Tuesday, March 30, 2010

HP Pavilion p6330f Review
Looking at the $659.99 HP Pavilion p6330f desktop PC, you might well feel a strong wave of desktop deja vu. The desktop uses the same Pavilion chassis design that has remained largely unchanged for a couple of years now. Some might argue that HP is lagging behind on innovation; others might argue that there's no point in reworking a good design. Either way, while the outside might look much the same as previous iterations—such as the Pavilion p6130f we looked at in 2009—it's what’s inside that counts most, and what's here works well as a mainstream PC, even though it's not suited for serious gaming...
HP Pavilion p6320f Review
If you're a fan of HP’s conservative desktop-PC designs with their glossy black front faceplates and flat-black metal chassis, then you'll love the $699.99 Pavilion p6320f—if for no other reason than the mini-tower Pavilion design has hardly changed at all in the last couple of years. In fact, if you placed the p6320f right next to the Pavilion p6130f we reviewed in 2009, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell them apart...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Weekend Project: How to Upgrade Your Laptop’s Hard Drive to a Solid State Drive
Make the move and migrate your PC to the new drive without reinstalling your operating system, apps, or files.
It’s the tech equivalent of a dead pool. Some pundits claim the days of the hard disk drive (HDD) are numbered, while others insist it has plenty of life left. The HDD—which dates as far back as the mid-1950s—uses magnetically coated platters that spin at high speeds, with read and write heads located so close to the platters that you can’t see the space between with the naked eye. Because of their construction, HDDs are prone to overheating and breakage, sensitive to vibration, and saddled by performance limits due to sheer physics...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gateway DX4831-03 Review
When the $849.99 Gateway DX4831-03 arrived at our doorstep, it took us down memory lane to the last time we looked at a Gateway DX-series desktop: the DX4820-02. In 2009, that model impressed with its performance, upgrade potential, and front-mounted ports, but its relatively high price soured us on it overall. This time around, with the DX4831-03, we were hopeful that Gateway had recalibrated to produce a more competitively priced mainstream desktop. And boy, did it deliver...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Toshiba Satellite M505-S4020 Review
If you thought spending $999.99 on a thin-and-light laptop meant having to make compromises, the Toshiba Satellite M505-S4020 might force you to re-evaluate your assumptions. Not only is the M505-S4020 one of the speediest under-$1,000 laptops we’ve seen, but it also comes with a more-than-respectable set of components and features. You'll also get a few surprises you wouldn't expect for the price. Taken together, this mix will please any laptop shopper on a budget...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Toshiba Satellite E205-S1904 WiDi Laptop Review
If you could design your own laptop in an effort to have the perfect balance of performance, price, size, weight, and features, what would you include and what could you live without? As part of its Blue Label program, Best Buy asked that question of its customers--accepting as much feedback as its customers could give and then channeling that information back to the laptop manufacturers it partners with. The ensuing results of this feedback now manifest themselves in the three current Best Buy Blue Label exclusive laptop offerings: the Dell Studio s15Z-2249CPN, Sony Vaio VPCS11FM/S, and Toshiba Satellite E205-S1904...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dell Inspiron Zino HD Review
For the last couple of years, Dell's foray into the small-form-factor desktop market was its successful mini-tower (with the emphasis on "mini") Studio Hybrid. But with Dell's latest small-form-factor entry, the Inspiron Zino HD, out goes the vertical mini-tower and in comes the horizontal square--7.8-inches wide by 7.8-inches deep to be exact, and a mere 3.4-inches tall. Like the Studio Hybrid (which Dell still sells), the Inspiron Zino HD (a.k.a. the Inspiron 400) is a solid little machine, with decent mainstream performance, and geared towards budget-minded consumers...