Latest articles from Stephen


Toshiba NB200-11H notebook
4.0 stars Toshiba NB200-11H notebook By Stephen Patrick

Although it wasn’t widely acclaimed, we rather liked the original Toshiba NB100 - a netbook sticking to the small and cheap ethos as the original netbooks. The NB200 represents a slight departure from this, falling more in line with its rivals. As such,... Read more

Sony VAIO VGN-FW41 notebook
3.5 stars Sony VAIO VGN-FW41 notebook By Stephen Patrick

Along with a great range of ultraportables, Sony’s VAIO range has also led the way when it comes to multimedia machines, being the first to bring Blu-ray to the laptop market. The VAIO FW41E/H is a mid-spec machine, offering impressive media capabilities... Read more

Acer Aspire 3810T notebook
4.0 stars Acer Aspire 3810T notebook By Stephen Patrick

With skinny designs and the promise of great battery life, Acer’s Timeline range is perfectly suited to corporate users. We were highly impressed with the 14-inch Aspire 4810T, but it’s the smaller 3810T that promises to be an even better portable... Read more

Acer Aspire One 531 notebook
4.0 stars Acer Aspire One 531 notebook By Stephen Patrick

Acer has impressed on several occasions with its cut-priced netbooks, but its Aspire One lags behind rivals when it comes to quality and usability. The Aspire One 531 looks set to change this, with a highly attractive design, decent mobility and good... Read more

Toshiba Portege A600-122 notebook
3.5 stars Toshiba Portege A600-122 notebook By Stephen Patrick

Toshiba’s Portégé A600-122 is the company’s mid-range ultraportable offering, targeting corporate users wanting a similar experience to the range-topping Portégé R600 at a cheaper price. It’s not quite as thin as it’s more expensive sibling,... Read more

Sony VAIO VGN-Z21ZN/X notebook
4.5 stars Sony VAIO VGN-Z21ZN/X notebook By Stephen Patrick

Sony’s VAIO range has offered some of the most impressive ultraportable laptops over the past few years, from the tiny VAIO TZ and TT, to the larger and more powerful VAIO SZ. The 13.1-inch VAIO Z21ZN/X is the latest, and sits at the top of the VAIO... Read more

Dell Studio 1555 notebook
4.0 stars Dell Studio 1555 notebook By Stephen Patrick

Dell’s Studio 15 has been around for a little while now, impressing on a number of levels. The widespread adoption of 16:9 widescreen displays meant it was only a matter of time before a major update appeared, and the latest Studio 1555 has a lot to... Read more

Sony Vaio VGN-P11Z/W notebook
3.5 stars Sony Vaio VGN-P11Z/W notebook By Stephen Patrick

The boom in netbooks over the past year has seen nearly every laptop manufacturer release at least one model, with Sony and Apple the two noteable exceptions. Instead, Sony has produced the P-series - a netbook-sized, Intel Atom powered, highly portable... Read more

Samsung R522 notebook
3.5 stars Samsung R522 notebook By Stephen Patrick

Samsung’s R-series targets those on a budget, offering impressive features and quality at decent prices. The R522 is a 15.6-inch laptop that offers comfort, style and decent office performance. As with most laptops we’ve seen recently, the R522 features... Read more

Samsung Q320 notebook
4.0 stars Samsung Q320 notebook By Stephen Patrick

Over the past few years Samsung has released an impressive range of affordable laptops, mixing quality with features and usability. The Q320 continues this trend, and its portable nature makes it a great choice for business users. The inside of this lappy... Read more

Dell Inspiron Mini 10 notebook
4.0 stars Dell Inspiron Mini 10 notebook By Stephen Patrick

Dell's Inspiron Mini netbook range has done remarkably well, considering its late entry into the market, although neither the Mini 9 or Mini 12 have proved perfect. The Inspiron Mini 10 is an attempt to change this, taking the best features from both... Read more

HP Pavilion dv2-1030ea notebook
3.5 stars HP Pavilion dv2-1030ea notebook By Stephen Patrick

HP’s Pavilion dv2 strikes a balance between laptop and netbook - offering budget, low-powered components in order to keep the price below £500, combined with fantastic portability that rivals ultra-portable machines costing three times the price. The... Read more

Toshiba Satellite A350-11N notebook
3.5 stars Toshiba Satellite A350-11N notebook By Stephen Patrick

When it comes to multimedia laptops, Toshiba is best known for its high-end Qosmio range, although spending 2 grand on a laptop during a recession may not seem like the smartest idea. This is where the Toshiba Satellite A350 comes in - a budget media... Read more

HP Compaq Mini 703EA notebook
4.0 stars HP Compaq Mini 703EA notebook By Stephen Patrick

We thought HP’s original Mini-note 2133 netbook was a great machine, offering one of the best keyboards available on a netbook. The Compaq Mini 703EA looks to continue the trend, also bringing more up-to-date internals and a change of colours. The 10.2-inch... Read more

Acer Aspire 6930G-583G notebook
4.0 stars Acer Aspire 6930G-583G notebook By Stephen Patrick

We were particularly impressed with Acer’s high-end Aspire 6920G when we tested it last year, but there’s no getting away from the fact it was a pricey laptop. The range has since been replaced by the 6930 and 6935, which proves to be an update rather... Read more

Dell Studio 1525 notebook
4.5 stars Dell Studio 1525 notebook By Stephen Patrick

Sitting between Dell’s entry-level Inspiron and high-end XPS ranges, the Studio range offers a great mix of style and quality at a reasonable price. Until it’s replaced by the cunningly titled Studio XPS, you’ll still be able to get a Studio 1525... Read more

Asus Eee PC 1000HE notebook
4.0 stars Asus Eee PC 1000HE notebook By Stephen Patrick

The Asus Eee PC 1000HE looks like any other netbook, but has one big distinction - a claimed battery life of over 9 hours. This extra mobility, for some, makes it a proper rival for machines such as Sony’s VAIO TT, as long as you don’t mind the lower-res... Read more

Dell Studio XPS 13 notebook
3.5 stars Dell Studio XPS 13 notebook By Stephen Patrick

The Dell Studio XPS brand combines the company’s high-end XPS range with the more affordable Studio range. The Studio XPS 13 is the first model we’ve managed to get our hands on, and sports a 13.3-inch screen. Despite the compact display, however,... Read more

Lenovo ThinkPad X301 notebook
4.0 stars Lenovo ThinkPad X301 notebook By Stephen Patrick

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X300 impressed us more than most, taking a similar design approach to the achingly desirable MacBook Air, but making the incredibly thin form factor more usable. The ThinkPad X301 is an update which Lenovo hopes will continue to steal... Read more

HP Touchsmart TX2-1015ea tablet PC
3.5 stars HP Touchsmart TX2-1015ea tablet PC By Stephen Patrick

HP’s Touchsmart TX2 is unusual among Tablet PCs in that it’s intended for home use rather than corporate use. You’ll find glossy patterned plastics more in-keeping with the company’s Palivion range than its Compaq machines. The only question is,... Read more

Samsung X460 notebook
4.0 stars Samsung X460 notebook By Stephen Patrick

Following the staggering amount of publicity Apple’s super-skinny MacBook Air received, with Mac fanatics waxing lyrical about how you can stick it in an envelope and risk accidentally posting it, South Korean manufacturer Samsung decided it could do... Read more

HP Pavilion dv5-1110em notebook
4.0 stars HP Pavilion dv5-1110em notebook By Stephen Patrick

HP’s Pavilion dv5-1110em is the ideal laptop for the recession, cramming in loads of features at a bargain basement price. Billed as an Entertainment Notebook PC, the dv5 comes with an integrated Blu-ray optical drive - a surprise at this price. You’ll... Read more

Toshiba Tecra M10-10H notebook
3.5 stars Toshiba Tecra M10-10H notebook By Stephen Patrick

Toshiba’s Tecra range is aimed firmly at corporate users, with machines offering great usability and build quality. The Tecra M10-10H fits perfectly into the role of business workhorse, also offering useful performance and a great keyboard. The 14.1-inch... Read more

Dell Inspiron Mini 12 notebook
3.5 stars Dell Inspiron Mini 12 notebook By Stephen Patrick

While the first netbooks featured 8.9-inch displays, with later models usually boasting larger 10.1-inch panels, Dell’s Inspiron Mini 12 is the first we’ve seen to use a 12.1-inch screen. It’s bound to appeal to some users - the larger screen inevitably... Read more

Lenovo IdeaPad S10e notebook
3.5 stars Lenovo IdeaPad S10e notebook By Stephen Patrick

In the UK, Lenovo is known for its corporate ThinkPad range - which it bought the rights to from IBM a couple of years ago. As such, it’s easy to forget that the company also produces a range of consumer laptops. The latest to arrive is the IdeaPad... Read more

Acer Aspire 5735-583G16Mn notebook
4.0 stars Acer Aspire 5735-583G16Mn notebook By Stephen Patrick

Towards the end of 2008 we saw several high-end multimedia laptops featuring ultra-wide 16:9 aspect ratio displays. Love ‘em or loath ‘em, they’re here to stay, and the Acer Aspire 5735 is proof of this. It’s the first budget model we’ve seen... Read more

HP HDX16-1010EA notebook
4.0 stars HP HDX16-1010EA notebook By Stephen Patrick

HP’s HDX range is the company’s flagship multimedia brand, going head-to-head with established rivals such as Toshiba’s Qosmio and Sony’s new VAIO AW series. Up until recently, the only machine available was the 20.1-inch HDX Dragon, a desktop... Read more

Toshiba Qosmio G50-115 notebook
4.0 stars Toshiba Qosmio G50-115 notebook By Stephen Patrick

Over the past few years Toshiba’s Qosmio range has led the field when it comes to multimedia laptops. Following the death of HD DVD, however, and Toshiba’s pigheadedness in refusing to adopt Blu-ray, can the latest Qosmio laptops compete with high-end... Read more

HP EliteBook 6930p notebook
3.5 stars HP EliteBook 6930p notebook By Stephen Patrick

HP’s EliteBook brand sits above the Compaq range, offering similar quality and usability, but adding premium materials, power and features to the list. The EliteBook 6930p is a compact and well-made choice, but has its work cut out tempting corporate... Read more

Toshiba Satellite A300D-15B notebook
3.5 stars Toshiba Satellite A300D-15B notebook By Stephen Patrick

With recent performance leaps from Intel’s Core 2 Duo mobile processors, it’s few and far between we see an AMD-based laptop capable of competing on anything other than price. Toshiba’s Satellite A300D-15B is based on an AMD chipset, but it’s... Read more

Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11MN notebook
4.0 stars Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11MN notebook By Stephen Patrick

We’ve seen plenty of top-quality ultraportables from Sony’s VAIO range, and it’s easy to forget about larger, more mainstream options such as the latest BZ range. However, if you’re looking for something a little more affordable, the VAIO BZ-11MN... Read more

Lenovo ThinkPad X200 notebook
4.0 stars Lenovo ThinkPad X200 notebook By Stephen Patrick

Lenovo’s ThinkPad range carries with it the expectation of quality, reliability and excellent usability. The ThinkPad X200 continues this trend, and is similar in style to the larger X300. Prices at under £1300, it’s a more mainstream choice, and... Read more

Toshiba NB100-11R notebook
4.0 stars Toshiba NB100-11R notebook By Stephen Patrick

With over 20 machines available, it's fair to say the netbook party is in full swing, but it's still missing one or two of the big players. Toshiba is no longer one of them, having recently launched the NB100, and it's definitely a case of better late... Read more

Asus N80VC notebook
3.5 stars Asus N80VC notebook By Stephen Patrick

We were promised when we reviewed the Asus N10 Netbook that there would be other laptops in the range, but we didn’t realise just how similar they’d look. The Asus N80VC features an identical glossy black bezel around its screen, and you’ll also... Read more

Nero 9 - PC
4.0 stars Nero 9 - PC By Stephen Patrick

When you think about copying and burning CDs and DVDs there are only two real contenders on the market, Roxio and Nero and with Roxio releasing Creator 2009 a matter of weeks ago, the arrival of Nero 9 wasn't too much of a surprise. Users looking for... Read more

Sony VAIO VGN-AW11M/H notebook
4.0 stars Sony VAIO VGN-AW11M/H notebook By Stephen Patrick

We've made no secret of our love for Sony's ultraportable VAIO notebooks, as they are some of the best machines money can buy. However, when it comes to larger machines, our love affair with Sony is a little more hit and miss. On the style and build quality... Read more

Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 - PC
4.0 stars Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 - PC By Stephen Patrick

Adobe is the leading name in image editing, so any new release is of interest. However, this latest edition doesn’t so much bring about a re-invention of the photo editing suite but starts to integrate features from Adobe’s higher end products into... Read more

Lenovo ThinkPad SL500 notebook
4.0 stars Lenovo ThinkPad SL500 notebook By Stephen Patrick

Lenovo's ThinkPad range has always been aimed at the business user, someone who puts in an order and has the company pay for their expensive new piece of kit. So, what happens if you're a sole trader looking for a notebook that can be business machine... Read more

Sony VAIO VGN-Z11WN/B notebook
4.5 stars Sony VAIO VGN-Z11WN/B notebook By Stephen Patrick

The fact that Sony hasn't given in to market forces and released its own netbook is proof that it's core focus remains in fully featured, but ultraportable, notebooks. The latest such model is the Sony VAIO VGN-Z11WN/B, which weighs in at a highly portable... Read more

Asus N10J notebook
4.0 stars Asus N10J notebook By Stephen Patrick

Asus releases netbooks under its Eee PC sub-brand and at first glance you'd be forgiven for thinking this was just another one. However it seems Asus has gone in to competition with itself as the N10J has been released with Asus branding. The company... Read more

Nero Move It - PC
3.5 stars Nero Move It - PC By Stephen Patrick

At one time, everything we owned, whether it was a photograph, a song or even video clip, was a physical item. In this age of digital this is no longer the case, as downloads and digital cameras have become the norm. Collecting, storing and sharing all... Read more

Zoostorm FizzBook Bang notebook
4.0 stars Zoostorm FizzBook Bang notebook By Stephen Patrick

Netbooks have hijacked the headlines this year but in the rush it seems that most people have forgotten their initial intent, to be small and affordable notebooks for children. With its kid-friendly plastic design, bright green protective sleeve and neat... Read more

Asus Eee PC S101 notebook
4.5 stars Asus Eee PC S101 notebook By Stephen Patrick

If you thought that the netbook, or budget mini-laptop market, had reached saturation point and that there were few surprises left then you'll be stunned by the Asus Eee PC S101. Netbooks may have been intended to be cheap, basic mini-laptops but at £449... Read more

Toshiba Qosmio X300-11s notebook
3.5 stars Toshiba Qosmio X300-11s notebook By Stephen Patrick

Toshiba is best known for its rather staid and business approach to notebooks but on occasion it throws in a curve ball both in terms of design and performance. The Toshiba Qosmio X300-11s is a great example of that curve ball. This is a gaming notebook... Read more

Norton Internet Security 2009 - PC
4.5 stars Norton Internet Security 2009 - PC By Stephen Patrick

Choosing the right internet security package is often a case of personal preference as all the leading brands offer pretty much the same array of tools. One of the biggest names is Symantec with its Norton 360 and this, the 2009 version of its leading... Read more

Samsung Q310 notebook
4.5 stars Samsung Q310 notebook By Stephen Patrick

Samsung has overhauled its range in recent months, first with the 12-inch Q210 and now with its slightly larger sibling, the 13.3-inches of the Q310. It’s made from plastic but build quality is high and we were impressed with how solid it felt to the... Read more

CyberLink PowerDVD 8 Ultra - PC
4.0 stars CyberLink PowerDVD 8 Ultra - PC By Stephen Patrick

If you watch movies on your PC then it’s likely you’ve already come across CyberLink as its software is bundled with more PCs and notebooks than just about anyone. CyberLink PowerDVD 8 Ultra takes that basic movie watching experience and moves it... Read more

Dell Studio 15 notebook
3.5 stars Dell Studio 15 notebook By Stephen Patrick

Dell took the world by storm when it introduced its portable XPS range last year. The portables gathered so many plaudits it was inevitable the line would be broadened. The Studio line takes the same styling as the XPS machines but uses cheaper components... Read more

Toshiba Qosmio G50-10H notebook
4.0 stars Toshiba Qosmio G50-10H notebook By Stephen Patrick

The Toshiba Qosmio range of high-end multimedia notebooks has always been a little bit different, as it tries to mix unique style with some of the latest mobile technologies around. The Toshiba Qosmio G50-10H is a hulking 5kg in weight and isn’t the... Read more

Toshiba Portege M800 notebook
4.0 stars Toshiba Portege M800 notebook By Stephen Patrick

Toshiba seems to have lost its way of late. At one time it was the biggest seller of notebooks worldwide but now it takes a lower third position. Hopefully the Portege M800 is a return to former glories, as our first impressions of this highly portable... Read more