- Diamond Multimedia Launches DV100 USB3.0/2.0 Dual Head Display Adapter
- Toshiba Satellite U845W Ultrabook Review: Going Wide at 21:9
- AVADirect Clevo P170EM Part 2: GTX 680M Grudge Match
- Windows 8 Pre-Orders Start; $39.99 Download Option on October 26th
Posted: 16 Oct 2012 01:30 AM PDT
In recent years Diamond Multimedia has been carving out their niche in the world with an increasingly vast array of video periphials, including video capture devices, Android based media streamers, and of course video cards. This includes both traditional video cards and external display adapters based on DisplayLink’s video-over-USB technology.
So far those external adapters have been based around USB 2.0 – which has a rather anemic peak bandwidth of 480Mb/sec – but with the introduction of USB 3.0 and more recently widespread USB 3.0 deployment in Intel’s Ivy Bridge platform, Diamond’s external adapters are finally getting a boost in capabilities thanks to USB 3.0's order of magnitude increase in bandwidth. Joining Diamond’s existing USB 2.0 based adapters will be their first USB 3.0 based adapter, the DV100, a dual head display adapter.
As hinted at by the product name, the DV100’s main selling point is that it’s a dual head display adapter, the first such adapter from Diamond. Diamond is primarily pitching this to laptop users where expandability is extremely limited, and at a time where even DisplayPort laptops are still limited to 1 monitor per port due to the lack of MST hubs. To that end the DV100 sports 1 SL-DVI output and 1 HDMI output, each with a maximum resolution of 2048x1152. The DV100 offers both mirroring and extended desktop modes, with the HDMI port also supporting 5.1 channel HDMI audio. The DV100 is completely USB powered so power consumption is quite low at under 2.5W, though like other USB based external adapters this goes hand-in-hand with its limited performance intended for desktop work and video streaming.
On the technical side of things, like Diamond’s other external adapters the DV100 is based on a DisplayLink chipset, with Diamond tapping DisplayLink’s DL-3900 for this product, DisplayLink’s top-tier USB 3.0 chipset. While it’s primarily meant for use with USB 3.0 the DL-3900/DV100 also offers USB 2.0 fallback support, though it’s not clear what the impact is on the DV100 given the amount of bandwidth that’s needed to drive two displays. Meanwhile it’s interesting to note that though Diamond is primarily using the DL-3900 for its unique dual head capabilities, the chipset supports several other features that Diamond doesn’t end up using, including Gigabit Ethernet and DisplayPort support.
Finally, with this launch Diamond is explicitly noting that the DV100 will be augmenting Diamond’s existing external adapter lineup (BVU195) rather than replacing it. The DV100 will be launching at a MSRP of $79.99, $10 over the existing BVU195’s MSRP of $69.99. Though if retail prices on the DV100 are anything like the BVU195’s, then it shouldn’t be uncommon to see the DV100 $10 below MSRP.
Posted: 15 Oct 2012 09:01 PM PDT
It's sometimes very easy to discount Toshiba as an also-ran when it comes to the latest and greatest. They have a strong retail presence as a budget notebook company, and in many ways their first ultrabook, the Portege Z835 maintained that tradition by gaining traction as one of the most affordable ultrabook options available back when Intel first launched the initiative. It's important to note, though, that oftentimes Toshiba has been willing to experiment where others haven't. Toshiba launched a 13.3" version of its Excite tablet to see if the market would be interested in accepting a notebook-sized tablet, and their Portege R700 was an affordable ultraportable option even before ultrabooks themselves became available.
Today we have one of their most compelling experiments on hand. We lament with some regularity the common 1366x768 resolution of notebook screens and its effect on productivity, but vertical real estate continues to be hard to come by. What if we went the other way, though? What if we stretched things out further along the X axis? That's the question Toshiba's asking with their shiny new double-wide ultrabook, the Satellite U845W. This ultrabook is the first widely availabe notebook that features a display with a 21:9 aspect ratio. Was this a wise gamble for Toshiba or a misfire?
Posted: 15 Oct 2012 03:50 PM PDT
We took Clevo’s P170EM for a spin last week, equipped with a Radeon HD 7970M and a variety of other high-end options. Today we have our follow up where we use the same core hardware but with NVIDIA’s GTX 680M in place of AMD’s top mobile GPU. Now that we have an apples-to-apples comparison between the two fastest mobile GPUs, who can claim the mobile gaming crown?
For this second installment, we’ve taken some time to run additional gaming tests, we’ve updated the BIOS and rerun battery life numbers, and we take a detour into discussing drivers and GPU utilization figures. Having spent more time using the P170EM, I’ll also try to reevaluate the overall package in light of the above areas to see if I might have been a bit too harsh with my initial assessment. If you need a fast desktop replacement/gaming notebook, is Clevo the way to go? Let’s find out.
Posted: 15 Oct 2012 09:10 AM PDT
With Windows 8 officially launching in under two weeks, Microsoft and its retail partners have finally begun taking pre-orders for Windows 8. As with prior Windows pre-order promotions, several retailers are participating, including a number of brick & mortar retailers along with e-tailers such as Newegg, Amazon, and even Microsoft’s own online store.
Microsoft will essentially be handling the launch of Windows 8 in two phases: pre-order and launch. The pre-order phase is primarily geared towards buyers looking for boxed copies of Windows and with delivery on the 26th; unsurprisingly these boxed copies are priced notably higher than Microsoft’s download options. As for buyers looking to take advantage of Microsoft’s previously announced $39.99 download offer, that promotion will not begin until the launch on the 26th when Windows 8 actually ships. On that note, as previously announced both the boxed and download copies will be offered with promotional pricing, with Microsoft and its partners selling the upgrades at a significant discount until January 31, 2013.
For buyers looking for physical copies, retailers are taking pre-orders for both upgrade and full editions of Windows 8. For Windows X/Vista/7 users Microsoft is offering a single upgrade package, the Windows 8 Professional Upgrade, which has a list price of $99 but is being offered at $69 for the life of the promotion. Meanwhile the download version that will be made available on the 26th will have a $39 promotional price, putting a $30 premium on boxed copies.
As for Windows 8 (core) users – primarily those who buy computers with Windows 8 pre-installed – Microsoft is offering the Windows 8 Pro Pack upgrade for upgrading a Windows 8 (core) installation to Windows 8 Pro. Like the Win7 upgrade, this too is being offered at a promotional price of $69 with a list price of $99.
Finally, full versions of both Windows 8 (core) and Windows 8 are also being offered for pre-order, but only in OEM form at this time. There isn’t a publicly announced discount on these, so the list price of $99 for Windows 8 (core) and $139 for Windows 8 Professional should be the final price, which also closely matches the price for OEM copies of Windows 7. We haven’t seen retail full versions of Windows 8 appear for sale yet, and while there are rumors going around that Windows 8 will be OEM-only, it has not been confirmed by Microsoft.
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