Pretty soon, even your toaster will come with Netflix streaming built in. In the meantime, Netflix's newest target is Sony's line of online-enabled Bravia LCD televisions.
Enabled via a software update expected to launch this fall, those with compatible Bravia sets will gain access to the same growing catalog of movies and television shows that are available on an also growing list of Netflix-streaming devices, including the Xbox 360 console, Roku player, some TiVo sets, and a few Samsung and LG Blu-ray players.
Supported Sony TV sets so far include the XBR9 series, Z5100 series, and the W5100 series, while other Sony sets can add support via a $200 Bravia Internet Video Link. In addition to Netflix streaming, Bravia Internet Video-enabled devices also support content from Amazon's Video-On-Demand, YouTube, CBS, and others.
You know when a little person shows up in a Ben Stiller movie he’s gonna whoop some ass. Sometimes that’s not just a comedy film cliché. Take, for example, Falcon Northwest’s size-challenged Fragbox II.
You’d think this Halfling PC would have a hard time competing with full-tilt, big-ass gaming rigs, but Falcon brings its A-game to the table by managing to stuff an overclocked Core i7 into the wee chassis.
This is the third Fragbox II we’ve seen in recent years and it’s also clearly the fastest. With its overclocked 2.93GHz Core i7-940, 6GB of DDR3/1066, Lite On Blu-ray burner, Seagate 1.5TB Barracuda, and a pair of GeForce GTX 285 cards in SLI, this PC is hardly wanting.
Without any press releases that we could find, Nvidia has launched a pair of low-level graphics cards, both of which are being aimed at the OEM market.
The first is the GT220, a half-height card with 48 processor cores chugging along at 615MHz (GPU) with 1GB of GDDR3 memory running a 790MHz on a 128-bit memory interface. That adds up to 25.3GB/s of memory bandwidth. For what it's worth, the OEM card also boasts support for DirectX 10.1.
Also launched is the G210, another half-height OEM card sporting DirectX 10.1 support. As you might have surmised from the number scheme, the G210 checks in with lower specs than the GT220. Specifically, 16 processor cores with the GPU clocked at 589MHz, and 512MB of DDR2 memory clocked at 500MHz on a 64-bit bus. The lower clocks and bus chops the memory bandwidth down to 8GB/s.
No word on price or which OEMs are expected to carry the new cards.
Razer, maker of gaming peripherals, added to its audio lineup this week with a revised pair of in-ear earphones the company is again calling the Razer Moray.
"After the release of the original Razer Moray, we received feedback from gamers who needed something more," says Robert Krakoff, President of Razer. "They wanted a compact headset that provides not only great audio quality, but the ability to talk to their friends."
The noise-isolating earphones come with an inline omnidirectional microphone that Razer claims "captures sound input from any direction with exceptional voice clarity." The company also touts a "powerful" bass response.
The revised Razor Moray is available now in either black or white with an MSRP set at $60.
Patience isn't just a virtue, it's also a way to save a few bucks. And if you were in the market for a Kindle 2 eBook reader but talked yourself into waiting until the right time presented itself, that patience pays off today in the form of a $60 price break.
Just five months after launch, Amazon has slashed the price of the Kindle 2 to $299 with free shipping, just barely nudging under the $300 mark. Already a hot seller, the new price point could put Amazon in a position to fend off the competition in a market that continues to heat up. Or maybe Amazon's just looking to move as many units as possible before the rumored Kindle 3 shows up.
Anyone plan on picking one of these up? Hit the jump and tell us what you think of the sub-$300 price tag.
All-in-one PCs like Dell’s XPS One 24 aren’t the most powerful computers on the market and they know it. Like thin-and-light notebooks, they trade brute power for a thin, stylish profile and quiet operation—and we’re absolutely fine with that. We’d never give up our benchmark-crushing uber rigs for an all-in-one, but a good one can be a terrific second PC for the kitchen, living room, or bedroom.
Don’t take that to mean the XPS One 24 is wimpy, though. It’s far more powerful than the HP TouchSmart we reviewed in the Holiday 2008 issue (you’ll find our review at http://tinyurl.com/dxcxkf), thanks to a foundation based on Intel’s 2.33GHz Core 2 Quad Q8200 CPU, a respectable mobile GPU (Nvidia’s GeForce 9600M GT with a 512MB frame buffer), and a desktop 750GB hard drive. The trade-off for that power is heat and noise: The components in Dell’s machine produce more heat than the parts HP chose, and Dell compounded its thermal issues by sticking the power supply inside the chassis (HP uses an external brick). So, while the TouchSmart is all but silent, the cooling fan in the XPS One 24 emits a slightly annoying whine.
Rifling through the box that the Intel DX58SO “Smackover” board came in, we were surprised not to find “love” and “hate” brass knuckles, because the motherboard definitely conjures feelings of both extremes.
If you think we’re being disrespectful, just take one look at the board’s SATA ports. That will tell you that somebody at Intel still doesn’t know that today’s graphics cards are big, huge, honking affairs. Since Intel oriented all the SATA ports vertically, you’ll have a hell of a time accessing the ports with a dual-slot GPU parked overhead.
And if that doesn’t make you bust out the hate knuckles, the memory slots might. We’ve seen four previous boards for the Core i7—two from Asus, one from DFI, and an MSI mobo—and all have had six DIMM slots so you could run up to 12GB of RAM and maintain tri-channel mode. Not Intel’s.
Last month, we learned that OCZ would be releasing a Turbo Vertex SSD line with hand picked parts, but no specifications had been finalized at the time. That's no longer the case, as OCZ officially introduced the new series this week, which is being aimed at the performance sector.
"The new Vertex Turbo makes use of the fastest SDR DRAM cache available and a proprietary FTL level firmware that provides an even faster solid state drive for enthusiasts looking for the ultimate desktop or laptop storage upgrade," said Ryan Edwards, Director of Product Management for OCZ.
Available in 30GB, 60GB, 128GB, and 250GB capacities, the new drives sport 64MB of 180MHz DRAM cache. Primed for performance, the flagship 250GB model registers up to 270MB/s read and up to 210MB/s write speeds (the 128GB model checks in with a slightly slower 200MB/s write speed, while both the 30GB and 60GB offer up to 240MB/s and 145MB/s read and write speeds, respectively).
To quote Yogi Berra, “It’s like déjà vu all over again!” The Antec Nine Hundred Two is a refresh of Antec’s well-loved and much-imitated Nine Hundred midtower gaming chassis. And although the Nine Hundred Two does boast several refinements over its predecessor, it’s not exactly revolutionary.
First we’ll talk about what the Nine Hundred Two has in common with its predecessor. Both cases are matte black steel with plastic side windows, mesh-style front bezels, and are nearly the same size: At 19.4 x 8.6 x 18.6 inches, the Nine Hundred Two is barely a half-inch wider than the Nine Hundred and a fifth of an inch deeper.
Like the Nine Hundred, the Nine Hundred Two comes with four fans: a 20cm low-rpm Big Boy on top, and three 12cm blue LED fans—one in the rear and one on the front of each three-slot hard drive bay. Here we see some improvements on the Nine Hundred: All the fans now include blue LEDs (and the front ones have intake filters). Fan speed controllers are now mounted directly into the case, with the two front fans controlled by variable speed knobs in the front bezels and the top and rear fans controlled by switches on the case’s back plate. On the Nine Hundred, the fan controllers were ugly white and dangled loose inside the case.
Now that Lite-On is sharing the same drive manufacturing line as Plextor (not to mention Sony, HP, and Philips), you might wonder whether there is any difference between this 22x DVD burner and the Plextor PX-850SA 22x burner we reviewed in March. In fact, the two burners are virtually the same in terms of parts and mechanics, so differences really come down to the firmware each company uses and the tweaks and optimizations each makes to the final product.
The first thing we discovered is that Lite-On didn’t tweak this drive with an over-speed feature. So, like the Plextor PX-850SA, the burner stayed within the confines of the DVD+R media’s 16x rating, writing 4.38GB of data to a single-layer disc in 5:43 (min:sec). Samsung’s SH-S223, which can reach 20x-plus speeds when writing to 16x media, was almost a minute faster, at 4:46.