It's become very fashionable lately to talk down the personal computer. HP infamously flirted with dropping out of the PC business before backtracking under a new CEO, and a Dell executive recently said, "We're no longer a PC company, we're an IT company." Add two years of non-stop iPad fever (and the resultant tablet gold rush), and that old-fashioned keyboard-touchpad-screen device sitting on your lap suddenly seems very out of style. … Read more
What is Microsoft releasing today? Starting today, you can download the Consumer Preview beta version of Windows 8 (as well as the beta of Windows Server 8 and the beta of Visual Studio 11). The Consumer Preview version is free and available to the general public to try out.
Where can I download the beta? Right here from Microsoft: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download. And here from Download.com: CNET's full first take on Windows 8 beta
Does that include the ARM version? No, here's no ARM-based beta you can download today. Microsoft has said it will make preloaded Windows/ARM devices available to developers soon. … Read more
The long-awaited Dell ultrabook is here. Having skipped the first round of new superslim laptops, the new XPS 13 is largely worth the wait, and hits a lot of what you'd want in an ultrabook.
At $999 for a 128GB SSD and Intel Core i5-2467M CPU, the XPS 13 is reasonably priced, although HP, Toshiba, and others offer similar specs for $100 or so less. Working in Dell's favor are the system's excellent build quality--the body is a mix of aluminum, magnesium alloy, and carbon fiber--and its smaller footprint. It's not quite a 13-inch laptop in an 11-inch body, but it's in the ballpark. … Read more
If you want to watch a DVD movie on your smartphone, you generally need to encode the DVD's content to a video file, which is not exactly a quick and easy task. But what if you didn't have to do that?… Read more
The first Very Important Laptop of 2012 has arrived, in the form of the new Dell XPS 13. This is Dell's first ultrabook (an Intel designation for laptops with certain specs--essentially a Windows MacBook Air), and even though the company is a little late to that particular game, the XPS 13 nails a lot of what makes for a good ultrabook experience.
The first thing you notice about the XPS 13 is how small it looks. Dell claims this is a 13-inch screen in a chassis more like an 11-inch laptop's.… Read more
One of the advantages the physical version of your Sunday newspaper has over the digital edition is the inclusion of all those weekly sales fliers. The ones I look forward to are from Best Buy, Staples, and other tech-heavy stores, with all the latest sales and new products. However, beyond the color photos and bold-face prices, the actual details about the products on display can be hard to decipher. … Read more
It wouldn't be a huge stretch to call the new Intel 520 Series solid-state drive (SSD) SandForce on steroids.
The new drive uses the popular SandForce SSD controller but now with a little tweak: Intel's special 400i firmware.
And that makes a big difference. The new drive offered great performance in my testing, faster than most all other SSDs I've seen that use the same controller.
However, that's not the most special thing about the drive. It's the first I've seen that comes in the new 7mm thickness, meaning that it will fit in … Read more
The ultrabook is the latest fad being pushed by PC vendors. But these lightweight laptops are unlikely to lift the market this year, according to J.P Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz.
Trying to capture the success of Apple's MacBook Air, PC makers announced a slew of new and upcoming ultrabooks at last month's CES. Intel has spearheaded the drive, even going so far as to create a $300 million ultrabook fund to help vendors transition to these light and thin "must-have" devices.
But the results aren't likely to pay off, says Moskowitz, at least not … Read more
This week, we pass around Sony's new PlayStation Vita for some hands-on testing, check out HP's newest Beats Audio laptop, and debate the best and worst Valentine's Day gadget gifts.