Posts tagged hardware
Interested in iPhone, iPad, or Apple and looking to have some great conversations? Got a burning question or frustrating problem you just want help fixing? Already an expert and eager to share your knowledge? Well, all that and more is just waiting for you in the iMore forums.
Here are today’s hot topics:
- Be sure to check out our recently added forums for Apple Hardware. Discuss the iMac, Mac Mini, Macbook, etc. here in these forums.
- Yet again someone who left the iPhone 5 for the HTC One has returned to the iPhone 5.
- More iPhone 5S release rumors
- Are you addicted to your smartphone?
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New X Phone rumors surface, won’t have customizable hardware; Motorola will reportedly make a Nexus phone this year0
There’s been a plethora of rumors concerning the Motorola X Phone this month. Some have claimed that the X Phone will offers customizable hardware and others have claimed that it’s slated for a November launch. And now another rumor coming from Android and Me is giving us more details about the phone.
This is just a rumor, as we can’t confirm any of this. However, the rumor seems to fall in line with some of the previous reports we’ve seen.
Android and Me‘s sources say that the X Phone’s launch date will be in July. It was originally slated for June, but manufacturing issues have caused a delay. The Wall Street Journal reported on this last year, saying that Motorola was facing “manufacturing and supply-chain management” issues.
The X Phone will have an ‘exclusive” launch in July with a broader launch around Thanksgiving, which falls in line with previous November launch rumors. This could indicate a few things. The device could be sold exclusively online for a time or it may not be available in certain markets until the broader launch in November. If a July launch is in mind, we should hear of it at Google I/O in May.
According to the source, the X Phone will also be user customizable, which follows up with earlier rumors. However, it does not appear that hardware can be modified aside from internal storage. Instead, users will be able to customize the design of the phone with some personalized software settings. Users will be able to order the device in a large quantity of colors while also being able to modify the material of the outer casing. Buyers will be able to pick from plastic, metal and carbon fiber.
Motorola will also allow buyers to further customize the hardware, but not with the first X Phone release. The company may want the idea to take off before getting into something so ambitious like hardware customization, which makes a lot of sense considering that devices could get very costly very fast.
The source says the X Phone will be a formidable HTC One competitor, but it won’t be a Galaxy S4 or iPhone 6 killer. The X Phone brand will, for the most part, be marketed as a customizable phone that is able to connect up to a multitude of Google products, such as Google Glass and the smartwatch. Motorola seems to have more of a focus with software than hardware with the X Phone, so it would make sense to not have top-of-the-line hardware.
Android and Me‘s source also says that the X Phone will feature a Motorola logo on the back of the device, which will act as a touch sensitive button that allows you to launch various commands. There is a very high possibility that this could be true.
A couple of weeks ago, Google filed an application for a patent that would put back panel touch controls on a smartphone or tablet. What the source describes on the X Phone is nearly identical to the description of the back panel touch controls patent.
Another source told Android and Me that Google’s smartwatch could be made available around the time the X Phone launches, which would also make sense since the X Phone is supposed to have some sort of functionality between the smartwatch, Google Glass and possibly other Google products. It’s possible that the smartwatch could be an accessory to accompany the X Phone.
In addition to the X Phone, Motorola will be launching their own Nexus device at the end of the year. This device will not be apart of the X Phone brand, but it is interesting that Motorola could be making a Nexus device, as previous rumors indicated that LG could be making the next Nexus device.
Finally, the source says that Motorola will release more Droid phones release on Verizon this year, as Google inherited an 18 month line of products when the search giant purchased Motorola Mobility.
The rumor could be entirely fake, as the source wasn’t identified nor can the information may be confirmed. However, if the rumor has any weight to it, we should at the very least, hear Google mention its existence at Google I/O in May this year.
Are you looking forward to the X Phone?
Samsung on Thursday announced the Galaxy S4 and we’ll tell you everything there is to know about the device, leaving the theatrics at the door – that’s right, Samsung, that Galaxy S4 introduction was definitely strange.
What’s important is that the Galaxy S4 is here, and ready to launch in 155 countries at the end of April. In what follows we’re going to tell you everything there is to know about the device, from specs to new software features to launch details and pricing.
From the get-go it’s important to notice that while the Galaxy S4 has some interesting hardware under the hood, Samsung actually focused more on the new software features that will be found on top of the Google’s Jelly Bean – and yes, we can say that this time around we had a pretty good idea of what the Galaxy S4 would offer both in terms of specs but also new features.
We’ll certainly get to review the screen performance, the battery life, the processor’s efficiency in great detail in the future. Meanwhile we’re just going to list the full specs for the handset, reminding you once again that the leaks were almost right on the money:
Yes, the Galaxy S4 will run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean right out of the box with TouchWiz on top, but Samsung is packing a lot of other features of its own inside the phone. Here’s they are, briefly explained:
In addition to the S band S Health accessory we mentioned earlier you should know that the Galaxy S4 will have a variety of other accessories including cases and covers. You can expect Flip Covers in a variety of colors, but also a new S View Cover that has an opening which will let you see the screen and control the phone even while it’s mostly covered by the rest of the case.
Also worth mentioning is that the Galaxy S4 will work with gloves on, without requiring any special gloves to let you control the display in winter.
As we have already told you, the Galaxy S4 should hit a variety of markets in late April. The handset will ship in 155 countries, from 327 carriers, but Samsung was not willing to actually reveal any exact launch dates.
Furthermore, the phone doesn’t have an official price yet, but we can tell you it will ship in three capacity versions (16GB/32GB/64GB) and two color options (black and white) initially.
We’ll be back with more details about the Galaxy S4’s launch once we have release dates for various markets.
The post Samsung Galaxy S4 – all you need to know: hardware, software, accessories and availability appeared first on Android Authority.
The Chromebook Pixel is the new darling of the Chrome world, meant specifically for developers and those who are in the market for a high-end device. In engaging in this project, I made the Pixel my only device. After five days of extensive testing, it’s time for a full hardware review. Is it worth the steep price tag, or should you leave this one alone?
Perhaps the most discussed aspect of the new Chromebook Pixel is the screen. It’s bright, larger than most other Chromebooks, touch responsive… and has a 3:2 aspect ratio. That may sound strange, but there’s a purpose. The Pixel’s aspect ratio is meant to make better use of web pages, which scroll vertically. You see more of the page, and don’t have to scroll as much. I thought viewing YouTube videos, which all have a 16:9 aspect ratio, would be annoying on the Pixel, as black bars would be present at the top and bottom of the screen. I didn’t find it bothersome, though it would be nice if the video took up the entire page when maximized.
4.3 million pixels
The 2560×1700 resolution at 239 PPI make it superior to much of the market, and 400 nit definitely make it the brightest out there. You can look at all the videos you like, but until you see it for yourself, it won’t make sense. Upon opening the device for the first time, I was blown away at just how brilliant it is, and the screen makes just about everything better. Web pages are crisp, and even documents in Google Drive (where I write this now) are more pleasant to look at. It really is just a gorgeous, vibrant display. I found no issue with coloration, and even black is true, rather than a grey-ish like we find on many other displays.
A touch screen sounds really cool, but does it work well? There are many ultrabooks on the market, which have touch screen (and aren’t very good at it), so is the Pixel just like those? Is it really functional, or just another selling point?
Touch capacity on the Pixel is stellar. I find it to be responsive and accurate, with no lag to speak of. Grab a page to drag it, and it happens instantly. Click a button, and it’s performing the task before you’ve even pulled your hand all the way back. The screen is made with Gorilla Glass, meaning high quality materials that will hold up to touch and remain beautiful for the life of the device. The lack of haptic feedback may be an issue for those who enjoy it, as that function is not available for the Pixel’s screen.
The Chromebook Pixel has an Intel i5 processor clocked at 1.8GHz, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 4GB DDR3 RAM, a 32GB SSD (64GB for the LTE version), Dual band WiFi (the normal 802.11 a/b/g/n 2×2), and Bluetooth 3.0.
That’s a lot of tech jargon, but does it work?! It sure does. The processor is snappy, and the graphics card never disappoints. Even streaming high definition movies, there was no stutter or lag. That’s rare, so let’s talk about the real day-to-day stuff!
Multi-tasking was a breeze, and having upwards of a dozen tabs open in Chrome yielded no lag or reloading issues. In my work day, I will routinely listen to music on my device, watch YouTube videos here and there, research various topics, and work in Drive. That’s about 6-7 tabs open and working almost constantly, and I’ve never had an issue. My score on HTML5 Test was 463 out of 500, with 13 bonus points.
All the small things
The screen is great, and the guts hold up to strain… but what about all the other stuff?! I know you’re itching to know about the battery (keep reading), but there is a few other major topics we should touch on before we get to that. The goal here is to be comprehensive and objective, not give a knee-jerk reaction.
When I heard about the speakers, I scrunched my face up in confusion. Under the keyboard?! They’ve got to be muffled, and downright crappy, right? I was prepared to hate them, and relegate myself to owning yet another computer with horrible built-in sound.
Surprisingly enough, they’re not only adequate… they’re really good. They are really loud, and very clear. I don’t get a lot of low-end bass (I mean, what device really does?), but they’re very true and clean. I resist cranking them, as they are surprisingly loud, but they’re good at all levels. They don’t interfere with the keyboard at all, so the speakers are great… and a bit of a mystery.
Backlit, beautiful, and brilliant. The action on the keys is superb, and the materials are top notch. I’m fairly swift when typing, but can be a pounder now and again. These hold up to anything I toss at them, as a good keyboard should. They are the now-standard “chiclet” style keys, which I’ve actually come to enjoy.
The backlit keyboard is a pure joy in the evenings when you need to pop open the Chromebook and get some work done, but don’t want to bother turning lights on. The “action keys” along the top have a different feel than the rest of the keyboard, which is odd, but I’ve come to really like it. The only issue I have is that after a day or so of use, the keys start to show all the oils and such present in the skin. Not a huge issue, but if you’re a clean freak like me… keep some antibacterial wipes handy.
The trackpad is made of etched glass, which sounded like overkill to me. Then I used it. The fingers slide over it gracefully, and it’s the same black as the keys, making for a really clean, modern look. It’s responsive, and has a pleasant feel when clicking. The downside? Just like the keyboard, it will show oils after a day or so of use.
The build quality of this machine is superb. The aluminum casing is just wonderful, and gives the machine clean lines. The piano hinge holds the monitor steady, and is smooth to open and close. The one-touch opening Google bragged about is the real deal, and pretty cool.
My issue with the build comes in a side-note… literally. The ports on the side of the machine are a bit suspect. The power cable doesn’t really settle in to the port tightly, while the headphone jack is far too tight. The two USB 2.0 ports are fine, but there is no USB 3.0… which is very strange to me. I haven’t had any issues with the power cord slipping out, or coming loose, but it’s not a snug fit. The USB ports also get warm during use, and especially when the fan is on. Not too hot, just warmer than usual. Not cause for alarm, but definitely something to be aware of.
Another really nice touch on the Pixel is the fan. It’s really quiet, and completely out of the way. I hear it from time to time, but I don’t feel any air coming out anywhere. Even when the fan kicks into high gear, it’s not loud or obnoxious. Like many other things, the fan is hidden… but does its job well.
The battery test
Each time I tested the battery life, I charged the battery to 100% capacity. After being fully charged, I used the device straight away with no breaks (other than, you know, normal stuff). I depleted the battery completely, making the machine quit on me each time I tested. I had the screen at about 80% brightness, and the speakers at half (they’re loud, remember?!).
In normal use, which I can best describe as medium to heavy web browsing, the Chromebook Pixel wore me out. I tested it (fully) 3 times, and averaged 6.5 hours of use. The peak was nearly 7.5 hours, and the low was about 6 hours. This all, of course, depends on use. Again, my median use stats were listed previously in this review to provide a reference point.
When I really put the pedal to the floor, it held up fairly well. Loaded on each Chromebook Pixel is a 2:11 video called “Timescapes”, meant to showcase the display. I thought this would be a good way to test the battery out, as it really tasks the screen. I did this twice, and had the same results each time: I was able to get nearly 4 hours of use. Overall, I can’t complain about battery life with the Pixel… the 5 hour claim holds true.
Is it worth the ,300 price tag for the WiFi version? I think so… just keep those criteria we talked about before in mind. To be honest, I was anticipating being regretful of the purchase. I thought I’d be underwhelmed, and have to hassle with the Play Store for a return. Instead, I’m pleasantly surprised with the Chromebook Pixel, and am pleased with my purchase.
As always, it’s best to analyze your needs as well as how you really use a computer before making a purchase. Can I say the Chromebook Pixel is for everyone? No, but no single product is. Just as a Mac isn’t right for everyone, or a Windows PC may not be. What I will say is that this is a very viable option, and you should consider it for your next computer purchase.
If you want to understand why a company does something, you need to understand how they make money. Intel is in the business of manufacturing chips. They don’t care what software runs on their chips, they just want to make sure that their chips are being ordered in bulk by hardware manufacturers. Now consider this: 2012 was the year where we actually saw the PC market shrink. You can blame that on several things: Windows 8 isn’t very exciting, the economy is tanking, and tablets are becoming people’s primary computing devices.
With that in mind, let’s discuss Intel’s latest announcement. They’ve confirmed that they’re working on a box that will “fix” everything that’s wrong with television. Said box will use the new h.265 codec, and it’ll work with live TV, internet TV, and pretty much anything that your TV provider uses. The box will launch this year, and while it isn’t going to be Intel branded, Intel will have a huge say in how things work.
Why is Intel doing this? We’re not exactly sure. The market for devices to connect to your television is not only tiny, but the refresh cycle is terrible. You move into an apartment and get a cable box, and that box will stay with you until the end of time. Maybe Intel is hoping to court companies looking to sell an entire range of devices? Think about Samsung, who wants to sell you a connected TV, a tablet, and a smartphone. But then Samsung also makes their own chips, so … can you see why we’re not exactly sure what’s going on here?
How does this news relate to Google? Like we said earlier, Intel couldn’t care less about what software runs on their chips. We know Intel is working on Tizen, via their partnership with Samsung, but let’s be serious: Android for televisions will likely be a big thing either this year or in 2014.
Let’s wait and see how this develops.