Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 4th Jun 2012 21:30 UTC
Games The E3 is supposed to be all about gaming, but since you can only go so far with realistic renderings of bullets entering and exiting various body parts, Microsoft's keynote was more about expanding the Xbox ecosystem - with, among other things, Internet Explorer and SmartGlass. The latter is a service which allows you to use additional devices - tablets, smrtphones, PCs - as remote controls for your Xbox. IT goes much further than that though, while watching a TV show or a game, SmartGlass can show additional content (i.e., a map of Westeros while watching Game of Thrones), or pick up content where you left off. Pretty cool - and coming to iOS and Android as well, including the game integration. Yup, expect Office for iOS and Android to land soon.
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RE: This is good news
by bassbeast on Tue 5th Jun 2012 04:21 UTC in reply to "This is good news"
bassbeast
Member since:
2007-11-11

Why not just go HTPC? You can buy an E350 kit REAL cheap from places like Newegg where all you do is pop in a RAM chip and whatever HDD you want in the thing and you don't even have to buy an OS as there is a build of OpenELEC built just for the fusion chips that gives you the XBMC 10 foot interface and support for most wireless controllers.

Personally my customers usually buy the Win 7 HP version and pair it with the excellent Lenovo mini-keyboard, it has a trackball built into the handle that is REALLY smooth and the new AMD drivers give you full codec support and hardware acceleration for just about every major format out there, from flash to DivX. And unlike the consoles they are fully upgradable, everything from bluetooth to TV tuners for recording and pausing live TV.

So while HTPCs used to be strictly geeker toys frankly there has never been a better time to have one, the E350 is very low power, you can buy kit or prebuilt with just about any combo you want and unlike the consoles you can run just about anything you imagine as well as games. heck you can find tons of Youtube videos of guys playing everything from L4D to Crysis on theirs, but for most of my customers its strictly a kicking media center.

That's why I don't care for the consoles for surfing, too restrictive. Once you've used an HTPC everything else just feels handicapped. Its a shame they are so insane about DRM, as the current gen of consoles has some really nice hardware, but once they move on to the next gen I have a feeling most will just be gathering dust in a closet somewhere.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: This is good news
by ephracis on Tue 5th Jun 2012 13:38 in reply to "RE: This is good news"
ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

I just have a normal PC hooked into my TV and a standard wireless keyboard+mouse lying on the coffee table. Works perfectly. Have the default zoom in Chrome set to 175% and a slightly lower DPI setting in Windows 7.

This way I can surf, watch movies, use uTorrent, listen to music, write reports in Word, code in Visual Studio, edit HTML pages over SSH in Notepad++ and do fast math using the calculator, whatever I need.

The best part is when streaming TV shows and get the occasional ad saying "wouldn't you rather watch this on your large TV screen instead of your computer?".

Never liked the PS3 browser and I'll make a wild guess and say that the Xbox browser won't be to my liking either. Even if it can use Kinect for input.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: This is good news
by sukru on Tue 5th Jun 2012 18:29 in reply to "RE: This is good news"
sukru Member since:
2006-11-19

Yes that might make sense.

It seems like E350 kits are currently ~$100 at NewEgg. For a complete system I would also need some RAM ($30-60), a good HDD ($100-200), a Logitech wireless keyboard ($30), and TV tuners (I have some extra, but normally they cost ~$40 a piece).

So my total cost could be around $300 for a capable system, which is much less than my older PC (I think it cost around $800).

Still, my Xbox is cheaper (I already have it), but I might consider this as an upgrade for the future.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: This is good news
by bassbeast on Thu 7th Jun 2012 03:25 in reply to "RE[2]: This is good news"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

$200 for a hard drive? What are you planning on putting in the thing, a 200gb SSD? if you get the micro minis they take 2.5in drives so you can find a good 500Gb one of those for around $70 if you want the sales, personally I prefer the slightly larger models that will take a 3.5in which you can find a 1Tb for less than $90 if you look around.

The nice thing about doing it with either is you can totally upgrade once the price of drives plummet again (man I can't wait until i can grab 2Tb drives for $70 a piece like i did right before the flood) by either sticking the new drive in an external case or simply copy the old drive to the new and use the old drive in an external. you can find nice external cases on Amazon for less than $10 that work great, its pretty much my SOP now when a customer comes in for a HDD upgrade that I put the old in an external, makes a great movie or backup drive.

But I can tell you these E350 and E450 units are great, they sip power, are easy to silently cool, the new AMD codecs give you hardware acceleration for all the major formats, and it'll even do some gaming if you are so inclined, especially great with Steam and the new Indie games. and believe me once you have a full blown HTPC connected to your widescreen you won't want to go back to consoles, they are just too restricted. With the E series units you can do anything you can do with a regular PC, no hassles, from internet TV to chat to streaming media, it does any task you want it to do VERY well, heck I've even built them for use as basic office PCs and running most office programs they do great, just a wonderful little cheap chip.

Reply Parent Score: 2