New SoCs give Intel a greater presence in the mobile sector
The mobile device category is dominated by ARM-based processors, and that's something that doesn't sit well with Intel. The Santa Clara chip maker is used to being on top of the semiconductor world, and in the mobile space, Intel will attempt to wrestle some share away from ARM with its new 64-bit Atom Z3480 processor, otherwise known as Merrifield, which is a quad-core part intended for Android devices.
It worked for netbooks, can it also work for entry-level laptops?
Regardless of how power users feel about Chromebooks, they're selling, and they're selling well. In fact, a Samsung Chromebook model is the best selling laptop on Amazon, and out of the top 10 most popular notebooks (in terms of sales), Chromebooks account for half. That's certainly not the landscape Microsoft envisioned when it released Windows 8, and to counter the Chromebook movement, the company is reportedly planning to slash Windows 8.1 licensing fees by 70 percent.
SanDisk has been on a tear lately. Following up the launch of its Extreme Pro SDHC/SDXC UHS-II card earlier this month, which it bills as the fastest SD card from here to the edge of the galaxy, SanDisk today announced its new 128GB Ultra microSDXC UHS-1 memory card, which offers the most capacity of any microSD card ever made. That's a pretty impressive amount of storage for a part that's smaller than the size of a fingernail.
Mobile World Congress kicks off today, which means a bevy of mobile announcements this week. It starts with Lenovo, the world's top PC company, announcing three new smartphones as part of its S series. They include the S860, S850, and S660, all three of which come equipped with a quad-core processor and longer battery life than Lenovo's previous generation models, the company says.
Lenovo's Yoga tablet hasn't been out very long, having been announced last fall, but today Lenovo announced an update to the device that's quite pleasantly surprising. The Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ sports newer and updated hardware as well as some additional alterations to make it a lucrative buy for anyone looking for a new tablet to add to their collection.
Smaller size systems don't signal the end of overclocking
We still find full tower system sexy as ever, but there's a definite trend right now toward small form factor (SFF) rigs. Valve is partially responsible for the movement as it finds ways to encourage PC gamers to play in the living room via Big Picture Mode and Steam Machines, both of which are proving popular. Wondering what impact this trend will have on overclocking? No doubt trying to overclock in tightly packed systems becomes a bigger challenge due to higher temps, but it's not impossible -- just ask the folks at G.Skill who overclocked a set of Ripjaws SO-DIMM memory to DDR3-2600 speeds.
New GX V3 series from Cougar boast 80 Plus Gold certification
Gamers are a demanding bunch, and if you're a PC component or peripheral maker, you better bring your A-game or risk being called out for gimmicky features. Cougar, a name you don't hear too often in the U.S., thinks its new GX V3 power supply family makes the cut. These units are being billed as high-end PSUs specifically for gamers, which starts with 80 Plus Gold level efficiency.
Video shows an inside look at Crucial's manufacturing process
It's not too often that system builders and related component makers pull the curtain back to reveal what goes on behind the scenes, but that's exactly what Micron did with its Crucial division. Crucial Ballistix memory is built entirely in-house and is designed and developed by parent company Micron. In a video recently posted to YouTube, Micron shows how its Crucial Balistix RAM is manufactured and tested.
Never heard of Feenix, you say? The company is a relative newcomer to the field of PC peripherals and appears to be trying to make a splash by combining elegant designs with premium crafted components. Fleshing out a limited (but growing) catalog of peripherals is the Aria, which Feenix claims is a "studio grade" headphone and microphone combination. Let's take a peek at the specs.
If you thought Toshiba might simply hand over all solid state drive chores to its recently acquired OCZ Storage Solutions subsidiary, think again. Toshiba will continue to build its own brand SSDs alongside OCZ and today announced its new HG6 series. It's the newest edition to the HG family and is intended for a wide range of applications, everything from ultrabooks and ultrathins to data center servers.