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Aug 8, 2014

Dell Alienware 13 Is the Company’s Thinnest and Lightest Yet, Arrives in November

Dell Alienware lineup is dedicated to producing laptop and desktop computers aimed at gamers with a focus on hardware and performance, rather than style.

But since the gaming market has been pushing towards slimmer and lighter gaming notebooks, Dell is seemingly forced to take into consideration this scenario itself. The company has ignored the slimmer form factors until now and has chosen to discontinue its smallest gaming laptop, the Alienware M11x more than two years ago. However, the company will soon jump back in the saddle of the sleek and slim, with the Alienware 13 which is a tight laptop coming at 4.5 lbs / 2.04 and equipped with NVIDIA graphics (as seen at Engadget). The machine will be ready to be pushed out starting this November. So you’ll have to wait a few months before seeing the 13.3-inch model in its entire splendor arrive on the market. Dell will be given customers the choice between the more standard 1366 x 768 pixel resolution and more advanced once like 1920 x 1080 pixels or 2560 x 1440. The model with the highest resolution will also come equipped with a touchscreen.

Dell will also throw in two additional screen configurations in the form of a 720p, 200 nits TN-panel with 45% color gamut and 1080p, 350 nits IPS panel with superior 72% color gamut. Furthermore, Alienware 13 will take advantage of NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 860M. As for processors go, the laptop will take advantage of any of the Haswell-based Core i processors (i3, i5 or i7), but a Broadwell version will become available at some point too. In the connectivity department, we laptop will bring to the table 802.11ac Wi-Fi, USB 3.0, two solid states drive and support for 16GB of internal memory. Of course, the new laptop will ship out with the latest version of the Command Center feat and with AlienwareFX lighting.

It’s no surprise we’re seeing Dell announce a new thin and light laptop after the avalanche of sleek gaming notebooks we have witnessed in the last few months. We have seen competing companies like Origin, CyberPower, Maingear, ASUS, Auros, MSI and Razer all unveil similar products from the category. It’s quite odd Dell is taking so long to actually release the Alienware 13, but we guess later is better than never. We’re awaiting Dell to announce the final configuration set and for how much we’re going to see the Alienware 13 retail. It won’t come cheap, that’s for sure.

The upcoming Dell Alienware 13
Images credits to Engadget

ASUS ROG Crossblade Ranger FM2+ Motherboard

The Republic of Gamers brand is one that ASUS applies to only its best motherboards, peripherals, monitors, PCs, and PC accessories. Never before, however, has an FM2+ motherboard carried the brand.

Part of it is owed to the fact that the FM2+ socket is pretty young and was preceded by the normal FM2, which was around for quite a while. The other part was because ASUS just hadn't gotten around to making a truly overkill AMD-based platform, as AMD's hardware in general is not as geared towards overkill as Intel's anymore. Still, it's perfectly possible to build a strong gaming PCs around an AMD APU, so Gigabyte made it easy to do just that.

Case in point, the new ROG Crossblade Ranger has SupremeFX audio with exclusive Sonic SenseAmp and Sonic SoundStage technologies, LANGuard technology, Auto Tuning technology, Sonic Radar II (overlay that shows what opponents and teammates are up to in an FPS shooter), and various other things. I could spend ages listing the technical specs, but they're about the same as you might expect from an overpowered board like this, so you're better off reading the neat list in the press release below. The ASUS ROG Crossblade Ranger motherboard will ship with a free ROG mouse soon. No ETA or price have been provided though. 

ASUS ROG Press Release:
ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced Crossblade Ranger, the first AMD FM2+ motherboard to carry the revered ROG brand and packed with exclusive ROG technologies and game-boosting features for an AMD-based gaming powerhouse that's beyond compare.
Crossblade Ranger's core benefits deliver the best gaming networking, with Intel Gigabit Ethernet, GameFirst III and LANGuard, the best gaming audio from SupremeFX 2014, the best gaming interface with KeyBot and the best gaming performance with exclusive Auto Tuning technology to unleash the true power of AMD accelerated-processing units (APUs).
Best gaming networking
Crossblade Ranger is fitted with state-of-the-art Intel Gigabit Ethernet that delivers better throughput with lower processing power for superior speed and increased efficiency.
The new motherboard's networking capabilities additionally benefit from ROG-exclusive GameFirst III technology for no-delay gameplay. This advanced network-optimization software assigns top priority to game-data packets, allocating them more bandwidth to ensure the best online-gaming experience and clear, stutter-free online team-chat - all controlled with ROG's usual intuitive flair.
ROG has even reinvented the RJ45 socket, with LANGuard technology. Advanced signal-coupling technology and premium surface-mounted capacitors improve throughput, while surge-protected and electrostatically-guarded components (ESD Guards) protect against lightning strikes and static-electricity discharges.
Best gaming audio
Flawless audio is essential for immersive gaming, so Crossblade Ranger is engineered with SupremeFX 2014. Cutting-edge isolation technologies minimize electromagnetic interference (EMI), while premium ELNA audio capacitors and eight-channel gold-plated audio outputs provide precision-engineered audio that's as great as a dedicated soundcard.
SupremeFX 2014 also features exclusive Sonic SenseAmp and Sonic SoundStage technologies. Sonic SenseAmp automatically detects analog-audio front-panel (AAFP) headphone impedance and adjusts the built-in amp accordingly, while Sonic SoundStage applies the best audio settings for popular game genres - just one click is all it takes to generate the perfect sound for first-person shooter (FPS), racing, combat and sports games.
Crossblade Ranger's gaming-audio credentials include Sonic Radar II technology. Designed for first-person shooters (FPS), Sonic Radar II displays a stealthy overlay that shows what opponents and teammates are up to. Players see the precise direction and origin of in-game sounds such as gunshots, footsteps and call-outs, enabling them to hone enemy-pinpointing skills. Exclusive audio enhancement further improves in-game sound for superb hearing awareness, and the all-new Sonic Radar II includes a redesigned control panel with customizable game list.
Best gaming interface
Crossblade Ranger includes KeyBot, a clever tool that lets users instantly 'upgrade' an existing keyboard simply by attaching it to the dedicated USB socket.
Once connected, the KeyBot microprocessor is activated and the user is able to use their current keyboard to control multimedia playback, launch favorite applications or assign macros to specific keys - just perfect for automating complicated in-game key sequences.
Best gaming performance
ROG's Auto Tuning technology enables Crossblade Ranger to unleash the true power of AMD APUs with just few clicks. Enabled by the TurboV Processing Unit (TPU), Auto Tuning adjusts the CPU frequencies and ratios to offer precise voltage control and advanced CPU-performance monitoring, efficiently enhancing system performance with the most stable overclocking profile - so gamers enjoy superb stability and high speeds while playing.
Crossblade Ranger is also compatible with ROG's brilliant Front Base dual-bay gaming panel. When added to Crossblade Ranger, Front Base enables one-click performance boosting and real-time system monitoring to make gaming experiences even more enjoyable.
Crossblade Ranger even comes with a ROG mouse mat completely free of charge. The plush feel and stylish design enables gamers to flaunt the awesome power of Crossblade Ranger.
    Processor/CPU socket
    AMD FM2+ Socket for AMD A-series / Athlon Series processors
    AMD A88X FCH (Bolton-D4)
    4 x DIMMs, up to a maximum of 64 GB, DDR3 2666 (O.C.)
    Supports AMD Memory Profile (AMP) memory
    Expansion slots
    2 x PCI Express 3.0*/2.0 x16 slots (red, single x16 or dual x8/x8 mode)
    1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot (black, maximum x4 mode)
    2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots
    2 x PCI slots
    Graphics (VGA)
    Integrated AMD Radeon R/HD8000/HD7000 Series Graphics in the A-Series APU
    Multi-VGA output support: HDMI/DVI/RGB port
    Supports HDMI with maximum of resolution 4096 x 2160 at 24Hz and 1920 x 1200 at 60Hz
    Supports DVI-D (DVI) with maximum resolution of 2560 x 1600 at 60Hz
    Supports RGB (VGA) with maximum resolution 1920 x 1600 at 60Hz
    Maximum shared memory of 2 GB
    Supports AMD Dual Graphics technology
    AMD 3-way CrossFireX technology
    8 x SATA 6Gbit/s connectors with RAID 0, RAID 1,RAID 5,RAID 10 and JBOD support
    Intel Gigabit Ethernet with GameFirst III and ASUS LANGuard
    6 x USB 3.0 ports (4 on back panel, 2 mid-board)
    8 x USB 2.0 ports (2 on back panel, 6 mid-board)
    ROG SupremeFX Formula 2014 8-channel high-definition audio
    SupremeFX shielding technology
    ELNA premium audio capacitors
    Content protection for full-rate lossless playback of DVD Audio, Blu-ray DVD, and HD-DVD audio content
    Jack-detection, multi-streaming, front-panel jack-retasking
    Optical S/PDIF-out port on back panel
    Dimensions / form factor
    ATX, 12 x 9.6in (30.5 x 24.4cm)
Image gallery below, click for larger image.

ASUS ROG Crossblade Ranger
Images credits to ASUS

HTC Nexus 8 to Come with NFC, Android L, in LTE Flavor Too

Earlier today, I told you the widely anticipated HTC Nexus 8 might have just been granted certification in South Korea.

Even as the filing didn't reveal any information about the tablet per-se. A few hours later, a Twitter account which goes by the name @UpLeaks and entitles itself a “Chinese phone leaker” has posted a bunch of new info about the upcoming tablet. According to them, the HTC Nexus 9 can also be referred to as the HTC T1 (HCT also has the T7 and T12 in the works) and will come equipped with a 64-bit Tegra K1 processor. This part we already knew, but the leak also provides us with some additional info. For example, there will be an LTE version (which will take advantage of an MDM9x25 modem), 4GB of RAM, NFC and GPS. The best part is the tablet will be one of the first to take advantage of Android L.

On top of that, the leakster mentions that the two cameras onboard will be an 8MP shooter on the back and 1.6MP front-facing camera. For the time being, that’s all I can tell you, but considering the flux of info related to the Nexus 8, which is pushing the device back into the spotlight, we might be seeing the tablet make a debut soon.

Tweet showing the Nexus 8 specs
Image credits to UpLeaks

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