Items tagged with Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 with Bing, an operating system that Microsoft provides for free to OEMs under strict guidelines, has enabled a new wave of low-cost desktops, laptops, and tablets to flood the market. Intel is the latest to embrace Windows 8.1 with Bing, and will preinstall the operating system on a tiny PC that looks not much bigger than the Roku Streaming Stick or Amazon Fire TV Stick that you may have dangling from your TV’s HDMI port. The Intel Compute Stick manages to pack some relatively decent specs into a tiny package that fits in the palm of your hand. It is powered by a quad-core Atom Z3735F processor with 2GB of RAM and comes configured with 32GB of storage, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11n, a USB... Read more...
Microsoft is pulling out all the stops when it comes to battling an insurgency from Google with Chrome OS. Microsoft has resorted to offering Windows 8.1 with Bing free to OEMs that provide low-cost laptops and desktops to consumers as a way of stopping Google dead in its tracks. The latest assault on Chrome OS (and Chromeboxes) is coming in the form of a tiny little machine from Hewlett-Packard called the Stream mini (which measures 5.73” x 5.70” x 2.06”). The Stream mini packs comes with an Intel Celeron 2957U processor, 2GB of RAM, Intel integrated graphics, and a 32GB SATA-based SSD. HP has even managed to fit in four USB 3.0 ports, a GbE port, HDMI, DisplayPort, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11n... Read more...
When Microsoft first released Windows 8, the company hoped that hardware manufacturers would get creative with form factors and customers would be enticed by the intriguing new PC designs. One of the clear leaders to emerge since Windows 8's launch is the Lenovo Yoga series of laptops, which fold in half to mimic tablets or can be used in tent and stand modes. A similar approach that has also seen some success are 2-in-1s that essentially split in half, so you can use the display as a tablet without dragging around the weight of the keyboard. The Acer Aspire Switch 10 is one of these 2-in-1 detachable systems... Acer Aspire Switch 10 Hybrid Review... Read more...
When Microsoft first released Windows 8, the company hoped that hardware manufacturers would get creative with form factors and customers would be enticed by the intriguing new PC designs. One of the clear leaders to emerge since Windows 8's launch is the Lenovo Yoga series of laptops, which fold in half to mimic tablets or can be used in tent and stand modes. A similar approach that has also seen some success are 2-in-1s that essentially split in half, so you can use the display as a tablet without dragging around the weight of the keyboard. The Acer Aspire Switch 10 is one of these 2-in-1 detachable systems. The selling point for these tiny, $450-and-under types is versatility:... Read more...
As much as we obsess about the latest and hottest hardware, we sometimes like to take a look at a value system to see what kind of bang you can get for your buck on a tight budget. And with the school year just getting underway, the Dell Inspiron 11 3147 caught our eye as a possible candidate for a highly mobile classmate or conference room colleague. It’s a light, tiny laptop with a screen that folds completely back so you can use the device as a tablet whenever it suits your needs. To a budget-minded student who wants a versatile laptop (and that won’t feel like brick in his or her backpack), the Inspiron 11 3000 series 2-in-1 convertible could be a win. We took the system for a... Read more...
As much as we obsess about the latest and hottest hardware, we sometimes like to take a look at a value system to see what kind of bang you can get for your buck on a tight budget. And with the school year just getting underway, the Dell Inspiron 11 3147 caught our eye as a possible candidate for a highly mobile classmate or conference room colleague. It’s a light, tiny laptop with a screen that folds completely back so you can use the device as a tablet whenever it suits your needs. To a budget-minded student who wants a versatile laptop that won’t feel like brick in his or her backpack, the Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 convertible could be a win. We took the system for a spin to see... Read more...
Dell is wrapping up the week with a bang, refreshing both its laptop and desktop lines for businesses. The Latitude refresh spans the business laptop line, from the value-oriented 3000 series to the high-end 7000 series models. Even Dell’s Rugged line is seeing new hardware and features. For those of us chained to our desks, Dell is rolling out new OptiPlex Micro systems. To top it off, Dell released the Dell Chromebox to compete with the mini PCs from Acer and others. The Latitude 14 3000 series will start out with Intel Core i3 or i5 processors, along with 4GB of memory, integrated graphics, and a 500GB 7200RPM hard drive or a 500GB 5400RPM hybrid drive. Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11 AGN... Read more...
It appears that there is still some life left in Window’s 8. Microsoft’s current operating system has been a disappointment for the company since its release. While the OS has seen its percentage of user shares increase it has been unable to outpace Windows Vista during the same time period six years ago. According to web analytics firm Net Applications, the combined user share for Windows 8 and 8.1 is at 13.4 percent of the worlds combined number of desktops and notebooks for the month of August. That is up nine-tenths of a percentage point from July and is the first time since May for it to increase. The increase is also the largest since April which was followed by two months of... Read more...
Your options in the mini PC space rapidly expanding. Not only that, but they're becoming more intriguing with each new release. Come October, Minix plans to launch its Neo Z64 mini, a pint-sized system powered by Intel's Bay Trail platform with Android 4.4.4 KitKat pre-installed for a mere $129. Don't care for Android? The Neo 64 can also run Windows 8.1, though you'll need to install it yourself. The Neo 64 is Minix's first 64-bit Android mini PC, and as far as first efforts go, it's not a bad offering. According to the spec sheet, it will sport an Intel Z3735F quad-core processor (64-bit, 2MB cache, up to 1.83GHz), 2GB of DDR3L memory, 32GB of eMMC storage, microSD card reader 802.11n Wi-Fi,... Read more...
The sly folks at Microsoft decided to snip $100 off the price of its Surface 2 tablets, bringing down the cost of entry to the Windows 8.1 RT tablet to $349 for the 32GB model. If you need more storage, the 64GB version is now priced at $449, and the 64GB with 4G LTE (on AT&T) baked in now goes for $579. What's most interesting about these price cuts is the timing. Microsoft is scheduled to host a press event on September 30 in which it's rumored the Redmond company will introduce Windows 9 (codenamed Threshold), followed by the availability of a Release Preview around the same time. There's also been chatter of Microsoft retooling Windows RT to get rid of the Desktop mode and add pen support.... Read more...
Are you suffering from a bout of the battery life blues? Microsoft may be able to help, provided you're running a Windows 8.1 system that supports InstantGo (previously called Connected Standby), a new power mode used on some Windows 8.x devices. If so, you can take advantage of a command line tool called Sleep Study. Sleep Study is part of the powercfg.exe utility in Windows 8.1 and RT 8.1. It's designed to tell you how well the system slept and how much activity it experienced while in a sleep state. As you know, there's still activity taking place when your system is in sleep mode, it just happens at a much lower frequency. The Sleep Study tool lets you track what's happening and potentially... Read more...
If you're planning to hike in the mountains or if your work takes you to locales that are off the beaten path, you may want to bring something a bit more durable than a standard tablet. That's where Xplore Technologies comes in -- the company just announced its Bobcat, a fully-rugged Windows 8.1 tablet with MIL-STD 801G certification and IP65 rating. Despite being rugged and tolerant of things like multiple drops from up to five feet and operating conditions of minus 4F (minus 20C) to 140F (60C) degrees, this silicon-filled slab is relatively lightweight and sleek. It measures 11.05 inches by 7.07 inches by 0.86 inches and weighs 2.4 pounds. That's not bad for a tablet that can take a beating.... Read more...
As one of the top-shelf systems in the company's mainstream line-up, the Inspiron 15 7537 is in an interesting position in Dell’s extensive family of laptops and ultrabooks. This laptop is too pricey to be considered affordable by most consumers, and yet it’s not quite in the same class as and doesn't have the luxury features of Dell’s XPS systems. Understandably, Dell’s premium XPS line gets a lot of attention in the press. We recently checked out the XPS 13 ultrabook and XPS 15 laptop and pegged them quality products for serious users. The Inspiron series is more likely to be overlooked by power users because the Inspiron 3000 and 5000 are Dell’s value and mainstream... Read more...
As one of the top-shelf systems in the company's mainstream line-up, the Inspiron 15 7537 is in an interesting position in Dell’s extensive family of laptops and ultrabooks. This laptop is too pricey to be considered affordable by most consumers, and yet it’s not quite in the same class as and doesn't have the luxury features of Dell’s XPS systems. Understandably, Dell’s premium XPS line gets a lot of attention in the press. We recently checked out the XPS 13 ultrabook and XPS 15 laptop and pegged them quality products for serious users. The Inspiron series is more likely to be overlooked by power users because the Inspiron 3000 and 5000 are Dell’s... Read more...
Riddle us this - what do Windows XP and Windows 8.1 have in common? They're both in Microsoft's rear view mirror, and come May 13, 2014, the latter will also no longer receive security updates. Scratching your head? Here's the thing -- Microsoft isn't abandoning its newest operating system, but it is forcing users to apply the latest update in order to keep receiving security patches. "Since Microsoft wants to ensure that customers benefit from the best support and servicing experience and to coordinate and simplify servicing across both Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1 RT and Windows 8.1, this update will be considered a new servicing/support baseline," Microsoft explains in a blog post.... Read more...
The long awaited "Update 1" to Windows 8.1 is reportedly scheduled to arrive on the MSDN channel on April 2, 2014, and via Windows Update on April 8, which is Patch Tuesday. Perhaps not coincidentally, Windows 8.1 Update 1 rolls into town just as support for Windows XP is coming to an official close after more than 12 years.of service. Those dates come from Paul Thurrott, owner of Supersite for Windows, who posted the information on Twitter. While that doesn't qualify as being official -- it's not coming directly from Microsoft, in other words -- Thurrott is generally on top of such things. Based on supposed leaks of the update, one of the rumored changes it will introduce is enabling the boot-to-desktop... Read more...
Windows 8 may not have been an instant hit with desktop users, but slowly and surely, Microsoft continues to improve upon the experience, most notably with the release of Windows 8.1. That's not the end of the road, however, as Microsoft has more tweaks in mind before the rumored launch of Windows 9 in 2015, starting with an update that's just around the corner. Word around the water cooler is that the forthcoming update is slated for a spring release. Reiterating rumors that we've heard before, a Russian language website posted some supposed screenshots of the update, one of which shows an icon for the Windows Store app sitting pretty on the taskbar. There's a also a setting called "Show Store... Read more...
Dell has something for everyone with its Venue 8 tablets, which come in both Android and Windows 8.1 flavors. The Venue 8 is the Android-based model, while the Venue 8 Pro runs the full version of Windows 8.1. Dell isn’t the first to put Windows 8.1 in an 8-inch form factor, but the field is still relatively new and small, so the Venue 8 Pro has been getting a fair share of attention. We checked out both models to see how they compare to each other and their competition... Dell Venue 8 Pro and Venue 8 Do Windows and Android... Read more...
Dell has something for everyone with its Venue 8 tablets, which come in both Android and Windows 8.1 flavors. The Venue 8 is the Android-based model, while the Venue 8 Pro runs the full version of Windows 8.1. Dell isn’t the first to put Windows 8.1 in an 8-inch form factor, but the field is still relatively new and small, so the Venue 8 Pro has been getting a fair share of attention. We checked out both models to see how they compare to each other and their competition. The Dell Venue 8, with Android 4.2.2. Side-by-side, the tablets look similar, but the two are very different beasts, as you’d guess from the price tags: the Venue 8 (Android) sells for $179.99, while the Venue 8 Pro... Read more...
As always, we're finding ASUS to be quite the busy body at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. That's to be expected when you consider that Asus has a robust product line that covers everything from smartphones to full-fledged laptops and everything in between. In terms of mobile devices, a couple of interesting products ASUS is showcasing include the Transformer Book Duet TD300 and VivoTab Note 8. Starting with the former, the Transformer Book Duet TD300 is being billed as the world's first quad-mode, dual-OS laptop and tablet convertible that allows users to switch between Windows 8.1 and Android 4.2.2 in either mode. Up until now, dual-booting convertibles usually booted into... Read more...
New rumors on an upcoming release of Windows could be sweet tidings for users who either aren't satisfied with the OS's current state or who have refused to upgrade to the present version. Microsoft is reportedly planning a new release of the operating system, codenamed Threshold -- and it contains two huge changes. According to long-time Windows guru Paul Thurrott, Windows Threshold will offer the following: Metro applications running in windowed mode on the desktop. A genuine Start Menu If true, these are features I'd upgrade for. Hurrah! It's 1987! Let's start with windowed more for Metro applications. One of the improvements to Windows 8.1 was that tiles could be two sizes (up from just one)... Read more...
Despite the upheaval and ensuing rumors Barnes & Noble endured this summer, the bookseller is showing signs of being committed to its NOOK platform. For one thing, the company recently launched new NOOK hardware in the form of the GlowLight. For another, it updated the NOOK app to take advantage of some cool new features in Windows 8.1. Neither move screams “NOOK forever!” but they’re encouraging signs. The updated NOOK app now supports interactive magazines, which hardware NOOKs have done for years. The app also lets you import and display ePub and PDF files from your SkyDrive and can open a document at your last viewed page. Barnes & Noble also improved search in the... Read more...
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