Today is February 14th, otherwise known as Valentines Day, but we're not here to share chocolate and roses. No, our true love is in computer hardware! We couldn't think of a better way to share the hardware we love than to give our Best of the Best section a big update.
How do we love thee, Azza Genesis 9000 full-tower case? Let us count the ways. Is it your gorgeous, pearl-white (or charcoal) chassis? The thin, blue or red lit-up lines that adorn your body and provide us with fond memories of the oh-so-delightful Tron: Legacy? The ample space within your interior that allows us to install a motherboard, a kitchen sink, and two power supplies at once? The list continues.
It’s hard to review ViewSonic’s new Smart Display VSD220 without thinking back to another of the company’s unusual products that we reviewed almost a decade ago: the Air Panel V110.
The Air Panel used Microsoft’s “Smart Display” technology to essentially let you remotely control your PC over Wi-Fi for browsing and MP3 streaming. Not to rehash ancient history, but Smart Display was just another charred carcass on the long road to a successful consumer tablet computer.
Besides functioning as a desktop-size Android device, the VSD220 can serve as a stand-alone touchscreen monitor for a full-fledged PC.
Unlike many an Ultrabook, there’s no mistaking this one for a MacBook Air, or even an Air wannabe. Staying true to the venerable ThinkPad brand, the X1 Carbon is matte-black through and through, and clad in that distinct rubberized coating that feels nice to the touch, won’t easily slip from your grip, and remains blessedly free of fingerprints. It looks every bit the business companion it’s intended to be. In fact, the X1 Carbon looks a lot like the ThinkPad X1 we reviewed last year (bit.ly/lEdkj4). But it’s grown from 13 inches to 14 inches, and its body has been flattened to Ultrabook standards, measuring just .71 inches at its thickest. Its lap weight, by the way, comes in just under three pounds.
Can a ThinkPad be sexy? When you’re talking about the slender and sleek X1 Carbon, it sure can.
You may not have heard about PC builder Stealth Machines, but apparently that’s the way the company likes it. In fact, the company’s web page proclaims that it’s the “underground computer company of the hardcore gamer.” We’d guess that’s the “stealth” part of the name.
We’re not fans of the LED strips on the power cables, but you might like the colorful addition.
Intel and ARM go head-to-head in the small-PC arena
We got a review unit of Intel's tiny Next Unit of Computing(NUC) HTPC in the office and decided to compare it to the ever popular Raspberry Pi. While the unit is significantly larger and more expensive than the popular credit-card sized computer, the Next Unit of Computing is also much more powerful. It features a 17W Core i3-3217U 1.8GHz processor on a QS77 motherboard, four USB 2.0 ports, a thunderbolt port, and a HDMI port. The device supports up to 16GB of DDR3 laptop RAM and has PCI-e slots for a wireless card and m-SATA SSD.
We used to get excited when HP would send us its latest all-in-one. Each new model seemed to add some cool innovation or new feature that no other manufacturer had. The Omni 27-1015T has us wondering if the all-in-one pioneer has tired of pushing the envelope.
HP needs to move the power button off the top of its all-in-one PCs; it’s too easy to accidently turn the machine off while adjusting the angle of the display.
Gateway lists no fewer than 13 all-in-one models on its website, and this model with a dual-core CPU, integrated graphics, and twisted nematic LCD is its top offering. If the PCs in this roundup were playing football, the Gateway would be the water boy. But if all you need in a family PC is a machine for web browsing, email, productivity, and watching DVDs, this might be all you need.
Gateway’s ZX6970-UR10P is a very basic touchscreen PC with a price tag that won’t induce sticker shock
The busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, has come and gone, but fear not. Even though Black Friday is officially over, many of the deals still remain, and even more are just getting started. On top of it all, Cyber Monday 2012 is here!
We understand you'd rather not waste your time wading through discounted toasters and button-up shirts, so we went out and did the dirty work for you. What we brought back with us is a robust collection of PC-related parts, accessories, and games, all organized into handy categories. If you see "(BF)" next to an item, it's a Black Friday deal (we'll cross out the ones that are expired), and "(CM)" indicates a Cyber Monday deal. Also, we're not fans of mail-in-rebates, so we've omitted most of those deals. For the few that we include, they're represented with an asterisk.
As the weekend progresses, we'll be updating this list with new deals as they emerge, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back often. And if you happen to find a killer deal we missed, be sure to share it with us and the rest of our readers in the comments section below.
OK, our first look at the Dell XPS One’s gorgeous display didn’t leave us quite as flabbergasted as astronaut David Bowmanstaring into the monolith at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey. But the absolutely gorgeous Samsung PLS panel—with its 2560x1440native resolution—did leave us a bit slack-jawed. The XPS One’s$2,000 price tag might have contributed to that reaction, too; then again, a 27-inch Samsung Series 9 display built using the same panel costs $1,200 all by itself.
Dell’s XPS One 27 is a gorgeous computer. You’ll have to decide if it’s $2,000