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

acer-chromebook-11-c771-laptop-notebook-education-school-skylake.jpg

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…

Read Story

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

hp-pavilion-all-in-one-pc-desktop-intel-core-optane.jpg

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…

Read Story

Benchmarking utility shows AMD Ryzen rapidly stealing market share from Intel

amd-ryzen-cpu-processor-chip-desktop-gaming-pc.png

AMD’s launch of its Ryzen family of desktop PC processors has been hailed as a success.

What a difference a year makes when it comes to the fortunes of AMD, the only real rival to Intel in PC processors, but one that was increasingly falling behind the market leader, especially in the profitable and influential high-end segment. An afterthought to performance PC buyers in 2016, AMD is back in the game in 2017 with the release of its warmly received Ryzen chip family, which delivers much of the power of Intel’s Core CPUs at a noticeably lower cost.

In the few months since the first Ryzen processors have been released, we’ve witnessed a few signs that AMD has succeeded in not only blunting but also undoing…

Read Story

Alienware updates Area 51 gaming desktop with AMD Ryzen ThreadRipper, Intel Core X-Series processors

alienware-area-51-gaming-desktop-pc-intel-core-x-series-i9.jpg

Alienware Area-51 gaming PC

Alienware is embracing AMD’s latest attempt to compete with Intel in the gaming PC market, announcing at the E3 expo that it will be the first manufacturer to sell a pre-built system using the new Ryzen ThreadRipper processor.

Dell’s gaming arm will be refreshing its Area-51 desktop with the new 16-core CPU, but Intel won’t be completely shut out. The Area-51 will also be available with the latest Core X-Series chips when they are release later in the summer.

With its new Ryzen processor family, AMD hopes to reinvigorate its presence in the performance PC space, as it’s largely seceded it to Intel’s Core lineup. The firm’s first-quarter revenues were up due to demand for Ryzen, and…

Read Story

HP embraces VR with Omen X Compact Desktop, adds external graphics dock solution

hp-omen-x-compact-desktop-backpack-pc-virtual-reality-vr.jpg

HP Omen X Compact Desktop

With virtual reality set to explode, HP is making sure it’s positioned to reap the benefits from the need for hardware to power the VR revolution. Its latest announcements include a backpack PC that will finally be available to consumers, along with a new headset for developers to use to create the next generation of VR apps.

Last year, HP released the Omen X VR PC Pack, a PC that could be worn on your back as you navigate through virtual worlds. At the time, this Omen was only available for developers who needed to test out their software. But yesterday the company announced the Omen X Compact Desktop, an updated version of its original backpack PC that will now be available for…

Read Story

Computex 2017: Dell launches first Inspiron gaming desktop

dell-inspiron-gaming-desktop-pc-computex.png

Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop

PC gamers should be thrilled about the renewed interest that’s being given to performance desktops, as AMD’s Ryzen processors have been matched by Intel’s new Core i9 and Core-X CPUs. While the high end is always claiming the most attention, most gaming isn’t done by those who can afford $3,000 systems.

Dell is hoping to cater to gamers whose wallets contain a more modest pile of cash with its new Inspiron gaming desktop, launched this week at Computex. The computer giant has long had its XPS line of high-performance desktops, and has previously rolled out an Inspiron gaming laptop (not to mention its Alienware lineup of boutique PCs). But this is the first time it’s released a…

Read Story

​Computex 2017: AMD stakes its claim to the high ground

amd-computex-su.jpg

It’s already been a big year for AMD. By the time it arrived in Taiwan, the chipmaker had already released its first Ryzen processors, announced the Epyc server line, unveiled its first Vega graphics card and teased a 16-core desktop chip dubbed Threadripper.

Even with all these new products, AMD arguably doesn’t have the fastest CPU core or the fastest single GPU. But it has certainly come a long way and at its press conference the company made a solid case that the combination of its new processors and graphics–on platforms that deliver more memory bandwidth and I/O–can deliver the best overall system performance at a given price.

Despite the earlier announcements, AMD still managed to break some news at Computex. Perhaps the most…

Read Story

​Computex 2017: Always Connected PC sounds great, but we'll have to wait

New ARM processors for mobile devices tailored to AI and VR

In separate events at Computex, Qualcomm and Microsoft made a compelling case for a new class of thin, fanless laptops with broadband wireless, significantly longer battery life, and the full Windows 10 experience. And, as expected, the companies announced that several major OEMs, including Asus, HP, and Lenovo, will be delivering the first Always Connected PCs. The concept sounds great, but none of these were on display in Taiwan, and for now, the companies are offering no details on the devices.

Cellular laptops with an x86 processor and a separate modem — generally from Qualcomm — have been around for a decade. The Always Connected PC is different because it is based on a 10nm…

Read Story

Computex 2017: Intel rediscovers the desktop

Intel Computex Gregory Bryant

In recent years Intel has used Computex to try to shake up the laptop market. The chipmaker announced the Ultrabook and later coined the term 2-in-1 here in Taiwan, and more recently it has been pushing concepts such as true wireless computing.

Not all of these initiatives have worked but Intel and its partners have certainly succeeded in making laptops notably thinner, lighter and more attractive (some of these were on display during today’s opening keynote). This hasn’t been enough, however, to reverse the long slide in the overall PC market.

One rare bright spot has been the high-end systems for gaming, virtual reality and content creation. Intel says sales of its unlocked desktop processors have been growing 20 percent year-on-year. So…

Read Story