Taking a trip to 'Hawaii' just got a bit more affordable
Competition is fierce in the graphics card market, and while we've seen AMD and Nvidia duke it out with bundled game offers, it's the price wars that truly get our attention. Speaking of which, Nvidia certainly got AMD's attention when it launched Maxwell during the company's GAME24 event, which saw the release of the GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980 for $329 and $549, respectively (MSRPs). AMD has just responded by cutting the price of its Radeon R9 290 and 290X Hawaii cards.
MSI may release a slower and less expensive version of the GeForce GTX 970
Nvidia has a winning architecture on its hands with Maxwell, and as we've seen in benchmarks, both the GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 980 are fine graphics cards. As is typically the case, Nvidia's third-party partners have taken to customizing the reference designs with their own cooling solutions and factory overclocks, though interestingly MSI appears to be preparing a Lite Edition of the GeForce GTX 970.
The issue of Apple's iPhone 6 Plus being prone to bending out of shape may be blown out of proportion -- Apple claims that the problem is "extremely rare" -- but whether it is or isn't, you can bet that Samsung is going to use the ammunition to fire at its rival. Having already taken to Twitter with digs at Apple, Samsung today posted a video showing the process its Galaxy Note 4 phones go through to ensure they stay rigid.
For those of you who've been waiting for Nvidia to start shipping its Shield gaming tablet with 32GB of on-board storage and 4G LTE connectivity baked in, the wait is now over -- you can order the Shield 32GB LTE gaming tablet for $399 direct from Nvidia's website. That's twice as much storage as the 16GB model, plus you get LTE connectivity in addition to Wi-Fi access, additions that come at a $100 premium.
Samsung's and Apple's share of the tablet market is eroding, though they still lead the pack
It will be tough (not impossible) to catch up with and/or surpass Apple or Samsung in the tablet race, though the sprint for third place is a ferocious one led by Lenovo, Amazon, and Asus, as well as other "emerging vendors," according to ABI Research. Lenovo is especially well positioned to take the No. 3 spot in tablet market share and is expected to ship 21 million slates by 2019.
Roccat on Tuesday announced the global availability of its "Tyon All Action Gaming" mouse (just "Tyon" from here on out), which unlike any previous mouse you've ever owned, it brings a dorsal fin design to the LAN party. According to Roccat, the Tyon represents an evolution of the gaming mouse and is a "true game changer." In other words, the hype is strong with this one.
Consumers aren't getting touchy-feely with their notebooks
The emergency of tablet PCs and smartphones taught everyone the value of touch computing, and with Windows 8, Microsoft tried to carry that momentum over to traditional PCs. It didn't take, or least it hasn't so far, because if it had, we'd all be owners of touchscreen monitors and touch-enabled laptops. However, it looks like that ship may have sailed for certain segments -- because demand for touchscreen laptops has been weaker than expected, vendors have reportedly stopped developing them.
Just a few blocks away from Apple's flagship store
Microsoft on Monday announced that it signed a lease to open its first flagship store at 677 Fifth Avenue in New York City, which will serve as the centerpiece of its Microsoft Stores experience. This is something Microsoft has wanted to do ever since it opened its first retail store back on October 22, 2009, but it had to be the "right location." As it turns out, that ideal location is only blocks away from Apple's flagship store.
Built to meet U.S. military-standard 810G requirements
Asus is all set to welcome a new Windows 8.1 ultrabook to its AsusPro B Advanced line of business notebooks, a range made up mostly of 14- and 15.6-inch models. The incoming AsusPro Advanced BU201 will be a tad different, though. With a screen size of 12.5-inch, it will be the joint smallest model in the lineup when it goes up for sale.
Retail PC sales rise up on Chromebook and Mac shipments
As we've said time and again, the PC sector is alive is well. According to NPD Group, retail PC sales grew nearly 3 percent during the 10-week back-to-school shopping season that went from July 4th through Labor Day week), compared to a 2.5 percent decline in the same period a year ago. Where things get interesting is when you break down those sales to look for trends in consumer spending.