Two new laptops from Acer have turned up at the annual CeBit trade show held in Hanover, Germany.
The Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3, in addition to having a really long name, is a 15-inch ultrabook (meaning it meets Intel's specifications for using that trademarked term), and it breaks new ground by including a discrete graphics card and an optical drive. Acer says of the system:
The latest Timeline series is slimmer and lighter than its predecessors (measuring just 20 mm thin), without compromising its state-of-the-art performance. In fact, the new Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 raises the bar by being the first Ultrabook with dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GT640M graphics for enhanced content creation and consumption.
It's tempting to say that there hasn't been as fully realized a science fiction universe in a generation as the one presented in the Mass Effect games, which include the just-released Mass Effect 3 (read GameSpot's review here). The game's impressive reach is supported by novels, comic books, apps, and a fanatically loyal fan base (that recently forced a tie-in novel back to the editing desk for corrections to continuity). Sci-fi blog io9 makes much the same argument, calling it, "one of the most important pieces of science fiction narrative of our generation."
Does the trilogy's end deliver? We step back into the shoes of Commander Shepard for one last trip through the galaxy.… Read more
Building a successful living room console that's nearly identical to a desktop gaming PC has long been one of the interactive entertainment industry's unfulfilled goals. After all, the catalog of games for a PC-based console could easily dwarf any proprietary living room console. In a best-case scenario, indie developers could hypothetically release whatever they wanted, without having to get games approved by Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo (and without cutting those big companies in on the profits). And, of course, there's also the better graphics and more precise controls offered by high-end PC hardware.
Recent reports, first on The Verge, then followed up by Kotaku and others, claimed that Valve, the PC gaming company best known for the Half-Life and Portal games, was working on just such a PC-based console, anchored by an Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GPU, and controlled with a new hybrid game pad. And, of course, as Valve also controls Steam, a leading online PC game store, there could be a sizable catalog of content potentially in play.
But before anyone gets too excited about being able to play high-end PC games on a big-screen living room TV (I've tried lugging over a gaming laptop and hooking it up via HDMI, but it's just not the same), it would be wise to remember the last time people thought a PC-based console was imminent. The device was called The Phantom, a name that would end up being unintentionally apt. My encounter with the Phantom, from a company then called Infinium Labs, dates back to CES 2005. … Read more
Acer, Asus, Toshiba, and Lenovo took part in the first wave of ultrabook laptops late last year, releasing impressive systems all less than 18 millimeters thick, and each with second-generation Intel Core i-series processors and solid-state storage, all required parts of Intel's ultrabook spec.
Some of the biggest names in mobile computing--HP and Dell--were not among the first movers in this new category (Ultrabook is actually a trademarked Intel marketing term). However, both of those PC giants now have 13-inch ultrabooks available, and they've taken leading positions in our ongoing ultrabook battle royale. … Read more
It's become very fashionable lately to talk down the personal computer. HP infamously flirted with dropping out of the PC business before backtracking under a new CEO, and a Dell executive recently said, "We're no longer a PC company, we're an IT company." Add two years of non-stop iPad fever (and the resultant tablet gold rush), and that old-fashioned keyboard-touchpad-screen device sitting on your lap suddenly seems very out of style. … Read more
What is Microsoft releasing today? Starting today, you can download the Consumer Preview beta version of Windows 8 (as well as the beta of Windows Server 8 and the beta of Visual Studio 11). The Consumer Preview version is free and available to the general public to try out.
This week we show off the new Dell XPS 13, or as we like to call it, the DellBook Air. Plus, check out the latest PlayStation Vita media and social apps, and watch us play with the half-phone, half-tablet Samsung Galaxy Note.
The long-awaited Dell ultrabook is here. Having skipped the first round of new superslim laptops, the new XPS 13 is largely worth the wait, and hits a lot of what you'd want in an ultrabook.
At $999 for a 128GB SSD and Intel Core i5-2467M CPU, the XPS 13 is reasonably priced, although HP, Toshiba, and others offer similar specs for $100 or so less. Working in Dell's favor are the system's excellent build quality--the body is a mix of aluminum, magnesium alloy, and carbon fiber--and its smaller footprint. It's not quite a 13-inch laptop in an 11-inch body, but it's in the ballpark. … Read more
One of the advantages the physical version of your Sunday newspaper has over the digital edition is the inclusion of all those weekly sales fliers. The ones I look forward to are from Best Buy, Staples, and other tech-heavy stores, with all the latest sales and new products. However, beyond the color photos and bold-face prices, the actual details about the products on display can be hard to decipher. … Read more