Author Archives: Michael Crider

Michael Crider writes primarily for Android Community and covers Windows for SlashGear. A native-born Texan, Michael's previous careers include graphic design, TV and movie blogging and technical writing. You can follow him on Twitter (@MichaelCrider ) and Google+ for geeky insights on sci-fi, detective noir and Big Band music.

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook versus HP Folio 13

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook versus HP Folio 13

Yankees and Red Sox. Edison and Tesla. Dell and HP. Both American PC titans have release shiny new ultrabooks this year, hoping to find a small place in your carry-on bag. The Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook is a few weeks newer, but not so much newer that the HP Folio 13 is out of the running: both are slim, stylish notebooks with 13-inch screens, Intel Core processors, SSD drives and the latest version of Windows. So which between the two of them should get your hard-earned dollar? Let's break it down.

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Dell offers improved BIOS and trackpad driver for XPS 13 Ultrabook

Dell offers improved BIOS and trackpad driver for XPS 13 Ultrabook

We had a good long look at Dell's shiny new XPS 13 earlier this month, and came away impressed with the build quality and screen. But two points of contention in our official review were the rather noisy system fan (a rare thing on an ultrabook) and the fidgety touchpad, an all too common occurrence on the trendy new all-in-one designs. Dell followed up with us today to say that they've updates both the system BIOS and the Cypress drivers for the trackpad, neatly addressing both issues. XPS 13 owners can get the BIOS here, and the trackpad drivers here.

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HP Envy 14 Spectre Review

HP Envy 14 Spectre Review

The HP ENVY 14 Spectre was easily one of the most promising ultrabooks we saw at CES 2012, and a few months of waiting hasn't dampened our enthusiasm. The premium notebook combines high-end features and unique materials into a 14-inch body that's distinct from just about everything on the market, which is something you couldn't say for many of HP's previous entries in the ENVY line. Does this unique machine rise above the pack? Let' find out.

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Samsung compares the Galaxy Note 10.1 with the new iPad

Samsung compares the Galaxy Note 10.1 with the new iPad

It's all about the iPad today, but no company worth its salt would miss the opportunity to remind tech heads of its own upcoming prospects and vie for your consumer electronics dollar. Since Samsung has become Apple's #1 foe on the worldwide market, it wants to make sure you remember its new flagship tablet, the Galaxy Note 10.1. Essentially an upgraded version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 with the added benefit of a Wacom digitizer, S-pen stylus and plenty of custom apps, Samsung is hoping to transition its tablets into the creation space.

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Dell XPS 13 Ultraportable Review

Dell XPS 13 Ultraportable Review

Dell has a reputation, deserved or not, as being a reliable, economical and (not to put too fine a point on it) dull choice when it comes to PCs. There have been many attempts to change rectify this; the first in recent memory was coincidentally titled the XPS 13. Various incarnations of this machine and others like the Adamo line have again and again tried to break this perception, and while admirable efforts, they’ve fallen mostly on deaf ears. Enter the XPS 13 Ultrabook, which utilizes Intel’s vague set of standards to hopefully stand above the crowd.

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HP updates Z-series workstations with up to 512GB of RAM

HP updates Z-series workstations with up to 512GB of RAM

The vast majority of PC users, even those who would consider themselves "technology professionals", won't ever require the kind of computing power that a workstation-class machine can provide. But for those that do, specifications are paramount, and HP aims to please with its updated Z420, Z620 and Z820 workstations. Upgrades to the previous Zx00 models include faster Xeon processors, expanded storage, a redesigned chassis for and (gasp) up to 512GB of system memory.

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Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook: first impression

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook: first impression

Ultrabooks were all the rage at CES 2012 last month, and if one model rose above the rest, it was the XPS 13 from Dell. The latest in a long line of powerful portables, the Ultrabook version of the XPS 13 wowed onlookers with a combination of a metal, plastic and carbon fiber body and incredible slimness, not to mention a tiny overall footprint - Dell claims that it's crammed a 13-inch screen into a body size mostly reserved for 12-inch laptops. You can pick one up from Dell now starting at $999, but you might want to read our initial impressions first.

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SteelSeries teases mouse with integrated screen

SteelSeries teases mouse with integrated screen

Gaming mice range from the simple to the ridiculous, though they tend to unite on at least one aspect: "expensive". In the world of gaming hardware, novelty is a constant struggle, and boutique manufacturer SteelSeries has something up their sleeves that certainly qualifies. The company posted two photos to their Twitter account today, showing off what appears to be the tail end of a gaming mouse with an integrated screen of some kind. Thousands of PC gamers' wallets are already feeling lighter.

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California introduces bill to legalize driverless cars

California introduces bill to legalize driverless cars

Flying autos may still be something of a pipe dream, but letting you car handle your morning commute is coming closer and closer to reality. California legislators seem as eager to embrace this future as we are: a new bill has been introduced in the state legislature to formally legalize driverless cars and the testing of same on California roads, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The bill entered the state senate on the same day that the neighboring Nevada is beginning to allow companies to apply for a permit to test out self-driving cars on the open road.

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Japanese researchers develop speech-suppression speaker gun

Japanese researchers develop speech-suppression speaker gun

A Japanese research team has developed a device that can compel the overly talkative to shut their mouths and let somebody else get a word in edgewise. Before you start pulling out your pocket Bill of Rights, understand that researchers Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada haven't developed a weapon, it's more of an etiquette enforcer - with extreme prejudice. Their device processes the speech of an overly loud person, then computes and adjusts the frequencies and sends their own words back at them, modulated in such a way that they become instantly confused and therefore more likely to shut their traps already.

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Samsung Galaxy Beam set for summer 2012 release in the UK

Samsung Galaxy Beam set for summer 2012 release in the UK

If you found Samsung's combination of a pico projector and Android smartphone interesting (if not overly utilitarian), you weren't alone. And sooner than later, you'll be able to pick one up if you live in the UK. Samsung has announced that it intends to sell the Galaxy Beam starting in July for £385 unlocked, which is just over $600 USD. The company says that it will partner with multiple British cellular carriers to subsidize the phone, but wouldn't say which ones.

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UK firm takes wagers on iPad 3 features, backs out quickly

UK firm takes wagers on iPad 3 features, backs out quickly

Think you know what's coming up on March 7th, when Apple finally (maybe, likely, definitely) reveals the iPad 3? Then put your money where your far-flung prediction is. That was the idea behind SkyBet's iPad 3 prediction betting pool, which briefly allowed gamblers to place bets on the specifications of the upcoming ubergadget. Unfortunately the gambilng site took down its prospective predisctions a few hours later. Some of the odds had climbed as high as twelve to one.

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