If the MSI GT60 looks familiar, that might be because it’s identical to our zero-point gaming notebook, which we first reviewed in our December 2012 issue. While the laptop uses the same chassis, the refreshed unit comes with shiny new parts that include Intel’s Haswell CPU and a new top-tier 700-series GPU from Nvidia.
Note: This review was originally featured in the September 2013 issue of the magazine.
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?
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.
Finding middle ground between Full HD and 4K gaming
MSI today announced what it claims is the world's first 3K gaming notebook, which hits the market just in time to be added onto your holiday wishlist. The GT60 2OD-261US is a 15.6-inch laptop with a WQHD+ display (2880x1620) that kicks things up a notch over Full HD 1080p without going all the way up to 4K, which would be both more expensive and far more demanding on the hardware.
Finally, an affordable Chromebook with touch support
Google owes Acer a pat on the back for making its Chromebook platform a more attractive option. How so? Acer just introduced the C720P Chromebook, the newest addition to its C720 line and the first to feature an 11.6-inch touchscreen panel. What's equally impressive is that Acer managed to bolt on a touchscreen panel without tacking on an obscene premium -- this sucker retails for $300 MSRP.
There's not much fanfare surrounding the launch of Lenovo's new Flex 10 laptop with Intel's Bay Trail architecture inside. Perhaps that's because the Flex line itself isn't new, though the 10-inch model hasn't been released before. The Flex 10 features a 10.1-inch touchscreen display with a 1366x768 (HD) resolution. What's unique about the Flex 10 is that the screen flips 300 degrees into stand mode so that you can tap away at the display.