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Lenovo Chromebook Starts School Fight With Tablets
January 18, 2013
Lenovo on Thursday announced the ThinkPad X131e Chromebook for schools. Aimed at the K-12 market and up, the laptop is ruggedized with a rubber bumper around the top cover and stronger corners for protection in case it is dropped. The hinges and hinge brackets have been strengthened. The ThinkPad X131e Chromebook will be available to K-12 schools beginning Feb. 26 at $429 through special bid pricing.
Set Up Windows 8 to the Beat of a Different Drum
January 17, 2013
Microsoft's latest version of its operating system, Windows 8, has more personalization options than any predecessor. Backgrounds, themes, colors, start screen, apps, picture passwords and more can all be customized. You can choose a new theme by opening the Search charm and typing "personalization." Then click on the Settings tab. Click Change the Theme to enter the control panel's Appearance & Personalization area. Then choose a theme.
Dell May Be Dickering for Private Deal
January 15, 2013
Investors sent Dell stock soaring Monday when reports surfaced that the struggling PC maker is in discussions to go private. Representatives from the third-largest PC maker are reportedly in talks with TPG Capital and Silver Lake about a private-equity investment that would give Dell breathing room to regroup outside the public eye.
Pixelmator Delivers Powerful Image Editing at a Bargain Price
January 15, 2013
Many amateur shutterbugs can't afford professional-caliber image editing programs like Photoshop and Aperture, so they're always on the prowl for economical alternatives to those Adobe and Apple offerings. Pixelmator is such an alternative. For a fraction of the price of the big-name image editors, the software is loaded with features that will open the spigot for many a shooter's creative juices.
Sluggish Sales Hint at End of PC Era
January 14, 2013
PC sales sank in the fourth quarter of 2012 due to increased competition from smartphones and tablet devices, Gartner said in a report released Monday. Shipments totaled some 90.3 million units -- a 4.9 percent decline from the fourth quarter a year earlier, the firm found. In the U.S. market, PC shipments fell 2.1 percent from the year prior to 17.5 million units.
CES 2013's Big Untold Stories
January 14, 2013
While the announcements at CES tend to eclipse everything else at the show, including the prior announcements, often the bigger events are going on behind the scenes. This year, Nvidia, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and a bunch of Chinese companies you've never heard about -- and one you have -- were far more interesting than the headliners.
Using 2 Monitors in a Windows 8 Environment
January 10, 2013
With screen real estate, as with the dirt version, more is generally better. Like earlier incarnations of the OS, Windows 8 has external monitor functionality that lets you spread out. However, there are Windows 8-specific features that especially benefit from having more screens.
Lenovo's Horizon Does Double Duty: Table PC or Huge Tablet
January 07, 2013
Lenovo on Monday announced a 27-inch table PC that doubles as a monster tablet and a desktop at the 2013 CES in Las Vegas. The IdeaCenter Horizon Table PC has a two-legged kickstand in the back that, when extended, props the device up for vertical use. It has a 10-point multitouch screen that's optimized for Windows 8.
Asus Takes Giant Leap Into Gesture Tech
January 03, 2013
Leap Motion announced on Thursday that its touch-free 3D motion sensing and control technology will be bundled with high-end notebooks and premium all-in-one PCs high-tech vendor Asus will launch later this year. The Leap Motion controller can track movements smaller than the tip of a pin with no visible lag time.
All Things Appy: 5 Best Windows 8 Entertainment Apps
December 14, 2012
Windows 8, Microsoft's latest operating system, has its own app library. In many cases, these apps can replace now-aging bookmarks or favorites, and the software that we used to install from floppies, CDs or downloads. Windows 8 apps are often usable on both desktop or laptop PCs, as well as tablets.
Whip Your Files Into Shape in Windows 8
December 13, 2012
There are three big changes in Windows 8, the latest version of Microsoft's operating system. All three affect how you organize your computer. First, Microsoft replaces its Start menu search box with a new, always accessible Search charm. Second, the Windows Explorer file browser gains ribbon functions like previewing and archiving.
Apple to Reel In Some Manufacturing Jobs
December 07, 2012
The push to create jobs and return manufacturing to the U.S. has had an effect on Apple. The company's CEO Tim Cook said publicly in interviews this week that Apple will invest $100 million in 2013 to move production of a line of its Mac products from China to the U.S. Cook was not specific as to which models Apple intends to produce in the U.S., but it is reported to be the iMac line.
For Apple, Repairability Rules Don't Apply
December 06, 2012
Apple is frequently taken to task for its design choices, many of which revolve around the battery. For years, the naysayers were irritated that Apple's iPods and iPhones, for example, didn't have user-replaceable batteries. Worse yet, you couldn't swap in a new battery while on the go if you ran out of juice. Then Apple took away the removable batteries in its MacBook line, favoring instead to glue them in.
How Lenovo Is Resurrecting the PC
December 03, 2012
I spent much of last week hanging out with Lenovo. Although much of what we chat about in those meetings can't be repeated, one thing I can talk about is how Lenovo almost stands alone in defending the PC. While there seems to be a consensus that the PC is dead and being stomped into its grave by wave after wave of smartphones and tablets, Lenovo missed that meeting.
PC Sales Get No Lift From Win 8 Launch
November 29, 2012
Windows 8 has failed to give PC sales the boost it was supposed to, the NPD Group has found. Since the OS's Oct. 26 launch, overall Windows device sales have fallen 21 percent compared with the same period last year. Notebook sales fell 24 percent, and desktop PC sales slipped by 9 percent.
Linux in Lilliput
November 29, 2012
Well half a year has passed since Linux Girl last wrote about the invasion of the tiny, Linux-powered PCs, and she's delighted to report that the trend has shown no sign of slowing down. No indeed! "Tiny $57 PC is like the Raspberry Pi, but faster and fully open" is one headline that recently appeared, for example. "Meet the PengPod, a 'true Linux' tablet starting at $120" is yet another.
Innovation vs. Magic: Why Apple and Microsoft Need James Bond
November 26, 2012
After seeing the new Microsoft offerings, Steve Wozniak recently lamented that Microsoft is now out innovating Apple. Wozniak is the surviving founder of Apple, and his perspective clearly is important, but he was the guy who got the product to work. It was the other Steve who was largely responsible for creating the entity that was Apple and making it a huge success.
Intel Could Get Strong-ARMed Out of Macs
November 07, 2012
Apple might be looking for ways to ditch Intel in its Macs in favor of its own silicon. The company recently restructured its executive team, placing hardware guru Bob Mansfield in charge of a technologies group that is reportedly leading new chip development at the company. That research could help transition its ARM mobile chips into its computer lineup, giving Apple products a more uniform inner makeup.
Surface Success May Hinge on Cool Covers
October 26, 2012
The Microsoft Surface tablet made its official debut on Thursday, and many are judging this tablet by its two magnetic keyboard cover options. The keyboards are one of the main components allowing the Surface to be positioned as much as a laptop as a tablet. They could allow the new Windows 8 machine to break out and claim its own niche in the market.
Skinny Mini Joins Apple's Chorus Line
October 24, 2012
Apple revealed not only the much-anticipated iPad mini Tuesday, but also a flurry of updates across its product line. The full-size iPad, now in its fourth generation, gained a new A6X chip with twice the CPU and graphics performance as the previous generation's A5X chip. The 13-inch MacBook Pro picked up a graphic-intense Retina display, while Apple also announced a beefed-up Mac mini.

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