Archive for the ‘Laptops’ category

The Panasonic R7

February 7, 2008

The Panasonic R7 offers an unrivaled 2 pound usability experience. Its diminutive 9.0(W) x 7.2(L) x 0.9~1.6(H) inch footprint accommodates a 10.4″ XGA TFT and a 17mm keypitch keyboard–giving you a much larger keyboard and screen than anything in its weight class. The 8 hour standard battery life is remarkable (even when reduced to a real world 4-5 hours of use). The R7’s utilization of the latest ultra-low voltage Intel Core Duo processor helps to give long battery life while delivering significant performance.

But it is not all about being pretty.

The R7 withstood 50kg (110 pounds) of weight, as well as a 30cm (11.8 inch) drop, in Panasonic’s lab tests. While this is not a guarantee that it will withstand that in the future (and it is not guaranteed to do so), it’s an impressive feat for a chassis this size. The HDD is shock-mounted to reduce the likelihood of data loss due to stress of travel.

The Intel Centrino Core 2 Duo processor (2mb on-chip cache) and 2.0gb RAM (max) provide plenty of power. The mobile Intel GM965 Express chipset with 224mb shared VRAM also provides plenty of graphics performance.


Toshiba’s latest slim tablet

January 22, 2008

Convertible tablet PCs always get a lot of attention, even if we don’t know anyone who actually uses one. It’s not surprising–in a world of commodity products, where one gray laptop looks much like the next, having a swiveling touch screen is at least something a bit different, even if you’re not one of the handful of media professionals, note-taking students, or graphic artists who actually need the dual tablet and laptop modes of one of these systems.


Toshiba unveiled a new tablet this Monday, the company’s first Tablet PC to incorporate a touch-screen LED-backlit display. The Portege M700 offers a 12.1-inch screen, both fingertip and active stylus control, and an LED backlit display (which are generally thinner and lighter than traditional laptop screens) with an anti-glare coating, suitable for outdoor use. We were very fond of Toshiba’s R400 tablet, released in January of 2007, and unlike that model, this new tablet offers a swappable drive bay, which can be used for an optical drive, extra hard drive, or nothing at all, to cut down on weight. 

 Toshiba’s default configuration includes an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7500 CPU, 2GB of RAM, and a 160GB hard drive for $1,799 (or $1,699 for a 1GB version with Windows XP). If you’re itching to buy a new convertible tablet, online rumors say Dell’s new tablet will also debut this week, so stay tuned.


The Internet fridge is back

January 22, 2008

The Internet fridge I saw at CES doesn’t do what I want it to do. It does not know when I am running out of milk. It does not sniff out the moldy cheese hiding behind the mustard to tell me it’s time to throw it out. What the Internet fridge does is this: It has a mounting bracket and a power port on its front so you can install fridge-centric devices.  Stay with me here.

 Whirlpool makes the refrigerator in question. I really don’t expect you’re going to buy one. Another company, Data Evolution, makes a module that snaps onto the bracket and that holds its slim convertible tablet notebook ($800, as I recall). Since Whirlpool isn’t going to sell a whole lot of fridges with docks, you’re probably not going to buy one of those PCs, either. So where does that leave the software, Cozi, that was running on the CES demo? Cozi is worth looking at. Sure, you can run it on your fridgetop if you have one, but even without one, it’s a good Web-based application for families. Cozi is a simplified group calendar. It lets you schedule things for yourself and see other family schedules, and block time for group activities. As a corporate slave, I like Cozi because the installed version syncs with my Outlook calendar, and the sync is under my control. I can have Cozi read only the appointments that keep me away from home in the evenings; my wife doesn’t see the family calendar crowded with my meetings during work hours. If you don’t need the sync you can use the Web-based version of Cozi, which, CEO Robbie Cape told me, is where Cozi is investing most of its development resources. Cozi is also a super-simple hub from which you can send text messages to family members’ mobile phones.  

On the downside, it doesn’t sync with other calendars real people might be using, such as Google, Yahoo, or iCal.  

If you are looking for a good way to keep a simple family schedule online, I recommend Cozi. But put it on an ordinary cheap laptop that you stick in the kitchen; the PC-on-a-fridge thing is silly.

by Rafe Needleman


Dell tries tablets with Latitude XT

January 22, 2008

Tablet computing is a very small pond, and it’s now home to a very big fish: Dell.  The Round Rock, Texas-based PC maker on Tuesday is introducing the Latitude XT Tablet PC, its first product in the category.

Though it’s just one notebook, Dell’s entry is sure to cause a stir. It’s a modest niche of computing that hasn’t really gotten off the ground yet. And the interest of the second-largest PC maker in the world can’t help but have an impact on the market

 “It puts the product in limelight,” said Richard Shim, PC industry analyst with IDC. “It has potential to bring down pricing on key components that are being priced at a premium.”  

Currently tablet PCs comprise just 2.4 percent of the worldwide notebook market, according to IDC. That’s about 2.5 million units shipped total. But as Dell joins other high-profile tablet makers like Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba, Gateway, and others, the category is expected to grow to 12.3 million units and 6.3 percent of the notebook market by 2011, IDC said. And as volumes go up, prices are sure to go down.  

That Dell would delve into tablets was one of the worst-kept secrets in the PC industry over the last year. The company confirmed the rumors in May and then briefly showed the product during Michael Dell’s keynote speech at Oracle Open World in November.  

The Latitude XT is aimed chiefly at commercial markets, and Dell says it initially tried to address several of the key complaints expressed by typical tablet users: that they’re too bulky, the screen isn’t viewable in direct sun, poor handwriting recognition, and inadequate battery life. 

 Although tablets in general are not marketed toward consumers right now, Dell’s entrance could bring component prices down enough to make building and buying tablets affordable for, say, students one day, noted Shim. “Lately we’ve been seeing manufacturers start to look at the consumer market as an audience for this type of tablet,” he said. Particularly because the profit margins are much higher for consumer devices.  

For now, the price is not what you would call friendly to the mainstream notebook buyer. At the starting price of $2,499, the Latitude XT has a 12.1-inch LED-backlit screen, a 1.06-gigahertz Intel Core 2 Solo processor, 1GB of memory, and a 40GB hard drive. It comes with Windows Vista Business edition or XP Tablet Edition. The whole device weighs 3.57 pounds, and has about 5 hours of battery life. It uses capacitive touch input, which recognizes both fingers and an included pen for inputting data. The pen also comes with a right-click button.

To target outdoor, all-day commercial users, the Latitude XT comes with upgrade options of an extra bright outdoor-viewable LCD display (which adds to the thickness of the notebook), an extended battery, which clips on the bottom of the device, as well as the option of an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and a 32 or 64 GB solid-state drive.

Dell calls its capacitive touch technology, which picks up on the electrical current in a person’s hand, the “breakthrough” in the device. It also recognizes the difference between the touch of an errant palm or a purposeful press of a fingertip on the screen. 

 Touchscreen interfaces are a technology area with huge potential, and mainstream interest in multitouch technology skyrocketed this year with Apple’s iPhone and Microsoft’s demonstrations of its Surface PC technology. Dell has its cooking up its own multitouch technology, which it showed at Oracle Open World, in which all five fingers can be picked up


Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 (Core 2 Duo 2GHz, 1GB RAM, 80GB HDD, Windows XP Tablet Edition)

July 16, 2007

With four tablet models in its catalog, Fujitsu offers something for every potential tablet user. The LifeBook T4220, a Centrino Duo update to its earlier T4215 model, is targeted at users who want all the performance and features of a full-fledged laptop with added handwriting functionality. In that light, the LifeBook T4220 largely succeeds: it offers nearly every feature you’d expect on a thin-and-light laptop plus a sizable display for writing and lengthy battery life. However, its performance on our benchmarks was mixed; its paltry allotment of RAM held it back on one of our tests–though the fault is easily fixed with a $150 upgrade. While not as elegant as the Lenovo ThinkPad X61 Tablet (which lacks a built-in optical drive), the highly configurable LifeBook T4220 is a solid choice for business users who want a tablet PC without compromise.

While the LifeBook T4220 falls in the middle of the weight range for a thin-and-light laptop, it is a bit hefty for a tablet; we were able to cradle it in one arm, clipboard-style, but never for more than a few minutes. Like most tablets larger than a UMPC, the LifeBook T4220 seems best for those who want to take handwritten notes while sitting at a desk or conference table.

The LifeBook T4220’s 12.1-inch display offers a native resolution of 1,024×768. That resolution and its standard (4:3) aspect ratio are rather ho-hum compared to the wide-screen displays found on most thin-and-light laptops, but we appreciated the T4220’s larger type and icons while we were navigating with the stylus. Our review unit’s price includes an indoor/outdoor display that provides excellent off-angle viewing and is readable in a variety of different lighting conditions, including summer afternoon sun. (If you’re likely to only use your tablet in typical work environments, you can save $150 by opting for a standard display finish.) While most tablets include a small slot in the base so you can tuck the stylus out of sight, the LifeBook T4220’s stylus sits in full view on the left side of the display bezel–a somewhat unattractive design that nevertheless keeps the stylus within easy reach. A number of other features around the bezel help you navigate when the computer is in tablet mode: a fingerprint reader for quick and keyboard-free log-ons, plus buttons for Alt, Fn, page up, and page down.

While its predecessor featured a bidirectional swivel, which let you twist the screen in any direction you like, the LifeBook T4220’s display swivels in only one direction. When you rotate and fold down the display, the computer automatically locks the laptop’s optical disc drive and rotates the screen 90 degrees into portrait mode. A button alongside the display also lets you manually adjust the screen orientation, though only two ways; other systems, such as the ThinkPad X60 Tablet, allow you to choose any screen orientation. We found this to be oddly limiting, until we noticed that the LifeBook T4220’s vents could get quite hot–the two screen direction options ensure that you don’t try to hold the vent side against your body.

Writing on the LifeBook T4220 was comfortable enough for quickly scribbled notes but not ideal for writing a lengthy document: the stylus lacks heft, and we wish the writing surface offered a little more resistance. We found the stylus responsive, however, and loved the eraser feature on top, which works exactly like a pencil eraser; though the eraser isn’t unique to Fujitsu, we consider it a key feature for any tablet stylus. When not using the system in tablet mode, the amply sized keyboard and rectangular touch pad function well, although the keys are somewhat loud. We appreciate that even the heaviest key strokes weren’t enough to make the LifeBook T4220’s display wobble. We also love the scroll button, located between the laptop’s two mouse buttons, which let us coast through long documents and Web pages with ease.  

The Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 has a more or less average selection of ports and connections for a thin-and-light laptop, though it does lack a mini-FireWire jack. An ExpressCard slot would have been nice as well, especially if you want to add mobile broadband later on (Fujitsu does not offer a built-in WWAN radio, even as an option). We do like the LifeBook T4220’s integrated smart card reader, which lets you add a level of security beyond just passwords. And we appreciate the port covers that keep dust and debris out of some (but, strangely, not all) of the laptop’s ports. As would be expected on a work-oriented tablet, the LifeBook T4220’s stereo speakers produce extremely tinny sound.

As befitting a laptop built on Intel’s latest Centrino Duo platform, the $2,249 Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 performed well on CNET Labs’ mobile benchmarks. Its performance equaled or exceeded that of the $2,102 Gateway E-265M and the $1,499 Lenovo 3000 V200. One notable exception: the LifeBook T4220 trailed far behind both systems and even a previous-generation Dell XPS M1210 on our Photoshop test. The most likely culprit is the Fujitsu’s paltry allotment of RAM–half as much as the competing systems. If you’re likely to do resource-intensive tasks beyond Web surfing and pounding out memos, you should consider upgrading to at least 2GB of RAM, which will add $150 to the price.

The Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 lasted an impressive 2 hours, 41 minutes on our resource-intensive DVD drain test; this test is especially grueling, so you can expect longer life from casual Web surfing and office use. The Dell XPS M1210 managed to last longer than the LifeBook T4220, but the Dell also included a much larger battery. The Lenovo 3000 V200 included similar components (with the exception of a slightly slower processor) and lasted only 2 hours, 16 minutes.

Fujitsu covers the system with a one-year warranty. Support is available through a 24-7, toll-free phone line, and technicians can connect to your computer over the Internet to diagnose problems. Standard Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and driver downloads also are available. Adding an extra year of service costs $100, and upgrading to next-business-day on-site service is an additional $50 per year. Fujitsu is also unique among laptop vendors in offering a no-questions-asked Screen Damage Protection Plan that costs $150 for one year and $383 for three years.

Samsung Q1 Ultra

July 9, 2007

The Samsung Q1 Ultra (Q1U-V) improves on Samsung’s original and much maligned UMPC effort, but it still finds itself caught between two worlds. It can’t replace your laptop as an everyday productivity tool because it’s still too underpowered, and, despite the addition of a small keyboard split across the screen, text input becomes a chore for anything more than typing a URL or the briefest of e-mail responses. So, let’s view it as a portable media player.

The Q1 Ultra’s 7-inch screen is far larger than anything you’d find on a smart phone or other handheld device, but its meager specs struggle to power Windows Vista and even simple tasks such as smoothly playing video. At $1,199, it’s cheaper than other UMPCs we’ve seen, but that price is harder to justify when you see everything the iPhone can do for half that amount. Given its flaws, we found ourselves enjoying the Q1 Ultra when used only as an on-the-go Web-surfing machine. If browsing Web sites and playing media files when out and about is your main priority, the Apple iPhone (or a Wi-Fi enabled PMP) is a better way to go. 

Despite shaving about a quarter-pound off the weight of its predecessor, the Samsung Q1 Ultra is on the large side of the UMPC scale at 1.5 pounds, but it weighs only a few ounces more than the Sony VAIO UX390, the OQO model 02, or the Vulcan Flipstart. It’s a bit larger than these other models, which makes the Q1 Ultra feel lighter than it looks. It’s easy to tote around, either in its cloth slipcase or by the included wrist strap. (The tie for the wrist strap seems suspiciously similar to the one on the Nintendo Wii remote’s wrist strap, however, which is infamous for snapping at inopportune moments.)  

Aside from being a bit lighter, the Q1 Ultra’s overall design hasn’t changed much from last year’s model. A bright, clear 7-inch widescreen display dominates the glossy, black plastic chassis and features a native resolution of 1,024×600, which is higher than the original Q1’s 800×480 native resolution. The screen might be the Q1 Ultra’s most appealing feature; it’s perfectly capable of displaying Web pages properly and giving you plenty of room for the Windows desktop.  

The face of the Q1 Ultra is covered by a sometimes confusing array of buttons and controls, which require a little trial and error to use properly. Half of a QWERTY keyboard sits on each side of the display, positioned for thumb typing, as on a Blackberry or Treo. The buttons are even smaller than the Treo’s–although not by much–and since they’re made of the same slick plastic as the rest of the system, they can be hard to get traction on. Rubberized keys would be welcomed. Typing on the Q1 Ultra is a chore, but it does become easier with practice. But in practical terms, as discovered by writing part of this review on the Q1 Ultra’s keyboard, lengthy text input will never be the system’s strong suit. 

 Fortunately, there are other input methods, including a touch screen with stylus and a ThinkPad-style mouse pointer. The mouse pointer is located under your left thumb, while the left and right mouse buttons are under your right thumb, along with a four-way input that works like the arrow keys on your keyboard. That’s the opposite of the setup on the Sony VAIO UX390, OQO model 02, or Vulcan Flipstart, all of which have the mouse pointer on the right and the mouse buttons on the left. Since we generally use our right hand to mouse, the Q1 Ultra’s setup seemed odd at first, but we quickly got used to it. 

The touch screen works with both the included stylus or a fingertip, and while it likely won’t be your primary input method, being able to reach over with your thumb and click the submit button on a Web form after typing something in a text field is a huge help. As with the other UMPCs we’ve looked at, having multiple input methods is vital to making these machines even somewhat useful. 

 Additionally, a few touch-sensitive buttons sit above the screen, next to a Web cam. These include volume up and down buttons (but no mute control) and a button for bringing up Samsung’s custom onscreen menu, giving you control over screen brightness, the Wi-Fi connection, and other options.

The ports and connections on UMPCs in general, and the Q1 Ultra specifically, are sparse but functional. With two USB ports, a headphone jack, an SD card slot, Bluetooth, and a VGA out, most of your connectivity needs should be covered, save for the occasional FireWire device. In addition to the built-in 802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi, we think a UMPC should offer cellular broadband for times when you and this highly mobile device aren’t sitting in a HotSpot. A higher-end model, the Q1 Ultra-CMV, is scheduled to arrive next month with a mobile broadband chip from Cingular. 

 While we could see ourselves coming to terms with its various input options, the Q1 Ultra’s deal breaker is its performance. While the Sony VAIO UX390N uses a 1.3GHz Intel Core Solo CPU and the Vulcan FlipStart uses a 1.1 GHz Pentium M, the Q1 Ultra features a relatively new 800MHz Intel A110 CPU. Although specifically designed for pocket-sized devices, the Q1 Ultra’s processor simply can’t keep up with the laptop CPUs in the other UMPCs. 

With its large display and touch screen controls, we thought the Q1 Ultra would make an excellent portable media player, but we found its performance in playing back media files–either streaming online or straight from the hard drive–to be spotty at best, with frequent stuttering, making the system less useful by far. The system also struggled to run Windows Vista–accessing OS menus regularly slowed things to a crawl.  

The new processor, however, did help with battery life. The Q1 Ultra ran for two hours and 16 minutes on our DVD battery drain test, using an external DVD player hooked up to one of the system’s USB ports. This is an especially grueling test, so you can expect longer life from casual use. We got a little more than three hours of battery life in our hands-on testing, which is still not acceptable in a device that can rightly be expected to stray from a wall outlet for long stretches. 

Samsung includes an industry-standard, one-year, parts-and-labor warranty with the system. Support is accessible 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (EST), seven days a week, through a toll-free phone line, and the online knowledge base has a specific section for the Q1 line of UMPCs.  

Reviewed by: Dan Ackerman
Edited by:
Matthew Elliott


A Gamer’s Laptop Dream…The Dell XPS M1710

July 3, 2007

The top-of-the-line XPS M1710 with Blu-ray, configured similarly to the $3,498 system we reviewed in October, costs $4,249. It costs slightly less to add a Blu-ray drive than a stand-alone set-top box Blu-ray player, but it costs slightly more than a PlayStation 3 console, which also plays Blu-ray discs. Of course, neither set-top boxes nor the PS3 will allow you to record onto Blu-ray recordable and re-recordable discs. The XPS M1710’s dual-layer drive can write up to 50GB of data on Blu-ray discs, as well as play back Blu-ray movies

CyberLink’s PowerDVD 6.6 is included for playing back Blu-ray movies, while Nvidia’s PureVideo HD is behind the Blu-ray decoding, and Roxio Creator Plus handles burning chores. With Roxio Creator Plus, you can create Blu-ray data discs, for storing massive amounts of data, or Blu-ray video discs, which you can play back on set-top Blu-ray players. The XPS M1710 does not have an HDMI output, so to send that HD signal to a big-screen plasma or LCD, you’ll have to use the DVI output, which should work fine, as long as your display is HDCP compliant. (12/11/06)

 Dell’s latest update to its monster XPS M1710 desktop replacement may not warrant an entirely new model number, but the changes are deep enough to deserve a fresh look. The system earns gaming props for being the first laptop to carry Nvidia’s latest mobile GPU, the GeForce Go 7950 GTX. Also of note: Dell, in an unusual move for a mainstream PC maker, practically encourages buyers to overclock the 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo T7600G processor. Let’s not forget the multicolored lights built into the speaker grilles, air vents, and lid, which play along with music apps and select games (Dell calls it XPS LightFX technology). The $3,498 system is a budget-buster to be sure, but one that’s hard to top if you’re looking for a top-of-the-line desktop replacement for gaming. If you’re willing to sacrifice a little gaming performance for cash, the Gateway NX860XL is worth a look.

Dell calls the reflective red pattern on the back cover Special Edition Formula Red, but it’s also available in the more subdued Metallic Black. Both colors feature backlit XPS logos. The interior and exterior surfaces are covered with a magnesium alloy, and the system measures 15.5 inches wide, 11.3 inches deep, and 1.7 inches thick. Our test unit weighed 8.7 pounds (10.4 pounds with the AC adapter)–a few ounces more than the Gateway NX850XL, but nearly 1.5 pounds more than a smaller desktop replacement such as the Toshiba Satellite P105.

The XPS M1710 includes a full-size keyboard and a touch pad with horizontal and vertical scroll zones. When activated by a compatible application (or when the M1710 is angry with you), the backlit XPS logo on the touch pad glows red. On the front panel of the system, below the touch pad and accessible while the lid is closed, sits a row of media control buttons, including volume controls, fast-forward and rewind buttons. There’s also a button for launching Dell’s MediaDirect software, but that’s located near the display, far from the other media control buttons. MediaDirect is Dell’s homegrown version of Media Center; it plays CDs and DVDs and lets you access photos and other media files stored on your hard drive. The advantage is that you can use MediaDirect without booting up the PC’s operating system, saving time and battery life.

You shouldn’t have much trouble connecting your peripherals. The system includes headphone and microphone jacks, VGA and DVI outputs, S-Video-out, four-pin FireWire, and six USB 2.0 ports. Networking connections include a 56Kbps modem, 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet, and integrated 802.11a/b/g wireless. Bluetooth is an available option. Also onboard are an ExpressCard slot and a 5-in-1 media card reader, but no PCMCIA card slot. The stereo speakers (plus internal subwoofer) are located on the front edge, so they’ll work even with the lid closed.

The XPS M1710 comes equipped with a 17-inch wide-screen display. Its 1,900×1,200 native resolution puts your average 21-inch desktop LCD to shame. The screen has a glossy finish, which many people prefer for gaming and media viewing, but it can be distracting under bright lights or when dealing with text documents. While we’ve complained in the past of limited brightness on M1710 screens, this particular system seemed perfectly adequate once we turned up the brightness control a couple of notches.

Also potentially distracting is the XPS LightFX feature, which takes the 16-color LED lights built into the system’s speaker and fan grilles and back cover and causes them to strobe and flash in time to supported music apps and games. You can also set the lights to flash, strobe, or stay in any color combination you want–although the control panel for the lights is somewhat hard to find. It’s under Dell Quickset in your program menu, and within that, under the gaming tab. The lights are either very cool or very lame, depending on your aesthetic sensibilities. Rest assured, you can disable the lights with a few mouse clicks.

Our review unit arrived fairly tricked out, with 2GB of RAM, a 100GB 7,200rpm hard drive, and a 2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7600 CPU. For the baseline $2,299 model, you get a slower T7400 CPU, 1GB of RAM, and a 60GB hard drive. What really sets it apart from the competition is the 512MB Nvidia GeForce Go 7950 GTX; this is the first laptop we’ve seen with this just-released GPU. You can trade down to the previous model, the GeForce Go 7900, and save $150.

The system held its own against other Core 2 Duo T7600 laptops, such as the Velocity Micro NoteMagix L80 Ultra, in CNET Labs’ multimedia tests. Ironically, it fell behind the Area-51 m5550, from Dell-owned Alienware. When it comes to gaming, however, the XPS M1710 is unbeatable, turning in a score of 99.5 frames per second in Quake 4 at 1,280×1,024 and a respectable 53fps at the same resolution in the more challenging F.E.A.R. test. For almost $3,500, you could doubtlessly get better performance from a desktop PC, but for a gaming laptop, it’s top of the charts. We only saw a nominal performance bump from the GeForce 7900 version of the M1710, but slightly older games such as Quake 4 and F.E.A.R. may not be the best test of a new GPU.

In our battery drain test, the XPS M1710 lasted for 2 hours, 51 minutes, about 10 minutes longer than the last XPS M1710 we looked at, and certainly provides decent battery life for a desktop replacement.

Though Dell has cut warrantees to 90 days on many of its less-expensive models, the company covers the XPS M170 with a two-year warranty, which provides parts-and-labor coverage and onsite service. You can upgrade that to four years for $160 or get four years of Premium service, which adds night and weekend onsite service, for $268. XPS machines get a special 24-hour, toll-free tech-support number to cut down on hold time, and the Dell Web site is reasonably well equipped with driver downloads, FAQs, and user forums 

Editor’s note:  A Blu-ray optical drive is available as an option on the Dell XPS M1710 laptop, as of December 11, 2006. The choice of Blu-ray as Dell’s next-gen optical drive is an obvious one, as Dell is a founding member of the Blu-ray Disc Association. 

 Reviewed by: Dan Ackerman
Edited by:
Matthew Elliott