Author:
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Lantronix

A simple device for a complex problem

Sometimes an odd product finds its way into our office and this week we have one of those very items.  The xPrintServer Home from Lantronix is a networking device that easily configures existing printers on your home or office network to work with the AirPrint capability on your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.  It does this without the need for special applications on your phone, without having to buy new printers and without complex software based work arounds.

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The unit itself is a small white plastic case that has an Ethernet connection, USB port and power connection.  The Ethernet port needs to be connected to your router / switch and the USB port is for connecting one of more USB printers (via a USB hub).  After attaching the power, the device goes through an incredibly simple, automatic configuration process. 

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After the orange light goes solid, you can simply go to an AirPlay enabled application like Safari, Photos, Notes, Mail and more and hit the print option; your network or USB printer should already be configured.  The process is impressively easy!

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Inside the device is a basic Atmel designed ARM926 core SoC running at 400 MHz - more than enough power for the print spooling that it does on the Lantronix device.

By far the most impressive part about the xPrintServer is the ease of setup; we were literally up and printing on an iPhone 5 within 2 minutes of opening the box.  If you are the kind of person that would like the capability to print from your iPad or iPhone but without having to buy a new printer with AirPrint built in, definitely check out this product. 

You can currently find the Lantronix xPrintServer Home for $95 at Newegg.com.

Intel Launches New Dual Core D2560 Atom Processor

Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2012 - 12:00 PM |
Tagged: SoC, saltwell, Intel, hyperthreading, cedarview, atom

 

Intel has launched a new Atom-series processor called the Atom D2560. It is a 32nm processor based on the Saltwell microarchitecture, and it replaces the D2550 as the top chip in the lineup.

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The D2560 has two x86 cores clocked at 2.0 GHz with support for Intel’s HyperThreading technology for four total threads. The Atom CPU supports SSE2, SSE3, and SSSE3 instructions. Further, it has 1MB of L2 cache. CPU cores are not the only thing Intel has packed into the Atom chip, however. A GPU clocked at 640 MHz and integrated memory controller are also included. The Atom IMC supports a single channel of DDR3 clocked at 1066MHz – with a maximum of 4GB with a single DIMM.

The D2560 has a 10W TDP rating and is available to OEMs for $47 per 1000 chips (tray pricing).

Learn more about Intel’s Atom-series processors at PC Perspective.

Fourth Annual Scream Fortress: Left Fort Dead!

Subject: General Tech | October 28, 2012 - 10:16 PM |
Tagged:

Each year, for the last four, Valve updates Team Fortress 2 with the Halloween festive spirit.

It has just been just a couple of months since the introduction of the player-vs-AI game mode, Mann vs Machine. MvM allows teams of our favorite half-wit mercenaries to take on waves upon waves of their mechanical counterparts.

Naturally that could form the basis for a zombie-survival map, right?

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The Fourth Annual Scream Fortress update introduces Merasmus, a ghastly magician. As is frequently the case, Valve could not resist the urge to put up a comic to flesh out this character we likely will never see again. It turns out this caster has a particular hatred for his old roommate, the Red Soldier, for being a terrible roommate.

Several gifts will be available including magic spells. These spells apparently act upon items in your backpack to enhance them in some way. I am not entirely sure what they mean when they say “ghost summoning”, but I am intrigued to say the least.

I got time to try. The bonus content will be available for free until November 8th.

Now you see it, then you won’t.

Microsoft Giving Away Free Media Center Keys For Windows 8

Subject: General Tech | October 28, 2012 - 04:55 AM |
Tagged: wmc, windows media center, Windows 8 Pro, windows 8, microsoft, free

Microsoft has decided to separate Windows Media Center from its latest operating system, making it a paid add-on to Windows 8 Pro. This has the consequence of making users wanting to upgrade their home theater PCs to Windows 8 have to pay not only for the more expensive Pro version but the add-on pack with WMC as well. Needless to say, I was less than pleased to hear that news. Especially, since CableCard users are stuck with WMC if they want to watch or record any shows flagged with anything more restrictive than copy freely (copy once, copy never).

Fortunately, Microsoft has backed away ever so slightly from that position by giving away free WMC keys to users until January 31, 2013. You will still need to pony up for the Pro version of Windows 8, but at least you will not have to pay for the add-on pack to get what is essentially the same media center that is available in Windows 7.

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You can obtain a key by heading over to this Microsoft web page and entering your email address. The company is offering up a single key per email address. Even if you do not currently have Windows 8, it might be prudent to grab a key just in case. Note that you will need to activate the key by January 2013 or it will expire, however.

Once you have Windows 8 Pro installed, to add Windows Media Center, open up the Start Screen and search for “add features.” Click on “Settings” and then “Add features to Windows 8.” You will then be prompted for a product key, and once you input the key Microsoft emailed to you, follow the remaining prompts to install it. A restart will be required (and is automatic, so save any open documents!), and then you can get your WMC fix.

The promotion will end on January 2013 so grab the free keys while they last!

Read more about Windows 8 at PC Perspective.

Source: Microsoft

Asus Zenbook Refresh Introduces Several New Ultrabooks

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | October 28, 2012 - 03:18 AM |
Tagged: zenbook, windows 8, ultrabook, nvidia, laptop, Ivy Bridge, GT650M, GT620M, asus

Asus has announced a refresh of its Zenbook lineup of Intel-powered ultrabooks to accompany its new VivoBooks and VivoTabs running Windows 8. Available next month, the PC OEM is introducing six new laptop SKUs with Ivy Bridge processors and dedicated graphics cards from NVIDIA. Specifically, the Asus Zenbook UX21A, UX31A, UX32VD, UX42VS, US52VS, and U500VZ ultrabooks are coming soon with the refresh.

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The UX31A Ultrabook with touch display

The new Zenbooks will have Ivy Bridge processors, up to 10GB of memory, and up to NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M graphics. They maintain the aluminum chassis of Asus’ previous generation ultrabooks but up the hardware ante. The company has expanded the lineup to include models with 11.6,” 13.3,” 14,” and 15.6” IPS displays, backlit keyboards, and multitouch trackpads. The U500VZ and UX31A can even be outfitted with capacitive touchscreen displays.

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The ASUS UX42VS Zenbook

The VX42VS further includes an optical drive, but otherwise the Zenbooks source of storage lies in solid state or hybrid hard drives. Interestingly, the UX32VD and U500VZ can even be configured with two 256GB solid state drives in RAID 0 (Ryan’s favorite kind of RAID).

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The ASUS UX52VS Zenbook

The following chart outlines all the known specifications. Note that several of the ultrabooks are not listed on Asus’ website yet so exact dimensions are unknown for the UX52VS and U500VZ in particular.

Zenbook UX21A UX31A UX32VD UX42VS UX52VS U500VZ
Dimensions 299 x 196.8 x 3 ~ 17 mm 325 x 223 x 3 ~18 mm 325 x 223 x 5.5 ~18 mm 14" tapers to 6mm ~15" tapers to 6mm ~15"
Weight 1.1 kg 1.3 kg 1.45 kg 1.5kg 2.2kg 2 kg
Processor i5 3317U or i7 3517U i5 3317U or i7 3517U i5 3317U or i7 3517U i3, i5, or i7 IVB i5 or i7 ULV IVB i7 std voltage
RAM 4GB 8GB*  6GB* 6GB 10GB 8GB
Graphics HD4000 HD4000 GT620M GT645M GT645M GT650M
Storage 256GB SSD 256GB SSD 2 x 256GB SSD (RAID 0) 1TB Hybrid Hard Drive 1TB Hybrid Hard Drive 2 x 256GB SSD (RAID 0)

*onboard + 1 x SODIMM

All of the new Zenbook laptops will be available in November and will come with Windows 8. Pricing will range from $699 to $1999 for the premium model (The U500VZ). Specific pricing details should become available closer to launch.

A pair of Corsair mouse and keyboard combos

Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2012 - 06:20 PM |
Tagged: input, gaming mouse, mechanical keyboard, corsair, m60, k60, m90, k90, Corsair Vengeance

Pairing your mouse and keyboard will not unlock special powers like a full outfit will in many games however there is something satisfying about having matched peripherals, especially when they are effective tools.  The Corsair Vengeance K90 and M90 as well as the M60 and K60 are up for review at Neoseeker.  The Vengeance 90 series is the more customizable, and expensive of the two, perfect for those who need to be able to program a wide variety of macros to launch at the press of a single button while the 60 series is more for those who play FPS games and really don't need the same level of programability.  Check out the full review to see which of the two combos most attracts you.

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"Corsair tests the waters of the keyboard and mouse market with their first input device peripherals that use Cherry MX Red switches and dedicated gaming features. We test out the Vegeance K90/M90 and K60/M60 keyboard/mouse combos in our latest review."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: Neoseeker

How to Build a PC with Windows 8 - PC Perspective Live!

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems | October 26, 2012 - 02:46 PM |
Tagged: windows 8, video, system build, live

Today at 3pm EDT we are going to be doing a live stream of a system build and Windows 8 installation on our PC Perspective Live! page.  Won't you come and join us?

UPDATE: Did you miss the event?  Well then, we have you covered with the replay of the two and a half hour stream right here!

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Sorry, no, I won't be doing it blindfolded this time...

If you are looking to learn how to build a PC, how the Windows 8 setup goes along with initial Windows 8 experiences, or just want to hang out during a lazy Friday, click on the link above or on the flashing radio tower to the left and join us!!

More on the 'Just Good Enough' OS

Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2012 - 02:14 PM |
Tagged: winRT, vivotab rt, asus

Why settle for second best when you can get your hands on a WinRT powered device?  If Fruit Ninja and Farmville represent the pinnacle of your gaming experience, if using macros in Office software just seems complicated, the ability to install software from any source is just too much choice to handle and if being able to join a Domain sounds dirty to you; why not supersize your phone by replacing it with an ASUS VivoTab RT?  The Tech Report tried out this convertible device, a tablet in the front and a laptop in the back, with some mixed success.  While the OS interface was comfortable for them, attempting any real work in Office proved quite a chore and they look forward to trying out an Intel powered Surface device with the full Win8 OS.  If you are looking for more information on Microsoft's unique new OS head on over.

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"After using that system for about a week, there is one thing I can tell you with absolute certainty: a Windows 8 convertible is in my future. It probably won't be the VivoTab RT, but my time with that device has made plainly clear that Microsoft's fusion recipe has immense potential."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Deals for October 26th - Windows 8 Pro Upgrade for $39

Subject: General Tech | October 26, 2012 - 01:36 PM |
Tagged: deals, deal of the day

Top deal

Microsoft Windows 8 Pro Upgrade for $39.99 with free shipping @ Microsoft Store (normally $70).

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Laptops

17.3" Dell XPS 17 Core i7 Quad-core 1080p Laptop for $884.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $1,596.99 - Use coupon code Q7ZK$?L?JWTS3$).

Desktops

Dell Inspiron One 2330 23" 1080p All-in-one Multi-touch PC w/ Windows 8 for $779.99 @ Dell (normally $849.99).

Computer Components

Seagate GoFlex 1TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive for $79.99 with free shipping @ Dell (normally $100).

ViewSonic 27" Widescreen LED-Backlit LCD Monitor for $280 with shipping (normally $300 - Use coupon code LXH73621).

Viewsonic VX2450wm 24" LED-Backlit Monitor for $180 plus shipping (normally $250 - Use coupon code PVR73549).

Crucial M4 2.5" 256GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $188 with free shipping (normally $250).

256GB Samsung 830 Series SATA III SSD w/ Laptop Kit for $189 with free shipping (normally $220).

Samsung 830 Series 256GB 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s SSD for $170 with free shipping (normally $200).

MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr II GeForce GTX 570 1280MB Video Card for $210 with free shipping (normally $250 - Use this form).

Zotac Dual-core VIA Booksize Barebone System for $119.99 with shipping (normally $170 - Use this form).

Logitech Gaming Keyboard G105: MW3 Edition for $34 with free shipping (normally $80)..

Accessories

Sharper Image Bluetooth Shower Speaker for $84.99 (normally $99.99 – use coupon codeENT2010).

Source: LogicBuy