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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.

HP ENVY x2 Pushes the Boundaries of Mobile Computing

HP Inc. today unveiled the HP ENVY x2, an Always Connected PC that combines the best of a smartphone experience with the best of a Windows PC. Impossibly thin and incredibly durable, the HP ENVY x2 offers lightning fast 4G LTE and Wi-Fi and features the world's longest battery life in a Windows detachable. The striking HP ENVY x2 utilizes the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC platform, giving users the freedom to be mobile with instant-on access to applications. With up to 20 hours of battery life, the detachable PC is built to enhance video streaming for binge-watching and provides flexibility and connectivity to perform daily tasks while on the go.

"A growing number of consumers are looking for more reliable connectivity throughout their days, and they are twice as likely to purchase a PC when it comes with built-in 4G LTE," said Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager, consumer personal systems, HP, Inc. "The HP ENVY x2, with the world's longest battery life in a Windows detachable PC, delivers the next generation of Always Connected PCs by providing a seamless experience anywhere life takes you."

Microsoft Launches Windows 10 for ARM, Always Connected PCs

After the debacle that was Microsoft's last attempt at integrating its Windows OS with ARM in Windows RT, the company has now announced that products based on its new ARM approach are almost ready to come to fruition. The previous Windows RT failed, for the most part, because of its closed-wall ecosystem, where the only apps available for the platform were those being distributed on Microsoft's Store - which led to an overwhelming lack of good-quality apps that users were used to seeing in their laptops or desktop replacements. With Windows 10 for ARM and Always Connected PCs, that comes to an end, due in large part to Microsoft's apparent passion: emulators.

The new Windows 10 for ARM will enable ARM-powered systems (with CPUs such as Qualcomm's own Snapdragon 835) to run most x86 applications through the usage of a just-in-time philosophy. This means that any emulation will be run seamlessly through conversion of x86 code to equivalent blocks of ARM code. This conversion is cached both in memory (so that after the initial run, the emulated code is available right away) and on disk (which will likely work much like hybrid HDDs do, using their meager SSD cache to store the most frequently accessed programs). System libraries, however, are all native ARM code, including the libraries loaded by x86 programs. These are being called "chippie", as in (you didn't guess it) "Compiled Hybrid Portable Executables": native ARM code, compiled in such a way as to let them respond to x86 function calls.

AMD EPYC 7601 Processors Set Two New World Records on SPEC CPU Benchmarks

​AMD today announced that the new Hewlett Packard Enterprise ProLiant DL385 Gen10 server, powered by AMD EPYC processors set world records in both SPECrate2017_fp_base and SPECfp_rate2006. The secure and flexible 2P 2U HPE ProLiant DL385 Gen10 Server joins the HPE Cloudline CL3150 server in featuring AMD EPYC processors. With designs ranging from 8-core to 32-core, AMD EPYC delivers industry-leading memory bandwidth across the HPE line-up, with eight channels of memory and unprecedented support for integrated, high-speed I/O with 128 lanes of PCIe 3 on every EPYC processor.

"HPE is joining with AMD today to extend the world's most secure industry standard server portfolio to include the AMD EPYC processor. We now give customers another option to optimize performance and security for today's virtualized workloads," said Justin Hotard, vice president and GM, Volume Global Business Unit, HPE. "The HPE ProLiant DL385 featuring the AMD EPYC processor is the result of a long-standing technology engagement with AMD and a shared belief in continuing innovation."

HP and Intel Become Official Overwatch League Sponsors

Tech leaders HP Inc. and Intel today joined forces with Blizzard Entertainment in major Overwatch League sponsorship deals that represent an extended investment in the groundbreaking professional league. As part of the multiyear agreements, Intel will sponsor future Overwatch competitive events in addition to the Overwatch League. Players taking part in these events will be equipped with cutting-edge gaming hardware from both HP and Intel. HP, and more specifically, its OMEN by HP gaming PCs and displays will be used exclusively for Overwatch League games, with PCs powered by Intel Core i7 processors.

"We're thrilled to be joining forces with HP and Intel to ensure that the teams competing professionally in Overwatch are equipped with top-end technology," said Pete Vlastelica, president & CEO of Blizzard Entertainment's Major League Gaming division. "Multiyear collaborations such as this illustrate the momentum behind the Overwatch League as well as a long-term commitment by us and our partners in what we see as the future of esports."

HP Buys Out Samsung Printer Business for $1.05 Billion

HP Inc., the world leader in printing, today announced the completion of its acquisition of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.'s printer business in a deal valued at $1.05 billion.

A3 represents HP's largest growth opportunity in business printing. The combination with Samsung expands HP's portfolio, accelerates its ability to disrupt the $55B A3 copier segment with superior multifunction printing technology, and strengthens its leading A4 laser printing business. Samsung also brings compelling intellectual property of more than 6,500 print patents and a world-class workforce of nearly 1,300 researchers and engineers with expertise in laser technology, imaging electronics and supplies and accessories.

HP Launches New 24-inch DesignJet T830 Multifunction Printer

HP Inc. today announced the new HP DesignJet T830 24-Inch Multifunction Printer, an ultra-compact, versatile large format printing solution for architects, engineers and construction teams to seamlessly collaborate onsite and across sites by printing, copying, scanning and sharing plans with a single device. The 24-inch T830 printer joins the HP DesignJet T830 Multifunction Printer Series creating a portfolio that can handle any size project, yet offering the same HP DesignJet quality and reliability in what is now the most compact MFP device available in the market.

"HP multifunction printers open new ways to help professional teams communicate and collaborate using a single device. Our customers are increasingly demanding solutions that enable them to share easily, including agile transitions from digital to hard copy and back," said Guayente Sanmartín, General Manager and Global Head, HP Large Format Design Printing, HP Inc. " It's amazing to bring the most advanced HP printing technologies to support the teamwork of architects and engineers designing and building the future."

Been There, Done That: HP New Firmware Update Locks Non-Original Ink Cartridges

HP has gone and done it once again: they've re-issued a firmware update that locks printing for users who make use of non-original HP ink cartridges. This move by the company isn't new; in September 2016, they did just that, through a seemingly dormant "time bomb" implemented in new printers' firmware that stopped their operation should a non-original ink cartridge be detected. Businesses who were looking to save some money on expendables that are usually more expensive than liquid gold and who had started using non-original ink cartridges for their printers saw their activities on hold - and that likely costed them more than original cartridges ever would.

Later on, in October 2016, and facing considerable backlash due to its actions, HP reversed the built-in firmware lock with a software update that forced users to look up the appropriate software manually on HP's website and then install it on their printers. Original cartridge authentication is done through an original HP security chip, which is checked against security systems embedded on the printer so as to confirm the cartridge's authenticity. The company itself admitted that "A cloned product with an original HP security chip will work," and that "HP's dynamic security recognizes refilled and remanufactured supplies that contain the original HP security chip." HP apologized, at the time, for what it called "miscommunication" on their part. Their apology, however, has been thrown at the weeds by now; we here at TPU did say that users should "(...) remain wary of any eventual future update that might break non-original cartridge compatibility - again."

HP Announces the Omen X Gaming Laptop - Built for Overclocking

HP has announced the first Omen X laptop for the consumer market, and this is one laptop that HP hopes is enough to rule them all. Omen is HP's high-performance gaming brand, and the Omen X brings with it true desktop replaceability pedigree to justify that target audience. Most important: the Omen X laptop allows for overclocking, due to a cleverly designed vapor-chamber and high-powered fans cooling methodology. It allows users to overclock their unlocked i7 processor, alongside the DDR4 memory and GTX 1080 graphics card - and a translucent window lets you take a peek under the hood. A single removable panel offers access to the RAM, storage and other user-replaceable parts. A mechanical keyboard with programmable macros ensures perfect responsiveness and customizability, sporting per-key RGB lighting.

Exascale Supercomputer Technology Buoyed by $258M Grant by US Dept. of Energy

Developing supercomputers isn't for the faint of heart. Much less it is for those that are looking for fast development and deployment time-frames. And as such, even as the world's supercomputers are getting increasingly faster and exorbitantly expensive to develop and deploy, players who want to stay ahead have to think ahead as well. To this end, the US Department of Energy has awarded a total of $258M in research contracts to six of the US's foremost tech companies to accelerate the development of Exascale Supercomputer technologies (AMD, Cray, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Intel, and NVIDIA.) These companies will be working over a three year contract period, and will have to support at least 40% of the project cost - to help develop the technologies needed to build an exascale computer for 2021. It isn't strange that the companies accepted the grant and jumped at the opportunity: 60% savings in research and development they'd have to do for themselves is nothing to scoff at.

Supercomputers birthed from the project are expected to be in the exaFLOPS scale of computing performance, which is around 50 times more processing power than the generation of supercomputers being installed now. Since traditional supercomputing knowledge and materials are known to falter at the objective level of exaFLOPS performance, the PathForward program - which looks to ensure achievement of such systems in a timely fashion to ensure US leadership in the field of supercomputing - will need to see spurred research and development, which the $258M grant is looking out to do.

HP Announces a New Line of OMEN Gaming PCs

Today, 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.

The OMEN X Compact Desktop provides a factory-overclocked GPU from NVIDIA and a versatile form-factor, creating the ability to dock and undock quickly for gaming in any room, or attach the desktop to a backpack accessory for an unparalleled, untethered VR experience. The addition of a backpack accessory to the OMEN X Compact Desktop adds a new dimension of flexibility to the platform, and by expanding the OMEN accessory lineup with a new OMEN mechanical keyboard, a mouse with weight customization, a headset with cushioned ear cups to reduce background noise and mousepads designed for precision, HP is bringing attention to every aspect of the gaming experience.

Microsoft to Launch First-Party Titles for Its Mixed Reality HMDs?

Microsoft has been slowly building up its mixed reality endeavor, by baking in support for the platform in its latest Windows 10 updates, as well as the recent announcements of actual HMDs from hardware partners like HP and Acer. Acer's solution, their Mixed Reality HMD, will ship to developers and customers with a $400 price-tag for both the headset and a pair of 6 DoF controllers, which easily remind users of HTC's Vive and Oculus's Rift controllers. Microsoft's implementation, however, makes away with the Rift's and Vive's ouside-in trackers, only needing to be within "sight" of the sensors on the front of the HMD to which they're connected, thus making them truly world-scale (if at the expense of some sweet swordplay moves, but I digress.)

HP Unleashes the World's Most Secure Mobile Workstations for Digital Reinventors

HP Inc. today announced its most secure and manageable HP ZBook Mobile Workstations to-date. The new solutions-packed devices include award-winning display technology, 3D graphics and server-grade processing power -- all in a compact, mobile design. With its new workstation line up, HP continues to offer world-class innovation to power filmmakers, designers, artists, explorers and other visionary thinkers.

"As a longtime partner to the creative industry, Z Workstations have earned their position as the ultimate innovative and reliable technology for creators," said Josh Peterson, vice president of product management for Z Workstations. "Our fourth generation ZBook Mobile Workstations are the most secure and manageable mobile workstations in the industry. By protecting the intellectual property of digital creators everywhere, HP enables the creative industry to focus on bringing their best work to-life without the worry of IP theft or breaches."

HP Announces New DreamColor Series Displays

Today at NAB, HP Inc. announced a true Cinema 4K display, arming color professionals with new features, like color-critical accuracy and automatic calibration, to produce the films and animations of tomorrow. Designed in collaboration with top visual effects and animation studios, the new HP DreamColor Z31x Studio and HP DreamColor Z24x G2 displays are enabling artists, photographers and filmmakers to do what they do best -- create -- without having to worry about lackluster display performance.

"From the purest black to the most vivid rainbow of colors, our new DreamColor display for Cinema sets the gold standard for color accuracy and ease-of-use at a disruptive price point to outshine the competition," said Josh Peterson, vice president of product management for Z Workstations. "The new DreamColor Z Displays will be a gamechanger for studios and digital creatives who rely on color-critical accuracy and extreme performance."
An early pioneer in the color-critical display market, HP DreamColor Displays, for PCs and Mac computers, have been an integral technology for major movie production and visual effects studios around the world. Since 2011, 80 percent of Academy Award Nominees for Visual Effects have used HP DreamColor displays. In 2015, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored the HP DreamColor Display and its developers with the Scientific and Engineering Award.

Microsoft Distances Itself from Intel - Announces ARM Cloud Server Platform

Microsoft is looking to reduce costs in its Azure cloud computing platforms for tasks like search, storage, machine learning and big data. And after having developed a version of Windows for servers that use ARM processors, in a joint work with Qualcomm and Cavium, Microsoft seems to also be looking forward to leave its dependency on Intel products as nothing but a memory. Microsoft's ARM server design, dubbed Project Olympus, looks to hardware innovations so as to reduce costs, boosting competitiveness and flexibility in regards to other big players in the cloud space, like Amazon and Alphabet. That the design is open source is also a boon to other businesses and Microsoft partners.


Though the design isn't "deployed into production yet (...) that is the next logical step," said Jason Zander, vice president of Microsoft's Azure cloud division. "This is a significant commitment on behalf of Microsoft. We wouldn't even bring something (...) if we didn't think this was a committed project and something that's part of our roadmap."

HP Launches Omen X Curved Gaming Monitor With G-Sync Support

After announcing an entire Omen line of products last year, HP took to CES 2017 to announce the availability date of one such previously-announced products: the Omen X Curved Gaming Monitor. It's a beautifully achieved, 35" Wide QHD display with 100Hz refresh rate and a 4ms response time. The display's bezel measures under 6.87mm on the top and the sides (which should prove nearly invisible), and further complementing the immersive gaming experience is the 1800R curvature; this means the distance from someone's eyes to any point of the monitor should be equal, if they are positioned correctly.

HP Announces the Z2 Mini Workstation

Today at Autodesk University, HP Inc. unveiled the world's first mini workstation designed for users in CAD and other compute-intensive industries. The stylish, new HP Z2 Mini Workstation delivers breakthrough power and versatility and at only 2.3" high is 90% smaller than a traditional business-class tower. With this new offering, HP is positioned to extend its workstation leadership by delivering a new category of workstation that offers superb performance, elegance and efficiency.

HP Z Workstation products have become the industry standard for customers demanding a full performance workstation. Building off the success of the HP Z240 SFF, the HP Z2 Mini Workstation is twice as powerful as any commercial mini PC on the market today and has the ability to support six displays right out of the box. The HP Z2 Mini was designed for the millions of CAD users demanding smaller hardware without compromising acoustics and performance and mission-critical reliability.

HP Firmware Update Reverses Non-Original Ink Lock

With the cost of original printer ink sometimes being more expensive than equivalent amounts of rare metals - just consider that the average $35 ink cartridge holds between 10 to 20 milliliters of liquid - it isn't uncommon for users to resort to non-original alternatives, which sometimes cost less than half of their counterparts.

After last September's rollout of a firmware update that effectively impeded the use of non-original ink cartridges on their Officejet line of printers - to considerable user outcry - HP has now issued another firmware update which effectively reverses the previously imposed lock. Ironically, while the firmware update that imposed the lock was automatically installed on user's systems, the same isn't the case with this reversal, with users having to download and install the appropriate firmware by themselves.

In a blog post entitled "Dedicated to the best printing experience", the company goes on to say that it reserves itself the right to use security features which "protect our IP including authentication methods that may prevent some third-party supplies from working."

Industry Leaders Join Forces to Promote New High-Performance Interconnect

A group of leading technology companies today announced the Gen-Z Consortium, an industry alliance working to create and commercialize a new scalable computing interconnect and protocol. This flexible, high-performance memory semantic fabric provides a peer-to-peer interconnect that easily accesses large volumes of data while lowering costs and avoiding today's bottlenecks. The alliance members include AMD, ARM, Cavium Inc., Cray, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Huawei, IBM, IDT, Lenovo, Mellanox Technologies, Micron, Microsemi, Red Hat, Samsung, Seagate, SK hynix, Western Digital Corporation, and Xilinx.

Modern computer systems have been built around the assumption that storage is slow, persistent and reliable, while data in memory is fast but volatile. As new storage class memory technologies emerge that drive the convergence of storage and memory attributes, the programmatic and architectural assumptions that have worked in the past are no longer optimal. The challenges associated with explosive data growth, real-time application demands, the emergence of low latency storage class memory, and demand for rack scale resource pools require a new approach to data access.

HP Inc. Innovates Its Premium Consumer Portfolio for Holiday

HP Inc. today unveiled its latest generation premium consumer PC line-up for the 2016 holidays. The next generation portfolio features a thinner and lighter convertible with better battery life for portability and a beautifully designed all-in-one to bring amazing sound experiences into the home.

"Premium customers have high expectations around device performance and quality for consuming media and productivity whether at home, work or on the go," said Kevin Frost, vice president and general manager, consumer personal systems, HP Inc. "We are strengthening our leadership in premium with our redesigned PC portfolio to deliver big power in thin and light designs to be even more portable and revolutionize our all-in-one to bring amazing sound into the home."

AMD Announces the 7th Generation AMD PRO Processors

AMD at the Canalys Channels Forum announced the first PCs featuring 7th Generation AMD PRO APUs (formerly codenamed "Bristol Ridge PRO"). Built for business, AMD PRO APUs deliver increased computing and graphics performance, improved energy efficiency, while providing a secure and stable platform to protect customers' IT investments.

"In the past two years we made incredible progresses in the commercial client segment. Since its inception in mid-2014, AMD PRO processor unit shipments increased more than 45 percent enabling businesses all over the world to simplify IT with secure, high performance, reliable solutions" said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Computing and Graphics Business, AMD. "We are thrilled to have PC market leaders like HP and Lenovo expanding their use of AMD technology in their business client portfolios."
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