Things are looking up in the server market, and at the same time, they're looking down as well. Say what? According to market research firm Gartner, worldwide server shipments grew 3.2 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2013, though overall revenue dipped 6.6 percent compared to the same quarter in 2012. Likewise, server shipments for all of 2013 rose 2.1 percent while revenue declined 4.5 percent.
Acer is closing out the month of February by offering up its K272HUL, a 27-inch monitor with an ultra-sharp WQHD (2560x1440) resolution in a 16:9 aspect ratio. An ergonomic frame props up the large screen display with 5 to 25 degrees of tilt action. You can also mount the monitor to your wall and have it sit relatively flat (the monitor measures 2 inches deep by 17.4 inches wide by 10.5 inches high).
Hardware makers are in a mad rush to cash in on the mobile craze, including smartphones, which are hot ticket items right now. However, growth in the smartphone sector won't always be astronomical, as has mostly been the case up to this point. Instead, market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that smartphone growth will drop to single-digit territory within the next few years.
Latest SSDs from Intel use a 3rd generation controller built in-house
Intel on Thursday launched a new line of solid state drives built specifically for power users and enthusiasts. The new 730 Series enters the performance storage scene wielding 20nm MLC (multi-level cell) NAND flash memory chips and a third generation Intel controller rather than SandForce silicon as found on the company's 530 Series. According to Intel, the 730 Series was built with DNA extracted from the data center and tuned for gamers and other consumers that require speed and reliability.
AMD looks to increase its presence in the tablet market
It's not just Intel that wants to twist some tablet market share out of ARM's grip. AMD sees an opportunity to generate additional revenue as well. The Sunnyvale chip designer is currently showing off a reference tablet built around its 28nm Mullins chip, which is a quad-core part clocked at 1.2GHz. It's also running a 64-bit operating system -- Windows 8.1 with performance described as being "quite good."
While 3D printing may have started out as a niche hobby, it's starting to turn into a popular pastime for creative types and even mainstream users who simply like the novelty of printing out their own tchotchkes. The category still has a long way to go before 3D printers truly become commonplace, but moving in that direction, MakerBot is selling its Replicator Mini, a compact 3D printer with a $1,375 price tag.
As 2013 came and went, there was nary a new Nook tablet in sight. It would be easy to assume Barnes and Noble had given up on tablet hardware, but apparently that's not the case. Instead, Barnes and Noble confirmed it's planning to release a new Nook model sometime this year, though details are sparse -- about the only thing we know is that it's going to be a color device (tablet) as opposed to a black and white model (e-reader).
New top-end mobile chips from Qualcomm bring the boom
Qualcomm just threw down the gauntlet in the mobile handset space by announcing some potent parts. More specifically, Qualcomm unveiled its Snapdragon 610 and Snapdragon 615 chipsets for high-end smartphones. According to Qualcomm, the 615 part is the world's first commercial octa-core solution with integrated LTE and 64-bit capabilities, while the 610 offers the same in a quad-core package.
If your daily work space is on a mountain top or some other tough terrain, an Ultrabook may not be what you need. Instead, GammaTech offers a line of rugged systems, including its new Durabook R8300, a 13.3-inch notebook that's certified to stringent MIL-STD-810G and IP64 specifications. It can withstand drops, getting wet, dust, temperature fluctuations, and other variables that are likely to occur in hostile environments.
Tired of slow file transfers? Assuming your PC has a USB 3.0 port, it might be worth upgrading to a USB 3.0 flash drive. Not all of them are created equal, however, though Toshiba just announced its large-capacity TransMemory Pro USB 3.0 flash drive family with high-speed transfers. Specifically, Toshiba rates the read and write speeds at up to 222MB/s and 205MB/s, respectively.