September is officially here. For students, this means the end of summer vacation. Luckily, the month is not all doom and gloom, as it also means American Football! Yes, fans of the NFL will finally have games to watch on Sundays.
For many people -- myself included -- this also means fantasy football is here. If you aren't familiar, this is a highly-competitive game where you select NFL players and have their performance ranked against an opponent's players. Whoever has the most points each week between the two people wins -- real money can be involved too. Today, Microsoft announces that Bing can help you win in fantasy football as well as provide other helpful NFL information. Will you leverage Bing to win?
When it comes to laptops, there is probably no name more prestigious than ThinkPad. That branding is a symbol of quality and durability. Just as Nokia phones have a reputation of being indestructible, so too are many Lenovo ThinkPad machines.
Today, Lenovo announces a refresh to the popular E Series of ThinkPad laptops. Not only are the machines attractive and competitively priced, but they offer incredible specs, like Intel Skylake, AMD FX and AMD A-Series APUs.
The wearable market is not very mature. We are only starting to scratch the surface of what the future holds. For the time being, however, we pretty much have alerts and fitness tracking. Let's be honest, many computer and gadget nerds don't bother with exercise (prove me wrong, people), making the wearables a glorified alert screen. In other words, as fun as Apple Watch and Android Wear can be, they are very much version 1.0 of smartwatches.
While Samsung embraces Android Wear, its Tizen-based models, such as Samsung Gear S, have more functionality. Today, the company officially announces the beautiful successor -- the Gear S2. Users can even opt for a 3G model so they do not need Wi-Fi or to be tethered to a phone. Android Wear and Apple Watch can't do that...yet.
When the Xbox One launched, many people -- myself included -- chose to wait before purchasing. I finally jumped into ownership this year when I bought the white 500GB model for $349. Soon after, Microsoft released a 1TB model, which bummed me out.
Now, I am even more disappointed. Why? Today, the company announces yet another model, the Xbox One Elite Bundle, and it looks amazing. This console features a 1TB SSHD -- a combination solid state drive and hard disk drive -- plus the all-new Elite controller. Since this drive will provide faster load times, the experience will be better than on previous models. Should existing owners be angry?
Unlike on PC, console gamers have far fewer options to gain an advantage by buying hardware. PC gamers, for instance, can buy faster processors, better graphics cards, SSDs and more. Console gamers can pretty much just buy different controllers. Third party console controllers have historically been horrible, typically offering less precision at a lower price. The old joke was that third party controllers were reserved for the console-owner's friends.
Peripheral manufacturer Razer hopes to change this with its new Wildcat controller for Xbox One (it should also work on Windows 10). The company calls it 'tournament-grade'. Featuring advanced ergonomics and additional buttons, can it outdo the stock controller? More importantly, however, can it compete with Microsoft's upcoming Xbox Elite Wireless Controller?
While many PC gamers prefer to build their desktops themselves, buying a pre-built solution as an alternative can be rewarding too. If you want a gaming laptop, you pretty much have to turn to a manufacturer for your computer.
If you want to buy a pre-built gaming desktop or laptop, there are plenty of options, but Alienware is one of the most attractive. Dell's gaming line has a long history and much respect from the gaming community. Today, the company announces a refreshed line of computers, some of which feature Intel Skylake processors, dynamic overclocking, and liquid cooling. Of course, they look futuristic and sexy too.
When it comes to building a gaming PC, there are many choices the builder can make. Of course, you want to look at performance and cost, but for many people -- myself included -- there is also appreciation for the design and engineering of the hardware.
Today, AMD officially announces a graphics card that is a feat of both engineering and design prowess -- the amazing R9 Nano. Quite frankly, the card was hardly a secret, as the company previewed it back in June. Now, however, we have official specs, price and a release date for this marvel of engineering!
PC gamers are some of the most passionate computer users. Not only are they very knowledgeable about hardware, but they offer some amazing support in communities too. Total strangers can become true friends by playing games and talking online.
If you want to verbally communicate online, a chintzy microphone and headphone combo will be passable, but you deserve better than cheap hardware, don't you? If you are a gamer that spends a lot of time gaming online, a quality gaming headset is a smart investment. Today, Logitech releases two such headsets -- the G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless Gaming Headset and G633 Artemis Spectrum Wired Gaming Headset.
Well, 2015 is yet another year where Windows dominates the workstations of most businesses. While some companies will utilize Chromebooks or iPads for light work and consumption, Microsoft's venerable operating system just keeps on keepin' on.
Windows 10 IoT Enterprise in particular, when paired with thin clients, can be a remarkable tool for many industries, such as healthcare, servicing, financial and more. Today, HP unveils the 14 inch mt42 -- an AMD-powered mobile thin client that the company claims is the "world's thinnest, lightest and most powerful quad-core", and it looks like a winner.
Buying a Windows laptop can be an extremely stressful ordeal. Unlike Apple, whose OS X is limited to just a few models, Windows notebooks are manufactured by many companies, in countless designs. If you shop online or go to a local store, like Best Buy, your head could easily explode from all of the options.
It is for this reason, that you should do your homework -- read reviews, educate yourself on specs and find out which brands are most reliable. If you don't have time for all of that, I can save you the trouble. The HP Spectre x360 is the laptop you want for back-to-school and beyond. OK, now go buy it. Oh, you want to know why I am saying it is the laptop you want? Well then read on to find out more.
The most important skill that any young person should learn nowadays is coding, or programming. By learning to code, you can create anything -- your mind becomes your only limitation.
Unfortunately, many girls shy away from computers and science, for various reasons. Some people blame a male-dominated culture, and yeah, there is probably something to that. Don't forget, American women couldn't vote until 1920! Many companies and organizations are trying to encourage girls to code, one of which is Microsoft. Today, the company announces that it taught Justin Bieber's ex-girlfriend, singer Selena Gomez, to code using a Surface Pro 3! This will be broadcast on TV and will hopefully inspire both boys and girls.
Many pundits -- myself included -- were skeptical that smartwatches would be a hit with consumers. While the wrist-worn computers haven't been a runaway hit, they have done better than many expected. Google's Android Wear, the Apple Watch, and Microsoft Band have all provided perceived value to consumers, and the segment should continue to mature.
Today, Google announces a major improvement to Android Wear with all-new interactive watch faces. This addition should increase the overall experience, while making the wearables more attractive to consumers.
When Tomb Raider was released in 1996, the heroine, Lara Croft, was a sex symbol for computer nerds. While the graphics were archaic by today's standards, the well-endowed character looked real enough for gamers. Heck, Angelina Jolie eventually played her in the film.
Today, Square Enix announces that Lara Croft will be titillating mobile gamers on iOS, Android, and surprisingly, Windows Phone too. Will you buy the all-new Lara Croft GO game?
All micro USB and Apple Lightning cables are the same, right? Hell no. While they all may pretty much serve the same purpose -- to charge and/or sync data -- quality can vary. Both charging and data transfer speed can be negatively impacted by using cheap cables. Not to mention, from a durability standpoint, cheap cables can literally break and fall apart. It is worth spending money for quality.
Today, popular accessory manufacturer, SCOSCHE, announces that its 2015 CES Innovation Award-winning strikeLINE micro USB and Apple Lightning cables are available now. While the company designed the hardcore high-quality cables with outdoor-use in mind, this translates to a durable cable for all situations.
Cloud storage is certainly the future, but local storage will never disappear completely. For redundancy purposes, it is smart to store your important files both online and on a hard drive or flash drive. This way, your data is protected from a disaster at home, or if the cloud storage company goes out of business.
There are countless USB flash drives on the market for data storage and other uses (like Windows 10 installs), but they are not all created equally. Nowadays, you should only be buying USB 3.0 drives since they are faster. If your data is important, however, reliability should be more important than speed. In other words, you should target respectable brands when buying a flash drive. Today, one of those such brands, Samsung, unveils a trio of sexy flash drives. Which will you buy?