Thursday, June 17, 2010

GADGETS: Samsung - Not just Phones

This entry is probably going to be a little shorter than most I've written, but it has a degree of urgency to it.

I currently have a couple of friends and at least one relative that are considering new computers. Sunday, I went to Best Buy to see what they had, and here's what I discovered. Samsung doesn't just make phones that people don't want. They also make computers that people don't want. If you want a new super powerful laptop, you stand to directly benefit from this.

 I looked around at stuff, and sticking with my previous post about laptops, I only bothered with machines that have the dual core Intel i5-430m. Among those machines, one stood out from the pack. A 6lb, 15" computer from Samsung. I know, right? Samsung makes phones. Phones that are neither the iPhone nor the HTC Incredible. Phones nobody wants. Fun fact: They also make a variety of other consumer electronics. TVs, microwave ovens... All that stuff. So, computers aren't really a big stretch, and apparently they've been making them for some time for sale in other countries.

Thus far, it seems their endeavor to enter the US market is not going so well. I say this because the computer I'm recommending is super discounted at your local Best Buy right now. It is cheaper and more powerful than any other i5-430m laptop in the store. It has everything you need to replace your old desktop or laptop. Dual core CPU, 4mb of ram, and a dedicated video card. Trust me, even though the i5-430m has video built in, you would rather have another processor with its own 512mb of ram handling that load. You can run Excel, Word and have a dozen tabs open in Firefox. Unless you recently bought your desktop for gaming, this laptop is probably faster than your desktop. You can game on this machine and be happy with the results.

One more thing, it's got a Blu-ray player. Now, I know what you're thinking. You don't need a Blu-ray player. You're probably 100% correct. However, it is still cheaper and more powerful than any other i5-430m machine I saw at Best Buy, so you stand to lose nothing by having a feature you may never use. You can still play regular DVDs on it, and although the display's native resolution is only high enough to show 720p, the video card can support up to 2560x1600 resolution, which is significantly higher than your 1080p HDTV can display. Either way, the machine has an HDMI port so you can hook it up to your giant TV and have happytimes.

The only real drawback I see to this machine is its battery life. The sticker said it tops out at about 4 hours. Which seems like a lot until you're watching a movies on a six hour flight. However, at six pounds, this thing isn't what I would call ultra portable. It's a desktop replacement, which as I mention in my previous post, is exactly what you want from a laptop computer. You'll probably need to keep it plugged in. No big deal.

So if you're in the market for a Windows 7 based computer and have $750 bucks, get to Best Buy now. It's on clearance, so whatever they have left in the store is it. If you're not confident in your computer ownership abilities, you can tack on their service plan and still be right around a thousand bucks. Still really cheap for a computer this powerful.

If you need a little help at Best Buy, ask a blue-shirt about the "red Samsung laptop with the blu-ray drive". Those keywords should get you what you need.


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