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
This unique-looking system caught our eye thanks to sheets of Corning Gorilla Glass covering both sides of the lid, plus additional glass over the entire wrist rest and touch pad.
At CES, we said of the 14-inch system: "Compared to thin 13-inch ultrabooks and laptops like the MacBook Air, the Envy 14 Spectre is no lightweight. The 20mm-thick, 14-inch ultrabook fits within the size guidelines for the newer class of 14-inch ultrabooks … Read more
More than the glass-covered HP Envy 14 Spectre, Dell XPS 13, or even Acer Aspire S5, a 15-inch version of Apple's MacBook Air was the clear winner among CNET readers, pulling in 40 percent of the total vote.
And this is for a product that, while churning in the rumor mill for the last several months, lacks even the sparse documented evidence that Apple's expected HDTV has (such as this recent spec-heavy Best Buy survey of purported features). … Read more
If you've watched our extensive laptop coverage from CES 2012, only to look down at your own busted-up old clunker of a machine, then 2012 might be the year you buy a new laptop.
And with so many high-end, high-design systems hitting store shelves this year, there are more worthy candidates than ever to choose from, and many of them fall into the still-new ultrabook category.
If you need a refresher on what "ultrabook" means, it's an Intel marketing term (much like Centrino was), encompassing a growing category of Windows laptops that are thin and reasonably powerful (typically under 188 millimeters thick with the latest Core i-series processors), with good battery life and at least some solid-state-drive (SSD) storage.
With all the ultrabooks already confirmed for 2012, it's a fairly safe bet that your next laptop will be a very thin one.
Running from just under $1,000 to $1,500 or more, the 2012 laptops that seem the most exciting aren't exactly the least expensive we've ever seen, especially after several years of falling prices, but at least they all look good.
Our question for you is: based on design, price, components, and features, which of these highly anticipated 2012 laptops are you hoping to buy this year?
Below you'll find a brief executive summary of each one, linked to more in-depth coverage, with our take on why it's a lustworthy machine. Check out the contenders, then vote in our poll. Or, if you have a different choice, let us know in the comments section below. … Read more
A handful of prototype laptops spotted at CES with Microsoft's Kinect hardware built in are currently generating some serious buzz.
Originally a hardware add-on for the Xbox 360 game console, the Kinect has the potential to be built into a lot of devices, at least those that run Windows. Enterprising hobbyists have already hacked it to work on PCs, and the next step is to take the bulky oversize Webcam hardware and shrink it down so it fits inside a laptop, with no external hardware required.
The Daily originally pointed out these prototypes, and described them as follows: "The devices, which at first glance appear to be Asus Netbooks running Windows 8, feature an array of small sensors stretching over the top of the screen where the Webcam would normally be. At the bottom of the display is a set of what appear to be LEDs."
You know the deal with most bargain laptops: lower-end processors, weak graphics, smallish hard drives, and so on.
If you need a little more power than the average low-end lappie affords, check this out: MacMall has the refurbished HP Pavilion g6-1c58dx 15.6-inch laptop for $384.99 shipped.
That price buys you a quad-core AMD A6-3400M processor, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and a 15.6-inch LCD. As my dad often says, that oughta keep you out of mischief.
It's not every year that laptops take center stage (or even close to it) at CES. But in 2012, a combination of ultrabook hype and inventive product designs combined to make portable computers the most interesting category of the show.
A few weeks back, during CES, we shot the second version of what we're now calling the Laptop Talk Show. The show was streamed live online, and shot in front of a live audience, but has not been made available for on-demand viewing until now. This year's version features myself, Scott Stein, and Molly Wood going over … Read more
There's no trial by fire for a laptop that matches a week in Las Vegas covering the annual CES show.
It's interesting to note that both members of CNET's laptop reviewing team brought ultraportable laptops (which usually have 11-inch, but sometimes 12-inch, displays) to CES 2011, and then 13-inch laptops to CES 2012. This wasn't preplanned, but it was enough of a coincidence that it's worth looking at the advantages and disadvantages we encountered from both laptop sizes.
It's a perfect stress test for laptops because this kind of work requires long battery life (… Read more
It's the kind of announcement one expects to hear at CES, not a week or two after. Sony has updated part of its Vaio laptop line with new CPUs and new colors. But don't get too excited, these minor upgrades say nothing about any possible future systems meeting Intel's ultrabook spec, or using the next generation of Core i-series CPUs, expected around midyear.
With a radical redesign, HP's latest Envy system looks a lot different from previous models, but the most important change is one you might not even notice at first.
The big news in the new Envy 15 is the inclusion of a physical volume-control wheel. Physical volume controls are very rare. Occasionally, you'll get a couple of tiny volume-up and volume-down buttons above the keyboard, and a few years ago capacitive touch strips were popular (but never responsive enough to use). Most of the time, you're stuck fumbling with alternative functions of the Fn keys for volume and muting.… Read more