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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

8 Tips For Better Notebook Battery Life

1. Power down all nonessential functions. Switch it off if you're not using it. Many business travelers already know that you don't want to take the DVD player for a spin on the plane, and that every time you hit "save" it can set the hard-drive whirring, which devours even more power. "But users often also forget to turn off their wireless card when they are no longer using it but are still using their computer," notes Mike Fuller, executive vice president of PC Laptops, a Sandy, Utah, laptop manufacturer. "When the wireless card is on, it still continually searches for networks." In Windows XP, click on "Power Options" in your control panel. It allows you to reduce the power consumption of any number of your computer devices or of your entire system.

2. Stay out of extreme temperatures. The technology that powers you battery isn't terribly complicated. But it's important to understand a little bit about the chemistry behind batteries, and how that can affect your work. Specifically, temperatures can affect the performance of your battery. It's best to use (and especially charge) your batteries at room temperatures. Extreme conditions can drain your battery quickly. Also, avoid partial charges and use the battery until it is dead. Battery experts liken partial charges — and discharges — to eating a cup of lard every day. It significantly shortens your battery's life. Considering that a lithium-ion battery can explode if it's improperly used, it could also shorten your life.

3. Let your laptop do the saving. Not every computing device handles a power source in the same way. Some of the more sophisticated laptops, which are designed with business travelers in mind, are misers when it comes to using power. And that's a good thing — if you can remember to take advantage of it. "Most users make the mistake of simply not choosing to use a product's built-in ability to conserve battery life," says Dan Coffman, a senior product manager for PC manufacturer ViewSonic. How do you harness your PC's built-in ability to save? Consult your user manual. Often, calibrating your laptop is as easy as double-clicking on the battery icon in the toolbar.

4. Always, always carry a spare device that uses batteries. How obvious is that? Well, if you're trying to keep under the onerous new airline weight-limits, it isn't. But as Rick Thompson, director of engineering at Valence Technology in Austin, Texas, observes, "the availability of 'free' power outside of your hotel room is not predictable." That's a nice way of saying it. In fact, I sometimes think airport terminals, car-rental facilities and hotels try to hide the power outlets from us to keep us from accessing their free power. Thompson recommends a system that can simultaneously charge a second portable device such as a cell phone or PDA, allowing you to multitask your battery operations.

5. Rechargeable batteries will give you their longest charge when you've fully discharged and recharged them several times in a row. It may be a pain, but a day or so before your trip, let your laptop run until the system shuts down. Then recharge it and, if you have time, discharge and recharge it a second time, preferably overnight. This is easier to do at home before a trip, but remember to do it at the hotel before your return flight as well.

6. Windows XP and Macintosh OS X both have accurate battery-monitoring software. Each operating system can display how many minutes of remaining battery life you have. Do some experimenting with the screen settings and watch how your battery life increases. Other tips to save power include turning off wireless networking, removing PC cards and not using floppy or CD drives.

7. The best advice I can give is to buy a second battery for your laptop. Paying $75 or $125 for another battery will instantly double your movie enjoyment.

8. Add more RAM! Shhh. This one is a secret of the pros! If you have only 256MB of RAM, your machine is sure to write temporary information to the hard drive constantly. Boost that up to 512MB or even better 768MB+ and you will be sure to minimize this issue, thereby keeping hard drive access to a minimum. No matter what kind of "power saving technology" your processor has, your hard drive is a leech on your battery.


4 tips to extend the life of your laptop battery
Tips that can stretch your laptop's battery life
Getting More Laptop Battery Life - "Good to the Last Drop"

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Apple Introduces 17-inch MacBook Pro

Apple has launched a new 17-inch MacBook Pro notebook computer featuring the Intel Core Duo processor and an all-new system architecture that delivers up to five times the performance of the PowerBook G4.

The new MacBook Pro features an aluminium enclosure just one inch thin, weighs only 6.8 pounds, includes a built-in iSight video camera for video conferencing on the go, and the breakthrough Front Row media experience with Apple Remote.

It also features a MagSafe Power Adapter, invented by Apple especially for mobile users.

"The 17-inch MacBook Pro delivers the speed and screen area of a professional desktop system in the world's best notebook design," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice-president of Worldwide Product Marketing, said.

"With Intel's state-of-the-art dual-core processor, the new MacBook Pro delivers unrivalled performance in an innovative, sleek, one-inch thin design."

The MacBook Pro includes a 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo processor that delivers dual-core performance in a breakthrough power-efficient design, making it ideal for use in MacBook Pro's thin and lightweight design.

It is up to five times faster than the PowerBook G4, running industry standard benchmarks and offers an all new system architecture including a 667 MHz front-side bus that is four times as fast as the PowerBook G4 and 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM memory expandable to 2 GB that is twice as fast as the PowerBook G4.

Every new 17-inch MacBook Pro includes the same Apple innovations as the 15-inch MacBook Pro, including a built-in iSight video camera for video conferencing on-the-go using Apple's award-winning iChat AV, or recording a video Podcast or iMovie using iLife '06.

Every MacBook Pro also includes Photo Booth, Apple's fun-to-use application that lets users take quick snapshots with the built-in iSight video camera, add entertaining visual effects and share their pictures with the touch of a button.

Featuring Apple's breakthrough Front Row media experience, MacBook Pro gives users a simple way to enjoy their digital lifestyle content, including music, photos and videos from across the room using the Apple Remote.

With Front Row, MacBook Pro customers can effortlessly access shared iTunes playlists, iPhoto libraries and video via Bonjour, Apple's zero configuration wireless networking built into Mac OS X.

Every MacBook Pro comes with Apple's MagSafe Power Adapter, designed especially for mobile users that makes charging the notebook's battery easier than ever by magnetically coupling the power cord to the MacBook Pro.

The MagSafe Power Adapter safely disconnects from the notebook when there is strain on the power cord, preventing the notebook from falling off its work surface. Every MacBook Pro also includes Apple's Sudden Motion Sensor that is designed to protect the hard drive in case of a fall.

Designed for business and creative professionals, the new 17-inch MacBook Pro includes a 36 per cent brighter display to make reading text and viewing images even easier and an ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 PCI Express graphics with 256 MB of dedicated GDDR3 graphics memory for demanding professional applications, and a Scrolling TrackPad to easily scroll through long web pages or pan across large photographs.

Providing industry-leading connectivity and high-performance I/O, every new 17-inch MacBook Pro also includes a FireWire 800 port, a FireWire 400 port, three USB 2.0 ports, optical and digital audio input and output, built-in Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (enhanced data rate), and integrated AirPort Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g WiFi wireless networking.

Every MacBook Pro includes iLife '06, the next generation of Apple's award-winning suite of digital lifestyle applications featuring iPhoto, iMovie HD, iDVD, GarageBand and iWeb, a new iLife application that makes it super-easy to create amazing Websites with photos, blogs and Podcasts and publish them on .Mac for viewing by anyone on the Internet with just a single click.


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Samsung To Launch First NAND Flash-Based Solid State Disk PCs

Shaveta Bansal - All Headline News Contributor

Seoul, South Korea (AHN) - Samsung is all set to release the world's first PCs embedded with a 32-gigabyte (GB) NAND flash-based solid state disk (SSD).

The new feature will mark the first time that the NAND flash has moved into a commercial mobile computing application, says DM

The merits of SSD involve its ability to read 300 times faster and write 150 percent quicker than regular hard drives, making it quicker to process large volumes of data.

SSD can withstand about twice the impact that would otherwise cripple a regular hard disk drive.

Flash memory helps easy retrieval of stored data than traditional hard drives when PCs are dropped or liquid is spilled on the device.

The PCs are expected to hit the market from early June.


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