In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 27, 2006 / 27 Teves, 5766

Alienware's portable powerhouse

By Mark Kellner

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Spending $2,468 on a notebook computer — any notebook computer — is a big investment. When you spend that money with a smaller computer company as opposed to a "name brand" such as Dell or Hewlett-Packard, that kind of expenditure might give one real pause.

Such concerns might be assuaged when the company is Alienware, a Miami-based computer seller that also has an office in the District. Despite its casual image, the firm's hardware is serious and solid, as well as being well-supported, which users should appreciate.

My first test unit from the firm is their Area 55 m5500. Pricing starts at $979 there's a $200 rebate available now although it's easy to go beyond that price by adding options. My souped-up model included a 2.13 GHz Intel Pentium M 770 processor, a $482 premium on the 1.5 GHz Intel Centrino processor supplied in the basic model. The test unit also boasts 1 Gbyte of RAM, a $119 upgrade from the standard 256 Mbytes, as well as an Ultra XGA display, a $199 premium item.

The basic configuration should be good enough for many users, and the price of some upgrades such as the RAM boost are reasonable, in my view. So, how does the computer perform? Rather well, thanks for asking: it's fast, to be sure, and it handles Microsoft Windows quite nicely. While Alienware builds many of its desktop and notebook systems for devotees of computer games, this portable seems suited for business applications, albeit with a dimension that can handle entertainment.

That starts with the 15.4-inch wide LCD screen, which as mentioned supports Ultra XGA resolution, up to 1920 by 1200 pixels. I found the highest-resolution setting a bit much, but gamers will likely appreciate it. The unit also plays DVDs, so this should be a good machine to watch a movie with at the end of the day. Sound from the built-in speakers is certainly acceptable for most situations.

The computer handled its tasks with ease, running an Office applications suite, Internet browser and some other applications easily and well. The m5500's trackpad includes a scrolling "zone" which is great for moving up and down on a page, but which can also be an inviting target for a stray hand movement.

I did have a few issues, one of which was more or less solved quickly. That was a dramatic drop in battery life; switching on the machine at first sent the battery capacity plummeting rapidly. The culprit was built-in support for an external VGA monitor connection, and disabling that feature yielded an improvement.

A more serious issue arose when I tried to install a different operating system on the computer, as an experiment. This non-Windows system began to install but then froze, rendering the unit useless. That's where a $26 option came in very handy. For that minuscule price, Alienware will sell you a "respawn" package of two discs a CD-ROM containing Symantec Corp.'s Norton Ghost software and a DVD with the basic image of your computer's hard drive. Within 30 minutes, in a process that seems magical, the m5500 was back to its factory-fresh self. Other manufacturers offer this kind of option, and of course you can buy the Ghost software yourself and create your own recovery DVD. But it's nice to have this as a very reasonably priced option, and I recommend buying it.

Would I spend $2,468, before a $100 rebate, on this computer? Perhaps. It's powerful enough to be a true desktop replacement, and if I needed this level of power on the road,I'd consider it. But for those who like the unusual in terms of design — this is a stylish machine — with some powerful components, it's a machine worth checking out. Find the firm at www.alienware.com.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.


© 2006, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com