We're tired of arcane web interfaces and sluggish CPUs on our network storage. It's time to build a Windows Home Server with enough capacity for all our data and enough power to flawlessly stream HD video.
At first glance, Spotify and Rdio could be mirror images of one another. Both streaming services offer a catalog of on-demand songs from all the major music labels, both feature strong social media integration, and heck, each offers two tiers of premium subscriptions at matching dollar amounts. Dig down beneath the surface, however, and you’ll see that the devil’s in the details. So which Internet music service delivers the most bang for your buck? Let’s dive in and see!
Samsung is kind of a big deal. In addition to manufacturing everything from tablets to televisions to turbines, the Korean giant is one of the world’s largest producers of DRAM and NAND flash memory, and it has long provided SSDs to OEMs and systems integrators. Samsung entered the retail SSD market in late 2010, with its 470 Series SSD delivering performance on par with the first-gen SandForce drives that owned the top end of the market. It’s now late 2011, and the goalposts have shifted. Samsung’s Series 830 drive boasts a slimmer look, a refreshed controller, and a 6Gb/s SATA interface. Can the new part compete with today’s top SSDs?
The onslaught of smartphones, tablets, and sundry cloud-based devices might give us ways to be “connected” in more places at more times, but they don’t lessen the wonders to behold in a full-fledged PC. Not by a long shot.
In fact, despite all the dire prognostications about the PC, our personal computers are poised to get a major boost in performance, thanks to all the new technologies and components coming to fruition next year. We’re going to give you the complete rundown on what to expect—can someone say fastest CPU ever?—so you can start plotting your next build now.
Oh, we’ll still see plenty of tablets, to be sure, and we’ll tell you how those happening slabs will change, but we’re also going to see a major push by Intel to make stylish, super-portable, super-affordable laptop PCs an even more compelling option.
Yes, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2012. And you can start peeping at what lies ahead by hitting the jump!
A slew of hardware makers that didn’t start out as online bookstores—including Acer, Samsung, and Toshiba—debuted 7-inch Android Honeycomb tablets just in time for Amazon’s Kindle Fire to steal their thunder. The apparent goal: to discover if anyone is actually interested in 7-inch tablets. Acer’s Iconia Tab A100 serves as our guinea pig for this form factor.
We have a term for technology like Toshiba’s Qosmio F755 laptop. It’s “demo cool.” It wows you in a demo, but after some serious testing, you’re not quite sure you’d want to use it day in and day out. Though we’re impressed by the technical achievement of Toshiba’s glasses-free 3D technology, it’s just not developed enough to earn our recommendation.
Selecting an Internet security suite is a lot like plodding through a Choose‑Your‑Own‑Adventure book. Remember those? The path of the protagonist was entirely up to you, and if those books taught us anything at all, it’s that every decision carries with it potentially devastating consequences. The same thing applies to your choice of antivirus software, only the repercussions of malware are real, and if a shoddy security suite fires off a blank and leaves you exposed to danger, there’s no flipping back the pages for a do-over.
That’s where we come in. We’ve called to arms a gnarly collection of security suites with the roughest, toughest reputations around. We’re also including three popular no-cost AV solutions to find out how they compare. Flip through the pages to get started, and if we miss one you think should have been included, let us know—we’ll run stand-alone reviews of even more AV apps in the future.
We’ll be the first to admit that system benchmarking has gotten downright boring in the last couple of years. It’s been a solid year and a half of Core i7-980X/990X procs followed by a year of Core i7-2600K rigs. Yawn, seen it.
We certainly can’t say that about Digital Storm’s latest Black Ops HailStorm. It’s the first machine to grace our Lab with Intel’s Core i7-3960X, so we were anxious to see if the new chip could actually walk the walk. We know from our testing of the chip in a controlled environment that it’s a bad mother, but what about when it’s in a high-end system and it’s being run against a slew of other super-fast rigs?
With Windows 8, Microsoft is reimagining the most basic premises of personal computers. CEO Steve Ballmer recognizes the drastic changes coming in Windows 8, even calling the platform one of the biggest risks taken by the industry giant.
If you want to take the plunge and give Windows 8 a try, we don’t recommend installing Windows 8 as your primary system, but we do encourage you to take it for a spin and spend some time tinkering under the hood. So read on and we'll tell you how to do just that.
I’m just going to be blunt: Our patent system sucks. It’s terrible to deal with, protects ridiculous things, and encourages frivolous litigation. It’s about as popular as a leper in a nudist colony.
For 10 years, patent reform has had the backing of major corporations who, like everyone else, are sick of patent trolls and costly defensive IP purchases. Nobody—not consumer groups, business, or inventors—believes this system works. Despite all of this, Congress managed to punt on real change.