Hardware http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/1416/%252Fnews/article/news/gigabyte_bakes_native_pci-e_gen_3_and_ivy_bridge_support_latest_bios_6_series_motherboards%3Fpage%3D4 en AnTuTu Benchmark Supposedly Spills the Beans on Nvidia's Shield 2 Console http://www.maximumpc.com/antutu_benchmark_supposedly_spills_beans_nvidias_shield_2_console_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/shield_2.jpg" alt="Shield" title="Shield" width="228" height="214" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>What could be Nvidia's second generation Shield console makes a benchmark run on AnTuTu</h3> <p>It's been a little less than nine months since Nvidia released its <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/nvidia_shield_review_2013">Shield handheld game console</a> to the public, and while there have been software updates since then, there's already talk of a second generation model with improved hardware. While this hasn't been confirmed as the real deal, news of a <strong>Shield 2 making a benchmarking run at AnTuTu</strong> is making the rounds. Care to venture a guess about its hardware?</p> <p>According to the <a href="http://www.antutu.com/view.shtml?id=7839" target="_blank">benchmark stats</a>, which was first noticed by <a href="http://www.gforgames.com/gadgets/nvidia-shield-sequel-tegra-k1-soc-4gb-ram-42489/" target="_blank"><em>gforgames.com</em></a>, the supposed Shield 2 wields an Nvidia Tegra K1 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz with a Kepler GPU comprised of 192 CUDA cores. The System-on-Chip (SOC) is flanked by 4GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage.</p> <p>The screen resolution is listed at 1440x810, which could indicate that 90 pixels in height are taken up by the on-screen navigation bar. Rounding out the spec sheet is a 0.3MP front-facing camera and Android 4.4.2 KitKat. The device scored 44,500 points in the AnTuTu benchmark.</p> <p>A typo in the spec sheet on AnTuTu gets our BS meter tingling, so take this one with a dash of salt.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/antutu_benchmark_supposedly_spills_beans_nvidias_shield_2_console_2014#comments antutu console Gaming handheld Hardware mobile nvidia shield shield 2 News Wed, 23 Apr 2014 15:53:44 +0000 Paul Lilly 27679 at http://www.maximumpc.com NZXT Phantom 240 Case Floats an Affordable $70 Price Tag http://www.maximumpc.com/nzxt_phantom_240_case_floats_affordable_70_price_tag <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nzxt_phantom_240.jpg" alt="NZXT Phantom 240" title="NZXT Phantom 240" width="228" height="242" style="float: right;" />The least expensive Phantom to date</h3> <p>If you're a fan of NZXT's Phantom case line but tend to gravitate towards less expensive enclosures, you might be interested in the company's newest offering, the Phantom 240. <strong>NZXT's newly released Phantom 240 carries a $70 MSRP</strong>, making it the most affordable Phantom yet. It also sports a new design with a full-view window while maintaining its asymmetrical shape and comes with two FN V2 120mm case fans.</p> <p>Need more cooling? There's room for an additional 120mm fan up front, another on the bottom, and two more on top (or you can opt for 140mm fans on top). Once you've got your airflow scheme figured out, you can route cables out of the way using the 17mm of cable management space behind the right-side panel that NZXT provides. You'll also find seven routing holes and over 20 zip tie points to help with cable management.</p> <p>There's a removable drive cage to make room for extra long graphics cards (up to 400mm without the cage, versus 290mm with the cage). All tallied, the Phantom 240 features three optical bays, six 2.5-inch drive bays, and six 3.5-inc drive bays. On the outside, the I/O panel features audio inputs and two USB 3.0 ports.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.nzxt.com/product/detail/146-p240-phantom-mid-tower" target="_blank">Phantom 240</a> will be available soon.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/nzxt_phantom_240_case_floats_affordable_70_price_tag#comments Build a PC case chassis enclosure Hardware mid-tower nzxt p240 phantom 240 News Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:46:58 +0000 Paul Lilly 27676 at http://www.maximumpc.com Benq Starts Shipping XL-Z Series Monitors Aimed at FPS Gamers http://www.maximumpc.com/benq_starts_shipping_xl-z_series_monitors_aimed_fps_gamers_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/benq_monitor.jpg" alt="Benq XL-Z Monitor" title="Benq XL-Z Monitor" width="228" height="219" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Benq's XL-Z monitors are specifically intended for FPS gamers</h3> <p>Holy buzzwords, Batman -- Benq is pulling out all kinds of fancy pants terms to describe its new XL-Z series of first-person shooter (FPS) purpose-built gaming monitors. <strong>Benq says its XL-Z series monitors have begun shipping</strong>, and if you're a gamer -- particularly an FPS gamer -- the company has several reasons why you might be interested in one of its displays, starting with RevolutionEyes technology.</p> <p>What exactly is it? Good question, so we looked it up. Revolution Eyes is essentially what Benq is calling its collection of technologies that makes its XL-Z series the bees knees. Things like Motion Blur Reduction, Low Blue Light, ZeroFlicker, gaming refresh rate optimization management (GROM), and a 1ms GTG response time are among them. Here, have yourself a look at Benq's YouTube video for a bit more detail:</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/gokKHKYI41Q" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>"The design of our gaming monitors reflects our overall philosophy of delivering market-first features that give gamers an opportunity to conquer the game. That's why we design all of our gaming products in close collaboration with professional gamers," said Bob Wudeck, Associate Vice President, Strategy and Business Development at BenQ America Corp. "With the latest release of our XL-Z series, we've pushed the limits of performance once again by becoming the first major brand to provide Motion Blur Reduction technology for smoother game play. Add in our other exclusive features, and the XL-Z series gives players fully loaded monitors made to turn opponents on their heads."</p> <p>There are three XL-Z series monitors too choose from. They include the <a href="http://www.benq.us/product/monitor/XL2720Z" target="_blank">XL2720Z</a> ($529), XL2420Z ($500), and $XL2411Z ($329).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/benq_starts_shipping_xl-z_series_monitors_aimed_fps_gamers_2014#comments BenQ Build a PC display FPS Gaming Hardware monitor xl-z News Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:59:29 +0000 Paul Lilly 27675 at http://www.maximumpc.com Heads Up: EVGA Now Offers Individually Sleeved Cables for G2 and P2 Power Supply Series http://www.maximumpc.com/heads_evga_now_offers_individually_sleeved_cables_g2_and_p2_power_supply_series_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/sleeved_cable.jpg" alt="EVGA Sleeved Cable" title="EVGA Sleeved Cable" width="228" height="187" style="float: right;" />No visible heat shrink tubing</h3> <p>There are at least a million and one different ways to trick out your PC. One of those ways is to individually sleeve all the wiring for your power supply. The end result looks pretty sweet, assuming you don't drive yourself insane before completing the tedious task. Like most anything else, there's an alternate path to the same end -- toss money at it. If you're willing to pay for the luxury, <strong>EVGA will now sell you individually sleeved cable sets</strong> that support all SuperNova G2 and P2 power supply series.</p> <p>The cable sets are available in red, black, white, and blue. Each kit consists of individually sleeved cables with no visible heat shrink tubing. They come with:</p> <ul> <li>1 x 24-pin ATX cable</li> <li>2 x 4+4 pin EPS12V CPU cable</li> <li>4 x 6+2 pin PCI-E VGA cables</li> <li>2 x 6+2 pin + 6-pin PCI E VGA cables</li> <li>4 x 3 SATA cables</li> <li>1 x 3 Molex cable</li> <li>1 x 2 Molex cable + 1 floppy connector</li> </ul> <p><img src="/files/u69/blue_sleeved_cable.jpg" alt="EVGA Blue Sleeved Cable" title="EVGA Blue Sleeved Cable" width="620" height="488" /></p> <p>Each sleeved cable set runs $90; they're available to <a href="http://www.evga.com/Products/ProductList.aspx?type=10&amp;family=Power+Supplies&amp;chipset=+Power+Supply+Cable+Set+(Individually+Sleeved)" target="_blank">purchase now</a> direct from EVGA.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/heads_evga_now_offers_individually_sleeved_cables_g2_and_p2_power_supply_series_2014#comments Build a PC evga g2 Hardware p2 power supply PSU sleeved cables supernova News Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:53:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 27673 at http://www.maximumpc.com G.Skill First to Offer Low Voltage DDR3 Laptop Memory Clocked at 2133MHz http://www.maximumpc.com/gskill_first_offer_low_voltage_ddr3_laptop_memory_clocked_2133mhz <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gskill_ripjaws_0.jpg" alt="G.Skill Ripjaws" title="G.Skill Ripjaws" width="228" height="142" style="float: right;" />Low voltage RAM for mobile enthusiasts</h3> <p>Little by little, we're seeing memory makers push the envelope in mobile and small form factor (SFF) setups by introducing high-performance SO-DIMM RAM. So it goes with <strong>G.Skill, which claims its latest Ripjaws are the industry's first DDR3L SO-DIMM clocked at a blistering fast 2133MHz</strong>. Not only is this a high-performance memory kit, it's also available in large capacities, up to 32GB (4x8GB).</p> <p>G.Skill's DDR3L kit operates at just 1.35V yet is able to reach 2133MHz with 11-11-11-31 timings. The sales pitch from G.Skill is that you're getting desktop performance and capacity on a laptop, and we won't argue against that claim assuming the kit works as advertised. It's also worth mentioning that SO-DIMM memory is becoming popular in SFF systems and mini PCs, like Intel's NUC and other similar systems.</p> <p>G.Skill posted a series of screenshots of its RAM powering an MSI GT70 2OC gaming laptop and running stable "under extreme load." MemTest shows no errors as the laptop successfully completes a Hyper Pi run with 97 percent RAM usage.</p> <p>There's no mention of price or availability, though as a point of reference, G.Skill's <a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231620" target="_blank">equivalent on the desktop</a> runs about $330 street.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/gskill_first_offer_low_voltage_ddr3_laptop_memory_clocked_2133mhz#comments Build a PC ddr3l g.skill Hardware Memory ram ripjaws SO-DIMM News Mon, 21 Apr 2014 15:07:04 +0000 Paul Lilly 27668 at http://www.maximumpc.com AMD Revitalizes Never Settle Game Bundle, Save Codes for Future Use http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_revitalizes_never_settle_game_bundle_save_codes_future_use_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amd_radeon_gaming.jpg" alt="AMD Gaming" title="AMD Gaming" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Score free games with the purchase of select AMD graphics cards from qualifying vendors</h3> <p>In an effort to help tip the scales in its favor, AMD's been enticing gamers in need of a new graphics card with free game offers if they purchase a select Radeon GPU. AMD's Never Settle bundle has proved popular and continues to evolve with better offers and more robust terms. With that in mind, <strong>AMD just expanded its Never Settle Forever program</strong> to include more titles, more graphics card options, and a delayed redemption option.</p> <p>For the first time as part of the Never Settle promotion, AMD is letting gamers save their codes in anticipation of upcoming titles. The codes issued now are good until August 31, 2014, which is a little more than four months away. AMD didn't say which upcoming games will quality for redemption, but it's a neat option for those who already own many of the games being offered or otherwise aren't intrigued by the current crop of games.</p> <p>Another change is the introduction of indie packs. Indie packs consist of two games from independent developers, but they're bundled as one and only count as one choice in your reward tier. These aren't necessarily crap titles, either -- AMD says they're among the top downloads on Steam.</p> <p>As for the reward tiers, those who purchase a Radeon R9 295X2, 290 series, or 280 series graphics card from a qualifying vendor are eligible for the Gold tier. This includes three selections from a bunch of title options made up of Thief, Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution, Sleeping Dogs, Just Cause 2, and many more.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/neversettleforever.jpg" alt="AMD Never Settle Forever" title="AMD Never Settle Forever" width="620" height="364" /></p> <p>Those who purchase a Radeon R9 270 series or R7 260 series qualify for the Silver tier and can choose two free games, while purchasers of the R7 250 series or R7 240 fall into the Bronze category and can select a single title.</p> <p>For more details, along with where to purchase a qualifying graphics card, visit AMD's <a href="http://sites.amd.com/us/promo/never-settle/Pages/nsreloadedforever.aspx" target="_blank">Never Settle Forever</a> page.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_revitalizes_never_settle_game_bundle_save_codes_future_use_2014#comments amd games Hardware never settle Software News Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:33:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 27667 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Reaches 5 Million Xbox One Console Shipments http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_reaches_5_million_xbox_one_console_shipments_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/xbox_one_titanfall.jpg" alt="Xbox One Titanfall" title="Xbox One Titanfall" width="228" height="195" style="float: right;" />Xbox One is selling well, though not as well as Sony's PlayStation 4</h3> <p><strong>Microsoft let the world know that it's sold 5 million Xbox One consoles</strong> since launching back in November of last year. That's a strong start, expecially compared to the Xbox 360, the latter of which saw 60 percent fewer sales during the same time period when it launched many moons ago. However, Xbox One console shipments haven't been keeping up with Sony's PlayStation 4, which has notched 7 million unit sales to date.</p> <p>The other thing worth noting is that Microsoft was careful with its wording, saying that 5 million Xbox One consoles have been "<a href="http://news.xbox.com/2014/04/xbox-one-march-npd" target="_blank">sold-in to retailers</a>." In other words, that breaks down to 5 million shipments -- it's not clear how many units have actually been sold to consumers.</p> <p>Regardless, the Xbox One appears to be doing well, especially in the U.S. According to data from NPD Group, Microsoft sold 311,000 Xbox One consoles in the U.S. in the month of March. Software sales are averaging 2.9 games per console. And according to Microsoft, gamers are spending an average of five hours per day on the Xbox One, which collectively have added up to more than 1 billion hours spent in games and apps on the console.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_reaches_5_million_xbox_one_console_shipments_2014#comments console games Hardware microsoft xbox one News Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:22:23 +0000 Paul Lilly 27660 at http://www.maximumpc.com AMD Rides Next Generation Console Launches, Posts 28 Percent Bump in Revenues http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_rides_next_generation_console_launches_posts_28_percent_bump_revenues_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amd_1.jpg" alt="AMD building" title="AMD building" width="228" height="174" style="float: right;" />PlayStation 4 and Xbox One sales contributed to a 118 percent jump in semi-custom SoC revenue</h3> <p>Propped up by next-generation console launches by Microsoft (Xbox One) and Sony (PlayStation 4), <strong>AMD today announced first quarter revenue $1.4 billion</strong>, which is a decrease of 12 percent sequentially but up a whopping 28 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. Unfortunately for AMD, the jump in revenue still amounted to a $20 million loss, or $0.03 per share, though the Sunnyvale chip designer feels good about where it's at.</p> <p>"AMD continued our momentum by building on the solid foundation we set in the second half of 2013, further transforming the company," <a href="http://www.amd.com/en-us/press-releases/Pages/press-release-2014apr17.aspx" target="_blank">said Rory Read</a>, AMD president and CEO. "Backed by our powerful x86 processor cores and hands-down best graphics experiences, we achieved 28 percent revenue growth from the year-ago quarter. We are well positioned to continue to grow profitably as we diversify our business and enable our customers to drive change and win."</p> <p>It's been a rough run all around for traditional PC sales, which resonated with AMD. Its Computing Solutions segment saw an 8 percent sequential decrease in revenue and a 12 percent decline year-over-year, both of which AMD attributed to decreased client unit shipments.</p> <p>Revenue from AMD's Graphics and Visual Solutions segment decreased 15 percent sequentially, but ballooned 118 percent year-over-year. This growth was driven in large part by AMD's semi-custom SoCs, which are primarily used to power game consoles. AMD also notes strong demand for its Radeon R7 and R9 family of products.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/amd_rides_next_generation_console_launches_posts_28_percent_bump_revenues_2014#comments amd console graphics Hardware playstation 4 ps4 revenue xbox one News Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:26:33 +0000 Paul Lilly 27659 at http://www.maximumpc.com Smartphone Theft in the U.S. Nearly Doubled Last Year http://www.maximumpc.com/smartphone_theft_us_nearly_doubled_last_year_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/pickpocket.jpg" alt="Pickpocket Sign" title="Pickpocket Sign" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />A potential solution to rising smartphone theft is still a year away</h3> <p>It's easy to take for granted how much your smartphone is worth. You may have picked one up for free or not much more than that by agreeing to lock yourself into a two-year service agreement with a wireless carrier, but despite the subsidized price you paid, smartphones are worth several hundred dollars. It's no wonder that <strong>thieves stole around 3.1 million smartphones in U.S. last year</strong>.</p> <p>That figure comes from <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/04/smart-phone-thefts-rose-to-3-1-million-last-year/index.htm" target="_blank"><em>Consumer Reports</em></a>, which notes that it's nearly double the 1.6 million smartphones that were stolen in 2012. In addition to thievery, another 1.4 million smartphones were simply lost and never recovered last year, up from 1.2 million in 2012.</p> <p>It's not just the hardware itself that's valuable, but what's kept on the phone as well. Things like photos, videos, contacts, email accounts, and more. Despite all this, smartphone owners aren't doing enough to protect themselves, <em>Consumer Reports </em>says.</p> <p>In a survey of smartphone owners, 34 percent told <em>Consumer Reports</em> they don't take even simple security measures, such as using a PIN or some other form of unlocking mechanism. Those same users said they're not running AV software or backing up their data.</p> <p>Come July 2015, smartphones sold in the U.S. will include a so-called "lock switch," which allows users to remotely delete data from a lost or stolen smartphone. The lock switch will also render the phone useless, as wireless carriers won't activate a device that's been reported lost or stolen. Whether this will actually curb smartphone theft is something that remains to be seen.</p> <p>Image Credit: Flickr (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mkooiman/2530541113/sizes/o/" target="_blank">mkoolman</a>)</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/smartphone_theft_us_nearly_doubled_last_year_2014#comments consumer reports Hardware mobile smartphone News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:51:42 +0000 Paul Lilly 27656 at http://www.maximumpc.com Eurocom's Thin and Light Electra 2 Laptop Boasts Maxwell Graphics, TPM 1.2 Security http://www.maximumpc.com/eurocoms_thin_and_light_electra_2_laptop_boasts_maxwell_graphics_tpm_12_security <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/eurocom_electra_2.jpg" alt="Eurocom Electra 2" title="Eurocom Electra 2" width="228" height="127" style="float: right;" />Eurocom's latest laptop is an ultraportable that starts at $825</h3> <p>Most of the time when we receive word of a new system offering from Eurocom, it's a desktop replacement-class laptop with all the bells and whistles, and price tag to match. This time around, <strong>Eurocom dropped us a line to let us know about its new Electra 2, a thin and light ultraportable</strong> that starts out at $825. It comes standard with a 15.6-inch Full HD 1080p IPS display and Intel Core i5 4200M (Haswell) processor clocked at 2.5GHz (3.10GHz Turbo).</p> <p>Other baseline parts and features include 8GB of DDR3-1600 SO-DIMM memory (single stick), Nvidia GeForce GTX 850M graphics based on Maxwell, 500GB hard drive (7200 RPM), 8X DVD burner, 1080p webcam, 802.11n Wi-Fi, 9-in-1 card reader, GbE LAN, Bluetooth, two USB 3.0 ports plus an eSATA/USB 3.0 combo port, a single USB 2.0 port, HDMI and VGA output, and 6-cell battery. Windows 7 and 8 options are available at an additional cost.</p> <p>The Electra 2 also features Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 hardware data encryption, which indicates that Eurocom is targeting IT environments and business users. However, the Electra 2 is configurable and upgradeable, so you can configure a system that's custom tailored to your needs.</p> <p>Eurocom's Electra 2 is <a href="http://www.eurocom.com/" target="_blank">available now</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/eurocoms_thin_and_light_electra_2_laptop_boasts_maxwell_graphics_tpm_12_security#comments electra 2 Eurocom Hardware laptop maxwell notebook nvidia OEM rigs tpm 1.2 ultraportable News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:32:39 +0000 Paul Lilly 27653 at http://www.maximumpc.com IBM Posts Revenue Decline for Eighth Consecutive Quarter http://www.maximumpc.com/ibm_posts_revenue_decline_eighth_consecutive_quarter_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ibm_pc.jpg" alt="IBM PC" title="IBM PC" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Declining hardware sales and expensive layoffs hurt IBM's bottom line</h3> <p><strong>It was another rough quarter for IBM, which reported a drop in revenue</strong>. That marks eight quarters in a row of revenue declines. For the first quarter of 2014, IBM's total revenues reached $22.5 billion, down 4 percent from the first quarter of 2013. On the plus side, IBM is still making a profit -- $2.4 billion in Q1 2014, though even that figure is marred by the fact that it's down 21 percent year-over-year.</p> <p>Part of the reason why the numbers are down this time around is because of IBM's recent layoffs. The company took an $870 million "workforce rebalancing charge" as it makes changes and reductions to staff that it hopes will pay off in the long run.</p> <p>IBM's bottom line was also affected by a drop in hardware revenue. The company's Systems and Technology segment totaled $2.4 billion for the quarter, down 23 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. Total systems revenues decreased 24 percent, including a 40 percent reduction in revenues from its System z mainframe server products.</p> <p>"In the first quarter, we continued to take actions to transform parts of the business and to shift aggressively to our strategic growth areas including cloud, big data analytics, social, mobile and security," <a href="http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/43696.wss" target="_blank">said Ginni Rometty</a>, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer. "As we move through 2014, we will begin to see the benefits from these actions. Over the long term, they will position us to drive growth and higher value for our clients."</p> <p>IBM benefited from a bump in software sales. The company's Software segment generated $5.7 billion in Q1, up 2 percent year-over-year. Revenues from IBM's middleware products jumped 4 percent to $3.7 billion. Included in that is a 12 percent year-over-year jump in WebSphere sales.</p> <p>Image Credit: Flickr (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/br1dotcom/4737099700/sizes/l" target="_blank">br1dotcom</a>)</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/ibm_posts_revenue_decline_eighth_consecutive_quarter_2014#comments financial report Hardware ibm revenue Software News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:02:20 +0000 Paul Lilly 27652 at http://www.maximumpc.com Teachers Claim Overexposure to Tablets Stunt Motor Skill Development and Memory http://www.maximumpc.com/teachers_claim_overexposure_tablets_stunt_motor_skill_development_and_memory_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/baby_ipad.jpg" alt="Baby iPad" title="Baby iPad" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Infants raised on iPads have trouble using building blocks, teachers say</h3> <p>Maybe parents should rethink giving their children a tablet this holiday shopping season, especially if their lifestyle makes it difficult to limit use to such devices. <strong>Members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers are speaking out against overexposure to tablets</strong>, warning that a growing number of infants aren't developing the proper motor skills to play with building blocks due to their "addiction" to tablet PCs and smartphones.</p> <p>According to a report in the U.K.'s <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10767878/Infants-unable-to-use-toy-building-blocks-due-to-iPad-addiction.html" target="_blank"><em>The Telegraph</em></a>, teachers claim that three- and four-year-old children known how to swipe a screen just fine, but beyond tablet controls, they lack dexterity in their fingers after spending hours a day playing on the iPad.</p> <p>"I have spoken to a number of nursery teachers who have concerns over the increasing numbers of young pupils who can swipe a screen but have little or no manipulative skills to play with building blocks or the like, or the pupils who cannot socialize with other pupils but whose parents talk proudly of their ability to use a tablet or smartphone," Colin Kinney, a teacher from Northern Ireland, told the <em>The Telegraph</em>.</p> <p>The article makes several references to Apple's iPad and iPhone devices, though the concern isn't limited to those specific models. It just so happens that Apple holds a large share of the mobile market and so iPads and iPhones are more prominent. However, it's a problem that extends to mobile gadgets in general.</p> <p>Teachers have also noted a decline in pen and paper exams, saying that kids who spend a lot of time using mobile gadgets rely on the instant support of their electronic device.</p> <p>The obvious way to combat against all this is for parents to do a better job monitoring and limiting the amount of time their children are allowed to use tablets and smartphones. In addition, teachers recommend turning off Wi-Fi access at night.</p> <p>Image Credit: Flickr (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/devitogustavo/6623430611/sizes/l" target="_blank">Gustavo Devito</a>)</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Hardware iPad mobile slate tablet News Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:30:24 +0000 Paul Lilly 27649 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Builds a Wireless All-in-One Keyboard for Smart TVs http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_builds_wireless_all--one_keyboard_smart_tvs_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/microsoft_all-in-one_keyboard_living_room.jpg" alt="Microsoft All-in-One Keyboard Living Room" title="Microsoft All-in-One Keyboard Living Room" width="228" height="143" style="float: right;" />An all-in-one keyboard with an integrated touchpad</h3> <p>It's been 20 years since Microsoft released its first keyboard. Called the "Microsoft Natural Keyboard," the Redmond outfit went after the ergonomic category with a curved design intended to reduce or prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and other stress injuries associated with typing at awkward angles. Two decade later, <strong>Microsoft is adding to its peripherals line with the All-in-One Media Keyboard (N9Z-00001)</strong>.</p> <p>This time around Microsoft is going after smart TV owners and the home entertainment crowd in general. The AIO Media Keyboard sports a full-size keyset with low profile keys and an integrated multi-touch trackpad on the side where you'd normally find a numpad.</p> <p>The trackpad supports gestures, allowing you to tap, swipe, drag, zoom, and click for easy navigation. Sitting above the trackpad are customizable media keys for quick acces to your music, photos and videos. Volume controls are found way over on the other side.</p> <p>It's a wireless keyboard that communicates with a mini USB dongle. Microsoft says it can hold a connection up to 30 feet. It also features a durable spill-resistant design.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/microsoft_all-in-one_keyboard.jpg" alt="Microsoft All-in-One Media Keyboard" title="Microsoft All-in-One Media Keyboard" width="620" height="231" /></p> <p>Microsoft's AIO Media keyboard looks very similar to <a href="http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/living-room-keyboard-k830" target="_blank">Logitech's recently introduced K830</a>, though Logitech's sports a backlight and Microsoft's does not. That luxury carries a $60 premium, however --&nbsp; the K830 goes for $100 while Microsoft's AIO Media Keyboard carries a much lighter <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-us/p/all-in-one-media-keyboard/N9Z-00001" target="_blank">$40 MSRP</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_builds_wireless_all--one_keyboard_smart_tvs_2014#comments Hardware keyboard microsoft Peripherals Smart TV News Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:02:50 +0000 Paul Lilly 27648 at http://www.maximumpc.com Cotton White Version of Google Glass Sells Out During Public Sale, What Comes Next? http://www.maximumpc.com/cotton_white_version_google_glass_sells_out_during_public_sale_what_comes_next_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/glass_cotton_white.jpg" alt="Glass Cotton White" title="Glass Cotton White" width="228" height="146" style="float: right;" />KitKat is headed to Google Glass</h3> <p><a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/reminder_google_glass_available_general_public_today_2014">Google made available</a> its Glass Explorer program to the general public for a single day on April 15, and while we don't know how many of the $1,500 wearable devices it managed to sell, we do know that the "Cotton White" (white) version proved most popular. That color option sold completely out by mid-day, so anyone who purchased a Glass device afterwards had to choose from Charcoal (black), Tangerine (orange), Shale (gray), or Powder Blue (light blue). <strong>Now that the sale is done and over with, what comes next for Google Glass?</strong></p> <p>We suppose Google will analyze the sales figures to gauge consumer interest while all of the <span style="text-decoration: line-through;">early adopters</span> Explorers continue to beta test the wearable tech. It remains to be seen if Google will make more tweaks to the hardware or physical design before rolling out a commercial launch.</p> <p>In the meantime, Glass owners will be receiving a software update sometime this week. Google described it as a "big one," as it rolls out Android KitKat to Glass.</p> <p>"We've been working on a significant upgrade to a new version of the Glass software. It's not a change you can see, but it brings improved battery life and makes Glass more reliable and easier to update in the future. And now that Glass runs Android KitKat, developers can write Glassware using the latest Android SDK goodness, along with new features from our GDK," Google stated in a <a href="https://plus.google.com/+GoogleGlass/posts/gNS3JvHEdvV" target="_blank">Google+ post</a>.</p> <p>Improved battery life is probably the most welcome upgrade by Glass owners, though it's far from the only update. As requested by users, photos will be organized into bundles for better viewing with less swiping. There will also be photo replies in Hangouts, voice command sorting, and a bunch of subtle changes.</p> <p>Interestingly, Google decided to remove video calls from Glass with this latest update. According to Google, less than 10 percent of Explorers use this feature. It also wasn't working as well as Google hoped, so it's gone "until the experience is better."</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/cotton_white_version_google_glass_sells_out_during_public_sale_what_comes_next_2014#comments glass Google Hardware Wearable News Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:07:04 +0000 Paul Lilly 27646 at http://www.maximumpc.com Motherboard Makers Turning to Alternative Products for Bigger Profits http://www.maximumpc.com/motherboard_makers_turning_alternative_products_bigger_profits_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/msi_gaming_laptop_0.jpg" alt="MSI Gaming Laptop" title="MSI Gaming Laptop" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />As Intel's Haswell refresh looms, Asus and other mobo players look to other areas to boost profits</h3> <p>Intel is getting ready to refresh its Haswell platform, and when that happens, it should spark some sales in the motherboard industry. Motherboard makers should also get a boost from XP users looking to upgrade their ancient boxes. Despite these market drivers, however, word on the web is that<strong> Asus and other motherboard players have begun pushing their other products much more aggressively</strong> in hopes of pulling in a bigger profit.</p> <p>So says <a href="http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20140416PD204.html" target="_blank"><em>Digitimes</em></a>, which itself is citing "market watchers" with eyes on the situation. Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and ASRock are all focusing on their "non-motherboard businesses" pretty hard these days. Specifically, ASRock is making a big push in the server industry with related products after achieving flat performance on year with its motherboard shipments in 2013. It's a long-term strategy that ASRock believes will pay off in a couple years from now.</p> <p>MSI, on the other hand, is pushing mid-range and high-end gaming laptops. This is something we've seen ourselves, as we've posted several MSI gaming laptop announcements during the past year. It's a crowded field that also includes competition from Gigabyte and Asus.</p> <p>Gigabyte shipped 20 million motherboards last year and expects to ship 22 million in 2014. It's going to be a close race between Gigabyte and Asus for the top spot. At the same time, both companies are looking at notebooks, tablets, handsets, and networking equipment to generate additional revenue.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/motherboard_makers_turning_alternative_products_bigger_profits_2014#comments asrock Build a PC gigabyte Hardware motherboards msi News Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:56:39 +0000 Paul Lilly 27645 at http://www.maximumpc.com