Putting a laptop in the hands of a child is a gamble in and of itself, let alone deploying a line of notebooks in a classroom filled with kindergarten students. Accidents happen, but rather than ignore the education segment, Lenovo on Wednesday announced a couple of ruggedized ThinkPad models built specifically for K-12 students. These include the ThinkPad 11e and the ThinkPad Yoga 11e.
AMD's foray into ARM-based server SoCs begins with the Opteron A Series
A milestone has been reached in Sunnyvale less than a month into 2014. Chip designer AMD formally introduced its first 64-bit ARM-based server system-on-chip (SoC) previously codenamed "Seattle" and now called Opteron A1100. The chip is fabricated using a 28-nanometer process technology and is the first of its kind from an established server vendor. Along with the new SoC, AMD also unveiled a new development platform intended to make software design on the Opteron A1100 Series quick and easy.
A new crop of small form factor gaming PCs starting at $599
Don't have room for a hulking desktop tower but still want to get your gaming fix? CyberPowerPC may have a solution. The boutique system builder today rolled out eight pre-built Zeus Mini Small Form Factor (SSF) Series PCs ranging in price from $599 to $1,479. In an attempt to cater to all preferences, you'll find Intel and AMD systems rocking AMD and Nvidia graphics solutions.
In case you missed it, Hewlett-Packard (HP) last week began advertising the return of Windows 7 desktops. The OEM said its decision to sell Windows 7 systems in a Windows 8 world was influenced by "popular demand," but what we found interesting is how aggressively the world's second largest PC maker promoted its Windows 7 machines. Was there more than meets the eye? HP today posted a blog further explaining its reasoning for bringing back Windows 7.
Newest NUC boasts support for a single 2.5-inch drive
Intel has its eye on the mini PC market with the introduction of its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) systems, though a limitation of early run versions is that they all used mSATA solid state drives. That in itself isn't a deal killer (though mSATA may not be long for this world), but what did cause problems is having the Wi-Fi card plopped right on top of the mSATA SSD. There were several reports of Wi-Fi issues with first run models (which is something we observed ourselves), possibly as a result of overheating, but with the newest NUC kit, Intel added a 2.5-inch drive bay.
Back in 2011, we took a look at the ioSafe SoloPro USB Backup Drive, which offered a lone SATA hard drive wrapped in a bombproof skeleton of steel, ceramic, and plastic. That drive was awarded a 9/Kick Ass verdict for its ability to withstand both fire and water, which is the typical outcome when a house is engulfed in flames then doused by the local fire department. IoSafe recently released a new drive with even more protection, the N2 NAS RAID, which, as its name implies, is two drives in a redundant array in a NAS box. This top-shelf storage device runs a Synology OS and comes with one year of “no questions asked” data recovery service, so you’re covered if you drop the NAS or your kid drops an ice-cream cone into it. This level of protection doesn’t come cheap though, with N2 selling as a “disk-less” shell for $600, with two 1TB drives for $900, 4TB for $1,000, 6TB for $1,500, and 8TB for $2,000. It includes a one-year hardware warranty and one year of data-recovery service, so even if both hard drives are damaged, ioSafe will pay up to $2,500 per terabyte to recover your data.
Note: This review was originally featured in the November 2013 issue of the magazine.
On the same day that Toshiba announced it finalized its acquisition of OCZ Technology, the newly formed and wholly owned subsidiary OCZ Storage Solutions rolled out its first product release, the Vertex 460 SSD Series. The new family of SSDs is an evolution of the 20nm-based Vertex 450 Series. It employs OCZ's proprietary Barefoot 3 (BF3) M10 controller with Toshiba's 19nm multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory for a high performance solution at mainstream prices.
AMD just fleshed out its Opteron 6300 Series of server processors with a pair of new chips, one of which is a 12-core part and the other a 16-core offering. These additions to what AMD calls "Warshaw" are intended for enterprise applications and feature AMD's "Piledriver" core architecture. They're also fully socket and software compatible with the existing Opteron 6300 Series.
Toshiba on Wednesday finalized the purchase of OCZ Technology Group, making it a wholly owned subsidiary and thus officially marking the end of an era that began over a decade ago. However, it's also a new beginning of sorts -- or a second chance, if you will -- as Toshiba said the division will operate independently as OCZ Storage Solutions and continue to churn out high performance solid state drives.
Wins in the console sector have paid off handsomely
On hindsight, AMD absolutely made the right decision to purchase ATI, an acquisition that was met with some skepticism among analysts at the time. What those analysts couldn't have predicted is that several years later the PC market would find itself in a slump, leaving AMD to lean heavily on its graphics division. In doing so, AMD posted a profit of $89 million, or 12 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2013, rebounding from a $473 million loss, or 63 cents a share, a year prior.