ASUS Debut Windows Laptop for $179 US

Quite often University or High School students are looking for a simple solution to type up their reports and complete various simple processing tasks to get them through the day-to-day grind.

ASUS have replied with their sub-$200 category laptop, the X205TA Signature Edition. Coming in at $179 US on the Microsoft stores (lower than the $199 announced RRP), this laptop should complete the task with ease.

Coming complete with Windows 8.1 displayed on an 11.6-inch panel at 1366×768 resolution, the Signature Edition utlizes Intel’s Z3735F Quad-Core processor running at 1.33 GHz. There’s also the standard turbo options up to 1.83 Ghz available and comes with a handy secondary cache of 2 MB. The laptop functions through 2GB of DDR3-1333 memory, built in eMMC storage and an expandable microSD card slot.

Given all of the specifications above and the overall look and ‘feel’ of the product, it seems that it will be $179 well-spent. We’d like to see it included with a little more ram however, as windows 8.1 might start to chug when running on only 2GB.

As for accessory and connection options, this model comes with two USB 2.0 ports, a 480p webcam, a combined audio and microphone port, HDMI output, 802.11n WiFi and Blutooth 4.0. Measuring at a total 11.25 x 7.61 x 0.68 inches at a weight of 2.11 pounds (0.96kg), this laptop will be small and light enough to carry around for days on end around campus.

This system is listed not only in the Microsoft shop, seeing an addition to the Amazon online store also.

Images courtesy of Chiphell

Mental Millet: 1.62 Million Phone Orders in 72 hours

Chinese phone company and electricity provider Millet have just reported that after 72 hours of continuous operation, they’ve dispatched over 1.62 million total units of their new phone release amounting to a total sales amount of $254.5m USD. This shipping figure doesn’t include their TV orders processed in the same time frame according to technical director Wang Haizhou as announced today to the Chinese public via Weibo. He’s also stated that they will be in constant contact with the courier company, ensuring all users receive their phones as fast and efficiently as possible.

Unfortunately due to this being a Chinese-only brand, it’s quite hard to find any information about the phone, the company or release schedule/information. Comparing this to iPhone sales over the same time period which sat at 10 million devices – 1.62 million by Millet is certainly nothing shabby for a one-country project.

Many users reportedly begun receiving their brand-new Millet phones in the early hours of the 73rd hour onward as Millet’s couriers seem to have been keeping their word. If you’re capable of having a read, here’s their official Weibo release as published by Wang Haizhou.

Information and images courtesy of MyDrivers

Gigabyte Force H Gaming Series Headsets Revealed

When you think of Gigabyte, you likely think of their graphics cards or motherboards, but they’ve also been creating some very impressive, award winning peripherals over the years; a trend they look to continue with their new Force H gaming headsets.

The Force H headsets have been designed with the high-end consumer in mind, as Gigabyte aim to offer premium quality for music lovers and audio-savvy gamers alike. The H series offers up five new headsets, each packed with a unique design, high quality components, and a promise of high-end performance.

Each Force H headset has been designed with a different audio technology, making each one uniquely suitable to different consumer requirements. The H7 and H5 are the flagship models in the range, offering true 5.1 and virtual 7.1 respectively. The H3 and H3X feature a pair of powerful 50mm neodymium drivers with inclined chambers that are said to offer ” crisp in-game details with explosive bass and incredible positional audio to hardcore gamers”. Finally we have the H1, which comes with wireless Bluetooth technology, making it ideal for wireless desktop usage as well as mobile gaming.

All of the headsets are really nicely designed and feature a retractable uni-directional microphone. The H7 and H5 feature in-line controllers and the H1 has on-board controls. The H3X will be the first to hit the market this October, the H7 and H5 will follow shortly afterwards and the H1 will ship in October. No details on price just yet, but we expect Gigabyte to reveal this information shortly.

Thank you Gigabyte for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Gigabyte.

Latest Windows 8.1 Update Causing Major Issues

Last week on ‘patch Tuesday’, Microsoft released Windows Updates which instantly started causing issues. Even though this wasn’t the “Update 2” for Windows 8.1 that we’ve been waiting for, this relatively minor change has caused major BSoD issues for many.

We’ve learned that four individual updates are causing these BSoD issues for its users. The biggest culprit being KB2982791, a kernel related driver.

Because of the severity of this issue, Microsoft are encouraging all users experiencing problems to uninstall these updates directly or use Windows Restore to rollback your system. The four culprits are as follows:

  • 2982791 MS14-045: Description of the security update for kernel-mode drivers: August 12, 2014
  • 2970228 Update to support the new currency symbol for the Russian ruble in Windows
  • 2975719 August 2014 update rollup for Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2
  • 2975331 August 2014 update rollup for Windows RT, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012

These updates can be uninstalled by navigating to your “Programs and Features” section, clicking on “view uninstalled updates” and individually right clicking these updates and clicking uninstall.

As we said previously, it’s KB2982791 that is causing the bulk of the issues. You can choose to remove solely this or all four just to be safe.

What are your thoughts on keeping your operating system updated? Browsing online you can see many conflicting opinions – some proclaiming the benefits of automatic updates and others arguing the issue due to issues such as this.

Image courtesy of Hot Hardware

Voyager 1 Now Confirmed to be in Interstellar Space

Voyager 1 as many will know has been on its mission to explore the far reaches of our solar system since it was launched way back in 1977 and in the following years it has captured data about unknown planetary systems as it travels further and further away from the earth. Late last year NASA made an announcement to say that Voyager 1 had crossed a point known as the heliopause at which point it moves in to interstellar space.

As Voyager 1 continues to move further and further away from us at a rate of 17km/s (or around ~38028 miles per hour for reference) NASA has reported the probe has experienced a new tsunami wave for the third time which allows them to confirm for sure that it is really in interstellar space and out of our solar system for good.

Although the probe is a jaw dropping distance from us (where writing down the numeric distance is too long to comprehend) and it continues to move 325 million miles further each year, NASA predicts that Voyager 1 will still be able to continue its mission and report back to earth until 2025 (that’s another 3.5billion or so miles) at which point its generators will no longer be able to power the probes instruments and it will be left to move deeper into space alone.

Source: space.com

Gangnam Style Passes Two Billion Views On YouTube

Love it or hate it, Psy’s Gangnam Style has undoubtedly been the biggest hit single around the world since its début on YouTube back in 2012. Since then it has taken the world by storm and even though the are many people who can’t stand hearing the track over and over again – myself included, it appears that are large number of people around the world are still obsessed with it. There is no question of doubt that the Korean artist, who has been producing music for the last 13 years, has made the track truly unique, including the iconic ‘horse riding’ dance move and as its popularity has grown, we have seen dozens of parodies and remakes appear online.

As Psy’s fame and fortune has grown, in December 2012, only 5 months after the track was released, Gangman Style became the first video ever to pass through the 1 billion views barrier and now as the track nears its two year anniversary [so-to-speak], Psy claims another YouTube first as the video passes 2 billion hits. To put this into comparison, the next hit video on YouTube’s rankings comes from another controversial love or hate artist – Justin Beiber with his track – Baby, reaching only 1 billion views to date. To add to the list of hits, Psy claims three of the top fifteen top videos on YouTube, alongside the likes of ‘Charlie Bit My Finger – Again!’

Just in case you’ve not heard Gangman Style (in which case I’ll be asking where you’ve been for the last two years), let’s have another listen to the most popular track of the 21st Century.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/9bZkp7q19f0[/youtube]

Sony Reporting That The ‘Blue Light of Death’ Affects Less Than 1% of PS4’s

Just a little while ago I was talking about how Microsoft’s latest console – the Xbox One was not going to offer more than 2ch audio through its optical output and how this may put some people off buying the latest console for the moment. There is however news starting to crop us that there is more worrying prospects for the owners of Sony’s latest offering – the PS4. Even though the PS4 is not going on sale in the UK and the rest of Europe for another week – till the 29th of November, the US has had the rival to the Xbox One on sale for over a week already.

Since its launch last week, there have been posts and threads popping up on the internet from a significant number of owners as they show their frustration over what is know being referred to as the ‘Blue Light of Death’. Whilst the cause of the blue light is not exactly know yet, the reason for the problems appears to be down to damage made to the units during the shipping process. A spokesman from Sony has made a statement saying that there doesn’t appear to be a singular problem across all those consoles that are affected and customers are reporting problems such as failure to turn on, a pulsing blue light or more worryingly a console that is totally bricked.

One unlucky user has posted a video on YouTube showing their console as it came out of the box with a pulsing blue light and nothing appearing on-screen. Other users have taken to Amazon’s US site where over 800 one-star reviews have been left on the product page for the PS4 stating that consoles are not working in one way or another.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/_CG3Wso7UpE[/youtube]

Even though this problem is only said to be affecting less than 1% of users, with the UK launch just a matter of days away now, there is a strong possibility that some people may be thinking twice about going for the cheaper rival to the Xbox One. With troubleshooting in mind, a thread has cropped up on the Playstation forums for users to run through if their consoles appear to not be working properly.

If you’re looking to buy or awaiting for your order of the new PS4 to be ready, what are your views on this matter? Has it affected your choice of console? Let us know.

Source and Image courtesy of Nerdacy & CNET

Xbox One Launch Kicks Off The Battle Against Sony’s Playstation 4

The wait is over and the time has now come for eager fans around the world to collect their Xbox One and immerse themselves in the next generation of console gaming from Microsoft. New Zealand was one of the first countries to have the console available at midnight of the 22nd November, and even hours before hand, fans were queuing up outside Shed 10 on the Waterfront in Auckland, New Zealand ready to pick up their pre-orders.

A little closer to home for us here at eTeknix, the UK also saw their launch at midnight last where over 300 game shops and more than 100 Tesco’s supermarkets stayed open late into the night for sales and pre-order collections to be made. Whilst the PS4 is not yet here in the UK until the 29th of November, Over in the US Sony’s launch of the Playstation 4 is now a week behind us and so the battle over there has started to see who will be crowned victorious as the must have games console this Christmas.

Whilst the Xbox One is going to cost you around £80 more than the PS4, it seems that this has not put any fans off as Microsoft see record numbers of pre-orders being made, beating that of the Xbox 360 a number of years ago. The two consoles, as we have seen, do pack somewhat similar specifications to each other – although there has been word that Sony may just have the upper hand on graphics as reports come in that Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts has a better game play in terms of resolution. Whilst this may be a major selling factor to a small number of people, the challenge really is going to be based on who has the most loyal fans on their side, however this is not as plain sailing as you may think. Since the launch of the Xbox 360 and Sony’s PS3, there has been a dramatic shift in the games market as we see many avid gamers moving away from the console platform and over to the PC gaming side of things. This has been mainly down to the massive improvement in graphics performance that we have seen from both NVIDIA and AMD in the last 2-3 years.

With games console now offering much more than just a gaming experience, with social and entertainment media becoming more and more popular, the is certainly more than one reason to pick either console and as the Christmas rush comes into full swing, it is anybody’s guess at the moment as to who will be at the number one spot at the end of the year.

If you’ve just got an Xbox One or PS4 (or are waiting for the PS4 in the UK), let us know your thoughts on the new consoles in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Xbox Wire

Teratrend (SilverStone) TS231U 2 Bay USB3.0 RAID Enclosure Review

Introduction


The storage markets are growing rapidly at the moment and this is certainly clear from the large number of home and small office users that are jumping onto the NAS bandwagon to increase their storage capacity to satisfy their needs. For some people though the prospect of setting up network devices is still either a daunting process or even more simply, too much hassle. Having a solution that is virtually plug and play is still the main choice of many users and as a result there is a market flooded by USB enclosures for both 2.5″ and 3.5″ drives.

Teratrend is a name that some may look at and turn away as its not recognised, but the sooner its realised that their a sub-brand of SilverStone – the same people of manufacture many great looking chassis and power supplies as well as coolers, the attention is soon brought back with the prospect of a high quality, well build unit.

As storage is not the main focus of SilverStone, the Teratrend brand was brought in to distinguish the new line of products a few years ago and since then we have seen a number of two and four bay options that take the effort out of storage expansion with say to use and simple devices that look good at the same time on any desk.

Like many other drive enclosures on the market, the contents are rather simple and alongside the enclosure itself we find a kettle lead, eSATA and USB3.0 data cables and a simple manual that outlines the RAID selection and drive installation process.

BBC Sport App Quick Off the Starting Block

For a large number of us, Sport is less of a hobby but more like a religion and that could be either towards football, golf, rugby, horse racing so on and so forth. In the UK especially and globally, BBC sport has a big presence and its sport pages on-line gets a constant stream of hits day in day out from fanatics wanting to keep up to date with the latest scores, fixtures and up to date news. Due to this, the BBC released a whole new mobile app just over seven weeks ago to give users the freedom to get all their updates in an easy and convenient location.

The app is a spin off following the success of the app that was released for the London 2012 Olympic Games last summer and although it was initially only available to iOS users in the UK to start, three weeks ago it went to the international download stores and just under a week ago it became available to UK Android users as well.

Fresh reports are coming from the BBC that the new app has not only been successful in its initial few weeks of download, but it has sailed right past the point of over 1 million downloads and given traffic to the BBC Sport site in general a huge boom in traffic. The BBC has stated that January just gone was a record month for overall traffic towards their sport sections and with over 42 million unique visitors and 1 billion page views, the record that was set last summer at the 2012 games has been well and truly smashed.

This drive in traffic and rapid rate of downloads goes to prove that there is a rapid shift towards the use of smartphones and tablets as we have been noting for quite a while now and with a 13% year-on-year gain in mobile traffic for the BBC, this number is only set to rise.

The mobile app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play