Things have been almost sepulchrally quiet ever since AMD officially launched its new Mullins APU nearly three months ago, with no sign of actual devices. Well, the wait is now over as a Mullins-powered device from a top vendor has finally hit the market.
We use nothing but Google's lightweight, cloud-based OS for a week
When Google announced Chrome OS, many people scoffed at the viability of a browser-based OS. Currently, however, Chromebooks are among the most popular inexpensive computing devices today. The search giant has done a great job of making an OS that is light enough to function on entry-level Atom-based SOCs and even low-powered ARM silicon. With the launch of many new Chromebooks (click hear to find out which one we think is the best chromebook) we wanted to see if a person could survive with a Chromebook playing games, videos, word processing and more for an entire week. Read on to see how the OS fared against Windows in our seven-day challenge.
The once popular netbook is now on the verge of extinction.
Say goodbye to the netbook as you know it. In a couple of years, netbooks will virtually disappear from the market place, becoming the first true casualty of the tablet era. Even today there really isn't much of a market for netbooks, a category that was at the height of its popularity just three short years ago. In 2010, it seemed like OEMs were lining our inboxes with new netbooks announcements on a daily basis.
It’s hard to believe that the Chromebook is still with us. If you recall, Chromebooks were birthed in a tumultuous time for the world. The country was in the midst of economic collapse and craptastic netbooks were the cheap hotness.
Note: This review was taken from the January 2012 issue of the magazine.
Remember when netbooks were the hottest item in PC land? You could hardly go a week without being buried under an avalanche of new netbook announcements. My, how things have changed. Strictly speaking, the netbook category is no more. Asus is reportedly ending its Eee PC line, and Acer hasn't announced plans to launch any new netbook models. The same goes for MSI and all the other netbook players. So, what happened?
The Lenovo S-Series used to induce cringes around the MaxPC offices, and with good reason. These units used to represent the lowest cost, most underpowered Netbooks Lenovo could produce. They were decent machines for surfing the net or jotting down a few notes in Word, but not much else. Fast forward to yesterday however, and the S300, S400, and S405 are actually looking like somewhat capable machines. Starting at just $499, Lenovo is offering up Netbook alternatives that literally blur the line between the two categories.
At a time when most notebook makers have abandoned low profit margin netbooks in favor of pricier Ultrabooks, MSI appears willing to ride at least one more rodeo with the previously uber popular form factor, and the company's inviting you to come "ride with the wind." Specifically, MSI hopes you'll saddle up on either the Wind U180 built around Intel's latest generation Cedar Trail platform, or the Wind U270 with AMD's new Brazos 2.0 processor inside.
Dell’s XPS 13 certainly isn’t wanting for style. Sporting a slick wedge profile that measures .24–.71 inches front to back, the XPS 13 is all matte-silver, machined aluminum up top, with a carbon fiber base. A soft-touch surface on the bottom makes the device easy to grip and two rubber “feet” that run horizontally along the underside will surely hold it in place on any surface and promote airflow. Dell even took care to construct a thin metal door on the XPS 13’s underside to hide the Windows certificate of authenticity sticker and sundry other unsightly logos.
An embedded magnet keeps the lid securely attached to the base when the laptop is closed, but opening it can be a challenge—it’s a two-handed affair. Inside, the XPS 13 continues its logo-free theme (save for the “XPS” on the screen bezel). The black, soft-touch palm rest is void of third-party branding. It’s kept company by a black magnesium clickpad and a shiny black island keyboard, which is backlit. The screen consists of edge-to-edge Gorilla glass. As with the HP Folio 13, it’s 13.3 inches with a 1366x768 resolution. The TN panel displays all the typical weakness—move your head or the screen beyond the narrow sweet spot and see contrast and colors diminished.
While HP’s Folio 13 is sized similarly to the other ultrabooks we’ve tested, sporting a 13.3‑inch screen and measuring 12.54x8.67x.7 inches, it’s a bit heavier than the others, but not by much. With a lap weight of 3 pounds, 4.8 ounces, it’s 3.7 ounces heavier than the Asus Zenbook, although its battery is nearly twice the size and weight of the latter’s.
Aesthetically, the Folio 13 is pleasing. The lid, keyboard deck, and palm rest are all brushed aluminum. Screen bezel, trackpad, and keyboard are black, as is the Folio’s underside, which sports a rubberized finish that makes the laptop nicely grippable. In all, it’s a handsome and well-contructed device.
The Folio 13’s port selection is comparatively generous for this class. Ethernet, full-size HDMI, and a media reader are all welcome inclusions, and one of the two USB ports is a 3.0 variety, although the driver for the Fresco Logic USB 3.0 controller wasn’t installed in our model (d’oh!). When it was, performance for the port was in line with expectations, giving us reads and writes to an external USB 3.0 drive of 217.7MB/s and 184.4MB/s, respectively.
WE REVIEWED Eurocom’s top-of-the-line mobile workstation, the Panther 2.0, in our June 2011 issue. That high-end behemoth weighed more than 15 pounds and cost upward of $5,000, but it sported a desktop Core i7-980X CPU and a pair of Radeon HD 6970s in CrossFire. This time around we’re taking a look at the company’s lighter-weight mobile workstation, the Neptune 3D.
While also billed as a high-end desktop-replacement, the Neptune 3D is far more modest than its beefy big brother. It’s based on a mobile Sandy Bridge CPU (Intel’s Core i7-2760QM) and a single mobile GPU (Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 580M). The Neptune 3D weighs less than nine pounds, but its defining feature is its 17.3-inch, 120Hz, 3D display.