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Dell's Latitude 12 E7240 - in and Beyond the Office
July 03, 2014
A confluence of recent events has gotten me thinking about laptops. First, IDC and Gartner released PC market surveys that suggest a significant slowing in the declines plaguing PC sales for the past few years. Then last week, due to "stronger than expected demand for business PCs," Intel said it was raising Q2 and full-year revenue and gross margin expectations.
Verizon Flips Off Chromebook Pixel Customers
June 24, 2014
Though early purchasers of the LTE model of Google's Chromebook Pixel were promised two years of limited data, it appears Verizon has reneged on those assurances. The WiFi-only Pixel cost $1,299 while the LTE model set back consumers an extra $150. Those who bought the system through the Google Play Store when it went on sale last April were offered 100 MB of free Verizon data every month.
Microsoft Aims to Put Some MacBook Airs Out of Circulation
June 24, 2014
Microsoft is offering up to $650 worth of in-store credit to MacBook Air owners who are willing to trade them in and purchase a Surface Pro 3. The campaign runs until July 31. All models of MacBook Air are eligible for the deal, though the value given in the trade will vary, depending on the specific model and its condition. The offer is an extension of the company's "Recycle for Rewards Program."
Apple Edges Into Entry-Level Desktop Market
June 18, 2014
Apple is making a foray into the entry-level desktop market with the introduction of a lower-cost iMac. The 21.5-inch, all-in-one system features a 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor. That increases to up to 2.7 GHz with Turbo Boost Speeds. It includes an Intel HD 5000 graphics card, 8 GB of memory and a 500-GB hard drive. As is standard in iMac systems, this model includes 802.11ac WiFi.
Dell vs. Apple: Round 3
June 09, 2014
When Dell and Apple first confronted each other in the 1990s, Dell was a startup and Apple was a mature company attempting to fight Dell's kind of fight. It didn't go well, and Apple almost failed. When they faced off for the second time, Apple had been dramatically transformed by Steve Jobs into a much leaner, more-focused firm. Dell was having its own mid-life crisis, and Apple clearly won.
Apple vs. Microsoft Marketing: Spark vs. Spork
June 09, 2014
During Apple's WWDC keynote event last week, it became exceedingly clear that we won't be seeing a converged iPad/MacBook device anytime soon. Unlike Microsoft, with its Surface Pro 3 effort, Apple doesn't seem at all interested in forcing iOS and OS X into a single unified operating system. In fact, Apple doesn't seem to be interested in making OS X touch-based or touch-enabled.
Surface: The Embodiment of Microsoft's Vision
May 26, 2014
Surface largely was the brainchild of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's last CEO, and it resulted from a similar thought process that created Zune. In other words, the OEMs weren't building a product that was competitive with Apple, and Microsoft got frustrated and felt it could do a better job. In both cases, the conclusion that ultimately should have been drawn was that OEMs alone weren't at fault.
HP's Whitman Pulls Out the Chain Saw
May 23, 2014
In the wake of a weak second-quarter earnings report, HP has announced it will eliminate 11,000 to 16,000 jobs. The news was a blow; it was only two years ago that HP announced it would undergo a massive restructuring to move away from its PC roots. As part of that restructuring it planned to eliminate 34,000 jobs from its payroll, which then came as a shock.
The Apple-ization of Microsoft's New Surface
May 22, 2014
Microsoft is positioning its new Surface Pro 3 tablet as a laptop replacement device -- instead of competing head-to-head with the Apple iPad. However, the Surface Pro 3 naturally invites comparisons to both the MacBook Air and the iPad Air. Plus, Microsoft has had plenty of time to smooth the rough edges from Windows 8 and build a more competitive mobile device.
Does Apple's Quiet Loyalty Program Make CRM Sense?
March 11, 2014
Apple has bumped up the discounts offered in a loyalty program available to customers who spend at least $5,000 on its products over 12 months. It reportedly added unlocked iPhones and Apple TVs to the program as well. Apple may be aiming to improve penetration in the enterprise market while shoring up its position in the education sector in the face of increasingly fierce competition from Google.
AT&T Gives Icy Appraisal of Russia's Anti-Gay Laws
February 05, 2014
Joining athletes and activists, AT&T has rebuked Russia's less-than-progressive stance on homosexuality ahead of this month's Sochi Winter Games. AT&T, the U.S.'s second-largest wireless character, penned a blog post -- titled, "A Time for Pride and Equality" -- in which it declared its "pride in America and everything for which it stands."
New Asus Chromebox Sports Shiny $179 Price
February 05, 2014
Asus on Tuesday announced a new Chromebox device priced at just $179, a full $150 less than the Samsung product that's currently its principal competition. Powered by either a fourth-generation Celeron 2955U chip or an Intel Core i3, the diminutive Chrome OS device offers integrated Intel HD graphics, 2 GB or 4 GB of DDR3 memory, and HDMI and DisplayPort for dual display support.
Mac Birthday Video Stars iPhone
February 04, 2014
Unlike in 1984, when the Macintosh was introduced, there weren't any Apple ads at the Super Bowl this year. Instead, on the day after the Massacre in the Meadowlands, the company raised the curtain on a 127-second video celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Mac -- on YouTube. Video for the project was shot entirely with iPhones over a 36-hour period on Jan. 24, the 30th birthday of the Mac.
Here Comes the Sun-Powered MacBook?
January 30, 2014
Apple wants to use natural energy sources to keep MacBooks powered while on the move. The company has won a patent for a laptop with a lid that features a second display, touch inputs and solar cells. The latter could help users keep their MacBooks' batteries topped up without having to plug in an external charger. Apple filed its application in 2010, and USPTO granted it this week.
LogMeIn's Free Service Permanently Logs Out
January 23, 2014
LogMeIn has announced that it will be shutting down its free service and unifying its existing portfolio of paid products in a single offering. Existing users of LogMeIn Free will be given seven days from the next time they log on to the service to upgrade to the premium service at a discounted price of $49. LogMeIn was an early pioneer in what's known in business circles as the "freemium" model.
HP Urges Consumers to Give In to Their Win 7 Cravings
January 21, 2014
HP launched a marketing campaign over the weekend advertising that Windows 7 was "back by popular demand." On its website, HP highlighted a handful of devices that run on the older version of Microsoft's OS, and it is selling the Core i5 and i7-powered machines at a $150 discount. The marketing campaign caters to consumers who aren't ready to embrace Windows 8's significant changes.
Amid Shrinking Market Share, Apple's 2014 Challenges Loom Large
January 09, 2014
In my mind, 2014 is shaping up to be Apple's wildest year in the post-Jobs era. Last year, we saw a lot of incremental innovations from Apple but no thunderous new products. Sure, the new Mac Pro is insanely small, quiet and super sexy -- not to mention manufactured in America, which is no small feat these days -- but it's also a niche product for professionals.
Apple's Sleek New Mac Pro Hits the Market
December 18, 2013
Apple has announced that its new Mac Pro will be available to order starting Thursday. It unveiled the system in June at the Worldwide Developers Conference, surprising attendees with its cylindrical design. The aluminum body is just an eighth of the size of a standard tower unit -- 9.9 inches tall, 6.6 inches in diameter and weighing in at around 11 pounds.
If You're Jonesing for a 2nd Screen, Air Display Is a Nifty Fix
December 06, 2013
I was intrigued when I came across Air Display, an Android app that lets you use your tablet as a second screen. Second PC displays definitely boost work productivity. I've been using two displays for years, keeping my email client open all the time on the left screen -- a laptop display -- and work-work on the right screen. I'm able to monitor incoming junk mail without having to stop working.
MacBooster Can Help Keep Your Mac Humming
November 26, 2013
Surf over to the Mac App Store, and you'll find plenty of utilities for keeping your Apple personal computer in tip-top shape. There are tools for freeing up RAM and cleaning files from disks and thoroughly uninstalling apps. Have you ever wished, however, that you had a an app to perform all those tasks under the same hood? IObit is doing that with MacBooster.
Intel Chief Lays Out the Game Plan
November 25, 2013
In his first meeting with investors since taking the helm, CEO Brian Krzanich presented a road map for the company's future. Intel will make a stronger push into mobile devices, expand its foundry business to build processors for other chip makers, and move into additional new markets. Intel has lagged behind competitors such as Qualcomm in the smartphone and tablet spaces.
The Yay! and Uh-Oh Reasons for Slowing Mac Sales
November 21, 2013
There's been some concern over the last year or so over slowing Mac sales. Instead of selling at wildly better rates than the constricting PC industry, Macs have been languishing. Of course, at the same time iPad and iPhone sales have been skyrocketing, so it's not hard to point a finger at iPads as a reason. Makes sense. iPads hold a heckuva lot of computing power inside their one-piece slab.
The IF Convertible: 3 Devices, 1 Data Plan
October 29, 2013
Back in 2011, in the dark, pre-tablet days of the netbook, Motorola introduced a phone and laptop combo called the "Atrix." The then-powerful 4G, dual-core AT&T phone slotted into a unique receptacle on the back of the optional laptop's clamshell hinge -- a bit like a game cartridge slides into a console. The phone then powered the Chromebook-like, highly stripped-down laptop.
You've Got to Touch Apple's Airy New iPad to Believe It
October 22, 2013
In a flurry of presentations at its special media event on Tuesday, Apple introduced new iPads, MacBook Pros, the Mac Pro, OS X Mavericks -- available immediately, and free -- as well new generations of iWork and iLife app suites. The biggest buzz comes from Apple's brand new iPad, the iPad Air, which is 20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than the fourth-generation iPad that it replaces.

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