Every year around September, Intel releases a new set of processors that are significantly improved over the previous generation. This year’s Kaby Lake marks the seventh generation since Intel began the Core series of CPUs, and it’s going to make your next computer a lot faster.
Without even having to explain anything, the one absolute about the newer generation is the noticeable performance improvement in both real-world usage and benchmarks. You can also expect lighter power drain, which has been the case since mobile devices began becoming the center of internet consumption. As for Kaby Lake, it’s considered an overhauled successor to 2015’s Skylake. This year’s product carries over the same 14nm microarchitecture of Skylake, meaning the physical design remains the same, but the feature set is a step above.
What Intel strongly emphasized in their announcement is how Kaby Lake processors are specifically geared towards 4K Ultra HD and 360-degree videos, as well as Virtual Reality to an extent. This is the first time Intel processors are natively able to support 4K content, so you’re not obliged to purchase a dedicated video card for Ultra HD videos anymore. On top of that, the company claims much improved battery life over older units, but that’s something we hear every year, and we’ll find out for sure once we have actual retail units in our hands.
The gaming side of things has been given a boost, too. While it may not sound impressive, Kaby Lake is capable of outputting games such as Overwatch at 30 frames per second on Medium settings with a 1080p resolution. This can be done on a thin notebook without any discrete graphics card, so casual gamers will have access to a larger database of recent games.
An interesting thing to note is the absence of the Core m7 and m5 series, which were introduced just last year as top-end CPUs for laptops and tablets. Intel decided to release only revamps of the Core i7, i5, i3, and m3 models this year, while Core m7 and m5 will now be part of the Core i7 and i5 families, respectively. This is simply in line with Intel’s yearly restructuring of lineups, so there’s no need to worry about a lack of choices.
So, let’s set aside the features to ask the most important question: How exactly are consumers affected by this release? In order to be properly future-proofed, it’s advisable to always choose Kaby Lake when shopping for a new laptop or building a desktop PC. The benefits over older processors won’t be clear at first, since previous generations are actually still good enough by today’s standards, but as new types of content are produced, it’s best to own the latest technology.
To ensure you’re buying the right one, watch out for the number seven after the hyphen in the number sequence of the model name. For example, the Intel Core i7-7500U, Core i5-7200U, and Core m3-7Y30, are all 7th-generation variants. It goes without saying that the Core i7-6500U was released last year.
Intel claims that computers sporting Kaby Lake will begin shipping in early September, with a lot more arriving by the time the holiday season trickles in.
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ASUSPRO D340MC is designed with budget-conscious workers in mind
Prioritizes security and endurance
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.
Microsoft says you need a real computer, not an iPad
‘Don’t run out and buy an iPad’
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.
Samsung 860 QVO SSD offers up to 4TB storage for your laptop
Available beginning January 2019
Solid-state drives (SSD) have always been the faster storage option compared to hard disk drives (HDD), but it was only recently when SSDs caught up in terms of storage capacity. Samsung in particular is pushing for more digital space in its latest model, the 860 QVO.
Using a high-density 4-bit multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash architecture, this SSD is able to go up to 4TB in capacity, which is great for a mainstream product.
Samsung claims 550MB/s read and 520MB/s write speeds for the 860 QVO, thanks in part to the integrated Intelligent TurboWrite technology and MJX controller.
Because of its 2.5-inch form, it’ll fit perfectly inside any laptop or desktop setup.
The Samsung 860 QVO will go on sale beginning January 2019 with a starting price of SG$ 299 for the 1TB variant. You may also spend SG$ 659 for the 2TB model or SG$ 999 for the top-end 4TB model.
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