Computers

Acer Predator Orion 9000 First Look

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Acer’s Predator Orion 9000 may not have power over 9000, but it’s still overwhelming!

That’s because this gaming PC can be fitted with one of Intel’s new Core i9 Extreme Edition processors. If you feel daring, you can get a chipset with as many as 18 cores and 36 threads — that’s a lot of power!

In addition, there’s enough space in the tower for four high-end graphics cards that can work at the same time, as well as slots for 128GB of quad-channel memory.

If all that sounds too much to handle, know that the Orion 9000 comes with handles and wheels for seamless transport.

Watch as we try and lift this beastly machine in our first look video:

SEE ALSO: Acer unleashes Predator Orion 9000 gaming PC and X35 monitor

Computers

The new Snapdragon 710 promises flagship specs for midrange phones

Prepare for midrange animojis!

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While everyone is hunting for the latest Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm’s midrange line is slowly catching up from behind. The newly announced Snapdragon 710 promises flagship features for the midrange phones that will eventually carry the chip.

Built on a 10nm chip, the Snapdragon 710 features timely upgrades for midrange AI, cameras, and display tech. According to Qualcomm VP for Product Management Kedar Kondap, the new processor offers “technologies and features previously only available in [their] premium-tier mobile platforms.”

In terms of AI, the chip ups the ante with a multi-core AI engine. Compared to previous models in the series, the Snapdragon 710 promises twice the performance for AI features. The upgrades will inevitably help with voice commands, gesture controls, and contextual photography.

Speaking of photography, the Snapdragon 710 includes the Qualcomm Spectra 250 image signal processor, which enhances camera tech. This hopes to improve the camera’s stabilization, low light capabilities, and noise reduction. This includes the popular AR emojis rapidly growing across the industry.

Also, for the first time, the Snapdragon midrange series will support 4K HDR viewing. The feature brings the best out of the midrange sector’s limited screen capabilities. Hopefully, this also brings substantial upgrades to the types of screens available for the sector.

Additionally, the new Snapdragon model can maximize both connectivity and battery life. With a new Snapdragon X15 LTE modem, the chip can support up to 800Mbps of 4G download speed. Similarly, the chip’s optimized architecture can reduce power consumption by up to 20 percent. If that’s not enough, it also supports the new Quick Charge 4+, which drastically reduces charging time.

Starting now, Qualcomm has opened the Snapdragon 710 for phone makers worldwide. We can expect compatible phones by the second half of the year.

SEE ALSO: Explainer: Differences between Snapdragon processors

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Computers

Acer’s Predator Orion 5000 gaming PC can house GTX 1080 Ti in SLI

While the Predator Orion 3000 is your midrange option

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Building a gaming PC is fairly straightforward, but it isn’t for everyone. For mainstream folks, pre-built gaming desktops are the way to go. Although that usually means settling for hardware that’s mainstream as well, that isn’t always the case. Just ask Acer.

Its Predator sub-brand has a new 5000 series of Orion gaming desktops, and it’s quite the beast. If you recall, the Orion 9000 blew us away last year with its massive size and all-powerful specifications. While the Orion 5000 doesn’t have as big a number, it may actually be more appealing.

The Orion 5000 can be decked out with Intel’s 8th-generation Core i7-8700K processor on a high-end Z370 chipset. To make load times even faster, up to 32GB of Intel Optane memory may be installed on top of the usual RAM and storage configurations. Finally, and this is the best part, two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards can fit at the same time for two-way SLI, meaning they’ll work together to push intense rendering during gaming and video editing.

Of course, it needs a worthy case to house all this hardware. Acer is equipping it with a transparent side panel to monitor (and show off) all the internals. That’s just for aesthetics, however; for cooling, IceTunnel 2.0 tech is on board for smart airflow management for every section of the case. It’s easy to open up too, in case you want to upgrade the components.

The Predator Orion 5000 will become available in North America in July with a starting price of US$ 1,499, while EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) will get it in June for EUR 1,699 and China in June as well for CNY 15,999.

If that pricing is too much for you, you can also go for the more affordable Orion 3000 series.

Predator Orion 3000

The Predator Orion 3000 isn’t as aggressive as its higher-end sibling, but offers a lot of the same power. You also get 8th-gen Intel Core i7 processors and up to 32GB of Optane memory to complement up to 64GB of RAM. The only real downgrade is the limit of a single GTX 1080 card, but that’s still enough for 4K gaming.

This one starts at US$ 999 in North America beginning October, EUR 1,299 in EMEA starting July, and CNY 6,999 in China in July as well.

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Computers

Microsoft Surface Hub 2 is like a digital whiteboard from the future

We’ll have one for our office, please

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Are you familiar with the Microsoft Surface Hub? Well, we can’t blame if you’re not because that huge piece of touchscreen computer didn’t make its way to homes, but rather to offices. Unlike other Surface products, the Surface Hub was meant for workplace collaboration to practically replace the good old whiteboard.

Despite being a crazy expensive digital whiteboard, here we are now with its second version. The Microsoft Surface Hub 2 is a much improved gigantic touchscreen designed to be placed on a wall or on wheels.

Compared to the first version, the Surface Hub 2 has drastically reduced bezels. It basically looks like a 50.5-inch 4K+ modern TV in 3:2 aspect ratio that can be rotated with a slight push. Surprisingly, the video camera is now gone from the main device and you’ll need to plug a webcam above or beside (depending on the orientation) the display for video conferences. As for the stylus, it magnetically attaches to the sides of the panel.

It’s quite hard to put our awe into words, so we’ll show you the concept video of what you can do with the new Surface Hub 2:

You can see that the device is so fluid in the office. You can hook it up to a wall, put it on a rolling case, or create a wall of Surface Hubs and transform it into an art piece when not in use.

Since the device is designed to be used by multiple people, users can easily log in using the side fingerprint reader and pull up their account. They’ll be able to find all their documents, data, and accept calls through the Surface Hub 2.

Microsoft Surface Hub 2 used for video conference | Image credit: Microsoft

Microsoft Surface Hub 2 used for collaboration in workspaces | Image credit: Microsoft

Microsoft will start testing the Surface Hub 2 with partners later this year. You can expect to see these in corporate offices and maybe commercial spaces in 2019. Pricing details were not announced, but it’ll not come cheap just like its predecessor which goes for US$ 9,000.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft introduces more powerful Surface Book 2 in two sizes

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