Notebooks, Tablets, Smartphones, Wearables And Gadgets

In-depth product reviews and news of notebooks, tablets, smartphones, wearable technologies and gadgets. We're now living in a contextually-aware computing world and mobile devices can not only help us enjoy the ride but create and capture new experiences as well.

Give credit to Intel for recognizing the notebook market needed a swift kick in the pants, and for putting a noose around the necks of netbooks, which have all but been eliminated from the market place. Sure, a few straggling netbooks remain, but by and large, Intel is now heavily invested (both literally and figuratively) in the Ultrabook platform. These thin and light machines represent the natural evolution of laptops, and the form factor continues to evolve right before our eyes, which is something that's underscored by the likes of Dell's Inspiron 14z Ultrabook. When man discovered fire, everything was different from that point forward. Ribeye, Filet, and the Weber -- how did we survive... Read more...
Ultrabooks are an interesting phenomenon.  It's like the industry took a long hard look at the emaciated netbook market and decided consumers deserved better.  Thank God.  We're big fans of the thin and light trend in notebooks, and netbook price points are something we all can appreciate.  However, as performance enthusiasts, netbooks just leave us flat, to be honest; no matter how small they are, how inexpensive or how miserly they are on power consumption.  It's encouraging to see the burgeoning ultrabook market take flight with virtually all of the major players behind the vision Intel helped inspire. Today we're continuing our coverage of the ultrabook onslaught... Read more...
Earlier this year, we took a long, hard look at one of Dell's most highly-anticipated multimedia notebooks to date. That was the XPS 15z, and we thought pretty highly of it in almost every measurable way, including its delightfully thin dimensions. Fast forward a few months, and in slides the XPS 14z. According to its branding, this unit is just a single number different than the XPS 15z, and if you didn't know any better, you'd just assume that someone took a shrink-ray to the 15z. Indeed, the 14z really is just a small 15z in some ways, but by the same token, that's something that hasn't really existed outside of HP's Envy 14 and Sony's VAIO SA line. Sub-15" multimedia capable notebooks aren't... Read more...
The Droid Bionic by Motorola made one of its first public appearances at CES in January. Months have passed, and though there were rumors of a summer release, the phone didn't become available through Verizon Wireless until fall. The Droid Bionic is the first smartphone from Verizon Wireless to offer 4G LTE connectivity paired with a powerful dual-core 1GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. This smartphone is currently the thinnest 4G LTE smartphone from Verizon Wireless at 10.99mm as well, though other phones in the pipeline will steal this title soon. With its dual-core processor, plenty of RAM, 16GB of on-board storage, a preinstalled 16 GB microSD card, and a 4.3-inch qHD screen, this smartphone... Read more...
Every so often, a company does something unexpected; something that sets the bar for its competition and really grabs the attention of potential consumers for one reason or another. Dell is a company that is capable of this and has done so in the past in both their desktop and notebook lines. While Dell has been known for pushing out a huge number of "beige boxes" years back, they're also the company that helped reinvigorate the ultraportable market thanks to the original Adamo, and with the help of Alienware, they're putting together some similarly interesting products lately, in the gaming space as well. For some, Dell may historically have an undeserved... Read more...
Not too long ago, we took a look at Dell's Venue smartphone. A slate-styled phone with Android 2.2 along with the company's own Stage UI. But it's arguable that the Venue is the quiet brother compared to the boisterous Venue Pro. Those who closely follow the smartphone space will likely remember Dell's early ambitions, and while the Aero never posed much of a threat to any other Android phone, the Venue Pro -- once known as the Lightning -- always seemed like a formidable competitor.  At a glance, the Venue Pro looks just like the Venue. And specifications-wise, they're largely the same as well. The Venue Pro has the same 4.1" AMOLED display (800 x 480 resolution), 1GHz QSD8250 Snapdragon... Read more...
Just a few years ago, it would have been a stretch to think Dell would venture into the smartphone business. With the exception of a few stand-outs, Dell has always been fairly conservative with their products and had never really strayed too far from the PC and its associated peripherals and accessories, although they did make a few slick PDAs back in their heyday. Dell's been mobile for years, however, and the Adamo XPS showed that the company's design squad is certainly capable of producing some world-class, ultra-mobile hardware. But Dell smartphone? As strange as it may have sounded just a few years ago, the company has launched a full-on assault into the handset market,... Read more...
The first half of 2011 is shaping up to be all about tablets. Truly, the tablet mania that everyone was so adamant about last year is finally here. While dozens of tablets were announced and shown off at CES in January, most of them won't be arriving until later this month or the March time frame at the earliest. The main reason for the delay is because most manufacturers are stuck waiting for Google to release Android 3.0, or Honeycomb, the first version of Android to be configured specifically for use on tablets. Motorola has the honor of releasing the first Honeycomb device, the Xoom. Of the tablets announced at this year's CES though, one of the first to be released is Dell's new Streak 7.... Read more...
The Dell Inspiron Duo is an impressive sight. It's not often that we're this enamored by a device's physical design, but the Dell Inspiron Duo simply does it for us. The machine is a feat of engineering, and it really redefines the convertible laptop segment. This 10.1" machine is part netbook, part tablet, but unlike many rivals, it doesn't compromise much in terms or portability and form factor to be both. When you open up the package, it looks like a Mini 10 or any other 10" netbook. But once the lid is open, a simple press on the LCD allows it to swivel around and lock into place, in reverse. Close the lid back down atop the keyboard, and you're now looking at a tablet.... Read more...
Dell's Streak 7 tablet is the highly anticipated big brother of Dell's 5-inch tablet, the Streak 5 that came out in September of 2010.  The larger Streak 7 goes up against stiff competition with the likes of Samsung's Galaxy Tab,  though the Streak 7 is retailing slightly lower in the $449 price range without a contract and through T-Mobile on contract for a very competitive $199.99.  Regardless, the Streak 7 offers some pluses over the Galaxy Tab, like its 5MP rear-facing camera, but also comes up short in other areas such as its lower resolution display, with an 800x480 native resolution versus the Galaxy Tab's 1024x600 display.  The Dell Streak 7 also has NVIDIA's Tegra... Read more...
Break out your party hats and spike the punch, we're throwing a 'Welcome Back' party. The guest of honor is Dell's XPS brand, whose return is marked by a new family of laptops built around Intel's Calpella platform and featuring Nvidia's Optimus technology. At this point you're probably scratching your head and wondering if we've been drinking too much punch ourselves, because the XPS brand never went anywhere, right? That's both true and false. The XPS moniker never died off completely, but it was relegated to Dell's Studio line and XPS One all-in-one (AIO) desktops for a time. Dell tells us they've listened to their customers and decided to simplify their brand structure. After deciding that... Read more...
When it comes to Android devices, there are two inevitabilities. The first is that its popularity is unstoppable. Twice as many Android smartphones are sold now than were only two months earlier; Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, claims that about 200,000 Android devices are sold every day. The second given is that an onslaught of Android tablets are about to descend upon us. There is already a smattering of Android tablet devices, but the choices are still few and far between. However, major manufacturers, such as Asus, LG, Motorola, and Samsung have their devices in the pipeline for later this summer, the fall, or early next year. But Dell says, why wait? The Dell Streak Android tablet is available... Read more...
The night before the first day of CES is typically filled with numerous parties and pre-show expos loaded with hot new products and technologies. We attended one such event last night, Digital Experience, where a number of major players were peddling their wares. While at the event, we got to see a real-live NVIDIA Fermi-based graphics card installed in a Maingear demo system, a handful of slick new notebooks, netbooks, and smartbooks from Lenovo, and even played with a Nexus One--among other things. Take a look...     NVIDIA GF100, aka Fermi Up and Running In A Maingear SHIFT PC Nvidia's highly anticipated graphics card was proudly on display at their booth located on the center... Read more...
We had the pleasure of reviewing Dell's Studio XPS 13 back in early May and found the machine to be sleek and stylish, and a good value.  In an effort to provide that same sleek styling and great performance to those looking for a somewhat larger machine, Dell has now issued an updated Studio XPS 16 that seems to up the ante in a number of key areas. The 16" notebook realm is a bit less crowded these days than say the netbook sector and the full-on 17" desktop replacement arena, giving Dell the perfect opportunity to stand out and make a play for those dead-set on a 16" rig. The Studio XPS 13 set itself apart from prior Dell notebooks by adding a touch of flair that was somewhat... Read more...
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