Dell Latitude 6430u Ultrabook For Enterprise Users Announced

Ultrabooks are continuing to become more and more mainstream in the laptop market, so it’s no surprise that Dell has added another one to its repertoire by announcing the Latitutde 6430u Ultrabook. The 6430u is built to cater towards the business user and is designed to not only be mobile, but also tough against the elements and with a plethora of security features, such as Dell Data Protection | Encryption, TPM, optional smartcard and a fingerprint reader.

The Latitude 6430u has a 14” 1366×768 display and is allegedly 33% slimmer and 16% lighter than its predecessors while its magnesium shell sporting a silver band running around the edge of the laptop gives it a sleek and appealing look. The chassis is also equipped with a pair of ledges to make it easy to grasp. Additionally, it will boast Intel’s Ivy Bridge processor and will be sold in i3, i5 or i7 model with up to 8GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage, and Windows 8 ready. Dell also claims that the 6430u will give users a full day’s work on a single charge, though that number will diminish as the Ultrabook is used for more intensive applications.

Dell Latitude 6430u

Unfortunately the screen will not be touch enabled, even though Dell is touting this as a Windows 8 notebook that’s geared toward touch input on devices like tablets.  There will also be no upgrade to a higher resolution screen.  And the final gotcha is the weight of 3.7lbs isn’t exactly light considering the ThinkPad X1 Carbon with a 14-inch screen weighs 2.99lbs – and has a 1600 x 900 resolution screen we should add.

The Dell Latitude 6430u will be released during the Windows 8 launch; however, there is no word on pricing as of yet.

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Panasonic Announces ToughBook 31 Rugged Laptop Updates

Panasonic has updated their ToughBook lineup with the latest release of their ToughBook 31, a 13" ruggedized laptop for field workers (e.g. policeman, fireman, outdoor workers, oil rigs). Included in this update is a faster processor, expanded storage, and a more responsive touchscreen. The Toughbook 31 is powered by the new 3rd generation Intel Core processors with expanded storage (up to 500GB 7200rpm HDD with 4 to 8GB RAM) and improved touchscreen responsiveness.

Panasonic’s armored ToughBook 31 laptop is one tough cookie, with the ability to survive drops of up to six feet, an IP65 rating for protection from water and dust. Additionally, customers have the option to add an integrated 4G LTE wireless or 3G Gobi mobile broadband as well as a 13.1-inch XGA LED touchscreen with Panasonic CircuLumin technology that allows the screen to be bright enough that you can see it in full sunlight or dim enough that military personnel can reduce brightness to 2-nits and remain concealed in the dark from the enemy while still seeing a faint screen.

Panasonic ToughBook 31

Here’s the full low-down of all the key improvements:

  • Upgraded processor options:
    • Intel Core i5-3360M vPro (up to 3.5GHz) with Intel Turbo Boost Technology
    • Intel Core i5-3320M vPro (up to 3.3GHz) with Intel Turbo Boost Technology
    • Intel Core i3-3110M
  • Expanded storage on i5 models: 500GB 7200rpm hard drive (shock-mounted flex-connect with quick release and hard drive heater)
  • Improved battery life: 7% longer, delivering 14.5 hours per MobileMark 2007 testing on the i5-3320M model. And, an additional 6.5 hours with the available media bay 2nd battery.
  • Added connectivity options: standard USB 3.0 port provides up to 10x faster file transfer speeds
  • Improved wireless connectivity: Intel 6235 Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n standard on all models
  • Increased touchscreen responsiveness
  • Improved battery calibration tool: Now capable of running in the background, allowing simultaneous use of computer

Click here for the full spec sheet.

The Toughbook 31 is now available in the US at authorized Panasonic resellers starting at a beefy price of $3,499 USD, which includes a three-year limited international warranty.



HP CEO Not Happy With Their Innovation, Copies Apple

Meg Whitman, HP’s CEO, has been a harsh critic of her own company in the design department as of late, stating that they have not "kept up with the innovation." Whitman is clearly referring to Apple’s simple, yet sleek design, which has brought the company unprecedented success. As a result, she has been pushing hard to create a more ‘unique design’ for their products.

Well, the results–so far–that we have gotten aren’t exactly one-of-a-kind. Recent products like the Envy x2 convertible tablet, the Spectre XT TouchSmart laptop, and the Spectre One Windows 8 all-in-one desktop have been heavily criticized for their striking resemblance (i.e. blatant rip off) to Apple’s MacBook Pro and iPad–and rightfully so, as you can see. Whitman has even alluded to their influence stating that "Apple taught us that design really matters."

HP's new lineup, MacBook like?

I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t really seem like progress to me and it looks like HP still has a little way to go in order to get their unique, modern design they want without being heavily scrutinized for their lack of innovation.

Source: Wall Street Journal


Asus A53Z Budget Laptop Video Review

If you’re looking for a simple mainstream laptop for the home and your needs are just to do simple things such as surfing the web, casual games and read and compose email then there’s really no need to spend more than $400.  The Asus A53Z is one example of what you can get for a bargain price between $350 and $400.  The Asus A53Z is a 15.6” screen laptop that comes with an AMD A6 quad core processor from the “Fusion” family lineup, meaning it’s targeted at having good battery life and above average integrated graphics performance while giving enough processing performance for any basic task.

Asus A53z

First of all, let’s take a look at the video review portion of this quick review of the A53Z:

Asus A53Z Budget Laptop Review

I’m not going to say a whole lot more here than what’s said in this video, it’s my opinion that when you’re spend $350 on a laptop you can’t expect too much other than wanting the laptop to function properly and avoid it being a total hunk of junk.

First let’s talk about the processor and performance.  The AMD A6-3420 on board this A53Z is a 2011 introduced processor, meaning it’s not the latest and greatest but it’s not out of date either.  It has a standard processor speed of 1.40GHz  but can be overclocked to 2.40GHz if extra performance is needed.  It also offers integrated AMD Radeon HD 6520G graphics that can provide decent graphics performance and even support some light 3D gaming.  Specs aside, the AMD A6 is going to provide more than enough performance for the typical user that just wants to do some web surfing using multiple browsers or tabs, watch movies and videos online, use word processing or spreadsheet applications and do some video chat with grandma on the other side of the country (there’s a built-in web cam).  The base level amount of RAM is 3GB, but most configurations offer more than that, I’d recommend upgrading to 6GB of RAM if you don’t get that amount at purchase.  It’s easy to upgrade the A53Z, you simply remove a small panel from the bottom and pop a RAM memory stick into the open slot inside.  You get a hard drive for storage that ranges in 320GB to 640GB in capacity depending on your model.

A53Z performance

The screen is 15.6” diagonally in size with a 1366 x 768 resolution.  As you’ll see in the video, it’s nothing outstanding in terms of color saturation and viewing angles, but for 90% of people it’s more than adequate and easily bright enough for any indoor lighting situation.   The screen has a glossy finish to it which means it will reflect objects behind you if there’s a lot of lighting above and behind where you’re sitting.  On the flip side, the glossy screen helps colors to really pop when watching movies in a darkened room.

A53z keyboard

The keyboard on the Asus A53Z has some positives and negatives.  It’s a nice full size and even fits in a number pad, which you don’t always see on a 15” laptop.  The keys themselves have a decent feel and tactile feedback.  However, there are spots on the keyboard that are mushy and have a lot of flex, especially towards the center and near the number pad.  If you push down hard you’ll see the keyboard sink in which can detract from your typing experience and indicates poor build quality.

Speaking of build quality, as you’d expect the Asus A53Z is made of mostly plastic, that’s what you get at this price point.  To get the aluminum of fancy metal alloys used in more premium laptops you have to spend around $1,000.  The plastic case on this Asus does have some weak points on the lid, but the palm rest areas are very solid which is the most important area in regards to comfort and usability.  You really don’t want your hands sinking down on the palm rests, and thankfully the case is rigid enough to prevent that.  If you push in hard on the plastic lid however you can cause ripples in the LCD screen, so I wouldn’t feel comfortable throwing this laptop around too much in a backpack.

A53z design mocha lid

The design of the laptop is utilitarian.  I appreciate the fact the case does not pick up fingerprints and does not have a glossy finish all over it like some other cheap laptops.  The lid has a dark brown color that Asus calls mocha which sounds more tasty than it looks.

Port selection is good, or at least what you’d expect.  Let’s take a tour of each of the ports and see what you get and where:

On the left side you get

Left side ports

On the left side is an Ethernet port, HDMI, VGA monitor out, USB 3.0, USB 2.0 ports

Front SD card

SD card reader on the front side

Right side ports

Headphone jack, microphone jack, optical drive, USB 2.0 port

The optical drive that’s built-in is a DVD burner so you can watch your movie collection using this laptop.

The bottom line with the Asus A53Z is that this laptop can be had from places such as for a price between $400 and $500.  You get a quite a bit for your money with it and if you make a few aftermarket upgrades such as increasing RAM and putting in a fast SSD you can actually get quite a performance machine.  Things you really can’t overcome are the plastic build that’s somewhat flimsy at points, so-so screen quality and the battery life of 2 – 3 hours isn’t exactly earth shattering, but since it’s a 5.6lbs weight laptop it’s doubtful you’d buy this to go travel the world.  More than likely you’ll be using it at home near an outlet you can plug into.  For the price you can’t go too far wrong with the Asus A53Z, so long as your expectations aren’t too high and you’re not too picky you’ll be happy with this as a laptop purchase.


Deal: Dell Vostro 3560 Fully Loaded for $859 and Get $100 eGift Card

imageDell has a nice deal right now on their small business line 15.6” screen Dell Vostro 3560.  For $859 you can get the Vostro 3560 with Intel Core i7-3612QM 2.10GHz processor, 6GB RAM, 500GB 7200RPM hard drive with 32GB mSATA, AMD Radeon 7670M graphics, Full HD 1920 x 1080 screen and backlit keyboard.  On top of all that, you get a Free $100 eGift Card that can be used at for any future purchase.  To get the deal just use this link and then use coupon code GRNT3S4KF7Q6VQ at checkout.  You can also possibly further sweeten the deal by purchasing a $400 Dell eGift Card from CashStar and get a bonus $75 eGiftCard for free, this effectively knocks the price down another $75.  If you factor in the gift card reductions it could be an extra $175 in savings effectively dropping the price to $674!

The configuration of the Vostro 3560 on sale rivals workstation style laptops and even has enough power to do some gaming.  The AMD 7670M graphics card is a mid-range card and when combined with the Quad Core i7 processor makes for some formidable performance.  The hard drive is a fast spinning 7200RPM, but it’s further aided with a mini SSD that uses Intel’s Smart Response technology to improve bootup times for the Vostro.  The 1920 x 1080 display will make for lots of screen real estate and be a boon to those who need to fit multiple windows on the screen at the same time or see lots of rows and columns of a spreadsheet.

The Vostro 3560 is a solidly built notebook that’s backed by strong warranty and support from Dell Business.  While the cheap Dell Inspiron consumer line has a reputation for being somewhat flimsy the Vostro line are all rigidly built with a aluminum case that has a brush finish.  The palm rests have a soft-touch finish to make for a more comfortable typing experience and the chiclet keyboard for this particular configuration on sale is backlit to make it easy to see while typing in dimly lit rooms.


Link to Deal: Dell Vostro 3560 on sale (use coupon code GRNT3S4KF7Q6VQ at checkout)


Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Vs. ThinkPad X230 Comparison

If you’re looking for an ultraportable business notebook from Lenovo then the X-series is the place to look, and amongst the X-series the two stand out offerings for serious users are the X230 and X1 Carbon (X1C).  The X230 is simply an evolution of a long line of past ThinkPad X notebooks stretching back over a decade while the X1 Carbon is a newer style offering that’s origins can be traced back to the ThinkPad X300 released in 2008.  The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the thinnest and lightest 14-inch laptop on the market and at 3lbs actually weighs less than the 12.5” screen ThinkPad X230, a pretty amazing feat.  However, the X1 Carbon does give up some features to stay thin, but are those features important to you?  In this article we summarize the similarities and differences of each model.

Before going on, here are links to the two models being compared on

Screen Differences

ThinkPad X1 Carbon and ThinkPad X230

One major difference between the ThinkPad X230 and X1 Carbon is the screen size and resolution.  The X230 has a 12.5” 1366 x 768 screen while the X1C has a 14” 1600 x 900 resolution screen.  The higher resolution screen on the X1C means you can fit more on the screen, and given it is 14” in size the icons and text are still a comfortable size to read.  Aside from the size and resolution difference, the other notable variation is that the X230 can be had with a Premium IPS display that has 300-nits brightness, while the X1 Carbon does not offer an IPS display but has a brighter 400-nits display.  IPS is good for wide viewing angles and very accurate colors, the upgrade to IPS on the X230 is only $50 and is well worth it.  The brightness on the X1C is great and almost good enough for outdoor viewing and the viewing angles on the X1 Carbon screen are not bad, but it is not IPS quality like on the X230.  To see a demonstration of the ThinkPad X230 Vs. X1 Carbon screen I  posted the following video to YouTube (note, an X220 is actually used for demo purposes, but it uses the same panel as the current X230):

ThinkPad Carbon X1 Vs. ThinkPad X230 screen comparison

For some the higher resolution and larger size screen of the ThinkPad X1C will be preferential over the X230, but others that insist on IPS quality viewing angles and color reproduction will weight this in favor of the X230.  It really depends on your usage patterns and what your needs are as to which screen is more beneficial.  Those that do a lot of reading and like to fit more text on the screen could lean towards the X1 Carbon for its higher resolution and ability to fit two windows at once.  Those into photography and getting accurate colors will see the X230’s IPS screen as a major benefit.

Performance Differences

Many people assume that since the X230 is an ultraportable it uses an undervolted or a lower power processor.  This is not the case, it uses a fully fledged Intel Core i5 or i7 3rd Generation (Ivy Bridge) processor and can perform just as well as much larger sized 15” mainstream laptops.  Meanwhile, the X1 Carbon uses an undervolted Core i5 or i7 processor to keep temperatures down in its thin body, this will still perform well for any common business program but it is not as powerful as the regular processors in the X230.

The X230 can be configured with either a large capacity regular hard drive while the X1 Carbon comes standard with an internal SSD for high performance but limited capacity of up to 256GB.  The SSD on the X1 does make for snappy bootup and fast loading of applications, but if you’re a file hog with giant sized media files that storage capacity will fill up quickly – indeed with the 128GB SSD there’s only around 60GB of space remaining after the OS, recovery image and Lenovo applications have been put on there.  Meanwhile the X230 has the flexibility of offering use of an mSATA SSD (mini SSD) via the internal PCI Express slot and a regular HD at the same time, you can put the OS on the SSD for fast bootup and all your media files on the standard platter drive for the cheap and abundant storage.

Neither model has the option for dedicated graphics, but the Intel HD 4000 graphics should suffice for light gaming.  For most business users, gaming is an afterthought or non-consideration.  Overall, the X230 has the capability of being configured with faster specs and could outperform the X1 Carbon if an SSD is put on board the X230, otherwise the SSD on the X1 Carbon serves as a major performance advantage and one that comes standard.

I/O Port Selection Differences

The X230 and its thicker body housing allows for all the typical ports you’d want as a business user, meanwhile some compromises are made with the X1 Carbon to keep it thin.  Here’s a comparison of the ports you get on each laptop:

ThinkPad X230 Ports

  • Mini DisplayPort with audio
  • VGA monitor out
  • Ethernet RJ-45
  • (2) USB 3.0
  • (1) Always on USB 2.0
  • (1) 3.5mm Combo Jack Headphone/MIC
  • 4-in-1 SD Card Reader (SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC slot)
  • Express Card 34mm
  • Smart Card Reader (Optional)
ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ports

  • (1) USB 3.0
  • (1) USB 2.0 (Powered)
  • Mini DisplayPort
  • Combo Headphone/Microphone Jack
  • SD Card Reader

If you want to expand the ports selection on the ThinkPad X230 you can get a proper docking station such as the Ultrabase Series 3.  The ThinkPad X1 Carbon does not offer a docking port connector, but you can use something like the Lenovo ThinkPad USB 3.0 Dock to help expand ports, it simply allows you to connect to the dock via USB 3.0 and expand the number of ports.  It does not offer benefits such as being able to power the laptop via the dock.

Weight Difference

This is where the X1 Carbon shines, its weight is only 3lbs while the X230 has a weight of 3.3lbs with the standard 6-cell battery.   This means the significantly larger screened X1C is lighter than the X230 by 0.3lbs.  For those that want the 14-inch form factor and feel that 12.5” is just too small a screen, this is a check in the plus column for the X1 Carbon when comparing it to the X230.  However, it’s only a 0.3lbs difference and must of us won’t feel that difference if you’re just adding it to a bag.

Size and Thickness Differences (Dimensions)

The X230 is smaller in terms of footprint size (less wide and deep) than the X1 Carbon, but it is thicker. Here are the exact dimensions for both models:

  • X230 – 12.0” x 8.13” x 0.75” – 1.36” (width x depth x height)
  • X1 Carbon – 13.0” x 8.9” x .31” – .74” (Rear) (width x depth x height)

The X1 Carbon at its thickest point (0.75”) is still thinner than the X230.  The X230 isn’t really all that thin, with a max thickness of 1.36” it’s somewhat chunky at the back relative to other laptops its size.  Still, both laptops will fit comfortably on an airplane tray and the thinness of the X1 Carbon is a benefit only if you like the look and are really tight on space in your bag.

Keyboard and Touchpad

Both the X230 and X1C use a chiclet style keyboard with six rows of keys that all ThinkPads have switched to.  The travel distance on the keys of the X1 Carbon does not quite match that seen on the X230, so the feel is different and not quite what ThinkPad users are used to.  It’s still the best keyboard in the Ultrabook market, but given the limited space Lenovo has to fit the keyboard in some compromises were made – it is also not a removable keyboard like all other ThinkPads are for instance.

Both laptops come with a backlit keyboard, it’s a standard feature on the X1 Carbon a $40 upgrade for the X230.  Both also have the red pointing stick, a popular feature in the business world of computing.

The touchpad on the X1 Carbon is huge, it measures 4” in width and 2.5” from top to bottom.  It is a clickpad style touchpad meaning you can push down anywhere to register a left click.  The touchpad is made of glass on the X1C so it is very easy to run your finger over.  Overall, it’s one of the best touchpads in the industry.  Meanwhile the touchpad on the X230 is rather small as there is limited space for it.  Those that favor the touchpad over a pointing stick for input might see this as an advantage for the X1 Carbon.

Ease of Upgrades

This is where the X1 Carbon just flubs the test, it’s not upgradeable really in any way.  After you purchase that’s it, there’s no adding more RAM or switching hard drives.  For many ThinkPad users this is hard to swallow because the brand has always been about ease of upgrades and the ability to tinker with and tweak your system.  The X1 Carbon keyboard is sealed and many components are soldered in, a necessary move to keep thinness down.  The battery is non-removable on the X1C.  The X230 meanwhile offers easy access to the hard drive, memory, PCI Express slot, battery and essentially any part of the machine you’d want to access.


We can’t go without mentioning price as it’s a huge factor and probably the biggest one for most buyers.  The X1 Carbon starts at $1,329 at this time on and the X230 starts at $679 with a low end configuration.  The gap in price is pretty huge, obviously more X230 models will sell just because of this fact alone.  Discriminating buyers and those that really crave thin, new and cool technology will shell out for the X1 Carbon.  Stick in the mud practical business users who calculate a price to feature ratio will probably choose the X230 almost every time.


The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is obviously the halo product from Lenovo, one that they put out there to show their engineering prowess and what they can really do when they push the envelope.  It’s one of the best Ultrabooks on the market, and certainly the best business oriented Ultrabook.  However, with that said Lenovo did not overcome the common drawback of Ultrabooks – the impossibility of upgrades and no true docking station solution (the ThinkPad USB 3.0 dock is a port replicator, despite its name).  There’s a ton to like about the X1 Carbon, but the high price relative to the ThinkPad X230 and lack of standard ThinkPad features will ensure the X230 remains firmly at the top of the purchase popularity list for ThinkPads.


Western Digital to Create 5mm-thick Hybrid Hard-Drives for Ultrabooks

HDWDcolor_loAre those 7mm-thick drives looking bulkier ever day? Well, Western Digital (WD) has just announced that it is now producing sampling versions of 5mm-thin (0.2 inch) hard disk drive featuring hybrid technology, which will be showcased during WD’s Investor Day on Sept. 13.

WD started shipping 7mm hard drives for thin notebooks (e.g. Ultrabooks) earlier this year and now their new 5mm hybrid hard-drives will allow the market’s thinnest computers to offer a whopping 500 GB of capacity, which is quite impressive for such a small size. The 5mm hard drives will use almost 50% less volume compared to current, and more common, 9.5 mm hard drives. Additionally, Acer and ASUS have indicated their collaboration with WD’s new hard-drive technology.

The Hybrid hard-drives combine NAND flash and magnetic disks, which simplify storage-element integration for OEM customers and provides benefits such as: high performance, responsiveness, lower power consumption, greater operating shock tolerance, and data protection.

Since WD is only sampling the new hard drives, which isn’t the same as mass production, this means that we may not see them inside PCs for several months.


How to Find Lenovo ThinkPad and IdeaPad Detailed System Specs

imageIf you’re shopping for a Lenovo ThinkPad or IdeaPad system you might come to wonder what all the currently available specs are for a specific model.  Sometimes it’s not easy to find detailed specs such as screen brightness rating or the number of mini PCIe Mini Card slots on a ThinkPad or IdeaPad on the shopping website.  Also, when components are in short supply Lenovo might pull certain configuration options from the online selector temporarily, but wouldn’t it be nice to know what should typically be available?  The Lenovo ThinkPad Personal System Reference, often referred to as the “tabook” is a great resource that lists all currently available ThinkPad systems and their detailed specs: (5MB)

A similar spec sheet exists for all the consumer IdeaPad models: (4MB)

Now, if you so happen to be wondering about past years model specs, Lenovo has you covered there too.  Lenovo refers to their old systems as being “withdrawn” once they’re no longer available for sale.  The URL to find all the old system spec sheets is here:

These spec sheets are large in size and can be a little difficult to navigate and scroll through, if you’re looking for a more friendly web based HTML listing to find all current Lenovo models and their specs Lenovo has created a new landing page for that too.  The URL to reach the HTML specs for all current models is as follows:

The non-PDF specs are not quite as detailed as what the Tabook offers, but it’s easier to navigate with hyperlinks.  Either way, all of these are great resources when researching a Lenovo laptop purchase but they’re not well known nor easy to find from the Lenovo shopping area.

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New HP Coupons for September 2012, 30% Off Laptops $999 or More

HP has issued some new coupons for the month of September 2012.  There are several coupons available, the hottest of which is 30% off Pavilion or ENVY laptops configured $999 or more.  Here are the details on each of the new coupons:

  • Use coupon code NB8342 at checkout to get 30% off any HP laptop customized for $999 or more.  There are a few laptop exclusions, those are: ENVY 6t, Pavilion M6t, ENVY Spectre XT, ENVY 14 Spectre.  The 30% off code will work on all other HP laptops though, including the popular ENVY 15 & 17 or Pavilion dv6t and dv7t.  Coupon is good for up to 1,000 uses and expires on 9/16/2012 if not all used up before then.
  • Use coupon code NB1765 to get $200 off a customized HP ENVY 4t, ENVY 6t, or ENVY 6z.  This $200 off coupon works for up to 400 uses, or expires on September 16, 2012 if not used up before then.
  • Use coupon code NB9231 to get $50 off on a customized HP Pavilion dv6z, dm1z, dv4t or dv6t Select Edition Laptop.  Coupon is good for up to 200 uses or expires on September 16, 2012 if not used up before then.

The dv6t-7000 Quad Edition can be configured with high end specs of an Nvidia 650m 1GB card, 8GB RAM, Intel Core i7-3610QM processor, 1920 x 1080 15.6” Full HD display and 640GB 5400RPM storage for $948.49 after using the NB8342 30% off coupon, here’s a screenshot of my cart after using that coupon:


The dv7t-7000 Quad Edition with a configuration of Intel Core i7-3610QM processor, Nvidia 650m graphics, 1920 x 10800 17” display, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB 5400RPM hard drive is $1,067.49 after the NB8342 coupon code:


If you had your heart set on the Envy 15t-3200, you can get a nice configuration with a Core i5-3210QM, AMD 7750M graphics and 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution display for $1,049.99 after the 30% off coupon:


These are great deals for higher end configurations of the premium HP models, the % off coupon benefits you more if you want to get an expensive configuration as the more you add the more you save.

The other notable coupon currently available via HP is the Free XBox 360 with the purchase of any HP PC that’s priced $699 or more, here are the details on that coupons:

  • Get a Free XBox 360 when you select any HP laptop or desktop priced $699 or more. Use this link and then at check apply coupon code XBOX360 at to get the deal. Expires on 9/8/2012. If you don’t need the free XBox you can always sell it on Amazon or eBay for around $160 and treat it like a discount!

Lenovo IdeaPad Y500 Pictures and Details Emerge

The IdeaPad Y500 that Lenovo announced last week at the IFA show in Berlin has shown up in the flesh on Chinese website where a forum user has posted detailed pictures and information for the Y500. forum member nyaruko took the time to translate the Chinese post into a helpful slide show with captions in English (for those of us not fluent in Chinese).   The most interesting photo is of the Ultrabay graphics card that can be switched into the IdeaPad Y500 to give it dual graphics card capabilities:

Y500 GPU ultrabay

Notice that there’s a built-in fan with the graphics card and it simply slots into the Ultrabay of the Y500.  Those that aren’t familiar with the ThinkPad line of Lenovo laptops might be new to the concept of an Ultrabay.  Basically it’s an area of the laptop that can house a whole range of different components, with ThinkPads for example you can put in an optical drive, hard drive, spare battery or even just a hollow weight saver to keep the laptops weight down.  The Y500 will have similar capabilities and it may even be possible to “hot swap” components like it is with ThinkPads, this simply means you can insert a new component without having to reboot.

Aside from the look at the graphics card Ultrabay, the pictures also reveal a red illuminated backlit keyboard with an Alienware-esque look.  The forum poster on says the keyboard has a nice feel to it with good tactile feedback.

Y500 keyboard

The battery on the Y500 is a 5600mA capacity variety with estimated battery life of around 3 hours.

Y500 battery

There are a few more details revealed in the slide show, though nothing is mentioned or shown of the screen.  Still, the unique Ultrabay aspect of the Y500 is on full display and its great to see this isn’t just vaporware but rather looking ready for release, and hopefully soon!

Source:, NotebookReview forum

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