Barnes & Noble welcomes Google back into their version of Android.
Barnes & Noble knows that the Nook is in an awkward position these days. The company’s name has become synonymous with bad news, and getting users to buy into their ecosystem is becoming increasingly tricky. Nobody wants to buy a dedicated tablet from a company that might not be around this time next year. This could help explain the disappointing sales the company has experienced as of late, but at least they finally have a plan. In a free update, B&N is adding Google Play to the Nook HD and Nook HD+, instantly making them viable platforms.
Honoring the PC components that don't get the credit they deserve
If you built your first PC more than a decade ago, you know that PC building has come a long way. Modern conveniences like cases with holes for cable routing, motherboards with labels, and right-angle SATA cables certainly help with the cumbersome bits. This article aims to pay respect to these unsung heroes of the PC universe. You can check out our picks in the gallery below.
We're closing in on Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates Mexico's Battle of Puebla fought on May 5, 1862, a victory against overwhelming odds and an important step towards Mexican independence from European rulers. These days, it's a popular holiday for getting drunk, dancing and making loud noises, but maybe that's just me. I think I'm gonna play it low-key this year instead, and take the opportunity to update our Best of the Best hardware with a couple new entries: the EVGA GeForce GTX Titan and AMD's Radeon HD 7850.
Analysts can talk all they want about the demise of desktops and the rise of tablets, we're not buying it. And you know what? Neither are discrete graphics card makers. If they were, Nvidia wouldn't be getting to release a GeForce GTX 780 video card, which if the latest web chatter is true, will be launching in just a few weeks. After that, Nvidia has another GTX 700 Series card to unleash.
Not all power supplies will support Haswell's zero load design, Enermax says.
Intel's Haswell refresh is coming, and when it does, it will deliver better performance, much improved integrated graphics, and superior power efficiency that, according to Enermax, only a handful of power supplies are able to take advantage of. Enermax is referring to the new C6 and C7 states that are able to reduce CPU power consumption to a mere 0.05A. Some Ivy Bridge chips draw up to ten times more in a minimum power state.
Select Haswell parts will feature Intel's supercharged Iris graphics.
Nobody brags about integrated graphics, and that's because there's not much there worthy of boast. That's fine, but if manufactures insist on pushing thin and light platforms on the masses and shrinking the desktop, then is it too much to ask for an integrated graphics solution that either (A) doesn't suck, or (B) is better than just serviceable? Intel doesn't think so, and its Iris graphics might be just what the market needs.
AMD recently launched a pair of FX-Series Piledriver processors, FX-4350 and FX-6350, and hot on heels of those new chips is a round of price cuts to some older parts. The Sunnyvale chip designer slashed the price of 10 chips in all, most of which received a double-digit percentage discount. In fact, the smallest price cut was 9.5 percent, and the two others that technically don't qualify as double digits were both dropped by 9.9 percent.
Go ahead Joan Jett fans, touch Lenovo's new ThinkPad S431. Lenovo's latest business friendly laptop sports a 14-inch touchscreen display wedged into a 13-inch frame and encourages finger tapping and swiping with Windows 8. According to Lenovo, it's also dressed to impress customers with an "elegant floating design," offering users a combination of style and substance.
If Windows 8 is here to stay -- and Microsoft hasn't given us any reason to believe it plans on backpeddaling at this point -- then you might be best served by investing in a touchscreen laptop the next time you're in the market for a notebook. Touchscreens aren't always cheap, but it looks like Acer is planning to aggressively pursue the entry-level market with an 11.6-inch touchscreen laptop that costs just $399.
It seems like the whole world has gone crazy over tablets, and you can't go more than a week without some market research firm posting gloom and doom numbers on the desktop PC side due to consumer interest in mobile. Be that as it may, and despite falling prices for increasingly powerful tablets, not everyone believes the form factor will stand the test of time. Just the opposite, BlackBerry's Thorstein Heins -- the guy who runs the show -- believes tablets are a bad business model that will be lucky to last past 2018.