notebook en MSI's GT80 Titan is World First Laptop to Sport a Mechanical Keyboard <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/msi_gt80_titan.jpg" alt="MSI GT80 Titan" title="MSI GT80 Titan" width="228" height="187" style="float: right;" />Finally, a gaming laptop with a mechanical plank!</h3> <p>Call us keyboard snobs if you will, but once you've experienced the pleasure of typing on a mechanical keyboard, it's difficult to go back to those squishy membrane planks. Peripheral makers have stepped up to the plate with plenty of mechanical models in the past few years, though <strong>MSI gets a virtual high-five for being the first to plop a mechanical keyboard on a gaming laptop</strong>.</p> <p>MSI's GT80 Titan uses Cherry MX Brown key switches, which are known for being light, tactile, and non-clicky. It's a popular switch among gamers because of their tactile response while remaining relatively quiet compared to Cherry MX Blue switches, which are loud by comparison.</p> <p>Little else is known about the 18.4-inch GT80 Titan, at least on an official basis. Rumor has it the GT80 Titan may wield a GTX 980 SLI configuration and up to 32GB of RAM. Given the laptop's size, we're betting on this being a full-blown desktop replacement.</p> <p>No word yet on price or availability, only that it's "<a href="" target="_blank">coming soon</a>," according to the GT80 Titan's teaser page.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> cherry mx brown Gaming gt80 titan Hardware laptop mechanical keyboard msi notebook OEM rigs News Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:51:03 +0000 Paul Lilly 28815 at Asus Posts Detailed DIY Upgrade Guides for G551 and G771 Laptops <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/g771_upgrade.jpg" alt="Asus G771 Upgrade" title="Asus G771 Upgrade" width="228" height="189" style="float: right;" />Easy to follow upgrade guides</h3> <p>Working on a laptop might seem like it's a daunting task if you've never done it before, and depending on how much of it you have to rip apart, it sometimes can be, However, in many cases, swapping out common parts -- think of items like the hard drive, RAM, and Wi-Fi card -- is incredibly simple. To make upgrades and repairs even easier, <strong>Asus ROG has gone and posted upgrade guides for its G551 and G771 laptops</strong>, complete with lots of pics.</p> <p>"You should be glad to know that you don’t have to be computer savvy to upgrade G771 by yourself, and that’s great news if you’ve always wanted to upgrade a PC. Before you know it, you’ll be building a liquid-cooling system with sound-activated bling. You’ll need a place to work where you won’t be losing screws and scratching up the laptop surface. Let’s start here by opening up the back cover," Asus begins its G771 upgrade guide.</p> <p>By removing a section of the back panel, you'll have easy access to the 16GB of DDR3L-1600 RAM (two 8GB DIMMs). Sitting just in front of the RAM is an M.2. PCI-Express SSD, which itself is flanked by a pair of 2.5-inch drive bays on both sides. The guide also shows how to remove the optical drive.</p> <p>Word to the wise when shopping a laptop -- do your research to see if DIY repairs and upgrades are easy or fairly involved. Asus is usually pretty good about using enclosures designed to make upgrading a painless affair, though we've seen some models that require almost a complete teardown just to get to one of the sticks of RAM.</p> <p>In any event, you'll find the <a href="" target="_blank">G551 upgrade guide here</a> and the <a href="" target="_blank">G771 upgrade guide here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> asus diy repair g551 g771 laptop notebook ROG News Mon, 27 Oct 2014 19:32:45 +0000 Paul Lilly 28790 at CyberPowerPC Offers Up Affordable Fangbook III HX6 Laptop for Gamers <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/fangbook_iii.jpg" alt="CyberPowerPC Fangbook III" title="CyberPowerPC Fangbook III" width="228" height="225" style="float: right;" />Fangbook III HX6 packs a bite</h3> <p>Gone are the days when the only gaming laptops on the block are the ones that carry ultra-premium price tags. These days you can get gaming goodness on the go for relatively cheap, at least compared to what these systems used to cost. Such is underscored by <strong>CyberPowerPC's new Fangbook III HX6, a 15.6-inch laptop for gamers</strong> equipped with an Intel Core i7 4700MQ processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M graphics, and starting price of $1,100.</p> <p>CyberPowerPC says its latest Fangbook comes with some features of special interest to gamers. These include an automatic kickstand that deploys when the notebook is opened to prop up the rear edge of the laptop to allow air to flow freely through the intakes, and shortcut keys to adjust cooling, backlight settings, and to underclock the CPU.</p> <p>In addition to the Core i7 4700MQ CPU and GeForce GTX 860M GPU, the new Fangbook model sports 8GB of RAM (expandable to 16GB), 1TB hard drive (7200 RPM), 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and Windows 8.1. A few upgrade options are available, including SSD solutions and faster CPU choices.</p> <p>CyberPowerPC's Fangbook III HX6 is <a href="" target="_blank">available now</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> cyberpowerpc fangbook iii hx6 Gaming Hardware laptop notebook OEM rigs News Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:42:59 +0000 Paul Lilly 28777 at Samsung Chromebook 2 with Intel Inside is Now Available to Pre-Order <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/samsung_chromebook_2_0.jpg" alt="Samsung Chromebook 2" title="Samsung Chromebook 2" width="228" height="173" style="float: right;" />Leather-wrapped Chromebook 2 models from Samsung start at $250</h3> <p>If the only thing that's stopping you from picking up a Chromebook is that you're waiting for a company to stitch a strip of leather-like material to the lid, well, you're in luck. <strong>Samsung today announced that it's taking pre-orders for its 11.6-inch Chromebook 2</strong>. According to Samsung, the build is nearly seamless, supported by a strong metal frame from top to bottom and covered with a leather-like case, giving the system the appearance of an expensive briefcase.</p> <p>Not just for looks, <a href="" target="_blank">Samsung says</a> there's a function to the material -- it makes the Chromebook 2 easier to grip and hold, which the company points out is especially important for students and children. That's a good point, considering that Chromebooks are becoming popular in education circles.</p> <p>The Chromebook 2 sports an Intel Celeron N2840 processor (2.58GHz, 1MB L2 cache) inside, along with 2GB of DDR3L-1333 RAM. It also features a 1366x768 resolution, 16GB of internal storage, Intel HD Graphics, a pair of 2W stereo speakers, 720p HD webcam, and up to 9 hours of battery life.</p> <p>As for dimensions, the Chromebook 2 measures 11.40 x 8.6 x 0.66 inches and weighs just 2.65 pounds.</p> <p>You can pre-order the Chromebook 2 for $250 on <a href="" target="_blank">Samsung's website</a>, or at least you will be able to sometime today (we're not seeing the listing at the time of this writing). It will be widely available next week.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> chrome os chromebook 2 Google intel laptop mobile notebook OEM rigs samsung News Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:16:06 +0000 Paul Lilly 28741 at Asus and AMD Get Cozy, Look to Expand Partnership in Desktop Arena <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_store.jpg" alt="Asus Store" title="Asus Store" width="228" height="170" style="float: right;" />Did we just become best friends? Yup! - <a href="" target="_blank">Step Brothers</a></h3> <p>We're always hearing about Intel and Microsoft working with system vendors to promote cheaper systems, but what about AMD? Well, if the chatty heads entrenched in the upstream supply chain know what they're talking about, then <strong>AMD and Asus are fast becoming BFFs in the desktop space</strong>. AMD is even said to be using the name "Zen" for its next-generation desktop APU platform.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Digitimes</em></a> and its sources, the decision to roll with "Zen" is not a coincidence -- it's a branding that Asus has used on past products and a sign that the two companies are expanding their relationship. The sources also say that AMD has been offering Asus special discounts for its CPUs.</p> <p>Those same sources believe that AMD is trying to expand its desktop APU sales by cooperating with Asus and wants to bump its overall market share to above 30 percent, which is about where it's at now. However, AMD has to walk a fine line so as not to drive companies like Gigabyte and MSI towards the competition.</p> <p>Take all this with a grain of salt. One thing to keep in mind is that <a href="" target="_blank">AMD has a new CEO</a> in Dr. Lisa Su, who just last week replaced Rory Read as head of the company. Given how recently this happened, it's a bit too early to know what kind of strategy Dr. Su will put into place.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> amd apu asus Hardware laptop mobile notebook News Tue, 14 Oct 2014 17:03:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 28712 at Lenovo Refreshes Yoga Line, Unveils Yoga Tablet 2 and Yoga 3 Pro Laptop <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/lenovo_yoga_3_pro.jpg" alt="Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro" title="Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro" width="228" height="149" style="float: right;" />Hey look, it's Ashton Kutcher</h3> <p>Why's Ashton Kutcher hanging around Lenovo, you ask? The short answer, quite simply, is marketing. But the longer answer is that he joined Lenovo as a product engineer a year ago and purportedly helped develop the <strong>Yoga Tablet 2 Pro, one of three new products Lenovo just rolled out. The other two are the non-pro version of the Yoga Tablet and the Yoga 3 Pro</strong>, an ultraslim convertible.</p> <p>Both the <a href="" target="_blank">Yoga Tablet 2</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Yoga Tablet 2 Pro</a> can run either Windows or Android. The Pro model sports a 13.3-inch QHD display with a 2560x1440 resolution powered by a 4th generation Intel Atom Z3745 processor (Bay Trail) and 2GB of RAM. It has a built-in pico projector, 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.6-megapixel front camera, 32GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, optional 4G, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, 8W sound system with a subwoofer, and up to 15 hours of battery life.</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Lenovo plans to make the Tablet 2 Pro available this month starting at $499.</p> <p>As for the non-Pro models, they're available in 8-inch and 10.1-inch form factors with choice of Windows 8.1 or Android 4.4 KitKat. Both feature a 1920x1200 IPS display powered by the same Atom Z3745 processor and 2GB of RAM. Other specs are similar to the Pro except that onboard storage is cut in half to 16GB.</p> <p>The smaller version will start at $250 and the larger model at $300 later this month.</p> <p>Finally, the <a href="" target="_blank">Yoga 3 Pro</a> is a thin and light convertible with a new watchband hinge design. It boasts a 13.3-inch QHD+ touchscreen display with a 3200x1800 resolution powered by an Intel Core M-70 processor (Broadwell), 8GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, two USB 3.0 ports, micro HDMI, microSD card slot, and various other odds and ends.</p> <p>The Yoga 3 Pro will ship at the end of October starting at $1,350.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> android ashton kutcher Hardware laptop lenovo mobile notebook OEM rigs Windows yoga 3 pro yoga tablet 2 News Fri, 10 Oct 2014 12:32:58 +0000 Paul Lilly 28696 at Microsoft Refutes Surface Pro 3 Rumor, Says Tablet is Here to Stay <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/surface_pro_3_4.jpg" alt="Surface Pro 3" title="Surface Pro 3" width="228" height="160" style="float: right;" />News of the Surface Pro 3's demise have been greatly exaggerated</h3> <p>It's not too often that Microsoft addresses rumors and speculation floating through cyberspace, so the fact that it stood up in defense of its Surface Pro 3 tablet amid talk that it's planning to cancel the product line is telling. Straight and to the point, <strong>Microsoft took to its Surface blog to reiterate to businesses (and anyone else) that it's not planning to discontinue the Surface Pro 3</strong>. Period.</p> <p>"Businesses can buy with confidence. We are here to stay," <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft stated</a>. "At Microsoft, we believe in the future of mobile computing, and with Surface, we have brought a unique perspective to market that meets the needs of many mobile professionals, businesses, educational institutions, and government organizations."</p> <p>It was <em>Digitimes</em> that <a href="" target="_blank">threw the rumor out there</a> suggesting that weak sales prompted Microsoft to rethink things and ultimately decide to scrap its Surface product line. The site also cited financial losses of around $1.7 billion attributed to Microsoft's first- and second-generation Surface tablets.</p> <p>Microsoft responded in a long-winded blog post saying that Surface Pro 3 is "off to a strong start with both individuals and businesses."</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 2-in-1 Hardware Hybrid laptop microsoft notebook slate surface pro 3 tablet News Thu, 09 Oct 2014 18:24:58 +0000 Paul Lilly 28694 at Maxwell Goes Mobile as Nvidia Launches GeForce GTX 970M and 980M GPUs <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nvidia_geforce_gtx_980m.jpg" alt="Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M" title="Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M" width="228" height="126" style="float: right;" />Update: Now with more screens and information on Nvidia battery boost</h3> <p>When Nvidia unveiled its first Maxwell-based graphics cards during its <a href="">GAME24 event</a>, the company trumpeted <a href="">increased performance</a> alongside power efficiency, allowing for high-end video cards that run cooler and quieter. That's the kind of combination that's ideal for mobile gamers, and if you've been waiting for Maxwell to arrive on laptops, your wait is over -- <strong>Nvidia this morning launched its GeForce GTX 970M and 980M notebook GPUs</strong>.</p> <p>"Let’s start with some history. Nvidia’s 8th-generation GPU architecture, Fermi, delivered about 40 percent of the desktop equivalent in 2010. Kepler, our 9th generation GPU, launched in 2010, closed the gap to 60 percent, giving gamers 1080p resolution and 'ultra' settings for the first time in a notebook," Nvidia explained in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>"With Maxwell, that gap shrinks to 80 percent of the desktop equivalent and pushes the resolution well beyond 1080p. It’s an astonishing achievement when you compare the thermal and power differences in a desktop tower and a notebook chassis," Nvidia continued.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/geforce_gtx_980_block_diagram_final.png" alt="980M block diagram" title="980M block diagram" width="620" height="578" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>980M block diagram</strong></p> <p>The GeForce GTX 980M wields 1536 CUDA cores with a base clockspeed of 1038MHz and unspecified boost clockspeed. It uses GDDR5 memory clocked at 2500MHz on a 256-bit bus, which translates into 160GB/s of memory bandwidth. All the latest APIs and technologies are supported, such as Optimus, GameStream, ShadowPlay, DirectX 12, OpenGL 4.4, OpenCL 1.1, PCI Express 3.0, and so forth.</p> <p>Nvidia's GTX 970M is slightly toned down with 1280 CUDA cores with a base clockspeed of 924MHz, also with an unspecified boost clock. The biggest difference between the two is that the memory travels through a 192-bit bus and tops out at 120GB/s of memory bandwidth.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/files/u154082/battery_boost_980m.png" alt="980m battery boost" title="980m battery boost" width="620" height="374" /></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Nvidia promises better battery boost with its 900-series mobile cards</strong></p> <p>One returning feature that Nvidia is touting is Nvidia Battery Boost, which is a feature that throttles GPU performance down to as low as 30FPS to optimize for battery life. If you’ve been following our coverage of Battery Boost, however, you might remember how disappointed we’ve been in it. From our testing, battery boost seems to have little-to-no impact on battery life. When we met with Nvidia, the company acknowledged that it hasn’t done the best job of working with OEMs to implement the feature, which it says it is now working hard to rectify. Nvidia claims that according to its internal tests, Battery Boost can increase battery life anywhere from 29-55% in games such League of Legends and Tomb Raider.&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe src="//" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Nvidia's GeForce GTX 980M with battery boost demo</strong></p> <p>According to Nvidia, both GPUs are capable of rendering games at up to 4K resolution. Since most laptops don't support resolutions above 1920x1080, the Maxwell parts use something called <a href="" target="_blank">Dynamic Super Resolution</a> (DSR) to render games at the higher res and then scale them down. Nvidia says this results in superior image quality than rendering directly to 1080p and considers it Maxwell's most exciting new technology.</p> <p><img src="/files/u154082/maxwell_laptops.png" alt="upcoming gaming laptops with 900 series mobile GPUs" title="upcoming gaming laptops with 900 series mobile GPUs" width="620" height="372" /></p> <p>Look for notebooks equipped with the new <a href="" target="_blank">GeForce GTX 980M</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">970M</a> GPUs to start shipping today.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Gaming geforce gtx 970m geforce gtx 980m gpu Hardware laptop maxwell mobile notebook nvidia News Wed, 08 Oct 2014 00:26:31 +0000 Paul Lilly and Jimmy Thang 28673 at Are Touchscreen Laptops Long for this World? <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/touchscreen_laptop_0.jpg" alt="Touchscreen Laptop" title="Touchscreen Laptop" width="228" height="142" style="float: right;" />Consumers aren't getting touchy-feely with their notebooks</h3> <p>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 -- <strong>because demand for touchscreen laptops has been weaker than expected, vendors have reportedly stopped developing them</strong>.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Digitimes</em></a> and its sources within the upstream supply chain, consumers are showing a strong preference for mouse (or trackpad) and keyboard operation on laptops versus tapping at the screen (no big surprise there). In addition, smartphone and tablet demand have combined to weaken overall notebook sales, touch or otherwise.</p> <p>Since adding a touch panel adds to the production cost and carries over to the retail price, vendors feel it just doesn't make sense to continue making touch-capable laptops.</p> <p>That decision applies to traditional laptops, including Ultrabooks, gaming notebooks, and standard laptops. Vendors will still add touchscreens to 2-in-1 hybrid devices that pull double duty as tablet PCs.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Hardware laptop mobile notebook touchscreen News Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:31:27 +0000 Paul Lilly 28628 at AsusPro BU201 is a Rugged Ultrabook Aimed at Business Users <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="AsusPro Advanced BU201 Ultrabook for Business Users" title="AsusPro Advanced BU201 Ultrabook " width="228" height="228" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Built to meet U.S. military-standard 810G requirements</h3> <p>Asus is all <strong>set to welcome a new Windows 8.1 ultrabook to its AsusPro B Advanced line of business notebooks</strong>, a range made up mostly of 14- and 15.6-inch models. The incoming <a href="" target="_blank">AsusPro Advanced BU201</a> 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.</p> <p>Asus is promising “military-grade reliability” with the BU201, which it says has been tested to exceed the U.S. military’s MIL-STD-810G standard for toughness. This is what the official product page has to say about its sturdiness: “Through the use of UD carbon fiber materials, the ASUSPRO BU201 Ultrabook easily withstands the rigors of business travel. The LCD cover gives 20% higher panel pressure resistance compared to standard notebooks, offering better damage protection while remaining light. US military-standard quality testing includes enhanced drop testing at more than double the height and extra-strict hinge testing.”</p> <p>The BU201 packs a full HD LCD display, 4th generation Core i7/i5 processor, 4GB RAM (expandable up to 12GB), up to 1TB storage, integrated Intel graphics, HD webcam, 4-in-1 card reader, 802.11 a/b/g/n or 802.11ac (WiDi), 4G LTE, and Bluetooth 4.0. Other specs include three USB 3.0 ports, Smart Card reader, RJ45 LAN, VGA port, mini DisplayPort and a docking connector to hook in the AsusPro Ultra Docking Station. For good measure, its spill-resistant, backlit keyboard has a “SensePoint” pointing stick to go along with the standard touchpad just below it.</p> <p>There’s no word on price and availability yet.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> asus asuspro advanced bu201 business class Hardware intel mil-std-810g notebook pointing stick ultrabook windows 8.1 News Mon, 29 Sep 2014 03:37:29 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28622 at Asus ROG Introduces G551 and G771 Gaming Laptops <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_rog_laptops.jpg" alt="Asus ROG Laptops" title="Asus ROG Laptops" width="228" height="154" style="float: right;" />Gaming on the go</h3> <p>Asus has been winning over gamers with its Republic of Gamers (ROG) line of laptops, some of which sport aggressive designs. Others, like the <strong>new Asus G551 and G771 gaming laptops</strong>, feature a more traditional aesthetic with an emphasis on quiet cooling -- Asus describes the scheme as an "almost-silent cooling system" that efficiently removes heat with minimal fan noise.</p> <p>Both laptops feature a matte-black brushed aluminum finish with red diamond-cut edges and an illuminated ROG logo on the lid. The G551 boasts a 15.6-inch with up to an IPS panel and 1920x1080, while the G771 is a 17.3-inch laptop, also offered with up to an IPS panel and 1920x1080 resolution.</p> <p>Other <a href="" target="_blank">options</a> include up to 16GB of DDR3L-1600 RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M GPU, storage options of 750GB/1TB/1.5TB HDDs or 256GB/512GB SSDs, 802.11n Wi-Fi, HDMI output, WiDi support, three USB 3.0 ports on the G551 and four USB 3.0 ports on the G771, memory card reader, and various other amenities.</p> <p>No word yet on when the laptops will be available or for how much.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> asus g551 g771 Gaming laptop mobile notebook OEM Republic of Gamers rigs ROG News Thu, 25 Sep 2014 18:49:52 +0000 Paul Lilly 28608 at Xotic PC's Aggressive Looking Phantom X1 Laptop Takes Flight with Haswell <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/phantom_x1.jpg" alt="Xotic PC Phantom X1" title="Xotix PC Phantom X1" width="228" height="147" style="float: right;" />Not a laptop for boardroom meetings</h3> <p>If you're looking for a business laptop to bring into the boardroom and take notes with, there's nothing for you to see here (unless you want to make a splash in front of your colleagues and bosses). However, if it's an aggressive design and affordable price tag you're after, Xotic PC may have something of interest. <strong>Meet the Phantom X1, Xotic PC's latest 15.6-inch gaming laptop</strong> starting at $1,159.</p> <p>From the available press images we've seen, the overall aesthetic reminds us of a few Asus ROG laptops -- it's sort of a stealth fighter jet theme.</p> <p>On the inside, things are a bit more standard fare. The Phantom X1 comes stock with a 15.6-inch Full HD 1080 IPS display powered by an Intel Core i7 4710HQ processor (Haswell), 8GB of DDR3-1600 memory, Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M graphics, 1TB hard drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, memory card reader, webcam, backlit keyboard and a few other tidbits. Not included is an operating system, which you can add starting at $105.</p> <p>The Phantom X1 is <a href="" target="_blank">available now</a> to configure and order.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Hardware haswell laptop notebook OEM phantom x1 rigs xotic pc News Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:41:32 +0000 Paul Lilly 28553 at Toshiba Unveils Dirt-Cheap Windows Notebook at IFA <!--paging_filter--><h3><strong><img src="" alt="Toshiba Satellite CL10-B" title="Toshiba Satellite CL10-B" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" /></strong></h3> <h3><strong>One of many cheap, no-frills Windows notebooks ready to take on Chromebooks</strong></h3> <p>The influx of dirt-cheap Windows laptops that we had been <a href="" target="_blank">warned about a couple of months back</a> has begun. Among the first wave of such devices is the <strong>Satellite Cloudbook CL10-B</strong>, an 11.6-inch laptop that runs Windows 8.1 with Bing and is powered by an Intel Bay Trail processor.</p> <p>Currently being showcased alongside the dirt-cheap likes of the <a href="" target="_blank">Chromebook 2 and the Encore Mini 7-inch Android tablet</a> at the ongoing IFA 2014 event in Berlin, the <a href="" target="_blank">CL10-B</a> is, as you would expect, very minimal in terms of specs. </p> <p>Inside this device, you will find a low-end Intel Celeron Bay Trail processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of eMMC storage, a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, HDMI out and an SD card reader. The 11.6-inch display on this thing is a non-touch TN (twisted nematic) display with a 1,366 x 768 resolution.</p> <p>The CL10-B, which can last around 6 hours on a single charge, will be available globally before the year is out. Although we know it will cost £200 (roughly $330) in the UK, Toshiba has yet to spill the beans on pricing for other countries.</p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> ifa 2014 laptop notebook Satellite Cloudbook CL10-B toshiba windows 8.1 with bing windows notebook News Mon, 08 Sep 2014 05:13:11 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28490 at Toshiba Unveils 7-Inch Windows 8.1 Tablet for $120 and Second Generation Chromebook for $250 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/encore_mini.jpg" alt="Toshiba Encore Mini" title="Toshiba Encore Mini" width="228" height="158" style="float: right;" />Two different products, two different platforms</h3> <p>Whether it's a low-cost Windows 8.1 tablet or a newly minted Chromebook model you're after, today's your lucky today. That's because <strong>Toshiba announced the retail availability of its Encore Mini</strong>, an affordable 7-inch Windows 8.1 tablet priced at a scant $120 MSRP, <strong>along with its second generation Chromebook model simply dubbed Chromebook 2</strong> (pricing ranges from $250 to $330 MSRP).</p> <p>The Encore Mini sports a slim 0.43-inch profile and weighs just 12.5 ounces, making it small, light, and slender enough to fit in a backpack, briefcase, or purse.</p> <p>With regards to the specs, the 7-inch slate features a 1024x600 resolution driven by an Intel Atom Z3735G quad-core processor (2MB cache, up to 1.83GHz). It also has 1GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC storage, 0.3MP front-facing camera, 2MP rear-facing camera, micro USB 2.0 port (cable included), microSD card slot, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and Windows 8.1 with Bing. Toshiba also tosses in a year of Office 365 Personal (must activate within a limited time).</p> <p>These aren't killer specs by any means, but for the price, it's a capable piece of hardware, provided you're interested in a Windows 8.1 tablet to begin with. If so, you can order the Encore Mini today <a href="" target="_blank">direct from Toshiba</a>.</p> <p>Moving along to the <a href="" target="_blank">Chromebook 2</a>, Toshiba's second generation Chrome OS laptop comes in two different sizes -- 12 inches and 13 inches. The 12-inch version is considered an entry-level model with a standard HD display, while the 13-inch version brings a Full HD 1080p panel with IPS technology to the Chromebook scene.</p> <p>Both models come with an Intel Celeron processor, 2GB or 4GB of RAM, HD webcam, USB 3.0 port, USB 2.0 port, SD card slot, HDMI output, and a security lock. Look for these to be available starting October 5.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> chromebook 2 encore mini laptop notebook slate tablet toshiba windows 8.1 News Wed, 03 Sep 2014 18:31:43 +0000 Paul Lilly 28471 at Acer’s Holiday Portfolio: Aspire R Convertibles, Switch 2-in-1 PCs, Iconia Tablet, and Liquid Phone <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/acer_r_13.jpg" alt="Acer R 13" title="Acer R 13" width="228" height="188" style="float: right;" />Better hang a big stocking</h3> <p>The IFA convention in Berlin is off to a fast and furious start with product makers pouring out announcements by the handful. Among the attendees is <strong>Acer, which revealed its new (and rather extensive) product lineup for the holiday season. </strong>Acer's new products include a pair of Aspire R Series convertible laptops. two Aspire Switch Series 2-in-1 hybrid PCs, three Iconia Series tablets, and a Liquid Series smartphone.</p> <p>Working our way down the list, Acer's Aspire R convertibles come in 13-inch and 14-inch models. The R 13 Series features Acer's Ezel Aero hinge that allows the display to rotate into half a dozen different positions, while the R 14 Series sports a 360-degree dual-torque hinge design that allows it to be used in four usage modes.</p> <p>Acer's Aspire R 13 models feature premium touchscreen displays available in WQHD (2560x1440) or Full HD (1920x1080). Other goodies include Intel Core i5 and i7 processor options, up to 1TB of solid state drive storage with RAID 0, and up to 8GB of RAM. These will be available in October starting at $900.</p> <p>As for the Aspire R 14, it sports an HD (1366x768) display with Zero Air Gap technology to help eliminate reflections in sunlight. Processor options include Pentium, Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7, along with up to 12GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce 820M graphics (some models), and up to 1TB of HDD storage. The Aspire R 14 will also be available in October, but starting at $600.</p> <h3>Aspire Switch 11 and 10</h3> <p>For fans of 2-in-1 hybrid PCs, The Aspire Switch 11 and 10 Series tap into both laptop and tablet worlds with 11.6-inch and 10.1-inch display options. The Aspire Switch 11 features a Full HD 1080p display, HD webcam, up to a 4th Generation Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, up to a 128GB SSD, full-size USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, and more. There's also a second model built around Intel's Atom Z3745 quad-core processor -- it comes with 2GB of RAM and up to 64GB of eMMC storage.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/acer_switch.jpg" alt="Acer Aspire Switch 11" title="Acer Aspire Switch 11" width="620" height="476" /></p> <p>Acer's Aspire Switch 10 boasts a Full HD (1920x1200) or HD (1280x800) 10.1-inch display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It also has 32GB or 64GB of built-in storage, 2GB of RAM, 2MP HD webcam, and a thin frame measuring less than 8.9mm thin (0.35 inches) in tablet mode an 20.2mm (0.44 inches) with the keyboard</p> <p>The Aspire Switch 10 will be available this month starting at $330 and the Switch 11 in October starting at $400.</p> <h3>Iconia Tabs</h3> <p>Moving onto tablets, Acer unveiled the Iconia Tab 8 W, Iconia Tab 10, and Iconia One 8. The Tab 8 W is an 8-inch slate running Windows 8.1 with Bing and powered by an Intel Atom Z3735G quad-core processor. It also has a 1280x800 resolution with IPS panel, 7mm bezel, microSD card slot, and dual stereo speakers.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/acer_iconia_tab_0.jpg" alt="Acer Iconia Tab" title="Acer Iconia Tab" width="620" height="328" /></p> <p>The Iconia Tab 10 is a bit bigger at 10.1 inches and with a Full HD 1080p display, while the Iconia One 8 is an 8-inch tablet with an Atom Z3735G processor, 1280x800 resolution, and Android 4.4 KitKat</p> <p>Acer says the Iconia Tab 10 will be available this month starting at $200, followed by the Iconia Tab 8 W in October starting at $150. No word yet on price or availability of the Iconia One 8.</p> <h3>Liquid Z500</h3> <p>The last item on the list is Acer's new Liquid Z500 smartphone. Details are fairly light, though Acer says it will ship with a 5-inch HD IPS display with 900:1 contrast ratio, HD front speakers, DTS Studio Sound, and 8MP rear-facing camera with autofocus.</p> <p>The Liquid Z500 will be available later this month starting at 149€ (around $195 in U.S. currency).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 2-in-1 Acer aspire r aspire switch Hardware Iconia ifa 2014 laptop liquid notebook slate smartphone tablet News Wed, 03 Sep 2014 16:01:29 +0000 Paul Lilly 28470 at