Let's be realistic for a moment. Few would classify Maingear's new Shift series as supercomputers for the homestead, but we'll give Maingear this much: these new PCs pack a punch.
"The Shift bucks the trend of plastic, bloated, commodity PCs. It's a statement of our commitment to performance, reliability, and support," said Wallace Santos, CEO and Founder of Maingear. "Featuring vertical airflow, all the cooling necessary for today's high performance, and backed by the best technical support team in the business, Maingear is committed to maintaining our lead in the market."
The configurable PCs come built around your choice of Intel's P55 or X58 platform and come with a Core i7 800 series or 900 series CPU. DDR3 memory options include up to 8GB on the P55 platform, or up to 24GB in the X58 setup. You can choose from a plethora of videocards culminating in a pair of dual-GPU GTX 295s, and for storage duties, Maingear will slap up to 6 mechanical or 12 SSD drives into your rig. Other options include Blu-ray, liquid cooling, Razer peripherals, Killer NIC Xeno Pro card, and of course Windows 7.
Maingear promises each Shift system will ship with no bloatware, and they've all been tuned to take advantage of GPGPU computing.
The new PCs are available now starting at $2,200 (P55) and $2,600 (X58). In Q4, Maingear says it will add a Xeon-based setup with Nvidia's Quadro graphics to the lineup.
We've been talking a lot about Acer lately, and that's because Acer has been doing a lot of talking of its own. The OEM's been pounding its chest like Kevin Garnett after an 'and-one' and talking smack to Dell, HP, and anyone else who stands in its way. And now the OEM is saying it's fully prepared to take on HP in a bit of a pricing war, which comes just a day after Acer said it feels confident it will ship 40 million notebooks in 2010.
According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, HP has already kicked off some pretty fierce price competition in a few designated markets, which includes sub-$300 models in the U.S. Acer's ever talkative chairman JT Wang said his company will not only follow suit, but plans to one-up HP by aggressively marketing its netbook and ultra-thin segments, both of which are areas HP is a little weaker in.
Beyond 2010, Wang said the global netbook market is on track to reach 350 million units, and we're a bit surprised Acer didn't say it plans to capture 349 million of them.
Almost as a side note, HP today announced its new Compaq L2105tm touchscreen monitor, dedicating just a few lines to promoting the display in a press release which covered several items.
The 21.5-inch, 1080p display sports a multitouch panel with one finger scrolling and two finger mousing capabilities.. But if you prefer to roll with a stylus, you'll find one jammed conveniently into the side of the monitor. You can even use a gloved finger, says DisplayBlog.com, who points out that the two cameras, infrared light, sensor, and reflective film create a rugged light field capable of detecting just about any type of object.
There was a little bit of marketing glitz on HP's part. According to the OEM, this is the world's first Windows 7 certified monitor, which you means you can plug it in groove to your newly acquired copy of the just-released OS.
Jumping on the fast emerging 3D bandwagon, Acer today announced its new Aspire 5738DG notebook, the first from Acer to sport 3D viewing technology.
"This holiday season, we are seeing 3D content become more prevalent in popular films and games," said Ray Sawall, senior product manager for Acer America. "The new Acer Aspire 5738DG notebook enables consumers to enjoy exciting new 3D entertainment on a mobile PC that can also replicate a 3D experience from standard 2D content."
The new notebook achieves its 3D effect using TriDel 3D technology, which in addition to a 3D screen and special software, also means you'll need to don a pair of 3D polarizer glasses. When you do, you'll be able to filter 2D content into 3D, while also being able to toggle between the two types of displays with the click of the mouse, Acer says.
While the 3D capability steals the show, other specs include an Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 processor (2.2GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 800MHz frontside bus), 4GB of DDR2-1066 memory, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 with 512MB of dedicated video memory, a 320GB hard drive, multi-card reader, 8X DVD burner, four USB 2.0 ports, 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
Acer says the Aspire AS5738DG-6165 will be available later this week starting at $780.
Pretty soon, all the attention will be focused on Dell's upcoming Adamo XPS, the super-slim laptop whose specs have yet to be revealed. But in the meantime, Dell's Adamo Desire deserves a bit of attention too, thanks to an internal overhaul.
Just a few months ago, the Adamo Desire came configured with a 1.4GHz processor and 128GB SSD, a combo that would set you back $2,300. Now three months later, Dell has replaced the Desire's guts with Intel Core 2 Duo SL9600 processor clocked at 2.1GHz, a 256GB SSD, and 4GB of DDR3 RAM. Rounding out the package is Windows Home Premium in 64-bit form.
Already a pricey notebook, you would think the hardware upgrades would put the Desire out of reach. But if it is, that's only because it was out of reach to begin with. Despite the beefier hardware, the MSRP hasn't budged an inch! Well played, Dell. Now how about sharing a bit more about the Adamo XPS?
If it looks like a netbook and comes priced like a netbook, then surely it is a netbook, right? Not necessarily. Acer's new AS1410 may look the part of an underpowered PC, but on the inside, Acer's traded the low rent hardware found in just about every netbook for a slightly more powerful setup.
Instead of Intel's Atom platform, the 11.6-inch AS1410 comes built around a Celeron SU2300 processor (1.2GHz, 1MB L2 cache, 800MHz frontside bus). Not exactly a screamer, but a definite step up from the N270 and N280 chips that litter the netbook landscape.
It also comes with 2GB of DDR2-667 RAM, or twice as much as you'll find in a netbook. Other specs include a 160GB hard drive upgradeable to 250GB, Intel's GMA 4500MHD graphics, a multi-card reader, three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI port, 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
Acer says the AS1410 will be available in time for the holidays with prices starting at $400.
True to the company's prediction, Acer can finally chant, "We're number one!," so long as they're chanting it in Taiwan. That's because the PC maker's brand value has been appraised at $1.241 billion, the highest value of any Taiwan-based global brand in 2009, according to the government-sponsored Taiwan External Trade Development Council.
This is the first time Acer has ever taken the top spot, after coming in third in 2008 and 2007 with brand values of $1.265 billion and $1.069 billion, respectively.
Acer leapfrogged both Asus (formerly No. 2, now No. 3) and Trend Micro (formerly No. 1, now No. 2) to grab the top spot, but not by much. Trend Micro is close behind with a brand-value appraised at $1.235 billion, and $1.226 billion for Asus.
D-Link also had a good year, moving from the 13th spot up to No. 7 and now valued at $190 million.
Lenovo has let it be known that every single ThinkPad laptop and ThinkCentre desktop PC will come with Skype already installed.
"If you're fortunate enough to get your hands on a Lenovo ThinkPad or ThinkCentre for your home or office, be sure to keep an eye out for Skype," said Peter Parkes, Skype's chief blogger.
That's great news for private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, who bought a 65 percent share of the company last month and would like nothing more than to see Skype's market share continue to grow. While terms of the Lenovo deal have not been disclosed, there's a reason why software companies pay tidy sums to have their apps come pre-installed on OEM systems.
As for consumers, you can view it as another piece of bloatware to be nuked after first firing up your new PC, or a handy pre-install of an app you may already use anyway.
Perhaps in the future, all notebooks will measure a mere 9.99 mm thick, rendering today's laptops laughably obese by comparison. And if we're to take Dell's upcoming Adamo XPS as a representative of things to come, you can kiss the "open" button goodbye.
According to a report in BusinessWeek, Dell's super-slim notebook will feature a "heat-sensing strip on the lip that, when swiped with a finger, glows white and automatically opens the aluminum lid."
The article wasn't focused on the Adamo, however, and unfortunately no other details were given, so we still don't know what kind of hardware Dell plans to cram inside the skinny frame.
Look out Dell, Acer's hot on your heels and the OEM knows it. The Taiwanese manufacturer is confident it will leapfrog Dell for the No. 1 spot in the US, saying it believes it will dethrone the OEM sometime within the next two quarters.
And Acer isn't just beating its chest, either. According to data from research firm Gartner, Acer is on pace to claim a larger share of the global market in the third quarter, although it has a ways to go before it will catch up to Dell in the U.S, where the OEM owns a 26.2 percent share of the market., comfortably ahead of Acer's 13.9 percent.
It wasn't just Dell that Acer has in its sights. According to The Wall Street Journal, Acer president Gianfranco Lanci believes his company will also surge past HP when it comes to notebooks, netbooks, and smartphones.