It's great to see Dell back on their A game with the new Dell XPS 13, or 2015 XPS 13 as we fondly refer to it. This is a 13.3" Ultrabook with the footprint and weight of MS Surface Pro 3, which is pretty darned impressive. But wait, there's more: greater than 10 hours of battery life, a nearly bezel-less display, Dell's usual solid build and Intel Broadwell 5th generation Core U CPUs (none of that wimpy Core M stuff here). The XPS 13 starts at $799 for the Core i3 with a 1080p matte Sharp IGZO non-touch panel. The Core i5 with a QHD+ IGZO panel will set you back $1,299 and there are configurations in between.
The OnePlus One Android phone isn't new and shiny anymore- it's been on the market (in a fashion) for 6 months. The One has held up well though, with specs that still look good and a price that's hard to beat: $299. The drawback? You can only buy One Plus' only smartphone offering through a challenging invite system. The OnePlus One is an Android 4.4 smartphone running CyanogenMod (at least for now) on the Snapdragon 801 CPU with 3 gigs of RAM and 16 or 32 gigs of storage. It has a sharp 1080p IPS display clad in Gorilla Glass and an attractive matte polycarbonate casing-- good stuff for the price.
Gaming laptops don't have to cost an arm and a leg. The Lenovo Y50 is a 15.6" slim gaming laptop that weighs 5.3 lbs. and it packs enough punch to play today's newest games. The Y50 runs on a quad core Intel Core i7 CPU with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M graphics. It's also well suited to multimedia and video editing, and there's a 4K display option if you don't like the mediocre TN 1080p base configuration panel. You can get a decently configured Y50 Touch for around $1,100, and it has dual band Intel WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth, a backlit keyboard, dual internal fans and up to 16 gigs of RAM. Is it a good alternative to the HP Omen 15 and 2014 Razer Blade? Read our review to find out!
Most of us don't look back fondly at the netbook, but HP and Microsoft have reinvented the cheap and highly portable laptop to compete with Chromebooks, and they've done a darned good job here. The $199 HP Stream 11 and the 13.3" Stream 13, don't look or feel cheap. They're also fairly responsive to use, as long as you don't try serious multitasking or expect it export 1080p video like a boss. We look at thße 11.6" Stream 11 in this review, and it has a 1366 x 768 matte display, a 2.16GHz Intel Celeron dual core CPU, 2 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of storage. It's available in playful, bright colors and we can easily see this as a child's first laptop. It's also a good pick for less tech savvy parents and grandparents.
Android Wear watches are getting better looking fast, and the app selection is growing quickly too. The LG G Watch R is one of those good looking new watches, with a round face and a design that looks like a diver watch. It has a black stainless steel casing, a leather band and a very colorful 320 x 320 P-OLED display. It's particularly suited to analog watch faces, and LG includes a stunning selection. The watch is water resistant, so you can wash the dishes. That leather band isn't so water resistant, but you can interchange it with any 22mm band including metal bands. If you liked the Moto 360, but didn't appreciate the flat tire display, you might be captivated by the perfectly round G Watch R display.
HP's surprised us with the HP Omen 15: they've finally made something of their investment in Voodoo PC nearly a decade ago. This is a slim, elegant and edgy 15" gaming laptop with a black aluminum textured chassis, a wedge design and it weighs just 4. 68 pounds. Inside there's a 2.5GHz quad core i7 CPU and NVIDIA GTX 860M dedicated graphics for some pretty high quality gaming (we have a gaming demo video in our review). Of course, it can handle number crunching, video production and software development with a aplomb too. Other goodies include fast PCIe SSD storage, ample RAM and a very good 1080p touch screen.
Think of the Lumia 830 as the affordable and slightly more pocketable version of the excellent Nokia Lumia Icon and Lumia 930. It has the same elegant design with a metal frame, but it adds goodies like a removable battery and microSD card slot. The specs are dropped down from the more expensive Lumia Icon, and the Lumia 830 has a 5", 1280 x 720 IPS display and it runs on the 1.2GHz quad core Snapdragon 400 with Adreno 305 graphics and 1 gig of RAM. The real star of the show beyond the classy chassis is the 10MP rear PureView camera with a fast Carl Zeiss lens and OIS (optical image stabilization). That might not be a class-leading camera resolution, but the photos and videos are quite good for a midrange phone.
Even if you're not that guy or gal who said "I really need a projector in my Android tablet", the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro has a lot to offer. It's a lot of tablet at 13.3 inches, but it doesn't feel unmanageable or look chunky. Rather it's sleek, modern and trim in it's tapered aluminum casing with that distinctive Yoga barrel hinge that houses a rotating kickstand. The Yoga runs Android 4.4 KitKat on the 1.33 GHz Intel Atom Z3745 quad core CPU with boost to 1.86 GHZ. It has 2 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of storage. It weighs 2 pounds. It has a 13.3" QHD IPS 2560 x 1440 display and front-facing stereo speakers with a JBL subwoofer.
It's absolutely crazy that you can get a name brand Windows 8.1 tablet for just $149, and that's exactly what the Toshiba Encore 2 8 inch model sells for. Granted, you're making concessions: there's just 32 gigs of storage and 1 gig of RAM. But the Intel Atom quad core Z3537G is capable and the 1280 x 800 IPS display is very sharp and colorful. There's a 5MP rear camera, a front camera for video chat and selfies and since this is full Windows 8.1, you can install PC programs. It's great for reading ebooks, surfing the web with Adobe Flash Player and your favorite PC browser, playing movies (any format that Windows supports-- which means pretty much everything) and working in MS Office 365 with the included 1 year subscription.
The 4.2 lb. slim GS60 Ghost Pro might look and feel like a high end Ultrabook at first blush, but it's really a full mobile powerhouse inside that packs the guts of a 17" Asus ROG or Alienware 17 into a 15.6" package that you can carry easily and without reservation (and for a lot less money than an Alienware 17). This 0.78" laptop has high end gaming laptop specs: a quad core Intel i7-4710HQ CPU, 16 gigs of RAM, an SSD plus 7200 RPM HDD and a lovely matte 1080p PLS display (3K and 4K displays are also available). Then there's the SteelSeries programmable RGB backlit keyboard, Killer WiFi AC and Ethernet networking and of course the star of the show, the new Maxwell generation NVIDIA GTX 970M with 6 GB DDR5 VRAM that runs cooler and significantly faster than last gen NVIDIA graphics. Sweet!
What if HP was in charge of designing the Surface Pro 3? You'd have their latest Windows 8.1 detachable, the HP Envy x2 13t. The HP Envy x2 is available in the 13.3" size we look at in this review and there's a 15.6" 15t model too. The 2014 Envy x2 has a detachable thin keyboard with a faux suede or gabardine-like back that's a larger interpretation of the Surface Pro Type Cover, and an integrated kickstand that works in a variety of positions. Unlike Surface Pro 3, there's no fan and this is thus a silent machine. It runs on the new Intel Haswell 5th generation Core M 5Y10 and 5Y70 CPUs, has a 1080p IPS display, 8 gigs of RAM and our model packs a 256 gig SSD.
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