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.

MSI's Dominator Pro GT60 packs two significant firsts.  It's the first high-end gaming laptop we've reviewed with a HiDPI display (the GT60's 2880x1660 panel is the equal of the vaunted MacBook Pro's Retina display), and it's the first system we've looked at to sport NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 880M. MSI has also packed this system with a plethora of high-end components in a bid to challenge the dominance of more conventional boutique builders like Alienware. We'll be comparing and contrasting the GT60 against the Alienware 17 we reviewed recently to give you a sense of how the two systems compare head to head. First, though, we want to talk about the specs MSI has brought to the table... Read more...
Early last week, Microsoft unveiled the third iteration of its Surface Pro tablet, the aptly named Surface Pro 3. Unlike previous revisions to the product, the new Surface Pro 3 can be considered a major overhaul. Not only does the new device feature more powerful internal components and offer a handful of new features, but its form factor is a complete departure from the previous version, thanks to its screen’s 3:2 aspect ratio. The Surface Pro 3 does leverage many of the same industrial design queues as its older siblings, so there’s no mistaking it for anything but a Microsoft Surface. However, the similarities end there. The Microsoft Surface Pro 3, With Surface Pen and Type... Read more...
When considering the physical design of a smartphone, there’s one key dimension that often matters most to the majority of users: thickness. No one wants to carry around a thick, clunky smartphone. Manufacturers realize thin devices sell, which is why it seems every time we turn around they’re constantly fighting for the title of thinnest device. The current title-holder is the Motorola Droid Ultra, which is billed as the thinnest 4G LTE smartphone. It measures just 0.28 inches thick and is available exclusively through Verizon Wireless. The Droid Ultra was announced alongside the Droid Maxx and the Droid Mini. Falling in the middle of this trio, the Droid Ultra has a lot to... Read more...
The first generation of Microsoft’s homegrown Surface RT tablet delivered mixed results. The hardware was solid and well built, but the OS and software ecosystem left a little something to be desired. Many thought pricing was a bit on the high side as well. Finally, competition at the time was also quite fierce, to say the least and still is, of course. Undaunted and still hungry for a chunk of the tablet market, Microsoft recently revealed its second generation of Surface tablets, the Surface 2 Pro, which runs the full version of Windows 8.1, and the Surface 2 (that we’re reviewing here today), which runs Windows RT 8.1. Microsoft really needs its Surface 2 tablets to do... 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 a world long dominated by joystick or push-button controllers. But Nintendo pulled it... Read more...
They say hindsight is 20/20. Looking back, it’s now obvious that Microsoft had dropped a number of hints that the company would eventually offer its own tablet, which should have made their Surface announcement last summer much less of a surprise to industry insiders. It was way back in 2008 that Microsoft began showing off its similarly named Surface tabletop (now renamed PixelSense), hinting at the immense resources Microsoft was pouring into touch interfaces, gestures, and multi-touch input. It was at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2011 that Microsoft announced that Windows 8 would support system on a chip (SoC) architectures from ARM and over the next few months revealed... Read more...
Take a look at a smartphone from a few years ago compared to something available today and you'll find a number of major differences. Screens, processors, operating systems and more are advancing at a breakneck speed. However, battery tech has been stuck moving at a relatively glacial pace, as evidenced by even some of the highest spec'ced smartphones of today struggling to make it through a full day of use. This is where Motorola stepped in with the original RAZR MAXX by infusing the DROID RAZR with a large battery to keep even the heaviest of power users satisfied. Fast forward to today and you'll see they're at it again with the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX HD, an update to the original... Read more...
Motorola Mobility, now a division of Google, has been on a tear as of late, releasing potent new Android superphones to the market, in competition with the iPhone 5, Samsung's Galaxy SIII and many others.  Not long ago we gave you a look at the recently released RAZR M, the 4-inch little brother to the hot, new device that just showed up here in our lab the other day.   Motorola's RAZR HD sports a larger 4.7-inch Super AMOLED display, the same 1.5GHz Dual-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, and it's currently running Android 4.04, otherwise known as Ice Cream Sandwich.  Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, we've heard,  is projected to be coming to the device in a follow-on update.... Read more...
It seems like ages ago that the world first heard the now-unmistakable "DROID" sound-byte. DROID was originally billed as the anti-iPhone, pointing things out that Apple's iOS platform couldn't do, but proclaiming proudly that "DROID does". The campaign seems to have worked. To date, the brand has taken off, proving to be a rousing success for Verizon and Motorola. In fact, many people (incorrectly) refer to Android by just "DROID," similar to how many people refer to iOS as "iPhone." Over the years, Motorola has heavily leveraged the DROID brand. The relaunch of the RAZR was also a monumental decision. Just under a year ago, we reviewed the first DROID RAZR, which shipped with... Read more...
If you are a fan of phones with physical keyboards you don't have a lot of choice these days. Generally you're going to have to choose between a Blackberry and a handful of Android phones, as most companies are focusing their attention on bigger and thinner devices. The Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE has the rare mix of a decent physical keyboard alongside modern specs but does it hit the mark? Take a look at the phone and you’ll quickly see the Photon shares some DNA with the Droid 4, especially when you get to the keyboard. It sports five rows with nice spacing and decent feedback and includes a full number row and a uniform backlight making it among the best physical keyboards I’ve used... Read more...
Not long ago, Motorola and Verizon Wireless brought back the popular Razr line of cell phones in the form of the all new Droid Razr. Now, the two companies are teaming up again to offer another new Razr known as the Razr Maxx. Although these two Droid Razr smartphones are alike in many ways, there are also a few key differences. The most notable of these differences is battery life. The Droid Razr Maxx claims to offer the longest talk time of any 4G smartphone. Motorola says the Razr Maxx will last for 21 hours of talk time, 7 straight hours of web browsing, 15 hours of movie watching, and two and a half days of music playback. By comparison, the original Droid Razr smartphone claims to offer... Read more...
In 2004, Motorola released a line of flip phones that became one of the best selling phones in the world. Needless to say, the original Motorola RAZR enjoyed great success and gave Motorola a big name in the wireless industry for a number of years. Over the RAZR's four-year run, Motorola sold more than 130 million units. Unfortunately for Motorola, the second coming of the RAZR, dubbed the RAZR 2, wasn't quite as successful as the first line. During this period, Motorola's share of the mobile phone market dropped significantly, leaving some to wonder if the company would ever regain the strong foothold it had in the wireless market. Fast-forward a few years, and Motorola has once again become... Read more...
There are a myriad of nice smartphones on the market today. And since we're all for choice and options around here, we like the competition we're seeing in the mobile market. If you're a Sprint customer, you've been given the choice of a few really good 4G options this year. One of those options, the Motorola Photon 4G, has all of the specs you'd want from a high-end phone. The Photon 4G features a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor along with 1GB of RAM and Android 2.3 "Gingerbread". Although the Photon 4G has been out for a while, it still has some compelling features that other phones don't offer. For example, the Photon 4G is the first WiMAX equipped phone from Sprint to feature... Read more...
Thin–and–light is back. If you have any doubts whatsoever, just take a look at the notebook landscape as it is today. Outside of those monster gaming laptops and desktop replacements that still demand their own massive amount of real estate, most everything else these days seems to be aiming for thin. MSI's lineup is no different, with the company's new X460 and X460DX aiming for a solid balance of power and portability. MSI's X Series should be no stranger to those reading these pages, and the unit here on our test bed certainly appears to kick things up a notch. The X460DX straddles two of the more popular form-factors today. It's not an ultraportable, and it's not a mainstream... Read more...
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