This holiday shopping season has been highlighted by numerous deals on lots of different items, though the sales didn't end after Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Several retailers continue to pitch discounts, including Microsoft, which is in the home stretch of its 12 Days of Deals promotion. Effective today (and today only), Microsoft is offering the Asus Transformer Book Flip (TP500LA) Signature Edition Laptop for a comparatively low $299.
Do you know what's a great sound when you pass by a home theater PC, or really any type of system for that matter? Trick question -- the answer is nothing, which is what you expect to hear from a silently configured computer. To help you build one, Asus has released a passively cooled version of the GeForce GTX 750 (GTX750-DCSL-2GD5), or at least it's going to. There's a product page for the card on the company's website, just no press release or domestic retailer listing (yet) that we can find.
Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) says that online reviews of its new Matrix Platinum GTX 980 graphics card will hit the web next week, though in the meantime, it's providing a couple of press photos for an early look. The graphics card maker also revealed some specs about the high-end card, including the fact that it boasts a custom PCB with a 14-phase Super Alloy Power VRM and Black Metallic capacitors.
Though the 4K Ultra HD revolution is happening faster than most probably anticipated, the number of 4K monitors actually worth owning are surprisingly low. That's because of early growing pains -- low refresh rates (like 30Hz) without Multi-Stream Transport (MST) support, TN panels, and other undesirables have held the category back. That's why we're cautiously optimistic about the new Asus PB279Q, a 27-inch 4K monitor with an IPS panel.
The mini ITX form factor has been gaining some serious street cred as of late. Of course, it was only a matter of time, with advances in technology leading to increasingly smaller parts that are much more powerful than their sizes suggest. The newest tiny treat for mini ITX builders is the Asus GeForce GTX 970 DC Mini, a small form factor graphics card that willl be right at home in your mini ITX motherboard.
Asus recently announced a new gaming headset called the Strix 7.1. While it retains the same “iconic” owl-eye design as the Strix DSP that the company announced in July, this newest member of the Strix family differs from the DSP in one big way. Unlike the DSP, which has two massive 60mm drivers, the Strix 7.1 has as many as ten discrete drivers.
Asus and Gigabyte have been engaged in a cutthroat shipment war with one another, each trying to ship more motherboards than the other. As we approach the end of the year, it looks like Asus will edge ahead of Gigabyte and ship around 2 million more motherboards in 2014, however that victory will come at the expense of a declining profit, which is not something that Gigabyte will have to contend with.
Tis the season of the low cost laptop, and if you're looking for a portable system on the cheap, you have a growing number of choices. You won't find them in the Apple Store, of course, but you will find Windows laptops in the $200 range, including a recently reduced Asus X205TA model selling for just $170 at the Microsoft Store. In response, Chromebook models are expected to be even more affordable than they already are with Asus and Lenovo both reportedly planning to release $149 Chromebook models.
Hybrid thermal solution offers both air and liquid cooling options
Feeling indecisive these days? Don't sweat it -- Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) this week announced its Poseidon GTX 980 graphics card with DirectCU H20, a hybrid cooling solution capable of keeping temps at bay by air or water, dealer's choice. The benefit of having both is that you can cool the card by air today and make the leap to liquid cooling down the line, if that's your longer-term goal.
We're beginning to notice more low-cost Windows laptops in the $200 range, though one thing we haven't seen is a manufacturer revive the netbook nomenclature. Fair enough, since these machines are more powerful than yesterday's netbooks, and generally cheaper too. The least expensive so far is the Asus X205TA Signature Edition, a $199 laptop that's been reduced to $179 in the Microsoft Store.