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Razer Updates Blade Pro With THX

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Razer announces a refresh of the Blade Pro gaming laptop-- now featuring THX Mobile certification for display and audio output quality.

Razer Blade ProAccording to the company, the Blade Pro display is calibrated and tested for resolution, colour accuracy and video playback, while the audio meets THX requirements for voltage output, frequency response, distortion, signal-to-noise ratio and crosstalk for clear sound through headphones.

Back in October 2016 Razer acquired THX, the audio company founded by George Lucas in 1983. Over the years THX expanded its remit to certification of audio and visuals, and prior to the acquisition was working on a certification program for HDR< AR and VR systems.

Netgear Expands Orbi System

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Netgear adds a pair of devices to the Orbi mesh wireless system-- the RBK30 and RBK40, both similar to the original RBK50 kit but featuring a smaller AC2200 router instead of an AC3000 unit.

Netgear OrbiThe RBK30 consists of a single AC2200 router and a small signal-boosting wall plug satellite, and covers around 325 square metres. The RBK40 consists of a pair of AC2200 routers and covers 370 square metres.

Like the RBK50, the routers use what Netgear calls a "tri-bend mesh system." Essentially the router sends out three channels, one to extend internet to the satellite and two others to feed the connections of other devices. The router supports 802.11ac wifi with speeds reaching up to 3Gbps, and the satellite can be placed anywhere to create a unified network with a single user-selectable SSID.

Optane Memory Reaches Desktop PCs

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Intel announces a first Optane product for the consumer market-- cache drive modules designed to reduce loading times through extremely low latency and SSD speeds.

Intel Optane MemoryThe modules offer limited capacity of only 16 or 32GB, but with latency of under 10 microseconds and peak sequential read speeds reaching 900MB/s Intel claims a performance boost of 28%. The company says storage loads up to 14x faster, while common apps such as Chrome or Outlook load up to 5-6x faster and games can load levels up to 65% faster.

Customers interested in the Optane modules have to keep in mind the requirement of a PC running on a 7th-generation Core (such as Kaby Lake) chipset. Interestingly, AanandTech notes the performance boost is not really felt if one has an SSD as primary storage, meaning the modules are best used in PCs stuck with traditional HDDs.

In Win Intros tòu 2.0 Chassis

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In Win updates the 2013 tòu PC chassis with the tòu 2.0-- a version featuring a sleeker angled design while retaining the same tempered glass with dual-mirror effect.

In Win touLike the original, the tòu 2.0 has a cool gimmick where ith looks opaque when powered down (or all internal LEDs are off), but becomes transparent once internal lighting is on. The name actually suggests such a name, since tòu refers to transparency in Mandarin Chinese.

Holding the thicker tempered glass panels (5mm, rather than 3mm) together is an aluminiuim alloy frame. The thumbscrews are hidden below the ventilation vents, and the front has a touch-sensitive panel for lighting control. A SIV-1065W illuminated power supply is included, and I/O options come through a quick-access USB 3.1 type-C on the bottom of the front panel plus x3 USB 3.0 ports, 3.5mm stereo headphone jack and microphone socket.

A Stream Deck for Streamers

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Elgato announces a controller for streamers of all kinds-- the Stream Deck is a hardware device with 15 keys for users to access shortcuts to programs or features.

Elgato Stream DeckThe Stream Deck connects to PCs via USB 2.0 and essentially is a miniature TV studio control board. Each of the 15 buttons has a tiny LCD display, allowing customisation with different icons for different functions. In total the Stream Deck handles up to 210 actions per configuration, since one can organise shortcuts into folders with the companion Stream Deck app.

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