VAIO PCs didn't fit in with Sony's reform strategy
There's a good chance you may never see a new Vaio PC sold in the United States ever again. We're not necessarily jumping to that conclusion, though it's a strong possibility since Sony just agreed to sell its Vaio PC business to Japan Industrial Partners Inc., a Japanese investment firm. By getting rid of its Vaio division, Sony frees itself up to focus on mobile, and specifically smartphones and tablets.
Google has to be pleased with the growing popularity of Chromebooks, which are laptops built around the search giant's cloud-based Chrome OS. If you're interested in Chromebooks but have yet to pick one up, you have another model to choose from. New to the U.S. market is Toshiba's first Chromebook, a 13.3-inch machine with an Intel Celeron 2955U processor.
Zotac, a company that's best known for its line of mini PCs, just fleshed out its Zbox family with a new model. The newly introduced Zbox ID45 comes to town wielding a 3rd Generation Intel Core i3 processor (Ivy Bridge) paired with Nvidia GeForce GT 640 graphics. It's a bit of a blast to the past to see a new system rocking a last generation foundation, though Zotac claims this combination offers plenty of performance while remaing energy efficient.
MSI today announced the arrival of its new GX Series of gaming laptops with AMD inside. These include the 15.6-inch GX60 Destroyer and 17.3-inch GX70 Destroyer, both with Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) non-reflective displays. Both models also feature the same APU and GPU -- an AMD A10-5750 processor clocked at 2.3GHz (3.5GHz Turbo) and AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics.
A potential candidate for a home brewed Steam Machine
It appears Powercolor is getting ready to launch a passively cooled version of AMD's Radeon R9 270 graphics card. Powercolor has yet to formally introduce what it's calling the R9 270 SCS3 edition, but if you look around the web, you'll discover some overseas retailers listing the SKU, including one that managed to get its hands on a press photo of the upcoming card.
If you're on the fence about which subscription-based streaming music service to cozy up with, Microsoft has an offer it hopes you'll find too good to refuse. That offer is a free Nokia Lumia 520 or 521 handset when you purchase a 12-month pass to Xbox Music. That's not a bad deal on a couple of levels, the first being that you're essentially receiving two months free by paying for a year in advance -- Xbox Music typically runs $9.99 per month.
Rumor has it Lenovo is interested in Sony's Vaio PC business
Reports emerged over the weekend claiming Lenovo, the world's No. 1 PC maker in terms of shipments, has been in talks with Sony about a possible joint venture involving the sale of Sony's Vaio PC business. Considering that Sony's Vaio PC division is operating at a loss, not to mention Lenovo having just announced plans to purchase Motorola Mobility for $2.91 billion, investors are spooked.
One of the things that helped drive down the price of Android tablets is the proliferation of smaller size displays in the 7-inch range. This is partially what allowed companies like Amazon and Google to undercut the competition at a time when the market was flooded with 10-inch tablets for $500 and up. This correlation in price also works in reverse, as evidenced by Samsung's 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro commanding $850 at Office Depot.
High performance Ultrabooks from Acer boast WQHD IPS displays
It took some time for Ultrabooks to come down in price after they were first introduced, and now that affordable models are fairly commonplace, let's not forget that there are still high-end features waiting for anyone willing to spend a premium. Acer's new S7 line with Wide Quad High-Definition (WQHD) displays are prime examples. Priced at $1,500 (S7-392-6425) and $1,800 (S7-392-9430), Acer's S7 Ultrabooks boasts some top shelf components, including a 2560x1440 display.
It doesn't take a monster system to run Microsoft Office or surf the web, hence why we're starting to see so many small form factor (SFF) PCs as of late. One of the newest SFF rigs to emerge is the Asus Eee Box EB1037, which is a mini-desktop system that looks like a router but is a full-fledged PC build around Intel's Bay Trail platform with a Celeron J1900 quad-core processor clocked at 2GHz.