Tag Archives | Ars Technica

Ars on Apple’s Education Event

Chris Foresman of Ars Technica says that Apple’s education event–which I’ll liveblog at 10am ET on Thursday–is about a “GarageBand for e-books.”


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iPhone 4S Camera vs. “Real” Cameras

Chris Foresman of Ars Technica conducted an ambitious comparison of the iPhone 4S camera vs. an Olympus point-and-shoot and a Canon DSLR (as well as Samsung’s Galaxy S II phone). The results weren’t conclusive: Foresman says that the best camera is the one you have with you, which was always true and always will be true. But the story’s worth reading and the image samples show just how far camera phones have come.


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The Ultrabook Challenge

Ars Technica’s Peter Bright has a good piece on “Ultrabooks”–Intel’s planned MacBook Air rivals–and why it’s surprisingly hard for any company that’s not Apple to do thin and light right. I especially like his extended rant about how freakin’ hard it is to find the computer you want on “helpful” sites such as Dell.com:

Let’s start with Dell; I go to dell.com and search for a laptop. I want something like a 13″ MacBook Air, so I tick “11 to 14 inches” and “< 5 lbs,” Dell’s ultralight category. I get back three largely indistinguishable machines, ranging from $999 to $1359. What’s the difference between them all? I don’t know, they all look like variants of the “Alienware M11x.” It’s confusing and overwhelming, not helpful.

It’s even worse if I just browse without searching. The options I get are just… meaningless. Yes, I want “Everyday Computing,” so I want an Inspiron. But hang on, I also want “Design & Performance,” so I want an XPS. Wait a second, I want “Thin & Powerful,” too. So maybe I want a Z Series? But the only line that apparently matches my broad search criteria—lightweight, 11-14″—I wouldn’t even consider because I don’t want a “gaming” laptop, and so I’m never going to click Alienware!

Is this the best way to sell laptops? Create a bunch of categories with arbitrary, overlapping labels, and just hope that buyers manage to fight through the system to find something that isn’t wretched?

 


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