These are exciting times in the world of computing, and portables are seeing all the action. One thing that is becoming obvious is that the line between netbook and notebook is starting to blur. Netbooks are becoming more powerful and Notebooks are becoming lighter, and longer lasting. Shown below are your picks for Most Loved Notebooks. Keep in mind that Netbooks have been filtered out of these results and were the category we used to kick off the Most Loved series. You can find those results in the previous July Newsletter or by looking for previous articles in TechTalk.
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Welcome everyone to a new and very exciting part of PC Pitstop. Roughly a year ago, as part of the incredibly popular OverDrive test, we began collecting user input about PC satisfaction. We began asking the following three questions:
- * How satisfied are you with this PC?
- * Is this PC running slow?
- * Is this PC hanging or requiring frequent reboots?
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Netbooks – those ultra small portable PCs – are they a niche product, a passing fad or an up and coming product just in its infancy? PC Pitstop analyzed the prevalence of netbooks that ran our on-line diagnostic scans during Q4 2008 and Q1 2009. For the purpose of our analysis, we looked at processor descriptions as well as the display size for portables. For the most part, we found that the netbooks usually contained the IntelÂ® Atomâ„¢ processor. We also set a filter for portable display size of less than 11 inches for the purpose of our analysis.
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What graphics cards were surfacing as the top 3D video perforrmers based on the test results captured during the first month since its roll out?
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Since its release in early May 2008, there has been plenty of press concerning the issues with Microsoft’s XP Service Pack 3. Common sense would tell us that such negative press would drastically slow the rate that folks would update to the release. PC Pitstop analyzed the percentage of XP users that have updated their systems to SP3 during the first three months since its release and compared them to the adoption rates of SP2 during its roll out.
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Back in May 2006, when Microsoft announced Vista system memory requirements of 512 MB for “Vista Capable” and 1 GB for “Vista Premium Ready” classifications, the average XP system had 833 MB and 659 MB of installed memory for Desktop and Portable systems respectively. Once Vista was released in early 2007, most users determined that “more memory was better” as the average installed desktop memory rose relatively quickly to over 2 GB on Vista systems. In recent months, it is not uncommon for PC manufacturers to market Vista systems with 3 GB of RAM. The emergence of 64-bit architecture has also likely played a role in the increase of average RAM.
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It’s no secret that Vista operating system upped the ante for video adapter requirements. PC Pitstop took a look at the PCs running our online tests during the month of February 2008 to find out more about video card prevalence.
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Systems with multi-processors, once found only on servers and other extreme high end performance systems, have found there way into the general consumer arena. The percentage of systems running PC Pitstop’s on-line diagnostics and having multiprocessors grew from just over 1% in January 2006 to almost 30% in January 2008. The percentage of portables that have multi-processors has reached almost 40% in January 2008. A comparison of Intel to AMD shows AMD with a slight edge in both desktops and portable platforms as a percentage of their respective number of system with multi-processors.
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The initial analysis of our January 2008 Photo Printing Survey results.
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FireWire origins date back to the mid-1980’s when Apple Computer devised a high-speed data transfer technology for Macintosh internal hard drives. In 1995, the IEEE announced the IEEE 1394 spec which is sometimes called the FireWire400. In 2002, the IEEE came out with a updated standard called IEEE 1394b which allowed for a theoretical maximum transfer rate of 3.2 Gbps. Apple soon released a subset of the new standard under the title of FireWire 800. In December 2007, the 1394 Trade Association announced the FireWire S3200 that will soon be available and that will support the full 3.2 Gbps transfer rate.
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The initial analysis of our December 2007 Printer Survey results.
54.8%…All in One Inkjet
4.3%…All in One Laser
47.5%…All in One Inkjet
3.9%…All in One Laser
The typical inkjet printer owner spends about $80 annually in the $30 billion dollar a year ink-jet cartridge market. (Lyra Research)
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PC Pitstop Research took a look at the display, media (sound card) and network drivers for the PCs that ran our on line tests during the month of October 2007. Based on our observations, these hardware classes include devices that are likely to have the most frequent driver updates. When we compared a PC’s installed driver date to the newest driver date for a given device in our database, we were able to determine the percentage of PCs that were not using the newest driver for their hardware component.
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The results of our October 2007 Driver Survey are in. Our initial analysis of the survey data is found below.
Over 7,500 respondents participated in this survey. 72% have updated a driver before and 78% have resolved a problem they were having by installing a different driver.
Run our free Driver Scan to check if your computers have the latest drivers.
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Microsoft has now posted a hotfix package to its Web site that corrects this flaw in Excel 2007 and Excel Services 2007. The fix will be offered soon through Microsoft Update so that users can get the patch automatically without having to go to Microsoft’s site.
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Our September 2007 survey polled the folks visiting the PC Pitstop web site to determine just how intimate people are with their PCs. Nine out of ten people surveyed indicated that they knew the manufacturer of their PC, the size of their hard drives and how much RAM is installed. Almost as many indicated that they remember the model number of their PC and who manufactured the CPU. No surprises there. These are the common attributes that PC marketers highlight in their ads and that most people look for when buying a PC.
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How does your state rank in general PC technology? We analyzed several technology metrics for folks running the PC Pitstop online tests and ranked the states based on our findings. Surprisingly, no one state or region clearly dominated all the metrics we reviewed. Delaware appears to have surfaced towards the top of the rankings while the states of Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas and Ohio generally ranked lowest.
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The PC Pitstop July 2007 survey took a look at how people make use of the Windows accessory tools, services and applications. These accessories are generally included as part of the Windows operating system with each providing some specific functionality for PC users.
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Microsoft launched Vista Business in late 2006 and Vista Home in early 2007. Our research shows that in July 2007, Vista was found on 12% of the PCs running the PC Pitstop online tests. Our research also shows that Vista is significantly lagging the historical XP launch ramp by almost 57%. In the six months following the XP launch in 2001, the operating system had grown to be found on over 28% of all PCs. Vista’s prevalence, after six months from its consumer Vista Home launch, sits at 12%.
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