Go back in time a few years ago and we might have scoffed at the idea of palm sized desktops PCs. And if you would have tried telling us they're as powerful as some desktop tower PCs, you would have elicited a hearty chuckle from us. Ah, but times are changing, and these little units are no laughing matter. Following in the footsteps of systems like Intel's NUC, HP today announced the Pavilion Mini Desktop and Stream Mini Desktop, a pair of pint-sized systems with hardly any footprints to speak of.
SanDisk targets tablet and laptop users with new SSD options
We've already seen solid state drive pricing drop to around 50 cents per gigabyte and below for high performance models, and here's hoping even lower prices are bound for 2015. In the meantime, SanDisk just unveiled a couple of new SSD lines at CES -- the SSD Plus and Ultra II mSATA SSD. The former is a 2.5-inch entry-level drive targeting laptop and desktop users, while the latter is for laptop and tablet users.
Lenovo kicks off 2015 by crossing a big time milestone
If you thought Lenovo would slow its roll in 2015, think again. The world's top PC supplier is currently celebrating over 100 million ThinkPad unit sales to date, which is enough to equip every man, woman, and child in Canada almost three times over (in case a bit of perspective is needed). And to keep the good times going, Lenovo is showcasing a number of new products at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, including its third generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon.
The primary appeal of Chromebooks is the price of entry -- without a low price tag, these modern day cloud-based netbooks probably wouldn't find much of an audience. This begs the question, is there a market for slightly more expensive Chromebook models with bigger size displays? Acer intends to find out by launching its Chromebook 15, the industry's first Chromebook device with a 15.6-inch display.
Amped Wireless is beginning to integrate touch functionality into its home networking devices. We saw it first with the TAP-EX, a high-power Wi-Fi range extender with a built-in touchscreen, and now there's the TAP-R2, an AC750 Wi-Fi router with touch display. This isn't the first router with a touchscreen we've seen, though Amped Wireless is billing it as the industry's first high power touch screen Wi-Fi router.
NZXT last fall launched its S340 mid-tower ATX chassis, an entry-level case intended to bring a premium quality design without emptying your bank account (it's listed on Newegg for $70 plus $8 shipping). Now as we embark on a new year, NZXT is offering new color options for its S340 case -- "Gloss Blue" and "Gloss Red," both of which are accents to the matte black paneling.
Thermaltake's Tt eSports division has just uncaged a new rodent for gamers, the Black V2 laser gaming mouse. The Black V2 is a follow-up act to the original, and according to Thermaltake, it's been upgraded in just about every way possible, including the laser sensor, surface finish, grips, buttons, and even the mouse software, which Thermaltake says it retooled after going back to the drawing board.
Samsung takes a break from mobile handsets to announce a pair of PC products
Between all the Galaxy smartphone and tablet releases, we're a little surprised Samsung has time to take a breath, let alone announce a pair of sleek looking PC products. Yet that's exactly that the company has done today. Specifically, Samsung today unveiled its ATIV Book 9, an all-aluminum laptop with an Intel Broadwell Core M processor inside, and ATIV One 7 Curved, the company's first curvaceous all-in-one PC.
Microsoft and Intel have started working together to promote low-cost Windows laptops in the $200 and under range, which prior to the collaboration was a space that mostly belonged to Chromebooks. So far things are off to a slow start, at least if Amazon's holiday sales are any indication. Amazon says that its top three PC sales over the holiday period were all Chromebook models.
Heading into the new year, AMD's resolution is to increase its laptop market share, and the key to doing that lies in its Carrizzo and Carrizo-L laptop chips. Going forward, the chip maker will take a plug-and-play approach that will make it easy for hardware partners to plug any Carrizo chip into any laptop, regardless of the size of the notebook or what pricing tier it falls into.