Desktop Computing

By June 8, 2014 Read More →

Viewsonic VSD241 Unboxing

vsd241_left_hires_2A quick look at Viewsonic’s All-in-one Android monitor, the VSD241 Smartscreen. This 24″ touch screen Android machine houses a NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad-Core 1.7GHz,1GB of DDR3 RAM, a criminal 8GB storage with 4GB available under it’s Wide Color TFT Transmissive LED at a resolution of 1920×1080. There is a built-in SD card port and 4 USB (2 full size, 1 mini & 1 micro) ports for connectivity.

Viewsonic VSD241 Key Features:

  • 24″ (23.8″ viewable) all-in-one smart display
  • Full HD 1920×1080 resolution with Dual Point Optical Touch technology
  • Features NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad core Processor
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean for PC-Less computing
  • Google GMS certified for access to thousands of Android applications
  • USB HID Compliant Dual Point Optical Touch for intuitive interaction
  • Integrated 2M pixel webcam for crystal clear video conferencing
  • Includes Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, and RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet
  • ViewSound premium audio system

 

By May 30, 2014 Read More →

ZOTAC unleash the most powerful graphics card

ZT-70901-10P_image1ZOTAC International, a global innovator and manufacturer of graphics cards, mainboards and mini-PCs, today unleashes the singlen most powerful graphics card ever made for gaming and professional computing – the ZOTAC GeForce GTX TITAN Z.

By combining the power of two flagship NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics processor onto a single graphics card, the ZOTAC GeForce GTX TITAN Z delivers the absolute best experience for high-quality 4K gaming and immense compute power for full-precision workloads.

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“The ZOTAC GeForce GTX TITAN Z enables the most demanding users to have the power of a supercomputer in a single graphics card. A ZOTAC GeForce GTX TITAN Z will handle everything extreme enthusiasts can possibly use it for, including stunning 4K gaming and computing complex mathematical calculations,” said Carsten Berger, Each NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics processor in the ZOTAC GeForce GTX TITAN Z packs 2,880 processing cores for a combined total of 5,760 cores. The dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics processors are paired with 6GB of GDDR5 video memory per GPU, or 12GB combined, to ensure smooth 4K gaming and plenty of headroom for NVIDIA Surround technology lets gamers embrace triple monitor gaming for a massive field of vision for unmatched immersion. Single-display gamers with NVIDIA G-SYNC ready displays can take advantage of the game-changing technology for unprecedented fluidity and smoothness.

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General details

  • New ZOTAC GeForce GTX TITAN Z graphics card
  • Dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPUs (GK110)
  • Engine clock: 705 MHz (base)
      • 876 MHz (boost)
  • 5,760 processor cores (2,880 per GPU)
  • 12GB GDDR5 memory (6GB per GPU)
  • Memory clock: 7000 MHz
  • 768-bit memory interface (384-bit per GPU)
  • PCI Express 3.0 interface
  • NVIDIA GPU Boost 2.0 technology
  • NVIDIA Surround capable
  • NVIDIA FXAA & TXAA technology
  • NVIDIA Adaptive Vertical Sync
  • NVIDIA SLI read
  • NVIDIA SHIELD gaming portable ready
  • NVIDIA NVENC video transcoding acceleration capable
  • DirectX 12 technology
  • OpenGL 4.4 compatible
  • Blu-ray 3D ready
  • Loss-less audio bitstream capable
  • ZOTAC Boost Premium software bundle
      • Nero Kwikmedia
      • XBMC
      • UNIGINE Heaven DX11 Benchmark
          • ZOTAC Splinter Cell Compilation game voucher (select SKUs)
      • Splinter Cell Double Agent
      • Splinter Cell Conviction
      • Splinter Cell Blacklist
Posted in: Desktop Computing, News
By May 22, 2014 Read More →

Viewsonic drop an All in One PC with Android

unnamedViewsonic is one of those companies who are not afraid to try something different. Whilst an all-in-one PC is hardly breaking news, how many are running Android? This combines a 24″ IPS display with Android Jelly bean inside some reliable Viewsonic hardware. One of this main targets of this machine is Amazon Workspaces, a shared virtual desktop that allows users a cloud based desktop experience across their devices.

 

ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of computing visual solution products, presents its VSD241 smart display as the ideal desktop device for Amazon Workspaces. With its powerful NVIDIA® Tegra processor and its professional grade 24-inch LED IPS panel and multi touch screen features, the ViewSonic® VSD241 is the complete package for education, health care and small/medium businesses looking for alternative desktop solutions for their virtual desktop environments.

Amazon WorkSpaces addresses the increasing demand from customers for a virtual cloud desktop service. Customers have been frustrated by the available options of traditional desktops that are hard to manage and keep secure, that are expensive and deliver inconsistent performance. Amazon WorkSpaces aims to address these issues by offering secure, easy-to-manage, high-performance desktops in the cloud at a fraction of the price of traditional PCs. Amazon WorkSpaces is a fully managed desktop computing service in the cloud which allows customers to easily provision cloud-based desktops that allow end-users to access the documents, applications and resources they need.

The VSD241 raises the bar of smart client performance and flexibility to provide an all-in-one solution. The 24” VSD241 is a self-contained Android Jelly Bean-based smart display which delivers an excellent user experience, courtesy of an NVIDIA® Tegra quad-core processor, making it perfect for local Android apps and cloud-based computing. Plenty of network connection options are integrated including integrated networking (RJ-45 Ethernet), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® support for easy connectivity in any environment. With Google® GMS certification, users can also experience a variety of multimedia applications for Android, from social networking to cloud services.  Because the VSD241 is a fully functional display, it can also be used as a traditional or secondary touch screen monitor for personal computing.

“With educational institutions, medical facilities, and corporations looking for ways to cut costs, but not wanting to sacrifice productivity, the VSD241 will increase efficiency in any VDI setting. Recognizing the changing way people compute, ViewSonic was first to introduce Android based smart display technology in 2012. Now we’re taking this innovation to the next level, giving our customers the best possible desktop experience for Amazon Workspaces.” said Stuart Frisby, Product Manager for Cloud Computing at ViewSonic Europe.

The VSD241 is available immediately in Europe for a MSRP of £399/€489 ex vat.

Posted in: Desktop Computing, News
By May 10, 2014 Read More →

LG Chromebase available in the UK

LG ChromebaseThe LG Chromebase is now available to pre-order in the UK.  Amazon lists the recommended retail price of the all-in-one Chrome OS PC as £279. It has an estimated dispatch time of 1-3 months. Two versions are on offer: a white version is currently listed at £269 while a black model can be bagged for a little less at £268.

The LG Chromebase is also based around a 21.5-inch IPS display, notably one without touch functionality, at a matching resolution of 1920×1080, and is powered by an Intel Celeron 2955U paired with 2GB RAM and a 16GB SSD.

By March 30, 2014 Read More →

The Armiga – part Android, part Commodore, all awesome

1820-armiga-project-prototypeThere is a new IndieGoGo campaign is hoping to provide Commodore enthusiasts with an authentic as possible experience to the original Amiga with an all-in-one enclosed package. Running on a Raspberry Pi is an Amiga emulator configured as an Amiga 500 with 1MB of RAM, equipped with an on-board 3.5″ floppy disk drive .

There have been a wave of machines that emulate various pieces of old hardware recently. From Bluetooth Spectrum 48k for an iPad to the Retron 5 taking all manner of cartridge based games. Whilst the argument that you are better off using the original hardware these newer alternatives appealingly offer HDMI outputs, a more reliable method of enjoying pixel perfect gameplay on modern displays.

The system features a dual booting setup. Equipped with the latest build of Android users will have tools at the ready to create disk images of original floppies. Emulation fans can look forward to screenshot functionality and the addition of save states too, while the techies amongst us can revel in the possibilities the ethernet port may bring.

The Armiga Project is hoping $140,000 in the next two months, with pledges of $139 securing one of the first systems.

Armiga Specification:

  • Powerful Dual Core ARM CPU.
  • 2 USB host: Joystick, mouse and keyboard support, as well as pendrives/hdds.
  • SD card slot: Save your ADFs or bring new ones!
  • Ethernet connection: Connect to your network for easy ADF management.
  • HDMI: Digital AV quality on the big screen!.

Features:

  • Full Amiga 500 emulation: The target machine is the iconic Amiga 500 and right now 90% of the disks are running!
  • Boot to Android: Armiga supports Dual Boot and comes loaded with Android 4.2.2, so when you’re not playing you can have all the power of Android!.
  • Automatic disk load: Like in the original Amiga; insert the disk and off you go!.
  • Disk dump: Create ADF images of your favorite games and keep them safe on the SD.
  • ADF support: Bring your own ADF images on a pendrive or SD card and enjoy!
  • Disk swap: Just insert the disk and it will be dumped. When time comes to change disks, just select the right ADF. Ain’t it easy?.
  • FTP server: No need to take the SD off to manage the ADFs; just do it from your computer!.
  • Graphical menu: Simple and elegant, with usability as main focus.
  • Game save: Save your game and resume later.
  • Autosave: Forgot to save?. We do it for you!
  • Screenshot: Wanna share your joy?. Give our screenshot feature a try.

By March 22, 2014 Read More →

Samsung Chromebook 2 arriving in May

Chromebook2-11-01-680x342Samsung has announced that customers in the UK will be able to buy the Chromebook 2 series from May 2014. Available in 11.6 and 13.3-inch versions, the 11.6-inch black device will be able to buy from selected retailers from 1 May, and the 11.6-inch white device and 13.6-inch devices from 12 May.

The new models offer faster performance, longer battery life and a slim, light build, all enhanced by a durable textured lid and elegant stitched design. The 13.3-inch model also features a Full HD (1920×1080) resolution screen, so whatever you are viewing, whether it be for work, teaching, learning, or entertainment, you can enjoy in crystal clear clarity.

The Samsung Chromebook 2 Series wakes up in less than one second and cold boots in less than ten. Samsung’s energy-efficient Exynos 5 Octa processors mean you can multitask and render graphics and videos quickly. Up to 8.5 hours of battery life in the 13.3-inch device means that you can enjoy the Chromebook 2 throughout a full work or school day – all on a single charge. The Google Chrome OS also regularly auto-updates, so you always have the most recent technology and security features without needing to think about updating your device.

Simon Stanford, Vice President of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland said: “Since we introduced our first Chromebook in 2011, Samsung has been committed to continually developing the design and features of the series to meet our customers’ ever-changing needs, while staying true to the core Chromebook attributes of simplicity, speed and security. The Chromebook 2 Series does just that, which is why we’re delighted to be bringing the devices to the UK market.”

Posted in: Desktop Computing, News
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By March 15, 2014 Read More →

Google Drive slashes prices

google-drop-priceMany have discussed what might happen the day your 100gb of free online storage runs out after purchasing a shiny Chromebook. Thankfully there is a nice answer. It looked like the end user was going to have to clear everything out and say “bye bye” and manage with 15gb or shell out some green to keep it.

Today Google announced some great news, lower the prices on all its paid subscriptions for Google Drive storage.

100GB of space now costs $1.99/m (down from $4.99/m); a gargantuan 1TB will now cost $9.99/m (down from $49/m) and if you’re really in need of cloud storage you can rent out 10TB+ for a monthly for starting from $99.99. The new pricing plans come into effect today. More details can be found at google.com/settings/storage. And if you already have a subscription Google say not to worry; anyone already signed up to a monthly plan will be automatically switched to the cheaper option, no input needed.

By March 11, 2014 Read More →

Asus Chromebox knock the ball out of the park, Stateside

61Q4AURMIvL._SL1500_It would seem the Asus Chromebox is a hit. Currently sitting at No. 1 on Amazon.com’s best seller list the Asus Chromebox makes a desktop companion of the ChromeOS similar to what the Chromebook has been doing for notebooks and laptops.  The Chromebox comes in three different flavours, the first featuring a 1.4 GHz Intel Celeron 2955U Processor with 2GB of Ram for $179, a Intel Core i3-4010U with 4GB of Ram for $409 and an Intel Core i7-4600U with 4GB of Ram for $590. Each unit also features a 16 GB SSD HDD, Intel HD graphics, Gigabit ethernet, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 2x USB 3.0 ports, 1x 3.5mm headphone / microphone port, 2-in-1 SD/MMC port and the ever evolving Google Chrome OS.

  • Amazon — $179 with free shipping, ships March 14th
  • Newegg — $179, ships March 14th
  • Tiger Direct — $179 with free shipping

The i3 and i5 variants do not appear to be as easy to track down however the reports are these ship on the same dates. At this price is it impossible not to at least be tempted by the box for $179, even just to plug into a TV or unused screen. No news of when this is to appear on the UK shores, right now Amazon.co.uk offer the Samsung Series 3 Chromebox running Intel 1.9GHz, 4GB RAM, 16GB SSD for £279. A nice alternative however likely to be superseded in the near future.

 

Posted in: Desktop Computing, News
By March 6, 2014 Read More →

How much would you pay for Firefox?

dell_uk_firefoxIf, purchasing a Dell machine here in the UK, you decide you wish to have Firefox included out of the box then you will have to pay an extra £16.25. Mozilla are investigating the charge Dell are enforcing for the option that is entirely voluntary when selecting machine specification. When questioned about the charge Dell responded with:

“Dell Configuration Services, including the application loading service, ensure customers have a complete, ready to use product when it arrives,” a Dell spokesperson told TNW. “In this particular situation, the customer would not be charged for the Mozilla Firefox software download, rather the fee would cover the time and labour involved for factory personnel to load a different image than is provided on the system’s standard configuration.”

Dell’s website in the US, and Canada do not include the option and it really seems like Dell is pushing the boundaries. Mozilla have kinda covered this under their Software Distributions policy, the document states:

If you are using the Mozilla Mark(s) for the unaltered binaries you are distributing, you may not charge for that product. By not charging, we mean the Mozilla product must be without cost and its distribution (whether by download or other media) may not be subject to a fee, or tied to subscribing to or purchasing a service, or the collection of personal information. If you want to sell the product, you may do so, but you must call that product by another name—one unrelated to Mozilla or any of the Mozilla Marks. Remember that we do not want the public to be confused.

Money well spent you think? 

 

By March 6, 2014 Read More →

The Asus Chromebox is shipping

801x600xasuschromeboxtop-1.jpg,q826d5f.pagespeed.ic.HAZJ0WMBKPOnline US tech retailer sabrepc.com is listing them in stock and ready for ordering. Shipping is 1-2 weeks in the US however they offer International shipping so YOU can have one, in a few weeks.

The Asus Chromebox specifications are listed as:

  • Model: CHROMEBOX-M004U
  • Type: ChromeBox
  • CPU: Intel Celeron 2955U
  • SSD: 16GB
  • RAM: 2GB DDR3-1600
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel HD 4400 Graphics
  • Connectivity: HDMI, DisplayPort, RJ45 LAN
  • Kensington Lock
  • 4x USB 3.0
  • 2-in-1 Card Reader
  • Wireless Dual Band 802.11 a/b/g/n with Bluetooth V4.0
  • Dimensions 4.9” x 4.9” x 1.67”
  • Form Factor: Small Form Factor
  • Operating System: Chrome OS

They are hardly likely to set the world alight however a little box like this with a small price tag might just be what some are looking for to plug into their TV or as a secondary desktop. If you have $179.99 handy, you can buy one now! The Intel i3 is listed by SabrePC at $369.99, that’s $30 less than the RRP.

Posted in: Desktop Computing, News
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