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October 13, 2009

A Look at Some Cool Windows 7 PCs

As of today, we’re 9 days away from the worldwide launch of Windows 7. It’s no secret that when Windows 7 becomes available on October 22nd, our hardware partners are launching a host of cool new PCs to match it. I’ve had the privilege to see some of the slick new machines and I can tell you that there are some seriously fast computers with wickedly cool designs on the way.

“But Brandon!” you might be saying. “I don’t want to wait 10 whole days to start shopping for a great PC! Which machines can I check out NOW?”

Well, fear not. There are quite a few powerful, reasonably priced Windows 7 PCs that you can start test-driving now, and a few that you can even pre-order. I’ve highlighted some of my favorites below.

First up is the HP dm3. This 13” bad boy is available with a whopping half-terabyte hard drive, discrete graphics, a built in web cam, and up to a mind-boggling 10 hours of battery life. Sounds expensive, right? The truth is just the opposite; you can get your own starting at $549, which makes it a great option if you’re a student on a budget, or a consumer looking to get a lot of bang for your buck.

On October 5th, Dell opened up a great new program called the Windows 7 Easy Upgrade which will allow you to order once of their select machines today and have it pre-installed with Windows 7 and shipped to you right around the time when Windows 7 launches on October 22nd. One of my favorites and the laptop I am currently using today is the Dell Studio 15. I love this computer because it’s the total package – its great looking and completely customizable. Dell does a GREAT job at letting you personalize the color and design of your machine via their Design Studio. I customized mine with a weird funky goat.

Dell Studio 15

I affectionately refer to this laptop as “The Goat”. I decorated The Goat with a few stickers (as you can see). The Studio 15 has some serious media street cred with a 15.6” HD screen that does 900p resolution, 256MB ATI discrete graphics, webcam and built in DVD burner. It also has a heck of a reasonable price tag, starting at $899. This is a really solid choice if you’re looking for an eye-catching “do-it-all” laptop. I’ll be talking more about this laptop and my experience with it in another blog post coming shortly.

One of my favorite thin-and-light notebooks is the Toshiba Satellite T135. Maybe it should have been codenamed “Pocket Hercules” instead; 3GB of RAM, a new Intel ULV processor, 250GB drive, HDMI and a 720p HD screen, all wrapped up in a package that’s only about an inch thick. It’s a very cool ultra-portable notebook, perfect for working (or playing) on the go.

Is 11” just too big for you? Then check out the HP Mini 110. This 10”, 2.68lb netbook PC is one of the most unique I’ve seen – for this project, HP partnered with designer Tord Boontje to create HP Imprint 3D, a new engraving process that allows HP to build amazing textured casebacks. At $399, it’s an affordable way to get the ultimate in style and portability.

If you need something to put on your desk, instead of carry in your bag, I suggest you take a look at one of the great new all-in-ones. They’re compact and clean, and work great in the kitchen or in an area where you don’t have a lot of space.

The newest kid on the all-in-one block is Sony’s VAIO L. Part HDTV, part PC, the L has a Blu-Ray player, a TV tuner, and a beautiful 24” multi-touch display that’s ready to take advantage of Windows 7 multitouch. The VAIO L is set to hit stores in November, and pricing starts around $1300.

Dell also makes a nice all-in-one in the Dell Studio 19. I love this thing because it’s a powerhouse in a super slim design, and you can get it in white, blue, grey, pink or red. It’s got an Intel Core 2 Quad processor, 3GB of memory, a 500GB drive and all of the trimmings. Like the VAIO L, its ready to take full advantage of Windows 7’s multi-touch technology via its super-bright touchscreen display, and you can get it in “alpine white” for $999. Adding a custom color job and a Blu-Ray drive will bump the price up to about $1100, which is still a great deal.

And HP just announced today revamp of HPs a revamp of their venerable multi-touch enabled TouchSmart PCs. They’re introducing two new models – the TouchSmart 300 (20” HD screen) and 600 (23” HD screen). Not only are these great looking machines with a long, successful history, but they also include HP customized touch versions of popular applications and services, like Twitter, Rhapsody, Hulu, Pandora, Netflix, and more. Pricing starts at a consumer-friendly $899 for the 300 and $1,049 for the 600.

This is just a small sliver of the PC goodness that’s coming soon with Windows 7. Stay tuned for more info on the latest and greatest Windows 7 PCs!