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Brando 16-port USB hub

Any storm in a port

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Consider this column to be a virtual pub. I raise my glass to all time-wasters out there. It’s customary for this column to ignore the big news items of the week and instead focus on things that don’t really matter. So permit me to avoid wasting your Friday afternoon fruitlessly on conjecture about the inexplicably popular topic …
Alistair Dabbs, 15 Feb 2013
Apple MacBook Pro 13in with Retina display

Apple refreshes MacBook Pro range

Apple has stopped working on watches, televisions and all the weird stuff it has patented for just long enough to refresh its MacBook Pro range. Reg readers may remember the MacBook as an example of Apple's “personal computer” range, a product category it pioneered in the late 1970s. The phone and fondleslab company is still …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Feb 2013
Intel mSata SSD

Cache 'n' carry: What's the best config for your SSD?

Feature The idea of using a low-capacity SSD to store the most frequently accessed files or parts of files in order to access them more quickly than a mechanical hard drive can serve them up - a technique called SSD caching - has been around for some time, but it wasn’t until the arrival of Intel’s Smart Response Technology with the …
Simon Crisp, 12 Feb 2013
Chromebook Pixel a hoax?

Chrome OS code suggests Chromebook Pixel could be real

The video that leaked last week purportedly showing a new, high-resolution Google Chrome OS device called the Chromebook Pixel prompted lots of debate, with many skeptics decrying it as a hoax. But Reg reader Jan-Willem Aldershoff claims there's strong evidence that such a device may indeed be in the works, based on analysis of …
Neil McAllister, 11 Feb 2013
HP Spectre XT TouchSmart 15-4000ea Ultrabook

Review: HP Spectre XT TouchSmart

El Reg looked at HP's 13in Spectre XT Ultrabook in October last year and liked it a lot. What you're looking at here, then, is a meatier version with a bigger display, touchscreen support, more ports and the inevitable Windows 8. I like it a lot. HP Spectre XT TouchSmart 15-4000ea Ultrabook It looks absolutely nothing like an …
Alistair Dabbs, 11 Feb 2013

Could this be Google's slick new touchscreen Chromebook?

Video If what purports to be a leaked video turns out to be legit, Google may be planning to shake up the PC hardware market by releasing a new, upscale Chromebook featuring a high-resolution touchscreen display. Rumors of a touchscreen Chromebook have been floating around since last year, but the only sources have been Chinese supply …
Dell XPS 10

Review: Dell XPS 10 Windows RT tablet and dock

Windows RT: unholy fondleslab abomination or clever integration of a grown-up desktop and touch-friendly tablet UI? Opinions veer wildly and violently between one and the other extreme. The newest and first non-Nvidia Tegra 3 receptacle for Microsoft’s alleged problem child is Dell’s Asus Transformer-esque XPS 10. On paper, and …
Alun Taylor, 6 Feb 2013
Photo of the HP Pavilion Chromebook

HP jumps on Chromebook bandwagon with 14-incher

HP has become the latest hardware vendor to release a low-cost laptop based on Google's Chrome OS, topping rivals Acer, Lenovo, and Samsung by shipping its version of a Chromebook with a generous 14" screen. Second-place PC maker Lenovo unveiled its own Chromebook in January, so it's no real surprise that leader HP would follow …
samsung q35 world's smalled dual-core laptop

Linux boot doesn't smash Samsung laptops any more

Samsung laptops will no longer be irreparably destroyed when their users try to boot Linux on them, kernel chieftain Linus Torvalds made certain today. The brainboxes down at Ubuntu-maker Canonical penguinery issued a warning over the incompatibiity and have been tackling the nuclear bug that destroyed the whole Samusung laptop …
Anna Leach, 1 Feb 2013
A Bearded Dragon on an Alienware MX18

Netbooks were a GOOD thing and we threw them under a bus

Packing for a week-and-a-half road trip to Silicon Valley and back triggered a moment of introspection over the impending end of netbook production. I had some devices to choose from for my journey. I could have taken my Alienware MX18, my first-generation Samsung Galaxy Tab, my Asus Transformer, my Samsung NF210 Netbook, my …
Trevor Pott, 1 Feb 2013

Surface left on shelves as world+dog slurps up small slates

Half a million Microsoft Surface tablets may be gathering dust on shop shelves, it has been claimed. Market watcher IHS iSuppli reckons Microsoft shipped 1.25 million Surface tablets into the resale channel during Q4 2012. However, only 55 to 60 per cent of those Windows RT-based devices were purchased by punters. That means …
Tony Smith, 31 Jan 2013
Halo 3 Kubrick set

How to destroy a brand-new Samsung laptop: Boot Linux on it

Linux users accidentally bricked their new Samsung laptops by booting their favourite open-source OS on the shiny computers. A kernel driver crashes on Sammy machines when users start up from an Ubuntu 12 USB key - although other distributions may be at risk - giving them the dreaded black screen of no activity whatsoever. After …
Photo of Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro

Microsoft's Intel-powered Surface Pro to launch in February

Microsoft has announced the next major push in its Surface consumer hardware campaign, including the launch date of Surface Windows 8 Pro, the Intel-powered big brother to the ARM-based Surface Windows RT fondleslab that debuted in October. In a press release on Tuesday, the software giant said its latest tablet will arrive in …
Neil McAllister, 22 Jan 2013

Lenovo offers Chrome OS ThinkPad for well-heeled schools

Google has won over another convert to the Chrome OS cause, signing up Lenovo to sell a ThinkPad X131e Chromebook into the education market – albeit at a very high price. The new Chromebook uses an unspecified Intel chipset and has Wi-Fi, HDMI and VGA, three USB ports, and a 1366x768 HD LED anti-glare screen. Lenovo says its six …
Iain Thomson, 18 Jan 2013
The Register breaking news

Lenovo said to release Intel and ARM Android convertibles

Lenovo will reportedly release Android-based convertibles in the first half of this year, and they'll be powered by your choice of either Intel or ARM processors. Convertibles – clamshell laptops that can be converted to tablets – were one of the most talked about items at last week's CES 2013. Intel, for its part, sees them as …
Rik Myslewski, 14 Jan 2013
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 Ultrabook

Review: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 Windows 8 convertible Ultrabook

To be fair to Lenovo, reviewing the IdeaPad Yoga shouldn't really be all about Windows 8. After all, this touchscreen Ultrabook – that bends over backwards to become a fully fledged tablet – is a well crafted piece of hardware with engineering merits of its own. So what, if it runs Windows 8? So do a lot of PCs these days. The …
Bob Dormon, 11 Jan 2013
HP Envy x2 Windows 8 convertible

Review: HP ENVY x2 Windows 8 convertible

The flourishing market for tablet computers has left people wanting more. Those using tablets at work invariably end up buying a keyboard and regularly curse the limitations of a mobile operating system. Those using a Windows laptop at work often wish they could occasionally dispense with the keyboard for convenient touchscreen …
Alistair Dabbs, 10 Jan 2013

Lenovo proclaims PC victory, re-orgs to take on Apple

Lenovo will alter its structure in 2013 to create a “Lenovo Business Group” that will sell commodity products and a “Think Business Group” to push premium kit and take on Apple. News of the restructure emerged at Sina Tech, which quotes an email sent to staff by Lenovo chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing in which he proclaims (after …

2012: The year that netbooks DIED

Netbooks – those compact, underpowered, inexpensive notebook PCs once hailed as the future of mobile computing – are set to disappear from retailer shelves in 2013, as the last remaining manufacturers of the devices prepare to exit the market. According to Taiwanese tech news site DigiTimes, Acer and Asus are the only two …
Neil McAllister, 28 Dec 2012

It's official: Mac users are morally superior to Windows users

The online donation–management company Qgiv has analyzed the charitable-giving patterns of 165,000 people and found that Mac users are far more benevolent than Windows users. Qgiv analyzed 320,000 donations given through their donation platform from November 2011 through November 2012, and discovered that the average donation …
Rik Myslewski, 17 Dec 2012
Samsung Series 9 NP900X4C

Review: Samsung Series 9 super slim notebook

Samsung has taken an expensive legal hit from Apple over copying design elements in the iPhone. Yet with the Series 9, Samsung has created something a bit special. The entire Ultrabook concept took its inspiration from the Apple MacBook Air, of course. But Samsung's Series 9 has developed a confident design language of its own …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Dec 2012

Microsoft halves Surface RT production orders - report

Microsoft has slashed the number of Surface RT tablets on order with the Original Design Manufacturers in Asia, according to reports. The supply chain was primed to build and ship four million units of the ARM-based device by year-end but Redmond has slashed this to two million on the back of weak demand, sources told Digi Times …
Paul Kunert, 29 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Dell launches Sputnik Linux Ultrabook

Apple landed an important punch against Microsoft some years back by becoming a popular platform among devs building new applications. The resource-vampire Windows Vista, Microsoft’s effective hiatus on new releases, the power of MacBooks and rise of the web as a runtime saw Microsoft lose its grip on an influential and …
Gavin Clarke, 29 Nov 2012
Asus VivoBook S200 11.6in touchscreen Windows 8 notebook

Asus VivoBook S200 11.6in touchscreen notebook review

A few months ago I tried a preview of Windows 8 on my 11.6in HP Pavilion and frankly it made about as much sense as a vegetarian bacon sandwich. Why? Because, without a touch screen the Windows 8 Metro Modern UI lacks a crucial ingredient. Armed with only a keyboard and mouse, facing a wall of tiles just gets in the way. Asus …
Alun Taylor, 22 Nov 2012
Thorn EMI Liberator

Liberator: the untold story of the first British laptop part 3

Archaeologic In the early 1980s, civil servant Bernard Terry devised a 'portable text processor' to make his fellow civil servants more productive in the office and out. Electronics giant Thorn EMI designed the machine with help of a team of former Dragon Data engineers. As the Liberator, it launched in September 1985 to become the first …
Tony Smith, 16 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

Apple 'less innovative' at laptops than Lenovo

Asus and Lenovo both offer more innovative Ultrabook-style laptops than Apple, though the Mac maker has the pair of them licked when it comes to implementing that innovation. So says market watcher ABI Research, which reckons Apple “outscores its rivals significantly in implementation” if not in innovation. For proof, look no …
Hard Reg, 14 Nov 2012
Thorn EMI Liberator

Liberator: the untold story of the first British laptop part 2

Archaeologic It is 1984 and Bernard Terry, a civil servant, has devised a 'portable text processor' to make his fellow civil servants more productive in the office and out. Electronics giant Thorn EMI has agreed to manufacturer the machine, which will eventually be called the Liberator and become Britain's first laptop computer. Thorn has …
Tony Smith, 14 Nov 2012
The Register breaking news

iFixit CEO launches open Toshiba service guide scheme

Kyle Wiens, head of gadget repair service iFixit - an operation best known for its device disassembly efforts - has called on owners of Toshiba laptops to help pen open source repair manuals to make good the computer makers’ closure of an independent Toshiba documentation archive. Launching Operation Fix Toshiba, Wiens promised …
Tony Smith, 13 Nov 2012
Apple MacBook Pro 13in with Retina display

Apple MacBook Pro 13in Retina display review

When I reviewed the latest version of the 13in MacBook Pro just a few months ago, it seemed to me that Apple was getting a bit complacent. The mid-2012 update did gain a new Ivy Bridge processor, but the modest speedbump that this produced no longer justified the MacBook’s starting price of £999 – especially with classy new …
Stephen Dean, 13 Nov 2012
Thorn EMI Liberator

Liberator: the untold story of the first British laptop part 1

Archaeologic In 1985, the UK home computer boom was over. Those computer manufacturers who had survived the sales wasteland that was Christmas 1984 quickly began to turn their attention away from the home users they had courted through the first half of the 1980s to the growing and potentially much more lucrative business market. The IBM PC …
Tony Smith, 12 Nov 2012
Intel Pentium 4

Slideshow: A History of Intel x86 in 20 CPUs

Would there have been a PC revolution had Intel decided in the late 1960s to stick to making memory chips and turn its back on microprocessors? Almost certainly, but the company did get into CPUs and IBM chose its 8088 chip to build into its first Personal Computer, the 5150. The 8088 and its sibling, the 8086, evolved from the …
Hard Reg, 12 Nov 2012
Apple

Analyst slams Apple innovation FAIL

One Wall Street analyst has lashed out at Apple, claiming the Mac maker's innovation is "sputtering" on the back of its failure to introduce touchscreen notebooks and desktop all-in-ones. Despite anticipation of a record holiday quarter, the Cupertino firm lacks the inventive touch it once had, Global Equities Research MD Trip …
Caleb Cox, 1 Nov 2012
Apple Fusion Drive logo

Hardware hacker proves Apple Fusion Drive works on older Macs

Top marks to hardware hacker Patrick Stein who has discovered that Apple’s Fusion Drive technology, which combines separate SSD and HDD storage into a single volume, can be added to old Macs. And he’s added one to his own Mac Pro. Patrick’s test set-up included a 120GB SSD linked into the desktop’s internal Sata connector plus a …
Tony Smith, 1 Nov 2012
Dell Latitude 6430u

Dell Latitude 6430u set to be first Ultrabook with gigabit wireless

Dell’s upcoming Windows 8 Ultrabook, the Latitude 6430u, look set to be one of the first - if not the very first - notebook computer to incorporate high-speed WiGig wireless networking technology. The PC giant’s Latitude 6430u page doesn’t yet mention WiGig or 802.11ad, the yet-to-be ratified standard on which WiGig is based. …
Tony Smith, 1 Nov 2012
Lenovo ThinkPad Helix

Lenovo ThinkPad Helix turns Westward

Lenovo’s convertible Ultrabook, the Helix, has made an appearance on the company’s Israel website. The Windows 8-running laptop sports a removable display which operates independently of the keyboard section, Asus Transformer style. Lenovo IdeaPad Lynx IdeaPad Lynx Lenovo hasn’t said much about the device, but the Israeli …
Hard Reg, 30 Oct 2012

Alienware assimilates Dell FROM THE INSIDE!

Gaming notebooks are a secret hobby of mine. I don't actually game that much – even my wife logs more hours than I do – but gaming notebooks are the only way to get the best of the best in a luggable form factor. Alienware is the name to beat in this space, but I've always wondered how they managed to survive the Dell …
Trevor Pott, 29 Oct 2012
Lenovo IdeaPad U410 Ultrabook

Lenovo IdeaPad U410 14in Ultrabook review

As a MacBook Pro owner, and yet a fan of the ThinkPad range since the early IBM days, it would be easy for me to assume Lenovo's new IdeaPad U410 Ultrabook fills the gap as the ultimate middle ground model. Indeed, it's a ThinkPad descendant that looks like Lenovo desperately wants an Apple lawsuit. Lenovo IdeaPad U410 …
Shaun Dormon, 25 Oct 2012
Fujitsu's Floral Kiss Ultrabook

Fujitsu assigns team of women to design PC for women

Fujitsu Japan has announced a range of PCs “planned and developed primarily under the direction of female employees” and “aimed at female users”. The 'Floral Kiss' range of computers is an extension of the LifeBook line and will go on sale in Japan next Friday. Fujitsu says the Floral Kiss was created because women make nearly …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Oct 2012
Asus N56VM 15.6in notebook

Asus N56VM 15.6in notebook review

A good journalist always tries to avoid clichés, but sometimes when I’m writing laptop reviews I do find myself reaching for a few stock phrases, such as: the speakers are crap. Imagine my relief, then, to discover that the speakers on the Asus N56VM don't fall into the crap category, but are actually rather good, no doubt …
Cliff Joseph, 15 Oct 2012

Wanted! 4m-plus PC purchases to halt industry decline

The PC industry needs YOUR help! Dell, HP, Acer, Asus, Sony, Apple, Lenovo, Toshiba and co. require stout - and well-heeled - lads and lasses to pop out and buy just over four million machines before the end of December 2012 and prevent world PC sales slipping year-on-year for the first time in more than a decade. That is what’ …
Tony Smith, 11 Oct 2012
Lenovo Yoga

Lenovo unfolds smaller Yoga tablet-laptop hybrid

Lenovo has announced an 11in version of its still-to-ship Yoga tablet-laptop hybrid. Part of the IdeaPad line-up, Yoga is so named because the hinge on its clamshell casing allows the screen not merely to be lifted up from the keyboard and folded flat against the desk but can be pushed further round to form a tablet. Lenovo …
Tony Smith, 10 Oct 2012
Sony Vaio T13 Ultrabook

Sony Vaio T13 Ultrabook review

It’s only natural that manufacturers want to show off their biggest (or in this case, smallest) and best but Sony has spotted the flaw in this plan. By thrusting their fabulously lean but powerful sexy bits in your face all the time, Ultrabooks have gained a reputation for being the Page 3 girls of computing: naughty, vigorous …