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Posts tagged ‘Dell’

5
Dec

The 11 best tech gifts for workaholics


We’re not saying you want to enable them (OK, maybe we are), but you definitely know someone who works too much. They chip away at their to-do lists on weekends. They are probably even going to slip away at some point during the holidays to check work email. If that’s the lifestyle they’ve chosen, embrace it by picking gifts that can either live at their desk, or come with them while they’re trying to get work done on the road. Our list includes everything from a comfy desk chair to a wireless charging desk lamp to our favorite laptop and desktop keyboard. You might not be able to persuade them to change their rigid habits, but at least you can make them more comfortable while they toil away.

For our full list of recommendations in all categories, don’t forget to stop by our main Holiday Gift Guide hub.

4
Nov

The best 4K monitors


By David Murphy

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. When readers choose to buy The Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, they may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here.

After spending 37 hours researching 22 4K monitors and testing eight finalists, we’ve found that the Dell P2715Q is the best 4K monitor for most people right now. Recent improvements in technology and drops in pricing make a 4K monitor a good buy if you’re willing to live with some quirks, but it still isn’t something most people need. If you work with (or watch) a lot of high-definition content, have an amazing gaming computer, or just want more desktop space, you’ll be happy with the Dell, or any of our other picks.

Who this is for

Illustration: Elizabeth Brown

The most obvious reason to choose a 4K monitor is because it has a lot of pixels. With 3840×2160 pixels, a 4K monitor has four times as many as a 1920×1080 monitor (8.29 million versus 2.07 million), 3.6 times the pixels of a 1920×1200 monitor (such as our 24-inch monitor pick), and 2.25 times the pixels of a 2560×1440 monitor (likeour 27-inch monitor pick).

A high-resolution display such as a 4K monitor can make text and images look much sharper than a standard monitor. Photo: David Murphy

That increased pixel density produces sharper, more detailed images, as you’ll see in our illustration above. A 4K monitor can give you a better-looking picture for games, the ability to edit high-res photos and videos at their native resolutions, and a lot more desktop space—useful if you’re a coder or you otherwise need a large amount of information on one screen.

Higher picture quality and more screen space can make 4K monitors look like an obvious upgrade, but they come with potential drawbacks that some people will find annoying and others will hate. To learn more, check out our full guide.

How we picked and tested

Photo: David Murphy

We narrowed our list of the best-reviewed and highly ranked IPS monitors down to eight by eliminating those that weren’t manufacturer-calibrated, were way too expensive for their specifications, or were using DisplayPort’s multi-stream transport mode (MST) instead of single-stream transport (SST). MST was an older stopgap measure that treated a monitor as two separate displays in order to get a 4K picture working over older versions of DisplayPort. You should avoid any monitor that isn’t SST, though you might have to do some Internet detective work to confirm whether a monitor uses it.

The Wirecutter’s Chris Heinonen helped us design our monitor-testing process, which relies on two measuring devices: a $1,200 i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer from X-Rite and a $170 Spyder4Pro. (The Spyder4Pro is better at reading black levels than the i1Pro.) We built customized tests in the CalMAN 2016 software-calibration suite to measure each monitor’s maximum and minimum brightness levels, gamma, color temperature, and color accuracy.

Our pick

The P2715Q has an old-school fat plastic bezel and traditional plastic buttons rather than the ultraslim bezel and capacitive buttons of Dell’s UltraSharp line. Photo: David Murphy

The Dell P2715Q is the best 4K monitor for most people because its display quality is exceptional, its price is reasonable, it has all the connections you’ll need for your PC (and USB devices); it comes with a highly adjustable ergonomic stand and VESA mounting holes; and it uses single-stream transport for its DisplayPort connection—much better than cheaper (or older) multi-stream transport monitors.

The P2715Q doesn’t carry Dell’s UltraSharp branding, but the company calibrates the monitor at the factory. Because the calibration applies to the monitor’s default mode, you’ll get great results when you first set up the monitor. (You should still optimize the monitor’s brightness and contrast for your room’s lighting.)

The monitor’s DeltaE values—representing how far away a displayed color is from what it should actually be—ranged from 1.114 on our saturations test to 1.224 on our ColorChecker test to 1.493 on our grayscale test. In real-world terms, the P2715Q’s colors are almost perfect. Though the calibration software found that some displayed reds appeared oversaturated and the monitor had some hue/tint inaccuracies, they’re not perceptible. For more on grayscales and color temperature, see our full guide.

There’s little we don’t like about Dell’s P2715Q. Previous purchasers have reported that the monitor doesn’t always work, or work well, with various MacBooks. Given how many different kinds of MacBooks exist, how many different ways people have tried to connect the monitor to their laptops, and how many different versions of MacOS people are using, we haven’t found a one-size-fits-all solution for some of the reported issues, so we recommend checking to confirm that your MacBook can even run 4K at 60 Hz.

Runner-up (with extra features for gamers)

The XG2700-4K is an excellent alternative to the Dell P2715Q. Photo: David Murphy

The ViewSonic XG2700-4K isn’t just a runner-up; it’s an excellent alternative to the Dell P2715Q if you’re a gamer or a power user and you like digging into your monitor’s features. It offers accurate colors, excellent stand adjustability, an even better array of connections, and FreeSync (for AMD gamers). It also has far more configuration options than the Dell, though they’re not explained very well, which is our biggest complaint with this monitor. But the Dell P2715Q is a lot more user-friendly (and currently cheaper), which is why that model gets our recommendation.

In our CalMAN 2016 testing, the XG2700-4K had a slightly better grayscale DeltaE than the Dell P2715Q (0.9428 versus 1.493). The same held true for our saturations test (0.5073 versus 1.078) and our ColorChecker test (0.7491 versus 1.224). In reality, all of those values indicate excellent display quality for most people—you can’t tell whether one monitor is more accurate than the other without a calibration device.

We especially love the XG2700-4K’s robust multipicture mode, which lets you use one monitor to view multiple connected sources at once (either in a split screen, a quad-window display, or picture-in-picture).

Upgrade pick

The BenQ BL3201PH is gigantic, but it lets you avoid dealing with unpredictable scaling issues if you rely on third-party apps. Photo: David Murphy

The BenQ BL3201PH is a beast. It’s the best 4K monitor you can buy if you have room on your desk for its 32-inch screen. The biggest benefit of a giant 4K monitor is that you might not need to scale your display when running the monitor at its native resolution. That way, you’ll avoid one of the main issues plaguing 4K—third-party apps that look ugly, blurry, or too tiny to use when Windows embiggens your on-screen items.

Of all the large 4K monitors we looked at, the BL3201PH offers the best combination of price and performance, plenty of connectivity, all the right ergonomic adjustments, and a good assortment of features in an easy-to-navigate configuration screen.

Care and maintenance

Dell’s factory calibration for the P2715Q’s Standard mode is very accurate, so you don’t need to buy a hardware colorimeter to calibrate your display unless you need absolute perfection (as professional photographers, graphic designers, or video editors do). You can (and should) adjust the monitor’s contrast: Go to Lagom.nl’s white-saturation test and set your contrast at the highest it will go before you can’t see the difference between the higher-numbered values and the all-white background.

If your monitor’s screen gets dirty or smudgy, don’t use an ammonia- or alcohol-based cleaner on it (no Windex). Don’t use a paper towel, either. A microfiber cloth and some distilled water (not tap) will work just fine. And don’t spray the screen when cleaning it—spray the cloth, then wipe the screen.

This guide may have been updated by The Wirecutter. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

Note from The Wirecutter: When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn affiliate commissions that support our work.

3
Nov

Dell hints at its take on a Surface Studio-like creative PC


Microsoft and HP haven’t completely cornered the market on creativity-minded desktops, apparently — Surface Pro Artist noticed that Dell teased its own all-in-one creative PC as part of the AdobeMAX opening keynote. The short clip (below) avoids offering any explicit details, but it’s clear that this isn’t a direct parallel to the Surface Studio. You’re not drawing directly on the computer, to begin with. Instead, Dell will have a Cintiq-style tablet display (it’s not certain if this is standard or optional) where you’ll create your masterpieces. The prominent chin on the Dell rig is also a sharp contrast to Microsoft’s minimalist design. Are those speakers?

Not that there aren’t any parallels to Microsoft’s system. Dell will have its own Surface Dial-like accessory that can pop up brushes and other creative tools wherever you place it on the tablet display.

In keeping with Dell’s time-honored tradition of not saying anything about products during teasers, the teaser doesn’t discuss features, performance, price or ship dates. The company only mentions that you can expect a formal announcement soon. From a cursory glance, though, it’s reasonable to presume that the dual display configuration you see in the video won’t be cheap.

Via: The Verge

Source: Surface Pro Artist (Twitter)

28
Oct

The Wirecutter’s best deals: $110 off on a Dell XPS 13 laptop


This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. Read their continuously updated list of deals atTheWirecutter.com.

You may have already seen Engadget posting reviews from our friends at The Wirecutter. Now, from time to time, we’ll also be publishing their recommended deals on some of their top picks. Read on, and strike while the iron is hot—some of these sales could expire mighty soon.

Bose Soundlink Mini II + Amazon Echo Dot

Street price: $250; MSRP: $250; Deal price: $214

Solid deal on a bundle from Amazon that includes the Bose Soundlink Mini II and the Echo Dot for $214. The Soundlink Mini II alone is $200, while the 2nd gen Dot is $50, so this represents a discount of $36 on the two together. As we haven’t seen many deals on either product individually, that makes this bundle a real value. Both the Carbon and Pearl colors of the Bose speaker and Black/White colors of the Dot are available.

Of the Soundlink Mini II, our portable bluetooth speaker pick for better sound, Brent Butterworth wrote, “For those who want even better sound quality and louder volume and don’t need their portable Bluetooth speaker to be super-portable, the Bose SoundLink Mini II is worth the cost.” He continues, “It’s shocking to hear how much better the SoundLink Mini II sounds than most of its competitors, with clearer voices and a fuller sound closer to what you’d expect to hear from a decent small stereo system. It also plays loud enough to drown out a small dinner party. At 1½ pounds the SoundLink Mini II is perfect for lugging along on family vacations or from room to room in the house but probably heavier than backpackers and business travelers will want to carry.”

Dell XPS 13 256GB Ultrabook

Street price: $1,100; MSRP: $1,100; Deal price: $990 with code TENOFF

This is a rare deal on the non-touchscreen version of the XPS 13. While 10% off isn’t a huge deal, this ultrabook rarely ever goes on sale. Plus, this model has been updated to Intel’s new Kaby Lake i5-7200U processor, meaning it’s slightly faster and more energy efficient than its predecessor. Make sure to change the color choice from Rose Gold to Silver to save $50, and then use code: TENOFF in the cart to receive the additional 10% off.

The Dell XPS 13 is our top pick in our guide for the best Windows Ultrabook. Kimber Streams wrote, “The XPS 13 configuration we recommend costs around $1,100 and has a seventh-generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 8 GB of RAM, a 256 GB solid-state drive, a Thunderbolt 3 port, and a stunning, 13.3-inch 1080p display—all in a laptop that’s closer in size and weight to the 11-inch MacBook Air than to the 13-inch Air. To fit the display into such a small chassis, Dell shrank the bezel around the screen to a teensy 5 millimeters. The design looks great, but the tiny bezel shunts the webcam to the left corner beneath the screen, so you should be prepared for some unflattering nostril and chin angles during video calls. That minor flaw aside, the Dell XPS 13’s comfortable keyboard, good trackpad, excellent battery life, and reasonable price make it the best ultrabook for getting work done in the office or on the go.”

All-Clad Tri-Ply Stainless-Steel Nonstick Fry Pan

Street price: $135; MSRP: $135; Deal price: $108

This is a good deal at 20% percent off in cart on all 3 sizes of this pan. Our pick, the 10 in. version of this pan, only drops below $110 when on sale and typically hovers above $130. The promotion is also available for the 8 and 12 in. sizes.

The All-Clad 10-inch Stainless Non-Stick Steel Fry Pan is our upgrade pick for the best nonstick pan. Lesley Stockton writes that it, “does everything our top pick can but better, albeit at a much higher price. Food came out more consistently browned and omelets released a little easier. Hash browns had a deeper and more-even golden color. The All-Clad nonstick skillet has all the features we like about the traditional skillet: classic flared shape, bent lip, and a comfortable stick handle, and it’s the only one of our picks that’s induction compatible.”

Anova Precision Cooker Bluetooth

Street price: $150; MSRP: $150; Deal price: $112 with code KITCHEN

At $112 with from Target with code KITCHEN, this is easily the lowest we’ve seen the Anova Bluetooth. After the introduction of the new model, we expected to see it drop below $130, but that hadn’t really happened until now. Shipping is free and if you’ve got a REDcard, you can get an additional 5% off.

The Anova Precision Cooker is our runner-up in our sous vide gear guide. Tim Barribeau writes, “It’s one of the cheapest ways to get into sous vide cooking, and thanks to an innovative adjustable attachment system, the new Anova works with a much smaller volume of water than the previous iteration did—so there’s now no need to heat up a gallon of water just to cook a couple of chicken breasts.”

Deals change all the time, and some of these may have expired. To see an updated list of current deals, please go to The Wirecutter.com.

28
Oct

The 13-inch MacBook Pro vs. the competition: Small but effective


It’s been a while since we’ve seen a revamp of the MacBook Pro, and this year’s models are definitely a big change thanks to the new OLED touch bar. Meanwhile, rival companies have been busy releasing machines that are increasingly more powerful, slimmer and even a bit sexy. We’ve highlighted some of the more outstanding small and light machines on the market here to see which slim chassis brings the most thunder under the hood.

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch
Surface Book i7
Dell XPS 13
HP Spectre 13.3
Price
$1,499 / $1,799 / $1,999
$2,399 / $2,799 / $3,299
$800 / $1,000 / $1,150 / $1,300 / $1,400 / $1,650 / $1,850
$1,100 / $1,170
Dimensions
11.97 x 8.36 x 0.59 (304.1 x 212.4 x 14.9 mm)
12.30 x 9.14 x 0.90 inches (312.3 x 232.1 x 22.8 mm)
11.98 x 7.88 x 0.33 inches (304 x 235 x 15 mm)
12.8 x 9.03 x 0.41 inches (325.12 x 229.36 x 10.41 mm)
Weight
3.02 pounds (1.37 kg)
3.63 pounds (1.65 kg)
2.7 (non-touch) or 2.9 (touch) pounds (1.2 or 1.29 kg)
2.45 pounds (1.11 kg)
OS
macOS Sierra
Windows 10
Windows 10
Windows 10
Display
13.3-inch IPS LED
Touch Bar with integrated Touch ID
13.5-inch PixelSense touch
13.3-inch InfinityEdge touch or non-touch
13.3-inch BrightView LED / IPS LED
Resolution
2,560 x 1,600 (227 ppi)
3,000 x 2,000 (267 ppi)
1,920 x 1,080 (166 ppi) / 3,200 x 1,800 (276 ppi)
1,920 x 1,080 (166 ppi)
Processor
Intel Core i5 (2.0 GHz) / Core i5 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Core i7
Intel Core i3 (2.4 GHz) / Core i5 (3.1 GHz) / Core i7 (3.5 GHz)
Intel Core i5 (2.5 GHz) / Core i7 (2.7 GHz)
Memory
8 GB
8 / 16 GB
4 / 8 / 16 GB
8 GB
Graphics
Intel Iris Graphics 540 / 550
NIVDIA GeForce GTX 965M
Intel HD Graphics 620
Intel HD Graphics 620
Storage
256 / 512 GB
256 / 512 GB / 1 TB
128 / 256 / 512 GB
256 GB
Ports
Thunderbolt 3 (x2) / Thunderbolt 3 (x4)
USB 3.0 (x2), Mini DisplayPort, SD card reader
USB 3.0 (x2), Thunderbolt 3, SD card reader
USB Type-C (x3)
Wireless
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
Battery
54.5 WHr, 10 hours / 49.2 WHr, 10 hours
16 hours
60 WHr, 18 hours
38 WHr, 9.75 hours

* Specs listed are for default configurations and do not include upgrade options available at checkout.

Click here to catch all the latest news from Apple’s “Hello again” event.

28
Oct

The 15-inch MacBook Pro vs. the competition: More than touch


The larger MacBook Pros have always been about getting serious work done, and now you might be able to do even more thanks to the new Touch Bar. But there are plenty of other 15-inch machines to choose from — they may not have an OLED touch strip, but keeping features like USB 3.0 ports and an SD card reader can make a big difference in your routine. We’ve put some current mid-size laptops toe-to-toe with the new 15-inch MacBook Pro to see which one is best equipped to tackle your day.

Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch
Dell XPS 15
HP Envy 15
Samsung Notebook 9 Pro
Price
$2,399 / $2,799
$1,000 / $1,200 / $1,400 / $1,650 / $1,850 / $2,550
$920 / $1,050
$1,400
Dimensions
13.75 x 9.48 x 0.61 inches (349.3 x 240.7 x 15.5 mm)
14.06 x 9.27 x 0.66 inches (357 x 235 x 17 mm)
14.96 x 10.04 x 0.71 inches (379.98 x 255 x 18 mm)
14.72 x 9.83 x 0.70 inches (373.89 x 249.68 x 17.78 mm)
Weight
4.02 pounds (1.83 kg)
3.9 (non-touch) or 4.4 (touch) pounds (1.78 or 2 kg)
4.3 pounds (1.95 kg)
4.45 pounds (2.02 kg)
OS
macOS Sierra
Windows 10
Windows 10
Windows 10
Display
15.4-inch IPS LED
15.6-inch InfinityEdge touch or non-touch
15.6-inch IPS touch / IPS LED non-touch
15.6-inch LED touch
Resolution
2,880 x 1,800 (220 ppi)
1,980 x 1,080 (141 ppi) / 3,840 x 2,160 (282 ppi)
3,840 x 2,160 (282 ppi)
3,840 x 2,160 (282 ppi)
Processor
Intel Core i7 (2.6 GHz) / Core i7 (2.7 GHz)
Intel Core i3 (2.7 GHz) / Core i5 (3.2 GHz) / Core i7 (3.5 GHz)
Intel Core i7 (2.7 GHz) / Core i7 (2.2 GHz) / Core i7 (2.5 GHz)
Intel Core i7 (2.6 GHz)
Memory
16 GB
16 / 32 GB
12 / 16 GB
8 GB
Graphics
Radeon Pro 450, Intel HD Graphics 530 / Radeon Pro 455, Intel HD Graphics 530
Intel HD Graphics 530 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
Intel HD Graphics 620 / Iris Graphics 540 / HD Graphics 520
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
Storage
256 / 512 GB SSD
HDD (+32 GB SSD): 500 GB / 1 TB
SSD: 256 / 512 GB / 1 TB
1 TB (5,400 rpm) + 128 GB SSD / 512 GB SSD
256 GB SSD
Ports
Thunderbolt 3 (x4)
USB 3.0 (x2), Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, SD card reader
USB 3.1 (x3), USB Type-C, HDMI, SD card reader
USB 3.0 (x3), USB Type-C, SD card reader
Wireless
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1
Battery
76 WHr, 10 hours
56 / 84 WHr
52 WHr, 7 hours
57 WHr, 6.5 hours

* Specs listed are for default configurations and do not include upgrade options available at checkout.

Click here to catch all the latest news from Apple’s “Hello again” event.

26
Oct

Surface Studio vs. the competition: Beauty isn’t skin deep


Over the past few years we’ve seen Microsoft take on the world of tablets with the Surface and, for those who prefer something more on the laptop side, the Surface Pro and Surface Book. But it hasn’t truly tackled desktops until today’s announcement of the all-in-one Surface Studio. As cool as features like the zero-gravity hinge might be, the Studio will be facing off against established lines like the iMac. We’ve assembled the specs of some of the leading 27-inch machines on the market and matched them up against the 28-inch Studio to see which is worthy of sitting on your desk.

Microsoft Surface Studio
Apple iMac
HP Envy 27
Dell XPS 27
Price
$2,999 / $3,499 / $4,199
$1,799 / $1,999 / $2,299
$1,300 / $1,500 / $1,700
$1,550 / $1,650 / $1,850 / $2,300
Dimensions
25.09 x 17.27 x 1.26 inches (63.73 x 43.89 x 3.22 cm)
25.6 x 20.3 x 8 inches (65 x 51.6 x 20.3 cm)
25.7 x 19.3 x 7.95 inches (65.28 x 49.02 x 20.19 cm)
26.14 x 19.32 x 9.44 inches (66.4 x 49.22 x 24 cm)
Weight
21.07 pounds (9.56 kg)
21 pounds (9.54 kg)
24.25 pounds (11 kg)
35.3 pounds (16 kg)
OS
Windows 10
OS X Sierra
Windows 10
Windows 10
Display
28-inch PixelSense touch
27-inch Retina 5K
27-inch LED touch or non-touch
27-inch IPS LED touch
Resolution
4,500 x 3,000 (192 ppi)
5,120 x 2,880 (218 ppi)
2,560 x 1,440 (109 ppi)
2,560 x 1,440 (109 ppi)
Processor
Intel Core i5 / Core i7
Intel Core i5 (3.2 / 3.3 GHz)
Intel Core i5 (2.2 Ghz) / Core i7 (2.8 Ghz)
Intel Core i5 (3.4 GHz) / Intel Core i7 (4 GHz)
Memory
8 / 16 / 32GB
8GB
8 / 12 / 16GB
8GB
Graphics
NVIDIA GTX 965M / 980M
AMD Radeon R9 M380 / M390 / M395
Integrated / GeForce GTX 950
Intel HD Graphics / NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
Storage
1 / 2TB hybrid drive
1TB HDD (7200 rpm) / 1TB Fusion Drive / 2TB Fusion Drive
1TB (5400 / 7200 rpm)
1TB (7200 rpm)
Ports
USB 3.0 (x3), Mini Displayport, SD card reader
USB 3.0 (x4), Thunderbolt 2 (x2), gigabit ethernet, SDXC card reader
USB 3.0 (x4), gigabit ethernet, 3-in-1 card reader
USB 3.0 (x6), HDMI, gigabit ethernet, 8-in-1 card reader
Wireless
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0

* Specs listed are standard configurations and don’t include upgrade options available at checkout. Width dimensions include the base.

Click here to catch all the latest news from Microsoft’s big Surface event.

18
Sep

Alienware: VR rigs will become the new Wii thanks to laptops


Almost exactly seven years ago, Alienware joined the Tokyo Game Show for the first time to launch its redesigned machines since Dell’s acquisition. This week, the American company is once again present there to launch the Alienware 17 and 15 laptops for Japan, with one of their main selling points being their VR capability courtesy of NVIDIA’s GTX 10-Series graphics. While this won’t change the fact that high-end VR rigs are still relatively expensive, global marketing director Joe Olmsted reckons the mobility aspect will be enough to turn VR into the new home party machine that can be shared between friends — much like what he did with the Nintendo Wii back in the days.

“I don’t know if you remember but ten years ago it was hard to get a Wii, and yet everyone wanted one, everyone wanted to play it, everyone wanted to do tennis and bowling,” recalls Olmsted, who first joined Alienware 13 years ago. “So we had one, we just lugged it around in a bag and went from place to place to place, you know, be wherever our buddies were at on a Friday night.”

“With VR, I can see that happening; I certainly do it myself.”

Over the last few months, Olmsted has been bringing his company’s next-generation VR-ready notebook (he sure likes to tease) and his own HTC Vive — all tucked into one bag — to friends’ houses for extra entertainment at parties and gatherings. As he quite rightly puts it, “it’s basically a portable VR [rig].” Neither do the Vive nor the Oculus Rift have to be stuck at home because of the bulky desktop PC they’re tied to, as the latest high-end laptops can perform just as well, let alone whatever future model that Olmsted is already using. For those planning on doing the same, you may also want to bring tripods to prop the trackers up.

According to the exec, the GTX 10-Series graphics is the biggest performance jump he’s ever seen on laptops, but that’s not to say the previous generation isn’t good enough for VR, either. Take Alienware’s VR backpack, for instance: It’s essentially an Alpha R2 mini PC powered by the older GTX 960, and it’s utilized by Australia’s Zero Latency to host its six-player VR zombie game. Obviously, for those who are buying a PC now for the sake of VR, you’ll want to go straight to the GTX 10-Series to be as future-proof as possible. In the case of the Alienware 17 and 15 laptops, they’ll be hitting the US store on September 30th and then its UK counterpart on October 4th.

15
Sep

Dell’s updated XPS 13 includes a ‘rose gold’ model


When Intel formally launched its seventh-generation Core processors, you could practically hear the outcry for an updated Dell XPS 13 that uses them. It’s a fan favorite among laptops, but a showcase for what Intel’s technology can do for mobile performance and battery life. Well, you can relax. Dell is releasing an upgraded XPS 13 that not only touts the latest Intel tech, but also comes in an optional “rose gold” (aka light metallic pink). It’s an acknowledgment that the XPS 13 and its near-borderless display have become design statements, and that many people would like color options beyond the usual shades of gray.

Outside of the attention-getting hue, this is mostly a nuts-and-bolts upgrade. The big deals are newer Core i3, i5 and i7 chips that promise faster performance and longer battery life (22 hours 21 minutes in productivity apps, 13 hours for web browsing or Netflix streaming). You’ll also get higher-speed WiFi though Killer networking hardware. However, the addition of Thunderbolt 3 may be especially welcome — the high-speed port opens the door to single-cable docking and up to two 4K external displays, in case your XPS regularly doubles as a desktop.

The specs are otherwise largely unchanged. The XPS 13 still starts at $799 with a 1080p display, a Core i3, 4GB of RAM (seriously, Dell, bump this up) and a 128GB solid-state drive. You’ll have to pay more for one of the speedier CPUs, a 3,200 x 1,800 touchscreen, up to 16GB of RAM and a maximum 1TB SSD. Also, be prepared to pay a premium to stand out from the crowd. Dell tells us that the rose gold model starts at $1,179, so you can’t just choose the new shade alongside your configuration of choice.

Source: Dell

2
Sep

Dell’s latest Alienware laptops are VR ready


Dell has revealed a 13-, 15- and 17-inch lineup of thinner, VR-ready Alienware laptops that pack new designs and whiz-bang eye-tracking features. For gamers, the main attraction is support for the latest NVIDIA laptop cards. The big-screen Alienware 17 gets the top-end NVIDIA GTX 1080 chip, while the Alienware 15 and 13 get the GTX 1070 and 1060, respectively. That means that all three models will be “VR-ready” for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets.

The 17- and 15-inch models have been completely redesigned, with the hinge point pushed forward. That allowed Dell to put additional parts and cooling at the back, making for 25 percent slimmer devices. The chassis are built with anodized aluminum and magnesium allow, with steel reinforcing, making for better build quality and rigidity, Dell says.

As for what’s inside, there are sixth-generation Intel Core i7 CPUs (not the next-gen “Kaby Lake”) with the flagship 17-inch model getting an overclocked, “k-series” option, Dell says. The 15- and 17-inch models carry 1080p IPS screens with 120Hz refresh and G-sync support, plus 2667 MHz DDR4 RAM. The larger models have Dell’s “TactX” keyboards with 2.2mm of travel, RGB LED key lighting and simultaneous multi-key press support (up to 10 keys at once).

To be as tech-cool as possible, Dell added Windows Hello cameras to all models, letting you log in just by putting your face in front of the screen. It also added Tobii eye tracking tech that can do a few new tricks. They’ll disable the keyboard backlight when you look away from the screen, for instance, and even let you lock or unlock the device using your eyes. Much as with MSI’s laptops, it will “detect your gaze [and] allow you to record and export your gaze pattern as a coaching tool to help improve you gameplay.”

Dell hasn’t revealed the all-important pricing yet, but the 15- and 16-inch models arrive in the US on September 30th and hit the UK by October 4th. The 13-inch model will be available in both countries sometime in November.

Source: Dell

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