Category: "Sponsored Product Review"

Lenovo Ideapad Z570 1024DAU 15.6-Inch Laptop

May 18th, 2012

The stylish yet affordable IdeaPad Z570 is packed with loads of cool features to make your day more fun. Bring your multimedia experience alive on your high-definition widescreen display; optimize audio-visual settings with OneKey Theater II; and get top quality audio with SRS Premium Surround SoundTM. The IdeaPad Z570 is built for convenience too. It supports WiDi technology; features a comfortable AccuType keyboard making typing easier; and Lenovo Energy Management provides longer battery life. This laptop is powered by the smart performance of a 2nd generation Intel CoreTM processor. Plus, with Lenovo Enhanced Experience 2.0 for Windows 7 with RapidBoot technology, you can start your PC up to 20 seconds faster than a typical Windows 7 computer. And you can enjoy the best possible multimedia experience too.

I needed a new laptop. I always find it hard to balance the specs needed in a laptop against cost so I lapsed into my usual analysis paralysis. Enter the Z570. Many people are becoming familiar with the Lenovo brand, which is predominantly known for "work" laptops. This laptop can go toe-to-toe with the other major manufacturers in the consumer market. When asked for recommendations, I have always steered people to HP or Toshiba. The Lenovo Z570 has certainly entered the conversation for machines at this price point. The hardware in this laptop won't knock your socks off, but it has everything that I need and it should last me awhile if I treat it well.

2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i3-2350M processor
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Lenovo Enhanced Experience 2.0 for Windows® 7, with RapidBoot technology
15.6" HD widescreen (1366x768)
Integrated Intel® HD 3000 Graphics
6GB DDR3 memory, 500GB HD
Integrated high-speed 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
Integrated DVD reader/writer
USB 2.0, eSATA connectors & 5-in-1 card-reader
Integrated 0.3M webcam for clearer video chats
5.7 lbs
Up to 5 hours (with 6-cell battery)

The screen is great and watching videos is a rewarding experience. I am bummed that the resolution is capped at 1366 x 768, but the important thing is that the video is always crisp. The touchpad is super sensitive and I am still working to retrain myself, but I think I will just get an external mouse. The DVD drive opens maybe too easily, but learn to maneuver your laptop from the left and you can work around that.

Other than that, this is a great laptop at a great price. I am happy with mine and have recommended it to a few others already.

Amazon

Maxell AirStash Wireless Flash Drive A02 8GB

December 22nd, 2011

This device was seemingly conceived out of the public outcry for expandable storage for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iTouch). Since Apple hasn't come to the rescue, Maxell stepped up to the plate with an external harddrive that connects wirelessly. So basically this serves a very targeted need for a niche market; if you, for example, have a 16GB iPod Touch and it is full of music/apps/movies/photos and you don't want to buy a second iPod Touch with more space...buy an AirStash. Then you can expand the amount of media you can access.

(Note: The AirStash is sold as either 8GB or 16Gb, but the product comes with a SDHC card that you slide into the card-reader slot. Maxell says the AirStash will work with SDHC cards up to 32GB and SDXC cards up to 2TB!)

Maxell has an Airstash+ App available in the iTunes App Store that you can use for relatively seamless integration of your AirStash. Currently, there is no "official" app available for Android devices (smartphones, tablets and your Kindle Fire). If you have an Android device, Maxell says any app that has webDAV capability should work fine (or just point your browser to to airstash.net). When turned on, the AirStash emits a WiFi signal. You "join" your device to that WiFi connection and then use the app or browse to www.airstash.net to see your content.

From the web interface at airstash.net (when you are connected to your AirStash via WiFi) you can change the SSID of your WiFi signal and set a password. The default SSID includes "AirStash" in the name and if want to customize it, you may. Also by default, there is no password to connect to your AirStash so you may want to include a password if you want to control access to your content.

This will be a fun device for me to have on me when I visit family and friends so I can take my recent vacation photos with me. Sure, the easy way is to post them online and e-mail blast the link. I'm a little geekier than that and I will really enjoy making the ones I love connect to my AirStash. My parents each have their own iPad so they will be able to flip through my photos at their own pace.

If you haven't run out of space on your iPhone, you may have a hard time understanding what need this product serves. But if you have, the AirStash is pretty cool. And when Maxell partners with a development company for an official AirStash Android App, I will be even happier with it.