Mobile

In November, Amazon announced the latest addition to its hardware line-up, the Amazon Echo. The Echo smart speaker doubles as a digital assistant and home entertainment device. It’s an always-connected, always-available Siri or Cortana-like device designed for your home that can provide answers to common questions, play music, provide traffic updates, control your lights, read audiobooks, and much more. Because it’s tied to your Amazon account, the Echo can also be used to reorder products you’ve previously purchased from Amazon. Although the Echo was announced in November, it was available for... Read more...
When Acer and Microsoft pulled back the curtain on the Windows 10-powered Acer Aspire One Cloudbook, they were mercilessly stingy with the details. Fortunately that changes today, as Acer just shared every last specification for their affordable Google Chromebook competitor. It's not going to move your needle if you're used to enthusiast-level notebooks, but for the casual consumer or budget-strapped student, the Aspire One Cloudbook leaves a compelling value proposition on the table.  There will be 2 baseline models launching later this month, and Microsoft Stores appear to the... Read more...
We've got a fairly well defined set of expectations with today's current crop of ultrabooks. What you trade away in performance, you usually gain in convenience with these ultra-light, ultra-portable, and easy to carry laptops. We wouldn't make an ultrabook our primary gaming system or video-encoding cruncher, for example, but we would definitely carry one around with us for everyday computing tasks like Web browsing, managing spreadsheets, some Netflix, and maybe a bit of light gaming (sorry, Witcher 3 fans). We were pleasantly surprised to see Acer's Aspire S7-393 perform so well on most... Read more...
The tablet world is shifting quickly. While arguments for and against the need for a "third device" have been raging since the early days of the iPad, we're seeing tablets emerge that are far more potent and capable than ever before. In fact, it's tough to lump products like Dell's Venue 10 7000 in with bargain-bin slates that are clearly built to be used primarily for mobile Internet browsing and other strictly consumption-based use. This device we're testing here is cut from a different cloth. In many ways, it's paving a new path for tablets, and at first blush, you may assume that such a well-engineered... Read more...
We can't deny that the wearable fitness tracker market is already congested. It probably jumped the shark after Razer -- a company known primarily for PC gaming accessories and bleeding edge notebooks -- joined the likes of Garmin, Apple, and Fitbit with the Razer Nabu Smartband. But after checking out the feature set and radically different design of the just-announced Moov Now, we think you'll agree there's room for one more. Especially at the absurdly affordable price of $59.99 if you pre-order it before it launches this fall. At its core, Moov Now is an activity tracker for athletes... Read more...
This is a good year for creative professionals that are constantly on the go. After watching the corporate world trot around with thin and light notebooks that sport bleeding-edge hardware and touchscreens, the content creation and workstation set is finally getting to enjoy features in their notebooks that many others take for granted. Lenovo in particular has pumped up its workstation line with a slick ultrabook that is loaded for bear. Lenovo even heeded the complaints of some critics and reviewers (including ours) about the workstation line’s touchpad and gave it a complete overhaul on... Read more...
The wealth of ultraportable laptops continues to grow, and we're seeing a more varied array of options than ever before. Be it 2-in-1s like Asus' T300 Chi or a tablet-gone-laptop like Microsoft's Surface 3, those in the market for a mobile computer have plenty of options these days. As manufacturers seek out their own differentiation, we're seeing Lenovo carve out its own special space in the sector with their new LaVie Z series of ultralight notebooks. The LaVie Z and LaVie Z 360 are similar machines, hence our doubled-up review here. The innards are identical, and their dimensions are too. The... Read more...
For years, the notion of a tablet replacing one's laptop was a novel idea, but hardly feasible. Much has changed in recent times, however, with Microsoft going so far as to claim that its newest Surface units are indeed powerful enough to take the place of a bonafide laptop. It's that push that has gotten the attention of the entire industry, with everyone from Lenovo to Asus and now Dell pushing out potent 2-in-1 units that manage to straddle the line between slate and laptop with very little compromise.The Inspiron 13 7000 is Dell's latest two-faced unit, and the one we're testing is a top-spec... Read more...
Acer is hoping to attract users who want flexibility with the company’s latest Aspire R 13 convertible notebook. Featuring their semi-unique "Ezel Aero" hinge, the R 13 can convert between various notebook and tablet style modes, giving you six different usage positions in a thin and light design.The Acer Aspire R 13 measures less than an inch thick and weighs just over 3 pounds. You’ll find a 13.3-inch touch screen display with two resolution options depending on model chosen. This display is affixed to a hinge at the sides which enables it to rotate 180-degrees. For greater stability, Acer uses... Read more...
Microsoft's third iteration of the Surface Pro was a monumental improvement over the first two incarnations. For many, the third time really was the charm. It was powerful enough to replace most laptops, and versatile enough to serve as two device types without major compromises on either side. A year later now, and Microsoft presents us with the third iteration of the standard Surface. You know, the one without the "Pro" dangling from the end. It's cheaper, slimmer, and toned down, but it's also aimed at a broader swath of consumers. The base Surface 3 checks in at an alluring $499, but that's... Read more...
The engineering wizards at Apple have designed a laptop that's lighter than Air...the MacBook Air, that is. It's the new MacBook (early 2015 edition), a forward-thinking laptop that measures just 11.04 inches (W) by 7.74 inches (D) by 0.14-0.52 inches (H), and weighs a mere 2.03 pounds. The super thin and light profile is what prompted Apple's clever tagline, "Light. Years ahead."At 2.38 pounds, the 11.6-inch MacBook Air is slightly heavier than the 12-inch MacBook we'll be showing you here. It's also marginally thicker at its highest point (0.68 inches), though a tad thinner where it tapers off... Read more...
The rate at which the industry is pumping out smartphones these days is staggering. Even more impressive is the rate at which truly outstanding phones are shipping, even from names that weren't significant just a few years ago. BLU, Xiaomi, OnePlus, and ASUS (just to name a few) have all produced handsets in recent months that rival the best offerings from Apple, LG, Samsung, and other historical greats. It signals a shift in the industry where we've reached a certain level of market maturity at the hardware, software and ecosystem level. It's just that much easier to launch a smartphone in market... Read more...
Dell’s Alienware gaming team impressed us with its Area 51 desktop earlier this year and we’ve been impatiently awaiting the 2015 version of the Alienware 15 mobile gamer ever since. The laptop is finally here, and there’s a twist: Instead of sending a money-is-no-object configuration (like it did with the Area 51), the company sent us a more budget-friendly Alienware 15 – assuming, that is, that your budget is in the $1,500 range.At $1,499.99, the Alienware 15 we checked out is in the middle of the price range for Dell’s 15-inch Alienware gamer laptop series. Gamers with tighter budgets can pick... Read more...
AMD previously only teased bits of detail regarding their forthcoming 6th Generation A-Series APU, code named "Carrizo." We heard from AMD about this next generation, highly integrated mobile architecture as far back as CES 2015 in January and then again in February and more recently with AMD's HSA (Heterogenous System Architecture) 1.0 spec roll-out in March. It's safe to say AMD has been beating the drum on Carrizo with a regular cadence for the better part of 6 months now and today the company is finally going to full kimono on all details of their upcoming processor silicon and its platform.... Read more...
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