Windows XP replacement activity helped ease PC shipment declines in 2014
It wasn't that long ago when analysts had the PC market pegged for extinction in favor of tablets. Somehow they envisioned us all getting real work done on iPads and Android slate -- not even in a parallel universe where everything is topsy-turvy could such a scenario exists. Fast forward to today and things look quite a bit different. According to IDC, pressure from tablets seems to be waning, while smartphones and phablets are beginning to compete with PCs for disposable income.
Choose your weapon: Shield portable or Shield tablet
If you happen to be in the market for a Shield (in either handheld portable or tablet form), or are otherwise looking for gift ideas this holiday season, hold your horses for just a few more days and you'll score a better deal. Like many, Nvidia is participating in the Black Friday festivities, and it's doing it with a couple of bundle options for the aforementioned mobile gaming devices, both of which will come a few extra incentives.
In anticipation of Blizzard's upcoming multiplayer online battle arena game, audio peripheral company Turtle Beach announced today the availability of its Heroes of the Storm PC gaming headset. The headset features swappable speaker plates depicting iconic Blizzard characters from the past 20 years, including those found in its Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft franchises.
We love this time of the year, as it affords us an excuse to stuff mounds of moist turkey and other delicious fixings down our gullets (while only feeling semi-guilty about it), houses and neighborhoods are dressed up with decorative lights and lawn ornaments, kids are suddenly on their best behavior in hopes of earning heaps of toys, and the sales -- oh, the sales!
Note: We focused mostly on PC hardware deals. For more gadget-oriented deals, visit our sister site TechRadar for more Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
Is the best offense a good defense, or is the best defense a good offense? We're not sure, though it looks like AMD has decided to run with the latter -- dual-GPU Radeon R9 295X2 graphics cards can now be found on Newegg for around $770, seemingly indicating that AMD has gone on the offensive and slashed the price of its flagship card by about another $200. Bear in mind that when these cards launched earlier this year, they were selling for nearly twice as much at $1,500.
If you've always wanted a hybrid workstation motherboard with four LAN ports, ASRock today has answered the call. A former subsidiary of Asus, ASRock today announced its X99 WS-E/10GB motherboard with dual Intel 10G BASE-T LAN ports powered by an Intel X540 Ethernet controller chip, plus dual Intel gigabit LAN ports powered by a pair of Intel I210AT Ethernet controller chips.
Fractal-Design added a new enclosure to its quiet oriented Define Series today, the Define R5, which supposedly boasts the highest level of silent computing yet. That claim comes from the Define R5's use of strategically paced dense sound-absorbing material, updated "ModuVent" fan vent covers, and new Dynamic Series fans that are finely tuned for low noise and aided by an integrated three-speed fan controller.
Dell originally intended for its Alienware Alpha console to be an official Steam Machine, though Valve threw a wrench in those plans when it delayed the platform in order tweak its Steam Controller to satisfaction. Instead of tossing aside all that R&D into building a console-sized game box for the PC, Dell re-marketed the device as the Alienware Alpha, and it's now begun shipping out to customers.
Buy a Chromebook, get 1TB of cloud storage for two years
It's getting to be all-out warfare in the low-cost computing market. In response to the growing interest in cheap Chromebooks, Intel and Microsoft have been working together to push sub-$200 Windows laptops into the market place through its hardware partners. That's caused Chromebooks to come down in price as well, but it isn't stopping there. Google today announced that new Chromebook buyers can get 1TB of Google Drive cloud storage for two years at no additional cost.
Following up on its funky square-shaped monitor announcement earlier this week, Eizo has introduced a self-calibrating DCI 4K (4096x2160) display for media and entertainment fields like cinema and broadcasting. The ColorEdge CG318-4K is a 31.1-inch monitor featuring a built-in sensor to enable self-calibration if you'd rather not muck around with settings. Should you need or want to manually fine tune the settings, it comes with ColorNavigator 6 calibration software.