This week, we kill time before New iPad Day by checking out a late straggler to the now-dead Netbook market (no, they haven't gotten any better). Josh Goldman gives us a live demo of the new Lytro camera and its magical refocusing capability, then Scott tries running some PC games on the cool-looking, but potentially underpowered Razer Blade laptop. … Read more
The hottest laptop of the year so far is HP's new Envy 14 Spectre. This unique-looking system was a breakout star at CES 2012 because of its glass-covered lid and wrist rest, giving it a gleaming slate-like look that was different from anything previously seen. As our recent review shows, it's actually a solid laptop as well, with good performance and battery life, and a few noteworthy features, such as Beats Audio and an NFC antenna for connection to mobile phones.
The Spectre is certainly not the first unique laptop design we've seen, but many of the … Read more
First spotted at CES 2012, the glass-covered HP Envy 14 Spectre is finally here, as both the first 14-inch ultrabook we've reviewed, as well as a unique laptop nearly covered in tough Gorilla Glass.
Almost anyone who sees the HP Envy 14 Spectre immediately compares it to something. For many, it's the Apple MacBook Pro. From the open position, the interior certainly has that look, aside from the transparent raised wrist rest. To others, the glass back looks like a tablet or slate. … Read more
Every new tablet, supersize smartphone, or other multifuncton device seems to give industry watchers yet another excuse to declare the traditional laptop dead, or at least on the way out.
With the new features and capabilities built into the just-announced third-gen iPad (also known as the "new iPad"), I expect a flood of reader e-mail over the next few days, asking if a revamped iPad is better investment than a new laptop.
And it's not a crazy question, even if you've thus far resisted the urge to move more and more of your computing tasks to … Read more
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.
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
The Mountain Lion Developer Preview came out just a couple of weeks ago, and today's announcement for Windows 8 Consumer Preview now puts both of the major next-generation operating systems on display for all to see. CNET editors Seth Rosenblatt and Jason Parker went through and answered some key questions at this very early stage of the game. While neither operating system is close to finished, we put up some of the known features and examined reasons people might be enticed by one or the other.… 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.
Where can I download the beta? Right here from Microsoft: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download. And here from Download.com: CNET's full first take on Windows 8 beta
Does that include the ARM version? No, here's no ARM-based beta you can download today. Microsoft has said it will make preloaded Windows/ARM devices available to developers soon. … Read more