New Asus VivoMini VM65 And VM65N Mini PCs Unveiled

Asus VivoMini VM65 Mini PC

Asus has this week unveiled new VivoMini mini PCs in the form of the Asus VivoMini VM65 and VivoMini VM65N that are powered by a choice of 6th generation Intel Core processors and can be fitted with up to 16GB DDR4 RAM.

The new systems sport a number of new features compared to other systems in the range and top of the line unit can be fitted with a NVIDIA GeForce 930M graphics, support for USB 3.1, SonicMaster speakers and connectivity via 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.

Both the VivoMini VM65 and VM65N systems are equipped with HDMI and DisplayPort++ allowing users to connect upto three different displays if required. The design of the mini PC also includes an easy “slide open” chassis making it ideal if you are looking to upgrade memory or storage in the future. Asus explain a little more :

The higher-specification VivoMini VM65N has discrete NVIDIA GeForce 930M Optimus™ graphics and 4K UHD display support to allow users to enjoy stunning videos, play casual games at their highest settings, or view incredibly-detailed photos. NVIDIA graphics cards deliver a performance boost of up to 56% over PCs with integrated graphics, making VivoMini VM65N an ideal photo or video editing platform. VivoMini VM65 Series mini PCs come with built-in SonicMaster speakers — doing away with the need for external speakers. This gives VivoMini VM65 Series deep rich bass and crystal-clear vocals, even at the highest volume levels.

VivoMini VM65 Series mini PCs feature Vivo DualBay, a unique dual-storage design that can accommodate a combination of up to two 2.5-inch SSDs and HDDs for added storage flexibility. This gives users the option to mix and match SSD or HDD options for an ideal balance between larger storage capacities or faster data access speeds. Models without Vivo DualBay will have a single 3.5-inch HDD.

A single 3.5-inch HDD, or two 2.5-inch HDDs via Vivo DualBay, would be sufficient to store entire movie or music libraries; while a combination of a 2.5-inch HDD and an SSD would be a perfect choice for fast operating system boot times and lightning-fast application launches. The Good Design Award-winning VivoMini VM65 Series mini PCs have the iconic Zen-inspired spun-metal finish. The elegant Iron Gray color scheme makes them a striking addition to any home.These mini PCs can be VESA-mounted on the back of a display to create a custom all-in-one PC.

For more information on the new Asus VivoMini VM65 and VivoMini VM65N mini PCs jump over to the official Asus press release for more details and full specifications.

16×9 Charlieplexed PWM LED Matrix Driver Lands At Adafruit

16×9 Charlieplexed PWM LED Matrix DriverElectronics enthusiasts looking for a way to add a retro LED matrix to their project may be interested in a new piece of hardware which is now available from the Adafruit online store, in the form of the 16×9 Charlieplexed PWM LED Matrix Driver chip reference IS31FL3731.

The I2C LED driver chip provides makers and developers with the ability to PWM each individual LED in a 16 × 9 grid formation allowing you to add a wide variety of different LED lighting effects to your project without a lot of hassle.


LED Matrix DriverThe IS31FL3731 is capable of being powered by 2.7-5.5V and can be used with almost any micro controller and 4 matrices can share an I2C bus, that is equipped with enough RAM for 8 separate frames to be stored in memory allowing you to create awesome animations that can be displayed using a single command. Adafruit explains a little more :

This chip is great for making small LED displays, and we even designed the breakout to match up with our ready-to-go LED grids in red, yellow, green, blue and white. Sandwich the driver and matrix breakout, solder together for a compact setup. Or you can DIY your own setup, just follow the LED grid schematic in the IS31FL3731 datasheet. Please note this does not come with any LEDs, you can pick up a matching LED matrix from us or DIY your own.

For more information on the new 16×9 Charlieplexed PWM LED Matrix Driver jump over to the Adafruit website for details and to purchase for $5.95.

Raspberry Pi Displays HATs, Shields And Small Screens Essential Guide

Raspberry Pi Displays

With the launch of the new $35 Raspberry Pi 3 mini PC last month, as well as the launch of the tiny $5 Raspberry Pi Zero late last year and the official Raspberry Pi 7 inch touchscreen in 2015 and a wealth of Raspberry Pi displays to choose from, there has never been a better time to start programming and create DIY projects using the awesome Raspberry Pi range of pocket computers.

If you are starting out in the world of Pi you may be a little bewildered by the number of HATs, Shields and small displays that are available, offering a wide variety of different formats and styles.

If you have already programmed Arduino, Beaglebone or similar development boards you may have already come across Shields, Capes or Wings, which come in the form of small add-on boards that can be easily fitted to your development board, mini PC or micro controller to quickly add extra functionality.

Similar Shields are available for the Raspberry Pi range of mini PCs, but can also come in the form of Raspberry Pi HATS. The difference between a Pi Shield and HAT is explained best by the Raspberry Pi Foundation the creators of the Raspberry Pi hardware :

In a nutshell a HAT is a rectangular board (65x56mm) that has four mounting holes in the (nicely rounded) corners that align with the mounting holes on the B+, has a 40W GPIO header and supports the special auto configuration system that allows automatic GPIO setup and driver setup.

The automatic configuration is achieved using 2 dedicated pins (ID_SD and ID_SC) on the 40W B+ GPIO header that are reserved for an I2C EEPROM. The EEPROM holds the board manufacturer information, GPIO setup and a thing called a ‘device tree‘ fragment – basically a description of the attached hardware that allows Linux to automatically load the required drivers. What we are not doing with HATs is forcing people to adopt our specification. But you can only call something a HAT if it follows the spec.

Below are listed a variety of different Raspberry Pi HATS, Shields and a few smaller Raspberry Pi displays that provide an easy way to add a visual monitor or screen to your project when space or power may be an issue and a larger HDMI connected desktop screens are not required. Things to keep in mind when choosing a small screen for your Raspberry Pi display project are the power consumption it will require, does it need touchscreen support and also whether the screen’s resolution needs to be high or in full colour.


PaPiRus ePaper Display HAT for Raspberry Pi

Starting off the list is a relatively new comers to the Raspberry Pi display HAT market and takes the form of a display that was launched via Kickstarter called the PaPiRus ePaper or eInk screen Raspberry Pi display HAT that provides the added bonus of low power consumption.

PaPiRus is an ePaper or eInk screen HAT module that has been specifically designed for the Raspberry Pi with screen sizes ranging from small – 1.44″ to  large – 2.7″ in size and prices ranging from £30 – £65 respectively, depending on the size of display you opt for. This high contrast Raspberry Pi display makes it easy to read anything printed to the screen in full sunlight and makes it prefect as a display for Raspberry Pi data-logging applications or any other ultra-low power application that require a small screen.

PaPiRus ePaper Raspberry Pi Display HAT

The displays used in the PaPiRus were originally designed for use as small dynamic signage, to display product pricing in grocery stores, and are available in three different sizes : small measuring 1.44 inch, medium at 2.0 inch and Large measuring 2.7 inches.

The smallest display measuring 1.44 inches diagonal across and sports a resolution of 128 x 96 pixels. One of the other great features of the PaPiRus is that the screen does not require any power to continually display an image, allowing it to stay on the screen without any power consumption, and then slowly fading away over the space of a few days.

The PaPiRus Raspberry Pi display HAT is now available to purchase priced at from £30 depending on the size you require from the Pi Supply website.


Raspberry Pi 1.8″ 18-bit Colour TFT Shield with microSD adapter and mini joystick

Adafruit 1.8" 18-bit Color TFT Shield w/microSD and Joystick

Moving on to the first full colour Raspberry Pi display, the small 1.8 inch 18-bit Colour TFT Shield comes equipped with both a microSD and a handy 5 way navigation joystick to add extra functionality to your Raspberry Pi project. Created by Adafruit the small display can be powered by a small portable battery if required and offers users a resolution of 128 x 160 pixels and a full 18-bit colour display.

The Raspberry Pi 18-bit Colour TFT Shield is now available to purchase from a wide variety of Adafruit stockists as well as the official Adafruit online store and is priced at around £32. For more information and to purchase jump over to the Pimoroni or Adafruit website.


Adafruit 2.2″PiTFT Raspberry Pi Display HAT Mini Kit (No Touch Support)

If you are looking for a slightly larger screen measuring 2.2 inches across the diagonal and do not require a joystick or SD card adapter you might be interested in the Adafruit 2.2 PiTFT Raspberry Pi Display HAT Mini Kit. This Pi display is priced at around $25 and includes four buttons but no touchscreen support. The display offers users a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels and measures 55mm x 40mm. Once fitted the display uses the Raspberry Pi’s SPI pins SCK, MOSI, MISO, CE0, CE1 together with GPIO #25.

PiTFT 2.2 HAT Mini Kit 320x240 2.2 TFT - No Touch

For more information on the 2.2 inch PiTFT Raspberry Pi Display HAT Mini Kit without touchscreen support jump over to the Adafruit website for details and to purchase.


Adafruit  2.4″ PiTFT Raspberry Pi Display HAT Mini Kit with touchscreen support

Slightly larger again is the Adafruit 2.4″ PiTFT Raspberry Pi Display HAT that does also provide touchscreen support. The Adafruit 2.4 PiTFT display fits on to the Raspberry Pi Model A+, B+, Pi 2 and more the recently launched Pi 3 mini PC unveiled in February 2016. It offers a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels and again uses the SPI pins (SCK, MOSI, MISO, CE0, CE1) as well as GPIO #25 together with #24. But does provide 5 spots for the addition of slim tactile switches that can be connected to 5 GPIOs to expand the functionality of your project a little further if needed.

PiTFT 2.4 HAT Mini Kit 320x240 TFT Touchscreen

For more information on the 2.4″ PiTFT Raspberry Pi Display HAT Mini Kit with touchscreen support jump over to the Adafruit website for details and purchase options.


Assembled  3.5″ TFT Raspberry Pi Display with touchscreen support

If you are looking for a slightly higher resolution display then the PiTFT 3.5 inch Raspberry Pi display that requires no soldering and offers a resolution of 480 x 320 pixels with touchscreen support might be worth more investigation. The 3.5″ TFT display is equipped with a backlight on which the brightness can be controlled if required and the current draw is 100mA with the backlight full-on.

Assembled 480x320 3.5" TFT+Touchscreen for Raspberry Pi

For more information on the 3.5″ TFT Raspberry Pi Display with touchscreen support jump over to theAdafruit website for details and to purchase for $45


Sparkfun 3.5″ Touchscreen Raspberry Pi Primary Display Cape 

At 3.5 inches the Sparkfun Raspberry Pi Primary Display Cape has been specifically designed to work with the official Raspbian Raspberry Pi operating system and offers primary display support. This QVGA display provides a resolution of 480 x 320 and offers RGB 65K true to life colours with integrated 4-wire Resistive Touch Panel.

The Sparkfun 3.5 inch Raspberry Pi Primary Display

The Pi display id powered directly from the Raspberry Pi and interfaces with it using a high speed 48Mhz SPI connection and is fitted with an on-board processor to provide direct command interpretation and SPI communication compression offering 17 frames per second (FPS).

For more information on the 3.5″ Touchscreen Raspberry Pi Primary Display Cape jump over to the officialSparkfun website where it is available to purchase price that $75.


3.2″ Touch LCD Raspberry Pi Display Starter Pack

A powerful graphical display for projects with a budget of over $100 is offered by the full colour 3.2″ Touchscreen LCD Raspberry Pi Display Starter Pack that is RoHS Compliant. This screen offers users a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels and resistive touch and comes complete with a 4D Pi Adaptor and 5 way interface cable the supply voltage (VCC) of the display is 4.5V to 5.5V

Touchscreen LCD Raspberry Pi Display Starter Pack

The display also comes equipped with a uLCD-32PTU Display Module and a 4D Serial Pi Adaptor Shield as well as a handy 2GB microSD card reader and uUSB-PA5 programming adaptor.. For more information on this Raspberry Pi display jump over to the Robot Shop website for details.


Universal 2.4 Primary Raspberry Pi Display 4DPi-24-HAT 

The 4DPi-24-HAT  features an integrated resistive touch panel and offers users a 2.4 inch display that provides a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels and acts as a Primary Display HAT. Enabling the Raspberry Pi to display the primary output that would normally be sent to the composite or HDMI connected display.

Universal 2.4 Primary Display 4DPi-24-HAT

Communication between the Raspberry Pi and the 4DPi-24-HAT is providing by a 48MHz SPI connection thanks to the on-board processor for direct command interpretation and SPI the same as the Sparkfun 3.5″ Touchscreen Raspberry Pi Primary Display Cape. The display is compatible with Raspberry Pi A+, B+, Pi 2 and Raspberry Pi 3 mini PCs and offers a viewing area of 36.72 x 74.75mm and is both RoHS and CE compliant.

The 4DPi-24-HAT is again powered directly from the Raspberry Pi making it eay to setup and removes the need for any external power supplies keeping your project nice and compact. The 4DPi-24-HAT is available to purchase from Element14 for $35 or £22.40


RGB 16×2 Character LCD Raspberry Pi Display

If you are in need of a more basic display that just provides two lines of text that can be scrolled if needed or used to display small amounts of data from your Raspberry Pi then you may be interested in the Adafruit RGB Negative 16×2 LCD+Keypad Kit. This screen for the Raspberry Pi is about as basic as they come and may already be familiar to those that have used Arduino development boards and Shields previously.

Adafruit RGB Negative 16x2 LCD+Keypad Kit for Raspberry Pi

The LCD display requires only two pins (I2C) on the Raspberry Pi GPIO to function, leaving the other pins available for your project. Features of the Pi display include :

– 16×2 Character LCD with contrast control -RGB backlight
– 5 buttons (4-way direction pad, and one select) provide programmable inputs
– Extra-tall 26-pin GPIO header so the plate sits above USB and Ethernet jacks.
– Can be used with other I2C bus devices

The LCD and Keypad Kit is available to purchase for around $20-$25 and is available in both positive and negative versions from sites such as the Pimoroni online store and Adafruit.


Monochrome 128×32 I2C OLED graphic Raspberry Pi display

If you need a slightly large screen and fancy a little more upto date technology in the form of an OLED display for your Raspberry Pi then the Adafruit Monochrome 128 x 32 I2C OLED graphic display, maybe worth more investigation. The I2C OLED is available to purchase for around £16 and is also available from the Adafruit website.

Monochrome 128x32 I2C OLED graphic display


SparkFun Serial Graphic LCD Raspberry Pi Display

Along the same theme but again offering more screen real-estate is the SparkFun Serial Graphic LCD Raspberry Pi Display which offers a 128 x 64 pixel Graphic LCD and provides the user with a simple serial interface and a full range of controls.

SparkFun Serial Graphic LCD 128x64

The Serial Graphic LCD Raspberry Pi Display is available to purchase from the Sparkfun online website priced at £27 or $36.95 and requires a 220mA draw for the backlight to be fully illuminated.


Raspberry Pi Display-O-Tron HAT

Other Raspberry Pi display boards worth consideration for your project include the Raspberry Pi Display-O-Tron HAT which is now in its second generation of development and is fitted with six capacitive touch input buttons around its edge.

Other features of the Display-O-Tron HAT include a six-zone RGB backlight, LCD display offering 16×3 characters, GPIO breakout pins for 5V, 3V3, GND, SDA/SCL, TX/RX, PWM, MOSI/MISO/SCLK/CE1, as well as GPIO #5, #6, #13, #19, #26 with support for full ASCII set plus eight custom characters and a useful 6 element LED bar graph function.

Raspberry Pi Display-O-Tron HAT


The super slim 16×3 character LCD display is now available from the PiHut website and is priced at £22 and can add a splash of colour to your project without a massive power consumption issue.


Nokia 5110 Graphic LCD Raspberry Pi Compatible

Not necessarily a Shield or a HAT but worth a mention while we’re on the subject of small Raspberry Pi displays is the Nokia 5110 Graphic LCD 84×48, which as the name suggests takes the form of an older mobile phone screen which can be easily connected to the Raspberry Pi and measures 45 x 45 mm

Nokia 5110 Graphic LCD 84x48

Normally the Nokia LCD comes with a PCD8544 as pictured above, that interfaces with micro-controllers via the serial bus interface and offers a low power CMOS controller/driver, providing users with 48 rows to play with and 84 columns. All  functions for the display are provided via a single chip that provides on-chip generation of the LCD’s power supply and bias voltages all in one compact unit, removing the need for any further components.

The Nokia 5110 Graphic LCD Raspberry Pi display is available from the Sparkfun website, priced at an affordable $9.95


Nintendo DS Touch Screen

If you already have a small screen and would like to add touchscreen support to your project without swapping the display, a handy little add-on screen in the form of the Nintendo DS Touch Screen will, help you accomplish this. Although its not a Raspberry Pi HAT or Shield, it is a useful and affordable way to add interactivity to a project.

Raspberry Pi Nintendo DS Touch Screen

The Nintendo DS Touch Screen is a thin film that measures 2.2 x 2.75 inches in size and readings are taken by suppling 5V across two of the pins, then doing an analog to digital conversion on the other two pins. Full X and Y position can be achieved with the use of only four GPIOs. Sparkfun has created a great tutorial to get you going, check it out here and the DS Touchscreen is available to purchase from the likes of Amazonfor around £4.40


Hopefully this list of Pi displays has helped figure out which would be best for your next project, I will endeavour to try and keep this list updated as new Raspberry Pi display Shields and HATs are released, but if I have missed any that is worth a mention please do not hesitate to drop in a link in to the comments below.

If you are interested in larger displays that have been specifically created for the Raspberry Pi and are connected to the mini PC via HDMI rather than being a HAT or Shield. I will soon be compiling a list of the most popular larger Raspberry Pi displays currently available and will provide a link here once it’s live, so please bookmark and return soon or subscribe to our feed to be updated.

iRobot Braava Jet Mopping Robot Mops Your Floors

iRobot Braava Jet Mopping Robot iRobot has a range of different robots which will hoover your house and now the company is launching a new device which is designed to mp your floors, the iRobot Braava Jet Mopping Robot.

The iRobot Braava Jet Mopping Robot will retail for $199 and it will spray a jet of water on your floor and then move around mopping it up, you can see the device in action below.

The device comes with three different cleaning pad, wet mopping pad, a damp sweeping pad and a dry sweeping pad, the device will cost $199 and a pack of 10 pads will cost $7.99, there will also be a washable cleaning pad which will cost $19.99.

“With more than 15 million home robots sold worldwide, we know that customers appreciate the convenience and assistance an automated cleaning helper provides,” said Christian Cerda, executive vice president and general manager of iRobot’s Home Robots business unit. “Braava jet complements our successful Roomba® robotic vacuum by offering customers a separate option for daily hard floor mopping on particularly dirty and sometimes unsavory surfaces.”

Cubieboard 5 Octa-Core Development Board Launches

Cubieboard 5 Development BoardubieTech has this week added a new developer board and single board PC to its range with the launch of the new Cubieboard 5 system which is priced at $99 and comes equipped with a oct-core processor.

The Allwinner H8 octa-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor of the Cubieboard 5 is supported by PowerVR SGX 544 graphics and 2GB of RAM and also has a connection for an optional lithium battery if your project requires it.

Other connections and features of the $99 Cubieboard 5 include a HDMI and DisplayPort, S/PDIF and headset audio jacks, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0, 2 x USB host ports, 1 x SATA 2.0 interface a handy microSD card readerand IR sensor. ubieTech explains more about the features and updates to the latest Cubieboard 5 development board in the range :

Based on CB3, CB5 which adopts a Octa core CPU, has been not only improved performance but also increased a lot of unique functions. We worked on this product about one year, wish to build the next CubieBoard star product. We paid more attention to quality controlling ,and also organized large-scale trial sale activity in China before Chinese New Year. Finally, CB5 has been got user’s consistent high praise for it’s ‘High performance’,‘Playability’ and ‘Zero rework’. Now, CubieTech announced: CB5 released for CubieBoard fans all over world, Everyone can buy it from the most convenient channel.

Cubieboard 5 Octa-Core Development Board

Like the CB3’s design idea of high specifications, stable performance、and rich interfaces, Cubietruck Plus retains all the highlights. We also considered the performance equilibrium、heat controlling and chip price, Finally, we chose the Allwinner’s Octa-Core H8 (Octa-Core Cortex-A7 CPU, up to 2.0GHz,PowerVR SGX544 GPU, up to 700MHz ) as the hardware platform. Both CPU comprehensive performance, and the image processing performance of GPU, compared with the previous CB3, all have been increased by four times.

Gigabyte Brix Skylake UHD Unveiled With NVIDIA Graphics

Gigabyte Brix Skylake UHD

During the CeBIT 2016 currently underway this week Gigabyte have unveiled a new prototype system in the form of the Gigabyte Brix Skylake UHD which is being showcased at this week’s technology event.

The new design for the Brix mini PC range takes the form of an aluminium cube with one of the corners sliced off providing access to USB ports, Ethernet and more and is slightly larger than previous Brix systems offering a 2.6ltr enclosure that houses to motherboards.

The new Gigabyte Brix Skylake UHDMeasures 4.3 x 4.3 .8 .6 inches tall and is equipped with an Intel Skylake processor supported by NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M graphics. Other features include 3 x PCI Express M.2 slots, 2 x memory slots capable of accepting DDR4 2133 mHz memory together with HDMI, 3 x mini DisplayPort, 3 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 3.1 Type C, 1 x USB 3.1 Type A, Gigabit Ethernet and microphone and headphone jacks.

Gigabyte Brix Skylake UHD

Due to the system still being in its prototype stage of development Gigabyte have not yet released any details on pricing or availability but as soon as any information is made available we will keep you updated as always. In the meantime jump over to the websites by the links below for more details and specifications.

Google Cardboard v1.8 Includes New Arctic Journey Demo

Google Cardboard

This week Google has rolled out a new update to its Google Cardboard application in the form of version 1.8, which brings with it a new demo application in the form of the Arctic Journey.

The Arctic Journey demo takes you on a virtual reality trip of the North Pole providing a glimpse of some of the scenery and animals you may encounter if you did the journey in real life.


Google Cardboard

The Google Cardboard app is available for both Android and iOS devices and the latest version is now available to download directly from the iTunes App Store or the Google Play store.

Cardboard puts virtual reality on your iPhone. The Google Cardboard app helps you set up a Cardboard viewer and includes a few experiences to get you started: The tour starts with a cute arctic fox and continues through different scenes as it introduces themes like flight, playing, learning, creating, and relaxation. All of the scenes are pretty simple, and aside from one or two objects to click, you’re kinda just along for the ride.

– Explorer: Explore exciting environments.
– Exhibit: View 3D objects from a museum collection.
– Urban Hike: Take a hike through iconic cities around the world.
– Kaleidoscope: Enjoy a fun stereoscopic take on the old classic.
– Arctic Journey: Fly alongside Arctic terns, create your own flower garden, relax under the northern lights and more.

Adafruit ATWINC1500 WiFi Breakout Board Equipped With uFL Connector Now Available


Adafruit has this week announced a couple of new additions to its range of breakout boards with the addition of the Adafruit ATWINC1500 WiFi and the new Adafruit Feather M0 WiFi.

Both are now available to purchase directly from the Adafruit online store and provide easy ways to connect your Arduino development board to the Internet using an FCC-certified WiFi module from Atmel.


Adafruit explains a little more :

This 802.11bgn-capable WiFi module is the best new thing for networking your devices, with SSL support and rock solid performance – running our MQTT demo for a full weekend straight with no hiccups (it would have run longer but we had to go to work, so we unplugged it). We like these so much, they’ve completely replaced the CC3000 module on all our projects.

The Adafruit ATWINC1500 WiFi Breakout uses SPI to communicate, so with about 6 wires, you can get your wired up and ready to go. Right now the Atmel-supplied library works great with Arduino Zero, and seems to work OK on Uno but may not work on other Arduinos. You can clock it as fast as 12MHz for speedy, reliable packet streaming. And scanning/connecting to networks is very fast, a few seconds.

Feather is the new development board from Adafruit, and like its namesake it is thin, light, and lets you fly! We designed Feather to be a new standard for portable microcontroller cores. This is the Adafruit Feather M0 WiFi w/ATWINC1500 – our take on an ‘all-in-one’ Arduino-compatible + high speed, reliable WiFi with built in USB and battery charging. Its an Adafruit Feather M0 with a WiFi module, ready to rock!

Razer Core Thunderbolt 3 External Graphics Dock Now Available To Pre-Order

Razer Core

First unveiled back in January of this year during the CES 2016 technology show held in Las Vegas the Razer Core external graphics card dock won a number of awards including “Best of CES”.

The world’s first plug and play Thunderbolt 3 External Graphics Enclosure in the form of the Razer Core has now been officially launched and is available to preorder from $399.

The external graphics card has been designed to provide users of ultraportable laptops the ability to instantly add desktop performance to their portable system and enjoy games and graphics that wouldn’t normally be able to run on such small compact systems. The Razer Core external graphics card dock can accommodate graphics cards that draw a maximum of 375 W and no larger than 310 mm x 152 mm x 44 mm in size. Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO explained more :

Razer continues to innovate in the laptops category where big systems brands either cannot or will not. This time, in collaboration with industry leaders, we’ve created the world’s first external graphics card solution of its kind, bringing the GPU power of a desktop PC to the latest Razer laptops, such as the Razer Blade Stealth Ultrabook, through a single Thunderbolt 3 connection with plug-and-play convenience.

All consumers, non-gamers and gamers alike, now can easily migrate from their Razer laptop for on-the-go performance to driving a full desktop experience using Razer Core, including enhanced graphics and simple connectivity to peripherals.

The Razer Core is now available to pre-order directly from the official Razer website and is priced at $399 when purchased with a compatible Razer notebook or $499 if purchased separately to add to an existing ultraportable laptop. For more information on the new Razer Core jump over to the Razer website for details via the link below.

Bring LLB on par with MBBS, BTech

The Supreme Court on Wednesday started the arduous task of initiating “long overdue” reforms in legal education and in the profession of advocacy to put the LLB degree on a par with those of MBBS and BTech.

“The system is crying for reforms and we must do something,” a bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice U U Lalit said.

 The CJI said there was a general feeling that students enrolled in LLB courses when they didn’t get admission into other professional streams. “If students do not get into MBBS or BTech courses, they join LLB. Legal profession should not be a free for all profession. So, it needs to be reformed,” he added.
 The bench said any addition to the pool of legal professionals must be talented and of good quality. “Administration of justice is as important as the profession of a doctor. If one is not permitted to become a half-baked doctor, you can’t also become a half-baked lawyer,” the CJI said. Though it questioned the statutory force behind the Bar Council of India’s decision to hold All India Bar Examination, it said in principle it was not against the screening test as there was a dire need to weed out non -serious persons from joining the profession. “Let the AIBE go on as scheduled. We are not averse to the examination to screen those entering the profession of advocacy. We want to strengthen it. The filtering mechanism needs to be strengthened so that the profession is not open to one and all,” the bench said. “Every year, 60,000 more join the profession, of which 2,000-odd are from National Law Schools,” it added. The court was questioning BCI counsel Ardhendumauli Prasad about the statutory force behind the regulatory body’s decision to hold AIBE. A law graduate must clear the AIBE within two years of enrolling as an advocate to be able to continue practising in court.

The bench referred the matter to a three-judge bench for evolving criteria to weed out non-serious lawyers from entering the profession. The CJI said, “In Jammu and Kashmir, there was a sound system where a law graduate enrols as a pleader and practises for two years . After that, he gets enrolled as a ‘vakil’ and practises on the original side of the high court for three years. But now, a fresh law graduate can come straight to the apex court and argue cases. We ask them questions and they do not appear to know much about the practice and rules.”

 The court posted the matter for further hearing before a three-judge bench on Friday