Yes, we used "Vizio" and "premium" in the same sentence.
Who would have thought that Vizio would make a splash in the PC market, and do so at a time when tablets and smartphones are all the rage? Vizio made its move into PC territory last June by introducing a line of all-in-one systems and Ultrabooks with unibody designs similar in style to Apple's MacBook Air (but at a fraction of the cost), and now it's refreshing its lineup with upgraded features, including touchscreen panels for Windows 8.
Microsoft evidently wants to prove that it has game, and what better way to do that than by teaming with a respected boutique system builder to sell a somewhat compact gaming machine in its retail stores? Effective immediately, you can purchase Maingear's Potenza Super Stock gaming system at Microsoft's retail stores or online. The obvious downside is the lack of customization options, though you can still configure and purchase the same machine on Maingear's website, too.
There was a time when all-in-one (AIO) systems carried a hefty pricing premium. Some still do, but if your Google-fu is strong, you can find affordable AIOs that won't put you in the poor house. Lenovo's new ThinkCentre Edge 62z is one such example, falling into the affordable category with a starting price of $549, which is cheaper than most Ultrabooks. Is it as powerful?
Give us a full tower PC loaded to the top with high-end hardware any day of the week, though we'll concede there are viable applications for small form factor (SFF) mini PCs that are tiny enough to hold comfortably in your hand. Intel made us a believer with its Next Unit of Computing (NUC), a surprisingly powerful pint-sized PC, and now Stealth has announced a potent and portable system of its own.
Pricing starts at $2,762 for a Hailstorm II system.
Boutique system builder Digital Storm claims it's the first system integrator to build a gaming PC line -- Hailstorm II -- inside Corsair's Obsidian Series 900D chassis. Digital Storm chose Corsair's case with good reason. It offers space for up to four radiators ranging from 140mm to 480mm, and can accommodate up to four graphics cards, as well as multiple processors, depending on your budget.
Even the shade of black on the new ThinkPad is different from before.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet the ThinkPad T431s, a new business-class Ultrabook from Lenovo that's the thinnest T series ever built. That in and of itself isn't surprising -- PC manufacturers are making a concerted effort towards building thinner and lighter Ultrabooks and noteboks -- but some of the design changes are certainly interesting. Lenovo bid adieu to a handful of signature features, including the right and left buttons below the trackpad.
Boutique system builder CyberPowerPC opened up its armory and grabbed a handful of new weapons to hand out to its LAN Gaming Series. Gamers can now build a small form factor (SFF) LAN III system based on Intel's flagship X79 platform with 3rd generation Core i5/i7 (Ivy Bridge) processor options, or opt for an AMD 990FX foundation topped with up to an 8-core Vishera CPU, both of which are flanked by the latest AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.
A rift may be forming between Piston Console maker Xi3 and Valve.
A partially transparent veil of secrecy hangs over Xi3's pint-sized Piston Console. When first unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year, some surmised it was the official Steam Box, though Xi3 never came out and said it. And now that Xi3 is taking pre-orders, there's still no mention of it being a Steam Box, though it's clearly intended for living room gaming using Steam's Big Picture mode. Xi3 released a statement today that adds a little insight into its relationship with Valve, and also hints that things aren't as rosy between the two as previously thought.
Dell's XPS 18 falls into the 'portable all-in-one' category.
It used to be that touch support was a unique characteristic of all-in-one systems, but with Windows 8 encouraging PC makers to embrace touchscreen panels on all their systems, it no longer stands out. Not by itself, anyway. Dell found a new way to stand out from the crowd with its XPS 18, a portable all-in-one system that doubles as a gigantic tablet. It has an 18.4-inch Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) capacitive touchscreen display that, when folded down, is a slate that's twice as large as Apple's iPad.
The Transformer AiO features a detachable 18.4-inch display.
Is the Transformer AiO a moderately sized all-in-one (AIO) system or a ginormous tablet PC? The answer is both! Asus today introduced what it claims is the world's first AIO PC with a detachable display, and to the best of our knowledge, it truly is. The detachable IPS panel measures 18.4 inches and features a Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) resolution, LED backlighting, and 10 points of capacitive multi-touch.