Microsoft today unveiled what it claims is its thinnest keyboard ever, the Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard 6000. As the name suggests, the new plank is aimed exclusively at Bluetooth notebooks and desktop PCs, with Bluetooth-enabled notebooks projected to account for more than 55 percent of all laptops by the end of 2010, Microsoft says.
"The design tenets of compact, clean, and refined really set the state for the success of the keyboard," said Chris Kujawski, industrial designer for Microsoft Hardware. "There is nothing extraneous about the design. We removed everything that didn't fit with those ideas and ended up with something we're really proud of -- a compact, sophisticated keyboard that pairs perfectly with Bluetooth computers."
Measuring "just a few millimeters thicker than a AAA battery at the back," the Bluetooth 6000 sports an ergonomic design with a 6-degree curve, a design Microsoft says is preferred by 94 percent of users who have ever owned a Comfort Curve keyboard.
The Bluetooth plank will be available in October for $90. There will also be a separate Bluetooth Number Pad, which is also be available next month, and priced at $45.
We've been saying for months now that it's only a matter time before DRAM prices go back up and it will no longer be possible to pick up a high capacity kit with just the loose change in your pants pocket. That time hasn't quite come yet, but according to data by DRAMeXchange, prices for 1Gb DDR2 and 1Gb DDR3 are steadily increasing.
As it currently stands, 1Gb of DDR2 runs $1.53 while a Gb of DDR3 costs $1.66. That doesn't sound like much (and it isn't), but those prices represent increases of 8.5 percent for DDR2 and 5.1 percent for DDR3.
Meanwhile, contract prices for 2GB DDR2 and 2GB DDR3 sticks have shot up $27.50 and $29.50, respectively, in just the first half of September, and we still have the rest of the month to go.
Once again, if you've been eying a memory upgrade, you may want to bite the bullet rather than continue to play Russian Roulette with market prices.
Intel has released six new Xeon CPUs based on the Nehalem micro-architecture. Known as the 3400 series, all the chips will have RAID 0/1/5/10 for server operating systems, Error Correcting Code memory, and support for up to 32GB of server system memory. Intel also adds, in marketing-speak, that the 3400 series can "help small businesses grow".
Included in the new lineup is a low power version called the Intel Xeon L3426. The L3426 draws only 45W TDP, making it 188 percent more efficient than the previous generation Xeon X3380.
OEMs seem anxious to get the new chips into servers. Super Micro is already shipping a new line of 1U servers for the Xeon 3400 series. Amax also claims to have 1U server building blocks ready to go. The release coincides with the launch of a number of new MicroATX boards that could be driving adoption.
The recession may be coming to an end, but desktop PC sales may never get back to where they were, according to Ray Chen of Compal Electronics. The company expects to see a 20 percent and 10 percent rise in PC shipments, in the third and fourth quarters respectively. Notebook sales remained strong throughout the recession. This may mean that notebook sales will only continue to grow, as desktop sales remain comparatively stagnant.
Even Apple, whose sales have remained strong, saw a 20 percent decline in desktop sales volume. Some questions remain as businesses may have been holding off on new PC orders during the recession. The corporate world has traditionally chosen desktops over laptops. However, Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for iSuppli, contends that businesses will choose mobility over performance as they place new orders.
According to the report, the consortium’s plan is to develop a highly power-efficient CPU for use in a wide array of consumer electronics. The consortium hopes to deliver the first solar-powered prototype by the end of fiscal 2012.
Contrary to most reports, the new CPU architecture is apparently not aimed at challenging the dominance of Intel’s x86 CPUs, which don’t even dominate the market segment the new CPU will be developed for; the new CPU is intended for the embedded chip market.
With the latest crop of netbooks beginning to sport Intel’s new Atom N280, which features a slightly higher clock speed (1.66GHz vs. 1.6GHz) and a faster front-side bus (667MHz vs. 533MHz), how well does a netbook built around the earlier Atom N270 hold up? To find out, we put Samsung’s NC10 to the test.
The Samsung NC10 is a pearl-white clamshell with a chrome-like strip running around the outer edge of its base. It has a 10.2-inch, LED-backlit, anti-glare monitor; a 1.3MP integrated webcam; 1GB DDR2/667 RAM; a 160GB hard drive; and a 6-cell battery—basically, nothing we haven’t seen before. But while it’s not the newest kid on the block, the NC10 is still more than capable.
MSI joins a growing list of manufacturers to take the easy route and describe a new product as 'Xtreme.' In this case, MSI is referring to its just-released Xtreme Speed motherboard series, which seeks to capitalize on Intel's also just-released P55 platform.
According to MSI, Xtreme Speed boards will integrate three high-power features, including:
OC Genie - Detects and sets performance-optimized CPU, RAM, and chipset settings with the press of a button.
SuperPipe - An 8mm full copper heatpipe that MSI claims is 60 percent thicker than traditional heatpipes. MSI says you can expect boards equipped with its SuperPipe to run up to 50C cooler than those without.
DrMOS - Technology which combines a Driver IC, a Top MOSFET, and a Bottom MOSFET into one chip. MSI says the shorter distance ultimately results in 4 times faster phase switching speed and over 90 percent better power efficiency.
In addition to the above, Xtreme Speed boards will come with MSI's True Blu-ray Audio, power eSATA, a USB safeguard to prevent damage from short-circuits and ESD, active phase change switching (APS), and a handful of other goodies.
Nehalem for everyone! That simple sentence best explains Intel’s brand-new series of CPUs, which is sure to please budget users everywhere while confounding power users.
Why would a new CPU that gives you the best bang for the buck in town be greeted nervously? Because Intel’s new CPU brings with it a new socket as well as a new infrastructure. This new infrastructure is essentially a fork in the road that forces users to make a difficult choice: Save money today but get locked out of the high-end, or splurge today knowing that the budget CPU is damn near as good as the top-end part.
For the details on Intel’s new budget monster, savor our full report, consume the specs, and then digest the benchmarks to see just which path your next PC should take.
For motherboard manufacturers, it's 'out with the old and in with the new,' whether they're ready for the change or not. Citing un-named sources sitting in mobo trenches, DigiTimes says Intel plans to slash the proportion of its G31 IGP chipeset shipments in half, reducing the number from 50 percent to 25 percent in the fourth quarter.
At the same time, Intel also plans to raise the proportion of its G41 shipments to 25 percent, but it remains to be seen how this will play out in terms of sales. According to DigiTimes, motherboard makers appear unwilling to jump on the pricier G41 bandwagon, which costs $7 compared to $4-5 for the G31.
Meanwhile, there already exists a suppy gap of around 20 percent for G31 chipset-based boards, which could reach as high as 50 percent in the fourth quarter. Asrock, ECS, Foxconn, and MSI are expected to suffer the most, as they ship more entry-level boards than Asus and Gigabyte.
Forget about fumbling for batteries in your kitchen junk drawer once your remote loses its juice. If you owned Logitech's new Harmony 700, you could just plug it into the wall with the included adapter to bring it back to life. According to Logitech, the Harmony 700 can go several weeks between charges.
Other tricks include one-click activity buttons for tasks such as "Watch a DVD," a color LCD screen, support for more than 5,000 brands and over 225,000 devices, online setup so you don't have to punch in codes on the remote, and the ability to replace up to six other remotes.
Logitech is taking pre-orders for the $150 rechargeable Harmony, which the company says will ship this month.