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  • Switched On: Hail to the hybrids

    Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.

    DNP Switched On Hail to the Hybrids

    In the world according to Apple, there are OS X-based Macs and iOS-based iPads and, as it stands now in the era of disparate kitchen appliances, never the twain shall meet, even if they tend to borrow features from each other. Point the finger of blame at synthetic pointing devices that offer precision at the expense of intimacy. Google has played it a little looser with its two-pronged operating system strategy. It has reserved Chrome OS for such traditionally touch-deficient computing form factors as desktops and notebooks while allowing Android to support keyboards and mice. However, as Switched On noted nearly a year ago, we’ve seen few pure clamshells that use Android.

    Microsoft, however, has thrown these distinctions out the window, or at least with Windows. The latest release of its PC operating system seeks to dissolve the interface differences between laptops and tablets. It will appear on both types of devices as well as touch-enabled all-in-ones and desktops. But Windows 8 — with its tablet-friendly face and ability to run traditional productivity applications — will also turn more PC manufacturer attention toward portable devices that live somewhere between a completely unadorned tablet and a notebook. We can expect two main kinds of these hybrids.

    Continue reading Switched On: Hail to the hybrids

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    Switched On: Hail to the hybrids originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 07 Oct 2012 17:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Skullcandy unveils Navigator on-ear headphones, we take a first listen to the Aviator’s petite "sibling"

    Skullcandy's Navigator headphone brings the Roc Nation Aviator vibe in a petite package, we take a first listen

    Believe it or not, what you’re looking at above is a set of headphones — let us explain. It’s no secret that Skullcandy has been working steadfast to improve its tattered repertoire with headphone junkies for the past two years. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to hear generally favorable opinions about its Jay-Z-endorsed Roc Nation Aviators ($150), and the company has apparently taken notice. Aiming to build on that success it’s had blending sunglasses with headphones, it’s now ready to let loose a “smaller sibling” into the lineup — and we’ve been able to get an exclusive first look and listen.

    Without further ado, say hello to the Navigator. Priced at $99, it features a similar aviator-esque style to Jay-Z’s model, albeit in a petite on-ear package — we’d say the design direction this time is even better looking, too. The cans feature collapsible earcups with flat earpads and metal construction (just like you’d find on sunglasses) with a faux leather-wrapped headband and a flat tangle-resistant cable (detachable) which houses an iDevice-compatible three-button remote and microphone. Skullcandy is being light on technical details at the moment, but we do know that headphones will come in your choice of black or black with blue lenses earcups. Interests piqued? Both colors of the Navigator will officially land at Apple stores tomorrow, where they’ll be an exclusive offering until the end of the month — in the meantime, join us past the break for our initial impressions.

    Continue reading Skullcandy unveils Navigator on-ear headphones, we take a first listen to the Aviator’s petite “sibling”

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    Skullcandy unveils Navigator on-ear headphones, we take a first listen to the Aviator’s petite “sibling” originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 07 Oct 2012 16:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Motorola phases out Webtop, points to a Lapdock-shy world

    Motorola phases out Webtop, points at a Lapdockshy world

    When Motorola launched its Webtop concept alongside the original Atrix 4G, it had grand visions of replacing our PCs with a smartphone, a Lapdock and some optimism for a mobile-focused future. Most of us don’t appear to have shared that rose-tinted view, as Motorola has confirmed that devices from the Photon Q 4G LTE and Droid RAZR M onward don’t carry Webtop and won’t get it in the future. The firm is blunt in explaining the cut and says that “adoption has not been strong enough” — we just weren’t buying those desktop- and laptop-oriented docks in the large numbers Motorola would need to devote further attention. As CNET explains, the move isn’t surprising in light of Google’s cost cutting as well as an initial $500 Lapdock price that likely chilled any momentum, even after prices dropped to as little as $200 in the Atrix 2 era. We’d also point to a market that still favors budget laptops and tablets: when $400 will get you an entirely separate Transformer Pad TF300, albeit without a keyboard, it’s hard to justify buying what amounts to an empty shell. At least we’ll still have our PadFone to keep us company while you read the full statement below.

    Motorola’s Webtop app helps users extend their smartphone experience to larger screens. While consumers around the world have adopted Webtop and the concept spurred a lot of innovation in the industry, the adoption has not been strong enough to justify continued resources being allocated to developing Webtop on future devices. We have also seen development of the Android operating system focus on the inclusion of more desktoplike features. Beginning with Photon Q and Droid Razr M/Droid Razr HD/Droid Razr Maxx HD, we will no longer be including Webtop on our products moving forward.

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    Motorola phases out Webtop, points to a Lapdock-shy world originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 07 Oct 2012 13:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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