This year still has several weeks left on the calendar, but it's not too early to look back at the past 10 months and evaluate how we've progressed on the consumer tech front. Rather than look at the best products of the year, however, I decided to focus on the ones that were the most cutting-edge. As such, I've looked back at everything we've covered this year, and I've done my best to winnow down the list and come up with 10 products I think are at the cusp of... something. They may not be fully baked, and they may be overpriced, but they're at the forefront of their respective categories. Of course, I've surely missed some worthy products, so feel free to agree or disagree and add your own selections in the comments section below. … Read more
After months of rumors, Samsung has finally made it official: The company will be bringing its NC10 Netbook to the United States.
The 2.8-pound minilaptop's white case toes the design line established by the Asus Eee PC, Acer Aspire One, and others. So it's no surprise that the NC10's configuration is fairly typical as well, with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor, 1GB of 800MHz RAM (upgradeable to 2GB), and Windows XP, plus a large, 160GB hard drive. (With computers as with apartments, a lot of storage is always welcome.) The 10.2-inch screen features … Read more
Mini reveals its new Mini Crossover concept at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. Its biggest vehicle yet, the Crossover's existence indicates that Mini is at least interested in getting into the CUV market. But is bigger always better?
Are you looking for a lightweight, ultraportable PC that's easy on the wallet? Mwave.com has the Asus Eee PC 900 20G for $294 (after a $65 mail-in rebate). Ground shipping will run you about $11.
In case you're not familiar with the Eee PC, it's one of the new breed of "Netbooks" that have become incomprehensibly popular in recent months. I say that because I'm not a fan--I prefer a full-size screen and keyboard, and enough processing power to do more than just check e-mail and cruise the Web.
That said, people seem … Read more
Although we've seen a trend toward small cars at the Paris Motor Show from traditional economy car companies, entrants from BMW and Audi signify that the trend is important enough to interest these premium car companies. BMW showed off the X1 small SUV concept, while Audi came to the show with its A1 city car concept. Mini also enters a new small car at the show, but its concept is actually bigger that its current model line-up, showing Mini has nowhere to go but up.
Earlier this month, we reviewed Acer's Aspire X1200 and HP's latest Pavilion Slimline, two relatively full-featured desktops shrunk down to a small form factor. The Acer is the better deal on paper, though it may require some mucking about with drivers and settings before it's fully operational. A few tweaks and a BIOS update were required before we had video and … Read more
Since its introduction for model year 2003, the Mini Cooper has been one of the best bang-for-the-buck deals on four wheels. When the second generation of new Mini debuted last year, with the original naturally-aspirated or supercharged engines (Brazilian products of a joint venture between Mini parent BMW and Chrysler) replaced by much-improved naturally-aspirated or turbocharged engines developed in a joint venture with PSA Peugeot-Citroen), the bar was raised. The 115 naturally-aspirated or 163 forced-induction horsepower increased to 118hp or 172. More importantly, the driving characteristics, especially of the turbo, improved. The supercharged engine produced most of its power high in the rev band; the turbo does its work from nearly any engine speed with minimal lag.
And now Mini has improved on that. Enter the John Cooper Works version of the Cooper S. offered in both hardtop and Clubman body styles. Mini recently brought the previously separate John Cooper Works in house, much in the manner of BMW's M (for Motorsport) division. For about a $6,600 price premium, the JCW gets suspension, brake, wheel and tire, and interior upgrades over the standard Mini Cooper S. More immediately noticeable when driving are internal modifications to its 1.6-liter twincam direct-injection turbo engine that increase power to 208 hp (at 6,000rpm), with 192 pound-feet of torque available from 1,850rpm through 5,600rpm. If that isn't quite enough, a little extra overboost is allowed for short periods of time, bringing torque up to 207 pound-feet.
Which can be noticeable through the steering wheel, especially with the "Sport" button on. That remaps the electronically-controlled throttle and electrically-assisted power steering for more sensitive throttle response and quicker steering. Which will get you into overboost mode quite easily. Judicious throttle application is a necessity, and even then there is no doubt that the car has front-wheel drive and plenty of torque going through those wheels. Yee hah! It's not necessarily the best introduction to high-performance front-wheel drive for someone who never has experienced it, if any such persons are left at this time.
On today's show, we get schooled about how cell phone 911 works, we school the music industry on its consistently terrible ideas regarding physical formats (seriously? Albums on micro SD cards? Are you kidding us with this?), Obama cools his pro Net neutrality stance, and Japan gets to work on the space elevator. Jason already volunteered to go. He's so brave. We'll miss him.Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 814
SanDisk, record labels announce new music format http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10047311-93.html http://www.crn.com/retail/210602962 http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/09/22/music-on-microsd-i-cant-believe-the-labels-fell-for-this/… Read more
With a name that recalls the famed Japanese ninja movie, the MiniStation Shinobi is arguably the thinnest and lightest external hard drive to date--merely .2 inches thick and weighing only 2 ounces.
Buffalo announced the drive on Monday. Unlike other pocket-size external hard drives that use the 2.5-inch drives found in most laptops, this one uses the 1.8-inch laptop hard drive that's more often associated with smaller devices such as portable media players. For this reason, the external hard drive is significantly more compact and lighter, but it also features limited capacity: up to only 60GB. This … Read more