Tablet PC & Mobile PC Comparisons, Reviews, Information,
Software and Accessories


HP TouchSmart IQ816t Canon Rebel XSiToshiba Qosmio® X305-Q708 RockBand 2Lenovo ThinkPad W700Slingbox pro-HDMobile Demand XTablet T8700 Rugged Tablet PCJawboneD-Link Pocker RouterWestern Digital My Passport™ EliteWestern Digital My Passport™ Elite

The Best of 2008

What a Year it's been...

It's been a whirlwind year filled with new technology to explore and share.  Tablet PC's, notebooks, netbooks, networking gear, Wi-Fi , mobile phones, all the things we need and use to get our work done everyday.  Everything High Definition, Plasma televisions, DVR's even HD  optics for sunglasses.  Then there is the world of music, pre amps, amps,, speakers, soundbars, Blu-ray players, games, the bright lights of Broadway and all the things we turn to when its time to unwind. 

We all have our favorite things, some are technology oriented and others, which are of equal importance are not.  It's always a challenge to choose my favorites products for the year but after weeks of thinking about it, and slowly narrowing down the field you will find my favorites for 2008 below.  I hope you enjoy checking them out and feel free to drop me an email with your favorite things from 2008. 

As we say good bye to 2008, remember the good times and do your best to put the not so good times behind you.   What ever the new year brings your way, remember to take time away from work to unwind, enjoy family & friends and to do things that truly make you happy.

Happy New Year From

1. The Best All-in-One & Best Family PC

HP TouchSmart IQ816t

Windows 7 is Coming - The PC of the Future is Already Here...

Next-generation, touch-enabled PC with 25.5" diagonal widescreen brings your digital life to your fingertips

Want quick touch access to information, e-mail, TV, music, and more? The convenience of connecting via webcam? Check out our next-generation TouchSmart IQ816t PC. This slim and stylish system looks "at home" pretty much anywhere. And once you discover the fun of having it in your kitchen or family room, you'll never go back.

Clutter Busting slim, stylish, all-in-one design with integrated webcam and mic

Music, photo/video editing, checking e-mail and weather, --all with one touch

Record and watch TV using in-package TV tuner and remote control and experience HD entertainment with built-in slot-load Blu-Ray player

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 Lenovo ThinkPad W700

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2. Best Desktop Replacement Notebook

Lenovo ThinkPad W700

A Notebook PC with the Power & Features to do it all...

The ultimate mobile workstation

lightning-fast Intel® Core™2 Duo technology, advanced NVIDIA® Quadro® FX MXM based graphics, cutting-edge technology features and the durability and rock-solid reliability you expect from Lenovo — making the W Series the ultimate mobile workstation. Ultimate performance

Ultimate graphics experience

  • *ThinkPad W700 mobile workstations feature the NVIDIA® Quadro FX® MXM based graphics solution that is stable, compatible, and optimized for all professional applications.
  • OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) with up to 1GB of dedicated video memory enables graphic-intensive applications.
  • High-resolution, premium WSXGA+ or WUXGA panels provide an improved viewing experience. The W500 features a 15.4" display, and the W700 features a 17" display.
  • Next-generation DisplayPort technology provides clearer, crisper images and a larger viewing area.
  • ThinkPad W700 mobile workstations offer X-Rite® PANTONE® color calibration for greater image accuracy, more precise color matching, and a consistently true display.

Palm-rest digitizer and pen
ThinkPad W700 mobile workstations offer a 120cm x 80cm Wacom® palm-rest digitizer and pen, ideal for digital content creation and CAD/CAM applications. The digitizer can be configured to map to the entire screen or a user-defined area, and is compatible with a wide range of applications, from Windows® Paint to Adobe® Photoshop®.

Lenovo ThinkPad W700 Photography Models

All the performance and technology features that make the W700 the ultimate mobile workstation, plus additional photo-imaging tools and technology. Unleash your creativity with W700: the photographer's  mobile studio.

Not just for Photographers....

Editors note:  Perfect for the power user

The Lenovo ThinkPad W700 for Professionals is currently my main PC

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Toshiba Qosmio® X305-Q708

3. Best Gaming & Entertainment Laptop

Toshiba Qosmio® X305-Q708

Amazing Screen Quality, Premium performance, Great Sound and a Flaming Hot Design

Extreme gaming action. Our all-new, all-exciting Qosmio® X305 Series brings it, so you can live it every day and most any place you Toshiba Qosmio® X305-Q708go. It all starts with a mind-bending NVIDIA® GeForce® 9800M GTX graphics and 1GB of discrete DDR3 graphics memory for hair-trigger speed, plus amazingly lifelike textures and lighting effects showcased on a brilliant 17" diagonal widescreen TruBrite® display. Soundtracks, explosions and shattering glass erupt on four Harman Kardon® stereo speakers plus a sub-woofer. With an elective 64-bit operating system and up to 4GB of system memory you'll have the performance you demand for today and the future. Dual 7200rpm hard drives offering up to 400GB of storage mean you can hold all your favorite games, plus enjoy faster chapter loading too. Top it off with a fiery Rogue design pattern and you're set for unforgettable gaming action.

  • Genuine Windows Vista® Ultimate (32-bit/64-bit)
  • 2.53GHz Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme Quad-Core Processor QX9300
  • 17.0" Diagonal Widescreen TruBrite® Display at 1440x900 Native Resolution
  • 4096MB PC3 8500 DDR3 SDRAM
  • Dual 512MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 9800M GTS Graphics Cards
  • Dual Drives
  • * Primary Drive: 128GB Solid State Drive
    * Secondary Drive: 320GB (7200 RPM) Hard Disk Drive

  • 4 Harman/Kardon Speakers with Subwoofer

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Mobile Demand XTablet T8700 Rugged Tablet PCMobile Demand XTablet T8700 Rugged Tablet PC

4. Best Outdoor Screen

Mobile Demand XTablet T8700 Rugged Tablet PC

The Outdoor Viewable Screen that is Truly Viewable Outdoors.....

Sunlight Readable Display

MobileDemand's xTablet features an xView sunlight readable display that provides superior viewing quality no matter what the light conditions are. The xTablet's high resolution display maintains brightness, contrast, and viewability even in direct sunlight. High resolution displays create optimal viewing for large amounts of data. The screen features a dual function touch mode that allows for use of both a stylus and fingers. A function key is available to switch modes on the go.

The MobileDemand® xTablet® Rugged Tablet PC was the first Rugged Tablet PC in the world with an integrated numeric keypad. MobileDemand's Rugged Computer can be used anywhere from the shop floor - to the delivery truck - to the check-out line.

The xTablet T8700 Rugged Handheld Computer was built with the knowledge that no two companies are the same. MobileDemand has carefully taken into consideration the needs of multiple industries.

Mobile Demands xTablet is the Tablet PC used to control the sound at the famed Hollywood BowlPollstar magazine's Best Major Outdoor Venue (three years in a row), the Hollywood Bowl is the largest natural outdoor amphitheater in the United States.

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SlingBox Pro


5. Best Way to Watch & Control Your HD TV & DVR
when your away from home - from anywhere in the world

SlingBox Pro-HD

Watch Your Home TV or DVR Through The Internet In True High Definition

The Slingbox PRO-HD is the first ever HD-streaming Slingbox. With the Slingbox PRO-HD, you can watch and control multiple devices – including your standard- or high-definition DVR, digital cable, satellite receiver, or DVD player – from anywhere in the world on your computer or mobile phone. Your high definition programming streams in HD quality for an amazing picture.

With a set of Standard Definition (SD) and High Definition (HD) inputs and a built-in digital HDTV tuner, you can truly watch all of your TV anywhere. The built-in TV tuner also allows you to watch your local analog/digital broadcast or basic cable without changing channels on your home TV. Slingbox PRO-HD unleashes the latest hardware advancements to deliver the best video streaming quality of any Slingbox to date, for both local and remote viewing.

On Screen Remote Control
Every feature that's available on your TV remote control is accessible through the included SlingPlayer software for your Windows or Mac laptop. This means you can view your electronic program guide (EPG) (Windows only) and change the channels, queue a recording on your DVR, or even watch pay-per-view movies.

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Rock Band Special Edition Rock Band Drum Kit

6. The Best Game in Town

Rock Band Special Edition

For everyone from age 6 to 106 that always wanted to be in a Rock & Roll Band.....

Crank it louder and live the ultimate music game experience! Rock Band 2 is the sequel to 2007’s multi-million unit selling, genre-defining, cultural phenomenon Rock Band, the highest-rated music/rhythm game ever.

Start a Band. Rock the World.

Rock Band is the multi-million unit selling, genre-defining game platform that lets you take the stage, rise to fame, and become a Rock legend. Choose guitar, drums, vocals, or bass - hit the road as an aspiring solo artist or get your friends together and experience the thrill of collaborative play as your band tours the world. With over 500 playable songs available by the end of 2008, Rock Band is the most impressive music game in the world.

Rock Band 2 features newly designed guitar and drum peripherals, with spiffier detail and a more realistic playing experience. . The Drums have an improved kick pedal with metal plate, velocity-sensitive drum heads, cymbal and hi-hat expansion ports, quieter drum heads and a wireless connection.

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Oakley Livestrong Radar- Oakley Augies Quest Polorized Hijinx - Oakley Enduring Pace for Breast Cancer

7. The Best Sunglasses

Oakley HDO - High Definition Optics

High Definition is not just for Televisions and Computer Screens....

A long time favorite, I don't have any new electronic eye ware from Oakley to share with you this time around, but there is Oakley HDO...

Oakley developed High Definition Optics® to meet the demands of the world’s greatest athletes. Experience it for yourself. Use the links on this page to see how HDO® is defined and proven, and find out what professional athletes are saying about it. The benefits are plain to see.

  • See clearer and sharper without image corruption
  • See everything exactly where it is, not shifted
  • Get unrivaled impact protection and 100% UV filtering

Which Oakley's will I be wearing at CES This Year ...Oakley Polorized Half X

The Oakley Polarized Half X in Plasma with Ice Iridium Lenses

X METAL®, an ultra-lightweight titanium alloy. Somehow the performance fanatics and the metal heads got together and spawned a design that mixes art and science so completely, you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins. This is what happens when our athletes and engineers are allowed to mingle without an adequate supply of paint balls.

Here’s where it goes over the top: The lenses are optimized with Oakley HYDROPHOBIC™ coating, a permanent shield against water sheens and a smudge-resistant barrier against skin oils and lotions. That means the unbeatable clarity of HIGH DEFINITION OPTICS® (HDO®) stays razor sharp and clear, and with lens contours that maximize peripheral view, it’s a performance advantage that borders on unfair. You also get the industrial-level impact resistance and 100% UV filtering of pure PLUTONITE® lenses, plus optional IRIDIUM® lens coatings that reduce glare and balance light transmission.

Oakley Gives Back .......

  • Oakley Livestrong Radar
    Oakley is proud to team up with the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which unites people in the fight against cancer. With your purchase of the LIVESTRONG™ special edition eyewear, Oakley will provide $20 to the Lance Armstrong Foundation in support of their mission. To date, your purchases of LIVESTRONG™ eyewear have contributed more than $1,000,000 to the fight against cancer.

  • Oakley Augies Quest Polarized Hijinx
    Many heroes have fallen to ALS, including baseball legend Lou Gehrig. The affliction causes critical nerve cells to die, leading to widespread and devastating loss of vital muscle tissue. ALS leaves the mind generally unaffected but inexorably takes away the ability to speak, walk and do everything we take for granted. Paralysis and death may come just a few years after diagnosis. Oakley is honored to support this effort. With every sale of this special edition HIJINX™ sunglass, we are contributing $20 to MDA’s Augie’s Quest, creating a vision of hope in the fight against ALS.

  • Oakley Enduring Pace for Breast Cancer.
    The YOUNG SURVIVAL COALITION® (YSC) is a non-profit network focused on the concerns and issues unique to young women affected by breast cancer. The YSC’s core purpose is to improve the quality and quantity of life for all young women facing the challenges of breast cancer. A proud partner of the YSC, Oakley is helping support its mission of Action, Advocacy and Awareness by donating $20 from each sale of this special edition sunglass.

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8. The Best Digital SLR

Canon Rebel XSi

Absolutely the Best Digital SLR I have ever had the pleasure of using.

Outstanding Image Quality: New Canon 12.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, DIGIC III Image Processor, 14-bit conversion for smooth tone, gradations, extensive noise reduction technology, and new Auto Optimization for superior highlight-shadow control.

Infinite Possibilities.
For stunning photography with point-and-shoot ease, look no further than Canon's EOS Rebel XSi. The EOS Rebel XSi brings staggering technological innovation to the masses. It features Canon's EOS Integrated Cleaning System, Live View Function, a powerful DIGIC III Image Processor, plus a new 12.2-megapixel CMOS Sensor and is available in a kit with the new EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens with Optical Image Stabilizer. The EOS Rebel XSi's refined, ergonomic design includes a new 3.0-inch LCD monitor, compatibility with SD and SDHC Memory cards and new accessories that enhance every aspect of the photographic experience.

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9. The Best Bluetooth Headset


The best headset on the planet, nobody does it better ......

DESIGN MEETS TECHNOLOGY- Designed by the renowned Yves Behar, Jawbone takes mobile style to new heights. Jawbone's perforated shield curves to match the outline of your face while the inside surface is made from medical grade plastic to provide a soft and smooth feel on the skin. Jawbone can be worn on either ear, and you can customize your fit by choosing an earloop and earbud from the several shapes and sizes provided. Jawbone's ergonomic design enhances acoustic performance and keeps the device lightweight, stable, and comfortable.  

Noise Shield Technology.  Jawbone is the world’s first adaptive Bluetooth headset for mobile phones. Its revolutionary Noise Shield technology combines the latest innovations in acoustics, audio processing and product design to produce a quantum leap in headset performance.

Not only does the Jawbone technology virtually eliminate all background noise from your call, but as your background changes it also seamlessly adjusts the speaker output so you can hear your caller’s voice better.

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D-Link Wireless G Pocket Router/AP

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10. The Best Portable Networking Device

D-Link Wireless G Pocket Router/AP

The Road Warriors Best Friend......

D-Link, an industry leader in networking, introduces another performance breakthrough in wireless connectivity - the AirPlus G DWL-G730AP Wireless Pocket Router/AP™. The DWL-G730AP is a portable and convenient wireless solution for the traveling business person delivering 802.11g wireless connectivity with a maximum wireless signal rate of up to 54Mbps*. Use it in conference rooms, hotel rooms, or even at hotspots.

The Wireless Pocket Router/AP might be small in size, but is huge in functionality.

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Western Digital My Passport  Elite

11. The Best Portable Device for Backup & Storage

Western Digital My Passport™ Elite

A luxurious soft-touch finish makes these drives easy to grip, comfortable to hold, and beautiful to show off to your friends. Combine that with mega-capacity that fits in your pocket, plus four powerful features -- capacity gauge, automatic backup, sync and encryption, and remote access software -- and you'll understand why we call these little drives Elite.

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Western Digital My Passport  Elite

12. The Best Show on Broadway

Billy Elliot

One of my favorite things to do when I'm not working is seeing a Broadway Show in NYC

BILLY ELLIOT is a funny, heart-warming and feel-good celebration of one young boy's dream in a gripping tale of triumph over adversity. Based on the enormously popular film, this powerful new musical is the story of a boy who discovers he has a special talent for dance, while the boys all around him are more interested in boxing. An unprecedented smash in the West End, where it has won 9 Best Musical awards, broken UK box office records and continues to sell out nightly, BILLY ELLIOT has been created by the film's director (Stephen Daldry), writer (Lee Hall) and choreographer (Peter Darling), who are joined by music legend Elton John, one of the most celebrated pop songwriters of the last 30 years.

My expectations for this show were very high and to say that Billy Elliot far exceeded them would be an understatement.   Billy Elliot is one pf the best broadway shows I've ever seen.  The show is fabulous, the music is excellent and David Alvarez performance as "Billy" is absolutely amazing. You have to see Billy Elliot yourself to grasp the power of this young mans performance. Watching this show you can tell that the the cast truly enjoys performing together and those feelings permeate into the audience

And suddenly I'm flying
Flying like a bird
Like Electricity, electricity
Sparks inside of me
And I'm free, I'm free

Weeks later listening to the music or thinking about the show still brings a smile to my heart.

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To view the 2008 "List for Santa" click on the Reindeer

Santa & Reindeer

This way to the 2008 List for Santa

Copyright © 2008 Blue Thunder
All rights reserved. No work here may be
reproduced or reprinted without the express
written permission of the author.