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ASRock at CES 2017

ASRock was at CES this year in a suite so they could meet with press, buyers and marketing people without yelling over top of the crowds. They also did this as there were trying to show off a couple of new products they have been working on that are still working on Intel certification. ASRock is most known for their motherboards and they certainly had quite a lineup of new Kaby Lake Intel boards as well as some new boards for AMDs Ryzen CPU. Some of their high-end Intel boards now come with 5GbE networking. Of course 10GbE is already available in the commercial space for servers and large companies, but for the general consumer, 5GbE is the gap-filler that ASRock is hoping will take off.

ASRock

 

It's purely cosmetic, but ASRock has taken to putting themes on their motherboards and the PCB, slots, cooling solutions and more reflex different designs. As more PCs have windows and RGB lighting, ASRock wants to make sure you keep your theme going - and take it a step above the competition. It's pretty nifty.

ASRock is jumping back into network as well, but the piece they are excited about is the new Micro-STX platform. If you've heard about it before CES, you're a lot more connected than me (and probably are), but this was the first time that I'd seen this form factor. The boards are rectangular like a standard motherboard, but they are much, much smaller. The amazing thing is that ASRock is working with the 7th-Gen Intel Kaby Lake platform here as well and the board uses DDR4 SODIMMs. 

Micro-STX

Micro-STX Front

Micro-STX

Micro-STX Back

 

You'll notice that there aren't a lot of traditional SATA connectors or graphics card slots. ASRock is moving to M.2 for storage and has included four slots on the back. For graphics card upgrades, they are working with NVIDIA primarily to produce MXM form factor cards to be used on this system. As you can see, there are a few bottlenecks remaining, but ASRock is betting big on this new platform. Why not? You could easily populate the M.2 with 3TB of ultra-fast storage, an 802.11ac module, Kaby Lake CPU at crazy speeds and a new MXM GTX 1080 graphics card.

Micro-STX

 

The system they had running was very quiet and performed like a champ. It's a brave new world and ASRock is hoping they get to help pave the road to the future with the Micro-STX system they had on display.

For more images from our ASRock visit, please check the gallery here. Also, you can view our entire CES coverage over here.

 

Nintendo Switch Pulls off 10 Million Sales in 9 Months

Nintendo has struggled with a couple of their recent consoles - both handheld and set-top. Their last success was probably the DS Lite and Wii. Since then, things have been mediocre at best - until the Switch. That particular unit has been a run away success. They've mananged to move over a million units a month and have broken through the 10 million barrier. Things are looking brighter in the future as well as they are ramping up production again and are set to crush through 20 million by mid-2018.

Nintendo hasn't had to do much to spur those numbers. Black Friday and holiday sales by the company reflected only minimal discounts, and few other retailers have gone much below the $299.99 MSRP. The console is expected to be on a lot of holiday wish lists, and "we’re doing our very best to satisfy demand during the holiday shopping season," Fils-Aimé said.

Source: Neowin

LG at CES 2018

Over the years, LG has really impressed us with their latest and greatest and this year their "OLED Canyon" was pretty impressive indeed. Last year they had a full tunnel of OLED panels, and this year they had a full canyon to walk through that showcased their ability to bend their panels both concave (traditional) and convex (outward). This looked very impressive and shows that LG is thinking about practical applications for large displays as well as showing off some pretty tight curves that they can do with their displays as well. The results are almost breathtaking and while some may argue that VR gives you the same effect, the fact is that this canyon experience is a bit better than 4K - closer to 800K worth of craziness makes it incredible.

 

LG was also showing off their very nice Thunderbolt 3 displays that are capable of daisy-chaining multiple 4K displays. The 32UK950 pictured below is capable of the HDR600 specification - making it far superior to many companies HDR10 spec that just meets minimum requirements. While the image below looks pretty vivid and incredible, you really have to see it first-hand to appreciate the beauty that is the 32UK950 series.

32UK950

 

LG also showcased their gaming displays capable of 240Hz, but without the full HDR600 specification. LG does support both Freesync and G-Sync in their gaming displays. 

There was much more to see and take in at LG, but these are the main highlights I think you'll enjoy!

Snapchat's redesign isn't so popular

Snapchat just completed their biggest redesign since it launched in 2011. It unfortunately isn't all roses and sunshine as a "fake" tweet that said if it was retweeted 1.3 million times they'd revert back to the old design. Long story short, that fake tweet has become the 6th most retweeted tweet ever. 

It will be interesting to see if Snapchat caves or if the people that are upset actually leave. History shows that most likely people will accept the change and we won't hear about this in another week or so, but maybe Snapchat users are different?

TheDailyBeast has the story.

Last week Snapchat rolled out its biggest redesign since the app launched in 2011.

The company split the app into two sections, consolidating friend content on the left side, media content on the right, and installing a slew of other design changes.

Snapchat’s massive teen userbase is outraged at the update, and already desperately trying to get the old version back. 

Facebook seeing growth in 55+ demographics

Good news for Facebook that they're seeing growth in some demographics, unfortunately for Facebook is that it's in the 55+ demographic which isn't what online advertisers get excited about. Thanks to the surge, the 55+ demographic is now the 2nd biggest on Facebook which is making the younger demographics jump to other platforms like Snapchat. The Gaurdian has more on this story.

It’s official: Facebook is for old(er) people. Teens and young adults are ditching Mark Zuckerberg’s social network as popularity among the over-55s surges, according to a report.

In 2018, 2.2 million 12- to 17-year-olds and 4.5 million 18- to 24-year-olds will regularly use Facebook in the UK, 700,000 fewer than in 2017, as younger users defect to services such as Snapchat, according to eMarketer.

A surge in older users means over-55s will become the second-biggest demographic of Facebook users this year.

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