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Before today, the cheapest Apple offered its iMac was $1,299 - but now that 21.5-inch iMac costs just $1,099. The new entry-level iMac sports a dual-core Intel Core i5 processor at 1.4GHz, 8GB of RAM, a 500GB HDD, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, two Thunderbolt ports, four USB 3.0 ports and Intel HD 5000 graphics.
The previous model that was $200 more, featured a slightly better Core i5 processor, and bigger HDD. But, you can always customize it to your liking, where you could replace the 500GB with a 1TB Fusion drive, or a 256GB SSD - something we would recommend doing (especially the SSD upgrade). We should see another iMac refresh in the future, with Intel's next-gen Broadwell processor baked into them. When that'll happen, is something no one knows right now.
Alienware has announced at E3 that its Steam machine called the Alienware Alpha will not run the Valve Steam OS as was expected. Alienware has instead fitted the machine with Windows and it will use an Xbox 360 wireless controller.
The machine was unveiled with Windows at E3 this week and it will ship during the 2014 holiday shopping season. The Alpha will sell for $549. Part of the reason why the machine is now to be sold with Windows is that Valve has delayed the Steam Machine OS and its controller until 2015.
Computex 2014 - Last year we got a chance to see ASRock team up with BMW Designworks USA to create a new barebone system. The M8 was born and we found ourselves instantly in love with what was being offered by the company. Jump forward a year and ASRock have taken the cover off an updated version of the great looking M8 system.
While the chassis looks the same; inside we've got a few new key components to bring it into 2014. First we've seen the ITX motherboard get updated to the latest Intel Z97 chipset bringing support for the latest crop of processors. The other big upgrade is the power supply which now sees an SFX 600 Watt unit. This gives us the chance to install a higher-end video card without a problem continuing to show us that you can pack some serious punch into a nice slim system.
As for the rest of the system you can see not too much has changed. We've still got the A-Command OLED button that gives us the ability to see a bunch of different settings. Other features include USB 3.0, 4-in-1 Card Reader and Gigabit LAN alongside Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11ac support.
Computex 2014 - We stopped by the Microsoft booth at Computex today, where the company was showing off a slew of Windows-based devices in all different shapes and sizes. One of which, was the ASUS all-in-one PT2001 PC.
ASUS' AIO PT2001 is a 19.5-inch touch-capable PC with a 1600x900 display, an Intel Haswell-based processor, 500GB of HDD, 2GB of RAM, weighs 7lbs (or 3.2kg) - all of this is capable of being toted around, with around 5 hours of battery life. ASUS has built the AIO PT2001 so that you can move it from room to room, providing a study handle and built-in foldable stand that allows the PC to be adjusted from 0 to 100 degrees.
The PC industry should see a global shipment decline of 6 percent in 2014, as western markets largely saw a modest interest, according to research firm IDC. Over the past few years, the PC industry has struggled, with the market shifting towards mobile products, such as smartphones and tablets.
Looking ahead in the future, recovering global economies and slowing interest in tablets will give PC OEMs their chance to win back some customers. Both end-users and business users will find OEMs dropping prices and releasing dependable systems for a relatively low price.
Here is what Loren Loverde, IDC worldwide PC trackers VP, said in a press statement: "However, the transition toward mobile and cloud-based computing is unstoppable. PCs continue a slow transition toward touch and slim designs, even as tablet volume is expected to pass total PC volume in the fourth quarter of 2014 and on an annual basis in 2016. To return to growth, the PC industry is going to need to accelerate the shift to lower-cost, thin, and touch-based designs, despite the challenges it has faced with these designs in the past."
Computex 2014 - Hanging out with Zotac this afternoon we got a chance to check out what the company was doing with the latest batch of ZBOX systems. While gaming might not be the first thing that comes to mind when looking at these small systems; that's indeed set to change with the launch of the new EN760.
Sporting the speedy NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M the ZBOX EN760 which can be bought as a bare bone or pre built will no doubt grab the attention of gamers who are looking for something both competitively priced and small. Carrying the Dual Core i5 4200U Intel Processor alongside 8GB of DDR3 and a 1TB Hard Drive you'll find yourself having a great time with this tiny system.
Buying the barebone version, though, you'll be able to jam 16GB of DDR3 in to the system via the two SO-DIMM slots along with a nice fast SATA III SSD or SATA III mSATA drive. Along with support for that, we find Dual Gigabit LAN, DVI-I and HDMI video outputs along with Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11ac networking.
Computex 2014 - Over at the ASUS ROG stand we saw a pair of case mods that instantly caught our eye. Showing off the talent of some awesome individuals we see what a whole lot of hard work can do when paired with some fantastic hardware.
Looking above you can see the Duplex by Ace finland. Using a custom hand-crafted case the designer has shown us a Maximus VII Formula system with a ASUS GTX 780 DirectCU II Video Card hidden on the other side of the custom design. Looking truly beautiful this case mode has a bite just as big as its bark with 32GB of Corsair Dominator Memory, Dual 240 GB OCZ Vector SSDs along with a full EK water cooling setup.
Sitting next to the beautiful Duplex, though, was the ROG MAXIMINI by reapervon. Based around the MAXIMUS VII IMPACT this Z97 based board carries with it a next generation Intel i7 4790K processor along with a ASUS GTX 760 DirectCU Mini. With 16GB of Kingston DDR3 and a 730 Series Intel SSD this little system packs some serious performance. It's great to see ASUS showing off some fantastic case mods.
Computex 2014 - Another impressive device being shown off at the NVIDIA Gamer's Day was the GeForce GTX-powered GIGABYTE BRIX PC. We don't know the full specs of this little beast, but we know it features a GeForce GTX GPU inside.
This GPU should be the GeForce GTX 760 GPU, and as for the CPU, we suspect it should sport the Core i5-4200H mobile CPU (which is a dual-core CPU), two so-DIMM slots, support for both 2.5-inch and mSATA SSDs, Wi-Fi 802.11ac support, GbE, four USB 3.0 ports, and the usual HDMI and mini-DisplayPort outputs for the video side of things.
According to research firm IDC, Lenovo was able to outsell Apple in the past three consecutive months for the first time. By doing so, Lenovo is able to grab No. 3 spot behind HP and Dell. This is very impressive, considering that the PC business is not really well as of now.
Lenovo however aims to be the world's number one tablet PC maker in two years. The chief executive of the gaming Yang Yuanqing said,"The record sales and profits that we delivered last year prove that Lenovo can grow and deliver its commitments, no matter the market conditions".
Most of the growth was due to strong lineups and offerings in ThinkPad and Yoga series lineups. The company is also growing its non-windows tablet and smartphone sales marketing. Now that it owns Motorola, its most likely that its growth in the smartphone market would go upwards.
Dell was one of the companies who showed-off its Steam machines under its Alienware Brand. But during an interview with Alienware Chied Frank Azor with The Wall Street Journal, he revealed that making a branded Steam Machine was challenging for them. To add more burden to the challenge, it was the least profitable system they would ever sell.
According to the interview, the only reason they've made a Steam Machine was to be associated with Valve. Azor added that they were very optimistic about PC gaming's future and with the functionality to be used with a TV.
In other words, the only reason Alienware have put so much effort in building their branded Steam Machine was because they believed in PC gaming, and wanted to be a part of Valve's goals.