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.
It hasn't even been a full year since Microsoft launched its first generation Surface Pro for $900, a price tag that undoubtedly scared off more than a few buyers. When we tested the Surface Pro, we came to the conclusion that it has "more than enough power for any casual computing need," though cheaper and lighter solutions made it a tough sell. If pricing is all that held you back, take note that Best Buy is currently selling the original Surface Pro for $500, which is $400 off its original retail price.
We first learned about Roccat's Kave XTD 5.1 Digital Gaming Headset back in August of last year. At the time, Roccat said it hoped to ship the peripheral in November for $170 MSRP. Roccat got the price right, but not the release date, as November came and went without any sign of the Kave XTD 5.1 Digital. Now a month into the new year, Roccat today says its flagship headset is available to purchase.
We talk to Mnpctech owner and modder extraordinaire Bill Owen about his path to possessing the ultimate geek dream job
Bill Owen isn’t your run-of-the-mill case modder. Twelve years ago, he founded Mnpctech (www.mnpctech.com) and his life changed forever. Now he’s one of the most prolific pro modders in the industry. What started as a hobby evolved into a full-time business that he runs with his wife, completing mod projects for companies like AMD, FrozenCPU, and even Maximum PC. Mnpctech is also a thriving parts business, selling products aimed at the DIY enthusiast market: milled-aluminum fan grills, custom side panels, vinyl appliques, case handles, Modder’s Mesh, and even something they like to call the Modder Reference Tool. We sat down with Bill to learn how he went from dabbling in fan grills and case windows to being the king of modders.
Note: This article was originally featured in our November 2013 issue of the magazine.
An energy efficient storage system for infrequently accessed data
It's a bit early to write the obituary for optical discs. Though many desktop users have made the transition to the cloud, Facebook found a use for Blu-ray discs -- 10,000 of them, in fact -- as part of an energy efficient storage system capable of holding a petabyte of data. Facebook showed the prototype system at the Open Compute Project summit meeting in San Jose, California, noting that it's intended to store data that rarely needs to be accessed.
Putting a laptop in the hands of a child is a gamble in and of itself, let alone deploying a line of notebooks in a classroom filled with kindergarten students. Accidents happen, but rather than ignore the education segment, Lenovo on Wednesday announced a couple of ruggedized ThinkPad models built specifically for K-12 students. These include the ThinkPad 11e and the ThinkPad Yoga 11e.
AMD's foray into ARM-based server SoCs begins with the Opteron A Series
A milestone has been reached in Sunnyvale less than a month into 2014. Chip designer AMD formally introduced its first 64-bit ARM-based server system-on-chip (SoC) previously codenamed "Seattle" and now called Opteron A1100. The chip is fabricated using a 28-nanometer process technology and is the first of its kind from an established server vendor. Along with the new SoC, AMD also unveiled a new development platform intended to make software design on the Opteron A1100 Series quick and easy.
A new crop of small form factor gaming PCs starting at $599
Don't have room for a hulking desktop tower but still want to get your gaming fix? CyberPowerPC may have a solution. The boutique system builder today rolled out eight pre-built Zeus Mini Small Form Factor (SSF) Series PCs ranging in price from $599 to $1,479. In an attempt to cater to all preferences, you'll find Intel and AMD systems rocking AMD and Nvidia graphics solutions.
In case you missed it, Hewlett-Packard (HP) last week began advertising the return of Windows 7 desktops. The OEM said its decision to sell Windows 7 systems in a Windows 8 world was influenced by "popular demand," but what we found interesting is how aggressively the world's second largest PC maker promoted its Windows 7 machines. Was there more than meets the eye? HP today posted a blog further explaining its reasoning for bringing back Windows 7.
Newest NUC boasts support for a single 2.5-inch drive
Intel has its eye on the mini PC market with the introduction of its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) systems, though a limitation of early run versions is that they all used mSATA solid state drives. That in itself isn't a deal killer (though mSATA may not be long for this world), but what did cause problems is having the Wi-Fi card plopped right on top of the mSATA SSD. There were several reports of Wi-Fi issues with first run models (which is something we observed ourselves), possibly as a result of overheating, but with the newest NUC kit, Intel added a 2.5-inch drive bay.