In a first for Alienware, the company has introduced a CrossFireX-capable gaming notebook for mobile gamers looking to pack some added heat (figuratively, though likely literally as well) in time for the holiday gaming season. Wealthy fraggers can outfit the new M17 with a pair of ATI's Mobility Radeon HD 3870 videocards for plenty of pixel-pushing power on the notebook's 17-inch WXGA+ or optional WUXGA widescreen display.
"By incorporating the all-out performance of CrossFireX graphics and quad-core processing into Alienware's award-winning notebook lineup," says Frank Azor, executive vice-president for Alienware's Product and Marketing Group, "the M17 delivers an impressive feature set at a price point that doesn't break the bank."
Gamers can also double up on storage with up to 640GB of hard drive space in a RAID 0 array (2x320GB), or up to 1TB in RAID 0 for those willing to drop down to a 5400RPM spindle speed (2x500GB), enough to hold 250,000 songs according to Alienware. Other specs and options include Intel Core 2 Duo, Quad, and Extreme processor support, PM45 chipset, up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, RAID 1 support, ATSC HDTV tuner, Blu-ray optical drive, three USB 2.0 ports, eSATA port, WiFi, and other goodies.
The hardware comes wrapped in a "Stealh Black" soft matte finish bearing Alienware's logo and trademark aesthetic flair. But the real surprise is in the price. A base configuration starts at a comparatively modest $1,400, with less than a $2,000 investment required for a configuration consisting of a Core 2 Duo processor, dual-videocards, and 3GB of DDR3 memory on a 1920x1200 HD display.
Mozilla's open-source Firefox browser continues to gain ground in the browser wars in what can be considered a major uphill battle. Firefox has flirted with a steady 20 percent market share in the past, and according to Net Applications, October has been kind to the configurable browser, which settled in at 19.97 percent. That number represents a 0.51-point jump over September and is a record high for Mozilla.
Meanwhile, Microsoft's Internet Explorer slipped again last month, continuing its trend as having the fastest declining market share out of the six most popular browsers. But far from being a free fall of sorts, IE's combined share nestled in at a still very dominant 71.52 percent, down from 71.27 percent one month prior. That puts IE at a 4.2-point drop for the year, compared to Firefox's 2.99-point gain.
It will be interesting to see what kind of effect Google's Chrome browser may have on the top two contenders. Currently, Chrome only accounts for a 0.74 percent slice of the browser pie (down from 0.78 percent), but that could change if Google follows through with adding extension support.
Hit the jump and tell us how you see the browser wars shaking out in 2009 and beyond.
It can be argued that Asus pioneered the netbook market with its Eee PC line, much in the same way Apple stormed the MP3 front with its iPod. And like the iPod, a whole slew of complimentary products have been released with the Eee PC in mind, including a cup holder car mount. But despite the popularity of Asus' Eee PC line, the company may find itself playing second fiddle to Acer when it comes to shipments.
Acer, who announced its Aspire one netbook in June of this year, said shipments by year's end could reach 6 million units, which would be enough to outpace Asus. By comparison, Asus has set a goal of shipping 5 million Eee PCs, a distant second for a company that has had a 6-month head start.
"The netbook segment is growing very nicely," said Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci during the company's third quarter investor's conference in Taipei on Friday.
That might be the understatement of the year. It's been reported that the worldwide PC market is growing on the strength of netbooks, with mini-notebook shipments reaching 80.6 million units in the Q3 2008. The growing segment shows no signs of slowing down, and Acer looks to cash in with anywhere from 12 million to 15 million Aspire one shipments in 2009, according to Lanci.
Will Asus lose its lead in 2009? Hit the jump and tell us your prediction.
Taking a page from the RIAA -- whose umbrella of accusations have included suing an 83-year-old deceased woman (going for a default judgment, perhaps?) -- Atari has gone on the offensive by sending out letters threatening legal action against those who are believed to be downloading and sharing games online.
Among the recipients are Gill (age 54) and Ken Murdoch (age 66), a pair of senior citizens residing in Scotland who are being accused of stealing the game Race 07. To avoid legal action, they've been asked to pay what amounts to $815USD. The only problem? The Murdoch's claim they don't play videogames.
"We do not have, and have never had, any computer game or sharing software," the couple said. "We did not even know what 'per to peer' was until we received the letter."
According to DailyTech, it appears Atari has hired anti-piracy firm Logistep to round up IP addresses of those it believes are pirating videogames. But just as the RIAA has found out, sweeping allegations based on IP addys alone can sometimes lead to false positives, and with it a public outcry. With regards to the Murdochs, Atari dropped the case in the wake of negative publicity, but its legal campaign marches on.
Should Atari receive the same scorn the RIAA has received? Hit the jump and sound off.
The mini-ITX form factor is still alive and kicking, and to prove it, Zotac has just expanded its mini-ITX lineup with the nForce 630i-ITX WiFi motherboard. As the board's nomenclature suggests, WiFi comes integrated with 802.11b/g support, as does graphics chores, which are handled by Nvidia's GeForce 7100 chipset.
The pint-sized board comes ready for Intel's lineup of Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors with support for a full 1333MHz frontside bus. RAM support, on the other hand, comes somewhat gimped topping out at DDR2-800 instead of DDR2-1066 or DDR3. Other features include:
Eight USB 2.0 ports (four on back panel, four on pin header)
Onboard 10/100 Ethernet
HD Audio 5.1
Dual display ready (VGA / DVI)
Four SATA II ports with RAID Support
Not a bad feature-set for a compact board, particularly if you're in the market for an HTPC build, where the integrated WiFi could end up a major selling point.
"Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes speeding down the highway." - Andrew Tanenbaum
Western Digital's bringing back the sneakernet with a media player that displays video, audio, and photos from your USB devices on your TV - no networking required.
In fact, the WD TV HD Media Player doesn't have any networking capabilities at all. Instead, this little device plays files from your WD Passport (or other USB devices, although WD would love it if you used their portable hard drives) on your TV screen, in glorious 1080p resolution.
Die hard Apple fans love to defend their platform, and that’s okay, it’s actually good to know they are capable of emotion. But is this really what passes for a news story? The popular web tabloid AppleInsider.com ran a news feature on Friday criticizing Microsoft’s decision to place a Vista campaign booth outside an Apple store in Birmingham England. The booth was apparently set up to record I’m a PC videos for possible use in upcoming marketing efforts. Some of the clips gathered are slated for use in TV commercials while others will be used for web promotions. In addition to gathering video clips, Microsoft staffers are on hand to convert potential Mac customers back into the fold. The booths are the continuation of the Vista ad campaign which started with Bill Gates and Jerry Sienfeld, and more recently matured into the “I’m a PC” initiative.
Intel’s current lineup of desktop and laptop processors are currently being built with a 45nm process, a process which AMD is only now catching up with. It appears however that the race continues as Intel plans to unveil its new 32nm process technology on December 15th at the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM). 32nm might sound like nothing new, and in actuality the technology was first showcased back in 2007. At the time however, little was revealed and the company didn’t give many details as to the process itself. According to recent information Intel will share the specifics for the first time at IDEM and we expect to hear an announcement on new processors as well. The first platform is is rumored to be codenamed ‘Westmere’ which should hit the market in late 2009. Westmere however, is expected to be little more than a die shrink of Nehalem.
New features of the 32nm manufacturing process are expected to include second-generation high-k/metal gate technology, and nine levels of low-k interconnect dielectrics. According to the EE Times, Intel tested its new process by building a 32nm, 291-Mbit SRAM array test chip which has a cell size of 0.171-micron2. It houses over 2 billion transistors and has an array density of 4.2-Mbit2. The chip managed to run at an impressive 3.8 GHz while requiring only a meager 1.1v. Given the amount of time Intel has been working on this process experts expect commercialization next year to be highly plausible. The die shrinks will have the greatest benefits for mobile computing as it will boot performance while lowering the voltage requirements and the amount of heat generated. The future for mobile computing is bright indeed.
Just when we thought search couldn’t get any better, Evin Levey product manager at Google has blogged about a new feature that could have a dramatic impact on your search results. Scanned documents have been appearing in Google’s search results for quite some time now, but for the most part they were usually weren’t at the top your list regardless of how relevant they may have been. The reason for this is simple; when the search engine runs into an Adobe PDF file that was scanned as an image; it wasn’t able to read the contents other then what was contained within the meta tag. The article may well have been the definitive source on the topic for which you were searching, but until now they had no way of knowing what was in the document or sorting out key words in any type of automated fashion. On Thursday this all changed and it appears the search engine has successfully implemented a form of optical character recognition that can index the text for easy searching. This adds significant power to Google’s ability to catalog things such as books which are commonly achieved as images in PDF format.
Since millions of books are available as creative commons and scanning projects have been actively publishing these works to the web, the ability to search and find results will unlock countless additional sources of information. Care to try out some examples of the new feature?
So, you’re in the market for an all-in-one computer with a 24-inch screen, but you’re not looking to splurge on one of those yucky iMacs, huh? Well Dell has got your back, and it comes in the form of the XPS One 24.
The 24-inch beast packs plenty of powerful features, too. Including a gigantic 1920x1080 native resolution on a 16:9 display, 4GB RAM (standard), Intel GMA X4500HD graphics (or an upgraded Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT) and an Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 processor. Should you feel the need to donate money to some worthwhile causes without actually doing so yourself, there’s a (PRODUCT) RED version available too.
While admittedly the name isn’t the best we’ve ever seen (seriously, say it out loud), it is shaping up to be a very worthwhile media machine. Some upgraded speakers and a built in TV tuner are looking to drive that point home. It’s shipping now, and will run you $1,700 for a base model.