Subject: Systems, Mobile | May 31, 2011 - 12:06 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ultraportable, padfone, meego, computex, asus, Android
Asus is starting their Computex 2011 showing off strong with a bevy of product announcements. Most of their new products fall into their mobile lineup. The new mobile devices include a thin MeeGo OS powered Netbook, an ultralight Core i7 laptop, a new 3D Eee Pad, the MeMO 3D, and a phone-docking tablet dubbed the “Padfone.” Beyond the mobile market, the company has further announced a home entertainment media hub, and an All-In-One ET2700XVT desktop computer.
On the mobile front, and notebooks specifically, Asus has announced new N and UX series notebooks. The N series notebooks focus on incorporating higher fidelity speakers into a laptop chassis than is standard. The latest N models include a dedicated and external subwoofer to bring “deep bass extension that would otherwise be possible,” according to Asus. The audio technology in question has been developed by Asus and David Lewis has been dubbed SonicMaster. This same audio technology is also integrated into their new AIO desktop, which you can read about below.
The UX series is Asus’ ultraportable laptop lineup. Measuring 17mm at its thickest point, 2.4 pound aluminum ally body houses a Sandy Bridge Intel Core i7 processor and a SATA 6 Gb/s SSD. Asus further claims that the laptop features an “Instant On” feature that is capable of resuming the laptop from sleep states in seconds. The newest UX21 model is a silver colored aluminum body housing a glossy display, large track pad, two USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, and likely a non-user replaceable battery. The device is very slim and appears to be very competitive against Apple’s MacBook Air.
The last addition to their mobile lineup is a MeeGo powered Eee PC X101 netbook. Powered by an Intel Atom N435 at 1.33GHz, the 10.1” netbook comes equipped with the Intel-backed MeeGo operating system. The Eee PC X101H is another such model with the option for MeeGo or Microsoft Windows 7 operating system in addition to the choice between a hybrid hard drive or solid state drive. At 17.6mm thick, and weighing under 950g, the netbook is fairly small. IO (input/output) on the device(s) include 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, USB, and a headphone jack.
Aside from notebooks, Asus showed off a tablet-docking concept phone and a 3D tablet. The Padfone is basically a larger screen and extra battery for your smartphone. Once your smartphone is connected inside the case and hidden, the tablet becomes a larger display and battery charger. The phone in turn, is able to share its 3G and Wi-Fi connections with the tablet.
The MeMO 3D tablet, on the other hand, is a 7” tablet with a 3D display at a resolution of 1024x600 pixels. The portrait device supports both multi-touch and capacitive stylus input. Android Honeycomb is the operating system of choice that powers the glasses-free 3D IPS display.
Asus has also announced a desktop All-In-One computer called the ET2700XVT which is 27” display coupled with a PC. Capabilities of the AIO include a digital TV tuner, HDMI-in, SyncMaster audio speakers, and optional 10-point multi-touch input.
In addition, the WAVI Xtion is 3D motion sensing technology much like that of Microsoft's Kinect. Asus hopes to combine this technology with computers and media centers. The Xtion Portal is a wireless home entertainment center for the living room. The device functions as a media playback box, web browser, app store, and game console. The game bundle includes MayaFit, Beat Booster, and DanceWall. Both the games and the interface is controlled via Kinect-like gestures.
Subject: Systems | May 25, 2011 - 04:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: htpc, media player, kworld
It is hard to spot the functional difference between the KWorld M210 Network Media Player and a full on HTPC. It sports a removable hard drive, handles YouTube, Picasa and BitTorrent downloads and can play back just about any media file. High def is available on HDMI, component and composite outputs, USB ports and eSATA ensure removeable media is covered. It is, as the name implies, able to connect to a network with wires and with a WiFi dongle you can have wireless as well. The remote control will let you control the various menus, so the only real difference is that you cannot record TV. Hardware Bistro found it almost perfect; they would have preferred built in WiFi but found no other faults.
"If home theatre system is over budget then you may consider a media player which allows users to run certain of multimedia applications on a TV; this is even better if it is a network media player. KWorld M210 Network Media player is a newly launched network media player which costs less than 100USD with features of full 1080p HD movies, internal storage, Internet streaming programs, support multiple of video codecs & formats and so on."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Small Form Factor Buyers’ Guide @ AnandTech
- Lian Li PC-C50B HTPC Chassis Review @ eTeknix
- Gateway DX4850-45 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Beginner's Guide to Assembling an HTPC @MissingRemote
- Plextor PX-B120U BD Rom Review @ XSReviews
- Netgear NeoTV 550 HD Network Media Player Review @ Legit Reviews
Subject: Systems | May 24, 2011 - 09:07 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tesla, supercomputer, petaflop, HPC, bulldozer
Cray has been a huge name in the supercomputer market for years, and with the new XK6 they are promising to deliver a supercomputer capable of 50 Thousand Trillion operations per second. Powered by AMD Operton CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs, each XK6 blade is comprised of 2 Gemini interconnects pairing four AMD Opteron CPUs with four NVIDIA Tesla X2090 embedded graphics cards. The graphics cards in each blade have access to 6GB of GDDR5 memory, and are connected via PCI-E 2.0 links to the Opteron processors. The CPUS have access to four DDR3 memory slots “running at 1.6GHz for every G34 socket,” according to The Register. This amounts to 32GB per two-socket node when using 4GB sticks.
Cray plans to wait until AMD releases the 16 core 32nm Opteron CPUs in Q3, dubbed the Opteron 6200s. The Register quotes AMD’s CEO Thomas Siefert as promising the processors are based on the new Bulldozer cores (and would be compatible with the current G34 sockets) “would ship by summer.”
Further, they claim that Cray’s goal with the XK6 was to keep the new blades within the same thermal boundaries as its predecessor, despite the inclusion of GPUs into the mix. Cray has indicated that, due to their success in remaining within the thermal envelope, their customers will be able to use XE6 and XK6 blades interchangeably and will allow them to customize their supercomputer load-out to meet the demands of their specific computing workloads.
Each cabinet is capable of storing up to 24 blades, and can deliver up to 50 kilowatts of power. Each of the Tesla X2090 GPUS are capable of 665 gigaflops during double-precision floating point operations, something that GPUs excel at. As each XK6 blade contains 4 GPUS, and each cabinet can hold 24 blades, customers are looking at 63.8 teraflops of computing power solely from the graphics cards. On the CPU side of things, Cray is not able to release specifications on the processors as AMD has yet to deliver the chips in question. The Register estimates that each XK6 blade will provide 3.5 teraflops of floating point computing power, which amounts to approximately 84 teraflops per cabinet.
With a claimed capability to utilize up to 300 cabinets full of XK6 blades, customers are looking at approximately 44 petaflops of computing horsepower, with GPUs delivering 19.14 petaflops, and the CPUs estimated to provide 25.2 petaflops of floating point computational power.
The first customer of this system will be the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre. According to the Seattle Times, the center’s director Professor Thomas Schulthess stated that they chose the Cray XK6 based supercomputer not for it’s raw performance, but because “the Cray XK6 promises to be the first general-purpose supercomputer based on GPU technology, and we are very much looking forward to exploring its performance and productivity on real applications relevant to our scientists.”
Xi3, the makers of a series of small form factor module based computers, is launching a Chrome OS based desktop computer which they have dubbed the ChromiumPC. The ChromiumPC will be based on similar "module" technology to that in their current Xi3 computers. They have broken the traditional motherboard down into three parts and fitted them into an aluminum chasis measuring "4.0- x 3.656- x 3.656-inches." The PC will use either a single or dual core 64-bit, x86 based CPU. The device is slated for a July 4th, 2011 release, and will be generally available in the second half of the year.
If this small form factor PC is priced right, it may prove to be a popular option for schools, businesses, and people wanting a second PC. Are you interested in desktop PCs running cloud based operating systems?
Subject: Motherboards, Systems, Mobile | May 21, 2011 - 03:11 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: hardware, ECS, computex
ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) will be attending this years Computex 2011 convention, and they plan to unveil a slew of new hardware. During the week, they will be showing off new motherboards, a new graphics card, four All-In-One PCs, two tablets, two notebooks, and an eBook reader of all things.
For the DIY enthusiasts, ECS will be showing off a AMD 990FX chipset motherboard, which will support AMD's Bulldozer processors, as well as a new series of motherboards "for cloud computing, home server, (and) work station." While they were not willing to give out details at this time, they will have live high end gaming setups for attendees to demo at the show. Further, ECS is releasing a NVIDIA GeForce 560 graphics card. Again, they did not share any specifications, they claim that their card is 40% faster than its 460 predecessor.
All-In-One PCs will also be receiving a large showing at the ECS booth, with three SKUs of their "PC—G11" touch screen computer with wireless connectivity. The DS110, MS300, and MS150 specifically will provide different levels of performance thanks to three differing levels of hardware (they mention CPUs and chipsets).
On the mobile front, ECS is unveiling two tablets. The S10 is a 10.1" Atom Z670 tablet with a resolution of 1366x768 and HDMI out along with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, and "3G or GPS." The V07 is a 7" tablet based on similar specifications that will be released in August 2011. The MB40 and MB50 are 14" and 15" Sandy Bridge powered notebooks with LED displays at 1366x768 and featuring a 6-in-1 card reader. Further, ECS is debuting a 6" and 8" touch screen eBook reader with WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G. The eBook reader will feature either a monochrome or multicolor display, and will run the Android mobile operating system.
Subject: Processors, Chipsets, Systems | May 19, 2011 - 06:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: sapphire, ion 2, htpc
At an estimated $450, the Sapphire Edge HD mini PC, powered by a dual core Atom D510 1.66 GHz with ION 2 graphics is a pretty good deal for those looking for a nettop. With only 250GB of storage you will probably want this connected to a large storage device either over ethernet or USB, though with services like Google Music Beta, Wolfgang's Vault and YouTube that might not be a problem. From InsideHW's testing you certainly won't have to worry about videos skipping just because your email is open.
"A dual-core CPU that won’t be stricken down by several programs running at the same time, GeForce that chews on any video that you put in front of it, sufficient RAM to make Windows 7 jump around, complete support for all types of video/audio formats and subtitles, and all this for a price of a good Blu-ray player - what else could you wish for?"
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- ECS HDC-I Mini-ITX Fusion Board Review @ Madshrimps
- Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 @ iXBT Labs
- ASUS E35M1-I DELUXE @ Tweaktown
- Sony VAIO VPC-L218FX Review @ TechReviewSource
Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile, Shows and Expos | May 12, 2011 - 05:00 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tablet, notebook, msi, computex
VR-Zone reports that MSI is gearing up for a large Computex showing, and will unveil 5 new mobile products to it's existing platforms.
Among the rumored launches are two tablets and three notebooks. On the tablet side of things, both a Tegra 2 and AMD Brazos powered tablet are in the works. The WindPad 100A will be powered by a Tegra 2 SoC and will run Android 2.3 in lieu of Honeycomb due to rumored hardware compatibilities. The AMD Brazos platform brings AMD's fusion processor and graphics to the mobile space. The WindPad 110W, the follow up to the Intel Atom powered 100W, will utilize the Brazos SoC running Windows 7.
As far as notebooks, the gaming lineup, C series, and X series will all see a refresh. The GT683 will be a 15" gaming notebook. The CX480 will update the C series with a rumored 14" form factor. Finally, MSI's thin and light notebook lineup will receive the X460.
VR-Zone further states that "MSI is also said to be losing interest in netbooks due to declining demand and is refocusing on its notebook products as the company is expecting a 10 to 15 percent growth in notebook shipments this year, not taking tablets into account."
Subject: Systems | May 12, 2011 - 01:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: digitalstorm, enix, SilverStone FT03
The SilverStone FT03 that the DigitalStorm Enix is crammed inside is 11.18" x 9.25" x 19.17", limiting you to mATX and mITX boards though allowing the use of a full sized PSU. DigitalStorm ran with that and shoved a SilverStone 1000W PSU inside, neccesary due to their other hardware which includes an i7 2600K overclocked to 4.7GHz, a pair of GTX 580s and 8GB of DDR3-1600. It will probably come as no surprise that a Corsair H70 cools the CPUs, though the NVIDIA card's heatsinks have been left alone. AnandTech saw high temperatures from those cards, well within the limit of the silicon and not terrible unexpected; they were more concerned with the VCore spike during boot. Thankfully the warranties from boutique shops cover their own overclocks.
"Just recently we had a chance to lay hands on SilverStone's FT03 enclosure, and it was impressive enough to earn a Bronze Editors' Choice award. It wasn't the quietest case we've ever reviewed, but it had strong thermal qualities and a slick-looking design. Now DigitalStorm has taken SilverStone's eye-catching little number, custom-painted the grills, and turned it into a double-shoebox-sized monster. The Enix we're looking at today boasts the highest overclock on an Intel Core i7-2600K we've yet seen and pairs it with not one but two EVGA GeForce GTX 580's."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Installing a Computer in a Car @ OCIA
- Aria.co.uk Gladiator 1155 i5 4.4GHz Bundle @ OC3D
- AMD Zacate E-350 Performance @ iXBT Labs
- Sapphire Pure Fusion Mini E350 @ TechwareLabs
One drawback of using an HTPC is that you can only watch one thing at a time, which sounds odd unless you consider multiple person households. In order to dump your cableboxes in favour of an HTPC you need to be able to send different signals to different TVs, laptops and monitors. The InfiniTV Wizard allows you to bind a specific TV Tuner to a specific client's IP address allowing each user to watch what they want, as long as you have enough TV Tuner cards installed in the main HTPC. Check out how easy multiple tuners can be used over at Missing Remote.
"One of our most popular guides in the past several months has been Michael Welter’s guide and tool for configuring the InfiniTV for use by multiple PCs. Now, Ceton has released the InfiniTV Network Tuner Wizard to provide an easy way to configure and officially support the InfiniTV when used by multiple PCs. We’ve had the opportunity to use the wizard and produce a guide to help you learn what it does and how to use it."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Imation Grand Entertainer Review @ t-break
- Beginner's Guide to Building a Home Theater PC @ MissingRemote
- LG BD670 3D Player @ TechReviewSource
- Boxee Box D-Link DSM-380 Media Player Review @ MissingRemote
- SecondRun.tv 2.5 Movie and TV Plugin Review @ MissingRemote
Subject: General Tech, Systems, Mobile | May 5, 2011 - 10:37 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: usb computer, Education
In case you did not get enough solder for one day: you are in luck! David Braben, previously known for his work developing such games as Rollercoaster Tycoon, Thrillville, and Kinectimals, created an extremely low cost PC for educational use. His goal is ultimately to have computers like the one he created be accessible such that there would be functionally zero barriers to entry for students to pursue studying computing. A charity was created, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, under these beliefs to distribute this device hopefully sometime within the next 12 months.
Am I the only one who finds it weird that an affordable PC uses HDMI?