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.

Dell didn't just set out to build an incredibly fast gaming laptop with its latest Alienware offering -- it wanted to build the world's fastest mobile gaming rig and it has likely succeeded magnificently. Witness the Area-51m, which is a beastly machine that is factory overclocked and designed to handle pretty much any game that you throw its way. More importantly, the Area-51m is immensely upgradable, with customers being able to swap out their GPUs and the onboard CPU. Speaking of the graphics card, the Area-51m can accommodate NVIDIA's new real-time ray-tracing graphics cards, topping out with the GeForce RTX 2080. These GPUs are affixed to a module which can be [relatively] easily removed... Read more...
Intel’s newest 8th generation Core processors are here and have delivered promising early results in our initial tests on the desktop, and more recently in Dell's XPS 13 laptop. The biggest change with Intel's 8th Gen Core Mobile processors comes by way of doubled core counts. This makes many of this new generation of Core i5 and i7 mobile chips true quad-core processors now, with support for up to eight threads with Hyper Threading, all within a 15W TDP target. This improvement does not come without trade-offs, of course, as we see base clocks dropped by up to 900MHz relative to each chip’s predecessor. However, Intel has also seen fit to keep boost clocks high and even increased... Read more...
The new iStorage diskAshur2 is a specialized, external hard drive geared toward security conscious consumers. The diskAshur2 is a little pricey, and although it's no slouch in the speed department (we'll get into that in a bit), it's certainly not going to compete with that shiny new internal SSD you've got your eye on in terms of transfer speeds either. But here's the thing: It's plenty fast enough for just about anything you'd want to do, and just as importantly, it's both rugged and secure. So, despite a somewhat lofty asking price, the diskAshur2 is actually a pretty good deal. If you need its feature-set, you'll be happy to have made the investment for the added security layer.The diskAshur2... Read more...
Intel gathered a number of software developer and hardware manufacturing partners together this week in New York to showcase the latest technologies and innovations that Intel's RealSense 3D camera technology can enable. From new interactive gaming experiences to collaboration, 3D mapping and gesture control, the technology holds promise that could someday reinvent how we interact with PCs. The camera technology itself integrates a depth sensor and a full color 1080p HD camera together with standard technologies like dual array mics, but with an SDK, processing engine and 3rd party software that can allow the camera module to sense environmental variables, more like humans do. The Intel RealSense... Read more...
Intel's strategically timed CES 2015 launch of their new 5th Generation Core Series processors for notebooks was met with a reasonably warm reception, though it's always difficult to rise above the noise, with the sea of announcements from competitors and the like. CES is always such a zoo and that's by design. Performance claims for Intel's new chip promise major gains in graphics and more modest increases in standard compute applications. However, the biggest bet Intel placed on the new Broadwell-U architecture is performance-per-watt throughput and battery life in premium notebook products that are now in production with major OEM partners like Lenovo, ASUS, Acer, Toshiba... Read more...
It feels as if we've been waiting for decades for battery technology to take its next quantum leap in terms of capacity and longevity. Sure, laptops these days last a little longer than they did ten years ago, but much of that is due to processors and the like consuming far less power now compared to yesteryear. But, if you can't create a slim battery that lasts a lot longer, perhaps you can just recharge it much more quickly. That seems to be the path of least resistance, as the likes of the Droid Turbo (which can regenerate multiple hours of life with just 15 minutes on a charger) have shown.Now, that technology could be spreading its wings. An Israeli company dubbed StoreDot has reported conjured... Read more...
Competing with Intel's desktop or notebook processors is like taking on the proverbial 800 pound gorilla, but when it comes to resources, the company is more like an 800 pound gorilla on steroids, with advanced weaponry and a big budget.  Intel is a manufacturing and process technology juggernaut.  There was a time when the company would use that prowess to simply enable chips at higher clock speeds with larger memory resources. Since then, market demands have shifted to efficient computing, based on performance-per-watt metrics. With a strong X86 architecture in place, Intel is now using their process and manufacturing advantages to leave competitors in the rear view,... Read more...
Intel is announcing its new tablet and smartphone designs this week at Mobile World Congress, alongside a major push to drive adoption of its 28nm XMM 7160 and XMM 7260 modem technology. It's been two years since Intel launched its first serious Atom-based smartphone platform, codenamed Medfield, and it's safe to say that those two years haven't gone precisely as Intel intended. Originally, the company planned to have a solid market share built up by now. Instead, it's planning a major tablet initiative with multiple partners with a few possible smartphone SoC wins on the side. The chips that will power these efforts are the Z34 and Z35 families, known as Merrifield and Moorefield, respectively.... Read more...
For a time, Apple's annual tradition involved the unveiling of a new iPhone at WWDC. Then, things changed, and the iPhone's annual coming-out party began to happen a lot closer to the all-important holiday shopping season. But perhaps the most interesting change of late is how the iPhone line is evolving. At this year's gala, two new iPhone handsets were unveiled, marking the first event where more than a single new device was given the spotlight. The first weekend that they were available, Apple saw record sales, proving that the fire is still burning bright within their customer base. The iPhone 5c is little more than a repackaged iPhone 5; the internals are essentially the same as those found... Read more...
If Haswell's debut on the desktop has left you feeling a bit flat, the company's mobile efforts may be the pick-me-up you've been hoping for. If you step back and think about the entire CPU market, the last two years have been marked by tremendous shifts in consumer buying habits, as tablet sales skyrocketed and desktop/laptop sales have slumped. Intel recognized years ago that Atom, no matter how polished, would never be able to address the entire portable market -- the usage scenarios between a laptop and a smartphone are just too wide. The company therefore decided to take a two-pronged approach to this brave new frontier of computing, with a new Atom architecture anchoring the ultra-low... Read more...
When we covered Intel’s first significant foray into the smartphone arena, early in January 2012, there was little doubt in our minds that the company had set its sights on the mobile market with a plan and roadmap for execution.  Though Medfield and Lexington, now known as the Atom Z2460 SoC, and its lower cost sibling Atom Z2420, looked solid enough on paper, we expected Intel would have an uphill battle versus already well-established players like Qualcomm, Samsung, NVIDIA and the like.  As it turned out, Medfield and Lexington Atom SoCs never really made it to smartphones marketed in the US, but they did gain some traction in about 10 design wins for Intel,... Read more...
When you consider Intel's competitive position in the desktop and notebook PC markets, one simple word comes to mind, "dominance."  Conversely, when it comes to tablets and smartphones, the landscape couldn't be more different. Intel's chief competitor on the desktop and PC side of the equation is AMD and it's obvious Intel is killing it there.  Intel's nemesis in tablets and smartphones? ARM, and ARM is killing it.  NVIDIA, Apple, Samsung, Motorola, Google, Lenovo, Toshiba are all building devices or silicon based on ARM technology and the list goes on... and on.  Recently, AMD even stepped up to the plate with ARM and rumors are that Apple is looking to possibly differentiate... Read more...
Given all the frenzy around ultrabooks, Microsoft's Surface, and the low power potential of future chips like Haswell, you might think that desktop replacement-class laptops had fallen out of favor with modern laptop manufacturers. iBuyPower's CZ-17 "Valkyrie" is proof that they haven't -- and while its size and weight won't appeal to road warriors or anyone who needs a svelte portable, it packs a number of significant features into its chassis, at a price that won't break the bank. It also makes a few compromises along the way; we'll show you where they are.   iBuyPower's CZ-17 Valkyrie Specifications & Features  Processor Options Dimensions Weight Display System Memory Graphics... Read more...
The iPhone 5 is available, but only for those who pre-ordered right away on September 14th and were willing to stand in line at an Apple Store or pay big bucks on an auction site. For the second year in a row, Apple decided to unveil a new iPhone in the run-up to the fourth quarter, instead of in June at WWDC. Last Q4, Apple saw record revenues as the iPhone 4S hit store shelves. It seems as if the company is hoping to strike gold two years in a row as we head into the all-important holiday buying season. Strangely, Apple's calling this latest model the iPhone 5, while the most recently released iPad dropped the number designation and was branded only with "new." However, on the... Read more...
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