Desktops

An increasing number of businesses have discovered (or are at least exploring) the benefits of cloud storage. There are cloud options aplenty, from small-potatoes plans designed for a bit of extra storage for a SOHO shop, to massive operations that backup an entire enterprise’s kingdom. It’s an exciting, developing field, and it’s downright fun to see what new tools and services developers are coming up with. CloudBerry Lab has created an intriguing spate of products designed to make managing cloud storage easier, including file explorers for several cloud storage services;... Read more...
Alice Cooper sang it wrong, school isn't out forever; with Labor Day in the rear view mirror, school is back in session. That means having to stock up on supplies and investing in essential items to get through the school year; like beer, condoms, and a new PC. You're on your own with the first two, but you've come to the right place for guidance on a new system. We pinged three system builders -- Dell, Hewlett Packard, and iBuyPower -- and asked each one to send us a back-to-school PC equally suited for work and play (read: Mainstream). What we're looking for is a flexible configuration... Read more...
One of the downsides to system reviews is that it's usually impossible to evaluate system reliability or performance over an extended period of time. Since boutique builders typically assemble rigs with a focus on solid warranties or top-level components, not being able to properly grade long-term reliability is an area of product coverage that some of you might find lacking. Fortunately, we're currently in a position to investigate this sort of question with one particular product and perhaps on a higher level as well. About 18 months ago, we reviewed Origin's then-new Genesis system.... Read more...
Boutique, ultra high-end, desktop and laptop gaming systems are sexy, but they aren't where OEMs make the majority of their money. More modest systems, like the one we'll show you here, drive bulk purchases; today we're reviewing Asus' ET2400IGTS. It's one of the nicer all-in-one systems Asus manufactures and it ships with a number of interesting options. Systems like the ET2400 sell best when the package hits a chord with every day consumers—including those that might call themselves casual gamers, movie buffs, or audio enthusiasts. The fact that these configurations all include monitors... Read more...
It's been a busy spring for OEMs, and Digital Storm is no exception. Earlier this year, Intel was forced to suspend shipments of Sandy Bridge's accompanying Cougar Point chipset while it fixed a design flaw. This, in turn, left both system OEMs and retail motherboard vendors no choice but to suspend/delay their own Sandy Bridge-based products. Now the market is awash with product refreshes, making it more difficult than ever for any one product to stand out from the crowd. Digital Storm's new Enix appears to pull it off nicely, however, at a (relatively) cheap price compared to many of the... Read more...
Jolicloud's newest operating system release can be summed up in one word: “accessible”. To sum it up in fourteen words: “accessible, and yes it's Linux underneath, but please don't run away screaming quite yet.” Anyone trying this relative newcomer might call it accessible because it has an extremely easy-to-use interface. Or, it could be called accessible in the sense that it's free and will run on minimal hardware. Or, it may be accessible because it integrates concepts familiar to social networking users directly into the main interface. A Jolicloud Desktop Previously,... Read more...
When it comes to the business of building PCs, true innovation is hard to find. There are exceptions—HP had the Blackbird 002, Alienware designs its own enclosures, and there's always the Thermaltake Level 10—but most companies aren't willing to take the financial risk that's part and parcel of designing new and different products. Fortunately, MainGear is. While they've not been around as long as Alienware or Falcon-Northwest, the company has six solid years of experience in building custom PCs. MainGear recently sent us a high-end system built around its unique SHIFT chassis. When... Read more...
For the last couple of years, Dell's foray into the small-form-factor desktop market was its successful mini-tower (with the emphasis on "mini") Studio Hybrid. But with Dell's latest small-form-factor entry, the Inspiron Zino HD, out goes the vertical mini-tower and in comes the horizontal square--7.8-inches wide by 7.8-inches deep to be exact, and a mere 3.4-inches tall. Like the Studio Hybrid (which Dell still sells), the Inspiron Zino HD (a.k.a. the Inspiron 400) is a solid little machine, with decent mainstream performance, and geared towards budget-minded consumers. Similar to how you could... Read more...
There's a new company joining the ranks of boutique system builders with customization options that could turn the head of even the most die-hard DIY-er. The paint is scarcely dry on the Origin logo—the business opened on November 17th—but the corporation's three founders each spent a decade at Alienware prior to founding Origin. Their collective expertise is already evident; Origin offers unique customization options that set a new bar for what constitutes a "customizable" system. In this preview, we'll examine both the nascent company and the design of the review system it sent for evaluation;... Read more...
Avid followers of the PC technology scene are no doubt familiar with the concept of CPU + GPU fusion. AMD has been talking about its Fusion project for years, which will feature advanced processor and graphics cores on a single chip. Well, we're not quite there yet, not on the desktop at least, but Intel is taking us one step closer with Clarkdale. Yes, we said Intel.A couple of weeks ago, we evaluated Intel's Pinetrail platform for netbooks, which features an Atom CPU core, fused to a graphics processor on a single, monolithic die. Today, Intel is taking a similar approach in the desktop space... Read more...
When Intel introduced its LGA1166 Lynnfield processors earlier this fall, one of its goals was to introduce Nehalem's advanced technology at lower price points. To that end, Digital Storm has designed a high-end system around the P55 chipset and Core i5 processor. At a price of ~$1900, the customized system isn't what you'd call cheap, but it's still less expensive than some of the Core i7 PCs we've seen recently, several of which landed between $3100-$4000 dollars. At first glance, the 2.67GHz Core i5 might not seem to be capable competition for Core i7 processors running at 3.2GHz and above,... Read more...
  The enthusiast scene is filled with consumers with do-it-yourself attitudes who regularly build their own systems from scratch. In fact, some feel that part of the fun associated with a new build is comparing prices online and asking for advice on tech forums in order to configure the ideal system. Although there are obvious benefits of going this route, there are those who may not have the time to find the lowest prices on each individual component or inclination to assemble a rig unassisted. While an abundance of options are available for consumers who prefer a pre-built system, they usually... Read more...
Synopsis: The Lenovo IdeaCentre A600 is an all-in-one desktop with plenty of features and bells-and-whistles to keep all but the most jaded of users happy. Perhaps taking a page out of Apple's book, Lenovo put a lot of effort into the look and feel of the A600, with its black-colored chassis, borderless 21.5-inch 1920x1080 TFT display, curved back, and svelte form factor--measuring only 1-inch thick at its thinnest point. The A600 Series comes in a variety of configurations, which range in price from $679 to $1,399. The unit we looked at--the A600-30114BU--is at the top of the A600's food chain... Read more...
Let’s face it; buying a gaming machine with today’s latest components is anything but inexpensive. iBuyPower’s Gamer Paladin F970, which is designed to make the most of its powerful Core i7 processor and other high-end components, is proof of that fact. When the Gamer Paladin F970 was first released, the standard configuration initially had a price tag of $3,799. Recently, iBuyPower dropped the price on the standard configuration of the Gamer Paladin F970 to $3,395. Even at that price, however, the Gamer Paladin F970 is still considerably more than its less expensive cousin, the F950,... Read more...
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