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MAINGEAR has just announced that its impressive DRIFT Steam Machine is now available, with the SteamOS-powered gaming PC built for 4K gaming anywhere - including your living room.
The company has provided the ability to customize the DRIFT all the way up to Intel's expensive, but super-fast Extreme Edition Haswell-E or new Skylake processors, as well as full-sized video cards like NVIDIA's GeForce GTX Titan X. Inside, you can configure the DRIFT with up to 16GB of DDR4 from Kingston, and various storage options with 3 x HDD bays that can be kitted out with 2 x Samsung 850 Pro SSDs, and a huge 6TB HDD for storage.
MAINGEAR's DRIFT PC can be placed both vertically and horizontally, thanks to it being cooled by the Epic 120 liquid cooling system - which is a "maintenance-free system that keeps the Steam Machine running incredibly cool at top speeds for extended periods of time". The DRIFT system includes Valve's new Steam Controller, and starts at $1,099 on MAINGEAR's website.
ZOTAC has been making Mini PCs since 2008, and now they're trying their hand at Steam Machines with NEN, a small form system that lets you play Steam games with ease.
NEN features a GeForce GTX 960 with a 192-bit memory bus and 3GB GDDR5 VRAM, an Intel Core i5-6400T (quad-core, 2.2 GHz, up to 2.8 GHz), 8GB RAM (up to 16GB) and a 1TB HDD (with an option for a SSD). As well, ZOTAC claims "whisper quiet levels at maximum cooling performance", courtesy of its dual radial coolers.
Pricing and availability are not yet announced.
PAX Australia 2015 - We stopped by Australian IT retailer PLE Computers at PAX Australia this year, as they had some great stuff that caught our eye. They were pushing a very comfortable, and slick-looking line of gaming chairs, had custom gaming PCs on show, and so much more.
This custom system looked incredible, and was getting a lot of people stopping in awe and snapping photos of it. The color scheme really works with NZXT's custom lighting really displayed well here.
One of the cool things on display at PLE was this awesome HOTAS system.
PAX Australia 2015 - Alienware was making a big push this year at PAX Australia, where they had countless Steam Machines and even the new Steam Controllers.
Alienware teased the Area 51 system once again, but the cable management was atrocious.
One of the more impressive things at the Alienware booth were the Steam Controllers, and now that we've had some very brief hands-on with the Steam Controller, I can personally say I have faith. The touch pads were very responsive with our quick testing, but I need some more time with it to provide more thoughts on it.
PAX Australia 2015 - Not only were InWin showing off some great looking PCs, but MSI were in action at PAX Australia this year with some slick looking custom PCs.
The second image below, if you look in the top right, has an awesome looking dragon that really adds to the entire look of the PC.
A few different angles of the dragon PC.
Up until now, Microsoft has reserved its customized NVIDIA GPU configuration to the more expensive Surface Book models, meaning the budget tier was locked out. But now the catalogue has been updated and Microsoft now offers dGPU options to every Surface Book make and model--for a price.
If you plan to opt in for the dual-GPU solution for the Windows 10-powered laptop, Microsoft tacks on an extra $200 to the retail price. $200 might sound like a lot, but the difference is pretty substantial: default Surface Book models come equipped with Intel's integrated Iris Graphics, and the extra cash will unlock a second graphics solution, a custom Maxwell-based NVIDIA GPU that will enable more graphically-intense workloads.
Equipped with the second dGPU in the keyboard base, the budget Surface Book with a Skylake Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM and a 128GB HDD now rises to $1,699. We've reported that the Surface Book's custom NVIDIA GPU is actually equal to a GeForce 940M with 1GB of GDDR5 VRAM.
Today Lenovo announced its new line of Windows 10 devices, branded as the Yoga 900 line. The most eye-catching of the new hardware is the massive all-in-one that takes the term "desktop" quite literally, bringing huge size as well as huge potential.
Lenovo's Yoga Home 900 isn't made for on-the-go use; as its name implies, it's optimized more for a home-based experience. Its massive 27-inch full HD 10-point touch display can be set at an angle for traditional browsing on or doing work across Windows 10 apps, or it can be laid flat for some competitive air hockey or tabletop games like Monopoly or Risk for family games night. It weighs just 16 pounds, so you can easily heft it from room to room without worrying about a cumbersome bulk or the device bending under its own weight.
The tabletop PC has some beefy specs under the hood, with Broadwell class Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs, a dedicated NVIDIA GPU (up to a 2GB VRAM GeForce 940A), up to 8GB of RAM and up to 1TB of onboard SSHD storage. The six-cell battery is lacking, only supporting up to 3-hours of usage per charge, but given the huge 27-inch display, that's to be expected.
It looks like Apple's new 21.5-inch iMacs have been updated with something other than the 4K Retina display: completely unrepairable hardware that makes every DIY tecchie shudder in revulsion.
The folks at iFixit are experts at tearing down the latest tech and putting it all back together in tip-top shape, and as a result their analyses carry some pretty hefty weight. So when iFixit rated the 21.5-inch 4K iMac with a repairability score of a measly 1 out of 10, it means Apple is earnestly pushing toward in-house serviceability.
What exactly makes the new iMac so daunting? Basically, none of the parts in the all-in-one computer are replaceable in any capacity. The RAM is soldered to the logic board (which isn't really surprising). What is surprising is that the logic board doesn't have a Fusion Drive connector, cutting off any plans to add further storage. The Intel CPU is also fastened to the board, and Apple has even melded the iMac's glass cover front with the Retina display, further upping the cost of repair.
Recently, Intel launched a new business unit dedicated to makers. While Intel's Galileo and Edison modules have been around for a while, most makers tend to use lower cost Arduino or Respberry Pi boards. Intel decided to take another route this round, and has teamed up with Arduino to provide their new Curie microcontroller on an Arduino board that looks eerily similar to the Arduino Uno.
The Curie microcontroller is replacing the typical ATmega chips we see on Ardunio boards. Curie was announced earlier this year and has some pretty decent specifications especially considering its size. Many people complain about the low processing power of the Uno, but the Curie is much beefier than what we have seen in the past from Arduino. The Arduino 101 is supposed to be an easy to use board, and it is aimed at education sector.
It's been long known that the Android platform isn't nearly as secure as it should be, but we haven't really had a concrete answer as to how vulnerable the OS actually is. A recent study from the University of Cambridge delivers the answer, and it's pretty surprising.
"We find that on average 87.7% of Android devices are exposed to at least one of 11 known critical vulnerabilities," the university writes in the study's conclusion. "In our data, Nexus devices do considerably better than average with a score of 5.17; LG is the best manufacturer with a score of 3.97."
The study also lays the blame on device manufacturers, citing that most modern smartphones receive few security updates thereby leaving them open to a number of vulnerabilities like the TowelRoot, Gingerbreak, and FakeID exploits. "We showed that the bottleneck for the delivery of updates in the Android ecosystem rests with the manufacturers, who fail to provide updates to fix critical vulnerabilities."