Retail PC sales rise up on Chromebook and Mac shipments
As we've said time and again, the PC sector is alive is well. According to NPD Group, retail PC sales grew nearly 3 percent during the 10-week back-to-school shopping season that went from July 4th through Labor Day week), compared to a 2.5 percent decline in the same period a year ago. Where things get interesting is when you break down those sales to look for trends in consumer spending.
Look for lower priced SSDs in the coming weeks and months
We have to admit, we've been spoiled by solid state drive price drops in the past year or so. While once considered cost prohibitive by many, SSDs are mostly affordable these days, provided you're not trying to match your 4TB hard drive in capacity. SSDs typically sell for less than 50 cents per gigabyte with prices continuing to drop. Accelerating the process is a price war in China that's leading to even lower cost SSDs.
Intel is turning to China to help the chip maker become a more competitive force in the mobile industry. Part of Intel's strategy is to invest up to $1.5 billion for a 20 percent stake in two Chinese mobile chipmakers, Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics. The investment is being made under holding company Tsinghua Unigroup, an operating subsidiary of Tsinghua Holdings Col, Ltd., a solely-owned limited liability corporation funded by Tsinghua University in China.
We've seen our share of colorful motherboards with loud designs that scream, "Hey, look at me!" They're typically aimed at gamers, overclockers, and enthusiasts in general, and so is MSI's Z97S SLI Krait Edition motherboard, though it's an attention-getter for a different reason. Rather than draw eyeballs with flashing LEDs and a range of colors, MSI opted for a classy black and white scheme.
Samsung, one of the biggest participants in Google's Chromebook movement, is planning to cease all laptop sales in Europe, multiple outlets are reporting. The decision effectively ends Samsung's presence as a traditional PC player in Europe, as it doesn't sell deskop computers in the region, either. Samsung does, however, continue to sell tablet PCs and smartphones in Europe.
First major complaint of the iPhone 6 Plus emerges
Some of Apple's iPhone launches have been marred by controversial design flaws, such as the iPhone 4's antenna issue in which Steve Jobs accused owners of holding their handsets the wrong way, and the iPhone 5's tendency to ruin photos with a purple flare when there's a bright light source (a side effect of the sapphire glass covering the phone's camera). Well, you can add the iPhone 6 Plus to the list -- some users are complaining that their ultra-thin iPhone 6 Plus phones are bending out of shape just by having the handsets in their pockets.
ARM on Wednesday unveiled its Cortex-M7 processor, a 32-bit part that offers double the compute and digital signal processing (DSP) capability of today's most powerful ARM-based MCUs. The company intends for its Cortex-M7 chip to find a home inside high-end embedded applications in next generation vehicles, connected devices (think: Internet of Things, or IoT), smart appliances, and more.
One of my favorite mice of all time is Razer's original DeathAdder. Back before I wore the thing out, it felt comfortable, was lightweight and responsive, and didn't overburden me with too many buttons. Just an all-around solid mouse that Razer claims is still the best-selling gaming rodent since it was released in 2006. Fast forward to today and the original is now better than ever -- Razer just announced the DeathAdder Chroma, essentially a tweaked version of the original with a higher DPI and fancy lights.
Watch video from your PC or Android device on your big screen TV
Have you ever tried to show a friend or family member a video of something funny on the Internet only to find yourself surrounded by several other people, all of which are trying to see what all the fuss is about? The smell of Aunt Linda's perfume combined with Uncle Andy's insistence that you start the video over can drive a person mad. If you happen to own a Miracast-enabled device, the solution is simple -- meet Microsoft's new Wireless Display Adapter.
German peripherals maker Roccat just added the Kave XTD Stereo to its growing line of audio peripherals, along with a combat themed version that it's calling Kave XTD Stereo Military. Other than the color scheme, these two headsets are the same -- both sport 50mm neodymium magnet drivers shoved inside padded earcups. According to Roccat, these are ultra-lightweight but durable headsets.