Intel to shutter its app store

Intel plans to close its app store designed originally for Netbooks and later for other devices such as ultrabooks.

The Intel AppUp Center will close March 11, according to a note posted on the site.

The site provides little further clarification as to why the store is closing, beyond saying that "by closing Intel AppUp center, Intel will be able to focus more than ever on developing the next generation of platform innovation."

An FAQ states that "some applications do require communication with the AppUp client and may not work after May 15th, 2015."

An Intel … Read more

How to choose an entry-level Windows 8 tablet

If the current crop of Windows 8 tablets, at least the majority that run Intel's low-power Atom tablet, were put edge to edge in a police lineup, you'd have a hard time telling them apart. Nearly all are virtually identical slabs of glass over black metal and plastic bodies.

Upon closer inspection, some have more ports and connections built into their outer edges, but this stylistic similarity indicates a larger issue: they all run essentially the same components inside, namely an Intel Atom Z-series processor, 2GB of RAM, a 10- or 11-inch 1,366x768-pixel touch screen, and either … Read more

Netbook to go extinct by 2015, says iSuppli

The Netbook is on life support and the industry is just about to pull the plug, according to a forecast by IHS iSuppli.

For 2013, Netbook shipments are expected to fall to 3.97 million units, down 72 percent from 14.13 million in 2012. In 2010, netbook shipments hit a high of 32.14 million.

IHS iSuppli's bet is that the Netbook will be extinct by 2015 as units drop to 264,000 in 2014 before going to zero.

It's obvious what happened -- Apple's iPad. The Netbook wasn't powerful enough to be a real … Read more

What's the best low-power Windows 8 tablet?

While there are some Windows 8 tablets that feature ultrabook-level performance, the majority of them use lower-power Intel Atom processors to keep costs down and battery life up.

Even though memories of the Intel Atom Netbook era may make one gun shy about using a low-power CPU, these systems all still run the full gamut of Windows 8 applications -- and even do a surprisingly good job at handling apps optimized for the Windows 8 experience, including IE10 and Netflix.

These are the Windows 8 "low-power" tablets, as we call them, that we've reviewed so far, all … Read more

What is the best high-end Windows 8 tablet?

At least several times each week, we get a reader inquiry via e-mail or Twitter asking which of the current crop of Windows 8 tablets is the best. The answer isn't so simple when you consider that tablets running full Windows 8 (as opposed to Windows RT: don't get us started) are split into two hardware classes: those with slower Atom processors, including the HP Envy x2, and those at the high end, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro.

What makes a high-end Windows 8 tablet? Generally, an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, giving it the performance … Read more

Windows laptop sales sink -- but that's just part of the problem

Windows 8 PC sales aren't trending well, according to a new report. And consumers' addiction to low cost may be a factor.

A blurb on Friday from the NPD Group said Windows 8 holiday sales continue to not impress.

"The launch of Windows 8...did little to boost holiday sales or improve the yearlong Windows notebook sales decline," NPD said.

More specifically, Windows laptop "holiday unit sales" were down 11 percent year-to-year, the market researcher said.

Want more deets? The average selling price of a Windows laptop rose a hair -- $2 to $420, according … Read more

Laptop buying guide

While our laptop and mobile PC buying guide will give you the tools to go out and research, shop for, and buy the perfect laptop, hybrid, or Windows tablet, there's no harm in starting off with a few favorite picks for 2013.

It's hard to go wrong with the latest version of Apple's MacBook Air. Both the 13-inch and 11-inch models have updated Intel Core i5 processors and excellent battery life. For a Windows version of something similar, check out Samsung's expensive 13-inch Ativ Book 9 Plus, which has a better-than HD screen. The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 ProRead more

Exit the mouse, enter the touch pad

In the run-up to Windows 8, the one keyword you hear most often is "touch." That means touch-screen tablets and slates, touch panels added to traditional clamshell laptops, and touch-enabled all-in-one desktops. It also refers to Microsoft's new emphasis on touch gestures for touch pads, as well as the ambitious plans component companies such as Synaptics have for touch input in Windows 8.

While all this touch talk is going on, there's another trend gaining steam in the background. The standalone touch pad, once a very obscure computer accessory (even the Apple Magic Trackpad failed to … Read more

Top 5 laptops under $600

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If you're looking for a good, affordable laptop, look no further. In this week's Top 5 video (shown above, unless you've crippled your browser with ad-blocker software), I'm rounding up the best laptops under $600.

The list is based on CNET Senior Editor Dan Ackerman's sub-$600 laptop roundup, which is very much worth your time if you'd like to learn more about these laptops.

The ranking was decided according to screen size, assuming that more screen for the money equates to a better value. … Read more