After a short stint in the 680i chipset era, ECS hasn't aggressively targeted the motherboard market with its own-branded mobos, and instead has focused more heavily on providing boards for OEM partners. David Chien, VP of ECS' channel business, said that's going to change in 2010 and you can expect to see a lot more ECS-branded boards aimed at both the mid-range and high-end sectors.
ECS-branded motherboard shipments will likely remain flat at 7-8 million units to close out 2009, but next year, Chien said he expects growth of around 20 percent on shipments of anywhere from 8.4 million to 9.6 million units. Most of those will be Intel-based boards, with about 20 percent aimed at the AMD crowd, he said.
You can also expect ECS to promote its use of 15-micron Gold contact technology as it looks to gain some geek cred in the higher-end crowd. According to ECS, the 15-micron gold coating applied to the CPU and memory slot pins helps prevent rusting that, um, occurs from frequently removing the CPU and memory modules. o_0
It looks like Walmart is gearing up for Black Friday a little early this year. How so? The mega-chain has begun advertising several one-day in-store specials slated for this Saturday November 7th at 8AM.
Among the sale items is an Xbox 360 Arcade console for $199, which will be accompanied by a $100 gift card. That essentially brings the price down to just $99, provided you can make use of the gift card.
Other sale items on tap for the one-day special include a 15.6-inch HP notebook with an Intel Celeron processor for a shade under $300, a Blu-ray player for $150, a 42-inch 1080p Sharp LCD TV for $498, and a few more items.
According to Fudzilla, this is just the first of ongoing Saturday specials that will continue until Black Friday.
OWC has introduced a quad-interface Blu-ray burner that uses a Pioneer BDR-205. You will never be short of options with the Mercury Pro 12x Blu-ray burner as it supports four different interfaces: FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0 and eSATA. It ships with a cable each four all the interfaces that it supports. It is capable of writing to BD-R media ( single or double layer) at 12x speed, BD-RE media at 2x speed, DVD±R at 16X, DVD±R DL at 8X, and CD-R at 40X. The Mercury Pro 12x Blu-ray burner can be yours for $350. The burner is also available along with Roxio's Toast 10 Titanium Pro for $450, though the bundle is only meant for Mac users.
While the mobile world drools over Droid, there's another smartphone that has a shot of stealing a few headlines. We're talking about Acer's upcoming Liquid A1, which is expected to ship in Europe within the next few weeks.
The Liquid A1 is the first Android-based smartphone to be built around Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipset. And even though the CPU has been downclocked to 768MHz, that's a lot more pep than most Android phones are boasting.
Oddly, Acer has decided not to step up to Android 2.0 (Eclair), and the Liquid A1 will instead run on Android 1.6 (Donut). That puts it a generation behind the Droid and other upcoming Android 2.0 smartphones, although this could change by the time the A1 ships. We also wouldn't rule out a software update after the fact, although Acer has spent some time tweaking "a new user interface with easy access to entertainment and web bookmarks."
No word yet on price or when this one's expected to land in the U.S.
HP may have jumped the gun a bit when they listed an “Envy 14-1000” on a support page recently. The Envy line of laptops currently come in 13 and 15-inch varieties. The PCs bear a striking resemblance to Apple’s MacBook Pro line with chiclet keys and large trackpads. The Envy 13 packs a Core 2 chip, while the Envy 15 is equipped with a Core i7. Might we see a Core i5 in the new Envy 14? It certainly would fit nicely in the lineup.
No specs were actually listed on the support page. Mobile Core i5 CPUs are expected to make the scene in the first quarter of next year. So, watch for an Envy 14 announcement around then.
For the most part, Klipsch bowed out of the multimedia computer speaker market a long time ago, leaving behind a rabid fan base hoping it would one day return. That day has come, sort of. Klipsch is back and has brought with it a new 2.1 speaker-set, or more accurately, a new twist on an existing 2.1 setup.
It's hard to believe Klipsch's original ProMedia 2.1 speakers have been around for almost a decade. The new ProMedia 2.1 Wireless purports to look and sound like the THX-certified original, only this time without the wires. Replacing them is a USB wireless transmitter that plugs into your notebook's USB port.
"Only a few simple steps are required to get the ProMedia Wireless up and running. Just plug, play, and enjoy the full sonic impact of your music, movies, and games without being tied down, "said Don Inmon, Klipsch director of product development for personal audio. "No router or installation software is needed."
Klipsch says the wireless range extends about 30 feet in a single room, making it deal for dorm rooms, offices, living rooms, or anywhere else you might tote your notebook.
We suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later. In addition to your PC and smartphone, you can now tweet your witty 140-character epiphany using a dedicated Twitter device, courtesy of Peek.
The company has just launched its TwitterPeek, a $99 hand-held gadget (available exclusively at Amazon) with a QWERTY keyboard, color screen, and click scroll wheel. For a single C-note, Peek will give you six months of unlimited service, after which the monthly fee jumps to $7.95. Or drop $199 right from the get-go and receive unlimited Twitter service for as long as you own the device.
Other features include nationwide coverage, a one year manufacturer's warranty, and a 30-day money back guarantee, which will come in handy after you realize "Holy hell, I just dropped a hundred bucks on a Twitter gadget!" In fact, you may want to tweet that before getting your money back. Or keep it and prove us wrong in thinking there's no way this thing catches on.
TwitterPeek will face competition everywhere it turns. Twitter apps are available on just about every smartphone, and you can already update your status with a text message, But it's not just about smartphones and PCs. Digital e-book readers are gaining steam, some of which boast Internet access.
Does TwitterPeek have a chance? Hit the jump and tell us what you think!
Graphics chip maker Nvidia appears to be interested in talent from Transmeta, and that could mean only one thing: they're moving into the x86 market, says AmTech analyst Doug Freedman.
Freedman's theory is at least plausible. During a Q&A session at the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference in San Francisco earlier this year, Nvidia acknowledged it would eventually try its hand at the x86 business, saying it was a matter of "when," not "if."
If Nvidia's looking for the right time, now might be it. The chip maker continues to be at odds with Intel over continued licensing disputes, the latest of which has bumped Nvidia out of contention with Nehalem. And because AMD owns ATI, the chip maker finds itself between rock and a hard place.
That's not good, considering over 30 percent of Nvidia's revenue comes from chipsets. Backing out, even if temporary, puts a lot of pressure on the company's graphics business to hold the fort while licensing disputes are worked out.
It's worth noting that Nvidia probably wouldn't go after the high performance sector, where Intel's Core i7 pretty much stands alone. But the market is wide open in the low performance segment. An Atom alternative combined with the chip maker's Ion platform could conceivably shake things up and give Intel's Atom platform some serious competition.
Sonos has released its new ZonePlayer S5 in the U.S., an all-in-one music sysetem with a built-in wireless receiver and amplified 5-driver speaker. The all-in-one can be controlled with an iPhone, iPod touch, or any Sonos Controller.
"This is the best time in history to love music," said John MacFarlane, CEO, Sonos. "The marriage of devices such the iPhone and the Sonos ZonePlayer S5 connects consumers to an entire world of music and gives them an easy way to control it all from the palm of their hand, in any and every room of their home."
Each of the five speakers comes with its own dedicated Class-D digital amplifier. The S5 also includes a 2-port Ethernet switch, auto-detecting headphone jack, analog audio inputs, support for several major music services, such as Last.fm, Napster, Pandora, Rhapsody, and SIRIUS, and the ability to download from any service offering DRM-free tracks, including iTunes and AmazonMP3.
On the social networking side, the Sonos Software v3.1 integrates Twitter into the Controller interface, allowing users to tweet the name and artist of whatever track they're rocking out to.
The ZonePlayer S5 is available now direct from Sonos for $399.
If you’re in the market for a completely silent PC that also happens to be tiny, this is your lucky day. The Stealth LPC-395F, or “Little PC”, is a small fanless Atom-based nettop system with a front facing 2.5-inch hard drive bay.
The entire chassis measures 6.54 x 6.18 x 1.89 inches. The system comes with the Atom N270 at 1.6Ghz, up to 2GB of RAM, dual Ethernet, a Compact Flash slot, and optional WiFi (for $50). The Little PC is able to run on 12-19V DC so it can even be used in a car. The Stealth LPC-395F is available to order now for $795. Supply your own hard drive.