Stories by Nate Ralph

  • Toshiba Tecra Z40-A1401 review: Too little for too much

    Business computers usually cost more than consumer machines. But if you're a small-business owner, you need to determine if the features in a laptop designed for the enterprise are worth the added cost. That question is particularly pertinent when comparing Toshiba's Tecra Z40 to considerably cheaper consumer-oriented laptops from the likes of Dell and Lenovo.

  • Sony Xperia ZL is about as exciting as getting socks for Christmas

    The Sony Xperia ZL ($US759, unlocked) is your average high-end smartphone. It ticks all of the appropriate boxes: large, full-HD display, a camera that's chock full of megapixels, speedy LTE-connectivity (I tested it on AT&T's network), and a beefy quad-core Snapdragon processor. But in a world of iPhones, HTC Ones, and Samsung Galaxy S4s, ticking off all the boxes is far from enough.

  • App of the Day: Bacon takes flight in Bad Piggies for iPhone

    Fond as I am of bacon, I can't help but pity Rovio's Bad Piggies. These poor pigs just can't seem to catch a break, with their ceaseless pursuit of the Angry Birds' eggs generally resulting in bodily harm. In Bad Piggies, the pigs remain on the hunt for sustenance: Their chief engineer has devised a foolproof scheme, but mishaps cause his detailed blueprints to be scattered to the wind.

  • Windows 8 Metro UI: A bold new face for Windows

    Change is terrifying, and few things in technology have a greater capacity to set us on edge than a fundamental reimagining of the Windows operating system--a piece of the PC that's as vital to our lives and productivity as our mice and keyboards. But change is afoot, and Windows 8 is designed to play a pivotal role in Microsoft's quest for relevance in a future awash with touch-centric devices.

  • Build Your Own Network-Attached Storage System

    With cheap storage readily available, the temptation to build vast libraries of music, movies, photos, and documents is ever present. But when each PC in your home is packed to its aluminum gills with gigabytes upon gigabytes of digital goods, managing all of that data can be a hassle.

  • AMD's Bulldozer Packs Plenty Of Cores, But Not Enough Power

    Earlier this year Intel made waves with its Sandy Bridge processors, which served up impressive performance gains over their predecessors while improving energy efficiency. AMD’s return salvo is finally here in the form of the AMD FX platform, previously codenamed Bulldozer.

  • Windows 8 and OSX Lion: How do they compare?

    It's still far too early in Windows 8's development cycle to pit the nascent OS against its fully-baked competition. But Apple's recently released OSX Lion offers up the most recent, competing view of what a PC operating system should look like in the age of the smartphone and tablet.

  • NEWS FOCUS: The fate of PCs at HP - 10 questions

    What a announcement it was: The world's largest PC manufacturer announces that it isn't really into the whole "building PCs" thing anymore, thanks to double-digit profit margins and many other facets of their corporate portfolio. It's a sensible (albeit dramatic) decision, but one without a conclusion: options are being mulled, while foundries continue to crank out desktops and laptops that could very well need a new logo within the next year or two. This leaves lots of questions on the table.

  • Tablets are here for good, but not at HP: CEO Apotheker

    HP believes that tablets have a promising future, but company officials said Thursday the reaction to their first tablet, the TouchPad, was so negative that it didn't make sense for the company to continue in that market. In the company's hotly anticipated earnings call, HP's CEO took pains to keep his options open regarding the company's PC division, which could be spunoff or sold.

  • CES 2011: Lenovo announces IdeaCentre all-in-ones

    Lenovo's IdeaCentre All-in-One desktops have been revamped for 2011, offering up a host of new features, and functionality. There's something for everyone here, with 3D displays, multitouch, TV tuners and new processors from AMD and Intel.

  • Add amazing new features to your phone and camera

    Your tech gear can do more than you think it can. Perhaps a device manufacturer has a particular user experience in mind. Or maybe you think you need a brand-new camera to get advanced shooting features. Don't worry--with a bit of time and care, you can get a lot mileage out of the goods you own.