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Purism Takes on Secure Smartphones

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"Freedom-respecting computer manufacturer" Purism announces what it calls the "world's first encrypted, open platform smartphone"-- the Librem 5, a phone able to make encrypted calls hiding the user's number.

Librem 5The device is also able to send encrypted texts and emails, as well as set up a VPN for web browsing. It is compatible with 2G, 3G and 4G connections with any GSM, UMTS or LTE network, and even carry hardware kill switches for the microphone, camera, wifi/Bluetooth and baseband.

The OS of choice is PureOS, the Purism-developed Debian GNU/Linux derivative. It should also be able to run most GNU+Linux distributions. And in case the user wants even more control, Librem will release the device source code, making it open for editing.

Logitech Intros BRIO 4K Stream Edition

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Customers with a penchant for games streaming get an appropriate Logitech webcam bundle-- the BRIO 4K Stream Edition, a camera able to push 4K video at 60fps with HDR, as well as 1080p at 60fps.

Logitech Brio“With BRIO 4K Stream Edition, we’ve optimised our popular BRIO camera for streaming," the company says. "The result is a webcam that has everything a pro broadcaster could want to better engage with their audience. On top of capturing live all details in 4K, the frame rate priority mode enables 1080p/60fps stream with constant frame rate and a complete integrated solution with XSplit Broadcaster.”

The camera features 5x digital zoom when recording in 4K resolution, together with RightLight with HDR to ensure correct exposure of faces when in varied or extreme (low bright, bright light, backlight) lighting conditions. Also included are autofocus and three FOV settings (65-, 78- and 90-degrees).

IDC: Personal Computing Devices Remain in Decline

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According to IDC the global personal computing device (PCD) is set to remain in "slight" decline through 2021, with shipments falling from 435.1 million units in 2016 to 398.3m in 2021, making a CAGR of -1.7% for the 5-year period.

The analyst defines "personal computing devices" as traditional PCs (combining desktops, notebooks and workstations) and tablets (slates and detachables).

IDC PCD

While the PCD market will not see growth throughout the forecast period, it should see some interesting trends-- notebook PCs show "small but steady" Y-o-Y growth in all years but 2018, and hybrid devices are the fastest growing PCD segment with a 5-year CAGR of over 14%. Ultraslim notebooks should also grow quickly with a CAGR of 18% through 2021, and the commercial segment will be a "relative bright spot" reaching stability in 2017 before growth in 2019 and beyond.

HP Omen X Aims at Gamers

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HP uses Gamescom to reveal what it claims is its "most powerful gaming laptop to date"-- the Omen X, a machine designed for overclocking, with factory-overclocked GPU and memory options, as well as appropriate thermals.

HP Omen XBeing aimed at such high performance, the Omen X is a bulky machine. It comes in 15- and 17-inch options (with 4K or 120Hz 1080p display), weighs 5kg and packs high-performance fans and an integrated vapour chamber with four 3.5mm heat pipes pushing heat to four rear corner-mounted radiators. The result should ensure the GPU and CPU remain cool.

Specification options include unlocked Core i7 processors, XMP memory up to DDR4-2800 and factory overclocked GPUs up to GeForce GTX 1080. Storage comes via PCIe SSD in RAID 0 and a 7200 RPM HDD, while other features include mechanical keyboard with RGB lighting, DTS Headphone:X support, USB 3.1 and 3.0 ports, HDMI 2.0a with HDR support, multi-format card reader and a translucent window allowing one to check the laptop internals.

Microsoft Opens Xbox One X Preorders

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The pre-Gamescom 2017 Microsoft press conference has the company open preorders for the upcoming Xbox One X with a special edition of the console-- the Project Scorpio Edition.

Xbox One X ScorpioNamed after the machine's original code name, the Project Scorpio Edition has a custom gradient design on the exterior, together with the Project Scorpio branding stamped on the controller and console. Meanwhile the retail packaging features a giant X reminiscent of the original Xbox.

However one has to keep in mind the Scorpio Edition is identical to the regular Xbox One X-- it is simply something special for the fans and early adopters.

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