Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon 27-in Table PC for Computing and Gaming

Subject: Systems | January 6, 2013 - 06:00 PM |
Tagged: video, table pc, Lenovo, ideacentre, horizon, ces 2013, CES

Lenovo claims to be ushering in "an entirely new PC category" at CES this year with the IdeaCentre Horizon table PC.  That's right a table; though not a very large one with a 27-in display.  The hardware specifications aren't particularly interesting and include a 1080p display, Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor, discrete graphics options topping out at the GeForce GT 620M, optional SSD, Bluetooth, 802.11n, etc.

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We stopped by the Lenovo suite earlier in the week and got some hands-on time with the unit as well as a walk through of its features.  Check out the video here:

The 27-in display is actually capable of 10 point multi-touch capability and allows for "interpersonal" computing which simply means it is intended for more than one user at a time.  Lenovo claims that this makes it a family PC and for some unique cases including game nights and various kids-based applications.  Of course, you can tilt up to 90 degrees and use the machine for standard computing circumstances.

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The Horizon is pretty thin at just over 1-in when looking at the profile.  It weighs almost 18 pounds and that wouldn't normally matter except that Lenovo has put a battery in this machine capable of keeping it running for up to 2 hours without a power connection.  The idea of a portable 27-in monitor with a 2 hour battery life is humorous to say the least but would still be useful for taking to the couch to use as a dinner table while watching TV and reading on your incredibly close 1080p screen.  Seriously though, the intention is to allow consumers to take the Horizon to the coffee table and play a game with the family without having to run a cable to the wall.

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Lenovo is even going to have some gaming accessories included with the IdeaCentre Horizon including a striker, joystick and the coolest thing I've ever seen, an e-dice.  It will come preloaded with games from EA, Ubisoft and more importantly, Monopoly.  SOLD!

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Pricing will start at $1699 and availability is schedule for early summer.  Check out the full press release after the break!

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

CES 2013: Lenovo OneLink Connection Combines HDMI, Audio, Power, Ethernet and more!

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | January 6, 2013 - 06:00 PM |
Tagged: thunderbolt, onelink, Lenovo, ces 2013, CES

An interesting technology from Lenovo is making its debut at CES 2013 as a side-story to an otherwise kind of bland notebook, the ThinkPad Edge E431 and E531.  The notebook itself is based around an Ivy Bridge platform, 14-in or 15-in 1600x900 touch screen, optional discrete graphics and standard storage but what makes it more interesting is that it is the first machine to support Lenovo OneLink.

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Lenovo OneLink is a single connection that promises to "connect and deliver power to everything" and if successful, can reduce cable clutter and simplify connections for consumers and business users that want a laptop as their primary machine with a dockable workstation option for when you are at home or the office.  The capability for OneLink to not only act as the conduit for video, audio, networking, storage and more but also charge your laptop and power those other accessories would be impressive and surpasses Thunderbolt in many ways.  We don't yet know the actual data rate of OneLink so TB may still have an advantage there.

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Lenovo was also showing the first accessory for OneLink, a dock that features a NAS controller, 4 USB ports, Ethernet, native VGA, HDMI and audio.  In a relatively small package you are able to expand the ThinkPad Edge E431/E531 to the connectivity and capability of a full desktop with external storage and added displays.  Lenovo claims the HDMI connection will be completely lag free and support 1080p resolutions. 

Lots of questions remain including when other Lenovo machines will adopt this connection and why Lenovo decided to shun Thunderbolt that would allow them not only support other accessories but sell its accessories (like this dock) to non-Lenovo customers. 

Hopefully we'll get some more details this week!

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

CES 2013: Vizio Creates Windows 8 Tablet with AMD CPU

Subject: General Tech, Processors, Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 6, 2013 - 05:13 PM |
Tagged: CES, ces 2013, vizio, amd

Why not open up CES-proper discussion with a tablet announcement?

AMD has begun their push into the tablet space with Vizio being one of their first OEM partners to announce products at CES. Due to AMD being one of the select few to still maintain a proper x86 license, they are about your only option outside of Intel for a true Windows 8 tablet. Vizio took them up on that position.

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The Vizio Tablet PC, seemingly a play on their original Android-based Vizio tablet with an added declaration that “I am a PC”, will run standard Windows 8 certified as Microsoft Signature. No bloatware will be included which should help users experience the performance that 60-day antivirus trials and auto-launched demo notifications absorb.

On the technical side, the Tablet PC is loaded with 2 GB of RAM, an 11.6” full 1080p display, and a 1.0 GHz AMD Z60 processor. 64 GB of solid state storage is included although Windows 8 has been known to stake claims to a large portion of that. Readers of our site would probably have a primary computing device although this might be worth watching as a secondary device. You do not have a whole lot of other options for Flash support or access to non-default browsers.

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: engadget

Lenovo Releases New High Performance Desktop for Gamers - Meet the Erazer X700

Subject: Systems | January 6, 2013 - 02:01 PM |
Tagged: x700, system, Lenovo, ces 2013, CES

Lenovo has announed a new 'high-performance desktop for extreme gamers with high storage capacity, powerful OneKey™ overclocking performance at the click of a button, and a liquid-cooling system" that looks interesting.

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Key features include:

  • OneKey™ Overclocking increases processing speed with the click of a button
  • Lenovo Cooling System uses a liquid coolant to keep internal temperatures at optimal levels to protect system health while overclocking
  • AMD Eyefinity technology allows users to simultaneously connect up to six monitors for a truly panoramic display
  • Intel® Core™ i7 Extreme processor
  • Dual graphics support – NVIDIA® SLI1, up to dual NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX660 1.5GB or ATI CrossFireX™1, up to dual AMD Radeon™ HD 8950 3GB graphics

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Notice something interesting in there?  Look at the last card listed in that last bullet.  "AMD Radeon HD 8950."  Could it be a typo, inaccurate, or a slip of the lip?  Since we've heard the Erazer won't be available till June and haven't heard anything official on the 8950 there's no telling.

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A good looking case design and some interesting specs, including integrated water cooling, have us interested in getting our hands on the Erazer and running it through it's paces when it hits.

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Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Lenovo

CES 2013: "Pro-Grade" Monitors, Even One with Touch

Subject: General Tech, Displays | January 5, 2013 - 08:48 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, ces 2013, CES

The storm is coming. The PC Perspective crew are settling their shelter. Press releases are slowly drizzling from the clouds -- at least given the nature of enterprise web hosting these days.

Samsung released a droplet to promote their upcoming premium touch-screen monitors. Why must you choose between a professional-grade display and a touchscreen? Well, you did not need to, but now you have even more options.

Three panels are being showcased with this press release:

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The Samsung Series7 Touch-Sensitive SC770 Monitor allows for up to ten touch-targets to be tracked at the same time. This ensures that a professional who desires to massage their accounting reports can use all ten fingers to firmly work out those deep-tissue trigger points. Also, and much more seriously, software from vendors such as Autodesk and Corel are beginning to take advantage of touch support. Maybe it will be possible to combine touch with stylus input from a graphics tablet to simulate many of the features of the Cintiq 24HD Touch?

The monitor itself is a very thin-bezel 24” FullHD design. Samsung also claims 5000:1 contrast ratio, 5-fold deeper than the 1000:1 ratio of standard displays. You might be used to seeing contrast ratios in the million-to-one realm however that is just a backlight dimming game where apparently this is a true static contrast ratio. It is expected to be available in Q1.

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The Samsung Series7 SC750 Monitor keeps the 5000:1 contrast ratio and gains three inches making it a 27” display. It is not touch enabled. It is just 1080p. This display is touted for its thin stand and pivot support to spin into portrait mode.

Samsung lauds the screen as delivering ultra-sharp images due to its high contrast ratio but I just feel wrong about a 27” 1080p computer display. Nothing about that seems ultra-sharp to me. Still if you are interested -- particularly in how it looks -- it will also be available in Q1.

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The last announcement has already been out for quite some time. Samsung will be showing off their S27B970 27” 1440p PLS display which is a much better resolution for a 27” display. No sense speculating when I can just point you to its CNET review.

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Samsung

Brace Yourself: The PC Perspective CES 2013 Coverage is Coming!

Subject: Graphics Cards, Networking, Motherboards, Cases and Cooling, Processors, Systems, Storage, Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 5, 2013 - 10:47 AM |
Tagged: CES, ces 2013, pcper

It's that time of year - the staff at PC Perspective is loaded up and either already here in Las Vegas, on their way to Las Vegas or studiously sitting at their desk at home - for the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show!  I know you are on our site looking for all the latest computer hardware news from the show and we will have it.  The best place to keep checking is our CES landing page at http://pcper.com/ces.  The home page will work too. 

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We'll have stories covering companies like, Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte, Zotac, Sapphire, Galaxy, EVGA, Lucid, OCZ, Western Digital, Corsair and many many more that I don't feel like listing here.  It all starts Sunday with CES Unveiled and then the NVIDIA Press Conference where they will announce...something.

Also, don't forget to subscribe to the PC Perspective Podcast as we will be bringing you daily podcasts wrapping up each day.  We are also going to try to LIVE stream them on our PC Perspective Live! page but times and bandwidth will vary.

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Qualcomm announces "Streamboost" to give your Home Network some Brains

Subject: Networking | January 4, 2013 - 07:30 AM |
Tagged: streamboost, qualcomm, qos, D-Link, ces 2013, alienware

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With CES right around the corner, we’re about to be buried in a deluge of announcements from consumer electronics vendors.  Since I was not able to get out to CES in person this year, Qualcomm offered to give me a sneak peek at their new “Streamboost” technology they’ve just announced and will be showing at CES.  I got to spend some time on the phone with Ciera Jammal, their PR rep and Michael Cubbage, Director of Business Development in their networking unit.  For those of you that may not recognize Michael’s name, he was one of the co-founders of Bigfoot Networks that brought us their “Killer Gaming” line of Ethernet and wireless products.  Acquired by Qualcomm in the fall of 2011, the merged Bigfoot and Qualcomm teams have now released “Streamboost”.

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So, what is Streamboost you ask?  Simply put, it’s an innovative Quality of Service engine that’s much, much more than what’s available for consumer QoS today.  QoS on most current consumer products only looks at what ports traffic is flowing across and prioritizes the traffic based on a simple list of what ports should be given priority at the expense of traffic on lower priority ports.  There’s no analysis of what the actual traffic is and in cases where different types of traffic flows over the same port (port 80 for example) it doesn’t offer any benefit at all.  The Streamboost engine on the other hand, will actually inspect the packets in real time, determining not only what port the traffic is using, but what the traffic actually is.  So for example, Streamboost will be able actually be able to tell that one stream is 1080p YouTube video while another is Standard Definition Netflix traffic, even though they are both on port 80, and give both streams the bandwidth they need. 

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Once the engine determines what type of data is moving through the connection, it will give that connection the bandwidth it needs to run optimally, but no more.  The “no more” piece is important because it frees up bandwidth for other applications and connections.  If there is not enough bandwidth available for the “Optimal” setting, it will then drop back and make every effort to give the connection what’s been determined to be the “Minimum acceptable” bandwidth needed for that type of traffic.

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How does Streamboost know what bandwidth is Optimal and what bandwidth is Minimum?  Well, Qualcomm has studied various types of traffic ranging from YouTube to Netflix to Call of Duty to torrents, and they’ve come up with the Optimal and Minimum bandwidth values for all types of traffic.  This data will be included in a “Detection and Policy Table” on the router that the Streamboost engine will reference.  My first thoughts when I heard this was that it sounded great, but what happens when that table gets out of date?  Qualcomm has thought of that as well and Streamboost includes an opt-in, cloud based service that will keep your router’s table up to date.  Not only that, but if the router encounters a new type of traffic not in its table, it will capture a few packets and send them up to the cloud (anonymized of course) to be analyzed and added to future table updates.  Your router should actually perform better as it’s table is updated and will be better after a year than it was on Day 1.  However, if you’re not interested in being part of the “Opt In crowd”, the engine can also be manually updated at any time.

The UI looks great and will let you drill down into your bandwidth use either by application or device.  Speaking of devices, Streamboost can detect the various types of devices on your network and lets you prioritize based on those criteria as well.

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D-Link and Alienware are the first two partners onboard with Streamboost and will be showing routers with the technology at CES as well as releasing them this spring.  All in all, after speaking to Qualcomm, I think I’m going to hold off my planned router upgrade until I can get my hands on a new router with Streamboost built in.

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Click here for the full press release!

Source: Qualcomm

AMD Has Lots to DisplayPort at CES 2013

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Displays | January 3, 2013 - 07:32 PM |
Tagged: ces 2013, CES, DisplayPort, amd

It has been several months since we first heard about AMD’s multi-stream transport hub -- its friends call it MST hub -- announced with the FirePro W600 last June. Since then news has been pretty quiet about the 1-to-4 DisplayPort device.

It turns out that AMD wants to roll the dice in Vegas along with several other demonstrations.

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Image from Rage3D Forums

The cute feature for the MST is its ability to split a 4K image into four 2K monitors. The reason why this is cute is because the hub enables the user to plug four-times as many monitors as they have DisplayPort 1.2 sockets on their GPU. The W600, for instance, contains 6 DisplayPort 1.2 plugs which enable it to drive 24 separate monitors from a single-slot card.

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Image from Rage3D Forums

Unfortunately, another feature of DisplayPort 1.2 is the ability to route sound uniquely to each display. The hub, as announced in June, is incapable of providing audio from its one input to its four displays.

A last goodie is the capacity to mix landscape and portrait monitors together in an Eyefinity setup. Stay tuned for our impending CES 2013 coverage for more details on these demos.

Coverage of CES 2013 is brought to you by AMD!

PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Podcast #233 - ThinkPad Twist, Intel's rumored TV service, Frame Latency testing and more!

Subject: General Tech | January 3, 2013 - 02:10 PM |
Tagged: VOD, video capture, twist, tv, thunderbolt, thinkpad twist, Thinkpad, podcast, Lenovo, Intel, Frame Latency testing, ces 2013, CES

PC Perspective Podcast #233 - 01/03/2013

Join us this week as we talk about the ThinkPad Twist, Intel's rumored TV service, Frame Latency testing and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:12:43

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:03:35 Thermaltake Soprano VO9000 Case
    2. 0:05:40 Lenovo Thinkpad Twist Convertible Ultrabook
    3. 0:10:15 MSI Z77 MPower Motherboard
    4. 0:14:00 AMD FX-8350 Overclock with AMD LCS
  2. 0:22:12 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:23:45 Video: MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt (and new player)
    2. 0:25:45 Fiber optic Thunderbolt cables ready
    3. 0:30:00 Intel planning at TV service in 2013
    4. 0:42:00 Frame Rating: A New Graphics Performance Metric
    5. 0:53:00 CES Predictions!
  4. Closing:
    1. 1:03:00 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt
      2. Jeremy: Logitech 963290-0403 Extreme 3D Pro USB Joystick
      3. Josh: Who needs 16GB? Who cares!
      4. Allyn: Scosche GoBat II (5AH USB 2.1A battery)
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. Closing/outro

Be sure to subscribe to the PC Perspective YouTube channel!!

 

Lucid Virtu MVP 2.0 Coming Soon and Will Be Sold Directly to Consumers

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors | December 14, 2012 - 05:07 PM |
Tagged: virtu MVP, virtu, lucid, ces 2013, CES

In preparation for the upcoming CES 2013 show in January we have started having some pre-meeting discussions with various companies, one of which was Lucid.  While speaking with them we learned some interesting news about the upcoming v2.0 release of their Virtu MVP software including new features and a new availability option.

Lucid's Virtu MVP software is the technology that allows DIY PC builders and notebook vendors to easily accommodate utilization of both integrated and discrete graphics in a single system without the need to adjust settings or to move monitor cables around.  With Virtu MVP you can take advantage of the QuickSync technology of your Ivy Bridge processor but still utilize the performance of a discrete graphics card for gaming.  This can all be managed and handled on a single display with a single cable. 

Other additions like Virtual Vsync and HyperFormance were added in MVP and aim to improve the gaming experience in the same way that Virtu enhances the overall user experience.  And while Matt Smith liked the results from the software in his recent testing with an Origin laptop, there were a couple things that bugged us: the interface and the inability to get the software on your own.

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Next month Lucid will be launching the new version 2.0 of its software that should increase the responsiveness of the interface while also drastically improving the visuals and style.  Also included will be native Windows 8 support.

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Perhaps the most interesting news is that Lucid will soon start offering the software directly to consumers as a download instead of requiring that you get it from your motherboard or system vendor.  This is great news for users that have purchased motherboards without Virtu software and those of you that might want to buy a really low cost board that would lack those features as well.  You will apparently be able to buy it in Q1 from www.lucidlogix.com and the price should be "under $30" which likely indicates a $29.99 starting offer. 

What we don't know is how this will affect Lucid's motherboard partners - will they stop carrying the software as a bundle going forward or will they still offer it on select SKUs?  Lucid wouldn't divulge any of that yet but I assume we'll find out more at CES next month.