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August, 2012

Samsung Ativ Tab with Windows RT review: first look

Friday, August 31st, 2012

It’s been a long wait to see Windows RT in action, but here it is – and unsurprisingly it’s rather a lot like Windows 8.

Samsung introduced three Windows 8 tablets in Berlin, and while the Ativ Smart PC and Smart PC Pro are Intel-powered devices, the Samsung Ativ Tab is the long-awaited ARM-powered Windows RT baby of the three.

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Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 review: first look

Friday, August 31st, 2012

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In the race to create the ultimate Windows 8 convertible, IFA 2012 has witnessed a whole spectrum of cutting-edge tablet designs. Now, Lenovo’s stepped up to the mark with its IdeaPad Yoga 13, an ingeniously designed 13in Ultrabook that’s capable of contorting itself from a slim-and-light laptop into a giant-sized tablet.

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Sony VAIO Tap 20 review: first look

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Windows 8 has been the catalyst for a new breed of touch-friendly devices at IFA 2012, but unlike most we’ve seen, Sony’s VAIO Tap 20 isn’t one you’re likely to sling in a bag. Instead, this is Sony’s attempt to usher touch into the home with its vision of a family-friendly, table-top PC.

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Toshiba Satellite U920T review: first look

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

If you’re a fan of Windows 8 tablets, there’s no better place to be than in Berlin: IFA 2012 is awash with the new breed of touch-friendly slates. Toshiba’s taken advantage of its IFA presence to add another one to the list by pulling the covers off its very own Windows 8 convertible, the Satellite U920t.
Every manufacturer we’ve seen so far – Dell’s XPS Duo 12 and Sony’s VAIO Duo 11 being another two – has brought its own design expertise to bear on the convertible tablet conundrum. And where Dell’s opted for a nifty flip-top screen, and Sony went to town on its Surf Slider design, Toshiba’s latest addition has come up with its very own convertible vision.
In fact, the first time our contact at Toshiba showed off the Satellite U920t’s hinge action, we were duly impressed. Ratchets stretch up and down the panel’s rear, a central puck keeping the action light and smooth, and the screen flips up and back with a wonderfully fluid action.
The nifty mechanism means that, unlike Sony’s VAIO Duo 11, the screen slides much further back, leaving more room for a full-sized keyboard and, importantly, a wide, squat buttonless touchpad. That means it’s just that bit comfier to type on than Sony’s offering, and the decent-sized touchpad is a boon, too – even if it doesn’t leave quite as much room as Dell’s elegant hinged design.
Start prodding away and the Toshiba’s 12.5in panel responds crisply to every poke of the finger. The glossy finish is actually Gorilla Glass, so it’ll fend off knocks and scrapes while out and about, and the touchscreen itself supports up to 5-point multitouch. As for image quality, the IPS panel looks well up to par, and Toshiba claims the backlight will manage a maximu brightness of 300cd/m2. If there’s a disappointment, it’s the resolution – it’s a mere 1,366 x 768 – which is some way short of Dell and Sony’s Full HD-sporting rivals.

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If you’re a fan of Windows 8, there’s no better place to be than Berlin — IFA 2012 is awash with the new breed of touch-friendly tablets. Now, Toshiba’s taken advantage of its IFA presence to add another one to the list: the Satellite U920T.

(more…)

Dell XPS Duo 12 and XPS 10 review: first look

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

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2012 is shaping up to be the year of the Windows 8 tablet at IFA 2012, and Dell’s seized the moment with an XPS-branded pair of convertible Windows 8 tablets. While the XPS Duo 12 delivers a, quite literally, novel twist on the form factor, the XPS 10 takes the Windows RT route to a more classic, convertible hybrid tablet.

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Sony VAIO Duo 11 review: first look

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Sony’s kicked off Berlin’s IFA 2012 trade show with a bang: in amongst a bevy of new consumer smartphones, laptops, tablets and 4K TVs, Sony’s unveiled its luxurious vision of a Windows 8 tablet, the stunning Vaio Duo 11.
The first moments with the Duo 11 will be spent gawping at the display – the glossy 11.6in display is simply gorgeous – but that Full-HD display distracts from a multitude of talents. In addition to supporting 10-finger multitouch, and having a a slide-out keyboard hidden away inside, Sony has also packed in a proper pressure-senstive digitiser and matching stylus. Make no bones about it, Sony’s attempting to put together the ultimate hybrid Windows 8 device.
The VAIO Duo 11 oozes the kind of class we’d expect from a flagship device. It’s hard to make tablets – rectangles with buttons – look pretty, but the combination of crisp, angular edges and the smoothly curved, glossy screen bezel do their best. It feels reassuringly solid in the hand, too.
And while the Vaio Duo 11 works well in its tablet orientation, it also flips eagerly into its convertible mode. Push the front edge, and the screen slides up and backwards to reveal the compact keyboard beneath. A little touchpoint sits in the centre of the keyboard, and two thin mouse buttons are wedged beneath the space bar.
The 11.6in display is simply stunning, and is the best display we’ve ever encountered on a Windows tablet. Sony’s employed its OptiContrast technology, and, whether its a particular type of backlighting or panel technology, it certainly seems to have done the trick. The combination of rich, saturated colours and excellent contrast make for an eye-pampering experience and the wide viewing angles mean that there’s no contrast shift or washed-out images even at the most extreme positions. It’s simply superb.
The specification beneath guarantees that Windows 8 responds instantaneously to every brush of the finger. The units on show sported low-voltage Core i7 Ivy Bridge CPUs, and with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD they felt supremely snappy. Sony confirmed that the VAIO Duo 11 would come in different flavours, however, with options including Core i5 and Core i7 processors, 128GB and 256GB SSDs and the choice of Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro

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Sony kicked off Berlin’s IFA 2012 trade show with a bang: in amongst a bevy of new consumer smartphones, laptops, tablets and 4K TVs, Sony unveiled its luxurious vision of a Windows 8 tablet, the stunning VAIO Duo 11.

Click here to read PC Pro’s full review of the Sony VAIO Duo 11

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How much will this Apple-1 computer sell for?

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Apple-1A former Apple employee is putting a rare Apple-1 computer up for auction in October.
The Apple-1 system, serial number 22, is being made available from the estate of former employee Joe Copson, and is expected to fetch between £50,000 and £80,000 at Christie’s in London.
Hand-built in 1976 by Steve Wozniak, only 200 Apple-1 machines were assembled and sold, without casing or peripherals, for $666.66. It is estimated that fewer than 50 exist today.
It’s not the first time a rare Apple-1 has been put up for auction. In November 2010 a computer with a signed sales letter from Steve Jobs sold for $210,000 (£133,250).
And in June this year a rare operational Apple-1 sold for a record $374,500 (£240,929).

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Only 200 Apple-1 computers were originally made, in Steve Jobs’ parents’ garage by Steve Wozniak’s own hands. Way back in 1976 they shipped each one themselves and randomly chose a price of $666.66. The Apple-1 didn’t even have a case, a screen or a keyboard – it was little more than a circuit board.

But with only 50 believed to still exist, original Apple-1 computers fetch big bucks at auction. In November 2010 an Apple-1 in its original packaging and with a signed sales letter from Steve Jobs sold for $210,000 (£133,250). The buyer said he would restore it to working order and put it in his collection of Apple devices.

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Posted in: Hardware

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Gigabyte X11 Ultrabook review: first look

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Gigabyte X11 UltrabookUltrabooks are increasingly slipping into an all-too-familiar blueprint, so it’s good to see some companies trying to push the envelope. Gigabyte’s latest design, the X11, claims to be the world’s lightest 11.6in Ultrabook – and, at less than a kilogram, we’re not going to argue. (more…)

Downsizing to a Windows 8 tablet

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Junkyard

Until today, I can’t remember the last time I made a conscious effort to spring clean the files on my work PC. For successive PC upgrades, I’ve simply copied all of my documents onto an external hard disk and transferred them to the new PC – the operative word there being “upgrades”. Every work laptop I’ve owned since I descended on Dennis Towers six years ago has had a bigger hard disk than the last, meaning I’ve never had to pay too much attention to the cruft accumulating in my Libraries.

Today, however, I’ve decided to experiment with making a Samsung Series 7 tablet running Windows 8 my primary work machine. The tablet, naturally, doesn’t have a hard disk, but a 64GB SSD. Once Windows 8 and the recovery partition was installed, that left a mere 50GB of disk space for me to move into, which was something of a problem when my personal folders on my old Dell laptop consumed in excess of 100GB.

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How to use your iPad in the kitchen

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Just spotted this video – five months old but utterly timeless in its themes. And just in case anyone is going to accuse me of being ageist, the link was passed on to me by my (equally timeless) father!

Oh, and if anyone could translate this for me I’d be very grateful…

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Posted in: Random

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