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2023-11-28 19:47:17| Engadget

Ayaneo has been teasing its Macintosh-inspired PC for a few weeks. Now that the AM01 is available for pre-order, the company has revealed the prices and specs. While some had been hoping Ayaneo would use similar chipsets to those found in its powerful handheld gaming devices, it has opted to use older AMD APUs. On the plus side, the company has priced the various AM01 configurations pretty fairly. The mini PC starts at $149 for a configuration with an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. That's an early bird price, and this version will later retail for $199. Configurations with a Ryzen 7 5700U APU start at an early bird price of $219 for a barebone unit and stretch up to $379 for a model with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. Ayaneo notes that the AM01 is expandable up to 64GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM and 2TB of M.2 solid state storage. There's also a SATA 3.0 interface that supports a 2.5-inch SDD or HDD. The Ryzen 7 5700U variants have Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2, compared with Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2 on Ryzen 3-powered units. Ayaneo keeps the AM01 cool with the help of a large fan and four copper heat pipes. On the connectivity front, there's one USB-C 3.2 Gen1 port, three USB 3.2 Gen2 ports and one for USB 2. There's a 3.5mm headphone jack, while the machine runs on DC power. There are also gigabit Ethernet, DisplayPort 1.4 and HDMI 2.0 ports. Ayaneo says the AM01 can output video in 4k at 60fps and it's compatible with dual-screen setups. All of this comes in a compact case that measures just over 5 inches (132mm) wide and tall and just over 2.5 inches (64.5mm) thick. Adding to the AM01's portability, it weighs slightly over a pound (486g). You can personalize the mini PC with magnetic decorative elements. In other words, you'll be able to swap out the badge on the bottom left of the machine (the same spot where the Apple logo is on the Macintosh). Ayaneo will include a bunch of stickers too, so you can decorate the non-functional "screen." The AM01 comes with Windows 11 Home Edition pre-installed, as long as you opt for a configuration with RAM and an SSD. Ayaneo says the Ryzen 7 APU can handle mainstream online games and "mild" AAA titles. Its AYA Space tool can handle tasks like bringing all of your games from different storefronts together in one place, limiting the framerate and adding a performance overlay. Although it's generally worth exercising caution when it comes to products promoted on crowdfunding platforms, Ayaneo effectively uses Indiegogo as a storefront. It's not looking to crowdfund the AM01. In fact, the mini PC is pretty much ready to roll. The company says the AM01 is slated to ship in December, so the mini PC should start reaching customers over the next few weeks.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/ayaneos-macintosh-inspired-mini-pc-starts-at-149-with-internals-to-match-184717612.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-11-28 19:30:18| Engadget

Meta has temporarily stopped selling the Elite Strap with Battery for the Quest 3, reportedly because of a firmware-related charging defect. The $130 accessory, which extends the standalone VR headsets runtime by up to two hours while providing a counterweight for comfort, is currently unavailable from Meta and third-party retailers. Short of conducting a recall, the company told Road to VR, which first reported the story, that its currently manufacturing a new batch that fixes the firmware issues allegedly behind the defect. Meta told the publication it plans to replace the headsets on a case-by-case basis for buyers who contact customer support. Owners have reported that the Elite Straps battery typically works at first but stops charging the headset earlier than expected. Informal polls, anecdotal social media comments and a separate report from Road to VR earlier this month suggest the issue may be at least somewhat common. Meta hasnt stated whether the defect is universal, but chalking it up to firmware that requires newly manufactured units suggests it may be. I own a Quest 3 with the battery accessory and havent noticed any charging issues, but I also dont remember if Ive run its battery down enough to have noticed. Engadget contacted a Meta spokesperson, and were still waiting for confirmation and any extra details about what to look for. Well update this article if we learn more. Meta The company told Road to VR its working to stock fixed units as soon as possible. Metas product page for the accessory says its out of stock, and its listing has been pulled entirely from the websites of retail partners Best Buy and Target. Amazons product page says currently unavailable. In addition to that model, Meta makes a $70 Elite Strap without a battery focused solely on ergonomics. The company also had early troubles with its Elite Straps for the Quest 2, as both versions of the 2020 accessory were prone to cracking. Meta paused sales of that model and extended the accessorys warranty after issuing a fix for subsequent batches.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/meta-pauses-quest-3-elite-battery-strap-sales-reportedly-due-to-a-charging-flaw-183018925.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-11-28 19:21:31| Engadget

Many companies give away free plugins in honor of the holiday season, but Universal Audio is taking things a step further. The audio giant is giving away free Volt 2 hardware interfaces with the purchase of a yearly subscription to its Spark plugin platform. These interfaces typically cost $170, so this is a pretty great deal for beginners, as the hardware plus the Spark software is pretty much everything you need. Spark subscriptions are also on sale for the holidays, at $150 instead of $240, though this price point is fairly common. The end result? You pay $150 and you get a year of access to every available plugin on the service, plus the Volt 2. Not bad. The companys subscription-based Spark platform allows access to dozens of popular UAD plugins, from iconic compressors like the 1176 to virtual instruments like the companys Minimoog reproduction. As for the Volt 2, this diminutive audio interface features a pair of TRS / XLR inputs on the front and associated gain control knobs. Theres a phantom power button for condenser mics and a proprietary Vintage Mode that runs the signal through a simple tube preamp emulation. These interfaces are powered via USB-C, though ship with a 5V jack for when youre plugged into an iPad or another mobile device. In our official review, we praised the Volt 2 audio interface for its low noise floor, simple controls and low latency, particularly when compared to rival Windows-based products. The biggest con was the price, which is normally the case for UAD products. Now that its down to $0 for this promotion, that worry has dissipated. This isnt the first time that UAD has leveraged the holiday season to give away free hardware. The company used to hand out free Satellite DSP accelerators to run its plugins with the purchase of higher-priced hardware items like the multi-channel 4-710d preamp and compressor. Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/universal-audio-is-giving-away-volt-2-audio-interfaces-with-spark-subscriptions-182131900.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-11-28 17:39:54| Engadget

Back in June, the UKs Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) began an in depth investigation into the planned $20 billion Adobe and Figma merger. The organization has released its findings and, well, they dont paint a rosy picture. The probe tasked independent experts to determine whether or not the merger would reduce competition in the design space and the results suggest that, in fact, itll do just that. It must be noted, however, that these are provisional findings. With that said, the CMAs message is clear. The group states that the merger will eliminate competition between two main competitors, which is fairly obvious given Figma and Adobes standing in the industry. The findings also state that the deal would reduce innovation and the development of competing products. Finally, itll also remove Figma as a threat with regard to Adobes flagship software suites like Photoshop and Illustrator. Figma is a giant player in the UK design space, accounting for 80 percent of the market. Its also a major part of the countrys $19.4 billion app development sector. Without the merger, the CMA suggests, Figma would continue to develop or expand products that challenge Adobe. That goes away once the merger is in place because, you know, why challenge yourself? The investigation concludes that the merger would eliminate competition between these two major players across multiple fields, including product design, image editing and illustration. These sectors account for $60 billion in annual revenue across the UK, adding up to nearly three percent of the national economy, with 850,000 skilled workers across the impacted industries. Another intent of the investigation was to suss out if the merger would damage the UKs economy and it concluded it most likely will. Again, these are provisional findings and the CMA has yet to consult the data to reach a final decision as to whether or not itll allow the sale to go through. It plans on taking some time to listen to any further views, likely referring to Adobe. To that end, Adobe argues that buying Figma would strengthen both companies, saying that the Creative Cloud apps would get some of Figmas collaborative features and vice-versa. The company says its deeply committed to keeping Figma an independent entity and that it has no plans to change the pricing, including Figmas free tier. If the deals approved by the UK, which looks more unlikely with this report, Adobe still has some other battles to fight before this merger officially goes through. The acquisition still faces a US investigation, and the EU has issued its own dire warning. This would be the larger-ever-purchase for Adobe in its storied 41-year history. Figma, on the other hand, is a relative newcomer to the market, springing forth in 2012.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/adobe-and-figma-deal-will-harm-digital-design-sector-uk-report-suggests-163954858.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-11-28 17:26:30| Engadget

Google says a first-of-its-kind geothermal energy project is now feeding carbon-free electricity (CFE) into the Nevada grid that powers its data centers in the area. The company says that the enhanced geothermal system (EGS) is delivering a round-the-clock supply of CFE to the grid. It's a step toward Google's goal of entirely powering its data centers and offices on CFE by 2030. Google teamed up with clean energy startup Fervo Energy in 2021 to work on an EGS. Unlike other sources of CFE such as solar and wind, geothermal projects can operate at any time (solar projects, for instance, can only capture energy during the day).  Fervo Energy achieved a geothermal breakthrough earlier this year when its system achieved flow and power output records for an EGS. It was capable of producing 3.5 megawatts of electricity enough to power around 2,600 homes. That test result was said to be the first time an energy company proved an EGS is capable of working on a commercial scale. Scientists have been trying to make an EGS work since the 1970s. A natural geothermal system requires a blend of heat, rock permeability and fluid to generate electricity. In areas where there's sufficient heat but not enough permeability, an EGS creates the latter by drilling deep into the earth and injecting fluid to create fractures in the rock. At its Nevada site, Fervo drilled 8,000 feet into the ground, then extended the well horizontally to reach more of the hot reservoir. It drilled a second horizontal well to intersect the fractures in the rock. The company pumps cold water from the first well through the fractures into the second well. The water absorbs heat from the surrounding rock. This is used to generate steam and that produces CFE. The Department of Energy has acknowledged that, unlike with gas and oil fracking, EGS poses a low risk of water contamination. EGS reservoirs are typically much deeper in the ground than oil and gas reservoirs and aren't close to groundwater or near-surface drinking water supplies. Geothermal power plants don't release any water on the surface either. A 2019 report by the DOE found that through advancements in technology as well as in policy and procurement EGS could generate up to 120 gigawatts of clean energy by 2050. That would be enough to cover over 16 percent of the US' expected electricity needs. Google says it's working to accelerate adoption of EGS as a clean energy solution. To that end, it recently teamed up with Project InnerSpace, a non-profit organization that's focused on removing barriers that are limiting the global development of geothermal energy. Fervo, meanwhile, is building an EGS site in Utah that it expects to deliver 400 megawatts of 24/7 carbon-free electricity enough to power as many as 300,000 homes. Fervo says that site will start delivering power to the grid in 2026 and reach full-scale production two years later.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/googles-first-geothermal-energy-project-is-up-and-running-162630603.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


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