GDC 2016 - Razer has just announced its new Blade gaming notebook, with an injection of specifications and a better price point. The new Blade sports the new sixth-generation Intel Core i7 processor, alongside the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M with 6GB of VRAM.
Storage wise the new Blade has a PCIe-based SSD which will ensure you can be pushing the speed limit when it comes to transferring data on the Blade. The new Blade has 16GB of DDR4 RAM in quad-channel, and a beautiful 14-inch IGZO-based 3200x1800 QHD+ display. The screen and its internals are found in a CNC-milled aircraft grade aluminum chassis which looks quite stunning.
The new Razer Blade has individually backlit RGB keys, making it the second laptop in the world after the Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook. Razer is also keeping the price on the Blade nice and tight, with the previous Blade with the QHD+ display starting at $2399 while the new Blade starting at $1999.
AMD has already teased that it will "spice things up" at the Game Developers Conference next week, but what has me excited is the promise of next-gen, ultra-thin gaming notebooks.
During an AMA on Reddit, AMD's Robert Hallock said: "Ultra-thin notebooks are awesome to carry, but nobody in their right mind would confuse one for a gaming notebook. But there's still a HUGE appetite for thin notebooks that can game. I also bet there's a bunch of gamers out there who, as they get into their 30s and 40s, wouldn't mind condensing their entire computing life down into one device that does it all... External GPUs are the answer. External GPUs with standardised connectors, cables, drivers, plug'n'play, OS support, etc".
The ultra-thin gaming notebooks should be powered by Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, which boasts up to 40Gbps of bandwidth. We've recently seen Razer tease its Core GPU enclosure, which offers its Blade Stealth gaming notebook an external GPU enclosure, super-powering your portable gaming experience. We should see AMD unveil something awesome at GDC 2016 next week in San Francisco.
GIGABYTE has some new 17.3-inch gaming focused laptops coming to market soon with the latest round of Skylake mobile processors.
The new laptops are in the P57 family, which has at its core, an Intel Core i7-6700HQ under the hood that runs at 2.6GHz and can boost to 3.5GHz. It's on Intel's HM170 chipset and can have up to 32GB of DDR4-2133 memory installed along side it. There are currently two different variants of the laptop, the P57K and the P57W.
They both share a 1080P IPS matte screen but the P57K powers that screen with an NVIDIA GTX 965M whereas the P57W has a more powerful GTX 970M with 3GB of VRAM. For storage they're using a 512GB M.2 SSD that uses a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface for some blistering fast speeds. In the front of the massive laptop is a Blu-Ray RW drive that's situated just under the trackpad, a strange and new location for the drive, which can also be swapped out for more storage if you so choose.
"VR is now a reality and both the F131 and NOMAD VR are ready to fully immerse you into any virtual adventure you seek" says MAINGEAR CEO Wallace Santos in a recently issued press release. This PC company has jumped on the VR-ready hype train by releasing its F131 desktop and NOMAD VR notebook for virtual reality operations.
The NOMAD VR packs a serious punch as you may expect, bragging some similar specifications to the Eurocom Sky X9E that I wrote about earlier today. Within this model, you can expect to find an Intel i7-7600K, a desktop NVIDIA GTX 980 and a 1080p G-Sync ready display.
Further packed with HD Foster Audio speakers that are tuned by Soundblaster Cinema, USB 3.1 Type-C, an integrated webcam and more, this model is shaping up to be another killer portable gaming rig. While I say 'portable', it's important to remember that you're not expected to sit this in your knees while waiting for long-haul flight connections, but it's certainly much easier than carrying a desktop PC around.
Eurocom is known for making some incredibly bulky and powerful gaming and emergency server laptops, with its latest edition being along the same lines. Meet the Sky X93, a portable gaming device that has been marketed as VR-ready by the manufacturer.
With a plethora of different internal options depending on your needs and budget, the top tier model shown off in a recent press release contains no less than an Intel Core i7-6700K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 64 GB DDR4 memory and an impressive 4K 17.3" display. Explained as a "desktop laptop," there are no mobile processors or video cards being used here, with Eurocom being well known for releasing desktop components within its laptop models.
Running on an Intel Z170 Chipset, Eurocom says that this device is ready for any Oculus Rift or HTC Vive task you with to throw at it, further packing support for M.2 PCIe SSDs and the previously mentioned 4k UHD IPS display.
MWC 2016 - I've been a big fan of Lenovo's Yoga range for a few years now, rocking the awesome Yoga 2 Pro as my travel companion for years - until I replaced it recently with the HP Spectre X2. Lenovo took some time at Mobile World Congress to unveil their new Yoga 510 and Yoga 710 models, as well as a Windows 10-based tablet: the MIIX 310.
The new Yoga 710 is a mid-range offering, arriving in both 11- and 14-inch models. The 14-inch Yoga 710 is a full Ultrabook, sporting Intel's new sixth-gen Core processor (up to a Core i7 model), while the 11-inch model kicks off with a quad-core Pentium processor, but can be configured with up to a Core m5 processor. The bigger 14-inch model has Lenovo offering an optional NVIDIA GeForce GPU, if you need some GPU grunt. Lenovo says that there's 20% better Wi-Fi reception thanks to the use of a new hinge antenna on the 14-inch Yoga 710, and up to 256GB SSD for fast storage. Both models will feature up to 8 hours of battery, while the 11- and 14-inch displays rock a native resolution of 1920x1080.
As for pricing, the Lenovo Yoga 710 will start at $499 for the 11-inch model, while the 14-inch model will start at $799. Both models will be available in May.
The newest Surface line of devices has been marred by a few unsettling problems. They just didn't seem to enter into the deepest of sleep states, which means the battery would run down far faster than you'd expect. Sometimes even being dead when you really wanted to use them. Some new firmware updates have been pushed out by Microsoft that finally solve those long-standing power drain issues.
The CEO of Microsoft, Panos Panay himself, actually posted in a blog post to communicate how thankful they are of patience from those affected. "Today's updates include a set of Microsoft and Intel driver and firmware updates for Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 that will help you get the most of the power management options that Surface is designed to offer and continue to make your Surface more productive," Panay wrote in the post. "We love our Surface customers. You are our early adopters and our fans and you keep inspiring us with what you are able to do with Surface. You keep pushing us to make Surface even better."
Power management was one of the first issues noted by some of the early adopters, and this update is long in the making. It was one of the most requested updates despite it largely being ignored until now. Battery life could potentially be reduced to around 3-5 working hours, sometimes even being completely drained once arriving at some far off destination. It didn't quite work as advertised, and was incredibly frustrating. And this is just in time for our long-term gaming focused review of the Surface Book. How delightful.
As announced recently on the official Apple website, this technology giant will be replacing defective USB Type-C cables bundled with its latest MacBook Pro models, further covering standalone chargers bought as accessories.
The replacement process suggests that users head straight into an Apple Retail Store after booking a reservation, seemingly replacing dodgy chargers on the spot.
As seen above, the new cable will look basically identical to the previous edition, with the difference being a new serial number placed after the Apple design and manufacturer statements.
A company called CTL has a ruggedized Chromebook built for the demanding education crowd that can withstand a whole lot of abuse, just in case the students these are given too happen to have harsh feelings towards the last test they had to take.
The NL6X takes things to the eXtreme with their newest Chromebook, reinforcing the entire body to be drop resistant up to height of 70cm, or two feet. The back of the lid is reinforced the most to help prevent breakage where issues tend to crop up the most. The keyboard, and whole chassis is spill resistant as well, to help forestall common debilitating issues from stray drinks. Best of all, you can put up to 365lbs on top of it and it won't break.
Under the hood is an Intel Celeron N2940, of the fanless variety, with 4GB of RAM and 16GB of storage with a 11.6" 1366x768 screen. This is an education focused machine whose sole purpose is to easily, and inexpensively, provide students of all types with enough compute power to connect with the Internet to get things done. And it can do just that with around 9 hours of battery life. The rugged factor isn't just something cool added on, either, the whole thing is designed for STEM classes, just in case you happen to drop, smash or spill precious sciency stuff onto it. It's rather ingenious. Oh, and the back of the display is also a nifty whiteboard, so you can still put special people on your notebook.
FreeSync support is coming to HP's mid-range Envy 15z laptops sometime before the end of June, and to its entire mid-range line sometime between July and December.
If you're still somehow not acquainted with FreeSync, it makes for better communication between the APU or GPU and the display for reduced or even eliminated stuttering and tearing. The result: a much smoother gameplay experience, particularly on low-end and mid-range hardware.
The 15z series is powered by AMD's A-Series CPUs; models currently run for about $500.