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Two Quality Core 2 Duo Notebooks From Gigabyte: Which One Is For You?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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October 27, 2006 11:23:27 AM

We look at Gigabyte's W251U and W551N Core 2 Duo notebook computers. One is smaller; one is larger. One has basic graphics capabilities; the other has more sophisticated graphics. And, yet they differ in price by only $100. Which is for you?
October 27, 2006 2:22:20 PM

Throw together 4 paragraphs, a couple of pictures, and some image galaries with captions and call it an 'article'! Woo hoo. Barry ... why are you still writing for Toms Hardware?

Here is a notebook review:
http://www.mobilityguru.com/2006/06/17/3d_gaming_notebo...

Done on your own site some time ago, and compared 4. But, even better was your last comparison article...
http://www.mobilityguru.com/2006/08/02/four_notebooks_r...

Now... serious drop in quality from the first one I linked, but still better than this tripe that you just pumped out. Again, it is an article that could easily have been written by looking at the manufacturer's website and gives absolutely NO impression that you actually physically touched the hardware at all.

Is this what Toms has descended to? Getting rid of articles and just having image galaries and expecting them to tell the story? How pitiful, and how the mighty have fallen.
October 27, 2006 7:53:39 PM

Hey Barry, does Gigabyte make that chassis? Is this their first step into the ODM field?
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October 27, 2006 8:10:13 PM

Another good question not answered... If I were going to ask a more serious question (and not just shout "Hey Toms, go back to your roots and write quality content" all the time), I would ask the following...

Why on earth does a "new" laptop still contain a VGA port? LCD sales are just starting to seriously outpace CRTs, work places all over are switching to LCDs, so why do new laptops even bother including a VGA port?

I would think that this would warrant a serious article, since a DVI>VGA adapter is chump-change to include with a laptop, it just doesn't make sense.

But that's just me... new laptops? Bleh, leave them in the dustbins.
October 27, 2006 8:40:18 PM

I feel a tangent coming on...
Most laptops with DVI come with a VGA adapter so I don't know if these guys are just like, "Hey, there's a whole trainload of VGA ports, punch those onto the board." or what, but VGA is pretty dated.

The other real problem with notebooks, isn't the notebook at all, but the ancillary companies. You know what I am going to get at next... the ExpressCard slot. Ok, it's there, hey everybody else get your butts in gear and make stuff for it!

My customers that have Cingular and Sprint whoever's wireless with access cards have been waiting for an ExpressCard slotted version since summer! Where is it? I know they are out there, I found them from the manufacturer in June for Merlin cards, but the wireless companies still have few if any offerings of them!

I talked to MSI (the romper room of all ODM's) LAST WINTER about a design for an ExpressCard docking station. They didn't get it. They couldn't see a market for it [?!?] Um, what? Yea, that's what they really said.

I was telling them about designing for the future and putting eSATA ports so your notebook could hit an external drive at the same speeds as an internal, because that is one of the big problems with desktop replacements... space... Whatever, I'm not going to get into it. I get pissed just thinking about it.

Needless to say, these ODM's need someone in the R&D department and design lab that will stand up to the beancounters, the dream crushers to get the right stuff put in at the drawing board levels for the new machines! I would go to the holders of the patents or whomever is going to rake in the dough and say, "We have to work something out so we can get this technology out there before it dies on the vine and the next gen is here man."

Think about it, you got HP puttin' the owner of VooDoo PC in charge of their world wide gaming division. What's he gonna do there? HP isn't even an ODM!

HP & DELL I think will find out the hard way that these aquisitions aren't going to boost their image. I don't know who's in charge of aquisitions, but they are definately not in touch with the gaming community or the customs of America.
How many people just think,
"Oh this is so cool, now I can buy a high end laptop from HP. I have been waiting for corporate to take this over and stagnate it."
v.s. the overall number of people that think,
"VooDoo and Alienware SOLD OUT and that now they are DELL and HP's Beeotches, I'll get my machine elsewhere."

October 28, 2006 12:34:32 AM

I agree with Windaria, these 'pieces of text and images wrapped together' doesn't live up to the expectations when landing on a famous IT website like Tom's Hardware, which was the trendsetter for many years.
And since there is an international audience, and even the same THG has las in Germany, it's pretty strange not to find metric measures... It's totally clueless for us Europeans to talk about ounces... and inches measures are used only for display sizes, and people couldn't really know how many centimeters they are....

Bring us back the old THG!!!!
October 29, 2006 8:08:23 PM

Quote:
Why on earth does a "new" laptop still contain a VGA port? LCD sales are just starting to seriously outpace CRTs, work places all over are switching to LCDs, so why do new laptops even bother including a VGA port?


Good question. Especially since the Gigabyte W251U is almost identical to the Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Si1520, which *does* have a DVI port!
October 30, 2006 6:13:17 AM

larger display? it's the same resolution! BAH!
October 30, 2006 11:34:30 AM

Well that makes it extra funny then. With the whole DVI vs. VGA thing... DVI is HERE NOW, it is a technology that is in widespread adoption, and that is truly replacing it... and what do notebook manufacturers do? They include the old technology that is being phased out, the VGA port.

Yet when it comes to other technology, technology that isn't even in use yet, laptop manufacturers are jumping all over it.

As for having an express card docking station, that would be so cool! It is one of the things that drives me nuts about getting a laptop from a smaller vendor, since they almost never have docking stations. I mean let's get real... you use your laptop at home. You have a good LCD, keyboard, and mouse, etc. You want to go somewhere? Unplug all your cables, go, come back, plug them all back in.

Yes, they have USB port replicators... some that even do more than just act as USB hubs, but they don't work for video and many other connections, and they hang off the side in a really really annoying way. If you had something on an express card slot then that could work real well. Particularly if laptop manufacturers started putting an express card slot in the back, so it doesn't hang off the side. OK, doubt that would happen, but that is something I always hated about PCMCIA cards that didn't fit totally into the laptop... you always had them hanging off the side and I would brush my arm against their antennas and other things. Oh well.

I am just happy that I found a suitable laptop. For a while I was looking at the Alienware M5500, or whatever it is... but now I have found this:

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

Finally... Core 2, DVI, a decent resolution, X1600, 15.4" widescreen, docking station, and I LOVE the keyboard. Sure it might seem gimicky, but I type on a natural keyboard anyway, and anything that lets you angle your hands away from each other even a little bit on a laptop keyboard MUST be a Godsend. All for just under my $2,000 limit. Now, if you have any holes that you would like to punch in my bubble, that'd be just fine.
October 30, 2006 4:36:53 PM

Personally in these reviews I'd love to occasionally hear about linux compatibility.

By the way, given the brouhaha about hexus.net and alienware (http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=7113), I wonder what the tomshardware policy is on getting stuff for review and if reviewers feel pressured to give positive reviews.
October 30, 2006 5:08:25 PM

Quote:
Personally in these reviews I'd love to occasionally hear about linux compatibility.

By the way, given the brouhaha about hexus.net and alienware (http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=7113), I wonder what the tomshardware policy is on getting stuff for review and if reviewers feel pressured to give positive reviews.


First... I would love to know about Linux compatibility as well. In fact, this is a big enough item that it should be included in every major computer review... just giving a quick rundown of compatibility for the 3 or 5 biggest distros, or something. That would be EXCELLENT reporting.

Next... OH MY STARS AND GARTERS! Wow... how did I miss that Hexus story. Wow. In fact... hrm... I can't seem to find any negative coverage of Alienware on Toms... hrm... With the fluff pieces they have been turning out, it makes you wonder.
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