Nvidia’s New GTX Series Super-Powers Laptops, Enables VR

After first debuting the Maxwell-based GTX 980 graphics chip in a notebook last year, Nvidia has now upped its game, with notebooks and laptops powered by its GTX 1000 series chips, more specifically the GTX 1060, GTX 1070 and GTX 1080. These new GPU chips, which Nvidia declares “VR-ready,” use the company’s more efficient Pascal architecture to provide nearly identical operation to their desktop chips; only the GTX 1060 provides a slightly slower base clock speed in a notebook. Continue reading Nvidia’s New GTX Series Super-Powers Laptops, Enables VR

Microsoft Pushes Windows 10 as Only ‘Mixed Reality’ Platform

Microsoft is positioning itself as providing, with Windows 10, the only platform for “mixed reality,” which the company describes as “providing devices with the ability to perceive the world, breaking down the barriers between virtual and physical reality.” In a three-minute video, Microsoft shows how it believes various types of augmented reality will be able to interact, using HoloLens headsets, VR helmets and other devices. Microsoft invites its partners to build on the Windows Holographic platform. Continue reading Microsoft Pushes Windows 10 as Only ‘Mixed Reality’ Platform

Google Launches New Chrome OS for its Business Customers

Google has unveiled its new Chrome operating system designed for business customers, which includes changes aimed at allowing companies to operate many of their legacy software applications. Dell has announced new Chromebooks and management software designed to work with the new operating system. After years of pushing cloud-based systems for improved security and management, Google has learned that many companies require custom upgrades or rely on virtualized systems to address the multitude of applications that cannot easily move to the cloud. Continue reading Google Launches New Chrome OS for its Business Customers

UHD Displays Expected to Take Center Stage at January’s CES

Ultra HD displays will deliver on last year’s promise at the 2015 International CES next month. Expect to see 4K/UHD sets with very attractive prices. Set manufacturers Vizio and Acer have already launched 4K displays for $1,000 and under, and other manufacturers are likely to unveil similarly low-cost models. Chinese UHD display manufacturers, that have had a strong presence at recent CES events, will continue their efforts to understand the U.S. consumer and break into the U.S. market at lower price points. Continue reading UHD Displays Expected to Take Center Stage at January’s CES

Tactus Brings Shape-Shifting Touchscreen Buttons to iPads

While touchscreen devices have keyboards integrated directly onto their screens, many people miss the tactile feel of a traditional keyboard. Tactus Technologies, a company we first reported on during CES 2013, has developed shape-shifting touchscreen buttons to meet the needs of these consumers. The tech is coming to market later this year with an iPad accessory that will feature transparent morphing buttons that use small fluid-filled channels and elastic blisters to make the buttons rise during use. Continue reading Tactus Brings Shape-Shifting Touchscreen Buttons to iPads

Intel Brings Immersive Tech to Wearables, Tablets and More

Intel is embracing the Internet of Things, making a big push into the smart products space, including wearables, tablets and cameras, showcasing at CES a host of new devices that will be branded Intel RealSense, many of which will leverage its new RealSense 3D camera tech. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich wowed the crowd when he sent a giant whale swimming over the head of the audience at his keynote address at the Venetian Hotel Monday night, a glasses-free 3D effect that looked amazingly lifelike. Continue reading Intel Brings Immersive Tech to Wearables, Tablets and More

PointGrab to Showcase New Gesture Control Software at CES

Via closed door demos and YouTube videos, Israel-based PointGrab has recently been promoting two new versions of its gesture-recognition software as a lead-up to this week’s CES. For the next generation smart home, AirTouch and PointSwitch will help consumers control devices by using gestures from a distance. The software products, which now work with standard 2D cameras on consumer devices, have already been integrated into TVs and PCs from Acer, Lenovo, Samsung and others.

Continue reading PointGrab to Showcase New Gesture Control Software at CES

Acer Announces 4K for Phone and Touch for Low-End Laptop

Acer announced that its Liquid S2 smartphone will offer 4K video recording capability. While offering 4K video recording on a smartphone may currently seem unnecessary, it may become a more widely adopted feature of upcoming handsets. Meanwhile, Acer will also be including a touchscreen option for its low-end E1 laptop. The option of touchscreen for the Acer laptop may help overcome some of the initial confusion faced by Windows 8 users. Continue reading Acer Announces 4K for Phone and Touch for Low-End Laptop

Streaming Movies from Intel-based Laptops to Samsung TVs

Intel and Samsung announced a partnership this week that will allow Samsung TV owners to stream movies directly from PCs running Intel’s latest processors. The companies are teaming to integrate Intel’s Wireless Display technology directly into Samsung’s TVs, which will eliminate the need for a separate receiver to play media content on TVs streamed from a PC. The technology is expected to reach consumers by the end of this year. Continue reading Streaming Movies from Intel-based Laptops to Samsung TVs

Will Windows Blue Help Customers with Learning Curve?

Microsoft announced last week that it has sold 100 million licenses for Windows 8 since the software’s release six months ago, approximately the same number it sold for Windows 7 in the same time range at its release. The company made bold changes to its software, which included replacing the traditional interface with a screen of tiles. However, there has a been a negative reaction from some customers and the company admits the moves may have been too aggressive. A soon-to-come update may help those who are disappointed. Continue reading Will Windows Blue Help Customers with Learning Curve?

New Acer Monitor and Projector Auto-Converts 2D to 3D on the Fly

  • Acer has introduced a home theater projector and 27-inch monitor that can show 3D content from Blu-ray players, camcorders and smartphones.
  • Both devices can also add 3D features to 2D content, according to the company.
  • “Not only can you enjoy 3D movies and other multimedia content at 1080p full HD on both devices, you can also see get your 2D content automatically enhanced with 3D effects without any additional software,” reports ZDNet.
  • The new monitor requires that users wear polarized (passive, no batteries necessary) 3D glasses, while the Acer projector requires Active Shutter 3D glasses (that require charging).
  • The 3D projector is priced at $1,999 and the monitor is available for $599. One pair of glasses is included in each purchase.

Acer Announces Social Networking Hot Button for New Laptops

  • Acer has announced that the new Gateway NV and ID series laptops will provide one-touch access to social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
  • Social networking hot keys will activate integrated widgets that enable activities such as status updates, message posting, uploading media and more.
  • However, some laptop makers — including HP and Dell — suggest that hot buttons could potentially overwhelm users, and prove to be an unnecessary feature when software could easily do the job (in some cases, such keys are even being removed from business laptops).
  • Computer users spend on average one out of every six minutes of online time on social networks, according to comScore.

Acer Launches Colorful Line of Affordable Netbooks

  • Computer manufacturer Acer announced the launch of its Aspire One Happy 2 netbook line.
  • The new netbooks feature 10.1-inch displays, Intel Atom N570 processors, and battery lives of up to eight hours.
  • Less than one inch thick, they also come in four colorful cases (Banana Cream, Blueberry Shake, Papaya Milk, Strawberry Yogurt).
  • Additional features include 1GB DDR3 RAM, 250GB hard drive, Wi-Fi and Ethernet networking, and a VGA webcam for video chat.
  • Price point may help make the line a viable alternative to tablets; the Acer netbooks are currently available starting at $270.

Google Unveils Its New Chrome OS Netbooks

Anxious to promote its new Web-based Chrome operating system introduced this week at Google I/O in San Francisco, Google announced its plans to begin selling netbooks based on the Chrome OS starting June 15. The devices, aimed primarily at enterprise customers, will use Web-based applications rather than storing software.

The new Chromebooks will initially take the form of Wi-Fi- and 3G-based laptops from Acer and Samsung that will start at $350 (available from retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy). Verizon will offer 3-year 3G contracts priced at $28/month for up to 100MB of wireless data usage.

Google also announced a new feature to the Chrome Web Store that will enable developers to configure one-touch in-app purchases. Google will reportedly take only 5 percent of the purchase price (comparatively, Apple takes 30 percent).

According to InformationWeek: “The pricing of Google’s subscription plan is modest: For $28 per user per month, businesses will receive Chromebooks, Web-based administration controls, enterprise-level support, a warranty, and hardware replacement upon subscription renewal. Schools and governments have access to the subscription package for $20 per user per month. Access to Google Apps for Business is not included; it will continue to be offered for $50 per user per year.”

Related CNN Money article: “Google makes push for the Enterprise with Chrome” (5/12/11)

Related PC Magazine article: “Hands On: Samsung Series 5 Chromebook” (5/12/11)

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