Friday, May 20, 2011

Acer Iconia Tab W500 Review
Never one to sit idly by on the sidelines while other manufacturers reap the rewards of a growing market, Acer recently dipped its toes into tablet-mania with its Android-powered, Iconia Tab A500. Acer is going up against not only Apple’s iPad but also Android tablets, such as the Motorola Xoom and Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101. But for the more business-oriented crowd, Acer also produced a tablet that runs on Windows, the Iconia Tab W500. There are actually two versions of the Iconia Tab W500: a $549.99 version that runs Windows 7 Home Premium and a $619.00 version that runs Windows 7 Professional. We looked at the former...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

LG N2A2 (2TB) Review
When we looked at the 1TB LG N1T1 network-attached-storage (NAS) drive back in 2010, it impressed us with its feature set, performance, and unique inclusion of a built-in DVD burner. The N1T1 wasn’t perfect—it was on the expensive side, and the documentation wasn’t great—but it was good enough to garner our Editors’ Choice award at the time. This time around, LG sent us its 2011 model, the $249 N2A2, which has 2TB of storage capacity. (LG also offers a 1TB version—the N1A1—for $149.99.) Unlike its predecessor, the N2A2 does not include a DVD burner, and it therefore acts more like a traditional NAS device...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Buffalo CloudStor Pro (2TB) Review
We’ve been fans of Cloud Engines’ PogoPlug DIY approach to network-attached storage (NAS) ever since the first PogoPlug device was available in 2009. The PogoPlug concept is simple enough: Plug virtually any storage device—such as an external hard drive or flash drive—into a PogoPlug module, connect the PogoPlug to your network, and voilà, you have an instantly network-accessible device. Since the PogoPlug’s initial release, the technology has gotten very easy to set up and use, and it has made sharing files with just about anyone a breeze. For those who don’t have a hard drive to spare, but who still want to reap all of the benefits of PogoPlug, Buffalo Technology has the answer with its CloudStor NAS device. It's the first PogoPlug-based device to come with its own built-in storage...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

BlackBerry PlayBook (16GB) Review
When Research In Motion (RIM), makers of the ubiquitous BlackBerry smartphones, released the BlackBerry PlayBook—the company’s first foray into the fast-growing tablet market—reviewers and pundits wasted no time in picking it apart for its missing features and buggy performance. Because the PlayBook marks the first real competitive alternative to Apple's iPads and Google Android-based tablets, and was touted as “the world’s first professional-grade tablet,” it’s no wonder that the tech community had such a critical eye. At the time of the PlayBook's release, the rumor mill buzzed that RIM had rushed the PlayBook out the door too soon, and what landed in people’s hands was a half-baked product. So, instead of joining the rest of the world on the PlayBook-as-piñata bandwagon, we chose to wait a few weeks and let at least some of the issues resolve themselves via software updates. In fact, during the time we had the PlayBook in hand, we counted no fewer than three over-the-air updates...
Dell XPS 8300 Review
The last time we looked at a Dell XPS 8000-series desktop, in 2009, we were impressed with its fast performance, attractive chassis, and two-year onsite warranty. But we were also disappointed by its limited upgrade potential and comparatively high price. And after spending some quality time with an early-2011 update to the Dell XPS 8300, we can again tell you it was a serious speed demon in our test configuration, it still looks pretty, and it comes with the same generous warranty as its predecessor. But it seems that Dell didn’t get our memo: The setup still suffers from minimal upgrade potential, and the system is again a bit pricey compared with similarly configured systems from other PC vendors. Those quibbles are what separate this very good performance PC from being a big box of awesome...