Dell has been doing its homework and at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, the company dropped what was widely considered to be at least the notebook “bomb” of the show, though we’d argue it could well be one of the top show highlights, period. The new for 2015 Dell XPS 13 is not only powered by Intel’s latest 5th Generation Core Series processor, formerly known under the code name Broadwell-U, but it’s the first machine to hit our test bench with Intel’s new full-power notebook platform. This isn’t a 4 – 5 Watt Core M machine we’re looking at here; it’s Intel’s 14nm Core series architecture in full-featured 15 Watt notebook form with a new Intel HD 5500 graphics engine as well. And to step out with their best foot forward, Dell engineered the new 5th Gen Core Series-infused XPS 13 with much more than just fancy carbon fiber.
It has been a while since I have personally setup a test bench, rolled up my sleeves and built a test system with top-shelf components, a fresh OS install and some overclocking mojo. However, Intel’s recent release of Ivy Bridge-E gave us a hankering to do just that. We’ve been testing a lot of tablets, smartphones and ultrabooks, but there’s a certain satisfaction that comes with building a high performance system from the ground up, that you just don’t get from pre-built devices. So I decided to see if I still had the chops.
Google made a brilliant decision last year to take the bull by the horns and deliver its own brand Android tablet to the masses. Built by ASUS to Google’s specifications, the original Nexus 7 awarded a patient (and eager) audience with a stock Android experience wrapped in an affordable package that was high on value and low on feature concessions. It was precisely the kind of tablet the Android camp had been clamoring for, because for whatever reason, most third-party manufacturers were tying to push larger, overpriced slates onto an audience that simply wanted a solid tablet without paying a premium. Up until the Nexus 7 arrived, the only viable alternatives, other than cheap off-brands with questionable build quality, were Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet, a fine pair of slates for their intended purposes, but also deeply rooted in each company’s own ecosystem.
A year later, Google isn’t taking a breather and is once again showing the competition how to deliver an Android tablet that caters to consumer demand. The new model Nexus 7 is a worthy successor to the original, boasting an improved design both internally and externally. It’s thinner and lighter for improved portability, has a faster processor to handle a new crop of games and applications, and wields a higher resolution display that allows viewers to watch Full HD 1080p movies as they’re intended to be viewed.
It’s not just a hardware upgrade, either. Like before, the new Nexus 7 introduces a new version of Android, though the software upgrade isn’t as dramatic this time around. Android 4.3, which makes its debut on the 2013 model Nexus 7, is still labeled Jelly Bean, presumably because Key Lime Pie (Android 5.0) still has some baking to do. In the meantime, Android 4.3 brings some new features to the table, including support for OpenGL ES 3.0, location detection through Wi-Fi, virtual surround sound, and more.
Let’s take a quick look at the new Nexus 7 before moving on…
Read the full review at HotHardware.com
Nokia has been trying hard to play catch-up in the smartphone race for a long time now, and as Microsoft’s strategic partner with the Windows Phone operating system and ecosystem, they’ve got their work cut out for them, with a gridiron full of Android and iOS devices offering compelling and powerful solutions. And so, Nokia, perhaps more-so than any other smartphone manufacturer in the game right now, needed to find a way to make something special. The new Nokia Lumia 1020, though it sports essentially the same internals and display as Nokia’s Lumia 920, most definitely is different, and perhaps even a very attractive alternative, depending on your specific needs.
41 megapixels of resolution, floating image stabilization and a powerful camera app to back it up, will make the Lumia 1020 pretty “special” to a lot of people, some of whom might be considering a Windows Phone for the first time as a result. We’re quickly working up a detailed review on Nokia’s new Lumia 1020 but wanted to give you our initial impressions of the device and its camera performance, here in this quick-take preview.
First, we’ll give you our nickle tour and hands-on demo of the Lumia 1020, then we’ll let some pictures we took with the phone weigh in with their worth of a thousand words or so…