Antec first turned heads with its Skeleton open-air case, which exposed DIYers components but helped with air cooling and reduced dust bunnies found in a closed chassis. Now premium case builder Lian-Li is going further out with its new PC-T1R, which not only leaves your system's parts out in the open, but also has four "legs" that let you have a mechanical spider (well, semi-spider) sitting on your desk.
Laptops & Desktops
John Morris and Sean Portnoy deliver straight talk about notebook and desktop computers.
Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.
<p>John Morris is a former executive editor at CNET Networks and senior editor at PC Magazine. He now works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made. No investment advice is offered in this blog. All duties are disclaimed.</p>
Walmart has put Dell's latest all-in-one PC, the Inspiron One 19, on sale at its locations without much fanfare, apparently causing Engadget to think it's just been stocked. (Read the comments to see people who've already seen the desktop in stores for a few weeks.
Here's an interesting product that DIYers might embrace and system builders may tread warily around. Asus' new M4A89GTD PRO motherboard, based around AMD's new 890GX chipset, has the skills to circumvent the design of certain AMD multi-core processors.
Despite AMD/ATI's lack of success with its device to connect an external graphics card to a laptop (a Europe-only release that never saw the light of day here), not everyone has soured on the idea. I posted a few weeks ago that Nvidia is considering an external graphics device, and this week at the CeBIT expo, Shuttle has been displaying its own solution, the I-Power GXT Mini.
While Intel is busy at CeBIT unveiling new Atom processors and a revamped Classmate PC, AMD is taking the opportunity to roll out a new desktop chipset that the company claims to be "exceptionally energy efficient." The 890GX is paired with ATI Radeon HD 4290 integrated graphics, which supports Direct X 10.
I know netbooks have driven down the prices on laptops quite a bit, now spawning so-called smartbooks, but this may be a little too much. Bargain electronics manufacturer Coby has been a showing new portable this week at the CeBIT expo that will cost, according to Engadget, just $85.
The name is the same, and ION still serves the same purpose--giving under-powered netbooks a jolt of performance for 3D gaming and HD video. But the new version, which Nvidia introduced at the CeBIT tradeshow earlier today, is very different.
Laptops can never be too thin, so manufacturers keep trying to trim precious ounces off their systems. Today, two of them are touting new portables that are the lightest in their respective niches.
Atom, the Intel processor that launched a 1,000 netbooks, received a mild refresh today in the form of the new N470 CPU, part of the "Pine Trail" series. It boosts clock speed from the already released N450's 1.
HP's latest business laptops include thinner and lighter ultraportables with the latest Core i5 and Core i7 chips and the company's first multi-touch convertible tablet for professionals.
For being tucked inside a case that's just 1.3 inches thick, the specs for Shuttle's new XS35, debuting at next week's CeBIT expo, aren't half-bad.
Nvidia's first Fermi-based GPUs, the GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470, will finally be available starting March 26. How will they stack up AMD's ATI Radeon 5800 series?
Nvidia designed its Ion platform to provide netbooks with the graphic boost that they lacked from their Intel integrated graphics. Nvidia has Ion 2 ready to go even though systems with first-generation Ion graphics just recently hit the market.
While it's fun to benchmark the latest Intel "Extreme" processor and hear about the performance tweaks that have been implemented over the previous iteration, the fact is that most buyers can't afford to drop $1,000 on a CPU, or even $200-$300 for its still-powerful but more affordable siblings.
If you're not a notebook fanatic, you may not be aware of the Clevo brand, though you may be familiar with its laptops if you purchase a system from Sager or Prostar (which merely rebrand Clevo machines). You'll have to go the boutique vendor (like AVADirect, Malibal, XoticPC) to get hold of a Clevo au naturel, but if you're a hardcore gamer, you might want to track down the just released X8100.