Deal sites predict Black Friday 2017 discounts on laptops, iPads, MacBooks

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With Black Friday now just a few weeks away, the websites that make their living off this time of year are predicting what shoppers might pay on November 24 for various items, including PCs and tablets.

If you’re looking for massive price drops for the cheapest laptops, you’ll be disappointed, as $99 Chromebooks continue to be the bottom for budget computers. There may be a low-spec Windows notebook or two offered as a doorbuster at a similar price, but Deal News thinks that most entry-level laptops (Intel Celeron processor, minimal amounts of RAM and storage) will be discounted to roughly $110.

The good news is that if you can spend a little more, you might get a lot more PC in return. That’s a change from previous years,…

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Why Intel built a neuromorphic chip

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Intel has made several acquisitions and revamped its roadmap for deep learning. The new portfolio extends from Knights Mill and Lake Crest (Nervana) for training neural networks to Xeons, Altera FPGAs and Movidius vision processors for running these models. (I wrote about several of these in a post last week.)

Now Intel has added another chip to the mix with the announcement of Loihi. This one, however, is a bit different. For starters, it isn’t part of the company’s AI Products Group, but rather Intel Labs, which spent about six years developing the test chip. In addition, Loihi has a completely different, “self-learning,” neuromorphic architecture with the potential to tackle a broader class of AI problems.

The concept of a computer that…

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AI processors go mobile

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At its iPhone X event last week, Apple devoted a lot of time to the A11 processor’s new neural engine that powers facial recognition and other features. The week before, at IFA in Berlin, Huawei announced its latest flagship processor, the Kirin 970, equipped with a Neural Processing Unit capable of processing images 20 times faster than the CPU alone.

The sudden interest in neural engines is driven by the rise of deep learning. These specialized processors are designed specifically to crunch the complex algorithms used in artificial neural networks faster and more efficiently than general-purpose CPUs.

This trend is already having a profound impact in the data center. Nvidia’s graphics processors for games have found a second life as…

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Tanoshi launches Kickstarter campaign for Android 2-in-1 laptop for kids

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Tanoshi’s child-friendly 2-in-1 Android laptop

With the market shifting from tablets to 2-in-1 devices over the last couple of years, it’s certainly not surprising that system makers targeting kids would test out adding kid-friendly hybrid laptops to their lineups. (Certainly the rise of Chromebooks in schools have helped fuel this shift.) The Kurio Smart started this trend a couple of years back with its Windows tablet with detachable keyboard, and now a startup hopes to crowdfund a convertible notebook running Android for children.

Silicon Valley-based Tanoshi has taken to Kickstarter to raise $50,000 for its 2-in-1, which would combine features for kids and parents alike. In addition to the requisite…

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Intel cuts cord on its current cord-cutting WiGig products

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The Dell Wireless Dock uses Intel’s WiGig technology.

It looks like you can add WiGig wireless docking to Intel’s dustbin (along with IoT products axed earlier this summer), as the company has discontinued existing products using the 802.11ad wireless standard, according to Anandtech.

WiGig was developed several years ago with faster speeds than then-current Wi-Fi standards, but because it relied on the 60GHz channel, its high throughput could only travel over short distances. As a result, it eventually became marketed as a feature for wireless laptop docking stations, and while it received some support from enterprise laptop manufactures like Dell and Lenovo, the technology didn’t make a big dent against standard wired laptop docks.

While…

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Dell updates Inspiron, XPS 13 laptops with Intel Kaby Lake processors

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Dell’s new Inspiron 7000 2-in-1 laptop

Dell is wasting no time in announcing that it’s updating some of its laptops with the latest Intel Core processors, which were launched last week. The 8th-generation Core CPUs, code-named “Kaby Lake,” currently entail a handful of quad-core i5 and i7 chips that Intel claims perform up to 40 percent faster than the previous generation.

In particular, Dell is refreshing its Inspiron lineup with the new processors, and is taking the opportunity to add to its Inspiron 7000 2-in-1 family. There will now be 13-inch and 15-inch models, with the smaller convertible available with optional PCIe NVMe SSD drives and the larger one with 4K display and Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics…

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HP launches Omen X gaming laptop designed for esports competitors

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HP Omen X gaming laptop

Omen is HP’s high-end gaming brand, and its latest laptop continues the tradition of pushing the boundaries on performance — this time for an emerging category of gamers.

The company has just announced the Omen X, a new notebook (and mobile companion to the Omen X desktop) that HP says is designed for esports athletes, gamers who compete in tournaments in one of the fastest-growing new entertainment segments. Like traditional athletes who have to rely on their gear to help maximize their performance, competitive gamers can’t afford any glitches that can impact a match. HP is an official partner of the Overwatch World Cup, a major esports tournament hosted by game developer Blizzard,…

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Acer's new Chromebook 11 C771 features Intel Skylake processors, $280 starting price

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Chromebooks’ domination of the school laptop space has been well-documented, and Acer looks to extend that advantage with its latest model, which it also hopes can make inroads with commercial users.

The Acer Chromebook 11 C771 is noteworthy for being the first 11.6-inch Chromebook that makes use of Intel’s Skylake sixth-generation Core processors. Of course, Intel is readying its 8th-generation CPUs for release later this month, but the Chromebook philosophy of less-is-more means the devices are usually behind the curve in terms of specs. Acer has a history of bringing such “new” components to the Chromebook market, all the way back to being the first manufacturer to put Intel’s Haswell chips into its…

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HP unveils two new Pavilion all-in-one PCs starting at $750

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HP’s revamped Pavilion all-in-one PC.

It’s been a bit quiet on the PC front of late, but expect things to heat up soon with back-to-school shopping on the horizon. HP jumps the gun a little with the launch of a pair of refreshed Pavilion all-in-one (AIO) desktops today.

While it’s not a complete overhaul, the new AIOs — the Pavilion 24 and Pavilion 27, with respective screen sizes of 23.8 and 27 inches — get a substantial makeover from previous models. For starters, the display bezel has been shaved down to as narrow as 8.5mm, which HP says is about 40 percent slimmer than past Pavilion AIOs. Audio is provided by B&O Play with a fabric cover over the speakers helping to deliver richer sound reproduction. The exterior also includes a…

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