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.

Amazon and Google are massive tech giants, for vastly different reasons. Google is the leading search engine provider, a smartphone platform juggernaut, and huge advertising machine, while Amazon is the largest e-tailer in the world and a cloud services powerhouse, though Google is coming up strong. Though they are different animals, these two companies find themselves locked in heated battle with their respective Google Home and Amazon Echo devices; a battle for AI dominance that could determine who will ultimately control a good chunk of the Smart Home market. The Smart Home market has massive... Read more...
When Microsoft and Qualcomm announced "Always Connected" Windows 10 PCs back in late 2016, it was revealed that the first shipping systems would be powered by the Snapdragon 835 processor. The first generation of convertibles laptops have shipped from the likes of ASUS, HP and Lenovo with that processor platform on board, but a new generation will soon be upon us and today out at Computex, Qualcomm has unveiled new silicon technology to enable them. Powering this new breed of devices will be Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform. The Snapdragon 850 is a dedicated SKU that will only... Read more...
Mobile device manufacturers seem to have really stepped things up in the engineering department since the arrival of the Microsoft Surface. After racing to the bottom with netbooks for a time, things turned around, and we’ve seen an influx of high-quality systems using premiums materials. We've seen gorgeous designs from ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo, especially in standard clamshell form factors. However, no one seemed to crack the code when it comes to the detachable form factor where the Microsoft Surface Pro shines. There have been some solid offerings in the space, no doubt, but the Surface... Read more...
Last week, Arm showed off the inner workings of its new Machine Learning Processor design, but that is not all that company had waiting in the wings. Arm is also detailing more cutting-edge technology in the form of its Cortex-A76 CPU, Mali-G76 GPU, and Mali-V76 VPU designs. All three chips are slated to be heavy-hitters in their respective categories, and thanks to some on-campus, in depth briefings earlier this month, we have all of the details to share... Cortex A-76 The Cortex-A76 represents Arm’s most radical overhaul over previous designs. The A76’s brand-new architecture... Read more...
The ThinkPad line of notebooks has a long, storied history, from its beginnings as an IBM product, to Lenovo's continued refinements and improvements, generation over generation. ThinkPads are well known, often sought after products, especially by business-class road warriors, due to their no-nonsense design language, excellent keyboards, and reputation for reliability.  In addition, ThinkPads have had one other thing remain consistent over the years -- a glorious little red nub, called a TrackPoint or pointing stick, that remains faithfully nestled between the G and H keys. For some it's... Read more...
After taking a measured, wait-and-see approach to machine learning, Arm is ready to jump into the fold full throttle. Today, the company is following up on its Project Trillium announcement from back in February with new details surrounding its machine learning processor, also known as the neural-network processing unit or NPU. To quickly recap, Project Trillium encompasses Arm’s push to leverage machine learning and neural network operations across their line-up of processors – whether that processing takes place on the CPU, GPU, or its new NPU. Arm’s goal is to make machine... Read more...
We have covered Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Yoga series since its inception, and while the company might only be on its 3rd generation machine, what's under its hood is what might be thought of as four generations of advancement since then. Of course we are speaking of the 8th Gen Intel Core-i5 8250U quad-core mobile processor on board the new Thinkpad X1 Yoga. What makes this chip different from its predecessor, is it has 4 psychical cores now and supports Hyper-Threading, all within the same 15W power envelope. At just 15W the Core i5-8250U doesn't require hefty thermal solution and large... Read more...
Dell’s XPS 15 2-In-1 is a unique hybrid convertible, premium ultrabook in a couple of respects, partly because of its high quality Dell XPS series machined aluminum and hybrid carbon fiber construction, along with its beautiful 15-inch, 400 nits, near bezel-less Dell Infinity Edge display. However, the machine is also powered by a unique processor that marks the first collaboration of its kind by two archrivals in the PC processor arena, both Intel and AMD. Otherwise known as Kaby Lake G, the new Intel 8th Gen Core Series with integrated AMD Radeon RX Vega M graphics is a potent hybrid... Read more...
Dell has been hard at work updating its notebooks with Intel’s latest 8th Gen Core processors, and we’ve already seen the fruits of their labor in the premium XPS 13. It’s now time for the business-oriented Latitude notebooks to get a taste of Kaby Lake R, so here today we have the Latitude 7390 2-in-1 on the test bench, ready to be put through its paces. The XPS 13 impressed us with incredible performance, even showing inter-generational gains using the same chip between late 2017 and early 2018 models, thanks to an improved thermal solution among a few other tweaks. The Latitude... Read more...
At CES earlier this year, Dell strutted out a few new products, including its XPS 15 2-in-1 with a 360-degree hinge. It is the first XPS 15 to adopt the convertible 2-in-1 form factor, providing customers with flexible use case scenarios, like folding the display all the way back onto itself to become a tablet, or propping it up in tent mode as a kitchen counter companion. While not groundbreaking in 2018, it's a welcome upgrade to one of the more desirable and premium laptops on the market. What is groundbreaking, however, is what lies inside this laptop in terms of processing engines. Dell's... Read more...
Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon line has been widely regarded as the company's flagship business-class laptop over the past few years. The previous model, which we pored over in deep-dive detail here, brought a new, more compact chassis design with it, along with thinner display bezels and a refresh of Intel's Kaby Lake mobile processor platform. There was a notable caveat or two with the previous-gen ThinkPad X1 Carbon, and it could have been a showstopper, depending on your perspective and use case. Last year's model was only available with a  non-touch, standard IPS display, which could be... Read more...
In most major sports, there are a handful of teams that dominate the competition and garner the lion's share of attention from fans. The same is true in the smartphone market where there are relatively few established players at the top. Every so often, however, a contender comes along to potentially disrupt the hierarchy, and that is what Huawei hopes to accomplish with its newest flagship phone, the Mate 10 Pro. Who exactly is Huawei, you ask? While not as recognizable in the US market as Apple and Samsung, Huawei is no Johnny-come-lately to the land of mobile. Huawei is a major player in China... Read more...
Mobile device makers have made a concerted effort to improve camera performance on each new generation of smartphone. While there is still a gap between a handset and a Digital SLR (DSLR), today's phones are capable of taking excellent photos. It's become a point of focus, and with the advances in imaging, like Bokeh effects, armchair photographers can snap some truly remarkable looking shots. Two recent flagships, Samsung's Galaxy S9+ and Google's Pixel 2 XL, both have been praised for their photo taking capabilities. Is one appreciably better than the other? The only way to find out is through... Read more...
One of the biggest unveils at this year's Mobile World Congress was the new and highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, which we were lucky enough to get some hands-on preview time with for you here late last month. Samsung's Galaxy S9 series doesn't look a whole lot different than the previous generation Galaxy S8 and 8+ line. And though the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are ever so slightly smaller than their older siblings, with slightly thinner top and bottom bezels, these new Galaxy S devices have been upgraded and re-engineered in a number of ways with some impressive new features... Read more...
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