THE MARKETING BLITZ swirling around the Droid Razr’s launch drive home these twin selling points: thin, yet powerful. This wafer of a smartphone measures just over a quarter of an inch thick along most of its chassis before filling out at the top where the camera lens and flash; speaker; and HDMI, USB, and headphone jacks reside. A layer of Kevlar fiber drapes the backside, and the Gorilla Glass covering the 4.3-inch display has a water-repellent coating for protection against errant spills and inevitable raindrops.
For all its vaunted thinness, the Razr feels very sturdy in your hand, while its substantial surface area assures that it doesn’t feel small. If anything, it’s a bit unwieldy for one-handed operation. The thin build has its share of downsides, too: The side-mounted power and volume buttons are too small, and this is one of the rare Android form factors that doesn’t let you remove the battery.
We do, however, cherish the generous qHD Super AMOLED Advanced display, which exhibits vivacious colors and deep black levels. The Razr is one of the first smartphones to allow Netflix streaming in HD; and for what it’s worth on a screen this size, movies, other HD video, and games look extraordinary.
THE FIRST AND SECOND Transformers movies were abominations, and Hasbro has sued Asus for violating its Transformers trademark, but there’s no denying that Asus’s Eee Pad Transformer Prime improves on the original Transformer tablet in nearly every conceivable fashion.
Asus’s latest tablet—we’ll just call it the Prime—loses the awkward build of its predecessor in favor of a smaller, lighter, and more stylish aluminum-backed chassis. It’s actually thinner than the iPad 2—probably as thin as it could be considering it’s outfitted with a combo headphone/mic-in jack, a Micro HDMI port, a MicroSD card slot, and a USB/charge/dock port. A matching keyboard dock (a $150 option) adds full-size USB and SD card interfaces and up to 10 hours of additional battery life. The dock provides many helpful keyboard shortcuts, and its keyboard action and trackpad mouse response improve over the original.
If there's one thing that those of us in the tech media love, it's to whip ourselves into a frenzy over a juicy rumor. It doesn't matter that the source of the rumor is someone's second cousin who knows a guy who works in an Apple Store in Tuscon, Arizona; all that matters is that nobody wants to miss out on the next big story.
The predictable downside is that a lot of the time those rumors turn out to be false. Presented here, for your consideration, are 10 tech rumors from the last few years that created a huge commotion--before they turned out to be BS.
A funny thing happened in the fourt quarter of 2011. Analyst firm Canalys announced that Apple shipped more PCs than Hewlett-Packard (HP), but that was only true if you were willing to count iPad devices as PCs. And if you were willing do that, the question, then, is where do you draw the line? Are smartphones and superphones PCs as well? What about hybrid eReaders? Judging by the reader comments, the consensus among Maximum PC readers is that tablets are not PCs and shouldn't be counted as such, but regardless of whether or not you agree with that statement, HP is once again the world's leading client PC vendor.
It remains to be seen if Windows Phone 7 can bring Nokia back from the dead, though if you ask Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak, Microsoft may have somehow managed to bring back Steve Jobs instead. We are assuming he’s joking, but those are still pretty strong praise of a once former rival. Based on the context, it sounds of it he was referring to how well Microsoft nailed the UI experience, which most people credit as the platforms strongest selling point. In a recent interview with The Verge, Woz declared that Windows Phone is like being “with a friend, not a tool”.
The Flashback botnet scare may have thrust Macs' supposed invulnerability to antiviruses claim under a microscope, but Sophos decided it wanted some numbers to go along with the heaping of hype. So the company studied feedback from 100,000 Apple computers with Sophos antivirus installed and surprisingly discovered that the Macs were fairly teeming with malware. Before you start laughing, consider this: the vast majority of the malware found didn't affect OS X at all. It targeted Windows PCs.
When is an iPad not exactly an iPad? Answer: When it's running Windows software. Turns out that if you want want to run Windows 8 with native Metro UI touch gestures on a tablet, you don't have to wait until later this year to do it, there's already an app for that. Splashtop, makers of a remote desktop application for iPad devices, released a new version that plays nice with Windows 8 Consumer Preview testbeds.
For those of us who remember wasting hours with the original, green-screened GameBoy, the thought that the era of portable gaming consoles may be coming to an end is a bit sad. While their TV-tethered cousins will be around for at least another generation or two, super-powerful smartphones like the iPhone 4S are calling into question the need for dedicated portable gaming devices like the new PlayStation Vita.
After gaming extensively on both, we’ve come up with a point-by-point breakdown that we think explains why portable consoles aren’t dead yet. Read on for more!
Psst, hey Windows PC user, come closer. Yes you, the one contemplating a switch to Mac OS X after spending some hands on time with iOS on your iPad or iWhatever. Want to know a dirty little secret? Macs get viruses too! No, really, they do. In fact, over half a million Mac OS X systems are now part of a botnet after becoming infected with the Flashback Trojan horse.
For as popular as Apple products are, the Cupertino outfit can't seem to launch a product without some sort of scandal attached. With the iPhone 4, it was antennagate and the notion that poor signals were the result of owners holding their devices wrong, and with the new iPad (iPad 3, if you will), critics have been hot under the collar over the bigger battery's heat output.