Under The Hood: This Week In PC, Component And Software News

Thinking of building a new gaming PC? Struggling with whatever random error your desktop is throwing up this week? Under The Hood gives you a quick and concise run-down of the most important things that happened to the PC master race in the last seven days.

Helium Is The Secret Behind Seagate's New 10TB Hard Drives

FAdvances in regular hard drive tech are still very important, especially in the enterprise space. No, James Kirk doesn’t need more gigabytes to keep his extraterrestrial porn collection — but the cloud does need more bits to hold your dirty pictures and videos and the odd work document. And so, we now have drives filled with helium.

You may remember some talk of helium-filled hard drives a few years back, but like a lot of new technologies, it’s taken time to get the manufacturing processes into line to ship the buggers in bulk.

HP Is Finally Making A High Quality Chromebook

There are really good Chromebooks out there if you know where to look, and HP has made some very solid — if very cheap — options. Sadly their plastic clamshell Chromebooks still felt low budget in the face of quality devices like the Asus Chromebook Flip. But a new HP Chromebook shrugs off the failures of the past and looks towards a hopefully higher quality future.

At Google’s Chelsea offices in New York City this morning, HP and Google gave us a good look at the new Chromebook 13.

Acer Introduces The First Liquid-Cooled 2-In-1: The Switch Alpha 12

In a bid to push the 2-in-1 concept even further, Acer has shoved liquid cooling into their new 2-in-1 Windows 10 device, the Switch Alpha 12. Somewhere between a laptop and a tablet, Acer has designed a custom liquid cooling system for the new device for fully fanless, silent operation.

The Switch Alpha 12 boasts the distinction of being the first liquid-cooled 2-in-1 with 6th Generation Intel Core Processors, to run efficiently and silently for a decent eight hours of battery life. Acer is definitely aiming this at a professional audience, claiming it is “ideal for places where quiet operation is appreciated – such as meetings, shared offices, classes and libraries.”

Why Did No-One Tell Me About HP's New Incredibly Thin Spectre Laptop

I’ve been looking for a new thin, powerful, USB Type-C-powered laptop for quite a while now, but I seem to have missed HP’s early-April announcement of the new Spectre: a 13-inch laptop that’s barely over 10 millimetres thick, but that still has Intel’s excellent Core i5 and Core i7 processors inside. This laptop looks beautiful, and it wants to dethrone Apple’s MacBook as the high-flying business exec’s super-luxury gadget of choice.

HP uses the word artisan a lot to describe the Spectre — it “has an artisan feel, almost if it was hammered out, filed, polished”. Not necessarily true for something that will inevitably be mass produced, but certainly possible for a one-of-a-kind prototype. There’s certainly a lot of rose gold on there, that’s for sure.

Acer's New Predator Laptops And Desktop PCs Are Ready For VR

AA ‘Nvidia GeForce VR Ready’ sticker is the crowning feature of Acer’s new Predator gaming laptop and desktop range, announced overnight with certified support for VR headsets including the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The two new machines are the most powerful that Acer has ever built, but are surprisingly compact for their high-end specs.