Budget smartphones keep getting better as software matures and components become cheaper. Some companies have produced inexpensive smartphones that are good enough to replace your big-brand flagship. Others haven’t had the same success.
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Commotion surrounds a new Chinese manufacturer called OnePlus and its first smartphone, the One. The promise of top-tier hardware for bottom dollar has the internet ablaze, and big guns Samsung, Apple and HTC paying attention.
Samsung is chasing new areas of growth in the enterprise space as its Knox mobile security platform is being "put through its paces" by prospective customers. In Australia the South Korean company is focussing on smartphones, LED lighting, and printing.
Children now have their very own travel app for iOS devices.
HTC and Qualcomm are reworking a radio chip for the HTC One smartphone in order to avoid a U.S. ban on imports of patent-infringing technology, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
With an asking price of $799 (sans monitor), Medion's Akoya E4360 D desktop PC, which will be sold at Aldi supermarkets, is testament to the fact that you don’t have to spend big these days in order to get a computer that can do just about everything. We're not exaggerating: the Akoya E4360 D has enough CPU and graphics grunt to let you comfortably perform media encoding tasks, as well as run many of the latest PC games.
The HP Mini 210 (NB-210-1017TU_01) is a 10in netbook with plenty of style. It looks and feels different to the netbook it replaces -- the HP Mini 110 -- but it still performs like a netbook. It offers a very solid keyboard with isolated (island-style) keys, a very smooth and responsive touchpad and an enclosure that feels almost rubbery when you touch it. Like most netbooks, it has its drawbacks: it gets warm, it only has 1GB of RAM and 802.11n Wi-Fi is absent.
Toshiba's NB300 is a 10in netbook with a slim frame, a long battery life and an advanced Sleep-and-Charge USB port. It's an almost perfect netbook for travellers thanks to these features, but even students and business users who are in the market for a tiny laptop should consider the NB300. However, it's not a very fast netbook -- its hard drive, in particular, is a bit of a slow coach — so don't expect it to be anything more than a convenient tool for Web browsing, creating office documents and watching standard-definition videos.
The HP Pavilion Slimline S5380a desktop PC is small and well-priced, though it doesn't come with a monitor. It's equipped with a mid-range Core i3 processor, which is more than enough for homework and even some light video editing, while its graphics card will handle older, DirectX 9-based games.
Toshiba's Satellite M500 (PSMKCA-009007) is a 14in, fully featured notebook that's suitable for business and home users alike. It has a dual-core Core 2 Duo CPU, modern ports and slots and a surprisingly good speaker system for a notebook of its size. It's also a surprisingly heavy laptop that actually feels more tiring to lug around than many recent 16in models we've reviewed.
Make the most of your browser.
No-cost utilities and services can help you find, organize, and wrangle your media files--or enjoy some great video online.
Symantec Norton 360 Version 4.0 is a suite of tools that combines the anti-malware and anti-phishing features of Norton Internet Security 2010 (NIS), with the PC tune-up tools of Norton Utilities.
Dell's Inspiron Zino HD is an attractive, Windows-based nettop that's an alternative to other small form factor PCs like Apple's Mac Mini. It offers plenty of connections and has good performance for basic computing, but slow high-definition video decoding and the lack of a remote control make this a poor home theatre PC.
MSI's CR620 is a 16in desktop replacement notebook that costs just $1199. It comes equipped with an Intel Core i3-330M CPU, 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM and a 500GB hard drive, so it will perform just fine when running office applications and even more taxing tasks such as media encoding.
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GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.