The cheapest AMD Ryzen 4000 laptop with 8-core is about to land and it is a game changer

AMD’s latest Renoir Ryzen 4000 mobile processors have been the talk of the town over the past few weeks and the first devices are about to hit the market.

Newegg will start to ship the Asus TUF Gaming A15 (TUF506IU-ES74) from April 9 for just under $1,000 (roughly £820/AU$1670) and you can preorder now to be among the first to receive them.

The retailer doesn’t ship globally, but you can use one of many parcel forwarding services to send it from the US to almost any other country. Bear in mind, you may be charged sales tax and associated fees, and after sales can be rather problematic.

This is the cheapest laptop with an 8-core CPU and early benchmarks show some very, very promising results, both from a pure performance view and from a battery life perspective. In other words, it is very, very fast without leaving you with a sub 1-hour battery life.

While the TUF Gaming A15 laptop primarily target gamers, its performance and features will make it appealing to a much wider audience. For a start, it has some interesting rugged features (e.g. MIL-STD-810G certification and self-cleaning fans with anti-dust technology) and a massive 90Whr battery.

Its Ryzen 7 4800H CPU is paired with 16GB RAM, a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD and an Nvidia Geforce GTX 1660 Ti (with 6GB dedicated GDDR6 memory), plus a 15.6-inch 144Hz IPS display.

It is admittedly rather heavy, but given the components - which you’d usually find in a mobile workstation - we’re happy to compromise.

Posted in Uncategorised

This is the cheapest Core i7 PC but it comes with one big compromise

This is not your average computer; Partaker’s fanless mini PC is far smaller than most rivals on the market with a volume of just 1.5L.

It's on sale for $413.99 at Gearbest with this exclusive coupon code: F472573500A27001. Depending on exchange rates, you should pay around £339 or AU$689.

A quick check with Dell shows its cheapest Core i7 device cost almost twice as much, albeit with a slightly faster i7 CPU, twice the storage and 12GB RAM.

At 22.5 x 18.5 x 4.8cm, the Partaker is about the size of a thick hardcover book and yet has some great expansion capabilities. 

The model on offer comes with an Intel Core i7-8565U (four cores, 8-threads), 8GB DDR4 and a 128GB SSD, and other options are available up to 32GB memory and 1TB SSD. Sadly, you cannot buy the Partaker PC without the RAM or SSD.

Its thick aluminum body acts as the perfect heatsink to cool the internal components. There’s plenty of connectors as well, with one LAN port, one Displayport, one HDMI port, eight USB ports (half of them USB 3.0), two audio connectors and two external antennas.

You can use two memory slots and it supports one mSATA SSD, one 2.5-inch HDD and one M.2 NVMe SSD.

In terms of caveats, there's no operating system (which could prove an issue for novice users), memory card reader, SPDIF connector, 802.11ac and the PC doesn’t support Windows 7. There’s also no VESA mount, which you can add for an extra $5.

We’ve ordered one for review, so stay tuned for more!

Note, Gearbest offers an expedited shipping option from China for free with an estimated delivery time between three and seven business days to the US.

Posted in Uncategorised

Is there a cheaper Intel Xeon PC workstation? We don’t think so

While there are plenty of PCs with Intel Celeron and Core CPUs on sale with Chinese retailers, a workstation with a Xeon processor is, well, unheard of.

For that reason, we were surprised to discover industrial PC vendor Hystou is flogging a tiny mini PC workstation based on an Intel Xeon E-2176M CPU, with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, for just under $722 (AU$1205, £591) with free delivery.

Note, there are coupons available at the time of writing that will drop the price even further and AliExpress, which houses Hystou’s store, operates a guaranteed delivery service (or full refund). 

As Intel’s rival to AMD’s EPYC, the Xeon comes with enterprise-ready features such as support for multi-socket configurations and registered ECC memory.

The E-2176M is a fairly recent Coffee Lake-based mobile Xeon processor, with a maximum speed of 4.4GHz, six cores (12 threads), a base frequency of 2.7GHz, 12MB cache and a very capable Intel UHD Graphics P630 video subsystem.

The diminutive PC also features a mini Displayport, an HDMI 2.0, external antennas, a Gigabit Ethernet port, four USB 3.0 ports, a separate USB Type-C connector and an audio input.

Thanks to a VESA mount, you can tuck the mini PC away behind a monitor, and the internal components are cooled with what looks like a massive low speed heat sink fan.

Hystou provides an OEM version of Windows 10 Pro and DDR4 memory, but it's also possible to buy a barebones version with the same configuration, without memory or storage.

Posted in Uncategorised

The cheapest active VR headset could be the perfect remote working tool

It’s been three years since Royole, a little known Chinese company, wowed crowds in Las Vegas with its groundbreaking all-in-one virtual reality (VR) headset, the Royole Moon.

The device has some great features that could make it the perfect tool for remote working, and it's currently on clearance sale for just over USD 390 at AliExpress (roughly GBP 315/AUD 640).

Two advanced AMOLED displays combine to produce a gigantic virtual 800-inch curved screen. The Moon displays content in Full HD 1080p resolution, at over 3,000 pixels per inch, with an ultra-high contrast ratio of 10,000:1 and a blisteringly fast image response rate of 60Hz.

The Royale Moon features active noise cancellation, reducing external sound by 92% (or 22dB) and isolating wearers from their surroundings. This means users can wholly immerse themselves in a presentation, working document or video without distraction - although this could be a little daunting for claustrophobic individuals.

The headset supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and HDMI connection from smartphones, game consoles, PCs, laptops and more. It also comes with 2GB of memory and 32GB storage to save your favorite movies, videos, images, and audio directly to the device.

As for the caveats, the headset unfortunately runs on a proprietary fork of Android, as opposed to a stock version. Its battery pack is convenient enough but leans on a microUSB port to charge, and there’s also no microSD slot for additional memory.

Posted in Uncategorised

This is the cheapest Ryzen PC workstation on the market

At less than USD300, including delivery from Aliexpress (which delivers globally), this desktop PC from Chinese manufacturer Ipason is probably the most affordable Ryzen-based workstation on the market - and it can double as a gaming PC too. 

Based on the Ryzen 3 2200G APU, it can trounce Intel Core i3-800T CPUs usually found in devices at this price. Its CPU benchmark (6840 points) is achieved using four cores clocked at up to 3.7GHz and more than 6MB cache.

Its Radeon Vega 8 Graphics offers eight graphics cores clocked at up to 1.1GHz and delivers one of the best graphics performances from an integrated video subsystem. Ipason claims that it should offer the same experience as an Nvidia Geforce GT1030 discrete GPU.

As expected, it comes with a mATX motherboard, which means connectivity options are limited. It features an HDMI port, six USB connectors, an Ethernet LAN plug and three audio inputs. There is, however, room for expansion thanks to the generously-sized casing (available in black or white).

Add in 8GB of memory (sadly, single RAM module) and a 120GB SSD and you've got a fairly decent base unit.

Note, the bundle lacks a keyboard and a mouse, which could prove more challenging to procure due to the current global pandemic.

Posted in Uncategorised

This is probably the best value Windows 10 PC on the planet right now

With Windows 10 now well established as the world's most popular desktop operating system, getting your own PC up to speed has never been easier and one of the best deals we've seen on a low-cost PC is one called the AP34 Pro from Beelink, one that we sadly, have never reviewed.

If you're looking for a low-cost way to enjoy all the top Microsoft tools and services, a new deal from popular Chinese retailer Aliexpress, could be the answer unless you want to wait till Black Friday 2020 while remote working from home.

Microsoft sells a copy of Windows 10 Home for $139 and yet if you don’t mind getting a free new PC that you can carry around, it is worth looking at this mini thin client PC.

Compact

There have been cheaper PC deals in the past, but these usually come with a significant downside; they are either a second hand machine, or suffer from insufficient memory and onboard capacity (with 2GB of RAM and 32GB storage often the norm).

The AP34 Pro is the most affordable and relatively fast Windows 10 PC we’ve found to date. It has an old but capable Intel Celeron J3455 quad-core CPU, 4GB of DDR3L RAM and 64GB of eMMC onboard storage.

It has good connectivity as well with a bevy of ports; you get a Gigabit Ethernet port (a good surprise at this price), 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, two HDMI ports, a card reader, three USB 3.0 ports and a headphone jack.

The device is absolutely tiny, hardly bigger than a couple of stacked CD cases and you even have a bracket to mount it at the back of a monitor or TV and an external antenna for improved connectivity. You won’t be able to upgrade it (say by swapping the SSD) though as everything inside is integrated.

Posted in Uncategorised

Intel and AMD face an ARM’ed onslaught from this 96-core CPU monster

Hot on the heels of Amazon’s Graviton2, Marvell has announced the launch of the ThunderX3, its third generation Arm server processor.

Anandtech’s Andrei Frumusanu reports that the chip, originally forged by a small startup called Cavium (subsequently acquired by Marvell), has capabilities shared by none of its big rivals.

The ThunderX3 is one of the very few processors that can do more than two threads per physical core. Its 96-core (a very high count for a general processor) offers up to 384 threads on a single socket, with custom-designed Arm v8.3+ cores and speeds that are likely to ramp up to 3GHz.

A server can support up to two sockets and a total of 16 DDR4 memory controllers. Comparisons published by Marvell showed that the TX3 can deliver a much higher performance per watt (up to 120%) than the competition, which in this case includes AMD’s older Rome Epyc and Intel’s Cascade Lake-SP Xeons.

The ThunderX3 is ideal for data centres, cloud computing giants, virtual desktop services and website hosting companies.

What does this mean for businesses? Essentially, greater compute performance for less money. Based on the performance/price metrics Amazon’s Graviton2 delivered, we expect Google and Microsoft to pay close attention to Altera and Marvell.

Unlike the x86 ecosystem, this technology will not trickle down to the B2C market. However, as new CPUs replace older models, the redundant kit usually ends up on eBay, like this 64-core Intel Xeon Phi 7210S on sale for $190.

Posted in Uncategorised

This is the most convincing Apple iMac clone we’ve seen yet

After a few excellent iPad imitators and Macbook Air wannabes, we’ve managed to track down the best Apple iMac clone we’ve seen to date. 

The Onda B220 is a Windows all-in-one computer  that looks exceptionally similar to Apple's machine - the sort of PC you’d see at a dentist’s front desk or an office reception. 

At 370 USD (roughly 300 GBP/660 AUD) excluding delivery, it's about two-thirds cheaper than its illustrious inspiration in the US and closer to 75% in the UK, where the iMac is on sale for 1,049 GBP.

Like the 21.5-inch iMac, it has a full HD display with a signature black frame and large bezel, with Onda branding rather than an Apple logo. There’s even the iconic aluminum stand with a hole in the back.

Unfortunately, the similarities stop there. While the cheapest iMac has a Core i5 CPU (the 7360U), the B220 only has an Intel Celeron J1900, which is about 4x slower  based on PerformanceTest benchmark results.

The iMac's Iris Plus Graphics 640 graphics module should also trounce the under-powered Intel HD Graphics found on the J1900. Further, Onda’s machine has half the system memory and a 128GB SSD, compared to Apple’s 1TB hard disk drive.

Perhaps the B220's only saving grace is the plethora of connections available. Its ports include a VGA, an HDMI, an Ethernet and four USBs (but sadly no memory card reader).

Posted in Uncategorised

The cheapest color laser printer right now is a business model from Brother

Competition among color laser printer vendors is intense and many resort to cashback schemes to entice prospective customers. 

Using this strategy, popular printer vendor Brother has discounted its fan favourite HL-L8260CDWlaser printer to a mere £85.99 (about $90), after a whopping £100 (roughly $120) cashback at Printerland.

Unfortunately this deal is not currently available in the US, but we've asked Brother whether the promotion will be opened to US customers and have included a next best alternative below.

There are no cheaper color laser printers out there - we've checked all the major providers - and this one is well worth the money.

It comes with a one-year warranty and features automatic duplex printing, wireless connectivity and a build quality that rivals much dearer models.

Speedy

The HL-L8260CDW might be wallet-friendly, but it's certainly no slouch. It's able to print at up to 31 pages per minute and has a 300-sheet capacity, which can be tripled if needed. Add in advanced security and administrative features and you've got a small business printer for a genuine bargain.

The icing on the cake, though, has to be the consumables. Out of the box, you get a black toner cartridge that can do 3,000 pages and CMY toners each rated at 1,800 pages.

Brother is one of the very few printer vendors that still tolerate compatible toners and refilling. You can easily get compatible toners for a third of the price of genuine originals, which means the total cost of ownership and cost of print is low compared to the competition.

Note: Many businesses are currently on the lookout for supplies, including printers, which means vendors are quickly running out of stock. If your desired printer is unavailable, check here for the retailers that still have models in stock.

Posted in Uncategorised

The cheapest color laser printer right now is a business model from Brother

Competition among color laser printer vendors is intense and many resort to cashback schemes to entice prospective customers. 

Using this strategy, popular printer vendor Brother has discounted its fan favourite HL-L8260CDWlaser printer to a mere £85.99 (about $90), after a whopping £100 (roughly $120) cashback at Printerland.

Unfortunately this deal is not currently available in the US, but we've asked Brother whether the promotion will be opened to US customers and have included a next best alternative below.

There are no cheaper color laser printers out there - we've checked all the major providers - and this one is well worth the money.

It comes with a one-year warranty and features automatic duplex printing, wireless connectivity and a build quality that rivals much dearer models.

Speedy

The HL-L8260CDW might be wallet-friendly, but it's certainly no slouch. It's able to print at up to 31 pages per minute and has a 300-sheet capacity, which can be tripled if needed. Add in advanced security and administrative features and you've got a small business printer for a genuine bargain.

The icing on the cake, though, has to be the consumables. Out of the box, you get a black toner cartridge that can do 3,000 pages and CMY toners each rated at 1,800 pages.

Brother is one of the very few printer vendors that still tolerate compatible toners and refilling. You can easily get compatible toners for a third of the price of genuine originals, which means the total cost of ownership and cost of print is low compared to the competition.

Note: Many businesses are currently on the lookout for supplies, including printers, which means vendors are quickly running out of stock. If your desired printer is unavailable, check here for the retailers that still have models in stock.

Posted in Uncategorised

The cheapest Intel Core i7 laptop in the whole world is a HP business notebook

The Core i7 processor is no longer the top dog in Intel's CPU family but it remains a formidable component even if the Core i5 models have been upgraded to quad-core status. Even compared to the i9, It packs a powerful punch, as it shares plenty of higher end features with its more expensive brethren.

The most affordable laptop that carries an Intel Core i7 processor right now is the HP Laptop 15T (7fq32av) and it's a great choice for those that are currently remote working. Other than the fact HP should have chosen a more memorable name, there’s not much to dislike about it.

At the heart of this laptop is an Intel Core i7-10510U CPU and, at $520 direct from HP, it costs less than most Core i5 devices we've seen but will likely deliver a far smoother computing experience.

The Laptop 15T is equipped with 8GB of DDR4 memory (upgradable) and a 128GB M.2 SATA SSD. Bluetooth 4.2 and 802.11ac connectivity are supplied by Realtek, while the operating system is Windows 10 Home.

There are two microphones to enhance calls and video conferencing (thanks to advanced noise reduction software), plus a card reader, a GbE port, three USB ports, an HDMI connector and an HD video camera.

Note, despite the machine's entry level status, it comes with HP’s fast charge which allows its 41WHr battery to reach 50% charge in 45 minutes.

The screen remains its weak point; it's HD only rather than full HD, and uses SVA technology rather than the superior IPS. On a 15.6-inch display, that is likely to be a sub-optimal experience.

At 3.84 pounds, it is not the lightest laptop around and its natural silver finish will certainly not turn heads.

Posted in Uncategorised

This is the cheapest MicroSD memory card per gigabyte in the world

Memory cards play an essential role in the digital lives of millions; they are crucial to the operation of dashcams and smartphones, but also IoT devices and more. 

MicroSD cards are by far the most popular variety, and average prices have slowly fallen over the past few months. But, after reaching an historic low, prices have crept up again as a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Despite the price hike, we've managed to track down a 256GB microSD card - the Teamgroup TCUSDX256GUHS46 - for $28.99 (roughly £25) from Newegg, down from an SRP of $32.99.

Prices rising

This is not the cheapest price per gigabyte we've seen for a microSD card - they hit rock-bottom back in October 2019, and have been rising gradually over the past few weeks. However, Teamgroup's card is the most affordable on the market today.

The card is a UHS-1 U1 Class 10 model with a maximum read speed of 80MBps and a maximum write speed of 20MBps, although speeds are likely to be less impressive in practice. The card is also waterproof (IPX7) and shock-resistant.

As with all external storage devices, we would suggest you use a cloud storage service to back up your data to avoid loss.

Posted in Uncategorised

The world’s cheapest 1TB ‘USB flash drive’ is not what you think it is

RAVpower is certainly no one-trick pony; the company makes docking stations, USB-C hubs, laptop battery chargers and more. It's a popular brand that's well received among reviewers, including us. 

However, unbeknown to many, the company is also responsible for a USB flash drive (AKA thumb drive) that is nothing short of exceptional, for two reasons.

First, its flagship model (the 1TB RAVPower Mini) is one of the cheapest 1TB USB flash drives on the market. At the time of writing, it's the most affordable, costing a mere $139.99 at Amazon after a $20 coupon discount (roughly £120).

Secondly, it's for all intents and purposes a tiny solid state drive, measuring 3.9 x 1.2 x 0.4 inch and boasting very, very fast 540MBps read/write speeds.

An alternative to cloud storage

The RAVPower Mini has a plastic and aluminium enclosure, which should protect it from most bumps. However - purists, look away - it doesn't have a fixed USB connector and instead relies on a USB cable. 

It also comes with a three-year warranty and a bundle application, called RAVPower Tool, that includes encryption facilities.

While demand for flash drives has fallen off due to the popularity of microSD cards and cloud storage services, they certainly represent a viable alternative.

Note, you'll need a USB 3.0 connector to make the most of out the RAVPower Mini - this is a USB 3.1 Gen 1, rather than a "real USB 3.1" (which is now USB 3.1 Gen 2). 

Posted in Uncategorised

This stunning 49-inch business monitor has 3 features all displays should have

Today, you can get a 50-inch 4K television these days for under $200 that can double as a computer monitor seamlessly. So, to pay more than five times that amount for a smaller display might seem counterproductive.

However, the Philips Brilliance 499P9H is unlike any other monitor on the market and it's on sale at Amazon for just $1,065, with a four-year warranty (roughly £870/AU$1900).

Aimed squarely at a business audience, the Brilliance 499P9H is packed with features, but will require a lot of deskspace. After all, this is a 49-inch display with a screen resolution of 5120x1440 pixels (or dual QHD) and a 32:9 aspect ratio - one that's not only very wide, but highly curved as well.

There's also more to this monitor than meets the eye; look closely at the top and you'll find a pop up webcam that allows you to sign in via Windows Hello facial recognition. Business users will also appreciate the inclusion of a KVM, which allows allows two computers to be connected to the same display.

It also features a built-in USB Type-C docking station that can provide up to 65W of power - enough for devices such as the Dell XPS 13 but probably not for the MacBook Pro 16  - and boasts a staggering 10 ports in total.

Two built-in speakers should provide a fair audio experience and there’s even a microphone for the purposes of video conferencing.

Note, while Amazon ships globally, you may be levied additional tax or shipping fees depending on your location.

Posted in Uncategorised

AMD and Intel have a formidable new foe but you’ll never guess who it is

An unexpected rival has emerged that could give Intel and AMD a run for their money, at least in the very lucrative server and cloud computing market.

Amazon’s new Graviton2 CPU has been tested extensively by Andrei Frumusanu from our sister website Anandtech, and the results show this new kid on the block outstrips the incumbents when it comes to performance per dollar.

Graviton2 was tested against two other cloud computing resources offered by Amazon Web Services: the m5a (AMD EPYC 7571) and m5n (Intel Xeon Platinum 8259CL Cascade Lake). Andrei found it could offer savings of up to 54%, which he says represents "a massive shakeup for the AWS and EC2 ecosystem.”

Fine-tuned for AWS workloads

So, how did Amazon achieve these results? The chip comes from Annapurna Labs and packs 64 A76 ARM cores - similar to what you can find in a smartphone - with 33MB cache and a high clock speed. Amazon is Annapurna Labs' only customer, which means the processor is extremely fine-tuned for AWS workloads.

According to Andrei, unless you're tied to the x86 platform, you'd be “stupid not to switch over to Graviton2 instances” once they become more widely available for everything from VPN (AWS VPN) to web hosting (AWS Light Sail).

For now, expect AMD’s EPYC2 processors to put up a bit of a fight - at least until Graviton3 lands.

Posted in Uncategorised