keyboards
Key Crazy: Inside The Wonderful World Of Keyboard Fanatics

"Have you met Jacob?" It's the first question they ask me, inside a small meeting room, deep in the heart of Facebook's Menlo Park campus, where keyboard fans from across the Bay Area in California have braved the rain to show off their boutique builds. Many of them have spent thousands of dollars on their board collections, with custom switches and keycaps. Read More >>

reviews
Nine Days With an Absurd $9,000 Gaming Laptop

There may exist inside of you a desire that burns white hot for the Acer Predator 21 X, but you will never buy this laptop. It is not for you, because if you want this laptop, you probably can’t afford it, and if you can afford it, you are probably old enough to not want to spend $9,000 on a laptop that weighs as much as a small child, and can’t even pick up after itself. Read More >>

samsung
Samsung’s Latest Surface Clone is a Disappointing Flop

Even in a Microsoft-free world the Samsung Galaxy Book would be a frustrating device. Ostensibly it’s a Surface clone: A souped up Windows tablet with a pen for drawing and a floppy keyboard for typing. In practice, it’s an expensive machine that has me longing for any other computing device. The screen looks great, but a cheap pen, bad cooling, and a high price make it a non-starter. The Samsung Galaxy Book feels like the first big flop of Samsung’s newly invigorated computer brand. Read More >>

microsoft
Microsoft’s New Surface Pro Might Fix Its Loudest Problem

Microsoft held a big Surface event in Shanghai this morning. While the event was basically impossible to watch in the west, with a broken liveblog and zero English livestreams, savvy viewers (and those fluent in Chinese) might have caught the big news: There’s a new Surface Pro. It’s been more than sixteen months since Microsoft’s landmark tablet-laptop hybrid saw an update. In the intervening time, Microsoft has seen a lot of competitors attempt to encroach on the 2-1 device space. While some of those clones have been aesthetically delightful, few have approached the slick combination of design and quality the Surface Pro delivers. So a refresh is welcome, and this year’s devices could fix some of the Surface Pro’s most annoying problems. Read More >>

google
The Biggest Android News Came Nearly a Week Before I/O

I/O, Google’s huge developer conference/outdoor coding festival will be wrapping up in Mountain View tomorrow. Thousands of developers have been soaking in the sun and knowledge while Google woos them with free Google Homes, raw vegan salads, and a live performance by LCD Soundsystem. Usually the can’t miss moment of the conference is the Day 1 Keynote, when Google announces big changes to Android, Daydream, and other software and services. Yet this year, Android’s biggest news was announced four days before the conference. So let’s talk about Project Treble, Google’s plan to get Android updates to users faster. Read More >>

google
Google Photos Provides a Friendly Reminder That Google Owns You

Google is in the business of you. That’s why it exists. Its phones, Homes, and wireless routers all exist to cull as much information about you as possible so that it can then use that info for (hopefully not evil) financial gain. If you have forgotten that Google exists to collate your entire life, then Google pointedly reminded you today with some new features for Google Photos. It introduced two new features to the Google Photos app that instantly makes it more obnoxious and more present in your life. Read More >>

microsoft
Microsoft Desperately Needs to Figure Out How to Be Cool

At Microsoft’s Build conference, the dorkiest of companies put on a big show, complete with fog machines and fancy lights, in order to show it’s a cool competitor to Apple and Google. The speakers who came on stage during keynotes had stylish hair. “Do they have dressers backstage?” an attendee asked a group of us when it was all over. Read More >>

microsoft
Microsoft’s Latest Workplace Tech Demos Creep Me Out

If you’re an employee under the heel of a giant corporation you should probably be terrified by the vision of the future of connected gadgets that Microsoft just revealed at its Build developer conference here in Seattle. Read More >>

microsoft
Microsoft Screams ‘Me Too’ With Cortana-Powered Rival to Amazon Echo and Google Home

With Microsoft’s Build developer conference just two days away, the company has revealed one of the most anticipated announcements from the event: A new Cortana-powered speaker made by German audio giant Harman Kardon. Read More >>

microsoft
What Is Microsoft’s Grand Plan for Phones?

It has been nearly two years since Microsoft introduced a new Windows phone. Sure, HP is still making Windows phones and marketing them to businesses, but Microsoft has been basically silent on the subject of its flagging mobile platform since 2015. There have been zero flagship devices, despite the persistent rumours of a super Surface phone. Logic dictates that Microsoft needs to get in the game here. People are increasingly moving away from their laptops and onto their smartphones, and if Microsoft wants to keep up with Apple and Google, it will need a convincing phone platform. Read More >>

microsoft
Surface Laptop First Impressions: Microsoft Is Finally Making the Computer It Should Have Made All Along

The Surface Laptop might not have turned many heads if it had been the first mobile computer from Microsoft. It’s not as radical and influential as the Surface Pro or as crazy looking as the Surface Book. From afar the silver Surface Laptop looks like something as easily made by Apple or Asus as by Microsoft. It feels like that too, with the same heft as a powerful premium laptop like the 2016 MacBook Pro or the exceptional Asus ZenBook 3. Despite being a good looking hunk of hardware, the Surface Laptop is remarkable for how perfectly mundane it is in light of recent Microsoft computer products. Read More >>

windows
Windows 10 S: What You Need to Know About Microsoft’s New Lightweight OS

Google Chrome has become so good that when it comes to affordable, quality laptops, it’s a better buy than a cheap Windows device. So Microsoft needs a lightweight OS to compete, and it’s really hoping that the education-focused Windows 10 S will be that OS. Read More >>

google
Let’s Talk About Google’s Crazy Year in Hardware 

Google needs to be in the hardware business. It’s infiltrated nearly all aspects of our lives to an alarming degree. It controls our emails through Gmail, knows where we go through Maps, has a list of every person we communicate with via Android, and understands our every interest thanks to its search engine and Chrome. Yet it’s gonna hit a wall soon. A company as large as Google can’t infiltrate every point of the human experience with software and services alone. It needs to be producing the phones we text on and the computers we browse on. Last April it was reported that Google was aggressively hiring a hardware team in preparation for a big push, and sure enough, by the end of the year, the company had released a whole line of gadgets across categories ranging from smart phones to smart speakers. Read More >>

laptops
I Freaking Love This ThinkPad

I was walking through the office with Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon dangling between two fingers when my colleague spied the logo. “That was my first computer,” she said with immeasurable fondness. The ThinkPad was a lot of people’s first computer. Early ThinkPads were built like a tank and ran smooth like a spinning top. These days, the brand, which IBM sold to Lenovo a decade ago, doesn’t have quite its 90s cachet, but its continues to be a workhorse — and the new fifth generation of its stellar Carbon line is a slick refinement of everything you’ve ever loved about that familiar black machine. Read More >>

reviews
Intel’s Optane Memory Makes Cheap Hard Drives as Fast as Expensive SSDs

It isn’t only the processor that makes a really cheap computer slow. Or the memory, or the video card (or lack of video card). The primary reason your cheap laptop loudly chugs along at glacial speeds is because of the hard drive. Cheap laptops use cheap hard disk drives, which are much slower than the solid state drives found in better computers. But Intel’s new Optane Memory changes that. This little $70 (~£56) chip makes a cheap hard disk drive run as fast as a solid state drive. Read More >>