Biostar Hi-Fi Z77X gives audiophiles 7.1-channel analog sound, overpriced cables thankfully optional
There haven’t been many choices in PC motherboards for audiophiles — the ‘real’ kind that might see even a good dedicated sound card as slumming it. Biostar wants to fill that untapped niche with the Hi-Fi Z77X. Along with run-of-the-mill expansion for an Ivy Bridge- or Sandy Bridge-based desktop, the board’s built-in 7.1-channel audio flaunts six 3.5mm analog jacks, an amp and the kind of exotic-sounding language that leads audio addicts to buy $2,000 cables they don’t need. We’re talking “metal-oxide film resistors” and “non-polarized electrolysis electric audio capacitors,” here. Whether or not the changes have an appreciable impact on sound quality, listeners are ironically left out of S/PDIF audio, which exists only as a header on the board unless buyers spend a little more on parts. That said, if we assume the as yet unknown price isn’t stereotypically high — and that audiophiles don’t mind a big, potentially noisy desktop as a home theater PC — the Hi-Fi Z77x could be a treat for those who want to wring every nuance out of music and movie soundtracks.
We know Ivy Bridge is close to landing, but when damn it, when? Until we know for sure, what about these new notebooks from HP that sneaked out with barely a flicker of ballyhoo. There are four new Pavilions on their way, the dv4-5000, dv6-7000, dv7-6000 and g4-2000. All of them are getting the Ivy Bridge treatment bar the g4, which sticks with Sandy Bridge. The dv4 and dv6 both sport 2.3GHz i7-3610QM processors, GeForce GT630M graphics, Beats Audio and 14-inch or 15.6-inch (1366 x 768) displays respectively. The dv7 model steps things up with a 2.6GHZ i7-3720QM chip, GeForce GT 650M graphics and 17.3-inches of 1920 x 1080 screen. The g4, on the other hand, comes in a range of processing flavors, including the i3-2350M and i5-2450M Sandy Bridge variants and a 14-inch screen. The g-series will likely carry a £399 (about $630) price-tag, while the dv6 and dv7 are rumored start around £599 ($940) when they eventually land potentially in April — but don’t count your chickens. Full specs in the source, and promo videos after the break.
CyberPower, azienda specializzata nella produzione di Computer ad alte prestazioni annuncia la nuova generazione di Computer Dekstop Fang III. Parliamo di sistemi ad alte prestazioni pensati per diverse fasce di utenza; più precisamente Fang III prevede 4 modelli: Rattler, Viper, Cobra, e Black Mamba.
I CyberPower Fang III sono equipaggiati con piattaforma Intel SandyBridge (LGA 1155) o SandyBridge-E (LGA 2011) a seconda delle esigenze dell’utente, e per questo motivo troviamo onboard anche configurazioni a Singola o Doppia Scheda video.
Il Fang III Black Mamba è il modello top della serie ed è equipaggiato con Processore Core i7 Extreme 3960X (raffreddato a liquido e overcloccato del 30%), 16GB di Memoria DDR3 in Quad-Channel, due Nvidia GTX590, Hard DIsk da 2TB, SSD OCZ da 120GB, Audio HD 7.1, Masterizzatore Blu-ray. In bundle troveremo anche una tastiera Razer Lycosa e un mouse Razer Lachesis; prezzo base 4999 dollari.
Fang III Cobra invece monta un Core i7 3930K (overclock +20%) sempre raffreddato a liquido, 16GB di DDR3, Nvidia GTX570, lettore Blu-ray, HDD da 1TB e case AZZA 400 Fusion; prezzo base 1999 dollari.
Fang III Viper passa alla piattaforma LGA 1155 con processore Core i7 2600K (OC +10%) Liquid Cooled, Radeon HD6870, 8GB di RAM, lettore Blu-ray, HDD da 2TB; prezzo 1249 dollari.
Chiude la serie il CyberPower Fang III Rattler, sistema sempre SandyBridge Based con Core i7 (overcloccato del 10%), 8 GB di RAM, Radeon HD6850, dissipatore CPU Asetek e masterizzatore DVD; prezzo 999 dollari.
Per maggiori info vi rimandiamo al sito del produttore.
The tiny box that AnandTech called, “the best SFF HTPC [they had] ever reviewed, hands down,” is finally joining the Sandy Bridge brigade. A tipster was doing a little Google-fu when he came across a listing for the unannounced Vision 3D 2nd Gen Series. The specs are certainly a worthy upgrade to last year’s Computex standout, including a switchable 1GB GeForce GT540M card, 1333MHz RAM and an HMDI 1.4a port. You still get a Blu-ray drive, NVIDIA’s 3D Vision, a media remote, four USB 3.0 jacks and your choice of Core i3, i5 or i7 processors — so this isn’t exactly a complete overhaul. Check out the gallery below from a few images and some screenshots of the listing.
One of Samsung’s Series 7 laptops was outed not long ago, but that PC was made for fragging, while the rest in this line of laptops is meant for more pedestrian purposes. The new members of the family come sheathed in the same silver aluminum skin, but sport a smaller 300-nit, 1600 x 900 matte display in both 15.6-inch and 14-inch versions. Those displays are surrounded by a minimalist bezel, which allowed Samsung to stuff a 14-inch panel into a 13-inch chassis. Around the sides, there are two USB 3.0 ports (and one of the 2.0 variety), Gigabit Ethernet and HDMI and VGA sockets (the latter requires an included dongle a la the Series 9).
On the inside, users can get up to a Core i7-2675QM CPU clocked at 2.2GHz, up to 8GB of RAM, Radeon HD 6750M graphics and a 750GB HDD spinning at 7,200RPM. On all but the base model, there’s an additional 8GB of flash memory mounted on the motherboard that helps shave boot times down to mere seconds using Sammy’s FastStart technology. A lithium polymer battery powers everything, and Samsung claims the 80Wh cell will maintain 80 percent of its original capacity for up to 1,500 charges. Prices start at $1,000, and run all the way up to $1,300 for all the fixins’. Sound good? Head on past the break for some hands-on impressions.
Intel may still be king of the microprocessing hill, but from the looks of IDC’s latest market report, scrappy underdog AMD is starting to claim more of the $9.5 billion dollar pie. The semiconductor stalwarts faced off in four separate market categories with runner-up AMD seeing gains in all, save for servers where its paltry 5.5 percent share dropped 0.6 percent versus Intel’s commanding 94.5 percent lead. The Q2 2011 report pegged Intel’s overall worldwide share at 79.3 percent, a 1.5 percent decrease from the previous quarter, while AMD saw a 1.5 percent increase to 20.4 percent. For the mobile PC realm, Intel once again saw a decline as its 84.4 percent share took a 1.9 percent quarter to quarter tumble, with AMD again seeing a nearly 2 percent gain in its 15.2 percent stake. In the desktop PC segment, AMD grabbed an additional 1.5 percent, bringing its stake to 28.9 percent, with Intel’s 70.9 percent share dropping 1.5 percent versus Q1 2011. Wondering where the second place chip maker got its second quarter stride? According to the research firm, its new Fusion platform, along with Intel’s Sandy Bridge, now accounts for “more than 60% of total PC processor unit volume in 2Q11.” You paying attention, Sandy? It’s time to sleep with one eye open.
La taiwanese MSI si appresta a lanciare un nuovo portatile gaming oriented con schermo da 15,6 Pollici retro-illuminato a led, parliamo del modello GE620DX basato su piattaforma Intel SandyBridge. Questo notebook adotta il processore Quad-Core Intel Core i7-2630QM a 2 GHz, 8GB di RAM e hard disk da 750GB (da 5400 o da 7200 rpm a scelta dell’utente); il comparto grafico è affidato alla GeForce GT555m con 2 GB di memoria, on board anche un masterizzatore DVD o Blu-ray.
Per la riproduzione audio il GE620DX si affida a quattro speakers THX TruStudio Pro-enhanced; la connettività è affidata a: Gigabit Ethernet, modulo wi-fi 802.11 b / g / n, e Bluetooth 2.1. Completano le dotazioni “di bordo” un lettore di schede multi-formato, una webcam HD, due porte USB 3.0 e le uscite video DVI e HDMI. L’alimentazione del portatile è assicurata da una batteria a sei celle da 4400 mAh che concorre al peso finale di 2,4 Kg.
Tra le altre features segnaliamo GPU Boost (commutazione grafica 2D/3D), Cinema Pro (per la regolazione delle immagini) e Turbo Battery + (per ottimizare il consumo della batteria); in tutto in accoppiata a Windows 7 Home Premium preinstallato.
Dovremo ancora attendere per conoscere invece la data di commercializzazione e il prezzo dell’ MSI GE620DX.
There comes a time when that giant, corporate-issued laptop stops fitting into your lifestyle. When dragging around a Kensington roller case just won’t do. When you start to hear the siren lilt of something thinner, lighter, and maybe a bit more alluring. For years the MacBook Air has been that svelte temptress hollering your name, but it’s always been a bit too slow — all show and no go. It didn’t have the power and the longevity to make it a serious contender for your serious affections.
No more. With its latest refresh, Apple has taken what was once a manilla-clad curiosity and turned it into a legitimate machine, not just a sultry looker. Good thing, too, because the death of the plastic-clad MacBook means the Air is now Apple’s entry-level portable. Weary traveler looking for a laptop that will lighten your load and, it must be said, your wallet too? This might just be it.
They say Apple updates its products like clockwork, releasing something new at the same time in the same place every year. Not so with MacBook Airs anyway. The outfit’s gone and freshened up its 13-inch and 11-inch ultraportables — the second such update in nine months. Although the industrial design hasn’t changed much since the last generation, both models step up to Sandy Bridge Core i5 and i7 processors, Thunderbolt ports, backlit keyboards, and, of course, OS X Lion.
The 11.6-inch flavor starts at $999 with 64GB of solid-state storage, 2GB of memory and a 1.6GHz Core i5 processor. The higher-end of the two configurations costs $1,199, with the extra two hundred dollars doubling your RAM and storage. The 13-inch Air, meanwhile, starts at $1,299, with a 128GB SSD, 4GB of RAM, and a 1.7GHz Core i5 CPU. Step up to the $1,599 model and you’ll get a 256GB SSD instead. Regardless, you’re looking at Intel HD 3000 graphics across the board, along with FaceTime webcams, two USB ports (plus an SD slot on the 13-inch version), 802.11n WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0. The two differ when it comes to resolution and battery life: the 11-incher has a 1366 x 768 panel and is rated for up to five hours of battery life, whereas the 13-inch model has a 1440 x 900 screen and promises up to seven hours of juice. As for that 1.8GHz Core i7 CPU, it’ll set you back an extra $100 on the 13-inch version, and $150 for the 11-inch version. Whichever size you choose, it’s only an option for the higher-end configuration. Hit the source link to peep the specs and buy one, if you’re so inclined.
Is it just us or do all-in-ones seem to be having a moment? Over the past two months, we’ve seen Toshiba make a belated jump into the market, while Lenovo went and added one to its family of Think-branded laptops and desktops. And that’s not even counting models by old-timers like Apple, Dell, and MSI. And then there’s HP, which has been making touchscreen all-in-ones for three years — long before they were a thing. The company’s had plenty of time to fine-tune its finger-friendly TouchSmart software, and now, its newest model, the TouchSmart 610 ($899 and up), ushers in a fresh design, highlighted by a hinge that allows the display to slide down and lie nearly flat. Although it’s been shipping since this spring, it’s only been available with Sandy Bridge for about a month now. We took one of these tricked-out beasts into our living room and got reacquainted with the comforts of not-so-mobile computing. At the risk of spoiling everything, we think this should be on your shortlist if you’re considering an all-in-one, especially one with a big ‘ol touchscreen. Read on to find out why.
If Acer’s current Aspire TimelineX notebooks look a little too dull for your tastes, have a peek at that industrial-looking number in the picture above. The company just redesigned its line of skinny laptops, and refreshed them with Sandy Bridge processors while it was at it. The 13.1-inch 3830T, 14-inch 4830T, and 15.6-inch 5830T all have that two-tone aluminum design (also available in black), along with USB 3.0, a choice of Core i3 and Core i5 CPUs, and Acer’s clear.fi software for sharing media among DLNA devices. The 14- and 15.6-inch versions have onboard optical drives and number pads, and, on select models, you can choose a discrete NVIDIA GeForce GT520M or GT540M card. However, the screen resolution is going to be 1366 x 768 regardless of which you pick. The 3830T, 4830T, and 5830T are available now, starting at $799, $699, and $599, respectively, and you can find specs for a handful of models after the break.
Evolve III prices triple-booting Maestro S and swiveling Maestro C tablets, unveils cordless NGen desktop (video)
We knew Evolve III had some major plans in store for this year and now, we’ve found out a little more about the company’s latest creations. First up is the Maestro S — a triple-booting slate that, as promised, can now support Android, Windows 7 and Meego. Rocking a 10.1-inch, 1024 x 600 capacitive touchscreen, the Maestro is powered by an Intel Z670 Oak Trail processor clocking in at 1.5GHz and runs on a battery that can last for up to ten hours per charge when running on Windows 7, or up to 18 hours when in Meego mode. The Maestro C will give you all of this, plus that swiveling kickstand we heard about last month. Designed with frequent flyers in mind, the convertible tablet also comes with a wireless keyboard that can serve as a protective, hardshell case. Rounding out the troika is the NGen — a next-generation, “all-in-one” PC, powered by an Intel Core i7 Sandy Bridge CPU. The WiDi-enabled desktop boasts a 21.5-inch, 1920 x 1080 LED, supports Intel HD graphics and packs a 2.0-megapixel, front-facing camera. Weighing in at a little under 13-pounds, the cordless NGen can be folded up for quick transport, or mounted on a wall. Content can also be synced across all three devices, with a Wormhole connecting cord. As far as pricing goes, the Maestro S and C are running for 800 AUD (about $860) and 825 AUD (around $886), respectively, while the NGen, according to an Evolve III representative, will retail for about $1,500 of the green stuff. Unfortunately, this lineup won’t be available Stateside until later this year, but you can find out more in the video that awaits you, after the break.
Here’s a new option for those seeking a desktop replacement with adequate processing power: announced at Computex 2011 today is Gigabyte’s P2532, a 15.6-inch laptop sporting Intel’s Core i7-2630QM (2GHz to 2.9GHz), along with NVIDIA’s GeForce GT550M with 2GB of VRAM, up to 8GB of DDR3 system RAM, 500GB or 750GB hard drive at 7200rpm, and a tray-loading DVD burner. In fact, there’ll be two versions available: the P2532N that comes with NVIDIA Optimus for extra battery life, and the P2532V with NVIDIA 3D Vision but on a 1,366 x 768 LCD, as opposed to the 1080p counterpart on the former model. Otherwise, the remaining specs are identical on these 2.6kg (5.7lbs) laptops: two USB 3.0 ports, one eSATA / USB 2.0 combo port, HDMI, SD card slot, four 1.5 watt speakers with one woofer, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, and a 1.3 megapixel webcam. Keep an eye out for this beast in June, but be prepared to shell out from around $1,500 if our hands-on pics below got your attention.
The XPS 15z, true to Michael Dell’s word, is now with us. Provided “now” is May the 24th in whatever part of the world you happen to live in. Laptop shoppers in Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan — a group of nations already enjoying the glories of Tuesday — can now buy the 0.97 inches-thick 15z for prices starting at just under A$1,400. That buys you a Core i5-2410M from Intel (2.3GHz default speed, 2.9GHz with Turbo Boost), a generous 6GB of DDR3 RAM, backlit keyboard, GeForce GT 525M graphics with 2GB of dedicated memory, a 750GB hard drive, and a 64WHr battery. The screen spans 15.6 inches diagonally and offers 1920 x 1080 resolution. Stepping up to A$1,700 gets you a Core i7-2620M (2.7GHz default, 3.4GHz TB) and 8GB of RAM. Juicy specs, we must admit. Now when’s midnight coming?
We’ve already seen Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt reinvigorating the MacBook Pro line, so it’s only logical for the MacBook Airs to eventually follow suit — presumably they’ll pick up Sandy Bridge’s 17W mobile processors to match the current 10W and 17W Core 2 Duos. So when can we expect this to happen? Well, according to DigiTimes’ sources within the supply chain, Apple may receive shipment of the refreshed Airs in late May ahead of a June or July launch — this echoes earlier reports from Apple Insider and CNET that cited the same time frame. Additionally, DigiTimes says Quanta will continue to assemble Apple’s ultra-portable laptops, with Simplo Technology and Dynapack supplying the battery packs. As always, we shall remain open-minded about such rumors, but you’ll know the real deal as soon as we do within the next couple of months or so.
For weeks now, Lenovo aficionados have been salivating. Thanks to a series of leaks, more than a few of you have been awaiting the ThinkPad X1, the skinny, girlfriend-proof follow-up to the company’s vaunted X series. One problem: it didn’t officially exist. Well, the jig is up, and the X1 is at last a real, whirring product, on sale tomorrow with a starting price of $1,349. As expected, it marries that iconic red nub and rock-solid construction with some flourishes you haven’t yet seen on a ThinkPad, including a 13.3-inch Gorilla Glass display, integrated, fast-charging battery, and a buttonless trackpad. And, as you may have gathered from those leaked shots, it’s the slimmest ThinkPad yet, measuring just 16.5mm (0.65 inches) at its thinnest point.
Throw in Intel Core 2011 processor options and you’ll see Lenovo has made one lofty promise: a svelte system that performs like a heavyweight and whose design is modern, but not too much of a departure from the classic ThinkPad uniform. So how close does the X1 come to living up to these towering claims? Let’s find out.
If you’ve somehow not heard of the ThinkPad X1 yet, you join us at a good time. The well leaked laptop has shown up at an X Series comparison site, put together by Lenovo itself, where yet more specs have been made known. The 13.3-inch display is dubbed a SuperBright HD inifinity panel, which to you and us simply means it’s built using IPS technology. There’s also an integrated fingerprint reader, a buttonless touchpad, USB 3.0 connectivity, and a promised 10-hour battery life with a slice battery. Weighing in at 1.36kg (3lbs) and measuring about 16mm (0.625 inches) in thickness, it’s described as Lenovo’s thinnest ThinkPad yet. Last time we heard, we were told to expect it on May 17th, guess those webmasters are getting the show started a little early. One more glamor shot of the X1 can be found after the break.