Hardware

Wed
22
May
John Lister's picture

New Laptop Memory Saves Space and Power

A new form of laptop memory aims to remove one of the biggest trade-offs in portable devices. It promises speed and power efficiency while still being easily replaceable. Most existing laptop memory falls into two categories, each with a weakness. ... One type, which is easily replaceable, takes up a comparatively large amount of space and uses a lot of power. That's double bad news in a portable computer. The other type is smaller and more energy efficient but must be soldered onto the motherboard, which is effectively the "spine" of a computer's operations. That's great at first but it removes ... (view more)

Wed
28
Dec
John Lister's picture

Light-Based Computing Promises Super Speeds

A computer that uses light - rather than electrons - for processing could be faster, smaller and use less power. Researchers say they've found a way to make an optical computer without the major limitations of previous models. Ultimately, everything ... a computer does is broken down into a series of calculations. In traditional computer processors, these work through a series of physical "logic gates" that either do or don't pass through an electrical signal. This creates a positive or negative electrical charge, which represents either a 0 or 1 in a single bit of data. Several researchers have ... (view more)

Tue
27
Sep
John Lister's picture

SSDs More Reliable In Long-Term Test

Newly-published tests suggest solid state drives (SSDs) are much more reliable in the long term than traditional drives. The tests only cover a specific use case, but it's one that could let users find a good mix of cost and performance. SSDs work ... in a similar way to USB memory sticks, with data accessed through a flow of electricity. It means they don't have any moving parts, unlike a hard drive that spins round and has a moving arm to access data, a little like a vinyl record player. That brings several key advantages - most notably that SSDs are quicker to access data. They are also ... (view more)

Mon
12
Sep
John Lister's picture

PC Monitor Tracks User Movement for Ergonomics

LG has made a monitor that automatically moves to the most comfortable viewing position for the user. The UltraFine Display Ergo AI can also move throughout the day to reduce the risk of users sitting in the same position for extended periods. The ... monitor has different modes attempting to mitigate different health and safety risks for users. One is the problem of not sitting at a suitable distance or comfortable angle, which can lead to eye and neck strain. Another is the problem of sitting in the same position throughout the day. If this position involves either slouching or excessive ... (view more)

Tue
06
Sep
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'30TB' Drive Was Brazen Scam

Walmart has stopped offering a 30TB portable hard drive that was listed on its website for $39. The third-party listing was not an unbelievable bargain but rather an audaciously cheeky scam. The supposed solid state drive (SSD) was listed on ... WalMart's site but sold and shipped by a third party. One security researcher found the same item from the same seller at the Chinese-base Ali Express for $31.40. Those familiar with the SSD market would recognize straight away that this was, to say the least, an implausible price. Most externals SSD ranges designed for the consumer market top out at 4TB ... (view more)

Thu
23
Dec
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Dell 'Concepts' include Modular Laptop

Dell has unveiled some creative ideas for new computers and gadgets to meet changing use demands. However, it's only calling them "Concepts." At the moment and there's no guarantee any of them will become available to buy. Perhaps the most credible ... is Concept Luna, a laptop that's easier to repair and thus more sustainable. The goal is to make it easier to replace specific components rather than having to buy a new device altogether. Historically that's been difficult with laptops as the components need to be packed much tighter together than in a desktop case, making it more fiddly to make ... (view more)

Tue
26
Oct
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3-in-1 Printer Stops Scanning When Ink Tank Empty

Canon is being sued for allegedly blocking multifunction printers from scanning or faxing because the printer ink is empty. The customer bringing the case has asked for class action status. David Leacraft bought an "all-in-one" Pixma device with ... printing, document scanning and faxing features. When his ink ran out, he found the other features no longer worked. According to the lawsuit, multiple posts and replies on an official Canon support site suggest this is by design. One reply from a Canon "Product Expert" read: "The Pixma MG6320 must have all ink tanks installed in the printer and they ... (view more)

Wed
24
Mar
John Lister's picture

Computer Chips In Short Supply

A serious shortage of processor chips is affecting the supply chain of computers and other electronic devices. It's caused by a combination of supply and demand changes. The problem has caused not just price rises but a lack of availability. Devices ... as diverse as the latest iPhone model, the PS5 games console and high-tech cars have all been delayed or in short supply. The Guardian reports that the problem is partly down to a backlog caused by chip production factories shutting down for social distancing reasons in the early stages of the pandemic. However, even as that clears, demand is ... (view more)

Wed
27
Nov
John Lister's picture

Buggy SSD Hard Drives Could Self-Destruct in 3 Years

A hard drive manufacturer has warned its solid state drives could effectively self-destruct after a little less than four years of total operation. HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise) says users need to apply a firmware fix immediately, while it's ... another reminder of the importance of backups. 20 different HPE models are affected, all in the SAS range, which are hard drives typically meant for enterprise. All are solid state drives, which have no moving parts. This makes them more expensive and much faster than traditional hard drives. (Source: hpe.com ) The problem isn't with the actual drives ... (view more)

Wed
17
Oct
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 Bug Silences Sound Cards

Microsoft has fixed a problem with the latest major Windows 10 update that left some computers silent. It's blamed Intel for an incompatible audio driver. A driver is software that helps a hardware device (such as a soundcard) work with an operating ... system, such as Windows. Sometimes drivers need to be updated to keep working with a new or updated edition of Windows. In the past, users often had to download drivers from hardware manufacturers, which usually meant using a search engine to find the appropriate page with a download link. These days, however, the Windows Update process often ... (view more)

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