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!
If you can’t beat Apple’s iPad, change the rules of the game. Amazon and Barnes & Noble are taking a bath on sales of the $199 Kindle Fire and the $249 Nook Tablet, respectively, and making up for it with profits on sales of electronic merchandise (e-books, videos, music, and apps). The strategy has succeeded in moving a lot of hardware, with each company on track to sell millions of units (although the ratio of Kindle Fire to Nook Tablet sales is greatly in Amazon’s favor so far). Both tablets feature nearly identical 7-inch, 1024x600 LCDs and rely on Wi-Fi for connectivity. Which should tempt you away from the high-end tablets? Only a bloody-knuckled deathmatch will tell.
A metaphorical boxing match between two 800-pound gorillas is quickly shaping up in the social network arena. In one corner: Facebook, the reigning champion. In the other corner: Google+, a fast-rising up-and-comer with a big name and deep pockets behind it. At stake: the time-deprived attention of millions of social network users. There can be only one victor.
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!
The Chromebook is nice, but is it $500 nice? Is it really better than spending a few bucks to upgrade an old netbook into a comparable browser-based portable PC?
We took a year-old Samsung NF310 netbook with a dual-core Atom CPU, upped the RAM to 2GB, and replaced its hard drive with a 20GB Intel Larson Creek SSD, then installed Joli OS 1.2. We pitted our creation against a Samsung Series 5 Chromebook to see whether a homebrew 'Jolibook' can hang.
Now that both AMD and Nvidia have dual-GPU videocards on the market, quad-GPU CrossFireX and SLI setups are possible—that is, if you have the motherboard, the power supply, the money, and can actually find two dual-GPU cards.
Representing quad SLI, we have two relatively compact Nvidia GeForce GTX 590s. In the quad-CrossFireX corner are two of AMD's hulking, foot-long Radeon HD 6990s. Both paris cost about the same—an astronomical $1,500, give or take—but which is the better option?
Out-of-whack price/performance ratios snuffed our enthusiasm for earlier Bigfoot Networks Killer NIC products. Would that be the case with the company's first wireless NIC, too? To find out, we tested two otherwise-identical CyberPower X6-9300 gaming notebooks: one with Bigfoot's new Killer Wireless-N 1102, and the other with Intel's Centrino Ultimate-N 6300.
Remember when “Netflix” and “Streaming video” were virtually synonyms? Yeah, those were the days. Then, in the course of three disastrous months, Netflix jacked prices by 60 percent, announced it was splitting off the DVD business, and then announced that, no, actually, it was going to keep DVDs in house after all. The wacky moves sent investors fleeing like rats and confused customers looking for alternatives – alternatives like Amazon Prime Instant Video. The service offers unlimited streaming and Amazon has signed several new content deals since Prime Instant Video’s launch in March. But is it a Netflix killer? Let’s find out.
Music, music everywhere, and a ton of programs with which to organize it. But how will you know which of the many iTunes-equivalents (if not iTunes itself) are going to be right for your needs?
If you're one of the many people using Windows' default music libraries to organize and store your files, stop. Just stop. There's so much more you can do beyond that-which-is-given by Windows Media Player's library features, it's not even funny. Conversely, if you're one of the people who clings to Apple's iTunes with a death grip by virtue of it being one of the first big music organizing tools to really "stick" amongst the general geek population... you might be in good hands. You also might be missing out on a ton of additional functionality, depending on what you're looking for and how you typically go about rocking out on your computer.
To keep the playing field fair, we'll look at three different applications in this ultimate guide to media organizing: iTunes, Songbird, and Zune. For those keeping score at home, that's one big solution from Apple, one big solution from Microsoft, and one big solution from the open-source community. There are certainly other options around--Foobar comes to mind as one such example. None are as comprehensive in their combination of features and/or customizability as these three, however. They're all easy to install and easy to set up, but which application has the features and usability that'll make it a hit?
A KVM switch sounds like it has the potential to be a complicated piece of hardware. It's not. Without this most charitable of devices, you wouldn't be able to make use of more than one computer with a single keyboard and mouse. Your desk would be cluttered with input devices of all shapes and sizes, your ambitions of multi-boxing your own 40-man World of Warcraft raid would be dashed, and you wouldn't be able to slack off at your place of business nearly as discretely. After all, the entire point of a KVM switch is that it requires some kind of physical response--like whacking a button on the device--to switch a set of input devices between different desktops connected to the switch.
Why does this matter? Well, I don't have a KVM switch, but I do use a piece of software that's just as good: Synergy. This little open-source app has been my virtual KVM switch of choice for awhile now, but its time is just as quickly fading into the limelight. A new sheriff is in town, and he goes by the name of Input Director. Both programs allow you to control multiple, independent desktops (or laptops) using a single keyboard and mouse sans any "switching over" whatsoever--it's as if you just have a giant, spanned desktop across your systems.
Since Synergy has been at the top of everyone's must-have lists for some time (including Will's!), I thought it might be prudent to walk through the additional benefits and heartwarming fixes that Input Director brings to the party. Click the jump and find out how this free application will transform your multi-computer life for the better.