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.

CES 2019

LG’s UltraWide and UltraGear monitors are coming to CES 2019

Meant for productivity and gaming

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LG UltraWide

CES 2019 is almost here, and when it begins, we’ll have new monitors from LG to enjoy.

The first one is the 49-inch UltraWide monitor (model name 49WL95), which has a long 32:9 aspect ratio. That’s like have two standard 16:9 screens combined!

It has a 5120 x 1440 resolution that spans the immersive curved IPS panel. With its 99 percent sRGB colors space and support for HDR10, it’s ideal for both work and play. There’s even a USB-C port that can charge a connected laptop or smartphone with 85W of power.

LG UltraGear

Next is the 38-inch UltraGear (38GL950G), a more manageable 21:9 monitor that’s geared towards gaming. It’s backed by NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology for smoother gameplay on the 144Hz refresh rate, as well as its 3840 x 1600 resolution and curved Nano IPS panel.

To give it a more gamer feel, Sphere Lighting is available to light up the back of the monitor with six color settings for you to choose from. This complements the 98 percent coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut in front.

No pricing or availability details have been provided by LG, but both monitors will be shown at CES 2019, happening from January 8 to 11.

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Computers

ASUSPRO D340MC is designed with budget-conscious workers in mind

Prioritizes security and endurance

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ASUSPRO is known for producing reliable laptops, but did you business-grade desktop computers are part of its portfolio, too?

The D340MC is an example of this, and it delivers on several fronts. It may seem like a standard boxy PC at first, but most of the features are on the inside.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; this is how it looks:

It definitely has a strong presence on any desk

Check out that port selection and DVD drive

The keyboard and mouse are part of the package

There’s lots of ventilation for cooling

Here’s a closer look at its ports

It’s easy to upgrade as needed

This is certainly a no-frills, get-the-job-done type of PC. Fortunately, it comes with good specs to show off: an Intel Core i7-8700 processor, up to 32GB of memory, 1TB of HDD storage, and a simple GeForce GT 720 graphics card to get you going.

But should really interest you are the reliability and endurance. The company claims the unit goes through rigorous quality tests in diverse environments, uses solid capacitors to lengthen lifespan, and produces little noise thanks to the thermal design.

The ASUSPRO D340MC starts at around US$ 600, but with its upgradability, it’s easy to give it more power when needed.

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Computers

Microsoft says you need a real computer, not an iPad

‘Don’t run out and buy an iPad’

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You’re probably familiar with Samsung teasing Apple and its iPhones through humorous commercials. But did you know Microsoft does the same against iPads?

Like Sammy, Microsoft loves to promote its products while humiliating those of close competitors. The latest attempt comes with this short holiday ad for the Surface Go.

Check it out:

The very first line — “Grandma, don’t run out and buy an iPad” — is already a clear dig at Apple. The little girl’s lyrics continue with, “It was fine when I was six, but now I’m 10. My dreams are big so I need a real computer to do all the amazing things I know I can.”

Yes, a real computer. If you’ve been following Apple’s promotions for the recently launched iPad Pro, you’d know that they tout it as a laptop replacement in a sense. Consumers and techies have since been debating whether the claims are true or not.

Well, Microsoft doesn’t think so, and instead believes that you need a Surface Go to cater to all computing needs. It runs desktop-class Windows 10 and is quite flexible productivity-wise when used together with the stylus and keyboard.

It seems like Microsoft’s goal here is to take away some of Apple’s strong younger market for iPads. Kids traditionally choose an iPad because of its portability, ease of use, and strong library of apps.

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