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Nokia 7110 slide surfaces, though not yet official

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The Nokia 7110 slide seems like what Nokia has in store to replenish its lower midrange ranks. Equipped with a QVGA display, 1.3 megapixel camera and a microSD slot, the new Nokia 7110 slide is definitely not an exciting stuff.

Still, seeing QVGA resolution in the lower midrange segment seems like the right thing to do to boost Christmas sales.

Nokia 7110 slide Nokia 7110 slide Nokia 7110 slide Nokia 7110 slide
Nokia 7110 slide is yet unannounced

The new Nokia 7110 slide will also have FM radio, tri-band GSM/EDGE support and Bluetooth. A standard microUSB slot completes the list.

According to the source, the estimated retail price of the Nokia 7100 slide will be 200 euro, but we highly doubt that. Just looking at the specs sheet, any price over 100 euro seems way off. Still, we'd better wait for the official announcement before making any further assumptions.

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Note: Sponsored advertising links are in green.

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Motorola Krave ZN4

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Motorola’s Krave ZN4 puts a new twist on touch. This unique clamshell, available from Verizon Wireless for $149, lets you operate the phone through the clear lid, although you can do much more with it open. And this device supports the stellar V CAST Mobile TV service and offers very good call quality. The on-screen keyboard is awkward, though, making the ZN4 a poor choice for messaging, but otherwise it’s a solid, value-priced multimedia handset for Verizon Wireless customers.

Design

A descendant of the Motorola Ming, the ZN4 is beautiful. It looks like a concept phone come to life. At 4.6 ounces and 4.1 x 2.0 x 0.8 inches, the device was comfortable to hold, but when we placed it against our ear, the flat base of the unit felt a little awkward against our face, since the lid’s drop hinge rests directly on your cheek.

As with all clamshells, the ZN4’s earpiece is built into the lid. Because the lid is transparent, when you open the phone the earpiece looks like it’s floating, a feature that’s visually arresting. Upon closer inspection, we could see a small wire mesh running up the lid to the earpiece. That mesh also enables the lid to be used as a touchscreen for controlling the display beneath it. Unfortunately the lid recognized our key presses about two-thirds of the time.

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With the lid closed, the touchscreen’s effective size is a 2.4-inch, 320 x 240-pixel area; open the phone, and you’re treated to a beautiful 2.8-inch, 400 x 240 LCD touchscreen, surrounded by a reflective smoky gray border. Arrayed around the sides of the Krave ZN4 are volume controls, a 3.5mm headphone jack, mini-USB port, microSD Card slot, camera button, and phone lock.

/uploadedImages/Multimedia_Assets/Images/2008/Reviews/cell-phones/verizon_krave_lidleft_sf.jpg

User Interface

The ZN4’s UI starts out with a home screen, to which you can apply a custom image background. On the top are four icons for accessing your messages, the dialpad, the main menu, and your contacts. The date and time are stamped at the bottom of the screen. The main menu is straightforward: 12 icons represent the usual applications, such as VZ Navigator and Media Center, and it’s simple enough to use when the flip phone is open. Navigate through menus is intuitive, and you never need to dig much to get to the important stuff such as music or the Web; those icons are right on the home screen.

Too bad the UI is a bit sluggish. When we clicked a menu it would take about a half second for the phone to recognize our input before opening that directory. If you tap the screen too gently, nothing will open. This was frustrating; when trying to switch songs quickly, we had to give a firm press to switch between album and artist lists.

/uploadedImages/Multimedia_Assets/Images/2008/Reviews/cell-phones/verizon_krave_lidleft_sf.jpgWith the lid closed, you can use the touchscreen to play music, watch TV, view pictures, and access VZ Navigator, but you can’t access the keyboard. That means you can’t type in directions for VZ Navigator, and you can’t search for music by typing in an artist or album name. If you get a text message, you can view it, but you need to open the phone to respond.

Keyboard

The ZN4’s QWERTY on-screen keyboard is one of the worst we’ve used. Trying to type on the display with the phone open—which requires you to turn the phone on its side—is awkward at best, as the open lid makes it difficult to comfortably use your left hand. Not helping is the fact that the touchscreen sometimes didn’t recognize key presses.

When we pointed this out to Motorola, company representatives told us to use our index fingers, an uncomfortable and impractical technique in an age where thumb-typing is standard on just about every mobile device.

Thankfully, the alphanumeric dialpad is easier to use, because the numbers are large and clear. However, when we typed quickly, the keypad didn’t recognize every number, resulting in repetitive presses of the CLR button. You can switch between the alphanumeric pad and the QWERTY layout by flipping the phone; the ZN4’s accelerometer automatically adjusts between landscape and horizontal mode.


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Samsung NC10

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The Samsung NC10 has joined the ranks of 10-inch netbooks—including the Eee PC 1000H, MSI Wind, and Lenovo IdeaPad S10—and it beats them all. The $499 NC10 may have the same cookie-cutter specs as its competitors, including a 1.6-GHz Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, and Windows XP, but its spacious, well-positioned keyboard and more than 7 hours of battery life make this system our favorite 10-inch netbook yet.

Design

The Samsung NC10 isn’t the flashiest netbook to grace our labs. The white matte lid (also available in Navy Blue in the U.S.), whose only adornment is its mirrored Samsung logo, is smooth, and its rounded square edges give the system a more professional look than the MSI Wind or the Eee PC 1000H manages. The silver trim and glowing blue and reddish orange status lights on the front edge project a futuristic aura. The blue glowing power button, positioned on the circular right hinge, reminds us of the premium Sony VAIO TT.

Measuring 10.3 x 7.3 x 1.2 inches and weighing 2.8 pounds (with its six-cell battery), the NC10 is similar in size and weight to its rival 10-inch netbooks, the 3.2-pound ASUS Eee PC 1000H and the 2.6-pound Lenovo IdeaPad S10 and MSI Wind. The NC10 is about half an inch longer than Lenovo’s S10 but about the same length as the MSI Wind and the Eee PC 1000H. Nevertheless, we had no problem holding it on our lap in a tightly cramped train seat. When we walked around the city with the NC10 and its AC adapter in a shoulder bag (bringing the travel weight to 3.4 pounds) we felt no strain.

Large, Spacious Keyboard

When it comes to the keyboard, the NC10 easily bests those on the MSI Wind and Eee PC 1000H. The 93 percent–full size layout is comfortable, and the raised keys provided nice tactile feedback. Unlike the Eee PC 1000H, the panel didn’t flex at all. The feel of the keys and the size of the keyboard isn’t all the NC10 has got going for it: unlike the 1000H and the Wind, the key positioning of the NC10 is near perfect. The right Shift key is full size and directly below the Enter key. When typing this review in WordPad we rarely mistyped words. (Our review unit’s Korean keyboard was lacking a backslash/pipe key; in its place was a Korean character. We will update this review when we receive our American review unit.)



Small Multi-Touch Touchpad, Plethora of Ports

In order to accommodate the spacious keyboard, Samsung had to make some compromises. At 2.3 x 1.1 inches, the NC10’s touchpad is disappointingly small and vertically very narrow, requiring more movement and backtracking than we would like. While the mouse button—a single rocker bar—lacks a divot to separate the left and right sides, we didn’t have any problems clicking and didn’t have to press too hard on it to get a response. We would prefer two dedicated buttons, but this arrangement is still better than the vertically oriented touchpad buttons like those on the HP 2133 Mini-Note or Acer Aspire one.

The touchpad has a dedicated scrolling bar, which was useful for moving through long Web pages. It also supports multi-touch controls and drivers from Synaptics, which allow for the typical pinch-and-zoom functions for pictures and Web pages. The NC10 can also recognize other gestures; we will update this review with our impressions once we procure the U.S. version.





The NC10 houses the typical netbook ports, including 3 USB ports, a 3-in-1 memory card reader, mic and headphone jacks, a VGA port, and an Ethernet jack. Unlike Lenovo’s S10, the NC10 lacks an ExpressCard slot for adding a mobile broadband modem card, but you can always use a compact USB modem.

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HP Mini 1000 (10-Inch, Windows XP)

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When HP’s 2133 Mini-Note hit the market last spring, the category was still establishing itself: Intel’s Atom processor had yet to arrive, and 10-inch screens had yet to become the sweet spot for mini-notebook displays. As a result, the 2133 fell behind other models. HP has now caught up to the competition with its 10-inch HP Mini 1000.

Our $549 unit (which has a starting price of $399 and can be configured to order on HP’s site) sports an Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, and Windows XP, but what sets it apart is its extremely compact build and one of the best keyboards we’ve used on a netbook to date. However two things hold this system back from being our favorite: its three-cell battery and its higher price point.

Design

Measuring 10.3 x 6.6 x 1.0 inches and weighing 2.4 pounds, the Mini 1000, when placed next to its rival 10-inch netbooks (the Samsung NC10, ASUS Eee PC 1000H, Lenovo IdeaPad S10 and the MSI Wind) is definitively thinner and more compact. In fact, it compares favorably to smaller 8.9-inch netbooks, such as the Acer Aspire one and Dell Inspiron Mini 9. When matched up with the razor-thin and much pricier $699 Eee PC S101, the Mini 1000 is a mere 0.3 inches thicker and the same weight. When we tossed the HP Mini 1000 and the AC adapter (bringing the travel weight to 3 pounds) into a bag it felt almost non-existent, and with its durable finish we didn’t worry about scratching its lid.

/uploadedImages/Multimedia_Assets/Images/2008/Reviews/laptops/hp_1000_h.jpgHP replaced the aluminum chassis of the 2133 Mini-Note with a more affordable but still stylish plastic casing. The black lid, like the new Pavilion dv notebooks, is glossy and has HP’s signature Imprint finish with a Swirl pattern. And unlike the Eee PC S101 or the Dell Inspiron Mini 9, its pattern hid our fingerprints. The glowing blue wireless status light and the silver mesh, which covers the speakers that are nestled between the bottom of the screen and the top of the keyboard, project a futuristic look.

Size and Weight Chart
(inches and pounds)
Screen SizeMeasurementsWeight
HP Mini 100010.210.3 x 6.6 x 1.02.4
ASUS Eee PC 1000H1010.5 x 7.5 x 1.5 3.2
MSI Wind1010.2 x 7.1 x 0.72.6
Lenovo IdeaPad S1010.29.8 x 7.2 x 1.12.6
ASUS Eee PC S10110.210.3 x 7.0 x 0.72.4
Samsung NC1010.210.3 x 7.3 x 1.22.8
ASUS Eee PC 9018.98.9 x 6.7 x 1.32.6
Dell Inspiron Mini 98.99.1 x 6.8 x 1.32.3
Acer Aspire one8.99.8 x 6.7 x 1.42.4

Superior Netbook Keyboard

The HP Mini 1000’s keyboard is one of the best on a netbook to date. Not only is the 92 percent–size keyboard spacious and comfortable, the key positioning is near perfect. Unlike the Eee PC 1000H or MSI Wind, the right Shift key is full size and placed directly under the Enter key. Additionally, there is a complete row of dedicated function keys.

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The keys on the Mini 1000 lack the 2133’s DuraFinish, which made the keys resistant to visible wear and tear, a cost-cutting move. However, the matte black keys on the Mini 1000 are still softer to the touch than those found on its rivals. They each had pretty good tactile feedback, and the panel had no bend or flex. The only keyboard that can hold a candle to HP’s is that of Samsung’s NC10. Some of its keys aren’t as large as the Mini 1000’s, but some may prefer their chunkier feel.

Our appreciation for the Mini 1000’s design lagged when we saw the touchpad, which has only been slightly altered from that on the 2133. The 2.4 x 1.1-inch touchpad is disappointingly small and vertically very narrow, resulting in a lot of back-tracking. Additionally, still present are the awkward right and left mouse buttons which vertically straddle the pad. This layout forced us to use both hands to access the buttons, or to double-tap on the touchpad quite a bit. Nevertheless, we don’t think the touchpad is a deal breaker. We adjusted to the layout in a few hours. The touchpad also has a dedicated scroll bar, which was useful for moving through long Web pages; a button to turn off the pad lies above it.


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Dell Inspiron Mini 12 Netbook Review Round up (3 reviews); Mini 12 vs. Mini 9?

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Dell Inspiron Mini 9 was a critical Netbook that some reviews didn’t rank it as one of the top-leading Netbooks in the market such as PC Magazine while Cnet thinks Mini 9 was one of the cutting-edge electronic devices in 2008. Pretty soon after releasing Mini 9 Dell worked out a 12-in Netbook which is the second one in the market after pricey 12-in Asus Eee S101- premium system in Eee line up.

Nicely, three website could have their hands Dell Inspiron 12 Netbook immediately after the Netbook was announced. So, before the Netbook is release we can have real idea and have better decision before selecting any Netbook. APC, laptop magazine, and Laptop magazine first impression, and Cnet Australia, are the reviews available in Web, that you can read any of them you like. However, here I have tried to collect all the advantages and disadvantages that Mini 12 offers mentioned through these three reviews and an interview with Dell senior product manager John.


(Pros)
- A starting weight of only 2.72 lbs
- Only 0.92 in. thick that reminds you the expensive modern ultra slim 76-inch MacBook Air, 0.92-inces ThinkPad X200 and Voodoo Envy 133.
- Next generation single core the Silverthorne-class 1.3GHz Atom Z520 or 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530 processors which are more energy efficient as they come with lower power of 2.0 watts. Atom N270 is a Diamondville processor that uses power of 2.5 Watts.
- Enough storage of 60 GB or 80 GB HDD (but with slow speed of 4,200 RPM). It is like the one you can find in Acer Aspire One or Eee PC 900.
-A sharp 12.1-inch WXGA display offering wider viewing angles and exceptional brightness.
- Ample 3 ports and full-size VGA out
- Built-in Bluetooth and 802.11b/g wireless and 10/100 Ethernet jack
- A roomy keyboard with near full-size keys; also the availability of function keys. The trackpad is in decent size
- The extra 6-cell battery is priced at $79 which is affordable
- The Linux and Win XP variants will be available by the end of year
- Quiet system
- Availability of full version of Microsoft Works Suite 9.0



(Cons)
- Pricey
- Sluggish performance and more than one minute booting time
- The Z520 and Z530 only support up to 1GB of RAM. So, you can not upgrade the memory of this system.
- Windows Vista Home Basic with 1GB of RAM
- There is no choice for SSD
- It comes without any switch or indicator light in sight
- There is no Express card like the one you can happily find on Lenovo IdeaPad S10
- There is only a mono speaker!
- Yet the keyboard feels some cramps as the gaps between keys is slightly little and need spending some time for adjustment
- It is only nice to use it on tabletop but while using on the lap you will have to control it not to fall over
- The battery is some short


Mini 12 vs. Mini 9:

Mini 12 comes with many similarities with and some differences from Mini 9. In the following first you can learn about the similarities and their differences:

- Mini 12 looks like exact the same way that mini 9: the same glossy finish over the black exterior, glossy silver-clad display frame, silver palm rest and a matte black keyboard with blue highlights inside.
- Mini 12 receives the same sturdy build quality of Mini 9
- Both Netbooks will be available with 3G or mobile broadband in beginning of 2009
- Mini 12 lacks SSD while mini 9 comes with fast hard drive of SSD
- Mini 12 has the same mediocre viewing angle as the Mini 9
- The Mini 9 is upgrade-friendly while Mini 12 is not. It takes has more traditional style. If you flip over the system you will see that you have to uncover the system with screw driver like a typical laptop.
- Like Mini 9, the Mini 12 provides extra software tools such as Google Desktop and a 90 day trial edition of McAfee 2009.
- The default battery life on Mini 12 is not more than the battery run time on Mini 9.
- Mini 12 comes only with SD/MS memory card slot, But Mini 9 comes with 4-in-1 media card reader
- Mini 12 comes with bigger keyboard that provides all the function keys while Mini 9 has a more cramp keyboard and the F11 and F12 keys are omitted
- the boot time on Mini 12 is over than 1 minutes while mini 9 boots up about 20 seconds.
-The two speakers on Mini 9 are impressive while Mini 12 comes with a mono speaker which is not fair or a 12-in laptop.
- The screen resolution is nice and fair on Mini 12 (1,280x800) while it is low in Mini 9 (1,024x600)
- Mini 12 was able to perform the PCMark05 and 3DMark06 benchmarks scorings at 891 marks and 76 3DMarks respectively, while Mini 9 is not able to perform any benchmark.

It would like to compare the PCMark05result of Mini 12 (done by Cnet Australia) with the result test of Lenovo IdeaPad S10 and Aspire on done by NotebookReview here. As you saw, Mini 12 scored 891 Marks (well it is not clear that the processor clocked at 1.3GHz or 1.6 GHz I nthis review). However IdeaPad S10 has scored higher 1,446Marks and Aspire one scored some better score of 1,555 PCMarks.

So, I think now it is more understandable why Cnet Australia has given the rating of 6.1 out of 10, while Mini 9 got rating of 9 out of 10 from the same Editors and became the Editor choice of Cnet Australia.

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Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Review

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Review based on a production Alpha DSLR-A900

In the cut-throat digital camera market it's increasingly unusual for products to be shown in prototype form or announced more than a matter of weeks before they hit the stores. There's several reasons for the manufacturers' habit of playing their cards so close to their chests, not least that they can't afford to harm sales of the models they've already released. Sony, the newest 'new kid' on the DLSR block, has no such worries, this being its first proper 'high end' DSLR. In fact, if anything the pressure was on the company to show it was committed to becoming a major SLR system player and that it wasn't going to squander Minolta's long legacy in this market after picking up the assets Konica Minolta shed when it pulled out of the photography market. Thus we saw the first prototype of the Alpha 900 - Sony's flagship full frame digital SLR - back in early 2007 (it appeared behind glass at trade shows such as PMA in March 07), and information has been trickling out ever since; most significantly with the announcement in January of this year of a 35mm full frame CMOS sensor.

And so when Sony finally showed the finished Alpha 900 to us back in the late summer there were few surprises at the basic specification or the appearance of the camera. As we started to dig a little deeper, pore over the fine print and actually use the Alpha 900 we were, however, increasingly surprised - and almost always pleasantly so - at some of the decisions made by Sony's engineers when designing its flagship SLR.

The success of the Alpha 900 amongst the Minolta, Konica Minolta and Sony faithful seems assured; at a launch price of just shy of $3000 it offers a lot of 'bang for your buck' and there is undoubtedly a significant number of Minolta film SLR users who've been waiting years for a full frame digital body on which to use their existing lenses. The challenge for Sony, however, is to generate some interest from people without an existing investment in the Minolta (or subsequent Alpha) system. And on paper the Alpha 900 looks promising - and we're already impressed with the build, handling and viewfinder, so let's find out how well the latest addition to the small but growing 'full frame club' performs.

Key features

  • 24.6 MP 35mm format full-frame CMOS sensor (highest res in class)
  • SteadyShot INSIDE full frame image sensor shift stabilization (world first)
  • High Speed Dual Bionz processors
  • Eye-level glass Penta-prism OVF, 100% coverage, 0.74x magnification
  • 9 point AF with 10 assist points, center dual-cross AF w/2.8 sensor
  • 5 frames per second burst, newly developed mirror box
  • Intelligent Preview Function
  • 3 User programmable custom memory modes on mode dial
  • Advanced Dynamic Range Optimizer (5 step selectable)
  • 40 segment honeycomb metering
  • 3.0" 921K pixel Photo Quality (270 dpi) LCD display, 100% coverage
  • Direct HDMI output
  • ISO 200-3200 (ISO 100-6400 expanded range)
  • User interchangeable focusing screens (3 options)
  • CF Type I/II and MS slots, LI-ION battery, STAMINA 880 shots
  • Weight 850g (without battery, card, accs)
  • New Image Data Converter SR software (includes vignetting control)
  • New Vertical Grip
  • Supplied with wireless remote control
  • Magnesium Alloy body and rubber seals for dust and moisture resistance
  • AF micro adjustment
  • $2999.99 body price; available late October 2008

Compared to Alpha 700 - key differences

As someone who has used the Alpha 700 extensively I was immediately struck by just how similar its new big brother is; the basic design and layout is almost identical, as are the user interface and the core feature set. Unlike Canon and Nikon, who tend to add further differentiation to their professional products with swathes of extra features and (especially) custom function options, Sony has gone for almost total consistency between the A700 and A900.

Obviously there are some pretty significant differences both physically and functionally (some of which are upgrades we'd expect to see in the Alpha 700's eventual replacement); aside from the obvious (sensor size/resolution) the key changes are:

  • Dual Bionz processors (A700 only has one)
  • Three custom modes on mode dial in place of A700's scene modes
  • All magnesium alloy construction
  • New 9 point AF with 10 assist points for Wide AF mode
  • 100% viewfinder coverage (A700 is 95%)
  • Improved noise reduction options (including 'off')
  • Improved D-Range Optimizer auto function
  • No grip sensor or built-in flash
  • Top LCD info panel
  • Intelligent Preview Mode
  • Increased pixel pitch due to improvements in sensor design

Sony Alpha A900

Sony Alpha A700
Body material • Magnesium Alloy Chassis and exterior
• Environmental seals
• Aluminum chassis
• Magnesium Alloy body shell
• high grade plastic exterior
• Environmental seals
Sensor • 35.9 x 24.0 mm CMOS sensor 'Exmor'
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Built-in fixed low-pass filter
• 25.7 million total pixels
• 24.6 million effective pixels
• On-chip Column A/D Conversion & NR
• 23.5 x 15.6 mm CMOS sensor 'Exmor'
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Built-in fixed low-pass filter
• 13.05 million total pixels
• 12.25 million effective pixels
• On-chip Column A/D Conversion & NR
Processor Dual Bionz Bionz
Crop Factor 1x 1.5x
Image sizes (3:2) • 6048 x 4032 (24M 3:2)
• 4400 x 2936 (13M 3:2)
• 3024 x 2016 (6.1M 3:2)
• 3924 x 2656 (11M APSC)
• 2896 x 1928 (5.6M APSC)
• 1984 x 1320 (2.6M APSC)
• 4288 x 2856 (L RAW)
• 4272 x 2848 (L)
• 3104 x 2064 (M)
• 2128 x 1424 (S)
Auto Focus • TTL CCD line sensors (9-points, center dual cross types + 10 assist sensors) • TTL CCD line sensors (11-points, 10 lines with center dual cross sensor)
Custom modes Three Three
Bracketing • Single or continuous bracketing
• 3 or 5 frames
• 0.3, 0.5 , 0.7 or 2.0 EV steps
(2.0 EV steps for 3 exposures only)
• Single or continuous bracketing
• 3 or 5 frames
• 0.3, 0.5 or 0.7 EV steps
Continuous • H: Approx 5fps max
• L: Approx 3fps max
• RAW: Up to 12 frames
• cRAW (compressed): Up to 25 frames
• RAW+JPEG: Up to 10 frames
• JPEG (XFINE): Up to 11 frames
• JPEG (STD/FINE): 285/105
• H: Approx 5fps max
• L: Approx 3fps max
• RAW: Up to 18 frames
• cRAW (compressed): Up to 25 frames
• RAW+JPEG: Up to 12 frames
• JPEG (XFINE): Up to 16 frames
• JPEG (STD/FINE): Unlimited (to card capacity)
Viewfinder • Optical glass pentaprism
• Spherical Acute Matte focusing screen (interchangeable)
• Frame coverage approx 100%
• Magnification approx. 0.74x
• Eye-relief 20 mm from eyepiece, 21 mm from frame
• Eyepiece shutter
• Optical glass pentaprism
• Spherical Acute Matte focusing screen (interchangeable)
• Frame coverage approx 95%
• Magnification approx. 0.9x
• Eye-relief 25 mm from eyepiece, 21 mm from frame
Vertical Grip Optional vertical Grip VG-C90AM Optional vertical Grip VG-C70AM
Dimensions 156 x 117 x 82 mm 141.7 x 104.8 x 79.7 mm
Weight • No battery: 850 g
• With battery: 895 g
• No battery: 690 g
• With battery: 768 g
Other • Intelligent Preview mode
• New raw converter software
• AF Micro Adjustment
• Top LCD panel

• Grip sensor
• Built in flash
• Scene modes


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.




Sorce : dpreview.com

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Global Economic Slowdown: Apple vs Windows Laptop Computers

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I just finished reading an interesting analyses in New York Times: Economy, more than Apple, leads to Windows laptop price drops. It talked about the price cuts that windows based laptop computers are having these days. Apple recently launched some laptops and there was rumor that the company could go for inexpensive laptops. Steve Jobs is perhaps still confident that there are many diehard supporters of Apple products and they don’t mind paying some more money for iPods, iPhones, Macbooks etc.

Unfortunately, the laptop makers you who depend on windows operating system cannot have the same level of confidence such as Steve jobs and there are perhaps a bit worried to see the global economic slowdown. The holiday season is almost there but most people are not thinking of shopping at this moment. They are worried about the future. They do not know whether a long-term global recession will come or not. So, they would not think of spending too much money on windows based laptop computers.

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17-inch Toshiba Qosmio X305-Q708 Quad Core Gaming Laptop Available for $4200

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Yeah, it is really a beast. The giant 17-inch Toshiba Qosmio X305-Q708 comes with specific features that make hard-core gamers satisfied such as Intel’s quad-core processor and two NVIDIA graphics cards. And of course the price tag of $4199 is very noticeable too!


The laptop is high-end in every feature- Intel Core 2 Extreme Processor QX9300 at 2.53GHz, Dual NVIDIA GeForce 9800M GTS graphics with NVIDIA SLI Technology with 512MBx2 GDDR3 , 4GB PC3-8500 DDR3 1066MHz SDRAM memory, and 128GB Solid State Hard Drive (SSD) plus 320GB 2nd HDD with 7200rpm.


Unfortunately there is no Blu-ray drive and the user has to use the typical DVD-SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) with Labelflash drive.



For Such a professional laptop like this, it is important to provide a special audio section too. So, that is why you can find 4 harman/kardon stereo speakers with subwoofer in this system.

Regarding Ports and slots the laptop comes with four USB ports (one shared USB/eSATA), HDMI, DisplayPort, and VGA outputs, and FireWire, Built-in microphone, Microphone jack (mono), DIF output port (shared with headphone port), Headphone jack (stereo), an ExpressCard slot, and a 5-in-1 media card reader.


The rest of features include: a 1.3MP web camera, Atheros 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet LAN and 56k modem.

The laptop runs on Vista and weighs 9 pounds with a 8-cell battery. It looks good with its fiery” Fusion finish with Rogue design.

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Nehalem Core i7 CPU to Come Out in November; Laptop Version end of 2009?

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This is good news to see Nehalem Core i7 desktop CPU in the market next month. Surely many benchmark analysis and reviews will come out after that and we will get quite acquainted to Intel’s latest CPUs. But the bad news is that we will not have hands-on the Nehalem mobile version codenamed Clarksfield until late 2009.


In my earlier entry I mentioned that “Nehalem is the first microarchitecture that will give Intel a lot of freedom to “easily scale up and down clocks and threads, and add capabilities like graphics and other accelerators to future cores”.

Improving the performance by Turbo mode will be one of the advantages that users can get from Nehalem. Turbo mode will be used in future processors to reroute power and improve performance.”


Nehalem and of course Core i7 and Clarksfield uses the same 45-nanometer technology that you can find in Centrino 2 processors, but it comes with different chip design than any of Intel's processors available in the market today.


According to PC World, “The most significant improvement is the move to combine the processor with the memory controller hub, which connects the processor to main memory, on a single piece of silicon. This feature, which is already available on processors from rival Advanced Micro Devices, should offer much faster access to data than is possible with Intel's current chips.”



Source: PC World

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How to Deal with Mini 9 Netbook with 16GB SSD and pre-installed with Unbuntu

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There are several reports about a problem was faced by the Mini 9 users who own Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Netbook featuring 16GB SSD and Ubuntu OS. These users have mentioned that although they had ordered 16GB SSD, they could see and use mere 4GB of storage.

If you have faced the same problem, this entry will be useful for you..


Well, there is a small problem has happened here that you can solve it very easily. First of all if you look at the BIOS you will see the 16GB SSD. But the thing that has been occurred here is only 4GB out of 16GB have been partitioned and the rest of it means the 12GB is unused partition.

The solution is only repartitioning the whole storage again. Well, Dell is a top-tired manufacturer and it is expected to be more careful about these simple small problems. These things are small but can easily damage the reputation of the company.


Fortunately, Dell has corrected this problem and the new Mini 9 Netbooks shipping with 8GB and 16GB SSD don’t have this problem anymore.


Source: Dell idea storm

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Troubleshooting: Windows Won’t Shutdown or Restart

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Have you ever clicked on the Shutdown or Restart button in Windows and have absolutely nothing happen? Sometimes Windows gets stuck because of some process that has become hung, meaning it is running, but can’t be ended in the normal way.

Hence, you try to shutdown or restart your computer, nothing happens at all. If you’re lucky, after a minute or two, you might see a message pop up saying that a process is hung and you can either let Windows try to end it or you can press End Now. I always prefer End Now!

windows end now

Unfortunately, sometimes Windows simply refuses to shutdown and it won’t give you any kind of message. Don’t worry, the underlying cause of this is still a hung process, so all you need to do is kill the non-critical Windows processes one by one or modify the registry so that a hung process is automatically ended without manual intervention. I’ll explain both methods.

Kill Windows Processes Using Task Manager

If you want to figure out exactly which process is preventing Windows from shutting down properly, then you need open the Task Manager and start ending processes one by one. To open the Task Manager, press CTRL + ALT + DEL and press the Task Manager button.

ctrl alt del task manager

You can also press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC and the Task Manager will start up automatically. Click on the Processes tab and press the User Name column header to sort the processes by user.

task manager processes

Now beginning ending each process that has a user name that matches the current user name of the Windows account you are logged into. Do not kill the Local Service, Network Service or System processes. Those are usually not the cause of the hang. Once you kill the process that is holding up the shutdown process, Windows will be begin shutting down immediately, so make sure you remember the name of each process before killing it.

If you’re not completely comfortable with the Task Manager, be sure to read myintroduction to the Task Manager at my other tech site. Once you’ve figured out the process name, uninstall that program or repair it. You can also search on Google for the process name if it is not something obvious like Safecfg.exe, etc.

Automatically Kill Processes via Registry

You can also modify a registry key so that Windows will automatically kill any process that is hung. This will ensure Windows will shutdown or restart when you ask it to. Open the registry by clicking on Start, then Run and typing in regedit.

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Navigate to the following registry key:
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\CONTROL PANEL\DESKTOP

In the right hand pane, double click on AutoEndTasks and change the value from 0 to 1.

autoend tasks

Now simply reboot your machine and hung processes will be ended automatically when you restart or shutdown your computer.

NOTE: Whenever modifying any keys in the Registry, be sure to make a backup of the entire Registry in case something goes wrong.

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Weaning Yourself Off Of Outlook With Thunderbird

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ThunderbirdAbout a year ago I got so annoyed at MS Outlook that I started considering other options. I remember liking Eudora back in the day, but also I stopped using it in favor of Outlook because it wasn’t robust enough. This may have changed, and I know at least one devoted Eudora user, but have more friends who suggested I try Thunderbird. And really, after the awesomeness of Firefox, I was willing to trust Mozilla with my e-mail.

First I used Thunderbird on my desktop for my three personal e-mail accounts. (Don’t ask why I have three… it’s a long story.) After a year of use, I was completely hooked. And the more I used it the more I became completely dissatisfied with Outlook at work.

But switching my work e-mails over to Thunderbird was a more complicated decision. Out of the box, Outlook is a much more complex program. Both have Contacts/Address Books, but Outlook has Calendar, Tasks, Notes, and a Journal. There are Calendar, Tasks, and Notes add-ons for Thunderbird (several, in fact), but nothing that really replicates the Journal.

Plus, I sync all my contacts, appointments, tasks and notes with my smartphone running Windows Mobile. My love for Thunderbird and my animosity toward Outlook gave me the impetus to see if I could overcome these hurdles.

First thing was to find add-ons that would get the missing functionality into Thunderbird.

Calendar and Tasks were easy since Mozilla already has a great solution: Lightning, the Thunderbird add on version of their calendar software, Sunbird. Lightning has all of the important functionality of Outlook’s calendar with a few extra features. You can add multiple calendars to Lightning, either locally served or on a network — this includes iCal and, with the addition of the Provider for Google Calendar add-on, Google Calendars.

Users can add events via Lightning or the web interface and both will remain synced. Reminders pop up in Lightning and can be dismissed or snoozed just as in Outlook. When looking at your calendar you can choose to see one or many at a time, and, just like Google Calendar, you assign colors to each one so it’s easy to keep track.

Tasks are part of Lightning but are only attached to your locally served calendar(s). When looking at the task list in the main mail window, you won’t see tasks if the local calendar is unchecked in the full calendar view. Other than that, tasks work the same as in Outlook.

Finding a replacement for Notes was a much harder task. There are a few note add ons for Thunderbird, but most of them attach the notes to specific emails. (Of this stripe, XNote is my favorite.) I like this function, too, but I also make notes that aren’t about specific emails.

The only add-on I could find that does this is called ThunderNote. It’s a new one, though, and isn’t as robust as it could be. It also doesn’t work quite the same as Outlook or provide the attractive Post-It note look. But it does allow you to put notes in different tabbed folders so they’re easier to find. It’s not a perfect replacement, but it has the potential to be even better than the Outlook version.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any add-ons attempting to mimic Outlook’s journal. As it’s a feature I suspect most people don’t use, this may not be a dealbreaker for you. I did use the journal and still made the switch because it was a small loss compared to everything I gained.

So, I was able to mimic the most important functions of Outlook in Thunderbird and even gained some functionality I didn’t have before. Plus, there are many other Thunderbird add-ons to choose from to personalize and expand the program. The last hurdle left was syncing my Windows Mobile phone.

For a long time I didn’t think this was possible, especially since Microsoft was not about to put out a program for this purpose. But about a month ago, on a whim, I googled around and found this article. It outlines two solutions for Thunderbird to Windows Mobile sync, one free and one not. In general, I tend to go for free solutions. When it comes to open source software like Thunderbird, I find that free stuff usually works better. In this case, the paid solution, BirdieSync, looked to be a better choice. Less hassle, less setup, less danger of messing it up. Plus, they give you a 20 day trial period, so I gave it a try.

I ended up loving BirdieSync a lot. It works perfectly every time, it only syncs the calendars I want, and I haven’t encountered any weirdness syncing contacts or tasks. You can also choose which email accounts to sync, or opt not to sync any, just as with Outlook. And it all works through ActiveSync, just as before. BirdieSync just adds some new items to sync that correspond to Thunderbird. It costs 19.99 euros, which comes out to about $30 or a little less.

The only snag is that it doesn’t sync Notes, mainly because there’s no corresponding add-on that stands out. Maybe there will be in the future, but for now my notes just live on my phone. I’ve started using tasks more for notes because of this, and that actually works out a bit better for me since most of my notes are action items. YMMV.

Palm software and BlackBerry users are, unfortunately, out of luck when it comes to syncing. There was a PalmSync extension, but it was made for Thunderbird 1.5 and seems to have been abandoned. Plus, it only synced contacts… and not very well. Looking for BlackBerry sync options I found several people on forums asking if it was possible, but no add-ons or programs popping up.

The bottom line is that you can make the switch from Outlook to Thunderbird without much loss of functionality if you’re willing to let go of your journal. Thunderbird, like any good program, will help you out by importing your contacts and e-mails. However, if you rely on syncing your contacts, appointments and tasks with your phone or PDA, the switch will only be useful for users with Windows Mobile devices.

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Nikon D90

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The D90 isn’t just another DSLR joining Nikon’s Editors’ Choice–winning lineup (although it certainly delivers the same superb image quality); it’s also the first DSLR in the world to record video. Although the recording itself is clumsy, the 720p video looks beautiful, and the 12.3-megapixel photos are even more so. And with fast all-around speeds, this mid-range DSLR is a winner.

Design and Interface

In an effort to make DSLRs less intimidating, some companies have unleashed some seriously lightweight models recently. Suffice it to say, in size, weight, price, and target user, the D90 is not one of those cameras: At 2.4 pounds with the battery, 18-105mm lens, and SD Card, you’ll definitely want to use the strap.

The good news is that the D90 feels sturdy in the hands. As always, Nikon’s rubbery ergonomic grip and thumb indentation make it easy to hold. And for a camera so advanced, you learn your way around pretty quickly. The mode dial and dedicated exposure, autofocus, and continuous shooting options are self-explanatory, thanks to their accompanying icons.

On the back, flanking the bright 3-inch LCD, which was brought over from the higher-end D300, are buttons for playback, menu options, white balance, and ISO, as well as a five-way navigational pad and button for switching between Live View and the optical viewfinder. We love the D90’s viewfinder, not just because it’s sharp, but because the rubbery lining makes it comfortable to press against our eye.

On the opposite side of the camera from the battery compartment and SD Card slot are power, A/V out, USB, and HDMI ports, the latter of which you can use to connect your camera to your HDTV and immediately watch clips. There’s also a port for the GP-1 GPS unit (price TBA), which allows users to geotag photos. Inside the camera, Nikon’s built-in sensor-cleaning system keeps dust off (this feature, too, trickled down from the D300).

Live View

The D90 has Live View, a standard feature in point-and-shoot cameras but, ironically, a premium one in DSLRs. This feature allows you to see the action in the LCD as you frame it and adjust settings. Unlike earlier DSLRs, we were able to focus just as easily with Live View as with the optical viewfinder. Taking pictures in Live View did cause shutter lag, however. Whereas the D90 snapped photos almost instantaneously when using the viewfinder, about 5 seconds elapsed between pressing the shutter and being able to take another picture. It snapped the picture soon enough, but then the picture lingers on the screen for a few seconds before the D90 readies itself for another shot.

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