Stories by Jason Cross

  • What we do (and don't) know about the new Xbox

    On May 21 at 10am Pacific time, Microsoft will unveil its next-generation Xbox console. And if this article were titled "What we know for sure about the next Xbox," we could end it here. Microsoft has been very tight-lipped about the successor to the Xbox 360, but that's about to change.

  • Dell XPS 13: One of the best Ultrabooks yet

    Dell has a lot of faith in the XPS 13, its first entry into the emerging Ultrabook class of superthin laptops. Compared to what we're used to seeing from Dell, it's a design marvel: thin, light, sleek, and well built with high-quality materials. It looks good, feels good, and performs well. If not for its disappointing display quality and a few minor trackpad issues, the XPS 13 would qualify as the best Ultrabook yet. Even with those drawbacks, it's one of the best Ultraportables around, but I can't recommend it unreservedly.

  • Laptops become thinner, lighter, and more luxurious

    The trend in laptops at CES 2012 is clear: It’s all about thinner and lighter laptops made with premium materials and slick design. Intel’s attempt to brand exceptionally thin and light laptops as Ultrabooks has been very successful, with nearly every laptop vendor jumping on board. Even laptops that don’t meet the requirements of Ultrabook branding, such as those using Intel Atom or AMD CPUs like the Asus Eee PC Flare, are slimmer, lighter, and better-looking than the comparable systems of the last few years.

  • Hands-on preview: Samsung Series 9 (2012 model)

    Last spring, Samsung impressed me by kicking off its high-end luxury Series 9 brand with an incredibly thin and light laptop. It was a fantastic competitor to the Macbook Air that came months before every laptop maker started cranking out Ultrabooks. In some ways, you could even call it the "proto-Ultrabook". So if you're Samsung, and everybody else has a similarly slim laptop on the way, what do you do for an encore?

  • Laptops of 2012: What to expect

    Tablets and smartphones are in, but don't count laptops out. Impressive new laptops planned for 2012 promise to be thinner, lighter, and faster, as well as to carry longer-lasting batteries.

  • Toshiba Portege Z835: Incredibly light, but not Incredibly fast

    At just 2.4 pounds, the Toshiba Portege Z835 is the lightest of the first wave of Ultrabooks. Most, like the <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/243923/lenovo_ideapad_u300s_light_luxurious.html">Lenovo IdeaPad U300s</a> and <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/243936/asus_zenbook_ux31e_supersleek_ultrabook_with_a_crummy_touchpad.html">Asus Zenbook UX31E</a>, weigh around 3 pounds. You can immediately feel the difference when you pick up this light-as-a-feather laptop. Unfortunately, this Best Buy exclusive configuration makes a few obvious concessions to reach its attractive $799 price.