PCs - PC Components

Tim Cook: "Stay Tuned" for Mac Refresh

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Tim Cook:

The latest Apple event focused solely on the iPhone and Watch, leading to worries the company forgot about the Mac. However Tim Cook says this is not the case, in an email telling a MacRumors reader to "stay tuned" for future updates.

"I love the Mac and we are very committed to it," the email to an anonymous MacRumours reader states. Of course, one can't fully confirm the authenticity of the email, but the headers suggest it originates from Apple corporate servers. As for the author, while Apple execs sometimes answer correspondence personally, it might also have come from the company's executive relations or PR teams.

In any case, Apple traditionally holds a separate Mac-focused event after holding iPhone ceremonies-- last year had it reveal the 4K 21.5-inch iMac on 13 October, little more than a month after the 9 September event. As such, one can safely expect the company to do something similar, particularly since the Mac lineup is in need of an update.

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HP Presents More Novel PCs

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HP Presents More Novel PCs

HP appears to be all about unusual PC form factors-- the Pavilion Wave is a mini PC built around a 360-degree speaker, while the Elite Slice features a modular compact design.

The Pavilion Wave looks less like a PC and more like a piece of audio gear. It features a triangular, fabric-coated chassis and an integrated speaker complete with a parabolic reflector the company says provides "superior" 360-degree audio for one's music and movies. Web chats are also catered for, since the PC carries dual-microphones.

Technical specifications include support for up to quad-core desktop CPUs, 2TB HDD, 128GB SSD, 16GB DDR4 RAM and an optional Radeon R9 M470 GPU. Connectivity comes through wifi, x3 USB, x1 HDMI, x1 DisplayPort (allowing it to push video to two 4K displays) and ethernet ports.

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Easy Port Access With MSI VR Boost Kit

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Easy Port Access With MSI VR Boost Kit

Connecting VR headset cables to the back of desktop PCs can be "a bit of a hassle," MSI says-- thus the need for the Boost Kit, a means to easily add more HDMI and USB connectors.

The kit consists of a 5.25-inch drive bay device featuring x1 HDMI 2.4 and x2 USB 3.0 ports. It requires a spare 5.25-inch front panel bay and comes complete with a "stylish expansion slot bracket" for the neat guiding of the HDMI cable from the back of the graphics card through the PC. Oh, and a motherboard with USB 3.0 support. Obviously.

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The PC Inside a Keyboard

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The PC Inside a Keyboard

Chinese OEM Pipo presents a pair of interesting takes on the Windows 10 mini PC-- the KB1, a computer inside a keyboard, and the KB2, a smaller, more unique computer inside a folding keyboard.

The non-foldable KB1 comes in 2 versions, both featuring an Intel x5-Z8300 Cherry Trail processor and a choice of 2 or 4GB RAM and 32 or 64GB of internal storage. It is the size of a standard keyboard and even features a touchpad to handle mouse-related duties.

Ports include x1 VGA, x1 HDMI, x2 USB and x1 ethernet, together with a microSD slot and audio jacks. It also features stereo speakers, 802.11ac wifi and a 6000mAh battery.

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Asus Adds to VivoMini Mini-PCs

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Asus Adds to VivoMini Mini-PCs

Asus adds to the VivoMini mini-PC series with the VM65N and VM65, both ideal for daily computing or HTPC applications through Intel Core Skylake processors, DDR4 RAM, discrete Nvidia graphics and SonicMaster-enhanced audio.

The VM65N is the higher-specification option. It features Nvidia GeForceM Optimus graphics and 4K/UHD display support, allowing users to enjoy high resolution video and games. The graphics card also promises a performance boost of up to 56% over PCs with integrated graphics, making the VM65N ideal for photo or video editing.

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Oculus Rift Demands Better Macs

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Oculus Rift Demands Better Macs

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey bluntly explains why the company's Rift headset is not compatible with Mac OS-- Apple needs to release a "good computer" able to handle the demands of virtual reality first.

Speaking to ShackNews at an Xbox event, Luckey minces no words. He saysd "it just boils down to the fact that Apple just doesn't prioritise high-end GPUs. You can buy a $6000 Mac Pro with the top-of-the-line AMD Fire Pro D700s, and it still doesn't match our recommended specs... [R]ight now, there’s just not a single machine out there that supports it.”

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Raspberry Pi Reaches 3rd Generation

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Raspberry Pi Reaches 3rd Generation

The Raspberry Pi Foundation celebrates the 4th version of the popular micro-PC with the launch of a 3rd generation-- the Raspberry Pi 3, featuring a 64-bit processor and embedded wifi and Bluetooth.

Previous Raspberry Pi models demand USB adapters for wireless connectivity. The Raspberry Pi 3 eliminates the need for such adapters (and frees up a USB port) through baked-in 802.11n wifi and Bluetooth 4.0 support.

In addition the processor gets an upgrade through the Broadcom BCM2837, an SoC featuring a 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU promising a 10x performance boost over the original Raspberry Pi. Graphics also get a boost through a 400MHz VideoCore IV able to support 1080p video at 60fps.

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InFocus Upgrades Kangaroo Mini-PC

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InFocus Upgrades Kangaroo Mini-PC

InFocus announces an update on the Kangaroo portable mini-PC-- the Kangaroo Plus, a version offering double the storage (64GB) and memory (4GB) of the original model.

The smartphone-size retains the Intel Cherrytrail (Z8500) CPU, removable Dock accessory adding x1 HDMI and x2 USB ports and battery claiming up to 4 hours of use on a single charge. The update also features a fingerprint reader for further security.

As for software, while the original Kangaroo came with Windows 10 as standard the Kangaroo Plus allows users to install any OS, be it Windows, Linux or any other option.

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Intel Updates Compute Sticks

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Intel Updates Compute Sticks

Intel announces the second generation of Compute Stick PCs-on-a-Stick at CES 2016-- one featuring more powerful Atom and Skylake Core m3- and m5-based processors.

The new Compute Sticks are slightly larger in size than the first generation, and are available with either Core m5-6Y57 vPro or m3-6Y30 processors together with 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC storage. Further improvements include faster 802.11ac wifi with 2x2 antenna arrays, Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity and x3 USB 3.0 ports. In addition the m3-6Y30 version gets a variant with Windows 10 pre-installed.

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Acer Boosts Chrome OS at CES With Chromebook, AIO

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Acer Boosts Chrome OS at CES With Chromebook, AIO

Acer continues working on Chrome OS hardware as it reveals the Chromebook CB3-131 (an update on the Chromebook CB3-111) and the Chromebase 24 AIO PC.

The CB3-131 features an 11.6-inch 1366x768 resolution display, an unspecified quad-core Intel Celeron CPU (possibly the Braswell-based N3150), 2/4GB RAM and 16/32GB storage. Further details include 802.11ac wifi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0 port, USB 3.0 port, full-size HDMI and an SD card reader.

Acer says the battery offers up to 9 hours of use on a single charge, and the Chromebook is clad in a "nano-imprinted pattern" for a more premium look and increased durability.

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A Raspberry Pi Worth £5

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A Raspberry Pi Worth £5

Customers thinking about holiday season stocking filler should be interested in the Raspberry Pi Zero-- a new version of the popular micro-computer with a price tag of just £5.

The Pi Zero might be low cost, but the Raspberry Pi Foundation says it is still a "full-fledged" device. It features a Broadcom BCM2835 application processor with a 1GHz ARM11 core (making it 40% faster than the original Raspberry Pi), 512MB LPDDR2 SDRAM, microSD card slot, mini-HDMI socket, unpopulated 40-pin GPIO header and unpopulated composite video header, all within a board measuring 65 x 30 x 5mm.

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