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New Alienware laptop released at E3

clock June 12, 2013 19:00 by author Dustin

 

Alienware 14 Gaming Laptop Announced at E3

 

This week at E3 Alienware announced the first new industrial design for their laptops in four years. "There's a thousand thin notebooks out there,” says Alienware's Frank Azor. While most companies are focusing efforts on thin models like the Razer Blade, Alienware's latest products are actually built like tanks. The new Alienware 14, is 1.6 inches thick, and weighs a full six pounds. "We want our users to be physically fit,” said Azor.

Alienware's design has always been a world apart from other models on the market, with their computers that look like alien creatures with UFO-like lighting seeping out of their frame. The machine is not a seamless unibody of machined metal, it is crafted in a way that makes sense for us as gamers. The laptop surface has a smooth soft-touch rubber, meanwhile there is enough metal to catch the eye. When you open the lid you’ll be drawn to the sight of the glowing keyboard with customizable RGB backlighting. While the under carriage glows lighting up in anticipation of your commands, it feels like an alien artifact. But what's inside that 14-inch package is a gamer’s dream.

The base model Alienware 14 is priced at $1,199 and includes  a quad-core 2.4GHz Core i7-4700MQ processor fresh from Intel's latest Haswell batch, Nvidia GeForce GT 750M graphics, 8GB of memory, 750GB HD, and a standard 1366 x 768 resolution screen. Or choose the GeForce GTX 765M GPU (an additional $150) and 16GB of RAM to help drive games on that lovely 1080p display. It also has three USB 3.0 ports, three 3.5mm audio jacks, HDMI out, an SD card slot, a Gigabit Ethernet socket, a lock slot, and a slot-loading DVD (or optional Blu-ray drive) for movies and disc-based installation.

The company's choice of operating system is Windows 7, rather than Windows 8, however you have the option to choose Windows 8 from the company website when configuring your machine. Your machine will also include Steam and its own Alien apps for customization, and includes AlienFX that dynamically changes the laptop's lighting.

You’re also stuck (for the moment) with two different graphics modes, switchable and discreet. The "switchable" mode is where both Intel and Nvidia graphics are active, and the "discrete" mode only has Nvidia. You must restart the machine and hit Fn + F5 to swap between them. Alienware says the reason for this is that Microsoft requires this for Windows 8 (Nvidia is working on a patch for this issue). The Alienware 14 is a solid gaming laptop that will provide you with a finely crafted gaming experience.

Source : E3 / Dell.com



Bendy Batteries Created That Can Stretch Up to 300%

clock March 1, 2013 00:17 by author Dustin

With Li-Polymer batteries become more mainstream as of 2011-2012, we've seen a change in our how smartphones are being manufactured. Companies can now further edit the structure of the battery, making them thinner than before to please today's consumers. Imagine, then, an even more flexible type of battery; one that can bend up to 300%.

Yonggang Huang, an engineer from Northwestern University, has created just that with the help of John Rogers from the University of Illinois. These stretchable batteries would initially be used in the medical field to help keep track of patients - for example, a heart monitor could be embedded into cardiac tissue.

The researchers were able to create this by placing several individual battery storage components next to each other. These are all connected with wavy wires to ensure that the material can still move around, while the rigidity of the small battery parts themselves help ensures that they don't break.

If this type of technology ever hits the marketplace en masse, we may see it spill over into other electronics, primarily phones, where a varying size of battery would help determine the size of the machine itself.

Source: NBCnews

 



Sony Unveils the PlayStation 4, slated for the 2013 Holidays

clock February 22, 2013 16:33 by author Dustin

With the last-generation consoles having coming out in 2005-2006, gamers around the world have been itching for a new system. Nintendo has already released the Wii U as of late 2012, but what players have really been craving is a system from the top two contenders: Microsoft and Sony.

The latter has decided to hit the news first with their PlayStation 4 announcement yesterday. The new console has a pending release date for the 2013 Holidays. Gamers can expect not only a slew of new games (with much backing from the developer community, which Sony all but bragged about), but also a new PlayStation Dual-Shock controller with an embedded “Light Bar” that will track your movements.

The PlayStation 4 seems to have an extra emphasis on cloud-based entertainment. Due to the internal power of the system, players can immediately begin playing a game they found through the PlayStation Store while it finishes downloading the rest of the game in the background. On top of that, Sony will be fully integrating today’s concepts of social networks into the PS4. “Friends Lists” will now consist of real names on top of the common username, with profile pictures accompanying achievements and trophies. Friends can even jump into your game, taking control (if you let them) for you whilst you watch.

Unfortunately, no actual PS4 was shown during yesterday’s announcement, despite the Holiday 2013 target; a price point hasn’t been set either. Besides those two tidbits of information, all that remains now is to see how Microsoft will respond to the challenge.

Sources: Wired, Forbes



Windows 8 Causes Drop in Average Battery Life

clock February 15, 2013 00:29 by author Dustin

If you own a Windows 8 Ultrabook or laptop, then beware: according to Michael Prospero of LAPTOP Magazine, the average battery life of each category has gone down ever since the arrival of Windows 8 products.

Using a variety of products for testing (such as the Dell XPS 12, Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga, Sony VAIO Duo 11, and Toshiba U925t), Prospero concluded that the average battery life for ultraportables sat at 5 hours and 9 minutes. Meanwhile, the Thin & Lights category fell to 5 hours and 7 minutes on average.

There could potentially be several different issues causing the low battery life, from the touch-screens, the operating system, or the various software that comes pre-installed. Nonetheless, considering that ultrabooks are supposedly known for their long battery life (thus the reason behind the drastic change from removable batteries to internal batteries), this definitely proposes an issue in today's electronics.

This isn't to say that the problem will remain: even with smartphones, many OTA (over-the-air) hotfixes and updates have been applied in order to increase battery life. It remains to be seen whether Windows 8 will fall in line with this trend though, or if the drop in battery life can be pinpointed to other reasons.

Sources: laptopmag.com



Affordable 3D Camcorder

clock June 22, 2010 22:50 by author Dustin

3D Video Camera Camcorder

Hammacher Schlemmer offers a compact 3D video camera at an affordable price of $599.95. As 3D TVs have been hitting the market, the new Hammacher Schlemmer 3D video camera is the only camcorder on the market that records video in 3 dimensions for under $1000. Each camera lens sensor records at 3 megapixels and 640X480 pixel resolution. The camcorder also has 2D / 3D video capabilities and encodes as an AVI file. Pictures can also be shot in 2D or 3D mode as .JPG files. The 3D camcorder also comes with a 4GB SD memory card capable of holding up to 4 hours of video or 3,000 pictures in 3D. The 3D camera's battery life lasts about 2 hours and takes about 6 hours to fully recharge.

 

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