Mother's Day is approaching, and I have a gift suggestion. Why not buy your mom a new desktop PC!
I know what you're thinking. No one buys desktops anymore! People want notebooks, ultrabooks... not a big, ugly tower and monitor.
Well, first, let me throw out a figure -- $499. What kind of notebook can you buy for under 500 bucks? Certainly not an ultrabook. They normally start at around $1000.
What's more, if you buy mom a $500 laptop, it will have typically a 15-inch screen, 4 gigabytes of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. The speakers will sound tinny, and the keyboard will be cramped.
That's why I think the deal Lenovo is currently offering on its Model C325 desktop is a better choice.
To begin, we're talking about an all-in-one PC with a 20-inch, 1600x900 LED-backlit display, tons of features, and good specs. The Lenovo C325 is designed to provide full multimedia capabilities in minimal space.
The unit weighs under 14 lbs., so it's almost as easy to move around as a desktop replacement laptop. Its large, 16:9 wide-screen display allows you to watch DVDs or easily stream movies via a WiFi connection. You can even watch movies on an HDTV set using the unit's HDMI port (cable not included.)
SRS Premium Sound and integrated stereo speakers take care of the audio, and other features include an AMD Fusion E450 processor, ATI Mobility Radeon 6310 graphics, 8.0GB RAM, 1TB 7,200 rpm hard drive, USB keyboard and mouse, 6-in-1 card reader, a recordable DVD drive, Broadcom 11b/g/n Wi-Fi networking, and a one-year warranty.
Lenovo's Eye-Distance System and Dynamic Brightness System will even alert you when you're too close to the screen, plus automatically adjust screen brightness to the ambient light conditions. Even the built-in .3MP high-sensitivity webcam has extras, like facial-tracking and special effects.
The Lenovo C325 lists for $849 but is currently selling online for only $499 with an eCoupon. Lenovo is even throwing-in free standard shipping.
If you want extras, you can add optional multi-touch touch-screen support and a built-in TV tuner with remote control. The price tag climbs to $679, but you're still saving $270.
For more information about the Lenovo C325 All-in-One desktop, visit Lenovo.com.
NOKIA LUMIA 900: Stupid Commercial; Cool Phone
Microsoft has a lot riding on the Nokia Lumia 900. Unfortunately, the company has a knack for using TV to undermine its products. Need I remind you of the Jerry Seinfeld / Bill Gates fiasco, the weird Bing commercials, or the meandering "I'm a PC" campaign?
The current Nokia Lumia 900 TV ad, featuring actor Chris Parnell, is ridiculous. The beta test is over? Really? In what universe does the Lumia 900 make other smart phones seem like prototypes?
Granted, Nokia's new phone looks great, works pretty well, and is remarkably affordable. To suggest, however, that it sets any kind of new standard is delusional.
The Lumia 900's strongest selling points are its candy bar styling, its 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display, its long-lasting 1830 mAh battery, and its 8-megapixel camera, featuring Carl Zeiss optics.
The Metro user interface goes out of its way to indulge fans of Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and other social networking sites. No surprise, subscribers of partner AT&T's U-verse TV can also schedule DVR recordings and watch TV shows while on the go.
My appreciation for the Lumia 900 might have been more favorable if I had been spared seeing "the beta test is over" TV spots so often. Instead, I found the suggestion that this handset in any way surpasses the current crop of iOS and Android-powered devices to be an affront. Do they really think consumers are that gullible?
I really wish they had tried a more earnest approach. The Lumia 900 is not a bad deal, especially if you're the adventurous type, but it's more of a beta than the competition.
One day, Windows Phone might actually give Apple and Google a run for the money, but as yet, I don't see reasons for iPhone or Android users to jump ship.
The Nokia Lumia 900 is available exclusively in the U.S. from AT&T retailers for $99.99 with a new, two-year agreement. For more information, visit ATT.com.