Expect Steam Machines, wearable computing, and more
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is undoubtedly the biggest tech convention in the world. Tons of gadgets and gizmos are revealed at the show every year and with CES 2014 taking place next week, you should expect nothing less.
Acer was the first to market with a touchscreen Chromebook when it introduced the C720P back in November, and in case the addition of a touch panel alone wasn't enough to make you consider Google's cloud-based platform for a secondary notebook (or primary one for little Billy), then a color change probably won't be the straw that breaks your back. Regardless, Acer just expanded its touchscreen Chromebook line by unveiling a Moonstone White model.
Vendors don't want to get stuck with a bunch of 2-in-1 devices
There's still no clear cut indication from consumers whether or not hybrid notebooks that also function as tablets are all that desirable compared to keeping the form factors separate. That being the case, notebook vendors are reportedly having cold feet when it comes to stockpiling 2-in-1 devices, fearing that weak sales could leave them with a bunch of unsold inventory needing to be written off.
If you recently scored an HP Chromebook 11, be aware that there's been a recall on the bundled charger with those devices. According to information obtained from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Google and HP issued the recall after fielding complaints of chargers overheating and melting during use. Google has received nine reports to date, including one report of a small burn to a consumer and a report of a burnt pillow.
There are signs that suggest consumers are warming up to Microsoft's second generation Surface products. The first sign is the sold out status of every single Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 device at Microsoft's Online store. Every single SKU is out of stock, including Surface 2 in 32GB and 64GB form, and Surface Pro 2 in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB form. Can there really be that much demand?
What do you call a device that can be either a laptop or a tablet, or even a few additional novel form factors in between? A Lenovo ThinkPad Helix, that’s what—which, as the name implies, is a hybrid with a twist.
Note: This review was originally featured in the October 2013 issue of the magazine.
Microsoft really should rethink its relentless "Scroogled" campaign and in particular its vendetta against Chromebooks. We're not saying Microsoft should readily embrace a competitor's ecosystem, but the more hardware partners that join the Chromebook movement, the sillier Microsoft looks for disparaging the platform. We bring this up because Dell, the world's third largest PC maker, just announced a Chromebook of its own.
To say November was a good month for Asus is like saying the 1992 U.S. Men's Olympic Basketball Dream Team was decent. Both grossly undersell the accomplishment. The 1992 Dream Team is largely considered the greatest sports team ever assembled (regardless of sports), and for Asus, revenue hit a record high in November at NT$49,298 billion (around $1.67 billion in U.S. currency).
This whole "Scroogled" campaign Microsoft has going reeks of pettiness and misguided priorities. The latet ad has a company pitchman walking up to seemingly complete strangers with a Chromebook in hand and asking them what kinds of things they do on a laptop. He then uses their answers to explain why a Chromebook is a poor choice, be it because it can't install Microsoft Office (though he neglects to mention you can run Office 365) or whatever other specific app isn't supported.
Touch computing doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg
If you spend enough time with a tablet or smartphone, you may find yourself instinctively wanting to tap at your notebook on occasion, too. More and more models are starting to support touch input, including ones with a low cost of entry. If that's the goal (touch computing for cheap), it doesn't get much more budget friendly than Gateway's new touchscreen models: 10.1-inch LT41P and 15.6-inch NV570P.