Tag : resolution

Review of the Lenovo ThinkCentre M71z

Are you looking for a top rated, middle of the road desktop for your offices? The Lenovo ThinkCentre M71z may be just what you need. With a touch screen 20 inch widescreen monitor at $917 direct, this PC is perfect for your mainline workers — the ones that manage projects, file and search data, or deal with your clients on a day-to-day basis. While less flashy then some other all-in-one PC’s such as the HP Compaq 8200 Elite or the Apple iMac 21.5 inch, it is definitely the biggest bang for your buck.

The desktop will blend seamlessly into your offices and while you should still supply a keyboard and mouse because of the vertical screen, the touch monitor is great for zooming in and out of photos, rotate online interfaces, and use swipe commands on the internet. The screen however isn’t the best for resolution. While still sufficient for clerical and mainline office workers, it’s not going to be ideal for digital artists who use their fingers as digital paintbrushes.

With two USB 2.0 ports, a media card reader, and audio jacks are on the left side; a tray-loading DVD drive on the right side; and a power button, drive light, and +/- on screen controls (brightness, etc.) on the front. The system’s forward-firing speakers are below the screen on the front panel as well. In the back, there are four more USB 2.0 ports, a standard 3-pin power jack, Ethernet, serial port (for older peripherals like bar code scanners), a Display Port-out port, a Kensington lock port, and a handle. The handle and power jack make things easier for your IT workers: the handle makes the system easy to transport, and the standard power port means that you don’t have to keep track of external power supplies (aka power bricks): you can just use the standard power cables used by tower desktops. If you have a 802.11 b/g/n wireless network, the M71z will connect to it easily. It would’ve been nice to see a Display Port-in or HDMI-in port, so you can reuse the M71z’s monitor with a future laptop or desktop when the M71z’s internal finally become too slow, but the DisplayPort-out is still useful. The DisplayPort-out port lets you use the system in a dual-monitor setup.

Performance wise the ThinkCentre M71z is very good as well—the ThinkCentre M71z’s 2,134 points on PCMark 7 beats the EC winning HP TouchSmart 320-1030 ($699.99 list), which got a lower 1,825 point score. The recently reviewed HP Compaq 8200 Elite and not so recently reviewed iMac 21.5-inch (Thunderbolt) are both quite a bit faster than these systems, but then again both the HP and iMac are significantly over $1,000.

The combination of price, capabilities, and corporate credibility earn the Thinkcentre M71z our Editors’ Choice award for all-in-one business desktops. Its features, performance, and price are excellent. This is the system we’d buy if we were outfitting an office with clerical level desktop PCs.

Bluetooth Monitor-Samsung SyncMaster

bva is always looking for good monitors because they are crucial for user satisfaction and create ease of use which is important.  We got wind of this cool 23-inch monitor from Samsung, this monitor also comes with a small USB dongle for your laptop that allows you to wirelessly connect to the Central Station. With the dongle and drivers installed on your system all you have to do is walk within five feet of the monitor and the base will recognize the laptop and a connection is made. Video quality via wireless USB is not that great and there is a noticeable lag, but it’s fine for everyday office tasks. As an added bonus you can connect to the internet wirelessly via the USB dongle as long as you have a wired connection to the base’s Ethernet port. Lastly, the base can be used as a four port USB hub to connect to a variety of peripherals.  On top of the base are a series of touch sensitive buttons used to navigate the on-screen display, adjust volume and brightness, and select an input. The Menu button that takes you into the Picture settings menu  is where you can access the Samsung Magic presets, including Magic Angle, Magic Bright, and Magic Color.

Here are some of the features:

  • normal HDMI and VGA inputs
  • docking station capabilities with multiple USB ports
  • wired Ethernet port
  • audio output
  • laptop can connect wirelessly via a tiny USB dongle
  • good color
  • viewing angle performance
  • USB super charging ports
  • 1920-by-1080 resolution
  • non-reflective matte anti-glare coating

This monitor has a three year parts, labor, and backlight warranty, the Central Station comes with a driver/user guide CD, a PC to dock USB cable, and the wireless USB dongle.  The monitor’s Eco Saving feature lets you reduce power consumption by 50 or 75 percent, but in doing so the screen image becomes almost too dim.  The Samsung Central Station (SyncMaster C23A750X) is a unique, yet pricey solution($499), but fits a need for many work environments.

New Blackberry Flip Phone- More Stable (Model 9670) – Sprint

Blackberry’s old flip phone was simply not a good product and many of our clients had this unit and it always broke in one way or another.  The OS side of the unit worked fairly well with little problems, it was more on the hardware side.  The button construction, as well as the flip hinge always seemed to break in one form or another. BVA would also get a lot of feedback that the signal was poor on the phone when other Blackberry’s got full signal. I had the opportunity to play with one last week which was a pleasant surprise and I am sold on it.

Interestingly enough it still was a popular phone for many executives due to the flip feature and the small physical footprint that it has. It does have a 5 Mexa-pixel camera which is pretty slick and has good resolution.  The BlackBerry 9670 Flip Phone (Blackberry Style) is for Sprint, the second smartphone from RIM running the new Blackberry 6 OS.  It is the first BlackBerry flip phone with a full, four-row QWERTY keyboard.  This makes typing on the phone so much easier and the keys are the same size as a regular Blackberry keypad.  The clamshell flip phone design is sturdy and polished, an attractive form factor seemingly fitting for a BlackBerry. Unfortunately, the Style does not support Sprint’s 4G WiMax network, instead offering 3G EVDO Rev A and 802.11n for connectivity.  The Style comes with two low resolution screens—an external screen showing the clock, waiting message indicators, callerID information or media information when the Style is closed—and an internal screen for normal operation when open.