Sunday, July 31, 2011

Backpack for DSLR and notebook

Went to Funan yesterday to look for a bag to carry my Pentax K100D DSLR plus other lens, and my HP DM1 notebook.

Why a backpack and not a messenger bag, like the one that I'm currently using?
  1. Weight - a DSLR + notebook adds up to a considerable weight, which would be heavy to carry on 1 shoulder
  2. Strap interference - on the same day, I purchased a Blackrapid strap which is worn across the body. Using a messenger bag would interfere with the usage of the strap
I tried out a few bags at Challenger and SLR Revolution.
  1. Kata 3N1-22
  2. Vanguard Up-rise 46
  3. Lowepro Compuday 250
The Kata's notebook slot was a bit too narrow for the DM1. So it was instantly out. Nice design though, but expensive. The bigger version, the 3N1-33 looks a little too boxy.

The Vanguard was nice, but I didn't really like it's fancy-looking V-shaped clips. It looked a little large and heavy also. Maybe I was a little biased, but I thought a China brand would be cheaper.

The Lowepro was light, but it's straps look a little too lightly padded, and the side-access slot for the DSLR did not come with additional dividers for additional lens. Cheapest of the 3 though at $95. Ugly though...

While I was at Challenger, I also tried the Vanguard Sydney 27 messenger bag. Nice design (not black), with a removable DSLR insert. Pity that it was a little small.

Back home, I spotted new versions of the Kata 3N1 bag online. The 3N1-25 looks good, and sized between the 22 & 33 models. Likely to be expensive though.

Most likely I will get the Lowepro Compuday 250. A pity that I missed the previous promotion where it was selling at $77...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

HP DM1 - 1 week on...

After almost 1 week of usage, I still feel that the laptop is not fully optimised.

Removed several HP software, but had to reinstall them, as I found that they were needed for certain functions, e.g. on-screen display, wireless assistant.

The notebookreview DM1 forum thread is useful, but with 300 pages of posts, I'm struggling to find the gems quickly. Still at page 73 currently.

I brought the DM1 out once, and the battery life was good. Screen reflection was not too serious (I was in a cafe).

One more small glitch. After changing the power button setting to shutdown the laptop, the button continues to put the laptop to sleep only...

Blank Screen on Twitter

Twitter Help Center | Blank Screen on #NewTwitter
Have been facing the above issue on Chrome and other browsers.

Following the help options, I managed to see Twitter using the https version...

Monday, July 11, 2011

HP DM1 quick review

Finally decided to buy the HP DM1, after deciding that I wasn't going to buy the Lenovo X120E over the internet.

Deciding factor was a bit weird, really. Didn't want to reward Lenovo for making it so hard for consumers to buy one of their AMD E-350 laptops.

Anyway, got the DM1 for S$699 with free 4GB RAM upgrade. First impressions are mixed.
  1. screen is glossy, but not too much reflections
  2. still getting used to the screen brightness; full brightness a little too bright, one step down a little too much
  3. high CPU usage; really need to find out which are the bloatware, and to uninstall them. lots of HP software installed by default
  4. removed Norton Anti-virus; replaced with Microsoft Security Essentials
  5. Keyboard is large, but keystroke a little shallow, compared to the Asus A42JV that my brother and I are sharing
  6. the sloping design is good for wrists; won't have carpal tunnel syndrome
  7. build quality a little iffy; panel gaps not consistent, speaker grill a little off already
  8. seems the singapore version comes with a 500GB 5400rpm hard disk :(