PCs - PC Components

Asus Intros VivoMini Mini PCs

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Asus Intros VivoMini Mini PCs

Asus launches 2 additions to the VivoMini mini PC range-- the VivoMini UN62 and UN42, both packing 4th generation Intel Core processors and UK/UHD resolution output within cases measuring 131 x 131 x 42mm.

Processor options include Intel Core i5, i3 and Celeron, with power consumptions Asus claim total as little as 6.95W at idle mode. Noise levels are also low, reaching 26.3dB ("quieter than a library", apparently) even at full load.

Connectivity comes via 4 USB 3.0 ports, Bluetooth and wifi. DisplayPort and HDMI ports allows the support for up to 3 displays, and the UN62 also handles 4K/UHD resolution video output via Intel HD 4400 graphics.

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Raspberry Pi Gets Major Upgrade

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Raspberry Pi Gets Major Upgrade

The Raspberry Pi Foundation announces an upgrade to the low-cost credit card-sized micro PC-- the Raspberry Pi Model B+, featuring a 40-pin general-purpose input/output (GPIO) allowing for further expansion.

The first Raspberry Pi features a 26-pin GPIO. The first 26 pins on the Model B+ are identical to the original, allowing for backwards compatibility.

Further enhancements on the Model B+ include 4 USB 2.0 ports (the original features 2), better hotplug and overcorrect behaviour, a "nicer" push-push microSD card socket and switching regulators promising to reduce power consumptions to 600mA.

Also improved are the audio (via dedicated low-noise power supply) and the overall form factor with the addition of 4 squarely-placed mounting holes and the movement of composite video onto the 3.5mm jack.

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Raspberry Pi Gets Sound Card

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Raspberry Pi Gets Sound Card

The popular Raspberry Pi micro-PC gets audio functionality maker element 14 claims is on par with that of bigger PCs in the shape of a sound card add-on board from audio solutions maker Wolfson.

As seen at CeBIT 2014 the Wolfson audio card carries an audio processor able to output high-resolution audio at up to 24-bit/192kHz via 3.5mm line-out, digital S/PDIF output or external speakers through onboard 2W class-D power amlifier.

Audio recording comes through 2 onboard MEMS mics, 3.5mm mic jack and digital S/PDIF input.

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Thinking Outside the PC Box

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How do you feel about the PC industry today?

Our Editor-in-Chief Bob Snyder discusses the PC industry with the UK dealer group of Synaxon.

Agree or disagree but at least Bob will help you focus on what it means today to be a distributor or retailer in consumer IT.

Enjoy!

How to Hide a SteamOS PC

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How to Hide a SteamOS PC

British PC maker PiixL comes up with an elegant means of keeping a SteamOS-powered games machine out of sight-- the Jetpack, a home theatre PC (HTPC) slim enough to attach on the back of a flatscreen TV.

An update on PiixL's earlier EdgeCenter HTPCs, the JetPack features an expandable chassis users can mount on larger TVs (32- to 70-inch) via standard VESA mounts. It will be available in multiple "deeply optimised" configurations complete with overclocked Intel Core i7 processors, Nvidia Titan/GTX780 GPUs and up to 1TB SSD storage.

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Dell Beta Tests Micro-PCs

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Dell Beta Tests Micro-PCs

Dell starts shipping its take on micro-PCs to beta testers with Project Ophelia, an HDMI dongle the size of a large USB stick promising to turn any HDTV into a cloud-powered PC.

First seen at CES 2013, at first glance Ophelia is not too different to the recent crop of micro-PCs, even if unlike the popular Raspberry Pi it ships inside a proper case. However it features an interesting trick up its dongle-style sleeve-- as well as running as a stand-alone Android 4.1 device, it can connect to the cloud to act as a multipurpose Citrix or VMware thin client.

It packs a Rockchip RK3066 SoC ( X2 ARM Cortex-A9 cores clocked at 1.6GHz, Mali 400 graphics engine, memory controller), 1GB RAM, NAND storage, microSD card slot, Bluetooth and wifi connectivity. Since it lacks batteries, the Ophelia sips power through either MHL port or separately via USB interface.

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The Miniature ARM-Based Linux Desktop

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The Miniature ARM-Based Linux Desktop

CompuLab launches the Utilite-- an ARM-based miniature PC promising high performance inside a miniature form factor ideal for applications of the media player, home theatre PC (HTPC) and small-footprint desktop replacement variety.

It carries a Freescale i.MX6 system-on-a-chip featuring a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, up to 4GB RAM and dual-head 1080p (1920x1080) output inside a "zero-screws" housing Continue reading...

Intel Launches Haswell at Computex 2013

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Intel Launches Haswell at Computex 2013

Intel opens Computex 2013 with the expected reveal of the Haswell CPU lineup, processors Big Blue describes as the "first system-on-a-chip for PCs" designed for "new form factors and 2-in-1 designs."

The launch was something of a repeat of what was seen seen last year... only instead of Ivy Bridge, Windows 8 and crazy transforming PCs there were Windows 8.1 and crazy 2-in-1 PCs joining the 4th generation of Intel Core processor.

“Two years ago we talked about reinventing [notebooks] with the ultrabook and today we’re talking about 2-in-1. It’s PC performance and tablet-like mobility in one,” Intel EVP Tom Kilroy says in his Computex keynote. “We’re on the verge of ushering in an exciting new era. We believe the 2-in-1 era is the new norm.”

Around 50 2-in-1 designs are already in the pipeline, ranging from the "ferris wheel" Dell XPS 12 and detachable Asus Transformer Book Trio to various "slider," "swivel" and raised hinge offerings from OEMs such as Asus, Acer and Quanta.

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HP Takes on Portable AIO PCs

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HP Takes on Portable AIO PCs

HP announces the Envy Rove20, an All-in-One (AIO) PC the company claims “frees the desktop PC from the desk and allows families and friends to enjoy a shared entertainment experience."

Right! In other words, customers can use the 20-inch device as either a touch-enabled PC (complete with kick-stand, keyboard and mouse) or an oversized Windows 8 tablet.

Being battery-powered, the Rove20 can be carried around-- even if it does weigh 5.4kg. It also switches from upright to horizontal standing modes, with pre-installed multiplayer games (including Monopoly, Fingertapps and JgsWar Puzzle) turning it into a futuristic games board of sorts.

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HPs Prepares for Leap in PCs

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HPs Prepares for Leap in PCs

Is Minority Report-style gesture-based control key to a brighter future for the PC market? HP certainly hopes so as it teams up with 3D motion control developer Leap Motion.

The partnership sees HP bundling the Leap controller (and Airspace, the Leap Motion app store) with a selection of upcoming PC models before embedding the technology in yet announced future consumer products.

“Leap Motion’s groundbreaking 3D motion control combined with HP technology and amazing developer apps will create incredible user experiences,” HP says.

HP is not the first company to sign a deal with Leap-- Asus has a similar partnership with the startup.

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MSI Goes for Gaming at CeBIT 2013

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MSI Goes for Gaming at CeBIT 2013

MSI claims its latest all-in-one (AIO) PC on show at CeBIT 2013 is ideal for the more gaming-oriented customer-- the AG2712, a desktop featuring a 27-inch multitouch display and fairly solid specifications.

While it looks similar to other AIO PCs, the AG2712 carries either Core i7 or 15 processor, Nvidia 670MX graphics and THX TruStudio Pro audio processing. Connectivity options include wifi, ethernet, Continue reading...

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