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!

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!!

 

Details about a possible upcoming Intel TV service, Intel Media

Subject: General Tech | January 1, 2013 - 03:34 PM |
Tagged: tv, intel tv, intel media, Intel, google tv, CES, apple tv

How's this to set off your 2013 tech news?  According to multiple reports and this rather lengthy one from GigaOm, Intel has a new division called Intel Media that is planning on launching a TV service this year.  While it apparently will not be ready to show off at CES next week, "knowledgeable sources" make the GigaOm author quite confident that it will happen in the March time frame.

Running much like a stealth startup rather than the multi-billion dollar corporate entity that it is, a new division called Intel Media has been working on an Intel TV service that aims to beat Google and Apple to the goal of an on-demand, a-la-carte video.  Running under a separate board of directors headed by Intel CEO Paul Otellini and content lead Eric Free among others, Intel Media has lofty goals.

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Intel CEO Paul Otellini is pushing services on his way out

The base for this service will be an Intel produced and branded set top box that will be sold online and through retailers like Best Buy.  Maybe something like the Intel Next Unit of Computing we tested in December?  But Intel also plans to have access to the service on any screen including PCs, laptops, tablets and mobile devices. The GigaOm story didn't mention if this would run on iOS and Android devices but if the service is to stand a chance, it had better. 

Building hardware is easy; the real challenge is in convincing content creators and owners to license the video for an "access anywhere" mindset.  Even Apple hasn't been able to accomplish that and I would dare say they have more industry clout with media companies than Intel. 

That will likely include an ambitious licensing play to secure content across all of these devices. Intel’s set-top box will offer access to third-party apps, but also TV content licensed by Intel — something that has been one of the key challenges of the project. Reuters and the Wall Street Journal detailed earlier this year how the company wanted to secure the right to stream individual TV channels over the internet, and Forbes reported this weekend that it will offer consumers the ability to subscribe to individual channels, as opposed to a big and expensive cable bundle.

Intel's desire to develop this service area isn't unexpected as the company has been wanting to get away from being known only as a "chip manufacturer" and move to a "platform provider."  It's just hard to see what Intel will be able to do so much better than what Apple has done with the Apple TV or what Google did with the Google TV platforms.  Intel has no successful operating system and would either have to go with a Windows platform (expensive), Android (what would stop other people for duplicating it) or something custom (not a good track record). 

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There are a lot more questions about what Intel Media is or could become than we have information to address.  But Intel is hoping that the executive team they have assembled will have those answers.  Personnel includes Erik Huggers who led the BBC iPlayer, Sean Ludick from Jawbone, Courtnee Westendorf who handled global marketing for Apple and several more.  Intel wants to be prepared for a world that cares less about the silicon that powers devices and more about the software and services on those devices.

The goal of getting individual channels of live television and on-demand content without the need for huge cable and satellite bills is the goal of a modern media consumption society but there are very large organizations that would like to prevent it from happening.  If Intel does in fact have the answer then I will be among the first to stand up and applaud (and pre-order).  If we are merely getting an Android powered version of the AppleTV with Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming video, I'll pass.

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Google TV had a lot of lofty goals and promise as well...

There is a lot more information and speculation on this Intel Media directive on the source GigaOm article, and I encourage you all to check it out.  Personally I don't see how this could be successful without a dramatic shift from the other software moves that Intel has made in recent years.  Remember AppUp?  How about MeeGo?  Exactly my point.  It is understandable for a company as large as Intel to want to branch out and look for new growth opportunities but they have yet to prove they are capable of doing so successfully.  And many would implore Intel to stay focused on the technology...

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: GigaOm

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.

Author:
Subject: Editorial
Manufacturer:
Tagged: ultrabook, Intel, CES

Introduction, Thin Is Flimsy

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If there was anything that can be pointed to as “the” thing CES was about, it’s the ultrabook. These thin and portable laptops were presented by Intel with all the finesse of a sledgehammer. Intel’s message is clear. Ultrabooks are here, and you’re going to like them.

Such a highly coordinated effort on the part of Intel is unusual. Sure, they’ve pushed industry standards before. But the company’s efforts have usually been focused on a specific technology, like USB. The last time Intel put serious effort into trying to change how system builders constructed their systems was when Intel pushed for the BTX form factor. 

BTX was an attempt to address problems the company was having with its Pentium 4 processors, which tended to consume a lot of power and therefor run hot. The push for the ultrabook is also an attempt in address a (perceived) problem. In this case the issue at hand is portability, both in in terms physical system size and battery endurance. 

Intel announced some interesting new smartphone and tablet reference designs at CES 2012. These are signs that the company is making headway in this area. But the products based on those reference designs aren’t out yet, and it will probably take a few years for Intel to gain significant market share even if it does manage to offer x86 processors that can beat ARM in smartphones and tablets. In the meantime, Intel needs to provide slim, responsive and portable systems that can distract consumers from tablets.

So we have the ultrabook. 

Continue reading out editorial on Ultrabook and the pros and cons associated with their push into the market!!