Monday, November 22, 2010

7 Cool Computer and Related Useful Toys for The Holidays! Part 1 of 2

Looking for a Holiday Computer?
It's already decorated!

OK, sometimes you get tired of doing or buying what you NEED, what you should buy or what you have to buy. Sometimes you get to buy what you Want To Buy! In that category, let's put useful Computer Toys.  Oh, I don't mean kid's toys, but something like the latest iPhone, or Android 4G phone, or iPad. Maybe a top of the line computer with MORE hard disk space, CPU horsepower and memory than you need, that will not only do the job you need done, but obliterate it, that is, do it so fast and so well, that it's a pleasure. Holiday Toys. Computers, Monitors and Printers for 2nd Decade of the 3rd Millenium CE.

So I have 7 computer related suggestions, for things I like very much, which are still  useful and sensible, but which  represent the best of their type and should bring a lot of pleasure in use for a long time.

They are 2 Desktop Computers, 1 Laptop, 2 monitors, and 2 Photo Printers.

Both of the Computers I like use the new AMD 6 core processor, which, while not a powerful as Intel's 6 core unit, runs about $700 less, plus, these computers use related components which can be cheaper as well.

They are the Dell Studio XPS 7100 and the Cyberpower AMD Hex Core Custom PC -- the Dell is configurable and offers the advantage of purchasing from a first tier maker and a 24/7 extendable warranty, -- whereas the the Cyberpower is not only configureable by can be ordered with a stable overclock for a nominal fee, which is like a free upgrade to a faster computer, and has a good warranty for up to 3 years as well but not the 24/7 support and service scheduling.

As for the Dell, for most users adding the 1090T upgrade to the fastest AMD 6 core processor for $90 is worthwhile -- you can upgrade the graphics card too if you want to play video games -- as is upgrading to 8 GB of RAM for $60. You will need at least basic speakers for $20, and you can upgrade from the included 2 year on-site service to a 3 year plan for $80 which is a good idea. Total price delivered, not including tax, is $999.99. Beautiful machine, beautiful price. Over $350 off the SRP as this is written.

The Cyberpower offers a huge and confusing array of options, many of which are irrelevant to most users, but quite a number of the options are VERY USEFUL indeed and make for a very powerful computer at a very good price.  The set of options that I like, and which gives you a faster, more robust, and more powerful machine than the Dell, includes the top of the line AMD 1090T CPU, 16 GB of 1600 GHz memory (8 GB max is availalble with the Dell), 4 Sata 3 6 GHz  2 Terabyte drives in a RAID 10 configuration for 4 Terabytes of Stoarage and a 4 TB mirror so you are protected  in case of a drive failure, and a 2 TB backup drive. Also included are the Coolermaster 690 II case, a Corsair AX 750 Pro Gold super Efficient 750 watt Power Supply, an ATI 5770 1 GB Graphics card, a BluRay Rewritable Optical Drive that plays BluRay movies, DVDs, and CDs and writes them, too, up to 25 GB per disc. This machine also includes USB 3.0.
Total price $2228.00 including a 5% limited time discount.

What is that you say -- the price is over 2 X that of the Dell? Yeah, and it's worth it, too. You get high quality stuff on this system that you cannot even order on any Dell. But you can reduce or change the disk configuration or any other part of this machine to suit you and your wallet.

FYI USB 3 and Sata 3 are the new peripheral and disk interfaces that operate at much faster speeds than USB 2 and Sata 2, and are not available on the Dell.

So you get to choose. The 24/7 support Dell warranty is very nice, and I know from experience that this Dell computer is a good one. Cyberpower is a well respected, by comparison with Dell, boutique PC maker, and nobody can guess if they will have long term staying power, but the Cyberpower machine is made of industry standard non-proprietary parts and can be serviced easily by any shop long after the 3 year warranty ends.

Now to my favorite Monitors: You can buy a lot of nice 1920 X 1080 pixel  1080P Full HD monitors in the $220 to $300 price range, but for sheer size, beautiful picture, even higher and more useful resolution, not to mention low price for all of that, nothing beats the Asus VW266H. It's almost 26" diagonally across and has a taller than HD 1920 X 1200 resolution, so you can not only watch HD movies, but also see almost 3 full size letters in Microsoft Word side by side across the screen. Because of the big screen, the fonts are bigger, too, so no eye strain. It truly is your window on the electronic world. I purchased mine from Amazon, which inexplicably doesn't have it in stock as I write this, but Buy.Com has it for less that $290 not including the $30 Asus rebate. Good deal, beautiful monitor. Do not buy the Dell or Cyberpower monitors -- buy this one

The next Monitor I like is a 30" 2560 X 1600 Resolution device, and that's a screen like picture window. When you see a screen like that for the first time attached to a computer, you feel like you could just step into the CyberWorld.

But I've talked too much for today, so I'll finish this series in a few days.

May dreams of Sugar Plums and Cool Computers Dance in Your Head!


Make 2011 Go Off Like A Rocket!

Photo Credits: Lighted Computer c/o
                       2011 photo c/o various websites

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