A lot has happened in the mobile tech space in 2015. Microsoft release Windows 10. Google released Android 6.0. Apple made a really big iPad. USB Type-C ports have arrived. And Intel and partners have embraced the idea of really tiny desktop computers.
Here are a dozen of the most popular Liliputing articles published in 2015. Note that popularity is measured solely based on page views… which is probably an imperfect measure of which of these stories were the most important, had the longest-lasting impact, or took me the most time to research and write.
But it’s the end of the year, I’m lazy, and it’s easy to compile a list based on page views, so here’s a look at the year that was:
Alternatives to Windows Media Center (Make your own Home Theater PC)
Windows 10 may mark the return of the Start Menu, but it also marks the end of Windows Media Center. The good news is that there are a number of other options for turning your PC into a home theater system. The bad news is that none of them offers exactly the same feature set as Windows Media Center… although you could just try installing an unofficial version of it.
Differences between Windows 10 Home, Pro, Enterprise, and Education
Speaking of Windows 10, there are a few different versions. Wondering what the differences are? We’ve got you covered.
Windows 10 gets its first big update (Windows really is a service)
The update wasn’t big in terms of features, but it was a 325MB update with performance tweaks… and it was just the first of many.
Intel Compute Stick mini-computer (with Windows) review
Easily mistaken for a large USB flash drive, this tiny computer plugs into the HDMI port of any TV to turn it into a PC. It’s not super-powerful, and it’s not even super-cheap. But it is super-small.
Orange Pi PC is a $15 single-board computer
Intel isn’t the only company making tiny computers. This is one of a number of Raspberry Pi-like single-board computers that launched this year.
Intel Compute Stick roadmap: Core M and 64GB model in 2015, Broxton models in 2016
The Compute Stick isn’t just a single PC… it’s a platform. While we’re still waiting for the model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB promised on this roadmap, Intel is expected to launch new models with Intel Broxton and Core M processors in the future.
10 Windows tablets for $150 or less
There was a time when it was impressive that you could buy Android tablet in this price range. Now it’s pretty normal to find tablets that run the full Windows 10 operating system. This list was published in February. There are even more options available for even less money today.
Amazon’s $50 tablet can run the Google Play Store (no root required)
The Amazon Fire tablet may not be the cheapest Android tablet money can buy, but it is one of the most affordable options with halfway decent specs and a warranty that you can probably actually make use of. But it ships with Amazon’s Appstore instead of the Google Play Store, which limits your selection of third-party apps. Fortunately there’s a hack for that.
Meet a $48 Windows tablet
Speaking of cheap tablets, this is the year Windows tablets got *really* cheap. It’s not unusual to find models that sell for under $100. Sometimes they cost just half as much.
Asus EeeBook X205 budget Windows laptop review
Small, cheap Windows laptops with Chromebook-like specs are becoming increasingly common. But this was one of the first, and it came from the company that brought us some of the first netbooks. Asus keeps proving it knows how to make small, cheap laptops.
Ubuntu on the Asus Zenbook UX305 ultrabook
Want a small cheap laptop that’s slightly less small and cheap? The Zenbook UX305 line of ultrabooks sell for $699 and up (although they’re often on sale for less) and feature significantly better specs than an EeeBook X205. But can you run Linux on them? Yep.
Play! is a PlayStation 2 emulator for Android (extremely beta)
Performance is horrible, but it’s kind of crazy that it works at all.