Gadgets

It's that time again. The time of year when students and parents frantically hit e-tailers that offer fast shipping in order to get that all-important back-to-school technology into a dorm room or backpack before classes begins. It's back-to-school season, and whether you've started classes recently or are awaiting (dreading?) that first 8AM lecture, there may be a few bits of techno-shopping that need to be taken care of before you can be on your way to that straight-A report card. Credit: Google Whether you're about to begin the Fall semester of college or your... Read more...
Google announced its Chromecast media streaming device last week and immediately caused quite a stir amongst technology enthusiasts. Not only was the Chromecast seemingly easy to use, but its low $35 price point made it attainable by virtually anyone. It didn’t hurt that Google was throwing in a three month trial of Netflix with the device as well, but that deal was suspended almost as soon as it was announced due to overwhelmingly high demand. The Google Chromecast is a simple device to understand. It is basically a small HDMI dongle that physically plugs into an HDTV (or other display)... Read more...
NVIDIA made quite a splash at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show when they first unveiled their SHIELD portable gaming device. If you missed the original announcement, or the myriad of related posts we’ve put up about the device since then, SHIELD is a Tegra 4-based portable gaming machine that’s packing a 5-inch multi-touch screen, a console-grade game controller, and an unmolested version of Android Jelly Bean. NVIDIA SHIELD Portable Gaming Device In some respects NVIDIA’s SHIELD is simply a small Android tablet with a kick-ass game controller attached. But of... Read more...
Convertible laptops and ultrabooks had a big presence at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). At CES, Lenovo revealed its ThinkPad Helix which it marketed as having a "groundbreaking 'rip and flip' design" that enables this 11.6-inch ultrabook to transform into a powerful Windows 8 tablet. When detached, Lenovo claims the Helix is the thinnest full-function Intel 3rd generation Core tablet with Intel's vPro technology for the enterprise. The ThinkPad Helix lets you work in four different modes: laptop, tablet, stand, and tablet+. When attached to the Enhanced Keyboard Dock in laptop... Read more...
Over the past few years, many companies have altered their approach to the enterprise. Where IT departments once made purchasing recommendations based entirely on their own view of the company’s requirements, many administrators now get (often unsolicited) input from employees who don’t want to get saddled with computers, tablets, or accessories that don’t fully meet their needs. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for companies to let employees choose their work laptops or make suggestions. With so many employees influencing purchases, computer- and accessory makers have been quick... Read more...
If you've done any shopping for a tablet lately, you’ve probably realized that they are not one-size-fits-all devices. While one person may use his tablet for business meetings and presentations, another may use it for watching movies and playing games. Some people prefer a smaller, 7-inch model while others want a larger 10-inch screen. Then there’s the choice of OS with Apple’s iOS, Android, and Windows all competing for a slice of the pie. Regardless of how you use your tablet, though, there are plenty of tablet accessories that can add to the enjoyment and functionality... Read more...
Upon first glance of the LG Optimus G Pro, it's easy to draw comparisons to Samsung's Galaxy Note II. The two phones are strikingly similar. Both feature massive 5.5-inch displays along with rounded edges and a physical Home button below the screen. When placed side-by-side, the two phones appear to be nearly identical in size. However, upon closer examination you'll notice the Galaxy Note II is slightly taller and wider than the Optimus G Pro. Technical specifications reveal the Galaxy Note II weighs slightly more than the Optimus G Pro as well, but the difference is so small you'll... Read more...
We recently set out to design a mini desktop computer with the wildly popular Raspberry Pi single board computer. The Raspberry Pi is a Linux-driven, ARM processor-based micro computer that is known for its low cost and small size. People use the device for a variety of projects, from micro-servers to low cost media players. Basically, our goal was to turn what is currently one of the cheapest bare-bones computer boards  into a fully enclosed mini desktop computer that could be taken anywhere without the need for cabling or setup. One of the high level goals of this project was also to learn... Read more...
There are some interesting things happening in the tablet world. Perhaps the biggest development of all is that Apple's iPad family is finally starting to yield market share to the competition, and that's primarily due to the increasing number of affordable Android slates being pumped out by name brand manufactures. At first, pedestrian price tags were only attached to Android tablets in the 7-inch range, but more recently we've started seeing large slates come down in cost. One of the more intriguing options is the Asus MeMO Pad Smart 10, a 10.1-inch slate that streets for as little as $280, or... Read more...
The smartphone market has changed quite a bit over the past few years. Once a major competitor in the smartphone market, BlackBerry has lost much of its market share as many former BlackBerry users have switched to iOS and Android. Despite its troubled history, the company remains and is fighting to regain its stronghold in the smartphone market. Whether you’ve stayed loyal to BlackBerry through the years or are simply considering all smartphones on the market today, BlackBerry’s new Z10 may catch your eye. The new Z10 is BlackBerry’s first device to run on the latest... Read more...
Sharing photos with one's friends and family is a common, everyday occurrence. Instagram has gained over 100 million photo sharing users in just two years, and this is just one of many outlets people use to share photos with the people they love. While sharing pictures taken with your smartphone is easy and convenient since you can upload and share while on the go, the picture quality you get from a smartphone isn't quite on the same level as a standalone digital camera, with a larger sensor and better optics. Connected cameras such as the Samsung Galaxy Camera promise the best of both... Read more...
Tablets are extremely popular right now, but many users still need a more powerful machine to do serious work. For people who don't want two devices but desire the touch screen controls and convenience of a tablet, as well as the productivity capabilities of a notebook in a single machine, a convertible ultrabook may be a good fit. We're starting to see more and more ultrabooks that convert from a traditional laptop into a tablet. Not long ago, we took a closer look at Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga 13 Ultrabook which features a touchscreen display with a dual-articulating hinge that allows the... Read more...
History has a funny way of repeating itself, and the more things change, the more they stay the same. Nearly six years ago to the day, Nintendo completely changed the way the world viewed console gaming. The Wii remote (affectionately dubbed Wiimote by most) was a brand new paradigm in gaming control, and it ushered in a wave of motion-based gaming that forced Sony to follow suit with the Move, and Microsoft to do likewise with Kinect. Pundits seemed certain that Nintendo's risk taking would be its undoing. They seemed certain that motion-based gaming could never be a success in... Read more...
I have a confession to make: I'm an addict -- and it's 100% Marco's fault. 12 months ago, I was perilously tight on funds and short on keyboards. More precisely, I was short on keyboards that weren't $5 bargain-basement pieces of junk. While I keep plenty of those on hand for testing various system builds, I prefer something with a little more heft for personal daily use. I asked Dave if he had any keyboards handy. Dave said to ask Marco. So I did.  The face of evil "Well," said Marco, his black eyes gleaming, "It just so happens that I do have some mechanical keyboards I'm not using at the... Read more...
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