Some things we should all like to own, but probably don’t
Greetings, readers! I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus lately, but thankfully there’s been some new products introduced lately that have peaked my interest.
14-inch Razer Blade
This, in my opinion anyway, is the most innovative laptop introduced this year. The Blade series dates to 2011; the original model did not have much going for it, especially for the cost (around 2700 dollars and fairly cheapo components) but this one has me seriously interested in owning a Windows laptop again. The basic setup is 8GB of RAM, a 256-GB solid state drive, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 765M 2GB graphics card for 1700 dollars. Also, it’s remarkably thin and weighs just 4 pounds, which puts it in ultrabook territory, but with enough power in the components to actually do stuff.
Razer’s CEO, Min-Liang Tan, recently said that Razer’s business model and design inspiration is Apple, and it solidly shows in this product.
The overall design is very Apple-y; unibody construction, a fairly minimal number of ports, no disk drive, and it’s all aluminum. However, the cost –component ratio is vastly better than roughly equivalent Apple products (in this case the non-retina 15-inch Macbook Pro, which comes in at roughly the same price point.
That being said, this isn’t an ‘anti-Apple’ blog post. I’ve owned Apple products for years and liked them; I’m typing this on a 27-inch 2011 iMac, after all. What’s really nice about Razer’s new laptop is that for the first time in years, somebody besides Asus and Lenovo are building excellently specced, high-quality Windows laptops. Mr. Tan is absolutely correct in his criticism of HP and Dell; I haven’t owned a computer from either of those manufacturers in years and don’t intend to anytime soon.
This, however, may be on the shopping list for a new laptop in the future. I own an Asus Transformer Pad currently, which does fine as a laptop replacement, but a high-quality, fairly compact, decently powerful W8.1 laptop appeals quite strongly.
Yes. This. I’ve wanted a Mac Pro for a while now, as the base model, which is fully upgradeable and equally powerful as compared to say an iMac, comes in at about the same price as a higher-end iMac (and did I say loads more upgradeable?). I’m immensely fond of OS X as an operating system, but Apple’s more consumer-y Macs are impressing less and less these days.
This thing, though…it’s simply gorgeous, and expansion is totally the name of the game from what I can tell. The six Thunderbolt ports could power a total of thirty-six Thunderbolt peripherals, including three 4K displays. Which is just….kinda insane, to be honest. Thunderbolt is still expensive technology that only Apple treats as a norm, but that may change this year or the next, as Haswell includes Thunderbolt support natively, which means it may finally get more widespread in Windows computers, which is what typically drives prices down. There’s no firm word on exactly what the specs are, beyond that dual graphics cards are the upper end, and a new 12-core Xeon chip, along with entirely Flash storage.
Okay, so it’s third on the list.
Did I mention this isn’t a list? :p Glass, in my humble opinion, is the single most important product of the coming decade. The declared mission statement of getting us to look out and engage with our technology instead of down is the missing part of mobile technology-it makes using a mobile device as simple and intuitive as a mouse and keyboard on non-mobile devices.
The best part is that Glass is a wide open product category…it’s in the same place as the iPhone was in 2007: Nobody quite knows when they want to do with it, beyond things we’ve been doing for years anyway. This thing is going to see explosive dev creativity when it goes commercial next year, something smartphones haven’t had in years.
And yes I’m totally wearing an Iron Man t-shirt with these.
There’s a whole pile of new or updated smartphone OS’s coming this and next year: Tizen, Firefox OS, iOS 7, WP8.1, Android 4.3, and then this, which to me is far and away the most promising of these. The company website is fluid and easy to navigate and does a fantastic job of explaining the OS features, which include Android app compatibility, although it doesn’t explain how to add Android apps to the phone itself.
The most interesting part, though, is what Jolla is calling “the other half”. This refer to the back piece of the phone, which apparently will have special features of some kind. One of these is that the OS itself will change to match the other half’s color (as shown above) . I’m assuming that there will be other features, as while “it changes colors!” is cool, it’s also kind of a Dollar Store feature :p
That pretty much wraps it up. I’ll definitely be buying Glass next year, and a Mac Pro a few years down the road, and I’ll give my thoughts on them once I do.