Hands On

Acer C740 Chromebook hands-on: 11.6-inches of hearty computing

Acer C740 Chromebook hands-on: 11.6-inches of hearty computing

Earlier this month we got the opportunity to go hands-on with Acer's newest Chromebook, the C740. The Acer C740 Chromebook works with an 11.6-inch display, has been aimed at 1:1 school programs for students, and comes with a reinforced hinge for long-lasting durability. In addition, Acer is revealing the C910 Chromebook with a 15.6-inch display. Both machines are made with the same reinforced body made for extra-active user deployment. Both Chromebooks work with reinforced covers that can withstand 60kg of force. Their corners can tolerate 45cm drops without damage, as well.

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Project Ara hands-on: Mauling the Modular Mobile

Project Ara hands-on: Mauling the Modular Mobile

Whether you agree that modular phones are the future of mobile or otherwise, you can’t argue that Google’s Project Ara isn't intriguing, and so I was keen to get my hands on the highly flexible handset. Google had three Spiral 2 devices to show at its second Ara Developer Event in Mountain View today, and while time and functionality was limited, it was a good opportunity to see how well the idea of piecemeal feature blocks works in a practical sense. Turns out, there’s good and bad as you might expect at this pre-production stage. Read on for some first-impressions.

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Ten new Ford GT details we love

Ten new Ford GT details we love

Ford dropped jaws and set supercar fans twittering when it revealed the new Ford GT at the Detroit Auto Show today, a classic name reborn for a 600+ horsepower monster. While we'll have to wait until next year for Ford to actually put the 2017 GT into production, what particularly impresses is just how how detailed the car is today. Incredible aerodynamic contouring, lamps like precious jewels, and a level of finish that we're simply not used to seeing from concepts and prototypes, we couldn't help but whip out the zoom lens to share some of the more delicious details from the new GT.

Update: If you want to see the full car in all its glory, our original Ford GT article has plenty of live images. Past the cut, we're going to focus in on some of our favorite details.

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Oculus Rift Crescent Bay hands-on with 3D Audio

Oculus Rift Crescent Bay hands-on with 3D Audio

We entered the room Oculus VR had prepared for us not knowing exactly what we were in for. Not the Samsung Gear VR - surely not - that's already nearly a consumer product. Instead, Oculus had a padded room ready for us. Not because the SlashGear team is ready for straight jackets, but because this demonstration required that we be in as quiet an environment as possible. This demonstration - of the newest Oculus Rift headset prototype Crescent Bay, beyond the DK2 - required that we stand on a platform 4 feet by 4 feet wide in the center of a room that was perhaps 12 feet square. We were dropped immediately into a series of demonstrations.

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JBL GO hands-on: the cutest little Bluetooth sound blaster

JBL GO hands-on: the cutest little Bluetooth sound blaster

This little beast may be cute, but it packs a surprising punch of sound quality. What you're working with here is Bluetooth connectivity to your mobile smart devices for music or audio for entertainment on the go. JBL GO is a box of sound blasting you'll be able to fit in your pocket, working with built-in speakerphone abilities and a whopping 5 hours of sound playback. This past week at CES 2015 we got to get up close and personal with the whole color collection.

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Buick’s Avenir is lustworthy (& I can’t believe I just said that)

Buick’s Avenir is lustworthy (& I can’t believe I just said that)

A beautiful Buick? Wonders never cease: while GM's affordable-luxury marque may be better known for appealing to the golf set, its Avenir concept for the Detroit Auto Show is a legitimate stunner. The huge sedan is inspired by the sea, so Buick claims, with calming waves that coast along the side profile, but beyond the marketing hype it's simply a genuinely good-looking car. It's also clearly a modern Buick, with a huge grille, plenty of chrome that manages to not look out of place, and a particularly distinctive rear.

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JBL Ambient Aware hands-on: Apple Lightning earbuds have arrived

JBL Ambient Aware hands-on: Apple Lightning earbuds have arrived

It's time for the officially Apple licensed Lighting-connector earbuds and headphones to begin arriving, and they're starting with Harman's audio brand JBL. The JBL Reflect Aware earbuds bring on the lightest-in-class ABL headphone technology with features that'd normally require a separate power source to function. Here, though, the audio product works with a Lightning Connector or Micro-USB - depending on the pair you get. While JBL and Harman haven't announced a release date yet, these headphones (or earbuds, whatever you want to call them), are fully functional right here right now.

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Parrot Drones gen-2: hands-on with the next Sumo and Spider

Parrot Drones gen-2: hands-on with the next Sumo and Spider

Parrot has sent out their drones in the sky and on the ground to capture the audience’s attention at CES. Flying gracefully in the air and roughing it on the ground has stirred up a crowd that shows strong interest in the prototype drones. Parrot's success with drones started back in 2010 with the AR.Drone, then branching out from flying models to other form factors. It's those which come in for attention here at CES, with a range of upgrades that includes a beast that does off-road droning.

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AmpStrip packs Band-Aid with biometrics: Hands-on

AmpStrip packs Band-Aid with biometrics: Hands-on

Fitness wearables haven't been in short supply here at CES, but whether they're on your wrist as a watch or band, or clipped to your clothes, there's the hassle of always remembering to attach them. AmpStrip aims to bypass that by sticking to your skin, a digital, wireless Band-Aid that can track heart rate and movement and then funnel that data via Bluetooth to your phone. By opting for direct skin contact, AmpStrip says, not only are the biometric readings more accurate, but you can go several days without having to think about the sensor itself.

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Acer’s Chromebook 15 is just what Chrome OS needs

Acer’s Chromebook 15 is just what Chrome OS needs

For everyone who has begged for a larger Chromebook, there seems to be several others who can't get their heads around Chrome OS on a bigger than 13-inch display. Acer is wading into that argument head-on, launching the Chromebook 15 at CES this week, and in the process becoming the first manufacturer to offer Google's web-centric platform on a "traditionally" sized notebook. With many seeing Chromebooks as the spiritual successors of netbooks - ultraportable and super-affordable - you can understand the confusion around the Chromebook 15, but it turns out there are several good reasons for its existence.

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