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HP EliteBook Folio 1020 hands-on

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: PC / Laptop

HP EliteBook Folio 1020 in-hand

HP has announced its new super-thin notebook in the EliteBook Folio 1020. Powered by Intel's new Core M processor (which is going to lead to a bunch of thin laptops being released in the future,) the EliteBook Folio 1020 weighs in at as little as 2.2 pounds and is 15.7mm thin, depending on which model you decide to pick up. The regular model actually weighs 2.6 pounds with a 12.5-inch 1080p display and can be specced with a touchscreen display. The special edition model weighs 2.2 pounds with a body forged our of carbon fiber and magnesium-lithium allow, and sports a 12.5-inch quad HD display (no touchscreen.) Both have 8GB SAM, a 128GB or 256GB SSD, and 9 hours of battery life.

You can pick up the standard edition starting in February, while the Special Edition will be available in April. Priving has yet to be revealed for either of the two models, but if I had to guess, both will likely cost more than the MacBook Air that they look to compete with on size and shape. 

While the HP EliteBook Folio won't be available for a couple of months, we were able to get one in here at Gear Live in order to bring you an advanced preview of the hardware. Check it out in our HP EliteBook Folio 1020 photo gallery.

Gallery: HP EliteBook Folio 1020 hands-on


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Orbotix Ollie & Sphero 2.0 giveaway!

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Accessories, Features, Toys

sphero ollie giveaway

It's time for our next holiday giveaway, and today we've got two! We're giving away an Orbotix Sphero 2.0, along with the brand new Orbotix Ollie. These two little robots are controlled over Bluetooth using your smartphone or tablet, and are fun for people of any age. While Sphero 2.0 lets you play, learn, and explore, Ollie is the robot driven by adrenaline, engineered for speed.

Here's how this is gonna go down: First place gets the new Ollie, and the runner up walks away with Sphero 2.0. Ready to enter? Go get it:

Enter our Ollie & Sphero giveaway

Don’t forget, if you’re looking for other deals, be sure to check out our Newegg Promo Code thread. Oh, and if you're on Twitter, be sure to follow @TechPromos for the latest deals.


Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is fun, but Xbox 360 HD remaster is rough

Posted by Chris Pereira Categories: Action, Adventure, Reviews, Xbox 360

Grand Theft Auto San ANdreas

Somehow, 10 years have already passed since the release of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas--arguably the most innovative game in the series. To coincide with the recent anniversary, Rockstar re-released the game on Xbox 360, replacing the Games on Demand version with a slightly improved version. And while the game itself remains an enjoyable experience, this may not be the best way of revisiting it.

I find myself occasionally in the mood to play one of the classic GTA III-era games (GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas), which are among my all-time favorite games. I typically ignore this compulsion or simply spend a few minutes with the iPhone version of GTA III; I get my small dose of nostalgia but invariably stop playing because, despite Rockstar's best efforts, these are not games that work well on a touchscreen.

An improved re-release of San Andreas was exciting news for me--while a release on Xbox One or PS4 would have been ideal, a cheap Xbox 360 version with improved graphics, better draw distance, and achievements sounds like a great way to revisit the game.


Apple releases iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay, here’s what’s new!

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Cell Phones, Handhelds, Software

iOS 8.1 update

Apple has released iOS 8.1, and with it comes a slew of new features for users of iOS devices. The biggest addition is Apple Pay, which works with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3. Apple Pay allows you to securly store your credit cards in Passbook, and pay for items wirelessly and quickly in stores with your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, and online in apps with any of the supported devices. Apple Pay isn't all that's included in iOS 8.1, though. The return of the Camera Roll and My Photo Stream libraries in the Photos app when not using iCloud Photo Library is featured, as is the new iCloud Photo Library Beta, which allows you to store your entire photo library in iCloud. iOS 8.1 also unlocks the ability to have your SMS and MMS text messages appear on your iPad and Mac, using your iPhone as a conduit. We've got a full list of all the changes that come with iOS 8.1 for you, after the break.

Click to continue reading Apple releases iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay, here’s what’s new!


Is being too good at Shadow of Mordor robbing me of a better experience?

shadow of mordor review

There were any number of reasons to be excited for Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, which launched earlier this week. For myself and many others, it was the Nemesis system--which promises unique enemies and emergent gameplay--that was the most exciting aspect of all. And while it's certainly an intriguing feature, I can't help but feel I've been missing out on it for basically being too good at the game.

Until reviews started to hit the web, I was very cautious in being optimistic about Monolith's first-ever Lord of the Rings game. For being such a major franchise, quality games based on it have been few and far between--something that's especially surprising considering its renewed popularity following the release of Peter Jackson's movies. Once I heard the almost-unanimous praise from the reviewers I trust, I was onboard. I was ready to finally play a LotR game that was a genuinely good game, not another passable one that I accepted because it happened to make use of one of my favorite franchises.


Windows 10: Microsoft previews the next iteration of Windows

Microsoft Windows 10

Today, Microsoft officially announced the next version of Windows: Windows 10. If you’re confused, you’re not alone. The currently-available version of Windows is 8.1, which means that Microsoft has inexplicably decided to forego version 9 altogether. Rumors that the next version would be called Windows TH, Windows One, or Windows 9 have now been dashed—Windows 10 is the future of Microsoft’s desktop operating system. It’s also still technically the 9th release of Windows.

At an unveiling event earlier today, the company called Windows 10 the “most comprehensive platform ever,” as it will run on all displays, from 4-inches and up. That means Windows 10 will run on phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, servers, and high definition television screens. “Windows 10 will deliver the right experience on the right device at the right time," said Microsoft's Terry Myerson. "Windows 10 will run on the broadest types of devices ever."

Optimists will say that Microsoft is listening to all of the negative backlash that was met with the release of Windows 8, taking in that feedback, and reverting a bunch of changes to give customers what they want. Others will point out that Windows 10 looks like a mashup of the beloved Windows 7 and the polarizing Windows 8, with a bunch of Mac OS X features (like Expose and Mission Control) thrown in, and is an obvious step backwards. We see both sides of the argument, but it’s also very early to tell, as Windows 10 won’t ship until late 2015.

Click to continue reading Windows 10: Microsoft previews the next iteration of Windows


Unboxing Live 147: Apple iPhone 6 Space Gray

Here's a look at the Space Gray iPhone 6 in our latest episode of Unboxing Live! We open up the smaller of the two new iPhone 6 models, giving you a look at everything in the box (spoiler: Lightning cable, AC adapter, and Earpods headphones) along with a tour of the 4.7-inch smartphone itself. We've already opened up the gold iPhone 6 Plus, which you should check out as well if you want to get a look at the gold finish.

Pick up your own iPhone 6 from Apple!

Don't forget to subscribe to Gear Live's YouTube channel, and don't forget--we are giving away awesome perks for our Patreon backers - thanks for your support!

 

Apple iPhone 6 giveaway!

iphone 6 giveaway

Today in the Gear Live Deals Shop you can enter our iPhone 6 giveaway! The device is hard to come by in stores, is backordered online, and is the most popular smartphone on the market right now. And we're giving one away.

Here's how this is gonna go down: The grand prize winner will walk away with a $650 Apple Store gift card, which will allow you to select the iPhone 6 of your choice. Ready to enter? Go get it:

Enter our iPhone 6 giveaway

Don’t forget, if you’re looking for other deals, be sure to check out our Newegg Promo Code thread. Oh, and if you're on Twitter, be sure to follow @TechPromos for the latest deals.


iOS 8 review: A more powerful iPhone experience arrives

iOS 8 review

iOS 8 is the follow-up to last years radical redesign of Apple’s mobile operating system. After the visual overhaul, the company went to work on adding a bunch of features that would make its devices more open with features like extensions and third-party keyboards, yet more secure with improved permissions and more widespread Touch ID integration. With iOS 8, Apple looks to refine the experience that was introduced last year, while allowing features for the power users of the world to shine.

It’s been shown that Apple follows a two-step release process with its iOS device hardware and software. For example, one year the company will release a new design for the iPhone, and the following year it’ll keep that design and refine the device, releasing it as an “S” class upgrade. iOS seems to follow a similar pattern, especially this year, which follows last year’s big redesign. With iOS 8, Apple has introduced a layer of polish on top of its mobile operating system, bringing with it a bevy of new features. The question remains, do all the changes come together in a meaningful way? Join us for our full iOS 8 review as we explore the answer.

Click to continue reading iOS 8 review: A more powerful iPhone experience arrives


How to use AT&T Next and Verizon Edge to your advantage

iPhone 6

We've received a few emails over the last few days from readers asking about switching to AT&T Next so that they can get the new iPhone 6 on Friday for no money down. AT&T has been notifying some customers who are mid-contract that they can switch to a Next plan at no charge, doing away with contracts going forward. Of course, there are those who are still under AT&T's grandfathered "unlimited" data plan, but others simply want to know if programs like AT&T Next and Verizon Edge are worth it, or if they're rip-offs. The thing is, early upgrade plans like Next and Edge basically allow you to divorce the act of owning and paying for a phone, from paying for cellular service. If you play your cards right, you'll actually come out ahead financially, and you'll be able to upgrade to a new device whenever you want. Let's walk through a scenario of buying a phone with AT&T Next.

Background
All currently available mainstream plans feature two components: a data charge, and a line charge. We will ignore the data charge aspect from here on out, because it's the same regardless of what plan you choose.

AT&T Next offers you a lower monthly line charge ($15 less for data plans under 10GB, $25 less for 10GB and over) in exchange for them not giving you a large subsidy when you buy your phone. Next plans never involve a contract, and you can get out of them at any time, penalty free, by paying off the balance you owe on your phone.

Click to continue reading How to use AT&T Next and Verizon Edge to your advantage


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