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LAPTOP | September 2010
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You've probably heard of the saying "spend
money to make money," but the theme of
this issue is spend money to save money.
Or, in some cases, spend no money at all.
Just take a look at the 25 smart tips in this month's cover story (p. 52). You'll
find easy and fun ways to slash your cable, energy, and phone bills, plus cool
software that will save you a bundle. My favorites: free coupon and text messag-
ing apps. I also love such services as Gazelle, which allows you to trade in your
notebook and other old gear in exchange for cash. They'll even send you a box
and pay for shipping.
If you're holding on to that laptop, maximize its usefulness by checking out our
comprehensive A to Z accessory guide (p. 68). We've handpicked the best new
add-ons for your portable, from webcams that let you chat in HD to USB 3.0 kits
that will back up data in a fraction of the time (yes, we've got a USB 3.0 drive,
too). The best part is that these upgrades are easy on your wallet.
You know what's not easy? Deciding who will win the epic war between Apple and
Google (p. 60). On one side you have a company riding such a huge wave of suc-
cess with the iPad and iPhone that its market value has surpassed that of Microsoft.
And on the other you have the king of search, text ads, and cloud computing, which
has serious mobile momentum of its own with Android. We pit the two superpowers
against one another in several rounds to crown a champ (for now).
One of the reasons that preorders for the iPhone 4 through AT&T were ten
times greater than the 3GS is because of the former's face-to-face video chat
features. In fact, it's the only feature Apple has touted early on in its marketing
campaign. But are the masses really ready to gab face to face? And what are the
implications of video calls for society? Starting on p. 16 we'll show you where
this technology is heading.
As I write this letter, I keep seeing intermittent alerts from TweetDeck, one of
the tools I use to converse with our readers (and spar with fellow tech journal-
ists). But I'm not a social networking expert, which is why I consider our Social
Networking Do's and Don'ts guide (p. 86) for businesses a must-read. Our news
editor, K.T. Bradford, spoke to some of the most noted experts in the field to help
shape your strategy for using services such as Facebook and Twitter. One of the
key takeaways: fewer quality followers that evangelize your brand will always trump
To learn how you can follow us, just go to p. 6. We'll use that ongoing conversa-
tion to make both our website and this magazine the best possible experience for
people who want to keep their finger on the pulse of mobile tech.
Editor in Chief MARK SPOONAUER
Managing Editor ANNA ATTKISSON
Reviews Editor MICHAEL A. PROSPERO
Associate Editor THOMAS J. FINK
Senior Writer DANA WOLLMAN
Staff Writer BRIAN K. NEAL
Editorial Interns THOMAS BRIECHLE
Online Editorial Director AVRAM PILTCH
News Editor K.T. BRADFORD
Multimedia Editor MEGHAN J. McDONOUGH
Web Content Producer KENNETH BUTLER
Art Director JEFFREY W. SASS
Print & Web DOM RINALDI
Photo Editor MATT STAUSS
Director of Production &
Creative Services MARK MORTON
IT Manager MURAT TURK
Integrated Media MATT WEINER
Regional Sales Manager ARCHER MONTAGUE
Regional Sales Manager NANCY ROSCOE
Publisher & President EDWARD D. BROWN
irector of Finance &
Business Operations LISA BRISBANE
Director of Circulation MICHAEL GERARDO
Accounting Manager JIM CRUZ
Office Manager JEANNIE MITCHELL
EDITOR IN CHIEF
Volume XXX, Issue #9, (S.C. 389) 2010 copyright.
LAPTOP (ISSN: 1089-036x) is published monthly (12 issues per year), plus 1 special
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