Review Alert: Best Business Laptops of 2010 Revealed
Facial recognition software. Finger-print identification security features. The ability to wirelessly transfer photos from a camera to an electronic notebook. Laptops have come a long way since the MS-DOS days. There’s no need to gig out. Business Review Canada’s tech experts were back at it again this month. We have highlighted the best new business capabilities for laptops of 2010 for your computing pleasure…
Dell Studio XPS 16
Starting Price: $1,338
Interface: The Dell Studio XPS 16 is all about the multi-media experience, delivering an exceptional visual and audio experience. This rounded, high-gloss laptop offers an array of aesthetic options that convey a conservative and successful image.
Geek Speak: The Dell Studio XPS 16 is built with an Intel Core i5 processor and runs on one of the three versions for Windows 7: Ultimate, Professional or Premium. This laptop utilizes an ATI HD5730 Mobility Radeon 1GB video card to support vivid Hi-def widescreen display and the optional Blu-ray Disc player. The Dell Studio XPS 16 easily handles the new graphic-dominated applications that are prominent in the contemporary web experience.
Surprise Feature: Facial recognition security software locks and unlocks the laptop automatically.
Apple MacBook Pro
Starting Price: $1,199
Interface: Apple touts its newest MacBook as the fastest and most powerful to date. This laptop features the patented unibody enclosure carved from a single chunk of aluminum. Its cutting-edge, innovative design will surely lend itself to the user.
Geek Speak: Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors boost performance up to 50 percent over the previous generation. The 15- and 17-inch models use NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M discrete graphics processor, allowing for the fastest graphics ever with 48 processing cores and up to 512MB of dedicated video memory. Built-in Hyper-Threading permits two threads to run simultaneously on each core. Resulting, Mac OS X recognizes four virtual cores instead of just two to delivered unparallel speed.
Surprise Feature: The 13-inch model has a built-in 77.5-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery capable of running uninterrupted for 10 hours. The 15- and 17-inch models last eight to nine hours.
Lenovo ThinkPad T410s
Starting Price: $1,399
Interface: The ThinkPad T410 weighs in at a mere 1.8 kg and runs up to 18 hours. This laptop incorporates the mobility and responsiveness required of today’s executives in the ever-changing marketplace.
Geek Speak: An Intel Core i5 processor and a NVIDIA NVS 3100M graphics with 512MB Video Memory card make the T410s as capable as the new MacBook. This laptop, though, is engineered with Lenovo’s Enhanced Experience for Windows 7, meaning increased business productivity. The ThinkPad T410s includes the ThinkVantage Client Security Solution with an integrated fingerprint reader for extra protection against data theft.
Special Feature: Lenovo's optional multitouch panel, the latest in touch-screen technology, allows users to interact with applications by fingertip.
Sony VAIO F Series
Starting Price: $1,199
Interface: The VAIO F Series laptop measures an impressive 16.4 inches and sports a theater-inspired 16:9 aspect ratio, perfect for executives comparing side-by-side documents and websites. The F Series makes productivity a synch.
Geek Speak: The F series employs the new Intel Turbo Boost Technology, the Intel Core i7 processor and Hyper-Threading Technology to deliver one of the fastest notebooks on the market. If that wasn’t enough, the limited-edition F Series VAIO Signature Collection features a faster processor, larger hard drive, more memory and Windows 7 Ultimate. The only major drawback is VAIO’s peculiarly short battery life, lasting just three hours.
Special Feature: Groundbreaking Sony innovation, TransferJet technology, transfers photos from compatible cameras to the F Series laptop by placing the camera on the laptop's palm rest.
HP ProBook 4720s Notebook PC
Starting Price: $1,025
Interface: For the shrewd executive, this affordable laptop looks anything but with a ‘brushed-aluminum design and sophisticated caviar color.’ The 17.3-inch diagonal HD+ display is one of the largest available, giving the HP ProBook 4720s its surprising value.
Geek Speak: HP offers an abundance of features and options that lets buyers customize like no other. Similar to the Dell Studio XPS 16, the HP ProBook 4720s runs on an Intel Core i5-450M processor and the Windows 7 Professional 32 operating system. The HP 3D DriveGuard protects hard-drive data from drops and sudden impact. The internet is now the business hub; ProBook 4720s wireless connectivity options, Wi-Fi Certified WLAN and Bluetooth, keep professionals connected.
Special Feature: HP QuickLook 3 allows for editing Microsoft Outlook data, including email, calendar, contacts and task information, without booting up the computer.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.