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.

Today we're going take a look at Google's latest Nexus-branded phablet, the Nexus 6P. Arriving just under a year after the Motorola-built, 5.96-inch Nexus 6, the Nexus 6P is actually a hair smaller, thinner and indeed, slightly more manageable. The 6P also marks Huawei's first foray into Google's Nexus family of products, which may allow the company to make a larger impact on the U.S. market -- a market which has been hesitant to embrace the brand on its own to this point. The Nexus 6P is the big brother to the Nexus 5X (review forthcoming), which launched alongside it, but there's a lot more to discuss here than sheer size. Sure, the 5.7-inch WQHD display dwarfs the 5.2-inch 1080p panel found... Read more...
Large screen smartphones, a.k.a. phablets, are expected to account for nearly 25% of all smartphone shipments this year. Given the popularity and prevalence of these large-screen devices which includes LG’s G3, Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4, and HTC’s One Max, it’s not surprising that Google is also going big with its latest flagship phone, the Nexus 6. Even before the Nexus 6 was announced, its codename of Shamu (named after the whale at SeaWorld) pretty much gave away the fact that this flagship smartphone was going to be a large-screen device. The Nexus 6 has the largest screen we’ve seen from Google yet at 5.96-inches. This screen is also larger than Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus... Read more...
If you are thinking of purchasing a Chromebook during the holiday season, then now is a good time to do so. Google has sweetened the pot by offering 1TB of free Google Drive cloud storage for two years with the purchase of a new Chromebook.“That’s enough space to keep more than 100,000 awkward holiday sweater pics safe and shareable in Drive,” said Google group product manager Alex Vogenthaler in a blog post. “With that much free storage, you can use your Chromebook for work, play, and pretty much everything else you’ll do this holiday season.”In order to qualify for the free terabyte of Drive storage, a $240 deal according to Google, consumers will need to purchase a new, eligible Chromebook... Read more...
It almost goes without saying that the Google Nexus 5 is one of the most anticipated Android phones to launch in 2013, save perhaps for Samsung's Galaxy S 4. Previous generation Nexus devices from Google, whether phone or tablet, have proven to offer a lot of bang for the buck, excellent design and build quality and a pure representation of the Android OS. Not to mention Google regularly rolls out the most recent version of Android as well with these devices, sometimes well before it's available on products from other brands. The previous generation Nexus 4, like the Nexus 5, was manufactured by LG, though the Nexus 4 didn't hit the mark like Google hoped it would.  With their latest Nexus... 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) and wirelessly connects to a local Wi-Fi network. Once installed and connected to the LAN, the... Read more...
Google made a brilliant decision last year to take the bull by the horns and deliver its own brand Android tablet to the masses. Built by ASUS to Google's specifications, the original Nexus 7 awarded a patient (and eager) audience with a stock Android experience wrapped in an affordable package that was high on value and low on feature concessions. It was precisely the kind of tablet the Android camp had been clamoring for, because for whatever reason, most third-party manufacturers were tying to push larger, overpriced slates onto an audience that simply wanted a solid tablet without paying a premium. Up until the Nexus 7 arrived, the only viable alternatives, other than cheap off-brands with... Read more...
Earlier this year, Google did something almost ground-breaking when it introduced the Chromebook Pixel. Sure, the Chromebook line as a whole has existed for a few years, but the entire premise of such a range of notebooks revolved around only a couple of design goals. One of those was accessibility, and almost by default, the other was affordability. The original Chromebooks were priced at $500 or less -- in some cases, far less. The reason seemed obvious: Chrome OS was a great operating system for those who did little more than browse the Web and connect to cloud-based services such as Evernote, but it served less of a purpose in the productivity-minded "real world." The Chromebook Pixel on... Read more...
Google Nexus smartphones are usually somewhat special in their own way. Not only do they ship with the latest and greatest Android has to offer, but they also usually offer a glimpse into the future of the Android platform. Take the Galaxy Nexus for example. Not only was it among the first phones to ship with a large, 720p display but it also did away with physical buttons in exchange for virtual keys and brought a new interface to the table as well. Fast-forward to today and we have the all new Google Nexus 4, with similar looks but some major updates under the hood. With a single unbroken piece of Gorilla Glass up front, the Nexus 4 looks very clean and it offers a nice change from the... Read more...
With the release of the Nexus 7 not only did Google show that Android can be competitive on a small tablet, but they also beat the iPad mini to sale by several months, giving time for the Nexus 7 to gain a foothold in the market. Fast forward to today and Google's set their sights even higher: right into the 10" tablet fray where the iPad dominates. On paper the Nexus 10 is impressive with a Retina Display beating 10" 2560x1600 display, brand new Exynos 5 dual core processor, Android 4.2 Jellybean and a very competitive price of only $400. Taken as a whole with the Nexus branding which practically guarantees future updates, the Samsung built and Google branded Nexus 10 checks a lot... Read more...
After 25 years of typing on keyboards, I've field-tested everything from IBM's legendary Mode M to the sort of $4.99 specials that were, as far as I could tell, constructed from styrofoam, packing peanuts, and pocket lint. About a year ago, I made the jump to a pair of mechanical keyboards and haven't looked back since. Marco wrote an excellent explanation on the various types of keyboard switches and capabilities that I'd recommend reading for more background info. The board on the table today is Gigabyte's Aivia Osmium, and it's an impressive beauty. The Osmium includes a USB 2 port, USB 3 port, headphone/microphone jacks, five macro keys, five profile settings, a double-set of stands to adjust... Read more...
A couple of years ago, Google introduced its Nexus line of smartphones. Nexus branded phones feature a pure Android experience without the customizations and tweaks we generally get from smartphone manufacturers and wireless carriers. Nexus-branded products also come with an unlockable bootloader which provides for further development and end-user modification. This year, however, Google expanded its Nexus line to include more than just smartphones. At the Google I/O conference in June, Google unveiled its first ever Nexus tablet, known as the Nexus 7. In keeping with the tradition that Nexus devices are among the first to run the latest versions of Android, the Nexus 7 is the lead... Read more...
If you've been paying attention to Android smartphones lately, you know there's one device that people have been talking about and eagerly anticipating for a few months now. That phone is the Galaxy Nexus. The reason this phone is so hot is because it is the first smartphone in the US to run Android 4.0, better known perhaps as Ice Cream Sandwich. As the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich is designed to offer a single Android platform that will run on both smartphones and tablets. Prior to Android 4.0, users would have one version of Android running on their smartphones and another running on their tablets. Although this may not be a huge issue for some users, it can cause issues... Read more...
Google's Nexus S smartphone has a lot of attractive features, but the one that attracts the most attention is the fact that this smartphone is the first to ship with the latest version of the Android smartphone operating system—version 2.3. Otherwise known as Gingerbread, this OS is said to be the fastest version of Android yet. In addition to Gingerbread, the Nexus S touts a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, and 16GB of internal memory. Although the Nexus S is the sequel to Google's Nexus One smartphone, Google is taking a different approach with this product. Whereas the Nexus One was only offered through Google's website, the Nexus S is available through Best... Read more...
In the last six months we've seen a wide variety of cost effective, yet powerful, video cards hit the market. First came NVIDIA's superb GeForce 8800 GT last October which, despite being introduced at an upper mid-range price point, provided top-notch performance not far off from the best cards of the day at nearly 1/3 the price. The 8800 GT was followed closely by the launch of the thrifty GeForce 9600 GT just a few months later which provided similar performance for even less. Then, last week, ATI fired back with the excellent Radeon HD 4850 and Radeon HD 4870 video cards which retail at the same affordable mid-range prices but provide strong... Read more...
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