Computing

MSI launches Windows 10 PCs geared towards Virtual Reality

MSI launches Windows 10 PCs geared towards Virtual Reality

Computex 2016 is almost over, but there is no break to the flood of new computing devices and components being announced, ready to storm the market in a month or two. Although the product selection is as diverse as the computing industry, many of them have a common theme: virtual reality. Joining what could be the next gravy train, MSI has also revealed its own army of VR-ready PCs, most of them laptops. The lone exception, however, is the odd yet totally understandable "Backpack PC" that tries to make VR a little more portable.

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Windows 10 now has a Magic Mirror hack of its own

Windows 10 now has a Magic Mirror hack of its own

We've seen our fair share of "magic mirrors", practically one-way mirrors that have some display embedded within them to deliver a rather futuristic experience of reading your messages and seeing the weather in your bathroom. Even Samsung is game, just recently unveiling the first commercial installation of its Mirror Display in a Korean salon. Most of the mirror displays, however, are DIY projects undertaken by individuals with lots of time or patience or both. Not to be left behind, Microsoft has revealed its own "Magic Mirror" DIY attempt, utilizing a Raspberry Pi and, of course, Windows 10 IoT Core.

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Microsoft updates HoloLens as second wave ships to devs

Microsoft updates HoloLens as second wave ships to devs

Virtual reality has recently taken the center stage, especially with the rollout of the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Not to mention the ditch that Oculus may have dug for itself. But VR isn't the only hot thing in tech today as far as synthetic realities go. There is also augmented, or rather "mixed", reality, as envisioned (no pun intended) by the likes of Microsoft HoloLens, Magic Leap and Meta. Of those, the HoloLens was the first to reach the public's hands, and now Microsoft is rolling out its first update as well.

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Samsung’s new 512 GB SSD: smaller than a stamp, ligher than a dime

Samsung’s new 512 GB SSD: smaller than a stamp, ligher than a dime

There are two things that impede computers from having inordinate amounts of data storage: the capacity of drives themselves and their size. While it is always possible to have an 16, nay even 32, terabyte "drive", but you pay for that much storage not just price but also in space. So when Samsung announces it has begun mass producing a new NVMe PCIe SSD with a capacity of 512 GB, it might sound almost boring. Until you get to the part where Samsung reveals that the SSD is less than half the size of a small postage stamp.

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AMD reveals 7th gen A-series CPUs, VR-ready Radeon RX 480

AMD reveals 7th gen A-series CPUs, VR-ready Radeon RX 480

With Intel's discontinuation of the Atom line and its practical exit from the entry-level processor market, the time is ripe for AMD to reclaim a space that has been previously its domain. At Computex 2016, the famed chip maker revealed the 7th generation of its AMD FX, A, and E series CPUs that push the low-end a bit higher. At the same time, it is catering to the high end as well not with a new CPU but a new graphics card, the Radeon RX 480, which, like many of this week's products, are targeting the fledgling VR market.

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MacBook Pro spy photos hint at OLED touch strip, no MagSafe

MacBook Pro spy photos hint at OLED touch strip, no MagSafe

It's been a while since Apple made any huge change to its MacBook Pro line but the upcoming new model might prove to be the most controversial, or at least most talked about, one. Aside from the usual internal updates, like processor or RAM, rumors point to equally substantial new features on the outside of the MacBook Pro. A fresh batch of leaked photos of the alleged cutouts for the new notebook confirm the rumored OLED touch display strip above the keyboard. But they also reveal other changes that might not sit well with everyone, like the removal of MagSafe charging and full-sized USB ports.

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Vorke V1 Windows 10 PC is a little bigger than a hockey puck

Vorke V1 Windows 10 PC is a little bigger than a hockey puck

In the market for a tiny PC? There’s a new one on the block, and it’s called the Vorke V1. Unlike many competing miniature PCs, this one comes with a shape akin to a set-top-box, allowing it to blend in well in an entertainment center, for example. The $200 price tag is a bit higher than many tiny desktops, but it packs decent hardware that sets it a step above, including Intel HD Graphics 400.

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Microsoft Research “FlashBack” can bring VR even to low-end devices

Microsoft Research “FlashBack” can bring VR even to low-end devices

Virtual reality is truly an incredible technology that deserves to be in everyone's hands, or eyes rather. But currently, the devices that allow people to experience VR stand at opposite ends of a spectrum, neither of which make VR really accessible. On the one hand, you have dedicated machines like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. On the other extreme, you have empty shells that require a smartphone, like the Google Cardboard and Samsung Gear VR. Interestingly enough, the middle ground between these two might have just been discovered thanks to the efforts of Microsoft Research. Called FlashBack, it is a combination of technologies that could let even less powerful smartphones and laptops handle the load required for a smooth, jitter-free, nausea-free VR experience.

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Dell Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1 is the first 17-inch convertible laptop

Dell Inspiron 17 7000 2-in-1 is the first 17-inch convertible laptop

Dell has unveiled several new laptops at Computex including the first big screen convertible 2-in-1 notebook computers with the Inspiron 17 7000 family. If a 17-inch 2-in-1 isn't exactly what you are looking for, the 7000 series also has 13 and 15-inch versions. Dell also has the mainstream 5000 series and an entry-level 3000 series of notebooks on display. The Inspiron 17 7000 line has an optional USB Type-C adapter with ports for HDMI and VGA displays.

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ASUS ROG welcomes new gaming PCs and accessories at Computex 2016

ASUS ROG welcomes new gaming PCs and accessories at Computex 2016

Computex is, of course, all about computers and computing. While analysts and pundits point out how the personal computer is dying, the one area where it still has a firm hold on is gaming. So aptly, ASUS has unveiled, in addition to its more professional and suave ZenBook products, a whole host of ROG, short for Republic of Gaming, desktops, laptops, and components that promise to give gamers the ultimate, no holds barred gaming experience that money can buy, including what ASUS claims is the world's most compact gaming desktop, the ROG G31 Edition 10.

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New Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition drives 10 cores like crazy

New Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition drives 10 cores like crazy

PCs are the favorite example of analysts, observers, and journalists of a dying breed. Ironcally, developments in the tech sector, even some in mobile, in the past year or so might be bringing the favorable spotlight back on PCs. More sophisticated virtual reality content and multimedia creation necessarily require more processing power than even the most powerful Android or iOS device can provide. Answering that call, Intel is revealing at Computex 2016 its most extreme Extreme Edition to date. The Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition boasts of 10 cores toiling away together to deliver the computing power needed for those immersive experiences.

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ARM Cortex-A73 CPU, Mali-G71 GPU have VR and AR in their sights

ARM Cortex-A73 CPU, Mali-G71 GPU have VR and AR in their sights

Despite a noted slowdown in shipment and sales, smartphones remain the fastest growing device market today and outnumber PCs even. However, smartphones have ceased to be mere communication devices and have even started venturing into uncharted and indirectly related territory, like virtual reality. In order to address the nascent but growing "synthetic" reality market, ARM Holdings has announced new chips, specifically the new 10 nm FinFET Cortex-A73 CPU and the Mali-G71 GPU. While they naturally benefit mobile devices in general, they are being poised to be well-suited to address the processing needs of virtual and augmented reality applications.

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