For years, the wisdom has been that if you wanted a dedicated gaming machine, you bought a desktop. Gaming components were too unwieldy to fit in a notebook form factor, and if you tried to put together a machine with desktop-caliber components, it always ended up too big and heavy to be truly portable. However, recent gaming laptops have defied that history, packing lots of power into thinner and lighter chassis. They’re still not as slim as Ultrabooks, and meanwhile there’s still a gap in performance versus desktop machines. Even so, your days of lugging around a large desktop tower to LAN parties are over. We’ve taken a look at some of the more recent entries in the race to build a smaller gaming machine to find ones that can fit your needs — and budget. Slideshow-315071
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Our last buyer’s guide update had a pretty solid list of laptops, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? We do have a couple of new additions to spice things up, however. We felt compelled to add the agile ASUS Chromebook Flip, which serves up a 360-degree rotatable touchscreen and killer battery life. For PC gaming, MSI’s power-packed GT80 Titan is definitely worth a look. It offers top-of-the-range graphics and processing options, along with a large display and full mechanical keyboard. There are plenty of great choices out there right now, so if you’re in the market for a laptop or thinking of an upgrade, it’s worth taking a spin through the gallery below. Feel free to swing by our complete buyer’s guide, too, for a rundown on some of the best gadgets across the board.
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With all the work you do, the games you play and the videos you watch, you spend a lot of time staring at your monitor. So why not do your eyes a favor and make sure you get one that’s got exactly what you need, whether it’s precise colors, fast response time or just a pleasing design? We’ve delved into some of the better monitors currently on the market to let you know which ones give you the best view for the money.
We hope you weren’t dead set on getting that shiny new HP laptop in early August. HP is warning partners that it won’t ship any orders to customers and resellers between August 1st and August 6th due to a “shipping transition” necessary for its upcoming split into two companies. You can still order whatever you like during that limbo period, but it won’t start moving until August 7th at the earliest. It’s an unusual gap, to put it mildly, but likely important given that HP is orchestrating one of the biggest tech splits ever. Just don’t put off ordering that back-to-school PC — you don’t want corporate maneuvers hurting your academic pursuits.
Via: Register Channel
HP’s got refreshed laptops for budget buyers and those looking for something a bit more premium. The company just announced its latest Pavilion X2 hybrid laptop, which features a 10-inch detachable screen and an Atom Bay Trail processor for just $300. The big change this year is a new magnetic latch which quickly connects the X2’s screen and keyboard, and also lets you easily reorient the laptop in different orientations. Also announced was the new 15.6 and 17.3-inch Envy laptops sporting the latest Intel and AMD processors and double the battery life from last year. The smaller model will run you $630 for the AMD chip or $800 for the Intel one, while the 17.3-inch starts at $1,000. (HP also announced a 14-inch Envy that won’t make it to the U.S.)
Among these new devices, the Pavilion X2 seems more intriguing. Sure, its quad-core Atom processor probably won’t pack punch, but at $300 it’s a good deal for a fully detachable Windows laptop. The X2’s screen weighs just 1.29 pounds on its own — attach the screen and it jumps to 2.48 pounds. It uses USB-C for charging, and it comes with 32GB of storage by default (you can also shell out a bit more for 64GB). HP also claims it lasts almost 11 hours while playing 1080p video.
The new Envy laptops, on the other hand, are pretty much what you’d expect. They’re powerful mainstream tablets meant for buyers who don’t want to shell out for fancy ultraportables. The 15-inch model weighs five pounds (half a pound lighter than its predecessor), which isn’t exactly portable. And good luck lugging the 6.2-pound 17-inch model around. Still, the battery life improvements are impressive: the 15-inch model lasts for 9.5 hours with an Intel chip and 7.5 hours with an AMD processor, while the huge version gets up to 10 hours.
Back when HP first introduced Sprout, an ambitious all-in-one desktop, the company came up with lots of reasons why you might want such an unusual PC — one with an overheard projector/camera, and a touch mat that could act as a second screen. Among the various use cases — gaming, visual projects, teleconferencing — 3D modeling was one of the more obvious scenarios. Imagine: Just put an object in front of the depth-sensing camera, and boom, the computer creates a 360-degree, 3D model that you can view and manipulate onscreen. Unfortunately, the process was far from user-friendly and indeed, HP said at launch that it was working on an app that would make the workflow easier. Fast forward eight months, and the company is ready to show us some improvements. HP just unveiled the software, called 3D Snapshot, as well as an optional $299 “stage” accessory that should make 360-degree capture easier in the first place.
Though the stage is indeed optional, it’s probably worth it. Plug in the turntable via USB, set an object on top of it (note: it doesn’t support objects heavier than 4.4 pounds or taller than 7.5 inches). Press a button and the stage will start to rotate, tilting up to 15 degrees to ensure there are no blank spots in the final image. The result: a 360-degree scan you can use inside HP’s new modeling software. Without the stage, you’d have to manually position objects under the camera to get a clean image that covers every surface. This seems easy to screw up, and it would also be a shame if one were to spend $1,900 on a PC, only to settle for amateurish scans. What I’m saying is, if you care about 3D modeling, you’ll pony up the $299. It’s a small price to pay anyway, considering how much you’ll probably spend on a 3D printer that can actually produce your prototypes.
Once you have your 360-degree scan, 3D Snapshot is where you edit, play with, share and print your creations. That’s the selling point, really: Unlike the existing workflow, this gives users a one-stop shop where they can do everything they need to do without having to open another program, or export any of the data. As far as editing goes, the program will clean up artifacts, as well as let you export and also save as a 2D image. From there, you can share over social media or email. If you send through email, your friend will see an auto-generated gif preview, as well as a link that allows them to view the scan full-size in their browser. As for printing, you can print locally or send to a print-to-server provider.
The software arrives in July, both on new machines and as an automatic software update for people who already own a Sprout.
HP has abruptly changed course on its ‘Machine,’ a new type of memory-driven computer it thinks will radically alter large-scale data processing. When the company first launched it last year, the plan was to use a new kind of memory chip called the “memristor,” which is as fast as DRAM but can permanently store data. The problem is that the tech, which HP expected to commercialize with Hynix in 2013, still isn’t ready. Rather than giving up, though, HP has decided to take it in another direction by using both conventional RAM and phase change memory.
HP figured the Machine would replace data server farms with a computer the size of refrigerator using a fraction of the power. To do that, it would compute using specialized core clusters, photonic circuits and a huge pool of unified memory. For the latter, it depended heavily on the memristors — which store data with no power — and company researchers insisted that any other technology just wouldn’t do. It has scaled that ambition back, however, and chief technology officer Martin Fink now says that for now, it’ll be a “memory-driven” Linux computer based on DRAM. “We way over-associated this with the memristor,” he told the New York Times.
Mechanical mockup of new ‘node board’ for HP’s Machine
Running the Machine on DRAM would make it impractical, but HP says it would still be a radical shift from computers today with a whopping 320TB of memory. The idea is to develop a RAM-based prototype to attract developers to the technology, then introduce a version with phase change memory later. The final product would run on memristors once they’re market-ready.
HP — which recently split its business and consumer divisions — is betting big on The Machine tech and plans on investing a half a billion dollars in it. The company thinks it could eventually be shrunk to smartphone size, giving users Google Now-like AI capability without external servers. Researchers have already shown that similar technology using can already perform chores like image recognition. But critics wonder how much of a game-changer the Machine can be without memristors, and HP itself has now stopped making any predictions as to when it’ll finally arrive.
Via: New York Times
Source: HP (YouTube)
Another month, another handful of reviews. Which means another round of new additions to Engadget’s various buyer’s guides. For the fifth month of the year, we’ve got five new products to induct, including Samsung’s excellent Galaxy S6 and the HP Spectre x360, one of our new favorite laptops. As you’d expect, our other recommendations are solid too, but they each fall squarely in the “not for everybody” category. That includes the Apple Watch, currently the best smartwatch on the market, along with the low-powered Surface 3 and the 12-inch, mostly port-less MacBook. Whatever your tastes, chances are we’ve got something that makes sense for you. Check out the full guide here, and stay tuned for even more picks — because who knows what we’ll be buzzing about next month?
Source: Engadget Buyer’s Guide
Competitive gaming is big enough now in the US that it’s catching ESPN’s attention, so it stands to reason that you’d want a way to bet on those virtual matches, doesn’t it? Ex-Microsoft manager (and Engadget Expand panelist) Rahul Sood thinks so. He just launched Unikrn, a site that makes it easy to wager on eSports. If you live in a country where the company will accept bets (currently Australia), you can plunk down real cash and win jackpots, much like you would with conventional sports betting. You could make a tidy profit betting that a low-ranked League of Legends team will defy the odds, for instance. Even if you live in the US and other nations where real bets are illegal, you can still sign up and win prizes.
It’s a gamble, both figuratively and literally, but Unikrn does have some early support. The startup has already acquired two companies to get its betting system off the ground, and it has partnerships that include Sood’s old outfits HP (which acquired VoodooPC) and Razer as well as CBS Interactive and Logitech. Unikrn might not attract as much hype as the eSports events themselves, but the chances are that you’ll hear more about it in the future.
Intrigued by HP’s luscious new Spectre x360 convertible laptop, but looking for something a bit cheaper? Say hello to the new Pavilion x360 and Envy x360. Starting at $410, the Pavilion x360 is HP’s most cost-effective convertible laptop — meaning its screen can be folded all the way around to its rear to be used like a tablet, or folded tent-like for Netflix binges. The Envy x360, starting at $680, is a step up from the Pavilion with a premium metallic finish and bigger 15.6-inch screen. Both computers are also the first to have Bang & Olufsen’s touch; HP’s new audio tech partner following Beats’ betrothal to Apple. At this point, that just means they’ve been optimized by B&O’s tireless audio engineers, and include some software tweaks to make the best of tiny laptop speakers.
The Envy x360 is certainly the prettier of the pair — and it’s more powerful too, with support for Core i5 and i7 processors and up to 16GB of RAM. The entry-level $680 model gets you a 500GB hard drive and 720p screen, while going up to $770 will net you a terabyte HDD and 1080p display. And of course, you can (and should) opt for a solid-state drive.
But really, the Pavilion x360 is the more interesting convertible. Its 11-inch $410 model is nearly $100 less than Microsoft’s Surface 3 (not including the $130 keyboard), and it’s powered by a Pentium N3700 processor and 4GB of RAM. For $500, you can upgrade to a Core M processor and 128GB SSD. There’s also a 13-inch model for $530 with a Core i3 processor, though you’re only getting a 500GB hard drive, not an SSD. Those are decent prices for an ultraportable laptop, but they’re even more intriguing considering the flexibility of the Pavilion x360’s screen.
If convertibles aren’t really your thing, or you just want something very cheap, HP also announced a refresh of its classic Pavilion lineup starting at $550 for the 14-inch model. You won’t be twisting its screens about, but there are some significant new upgrades, including options for 1080p displays and discrete graphics cards. HP’s also refined its unibody design this year, so even though the Pavilion’s cases are made out of plastic, they should apparently feel sturdier than before.
Both the Pavilion x360 and traditional Pavilion lines will be available on HP’s site on May 13, and will eventually roll out to stores on June 21. You’ll have to wait a bit longer for the Envy x360, which hits HP’s site on June 18 and stores the same day as the Pavilions.