Stories by Melissa J. Perenson

  • Amazon Kindle Fire First Impressions: Solid but Limited

    The wraps are finally off Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet. Its splashy entry into the tablet firestorm was hard to miss--Amazon made quite a statement with its $199 price--and yet I'm underwhelmed. Although reporters were not allowed to touch the Kindle Fire during the demonstrations following Amazon's <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/240752/meet_amazons_four_new_kindles.html">New York launch event</a>, I spent considerable time observing the tablet in action, and grilling Amazon executives about different features. My gut reaction to what I saw today: This is not the Amazon tablet we've all been looking for.

  • Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet means business

    With the ThinkPad Tablet, Lenovo distinguishes itself as the first company with two tablets clearly aimed at two different markets. The company did a solid job with its consumer-focused IdeaPad K1, released midsummer. The ThinkPad Tablet (starting at $499 for a 16GB model, price as of 9/23/2011), like its laptop brethren, has its sights squarely set on business users. And like the ThinkPad laptops, Lenovo largely succeeds in putting together a business-worthy package with its own design, features, and bundled software.

  • Why we need Windows 8 tablets

    Interoperability: It's a big word that describes an even bigger problem -- namely, that of the compatibility of your apps and data between different devices. And while the mobile worlds of Google's Android and Apple's iOS have come a long way, nothing compares to the complete end-to-end compatibility offered by a Windows computer. The issues that a Windows 8 tablet could address are the twin troubles of file handling and app compatibility -- two things that remain troublesome thorns in the sides of both Android and iOS.

  • FIRST LOOK : Sony Tablet S - Tablet that goes beyond basics

    Sony has finally revealed all on its Android-based Tablet S, announcing the slate - with a 9.4-inch display - will ship in late September with a starting price of $US500 for a 16GB model and $US600 for the 32GB unit. . You'd be wrong to think Sony's Tablet S is a run-of-the-mill iPad lookalike tablet to ignore. Sony's Tablet S shows the consumer electronics giant has not lost its design mojo over the years, and with this first tablet offering Sony infuses originality and flare into a tablet market that desperately needs it. Pre-sale of the Tablet S begins today.

  • Apple without Steve Jobs: A charisma crisis

    Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ resignation leaves the company's internal operation in the capable hands of his replacement, Tim Cook. But his departure also leaves a cavernous void when it comes to the company’s public persona. And right now, it’s unclear who may step in to fill that void.

  • Buying a $US99 HP TouchPad: One US-based person’s quest

    At the right price, anything and everything will sell. Just look at the rush on HP TouchPads this weekend. HP instructed retailers to lower the price on the TouchPad to $US99.99 for the 16GB model, and $US149.99 for the 32GB. And at those prices, the slow, cumbersome, and doomed tablet suddenly looked like the cream of the crop. Shoppers came out in droves, snapping up existing online and physical store inventories.

  • REVIEW: Acer Iconia Tab A100 - not bad for a 7-inch tablet

    We've seen 7-inch tablets before, but the category gets a new spin with the Acer Iconia Tab A100. Acer manages to pack in a slew of ports and slots in a well-designed, compact tablet. The A100 also happens to be the first 7-inch tablet with Android 3.2, and the first from a major brand to hit a sub-$US350 price — albeit for a model with just 8GB of storage.

  • Toshiba Thrive: a tablet edges closer to the ideal

    The Toshiba Thrive feels chunky compared with the svelte, lightweight market leaders, namely the <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/229763/samsung_galaxy_tab_101_wifi_a_worthy_rival_to_the_ipad_2.html">Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1</a> and <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/221793/apple_ipad_2_tablet_is_thinner_lighter_faster_to_use.html">Apple iPad 2</a>. But tucked neatly along the Thrive's edges are its secret weapons: an SD Card slot, plus Mini-USB, USB, and HDMI ports. Those ports keep the Thrive from being just another tablet in a crowded field. We tested the 16GB Thrive AT105-T1016 ($500 as of July 13, 2011); Toshiba also sells an 8GB version for $430, and a 32GB version for $580.

  • The ultimate tablet showdown

    This year shapes up as the year of the tablet--for real, this time--as the hugely popular, impressively svelte Apple iPad 2 competes with an array of challengers, most of them running Android.

  • Seagate GoFlex Satellite portable hard drive

    The Seagate GoFlex Satellite hard drive takes the shackles off your tablet, freeing it to connect to a greater amount of storage capacity -- without having to go through any pesky wires. But although the hardware implementation is adequate, the software app struggles. A lot. At launch, Seagate is offering a messy, limited app for iPad and iPhone; an Android app equivalent is still in the works, so for now Android users must access the hard drive's contents using a comparatively crude Web-browser interface (admittedly, one not unlike the browser interface for standard network-attached drives).