News en Microsoft Expands Availability of Office 2016 to General Public <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/office_2016.jpg" alt="Office 2016" title="Office 2016" width="228" height="147" style="float: right;" />Getting situated in a new Office</h3> <p>Make no mistake, Microsoft's head (and heart) is in the cloud, hence the growing number of subscription-based services. But if you're more grounded to the desktop, fear not, the Redmond giant hasn't forgotten about you. In fact, <strong>Microsoft today expanded the availability of its Office 2016 Preview</strong> suite as it seeks feedback from a broader audience leading up to the software's general availability this fall.</p> <p>Office 2016 introduces several changes and improvements to the productivity suite. Starting with Word, Microsoft is bringing co-authoring capabilities to Office 2016. When you and your team are online, you'll be also to what other editors are working on and what changes they're making, and see it in real-time.</p> <p>Individual applications will get smarter the more you use them, too.</p> <p>"Applications will learn as you work, taking advantage of subtle cues and clues to help you stay on task and get more out of Office," Microsoft explained in a <a href="" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>There's a new search tool called "Tell Me" available in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel that brings up commands you need just by typing what you want to do. In addition, the suite introduces Clutter, a new Exchange feature that lights up in OUtlook and uses machine learning to analyze your email patters and de-clutter your inbox. It does this by moving lower priority messages into a dedicated Clutter folder.</p> <p>You can grab the Office 2016 Preview by <a href="" target="_blank">going 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> microsoft Office 2016 Software News Mon, 04 May 2015 18:08:51 +0000 Paul Lilly 29825 at Microsoft CFO Discusses Windows as a Service Strategy <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/microsoft_way_0.jpg" alt="Microsoft Way" title="Microsoft Way" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Reacting to declining Windows sales</h3> <p>Microsoft surprised a lot of folks when it announced that Windows 10 would be a <a href="">free upgrade</a> for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users, especially after explaining that the new operating system was such a departure over previous versions that it warranted <a href="">skipping a version number</a>. As many speculated, the free upgrade is part of <strong>Microsoft's strategy of shifting to Windows as a service. Microsoft CFO Amy Hood talked a little about the shift</strong> and where the company is headed.</p> <p>Transitioning to a Windows as a service business model essentially means that Microsoft will be more focused on generating revenue from search, apps, and cloud-based subscription services that tie into the operation system. But why now? As Hood explained during a meeting with Wall Street analysts last week, as consumer PC shipments weakened, so did Microsoft's Windows sales.</p> <p>"We adjusted our approach in terms of SKU strategy, making sub 9-in. devices free," said Hood, according to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>ComputerWorld</em></a>. "We added new pricing strategy for opening price point devices. And we had programs to drive genuine Windows attach in high-piracy markets."</p> <p>Microsoft hopes that by reducing and in some cases eliminating the cost of Windows of licenses, it will drive up device sales, creating a larger customer base for its services and ads. With the introduction of Windows 10, Microsoft will be taking a big step in that direction.</p> <p>Surprisingly enough, Bing is one reason why Microsoft can afford to gamble on this strategy. The revenue from Bing advertising, which has increased, has mostly made up for declining revenue of Windows licenses. PC gaming revenue also helped in that regard, just to a lesser degree.</p> <p>There's still the question of whether Microsoft's Windows as a service strategy means it will transition to a subscription cost of Windows. That could still be in the cards, though it's worth noting Hood didn't talk about or hint at such a model, and instead focused on revenue from tie-in services.</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 Windows Windows as a Service News Mon, 04 May 2015 15:04:57 +0000 Paul Lilly 29824 at Microsoft Acquires Surface Pen Technology from Israeli Firm N-trig <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Surface Pen" title="Surface Pen" width="228" height="94" style="float: right;" />Rumors of a deal between the two companies first began to swirl in February</h3> <p>For many Surface users, the <strong>Surface Pen is critical to the whole device experience</strong>. It is one of the things that sets Microsoft’s device apart from most other tablets on the market. And who else would know this better than Microsoft itself? The Redmond-based tech giant has acquired the technology behind the digital pen from Israeli firm N-trig.</p> <p>“Today we are excited to have acquired advanced digital pen technology from N-trig Ltd., with whom we’ve partnered closely for several years,” <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft announced</a> Friday. “We can’t wait to show you what we’ll deliver for our Surface Fans in the future. Digital pens have a ways to go to be as good as pen and paper on some dimensions, and we’ll get there. But more importantly, adding the ability to capture and share the work you do with a digital pen opens up possibilities that traditional pen and paper just can’t match. Today’s investment is another step that will let us push that innovation forward.”</p> <p>A deal between the two was first rumored in February, when Israeli media outlet Calcalist claimed Microsoft had bought N-trig for a <a href="" target="_blank">whopping $200 million</a>. Late last month, however, the venerable <a href="" target="_blank">Wall Street Journal</a> entered the scene and brought that figure down to $30 million. It’s not clear which — if any — of those figures is accurate.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> digital pen microsoft n-trig stylus surface pen News Mon, 04 May 2015 11:16:42 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29823 at Lenovo’s Impossibly Light LaVie Z Laptop is Now Available <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Lenovo LaVie Z" title="Lenovo LaVie Z" width="228" height="186" style="float: right;" />The 13-incher comes in two flavors</h3> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">13-inch LaVie Z notebook</a> that we caught a glimpse of at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show is <a href="" target="_blank">now up for sale</a>. The device has, however, <strong>put on a bit of weight since its unveiling as the “world’s lightest laptop” in January</strong>, and it’s also pricier than expected. But even then it remains a ridiculously light machine at a mere 1.87 pounds.</p> <p>The <a href=";sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNGyDsb6fQ4J0tr4r7tGJz8Iu8cSaA" target="_blank">standard LaVie Z</a> is priced at $1,499.00, and not $1,299.00, as was initially announced. In case you want the <a href=";sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNH8qRdGatFeJqVcB8_WvVwbGfNkIQ" target="_blank">LaVie Z 360</a>&nbsp; — a variant capable of Yoga-like acrobatics — get ready to pay $200 extra. </p> <p>The latter’s 360-degree rotatable screen aside, the two models are identical in terms of specs: 13.3-inch QHD (2560x1440) display, Intel Core i7-5500U processor, integrated graphics, 8GB of RAM, 256GB hard drive, 720p webcam, WiFi 802.11 a/c, Bluetooth 4.0, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI-out and SD card reader.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> laptop LaVie Z lavie z 360 lenovo yoga News Mon, 04 May 2015 08:05:56 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29822 at SolidRun CuBox-i is a 2-inch Cube with Quad-Core ARM SoC, 4GB of RAM <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Cubox-1 4x4" title="Cubox-1 4x4" width="228" height="192" style="float: right;" />Will come pre-installed with Android and Kodi home-theater software</h3> <p>Around two years back, Israeli company SolidRun launched CuBox-i, a <strong>line of ARM-powered 2-inch cube PCs with a starting price of $45</strong>. It’s now upping the ante on that front with a device it says is the “smallest ARM quad core 4GB mini computer” out there.</p> <p>The new <a href="" target="_blank">CuBox-i 4X4</a> marries a quad-core i.MX6 chip from Freescale with 4GB of DDR3 RAM. While the particular quad-core SoC (system-on-chip) isn’t new to the range, the <a href="" target="_blank">most amount of RAM</a> seen in the current crop of CuBox-1 devices is 2GB. Other specs include two USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, MicroUSB port, eSATA, WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Ethernet, optical audio out, and IR. It will come with Android 4.4 KitKat and Kodi (formerly XBMC) pre-installed, though you’ll be able to install your favorite flavor of Linux should you want to.</p> <p>"The CuBox-i 4X4 module addresses the growing need for increased high capability power efficient fan-less mini-computers," Dr. Atai Ziv, CEO of SolidRun, was quoted as saying in a press release. "Its unique nonmoving parts and passive cooling design increase reliability in various home, city and industrial floor environments targeting multimedia &amp; digital signage, industrial and IoT applications."</p> <p>Quite clearly the CuBox-i 4x4 packs quite a serious punch for such a tiny device (although nowhere near as much as this <a href=",1" target="_blank">bad boy</a>), but how much will it cost? The company’s website has the device listed for pre-order for $169.99, with shipping expected to begin in late May.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> android cubox-i freescale i.MX6 kodi linux solidrun News Mon, 04 May 2015 07:16:19 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29821 at Microsoft Puts Windows Media Center Out to Pasture <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Windows Media Center" title="Windows Media Center" width="228" height="127" style="float: right;" />Active development ceased in 2009</h3> <p><strong>Windows Media Center hasn’t been part of Microsoft’s plans since at least 2009, when Microsoft disbanded the team behind it and ceased active development</strong>. And the Media Center add-on that has been available for Windows 8 is a paid offering, even though it boasts nothing new over the Windows 7 version. But Microsoft, it seems, has finally had enough.</p> <p>When the Windows 10 Technical Preview first came out in late 2014, some people noticed it was <a href="" target="_blank">possible to get the add-on to work with the new OS by providing a valid Windows 8.1 Media Center Pack product key</a>. This method was, however, fraught with several issues, and Microsoft advised users against adding the software to Windows 10 Technical Preview, saying it “did not intend for you to be able to use a purchased product key on a preview build.” Looks like that was just a mistake, of which there won’t be any repeat.</p> <p>According to ZDNet’s Ed Bott, a Microsoft exec told him during the course of a private conversation at Build that <a href="" target="_blank">there would be no update to Media Center for Windows 10</a>. Nor will the current version be available as an add-on. So, in other words, existing Media Center users will have to bid farewell to the software the moment they upgrade to Windows 10.</p> <p>Seeing as how only a small subset of Windows users ever used it and given the rapid increase in the population of so-called “cord cutters” and “cord nevers”, Microsoft didn’t have much of a choice. Or do you disagree?</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> dvr microsoft recording Software windows 10 Windows Media Center News Mon, 04 May 2015 06:33:54 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29820 at Microsoft’s Age Guessing Algorithm is a Jerk <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/how_old.jpg" alt="How Old" title="How Old" width="228" height="207" style="float: right;" />Let the mid-life crisis begin</h3> <p>Screw this, I'm going on a shopping spree for a convertible sports car and whatever else people buy when they have a midlife crisis. Not that I'm going through one, I'm just a little ticked at <strong>Microsoft's new website that guesses your age and gender when you upload a photo of your mug</strong>. When I tried it out with a recent photo of myself, it got the gender right (hooray!), but overshot my age by 9 years (you dirty little algorithm!).</p> <p>If you upload a group photo, it will tag all the faces it recognizes with age and gender guesses. Over time, the facial recognition technology at work is supposed to improve and make more accurate assumptions, which is good because I'm far from the only one that it basically said, "You look old for your age!" To the tool's credit, it did a much better job with a different set of pics and even correctly guessed my age at the time one of my photos was taken (see thumbnail pic above).</p> <p>You don't need to use your own photo -- you can choose an image from an integrated Bing Image Search and have it guess the age and gender of your favorite celebrity. Scroll through pictures of Adam Levine, for example, and you'll see a variety of ages -- from 29 to 40, based on the ones we tried (he's 36). And with Scarlett Johansson, we saw results ranging from 17 to 34 years old (she's 30). Unfortunately, it doesn't recognize characters like Chewbacca or E.T.</p> <p>This all began as a fun little experiment that a couple of Microsoft engineers toyed with. They were playing with Microsoft's newly released Face detection API and expected around 50 people to respond to the test. The Internet being what it is, over 35,000 users flocked to the site within just a few hours.</p> <p>If you want to give it a whirl yourself and don't mind a potentially bruised ego, head over to <a href="" target="_blank"></a> and let us know how accurate (or inaccurate) it was.</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> age face recognition microsoft News Fri, 01 May 2015 16:24:30 +0000 Paul Lilly 29818 at PC Gamer Creates the E3 for PCs <!--paging_filter--><h3>No gaming system beats the PC</h3> <p>E3, or the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is a show held in downtown Los Angeles that focuses on pretty much all things games. But, if you've ever been to E3 or followed E3 coverage, you'll quickly realize that E3 is all about consoles. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, all push games for their latest big consoles, and well, the PC is really where things shine. So why is it that the gigantic and technologically superior PC platform doesn't get more of a showing at E3? <a href="">PC Gamer decided to solve that</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u191083/pcgamer_show_big.jpg" width="650" height="459" /></p> <p>Launching at E3 is <a href="">The PC Gaming Show Powered by PC Gamer</a>, which is going to be so crazy and big, you'll ask yourself how come this was never E3 itself. The PC Gaming Show brings together all the best parts of the PC gaming ecosystem, and gives it stage presence at E3. Supported by a whole host of PC gaming related companies, and lead sponsored by AMD, PC Gamer's show is poised to show the entertainment world that nothing beats the PC.</p> <p>"We're living in a golden age of PC gaming, but unlike other platforms the PC has no format holder, no marketing department, and--until now--no event during E3 week purely devoted to it," said Tim Clark, global Editor-in-Chief at PC Gamer. "We think a show like this, which brings together people from every corner of PC gaming to celebrate the exciting things happening, is long overdue. We hope you'll join us, in person or on stream to be part of it."</p> <p>The show will be hosted by Sean "Day[9]" Plott, and the show will feature appearances by Dean Hall of DayZ fame, Cliff Bleszinki of Boss Key Productions, and developers from studios including Blizzard, Bohemia Interactive, Cloud Imperium Games, Tripwire Interactive</p> <p>We at <em>Maximum PC</em> are thrilled to support this event. There's truly no better gaming platform, and that's coming from someone who owns all the latest consoles. The performance and utility of a PC is unmatched, and at any given time, you can change or upgrade as your needs and wants changes. We love the PC and we're super happy to support the show.</p> E3 PC Gamer pc gaming show News Thu, 30 Apr 2015 23:12:15 +0000 Tuan Nguyen 29816 at Unreal Engine 4 Adds Support for SteamVR <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/htc_vive.jpg" alt="HTC Vive" title="HTC Vive" width="228" height="150" style="float: right;" />Let's get virtual</h3> <p>The value proposition of using Epic Games' Unreal Engine keeps getting better. Just under two months ago, Epic ditched the $19 per month subscription free, opting instead to give budding developers <a href="">free and unfettered access</a> to its complete C++ source code hosted in GitHub while continuing to collect a 5 percent royalty on gross revenue after the $3,000 per project. Now <strong>Epic is adding support for SteamVR in Unreal Engine 4</strong>, the company announced today.</p> <p>Support for SteamVR will roll out in next week's first preview release of Unreal Engine 4.8, thereby giving developers the tools they need to create expansive virtual reality environments and experiences. SteamVR is being completely integrated into UE4 across Blueprint visual scripting and native code, which allows projects to be built without dependency on programmer support.</p> <p>This is entirely new ground for UE4 -- it already has the tools to support platforms like Oculus Rift, Samsung's Gear VR, and Sony's Project Morpheus. But SteamVR is a different beast. It allows for a greater range of motion that extends to about the size of a small room. By comparison, Rift and Morpheus are limited to just a few steps, at best.</p> <p>"This technology is incredibly freeing," said Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic. "There is a magical sense of immersion in walking around a VR space and directly interacting with it."</p> <p>The HTC Vive Developer Edition kit (headset, two single-handed controllers, and tracking system) that's built to take advantage of SteamVR will be out in spring of this year.</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> Epic Games Software steamvr unreal engine 4 Valve virtual reality vr News Thu, 30 Apr 2015 19:14:37 +0000 Paul Lilly 29815 at Razer Seiren Digital Microphone Goes Pro, Now Available to Pre-Order <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/razer_seiren_pro.jpg" alt="Razer Seiren Pro" title="Razer Seiren Pro" width="228" height="186" style="float: right;" />Now with XLR recording and a high-pass filter</h3> <p>Razer's best known for its line of PC gaming peripherals, especially mice, though it's been branching out into several different directions through the years, including audio recording. The company tossed its hat into the audio recording ring last December with its <a href="">Seiren digital microphone</a>. Now here we are a little more than four months later and <strong>Razer is announcing its Seiren Pro model</strong>, an upgraded version of the original.</p> <p>The Seiren Pro adds XLR connectivity for plugging directly into mixing boards and cameras, along with being able to chain multiple microphones and instruments while making on-the-fly adjustments during live sessions. Like the original model, the Pro version also supports USB.</p> <p>"With the success of YouTube, Twitch and the likes, there is a greater demand for high-fidelity recording equipment than ever before," says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. "Our second condenser microphone, the Razer Seirēn Pro, delivers what video game streamers are looking for and provides great value to YouTubers, musicians and anyone looking to capture sound clearly."</p> <p>Razer also added a high-pass filter that's supposed to remove low-end ambient noises. If you're in a recording environment that's susceptible to hums, rumbles, traffic, wind, and things of that nature, this could be the model you've been waiting for.</p> <p>Pricing for the Seiren Pro is $250. There's also a Shock Mount accessory accessory available for $50 and a Pop Filter that also runs $50, or a bundle that includes everything for $300.</p> <p>It's likely the Seiren/Seiren Pro is a redesigned and rebranded Blue Yeti, the latter of which are a little cheaper. However, there are some subtle differences, mostly aesthetic. Here's a decent YouTube video that compares the original to a Yeti:</p> <p><iframe src="" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">Seiren Pro is available to pre-order</a> now and will ship on May 8.</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> audio microphone Peripherals razer Seiren Pro News Thu, 30 Apr 2015 18:31:57 +0000 Paul Lilly 29814 at Falcon Northwest's Tiny Tiki PC Feasts on 18-Core Xeon E5-2699 V3 CPU <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/tiki_pc.jpg" alt="Falcon Northwest Tiki PC" title="Falcon Northwest Tiki PC" width="228" height="194" style="float: right;" />Small form factor PC gets new 6-core and 8-core CPU options</h3> <p>There was a day when the size of your desktop was a pretty good indicator of the performance inside, or at least potential performance. That's all gone out the window lately with the emergence of high performance small form factor (SFF) PCs, some of which are specifically intended for living room gaming. Enter <strong>Falcon Northwest and its 4-inch wide Tiki PC, an SFF that can now be configured with Intel Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition and Xeon E5-2699 V3 processor options</strong> for up to 18 cores of computing muscle.</p> <p>Support for Intel's Core i7 5000 Series and mighty Xeon processor come courtesy of an option to configure a Tiki PC around the Santa Clara chip maker's X99 chipset, though a top-end CPU is only the beginning. If your pockets are overflowing with cash and weighing you down (a problem we'd all like to have), you can configure a Tiki PC with up to 32GB of DDR4 memory and a fast graphics card like Nvidia's GeForce GTX Titan X.</p> <p>"Tiki is proving once more that the micro-tower is the size and shape of PCs of the future," said Kelt Reeves, president of Falcon Northwest. "While Tiki has remained unchanged at 4 inches wide and 13 inches tall, its power-per-cubic inch has skyrocketed. This latest leap has doubled its maximum memory capacity, and more than quadrupled its CPU core count. With 8 Terabytes of internal drive storage capacity and 4K-capable graphics, there are now very few scenarios when a system larger than a Tiki is actually necessary for most users."</p> <p>Configuring a Tiki PC based on Intel's X97 chipset starts at $1,858 while an X99 foundation begins at $2,490. We went a little crazy and spec'd out a loaded system consisting of the aforementioned Xeon chip and 32GB of DDR4 RAM, plus a painted case, Titan X graphics card, 1TB Samsung 850 Pro SSD (RAID), 6TB Western Digital Red HDD, Blu-ray burner, SilverStone 600W modular PSU, and Windows 8.1 Professional. The finally tally? Almost ten grand ($9,830). Dream big, right?</p> <p>There are also Quadro graphics card options if you're looking to be a small but potent workstation (the Tiki PC has dual LAN ports, eSATA, USB 3.1 connectivity, and Ultra M.2 PCI Express x4 storage support). And come this fall, Falcon Northwest will offer the Tiki in official Steam Machine variants.</p> <p>In the meantime, upgraded Tiki PC options based on Intel's X99 chipset are <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> Core i7-5960X Extreme falcon northwest Hardware micro tower rigs sff Small Form Factor tiki Xeon E5-2699 V3 News Thu, 30 Apr 2015 15:59:14 +0000 Paul Lilly 29813 at Microsoft Lays Groundwork for Android and iOS Apps to Run on Windows 10 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_android.jpg" alt="Windows Android" title="Windows Android" width="228" height="228" style="float: right;" />One big 'appy family</h3> <p>Even though Microsoft's been giving us a glimpse of Windows 10 by way of Technical Previews and a spattering of blog posts, the Redmond outfit kept more than a few tricks up its sleeve. One of those tricks is getting Android and iOS apps to run on Windows 10 without tasking developers with rebuilding their code. How? <strong>Microsoft is offering a couple of SDKs that will make it relatively easy for iOS and Android developers to port their apps to Windows 10</strong>.</p> <p>For iOS apps, the solution is called Project Islandwood. This is a set of tools that will allow iOS developers to use their existing Objective C code with minimal changes. The magic happens via middleware that offers APIs their code is already looking for. Developers who've tested Project Islandwood say they've only had to make minor changes, including Candy Crush Saga's developers, who said they only changed a "few percent" of code for their Windows 10 port, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>ArsTechnica</em></a>.</p> <p>Android's toolkit is called Project Astoria. The idea is to get Android apps to run on Windows Mobile, now the official name for Windows 10 on phones and sub-8 inch tablets. Project Astoria will include an Android runtime layer capable of running existing Android apps written in both Java and C++. What's unique about Project Astoria compared to Project Islandwood is that no recompiling is required on the part of the developer.</p> <p>"We want to enable developers to leverage their current code and current skills to start building those Windows applications in the Store, and to be able to extend those applications," Microsoft's Terry Myerson <a href="" target="_blank">told <em>The Verge</em></a>.</p> <p>These toolkits should go a long way towards that goal.</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 apps ios microsoft operating system OS Software windows 10 News Wed, 29 Apr 2015 20:26:39 +0000 Paul Lilly 29811 at MSI Dangles Prestige Series Laptops in Front of Creative Professionals <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/msi_prestige.jpg" alt="MSI Prestige" title="MSI Prestige" width="228" height="158" style="float: right;" />Look at the colors!</h3> <p>If your livelihood depends on a display with accurate color reproduction, then not just any old monitor will do. The same applies to laptops, and <strong>according to MSI, it's new Prestige Series with True Color Technology offers more lifelike and balanced images than you'll see on other laptop panels</strong>. That's because it goes through a calibration processor that adjusts the screen's color temperature, visible color range, and gray level stage.</p> <p>We're weary of such claims, especially when taking into account the $1,200 starting price. That's for the 15.6-inch model with a Full HD 1080p resolution, Intel Core i7 4720HQ processor, 12GB of DDR3L-1600 RAM, 1TB hard drive (7200 RPM), Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M graphics, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Killer Gaming Network, DVD burner, memory card reader, three USB 3.0 ports, a single USB 2.0 port, HDMI output, 720p HD webcam, four 2W speakers, and Windows 8.1.</p> <p>There's also a 17.3-inch model that's spec'd nearly the same, save for more RAM (16GB), that costs $1,300. Both are decent configurations for the money, which makes us question if the panel is truly professional grade.</p> <p>"MSI’s Prestige Series laptops showcases 6 different color profiles to maximize performance; sRGB default mode for optimum graphics, Gamer to increase brightness, Designer with increased clarity for ultra-clear lines, Anti-Blue to reduce harmful blue light, Movie to optimize contrast for even more vivid graphics, and Office to minimizes eye strain after long term use," MSI says.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/msi_prestige_angle.jpg" alt="MSI Prestige Angled" title="MSI Prestige Angled" width="620" height="381" /></p> <p>Alternatively, you can connect up to three external monitors simultaneously at 4K resolution via mini DisplayPort and HDMI.</p> <p>Both the PE70 2QD-062US (17.3-inch) and PE60 2QD-060US (15.6-inch) Prestige laptops are supposed to be available now. The ones we found online were out of stock, though that should change soon.</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 msi notebook OEM Prestige rigs News Wed, 29 Apr 2015 19:33:45 +0000 Paul Lilly 29810 at We're Hiring <!--paging_filter--><h3>Think you have the chops? Hit us up then!</h3> <p>We're hiring! Actually, we're hiring for more than one spot. If you got a passion for the PC and tech, there's no better place than <em>Maximum PC</em> to hone in on that passsion. Without further rambling, here is what we're looking for:</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u191083/variant_590.jpg" width="480" height="624" /></p> <p><strong>TECH EDITOR</strong></p> <p>Ideal candidates should:</p> <p>Previous experience working for a media company. Be well-versed in the PC hardware/software scene. Breadth and depth of knowledge is paramount.&nbsp;Have excellent writing/reporting and presentation abilities including livestream and podcast interview skills. He or she should be agile and able to manage impromptu requests, while meeting deadlines.&nbsp;Strong industry contacts is a plus and key to your success.&nbsp;Strong sense of humor, objectivity, and keen eye for details. Candidate must have a positive, problem solving, attitude. The ability to&nbsp;work out of our office in South San Francisco is a huge plus and those who can are given priority consideration.</p> <p>Job Responsibilities:</p> <ul> <li>Write/contribute content (news, features, and reviews) for the magazine and website</li> <li>Edit articles for the magazine and website</li> <li>Build PCs/assist with running PC benchmarks</li> <li>Upload articles to the CMS/website</li> <li>Participate in Maximum PC’s No BS Podcast</li> <li>Cover events/tradeshows as needed</li> <li>Daily tasks as assigned</li> </ul> <p>Candidates should have in-depth knowledge in the following areas:</p> <ul> <li>CPU</li> <li>GPU</li> <li>Motherboards</li> <li>Storage (SSDs, HDDs, etc.)</li> <li>Software (Windows/Linux/Multimedia Production/Editing)</li> <li>Cases</li> <li>Cooling</li> <li>Overclocking</li> <li>Peripherals (headset, keyboards, mice)</li> </ul> <p><strong>PAID INTERN</strong></p> <p>Candidates should have:</p> <ul> <li>A strong interest and knowledge of PC hardware</li> <li>Writing/reporting abilities</li> <li>A good sense of humor and positive team-player personality</li> <li>Must be able to work at our South San Francisco office</li> </ul> <p>Among the tasks you’ll do:</p> <ul> <li>Edit Maximum PC’s podcast/videocast</li> <li>Shoot and edit unboxing videos, demos, interviews, discussions, product previews, video reviews, etc.</li> <li>Write editorial copy that supplements video content for the website as needed</li> <li>Assist with mailing duties</li> <li>Upload articles to the CMS/website</li> <li>Daily tasks as assigned</li> </ul> <p><strong>What we offer:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Excellent employer paid medical, dental and vision plans (HMO or PPO)</li> <li>Pet insurance</li> <li>401K Matching</li> <li>Costco Membership</li> <li>Corporate Donation Matching Program</li> <li>Work From Home / Flex Scheduling Programs</li> <li>Equipped gym</li> <li>Free shuttle service from BART and CalTrain to the office</li> <li>Entertainment</li> <li>An arcade</li> <li>And other goodies&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>All positions are <strong>paid</strong>. Please submit your resume and writing samples to us. You can email them to me directly if you wish at <strong>tuan at maximumpc dot com</strong>. Keep in mind, there's a certain style and attitude to <em>Maximum PC</em>. We like excitement, and we gag at writing that's dry. So if you're mucking about with PC hardware all day long, and you love getting dirty with the latest hardware, you might as well do it with us. The best part is, you get to shape the PC industry as you do it! Submit away!</p> maximum pc tech editor News Wed, 29 Apr 2015 16:42:55 +0000 Tuan Nguyen 29809 at NZXT Noctis 450 Adds a Glow to Mid-Tower Case Market <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nzxt_noctis_450.jpg" alt="NZXT Noctis 450" title="NZXT Noctis 450" width="228" height="176" style="float: right;" />Bringing the bling</h3> <p>When NZXT partnered with Razer to build a special version of the H440, one of the standout characteristics was that it had a green underglow. Turns out you're going to see more of that, at least from <strong>NZXT, which added an underglow to its newly announced Noctis 450 mid-tower case</strong>. This is in addition to NZXT's "signature" I/O LEDs, and to accommodate the additional lighting, NZXT updated the lighting switch to allow for multi-step adjustments.</p> <p>Beyond the LED bling, NZXT focused its efforts on cooling. So-called floating panels on the top of the case purportedly offer 10 times more ventilation surface area compared to the H440. It also has a built-in PWM fan hub that supports up to 8 case fans. Users can connect the PWM fan hub to their motherboard or to a Kraken product and adjust fan profiles.</p> <p>NZXT starts you off with three 120mm fans in the front and a 140mm in the rear. You can add more from there, or slap up to a 360mm radiator for liquid cooling.</p> <p>Other features found in the Noctis 450 include a fully modular hard drive system, SSD mounts, and a power supply shroud that's supposed to make hiding unsightly cables as easy as it was shoving toys under your bed as a kid.</p> <p>The <a href="" target="_blank">NZXT Noctis 450</a> is available now for $140 MSRP in black and red or white and black color options.</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 case chassis enclosure Hardware mid-tower Noctis 450 nzxt News Wed, 29 Apr 2015 13:08:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 29808 at