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.

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...
Last winter, Intel made waves by demonstrating a number of cutting-edge technologies it believed could drive the next-generation of lower power devices. In addition to its pioneering work with Near Threshold Voltages, the company showed off Rosepoint -- a prototype SoC that combined a dual-core 32nm Atom with an all-digital radio. As we covered at the time, current radios use a mixture of analog and digital circuitry, with the analog side of the equation consuming disproportionately more power and board real estate. Today, Intel demo'd Rosepoint in functional hardware. While the company still hasn't committed to a schedule for bringing the dual-core SoC to market, a live tech demo is a way to... Read more...
Intel's Dadi Perlmutter took to the stage in the opening keynote of Intel Developer's Forum 2012 to greet an enthusiastic crowd and evangelize the company's vision of what they call the rise of "natural, intuitive computing."  On stage with Dadi were a number of Intel-powered devices including a myriad of Windows 8 tablets and new Ultrabooks from various manufacturers.  To be honest, Intel didn't disclose a lot of juicy detail on next generation hardware for the first 20 minutes or so of Dadi's presentation but they focused on a few very innovative new usage models, user interfaces, capabilities and features that are now possible as a result of Intel's relentless, continuous advancements... Read more...
Back in 2011, Intel Capital, Intel's investment arm in support of their strategic objectives, ponied-up a cool $300 million to help give birth to a new class of notebooks called "Ultrabooks."  Though there isn't a complete set of design specifications, Intel requires certain characteristics of performance, mechanical design, battery life and processor component selection, in order to market a notebook as an Ultrabook. From resume from hibernation response times to chassis thickness, Intel wanted to build upon Apple's success with the MacBook Air, so that all of their OEM and ODM partners could get in on the thin, sleek and sexy trend that's all the rage with consumers.  And of course... Read more...
You might say Intel has been absolutely killing it as of late.  Whether you consider their recent earnings announcement beating Wall Street's expectations, the Ultrabook craze, their re-entrance into the handset arena with their Medfield platform, or the proliferation of their 2nd generation Core Sandy Bridge-based processors in the market; it's perfectly clear the company is in an execution groove that will fuel both their own growth as well as industry growth for some time to come.  In short, Intel has been a design execution machine recently and when you put that into perspective with their world-class semiconductor manufacturing prowess, the company packs a seriously competitive... Read more...
Intel launched its Medfield platform only six weeks ago, but the company is moving ahead with plans for additional processors based on the 32nm SoC. At Mobile World Congress today, Santa Clara announced plans for two additional system on a chip (SoC) designs to flesh out its product roadmap. The current Z2460 that we covered in January will be augmented by the Z2000 at the low-end and a new dual-core chip, the Z2580. Of the two, the Z2000 will ship in retail products in the second half of this year, while the Z2580 won't be available for purchase until early 2013. The already-launched 1.6GHz Z2460 is also getting a performance nudge; the core is now officially capable of a 2GHz maximum... Read more...
The second day of IDF began with Mooly Eden, Intel VP and General Manager of the PC Client Group, and his keynote discussion, detailing the current state of the company’s business and Ultrabook plans. Eden’s keynote began with a talk about growth in overall PC sales, due mostly to increased demand in emerging markets. Mr. Eden also spoke of the adaptability of the PC and the many transformations it has made over the years to meet market demand and dictate new usage models and experiences.       The discussion continued with some talk about the importance of the CPU, GPU, and attached media. Eden asked, “which is most important?” His answer was that... Read more...
For their new generation of notebook processors, Intel decided to take the opposite approach that they took in their desktop architecture, where they launched their mid-range quad-core product first, with a promise of top-end multi-core performance to come just a bit further down their roadmap.  From a mobile standpoint, the Core i7 2820QM with four cores and eight threads is a heck of a lot of computing resources to carry around in your briefcase or backpack.  It could be argued that the average, mainstream mobile end user doesn't need that kind of horsepower and as long as the multimedia muscle is there to get the job done, a dual-core, four thread capable machine is usually plenty.... Read more...
About this time last year, Intel offered us a complete processor revamp and architecture update for both the desktop and mobile markets.  Intel called it their evolutionary "tick" step in their manufacturing process migration from 45 to 32nm.  The "tock," as it were, follows along in cadence offering refinement and feature enhancement that completes the product evolution.  So here we are, about 12 months or so later, and the "tock" cometh.  Intel's tock architecture, known as Sandy Bridge, is still based on 32nm manufacturing process technology but offers critical features and performance enhancement, as well as higher levels of architectural integration.  Intel is set... Read more...
Is this the showdown of the year? In the smartphone world, we would argue that it is. If you're looking for arguably the world's best 3G smartphones right now, you're likely considering two specific choices: Apple's iPhone 4 on AT&T, or HTC's DROID Incredible on Verizon Wireless. Both phones provide an excellent user experience, and both are as cutting edge as they come. Both they also offer very different and distinct experiences, with one coming by way of iOS 4 and the other Android 2.1 with HTC's Sense overlay. In other words, both of these devices are competing for the same crown, but each one is its own beast, with its own list of pros and cons. If you're in the market to upgrade... Read more...
A little over two years ago, Intel formally unveiled the low-power Atom processor and its related chipset and platform technologies. At the time, Intel's vision for Atom had the diminutive CPU powering a diverse line-up of mobile internet devices, or MIDs, web-connected tablets, portable media players, and handheld gaming devices. Suffice it to say, Intel's original vision for Atom didn't quite go according to plan. Yes, the chip found its way into an array of devices from video phones to set-top boxes, but by and large Atom has dominated the netbook market, a segment Intel didn't pay much attention to when it first unveiled Atom.Regardless of whether or not Atom found its way into all of the... Read more...
When Steve Jobs introduced the iPad at a frenzied event in California this past January, he said something interesting. It was a statement that got many in the tech industry thinking.  Now that we have played with the company's first tablet for a couple of weeks, we think it's time to really take a look at how reasonable Jobs' statement was.If you missed it, Jobs stated that he saw the Apple iPad as a third category of device; something that could fit in between your phone (the iPhone, of course) and your full-sized notebook (your MacBook Pro, of course, at least in Apple's opinion...). Jobs makes his case around the 6:30 mark but does it hold water?Many people saw the iPad as simply an... Read more...
Apple's iPad has left an indelible mark on the Tablet PC universe. It wasn't that long ago when just about everyone gave up on the tablet. Just about every notebook manufacturer in existence tried their hand at making a tablet at one point or another, and just about everyone hung it up by 2005. For whatever reasons, tablets never managed to catch on in the consumer industry, but now, things are different.Consumers have shown a willingness to adapt somewhat and try new things. Some thought ultraportables would never catch on; their steep price tag and small screens didn't make sense to some, but road warriors have proven that these diminutive machines do actually have a place in society.... Read more...
As you've no doubt heard by now, Apple launched a new mobile computing device and it's within a product category that is all-new territory for the traditionally tight-lipped company. It's a bit of an odd choice for a company that revels in innovation, and after today's announcement, we're left with more questions than answers on whether or not it can truly deliver in the way that Apple CEO, Steve Jobs thinks it can. The iPad simply isn't as revolutionary as the iPhone and iPod, and that alone is at least initially limiting the general perception of the product. For better or worse, Apple has worked itself into a corner where people simply expect each and every new product release to change that... Read more...
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