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June 24, 2010

Windows PCs take New York

Earlier this week folks from all of Microsoft’s consumer businesses – Windows, Office, Hardware, Xbox, etc. – were in NYC for our annual holiday preview event for consumer press and analysts where we show off our latest and greatest stuff, and give them a sneak peek at what’s coming this holiday season (read: a lot). The Windows Team is showing the power of Windows 7, Windows Live, and Games for Windows on some of our newest and most eye-popping PCs, and I wanted to give you the quick rundown of what we’re showing off and why I nominated it for the show floor.  This post is kind of long, so if you want you  download the show guide in one handy-dandy document.

Asus Eee PC Karim Rashid Edition
Specs: 10.1″ LED Backlight WSVGA Screen (1024×600); 250GB HDD; Atom™ N450; 1GB RAM; WLAN 802.11b/g/n; BluetoothV2.1 + EDR; 1.3M Pixels Camera;
Price point: Starting at $492

Why I picked it: It looks cool. VERY cool. The texture on the case looks and feels great, and all of the ports (even the VGA port) are concealed to present an unbroken silhouette. For the record, we brought the hot pink one.



HP Mini 210 Vivienne Tam
Specs: Intel Atom N450; 2GB DDR2 RAM; 250GB HDD; 10.1″ 1366 x 768 antiglare display; Signature Vivienne Tam design applied with HP Imprint Technology
Price point: Starting at $599

Why I picked it: Right now it’s my favorite netbook on the market. Stunning design, excellent build quality and a very impressive skin from StarDock. Check out my review.



Asus Eee PC Carbon Fiber
Specs: 10.1″ LED Backlight WSVGA Screen (1024×600); 160 HDD; Intel® Atom™ N450; 1GB RAM; WLAN 802.11b/g/n; 1.3M Pixels Camera
Price point: Starting at $492

Why I picked it: Asus continues to impress me with their innovative cases. This one is textured to look like carbon fiber, but since its pure polycarbonate, the price stays low.



Gateway LT2108u
Intel Atom N450; 1GB DDR2 RAM; 10.1” WSVGA High Brightness LED-backlit Display; 160GB HDD
Price point:
Starting at $299.99

Why I picked it: It’s light, has outstanding battery life, and costs under $300. And the red caseback and LED-backlit power button give it a bit of flair.



Acer Aspire Timeline 5810TZ
Intel Pentium SU4100; 4GB DDR3 RAM; 15.4” Display; Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500 MHD; HD Audio Support with Dolby Sound Room

Price point: Starting at $599

Why I picked it: I reviewed this PC a few weeks ago and liked it. 8 hours of battery, slim design, and full PC specs for under $600? What could possibly be wrong with that?



Asus U33jc – Bamboo Collection
Intel Core i7-640UM; 4GB DDR3 RAM; NVIDIA GeForce 310M; USB 3.0; case lid made from sustainable, mature Moso bamboo
Price point:
Starting at $899

Why I picked it: Lots of interesting features in this one. Great battery life, one of the first appearances of USB 3.0 in a laptop, and a caseback made from natural, sustainable Moso bamboo that makes each PC totally unique. Fun fact: Moso bamboo can grow up to 2 feet in a single day!



HP Pavilion dm4
Specs: Intel Core i5 Processor; 320GB HDD; 14.0’ HD LED Brightview display; Full metal chassis (aluminum + magnesium) with laser etching; ATI Radeon Mobility discrete graphics
Price point: Starting at $729

Why I picked it: Read my review for the whole rundown, but the short version is that HP introduced a laptop with great punch, differentiated design, and comfortable ergonomics at a very reasonable price.



Specs: 24″ Multi Touch (1920 x 1080) Display; Blu-Ray, Intel Core2Duo, 4GB RAM
Price point: Starting at $1299

Why I picked it: 24” of 1080p multi-touch beauty. Outstanding for looking at photos, watching movies, or everyday stuff like browsing the web and checking email.



Dell Latitude Z
16″ HD (1600 x 900) Display; Wireless Docking and Inductive Charging; 128GB SSD, Intel ULV Processor
Price point:
Starting at $1799

Why I picked it: It’s the first laptop ever to offer wireless inductive charging and wireless docking. And oh, that gorgeous display…



Samsung R480
Specs: Intel Core i3 330; 14” LED HD Display; 4GB RAM; Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500HD; Webcam; built-in Blu-Ray drive

Price point: Starting at $829.99

Why I picked it: Core i3 and Blu-Ray player for about $800? Yes please.



Sony Vaio X
Specs: 11.1” Display; less than 2 lbs.; 128GB SSD; optional 3G Mobile Broadband and GPS Navigation
Price point: Starting at $1299

Why I picked it: It’s the lightest laptop ever built. It’s so feather-light that when you pick it up, you want to turn it on just to be sure that its real.



HP Envy 15
Specs: 15.4” 1080p display; Intel Core i7; 6GB RAM; 500GB HDD; Beats by Dr. Dre audio; ATI Mobility Radeon 5830 graphics.
Price point: Starting at $1259

Why I picked it: I can’t get enough of HP’s premium envy line. 1080p display, Core i7, laser-etched case and Beats Audio by Dr. Dre make it one of the most elite notebooks in the world. We brought the special Beats Edition and the standard laser-etched model.


Toshiba Portege R705

Specs: 13” in screen, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD (opt 512GB SSD), optional Core i3, i5, & i7 processors, DVD SuperMulti Drive
Price Point:  Starting at $800

Why I picked it: It’s brand new, and it’s the world’s lightest 13” full-feature PC.



Alienware M11X
Specs: 11.1” display; Intel SU4100; 256GB SSD; 8GB RAM; Switchable Intel HD + NVIDIA GeForce GT 335M graphics; up to 8 hours of battery life
Price point: Starting at $799. As I configured it for the show, $1719.

Why I picked it: Never compromise between performance and portability ever again. Read my hands-on post for a full review.



Toshiba Qosmio x505
Specs: Intel® Core™ i7-720QM; 4GB DDR3 memory; 640GB hard drive + 64GB solid state drive; NVIDIA® GeForce® GTS 250M discrete graphics (1GB GDDR5); Blu-ray Disc™ ROM and DVD burner; 802.11n & Bluetooth® wireless

Price point: Starting at $1199

Why I picked it: “Big Red” is one of the most powerful gaming rigs in the world. It’s comically big and mercilessly powerful.



Asus Republic of Gamers G51JX
Blurb: Affordable and powerful, this laptop is heavy on the action and light on the wallet
Specs: 15.6” display; Intel Core i7; NVIDIA GeForce GTS360M graphics.
Price point: Starting at $1259

Why I picked it: A full featured, high-end gaming rig for under $1300. Great design, great name, great specs, and a great price.



Dell Studio 15 (a.k.a. “The Muse”)
Specs 15.4” 1080p display; Intel Corei7, 6GB RAM; ATI Radeon Mobility 5470 DirectX 11 graphics, 256GB SSD; Dell Design Studio custom case
Price point: Starting at $599. As configured $1900.

Why I picked it: My custom built Studio 15, The Muse, is a good representation of the sharp design and monster specs you can get in a Dell’s massively customizable Studio 15 line.


For more info on each PC, remember you can download the entire show guide. And as always, if you have a question about any of these you can leave a comment, hit me on Twitter, or Ask Ben Anything.