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HP Printers Try to Send Data Back to HP

Recently in a form of a blog post, software engineer called Robert Heaton, explored the installation and setup of a regular HP printer. However, during the installation process, he found out some alarming things hidden in the install software. When going through the setup process he found a headline called "Data Collection Notice & Settings" where HP states that it tries to collect and send the data you put through the printer back to HP, for purpose of improving advertisement, customer experience, etc.

The software installation began as any normal install, with a "subscribe to our printer ink replacement program" advertisement at the beginning, which is okay because its the way HP supports customers with required ink after the stock one is used up. What seemed off was, in fact, the aforementioned "Data Collection Notice & Settings" part. Here HP intentionally hides the parts which are very important when choosing what information you plan to send back. Instead of immediately being spotted, the list is hidden so a person who isn't very tech-savvy can easily skim through without noticing the little details, making the person consent with data collection. Additionally, the "feature" is turned on by default, but end users can opt in to disable it.

Intel Debuts Visual Identifier for Project Athena

Intel announced that laptops verified through its innovation program, code-named "Project Athena," will feature the visual identifier "Engineered for Mobile Performance." PC manufacturers and retailers can use the identifier across promotional activities and in-store and online retail environments to draw consumers to the laptops that meet the high standards of the program's target specification and key experience indicators (KEI).

The new identifier can be found for the first time today with the new Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, one of the initial systems verified through Project Athena and now available for U.S. customers to purchase from Dell.com. Over the coming weeks, the identifier will also be visible in marketing efforts for the HP Elitebook 1040 and HP Elitebook 830, which are also among the initial laptops verified through the program. Additional laptops are expected from Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Samsung for the holiday season.

Microsoft Won't Move Production Out of China

Previously, we have reported that major OEMs are looking and exploring for ways of moving production outside of China, into other Asian countries, because of tariffs imposed by US-China trade war and rising labor costs. The original report from Nikkei specifically indicated that Microsoft will move its Xbox and Surface manufacturing to Thailand and Indonesia, while the production in China would stop.

However, Tom's Hardware had a conversation with Microsoft regarding the situation and the outcome was contradictory to the report of Nikkei. Microsoft told Tom's Hardware "that there currently aren't any plans to do so", which means that current manufacturing facilities are there to stay. We still don't know how will the rest of OEMs react or comment, but HP also said to Tom's that it shares industry concerns and will not comment any further to the rumors, adding that tariffs are hurting consumers.

AMD Ryzen 3000U Series APUs Detailed, Geekbenched

AMD is putting final touches on its Ryzen 3000U series APUs for ultra-portable notebooks and 2-in-1 devices. Thai PC enthusiast Tum Apisak shared links to Geekbench scores of at least three SKUs, the Ryzen 3 3200U, the Ryzen 3300U, and the Ryzen 5 3500U. The Ryzen 3 3200U combines a 2-core/4-thread CPU component, while the Ryzen 3 3300U packs a 4-core/4-thread CPU, and the Ryzen 5 3500U a better equipped 4-core/8-thread CPU. While the 3200U's CPU is clocked high at 2.60 GHz, the 3300U and 3500U are both clocked at 2.10 GHz. The iGPU specs are still under the wraps as Geekbench only tested the single- and multi-threaded CPU performance. The 3200U scores 3428 points single-threaded owing to its higher nominal clocks, and around 6500 points multi-threaded. The 3300U scores 9686 points in multi-threaded owing to its additional cores (sans SMT). The 3500U increases the multi-threaded score to over 11280 points multi-threaded, on account of being quad-core with SMT.

There's no clarity on the underlying micro-architecture. While the source mentions the codename of these chips as Picasso, the silicon still appears to be 14 nm "Raven Ridge." Over generation, AMD only appears to have pushed its current parts lower down the product stack. For example, the Ryzen 3 3300U appears to share the same CPU configuration (albeit with 5% higher clock-speeds) as the Ryzen 5 2500U from the current-generation. The Ryzen 5 3500U, on the other hand, appears to have essentially the same (again, marginally speed-bumped) CPU as the Ryzen 7 2700U. HP is ready with notebook and 2-in-1 products based on all three chips, although they're unlikely to launch before year-end. Perhaps CES could be a nice launchpad.

The New HP Spectre x360 Gets Whiskey Lake, But the Real Surprise is Its Webcam Privacy Switch

HP has been trying to differentiate from its competitors in the laptop market for some time now. Certain features and design decisions could be considered not that new (or good at all), but results speak for themselves with the new HP Spectre x360. This year's 2 in 1 laptop features a new angular design that affects the borders of the laptop, but also two of its corners which are now chamfered. The effect is not only intriguing but has also a practical side: that chamfered corners have been used to put there the power button and a USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) connector.

Inside we can find the new Intel Whiskey Lake processors (Core i5-8265U and Core i7-8565U), up to 16 GB of RAM and up to 512 GB of storage on a M.2 NVMe SSD. Those CPUs allow to get more performance than previous models, but they also help on the battery life side: HP claims the 13.3-inch model can get up to 22.5 hours, a quite optimistic promise that we are anxious to prove right. The 15.6-inch model has the option to get a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max Q and there is also a LTE enabled variant of this laptop, but the interesting part comes on the privacy and security features.

More Buyers for AMD Due to Intel CPU Shortages, OEMs Unhappy

Intel is hit by crippling inventory shortages for many of its fast-selling 8th generation Core desktop processor SKUs. A number of factors are contributing to these shortages, as we discussed in this article. A key short-term consequence of shortages in Intel's inventories is more uninitiated buyers discovering AMD processors, now that they've achieved the highest levels of competitiveness against Intel in over a decade. Stock market analyst firm Jefferies has raised AMD's outlook for Q4-2018, and projects that its $30 stock price could hit $36, by raising its target price.

OEMs are not happy with Intel. Haphazard roadmap and platform changes have forced them to revise their product designs way too frequently, and now they're faced with the prospect of a short-supply. A report from research firm Fubon predicts that by next year, 1 in every 3 personal computers sold by HP (Hewlett Packard) will run an AMD processor. "Fubon's report that Intel will undersupply the PC market between 4Q18 and 2Q19 leaves us with higher conviction that AMD will report improving revenue, pricing and margins near term, and that is positioned to take share in the high end PC MPU and server market long term," said stock market analyst Mark Lipacis. He predicts that AMD's CPU market-share climbing to 30% through next year (a very huge feat for AMD).

Wishful Thinking, Disingenious Marketing: Intel's Optane Being Marketed as DRAM Memory

Intel's Optane products, based on the joint venture with Micron, have been hailed as the next step in memory technology - delivering, according to Intel's own pre-launch slides, a mid-tier, al-dente point between DRAM's performance and NAND's density and pricing. Intel even demoed their most avant-garde product in recent times (arguably, of course) - the 3D XPoint DIMM SSD. Essentially, a new storage contraption that would occupy vacant DIMM channels, delivering yet another tier of storage up for grabs for speed and space-hungry applications - accelerating workloads that would otherwise become constrained by the SATA or even NVMe protocol towards NAND drives.

Of course, that product was a way off; and that product still hasn't come to light. The marriage of Optane's density and speed with a users' DRAM subsystem is just wishful thinking at best, and the dreams of pairing DRAM and 3D Xpoint in the same memory subsystem and extracting the best of both worlds remains, well... A figment of the imagination. But not according to some retailers' websites, though. Apparently, the usage of Intel's Optane products as DRAM memory has already surfaced for some vendors - Dell and HP included. How strange, then, that this didn't come out with adequate pomp and circumstance.

HP Launches New ProBook x360 440 G1 Laptop

Today, HP is introducing the new HP ProBook x360 440 G1 laptop PC designed to adapt to the way growing businesses and on-the-go professionals work. Business owners and mobile professionals want a powerful convertible PC that delivers the business performance features required to help address their company needs - both in and outside the office. These are users with passion for business that need a versatile device which combines style, powerful processing, and "built for business" features to deliver enhanced business experiences that typically cannot be achieved with a consumer PC.

Powered by Windows 10 and high-performance 8th Gen Intel Core processors, the ultra-slim ProBook x360 440 delivers the power, security, and durability growing businesses demand in a versatile 360° design. Users can quickly turn thoughts into action with the optional HP Active Pen, and easily transition to desktop productivity with a single cable that supports docking via USB-C .

HP Launches New OMEN 15 Laptop and Gaming Accessories

Today at the HP Gaming Festival in Beijing, OMEN unveiled a bold new lineup of gaming innovations, including a much smaller, more powerful OMEN 15 laptop, expanded functionality of OMEN Command Center software with OMEN Game Stream, and a range of professional-grade gaming accessories that includes the world's first gaming headset with active earcup cooling technology.

Gaming is one of the world's fastest growing PC categories and has become a billion-dollar business for HP. Since launching in 2016, OMEN has grown to become a powerful gaming brand known for delivering beastly performance, smart software, stunning displays and an expanding lineup of must-have accessories ready for play at the highest levels in esports.

HP Accelerates Innovation with Stunning Lineup of Premium PCs

HP Inc. today unveiled a bold new lineup of premium notebooks, desktops and displays designed to empower wherever work and life takes you. The latest HP Elite 1000 and HP ENVY portfolios feature visually stunning design, powerful performance and maximum versatility to securely connect, create and collaborate from anywhere, anytime.

With 81 percent of people working during their personal time and more than half multi-tasking personal activities at work, C Space Primary Proprietary Research with online communities, 2015 , using a device that can straddle the realities of each environment is more important than ever. HP's new premium lineup includes various form factors that meet an individual's personal style and specific computing needs.

HP Announces New EliteBook 705 Series and HP ProBook 645 G4

HP has introduced the new HP EliteBook 705 series PCs and HP ProBook 645 G4. Designed for the modern professional on the go, the new HP EliteBook 705 series PCs offer enterprise-grade security and manageability, along with powerful collaboration features to keep business users connected. Powered by Windows 10 Pro and AMD Ryzen PRO Mobile Processors, users can stay productive all-day with long battery life and HP Fast Charge to charge 50 percent of your battery in just 30 minutes.

HP Thin Client Innovation Fuels the Future of Cloud-Based Computing

HP Inc. today introduced a new class of thin clients that will enable the next generation of virtualized computing and cloud-first application adoption across industries. The latest HP Thin Client innovations set new standards for customers seeking modern design, robust security, ease of management and attractive value. Spending on Cloud IT infrastructure is expected to have double digit growth and surpass spending on non-cloud IT infrastructure by 2022, according to IDC.

"As the cloud continues to reshape the way information is created, maintained and shared, HP Thin Client devices are delivering modern workflows with superior security and low-touch maintenance," said Joanne Bugos, vice president and general manager, Thin Clients, HP Inc. "Our newest thin client solutions provide customers with a convenient and secure option to deploy both virtual and cloud-based computing environments while delivering a great user experience, stylish design, and the versatility needed to support today's workforce both in and out of the office."

Dell and HP Not Interested in Jumping on the NVIDIA GPP Bandwagon

Our colleague Kyle Bennett from HardOCP has spoken with his trusted industry sources and found out that big names like Dell and HP haven't penned the deal with NVIDIA to join the GeForce Partner Program (GPP). HP recently introduced their updated Pavilion Gaming lineup with both AMD and NVIDIA graphics card options, which goes to show that the computer giant hasn't aligned its gaming brand exclusively with NVIDIA. On the other hand, their Omen Gaming boxes weren't available with AMD graphics cards, which Kyle has noted could be a product of a supply issue. In other news, NVIDIA hasn't been able to convince Lenovo, one of the big three OEMs, to join their cause either. Lenovo Legion gaming products were still listed on their website with graphics cards from the red team. HardOCP has reached out to NVIDIA once again to inquire about which brands have comitted to GPP, but they were met with silence.

While brands like ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI are siding with NVIDIA, Dell and HP are the real big players in the game. No other manufacturer comes close to purchasing and moving the amount of mid-end and low-end graphics cards from NVIDIA like those two do. It doesn't really come as a surprise why NVIDIA wants them to jump onboard so desperately. Kyle's behind-the-scene conversations with this sources suggest that neither Dell or HP will NVIDIA twist their arms as they consider GPP to be unethical and illegal.

HP Brings Powerful PC Gaming Experiences to the Masses with New Pavilion Gaming Lineup

HP Inc. today introduced HP Pavilion Gaming, a new lineup of notebooks, desktops and displays designed to meet the needs of mainstream gamers. The HP Pavilion Gaming lineup provides the ultimate combination of powerful gaming experiences, value and versatility for everyday use. Gaming is one of the fastest growing PC segments, with more than 1 billion gamers worldwide. Mainstream gamers represent 62 percent of this growing market. While HP's OMEN line is built for performance and enthusiasts gamers, the new HP Pavilion Portfolio is designed to meet the diverse needs of more casual users, who often want a single device to meet all their PC needs.

"By listening to gamers and understanding their needs, HP is building an industry-leading gaming ecosystem that appeals to all segments of the market, "said Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager of consumer personal systems, HP Inc. "With HP Pavilion Gaming, casual gamers get the best of both worlds - powerful game play on a boldly designed device that's versatile enough to meet their everyday PC needs."

HP Revamps Pavilion PCs with Premium Features and Design

HP, Inc. today introduced its next generation Pavilion portfolio, infusing premium features and expressive designs into its convertible, notebook and desktop PCs. The latest Pavilion lineup includes refined materials and finishes, thin bezels, and stepped-up performance options that enhance the customer experience. It will debut this weekend at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, where festival-goers will use the power of Pavilion to create unique experiences at the intersection of art and music.

"Pavilion excels at delivering amazing customer experiences at exceptional value. Our new lineup, featuring the sleekest, thinnest and most powerful Pavilion devices ever designed, raises the bar and inspires new ways to create, connect and share," said Kevin Frost vice president and general manager of consumer personal systems, HP Inc. "Coachella is synonymous with creative expression and amazing experiences, making it the perfect venue to launch our new Pavilion line and enhance the event though technology."

HP Introduces the World's First Chromebook Detachable

HP, Inc. today unveiled the world's first Chromebook detachable packing all the productivity benefits of Chrome OS and popularity of Android into a sleek, versatile, powerful, and secure device. Chromebooks are one of the fastest-growing segments of the PC category, growing more than 50% over the past two years. HP is focused on delivering and evolving its Chromebook portfolio to meet this growing demand to have access to the Google ecosystem on exciting, flexible form factors.

"The HP Chromebook x2 hits a trifecta for customers, combining the productivity of the Chrome OS and power of the world's most-used app platform into a versatile form factor ideal for experiencing all the Google ecosystem has to offer," said Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager, consumer personal systems, HP Inc. "As the world's first Chromebook detachable, it will unlock new ways for people to create, collaborate and consume within Chrome and the Google Play Store."

HP Unveils Fifth-Generation HP ZBook Mobile Workstations

HP Inc. today unveiled a range of new, fifth-generation HP ZBook Mobile Workstations designed for creative and technical professionals, executives and students who demand high-performance computing and premium experiences. The new lineup features cutting-edge design, innovative collaboration tools and superb security features to help elevate the creative process.

"Today's mobile users are looking for premium products with outstanding performance, differentiated design, resilient security and practical collaboration tools to create anytime, anywhere, without limits," said Xavier Garcia, vice president and general manager, HP Z Workstations, HP Inc. "Whether it's the game-changing design of the world's most powerful convertible PC, the world's most powerful mobile workstation or the world's most secure mobile workstations, HP is delivering the products that creative and technical workers crave."

HP Delivers the World's Thinnest Business and Mobile Workstation Devices

HP Inc. today unveiled a range of new devices, displays and accessories designed for the modern workforce, including the rollout of several award-winning premium features to the best-selling HP EliteBook 800 series and HP ZBook 14u/15u mobile workstations. As the world's most secure and manageable PCs and mobile workstations, these devices - along with the all-new HP Thunderbolt Dock G2 and expanded portfolio of four new HP 4K displays - will bring powerful innovation and premium experiences into the mainstream workforce.

"The game has changed and standard issued corporate devices of the past no longer meet the needs of the workforce of the future, particularly among Gen X to Gen Z professionals," said Alex Cho, vice president and general manager, Commercial PCs, HP Inc. "Our latest EliteBook and ZBook offerings set new standards for design, performance, and functionality. Whether it's the world's thinnest devices or the industry's most robust security features, HP is redefining the commercial PC experience for the modern workforce."

HP Releases First 4K EliteDisplay, Multiple 4K Monitors

HP today announced immediate availability of some monitors specifically geared for the professional - or at least pixel-conscious - crowd. The EliteDisplay S270n monitor features a 4K, IPS, 27" diagonal, 350 cd/m² brightness, 1300:1 static contrast ratio panel with 14 ms gray to gray response times. Display input duties can be allocated towards 1x DisplayPort 1.2 or 2x HDMI inputs (1.4 and 2.0). Additionally, there's 1x USB Type-C supporting Displayport 1.2 which is able to deliver up to 60 W of power to a connected device.

The other three models HP has announced today sport the Z27, Z32 and Z43 monikers, which directly reference the diagonal size of the monitors. The feature set is practically the same across all three of these models; they offer the same 4K UHD resolution and IPS based panels. 350 cd/m² remains as the peak brightness value, as well as a 1300:1 static contrast ratio, but the response time is improved on the 27" and 42" models to 8 ms gray to gray (the 31-inch model is at 14 ms, just like the EliteDisplay). The HP Z27, Z32 and Z43 all support 1x USB Type-C which supports DisplayPort 1.2 and can send up to 65W of power to the connected device. Display outputs are the same across these monitors (1x DisplayPort 1.2, 1x Mini-DisplayPort 1.2, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x USB Type-C, but the Z27 and Z32 pats only carry three additional USB 3.0 ports, while the Z43 ups that number to 5x. All monitors are available now, with pricing being set at $549 for the EliteDisplay S270, while the Z27, Z32, and Z43 are priced at $559, $899, and $799 respectively.

HP Announces New Z4 Workstation, VR Products, and Services

At SOLIDWORKS World, HP today announced it will power its bestselling performance workstation, the HP Z4, with a choice of Intel Xeon or Core X processors and support dual extreme graphics. HP's latest technology was showcased at SOLIDWORKS World, where it also unveiled its low-cost, full-color 3D printers -- highlighting the company's comprehensive end-to-end solutions for product developers.

"The revamped Z4 workstation, along with our latest HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset and new customer-friendly VR solutions and services, will transform the way products across industries are developed," said Xavier Garcia, vice president and general manager, Z Workstations, HP Inc. "Over the past year, HP has launched the world's most powerful workstation, the most powerful detachable PC and the first-ever professional VR backpack. Today's news reflects our focus on continuously raising the bar with a portfolio of workstations and VR capabilities that will enable amazing new experiences and define the future of computing."

HP Omen X 65 Big Format Gaming Display (BFGD) Pictured

NVIDIA this CES is pushing for a new large-format PC display standard called "Big Format Gaming Display" (BFGD). This is a glorified 4K-HDR living room TV (40-inch and above) that's been tweaked for gaming desktops with G-SYNC-HDR hardware, an NVIDIA Shield in place of the TV's in-built Android-based "Smart TV" OS, and 110-ish ppi pixel-density of conventional monitors, so no software-based HiDPI scaling is necessary. The logic behind BFGD is either more desktop immersion, or better quality living-room gaming.

HP showed off the HP Omen X 65, a massive 65-inch television monitor with 4K Ultra HD resolution, support for HDR10 (1,000 nits brightness), 120 Hz maximum refresh-rate, support for NVIDIA G-SYNC HDR, and an in-built NVIDIA Shield, which you can use for on-demand content, game-streaming from your main gaming rig in another room, or even casual gaming from the Shield library. Somebody forgot to pack its power-brick. Thankfully, any ATX PSU can put out 12 VDC, and the booth staff improvised. Since NVIDIA is targeting this device at serious gamers, expect the Omen X 65 to cost a pretty penny more than that 65-inch 4K HDR TV you probably bought last Black Friday.

HP Unveils the Narrow Bezel HP t310 G2 All-in-One Zero Client

HP announced its first narrow bezel HP t310 G2 All-in-One Zero Client with seamless visuals, improved ergonomics and maximum data security. Powered by Teradici and compatible with VMware and Amazon virtual workspace environments, the HP t310 G2 AiO Zero Client allows customers to take their work to new heights with the design and performance they want, and the security they need.

With a virtually borderless full HD display, customers can enjoy an impressive visual experience with one or more monitors to create a seamless and aesthetically beautiful workspace. The comfort designed stand can be adjusted up, down, tilted, swiveled or rotated to support landscape and portrait mode, so customers can customize their workspace to meet their unique needs.

Intel Announces 8th Gen Core i7 Processor with Radeon Vega M Graphics

Today, Intel is launching a first-of-its kind processor: the 8th Gen Intel Core processor with Radeon RX Vega M Graphics. Packed with features and performance crafted for gamers, content creators and fans of virtual and mixed reality, it expands Intel's portfolio thanks to its optimization for small form factors like 2 in 1s, thin and light notebooks, and mini PCs.

Among the devices launching with this processor: new thin and lightweight 2 in 1s from Dell and HP as well as the most powerful NUC Intel has ever introduced. The new 8th Gen Intel Core processor will come in two configurations:
  • 8th Gen Intel Core processor with Radeon RX Vega M GL Graphics (65W total package power)
  • 8th Gen Intel Core processor with Radeon RX Vega M GH Graphics (100W total package power), which features an unlocked configuration

Microsoft Discounts Mixed Reality HMDs by up to $200 Today Only

As part of Microsoft's "12 Days of Deals" push towards achieving more and better sales of Microsoft-branded products, the company has pushed a pretty hefty discount for its MR HMDs mere months after their release. The discounts see the Acer Windows Mixed Reality, Dell Visor, HP, and Lenovo Explorer take price-cuts of $200 over the base price, while Samsung's Odyssey HMD sees a much more level $50 price-cut.

With a move so close to holiday season and in the wake of steep discounts from Virtual Reality headset makers Oculus and HTC, Microsoft is pushing as hard as it can towards shipping enough units to build a new VR ecosystem. Consumers are the ones that stand to gain the most here, however. Though if you want to get your hand son one of these, be fast: the Acer and Dell options are already sold out, and the others' supply might also be inferior to the demand. So go there, and grab them while they're hot.

HP Laptops Shipped with Hidden Keylogger

Michael Myng, more commonly known as ZwClose, was approached by a friend to look into the possibility of controlling the keyboard's backlighting on his HP laptop. Michael was down for the challenge, and his friend sent the Synaptics SynTP.sys file over to him. After analyzing the keyboard driver, he found the sleeping keylogger. The logging function is disabled by default. However, intruders can enable it easily by modifying the registry value through malicious code. Michael reported the issue to HP, and the company released a list of the affected laptop models along with a security patch. The list contains over 400 models from HP's most popular product lines like the EliteBook, ProBook, ZBook, Spectre Pro, ENVY, Pavilion, OMEN - just mention a few. Now that the vulnerability is public, we urge HP laptop owners to install the security patch ASAP. The fix is also available on Windows Update if that's your preferred method.
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