Few companies in the PC industry can escape the resonating effects of the hard drive shortage caused by recent flooding in Thailand. It's had a bigger impact than simply doubling, and in some cases, tripling the cost of hard drives, the shortage also creates challenges for PC makers who buy HDDs in bulk and build systems around them. Making the best of a bad situation, Jon Bach, founder of Puget Systems, explains how his company plans to cope with an outside-the-box solution.
With November quickly winding down and Black Friday right around the corner, the holiday shopping season is about to begin. That leaves you precious little time to configure a system online and have it shipped in time to qualify you as the best dad/mom/husband/wife ever this holiday, assuming you're not building your own. Or you could check out Origin PC's new Millennium RTS (Ready-To-Ship), the first in a new line of systems that are pre-configured and ready for the delivery truck.
Everybody and their uncle is hot to trot with Intel's X79 platform, and that includes boutique system builder AVADirect. Most of the systems we've seen have been geared towards balls-to-the-wall performance, which definitely tickles our fancy, but so does the idea of a silent or low-noise PC build on top of Sandy Bridge-E. For about $1,900 and change, AVADirect says you can own one.
The flooding in Thailand and subsequent hard drive shortage has been covered extensively here and elsewhere on the Web, and it's almost always bad news. However, Stealth Computer, makers of rugged PCs and peripherals, is promising continued on-time delivery no matter what the situation is overseas. What's more, Stealth Computer says it has absolutely no plans to jack up the price of any of its base systems.
If imitation is truly the sincerest form of flattery, Apple should be blushing. That's because Hewlett-Packard went and redesigned its Envy notebooks, which now bear a striking resemblance to the MacBook Pro, only a little sleeker overall, and of course with Windows 7 running the software show. The Envy is now an attractive looking laptop with a black and silver metal-alloy chassis that HP says is durable, and the keyboard has been upgraded with a backlight.
With the launch of Intel's Core i7 3930K six-core Sandy Bridge-E processor, companies we haven't heard from in awhile are coming out of the woodwork to announce products built around or for Intel's X79 chipset. One of the those companies is Digital Storm, a boutique system builder that now offers a pre-configured Level 4 gaming PC that's about as no-compromise as we've ever seen in a pre-assembled system.
Hewlett-Packard long ago punched its ticket to ride the 3D bandwagon, but up until now, HP left its all-in-one passengers behind. Not anymore. The new HP TouchSmart 620-1080 3D Edition PC is everything it sounds like -- an AIO system with a 3D display -- plus a little bit more. Or as HP likes to call it, "the ultimate laid-back family entertainment center -- now with 3D."
Dell's ultrathin, ultraportable, or ultra-whatever-you-want-call-it (just don't call it an Ultrabook) XPS 14z is now available for sale in several configurations starting at $1,000. Dell's pitching this as "the world's thinnest, fully featured laptop with a built-in DVD player" and it figures to give Apple's MacBook Pro a run for its money in both form and function (as well as price).
Space saving all-in-one (AIO) desktops seem to be all the rage lately, and far be it for Acer to try and fight this trend. Just the opposite, Acer is embracing it with several new and affordable AIO models for both home consumers and business customers. For the home user, Acer trots out the 21.5-inch AZ3 Series and 23-inch AZ5 Series, while business users have a pair of new models of their own to choose from under Acer's Veriton Z Series. Let's break them down.
You won't find any swirling LEDs or one-touch overclocking buttons on Lenovo's new ThinkCentre M77 desktop. Instead, this machine is all business, "crafted for professionals" looking for a "powerful, secure, energy efficient yet easy to use computer to tackle everyday office tasks," Lenovo says. Sounds like a snoozer until you realize it's (optionally) powered by an AMD FX Series processor and up to 16GB of DDR3 memory.