Roccbox Portal Oven Cooks Your Pizza 90 Seconds

There are some people who love camping outside, using tents and a small gas stove to cook baked beans while a fire roasts marshmallows. Some of us prefer glamping, with a small wooden house separating you from nature so you can stay warm and enjoy your friends company without the bumpy earth beneath you. One thing that is required though is good food, and the Roccbox portable oven could provide you with just that.

Originally started as part of an Indiegogo campaign, the concept for the project was simple. A portable stone bake oven. For $449 (£318.24) you can order yourself one of the ovens, which goes as high as 500 celsius in order to cook your pizza in roughly 90 seconds. If that wasn’t enough they’ve also shown off its use in cooking everything from fish to steaks.

After taking 15 minutes to warm up, you can see the benefit of being able to quickly cook your favourite foods in a portable stone bake oven. The Roccbox comes with two burners, meaning you can use either gas or wood to cook your meals, the choice is up to you.

Can you imagine going camping and having a freshly cooked mini pizza given to you while you lay under the stars? We can and we can’t wait to taste it either!

iPhone 5se Drawings Reveal The Mini iPhone’s Possible Design

Apple is known for their hardware, from their iPods and iPads to their desktop Macs and portable Macbooks. One thing they release time and time again is their iPhones, with each generation getting a slightly reworked design and hardware upgrades to tempt users into purchasing the next device they release, it could soon be the case that you see something that looks a little bit more dated with something managing to find information referencing the much rumoured iPhone 5se.

The iPhone SE, with the 5 being dropped from its name, is said to be a new mini iPhone with the same dimensions as the iPhone 5s. With a little help from keen-eyed people, it’s now been found that the phone would feature a few changes.

Firstly the phone will feature its sleep/wake/power button on the side of the phone, a twist from the traditional top of phone approach used by most modern phones. Initial schematics also show that while the iPhone will feature curved edges there will also be a small “camera bump”. Even with these changes, the phone looks similar to the iPhone 5s in design and features, albeit it with more than likely some hardware upgrades.

It is expected that the device will be revealed on the 15th March, with a release following only a few days after. With minimal pre-order time and back to basics size option, some people may be tempted to give up their increased screen size for the ease and comfort offered by the small device.

Images courtesy of 9To5Mac.

Gigabyte Updates BRIX Line-Up @ CES 2016

CES 2016: The Gigabyte BRIX series exemplifies how compact barebone systems can be and created a new small form factor which seemed impossible at the time. Recently, Gigabyte decided to update the range to add support for Intel’s latest 6th generation processors. More specifically, models come in a number of i3, i5 and i7 variants to give users the flexibility to purchase the SKU which suits their specific requirements. As expected, the many of BRIX units support for a 2.5″ SSD/HDD as well as a copious supply of USB connectors.

During CES this year, Gigabyte showcased the new BRIX units which feature Thunderbolt 3 connectivity which is available over USB 3.1 Type-C. This 40Gb/s connector can daisy chain up to 12 devices and supports Display 1.2 to cope with 4K setups. On another note, Thunderbolt 3’s Power Delivery 2.0 is so useful to quickly charge smartphones, tablets and other essential equipment.

Alpenföhn ATLAS Mini-ITX/Micro-ATX CPU Cooler Review

Introduction


Picking the right CPU cooler for your system can be a tricky task as you have to balance your budget, the ergonomics of your chassis, the TDP of your chip, aesthetics, what kind of system performance you want to achieve and acoustics too. That’s a lot to consider and there’s certainly a huge amount of choice out there to find something that suits your needs, but it’s still a bit of a minefield. The latest cooler from legendary manufacturer Alpenföhn has been designed for the increasingly popular Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX system build market. People are making a lot of compact gaming PCs for their living room, bedroom, LAN gaming events and more, so it’s only right that we should have more coolers that are suited to building a gaming system in smaller chassis.

The ATLAS may be tiny, but it still packs an impressive 5 x 6mm heat pipes into a twin-tower and dual-fan configuration, which gives it an impressive max TDP of 200W! That’s a lot of cooling potential from a small form factor cooling. Of course, a lot of people are jumping on the AIO market for cooling these days, but there are a lot of benefits to air cooling too and even more so, there are some people who just don’t want to move to water. Either way, it’s going to be interesting to see what this little powerhouse can do on our test bench.

As you can see from the specifications, the cooler sits nice and low, at the cost of being quite wide and fat for its form factor. The cooler is just tall enough to house a pair of 92mm fans, and while this form factor of fan is often associated (in my experience) with higher RPM and a noisy output, these promise to go as low as 400RPM, but still manage good airflow and low noise, which is something we’re eager to test.

The box is quite large, which I found funny as when I first opened it, I was expecting a much bigger cooler. There’s a nice stylish picture on the front of the box, as well as details of the main spec (see above) around the box.

The size of the box quickly becomes apparent, there’s quite a treasure trove of bits and bobs to be found inside. The mounting kit includes AMD and Intel brackets, a support bar, fan clips, back plate, retention screws and rubber caps, a tube of thermal paste and Molex to fan adaptors; literally everything you’ll need and more!

Both of the fans are of a very nice quality, which all black fittings and cables, as well as some durable black rubber braiding on the cables.

Both fans come with 4-pin headers, as well as built-in Y-splitters, handy if you’re short on fan connectors on your motherboard. Even if you are short on connectors, at least you’ll also find Molex adaptors in the box.

The Cooler is really nicely designed, with a very cool looking fin-stack that is full of aggressive angles and shapes. Sure, these shapes do add to the aesthetic, but don’t be fooled, as they’re primary purpose is to increase the surface area and push the airflow around the heat pipes, helping to better dissipate heat.

The cooler is very nice to look at and it’s impressive to see those heat pipes packed in so neatly while maintaining such a short form factor. There’s room to mount one of the fans on either side of the cooling towers, allowing you to best suit the fan configuration to the space within your chassis.

There’s sturdy and quite thick block on the base, giving plenty of room to hold all five heat pipes together and this gives a good even coverage of heat pipe over the entire CPU block too, which should help cooling performance a lot.

The heat pipes stick out at the top of the cooler, but the top plate has been given a good polish, giving it a shiny and appealing look.

The bottom of the block is finishing to a mirror shine and is super flat and smooth; this should ensure a clean and even fit across your CPU of choice.

Xbox One Mini Turns Out To Be Just A Rumour

Companies have a trend when it comes to releasing hardware, they will release new a model, a big revelation and then several months later release versions with slight upgrades. They could have larger processors and better memory, or even just be smaller and more compact in size. It has come as no surprise that this continues to be the trend even now as more companies are building hardware for everyday use both in your pocket and your home. Earlier this month a rumour emerged outlining just one of those newer models, an Xbox one which would be more compact, aptly nicknamed the Xbox One Mini. However last night on twitter Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s head of Xbox, shut down these rumours in just two words.

With rumours flying around that Microsoft will be using their October launch event to show off several new products including two new models of Lumia phones, the Microsoft Band 2 and the Surface 4. With all this technology being revealed then it would be no surprise to find that there is even more to be revealed in October, some could possibly be about the Xbox or even the next generation of console.

With each iteration of technology getting faster and more usable, it won’t be long until the rumours spread for more compact consoles which contain new features, such as the patent behind Nintendo’s console which contains no optical drive.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Tech Radar

MSI Announces WindBOX III Advanced Fanless Mini-PC

Big and custom built systems for high-end gaming and graphical work isn’t always what you need and if you want to go into the opposite direction, then MSI’s latest system might be just the right pick for you. The WindBOX III Advanced (MS-9A75) Fanless Mini-PC brings a powerful CPU along with plenty of connectivity options and best of all, it’s completely silent.

The MS-9A75 is based on Intel’s 5th Gen Broadwell-ULT Core i5-5200U processor that supports up to three screens. You get a DVI-I and two DisplayPort connectors for this and those are far from the only connection options on this tiny fanless unit. There is dual-LAN, plenty of USB 3.0 ports as well as audio, USB 2.0, and COM ports. There are two models, so what connectors you have available depends a little bit on that.

The system should also be easy to maintain as the bottom cover is convenient removable for quick access to the 2.5-inch SSD slot, the memory, and 2 full-size mini-PCIe slots.

Key Features:

  • Slim and fanless system design with Mini-ITX board
  • 5th Gen Intel Broadwell ULT Core i7/i5/i3, Celeron Processor
  • Support DDR3L SO-DIMM up to 16GB memory
  • 3 independent display: 2 x DP, 1 x DVI-I (support DVI-D and VGA via Y cable)
  • 2 x Intel GbE LAN, 4 x USB 3.0 and 2 x USB2.0, 1 or 2 x COM, audio, and lockable DC jack
  • Flexible design for easy maintenance on 2.5″ HDD/SSD, memory & 2 full-size mini-PCIe
  • DC-in 19V/65W adaptor

Thank You TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

Power Plug PC’s Are Now A Thing Thanks To Microsoft

More and more devices these days use USB chargers, to the point where you can even buy wall plugs with USB plugs built in, allowing you to charge your phone or iPod without needing an adapter. The next thing you plug into the wall socket may not be a power cable for your computer, instead it may simply be an entire computer thanks to the people over at Microsoft.

Computex 2015 is a showcase of technology from all around the world, but the Quanta Compute Plug was a little different. With two USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI port, the device can easily be plugged into your TV with your favourite mouse and keyboard. To top it off Microsoft say that with a Bluetooth remote or headset you can even use Cortana, their new voice command system that will be rolling out with windows 10, to control the computer no bigger than your average phone charger.

With no word on pricing or the hardware inside, the best guess is the device will be a low power device focused toward the increasing demand for media centres, hopefully with a price to match the dedicated media streaming devices that are becoming more and more accessible to everyday users.

What do you think about it? Would you be interested in plugging in a tiny little power plug if it meant you could stream your movies from into the sitting room? Are you attracted by the small space and wireless command capabilities available make it more appealing than a mini computer with a mouse and keyboard?

Thank you TechSpot for the information.

Image courtesy of Microsoft.

ECS Offers a Closer Look at its Mini PC’s @ Computex 2015

Computex 2015 – Following from yesterday’s coverage of the ECS (Elitegroup) press event, we have no been given a close-up look at the new range of Mini PC’s ready to hit the market. These are some very sleek designs which wouldn’t look out of place in a modern home or connected to a projector at a meeting.

All of the current Mini PC’s offer the usual connectivity such as USB 3.0, HDMI, Gigabit LAN, WiFi and all can support up to 1TB of addition storage thanks to onboard M.2 ports. These are some very interesting computers that I’m sure will take the world by storm for those that only want a small computer for everyday tasks.

 

We look forward to reviewing some of these Mini PC’s after the show. We will keep you updated with any news and events from the rest of Computex 2015.

US Military Catches up With the UK with Drones

Drones! These really expensive remote controlled annoyances are huge. If you don’t own one, you will have probably seen one or at least heard of them. This story comes to us from the US military; they have adopted a new drone to use in the strive for ultra covert operations where stealth is key.

Gone are the days of using a remote controlled car, now drones have taken a key place. Not only are they incredibly maneuverable, but they can also be very small. When we think of drones, quadcopters immediately come to mind; while this is the standard for consumer use, drones can pretty much be any shape or size as long as they don’t require a human occupant.

The drone in question is the Black Hornet Nano, or PD-100 UAV if you want to get technical. This miniature drone resembles one of those cheap $15 helicopters you can buy from a market that crashes after about 15 seconds. The key difference between the Nano and the cheap version is about $39,985, yes this costs around $40,000; so it better fly well. It measures in as just 4×1 inches and weighs just 0.04lbs; in with that you also get regular AND thermal cameras, perfect for a night flight.

“According to Defense One, the US Army has “a handful” of these drones in its possession, which it began testing back in March. That said, the tiny, $40,000 Black Hornet Nano has been part of the British military’s arsenal since 2013, so the US is a slightly behind on adopting the device.”

This reminds me of that little surveillance transformer from Transformers 2, where Shia crushes it in his fingers. What are your thoughts on drones getting smaller like this? Good or bad? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you engadget for providing us with this information.

 

Arion Bluetooth Mini Keyboard with Speakerphone Review

Introduction


Touch screen devices can be a pain to type on, although admittedly the issue isn’t as bad as it used to be as many of us have had a good few years practice now and screens, as well as keyboard applications, have improved greatly over the years. Then you’ve got PlayStation, where entering data to the on-screen keyboard via the controller can be a very tedious process. To solve any issues, or at least mitigate the issues a little, you can invest in a separate keyboard, such as the Arion KB100B-BK which I have with me today.

This little keyboard isn’t nothing too fancy, but for a small keyboard, it does pack an interesting feature set into such a small device. You’ve got a QWERTY keyboard, all the major functions you would expect to need on your mobile device, desktop OS or console and even a built-in speaker phone. It uses Bluetooth to connect to iPads, Android devices, smart TVs, consoles and pretty much everything with Bluetooth support.

The keyboard comes bundled with a mini-USB to USB charging cable, as the device has an internal rechargeable battery.

It’s pretty simple in terms of design, with a durable yet lightweight plastic body and rubberised keys that are clearly labeled with all their major functions. To cram as many features in as possible, almost every key has an Fn-Shift function.

On the underside of the keyboard, you’ll find a small microphone and speaker setup, which can be used to hands-free calls. Not much use to smartphones which already have this function, but it could be useful for some tablets, smart TVs and consoles for services such as Skype.

The super slim design means it’s a very manageable device; it’ll fit in your pocket or bag easy enough.

Around the back, you’ll find the mini-USB charging port, as well as a master power switch to help conserve the battery.

It is quite small, so touch typing with all of your fingers isn’t going to be possible, but you can still type fairly confidently if you’re writing a quick email, although perhaps not suitable for writing your dissertation.

When powered up, there’s a small blue LED in the top right, which blinks red when the battery is running low.

As you can see, it’s really not too big, clocking in a little smaller than my Xperia Z3.

Here it is next to an iPad Air, although admittedly the unit is better designed to type using your thumbs while holding it in your hands, it wouldn’t be impossible to use it while sat at a table.

Mini Making Augmented Reality Driving Goggles

BMW-owned Mini is working on a pair of augmented reality driving goggles that provide drivers with details about anything in the driver’s field of vision, from road speed limits to navigation arrows, and even in-eye access to the car’s parking cameras.

The Mini Augmented Vision will be unveiled by the car company at the Auto Shanghai 2015 show, which runs from 22nd to 29th April, in China, where it is expected that we’ll discover more about price and availability.

Source: Engadget

ASUS Showcase Mini PC’s @ CeBIT 2015

ASUS, humble motherboard makers have now delved into the mini PC segment. This can only be a good thing, as ASUS know how to make the motherboards, maybe it can produce an extremely compact system from the vast company knowledge. We saw one regular (boring) looking mini PC, the VIVO mini, this could sit happily behind your TV without a fuss. The next was a Chromebox, a little more of a funky design with the power button on the corner, but still nothing too spectacular here. Then we move onto the ROG not-so-mini, mini PC. This little beast is something you want to shout about. Okay it only has a GTX 750Ti for the time being, but it’s only a matter of time before ASUS figure out how to squeeze a GTX 970 ITX graphics card into it. This is a serious bit of kit, with a serious ~£800 price tag. A little over priced for what it is, but innovation has to start somewhere right?

Along with the more consumer-friendly mini PC’s, we also saw ASUS keep things simple, displaying a small range of external Blu-Ray and DVD writers. It’s good to see a huge company keep the old technology users in the loop; maybe they don’t want to go digital just yet.

We look forward to seeing what else ASUS has to offer, maybe they do have a more powerful ROG gaming mini PC coming up, but it just wasn’t ready for the show?. Any news or updates from ASUS, we will keep you updated.

ECS Liva SOC Mini-PC System Review

Introduction


ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) are no stranger to the PC hardware game despite not being instantly recognisable by most as a PC hardware vendor. In fact, they are the fifth largest motherboard manufacturer in the world, producing hardware for some of the biggest PC brands such as Acer, Zoostorm, IBM and Compaq, and have been around since 1987. Although their bread and butter has been motherboards for years, they have occasionally deviated from this, releasing everything from graphics cards to SOC (System on a Chip) computers. Speaking of which, today’s review is all about their latest SOC offering; the ECS Liva Mini-PC!

The mini PC/net-top market that followed the brief fad of netbooks never really seemed to take off – by the time everyone had realised that netbooks were generally awkward to use and fairly underpowered the tablet market had began to take off, with manufacturers realising that netbooks wouldn’t survive the test of time. Interestingly, the net-top has had a recent resurgence of interest in recent times, with Android based net-tops offering low-cost media centres to Windows and Linux-based net-tops promising business users a cheap office worthy PC that uses a fraction of the power. ECS has come out swinging here, taking aim straight at the budget net-top market, providing the user with everything (with the exception of OS) needed to turn this little box of tricks into whatever PC they require, while undercutting rival offerings which often need extra components such as RAM or SSD’s first to function.

Specifications
  • Name: ECS-Liva Mini-PC White Edition
  • CPU: Intel Celeron N2807 (2C/2T x 1.60 GHz (2.17 GHz Turbo), 22nm, 1MB L2, 4.3W)
  • RAM: 2GB 1600MHz DDR3 1.35w (8GB*4)
  • SSD: eMMC 64GB
  • GPU:Intel Integrated Graphics
  • LAN:10/100/1000/Gigabits Base T
  • WLAN: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Built-in Bluetooth V4.0
  • I/O: 1x USB3.0, 1x USB 2.0 , 1x HDMI, 1x VGA, Headphone-out, 1x 1Gb LAN
  • OS: Supplied Barebones, Windows 8.1 used in this review
  • Dimensions: 118 x 70 x 56 (mm)
  • Weight: ~190g
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Price: $185

The box describes the product as a “build your own PC.” All of the components are well packaged and protected and the motherboard was shielded by an anti-static bag.

Contents (from back to front, left to right) Quick-Start Guide, User Guide, Wifi Antennae, USA/EU Micro USB 2000ma AC Adapter, Top Casing, Bluetooth/Wifi Card, Motherboard, Bottom Casing.

CPU-Z

GPU-Z

ASUS GTX 960 Mini Revealed

The GTX 960 series of graphics cards has gotten off to a great start. The cards may not be the most competitive on price, but their low power consumption and heat are a big win for those wanting to build a compact gaming system, or HTPC style gaming rig.

The latest card from ASUS pushes this even further, as the GTX 960 Mini measures in at just 17cm long, making it compatible with a huge range of chassis, or should that be a large range of very small chassis.

The card is factory overclocked, with 1190 MHz on the core and 1253 MHz GPU boost. The memory still sits at 7 GHz and draws power from a single 6-pin connection.

No word on price or availability yet, but we doubt you’ll have to wait long to find out.

Portable USB Wall Charger Roundup

Introduction


Quite often you’ll find yourself traveling to another city, state or country and be met with the all-too-common sinking feeling when presented with your hotel room power point options – only one or two annoyingly placed ports. If you’re like me, not only have you forgotten a power board, but you’ve got multiple devices to charge via USB ports. Furthermore, if you’re heading on a holiday or business trip – it’s likely that you’re carrying a myriad of battery-powered devices: a smartphone, tablet, smartwatch and GoPro being just the beginning of a very long list.

Being left with your standard issue 1-port USB smartphone charger won’t do you much justice, pulling out your bulky laptop isn’t always the best solution due to them being heavy and slow to charge – this is where USB power hubs come into their element. They’re also suitable for a home environment, offering between two and five handy USB ports to charge your devices overnight or while you’re sitting on the couch.

Thankfully for us, we’ve had a couple of wall USB chargers provided to us for testing. Read on for a quick round-up on these life-saving devices and what conditions we think they suit best.

The full list of products in this roundup and their pricing is as follows:

Zotac Will Show off New Mini PCs during CES

During CES 2015, Zotac will be presenting their expanded ZBOX pico lineup, new E-series gaming, new passive C-series and quad display ready ZBOX mini-PCs. Looks like Zotac has a new miniPC lined up for every occasion.

“We launched major new ZBOX mini-PCs in 2014 with the passive C-series nano, gaming capable E-series and the pocketable pico series. This year we’re refining the successful formula to add more features and performance while maintaining the award-winning form factors,” says Tony Wong, CEO, ZOTAC International.

The ZBOX CI321 nano is the latest passive cooled nano-PC that comes with a dual-core Intel processor, dual Gigabit LAN, AC WiFi, and dual-channel memory support. The next-generation ZBOX E-series gaming mini-PC will add G-SYNC support, multiple display support for surround view, and 4K @ 60Hz all in one small box. The second generation of Zotac’s pico series of pocket PCs will be showcased as well, including dual display support, Gigabit LAN and USB 3.0.

There will also be a prototype ZOTAC ZBOX mini-PC on display, capable of driving four displays at once and a preview on a ZBOX mini-PC capable of accommodating up to two 2.5-inch SATA and a pair of custom modified ZBOX Sphere OI520s.

Thanks to Zotac for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Zotac

In Win D-Frame Mini-ITX Chassis Review

Introduction


In Win are back once again with yet another flag-ship chassis to add to their collection. Their new In Win D-Frame Mini isn’t exactly a new model altogether, given that a couple of years ago they launched the full-size D-Frame. It is however a much smaller and user-friendly model, perfect for lugging with you to LAN events thanks to it’s smaller size, lower weight and built-in carry handle.

In Win are no stranger to crazy, ultra high-end and truly unique chassis. Over the last few years they’ve gone from manufacturing humble desktop chassis to creating some of the most desirable and original products on the market. Just take a look at the 904, 901, S-Frame, H-Frame, H-Frame Mini and Tou chassis’ which we’ve reviewed. Quality and originality come at a price and while the D-Frame mini is far from the most expensive chassis In Win produce, it’s still going to need a wallet stuffed with £250 for those looking to invest. So just how much chassis do you get for your hard-earned money? Let’s dive in a take a closer look at what the D-Frame Mini has to offer.

The chassis comes constructed from a series of aluminium tubing and aluminium metal plate. With the added benefit that its design gives it great strength and helps keep the chassis as light as possible. Don’t be too fooled though, this small chassis still packs a fair bit of weight courtesy of the two thick sheets of tempered glass that adorn the sides.

The glass side panels are lightly tinted, but still give you a great view of the chassis interior; which has been carefully designed to best show off the components of your system build.

From the front you can see there is a slightly recessed I/O panel, where you’ll find all the usual ports as well as the power and reset buttons. Behind that are the hard drive mounts, which are suspended from the motherboard backplate like a set of shelves.

Around the back we’ve got the PSU mount, which effectively hangs at the back of the chassis. Once very nice feature is that you can mount the PSU with the power cable at the bottom or the top, as there are two mounting plates on this chassis.

At the top of the chassis is a textured centre bar, this provides a great gripping point for picking up the chassis.

The base of the chassis is just as open as the rest of it. This is a good thing of course as there are two 120mm fan mounts in the base that are prefect for a 240mm radiator. The rubber clips that surround the chassis add some nice flair, but the ones on the base of the chassis also double as the feet.

GIGABYE Release a Mini-ITX Ready NVIDIA 970

GIGABYTE has just announced the release of their new compact 970 video card, the GV-N970IXOC-4GD. Designed for Mini-ITX applications, the card utilizes the WindForce 3X heat sink for cooling but has been modified to use only one fan – this is due to the original 3 fan configuration being too large for the compact nature and design of this beast. The two heat pipes measure 8mm and 5mm respectively and once again attached to the classic GIGABYE ‘Triangle Cool Technology” as seen in their larger editions.

GIGABYTE has claimed this new card will run semi-intensive games such Metro: Last Light whilst maintaining a steady temperature of 62 degrees Celsius, but we’ve heard claims that the public version of this card reaches something closer to 76C.

Do not be fooled by the compact nature of this card, it still packs a tough 970 punch whilst maintaining the classic low power consumption that this model is becoming famous for. The cooling could possibly be an issue, especially if you’re running your mini-ITX system jam packed full of hard drives and a large CPU coolers in preparation for sharing many gigabytes of freeware at your local LAN party.

The core of this card is said to be clocked at 1076-1216MHz, with the public version checking in at more like 1051-1178MHz. Powered by an auxiliary dual 6-pin into a single 8-pin and checking in at 12cm in length, the card doesn’t skimp on the width – taking up dual slots, with a small bit of room to spare.

Outputs include two DVI ports, three display ports and one HDMI and will be coming to stores for around $329.99 USD.

Image courtesy of MyDrivers

Gigabyte Launches First GeForce GTX 970 mITX Graphics Card

Gigabyte is no stranger in being first at things and this time they are the first to release a mini ITX version of the new Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 card. Everyone was impressed with the performance of the new GeForce 9 series, especially considering the low TDP. Maybe this is what inspired Gigabyte to create this compact powerhouse.

The new graphics card aimed at mITX builders still features the full height of a normal card but has reduced the length to about 17cm, the size that a micro-ITX board has.

The VRM circuitry must have received a reduction as the card only requires a single 8-pin PCI-Express power connector to run. Even with the reduced power, it still comes with a slight factory overclock. It is running at a 1076 MHZ base frequency and has a boost up to 1216 MHz. The reference Nvidia GTX 970 runs at 1051 and 1178 MHz as comparison.

Gigabyte’s card is only 12 cm wide in its dual-slot design and has the usual connections of three DisplayPort, two DVI ports and one HDMI. The cooler used by Gigabyte looks like a mini version of the WindForce 3X cooler, except that it only has one 100mm fan instead of three. The heat is transferred to the aluminium fin array by two 8mm and one 5mm heat pipes.

The first numbers provided impress just as much as the size. The card is said to be running at about 62 degrees during the Metro Last Light benchmark where the reference card runs up to 76 degrees.

The best of all, Gigabyte also gave this small card a small price-tag. The MSRP of the Gigabyte GTX 970 Mini (GV-N970IXOC-4GD) is set to $329.99, which is the same as the reference card from Nvidia. That’s a pretty good deal if you ask me, a better and smaller card at the same price. Users should keep in mind that the overclock potential on these cards might be smaller due to the reduced VRM and power supply.

Thanks to Tom’s Hardware for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Tom’s Hardware

iPad Mini 3 Expected for Release on October 16th

Apples latest iteration of its iPad mini is expected to be unveiled on the 16th of October – a date that Apple has sent press conference invitations for.

This new 7-inch tablet is expected to be released under a different name however, with speculation from some sources claiming it won’t follow suit of a normal number naming protocol – its older brother was not released as the ‘iPad mini 2’, but called the ‘iPad mini with Retina display’.

Starting 10pm Pacific time (6pm UK time) on Thursday, Apple is expected to release this new product to the world in Berlin, Germany. The new tablet is expected to be for sale before two weeks time after this date.

There isn’t really any official information as to the new iPad mini specifications, but we’ve been able to bring together some leaks and rumors for you:

  • A very similar look and feel to the iPad mini 2
  • Featuring a Retina display with a resolution of 2048 x 1536
  • The introduction of Retina HD (as seen in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus)
  • A rear-facing 4MP and 1.2MP front-facing camera
  • Out-of-the-box iOS8

The price for the new iPad mini is unknown, but be sure to check back to eTeknix as we’ll report on the launch when it happens. For now, we’ll share with you an image leaked of the final design thanks to nowhereelse.

 

Image courtesy of MacRumors

Corsair Release the Link Commander Mini

Corsair have just released their new Commander mini, which gives you the ability to control multiple lights, fans and other Corsair devices via the systems intuitive software interface. If you’re like me and you have a couple of water coolers with extra fans, LED strip lighting and more, then you’ll know it can be tricky controlling it all from fan controllers, lighting controller, water cooling software, motherboard fan controllers and more, so having a unified system is no bad thing at all.

Equipped with four Corsair Link Digital ports, six fan connectors, four temperature probe inputs and a Corsair Link LED lighting strip port, the Commander Mini is the perfect add on to any Corsair heavy system build.

Corsair Link gives ultimate PC control
Corsair Link marks an end to the days of case fans, component fans and case lighting that must be managed manually with hardware switches and dials, while simultaneously offering more advanced control and expansion options than motherboard BIOS settings. Everything is configurable from the PC’s desktop via the Corsair Link Dashboard software interface.

Precise Monitoring
Users can see how a system is operating at a glance with an unprecedented level of detail. Coolant temperature, ambient temperature (at multiple points), and the speed of case fans and fans built-in to compatible system components can be monitored, all via the Corsair Link Dashboard software.

A New Level of Control
Corsair Link gives PC users the power to manage fan speeds individually, set up customized cooling profiles, or program fans to respond to changes in ambient or component temperature. Lighting can be programmed to relay critical system information or to change the look of the system to provide an instant visual indicator of the selected cooling profile, or just for fun.

Expandable Eco-System
The Commander Mini fan controllers work with virtually any standard PC case fan, and the included temperature sensors can be placed nearly anywhere in a PC case. Expand your control by adding compatible peripherals, including Corsair i-Series liquid CPU coolers, i-Series power supplies, and DRAM cooling systems which feature the Corsair Link Digital logo.

Pricing, Availability, and Warranty
The Commander Mini is available immediately on the Corsair website for $59.99 USD. It is backed with a two year warranty.

Thank you Corsair for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Corsair.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini to Include a Number of S5 Specific Features

A couple of months ago we caught wind the Samsung had a mini version of their flagship S5 in the pipelines after their Finnish division slipped up, publicising a support page for the upcoming handset. These support pages, however, did not give any indication on the specs of the mini handset and we were left to sift through a stream of rumours and filter out the common components to bring our angle on the handset.

Fast forwarding to today we are now able to see the final draft of the S5 Mini’s specifications and it is apparent that it will have all of the major features, both hard and soft that its full-sized bigger brother will have – offering users a stepping stone towards their flagship Android phone, but without such a strong price tag.

Built around a 4.5″ Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1280×720, the Mini will pack in a quad-core CPU running at 1.4GHz (not the 1.6GHz core that we predicted) with 1.5GB of RAM sat beside 16GB of internal storage. There will be the capacity to increase the storage through a microSD slot and like the S5, the Mini will offer water and dust resistance as well as a fingerprint scanner and a heart-rate monitor that is boasted on the flagship handset.

Like the other Galaxy handsets the Mini will come in a range of colours with ‘Shimmery White’, ‘Electric Blue’, ‘Charcoal Black’ and ‘Copper Gold’ on offer (I wonder where the idea for different colours came from – I won’t start any arguments just yet over who was first, but we all know who I’m referring to here).

Whilst the Finnish team were the first to indicate the presence of the Mini, it turns out that the Russians will be the first to get their hands on the bite-sized handset, with a release happening during the middle stages of this month with the rest of the world getting their chance towards the end of the month. Strangely though there is no concrete word on the price point as of yet, but speculation has it that we could see prices falling around the $500 mark.

Source: WCCFTech

 

Galaxy S5 Mini In the Pipeline

The Galaxy S5 is without a doubt one of the most popular smartphone handsets on the market today and following some trickles of information over the last few weeks of a mini version of the handset possibly making its way to market, it appears that the rumours could indeed be true, even though Samsung have not officially announced anything.

Whilst Samsung’s Finnish division slipped up with the publication of a support page for the handset, they are not the only division to confirm the rumours. A warranty document from the New Zealand team has revealed that the mini, which appears to run under the model name SM-G800F, will be IP67 certified. To you and I, this means that it will be water and dust resistant – a feature that is become more common on today’s handsets.

Other sources of information spout that the S5 Mini will feature a 4.5″ 720p display, a 1.6GHz quad core Snapdragon processor with 1.5GB RAM and 16GB of storage. Additionally a microSD card clot will support up to 32GB of extra storage, with an 8MP camera on the rear, a 1.5MP front facing camera and a 2,100mAh battery.

Unexpectedly though there is no word on pricing nor a release date just yet, however these mishaps from two of Samsung’s divisions lead us to believe that a launch date could be on the horizon, possibly ahead of the next iHandset.

Source: TrustedReviews

LG G2 mini Officially Announced By LG Ahead of MWC 2014

LG has revealed the earlier rumored LG G2 mini smartphone ahead of Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona on 24th of February, powered by a Snapdragon 400 or Nvidia Tegra 4i and boasting a 4.7-inch screen.

Both the Snapdragon and Nvidia chipset version have the Quad-Core CPU clocked at 1.2 GHz, sporting 1 GB of Ram, along with the 4.7-inch qHD having a 960 x 540 pixels resolution and running Android 4.4 KitKat alongside LG’s Optimus UI. LG also claims to release dual-SIM and non-LTE versions as well.

The handsets will also be powered by a 2,440 mAh battery, 8 GB of storage space which can be expanded with the help of microSD card support and the design also reflects its bigger brother, the LG G2, having the back positioning buttons placed below the 8 MP rear camera.

The handset color range spans between white, black, gold and red, having LG planning to release the handset in March in Russia. The rest of the world is said to see the handset rolling out on their market starting this April.

Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Fudzilla

iPad Mini Dubbed ‘World’s Most Breakable Gadget’ by SquareTrade Europe Insurer

Smartphones and tablets are more fragile than we think, and that’s why some people get to have broken displays or other damage (even water damage) to their devices. Some may come with harder cases which can withstand some impact, and other may be even waterproof, but they are not invincible.

That’s why most people have their handsets and tablets insured, to prevent breaking your wallet along with your device. SqareTrade Europe is one of these insurers which provide this service. This is where they created a list of the “world’s most breakable gadgets” and guess what is sitting on the top of that list? The iPad Mini.

SquareTrade Europe did not perform any detailed scientific tests, rather they approached the problem with having real life situations at hand. They first dropped a few handsets from a considerable height after being submerged under water. At the end, scores were awarded to each device based on how well it passed the test, and Apple’s iPad Mini apparently came out at the top having a score of 7.5.

“By putting devices through tests that replicate real life situations, we want to help people make smart choices when it comes to choosing gadgets.” said Kevin Gillan, a managing director at SquareTrade Europe.

Other handsets following the iPad Mini are Samsung Galaxy S4 with a score of 7, the iPad Air and Galaxy S3 with a score of 6.5, and the iPhone 5c with a score of 6. Through these tests SquareTrade Europe aims not only to draw people to have their devices insured, but also express awareness of the incidents which might inevitably occur with the handsets.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information

Fractal Design ARC Mini R2 Micro ATX Chassis Review

Introduction


Fractal make some of the best looking chassis on the market, they’re known for their desirable designs and they’ve always done well to back that up with rock solid build quality and premium quality features. It is because of this that we have very high expectations of the ARC Mini R2, Fractal Design have set their own standards incredibly high with ever product they’ve released and we’ll expect nothing less with this new chassis.

Smaller form factor chassis are very popular right now and while micro-ATX isn’t exactly tiny, not everyone wants a 3 foot tall super tower next to their desk, nor does everyone even have the space for such things. Small and mighty is the popular choice these days and that’s exactly what Fractal Design are promising here. Keeping with the theme and style of the rest of the Arc range and priced at £69.99 it looks like a great mid to high-end solution for a compact gaming build and as you can see from the specifications below, it isn’t exactly lacking in features and components support either.

Specifications

  • ATX, Micro ATX, Mini ITX motherboard compatibility
  • 2 – 5.25″ bays
  • 8 – 3.5″ HDD trays – all compatible with SSDs
  • 2 – 2.5″ additional SSD positions behind the motherboard plate
  • 7 + 1 expansion slots
  • 7 – Fan positions (3 Silent Series R2 fans included)
  • Filtered fan slots in front, top and bottom
  • CPU coolers up to 180 mm tall
  • PSU compatibility: ATX PSUs up to 170 mm deep when using the bottom fan location; when not using this fan location longer PSUs (up to 270 mm deep) can be used
  • Graphics card compatibility: Graphics cards up to 290mm in length with the top HDD cage installed – With the top cage removed, graphics cards up to 430mm in length may be installed
  • 26 mm of space for cable routing behind the motherboard plate
  • Thick rubber grommets on all holes on the motherboard plate
  • Colors available: Black
  • Case dimensions (WxHxD): 230 x 460 x 515mm
  • Net weight: 10.7kg
  • Package dimensions (WxHxD): 320 x 610 x 560mm
  • Package weight: 12kg

Cooling is going to be a big factors for the Arc Mini R2 and with room for four radiators and plenty of fans, this is already sounding like one of the coolest little cases around.

Cooling system

  • Front: 2 – 120/140mm fans (included is one hydraulic bearing 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed)
  • Rear: 1 – 120/140mm fan (included is a hydraulic bearing 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed)
  • Top: 3 – 120/140mm fans (included is one hydraulic bearing 140mm Silent Series R2 fan, 1000 RPM speed)
  • Bottom: 1 – 120/140mm fan (not included)
  • Fan controller: 1 – Integrated fan controller for up to 3 fans (included)
  • Water cooling compatibility:
    • Front – 240 mm radiators (thick and slim) when HDD cages are repositioned or removed
    • Top – 240 mm radiators (thick and slim)
    • Bottom – 120mm radiators
    • Rear – 120mm radiators

The packaging is a fairly standard box and features a clear representation of the chassis design on the front.

Around the back we have a break down of all the major features and components of the chassis. This details the fans, filters, hard drive bays and more, all of which we’ll be taking a closer look at in a moment.

A small component box contains all the major fittings and fixtures for the chassis.

In the box there was a components bag with all the major screws, bolts and a few cable ties, as well as a simple to read user’s manual, pretty much everything you need to install all major components.

The front panel, was well packaged, with securing tape keeping everything in place and a layer of plastic to protect both sides of the side panel window.

In Win H-Frame Mini mITX Aluminium Chassis Review

Introduction


We have another funky little chassis in the eTeknix office today, and while it was only a couple of weeks ago that we took a look at the truly epic H-Frame from InWin, we now have something a little smaller, lighter and less expensive, the H-Frame Mini. The mITX sibling of the Aluminium monster that is the H-Frame looks set to offer a similar design ethic, but with a much reduced footprint, making it ideal for those short of space or in need of something more portable.

mITX has undergone a rebirth this last year, with mITX chassis proving more and more popular we have seen hardware manufacturers put out some of the greatest small components, especially when it comes to motherboards and APUs that are capable of giving smaller form factors some impressive graphics performance. Yet much of the attention goes towards the larger mITX chassis such as the BitFenix prodigy, but there is a market out there that wants all the premium build quality and design they can get in a much smaller form factor.

InWin look set to deliver to those who want such a design, giving the H-Frame Mini an aluminium and tempered glass finish, something that goes a long way to explaining the price tag of £161.99. That is expensive for something this small but it does features an integrated 180w PSU, and if the build quality is anything like that of the £260 H-Frame (full size) then it may not be such a bad deal after all. So lets get right to it and see just what this chassis has to offer.

In the box we found a simple user guide, a bundle of extra cables for the PSU and all the usual nuts and bolts required to install our components.