In an excerpt from our new Tech Buyer's Guide, learn everything you need to know to pick up the perfect netbook this holiday season
By Mark SpoonauerPosted 11.27.2009 at 10:56 am 2 Comments
Popular Science Tech Buyer's Guide Netbooks
Each day this week leading up to Black Friday, we'll excerpt a chunk of our new Tech Buyer's Guide here on the site to arm you with the skills and the picks to get the most from your weekend shopping madness. Here are our picks and our buying advice for netbooks. Check out the guide for our picks in full-size laptops, as well as in 15 other product categories.
Computer users of all stripes—whether they usually say "I'm a PC" or "I'm a Mac"—have a few reasons to look forward to the launch of Windows 7 next Thursday. For one, this latest version of Microsoft's operating system has a clean, easy-to-use interface and a significant structural overhaul that makes up for a lot of Vista's mistakes. For another, it's ushering in a new wave of finger-friendly computers. Learn why—and see the breakdown on eight brand-new multitouch machines built for Windows 7.
Among HP's landslide of Windows 7 PCs announced today are two biz-centric laptops that are a dream for clumsy typists. The HP ProBook 6445 and 6545 have all the unremarkable specs you'd expect in an affordable IT-department-friendly notebook, with one exception: a spill-resistant keyboard.
E-ink displays are already common in devices like the Kindle, but HP has taken the tech a step further with thin, printable color displays called eSkins. Printed in massive rolls, eSkins can then be cut and used as a thin coating on, say, your laptop's lid, turning the surface into an active, color display.
Making good on a promise from December, start-up battery maker Boston-Power announced today that its almost-too-good-to-be-true Sonata lithium-ion batteries are now for sale, as upgrades for HP laptops.
Boston-Power's claims are impressive: A Sonata cell promises to charge to 40 percent capacity in just 10 minutes (say, the airport wait time from when they start boarding first class until they get to your steerage section). And they reach 80 percent capacity in just 30 minutes.
Hewlett-Packard's Firebird looks like any high-powered desktop computer. But it whispers at less than 30 decibels, while rivals are twice as loud. It gets its muscle from a high-power desktop CPU with four processors, but laptop-style components, including three graphics cards and a pair of hard drives, keep the Firebird cool, quiet and efficient.
1. Video on Demand
Voodoo's Mac Air-killer has room for more goodies, including an extra operating system
By Sean CaptainPosted 06.13.2008 at 1:49 pm 9 Comments
While the MacBook Air showed how slim a laptop could be, the Voodoo Envy ($2,100; voodoopc.com) demonstrates how much can fit in that space. Using the same compact CPU as the Air, the carbon-fiber-clad Envy measures just 0.7 inch thick—a tad thinner than the Mac at its thickest point. And it packs in more features, including a slot for high-speed cellular data cards, two USB ports, and an HDMI port for attaching to a high-def TV.
Memristor could enable instant-on PCs, massive data storage and computers that think like humans
By Sean CaptainPosted 04.30.2008 at 1:20 pm 17 Comments
Silicon Valley is mostly a world of practical technology—applying principles from pure science to create handy gadgets. But today, Hewlett Packard announced a new electrical component born of theoretical physics. The device, a nanoscale component called a "memristor," requires no power to retain data, which it can store more densely than a hard drive and access about as fast as a computers RAM memory—potentially allowing it to replace both components in the future.
DLP (Digital Light Processing), a low-cost leader in big-screen HDTV technology, uses a chip with thousands of micromirrors to display pictures. But there´s a limit to how small the mirrors can become and still produce a good image. Texas Instruments, which makes the DLP chips, maxed out with its 1,280-by-720 array, short of the highest-quality HD resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels.