Podcast #169 - SSD Decoder Update, Antec SOLO II, ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, Ultrabook news and a Drobo contest!!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors, Storage, Mobile | September 8, 2011 - 07:23 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook, ssd, podcast, eee pad transformer, drobo, decoder, asus, antec

PC Perspective Podcast #169 - 9/08/2011

Join us this week as we discuss the MARS II combo on Newegg, an update to the SSD Decoder, the new Antec SOLO II chassis, our review of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer tablet, news on Ultrabook development and even announce a new contest partnership with Drobo!

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, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, Allyn Malventano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 1:23:36

Program Schedule:

  1. Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. MARS II Combo  for $4000!
  6. SSD Decoder Update
  7. Kingwin Stryker 500W Fanless Power Supply Review
  8. Video Perspective: Antec SOLO II Chassis Review
  9. ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101 Review: Assemble!
  10. This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
  11. Zotac Releases New ZBOX Nano AD10 Series Mini PCs
  12. Toshiba Unveils Portege Z830 Ultrabook Series
    1. Acer Unveils Super Thin Aspire S3 Ultrabook at IFA in Berlin
    2. Silly Intel, the high price and limited availability were the parts your Ultrabook was supposed to drop
  13. Bulldozer Infused Trinity APU Specifications Confirmed
  14. Intel Unveils 16 New 32nm Processors
  15. AMD Ships Bulldozer for Revenue- Interlagos though- will write up after the podcast and post on front page.
  16. Magma Unveils the First Three-Slot Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis
  17. Drobo contest
  18. Email from Wes about GPU selection
  19. Email from Chris about GPU whine
  20. Email from Lee about SSD security
  21. Email from a mystery writer about GPU stuttering
  22. Finally, a VIDEO QUESTION from David!
  23. Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Blackmagic Intensity Pro
    2. Jeremy: Coil gun revolver with laser sty ((sight?) so there)
    3. Josh: Thermaltake eSports Shock Spin Diamond Black
    4. Allyn: Surefire LED flashlights
  24. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  25. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  26. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  27. Closing

Source: PCPer

Not an Ultrabook but it could be, Samsung's Series 9

Subject: Mobile | September 6, 2011 - 08:59 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, Series 9, ultraportable

If you are in the market for an ultraportable Intel notebook, instead of waiting to see what becomes of the Ultrabook you could consider the Samsung Series 9.  A 13" notebook powered by a Core i5-2537M with 8GB of DDR3-1333 and a 256GB Samsung SSD pretty much matches anything that is on the market.  At $1300 it is a bit expensive but for a 12.9" x 8.9" x 0.64" notebook with that much power you have to expect a steep entry fee.  The Tech Report were impressed overall with some negative points from the keyboard's quality and the battery life which was not as long as they had hoped, you can't expect much more than four hours from the notebook.

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"This 13" notebook has much in common with Apple's MacBook Air—an almost impossibly slim chassis, a very light weight, a low-voltage Sandy Bridge processor, and solid-state storage. Did Samsung hit a home run with this laptop, and is it worth the money?"

Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:

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Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction and Design

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Tablets may be the darling of the tech industry, but they’ve also received their fair share of criticism as well. One of the most consistent barbs throw towards them is the tablet’s inability to serve as a competent platform for content creature. While it’s technically possible to write a document or edit an image on a tablet, it’s certainly not enjoyable.

Part of the problem is the lack of a keyboard and mouse. Touchscreens are beautiful and intuitive, but they’re not precise. While third-party cases and docks have tried to solve this issue, they’re often both clunky and expensive.

It’s little surprise that a tablet designed specifically to work in conjunction with a keyboard dock has hit the market, but it is surprising that the first such device comes from ASUS, a company with relatively little experience building mobile products. The Eee Pad Transformer is already the second-best selling tablet on the market (after the iPad, of course) and reports indicate sales are constrained by supply rather than demand. What is it that has made the Transformer a quick success? 

Continue reading our review of the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer tablet!!

Acer Unveils Super Thin Aspire S3 Ultrabook at IFA in Berlin

Subject: Mobile | September 3, 2011 - 12:03 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook, ssd, Intel, acer

Hot on the heels of the Toshiba and Lenovo ultrabook announcements comes a new ultrabook from Acer. Engadget recently got their hands on the new Acer Aspire S3 ultrabook at the IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin) technology showcase in Berlin. The 13.3” computer carries some impressive specifications, including a 7 hour long battery life, metal chassis, and the latest Intel processors.

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To be more specific, the Acer computer is a 13.3” ultrabook composed of a magnesium alloy chassis measuring 13mm thick. Inside the metal frame lies an ultra low voltage Core i3, i5, or i7 Sandy Bridge processor, DDR3 RAM, and an interesting storage solution made of a 20GB SSD and 320GB mechanical hard drive combination. Acer is promising a 7 hour battery life, and a 1.5 second resume from sleep time. Further, the ultrabook features a glossy 1366 x 768 resolution display, and a chicklet keyboard whose keys Engadget notes feels like plastic.

While their is no word on US pricing, Acer has released the European starting price at €799. Compromises have been made to reach the price point (mainly in the keyboard); however, if the specifications and design hold up it looks to be a solid competitor in the ultrabook market.  More photos as well as a video tour of the ultrabook can be found here.

Source: Engadget

Toshiba Unveils Portege Z830 Ultrabook Series

Subject: Mobile | September 2, 2011 - 05:08 AM |
Tagged: z830, ultrabook, toshiba, sandy bridge, portege, Intel

There has been quite the buzz over ultrabooks for the past few weeks, and it seems as though Toshiba is ready to grab their slice of the news pie (actually, can we have cake?) with the announcement of their Portege Z830 series of, you guessed it, ultrabooks.

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Powered by Intel Sandy Bridge processors, the ultra (slim) book is housed in a magnesium alloy chassis measuring 15.9mm (0.63 inches) thick. Slated to be 20% lighter and 40% thinner than their previous ultraportable Portege R830 series, the company has reinforced the chassis with a honeycomb ribbing (I’m sure Josh is making a joke out of that right now) and some new internal shock dampening structures.  The company stated that the Z830 would weigh less than 2.5 lbs, though the number may vary depending on the specific configuration.  Because the notebook is so thin, they needed to go metal for the chassis to prevent serious warping and bending of the computer (and is coincidentally one of the items that caused manufacturers to complain about the sub-$1,000 requirement). Other chassis features include a full size LED backlit and spill resistant keyboard.

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Other hardware details about the computer are scarce in that Toshiba has not released much. The ultrabook will contain a 128 GB solid state drive and DDR3 memory. From photos of the ultrabook, the computer supports (likely Gigabit) Ethernet, USB, and HDMI ports. Stereo speakers by Waves Audio, Toshiba’s High Speed Start and USB Sleep and Charge technologies are also featured.

The Protege Z830 ultrabook series will be available in November 2011, and will carry a MSRP of less than $1,000 USD. Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more ultrabook coverage.

Source: Toshiba

MSI slims the notebook but doesn't trim the features

Subject: Mobile | August 25, 2011 - 04:45 PM |
Tagged: msi, x-slim x460, ultraportable, 14

The 14" MSI X-Slim X460 Ultraportable laptop hides a little more power than the Ultraportable portion of its name implies.  The 2GHz Core i7-2630QM adds some serious processing power and also provides the graphics, making the machine good for video but not so good for gaming.  While TechSpot is unsure if the model they reviewed may be different from retail models, they saw 4GB of DDR-1333 and the storage was handled by a 500GB 7200RPM Western Digital Scorpio Black in their review sample.  Battery eater showed a range of battery life, from 63 minutes when fully stressed by gaming to 5hr 41min under the reader benchmark.  If you are looking for a laptop in the range of $1100 that is worth what you pay for, this laptop bears further investigation.

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"MSI recently expanded its ultraportable offerings with the addition of two last generation X-Slim notebooks. Although they're designed to be lightweight and compact, the X460 notebooks also strive to be powerful, courtesy of Intel's Sandy Bridge processors. The flagship model comes with Intel's Core i7-2630QM, packing the quad-core chip while boasting an 8-hour battery life.

There's also the X460DX, which can come configured with Core i3 or i5 processors and the Nvidia GeForce GT 540M GPU. Both the X460 and X460DX share the same dimensions using a 14" LED backlit screen. While ultraportable laptops generally carry a 12 to 13" display, MSI says the X460 strikes a fine balance between mobility and performance.

With enough power to put the average desktop PC to shame, the MSI X460 flagship model costs roughly $1,100. Even so, that price tag makes the X460 one of the cheapest second-gen Core i7 notebooks money can buy."

Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:

Mobile

Source: TechSpot

Acer Aspires for a low cost laptop with the 5750

Subject: Mobile | August 18, 2011 - 04:35 PM |
Tagged: acer, aspire 5750, 15.6 inch

The 15.6", 1366x768 Acer Aspire 5750 has a 640 GB, 5400 RPM HDD, a DVD multiburner, 3GB of unbalanced DDR3-1333 (one DIMM is 2GB and one is 1GB) and a choice of a mobile i3, i5 or i7 CPU which also provides the graphics.  The laptop wights in at 5.7lbs, certainly not the lightest 15.6" laptop out there, even with a battery only rated for 210 minutes of run time.  It does only cost $500 which will make it attractive to people needing a bit more power than something like Acer's hromebook provides.  Check out the rest of the information at Hardware Secrets if you are in the market for something similar.

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"Let's take a look at the Acer Aspire 5750 laptop, which has a 15.6-inch screen and can come with the Core i3-2310M, Core i5-2410M, or Core i7-2630QM CPU. It has 2 GB to 6 GB of RAM, a hard disk from 320 GB to 640 GB, and one USB 3.0 port. The model we analyzed was the 5750-6606, with a Core i3-2310 CPU, 3 GB RAM and a 640 GB hard disk. Check it out!"

Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:

Mobile

MSI's new line of Slim and Sleek Superior Performance notebooks

Subject: Mobile | August 16, 2011 - 09:27 PM |
Tagged: msi, x460, x460dx, 14

Today MSI introduced three new 14" 1366 x 768 notebooks, the X460DX-008US, X460DX-006US and the X460-004US.  All but the X460DX-008US sport 6GB of DDR3, with the aforementioned limited to 4GB, the two DX models have a 500GB drive for storage while the non-DX has 750GB. All three have THX TruStudio Pro Technology for sound, USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out, 802.11 b/g/n Wireless LAN and extended battery life that MSI claims will provide all-day computing.  Check out the rest of the specs, including processor below, and click over to MSI if you are interested in purchasing one.

MSI_460s.jpg

Source: MSI
Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Acer

Introduction and Design

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We have our heads in the clouds. Once a dream, cloud computing is now common and used to support everything from file sharing to email. Here at PC Perspective, for example, we often make use of Dropbox. Storing certain files “in the cloud” is much easier than directly emailing them to and fro. 

Google is one of the cloud’s most ardent supporters. The Internet seems to be Google’s answer to everything from emails to file sharing to document editing. All these tasks can be accomplished online through a browser with a Google utility. 

When Google announced that it was going to develop an entire OS based off its Chrome web browser there was much shock, speculation and excitement. In hindsight, however, this development was probably inevitable given the company’s love of everything online. Now, Google Chrome OS is a retail product. Let’s find out if a cloud OS can compete with more traditional options. 

Read on for our full review of the Acer AC700-1099 Chromebook!

T-Mobile Stops Throttling and Starts Charging Overage Fees For 200MB Data Plan

Subject: Mobile | August 14, 2011 - 12:43 AM |
Tagged: t-mobile, mobile, Data

It seems as though T-Mobile users’ streak of bad luck just keeps on coming. According to AllThingsD, the US cellular provider is changing its lowest tier 200MB data plan’s overage policy from throttling to overage charges. Specifically, once users exceed their allotted data, they will be charged $0.10 per megabyte, which is the bad news. The slightly better (but still not quite good) news is that the overage charges will be capped at a maximum of $30.

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T-Mobile stated that it will begin notifying customers once they reach 90% of the 200MB data allotment, or 180MB, in addition to giving customers the ability to move to a higher tier data plan with a larger data allotment.

The changes in their data plan from customers being throttled to a lower data speed after going over their data allotment to being charged overage fees will happen tonight at midnight, so (new) customers who wish to become grandfathered into the plan should sign up quickly.

What are your thoughts on carrier data caps? Do you believe overage charges are the answer? Share your opinions in the comments below!

Source: AllThingsD