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Quickly following in the footsteps of Dell and ASUS, HP has just announced its first Chromebox. The device is not slated for release until the spring, and is designed for use almost anywhere a compact computer might be needed. One of its biggest features is compatibility with Google's Chromebox for meetings video conferencing system, as well as media streaming to your home theater.
The HP Chromebox is not the slouch you might expect from a Chrome device either, and runs an Intel i7 Haswell CPU, as well as 4GB of RAM. The Device is capable of streaming 1080p video thanks to an HDMI port as well. Other features include a VESA Mount, four USB 3.0 ports, and Bluetooth 4.0. The HP Chromebox comes in three different colors and measures in at just 5-inches square. No pricing information has been released yet, but we do expect it to retail for over $299 thanks to the i7 addition.
Google recently launched an effort to help businesses make it easier to brainstorm and collaborate in meetings, using Chromebox for Meetings to combine Google+ Hangouts and Google Apps in the built-in Chromebox.
Based on the Intel Core i7 CPU, the Chromebox also includes an HD camera, microphone and speaker unit controllable by remote control - and is seamless, eliminating the need for dial-in phone numbers and passcodes. Google is internally using the system to not only test it out, but continue to be aware of future changes that can be made to further improve user experience.
For businesses trying to host more interactive meetings, the Chromebox for Meetings system costs $999 and is free for the first year - businesses must then pay a $250 charge per year for access. The system is available now.
New software technologies continues to revolutionize how employees interact with each other, as Google, Microsoft, and other companies create new generation audio, text, and video-based conferencing solutions.
ASUS has just announced the Chromebox, a small NUC-like compact PC that features Chrome OS. ASUS' Chromebox features deeply integrated Google services thanks to Google's OS, as well as access the popular services such as YouTube, Netflix and Hulu.
The company has used Intel's fourth-generation Core or "Haswell" processors, the latest 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi tech, four USB 3.0 ports, Bluetooth 4.0 and SD card reader. As for display outputs, we have HDMI and DisplayPort, which will drive 4K or Ultra HD displays. A nice touch for something that starts off at just $179.
There will be three CPUs on offer depending on the market you're based in, the Celeron 2955U, Core i3-4010U, or Core i7-4600U. It'll come with 2GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM, but can be optioned with 4GB of RAM. For storage, we have 16GB of built-in M.2 NGFF storage, backed up by 100GB of free Google Drive storage (which is for a limited time).
Back in September the internet was set abuzz with rumors of a new NUC from Intel that features the company's Bay Trail technology, and today the new Bay Trail NUC is finally available for retail sales in the US. At the moment, AVA Direct appears to be the only retailer selling the device though.
The new DN2820FYKH barebones kit is based on Intel's micro NUC chassis design and features a Celeron N2820 processor with dual Silvermont cores clocked in at 2.4GHz. The devices GPU clock is set at 756MHz as well making it much faster than the Atom-based NUCs currently on the market. Users will need to add their own RAM (up to 8GB is supported) via a single SO-DIMM slot, as well as wireless card via a single PCIE slot. Users will also have to bring their own storage to the party with drives up to 9.5-mm thick being supported.
Today ZOTAC announced the launch of its ZBOX Nano series of mini-PCs featuring Intel "Haswell" 4th Generation Core processors. The new ZBOX ID68 and ZBOX ID69 series mini-PCs feature Intel Core i5 and i7 processors with Intel Turbo Boost Technology and take palm-sized computing to new levels.
"Users that want a taste of Intel Turbo Boost technology can opt for the ZOTAC ZBOX nano ID68 series with a high-performance Intel Core i5 4200U that can turbo boost up to 2.6 GHz," Zotac said in a release. "Demanding users that require the best performance available from the compact form factor can step up to the ZOTAC ZBOX nano ID69 series with an Intel Core i7 4500U processor that turbo boosts up to 3.0 GHz."
Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo will purchase IBM's lower-end x86 server unit for $2.3 billion after months of continued negotiations on both sides. The deal, once approved by U.S. government regulators, will give IBM the ability to focus on software and IT services.
IBM will continue to manufacture higher-end servers, and remains the No. 2 server manufacturer, trailing only behind Hewlett-Packard.
"This acquisition demonstrates our willingness to invest in businesses that can help fuel profitable growth and extend our PC Plus strategy," said Yang Yuanging, Lenovo CEO, in a statement. "With the right strategy, great execution, continued innovation and a clear commitment to the x86 industry, we are confident that we can grow this business successfully for the long-term, just as we have done with our worldwide PC business.
Lenovo, the No. 1 global PC manufacturer, has struggled to compete against HP, Dell, and other manufacturers in the server market. The Chinese manufacturer wants to shift focus to the server market, where profit margins are higher than the regular PC and notebook business.
Alienware has confirmed that it will be releasing new Steam Machines each year, because of the lack of upgrade options on its SteamOS-powered console. Frank Azor, Alienware's General Manager, talked with TrustedReviews, where he said: "Lifecycle wise, consoles update every five, six, seven years, we will be updating our Steam Machines every year."
The Dell-owned company won't let you upgrade its Steam Machines, with Azor stating: "There will be no customisation options, you can't really update it." He did add: "The platform will continue to evolve as the games become more resource intensive."
There will be some configuration options for customers upon purchase, but there will be no upgrades after. Azor states: "There will be some configuration options when you purchase it, maybe you can get a faster CPU, maybe some more memory something like that. If you actually want to customise your Alienware Steam Machine, maybe change your video card out or put in a new CPU, you would be better off with the standard Alienware X51. This particular product is restricted in its upgrade options."
During a recent Reddit AMA, Valve god Gabe Newell had something interesting to say about Steam Machines, and EA's Origin service. "We're trying to make it as open as possible," said Newell, continuing: "If EA wants to put Origin on it, that would be fine, etc... (trying to pick an example of something that people think we would prohibit)."
One of the big hurdles of Steam Machines in the market, would be to cut themselves off from the world, and not accept competitors' digital distribution or gaming services on its devices. But as we can see here, Newell is all for it - a totally open platform.
I think we're seeing the beginning of something very special here, a true living room PC. All we need are some awesome games like Half-Life 3, Team Fortress 3, Left 4 Dead 3 and more, and we'll be in gaming heaven.
When Valve first announced that it was working with OEM partners to develop a full range of Linux-based gaming devices called Steam Machines, great emphasis was placed on the fact that the devices were to be PC based and fully upgradeable. Unfortunately today we are seeing the first major OEM break away from this philosophy and built their Steam Machine devices similar to current console construction.
Alienware has long been known for its high-end gaming PCs and while overpriced in some opinions, the company's wares have always been fully upgradeable. Today, Frank Azor, Alienware's general manager said in an interview that "There will be no customization options, you can't really update it." This means that Alienware's Steam Machines are most likely being built with AMD APUs or custom GPU solutions that are hard mounted to the motherboard, much like how Microsoft and Sony are doing with the next-gen consoles. Personally I feel that this will ultimately hurt Alienware in the longrun, as the main appeal to a Steam Machine is its upgradeability.
The new Commander PC is a serious beast with our updated specifications, including a GeForce GTX 780 GPU, and virtually all Corsair parts to ensure quality, reliability, and warranty. A 27-inch monitor is used for displaying all this goodness, while some Logitech speakers will provide the audio side of things.