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Posts tagged ‘Dell’


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.


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


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


The best tech for college freshmen

Starting college is expensive. In addition to, you know, the tuition, you and the parentals will probably be making a large shopping trip to buy all manner of sweaters, snacks and extra-long twin sheets to round out your dorm room. And that’s not counting all the gear you’ll need to actually get work done. In addition to a few laptop recommendations (the XPS 13 is our reigning favorite), we have suggestions on things like cloud storage, backpacks and peripherals like travel mice and backup batteries. Check out the gallery below for all our first-year picks (think of it as a college starter kit), and be sure to read the rest of Engadget’s back-to-school guide here.

Source: Engadget’s 2016 Back-to-School Guide


Wirecutter’s best deals: Save $250 on an LG OLED TV

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

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.


Street Price: $1,450; MSRP: $2,000; Deal Price: $1,200

This matches a recent deal we saw on this TV that expired shortly after it went live, which is still the best price we’ve seen on this TV. Make sure you’re registered for Ebay Bucks to get an additional 2% back.

The LG 55EG9100 is our previous upgrade pick in our best TV guide. Chris Heinonen said, “It’s the most affordable OLED display available, and it has a few strikes against it: it’s only 1080p, it’s curved, it’s only 55 inches, and it costs 50 percent more than our main pick. However, it offers perfect, pure blacks and thus produces images with contrast ratios other TVs cannot approach.”

He added, “Objects in motion look clearer, and viewing angles (how good the image looks when you’re not directly in front of the TV) are better than either the Vizio or the Samsung. The 55EG9100 won’t work as well in a brightly lit room as an LCD, but it offers far and away the best image of anything we looked at.”

Dell UltraSharp U3415W 34-inch monitor

Dell U3415W

Street Price: $725; MSRP: $1,200; Deal Price: $650

It’s been a long time since we’ve posted a deal on this monitor, great sales have been slow to pop up. This particular deal comes in $25 below the best price we’ve seen to date, and should also be eligible for 2% back in Ebay Bucks.

The Dell UltraSharp U3415W monitor is a larger monitor we like in our best 27-inch monitor guide. David Murphy wrote, “It’s a bit more expensive than our upgrade pick when it’s on sale ($900, when we researched it; $1,200 normally) and doesn’t have a Thunderbolt port, but it’s just about as accurate for colors, has more USB 3.0 ports, and uses HDMI 2.0 instead of HDMI 1.4. It’s also more adjustable than our upgrade pick—worth a little extra money if that matters to you, but not a ton.”

DJI Phantom 3 Professional Quadcopter with Additional Battery

DJI Phantom 3

Street Price: $1,100; MSRP: $1,400; Deal Price: $1,000

This sale matches the previous low that we saw a few months back, though it’s been consistently in the $1,100 range since then. While the drone itself is available for $900, that’s been going in and out of stock since that price went live, and paying $100 extra for an additional battery, one of the most useful Phantom 3 accessories, is worth it for most people.

The DJI Phantom 3 Professional is our top pick in the Best Drones guide. Mike Perlman wrote, “Our top pick combines easy flying, long range, great image quality, three-axis stabilization, and great fail-safe features. In addition to being easy to fly, the Phantom 3 Professional offers a 4K-capable camera with a low-distortion, wide-angle lens, an upgraded three-axis gimbal for effective image stabilization, and a standout wireless range that gives you the ability to see both real-time flight stats and a first-person view of what you’re shooting from up to 3.1 miles away, using a smartphone mounted to your radio controller. It also has preprogrammed flight controls with modes tailored to both beginners and advanced pilots, good battery life (23 minutes rated; 16 to 18 minutes of actual flight time while shooting in our testing), the ability to fly autonomously via Follow Me and Waypoints settings, and a fail-safe setting that prompts the drone to return to its launch site or current pilot location automatically if it loses connection with the radio transmitter.”

On the Phantom 3 Professional’s range, “The Phantom 3 Professional also has nearly 10 times the range of the Phantom 2 Vision+, nearly 3.1 miles. We were shocked at how far away we could fly the Phantom 3 Professional, watching it fly off from the Maine coast over a mile until it dwindled to a tiny speck far above the ocean (current FAA rulings demand that you keep your drone in sight). In our testing, the Phantom 2’s range would extend only to around 1,500 to 1,800 feet, depending on obstacles in the path of the Wi-Fi transmission and whatever local radio interference was present.”

Logitech K380 Bluetooth Keyboard

Street Price: $35; MSRP: $40; Deal Price: $20

The best price we’ve seen to date on this keyboard, and part of a 3 day Best Buy sale that went live today. While we’ve seen it for $22 at Amazon for a few weeks, it’s been going in and out of stock, and this price beats that one. Oddly enough, only the blue model ever gets discounted this much, the other models are consistently in the $32 to $40 range.

The Logitech K380 Bluetooth Keyboard is our pick for the best Bluetooth keyboard. Kimber Streams wrote, “The Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth keyboard has the best balance of comfort, features, and price.”

She went into some detail about the features, “Our pick can pair with up to three devices and switch between them with the press of a button, a useful feature that few Bluetooth keyboards have. The K380 is comfortable and responsive; it’s also solid enough for desktop or lap use, while being small and light enough to slip in a bag and use on the go. Logitech says our pick has up to two years of battery life with heavy use (defined as eight hours a day, five days a week), though the keyboard hasn’t existed long enough for us to test this claim. The K380’s unusual, round keys can take some getting used to, and the keyboard lacks backlit keys and the operating system-specific layouts you’ll find on our upgrade picks, but those amenities aren’t available in other keyboards in this price category either.”

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


Introducing Engadget’s 2016 back-to-school guide!

Oh yes, it’s already that time of year. Temperature are still sitting in the triple digits in some places, but many of you are just four weeks away from a new school year, heralding the end of summer. Once again, Engadget has put together a back-to-school gear guide, but this time, we did something a little different.

This year’s guide was curated with college students in mind (sorry, high schoolers), with sections for five broad archetypes: party kids, academics, jocks, freshmen and study abroad students. (What’s that you say? You’re a scholar-athlete and you’re spending the semester in Madrid? Have we got picks for you!) As always too, we endeavored to recommend things across different price points, with a few free options, some more aspirational objects and lots of stuff in between. Check out the whole guide here, and stay tuned throughout the month as we spotlight different picks for different students.

Source: Engadget’s 2016 Back-to-School Guide


Wirecutter’s best deals: Save $80 on a Dell Inspiron 11 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 at

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.


Street price: $350; MSRP: $450; deal price: $330 with code QNAPSAVE99

We rarely see sales on this particular NAS, and this is the best price to date. You’ll have to use the code QNAPSAVE99 to drop $20 off of the $350 price, bringing it down to $330.

The QNAP Turbo NAS TS-451 is our more bays pick for the best NAS. Samara Lynn wrote, “A two-bay NAS is the best option for most people, but if you need more capacity or data protection, get the QNAP TS-451. It has the same CPU and RAM specs as the TS-251, but with two more drive bays.”

Writing about the two-bay model, she said, “The TS-251 has remote access that’s easy to configure, plus mobile apps for media streaming and the most third-party apps of any NAS we tested. You can use the TS-251 as a media streamer, a home backup device, a mail server, a website hosting device, a BitTorrent box, a video surveillance recorder, a Plex Media Server—nearly anything you can do with a Linux computer. It even has an HDMI port so you can connect it directly to your home theater setup.”

Imprint CumulusPro Standing Desk Mat

Street price: $80; MSRP: $100; deal price: $62

This is the best price we’ve seen on the CumulusPro and a great deal on a mat that makes a huge difference if you’ve got a standing desk. This sale beats the last previous low from May by a few extra bucks, but that sale expired within a few days, so it’s unlikely that this deal will stick around for long. This deal is only available in the color brown.

The Imprint CumulusPro Standing Desk Anti-Fatigue Mat is our top pick in the Best Standing Desk Mat guide. Nathan Edwards wrote, “If you plan to spend more than a few hours every day working at a standing desk, you should get the Imprint CumulusPro. It’s the firmest of the mats we’ve tested, but it provides the best support, won’t curl up at the edges, is easy to clean, doesn’t have a chemical-laden stink, is environmentally friendly, and has a 10-year warranty. Imprint says it’s 100 percent polyurethane with one-piece construction, so there’s no risk of it coming apart.”

On how the mat stands up over time, we added a long-term testing update: “The Imprint CumulusPro has held up well in the more than six months since I originally picked it as our winner. It hasn’t worn out or started curling up around the edges. I did go a month or so without standing at all at my desk, but I’ve been using the mat daily again recently and it’s treating me well.”

Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum Gaming Mouse

Street price: $75; MSRP: $80; deal price: $60

This matches a recent sale we saw on the G502, which at the time, was the first time we’d seen it drop this low. It’s rare to see more than a $5 drop under street price on this mouse, so it’s a great time to pick it up.

The Logitech G502 is our more buttons pick for the best gaming mouse. David Murphy said, “The Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum is a great alternative if you need a mouse with a lot of buttons. It has twice as many as the DeathAdder Chroma, and you can customize them to perform all sorts of actions using Logitech’s Gaming Software”

For some more detail about those extra buttons, “The extra buttons on this Logitech mouse are unobtrusive if you don’t use them and easy to access if you do. Two extra buttons sit to the left of the left-click button, two reside above the thumb, two buttons sit on top of the mouse (though one can only switch the click wheel from audible steps to silent free-spinning), and the click wheel allows nudging left or right to trigger actions. The mouse also offers a button in front of the thumb, which you can hold down to quickly toggle a specific sensitivity setting (or reassign).”

Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop

Street price: $530; MSRP: $600; deal price: $450

This is a worthwhile deal on this hybrid tablet/laptop, and is pretty close to the best price we’ve seen. This laptop was on sale at the beginning of July for the same price, but the sale expired within a couple days, so if you missed it then, this is a great time to pick it up.

The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop is our versatility pick in the Best Laptops for Every Need guide. Wirecutter Staff wrote, “The Dell Inspiron 11 3000 has most of the right features for a small, $600 convertible laptop, including an Intel Core i3-6100U Skylake processor, an 11.6-inch screen (running at a resolution of 1366×768 pixels), and barely any bloatware. Though we wish it had more than 4 GB of RAM, the version we recommend comes with a 128GB solid-state drive that makes it feel fast and responsive.”

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’s best deals: Save over $450 on a Dell XPS 13 Touch 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 at

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.

Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker

Street price: $100; MSRP: $100; deal price: $75

Here’s a great drop on an item we rarely see on sale. This is only the second sale we’ve seen, with the first being around a week ago for $82.

The Nespresso Inissia is our fully automatic pick for the best espresso maker. Cale Guthrie Weissman said, “If you want a decent espresso drink at home, but don’t have the time or patience to practice and learn the ins and outs of making espresso, try Nespresso. Machines start at just over $100 and you can pay more for features like faster preheating, and built-in milk frothing—but they all share the same brewing mechanism and produce the same decent-tasting coffee.”

In terms of the value, “The coffee pods themselves cost about 70¢ a shot (it works out to about $50/pound), which isn’t bad for a consistently decent espresso (with crema!) that tastes as good (or better than) Starbucks, yet requires almost no effort on your part.”

Dell XPS 13 Touch 256GB Laptop

Street price: $1,400; MSRP: $1,400; deal price: $920

This is the best price we’ve seen on the Dell XPS 13 Touch, $80 below the previous low, which we haven’t seen since February. We’ve noticed that the Touch model of the XPS 13 sometimes has huge discounts, while the non-Touch version rarely goes on sale at all. This deal is almost a full $500 below the usual price, and almost $200 under the non-Touch version with these specs. You take a hit on battery life, but you do get a higher-res touchscreen.

The Dell XPS 13 Touch 256GB Laptop is our upgrade pick for the best Windows ultrabook. Kimber Streams wrote, “If you need an ultra-high-resolution touchscreen, don’t mind the extra cost, and can live with a few hours less battery life, you should get the touchscreen configuration of the Dell XPS 13.”

Refurbished Samsung Galaxy S7 Verizon Smartphone

Street price: $680 (new); MSRP: $680 (new); deal price: $430

We haven’t seen many decent deals on the S7, with most of the price drops being on import models without a warranty or questionable open-box sales. This $430 refurbished deal comes with a 90-day warranty through Best Buy, and their return policies tend to be fairly liberal if you run into any issues. Keep in mind, this is a Verizon model.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 is our pick for the best Android phone. Ryan Whitwam said, “The Samsung Galaxy S7 has the best screen and camera of any Android phone we’ve tested. It includes a larger battery and a microSD card slot (which last year’s Galaxy lacked), but the UI remains somewhat cluttered.”

Vornado VH10 Heater

Street price: $80; MSRP: $80; deal price: $24

This is the best price we’ve seen on this space heater to date. The price has continued to fall steadily since mid-June but the incremental drops have started to taper off, and we can’t imagine the price getting significantly lower than where it is now. So if you know you’re going to be needing a space heater in a few months when it starts getting chilly, buy it now while it’s cheap.

The Vornado VH10 Heater is our runner-up pick for small rooms Space Heater. Seamus Bellamy wrote, “The Vornado VH10 was the fastest heater we tested this year, raising the temperature of our test area higher than any other heater could manage in the same amount of time.”

In terms of heating capabilities and features, the VH10 has, “blisteringly-fast heating capabilities, eight different temperature levels, quieter operation than our main pick, and a casing that stays surprisingly cool to the touch (considering how much heat it generates). Plus, it comes with a five-year warranty—that’s two years longer than the coverage on our main pick.”

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


PC shipments recover in the US

It’s not all doom and gloom in the PC world… for once. Both Gartner and IDC estimate that PC shipments actually grew in the US for the first time in over a year, climbing in the second quarter to either 4.9 percent according to Gartner (which includes Windows tablets) or 1.4 percent if you ask IDC (which doesn’t). There’s no one answer as to why the computer industry is bouncing back, regardless of who you ask. A stronger US economy is playing a part, but the analyst groups also point to strong Chromebook sales to schools as well as a possible spike in purchases from governments and other public outfits.

Just don’t look at shipments in the rest of the world, as they’re rather ugly. Both Gartner and IDC reckon that worldwide deliveries dropped between 4.5 to 5.2 percent. That’s not as bad as it could have been (IDC was predicting a 7.4-point drop), but you’ll have to forget any visions of an imminent return to the PC’s heyday. Economies are still weak outside of the US, and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are still a higher priority for cash-strapped buyers. Lenovo may have extra reason to worry — its shipments shrank enough that it’s barely holding its market share lead over HP.

On the bright side? While researchers are cautious, they do see ways the industry could climb out of its hole. As upgrading to Windows 10 will soon cost you $119, there’s the chance that people will decide to replace their PCs rather than fork over cash to update existing machines. You could also see the corporate crowd take a serious look at buying Windows 10 computers instead of clinging to aging systems for dear life. Although that amounts to a lot of “ifs” and “maybes” that could easily change, it’s the best hope yet for a PC business that has been declining for years.

Gartner's worldwide PC market share estimate for Q2 2016

Gartner's US PC market share estimate for Q2 2016

Source: Gartner, IDC


Dell discontinues its Android tablets in favor of Windows 2-in-1s

Another Android tablet maker bites the dust. Dell has decided to end distribution of its Android tabs and will instead focus on Windows 2-in-1 devices. This means several things: One, the company will no longer offer its Venue brand of Android tablets or the Android-based Wyse Cloud Connect, which can be used to turn displays into viable PCs. The reason isn’t so complicated, either. Dell simply believes that the slate-style tablet market has become oversaturated. Customers aren’t demanding these types of products as often, which lead to this decision. What is in demand, Dell notes, is the 2-in-1 computer line.

“We are seeing 2-in-1s rising in popularity since they provide a more optimal blend of PC capabilities with tablet mobility,” a Dell spokesperson explained in an email to PC World. It’s definitely a business decision that makes sense, but it may frustrate those who have already invested in Dell’s Android products, as the company will no longer be offering OS upgrades to its Venue tablets.

“For customers who own Android-based Venue products, Dell will continue to support currently active warranty and service contracts until they expire, but we will not be pushing out future OS upgrades,” Dell explained. While it’s easy to understand why Dell is moving away from its tablet line in the first place, this is an important point to keep in mind if you might be deciding on a new tablet in the future to sate that Android habit.

Via: PCWorld

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