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Stone Classmate 3 review: first look at the Intel-designed hybrid

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

IMG_1735Intel recently updated the reference designs for its Classmate PC series — small, tough laptops designed for students.

British PC maker Stone was one of the first to show off hardware based on the updated designs with the Classmate 3 – a “semi-rugged” 10in hybrid device that runs Intel’s Bay Trail T processor and Windows 8.1 Pro. Since it’s aimed at students, Stone debuted the new laptop at educational technology show BETT, where we took a look at the device.


Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300 review: first look

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014


Asus yanked the covers off a stack of new laptops, tablets and smartphones at today’s CES 2014 press conference in Las Vegas. Out of them all, one product stood out: the Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300, which seamlessly combines Windows 8.1 and Android, and swaps between the two in a matter of seconds.


Forget the Saturday boy, here comes the robot shelf-stacker

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Shoe shopping

You know those automated checkout machines in Tesco and Sainsbury’s — the ones that nag you in a robotic voice to “please place item in the bagging area”? If you hate those machines, you’re going to hate shopping in the future even more than you do now, because stores are getting automated.

That doesn’t mean retail staff across the nation need worry for their jobs — we’ll always need someone to scowl at us when we come in the door — but technology is increasingly being used to help us spend more, from intelligent vending machines and robotic shelf stackers, to massive touchscreen promotional tools and smell-based marketing.

Retailers hope such technologies will help draw shopping back from the web to the high street, as does Intel — all of these systems run of a Core chip of some sort and make use of the company’s remote management and analytics software. It showed off the latest innovations in retail tech and what’s to come next at The Future of Retail show at Central Saint Martin’s College in London.


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Greatest Hits of MWC 2013

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

MWC Logo With the world’s largest mobile technology show about to take place in the sunny environs of Barcelona. it’s time to kick off something new for our coverage of the show this year: PC Pro’s Greatest Hits of MWC 2013. It’s our pick of the best products and technologies on show at the event. Nine products will walk away with a Greatest Hits award, and as ever we’re looking for our readers’ help in picking the winners.

If you see a product you think deserves to be considered, then make a comment on this blog by midnight Tuesday 5 February (UK time). In addition to five products earning the Greatest Hits accolade, we’re giving away four awards in the following specific categories:


Intel’s NUC arrives – in a box that plays the Intel Inside jingle

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Intel NUC box

A couple of intriguing boxes turned up this morning which, when unwrapped revealed a couple of very nice surprises. Intel had, after months of nagging, finally sent us review samples of its tiny barebones PC – the NUC – which Darien first caught sight of at IDF last year.


The techs to watch in 2013

Monday, December 31st, 2012

ChipmakingWith the January sales looming, you might be wondering whether it’s time to grab a bargain, or whether you should  hold out a little longer and see what technologies the new year brings. I’ve been closely watching the industry in 2012, and keeping track of announcements for the coming year – and below you’ll find my predictions of what’s going to happen in various areas of technology in 2013.


AMD Trinity review: first look

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

AMD Trinity APU

This blog has now been updated with additional benchmarks and pricing details. See below for our verdict on AMD Trinity.

We’ve heaped praise on AMD’s Accelerated Processing Units in the past, and it’s clear that the firm is onto a winner by cramming a processor and a Radeon graphics core into the same package – its A8-3870K took home a Recommended award in our last processor Labs.

The next generation of desktop parts is here, and the new chips, codenamed Trinity, are set to offer a better balance of application performance, gaming power and price. AMD’s hoping its APUs take more of a fight to Intel thanks to the inclusion of Bulldozer cores – the same technology that’s currently on show in its FX processors. (more…)

Motorola Razr i review: first look

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Motorola Razr i - front

There was a time when it was considered commercial suicide to launch any device, let alone another smartphone, at the same time as an Apple iPhone. Yet as Android has matured, rival manufacturers have steadily become bolder with the timing, and with the razzmatazz surrounding their announcements.

The latest to attempt to give Apple a black eye is Motorola with a new addition to its Razr family of smartphones. The Razr i will be available in the UK from the beginning of October.


Intel NUC mini-PC review: first look

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

NUC1It’s not just transistors that are shrinking at Intel. In an unobtrusive corner of IDF, the company has been demonstrating its new “Next Unit of Computing” (NUC) mini-PC, based on a 4in square motherboard and a tasteful moulded plastic case.

Internally, the NUC is powered by a 17-watt Core i3-3217U processor soldered to the underside of the motherboard. It’s a dual-core, Hyper-Threaded Ivy Bridge part clocked at 1.8GHz with no Turbo Boost – not exactly a powerhouse, but considerably more capable than the Atoms we’ve come to associate with tiny PCs.

The motherboard offers two SO-DIMM slots, supporting up to 16GB of DDR3, an mSATA slot for storage and a mini PCI-E slot for adding a wireless or other card as required. (more…)

HP Envy x2 (Intel Clover Trail) review: first look

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012


Intel has been struggling for years to get its Atom processors into smartphones, but handset manufacturers’ existing investment in ARM-based processes and software is a big obstacle.

(It was no surprise when product marketing director Sumeet Syal, speaking here at IDF, revealed that most of the hardware and software for the San Diego smartphone had been developed in-house by Intel, and handed over to Orange as more or less a finished product.)

Atom, however, isn’t only about smartphones: Intel has long been pushing it as a tablet processor too, and with the advent of Windows 8 it looks like that ambition is about to be fulfilled. Here, all the history is on Intel’s side: ARM is the newcomer, suffering from limited hardware and software support, while Atom-based Windows 8 tablets can run the full range of desktop applications, as well as supporting business-friendly features such as joining domains and participating in group policies. Syal described Atom as, quite simply, “a great solution” for tablets. (more…)






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