UHD 4K resolution monitors are the best thing that happened to productivity since the introduction of multi-monitor setups simply due to the extended amount of displayable pixels. Having more pixels on the screen allows you to view a lot of things at once and have a lot bigger area visible when using extreme zooms for close-up edits and that saves a lot of unnecessary switching between apps and scrolling around. There already are quite a few 4K displays on the market by now, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for one more in the form of AOC’s newly introduced 4K UHD monitor U2879VF.
The new AOC U2879VF can display more than 1 billion colours (8-bit+FRC) with its 28-inch (71.1 cm) TN panel for a resolution up to 3840 x 2160 pixels. This is coupled with an ultra-fast response time of just 1 ms and the U2879VF also features Adaptive-Sync support and is thereby FreeSync compatible. While 4K still is somewhat of a gimmick when it comes to gaming, those who use it will surely appreciate this feature and the low input lag that comes along with it.
The monitor comes with both modern and legacy connectors as it features HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2a+ as well as DVI and D-Sub. Especially the HDMI 2.0 port is a great thing to see and one that has been missing on other monitors in this category in the past. The increased bandwidth of up to 18 Gbps makes it able to deliver 60fps 4K content on this port too. The HDMI port is also MHL compatible which allows you to display content directly from a smartphone or tablet device while charging its battery at the same time.
AOC also added their Flicker-Free technology to the monitor to ease the eye strain during long periods of work. A Picture by Picture (PBP) function has also been added which makes it possible to view content from two input sources at the same time.
UHD 4K resolution has made its entry all the way down to smartphones and tablets, but most desktop monitors are still quite large and maybe not the best suitable solution for tight office spaces. That doesn’t mean that you don’t want the extra clarity and resolution that a 4K panel can provide and for that AOC launched the compact 23.6-inch U2477PWQ monitor sporting HDMI 2.0 and 60Hz at a 3840 x 2160 resolution.
The PLS panel delivers a good colour uniformity at any viewing angle (178/178 degrees) and exploits 100% of the sRGB colour gamut. A 4ms response time might not be the fastest, but anything below 5ms should be usable for gaming too.
The AOC U2477PWQ comes with DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0, DVI and VGA for connectivity to pretty much any device. If your smart devices are compatible, then the MHL allows you to both display content from a smartphone or tablet directly on the monitor while charging it at the same time. The flicker-free technology should also help reduce eye stress while using the monitor, something everyone can appreciate that has worked at a monitor for longer periods of time.
The included and pretty stylish stand allows for a pivot, but not swivel. You can tilt it -5 to plus 23 degrees and adjust the height with up to 130mm. Should this not be sufficient, then you can mount it on a 100×100 VESA compatible arm or stand.
The AOC U2477PWQ will be available in November 2015. The MSRP will be £289. As with all of its displays, AOC offers a 3-year warranty with on-site exchange service.
Today’s review is a real pleasure for me as I get to take a closer look and test an elite class business NAS with built-in 10GbE and high availability function. I got Thecus’ N7770-10G 7-bay business NAS on the table and I’m going to give it thorough testing to show you just how amazing it is.
When I review consumer class NAS devices, I often talk about how they are suited for all sorts of media and streaming needs as that is the main focus for that group. The Thecus N7770-10G does all this too and it does it great, but it isn’t what it was designed for. This is a business class NAS and as such it needs a whole other set of features and functionality. You get a complete backup solution that includes the use of external devices, cloud backup, snapshots, and client backup as well as total security thanks to Intel Security Antivirus, AES 256-bit encryption, and VPN server functionality. The N7770-10G still provides all the mobile connectivity and media streaming capabilities as well as centralized authentication control.
The Thecus N7770-10G NAS isn’t built around a low-power ARM or Intel Celeron CPU, instead it’s built with a full Intel Core i3-2120 dual-core processor that has a base clock speed of 3.3GHz. To go with that CPU, you get 8GB DDR3 ECC memory that is expandable all the way to 32GB, dual Gigabit Ethernet, 10GbE card pre-installed, and 7 drive bays for a lot of raw storage.
It is my personal opinion that we have been stuck at 1Gbps ethernet connections for way too long. While we had the ability to link those together to achieve better connections, it is old by now and today’s needs also increase the need for better connectivity. In that regard, I’m glad to see Thecus having this model with an included 10GbE adapter, making it ready for the step into the next speed category. It still features two Intel 82574L Gigabit Ethernet connections too, which you naturally all can link aggregate and trunk. Further, you get a total of six USB 2.0 ports where two of them are on the front and two USB 3.0 ports on the rear. The HDMI port further allows you to turn your NAS into the ultimate multimedia hub by connecting the NAS directly to your TV or monitor.
The N7770-10G supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 10, 50 and JBOD modes besides single disk usage. You can create multiple RAID volumes with different modes, only limited by the amount of drives you have available for the pool. Should a hard drive malfunction occur, changing one is simple thanks to online RAID migration and expansion, hot spare, and auto rebuild. You can also pick which filesystem you prefer as the N7770-10G supports EXT3, EXT4, Btrfs and XFS for increased flexibility and ability to suit many different types of environments. Users can simultaneously use different file systems across multiple RAID volumes to get the best of each one.
iSCSI Thin-Provisioning is a thing that many people still read past as they don’t really know what it is, but it is well worth getting the handle on, as you can manage your storage better and get better speeds. Connect through iSCSI for the fastest data transfer speeds available and make wasted disk space a thing of the past with thin provisioning’s flexible storage functionality. Windows Server, NT, and XP users will need to download the iSCIC initiator from Microsoft, but Windows 7, 8, and 10 users, for example, have it built right into the OS. If in doubt, just search for iSCSI from your Windows start menu search.
Two awesome features in Thecus NAS’ that often are overlooked, are the Disk Clone and Disk Wipe functions. Both can be extremely useful for both business and home users. The Disk Clone features allows you to copy the entire contents of a disk to one or many other disks while the Disk Wipe function allows you to permanently destroy a volumes data.
Business data is sensitive data and sensitive data needs to be protected. Thecus N7770-10G offers AES 256-bit RAID volume encryption that allows you to fully encrypt the entire RAID volume. Sensitive data also has to be sent and received with the proper security, for this you can set up the VPN server. It allows users to remotely access a secure network with the equipment already at hand.
Data Guard backup solution is the ultimate software as it provides both local and remote parts. Currently, data is backed up across RAID volumes and external drives. In addition, Data Guard uses innovative technology to sync data across the network to other NAS and servers. It makes managing NAS user-friendly and convenient. But there are many ways to backup your data and the Thecus N7770-10G pretty much supports them all.
With BTRFS support, users can enjoy the simplicity of snapshot backups. Snapshots of data at various time points can be manually or automatically made and just as easily later restored to rollback files or folders to previous states. Rsync is probably the most common used technique and Thecus supports this too. It gives great flexibility with remote backup capability, a flexible scheduler, and the stability of Linux-based transfer.
You can easily create your own cloud solution with the Thecus N7770-10G, but that doesn’t mean that the existing cloud providers should be counted out. There can be many reasons to use these services and Thecus supportsDropBox, Amazon S3, and ElephantDrive cloud backup functionality. The best here is that it is as easy to use and setup as all the normal and local sharing functions.
Data Burn is another great feature that comes in line with the previous mentioned Disk Clone and Disk Wipe features. With Data Burn, you can connect a CD, DVD, or Blue-ray burner and create physical optical backups of your data. In addition, it also supports burning of ISO image files instead. You can of course also use a connected optical drive to easily backup the data to your NAS.
When you buy a Thecus NAS like this, you also get a few extra software pieces that are well worth having. The hardware in itself is solid quality while failovers and redundancies are available for almost all systems. But you also need to protect your files and an Antivirus software is perfect for this. Thecus partnered with McAfee and includes their award-winning software for free.
Acronis True Image is also included for free and it is one of the easiest ways to manage your backups, I use it quite often on both a personal level and for my reviews setups. It is one of the easiest pieces of backup software available with a long set of functions and One-click protection setups.
Keeping an eye on the NAS while you’re on the go isn’t a problem either thanks to iOS and Android connectivity. With T-OnTheGo and the T-Dashboard, you can manage your NAS, and upload to and download/stream from your NAS using an iOS or Android device on the go.
Intel Core i3-2120 (3.3.GHz Dual Core) processor
8 GB DDR3 ECC Memory (Expandable to 32 GB)
10GbE card included
1 x HDMI port
Hot-swappable hard drives
RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, and JBOD
Packaging and Accessories
The front and the back of the box look the same, and it looks stunning. There is no doubt looking at the package that we’re dealing with a premium NAS. The feature highlights as well as the NAS itself are shown clearly and easy to spot.
The side of the box goes more into detail on the specifications and package content. This is also where it will be marked what market it is intended for, which really only comes down to what power cable is included.
The other side shows the feature highlights and how it can be useful in pretty much any scenario. As the box says, A NAS for every need.
Inside the box we find a power cable for our region, a single RJ45 ethernet cable, four keys for the drive trays, screws for seven 3.5-inch drives and screws for seven 2.5-inch drives as well as a utilities disk, warranty card, and quick installation guide.
AOC expanded their line of stylish monitors with two new ones, a 23.8-inch model called the AOC I2481FXH and a 27-inch model called the AOC I2781FH. Both monitors are basically the same except for the difference in size. They come with an IPS panel for a great visual experience, but sadly only with full HD resolution. The monitors also feature the unique looking and asymmetrical stand.
The two monitors feature a very narrow bezel for that suits the overall design very well. The bezel of the 23.8-inch AOC I2481FXH is a mere 7.5 mm wide and the bezel on the 27-inch I2781FH model is just 9.9 mm.
The monitors feature a wide viewing angle of 178 degrees and a 4ms grey to grey refresh rate. The flicker-free technology that regulates brightness without flickering should further enhance the already great visual experience that these monitors will give while reducing the eye strain. The monitors come with three display connectors, two HDMI and one D-Sub VGA, allowing you to easily connect both modern and older devices at the same time.
The AOC I2481FXH will be available October 2015 and the AOC I2781FH will follow in December. Their MSRPs will be £139 and £199 respectively, which isn’t all that bad. As with all of its displays, AOC offers a 3-year warranty that includes on-site exchange service.
Interested in something that serves more than one purpose? Samsung seems to have the same idea and has just revealed their first display with a Qi wireless charging stand. The SE370 seems to come in two sizes, a 23.6-inch and 27-inch, and provides a way to ditch the old data cable for charging your smartphone.
Samsung says that all Qi wireless charging smartphones are compatible with the stand, so there won’t be any smartphones featuring the wireless charging technology left out. The idea is quite brilliant because let’s face it, most of us want or already have a wireless charging pad on their desks. So why use more space than needed? What’s better that to have the charging station integrated into your display that will always be plugged in and on your desk?
In addition to the wireless charging feature, the display features a PLS panel, 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, 4ms response timing and a contrast ratio of 1000:1. Besides the latter, the 23.6-inch model comes with a 250 cd/m2 brightness ratio, while the 27-inch model features a 300 cd/m2 ratio, both having a 170° viewing angle. Also, when talking about connectivity, the SE370 seems to come with one HDMI 1.4, one DisplayPort 1.2 and one D-Sub connectivity options.
The extra features found on the display consist of Eco Saving Plus, Magic Bright, Magic Upscale, Game Mode, Eye Saver Mode, Flicker Free, FreeSync, Image Size. Samsung did not mention a price or release date, but the latter information is bound to follow soon enough. Stay tuned!
Thank you Venture Beat for providing us with this information
BIOSTAR has announced the J1800TH, a mini ITX mainboard with CPU on board, also known as System on a Chip (SoC). These boards are centred around being small and efficient using a small form factor with an embedded CPU, having low power consumption, and being fan-less. They are perfect for all sorts of various industrial applications.
The BIOSTAR J1800TH takes advantage of the optimized performance of Intel’s Bay Trail chipset by delivering a new generation of technology with value-added features and easy integration. The default sized mITX (17 x 17cm) board allows a multitude of uses in pretty much any case.
For the Smart Office situation, the J1800TH mITX board will give you a budget saving dual core computing at 2.41GHz based on the Intel Celeron J1800 chips. This is a silent, fan-less design featuring low power consumption. It is perfect for office space saving and creating a neat and tidy office area, and ultra speed data transfers are no problem with the USB 3.0 interface.
With the J1800TH there are a multitude of business applications such as Digital Signage, Thin Clients, Point of Sales units and Kiosks.
The board supports SO-DIMM Dual Channel DDR3L 1333MHz memory in a 2 slot configuration up to 16 GB and has one PCI-Express 2.0 mini connector. For the storage there are two SATA2 connectors and the whole thing is build with solid capacitors. The BIOS supports on-line updating, which is a really nice thing on embedded systems. The embedded Intel HD Graphics support DirectX 11 and HDCP.
Other internal I/O ports are three USB 2.0 (one double, one single), one SATA Power connector, Front panel Audio and Panel connectors, two system fans headers. For the more business oriented side it offers one Front panel display connector and brightness header. It also has a monitor switch header and an internal 19 volt power header.
The rear I/O offers one 19 volt DC in, one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0, a HDMI and a VGA D-SUB port, two audio jacks and a RJ45 LAN port base on the Realtek TRL8111G 10/100/1000Mbit controller.
Thank you BIOSTAR for providing us with this information.
ASRock has announced its Anniversary Edition of motherboards, the Z97 and Z97M, following the Pentium 20th Anniversary Edition G3258. One of the key features of the aforementioned motherboards is the “Pentium Anniversary Edition” technology, making overclocking easier for users.
The manufacturer is said to have specifically designed the motherboard with overclocking and Intel’s Pentium 20th Anniversary Edition G3258 CPU in mind, being able to access the Pentium Anniversary Boost by hitting “P” when turning the PC on. From there, the feature is said to help the user automatically overclock the CPU from 3.2 GHz to a maximum of 4.2 GHz.
In addition to the overall overclocking feature, ASRock’s Z97 and Z97M Anniversary Edition motherboards are said to provide even more kick out of the Pentium Anniversary Edition G3258 CPU. A clock speed of 4.5 GHz can be easily achieved, having a performance boost of 40%. However, users can also go for the 4.8 GHz limit, where an additional 50% performance boost should be noticeable.
Other features present on the motherboards consist of “Super Alloy” technology for the Z97 in order to provide more stability and reliability, along with Intel’s Gigabit LAN and ELNA Audio Caps. The Z97M is said to come with ELNA Audio Caps as well, along with various video outputs, such as D-Sub, DVI-D and HDMI, supporting a Triple Monitor configuration.
Over the last few years, we have been [in general] demanding higher and higher resolutions from our monitors, and before we even think about using a multi-screen setup – the most common resolution of choice has to be 1920×1080. Over the last year or so, we have been seeing a slow transition over to the 2560×1600 bandwagon as some users opt for bigger 27″+ panels. The problem with these through is that the cost is far greater than a 1920×1080 panel so having a pair of 22″ or 24″ panels is not uncommon – it gives a balance between the desktop space and cost that many people look for.
In a bid to give users the best option of desktop space and display aspect ratio, the 2560×1080 resolution has slowly been cropping up within the market place and in effect it is an ideal alternative for anyone that is looking at a dual 1920×1080 screen setup. The super-wide aspect of this 29″ monitor gives a single desktop space to work within, however when we move over to the gaming side of things, the extra pixels allow for a wider peripheral vision without the distraction of a bezel right in the middle of your view.
AOC’s super-wide monitor is just one of the few to now offer the new resolution, but it doesn’t just give more pixels; it also has one of the best panels on the market to show the image as well. The AH-IPS (Advanced High-Performance In Plane Switching) panel that AOC have chosen produces a mixture of supreme colour accuracy, high pixel density and a high level of brightness, oh and let’s not forget that it has a superb viewing angle as well. All the ingredients are there for certain, but does having a 21:9 aspect monitor really make that much of a difference?
Before we even get a chance to delve inside the box, AOC are keen to show off the screens super-wide aspect ratio and its ability to house multiple windows with ease. The blue box also has a row of the panels highlighted features laid out along the lower edge with a front and back view of the monitor found to the right.
Taking everything out of the box, we find the monitor in two parts and alongside a two-part DC power adaptor we also have a VGA display cable, HDMI cable, 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable, a cable tie, rubber feet and a CD containing a set of display drivers and AOC’s accompanying software for this panel.
Three new 24″ monitors in a 16:10 format have been launched by AOC. The 60 series models from the AOC Professional Line deliver a WUXGA resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, adding valuable desktop space in height compared to the widespread 16:9 Full HD format. Having a classy textured black finish and different equipment variants, these high performers will provide for a great viewing experience in company and home offices. Users can also benefit from a number of tailor-made features such as integrated USB hubs, great ergonomics and intelligent software.
For professionals and ambitious home users
The three new Pro Line models are targeted at office users at home or in enterprises, who require extra desktop real estate for working on complex tables, long texts or pictures. Due to their wide viewing angles and short response times, however, they are more than well-equipped for the occasional movie or game.
The i2460Pxqu is based on a top-notch eIPS (In-Plane Switching) panel, allowing for exceptional colour stability from even larger viewing angles of up to 178°/178° horizontal and vertical. The model reaches a brightness of up to 300 cd/m²; it also boasts the same ergonomic versatility as the e2460Pxda. In addition to D-Sub and DVI-D, the i2460Pxqu features an HDCP-compatible HDMI socket as well as a DisplayPort.
Both the e2460Pxda and the e2460Sxda utilise an LED-backlit TN panel, providing excellent high-definition picture quality with 1920 x 1200 pixels, a luminosity of 250 cd/m² and a static contrast of 1000:1. Both analogue and digital video signals can be received via D-Sub and DVI-D. In addition, the e2460Pxda offers full ergonomic flexibility, allowing users to adjust the panel height by 130 mm as well as to tilt and swivel the monitor. These ergonomic features are especially practical in offices with shared desk environments or for a quick presentation of the screen to colleagues. Thanks to the pivot function, the display can even be rotated into portrait format – just perfect for working on long tables and texts or for editing photographs.
For the utmost user convenience, AOC fits out the Pro Line IPS display with a USB hub integrated in the bezel – keyboards, pen drives, webcams, smartphones and other USB gadgets are thus connected without causing cable clutter on or behind the desk. All 16:10 models from the series 60 are equipped with 2 W speakers for basic sounds. For the more demanding, sound can be looped to external audio set-ups over a 3.5 mm jack.
The models also come with intelligent software. Programs such as e-Saver or Eco Mode help saving energy. With i-Menu, the monitor settings can be conveniently adjusted with the mouse. And Screen+ allows for the large 61 cm (24″) to be divided into different panes, which are accessible via shortcuts – making work much easier for multi-taskers.
Sustainable and energy-efficient
The monitors are produced entirely mercury-free. Thanks to the energy-efficient LED backlights, the energy consumption lies at a very moderate 22 W. Demanding sustainability certificates such as Energy Star 6.0, TCO 6.0 or EPEAT Silver are thus easily fulfilled.
As for all its monitors, AOC offers 3 years of warranty on the three new members of the series 60. As for prices, AOC has the e2460Pxda priced at £239.99, the e2460xda at £229.99 and the i2460PXqu at £249.99.
Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information