Sorry kids, but what you see on the horizon is the back-to-school shopping season -- always a buzz kill when you're knee deep in summer activities you wish would last forever. And with the back-to-school shopping season comes new laptop announcements. Case in point, Acer today is thumping its chest over having launched the first Chromebook to sport a 4th Generation Intel Core i3 processor inside its belly.
Dell's Alienware Aurora gaming desktop is getting an introduction to Nvidia's mighty Titan Z graphics card, and vice versa. That's to say that you can now configure an Alienware Aurora desktop with a Titan Z graphics card, and to kick off the coming together of two powerhouses, the starting price has been temporarily reduced from $3,799 to $3,609.05, a savings just shy of $190.
Configure a custom mini ITX system with a full size videocard
It's often said that big things come in small packages, and to prove it, CyberPowerPC is encouraging consumers to try out its new custom SFF Configurator. This allows customers to choose from what CyberPowerPC claims is a "carefully selected menu of high-end components" to piece together the ultimate mini-ITX gaming machine. And with the back-to-school season not too far off in the future, these space saving systems would fit nicely in a dorm room.
A pair of purpose-built laptops with interchangeable parts
Fujitsu is hoping to win over IT admins and business users with a couple of new enterprise-class E Series Lifebooks. They include the 14-inch Lifebook E544 and 15.6-inch Lifebook E554, each of which sport "numerous" interchangeable components intended to help IT admins manage large-scale roll outs by simplifying maintenance and management when things go wrong (or upgrades are needed).
Configure a workstation with up to 64 CPU cores and 1TB of RAM
Building quad socket workstations isn't new territory for Puget Systems -- the company's been offering such setups for several years now. However, the boutique builder just refreshed two of its models to offer more capacity, better cooling, and quieter operation. You can configure a Peak Quad Intel Xeon machine with up to 48 CPU cores and the Peak Quad AMD Opteron setup with up to 64 CPU cores.
MSI joins iBuyPower's customizable OptiBoost program
Your options for configuring a name brand gaming laptop from iBuyPower are expanding. As part of what iBuyPower is calling its Optiboost program, select notebook makers are teaming up with the boutique builder to offer customizable laptops. iBuyPower kicked off its Optiboost program last month with Gigabyte, and now MSI is joining the program with five different laptops to choose from.
Boutique builder Origin PC is hoping to attract a bit of extra business this summer by kicking off its 4th of July promotion. In short, if you purchase a Genesis, Millennium, or Chronos desktop or EON laptop, you'll receive free U.S. ground shipping, plus the choice of a single peripheral from Razer. You can choose between an Origin PC Edition Razer BlackWidow keyboard, Origin PC Edition Razer Taipan Mouse with a Goliathus mousemat, or a Razer Kraken Pro headset.
Today we'll begin to find out if Microsoft is on the right track with its Surface hardware. As the company promised, Surface Pro 3 is available at retail stores, online, and through authorized resellers in the U.S. and Canada today, exactly one month after Microsoft announced the upgraded device during a press event in New York City. The caveat? Only the Core i5 version is available straight away.
Three Benjamins gets you a pre-built rig for general computing chores
If you need a high-end gaming rig or a machine that can tear through content creation chores like a chainsaw through butter, move along, there's nothing to see here. However, if you need a general purpose system for scrolling through Facebook, firing off emails, typing up reports, and that sort of thing, keep reading. Boutique builder CyberPowerPC has teamed up with Newegg to offer the "Everyman Quad Core (EQ100)" PC for $300.
A PC/gaming console that boots directly into Steam Big Picture mode
Let's just come out and say it -- Valve dropped the ball with its Steam Machine initiative. Rather than let its hardware vendors run with their own brand Steam Machines that they've been developing for the past year, Valve decided to delay things until next year while it tweaks its Steam Controller, an integral component of any machine that might use the "Steam Machine" designation. That decision left OEMs and boutique system builders in an awkward place, but rather than let their hardware designs collect dust, we're seeing them reborn as Windows-based PC consoles that boot right into Steam Big Picture mode. The newest PC console to take this approach is CyberPowerPC's Syber system. Let's have a look.