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All posts tagged "hardware"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Samsung Windows 8 Slates: Series 5 and Series 7

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Samsung Laptops & Netbooks" @ 10:30 AM

"We're still a couple of months away from Windows 8 being available, but we're starting to get a pretty good picture of what the first round of devices will look like running the new operating system. Samsung just showed off the upcoming Series 5 and Series 7 Slates - both are tablet and dock combinations that let each device act as a light, thin tablet, and a full-fledged laptop all at once."

Looks like the ASUS Transformer concept (tablet + keyboard SECURELY connected) is going to be a feature in upcoming Windows 8 Slates (Tabtop or Laplet?), at least from Samsung with their Series 5 and Series 7 offerings. The 1366x768 resolution Series 5 will be offered as a tablet-only at $649, or a tablet+keyboard combo at $749, with 2GB RAM and a 64GB SSD. The more robust Series 7 offers full 1080p resolution, 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD, and will start at $1199. Each device will also ship with Samsung's "S Pen" for onscreen activity. Arrival date is expected to be October 26, 2012, to coincide with Windows 8's arrival. Anyone besides me think that this keyboard looks an awful lot like a MacBookAir? Not a bad thing, in my opinion.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Notes from an iOS User: My Week with a Google Nexus 7

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 01:30 PM

"My first Android experience has been very, very positive, thanks to Google's Nexus 7 and Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). I received my tablet a week ago, and also received a $25 Google Play credit as an early purchaser. My initial thoughts were that I'd use the tablet primarily as a reader - but it's much more than a Kindle (Fire) replacement."

As a longtime iOS device user, and like most modern device users, I have my biases, and have kept them firmly in mind when using an Android device for the first time. But, maintaining objectivity has been easy with this tablet. I'm guessing that skipping the earlier Android releases have saved me from some amount of frustration, just as skipping earlier iOS versions would have in the iDevice world. The bottom line is that so far I'm not finding much missing from Android.

I have several "must haves," including Banking, Browsing, Calendaring, Contacts, Dropbox, Email, Facebook, Foursquare, Kindle reader, LinkedIn, MS Office-type apps, PDF reader, Search, Skype, Text editing, and Travel apps. All present, and arguably equal to the iOS versions. Not as many app choices from Google Play, but all I need is one of each.

Things that I like so far, in no particular order: Android 4.1.1 - already one patch automatically downloaded to Jelly Bean; Battery life is very good; Customization is as simple as the iPad - the home screen is easy to configure; the display is very, very good - not quite up to the new iPad, but excellent for much less money; Sound quality is good; Security is good - face recognition login authentication can be configured to require a blink, making security stronger; Performance is excellent - I haven't noticed anything crapping out or any lags in performance, at the app or UI level; Shutting down running apps is a breeze, much simpler than iOS; Removing apps is easy; Reading is a breeze on this form factor - no more carpal tunnel holding and reading an iPad. Comfortable to hold and use. Many pros to this device!

Things that are less than stellar (and I admit freely that maybe I just don't know enough about Android yet): Apps on the home screen cannot be ordered or arranged for a whole screen - must be dragged and bumped individually; Setup options are not as rich as iOS; iCloud mail is handled a bit better in iOS, as one would expect; Google Play Store doesn't seem to have an easy way of selecting "tablet-only apps," aside from Staff Picks for Tablets. A pretty short list of cons.

Overall, a very positive experience so far, and, while I'm not dumping my iPad, my Nexus 7 is already getting more use than my earlier small tablets, a Nook tablet and a Kindle Fire, both of which were too restrictive for me, and were sold pretty quickly. For the money (I got the 16GB model), this is a superb tablet, and the Android experience is a pleasure. I like the fact that it is not "carrier specific," so it has none of the bloatware associated with subsidized devices. The Nexus 7 is a keeper!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The ASUS Google Nexus 7: A Performance Beast

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 09:00 AM

"Note to all tablet makers not named Asus: This is how you make a 7-inch tablet.

The Nexus 7, the first tablet to wear Google's Nexus brand, sets a new standard for smaller slates, proving that just because it isn't as big as Apple's iPad doesn't mean it can't be just as useful, as fast, or as fun. If you've been on the fence about Android, or tablets in general, this is the tablet you've been waiting for."

Most of the initial hands-on reviews for the wifi-only Nexus 7 are positive, and this one is no exception. The biggest complaint so far has been the lack of tablet applications for Android, so, for example, the user can be "stuck" with up-sized phone apps for popular apps like Facebook and Twitter. The near-IPS quality 1280x800 screen, at about 216ppi, is superb, and the quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 coupled with 1GB of RAM and either 8GB or 16GB of storage, is, as the author puts it, a beast. The first Android 4.1 Jelly Bean tablet screams, with none of the earlier OS hiccups, and the price is right, at $199 for 8GB, and $249 for 16GB. Out of the box, the tablet is obviously Google-centric, but can be tweaked, and the full Google Play store is available. Early purchasers (I was one) receive a $25 credit for the store, so I'll be able to add my obligatory "MS Office" equivalent. Shipping is scheduled for mid-July 2012 (I hope) so check back here as we review more real world experiences with the Google Nexus 7 from ASUS.

ARCHOS ELEMENTS 97 carbon Tablet Announced

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 12:00 AM

"ARCHOS, an award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, is pleased to introduce the ARCHOS 97 carbon, the first of its new tablet range called "ELEMENTS", an entry-level line up of 7, 8, and 9.7 inch tablets that combine ARCHOS design and engineering with full access to Google PlayTM and a full suite of Google apps at an affordable price."

Interesting to see the new tablets coming to market at consumer-friendly prices. This 9.7-inch tablet sports an IPS screen, plays 1080p HD video, weighs 21.8-ounces, and is 0.45-inches thick. With a 1-GHz processor (no further processor details were available), 1GB RAM, and 16GB storage, the Carbon 97 is running Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) 4.0 and is set to debut this July (2012) with a price of $249.99 or less. Interesting to also note that the carbon 97 supports expandable memory via SDHC cards up to 32GB and (or?) USB flash drives from a full-sized USB port. It'll be interesting to see if ARCHOS can crash the tablet party, and give the bigger players some competition at this price point.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Gigabyte gives its Ultrabooks a Graphical Boost

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 01:30 PM

"Ultrabooks with Intel’s 3rd Generation Core Series processors may be good enough for productivity tasks, but we wouldn’t recommend playing Batman: Arkham City on them. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose between a thin-lightweight notebook and one with strong graphics performance. While it’s not marketed as a gaming rig, the new Gigabyte u2442 14-inch Ultrabook comes with an optional Nvidia GT640M graphics chip, but weighs a reasonable 3.46 pounds while measuring just .7 inches thick. "

When netbooks came out, they were an interesting proposition. They were lightweight, mostly had a reasonable battery life and just enough computing power to get your day to day tasks done. Those days are over, with the rise of Ultrabooks. Thin and light, just like a netbook and with a good chunk of juice to last the day. However, while ultrabooks come with a little more horsepower than your standard netbook, they still lacked any graphical strength. Integrated graphics are much better than days of yore, but they still fall short when playing any of the more demanding modern games.

It is really a relief to see some manufacturers take notice, and offer ultrabooks with discrete graphics. If only they can emphasize this benefit more. Most people I have met show more interest in the speed of the CPU and the price tag. Hopefully they will realize that a happy laptop experience means taking more into account.

Monday, June 4, 2012

ASUS Taichi: Windows 8 Ultrabook -and- Tablet

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Asus Laptops & Netbooks" @ 11:30 PM

"Every once in a while a product comes along which gracefully solves a social problem through technical innovation. Often, you want to show a piece of content — a presentation, a website or maybe even a video — to just one or two people, but you don’t want them starting over your shoulder to look at your laptop screen and you don’t want them to see the IM that popped up from your wife while you were shooting through that PowerPoint deck."

Interesting concept that ASUS is previewing, a Windows 8 Ultrabook that is also a Windows 8 touchscreen tablet. Two screens, each with 1920x1080 resolution. The Ultrabooks will be offered in two sizes: 11.6-inches and 13-inches, both with aluminum chassis. The screens can be mirrored, or run separately, and the "inside" screen apparently has a small window showing what the exterior screen shows. So you can be showing someone a PowerPoint presentation or a video on the outside, while checking email on the inside.

Very little else is known today, other than thin and solid appearance, Intel Ivy Bridge Core processors, and SSD, as journalists were allowed to look but not touch. Looks like "the best of both worlds" may be an option combining keyboard and touch on two screens in an Ultrabook. Metro on the outside touch screen, and desktop on the inside? I haven't been able to garner much enthusiasm for Windows 8 on a "regular" laptop, but this form factor may be a game changer.

A closer look (from

Friday, June 1, 2012

ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A: Better and Better

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Asus Laptops & Netbooks" @ 08:00 PM

"ASUS's original Ultrabook was the first ultraportable laptop to give the MacBook Air a run for its money, but it ultimately fell short. The new ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A (starting at $1,099, $1,499 as configured) is a sequel to truly get excited about."

A quick model upgrade brings the Zenbook Prime UX31A to market, replacing the UX31, fixing many (but not quite all) of the reported faults with generation one. Let's start with things improved: an available matte 1080p (1920x1080, and bright, at 423 lux) screen; newest third generation Intel Core processors; improved and backlit, less-mushy keyboard; faster boot and "awaken" times; better battery life (6:28 hh:mm); and better graphics. One item to note, however, is that this high resolution can make for some pretty small text on its 13-inch screen.

Areas where there was not much change: design; touchpad slighty better with some configuration tweaking, but still somewhat inconsistent behavior; B&O audio still good; ports; webcam very average despite being 720p; and a somewhat slow SSD. Need more ports and less cost? Check out the UX32A, coming soon, and starting at $799.

At prices starting from $1099 with a Core i5 processor an 128GB SSD, to $1499 with a Core i7 processor and a 256GB SSD, the UX31A gets you MacBook Air looks and battery life, better (vs. Bootcamp) performance, an arguably better screen at 1080p, better sound, and costs $100 less, in the high-end configuration. Your move Apple!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

ASUS Zenbook Prime UX21A: A Stunning Ultrabook

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Asus Laptops & Netbooks" @ 11:00 PM

"It was only a matter of time before ASUS refreshed its line of Ultrabooks with Intel's new Ivy Bridge chips, but the truth is, the company needed to improve a little more than just the CPU model number. If you recall, the Zenbook UX31 ushered in a modern metal design and unbeatable speed, but our enthusiasm waned after spending a week with the flat keyboard and temperamental touchpad."

The frustrating keyboard and the maddening trackpad are gone, thankfully. With new Intel Ivy Bridge processors, improved backlit keyboards, excellent sound featuring Bang & Olufsen speakers, improved graphics, and 1080p (1920x1080) IPS displays, new Zenbook Primes should be arriving soon on our shores. With a fast SSD, a test unit booted Windows in 18 seconds, and resumed from sleep in less than two seconds.

Details on processor options are not yet available, but performance on a test system was very, very good, far better than most other Ultrabooks tested, only trailing ASUS' UX31 in PCMark Vantage, and leading the pack in the 3DMark06 benchmark. The UX21A beat a 2011 MacBook Air in both tests.

The 2.4-pound, 11.6-inch UX21 has a smallish 35Wh (4800 mAh) battery, so battery life is shorter than its competitors, topping out during testing at four hours 19 minutes. ASUS claims an additional hour in more normal usage, and an additional two hours using power-saving mode. ASUS also claims that the system will last two weeks in standby with one charge cycle.

It looks like ASUS really does listen to customer feedback!

Considerations For Your New Laptop

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 12:30 PM

"While tablets get all the attention these days, there’s a reason why laptops continue to be the computing device of choice for most people. Notebooks offer real keyboards for faster typing, they’re better at multitasking, and they offer a lot more power for everything from editing video and creating PowerPoints to playing the latest games. So what type of laptop should you get?"

Laptops, like phones and tablets, can be a very personal choice. There is no one laptop that suits everyone's needs and you should think carefully about what you are spending your hard earned money on. Along with the 5 handy tips that Laptop Magazine offers, there is another consideration you should keep in mind. You should be very mindful of what kind of laptop screen you get. The current trend is for most laptops to have glossy screens these days, which means that while movies might look brighter, you will also see a lot more glare. Matte screens are harder to find, but I personally find them easier on the eyes for day to day activities. You should also investigate the viewing angles of your screen if you intend on sharing your laptop. You are bound to spend a lot of time watching that screen, so making sure that it is as easy on the eyes as possible can make a huge difference in your experience.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Can Ultrabook Thinness Ever Coexist with Long Battery Life?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 12:30 PM

"Bandwagons, trains and Tranes. Can't say that these three have a heck of a lot in common in most regards, but one thing's for sure: trying to stop this trio would be a Herculean task. And so it goes with laptops -- once upon a time, it was good enough to have something that resembled a portable tower, but these days, the ability to even see the chassis at all feels like a negative. I exaggerate, of course, but the proverbial race in the laptop world is hardly about price; it's about thinness."

An interesting 'form vs. function' discussion. The holy grail here, as one would expect, is a laptop an inch or less thick, with battery life of a full "business day," while operating at full tilt. While battery technology has certainly improved, it's not enough to coax much more than ~4-6 hours of intermittent use out of today's (Ultrabook) batteries. It seems that the goal of 24-Hours is obtainable, but not with this less-is-more footprint. Is going back to the 4-5 pound 1-inch+ thick laptop the answer? Better battery technology is coming, but probably not soon enough for most users. Other thoughts: Making a 'battery slice' affordable and available for all models? Replacing the physical keyboard with a tablet-style virtual keyboard, freeing-up space for a larger battery (then why not just use a tablet?)? Unbreakable solar panels in the cover to constantly charge? Wireless Charging not requiring <1m proximity? Inventors? Any ideas that you can share?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

AMD Fires Back At Intel

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:00 PM

"AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced the widely anticipated launch of its 2nd-Generation AMD A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) for mainstream and ultrathin notebooks, All-in-One and traditional desktops, home theater PCs and embedded designs. The 2nd-Generation A-Series APU, codenamed “Trinity”, is a grounds-up improved design over the previous generation, enabling a best-in-class PC mobility, entertainment, and gaming experience."

For decades, we have seen AMD and Intel fight each other over the x86 CPU market. Intel will produce a blazing fast CPU, AMD will release one that's even better. This flip flop happens every so often, but it has now become more complicated with the inclusion of integrated graphics. Integration was bound to happen, after watching all other components like hard drive controllers, lan controllers and sound all being folded into smaller and smaller circuitry. Ignoring price, Intel seems to be holding down the fort in terms of CPU performance, however, the increasing utilization of the GPU means that AMD's solutions are very compelling. Ivy Bridge does show that Intel is slowly catching up in thsi space, but when it comes to graphics or parallel processing, the Radeon graphics that AMD offers still bests Intel. If you are looking to build your own computer, or even deciding what to pick out, the choice of which company to go with keep getting harder.

Tags: hardware, amd, apu, trinity

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1: Mediocre, Less Expensive

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:30 AM

"When we review a second-generation product there are certain things we tend to take for granted: this new thing, whatever it is, will be thinner, faster, longer-lasting, maybe even with more bells and whistles in tow."

It seems that cheaper isn't always better for the consumer. Samsung has taken their original Galaxy Tab 10.1 and released a "refresh" that is nearly identical, but in some cases have downgraded peformance. But it's cheaper, so it's now competing at the $400 price point with many other tablets (Surprise, Samsung - everybody lowered their prices!). Rather than progressing with design and performance, Samsung took the safe route, and kept to the middle of the road = minimal change. Compromises have been made.

Still sporting a quality 1280x800 display, Samsung has moved the speakers from underneath of the front side, eliminating the muffle effect when lying flat, but they're still buzzy at high volume. Performance lags its Tegra 3 competition, and the user experience is less-than-thrilling, as the OS suffers inexplicable lags and stutters, and the screen becomes unresponsive at times. Battery life comes in at about 9-hours in real life, oddly almost an hour less than the original galaxy Tab 10.1. Apps are pretty standard, on top of ICS 4.0.3 and Samsung's TouchWiz UI-layer. The onboard cameras are pretty dismal, even by tablet standards.

Overall, Samsung has produced an upgrade (or refresh) destined to get lost in the market shuffle of $400 tablets. Really nothing to recommend it over any other tablet in this price range, and there are better choices. Disappointing.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Ultimate Road Warrior Laptop? Meet the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Laptops & Netbooks" @ 10:00 PM

"The first ThinkPad X1 was a great business ultraportable laptop–we especially loved the keyboard–but at 3.8 pounds it was on the hefty side. The new ThinkPad X1 Carbon weights just 3 pounds but packs a larger 14-inch screen (up from 13 inches) and an Ivy Bridge processor. In fact, Lenovo says this is the lightest 14-inch Ultrabook on the market. Plus, the unit charges to 80 percent in just 30 minutes."

I'm excited to see that Lenovo keeps improving upon their X-series of laptops/Ultrabooks. From humble, hefty, and somewhat underpowered beginnings with the X1, up through the X120e that I own, and beyond, we finally herald the arrival of the latest magnesium and carbon fiber model, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Weighing-in at about 3-pounds, 18mm thick, with Ivy Bridge on-board, and a 14-inch screen with 1600x900 resolution, at last we get a backlit keyboard (with the DEL key back where it belongs), in arguably the lightest 14-inch laptop available. Information on pricing and availability (this summer, we hope) will be forthcoming. This may be my ideal Windows Ultrabook.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

HP Wants To Make Everyone Envious

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:00 PM

"Expanding its lineup of ultra-thin ultraportables, HP announced a new line of 14 and 15.6-inch notebooks that are less than 0.8 inches thick, weigh about 4 pounds, and start at $599. Since not all of configurations will meet Intel’s requirements for the “Ultrabook” moniker, those that don’t will be called Sleekbooks."

Thin is in! Extremely thin and portable laptops are not a new thing, but the designs are getting better, and they are showing fewer compromises. What I like is that the prices are starting to come down even further, reaching into the mainstream laptop range. Decades ago, getting a laptop that was 4 pounds or under cost you the mortgage on your home, several body parts, your first born and that piece of cake you were saving in the refrigerator. $599 sounds like a much better price, meaning that more people can get access to better hardware!

A Thin New HP Ultrabook: Envy Spectre XT

Posted by Michael Knutson in "HP Laptops & Netbooks" @ 10:00 AM

"Yes, the glass lid on the HP Envy 14 Spectre is cool, but everyone knows that thin is the name of the game when it comes to Ultrabooks. HP’s new Envy Spectre XT has an all-metal chassis, is just 0.57 inches thick and weighs 3.07 pounds. Available June 8th and starting at $999, this machine sports a 13.3-inch display, a third-generation Intel Core processor (Ivy Bridge), and a 128GB SSD. What’s more, this notebook should last up to 8 hours on a charge."

Pretty decent specs, a very good backlit keyboard and Beats Audio make this a strong contender in the 'under $1000' Ultrabook category. The trackpad, when initially tested, was responsive and smooth, and handled gestures with aplomb, boding well for Windows 8. More information will become available as we get closer to the launch date (June 8th, 2012). With Ivy Bridge processors, a full complement of ports, including HDMI, USB2, USB3 and Ethernet (dropdown), and an estimated 8-hours of battery life, this looks like a great road warrior laptop.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Windows 8 Tablets to be made of Sugar and Spice or Something Nice

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM

"Intel is offering more specifics on the features of future Windows 8 tablet at a conference in Beijing. It's a laudable goal, but can Intel make it happen this year? Underneath the glass will be beat an Atom Z2760 "Clover Trail" chip: dual-core capable with "burst mode" (for quick bursts of performance when needed) and Hyperthreading -- the latter allows a dual-core chip to behave in quad-core-like fashion in some cases."

If you are like me, you often sit under a tree on a great sunny day thinking, "I wonder what sort of specifications Windows 8 tablets will have!" Well, wait no longer, because Intel has published its specs on what things should be like. Some of the requirements are interesting, though I do wonder how many of them will make it into reality, and how many will find themselves quickly changed, like what happened to Ultrabooks. Of course, all these are on paper, and the real sauce will be what the actual experience will be like using a Windows 8 tablet. For that, I remain skeptical.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Toshiba Thrive is Dead - Long Live the Excite

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 11:00 AM

"You complained, Toshiba listened. After its Thrive tablets were widely panned for their short battery life and chunky, cheap-feeling design, the outfit decided to put those models out to pasture and start anew. So bid goodbye to the Thrives, then, and say hello to the Excite 7.7, 10 and 13 (yes, 13). If you've been paying attention, these are the same tablets we first saw in prototype form at CES (and again at Mobile World Congress), complete with their slim builds and textured aluminum backs."

Interesting that Toshiba has decided that a 13-inch tablet (with a 1600x900 display) will resonate with consumers. The aluminum-backed Excite series certainly looks better (the Thrive was rather clunky), has some high-end specs (but WiFi-only), but isn't cheap in the larger configurations! Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is standard on all three, and they each have NVIDIA's quad-core (or, more accurately, 4+1 core processing) Tegra 3 SoC. The Excite 7.7 weighs 13.4-ounces, the Excite 10 model weighs 1.32-pounds, and delivers 10-hours of battery life, and seven days of standby power, while the Excite 13 weighs 2.2-pounds and claims 13-hours of battery life, and the same standby power rating of seven days. Availability is May 6, 2012 for the Excite 10, and June 10, 2012 for the Excite 7.7 and the Excite 13. Prices vary according to the configuration, but oddly enough the Excite 10 is less expensive than the Excite 7.7, according to Toshiba's press release. A 13-inch tablet sounds a bit unwieldy to me, thoughts?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Tablets Replacing Laptops? Three Requirements

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 12:30 PM

"With features like LTE connectivity, ultra-high-resolution displays, and laptop-like processing power, tablets have made their way into tens of millions of homes, and they’ve done it seemingly overnight. But despite popularity that borders on ubiquity and specs that edge them ever closer to desktops, it’s a rare house where a tablet has replaced a full-fledged computer. Why is that? Why haven’t more people scrapped their PCs for the sleeker, cheaper tablets?"

Interesting opinions on what it'll take for tablets to (someday) replace laptops. Three basic requirements: more feedback from the tablet for tasks; quicker reflexes - tablet response on touch actions are about 8-10x slower than mouse and keyboard actions; split personality, or a watered-down experience - tablets need to run the processes that laptops run. An additional requirement is that tablets need to be seen as more than luxury devices. When I can pull out my iPad and truly edit an Excel spreadsheet, I'll consider that tablets have arrived.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Coby Releases a Bunch of ICS Tablets

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 10:00 AM

"It’s a sad but nonetheless true fact that small and sometimes unconsidered manufacturers can often get their act together faster than larger and well-regarded ones. So it is with American low-end electronics maker Coby, which has just made its latest round of Android tablets available for purchase, according to Liliputing."

Many of these have strange and/or poor displays like 9.7" 1024x768 or 8" 800x600 but the 9" and 10" models with 1280x800 resolution could be just what you're looking for. While only a single core CPU they still have 1GB of RAM, MicroSD slot, HDMI port (I'm guessing it's MicroHDMI), and USB port (I'm guessing MicroUSB here too). Not sure about the GPU but it should be something respectable for an ICS tablet. I'd be more concerned about the GPU then having a dual-core processor as far as it being a useful device. One down side, they don't have access to Google Play Store but it comes with GetJar installed for you to find your favorite apps. The Amazon Appstore is always an option too.

So, would you buy a tablet from Coby? For only $279 to get the best model that's not a bad deal. Of course there are deals out there on dual-core tablets from last year that could come close to this price.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

32 Hours of Laptop Usage Unplugged?

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 10:00 PM

"As you may have read, I spent last weekend with an HP EliteBook, an extended battery, and a challenge to use it for 32 hours without plugging in. That may seem like a pretty lofty goal for a laptop, but as you can see from the pictures below, the machine had some pretty serious battery action going on."

Not exactly an Ultrabook, but 32 hours of usage unplugged and untethered? An interesting trade-off, weight for usage. During the real test, after two hours of usage, battery life was at 93%, using an extended laptop battery and HP's Ultra-cell battery, seen in the picture underneath the HP EliteBook 8460p (4.56 pounds with a 14-inch screen). Even after quickly following a few links and tweets, I wasn't able to find a final answer as to whether or not 32 hours was reached - last I saw was 83% battery life still available after about seven hours of "regular" use. In any event, some extra weight and money get you pretty incredible battery life.

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