Gadgets Article (19)
ROCCAT Tusko Across-The-Board Widescreen Bag Review
» November 30, 2013 05:00PM
A close view of the ROCCAT Tusko Across-The-Board Widescreen Bag
Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Battle Dragon Bag Review
» October 27, 2013 05:00PM
Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Battle Dragon Bag
ROCCAT Into Street-Proof Messenger Bag Review
» August 20, 2013 05:00PM
A close look at the ROCCAT Into Street-Proof Messenger Bag
DefenderPad Laptop Radiation and Heat Shield Review
» August 12, 2013 05:00PM
DefenderPad Laptop Radiation and Heat Shield Review
TITAN Taichi TP-15TC & TP-25TC 2-in-1 USB Charger Review
» August 11, 2013 05:00PM
TITAN Taichi TP-15TC & TP-25TC 2-in-1 USB charger Review
Gadgets News (218)
Posted: March 4, 2014 01:19PM
Author: Brentt Moore
Initially announced in early 2012, the Roku Streaming Stick was meant to provide the same features that were available in Roku set top boxes at the time, within a smaller form factor. Sadly, the device was priced the same as Roku set top boxes and used MHL for its connection, making adoption of the device slow to say the least. Roku has redesigned the Streaming Stick, upgrading its applications to the latest available, incorporating HDMI instead of MHL, and reducing its price to $50. While the Roku Streaming stick is currently priced $15 higher than Google Chromecast, it features much more content available for streaming over its competitor.
Posted: February 27, 2014 02:54PM
Google's Project Ara was announced late last year and it seems Google is just about ready to release the details this April. Project Ara "aims to reinvent the smartphone by breaking it down into modules that can be assembled and customized in a limitless number of configurations."
The Project Ara concept originated from the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group at Motorola. Despite selling Motorola Mobility to Lenovo earlier this year, Google apparently held onto the ATAP group. Today, Google announced it will be holding three Ara Developers' Conferences throughout the year, with the first one taking place April 15-16. The event will take place at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, with tickets costing $100 ($25 for students), but it will also be streamed live online for no fee. This first event will focus on the alpha release of the Ara Module Developers' Kit (MDK), which is free for anyone to download.
Project Ara is exciting for a number of reasons. For one, Google is targeting a $50 price tag for the basic, Wi-Fi only model. From there, consumers will be able to purchase any number of modules to customize their phone to fit their needs, including the obvious "cellular connection" module. No longer would you be forced to pay for features you'd never use just because a manufacturer thinks they appeal to the masses. For example, you can choose the best camera module for your needs and budget. Or maybe you don't even need a camera at all and would rather put in a second battery? You can do that too. Many modules are hot-swappable, so you can actually keep a second battery connected and then swap in a camera module when needed.
The great thing about Project Ara is that you don't have to make those decisions right away – nor are you stuck with any decision you make. Maybe you go with a Tegra 4 chip now, but switch to Tegra K1 once that's released and/or after that drops in price. Project Ara basically provides the customization and upgradeability that PCs have enjoyed for years.
You'll also get to choose your size: "mini (rather basic), medium (mainstream) and jumbo (an oversized, phablet-style variant)." The endoskeleton, or endo for short, determines the size and is the one component that will be Google-branded. The endos are barebones aluminum frames that simply contain "a bit of networking circuitry so the modules can talk to each other, a tiny back-up battery and not much else." The modules you choose can be designed by any third-party manufacturer and each endo fits a certain amount – the medium endo has space for ten, while the other two were not mentioned. As you can see in the images below, modules come in different sizes, but as long as you select the correct size, almost anything can go anywhere.
The problem with going the modular route is of course the size. Modules are 4mm thick, with the current prototype coming in at 9.7mm when everything is assembled into the endo. That's markedly thicker than the 7.6mm iPhone 5S and 8.1mm Galaxy S5. There was also no mention on weight, though that would obviously depend on the components selected. And what if you drop the phone? Will the modules go flying in all different directions? Well, not all testing has been completed since it's only in the prototype phase, but the front modules are "secured with latches," while the back modules use "electropermanent magnets." Both front and back are locked in place via an app on the phone, so you would theoretically have to disengage the locking mechanism through the app to remove a module.
Of course, Google still needs third-party manufacturers to get on board with the idea, but the company is optimistic. In fact, it hopes to have the product on the market a year from now. 2015 could be a very interesting year in the mobile market.
Posted: February 21, 2014 10:55AM
Amazon is set to release a new product before long, but it isn't a Kindle. No, this time Amazon is gearing up for an Android console or set-top box launch, with the latest pegging it as early as next month. It's not known whether Amazon's product will be a set-top box, like the earlier rumors said, or a game console à la the Ouya, like last month's rumor said. Considering we're a week removed from March, Amazon is definitely playing things close to its chest.
Regardless of what this new product will be exactly, chances are high it will run Google's Android operating system to easily take advantange of Amazon's Appstore. However, there's no telling if the console/set-top box will use stock Android, the heavily modified Fire OS, or something else entirely. It's likely the price will be under $300, and considering Amazon recently acquired game developer Double Helix Games, maybe there will be a killer title on it before long.
The Mobile World Congress starts in a few days, so could we have an announcement made there or soon after? We'll just have to wait and see.
Posted: February 20, 2014 01:17PM
Author: Brentt Moore
Officially announced by Microsoft, the Xbox One media remote will be heading to worldwide retail outlets for purchase in March of this year. The new remote allows users of the Xbox One to control various aspects of their television, receiver, and console. It also lets users control streaming media and Blu-ray video playback. A dedicated back button allows for simple navigation through menus found within the user interface of the Xbox One, and the exclusive OneGuide button provides quick access to movies and television shows. The Xbox One media remote features a silicone finish that is soft to the touch, as well as a motion activated backlight that illuminates the buttons located on the remote.
The new Xbox One media remote by Microsoft will retail for $24.99 ERP.
Source: Xbox Wire
Posted: February 16, 2014 01:58PM
Fitness trackers and monitors like Fitbit are becoming increasingly popular these days, but they're another piece of equipment you have worry about – and remember to grab. Most people who exercise regularly listen to music while doing so, so wouldn't it be better if one device could provide both? Enter The Dash.
The Dash is a pair of wireless in-ear headphones that combines a slew of features you'd normally need a variety of devices for. It's an all-in-one device that manufacturer Bragi breaks down into three categories: Listen, Track, and Communicate.
Under the Listen component, The Dash offers crisp and clear sound without any cables thanks to the Bluetooth connection between the two ear pieces. You can also use Bluetooth to play music from a Bluetooth-enabled device, such as a smartphone, but it also includes 4GB of space built-in, so you can store songs directly in The Dash as well. The Dash comes with three sizes of silicone sleeves that should provide a secure and comfortable fit for anyone. Each Dash ear piece weighs less than 13.8 grams, and with no cables pulling them and an ergonomic, three-point fit, using the correct silicone sleeve should provide a secure fit for "94% of all people."
The Track component is what really sets these headphones apart. The Dash can track your performance (pace, steps, cadence, and distance), measure your body vitals (heart rate, oxygen saturation, and energy spent), keep track of your goals, and provide you with realtime acoustic feedback. The Dash is compatible with third-party applications, or you can use Bragi's own app. You are able to use The Dash without a smartphone, but some of the tracking utilizes the GPS of the phone and thus will not get tracked.
If you do have your smartphone with you, that's where the Communicate component comes in. The Dash can work as a Bluetooth headset, complete with passive noise isolation and audio transparency. The Dash uses an "ear bone microphone" that allows it to pick up the "mechanical vibration generated by your voice from the ear bone."
All the controls, outside of using a smartphone app, are done by touching either the left or right ear piece, but instead of me explaining it, Bragi supplied this handy image:
The Dash is currently undergoing a Kickstarter campaign, and with 42 days still remaining, it has already blown past its $260,000 goal – at the time of this writing, it's approaching $1.7 million with over 8,000 backers. Probably not surprising, The Dash does not come cheap. There was an Early Bird special for the first 1,000 backers to grab a pair at $179, but that's sold out, so now the minimum is $199. Still, if this is something you're interested in, the suggested retail price is expected to be $299, so Kickstarter backers do enjoy a substantial discount. There are also various developer packages to choose from if you'd like to get your hands on a pair of prototypes and/or start developing more applications for it.
Purchasing any of The Dash packages gets you a left and right ear piece, three sizes (S/M/L) of silicone sleeves, a micro USB cable, a slick carrying case, the Bragi app, a manual, and two Bragi stickers to show off your loyalty. Thanks to the $666,667 stretch goal that has already easily been achieved, the carrying case features a built-in battery pack that can fully charge The Dash in less than an hour and provides up to five full charges.
Speaking of battery life, The Dash is expected to "at least provide 3 hours of battery life when all sensors are in use and up to 4 hours when only playing music." Using the Advanced Control Center (which was the second stretch goal), there are power saving features you can enable that can increase the battery life under certain uses. There is a battery life expectancy of at least three years with 1.6 charges per day, so it should last quite awhile. That being said, the battery is not replaceable due to the waterproofing of the ear pieces. Yes, if you like to run in the rain or even swim, you can still utilize The Dash – though with the latter, some functionality (like Bluetooth to a phone) gets disabled.
The Dash is certainly a unique device and features a lot of cool and interesting technology. Check out the images below and/or the Kickstarter page to learn more about the technical details.
Source: Kickstarter and Press Release
Posted: February 14, 2014 06:12PM
Author: Brentt Moore
The Samsung Galaxy Gear is now on sale within AT&T retail outlets. The Galaxy Gear is a smartwatch that is able to be synchronized with smartphones in order to provide notifications, texts, voice calls, and other information. The newly announced sale provides a $100 discount for the Samsung Galaxy Gear, as long as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Active, or Galaxy Mega is purchased at an AT& retail outlet. AT&T is even allowing customers who have already purchased an eligible device before the sale was announced to receive the $100 discount for the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
At this point in time, no specific end date for the sale has been released.
Posted: February 11, 2014 06:17PM
Professional bowler Jason Belmonte isn't sponsored by Google, but he damn well should be. There's a lot of debate about the usefulness and validity of Google Glass, but watching a perfect game through one is certainly a check mark in the positive column. While some amateur athletes have recorded scrimmages using Google Glass, Belmonte is the first professional athlete to wear one during a competition, which occurred this past December.
Since Belmonte isn't sponsored by Google, acquiring Google Glass was no easy task for the Australian. One of Google's requirements for its $1,500 "Explorers" program is that potential Explorers must be able to attend a "fitting" in New York or San Francisco prior to taking one home. To get around this requirement, he bought an invite on eBay and then had a "friend's friend's friend's girlfriend" talk to Google before it was finally sent to him in Australia.
Even though Belmonte had 61 perfect games under his belt prior to using Google Glass, he certainly felt a lot of added pressure. According to Belmonte, the perfect game seen in the video below was his second game wearing Google Glass in competition, while he "practiced maybe 2 games earlier in the week with them." Meanwhile, Belmonte thinks this is just the beginning for the world of sports. "The day that [Seattle Seahawk Richard] Sherman wears them on the field, that would be the day the technology is integrated," he said. "Of course, if you get tackled by a 300-pound guy, the glassware is definitely going to break. I don't have to worry about tackling so much."
For most of you, this will probably be the closest you ever get to a first-person perspective of a perfect game:
Source: Yahoo Tech
Posted: February 10, 2014 02:59PM
Most concept cars never actually hit the consumer market, but that doesn't stop attendees at auto shows from drooling over them. At the New Delhi Auto Show this past week, attendees had a new reason to drool – the Renault KWID Concept. While the KWID includes a slew of features and interesting design decisions, the most unique is "the world's first built-in quadcopter," which Renault is calling the Flying Companion.
Hidden beneath a rear pivoting roof section, once deployed, the Flying Companion can either "run through a programmed flying sequence using GPS coordinates" in automatic mode, or be controlled manually by passengers inside the car via an integrated tablet to the left of the center-aligned steering wheel. The Flying Companion can be used to scout traffic or road conditions ahead, or be used to unearth those rare-to-find parking spots in a large city.
While the Flying Companion certainly sets this concept car apart, its looks are also quite unique. As alluded to earlier, the driver's seat and steering wheel is actually positioned in the center, flanked by two passenger seats, allowing the KWID to be usable in all countries without reconfiguration, regardless of the side of the road people drive on. The seating is also quite unique, featuring "a mix of two-tone elastomer straps laid out over a solid white bench," which is supposedly supposed to be better in warmer climates.
The KWID was designed with new emerging markets like India in mind, so whether it would ever come to the US or even hit the consumer market is anyone's guess – but it's certainly an interesting concept.
Posted: February 3, 2014 02:34PM
Author: Brentt Moore
Paick International has introduced a new portable battery to its current line of power banks, known as Sleek. The new device offers a whopping 6000mAh battery that charges devices via an attached micro USB cable that also works as a carrying handle. The battery can be charged over 500 times and takes a total of eight hours to completely charge to maximum capacity. Sleek also features a glossy coating that is UV processed and scratch resistant, adding to the quality of the device. Additionally, the Paick Sleek resembles a smartphone in regards to its dimensions, and only weighs five ounces.
Sleek is available for immediate purchase from Amazon, and is priced at $49.99 MSRP.
Source: Press Release
Posted: January 7, 2014 04:06PM
Author: Brentt Moore
Announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Razer is launching its new smartband, the Razer Nabu. The device is able to connect to a smartphone in order to provide notifications to a user such as incoming calls, texts, emails, and even application updates. Razer is including more technology than just notifications however, as the Razer Nabu is also able to track data for self-analysis. Examples of data that the smartband can track and collect include band-to-band communication, biometric data feedback, location information, and sleep statistics. An included application can take this data and share it with others, depending on the permissions set by the user. Privacy was a forethought in development, with the ability to opt-in and opt-out of the collective services. The Razer Nabu allows for social discovery, finding nearby friends and acquaintances based on settings defined by the user.
The Razer Nabu features an accelerometer, altimeter, and cylindrical vibration motor. The Nabu utility application for the smartband is able to work on iOS and Android devices. Battery life is also substantial, with the Razer Nabu able to go seven days between charges.
Available worldwide within the first quarter of this year, the Razer Nabu currently does not have a set price for retail. Developers can purchase the smartband for $49, however.
Source: Press Release
Posted: January 2, 2014 06:34PM
Author: Brentt Moore
A new lineup of personal entertainment headphones has been announced by Razer. Dubbed the Razer Adaro family, four new models are being introduced and include bass-heavy earphones, analog stereo headphones, Bluetooth headphones, and DJ-style headphones. The base-heavy in-ear analog earphones feature high-performance 10 mm dynamic drivers, an anti-tangle cord, and a carrying case. The analog stereo headphones are fully adjustable and incorporate custom-tuned 40 mm dynamic drivers, an anti-tangle braided fiber cable, and leatherette ear cushions. The Bluetooth headphones allow for up to 20 hours of playback, have a lightweight form factor, and boast playback and volume controls. Lastly, the DJ-style headphones feature high-performance 50 mm dynamic drivers, a fully adjustable and foldable architecture, and included .25-inch audio adapter.
All four new models focus on comfort, durability, and sound quality. The Razer Adaro family of headphones are available for pre-order now and ship worldwide in February. Customers can order the bass-heavy in-ear analog earphones for $79.99, the analog stereo headphones for $99.99, the Bluetooth headphones for $149.99, and the DJ-style headphones for $199.99.
Source: Press Release
Posted: September 4, 2013 04:50PM
Sony held its IFA 2013 press conference earlier today, but one rather large item was revealed a little later. The technology giant introduced the KDL-65S990A TV, which is the world's first curved-screen LED TV. Previous curved-screen TVs were of the OLED variety, so the fact that Sony managed this feat without resorting to that ultra slim technology is quite impressive. As for the KDL-65S990A, it's a 65", 1080p model with Triluminos color technology like Sony's other recent TVs, as well as eight built-in speakers. Those speakers are angled in different directions given the screen's curved design, which should better simulate surround sound than flat TVs. There's also plenty of other features, like Smart Connect media sharing, second screen content with SideView, and even one-touch NFC remote pairing so you can view content from your smartphone on your TV.
The Sony KDL-65S990A is expected to arrive worldwide in October for $3,999.99. It's certainly much more affordable than the curved-screen OLED TVs.
Posted: September 4, 2013 10:15AM
Bionym, a Toronto-based company specialized in biometrics and authentication technology for consumer electronics, just put its first product up for pre-order. The Nymi is a Bluetooth bracelet that will basically recognize your unique heartbeat, and then interacts with a wide range of devices to identify and authenticate you as long as you wear it. The device is based on a "Trinity" concept that offers a unique approach to personal information security. According to Bionym, "The Nymi functions on a 3-factor security system. To take control of your identity you must have your Nymi, your unique heartbeat and an Authorized Authentication Device (AAD), which would be a smartphone or device registered with our app."
The possible applications are virtually endless. The demo video shows that the Nymi could interact with a car, cellphone, computer, tablet, smart-TV, point-of-sale, and even an automated home thermostat. The device is also equipped with a gyroscope and an accelerometer, which makes simple gesture recognition possible such as popping the trunk of your car open.
The first 25,000 units are up for grabs at an introductory price of $79; so far more than 1600 believers already pre-ordered the device. If your heart is in the right place, you might want to give it a try too!
Posted: July 12, 2013 02:44PM
Author: Tobias Thydal
This may come as a surprise for most, but it appears that Chromebooks are actually in high demand these days. And that is despite the huge decline in PC sales at the moment.
Chromebooks currently account for 20-25 percent of all budget laptops sold in the US, and that is expected to increase by 10 percent this year, according to analyst firm NPD Group. "While we were skeptical initially, I think Chromebooks definitely have found a niche in the marketplace" said Stephen Baker, an analyst at NPD Group.
Although Chromebooks sell well, the market share is still quite small. In the first quarter of this year, the market share for Chromebooks was at 4-5 percent, but that is still an improvement over the 2 percent the chromebooks had in the first quarter of 2012. So maybe there is some truth to Google's claim that last year 10 percent of all laptops sold at PC World (US only) were Chromebooks.
Samsung and Acer have sold Chromebooks since 2011, while HP was a little later to the party with its Pavilion 14 that started shipping earlier this year. And then of course there is Google's flagship, the Pixel Chromebook.
Source: PC Pro
Posted: July 1, 2013 02:57PM
Author: Nick Harezga
It is possible that Apple will be going forward with plans to create a rumored smartwatch as it is being reported that the company has applied for a trademark on the name iWatch. Analyst at Creative Strategies Tim Bajarin said, "Apple doesn't like to take a leadership position, but when they see a product that's caught the consumer's attention, they really take notice," citing examples like the Pebble watch that got its start on Kickstarter. Samsung is another major player that is about to release its own product and there appears to be a "positive response from consumers to tech devices you can wear." An additional report from Bloomberg cites "two people familiar with the company's plans" who have said that Apple has assigned a team of 100 designers to work on the watch.
Source: Mercury News
Posted: June 24, 2013 07:41PM
When you think of a tablet, typically you're going to picture a device with a screen somewhere in the seven to ten-inch range. HP, however, is thinking a little differently, as it unveiled a 21.5-inch tablet earlier in the day. This Android-powered tablet is called the Slate 21 and it's being billed as an all-in-one computer, with NVIDIA's Tegra 4 running the show. The Slate 21 features a 1920x1080 IPS touchscreen with an HP TruVision HD webcam, dual band wireless, Wireless Direct, and DTS Sound, although other specifications are kind of lacking. On the rear there's a kickstand that allows for the Slate 21 to be stood upright or dropped down to a 30° angle, hopefully so it could be used as a drawing pad. The best thing about the HP Slate 21 is it's set to arrive this September for a mere $400.
Posted: June 4, 2013 03:29PM
Patriot Memory is perhaps best known for its line of RAM and storage options, but today it's announcing a new addition to its line of mobile products. The Patriot FUEL+ series consists of a variety of mobile rechargeable batteries for a range of devices. Each FUEL+ battery is designed to provide the best and easiest way to keep your mobile devices powered up. They even work when the FUEL+ itself is being charged. The FUEL+ 1500mAh is fully MFI certified and includes a Lightning adapter for use with the Apple iPhone 5, iPad Mini, Fifth Generation iPod Touch, and Seventh Generation iPod Nano. For those needing a bit more juice, there's the FUEL+ 2200mAh and 3000mAh that's perfect for smartphone and smaller tablets (think 7-8.9" range). If you need as much power as possible, there's the FUEL+ 5200, 6000, 7800, and 9000mAH batteries, which include two USB ports (with one able to provide 2.5 amps of power). That last batch is for anyone with a larger tablet or a mobile device that just needs to be charged as quick as possible.
All of Patriot's FUEL+ mobile rechargeable batteries launch later this month, although no prices were mentioned. Each one comes with a two-year warranty.
Source: Press Release
Posted: May 31, 2013 12:25PM
Razer doesn't intend to sit by with its Blade laptop when there's all this new hardware on the horizon. It also doesn't intend to just have one size for gamers to choose from, as Razer is introducing a 14" version of the Blade that doesn't lack in power compared to its big brother. The 14" Blade features a fourth-generation Intel Core processor (Haswell), 8GB of DDR3L 1600MHz RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M GPU with 2GB of VRAM. Its display is a 14", LED backlit, 1600x900 resolution screen that should be perfect for many. A 128GB SSD is standard on each Razer Blade, but there's an option to increase it to 256 or 512GB if you need more storage. The Blade comes in at 0.66" thick and weighs 4.135 pounds. Razer promises six hours of battery life on the Blade, which is nice to see on a 14" laptop.
As for the bigger laptop, Razer has renamed the 17" one to the Blade Pro. It packs the same processor, GPU, and RAM as the Blade, but features a 17.3", LED backlit, 1920x1080 resolution screen. It also makes use of the Switchblade User Interface (SBUI) so users can utilize a variety of apps and tools. There are ten "dynamic adaptive tactile keys" and an LCD trackpad for SBUI, plus Razer has some new apps to take advantage of programs like Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Maya, GIMP, and others. It is a little bigger at 0.88" thick and 6.5 pounds. The Blade Pro looks similar to its predecessor on the outside, just with a new name and hardware inside. Both the Blade and Blade Pro include three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out, a Killer N NIC, Dolby Home Theater v4, and a full-size keyboard with adjustable backlighting.
Source: Press Release
Posted: May 20, 2013 07:07PM
Samsung is getting set to show off some new display technology during the Society for Information Display's Display Week 2013, which runs from May 21 to 23 in Vancouver, BC, Canada. It'll have a large assortment of sizes and technologies there, including a 1920x1080 AMOLED display with a broad color gamut of 94% Adobe RGB for mobile phones, and an 85-inch Ultra HD LCD TV panel. On the computer side, Samsung will have a 10.1", 2560x1600 LCD panel for laptops, and a 13.3" screen for laptops with a 3200x1800 resolution. No, that isn't a mistake; this panel really does pack a 3200x1800 resolution in only a 13.3" format. It translates to 276 pixels per inch, but that isn't what Samsung is most proud of with this screen. It's designed to increase power savings by 30% compared to past models, thanks to a lower number of drive circuits and a more efficient LED backlight unit.
There's no telling when this 3200x1800 resolution screen will land, but it's certainly amazing to see such a high resolution in a screen so small. Now, if only panel manufacturers can produce 16:10 panels again with that kind of efficiency and pixel density.
Source: Business Wire
Posted: May 3, 2013 10:05PM
Good news for anyone with or looking to get a Barnes and Noble Nook HD or HD+ e-reader, as the company announced both devices now have access to the Google Play store. Before the two could only access Nook Apps, which were separate from regular Android apps, despite the use of a heavily modified version of Android 4.0. Now, however, the Nook HD and HD+ are more akin to other Android tablets, as well as moving ahead of the Amazon Kindle Fire and Fire HD. The update for the Nook HD and HD+ should have arrived earlier today over WiFi, so be sure to connect to an available network if you haven't received the update prompt. Once installed, you can browse more than 700,000 apps to get whatever you desire on your Nook HD or HD+, plus more music, movies, and TV shows.
Source: Business Wire
Posted: April 11, 2013 06:38PM
Last summer Microsoft took the wraps off the Surface tablet, its own version of what a Windows 8-powered tablet should be. There are two versions of the Surface available, yet each one has a 10.6" touchscreen to draw you in. However, 10" tablets only make up a part of the market, as there are plenty in the 7 to 8-inch range from the likes of Google, ASUS, Samsung, and Apple. That hasn't been lost on Microsoft apparently, as a new report claims the company is creating a 7" Surface tablet due to arrive later this year. This isn't the first time a 7" tablet has been in the news recently with Microsoft. Last November an Xbox Surface with a 7" screen was reportedly in development, but nothing has been heard of it since.
A 7" Surface tablet would carry a lower price than its 10.6" counterparts, which typically means a broader appeal with consumers. It'd also mean something that's easier to carry around, both in terms of size and weight. We can't get too far ahead of ourselves though, as all of this is just rumor until something definitive comes from Microsoft.
Source: Ars Technica
Posted: February 25, 2013 07:57PM
In the world of smartphones and tablets, thin is most definitely in. Each company tries to get the thinnest design possible, with new iterations vying for the crown. Earlier today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Sony took the wraps off "the world's thinnest 10.1-inch tablet:" the Xperia Tablet Z. Sony's latest tablet measures in at an impossibly thin 6.9 millimeters, yet it packs a 1920x1200 resolution touchscreen, a quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, either 16 or 32GB of storage, runs on Android 4.1 (upgradeable to 4.2 "after launch"), and can work in three feet of water for 30 minutes. There's also a microSD slot to add up to an extra 64GB of storage should you desire. The Xperia Tablet Z has an eight megapixel camera on the rear and a two megapixel one on the front, plus there's an IR blaster to function as a TV remote of sorts.
Owners of the tablet can download the TV SideView app, which works in tandem with cable/satellite providers to view the channel guide and currently airing content. If there's a show on, owners can simply swipe up on the Tablet Z to automatically have the cable box switch to the channel. Since the app and tablet work on IR and not WiFi, it's a perfect addition to anyone not using a networked TV or set-top box.
Sony is planning on releasing the Xperia Tablet Z in the spring, though no solid date was announced. The 16GB tablet with WiFi is priced at $499, with the 32GB WiFi version at $599. There are no plans to introduce a 4G model currently.
Source: Ars Technica
Posted: January 29, 2013 07:20PM
Rumors began to rumble yesterday about a larger Apple iPad, and, perhaps not so surprisingly, that is exactly the case. Apple has introduced a 128GB version of its fourth-generation iPad today that is due to arrive on Feburary 5. It'll come in black or white and with or without a 4G LTE, but you may want to hold off on grabbing that credit card just yet. This large capacity iPad comes in at $799 for the WiFi model or $929 for the 4G LTE model. That high price buys you double the storage of what was previously available, and is Apple's answer to developers wanting more space for apps. Autodesk's AutoCAD WS app is just one example, as the large and extremely detailed files were pushing the limits of current iPads. Now that shouldn't be much of an issue, especially if the iPad is serving as a laptop replacement.
Source: Ars Technica
Posted: January 12, 2013 01:09AM
This is certainly not something Microsoft needs to have happen, but it is what it is. Samsung announced it has canceled plans for all Windows RT tablets in the United States, even after it previously announced the ATIV Tab. Samsung USA's senior vice president of Consumer IT Product Marketing, Mike Abary, revealed the company's retail partners showed a modest demand for Windows RT. He also said it'd take too much time and money to tell customers the benefits of Windows RT, so now there's no need. Samsung's decision could end up hurting Microsoft's plans for the tablet world, which is something it's seeked to increase after the popularity of Google and Apple devices. Windows RT already lost HP when the Microsoft Surface was unveiled, and now with the loss of Samsung, things are that much tougher.
Posted: January 8, 2013 03:23PM
Last CES, Razer introduced the world to Project Fiona, a PC gaming tablet with attached controllers. Over the year Project Fiona became a reality and Razer took to asking its fans what they wanted to see in it. An initial line of specifications was hammered out, with an estimated price between $1,299 and $1,499. Now, right about one year later, Razer has shown off its PC gaming tablet again but this time as the Edge. The Razer Edge comes in a standard and Pro flavor, with the Edge starting at $999 and the Edge Pro at $1,299. Each one has a 10.1" touchscreen with a 1366x768 resolution, an Intel Core processor, NVIDIA graphics, and Windows 8.
The Edge features a Core i5 dual-core at 1.7GHz with a 2.6GHz Turbo clock and Hyper Threading support, 4GB DDR3-1600, a 64GB SSD, and a 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M LE. The Edge Pro ups the processor to a Core i7 dual-core at 1.9GHz and a 3.0GHz Turbo with Hyper Threading, 8GB DDR3-1600, a 128 or 256GB SSD, and a 2GB NVIDIA GT 640M LE. Both have 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, stereo speakers, HD webcam (two megapixels front-facing), array microphones, Dolby Home Theater v4, one USB 3.0 port, and audio in/out.
What sets the Razer Edge apart from other tablets is the Gamepad Controller. The Edge docks into the Gamepad and gives users total control over their games with dual analog sticks and backlit directional pad and face buttons. There are two bumpers and a trigger on the back of each controller as well, plus there's an optional extended battery for prolonged mobile gaming. Razer has designed it to be compatible with the "hottest Games for Windows PC titles," so it looks like gaming on the go just received a huge boost.
If you're more of a tradtional mouse and keyboard gamer, Razer has you covered there with the Keyboard Dock. It has a fairly truncated shape with no trackpad, so you'll either need to connect a mouse or just use the Edge's touchscreen. An acoustic chamber on the Keyboard Dock directs the Edge's speakers through it to enhance the audio experience, plus there's an option for an extended battery with it.
Razer also has the big screen gaming crowd covered with a Docking Station able to connect to a computer monitor or TV. It adds three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out, and audio in/out to the Edge, so you can use your own mouse and keyboard with it at your desk. Connect it to a TV through HDMI though, and you can play games through Steam's Big Picture and some regular controllers. The Docking Station also charges your Razer Edge so you won't have to worry about running down the battery.
The Razer Edge and Edge Pro are available to pre-order through Razer's store, but there isn't an announced release date just yet. The Keyboard Dock, Docking Station, Gamepad Controller are all sold separately, for $199.99, $99.99, and $249.99, respectively.
Posted: January 4, 2013 02:26AM
CES 2013 is still several days away, but that isn't stopping companies like Samsung from revealing some new gear a little early. Samsung has shown off a brand new Ultrabook, refreshed the Chronos series, and introduced a multi-touch monitor for people running Windows 8. The new Ultrabook is part of the Series 7 Ultra line, which is a 13" model equipped with or without a touchscreen based on configuration. It's CPU can either be a Core i5 or i7, storage can be 128 or 256GB, and up to 16GB of RAM. That 13" screen is 1920x1080 and powered by a 1GB AMD HD8570M graphics chip. A backlit keyboard, JBL speakers, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, HDMI, Ethernet, mini-VGA, and a memory card reader round out the package. No word on WiFi, but I suspect it'll be the usual 802.11b/g/n. Samsung rates the battery life at eight hours, which is probably the model without a touchscreen.
The Series 7 Chronos laptops will receive a rather nice upgrade, as the 15" model features an AMD HD8870M with RAMaccelerator technology to increase browsing and general usage by 150%. A 2.4GHz Intel Core i7 3635QM CPU, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 1TB of storage, and a 1920x1080 display should get many people salivating, while the thinner chassis (0.82 inches versus 0.94) means better portability. There's also JBL speakers, a backlit keyboard, the usual ports (two each USB 2.0 and 3.0, Ethernet, HDMI), and an optional touchscreen to round out the rest. Battery life is rated at eleven hours, which is impressive if it holds up in practice.
At last we come to the monitors, which join Samsung's Series 7 line. The 24" model is the multi-touch one, while the 27" lacks touch capabilities. That 24" version, Series 7 Touch (SC770), has a 1920x1080 panel, support for ten touch inputs, 178° viewing angles, and can tilt up to 60° for ease of use. The 27" model, Series 7 (SC750), also has a 1080p screen, but can pivot 90° to view content in landscape or portrait mode.
Samsung did not divulge when the Series 7 Ultra and Series 7 Chronos would arrive or at what price, but both models can be checked out at CES next week. The Series 7 monitors are set to arrive in the first quarter of this year, although no prices were mentioned.
Posted: December 1, 2012 02:10AM
Just the other day Microsoft revealed the price of the Surface with Windows 8 Pro, with $899 netting you a very nice tablet running the latest version of Windows. It also has a 1080p screen, 4GB of RAM, and an Intel Core i5 processor and HD 4000 graphics to make it a worthwhile upgrade over the Windows RT version. However, there is a bit of a downside to the Windows 8 Pro tablet, and that is the battery life. Microsoft revealed the Surface with Windows 8 Pro has about half the battery life of the Windows RT version, which means around four and a half hours on a full charge. That time can vary, of course, but it's a far cry from the nine or so hours of the RT tablet. The Windows 8 Pro tablet does turn off WiFi and other connectivity options while hibernating, which is a nice positive.
When you look at it from a price to battery life angle, the Surface with Windows 8 Pro sits very nicely in with the Ultrabooks (as it's intended), although it does fall a little short of those in battery life. Still, it's an alternative for anyone wanting a pure touch screen device that isn't lacking any Windows 8 features.
Posted: November 29, 2012 08:17PM
Back when Microsoft unveiled its new Surface tablet, it hinted at the price for the Windows 8 Pro version but wouldn't commit to anything. Last month the Windows RT version was priced at $499, but again no mention of the W8 Pro one. Today, however, that all changes as Microsoft has officially revealed the Surface with Windows 8 Pro starts at $899, which sets it squarely in the range of the lowest priced Ultrabooks. This Surface tablet has the full Windows 8 Pro experience, complete with an Intel Core i5 processor and up to 128GB of storage. You also get all the other features of the Surface tablet, like a stylus to make taking notes easier, a mini DisplayPort for hooking up to larger monitors, a full-size USB 3.0 port, and even a microSDXC slot to transfer files. The whole tablet comes in at 13.5mm thin and weighs under two pounds, so you aren't sacrificing much portability for a powerful device.
Microsoft hasn't revealed an exact release date for the Surface with Windows 8 Pro, but it should be available early next year.
Posted: November 20, 2012 11:04AM
The future is quite massive for televisions, but the new Ultra High Definition TVs need some content to show that gorgeous 4K resolution. Luckily, the Sony XBR-84X900 includes "the world's first 4K Ultra HD delivery solution," which even includes some pre-loaded 4K content. There's no specifics on what exactly the delivery system is for the content or what is being pre-loaded, but Sony's Ray Hartjen promises "full length feature Hollywood productions" and an announcement after Thursday. Excited? You should be, as the XBR-84X900 features an 84" screen with a 3840x2160 resolution. The only downside to this gigantic TV and 4K content is the $25,000 price tag. It'll be shipping in a couple more weeks to anyone who already pre-ordered, however, so at least there is that.
Posted: November 15, 2012 12:45AM
January and a new year are nearly upon us, which means the annual Consumer Electronics Show will begin in Las Vegas. There's going to be plenty of new products on display from all the electronics companies, but perhaps one of the biggest items is something from Samsung. The Korean tech giant plans to bring an 85" Ultra High Definition TV sporting eight million pixels to CES 2013, with Samsung calling it "the world's largest commercialized UHD LED TV." Odds are that claim will be challenged before long, but still, an 85" UHDTV is very impressive. No word on price or release date on the monster TV, but that should be forthcoming. If not, CES 2013 isn't too far away.