In Win can’t resist building gimmicks into its chassis. We first encountered the company’s design oddities with its F430 case (reviewed July 2008), which emits the superloud sound of a car engine when you hit the power button. The company’s B2 chassis isn’t quite as ostentatious—unless you think the motorized front panel that conceals the drive bays is over the top.
So what's to like (or hate) about the B2? Find out after the jump.
We were excited when LG’s W2452T arrived in the Lab—we had high hopes this monitor would break the streak of middle-of-the-road 24-inch displays we’ve tested lately. And it nearly did. Although the 1920x1200-res screen was able to hit the grayscale extremes on our DisplayMate tests, this functionality came at a horrible price: noticeable compression when given an increased range of grayscales to work with.
The floodgates have opened and you can expect to see plenty of manufacturers rolling out new notebooks built around Intel's Centrino 2 platform in the coming weeks. Leading the charge, MSI jumps on board with its GX620, a Centrino-2-based notebook equipped with the company's exclusive Turbo Drive Engine Technology; when in AC mode, pushing the turbo button ramps up the CPU clockspeed.
Further power management duties come courtesy of MSI's new ECO Engine. An ECO quick launch touch sensor gives users the ability to switch between five different modes - Gaming mode, Movie mode, Presentation mode, Office mode, and Turbo Battery mode - with each one automatically adjusting the brightness and distributing power where it's needed most to prolong battery life, the company claims.
Find out what MSI's packing under the hood after the jump.
It is safe to assume that PC manufacturers like Lenovo and Dell, who are not currently surfing the netbook wave, are busy hatching plans to make a dent in the nascent segment. Lenovo happens to be one of the most noticeable absentees but it will make its presence felt soon with its new G-series of IdeaPad products.
According to DigiTimes, the G-series will target entry-level and netbook markets. The website further claims that the first notebook in the G-series will be the 14.1 inch G340 that will be powered by Intel’s brand new Centrino 2.
Lenovo can be rest assured that its low-cost offerings will have to contend with netbooks from manufactures like Asus, MSI, Acer and HP who will surely give it a very hostile welcome.
More than a few early GTX 280 and GTX 260 adopters are catching a break thanks to vendors stepping up to the plate with cash back offers. XFX announced it would give its qualified customers up to $120 back in the wake of Nvidia's aggressive price cuts, and Evga has opened up a similar program. Evga customers must have purchased their GTX 280 or 260 videocard between June 16, 2008 and July 7, 2008 to be eligible for the kickback, and those eligible can choose between $75 in Evga bucks or $60 cash back (GTX 260), or $150 in Evga Bucks or $125 cash back (GTX 280). Other terms and conditions include:
Must be a new purchase from an authorized Evga reseller. Step-ups do not qualify
You have 14 days to register and upload a qualified invoice to claim your Evga Bucks
Only customers who purchased the Evga GTX 280 or GTX 260 at the full Manufactured Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) will qualify for the Reimbursement Program
So far this marks two Nvidia partners (that we know of) offering relief to early adopters affected by the quick price cuts, and it's anyone's guess if more will follow. Who thinks BFG will be next?
While a handful of DDR3-2000 kits can be found in the marketplace, the industry standard remains at DDR3-1600. That might soon change, as Elpida Memory today said it has developed power-efficient DDR3 memory in 1GB densities capable of cruising at 2Gbps.
Elpida's new memory uses a 65nm manufacturing process, and the company claims its 2Gbps modules use 35 percent less operating current compared with its existing products. And for those looking to save a bit of juice while running at the industry standard 1600Mbps, Elpida's memory will oblige at just 1.35V. Timings look to be a tad on the high side, most likely the result of running lower voltages:
DDR3-2000 (11, 11, 11)
DDR3-1867 (11, 11, 11)
DDR3-1600 (9, 9, 9)
Intel, AMD, and memory manufacturers are all pushing the market towards DDR3. Are you buying?
Flip someone the bird and they'll know just what you're telling them. But wave your hand in front of your monitor all you want, and no matter how many times you've watched Obi-Wan use the Force, you're just not going to manipulate your PC. At least not yet.
Toshiba's Qosmio G55-Q802 looks to the change the way you interact with your PC by reading hand signals. Make a fist and move it around to control the mouse pointer, or flip your thumb up like Fonzie to select an object. Force-push won't work, but raising an open palm will tell the system to stop or resume video playback, giving you hands-free media control.
Built around the Centrino 2 platform, an Intel processor performs most of the tasks on the G55, but to read hand signals the laptop will use a quad-core HD processor powered by the same Cell processor found in Playstation 3 consoles. The Cell also lets the PC scan videos and index every new face it finds.
Owning a laptop used to mean being condemned to a low performance hard drive, but that's no longer the case. This past year has seen a surge in both higher performing and higher capacity notebook drives, and as of today, Toshiba tosses its new 2.5-inch 400GB model in to the ring.
The 7200RPM MK4058GSX packs 400 gigs onto just two platters with "an improved read-write head and enhanced magnetic layter to boost areal density to 477Mbit/mm²". Further separating itself from Toshiba's previous flagship 320GB 2.5-inch drive, the new model purports to cut acoustic noise during data seek by 2dB, all the while consuming 20 percent less power than its predecessor.
Five other drives round out the new lineup, coming in 80GB, 120GB, 160GB, 250GB, and 320GB flavors, and all of them support an optional Free Fall Sensor function Toshiba says will detect a failing hard drive and park the head before impact. Look for mass production to kick in late this summer.
Being an early adopter doesn't always net you bragging rights. Just ask your neighbor how his HD-DVD player is working out for him, or your co-worker what he bought with his Apple gift card after being one of the first to own an iPhone. And in the world of PCs, being the first to own a Geforce GTX 280 means you're stuck watching others pay $499 for the same videocard you plopped down $649 for just weeks ago.
It's because of this that XFX's latest announcement comes as an epic win for its customers. The company says it wants to "thank you for your loyalty and believing in the XFX brand," and to prove it, XFX is issuing up to $120 cash back for anyone who purchased an XFX-brand Geforce GTX 280 or 260 videocard between June 16, 2008 and July 11, 2008. This from the same company that offers a double-lifetime warranty on all its videocards.
High definition used to be synonymous with high price, but today everything from HDTVs to now HD camcorders can be had without downgrading that upcoming anniversary gift from a diamond bracelet to a cubic zirconia. But a high definition camcorder for under 200 bones? You betcha.
DXG's new pocket-sized camcorder looks to capture not only the budget market, but tries to appeal to the social computing crowd at the same time. For MSRP $179, the DXG-567V HD packs a 5.0 megapixel CMOS sensor the company claims is capable of H.264 video compression at up to a 1280x720 resolution at 30 frames-per-second. And while it may look like an MP3 player at a glance, DXG says the simplified controls are intended to make it easy to use for "even Grandma Selma." She can even get one in pink if she desires. Or blue, black, or red.
Out of the box, DXG includes ArcSoft's TotalMedia Extreme video editing software, and the company's own Rapid Blog Manager software, so Selma's grandkids have a quick and easy way to upload videos to YouTube's repository of gems like 'Leave Brittany Alone' (NSFW) and, well, this (hey, hey).