PCs - PC Components

The MagicStick PC-on-a-Stick

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The MagicStick PC-on-a-Stick

The MagicStick claims to be the "most powerful PC stick" around, being an Intel Cherry Trail-based Windows 10 machine inside the diminutive HDMI dongle format.

The device carries a quad-core Z8500 or Z8700 processor running at 2.2GHz or 2.4GHz, with integrated GPUs featuring 12 or 16 cores respectively. Also included are 2, 4 or 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 32, 64 or 128GB of flash storage. Such specs, the makers say, allow the MagicStick to boot up in all of 4-6 seconds, as well as handle the playback and streaming of 4K/UHD resolution content.

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The Kangaroo Smartphone-Size Win 10 PC

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The Kangaroo Smartphone-Size Win 10 PC

InFocus presents a portable desktop PC claiming to be the smallest in the world-- the Kangaroo, Windows 10 machine packed in a device the size of a smartphone.

The Kangaroo carries a 2.24GHz Intel Cherrytrail (Atom Z8500) SoC, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage (expandable to 128GB via microSD card slot) and an onboard battery, making it able to handle light PC-style use and media playback. It measures 124 x 80.5 x 12.9mm, weighs 200g and connects to displays via HDMI, while Bluetooth 4.0 handles the addition of peripherals. Wifi takes care of the internet.

Further connectivity comes through the Kangaroo Dock, an removable accessory adding x1 HDMI port, x2 USB ports and a DC power port. The maker adds users can even pair it to an iPad via free OS Link iOS app for the ultimate in portable desktop setups.

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Intel Sells Complete Braswell NUC

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Intel Sells Complete Braswell NUC

Intel starts selling a complete (rather barebones) NUC mini PC-- the NUC5PGYH, a machine the company describes as a "tiny but mighty package" complete with quad-core "Braswell" processor.

Previously customers had to source components such as RAM, storage and OS to get an Intel NUC unit up and running. Not with the NUC5PGYH, since it ships with a 2.4GHz Pentium processor, 2GB DDR3 RAM, 32GB storage (with room for another SSD or HDD) and Windows 10 as pre-loaded OS. A "low acoustics" fan keeps the CPU cool, while audio comes through 8-channel output via HDMI or optical cable, as well as regular headphone jack.

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Acer Adds to Windows 10 PCs

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Acer Adds to Windows 10 PCs

Acer presents a pair of different takes on the Windows 10-powered PC-- the Aspire Z3-700 portable All-in-One (AiO) PC with a built-in battery and the Aspire R 14 hybrid notebook offering 4 usage modes.

The Z3-700 has a built-in battery allowing for up to 5 hours of use as an oversized tablet on a single charge. It features a 17.3-inch 1920x1080 resolution touchscreen, is 15.6mm thin and weighs 2kg, with 2 kickstands allowing it to either stand or lay flat. Powering the device are Intel Pentium or Celeron CPUs, up to 8GB RAM and either SSD or HDD storage.

Also included is a stylus for more precise control.

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Acer Goes Modular With Revo Build

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Acer Goes Modular With Revo Build

Acer introduces the desktop PC to the modular concept seen in Google's Project Ara at IFA 2015 with the Revo Build M1-601, a NUC-style Windows 10 PC users can upgrade through stackable blocks.

The Revo Build build is compact, occuping a desk area of just 125mm square. It is powered by low-power Intel Pentium or Celeron processors and 8GB RAM, with blocks initially adding a 500GB HDD, 1TB HDD, wireless charging dock, speaker unit, GPU, projector and microphone. More blocks should follow "gradually" post-launch.

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Apple, USB Type-C Driver

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Apple, USB Type-C Driver

Taiwanese integrated circuit vendors, including ASMedia Technology, Etron technology and VIA Labs are preparing for widespread adoption of USB 3.1 Type-C solutions in notebooks and smartphones, DigiTimes reports.

Such adoption mainly stems from one company-- Apple, specifically through the inclusion of a USB Type-C port in the latest MacBook series. The supposed upcoming "enterprise iPad" is also said to feature a USB Type-C port.

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Asus Takes on Micro PCs with Pen Stick

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Asus Takes on Micro PCs with Pen Stick

Asus reveals a micro PC-on-a-stick at Computex 2015-- the Pen Stick, a compact Windows 10 device featuring a Cherry Trail CPU, 2GB RAM and 32GB of storage.

Similar in size and shape to an oversized USB flash drive, the Pen Stick connects to displays via HDMI connector. It features two USB 2.0 ports, micro USB 2.0 port (handles power duties), microSD reader, combo audio jack and wireless connectivity via 802.11b/g/n wifi and Bluetooth 4.0.

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Intel Intros Quad-Core Broadwells

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Intel Intros Quad-Core Broadwells

Intel uses Computex 2015 to announce the delayed 5th generation of quad-core Broadwell processors for notebook and desktop computer use, all promising power consumption and performance improvements.

The processors also feature boosted integrated graphics via Iris Pro Graphics 6200-- the most powerful client processor graphics and media engine from the company yet. It features a 65W thermal design point (TDP) making it ideal for a broad range of PC form factors, including mini PCs and desktop All-in-Ones (AIOs).

The quad-core Broadwell lineup features 5 desktop and 5 notebook CPUs, as spread across the Core i5 and i7 chip families. The desktop chips are split into two families (the R-series BGA CPUs and the C-series socketed chips), while the notebook chips include 3 quad-core, 8-threaded CPUs featuring the aforementioned Iris Pro 6200 GPU.

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The $9 Microcomputer

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The $9 Microcomputer

A company called Next Thing presents what it claims is the first computer costing all of $9-- the CHIP, a bare-bones microcomputer similar to the popular Raspberry Pi, if with an even smaller (60x40mm) form factor.

The CHIP features decent enough specs for such a tiny device, with a 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM and 4GB storage. It also carries wifi and Bluetooth radios, micro USB port, composite video-out (can be turned into a VGA or HDMI port via optional adapters) and integrated battery power circuit, all within open source hardware.

On the software side it runs on Linux, and the makers say it can handle apps such as LibreOffice, surf the internet, check email and play games. It also includes Scratch, an easy to learn programming language.

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The PC in a Mouse-Box

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The PC in a Mouse-Box

We have seen various PCs in in miniature and sometimes unusual forms, but the Polish team behind the Mouse-Box might have beat them all by squeezing all the necessary PC components into a mouse-chassis.

Touted as the ultimate combination of micro-PC and input device, the Mouse-Box runs on a 1.4GHz quad-core ARM processor and connects to displays via either micro HDMI port or "wireless image transfer module" compatible with any monitor armed with HDMI/VGA/DVI ports. It also includes 128GB built-in storage, wifi connectivity, a pair of USB ports and wireless charging via inductive charging mouse pad.

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Intel Intros Compute Stick at CES

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Intel Intros Compute Stick at CES

Intel quietly announces its take on the micro PC concept at CES 2015-- the Compute Stick, a Google Chromecast-size device one can plug in any HDTV or monitor running on either Windows 8.1 or Linux.

Described as a "new generation compute-on-a-stick device," the Compute Stick carries a quad-core Atom CPU, 32GB storage, 2GB RAM, USB port and microSD slot (the lower-cost Linux version features 8GB storage and 1GB RAM). Connectivity comes through wifi and Bluetooth 4.0.

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