News en Microsoft Beats Quarterly Sales Estimates, EarningsTake Hit From Nokia Deal <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/microsoft_paper.jpg" alt="Microsoft Paper" title="Microsoft Paper" width="228" height="151" style="float: right;" />Profit slide a direct result of Nokia buyout</h3> <p>Starting with the good news, <strong>Microsoft beat Wall Street estimates by reporting a 17 percent bump in revenue</strong>, which totaled $23.38 billion for the company's fiscal fourth quarter ended June 30, 2014. Unfortunately for Microsoft, that wasn't enough to weather its Nokia Devices and Services acquisition, which contributed to a 7 percent drop in earnings at $0.55 per share.</p> <p>Despite the drop in earnings, Microsoft chief Satya Nadella is optimistic about the future, especially after <a href="">rolling out a new game plan</a> that has the company aggressively focused on the cloud.</p> <p>"We are galvanized around our core as a productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world, and we are driving growth with disciplined decisions, bold innovation, and focused execution," <a href="" target="_blank">said Satya Nadella</a>, chief executive officer of Microsoft. "I’m proud that our aggressive move to the cloud is paying off – our commercial cloud revenue doubled again this year to a $4.4 billion annual run rate."</p> <p>Microsoft's Windows OEM revenue grew 3 percent, driving by 11 percent growth in Windows OEM Pro revenue. The company also added 1 million subscribers to its Office 365 Home and Personal cloud service, bringing to the total to 5.6 million. Finally, Bing search advertising revenue grew 40 percent as Microsoft increased is U.S. search share to 19.2 percent.</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> microsoft Nokia revenue News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:00:56 +0000 Paul Lilly 28225 at EA Explains Decision to Delay Battlefield Hardline to 2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/battlefield_hardline.jpg" alt="Battlefield Hardline" title="Battlefield Hardline" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Visceral Games will use its extra time to make stability and feature improvements to Battlefield Hardline</h3> <p>Electronic Arts originally planned to release Battlefield Hardline on October 21, 2014 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC, but as any gamer knows, release dates are kind of like rules -- they're meant to be broken or ignored. In this case, <strong>EA announced it's delaying Battlefield Hardline until "early 2015"</strong> so that Visceral Games has more time to implement features born out of feedback from beta players.</p> <p>"We’ve been poring over the data and feedback, and have already been putting a lot of it right into the game and sharing it directly with you. This feedback also spurred us to start thinking about other possibilities and ways we could push Hardline innovation further and make the game even better," EA explains in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>. "The more we thought about these ideas, the more we knew we had to get them into the game you will all be playing. However, there was only one problem. We would need more time. Time that we didn’t have if we decided to move forward with launching in just a couple of months."</p> <p>EA offered up some vague details on what will get added between now and the game's release. Namely, Visceral Games will shore up the multiplayer experience with new feature ideas that came direct from the community, though it also plans on adding single player story depth.</p> <p>In addition to new features, the development team will continue to focus on stability.</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> Battlefield Hardline delay EA Electronic Arts games Software visceral games News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:33:52 +0000 Paul Lilly 28224 at Attention Comic Collectors, Rare 'Action Comics #1' Hits Ebay in August <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/action_comics.jpg" alt="Action Comics" title="Action Comics" width="228" height="308" style="float: right;" />Superman's first comic is likely to command $2-3 million</h3> <p>By the end of summer, a rare copy of <strong>Action Comics #1 featuring Superman's first appearance</strong> will change hands. The <strong>valuable comic is going up for auction on eBay</strong> where it will almost certainly fetch around $2 million, if not considerably more. Even though it sold for a mere 10 cents way back in 1938, it's estimated that only 50 to 100 unrestored copies remain in existence.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>CNET</em></a>, the copy going up for auction received a grade of 9.0 from the Certified Guaranty Company. That's the highest grade ever assigned to Action Comics #1 -- the only other copy to receive the same grade sold for $2,161,000 in 2011. It was owned by Nicolas Cage and had cream-colored to off-white pages, compared to the one that's going up for auction, which apparently looks brand new.</p> <p>"The quality and preservation of this Action #1 is astounding," Paul Litch, CGC Primary Grader, said in a statement. "The book looks and feels like it just came off the newsstand. It is supple, the colors are deep and rich and the quality of the white pages is amazing for a comic that is 76 years old."</p> <p>Some of the proceeds from the auction will be donated to the <a href="" target="_blank">Christopher &amp; Dana Reeve Foundation</a>, which is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury.</p> <p>You can view a digital copy of the issue being auctioned <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>. More details about the auction can be found <a href="" target="_blank">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> action comics #1 auction comics EBay superman News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:13:25 +0000 Paul Lilly 28223 at No, Microsoft Isn't Scaling Back to One Version of Windows for All Devices <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/satya_nadella_2.jpg" alt="Satya Nadella" title="Satya Nadella" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Understanding Microsoft's unified strategy</h3> <p>Microsoft chief Satya Nadella caused a whirlwind of headlines and speculation with a comment he made during his company's fiscal fourth quarter earnings call. The way he worded some early rhetoric made it sound like the next version of Windows -- codenamed Threshold and likely to be called Windows 9 -- will ship with but a single SKU rather than multiple versions for smartphones, desktops, gaming consoles, and so forth. However, <strong>Nadella wasn't talking about a single OS to rule them all</strong>.</p> <p>The cause of confusion stems from Nadella saying, "We will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating systems for screens of all sizes." However, he would later clarify that he was referring to the engineering approach -- having a single team work on all versions of Windows, each of which is built around a common core.</p> <p>"We will have multiple SKUs for enterprises, we will have for OEM, we will have for end-users. And so we will be disclosing and talking about our SKUs as we get further along, but my statement was more to do with how we are bringing teams together to approach Windows as one ecosystem very differently than we ourselves have done in the past," Nadella clarified.</p> <p>That said, Microsoft is hard at work unifying the Windows experience. Nadella envisions a unified store serving all platforms, even Xbox, along with a unified developer platform in which programmers can write code a single time and have their software run on any version of Windows.</p> <p>For more of what Nadella had to say, <em>Seeking Alpha</em> has the <a href="" target="_blank">entire transcript</a> from the earnings call.</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> microsoft operating system OS satya nadella Software Windows News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:09:43 +0000 Paul Lilly 28222 at Maingear Packs a 3K Display into 15-inch Pulse 15 Gaming Laptop <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/maingear_pulse_15.jpg" alt="Maingear Pulse 15" title="Maingear Pulse 15" width="228" height="127" style="float: right;" />Maingear's thinnest 15-inch laptop to date</h3> <p>A new gaming laptop from Maingear might have you grunting like Tim Allen during his Home Improvement days. <strong>Slipping in between Maingear's Pulse 14 and Pulse 17 is its new Pulse 15 laptop</strong>, the thinnest 15-inch gaming laptop the company has ever assembled, though that's not the only thing that makes the Pulse 15 stand out. It's also notable for its 3K In-Plane Switching (IPS) wide-view display.</p> <p>That translates into a 2880x1620 resolution. You can also output to two additional external displays at the same time using HDMI 1.4 and mini DisplayPort 1.2 ports, with support for viewing up to 4K (3840x2160).</p> <p>The Pulse 15 measures 15.25 inches (W) by 10.5 inches (D) by 0.75 inches (H) and weighs just 3.75 pounds. Despite it's thin and light stature, it packs some powerful parts, including an Intel Core i7 4710HQ processor, 16GB of DDR3-1600 RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 870M graphics, and up to 1TB HDD and two 256GB mSATA SSDs in RAID 0.</p> <p>It also features a 7-in-1 media card reader, four USB 3.0 ports, a single HDMI output, two mini DisplayPorts, Killer E2200 LAN, Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Sound Blaster Cinema with 2.1 speaker setup, and Windows 8.</p> <p>The Maingear Pulse 15 is <a href="" target="_blank">available now</a> starting at $2,199.</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> 3k Gaming Hardware laptop maingear notebook OEM pulse 15 rigs News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:31:18 +0000 Paul Lilly 28221 at Game Developer’s Average Salary Down From 2012, According to Gamasutra Survey <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/gamasutra_logo.jpg" alt="Gamasutra Logo" title="Gamasutra Logo" width="200" height="200" style="float: right;" />Results cover indie and salaried game developers</h3> <p>If you have been wondering whether or not becoming a game developer is a career path worth pursuing, you might want to take a look at what the average pay is like. <strong>Gamasutra has posted the results of its annual Game Developer Salary Survey,</strong> with some interesting statistics based on the response from 4,000 developers worldwide. The survey was conducted in May 2014 and covers game developers over various disciplines that include audio and design for 2013.&nbsp;</p> <p>According to Gamasutra’s findings, the average yearly pay for a salaried game developer, across all disciplines in the U.S., was around $83,060 in 2013, which is down 2 percent from 2012. Meanwhile, Canadians were up 9 percent, with an average of $71,445 USD, whereas European developers remained flat at $46,232 USD. Breaking it down to the various jobs in the U.S. saw people in business and management earn an average salary of $101,572, audio professionals earned $95,682, programmers $93,251, producers $82,286, artists and animators $74,349, and quality assurance testers were paid an average of $54,833.</p> <p>The survey also covered the indie side of things, on a worldwide basis, which revealed that non-salaried, solo indie game developers earned an average of $11,812, which is down 49 percent from 2012. On the other hand, individual members that were part of an indie team averaged $50,833, which is up 161 percent.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you are interested in reading all the results from the survey, then you can view it over at <a title="Gamasutra Survey" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Gamasutra (PDF)</span></a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> average game developer salary game developer game developer salary indie gamer salary Gaming News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:16:23 +0000 Sean D Knight 28217 at Intel Launches Business Class Solid State Drive Pro 2500 Series <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/intel_ssd_pro_2500.jpg" alt="Intel SSD Pro 2500" title="Intel SSD Pro 2500" width="228" height="114" style="float: right;" />Affordable storage packed with advanced security features</h3> <p>Intel announced a new addition to its solid state drive (SSD) family, though it's not intended for home consumers. Instead, <strong>Intel's new SSD Pro 2500 Series is intended to bring security features and lower cost of ownership to businesses</strong> in need of the kind of "blazing fast" performance SSDs afford. They'll get that with SSD Pro 2500 family, which comes in capacities ranging from 120GB to 480GB.</p> <p>Performance teeters on the upper end of the spectrum with sequential read and write speeds rated at up to 540MB/s and 490MB/s, respectively. Random 4KB read performance checks in at up to 48,000 IOPS, while writes ramp up to 80,000 IOPS, Intel says.</p> <p>In addition to respectable performance metrics, <a href="" target="_blank">Intel says</a> the SSD Pro 2500 Series offers five low power modes for long battery life. The lower power states can reduce idel power consumption by more than 90 percent compared to a typical mobile hard disk drive.</p> <p>The drives also feature hardware-based 256-bit AES encryption and come in both M.2 and 2.5-inch form factors, all backed by 5-year warranties.</p> <p>No word yet on price.</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> Build a PC enterprise Hardware intel solid state drive ssd ssd pro 2500 storage News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:01:09 +0000 Paul Lilly 28216 at Bragging Rights: PC Gaming Market Maintains Sales Lead Over Consoles <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/dream_machine_2013.jpg" alt="Dream Machine 2013" title="Dream Machine 2013" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />PC gaming hardware is a $21.5 billion market</h3> <p>At the end of the day, we realize it doesn't matter if you get your gaming fix on a PC, console, tablet, or whatever -- we'll fist bump any gamer, regardless of platform. That said, we're of course partial to PC gaming ourselves, and as it turns out, our platform of choice is still the dominant one. According to Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the <strong>PC gaming hardware market is more than twice as large as the console gaming hardware market</strong>.</p> <p>JPR defines PC gaming hardware as personal computers, upgrades, and peripherals used for gaming. With that mind, the PC gaming hardware market stands at $21.5 billion, which is big enough to lap the console gaming hardware market, and then some.</p> <p>"We continue to see a shift in casual console customers moving to mobile. While this is also occurring in the lower end PC gaming world, more money is being directed to mid and high range PC builds and upgrades by gamers," <a href="" target="_blank">says Ted Pollak</a>, Senior Gaming Analyst at JPR. "Committed PC gamers are generally not interested in pure content consumption platforms. They are power users and pay thousands for the ability to play games at very high settings and then do business, video/photo editing, content creation and other tasks with maximum horsepower at their disposal in a desktop ergonomic environment."</p> <p>Moving beyond dollars and cents, the PC platform has an obvious power advantage. If you assemble a machine with an enthusiast grade CPU, high end GPU, SSD, and fast memory, it will "absolutely trounce the computing power and gaming capabilities of the newest console generation," Jon Peddie says. And he's right. While the newest consoles are still pushing pixels at 1080p, high end (and ultra expensive) PC platforms are pushing the envelope at 4K.</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> computer console Gaming Hardware Jon Peddie Research jpr pc News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:40:27 +0000 Paul Lilly 28214 at Asus's RT-AC87 is Industry’s First Wave 2 802.11ac Consumer Router <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_rt-ac87.jpg" alt="Asus RT-AC87" title="Asus RT-AC87" width="228" height="170" style="float: right;" />Hello faster speeds and MU-MIMO</h3> <p>After teasing the industry with a preview earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, <strong>Asus today officially launched its RT-AC87 dual-band wireless router</strong>. It's the first Wave 2 802.11ac router for consumers and it's powered by Quantenna's QSR1000 4x4 Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) chipset, which gives your home network a bit of future-proofing.</p> <p>What's special about MU-MIMO is that it allows for multiple streams to be beamed to multiple clients simultaneously, up to eight in theory though Quantenna's QSR1000 chipset supports 4 spatial streams. This is a boon for crowded networks, which pretty much applies to everyone these days -- think about a typical family of four, each with a PC, tablet, and smartphone, plus whatever other devices you have connected wirelessly. The rub is that you need compatible adapters to take advantage of the technology, but you have to start somewhere.</p> <p>Asus equipped the RT-AC87 with four external antennas and Universal Beamforming support for added range and signal reliability. The AC2400 designation translates into up to 1.73Gbps on the 5GHz band in 802.11ac mode and up to 600Mbps via 802.11n.</p> <p>The RT-AC87 will be available "shortly" for $270 MSRP.</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> 802.11ac ac2400 asus networking quantenna Router rt-ac87 wireless-ac News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:15:22 +0000 Paul Lilly 28213 at ARM Strengthens Bottom Line Through Licensing Expansion <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/arm_1.jpg" alt="ARM" title="ARM" width="228" height="144" style="float: right;" />More than 1,100 companies license ARM technology</h3> <p>While AMD and Intel were watching from the sidelines as the market transitioned to mobile, ARM was busy "earning and burning, snapping necks and cashing checks," to borrow a line from Step Brothers. It's a bit more competitive today, though ARM was able to gain a foothold in the mobile market and continues to ride the momentum. As such, <strong>ARM said it added 41 licensed customers to its portfolio</strong>, bringing the total number of licenses signed to more than 1,100.</p> <p>ARM reported total revenue of $309.6 million in the second quarter of 2014, up 17 percent from the $264.3 million it collected in the same quarter a year ago, and up 9 percent year-on-year. That resulted in a profit of $86.7 million for the quarter, and $126.7 million for the first half of the year.</p> <p>"Our continued strong licensing performance reflects the intent of existing and new customers to base more of their future products on ARM technology. The 41 processor licenses signed in Q2 were driven by demand for ARM technology in smart mobile devices, consumer electronics, and embedded computing chips for the Internet of Things, and include further licenses for ARMv8-A and Mali processor technology," ARM CEO Simon Segars <a href="" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. "This bodes well for growth in ARM’s medium and long term royalty revenues."</p> <p>As more manufacturers jumped into mobile, ARM saw its licensing revenue jump 42 percent compared to last year. The company also shipped 2.7 billion ARM-based shipped in Q2, up 11 percent versus the same quarter a year ago. Shipment growth has been especially strong in enterprise networking and microcontroller markets, ARM said.</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> ARM cpu financial report Hardware license mobile processor News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:44:34 +0000 Paul Lilly 28212 at Sony's Walkman ZX1 Growing in Popularity Despite $700 Price Tag <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/sony_nwz-zx1.jpg" alt="Sony Walkman" title="Sony Walkman" width="228" height="196" style="float: right;" />This isn't the Walkman you grew up with</h3> <p>Sony can be considered a pioneer in the portable music player business, and if you lived through the cassette tape era, then there's a good chance you owned a Walkman. Believe it or not, Sony continued to manufacture cassette-based Walkmans in several different markets all the way up through near the end of 2010. While nowhere near as popular as they were in the 1980s an 1990s, <strong>Sony's Walkman brand is seeing a bit of a resurgence courtesy of its NWZ-ZX1</strong>, a high-resolution audio player for consumers with deep pockets.</p> <p>According to a report in <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Wall Street Journal</em></a>, Sony's ZX1 is a premium gadget that, despite its heavy $700 price tag, is selling relatively well in Japan, which is not something that can be said about Sony's previous high-end electronics. It quickly sold out after making a debut in Japan and has since launched in Europe and other parts of Asia. No launch date has yet been set for the U.S.</p> <p>"The message for our designers and engineers was: please create a good product without worrying about the cost," said Kenji Nakada, Sony's sound product planner.</p> <p>Sony's ZX1 is a comparatively heavy device at 139 grams. It has 128GB of internal storage and plays 24-bit, 193kHz FLAC audio files. It also boasts a 4-inch touchscreen display with an 854x480 resolution, 5-band equalizer, dynamic normalizer, and more.</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> mobile nwz-zx1 sony Walkman News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:42:07 +0000 Paul Lilly 28211 at Nvidia Shield Tablet Revealed <!--paging_filter--><h3>8-inch tablet, Wi-Fi Direct controller, and Tegra K1</h3> <p>After many rumors of a new Shield device, Nvidia has revealed its new Shield Tablet. Powered by Android, the 8-inch gaming tablet succeeds Nvidia’s original Shield handheld gaming device, which is now dubbed the Shield Portable.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/shield_tablet_shield_controller_trine2.jpg" alt="shield tablet" title="shield tablet" width="620" height="404" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Introducing the Nvidia Shield Tablet</strong></p> <p>At the heart of the tablet is the company’s new top-tier mobile SoC, the Nvidia Tegra K1. The quad-core ARM chip features 192 CUDA cores with a 2.3GHz max clock speed. K1 supports a variety of APIs and features which include OpenGL ES 3.1, AEP, OpenlGL 4.4, DX12, Tessellation, CUDA 6.0. Nvidia claims that the K1 can do all of this while consuming less than two watts of power.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Play the video above to see an Nvidia rep give us a demo of the Shield Tablet.</strong></p> <p>For the display, the Shield Tablet uses a 1900x1200-resolution IPS panel. In terms of content, Nvidia has created a new Shield hub which allows you to access your game library, purchase more games, or to launch other media apps. You’ll also be able to stream PC games through the hub. The Shield tablet will support both Nvidia GameStream (local PC streaming) and Nvidia Grid (remote PC streaming). In addition, Nvidia has partnered up with Twitch to allow you to stream your Shield gameplay sessions to the social gaming site.&nbsp;</p> <h3 style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/dsc00799.jpg" alt="nvidia shield tablet" title="nvidia shield tablet" width="620" height="349" /></h3> <p><strong>Lots of users said they wanted a bigger screen on the Shield so Nvidia decided to detach the screen from the controller.</strong></p> <p>Of course, all of this wouldn’t sound the least bit appealing if you didn’t have a controller to game with (because playing real games with tablet controllers is just…eww.). Luckily, the Shield Tablet is not only compatible with Bluetooth controllers, but Nvidia is also making a new Wi-Fi Direct controller for the device. The company claims that the Wi-Fi Direct has 2x lower latency than Bluetooth and offers more bandwidth. What will this extra bandwidth allow you to do? For starters, you’ll be able to plug in a headphone into the controller. Secondly, you will be able to connect up to four Shield controllers to the tablet. This is ideal for when you plug the Shield Tablet into your HDTV via HDMI while in “Console Mode.”&nbsp;</p> <p>While you could use the device as a console of sorts, it is first and foremost a tablet. If you’re out and about watching movies, Nvidia says you should be able to expect 10 hours of battery life. Five to six hours is what the company claims you should be able to get out of the device when gaming.&nbsp;</p> <p>What’s interesting about the device is that unlike the first Shield which used fans for active cooling, the Shield Tablet is passively cooled. To get away with this, Nvidia installed a thermal shield (pun not intended) to dissipate more heat. This adds about a millimeter of thickness to the device, but fortunately the Shield Tablet isn’t unbearably thick to begin with.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/dsc00811.jpg" alt="nvidia shield tablet" title="nvidia shield tablet" width="620" height="349" style="text-align: center;" /></p> <p><strong>The new Shield controller features a touchpad at the bottom and is much lighter and more comfortable to hold compared to the original Shield.</strong></p> <p>Other features of the device include two 5MP cameras (one on the front and one on the back), an included stylus, an SD card slot, and support for 4K output at 30FPS.&nbsp;</p> <p>In terms of pricing, the Shield Tablet will come in two flavors. The 16GB version will retail for $299, whereas the 32GB LTE version will retail for $399. Unfortunately the controller will be sold separately and will retail for $59. In addition, there will also be a $39 Shield Tablet cover which can also act as a stand.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Shield Tablet launches July 29th in the US and Canada, will release in Europe mid-August, and other regions in the fall.&nbsp;</p> <p>Expect a full review of the tablet soon after we get one in. Are you intrigued about the Shield Tablet? Let us know in the comments below!</p> controller gaming tablet nvidia shield tablet tegra k1 News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 13:01:27 +0000 Jimmy Thang 28209 at Kingston Adds 960GB Capacity Option to SSDNow Series <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/kingston_v310.jpg" alt="Kingston V310 960GB SSD" title="Kingston V310 960GB SSD" width="228" height="134" style="float: right;" />Largest capacity SSDNow drive to date</h3> <p><strong>Kingston Technology today introduced the latest addition to its SSDNow V300 series, the V310</strong>. What's special about the V310 is that it's a 960GB SSD, the largest capacity available in Kingston's entire stable of SSDs (the second largest is 480GB, which is available in Kingston's HyperX 3K and V300 Series). The V310 also swaps the custom LSI controller found in the V300 Series for a Phison 3108 controller.</p> <p>Capacity is the main selling point here, as the V310 won't break any speed records. Kingston rates the read and write speeds at 450MB/s, along with random 4k read and write performance of up to 40,000 IOPS and 20,000 IOPS, respectively. These are respectable, if not a tad underwhelming figures across the board.</p> <p>"Since 2009, our V ‘Value’ series solid-state drives have delivered the best price to performance ratio as possible to enable consumers on a budget or entry-level users to experience the benefits of SSD technology. Our new V310 continues that along with providing the biggest capacity ever in a Kingston SSD," <a href="" target="_blank">said Ariel Perez</a>, SSD business manager, Kingston. "SSDNow V310 with its large 960GB capacity is the perfect upgrade to an existing system as it improves boot speeds and application load times helping maximize one’s computer investment."</p> <p>The V310 will be available as a standalone drive as well as all-in-one upgrade kits for desktops and notebooks. While it's out of stock on <a href="" target="_blank">Kingston's website</a>, <span style="text-decoration: line-through;">it appears that pricing will be in the neighborhood of $910</span>, pricing has yet to be determined.</p> <h3>Update</h3> <p>Kingston reached out to <em>Maximum PC</em> to let us know that the price will NOT be $910, as reflected on its website. Apparently that's an intentionally inflated MSRP so that it doesn't compete with in-stock items on Kingston's website. Kingston's currently working on ramping up inventory and expects the usual suspects -- Newegg, Amazon, TigerDirect -- to sell the drive at a much cheaper price within the next few days.</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> 960GB Build a PC Hardware Kingston solid state drive ssd ssdnow v300 storage v310 News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 19:07:32 +0000 Paul Lilly 28208 at Microsoft Reportedly Plans to Dish Out Windows 8.1 Update 2 on August 12 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_start_4.jpg" alt="Windows" title="Windows" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />The final major update for Windows 8.1 is said to arrive on Patch Tuesday in August</h3> <p>Mark your calenders, folks, and be sure to use pencil instead of ink (unless it's erasable ink) -- a Russian website is reporting that <strong>Microsoft will release Windows 8.1 Update 2 on August 12</strong>, which is also next month's Patch Tuesday date. This is expected to be the last major update for Windows 8.1 before Microsoft switches gears to Windows 9, or Threshold as it's also been referred to.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><em>Neowin</em></a> first noticed the leaked information on <a href="" target="_blank"><em></em></a>, which posted what's supposed to be official Microsoft documentation. Though <em>Neowin</em> believes the information is authentic based on previous leaks, it has not been confirmed by Microsoft.</p> <p>Microsoft has continually been adding features to Windows 8/8.1 in order to address customer complaints and widen its appeal to users who have stuck with XP and Windows 7. Early indications suggest that Windows 8.1 Update 2 will contain mostly minor updates, and if that's the case, it's unlikely to change the perception of users who've refused to upgrade up to this point.</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> microsoft operating system OS Software update 2 windows 8.1 News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:24:32 +0000 Paul Lilly 28207 at GameStop Introduces Gift Card Exchange Program <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/gamestop_1.jpg" alt="GameStop" title="GameStop" width="228" height="175" style="float: right;" />Turn that Barnes &amp; Noble gift card into a GameStop E-Card</h3> <p>You told Aunt Millie a hundred times that junior would love a GameStop gift card for his birthday, but instead, he had to feign happiness at receiving one for Pottery Barn. It's not quite the same, though it's not the end of junior's world, either. <strong>GameStop recently rolled out a gift card exchange program in which you can trade gift cards from nearly 100 retailers into a GameStop e-card</strong>.</p> <p>The online program is powered by Cardpool and involves just a few easy steps. All you have to do is fill out your gift card information by selecting the retail store from a pull-down menu, enter in the number, and provide the pin (if it has one). Once the information gets verified, a GameStop e-gift card will be emailed to you.</p> <p>"We've always been about providing our customers access to the best in gaming technology and providing value through our trade-in and preowned offerings," <a href="" target="_blank">said Jon Haes</a>, vice president, pre-owned merchandising at GameStop. "Through our partnership with Cardpool, GameStop is offering customers a new way to purchase the devices and games they enjoy playing. Offering our customers the unique ability to exchange other retailers' gift cards into GameStop e-gift cards, we are providing a way to get even more value from being a GameStop customer."</p> <p>The e-gift cards can be redeemed at any of GameStop's more than 4,400 locations across the nation. If you want to try it out for yourself, <a href="" target="_blank">head 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> e-card games GameStop gift card News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 16:50:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 28205 at