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.

With the holidays looming around the corner, and a bit of money burning a hole in your pocket, we here at HotHardware.com thought we'd do what we could to ensure that you spent your hard-earned cash in the most appropriate manner. Before we begin, it makes sense to outline our approach and illustrate what we're trying to accomplish. It is critical to have reasonable expectations here, as no $1,000 system is going to compete with a $4,000 SLI monster. However, as you will see a budget system does not necessarily mean lackluster performance. In fact, every system we reference in this article would... Read more...
ATI has been on tear the past few months, releasing a number of new and interesting products. Since late September / early October of this year, we've been presented with Radeon X850 CrossFire and requisite CrossFire capable dual-PEG slot motherboards to go along with it, a whole series of products based on the new X1K family of GPUs, and most recently the All-In-Wonder Radeon X1800 XL. Not to mention a handful of other products we can't tell you about just yet. It seems the company is doing all it can to keep the folks talking about ATI as we head into the holiday buying season. Today the company... Read more...
Unlike a traditional desktop, a notebook is a very specialized system which typically excels in one particular area. However, there are usually design constraints that impede the system's performance in other areas. For example, at one extreme we have the ultraportable notebooks that are extremely light and easy to handle. In exchange for its convenience, these smaller notebooks generally lack the brute horsepower of a large desktop replacement notebook. With no additional space for intricate cooling solutions necessary to manage the latest and greatest GPU's and CPU's, these notebooks are heavily... Read more...
In the past, notebooks and gaming were two mutually exclusive things. Granted, you could get away with some Solitaire or Pinball though that was just about the extent of any gaming for mobile users. Over the course of the last few years, we've witnessed the notebook industry go through some dramatic changes. Gaming-specific notebooks were introduced by boutique PC vendors such as VoodooPC and Alienware and offered a solid gaming experience using mainstream desktop GPUs and faster LCD screens to minimize any ghosting effect. Once Dell entered the picture with their XPS line of gaming notebooks,... Read more...
Budget priced notebooks make a lot of sense for a multitude of people. The simple fact is, we all don't need to game. And not all of us need the most powerful computer on the planet. Plus, parting with a handful of greenbacks isn't the easiest thing to do when there are bills to be paid. So, it's no wonder that budget notebooks from Dell and Compaq / HP continue to sell like hotcakes. While HP's ZE2000 turned out to be a good budget solution, with the 855GM and Pentium-M duo at its heart, the new ZE2000Z we'll be looking at here brings an AMD processor and ATI chipset with IGP to the table... HP's... Read more...
Although Dell, IBM, and HP/Compaq get a lion's share of the press, there are several other major notebook brands vying for your hard earned dollar as well. Recently, Winbook's marketing machine has been in full swing emphasizing their new notebooks in the North American market. This means two things for potential notebook consumers. One, you get a few more notebooks to choose from, and two, another player is around to help drive down prices.  We've got one of Winbook's offerings in the labs right now, the X530.  What do you say we take a close look at the X530 to see what Winbook is offering...... Read more...
Off to school we go! Yes, it's that time of year again for many. But fear not! All is not lost, for it's also notebook hunting season. Of course, even if you enjoy going back to school, it's still a rare treat. After all, you are choosing a companion to help you stave off hours of boredom, and at the same time choosing an hombre to make your life a little easier. Mind you, this is one partner you will likely be stuck with for more than a year or two, so as always, choose carefully. For the majority of those in "back to school" mode, shopping for a notebook will be limited to ultraportables... Read more...
Now that we've got the IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad X41 Tablet PC review under our belts, we are going to backtrack a bit to take a look at the HP/Compaq TC4200. Although the IBM ThinkPad X41 Tablet PC hit the HotHardware lab first, the HP/Compaq TC4200 was actually introduced before the X41. These two Tablet PCs are targeted at slightly different audiences, however. The HP/Compaq TC4200 is a quasi-ultraportable, rather than being a true "ultraportable," and as such, this is a mobile PC aimed at the professional user... HP/Compaq TC4200 Tablet PC Specifications Processor •_Designed... Read more...
Our previous coverage of the Inspiron XPS Gen 2 was mainly intended for prospective gaming and performance sensitive buyers. However, this perspective doesn't completely explore the multimedia possibilities of the XPS Gen 2, which can be configured with Microsoft's MCE 2005. So of course, we had an Inspiron XPS Gen 2 from Dell configured with that OS and all the necessary multimedia add-ons for those curious about its full audio/video possibities. Dell Inspiron XPS Gen 2 Specifications Processor •_Designed for Intel 90nm Dothan Pentium-M with 2MB On-Die L2 Cache •_Supports 533MHz FSB... Read more...
Asus made an interesting statement earlier in the year with their S5N notebook. Its flair wasn't necessarily original, but it was, and still remains, one of the smaller ultra-portable designs available. And it's for this reason, that the S5N remains one of the ultra-portable notebooks in our own personal notebook arsenal. So, needless to say, after catching a glimpse of the new Asus W5A ultra-portable, we were immediately intrigued.  If you haven't already seen it, the Asus W5A is a bit of a departure from other "traditional" ultra-portable designs. With that in mind, let's see what... Read more...
It has taken quite sometime for ultra-portables to be fully accepted by the notebook community. This really has more to do with their price tags, than any specific design or aesthetic issue. Considering that ultra-portables are usually more expensive than traditional notebooks, it isn't hard to see why most people would choose the cheaper option. And because ultra-portables have traditionally been low power options, and battery life was lacking, they were usually relegated to the low end. Add that to the fact that any previous practical use of an ultra-portable still required a main system to compliment... Read more...
Over the past year, it has been interesting to see the emphasis that the big names are willing to put on the "enthusiast" crowd, in regards to notebooks. In the past, notebooks have been targeted towards businessmen and the like. These days, however, the variety is so wide that there is a notebook targeted to just about every niche and need. Consider this: a few years ago there were a handful of names making true blue notebook gaming rigs, i.e. Alienware, albeit in small quantities.  But as the gaming generation grows, so does the interest in these powerful systems. So, it really... Read more...
The Notebook Lab here at Hothardware.com is currently full of business and professional class notebooks, but don't fret, we will get to some interesting consumer class designs soon. In the meantime though, there is still plenty to keep us busy, including our latest arrival, Dell's new business powerhouse - the Latitude D810.  The Dell Latitude D810 sports an Intel Pentium-M processor with 2MB of L2 cache (Dothan core), riding on the i915PM chipset, with ATI Radeon X300 or X600 powered graphics. Dell Latitude D810 Specifications Processor •_Designed for Intel Pentium-M/Intel 90nm Dothan... Read more...
  Now that we've got some Dell, IBM, and HP notebook reviews under our belt, we are going to depart from the business oriented line of machines we've already looked at, and take some time to go over Compaq's new Presario V4000. After the acquisition by Hewlett Packard, Compaq fully devoted its Presario notebook designs towards the consumer segment, while HP offers both consumer and business notebooks. In that sense, there is some redundancy considering the overlap in the consumer market, but between the two brand names, overall, this makes for a wider selection of notebooks. Compaq Presario... Read more...
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