Maingear makes its way into the ultraportable scene with the release of its new MX-L. Not the slimmest notebook around, the MX-L measures 1.3 to 1.44 inches high, 12.125 inches wide, and 9.125 inches deep, and weighs 4.4 pounds.
Underneath the hood, the 13.3-inch ultraportable comes standard with a 1280x800 LED backlit display, Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 (2.4GHz) processor on the GM45 chipset, 2GB of DDR2-800 memory, Intel GMA X4500HD graphics, a 120GB Seagate Momentus 5400.4 hard drive, 8X DVD burner, WiFi, 1.3MP webcam, and Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit. Upgrade options include ramping up to an Intel T9800 (2.93GHz), up to 8GB of RAM, a larger capacity hard drive or Intel's X25-M 80GB/160GB SSD, and a Blu-ray drive.
But perhaps the coolest feature of of the MX-L is that Maingear offers free laser etching with "whatever artwork you send us." We can think of a few wicked designs we wouldn't mind having etched on our notebook.
The MX-L is available now starting at $1,100, or nearly three times as much when fully decked out.
The VIA-developed Em-ITX form factor sees its first real world use today as the company showcases its new Em-ITX board with a VIA Nano processor at ESC Silicon Valley 2009. The company came up with the 12cm x 17cm Em-ITX specification for use in ultra-slim embedded devices, the first now being the EITX-3000.
"VIA has repeatedly pushed the thermal design envelope with innovative form factor specifications that allow ever more compact, slim, and versatile device designs," said Daniel Wu, VP, VIA Embedded, VIA Technologies, Inc. "The VIA EITX-3000 adds the performance-per-watt advantages of the VIA Nano processor to create a truly compelling embedded board for high-end digital media systems."
To make room for a passive cooling solution and keep the design fanless, the EITX-3000 combines VIA's Nano processor with the company's VX8000 media system processor on the reverse side of the board. VIA says it can be used in a wide range of temperature environments from -10C to 70C, and is an ideal choice for always-on applications like high-end POS, Kiosk, ATM, HMI, factory automation, POI, and digital signage.
The EITX-3000 comes configurable with either a 1.3GHz or 1.0GHz Nano ULV processor, dual gigabit networking, multi-configurable dual onboard LVDS and a VGA port, four onboard serial ports, and six USB ports,. It supports up to 2GB of DDR2 SO-DIMM memory. See here for a full list of specs.
VIA says samples of the EITX-3000 will be available to project customers in early May. No word yet on price.
Palit Microsystems, who makes and markets both ATI- and Nvidia-based videocards, is rumored to be leaving the US market. With headquarters located in Hong Kong, factories in China, and branch offices located in Germany and Taipei, the videocard partner apparently has been unable to duplicate its overseas success here in the US, says news and rumor site The Inquirer.
Too bad if the rumor turns out to be true, as we were hoping to see more innovative designs from Palit. Recent releases from the company include the world's first (and so far only) custom designed GeForce GTX 285 packed with 2GB of memory, two PWM fans, and four heatpipes, and a rare three-slot dual-GPU ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 called the Revolution 700 Deluxe.
Palit was established way back in 1988 but only recently has made a stronger push into the North American market. As of this writing, no formal announcement by the company has yet been made.
Both Gamestop and Amazon are making a bid for your used games with tantalizing promotions. For Gamestop's part, the used-game reseller has been running a tiered trade-in offer. Trade in at least 2 games and get 10 percent extra credit. That number doubles to 20 percent if trading in at least 4 games, and doubles once more to 40 percent if trading in at least 6 games. Naturally, the trade-ins must be in full working order and the offer is good towards games only.
Amazon, on the other hand, has begun a tiered offer of its own. Send the company two used titles and receive an additional $10 off select new releases, or send the company four games to receive $20 off. These credits are in addition to the Amazon.com Gift Card sellers receive when trading in used games. See here for a list of eligible new releases, which include titles like Halo Wars Limited, Resident Evil 5, MLB 09, Street Fighter IV, and a whole bunch more.
Amazon launched its trade-in store earlier this month with 1,500 eligible titles. The company foots the shipping bill when you send in your used games, then issues Amazon credit in the form of a Gift Card, which can be used anywhere on Amazon.com. A quick glance of eligible titles reveals slightly better trade-in pricing than Gamestop in many cases.
Love the idea to pieces or think it flies in the face of everything PC gaming stands for, you can’t deny that OnLive’s ambitions are a bit lofty. After all, saying that you'll invite the PC back into the cool kids' club is one thing, but converting big talk into much, much bigger action is something else entirely. And according to Eurogamer’s resident tech expert, that “something else entirely” is “impossible.” Reason numero uno?
“To give the kind of performance OnLive is promising (720p at 60 frames-per-second) realistically its datacenters are going to require the processing equivalent of a high-end dual core PC running a very fast GPU - a 9800GT minimum, and maybe something a bit meatier depending on whether the 60fps gameplay claim works out, and which games will actually be running. That’s for every single connection OnLive is going to be handling,” said Eurogamer’s Richard Leadbetter.
But that’s still technically possible; it’d just require a subscription fee that’d make even Rumpelstiltskin go white with sheer terror. Now how about this little number?
“First of all, bear in mind that YouTube’s encoding farms take a long, long time to produce their current, offline 2MBps 30fps HD video. OnLive is going to be doing it all in real-time via a PC plug-in card, at 5MBps, and with surround sound too.”
“It sounds brilliant, but there’s one rather annoying fact to consider: the nature of video compression is such that the longer the CPU has to encode the video, the better the job it will do. Conversely, it’s a matter of fact that the lower the latency, the less efficient it can be.”
“OnLive overlord Steve Perlmen has said that the latency introduced by the encoder is 1ms. Think about that; he’s saying that the OnLive encoder runs at 1000fps. It’s one of the most astonishing claims I’ve ever heard. It’s like Ford saying that the new Fiesta’s cruising speed is in excess of the speed of sound.”
Hit the link to see Leadbetter’s solution to OnLive’s colossal conundrum. Even with that in mind, though, the rub of it all remains the same: OnLive seems a little too good to be true.
AMD’s manufacturing spin-off, Globalfoundries, has started to obtain bulk 32nm process technology so that they can begin taking orders by Q4 2009/Q1 2010. Should these plans come full circle, it would allow Gobalfoundries, and AMD, to get a solid foothold in the 32nm market, making them competitive with United Microelectronics and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (who are both working on 32nm processes of their own).
“Globalfoundries is entering the foundry market at the right time and with the right business model to change the landscape of the industry. More importantly, we’re entering the industry with the right mindset and resources. Our investments in leading edge technology and in supporting infrastructure will ensure the success of our customers,” said Jim Kupec, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
Vibrating controllers may soon be considered old-school if Philips' new force feedback jacket catches on. The jacket, which was revealed by Philips at the IEEE-sponsored 2009 World Haptics Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, looks to bring a whole new level of immersion to multimedia content.
"We want people to feel Bruce Lee's anxiety about whether he will get out alive, causing a shiver to go up the viewer's spine and creating the feeling of tension in the limbs," said Paul Lemmens, Philips senior scientist.
To accomplish that goal, the jacket makes use of several physical actuators to affect the person wearing it, rather than relying on sound or motion-based vibration. There are sixty-four independently controlled actuators in all that extend from the torso on down to the arms, which are paired in arrays of four. Each array shares its own processor and is capable of being cycled on and off at a rapid rate of over 100 times per second, Philips says.
The concept may be more feasible than you think, at least from a power perspective. Philips claims the jacket can run on a pair of AA batteries for a full hour with twenty of the actuators being continuously triggered.
Sound like something you'd wear? Hit the jump and tell us what you think.
That’s right, another life. It would seem that a driver over in the UK has decided to follow the instructions of their in-car GPS instead of the instructions of their eyes.
A man making his way to Todmorden over in England was allegedly told by his GPS to drive directly into a fence (whoa.) just before the road fell off of a cliff. Still, he managed to make it out of the situation alive, and with a lesson that he won’t soon forget. That is, unless he wants to be in the news again.
FileFront, which is currently in its tenth year of service to the online gaming community, will be closing its doors for good at the end of March.
“We regret to inform you that due to the current economic conditions we are forced to indefinitely suspend the FileFront site operations on March 30, 2009,” said the site in a goodbye statement. “If you have uploaded files, images or posted blogs, or if you would like to download some of your favorite files, please take this opportunity to download them before March 30th when the site will be suspended.”
This is a huge loss for anyone that’s enjoyed the site’s services for either downloading patches, movies, or sharing files of their own. “We would like to give a warm thank you to all of you who have been part of the FileFront communities we have built together. Your support has had a meaningful impact for all of us here at FileFront,” the statement continued. “Keep gaming alive.”
Today's netbooks typically ship with either Linux or Windows XP, each of which places low demands on hardware so you can focus more on basic computing tasks and less time lamenting how woefully inadequate that Atom processor is compared to your Core i7 desktop. Moving forward, Microsoft plans to release a gimped version of Windows 7 for netbooks and nettops called Starter Edition, which will limit users to running just three applications at a time. But according to Samsung, such restrictions are unnecessary.
"Currently Microsoft provides Windows XP for netbooks. For Windows 7 they would like to give us Windows 7 Starter Edition for netbooks. That's the current plan. [Different versions are a] matter of how much we need to pay to Microsoft. It is an open issue. So we can ship other Windows 7 versions, but it is a matter of royalties," said Kyu Uhm, Samsung's Head of Worldwide Sales and Marketing during an interview with TechRadar.
The pricing structure for Microsoft's upcoming operating system has not yet been announced, but it's safe to say the Starter Edition will ring in the lowest, an important factor when it comes to marketing netbooks and other low-power PCs. So even though netbooks could probably handle an uncrippled version of Windows 7 -- and according to users running the Windows 7 beta on current netbooks, performance isn't much of an issue -- OEMs might have a tough time upselling consumers on a fully functioning version of the OS if it drives the price too high.
How much more would you be willing to pay for a full version of Windows 7 on a netook? Hit the jump and sound off.