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The new secret sauce in laptops

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A new breed of processors should draw a collective cheer from users, but that’s a rarity. Primarily because, most users do not realise what a fast processor can do to a machine — Intel’s Core series of processors makes a or sing, literally.

MSI CR420
Price: Rs 33,500

If you are in the market for a second PC, should be your pick.

Besides being affordable, it also has a decent 14-inch display, feels light and is definitely more stylish than PCs in the same price point. Once you move beyond the looks, you will notice the 1.3-megapixel webcam, a four-in-one card reader, HDMI port and integrated speakers.

Running on the latest Intel Core i3 processors, power consumption of CR420 is lower than that of the previous-generation machines. The performance of integrated graphics core has improved, because of which users get excellent processing and excellent display results. We streamed videos without any hitch and casual gaming was handled really well by the CR420. However, serious gamers or those who want to do graphic-intensive work on laptops should stay away from this one.

During our review, we noticed that CR420 did not get hot or too warm even when using it for hours doing normal tasks. This is good if you intend to use CR420 on the go without burn marks on your lap.

MacBook Pro
Price: Rs 1,09,990

There’s nothing new in the latest Apple MacBook Pro series, at least appearance wise, yet everything they do evidence of an upgrade. So what has changed?

The new range of MacBook Pro features the same unibody design that was introduced by Apple last year. The body is crafted from a solid piece of aluminum and the design is probably one of the best-designed notebooks available in the market, with unquestionable build quality. The new 15-inch MacBook Pro model we tested was the base model that comes with a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a NVIDIA GT 330M graphics processor, with 256MB of GDDR3 RAM. This is a specification you should look out for if you are buying a laptop for home use.

The new MacBook Pro is best described as a speed demon — it starts up fast, launches applications quickly and the multi-touch trackpad does a new scrolling trick where you can flick two fingers to scroll with momentum, as on an iPhone or iPod Touch. Further, multitasking had never been so easy on a laptop. The system delivers between eight and nine hours of battery life from a single charge. It is available in three models — the 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5 with 320GB hard drive MacBook costs Rs 109,900; the 2.53 GHz Intel Core i5 with 500GB hard drive machine costs Rs 119,000 and the 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7 backed with a 500GB hard drive MacBook is priced at Rs 129,900.

S670 Lifebook
Price: Rs 1,02,500

If Apple does not cut ice with you, perhaps Fujitsu’s S670 Lifebook would. Fujitsu Lifebook S670 is capable of replacing your desktop. It’s nothing fancy — a 13.3-inch display, well-spaced keyboard and just 1.6 kg in weight. And, even though the Lifebook S760 looks a little chunky, compared to some of the newer ultra-slim laptops on the market, it is no more than 30mm in thickness.

We tested the Lifebook S670, powered by Intel Core i5 processor, with a 2-GB DDR3 RAM and 320-GB hard drive. This configuration helped in faster booting and data transfer from laptop to external hard drives. Lifebook S670 does not even slow down when security software is running a full system scan, which is worth mentioning. On the multimedia front, the notebook was able to convert a 120MB MP4 file to AVI format in 60 seconds flat, whereas the average ultraportable takes above 2.5 minutes.

We found the touchpad to be a little small for comfort but since it does not support multi-touch gestures, it may not be a big hurdle for users. But the real Achilles heel is the S670’s battery life, which averages four hours (depending on usage).

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