If the World Cup isn’t about triumph or tragedy as eleven countrymen fight for national pride with illustrious skill, then dammit, it’s about data. And where there is data, there is Google. Every match a team of analysts, writers, and artists are standing by holding their finger to the social pulse of the world, and when something big happens, Google’s World Cup War Room responds.
Third time's the charm
Is it our technological destiny to want both a tablet and a laptop forever, or can advances in hardware and software, combined with intelligent design, actually unify our professional and personal lives within one screen? Microsoft made its stance on the matter abundantly clear with the launch of the original Surface in the summer of 2012.
Two years later, the third iteration of the Surface is a marvel of engineering honed by experience and proving more than ever that Microsoft’s vision for the future of computing is as real as it gets. Here’s a rundown of the key innovations that make new Surface Pro 3 both a powerful Intel Core laptop and an easy-to-use tablet.
An Easy to Understand, Scary Premise
I’m not even going to use the phrase; as John Oliver so eloquently described, the mere mention of that phrase puts most people to sleep. Instead, allow me to introduce you to a tale of corruption, monopolistic business practices, and a cascading series of events that will result in ever-growing prices for Internet services such as HBO and Netflix. Oh, and that rapid pace of innovation you’re seeing in mobile app stores? Imagine a world where that doesn’t exist.
The Right Type, For Some
The Harmony Smart Keyboard ($150) is a new product aimed at set-top box users tired of searching for content one letter at a time, and Home Theater PC users sick of switching between a remote and keyboard. But does it work as advertised?
Why choose when you can have both?
Sick of juggling multiple device? You’re not alone. So called 2-in-1s can offer the best-of-both-worlds solution, combining the productivity of a laptop with the fun and convenience of a tablet. Check out our video for a rundown of this growing new gadget category and start plotting your new streamlined future today.
Laptop, upgrade thyself
When you pull a brand new MacBook Pro out of the box it looks so neat and sleek and immortal; it’s hard to imagine a day when that thing will be so slow it’ll make you want to drive an adze through it. But age, lack of space and low memory have set their marks on it. Computers get old and tired and confused, just like people. Fortunately, computers are easier to freshen up than people, and if your machine is three or four years old and lagging, there are some easy solutions to improve its performance, saving you some money and frustration in the process.
Bigger is Better
Now that the content is beginning to arrive and prices are right, it’s time for consumers and video professionals to use 4K monitors. A whole crop of 4K displays have been announced by all the big names in electronics (save for one…we’re waiting on you, Cupertino), and the variety combined with esoteric naming conventions can lead any well-minded consumer to bouts of madness. We’re here to help. Here are our five favorites that you can actually afford.
How It's Made
Apple’s Mac Pro, released in the fall of last year, is the kind of provocative machine that makes even luddites turn their heads. Its design is reminiscent, in some ways, of Da Vinci’s plans for a flying machine: an impressive idea, a maelstrom of creativity, a game-changer that inspires curiosity and awe. It’s not anywhere near as ground-breaking as Leonardo’s plans — but then again, Apple is able to execute. Apple’s short film captures that execution.
As a tech-minded individual, you appreciate a solid hands-on experience with any device before you purchase it. You storm your local electronics haunt and play with display models for hours on end before making a decision. But you’re still here reading because you want the deets up front from a reliable (thank you) source. With this in mind, we must first explain that no matter how many of the glorious specifications, design and interface highlights and general accolades we spout over the next page, we simply won’t be able to scratch the surface (huzzah!) of the technological nerdery that makes up Microsoft’s Surface 2 ($449) and Surface Pro 2 ($899) tablets. But are we ever gonna try.
Apple and Microsoft dominate the laptop market with their respective Mac OS X and Windows systems, each exhibiting dynamic yet dissimilar user experiences. In considering the wide selection of convertibles and ultrabooks out at the moment, it only seemed fit to narrow down the top offerings from each computer platform. Here’s a look at the best laptops available now: The Acer Aspire S7 and the MacBook Air.
As young men, we thought by the year 2000 we’d all be zipping around in Jetsons-style tubes from one place to the next. We don’t see any tubes, but Apple’s newest Mac Pro ($3000+) at least gives us hope that we may get there yet. This sneak peek into the future of the pro desktop has roused plenty of curiosity as the most powerful and smallest Mac Pro to date. With brains, beauty and brawn, this Mac might just be the best forward-thinking tech device around. Sorry, Rosie.
Back in Black
In July 2003 picture messaging was a luxury, SARS was a global concern, and Apple had just introduced its futuristic and incredibly powerful Power Mac G5. The drilled-out brushed aluminum tower looked like a prop from The Matrix Revolutions (also debuted in 2003, not worth remembering). Fast-forward to nearly 10 years later, and Apple is finally introducing a form-factor update to its longstanding pro desktop tower. Boy, did they go big.
It wasn’t so long ago that 10-key calculators and instant messenger were the most exciting things happening to technology. But nowadays, tech moves fast — new computer segments are born and buried quicker with each passing year. Don’t let that scare you away from the good ole desktop, though. All-in-ones have more to offer than ever: effective touchscreens with the UI to back them up (Windows 8), high-def displays that can easily double as TV screens (thanks to HDMI and built-in TV tuners), and slimmer profiles for fitting just about anywhere.
Sure, it’s tough explaining to grandma where to put the floppy disc, but we’ll leave that to you. Before choosing which one is right for you, though, figure out just what it is you need. Whether that means sexy looks, entertainment nirvana or a gamer’s sweaty-palmed fantasy, our five picks for the best all-in-one desktops are awaiting below to help out.
Where to store it when the going gets tough
In today’s digital era of technology, “Knowledge is Power” has taken on a much broader meaning as data becomes our most valued asset. How we as users go about portably accessing and backing up these personal files — music, photos, financial documents, and third-party software — has proven to be just as critical. Whether it’s the aspiring music producer shopping beats around to labels or the established accountant keeping tabs of clients’ paper trails, everyone can use a sturdy and high-functioning portable hard drive, especially those who remain adventurous and (naturally or otherwise) accident prone.
We’re talking an external device that can withstand the daily wear and tear. Something that can handle being tossed in the messenger bag; something that can survive a natural disaster. Need we remind you of Hurricane Sandy, or of last Friday’s party at your place? Didn’t think so. Luckily for you, there’s a handful of damage-proof HHDs available sure to safeguard all your stored data — and we’ve found the best.
Putting the polish on chrome
If the new breed of “convertible” Windows 8 laptops hasn’t left you more confused than a barber with Troy Polamalu in his seat, then Google’s latest venture into the hardware world should do the trick. The Google Chromebook Pixel ($1,299) is a high-end laptop running Google’s own Chrome OS. Not familiar with the software? It’s a browser on steroids, optimized for web content along with a growing number of browser-based applications — and that’s about it.
Cut the cord
Available with either 500GB or 1TB of storage, the Corsair Voyager Air ($199-$229) is a wi-fi wonder for media maniacs not content with cloudy reception. Dubbed the first all-in-one to combine the conveniences of being a USB drive, a wireless network drive and a hub, the Voyager Air is a potent portable of note. USB…
Don't spill on this coffee table
Remember those clunky “car phones” in the late ’80s and early ’90s? It seems we’ve reached that stage in computer/tablet hybrids. Essentially a tweaked, larger version of the Sony Vaio Tap 20, the Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC ($1,699+) might not be the most graceful computer at the ball, but it does pique our interest…
For the notary public and/or spy in your life
We have a ton of questions about the Ion Audio Air Copy, which was just announced at CES 2013. The primary one is, what’s a company most known for making inexpensive USB turntables doing throwing out a wireless scanner? More importantly, who actually needs — literally, needs — a wireless scanner? From our deep and…
That's one hot (home media) librarian
Hard drives are about as exciting as, well, hard drives. Seagate Central ($190-$260) aims to change all that as the world’s first shared storage device with a Smart TV app, enabling you to access files on your flatscreen and just about every other device in your home. In short, the Seagate Central allows access to…
Onward and upward... and outward... and sideways...
The latest member of the ThinkPad family isn’t just a tablet dragging along a keyboard for faster emailing and double the battery power — though its companion QWERTY is certainly good for both of those things. The real kicker? Attaching the 11.6-inch Windows 8 touchscreen device to the keyboard activates a special cooling system in…
Ridley and Harrison fans: prepare to be disappointed. Famed designer Philippe Starck has teamed up with LaCie (again) to create a striking new 4TB USB 3.0 Blade Runner hard drive ($299) with an unusual form inspired by the 1982 dystopian sci-fi classic. But that’s where the connection to replicant huntin’ ends. The heavy-duty aluminum design…
Sheltered no longer
It’s hard to comprehend, but there are people out there in this great land of ours who don’t have high-speed internet access. Some, by choice (like your grandfather, who asked you to explain what Facebook is) and others by lack of choice, hamstrung by providers that ignore less populated areas due to high installation and…
12 gifts for the tech obsessed
To the inexperienced, the words “techie” and “guy” seem synonymous. Sure, most guys do like technology these days — but like does not true a techie make. So while this list can absolutely be applied to any modern man, its real target is the hardcore gadget nut. The one who scours the blogs and refreshes…
12 gifts for the handyman
You lean on him all year-round to assist, assemble and install everything from kitchen cabinetry to those amazing Patagonian rosewood floors you love so much. He tirelessly tackles the disparate demands of Honey-Do lists and familial fixes without so much as a peep. And yet, of all the men featured in our 12 Guys of…
If being heckled by your friends for using AOL makes you think you should get with the times, well, you’re right. But Alto, AOL’s rebooted attempt at relevance in today’s email provider market, looks to be downright useful. The formerly ubiquitous provider describes their newest web-based mail client as the result of frustration with “the…
Thinning out the competition
The iMac has dominated the all-in-one desktop market for years despite only receiving incremental updates in recent memory. The New Apple iMac ($1,300+) finally represents the next step in desktop design, proving once again that thin is definitely still in. Specifically, the new form factor is 80% skinnier than the last model and weighs 8…
More pixels, smaller package
After flipping the middle finger to the rest of the laptop market with the MacBook Pro Retina last summer, it was only a matter of time before Apple’s Midas touch turned to the smaller 13-inch companion. The new Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch Retina ($1,699+) has received the same innovations: a smaller body, a retina display…
Lenovo’s family of convertible devices, with names like Yoga and Twist, remind us of that gymnast/cheerleader/yoga instructor/circus performer we dated years back. Unlike that experience, where the novelty quickly wore off, the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist ($849+) proves useful for both work AND play. A serious productivity Ultrabook with passable multimedia hardware, the Twist’s screen turns…
Stay in touch with the future
Windows 8 is coming, and if Microsoft has its way, PC users will be transitioning seamlessly back and forth between their desktop and tablets like they’re in some kind of Ridley Scott daydream; that is, as long as they own the right accessories. For those unfamiliar with Windows 8, the traditional desktop experience you know…
Up Where We Belong
If your iMac needs a pedestal upgrade from its current almanac/cigar box, the Twelve South HiRise ($80) is a more than suitable replacement. Providing proper height adjustment for your display, the HiRise is perfect for people who like their necks and don’t enjoy performing impersonations of Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein. The HiRise’s internal metal…