October 8th, 2013 by Joe Osborne, LAPTOP Associate Reviews Editor
What good is a notebook that dies two hours after it’s unplugged from the wall? Not much. We’ve created a list of the clamshells that ran the distance on the LAPTOP Battery Test (continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi). Each machine lasts (at least) to the 8-hour marker, but some systems use larger, sold-separately batteries to stay active up to 20 hours. See for your yourself below.
Consider the Lenovo ThinkPad X230 the poster-laptop for systems with optional batteries. The 12-inch ultraportable ships with a 6-cell battery that lasts a decent 7 hours, but the sold-separately 9-cell option pushes the juice supply beyond the 12-hour mark. If that's not enough productivity time for you, the X230 also works with a sheet-battery that, when paired with the 9-cell, helped the system run an epic 20 hours!
Read the full Lenovo ThinkPad X230 review
Tags: Battery Life, laptops, specs, business | 15 Comments »
October 8th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer
It is officially illegal for Samsung to bring certain smartphones into the U.S. That’s because President Obama chose to allow a veto period to pass that would have allowed him to overturn a ruling by the International Trade Commission that found Samsung to be in violation of two smartphone patents held by Apple. The patents in question have to do with a multitouch display feature and headphone jack sensor.
The ban, which went into effect at 12 am on Oct. 8, makes it illegal for South Korea-based Samsung to import any device found in violation of the patents, specifically, the Samsung Galaxy S 4G, Galaxy Tab and Fascinate. Newer devices such as the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 are not affected by the ban, as they use a work around for the patent, according to Bloomberg.
MORE: Top 10 Smartphones
The ITC originally banned the devices in August, though the White House had up to 60 days to overturn the ruling. What makes the decision to allow the veto time to pass controversial is the fact that Obama had previously chosen to overturn a ruling against Apple in which the ITC found that the company had infringed on Samsung patents. By vetoing the Apple ban and allowing the Samsung ruling to stay intact, it is believed that the White House could be seen as taking a protectionist stance toward American companies.
Of course, the situation is more nuanced than that. The patents held by Apple and Samsung were of different types. The Apple patents were considered non-essential, meaning they had to do with specific Apple features. The Samsung patents, on the other hand, had to do with industry standards, namely those dealing with data transmission. The Obama administration has been careful not to promote the use of industry standard, otherwise known as standard-essential patents in lawsuits.
Apple and Samsung have been locked in a series of courtroom battles across the globe in what has been dubbed the Patent Wars. Both companies have spent a fortune on legal fees to block each other from being able to sell devices in various countries. And while this latest development is a clear win for Apple, it is largely symbolic, as it doesn’t impact any of Samsung’s current devices. It seems as though the patent wars may simply peter out with neither company coming out on top.
Tags: Apple vs Samsung, Apple, Samsung, patent wars | No Comments »
August 19th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer
A new study by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners has found that Samsung smartphones owners are more likely to switch to Apple’s iPhone than any other handset. The study indicates that among smartphone buyers who switched brands, 33 percent went from Samsung to Apple, while only 11 percent went from Apple to Samsung.
According to Fortune, the report, the report, which covered the time period between July 2012 and July 2013, states that 43 percent of Samsung users had previously owned another Android phone. Though more current smartphone users are switching from Apple to Samsung, roughly 37 percent of new smartphone purchasers went with a Samsung handset as compared to 26 percent for the iPhone. The study, which consisted of 500 consumers who purchased smartphones within 90 days, also found that Samsung pulled more users away from HTC, Motorola and Nokia, than Apple could. Cupertino, however, took more former BlackBerry users than Samsung did.”
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Tags: Samsung smartphones, Apple iPhone, Apple, Smartphones | No Comments »
August 14th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer
Things for BlackBerry continue to spiral downward, as the smartphone maker has officially been overtaken by Windows Phone to become the fourth most popular smartphone OS in the world. According to Gartner research, BlackBerry’s worldwide market share fell from 5.2 percent in the second quarter of 2012 to just 2.7 percent in the second quarter of 2013, with the company shipping just 6.1 million units. Windows Phone, meanwhile, saw its market share rise from 2.6 percent to 3.3 percent.
BlackBerry’s new market position is an important milestone, as CEO Thorsten Heins had previously stated that he was determined to put the company in third place behind Android and Apple. Earlier this week, BlackBerry’s board of directors announced that it has formed a special committee to determine if the company should partner with another corporate entity or sell itself outright. BlackBerry’s new BB 10 devices, which include the touch screen-enabled Z10 and QWERTY keyboard-equipped Q10, have simply not sold as well as the company hoped. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: BlackBerry, business, BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry Z10 | No Comments »
August 6th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer
Free wireless Internet provider FreedomPop has announced that it is officially rolling out 4G LTE service to its customers via Sprint’s LTE network. The service provider, which launched in the U.S. in June, initially piggybacked on Sprint’s slower WiMAX network, but said LTE would follow later. However, Sprint’s LTE network reaches just 110 markets, compared to AT&T’s 335 markets and Verizon’s 500. T-Mobile, which just launched its LTE network, covers 116 markets.
FreedomPop provides users with 500MB of free data per month in addition to 200 free voice minutes and unlimited calls to other FreedomPop users. In addition to getting on Sprint’s LTE network, the company has also announced it’s now offering its own FreedomPop 5580 LTE mobile hotspot. The hotspot offers connectivity for up to 10 devices, includes a 1.5-inch OLED display and can reportedly run on battery power for up to 8 hours. will cost users about $199. Pick it up now, however, and you’ll only have to fork over $149 as part of FreedomPop’s sale. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: freedompop mobile service, FreedomPop data, FreedomPop, FreedomPop 5580 LTE mobile hotspot | No Comments »
July 18th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer
Google and Microsoft both announced their fiscal results today, Google for the second quarter of 2013 and Microsoft for the fourth quarter, and neither tech giant could match Wall Street analysts’ earnings predictions. Prior to the release of its earnings, Google was expected to post earnings of $10.78 per share and $14.42 billion in revenue. Instead, the search giant topped out at $9.56 a share and $14.11 billion in revenue. Still, Google managed to post a higher profit than the 9.61 $billion it posted in the second quarter of 2012, a 14 percent increase.
According to Forbes.com, Google’s problems stem from the rise of the mobile Web, for which ads cost 40 percent less than their desktop counterparts. Overall, ad prices fell by 6 percent, which is worse than the 3 percent analysts initially predicted. That’s on top of a 4 percent drop ion the first quarter of 2013. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: Google, Microsoft Surface RT, Microsoft Surface, Windows 8 | 1 Comment »
July 18th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer
Intel appears ready to take the mobile chip wars to the competition. The company, which is primarily known for its consumer PC and business processors is getting ready to make a major push into ultra-mobile computing, i.e. smartphones, tablets and convertibles. During an investor call to discuss its second-quarter financial results, Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich explained that, while the company will continue to produce its current crop of PC chips, he also understands that consumer’s demand for such devices is on the down swing.
Demand for ultra-mobile processors, meanwhile, is on the rise. Naturally, Krzanich, explained, Intel will move its ultra-portable Atom processor toward the top of its product portfolio. “I’ve made it Intel’s highest priority to create the best products for the fast growing ultra-mobile market segment,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »
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June 7th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer
Move over Sony and Microsoft, Mad Catz is introducing its own gaming system at this year’s E3 convention. The platform, dubbed Project M.O.J.O., is an Android micro gaming console and is expected to work with Mad Catz myriad gaming peripherals including its GameSmart controls, keyboards, mice and headsets. Mad Catz CEO Darren Richardson explained during a recent earnings report that Project M.O.J.O. will connect directly to a user’s television.
Mad Catz isn’t looking to get into the content distribution business, however, as Richardson reportedly stated that the Android gaming platform will be about the hardware it offers. Project M.O.J.O. is likely a beneficiary of Mad Catz’ recent strategic partnering with Nvidia. As a result, the console will likely support the chip maker’s Tegra Zone gaming portal. That means users will have access to games the day the system launches, rather than having to wait for enough viable offerings to be made available. Project M.O.J.O. could also come packing one of Nvidia’s Tegra 4 processors. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: Mad Catz Project MOJO, Mad Catz, Project MOJO, Android gaming | No Comments »
June 5th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer
It appears as though BlackBerry is readying a new high-end touch screen smartphone for release later this fall. According to CNET, the new device, which is currently dubbed the A10, will feature a more polished design than the Z10. The new handset is also expected to come with premium hardware that will put it on par with the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and Apple’s iPhone. Unfortunately, there are no images of the A10 available yet.
CNET is also reporting the the A10 already has a carrier lined up in Sprint. You’ll recall that Sprint initially passed on BlackBerry’s Z10 during the phone’s launch, though it did snatch up the QWERTY keyboard-equipped Q10. If the report is to be believed the A10 will launch some time in the November time frame. If past practice serves as a precedent, BlackBerry could also launch the latest version of its BlackBerry 10 OS with the A10, just as it launched an updated version of the operating system with the Q10. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: BlackBerry A10, BlackBerry, business, BlackBerry Z10 | No Comments »
June 4th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer
The age of the feature phone is over. For the first time ever, global smartphone shipments are expected to outpace those of feature phones by the end of 2013, making smartphones the predominant mobile phone around the world. According to IDC, the smartphone shipments will make up 52 percent of all worldwide smartphone shipments by year’s end. Smartphone shipments are expected to grow by roughly 33 percent in 2013, topping out at 959 million units moved, an increase from last year’s 723 million units.
IDC says there are multiple reasons for the change including consumer demand, the availability of smartphones at varying price points, a greater emphasis by consumers on data usage. These factors have driven more and more mobile phone makers to transition their product portfolios to emphasize smartphones rather than feature phones. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: smartphone sales, feature phones, smartphones, IDC | No Comments »