Stories by Jason Cross

  • AMD finally ships Fusion processors

    AMD has been talking about Fusion for years now. Over time, the term has sort of morphed from referring to specific future products to a general marketing catch-all designed to help people think of the CPU and GPU (graphics processing unit) as the same thing.

  • Windows 7 tablets are a terrible idea

    I keep hearing about Windows tablets. Steve Ballmer got up on stage with an HP slate at last year's CES, and nobody was particularly impressed. Now we're hearing rumors that he'll give it another shot this year, perhaps even revealing a bit about Windows 8 (I don't think that's likely, given that we don't expect Windows 8 to be released for almost two years). Redmond, if you're listening: stop it. Windows on tablets is a terrible, terrible idea.

  • Making sense of laptop specifications

    If someone on your gift list wants a laptop, the first thing you need to do is figure out which category of laptop best suits the recipient's needs. Once you've done that, it's time to examine the specifications. You'll have to choose from among a host of options for the processor, RAM, graphics, display, and other features. Deciding what is necessary and what the user can live without is difficult, but it's essential to selecting a laptop your gift recipient will love at a price you can afford. If you don't understand the specs, you could save money but miss out on desired features and performance, or you could spend too much for things that the recipient doesn't really need. (And before you commit to a laptop, see our list of handy shopping tips.)

  • Sony’s VAIO VPCEA22FX laptop

    Sony targets the everyman with its VAIO EA series of all-purpose laptops. They're affordable, medium-size, general-purpose workhorses with a variety of customization options. Available in a swath of colors and configurations, the EA series is neither slim and sexy nor bulky and heavy. It's as close to the middle of the road as you're likely to get from Sony.

  • Does the iPhone 4 really have a 'Retina Display'?

    Dr. Raymond Soneira runs DisplayMate Technologies, which makes software to test display quality. He also knows more about digital displays than just about anyone I know - and I know some pretty tech-savvy folks.

  • Alienware M11x gets Core i5, i7 upgrade, Nvidia Optimus tech

    Few gaming laptops have charmed us as much as the Alienware M11x. It's a bit bulky compared to other 11.6-inch ultraportable notebooks, but absolutely tiny compared to most laptops designed for gaming. It's overclocked Core 2 Duo SU7300 processor and GeForce 335M mobile graphics chip give it the muscle needed to truly play all the latest games at high settings. With most notebooks that size, you have to turn the settings down pretty far to get decent performance. The big eight-cell prismatic battery gives it over 7 hours of working time in our tests, as long as you flip the switchable graphics over to the Intel integrated GPU.

  • Intel Launches Ultra-Low Voltage Core i3, i5 and i7 CPUs

    Intel has officially launched Ultra-Low Voltage (ULV) processors in the Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 product families today. The company claims the chips offer up to 32% better performance than the comparable ULV processors in the Core 2 family, popular in many ultraportable PCs. At the same time, power usage is reduced by a promised 15%, again relative to the company's current ULV products.

  • ATI's Catalyst 10.2 and 10.3 drivers pile on the features

    ATI is taking the wraps off some major changes to its Catalyst drivers today. These monthly graphics driver updates usually focus on minor tweaks, bug fixes, and performance improvements, but this month and next month will usher in some singificant new features.

  • Nvidia unveils Optimus switchable graphics technology

    Does your laptop have switchable graphics? You know, both an integrated graphics chip that sips energy and gives you long battery life along with a discrete GPU (graphics processing unit) that offers better 3D graphics and video performance? Notebooks with switchable graphics have been shipping for years, but they haven't lived up to user expectations. Nvidia hopes to change that with their new Optimus technology.

  • Nvidia releases details of GF100 chip

    Back in September, Nvidia unveiled some details of its new graphics architecture, code-named Fermi. The focus at that time was on GPU compute features. Today, Nvidia has unveiled some details about the new chip that as it relates to traditional graphics. A complete picture of the chip code-named GF100 (it stands for "Graphics Fermi 100", though the actual product names have not been revealed yet) is starting to come together, but we're still left wondering about some important details.

  • ATI introduces Radeon HD 5670

    ATI, the graphics division of AMD, has done a pretty good job so far of bringing its new DirectX 11 capable graphics cards down to prices regular people can afford. True, the Radeon HD 5870 and 5850 launched at truly "enthusiast" price levels, but the 5770 and 5750 quickly followed and filled in the $150-200 gap. Today, the company introduces the Radeon HD 5670, a new card powered by a new chip and aimed at the sub-$100 market.

  • Microsoft should kill Internet Explorer

    It's time for Microsoft to kill Internet Explorer. It has to be done quickly, before it's too late to rebound. The browser is bleeding market share in a way that a new version alone cannot stop. It's time for the company to rethink the browser and come at it from a fresh perspective. Microsoft needs a new browser, not a new version of an existing one.

  • Nvidia unveils Tegra 2

    Nvidia has unveiled its second-generation Tegra mobile system-on-chip processor, before the first generation has seen much traction (outside of the excellent Zune HD, Tegra hasn't really appeared in any marquee products). So what's new in Tegra 2? A faster ARM processor and better graphics and video, while still emphasizing extreme power efficiency.