In between my chores as a hardware tester, I’m an IIBT board-certified troller and can successfully argue with anyone about anything, anywhere, at any time.
These days, one of the many issues I get to spar with people over is, “What is a PC?” That might seem about as basic as opining on the color blue, but the distinctions are extremely important. Just this morning, I was reading a headline stating that Apple’s new mini tablet could very well “hurt the PC market.” Of course, on the very same news site, six months ago, was a story about how analysts had deemed Apple the world’s largest “PC maker.” That’s not because Apple sold more PCs than HP, Dell, or Lenovo, but because it sold more iPads, which as we know, should be counted as PC sales, right?
Note: This column appeared in the Holiday 2012 issue of the magazine.
After delaying the launch of a Windows RT tablet, Acer is now ready to make the jump.
Acer has been outspokenly critical of Microsoft's decision to launch its own brand Windows 8/RT hardware, but that isn't the only reason the OEM has yet to release a Windows RT tablet of its own. The Taiwanese computer maker decided it was best to take a wait-and-see approach, allowing Microsoft to be the guinea pig. Apparently satisfied with what it saw, Acer says it plans to release a Windows RT tablet of its own sometime later this year.
Pricing for the Core i5/i7-based Razer Edge will start at $1,000.
Gaming peripheral maker Razer today announced that its Razer Edge tablet will available for pre-order starting March 1, 2013 at precisely 12:01 AM Pacific. Purchased units will ship to consumers sometime in the same month, though Razer didn't announce an official launch date. Pricing for the Razer Edge starts at $1,000 for an Intel Core i5 dual-core (1.7GHz) foundation with 4GB of DDR3-1600 RAM and Nvidia GeForce GT 640M LE graphics.
Steve Ballmer sat for a spell with MIT Technology Review to discuss the Windows 8 ecosystem.
It's no easy task to gauge the impact Windows 8 is having on the industry, in part because the industry is changing. The traditional desktop is taking a backseat in popularity to mobile form factors, like notebooks, tablets, and hybrids. Windows 8, as you know, is an attempt to bring all these devices together, along with smartphones, under a unified user interface. Is Microsoft happy with its strategy up to this point?
iFixIt's teardown of the Surface Pro reveals that it's even more difficult to service than Apple's iPad.
Our diabolical friends at iFixIt gave Microsoft's Surface Pro notebook/tablet the teardown treatment, and as always, they documented the surgery with plenty of pics every step of the way. It's a given that you need nerves of steel to tear into some of the devices that end up on iFixIt's operating table, and that's especially true of the Surface Pro, which scored a measly 1 out of 10 on iFixIt's Repairabilty scale (the higher the score, the easier it is to service).
As many as 200 million IT workers may be holding out for the right Windows 8 tablet, Forrester says.
A war is brewing between Apple and Microsoft in the tablet space, but if you've read the initial reviews of Surface Pro, you might think it's a one-sided fight. Most reviewers agree that Surface Pro is too expensive, suffers from a short battery life, and is a niche product. However, there may be hundreds of millions of IT workers who are interested in what Surface Pro brings to the tablet.
Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet debuted to heavy criticism in the media, primarily over poor battery life and the high cost of ownership. Another factor that could ultimately affect sales is consumer confusion over what type of device the Surface Pro is, and that's something we suspect Microsoft will work on in the coming months. One thing Microsoft won't be pursuing, however, is another iteration of Surface RT, not in the short term, anyway.
It's safe to say that Steve Jobs was wrong about the 7-inch tablet category, which even Apple competes in these days (iPad mini). As times goes on, you can expect to see even more smaller size tablets enter the market place, including the 7-inch Wikipad, which is scheduled to launch in the Spring of 2013. The Wikipad is built on top of an Nvidia Tegra 3 SoC foundation and is essentially a smaller (and less expensive) version of its 10-inch sibling, though it's geared for gaming.
Surface Pro is off to a rocky start, at least as far as early reviews are concerned, many of which complain about short battery life. Will Microsoft's hardware partners do a better job with their own versions of Surface? Microsoft is counting on it, noting that the best devices have yet to come out. One Windows 8 device on the horizon is Lenovo's ThinkPad Helix, another notebook-slash-tablet PC, but with a twist.
Less than flattering reviews of Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet start to, uh, surface.
Microsoft is starting to find out what Acer meant when it said that the hardware business is like "hard rice" and "is not so easy to eat." Yes, those are real quotes, albeit probably a rough translation. The point Acer has repeatedly tried to hammer home is that Microsoft has no business competing against its OEM partners, and that it should focus on software, not hardware. Initial reviews of the Surface Pro aren't likely to change Acer's opinion, but will they change Microsoft's?