Microsoft and its hardware-making partners are sure in a charitable mood these days, even though the season to be jolly (and generous) is still a little ways down the road. Perhaps the best cheap Windows 8.1 tablet around, Toshiba’s Encore Mini, got better and cheaper as MS lowered its price tag to $99, and now the ultimate Chromebook “killer” is available at an all-time low as well.
Acer literally just refreshed its budget-minded Switch line of 2-in-1 mini-laptops with a couple of not-so-affordable, beefier models, and another spin-off is already in the works. Only this one doesn’t quite fall in the spin-off category, being more a rethinking of the concept rather than a modest rehash.
Gone are the times when hybrid laptop/tablet machines were considered niche-y, quirky devices aimed squarely at the geekiest geeks. And perhaps Asus proves it best, focusing most of its advertising and marketing efforts on so-called convertibles.
We know, we know, it’s rarely wise to make a big PC purchase with mere weeks to go until the busiest shopping period of the year. But do you really want to go through all the Black Friday fuss, the Cyber Monday ruckus and Christmas hubbub again?
A goat getting milked by a creepy 36-year-old. A baby in a pink octopus onesie. A midget wrestler massaging same 36-year-old, probably for relaxation purposes after a long milking session. And creepy 36-year-old getting even creepier by channeling inner… beaver, and meta-painting a beaver using toes.
Before finalizing its long overdue enterprise – consumer split, the happy mammoth family at Hewlett-Packard continues to carry battle on all fronts of the mobile and PC wars. With the notable exception of smartphones, HP is knee-deep in each and every little market piece, though lately, the Palo Alto-based giant has mostly focused on the low-cost scenes.
Simply adding new computers to one’s business website and taking pre-orders with no fanfare and not even a heads-up is certainly a bizarre way of “unveiling” said new products. But perhaps it’s better to count on word-of-mouth rather than artificial hype-building via teasers, (un) intentional leaks and the works.
Someone must have toyed with the calendar apps on Lenovo gadgets, as the PC maker’s headquarters just inaugurated the fall discount season. Sure, they’re calling the deals “early” Black Friday doorbusters, so they’re aware the actual BF 2014 event is a little ways down the road.
Since the largest, beefiest member of Microsoft’s “laptop replacement” Surface family seems to have been met with the greatest enthusiasm, the chances of there being discounts looming on the horizon are slim to none.
With Intel Core i3 and Nvidia Tegra K1 Chromebook configurations around the corner, Bay Trail machines are surely not going to be the cream of the crop much longer. But they’re likely to remain at the top of the Chrome OS ranks in terms of battery life, edging out most Windows rivals from that standpoint too.
The paradox that is Microsoft’s first-generation Surface RT convertible tablet continues to boggle minds and confuse pundits, racking up horrible reviews and yet still selling like hotcakes. Well, hotcakes may be a bit of a stretch, but according to data harvested by Windows Phone/Windows 8 cross-promotion network AdDuplex, the now two year-old device continues to rule over its ecosystem.
Following years of steady financial prosperity and increasing profits, Samsung reportedly hit a snag at the end of 2013, entering a slight decline phase that’s yet to end. And although the Koreans continue to post net profits quarter after quarter, they’ve decided to trim the fat of their multifaceted business before it’s too late.