Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Acer Iconia Tab A500 Review
Okay, we’ll say it: Tablets are the new netbooks. Just as the terrible twos are now the terrible threes (for parents of toddlers), 50 is the new 40, and [slot your color in here] is the new black, the tablet is the new netbook. That's because, like netbooks in 2009 to 2010, you're going to see a veritable flood of them on the market in 2011—and probably more choices than anyone needs. In the case of tablets, Google's 3.0 version (a.k.a. "Honeycomb") of its Android operating system is the trigger. Acer’s Iconia Tab A500 marks the third Honeycomb-based tablet to come available in the United States, with more—many more—on the way from Dell, LG, Sony, and Toshiba, to name just a few...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 (16GB) Review
If you were alive in the 1980s, you knew the words to that unavoidable cartoon theme song. It went: "Transformers: Tablets in disguise..." Okay, it didn't quite say that, but consider that an update for the '10s: The Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101 arrived under the radar, and it's about to transform the Android-tablet battlescape in a whole bunch of ways. For starters, the Transformer runs the Honeycomb version of the Android operating system, version 3.0, which is the first one designed specifically for tablets. Until the Transformer's debut, the Motorola Xoom was the only Android tablet available in the United States to use Honeycomb—most of the models just preceding it, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, used the same versions of Android used by Android phones...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Iomega Home Media Network Hard Drive Cloud Edition (2TB) Review
Makers of network-attached-storage (NAS) devices have their heads in the clouds these days—and that's a good thing. At its core, a NAS drive is just a centralized repository on your home or small-office network that allows multiple people or computers to use it for file access and backups. Many of today’s NAS devices, though, also let you easily share your stored files with remote users. With one of these devices, you are essentially hosting your own “personal cloud,” to use Iomega's apt name for this scenario. The data isn’t stored in some far-away data center, but physically resides on your NAS device...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

HP Pavilion p6720f Review
One of our around-the-office theories: The members of Hewlett-Packard's desktop-PC design department all have the cliche "Don't mess with success" tattooed on their biceps. Why do we think that? Because that appears to be the guiding principle behind the $599.99 HP Pavilion p6720f, new for 2011—as well as just about every Pavilion desktop PC we've seen for some time now. On the outside, this updated model looks nearly identical to every other Pavilion PC that has marched through our labs over the last few years, and its performance is almost a mirror image of what we saw with 2010’s $699.99 HP Pavilion p6320f. That said, considering the $100 markdown from the 2011 model, this system's lack of innovation is not necessarily a bad thing. But it shouldn’t be too much to ask for some evolutionary changes—even minor ones—in terms of system design and performance...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Toshiba Portégé R835-P56X Review
Whenever we test one of Toshiba's ultraportable Portégé laptops, we're reminded of the stereotypical Volkswagen full of clowns: We're not sure exactly how they do it, but boy, do they cram a lot in there. So we were more than pleased when a new model rolled into our labs: the $929.99 Toshiba Portégé R835-P56X, an updated, 3.2-pound version of this winning light-laptop series. And unlike the clown car, there's nothing comical whatsoever about the configuration we tested. This is a seriously well-made laptop that's also a serious value...

Friday, April 1, 2011


Notes From the Technoground: Will the Iomega SuperHero Really Save My iPhone?
The Iomega SuperHero's superpower is its ability to charge an iPhone and automatically back up its contacts and photos. Is that enough to justify a $69.99 price?
I can define at least three basic types of iPhone users. There are those who faithfully connect their iPhones to their computers, syncing and backing up their iPhones’ content via iTunes. Then there are users who seldom connect their iPhone to their computers, feeling no strong urge to sync or to back up their iPhone’s contents. The last bunch, most users, fall in-between—syncing and backing up only occasionally, but not religiously. (These generalizations are not meant to be all-inclusive. For example, some folks spurn iTunes altogether for alternative software, such as doubleTwist...