Computers

IFA 2016: HP Pavilion Wave and Elite Slice are different kinds of PCs

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HP has just unveiled its Pavilion Wave and Elite Slice PCs, proving that there’s still a lot of potential for progress in the desktop computer market. The two products aren’t going to shock you with incredible specs or brand new technologies, though; what makes them special is in the way they fit around your work space.

The Pavilion Wave, for one, has a tall triangular physique surrounded with woven fabric and an integrated speaker on top for 360-degree audio production. By making it tall, the unique PC takes up as little space as possible, without compromising the internals. The 6th-generation Intel Core i3 or i5 processor (no mention of 7th-generation Kaby Lake CPUs here), up to 2TB of hard disk storage and 16GB of RAM, as well as the choice of a dedicated AMD graphics card prove that there’s no need to worry about performance.

HP Pavilion Wave

Around the Pavilion Wave is a complete set of physical connectivity ports, ranging from high-speed USB and Ethernet ports for data, to HDMI and an audio jack for outputting content. What needs a special mention are the two microphones that support Microsoft’s Cortana. By talking to the personal assistant, several tasks such as searching online and setting reminders can be accomplished hands-free.

The second, and possibly more noteworthy HP product, is the modular Elite Slice. We understand that PCs have been modular for decades, but this stackable computer doesn’t require messy cables or any DIY know-how. By snapping on modules for features like wireless charging, an optical disc drive, or Bang & Olufsen speakers, you can choose how much to bring when taking the unit out. Sadly, the number of modules are limited at the moment, which is the case with a lot of modular gadgets just starting out.

HP Elite Slice (3)

As implied earlier, the Elite Slice is all about portability and space management. The PC weighs only 3.21 pounds, and can be powered through a USB 3.1 cable. The downside is that you’re forced to rely on the integrated graphics chip, but you have the choice of purchasing a 6th-generation Intel Core i7 processor to take up the slack. The variety of options apply to the storage and memory as well, wherein you can install up to 32GB of RAM and high-speed SSD flash storage. Ports include two USB Type-C ports (one for power, and the other for video outputs), two full-sized USB ports, and a complete set of audio-visual sockets.

Thankfully, HP was able to keep the costs to a minimum. The Pavilion Wave has a starting price of $549 and will be available beginning September 23, while the Elite Slice will retail for $699 when it comes out some time this month.

HP Elite Slice (2)

[irp posts=”11673″ name=”HP’s new line puts premium on office productivity”]

Computers

Researchers find malware on nearly 30K macOS devices

Silver Sparrow is being closely watched by researchers

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Owners of macOS devices — that includes the Macbook Air, Pro, and the iMacs — have one thing to worry about right now: a new type of malware. Researchers from Red Canary found a new type of malware that has affected a large number of macOS devices already, though its inner workings are still unclear.

Dubbed “Silver Sparrow”, the malware is one of the second malware with compatibility for the M1 processor. Likewise, researchers also found that it exhibits a behavior different from the usual macOS adware. Its primary mode of execution is through Javascript, specifically through the macOS Installer Javascript API. As such, this makes it harder to detect or analyze.

It also has a built-in self-destruct mechanism. Researchers, however, are unclear why the self-destruct mechanism is there.

The function of the malware also remains unclear at the moment. Without a final payload, it just hides on infected macOS devices until triggered by an unknown mechanism. Researchers warned that it posed a serious threat given its “forward-looking M1 chip compatibility, global reach, relatively high infection rate, and operational maturity”.

For malware without a clear motive yet, the number of infected devices is staggering for researchers. Malwarebytes put the exact number at 29,139 macOS devices across 153 countries.

To prevent any more potential threats, Apple already blocked the certificates used to sign the malware packages. For now, affected users can’t do anything yet, given that the malware is still under close scrutiny.

Via: Ars Technica

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Computers

Intel Iris Xe DG1 is the company’s take on the desktop graphics market

With 80 executions units and 4GB of VRAM

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Intel is finally shipping its much-hyped discrete graphic processing units (dGPU) — the Iris Xe DG1 — after almost a year that the company announced it. The recently launched dGPU will target both the consumer and enterprise sector looking for a performance boost on their desktop setup.

The Xe DG1 is part of the Intel Iris Xe graphics family that the company announced last year. Specifically, it is an entry-level dGPU that relies on the Iris Xe architecture which powers the integrated graphics of newer Intel processors.

The company aims this dGPU to those looking to boost their desktop graphics performance by a bit. It has fewer execution units (EUs) than Iris Xe Graphics G7 and Iris Xe Max found in newer laptops, indicating its entry-level performance. To be specific, the new desktop dGPU has 80 EUs in contrast to the Iris Xe Graphics G7’s 96 EUs.

As such, dedicated gamers have to wait a little more for the Iris Xe HPG which Intel touts as its first mid-range and enthusiast dGPU. Still, the Iris Xe DG1 has a lot of features to bring to the table. It can support up to three DisplayPort connections and decode AV1 videos. Support for Adaptive-Sync and HDR is here too for a better experience on monitors with a high refresh rate and resolution.

The only technical spec that Intel confirmed so far is 4GB VRAM for the new dGPU. Clock speeds and other feature sets are unclear at the moment.

Price and availability

There’s only one caveat though: consumers will not be able to buy it off the shelves. Intel partnered with ASUS and other manufacturers to distribute it to OEMs. As such, the only way to get the dGPU is by buying PC systems with Iris Xe DG1 inside. Intel also didn’t say how much or when consumers can expect these PC systems to hit the market.

If all goes well, Intel’s Iris Xe graphics presents an opportunity for the company to break the duopoly of AMD and NVIDIA. The times are indeed changing, with Intel focusing now on improving the graphics performance of its processors. However, only time will tell if Intel’s bet will pay off considering that its previous attempt isn’t exactly successful.

Source: Notebookcheck.net

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Computers

Razer Viper 8K announced, dubbed the fastest gaming mouse

Ushering in a new era in gaming responsiveness and speed

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Razer Vioer 8K

In the ever-growing age of Esports, players and teams simply look for the best and fastest peripherals. Whether it’s a gaming monitor or a dedicated gaming keyboard, the hardware needs to keep up. As such, Razer stepped up to the plate with a product they claim to be the fastest gaming mouse in the world. And, it’s all thanks to the innovative technologies behind it.

Meet the Razer Viper 8KHz, Razer’s more advanced version of their classic Viper gaming mouse. In terms of its overall look and build, nothing much is different. It still features the prominent green Razer logo at the bottom, with programmable buttons at the side of it. Also, it supports Razer’s Chroma RGB lighting software for the sweet rainbow of colors during gameplay.

However, when you tear it all down, the Viper 8KHz comes with much improved hardware. Inside, it comes with Razer’s 2nd generation optical switches powered by its HyperPolling Technology. In essence, this is what gives the mouse its whopping 8,000Hz polling rate for faster and more precise input. For competitive gamers, this mouse can cut down input lag to 1/8th of a milisecond, meaning near zero delay in clicks — quite essential for shooter games.

The Razer Viper 8KHz is now available on the official website and authorized resellers at US$ 79.99.

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