laptop articles

Acer Aspire S5 Review: SSD RAID on an Ultrabook

Acer Aspire S5 Review: SSD RAID on an Ultrabook

Could a few hundred bucks tacked on the top end make a difference between a vanilla ultrabook and something truly special? That's something Acer is willing to gamble on with its latest flagship ultrabook.

The Aspire S5 comes with a beefy Core i7-3517U clocked at 1.9GHz, 4GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage -- no hybrid caching system here.  In most instances, an SSD is the best component upgrade for any modern system, but Acer took things one step further as the S5 is equipped with two 128GB SSDs in a RAID0 configuration. It goes without saying that the storage subsystem should be blazing fast.

Acer TimelineU M5 Review: A 15-inch, 5lb Ultrabook?

Acer TimelineU M5 Review: A 15-inch, 5lb Ultrabook?

More than last year, 2012's ultrabooks have been and will continue to be about tradeoffs: low-res screens vs. high-res, TN panels vs. IPS, snappy SSDs vs. capacious HDDs, dual-core CPUs vs. quad-core, 2GB vs. 8GB, power-sipping IGPs vs. muscle-bound GPUs, mainstream vs. premium pricing, and so on.

Acer's new TimelineU makes its own compromises. Our review unit touts a full-size backlit keyboard, 500GB of storage, a GeForce GT 640M LE GPU, an optical drive, an eight-hour battery life and an attractive $830 price tag. Naturally, the question is: what's the catch? Let's get to the bottom of that.

The Portable Workstation Benchmark: MacBook Pro with Retina Display Review

The Portable Workstation Benchmark: MacBook Pro with Retina Display Review

Apple’s coveted Retina display has finally found its way to a full-size notebook courtesy of the latest MacBook Pro. In addition, there’s an entirely reworked chassis that’s nearly as thin as the MacBook Air and weighs more than a pound less than the standard Pro. Customers can also configure a Retina system with up to 16GB of RAM and 768GB of flash storage, versus a maximum of 8GB of RAM and 512GB of solid state storage on a standard Pro.

But hey, who are we kidding, the only reason that most people are going to dish over the extra cash for Apple’s latest and greatest is the 2880 x 1800 resolution goodness of the Retina display. And I’ll go ahead and let you in a little secret: it’s a thing of beauty.

TechSpot Laptop Buying Guide: The Ivy Bridge Update

When choosing the right laptop it all comes down to what you are willing to spend and what you plan to use it for. This guide will help you navigate through the countless options out there. As usual, we've narrowed down our favorite notebooks and grouped them into five different categories: ultraportables, business and workstations, desktop replacements, gaming, and budget-oriented machines.

Ultraportables Thin and light laptops balance portability, performance and battery life. Business Mid to high end components with an emphasis on durability, security and battery life.
Desktop Replacements The most complete set of features, often forgo battery life and portability for extra horsepower. Gaming If mobility is a priority, there are some solid choices for gaming on the go.
Budget-oriented A good blend of price and features, but slim form factors are not necessarily a priority.    
Apple MacBook Air 13" Review -- Ultra-what?

Apple MacBook Air 13" Review -- Ultra-what?

Steve Jobs unveiled the first MacBook Air in early 2008 to mixed reviews, but a series of redesigns and hardware refreshes through the years have resulted in a product line that has had a huge impact on the industry. PC makers have struggled to match the Air’s extremely thin and simplistic design, prompting Intel to announce the ultrabook initiative at Computex in 2011.

New for the 2012 MacBook Air is the Intel Ivy Bridge processor sporting Intel HD 4000 graphics, higher capacity storage and memory options, as well as an improved 720p Facetime HD camera, and support for USB 3.0. The 13-inch system also received a $100 price cut, now starting at $1,199.