If you've been shopping for a laptop lately, you may have a vague idea that "ultrabook" means "lightweight" and "small" but otherwise you may be a little confused about why some laptops are called ultrabooks and others aren't. It's understandable – this is one of those areas where names sort of caught on and many different manufacturers started using it, often with different ideas about what it meant. Here are the major points that define an ultrabook, and more importantly the top ultrabooks, and why they matter if you are getting ready to buy a computer.
Parallels, the company that makes Parallels Desktop (our favorite software virtualization software for Mac,) has announced the release of Parallels Desktop 11. Interested users can buy Parallels Desktop 11 for $79.99, while users of prior versions 9 and 10 receive upgrade pricing of $49.99. Major operating system support in Parallels Desktop 11 includes support for the latest Microsoft OS, Windows 10, as well as Apple’s upcoming OS X 10.11 El Capitan, which is set to launch this fall.
Back when we brought you our first-look at the HP Elitebook Folio 1020 G1, many pointed out just how amazing this enterprise-level notebook looked. Obviously, this line of thinking is referring to the fact that business laptops in the past have been plain, mostly matte black affairs that lack any sort of desirability from a consumer perspective. Sure, IT departments get excited about the security features and how cheap they are, but the accompanying bulk, weight, and poor battery life leave much to be desired. HP is aiming to change that with the Elitebook Folio 1020 G1, fancifying what a business laptop can be. Is it worth your attention? Follow along in our HP Elitebook Folio 1020 G1 review for the answer.
When you pair Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 with the Surface Type Cover, you turn it into a tablet that can replace your laptop. In this episode, Andru Edwards gives you a look at how seamlessly the Type Cover keyboard accessory works with the Surface Pro 3. The Type Cover can also hold the Surface Pen, and protects the Surface Pro 3 display when not in use. You can pick up the Surface Pro 3 Type Cover now!
We're ready to hit you with our next giveaway, this time focusing on the HP EliteDesk 800 G1 Desktop Mini PC. This thing is small in stature, but big on performance with plenty of expansion options. This is marketed by HP as a business PC, but that doesn't mean you can't roll with this at home or school. HP has provided us with a unit to give away to one lucky Gear Live fan It takes up barely any room, and is super portable as well.
Cool, right? Ready to enter? Simply use the widget below to keep track of your entries! If you're a Gear Live Patreon backer at any level, you get an extra 25 entries in this giveaway! We've got a lot of ways for you to enter even if you aren't, but don't check off any that you don't actually perform. If you do, you'll be eliminated:
The contest is open to those residing in North America, as this is a North American SKU from HP. Winner is responsible for any applicable taxes and fees. Contest ends on February 22 - good luck!
If you're looking to start running that fresh Microsoft Windows 10 Technical Preview on your Mac, Parallels has you covered. The company has announced experimental support in Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac that will now allow you to install and run the early look at the Windows 10 operating system, alongside the Office Preview for Windows 10. Microsoft is doing some impressive things with Windows 10, and with Parallels you can get a look at things like Cortana, Windows Store beta, the reimagined Start menu, and more. You just need to be running Parallels 10.1.4 build 28883 or later and you're good to go!
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.
Microsoft has started sending out invitation to select press to its Windows 9 reveal event that will take place in San Francisco, California on September 30th. Microsoft execs Joe Belfiore and Terry Myerson will both be on hand to talk about “what’s next for Windows and the enterprise.” At the end of the event, we expect the company to release a Windows 9 Technical Preview that will allow developers and enterprise users to take the new software for a test drive to get apps updated and deployment scenarios tested. New features for Windows 9 include Cortana integration, virtual desktops, a new Start menu, Notification Center, and a refreshed UI that will see flatter icons (similar to Apple’s OS X Yosemite.)
I made another appearance on this weeks episode of GeekWire Radio here in Seattle, Washington, keeping my streak alive as the person with the most guest appearances in GeekWire Radio history! In this episode, which also features Eyewitness News reporter Essex Porter (pictured with me above, and a huge Windows Phone advocate), we talk about a couple of recent Gear Live stories, including:
- iPhone 6 4.7-inch design preview
- iPhone 6 5.5-inch design preview
- Exclusive: I used the Microsoft Surface watch
I brought in the two iPhone 6 mockups in both 4.7- and 5.5-inch varieties, which made for some good conversation. We also chat about the news of the week, which included the release of the Amazon Fire Phone, and we also had a discussion about what Microsoft needs to do to make Windows Phone more accepted by the general consumer. You can listen to the show now by grabbing the MP3 below, or hitting play in the widget.
Read More | GeekWire Radio (MP3)
One of the biggest complaints about Windows 8 is the lack of the Start button, but the feature is about to make a return with an overhauled look and feel. In the leaked screenshot above, you see the new Start menu, which incorporates Microsoft's tile design that you'll find it using across its product line in areas like Xbox, Windows Phone, Office, and of course, Windows itself.
As you see in the screenshot, there are tiles embedded into the Start menu for items like People, Mail, PC Settings, Calendar, Xbox, Camera, and more. We'd imagine that you'd be able to rearrange items, pin your favorites, and remove things you'd never use. Bringing back the Start menu could be seen as a big step back, with Microsoft succumbing to users who refuse to embrace change; others may see it as the company finally listening to user feedback and addressing those needs. The Start button is much more usable on a computer that doesn't have a touchscreen than the home screen version of the Start menu. No word on when the change will go public.
What do you think? Have you been waiting for the return of the Start button on the Windows 8 desktop?
Read More | MyDigitalLife