January 9, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

Another CES, another Razer Prototype. Unlike last year’s three-screened laptop Project Valerie, Razer’s Project Linda, announced Tuesday, is something that might actually make it to market. Project Linda is a dock for your Razer Phone in the form of a laptop.Razer’s approach might have taken inspiration from the clamshell-like Lap Dock (originally called the Mobile Extender) that shipped as an option for HP’s Elite x3 Windows phone. That phone is dead, though, so Razer has an opportunity to reincarnate the idea on a more successful phone plaform. I’m optimistic: Project Linda is only a prototype, but it’s the best I’ve…

January 9, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

What’s smaller than a tissue box but still packs a liquid-cooled Core i7-8700K and and GeForce GTX 1080? Digital Storm’s Project Spark, a concept PC that’s actually going to be built. It does what no other tiny gaming box has ever done before: It packs top-end performance into a 6 x 4 x 12-inch box. Digital Storm pulls it off by first starting with a custom-built enclosure. Unlike the typical small PCs that use the industry-standard Mini ITX, Project Spark uses the less popular MicroSTX form factor. Gordon Mah Ung Yup. It’s a tiny gaming rig with full custom liquid cooling.To…

January 9, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

Massive security vulnerabilities in modern CPUs are forcing a redesign of the kernel software at the heart of all major operating systems. Since the issues—dubbed Meltdown and Spectre—exist in the CPU hardware itself, Windows, Linux, Android, macOS, iOS, Chromebooks, and other operating systems all need to protect against it. And worse, plugging the hole can negatively affect your PC’s performance.Everyday home users shouldn’t panic too much though. Just apply all available updates and keep your antivirus software vigilant, as ever. If you want to dive right into the action without all the background information, we’ve also created a focused guide…

January 9, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

343 Industries has hinted that Halo 6 will not be arriving in 2018 – but there may be other releases that “surprise you”. On the 343 blog, a community manager wrote: “2018 has arrived and with it, the promise of new fun times to be had and adventures to be embarked upon. No, not those adventures , but plenty of exciting ones regardless – some which might surprise you more than others.” Given the lead time between Halo game announcements and their release, this isn’t necessarily surprising. For comparison, there was a more-than two year gap between Halo 5’s first trailer and it coming…

January 9, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

Intel’s keynote at CES on Monday night contrasted the company’s slickly produced showcase of new initiatives—culminating in the introduction of a 49-qubit chip for quantum computing—with the hard realities brought on by the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities.Though Meltdown and Spectre are industry-wide problems affecting chip companies like ARM and Intel, plus operating-system vendors, browser makers, and cloud-computing companies, Intel has been the face of the issue. Chief executive Brian Krzanich reiterated that, to his knowledge, the company had not seen any data loss as a consequence of the vulnerabilities. Krzanich assured the audience that Intel was committed to addressing the Meltdown…

January 8, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

Don’t call it a trend, but D-Link isn’t the only router maker announcing a network-based security solution for home users during the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. Netgear announced late Monday that it is also getting into the game with a new service called Netgear Armor.Unlike D-Link, however, Netgear is aiming for a software-based approach instead of selling a new box with a security platform built-in. Netgear Armor will be powered by Bitdefender and first show up via a firmware upgrade in the Netgear Nighthawk AC2300 Smart WiFi router (model R7000P). We haven’t looked at the 7000P, but we did review…

January 8, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

So you think you have a bad-ass home network? Let’s see how it stacks up against Netgear’s new gamer-oriented Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR500 router and Nighthawk SX10 10G/Multi-Gig LAN Switch.The latest model in Netgear’s Nighthawk lineup, the XR500, is a dual-band AC2600 model supporting MU-MIMO, four spatial streams per frequency band, and beam forming. It’s powered by a dual-core 1.7GHz processor, 256MB of flash memory and 512MB of RAM. There’s a four-port gigabit switch onboard for making wired connections, and two USB 3.0 ports that can be used to share USB storage over the network. So far, that could describe…

January 8, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

Lenovo’s Miix 630 looks a lot like Microsoft’s Surface Pro, a Windows tablet with a detachable keyboard, but there’s a key difference. Announced Monday night at CES, the Miix 630 joins a small, but growing cadre of systems that run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC platform.Putting this high-end smartphone chip into a Windows PC brings the promise of slimmer, lighter systems that run for many hours longer than a similar system would if based on an Intel or AMD CPU. The tradeoff is performance: Qualcomm has acknowledged that its laptops probably won’t be as fast as AMD- or Intel-based…

January 8, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

Lenovo’s Smart Display puts Google Assistant on 8- and 10-inch touchscreens. The result is a smart-home sidekick that adds a visual element to all the rich A.I. features we’ve already seen in the Google Home smart speaker.Announced Monday night at CES and due to ship around July, it’s still too early to see how well Lenovo’s Smart DIsplays will compare to Amazon’s Echo Show (which earned high marks in our TechHive review). The hypervigilant Google product managers who orchestrated our briefing carefully focused the demo around what the Smart Displays could already do well, and shied away from features where…

January 8, 2018 CuttingEdgeTech

Lest you doubt that Google is serious about spreading its AI. to every nook and cranny of the consumer electronics universe, consider today’s CES 2018 reveal: Google just announced four new “smart displays” from Lenovo, JBL, LG and Sony, plus a bevy of smart speakers and TVs from other partners, almost too numerous to mention. And all these devices come with Google Assistant baked in.This is a shot across the bough of Amazon, whose Alexa digital assistant is appearing in more and more third-party devices, as well.Google also announced that Google Assistant is coming to Android Auto dashboard units, and gave an official…