The first step is to get organized. You may be surprised at how much you've customized and personalized your old computer's programs over the years and how much stuff you've stored on it. You've probably already considered your important documents, pictures, and music; however, your old computer or notebook has more valuable information on it than just these items. Chances are, you've probably also bookmarked your favorite Web sites, stored passwords and user account information, and have data associated with specific programs saved. If you don't capture and transfer this data now, you might regret it once your old system is recycled and reduced to scrap metal.
The first step is to go through the programs, files, Web favorites, and any other data on your old computer thoroughly and then determine what information you might want to keep. Start by going through the programs on your Start menu and then check out the Program Files to ensure there's nothing hiding there, such as stored program data that might be useful down the road. Do you have financial or tax files associated with a finance program saved on your computer? You don't want to lose this historical information, so now is the time to find and save it to a backup media. On your old computer, gather all these data into one location with well-marked folders separating the information so it doesn't become a jumble of disorganized information when you transfer it to your new computer. When preparing this data, review the following data:
Now that you have your files in order and well organized in recognizable folders, it's time to start the transfer process. There's no hard and fast rule for the best way to make this transfer possible. In fact, some of it depends on how much information you need to transfer and what kind of information it is. Several convenient ways to transfer data are as follows:
If you use these tips and best practices, then chances are you new system will be up and running a lot faster and more efficiently in no time, especially if you have the information you need from your old computer at your fingertips as you get familiar your new system. So don't delay, organize those files first and then transfer them to your new system for a smooth, clean start.
Notebook computers are easy to use for everyday business like banking, letter writing, and record keeping, so it's more important than ever to keep that sensitive data secure. Discover some tips and tools in the following article for minimizing risk when using your notebook computer.
There are lots of ways your notebook computer security can be compromised if you don't know what to look for. Without the right knowledge and systems in place, a hacker can get access to your personal data and use this information to potentially steal your identity, empty your bank account, or run up your credit cards. To minimize your risk, you should take advantage of all the tools available to you to provide system, Internet, e-mail, and wireless access security. Many of the tools are probably already available on your notebook and others are easy to find, once you know what to look for.
In the big picture, one of the worst things that can happen is that someone steals your computer, giving them access to everything you've written and stored. For the most robust defense against physical theft, you can secure your notebook with a cable lock to a table or a desk. They're easy to find and don't cost much, though they can be unwieldy and inconvenient, especially if you want to keep your notebook portable. Your best bet is simply to never let your notebook out of your sight when you're out and about. In the off-chance your notebook does get stolen, you can still protect your data using more complex or unique passwords, biometrics, and data encryption. Start by selecting a unique password for system access. This generally means creating a password that includes upper- and lowercase letters and combines letters, numbers, and symbols. Using numeric and alphabetic combinations decreases the chance someone can guess, decode, or "hack" the password. For even stronger security, a biometric fingerprint sensor protects your information by comparing your stored fingerprint with the fingerprint of the person trying to access your system. This prevents unauthorized access—even if your computer is stolen—and requires just a simple swipe of your finger when you log on (no typing required and you don't have to remember any passwords). For extra protection, look for encryption software that can encode your data so it's unintelligible to someone without the right authorization. The best tools provide protection at the hard disk level to protect your disk, partitions, and removable data.
Although protecting your notebook is important, there are other ways your sensitive information can be viewed or stolen. The first line of defense is to keep your operating system up to date. This can be done by accessing update software on your operating system's website. Once your operating system is up to date, make sure you give your notebook extra protection while surfing the Internet. There are Web sites you'll visit, even ones that seem fairly innocuous, that drop malware and spyware onto your notebook. These can monitor anything from your shopping habits to your Internet search queries. The worst keep track of every keystroke you make. They can all slow your system down and expose your data to thieves. Install highly rated malware and spyware scanners on your notebook and keep them updated. These can detect when unwanted files are dropped onto your system and notify you when you've been attacked. They can't prevent all kinds of risks from Internet use, but they do offer some valuable protection. When you're shopping or giving any sort of personal information to a Web site, look for a little padlock icon at the bottom of most browsers to ensure you're on a secure site. Also look in the navigation bar to make sure the Web site address starts with https:// (not just http://).
To secure your e-mail environment, load antivirus software on your notebook. Because viruses often come across in links or e-mail attachments, look for antivirus software that performs real-time scans and monitors both inbound and outbound traffic. Get in the habit of not opening e-mail attachments or clicking links unless you know who they're from. This goes for institutions and businesses, as well. In recent years, there have been an increasing number of phishing incidences that have duped many trusting people into giving their personal information to false Web sites posing as a trusted institution. If you ever receive an e-mail saying that you need to verify or complete personal information, don't click the link provided in the e-mail. If it's a legitimate request, you'll be able to find a link to where you need to go off the homepage of the business. Manually type in the Web site address and if you can't find an obvious link, contact the legitimate business and double-check that they requested the information, then delete the suspected phishing e-mail immediately.
WiFi and wireless networks, although convenient, can also add a level of vulnerability to your notebook if you don't take a few simple steps to protect yourself. First, install a firewall. A firewall keeps track of the applications and devices that are trying to access your computer. Most operating systems now include a firewall and make it easy to adjust your settings to allow only those sites and locations you trust to communicate with your system. You can verify you have a WiFi firewall by checking your Internet Options in the Security Center of your Control Panel, found in the Start menu. If you're using your notebook for business, consider using a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN provides a direct, secure tunnel between your notebook and a larger network so you can safely send and receive files and receive all the protection afforded to the larger network. Even at home your wireless network can introduce some vulnerability. When you're setting up your wireless router, make sure you use WPA or WPA2 encryption to secure it. You can use WEP encryption if you've got older hardware. It's not as secure as WPA or WPA2, but it's better than nothing.
Securing your notebook and your computing environment really doesn't take a lot. Most of the time you need to set things up only once and they'll run automatically from then on. After that, it's simply a matter of paying attention and being cautious.
Have you ever had to finish a project on-the-go and realized too late that your battery is dead or dying? In this article, you'll learn how notebooks use battery power, get tips for saving power, and understand Hibernate versus Shutdown power ramifications so you can extend and maximize your notebook's battery life.
Every time you turn on your notebook computer when you're not plugged in, you use battery life. But how much battery life you consume is largely up to you. It helps to understand which components use a lot of battery energy, and which components don't. Your hard drive, for example, is a big consumer. So are your CD or DVD drives. The more the notebook uses them, the faster your battery is going to drain. Running programs that are constantly retrieving or storing information on your drive are the biggest culprits. These include playing games, watching videos, or listening to music. Working on documents or spreadsheets don't consume the same kind of power, though features like auto-save, which saves your work to a file every few minutes, can use up your battery power without you even realizing it. The faster a hard drive can find the information it wants, the less demand you're going to put on your battery. Running a defragmentation utility can help with organizing the files on your hard drive so they're easier to find and retrieve. Defragmentation is a process that reduces the amount of fragmentation in file systems, which naturally occurs over time. You can access the Windows Disk Defragmenter from Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter. Also, if you don't have plenty of memory, your system will resort to using virtual memory to store data while you work. Virtual data is stored on the hard drive, which means your notebook has to access the drive more often while you work. Adding more memory to your notebook or buying a notebook that includes a lot of RAM helps. A notebook battery also powers the display and all the ports. Bluetooth, wireless, USB, and other ports all use battery power, even if they're not in use. Simply having them enabled is a drain on your system. Much of the display power goes toward lighting the screen. The brighter the display, the more power it uses. There are displays available now that offer low power consumption with the same level of brightness. If you're considering purchasing a notebook soon, these kinds of power-friendly features can add up to real battery-consumption savings.
There are some simple things you can do to make the most of your battery life. For example, batteries run more efficiently at cooler temperatures. Avoid leaving your notebook in a hot car or working in the sun for too long and always use your notebook on hard, flat surfaces. Pillows and blankets help hold in the heat and make your battery run less efficiently. If you're using your notebook and your battery is starting to run low, here are five tips to help conserve your battery to let you keep working longer:
Unless you turn your notebook completely off, it's still using power. Most notebooks have a state called "Hibernate," or some equivalent. This means that the notebook saves your work into memory, then powers off the display, disks, and so on. It may take a while longer to drain the battery when the notebook is in this sleep state, but it still has to maintain enough power to keep your work in memory and it's a good bet that when you reopen your notebook hours, even minutes later, there will be a significant loss of battery life. You can manually select to put your notebook into this state, usually through the Shut Down menu. And, your notebook probably automatically puts you into hibernate mode when you close the lid. It can be convenient to use this mode if you're plugged in or simply moving across a room. But, it can be a nuisance if battery life is at a premium. If you want your battery to last, shut the notebook totally down when you're not using it.
If you're on the go all the time and don't want to have to obsess with power management to get through the day, consider purchasing an extended life battery. If your notebook doesn't offer that option, invest in a second battery. They're not very expensive and can make getting through the work day considerably easier. That's it for tips on battery life management, with minimal effort, you can keep your system running while on the go and not miss a step. Return to Top of Page
Keeping up with mobile technology is harder than ever. Everywhere you look, people have not only just a PDA or cell phone, but usually also a laptop, tablet PC, or other mobile computing device. And now, ultra-portable PCs are available that deliver full-size computing capabilities within a pocket-sized system. With all these options, how do you know which is the right choice for you?
These days, all types of mobile devices promise to help you manage both your personal and professional lives from almost anywhere. However, laptops and tablet PCs can still be cumbersome to carry everywhere, while PDAs (personal digital assistants) and smart phones don't often provide desktop capability. This is where micro PCs come in. If what you seek is an extremely compact device that can handle your computing requirements, micro PCs put the digital world at your fingertips. With their ability to consolidate home, office, and entertainment computing capabilities in a remarkably small form factor, micro PCs such as the Sony® VAIO® UX series PCs provide the perfect balance of power and portability. From just about anywhere, you can be connected, effective, or entertained. Telecommute from the ninth hole, conduct a meeting via the Web while sitting on the beach,1 or build a digital scrapbook while on vacation. It's the difference between mere mobile convenience and mobile empowerment, and it's worth a deeper look.
With its go-anywhere portability and full-fledged PC capability, the VAIO® UX Micro PC adds a new level of productivity to your time outside of the office. With Microsoft® Windows Vista® Business2 and an Intel® Core™ 2 Solo ULV (ultra low voltage) processor, you can access all of your typical office applications, including the Internet and e-mail with attachments.1 A 4.5" diagonal widescreen SVGA display with XBRITE™ LCD technology delivers clean, crisp pictures that make it easy to view and work with business documents and presentations, as well as digital entertainment. Indeed, working with just about any application is simple with the VAIO UX Micro PC. The VAIO UX Micro PC incorporates years of Sony engineering expertise, from its ergonomically designed keyboard to dedicated control buttons for zooming and scrolling and a stylus that can be used with the LCD touch screen. No matter your preference, the VAIO UX Micro PC gives you the ability to interact with your documents, applications, and media in the way that works best for you. Plus, the biometric fingerprint sensor stores your passwords; just swipe your finger for fast and simple access to applications and secure Web sites.1 The VAIO UX Micro PC also boasts advanced technologies you won't often find on much larger-sized notebook PCs. For instance, the VAIO UX Premium takes PC modernization to a new level by utilizing an SSD (Solid State Drive). Compared to a traditional hard disk drive found in most PCs, the SSD on the VAIO UX Premium launches select applications faster and is more durable (as there are no moving parts). Additionally, the SSD results in longer battery life for your VAIO® UX PC.
True mobility is about more than checking email or logging on to the Internet: it's about broad access to the people, places, and resources you would normally access from your office or kitchen table. That's why the VAIO UX Micro PC includes advanced wireless technologies for easy communication on the go, including Wi-Fi a/b/g wireless LAN (Local Area Network),1 wireless WAN (Wide Area Network),3 and Bluetooth® technology.4 And with Sony® SmartWi™ technology, you can easily and seamlessly toggle between your wireless connectivity options. While these wireless connectivity options give you the means to put the world in your pocket and at your fingertips, the VAIO UX Micro PC's other communications features really help give you the freedom to do more from anywhere. Consider the possibilities:
Of course, the VAIO® UX Micro PC isn't all business. Just like any other PC, it's also a capable entertainment platform so you never have to be bored again. While waiting at the bus stop or the doctor's office, you can:
The VAIO UX Micro PC is your MP3 player, PDA, and digital camera all-in-one. You can download,1 store, and play back thousands of your favorite songs. Using two built-in cameras, you can capture, store, and share digital photos, or even take part in video chats.1 The VAIO UX Micro PC also includes a fully functional docking station and VGA adaptor, which saves your battery life and provides easy access to expansion ports such as USB 2.0, audio/video, and Ethernet.
As a full-functioning PC engineered for serious productivity from a spectacular, handheld design, the VAIO® UX Micro PC is anything but your typical PC. In fact, with so much computing power consolidated into such small device, you might even say that in many ways the VAIO UX Micro PC is more than your typical PC. You get more performance, battery life, and reliability from an advanced processor and SSD disk. Add in more connectivity from multiple wireless options and communications features. It all adds up to more opportunity to be productive or enjoy your digital entertainment whenever you choose.
You've undoubtedly heard about wireless Internet access -- even if you're not quite sure what exactly the term means. These days, wireless is everywhere, enabling business travelers, harried parents, and even connected teens to send and receive e-mail and surf the Web from virtually anywhere. It's exactly what it sounds like -- a way to get online and do all the things you do from your desktop computer in your home or office but without the confines and constraints of a tangle of wires under the table. It's not difficult to find high-speed wireless access when you're out and about, or to create your own high-speed wireless network at home. Why would you want to do so? There are several good reasons:
A traditional, wired network creates a physical link between a group of computers or other equipment (such as printers and other external devices) via cables, or wires. It's pretty easy to understand how the size of a wired network can be limiting -- you have to be within cabling range if you want to be part of the network. When you go wireless, you remove those physical boundaries. With all the benefits of going wireless, you no doubt want to go over the technology involved in getting you there. In this section, you'll learn about major wireless technologies and standards.
You're probably already familiar with wireless networks, even if you don't realize it. Have you ever used a cell phone? If so, you've taken advantage of a type of wireless network known as a WWAN. In a WWAN, your area of coverage is broad. Think about the ads you see for various cell phone providers. They show you coverage maps with dots across the United States and around the globe to demonstrate where you can use their phones. Each dot represents a point on their WWAN. By linking those thousands of points, the cellular carriers create a vast wireless network that spans an enormous geographical area. Great, but what does a cell phone have to do with you and your wireless Internet access? More than you might realize, actually. The notebook computer you've come to rely on can, via a simple SIM (security identity module) chip like the one in your cell phone, gain instant access to a WWAN anytime you're in range. In other words, you can fire up your notebook and get online virtually anywhere your cell phone has reception. WWAN connections are a great choice if you travel frequently for business and need to send and receive files from your computer just as frequently as you use your cell phone to make calls. You'll have almost constant connectivity that works nearly anywhere you go. That level of connectivity can come at a price, though. WWANs generally operate on a subscription basis, and the cost and features vary depending on your carrier and the plan you select. Be sure to conduct some due diligence to make sure you choose a plan that suits your needs.
A WLAN is significantly smaller than a WWAN. By definition, it's a local area network and can be limited to a space no larger than your home office. Your WLAN can also be extended to encompass an entire office building or even a business complex, but typical WLANs don't span the streets of a city and they certainly don't stretch across the nation the way a WWAN can. Typically, a wireless LAN uses one of two standards commonly known as Wi-Fi®: 802.11b or 802.11g.
The 802.11b standard is the slightly older of the two protocols, and nearly any Wi-Fi compatible device supports it. It takes advantage of three nonoverlapping radio channels in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz (gigahertz) frequency space, which makes it somewhat susceptible to interference from other devices that use the same band, such as 2.4 GHz cordless phones and microwaves. With 802.11b, you can transfer data at speeds of up to 11 Mbps (megabits per second) over a range of approximately 300 feet. Indoors, your network can extend through walls, but the 300-foot range varies according to the building materials used. You may have also heard about the 802.11a standard, which uses the 5.8 GHz frequency to offer higher data transfer speeds (54 Mbps) than 802.11b. The main drawbacks? Not only did initial implementations deliver less range than 802.11b, but 802.11a technology was not widely adopted overall because the less-expensive 802.11b standard was already widely adopted. Also, the 802.11a standard isn't always compatible with the other wireless standards.
The 802.11g standard claims data transfer speeds of 54 Mbps, but most real-world users don't ever actually reach that speed. Even in ideal conditions, you'll probably only achieve speeds of about 26 Mbps -- about half of what the standard theoretically supports. The 802.11g standard operates in the same frequency range as 802.11b, and the tradeoff for slightly higher data transfer speeds is a slightly reduced range. The good news is that 802.11g devices are backward-compatible with 802.11b, so you can mix the two on a single wireless network. These are the most widely deployed wireless LAN standards.
With the growing demand for higher performing WLANs, a new wireless standard called 802.11n is in the works. The emerging 802.11n amendment builds upon previous 802.11 standards by adding MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output). MIMO uses multiple transmitter and receiver antennas to allow for increased data throughput and increased range. With expected data transfer speeds at least four times, and perhaps eight times, the data rate of 802.11a or g products, 802.11n may even prove enough to make wired home networks unnecessary altogether. Although 802.11n hasn't yet received industry certification, that's not stopping vendors from releasing "draft-n" or pre-802.11n products. The speed increase is a tempting proposition, but because the protocol is not yet standardized you're making a gamble if you purchase 802.11n gear based on the draft version. Not only are 802.11n products potentially incompatible with your existing Wi-Fi network, but draft 802.11n products may not even be compatible with gear released using the final specification.
Even if you're not willing to take the risk for pre-802.11n gear for the benefit of greater range, it's possible to extend the range of a WLAN beyond 300 feet. You can do that by adding additional APs (access points) -- also referred to as wireless routers or base stations -- or range extenders to your network. The AP that you add needs to be within range of your first base station; it can then extend the range of your network beyond the initial 300 feet. The more APs you add, the bigger you can make your network's range. Note, however, that you may notice a slight decrease in speed if you extend your network far beyond its initial capacity. You'll definitely notice a decrease in speed if you share a single high-speed Internet connection with more than three computers, particularly if some of those users are power users.
Two additional technologies -- Bluetooth® and SmartWi™ -- offer additional options for extending your world without wires.
Every once in a while, a group of the best and the brightest competitors come together for the greater good. When that happens, you can get really lucky and walk away with something like Bluetooth® technology, a short-range wireless protocol. Bluetooth® technology, developed by a consortium of electronics manufacturers who were kind enough to work together and create a single standard, is often referred to as a wireless personal area network because it extends only about 30 feet. It's not designed for high-speed data transfer -- its top speeds are only about 1 Mbps. Rather, Bluetooth technology is about convenience, freedom from wires, and moderate mobility. You can use a Bluetooth® connection to:
Use of a Bluetooth®-enabled product with other devices may vary because not all Bluetooth devices are compatible. Bluetooth® technology, like 802.11b/g technology, is already built into Sony® VAIO® T or TX Series notebook computers. In other words, you can connect with compatible Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as wireless headsets, PDAs, cell phones, printers, and other accessories, such as a mouse, without installing any additional software and hardware or using adapters. Toss those cables aside and reduce the number of wires!
SmartWi™ technology is the seamless integration of three wireless technologies: wide area network (WAN), 802.11b/g wireless LAN, and Bluetooth® technologies. Available on Sony® VAIO® T or TX Series notebook computers, Sony's exclusive SmartWiTM technology enables you to easily hop onto a wireless hotspot, connect to a nationwide cellular network, or quickly connect with other Bluetooth-enabled devices. Using SmartWi technology requires compatible wireless access point(s) and some features, such as WWAN access using cellular networks, rely on Internet services that may require a fee. However, by merging the three main wireless technologies, SmartWi technology cuts the confusion out of expanding your wireless connectivity beyond your home, local coffee shop, or airport lounge. In other words, you don't have to figure out where you are and how to get online -- it'll just work as it should.
The following table shows what WWANs, WLANs, and WPANs can and can't do for you. Network Type Pros Cons Best for WWAN Available anywhere on a cellular network; high-speed data transfer May require long-term contract Business users who need consistent connectivity on the go WLAN Allows flexible mobility within a set space; free hotspots can keep costs down May not always be available on the go Prosumers who typically work in an office or from home and occasionally travel on business or for pleasure WPAN Clears office clutter; increases productivity Not designed for large transfers Home or office users who want to clear cables and connect to multiple devices in a small space Table 1-1: Comparison of the pros and cons of WWANs, WLANs, and WPANs.
As wireless technology has matured, it's become easier than ever to take advantage of wireless connectivity. If you've recently purchased or are considering purchasing a new notebook computer, chances are that it includes built-in technology to access Wi-Fi® WLANs. Increasingly, notebook PCs include Bluetooth® technology, and some higher end models even integrate the technology necessary to access WWANs, provided you secure a wireless access contract with the appropriate provider. Even if you have a notebook PC that's a few years old, it's likely that you can install a wireless NIC (network interface card) with a built-in Wi-Fi antenna. Bluetooth adapters are also available. The technology isn't just limited to notebook PCs, either; the same adapters can be installed on a desktop computer without built-in wireless technology. These are available for purchase at your local electronics store. Just make sure that you know the make and model of your computer so that you purchase the proper adapter. To create a WLAN in your home or office, you'll also need the following in addition to a wireless-enabled PC:
Once you have all of the necessary equipment, here's what you'll do:
After you connect the necessary equipment, the process to connect to the wireless world is only a few steps away:
Public hotspots are generally unsecured so users don't need an encryption key to connect to the hotspot. Narrow down the list by looking at the options labeled "unsecured."
To take advantage of public or subscription-based wireless hotspots, you need the same wireless technology that you use for your home network. If you're lucky enough to find a free hotspot (search the Wi-Fi-FreespotTM Directory to find a network near you), you should be able to simply log on to the network and use e-mail and Internet services as usual. Just locate the SSID of the network that corresponds to the hotspot provider at that location. At Starbucks, for instance, the SSID is usually "tmobile," because T-Mobile Hotspot is the provider for Starbucks locations. If you aren't sure, check for a sign near the entrance or service counter for information that will help you choose the right SSID. If you're logging on to a fee-based Wi-Fi hotspot (like the ones at Starbucks® coffee shops and in many shopping malls), you need to launch your Web browser, which automatically directs you to a signup page. You'll enter a credit card number and select whether you want access for one hour, several hours, one day, or several days. Once your card has been accepted, you can surf until your time is up.
If you can't risk the chance that you won't be able to find a Wi-Fi hotspot, or you know you want always-on access to the Internet and your e-mail, you should invest in a WWAN plan that allows you to take advantage of a nationwide network. Most notebook PCs don't yet include integrated WWAN technology, but each of the three largest nationwide cellular carriers offer wireless broadband cards that let you enjoy high-speed wireless access to the Internet and e-mail wherever you go. If you're interested in WWAN connectivity, start with your current cellular provider, but don't forget that the best deal may come from another company. You'll also have to verify that the hardware you currently have will work with your carrier's network. Finally, you may have to run an installation package or call a customer service line to set up your access the first time you try it out.
To keep your wireless connections running smoothly, take the time to perform some basic security measures:
When you first set up your wireless network, it defaults to no password and no security protection. Change this immediately or your neighbors can hop on your network and choke your data transfer speeds -- and possibly steal your data.
Beyond security, also consider the impact of wireless connectivity on your mobile devices in particular. Like any other computing process, wireless technology consumes power. If you plan to stay connected for long periods of time, it helps to have a spare battery on hand. Your PC's power adapter is also an essential item whenever you roam. The growing popularity of wireless has led many locations offering wireless connectivity, such as coffee shops, to also provide easy access to wall outlets for their patrons. Whenever possible, plug in so you can keep the data flowing. That's wireless connectivity in a nutshell. Now that you've completed this brief, you should feel more connected -- but much less tethered -- than you did before. Go out and enjoy your newfound freedom!
We live in a mobile world, where everything happens on the go. Grandparents talk on cell phones, children watch DVDs, and mobile professionals catch up on work -- all from virtually anywhere. In fact, being mobile is almost passé. Now, the buzz is about being "ultra mobile," with a full-fledged PC that can fit easily within your backpack or purse. In this guide, you'll learn how the new Ultra Mobile PCs can make a difference in your life, and how to get started enjoying your own ultra-mobile lifestyle. Ultra Mobile PCs bridge the gap between laptops and PDAs (personal digital assistants). What gap, you ask? Well, although laptops provide incredible performance, they can be too bulky for truly mobile use (say, during a morning commute or on the sidelines of your child's soccer game). And although PDAs are portable, they often lack the power to effectively use office applications. Sometimes referred to as "lifestyle computers," Ultra Mobile PCs make it easy to store all of your digital content -- such as photos, videos, and music -- while also providing anytime access to your e-mail and office applications. Key features include:
Wireless Internet requires a wired broadband connection and/or compatible wireless access point(s). Some features rely on Internet services which may require a fee. As with all wireless products, actual performance will vary depending on environment.
With the Ultra Mobile PC, the places where you can work and play have expanded exponentially. You can check e-mail, watch movies, read blogs, play games, and listen to music from almost anywhere. It's just as easy to connect to the Internet from a local hotspot -- at an airport, coffee shop, restaurant, park, or hotel -- as from your home or office. And this PC is compact enough to fit within your pocket, purse, or briefcase. Requires a wired broadband connection and/or compatible wireless access point(s). Some features rely on Internet services which may require a fee. As with all wireless products, actual performance will vary depending on environment. Ultra Mobile PCs are designed to be a companion to your desktop or laptop PC, rather than a replacement. You can review and modify documents on the fly, but more heavy-duty tasks -- such as building spreadsheets, presentations, or word processing documents from scratch -- are better suited for your primary system. Ultra Mobile PCs have exactly what you need to stay connected, effective, and entertained, so why not get more from your time on the go? The next few sections will help you get up to speed.
Expecting an important e-mail? With an Ultra Mobile PC, you can check your e-mail -- and work with attachments -- from anywhere. So, you can close a business deal from your vacation getaway or finalize a contract in your dentist's waiting room. It's all a matter of your own convenience. But your ability to stay in touch anywhere doesn't end with email. Ultra Mobile PCs provide a wide array of communication options, including:
Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, having an Ultra Mobile PC in hand means you'll never be bored again. You can entertain yourself -- or your children -- for hours. And you can even be productive during the downtime. Key features include:
Ultra Mobile PCs put computing power at your fingertips, so you can savor the extra minutes you get to yourself everyday. For example, you can check your e-mail while waiting in line at the bank, or play Sudoku while sitting at the bus stop. Imagine some of the possibilities:
Before embarking on your ultra-mobile life, keep the following tips in mind:
The functionality and versatility of Ultra Mobile PCs makes them more than a fun accessory. They actually bridge the gap between PDAs and laptops, enabling you to strike a balance between work and play. Now you can access your office applications, use e-mail, and browse the Web, without cramped fingers or aching shoulders. As a result, you can be more productive, informed, and entertained from anywhere. Why wait to begin your ultra-mobile life? Get started today with an Ultra Mobile PC.
How you communicate with other people, especially in the digital age, can take many different forms. Learn how your PC can deliver just about everything you need, all in one place.
Whether you're running a business, trying to coordinate a dinner gathering with friends, or just need to check in with the kids after school, communicating with other people is probably one of your most constant and important daily activities. If you're like many people, you probably use a number of different devices each day to place phone calls, send e-mails, or engage in instant message chat sessions. With today's PCs (personal computers), though, you may not always need all of those separate devices to stay in touch with friends, family, and colleagues. Your computer is already one of your main tools for accessing and sharing information, and many of those capabilities make it well-suited to handle all of your communications needs. Using your PC to communicate with the world around you doesn't take a lot of work if you know what technology to use. Whether you want to send and receive text, voice, video, pictures, or other files, all you need to get started is the right system.
With access to the Internet, your PC becomes a tool for all types of written communication methods, including e-mail, instant messaging, social networking sites and blogs, and even online meeting and presentation applications. In today's wireless world, Internet connectivity often equates to the ability to access a WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network), commonly referred to as Wi-Fi®. Not only does Wi-Fi technology give you the ability to stay connected outside of your own home or office1, but it's a great way to remove the constraints of a tangle of wires under the table. Virtually all PCs built within the last few years -- especially notebook PCs -- are equipped with built-in Wi-Fi technology based on the 802.11 a/b/g specifications. That means they're compatible with most existing home and public Wi-Fi® hotspots, such as those commonly found in airports, coffee shops, and hotels. For even greater performance, though, some notebooks also incorporate 802.11n wireless technology. This latest specification of the Wi-Fi standard delivers greater speed and range than the Wi-Fi a/b/g specifications, yet it's backward compatible with existing networks so there's no hassle to connect1. Although Wi-Fi technology is a great way to stay connected from virtually anywhere1, it isn't the only wireless technology available. For instance, WWAN (Wireless Wide Area Network) technology extends your wireless coverage beyond LAN access networks and wireless hotspots. WWAN technology uses the same wireless network as your cellular phone, so you can access the Internet on your PC in virtually all the same places that your cell phone has service2. For instance, Sony® VAIO® TZ and SZ Series PCs include integrated WWAN technology that can be used with the Sprint® mobile broadband network3, and Sony VAIO UX Series PCs include WWAN technology for the AT&T national wireless EDGE network4. A third option is Bluetooth® wireless technology5, which is designed to provide interconnectivity between a wide range of personal communication devices, such as Bluetooth-enabled PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) and wireless headsets. Unlike WLANs and WWANs, Bluetooth technology isn't intended to help you get online, but it can help make your communication experience more efficient and enjoyable by cutting the cord between your PC and other devices5. Note: Bluetooth® technology was designed to interconnect a wide variety of electronic devices and peripherals, so it's extremely versatile5. For instance, you can find Bluetooth technology in wireless headsets that are perfect for hands-free phone calls, or in wireless mice and keyboards that give you more freedom to move around when using your PC5. With all of these different wireless technologies, you might be worried that switching between them is a confusing maze of software programs, switches, and keystrokes. That's where Sony exclusive SmartWi™ technology comes in. Sony VAIO PCs with SmartWi technology seamlessly integrate WLAN, WWAN, and Bluetooth technologies, letting you easily toggle between your wireless connectivity options.
E-mails, instant messaging, and social networking sites are great ways to stay in touch with the written word, but sometimes you just want to hear someone's voice. Your first instinct might be to grab your mobile phone, but did you know that you can use your PC to place voice calls? Using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology, your computer can make voice calls around the block or around the world2. You may already be familiar with VoIP by its other names, such as Internet telephony, broadband phone, or digital phone. In fact, many large corporations now use Internet-based phone systems, not to mention the commercially available services from telecommunications providers. To place a voice call on your PC, all you need is a microphone, an Internet connection, and any of a number of free messaging applications -- AOL® AIM®, Yahoo!® Messenger, Windows® Live Messenger, and Skype® are just a few of your options. Often, voice calls to other computers can be made at no charge, while calls to mobile or landline phones can usually be made for a minimal charge to your account with the provider. You're not limited to only initiating calls, either; most applications also include features that allow your PC to receive calls from traditional telephones. Of course, if you already have a landline and a mobile phone, you might be curious why you would want to use VoIP on your PC. One of the benefits of most VoIP services is that you can forward your other phones to your computer. As long as you're connected to the Web, your computer will ring anytime someone is trying to reach you. Better yet, though, is the ability to set up a local telephone number almost anywhere in the world. For instance, if you live in New York City but your family lives in London, you could create a local telephone number in London so your family only has to pay local rates anytime they want to hear your voice. This is a sample of the 'attention' style. Use this style to denote very important information to your users. To use this use the folllowing html: 911 and other emergency service numbers generally cannot be accessed through PC-based phone services. You must use a traditional phone or mobile phone to access 911 or other emergency service numbers.
For those times when even a phone call won't do, the combination of a webcam and your PC can completely change your online communication experiences. When used with any of a number of free video messaging services, such as those named earlier, you can easily see, hear, and chat with family, friends, or coworkers2. As long as you and the person you're calling both have webcams, video chat goes far beyond a typical instant message session -- it's the next best thing to being there in person. To make video chat easier, many of the latest Sony® VAIO® notebooks and desktops feature a MOTION EYE® camera and a built-in microphone discreetly located above the LCD screen. The location makes it easy to maintain eye contact with the screen and the person with whom you're talking. Video chat isn't the only use for a webcam; you can also send video clips through cyberspace in the form of a video e-mail. Instead of trying to convey your thoughts and experiences through words, a video e-mail can let you show everyone clips of special events like your vacation or a new baby, or let you deliver a more personal message to celebrate a friend's birthday.
With the right PC at your fingertips, you can open the door to a wide range of unique and expressive ways of connecting with friends, family, or colleagues. If you want to reconnect with old friends, share special news with family members, or update business associates on the status of a big project, when your PC includes the right technology it can be the hub for all the ways you want to stay in touch with everyone you know and love.