By Kirk / News / 0 Comments

When you’re chasing that illusive PUBG chicken dinner, you might not find the time to get away from your desk to have your actual dinner. And so the committed PC gamer sits at their desk, snacking and slurping as that frag count climbs.

It’s a dangerous situation for the average keyboard to find itself in, and so many inevitably fall victim to spilled drinks and sandwich crumbs. But Razer’s new BlackWidow Ultimate gaming keyboard wants to save itself from an untimely death – it’s water and dust resistant, making it sturdier than your average set of keys.

With an IP54 rating, the mechanical keyboard makes use of satisfyingly-clicky Razer Green Switches, with 50 grams of actuation force set to offer precise control.

Customised protection

As with Razer’s other PC gaming gear, there’s options for customising the look of the keyboard through backlit LED keys. The keys can not only highlight different color schemes for different games, but can also be programmed to cycle through shades in waves, ripples and other animations.

Macro recording is supported, letting you pre-program complex keystroke patterns and combos for in game use. Razer’s quoting an 80-million keystroke lifespan for the keyboard.

Hitting shops worldwide in December, expect to pay $109.99 or €119.99 (which is roughly £110 or AU$190).

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By Kirk / News / 0 Comments

StarCraft II might be getting on a bit now – it’s seven years old, in fact – but it’s still a cracking game (indeed, it’s one of our eight best strategy games for the PC), and you can now bag the title for free on Windows and Mac.

As Blizzard announced back on November 5, the entire Wings of Liberty campaign is available in the just-unleashed free-to-play version (v4.0) of StarCraft II, and the unranked multiplayer ladder is also freely accessible from the get-go.

Anyone can simply download and play the game via a Battle.net account (if you don’t have one of these, you’ll need to sign up).

As for the rest of the game, there are a few small caveats here. While the co-op mode is free, and Raynor, Kerrigan, and Artanis can be played to maximum level, other co-op commanders are limited to level five (you’ll need to buy them in order to push them beyond that limit).

Free players also need to unlock access to the ranked multiplayer ladder by achieving 10 First Wins of the Day in the unranked mode or versus AI – which Blizzard notes is simply its way of ‘preserving the quality’ of the ranked experience.

So by and large, the entire game really is free, except for those who want to play the full range of commanders in co-op mode.

Suit up!

Blizzard has also introduced a ‘welcome’ experience for newbie players with version 4.0 of StarCraft II, which allows you to select your level of RTS experience, with more guidance and introductory videos on hand for true novices.

If you’ve never played StarCraft II, you really need to check this out, unless you truly detest strategy games. The campaign is beautifully crafted, with a great story, some standout missions, and really meaningful choices to be made in terms of upgrading your forces. And the multiplayer adds some true depth and longevity into the mix.

The original StarCraft was made available as a free download back in April.

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By Kirk / News / 0 Comments

When budgeting for the new gaming PC you’re going to build to show your friends up, surely you put a lot of thought into the graphics card and processor. But, did you ever stop to think about purchasing the best gaming keyboard? Because while shiny graphics and swift boot times are appreciated, a top-notch QWERTY can actually make you better at playing games.

Right now, if you’re using a traditional membrane, non-gaming keyboard, you’re missing out. Without a gaming keyboard, you’re depriving yourself of deeper travel so that you don’t accidentally throw a grenade when you wanted to crouch. More importantly, you’ve overlooked that you can make the best gaming keyboard illuminate the room like Christmas lights.

With that, we’ve devised a list of the 10 best gaming keyboards 2017 has seen, starting with the Logitech G413 Carbon. As you can tell from that example, we’re not aiming for the absolute best performance regardless of cost. Rather, we’ve taken into account how much value you’re getting out of these MLG typewriters, testing, reviewing and ranking them along the way.

Engineered for a lighting-fast actuation point of 1.5mm, the Logitech G413 Carbon is a force to be reckoned with. This mechanical monster at large is defined by its handsomely low price tag as well as its use of Logitech’s Romer-G switches, which have proved to be nigh-equal contenders to those made by Cherry. It also manages a low profile, thanks to its magnesium-alloy frame and virtually silent keys. 

Read the full review: Logitech G413 Carbon 

Best gaming keyboards

Hoping to find a gaming keyboard that matches the rest of your Chroma-lit accessories? Then this is the one you want. Not only does the BlackWidow Chroma V2 carry an equal balance of comfort and performance, but it went a few steps further in the process. Complemented by the fact that Razer has tacked on five macro keys that can be assigned to virtually any in-game action, the BlackWidow Chroma V2 supports 16.8 million colors worth of LED lighting as well.

Read the full review: Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2

Following in the footsteps of Kingston’s first HyperX-branded gaming keyboard, namely the HyperX Alloy FPS, the HyperX Alloy Elite tweaks the company’s first winning keyboard to provide only a few subtle changes. For only $10 USD more than its predecessor, you’re getting media keys, a light bar and even a palm rest, all of which were previously absent. They’re also a series of delightful treats, making for a value proposition that shouldn’t be ignored.

Read the full review: HyperX Alloy Elite

Corsair K70

The Realforce RGB is a multi-talented keyboard that feels incredible to type on due in part to its capacitive Topre keyswitches, which offer superior tactile feedback compared to their Cherry MX equivalents. Boasting high-quality PBT keycaps and depth from 1.5mm to 3mm, the Realforce RGB is a hugely versatile keyboard that suits whatever task you’re doing at the time. Yes, even typing since its keyswitch stems are compatible with both Topre and Cherry MX keycaps. 

Like the Corsair K70 Rapidfire before it, the K95 RGB Platinum is a gaming-first mechanical keyboard with plenty of versatility to get the job done, whatever that job may be. It even packs in 8MB of memory dedicated to storing the profiles of its six macro keys. This keyboard is not only backlit by up to 16.8 million colors, but it’s the perfect travel buddy too, made better by its military-grade aluminum finish, including the wrist rest.

Read the full review: Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

Razer Ornata

For too long there’s been a divide between mechanical and membrane keys but now Razer has finally brought the two together with its ‘Mecha-Membrane’ Ornata keyboard. These new switches pull from everything Razer has learned over the years. The result is a grand typing experience with shorter keys, the tactile feel of the green switches from the Black Widow X Chroma and a loud audible click.

Cherry MX 6.0

Lending it to fast response times, the Cherry MX Board 6.0 is defined by its Cherry MX Red switches, hence the make and model. However, because the keys are positioned fairly close together they’re excellent for typing in addition to gaming. What’s more, housed in an eye-catching aluminum chassis, the MX Board 6.0 certainly doesn’t feel cheap and its blood-red key lighting is deliciously ominous.

Logitech G810

Sporting Logitech’s own Romer G switches, which aren’t quite as squishy as Cherry’s various switches, the G810 possesses a snappier feel than other gaming keyboards whether typing or gaming. And, with smart media keys that work equally well on both Windows and macOS, this board is a solid all-round offering. If you’re fed up with the weird markings, LCD screens and strange parts that come with competing “gamer-focused” keyboards, the G810 might be for you.

M500

Unlike most gaming keyboards in its class, the SteelSeries Apex M500 gets straight to the point, omitting unnecessary additives along the lines of RGB lighting and discrete media controls in favor of a compact design that wastes no space. Although the M500 neglects to let you choose your key switches beyond the standard Cherry MX Reds and Blues, these are damn fine options for a mechanical board in this price range.

Ultor

Because it packs an extremely durable, rugged aluminum body, the Cougar Attack X3 RGB is one of the best gaming keyboards you can buy if you’re on a tight budget. Equipped with Cherry MX switches and RGB  backlighting that can be customized to illuminate up to 16.8 million colors, this keyboard is a steal considering it doesn’t come close to the price of the Razer BlackWidow Chroma V2. N-Key rollover and a 1,000Hz polling rate are merely a bonus.

  • With Black Friday coming up, you might find your dream keyboard at a discount

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article

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By Kirk / News / 0 Comments

To everyone who told you that PC gaming is a novelty of the past, that the best gaming PCs have been overtaken by consoles and smartphones, you tell them TechRadar said they’re dead wrong. Despite recent initiatives to make console boxes smaller and 4K-capable, PC is still the best place to play your looming backlog of unplayed video games.

But that’s not the case for every PC. Your five-year-old cheap laptop isn’t going to beat out the new Xbox in terms of graphics and frame rate. To achieve that feat, you will need the best gaming PC around. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money either. Au contraire: we’ve constructed a list full of desktop PCs that range broadly in price.

Unlike many competing publications, however, we’ve made sure to invest ample amounts of time into testing these machines for reliability, power and bang for the buck. We’re not here only to tell you about the best gaming PC based on its appearances and capabilities, but we also want to advise you of its upgradeability and hidden fees you might otherwise have missed.

best gaming pc

The Alienware Aurora R5 impressed us with its clever, compact design and impressive power and the Aurora R6 doubles down on the latter. By introducing Kaby Lake processors and up to two Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti’s in SLI, it’s every bit as capable as the Alienware Area 51 Plus and half as small to boot. Even with the small chassis, there’s plenty of room for more RAM, storage for the years to come.

Read the full review: Alienware Aurora R6

The Chillblast Fusion Spectrum might sound like the sweetest water gun ever made, but is in in fact a gaming PC, and it’s the first of which we’ve reviewed to contain an AMD Ryzen 7 processor. Although it’s pricey and perhaps even unnecessary for a lot of our readers who haven’t made the jump to 4K resolution displays, this computer delivers exceptional performance, especially for streamers and multi-taskers.

Read the full review: Chillblast Fusion Spectrum Ryzen 7 Gaming PC

  • This product is only available in the UK as of this writing. US and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Corsair One.

It’s not uncommon anymore for PC makers to brandish their pre-built desktop rigs as VR-ready. What is unusual is to do so with a computer that’s also ready to conquer any game you throw at it at well over 60 frames per second and for under two grand. That’s exactly what MSI has accomplished with the Infinite A, a tower whose graphical efforts aren’t thwarted by its preparedness for VR, nor is it so expensive that it would see your head turn the other way.

Read the full review: MSI Infinite A

  • This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Overclockers 8Pack Asteroid.

Positioned as a ’console killer,’ the MSI Trident 3 looks a lot like an Xbox One S and is more powerful than a PS4 Pro, but at the end of the day, it’s a PC that feels just right in your living room. Complete with all the ports you could ever dream of, the MSI Trident 3’s advantages are clear. Still, in trying to be as thin and light as possible, the MSI Trident 3 comes equipped with a 330W external power supply brick, resembling some of the most less attractive console designs.

Read the full review: MSI Trident 3

best gaming pc

If you’re buying a pre-built PC, upgrades should be simple, right? That’s the philosophy behind the Lenovo IdeaCentre Y900. Embellished with red lights all over, the front of its chassis is bespeckled with textured patterns that’ll no doubt make your friends jealous. On top of offering support for a VR-ready GTX 1080, the Lenovo IdeaCentre boasts SLI support and room for up to 64GB of RAM, which are thankfully complemented by a convenient tool-less design.

Read the full review: Lenovo IdeaCentre Y900

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Corsair One.

The Dell XPS Tower Special Edition is a shining example of how to make a gaming PC subtle. Without all the superfluous RGB lighting effects and tempered glass enclosure, this is a machine that puts its money where its mouth is and competes on the merit of performance alone. Well, performance and also state-of-the-art customer service. You won’t find a version of it with a GTX 1080 Ti housed inside, but its tool-less design makes it easy to upgrade nevertheless.

Read the full review: Dell XPS Tower Special Edition

  • This product is only available in the US and UK as of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Corsair One.

best gaming pc

Sure, for the price of an Origin Millennium PC, you could buy a halfway decent car. But why would you need to leave the house when you can play games in 4K at a buttery smooth 60 fps? Between its pair of EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition twins and the Intel Broadwell-E Core i7-6950X processor, there is nothing the Origin Millennium can’t handle – and on the best of the best displays at that. Of course, it’s expensive; it’s like ten years worth of future-proof. 

Read the full review: Origin Millennium

  • This product is only available in the US as of this writing. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Overclockers 8Pack Asteroid.

In classic Alienware fashion, the Area 51 Threadripper Edition pushes the limits of both technology and your wallet. It’s wildly powerful, markedly featuring the latest AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X across all of its configurations. The Area 51’s triad-design hasn’t changed much since its introduction back in 2014, but on the inside this machine is essentially tool-less to upgrade, not that you would even need to.

Read the full review: Alienware Area 51 Threadripper Edition 

Both in its appearances and temperature, the MSI Aegis 3 is one of those few examples of a gaming computer that’s way cooler pre-built than what you could probably assemble yourself. Not only does its chassis look like an anime mecha robot, but it also features customizable, interactive lighting. What’s more, it’s similar in size to the Alienware Aurora, but with a Kaby Lake processor rather than a Skylake. 

Read the full review: MSI Aegis 3

Known in part for putting out RAM that’s faster than your processor, Corsair has made a name for itself in nearly every PC component category there is. Be that as it may, the company has only begun to flirt with assembling its own rigs. Luckily, with the Corsair One, the first time was the charm. This is a machine that prides itself in power, speed and portability and succeeds on all fronts, save for maybe upgradeability, which is all but impossible on the Corsair One.

Read the full review: Corsair One

  • The best gaming PC for you might be on sale come Black Friday

Joe Osborne and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article

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By Kirk / News / 0 Comments

Here’s something new (and very worrying) in the world of online gaming: Tera, an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online RPG) produced by the same developer responsible for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, had its in-game chat shut down over the weekend following revelations that it could be used as a medium to spread all sorts of malicious nastiness including viruses.

Developer Bluehole launched Tera back in 2011 in South Korea, and it followed to North America and Europe in 2012. It’s an online RPG with combat that plays out like an FPS, but panic struck over the weekend when the game servers were brought down for emergency maintenance to fix a gaping chat-related vulnerability.

Players themselves actually highlighted the flaw in Tera’s chat system, which apparently utilizes HTML, and could reportedly be exploited to bombard other players with dodgy images or links, collect user IP addresses, or even remotely execute malware.

As if MMORPG public chat channels weren’t toxic enough already.

The game’s North American publisher, En Masse, noted at the time: “There are very serious claims floating around of what this vulnerability potentially allows malicious users to do. We are taking these claims very seriously but, as of this time, we have no evidence that the vulnerability is being exploited in these ways or that any player information has been compromised.”

Fixing a hole

En Masse investigated the issue in conjunction with Bluehole, resulting in all chat being disabled save for guild chat last Friday, with the fix subsequently being deployed on Saturday at around 8:00 PST time in the US. Gameforge, the EU publisher, applied the fix on Friday at 16:00 UK time, a day earlier.

So the issue was dealt with fairly swiftly, as you’d hope, although by all accounts players had their game settings reset by the hotfix. Still, better that than a surprise virus arriving via a chat channel…

This is definitely a bit of an eye-opener and a cautionary tale for developers everywhere, for sure, in terms of security considerations when it comes to in-game systems.

And of course it’s particularly interesting that while Tera is hardly a big-name game, its developer is a big fish these days, and the force behind the juggernaut PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

Via: Engadget

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By Kirk / News / 0 Comments

There is a never-ending list of reasons to own one of the best desktop PCs. Gamers are well-known to enjoy the tweak-ability factor of old-school tower computers, whereas everyone else will be charmed by their lightweight pricing. That goes without mentioning that, if you already own a mouse, keyboard or monitor, you won’t have to spend as much as you would on a laptop. However, like everything else in the world, desktop PCs have changed.

Nowadays, there are computers that come with mice and keyboards. Alternatively, some are built into screens; these are called all-in-one PCs. They can’t be easily upgraded in most cases, and sometimes they’re equipped with laptop components. But, what they can do, is provide you with worthwhile performance in a convenient package. Otherwise, more conventional box computers still exist alongside more experimental innovations, like the Intel Compute Stick.

Whatever your cup of tea, we’ve devised a list of the best desktop PCs that doesn’t revolve around only one sector of the personal computing space, nor does it emphasize a particular budget. You will find below that all of our picks offer a bang-up job for the money, which itself ranges from $35 (about £25, AU$45) to $3,000 (around £2,290, AU$3,900). That way, no matter who you are, what your job is and what your hobbies are, you will find a computer that suits you.

Dell Inspiron 3000

For lack of a better description, the Dell XPS Tower Special Edition is a master of disguise. Appearing as subtle as the PC your parents hid under the desk, don’t be deceived by this boring exterior. Inside, you’ll find your choice of one of the latest high-end graphics card solutions from AMD and Nvidia in addition to a powerful Kaby Lake processor paired with plenty of hard drive and/or SSD storage. While the Special Edition of this PC is only available in the US, our readers in Australia and the United Kingdom will still be able to pick up the regular Dell XPS Tower and configure a system to the top spec.

Read the full review: Dell XPS Tower Special Edition

The Microsoft Surface Studio is one of the most glamorous PCs you can buy. It shakes up the all-in-one formula of putting all the components behind the screen, and instead moves everything to the base. The resulting device has one of the thinnest 28-inch PixelSense Displays that puts even most 4K screens to shame. What’s more, the fully-articulating stand makes it a versatile tool for work and play with Surface Pen support. All in all, the Surface Studio is an exceptional work of, and for, art.

Read the full review: Surface Studio

See more like this: The best all-in-one PCs

The Zotac Magnus EN1060 is practically as small as the Apple Mac Mini, but it’s an exponentially more powerful gaming PC, potent enough to drive virtual reality experiences. Thanks to its small size and understated features, users can place this mini PC under an entertainment center and it won’t draw attention to itself. Keep in mind, though, this system doesn’t come with storage or RAM pre-installed, not to mention it lacks an operating system, so interested users will need buy these components and software separately.

Read the full review: Zotac Magnus EN1060

The Alienware Aurora R6 is an excellent gaming PC that offers brilliant performance in a conveniently compact body. The affordable price is pretty great as well, considering the power on offer and users itching for upgrades will have room to pick up a second graphics card, plus more RAM and storage.

Read the full review: Alienware Aurora R6

See more like this: The best gaming PCs

Positioned as a “console killer,” the MSI Trident 3 looks a lot like an Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, but it’s a far more powerful PC that feels just right in your living room. Complete with all the ports you could ever dream of, the MSI Trident 3’s advantages are clear. Still, in trying to be as thin and light as possible, the MSI Trident 3 comes equipped with a 330W external power supply brick, resembling some of the least attractive console designs.

Read the full review: MSI Trident 3

Apple iMac

You wouldn’t see it coming based on the logo alone, but Apple’s latest iMac is neatly priced when compared to other all-in-one computers out there. In fact, the Surface Studio costs three times as much as the iMac to start. Despite lacking the fancy trimmings of its Microsoft-contrived competitor, e.g., a touchscreen and adjustable stand, the option for a 4K P3 wide color display and 7th-generation processor make the 21.5-inch iMac not only gorgeous, but up to date as well.

Read the full review: Apple iMac (2017)

See more like this: The best Macs

HP Pavilion Mini

Though at first you might confuse it for a fabric-woven Mac Pro refresh, the HP Pavilion Wave is anything but. This compact Windows machine packs in 6th-generation Intel Core processors and optional discrete AMD graphics with a uniquely integrated Bang & Olufsen speaker. Wrapped in a handsome fabric exterior, this is the perfect PC to have on the desk, as it radiates crisp sound while you browse the web or watch movies.

Read the first look: HP Pavilion Wave

HP 260 G1

No, this isn’t a USB thumb drive you’re looking at. The Intel Core Compute Stick might look like something you would store a PowerPoint presentation on shortly before losing it, but it’s actually a palm-sized personal computer that plugs into any screen with an HDMI port. Configurations start at a lowly 1.33GHz Intel Atom processor running Linux, and at the highest end is a notebook-class Intel Core m5 processor.

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article

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By Kirk / News / 0 Comments

It’s November, and while eBay deals on Black Friday 2017 may not officially arrive for a few more weeks, the retail site has gotten into the savings spirit early with discounted products available right now. 

Smartly, eBay wants you to be a “first-minute” shopper by saving big long before the holidays. To that end, eBay has opened up impressive early deals on a range of devices, including Apple’s iPad and GoPro cameras.

These early savings mean that when the Black Friday date of November 24 rolls around, you’ll be in prime position to finish off your shopping list way ahead of time. And then you can really rub it in the faces of your family and friends who are scrambling to find last-minute gifts. 

Without further ado, here are the top eBay tech deals you’ll find right now on eBay. And be sure to check out the eBay daily deals page for even more savings.

Save now: eBay Black Friday deals 

Why wait for November 24 when you can save with these early eBay Black Friday deals right now? Here are the top electronics deals we’ve picked out to help you save well ahead of Black Friday 2017.

eBay Black Friday deals to come

We’re getting into the thick of November and the shopping season is in full swing. We’re seeing eBay deals for the holidays nearly every day now, plus other retailers are beginning to discount what’s on their store shelves. 

This bodes well for the rest of the month, and especially the biggest shopping day of the year, better known as Black Friday. 

We’ll keep this page updated as more eBay deals surely roll in and, of course, on Black Friday 2017 itself. Plus, we’ll be sure to update you as soon as Cyber Monday eBay deals start to poke their head out. It’s only a matter of time now!

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By Kirk / News / 0 Comments

Blizzard has revealed the full details of how the first season of its pro gaming Overwatch League will pan out, with the excitement kicking off in January.

To be precise, the first match will be on January 10 (although there will be preseason exhibition matches from December 6 to 9), with the season divided into four stages lasting five weeks each with a short break in between.

Each of the 12 teams involved will play 40 matches during the season, half within their division, and the other half will be inter-divisional. There are two divisions, Atlantic and Pacific, with six teams apiece (and the UK franchise – London Spitfire – is in the former).

As VentureBeat reports, league commissioner Nate Nanzer further explains: “During the regular season, each team will play twice per week across four game days. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, with three matches played each day. We mixed up the start times each day so we could reach as many of you around the world as possible.”

Games will be played at the Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, but you’ll be able to watch the matches streamed on the Overwatch League website (plus there will be a companion mobile app, although that’s not available yet).

The regular season leads into the play-offs, starting on July 11, where six remaining teams will compete for the following 11 days to make the grand final, which will be held on July 26 through to 28.

Money, money, money…

The winning team takes the glory, the trophy, and a cool $1 million (around £760,000, AU$1.3 million) bonus. There will also be various performance bonuses throughout the season for winning the four separate stages, and for overall regular season and play-off placement, with bonuses totaling $3.5 million (around £2.7 million, AU$4.6 million).

Note that players are guaranteed to receive at least half of this bonus money in addition to their base salary, the latter of which, if you’re curious, is a minimum of $50,000 (around £38,000 AU$65,000), per year.

Players on the better placed teams, then, are going to make some serious money in this esports league when the bonuses are added in.

Most of the franchises are based in the US, save for the London Spitfires, who as we mentioned are in the Atlantic division, and the Seoul Dynasty plus the Shanghai Dragons, who are in the Pacific division.

The official Overwatch League site has been updated with all the latest news, team rosters and so forth, and Blizzard’s promising plenty in the way of stats tracking so we can follow the top players closely and see how good they really are.

There’s just one month to the first pre-season match now…

  • Aspiring Overwatch pros should be using one of our best GPUs

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By Kirk / News / 0 Comments

In a move that has been in the works since over a year ago, Lenovo is set to bolster its computer business – which has slipped in terms of performance this year – by snapping up a majority stake in Fujitsu’s PC division.

Fujitsu Client Computing Limited (FCCL) was spun off by Fujitsu in early 2016, and later in the year, the company said it was exploring a ‘strategic cooperation’ with Lenovo.

That has come to fruition with FCCL becoming a joint affair owned by Lenovo, Fujitsu, and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) – with Lenovo having a 51% stake, and DBJ owning a 5% stake (with Fujitsu having the rest, naturally).

Lenovo will initially pay Fujitsu $156 million (around £120 million), with a further up to $112 million (£85 million) to be paid depending on the company’s performance running up to 2020.

Retaking the top

Doubtless Lenovo hopes that this will help shore up its PC sales figures, which as mentioned have taken a bit of a dive this year, with the company losing its number one spot in the global market to HP Inc.

Previous to that, Lenovo was top dog in the PC arena for quite some time, but back in July, going by Gartner’s figures for Q2 2017, it lost that crown with shipments dropping by 8.4% year-on-year, whereas HP grew by 3.3% to overtake the Chinese giant.

Via: Reuters

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By Kirk / News / 0 Comments

Are you ready for the iMac Pro? Well, chances are you aren’t prepared for its $4,999 (around £4,949, about AU$6,520) price tag as pretty as its Space Gray finish and alluring as its 8-core Intel Xeon processor might be. For the average Joe, the best Mac 2017 has to offer right now is far more than enough. Unless you’re doing stringent pro video work, you don’t have to wait for your computer to be great.

  • Not completely set on a Mac? These are the best laptops in every category

That said, it’s easier for those in the know to determine the best Mac 2017 has introduced. However, if you’re less of an Apple die-hard and more of a person in desperate need of a new computer, we’re here to help you distinguish a MacBook from a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, an iMac from an iMac mini and so on. Because it’s our belief that you don’t have to go to the Genius Bar to be a genius when it comes to Macs.  

The truth is, it shouldn’t matter if you’re a PC power user right now or a mage, mobile with a MacBook in-hand. We assure you that our guide will help you figure out the Mac that suits your needs, either part-time, full-time or only on occasion. Every last one of them compatible with the latest macOS High Sierra (the most you’ll have to do is download and install it for free), here they are: the best Macs you can buy at this moment.

If you were expecting the 13-inch MacBook Pro of this year to rectify our complaints of late 2016, you ought to be prepared for disappointment with the latest iteration of Apple’s professional-grade laptop. However, if what you craved were updated internal specs and the same all-aluminum unibody design of yesteryear, the mid-2017 MacBook Pro will absolutely please you. Complete with the same controversial Touch Bar and some pretty beefy specs, the MacBook Pro is a marvel to behold, even if it’s still limited to Thunderbolt 3 ports alone.

Read the full review: 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (2017)

27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display - Best Mac 2016

If you want the big screen of an iMac with the precision of a Retina display then there’s only one iMac for you: the iMac with 5K Retina display. It comes with a choice between two Intel Core i5 chips as well as 1TB of HDD or Fusion Drive storage and it’s so pretty we want to marry it. For designers and video creators looking to make the move to pixel-heavy content, the 5K iMac pairs an illustrious display with a heaping deal of screen real estate to boot. It may not have the expandability of a Mac Pro, but at least you don’t have to worry about buying a monitor.

Read the full review: 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display (2015)

21.5-inch iMac with 4K Retina display - Best Mac 2016

You know you’re getting an unusually good value from an Apple product when, even at the entry-level, you can expect high performance, lots of storage and more ports than you know what to do with. The latest in Apple’s all-in-one desktop lineup, that’s the 2017, 21.5-inch iMac in a nutshell. There’s still no touchscreen, but at a fraction of the cost of Microsoft’s Surface Studio, you might be thankful that there isn’t. Instead, you’re getting a 7th-generation Intel processor and your choice of an IPS display carefully wrapped in an all-metal chassis. 

Read the full review: Apple iMac (2017) 

best mac

Apple’s 2015 MacBook refresh wasn’t for everyone and, despite being rosier and “goldier” than ever, that contention didn’t change in 2016. Most notably, Apple’s replacement of our favorite ports with the brand-new USB-C remains controversial.There’s also the keyboard, wherein Apple has re-engineered every key to be thinner and far less springy to the touch. Even though its Intel Core M processor has nowhere near the power of the Pro or even the Air, the laptop is more than capable of running iMovie, Photos, and even Photoshop with ease.

Read the full review: 12-inch MacBook (2016)

15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina

After some much-needed patience, we finally have the MacBook Pro overhaul we deserve. Complete with a thinner, lighter design, a Space Gray color option and an OLED Touch Bar in lieu of the function keys, this MacBook Pro introduces the big changes we’ve been waiting for. Although you may be turned off by the lack of conventional ports, there’s a lot to love about the 15-inch MacBook Pro, including lots of RAM, fast storage and a massive trackpad. Sure, you’ll be shelling out an extra wad of cash, but it’s the best MacBook Pro money can buy. 

Read our full review: 15-inch MacBook Pro (2016)

13-inch MacBook Air - Best Mac 2016

The MacBook Air is in an interesting spot. While it’s still one of the most popular and well-known notebooks around, the iPad Pro and 12-inch MacBook have stolen much of its thunder. That is, unless you need the legacy USB 3, Thunderbolt 2 and SDXC card connectivity. Even without a Retina display or Force Touch trackpad, the 13-inch MacBook Air is a very capable machine, even if the 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage leave a lot to be desired. Plus it still has the beloved MagSafe 2 charger onboard as well as an impeccable battery life. 

Read the full review: 13-inch MacBook Air (2015)

Mac mini - Best Mac 2016

The Mac Mini is Apple’s cheapest computer and has, for a long time, been its least powerful. Fortunately, Intel’s processor technology allows the desktop to be used for heavier tasks and Apple has brought the low-end model up to a decent specification. Available in three different variants – from a $499 (£399, AU$699) version with a 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM to a $999 (£949, AU$1,499) model with a 2.8GHz CPU and 8GB of memory – Apple’s smallest Mac is also one of its most resilient.

Read the full review: Mac mini (2014)

  • Find the best Macs as part of our Black Friday deals round-up

Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article 

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