Haswell is here, and if you haven't already, be sure to check out our in-depth review. We'll wait. (Twiddles thumbs). Up to speed? Great, now let's take a look at what Dell has been up to with Intel's latest microarchitecture. Turns out the OEM has been quite the busy body refreshing a plethora of products, everything from its XPS 27 all-in-one (AIO) to its console-esque Alienware X51 small form factor (SFF) gaming PC.
Small form factor (SFF) PCs have been around for a long while, but now we're starting to see ultra compact systems with powerful components emerge into the market place. Enter Gigabyte and its new BRIX desktop, a square-shaped PC that fits in the palm of your hand just like Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) device, it sports a stylish glass surface mounted on an anthracite aluminum frame.
Dell's future is as uncertain as it's ever been, and not just because the PC market is in a slump as consumers flock to mobile devices. The other major unknown is whether Dell will ultimately accept Michael Dell's proposed $24.4 billion buyout offer and go private, or if the board will be swayed by Carl Icahn's alternate deal that would keep the company public. As all this unfolds, Dell (the company) is seeing its profits get sucked into a vortex of uncertainty.
Lenovo first began showing off its IdeaPad Yoga 11S at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this past January, and now four months later, you can place your pre-order on Lenovo's website or through Best Buy, the latter of which will carry the hybrid laptop in stores starting June 23. Why is it called Yoga? Simply put, Lenovo's convertible bends in ways that makes our back ache just looking at it.
Microsoft is trying to make a play in mobile with its touch-tastic Windows 8 platform, while Android remains the popular choice among those who don't want an iPad. Rather than choose which one to roll with, Hewlett-Packard (HP) went and launched a pair of detachable PCs built around both platforms, essentially passing the buck onto you, Joe and Jane Consumer, as to which platform to invest in.
Bringing a bit of peace and quiet to the workstation.
Quiet computing is an art form that isn't easily mastered, but once achieved, you'll wonder how you ever managed to tolerate a roaring PC. AVADirect claims you won't have to with its whisper quiet workstation configurations. There are two models to choose from, one with a single Xeon processor and other with two Xeon parts inside, both of which have been carefully constructed to keep a low noise profile.
When you fire up Origin PC's EON17-SLX SLI laptop, it should play George Thorogood's "Bad to the Bone," lest anyone can think of a more appropriate song to describe the hardware inside. As the name suggests, this badass notebook has been fed not one, but TWO Nvidia GeForce GTX 680M graphics cards, both of which Origin PC takes the time to overclock before shipping out.
Small form factor (SFF) computing meets up with Ivy Bridge.
When you stop and think about it, the amount of power in some of today's mini PC systems is pretty amazing. Enter Zotac, a company that lives and breathes small form factor (SFF) systems under its Zbox line, which today it infused with an Intel Core i5 3470T processor. It's a respectable desktop part built around Intel's Ivy Bridge architecture with two processing cores clocked at 2.9GHz (3.6GHz via Turbo), 3MB of cache, and a rated max TDP of 35W -- plenty powerful enough for general purpose computing.
Ultrabooks and tablets are fine for what they're intended to do, but if you want to play a game like Crysis 3 at a high resolution, good luck trying to so on Integrated graphics. Gaming notebooks, while bulky, flex significantly more pixel pushing power, and that's especially true of MSI's new GX70 laptop, a system the company claims is "officially recommended for Crysis 3." MSI's marketing spin aside, this thing wields a pretty powerful Radeon HD 8970M GPU.
When's the last time you saw "Vaio" and "affordable" in the same sentence?
Sony's Vaio line doesn't have a reputation for being friendly to budgets, but that's about to change with the introduction of new Vaio Fit laptops and Ultrabooks. Pricing starts at $549, which isn't exactly netbook territory but is a far cry from being expensive for a notebook. For that kind of dough, Sony will sell you a Fit E 14E model, which is a 14-inch laptop that's thin, light, and made of aluminum.