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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 9, 2011 / 15 Kislev, 5772

Zen(book) and the art of notebook computer shopping

By Mark Kellner



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For just $999 you can get a thinner-than-thin, lighter-than-most (only 2.42 pounds), notebook computer from ASUS that runs Microsoft Windows 7, connects to Wi-Fi and features almost all the comforts of your home or office desktop. Should you buy it?

On the one hand, mounting evidence suggests an ultrathin portable computer is so 2008, the year Apple, Inc., launched the MacBook Air. As I began writing this review, tech security firm Avira reported "just under 60 percent of consumers polled in a November survey … are hoping to receive a tablet PC or a smartphone for the holidays." The tablet's the thing, Shakespeare might say, with which we'll Facebook the king.

Yes, but. The ASUS Zenbook, whose lowest-priced model lists for the aforementioned $999 (Herman Cain not included) and can be had on Amazon.com for about $35 less, is somewhat impressive for the price, and might be worth considering by any number of potential buyers.

A sometimes-repeated caveat here: Not every tech product is right for every person. There are some people who shouldn't have a tablet device, and there are others for whom even the lightest notebook isn't a good fit. The Zenbook isn't right for you if you need a ton of storage, or must have an optical drive "on board." But if you're a more senior manager, perhaps a "C-level" executive, this could be a very capable tool for many tasks. Ditto if you're a college student, so long as you're not an engineering major needing computer-aided design software.

That's because the Zenbook I tested had all of 128 Gbytes of storage. If my math is right, that's 13 times the storage of my first hard drive, a 10 Mbyte model some 20 years ago. But it's one-fourth of the 500 Gbytes on my MacBook Pro's hard drive, and one-eighth the capacity of many desktop computers these days, a full Terabyte. So, storage needs should be considered.

The Zenbook is not posited by ASUS as a "MacBook Air-killer," and the firm discourages comparisons to the Apple product. That may be a bit premature. The Zenbook feels about as light as a MacBook Air, offers a similar appearance, and even comes with a leather-like case that resembles an inter-office envelope, the latter used by Apple in the first MacBook Air ads. Subtle, but you get the idea.

You don't get an Ethernet port, however; if wired network connectivity is a need, prepare to sacrifice one of your two USB ports to an adapter. Prepare for a similar sacrifice if you must have an optical drive at the ready. That would suggest to me that this is not well suited for many multimedia creation/editing tasks, though photographers might get by here. The onboard 4 GB of RAM is certainly adequate, but not necessarily awesome.

One of the nice features in this computer is its setting to sleep, instead of shut down completely. (You can manually select the latter option, of course.) "Waking" from sleep gives you virtually instant-on access to the system; an internal program shows a sleep mode battery life of about 12 hours, good enough for a business day's work. Actual in-use battery time is about 4 hours, from the system gauges I checked; certainly acceptable, but less so versus a 10-hour tablet battery life.

There is a miniature video-out connection, which means you can get an adapter and connect the Zenbook's video to a projector. The 11.6-inch display is good for solo or very-small-group use, as would be expected.

This base-model Zenbook is $300 more than the top-level iPad if said tablet only has Wi-Fi. Should you buy it? You might want to, after you examine your needs and work style. If the Zenbook fits, you'll probably enjoy the experience.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.

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