SilverStone EP03 USB 3.0 Charging Hub with Display Review

Introduction


USB hubs are nothing new and an essential tool for port multiplying which allows you to connect more devices to your system than you have ports available. This is particularly useful for mobile systems that come with very few ports on their own, but a stationary system can benefit equally from a good USB hub. In today’s review, I am taking a closer look at SilverStone’s EP03 USB 3.0 hub with built-in supercharger function and an integrated display for monitoring voltage and current on all ports.

At heart, SilverStone’s EP03 is a 4-port USB 3.0 hub capable of 5 Gbps transfer speeds. It is naturally also compatible with both USB 2.0 and 1.1 devices on both the host port and the individual connectors. That in itself is nothing new, but everything else is. In fact, this is a pretty smart hub.

When you pick the EP03 hub up and hold it in your hands, you have no doubt that this is a quality built hub. It feels sturdy and it also looks pretty good with its simple plastic case and top plate made of brushed aluminium.

The top is also what instantly reveals one of the features that make this USB hub unique, the built-in display. You can watch the current and voltage in real-time on the display for each of the four ports. Port selection is handled by the small button next to the display which lets you cycle the four ports.

As the display already indicates, this isn’t just a USB hub for peripheral and drive connection, it is also an intelligent charging station that can satisfy users’ increasing demand for fast charging of power-hungry mobile devices. It can deliver 2A to each of the four ports simultaneously and is fully compliant with the USB power delivery specifications 1.2 (BC 1.2).

In addition, the built-in protection mechanism ensures the EP03 can deliver power evenly and safely according to the number or the state of battery charge of connected devices. All these features can also be used to check if a new/replacement charging cable is up to the task and comes with the proper specifications compared to your original cable.

The SilverStone EP03 comes with an AC adapter included which both ensures that you have enough current to all ports, but also allows you to use it as charging station with the use of a host system. It comes with built-in over current and over voltage protections too, so all your connected devices should be safe.

The hub is built around a Genesys Logic GL3522 chipset which actually is a USB 3.1 Gen 1 controller, but that just leaves internal headroom and ensures the best possible connection.

Feature Highlights

  • Integrated display for monitoring voltage and current
  • Supports current up to 2A for each USB port
  • Provides four 5Gbps Super Speed USB 3.0 USB ports
  • High quality brushed aluminum design
  • Supports over voltage and over current protection
  • Includes AC adapter for stable power delivery
  • Compliant with USB power delivery specification 1.2

Package and Accessories

SilverStone always has some great looking packages for their devices and it’s no different for this USB 3.0 hub with fast charging and power meter. It presents itself colourful to the user and begs to be taken home. I know I wouldn’t walk past it.

The rear of the box explains the features in multiple languages.

One of the sides has more details on the product itself in the form of images and text.

And the other side has all the detailed specifications. Overall, a box that tells us everything there is to know about the product inside.

Inside the box, we find a USB 3.0 cable, an AC/DC power adapter, a user guide, and the USB hub itself.

Samsung’s Smart Windshield Should Be More Than A Concept

In this day and age, we are integrating technology into everything, but one thing that seems to just get smarter and smarter is traveling. From automated shuttles to car charging roads, it seems clear that people want smart technology in their cars. The problem being is that a lot of people are being ignored, such as those that ride bikes. This is where the Smart Windshield by Samsung hopes to help bikers catch up a little.

The Smart windshield is just a concept at this moment in time, but with the technology already there and a market prime for the picking we don’t see why interest in this product isn’t higher than it should be to turn it into a real product.

While other ideas for “smart” bike technology have resulted in heads-up displays (HUDs) being placed within the Helmet, Samsung is looking to put it on the bike. Using a small projector that displays a minimal view of what’s needed, the display is projected onto a small sheet of plastic at the front of the bike. The end result is a screen that can tell you the time, give you the next step in your directions or even alert you who’s phoning and texting you so you can pull over and take the message. With an app and wifi system used to communicate between your phone and the bike, it follows a setup that’s available in most GPS systems and even some cars directly.

Do you ride a bike? Would you use this and if so would you be willing to buy certain screens or are helmets betters places to these kinds of displays? Personally, if a phone pops up in front of my face every time someone called me, I might get distracted and freak out a little, so anything you can opt in to looking at seems like a good idea to me.

Google is Dropping Flash Display Adverts

Adobe’s Flash is commonly used stream video content on various services including YouTube, DailyMotion and more! However, the software plugin has a fairly terrible reputation for being unstable, and causing web browsers to freeze. As a result, websites began to slowly move towards HTML5 integration which provides a better user-experience. Today, Google AdWords released a statement regarding the future of flash adverts which reads:

“Over the last few years, we’ve rolled out tools to encourage advertisers to use HTML5, so you can reach the widest possible audience across screens (http://goo.gl/nWHctK). To enhance the browsing experience for more people on more devices, the Google Display Network and DoubleClick Digital Marketing are now going 100% HTML5:

– Starting June 30th, 2016, display ads built in Flash can no longer be uploaded into AdWords and DoubleClick Digital Marketing.
– Starting January 2nd, 2017, display ads in the Flash format can no longer run on the Google Display Network or through DoubleClick.

It’s important to update your display ads^ to HTML5 before these dates.

AdWords advertisers who currently use Flash ads in their campaigns have several easy ways to ensure your creative can continue to show on the Google Display Network. Read more here: https://goo.gl/ZBq5DR

^Video ads built in Flash will not be impacted at this time.”

As you can see, Google is really increasing its stance to push HTML5 as the industry standard and making Flash obsolete. This is inevitable and only a matter of time because of the way consumers perceive Flash. It’s no longer acceptable to deal with bugs, crashing and a sub-par plugin on modern browsers. I highly doubt anyone is going to be overly concerned if Flash is completely disposed of and HTML5 is already used as the default format on various websites including YouTube.

Have you experienced problems using Adobe’s Flash?

Image courtesy of Mashable.

Dell Demos Wireless Monitor With Phone Charging @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Monitor technology has progressed at an exponential rate and the future looks very promising with OLED, and Quantum Dot displays around the corner. However, one of the more unusual developments is a 23-inch 1920×1080 wireless monitor by Dell which allows you to mirror your screen on any Android or Windows device via Miracast and Bluetooth. Not only that, the stand has an integrated wireless charging sensor which supports both QI and PMA standards. When testing this functionality on my own handset, it became apparent that the pad has no problems with unibody design handsets, or devices with a glossy back cover.

The monitor will go on sale March 31st with a retail price of $429.

Seiki Unveils New Displays @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Seiki is an upcoming brand which already produces a number of incredibly affordable televisions and has a significant user base in the UK. Their impressive growth stems from the emergence of absurdly cheap 4K TVs well before the likes of LG, Samsung and more catered towards the mainstream market. Back when 4K TVs could cost over £700, Seiki, unveiled budget models for only £300. Given this success story, Seiki is expanding into other markets, and releasing 4K connected TVs which vary in size between 40″ and 65″. Seiki have also implemented Bongiovi DPS technology to create fantastic audio reproduction which improves clarity, adds missing harmonics and enhances bass resonance.

The company is also moving into the 4K monitor arena with MVA panels which utilize a 3.5ms response time, vibrant colours and 178-degree viewing angles. This makes it a great choice for PC gamers seeking the 4K experience on a budget. In terms of screen size, the 4K monitors will come in 28″, 32″ and 40″ variants. These displays are very promising and after speaking to the rep at CES 2016, we should be receiving review samples of these monitors very soon.

When more information arises about the pricing, and availability, we will update the article.

NEC Releases New 27-Inch and 30-Inch MultiSync EA IPS Panel Displays

NEC Display Solutions of America has announced the release of two new widescreen MultiSync monitors with IPS panel technology, the 30-inch EA305WMi and the 27-inch EA275WMi. Both are designed for dual monitor configurations and feature wide viewing angles of 178o horizontal/vertical, DisplayPort 1.2 inputs and outputs, and NEC’s ControlSync technology.

“The new EA305WMi and EA275WMi displays give business professionals new, powerful tools, especially when using multiple monitors,” Art Marshall, Senior Product Manager for Desktop Displays at NEC Display Solutions, said. “The displays also include NEC’s leading environmental and productivity features, as well as NEC-exclusive ControlSync and human sensors.”

The two displays also come with smart sensing technology, which detects screen content and picks the most appropriate brightness and ambient light levels, plus touch-sensitive controls. The units have fully adjustable stands, which includes height adjusting, tilting, rotation, and pivoting functionality. Additional ports include HDMI 2.0, DVI-D, and a 3-port USB hub.

The displays include the following features:

  • Widescreen IPS panel with LED backlighting
  • 350 cd/m2 brightness and 8-bit color
  • 20,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio (1000:1 typical)
  • Ergonomic adjustable stand with 130mm height-adjust, tilt, swivel and pivot
  • Integrated speakers (1W x 2) and headphone jack
  • ECO Mode, carbon footprint meter and cost meter
  • ENERGY STAR 6.0 and TCO 6.0 compliant

The MultiSync EA305WMi-BK and EA275WMi-BK – priced $1,399 and $699, respectively – are available now.

Quantum Dot Printer Produces World’s Smallest Image

Swiss researchers have produced the world’s smallest inkjet-printed image using quantum dot technology, according to ETH Zurich. The picture, which is a colour picture of a school of clownfish, measuring just 0.08mm-by-0.115mm (or 0.003inches-by-0.005inches) at a resolution of 25,000dpi, can only be seen by the human eye through a microscope. At the width of a human hair, the full image (below) has been verified as the smallest colour image ever printed by Guinness World Records.

Quantum dot technology is being implemented in the next generation of 4K-and-above televisions and monitors, allowing a more efficient alternative to current OLED technology. Using quantum dots for printing could open up the market for printable screens on demand.

“In a futuristic scenario, you could imagine having a plastic foil that goes into a printer and on the other side there is a display coming out,” Dr Patrick Galliker said to the BBC. “You’d have all the functionality of a

screen, which has just been printed using nanomaterials that are in a liquid phase.”

Some, however, are more dismissive about the feat, with Chris Green, a technology expert at the business consultancy Lewis, telling the BBC, “This experiment was a very interesting gimmick, but a gimmick nonetheless.”

“But as a technical exercise to demonstrate the sheer versatility of what quantum dot technology can do with regards to imaging, it’s an absolutely fascinating demonstration of what can be achieved with what is not that expensive technology,” Green added.

AOC to Showcase 160Hz Curved Gaming Monitor and More at CES 2016

AOC is one of the leading monitor manufacturers in the industry and offers a huge range of screen sizes, resolutions and display technologies to suit various customers’ requirements. Today, the company announced their latest range of products will be showcased during CES 2016. This is exciting news and I cannot wait to see these new models on the show floor in Las Vegas. The new AOC C3583FQ features a whopping 160Hz refresh rate, 35 inch curved display and support of FreeSync technology. In the press release, there wasn’t any information about the panel’s resolution, but it should be 3440×1440 given the screen size and 21:9 aspect ratio.

The AOC I2771FM9 produces unbelievable colours via Quantum Dot technology on a 27 inch IPS display. This should make it an excellent choice where accurate colour reproduction is essential. I’ve personally not seen a Quantum Dot monitor before, and cannot wait to try it out during our visit to CES 2016. Another new addition is the U2879VF, which employs a 4K panel and huge array of fast connectivity options. For example, the product boasts DisplayPort 1.2a and HDMI 2.0 to enable 4K content at 60Hz. This model also utilizes AMD’s Freesync technology.

Finally, the AOC I2781FH opts for an ultra slim frame with luxurious styling. The monitor is almost borderless and equipped with a unique symmetric metal stand. Also, this particular product will be available in March 2016, and comes in 21.5″, 23″ and 23.8″ configurations.

SilverStone Releases EP03 Hub with Fast Charging and Power Meter

USB hubs are by definition quite generic, but once in a while a hub comes along that is a little different from the last. We’ve seen USB hubs with LAN combined as well as those with built-in KVM support, but SilverStone’s newest USB hub stays simple in that regards. Instead, the new EP03 comes with high-power charging function on all four ports and a built-in monitoring display that can display the current voltage and the current for each port.

SilverStone’s EP03 smart hub can charge four devices at the same time and supply up to 2A on each port simultaneously thanks the additions of a power supply. The hub naturally also works as a normal four port 5Gbps USB 3.0 hub for splitting up one port for four devices.

The EP03 comes with a beautiful brushed aluminium top plate that gives the hub that extra nice finish. The rest of the hub is made of plastic. It supports over voltage and over current protection to make sure that none of the connected devices will be damaged in case of either.

The new SilverStone EP03 will be available on December the 18th for a recommended end-user price of $33 USD plus VAT.

World’s First White Laser Could Change TVs Forever

A professor in Arizona has developed the world’s first white laser, a rather simple sounding innovation at first, but one that could have a significant impact on a huge range of technologies over the next few years and beyond.

The white laser technology could be used to create much more vivid images for TV screens, as well as offer faster and more secure communications using LiFi technology and more. The creator, Professor Cun-Zheng, has been working on his white laser technology for almost a decade, and his work is being award with top honours from Popular Science Magazine.

“With lasers we can produce many more colors than the standard LED. You can represent any colors you want to represent in a more truthful manner,” said Ning. “To grow for the first time a semiconductor that would be made red, green, and blue at the same time, and furthermore we were able to demonstrate that single piece of material can actually have laser actions simultaneously so that the overall light coming out is white,” he added.

Laser TVs are nothing new, but they’re wildly expensive and not quite ready to take on the current crop of consumer hardware. This new technology uses razor-thin lasers that would represent just one pixel each on the screen, using three colours to mix to white, or any other colour required for each “pixel”. Much like OLED technology, this doesn’t require a backlight, but can produce even more vivid colours and detail.

“That was really exciting when you put a laser TV side-by-side, with the best LCD or LED TV, and there’s no comparison, the kinda color you see is immediately so vivid,” said Ning.

This is great news, but don’t expect to see a per-pixel laser TV set on the shelves too soon, this is just the first step of getting this hardware working, bringing it to market is the next step.

Nvidia NVS 810 Digital Signage Card Released – Supports 8X 4K

Are you tired of the limitations of your current graphics cards video output options? If you’re trying to create a large-scale video wall to watch all your favourite media, perhaps you’re having trouble getting all eight of your 4K monitors connected? Don’t worry, it looks like Nvidia have the almost-perfect solution for you.

The new Nvidia NVS multi-display lineup has just launched, starting with the NVS 810, which is based around the ever-popular Maxwell hardware. With a pair of GM107 GPUs on the card, each with 2GB of memory and a total of 1024 CUDA cores between them, it has plenty of power to push video through its impressive connectivity options; 8 mini-DP 1.2 ports on this single slot card.

While it’s obvious this card isn’t for gaming, its low profile, low-power, design is perfect for the market they’re intended for. The profile and lower heat generated means it shouldn’t be too much trouble using four of these cards together, giving you a maximum 4K display output of 32. If you’re building a display setup for digital marketing, financial trading, sports events and a whole host of other things, that’s going to be a handy feature.

Prices are expected to be around $650 – $750, not cheap, but still good value for money given the functionality.

NEC Unveils the MultiSync E203Wi-BK

NEC Display Solutions of America has revealed its latest MultiSync monitor, the 20-inch E203Wi-BK widescreen LCD display with LED backlighting. The monitor, aimed at corporate and small-to-medium-sized businesses, features a high-performance AH-IPS panel with a wide viewing angle, plus rich colour consistency and image clarity, plus DisplayPort, VGA and DVI-D connections, and a fully articulated ergonomic stand.

“Businesses, regardless of size, are looking for high-performance monitors that save them money,” Kevin Christopherson, Director of Product Marketing for Desktop Displays at NEC, said. “The E203Wi display delivers an outstanding set of features, is environmentally friendly and comes at an affordable price.”

The E203Wi-BK display boasts the following features:

  • 20-inch, 16:9, LED-backlit LCD wide-screen panel
  • Fully ergonomic stand with height, pivot, tilt and swivel adjustability
  • 1600 x 900 native resolution
  • DisplayPort, VGA and DVI-D connectivity
  • Compatibility with NEC’s NaViSet Administrator asset management system
  • Intelligent Power Manager (IPM), off timer and ambient light sensor that automatically dims the screen to further reduce energy consumption
  • ENERGY STAR 6.0 compliance
  • ECO Mode and carbon footprint meter

The NEC MultiSync E203Wi-BK launches later this month, priced at around $179, and comes with a three-year parts and labour warranty, which includes the screen’s backlight. More information can be found by visiting the E203Wi-BK’s product page.

The Best Free 4K Content to Show Off Your New TV or Monitor

4K monitors and TVs are quickly growing in popularity, but I’m often asked “where can I find 4K content?” and that’s something I hope to help you with today. Sure there’s some movies online, such as Amazon Prime and Netflix, where you can stream 4K content straight to your device, permitting you have the appropriate subscriptions, but what if you’re seeking some completely free content to enjoy? Here’s a quick round-up of some of the best free 4K resources you’ll find online.


Tears of Steel

This is one of the best out there, a short movie about robotics and the future that uses Blender for the CGI. The acting is a little silly, but it’s certainly an enjoyable watch and it’s a visual feast that’ll really flex your new 4K display and wow your friends with rich colours and detail. Download the full 6.3GB file for free for the best experience.

Download here


Big Buck Bunny

Another project that is available for free on Blender really pushes the limits of home cinema technology and computer displays, not only because it’s 4K, but you can also download it in 4K 3D and a 60fps HFR version, which really is a treat for the eyes and showcases some of the best of the best technologies, the same kind you can expect to see on Ultra HD Blu-Ray, which launches next year.

Download here


NASA

While not a movie as such, NASA has a simply mind-blowing array of 4K content and they update their library regularly. Now that the space station has its own 4K camera, as well as a library of space exploration content that has been given the 4K treatment, science and space fans will find a lot of wonderful things to view here, such as the recently released Jupiter video. To make it super easy, all of this content is ready to view in 4K on YouTube.

Check out NASA TV Videos here


Panasonic 4K

Another YouTube entry, with Panasonic showcasing all of their show-reel content on their channel. This isn’t the most exciting stuff, but when it comes to showing off the detail that 4K can do, time-lapse videos can be almost hypnotic and they’re well worth checking out if you’re eager to see the differences between HD and 4K (change the resolution on YouTube.

Check out the Panasonic YouTube channel here.


Reddit

Reddit is a huge community, offering all kinds of subreddits full of user-curated content and 4K is no exception. There’s a huge range of images, gifs, videos, downloads and much more on the 4kUltraHD subreddit and it’s regularly updated. Be sure to check out the Top section for the most popular and the New section for regular content.

Check out 4kUltraHD Subreddit here.


Vimeo

Vimeo is great for finding user-created 4K videos, from people showing off their stunning drone footage, to amateur and pro movie makers showing off their latest talents, there are all kinds of cool things to find here. Some of the videos require a premium subscription, but there’s still a lot of free content to enjoy in 4K.

Check out Vimeo here

MMD Refreshes E-Line Displays with 3 New Philips Models

MMD, a leading brand license partner for Philips Monitors, announced a refreshed line-up of consumer displays with three new models. The first new monitor is a 23-inch version using an AH-IPS panel while the last two monitors feature PLS LED panels and are 24-inch and 27-inch respectively. All three of the latest E-Line displays are said to “offer vivid, true-to-life colours and wide-angle viewing, styled in an elegance-inspired design for a light, fresh face in any home or office.”

IPS panels are the preferred ones by most people, so let’s start with the 237E (237E7QDSB) 23-inch monitor. The stand and frame is a glossy black finish with edge-to-edge glass and narrow borders. The narrow borders give minimal viewing distractions and also allow easy setups with multiple monitors. For an extra sleek look, the front border is kept free of touch buttons, instead the monitor features a discreetly placed EasySelect toggle key on the rear to make quick adjustments to monitor settings. You can spot the EasySelect key on the bottom left side in the photo below.

The EasyToogle button is present on all three new monitors, also on the 24-inch 246E (246E7QDSW) and 27-inch 276E (276E7QDSW) monitors. You also get the same 178-degree viewing angles, Full-HD resolution at 60Hz, and a 250 cd/m² brightness on all three models.

Besides the difference in panel type, the three new Philips monitors are almost identical. The 24-inch and 27-inch monitors use PLS LED technology and aren’t black. Instead, they are available in a glossy white finish with a slim and elegant metal stand. Colour-wise, the two can reproduce 82% of the NTSC colour gamut.

All three displays come with technology features such as Philips Flicker-free, SmartContrast, Economy mode, and SmartImage Lite. Connection wise you get an analog VGA D-Sub connector, a digital HDCP DVI-D connector, and an MHL-HDMI connector, making them suitable for almost any system. That even goes for mobile devices that are MHL-capable. With an optional MHL cable, you can connect it directly and charge the mobile device at the same time.

The new Philips displays 237E7QDSB, 246E7QDSW and 276E7QDSW will be available at the beginning of November at £149, £159 and £219 respectively.

Acer Announces Predator X34 Curved 21:9 G-Sync Monitor Availability

Acer recently unveiled the world’s first 34-inch curved IPS gaming monitor featuring NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology. The display utilizes a refresh rate of 60Hz and supports overclocking up to 100Hz to reduce motion blur. Furthermore, the panel’s 178-degree viewing angles and 3440×1440 resolution offers an immersive gaming experience. Other features include an adjustable stand which allows for height and tilt tweaks. The display also is capable of 100 percent sRGB coverage and opts for a brightness of 300 cd/m2. According to Acer America’s product manager, Charlotte Chen:

“We believe the Predator X34 offers one of the smoothest, most thrilling game experiences available today,”

“NVIDIA G-SYNC technology and up to 100Hz overclocking deliver extremely sharp moving pictures, while 14W stereo audio enhanced with DTS Sound enrich gameplay with powerful sound effects.”

In terms of connectivity, the monitor contains two 7W speakers, a HDMI port, DisplayPort 1.2 and four USB 3.0 ports. Obviously, you will need to use the DisplayPort for G-Sync and high refresh rates at 3440×1440. The monitor also employs a zero-frame-design to maximize the viewing area. The Predator X34 is now available from leading retailers in the United States and priced at $1299.99.

What resolution are you currently using?

Thank you Legit Reviews for providing us with this information.

Japan Display Conveys Prototype 8K Screen Within a 17-inch LCD

Recent years have seen a substantial improvement of resolution within screens at a price point which has dropped significantly, from average consumer availability of 1080p Televisions to the new breed of 4K sets which are pushed to market at a decent price compared to previous developments. But as we all know, 4k is not good enough, we want even higher res, well some of us, for me, computer games and films benefit from the increased detail level, but I am sceptical when the time comes to implement a higher detail level for day-to-day TV.

Another disadvantage is in the form of a gigantic screen which is needed for 4K or even 8k viewing, well, maybe not considering a company by the name of “Japan Display” have announced plans for a 17.3 inch 8K screen. According to the prototype specs, this innovation runs at a smooth yet fast response rate of 120Hz with resolution stats of 7,680(W) x RGB x 4,320(H) pixels. The display itself is a familiar Liquid Crystal Display (LCS) module and is “based on low temperature poly silicon (LTPS) technology with true 8K pixels (RGB stripe arrangement), thus realizing high-definition (510ppi) images”

The compact yet powerful nature of the screen holds potential uses which include implementations within the medical environment and also fun aspects that include game and video image production. Below is a display image of the likely vision of the product and also full details of the prototype specs.

Display Mode LTPS TFT, transmissive IPS mode
Screen size (diagonal) 17.3-inch (43.9cm)
Resolution format 7,680(W) x RGB x 4,320(H)
Pixel density 510ppi
Luminance 500cd/m2
Contrast ratio 2000:1
Viewing angle >176degree(CR>100:1)
Frame rate 120Hz

The display will be exhibited at the “NHK/JEITA booth on October 7 – 10, 2015 during CEATEC JAPAN 2015 held at Makuhari Messe, Japan, in collaboration with NHK”.

One can only wait for further details of this exciting innovation in display technology, although, god only knows as to the price point which JDI have in mind, hopefully it will be reasonable, wait!, who am I kidding, you would probably need to sell a kidney for one of those. Sounds funny now, but remember those reports which circulated in 2012 which stated that a Chinese student sold an organ for an iPad, so no one do that.

Thank you j-display for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of sunetfon       

iMac with Retina 5K Display Vs 90mm Anti-Tank Cannon

As much as Apple have proven to be a successful company, creating some of the most popular devices on the market, it still makes me smile to see them getting blown to a million pieces. Then again, I like seeing high-end military hardware blowing stuff up for fun regardless, it just puts a cheeky smile on my face when it’s an Apple product.

We’ve seen a few videos like this in the past, more often than not involving iPhones and bullets. So what if we scale things up a bit? Take a nice and big iMac with 5K Retina display and face it off against a T8 90mm AT (anti-tank) cannon. Let’s be honest, this isn’t a fair fight, but you didn’t come here to read about the iMac winning, we all know how this is going to end.

Of course, we don’t have our own T8 cannon or an iMac 5K of our own to corroborate the results, but we’re pretty confident that YouTuber “FullMag” did a damn good job of showing that iMac who’s boss.

If you could blast any piece of technology with a 90mm anti-tank cannon, what would it be and why? Let us know in the comments section below.

Sharp Prepares To Launch Worlds First 8k Screen In October

Tech companies are on a constant cycle of innovation with the aim of enticing consumers to spend more and more of their hard-earned cash, Televisions are a perfect example of this and have seen SD being usurped by HD, this was before 3D pushed its way to the front for it to be then beaten by 4K. Now, 4K is not all you need as Sharp are preparing to launch the first ever 8K display which looks set for its market debut in October 2015.

Companies have attempted to develop “super hi-vision” resolution test models, but these have only been as a prototype and have not been commercially available. Sharp hope to break through this barrier with an 8K format which provides 16 times as many pixels as 1080p high-definition, It also creates an image so detailed that it can appear three-dimensional.

I bet you would like to own one, but there might be a slight problem with that. Firstly, Sharp have unveiled the 8K model which is a colossal 85 inches in size. That’s OK, I did not need that front room wall there anyway, and secondly, the price currently stands at $133,000 dollars (£86,000) which is a lot. The market and price point would dictate that only industries which include broadcasters and also other companies involved in testing the format would be able to afford such an expensive piece of kit.

One market analyst has suggested that “8K TVs which are targeted at consumers would be released around 2016, and we don’t expect they will cross one million units until after 2019,” said Abhi Mallick, from IHS Technology.  An image is below to convey the spec of these new screens as opposed to current pixel resolutions, as you can see, Full HD is dwarfed by the sheer detail of 8K.

It’s an exciting evolution in tech, albeit a slightly redundant one considering the lack of 8K featured content which is currently available to consumers. A further angle on this would be the demand aspect for such high-resolution screens, are consumers ready to adopt this format or is it one step to far for the commercial viability of 8K, 3D has been considered a damp squib for home adoption and content would need to be readily available in order for this format to succeed within the next few years or so, this would include an increase in broadband speeds for super hi res streaming content.

Thank you bbc for providing us with this information.

 

Improve Your Halloween Display With This Motion Activated Window Figure

I agree with very little when it comes to certain policies which have been fostered upon the globe by good old Uncle Sam, the United States of America, Halloween on the other hand is executed, no pun intended, with all the intended style and spirit which consumers have been accustomed to over the decades. But what are the best decorations which one could use when decorating a house, property or to scare your friends?

That’s an interesting question which UK-based people do not have the answer to, but a US Internet store by the name of Think Geek does and is currently offering an easy-to-install motorized human face that taps on a selected window at pre-set intervals, the website states the “figure is hung via suction cup on a window so that there appears to be a person looking at your unwitting onlooker. It would be wise to play this prank on an individual which you know, although I am not sure this would be the best of ideas in a country which boasts a collection of around 300 million guns.

This device of sorts is motion activated and can be set to a maximum of 3 taps every ten seconds, the finger tip is metal capped with the aim of producing a loud enough sound to draw attention to the scare, it also runs on AAA batteries. It also includes above suction cup, no surprise, and a finishing line for those hard to reach scare surprises. This shock tactic is priced at $59.99 and would be sure to find a market as Halloween approaches.

Thank you thinkgeek for providing us with this information.

Raspberry Pi Releases £48 7-Inch Touchscreen

After two years of development, the official Raspberry Pi touch display has been released today. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has commissioned Inelco Hunter to produce the screen, which boasts an RGB 800×480 display at 60fps, 24-bit colour, FT5406 10 point capacitive touchscreen, and a 70 degree viewing angle, and is compatible with the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, Raspberry Pi Model B+ and Raspberry PI Model A+.

The touch display connects via a 15-way FPC connector, while the rear of the screen has mounting holes to attach the Pi. The screen and the Pi can be powered through the board’s GPIO port, or though the microUSB port, with the display connected though a DSI port.

The Official Raspberry Pi Touch Display is available from the official Swag Store, as well as from RS Components/Allied Electronics or Premier Farnell/Newark – with shipments available from other sellers later this week – for £48/$60, not including shipping and tax. For an extra £10/$15, customers can buy a coloured frame for the touchscreen, available in tangerine, coupe, royale, noir, flotilla, and jade (or orange, red, blue, black, light blue, and green to you and me).

Full technical specs and a history of the touchscreen’s development are available on the Raspberry Pi blog.

Philips and MMD Reveals New Monitor Line-up

MMD and Philips Monitors has unveiled its new monitor line-up at IFA 2015 in Berlin, which includes Philips’ first curved display and an UltraClear 5K Quantum Dot Color model.

The Philips 34-inch curved display boasts a CrystalClear, UltraWide Quad HD resolution (3440 x 1440) resolution, AH-IPS LCD technology, and a wide viewing angle. It also features DTS sound technology for virtual surround sound, rich bass, and enhancements to prevent clipping or distortion.

The new premier Philips 27-inch monitor has a 14.7 million pixel (5,120 x 2,880) UltraClear, Quantum Dot Color 5K display, which has four times more content-per-inch than the average Quad HD resolution, and comes equipped with MultiView for dividing the screen space, and PerfectKolor Technology which ensures 99% AdobeRGB colour space and one billion colours.

Also on display was another 27-inch monitor, this one with IPS-ADS Adobe RGB display with Quantum Dot Color IQ for 50% more colour than traditional LED screens while using 25% less power.

Making its European début, the Ambiglow Plus Base, with its Full HD IPS display, creates a halo of light on and around the monitor’s base, in sync with the display image. The Ambiglow light also serves as a mood light when the display is off.

Finally, Philips is bringing MMD’s SoftBlue technology, designed to protect the eye from blue-light exposure to reduce eye fatigue, to its new 24-inch display. Softblue mutes harmful wavelengths of blue-light emissions without sacrificing colour fidelity.

Thank you HiTech Legion for providing us with this information.

21:9 Monitors – a Viable Alternative to 4k?

Introduction


4K monitors have been touted as the next mainstream standard to replace 1920×1080 displays, but the Steam Hardware survey suggests this may take over a decade. Currently, 34.33% of gamers are using 1920×1080 and 26.89% play at a surprisingly low, 1366×768 resolution. The problem with 4K revolves around Windows’ poor scaling on high PPI displays, and the graphical horsepower required to drive 300% more pixels than 1920×1080. It seemed for some time that 4K was the only option on the horizon, but 21:9 ultra-wide monitors have been gaining momentum in two variants. Typically, you can choose between 2560×1080 panels or 3440×1440 models. For the purposes of this feature, we decided to use the highly-regarded AOC U3477PQU and establish if 21:9 monitors are an aspect ratio worthy of your attention.

21:9 monitors are equivalent to dual 15″ or 17″ setups depending on the 29″ or 34″ screen size. The primary benefit to a single large monitor is the lack of bezels which can cause eye strain or distract you during full-screen tasks. In terms of desktop usage, 21:9 displays are nothing short of revolutionary due to the massive real estate. It’s incredibly simple to glance at 3-4 visible windows without having to press ALT+TAB.

This means you can write articles, whilst referring to sources or compare an edited photo to the original. The possibilities are endless and massively increase your productivity. Additionally, the PPI of a 34″ 3440×1440 panel is almost equivalent to a 27″ 2560×1440 screen. As a result, the text is a sharp and readable size. If you want to go down the 4K route, the minimum screen size for a pleasant desktop experience is 28″-32″ but I would personally recommend 40″. I don’t think this is a viable option for most people and believe that you would be better off with a 29″ 2560×1080 display. Similarly,  I find it rather perplexing that 24″ 4k monitors exist and wonder who the target market is.

Productivity and Desktop use


 

As you can see from the picture, this particular model utilizes a straight panel without any curvature. Many of the upcoming 21:9 displays adopt a slight curve to help the user naturally look at the extreme edges without too much head movement. However, I’m quite skeptical how much of a difference this actually makes. I’ve been using a 21:9 monitor for approximately a month and it’s surprising how quickly you adjust to mammoth size.

Within a few days, 34″ doesn’t feel overpowering and I’d struggle to go back to any traditional 16:9 display. It’s important to remember though that 21:9 panels are optimized for multi-page workloads and look terrible with a single, full-screen application. If you access a webpage at 3440×1440 and cover the entire screen, only a tiny proportion will be used to display the website.

Watching Video Content


The industry standard of 16:9 video production can cause a myriad of problems on unusual aspect ratios and results in black bars or a stretched image. This is far from ideal and you cannot utilize the entire screen or enjoy video content in an ultra-wide cinematic manner. Despite this, I adjusted to the black bars pretty quickly and my eyes began to fixate on the 16:9 image. Although, I am fairly used to watching old 4:3 footage on 16:9 Televisions, so your experience may vary.

For example, Thunderbirds was originally filmed in 4:3 during the 1960s and transferred to 16:9 for the UK Blu-Ray release. This was an abomination with parts of the set being chopped off and characters looking stranger than usual. So how does this relate to 21:9 monitors? Stretching any content from one aspect ratio to another is always going to end in tears. In theory, you can use VLC and set a specific aspect ratio, despite what the original source might be in, but the image might leave you feeling a little dejected. Personally, I tried a number of anime shows and stretched the feed, but it was fairly hard to watch.

Watching any online content via YouTube, Neflix or Amazon Instant compounds this issue and you cannot stretch the image without a third-party plugin. The snapshot above shows a 4K sample being played on the monitor’s native resolution. Obviously, the panel cannot output 4K, but it’s interesting to see how beautiful the colours and detail can be on an IPS, 3440×1440 display. If you can look past the black bars, and mentally think about having two monitors; a 34 ultra-wide and a 27 inch 16:9 panel, then video playback is wonderful. It’s all about perception and if you can accept the black bars.

Gaming Experience


Playing games on a 21:9 display is immersive, exhilarating and adds a whole new dimension to titles you’ve already completed. This immense experience comes from the ultra-wide field-of-view which allows you to soak up the atmosphere and notice nuances in a game’s environment. From first-person shooters to racing games, the 21:9 aspect ratio provides a stunning picture which feels surprisingly natural.

Competitive shooters like CS:GO didn’t suffer from significant motion blur or latency, but this will all depend on the individual panel quality. I particularly enjoyed tense shooters like Metro Last Light and felt the panel width enhanced my connection with the gunplay overall. After using 21:9, 16:9 just seems so limiting and counterproductive. You can no longer gaze over such a wide viewpoint and games work much better on a rectangular screen shape.

There is one caveat to the gaming experience which isn’t as major as I first expected. Some titles do not support 21:9 screens, so you have to manually enable the resolution through a .ini or .cfg file. If you encounter this problem, an excellent source of information is the Widescreen Gaming Forum. This site grades each game for its 21:9 support, and includes a number of fixes to help with UI scaling and graphical abnormalities. What did shock me is the amount of games which allow for a 21:9 resolution without any tweaks. Surprisingly, most games within the last 5 years should work very well unless they are a poor PC port of a console game. If you’re thinking about buying a 21:9 monitor, but you’re worried about the lack of compatibility, don’t be! For gaming purposes, a 21:9 screen is simply magical.

Final Thoughts


Selecting any monitor requires a degree of compromise and this is especially the case with 21:9 displays. For gaming purposes, the aspect ratio is sublime and delivers a breathtaking experience. Furthermore, the ultrawide format works pretty well with most games and doesn’t require huge amounts of tweaking. Usually, the main issue revolves around the HUD becoming enlarged and not scaling to the display properly. Although, this isn’t overly prominent and documented on the Widescreen Gaming Forum. The wide FOV on 21:9 monitors enriches the experience and enhances your appreciation for the art assets.

However, 21:9 panels are not suitable for professional gamers at this time. Currently, the panels are either VA or IPS/PLS featuring a 60Hz refresh and between 5-15ms response time. In all honesty, a TN monitor would struggle to reproduce a consistent colour palette on an ultrawide screen. The situation might change in the coming months as IPS panels are now reaching 144Hz as illustrated by the Acer XB270HU.

The ultrawide format provides a splendid workspace for multitasking and led to a sharp increase in my productivity. I’m now able to browse multiple windows at the same time without any hesitation. The huge screen real estate and sensible PPI rating makes text clear without squinting. 21:9 monitors are a superb alternative to a dual monitor setup.

Video content is predominately produced to support the mainstream 16:9 standard. As a result, 21:9 panels cannot cope with non-native videos and your only option is to acclimatize yourself to black bars or stretch the video feed. Personally, the black bars didn’t irk me and I accepted this flaw fairly quickly. If you decide to stretch the image, it looks unnatural, and fairly bizarre. Subsequently, if you intend on watching movies, TV shows and don’t play games, I would recommend a large 16:9 4k monitor instead.

Using a 21:9 monitor for the past month has been an enthralling experience and despite its flaws, I wouldn’t trade the aspect ratio for 4K, multi-monitors, or 2560×1440 144hz products.

Samsung Reveals First Monitor With a Qi Wireless Charging Stand

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_uNw-ueAZM

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

Images courtesy of Business Korea

Acer Unveils XR341CK 34-Inch Curved QHD FreeSync Monitor

Acer has expanded its monitor line-up to include a FreeSync version of the XR341CKA. This new model doesn’t require a dedicated G-Sync module and expected to launch in late July with an MSRP of $1,099. In contrast to this, the G-sync variant is rumoured to cost $1,299 and both displays are backed with a 3 year warranty. The XR341CK features a 34-inch QHD (3440×1440) IPS panel on an ultrawide 21:9 aspect ratio and utilizes a 4ms response time. Thankfully, the screen adopts a subtle curvature which makes reading small details on extreme edges a more natural experience. Furthermore, the display outputs a 75Hz refresh rate and attains 100 percent sRGB coverage. The panel also uses an extremely thin bezel design which helps you to focus on the screen instead of the outer causing. Acer have yet to disclose the specific FreeSync range but I would expect a 25-75Hz ratio which takes advantage of the maximum refresh rate unlike the Asus MG279Q.

The bundled stand evokes a luxurious feel from the aluminum construction and distinctive aesthetic design with ergonomic tilt from 5 to 35 degrees and height adjustments up to 5 inches. In terms of connectivity, you can choose between HDMI v2.0 supporting MHL charging, DisplayPort, miniDisplay Port and DisplayPort out. A 4 port USB 3.0 hub on the rear is useful for connecting flash drives and other miscellaneous devices. Charlotte Chen, product manager of Acer America proudly announced,

“This killer new monitor makes game play incredibly realistic,”

While FreeSync is still in its infancy and has some teething problems, it’s impressive to see monitor prices with adaptive sync being driven down to exemplify how overpriced G-Sync alternatives are. This is a wonderful development for the consumer as there is a large quantity of FreeSync monitors being released from 1920×1080 144hz to 4k 60Hz. In comparison, there are only a few G-Sync models for sale and none which take advantage of the 21:9 aspect ratio. Although Asus are planning to release a ROG 34″ Curved Gaming Monitor.

How do you feel about FreeSync vs G-Sync? Would you pay an extra $200 just to use NVIDIA’s implementation? 

Microsoft’s Surface Hub Aimed at Enhancing Your Workplace Productivity

Microsoft has always been dedicated towards business solutions and it now shows us that once again with its big brand new Surface Hub touch screen. The company aims to make your workplace more productive and interactive in a world where more and more business meetings take place on overseas conference calls.

Microsoft’s Brian Eskridge said that they are focusing on making content and video sharing faster and easily accessible to people to “get things done”. Of course, you already have similar options already available out there, but none could compare with a big touch surface.

If you ask why you need an oversized touch screen display in your conference room instead of just having a normal Skype meeting on a laptop, here’s the answer. Microsoft’s Surface Hub comes equipped with a high-definition display, touch controls, built-in cameras and microphones, Microsoft’s own business productivity software and even Kinect features built into the cameras.

Aside from the above, the Hub provides support for other business software tools such as Google Hangouts, but more business solution software is bound to be made available for it once it gets released. So you have a big screen full of potential in your office and it isn’t restricted to Microsoft’s deals. Isn’t that pleasing?

The Surface Hub will hit the market this July, but Microsoft already placed it in some companies to get beta testing feedback. The standard Microsoft Surface Hub is said to boast a 55-inch touch display and be priced at $7,000, while the bigger 85-inch model comes with a $20,000 price tag.

Thank you Phys.org for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of notebook online

Apple WWDC 2015 Could Bring 12-inch iPads and Dual-App View Mode

We are nearing that time of the year when Apple will unveil its stuff at the annual World Wide Developer Conference. Out of all rumours, the most interesting ones consist of 12-inch iPads, dual-app view mode and a multi-user login feature.

Since Microsoft released their Windows 8 and provided split-screen app support for both desktop and Surface devices, Apple has been keen on adding the same thing to their iPads. However, up until now, the feature gave the Cupertino-based company a lot of headaches, which eventually forced them to push back the feature release date.

The latest iOS 9 firmware is now rumoured to bring the aforementioned feature, which might debut at the WWDC in June. Word is that the feature will support 1/2, 1/3 and 2/3 views and could be shown on current iPad models.

Aside from the above, Apple might introduce two new 12-inch iPads codenamed J98 and J99, which could be the long anticipated iPad Pros we heard about in the past. Due to their size, Apple is now rumoured to be working on tweaking the iOS and resizing core apps and features such as Siri, the Notification Centre and others in order to make them display properly on the larger displays.

Last but not least, Apple might even introduce support for multiple users. Similar to the Macintosh OS, users will be able to sign into their own accounts and have access to their own personal apps and files. Rumour has it that the feature will not come with the first iOS 9 build, but since Apple is strongly considering to enter the business and education sector, we might see the feature added in an update by the end of the year.

Thank you 9to5 Mac for providing us with this information

Diamond Wireless Video Stream HD 1080P HDMI Review

Introduction


A great desktop or AV setup should simply work, with as few controls needed as possible, as few cables as needed, so that you can power it up and get on with the work or entertainment you desire, with as few problems as possible. Whether you’re wanting to take your work and throw it up on the big screen for a presentation, send your video output to a projector, take the movie or website you’re working with from your desktop to the living room, it doesn’t matter, you just want to be able to do it in a few simple clicks. The Diamond wireless display transmitter is one device that promises to be able to let you do just that, but is it any good?

“Wirelessly stream HD video and internet content to your HDTV. Now you can enjoy your home computer content and stream movies from sites like Hulu®, Netflix®, Boxee®, iTunes® and YouTube® from the comfort of your own living room. There is no need to buy bulky set top boxes that limit what you can watch. Simply connect your PC to your high definition television and watch quality digital content supporting 1080p resolution. It’s your TV and your PC wirelessly!”

I’ve had a little experience with wireless display technology in the past and it was woefully inefficient. There were lag issues, display quality problems, stutter, range issues, resolution limitations and more. However, that was a fair few years ago and wireless technology has improved greatly since then, so I’m eager to see how this device holds up.

  • Watch ANYTHING from your PC or laptop on a large flat panel TV
  • Simple and Easy installation
  • Supports 1080p Full HD
  • 5.1 Digital Audio
  • 3.5 MM 2 Channel Stereo
  • MULTITASKING – Watch TV while working on your PC or laptop
  • Stream presentations wirelessly to your HDMI or VGA projector
  • Stream photos, music library or Internet radio from your PC or laptop to your HDTV home theater
  • Up to 30 foot range
  • HDMI cable included

In the box, you’ll find everything you need to get you started. The power cable, a USB transmitter, the receiver box and a HDMI cable.

The USB adaptor is simple enough and will connect to your computer easily enough, the higher and more insight of the transmitter you can get it, the better.

The receiver box is nice and compact, a lot smaller than most streaming devices and it shouldn’t be hard to integrate into your home entertainment setup, or pop next to a device such as a projector. It’s also small enough that you could keep it stored in your laptop bag. On the end, you’ll find a VGA port, great for keeping it compatible with older projectors and displays.

Down the other side, you’ve got a power input port, Mini-USB, HDMI (1080p and 5.1 Digital Audio support) and a 3.5mm jack for external 2 channel audio.

Two indicator lights on one end, to show signal and power.

The aerial can be moved to help you find an optimal signal.

It can also be removed should you need to and it features a standard WiFi antenna port, so you may even be able to add your own aerial if you really wanted to, or simply replace it should you break the original.