First Phenom based CPUs on November 20, 2007...

AMD going launch the first Phenom based CPUs on November 20, 2007

Despite all the talk of delays at Phenom HQ, AMD is still adamant that the CPUs are going to be with us by the end of the year. In fact, a source from AMD has just told Custom PC that ‘we are looking at back end of November for Phenom...

Meanwhile, the guys at VR-Zone claim to have dug up the details of the chips scheduled for November. According to the site, the first CPUs to be released will be the 2.2GHz Phenom 9500, and the 2.4GHz Phenom 9600. the site says that both chips will have a TDP rating of 89W, and will have 2MB of Level 3 cache, with a further 512MB of Level 2 cache for each of their four cores.

As well as this, VR-Zone also claims that a third 2.6GHz Phenom 9700 will be released before the end of the year with a TDP of 125W. Interestingly, though, the site claims that the FX enthusiast chips won’t be out until next year. The site has scant details of the first Phenom FX-81 CPU, except that it will be clocked above 2.6GHz and will have the same amount of cache as the standard Phenom chips.

However, our source at AMD dismissed the site’s claims saying: ‘this isn’t true – it is just speculation.’ Either way, it looks as though we only have to wait until next month for the first Phenom CPUs, whatever they may be.

Although AMD will launch the first Phenom-based CPUs on November 20 this year, only quad-core versions are planned in the initial stage. However, with the quad-core CPUs only accounting for less than 10% of the whole CPU market, these first CPUs will, consequently, not add much to motherboard demand, the sources explained. Appreciable demand will only start to be seen in first quarter 2008, when dual- and tri-core versions show up in the market, the sources said.

Story behind the Phenom CPUs:

After the more or less successful launch and acceptance of its native quad core equipped line of central processing units which are aimed at the server market segment, Advanced Micro Devices hopes to make a big comeback on the desktop market with its Phenom class of processors that are aimed at competing with the latest offering from Intel.

The top of the line Phenom class of processing units from Advanced Micro Devices will not come all at once but rather dispersed over the next three quarters, allowing the manufacturing company to come up with new iterations of the said processors every few months and eventually resolve any issues or provide occasional performance boosts.

The AMD Phenom line of products will be mainly divided into the 9 and FX series and they will have to compete against the Intel 45 nanometer offerings based on the Yorkfield core. The intermediate, three cored processing units will come under the general designation of Phenom 7 series and they will be placed as a middle level alternative between the quad and the dual offerings.

The first AMD Phenoms to hit the market will be the ones from the 9700, 9600 and 9500 series that will operate at clock speeds of 2.6, 2.4 and 2.3 GHz respectively. All these Phenom class processors will be built using the 65nm fabrication process and they will come equipped with 512KB of L2 cache memory per core as well as a big 2MB of L3 shared cache memory that will be used by all four processing cores. These processors will be based on the Agena core, just like the Phenom FX series that will arrive early next year.

The FX series will become the top of the line AMD processor offering and the very first processor from this line will be the FX-82 which will be clocked at 2.6GHz, just like the 9700 model. Several months later it is expected that AMD will launch two new processors, one from the 9000 series and one from the FX line, both clocked at 2.8GHz and with very alike features.

As AMD currently has no plans for a 3.0GHz or faster processing unit it looks like Intel keeps its performance crown for now, but most probably AMD will continue to offer the best price, performance ratio on the market, gaining more ground on the value market segment. According to the news site tcmagazine, the thermal envelope of the new AMD processors will start at 89 watts for the 9500 and 9600 series and will climb at 125 watts for the 9700 series, while the information concerning the TDP ratings of the FX family are not yet known.

AMD has decided to come up with a new name for the upcoming high-end Agena-based CPUs. Thus, the next-generation K10-derived "Stars" family will
include single, dual and quad-core processors, which will be commercialized under three different brand names: Phenom (high-end), Athlon 64 (mainstream) and Sempron (entry level).

An official chart presents the AMD Phenom FX CPU as AMD's quad core flagship for the soon-to be-released series. The Agena-based Phenom FX is scheduled to be clocked in the 2.4-2.6 GHz speed range. Immediately following are two 2.2-2.4 GHz versions. One of them is supposed to be designed for AMD's Socket 1207 (the Quad FX platform) just as the 2.4-2.6 GHz model and the other will work on the current AM2 sockets. All three Phenom FX CPUs have 4X512 KB for L2 cache and 2 MB for L3 cache.

Further going down the official chart and still sticking with the high-end CPUs, we discover the Phenom X4 processors. These are Agena-based as well and AMD offers 2.2 GHz and 2.4 GHz versions. L2 and L3 caches remain unchanged from the FX models, but the two X4 CPUs have different HyperTransport 3.0 speeds: the 2.4 GHz features a 3.6 GHz HT 3.0 speed while the 2.2 GHz model features a 3.2 GHz HT 3.0 speed.

The availability of Phenom FX and X4 CPUs is set to debut in Q3 2007.

Up next, we find the Phenom X2 CPUs based on the "Kuma" microarchitecture. AMD schedules three versions for Q4 2007, with 2.8 GHz, 2.6 GHz and 2.4 GHz clock speeds, respectively. At the top of this segment there is the AMD Phenom X2 2.8 GHz model, which comes at a staggering the HT 3.0 bus clock of 4.2 GHz. The other two models have 3.8 GHz and 3.6 GHz HT 3.0 clock speeds. Being dual core processors, all three models feature a 2x512KB L2 cache and 2MB L3 cache configuration.

The Athlon 64 X2 denomination will still appear among AMD's future value models based on the "Rana" architecture. AMD schedules a single "Rana" model clocked at 2.2 GHz for Q1 2008. Unfortunately, all future Athlons won't integrate any L3 cache.

Finally, the entry level Sempron CPUs live on through the single core "Spica"-based models, scheduled for Q1 2008. AMD will release two Sempron versions clocked 2.4 and 2.2 GHz, which will feature only 512 KB of L2 cache. These models will be available for the AM2 socket.

Source: Web

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Acoustimass® 16 Series II Speaker System

Acoustimass® 16 Series II Home Entertainment Speaker System

Enjoy big, room-filling sound — without crowding your room with bulky speakers. This compact, décor-friendly system from Bose delivers natural-sounding music and high-impact home theater effects. Its six tiny speakers and slender Acoustimass® bass module envelop you in rich, wraparound surround sound. Bose's innovative approach is the key...

The five small dual-cube satellites feature Bose's patented swiveling design. You can adjust each speaker's cubes to get the perfect mix of direct and reflecting sound. The low-profile center channel speaker fits easily on top of your television, or you can wall-mount it below a flat-panel TV. This system's sleek, powered Acoustimass® bass module boasts three 5-1/4" woofers and easily tucks away behind a table or couch. Color-coded cables make setup exceptionally quick and easy. And Bose's solid build quality and electronic protection circuitry ensure that this system will fill your room with great sound for years to come.

What is Acoustimass speaker technology and 6.1 surround sound?

Standard surround sound provides five channels for surround effects. But with 6.1-channel surround sound, the Acoustimass 16 Series II speaker system increases the impact of home theater listening with a rear center speaker for even greater drama and realism.

This heightened experience in music and motion picture listening is the result of a newly engineered powered Acoustimass module. This innovative module uses proprietary Bose technology to bring depth to the rumble of a passing train, or the resonance of a baritone's voice. The module can be hidden nearly anywhere in the room. You enjoy rich, colorful sound that appears to come only from the small speaker arrays.

Imagine your favorite movie with Bose 6.1 surround sound. Footsteps click on the sidewalk behind you. A flute plays to your left. Voices, front and center. The new horizontal center–channel speaker arrays keeps dialogue focused on the screen and visually complements flat-panel TVs. The Direct/Reflecting® cube speaker arrays envelop you with surround sound effects. Just 6 inches tall, these arrays deliver high and midrange frequencies so you enjoy crisp, clear reproduction of movies and music.

And even though you're enveloped by 6.1-channel surround sound, your room isn't overwhelmed with equipment. The small Direct/Reflecting® cube speaker arrays can attach to your walls or sit stylishly on an end table with our accessory speaker mounting options.

General Features:

6.1-channel surround sound
This system takes five-speaker solutions a step further by including a rear surround speaker for even more realistic, cinema-like experience. Enjoy dramatic special effects from six Direct/Reflecting® cube speaker arrays and the hideaway powered Acoustimass® module that can blend effortlessly into your décor.

Center surround cube speaker array

This sixth-channel, rear speaker array covers a broad soundstage with full, rich spacious performance. You enjoy more enveloping surround performance from your 6.1 surround sound receiver.

Horizontal center-channel speaker array
Designed to visually complement flat-panel TV screens while delivering natural-sounding dialogue and vocals.

Powered Acoustimass® module

Hear the full, rich sound that adds drama to music and movies. Downward-firing drivers and proprietary technology deliver the lowest audible notes and effects with clarity and balance.

Acoustimass® speaker technology
Experience powerful, rich, low-frequency effects. Place the module almost anywhere in your room and all the sound appears to come from the cube speakers.

Direct/Reflecting® cube speaker arrays

Legendary Bose technology that blends reflected and direct sound to recreate much of a live concert's natural spaciousness. Experience stereo sound almost anywhere in the room, not just in one small "sweet spot."

Direct/Reflecting® speaker technology
Experience lifelike spaciousness from a natural balance of reflected and direct sound—similar to a live performance.

Energy Star rated
This Bose® Acoustimass® speaker system meets Energy Star standards.

Automatic protection circuitry
Circuitry protects drivers from being overdriven and provides increased reliability without interfering with the listening experience.

Hands on Research: Details

Virtually Invisible Speaker System Design: The Virtually Invisible speaker system design gives you expansive sound without dominating your décor. The Acoustimass module delivers deep, powerful bass without audible port noise, so it can be hidden almost anywhere in the listening area. The music and sound effects seem to come from the tiny cube speaker arrays.

Powered Acoustimass Module: The Acoustimass module uses a proprietary enclosure and patented technologies to produce deep, rich bass with clarity and balance.

Direct/Reflecting Speaker Technology: The Direct/Reflecting speaker technology helps the compact cube speaker arrays deliver more open, spacious sound throughout the listening area. You hear enhanced surround sound and exceptionally lifelike stereo with a larger soundstage.

Horizontal center channel speaker: Designed to visually complement flat-panel TV screens while delivering natural-sounding dialogue and vocals.

Integrated Signal Processing: The Bose patented integrated signal processing compensates for the human ear's reduced sensitivity to bass at low volumes. You hear the proper balance of deep bass, even at very low, late-night listening levels and dialogue continues to sound natural.

Automatic System Protection Circuitry: When played at high volume, this system's automatic protection circuitry activates to prevent damage to the system from electrical stress or overload. When this happens you may notice a slight decrease in volume, which is normal.

Drivers: The powered Acoustimass module uses three 5-1/4" high-excursion paper cone woofers, each with a foam surround. Each of the five cube speaker arrays features dual 2-1/2" wide-range Twiddlers. The top and bottom sections of the cube speaker arrays can be rotated to create room-filling sound patterns. The horizontal center speaker uses the same dual 2-1/2" wide-range Twiddlers as the cube arrays.

Speaker Mounting: Each cube speaker array and the center channel speaker has a rear-mounted 5mm female threaded insert. The threaded inserts allow you to mount the speaker arrays using optional stands or wall-mount brackets.


Right Side of Acoustimass Module:

  • LFE: increases or decreases the relative level of low-frequency effects on movie soundtracks
  • Bass: increases or decreases the bass level of the Acoustimass module
Inputs and Outputs

Bottom of Acoustimass Module:
  • Audio Input: 15-pin male jack for use with supplied system input cable, the other end of the system input cable has tinned wire that connects to the left front, right front, center, left rear, right rear, and center rear speaker outputs and a mono male RCA plug that connects to the subwoofer output of the A/V receiver or amplifier
  • Audio Output: 6 RCA jacks (Left Front, Right Front, Center, Left Rear, Right Rear, and Center Rear); using the supplied speaker cables, these jacks connect to the cube speaker arrays
  • Power: jack for use with supplied AC power cord
Connectivity: The AM16 is compatible with A/V receivers and amplifiers rated from 10 to 200 watts per channel and 4 to 8 ohms

Warranty Note
Warranty Note: The drivers have a 5-year parts and labor warranty, the electronics have a 1-year parts and labor warranty.

Technical Specifications :
  • includes 5 dual-cube speakers, 1 center channel speaker, and 1 powered Acoustimass® bass module
  • recommended power 10-200 watts with receivers rated from 4 to 8 ohms
  • dual-cube speakers
  • swiveling Direct/Reflecting® design
  • video-shielded
  • two 2-1/2" drivers
  • 3-1/16"W x 6-1/4"H x 4-1/16"D
  • center speaker
  • low-profile design
  • video-shielded
  • two 2-1/2" drivers
  • 6"W x 3-1/16"H x 4-1/16"D
  • Acoustimass® bass module
  • three 5-1/4" woofers
  • 8-5/16"W x 16-3/8"H x 29-1/4"D
  • color-coded cables
  • spring-clip speaker wire connectors
  • warranty: 5 years speakers, 1 year amp
  • Total shipping weight 75 lbs (34 kg)
Price: $1,299.00

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Bose Acoustimass® 15 Speaker System

Experience Ground-Shaking Bass With a Top-Notch Bose® Speaker System!

Bose® Acoustimass® 15 Home Theater Speaker System brings the emotions of music and film to your living room with remarkable depth and clarity….


  • Powered subwoofer module outputs clear, rich bass all the time, even at low or high volumes
  • Cube speaker arrays fill your room with lifelike, multi-channel sound
  • Magnetically shielded speakers won't distort your TV picture quality
The Bose Acoustimass® 15 speaker system brings the emotions of music and film to your living room with remarkable depth and clarity. Innovative BOSE® technology and design lets you enjoy our best-performing 5.1-channel speaker system with your surround sound components, without the bulk of traditional speakers. The Bose Acoustimass® 15 speaker system is also upgradeable for 6.1-channel receivers.

Enhanced performance from the technology in Bose Acoustimass® speakers, the foundation of this system is our newly engineered powered Bose Acoustimass® module. The Bose bass module delivers low notes without the audible distortion that can divulge the source of the low tones. Place the module almost anywhere in the room - even behind a couch-and the rumble of crashing surf appears to come from the cube speakers.

As the film unfolds on your screen, you hear the swell of violins and the energy of a busy city street. Five Direct Reflecting® cube speaker arrays - each only 15.7cm tall - produce these 5.1 channels of surround sound effects with vivid character that belies their small dimensions. The speaker arrays focus on the high and midrange tones, so you experience natural, clear music and dialogue.

The elements of this speaker system are engineered for space efficiency, so they don't intrude on your décor. The largest part of the system - the Bose Acoustimass® module - tucks neatly behind a couch or a curtain. The small cube speaker arrays mount tastefully on your walls, or can be attractively displayed on speaker stands available as accessories.

With the Bose Acoustimass base module experience powerful, rich, low-frequency effects without audible distortion. Place the module almost anywhere in your room and all the sound appears to come from the cube speakers. Automatic protection circuitry protects drivers from being overdriven and provides increased reliability without interfering with the listening experience. Hear the full, rich sound that adds drama to music and films. Three Downward-firing drivers and proprietary technology deliver the lowest audible notes and effects with clarity and balance.

Experience rich sound almost anywhere in the room, not just in one small "sweet spot" with this proprietary BOSE® technology. The cube speaker arrays blend reflected and direct sound to re-create much of a live concert's natural spaciousness. Direct/Reflecting® cube speaker arrays, legendary Bose® technology that blends reflected and direct sound to recreate much of a live concert's natural spaciousness.

From the roar of a runaway train to the sweet song of a cello, bass creates much of the excitement you expect from a high-performance system. The top-of-the-line Bose Acoustimass® 15 home theater speaker system offers the small size and big sound that you expect from Bose, but adds a powered Acoustimass module that gives you the right amount of bass, all the time. During movies, you'll feel bass effects that bring you to the edge of your seat. Switch to music and the sound remains full and natural. Crank up the volume until your walls shake, or lower it to a whisper. You'll find these speakers consistently offer powerful sound with lifelike realism.

With the Acoustimass 15 home theater speaker system, the only thing you'll notice are tiny cube speakers arrays — until you hear the sound. These Direct/Reflecting® cube speaker arrays can be swiveled, so you can simultaneously reflect sound off walls and project it into a room. Each cube speaker array is acoustically compatible, so you experience lifelike, multi-channel sound effects without lots of fine-tuning.

The other part of the speaker system, the powered Acoustimass module, is engineered to be hidden out of sight. Inside the module, dedicated Bose amplification for the bass supplements the power of your surround sound receiver. The result is louder, more powerful bass — for an experience with greater impact. When you raise or lower the volume, Bose integrated signal processing automatically adjusts the bass for lifelike realism — letting you enjoy all the performance at all volume levels. And Bose multi-channel bass extraction and summation re-creates deep bass for all channels — including the center and surround channels. You enjoy a roomful of high-performance sound, with exceptional bass, without the usual room full of giant speakers.

The Bose® technologies inside these speakers automatically work with surround sound receivers rated up to 200 watts per channel, making setup simple. And the convenience doesn't end there — they arrive in one box with a quick setup guide.

Upgrade when you're ready, the Bose Acoustimass® 15 speaker system is also designed to increase its capabilities as you upgrade your equipment. A 6.1 upgrade speaker kit allows you to enjoy 6.1-channel surround sound with a compatible receiver, so the Bose Acoustimass® 15 speaker system can advance with you to the next generation of home cinema equipment.

  • Three Downward-firing drivers and proprietary technology deliver the lowest audible notes and effects with clarity and balance.
  • Place the module almost anywhere in your room and all the sound appears to come from the cube speakers.
  • Designed to work with your 5.1 channel components (upgradeable to 6.1-channel surround sound)
  • Automatic protection circuitry protects drivers from being overdriven
  • Newly engineered powered Acoustimass® module
  • Five Direct/Reflecting® cube speaker arrays
  • Silver systems are supplied with a Black Bass Module; Bass Modules are not available in Silver
Bose® Acoustimass® 15 Speaker System Specifications:
Connectivity: Wired
System: 5.1 Speakers
Max Amplifier Power: 1000 Watt
Cube speakers: 6¼" (H) x 3" (W) x 4" (D)
Acoustimass module: 14" (H) x 23-3/8" (W) x 7½" (D)
Weight: 53 lbs. in shipping carton
Price: ~1,149.99$

Shop Bose Acoustimass® Speaker System for LE$$ / Full information Click here!

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The Xbox 360 Arcade Box

The Xbox 360 Arcade New Console
October 23 the releasing date of the Xbox 360 Arcade New Console says the Product listings on and the Toys 'R' Us Web sites indicate that the Xbox 360 Core system is set to be replaced by a new console that focuses on its arcade game capabilities. If earlier reports provided are correct, the console will come in a darker gray finish (being called a "standard finish") and include a 256MB memory card. An HDMI port will be added, and the device will include one wireless controller, although no headset....

Central to the new SKU is the inclusion of five arcade games, two of which are expected to be UNO and Pac-Man. No other details were immediately available, and Microsoft had yet to publicly confirm the new model's existence as of press time...

New entry-level Xbox 360 model imminent?

Now that the long-rumored "bargain" PS3 now a reality (in Europe, anyway), how will Microsoft respond? Over the past few months, the company has refreshed the bulk of the 360 line: the $450 Elite debuted in April with a large 120GB hard drive, HDMI port, and (finally!) black color scheme; the Pro (a.k.a. "Premium") 20GB model got a $50 price cut and HDMI upgrade; and there's even a limited-run $400 Halo Edition (basically, the Pro with a military camo paint job) for $400. But what of the lowly Xbox 360 Core System? The price on that model was dropped to $280 in August, but the hard-to-recommend system (it lacks the wireless controller, headset, hard drive, and HDMI output found on all the models listed above) appeared to be on the fast track to "end-of-life" status.

Or perhaps it was all just a clever ruse to clear the path for yet another Xbox. Recent weeks have seen a flurry of rumors that the Core is about to be replaced by something called the Xbox 360 Arcade. For the same $280 price tag, the Arcade bundle will include a wireless controller, HDMI output, and a 256MB memory card preloaded with five Xbox Live Arcade titles (thus the new name). Unlike a lot of online rumors, this one is basically dead on. De facto confirmation came from Amazon and Toys R Us, each of which prematurely listed (and since removed) the product on its respective Web site. The facts also dovetail with insider chatter we've been hearing for several weeks: the Arcade is definitely a real product. The release date remains fluid, but October 23 seems to be the consensus.

The inclusion of the wireless controller, HDMI output, and especially the memory card (needed for saving games and engaging in most online activity) puts the Arcade bundle into the realm of consideration where the Core System never ventured. But we're still gonna have to give thumbs down on this one. In the end, the $70 extra you're paying to get the 20GB hard drive on the Pro model is money well spent. You're going to want that hard drive sooner rather than later, so you might as well get it with the console itself--and since the add-on version retails for around $100, you'll actually be saving money in the long run by splurging on the $350 Pro. Still, at just $30 more than the Nintendo Wii, the Xbox 360 Arcade is likely to entice a lot of budget-conscious gamers, even if they're goal is to do little more than play Halo 3 or the latest Madden in high-def.

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Samsung Gleam™ (U700) Multimedia Phone

Samsung Gleam™ (U700) Multimedia Phone
Enjoy the features of this multimedia phone that allows for downloading and viewing your favorite videos, music and ringtones. Gleam™ also supports a built-in camera,stereo headset, handsfree and more. Feel the freedom of being entertained wherever you go.

Built-In Camera and Camcorder: Use the phone’s built-in camera to take digital still pictures with 2.0 megapixel resolution. Or use the camcorder to capture life’s more active moments. Night Shot helps capture the picture in low light.

Living Wallpaper: Dynamic new wallpaper options that change with the time of day. You get to choose either a city or a country view.

Bluetooth™ wireless technology: Gleam™ supports the following profiles: mono headset, stereo headset, handsfree, serial port, dial-up networking, object push for vCard only, phonebook access, basic image (for pictures only) and basic print (for pictures only).

Samsung Gleam™ (U700) Specs View Specs:
The Gleam's exterior is a glossy metallic bronze and black and houses a sleek silver keypad. The new living wallpaper capability allows Verizon Wireless customers to easily see the phone's status with either a city or country view that changes with the time of day. The Gleam's other features include:

- VCAST Music - download songs over-the-air or transfer your own compatible music collection onto removable microSD memory cards
- VCAST Video - download or stream video clips from the best names in news, sports, entertainment and more
- Get It Now-capable - download games, Ringtones, wallpapers, location based services and more
- Mobile Web 2.0-capable - customizable, enhanced wireless access to the latest in news, sports, weather and more
- Instant Messaging using AIM, MSN, Yahoo!
- Text, picture and video messaging

- Bluetooth wireless technology for certain profiles (including Object Push Profile for vCard, as well as headset, hands-free, serial port and certain dial-up networking profiles, phonebook access, Bluetooth stereo support for music, basic image for sending/printing non-protected images to a compatible device, and basic print profile)
- Up to 4 GB of expandable memory with microSD memory card slot
- 240 x 320 px, 262K-color TFT internal display and 96 x 96 px, 65K-color TFT external display
- Dimensions: 3.88" x 1.91" x 0.55"; 3.35 ounces with standard battery
- Bilingual user interface: English and Spanish
- TTY/TTD-capable
- Personal organizer with Calendar, Calculator, Notepad, Currency Converter, Alarm Clock, World Time and Stop Watch

The Gleam™ will be initially available for $149.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement.

Samsung Gleam™ (U700) Features

* Integrated 2.0-megapixel resolution camera with Night Shot to help capture the picture in low light, and camcorder to capture life's more active moments

* VCAST Video service to download and view video on this multimedia capable phone, and VCAST Music capable to download and play music, ringtones and more

* Dynamic new living wallpaper options that changes with the time of day

* Supports the following Bluetooth profiles fore handsfree functionality: mono headset, stereo headset, handsfree, serial port, dial-up networking, object push for vCard only, phonebook access, basic image (for pictures only) and basic print (for pictures only)

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Xbox 360™ Halo® 3 Special Edition

Xbox 360™ Halo® 3 Special Edition

In anticipation of this year's largest blockbuster game launch, Microsoft will offer the Xbox 360™ Halo® 3 Special Edition Console in September 2007 priced at $399.99. The console features an exclusive "Spartan green and gold" finish and comes bundled with a matching Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, 20GB Hard Drive, Headset, Play & Charge Kit, and exclusive Halo 3 Gamer Pics and Theme (available via Xbox LIVE® download).

Microsoft held its E3 press conference in June, the only major announcement related to Xbox 360 hardware was the reveal of a Halo Special Edition console. Although Halo 3 itself won’t be hitting shelves until next week, gamers looking to dial up their Halo-fever can now pick up the Special Edition console from their local electronics and games retailer. It the time of announcement, Microsoft focused mainly on the Halo 3 console's authentic Spartan green and gold finish and comes with matching Xbox 360 Wireless Controller,20GB Hard Drive, Headset, Play & Charge Kit, Halo 3 Gamer Pics and Theme available via Xbox Live download. Less than a month later, HDMI ports were spotted on Xbox 360 20GB Premium consoles.

Gamers wanting the HDMI output feature but not interested in spending the extra money for an Xbox 360 Elite can be assured of getting such a console by purchasing the Halo Special Edition. The Halo console retails for $399, while the regular Premium console is $349. For a short period, Best Buy was offering $349 Premium consoles with guaranteed HDMI output. The special green console is not the only Halo promo item on Microsoft’s list. Microsoft has designed both a black and brown Halo edition Zunes preloaded with appropriately themed soundtracks and media. In June, retailer GameStop revealed special Halo 3-themed Xbox 360 controllers featuring Todd McFarlane artwork and Spartan green wireless headset. Halo 3 launches on September 25 in what could be the biggest game launch in history

Buy from, See link below

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Technical characteristics HP Compaq Presario V3600 and V6600

Technical characteristics HP Compaq Presario V3600 and V6600
To the renewal of the series of laptop consumer HP Pavilion it follows unavoidably that one of the line Compaq Presario, with two new models, HP Compaq Presario v3600 and v6600.

Generations: HP Compaq 6820s, 6720s, 6520s, HP G7000 and G6000 (aka Compaq Presario C700 and F500), HP Pavilion dv2600, dv6600, dv9600, tx1300, HP Pavilion dx6600 and HDX9100, are all?
Truly not, something still lacks: the Compaq Presario V3600 and V6600.

The lines of product of Compaq, after the acquisition from HP part, have been subdivided in a family of notebook professional "HP Compaq" and in a range of laptop consumer "HP Compaq Presario", that parallel regarding most famous series HP Pavilion runs.

To maintain two distinguished coppers of notebook consumer would have been economically sconveniente, for this HP it adopts is for the series Compaq Presario that for the Pavilion series same motherboard and therefore also the same inner design, except some small modification. It achieves some that, to the launch of the new HP Pavilion dv2600 and dv6600 the new release of the Compaq Presario V3600 and V6600 is placed side by side, than from they they derive.

Made this premise, it does not have to astonish to nobody the fact that the list of the technical detailed lists of the HP Compaq Presario V3600 and V6600 traces that one perfectly of accredits HP Pavilion dv2600 and dv6600:

Technical characteristics HP Compaq Presario V6600

  • Processor: Intel The 2 Cores Pair T7500, T7300, T7100, T7250, T5550, T5450, T5250, Intel Core Pair T2330, T2310, Intel Celeron M540, M530, AMD Turion 64 X2 MK-38, TL-66, TL-60, TL-58, TL-56, AMD Athlon 64 X2 TK-53
  • Chipset: Intel GM965 or nVidia MCP67M
  • Memory: 2 SODIMM PC2-5300, 667-MHz, DDRII, max 4GB
  • Screen: 15.4-inch, WXGA BrightView
  • Card video: Intel GMA X3100 or Nvidia GeForce 7150M
  • Hard disk: SATA 80, 120, 160, 250 GB to 5400 rpm o200GB to 4200rpm
  • Optical Drive: Super±DVD RW and CD-RW Fines Double-Layer Combo Drive with Super LightScribe or±DVD RW and CD-RW Fines Double-Layer Combo Drive or DVD-CD/RW Combo Drive
  • Audio: Realtek ALC861-VD-GR or Conexant CX20549-12, loudspeakers Altec Lansing
  • Networking: modem 56k, 10/100 Ethernet LAN, Intel FOR Wireless 3945 802.11a/b/g and 802.11b/g with 2 antennas, Intel FOR Wireless 4965 802.11a/b/g/n with 3 antennas, Intel WLAN + Bluetooth, Broadcom 4321AGN Wi-Fi Adapter (802,11 a/b/g/ draft-n) + Bluetooth with 2 antennas, Broadcom 4321AGN Wi-Fi Adapter (802,11 a/b/g/ draft-n) with 2 antennas
  • Expansions: reader of cards of memory 5-in-1 (Secure Digital cards, MultiMedia cards, Memory Stick, Memory Stick For, xD Picture), slot ExpressCard/54
  • Doors: jack audio and microphone, Consumer infrared, RJ-11 (modem), RJ-45 (Ethernet), S-Video-out, from 1 to 3 USB, VGA (Dsub 15-pin), 1394
  • Battery: 6-Cells 2.20-Ah Li-ion, 6-Cells 2.55-Ah Li-ion, 12-cell 2.20-Ah Li-ion
  • Dimensions: 25,7 x 35,7 x 4.1 cm
  • Weight: 2,86Kg

Technical characteristics HP Compaq Presario V3600

  • Processor: Intel Core Pair T2310, Intel The 2 Cores Pair T5250, T5450, T5550, T7100, T7250, T7300, T7500, Intel Celeron M540, M530
  • Chipset: Piece of furniture Intel 965 Express
  • Memory: 2 SoDIMM PC2-5300, DDRII (667-MHz), max 4 GB
  • Screen: 14,1 inches WXGA High-Definition HP BrightView Widescreen Display (1280 x 800)
  • Card video: Nvidia GeForce 8400M GS or Intel GMA X3100
  • Hard disk: SATA 80, 120, 160, 250 GB to 5400 rpm
  • Optical Drive: 24X DVD/CD-RW Combo Drive, LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-RW with Double Layer, or SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW with Double Layer
  • Audio: loudspeakers Altec Lansing
  • Networking: High speed 56K modem, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 connector), Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection with or without Bluetooth, 3945BG Network Connection with or without Bluetooth, 4965AGN Network Connection with or without Bluetooth, 802.11b/g with or without Bluetooth
  • Expansions: reader of cards of memory 5-in-1 (Secure Digital cards, MultiMedia cards, Memory Stick, Memory Stick For, xD Picture), slot ExpressCard/54
  • Doors: VGA, HDMI, 2 USB 2,0, RJ-11, RJ-45, jack caps and microphone, IEEE 1394a, Consumer IR, S-Video-out
  • Other: webcam with incorporated microphone, reader of digital prints them
  • Battery: 6-cells Li-ion; 12-cells Li-ion
  • Dimensions: 33,4 x 23,7 x 2,6/3,9 cm
  • Weight: 2,5Kg

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Special Edition HP Pavilion dv2600

Special Edition HP Pavilion dv2600 Notebook...

For sheer uniqueness, the special edition HP Pavilion dv2600 is hard to beat. The special 'verve' imprint draws inspiration from the fluidity of life – all specially laser-etched and protected by an inlaid moulding process.


• Featuring genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium for superior digital entertainment and advanced features

• The Verve Imprint Finish, featured on the Special Edition notebook, adds a dash of designer sophistication that is sure to leave its mark. The high quality exterior casing, adorned with a striking filigree flower pattern, is set to turn heads

• Featuring the latest Intel® Core™ 2 Duo technology, integrated webcam, fingerprint reader and HP QuickPlay, this notebook delivers an outstanding entertainment experience and all the computer power you need

• To accompany the notebook in both elegance and convenience, stylish accessories include a like-coloured wireless mouse as well as a slender russet slipcase to protect your notebook without ever detracting from your style

• Super smooth graphics performance from the NIVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS lets you sail through graphics intensive games without missing a beat. Great for enjoying multimedia files and presentations too.

The Pavilion dv2600, dv6600 and dv9600 notebooks represent 14.1" (WXGA), 15.4" (WXGA) and 17" (WXGA+ or WSXGA) screen sizes respectively. The Pavilion dv2600 series is only available with Intel Core 2 Duo processors and can be equipped with Intel GMA X3100 or NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS graphics solutions.

Stepping up to the dv6600 gives users the choice of Celeron, Core 2 Duo, Sempron, Turion or Athlon 64 X2 processors depending on the model selected. Graphics options include the Intel GMA X3100, NVIDIA GeForce 8400M or GeForce 7100M.

The dv9600 series of notebooks, like its smaller dv6600 sibling, can be had with both AMD and Intel power. The dv9600 also gains one more graphics option over the dv6600: the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GS. Due to its bulk, the dv9600 also can accommodate dual hard drives up to a maximum of 500GB (2 x 250GB).

All Pavilion dvXXXX models can be equipped with numerous WiFi and Bluetooth chipsets from Intel and Broadcom, and all feature Altec Lansing speakers and HDMI connectivity.

HP's Pavilion tx1300 is an AMD-only notebook featuring the NVIDIA C51M chipset paired up with the MCP51 southbridge. The notebook features a 12.1" (WXGA) display, NVIDIA GeForce Go 6150 graphics, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth.

Finally, there are new budget 15.4" (WSXGA) models in the form of the HP G7000 (Compaq Presario C700) and HP G6000 (Compaq Presario C500). The G7000 and G6000 share similar feature sets, but the former goes for Intel/X3100 while the latter goes for AMD/GeForce Go 6100 for the processor/GPU.

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Dell XPS M1330 - Review

Product summary

The good: Thin, sexy design; strong performance; backlit-LED display; included media remote control.

The bad: Small touchpad; some options (SSD hard drives, Blu-ray) not available yet; not as many color options as Dell's new Inspiron line.

The bottom line: Dell has finally put design first with the head-turning XPS M1330 laptop, emphasizing both the "thin" and "light" aspects of the thin-and-light category without sacrificing features or performance.

Specs: Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo (2 GHz); RAM installed: 2 GB DDR II SDRAM; Weight: 4 lbs

Dell has never been known as an innovator in consumer product design. In fact, the company's stodgy, boxy products have been blamed for a loss of market share to the bolder design strokes of competitors such as HP and Gateway. That's what makes the new 13-inch XPS M1330 such a pleasant surprise. From our first behind-closed-doors peek at it last month, we've been impressed with the emphasis on the user experience in this superthin, high-end laptop, from the slot-loading DVD drive to the touch-sensitive media buttons and HDMI-output jack. At $2,000 and up, it's definitely a premium product, but worth it if head-turning design is as important to you as specs and performance.

Price as reviewed / starting price $2,188 / $1,299
Processor 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7300
Memory 2GB, 667MHz DDR2
Hard drive 160GB at 5,400rpm
Chipset Intel 965
Graphics 128MB Nvidia GeForce Go 8400
Operating System Windows Vista Premium
Dimensions (WDH) 12.5x9.4x0.87-1.3 inches
Screen size (diagonal) 13.3 inches
System weight / Weight with AC adapter [pounds] 4.3 / 5.1 pounds
Category Thin and light

Unlike the bulky, unattractive 12-inch Dell XPS m1210, the M1330 has clearly been built with an emphasis on good looks and clean lines, ditching the earlier model's cumbersome, rotating Web cam and thick chassis. The system is slightly wedge shaped, going from 0.87 inch in the front to 1.3 inches in the rear. At less than four pounds, it's one of the lightest 13-inch laptops we've seen--nearly a full pound lighter than the popular yet hefty 13-inch Apple MacBook, and a touch lighter than the 12-inch XPS M1210.

The keyboard tray is brushed silver with black accents, while the lid is available in black, white, or red. Our review unit had the matte-red finish (Dell calls it Crimson Red), which looks great, but more color options (as with the newly revamped Inspiron line of laptops) would have been welcome.

Dell manages to squeeze a good number of extras onto the keyboard tray, including touch-sensitive controls for volume and media playback, an eject button for the slot-loading DVD drive, and a quick-launch button for Dell's proprietary Media Direct software. The biggest drawback we found with the M1330's design was the tiny, 2.75-inch touchpad, which we found to be particularly frustrating given the fact that there's plenty of room on the wrist rest for a bigger pad.

Rounding out the laptop's external features are a Webcam on top of the display and a small, credit-card-size remote control that pops into PC card slot on the side.

The LED-backlit display, also seen in the new 15-inch MacBook Pro, helps to make the system's lid thinner (less than a quarter-inch thick) while also extending battery life, although users should not expect the display to look any different than a traditional LCD laptop screen. With a native resolution of 1,280x800--the same as on the 13-inch MacBook--you get the best mix of screen real estate and readability.


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DX9 limitations - Crytek

Crytek talks up DX9 limitations

Laws of phsyics re-written
CRYSIS DEVELOPER Crytek has finally weighed in to the DirectX 9 v DirectX 10 debate, spelling out for gamers what the differences in technology will mean for its upcoming PC title.

There appear to be differences between what the single player will offer and what the multiplayer will bring to the table. Speaking about the multiplayer aspect, according to a posting detailed here, the DX9 version won't have the spectacular physics advertised in trailers and demos so far, nor will it have a day and night cycle.

This means that the shoot-down-trees gameplay simply won't exist in the DX9 version, at least in multiplayer, with players reduced to passive interaction with the environment, rather than the active carnage that has previously been promoted.

The company cited high server load and low performance as the reasons for dropping these features from DX9 version of the game. To get the full multiplayer experience, including the high-end interactive physics, gamers will need to be running a fully DX10 rig, which means a GeForce 8-series / Radeon 2-series and Windows Vista.

Gamers with DX10 rigs will be able to play on DX9-specific servers, but not the other way round.

How this will translate into multiplayer is still unclear. Is the interactive physics being dropped from the DX9 version entirely, or is this simply a multiplayer limitation? As with everything regarding Crysis, information is drip-dropping its way out slowly, but we suspect all will be revealed only when the game is actually sitting on a shelf

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AMD - Triple-Core Phenom Processors

AMD - Triple-Core Phenom Processors, catch the details in this Video Clip...
AMD is throwing the processor world for an interesting curve. While both AMD and Intel are eager to hype their quad-core platforms – various reasons for each – AMD is pitching something that Intel has yet to offer. A tri-core processor.

Why three cores? I'm not sure – but today they announced that they will be adding triple-core Phenom processors to their roadmap for the near future. In a video posted to AMD's site, they pitched it as a CPU that gave a competitive edge in various markets, from desktops to enterprise. Their assertion is that quad-core and beyond are giving diminishing returns, particularly in the desktop market. Obviously, this means a price reduction between these CPUs and another quad-core variant of the same series.

It is a short video, and has more marketing speak than actual technical justifications, but is interesting nevertheless. Depending on the price different between dual, quad and now triple core processors, maybe they will have a fit on the desktop.

On the technical side, this is pretty trivial to do: three to core four is just a fuse to blow. What it gets you is a whole lot of choices. Remember the smooth run of SKUs, that was the beginning. If your clocks are thermally constrained, having three instead of four cores gives you a bin or two of speed. Given how few games use a second core fully, this might be a real win.

As far as money goes, assuming there is no salvage, three cores could still be a profit win, but it could be a loss. The selling price of a three core is greater than the price of a dual, and if that difference is greater than the manufacturing cost difference between a dual and a quad, AMD wins. If it is not, or people who would buy a quad buy a tri, then they lose.

Overall, it ends up with greater flexibility for AMD. How the firm uses it will determine whether or not this is a win, loss or draw. In any case, look for it on the consumer side, not the server first, and possibly moving over if it works out.

…»Continue Reading!

Sony VAIO C Review

Sony VAIO C Review
The recently introduced Sony VAIO C Series laptop sports an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 13.3" widescreen display, features sleek styling with a selection of colors and starts at about $1,099. That description sounds suspiciously like the Apple MacBook, and there's no doubt Sony is trying to take a bite out of Apple's recent success in the portable notebook market space with the VAIO C

Video displaying the Features and Capability of the Sony VAIO C

click on Play Button to Play Video

The Sony VAIO VGN-C140 13.3" widescreen laptop


The Sony VAIO C comes in a number of configurations and colors. You can configure a VAIO C online at or buy a stock configuration from various retailers. When you configure the VAIO VGN-C190 at you have a dizzying array of colors to choose from (Green storm, Pink swirl, Angel, Red storm, Blue streaks, Urban Gray, Spring Green, Blush Pink, Espresso Black, Sea Shell White). Sony also offers a free 60 character engraving in the top left side of the screen -- I don't recommend this if you want to protect resale value of your notebook though.

Sony offers a free 2-line 30 character per line engraving on your VAIO C190 notebook if you configure online

Processor wise you can choose either a cheapy Intel Celeron processor for the VAIO C or select from the full range of Core 2 Duo processors (from the Intel T5500 1.66GHz Core 2 Duo up to the T7600 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo). The only screen offering is the 13.3" WXGA and the base amount of RAM is 1GB, since this notebook is being touted as "Vista Compatible" Sony made a wise decision here. Built-in wireless 802.11 a/b/g is standard. Finally you can choose from a range of 40GB - 120GB hard drives and have the choice between a DVD burner (dual-layer) or a more basic CD Burner / DVD optical drive.

For this review we're taking a look at the Sony VAIO VGN-C140G/B that was purchased for $1,179.99 before rebate from, but after a mail-in rebate of $100 that price gets knocked down to $1,079.99. Following are the specs for the notebook under review:

  • Screen: 13.3-inch screen WXGA (1280 x 800) with XBRITE-ECO (glossy finish)
  • Color: Espresso Black with copper accents
  • Processor: 1.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5500
  • Hard Drive: 120 GB hard drive (SATA, 5400RPM)
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM (PC4200, 533 MHz, DDR2 SDRAM, 2 x 512 MB) -- 2 GB max memory
  • Optical Drive: multi-format/dual-layer DVD/CD burner
  • Ports and Slots: Two USB 2.0, one FireWire 400 port, one ExpressCard 34, one S-Video, memory card reader adapter, headphone / line-out, microphone-in, modem, 10/100 Ethernet
  • Wireless: Tri-mode Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g)
  • Graphics: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 (128 MB of shared RAM)
  • Operating System: Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (Windows Vista capable and Windows Vista Premium ready)
  • Dimensions: 9.28 inches, 12.98 inches, 1.47 inches (depth, width, thickness)
  • Weight: 5.1 pounds, travel weight of 5.8 pounds with the adapter and battery

The VAIO C packaging box

Contents inside the box

Contents unwrapped

Screenshot of VAIO C desktop at first bootup

Build and Design

You have to hand it to Sony, they've done a nice job with the styling of the VAIO C and the selection of colors and designs is unprecedented. The Espresso Black with copper accents that comes with the C140 is sleek, cool and professional looking. The slightly dimpled finish on the keyboard and palm rests area is effective in making the notebook look more spritely. The pinhole sized LED indicator lights at the front of the notebook are attractive looking, albeit hard to read what they actually mean. The translucent power button is easy to find and also effective in making the VAIO C look more suave -- I'm a sucker for nice looking power buttons.

Nice lights

The lid of the VAIO C also has a nice look, the silver VAIO badge is pleasong and the look is very clean.

VAIO C140 lid, the Sony logo is the front of the notebook -- from this view it is upside down but when the lid is open it appears right-side up to onlookers

Build-wise the VAIO C is classified by Sony as a thin-and-light notebook. At 1.5" of thickness it's not exactly skinny, but it's not as thick as one of those 2-inch thick 17" screen notebook monsters. Honestly, I would have liked to have seen this notebook at 1.2" of thickness. If you're looking for a true thin and light weight 13.3" screen notebook the Sony VAIO SZ is a better option, but much more expensive.

At 1.5" of thickness the VAIO C isn't exactly super model thin, it's as thick as an 800 page paper back computer programming book

Notice that the VAIO C is quite a bit thicker than the larger screen but thinner 14.1" ThinkPad T43

The case of the VAIO C case is composed of plastic while the lid is some type of magnesium-alloy to offer better protection of the screen area. I was bracing myself for a dissapointingly cheap plastic case with a lot of flex to it, but to my pleasant surprise that's not what I found. The VAIO C offers a very sturdy and relatively thick plastic casing. While the VAIO SZ offers a high-end carbon fiber build case that makes the SZ lighter, I don't think it's a ton better in terms of sturdiness than the C. I stood in a Best Buy with a VAIO C next to a VAIO SZ and did my standard push and flex tests all over each notebook and found them to be about equal.

13.3" Sony VAIO C on the left next to a 14.1" screen ThinkPad T43 on the right

The VAIO C lid does not have a latch to hold it closed, which is a little disappointing to me, but once closed the lid does stay firmly down. The trick is opening it, you really have to use two hands and get one finger under the lid to lift it open. The hinge for the screen is very good, it is firm and holds the screen in place well -- I even found the VAIO C to have a more convincing hinge mechanism than the somewhat wobbly VAIO SZ hinge.

One knock against the VAIO C is that for the ExpressCard 34 slot Sony gives you a plastic dummy to fill the slot when it's not in use, having a spring based flap would be preferable, removable plastic pieces are easily lost.

Performance and Benchmarks

The Core 2 Duo that comes with the VAIO C-series is no laggard in terms of performance, even at the 1.66GHz low-end we have configured. Having said that, the VAIO C is not being pushed by Sony as a portable performance machine as it does not offer a dedicated graphics option -- that's the realm of the VAIO SZ series. The 120GB hard drive provided does spin at 5400RPM, so that's pretty decent. The two 512MB memory sticks included are 533MHz variety and Sony doesn't even offer 667MHz memory if you configure a C190, surprising since the FSB on the Core 2 Duo can support speeds of up to 667MHz, so there may be a slight performance bottleneck there.

Super Pi

Sony VAIO C140 (1.66GHz Core 2 Duo T5500, with 533MHz memory speed)1m 23s
Fujitsu LifeBook A6010 (1.66GHz Core 2 Duo T5500, with 667MHz memory speed)1m 22s
Dell Inspiron e1505 (2.0GHz Core Duo)1m 16s
Lenovo ThinkPad T60 (2.0GHz Core Duo)1m 18s
Toshiba Satellite M100 (2.00GHz Core Duo)1m 18s
Samsung X60 (1.66GHz Core Duo)1m 29s
Dell XPS M140 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)1m 41s
Sony VAIO FS680 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)1m 53s
IBM ThinkPad T43 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)1m 45s

PCMark05 Comparison results:

NotebookPCMark05 Score
Sony VAIO C140 (1.66GHz Core 2 Duo T5500, with 533MHz memory speed, Intel GMA 950 graphics)2,911 PCMarks
Fujitsu LifeBook A6010 (1.66GHz Core 2 Duo T5500, with 667MHz memory speed, Intel GMA 950)2,994 PCMarks
Fujitsu N6410 (1.66GHz Core Duo, ATI X1400)3,487 PCMarks
Alienware M7700 (AMD Athlon FX-60, Nvidia Go 7800GTX)5,597 PCMarks
Sony Vaio SZ-110B in Speed Mode (Using Nvidia GeForce Go 7400)3,637 PCMarks
Toshiba Tecra M6 (1.66GHz Intel T2300E, Intel GMA 950)2,732 PCMarks
Asus V6J (1.86GHz Core Duo T2400, Nvidia Go 7400)3,646 PCMarks
Sony VAIO FE590 (1.83GHz Core Duo, Nvidia Go 7400)3,427 PCMarks


Cinebench is a good rendering benchmark tool based on the powerful 3D software, CINEMA 4D. Its rendering tasks can stress up to sixteen multiprocessors on the same computer. It is a free benchmarking tool, and can be found here: The basic CPU test provided the following results, you can see the VAIO C failed to match the similarly priced MacBook Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz based notebook but of course did better than an old Pentium M based ThinkPad T43.

Cinebench 9.5 BenchmarkSony VAIO C140 (1.66GHz Core 2 Duo)MacBook Core 2 Duo (2.0GHz Core 2 Duo)ThinkPad T43 Pentium M 2.0GHzLenovo ThinkPad T60 Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz
Rendering (Single CPU)266 CB-CPU331 CB-CPU222 CB-CPU327 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU)487 CB-CPU596 CB-CPUN/A (not dual core)592 CB-CPU

HDTune Benchmark results:

The 120GB hard drive size is nice and certainly appreciated, especially good is that it spins at 5400RPM and not a slower 4200RPM. I wouldn't want a 7200RPM spinning drive in this type of laptop, it drains the battery too much -- bettery to add more RAM for performance.


The 13.3" screen is a WXGA 1280 x 800 job, it's a comfortable size for viewing and in my opinion quite a sweet spot for portability. I like how Sony made it so the display sits down slightly below the base, thereby giving the VAIO C a lower overall profile when in the open position (good for tight quarters such as use on a plane).

The display is nice and fairly bright with even backlighting, it offers 8 levels of brightness. The display is an XBRITE-ECO type, this is not as bright as the plain old "XBRITE" display. Sony claims the XBRITE-ECO to offer better power efficiency, but really it's just a dimmer backlight than what you get in say the VAIO FE or VAIO AR where the display can get as bright as the sun (seemingly). Nonetheless, I found the XBRITE-ECO display to be quite bright enough, and the glossy finish makes the colors vibrant for watching movies.

What I didn't like about the display is the very poor vertical viewing angles. If the display isn't aligned just so with your eyes then screen colors distort really fast. Horizontal viewing angles weren't fantastic, but acceptable.

Viewed at 90-degrees colors are true and good, here is a scene from the 007 Casino Royale trailer in black and white

Viewing the screen from a low angle colors become dark

View the screen from too high an angle and colors wash out

Horizontal viewing angles are okay

Keyboard, Touchpad and Other Input Buttons

The keyboard on the VAIO C is quite usable, it's got 86-keys spread out over 6-rows and the keys are full sized. The key travel is decent and the touch is light. If you have long fingernails it's kind of easy to catch the key above the key you're pushing down and pop it up a bit -- so trim those nails or you might be popping off keys (I've seen this happen on the VAIO SZ). The keyboard is really pretty firm too, there's a little bit of flex on the side areas, but nothing horrible and will be unnoticed by most.

The touchpad is very usable and just the right size. The mouse buttons are a good size too, I'd rather they have a bit more travel and springiness to them and were a little less noisy, but they're not horrible and most certainly usable.

With the VAIO C the only dedicated hardware buttons we get are the power button and Wireless on/off button that's located on the front of the notebook. It's dissapointing Sony didn't include more media buttons along the top like they did on the VAIO SZ.

Input and Output Ports

Let's take a quick tour around the port offerings of the VAIO C:

Front side: Wireless on/off slider switch and Memory Stick Pro reader slot

Back side: Nothing except the battery

Right side: Two USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 400, S-Video, Monitor-Out, heat vent, Kensington lock slot, Power jack and speaker above the power jack

Left side: Ehternet and modem port with speaker above, microphone and headphone jacks, ExpressCard 34 slot above the DVD burner optical drive area

The port selection is actually quite good, except for the fact we only get two USB 2.0 ports. I'd like to see three, but I can get by with two on a notebook of this size. It's the same number of USB ports as the competing MacBook.

Sony included a reader for the Memory Stick Duo on the front of the notebook and then provided a 5-in-1 memory card adapter that fits in Express Card 34 slot to read SD/xD/MMC/MemoryStick type cards. Why didn't Sony just upgrade that front memory card reader to a 6-in-1 instead of giving us two memory reader slots.

Sony includes a seperate memory card reader that goes into the ExpressCard 34 slot


The VAIO C has stereo sound via speakers on the left side and right side. If you check out the pictures of the sides of the notebook you'll see the speakers located on flanking side areas. With the speakers being on the side they don't exactly direct the sound at you and I thought this would be problematic, but the audio is surprisingly good and volume level also quite good. They're actually some of the better speakers I've heard from a notebook of this size. The headphone jack is located on the left side when you want better audio quality or need to avert disturbing others.

Heat and Noise

The VAIO C runs nice and quiet with the 1.66 GHz Core 2 Duo. It would run warmer if say a faster 2.33GHz was configured, but as far as this review unit goes there's nothing to complain about. The bottom right side gets a bit warm, but never so much that it would be uncomfortable on the lap. I ran three benchmarking tools at the same time to stress out the machine and make it work hard, but even then temperatures stayed reasonable and comfortable to the touch. So while I complained about the thickness of this notebook, the amount room inside allows things to stay cool so extra thickness isn't all bad.

The fan is on the back right side and it is quiet when running, you have to put your ear down at desk level to hear it over any other ambient noise in the room. Some people would prefer not to have the fan on the right side as it can push warm air onto your mouse hand, but during these colder months I actually appreciate that.

Battery and Power Adapter

Sony quotes the battery life of the included 6-cell battery at 3.0-4.5 hours of use depending on how you use the notebook. In my test of using the notebook at half screen brightness, wireless off, and idling for 2 hours and then light usage (typing in Word) for 1 hour I got exactly 3 hours of use. So that falls on the low-end of Sony's claim, and if I were doing anything during that 2 hours of idle time you'd get less battery life. You can get a 9-cell battery ($299) for a longer usage time unplugged, but the 9-cell will stick out from the back and add weight to the system.

Picture of underside of VAIO C with battery removed

The power adapter for the VAIO C is unnecessarily huge. If you take a look at the pictures of the adapter next to the notebook you'll see what I mean -- this brick adds a full .7 pounds of travel weight to the VAIO C. Dissapointing since Sony is touting it as a travel friendly notebook, why not make the adapter travel friendly too?


Sony includes some useful and a lot of not so useful software with the VAIO C. Here's a rundown of what you get

  • Click to DVD - Sony DVD Creation software
  • DVgate Plus - Sony Digital Video editing software
  • Trial Versions of Sony popular games (Bewitched, Jeopardy!, Da Vinci Code, Wheel of Fortune)
  • DISCover My Games application
  • Microsoft Works 8.5
  • 60-Day Trial Version of MicrosoftOffice 2003
  • Norton Internet Security 60-Day Trial
  • Napster
  • TrendMicro Anti-Spyware 30-Day Trial
  • A bunch of AOL Software (AOL Explorer Browser, AOL High Speed trial, AOL 5GB storage , AIM, AOL Video, AOL Desktop Search, AOL Music)

All I can say is Sony has broken a record for the amount of AOL trial software on one notebook. What a shame, I didn't even know there was an AOL Video or AOL Music application but unfortunately you get them along with a garbage AOL toolbar showing up by default on your Internet Explorer browser.

AOL has its software all over the VAIO C, and your default start page is

All this software is unappreciated, it slows down the system and takes up hard drive space.


The Sony VAIO C ends up being a decent portable notebook that's very nice looking and is built well. It overlaps a bit with the VAIO SZ, but because it's cheaper and not quite as powerful due to the integrated graphics, there's room for it in the VAIO lineup. It also stacks up well feature for feature against the MacBook. The VAIO C is of course missing the built-in camera, slot loading drive and OS X that the MacBook has. On the flip side, the VAIO C offers a media card reader, Wireless on/off switch, S-Video and an expansion slot in the form of the ExpressCard that the Apple MacBook is missing. If you'd like to be able to use Mac OSX I'd say go with the Apple MacBook, but if you're sure that Windows XP or Vista is your OS of choice I think the VAIO C should win out so long as price is in line between similar configurations of these notebooks (and at the current time they are).


  • Very nice looks with a bevy of color options when configuring
  • Fast Core 2 Duo processor and base 1GB of RAM amount ensures good system performance
  • Good build quality and sturdiness
  • Good abilities to read all types of media cards, albeit through use of two media card slots
  • 13.3" form factor is nice and fits easily in any backpack
  • Stays cool and makes little noise
  • Good keyboard


  • Too much garbage software installed, especially AOL stuff
  • Screen has bad vertical viewing angles, could be a bit brighter
  • Only two USB 2.0 ports
  • Power adapter is big and overall travel weight of close to 6 lbs is too much for a notebook of this size
  • Only 533MHz speed memory is available in the C series at time of review

Pretty in Pink

Here's some pictures of the same VAIO C190 in a more feminine pink color


…»Continue Reading!

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