Up until recently the classic, five-speaker home theater setup, with three front speakers -- left, center, and right, plus two surround speakers, and a subwoofer -- was the de facto home theater standard. According to Dolby, surround speakers should be placed to the sides and slightly behind your couch or main listening position. If you want to step up to 7.1 channel home theater the two extra surround speakers go behind the listening position, which is next to impossible if your couch is up against, or near a wall. If your room is large, and the couch is out … Read more
Microsoft revealed on Tuesday that it has earned $853 million in revenue from its Surface tablets since their debut last fall. This figure comes from an annual financial report that Microsoft filed with the Security and Exchange Commission.
While this number doesn't seem exceptionally low, it is less than the $900 million the company had to pay for Surface RT inventory adjustments and also less than the $898 million Microsoft paid for Windows 8 and Surface advertising.
Even though Microsoft revealed its revenue from the Surface tablets, it did not release the number of units sold or specify the … Read more
iFixit said the the 2013 Nexus 7 is pretty easy to repair. And inside it found a rarity in tablets: an inductive charging coil.
The new 7-inch Google tablet received a "Repairability Score" of 7 out of 10 (10 being the easiest to repair), according to iFixit's teardown.
"The rear case is very easy to open, and requires minimal prying effort with a plastic opening tool to remove," the repair site said. Be careful though. "But we cracked it, even though we were quite careful during the opening procedure." … Read more
Since its inception, one of the best features built into the Android experience is the manner in which notifications are handled. Yet, as great as the status bar is at displaying missed calls and new emails, app developers have come up with even more clever ways of delivering bite-size broadcasts.
I've collected a smattering of Android applications designed to enhance notifications and updates, some of which you can highly customize. If you're interested in putting a new twist on those boring old text message notifications, these are a great jumping-off point.
While some of the following apps can … Read more
It's another battle of the phablets in the Prizefight ring. LG's Optimus G Pro is the latest contender to try to take down the reigning champion, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
Smartphone meets tablet with these big screen behemoths. The Galaxy Note 2 brings its stylus to the fight while the Optimus G Pro uses your finger.
LG's blazing Snapdragon processor and a 1080p screen is unmatched right now and Samsung's one of the most versatile feature-rich phablets we've ever seen.
It's a face-off for Prizefight supremacy. Which phablet is your Prizefight champion? Cast … Read more
Apple has launched a new version of its Logic Pro music-mixing software with an entire orchestra of features.
Available as of Tuesday, Logic Pro X sports a redesigned interface and more instruments and effects geared toward professional musicians. The new Drummer feature adds a virtual drummer that can play along with your song using a variety of drumming styles. A Flex Pitch function offers pitch editing for your songs, and the Logic Remote feature allows you to control Logic Pro X from your iPad.
Apple also has beefed up its MainStage live performance app, which can bring studio-produced sounds to … Read more
One of the most surprising things about the Windows 8 era has been the revival of 11-inch laptops. After a couple of years of seeing very few PCs with smaller displays, we've reviewed half a dozen 11.6-inch systems in the past two months alone.
This is especially interesting to me, as ultraportable laptops, with their 11-inch screens (along with a few 10- and 12-inch stragglers), have had a very uneven history.
Ultraportables were once, typically, extremely expensive brag-worthy laptops that could cost $2,000 or more, back when miniaturization and thermal issues were much more difficult to navigate … Read more
In 2012, Acer became the first Windows PC maker to embrace Thunderbolt, Intel's super-fast communication technology. But that enthusiasm didn't carry past mid-2013.
The utility and ubiquity of performance improvements of USB, combined with Thunderbolt's high cost, led Acer to drop the port from its machines last week.
"We're really focusing on USB 3.0 -- it's an excellent alternative to Thunderbolt," Acer spokeswoman Ruth Rosene said. "It's less expensive, offers comparable bandwidth, charging for devices such as mobile phones, and has a large installed base of accessories and peripherals," … Read more
Creative types alienated by Adobe Systems' Creative Cloud subscription program have a new alternative for some of their work: new image-editing, illustration, and layout software from Xara.
Last week, the U.K. company released the new version 9 of Xara Page & Layout Designer, and this week, it released the ninth version of its flagship product, Xara Designer Pro X9. The former is geared for page design tasks for which people might use Adobe InDesign, and the latter bundles that layout tool with the company's other newer version 9 products, Xara Photo & Graphic Designer X9 for illustration and … Read more