Hardware http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/1416/ en Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson Talks Surface Pro 2 and Microsoft's Ecosystem http://www.maximumpc.com/seahawks_quarterback_russell_wilson_talks_surface_pro_2_and_microsofts_ecosystem <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/surface_pro_2_3.jpg" alt="Surface Pro 2" title="Surface Pro 2" width="228" height="130" style="float: right;" />Russell Wilson is no longer an Apple guy</h3> <p>Microsoft's deal with the National Football League to showcase Surface Pro 2 hardware during games got off to a <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/nfL_announcers_slip_400_million_surface_deal_calls_microsofts_tablets_ipads_2014">rocky start</a> when TV commentators and players alike <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/nfl_tv_announcers_still_referring_microsoft_surface_tablets_ipads_2014">repeatedly referred</a> to the devices as iPads. That amounted to free advertising for the competition, for which Microsoft paid good money ($400 million), but that's all in the past. Furthermore, <strong>Microsoft's Surface deal with the NFL is winning over players, including Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson</strong>, who revealed a dark secret.</p> <p>The folks at <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2014/12/22/seahawks-qb-russell-wilson-interview/" target="_blank"><em>Engadget</em> met up with Wilson</a> at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center, which is where the Seahawks practice. While speaking with him, Wilson revealed that he used to be an Apple guy -- an APPLE GUY! It's a shame he's willing to admit, though he doesn't tell people about it all that often.</p> <p>These days, he's a fan of Microsoft's ecosystem. He told <em>Engadget</em> that the Surface Pro 2 tablets Microsoft has been providing to teams has helped improve productivity for himself and the rest of the Seahawks as well.</p> <p>"Regardless of his previous interest in Cupertino products, he's now fully invested in the Microsoft ecosystem. Seriously, he <em>really</em> loves all things Microsoft," <em>Engadget</em> says.</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/seahawks_quarterback_russell_wilson_talks_surface_pro_2_and_microsofts_ecosystem#comments Hardware laptop microsoft NFL notebook russell wilson seahawks surface pro 2 tablet News Mon, 22 Dec 2014 18:06:38 +0000 Paul Lilly 29136 at http://www.maximumpc.com Score an Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 Tablet for $299 (Today Only) http://www.maximumpc.com/score_amazon_kindle_fire_hdx_89_tablet_299_today_only_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/amazon_fire_hdx_89.jpg" alt="Amazon Fire HDX 8.9" title="Amazon Fire HDX 8.9" width="228" height="159" style="float: right;" />Save 30 percent today on Amazon's flagship tablet</h3> <p>Kudos to you if you can make it to the end of the year without anything but a bare wallet and depleted PayPal account. Anything else is a tall order with all the holiday sales -- it started with <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/black_friday_ads_2014_round" target="_blank">Black Friday and Cyber Monday</a>, both of which were extended by most retailers, and continued with things like Microsoft's <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_kicks_12_days_deals_79_toshiba_encore_mini_tablet_2014">12 Days of Deals</a>, <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/gogcom_kicks_autumn_sales_free_games_2014">GOG Autumn sale</a>, <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/steam_holiday_sale_kicks_runs_until_january_2_2015">Steam Holiday sale</a>, and so forth. And just when you thought the madness was over, Amazon has come out swinging with some tantalizing daily deals of its own -- <strong>today Amazon is offering is flagship Fire HDX 8.9 tablet starting at $299</strong>, a 30 percent savings over its regular selling price.</p> <p>That's a nice chunk off the tablet's list price of $429. I've played with one of these extensively, and for the most part, it's a very nice slate, especially at the reduced rate. You'll have to keep in mind that access to Google Play is out of the question (there are ways around that, like side-loading apps) and the highly modified version of Android (Fire OS) is tailored for Amazon's ecosystem. But beyond those things, it's a solid effort and much better than the company's Fire HD 7, which I think feels cheap and feature-poor by comparison.</p> <p>The Fire HDX 8.9 sports a 2560x1600 resolution (339 ppi), 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, Adreno 420 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 720p HD front-facing camera, 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash and electronic image stabilization, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos, and 16GB, 32GB, 64GB of built-in storage (choose wisely, as there's no expandable storage option).</p> <p>Amazon has marked down the 32GB (starting at $299 with Special Offers, otherwise known as ads) and 64GB (starting at $334) SKUs, which you can <a href="http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=lp_10401554011_gb1h_tit_c-3_1182_26c91d56?rh=i%3Adigital-text%2Cn%3A10401554011&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;node=10401554011&amp;smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER" target="_blank">find here</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/score_amazon_kindle_fire_hdx_89_tablet_299_today_only_2014#comments amazon Hardware kindle fire hdx 8.9 mobile slate tablet News Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:54:46 +0000 Paul Lilly 29134 at http://www.maximumpc.com Asus Taps Overclocking Community to Test External Power Card http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_taps_overclocking_community_test_external_power_card_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_external_card.jpg" alt="Asus External Power Card" title="Asus External Power Card" width="228" height="182" style="float: right;" />External card helps to regulate voltages</h3> <p>One reason to get into the hardcore overclocking scene is because you get to play with the latest gear. If you're particularly good at your craft, companies will stumble over themselves trying to hook you up with high-end hardware as you chase world overclocking and benchmark records, as they all want their brands associated with such feats. So, it's not surprising that <strong>Asus has sent out a handful of external power card prototypes to the overclocking community</strong>.</p> <p>HWBOT forum user "elmor" <a href="http://forum.hwbot.org/showthread.php?t=122457" target="_blank">posted a photo</a> of the card, which at this stage is part of an experimental project. Only a few test samples have been sent out -- Asus wants to gain some feedback from overclockers regarding features, functions, and performance.</p> <p>The card offers a single 8-phase output with an output voltage of 0-2.5V and output current of up to 500A. It has on-board voltage controls and monitoring, along with half a dozen hotwire connectors for auxillary VRMs. It's also firmware upgradable -- Asus intends to add profiles (save/load) to the mix along with a <a href="http://forum.hwbot.org/showpost.php?p=350620&amp;postcount=12" target="_blank">few other tweaks</a>.</p> <p>This isn't uncharted territory. EVGA offers a similar tool in its <a href="http://www.evga.com/Products/Product.aspx?pn=100-UC-0400-BR" target="_blank">EPower Board 2.0</a> ($100 MSRP) and there's also <a href="https://www.facebook.com/GIGABYTE/posts/10152495454521948" target="_blank">Gigabyte's G-Powerboard</a> that it showed off at Computex.</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/asus_taps_overclocking_community_test_external_power_card_2014#comments asus external power card Hardware overclocking News Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:11:06 +0000 Paul Lilly 29133 at http://www.maximumpc.com Biostar Motherboards to Incorporate Built-in LAN Protection from Lightning Strikes http://www.maximumpc.com/biostar_motherboards_incorporate_built-_lan_protection_lightning_strikes_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/super_lan_surge_protection.jpg" alt="Super LAN Surge Protection" title="Super LAN Surge Protection" width="228" height="150" style="float: right;" />Motherboard maker takes lightning storms seriously</h3> <p>Here's the thing, folks -- if you want to protect your PC from lightning strikes and other electrical surges, plug it into a UPS backup power supply with built-in surge protection. For added caution, shut down and unplug your PC during lightning storms. And <strong>if you're super paranoid about your LAN port giving up the ghost, well, you'll be happy to know that Biostar has your back and will begin integrating a chip into its motherboards to strengthen electrical stability</strong>.</p> <p>Biostar is calling the feature "SUPER LAN Surge Protection," and you know it's good stuff because they emphasized "super" with all-caps. Going forward, all Biostar products will incorporate the technology, offering four times greater protection against lightning strikes and electrical surges than the competition.</p> <p>It's not clear if USB ports are also protected, as the company's infographic would make it appear. Either way, this isn't really the sort of thing that's going to make Biostar more appealing to power users. For the most part, anyway -- we suppose if you've had a bad string of luck with LAN ports getting fried, this is right up your alley. And before you scoff at the idea, we can think of at least one persion who would be all over this kind of thing:</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/OGR6Wk3Kboo" width="620" height="465" frameborder="0"></iframe></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/biostar_motherboards_incorporate_built-_lan_protection_lightning_strikes_2014#comments Biostar Build a PC Hardware lan motherboard surge protection News Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:21:54 +0000 Paul Lilly 29132 at http://www.maximumpc.com IBM Wants to Tap Your PC and Android Devices to Cure Ebola http://www.maximumpc.com/ibm_wants_tap_your_pc_and_android_devices_cure_ebola <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/ebola_research.jpg" alt="Ebola Research" title="Ebola Research" width="228" height="165" style="float: right;" />Free app puts your Android device to work crunching data when it would otherwise be idle</h3> <p>Scientists are hard at work looking for a definitive cure to Ebola, and you can help. More precisely, if you're willing to donate idle time power from your PC and/or Android device, you can help the cause. How? <strong>The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has partnered up with IBM and its World Community Grid to form a volunteer computing project called "Outsmart Ebola Together," </strong>and all you need to do is install a free app.</p> <p>Once installed, your PC and/or Android phone or tablet will crunch data at times then they would otherwise be idle. Small computational assignments are sent out to participating devices, which the software then completes and returns to scientists. It's essentially another distributed computing project, like Folding@Home, and so far almost 3 million PCs and mobile devices used by more than 680,000 people and 460 institutions from 80 countries have contributed virtual supercomputing power this this and other WCG projects over the past 10 years.</p> <p>"Our molecular images of the Ebola virus are like enemy reconnaissance," <a href="http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/45594.wss" target="_blank">said Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire</a> of TSRI, one of the largest private biomedical research institutes in the United States. "These images show us where the virus is vulnerable and the targets we need to hit. In the Outsmart Ebola Together project, we will be able to harness World Community Grid’s virtual supercomputing power to find the drugs we need to aim at these targets."</p> <p>It took just one week on the grid for the Ebola project to complete what it would have taken a single PC with a single processor around 35 year to complete, <a href="http://time.com/3634732/ibm-ebola-cure/" target="_blank"><em>Time</em> reports</a>. Speed is critical in this case as Ebola continues to spread and mutate.</p> <p>The caveat? One would presume lower battery life since idle time is now being put to work, however the software only does its thing when your device is pugged in and connected to Wi-Fi (to avoid data charges). Unfortunately there's no iOS version of the free app yet, though IBM is working on it.</p> <p>For more information, <a href="http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/" target="_blank">go here</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_wants_tap_your_pc_and_android_devices_cure_ebola#comments android distributed computing ebola Hardware ibm scripps research institute world community grid News Fri, 19 Dec 2014 20:55:33 +0000 Paul Lilly 29124 at http://www.maximumpc.com Western Digital Expects Storage Market to Grow by Billions of Dollars http://www.maximumpc.com/western_digital_expects_storage_market_grow_billions_dollars_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hdd_5.jpg" alt="HDD" title="HDD" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Cloud computing and IoT are pushing demand for more storage</h3> <p>Don't feel too bad for storage players as the prices of hard drives and solid state drives continue to come down -- there's still money to be made. Lots of it. By <strong>Western Digital's estimation, the global storage market will reach $38 billion by the end of this year</strong>, up from $36 billion a year ago. And that's not all -- WD sees the growth continuing into next year and beyond, with 2015 seeing $42 billion in storage sales.</p> <p>Home computers and PC storage applications account for nearly half of all storage sales, though WD sees enterprise customers becoming bigger buyers in the not-too-distant future, <a href="http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20141218PD217.html"><em>Digitimes</em> reports</a>. This is due to a rise in popularity among cloud-based services and the growing Internet of Things (IoT) trend.</p> <p>As it stands, the overall demand for storage reached 4.4 zettabytes in 2013, or 4.4 billion terabytes. A drop in the bucket compared to where things are headed over the next several years -- by 2020, that figure is expected to balloon to 44 zettabytes.</p> <p>WD expects enterprise demand to outpace that of PCs next by either next year or 2016. To ensure it capitalizes on however the market shakes out, WD is planning a series of product lines in varying categories, including new opportunities in cloud compouting, IoT, NAS, and personal cloud applications.</p> <p>Image Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/downhilldom1984/6034381675" target="_blank">Flickr (Dominik Bartsch)</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/western_digital_expects_storage_market_grow_billions_dollars_2014#comments Hard Drive Hardware HDD solid state drive ssd storage wd Western Digital News Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:34:42 +0000 Paul Lilly 29123 at http://www.maximumpc.com Potential Steam Controller Design Leaks to Web http://www.maximumpc.com/potential_steam_controller_design_leaks_web_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/steam_controller_2.jpg" alt="Steam Controller" title="Steam Controller" width="228" height="169" style="float: right;" />Welcome back, D-pad</h3> <p>Had things gone to plan, official Steam Machines would have already begun flooding the market by now, though those plans got put on hold when Valve decided to <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/controller_tweaks_prompt_valve_delay_steam_machines_until_2015" target="_blank">delay the initiative</a> so that it could have extra time to tweak its Steam Controller. Valve dropped the bombshell just shy of seven months ago, and while there's <strong>still no completed Steam Controller in sight, there is a new design that's been leaked to the web</strong>.</p> <p>A staff member at <a href="http://www.valvetime.net/threads/steam-client-beta-update-reveals-latest-steam-controller-design.245634/" target="_blank"><em>ValveTime.net</em></a> who goes by the nick "Omnomnick" posted the updated design, noting that the most recent appearance of the delayed devices was plucked from files contained within the latest Steam Client Beta update. It looks fairly similar to the previous version except what appears to be a D-pad has returned to the left-hand side.</p> <p>"The most striking change from previous designs is the appearance of a four-point directional guide on the left touch pad. It's not entirely clear just yet how the four-point guide will be used or what it's main purpose is, but we'd imagine the left pad may now be re-configurable to feature as a softer, more diverse alternative to the standard D-Pad by offering more directional input than just the standard four-points of motion," Omnomnick said.</p> <p>Unfortunately we still won't see the controller at CES next month. That's because Valve won't be there, a tidbit the company confirmed to our sister site <a href="http://www.techradar.com/us/news/gaming/consoles/valve-won-t-be-at-ces-2015-large-steam-machine-presence-planned-for-gdc-1273542" target="_blank"><em>TechRadar</em></a>. Valve is instead planning a big Steam Machine presence at GDC 2015, which takes place March 2-6.</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/potential_steam_controller_design_leaks_web_2014#comments games Hardware Peripherals steam controller Valve News Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:10:47 +0000 Paul Lilly 29114 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Marks Down HP Pavilion x2 Hybrid PC to $199 http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_marks_down_hp_pavilion_x2_hybrid_pc_199_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hp_pavilion_x2.jpg" alt="HP Pavilion x2" title="HP Pavilion x2" width="228" height="107" style="float: right;" />Another solid gift idea</h3> <p>You have to hand it to Microsoft for serving up some tantalizing offers as part of its "12 Days of Deals" promotion that's currently on its second to last day. There's been a little something for everyone, and today, that something is an <strong>HP Pavilion x2, a hybrid 2-in-1 PC that Microsoft marked down to $199</strong> from its original price tag of $329. It's also a Signature Edition system, meaning there's no third-party bloatware.</p> <p>The Pavilion x2 sports a 10.1-inch IPS display with an LED backlight, 1280x800 resolution, and 10-finger multi-touch support. It's powered by an Intel Atom Z3736F processor (1.33GHz to 2.16GHz) and 2GB of DDR3L-RS 1333MHz RAM. Other features include 32GB of eMMC storage, microSD card reader, USB 2.0, micro HDMI, headphone/microphone combo, HD webcam, 802.11n Wi-Fi (Miracast enabled), Bluetooth, and Windows 8.1 with Bing (32-bit).</p> <p>Those aren't the kind of specs that will knock your socks off, though respectable for the money. It also comes with a detachable keyboard and a year of Office 356 Personal, the latter of which is a $70 value.</p> <p>Interested? <a href="http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/HP-Pavilion-x2-10-k077nr-Signature-Edition-2-in-1-PC/productID.309725500?icid=12Days_ModA_Day11_HP2" target="_blank">Go here</a> to pick one up. And if not, here's a heads up that tomorrow's deal -- the last of the promotion -- is going to be half off a <a href="http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/12-Month-Xbox-Music-Pass/productID.258412400?icid=12Days_D12_XMusic" target="_blank">12-month Xbox Music Pass</a> ($49.90 instead of $99.90).</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_marks_down_hp_pavilion_x2_hybrid_pc_199_2014#comments 12 days of deals 2-in-1 Hardware hp pavilion x2 laptop microsoft notebook tablet News Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:47:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 29113 at http://www.maximumpc.com Forget the Picture Frame, Use Lian Li's O Series Chassis to Hang a PC on Your Wall http://www.maximumpc.com/forget_picture_frame_use_lian_lis_o_series_chassis_hang_pc_your_wall_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/lian_li_pc-o7s.jpg" alt="Lian Li PC-O7S" title="Lian Li PC-O7S" width="228" height="220" style="float: right;" />An open air wall-mountable chassis</h3> <p>Have you ever thought about hanging your PC components on a wall? Admittedly I have a time or three, though I've never attempted it because, quite frankly, it'd be a lot of work to secure each and every component on a bare wall, and then make it all look nice to boot. It looks like <strong>Lian Li read my mind -- the company's new O Series open-air cases are wall-mountable</strong> (and also a work in progress).</p> <p>There are four different models: the mini-ITX <a href="http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-o5/" target="_blank">PC-O5</a>, mini-ITX <a href="http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-o5s/" target="_blank">PC-O5S</a>, micro-ATX <a href="http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-o6s/" target="_blank">PC-O6S</a>, and the ATX <a href="http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-o7s/" target="_blank">PC-O7S</a>. All of them are in the prototype stage, as Lian Li looks for user feedback from the DIY community as it fleshes out and tweaks a final design.</p> <p>Though they're built for different form factors, each case is similar in overall design. They all feature an oversized tempered glass window so that visitors can spy the entire build. And to keep it slim, graphics cards are installed parallel to the motherboard through a PCI riser card and extension.</p> <p>Cases with an "S" suffix denote water cooling compatibility, with the PC-O5S supporting radiators up to 240mm; the PC-O6S and PC-O7S support radiators up to 360mm.</p> <p>Wall mounting any of the O Series cases is optional (you'll probably want a wireless mouse and keyboard if going that route), as they can also be placed on a desk in the vertical position using an included aluminum stand with rubber grip, or horizontally on four attachable feet with rubber padding.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ucNne8-yc5w" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>No word on when Lian Li might bring these case to market or what the MSRPs will be.</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/forget_picture_frame_use_lian_lis_o_series_chassis_hang_pc_your_wall_2014#comments Build a PC case chassis enclosure Hardware Lian Li o series News Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:08:04 +0000 Paul Lilly 29112 at http://www.maximumpc.com Look for More Business-Class Laptops Pairing SSDs with HDDs in 2015 http://www.maximumpc.com/look_more_business-class_laptops_pairing_ssds_hdds_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hdd_ssd.jpg" alt="SSD and HDD" title="SSD and HDD" width="228" height="169" style="float: right;" />Falling prices have vendors more willing to adopt low capacity SSDs</h3> <p>Solid state drive pricing has fallen off a cliff in recent years, which is largely the result of lower cost NAND flash memory chips. Since then, SSDs have continued to trickle downwards in price, though at a much slower pace. Nevertheless, with costs still trending downward, <strong>laptop vendors are expected to offer more business-class laptops with both SSD and HDD storage options inside</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20141216PD213.html" target="_blank">According to <em>Digitimes</em></a>, the proportion of hybrid business-use notebooks -- laptops equipped with an SSD for the OS and HDD for storage -- currently sits at around 10 percent, though looking ahead to next year, those in the notebook supply chain say they expect that number to double to 20 percent.</p> <p>This is based on the expectation that the price for a 128GB SSD will drop to $60 in the first quarter of 2015, which would be equal to the cost of a 1TB HDD, <em>Digitimes</em> says. So what's likely to happen is there will be a bunch of business notebooks that pair a 128GB SDD with a 500GB HDD.</p> <p>Why the prominence in business-class laptops? These tend to be more expensive than consumer notebooks, which makes it easier to squeeze in upgrades like this. And with cloud-based storage taking off the way it has, vendors don't need to worry so much about equipping laptops with increasingly capacious HDDs, or so the theory goes.</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/look_more_business-class_laptops_pairing_ssds_hdds_2015#comments Hard Drive Hardware HDD laptop notebook solid state drive ssd storage News Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:44:27 +0000 Paul Lilly 29107 at http://www.maximumpc.com BlackBerry Classic Tips Hat to the Past, Kicks Off Comeback Strategy http://www.maximumpc.com/blackberry_classic_tips_hat_past_kicks_comeback_strategy_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/blackberry_classic_0.jpg" alt="BlackBerry Classic" title="BlackBerry Classic" width="228" height="197" style="float: right;" />Old school philosophy with new school hardware</h3> <p>Well, it's official -- <strong>BlackBerry (the company formerly known as Research In Motion, or RIM) launched its BlackBerry Classic today</strong>, a "no-nonsense" phone that harkens back to the Canadian handset maker's glory days with a physical QWERTY keyboard and built-in trackpad. It also sports several modern amenities and upgrades to go along with its keyboard, like a browser that's three times faster compared to the BlackBerry Bold 9900.</p> <p>The 3.5-inch touchscreen offers 60 percent more screen space while the phone as a whole offers 50 percent longer battery life, BlackBerry claims. Other features include a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (expandable by up to 128GB via microSD), 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 8-megapixel rear facing camera with enhanced optics and upgraded imaging sensors, and BlackBerry 10 OS (10.3.1).</p> <p>"We listened closely to our customers’ feedback to ensure we are delivering the technologies to power them through their day – and that feedback led directly to the development of BlackBerry Classic," <a href="http://press.blackberry.com/press/2014/blackberry-classic--familiar-qwerty-design-packs-high-performanc.html" target="_blank">said John Chen</a>, Executive Chairman and CEO at BlackBerry. "BlackBerry Classic is the powerful communications tool that many BlackBerry Bold and Curve users have been waiting for. It’s the secure device that feels familiar in their hands, with the added performance and agility they need to be competitive in today’s busy world."</p> <p>With the BlackBerry Classic, BlackBerry is hoping to attract fans of physical keyboards, both loyal and new, as it attempts to regain a level of relevancy in the mobile space that it hasn't seen since Android and iOS skyrocketed to the top. According to data provided by IDC, BlackBerry OS is clinging to a meager 0.5 percent share of the worldwide smartphone market, compared to Windows Phone at 2.9 percent, iOS at 11.7 percent, and Android at 84.4 percent.</p> <p>The unlocked BlackBerry Classic runs <a href="http://shop.blackberry.com/store/bbrryus/en_US/pd/productID.310234500/Currency.USD" target="_blank">$449 on BlackBerry's website</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/product/B00OYZZ3VS/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=bbclassic-20&amp;linkId=2UVALKBYIDNGYW3M" target="_blank">$499.99 on Amazon</a>. AT&amp;T and Verizon have also confirmed plans to sell the device beginning sometime next year.</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/blackberry_classic_tips_hat_past_kicks_comeback_strategy_2014#comments BlackBerry blackberry classic Hardware keyboard mobile smartphone News Wed, 17 Dec 2014 16:58:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 29105 at http://www.maximumpc.com Best of the Best: Now Updated! http://www.maximumpc.com/best_of_the_best_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/best.jpg" alt="Best" title="Best" width="228" height="169" style="float: right;" />Maximum PC's "Best of the Best" List Gets Updated</h3> <p>The holiday shopping is in full swing, and though Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, deals and savings are all over the place. If you're going to shop for computer hardware, this is one of the best times of the year to do it. And as an added bonus, you can write some of this stuff off on your taxes if you're building a new system for work chores.</p> <p>Deciding to buy new hardware is the easy part. Where it gets difficult is in deciding <em>which</em> hardware to purchase. To help make things easier for you, we've gone and updated our "Best of the Best" list one last time for 2014. We have refreshed entries for graphics cards, CPUs, motherboards, and storage.</p> <p>You can check out all of our new pics in the gallery below, though keep in mind this is a small sample of the complete list, which you can <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/best-of-the-best" target="_blank">view here</a>. And hey, we know these things tend to stir up controversy, so if have a different pick in any given category, feel free to post it in the comments section along with a note as to why you think it's the best.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/best_of_the_best_2014#comments best of the best Build a PC features gallery Hardware maximum pc Features Tue, 16 Dec 2014 21:32:27 +0000 The Maximum PC Staff and Paul Lilly 29010 at http://www.maximumpc.com Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 980 Lets You Choose Air or Water Cooling for $640 http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_rog_poseidon_gtx_980_lets_you_choose_air_or_water_cooling_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_rog_poseidon_gtx_980_0.jpg" alt="Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 980" title="Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 980" width="228" height="160" style="float: right;" />Choose your own adventure (in cooling)</h3> <p><strong>Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced the Poseidon GTX 980 with DirectCU H2O</strong>, a hybrid thermal solution that lets users choose between air or water cooling. The cooler sports a custom vapor chamber that comes in direct contact with the card's GPU for better heat dispersal, while copper heat pipes and extended cooling fins help whisk heat out and away from the card.</p> <p>Using water cooling, Asus ROG says the Poseidon GTX 980 can achieve temperatures that are up to 27C lower compared to reference, which the company claims will translate into up to 10 percent faster performance in Watch Dogs and 7 percent in Battlefield 4 (through less throttling, presumably).</p> <p>Asus said it used high end components for longevity -- things like black metallic solid state capacitors, 10-phase Super Alloy Power chokes, hardened MOSFETs, and Digi+ VRM for clean and stable voltage. There's also a tough backplate made of aluminum alloy and a die-cast thermal armor with thermal pads to prevent bending.</p> <p>The Asus ROG Poseidon GTX 980 will be available soon for $640 MSRP.</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/asus_rog_poseidon_gtx_980_lets_you_choose_air_or_water_cooling_2014#comments air cooling asus Build a PC games graphics card Hardware poseidon gtx 980 Republic of Gamers ROG Video Card water cooling News Tue, 16 Dec 2014 21:02:00 +0000 Paul Lilly 29103 at http://www.maximumpc.com Lite-On to Unveil Zeta Solid State Drive for Consumers at CES http://www.maximumpc.com/lite-_unveil_zeta_solid_state_drive_consumers_ces_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/lite-on_zeta.jpg" alt="Lite-On Zeta" title="Lite-On Zeta" width="228" height="210" style="float: right;" />Look for Lite-On to light up the SSD scene</h3> <p>Tired of seeing the same old players participate in the solid state drive wars? If so, you'll be glad to know another warrior is entering the battlefield. That warrior is <strong>Lite-On</strong>, and come CES, the company that's perhaps best known for manufacturing affordable optical drives (dating back to when optical drives weren't necessarily affordable) <strong>will try its hand at making consumer grade SSDs</strong>.</p> <p>The company partially spilled the beans in a <a href="http://us.liteonit.com/us/news/news-n-events/340-ces-2012-lite-on-unveils-solid-states-drives-and-mydisk-software-suite-" target="_blank">press release</a> on its website, saying it will unveil "ultra high-speed" SSDs featuring True Speed Technology.</p> <p>"TrueSpeed is a technology that works to prevent the drastic write speed degradation that can occur with SSDs and delivers highly stabilized long-term performance, which provides enterprise, corporate, and OEM customers with a real-world performance advantage," Lite-On explained.</p> <p>Chinese-language website <a href="https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&amp;tl=en&amp;js=y&amp;prev=_t&amp;hl=en&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.expreview.com%2F37760.html&amp;edit-text=&amp;act=url" target="_blank"><em>expreview.com</em></a> tipped the can all the way over and spilled the rest of the beans. If the site's information proves accurate, Lite-On's first consumer SSD will be called Zeta. It will use Hynix 16nm MLC flash memory and come in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities. All three will offer up to 520MB/s read transfers, while write speeds will be rated at up to 150MB/s for the 128GB model, 290MB/s for the 256GB model, and 430MB/s for the 512MB model.</p> <p>Lite-On isn't going after the speed crown obviously, and instead is focusing on price. While it's early, pricing at the moment looks to convert to around $71 (128GB), $129 (256GB) and $258 (512GB) -- respectable, though not spectacular by any means. Here's crossing our fingers that domestic and street pricing end up a bit lower.</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/lite-_unveil_zeta_solid_state_drive_consumers_ces_2014#comments Build a PC CES consumer electronics show Hardware Lite-on solid state drive ssd storage zeta News Tue, 16 Dec 2014 19:11:06 +0000 Paul Lilly 29100 at http://www.maximumpc.com First Images of Broadwell-based Intel NUC Kits Emerge http://www.maximumpc.com/first_images_broadwell-based_intel_nuc_kits_emerge690 <!--paging_filter--><h3>Official announcement likely at CES 2015</h3> <p>The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is just around the corner and, if some recent reports are to be believed, so is the <strong>announcement of a new generation of Intel’s Next Unit of Computing (NUC) range of pint-sized PC kits and boards</strong>. A <a href="http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/nuc/products-overview.html" target="_blank">bunch of images</a> said to show next-generation NUC units quietly appeared on Intel’s own website <a href="http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/nuc/overview.html" target="_blank">late last month</a>, where they sat unnoticed until the folks over at ComputerBase.de stumbled on them a few days back.</p> <p><img src="/files/u46168/intel-nuc-broadwell.jpg" alt="NUC Maple Canyon Kit Flanked by Rock Canyon Systems" title="NUC Rock Canyon and Maple Canyon Systems" width="620" height="272" /></p> <p>These new NUC systems are said to be built around the chipmaker’s 14nm Broadwell chips. According to reporting by <a href="http://www.computerbase.de/2014-12/mini-pc-nuc-mit-broadwell-auf-intel-webseite-entdeckt/" target="_blank">ComputerBase.de</a> and <a href="http://www.legitreviews.com/intel-nuc-2-0-rock-canyon-broadwell-system-images-posted-intel_155157" target="_blank">LegitReviews</a>,&nbsp; the two models seen occupying the flanks in the above pic are both “Rock Canyon” (codename) systems aimed at the consumer market, whereas the one in the middle is a “Maple Canyon” (codename) thin client meant for business users. Further, a second image is said to show a Rock Canyon board.</p> <h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46168/intel-rock-canyon.png" alt="NUC ROCK CANYON" title="NUC ROCK CANYON" width="620" height="349" /></h3> <p>The two Rock Canyon models seen in the first picture are said to measure 115mm x 111mm, with the one on the left reportedly having a height of 29.8mm and the taller one on the left about 48.55mm. Based on the images, we are looking at mini PCs with enough room for four USB 3.0 ports (including one with charging support), M.2 SSD slot, SATA III 6Gbps slot, mini HDMI, mini DisplayPort,&nbsp; Ethernet (Maple Canyon only), 802.11ac WiFi support (Rock Canyon) and dual-channel memory slots.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/first_images_broadwell-based_intel_nuc_kits_emerge690#comments Barebone broadwell CES ces 2015 Hardware htpc intel maple canyon mini pc motherboard nuc rock canyon News Mon, 15 Dec 2014 04:11:47 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29086 at http://www.maximumpc.com