These all-in-one machines don't rely on wimpy integrated graphics for gaming
Whether it's little Billy headed off to college or dad needing a new rig for his office, space saving designs seem to be the popular choice these days. The all-in-one (AIO) form factor is especially popular right now, and luckily there are companies that are focused on delivering high-end hardware inside these machines. Meet MSI, which just unveiled three different size AIO machines for gamers, starting with the 21.5-inch AG220.
Eurocom on Thursday added to its mobile lineup by announcing the Shark 3, a 15.6-inch laptop intended for users looking for an upgradeable and secure system with high performance parts. The Shark 3 comes stock with an Intel Core i5 4200M processor based on Haswell, Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M GPU, and a 500GB hard drive (7200 RPM), though you can expand its storage well beyond that.
Boutique builder Maingear is now letting users configure desktops with Nvidia's dual-GPU GeForce GTX Titan Z graphics card. The GPU option is available across Maingear's entire line of desktops, including the SHIFT, F131, Vybe, Rush, and Force. Not for the faint of wallet, pricing starts at just under $4,300 for a Vybe H81 equipped with a Titan Z, though if you're going that route, we suggest making a few upgrades.
Many devices preloaded with the free SKU to be unveiled over the coming weeks
Microsoft is now getting very serious about taking the fight to all those low-cost Android tablets and cheap Chromebooks. Hot on the heels of its decision to begin offering OEMs free Windows licenses for building sub-9-inch devices, the Redmond-based tech bellwether on Friday announced a new version of Windows that will be offered free of cost to device manufacturers regardless of screen size.
Customize a gaming laptop just like you would a desktop
Boutique builder iBuyPower is introducing OptiBoost, a fancy name for a customization program that will offer many of the same configuration options when shopping for a gaming laptop as you'll find when customizing a desktop PC. iBuyPower isn't really breaking new ground here, but presumably you'll have more options to choose from than when typically shopping a laptop PC. And to kick things off, iBuyPower will offer its OptiBoost program on select Gigabyte gaming notebooks.
AVADirect, the boutique system builder based in Ohio, is now offering Supermicro FatTwin 4U server solutions with up to Intel Octa-Xeon processing and dedicated GPU options. The FatTwin uses a four-blade form factor that can be stuffed with high-end hardware, depending on what you're trying to accomplish. According to AVADirect, the FatTwin is adept at a number of different tasks, including complex calculations, video rendering, 3D modeling, simulation, multi-virtual machine environments, hosting, and more.
Dell is up to the challenge of pushing Steam Machines through its Alienware arm
After much hype, the hoopla surrounding Valve's Steam Machine initiative seems to have died down, though it's only the calm before the storm. They're coming, and though Valve won't receive royalties from PC makers who build Steam Machines around its Linux-based Steam OS, there is sufficient pressure to keep pricing on the level of traditional game consoles. This is something Alienware admits will be a challenge, though it's one the company is more than happy to tackle.
Boutique builder stretches beyond its gaming roots
CyberPowerPC is probably best known for its line of gaming systems comprised of off-the-shelf parts that you could otherwise buy yourself at places like Newegg and Amazon. However, don't cast the company as a one-trick pony. The boutique builder actually offers a variety of systems, and today CyberPowerPC introduced its new Power Mega Pro Series of workstation systems with professional graphics card options and choice of AMD or Intel inside.
You may have thought that netbooks had vanished from the modern era, but that's only partially true. Nobody really cares about Windows-based netbooks anymore, but would they buy one built around Android? Archos is determined to find out with its ArcBook, a 10.1-inch laptop running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. We've seen low cost Android laptops before, but according to Archos, the ArcBook is the world's first Android netbook with a touchscreen display.