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.

Samsung announced today that it has begun volume production of its 8Gb LPDDR4 memory chips, with expected commercial shipments in 2015. The announcement is noteworthy for a number of reasons. First, one of the most important characteristics of a modern mobile device is its battery life, and moving to a new memory standard should significantly reduce the memory subsystem's power consumption. Second, however, there's the clock speed. Samsung is claiming that its LPDDR4 will hit 3.2GHz, and while bus widths on mobile parts are significantly smaller than the 64-bit channels that desktops use, the higher clock speed per chip will help close that gap. In fact, multiple vendors have predicted that LPDDR4... Read more...
Samsung deserves much of the credit for ushering in today’s trend of large-screened smartphones, often referred to as "phablets." Whether you’re a fan of big smartphones or not, there is a no denying that the original Samsung Galaxy Note set the stage for the battles currently being waged in the smartphone market. If larger-screened devices like the original Galaxy Note hadn’t taken hold, Apple most likely would not have produced the iPhone 6 Plus and devices like the Google Nexus 6, Nokia Lumia 1520, and HTC One Max (among others) would not exist.One of the advantages of blazing a trail like Samsung did, is that it gives you ability to better refine your designs in future iterations. The experience... Read more...
So you've been tempted by Apple's new big, beautiful 5.5-inch computer-in-your-pocket known as the iPhone 6 Plus.  I mean if you're going to get a new smartphone, surely anything labeled "Plus" by Apple must be all that and a bag of Fritos, right? And #bendgate? You couldn't care less about what a few clumsy types are squawking about. You take care of your devices and don't plan on sitting on your phone anytime soon. Then again, the iPhone 6 Plus is expensive and it sure is big. There are so many smartphones to choose from these days and when it comes to Android, Google and their multitude of manufacturing and software developer partners, have done a nice job of empowering an ecosystem and... Read more...
Yesterday at its Unpacked Event in New York City, Samsung announced a couple of new high-end smartphones and a companion virtual reality headset, namely the Galaxy Note 4, the Galaxy Note Edge, and the Galaxy Gear VR. Just in case you missed the initial announcement, the Galaxy Note 4 features a 5.7-inch Quad HD (2560x1440) Super AMOLED display, 2.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm SnapDragon 805 processor or 1.9GHz octa-core (1.9GHz quad-core + 1.3GHz quad-core) processor, depending on the region, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, 16MP rear-facing camera with fast autofocus and Smart OIS, a 3.7MP front-facing camera with f1.9, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, USB 2.0, and a... Read more...
A few months ago, Samsung released its most-recent flagship phone, the Galaxy S5. In our hands-on review of the Galaxy S5, we were so impressed with the phone that we gave it our Editor’s Choice award. The Galaxy S5 was designed with an active lifestyle in mind as is evidenced by various features including the built-in heart rate monitor and protective shell which is IP67 rated for dust and liquid resistance. For active users who want even more health-related options than the Galaxy S5 offers, Sprint is now offering the Galaxy S5 Sport. Exclusive to Sprint, the Galaxy S5 Sport was developed as a collaboration between Samsung, Sprint, Under Armour, and MapMyFitness. The Galaxy S5 Sport will... Read more...
In June, Samsung announced a new flagship line of tablets known as the Galaxy Tab S. Available in 8.4- and 10.5-inch versions, the Galaxy Tab S is geared towards media consumption, with hardware specifications that are designed to deliver an outstanding media experience. Not only does the Galaxy Tab S have killer hardware, but Samsung also managed to pack these features into the company’s thinnest and lightest tablet design yet. To deliver the best possible visual experience, the high-resolution Super AMOLED display found in the Galaxy Tab S supports a resolution of 2560x1600 and boasts of a 73% wider color gamut than conventional LCD displays. The display also offers deeper blacks... Read more...
One of Samsung's goals with its latest Galaxy Tab 4 tablets was to create a family of products that offered good value and versatility to a wide range of potential consumers. The new Galaxy Tab 4 family is available in three sizes: 7-, 8-, and 10.1-inches and the tablets feature lightweight materials, thin bezels, and HD displays. In March, we took a look at Samsung’s Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1. If the flagship Pro series is too much for you in terms of features or price, the Galaxy Tab 4 series may be a better option. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 which is available in black or white with an MSRP of $269.99. LTE versions of the Galaxy... Read more...
Wearables in general--and smartwatches in particular--are among the hottest tech trends of today. Despite a great deal of hullabaloo over these devices, though, many aren’t quite finding them as compelling as you might think. As a result, there’s a sense that no one has yet figured out the secret sauce that makes a wearable / smartwatch a "much have" device. Samsung is at the forefront of the smartwatch push, looking to develop that perfect swoon-worthy device. The company is already on the second generation of its smartwatch line with its Gear 2, the wearable that we’re looking at today. Samsung makes some fine mobile devices, but the smartwatch is a different beast... Read more...
The Android smartphone wars are heating up here in Q2 with Samsung, HTC and soon LG releasing flagship devices targeted at luring in enthusiasts and mainstream consumers who might be looking to upgrade to the latest technologies and screen sizes.  We just gave you a detailed evaluation of HTC's One (M8) for 2014 and today we're here to bring you our view of Samsung's new Galaxy S5 Android superphone. At Samsung's Unpacked event in February, we got some early hands-on time with the Galaxy S5 and what impressed us then is what impresses us now, now that we've had a few weeks to live and work with the device in house.  The first thing that stands out is its beautiful 5.1-inch Super... Read more...
Two years ago, Samsung launched its Series 9 ultrabook and proved the company could design a thin and light notebook that is both beautiful and powerful. Since the launch, Samsung has unified its Windows PCs under the ATIV brand and continues to innovate and build on the popularity of the Series 9. As the next generation of the company’s ATIV Book 9, the Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus features an aluminum uni-body design and incorporates an all new Windows 8 optimized touchscreen which wasn’t available with the previous model. Instead of simply adding a touchscreen for Windows 8, Samsung cranked up the resolution by including a QHD+ (3200 X 1800) panel with 350nit SuperBright... Read more...
Samsung introduced its PRO line of Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Note tablets at CES in January. We had a brief chance to check out these new tablets while at CES and now we have the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 in house for a full hands-on review. As you may recall, this tablet features a 10.1-inch WQXGA display that supports a resolution of 2560 x 1600. On paper, the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 has the hardware specifications we’d expect to see from a tablet that targets professionals who are looking for the “best of the best” including an impressive display, Samsung Exynos 5 Octa processor, Android 4.4 (KitKat), 2GB RAM, and 16GB of Flash storage. Samsung also claims the Tab Pro 10.1 can... Read more...
Just over a year ago, Samsung broadened its Note portfolio to not only include phones, but tablets as well. The company saw a need to introduce a slate that catered to working professionals, power users, and those who need more content creation capabilities -- hence, the  Galaxy Note 10.1 with the S Pen was born. In the ever-challenging world of product naming and differentiation, Samsung decided on quite the mouthful for the Note 10.1's successor. The Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition is perhaps awkwardly named, but it's shipping in a market where work-capable tablets are certainly generating a lot of buzz. Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition Microsoft's own Surface 2 line just shipped,... Read more...
Samsung recognizes that the way in which individuals use tablets varies considerably from one user to the next. As a result, Samsung’s tablet portfolio is quite varied, offering something for everyone. Samsung’s tablet portfolio includes models that range in size from 7-inch to 10.1-inch screens. The power and performance associated with the various Samsung Galaxy tablets also varies and includes high-end powerful tablets and models that are more basic and budget-friendly. Today, we’re going to take a hands-on look at the 8-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 3. This tablet sits in the middle of the Galaxy Tab 3 portfolio between the 7-inch and 10.1-inch models. The Galaxy Tab 3 series... Read more...
Whether you’re a fan of oversized smartphones or not, it’s clear that they are here to stay. When Samsung initially released the first Galaxy Note, many of us in the industry looked at it a little sideways and wondered what the designers at Samsung were thinking. The original Galaxy Note seemed simply gargantuan next to virtually every other device available at the time and it was somewhat comical to see such a large device perched next to someone’s ear when they were making a call. The Note had a transformative effect on the smartphone industry, however. Yes, it was large. But once you've experienced the benefits of a larger screen, it's difficult to turn back, and Samsung... Read more...
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