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Friday, August 31, 2012

HP Spectre XT TouchSmart Ultrabook

One thing nearly every PC maker has in store for the launch of Windows 8 is a touch-screen laptop. That's apart from all the hybrid and convertible laptops we've seen, which will also be nearly universal. Those hybrid systems have a screen that either flips around or snaps apart from its keyboard, while touch-screen laptops are traditional clamshell systems, just with a touch-enabled panel added.

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Home theater essentials (2012)

Published on Aug 31, 2012 by CNETTV : There's more to a modern home theater than a great TV. Here are the top five must-have products to complete the home theater experience.

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Tokyo Court: Samsung Didn't Harm Apple Patent

Published on Aug 31, 2012 by AssociatedPress : A Tokyo court on Friday dismissed Apple Inc.'s claim that Samsung had infringed on its patent, the latest ruling in the global legal battle between the two technology titans over smartphones.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

HP Envy x2

HP's Envy x2 won't launch until later this year, but at an Hewlett-Packard event in San Francisco last week, I got a chance to get some hands-on time with the device. HP has not announced a price yet, but since Microsoft has yet to officially price its Surface tablet, that's not surprising.

It's interesting to watch HP attempt to bounce back from the TouchPad failure. From what I've seen of this tablet (HP calls it a "Hybrid PC"; I'll continue to call it a tablet), the company is on the right track.

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Samsung Series 7 Slate PC

(Credit: Scott Stein)
Windows tablets aren't new. In fact, we reviewed a Samsung Series 7 Slate last fall which, despite strong performance and a solid design, didn't seem to be a perfect product. They're coming back in a major way thanks to Windows 8's imminent fall debut, and Samsung's taken the opportunity to revamp its Slate in two different 11.6-inch forms: a Series 5 Slate with a next-gen Atom processor for $749, and a Series 7 Slate with a Core i5 processor for $1,199. Both have detachable keyboard docks and run Windows 8. The biggest new addition to these Slates might be their stylii: both come with the S-Pen, the pressure-sensitive Samsung stylus introduced in Galaxy Note phones and tablets over the past year.
The S-Pen slots into the side of the Slate and offers 1,024 levels of sensitivity. Depending on the software designed to work with the S-Pen, it could be a killer differentiating feature compared to other Windows tablets. Samsung's also installing MediaHub software to help out with entertainment and app access to Samsung's content.
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Samsung Series 7 Slate 700T

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Samsung bets on Android-powered, networked camera

There have been Wi-Fi-equipped cameras before, but Samsung hopes the 3G and 4G network abilities of its Galaxy Camera will appeal more to people's desire to share high-quality photos while on the go.

Samsung's Galaxy Camera, with a 16MP sensor, a 21x zoom lens, Android 4.1, and smartphone-class mobile networking.
Samsung's Galaxy Camera, with a 16MP sensor, a 21x zoom lens, Android 4.1,
and smartphone-class mobile networking.
(Credit: Stephen Shankland/CNET)
BERLIN -- Smartphones are taking over the point-and-shoot camera market, but Samsung today announced a product it hopes will reverse the trend by building phone technology into a 16-megapixel camera.
The Samsung Galaxy Camera is an Android 4.1 device with a large touch screen on one side, a 21x zoom lens on the other, and networking abilities in the middle. That last point is key: one of the big advantages of smartphones is that you can do something with the photo immediately after taking it -- sharing with friends on Facebook, for example.

Sony releases first 4K TV: The 84-inch XBR-84X900

Sony has announced its first 4K television, the 84-inch XBR-84X900, which features a separate stereo speaker system and passive 3D viewing.

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

TOP 5 Headphones under $50

Published on Aug 24, 2012 by CNETTV : When it comes to sound quality, a little money can go a long way. Here are CNET's top-rated headphones that cost less than $50.

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Motorola Electrify 2 on U.S. Cellular

Published on Aug 24, 2012 by CNETTV : Equipped with Android 4.0, a nice, dual-core processor, bright screen, plus an ultra-thin size, the $199.99 Motorola Electrify 2 is a tempting proposition on U.S. Cellular.

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Samsung NX210 hands-on

Published on Aug 24, 2012 by CNETTV : The Samsung NX210's raw photos and the shooting experience it provides distinguish it from interchangeable-lens competitors, but it's slower than it should be and JPEG photos don't match the rest of the field.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Dell Inspiron 17R a basic 17-inch

Published on Aug 23, 2012 by CNETTV : If you need maximum screen size at a minimum price, this basic 17-inch Dell Inspiron 17R is powerful enough for everyday tasks.


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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 hands-on.

Published on Aug 23, 2012 by CNETTV : The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100's compact, elegant design; generally excellent photo quality; bright, fast lens; and speedy performance make a great package if you don't mind spending a little more money.


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Thursday, August 23, 2012

TV : LG 84LM9600

One of the biggest buzzwords to emerge from this year's CES was 4K, which is pinned as the next consumer resolution after 1080p. But after a promising beginning we haven't heard much about actual product since then.
Toshiba's 4K screen has quietly slipped off the radar, but it appears LG's 84-inch LM9600 is still on track for release this year. In fact it could be available as early as September, which would make it the first 4K TV available for sale in the U.S.
The LG 84LM9600 will have a resolution of 3,840x2,160 pixels, aka the consumer version of 4K, since it's four times the number of pixels employed by garden-variety 1080p TVs (1,920x1,080). For its part, LG calls the resolution "UD" for "ultra-definition," making this a (wait for it) "UDTV."
When it ships, this monster will actually be only the second-largest flat-panel size widely available to the public. Sharp's 90-inch LC-90LE745U is the biggest, although it has "only" 1080p resolution.

(Credit: LG)

That difference begs the question: is 4K worthwhile it an of itself, or are the benefits of all those extra pixels even visible from normal seating distances? We won't know for sure until we can test it out in person, but let's just say we're quite skeptical. Geoff Morrison's Why 4K TVs are stupid lays out the reasons.

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Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE

The good: The Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE brings a fast processor, a superb keyboard, Android 4.0, and a bright, colorful screen.

The bad: Until Sprint LTE is more widespread, the Photon Q 4G LTE is mostly stuck with 3G data. The phone is thick, heavy, takes disappointing pictures, and its battery isn't user removable.

The bottom line: The Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE is hefty, but packs modern Android power, an excellent keyboard, and LTE 4G if you're lucky.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The New iPhone Will Launch On Friday, September 21?

A trusted Verizon employee has just confirmed to TechCrunch that the carrier is having an all-staff vacation blackout from the dates of Friday, September 21 to September 30. You know what that means, right?
The next iPhone, whether it’s called the iPhone 5 or simply the new iPhone, will almost certainly be available in stores (with lines wrapping around the back of them) starting Friday, September 21.
It’s largely expected that the next-gen iPhone will be announced on September 12, in usual Apple fashion. (Though the spectacle may be a bit different this time around considering that Apple’slead presentation executive was fired in December.)
If we travel back a bit and examine the historical timeline from Apple’s announcement, to pre-order, to launch, the dates all seem to match up.
Last year Apple announced the iPhone 4S on a Tuesday, October 4th. The phone went up for pre-order on that Friday, October 7, and was available in stores on Friday, October 14, a week later.
The iPhone 5/2012 timeline looks almost identical:
  • Expected announcement: Wednesday, September 12
  • Expected pre-order date: Wednesday, September 12
  • Launch date, as confirmed by our trusted source: Friday, September 21
And so began ticking the internal iCountdown clocks of a million fanboys.

Have a splash with Boost's Kyocera Hydro

Published on Aug 21, 2012 by CNETTV - First Look : The Kyocera Hydro by Boost Mobile is an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich handset that is also waterproof -- so there's no need to worry if you accidentally drop it in water or take it for a quick swim.

Samsung t159 simply makes strong calls

Published on Aug 21, 2012 by CNETTV : All you really need in a flip phone like the $20 t159 for T-Mobile is clear, clean audio.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 makes a good effort, but iPad is still tops

Just like two cute little snuggle bunnies! (Credit: James Martin/CNET)
nytime a major vendor releases a new tablet, I inevitably get asked the following question: can it take on the top dog? That "top dog" being the iPad, of course.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is the latest such device to get the "How does it compare with the iPad?" treatment. Let me break it down for you.
Well, the technology behind the S Pen stylus is really cool, supporting things like pressure sensitivity and palm rejection. This will no doubt benefit figure artists and even those who want a bit more precision when putting one person's head on another's body in Photoshop Touch. Ahhh, wackiness.
Beyond that, however, this is a pretty par-for-the-course Samsung tablet, with the requisite IR blaster and expandable memory slot in tow. If you hated the TouchWiz UI before, you'll continue to hate it here.
I'm not speaking pejoratively here. Samsung makes good tablets. The Note 10.1 just isn't up there with the Asus Transformer Infinitys,Nexus 7s, and iPads of the world.

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Samsung note 10.1 launch hopes to challenge iPad

Published on Aug 16, 2012 by Euronews : The tablet battle has entered a new round. Samsung has just launched its latest Galaxy tablet computer offering in three major markets looking to catch up with Apple's dominant iPad.

The device - which is now on sale in the US, Britain and South Korea - tries to be different with a stylus-type pen and the ability to view two apps at once on a split-screen.

Samsung still lags far behind Apple which sold nearly 28.8 million iPads in the first half of this year giving it almost two thirds of the market.Samsung's tablet sales were 4.4 million tablets with close to ten percent market share.

The two firms are currently toe-to-toe in a multi-billion dollar patents dispute.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Is That an Apple on Your TV?

Published on Aug 16, 2012 by WSJDigitalNetwork : The new frontier for Apple appears to be the living room, as the tech giant is said to be in talks with U.S. cable operators about letting consumers use an Apple device to watch TV and other content. The WSJ's Yun-Hee Kim has the details.

Why I regret buying an iMac

The iMac is a great machine until something goes wrong. Here's why you might think twice about buying one

iMac teardown
iMac teardown
TechRepublic's teardown reveals the crowded insides of a 2011 iMac.
(Credit: TechRepublic)
I can't say I've ever been a huge fan of all-in-one PCs, but a few years ago I was seduced into buying an iMac.
I'd like to blame it on an Apple ad campaign -- or the cumulative effects of multiple Apple ad campaigns -- but I think it had more to do with me briefly playing around with the review samples that made their way into our labs year in and and year out and rationalizing that the sleek, space-saving iMac would make a good hand-me-down computer for my kids when they were old enough to use one. Whatever it was, in the summer of 2010, when the iMac line got upgraded with new Intel processors, I walked into an Apple store and plunked down close to two grand on a 27-inch Core i5 model with some extra RAM. The guy next to me was buying a fully loaded Core i7 version for his daughter, who was headed off to college.
For the record, I was replacing a 2003 "Quicksilver" Power Mac G4 that had grown long in the tooth but still worked with one hard-drive replacement along the way and a few memory upgrades. And just so this doesn't devolve into an argument about Mac versus Windows machines, at the time of the purchase, I had more Windows machines in my house than Macs. Except for my work laptop (a Lenovo), I'd built all my Windows machines and they were much more powerful than anything I had on the Mac side. I still use them today.
Truth be told, I was happy with my iMac purchase -- until the hard drive failed on me last month, around 22 months after I'd bought it.
I'm normally pretty good about fixing these things and I'm well versed in using Apple's Disk First Aid. But the drive was one sick puppy. It wasn't exactly dead, but it was on life support. "Your drive has a hardware problem that can't be repaired," the warning message read. "Back up as much of the data as possible and replace the disk."
When good disk drives go bad: The message you don't want to see (click to enlarge).

(Credit: David Carnoy/CNET)
I had backed up most of its contents to a network drive, but I did have some family photos from the last three months that I hadn't backed up and wanted to save.
Original report | 14 aug 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Google slashes Motorola jobs & shut offices seeking profit.

Published on Aug 13, 2012 by Euronews : Motorola Mobility is to cut 20 percent of its workforce - 4,000 people - and shut nearly a third of its offices worldwide.That word came from the internet search engine Google which bought the mobile phone maker last year for 10 billion euros. The company said it wanted "to return Motorola's mobile devices unit to profitability, after it lost money in 14 of the last 16 quarters".

According to a report in the New York Times it will exit unprofitable markets and stop making low-end handsets, focusing on a few phones instead of dozens.Motorola Mobility, which has 94 offices throughout the world, will centre research and development in Chicago, Sunnyvale, California and Beijing.

Google expects to take severance-related charges of up to $275 million (223 million euros) mostly in the third quarter, it said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.It expects to record the remaining severance-related costs by the end of 2012 and said it could also incur other related restructuring charges mainly in the third quarter.

The company said it could not currently predict the amount of these other charges but added that they could be significant."Motorola is committed to helping them (the employees) through this difficult transition and will be providing generous severance packages, as well as outplacement services to help people find new jobs," a Google spokeswoman said.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7

 is quite nice for the price

Published on Aug 9, 2012 : A speedy little camera with a long lens, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7 performs beyond its tiny price tag.

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hackers topple Huawei routers

Las Vegas - Hackers at an infamous Def Con gathering on Sunday were shown how to easily slip into computer networks through some routers made by Chinese electronics colossus Huawei Technologies.

"For the 20th anniversary of Def Con the gift is China," Recurity Labs chief Felix "FX" Lindner said as he opened his presentation.

"Nobody needs a back door; this is plausible deniability," he quipped as he detailed weaknesses in three small Huawei routers that could be exploited using basic hacking techniques. "You get what you pay for. Sorry."

Huawei routers, equipment that connects networks to the internet, are widely used in Asia, Africa and the Middle East and the company has been striving to gain ground in US and European markets, according to Germany-based Recurity.

Lindner and his teammate Gregor Kopf were particularly troubled that Huawei has not issued any security advisories about its routers to warn users to take precautions.

Major force

"These machines have serious security issues," said Kopf. "In my eyes, the greatest danger is that you don't know how vulnerable it is; you're left in the dark."

Kopf referred to the routers studied by Recurity as having technology reminiscent of the 1990s and said that once attackers slipped in they could potentially run amok in networks.

"It looks pretty bad," Kopf said. "To be fair, we only looked at three routers. But based on this sample, chances are other equipment they offer is very vulnerable."

Recurity did not examine "big boxes", large routers Huawei makes for businesses and telecom networks.

Huawei, founded by a former People's Liberation Army engineer, has established itself as a major force in the global telecoms industry where its technology is widely used to build mobile phone networks.

Huawei is battling an image problem in the broader technology market due to its perceived close ties with the Chinese military and government.

It was recently blocked from bidding for contracts on Australia's ambitious national broadband project, reportedly due to concerns about cyber security.

The company has in the past also run afoul of US regulators and lawmakers because of worries over its links with the Chinese military and Beijing - fears that Huawei has dismissed.

"It doesn't really matter how much intention is behind the quality that we see," said Lindner. "If you can take over people's routers you can get into their stuff. People need to verify what they are dealing with before they buy."

Acer's ultra-affordable Timeline U M5-481TG ultrabook - First Look

Published on Aug 8, 2012 by CNETTV : For under $800, this 14-inch ultrabook packs a Core i5 processor, Nvidia graphics, a DVD drive, and a backlit keyboard. It's a back-to-school special that's extremely tough to beat.

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The budget friendly Sony KDL-32BX330 - First Look

Published on Aug 8, 2012 by CNETTV : The Sony KDL-32BX330 is a reasonably good 32-inch TV, but it's best feature is undoubtedly its low price.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mossberg Reviews New Lenovo and H-P Laptops

Published on Aug 8, 2012 by WSJDigitalNetwork ; The relatively pricey Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Ultrabook and the much cheaper H-P ENVY 6-1010us "Sleekbook" powered by an AMD chip both have their strengths, says WSJ's Walt Mossberg. But neither has very impressive battery life.


Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 review (touch screen)

The good: The big-screen Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 all-in-one boasts 10-point touch input and one of the most adjustable displays around.

The bad: With too few touch applications and weak core PC components, this system feels overpriced.

The bottom line: The IdeaCentre A720 has some enticing touch capabilities and design elements, but not enough meat in its apps or its core features to justify its cost.

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Nikon D3200, a bang for the buck

Published on Aug 4, 2012 by thestaronline : Nikon updates its entry-level DSLR category with a 24 million-pixel sensor model, the D3200.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Toshiba Satellite U845-S406 review

The Satellite U845-S406 does have a backlit keyboard and all the basic ports (Ethernet, HDMI, USB 3.0, SD card slot), plus a slightly larger-than-average 14-inch screen, but it weighs more than a Toshiba Portege R935 (the CPU-upgraded update to the Portege R835 CNET has reviewed), even though the Portege R935 also includes an optical drive and a faster processor. Even more oddly, some models of the new Portege are more affordable.


(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)
Simply put, Toshiba has too many laptops, but that's an argument for a different day. The Satellite U845-S406 offers what amounts to, for mid-2012, a solid, standard set of ultrabook specs and features, but in a rather generically designed package, and not at a standout price. It doesn't stand out from its peers. I'd try to get one for as little as possible and pay down for the entry-level model. This type of laptop should cost $750, not $879.
Starting price / Price as reviewed$749 / $879
Processor1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U
Memory4GB, 1,600MHz DDR3
Hard drive500GB, 5,400rpm + 32GB SSD hybrid
ChipsetIntel HM77
GraphicsIntel HD 4000
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
Dimensions (WD)13.4x9.1 inches
Height0.8 inch
Screen size (diagonal)14 inches
System weight / Weight with AC adapter3.7 pounds / 4.3 pounds

31 July 2012 |  read more