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.

When we launched our early preview look at AMD Ryzen Mobile performance with the new HP Envy x360 15z laptop last week, we expected it would pull in a few eyeballs. Our benchmark results were likely some of the first anyone had seen that showed what AMD's Ryzen core CPU architecture, coupled with its Radeon RX Vega GPU on the same piece of silicon, could do versus a plethora of Intel 7th and 8th Gen Core series laptops. We wanted to paint a detailed picture of its performance characteristics across various workloads and answer a few other questions a long the way regarding other aspects, like battery... Read more...
Intel’s newest 8th generation Core processors are here and have delivered promising early results in our initial tests on the desktop, and more recently in Dell's XPS 13 laptop. The biggest change with Intel's 8th Gen Core Mobile processors comes by way of doubled core counts. This makes many of this new generation of Core i5 and i7 mobile chips true quad-core processors now, with support for up to eight threads with Hyper Threading, all within a 15W TDP target. This improvement does not come without trade-offs, of course, as we see base clocks dropped by up to 900MHz relative to each chip’s... Read more...
We are almost to the end of yet another wonderfully innovative year in technology. The non-stop innovation of the tech sector has presented us with products and services that deliver more horsepower, lower power consumption, and smaller form factors that deliver more value and features. The tradition of Black Friday began with retail merchants feverishly working over the year to pull their bottom lines out of the "red", and utilizing the US Thanksgiving long holiday weekend to bolster sales and revenue back into the "black." For 65 years value-seeking consumers in the U.S. have been looking... Read more...
AMD’s Zen processor microarchitecture is targeted for deployment across the company’s entire processor product stack, from desktop with Ryzen and Threadripper, to the data center with EPYC, and finally in laptops and convertibles with Ryzen Mobile. Ryzen is set to yet again take on Intel’s dominant position in the market. However, in this latest implementation, Zen is being coupled with AMD’s Vega graphics cores for a fully integrated laptop solution with the potential for a significantly more robust multimedia and gaming experience as a result. On the desktop,... Read more...
Anyone that has worked with laptops for a while might recall the ThinkPad brand from back in the day before Lenovo purchased the client PC division from IBM. One of the most notable things about the old-school ThinkPads was the keyboard, complete with a blue enter key and a red trackpoint nub smack dab in the center. After Lenovo took over the ThinkPad line, some of the beloved industrial styling cues from those workhorse machines left along with the IBM logo. However, Lenovo is now celebrating the 25th anniversary of the ThinkPad brand with a unique ThinkPad 25 Anniversary Edition notebook... Read more...
Dell has not done much to tweak the physical design of its XPS 13 laptop over the past couple years, though it's not out of laziness or complacency. The past few models have exemplified excellence in engineering, with the size and weight of the XPS 13 belying what lays in wait when you crack open the lid. Its InfinityEdge display all but eliminates bezel and delivers a larger-than-expected viewing area based on the laptop's overall dimensions, and the hardware powering it has, for the most part, been cutting edge. In keeping with that latter theme, Dell upgraded its XPS 13 for late 2017 with a... Read more...
If there's a sleeper phone that's been on our radar for a while here, it's the LG V30. LG has been teasing this phone for what seems like an eternity. We actually got our first hands-on time with it a couple of months ago in August. However, LG has been conservative with its last couple of handset roll-outs, taking the same preview tease approach with the LG G6, where we got an early look prototype unit and firm rules of engagement with it before final production units arrived. The G6 was one of the first generation thin bezel phones on the market at the time and LG wanted to make doubly sure it... Read more...
AMD has had a banner year thanks to the launch of the many incarnations of its Zen processor architecture (Ryzen, Ryzen Threadripper, EPYC), as well as its Vega graphics cards (Radeon RX Vega 56, Radeon RX Vega 64). Now, however, the company is set to launch the combination of those standout architectures in a single die linked together with its Infinity Fabric. The result is what's internally known at AMD as Raven Ridge, and now will simply be referred to as Ryzen Mobile. There are two initial chips in the processor family that AMD is announcing today: the Ryzen 5 2500U and the Ryzen 7 2700U.... Read more...
Google has been designing and building premium Android smartphones for many years, co-branding with various hardware partners since back in the days of the company's Nexus devices. More recently with its first generation Pixel series, the Mountain View team has taken more prominent ownership of the brand, with devices specifically underscored as "Made By Google." And indeed the design signatures of the first generation Pixel and Pixel XL were distinctly different from any other handset on the market, as are the latest Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL that Google is launching today, along with a redesigned... Read more...
Microsoft just announced a few brand new products: a pair of powerful new Surface Book 2 devices featuring 8th Gen Intel Core Processors and NVIDIA graphics, and a Surface Precision Mouse designed to be the perfect companion to the devices. The new Surface Book 2 borrows virtually all of the physical design cues of the original, but this latest iteration features more powerful hardware, better battery life, enhanced display technology, and a myriad of other refinements that improve upon the first Surface Book. We have a quick hands-on video to share if you’d like a visual tour before we dig in... Read more...
One could argue that the two primary features of a modern laptop, that can most prominently define the user experience, would be its display and keyboard. After all, these two aspects make up the majority of a notebook PC's human-computer interface. If that's the case, then Lenovo's latest ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 2) with OLED display has a rather unfair advantage. As we've noted in the past, Lenovo has some of the best laptop keyboards in the business, at least in terms of usability and feel. And when you couple a 14-inch OLED (Organic LED) display with one of the best laptop keyboard designs on... Read more...
A funny thing happened as we were evaluating the latest iteration of Microsoft's Surface Pro, a now iconic 2-in-1 that the company describes as "the most versatile laptop," despite its tablet-first design. A rumor emerged suggesting Microsoft would phase out its Surface line within the next couple of years. It was really more of a prediction than a rumor. During the EMEA Canalys Channels Forum in Venice, Canalys CEO Steve Brazier pointed to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella being a software guy who is more interested in the cloud than hardware. Lenovo COO Gianfranco Lanci backed his assessment during... Read more...
If ever there was a brand of laptops that folks might refer to as “iconic,” it would be Lenovo’s ThinkPad line of business-class machines. The ThinkPad line was also a very successful go-to notebook brand for many mainstream consumers over the years as well. Known for their minimalist, straight-forward but highly functional design characteristics, the first ThinkPad was initially introduced by IBM in 1992. Lenovo then moved in to acquire IBM’s PC business in 2005. And so, if you’re already doing the math, today actually marks the 25th anniversary of the venerable, and yes iconic, ThinkPad laptop... Read more...
The PC gaming market continues to grow, thanks in part to the increasing popularity of eSports. While Lenovo is best known for its Thinkpad and Yoga family of notebooks with legendary reliability and slick form factors, it was time the company got serious about gaming. So, Lenovo took the plunge and launched a new sub-brand at CES this year – Legion. The new Legion family of gaming notebooks include the entry-level Y520, mid-level Y720, and high-end Y920. Lenovo sent over the mid-level 15.6-inch Legion Y720 series for us to check out, which provides a step up in build quality over the entry-level... Read more...
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