Widening Horizons

By Team Digit Published Date
01 - Nov - 2007
| Last Updated
01 - Nov - 2007
Widening Horizons

Q. I want to watch HD movies, and I have a maximum budget of Rs 15,000 for a monitor. What do you suggest? What resolution? What does “diagonal dot pitch” mean?

I’d suggest you opt for a 22-inch LCD monitor, which will be very suitable for widescreen applications such as HD movies. A typical 22-incher has a native resolution of 1680 x 1050 pixels (an aspect ratio of 16:10).
Dot pitch represents the distance in millimetres between two adjacent phosphor dots in the case of a CRT or pixel cells in the case of an LCD. The smaller this value the better, because there will be more dots in a given area—leading to a crisper image. For a 19-inch monitor a dot pitch of .26 mm is usually the norm, although this figure goes up for larger monitors.

A Burning Question
Please suggest a DVD-Writer for me. I currently have a Sony DRU-710A. I bought it back in January 2005; now, after extensive use, it seems to have gone kaput—it fails to read and write properly.
Abhirup Chaudhuri

All DVD-Writers are pretty much similarly-priced—I don’t think a couple of hundred bucks will be a big deal for anyone. I’d suggest Lite-On’s latest 20x DVD burner—the LH-20A1P—which should be priced at about Rs 1,750. If you want a Sony burner, the Sony DRU-830a is available, priced at Rs 1,650.

A Laptop—Specs Laid Down
I’d like to purchase a laptop for personal use. I want a good graphics solution and a 14.1-inch screen. I am also looking at 2 GB of memory. What are my options?
S Mitra

I’d suggest the Dell Inspiron 1420 series. It has a 14.1-inch screen and offers a Core 2 Duo processor and 2 GB of memory. Also optional is the GeForce 8400GS graphics solution, which is decent. The best part is, you can configure the laptop to your specific needs—of course, this scales with price. The starting price is around Rs 40,000.

Nokia For Signal Quality?
I want to buy a cell phone for between Rs 13 and 14K. What’s most important is signal quality and connectivity with a laptop (Internet via GPRS). Media playback and camera is not of primary importance, but of course, it wouldn’t hurt! I’d prefer a Nokia. I could go with another brand, but it should have more features than Nokia.

In case you’re absolutely set on Nokia, I’d recommend the N70ME—about Rs 11,000. The N73ME is a lot more future-proof as far as GPRS connectivity goes, and will cost approximately Rs 15,000. Note that these are street prices, and that the N73 (the non-music edition) will be around 1,500 bucks cheaper.

One Upgrade Forces Another…
I bought a new GeForce PCI-E 8600 GTS graphics card, but later realised that my motherboard does not support PCI-E. I now want to buy a new motherboard that supports PCI-E, DDR2, and Core 2 Duo. I have a budget of Rs 18,000 for processor, motherboard, and a GB of RAM. So what would be a good buy?
Harshit Syal

Take a look at Abit’s IP35, I’d say. This board should be priced at Rs 8,500. It’s based on Intel’s latest P35 chipset, and will support the upcoming Penryn family of processors. For the processor, I’d say a Core 2 Duo E6550 (2.33 GHz)—around Rs 7,500. For the RAM, I’d suggest 2 GB in lieu of 1 GB—the performance boost is worth the price. 2 GB of DDR2 800 MHz memory would cost you Rs 4,500, while DDR2 667 MHz would be a thousand rupees cheaper.

It’s Touch Vs. Tap
What would be a good PDA for Rs 20,000? I’ve homed in on two candidates. One is the Dopod HTC Touch, and the other is the O2 XDA Atom Exec. Which one would I should buy, with my preference being finger touch rather than a stylus?
Rohan Mathew Chungathil

The Dopod HTC Touch allows you to finger-swipe, similar to the iPhone. However, it’s definitely not finger-operable for typing, jotting down notes, etc. In fact, no PDA is. Besides the touch feature, I found the O2 XDA Atom very feature-rich—more so than the Touch, which is definitely more gimmicky. In terms of operation, they’re both pretty much the same. If you’re keen on the finger swipe feature, then go with the Touch, else stick with the XDA Atom.

Get With The Times!
I am buying a PC with the following configuration: Intel Core 2 Duo X6800, Intel original motherboard D975 XBX 2, 2 GB DDR 2 667, ASUS EN8600GT.
My budget is Rs 65,000—70,000. What cooling system and PSU should I opt for? Please also say if I’m getting the best of my budget, or if some changes should be made to the configuration. This will be used for gaming on Windows XP SP2.

You’re buying old hardware. I wouldn’t recommend the 975X chipset to anyone, so we’ve excluded that chipset from our motherboard test. For a budget of 65,000—70,000, I’d recommend getting a motherboard on the lines of an ASUS P5K Deluxe, which will cost about Rs 14,000. Instead of the X6800, opt for the E6850, which is slightly faster and runs cooler and, not to mention, is much cheaper. The money you save on the processor can be used for a better graphics card, say an 8800GTS 640 MB—look for brands such as Leadtek and XFX. I should also say that 2 GB of RAM is good enough for gaming.

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