As we all expected, the big news at CES this year was Ultra HD 4K displays. It seemed that every TV manufacturer had one, ranging from massive LED LCDs to midsize LED LCDs to midsize OLEDs. We've talked about this before, but now with more info, and definitive product announcements, let me explain in exacting, excruciating detail why 4K TVs are still stupid. Allow me to start with the most important point: 1. I love 4K 2. The eye has a finite resolution Try this. Go to the beach (or a big sandbox, or a baseball diamond). Sit down. Start counting how many grains of sand you can see next to you. Now do the same with the grains of sand by your feet. Try again with the sand far beyond your feet (like, say, 10 feet away). The fact that you can see individual grains near you, but not farther away is exactly what we're talking about here. The eye is analog. Randomly analog at that. So of course some people are going to see more detail than others, and at different distances, but … [Read more...] about Why Ultra HD 4K TVs are still stupid
Best 4k tv 2015
There's a simple rule of thumb for companies that market electronics: When it comes to specs, a higher number is usually preferred. Sure, there are exceptions -- you want things like response time, load times and mobile device weight to be low -- but generally, more equals better. It comes down to the "speeds and feeds" aspect that still dominates a lot of tech shopping: When you line up a bunch of similar TVs, phones, laptops or tablets, the ones with the higher numbers get the edge. Think about battery life, display resolution, screen size, processor speed, memory and storage capacity, to name just a few. Of course, the quoted number is often only half the story. Consider the megapixel myth of digital cameras: a 15-megapixel camera isn't necessarily going to yield a "better" picture than an 8-megapixel shooter. Nor is a 4K Ultra HD TV -- with a resolution of 3,840x2,160 pixels -- going to necessarily outshine a "standard" HDTV with 1,920x1,080 pixels, or just one-fourth of the 4K … [Read more...] about The truth about Ultra HD 4K TV refresh rates
Ultra high-definition (4K) technology has loomed over the television industry for years. Just over a decade ago we made the jump from standard definition (480p resolution or lower) to high-definition (720p resolution or higher), and many people bought new TVs in the process. Now that it's clear 4K is here to stay, it's time to decide if another upgrade is in order. 4K, which is recognized as 3,840-by-2,160-pixel resolution for televisions, boasts four times the amount of pixels as 1080p displays. 4K televisions have been trickling into the market slowly, seeing similar curves of both adoption and price that HDTVs once had. A few years ago, 4K televisions were incredibly expensive, lacked a standardized format for transmitting video, and very little 4K content was actually available. A lot has changed since then. At the end of 2015, we can freely recommend purchasing a 4K television as your new big screen. The technology and market have matured to the point that it … [Read more...] about Should You Buy a 4K TV Now or Wait?
The world of consumer electronics has changed markedly since the Consumer Electronics Show was born in 1967. Even just over the past 10 or 20 years, you can see the difference. Smartphones have replaced everything from personal music players and point-and-shoot cameras to answering machines and digital voice recorders. The beige desktop PCs have vanished. And the thick stacks of stereo components, giant floorstanding speakers, and 200-pound, 36-inch CRT TVs of yesteryear are long gone. Today at CES, you'll find all manner of science fiction morphing into reality: drones, robots, smart wearables, slick digital home gear, gorgeous 4K TVs, 3D cameras, and even well-connected cars. Of course, some things about CES haven't changed. The crowds, the difficulty of getting a taxi, the questionable food, and the long hours of press events and filing stories from anywhere you can on intermittent Wi-Fi connections are the same as always. But there's plenty of cool new stuff to be excited about … [Read more...] about The Best of CES 2015
It's a record year for PCMag.com—we've tested and rated more than 2,500 products in the last 12 months. Sure, there were some real clunkers in there, but a lot of those products are excellent specimens of technology. Now comes the hard part. We had to narrow down the top performers to a list of categories, and then within that category, pick the best product. It's a lot more difficult than it seems. Even our own Editors' Choice award can't be the final arbiter, because, sometimes, multiple products can lead a category. But as in years previous, we repeated the mantra, "There can only be one!" Friendly debates threatened to degenerate to fisticuffs in PC Labs as the merits of various contenders were hashed out, all in the service of narrowing the choice to the ultimate pick in a given category. Finally, bloodied but unbroken, our analysts and editors emerged from the room in which they'd been locked with a list. And that's what we present to you today: the very best products we … [Read more...] about The Best Products of 2015