Archive for June 6, 2017

OMEN by HP Announced To Give Gamers The Edge

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 6, 2017 by itnerd

HP Inc. unleveled the playing field with the launch of an entirely new, cutting-edge and comprehensive portfolio of OMEN by HP gaming products. Re-designed and re-engineered from the ground up, the new lineup gives esports athletes and competitive gamers the edge and confidence needed to perform at the highest global level. Every inch inside and out of the new OMEN PCs, displays and accessories are packed with features designed to target the needs of gamers around the world, instantly changing the game like never before.

 

OMEN X by HP Compact Desktop – Versatility, Flexibility, Mobility and Powerful Performance

The OMEN X by HP Compact Desktop is built with a clear focus on pushing the limits of hardware in a small package. The new product in the OMEN X portfolio, first unveiled last year as a concept, was refined as a result of feedback from game and VR developers. The key insights from the OMEN X VR Backpack PC last May allowed the company to bring an incredibly thoughtful design with accessories to push the limits of how gamers can interact with hardware. HP built the OMEN X Compact Desktop with the highest performing parts available, introducing an easily transportable and adaptable system, perfect for players of esports and VR enthusiasts.

  • Factory-overclocked NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 provides the horsepower needed for gaming at 4K resolutions3, or a flawless VR experience. The adaptable form factor enables an easy transition from the desk to the living room. The 4K gaming capabilities are critical to keep pace with the transition of televisions to 4K resolutions.
  • Advanced thermal and electrical engineering provides additional headroom for at-home CPU overclocking, optimized for higher wattage and voltage requirements.
  • Available with Intel 7th gen unlocked Intel Core i7 CPU options.
  • OMEN Command Center reduces latency by giving gamers greater control over network traffic, and can support simultaneous data streams, so gaming traffic is routed over the Ethernet connection while background updates or downloads run on the Wi-Fi connection.
  • DTS Headphone:X support for simulated surround sound when using headphones, enhancing games and adding to a full 360-degree VR experience.

The OMEN X Compact Desktop also brings gamers a level of immersion that extends past supporting the latest hardware. The newest desktop to boldly carry the OMEN X moniker is tailored to provide the ultimate gaming and VR experience. The optional VR backpack accessory for the OMEN X Compact Desktop provides free movement and in turn a truly immersive, untethered experience.

  • Full docking capabilities allow gamers to simply drop the OMEN X into the included docking station and instantly connect to a range of their favorite gaming accessories without worrying about a mess of multiple cables.
  • Hot-swappable batteries enable extended VR sessions without shutting down the PC, so gamers don’t have to wait to keep playing. HP includes four batteries and a charging dock with the backpack accessory so users can charge two batteries while using the other two simultaneously. Additionally, the convenient placement of the batteries on the backpack harness means never having to remove the backpack to swap the batteries.
  • The strategic placement of fan exhaust and an angled mounting plate positions the top of the PC and vents away from users to help reduce heat transfer to the body.
  • The backpack accessory includes shortened cables to keep gamers immersed and not worrying about tripping over long cables while locking cables and hooks hold the VR headset securely in place.

 

OMEN by HP Accelerator – Professional-by-Day, Gamer-by-Night

The OMEN by HP Accelerator brings gaming to anyone with a desire to plug-in and game on a PC. The OMEN Accelerator can transform a Thunderbolt 3 enabled PC struggling to deliver fluid gameplay into a gaming powerhouse with fast and fluid framerates at high-resolutions. The OMEN Accelerator delivers flexibility and the ability to be a professional-by-day, and a gamer-by-night.

  • Available preconfigured with NVIDIA or AMD Graphics card.
  • Configurable with a 2.5” 1TB HDD or 256GB SSD, or offered as an empty enclosure with a 500W power supply.
  • Thunderbolt-certified to ensure compatibility across a range of HP PCs.
  • Single cable docking with 60W charge back to the PC, so you can connect power for your notebook and a range of gaming accessories without worrying about plugging multiple cables.
  • Easy-access door so you can change out graphics cards, hard drives, or SSD with minimal effort.
  • Generous port selection including 4 USB 3.0 type A ports and 1 USB 3.1 type-C and RJ-45 for networking.

 

New OMEN by HP Desktop – The Battle Armor Needed to Perform in the Gaming Arena

The newest OMEN by HP Desktop is designed for the true performance gamer with features to enhance functionality and usability. OMEN X products are overbuilt and over-engineered hardware meant to deliver bold innovation in the gaming space, and the OMEN Desktop leverages key features from the OMEN X desktop to provide gamers the ultimate experience. As a result, the new tower from OMEN brings the ability to accommodate new hardware combinations, including easy upgrades because of HP’s use of primarily industry standard parts, and leverages improved cooling to allow gamers to push the system’s limits.

  • High-performance graphics up to dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (SLI) or dual AMD Radeon RX 580 (Crossfire), for the graphics horsepower to run the most demanding games at maxed out settings and resolutions higher than 1080p.
  • 7th gen Intel Core i5/i7 CPUs with unlocked options for overclocking, or overclockable AMD Ryzen CPUs for raw computing power to handle massive multiplayer games or serious multi-tasking.
  • Thermal engineering with all-around edge vents and optional liquid cooling, for more efficient heat dissipation and additional thermal headroom for overclocking.
  • Optional PCIe SSD or SSD+HDD storage options for quick responsiveness, fast bootup, game loading, and application installation.
  • OMEN Command Center with Overclocking to improve CPU performance on the fly, and Newtork Booster to move gaming network traffic to the front of the line and reduce latency in online games.

 

OMEN by HP Laptops – Fighter Jet and Spacecraft-Inspired Designs with Cutting-Edge Technology

The OMEN by HP 15 and OMEN by HP 17 laptops were completely reinvented and redesigned in 2017 to offer a design built for gamers, with more expansion capabilities, additional ports and more VR compatibility. The result, a performance packed PC with exceptional gaming capabilities in a compact package, helps ensure gamers can play the latest titles on-the-go and in any environment. The OMEN 15 is available with a wide range of options designed to deliver performance, optimize the gaming experience, enhance gameplay and limit outside distractions. The OMEN 17 supports some of the fastest technologies available today to help ensure gamers can push high frame-rates on the latest AAA games with a broad range of options targeted at delivering unprecedented performance across all aspects of gaming.

  • High-performance GPUs on the OMEN 15 up to AMD Radeon RX 550 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with Max Q design for the graphics horsepower to run games at 1080p and beyond. The OMEN 17 can be configured with up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or AMD Radeon RX 580 for the graphics horsepower to push games at 1440p and higher.
  • 7th-gen Intel Core-i Quad Core CPUs for raw computing power to handle massive multiplayer games, serious multi-tasking or the latest esports titles that require heavy lifting by the CPU to hit 100+ FPS
  • High-performance cooling on the OMEN laptops brings a multi-fan/multi-heat pipe/multi-exhaust thermal solution to keep things running cool and reduce the risk of throttling during heavy gaming sessions.
  • Play with DTS Headphone:X for 360 degree, immersive surround sound with any headset, or simply power up and use the integrated HP Dual Speakers with Audio by Bang & Olufsen. HP Audio Boost technology with a discrete amp brings improved volume.
  • Dragon-red backlit keyboard optimized for gaming with red accented WASD keys and white backlight for easy identification, 26-key rollover anti-ghosting function and separated, full-size arrow keys to help reduce accidental key presses
  • 4K display option for high-resolution content playback, or a 120Hz 1080p display option for fast refresh-rates with NVIDIA G-Sync options or a 60Hz 1080p display option with AMD FreeSync on systems configured with a Radeon GPU
  • Easy upgradeability and accessibility with a single access panel to HDD, SSD, and RAM
  • VR-ready configurations available for exceptional gaming in virtual reality

 

OMEN by HP Accessories – Details Matter, Compliment your Senses

As HP redesigned the OMEN portfolio from top-to-bottom, the company focused on OMEN accessories to complement and enhance the user experience with the overall lineup of products. The enhancement of the OMEN accessories brings several feature improvements over previous generation products. The results deliver an entirely new gamer-centric lineup that demonstrates full portfolio commitment to the gaming community.

Together, the OMEN keyboard, mouse and headset push the OMEN ecosystem to deliver an unrivaled gaming experience.

  • OMEN by HP is delivering greater accuracy with the OMEN Keyboard 1100’s mechanical keyboard switches and N-key Rollover for anti-ghosting
  • Optimized control in the OMEN Mouse 600 with customizable weight features and added durability with mechanical switches with up to a 50 million clicks.
  • Increased comfort and sound clarity with the OMEN Headset 800 with thicker ear cups and boosted the overall acoustic performance for clear high, low, and mid-tones, and a specifically tuned audio profile for clear speech

 

OMEN by HP Displays – Every Movement Matters, Every Framerate Counts

The display quality for gamers affects the overall gaming experience and to round out the OMEN ecosystem, HP is introducing two new display options for performance gamers, the OMEN by HP 25 and OMEN by HP 27 displays. HP built each display to meet the needs of a specific type of gamer, sharing many of the same design elements, but tailoring the features for each display. The OMEN 25 is optimized for 1080p resolution gaming with competitive framerates and enhanced refresh rates with AMD FreeSync when paired with an AMD Radeon GPU. The OMEN 27 brings speed and the right features like NVIDIA G-Sync to enable fluidity, and deliver a display built for both performance gamers and esports athletes.

OMEN by HP 25:

  • Overclockable to enable a response time as low as 1ms to reduce lag and ghosting.
  • 144Hz refresh rate is over twice as fast as a standard 60Hz panel for smoother gameplay.
  • AMD FreeSync technology synchronizes the GPU to the display for an ultra-smooth, lag-free experience that eliminates stuttering and tearing.
  • An integrated cable management clip on the stand allows gamers to keep everything managed cleanly behind the display and the headset hook means the headset isn’t in the way, but is close for when the next session begins.
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports allow connection to various USB devices acting as a USB hub – keyboards, mice, and even special controllers such as steering wheels and joysticks.
  • DisplayPort is the recommended connection for maximizing refresh rate with FreeSync technology, but gamers can also utilize the HDMI port to attach a console, giving gamers the ability to leverage one display for multiple gaming platforms.

 

OMEN by HP 27:

  • QHD resolution with 70% more pixels than a FullHD panel, so gamers can crank up their resolution for more detailed visuals and immersive gameplay.
  • Overclockable TN panel to enable a response time as low as 1ms to reduce lag and ghosting.
  • 165Hz refresh rate, nearly three times as fast as a traditional 60Hz panel.
  • NVIDIA G-Sync technology which dynamically matches the refresh rate of the display to the frame rate output of the GPU, eliminating tearing, minimizing stutter and input lag.
  • As with the OMEN 25, the OMEN 27 is equipped with an integrated cable management clip on the stand and a headset hook to keep the battle station clean and ready for the next opportunity to dominate the competition.
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports ensure gamers can connect any peripheral needed while competing.

 

 

OMEN by HP Pricing and Availability

  • The OMEN X Compact Desktop is available in July 2017 at HP.com, starting at $2,499 and the OMEN by HP backpack accessory starts at $599.99.
  • The OMEN Desktop is available on June 6 at HP.com, starting at $899.99
  • The OMEN 15 laptop is available on June 28 at HP.com, starting at $999.99 and at Best Buy, see BestBuy.com for pricing.
  • The OMEN 17 Laptop is available in on June 28 at HP.com, starting at $1,099.99 and at Best Buy, see BestBuy.com for pricing.
  • The OMEN 25 Display is available on June 26 and the OMEN 27 Display is available on June 8 at HP.com starting at $279.99 and $799.99, respectively
  • The OMEN Accelerator is available in August 2017 at HP.com starting at $299.99
  • The OMEN by HP Accessories are planned to be available on June 6 at HP.com starting at $79.99 for the OMEN Headset, $129.99 for the OMEN Keyboard, $59.99 for the OMEN Mouse and $29.99 and $39.99 for the different OMEN Mouse Pads
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ZUS Smart Tire Safety Monitor Now On Indiegogo

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 6, 2017 by itnerd

Zus who are best known for making a fast charger and car location tracker, and bombproof USB cables are back for more. This time it’s in the form of the ZUS Smart Tire Safety Monitor which launched today on Indiegogo which allows you to add tire pressure monitoring to a car that lacks it.

This is a kit with four tire sensors that replace your valve caps (the company says they are theft resistant) with a receiver that plugs into your 12V outlet, which in turn is paired with an app. The combo constantly reads the pressure of each tire and can detect slow leaks because of the way it monitors your tire pressure. It also has a USB charging port so that you can charge your smartphone at the same time.

It’s already blown by its funding goal having been online for a few hours. But there’s still time to get in on some first day perks if you act quickly. I’ve ordered one and while it is is scheduled to ship in “August 2017” I’m hoping it shows up sooner so I can do a full review this summer while going on various road trips with my wife.

Apple Did Not Mention One Cool Product Release At WWDC 2017 Yesterday

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 6, 2017 by itnerd

You’re likely wondering what managed to miss in the huge pile of announcements that they announced yesterday at the World Wide Developer Conference keynote that took place yesterday. Well, I don’t think they missed it as such. I think they beloved that it wasn’t significant.

I beg to differ.

The product in question was a new Magic Keyboard with an integrated number pad. Up until now, you had to go the third party route to get a proper keyboard that was wireless and with a number pad. Apple finally seems to have gotten with the program and is now offering one of its own. For many people, this will be a big deal.

Thanks Apple.

Review: Asus ROG SWIFT PG27A 27″ 4K Monitor

Posted in Products with tags on June 6, 2017 by itnerd

I’ve been spending the last two days playing Team Fortress 2 on a brand new Asus ROG SWIFT PG27A 27″ 4K monitor and I’m loving the experience. Why? It comes down to a bunch of factors. 

First, the monitor is a 4K monitor, meaning it four times the resolution of HD. If you crank up the resolution to maximum, the images be it graphics, photos, or text, are bright, vivid, detailed and simply stunning on this IPS display. And you can tweak everything to your hearts content which will appeal to the control freaks that are reading this review. What helps with this is support for the Nvidia G-Sync standard for syncing your video card to this monitor for extra-smooth performance during your gaming sessions. Nothing I threw at it produced anything negative. Zip, zero, nada. It was impressive. Though for me to get this stunning display to work in this manner, I needed to use the DisplayPort connector instead of the HDMI cable that came in the box. My MacBook Pro should have been able to output 4K video via the built in HDMI port, but for some reason this monitor didn’t like doing anything about HD resolution via HDMI. But that’s not a deal breaker by any means as I am assuming that it’s the Mac more than the monitor.

Another thing that helps with the positive experience is the design of the monitor. In terms of ports, you get HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2 connections. You also get three USB 3.0 ports for peripherals, as well as an audio jack for your headphones. Plus a pair of great sounding speakers that produce audio that was better than those found in most monitors that had built in speakers that I’ve tested lately. The bottom line is that you have every port you need at hand. What makes those ports easy to access is that this monitor will pivot 180 degrees to give you access to those ports and you can rotate the display to do a landscape display (though it’s not automatic on the MacBook Pro that I tested). That way you can get some work done between online gaming sessions. Other nice design touches are the triangular opening in the middle of the stand that makes it easy to organize your cables. As well as the fact that you can raise and swivel it to a huge degree, which means that you can adjust it to fit your workspace and your needs. There’s a a directional nub and a series of snappy physical buttons on the right hand side of the monitor. They’re used for doing things like changing display presets and activating special features such as the Asus GamePlus special features which will be handy for hard core gamers. Everything in the on screen menus are logically laid out and easy to figure out.

The only downside of two that I found was the glowing red LED lights and futuristic-looking patterns on the base of this monitor (which for the record you can turn off). It’s polarizing. Gamer types will love it. I was indifferent. My wife despised it. This will be a your mileage will vary sort of thing. The second thing that this monitor goes for about $1200 Canadian. Not exactly a low price. But is one of the best high-end gaming monitor around. And that’s why I’m not bothered by the price as gaming types who want the best display available to help them to pwn their competition will flock Asus ROG SWIFT PG27A without batting an eyelash. I almost hate giving it back to Asus because it is that good.