Donate to JWR

Home
In this issue
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 Dec. 5, 2008 / 8 Kislev 5769

Buying game has changed

By Mark Kellner

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You want to get a computer for someone, but don't know what to do. What's more, the game is changing this year, both in terms of retailers and the models they offer.

NETBOOK? Perhaps. Go anywhere — even Costco — and you'll find "netbooks," tiny portables with small-ish screens, hard drives (if any) and about a Gigabyte of RAM. Some have Windows pre-loaded, others rely on Linux, while others still would connect via a network to a "cloud" computer where your operating system (and data) reside. They seem very cute, and very popular: my spousal unit (as the Census Bureau folks term her) is enamored of one.

I haven't played with the Windows-based devices all that much yet, but my chief concern is the relatively small screen size of 8.9 to 10 inches diagonally for most models. My aging eyes wince at this, even though it might work for many people. I'd try to find a 12-inch display on a netbook, but that's me. I'd also want to see more RAM, or at least the chance to add more. And, forget about optical drives: if you want to watch a movie, you'll need an external drive of some stripe, which kind of defeats the tiny, super-portable concept.

On the Linux side, and especially for the smaller computer users in your world, the OLPC, or One Laptop Per Child, XO model — which runs on electricity and a hand-crank-charged battery — is a great choice at just under $400 at amazon.com. No, it's not the world's most sophisticated computer, but the only way you or I can buy one is to pay enough to let the OLPC folks give one to a child in the developing world. That alone makes it worthwhile.

NOTEBOOKS. There are some new entrants this holiday season, most notably Samsung, which is bringing some nice models (including a Netbook-ish one) to the States under their own brand. None were provided for review at this time, but let me say that I've not yet found a "bad" Samsung product overall. On that basis alone, I can suggest they're worth checking out. However, you'll have to go online to Amazon.com, NewEgg.com or Buy.com if your local BestBuy doesn't have them handy.

I remain a huge fan of Hewlett Packard's products for the home, especially the dv5t series of notebook computers. They shine, and not just in appearance. The screen size is decent, the graphics quality is great, you can get an HD TV tuner for watching on the run, and — yippee — some models even have a Blu-Ray disc player. As far as entertainment goes, you can't ask for much more. And, HP products seem to be everywhere, so finding them is easy. (There's even a "green" packaged notebook, though not in the dv5t family, being sold at Wal-Mart, which I think truly defines bargain.)

Dell also has some serviceable items this year, and they're pumping out bargain prices to draw in shoppers online at www.dell.com. If you've been happy with that brand, it might be worth investigating.

On the Mac side, of course, Apple holds the reins, and I like their newest notebooks. The brilliance of the newest MacBook and MacBook Pro computers shines in every dimension. The only downside, so far, is the lack of Blu-Ray disc players as an installed option. Perhaps this will change in 2009; one can only hope!

Why do I stress portables over desktops? It's a mobile world. If you want to be more comfortable at home, docking and display options are plentiful and reasonable in cost, so grab the advantage of portability while and when you can!

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many 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.

Archives

© 2008, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles