Tech For Everyone

By Jason Evangelho

Tech For Everyone #5: Intel's grudge + Alienware's cherry on top

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Tech For Everyone
Tech For Everyone #5: Intel's grudge + Alienware's cherry on top
By Jason Evangelho • Issue #5 • View online
Hello my friends! Welcome to another installment of geekery and, apparently, more retro music nostalgia, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood tech junkie.
In today’s issue, discover a new laptop that’s finally getting the keyboard love it deserves. And cringe at Intel’s new ad campaign.
Plus, a trio of music-related stories you need to check out, and a peek at what’s coming up on Tech For Everyone.
If you’re enjoying this newsletter, please share the tech love and forward it to a friend. It’s free, and I’ll never spam you with ads.
OK, let’s not waste any more keystrokes. I only have 192,999,697 left…

🍒 ALIENWARE'S CHERRY (MX) ON TOP ⌨️
In 2013, I was fortunate enough to be one of the first people to experience Nvidia’s G-Sync display tech. Engineers from the company personally delivered one to my home office and demonstrated it for me.
At the time, it was a prototype. An ASUS monitor that had the first G-Sync module wired into it. They slapped it down on my desk and invited me to play anything from my PC game collection, promising that it would forever change how I’d want to experience PC gaming.
Nvidia was right. It was revolutionary. And I praised the crap out of it.
Fast-forward to today: G-Sync and FreeSync are literal game-changers, providing both a competitive advantage and a much smoother and more enjoyable visual presentation.
Our monitors a crucial gateway into our games, and it’s refreshing that variable refresh rate displays are becoming the norm.
On laptops, the keyboard hasn’t received the same kind of revolutionary treatment, despite being an equally important component. Whether we’re gaming, working, or chatting, the keyboard is a constant and necessary interface.
For the most part, laptop keyboards still suck, with ThinkPads being a notable exception. Are they passable? Sure. Do I want to voluntarily type on them all day? Absolutely not.
While they’re not all as terrible as the infamous 2016 MacBook Pro, they don’t exactly make our fingers tingle with delight.
CHERRY MX, a name that has become synonymous with mechanical keyboards for desktop PCs, has been doing something about that.
For the past 3 years, CHERRY MX and Alienware have been working together to create a “binary mechanical switch experience” for a laptop form factor.
They burned through a bunch of materials and a whopping 160+ prototypes, and the final switch was inspired by, believe it or not, the iconic DeLorean because of its unique “upward-opening gull-wing doors.”
The Cherry MX keyboard option will tack on an extra $150. #WorthIt
The Cherry MX keyboard option will tack on an extra $150. #WorthIt
It’s a 3.5mm ultra-low-profile design with stainless steel components, and both companies are certain they’ve got a winner on their hands, with deep travel and that tactile feeling we all love on our mechanical keyboards.
The final result is shipping today in the new Alienware m15 R4 and Alienware m17 R4 systems.
While I can’t pass judgment from just photos and a press release, my ears can definitely appreciate the sound coming from these new Alienware lappies.
Listen for yourself. This is my kind of audio pr0n:
ALIENWARE
Super 🍒 sweet 🍒 news is dropping tomorrow. Until then 🤫

@cherrymx https://t.co/YKkdMhpG7a
The new m15 and m17 laptops are shipping with Nvidia RTX 30 Series graphics cards, up to 4TB of NVMe storage, and Thunderbolt 3 capabilities.
There are other laptops out there with mechanical keyboards (like this monstrosity from Gigabyte), but the majority of them aren’t shying away from being THICC. And none of them have the prestige that comes with the name CHERRY MX.
Alienware says the partnership’s original switch design is self-cleaning and will deliver 1.8mm of travel. And for what it’s worth, it’s designed to handle up to 15 million keystrokes.
Speaking of keystrokes, I have roughly 193 million remaining until I die. That’s enough to write 64 novels or publish 1.3 million more tweets. But I’d need at least 12 Cherry MX-equipped Alienware laptops to do it.
How many do you have left in your life? Find out here, and use them wisely! (Like, to forward this awesome email newsletter to a friend).
PHEW! SOMEONE'S HOLDING A GRUDGE...
“Hello I’m a… Justin.”
In what might go down as a memorable – and undeniably spiteful – marketing coup, Intel has snagged former human Macintosh Justin Long to hawk PCs. Specifically Intel-powered laptops.
Justin Gets Real: Having Choices | Intel
Justin Gets Real: Having Choices | Intel
In this one, Long not-so-subtly attacks Apple’s “grey and greyer” MacBook color schemes. Oh come on Intel, no love for that Rose Gold M1 MacBook Air?
Makes sense. Intel probably doesn’t want to remind people that Apple ended its 15-year relationship, developed in-house silicon, and spanked Intel in the performance department only one generation in, boosting a Mac’s value proposition practically overnight.
Another “Justin Gets Real” lobs a grenade over at Apple over the fact that “no one games on a Mac.”
Hey, uh, Intel? No one’s really banging down the door to play on your integrated graphics, either.
(Though as I pointed out in Issue #2, even Linux wins handily over macOS when it comes to game availability.)
Clearly, there’s no love lost here. It feels a little awkward though, considering you can still buy a variety of brand new Macs with Intel inside…
Intel’s messaging isn’t exactly wrong, though. Apple is quite behind in a whole mess of quality-of-life features like touchscreens. Seriously, how do Macs still have such monstrous bezels and no touchscreen displays?
I expect both of those things to be remedied by the time M1X or M2 arrives.
Thoughts?
📻 LINK LOVE: RETRO MUSIC EDITION
Since the passing of the legendary Lou Ottens – the father of the cassette tape – I’ve been reminiscing about my own musical experiences in the 80s and 90s. (Read this issue if you missed it).
Here’s what’s caught my attention this week, beginning with an amazing little fact about mixtapes in Turkey!
Jason Evangelho ⭕️ Tech For Everyone
Today I learned that in Turkey, during the cassette era, you could have your local music store make you a mixtape. You give them a list of your favorite songs, pay them for the cost of the blank tape and a bit for the recording time, then pick it up a few days later.
Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion
Meet Remute, the techno producer who makes music albums for retro consoles
The history of the little-known, short-lived "pocket records" format
☕️ WHAT'S BREWING ON TECH FOR EVERYONE
Here’s what I’m working on for the next few issues. Got something you want to read about? Just hit reply and let me know.
  • My impressions of the ODROID GO SUPER with Recalbox. For those who have no clue what I’m talking about: it’s an $80 handheld console that looks a little like a Nintendo Switch, loaded up with a Linux OS designed for playing retro games. And it’s doing a LOT of things right.
  • More benchmarks with the new Radeon RX 6700, with an emphasis on Linux gaming.
  • I bought a fake Roomba for $6 on AliExpress. We have to talk about it!
  • Speaking of AliExpress, I’m going to put my next purchase IN YOUR HANDS. We just need to get a few more subscribers first.
Thanks for being here, and I hope you’re enjoying Tech For Everyone! We’re just getting warmed up, and I’ll be inviting some special guests to contribute a few stories down the road.
Remember to hit that reply button if you have something to say.
Until next time, you guys take care. And take care of each other!
~Jason
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Jason Evangelho

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