Computers

HP’s new line puts premium on office productivity

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When people talk about the future of technology, a lot of things come to mind. It might be flying cars, hover boards, hologram computers, or even life-like robots. And while these ideas seem to be getting closer to reality, we’ve still got a long way to go to get there.

HP, on the other hand, has a more grounded vision of the future — more specifically, the office of the future.

Earlier this month in Singapore, HP announced a host of new devices meant for enterprise users, specifically products designed from the ground up to be more efficient, secure, and built for collaboration.

From a tech innovation standpoint, none of these new products are necessarily groundbreaking, but they could just be what we need.

Don’t be too quick on thinking these devices just belong in an office, HP assures us that these products were made with its everyday consumers in mind, whether it be the average Joe looking for a daily driver, or the small business looking to set up its first computer. The brand believes the unique features it puts in its products are a differentiator from competitors rather than a feature the customer actually pays for.

Letʻs take a look at some of the products and services HP introduced in its live office showcase, and how they fit into its vision of the future.

HP ELITE X3

While Windows 10 for mobile hasn’t really caught on for most consumers, HP is targeting those who would want to be able to efficiently work with their files on a mobile device. With the Elite x3 smartphone, just connect it to a monitor and itʻll power up a close-to-desktop experience — a Windows 10 mobile function more popularly known as Continuum.

HP also introduced a case for the Elite x3 with a built-in barcode scanner, which is a mobile scanning solution enabling users to check product prices and other related information on the fly.

HP ELITE SLICE

Another device announced was the HP Elite Slice, a clever approach to the modular PC. With different modules that snap on top of each other, this may be one of the cleanest implementations of adding capabilities to an already existing desktop system I’ve ever seen. A wireless charging cover for your phone, a speaker module, and an optical disk drive are some of the existing slices available, all of which could be installed in a couple of seconds. With this much flexibility paired with its compact size, I can see how this could become the centerpiece of every desktop system in an office.

HP Z2 Mini

Similar to the proportions of the HP Elite Slice, the HP Z2 Mini is a workstation-class PC packing an NVIDIA Quadro graphics card in a tiny package. It was shown powering six high-resolution monitors side by side during the showcase, all of which were shown running various tasks from media playback to 3D animation. NVIDIA Quadro cards are known to be great for digital design software but fall short in gaming when compared to their consumer-friendly GeForce counterparts.

OTHER DEVICES

HP also announced a slew of new laptops across its entire range. The HP Elitebook series comes with a function that reduces 95 percent of visible light coming from the display at angles beyond 35 degrees at a press of a button; this is helpful in cases where you wouldnʻt want the person beside you on the plane or bus ride to be snooping into what youʻre working on.

Other devices consist of 2-in-1 convertibles, flip-outs, and even a detachable point of sale system. Who knows, the next fast food establishment you go to might be the one coming to your table to take orders.

All its new devices come with different security solutions. Some of these include the ability to always boot the device on its last good state; BIOS level security to make sure your computer is protected from the moment itʻs turned on; multi-factor authentication that requires a passcode, fingerprint, and face scanning; and many more.

The gadgets also come with features for collaboration, such as Bang and Olufsen-powered speakers, noise cancellation software, and various wireless solutions for better communication across team members.

While prices and availability arenʻt available in all regions at the moment, HP will be rolling out the devices across Asia in the following months.

SEE ALSO: HP spices up its Spectre x360 and Envy 13 notebooks

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Computers

Intel 9th-Gen Core processors feature ‘world’s best gaming processor’

Headlined by the Core i9-9900K

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Intel’s latest lineup of desktop processors, dubbed the 9th generation, were unveiled earlier today in an event in New York. They’re headlined by the Core i9-9900K, which Intel calls the “world’s best gaming processor.”

It’s definitely a powerful chip, owning eight cores and 16 threads with a single-core turbo frequency of 5GHz and base speed of 3.6GHz. It offers all sorts of speed boosts compared to the previous generation, but you’ll need a Z390-based motherboard to reach its full potential.

Included in the lineup are the Core i7-9700K and i5-9600K, which are equipped with eight and six cores, respectively — no extra threads here. All three chips, unfortunately, are still based on the 14nm process introduced years ago, with Intel releasing an updated 10nm process only in 2019.

Pricing is as follows: US$ 488 for the Core i9-9900K, US$ 374 for the Core i7-9700K, and US$ 262 for the Core i5-9600K. Pre-orders begin today with a rollout happening later in October.

In addition, Intel announced seven new Intel Core X-series processors, which include the Core i9-9980XE (US$ 1,979), i9-9960X (US$ 1,684), i9-9940X (US$ 1,387), i9-9920X (US$ 1,189), i9-9900X (US$ 989), i9-9820X (US$ 898), and i7-9800X (US$ 589). All will become available by November.

Built on Intel’s Mesh Architecture, the top-of-the-line model holds 18 cores with 36 threads to handle the most demanding tasks needed by professionals. Even wilder is the upcoming Intel Xeon W-3175X and its 28 core and 56 thread count, but it has no price yet —  only a release date of December 2018.

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Computers

NAIA caught using a pirated copy of Windows

No Windows seats available

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As the famous idiom goes, death and taxes are the only constants in our lives. Given the abject nature of death, you’d think that taxes would, at least, work for everyone’s benefit. However, as every taxpayer knows, taxes don’t always end up for the common good.

Ever since taxes were invented, we wondered if our hard-earned money ended up contributing to government projects. At the very least, we hoped that it improved our government’s facilities.

Unfortunately, here’s one thing that our taxes are definitely not funding: government computers. As spotted on Reddit, NAIA’s computer screens are running illegitimate copies of Windows 7.

Around the Philippine airport, massive monitors update travelers on current flight times and statuses. Pictured by the eagle-eyed u/LyraStark, one monitor snuck out of full-screen mode and erroneously unveiled the taskbar. More than blocking out the flights, the taskbar also revealed the oddity with NAIA’s computers.

As most are probably familiar with, Windows notifies users when the system detects anomalies with the installation. If Windows figures out that your copy is pirated, you’ll get more than your fair share of reprimands. As you might expect, Microsoft isn’t keen on piracy.

Strangely, neither is the Philippine government. Despite having one of the world’s largest markets for it, the government has notoriously frowned upon pirated media and software. As such, NAIA’s blunder comes as an ironic shock.

Through comments, users have started wondering whether the illegitimate install took a slot in the airport’s budget. Some speculate that most government institutions run pirated software as well. Meanwhile, a few people think that genuine copies can mistakenly show the same notification.

Regardless, at the very least, the issue is something we can laugh about. Like the everyday user, the government doesn’t see the point in paying huge fees for Windows products.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft recalls Windows October update due to deleting issues

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Computers

Microsoft recalls Windows October update due to deleting issues

Don’t update your PC yet!

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For most Windows users, installing the latest update represents a paramount concern for different reasons. To some, new updates add much-needed security patches to their beloved operating system. To the rest, Windows’ incessant reminders are just a chore.

Regardless of where their users place, Windows updates are an important part of Microsoft’s ecosystem. As such, a single hitch can collapse an unprecedented chunk of Microsoft’s users.

Now, that eventuality is upon us. This October, the latest Windows update is reportedly deleting a user’s files out of the blue. According to Windows support forums, some users’ Documents folders have completely vanished, replaced by a fresh one.

In response, Microsoft has pulled the update from its downloads section. Unfortunately, the update promised its fair share of new features. This included a new dark mode, optimized screen functionality, and better mobile-to-PC connectivity. With the recall, these new features will have to wait.

According to Microsoft, the company will investigate these “isolated reports” before launching a new update rollout.

Strangely, this issue has popped up even before the rollout. Some user reports date as early as three months ago. This time frame corresponds to users who signed up for the early-access Windows Insider Program. At the time, only a few users reported the issue. On launch, the few ballooned into a concerning number. Essentially, Microsoft failed to fix the issue before it cascaded into a bigger problem.

At the very least, the company has acknowledged the issue’s gravity. Instead of carrying on business as usual, Microsoft is undergoing steps to fix a crucial mistake. Hopefully, this results to a cleaner update launches in the future.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft refreshes product lineup with Surface Pro 6, Surface Laptop 2, Surface Studio 2

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