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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 April 27, 2007 / 9 Iyar, 5767

$999 Vista Laptop? Why not?

By Mark Kellner

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Google "Vista laptops" and among the top 'sponsored' (i.e., bought and paid for) links is an one to a mail-order firm offering a Sony Vaio portable with the Windows Vista operating system installed for just under $1,800. Fair enough, but what if you could get a $800.01 discount off that price?


While the two models aren't exactly equivalent - the advertised Sony Vaio has double the RAM and slightly more than four times the hard drive storage - the Systemax Pursuit 4155, list price $999.99, is a good value for the money.


Indeed, some users could benefit from the dollar savings associated with the lower-priced model.


Here's the Systemax skinny: the Fletcher, Ohio-based firm markets mostly via its TigerDirect.com subsidiary. The Pursuit isn't "thin and light," given the 15.4-inch diagonal LCD display it sports, a built-in CD-RW/DVD-ROM optical drive, and a generously sized keyboard which lacks for little but a separate numeric keypad. There's a nice sized "touchpad," which advertises a scrolling feature that is somehow unimplemented.


That deficiency, however, is the only visible one I could find in the Pursuit. Yes, a built-in Web camera would be nice, but the bargain-inclined can add that separately. I'd like a larger hard disk drive, but 60 Gigabytes isn't too shabby; doubling that capacity would add $120 to the price.


Less visible is the slim, but usable, 1 Gigabyte of RAM in the machine. Increasing that to 2GB would add $200 to the price if ordered from Systemax; those unafraid of installing their own memory modules can find equivalent ones for about one-fourth the Systemax price. Personally, I'd rather see 2 Gigabytes of RAM as an official "minimum" requirement for all new computers.


My review unit was shipped as advertised: the 1 Gig of RAM and 60 Gig hard drive, as well as a built-in WiFi radio for easy Internet connections, and a "matte" finish 15.4 inch screen, the only one available. Turn the brightness up, however, and it's certainly acceptable for computer-ish tasks; whether you'd want to watch DVD movie after DVD movie on it is another story.


Battery life seems more than decent, and the Systemax folks offer both a larger battery and extra power adapters as options. One pleasant surprise was seeing a European-style power cord along with one for domestic use; that's a nice touch, and suggests the actual power supply itself can automatically select and switch among different voltages.


Purists will bemoan the lack of this or that feature on the Systemax Pursuit, but if you look at this for what it is - a basic, functional computer for basic, functional work - you won't be too far disappointed. The computer's performance is agile enough for word processing and simple graphics tasks. More complicated work would, as noted, require more memory for optimal results and speed.


Having received the Systemax in the middle of last week, I can't judge the quality of the firm's support, other than to note that they've been around for more than a few years, and - unlike a certain larger firm whose portable arrived a few days earlier - the Pursuit actually worked out of the box. Worse still, the "brand X" PC arrived without an optical drive, making the "system restore" disc utterly useless. Systemax does, it should be noted, include a restore disc with the Pursuit, along with the aforementioned optical drive.


I like this computer and wouldn't hesitate to suggest it to those looking for a low-cost, solidly performing laptop.

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.

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