HP Launches New Pavilion All-in-One PCs With Refreshed Design, Processors

HP on Tuesday announced the launch of its two new Pavilion All-in-One PCs with 23.8-inch and 27-inch displays respectively. These two desktop PCs come just in time for the back-to-school spree and pack some of the features that make them suitable for both parents and kids, as per the company. The pricing for the new Pavilion PCs starts from $749.99 (roughly Rs. 48,300).

As mentioned earlier, the refreshed Pavilion desktopscome with 23.8-inch and 27-inch displays with up to 4K resolution. There are variants with touchscreen displays and the 23.8-inch variant is also available with edge-to-edge design (micro-edge bezel). Both new Pavilion desktop PCs are available with up to seventh-generation Intel Core processors and up to 16GB of RAM.

Apart from the onboard Intel graphics, there is also an option for AMD Radeon 530 graphics card for advanced video editing, powerful photo manipulation, and casual gaming. In terms of storage, users get the option of choosing between the regular HDD storage and faster SSD storage. The new desktop PCs also offer the option of dual storage that allows users to have both HDD and SSD storage in hybrid configuration.

Interestingly, the HP Pavilion 27 is among the first PCs to feature Intel’s Optane memory that caches frequently used data to accelerate performance, as pointed out in a report by ZDNet.

HP Launches New Pavilion All-in-One PCs With Refreshed Design, ProcessorsIn terms of connectivity, the new desktops offer options including a 3-in-1 media card slot, one USB Type-C, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0, an HDMI-in, and an HDMI-out.

The new Pavilion desktops have dual front-firing speakers that have been custom-tuned by the company in collaboration with B&O Play. “A fabric overlay on the speakers, and audio custom-tuned by B&O Play provide more acoustic transparency for a richer, clearer, immersive sound,” the company said in its news blog post.

The new Pavilion All-in-One desktops come with a built-in webcam that goes back into its casing when not in use to provide additional privacy to those users who are wary of hackers (a certain Zuckerbergmight come to mind). There is also an optional Infrared camera that will provide additional layer of security with facial recognition feature.

“Powered for productivity, created to connect and entertain, and designed to enhance the home, these newly redesigned HP Pavilion All-in-Ones gives consumers tools to do it all, without trade-offs,” HP said.

Asus Tinker Board Mini Development PC Launched in India: Price, Specifications

Taiwanese electronics giant Asus on Wednesday launched Tinker Board in India. The single board computer can help people easily invent an Internet of Things (IoT) device for a connected home or robot project at school at affordable prices.

Asus Tinker Board is now available for Rs. 4,750 at pan-India branches of Acro Engineering Company – Asus’s offline partner – headquartered in New Delhi.

The Asus Tinker Board is a near credit card-sized single-board computer (SBC) that makes it the ideal foundation for makers, hobbyists, educators, and electronics do it yourself (DIY) enthusiasts to develop and build low-cost and great-performing computers.

The device offers class-leading performance, robust multimedia support, IoT connectivity, enhanced DIY design and compatibility with a wide range of leading SBC chassis and accessories.

Asus Tinker Board Mini Development PC Launched in India: Price, SpecificationsThe Tinker Board includes a 1.8GHz Rockchip RK3288 SoC quad-core processor and offers HD and Ultra HD video playback support. The device has 2GB dual-channel DDR3 RAM and Micro SD storage slot. It runs on Asus Tinker OS (Debian-based Linux) and it has Android Support.

As far as connectivity is concerned, it has Bluetooth 4.0 and on-board Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n support. Tinker Board has four USB 2.0 ports, one HDMI 1.4 out port and one 3.5mm audio jack.

In a statement, Asus described the benefits of the single board computer, saying, “Tinker Board offers class-leading performance, robust multimedia support, IoT connectivity, enhanced DIY design and compatibility with a wide range of leading SBC chassis and accessories. The result is a near credit card sized computer that offers people freedom to tinker and apply their ingenuity to create platforms for a wide variety of uses.”

USB 3.2 Type-C Specification Announced, Doubles Data Transfer Speeds

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group has now announced a new USB Type-C specification – USB 3.2. It brings along double the data rates – with up to 20Gbps. However, while the aim of USB Type-C was to end the saga of multiple ports, this new added one defeats that purpose. The specification is expected to be finalised later this year, and we could expect the first devices next year.

USB Type-C looked to bring uniformity in ports so that users could charge all devices – be it laptops, mobile phones, cameras, tablets, or anything else through one single USB Type-C port. However, there’s now the age-old USB 2.0, non-reversible USB 3.0, and USB 3.1 Gen1 and Gen 2 as well. Amidst all this, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group has unveiled USB 3.2 adding to the confusion.

While all these ports are interoperable, they do not work up to optimum unless you have the latest innards to support it on all devices. In any case, USB 3.2 offers really good data transfer speeds at 20Gbps, which is twice what USB 3.1 Gen 2 offers at 10Gbps. To recall, USB 3.1 Gen 1 offers up to 5Gbps transfer speeds. USB 3.2 makes use of multi-lane capabilities to achieve these speeds, allowing for up to two lanes of 5Gbps or two lanes of 10Gbps operation.

USB 3.2 Type-C Specification Announced, Doubles Data Transfer SpeedsUSB 3.2 host connected to a USB 3.2 storage device will be capable of realizing over 2GB per sec data transfer performance when using a existing USB Type-C cable certified for SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps.

“With increased performance and seamless compatibility, the new USB 3.2 specification brings even more speed and bandwidth benefits to new USB 3.2 devices, while remaining compatible with USB 3.0 and earlier devices. We’re excited to work with our partners in the USB 3.0 Promoter Group to help showcase these benefits to users around the world,” said Roanne Sones, General Manager, Strategy and Ecosystem for Windows and Devices, Microsoft in a statement.

The USB 3.0 Promoter Group consists of big tech giants like Apple, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, and more. The group has announced that it will have even more surprises for the USB Developer Days event in September 2017.

Meg Whitman Leaves HP Board, Chip Bergh Named Chairman

Meg Whitman stepped down as chairman and left the board of HP Inc., further distancing her corporate-computing company from the PC and printer businesses it split off in 2015.

Whitman, who is chief executive officer of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., has served as chairman of HP Inc. since the two companies were formed in the breakup of one of Silicon Valley’s oldest firms almost two years ago. Chip Bergh, who is CEO of Levi Strauss & Co., will take over as chairman of HP Inc., the company said Wednesday in a statement. Bergh has served as lead independent director of the HP board since March.

For Whitman, formerly CEO of eBay Inc. and a onetime Republican nominee for California governor, stepping down as chairman reduces the remaining ties between her company, which sells servers and storage gear, and HP Inc., which has been gaining momentum on its own in recent months. The PC and printer company has reported four straight quarters of sales that topped estimates. Dion Weisler, who took the reins after the split, remains CEO of HP Inc.

Meg Whitman Leaves HP Board, Chip Bergh Named Chairman“HP has now been a standalone company for almost two years and I’m proud to have helped get the company off to a great start,” Whitman said in the statement. “The HP board is among the most diverse in our industry, and the company has established a proven track record of successfully delivering on its commitments.”

Whitman has also been mentioned as a candidate to fill the top role at Uber Technologies Inc., the ride-hailing mobile-app company that ousted founder Travis Kalanick last month. Whitman has been meeting with Uber’s leadership in recent weeks, two people familiar with the matter said earlier this week. A spokesman for HPE said she intends to remain at the Palo Alto, California-based technology company.

Windows 10 Preview Build Now Lets Link Your Android Phone to Your PC

Microsoft at its Build conference, a few months back, talked about PCs and phones working together, and the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Build for tablets and PCs brings it to life. The company’s latest Build 16251 for “Fast ring” users bring features that enable linking your Android phone to your PC. This is a follow-up to the company’s previous Apple Continuity-like feature for Windows 10. At Build, Microsoft revealed a brand new feature dubbed Pick up Where I Left Off (PWILO) that Microsoft apps will support out-of-the-box.

The all-new Build 16251 for PC is focused on cross-device web-browsing. Currently, Microsoft is releasing the feature for Android devices only while support for iPhone is expected to arrive soon.

Windows 10 Insider Preview users in “Fast ring” to get started can go to Settings > Phone and link your phone, after installing the new build on the PC. After adding the Android phone to be linked, users will receive an SMS from Microsoft directing to install a test app called Microsoft Apps for Android that completes the link between the phone and PC.

After the phone is linked, users can start browsing the Web on their phones. When a user at a website wants to view on the PC, simply tap on the “Continue on PC” option to invoke the native sharing experience. Once invoked, it will first ask users to sign in with their Microsoft account. The company says that users will have to use the same account they are using on their PC. Next it will ask users if they want to Continue now or Continue later.

Windows 10 Preview Build Now Lets Link Your Android Phone to Your PCIf the former is chosen, the website will open on the linked PC. If the latter option is tapped, the website will show up under Action Center for users to get to later when they’re ready.

Apart from link feature, the new preview build also enhances Cortana’s ability to show Web search results without opening the browser. Microsoft says that for some questions Cortana will expand its pane to show the results. It works with movies, celebrities, stock prices, weather, and flight statuses, to name a few.

“If Cortana doesn’t have a quick answer for your query, the pane won’t automatically expand,” points out Microsoft. Additionally, Microsoft has enabled Cortana voice commands to perform some functions without the need to touch the PC. Currently, Cortana can perform lock, sign-out, shutdown, or turn off the PC. Users will need to use voice command, “Hey Cortana, restart PC” for restarting, and the same format for other functionalities.

Windows Bug Bounty Program Announced With Payouts Up to $250,000

To ensure Windows 10 is secure and bug-free, Microsoft has announced a fresh round of Windows Bounty Programme that will reward the bug finders up to $250,000 (roughly Rs. 1.6 crores) if they are able to discover exploits in Microsoft’s Hyper V virtualisation software. Bounty payouts will range from $500 to $250,000.

Microsoft has been running the bounty programme since 2012 but the company is expanding it to cover more ground in Windows 10 – including all features of the Windows 10 Insider Preview.

According to a blog post on the company’s website late on Wednesday, any critical or important class remote code execution, elevation of privilege or design flaws that compromises a customer’s privacy and security will receive a bounty.

Windows Bug Bounty Program Announced With Payouts Up to $250,000“Security is always changing and we prioritise different types of vulnerabilities at different points in time. Microsoft strongly believes in the value of the bug bounties, and we trust that it serves to enhance our security capabilities,” the blog post read.

The other focus areas include ‘Mitigation Bypass’ (things that break Microsoft’s security sandboxing), ‘Windows Defender Application Guard’, ‘Microsoft Edge’ and ‘Windows Insider Preview’.

“If a researcher reports a qualifying vulnerability already found internally by Microsoft, a payment will be made to the first finder at a maximum of 10 per cent of the highest amount they could’ve received,” the company announced.

Other tech giants like Google, Facebook and Apple have also employed the same tactics to detect bugs and exploits.

AMD Announces India Prices and Availability of Low-Cost Ryzen 3 CPUs

AMD has launched its low-cost Ryzen 3 CPU series, rounding out the mainstream desktop Ryzen lineup for 2017. There are two models, the Ryzen 3 1300X and the Ryzen 3 1200, both of which will be available around the world starting from today. The Ryzen 3 1300X is priced at Rs. 8,899 in India while the Ryzen 3 1200 will cost Rs. 7,599. GST of 18 percent is applicable, which pushes these figures up to roughly Rs. 10,500 and Rs. 8,966 respectively, though street prices can still vary.

The company hopes to use low prices to challenge Intel’s Core i3 series, which dominates the budget PC space. Both Ryzen 3 models have four physical CPU cores whereas Core i3 CPUs have two cores plus HyperThreading to simulate two more. The formula of more cores at lower prices has worked well for AMD at the high end and mid-range with its Ryzen 7 (Review) and Ryzen 5 (Review) lines respectively, where performance differences can be significant. AMD has called this an intentional disruption of the cores-per-dollar equation. However, Ryzen CPUs lack integrated graphics which could still leave the balance in Intel’s favour when total system cost is calculated for budget desktops.

Consistent with the company’s initial Ryzen 3 announcement, the Ryzen 3 1300X has a base speed of 3.5GHz and a boost speed of 3.7GHz, but can use AMD’s XFR technology to go all the way up to 3.9GHz if the thermal envelope allows it. The Ryzen 3 1200X runs at 3.1GHz but can boost itself up to 3.4GHz on demand. The new CPUs are based on the same Zen architecture as their more expensive siblings and use the same basic design, with two cores enabled per core complex and all the same features. Both have 64W TDPs and ship with AMD’s compact Wraith Stealth cooler. Both are also multiplier unlocked and overclockable. Ryzen 3 CPUs will work with the same AM4 platform motherboards as the rest of the mainstream Ryzen lineup.

AMD Announces India Prices and Availability of Low-Cost Ryzen 3 CPUsAMD will also sell eight new A-series and three new Athlon CPUs based on the Bristol Ridge architecture, targeting extremely low-cost PCs. Some of these have already been seen in OEM systems and select markets such as China. Finally, the company announced retail availability of its popular Wraith Max cooler for high-end CPUs, which has so far only been shipped to OEM partners and used for demonstrations. The Wraith Max has an RGB LED ring around its fan, which will work with lighting control systems from all major hardware manufacturers including Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, Biostar and ASRock. The maximum retail price for the Wraith Max in India is Rs. 3,799 plus 18 percent GST (effectively Rs. 4,483).

Later this year, AMD will ship its high-end enthusiast-class 12-core and 16-core Ryzen ThreadripperCPUs and Vega graphics architecture. Mobile Ryzen CPUs with integrated graphics aimed at laptops and ultraportable devices are also expected to be announced shortly.

Windows 10 S Now Available to Test for MSDN Developers

In a new development, Microsoft has now allowed Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers to test its recently announced Windows 10 Soperating system. Announced for schools and education users, this version will enable developers to test their apps and see if they run properly.

This version is available in an ISO file, and MSDN subscribers can easily download it and install it on their systems to run their test. They can also ascertain whether Windows 10 S is suitable for school kids and education-focused areas.

In a bid to take on Google’s Chrome OS, Microsoft launched the Windows 10 S operating system for education in May this year. Windows 10 S is tied to the Windows Store, which means students can only run apps downloaded from the Store. It is built keeping in mind classrooms, which means students won’t be exposed to potentially dangerous apps, while every app is certified by Microsoft to ensure there is no performance drop over time. Several education-focused features will also be found on the Edge browser and Microsoft apps like Office 365 will also see more school-friendly features in the future as well.

Windows 10 S Now Available to Test for MSDN DevelopersNow, developers can also test Windows 10 S, provide feedback, and examine if their apps are compatible with it or not. Of course, you have to be an MSDN subscriber to be eligible to download for now. Not all users yet have the capacity to switch to Windows 10 S if they so wish to, but laptops from Acer and HP offer Windows 10 S starting at $299 (roughly Rs. 19,100). There’s also the Surface Laptop which is priced at a hefty $999 (roughly Rs. 64,000). Notably though, there are cheaper Windows 10 S PCs coming up, with Microsoft partners such as Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung, and Toshiba all making Windows 10 Education PCs available from $189 (roughly Rs. 12,100)

Furthermore, Microsoft is also making the Update Assistant Tool available next week, which will possibly allow all users to download and test Windows 10 S if they wish to.

Microsoft Tests Smart Search in Windows 10’s Photos App, Coming With Fall Creators Update: Report

Microsoft will roll out the Windows 10 Fall Creators Updatethis September, and features that are expected to arrive with the update, are already being tested by Windows 10 Insider Preview members. One such feature spotted lately is intelligent image sorting, which essentially sorts all your photos on OneDrive into faces, things, places, etc, just like Google Photos.

Windows Central reports that this feature was spotted in the updated Photos app in the latest build for the Windows Insider ‘Release Preview’ Ring. The report states that the Photos app is using AI natively to search in Photos app, and not in the cloud, throwing results faster than before. It takes a second per image to search, and keywords like “car”, “phone”, and “beer”, and throw relevant results accordingly. Just like Google Photos, and the recently Photos app on iOS, it also has face detection that will group photos of what the app believes is the same person.

Microsoft Tests Smart Search in Windows 10's Photos App, Coming With Fall Creators Update: ReportMicrosoft is testing this feature with version 2017.35063.13610.0 on the Windows Insider Release Preview Ring. The newly updated Photos app in the beta version now has a search bar on the upper right corner. Searching for keywords based on categories, colours, months, and even faces will throw relevant results, and clicking on the X icon at the end of the search bar will bring you back to all your photos collection once again.

The new Photos app will also have a new feature called Suggested Albums that can be found in the mini-Gallery. It intelligently collects photos of similar themes and makes a slideshow for you see and save as an album if you like what you see. There is an Add to your albums button to save the suggested collection as well. Users testing this feature can also toggle smart search on and off in Settings > Viewing and editing > People, in case they don’t want additional data and space to be eaten up.

Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop With 16GB RAM Launched in India: Price, Specifications

Acer on Monday launched its Nitro 5 gaming laptop with seventh-generation Intel core processors in India at a starting price of Rs. 75,990. The new Acer laptop is already available for purchase in the country from Flipkart as well as Acer Stores. The laptop has been built with the gaming in mind, it features a cooling system that helps keep the laptop’s temperature under control despite providing intense performance, the company said.

The Acer Nitro 5 sports a 15.6-inch full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) IPS display and is available with up to seventh-generation Intel Core i7 processor coupled with 16GB of RAM. In terms of graphics, the laptop comes with either Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 or GeForce 1050Ti GPU with 4GB GDDR5 RAM. Users get up to 128GB SSD paired with 1TB HDD storage.

Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop With 16GB RAM Launched in India: Price, SpecificationsThe Acer Dolby Audio Premium and Acer TrueHarmony features provide “incredible sound depth, wider bass, surround sound and crystal clear clarity to provide immersive experiences for gaming or watching movies,” the company said in its release.

Commenting on the Nitro 5 launch, Chandrahas Panigrahi, CMO and Consumer Business Head at the company said, “We are extremely excited to launch Acer Nitro 5 in India, the device is an unmatched combination of price and features. We thoroughly believe that every aspiring gamer deserves a great gaming device which lets them play advanced games while still be a great choice to do day-to-day tasks, hence, that’s where we thought to introduce Nitro 5 which is incredibly powerful with an unbeatable price.”