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Laptop-tablet combos go fanless with Intel Core M chip at Computex

4 Jun
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Intel shows off the small circuit board needed for the Core M-based machines of the future

Pause if you are rushing out to buy a laptop or tablet now. In the next six months or so, you’re likely to see machines that are slimmer than Apple’s iPad Air and are as flexible as Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3.

These new designs won’t be low-power tablets either. They can run Windows 8 and offer an experience closer to regular laptops. Razor thin yet powerful, these machines represent what may be the best two-in-one combos since they became popular of late.

At the heart of things is Intel’s new Core M processor. Faster than existing Atom processors used in tablets but still energy efficient enough to be run without a fan, the new chip can power up some really slim machines.

Tagged in: CPU, laptops, PCs, Tablet, Computex, Core M, Intel,  

Intel finally gets inside phones and tablets, eyes wearables next

3 Jun
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A few years late to the smartphone and tablet game, Intel seems to have finally built up a head of steam by getting its power-efficient processors into some attractive devices and looking ahead to even smaller computers – ones people wear.

Tagged in: android, Cellphones, CPU, Featured, PCs, Semiconductors, Tablet, asus, Atom, Computex 2014, Core M, Dell, Intel, SoFIA,  

Small is beautiful in future desktop PCs

12 May

Gigabyte Brix Pro

For any PC enthusiast, a walk through Sim Lim Square these days tells the story of the PC more clearly than endless reports about its first serious decline in decades.

Instead of dozens of stores selling motherboards and graphics cards, you now find many selling mobile accessories like iPhone covers. Who can blame them? One fetches profit that’s several times the cost; the other’s margins are known to be at 10 per cent or lower at times.

The good news from all this gloom is that the PC, facing a permanent decline in an age of tablets and smartphones, is finally being reinvented, perhaps in ways that should have been done much earlier.

Tagged in: CPU, PCs, Brix Pro, gigabyte, Intel, Next Unit of Computing,  

Intel’s Atom-based NUC takes aim at thin clients

1 May
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After seeing its first mini desktop PC kits sell well in the past year and a half, Intel has come up with an updated next unit of computing (NUC) kit that features an Atom-based processors for thin clients.

The fanless kit comes with an Intel Atom E3815 chip that features the chipmaker’s new Bay Trail architecture, and is targeted at low-end computers used to control digital signage or run kiosks and point-of-sale machines.

Tagged in: CPU, Enterprise, PCs, Singapore, Atom E3815, Intel, NUC,  

Intel pushes customised silicon, Big Data options in Asia

21 Aug
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Intel researcher uses Big Data to locate trees are pollinating
Source: Intel

Intel has received “lots” of requests for custom-designed chips and software that work specifically with these chips, as data centres look to run faster, cheaper and greener while crunching and storing more data in future.

More such customers are asking for custom server processors, said Ron Kasabian, Intel’s general manager for Big Data solutions, while others have looked to streamline their data centre operations with software that is optimised to run with Intel hardware, such as its own version of Hadoop.

The plan, he added, was still to create software that run well with Intel’s server chips, such as its Xeon processors, before attempting to manufacture custom-designed chips for some of the biggest data centres of the world.

Tagged in: CPU, Enterprise, Green IT, security, Semiconductors, Storage, Big data, customised silicon, data centre, Hadoop, Intel, server chips, storage,  

Computex 2013: can Intel convince users with “2-in-1″ tablet-laptop devices?

5 Jun
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Intel Computex Photo
Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai (left) at Intel executive vice-president Tom Kilroy’s Computex keynote.

As if you did not get the message last year, PC makers are coming up with even more hybrid designs this year that promise to deliver the best from both a tablet and laptop.

Expect more of the detachable, convertible, flip, slider, rotatable designs that have characterised the most dramatic rethink in PCs in years, going by the new devices unveiled at this year’s Computex show in Taipei this week.

This year, though, these “two-in-one” gadgets can run even faster and longer while being thinner and lighter, thanks to Intel’s new “Haswell” or fourth-gen Core processors made specially for users on the move.

Tagged in: Cellphones, CPU, laptops, PCs, Tablet, asus, Atom, Computex, Dell XPS 11, FonePad Note, Haswell, Intel, Transformer Book Trio,  

Four affordable – yet fast – ultrabooks for about S$1,500

18 May

ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch

If money is no issue, then Lenovo’s X1 Carbon Touch (above) is an ideal slim and light companion for all your work trips. But if you can’t bear to part with S$2,999 for the expensive laptop, there are affordable – yet fast – ultrabooks that make for great machines on the go.

Tagged in: Featured, laptops, PCs, Singapore, Apple MacBook Air, Dell XPS 13, HP SpectreXT, Intel, samsung, Series 7 Ultra, Singapore price and availability, ultrabook,  

Does sharpest fall in PC shipments signal the start of the end?

12 Apr

HP ElitePad 900

The arrival of touch-screen tablets and other designs with screens that flip, turn or rotate has not revived the fortunes of the ailing PC market.

Instead of providing a much-needed reboot, these Windows 8 machines may actually have made things worse by plunging the market into its steepest ever decline, according to research firm IDC.

Tagged in: Cellphones, Featured, laptops, PCs, Tablet, HP, IDC, Intel, Microsoft, PC shipments, Windows 8,  

Will 2013 be an exciting year for PC enthusiasts?

7 Jan
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Intel NUC


At the start of each new year, you inevitably hear about the end of the PC, if not the laptop, then surely, the desktop PC. After all, with all the focus on touch-based portable machines, who has time for that less sexy DIY PC you build with your own bare hands?

Well, fortunately, the desktop PC or the DIY PC isn’t going away. True, it’s not grabbing headlines like before, but for PC buffs, 2013 should bring interesting designs and more flexible uses of their much-loved machines.

CPUs are more powerful yet cooler and quieter, making a full-fledged living room PC truly possible now. Plus, with so many different designs, you’ll be glad you are building your own PC rather than buying a cookie-cutter design.

Here’s why 2013 looks interesting to the PC buff.

Tagged in: CPU, Featured, graphics cards, PCs, Coolermaster, DIY PC, Fractal Design, Intel, Note 304, NUC,  

Picking the right Windows 8 version and device

21 Oct

With Windows 8 just days from launch, one word is increasingly on the lips of folks in the industry – confusion.

While Windows 8 brings with it loads of innovation, including a touch-friendly interface, the various software versions and sheer variety of devices appearing on shelves everywhere could well have some consumers scratching their heads. Apparently, even some folks in Microsoft can’t tell the difference.

How do you choose between Windows 8 and Windows RT? Do you buy Microsoft’s Surface tablet or an iPad, or well, a laptop? What’s with these hybrid devices that promise the best of both worlds?

Here’s a quick guide to pick the right software and device.

Tagged in: CPU, Featured, laptops, PCs, Singapore, Software, Tablet, Atom, diy, hybrids ultrabook, Intel, Microsoft, price, surface, Windows 8, windows rt,