Get a 250GB Samsung SSD for $139.99 shipped

Quick housekeeping note: CNET is in the midst of some site updates, which is why the comment system is currently offline and why you didn't receive a Cheapskate newsletter on Friday. (Here's the post in case you missed it.) Pardon the dust; I'm told things should be settling down shortly.

On to business. I'll never buy another laptop that has a traditional hard drive. Having experienced the joys of SSD, I simply can't go back to slower, noisier, hotter drives that consume more power and are subject to mechanical failure.

Yep, from now on, I'… Read more

Android 4.4 KitKat now available for Nook owners

Is your Nook tablet feeling a little long in the tooth? Before you ditch it in favor of something newer, consider your upgrade options.

Specifically, your OS upgrade options. It may surprise you to learn that almost any Barnes & Noble Nook tablet can run the latest version of the Android operating system, 4.4 KitKat.

That's thanks to N2A Cards, which offers both downloadable and MicroSD versions of its plug-and-play Android deployment for Nook tablets. The company just announced the availability of KitKat for the Nook Color, Nook Tablet, Nook HD, and Nook HD+. (For the moment, competitors … Read more

After upgrade hiccups, Alcatel will skip Firefox OS 1.2

The Alcatel One Touch Fire, one of the inaugural phones to sport Mozilla's Firefox OS, won't get version 1.2 of the browser-based operating system -- but it will get 1.3.

That's the word from Mozilla and Alcatel. And although it's an inauspicious start for the browser-based operating system, it's likely a relief to those who feared Firefox OS 1.1 would be the end of the line. One unpleasant aspect of low-end Android phones is that they often don't get OS updates, but Firefox OS hasn't been around long enough to … Read more

AT&T: People really like our Next upgrade program

AT&T's Next early upgrade plan is winning over customers.

AT&T Chief Financial Officer John Stephens, speaking on a conference call with analysts on Tuesday, said that the percentage of customers opting for AT&T Next is growing. A fifth of customers now choose to pay monthly installments for their new smartphone, which allows them to upgrade as early as 30 days -- if they're willing to pay off the balance of the phone.

That's up from 15 percent of customers in the fourth quarter and 10 percent of customers in the third … Read more

AT&T jumps on early upgrade bandwagon, but only for existing customers

AT&T is hopping on the early upgrade bandwagon too, but there's a catch.

The Dallas telecommunications provider said on Monday that customers who were on a two-year agreement on or before Jan. 18 are eligible to move to AT&T Next, which would allow them to upgrade to a new phone. The customers, however, aren't able to move to AT&T Next until after six months into their contract. Customers who signed up for a two-year agreement on Jan. 19 and after, meanwhile, will have to wait 20 months before upgrading through AT&… Read more

Sprint Easy Pay revives early phone upgrade option

You will be able to upgrade your phone early at Sprint after all.

Sprint on Thursday unveiled Easy Pay, a program that allows customers to purchase a new phone at any time and paying for it through a down payment and 24 monthly installments.

Easy Pay replaces Sprint's One Up upgrade program, which was retired last week in favor of the company's new "Framily" friends and family phone plan, which provides greater discounts as you add more members. With One Up gone, there was no program in place to quickly upgrade to a new device.

The … Read more

Sprint kills One Up in favor of Framily Plan

Well, that was quick.

Sprint made short work of its One Up plan, retiring it last week in favor of its newly introduced Framily Plan. Sprint's site confirmed that One Up was retired last Thursday.

One Up was an early upgrade and monthly installment plan that allowed customers to pay for their devices over 24 monthly payments, as well as upgrade their device early by trading it in after a year. The program was a response to the early upgrade programs introduced first by T-Mobile, then copied by AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

One Up, which was introduced … Read more

Mac Pro teardown shows 'removable' Intel processor

A teardown of the new Mac Pro indicates that the Intel processor may be removable, offering the tantalizing prospect of user upgrades, according to reports.

Apple blogs reported on Friday that a teardown reveals that the Mac Pro is socketed, which typically means the processor can be removed from the system by the user and upgraded.

For some users, that could obviate the need to upgrade the entire system down the road.

Here's what MacRumors said: "The Intel Xeon E5 processor found in the Mac Pro is indeed removable, allowing for future upgrades. All...CPUs for the new … Read more

Angry Birds Go! brings the hit franchise to the world of 3D racing

Angry Birds Go! (iOS|Android) is the latest game from Rovio's popular Angry Birds franchise, but this time the birds are hitting a downhill racetrack for a Mario Cart-style arcade racing game. It's important to note right away that this latest Rovio title is a freemium game, with no cost to download, but there are time limits and micro-transactions that become apparent not far into the game.

Racing really is for the birds Before I get into the freemium model, let's talk about gameplay. Angry Birds Go! is a downhill racer, so rather than driving around a … Read more

How to upgrade or replace your PS4's hard drive

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are both equipped with a 2.5-inch 500GB hard drive that spins at 5,400 revolutions per minute. Only the PlayStation 4's hard drive, however, can be replaced or upgraded.

Sony previously allowed gamers to upgrade their hard drives in the PlayStation 3, and with some games taking up more than 50GB of space, we are thankful the company kept the same philosophy with the PlayStation 4.

The process is relatively simple and should only take you a couple of minutes to complete.

Here's what you need to know:

The tools The … Read more