Samsung Galaxy Note 3
The Note 3 adds a new level of refinement to Samsung's line of Note smartphones and ups the ante for what's expected from a "phablet" -- all while maintaining a slender profile. Taking design cues from its relative, the Galaxy S4, the Note 3 includes a bigger display, significantly larger battery and needed changes to the S Pen experience and software. Though the super-sized handset category is still growing, the Note 3 is the phone to beat, and it makes a perfect companion for those seeking a (barely) pocketable productivity tool.
Buy from $299
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iMessage stumbles following the iOS 7 launch
Though the reactions to the design changes in iOS 7 have been largely positive, many users who have made the jump have reported issues with sending and receiving iMessages. Apple has acknowledged the problem, promising a fix shortly. Have you experienced this issue? If so, have you tried any of these fixes?
Jawbone Mini Jambox
With the Mini Jambox, Jawbone has taken its characteristically big sound and packed it into a slightly smaller package. Normally, with a smaller speaker, sound quality can be an issue. However, the size difference between the original Jambox and the new Mini isn't huge, resulting in surprisingly good audio. Jawbone has also refined the design in other, less obvious ways -- for example, the speaker no longer shakes across the surface it's placed on.
Buy from $179
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Xi3 announces availability of its Piston "console"
Though announced months ago, the Xi3 Piston came one step closer to reality this week with the announcement of its Black Friday release date and the unveiling of its pre-order page. Though at its heart it's really just a small, tightly packed PC, the Piston has been touted as the first "Steam Box," despite not launching with SteamOS installed. However, it was still made in partnership with Valve and could be the model for officially sanctioned Steam Machines in the future. But, at a price of $999, can it compete with home consoles or other gaming machines?
If you're in the market for a portable laptop, make sure to cross the Alienware 18 off your list. At almost 18 inches wide and more than 12 pounds (before adding the power brick), this is not something you can just casually bring to class or work. But what it lacks in portability, the Alienware 18 makes up for in raw horsepower, taking the top spot in many laptop benchmarks. Unfortunately, with great power comes... very short battery life. However, between its size and heft, it's unlikely that you'll be straying too far from an outlet anyway.Read reviews and more