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The 12 biggest technology myths

Find out the truth behind tech's tallest tales

The internet is a breeding ground for lies, half-truths, and misinformation, especially when it comes to technology. We've dug up some of the web's most notorious nuggets of conventional wisdom to see which hold up to scrutiny and which are merely urban legends.

All smartphones suffer from a 'Grip of Death'

When early iPhone 4 adopters discovered that touching a certain spot on the exposed antenna could cause the phone to lose signal strength, reduce data speeds, and even drop calls, Apple in­­sisted that all smartphones suffered from a similar defect.

We tested that claim with five different smartphones. We looked at RF signal strength, data speed rates, and call quality in areas with weak and strong signals.

While every phone we tested was affected by a 'grip of death', none went so far as to drop calls, as the iPhone 4 did.

Bottom line: If you don't have an iPhone 4, you don't need to worry too much about this antenna issue.

Warning: 2, Mostly True

The desktop PC is dying

Sure, laptops are cheaper and more powerful than ever, and can meet all your basic computing needs. Power users who need desktop-calibre performance in a laptop must pay a significant premium, and if they want a Blu-ray drive, a better GPU, or a 3D display, they must buy a new model. Also, people who like to tinker with their PCs have fewer options with laptops than they do with desktops.

Meanwhile, the desktop PC market is evolving to meet users' demands. People who want a larger display but don't like the looks of a tower can buy an all-in-one system. Others want a computer that fits nicely next to their 50-inch HDTV - a home theatre PC. And students, who typically benefit most from a laptop, can buy both a solid all-in-one PC for gaming and movies (ahem--"multimedia projects") and a cheap, lightweight netbook for taking notes in class for the same price as a single moderately powerful laptop (which would be more expensive to replace if it were broken, lost, or stolen).

Warning: 3, Dubious

NEXT PAGE: Expensive HDMI cables

  1. The truth behind tech's tallest tales
  2. The smartphone grip of death
  3. Expensive HDMI cables
  4. LCDs are better than plasmas?
  5. Are inkjets more expensive than laser printers?
  6. Refilled ink cartridges will ruin your printer
  7. Is IE less secure?
  8. You're safe if you visit only family sites
  9. You probably know this, but...


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