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Check out these light, fast, sleek laptops
Rajesh S Kurup | October 20, 2005
The advent of mobile computing has resulted in increased dependence on laptops by businessmen and executives. At the same time, with their prices dwindling rapidly, these electronic gadgets have now become affordable to a much larger section of people, even beyond executives.
Today, users, which even include students from technology and management programmes, not only look for quality and performance, but also look for style and, more importantly, lightweight, with notebooks fast emerging the inevitable companion for the jet-set world.
These gadgets are also expected to function in all kinds of climates -- from the sub-zero to the moderate, from the moist to the extreme hot conditions, depending on the travel schedule of the businessmen or the executives. Business Standard takes a close look at a range of laptops, which have been rolled out recently, and their features.
LG: LG's recently launched 'Express' series of notebooks puts stress on style and power, and is hailed as one of the thinnest ranges of laptops in the Indian market.
The ultra-thin range of notebooks is based on Intel's Sonoma mobile platform - a part of Intel's Centrino brand, which includes a Pentium M processor, chipset and Wi-Fi card - and is always in demand in the country.
The Express series - LM60, LM70, LS70, LW60 and LW70 - laptops are equipped with a Dothan central processing unit, which supports a 533 MHz front-side bus. FSB is the speed at which the CPU communicates with the random access memory and the motherboard chipset.
This means that the notebook has a speed, which is more than that of a Pentium IV processor. While all models are equipped with mobile Intel 915 Express chipset, Azalia 24-bit audio and Intel wireless LAN as standard features, the LW series is shipped with a widescreen, remote control (for home entertainment) and other add-ons.
The notebooks are also embedded with ATI Mobility Radeon X600 graphics card that supports up to 128 MB of graphics memory and a PCI Express interface that offers four times faster graphic performance compared to the existing models.
This series and LS70 Express series are equipped with DVD super multi-drive, which supports most DVD formats. It also enables dual layer, recording data on a DVD (around 8.5 GB), which is equivalent to the capacity of over 12 CD-ROMs.
The series is priced between Rs 95,000 and Rs 1,25,000.
Zenith: The Vu series notebooks from the homegrown computer major Zenith Computers is another of the inevitable accessories for executives on the move. Zenith is also known for quality of its products, superior functions and quality of its service, even as they are aggressively priced than their competitors.
One of the most sought-after models is the Zenith Director Vu that has a built-in VGA (very good appliance, a standard for electronic goods) web cam and is placed on a 180-degree swivel above the screen. This becomes handy while travelling as video-facilitated calls or videoconferencing can be done while on the move.
Equipped with Intel Centrino Mobile Technology, the Zenith Director Vu has an Intel Pentium M 725 processor (with a 1.6 GHz, 400 FSB, 2MB cache), Intel PRO/Wireless LAN 2200 BG, 256 MB RAM and 40 GB hard disc drive (HDD).
Notebooks based on Centrino Mobile Technology are comparatively slimmer and lighter, and put up better performance. They are wireless-enabled, and provide an extended battery life. The model has a DVD-CD read-write (R/W) drive and is priced at around Rs 57,000.
However, the most sought-after notebook from Zenith is the Presidio Vu, which is the lightest laptop weighing just 1.6 kg. 'White beauty' as it is fondly called, this sleek machine has a web camera on top and a glossy 12.1-inch widescreen, providing sharp and crystal clear graphics.
Built on an Intel Centrino Mobile Technology platform, Presidio Vu also has an Intel Pentium M processor 725 (1.6 GHz, 400 FSB, 2MB cache), Intel wireless LAN 2200BG, a 256 MB DDR RAM, 40 GB HDD and a DVD-CD R/W combo.
An active XGA wide aspect ratio TFT screen, with a built-in camera of 180-degree tilt and single button image capture, the model is also equipped with a 3-in-1 SD card reader and S-video out. The model is priced at around Rs 60,000.
BenQ Joybook 7000: It is one of the world's first 14-inch widescreen laptops. Yet to be rolled out in the Asia-Pacific markets (scheduled for July 2007), this is a slim and lightweight model, weighing around 1.95 kg.
With its big screen, a tad lower than of a 15-inch laptop PC, Joybook 7000 offers a 33 per cent brighter viewing experience than other laptops in the market.
Sporting a simplistically elegant magnesium alloy exterior, the model rightly fits into the lifestyle of the modern user - either for office or home. With rounded edges and a metallic surface, Joybook 7000 breaks away from the impersonal look of other laptops.
Joybook 7000 is equipped with a keyboard featuring 317-mm spacing for comfortable typing and a thermal design that allows improved heat dissipation. In addition, the model also features an embedded microphone with noise cancellation technology for recording voice memos. All these features make it a stable model.
The laptop will be shipped with applications that include Qmedia Centre for multimedia entertainment, QSync for mobile phone synchronisation, QMusic for music and QCamera for photo/film editing.
One of the unique features of the notebook is that it is fitted with Qpower software that automatically selects optimal power settings for more efficient use of the battery.
The model's technical specifications include an Intel Pentium M processor (Dothan) 715, Intel Pro/Wireless 2200BG 802.11 b/g via Mini-PCI Type-III, 256MB RAM DDR 333, ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 Graphics Chipset (64 MB impendent memory), 6-Cell SBS Lithium Ion Battery (4.5 hour battery life) and multiple card readers. The model is also enabled with bluetooth technology, a wireless connectivity for short distances. Prices are not yet made public.
G-MAX: It is a series of low-cost laptops, hardware major Gigabyte has rolled out targeting the average user in the country. These laptops are available in four models - N501C, N501P, N411 and W511U - and are priced at Rs 35,500, Rs 47,750, Rs 61,995 and Rs 52,750, respectively.
While N501C and N501P are smoke grey-coloured laptops, running on Intel Celeron M 1.3 Ghz processors, N411 is a small-screen laptop available in pearl white colour and W511U is a big-screen notebook, available in black and silver colours.
N501C is a smoke grey-coloured laptop with an Intel Celeron M 1.3 Ghz processor, 1 MB cache, 2200 B/G PCMCIA-based Gigabyte WLAN card and up to four hours battery rundown time.
The notebook has a video expansion and is compatible with an external projector, monitor or TV. The notebook is equipped with an ethernet LAN audio system that supports full-duplex for concurrent and audio playback. The model is priced at Rs 35,500.
N501P is also a smoke grey-coloured laptop with up to four-hour battery rundown time. The notebook runs on an Intel Pentium - Mobile 735 processor (Pentium M - 1.7Ghz, 2MB, L2 cache, 400MHz FSB). Compatible with external projector, monitor or TV (dual applications), the machine has 3D surrounding sound effects and two stereo speakers. The model is priced at around Rs 47,750.
Priced at Rs 61,995, the N 411 is a small-screen laptop in a pearl white colour. The notebook, shipped with a Pentium M - 1.7Ghz, 2MB L2 cache, 400 MHz FSB, the notebook has a 64 MB shared HDD, 40 GB HDD optical drive and 9.5 mm ultra-slim DVD-CD R/W combo.
W511U is a big-screen notebook, priced at around Rs 52,750. Running on a Pentium - mobile 730 processor (Pentium M - 1.6Ghz, 2MB L2 cache, 533 MHz FSB), the notebook has a battery life of over four hours.
Acer 2355: It is another low-priced laptop, rolled out by global hardware manufacturer Acer. ACER 2355, which is shipped with a one-year international warranty, comes with an 1.4 Ghz Intel Celeron chip, 256 MB RAM, 40 GB HDD and R/W combo.
The model also comes with a LAN port and is shipped with the Linux operating system. However, the OS may be replaced with Windows, if so desired. With three USB ports, the notebook is compatible with pen drives, MP3 players and weighs around 2.7 kg. It is priced at Rs 31,500 (inclusive of taxes) in Mumbai. Certain showrooms also offer the notebook on a higher purchase scheme.