Earlier this year, Thermaltake wowed us all with the announcement of the Level 10, a concept case designed in conjunction with BMW DesignWorks. Rather than a standard aluminum box, the Thermaltake Level 10 would incorporate a central pillar, with individual compartments hanging from it for the motherboard, PSU, optical drives, and hard drives. Here's a press shot of the Level 10.
The Level 10. It's high-concept! (click to embiggen)
We haven't heard much about the Level 10 since Computex in June; we were even a bit skeptical that such an outré case would ever come to market. But Friday morning we strolled into our secret lair to find an enormous box on our doorstep. Read on to find the first shots of the production Level 10, as well as features, pricing, and availability.
Before now, if you wanted a Core i7-based laptop, you could have one, but it had to be of the desktop variety, which meant contending with higher temps, lower battery life, and bulky form factors.
Then came this year's IDF, in which Intel introduced its Nehalem architecture in mobile form. It didn't take long for Dell to announce refreshed Studio 15 and Studio 17 laptops outfitted with the new chips, and now Asus and Sager are joining in on the fun.
Asus just introduced its M60J, a 16-inch notebook that comes configurable with either Intel's 1.6GHz Core i7 720QM or 1.73GHz Core i7 820QM. It also comes with a 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT240M GPU, up to 4GB of DDR3 RAM, up to 1TB of hard drive storage, optional Blu-ray, and more.
Sager, on the other hand, unveiled a 15.6-inch model (NP8690) built around the same processors, but ups the ante with a 1GB GeForce GTX 280M GPU, up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, a 500GB hard drive, and a 1080p display.
No word yet on how much Asus' M60J will cost or when it will start shipping. Sager, meanwhile, will start shipping its NP8690 in October starting at $1,800.
Phoenix is working on the latest in BIOS technology and what have they got to show for it? They can boot a Windows 7 computer in less than 10 seconds, and post in just under 1.5 seconds.
The new technology called UEFI has been a long time coming, but it looks to be worth the wait. Steve Jones, chief scientist at Promise, showed off the new BIOS at IDF this week. He booted up a Lenovo T400 that made it to the Windows 7 desktop in less than 10 seconds. They also retrofitted a Dell Adamo that got there in under 20 seconds.
The guys at Engadget caught it all on video. Check it out after the jump.
OCZ on Thursday expanded its DDR3 lineup to include its new Black Edition 4GB kits intended for AMD's next-gen Phenom II processors, the memory maker said.
"OCZ is excited to launch our new AMD Black Edition Ready Series which is designed specifically to work with AMD's OverDrive software utility," said Eugene Chang, vice president of Product Management at OCZ. "The new OCZ Black Edition modules not only interact with AOD to overclock the memory, but also communicate with the BIOS to increase the frequency and performance of the memory controller. The result is a symbiotic relationship between memory and the rest of the system to unleash the full power of the Dragon Platform."
Two new kits make up the new series, both spec'd at 1600MHz and boasting a low 1.65 voltage. The only difference between the two comes down to timings, with the looser kit rated at 8-8-8-24 and the tighter timed kit sporting 7-7-7-24 latencies.
Most gamers wouldn't think twice about buying an all-in-one PC, but that's okay, because all-in-ones are selling just fine without them. According to a previous report in China's Commercial Times, global all-in-one PC shipments are expected to reach 6.5 million units by the end of the year, accounting for 9 percent of all PCs.
Now it's looking like that number may have been a little conservative. Citing un-named industry sources, news and rumor site DigiTimes says Quanta Computer has received roughly 2 million all-in-one PC orders from Fujitsu, Acer, and MSI and will start shipping products soon, ending the year with a bang. Most of those will measure 20 to 23 inches.
HP, another client of Quanta and maker of the popular TouchSmart series, will also receive more all-in-one shipments starting in October.
The motherboard’s onboard discrete graphics processor and the VIA MSP’s integrated graphics IGP work in concert, making it an ideal fit for a wide array of digital media applications. According to VIA, the motherboard supports “up to four, individually configurable displays at resolutions up to and beyond 1080p.”
The VB8003 features two HDMI ports, a DVI port, dual Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45 ports, 4 USB 2.0 ports, serial and PS2 ports. According to Slashgear, the VB8003 will cost $340 in the US. However, there is no word on when it might hit American shores.
Researchers at Purdue University claim to have developed a new kind of cooling technology. Tannaz Harirchia and Suresh Garimella are using boiling liquid inside microchannels on specially fabricated chips to more efficiently cool components.
Fluids do not behave in the same way in microchannels as they do elsewhere, allowing for increased heat exchange. “Allowing a liquid to boil in cooling systems dramatically increases how much heat can be removed, compared to simply heating a liquid to below its boiling point," the researchers wrote. The device constructed at Purdue is basically a small one inch square heatsink. After liquid has boiled off in the microchannels, a small compressor disperses the heat, returning it to a liquid.
The technology has possible applications in both PC and automotive cooling. PCs are relying on numerous fans, or bulky water block cooling. Similarly, cars use both air and water cooling to remain in working order. Both these areas could see advancement if this microchannel cooling technology takes off.
The Cooler Master Storm Sniper, with its matte-black, mesh-covered shell and blue-glowing fans, looks like a prop from a sci-fi movie, the kind where cyber-soldiers rush into a building and start furiously hacking its defenses. And that’s awesome. It’s large for a midtower case, and looks even larger than it is, thanks to bowed-out side panels and feet that raise the bottom of the case an inch above the ground.
The Storm line is all about sturdiness, style, and portability—Cooler Master is apparently targeting LAN gamers—which it delivers. At 22.7 inches tall, 22.3 inches deep, 10 inches wide, and weighing in at more than 23 pounds, the Sniper is big-boned, but with sturdy handles on top, surprisingly luggable.
The Mesh bezels run from the bottom of the front panel all the way to the top, and the top panel has black mesh between its sturdy steel handles. The side panels are steel and bulge outward. The left side-panel has a large window covered by black mesh, to allow for air flow, and contains mounts for one 20cm or two 12cm fans.
The question isn't 'why would Best Buy and Verizon look to get into the e-book business,' but 'why wouldn't they?' After all, everyone else is diving in, and while it's true that you shouldn't follow your friends (or competition) off a bridge, the e-book business could hardly be considered suicidal.
For Verizon's part, The New York Times reports it plans to sell digital books and newspapers wirelessly over its 3G network for owners of iRex Technologies' upcoming $399 touchscreen e-reader. Customers will be able to purchase the iRex DR800SG at a few hundred Best Buy stores, while the electronics chain also plans to carry Sony's more affordable Reader.
With Best Buy, Verizon, and several others jumping on the e-book bandwagon, digital readers are poised to become the next biggest thing since the netbook, which took the market by storm in similar fashion.
"The e-reader has high awareness, but most people have still not seen or touched or played with them," said Chris Homeister, senior vice president for entertainment at Best Buy. "We feel at that this is a technology that is beginning to emerge and that we can bring a unique experience to the marketplace."
Casting somewhat of a wet blanket over the e-book bonanza, a recent report from Forrester Research suggests that digital readers need to approach the $100 mark before most consumers will dive in.
Alienware updated its Area-51 case for the new ALX line of desktop systems. The new ALX line itself features beefy specs for a micro-ATX system, but the craziness doesn’t end at a blazing fast GPU or speedy i7 processor. This machine features…fins. Not just any fins, motorized fins.
The new cooling technology in use in the ALX works in tandem with the Command Center to open and close the vents according to “thermal values.” Unfortunately, those are the only details listed on the site regarding Active Venting. As a part of the Command Center software, you can change the lighting styles on various parts of the case as well as tweak thermal controls.