Computing:

iMac 2016 release date, news and rumours

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iMac 2016 release date, news and rumours

Although it may seem that the range has only recently had an upgrade, the late 2015 iMac brought little more than a processor upgrade and a long-awaited bump to Retina screens across the board.
 
With Apple’s computing market share dipping to 4.9% in Q2 of 2016, there are few doubts that the company will release a spread of updated all-in-ones at its September 2016 event.

The biggest updates are likely to be seen with the guts of Apple’s iMac range, with Intel’s latest Kaby Lake processors now ready for production. The latestAMD Polaris graphics chips should also be on-board, providing plenty of grunt for would-be video editors, high-resolution gaming and more.

Other improvements are being chattered about via the rumour mill in the expectedly feverish build up to the new iMac’s release, with VR compatibility currently headlining the list of less attention-grabbing features.
Keep on reading to find out more about the new developments we’re expecting from the 2016 iMac refresh.
 

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10 Ins’Pi’ring Raspberry Pi B+ Projects to Try For Yourself

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10 Ins'Pi'ring Raspberry Pi Zero Projects
There’s little doubt that the Raspberry Pi has transformed classrooms, bedrooms and hobbyist workbenches throughout the world, and has fast become an instantly recognisable British product we should all be proud of.

Whilst it’s now not the newest or most powerful model of Raspberry Pi available, the B+ is one of the most widely used. Having replaced the original Model B in July 2014, this single board micro computer is behind some truly ins’Pi’ring projects. Sorry, we couldn’t resist.

The B+ has more power than the Model A or A+; swaps an SD card slot for a more compact micro SD; fits in an additional 2 USB ports over the original Model B; has better audio and video outputs; increases the GPIO header from 26 to 40 pins; and despite all these new features, still uses up to 1W less power than earlier models.

Here at LifeHacker we’ve unearthed a variety of exciting pi-projects, but if you’re looking for a truly exciting project to take on with your new Pi B+, then keep reading!
 

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10 Ins’Pi’ring Raspberry Pi Zero Projects

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10 Ins'Pi'ring Raspberry Pi Zero Projects

Just when you thought computing couldn’t get much smaller, along comes a miniaturised version of the – already diminutive – Raspberry Pi: The Zero. At just half the size of the Raspberry Pi A+, this tiny new model was launched on the front cover of a magazine – proof of Moore’s Law (if it were needed).

Crammed into a package measuring 65mm x 50mm x 5mm, there’s a surprisingly capable 1GHz processor, 512mb of RAM, a micro-SD slot, micro HDMI video output and two micro-USB sockets (one for data and one for power)

It might not have quite the connectivity of its larger brothers, but the Raspberry Pi Zero is still the perfect starting point for a wide variety of projects, from simple media streamers to more exciting inventions.

We’ve covered a variety of exciting pi-powered projects already here at Lifehacker, but if you’re on the hunt for a truly exciting project, then try one of these for size.
 

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Gigabyte P57Wv5 review

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Gigabyte P57Wv5 review

Although Gigabyte may be more renowned for its range of desktop motherboards and graphics cards, it has more recently become deservedly well-known for its variety of gaming-focused laptops.

 

Following up from the notable Gigabyte P55K V4 we looked at last year, the Taiwanese manufacturer brought a new selection of gaming laptops to CES 2016, the pick of which may well be the 17.3-inch Gigabyte P57Wv5.

 

Although it may not be quite as slim, light, or pack quite the graphical processing power of the top-end Gigabyte P37X, the P57W has more than enough to chew through any game you might throw at it. Under the hood, a speedy combination of the latest Intel Core i7-6700HQ Skylake processor and Nvidia GTX 970M graphics rivals most desktop gaming rigs for power.

 

While it is not as thin as the Acer Aspire V15 Nitro, or as quite as trendy as the Alienware 17, the Gigabyte P57W makes for an enticing package that – on paper at least – strikes an even balance of price and performance.

 

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Best VR Web Browsers

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Best VR Web Browsers

After years of trials, tribulations and terrible failures, VR is finally becoming a reality. Whether you are eying up an Oculus Rift or getting the vibes for HTC’s Vive, it’s not just the inevitable avalanche of VR games and video content that are suitable for virtual reality viewing – now you can browse the 2D web in 3D, too.

 

For those after that total immersive experience, we’ve rounded up the best VR web browsers currently available.

 

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Philips 258B6QJEB review

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Philips 258B6QJEB review

While it may not quite reach the heady heights of the latest 4K displays in terms of pixel count, the Philips 258B6QJEB is an interesting option if you’re seeking a QHD monitor. At 25 inches, it’s a compact piece of kit compared to the many 27-inch (and larger) monitors out there.

 

There aren’t many alternatives at that size, with Dell’s UltraSharp 25 and the HP Z25n proving two more expensive alternatives. Arguably, neither look as good as Philips’ sleek new entry. The appeal of having a smaller monitor on your desk is twofold – there is more space around it for other things, and it can also help with uncomfortable eyestrain that may occur if you are sat too close to a large display.

 

Priced at around £260 (about $400, or AU$550), the 258B6QJEB packs a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution IPS LCD panel that offers excellent viewing angles and image quality, along with an abundance of connections, speakers and a USB hub that makes this particular display a versatile choice.

 

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Asus E402MA review

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Asus E402MA review

There was once a time when nothing but netbooks consumed the sub-£200 ($300/AUS$411) price bracket, but fortunately Microsoft and its partners have recently done a lot to drive down the price of larger, considerably more usable laptops.

 

With the advent of true cloud applications such as Office 365, and a variety of streaming services that have quickly overtaken locally-stored media, lean machines such as the Asus E402MA are making ground at the budget end of the market alongside similar notebooks like the smaller Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 11.

 

Packing a 14.6-inch screen, the E402MA has a relatively modest set of specifications: a quad-core Intel N3540 M processor clocked at up to 2.66GHz is paired with merely 2GB of RAM and a rather paltry 32GB of storage.

 

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Acer Predator XB270HU review

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Acer Predator XB270HU

Monitors with the “gaming” tag slapped brazenly on their boxes aren’t necessarily a new breed. Along with the advent of 3D and super-high resolutions, gamers have been slowly working their way up through faster refresh rates to keep up with the incredibly powerful GPUs that drive gaming PCs.

 

Most of the gaming monitors we’ve seen so far have made do with a ‘twisted-nematic’ (a.k.a. TN) panel, which helps keep costs down for gamers who might already have spent a month’s wages on an insanely powerful GPU.

 

Rather than the older TN technology, the new Acer Predator XB270HU gaming monitor packs an IPS panel with a pixel-resolution of 2,560 x 1,440. Although it may not be a 4K screen, this super-fast monitor comes with Nvidia’s G-Sync technology, which claims to completely remove screen-tearing and lag by perfectly synchronising the refresh rate of the GPU and the screen.

 

Shop around and you can find the Acer XB270HU for under £600 (around $900 or AU$1,300), enough to buy you any number of the low-end 4K monitors on the market such as the Philips BDM4065UC.

 

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HP Pavilion Mini review

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HP Pavilion Mini

Ever since Asus launched the desktop answer to netbooks in the form of theEeeBox PC, the market for small-footprint PCs has grown to offer a wide range of options.

 

The HP Pavilion Mini 300-030na is one of the latest small, quiet and energy-efficient desktops to come to market, and it’s one of the nicest-looking mini PCs we’ve seen since the launch of the Apple Mac Mini.
 
With models starting at £249.99 ($269, AU$349) the Pavilion Mini is a competitively priced option, with ample storage space and enough power for day-to-day tasks.

 

The model we reviewed came complete with 1TB of storage space, a 1.9GHz Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM (which can be upgraded to 16GB if needed); a faster i5 model is available, as is a lower-priced option with a less capable Pentium 3558U processor and smaller 500GB hard drive.

 

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