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Microcomputers fit in your pocket, connect anywhere

Microcomputers can easily be mistaken for a flash drive, but don’t underestimate these devices – an entire computer can now fit in your pocket and attach to any screen from a computer display to a giant billboard.




[pl_video type=”vimeo” id=”52196412″]

Microcomputers: next phase in computing?

Technology is changing before our very eyes – as smartphones have gotten bigger over the years, computers have gotten smaller with laptops that weigh less than a jar of salsa. Microcomputers are not yet mainstream, but as seen in the video above by just one manufacturer of many, they have many benefits not seen by a traditional computing device, namely portability – they fit in your pocket and are about as big as a flash drive. In fact, when we first saw them, we thought they were flash drives.

Microcomputers use low-powered processors similar to what is in your smartphone or tablet, and while they aren’t powerful enough to run Windows, they run Android or Linux. The device connect to a display through HDMI or USB, with most devices offering one or two ports. Some feature wifi and Bluetooth, some require a power adapter, and all start at $100, which is far cheaper than a traditional computer.

Key benefits of microcomputers

There are several benefits of microcomputer tech ranging from security, plugging directly into a display and bypassing any malware on a public or shared computer, to portability which allows conference goers or service providers to give a presentation on the go.

Microcomputers plug in to everything from a standard display to a tv to a billboard, as all they need is a display of any sorts. This could easily help companies to replace printed signs with digital, interactive signs or displays be it in the office or while on the go. Because it creates a streaming center, even movies can be played, as most offer 1080p video capabilities.

These microcomputers, like the Cotton Candy device in the video above, have tremendous advantages, particularly for security and portability, but they’re still newer to the market and while inexpensive, they are nowhere near as fast as a traditional computer, nor as powerful. Adoption could take off, however, based on the key attraction: affordability.

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. rolandestrada

    February 24, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I’m not sure they much practical use for consumers except maybe as distribution for third party vendors such as Roku. They have a Streaming Stick that takes advantage of the MHL port shipping on some TVs. The idea probably has more of a future for corporate IT types than it does for the consumer market.

    If it doesn’t have a simple and easy to use UI, consumers will never use it. Period, end of story. Unless, Apple? 😉

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HP Chromebook details leaked, could launch this spring

According to a leaked document from the HP website, the HP Chromebook could launch this spring with a bigger screen and faster processor and will likely be popular because of the low price point.



google chromebook touchscreen
google chromebook touchscreen

Above: Samsung Chromebook released in 2012. Image courtesy of Benn Rosales.

HP Chromebook details revealed through leak

According to The Verge, HP reportedly leaked a PDF on its own site outlining specs of their first Chromebook called the “HP Pavilion Chromebook computer.” Although the document has been removed from the site, it reportedly included notes that the display will be larger than other Chromebooks at 14 inches, but a battery life of three hours less than its competitors.

The spec sheet stated that the Pavilion Chromebook will have a 1.1GHz Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM and a 16GB solid-state device. As mentioned, the screen will be the largest Chromebook screen on the market at launch, but will offer the same resolution as the smaller screened options, while the battery life will average at four hours and 15 minutes. While battery life suffers slightly, the capacity of this particular Chromebook appears to be superior.

The Verge updated their reporting, stating that “HP responded to our request with a simple ‘no comment,’ but we also noticed that the PDF has an Ad Embargo date of February 17th of this year — we expect we’ll hear the full story right around then.”

The Chromebook movement

The Chromebook has essentially filled the space between tablets and laptops, and because of it’s light weight, long battery life, and fast browsing, it could stand to eat up some market share of competitors, particularly given that the price point tends to be substantially lower.

Running on the Google Operating System (OS), it is known for starting up with a simple push of a button rather than waiting on a slow boot up process, and uses web applications rather than software that traditionally slows down a machine. Its functionality is limited, and users aren’t sitting on a beach using Photoshop, rather they are in WordPress or Facebook or Gmail to keep the core functions of their business or personal life running without carrying a 10 pound laptop around, or shelling out $929 for a tablet.

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2012 iMac performs well, but concerns over repairability mount

While Apple fans are enthusiastic about the major improvements in performance with the 2012 iMac, a teardown reveals major issues that negatively impact repairability of the machines.



2012 imac 21.5" performance

2012 imac 21.5" performance

iMac put to the test, passes with flying colors

Announced last week, Apple released the 21.5-inch iMac with the 27-inch version shipping later this month. While the smaller of the two can be purchased in Apple Stores now starting at $1299, the larger version, starting at $1799 ships prior to the end of the year, says Apple. The release dates are much later than technologists originally anticipated.

According to Primate Labs, the new 21.5″ iMac has made substantial improvements in performance compared to previous generations of iMacs. The company was only able to analyze the 21.5-inch iMac, as the 27-inch model does not ship until later this month. Interestingly, however, the new 21.5-inch model scores nearly 25 percent higher than its counterpart, outperforming even the 2011 27-inch model by nearly 10 percent.

2012 imac performance

Primate Labs also compares the 2012 iMac to the Mac mini and Mac Pro, revealing that the mid-range Mac mini is faster than the mid-range iMac, with a dramatic price difference between the two. The company asserts that early benchmarks prove the 27-inch model will outperform its 2011 counterpart by nearly 15 percent.

Concerns over repairability has completed a thorough teardown of the new 21.5-inch iMac, revealing its internal workings. The team found a smaller hard drive freed up space, the housing is now rubbery to reduce vibrations, and a single fan is now being used. Additionally, they found two microphones to improve sound quality.

The team was impressed, but not thoroughly. “The late 2012 iMac 21.5″ – code-named EMC 2544 – is an exercise in disappointment for us. We were quite worried when we saw that super-thin bezel during Apple’s keynote, and unfortunately we were correct: the glass and LCD are now glued to the iMac’s frame with incredibly strong adhesive. Gone are the lovely magnets that held the glass in place in iMacs of yesteryear.”

2012 imac teardown

In addition to the glass and LCD being glued to the frame with ultra strong adhesive, making it difficult to repair, the CPU, RAM, and hard drive can be removed for repair, the entire logic board must be removed to do so, which is why the ifixit team gave the 21-inch iMac a dismal repairability score of 3 out of 10, down from 7 out of 10 for the 2011 model.

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2012 iMac release date set for this week after long wait

Being released later than expected, the 21.5″ iMac is coming out this week with the 27″ version shipping next month.



2012 imac

2012 imac

2012 iMac release date announced

It’s finally here – the 2012 iMac – and it actually has a release date. On November 30th of this year, Apple will present their newest iMac to the world. Although Apple has released new iMac throughout before, it has stayed practically the same product cosmetically while upgrading internal features. This year, the iMac will have a slightly new face and some updated and upgraded specs, too.

Apple offers two basic options if you want to purchase the new iMac on the 30th. You can only purchase the 21.5-inch model, as the bigger model won’t be available until later in December. When purchasing the 21.5-inch iMac, you can choose between the base or the high-end option. The base option starts out at about $1300 for 8 GB.

If you want to upgrade to the 16 GB, it will run you an extra $200. The high-end model starts out at $1500 and has a 2.9 GHz Core i5. For an upgrade fee of $200, you can upgrade to 3.1 GHz Core i7. If you want a faster performance than what is currently offered, tack on an extra $250 to that total price.

2012 imac

The upcoming 27″ iMac

Now let’s move on to the specs for the upcoming 27-inch iMac that’s scheduled to start shipping in December. The base model starts as $1800, has a 2.9 GHz Core i5 processor, and several upgrade options, including the 768 GB all-flash drive for a mere $1300 extra. Pricing for the 27-inch, high-end model begins at $2000 and has a 3.2 GHz Core i5 processor. It can be further upgraded for $200. However, you’ll receive the same storage and RAM upgrades as the base model.

The cosmetic changes to the iMac are modern and aesthetically pleasing. Apple has gone thin, really thin. The edges of the machine are only 5mm in thickness, creating a sleek look. The 2012 iMac’s most unique quality is the concave section on the back, where all the hardware essentials are placed. The design is complex, but also concise and streamlined.

If you’re an Apple aficionado, you’ve probably been waiting for the 2012 iMac for quite some time. It’s a little later in the year than originally expected, probably both by the consumer and by Apple, but there is still ample excitement for this new release. Whether you’ve already decided to purchase it or you just want to see what it’s all about, keep your eyes open on November 30th.

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