Welcome to the third generation of Vizio PCs. You won't find many things different technology-wise in this round compared with previous models. The biggest news is that the laptops -- two 14-inch, and two 15.6-inch models -- all ship with touch screens now. Vizio's all-in-ones already had touch screens, but this generation gets a CPU bump, and higher prices to match. Vizio has also added wireless networking adapters that support the new 802.11ac standard across the lineup.
For the laptops, the 14-inch Touch Thin+Light CT14T-B0 comes it at the lowest price, going for $1,089.… Read more
Apple's Dashboard feature in OS X is a convenient way to access widgets for looking up information on your system. The default behavior for Dashboard is to activate when a hot key is pressed (the default being the F4 key), where the system will present the dashboard as an overlay to your current desktop. This is the setup most users are accustomed to. However, if you would like, you can make some modifications to this and have widgets appear in their own space -- or even have them be embedded on your desktop.
The first option is to have … Read more
Windows Blue has triggered a spate of doomsaying about the end of the Windows desktop.
Today there has been no shortage of articles claiming that Blue portends the end of Windows 8 desktop mode. You know, the mode that most Windows 8 users spend their time in.
Rumored changes for Metro -- the Windows 8 touch-centric tablet mode -- include a different way to handle multitasking in side-by-side snap view. Possibly providing less reason to drop to the desktop for multitasking.
But what seems to have most observers worried is the changes to Control Panel.
Here's what Information Week … Read more
Regular readers of this blog know we're living in the golden age of desktop audio. The speakers just keep getting better and better, and digital converters from the likes of Schiit Audio, AudioQuest, Hifiman, FiiO, and HRT have all made computers sound better than ever.
Now along comes the Meridian Explorer, a sleek, extruded aluminum converter with line- and headphone-level 3.5mm output jacks and a USB input. The line-level output internally bypasses the headphone amp and volume control. Meridian is best known for its ultra-high-end digital converters that sell for thousands of dollars -- the Explorer is their … Read more
It's no surprise to Google obsessives that the company announced yesterday that it will draw the curtains on its popular RSS-managing Reader service. So what are you supposed to do with your 60 bazillion feeds?
First off, you can export them using Google Takeout. That's an important step to take so you don't lose track of any of the sites you're following. It lets you download your feeds output, called OPML, as a ZIP. Then you extract it all to a folder, and upload them to your prefered Reader replacement service. But which one do you … Read more
It's not exactly a revelation to say Apple executives are fond of secrets. While that sense of mystery may work marketing magic with consumers, many Mac Pro customers in the professional world would very much appreciate it if Apple would cut it out with the cloak-and-dagger stuff.
At a starting price of $2,499, the Mac Pro is one of Apple's most expensive products. It's still the go-to workhorse for creative types who work in film, photography, print, and architectural jobs. But many of them are losing patience with Apple following a series of erratic product updates … Read more
If you're not too fond of your iTunes Visualizer you can now choose to display the artwork of your songs or any other photos while listening to your music in a fancier way. PicCube for Mac displays a rotating cube in front of your opened windows or in the background.
Available as free to try, this app will display six specific photos on the sides of its cube, or you can set up a folder with as many photos as you want. PicCube for Mac will sequentially show, in order or randomly, all the photos from that folder. If … Read more
After four months of tepid Windows 8 PC sales, maybe it's time for Microsoft to make a few changes.
During a conversation I had this week with IDC analyst Bob O'Donnell, he volunteered the following statement, which sounded strangely like my experience.There were certain decisions that Microsoft made that were in retrospect flawed. Notably not allowing people to boot into desktop mode and taking away the start button. Those two things have come up consistently. We've done some research and people miss that.
And there are a lot of people that as soon as they boot … Read more
Desktop digital-to-analog converters keep getting better and better, and the Micromega MyDac is a fine example of the breed. The 24-bit/192-kHz MyDac has three digital inputs: coaxial, optical, and USB, all selectable via the thumb wheel control on the front panel. The stereo RCA analog outputs can feed either your powered speakers or power amp. I was pleased to see the MyDac has a built-in power supply, so it doesn't use a wall wart. Micromega will soon release a matching headphone amp, which I hope to review here with the MyDac. Available in black or white finishes, its … Read more