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Top 10 Gadgets for Your Geeked-Out Dorm Room

July 10th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

The quintessential college dorm room is relatively small with blah cinder block walls and a pair of twin beds. And since this spartan space is going to be your home for the next year (or more), you may as well make it as comfortable as possible. If you’re a tech nerd, that means geeking out your new living quarters with some of the latest and greatest gadgets around. From super powered gaming laptops to TV’s that you can control with your smartphone, we searched high and low for the tech that will make your hallmates jealous. Just remember to leave your room on occasion. 

E3 2013 Day 1: Top 5 Stories

June 11th, 2013 by LAPTOP Editors

The Electronic Entertainment Expo is finally upon us! E3 is one of the biggest gaming conventions in the world, and a prime opportunity for companies to premiere their latest software and console technology. Sony and Microsoft showed off their latest gaming systems that will soon be fixtures of millions of living rooms, and now we’ve got pricing info, release dates, and loads of temping specs. Catch up on what the future holds for gaming with our top stories of the day.

How to Use Your HTC One as a Remote Control

April 12th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

One of the coolest features of the HTC One is hidden right inside the power button. There’s an IR blaster in there that lets you control your TV and cable box from across the room. Plus, with HTC’s Sense TV app (powered by Peel), you can easily see what’s on using a slick interface and tap one of your favorite shows to start watching. You can also use the app to control your TV’s volume, record shows and more.

Here’s how to get started. Read the rest of this entry »


ASUS Transformer AiO Marries Windows 8 and Android, Coming to U.S.

March 7th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

We may have previously pooh-poohed the idea of big-screen tablets, but the ASUS Transformer AiO may be just the device to change our mindset. The system, which was announced for the U.S. market today, brings together an 18.4-inch Android-powered tablet and a Windows 8-powered PC docking base to create an all-in-one that gives users access to the best of both operating systems in one device.

We previously got a glimpse of the Transformer AiO during Computex 2012 in Taiwan when ASUS Chairman Johnny Shih showed off the system during the company’s annual press event. On the tablet end of things, the Transformer AiO offers a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Running the show is Google’s Android Jelly Bean OS. I/O ports include a 3.5mm headphone jack, miniUSB port, docking port, power connector and microSD Card slot. Read the rest of this entry »

THX’s Tune-up App Optimizes your Home Theater Experience

January 30th, 2013 by Meghan McDonough

Want to make sure your TV, receiver and speakers sound their best this Sunday? Now there’s an app for that. THX just released its THX tune-up app which uses your iPhone or iPad to calibrate your screen and your stereo system. The app uses specifically designed test patterns, sounds and even a camera filter to ensure the your TV display and surround sound system is working to its fullest potential.

While the app would ideally be used in conjunction with an AirPlay set-up or a cable connecting your iPhone to your TV, the app will also work without any of these connections. In fact, THX says that the app will work with any equipment and will optimize your home theater set-up accordingly. It includes step-by-step directions and checks your TV via the iPhone’s camera for correct aspect ratio, brightness, color, contrast and tint. It’ll also confirm that your speakers are assigned correctly on your receiver and that the positive and negative terminals on the speakers are hooked up properly. Read the rest of this entry »

Netgear Debuts NeoTV Prime with Google TV

January 7th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

Google TV is getting quite a bit of love at this year’s CES. The latest proponent of the search giant’s service is Netgear, which just announced its new NeoTV Prime with Google TV (GTV100) streaming media player. The $129 device enables users to watch live television shows, access streaming media services and browse the Web.

Because NeoTV Prime is an officially licensed Google device, users will also have access to the Google Play store and all of its myriad music, movie and app offerings. According to Netgear, the NeoTV Prime will help organize TV shows, movies and other media offerings in an easy-to-read interface. Read the rest of this entry »


Intel’s Rumored Set-top Service Sounds Like Google TV Done Right

December 31st, 2012 by Brad Chacos, LAPTOP Contributor

Now that Intel has all but won the battle for the heart and mind of your PC, the company wants to shift focus to the battle for the eyes and ears in your living room. A new report claims that Intel plans to introduce a cable subscription service with a custom set-top box at CES next month, mixing streaming services and traditional content together with a revolutionary new DVR system that could eliminate the hassle of scheduled recordings. In short, it sounds like everything GoogleTV wants to be, but has so utterly failed to achieve.

Read the rest of this entry »

NPD: Smart TV Owners Tuning Out Most Apps

December 27th, 2012 by Brad Chacos, LAPTOP Contributor

They may be called smart TVs, but that doesn’t stop the vast majority of us from using them as basic boob tubes. A new NPD Group report claims that most people use their Internet-enabled televisions to stream video services like Netflix or Hulu Plus, and… actually, not much else.

Streaming music services manage to entertain around 15 percent of smart TV owners, but all of the more ballyhooed interactive aspects of Internet-enabled TVs—think Facebook, Twitter, web browsers, and all those apps, games, and email widgets that come preloaded in newer HDTVs—are left completely untouched by most people.

Read the rest of this entry »

Microsoft Xbox TV Rumored to Attack Apple TV in 2013

November 21st, 2012 by Brad Chacos, LAPTOP Contributor

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 built its reputation on the back of being the first console to offer a worthwhile online gaming experience, but a rumor suggests that a new variant of the device could cater to the casual crowd sometime next year. Similar to the Apple TV, the “Xbox TV” console would focus on streaming media and casual titles like Fruit Ninja rather than hardcore frag fests like Call of Duty.

The Verge reports that the Xbox TV will be part of a dual-SKU strategy Microsoft hopes to implement for its next console: a full-priced powerhouse capable of catering to dedicated gamers alongside a lower-powered, low-cost version designed for people who want to focus more on watching Netflix or listening to Last.fm. The Xbox TV will reportedly provide near-instant boot and wake times.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rumor: Apple’s Ditching Wi-Fi with Upcoming “AirPlay Direct”

August 29th, 2012 by Brad Chacos, LAPTOP Contributor

Apple’s AirPlay is already one of the most effective solutions for wireless media streaming, but a new report claims that a September update could make the technology even more seamless and versatile than it is now.

Currently, streaming content over AirPlay requires both the signal-sending Apple hardware and the receiving device to be on the same Wi-Fi network. Britain’s Telegraph reports that audio equipment manufacturers are hard at work preparing for an AirPlay upgrade that would allow Apple devices to connect directly to compatible devices, with no additional Wi-Fi piggybacking needed.

Read the rest of this entry »

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