AMD Pre-Announces Bristol Ridge APUs – Claims 50% x86 Improvement

After launching Excavator with Carrizo last year, we’re getting the next iteration based on the same architecture. Dubbed Bristol Ridge, the new lineup features an improved DDR4 memory controller among other things. Today, we’re only getting the notebook side of the launch, with the desktop chips and platform to launch later in the year. AMD is touting some major gains over their Kaveri Steamroller APUs launched in 2014. The reason for the pre-announcement is HP outing Bristol Ridge with their new  Envy x360 notebook at GTC.

According to AMD, Bristol Ridge improves x86 performance by nearly 50% over Kaveri/Steamroller. This is pretty good given that Excavator actually features less L2 cache. Even compared to Carrizo, Bristol Ridge manages to post a 10% improvement due to the DDR4 memory controller. AMD’s IMC performance has generally been good but not amazing and hopefully, there will be even more improvements for Zen’s DDR4 controller.

On the graphics side, there are significant gains up to 18% in some cases. This is even with the iGPU portion staying constant. This is all probably due to the use of DDR4 which is a god improvement over DDR3. As we all know, AMD’s APUs are highly reliant on good memory bandwidth in order to feed the iGPU and CPU portions at the same time. With good memory, the APUs can see massive gains in gaming performance. Hopefully, we’ll get more benchmarks that aren’t dubious leaks.

HP Unveils The World’s Thinnest Laptop

Laptop manufacturers including Apple, Lenovo and HP have become obsessed about creating the thinnest possible form factor. While these design decisions can help forge a beautiful finish, it’s not always a practical idea. For example, laptops prioritizing thin construction over cooling hardware have the potential to run extremely hot especially if the end-user attempts demanding tasks. Saying that, whenever a company creates an innovate project, it’s always worth giving them recognition. Today, HP unveiled the world’s slimmest laptop which features an ultra thin 10.4mm frame. This is astounding and I’m absolutely in awe of the HP Spectre’s aesthetic. It evokes a premium feel and it’s one of the best laptop designs I’ve seen for some time.

Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager, consumer personal systems, HP Inc described the new laptop and said:

“The HP Spectre is the thinnest notebook in the world, and unlike the majority of other super thin PCs on the market, this laptop doesn’t compromise power or features,” 

“A beautiful Full HD edge-to-edge display, Intel Core i processors coupled with Bang & Olufsen sound and a sexy and thin design, HP amazing engineers set a new standard with the all new Spectre.”

Here we can see a brief overview of the device’s key features:

  • A carbon fiber bottom creates a thin profile that is both durable and lightweight, keeping the total weight of the notebook at just 2.45 pounds
  • CNC machined aluminum chassis as thin as an AAA-battery at just 10.4 mm.
  • High gloss copper accents reflect a hand-polished, jewelry-like finish and an innovative hidden piston hinge creates the illusion of a hinge-less design to offer an unmatched premium look-and-feel.
  • An innovative hybrid battery split into two thinner pieces delivers the same wattage as a single battery for up to 9 and half hours of battery life while enabling the world’s thinnest laptop
  • Full HD IPS edge-to-edge display featuring Corning Gorilla delivers a superb viewing experience for editing photos, perfecting a presentation, or watching a movie.
  • 6th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and a lightning fast PCIe SSD with storage up to 512 GB with up to 8 GB of memory for maximum performance. Integration of Intel hyperbaric cooling system keeps the machine running cool even with powerful processors in a small package.
  • Stereo speakers by Bang & Olufsen with HP Audio Boost technology, a combination of hardware and software to give customers the depth they want.
  • Three full function USB Type-C connectors, including two of which support Thunderbolt, to provide a fast, versatile I/O connection.

In terms of pricing, the 13.3″ diagonal HP Spectre is planned to be available on HP.com and BBY.com on April 25 for pre-order with a starting price at $1,169.99 and is planned to be available in Best Buy stores on May 22 with a starting price at $1,249.99.

iYogi Accused of Using Scam Tactics

Indian firm iYogi are well-known for their technical support, but recent claims could see their reputation quickly becoming something they wish to hide. A lawsuit could see iYogi paying out thousands if not millions in compensation for what is being described as scam and scare tactics.

Microsoft estimates that nearly 3.3 million Americans lose around $1.5 billion each year due to tech support scams. With these figures it’s no surprise that Brad Smith, Microsoft’s chief legal officer has applauded Washington state’s hard approach on the claims.

While iYogi, who operate over 5,000 employees in call centres based in India, deny the claims the Attorneys General Office has made several large allegations against iYogi. iYogi are said to claim association with Microsoft, Apple and HP, offering support for those companies while also gaining remote access to users systems before asking them to download diagnostic software and flagging up false reports about files, finally offering users the chance to buy everything from yearly support plans and anti-virus software. The claims even state that the company offer to update PC’s to Windows 10 for $80, a service that Microsoft is currently offering for free to Windows 7 and 8 users.

Seeking $2000 in civil penalties per violation of Consumer Protection act and a further $100,000 per violation of the Computer Spyware Act, the bill could quickly shoot up for iYogi.

While it is hard to go off so little information, the claims sound very similar to something I have suffered through many times. A phone call saying that your computer is sending error messages to Microsoft (or Apple) and saying they can walk you through the support process. If this sounds familiar, please read our advice below.

  1. Companies can not track down your personal details from your system, any company attempting to call you claiming to be from Microsoft or Apple is almost certainly not who they claim to me.
  2. Never download software someone tells you to unless you are certain that the person in question only means good for you and only if you know the person, not someone from an email or on the other side of the phone.
  3.  If you do suspect your system is compromised, either by a virus or someone asking you for access, seek help from someone with technical experience such as at a local PC store.
  4. If you feel like a laugh and want to confirm that the person on the other end of the phone is lying to you. When they state they are from Microsoft, tell them that you only own Apple products in that house. If they quickly say that’s what they are there to help fix, you know they are being deceitful.

Do you have any tips for dealing with fake support calls? Tell us your stories in the comments and let’s see if we can’t help someone avoid the pain of paying for “support”.

HP Reveals 9GB/s Capable Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro PCIe Storage Solution

HP’s Z Turbo Drive G2 was an impressive storage solution in itself thanks to the use of a proper NVMe drive, but it is no match for the recently revealed HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro. The Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro is a PCIe storage solution with up to 2TB total storage and transfer speeds of up to 9GB/s. To put that speed into perspective, it is 16 times the speed of an SATA SSD and that on a single PCIe 3.0 x16 slot.

HP’s Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro is essentially a hardware RAID controller for M.2 NVMe SSDs and supports up to four of these drives, but is shipped with only two 256GB or two 512GB modules. The specifications and details are limited, but we can see that the M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs on their own have a performance rating of 2150 MB/s reading and 1260 MB/s writing for the 256GB model while the 512GB model can perform up to 1550MB/s writing. The random IOPS performance is rated to 300K read and 100K write. Going from there, we can use normal RAID speed calculation depending on whether we set the card to RAID 0, 1, 5, or 10. Each NVMe SSD is rated for a 292TB total bytes written endurance.

The HP Z Turbo Drive Quad Pro is planned for availability in November with a price starting at $779 for a card with two 256GB modules. A fully loaded card with 256GB modules will cost $1376 while individual modules start at $299.

Leading PC Vendors Launch Embarrassing Advertising Campaign

Apple has had a strong foothold on mainstream television for a considerable time due to a rigorous advertising campaign. The company showcases each product with stylish, slow-moving camera angles to evoke a “cool factor”. In the PC market, vendor sales are dwindling due to people building custom-PCs or simply upgrading their current setup. To try and reverse this long-standing trend, Dell, HP, Intel, Microsoft and Lenovo have joined forces to create a marketing campaign and outline the major benefits of PCs.

According to the AP, the advertising will cost upwards of $70 million (£45 million) and focuses on the “PC Does What?” slogan. Throughout the advert, we can see various extreme situations and actors reiterating, “PC does what?”. The video showcases benefits such as excellent sound and an 18-hour battery life. However, hearing an air-traffic controller screeching PC does what? is nothing short of cringe worthy.

Over the years, I’ve seen some terrible adverts from Apple including ones which contain Jonathan Ive’s voiceover. Whatever you think of Apple, their advertising campaign is very effective and still manages to create a sense of being alternative. Every Microsoft advert I’ve seen in the past 5 years has been quite embarrassing. The PC does what? feels similar and I doubt it’s going to make consumers rush out to buy devices from main vendors.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSjRluOmCD8

HP and Disney Create a Star Wars Themed Laptop Like No Other

When it comes to fandoms, then the Star Wars fans will probably be one of the biggest groups around and also one where the ages span from very young to very old. With a new Star Wars movie just around the corner, the merchandise deals begin to roll in and we get all sorts of Star Wars branded items. One of them comes from HP that teamed up with Disney to produce this special edition version of their 15.6-inch Pavilion laptop.

The special edition Star Wars laptop is wrapped in a special Empire skin and the trackpad got the X-Wing targeting computer pattern. The LED lit keyboard looks really sweet and gives a nice contrast to the grey laptop. The customized theme comes with the Aurebesh font and a best of all, your trashcan is now a Death star while sounds such as R2D2 and lightsaber swooshes provide the right sound ambiance.

If the Star Wars laptop isn’t enough for you, then you’ll also be able to get a Star Wars themed wireless mouse and a laptop sleeve that will cost you an extra £26 each.

The Star Wars goodies don’t stop here and HP also loaded it with the Star Wars Command Center that will allow users to browse through behind the scenes photos, storyboards, artwork, classic photos, and design documents. A grand total of over 1100 images from the past 40 years of Star Wars.

The hardware in itself isn’t bad, but it isn’t spectacular either. You get a Full-HD 1080p display, an Intel i5 or i7 CPU, up to 12GB RAM, and up to 2TB storage. The basic model will cost you £461 over the £362 that it would cost without the Star Wars theming which is quite a bit more. You do however get a one-year membership for Fandor included, with access to a library of indie movies.

Thank You TechRadar for providing us with this information

Hp Envy 34 – A Curved All-In-One Pc

More often than not the reveals regarding PC’s are most exciting when they involve things like the Surface Book Microsoft revealed yesterday. Today I can happily say that may not be the case. HP have just unveiled their new 34-inch desktop PC and it has caught my eye for several reasons. Behold the HP Envy 34!

The first thing you may notice about the image above is the lack of the giant tower, normally hidden under a table or to the side. That’s because the Envy 34 is an all-in-one PC, this means that your tower and screen are built together into a single item to sit on your desktop. The screen it features it’s not just for show either, as well as being a curved display to help comfort you as you scan from one side of the 3440×1400 resolution screen to another, you’ll be viewing approximately 4.9 million pixels.

HP are proud of the display, citing it offers 99 percent of the SRGB colour gamut. What this means is the colour is pretty close to what it is actually meant to be, a patch of silvery snow colour will appear as silver snow, not white.

Featuring an i5 or i7 Skylake graphics card the PC is set to pack some processing power too, with the option to add a GTX 960A if you want some extra graphics force in your machine. Supporting either 8 or 16GB of DDR4 ram, and anything from a 128GB SSD to a 2TB hard drive you are going to be happy with the memory it comes with, all of which start at $1,800 (Approximately £1175).

All I see when I look at it is the transparent screens from the Minority Report control room, but are you interested in the device? Do you tend to shy away from all-in-one PC’s or are you up for anything that fills the spec?

Thank you PC World for the information and images.

Hewlett-Packard To Cut Up To 30,000 Jobs As Part Of Restructuring

Rapid expansion can have one fatal flaw, if you do not match or beat revenue expectations then you will have to eventually downsize your company. HP have found this out, or the employees to put it more accurately, have taken the brunt of another round of expected job cuts with the figure being somewhere in the region of 25,000 – 30,000 positions to fall.

The technology stalwart has confirmed these roles will go from HP Enterprise; this is with the aim of bundling together its data analysis and software divisions which in turn separates them from the personal computer and printer operation. This brutal scythe cutting will be completed by the end of October 2015; this is on top of 55,000 jobs which have already been culled over the last 3 years. HP aim to save around $2 billion annually from its business by reducing costs which include wages.

Chief executive Meg Whitman, who will lead HP Enterprise, informed investors of the potential to profit to the tune of around $50bn in annual revenue from the business. HP insists the company will be nimbler and therefore able to meet the “evolving needs of our customers around the world”.  The New York Times Square Stock Exchange has reacted badly, as expected to news of both further layoffs and also uncertainty over the direction of HP, it has lost 33% of its value in the year to date

Unfortunately, HP lost touch of the ever-evolving trend of consumer tech over the last decade or so, gone are the bulky towers and a large staffed manufacturing base with which to churn out consumer tech. Computers are now associated with tablets and smartphones and the trend of lighter gadgets have propelled a new innovation onto the market. HP will need to adjust or face further uncertainty, it’s a shame that ordinary employees are facing the brunt and employment is very uncertain considering the intense competition for fewer jobs within the world of tech.

Thank you sky news for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of devicebox

HP Tackles ‘Ink Anxiety’ With 50% Reduced Costs and Instant Ink Printers

Low-cost printers from HP, Epson, Brother and more all seem like a superb value-for-money proposition but the cold, hard reality is they are extremely expensive to run due to extortionate ink prices. Often, these budget printers are half the price of official replacement ink cartridges and DIY kits are overly messy. For heavy users, a Laser printer is essential. However, HP’s latest venture could dramatically change the fortune of ink-based printers. The company has decided to tackle ‘ink anxiety’ head-on and reduce cartridge prices by 50%

The scheme works through integrated Wi-Fi, and smart cartridges can detect the remaining ink level before automatically ordering replacements directly from HP. This service is entitled, “instant ink” and pricing starts at a mere £1.99 per month. However, from is a huge word when it comes to consumer pricing so it’s an unknown entity how expensive this service could be on certain models. HP also dispatch a pre-paid package to return your empty cartridges and dispose of them in an environmentally-friendly manner. Stephen Nigro, senior vice president at HP imaging and printing, said in a statement:

“Customers want printing to be affordable, convenient and meaningful.”

“With HP Instant Ink, customers can enjoy low cost of ownership and print what matters most to them without the worry of running out of ink or spending too much.”

This is a wonderful idea and could instigate the beginning of cheap, consumer-friendly cartridges. Not only is the price fantastic, but HP’s commitment to providing simple replacements without requiring any technical knowledge is revolutionary. HP’s customer service team should be able cope with customer demands and ensure replacements are dispatched before any remaining ink runs dry. Hopefully, other manufacturers will follow HP’s lead.

Thank you VentureBeat for providing us with this information.

Zotac CI321Nano Barebones System Review

 

Introduction


Today we are taking a look at one of Zotac’s latest ZBOX CI321 nano barebones system that is packing a dual-core 2961Y CPU. Something that makes this CI321 nano stand out of the crowd is that it carries dual Gigabit LAN and is completely silent with its passively cooled design. With the inclusion of an onboard IR receiver, this makes it an interesting option for a silent HTPC. With it being a barebones kit, you can use some memory or 2.5″ drives that you have on hand to keep the final build costs down. There has been a lot of growth in the mini PC market and Zotac has been in it for a long time with its ZBOX lineup.

Specifications
  • Name: ZBOX CI321 nano
  • CPU: Intel Celeron 2961Y (2C/2T, 1.10 GHz, 22nm, 6W)
  • RAM: User Supplied – We tested with Crucial Ballistix 2x4GB DDR3-1600 9-9-9-24 1T 1.35v 
  • SSD: User Supplied – Crucial MX200 SSD 250GB
  • GPU: Integrated – Intel HD Graphics
  • LAN: dual 10/100/1000/Gigabit Base T
  • WLAN: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Built-in Bluetooth V4.0
  • I/O: 4x USB3.0, 1x USB 2.0 , 1x HDMI, 1x DisplayPort, Headphone-out, Microphone in, 2x 1Gb LAN
  • OS: Supplied Barebones, Windows 10 preview used in this review
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: $149.99

Retail Packaging

Printed materials that the CI321 comes with

The hardware that you get with the CI321 allows you to mount the unit via the VESA mount of a monitor or TV. You also get an optical audio adapter for use with a Toslink connection, a dual band WiFi antenna, and screws to mount your 2.5″ SSD or HDD.

 

CPU-Z

 

GPU-Z

New eSports Betting Site Unikrn Launches

Over the last few years, we have seen the rise of esports with it taking shape of what should become a massive industry. Now the veil has been lifted on Unikrn, a platform to facilitate spectator betting on esports around the world.

There are now many ways to bet online for various sports but there hasn’t been a great platform for betting on esports, like League of Legends. Today that will change for Australian citizens and soon for other countries regions around the world thanks to Unikrn. The company will be the esports partner of Tabcorp, the large Australian wagering company.  This may explain why the bets are first being accepted in Australia. The betting will be legal and will only accept bets placed from locations that it is legal to do so. Having the foot in the door with other countries and areas will definitely help the site as they aim to become the leader in esports betting.

Unikrn CEO and co-founder is Rahul Sood, longtime computer gaming industry veteran. Rahul was founder and president of Voodoo PC, CTO for HP Gaming after the company acquired Voodoo PC, advisor to the board of directors of Razer, and left his position as global head of Microsoft Ventures to start Unikrn. The company name seemingly is a nod to Rahul’s previous job, with unicorns being startups that hit a billion dollar valuation in fundraising.

HP Announced Second Generation Z Turbo Drive PCIe NVMe SSD

HP didn’t just release multiple new monitors, they’re also ready with the second generation of their HP Z Turbo Drive, a PCIe SSD powered by Samsung’s NVMe technology for outstanding performance. The new NVMe standard, or relative new, is designed from the ground up for flash storage where the SATA standard goes way back to mechanical drives. This gives the new drives an advantage that’s hard to miss.

“When working at 4K resolutions, hard drive and storage performance are key,” said Danny Holland, post-production supervisor, Brain Farm Digital Cinema, “The HP Z Turbo Drive delivers astonishing power and speed at a lower cost.”

The HP Z Turbo Drive G2 can achieve sequential speeds up to 2150MB/s while reading and 1550MB/s while writing and the random 4K read IOPS come in at an impressive 300K. That is almost the double the perform of the previous generation Z Turbo Drive. The drive will initially be available as a 256GB and 512GB version, but more and larger capacities are planned for the future.

The Z Turbo Drive G2 is using MLC NAND that is rated for 3,000 program/erase cycles. That equals to an endurance rating for the 256 GB version of 146TB TBW which equals 80 GB per day for 5 years, and the 512 GB version is specified at 292 TB TBW, 160 GB per day for 5 years.

HP Z Turbo Drive is expected to be available starting in June at the two initial capacities of 256 GB and 512 GB. The MSRP will be $399 and $699, respectively.

HP Announced Professional DreamColor Z32x 4K and Narrow-Bezel Monitors


HP announced a new monitor that professional artists and other creative people will love, the DreamColor Z32x 4K monitor. The 31.5-inch 4K UHD IPS monitor can display a resolution up to 3840 x 2160 at 60 Hz and features the award-winning HP DreamColor technology for exceptional color precision and consistency straight out of the box on a wide 10-bit color spectrum and with 100% sRGB/BT.709 and 99.5% AdobeRGB color coverage.

You can connect a wide array of devices straight to the monitor, including mobile devices via the Mini-DP, DisplayPort, MHL, and two HDMI ports. It also has a built-in four-port USB 3.0 hub and audio out connectors.

It has 4-way, customizable tilt, height adjustment, swivel, and pivot settings to adjust from landscape to portrait to give you the right option for your work. The panel has a 178 degree viewing angle, both horizontal and vertical, a 300cd/m2 brightness, and an 8ms grey to grey response time.

Availability for the HP Z32x DreamColor Display is planned for this summer, but no official word on the pricing yet.

HP Also announced five new monitors in the HP Ultra-Narrow Bezel series. The models HP Z27n (quad-HD), Z25n (quad-HD), Z24n (16:10 aspect ratio), Z24nf (full-HD), and Z24nq (quad-HD), offer edge-to-edge viewing experiences to enhance productivity. The HP Z Displays are also color-calibrated right out of the box and offer a cool and flexible daisy-chain connectivity for up to four displays as well as picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture functionality. All models provide an adjustable swivel, tilt, height, and pivot stand and the displays can be used equally side-by-side in either landscape or portrait mode.

The ultra-narrow bezel display planned availability begins in June and pricing is as follows: The HP Z24n costs $379, the HP Z25n costs $429, the Z27n costs $649, the Z24nf costs $299 and finally the Z24nq will cost $379.

HP Joins With Bang & Olufsen Similarly to Apple and Beats

In following Apple, HP has found a new audio partner. Teaming up with Bang & Olufsen, who make high-end audio gear, HP plans on improving the sound quality of their devices. By “custom tuning” future devices, as well as isolating audio circuitry and reducing metal used for the headphone jack, Bang & Olufsen will bring their expertise to the table. As of right now, that is all we know for sure, but it’s possible they may do similarly to Beats and pack high quality amps into devices. What separates this deal from the Apple and Beats deal, is that HP laptops, desktops, and tablets will feature either the Bang & Olufsen or B&O Play branding. The first devices released with the integrated features will launch this spring.

The deal won’t only be used for hardware, as HP says they will provide a new control panel for customizing audio, very similar to what was done with Beats. The control panel will feature usual presents found with most software, but a more in-depth manual tuning section, hopefully including a software EQ.

Even though Bang & Olufsen might not be the household name Beats is, the effect of their product won’t be any less.

Source: Engadget

UEFI BIOSes Are Threatened By New LightEater Malware

While the new UEFI BIOSes are neat and come with a lot of features, they are also miniaturised OSes in their own, which makes them as vulnerable as a normal OS. Security researchers Corey Kallenberg and Xeno Kovah proved at CanSecWest how easy it is for an unskilled individual to implant a so-called LightEater malware and infect the system in a few moments.

The researchers proved that unpatched BIOSes can easily be affected with a malware and virus, they pointed out that motherboards from manufacturers such as Gigabyte, Acer, MSI, HP and Asus are at risk, especially if the BIOS is not updated to the most recent version from the manufacturers’ website.

BIOS malwares are especially dangerous since, as the researchers point out, the OS antivirus or other antivirus softwares only protect the OS it is running and not the BIOS too. The malware is said to be able to infect huge number of systems by creating System Management Mode implants, which can be custom made for individual BIOSes with a simple pattern matching. They also point out that a BIOS from Gigabyte was found to be particularly insecure.

We didn’t even have to do anything special; we just had a kernel driver write an invalid instruction to the first instruction the CPU reads off the flash chip, and bam, it was out for the count, and never was able to boot again.

While the vulnerability is said to already be exploited by the NSA, the researchers are encouraging businesses and governments to take some extra time in updating their PCs to the latest BIOS in order to plug the security hole.

Thank you Guru3D for providing us with this information

HP Announces Mini PC With Just 32GB Storage

Hard drives with ridiculous amounts of storage have become cheap these days, really cheap. Many low-end desktops and laptops now come with 500GB+. So why has HP just unveiled a machine with only 32GB of storage at CES? Because they want to make things even cheaper. Using the cloud.

The Stream mini costs only $180 and is designed to be a full-fledged Windows-based desktop PC. The machine comes with a low-end Celeron processor and 2GB RAM. It also comes with that exceptionally low 32GB of storage. However, it is worth mentioning that it also comes with a two-year subscription to the OneDrive cloud service, giving users 200GB up in the cloud. It also only uses 45 watts of power, which is less power consumed than that of most lightbulbs.

This little machine, with such low specs and only 2 USB ports, seems to be a big bet on HPs part on the usefulness of cloud computing. We’ve seen it with Chromebooks – machines that use an OS that is effectively designed for the cloud, but never on a desktop PC running Windows. It’ll be interesting to see if this works.

HP isn’t risking everything on this though, there’s a version of the machine just called ‘Stream’ that carries a much more appropriate 500GB, perhaps the company’s strategy just in-case nobody’s comfortable with so little local storage.

Source: The Verge

HP Debuts Zvr Virtual Reality Display

HP is taking a step closer to VR and transforms the way we can interact with our computers with the new Zvr Virtual Reality Display. You can rotate, manipulate and navigate 3D images from the 23.6-inch diagonal interactive display.

HP Zvr is powered by zSpace technology that allows for real-time and natural interaction with virtual reality applications. Users interact seamlessly with a high-definition 3D stereoscopic display combined with full-motion parallax and direct interaction, delivering an intuitive user experience with lifelike realism.

The optional HP zView solution also allows real-time sharing of 3D models to a 2D big screen. Dual-link DVI or DisplayPort connections to an HP Z Workstation provide easy connectivity for architectural, MCAD, education, and scientific content.

The HP Zvr has an expected availability set for Spring 2015, but the pricing is only available upon request.

Thanks to HP for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of HP

Palm Brand Sold Off By HP – New Smartphones on the Way?

Go to Palm.com right now and you’ll see the message above. After that address stopped directing people to hpwebos.com it started going to mynewpalm.com suggesting that something interesting was happening behind the scenes.

It was later discovered that HP had sold off the Palm trademarks to a company called Wide Progress Global Limited – a company supposedly linked to Alcatel One Touch, which is in turn owned by Chinese smartphone company  TCL Corporation. As ArsTechnica says, this move could be seen as TCL’s attempt to break into the US smartphone market under a well-known brand. This all leads people to believe that we’ll see a Palm comeback in some form or another.

Palm is famous for dominating the PDA market that pre-dated smartphones, with its popular Palm Pilot. However, with the advent of smartphones, Palm’s PDA business faltered and they ended up falling behind the new surprise market leaders (Apple and Google). Palm was in turn bought by HP and with the use of the WebOS, they tried to rejuvenate a once leading brand.

As we all know now, that failed, and it’ll be interesting to see what is made of this attempt by a different company.

Source: ArsTechnica

HP Finish off their Fiscal Year with Interesting Q4 Results

Hewlett-Packard have just their fourth quarter earnings this past Tuesday, posting some interesting results to round out their 2014 fiscal year.

Here’s a quick summary of the report:

  • Net income of $2 billion, rated at 70 cents per share
  • Non-GAAP earnings at $1.06 per share on a revenue of $28.4 billion – dropping 2% year-on-year
  • Wall street was reportedly looking for earnings of $1.06 per share on revenue of $28.76 billion
  • HP shared have fallen by roughly 2.6% in the after-hours trading due to the above fact
  • Fiscal 2014 saw HP bring in earnings of $3.74 per share and a revenue of $111.5 billions, falling 1% compared to 2013’s results

HP’s CEO Meg Whitman commented on these results, stating that her companies “turnaround” is back on track and running as expected:

“In FY14, we stabilized our revenue trajectory, strengthened our operations, showed strong financial discipline, and once again made innovation the cornerstone of our company. Our product roadmaps are the best they’ve been in years and our partners and customers believe in us. There’s still a lot left to do, but our efforts to date, combined with the separation we announced in October, sets the stage for accelerated progress in FY15 and beyond.”

As we said in the beginning, this information provides interesting results. Their non-GAAP earnings are down 2% year-on-year alongside their fiscal 2013 revenue falling 1% year-on-year, but they certainly aren’t generating a loss and seem to be traveling much better than Sony at the moment. who have been reporting major issues amongst the eastern mobile market, alongside their picture studio being taken over by hackers in the past few days.

HP are in the middle of their plan to splinter their PC and printer businesses from their enterprise unit, we’re interested to see what the end result will being after 2015 is through. In the mean time, we’re going to have to see what this whole “five year turnaround” will bring to us, day by day.

Image courtesy of Open IT Strategies

HP Returning to PC Gaming Hardware Market with Omen

Asus, MSI, Razer, PCSpecialist and many others have ultra high-end gaming notebooks on the market right now, but soon they’ll have an extra competitor in the form of the HP Omen. HP dropped out of the gaming market years ago, but their new notebook marks a shift in the companies goals.

The Omen is a 15.6″ laptop with an Intel Core i7 CPU, GeForce 860M graphics, 8GB of RAM, a 128GB SDD and a 1920 x 1080 display. Nothing overly fancy or innovative there, but it’s certainly going to pack enough performance punch to run high-end PC games.

It’s milled from a solid piece of aluminium, with tapered edges and a speaker grill down each side. The keyboard features red LED backlighting and six programmable function keys. The whole unit is just 20mm thick and weighs 4.68 pounds (2.1kg).

The Omen will be available from the 4th of November online and in retail stores a few weeks afterwards. Prices are expected to be $1,499 for the base model. It certainly looks gorgeous, but we’ll wait and see how it performs in benchmarks.

Thank you CNET for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of CNET.

HP Seek 3D Printing Future With ‘Multi Jet Fusion’ Technology

HP are eager to be a big player in the 3D printing business, maybe so they can overcharge for the inks… just kidding. They’re eager to show the world their “Multi Jet Fusion” technology, which it believes can “change entire industries.”

The goal for HP, as is the goal for many 3D printing companies, is to make the process of 3D printing quicker, more accurate and more reliable. The new HP tech seems to do just that and HP have said they can make complex products such as gears at least 10x faster than conventional manufacturing techniques.

To show off the reliability and accuracy of their products, HP printed a product strong enough to life a car! Then they printed a part for their 3D printer, printed from the 3D printer the part was for just to show off the resolution; it worked. Maybe Stargate were right to fear the Replicators.

No word on pricing or if and when this technology will make its way to the consumer market, but manufacturers should start taking shipments in 2016.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Engadget.

HP Releasing a 3D Scanning and Projecting All-In-One

Re/Code has just spread the word of a new HP all-in-one system that will be shown at an event in New York on the 29th of October.

Named “Sprout”, some interesting features are set to be included. As the title suggests, this all-in-one system will include a big flat screen display with touch input, and an assembly that doubles as a projector and 3D scanner. With the display said to be using expansive surface technology, similar to their Pavilion Touchsmart series. The projecting capabilities will be used to beam images towards the desk, allowing you to use your hands or a stylus to complete a range of graphical tasks such as re-sizing images, move objects things around or re-arrange colors. This projector also doubles as a 3D scanner, giving you the ability to add objects into your images by setting them down in the beam and scanning them into your projects.

No price has been mentioned as of yet as the ‘sources’, as per usual with leaks, are all unknown and not verified, but all shall be released in one week either way. Said to be released running a Windows Operating System, there have been rumors that Google’s ChromeOS may be a feature in the not-too-distant future.

Targeted towards big business and those with a little extra money to spend, can you see yourself picking up a similar device for your graphical tasks? What price do you think is suitable for this type of advanced technology? Either way, we’re really hoping it scans better than Kinect’s NBA 2k15 disaster – pictured below.

Images courtesy of Mashable and Engadget.

Everybody Can NAS, a Beginners Guide to OpenMediaVault

Introduction


What is a NAS?

NAS is the acronym for ‘Network Attached Storage’ and that is just what it is. Storage that is directly attached to your network, thereby allowing you to access its content from all your smart devices. In this article I’ll take you along the road of setting up and configuring your own NAS, even for a small wallet. It sounds so simple and it is. But it is also something that can make your every-day digital-life a lot easier and more enjoyable.

Having a NAS in your household allows you to have a centralized storage for all your backups, media files and documents. This again gives you the ability to easy access them from all your devices, may it be your smart TV, your phone or tablet, your computers or game consoles and what else comes to mind.

Some of the first words that scare most people away from setting up a NAS themselves are ‘linux’ and ‘network’. While it might not be something you have experience with, I guarantee it’s all very easy and quick to do.

What about the hardware?

So how does it work and what exactly is it you ask? Well, a NAS is technically just a PC like any other, some might also refer to it as a server or computer. In the end it is the operating system that is the factor. The whole idea behind it is to have a centralized storage for all your files. To archive this, it has to be running all or most of the time and there are some key features we need to look at:

  • Low power consumption
  • Headless usage (no keyboard, mouse or monitor required)
  • Small form factor and silent operation

In my opinion there is the perfect device on the market for just that. It’s cheap, it’s solid and at many times you even get mail in rebates or cash-back on them. But more on that later.

What Skills and Tools do you need?

To set up a NAS? Actually not many. You will need the following skills: Use the screwdriver that is included, Able to attach a cable to a plug and you will need to be able to read and use a website.

You will also need a couple other small things in order to follow this little guide to setting up a HP micro server, but not much. You need a MOLEX to SATA power adapter, a SATA data cable and either some duct tape or a 3½ inch to 5¼ inch adapter. You will also temporary need a USB stick, a Monitor and keyboard during installation. And that is pretty much it, so you see, everybody can NAS.

The perfect device

For this job, Hewlett-Packard have created the perfect line of micro servers. The N36L, N40L and N54L, also known as G7 microservers. The only difference between the three models is the CPU speed. Slower doesn’t always mean cheaper, so check prices on all three devices before you commit. On my last purchase I found that the N54L was the cheapest of them all, but any of the three will do fine for a home NAS.

It has 4 cold-swap bays for your storage hard-drives and a 5¼ inch for either your boot-drive, extra hard-drive(s) or anything else that fits. In most cases, and in ours here, it will used for the boot drive.

The G7 microserver comes with a 250 GB 7200RPM HDD included and that is just perfect as system disk for our new NAS. If that wasn’t enough, it also has 4GB ECC memory included in 1 module with room for a second.

Inside it has two PCI-Express expansion slots, one x16 and one x1. The single also has additional control ports for HP remote-control cards.

It even comes with tools included, nothing extra is really needed. It can be run straight away with what’s in the box, but you will of course also need some hard drives as storage for all your files. You can start with one and upgrade later or you can fill it up right away, the choice is yours.

At the time of writing, the N54L can be had for €153 in Germany and £131 in the United Kingdom making it a real bargain. I couldn’t find it cheaper than $357 in the US making it less of a deal over there.

The HP N54L comes in a very simple cardboard box only printed with the name and a representation of the server on the front and back.

On the side of the cardboard box we find a small sticker with the model and serial number. The box doesn’t offer much information besides that.

Opening up the box we see all is securely packed in spacey Styrofoam and with the accessories on top.

Unpacking the accessories, we find power cables for UK and for Germany/EU, a small manual and update instructions.

HP Recalls over 6 Million AC Power Cords

Hewlett-Packard is recalling about 6 million notebook and laptop AC power because of possible overheating, which again can pose a burn and fire risk. HP has received 29 reports of power cords overheating and melting or charring, resulting in two claims of minor burns and 13 claims of minor property damage.

The Hewlett-Packard LS-15 AC power cords were distributed with HP and Compaq notebook and mini notebook computers as well as AC adapter-powered accessories including docking stations. The power cords are black and have an “LS-15” molded on the AC adapter end of the cord and were manufactured in China.

The notebook and mini-notebook computers and accessories were sold with the AC power cords at computer and electronics stores, authorized dealers and online at www.hp.com from September 2010 to June 2012. Consumers are advised to immediately stop using and unplug the recalled power cords and contact Hewlett-Packard to order a free replacement. There is no risk in continuing to use any other parts.

Hewlett-Packard can be reached by phone during business hours or online at www.hp.com and then click “Recalls” at the bottom of the page.

Thank you laptopmag for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of HP.

Nvidia’s Tegra K1 Coming To HP’s Chromebook 14

Nvidia’s Tegra K1 processor has already hit the market with Nvidia’s Shield Tablet and Xiaomi’s MiPad and according to the latest reports it will now start arriving with Chromebooks.

HP’s Chromebook 14 is set to be the second Chromebook to get Nvidia’s Tegra K1 chip after Acer recently unveiled a Tegra K1 powered notebook. HP’s Chromebook 14 will have a 14 inch 1366 x 768 display, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a 3 cell battery and of course Nvidia’s Tegra K1 system on chip which includes a quad core ARM processor and 192 Kepler GPU cores. Nvidia’s power frugal Tegra K1 should be able to sustain better battery life two – around 12-14 hours seems likely.

Current pricing of HP’s Chromebooks equipped with Intel Haswell Celerons is around $299 so we should expect the Tegra K1 variant to be similarly priced if not slightly cheaper.

Expect more details soon.

Source: Mobile Geeks (de), Via: Softpedia

Image courtesy of HP

HP’s Autonomy Acquisition Cancelled by Judge

Shareholders of HP have been carrying out legal action for previously claiming that they acquired British based company Autonomy for $8.8bn when the figure was in fact $10.7bn. Outraged shareholders decided to lawyer up and come out with both fists swinging, to which HP agreed on a settlement.

The Register explained the settlement terms and process:

“That settlement would see shareholders drop their lawsuit in exchange for HP picking up their legal bills – with an upper limit of $48m – and exonerate past and current HP management in exchange for presenting a united front in a legal battle with Autonomy and their auditors in the UK.”

US District Judge Charles Breyer simply commented “That’s out” – which refers to the lawyers hired by HP getting their payments sorted, he claims it isn’t in the shareholders bests interests to do so as reported by Reuters.

HP’s attorneys have now announced plans to not only sue the company, but also take on their auditors – Deloitte & Touche.

Sushovan Hussain, Autonomy’s chief financial officer, has been portrayed as the person to blame for this whole ordeal. Working with his attorney John Kekker to kill the settlement – Kekker was quoted saying “this is a joke” and “If it were a carcass, animals would walk around it, it stinks so much.”

All this has become quite the mess, hasn’t it?

Image courtesy of Motorsports News Wire

 

Chromebooks to Hit Sales of 5.2 Million by End of 2014

Chromebooks are getting big, their popularity is increasing, especially within the educational areas, their cost is attracting schools everywhere to replace the expensive IT rooms we all used to use. People who buy a Chromebook aren’t hardware enthusiats let me assure you, their specs are minimal, I’m amazed they even open Office.

Research firm Garter has conducted some, well, research into the Chromebook market and revealed that the sales by the end of 2014 will be 5.2 million units sold worldwide. Back in 2013 Samsung launched their Chromebook and sold 1.3 million units, Samsung are estimated to have 64.9% of the Chromebook market by the end of 2014. Acer has 21.4 percent, relying on the cost-effective ARM-based CPUs, while Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo have 6.8 and 6.7 percent control of the market, respectively.

” Competition in the Chromebook market is intensifying as more vendors launch Chromebooks, with eight models in the market in 2014,”said Isabelle Durand, Gartner Principal Analyst, in a press statement. ” Now that the PC market is no longer growing strongly, vendors are searching for new business opportunities. They launched Chromebooks to revive interest in sub-$300 portable PCs once the netbook bubble had burst.”

Thanks to Tweaktown for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tweaktown.