In the video streaming world, Amazon is on a roll! Four years ago, they shipped out the first video streaming devices. Since then, they’ve improved their Fire TV Products by shrinking things down to smaller HDMI sticks that are the size of a thumb drive, improved their Roku offers, and released voice control devices like Amazon Alexa.
Now, Amazon is releasing the 4K Fire TV cube. Obviously, Amazon thinks that this device is the next thing in entertainment because they’ve baked in Alexa functions right into the device.
Sandeep Gupta is vice president of product development for Amazon Fire TV. He says that the goal of this Fire TV Cube is to “really enable voice experience in a way that makes sense and actually highlights the use of voice. No. It’s not just another voice enabled device. It’s apparently a whole new experience.
The 4K Fire TV Cube is $119 at Amazon. Easily the most expensive Fire TV device Amazon has released so far.
Let’s take a look at a few features:
Has eight far-field microphones built in, an array that was designed to accommodate the shape of the cube.
All Alexa features work. Ask the Cube for the weather, jokes, or Amazon’s voice powered Apps.
The Cube connects to the TV via HDMI and supports both multi-directional IR and CEC.
Cube owners with set-top boxes for cable TV or over-the-air TV can connect Amazon’s box to those devices and access them using Alexa.
Has an interesting EX Echo Show interface with a grid like format.
Last year, AMD came up with a 16 core CPU. This year, AMD one up’s itself by coming up with a 32 core CPU! So called the “Threadripper,” this CPU will have a total of 32 cores and 64 threads. This chip is said to launch sometime in the third quarter of this year. Intel also just announced that they’re working on a 28-core, 5GHz cpu. So much excitement, so little time!
Jim Anderson tells Engadget that when they “were bringing out 16-core, we already had on the drawing board the 32-core.” That’s one of the reason it can drop into the same TR4 socket, is because up front we had that in mind. I think Ryzen has had a big impact on the industry, but the best thing about is is that it’s driven innovation and competition back in the industry,” he said. “And that’s good for everybody, and it’s especially good for end users. I think having Intel react to us just benefits end users. I also think it’s nice to see AMD back to its heritage of pushing the industry.”
This new Threatripper chip will run on AMD’s 12nm Zen+ architecture, which is in the same vein as AMD’s newest Ryzen desktop CPUs. The chip will have higher clock speeds, improved boost features, and more efficient performance.
Pretty amazing that only a few years ago, everybody was so excited to see release dual core and Four Core CPUs. Now we’re moving into 32 core CPU territory! Amazing.
New and Improved
If performance, portability, and battery life is what you’re looking for in a gaming laptop, check out the Gibabyte Aero 15X. It’s 6-core Intel processor and gaming display, lightweight portability, and cleaver design are sure to be a win for all gamers.
Hands on Review
This Engaget Review on the lays out everything. Brushed black aluminum chassis, amazingly solid keyboard, a host of high speed ports, and top of the line performance with the 6-core i7-8750H CPU and NVIDIA GTX 1070 Max-Q graphics. At just 18mm (0.7 inches) thick, it is about as thin as any other lightweight gaming laptop out there. It’s 4.5 pounds does mean it’s just a bit heavier than MSI’s GS63VR 7RG 4.2 pound gaming laptop, but not quite a heavy at ASUS’s ROG Zephyrus GX501.
Performance wise, the Aero 15X tops out the charts by showing a CPUMark score of 12,500. Even though the machine packs a GTX 1070 card, it’s performance is more like the GTX 1060 chip. Game such as Witcher 3, Wolfenstein II and Rise of the Tomb Raider handle well at 1t 1080p, hitting 120 fps (on Rise of the Tomb Raider). On a 4K monitor, the frame rate on Witcher 3 was well over 30 fps, which is more than acceptable for such a small laptop. Video editing really shines on this beast. Mixing HD and 4K video is snappy and responsive with resource-hungry video, doing full HD encoding in just over 7 minutes.
Battery life comes in at a whopping 7 hours, 40 minutes; about twice as long as the latest GS63VR 7RG Stealth Pro. Such a long battery life is mostly due to the huge 94.24 Wh battery as well as the fact that it sends video playback processing functions to the integrated Intel UHD 630 graphics.
Display: 15.6″ IPS Full HD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz Wide Viewing Angle Anti-Glare Display | Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5 (Max-Q)
Processor: 8th Gen Intel Coffee Lake Core i7-8750H Six Core (2.2GHz-4.1GHz, 9MB Intel Smart Cache, 45W)
OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64 Bit) | Warranty: 2-Year Gigabyte USA + Global Warranty Parts & Labor + Lifetime Tech Support from EXcaliberPC
The Gibabyte Aero 15X has 24 reviews on Amazon with a 4 star overall rating. Here’s a few recent reviews:
The Gigabyte Aero 15x is a great gaming laptop for the price. It’ll play any AAA game that you throw at it at max graphics without too much of an issue. The M.2 SSD is also wonderful and super fast. On the Pros, the laptop is definitely well built and the screen is absolutely gorgeous. Gaming on this is a breeze, well above 60 fps at ultra settings. Cons, there is a known issue with the USB ports acting up, especially when you plug in an external USB hub, the laptop gets really hot and the fans are noisy when running at full speed.
I find this machine it easy to look at, solid, and very powerful. The main use for this machine is going to be as for graphical design, photo and video editing. I will also play video games games with it. In the last month that I’ve had it, I haven’t had any issue with it except for a audio driver problem which was easily fixed.
Great laptop all around. I was in the market for a new laptop that I could use in college. Something that had the horsepower to both play games, but the portability and battery to be used as a workstation as well. Gigabyte did a great job combining the best of both worlds into this beautiful chassis.