data viewing; and a keyboard capable of proper data entry. All this, crucially, needs to be packed into a pocketable device. So does Vodafone’s Power Handheld, the latest offering to target all these goals, hit the back of the net?

February 13, 2004 by in Mobility

IdeaFisher Pro

IdeaFisher Pro

Writing can be a drag. You know what you want to deliver, just not quite how to get it across. You have ideas, thoughts, themes running through your head, but when they turn up on paper the words don’t convey precisely what you mean. The sentences look clumsy, unsophisticated and imprecise. IdeaFisher is a tool designed to help you get the words on the pages and the thoughts in your head to match up, and to help you have those thoughts in the first place.

February 9, 2004 by in Developer

Dell Inspiron 510m

Dell Inspiron 510m

Observers of the notebook scene will have long concluded that Dell can make thoroughly worthy mid-range products, and the Inspiron 510m is further evidence of this. Of its kind, the 510m is notably well equipped. If you're happy to trade off size and weight for flexibility and connectivity, you might as well get the works -- and with parallel, serial, dual USB, IEEE 1394, infrared, SVGA, PC Card, modem and 10/100 Ethernet, there's not a lot you can't plug in except a PS/2 keyboard or mouse.

February 6, 2004 by in Laptops

Toshiba T61

Toshiba T61

If you need to give a presentation that includes ad hoc material, Toshiba's T61 could come in handy. As well as being a 1500 ANSI Lumens XGA LCD projector, it features a Visualiser unit, which can relay live images of printed documents or 3D objects. So, as well as being a data projector, the T61 can operate like a trusty old overhead projector.

January 28, 2004 by in Hardware

Nokia 6600

Nokia 6600

Nokia’s 6600, the company’s third Symbian smartphone, is based on the Series 60 platform. It succeeds the <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/mobilephones/0,39023925,10005394,00.htm">3650</A> with its quirky circular keypad, which in turn replaced the <A href="http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/mobilephones/0,39023925,10002733,00.htm">7650</A> -- Nokia’s first camera phone.

January 22, 2004 by in Mobility

Pinnacle Studio 9

Pinnacle Studio 9

One of the problems facing the developers of non-linear editing (NLE) software at the consumer end of the market is improving the application’s capabilities without making it too complicated. Or, in Pinnacle’s case, stepping on the toes of the more advanced NLE software that they sell (Liquid Edition). With Studio 9, however, it has achieved this by leaving the already intuitive front end alone, and tucking the new features beneath the surface.

January 21, 2004 by in Developer

Siemens SX1

Siemens SX1

Siemens’ SX1 was announced almost a year ago at the 3GSM World Congress in February 2003. At the time we expected to see it in the shops by summer. But summer came and went, as did autumn, and the SX1 failed to materialise. Now, almost a year after it was first mentioned, the SX1 is here, and Siemens at last has a phone with the Symbian operating system in its portfolio. Our first thought on receiving a review unit was that the SX1 -- which costs around £250 (inc. VAT) with a contract and £450 SIM-free -- may have lost ground on the competition during the hiatus between announcement and appearance. So has it?

January 20, 2004 by in Mobility

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