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October 12, 2010

Windows PCs take New York…again!

Unless you were on Mars, living in a cave with your eyes shut and fingers in your ears, you know that yesterday was kind of a big day for the Windows Phone team. Along with the Phone team, we were there (as were our friends from Xbox, Microsoft Hardware and Office), focusing on great holiday PCs and showing how you can use them to harness the power of the cloud with Windows Live. I got the fun job at the show – taking people through all of the hardware and explaining why I think its so cool – and I thought it would be fun to give you the same tour. Here’s what I brought with me, and why I chose it:

Gateway LT310: It’s an HD netbook with a 1366 x 768 screen and 8 hours of battery life.

Sony VAIO P: Unique 8” design that’s small enough to fit in your back pocket. Seriously.

Dell Vostro v13: This is one of my favorite business-class machines that’s also a great consumer choice. It has a slick all-metal chassis and is bafflingly thin.  And it starts under $400.

ASUS UL30: Yes, this is the same PC that I said I loved so much, I felt like I was cheating on my wife. Once you experience it’s 11+ hours of battery life and you’ll see why.

Acer TimelineX 4820: Acer’s new premium ultrathin has great design, 8 hours of battery life, and optional switchable graphics.

HP Mini 311: It’s a netbook that’s barely a netbook. 11.6” HD screen, 3 GB of memory, NVIDIA ION, and an optional SSD mean it blurs the line between netbook and notebook.

Gateway ID49c: Two words: glowing trackpad! It’s a totally different take on something that’s normally kind of boring.


Lenovo IdeaPad Z: 15.6” of entertainment power, coupled with Lenovo’s awesome keyboard and trackpad. And a very, very reasonable price point ($699)

HP DM4: I can’t get enough of the DM4’s laser etched case. It’s under 5lbs in weight, and has switchable graphics for an excellent power/performance balance. This is another one I reviewed and really enjoyed.

Toshiba Satellite A665: It’s a full-fledged high-power gaming rig with a sub-$700 starting price. What could possibly be wrong with that?

Dell Inspiron M101z: Like the Gateway LT, it’s kind of a super-netbook. HD screen colorful lid, and 6 hours of juice make it perfect for personality on the go.

Samsung X430: This is a Microsoft Store exclusive that has very impressive design. And since you can get it with Microsoft Signature, you know that it will work perfectly right out of the box.


Toshiba Satellite L635, a.k.a the “Kids’ PC”: This PC has a wipeable keyboard that keeps junk out (even spills), and is also pre-loaded with safety tools like Net Nanny and Kidzui.


Sony VAIO Z: The finest ultra-premium on the market and the machine that I use as my personal PC every day. 6GB of memory, Core i5, huge SSD, Blu-Ray…it’s everything you could want in a PC.

Toshiba r705: It’s the lightest full-feature PC ever built, weighing just a hair over 3lbs.

ASUS Bamboo: The ASUS Bamboo is made from natural Moso bamboo that can grow over 2’ in a single day. Inside its powered by a Core i5 processor and NVIDIA Optimus graphics.

HP ENVY 14: If you love music, you need an ENVY. It’s powered by Beats Audio (co-designed by Dr. Dre) for studio quality sound. And that all-aluminum case doesn’t look half bad, either.

Dell Latitude Z: The Dell Latitude Z is the thinnest 15” laptop ever, and the first PC to offer inductive charging and wireless docking.

HP TouchSmart 600: For about $1000, it’s tough to beat the HP TouchSmart 600 as a family all-in-one. It has good specs (Core i3 processor, 4GB RAM, Blu-Ray) and a super-responsive touchscreen.

Sony VAIO J: The Sony VAIO J has one of the best displays I’ve ever seen. It’s packed with a Core i7 processor, high-end NVIDIA graphics and Blu-Ray – everything you need in an entertainment PC.

Falcon Northwest FragBox: It’s a top of the line gaming rig in the size of a shoebox!


Origin EON 18: I’ve waxed poetic about the EON before, and today I’m singing the same tune. It is, simply put, the baddest gaming laptop out there. It’s almost infinitely customizable

Alienware M15x: The gold standard for gaming laptops for years. Alienware makes really nice PCs with high-end specs, and their backed by Dell’s great customer support. Our m15x comes in “Nebula Red”, which makes for a very intimidating setup.

Acer Aspire Predator G7750: The most aggressively styled gaming PC I’ve ever seen. It’s a loaded traditional tower, and has all the power you need to dominate your enemies, like I said in my hands-on post, you do not want to be this Predator’s prey!

These are some of my favorites for the holiday season – what are yours?