Retail: Features

Features
  • Why the Beats deal shows Apple is actually listening

    After the Financial Times yesterday broke the news that Apple is in advanced discussions to purchase Beats Electronics for the tidy sum of $US3.2 billion, the reaction was swift and immediate: Apple has finally gone off the deep end. Clearly the company's enormous cash pile was burning a hole in Tim Cook's pocket, because no one in their right mind would spend so extravagant a sum on a trendy company that makes overrated, overpriced headphones.

  • Smartwatches arrive before their time

    Smartwatches and other wearable computing devices are getting plenty of buzz at International CES this year, but it remains to be seen if, and when, the gadgets will achieve broader consumer interest.

  • Top tech stories of 2013: Big Brother, wearables, and the struggles of aging tech giants

    Politics collided with the world of technology this year as stories about U.S. government spying stirred angst both among the country's citizens and foreign governments, and the flawed HeathCare.gov site got American health-care reform off to a rocky start. Meanwhile, the post-PC era put aging tech giants under pressure to reinvent themselves. Here in no particular order are IDG News Service's picks for the top 10 tech stories of the year.

  • How to find the right DSLR camera

    For professional photographers and advanced hobbyists, digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras are the way to go. They offer faster performance, more control over settings, and better image quality than top-of-the-line point-and-shoot cameras. Most importantly, they give you the ability to switch lenses.

  • Buying guide: Find the best Bluetooth headset or speakerphone

    Whether or not it's legal in your state to hold a handset while driving, we can all agree that doing so isn't too smart. But the alternative--relying on your phone's chintzy speakerphone--isn't much better: Sound quality on your end is awful, and the same goes for the person on the other end. Similarly, unless you're sitting at your desk and focusing entirely on your phone, chances are you'd rather have both of your hands free during calls.

  • First Look: iPad mini with Retina display

    The iPad mini with Retina display has arrived. As someone who dumped the full-sized iPad for the iPad mini a year ago, I've been excited to get my hands on this new model. Can its small size beat out the all-new, all-lightweight iPad Air for a place in my heart and my backpack? I've been using mine for half a day; here are some initial impressions ahead of my full review.

  • iPad Air: The best tablet gets better

    It's right there in the name: The most important trait of the iPad Air is that it weighs only a pound. For a company that obsesses over making devices thinner and lighter, it must have been torture for Apple to spend nearly three years making a series of iPads that were better than their predecessors, but not smaller. Now it has.

  • Holiday gift guide 2013: Audio gear

    Music has been a part of human existence throughout history, but digital technology has made it accessible 24/7. The equipment for listening to digital recordings anywhere, anytime just keeps getting better -- and, more to the point for this story, it makes a killer holiday gift.

  • Which iPhone accessories will work with the 5s and 5c?

    Each time Apple introduces a new iPhone model, we get many questions about compatiblity: Will the accessories you already own--cases, speakers, chargers, and the like--work with the new model? In some years, such as when Apple replaced the iPhone 4 with the iPhone 4S, there are few physical and electrical differences, so almost everything works. Other times, Apple changes both the size and the electronics of the phone: The iPhone 5, for example, had both a different shape and a completely different charge/sync connector.

  • The research and development behind Lenovo’s T440s Ultrabook

    The Lenovo ThinkPad T440s is a 14in business Ultrabook that won’t be available to buy until around October. It represents a “ground-up” redesign for the T-series, one which Lenovo said it undertakes every four years. In each redesign, the goal is to make the ThinkPad more comfortable to use, more robust, and to provide more features that business users have been asking for.

  • The 3D TV fad is already over

    3D television programming may be out before it was ever in, according to industry analysts. In fact, the BBC just cancelled its 3D programming indefinitely.

  • How to own (and love) a 3D printer

    Not only are consumer-grade 3D printers proving to be useful, increasingly affordable, and easy to find, but they're the vanguard of an emerging technology that will eventually become as ubiquitous as inkjet printers are today.