Whenever talk turns to the topic of hard drives, inevitably you'll find that some people swear by brand X while others will only buy HDDs from brand Y. Their reasons are often anecdotal, and usually influenced by a bad experience with a particular model or brand. A person may say something like, "Each time I've plopped a brand Y HDD in my home server, it's crapped out after a year, but my brand X drive is still going strong after 10 years!" Unfortunately, two separate accounts of HDD longevity can (and often do) contradict each other, but there are other problems that prevent a logical conclusion, such as the lack of scientific data. What's much more meaningful is an ongoing study of 25,000 hard drives.
Acer's commercial subscribers have two new Ultrabooks to choose from
If you're looking for a new Ultrabook for your business travels, Acer has a couple of new options worth checking out. Both fall under the company's TravelMate umbrella and both rock an Intel foundation, though these are very different systems. One is a more powerful laptop built around Intel's 4th Generation Core i5 and i7 architecture (Haswell) and the other is a convertible style notebook based on Intel's 3rd Generation chips.
Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Hisense introduced its aggressively priced 55-inch XT880 4K Ultra High Definition Smart TV for $1,999. That may not exactly fall into the "affordable" category for most shoppers, but it wasn't all that long ago when two-grand was the going rate for a regular TV of the same size. These days that gets you a 65-inch or 70-inch Full HD 1080 LED, or in this case, a 55-inch 4K panel.
EVGA today introduced its Tegra Note 7 tablet for gamers. Billed as the "perfect traveling companion," this 7-inch slate rocks an IPS display with a 1280x800 resolution, Nvidia Tegra 4 SoC with a quad-core CPU (and a 5th battery saver core) and 72-core GeForce GPU, 1GB of DDR3L-1600 RAM, and 16GB of eMMC storage aided by a microSD card slot for up to an additional 32GB of storage space.
AT&T seems to be at the front of the line a lot when it comes to mobile devices. For a period of time, it was the only carrier offering Apple's iPhone, and more recently, if you wanted a customized Moto X device from Motorola, you had to be an AT&T subscriber. Not anymore. Motorola announced that the Moto X is now available for customization on all major U.S. carriers, including Verizon Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile, and of course AT&T.
While much of the PC industry is hustling to bring lower-cost Ultrabooks to market, Toshiba is unabashedly raising the high end, complete with an all-new brand meant to ooze excellence. The first product to wear this proud badge is the 13.3-inch Kirabook. With its upmarket looks, über-high-res screen, and serious-for-its-size parts, this high-priced newcomer is gunning for no less than Apple’s Retina display–boasting MacBook Pro.
Note: This review was originally featured in the August 2013 issue of the magazine.
A wireless headset that works with virtually any device
You may own a gaming PC, Xbox 360 console, tablet, and other devices, all of which pipe out audio. Buying a dedicated headset for each one can be both unwieldy and expensive. To get around that, SteelSeries today introduced its multi-platform H Wireless Headset with support for PC, Mac, game consoles, and a range of other devices via an array of inputs and outputs including mini USB, optical in/out (S/PDIF), analog input (3.5mm, 3-pole), and chat output (3.5mm, 3-pole).
When it comes to Android, mobile users are mostly living in Samsung's galaxy, with relatively few venturing off with other device makers. Based on the latest data from Localytics, Samsung has a 63 percent share of all Android mobile devices, leaving the competition to fight for the remaining 37 percent. Samsung's closest competitor in the Android space is HTC, which lays claim to just 6.5 percent of the market.
Three fan design boasts 14 percent better cooling performance
NVIDIA swiped the fastest single-GPU crown from AMD with the launch of its GeForce GTX 780 Ti graphics card (tough to argue with the benchmarks), but why stop there? Gigabyte decided to kick things up a notch with its GeForce GTX 780 Ti Overclocked Edition, an OC'd version of NVIDIA's reference speed demon outfitted with a Windforce 3X cooling solution consisting of "Triangle Cool" technology.
A candidate for Microsoft's CEO position is already thinking about big changes
Former Nokia chief Stephen Elop is reportedly on Microsoft's short list of candidates to take over as Chief Executive Officer of the Redmond software giant. He faces some stiff competition -- most notably, Ford CEO Alan Mulally, who has a history of turning around big companies -- but if Microsoft ultimately chooses Elop to replace Steve Ballmer, it doesn't appear he would be afraid to make some big, controversial changes.