ZOTAC at CES 2015

ZOTAC was showing off their full lineup of ZBOX devices which no matter how many times you see them it is hard not to be impressed at the small size of their systems and the amount of performance they can pack in. The ZBOX Pico series was being shown off and is being offered in AMD and Intel powered solutions, both in a crazy small package that is small enough that you could fit it in your pocket. 


The ZBOX series also includes the E-Series devices that are a little bit bigger than devices in the Pico series yet have enough power to easily power 4k displays @60 Hz all in a very small box. The E-Series EN860 that was being shown off features an Intel i5 4210U CPU with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M graphics card which makes the EN860 pack quite a punch in a small package and is enough power to replace most peoples desktop computers.



Kingston @ CES 2016

Kingston was back at CES this year with some new and interesting products. The first two products are two MobileLite Wireless units that can act as power banks but at the same time both have a USB port and an SD card slot for easy connectivity along with the ability to use as a storage device. The MobileLite Wireless G3 unit does not come with any internal storage unlike the MobileLite Wireless Pro which comes with 64GB of storage. Both devices have wireless capability and when used with the MobileLite app will allow for file transfers in order to help free up space on a mobile device. In addition to wireless file transfers, the MobileLite products have a built-in ethernet port that can serve as a personal Wireless Access Point if you want to connect a few people to a single network.



The next new line of products that Kingston showed was the HyperX Cloud headsets made for Xbox One as HyperX is now the officially licenced headset for Xbox One. This console line of headsets were designed off of their PC headset line the HyperX Cloud II. Large 53mm drivers and over-ear closed cup design are a couple of reasons to get interested in this headset.

Xbox Headset


ESPN vs. Cable Cutters

We post quite a few stories about how more and more people are making the decision to cut the cord on traditional cable services and go with other alternatives. ESPN is one of the names that comes up time and time again in this discussion and thanks to a new report their name has surfaced once again. In this new report people were asked if they would be cut ESPN from their cable package in exchange for a $8 drop in price and 56% said yes. The follow up question was would you pay $20 a month for a streaming service (similar to HBO, etc.) and the response was 85% said no. The results probably aren't too surprising, it's just amazing that the cable companies and their content providers aren't making a better effort to combat the loss of subscribers. TechDirt has the full story.

Over the last year, ESPN's decision to laugh off cord cutting has truly come home to roost. The company has had to engage in numerous "belt tightening measures" after losing around 7 million subscribers in just two years. Where are these subscribers going? Many are cutting the TV cord entirely. Others are opting for so-called "skinny bundles" that pull pricier channels like ESPN out of the core cable lineup, moving them to additional, premium channel packs. Companies like Verizon that have experimented with skinny bundles have been rewarded for their efforts with with lawsuits from ESPN. 

Edge at CES 2017

Edge is a new company to us here at BCCHardware, but they've been around for quite a few years actually. They are a subsidiary of Avant Technology (as is Mushkin), but Edge products are geared more toward business users and high-reliability operations. While the DRAM chips, basic design and controllers are often identical between Mushkin products and Edge products, Edge focuses their firmware and power regulation toward higher reliability rather than raw performance. Don't get me wrong, their performance is still excellent, but with power-fail capacitors on board as well as better provisioning and wear leveling algorithms, Edge certainly is geared toward the business user.

Edge PFX3


At CES, Edge showed off their new PFX3 drive that includes power failure protection and still offers capacities up to 1TB. Not only do these drives offer 256-bit AES encryption, they also come backed with a 5-year warranty - not many SSDs offer that long of a guaranteed service life. On the 3D-NAND side of the 2.5-inch form-factor coin are the eMerge 3D SSDs. They have two different versions of this drive with the eMerge 3D-V using 3D TLC NAND flash while the non-V version using 3D MLC NAND. The non-V drive also has a slightly slower speed, but a longer warranty.



Their "NextGen" M.2 PCIe SSD is a beast. It uses 3D MLC NAND flash and an external DRAM module for buffering. It's a full double-sided 2280 module that uses 4x PCIe 3.0 lanes to make things happen rather quickly. While other companies have a very similar drive for their enthusiast systems, Edge caters once again to their business customers and offers a few of their features to keep the product more reliable. Still, the drive is rated at a mere 2.5GB/sec read speed with a 1.1GB/sec write speed. Keep in mind that this drive supports ECC functions, StaticDataRefresh and is also backed with Edge's 5-year warranty. 



If you want to check out more images from our Day 3 coverage at CES 2017, please be sure to check out the gallery here, as well as our entire coverage of CES 2017 right here.

Also, you can check out Edge Memory's site here.

Destiny 2 Lets You Play for Free

It looks like game developers - most likely publishers are getting the idea. Their games are very expensive to produce and the price of a new game has gone up quite a bit to reflect that. As such, there are a growing number of people that aren't playing the new titles as they are priced too high and people take a "wait-and-see" approach. Destiny was a huge blockbuster game and Destiny 2 has a lot of improvements and changes that are highly regarded - but some don't like it at all. To encourage plays to upgrade to the second title, as well as to get new players, their is now a free version. You don't get the entire game, but they are hoping it's enough to get you hooked.

So you missed out on Destiny 2's beta tests and didn't want to buy the game without giving it a try. Are you stuck? Thankfully, no. Bungie will offer a free Destiny 2 trial on PS4, Xbox One and PC starting on November 28th, and it's giving you a sizeable chunk of the game to try before you fork over your money. You can explore Earth's European Dead Zone and Titan (though you won't get all the campaign missions), fight fellow players in the Crucible's Quickplay rotation and progress up to level 7.

Source: Engadget

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