Laptop vendors are left sitting on the sidelines waiting for the next waltz to start

Subject: General Tech | June 27, 2018 - 02:34 PM |
Tagged: hp, dell, Lenovo, acer, asus, Intel

Intel's delayed release of a new processor is going to have a noticeable effect on the laptop market this year.  As there is little chance of seeing anything new until towards the end of this year, laptop designers will not be able to offer new models for the holidays and will instead have to rework existing products.  DigiTimes suggests we will see trimmed down models with lower price tags to try to entice consumers into purchasing something, as they expect lower demand than we saw last year.  Hopefully some gaming machines may become more affordable, or we will start to see models incorporating AMD's new chips become more common.

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"Global notebook vendors including HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer and Asustek Computer will be unable to launch new models fitted with Intel's new-generation CPUs in the second half of 2018 as scheduled, as the release of Intel's new offerings will not come soon enough for this year's high season, according to industry sources."

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Source: DigiTimes

Alienware strikes back?

Subject: General Tech | June 20, 2018 - 12:47 PM |
Tagged: dell, Lenovo, acer, asus, msi, gaming laptop, hp

The gaming laptop market is going through some big changes, with the two market leaders seeing their dominance challenged by companies more frequently associated with business models.  While ASUS and MSI still account for half of the entire market, both with over a million units sold in the first half of 2018, Dell has already hit 500K and DigiTimes predicts Lenovo to hit 800-900K units by the end of the year

It will be interesting to see how the market changes now that you can once again buy a GPU for less than the price of one of these gaming laptops; not to mention what this competition will do to pricing and design.

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"But their market leaderships are being undermined by Dell, Lenovo, HP and even Acer, all of which are strengthening their shipment momentum via pricing competition in the first half of 2018, with both ASP and gross margins for gaming notebooks driven down as a result."

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Source: DigiTimes

Podcast #495 - ICY DOCK’s 16 bay enclosure, Intel Rumors, and more!

Subject: General Tech | April 12, 2018 - 10:20 AM |
Tagged: video, Samsung, podcast, Platimax, micron, KL-G, K68, Intel, icy dock, hp, enermax, corsair, cloudflare, chromebook x2, Byte3, Azulle, amd, AlterEgo, 7nm, 3d nand

PC Perspective Podcast #495 - 04/11/18

Join us this week for ICY DOCK’s 16 bay enclosure, Intel Rumors, 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!

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

Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:34:25

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. ButcherBox
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:35:00 Chris Hook leaves AMD (to where?) and Sasa Marinkovic takes that spot
  4. Picks of the Week:
    1. 1:22:50 Ryan: The NVIDIA Ruler
    2. 1:26:50 Allyn: MKVToolNix (also for Windows)
    3. 1:29:35 Jeremy: Humble Strategy Bundle
  5. Closing/outro
Source:

HP Announces Chromebook x2, World's First Detachable Chromebook

Subject: Systems | April 9, 2018 - 08:00 AM |
Tagged: hp, detachable, core m3-7y30, ChromeOS, chromebook x2, 2-in-1

Today, HP is announcing the Chromebook x2, building upon their existing Chromebook 11 and Chromebook x360 devices.

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As you might have guessed from the "x2" moniker, the HP Chromebook x2 is a detachable 2-in-1 device. While we've seen Acer announce the first ChromeOS tablet a few weeks ago with the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, the HP Chromebook x2 is the first detachable device to be running ChromeOS.

HP Chromebook x2_LeftProfile.jpg

 

HP Chromebook x2
Processor Intel Core M3-7Y30 (Kaby Lake)
Memory 4GB LPDDR3-1600 (Onboard)
Screen 12.3-inch Touchscreen (2400x1600)
Storage 32GB eMMC (non-upgradable)
Camera

HP Wide Vision 5MP Camera (front facing)

13 MP HP Camera (rear facing) 

Wireless Intel 802.11ac 2x2 + BT 4.2
Connections 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-C)
MicroSD Card Reader
Audio combo jack
Battery 48 Wh
Dimensions 11.50 in (W) x 8.32 in (D) x 0.33 in (H) 
 1.62 lb (tablet); 3.07 lb (tablet + base)
OS ChromeOS
Price $599 - available starting in June

Specs-wise, the HP Chromebook x2 looks to be one of the higher performance ChromeOS device. Built around an Intel Core M3-7Y30 processor, HP is aiming for the Chromebook x2 to be used as a primary computing device for consumers looking for more available horsepower on a ChromeOS device. 

HP Chrombook x2_TopDown_Detached.jpg

Along with the tablet mode capabilities come the included HP Active Pen stylus for sketching, notetaking, and navigation. 

Additionally, HP Chromebook X2 will support the running of Android apps from the Google Play Store inside ChromeOS. This will allow users to access more tablet-optimized Android apps, which should be great for media consumption.

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With pricing of $599, with the keyboard dock included, the HP Chromebook x2 is one of the few premium ChromeOS devices we've seen besides Google's Pixel offerings. 

While it remains to be seen if users are interested in the 2-in-1 detachable form factor for a device running ChromeOS, the HP Chromebook x2 seems to be a premium product and a compelling option for users looking for the Chromebook experience.

Source: HP

The EX920, an HP NVMe SSD for thee

Subject: Storage | April 6, 2018 - 03:33 PM |
Tagged: SSD EX920, NVMe, hp, tlc, SM2622, M.2

HP have released a new NVMe M.2 SSD, the EX920 which uses Silcon Motion's SM2622 controller and a DDR3-1600 cache which scales directly with the size of the drive, the 256GB drive has a 256MB cache while the 2TB has 2GB.  The drive uses four PCIe Gen 3 lanes, which offers some very impressive performance, Benchmark Reviews measured 3183/1776 MBps read/write in CrystalDiskMark.   The only real drawback to this drive is the warranty; while most companies offer at least five years, this HP drive is only covered for three.

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"HP suggests sustained sequential read speeds up to 3200 MB/s, and sustained sequential writes up to 1800 MB/s from their 1TB EX920 SSD, which utilizes 64-layer 3D NAND to deliver impressive storage density and reliability. Relative to solid state storage, one terabyte is an enormous amount of near-instant drive capacity. We’ll see if HP’s EX920 M.2 SSD is worth the money."

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Storage

Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: AMD

Overview

For the first time in several years, the notebook market has gotten very interesting from a performance standpoint. First, we had Intel’s launch of its Kaby-Lake Refresh 8th Generation processors which packed a true quad-core CPU into a 15W package. Then, we heard about AMD’s Raven Ridge which aimed to combine a quad-core mobile CPU with Radeon Vega graphics into that same 15W power target.

Even though the excitement over Raven Ridge may have subsided a bit after Intel and AMD’s joint announcement of Vega graphics combined with Intel CPUs in the Kaby-Lake G platform, that is still yet to be released and will reside in a significantly higher class of power usage.

So today we are taking a look at AMD’s Raven Ridge, what may be AMD’s first worthy entry into the thin-and-light notebook market.

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For our Raven Ridge testing, we are taking a look at the HP Envy x360, which at the time of writing is the only machine to be shipping with these Ryzen Mobile processors (although more machines have been announced and are coming soon). Additionally, we also wanted to wait a while for the software ecosystem on this new platform to stabilize (more on that later).

Continue reading our look at the new HP notebook powered by AMD Ryzen Mobile!

The HP Z 3D Camera Adds 3D Scanning and Video Capture to Your Desk

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2018 - 03:01 AM |
Tagged: hp z 3d camera, hp, CES 2018, camera, 3d

HP today announced the HP Z 3D Camera, a standalone 3D camera system similar to the one integrated in the company’s Sprout Pro desktop that lets users add 2D and 3D capture capability to any display.

hp-z-3d-camera-back.jpg

The HP Z 3D Camera attaches to the back of a monitor via a magnetic badge and then extends up and over the top, with its lens pointing down to the desk in front. This gives it a somewhat awkward appearance but also a small footprint. Once installed and calibrated, the Z 3D Camera can capture both 2D and 3D content, with tasks ranging from scanning and applying OCR to a printed document to creating a full 3D model of an object that is suitable for use in 3D renderings and mixed reality applications.

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The system can also perform standard video capture, allowing users to stream live video of their desk surface via applications like Skype. HP states that this could be useful for sharing and collaborating on a hand-drawn sketch or for activities that are aided by hand gestures and motion, resulting in a “more human experience.”

The HP Z 3D Camera's capture resolutions and specifications:

Scan Mat Capture Area 11.8 in. x 17.7 in.
Camera Sensor Resolution 4416x3312 (14.6 Megapixels)
Resolution Frame Rates Up to 60fps @ 1056x792
Up to 30fps @ 1920x1080
Up to 25fps @ 2176x1632
Up to 10fps @ 3840x2160
Up to 6fps @ 4352x3264
Field of View 48.9 degrees horizontal
37.7 degrees vertical
59.2 degrees diagonal
3D Resolution 2~5mm, for depth sensing range 30cm~120cm
3D Point Accuracy 2~10 mm relative depth accuracy within depth sensing range
Scanned Object Size 100x100x100 mm ~ 300x300x300 mm
3D Export Formats OBJ, 3MF

The HP Z 3D Camera will work natively with apps like PowerPoint 3D, Paint 3D, Adobe Dimension, ZBrush, Substance Paint, Autodesk applications, and the Windows Mixed Reality Viewer. It requires a PC running Windows 10 with an Intel Core i7-4790S or higher, one USB 3.0 Type A port, one USB 2.0 Type A port, 16GB of RAM, 1.8GB of available storage and, for 3D capture, an NIVDIA GeForce GTX 960M or better graphics card.

hp-z-3d-camera-install.jpg

It is compatible with flat panel monitors from all manufacturers as long as there is a flat surface near the center-top of the monitor's back to attach the magnetic badge that holds the Z 3D camera in place. Monitors that have sharply angled backs or necessarily ventilation in this location may not be suitable.

The HP Z 3D Camera will launch in the U.S. in March for $599. Pricing and availability for other regions is not yet known.

Source:

CES 2018: HP Unveils Intel-Based Version of the ENVY x2 Detachable 2-in-1 PC

Subject: Mobile | January 8, 2018 - 03:01 AM |
Tagged: windows on arm, snapdragon, qualcomm, Intel, hp, envy x2, CES 2018

Following up on its announcement last month of the Snapdragon-powered ENVY x2 12.3-inch detachable 2-in-1 PC, HP today is introducing an Intel-based model of the same device.

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Featuring Intel's 7th generation Y-series processors, the Intel version of the ENVY x2 has the same ports and basic design as its ARM-based counterpart, but adds 1mm of thickness and advertises about 20 percent shorter battery life. The Intel model also ships with Windows 10 Home compared to Windows 10 S, although both are optionally upgradeable to Windows 10 Pro.

Another notable difference is a slight change to how the ENVY x2's detachable keyboard connects while in landscape typing mode. The keyboard on the Snapdragon-based ENVY x2 folds down at the top of its magnetic connection, providing a slightly angled typing surface, while the Intel version folds around the back of the device and lays flat.

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Like other manufacturers of new Windows on ARM devices, HP is focusing on productivity versus mobility to differentiate the two ENVY x2 models. The Snapdragon version offers longer battery life, always-on connectivity via integrated LTE, and, if you elect to stick with Windows 10 S, improved security and reliability. The Intel version offers comparatively shorter battery life and traditional connectivity options (although built-in LTE without the "always on" capability is available), but can run all x86 software and drivers natively.

Further enhancing the productivity benefits of the Intel-based ENVY x2, HP is boosting the TDP of the system's Y-series processors from their default 4.5 watts to 6 watts, a move that the company claims results in up to 20 percent better performance.

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Complete specifications and upgrade options for the Intel-based ENVY x2 are not yet available, but here are the specs HP has unveiled thus far:

  • 7th generation Intel Core processors
  • Up to 15 hours of battery life
  • HP Fast Charge technology (90% charge in 90 minutes)
  • 12.3-inch 1920x1280 IPS display
  • Up to 256GB PCIe flash storage
  • IR camera with support for Windows Hello
  • 7.9mm thick
  • HP Digital Pen and keyboard included

Like the complete specs, pricing information has not yet been revealed, but HP says that the Intel ENVY x2 will begin shipping in "Spring 2018."

Source:

CES 2018: HP Spectre x360 15 Updated With Kaby Lake-G: 8th Gen Intel Core i7 CPUs Paired with Radeon RX Vega M Graphics

Subject: Mobile | January 8, 2018 - 03:01 AM |
Tagged: rx vega m, rx vega, radeon rx vega, laptop, kaby lake-g, Kaby Lake G, Intel, hp, convertible, CES 2018, CES, amd

HP today announced an update to its Spectre x360 15-inch convertible laptop, introducing a new model based on Intel's "Kaby Lake-G" platform: an 8th generation Core processor paired with integrated AMD Radeon RX Vega M graphics. For those who who need NVIDIA graphics, a model of the Spectre x360 15 with Kaby Lake-R processors and NVIDIA's GeForce MX150 is also available.

hp-spectre-x360-15-front.jpg

The new 2018 model of the Spectre x360 15 retains similar styling to its 2017 predecessor, but with a few important changes. Overall thickness is increased from 17.9mm to 19.45mm in order to accommodate the more powerful internal hardware (a change that HP advertises as "2.5X more performance for about a grain of rice thicker"), and the weight increases from 2017's 4.43lbs to 4.62lbs for the Kaby Lake-R model and 4.72lbs for Kaby Lake-G.

hp-spectre-x360-15-tablet.jpg

The 2018 model also sees a redesigned keyboard. The speaker grills that flanked the 2017 model's keyboard are gone in order to make room for a new edge-to-edge keyboard with numeric keypad. As a result, the laptop's touchpad is shifted left to remain centered with the main keyboard.

Other features include the 15.6-inch Corning Gorilla Glass touchscreen display with a 4K UHD resolution, an 84 Wh battery (good for 13.5 hours of battery life on the Kaby Lake-R model and 12 hours for Kaby Lake-G), USB 3.1 Type-A, HDMI 2.0, an SD Card Reader, and up to two Thunderbolt 3 ports depending on configuration.

hp-spectre-x360-15-side.jpg

Specs and pricing for the Spectre x360 15:

  KBL-R KBL-R KBL-G KBL-G
CPU 8th Gen Intel Core i7 8th Gen Intel Core i7 8th Gen Intel Core i7 8th Gen Intel Core i7
Memory 8GB RAM 16GB RAM 8GB RAM 16GB RAM
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce MX150 NVIDIA GeForce MX 150 Radeon RX Vega M Radeon RX Vega M
Storage 256GB SSD 512GB SSD 256GB SSD 512GB SSD
Display 15.6-inch UHD Touchscreen 15.6-inch UHD Touchscreen 15.6-inch UHD Touchscreen 15.6-inch UHD Touchscreen
Connectivity 1 x Thunderbolt 3
1 x USB Type-C 3.1
1 x USB Type-A 3.1
1 x HDMI 2.0
SD Card Reader
1 x Thunderbolt 3
1 x USB Type-C 3.1
1 x USB Type-A 3.1
1 x HDMI 2.0
SD Card Reader
2 x Thunderbolt 3
1 x USB Type-A 3.1
1 x HDMI 2.0
SD Card Reader
2 x Thunderbolt 3
1 x USB Type-A 3.1
1 x HDMI 2.0
SD Card Reader
Price $1369.99 $1599.99 $1449.99 $1699.99

Beyond the standard configurations shown above, storage upgrades up to 2TB will also be available, although upgrade pricing is not yet available. All models include the standard HP Pen, with the more advanced HP Tilt Pen available as a $90 accessory.

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The HP Spectre x360 15 will be available starting March 18th from HP.com and Best Buy.

Source:

CES 2018: HP Partners With Parsec for OMEN Game Stream, a Low-Latency Remote Game Streaming Service

Subject: General Tech | January 8, 2018 - 03:01 AM |
Tagged: pc game streaming, parsec, hp omen game stream, hp omen, hp, game streaming, game stream, CES 2018, CES

HP today announced OMEN Game Stream, a remote game streaming service based on Parsec's low latency streaming technology. Similar to services and technologies such as Steam In-Home Streaming and NVIDIA GameStream, OMEN Game Stream lets users render demanding PC games on their home HP OMEN PC while streaming and playing the games on a lower-end device, either from across the house or across the world.

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With OMEN Game Stream, users can play their high end PC games from the living room couch while the gaming PC in the office does the heavy lifting, or play from their low-end work laptop while on a business trip. In addition to the benefit of having games rendered on your presumably higher end gaming PC, the fact that all game rendering and data stays confined to a single machine means that users can pick up and play from anywhere right where they left off without needing to rely on cloud-based save files or configurations.

All remote streaming services offer this convenience and flexibility in exchange for increased latency, but the Parsec propriety streaming technology used by HP claims to offer superior performance to its competitors. We here at PC Perspective tested Parsec's service late last year and, while not perfect, it offered latency and responsiveness that was as good or better than the offerings from Steam or NVIDIA. Competitive gamers in the FPS or fighting categories may still be unsatisfied, but for the majority of gamers (and game genres), Parsec's streaming technology offers a perfectly acceptable experience if you have sufficient bandwidth on both ends of the equation.

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And speaking of bandwidth, HP is advising that users need a minimum of 25Mbps for 1080p60 gameplay and a minimum of 10Mbps for 720p60. It's also advised to use wired network connections on both ends, or 5GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi if a wired option is unavailable. And remember, like all remote game streaming services, these minimum specs for network speed and quality must be met both at home with your HP OMEN gaming PC and on the road at wherever you're planning to stream.

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Thankfully, to help users troubleshoot connectivity and performance issues, HP also offers a Streaming Performance Test feature in the OMEN Game Stream application. This should give users a guide as to whether their current network connections will offer acceptable performance before starting that marathon RPG session.

OMEN Game Stream will be a free service preinstalled on new OMEN gaming PCs starting this spring, and there will be no charge to users for streaming from their own OMEN PC.

Source: