Buying an OEM computer used to mean being tied down to proprietary parts, paying too much for too little, and having to find a place to hide an unsightly beige box so as not to offend guests. Or scare the cat. And while proprietary restrictions are still the norm rather than the exception, OEM systems continue to drop in price and look good doing it. We can now add Lenovo to the list of system builders following this trend of affordable sex appeal.
Lenovo, who feels comfortable concentrating on the Chinese market, first began having global inspirations with its IdeaPad series of notebooks released earlier this year. Sensing the grass might very well be greener on the other side, or at least pull in more green, the once sheltered OEM now looks to march into the global consumer desktop market with its newly announced IdeaCentre K210. And the timing couldn't be better. As Lenovo points out in its press release, demand for worldwide consumer PCs is up, and according to the IDC, will show a 10 percent increase from 2007 to 2011. Even still, the global market remains crowded, and Lenovo hopes a few key technologies will separate itself from the pack.
To see what interesting twists Lenovo brings to the table, including one that will have hyperchondriacs jumping for joy, you'll first have to click through the jump.
Here is a bit of news that might have music lovers rhapsodic. RealNetworks-owned online music service Rhapsody has MP3 music sans any Digital Rights Management (DRM) protection. This entails that users can do anything with the music they buy. If you thought that piracy fearing labels would never back such an initiative then you were wrong.
Major labels will continue to make their music available through Rhapsody. They perceive DRM protection to be some sort of a sales impediment as it deters many music lovers from buying such music online – scarecrow effect. Rhapsody’s online music store offers a single song download for $.99 and an entire album for $9.99. Rhapsody has certainly taken the attack to iTunes.
Goodbye, next-generation systems: Thermaltake’s M9 chassis is a step up from the bottom rung of simplicity, but it’s nowhere near a top-of-the-line design.
The case is structured as if Thermaltake took a plain-Jane chassis, improved a few features—like making the PCI and 5.25-inch bay holders screwless—stuck in a front-panel blue LED fan to appease gaming audiences, and called it a day. That might not sound so bad, but in actuality, the screwless PCI holders become this case’s Achilles’ heel. And the arrow?
The specs on the power-efficient desktop remain similar to the Wind laptop: a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom, up to 2 GB DRAM, 160 GB hard disk storage, and WiFi 802.11b/g to keep you connected. It comes with Microsoft Windows XP. Unlike the Wind mini-laptop it has an in-built DVD drive. But just like its portable cognate from the MSI stable, it is highly power-efficient and consumes 7 times less power than other desktops.
The top-end version is priced $299 and the base model has a $199 price tag.The commercial launch of the small desktop will not happen until August and only business users will be able to lay their hands on this slender desktop in July, as MSI expects them to be set its cash registers ringing.
Everyone, I have huge news! Diablo III was announced. With the Internet drooling and licking its chops in eager anticipation of Blizzard's latest devil-puncher, I figured you wouldn't be needing me today. However, gaming news moves with blinding speed, and there is life after Blizzard's Big Day. Thus, I've brought you all kinds of stories -- and only one or two of them are about Blizzard. Promise! Jump past the break to read all about it.
Stable and affordable subscription plans; unlimited streaming downloads; large DVD catalog; optional living room set-top player. With all Netflix has going for it, the announcement that it would disable user Profiles came as a curious one. In between carpooling to class and eating Ramen noodles, college roommates would suddenly have to share a queue, and parents would no longer be able to configure a separate profile with parental controls for the kids. The surprise announcement sparked an outrage from hundreds of angry subscribers who left comments on Netflix's blog, and while not quite on par with the backlash inflicted upon Creative over Daniel_K and his now infamous modified soundcard drivers, one had to wonder why Netflix would risk agitating a content customer base. After some reflection of their own, and undoubtedly a few angry letters, Netflix sent out a letter to subscribers today reversing its decision to kill user Profiles:
"You spoke, and we listened. We are keeping user Profiles. Thank you for all the calls and emails telling us how important Profiles are." - Netflix
Whether you care about Profiles or not, isn't it nice knowing the customer can sometimes still be right?
According to a DigiTimes report, Asus plans to expand its Eee PC line with a pair of new models, the 904 and 905. Like the current 901 ultraportable, the new models will reportedly feature the same 8.9" panel and continue to use Intel's Atom processor. But in a nod towards the 'bigger is better' axiom, look for a larger keyboard and chassis similar to the dimensions found on the Eee PC 1000, with pricing expected to stay competitive with the current crop of 900 and 901 models. DigiTimes also claims Asus is still on the fence over making changes to battery and storage capacity.
Need more displays for your business or professional PC? With support for up to four displays on a single PCI Express slot and a choice of support for analog or digital displays, find out why Matrox Graphics M-series might be just what you're looking for. While older Matrox product families have supported now-legacy technologies such as AGP and PCI as well as PCI Express (aka PCIe), Matrox M-series is strictly built for PCIe. M-series cards also feature 512MB of RAM, support both Windows XP and Vista with unified drivers, and support a fanless (passive-cooling) design.
Wondering if Matrox is planning to make a triumphant comeback into the 3D gaming market after the failure of Parhelia? All is revealed - after the break.
“The wait is (almost) over,” offers the official Opera Mobile blog excitedly. Opera Mobile 9.5 is finally coming to Windows Mobile phones. But most users still remain skeptical of Opera’s fresh release claim as the browser’s release has been procrastinated on several occasions already. Anyways, Opera Mobile 9.5 for Windows Mobile is currently going through a release testing phase and the first beta version of the browser will be available on July 15th.
The Opera Mobile 9.5 browser runs on the same browser engine as the desktop version of the browser and this, according to Opera Software, is the reason for the delay in its release. Surprisingly, there is still no word of the Symbian version.
Not everyone, of course, has had to endure the excruciatingly long wait for the browser as some have got their hands on the Opera Mobile 9.5-bearing HTC Touch Diamond or a version ripped from the cellphone.
We leave you with this comment from an anonymous, incredulous user on the official Opera blog: “And why would anyone believe this date after what they pulled with that last blog entry? July 15th may mean November 15th from previous experience. And we won't hear back from them until September.”
June 30th has finally arrived, the day Microsoft said it would stop selling Windows XP as a retail packaged product and cease licensing it to major PC manufacturers. And if you were hoping for a last minute reprieve, Microsoft's Bill Veghte appeared to quell any doubts the software maker plans to march forward as planned. Is it truly too late to save XP? Or perhaps you should be asking yourself if there's any reason to.
Click through the jump to see how you can make a final plea to extend XP's life, and whether or not it even matters.