Category: Electronic Product Reviews

Lenovo Yoga C930 review: Lenovo's top 2-in-1 perfected – CNET

Back in August, Lenovo announced it would use the Yoga name that’s become synonymous with convertible laptops for premium models of all kinds, including a Chromebook and a regular clamshell laptop. The Yoga C930 is in fact a two-in-one laptop however, and the follow-up to the generally awesome Yoga 920. It should not to be confused with the dual-screen Yoga Book C930 which is interesting, but considerably less awesome.

A signature design piece of past premium Yoga models since 2014 was the watchband-style 360-degree hinge that helped reduce the thickness of the convertible laptop. That hinge has been replaced with a 360-degree soundbar hinge that is eminently more useful than a slightly thinner body (and it still looks cool). There are a couple of other extras that improve usability and performance remains impressive for its size. It is, perhaps, the best ultraportable two-in-one at the moment. But it ain’t cheap.

The C930 currently starts at around $1,149, £1,199 in the UK and AU$2,399 in Australia direct from Lenovo. My $1,400 system is available at Best Buy, and while that’s not cheap, you’re paying extra for the slim, attractive design and premium features. If you care more about components than looks, there are less expensive options such as the Yoga 730 or, if you need more ports and storage, Dell’s Inspiron 14 5000 two-in-one. But if you’re cool with the price, the Yoga C930 is totally worth it.

Lenovo Yoga C930 Price as reviewed $1,400 Display size/resolution 13.9-inch 1,920×1,080 touch display CPU 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U PC Memory 12GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz Graphics 128MB Intel UHD Graphics 620 Storage 256GB SSD Networking 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless; Bluetooth 4.1 Operating system Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

View full gallery

The C930’s hinge hides a speaker set.

Sarah Tew/CNET That hinge tho

It’s pretty rare to come across a laptop with speakers that are actually worth using, especially a laptop as thin as the Yoga C930. As a two-in-one, the C930 has a 360-degree hinge that makes it possible to turn it from a laptop into a tablet. Adding more function to the form, Lenovo worked with Dolby to turn that hinge into a rotating soundbar.

The hinge speakers are paired with another set of downward-firing speakers at the front edge of the keyboard to bolster the overall sound. This also means that regardless of the position you’re using the screen in, you get clear audio. However, they do sound a bit thin until you apply some Dolby Atmos magic to them.

A preinstalled Dolby Atmos app lets you quickly tune the audio for whatever you’re listening to — music, movie, game, voice — or you can set up three personal profiles or set it to Dynamic and let the software do the guesswork. Turning on Atmos adds the punch most laptops this size are missing. You’ll still

HP Chromebook x2 review: Gives Surface Pro, Pixel Slate, iPad Pro a run for their money – CNET

Let’s get right to it: I love the HP x2. It’s a terrific Chromebook laptop with a great display, a keyboard that’s comfortable to type on and surprisingly peppy performance. And it’s also a fabulous tablet — thin and lightweight, responsive to touch and stylus and perceptive to orientation. Plus — and this is a big one — it comes with stylus and keyboard included at a time when many premium hybrids insist you buy them separately.

If you can live without the few remaining apps that require Windows or Mac OS — and trust me, most of you can — the Chromebook x2 is your jam.

Accessories included

Priced at $599, the x2’s closest competitor is Google’s new Pixel Slate, which also runs Google’s stripped-down Chrome OS and starts at $599 (though higher-end configurations cost more). But the Pixel Slate comes without two vital accessories, and adding the $99 Pixel stylus and $199 keyboard jacks up the price to $899.

Sarah Tew/CNET

You run into the same problem with Microsoft’s Surface Pro 6, which starts at $899, and the 12.9-inch version of Apple’s newest iPad Pro, which starts at $999. Adding the stylus and keyboard adds hundreds more to those already hefty price tags.

Simple, straightforward and fast

Now, the x2’s specs aren’t particularly impressive, especially compared to the devices named above, with the exception of the entry-level Pixel Slate, which runs an inferior Celeron CPU. The x2 comes with an Intel Core m3-7Y30 processor, 4GB of RAM and a pitiful 32GB hard drive. 

HP doesn’t offer alternate configurations in the US, though the version it sells in the UK has twice the RAM and storage capacity for £799, which converts to roughly $1,015 — a price that totally undermines the x2’s appeal. It’s not yet available in Australia.

Sarah Tew/CNET

And yet, somehow, these components come together in way that surpassed my expectations. Often, two-in-ones seem confused — staggering when you switch from laptop to tablet, or just moving slowly in general. But the x2 is positively zippy. I experienced zero performance lag, in tablet or laptop mode, when loading up websites or opening apps. I hit the button to install Spotify, blinked, and it was done. 

HP Chromebook x2 (12-f015nr) Price as reviewed $599 Display size/resolution 12.3-inch 2,400×1,600-pixel touchscreen CPU Dual core 2.6GHz Intel Core m3-7Y30 Memory 4GB LPDDR3 SDRAM  Graphics Intel HD Graphics 615 Storage 32GB HDD Webcam Built-in 5-megapixel camera (front), 13-megapixel camera (rear) and dual array mic Networking 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.2 Operating system Chrome OS

Yes, a 32GB hard drive is lame — but this is a Chromebook, after all. Some degree of reliance on internet-connected apps and storage services is part of the deal, and when it works, it’s fast. That noted, Chromebooks have evolved; they’re no longer

Barack Obama Beats Donald Trump In Twitter 2018 Showdown

Former President Barack Obama features high in Twitter’s most “liked” and quoted tweets of 2018.

President Donald Trump doesn’t. But the incumbent in the White House did scoop the title of “most tweeted about political figure” in the U.S. in the social media platform’s annual roundup, which it released Wednesday.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise, however, given the amount of “executive time” Trump dedicates to bashing rivals and hyping up allies on his favorite social network.

AP; MPI10/MediaPunch/IPX President Donald Trump is the “most tweeted about political figure” of the year while former President Barack Obama has tweets that rank high in the “most liked” and “most quoted” categories.

Obama’s inspirational tweet in February about the March For Our Lives gun control rally took second spot in this year’s “most liked” tweets category, behind a video of K-pop group BTS doing the #InMyFeelingsChallenge.

Young people have helped lead all our great movements. How inspiring to see it again in so many smart, fearless students standing up for their right to be safe; marching and organizing to remake the world as it should be. We’ve been waiting for you. And we’ve got your backs.

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 22, 2018

A tweet containing a GIF of Obama dropping the microphone, alongside a request to “quote this with your unpopular opinion,” was the most quoted post over the year.

365 days.
125 million hashtags.
500 million GIFs.
More @BTS_twt mentions than we can count.#ThisHappened on Twitter in 2018: pic.twitter.com/543gK41qQf

— Twitter Data (@TwitterData) December 5, 2018

Fox News was the most tweeted about news outlet, “Black Panther” the most mentioned movie and Fortnite the most referenced video game.

Check out the rest of the statistics below.

The Most ‘Liked’ Tweets Of The Year:

1.

2.

Young people have helped lead all our great movements. How inspiring to see it again in so many smart, fearless students standing up for their right to be safe; marching and organizing to remake the world as it should be. We’ve been waiting for you. And we’ve got your backs.

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 22, 2018

3.

my dog has ear medicine she needs and the other one also thinks he needs it too.. nobody has the heart to tell him it’s pretend.. pic.twitter.com/Vshe7dhl3b

— chloe copley (@chloecopley_05) September 12, 2018

The Most Retweeted Tweets:

1.

LIMONADA 2.0 🗿

— elrubius (@Rubiu5) September 29, 2018

2.

If the Cleveland Cavaliers win the 2018 NBA finals I’ll buy everyone who retweet’s this a jersey…

— Damarious Randall (@RandallTime) May 29, 2018

3.

She’s tough. But she’s worth it pic.twitter.com/iBg7XMQdhL

— Ryan Sesselman (@RyanSesselman) June 9, 2018

The Most Quoted Tweets:

1.

Quote this with your unpopular opinion: pic.twitter.com/Bgx9OdKTCr

— Summer Jeanne (@SummerCansler) June 14, 2017

2.

Turn it up and feel the beat!

From the final four, which beat do you want heard inside the stadium? VOTE NOW! 🎶 #FIFAStadiumDJ

— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 4, 2018

3.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHRHRGRGRGRRRGURBHJB EORWPSOJWPJORGWOIRGWSGODEWPGOHEPW09GJEDPOKSD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!0924QU8T63095JRGHWPE09UJ0PWHRGW

— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga)

Razer modernizes its 2019 13-inch Blade Stealth for both work and play – CNET

It’s still got game.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Razer’s late-year update to its 13-inch Blade Stealth ultraportable laptop makes it a little smaller, a little lighter and a little more powerful. 

Smaller monitor bezels and a bigger touchpad bring the Stealth up to date in both look and feel, and allow Razer to shrink the laptop’s footprint. The keyboard now uses rubber dome switches, and no longer offers per-key RGB lighting, only a single zone. Razer steps up the stealthiness by toning down the glowing green three-headed snake logo, instead sticking with an unobtrusive basic black that won’t stand out in meetings. 

Now playing: Watch this: Razer Blade Stealth sneaks in an end-of-year update

1:47

The new Blade Stealth comes in three configurations, starting at $1,399 (£1,300), all of which use a quad-core Intel i7-8565U processor. The base model has 8GB RAM, a 256GB SSD, a 1,920×1,080-pixel full HD display and integrated graphics. 

The middle model adds a discrete Nvidia MX150 GPU and ups to 16GB RAM, while the top configuration incorporates a 4K touchscreen and increases storage to 512GB.

A more subtle snake.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Both displays are factory calibrated to 100 percent sRGB, and the Blade Stealth uses the higher power version of the MX150 with 4GB VRAM. An updated version of Razer’s Synapse software works with Nvidia’s Optimus technology to provide control over performance, and in turn, fan noise. 

Razer claims 13 hours of battery life, a little better than before thanks to lower-power display panels.

It does preserve its portitude relative to other ultraportables, with two USB-A ports and two USB-C connections, one of which supports Thunderbolt. You’ll still need to dongle it for HDMI and Ethernet, which dulls the luster a tiny bit for business use.

HP Spectre Folio review: Get your hands on this luxury leather laptop – CNET

The problem with laptops in general is that even the high-end premium ones all tend to look and feel the same after a while. It’s clear when a laptop is trying to be a MacBook Pro or an XPS 13. In a world of copycat laptops, almost all of which seem to want to be just like something else, the new leather-covered HP Spectre Folio at the very least offers a different approach to design. 

No, it’s not Corinthian leather, but it’s still pretty nice. And I’d be the first to admit I’m having fun using it, despite a few design and usability frustrations. 

The leather cover is not just bolted on top of a standard laptop body. Instead, a magnesium frame is paired with a leather outer shell that covers just about everything except for the keyboard and screen. HP says that cuts down on weight and thickness, although this still feels hefty for a 13-inch laptop, at 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg).

View full gallery

Sarah Tew/CNET

We rarely see them now, but this isn’t the first leather-shelled laptop I’ve tested. About 10 years ago, it was briefly in vogue, like this Asus U6S I reviewed back in 2008. But this example makes the leather more a part of the overall design, rather than just gluing it onto the back of a standard laptop body.

It’s called the Folio because, when closed, it looks like a leather folio. So much so, that when I took it for a test drive to the new coffee shop on the corner, I just tucked it under my arm and went, no bag.

View full gallery

Sarah Tew/CNET Flipping the script

That part of the design is certainly clever, but other parts feel a bit too clever. The hybrid hinge, which folds the 13-inch screen into different modes, is complicated, with the entire screen flipping out from the middle of the rear panel.

The screen can swoop down in front of the keyboard, creating a kind of kiosk. That’s great for video playback, but it only hits one angle, and it may not a particularly useful one unless you’re slightly above the laptop, looking down.

Elon Musk Ducks Out Of One Los Angeles Tunnel But Pursues Another

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has scrapped plans for a high-speed passenger tunnel under the West side of Los Angeles but is moving ahead with a similar proposal across town designed to whisk baseball fans to and from Dodger Stadium.

Musk’s aptly named underground transit venture the Boring Company gave up on its development of a 2.7-mile (4.4-km) tunnel in West L.A. to settle litigation brought by community groups opposed to the project, the two sides said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

The move came six months after Musk, the high-tech baron better known as founder of electric car company Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and CEO of rocket maker SpaceX, made a rare personal appearance at a Los Angeles public event to promote his controversial tunnel project.

At the time, Musk boasted of his intention to offer free rides through the tunnel under Sepulveda Boulevard to elicit public feedback before proceeding with a much larger network he has envisioned for the L.A. metropolitan area.

But opponents accused Musk of trying to evade a lengthy environmental review required for such projects by seeking an exemption based on what his company insisted was a small-scale demonstration of a wider concept.

Precise terms of the court settlement were confidential, according to a company official along with a lawyer for plaintiffs of the lawsuit, John Given.

“The parties … have amicably settled the matter,” the statement said. “The Boring Company is no longer seeking the development of the Sepulveda test tunnel and instead seeks to construct an operational tunnel at Dodger Stadium.”

Plans for Boring’s so-called “Dugout Loop,” an underground high-speed transit corridor between Dodger Stadium and one of three existing subway stations along the city’s Metro Red Line, were first unveiled months ago on the company’s website.

An initial public scoping hearing for the project, the first major step in a full-scale regulatory review of the Dugout Loop, was held by the city’s Public Works Department in late August.

Meanwhile, the company has said a separate, shorter tunnel it has dug beneath the tiny neighboring municipality of Hawthorne, where Boring and SpaceX are both headquartered, would be completed by Dec. 10.

“Based on what we’ve learned from the Hawthorne test tunnel, we’re moving forward with a much larger tunnel network under LA,” Musk tweeted on Wednesday, adding, “Won’t need a second test tunnel under Sepulveda.”

Boring said the Hawthorne tunnel and its Dugout Loop would serve as proof-of-concept sites for a traffic-easing system of subterranean tubes that will move pedestrian vehicles called “skates” from place to place at up to 150 miles per hour (240 km per hour).

The Dodger Stadium tunnel will initially be limited to some 1,400 passengers per event, about 2.5 percent of the ballpark’s capacity, but ridership could eventually be doubled, Boring’s website said. It said fares would run just $1 a ride.

In June, Boring was selected by the city of Chicago to build a 17-mile underground transit system connecting that city’s downtown to O’Hare International

Facebook Has Had A Very Bad Week. Again.

Facebook has had a very bad week.

If that’s a headline that sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen it before, maybe in March, maybe in September or maybe even just earlier this month as the social media giant weathered yet another storm of multiple scandals all at once. 

Here’s a breakdown of this past week at Facebook and all the things that made it so very bad. 

It admitted to targeting George Soros and others. 

Facebook admitted last Wednesday that it had, in fact, hired a Republican opposition research firm to dig up dirt on billionaire philanthropist George Soros, other Facebook critics and its competitors, as reported in a bombshell New York Times investigation the week before. 

The company’s since-severed relationship with the company it hired, Definers Public Affairs, began last year when Facebook came under immense pressure to answer to Russian interference in the 2016 election that used the platform.

Throughout the partnership, Definers attempted to discredit Facebook protesters by linking them to figures like Soros, a Democratic donor and longtime critic of the social network, and it promoted negative coverage of Facebook rivals such as Apple and Google. 

Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s outgoing head of communications and policy, took full responsibility for the scandal. 

“Responsibility for these decisions rests with leadership of the Communications team. That’s me. Mark and Sheryl relied on me to manage this without controversy,” he wrote, referring to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, the two biggest faces of the company. 

The system he created to manage such partnerships “failed here and I’m sorry I let you all down,” he added. “I regret my own failure here.”

It’s facing a civil rights and safety audit. 

One of the groups targeted in the Definers smear was the racial justice organization Color of Change, which was founded by Soros’ son and often partners with the anti-Facebook group Freedom From Facebook. 

Now, in an effort to make good with the group, Facebook has agreed to its demands that it carry out a civil rights and safety audit. Two outside advisers will come in to conduct both a legal audit of its impact on underrepresented communities and communities of color and an audit advising the company on potential bias against conservative voices, Axios first reported. 

But Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, says he expects they will need to push for Facebook to release the findings of the audit. 

″This is just a first step,” he said of the company agreeing to be investigated. 

Sandberg met with the group Tuesday to address its other demands, including firing Facebook’s vice president of global public policy, Joel Kaplan, a friend of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh who attended his swearing-in ceremony. 

UK lawmakers are threatening to drop some potentially explosive documents.

Facebook is also scrambling this week to stop British lawmakers from releasing the company’s internal legal documents that it seized from another business in a lawsuit with Facebook. 

The documents are believed to contain confidential emails about