Back to work. Taiwan's Computex PC show has kicked off, and ASUS appears to be dominating it again, with a simplified lineup of laptops and hybrids that continue to push the limits of light and thin laptops. Intel has also decided to create an 18-core processor. No, it's not for your next PC.
Gaming IRL is part of a broader series in which you'll find stories from all of the areas we cover: gadgets we use every day, the apps and services we adore, what we're watching and the music and podcasts we can't live without.
This time is all about gaming. In the future, expect to find some essays and personal stories mixed in with the endorsements, but for now, sit back and enjoy an eclectic mix of console, hand-held, online and mobile recommendations.
It won't be long before laptops are so thin and light that you'll barely notice one in your bag on your commute -- and that's the main takeaway from ASUS' press conference. Topping the table is a refreshed ZenBook Pro measuring 18.9mm thick and weighing less than four pounds, but packing high-end Intel CPU and NVIDIA graphics. Then there's the ZenBook Flip S, which weighs 2.4 pounds and measures just 10.9mm, making it thinner than most rival ultra-light laptops on the market. It's a similar story with its cheaper VivoBook Pro and VivoBook laptops, as well as the company's Zen all-in-one desktops. Each of those ranges comes with NanoEdge bezels which greatly reduce the bulky frames of each device.
Choosing a gaming laptop usually means compromising on size, battery life, or horsepower, but NVIDIA claims it's ready to change that. New Max Q spec'd laptops rolling out this summer will have GTX 1080 GPUs stuffed inside their 5 lb MacBook Air-like frames. That will give them enough power to play AAA games in 4K or VR if you like, while being light enough to carry around every day.
Netflix's flagship series is back, and its return comes at an interesting time. With drama playing out in real life every day -- and without its original creator/writer/showrunner Beau Willimon -- Frank Underwood & co. will be hard pressed to measure up. Also this week Star Trek Bridge Crew arrives for VR experiences, the NBA and NHL finals have started and HBO is airing the series finale of The Leftovers.
Last year at Computex, Intel unveiled its first 10-core consumer CPU. Now, the company is upping the ante with a whole new family of processors for enthusiasts, the Core X-series, and it's spearheaded by its first 18-core CPU, the i9-7980XE. Priced at $1,999, it's clearly not a chip you'd see in an average desktop. If 18 cores is a bit too rich for you, Intel has other Core i9 Extreme Edition chips in 10, 12, 14 and 16-core variants. Perhaps the best news for hardware geeks: the 10-core i9-7900X will retail for $999, a significant discount from last year's version.
While the name may not be familiar to some, ARM's tech has a significant impact on what your phone can do well. Judging by the company's latest designs, it looks like mobile chips coming in 2018 and beyond will be ready to shoulder more of the load when it comes to AI. New DynamIQ tech will let processors use the right core for the right job, speeding tasks up and saving battery, while the Cortex-A75 layout promises laptop-level performance.