Tuesday, October 14, 2008


1. Acer Aspire 8920G (Core 2 Duo T9300 Processor 2.5GHz, 3GB RAM)

CNET Asia rating: 7.9 out of 10
The good: Good-quality screen; 16:9 ratio; "Cinetouch" media navigation; new design; Acer Empowerment software .
The bad: Cheap plastic wrist rest; Cinetouch panel too high friction; entire mouse pad isn't active; integration between media controls, Acer Arcade Deluxe and Windows Media Center is lacking; single TV tuner only; sound management is not made easy, with different options in three different places; Yahoo toolbar .
The bottom line: Acer's interesting take on the entertainment desktop replacement makes a few good steps, a few bad, but ultimately is a viable option.

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2. ASUS M50Vm (Core 2 Duo T9400 Processor 2.53GHz, 2GB RAM)

CNET Asia rating: 8 out of 10
The good: Solid construction; affordable for what's offered; good extras.
The bad: Multimedia touchpad far too easy to accidentally turn on; video logon and Splendid modes as useless as ever; 32-bit Windows limits the amount of RAM you can use to 3GB; heat exhausts from the left.
The bottom line: The M50Vm is a great midsized entertainment laptop with massive storage and a few years of longevity as well. And at S$2,998 (US$2,207.28), it's definitely worth a look.

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3. Dell Studio 1735 (Core Duo T9300 Processor 2.5GHz, 2GB RAM)

CNET Asia rating: 7.5 out of 10
The good: HDMI output and a mini remote control; full keyboard with discrete numeric pad; full-HD panel option; fingerprint sensor; aesthetically pleasing touch-sensitive buttons; attractive design for a desktop replacement.
The bad: No S/PDIF digital audio output or subwoofer; TV tuner not an option; no eSATA port.
The bottom line: The Studio 1735 is much lighter and sleeker than the high-end XPS M1730 while retaining a competent multimedia feature set and high-end graphics performance.

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4. HP Pavilion HDX18 (Core 2 Duo T9400 processor 2.53GHz; 2GB RAM)

First take
The 18.4-inch form factor seems to be the new de facto size for desktop replacements. Acer was the first with its Aspire 8920G, with Toshiba following suit with the Qosmio G50 and Sony with the VAIO VGN-AW series. At a recent launch in Hong Kong, HP revitalized its HDX brand by pumping out two new models--the 16-inch HDX16 and 18.4-inch HDX18.

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5. Sony VAIO VGN-FW13G (Core 2 Duo T9400 Processor 2.53GHz, 4GB RAM)

Essentially an upgraded version of the VAIO VGN-FW12G, the high-resolution 16:9 display allows widescreen movies to be displayed without stretching or black borders. Though it does not have some bells and whistles like a remote control or TV tuner, we like the FW series as it continues the VAIO tradition of offering simple yet attractive design in a sleek package.

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