One of the advantages of rolling your own rig is that once the parts arrive, you can get busy assembling the system and be finished on the same day. But when you order from a bulk OEM or boutique builder, you're at the mercy of their lead times. You don't have much choice when it comes to laptops -- there aren't a ton of whitebox options -- though Velocity Micro today announced three custom-configured laptop lines, each of which requires just a three-day lead time.
Over the course of the last couple of years, MSI has been taking the gaming laptop category by storm, and we've seen a lot of interesting offerings from the company. However, it's MSI's new GT80 Titan SLI-009 that has us intrigued. The company brought its latest system (along with several other goodies) to the Consumer Electronics Show, so we sent Online Managing Editor and resident gaming whiz Jimmy Thang to check things out.
Thin and light workstations for the mobile road warrior
HP is awfully proud of its reputation for delivering thin and light business-class laptops, and to ensure its name keeps coming up when the discussion turns to such systems, HP today introduced what it claims are the industry's thinnest and lightest workstation Ultrabooks to date, the Zbook 14 and Zbook 15u. If these model names look familiar, it's because they're second generation products.
Lenovo kicks off 2015 by crossing a big time milestone
If you thought Lenovo would slow its roll in 2015, think again. The world's top PC supplier is currently celebrating over 100 million ThinkPad unit sales to date, which is enough to equip every man, woman, and child in Canada almost three times over (in case a bit of perspective is needed). And to keep the good times going, Lenovo is showcasing a number of new products at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, including its third generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon.
The primary appeal of Chromebooks is the price of entry -- without a low price tag, these modern day cloud-based netbooks probably wouldn't find much of an audience. This begs the question, is there a market for slightly more expensive Chromebook models with bigger size displays? Acer intends to find out by launching its Chromebook 15, the industry's first Chromebook device with a 15.6-inch display.
Samsung takes a break from mobile handsets to announce a pair of PC products
Between all the Galaxy smartphone and tablet releases, we're a little surprised Samsung has time to take a breath, let alone announce a pair of sleek looking PC products. Yet that's exactly that the company has done today. Specifically, Samsung today unveiled its ATIV Book 9, an all-aluminum laptop with an Intel Broadwell Core M processor inside, and ATIV One 7 Curved, the company's first curvaceous all-in-one PC.
Microsoft and Intel have started working together to promote low-cost Windows laptops in the $200 and under range, which prior to the collaboration was a space that mostly belonged to Chromebooks. So far things are off to a slow start, at least if Amazon's holiday sales are any indication. Amazon says that its top three PC sales over the holiday period were all Chromebook models.
Heading into the new year, AMD's resolution is to increase its laptop market share, and the key to doing that lies in its Carrizzo and Carrizo-L laptop chips. Going forward, the chip maker will take a plug-and-play approach that will make it easy for hardware partners to plug any Carrizo chip into any laptop, regardless of the size of the notebook or what pricing tier it falls into.
New site helps MacBook users make the switch to Surface
Microsoft wasn't so brazen as to post a website trying to lure MacBook users to its original Surface products, including the Surface RT, a particularly forgettable product. But with the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft has hit a groove and come out with a product that, for some, is a tablet that can truly replace their laptop. With its new-found confidence, Microsoft has gone gunning for MacBook users with a new website to help them make the switch to Surface Pro 3.
Microsoft's deal with the National Football League to showcase Surface Pro 2 hardware during games got off to a rocky start when TV commentators and players alike repeatedly referred to the devices as iPads. That amounted to free advertising for the competition, for which Microsoft paid good money ($400 million), but that's all in the past. Furthermore, Microsoft's Surface deal with the NFL is winning over players, including Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who revealed a dark secret.