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WaterField Designs Debuts the Field Muzetto with a Padded Compartment for Surface Pro 4, Laptops and Tablets

October 26, 2015 Comments off
The Field Muzetto laptop bag—waxed canvas and premium chocolate leather

WaterField Designs debuts its new Field Muzetto, a handsome padded laptop bag, just in time for Surface Pro 4 users whose new device ships today. Designed to complement men’s apparel and lifestyles, the Field Muzetto vertical messenger protects laptops and tablets in a padded pocket and features full-grain distressed leather accenting a lightweight and rugged waxed canvas shell. Available in three sizes, the small fits the new Surface Pro 4 and other daily essentials, the medium stows the Surface Book or MacBook Pro 13-inch, and the large holds 15-inch Macs or similar-sized computers. WaterField Designs, a San Francisco manufacturer of custom laptop sleeves, bags and cases for digital gear, manufactures all products in the USA.

The Muzetto is a lightweight, vertical laptop bag with an adjustable shoulder strap. Every detail is engineered with form and functionality in mind. With an area for every item men carry, the Field Muzetto is ideal for both commuting and traveling. The bag includes a padded laptop pocket, a main compartment with a secure zippered pocket inside, a scratch-free pocket for tablets or other electronics with a soft smartphone pocket inside it, and an open-topped back pocket. A gold liner “lights up” the main compartment making contents easy to differentiate. The flap length and angled sides add to its svelte look. To reduce shoulder and back fatigue, a removable, shoulder pad with a gripping underside keeps the strap firmly in place.

The bag hangs naturally against the body, and its clean and refined look complements any outfit—casual jeans to a dressy blazer. All three sizes are small enough to provide unrestricted motion, yet large enough to stow essentials and digital gear.

“With devices getting smaller and everything going digital, men need a svelte bag that offers laptop protection and organizational space for their smaller necessities,” explained Gary Waterfield, company founder. “Even on leisure travel or outings, men carry gadgets and essentials—too much to fit into pockets. The Muzetto offers a man peace of mind that his necessities are safely stowed, while enhancing nearly any wardrobe.”

Availability & Pricing
The Muzetto: Price—Small: $169. Medium: $189 Large: $199.
Small—$169. Dimensions: 11.5 x 9.3 x 2.0 inches / 1.3 lbs.
Medium—$ 189. Dimensions: 14 x 11 x 2.5 inches / 1.8 lbs.
Large—$199. Dimensions: 15.5 x 11.75 x 2.7 / 2 lbs.
Colors: Lightweight brown waxed canvas with naturally-tanned, full-grain chocolate leather panel.
Shipping begins, November 6, 2015.

About WaterField Designs WaterField Designs is an innovative San Francisco designer and manufacturer of bags and cases for tech-savvy consumers who want to stylishly and responsibly transport their technology. WaterField manufactures custom-fitted, high-quality cases and bags for a full-range of laptop computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming devices and other digital gear. All products are manufactured to exacting standards entirely in San Francisco. More information at “Our Story”.

Crucial Introduces Next Generation Solid State Drives

January 6, 2015 Comments off

Crucial MX200 SSDNew Crucial MX200 and BX100 SSDs Offer Performance and Features to Suit a Range of Needs and Budgets

Multimedia Elements:

Las Vegas, NV, January 6, 2015 – Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, today announced two new solid state drives (SSDs): the Crucial®MX200, built to deliver leading speeds and features, and the Crucial® BX100, designed to offer substantial yet affordable performance gains compared to a hard drive.

Crucial MX200 SSD

Available in 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB capacities with respective MSRPs of $139.99, $249.99, and $469.99, the new Crucial MX200 delivers sequential reads and write up to 555MB/s and 500MB/s, along with random reads and writes up to 100k and 87k IOPS on all file types. Additionally, with an endurance rating up to 320 TBW (total bytes written) on the 1TB model, the Crucial MX200 delivers up to five times more endurance than a typical client SSD.[i]

The Crucial MX200 is also the only consumer drive on the market with Dynamic Write Acceleration, a new and unique technology that enables faster saves and file transfers. Furthermore, the MX200 also offers a host of industry-leading features, including:

  • Best-in-class AES 256-bit encryption to protect data at the highest possible level
  • Exclusive Data Defense to guard against corrupt files
  • Adaptive Thermal Protection to keep systems cool
  • Power Loss Protection[ii] to preserve user data if power is lost

Each Crucial MX200 SSD includes Acronis® True Image™ HD data migration software that moves all files, operating systems, settings, and programs from an existing hard drive to a newly installed SSD.[iii] This patented disk-imaging technology powered by Acronis’ AnyData Engine allows users to quickly, easily, and accurately utilize their new SSD as their system drive.

Crucial BX100 SSD

Available in 120GB, 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB capacities with respective MSRPs of $69.99, $109.99, $199.99, and $399.99, the Crucial BX100 delivers sequential reads and writes up to 535MB/s and 450MB/s on all file types.[iv]  More than fifteen times faster than a hard drive, the Crucial BX100 allows users to boot up almost instantly, load programs in seconds, and accelerate demanding applications. And with Extreme Energy Efficiency technology, the BX100 is two times more energy efficient than a typical hard drive, allowing users to run their systems longer, using less power.

The BX100 is the first Crucial drive to include the Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller. Robert Fan, vice president and general manager of Silicon Motion U.S.A., said, “We are excited to be partnering with Crucial on the new BX100 SSD. Our high-performance and low power consumption SM2246EN controller combined with leading-edge Micron NAND helps make the BX100 fast, energy efficient, and affordable.”

“We designed the MX200 and BX100 to meet the varied needs of the market, making it easier for anyone to move to an SSD, whether they are a seasoned computer enthusiast or an absolute beginner, all while keeping value top of mind,” said Jonathan Weech, senior worldwide product manager, Crucial. “These drives leverage Micron’s years of heritage in storage technology to deliver advanced features and performance, resulting in an unparalleled SSD experience for our consumers.”

Crucial Storage Executive

Available today, the Crucial Storage Executive is a software tool that helps users monitor, maintain, and optimize their Crucial SSD. Available for download atcrucial.com/se, the new tool allows users to:

  • Update to the latest firmware version
  • Reset the drive’s encryption password
  • Report on drive status, model, capacity, firmware version, temperature, and overall health

The tool works with the new BX100 and MX200 SSDs, as well as existing M500, M550, and MX100 SSDs.

Availability

Both Crucial MX200 and BX100 2.5-inch drives will be available in Q1 2015 at Crucial.com and through select global partners. The Crucial MX200 will also be available in mSATA and M.2 form factors during Q1 2015. Both drives are backed by a limited three-year warranty. For more information about Crucial SSDs, please visit www.crucial.com/ssd.

[i] The published endurance rating (TBW) of the 1TB Crucial MX200 SSD is up to five times greater than the average published endurance rating of three leading high-capacity mainstream client SSDs (September 2014): 1TB Samsung® 840 EVO, 480GB SanDisk Extreme Pro® II, and 480GB Intel® 530 SSD.

[ii] Refers to data at rest only

[iii] Available on 2.5-inch form factor only

[iv] Based on published specs of the 500GB and 1TB models

Acer Chromebook C720 (Review)

July 25, 2014 1 comment

Acer C720 ChromebookAcer Chromebook C720
Acer, Inc.
Price varies from $179 to $379 depending on hardware and features.
$199 for the C720-2800 Reviewed model

My Acer Chromebook C720 is just cool. I know that’s not a very good review, but it is in fact, cool. I love it. If there’s one computer that I always grab for writing, Internet browsing, buying stuff online, watching YouTube videos, or connecting to remote server systems to do some heavy work, it’s my trusty, little C720 Chromebook. If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written on ZDNet in my Consumerization column, you know that I sort of have a love affair with Acer. Yes, I’m afraid that it’s a one-sided affair, but it’s one that I’ve carried on for years.

I’ve purchased many Acer products and have recommended them (successfully) to my in-laws and others. Someday I’ll provide a full list of the still living models, although I can tell you that I have one, a Linux system living in my personal data center (garage) that has to be ten years old. I digress. But you see my point? I love Acer products. And the C720 hasn’t changed my mind.

The C720 is what Chromebooks aspire (Watch that pun, Acer has a line of Aspire systems) to be. They’re lightweight, powerful, stable, durable, high quality, full of features, and competitively priced. What more can you ask for? Great support, probably. Well, Acer has that. Although I’ve never had any serious problems with any of my Acer products, the two or three times I’ve used Customer Support, the agent has helped me until the issue was resolved. I’ve never disconnected from one of the online chat sessions with anything but satisfaction in my head and a smile on my face.

My Acer C720 surpassed my Acer One Netbook as my favorite computer about a week after I got it. The C720 is so fast and responsive that rivals even the most souped-up computer that I’ve ever used. There’s never any hesitation, freezing, or “Not responding” messages. And I really don’t have the patience for “Not responding” messages.

And say what you will about Google, but the Chrome browser and the Chrome OS are the best things to happen to computers since Linus released Linux back in the mid-1990s. Google aced it, in my humble opinion, with Chrome and Chrome OS.

C720_SideViews

The C720 comes in a variety of models from the most basic to the very elaborate with a touch screen, super fast CPU(s), 4GB RAM, and a larger (32GB) internal SSD. The touch screen is the big bonus feature for the Chromebook. Chrome OS isn’t Windows 8, but the operating system and computing environment is still enhanced by touch screen technology for those of us who have become accustomed to tapping and swiping our phones and tablets. Alas, my C720 doesn’t have a touchscreen, but the trackpad is very good. Sometimes, if I’m working at a desk instead of on my lap, I plug in an external mouse and I’m fine.

  • 11.6’’ (1366×768) display, 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 0.75 inches thin – 2.76 lbs/ 1.25kg
  • Up to 8.5 hours of active use 1
  • New Intel® Celeron™ processor
  • 100 GB Google Drive Cloud Storage2 with 16GB Solid State Drive
  • 30-day free trial with Google Play Music All Access
  • Built-in dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • VGA Camera
  • 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
  • Full size HDMI Port
  • Bluetooth®4.0 Compatible

One thing to note about your Chromebook is that its operating system, Chrome OS, has been deemed the “most secure operating system” by Kevin Mitnick, the famous hacker turned security expert. He’s correct. I’ve performed multiple security scans over the network against the Chromebook and I can’t break into it. There’s just no available attack vector. In other words, you can feel safe using your Chromebook out in public because no one can scan your system, break into it, and grab your data.

Why it’s Frugal: The C720 is frugal for many reasons, but the most important one is features per dollar. You get a full, powerful computer for $200 that won’t require you to spend on hardware upgrades because of a newer operating system version every two years. There’s no spinning hard drive to fail on you. There’s very little heat generated from it. It requires very little electricity. It really requires no additional accessories to make it useful. And it’s an Acer product, which means that it will last for years. That’s frugal.

The C720 comes equipped with a camera (top center of the screen) and a built-in microphone located just above the function keys above the keyboard, so that you can use Google Hangouts with audio or both audio and video. If you’re a videocaster or podcaster, you can use Google Hangouts from your Chromebook and easily upload the finished product to YouTube. And you can perform those casts from anywhere that you have access to Wi-Fi or a wired network.
While your C720 doesn’t come with an Ethernet connection, you can purchase a USB-to-Ethernet network interface for under $20. There are no drivers to install or any issues. Plug it in and it works.
Using a Chromebook is a little different than using a “regular” computer. You don’t typically save anything to your local computer. You save your documents and pictures to Google Drive, Dropbox, or some other cloud-based storage service and you work 100 percent of your time on web-based applications, whether you’re editing photos, writing your memoirs, or listening to music. You’ll get used to it. Plus, if the darn thing dies and can’t be repaired (very rare), you’re only out $200. Go buy another one.
You login to your Chromebook with your Google account, which means that you have Gmail, Hangouts, YouTube, and customized search via Google.com at your fingertips. Other users can login to your Chromebook, if they have a Google account, but they can’t look at or alter any of your settings or data. This means that if you have a friend who needs to check her Gmail, you can let her do that and both of you can feel secure in the fact that both your data and hers are protected from each other’s prying eyes. The same goes for a stranger who wants to login. For this reason, Chromebooks make excellent shared/public kiosk type computers.
The C720 is lightweight at just over two-and-a-half pounds, which makes it very portable. It also features a very long battery life of up to 8+ hours. Under heavy usage conditions, such as audio/video or constant on, I’d figure on four to five hours. As with most laptop/notebook computers, it charges while you work, if plugged in.
You can look at and test the C720 at Office Depot and other stores in sort of a try before you buy fashion. I can tell you that you won’t be disappointed with the C720 regardless of configuration. I love mine. It’s my favorite computer.
Rating: 10/10
Recommendation: Buy it and love it.
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