Here are all the laptops Asus just announced at Computex - The Verge



















Asus just finished its Computex Taipei 2017 press conference, and in a surprising departure for the Taiwanese company, it was totally straightforward. That’s right, there were no weird tablets or dubious home robots this year, and no-one said “selfie” on stage even once — there were just a ton of new laptops. Here are all of them!

ZenBook Flip S

The Flip S is the “world’s thinnest convertible,” according to Asus chairman Jonney Shih. It’s 10.9mm thick, which Asus says is 20 percent slimmer than the MacBook, and it weighs in at 1.1kg (2.42 pounds). Asus claims 11.5 hours of battery life from its Core i7 processor, though the company isn’t specifying which specific chip it’s using inside the Flip S. There’s a single USB-C port, and the 13.3-inch 4K screen folds around 360 degrees for tablet use. The ZenBook Flip S starts at $1,099.

ZenBook Pro

The new ZenBook Pro sounds like a pretty solid all-rounder, cramming an Nvidia GTX 1050Ti GPU, a 15.6-inch 4K display, and an H-series Core i7 CPU inside an 18.9mm-thick chassis. Asus claims up to 14 hours of battery life for the ZenBook Pro, which will start at $1,299.

ZenBook 3 Deluxe

Asus called the ZenBook 3 the “world’s most prestigious laptop” last year, and it’s using the same tagline for the new ZenBook 3 Deluxe. It’s bigger than the regular ZenBook 3, with Asus calling it the world’s thinnest 14-inch laptop at 12.9mm thick. It has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, an unspecified Core i7 processor, and a 1080p display; it’ll start at $1,199.

VivoBook S

“Mainstream laptops will never be the same again” after the VivoBook S, according to Shih. So what is the VivoBook S? It’s a $499 laptop in a 17.9mm-thick vaguely MacBook-Pro-ish aluminum case with a Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GTX 940MX GPU inside. The 15-inch screen didn’t look great in my brief time with the laptop, but the specs aren’t bad for the price.

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Final Fantasy 7 Remake Undergoes A Big Development Change - GameSpot

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Square Enix's Final Fantasy VII Remake is moving forward, but under a new development setup of sorts. Gematsu reports that the publisher said recently during a livestream event that the project is now being made internally at Square Enix instead of with the support of external help.

Additionally, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII main programmer Haoki Hamguchi is now leading development on Final Fantasy VII Remake for Square Enix.

"I've taken charge on the development side for Final Fantasy VII Remake," Hamaguchi said during a livestream for Mobius Final Fantasy, for which he is the project lead. "As for the whole story, (it's a sensitive topic, but) until now, development was moving forward with external cooperation, but the company has decided to shift to an internal setup, including mass production and quality, because we want to control everything, including quality, on a stable schedule. (I won't be leaving Mobius Final Fantasy.)"

Final Fantasy VII Remake is coming to PlayStation 4, though a release date has not been announced. Keep checking back with GameSpot for the latest.

In other news, some new art for the Final Fantasy VII Remake was released recently as part of the Final Fantasy 30-year anniversary event. The game is not coming soon, as Square Enix has told fans not to expect it until 2018 at the soonest.

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ARM's new processors are designed to power the machine-learning machines - The Verge







On the eve of Computex, Taiwan’s big showpiece event where PC makers roll out the latest and best implementations of Intel CPUs, mobile rival ARM is announcing its own big news with the unveiling of a new generation of ARM CPUs and GPUs. Official today, the ARM Cortex-A75 is the new flagship-tier mobile processor design, with a claimed 22 percent improvement in performance over the incumbent A73. It’s joined by the new Cortex-A55, which has the highest power efficiency of any mid-range CPU ARM’s ever designed, and the Mali-G72 graphics processor, which also comes with a 25 percent improvement in efficiency relative to its predecessor G71.

The efficiency improvements are evolutionary and predictable, but the revolutionary aspects of this new lineup relate to artificial intelligence: this is the first set of processing components designed specifically to tackle the challenges of onboard AI and machine learning. Plus, last year’s updates to improve performance in the power-hugry tasks of augmented and virtual reality are being extended and elaborated.

Before we dive into the detail of this year’s changes, it’s worth recapping what ARM does and why it’s important. This English company, now owned by Japan’s SoftBank, is responsible for designing the processor architecture of practically every mobile device — you’ll have heard of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon, Samsung’s Exynos, and Apple’s A-series of mobile chips, all of which are built using ARM’s instruction sets and based on ARM’s design blueprints. When we talk about the oncoming wave of mobile AI, mobile VR, and smartphones that can perform machine-learning tasks without sending them off to processor farms up in the cloud, developing the capabilities for those tasks starts with ARM.

ARM

The new Cortex-A75 and A55 are the first Dynamiq CPUs from ARM. Dynamiq is the branding chosen to describe a much more flexible set of design options for silicon vendors like Qualcomm. Where previously ARM allowed for designs that paired a cluster of so-called big CPUs (from its A7x class) and a matched number of little CPUs (from the A5x series), the new design makes it possible to spec a single, mixed-up cluster composed of both big and little CPUs, to a maximum of eight. Thus, chip makers can now have, for example, seven little A55 cores and just one big A75 one: for a favorable mix of long battery life, cost efficiency, and a high ceiling of single-threaded performance when it’s called for.

"50x improvement in AI performance over the next three to five years"

ARM marketing chief John Ronco says he anticipates a "50x improvement in AI performance over the next three to five years thanks to better architecture, micro-architecture, and software optimizations." ARM’s Dynamiq changes include a redesigned memory subsystem and tweaks to how CPU caches work — which has led to a doubling of memory streaming performance on the A55 relative to the A53 preceding it. Given that the A53 has shipped on 1.7 billion devices over the past three years, it’s truly the A55 that will make the biggest difference in achieving Ronco’s ambitious forecast. In most applications, the new mid-range core will be 10 to 30 percent better than previously, offering up to 15 percent better power efficiency and 18 percent better single-thread performance. But it’s the fact that the new chip designs will be 10 times more configurable, with up to 3,000 different configurations, that will allow chipmakers far greater flexibility to make the most of them by tailoring them to specific tasks.

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'Destiny 2' On PC Is Going To Cause A Real Problem For Raids - Forbes

Destiny 2.

Credit: Bungie

Destiny 2 is coming to PC this fall, bringing the maddeningly addictive shared world shooter to an entirely new crop of players the world over. It feels like the right move: cheaters will be an issue, but it's hard to imagine how any developer or publisher could resist the siren song that is the PC install base, particularly with a now-established IP. Throwing PC into the mix isn't like moving from PlayStation 4 to Xbox One, however, or even like going from Xbox 360 to Xbox One. Not only is the control scheme entirely different, more powerful hardware means games will be able to push performance in a way that console players can't manage. For the most part, I don't see this being a problem. There is one place, however, where it might require some acrobatics, and that's raids.

We've got to take one thing for granted here. On the whole, a mouse and keyboard comprise a superior, more accurate way to play a first-person shooter. Sure, some gamers might prefer gamepads, and that's all fine. But there's a reason many developers say that cross-platform play would never work between consoles and PC, and it's because the PC players would wipe the floor with the console players. A combination of 60 Fps and the precision of a mouse and keyboard makes that virtually certain.

Which brings us to Destiny 2 on PC. Superior controls won't make a difference in PvP because a bloody rising tide lifts all boats. PvE content is a trickier beast, particularly with raids. I'm going to go ahead and assume that Bungie, not being staffed by lunatics, won't be making separate raids for PC and console. I'm also going to assume that raids will continue to be the ultimate challenge that the PvE game has to offer, meant to test even the most skilled Guardians in an onslaught of darkness. And that's where we run into an issue. Balancing a raid to be a challenge for both PC and console controls is going to be a supremely difficult balancing act, and it's hard to imagine that it's not going to end up either too easy for PC players or too hard for console players. Even tweaking the stats for the seperate version probably wouldn't handle it: the difference between PC and console controls would rquire design-level decisions to get right.

Sniper rifles were hugely important to the King's Fall raid because of their unmatched ability to deliver large amounts of precision damage in a short period of time. You used them against all the bosses, and you used them to quickly dispatch a few tricky knights that could spell disaster for your team. Learning how to manage them properly in a raid situation was a huge part of becoming familiar with an encounter. For the most part, I could nail the Warpriest's head with every shot in a clip, even if it took some doing. The sisters were harder. Knights during the Oryx fight, however, proved a hard skill check, and I derailed more than one attempt by missing one of the many shots I was expected to land perfectly. It irked me at the time, but the raid isn't supposed to be easy.

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Square Enix Shows New Dragon Quest XI Gameplay, Announces DQX Japanese Release Date - PlayStation LifeStyle

dragon quest xi

Just before the weekend, Square Enix showed off some new Dragon Quest XI: In Search of Departed Time gameplay alongside announcing the Japanese retail release date for its MMO, Dragon Quest X.

In the video below, you can watch gameplay from the PlayStation 4 version of DQXI between 31:00 and 46:00. If you’re interested in seeing the 3DS version then you can continue watching up until 55.00.

Square Enix also unveiled a “Restricted Play” system for Dragon Quest XI. According to a translation by Siliconera, players looking for a challenge can choose certain restrictions when playing. For instance, you can turn on shopping restriction, which will prevent you from buying items so you’ll have to rely on searching, looting and crafting.

As for Dragon Quest X, Square Enix announced that the MMO will release in Japan on August 17 for PS4 and September 21 for Nintendo Switch. It’ll come in an “All In One” edition that includes versions 1-3 of the game. The package will be priced at 4,800 yen with a monthly fee of 1,500 yen for five characters on PS4.

You can apply here (note: it’s in Japanese) to participate in a Dragon Quest X beta test, which will run from July 19 to August 10.

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