Like its predecessor, the Google/Samsung Chromebook Series 5 550 has a matte, 12.1-inch 1280x800 display and 16 GB of built-in flash storage. It offers six hours of battery life, weighs 3.3 pounds, and has an Intel Celeron 867 Core processor — not an Atom processor. One reported downside to this “upgrade” is that the Series 5 550 doesn’t have as much runtime as its predecessor, the Series 5. On the whole, the new Chromebook has 4 GB of RAM and uses the Google Chrome operating system. It comes with dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and Gigabit Ethernet, and is 3G-enabled. Output is compatible with HDMI, DVI and VGA screens. It provides a high-definition camera, two USB 2.0 ports and a four-in-one memory card slot. Apps and files are stored in the cloud via Google. The overall consensus? That the Chromebook, though still not a large competitor in the notebook market, is ultimately more pleasant to use than it was just a year ago. Pricing starts at $449.
The Asus/Google Nexus 7 tablet offers a 1280x800 high-resolution display protected by scratch-resistant Corning glass. The tablet is equipped with 8 or 16 GB storage, 1 GB RAM, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth and a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera. The Nexus provides more than nine hours of high-definition video playback, 10 hours of Web browsing/e-reading and 300 hours of standby time. It runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean using an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, which supports multiple apps running simultaneously. The 12-core graphics processing unit supports gaming performance with features such as gyroscope and accelerometer.
The Targus 14-inch Gravity i.6 sleeve is designed with a unique L-shaped zipper that secures a laptop in the case yet provides easy access. Its durable weather-resistant neoprene outer layer and soft-lined interior will protect a laptop from bumps or scrapes. The sleeve can be used on its own or placed inside a messenger bag, backpack or tote. The sleeve design with simulated graphic print and colorful accents is also available for 16-inch and 17.3-inch laptops in black/blue or blue/red.
BoxWave’s EverTouch Capacitive Stylus is designed for touchscreen devices including the iPad and Kindle. It’s made with a soft yet long-lasting conductive woven fiber called FiberMesh, which is attached to the aluminum body of the stylus. It comes with a 2-inch lanyard that attaches into the headphone jack of a tablet, as well as a 12-inch lanyard with elastic coil that attaches into the headphone jack of your device.
Miriam Jones is chief copy editor of Government Technology, Governing, Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines. She joined e.Republic in 2000 as an editor of Converge magazine.