The Toughbook 54 sacrifices a bit of ruggedness on the altar of portability
It’s not often that laptop manufacturers tout the lightness and thinness of a rugged or semi-rugged device. Panasonic’s announcement of the all-new Broadwell-powered Toughbook 54 on Friday was one such rare occasion. The latest in a long line of semi-rugged laptops going back to 1998, the Toughbook 54 is said to be the thinnest and lightest device in its class.
Nvidia confirms it doesn't want you overclocking its GTX 900M GPUs
To overclock or not to overclock -- it's a question every enthusiast wonders at some point or another. The primary advantage to overclocking is a free performance boost, provided you don't fry anything in the process. And of course the downsides are the various risks, from instability to cooking your components. It's those downsides that prompted Nvidia to take away the ability to overclock (or underclock) GeForce GTX 900M Series GPUs through a recent driver update.
Memory and storage heavyweights Micron and Seagate have signed a multi-year agreement in which the two will form a "framework for combining the innovation and expertise of both companies." Or in plain English, they're going to help each other in the storage space with an initial focus on SAS solid state drives and NAND supply, and then later in the enterprise SSD space.
Earlier this week we wrote about the Phantom One, a small form factor PC on Kickstarter that's comparable in size to a six pack of Corona beer (or pretty much any brand of suds using 12-ounce bottles). There's also a bamboo option, which adds another unique selling point -- to our knowledge, there isn't another desktop made of bamboo. There hasn't been much action on the Kickstarter page, presumably because the systems are cost prohibitive, so One Technology has gone and dropped the price.
Where Chromebooks currently thrive is in the education field, so it makes sense to focus on durability when designing new models. That's what Dell did with its Chromebook 11, the company's second generation Chromebook that will be available to order later this week. According to Dell, the Chromebook 11 is "schoolyard tough" and can handle bumps, drops, spills, and other hazards that students encounter on a daily basis.
Chasing bigger customers and thwarting government requests for data
Cloud storage provider Box is experimenting with a new security solution called Enterprise Key Management (EKM). Currently available in beta, EKM adds another layer of security that it hopes will attract big businesses in regulated industries like banking and finance, healthcare, and so forth. There's also a benefit for customers who to make it more difficult for the government to get their hands on data.
It didn't take long for the Voltera V-One circuit printer to blow past its $70,000 goal on Kickstarter. Within the the first 35 minutes, it hit the $100,000 mark, and a day later (today), it's approaching $231,000 with 28 days left to go. Obviously there's quite a bit of interest in a machine that can create a prototype PCB from your work bench, complete with conductive ink to create the traces and an insulating ink as a mask between layers.
Depending on where your web travels have taken you lately, you may have heard that FrozenCPU.com is going out of business. That would be a shame to lose another enthusiast vendor, as system builders have already lost Danger Den a little over two years ago (the site had been in business for 12 years at the time), and some of you might remember ZipZoomFly, another PC parts store that bit the dust. Well, the good news is FrozenCPU is not shutting down, according to the owner.
Mysterious product announcement is three weeks away
Quick, does anyone have Encyclopedia Brown on speed dial? Kudos, by the way, if you know who that is. And if you do, perhaps you're good at solving mysteries. That trait might come in handy when trying to figure out what Nvidia has in store for three weeks from now. Nvidia's been sending out press invites for a "special event" that will take place on March 3rd, and at that time it will reveal a product that promises to "redefine the future of gaming."
The folks at One Technology dropped us a line to us know about its Phantom One, a desktop PC that's currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. Not just any desktop, but one that is high performance and "designed to look beautiful on your desk," according to the project's Kickstarter page. It's also compact -- to give you an idea, they shot a photo of the Phantom One next to a six back of Coronas.