How many times have you laid awake late at night trying to figure out why no one has come up with an MP3 player sporting a mosaic keypad? Probably none, but to ensure you never do, Creative just announced its new Zen Mozaic music player, which the company describes as "a striking sight to behold." And striking it is, but you can form your own interpretation on that one.
The Zen Mozaic replaces Creative's Zen V line, and along with a new look, the "trendy and distinctive" music player increases the screen size from 1.5 to 1.8-inches. Other features include:
2GB or 4GB capacities (8GB and 16GB to be available at a later date)
Built-in FM radio with up to 32 preset stations
Up to 32 hours of continuous audio playback
Oh, and it comes with a built-in speaker, so not only can you surprise passerbys with its 'unique' looks, but you can make sure no one dares comes within listening distance by blaring out crummy music if you so desire.
Pricing and Availability
The Zen Mozaic coms in black or pink for the 2GB model at $99, or black, pink, or silver for the 4GB model at $129. Towards the end of August you'll also be able to pick up an 8GB or 16GB model in black for $249. Plan on getting one?
With the ripe combination of portability and power, today’s notebooks are becoming increasingly popular and replacing desktops as primary computers. And one notebook accessory that many consumers seem to be keeping their eye on is notebook stands. These angled risers that sit on your desk provide ergonomic and organizational solutions to transform a notebook into a makeshift desktop station. But which stand is right for you? Looking for a stand with passive or fan cooling? Or is a stand with comfortable ergonomics and stylish aesthetics more important? What if you want one with a little bit of everything? With these various factors in mind, we tested 11 different notebook stands to see if they’re any better than just putting a notebook on top of a few stacked phonebooks (which in many cases, they weren’t).
With ATI having finally jumped back into the ring with Nvidia, the two companies have been taking performance jabs at each other in tit-for-tat fashion. One of those jabs came last month as Nvidia tweaked its 9800GTX with a die shrink (65nm to 55nm) and clockspeed boosts culminating in a new card dubbed the 9800GTX+. So does that mean BFG's newly announced 9800GTX+ OC can be considered an overclocked, overclocked 9800GTX? Holy redundancy, Batman!
However you label it, BFG's 9800GTX+ OC ranks as one of the fastest G92-based videocards on the market:
Core Clockspeed: 760MHz (vs 738MHz)
Shader Clockspeed:1,890MHz (vs 1,836MHz)
Memory Clockspeed: 2,250MHz (vs 2,200MHz)
Also supported are the usual assortment of goodies, including PhysX support, 3-way SLI, HybridPower technology, DirectX 10, dual-link HDCP, and a bevy of other marketing bullets. The card also comes backed by BFG's 24-hour tech support and lifetime warranty (be sure to register online within 30 days of purchase).
But for all that it includes, BFG still doesn't allow end-users to overclock its videocard, nor are they trusted to swap out the stock cooler for a third-party solution without voiding the warranty (Boo!), a pair of liberties given to XFX and Evga owners.
It's not often you get to atone for a mistake you made 25 years ago, so when the opportunity arises, you better take it. With that in mind, in case you missed it the first time around here's your chance to catch the cult classic WarGames, starring Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy, in a movie theater a quarter of a century after it came out. And even if you did already watch it on a big screen before wearing out your VHS copy years later, how can any geek pass up an opportunity to experience a flick that, at the time of its debut, was far ahead of its time? As for you new generation of PC users, consider this required viewing.
The theatrical re-release, which plays on July 24th, 2008 (that's tomorrow!) at 7:30 p.m., will also show a preview of WarGames: The Dead Code, a direct-to-DVD sequel being made available on July 29.
With the all the brouhaha surrounding solid state drives (SSDs), there remains a question of exactly how big of a performance advantage flash memory really holds over today's hard drives. On paper, most SSDs scream ahead in both read and write speeds, but real-world benchmarking paints a different picture. So why the discrepancy? At SandDisk, they're blaming Vista. The company's CEO, Eli Harari, says SSD "performance in the Vista environment falls short of what the market really needs. Vista is not optimized for flash memory solid-state disks."
It's not hard to find fault with Vista, but blaming the OS for underperforming SSDs qualifies as a new one that even Apple hasn't yet exploited in its many mocking commercials. To be fair, Harari made the statement as part of a pitch to improve SSDs' next generation controllers, which he says "need to compensate for Vista's shortfalls." Because of this need, the company claims it is behind schedule bringing competitive SSDs to market.
Is SanDisk justified in pointing the finger at Vista?
Love him or hate him, Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel has managed to get his branding slapped onto nearly every PC component it takes to build a computer, leaving only hard drives and processors left to conquer. Don't believe it? Have a look for yourself. Motherboard? Check. Videocard? Check. Case, soundcard, mouse, keyboard, and headset? Check, check, and check ad nauseum. And thanks to a recent partnership with OCZ now coming to fruition, Fatal1ty can notch both DDR2 and DDR3 memory into his belt too.
"OCZ worked closely with Fatal1ty and his team to desin new memory kits that pair perfectly with the top selling motherboards for a superior gaming experience," commented Alex Mei, cheif marketing officer of OCZ.
Hit the jump to find out why OCZ's excited about the partnership, and whether or not you should be too.
Earlier this month, we ran a feature showing you which parts to buy if you wanted to build an affordable-yet-kick-ass $1300 lean machine. This week, we’re moving up from budget PC recommendations to our power user picks. But with great power, comes great cost. Monetary costs, that is. Our Power User’s PC costs $2500 without a monitor of peripherals – the high end of what we’d expect a PC enthusiast to spend when pieceing together a new rig. We also want to clarify what we mean by Power User’s PC. We see the Power User as someone who maximizes his PC’s processing potential. This person encodes media files, burns high-definition discs, and manipulates image, audio and video files. Gaming is important to the Power User, but this isn’t someone who demands 120 frames per second in multiplayer shooters – he’d rather shave precious seconds off of his video encoding times while multitasking in Photoshop.
Click through to see if our $2500 Power User's PC is right for you!
AMD's struggles have been well documented ever since forfeiting the performance crown to Intel, but perhaps all the company needed was a swift kick in the rump. That appears to be what the company's getting with newly inaugurated Dirk Meyer at the helm serving as AMD's CEO, who had no qualms announcing that his company has initiated a pilot production of microprocessors using a 45nm fabrication processor. That puts the Santa Clara chip maker on track to deliver shipping products in volume in early fourth quarter.
"We are well on track with the 45nm plan as we have been telling this group about in the past. We have actually started production late last quarter and are on track to start buying shipments early in Q4," said Dirk Meyer during the conference call.
That has to be good news to nervous investors, who earlier this month saw their stock fall by as much as 7 percent following news that AMD would take a near billion dollar charge in the second quarter. And while Hector Ruiz's subsequent departure just days later might have signaled to some that the end was near, Meyer's confidence in AMD's ability to stay on schedule with its 45nm plans has to be appreciated by anyone pulling for the Intel competitor (which should be everyone). Before the announcement, analysts were expecting 45nm shipments to start in late Q4, and nobody seems to know what exactly AMD has planned as part of its refocusing strategy. A compelling alternative to Nehalem, perhaps? Let's hope so.
Ever get that eerie feeling you're being watched? Forget what your therapist told you, you have every right to be paranoid. NEC Corp. has just developed a new 50-inch plasma display that not only likes being watched, but watches back. On top of the display sits a tiny camera capable of identifying a person's age and sex, and it can perform the same trick with a group of viewers. Armed with that information, the display can then target advertisements based on the predominate demographic. For example, if most of the viewers are determined to be senior citizens, it might show an ad for the Jitterbug instead of Apple's iPhone.
"Changing advertising products in accordance with the viewer would bring advertising closer to the purchaser," said Hiroshi Takahashi at NEC's solution business promotion division.
And he's right, but is that a good thing? Imagine stopping near a billboard with your longtime girlfriend and as you bend down on one knee to propose, the display starts belting out a "Viva Viagra!" jingle. Or Herpex. Interested parties need only hold their cell phone over a special device and the display will feed them a URL, coupons, and any other pertinent information, but depending on what's being advertised, you may want to wait until your girlfriend's not looking.
The 50-inch display will make an appearance later this summer at an annual festival in Tokyo run by Fuji Television network and be presented as an entertainment device. Visitors will know they're being watched, but will they like it?
We still have a ways to go before being able to print out an entire PC's worth of components ordered through Newegg, but imagine taking that killer motherboard layout you've been brewing in your head and printing out a 3D mockup. Then the only question is do you send your design to your favorite motherboard maker, or start up your own company and show the competition what a real enthusiast's layout is supposed to look like? Forget about Fatal1ty, and slap your own forum nick on your custom mobo!
Sound farfetched? It is, but only because of the high costs associated with 3D printing. Looking to break that barrier is Netherlands-based Shapeways, an ambitious startup who hopes to help you transform your 3D modeling designs from software creations into hard printouts, all without breaking the bank. After submitting your object, Shapeways decides whether or not it can be produced and provides a real-time cost estimate, which the company claims usually runs between $50-$150.
It's all part of Shapeways' private beta for a new online consumer co-creation community and do-it-yourself 3D printing service. The site beta has just gone live, but the only way you'll get to try it out is with an invite. That's no problem for Maximum PC readers, as we've secured 250 exclusive invitations!
Hit the jump to learn more about Shapeways' 3D printing service and to snatch your invite. But hurry, they're first come, first served!