Computers

Microsoft Surface Studio is the all-in-one PC of our dreams

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Microsoft today unveiled its first all-in-one desktop PC, the Surface Studio — and it’s absolutely brilliant.

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Based on Microsoft’s onstage demos, this machine is geared toward creative professionals and visual artists. We certainly wouldn’t mind one (magically) landing on our desk, though.

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It actually reminds us of Apple’s iMac G4.

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And, to a much lesser degree, the ASUS Zenbo.

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The Surface Studio has the “world’s thinnest LCD monitor ever built” at only 12.5mm thick, just a bit thicker than your average tablet.

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The 28-inch, 4,500 x 3,000 multi-touch monitor looks impossibly sharp and vibrant, making images and videos seem to jump off the screen.

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Not that way, obviously, but you get the picture.

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It even supports the Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 color profiles, something professional photographers will appreciate. You can switch between profiles in the Windows 10 taskbar.

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Those tiny bezels add to the “wow” factor and are meant to sink you into the screen and what you’re doing on it. There’s no ugly chin to be found here, like that of current iMac models.

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There’s a special hinge that props up the screen at an angle that’s most comfortable for you and beneficial to the work that you’re doing. Microsoft says the Studio uses a zero-gravity hinge system, so the display can be pushed down with one finger.

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This PC supports the Surface Pen, plus the optional Surface Dial accessory. The Pen can stay magnetically attached to the side of the display so you won’t lose it.

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Really, the Dial looks like a silver puck. It can be placed on the screen to access menus and custom features depending on which app you’re using. When you’re using Word, for instance, it can help you format documents; in Paint, it can summon a virtual ruler or a paint palette.

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The Studio also has a mic array so you can talk to Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant, from across the room.

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Despite all the impressive technology built right into its aluminum enclosure, the only cord you’ll see coming out of the Studio’s back is the one that connects it to a power source.

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This all-in-one PC will go on sale in time to ring in the holidays. The price: $2,999 for the base model with an Intel Core i5 processor and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M graphics chip.

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$4,199 will get you the latest Core i7 CPU, alongside 32GB of RAM and GTX 980M graphics. If you’ve got a good chunk of disposable income lying around, it might be worth the expense. But don’t quote us on that.

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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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Computers

Samsung 860 QVO SSD offers up to 4TB storage for your laptop

Available beginning January 2019

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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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