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.

We’ll see your 100 million assistant devices and raise you 1 billion. Google announced that it expects to sell one billion Google Assistant devices by the end of the month. The company's boast is in response to Amazon’s announcement that they had sold 100 million Alexa devices. Amazon SVP of devices and services, Dave Limp, recently remarked that 100 million Alexa devices have been sold since Alexa’s release in 2014. This number includes both Amazon devices and other products that ship with built-in Alexa. Not to be outdone by Amazon, Google reported that they have sold 10X the number of Google Assistant devices since 2016. That estimate includes both Google products and... Read more...
HTC Corporation recently reported that its sales fell by more than 61% this past year. The company was plagued by acquisitions, layoffs, and resignations throughout 2018. Many analysts blame intensified global smartphone competition for HTC’s dismal numbers. This is the seventh consecutive year that HTC’s sales have decreased. The company’s total sales rang in at NT$23.74 billion ($768 million USD) or 61.78% less than last year. Their consolidated sales have consistently declined throughout 2018. December sales were 8.24% less than November sales, while their third quarter worth per shares were NT$0.65 billion ($21.1 million USD) less than quarter two. HTC was founded in 1997... Read more...
The gaming laptop market is one of one of the largest and most diverse segments of the PC industry, with systems ranging in price from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Dell's Alienware gaming machines typically lean towards the higher-end of the price spectrum, with premium build quality and strong component configurations, like the Alienware m15 that we're looking at here today. Dell's Alienware gaming division has re-tooled this machine as well, almost from the ground-up, while still preserving its classic Alienware design signature. The new Alienware m15 ranges in price from $1,379.99 up to just under $4,000, if you want to go for broke. Our exact test unit is well-equipped, but sits... Read more...
Everything in HP's EliteBook series falls into the company's business class lineup and today we are looking at their latest convertible; the HP EliteBook x360 1030. While its name might not roll off the tongue, this laptop's design, features, specifications and optional accessories could potentially have some folks salivating. Like other laptops in the Elitebook series, the x360 1030 sports an all aluminum chassis, giving it an elegant and distinct look. The configuration we're testing comes equipped with all the latest processor platform technology, including Intel's 8th Gen Kaby Lake R processor, 16GB of (on-board) LPDDR4 memory and a 512GB NVMe SSD. There are plenty of other configurations... Read more...
Let me say right off the bat that I am not the guy you want flinging $1,200 drones through the sky, especially around cliffs, the ocean, and dense forests, all of which are common where I live. But I took one for the team and decided to check out the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom anyway. You see, I have issues with both directions and spatial relationships; I can get lost in my shower, and concepts such as "north," "south," and "up the road" are foreign to me. Thus, on the road, I simply drive where my wife points. (Also, I should mention that I'm old and cranky. Possibly because my wife is always pointing and telling me where to go.) The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom is simply too valuable a piece of equipment to entrust... Read more...
We have all seen it on Facebook -- one of your friends “shares” a link to a new shake that will help you lose ten pounds in two days or a code to get suspiciously discounted Ray-Bans. Thankfully, most of these posts are obviously spam. Unfortunately, hackers are finding more ways to post annoying and potentially dangerous content. One researcher recently discovered a proof-of-concept Facebook worm that posts unwanted spam links. A Polish security researcher, who goes by the pseudonym “Lasq”, was the first to find the issue. He noted that a number of his Facebook friends appeared to be posting a link to French comic site hosted on a Amazon Web Services (AWS) bucket. Users... Read more...
Have you been eyeing the Facebook Portal or the larger Portal+? The latest updates for the smart displays may get consumers to bite in spite of mediocre reviews and lingering privacy concerns. Facebook recently added a web browser, news content, and a manual mode to the camera of the Facebook Portal and Portal+. Most importantly, Facebook has added a web browser to the Portal. One of the biggest complaints aimed at the Portal is its lack of apps and content. Users have enjoyed the device’s video-calling features, but have been unable to access everything that competing devices offer. Facebook recently added a YouTube app to the Portal, but the web browser offers even more options and variety.... Read more...
Do you even game on your phone, bro? Sorry, we'll slap ourselves silly for the obnoxious comment, but it's actually a valid question. Some people primarily use their phone to snap pictures for posting on Facebook and Instagram, while others go old school and -- gasp -- make actual phone calls with their handset. The ASUS ROG Phone does both of those things with aplomb, but it was really built for playing games first and foremost. Purpose-built gaming phones are a relatively new thing, at least to the extent that they are starting to become popular. There have been attempts to capitalize on this concept before, like when Nokia tried (and failed) to grab the attention of gamers with its N-Gage... Read more...
Standing out in a sea of excellent laptops is tough nowadays, especially with a metal chassis being the bare minimum point of entry to the premium class. Each company offers its own unique take – Microsoft has Alcantara keyboards, Dell offers super thin screen borders and carbon fiber, Lenovo has fancy hinges and OLED displays, Apple has its touch bar, while Asus and Acer offer value propositions. So what’s a laptop brand like HP to do when faced with tough competition and a virtual sea of options for consumers? Meet the HP Spectre Folio, the company’s latest ultra-portable 2-in-1 13-inch hybrid notebook that embraces a bit of what also makes things like luxury cars great... Read more...
The final day of the Qualcomm Snapdragon Technology Summit is wrapping up, which means that the chip company is saving the best for last. Well, that is if you've been following the whole Windows on ARM initiative that Microsoft and Qualcomm have been pushing for the past two years. Qualcomm just unveiled the latest product in a series that started off with the Snapdragon 835 and was then succeeded by the Snapdragon 850. Meet the new Snapdragon 8cx Compute Platform. This represents a new naming convention for Qualcomm, and should help to differentiate its PC computing efforts from its other solutions in the smartphone market where the company has a much stronger foothold.... Read more...
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit is currently underway in Maui, Hawaii, and we are lucky enough to be in attendance. During this yesterday’s opening keynote address, Qualcomm officially announced its upcoming Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform and today the company provided much more technical detail on the platform. In addition to showcasing its own technologies, however, Qualcomm also brought out an array of partners to talk about the impending 5G wireless roll-out. Over the last couple of days, representatives from AT&T, Verizon, BT Group, One Plus, and Samsung all took to the stage and discussed their future devices and the complexity of the upcoming 5G ecosystems, covering everything... Read more...
Earlier this year we took a detailed look at the OnePlus 6 and determined it was one of the best values in Android flagship smartphones on the market. The OP6 has a beautiful, large display, a clean near-stock Android setup and great performance with 6GB or 8GB RAM standard at price points of $529 and $579 respectively. When rumors of the OnePlus 6T hit, we wondered if OnePlus could really improve on an already great design and offer even more of a good thing. As is the case with virtually any high tech device, trade-offs are a constant in the overall design equation. Then again, with its mantra of "Never Settle" seemingly driving the company's design choices, the question remained,... Read more...
A long overdue federal trial is officially on the horizon: Qualcomm and Apple will meet in a San Diego federal court on April 15, 2019. The two companies have already been battling each other for more than a year over LTE modem licensing fees and patents. Qualcomm originally wanted the jury trial to take place in February, but the date was delayed. U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel noted that the two companies would need to accommodate the court’s busy schedule. He also argued that extra time was needed due to the complexity of the case. Before the trial date was announced, some had speculated that Qualcomm and Apple were far along in settlement talks. Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf recently... Read more...
One of the reasons why Fortnite continues to be so popular is because developer Epic Games is putting in a lot of man- and woman-hours updating the title, constantly adding new features and stomping out bugs nearly as quickly as they appear (there's a lesson here, Bethesda). That's the case with the latest update, which also introduces some performance enhancements on various devices. On select iPhones, for example, there is an option to run the game at 60 frames per second. The Fortnite version 6.31 patch apparently includes optimizations for Apple's burly A12 Bionic silicon, as found on the recently introduced iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. All three of those devices have the new... Read more...
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