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Computers and hardware at CES 2014: Hybrids, Chromebooks, and 4K screens

LAS VEGAS -- If you came to CES 2014 looking for a major collection of bold new laptops and desktops, you came to the wrong show. Instead, this early January event focused more on taking existing PC products lines and streamlining them, adding new features, new technologies, and new screen sizes.

The new stuff Of course, a few exceptions popped up. Razer's modular Project Christine concept was impressively different, as was Toshiba's highly configurable hybrid prototype. But for the most part, we're seeing some of our favorite 2013 laptops and hybrids get worthwhile version 2.0 (or … Read more

Nokia's Lumia Black update coming to your phone now

Nokia today started its worldwide roll out of its Lumia Black update, which brings a few noticeable new features to Lumia phones. The news was announced both on Microsoft's Windows Phone blog, and Nokia's blog.

Lumia Black is a firmware update that tweaks a few features of the Windows Phone operating system and adds new apps that launched with Nokia's Lumia 1520 phablet in 2013.

There are seven major changes in this update, but two of the most eye-catching are the home-screen folders and a new glance screen. On your Windows Phone's home screen, you can … Read more

Pokki launches its Windows app store on Android

If you've hated the Android app store, or just wanted more Android app options, Pokki has an app for that -- and you.

The alternative Windows app store has launched on Android and two-in-one devices, the company announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday. The update to the store, described as "recommendation technology," supports Android for the first time, along with multimode devices, a growing category of Windows computers as Windows 8 enters its second year.

Chester Ng, co-founder of SweetLabs, the maker of Pokki, said that it's the combination of Windows … Read more

Intel: Don't expect tons of Android, Windows dual devices yet

LAS VEGAS -- Erik Reid, general manager of Intel's tablet business, says that the company's customers are exploring the Windows 8.1, Android dual-OS strategy in the face of Android's overwhelming popularity in mobile devices. But "exploring" is the operative word.

That, of course, is an advantage that only Intel has -- its chips can run both operating systems -- and one it wants to exploit it in as many feasible ways as possible.

Intel's customers -- the world's biggest device makers -- are looking into the technology, but it's not clear … Read more

Intel explains Windows 8.1, Android dual-OS tech

LAS VEGAS -- At CES, Intel was keen to show off its new dual-OS switching technology that's been implemented in collaboration with Asus.

It takes about three and a half seconds to switch between operating systems, as Intel demonstrates in the video below.

The switch can be done with either a hardware or software key.

What Intel enables is the rapid switching, but the way the switching and file- and memory-sharing is implemented is a proprietary Asus technology. That will likely apply to other dual-OS devices from other vendors also.

The Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300 tablet is a … Read more

Check out the best laptops and hybrids of CES 2014

Computers are always a big part of CES, and 2014 is no exception. While this isn't as pivotal a year for PCs as the 2013 launch of Windows 8 and the giant wave of hybrids that accompanied it, or the big ultrabook push from a few years ago (or the netbook push from years before that), there are still plenty of new systems to see, from innovative new ideas to refinements of current favorites.

Among the 2014 highlights, we saw a much-improved version of the Lenovo Horizon, an ambitious 27-inch tabletop PC -- which basically means it's a … Read more

Get a refurbished 22-inch touch screen monitor for $199.99

As I know from recent deals I've shared, lots of users out there still like desktop PCs. Of course, these days all new desktops come with Windows 8, which isn't the most mouse-friendly operating system. To really make the most of it, you need a touch screen.

Ah, but touch-screen desktop monitors are pricey, right? Not today: Overrunz has the refurbished ViewSonic TD2220 22-inch touch-screen monitor for $199.99, plus $20 for shipping. I know: ugh. But it has an MSRP of $319.99 and sells new for around $295.

The TD2220 is an LED-backlit monitor with a … Read more

Windows 8.1 update images pop up online

An update to Windows 8.1 reportedly planned for the spring is now showing off online via a series of leaked screenshots.

Served up by Russian Web site Wzor, the images show the same internal version number currently found in Windows 8.1 Pro (version 6.3.9600) but the full build number is intentionally blanked out. Assuming the images are accurate, that means the update won't carry with it Windows 8.2. But it won't be a simple service pack or collection of security updates, at least according to Wzor.

Instead, the update is being dubbed a … Read more

HP debuts its Z1 G2, a 27-inch touch-screen workstation

Hewlett-Packard announced its the Z1 G2 workstation, a model with a 27-inch display that brings touch-screen technology to this corner of the high-end computing market.

The Z1 G2 is somewhat similar to the 2012-era Z1, an all-in-one design with the processor, memory, and other computing components housed behind the screen. Both can be pivoted so the screen is flat, something particularly useful with the G2 so people get better touch control.

The starting price of the Intel-powered machine is $2000, HP said Monday at CES 2014. It'll ship in late January.

Like other new HP workstations, the Z1 G2 … Read more

Tablet Tuesday: Asus VivoTab RT 4G LTE with keyboard dock for $299.99

I continue to have mixed feelings about Windows RT because it's not compatible with several of the programs I use regularly, including Google Chrome, iTunes, and game client Steam. Consequently, I couldn't use an RT-powered tablet as a substitute for my laptop.

That said, people I know who have them absolutely rave about them, and I could similarly ding an Android tablet or iPad for various software incompatibilities.

While you chew on that, chew on this: while supplies last, Groupon has the refurbished Asus VivoTab RT tablet with keyboard dock for $299.99 shipped. That's literally half … Read more