First up, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop. This one boasted rugged construction, but had trouble with our torture gantlet: mainly the heat test and the part where I spilled a cup of hot coffee on its otherwise outstanding keyboard. It comes on, but the keyboard and touch pad are unresponsive. … Read more
Updated Monday, December 3, 2012, at 11:45 a.m. PDT with comment from Microsoft.
Updated Friday, November 30, 2012, at 1:00 p.m. PDT with comment from AV-Test.org.
In a month of uneven Windows 8 news and reviews, Microsoft is taking another hit. This time, its freeware Security Essentials finds itself in the crosshairs.
Independent German security suite evaluators AV-Test.org publish bimonthly tests that rate the effectiveness of the biggest Windows security suites out there, and the recently published results showed that MSE failed to earn certification on the most recent test. MSE was the only … Read more
Readers have from time to time requested a list of the "test" tracks I use to evaluate gear. It's a long list, mostly recordings I've used for many years and heard on hundreds of products, and recordings I made myself or from sessions I attended. They work for me, but wouldn't necessarily help you. More than any specific tracks, I recommend starting with music you know best, favorite tunes you've listened to for years, and then listen to how the speaker, headphones, etc., you're considering changes, improves, or degrades the sound of your … Read more
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was once asked what market research went into the creation of the iPad.
"None," Jobs replied, in one of his most celebrated quotes. "It's not the consumers' job to know what they want."
I was reminded of that when I read usability guru Jakob Nielsen's recent criticism of Windows 8. Having studied "12 experienced PC users" fiddling with the new operating system on both PCs and Microsoft's new Surface tablet, Nielsen found the usability "disappointing."
There is a litany of concerns, but the biggest seems … Read more
We're back, and just in time for the holiday shopping season! Welcome to the pre-Black Friday episode of Always On: the unboxing extravaganza.
This episode alone features Google's two new pure-Android Nexus devices -- the LG Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10 tablet. I so wanted to love the Nexus 4, since I'm definitely in the market for a pure-Android device, but I'm skeptical (as is our CNET reviewer, Lynn La) about the lack of 4G LTE in the unlocked model. Then again, I don't have to sit around worrying about it since the phone … Read more
Some iOS Facebook mobile users may have noticed something different today -- the ability to automatically sync their photos from their iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to the social network. According to TechCrunch, Facebook's Photo Syncing is currently being tested on iOS.
The feature, which automatically uploads images that users snap with their devices, is being given a trial run for a small number of users. These users should be able to take a photo and Facebook's Photo Syncing feature will automatically send the image to a private folder in the user's account. Those photos can then … Read more
I think I might need a support group -- I seem to be hooked on gadget snuff films.
The real development in this latest in a long series of face-off videos is the use of a new "drop-bot" that helps ensure a more fair drop of each device. In the past, the fate of each tortured device seemed to depend on a randomly determined point of … Read more
Blackmagic Disk Speed Test is a tool designed to test the speed of your drives. Why bother? Well, if you are accessing or storing video or other real-time demanding applications, you want a drive that can keep up with the read and write demands of those applications. Blackmagic Disk Speed Test is designed to let you know how fast your drives are and report their speed changes over time. The app is free and installs easily.
Blackmagic Disk Speed Test launches with a dialog sporting two rotary speed gauges, one for reads and the other for writes. Below those two … Read more
Research In Motion said today that more than 50 carriers are testing its BlackBerry 10 platform, a critical step to getting its next-generation smartphones in the market next year.
RIM reiterated the company's target of releasing its two BlackBerry 10 smartphones in the first quarter of next year.
Carriers need to test the platform and RIM's products before certifying it for use on their networks, a process known as "Lab Entry." The process, which could take anywhere from a week to several weeks and varies depending on carrier partner, is mandatory for any mobile operating system, … Read more
The Note 2 is capable of color accuracy that, when combined with the superior contrast of the OLED screen technology, puts it on the same picture quality plane as the Apple iPhone 5.
In the first test I praised the screen of the iPhone 5 as superior to that of the Note 2's too-red-headed stepchild, the Galaxy S3. The iPhone's biggest advantage over the S3 was in color accuracy, but according to my measurements its lead in that area over the Note 2 has been nearly erased.
Unfortunately, the Note 2's accurate color isn't available by default. You have to go into the Settings menu and find "Screen mode," select "Movie," save, back out, deselect "Auto adjust screen tone," and prepare to overcome your initial impression that colors look worse. My recommendation: check out a photo of a loved one in Movie and then again in the default Standard mode, and notice how much more realistic his or her face looks.
As I said the first time around, accurate color isn't for everyone. But unlike on the U.S. version of the Galaxy S3, at least it's an option on the Note 2.