Friday, August 27, 2010

Acer Aspire 5745PG-3882 Review
The $900 Acer Aspire 5745PG-3882 is an attractive-looking, moderately priced notebook with some nifty multitouch features, a high-quality display, and audio attributes that make it a very capable multimedia system. But with middling 3D graphics performance, it’s not going to make anyone’s top-10 list of portable gaming rigs...
Gateway ID49C08u Review
When we looked at the $679.99 Gateway ID49C07u earlier this month, we were impressed by its ability to combine impressive specs, a smart-looking design, and speedy performance into an inexpensive 14-inch laptop. So when its $849.99 sibling, the ID49C08u, arrived with beefier specs and a higher price tag, we wondered if the extra power would justify the higher cost. Not only did it deliver, but it also brought with it some of the speediest 3D-graphics performance we’ve seen from a thin-and-light laptop...
HP Pavilion p6510f Review
When the $519.99 HP Pavilion p6510f arrived in our labs, it came in the same big box as the $699.99 HP Pavilion p6540f we tested earlier this month. Both systems have a lot in common, including the same pre-installed software and chassis design, though the p6540f sports an uncharacteristic gray faceplate, rather than the typical Pavilion black. In fact, this PC's case sports the same design that HP has been using for its Pavilion line for years, with just some minor variations over time. The components inside, however, are different, with the Pavilion p6510f’s array of parts being a bit more conservative than the p6540f’s. But as we'll see, the performance difference between these two PCs is minimal. Factoring in the $180 price difference, the less-spendy p6510f winds up being a much better value...

Monday, August 23, 2010

MSI GX640-098US Review
Neither the MSI GX640-098US’s specs nor its $1,200 price tag necessarily scream “mobile gaming rig,” but the notebook’s highlighted W, A, S, and D keys say otherwise. So when the GX480 showed up on our doorstep, we wondered if the moderately powered notebook could muster up enough moxie to satisfy mobile gamers on a budget...

Friday, August 20, 2010

HP Pavilion p6540f Review
When we got our first glimpse of the $699.99 HP Pavilion p6540f, we were taken aback. It's the first HP Pavilion we’ve seen in a long time that doesn't use the Pavilion line’s unmistakable design aesthetic of an all-black chassis with silver highlights. Instead, the p6540f has a gray faceplate ("Magnesium Gray," according to HP). If HP is finally letting its guard down and allowing some design variation to creep into its desktop products, gray is as good a place to start as any. With a PC, of course, looks will only get you so far—it’s mostly what’s inside that counts. And the p6540f is powered by capable components that make the system a worthy mainstream PC...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Gateway ID49C07u Review
If you tried to guess how much the 14-inch Gateway ID49C07u costs, you’d probably start by evaluating its specifications, tallying up its features, and appraising the quality of its design. You’d probably be impressed on all counts and likely shocked to discover that the ID49C07u is actually a budget laptop with a list price of only $679.99. Currently available only at Best Buy, the ID49C07u was actually selling for only $629.99 at the time this review posted—making it the least expensive Intel Core-i3 laptop that Best Buy sells...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Toshiba Satellite M645-S4055 Review
Toshiba claims that its new series of Satellite M645 14-inch laptops provide “do-everything performance” and are “perfect for mobile multimedia.” We can’t speak for the entire line—which starts at $729.99—but the $1,049.99 Toshiba Satellite M645-S4055 we looked at meets Toshiba’s bold claims. The laptop offers excellent performance for its price and class and delivers a number of multimedia-specific features—most notably, a set of impressive-sounding stereo speakers...