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 Next Nexus
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.