Laptops

Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption (2000, RPG): The Netbook Gamer

Considering that I tend to be a very linear person, it is interesting that in terms of role-playing games pre-2004 I tended to play them all ‘out of order’. For example, after enjoying Neverwinter Nights and Knights of the Old Republic, I asked around and was recommended to seek out Gothic 2 and Baldur’s Gate 2. I played and loved both of those and then sought out the original games in the series. The same was true with games based on White Wolf’s Vampire the Masquerade tabletop RPG – I played the 2004 Troika game Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines through…


Alienware m11x Gaming Laptop: First Impressions

… and as Alienware claims, this is NOT a netbook! Sitting side-by-side with my Lenovo s10 the Alienware m11x seems large, and given that it weighs twice as much as the Lenovo it also FEELS much bigger. But compared to my 15″ Macbook Pro or the HP Compaq 15″ laptop I use at work, it looks and feels quite small. That is exactly what Alienware was going for – a high performance system in a portable package. So while I have only had a short time with the system, here are a few initial thoughts about the m11x as a…


Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (2002, FPS): The Netbook Gamer

Since I have already expressed my love for the original Star Wars Jedi Knight and the Mysteries of the Sith expansion, it is only fitting that I move on to the sequel! Don’t worry, I will return to Dark Forces soon enough and have also recently completed Jedi Academy … so soon I’ll have reviewed the entire Kyle Katarn saga on the netbook for you! But for now, let’s look at Jedi Knight II.


Evil Islands (2001, RPG): The Netbook Gamer

If you are familiar with the PC RPG genre and think of games from Eastern European developers from early in the last decade, you will likely come up with thoughts of bug-ridden releases with loads of patches, poor translations, terrible dialogue, and overall sloppy games. Things have come a long way to the point of excellent games such as The Witcher and Drakensang and Divinity II, but it is still worth playing many of the earlier games because what they lack in polish they often make up for in original ideas and gameplay. Of course, sometimes they are junk. So…


PC Magazines Gives Us 42 Reasons Netbooks Are Better Than The iPad

Are you tired of all the negative backlash from last week’s iPad announcement … or still tired from all of the hype leading up to the announcement? Probably some of both. Well, as Dan noted, Steve Jobs took an unwise swing at netbooks in his pitch, so naturally we now have a nice list from PC Magazine of things that make netbooks better than the iPad. Of course, since the iPad isn’t shipping, nor are the specs even final, such stuff is largely a useless exercise in … well, something. But it is still good fun to look at these…


Neverwinter Nights (2002, RPG): The Netbook Gamer

Neverwinter Nights is a RPG based on the Dungeons and Dragons rules developed and published by Bioware in 2002. Since then it has been patched, expanded, enhanced, gotten loads of community extensions, and patched some more, and remains a favorite game for module developers and multiplayer gamers alike. But is it something for the netbook gamer? Read on for my review of this RPG classic with a special look at how the original game and all of the commercial expansions play on a netbook.


Neverwinter Nights Premium Modules PC Game Module Reviews:

“Bioware gives us more reasons to pay for Neverwinter Nights Premium Modules while still grabbing tons of great free ones!” That is what I said when I initially wrote this back in 2005 and still held true when I updated it in 2006 for a now defunct site. Since then Atari and Bioware are no longer connected by the D&D license, and due to contractual reasons Bioware has had to stop selling the Premium Modules on their store, but fortunately their master server will still authenticate the modules and let you play. Other than that note I’m leaving the article…


The Netbook Gamer: Torchlight (2009, RPG)

One comment I received when I started the Netbook Gamer series was that it was as much a ‘Retroscpectives of My Favorite Games’ series as anything else … and to an extent that is true (though the next entry will be a game I never played before). The problem is that Netbooks are not designed pumping out pixels in a way that is needed for modern games. However, every once in a while something comes along that works – and when I started playing Torchlight and saw a ‘Netbook Mode’ under visual options I was thrilled. So is the game…


Griffin Elevator Review

Surviving marathon sessions working on your computer is all about comfort.  Putting yourself in the proper viewing and reaching position goes along way towards keeping your body feeling good. Ergonomics! According to Griffin Technology, Healthycomputing.com, the premier source for office ergonomics, recommends positioning the top of your screen level with your eyes and sitting at least an arm’s length distance from the screen. Both of these key ergonomic standards are made possible using The Griffin Elevator with an external keyboard.


Everki Camber Netbook Case Review

We recently released the introduction of the Camber Netbook Case-Sling from Everki (you can read the release here).  Everki was kind enough to supply a Camber for me to review.  This new case is super compact fitting netbooks up to 13″.  The product is slightly too small to hold a 13″ MacBook Pro (they actually are 13.3″), but a version to accommodate the macbook is in the works for 2010.  As the computing devices we use get smaller, so do the ways we carry them.  See how the Camber stacks up after the break.


The UMID mbook Pink Edition for the Impossible-to-buy-for Girly Gadget Girl

You can stop staring now. Sure, the UMID mbook Pink Edition is only a little bit larger than a Nintendo DS, but this dainty morsel is running full Windows XP! I am completely intrigued by the Handheld PC form factor, and I can’t help but be interested. Starting at $449 (including a storage pouch and 4GB microSD), you get five hours of “actual (not theoretical)” use for surfing, editing, emailing, chatting …whatever. This would be the a perfect complement to the MiFi that I received as an early Christmas gift (thanks mom!), to boot! If the pink is too girly…


The Netbook Gamer: Star Wars: Mysteries of the Sith (1998, FPS)

While in theory this could be game could have been called Star Wars Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith expansion, fortunately it was just called Star Wars Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith and is easily abbreviated as MotS. It was released in early 1998, a mere four months after the release of a game still marked as one of the best first-person shooters of all time, and despite getting lower reviews than that game it remains a fan favorite and a standout release for an expansion pack. Yes, and since it was released more than ten…


Divine Divinity (2002, RPG) Review

or … Five Years Loving a Game With a Stupid Name. One of the quirky ‘top whatever’ lists that appears every now and then is the list of worst names for video games. And somewhere on every one of those lists is Divine Divinity. Yeah, it IS pretty obvious why. The game would also appear on another list – if someone could figure out how to name it. That list would be ‘best deep role playing game that fans of classic RPG’s have ignored because it features action-RPG combat and has a very difficult and long dungeon in the beginning.’…


SiN (1998, FPS) Review

Context is everything. I hadn’t touched SiN since replaying SiN Gold when it was released for the Mac in 2000. Then they released the first ‘episode’ of SiN Episodes, called ‘Emergence‘ in 2006, which came with a Steam copy of ‘SiN 1? as it was called. Naturally I played some then as I waited for the release of the episode, but didn’t make it all the way through. Since it is now more than ten years since the original release, I thought it only appropriate that I should do a Retrospective for a franchise that has spent its’ life in…


Shinnorie GEN Label Custom Skinny Slim Bag Review

I recently reviewed Shinnoire‘s custome iPhone Leather Flip Case.  I had a lot of fun selecting my personal color choices for the case.  It’s not often you get to pick and choose the exact colors which will go into your case and then have it personally hand crafted. Shinnorie offers the same level of customization for their bags as well and I was also allowed to custom build a laptop bag for review. The bag I had built is their Skinny Slim Bag.  It’s a slim bag good for short trips, daily commutes to and from work or meetings.  The…


Archos 5 Internet Tablet: A Tale Of Woe In Two Parts…

I love tablets. I used a Windows Tablet PC for years and have been chomping at the bit for the Apple tablet. The iPhone and iPod touch have been and are awesome, but I have been longing for something a bit larger. When the Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android came along, I thought it just might be the ticket. Here was a slick slate tablet with a 4.8“ touchscreen with 800*480 resolution. The 32GB model is just thin and light and… it runs Android. I bit. It is an impressive device. But is it a “keeper”?


HyperMac External Battery Review

Every once and a while a product comes along that really catches my eye.  Such was the case when I spotted an advertisement for the HyperMac external battery in a tech. magazine last month.  The HyperMac is currently the only external battery available for use with Apple’s line of Mac Book computers.  And with the new unibody Mac Book Pro and its built in battery the HyperMac might just be a must have for the true road warrior. Hyper Shop, the company behind the HyperMac, was kind enough to send me a HyperMac 150Wh battery for review.  I’ve put it…


Hexplore (1998, RPG) Review

There are many games from the history of computer role-playing games that deserve the attention of a full retrospective, looking back in-depth at what made the game great and putting it into a modern context. However, for every ‘Ultima IV’ or ‘Arcanum’ there are a hundred games like Hexplore – minor releases that added something at the time but were not significant enough to merit much attention even a year after they came out. Certainly, I had never heard about it until recently when it was mentioned in a thread on a PC RPG forum. As part of my love…


The Netbook Gamer: Unreal (1998, FPS)

Given that my first love of gaming is first-person shooters (FPS) based on my love of the original Castle Wolfenstein back on my Apple ][+, it is somewhat surprising that I was ‘late to the party’ on Unreal by nearly a year. But hey, gimme a break – I had a three-month old colicky baby when it was released in late May of 1998. Yes, that is right: Unreal is well past the celebration of its tenth birthday … but in terms of my ownership it has just passed the decade mark, so I guess that counts for something! You…


The Netbook Gamer: Star Wars Jedi Knight (1997, FPS)

Welcome to the first entry in the new Netbook Gamer series! In the fall of 1997 LucasArts delivered into the hands of gamers something they had wanted since they first saw one twenty years prior – a lightsaber. Dark Forces brought the Star Wars universe a new level of immersion through the first person shooter perspective. The story brought in classic settings abd characters and introduced a new hero – Kyle Katarn. Former Imperial Academy hero shaken by the discovery of the nature of the Empire through tragic events, Katarn is joined by his partner Jan Ors as the pair…


New Series: The Netbook Gamer

Welcome to a new series here at Gear Diary! Called the Netbook Gamer, this will allow me to share two of my loves – playing computer games and exploiting my netbooks to deliver whatever performance I can squeeze from them. In this series I will look at games released over the last decade that might have pushed the boundaries of what was possible when released, but still work on a modern PC and will run smoothly on a current release netbook. In the title I will identify the game, the year it was released and the genre – expect these…