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Belkin netbook neoprene bag

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Resume:3-stars

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I’m quite satisfied with this netbook neoprene case although it’s bulky. I put three stars because some compartements storage are almost to small and it uses padding instead of molded EVA/polyester as this Case logic bag. But my netbook is totally protected. 

Maximum dimensions accepted: 240mm x 310mm x 40mm

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To carry my netbook throughout my travel, I bought a netbook bag. It should be as little as possible to put it in a backpack and good protect my netbook.

Needs:

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Price
Little but big enough for a netbook  & its accessories
Shockproof

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At first, I chose the Case Logic bag. It was molded EVA/Polyester rigid but it was impossible to put nothing more than my netbook.

So I’ve searched out an other solution. I’ve discovered the Belkin neoprene bag. It’s not rigid but it has plenty of padding, and many storage compartments. I let you discovered it!

Product Presentation

Netbook-bag_Belkin_Neoprene-bag

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It’s not as little than I should like and some pockets are almost to small. Moreover as it’s plenty of padding, it’s not lightweight. But I don’t find an other netbook case with enought space for a netbook and its accessories, a good protection and a good price.

Concessions:

minus-sign.

Lightweight
EVA protection
Bulky

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Price: Amazon Website

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Netbook_HP Dm1 4136 SF

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One week after:

The touchpad has many bugs when processor runs fast. It’s painful. But it’s enought to access to mouse setting in control panel when you can move the cursor and all returns in order.

I’m globally satisfied with this netbook. It’s fast enough for my needs and the display screen is luminous. I’ve download a new calibration profile (.icc) on Digital Versus

Also, I’ve found a forum about this netbook very complete here (French).

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First impression:

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Till today, you can find this netbook less than € 350. I bought it  under € 300 in July 2012. It looks like  ideal for a traveller with a good battery life, a wide screen of 11.6 inches (1366×768) and reliable thanks to direct access to motherboard/ SD RAMM / Hard Drive. The processor is sufficient for office automation and surf on web. Also you can do some photo retouch (Photoshop or Picasa) or short videomontages with Windows Live Movie Maker. However isn’t so much powerfull and lightweight as an ultrabook and it hasn’t a matt display.
But it’s a very good balance between price/battery life/ performance/display.
Three stars because it doesn’t have mat display and USB 3.0 to become nearly perfect. Moreover it’s little heavy.

CNet_ HP DM1 (fall 2011)

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Toshiba_Satellite-A350-11B_compared-with_HP_DM1-4136sfFor my travel, I wanted a netbook to replace my laptop Toshiba A350-11B. Indeed it’s heavy and it has a poor battery life too. That’s not the best for travelling as we are limited in space and weight in our backpack to take plane. Also I will take every day. Therefore weight is an important measure.
Moreover, I wouldn’t buy an expensive ultrabook ( altought many of them are powerful processor, lightweight and have a matt display) in case I will break it.

My needs:

Automy
1366*768 display screen
Matt panel
Sufficient powerful processor for photo retouch and videomontage
Reliable
Lightweight
Not more expensive

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Asus_Eee-PC-1025CFirst, my choice was the new Asus Eee PC 1025C. Its former version Asus Eee PC 1015 had a excellent ranking on DigitalVersus. I didn’t know the Intel Atom N2800 processor but its clock rate looked like good (1,86 Ghz) and it could play HD video. Nethertheless its screen is small enough with a definition of 1024 by 600 pixels. As my job is to write posts on web, that won’t be a good choice because the result will be diffrent between my netbook and yours.

Moreover an article on website had helpt me to find the diffrence between AMD E-450 and Intel N2800 processor. To touch up pictures with photoshop or picasa and realize short videomontage I would know which of them will be the most appropriate. AMD E-450 with its 6320 graphic chipset is better for these application fields.

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So I discovered HP DM1 4136SF, Samsung N350UA1 and MSI Wind270 which are more or less the same configuration (processor and screen size).

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samsung_305UA1I liked the Samsung with its matt panel and its ligthweight (1.2 kg) but it has only a four cells battery. Therefore is turned off after less than 3 hours. It has the same features of HP DM1 4136SF (processor/RAMM/OS/HDD). Here its full review on Notebook check.

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msi_wind-U270MSI Wind270 is may be better than HP DM1 4136SF compared with my needs. Indeed, it has a matt screen, a fast processor (E-350) and a good graphic chipset. Its weight is 1.5 kg and it has a direct access to the motherboard and all its components as HP DM1 4136SF. Also it has a USB 3.0 connector. Till Today it is the only one among netbooks in this price. But its line-in has a poor signal, it hasn’t multitouch touchpad and I prefer HP DM1 4136SF design. Here its full review on Digital Versus.

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Netbook_HP_DM1-4136sfNow HP DM1 4136SF. It has a AMD E-450 processor with a Radeon 6320 graphic chipset and it uses 4 Gb RAMM  with a 500 gb hard drive to lauch Windows 7 64 bits. Its features are lightly better than MSI Wind U270. I don’t really need of USB 3.0 connection because I won’t use external hard drive. All my content will be share and save with my gmail account.  It runs well and is comfortable but I miss a matt screen. Its webcam isn’t high quality. When you move, the video is jerky. It is sufficient to communicate on skype. However its internal microphone isn’t good with much reverb when you are distant. Fortunatly it has a good line-in and you could plug an external microphone.
Also, it’s possible to open display panel to 180 degrees. That allows to work with your netbook on your knees. Lastly, It has a very good battery life compared with its performance. You could surf on web more than 5 hours (economic mode).

Advice: Don’t upgrade the webcam software, it’s useless. You couldn’t change video resolution (only 320p against 640p or 1024p) and it’s less ergonomic.

French presentation of HP DM1 4136sf

Concessions:

minus-sign.

matt screen
usb 3.0 connector
Many netbooks are more lightweight

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Price : CDiscount Website

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Features

Digital Camera_Canon Powershot SX220 HS

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5-starsSynthesis:

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This digital camera delights me. Today I don’t master every set-up or possibilities allowed by this one. However is field of use is biggest than its rivals thanks to its waterproof case WP-DC42 and its community CHDK. Nethertheless it isn’t automatic panorama mode, HD Video (720p.) is limited to 30 frames/s and full HD video is limited to 24 frames/s.
Its upgrade, the Powershot SX 240/260 HS doesn’t change this. It upgrades zoom lens (X14 to X20), it reduces noise to 70% and it has a burst mode in full size (3Mpx to 12,1Mpx).

canon_powershot_sx220-hs_purple

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digital-camera_sony_cybershot_p-93Before it, I never really have a Digital Camera. Sometimes, my father gave me his one: Sony Cybershot P93 (at right). He didn’t know how setting-up it well to get good pictures. But I didn’t keep it a long time because I didn’t need it for myself. With my friends we lived the moment together and a digital camera wasn’t necessary.

Withal, an event changed this position. Since I live in Bayonne for studies, it’s hard to share my adventures with my familly or friends how live in Vichy. There are 400 miles between us. Though I have nice adventures to share since I found a Mountain Biking CLub three years ago: BIKIKOZ VTT.

There was a long time that I didn’t find a club which share the same conception of MTB than myself. Adventure, escapism, high stresses, adrenalin, …Own versus wild. A digital camera has been necessary to share and to immortalize wonderful landscapes of mother Earth.

However in 2011, choose the right digital camera was so hard. Many brands, many series of products. Since January 2011 to May 2012, I rode lots of articles, forums, I saw many websites,… Fortunatly, I knew a website specialized in every digital products: DigitalVersus.

When I want to buy a digital product, it’s my bible. So I compared every product present on this website compared with my needs. To safety, I search other informations on the website which have the same occupation such as Zdnet, Cnet, Erenumériques.

My needs:

Best balance bewteen processor/sensor/lens for image quality
Panoramic photo mode
High sensivity sensor (BSI CMOS)
Burst mode
Good zoom lens
HD Video with good frame rate
PSAM modes to make progress with my digital camera

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Digital-Camera_Sony_Cybershot-HX5VFirst, I bought a Sony HX5V.
I chose it because it was a bestseller and it was the first with BSI CMOS sensor. However, my father has always is Sony P 93. It’s a good proof of quality. But after two day, I came back to the shop where I bhought. I was disappointed in it.

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In the same time, a new digital camera appeared: the Canon Powershot SX 220HS. It reveals as being the best balance bewteen Technologies/Functions/Performance/Price although it has defects.

Concessions:

minus-sign.

Poor Battery life
automatic panorama mode
HD Video: Maximum 30 frames/s in 720p
No accurate colors on compact camera screen

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However choose a BSI CMOS sensor was a gamble because it’s new on the market. But time reveals I make the good choice.

You can see its test on DIGITALVERSUS

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Good Surprise:

CHDK-logoOne day in surfing on web, I had a good surprise. I didn’t know there were a community naming CHDK who devloped upgradable firmware. You learning more on their website. “CHDK firmware provides additional functionality beyond that currently provided by the native camera firmware.” For example, you wont’ have time limit for short or long exposure, you will be able to save pictures in Raw format (.DNG), your digital camera will be able to detect a motion and take one or many pictures, … and many others things.

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Canon_wp-dc42-waterproof-caseAlso, Canon is one of rare brand to make waterproof case for its digital cameras. Only two series of products: IXUS and POWERSHOT. For a lower cost (compared with a custom-built waterproof case), you can take your camera in diving, canyoning, rafting, …

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Feed-Back:

I’ve this digital camera for more than one year. I’ve taken nearly 10.000 pictures and it’s run well.
I have a Transcend 8 Gb class 10 memory card. Class 10 it’s necessary for HD video or burst mode. A Sandisk Extreme runs better but this Transcend is sufficient for my digital camera.
I use it for Mountain Biking, Snowboarding, Rafting,  Aquashooting, lightnights, … often in extreme conditions. I didn’t have dysfunction or bugs.

Lens-Pen_HAMAHowever, the hiding lens mecanism jams sometimes.  All you have to do is do clean the hiding lens with a brush. To do it, I’ve bought a Lens Pen. This accessory is perfect. On one’s side you have an organic brush, and the other side you have a carbon pad. First, brush your lens to remove dirts. After use the carbon pad to remove fingermarks. Also you can clean the  hiding lens mecanism with the organic brush. If isn’t sufficient, use your tumb nail to unjam it.

I bought 2 others batteries. Indeed the battery has a poor life if you take more than 200 pictures or shoot one video more than 10 minutes (altought isn’t a real camera recorder). You can’t use only one batterie for two days.

Laslty, I bought a flexible and magnetic camera tripod of Joby Brand to use Long Exposure (with CHDK) or time lapse. It’s funny because you can use everywhere and take pictures from every angle.

Software:

I really don’t like waste my time to touch up my photographies. So I found a casual software which allows to touch up pictures quickly (to crop, to increase dynamic range,…). His name is Picasa and it’s developped by Google. Also, you can synchronized your pictures with your GMAIL e-mail and download all pictures on “google cloud”. Click on the left picture to access to the download page.

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Warning: Unless you have a MacBook Pro with Retina screen, for the most part laptops haven’t  screen which restitute true colours. So being carefull for your printing.

Upgrade:

The upgrade of Canon Powershot SX 220/230 HS is the Powershot SX 240/260 HS.
You can see its test on DIGITALVERSUS

Price: GrosBill website

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Sample Pictures

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Waterproof Case WP-DC42:

Advice: Spit on the waterpoof case window to avoid waterdrops

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Price: Amazon website