The Tech News Blog

September 10, 2012

HP Intros New All-in-One PCs for Windows 8

HP Spectre One

HP today unveiled a group of updated and new all-in-one desktop PCs, many with touch screens to take advantage of Windows 8's new tablet-like user interface.

Announcements range from the HP Pavilion 20, a value-oriented all-in-one, to the HP Spectre One, which leverages design and a large touch screen for those who want a premium computing experience.

The HP Pavilion 20 is a non-touch all-in-one PC with a 20-inch widescreen display, wired keyboard and mouse, and a basic set of features including USB 3.0 ports, SD card slot, and a tray-loading optical drive. The HP Pavilion 20 will be available in October along with Windows 8, and will start at $449.

The HP Envy 23 TouchSmart and Envy 20 TouchSmart both feature seamless glass widescreens optimized for Windows 8. The Envy 23 has a 23-inch widescreen, while the Envy 20 uses a 20-inch widescreen. The Envy's styling continues the all-in-one design ID in the current model Envy desktops, with a pair of pivoting arms suspending a large screen over the base. Both Envy TouchSmart systems have 10-point touch screens for full Windows 8 compatibility. They come with Intel processors, and can be equipped with SSD or ExpressCache SSDs for speed. Other features include Beats Audio, HD Webcam, HP Connected Photo, HP Connected Backup, and HP Connected Music. The HP Envy 20 TouchSmart also offers HP Connected Remote, a way to use your smartphone as a remote for music, photos, and videos. The HP Envy 23 TouchSmart will start at $999 and the HP Envy 20 TouchSmart will start at $799. Both will be available in October.

August 31, 2012

Lenovo Unveils All-in-One Desktops for Windows 8

Lenovo IdeaCentre B545

At this week's IFA show in Berlin, Lenovo released its latest round of all-in-one desktop PCs with 10-finger touch screens for Windows 8.

These systems will (mostly) be available in time for 2012's holiday shopping season. They belong to Lenovo's high-end IdeaCentre A series and mainstream IdeaCentre B series. All four systems use seamless glass to house their touch screens. This means that off-screen swipes like the ones you'd use in Windows 8 will be quick and easy.

The IdeaCentre A520 is the 23-inch "little brother" to the IdeaCentre A720. The A520 also has an articulated arm holding its monitor, which can tilt and swivel over a 95 degree angle. It can move from leaning forward (for seated users) to a horizontal surface (for sharing between standing users or extended use). The A520 can be equipped with a variety of third-generation Intel Core processors, integrated or Nvidia discrete graphics, up to 8GB of memory, up to 1TB hard drive, and DVD or Blu-Ray drive. It's designed for multimedia enjoyment, as well as for design fans. Its 23-inch widescreen has 10-point multi touch. Therefore, the screen can support two simultaneous players or a single person typing. The A520 goes for $999 base and will be available in October.

The IdeaCentre B340 and B345 are mid-level, all-in-one touch-screen desktops, both with a 21.5-inch screen. The B345 and B340 are meant for part-time touch-screen use, since both are more conventionally designed with an easel-type chassis. The B340 comes with an Intel Core processor, 1,920-by-1,080 resolution screen, and Nvidia GeForce graphics. The B35 subs in an AMD CPU and AMD Radeon graphics in a similar package. Certain configurations can be optioned with 3D vision (with glasses) or TV tuners. The B340 and B345 will start at $599 and be available in October.

June 15, 2012

Vizio Debuts All-in-One Desktops, Ultrabooks

Vizio all-in-ones

Vizio, a company long known for its HDTVs, is hoping to make an equally big splash in the PC market. Today in New York, the company finally launched the all-in-one desktops and laptops it announced at CES earlier this year.

In a presentation that included remarks from partners Intel, Microsoft, and Walmart, Vizio CEO and founder William Wang and CTO Matt McRae talked about the current PC landscape, and how there is a dearth of standout design. According to them, the new Vizio systems remedy that with sleek forms, as well as a lack of bloatware and moderate price points.

You can be forgiven for doing a double-take when you first see Vizio's new systems. The 24-inch CA24 and 27-inch CA27 all-in-one desktops bring to mind the aesthetics of the Apple iMac, circa 2002. The base holds the components, and connects to a sleek display by a single chrome hinge.

The Vizio CT14 and CT15 ultrabooks (which the company refers to as Thin + Light) and CN15 laptop share the same minimalist design as the Apple MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models, with a thin profile and light weight.

The CA24 and CA27 both come with a 1,920-by-1,080 (1080p HD) resolution screen (through the CA24's screen is 24 inches, while the CA27's screen measures 27 inches). In a nod to Vizio's expertise in the HDTV arena, the desktops come with a remote control, two HDMI ports, and a separate subwoofer (as part of a 2.1 speaker system). A wireless keyboard and trackpad are also bundled in. Like Apple did with its Mac Mini, Vizio has opted to drop the optical drive in the all-in-one desktops, as well as its laptop PCs.

June 4, 2012

Acer Announces New Windows 8 Laptops, Tablets, All-in-Ones

Acer Announces New Windows 8 Laptops, Tablets, All-in-Ones TAIPEI—Acer Chairman and CEO J.T. Wang reinforced his company's strong commitment to the upcoming version of Microsoft's flagship operating system by announcing here at Computex a wide new collection of laptops, tablets, and all-in-one desktops designed exclusively to run on Windows 8.

Wang described the new version of the OS as a "historical moment in the Windows ecosystem," and in describing it said, "This is truly unique—[something] no other competitor can match. Maybe it will take some time for users to really appreciate, but it's a huge breakthrough done by Microsoft."

The Aspire S7 is a full-fledged ultrabook (the flagship of the S series) with an aluminum unibody design, a sculpted glass cover, and a full HD display; it's available in 13.1-inch and 11.6-inch screen sizes, each of which is incredibly space-efficient. (Acer claims the former is the thinnest full HD, or 1,920-by-1,200, touch ultrabook and the latter is the smallest.) Both laptops are outfitted with Acer's Twin Air cooling system and a keyboard that's capable of dynamically adjusting its backlighting to help you type better even in low light. The 13.3-inch model reportedly runs on battery for 12 hours, and the 11.6-inch version for nine.

In the tablet realm, Acer unveiled the Iconia W510, which has a 10.1-inch display and tri-mode touch, and boasts up to 18 hours of battery life. The 11.6-inch W700 comes with not just a touch screen capable of displaying full HD images and video, but also a special cradle that can be adjusted for different viewing scenarios.

As far as viewing options go, the Acer Aspire 7600U delivers a lot of them. This 27-inch all-in-one, which measures just 35mm thick, has a 64-point capacitive multitouch screen and can be tilted to any angle from zero to 90 degrees—that's completely flat, and it can swivel in all directions when it's placed in that position. Acer says its littler brother, the 23-inch 5600U, is the smallest all-in-one PC that can tilt from 30 to 85 degrees.

January 9, 2012

Lenovo All-in-One Leans in the Right Direction

Lenovo IdeaCentre A720

LAS VEGAS—Today at the CES 2012 show, Lenovo pulled the curtain back on a large screen all-in-one PC with enhanced ergonomic features. The Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 is a 27-inch all-in-one desktop with an articulated screen that tilts toward the user up to 5 degrees from vertical or all the way back to 90 degrees horizontal. This means that you can use the IdeaCentre A720's touch screen from a seated and reclined position, all the way up to a standing position. The system's design shows innovation along with a couple new forward-looking features that let the IdeaCentre A720 hop over the competition for the time being.

The IdeaCentre A720 comes with a 27-inch ten-finger multi-touch screen as a standard feature. This puts the A720 ahead of the curve, since many of its competitors simply have two-finger touch screens. This is a future-proofing feature, since Windows 8 PCs will require ten-points of multi-touch to remain fully compliant with Microsoft's upcoming operating system. This will also allow the user to fully utilize an on-screen virtual keyboard, as on a tablet. The screen size is also significant, as it is ideal for multitasking and graphics work. The A720 joins the few 27-inch all-in-one desktops that are out there. The internal components are built into the system's base, giving Lenovo the ability to put a very slim screen on the A720.