Archive for Other PC

SONY VAIO Dual Core Notebook! Save $100!

Sony VAIO VPCEE31FX/BJ Notebook PC

The Sony VAIO VPCEE31FX/BJ Notebook PC is available for $499! That’s a $100 off its regular price at $600. Use coupon code QBM17377 at checkout to get this offer. Offer ends midnight Jan. 17, 2011.

This Sony VAIO Notebook is a fantastic package! I’m not usually that excited about Sony notebooks, but this is a great price for these features. First, it has a sizeable 15.5” widescreen, PLUS an integrated “full” numeric keypad — which is a rarity on laptops and notebooks, but common to a desktop keyboard. Add to that it’s fast AMD® Athlon™II Dual Core P340 processor (CPU), 3GB (gigabytes) of DDR3 RAM (memory) — more than some desktop computers — and amazing picture quality with ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 4250 Graphics — suitable for many high-end games.

Sony VAIO VPCEE31FX/BJ Notebook PC

Sony VAIO VPCEE31FX/BJ Notebook PCThe Sony VAIO VPCEE31FX/BJ Notebook PC comes pre-installed with:

  • Genuine Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • AMD® Athlon™ II Dual Core P340 processor (2.20GHz)
  • 3GB of pre-installed DDR3 system RAM (memory)
  • A large 320 GB hard drive (storage) for your documents, movies, photos, and music files
  • AMD® Vision ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD4250 graphics card
  • 15.5″ (1366×768) widescreen LED backlit display uses power-efficient LCD technology and delivers dazzling colors and picture clarity
  • Wired and the fastest Wireless-N Internet
  • Dual Layer DVD Burner (DVD RW)
  • Media card reader for your digital cameras and smartphones
  • Built in Sony Motion Eye webcam
  • A trial version of Microsoft Office 2010 is included
  • HDMI connector for attaching to a HD TV

Exclusive Deals for Skylarking Readers

TigerDirect has sent me a list of exclusive deals for the readers of Skylarking. These are TigerDirect Exclusive Deals, Limited Time Offers, Act Now And Save! Click the link at left to see a complete list of special deals. And remember, this are only available at these prices for a limited time. The link will let them know that Skylarking sent you.

Some noteworthy items are:

m122-7828-main01-jlMaxtor Black Armor 160GB External Hard Drive: $59.99 (After $10 savings).  I like external drives for storing my music files, particularly my iTunes library. By storing my iTunes library on an external drive I won’t have any problems when I get a new computer. I’ll just disconnect the drive and connect it to my new computer. Voila!

D-Link DSS-16+ Recertified 16-Port Network Switch: $39.99 (After $20 savings). This is great for a small office network (or a big home network).

hpprinterHP Photosmart C4580 All-In-One Color Inkjet Printer with Wi-Fi: Refurbished $79.99. Imagine wireless color photo printing and standard printing of 23 to 30 pages per minute on your home wireless network. It also has built-in copier and scanner functions (but no fax). This is a refurbished unit. This printer costs over $120 new from your major retailers.

Acer X203H bd 20″ Widescreen LCD Monitor: $129.99 (After $40 savings). This monitor has a 10,000:1 contrast ratio and 1600×900 pixel resolution.  You can use either a VGA or DVI connector.

There are many, many more items to choose from. So check out the rest of these TigerDirect Exclusive Deals, Limited Time Offers, Act Now And Save! And remember Tigerdirect offers $1.99 for shipping for orders over $100 but less than 20 lbs.

Note:
There’s been a lot of chat on the Internet and in the press concerning bloggers getting paid to review products and web sites. (Most notably in the Wall Street Journal last month). I get approached a few times a week to write about particular products and web sites, but I always offer my honest opinion in my posts. I have turned down many, many more offers than I’ve accepted.

The same applies to the products in this post. I have only highlighted products that I think are worthwhile and provide a significant savings compared to their regular price.

Rundown to the New Year

Hello, everybody!  Sorry for the delay in posting today, but I’ve had a rough weekend. I had to get an emergency tooth extraction on Friday, and you can image how difficult it was to find an oral surgeon the day after a major holiday, and heading into a holiday weekend.

I thought I just had a head cold all week long, but it turns out it was all from an infected tooth. I had tried finding a physician on Friday, with no luck, so I tried calling my dentist since I remembered I had a tooth extraction pending. He was able to get me in to see Dr. Steven D’Abundo in Merrick before closing for the day, and he removed the tooth in a few minutes.

He also prescribed an anitbiotic which I take every 6 hours. He had also prescribed a pain killer, but it seems, surprisingly, I have had little need for that.

Borders Bookstores, Off-line Savings

Though Skylarking has concerned itself primarily with online savings offers, I’d like to alert you to an off-line savings offer. The Borders Bookstores chain is having a multimedia sale this week. All CDs and DVDs are being sold at 30% off their regular list price. (I corrected the discount.  originally I said it was 40%, but it is actually 30%). The sale has already begun, and it ends on January 4, 2009. So if you’re looking to save on some last minute, year end shopping, or if you have some gifts you forgot to pickup, go to your local Borders Bookstore and take a look.

VistaPrint

Winter Clearance - Save up to 90%

I frequently order my business cards and customized stationery items and calendars from VistaPrint. Right now they are offering up to 90% off their regularly low prices. Now’s a good time to save on holiday cards for next year. Save yourself from rushing to the store next year, and save yourself a lot of money, too.

TigerDirect

Here are some TigerDirect deals:

SAVE $50 – HP Compaq Notebook: AMD Sempron 2.0GHz processor, with wireless networking, 1 GB RAM (Memory, DDR2), with a 120 GB hard drive (Storage), a dual layer Lightscribe DVD burner, and a webcam. Uses Vista Home Basic $379.99* after $50 mail-in rebate, rebate expires 12/31/08. I particularly like the Lightscribe DVD burner. If you purchase blank Lightscribe DVDs, you can flip the disc over after burning data or video to it, and then have the burner burn a label onto the surface of the disc. It’s fantastic.

SAVE $50 – HP Compaq Notebook: AMD Turion 2.0GHz processor with wireless networking, 2 GB of RAM, and a 160GB hard drive. It alkso has the dual layer Lightscribe DVD burner and webcam. Uses Vista Home Premium $499.99* after $50 mail-in rebate, rebate expires 05/30/09.

More LCD flat-panel monitor madness: SAVE $30 – eMachines 17″ Widescreen LCD Monitor Refurbished 1440×900. Black $84.97.

SAVE $120 – Garmin Nuvi 265T GPS 3.5″ Touch Screen with Text To Speech and Bluetooth. Now $179.99.

SAVE $120 – EVGA GeForce 8500 GT Video Card: 1GB GDDR2 Video memory onboard, connects to a PCIe (PCI Express) slot. This board is SLI ready which means if you buy and install two of them they can work together for double the power.  This is great for 3D video gaming such as World of Warcraft. It also has connections for DVI, standard VGA, and HDTV. Now $39.99* after $35 Mail-in rebate, rebate expires 12/31/08.  You need to check if you computer has one or two available PCIe slots. Contact me if you hagve questions about this.

SAVE $30 – XFX GeForce 9600 GSO Video Card: 768MB DDR2 onboard video memory, uses a PCIe 2.0 slot with Dual DVI. It, too, is SLI Ready $79.99.

Sharp 52" Aquos HDTV

Sharp 52" Aquos HDTV

Need storage? Need a new hard drive? SAVE $10 – Western Digital Caviar SE16 320GB Hard Drive. Uses a SATA-300 connection. $49.99. Computers over 3 years old probably won’t be able to use this drive. An internal SATA card connector would be needed.

SAVE $1100 – Sharp 52″ Aquos LCD HDTV: Sharp, a leader in LCD technology, establishes a new standard for LCD TVs. With a screen size of 52″, the AQUOS® LC-52D64U fits a large screen into an incredibly small footprint. They changed the layout of circuits inside the LCD panel, reduced the number of parts, and developed the slim-line design therby reducing its depth by 25%.  It uses a proprietary Advanced Super View / Black TFT Panel with multi-pixel technology providing 10,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio  and a 4ms response time. It has built-in ATSC/QAM/NTSC tuners and includes 3 HDMI (version 1.3) inputs, compatible with 1080p signals, a PC input and 2 HD component video inputs. Side terminals are included for wall-mounting convenience. $1399.99

Thank You

I received an unexpected gift over the holiday weekend. Almost 250 new readers in one day!  On Friday December 26, 2008, my Google Analytics report showed 468 people had visited the site that day. That’s almost 250 more than usually visit in a single day. The most popular posts that day were the Sears Heroes at Home program, Great Advice for New Computer Owners, and the Optoma PK101 Pico Projector.




Post Comments or Questions with the link below. Keep up-to-date with Skylarking: By Email or RSS Newsfeed or on Twitter. You can also send questions with my email form.

Power Saving PC from Hewlett-Packard

Anyone who’s purchased a large home appliance such as an air conditioner or refrigerator has probably seen or looked for the EPA’s Energy Star logo. Personal computers are also rated by EPA Energy Star standards, and in July 2007 the EPA revised those standards, with the PC in mind, for the first time in 15 years.

The result: Energy Star 4.0, which indicates a computers positive effects on the environment due to reduced energy consumption.

If you’re a home owner or small business owner looking for a new computer, and you’re concerned about your energy bills, you might be interested in checking out Hewlett Packard’s Compaq dc7800 Ultra-Slim Desktop PC. The base unit has a Intel Pentium Dual-Core CPU, 1 GB RAM (memory), and a 80 GB hard drive (storage), with Ethernet, and the robust and stable Windows Vista Business edition operating system. The base model starts at $789, but Buy.com is offering it for around $690. Neither price includes a monitor, but you can use your existing monitor.  (If you’re looking for a flat-panel monitor, I’ll include some links at the end of this post.)

My minimum recommendation is the package priced around $870 which doubles the hard drive size to 160 GB, and the memory is increased to 2 GB. The lower priced package played CDs and DVDs, while this package adds the ability to burn DVDs. If your budget is tight, or you have no need to burn DVDs, go with the $690 package. You can always upgrade the parts further down the road if needed.

Home Email for the Computerless

Do you know someone you’d like to write email to, but they don’t have, don’t want, or don’t use a computer? You probably think there’s no way around it, huh?

Well, think again. You actually have a choice: Presto or Celery.

Celery

Neither is magic or tasty — though you may feel otherwise — but either of these services will cross the communication gap between the computered and the computerless.

Celery

Celery is an email service that works with a fax. No Internet connection needed. If you’re computer-shy you can handwrite a letter, place it in the fax, press two buttons, and that’s it.  The Celery service converts it to email and delivers it for you. You can also use it to send news or magazine articles, coupons, photos, or anything that can fit into your fax. When someone sends you email it prints out on your fax. It will even print photos and PDF attachments. Watch the video for a demonstration.

Presto

Presto: One Way Email

Not everyone has a fax, nor do they want one; and if they had one, they might not be comfortable operating it. Now along comes Presto. Presto allows you to receive email messages.  With Presto you have a printer called a “Printing Mailbox” from Hewlett-Packard (HP). Anyone who has email can send unlimited messages to the Printing Mailbox via the Presto service. Those messages can include photos, too. Presto will print at a time during the day that you choose. Watch the video at right for more information or visit www.presto.com.

No Spam or Viruses

Both services filter out spam and junk mail, and since they use a fax or printer, and not a computer, viruses are of no concern.

Costs

For Presto there is a one-time $99 cost for buying the HP Printing Mailbox, and there is a $9.99 monthly charge for the service. Presto will deliver unlimited email messages per month. Visit www.presto.com for more information.

For Celery you can wither use your own fax, or you can buy their customized Lexmark fax machine for $89, and you pay a monthly fee of $8.98 for black-and-white, or $13.98 for color. Celery delivers uip to 100 email messages per month. Visit www.mycelery.com for more information and a 20 day free trial.

If anyone has a question, please email them to me using the Contact link, or, if it relates to today’s message, please use the Comment and Question link below. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.


Dell’s Mini-Desktop: The Studio Hybrid

Dell's Studio Hybrid mini-desktop

Dell's Studio Hybrid mini-desktop

Reports are flying about a new mini-desktop to be launched by Dell as early as August 2008, or later this year. The PC in question: The Studio Hybrid (shown at right). (Update: The Hybrid was released on July 29, 2008)

PC World, among others, reports that the PC is 80% smaller than a mini-tower — comparable to the Mac mini or HP’s Slimline s3500 mini-desktops. Furthermore, the Studio Hybrid uses 70% less power. Engadget displays some fuzzy photos of a candy apple red Studio Hybrid, as opposed to the darker colored model shown here.


Mac mini ($449)

Various articles have mentioned a hidden page on the Dell web site with pictures of the Studio Hybrid, but no one provides a link to said page. I conducted a search for the mini at Dell’s site, and while it surfaced in the results, a single click brought me to “The page you have requested may no longer exist on Dell.com“. (Update: The Hybrid is now listed on Dell’s home page and other pages, too.)

More on the Minis

Well… size-wise they measure around 12 inches square or smaller, and 4 inches thick or thinner. The Mac mini, which has been available for 3 years as of this week is about 6.5 inches square and 2 inches thick/tall. Hewlett-Packard’s Slimline series is about 12 by 12 by 4 inches in size. It, too, has been available for three years now.


HP Slimline ($599)

The mini desktops are practical for shoppers who want a small unobtrusive computer without the mobility and expense of a laptop. Other minis, like the Studio Hybrid, are powered by Intel Core 2 Duo or similar processors, have 2 to 4 GB of RAM (memory), spacious hard drives with 120 to 500 GB of file storage, and DVD or Blu-ray. The Mac mini has the least of these features (1 GB RAM and a 120 GB or less hard drive.) The Studio Hybrid isn’t the first small computer offered by Dell, as they also have the popular and well-received iMac competitor, the all-in-one Dell XPS One which starts at $1,299.

Update: The Studio Hybrid is available in six colors and bamboo with exchangeable sleeves.

Update: See a promotional email I received from Dell regarding the Studio Hybrid line


Please share your comments and questions using the links below. You can also email me using the Contact link. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.


New Computers for K-12, pt. 2

In yesterday’s post I started discussing some new ultra-mobile PCs (UMPCs) for K-12 students as many school districts across the nation attempt to increase access to computers and the research sources on the Internet. In 2003, the U>S> Census bureau revealed that 5% of high school juniors and seniors hadn’t used a computer, while 20% hadn’t used the Internet. (See the report)

Yesterday, I showed you two UMPCs: the Intel Classmate and the Asus Eee PC series. Today, I have two more computers which are being used in one-to-one computer ownersehip programs in school districts across the nation: the HP Mini-Notebook, and the Everex Cloudbook.

HP 2133 Mini-Notebook (www.hp.com, Product page)

Hewlett-Packard has 5 models in the UMPC line priced from $499 to $849.They weigh in at about 2.5 pounds and are just slightly more than an inch thick. The screens are 9 inches wide with a good sized keyboard, two USB ports; connections for microphone, headphone, and external monitor; with wired and wireless Internet (WiFi). Most models use a standard hard drive (moving parts), but the $499 model uses a Flash drive (no moving parts). The higher priced models are suitable for older students and non-students alike.HP Services includes a one-year standard parts and labor warranty, pick-up or carry-in, and toll-free 7 x 24 hardware technical phone support (depending on model). On-site service and warranty upgrades are also available.

  • Model KR922UT for $499: Linux operating system (OS) (instead of Windows), 4 GB storage, 512 MB RAM (memory) with digital camera.
  • Model KX868AT for $599: (Shown in video at right) Windows Vista Home Basic operating system (OS), 120 GB storage, 1 GB RAM (memory), integrated camera.
  • Model KR939UT for $729: Same as KX868AT above, but with Windows Vista Business OS (or downgrade to Windows XP Pro), and Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Model KR945UT for $749: Same as above with slightly faster processor.
  • Model KR948UT for $789: Same as KR939UT, but with 2 GB of RAM (memory), and 160 GB hard drive (storage). Weight: 2.6 pounds.

HP 2133 (KX868) – $629
Click image for more info or to buy

HP 2133 (KX870) – $849
Click image for more info or to buy
Other models available direct from HP

Everex Cloudbook (www.everex.com)

The Cloudbook has a 7 inch screen, weighs only 2 pounds, has a 5 hour battery life for surfing the web, sending email, blogging, IM, Skype, and computing. Based on the latest gOS Rocket operating system, the ultra-mobile Everex PC comes with popular applications from Google, Mozilla, Skype, OpenOffice.org and more. Also 512MB RAM (memory), 30GB Hard Disk (storage), wired and wireless (WiFi) Internet, 2 USB ports, 4-in1 Media Card Reader, webcam, headphone/line-out and microphone/line-in connections, and stereo speaker. Price: $349 at Walmart.com.

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New Computers for K-12, pt. 1

A 2003 U.S. Census survey found that among school children, ages 3 to 17, 14% didn’t have computer access at home or at school, and similarly 44% didn’t have Internet access. Among students ages 15 to 17, 5% hadn’t used a computer, and 20% hadn’t used the Internet.


Since then, more schools have adopted one to one computing programs to provide each student with their own portable computer for use at home and school.

The computer of choice for function, portability, and low cost has been the “ultra-mobile pc” platform. Ultra-mobile PCs began appearing in 2006. These PCs are:

  • about the size of a large paperback book
  • smaller than the typical laptop
  • screens are 7 to 9 inches wide
  • weighs less than 3 pounds
  • shockproof to withstand drops and bumps

In January 2008, the third generation of ultra-mobile PCs began to appear. Many of these run on either Windows or Linux, have wireless Internet access, and word processing and spreadsheet applications (like Excel). Many sell for less than $390.

Intel Classmate
(www.classmatepc.com)

This computer is designed with students up to age 14 in mind. It has WiFi (wireless Internet), a water-resistant keyboard, a built in microphone, and an optional digital camera. It also has a special feature called “mesh networking” that allows it to connect to other Classmate PCs within 300 feet. This allows students to work together on projects and share information. Price: About $350. View photo gallery

Asus Eee PC (usa.asus.com)

Asus’s entry into the ultra-mobile PC market is available in 5 different models ranging from $300 to $550. This shock-proof device has a screen that measures 7 inches wide, and it is preloaded with either Windows or Linux, WiFi, 3 USB ports, built-in card reader, speakers, and microphone. Some models include a camera. Available in white, blue, black, pink, and green.

Linux models:

  • 2G Surf: 7 inch screen, wireless and wired Internet, 512 MB RAM (memory), 2 GB storage, weighs 2 pounds with battery.
  • 4G: Same as the 4G Surf below, plus a webcam.
  • 4G Surf: Same as 2G Surf with 4 GB storage.
  • PC 900: 8.9 inch screen, 1 GB RAM (memory), 20 GB storage, webcam, and weighs 2.18 pounds with battery.

Windows models include the PC 900, and the 4G with specifications as shown above.

Check back in the next few days for additional information and models in the ultra-mobile PC line. All the models discussed are ideal for school students. As always, comment or ask questions with the links below, and subscribe by email or RSS news feed.


Asus Eee PC 900
Windows, Black

Asus Eee PC 900
Windows, White

Asus Eee PC 900
Linux, White

Asus Eee PC 900
Linux, Black