Stories by Loyd Case

  • The CES International Pavilion: Weird, prosaic, wonderful ...

    By Loyd Case | 10 January, 2013 20:02

    If you wander through the small booths inside the Venetian Hotel conference center CES rooms, you find another door, way in the back. It leads to the CES International Pavilion, full of endless aisles of austere booths that all look alike.

  • CES reveals the four new rules of PC simplicity

    By Loyd Case | 09 January, 2013 22:23

    Behold the PCs of CES 2013. They are simpler, smarter, easier to use, and more portable than their now ever-so-clunky predecessors. No mice or keyboards are required. Indeed, these are not your daddy's computers. And let's not even call them PCs. How about: Tablets, hybrids, all-in-ones, and even Table PCs.

  • Acer takes on Apple with retina-class laptop displays

    By Loyd Case | 09 January, 2013 14:33

    Apple caught the PC industry off-guard in June when the company delivered the MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The four-megapixel LCD renders text and graphics with extreme clarity, and most who saw the display came away impressed.

  • How we built a tiny home theater PC with Intel's NUC

    By Loyd Case | 18 December, 2012 17:37

    Full-featured PCs are getting smaller every day, and Intel's new "Next Unit of Computing," or NUC, is yet another example of the ever-shrinking personal computer.

  • Samsung ATIV Smart PC: Samsung hits the Clover Trail

    By Loyd Case | 11 December, 2012 15:56

    Whether Samsung is trying to confuse buyers into thinking they’re buying a laptop, or can’t make up its mind what it is, the Samsung ATIV Smart PC is (mostly) a tablet. Sure, it’s got a nearly full-size keyboard, but the keyboard is included as a detachable accessory. The slender tablet, just 9.9mm thin, is only three ounces heavier than an iPad. Even the CPU, the Atom Z2760 (“Clover Trail”) is Intel’s attempt to take on ARM-based CPUs. Users expecting a laptop may end up disappointed.

  • How to buy the best laptop in the age of Windows 8

    By Loyd Case | 06 December, 2012 17:28

    Laptops used to be simple. Almost all of them had a clamshell design, with a display that folded onto the keyboard. You picked the laptop you needed based on factors like price, weight, and performance. But it's different today: New form factors, different operating systems, and disparate user needs conspire to make choosing a laptop a complex chore.

  • How Windows 8 rewrites the rules of PC gaming

    By Loyd Case | 05 December, 2012 17:00

    PC gaming is primed for a renaissance—or at least a reinvention—like we haven’t seen since the advent of 3D acceleration in the late 1990s. For this, we can thank the mobile revolution and all its attendant technologies. Game developers can now tap into accelerometers, touchscreens, and the cloud to add new features and gameplay scenarios. And even Microsoft’s comprehensive approach to Windows—merging desktops, tablets, and smartphones under a common code base—is changing the ways in which game creators should approach their work.

  • Retro gaming challenge! Windows 8 versus classic PC games

    By Loyd Case | 15 November, 2012 16:43

    PC gaming is stronger than it has been in years, but the classic age of PC gaming has to be the mid- to late 1990s. The PC was a strong source of innovation in gaming, spawning new genres as well as the birth of real-time, online multiplayer games. That era also saw the transition from games running on DOS—with all its arcane memory-management horrors and divergent graphics APIs—to the modern era of Windows gaming.

  • How to choose just the right all-in-one computer for you

    By Loyd Case | 07 November, 2012 16:46

    Windows-based all-in-one PCs once earned little respect. While most of today's AIOs still lack the graphics horsepower for hard-core gaming (we'll show you one exception), the best models are far removed from the 98-pound weaklings of yore.

  • Why you should upgrade to Windows 8

    By Loyd Case | 25 October, 2012 15:42

    [Part one of a two-part series. Also see, "Why you shouldn't upgrade to Windows 8."]

  • Windows 8: The official review

    By Loyd Case | 25 October, 2012 15:40

    Reviewing an operating system is an odd endeavor, because people don't really use operating systems; they use applications. The OS should be as transparent as possible, acting as a platform for applications. In today's cloud-driven world, however, the notion that your application will run in a single OS is tenuous at best. Toss in the increasing use of smart devices, whether phones or tablets, and the idea of a single-platform operating system is less relevant now than it was just a few years ago. These days we have "ecosystems"--Microsoft, Apple, or Google, take your pick.

  • Sony reaches the Windows 8 finish line first with two quirky tablets

    By Loyd Case | 12 October, 2012 17:05

    Windows 8 launches in exactly two weeks on October 26. The big day is imminent. The anticipation is palpable. Yet until two quirky devices from Sony arrived a few days ago, we hadn't yet put our hands on final, reviewable Windows 8 hardware.

  • Sony Duo 11 Ultrabook review: Blurring the line between tablet and laptop

    By Loyd Case | 12 October, 2012 12:43

    Unpacking the Sony Duo 11 (aka the SVD1123CXB) reveals what appears to be a tablet; no keyboard is immediately visible. Yet when you pick it up, it seems a little hefty for a tablet. What's going on here? Well, the Duo 11 is not just a tablet. Lifting up the top edge tilts the display and reveals a sliding keyboard hidden beneath the panel.

  • Sony Tap 20 review: A Windows 8 all-in-one that's also a humongous tablet

    By Loyd Case | 12 October, 2012 12:42

    As you might guess, this new Windows 8-based Sony all-in-one isn't your average AIO. Inside the modest exterior beats the heart of an Ultrabook, along with a ten-point multitouch screen and a built-in battery. So you can either think of the Tap 20 (also known by the sexy name SVJ20215CXW) as a smallish AIO or a really big tablet. In reality, it's a little of both.

  • AMD announces Trinity APUs: superb graphics, improved CPU

    By Loyd Case | 27 September, 2012 20:41

    Intel's been getting all the attention on the CPU front lately with the announcement of its upcoming Haswell CPU, but AMD is trying to crash the party with the launch of its new APU (accelerated processing unit) code-named Trinity. Officially announced Thursday, the Trinity APU combines current-generation Radeon 7000-style graphics technology with up to four CPU cores built around AMD's latest Piledriver CPU cores.


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