It's thin, it's light and, quite frankly, it's the best ultraportable small business notebook going. Come check out what's under the $999 hood.
More articles by "Eric Grevstad"
Lenovo's all-in-one desktop PC is a real beauty that offers executive luxury touches like a big LCD high-def touch screen display and a hefty hardware configuration. It also carries an equally hefty price.
Despite two flaws, HP's EliteBook 2740p is the best -- and most powerful -- tablet PC we've tested.
Dell's septet of small business printers provides a range of speed, output and features to satisfy just about any print need you might have.
Features that include a front-facing webcam for video conferencing, support for Flash and availability on all four major carriers make Galaxy Tab a potential threat to iPad's tablet supremacy.
It's tiny, it's cute, and it projects a professional image even if you dont have it connected to a PC. If you're looking for a portable presentation tool, read this review.
It's shocking how many features Sony packs into this 1.3-pound notebook PC. We're talking a roomy screen and keyboard, plus mobile broadband. Too bad the price is just as shocking.
The HP Z200 may be small -- in fact it's a third the size of a traditional minitower -- but in no way is it underpowered. This small form factor workstation can muscle through demanding software applications.
What do you get when you cross a 40-page laser printer with a copier/scanner/fax machine? The Dell 3335 offers impressive speed and duplex, monochrome printing at a not-quite-as-impressive price.
This monochrome small business laser printer provides Ethernet, duplex printing and fast performance. Not bad at all for an entry-level laser with a $199 price tag.
Shopping for color printers? There's an LED alternative to laser, and the Oki C610dtn is worth looking at for its high quality business documents.
Eric Grevstad puts the Dell Vostro 3400 notebook PC through its paces and finds a winning combination of power and portability.
Fujitsu gets tiny with the LifeBook UH900, a Windows 7 notebook PC you can hold in the palm of one hand. How does it rate, and is this small too small?
HP packs big power, big speed and a big price into a highly portable workstation. If you need CAD-quality power computing, look no further.
Think you can't afford to print in color? If you buy the Epson B-510DN, it'll cost about 3.5 cents per page. Consumables for business printers don't get much more affordable than that.
Our list of 10 small business computing upgrades include both hardware and software options to help you stretch your budget and improve productivity.
Dont be fooled by a netbook configuration that sounds, well, run-of the-mill. The HP Mini 5102 tops the company's high-end netbook computers, with a price tag to prove it. Is it worth the price?
A desktop replacement notebook may not sound exciting, and it's no cheap PC by any means, but the trim and elegant ThinkPad T410 surprises.
Yes, a netbook can be an effective small business tool, especially when it has a larger-than-average display and pretty nifty video capabilities. Behold the HP Mini 311.
You dont have to wait for the iPad. This versatile tablet PC from Fujitsu reads both stylus and freehand, multi-touch gestures, and it weighs in at 4.5 pounds.
The latest business laptop from Acer features a slim, sleek look with impressive battery life (more than six hours). And at 4.4 pounds, it wont break your back.
Lenovos ThinkCentre A70z wraps solid performance and a 19-inch flat panel into a sleek, all-in-one package that any business owner can love.
If youre shopping for notebook PCs, youll have plenty to look at thanks to the deluge of more than 30 models released at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week. We take a look at the highlights.
Are you tempted by all-in-one desktops that combine the PC with the monitor but want something a bit more business-oriented? Eric Grevstad put the MS218 to the test.
You could hardly be faulted for mistaking this desktop PC for a VHS cassette tape. Yes, its that small and so is the price tag. But dont dismiss it as underpowered. Its got all the oomph office workers need.
Gateways netbook on steroids provides plenty of power at an undersized price.
HP's new business notebook weighs less than four pounds and sports executive style at an everyman (or woman) price.
The new color laser offers impressive speed and versatility, but its got stiff competition from another Xerox printer. What the heck? Let the discount confusion begin.
If youre looking for a stylish yet affordable PC to set the right tone in your companys front office or reception area, consider HPs 18.5-inch one-piece desktop. Added bonus: Windows 7.
Epson's claim that this $200 inkjet all-in-one produces laser quality at up to 15 ppm is no lie plus Wi-Fi, an automatic document feeder and photo printing from flash memory cards make it a tempting small-office solution.
Logitechs Performance Mouse MX offers a capability other laser mice lack: it can track on a glass desk a nice feature for small business and home-office folk.
What's the difference between Toshiba's Mini NB205 and the longer-named NB205-N210 netbooks? The N210 comes only in black, and it doesn't have Bluetooth. If you can live with that, you may find it your best netbook buy.
Microsoft's wireless desktop set features an ergonomic keyboard, the ambidextrous BlueTrack mouse and lots of customizable keys and buttons.
This lighter, slimmer netbook features face recognition, almost-instant-on Web, IM access and more. And prices start at $349.
Logitech's newest portable mouse now rates as one of our favorites for Bluetooth-equipped PC and Mac portables.
You might mistake it for a low-powered netbook, but Averatec's compact is a full-fledged notebook complete with onboard optical drive and dual-core processor. We put the $650 mini to the test and find its Achilles' heel.
Save all your files with no software install and no hardware configuration on a drive the size of a credit card.
For just slightly more cash than a netbook, you can buy Lenovos full-powered, stylish trim-line. Trust us. Youll hate yourself if you dont take a look.
A barely-there USB receiver and ergonomically correct side buttons make Microsoft's notebook mouse a $50 find.
We loved the Epson Workforce 600 for its low price and reliable work ethic. Now its younger sibling takes the stage with a lower price. Ready for a little family drama?
Acer's latest notebook measures a scant one-inch high and packs plenty of productivity into just over four pounds. And, at $900, it packs plenty of value, too.
Everybody loves netbooks, and the Asus 10-inch flagship shows why. But how will the Eee fare with newer models and lower prices on the horizon?
Are your marketing materials bumping into the margins of letter-sized printing? HP introduces a 13- by 19-inch borderless printer with four-ink-cartridge photo quality and eye-opening affordability.
Good news: HP and Staples join forces on a sub-$200 all-in-one printer designed for environmentally conscious shoppers. Even better news: the Officejet 6500 is a lot more than just green.
Gateway's first 13.3-inch notebook is neither a desktop replacement, nor an ultralight, but it has everything you need for on-the-go productivity.
HP's third-generation netbook is the company's first to target business travelers
Overall, the LifeBook N7010 strikes us as a solid if slightly pricey alternative to a desktop, especially thanks to the Blu-ray player and HDMI port if there's home entertainment as well as office work on the agenda.
A 10.1-inch netbook and 12.1-inch Tablet PC convertible join a 14-inch multimedia specialist in this week's new-laptop crop.
Printer guru Eric Grevstad of HardwareCentral.com reports on the latest small-business inkjet, laser and all-in-one printers.
Epson's printer/copier/scanner/fax costs a stunning $150 and features an automatic document feeder, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, auto-enhanced photo printing, and it's fast. Seriously. We mean it's fast.
Lexmark's latest low-priced entry is a $130 inkjet all-in-one with a few handy extras and some of the most sophisticated utility software we've seen in this class. But does its print quality and speed fare nearly as well?
Invisible ink? Isn't that just for spies? Canon doesn't think so -- its $400 flagship inkjet all-in-one uses a special clear ink to give output on cheap plain paper laser-sharp quality. And in-house printing will never be the same.
The long-rumored Inspiron Mini 9 aims to carve a space for the PC giant in a nascent, yet already crowded market.
Acer's 2.3-pound ultraportable boasts a sunny 8.9-inch screen, a not-too-small keyboard, and a price even lower than the seven-inch Eee PC that started the netbook craze.
You know you can buy a versatile all-in-one inkjet for $300 or $400. But for a fraction of the price (and the size), you can get this small-business breadbox from HP that's full of surprises.
A color laser printer for $300 is a pretty good deal, but with a rebate offer that expires at the end of June, this colorful compact could be yours for as little as $200.
Samsung's black box looks more like home theater equipment than a monochrome laser printer/scanner/copier. Its speed, quiet operation and output quality are impressive, too, but SMBs will have to decide whether to make a few sacrifices for style.
You get a handful of point-and-click productivity with Microsoft's newest mouse.
HP says its three-pound little laptop is headed for classrooms. But that doesn't mean business travelers can't ejoy configurations ranging from $499 with Linux to $749 with Vista Business.
We're on a quest for the best notebook and desktop PCs priced less than $500. We're talking systems with dual-core processors, hefty hard disks and a mucho memory. Join us as we peruse vendor Web sites, retail chains and discount warehouses.
This easy-to-use color laser printer is a few inches trimmer and a few dollars cheaper than anything you've seen before. It's definitely bad news for color inkjets, but it may not quite knock other color lasers out of competition.
TigerDirect.com's ruggedized notebook costs far less than better-known bump- and spill-proof brands at $1,300. We put the 14-inch laptop to the test.
Asus is now selling (as fast as it can manufacture) a two-pound laptop with a 7-inch screen, 4GB solid-state drive, Linux and a price tag of $400. Could it be the year's best notebook PC?
HP's newest office desktop saves desk space by letting a 10-inch-square Core 2 Duo system hitch a ride on the back of a 19-inch flat-panel display. We put the piggyback PC through its paces.
You've probably done the wave in a stadium, but Logitech wants to do it on your desk: The company's newest wireless keyboard and mouse combo features keys that rise and fall like the tide beneath your fingertips. Is being ergonomic but not too ergonomic the key to typing success? Will Eric get back to writing about the keyboard instead of rhapsodizing about the mouse?
Gateway latest thin and light Tablet PC features everything from Core 2 Duo power and an onboard optical drive to a two-way touch screen on a two-way hinge. We give it the hands- and teeth-on treatment.
HP boldly claims its latest, fully loaded multi-function printer can meet or beat the speed and quality of color laser models and erase color inkjets' reputation for higher operating costs. Could this small-business centerpiece be the best all-in-one we've ever seen?
Microsoft's latest keyboard and mouse treat your body right, and notebooks from Mac and Sony light up and shine.
Check out this $280-before-discounts deluxe model, which comes with just about every bell and whistle you can imagine. But can Lexmark's jack-of-all-trades satisfy a small-office?
HP's latest office desktop can be had in an Energy Star 4.0, electric-bill-trimming configuration, but even if you don't go the tree-hugger route, the standard small-form-factor model goes beyond generic in ways that will appeal to small business.
Even inkjet shoppers would be smart to take a look at Xerox's new laser: If its standard Ethernet as well as USB and choice of PCL or fancier PostScript driver doesn't impress you, there's a little thing called performance 20 color pages per minute for $499.
A light notebook, a fat hard drive and a cable-free printer caught our eye this week. We thought you'd like to know.
Silver and black are okay for the Oakland Raiders, but Fujitsu has joined the latest laptop fashion by dressing its 3-pound compact in what the company calls Leather White. We put the ultra-portable to the test and don't stop until we've, um, watched a DVD.
HP has picked one of our most favorably reviewed printers as the basis for its new three-in-one multi-function color copier and scanner. But the favorable review was almost two years ago. Do the peripheral's price and performance keep it on the cutting edge?
Inkjet printer/copier/scanners are everywhere. But the options thin if you also want fax capability and an automatic document feeder. It gets sparse when you also insist on six-color photo printing from a camera's flash memory cards. Now set a price limit of $100. Now see your Lexmark dealer.
Microsoft's comfortable cordless pointer joins the company's popular Natural line of keyboards with a uniquely cupped and tilted handgrip; you'll find it bulky at first, but may soon think it blissful. The $80 mouse packs one or two nifty software features, too.
It's next to never that we give a product a perfect score and never when one feature blundered or backfired. But, the Logitech's $100 desk set isn't your average mouse and keyboard bundle.
Hungry for a little technology to put some bite in your business? Here's an appetizer-sized glimpse at a digital camera, a burly notebook and 12-ounce scanner.
Dell's OptiPlex 745 isn't the least expensive business PC, but it packs a lot of hardware, software, security and energy-saving features into your choice of four form factors. All this plus a 15-month lifecycle equals a PC that will last for years.
Need to print photos at work? HP's six-color, dual-input-tray desktop printer features simple controls and friendly LCD touch screen for PC-free printing from digital cameras and flash-memory cards.
Got a need for speed? Grab Logitech's newest, most ergonomically sculptured mouse, and you'll scroll through thousands of spreadsheet rows or e-mails in seconds, thanks to an intelligent scroll wheel that shifts from the usual click at a time to a free-spinning flywheel and back. Is this innovative device worth a cool $100?
Just because LCD monitors aren't status symbols anymore doesnt mean your desk can't still draw attention. Samsung has just the thing -- a stylish, 20-inch widescreen display. And you don't have to tell folks you paid just $300 for it.
Shuttle's little black box is hardly bigger than a Stephen King hardcover, but it's loaded with enough stuff to make it mighty, if mini, PC.
Whether you're looking for a notebook that can take a pounding out in the field, a laptop that's light on both weight and price, or an executive status symbol, there's a notebook out there waiting for you. You'll even find a way to dock it more efficiently. Here's the latest in notebook news.
Here's a look at the latest news on Sony notebooks, Logitech keyboards, I/Omagic USB drives and storage from WD and HP.
Systemax's Global Computer Supplies offers a less-than-five-pound notebook with Intel Core Duo power and above-average standard memory and storage. Could you forswear flashy exteriors for plain, made-in-America value?
Digital camera vendors are revving up for the fall harvest, and we look at 18 new models that move high-end features ultra-high resolution, image stabilization and more into the mainstream.
From its rubberized palm rest to its widescreen display, Gateway's 3.2-pound portable combines eye-catching style with office-exec substance.
Need a seriously space-saving PC? This tiny technology won't steal your real estate. And we also look at nifty and fast mice, plus three feature-packed keyboard combos.
Widescreen displays are rapidly taking over the notebook market, and Gateway is one of the first to put one on a Tablet PC. This big-screen pen pal may be just right for a full-page view, but it's not exactly light as a feather.
The lack of networking capability limits this printer's use to a single person, and HP offers a slightly older but more versatile model for the same low price.
A quick look at some of the new products that Canon, Seagate and Westinghouse have to offer.
We take a quick look at a few new product developments in the wonderful world of hardware.
Several vendors offer compact or foldable keyboards to pack alongside your PDA or notebook PC, but this sealed silicon strip not only folds, it rolls up and survives spilled liquids or even washing with soap and water (in the sink; it's not dishwasher-safe). Better yet, it manages to have an actual typing feel instead of being a mushy mess, and it's a bargain to boot.
Microsoft's latest wireless mouse for notebooks offers a straightforward design and precise tracking at a low price.
Brand X usually refers to cheap, no-name products, but brand Xerox dares to charge $150 more than some rival color-laser printers. A bad deal? Not if you care about networking, monochrome print speed and accurate color capability.
Whether you toss it into a briefcase or jam it into a pocket, Logitech's notebook mouse puts dual-laser-tracking technology, four-way scrolling, and convenient control buttons into a four-inch form factor that should captivate frequent flyers and touchpad loathers alike.
Logitech's ingenious LCD keyboard set boasts a touchpad to control volume and a dashboard that displays everything from the time and temperature to your MP3 play lists. Can the $150 bundle overcome one puzzling problem?
Now that 19-inch LCD monitors are mainstream choices, how does Samsung's newest get your attention? By doing backflips: This sleekly styled $549 flat panel has a triple-hinged stand for every swivel, tilt, pivot and height adjustment you can imagine.
The WideNote M4000 weighs in at just 3.7 pounds, with battery life that equals, a screen and keyboard that surpasses and a price that undercuts most sub-notebooks.
Toshiba's engineers have shrunk a full-featured, Windows XP notebook down to the size of a paperback-book. But can its 2.2-pound featherweight make up for a seriously downsized screen and keyboard?
HP's Photosmart 3310 All-in-One is a versatile printer/copier/scanner/fax with extras ranging from Wi-Fi to 35mm slide and negative scanning. We give this $400 showstopper some of our most enthusiastic cheers ever, but it also earned a couple of boos.
The WinBook A710 offers a big screen and a big keyboard at a not-so-big price.
A printer that works great with 8 1/2- by-11-inch paper can be brought to its knees by a 4 1/8 by 9 1/2-inch envelope. Seiko Instruments has a gadget that handles address labels complete with return address, company logo, and postal bar code, and it takes a lot less desk space than a typewriter.
Sony's new mini notebook can access e-mail and the Web wherever there's an 802.11 hotspot -- but it also does so without Wi-Fi, wherever you can tap Cingular's wireless data network.
Goldilocks would grin at Dell's choice of four different desktop chassis, with the smallest two snapping onto the back of an LCD monitor stand. But the newest OptiPlex's petite size hides hardware that's powerful enough for Papa Bear.
This tiny flash drive carries your whole desktop, office suite, browser, e-mail, instant messaging and remote-access bundle as well as data without leaving any files, cookies or other traces when unplugged. Can it turn any PC into "your" PC in seconds?
August through October will bring a cornucopia of new digital cameras. The more than 20 cameras previewed here offer higher resolution, lower prices and a slew of photo-enhancing features.
HP's newest business mini-tower is a surprisingly solid choice for handling today's small business computing tasks and tomorrow's, too.
Toshiba's silver-and-black slim-line fits a good six or seven pounds worth of portable into a 4.5-pound package. Will one design flaw keep this performer from notebook shoppers' most-wanted list?
Longing to replace your desktop inkjet printer with a business-class color laser? HP's newest is smaller, prints color faster and costs less than those others you've been eyeing.
It's small, it's fast and, even though you'll end up spending more, it won't blow your budget.
Weighing in at a reasonable 8.4 pounds, the Gateway M680XL features a 17-inch display and surprisingly good battery life. It will outrun many desktops PCs, but it is a little bulky for road warriors.
Lexmark's X7170 Office Productivity All-in-One offers great speed and lots of powerful functions, but the print quality just (barely) makes the grade.
Forget the bells and whistles HP's inkjet printer is a one-trick pony. But wow, what a trick.
At less than 3.5 pounds, Fujitsu's LifeBook P7000D packs everything you need to be productive and unfettered on the road.
Gateway's new office mini-tower is noticeably quieter than its predecessors good news for SMBs with strict acoustic requirements.
WinBook offers a $1,199 notebook that's neither a stripped-down slim line nor an eight-pound porker. We put this 5.6-pound portable Pentium to the test.
Where's the PC? It's stored inside the monitor giving it an elegant, streamlined look. This touch-screen flat panel PC is expensive, but might be worth the price for certain SMB verticals.
HP's Business Inkjet 1200dtwn offers good performance at an affordable price you just need to be patient since the printer does its best work in slower modes.
Who says Tablet PCs carry a premium over conventional notebooks? Averatec has introduced a swivel-screened convertible that's just $1,350, and doesn't skimp on features, but can it really compete with the over $2,000 models?
You'll be hard pressed to find a better all-around office tool for your small business.
A bargain hunter's delight, the WinBook V220 packs a lot of value, but it also packs a lot of pounds, making this notebook more suitable as a desktop replacement than a traveling companion.
Swift and capable, the Dell OptiPlex SX280 desktop doesn't clutter up the cubicle. Then again, it might clear the clutter from your wallet.
From laptops to desktop PCs, $1K brings home a lot more power and popular features than you might think. Let's take a look.
Here are a few more last minute entries to the Fall camera lineup.
A fresh line up of digital cameras gives SMBs plenty to look at for the Fall Season.
This lightweight, versatile notebook won't drag you down on the road, but don't expect high-end performance or stray too far from an electrical outlet.
Logitech's Cordless Desktop LX 501 offers a ton of features to help you work more effectively and comfortably without breaking the bank.
With as little as $100, SMB owners can pump up their computing power. Come shopping with us to find good deals on helpful upgrades.
$499 is a great price for a color laser printer. But what do you get and what do you give up in return?
Versatile business tools, digital cameras keep getting better and less expensive. Take a look at what the recent crop of cameras can do for you.
A great choice for small business use, Samsung's ML-1740 does the job at the right price.
WinBook's upcoming W360 notebook offers outstanding performance, enhanced wireless features and a beautiful wide-screen display.
Lexmark's C510n provides small businesses and workgroups the kind of quality, functionality and affordability necessary to handle their demanding printing needs. If you're in the market for a networkable color laser printer, read on.
You say the office suite war is over? Corel must not have gotten the memo. With purchase and upgrade prices that undercut Microsoft Office, WordPerfect makes the best case yet for its elegantly powerful office suite.
Now that sub-$1,000 color lasers are part of the small-office mainstream, Xerox gives the market a solid punch with the first solid-ink printer in the price range, offering sharp text and glorious, glossy graphics with more speed than most rivals.
Never has a notebook had less need for its external monitor port: Fujitsu's portable PC justifies its bulk with an exceptionally bright Crystal View screen. Sure, its battery life is minimal, but this could be the desktop replacement of your dreams.
Microsoft admits that not every business needs a sumo-sized Office suite. Though it keeps an ultra-low profile, the company continues to refine its bargain-priced home-, school- and party-projects bundle, otherwise known as the Works Suite 2004.
The standout feature of Sharp's desktop-replacement notebook is its depth perception, thanks to a 15-inch screen that shows images in 3D. Once you look past the way-cool display, is there enough 3D software to justify this laptop's price?
Micro Logic outdoes Microsoft Outlook with new features for its fast, flexible note-taker, information organizer, calendar, e-mail, browser, and have-it-your-way workstyle software but there's a kicker in the fine print.
HP isn't the first to offer small businesses a color laser printer for $800. So why settle for the HP's seemingly lackluster output of 12 black text pages per minute, when rivals offer 16 or 20 pages? Because those models slow to 4 or 5 color pages per minute, while the HP keeps chugging along at 12 ppm.
Gateway's 610XL Media Center costs more than conventional desktops, but it's the handsomest PC we've seen so far. With a drawer nearby to stash the keyboard and mouse, it'd make a beautiful, if not entertaining, home office solution.
Is our quarterly budget-PC shopping survey turning into a power-user shopping spree? Our $1,000 desktop and notebook ceiling hasn't changed, but the deals from PC vendors sure have. If you haven't looked for a bargain lately, look again.
From sophisticated shooters to those that struggle to find the lense cap, now is a good time to be in the market for a new digital camera. Your small business could be poised to leverage price deflation with feature escalation.
The laser printer maker replaces its popular monochrome compact with some nice new numbers: 21 pages per minute, 1,200 by 1,200 dots per inch, and $180 smakeroos. Is this the best reason yet to stock up on plain paper instead of pricey inkjet supplies?
Samsung's new LCD monitor is something else the 17-inch screen can swivel, tilt or adjust its height, and offers dual video inputs and portrait/landscape pivoting. But does the price justify the purchase?
Most notebooks in the $1,300 price range are relatively big and heavy. Most notebooks in the 4-pound weight class have high price tags or small screens, or both. Can Fujitsu bridge the gap with a speedy, slimline notebook?
PowerSpec puts some extremely high-end components in its 9420 desktop. So what's an $1,800 system doing in PowerSpec's lineup of under-$800 word processing and Web-surfing systems? Blowing away a bunch of $2,500 brand PCs.
You know you need anti-virus, firewall and anti-spam software to keep your PC from becoming a ticking time bomb. But did you know you can get protection without spending a penny? We found a dozen programs free for the download.
Samsung, known for nifty, thrifty monochrome lasers, has a few surprises up its sleeve with its first four-color model faster and quieter operation and more paper capacity than the competition for $699.
Some Windows users don't need the bulky muscle of Microsoft Office. We're on record as recommending several alternatives to the high-priced suite. But does this $50 entry join OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Works on our short list?
The WinBook boasts a Mac-esque look and a price just slightly below other Intel Centrino systems in its class, but in many areas it outclasses rivals from Gateway and Dell. The new WinBook W160 is an elegant balance of performance and price.
One of the first companies to board Microsoft's Tablet PC bandwagon with a pure-pen-input slate design switches to the swivel-screen convertible camp, with a Pentium M notebook that's also priced below smaller, slower rivals.
Our annual tally of top selling business software finds it was the best year in some time for Microsoft Windows. Here are the top sellers, from new versions of the operating system and Office to big productivity boosts from little-known utilities.
Small enough to perch on your desk, fast enough to produce lots of copies, and ink costs that are a pittance compared to inkjets', the newest $199 laser printers prove there's still good reason to see things in black and white.
Uh-oh: It's December again, which means it's time to look back at the winners and losers, as well as the hot products and cold turkeys of the year in PCs, peripherals, and system software.
One year after its debut, Tablet PCs have barely dented conventional notebook sales. But Microsoft insists mobile workers will embrace the convenience of pen-and-ink input, especially after a major upgrade to Windows XP Tablet PC Edition.
Bargain brand eMachines continues its climb from low-quality loser to smart-shopper alternative with an Athlon XP 2800+ desktop with not-so-generic features for under $725. Does this square deal cut corners?
Bad news for the Norton and McAfee brands is good news for home office PC users, as Computer Associates teams with Microsoft to make its eTrust EZ Armor anti-virus, firewall, and pop-up/cookie-blocker online security suite free.
Tablet PCs still cost more and sell less than conventional notebooks, but Microsoft is redoubling its commitment to pen input with better handwriting recognition and easier digital-ink note-taking across Office 2003.
Sales are climbing as holiday shopping begins, but Santa isn't the only one making a list and checking it twice: It's time for our quarterly budget-PC shopping spree, surveying sellers' sites to find the best desktop and notebook deals under $1,000.
The company formerly named MicronPC might need a new name for its ClientPro computer line. Its siblings are strictly business, but the All-in-One model is a sleek, integrated PC/LCD-monitor system that looks at home in a small office.
Desktop LCD monitors are no longer rare or exotic, but AG Neovo's $700 black glass slab still stands out from the crowd, with topnotch image quality as well as offbeat, artistic design. Is this 19-inch flat panel the best monitor of 2003?
Got spam? Of course you do probably dozens of unwanted e-mails a day. Audiotrieve's utility applies the Pokemon motto ('Gotta catch 'em all!') to Microsoft Outlook, using sophisticated learning analysis to intercept pharmaceuticals, porn, and get-rich-quick schemes.
Call it a passkey to your PC's hard disk: Kanguru Solutions' 3-inch blue gizmo plugs into a universal serial bus port to reveal files, folders, and even entire applications that appear in Windows Explorer or the Start menu for your eyes only. It's a unique way to share a computer without sharing secrets.
A svelte 17- or even 19-inch LCD monitor isn't the costly status symbol it once was, but a 21.3-inch, 1,600 by 1,200-pixel flat panel is still worth a stare. Indeed, with an ultra-adjustable stand and portrait/landscape pivotability, Samsung's deluxe display is worth a long look.
It's no longer hard to find a notebook PC priced under $1,000, but Gateway's 6.1-pound mainstream model gives you more screen, speed, and storage than you'd expect a 15.0-inch display and CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive, for instance for $900.
You might not realize how fragmented files are slowing your PC's performance and shortening the life of your hard disk. Diskeeper 8.0 solves the problem with style but the cheaper Home Edition is no bargain compared to the Pro package.
It may not have the thinnest design or fanciest features, but NEC-Mitsubishi's new 19-inch LCD monitor makes up for it with topnotch image quality and adjustability. Call it a luxury model with just the basic features.
There are dozens of low-priced color inkjet printer/scanner/copier combos to choose from, but an automatic document feeder, full-featured fax, and straightforward controls make Lexmark's small-office entry a bargain at $250.
Think 3- to 4-pound slimline notebook PCs are sleek? Try Sharp's 2.1-pound featherweight on for size, and don't miss its ingenious adaptation of the PDA-docking-cradle concept to desktop/notebook synchronization but check its cramped keyboard and humble Crusoe CPU before you decide.
The Internet's had more worms than a bait shop lately, so there's never been a better time to upgrade to the latest antivirus software. Here's the scoop on the brand-new announcements of Norton AntiVirus 2004 and McAfee AntiVirus.
Dell's new desktop replacement looks like the old one, but there's new hardware behind and beneath the 15.4-inch, wide-aspect-ratio screen like Intel's 1.7GHz Pentium M and Nvidia's blazing GeForce FX Go5650.
Would you pay $99 for the second-best image-editing program in the world? Well, since the first is Adobe's $609 Photoshop, you should: This top-to-bottom upgrade of Jasc Software's classic adds both more artistic-precision power and more friendly, accessible, digital-snapshot touch-ups to stay one step ahead of imaging newcomers.
Small businesses can capitalize on the back-to-school sales season, too. Once again we take you on our quarterly budget-PC shopping spree in a quest for desktop and notebook deals for $1,000 and less.
When it comes to Intel Centrino-based notebooks, slim is in. However, Sony takes slimline designs to new heights with its latest subnotebook, which packs everything from DVD-ROM/CD-RW and WiFi to a super-bright, wide-aspect-ratio screen and three- to four-hour battery life in a 3.2-pound package?
The latest version of the cross-platform, open-source OpenOffice.org packs enough punch to make the Microsoft Office team even more nervous.
The last few Gateway notebooks we've reviewed have been nice but, the vendor's new Intel Centrino slimline stands out from the crowd, with swift performance in a sleek, stylish, 4.3-pound package.
Several companies, including Samsung, offer cute, compact, monochrome laser printers priced at $199. But with the money you'll save on paper and toner, it's easy to budget just $50 more for this step-up model built for home office instead of office network use.
Short on desk space, or seeking a fashion-conscious mate for that elegantly slim LCD monitor? Dell offers a 4-inch-thin glamour version of its mainstream Pentium 4 PC, skimping on expandability but not sacrificing 3.0GHz Hyper-Threading horsepower.
Most of the new features in this fall's Microsoft Office 2003 are unabashedly aimed at the enterprise, from back-end database integration to corporate workgroup collaboration and document distribution. But Redmond says it's committed to satisfying small businesses, too. Here's our first impression of the latest beta-version bundle.
It's handsome enough for a living room, but Samsung's newest LCD monitor can also bring the living room to your desktop it's a full-featured TV set, with no need for a TV tuner card in your PC, and offers an addictive picture-in-picture mix of Office and Oprah or e-mail and ESPN.
It may not be a high-performance hot rod, but with 2.4GHz Pentium 4 power, a roomy 120GB hard disk, and speedy DVD-ROM and CD-RW drives, notebook vendor WinBook's venture into the desktop arena has everything you expect in a $999 home office PC with a $699 price tag.
You'd expect Gateway's business PCs to come with network management software and a solid three-year warranty, but you might not expect a bland black desktop to conceal 3.0GHz of Hyper-Threading, dual-channel-DDR400 speed or a titanic 320GB of Serial ATA RAID storage.
We suspect the majority of Zone Labs' users rely on the famous free version of its ZoneAlarm firewall, but its $50 deluxe package gains more allure with every upgrade. The latest ZoneAlarm Pro packs extra protection against online hackers, e-mail booby traps, and pesky pop-ups.
Other vendors may mark down generic, 7-pound laptops to $1,025, but newcomer Averatec offers a sleek 4.5-pound compact for that price, complete with DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive and wireless networking. Is this the briefcase bargain of the year, or is there one nasty catch?
Here's your latest briefing on the much-anticipated new version of Microsoft Office, now promising everything from integrated, enterprise e-mail and instant messaging to dynamic, database-query-based Web-site building and, to no one's surprise, a sliding ship date. But will small businesses balk at Office's evolution into a front end for Fortune 500 servers?
The return of Dell's high-performance Dimension XPS brand brings with it a 3.0GHz Hyper-Threading DDR400 Serial ATA RAID massive-power-supply. Encapsulated in a garish-blue case, this PC is a hot rod ready to hit the streets.
The paperless office? Ha! Even penny-pinching home offices or company workgroups print plenty of mostly text, mostly monochrome documents and Lexmark comes to their rescue by putting industrial-strength laser printer in a desktop-friendly, affordable package.
Desktop-replacement notebooks with Intel's desktop P4 processor are everywhere these days, but Sharp's 2.8GHz value package stands out from the crowd with the brightest laptop LCD we've ever seen. Is its exceptional view worth incredible weight and quicksand battery life?
With just one USB port instead of a network interface, it's hard to share this quick, colorful, plain-paper dynamo ... but who says you have to share this $799 unit? Color laser printing is not for everyone but it's getting closer.
The keyboard half of this low-priced, cordless keyboard-and-mouse combo has its numeric keypad on the left instead of right side, along with a diagonally angled key grid. Add a stylish optical mouse, and you've got an innovative alternative to Microsoft and Logitech desk sets.
After being the first to push color laser printing below $1,000, what does Minolta-QMS do for an encore? Push it below $700, with a compact, quiet workhorse that should seriously tempt any small business that needs more than a desktop inkjet.
Somewhat like a new Centrino wine in an old laptop bottle, Gateway's 540XL may lack style, but it offers a big-screened, good-performing, wireless-networked, Windows XP Pro notebook value that weighs less than 6.5 pounds and costs under two grand.
Do you think upgrading your office suite will improve your productivity? Consider keeping your existing suite, but give it a good talking-to: A new edition of the leading speech-recognition package resets the standard for PC dictation. We say which new features are fizzles and which are remarkable advances in touchless typing.
With color inkjet printers offering ever more speed and quality and monochrome lasers starting at under $200, where does a $399 laser fit in? If it's HP's newest LaserJet, any corner of your desk where it offers hard-to-fault connectivity, expandability, and clear, speedy printing capabilities.
Sony puts Intel's new Pentium M and 802.11b wireless technology into a swoopy, silvery successor to its popular Vaio 505 slimline notebooks, with performance and battery life to back up its elegant looks but its price and screen could be a bit too much of a good thing.
Imagine all the files and e-mail messages on your PC, fanned out like a magician fans a deck of cards. Now imagine finding the ones that relate to a certain topic or person, almost as quickly as the magician finds the ace of spades. That's the promise of Scopeware Vision, a utility that offers a new way to view and search documents and images.
Combining a color inkjet printer, copier, and scanner in one package is no longer new, but Lexmark was the first to do it for a low $149. Now it's done it again, with a second-generation model that tops last fall's PrinTrio. But is its output worth waiting for?
PDF? Oh, sure, that's the document format that zillions of Web pages and online software manuals use for browsing with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. But with this week's introduction of the Acrobat 6.0 platform, Adobe aims to put PDF alongside XML as the backbone of business data distribution.
LCD monitors may have gone mainstream, but friends and coworkers will still cast covetous glances at Samsung's big, handsome display and if you ask them to guess its price, they'll pick a number well north of its reasonable price.
Microsoft and its imitators have given folks the idea an ergonomic keyboard has to be big and bulky. TypeMatrix's $99 compact not only saves desk space and keeps your mouse closer to hand, it keeps the mainstream QWERTY layout while assigning vital keys to your index fingers instead of stressing your pinkies.
We've enjoyed testing Sony's high-end digital-video desktops, so we were tempted to try its $800 value system complete with DVD-RW drive and authoring software. If you're tempted, too, you'd better act fast it's turning into a $1,000 system with extra CPU horsepower even as we speak.
The price of this inkjet printer, flatbed scanner, and color copier is as tiny as the product. But the performance is anything but tiny surprisingly close to photo and/or laser quality. Do one or two drawbacks keep this multifunction mini from being a home office favorite?
You can compare our quest for capable but affordable home office software to the Goldilocks story: Low-powered programs like Windows' free WordPad and Paint are too soft, while the super-powered, super-pricey Microsoft Office is too hard. The trick is to find software that's just right in cost, complexity, and capability.
Everybody's putting Intel's desktop processors into laptops lately, but WinBook doesn't pussyfoot around with 2.4GHz or 2.8GHz chips it put a top-of-the-line 3.06GHz Pentium 4 chip behind a big-screened, fire-breathing notebook that makes wimpy slimline systems run for cover.
Speech applications are finding increased market acceptance among small businesses. After several years of technological progress and decreasing cost, text-to-speech technologies have reached a point where their widespread use has become increasingly appealing.
It's still easy to find bargains, but for the first time in the history of our quarterly online-shopping survey, desktop and notebook prices seem to be moving north instead of south.
It's hard to think of an upscale feature Fujitsu's desktop-replacement notebook lacks: Big screen? Wireless networking? Read and write DVD? All present and accounted for. Still, there remains one or two compromises but what's a few extra ounces at this price?
It's called Contribute, but it should be called Delegate Macromedia's $99 program lets Webmasters and HTML designers focus on important site- and page-design jobs, while enabling nontechnical users to make minor changes or even add new pages and links to Web sites, as easily as they'd work with a word processor.
It's easy to take text-oriented, monochrome laser printers for granted, particularly those in the small-office midstream between $200 desktop models and big corporate workhorses. But Lexmark's new, not-so-big workhorse combines 22-ppm speed and deft duplex printing for an affordable $649 for small businesses that are growing fast.
Fax machines may be old hat, but faxing and copying with an automatic, not one-page-at-a-time manual, document feeder are still as valuable to most home offices as color printing and scanning. For a thrifty $200, how does HP's latest all-in-one stack up against today's increasingly popular flatbed-scanner models?
Heads will turn when you carry Gateway's three-pound clipboard into the conference room. Eyes will widen as the slate goes seamlessly from smooth, intuitive scribbling and sketching to desktop PC duty with the supplied docking base and keyboard. But how does this star of the new Tablet PC generation compare to conventional portables' price and performance?
It's no longer news that you can put an inkjet printer, color copier, and flatbed scanner on your desk in one compact piece for one low price. But Canon's $250 multifunction unit goes beyond the minimum with, among other things, the best print quality and cheapest ink cartridges we've seen.
How does a company best known for notebooks make its entry into the desktop display market? With a splash at under $700, WinBook's 19-inch flat panel is priced below its competition, offering small businesses a sleek desktop display.
If the typical inkjet printer is a Honda Civic, here's a Hummer: HP introduces a workgroup color printer that's faster and cheaper to operate than many color lasers, a behemoth built to crank out as many as 30,000 high-quality pages per month. Should you or could you make room for it in your office?
From $399 desktops with faster CPUs to a laptop able to bridge the divide between the battling DVD-RW and DVD+RW formats, vendors ranging from eMachines and HP to Toshiba and Sony introduce new models for the new year.
Think of WinBook's new, blue notebook as a laptop reality check: No, it doesn't have a DVD burner, super-speed processor or jumbo screen, but it has everything you need to take your business on the road in a stylish, slim package that's priced to please.
It's easy to find a good inkjet printer for $150 but with outstanding speed and borderless-photo output, jam- or idiot-proof paper feeding, and four-color ink cartridges that are just half the cost of some competitors' cartridges, we think we've found a great one as long as your business only needs occasional color printing capabilities.
Black is the new beige, or at least black is the chic color scheme of today's PCs. And Logitech and Microsoft are ready the former with a new, top-of-the-line corded keyboard, the latter with a limited edition of its smooth, cordless mouse. Do these customizable peripherals' comfort and productivity match their elegant fashion sense?
Seeking a small form-factor PC that isn't too small? Gateway's newest office-desktop chassis saves space without sacrificing room for conventional disk drives or PCI and AGP slots, and lets you put 2.4GHz Pentium 4 power on workers' desks for about a grand.
Quite a lot, as it ends up. Eric Grevstad looks around the retail world in search of deals and steals.