Last month I discussed Rachael Moat’s musical bowls that I saw at Manchester MakeFest – conductive audio-playing magic that helps children with special educational needs to broaden their dietary horizons – and promised that I’d be reviewing the hardware that made it happen. Here, then, is that review, of the Bare Conductive Touch Board Starter Kit.
Saturday, 14 November 2015
Do you remember when you first saw the Intel Next Unit of Computing, and thought, ‘Blimey, that’s small?’ When the Fitlet arrived from Israel-based Compulab, I had a similar reaction made more impressive by the fact that the box I thought would be dominated by the machine itself was in fact mostly full of cables, accessories and a wall-wart PSU. If you need a small yet powerful computer, the Fitlet measures 108 x 83 x 24mm (W x D x H), with a volume of 0.215 litres. The smallest NUC model, by contrast, measures 115 x 111 x 32.7mm with a 0.417-litre volume.
The line between all-in-one liquid coolers and custom kits has suddenly become more blurred recently, thanks to the release of EKWB’s Predator coolers. The company is well known for producing some of the best water-cooling components for custom loops, but its new Predator coolers now cram some of this highperformance gear into maintenance-free, pre-filled units.
We have to hand it to In Win – the company has made one of the biggest turnarounds we’ve seen in the PC industry, leaving its average, plasticladen products behind and producing some of the bestlooking cases we’ve ever seen. Its new 805 is also a slightly more reasonably priced case than the gorgeous, but eyewateringly expensive 909. Like the 909, the 805 is made from aluminium and sports the characteristic tempered glass side panel that made its siblings so distinctive, yet it costs £130 inc VAT – less than half the price of the 909.
Asus revolutionised the high-end small form factor PC when it launched its first Maximus Impact board. It sported a VRM daughterboard, loads of tweaking and overclocking tools, a discrete proprietary sound, and all the bells and whistles usually offered by high-end ROG motherboards, except expansion slots. It was a big hit with its target market, and the Maximus VIII Impact now brings the Impact series into the Z170 Skylake world.
The Alpenföhn Atlas targets micro-ATX and mini-ITX users, with its low 125mm height giving it compatibility with many small form factor cases. It also claims to have no RAM or compatibility issues. It has a dual tower design, with the aluminium fins fed by five copper heatpipes that pass through the copper baseplate. The entire cooler is nickel-plated for a consistent look and the build quality is high.