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Small Form Factor News (54)

Acer Introduces Chromebox CXI Series

Category: Small Form Factor
Posted: August 21, 2014 11:19AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Acer has just announced the Chromebox CXI series, which consists of the CXI-2GKM and CXI-4GKM. Since the Chromebox CXI line is quite compact and is VESA mountable, the company believes that it is best suited for a variety of markets, including education, small to medium businesses, and budget-conscious shoppers. Specification wise, the CXI-2GKM comes with Google’s Chrome OS, an Intel Celeron 2957U processor, 2GB of DDR3-1600, a 16GB solid state drive, an SD card reader, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GbE LAN, four USB 3.0 ports, and DisplayPort and HDMI outputs. The CXI-4GKM includes the exact same specifications, but increases the RAM to 4GB.

The Acer CXI-2GKM and CXI-4GKM will be available for purchase next month and are set to go on sale for $180 and $220, respectively.

Source: Maximum PC

ECS Announces LIVA Mini PC

Category: Small Form Factor
Posted: July 7, 2014 04:41PM
Author: Nick Harezga

The upcoming LIVA from ECS will be the smallest Windows-based mini PC on the market when it becomes available. The LIVA is extremely small, measuring just 118x70x56mm and weighing 190g, but packed with enough features to take on a variety of computing applications. It is powered by a dual core Intel Celeron Bay Trail-M SoC that operates at up to 2GHz, 2GB of DDR3L memory, and a 32GB embedded multimedia card. The LIVA draws the same amount of power as a typical light bulb and the 5V micro USB power adapter can even be run off a mobile power bank.

Source: Press Release

Zotac Announces ZBOX ID45 Mini-PCs

Category: Small Form Factor
Posted: February 6, 2014 02:23PM
Author: Nick Harezga

The ZBOX ID45 is the latest model to join a long line of small form factor PCs made by Zotac. The latest miniature creation is powered by a third generation Intel Core i3 CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GT 640 GPU, creating a system that will make a perfect HTPC for 4K viewing. Two Gigabit Ethernet ports have also been included, allowing for streaming of high quality media from another PC that may have more available storage. Two models will be available, one as a barebones system and another with 4GB of DDR3 and a 500GB hard drive. Senior director Carsten Berger said, "ZOTAC has always married the capabilities of energy-efficient Intel processors with incredible NVIDIA GeForce graphics since the first ZBOX shipped with NVIDIA ION. The latest ZBOX ID45 series pushes that synergy even further with greater performance while maintaining excellent energy-efficiency."

Source: Press Release

ASUS Launches New Small Form Factor PC

Category: Small Form Factor
Posted: February 5, 2014 04:09PM
Author: Tobias Thydal

Sometimes you do not need your PC to be able to run the newest game or crunch large number; all you need is a small PC that can get through the basics such as Office or surfing the internet, and this is where ASUS' new Eee Box EB1037 fits in. It is a small form factor PC that looks quite a bit like a router.

The Eee Box EB1037 is build on Intel's Bay Trail platform with a Celeron J1900 quad-core CPU clocked at 2 GHz, which has a TDP of only 10 W allowing for fanless cooling. As for RAM, it starts at 2 GB, but can be upgraded up to a maximum of 8 GB. For the graphics part it has an NVIDIA 820M graphics card with 512 MB dedicated memory. Storage can be either an SSD or an HDD. The SSD comes in a 64 GB or a 128 GB version, while the HDD can range from 320 GB to 1 TB. The PC also has 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a 4-in-1 card reader, and headphone and microphone jacks. The entire thing measures only 219x172.5x29 mm (8.6x6.8x1.1 inches), and weighs just 0.690 kg (1.5 lbs).

Source: ASUS

Inexpensive Chromebox Announced by ASUS

Category: Small Form Factor
Posted: February 4, 2014 09:26AM
Author: Brentt Moore

ASUS has announced its new Chromebox desktop computer, priced at $179 and aimed at non-mobile markets such as businesses, homes, and schools. The ASUS Chromebox runs the Google Chrome operating system, offering speed, security, and ultimate simplicity. ASUS has included decent hardware with the desktop system, offering an Intel Celeron 2955U processor, integrated Intel HD graphics, 2GB of DDR3 memory, 16GB of SSD local storage, 100GB of Google Drive cloud storage for two years, Gigabit Ethernet, and 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. A more expensive version of the ASUS Chromebox will be available, offering upgrades such as an Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB of DRR3 memory. Both versions include HDMI, DisplayPort, audio, four USB 3.0 ports, and a Kensington lock port. All of this technology has been incorporated into a box measuring 4.88-inches square and 1.65-inches thick, and provides quite operation due to a fan-less design.

The ASUS Chromebox priced at $179 will be available in March of this year, with pricing information for the upgraded version available sometime closer to March.

Source: PC Magazine

Gigabyte Expands BRIX Family With a Gaming Version

Category: Small Form Factor
Posted: January 28, 2014 01:36PM
Author: Tobias Thydal

Ultra compact PCs are getting more and more popular, so of course Gigabyte wants to be a part of it. Last year the company introduced its BRIX series, which features a range of ultra compact PCs that cater to almost all needs. Now the company wants to include gamers by introducing the GB-BXA8G-8890, which is a gaming oriented ultra compact PC that packs a pretty hefty wallop considering its size. To control it all, Gigabyte outfitted it with an A8-5557M, which is a Richland based APU from AMD. The chipset used is a AMD Bolton M3, which has two DDR3L slots that allow up to a maximum of 16 GB of RAM. For storage there is an mSATA slot and a regular SATA slot, so it is possible to have an mSATA SSD for the OS and a couple of apps, while a 2.5" hard drive contains all the games and other large files. The audio is the ALC269 and the internet is the RTL8111G, both developed by Realtek. 

What makes this BRIX stand out compared to the others is the fact that the PC contains an AMD Radeon R9 M275X, which appears to be derived from the Radeon HD 8800M series. If it is from the HD 8800 series, then it should have 640 shader processors, a clock speed somewhere between 575 and 775 MHz, and a 128-bit path to 2GB of GDDR5 memory. The addition of a discrete graphics card should provide a significant boost over the integrated APUs used in many of these ultra compact PC, and according to The Tech Report, the Radeon R9 M275X should have a performance somewhat similar to a Radeon HD 7750.

As for external connectivity, the GB-BXA8G-8890 has two USB 3.0 ports and one head phone jack on the front. On the back, one finds one HDMI port, one Mini DisplayPort, two USB 3.0 ports, one RJ45, and the DC plug. All of the above mentioned is squeezed into a box that is 59.6x128x115.4 mm, which roughly translates to 2.35x5x4.54 inches. 

There is currently no information on pricing and availability.

Source: Gigabyte

New ZBOX nano ID67 Series Released by ZOTAC

Category: Small Form Factor
Posted: January 7, 2014 08:33AM
Author: Brentt Moore

Announced by Hong Kong based computer company ZOTAC International, new ZBOX nano ID67 series computers are being released today. The new ZBOX nano ID67 series makes use of the latest Intel Core processor technology and also boasts plenty of connectivity options. ZOTAC notes that Intel HD Graphics 4400 will be included and allows for high-definition video decoding acceleration and compatibility with DirectX 11. A baseline ZBOX nano ID67 series will be sold, as well as a PLUS version of the computer.

The baseline version will feature an Intel Core i3 4010U processor at 1.7GHz with 3MB of L2 cache and dual-core technology, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, DisplayPort, high-amperage USB charging, and a bundled VESA75/100 mount. The PLUS version will feature all of the same hardware plus 4GB DDR3 preinstalled memory and a 500GB preinstalled hard disk drive.

No price for the new ZBOX nano ID67 series has been announced by ZOTAC.

Source: Press Release


First Intel Powered Arduino Board Announced

Category: Small Form Factor
Posted: October 7, 2013 10:56AM
Author: Tobias Thydal

Last month at IDF, Intel unveiled a new chip line up. Called the Quark, it is the smallest and least powerful chip currently made by Intel, though you should not count it out yet. At the time there were no announcements of products using Quark chips, but now it seems that Intel has made a rather unexpected collaboration. At Maker Faire Rome, Brian Krzanich, Intel's CEO, announced a new collaboration between Intel and Arduino.

This collaboration has already amounted in a product called the Galileo, which is supposed to allow DIY folks to make even more complex and intricate projects. Previous Arduino boards have used simple microcontrollers to handle various inputs coming from sensors, USB or some specific Arduino connectors. The problem with these microcontrollers is that they do not offer much connectivity and they have limited processing power. Arduino has also offered so called "shields" that connect to the Arduino board adding additional I/O options. While the simplicity has been a blessing to the DIY crowd, because it allowed novices to get involved as well, it might now be a limitation for some of the more dedicated and demanding users. Therefore the new Galileo might allow those advanced users to build even more complex robots and other demanding projects.

The Galileo reference board will, as mentioned above, use the Quark SoC, which has about the same computing power as a Pentium 3. This also means that the user can now utilize x86 applications. Furthermore, the board will have the known Arduino connectors for compatibility with shields; however, it will also feature USB, 100 Mbps Ethernet, micro SD, RS-232, and a mini-PCI-Express slot. 

The price will be around $60 or less, which makes it very competitive with other Arduino boards, since it has more features and more processing power, while costing about the same as the other boards. It is scheduled for release on November 29.

Source: Ars Technica

Dell Begins Beta Testing Android-Powered Thumb-Size PC

Category: Small Form Factor
Posted: July 30, 2013 10:33AM
Author: bp9801

Dell has something new up its sleeves, as it's preparing a thumb-size PC that runs on Google's Android OS. Dubbed Project Ophelia, this PC looks similar to a USB flash drive, except it connects via an HDMI port. Plug it in and pretty much any screen with an HDMI port can become a PC or a streaming media player. Applications, games, music, movies, and even personal files can be accessed from it, plus its WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity options allowing for wireless keyboards and mice to control the show. Hulu and Netflix streaming could be the biggest draw here, as can playing games or using some of the thousands of apps on the Google Play Store. Some enterprise features are also expected to be added, so IT administrators could have the ability to remotely secure and wipe a device if it gets lost or stolen. It sounds like a souped up version of Google's Chromecast, actually, which isn't a bad thing.

Dell is currently beta testing Project Ophelia (please give it a sweet name), and is planning to have the PC ready to launch sometime in the next several months. It's expected to cost around $100, and could be the perfect way to get into computing without dropping a ton of cash or taking up a lot of space. The specifications of Project Ophelia aren't currently known, but I imagine we won't have to wait too much longer to find that out.

Source: PC World

Intel Fixes Overheating Problem on NUCs

Category: Small Form Factor
Posted: July 23, 2013 01:12AM
Author: Tobias Thydal

Intel released their new Next Unit of Computing (NUC) not long ago. The NUC is a very small form factor PC housed in a 4" by 4" by 2" chassis. Intel hopes that these measurements will become the standard for miniature PCs. The NUC has a 1.8 GHz dual core, Hyper-Threaded Core i3 processor, two SO-DIMM RAM slots, a mSATA SSD slot, and a built-in WiFi card. There is a downside to cramming so much hardware into such a small case though.

Many of the early adopters of the NUC have been experiencing overheating problems, but Intel has been quick to address this problem, and has now come up with a simple solution. It appears that all that was needed was a small 9.5 mm thermal pad on the bottom cover that allows more heat to be transferred to the case, which in turn will help keep the temperature down. 

I have not been able to find out whether the owners of the first NUCs can have it exchanged or fixed, but hopefully Intel will send out the thermal pads to vendors, so they can fix the problems of the overheating NUCs.

Source: MaximumPC

Raspberry Pi Add-on Board Works With LEGO Mindstorm

Category: Small Form Factor
Posted: May 14, 2013 12:10AM
Author: Tobias Thydal

Most people here on OCC have probably heard of Raspberry Pi, which has been immensely popular amongst DIY enthusiasts. An add-on product called BrickPi now seeks to allow the user to utilize Raspberry Pi's computational power to handle LEGO Mindstorm robots. The add-on board is a Kickstarter project that has exceeded its goal of $1,889 by raising $21,000, so it seems there is a large interest in this product.

The board works by sliding over the Raspberry Pi. It then connects, controls, and powers Mindstorm motors and sensors, and provide power to the Raspberry Pi. The board has four ports dedicated to Mindstorm sensors and three ports for motors. The whole thing is powered by a nine volt battery, thus allowing the robot to run without a power outlet. The firmware used in the board is written in Arduino and the code is open source and available online now. Programming will be necessary, but Dexter Industries has tried to ease the process by making Python libraries for all the motors and sensors. The company is also planning on making a Scratch programming library to help children wanting to program on the BrickPi. To top it off, Dexter Industries has also made a case that has holes the LEGO pieces can snap into, and it is capable of housing both the Raspberry Pi and the BrickPi.

A Kickstarter contribution of $35 will get you the BrickPi, while $45 or more will get you the BrickPi along with the case. The manufacturer, Dexter Industries, says deliveries will begin in August 2013.

Source: Kickstarter

Texas Instruments Launches Improved BeagleBone PC

Category: Small Form Factor, Open Source, Modding
Posted: April 23, 2013 02:33PM
Author: Tobias Thydal

Texas Instruments has launched its ARM-based BeagleBone Black PC today, and it's certainly going to raise some eyebrows in the DIY crowd. The board is a mix of two famous and loved devices. It has the microcontroller capabilities of the Arduino board, while being able to perform many of the same tasks as a Raspberry PI. The board is of course open-source and will be running a pre-installed Angstrom Linux OS. The specifications are a single-core Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 processor at 1GHz, 512MB DDR3 RAM, and 2GB of eMMC memory that holds the OS. It also has two Programmable Real Time Units, which are responsible for the microcontroller tasks.

The board is shipped with a single DC power barrel connector, two USB 2.0 ports, a micro SD card reader, a micro HDMI port for video output, and a 10/100 Ethernet jack. On top of that, the BeagleBone Black has two 46-pin connectors located on either side of the board, which accept cape expansion cards. These improve the functionality of the board by adding sensors, serial ports, batteries, LCD displays, and FPGAs. 

According to Texas Instruments, the BeagleBone Black is capable of driving a 3D printer due to the improved ARM processor and the pre-installed OS. The BeagleBone Black also has potential in robotics, since a powerful processor and microcontrollers on the same small board opens up for many possibilities, such as machine vision, which is the new craze amongst developers.

That Texas Instruments are able to cram so much hardware on a tiny PCB and maintain a price of only $45 is truly remarkable.

Source: Extreme Tech

Stripped Down Low-Power Raspberry Pi Released

Category: Small Form Factor
Posted: February 4, 2013 02:37PM
Author: EuroFight

A new, smaller version of the Raspberry Pi, the 'Model A' micro PC has been released in Europe. The Linux board is the latest addition to the super-cheap developer board, and costs just $25. The major changes between this and the larger 'Model B' being the absence of an Ethernet port and a single USB port. RAM has also been reduced, from 512MB down to 256MB, identical to that of the Model B's predecessor.

From the component cuts, the UK-based Raspberry Pi Foundation has managed to cut the power consumption to 'roughly a third' of the 'Model B'. This makes the 'Model A' micro PC more suitable for low-power devices such as those running on solar or battery power. As of now, the 'Model A' micro PC is only available in Europe, however overseas customers can order the device, but will need to wait a while before receiving it.

Source: CNET.com

Samsung Unveils Exynos Competitor to Raspberry Pi

Category: Small Form Factor
Posted: December 7, 2012 03:07PM
Author: EuroFight

Samsung have unveiled two new Exynos boards designed to compete with the Raspberry Pi, the ODROID-U2 and X2. The boards both feature Quad-Core Exynos 4412 SoCs, and are offered in a variety of form factors. The U2 board is smaller than the Raspberry Pi and both the U2 and the X2 feature a massive 2GB of RAM, an Ethernet port, as well as two USB 2.0 ports and support for MicroSD storage. Android 4.x and Ubuntu will be supported from release, and the boards have the potential to be ported to many other Operating Systems. Prices for the U2 will start from a humble $69.

The X2 is the U2's larger brother, featuring a standard SD card slot, as well as four extra USB 2.0 ports. There are also extra outputs available for adding support for LCD displays, MIPI camera modules, and many other devices. With high specs and great versatility, these new Exynos units look to be a very strong competitor against the Raspberry Pi and other small form-factor boards, such as the Intel Next Unit of Computing.

Lenovo Announces New Tiny HTPC

Category: Small Form Factor
Posted: November 15, 2012 10:52AM
Author: EuroFight

Lenovo has today announced the IdeaCenter Q190, a powerful HTPC featuring a third generation Intel Ivy Bridge i3 processor, a 1TB hard drive with a 24GB SSD cache, and 8GB RAM. The Q190 will be very small; some sources quote a total device width of 22mm although Lenovo has not yet listed the full dimensions. The system can be outfitted with the Windows 8 OS and boasts a 7.1 channel audio output, full HD graphics, as well as the option of a Blu-ray drive.

The tiny device also packs in Ethernet connectivity, HDMI output (as well as legacy support via VGA), USB 3.0, and a card reader. The device is expected to be released around January 2013 and could be yours for as little as $349. As well as this, Lenovo has also announced several new all-in-one PCs, ranging from the $349 Lenovo C240 with an 18.5” touchscreen to the $549 C540 with a 23” touchscreen. Lenovo has certainly been working hard over the last couple of months considering the amount of new technology being released.

ZOTAC Announces Three ZBOX PCs at CeBIT

Category: Small Form Factor
Posted: March 6, 2012 07:19PM
Author: Nick Harezga

ZOTAC has announced a trio of new mini-PCs at the CeBIT trade show in Germany, the ZBOX ID82, ZBOX nano ID61, and ZBOX Blu-ray AD05. The ZBOX ID82 is powered by an Intel Core i3 2330M processor and Intel HD Graphics 3000 GPU. The combination of a dual core CPU and the Intel graphics will dominate the easiest of tasks, while also providing the ability for GPU accelerated tasks. The ZBOX nano ID61 is a palm-sized PC that features an Intel Celeron 867 with support for high capacity SDXC memory cards and optical S/PDIF outputs. The ZBOX Blu-ray AD05 has an AMD E-450 APU and Radeon HD 6320 GPU, providing the ability to handle all of your high definition video needs. The inclusion of a media remote and USB IR receiver makes this a great candidate for an HTPC. All of the systems are designed as customizable barebones with the need for DDR3 SO-DIMM memory and a 2.5 inch SATA hard drive to get up and running. ZOTAC will offer Plus models that come with 2GB of DDR3 and a 320GB hard drive.

Mach Xtreme Unveils MX-STARTER PREMIUM 2.5" SSDs

Category: Storage / Hard Drives, Small Form Factor
Posted: February 21, 2012 01:53AM
Author: Daryn Govender

Mach Xtreme today unveiled its MX-STARTER PREMIUM series of 2.5" Solid State Drives (SSDs). The new series boasts data transfer speeds of up to 150MB/s (read) and 80MB/s (write) via the SATA II interface along with up to 10,000 IOPs. Other features include a 64MB DDR2 SDRAM cache, a Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF) of 1.5 million hours and a one-year warranty. The MX-STARTER PREMIUM series of SSDs will be available in 32GB, 64GB and 128GB capacities. Mach Xtreme did not disclose any details regarding the pricing or the release date of the MX-STARTER PREMIUM series SSDs.

Gateway Unveils LT4004U Cedar Trail Netbook

Category: Prebuilts, Small Form Factor
Posted: February 13, 2012 02:24AM
Author: Daryn Govender

Acer subsidiary Gateway has unveiled its LT4004U netbook based on Intel's Cedar Trail platform. The new netbook is powered by a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N2600 CPU paired with Intel GMA 3600 integrated graphics, 1GB of DDR3 memory and a 250GB hard drive. Other features include an 10.1" 1024x600 LED display and all the standards - a media card reader, webcam, microphone, three USB 2.0 ports, ethernet port and 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN. Battery life is rated up to eight hours and a social networks hotkey gives users easy access to their favourite sites. The Gateway LT4004U netbook weighs 2.7lbs, is 1" thin and is available now at Best Buy for US$279.99.

HP Launches Mini 1104 Cedar Trail-based Netbook

Category: Prebuilts, Small Form Factor
Posted: January 23, 2012 03:46PM
Author: Daryn Govender

HP has launched its latest netbook dubbed the HP Mini 1104. The new netbook is designed for education and business applications, packing in a near full-sized keyboard, up to nine-hours of battery life and a multi-touch trackpad. The Mini 1104 is powered by a dual-core Intel Atom N2600 'Cedar Trail' CPU running at 1.6GHz, up to 2GB of memory and Intel Integrated GMA 3600 graphics. Storage is covered by a 320GB hard drive operating at 5400RPM. Other features include a 10.1" 1024x600 pixel display and a VGA webcam, along with three USB 2.0 ports, a media card reader, a VGA output, an ethernet port, audio in/out ports, a microphone and stereo speakers. WiFi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0+HS connectivity is included with the option of adding HSPA+ mobile broadband and GPS. The HP Mini runs on either Windows 7 or FreeDOS and will be priced from US$399.

HP Unveils ENVY 14 Spectre Ultrabook

Category: Prebuilts, Small Form Factor
Posted: January 10, 2012 02:12AM
Author: Daryn Govender

HP has unveiled its latest ultrabook dubbed the ENVY 14 Spectre. The new ultrabook is crafted from scratch-resistant black and silver glass to create a striking look. As the name suggests, the ENVY 14 Spectre has a 14" high definition "HP Radiance Display" for vivid colour and better viewing angles, all packed into a 13.3" body. Audio is supplied by Beats Audio mesh speakers coupled with an analog aluminium volume dial. HP Wireless Audio technology allows uncompressed audio streaming to the ultrabook from up to four external devices. The ENVY 14 Spectre is equipped with an Intel Core CPU, up to 256GB of storage space and a backlit keyboard with proximity sensor. Connectivity includes USB 3.0, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort and Gigabit Ethernet ports. The ultrabook has a quoted battery life of up to nine hours. The ENVY 14 Spectre weighs under four pounds, is 20mm thin and should be available on February 8 in the United States, starting at $1,399.99.

DEONET Unveils 'Smallest USB Stick in the World'

Category: Storage / Hard Drives, Small Form Factor
Posted: December 23, 2011 04:24AM
Author: Daryn Govender

Dutch firm DEONET has unveiled what it calls the 'smallest USB stick in the world.' The new memory stick features the Micro UDP-chip, a memory chip which DEONET claims is half the size of a 'classic' memory chip. This Micro UDP-chip has dimensions of 18.5x14.5x2.9mm, giving DEONET the ability to produce ultra-compact USB sticks.

Rob van Berkom, CEO of DEONET said "For years, DEONET noticed a high demand for user friendly and compact USB sticks. With the development of the Micro UDP-chip, we continue being innovative in the USB market. This new technique enables us to introduce very small USB solutions. The main advantage is that the USB stick is small enough to keep it in a wallet or hang it on a bunch of keys. In addition, the smallest USB-stick from DEONET is so small it barely protrudes of the USB port of the PC and laptop. This makes it possible to leave the USB-stick in the laptop, even if it's stored in a bag."

The new USB stick will be available in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacities, and will be released at the PSI Düsseldorf business fair next month.

LG Unveils Xnote Z330 13.3" Ultrabook

Category: Prebuilts, Small Form Factor
Posted: December 7, 2011 04:47AM
Author: Daryn Govender

LG has unveiled the thinnest ultrabook in its line-up dubbed the Xnote Z330. The new ultrabook packs in a Core i5 (1.6GHz) or Core i7 (1.7Ghz) processor, 4GB of RAM and a 120GB or 256GB SSD for storage. This hardware coupled with LG's "Rapid Start Technology" enables a 10 second boot time on Windows 7. The Xnote Z330 also features Intel HD graphics displayed by a 13.3" High Definition LED screen. Connectivity is covered by Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, along with USB 3.0 and HDMI out ports. The LG Xnote Z330 measures 315x215x14.7mm, weighs in at 1.2kg and has a rated battery life of six hours. LG did not release details regarding the availability or pricing of the Xnote Z330.

ZOTAC Unveils ZBOX Nano VD01 Series Mini-PCs

Category: Prebuilts, Small Form Factor
Posted: October 6, 2011 09:18PM
Author: Daryn Govender

ZOTAC today unveiled its latest product, a "palm-sized" mini-PC dubbed the ZBOX nano VD01 series. The new ZBOX packs in a VIA Nano X2 U4025 CPU paired with the VX900H chipset, enabling excellent performance and low power consumption.

Carsten Berger, marketing director at ZOTAC International said that "ZOTAC is pleased to expand its mini-PC lineup with the addition of a VIA platform. The VIA Nano X2 with VX900H chipset enables us to deliver an affordable energy-efficient mini-PC that is ideal for digital media consumption and home server use with the ZOTAC ZBOX nano VD01 series."

VIA's Vice President of Marketing also mentioned that "ZOTAC is an industry leader of innovative mini-PC solutions. VIA is proud to partner with ZOTAC for the ZBOX nano VD01 series that highlights our energy efficient Nano X2 platform."

The ZBOX supports fluid playback of high definition video formats such as Blu-Ray, MPEG 2 and H.264. The mini-PC requires a 2.5" SATA hard drive and one DDR3 SO-DIMM memory stick, although the ZBOX nano VD01 Plus models are preinstalled with a 320GB hard drive and 2GB of DDR3 memory. Connectivity is covered by an ethernet port along with USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and eSATA support. ZOTAC did not disclose details regarding the availability or pricing of the ZBOX nano VD01 series of mini-PCs.

Toshiba Prepares Thrive 7" Tablet; Coming December

Category: Prebuilts, Small Form Factor
Posted: September 28, 2011 02:46AM
Author: Daryn Govender

Toshiba is busy preparing its latest Thrive tablet, this time a smaller 7" offering. The Thrive 7" tablet features a high resolution touchscreen (1280x800) coupled with Toshiba Adaptive Display and Resolution+ technology to enhance video and image quality. The Thrive packs in a NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core CPU and 1GB of RAM, along with either 16GB or 32GB of on-board flash memory. Other features include a microSD card slot for extra storage, two cameras (one 5MP rear with LED flash and one 2MP front), and micro HDMI and USB ports. All the basics such as WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth support are also covered. Android 3.2 is the OS of choice. The tablet also includes a gyroscope and stereo speakers, and weighs in at 0.88 pound. The Toshiba Thrive 7" tablet should be available in December, although Toshiba did not disclose details regarding the pricing of the new tablet.

NEC Announces LaVie Touch 10.1" Windows 7 Tablet

Category: Prebuilts, Small Form Factor
Posted: September 12, 2011 04:26AM
Author: Daryn Govender

NEC today announced its latest tablet, named the LaVie Touch. The new tablet packs in a 10.1" 1280x800 IPS panel, Intel's Oak Trail platform including a 1.5GHz Atom Z670 CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD. Connectivity is covered by 802.11b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, two USB ports, a HDMI port, a SDHC card slot and a 1.3MP camera. The LaVie Touch runs on Windows 7 Home Premium and has a quoted battery life of 10.6 hours. The tablet will only be bundled with a "Multistation," a combination between a stand and a DVD-drive, along with a wireless mouse and keyboard. The NEC LaVie Touch will be available in Japan next month for around US$1,230, including the Multistation accessory.

Lenovo Unveils ThinkPad and IdeaPad K1 Tablets

Category: Small Form Factor, Gadgets
Posted: July 22, 2011 10:58PM
Author: Daryn Govender

Lenovo has unveiled its first-ever tablet offerings in the form of the ThinkPad and IdeaPad K1 tablets. The new tablets are both based on the NVIDIA Tegra 2 platform, with the OS of choice being Android 3.1 (Honeycomb).

First up is the IdeaPad K1, which is targeted at general consumers. The IdeaPad K1 is powered by 1GB of DDR2 RAM and up to 64GB of flash memory for storage, supplemented by a microSD card slot. Connectivity options include 802.11b/g/n WiFi, optional 3G and Bluetooth support, along with a micro HDMI output. A front-facing 2MP camera and a rear-facing 5MP camera make video chatting simple. The IdeaPad K1 itself weighs in at 750g, and is equipped with a 10.1" 1280x800 resolution touch screen. Battery life is up to 10 hours with the provided two-cell battery.

Next up is the ThinkPad tablet, designed with business users in mind. It features a Gorilla Glass touchscreen, helping protect the screen from bumps or scratches. The ThinkPad also features a thicker design (14mm) and includes GPS-support, one USB 2.0 port and an optional digitizer pen for the multi-touch IPS screen. Battery life is rated at up to 8 hours, with WiFi enabled.

The IdeaPad K1 will be available in August from US$399 (WiFi-only, 16GB version) and the ThinkPad will start at US$499 (16GB model), excluding a digitzer pen. Both tablets are available now for pre-order.

Verbatim Unveils Store 'n' Stay USB Flash Drive

Category: Storage / Hard Drives, Small Form Factor
Posted: July 12, 2011 03:22AM
Author: Daryn Govender

Verbatim today unveiled an interesting contraption, a nano-USB flash drive dubbed the Store 'n' Stay. The new drive is tiny, only extending 5mm from the USB port, and is intended for long-term storage using the USB 2.0 interface.

Verbatim's Flash Memory Product Manager, Mark Rogers, went on to say that "the low-profile, snag-free design makes it [the Store 'n' Stay flash drive] the optimal USB flash drive choice for laptop users who want the ability to transfer, store and share their favorite files on impulse. It's meant to be left in the USB port for always-ready storage, and can be easily removed to share videos, photos, and music whenever the occasion arises!"

The Store 'n' Stay USB flash drive is available in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB variants, retailing for $19.99, $29.99 and $59.99 respectively. All variants include a limited lifetime warranty and are available now from the Verbatim online store.

Samsung Releases Spinpoint M8 1TB Notebook Hard Drive

Category: Storage / Hard Drives, Small Form Factor
Posted: June 9, 2011 10:36PM
Author: Daryn Govender

Samsung today released its latest notebook hard drive, the Spinpoint M8. The new hard drive packs in 500GB per platter, for a total of 1TB. This is achieved while maintaining a compact form factor measuring 9.5mm high, allowing the M8 to be used in a variety of mobile applications including notebooks. Samsung developed the Spinpoint M8 by using Advanced Format Technology (AFT) to enable a higher platter density. The M8 also boasts an eight percent decline in power usage and a seven percent increase in data speeds, both achieved by a more streamlined design. The hard drive features the SATA 3Gb/s interface and an 8MB buffer, along with EcoSeek and NoiseGuard technology to reduce noise output for a quieter computing experience. The Samsung Spinpoint M8 hard drive is available now for around US$129.00.

HP Releases 15.6" Pavilion g6s Sandy Bridge Notebook

Category: Prebuilts, Small Form Factor
Posted: May 22, 2011 10:21PM
Author: Daryn Govender

HP today released its latest Sandy Bridge offering in the form of the Pavilion g6s notebook. The new 15.6" notebook is based on Intel's Sandy Bridge platform, packing in a second-generation Intel Core CPU (ranging up to a Core i7-2620M) supported by up to 8GB of memory and either Intel HD 3000 or Radeon HD 6470M graphics. Storage is provided by a conventional hard drive, up to 750GB. Other features include a DVD writer (8x), Altec Lansing audio and all the basics: LAN, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth (optional) and a 6-cell battery promising around 4 hours of battery life. On the outside the g6s includes a 15.6" display (1366x768), a sleek keyboard and a borderless touchpad. The HP Pavilion g6s is available in five colours, priced from US$549.99.

Kingston Unveils DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G2 Flash Drive

Category: Storage / Hard Drives, Small Form Factor
Posted: May 19, 2011 02:33AM
Author: Daryn Govender

Kingston today unveiled its latest USB 3.0 flash drive, the DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G2. The new drive uses a native USB 3.0 controller, enabling speeds of up to 100MB/s (read) and 70MB/s (write) through a USB 3.0 port.

Andrew Ewing, Kingston's flash memory business manager said that "Kingston is committed to help drive market adoption of the new USB 3.0 standard and make it more accessible to the mass market. The growing number of platforms and computers supporting the USB 3.0 standard as well as the benefits of the single chip controllers that allow better compatibility and performance are helping drive the adoption of USB 3.0 technology."

The flash drive is enclosed in a durable case and measures in at 73.7x22.2x16.1mm. The DataTraveler Ultimate 3.0 G2 will be available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variants, retailing for $77, $116 and $213 respectively. All models are backed by a five-year warranty.

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