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Gadgets News (215)
Posted: May 20, 2013 07:07PM
Samsung is getting set to show off some new display technology during the Society for Information Display's Display Week 2013, which runs from May 21 to 23 in Vancouver, BC, Canada. It'll have a large assortment of sizes and technologies there, including a 1920x1080 AMOLED display with a broad color gamut of 94% Adobe RGB for mobile phones, and an 85-inch Ultra HD LCD TV panel. On the computer side, Samsung will have a 10.1", 2560x1600 LCD panel for laptops, and a 13.3" screen for laptops with a 3200x1800 resolution. No, that isn't a mistake; this panel really does pack a 3200x1800 resolution in only a 13.3" format. It translates to 276 pixels per inch, but that isn't what Samsung is most proud of with this screen. It's designed to increase power savings by 30% compared to past models, thanks to a lower number of drive circuits and a more efficient LED backlight unit.
There's no telling when this 3200x1800 resolution screen will land, but it's certainly amazing to see such a high resolution in a screen so small. Now, if only panel manufacturers can produce 16:10 panels again with that kind of efficiency and pixel density.
Source: Business Wire
Posted: May 3, 2013 10:05PM
Good news for anyone with or looking to get a Barnes and Noble Nook HD or HD+ e-reader, as the company announced both devices now have access to the Google Play store. Before the two could only access Nook Apps, which were separate from regular Android apps, despite the use of a heavily modified version of Android 4.0. Now, however, the Nook HD and HD+ are more akin to other Android tablets, as well as moving ahead of the Amazon Kindle Fire and Fire HD. The update for the Nook HD and HD+ should have arrived earlier today over WiFi, so be sure to connect to an available network if you haven't received the update prompt. Once installed, you can browse more than 700,000 apps to get whatever you desire on your Nook HD or HD+, plus more music, movies, and TV shows.
Source: Business Wire
Posted: April 11, 2013 06:38PM
Last summer Microsoft took the wraps off the Surface tablet, its own version of what a Windows 8-powered tablet should be. There are two versions of the Surface available, yet each one has a 10.6" touchscreen to draw you in. However, 10" tablets only make up a part of the market, as there are plenty in the 7 to 8-inch range from the likes of Google, ASUS, Samsung, and Apple. That hasn't been lost on Microsoft apparently, as a new report claims the company is creating a 7" Surface tablet due to arrive later this year. This isn't the first time a 7" tablet has been in the news recently with Microsoft. Last November an Xbox Surface with a 7" screen was reportedly in development, but nothing has been heard of it since.
A 7" Surface tablet would carry a lower price than its 10.6" counterparts, which typically means a broader appeal with consumers. It'd also mean something that's easier to carry around, both in terms of size and weight. We can't get too far ahead of ourselves though, as all of this is just rumor until something definitive comes from Microsoft.
Source: Ars Technica
Posted: February 25, 2013 07:57PM
In the world of smartphones and tablets, thin is most definitely in. Each company tries to get the thinnest design possible, with new iterations vying for the crown. Earlier today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Sony took the wraps off "the world's thinnest 10.1-inch tablet:" the Xperia Tablet Z. Sony's latest tablet measures in at an impossibly thin 6.9 millimeters, yet it packs a 1920x1200 resolution touchscreen, a quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, either 16 or 32GB of storage, runs on Android 4.1 (upgradeable to 4.2 "after launch"), and can work in three feet of water for 30 minutes. There's also a microSD slot to add up to an extra 64GB of storage should you desire. The Xperia Tablet Z has an eight megapixel camera on the rear and a two megapixel one on the front, plus there's an IR blaster to function as a TV remote of sorts.
Owners of the tablet can download the TV SideView app, which works in tandem with cable/satellite providers to view the channel guide and currently airing content. If there's a show on, owners can simply swipe up on the Tablet Z to automatically have the cable box switch to the channel. Since the app and tablet work on IR and not WiFi, it's a perfect addition to anyone not using a networked TV or set-top box.
Sony is planning on releasing the Xperia Tablet Z in the spring, though no solid date was announced. The 16GB tablet with WiFi is priced at $499, with the 32GB WiFi version at $599. There are no plans to introduce a 4G model currently.
Source: Ars Technica
Posted: January 29, 2013 07:20PM
Rumors began to rumble yesterday about a larger Apple iPad, and, perhaps not so surprisingly, that is exactly the case. Apple has introduced a 128GB version of its fourth-generation iPad today that is due to arrive on Feburary 5. It'll come in black or white and with or without a 4G LTE, but you may want to hold off on grabbing that credit card just yet. This large capacity iPad comes in at $799 for the WiFi model or $929 for the 4G LTE model. That high price buys you double the storage of what was previously available, and is Apple's answer to developers wanting more space for apps. Autodesk's AutoCAD WS app is just one example, as the large and extremely detailed files were pushing the limits of current iPads. Now that shouldn't be much of an issue, especially if the iPad is serving as a laptop replacement.
Source: Ars Technica
Posted: January 12, 2013 01:09AM
This is certainly not something Microsoft needs to have happen, but it is what it is. Samsung announced it has canceled plans for all Windows RT tablets in the United States, even after it previously announced the ATIV Tab. Samsung USA's senior vice president of Consumer IT Product Marketing, Mike Abary, revealed the company's retail partners showed a modest demand for Windows RT. He also said it'd take too much time and money to tell customers the benefits of Windows RT, so now there's no need. Samsung's decision could end up hurting Microsoft's plans for the tablet world, which is something it's seeked to increase after the popularity of Google and Apple devices. Windows RT already lost HP when the Microsoft Surface was unveiled, and now with the loss of Samsung, things are that much tougher.
Posted: January 8, 2013 03:23PM
Last CES, Razer introduced the world to Project Fiona, a PC gaming tablet with attached controllers. Over the year Project Fiona became a reality and Razer took to asking its fans what they wanted to see in it. An initial line of specifications was hammered out, with an estimated price between $1,299 and $1,499. Now, right about one year later, Razer has shown off its PC gaming tablet again but this time as the Edge. The Razer Edge comes in a standard and Pro flavor, with the Edge starting at $999 and the Edge Pro at $1,299. Each one has a 10.1" touchscreen with a 1366x768 resolution, an Intel Core processor, NVIDIA graphics, and Windows 8.
The Edge features a Core i5 dual-core at 1.7GHz with a 2.6GHz Turbo clock and Hyper Threading support, 4GB DDR3-1600, a 64GB SSD, and a 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M LE. The Edge Pro ups the processor to a Core i7 dual-core at 1.9GHz and a 3.0GHz Turbo with Hyper Threading, 8GB DDR3-1600, a 128 or 256GB SSD, and a 2GB NVIDIA GT 640M LE. Both have 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, stereo speakers, HD webcam (two megapixels front-facing), array microphones, Dolby Home Theater v4, one USB 3.0 port, and audio in/out.
What sets the Razer Edge apart from other tablets is the Gamepad Controller. The Edge docks into the Gamepad and gives users total control over their games with dual analog sticks and backlit directional pad and face buttons. There are two bumpers and a trigger on the back of each controller as well, plus there's an optional extended battery for prolonged mobile gaming. Razer has designed it to be compatible with the "hottest Games for Windows PC titles," so it looks like gaming on the go just received a huge boost.
If you're more of a tradtional mouse and keyboard gamer, Razer has you covered there with the Keyboard Dock. It has a fairly truncated shape with no trackpad, so you'll either need to connect a mouse or just use the Edge's touchscreen. An acoustic chamber on the Keyboard Dock directs the Edge's speakers through it to enhance the audio experience, plus there's an option for an extended battery with it.
Razer also has the big screen gaming crowd covered with a Docking Station able to connect to a computer monitor or TV. It adds three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out, and audio in/out to the Edge, so you can use your own mouse and keyboard with it at your desk. Connect it to a TV through HDMI though, and you can play games through Steam's Big Picture and some regular controllers. The Docking Station also charges your Razer Edge so you won't have to worry about running down the battery.
The Razer Edge and Edge Pro are available to pre-order through Razer's store, but there isn't an announced release date just yet. The Keyboard Dock, Docking Station, Gamepad Controller are all sold separately, for $199.99, $99.99, and $249.99, respectively.
Posted: January 4, 2013 02:26AM
CES 2013 is still several days away, but that isn't stopping companies like Samsung from revealing some new gear a little early. Samsung has shown off a brand new Ultrabook, refreshed the Chronos series, and introduced a multi-touch monitor for people running Windows 8. The new Ultrabook is part of the Series 7 Ultra line, which is a 13" model equipped with or without a touchscreen based on configuration. It's CPU can either be a Core i5 or i7, storage can be 128 or 256GB, and up to 16GB of RAM. That 13" screen is 1920x1080 and powered by a 1GB AMD HD8570M graphics chip. A backlit keyboard, JBL speakers, two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, HDMI, Ethernet, mini-VGA, and a memory card reader round out the package. No word on WiFi, but I suspect it'll be the usual 802.11b/g/n. Samsung rates the battery life at eight hours, which is probably the model without a touchscreen.
The Series 7 Chronos laptops will receive a rather nice upgrade, as the 15" model features an AMD HD8870M with RAMaccelerator technology to increase browsing and general usage by 150%. A 2.4GHz Intel Core i7 3635QM CPU, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 1TB of storage, and a 1920x1080 display should get many people salivating, while the thinner chassis (0.82 inches versus 0.94) means better portability. There's also JBL speakers, a backlit keyboard, the usual ports (two each USB 2.0 and 3.0, Ethernet, HDMI), and an optional touchscreen to round out the rest. Battery life is rated at eleven hours, which is impressive if it holds up in practice.
At last we come to the monitors, which join Samsung's Series 7 line. The 24" model is the multi-touch one, while the 27" lacks touch capabilities. That 24" version, Series 7 Touch (SC770), has a 1920x1080 panel, support for ten touch inputs, 178° viewing angles, and can tilt up to 60° for ease of use. The 27" model, Series 7 (SC750), also has a 1080p screen, but can pivot 90° to view content in landscape or portrait mode.
Samsung did not divulge when the Series 7 Ultra and Series 7 Chronos would arrive or at what price, but both models can be checked out at CES next week. The Series 7 monitors are set to arrive in the first quarter of this year, although no prices were mentioned.
Posted: December 1, 2012 02:10AM
Just the other day Microsoft revealed the price of the Surface with Windows 8 Pro, with $899 netting you a very nice tablet running the latest version of Windows. It also has a 1080p screen, 4GB of RAM, and an Intel Core i5 processor and HD 4000 graphics to make it a worthwhile upgrade over the Windows RT version. However, there is a bit of a downside to the Windows 8 Pro tablet, and that is the battery life. Microsoft revealed the Surface with Windows 8 Pro has about half the battery life of the Windows RT version, which means around four and a half hours on a full charge. That time can vary, of course, but it's a far cry from the nine or so hours of the RT tablet. The Windows 8 Pro tablet does turn off WiFi and other connectivity options while hibernating, which is a nice positive.
When you look at it from a price to battery life angle, the Surface with Windows 8 Pro sits very nicely in with the Ultrabooks (as it's intended), although it does fall a little short of those in battery life. Still, it's an alternative for anyone wanting a pure touch screen device that isn't lacking any Windows 8 features.
Posted: November 29, 2012 08:17PM
Back when Microsoft unveiled its new Surface tablet, it hinted at the price for the Windows 8 Pro version but wouldn't commit to anything. Last month the Windows RT version was priced at $499, but again no mention of the W8 Pro one. Today, however, that all changes as Microsoft has officially revealed the Surface with Windows 8 Pro starts at $899, which sets it squarely in the range of the lowest priced Ultrabooks. This Surface tablet has the full Windows 8 Pro experience, complete with an Intel Core i5 processor and up to 128GB of storage. You also get all the other features of the Surface tablet, like a stylus to make taking notes easier, a mini DisplayPort for hooking up to larger monitors, a full-size USB 3.0 port, and even a microSDXC slot to transfer files. The whole tablet comes in at 13.5mm thin and weighs under two pounds, so you aren't sacrificing much portability for a powerful device.
Microsoft hasn't revealed an exact release date for the Surface with Windows 8 Pro, but it should be available early next year.
Posted: November 20, 2012 11:04AM
The future is quite massive for televisions, but the new Ultra High Definition TVs need some content to show that gorgeous 4K resolution. Luckily, the Sony XBR-84X900 includes "the world's first 4K Ultra HD delivery solution," which even includes some pre-loaded 4K content. There's no specifics on what exactly the delivery system is for the content or what is being pre-loaded, but Sony's Ray Hartjen promises "full length feature Hollywood productions" and an announcement after Thursday. Excited? You should be, as the XBR-84X900 features an 84" screen with a 3840x2160 resolution. The only downside to this gigantic TV and 4K content is the $25,000 price tag. It'll be shipping in a couple more weeks to anyone who already pre-ordered, however, so at least there is that.
Posted: November 15, 2012 12:45AM
January and a new year are nearly upon us, which means the annual Consumer Electronics Show will begin in Las Vegas. There's going to be plenty of new products on display from all the electronics companies, but perhaps one of the biggest items is something from Samsung. The Korean tech giant plans to bring an 85" Ultra High Definition TV sporting eight million pixels to CES 2013, with Samsung calling it "the world's largest commercialized UHD LED TV." Odds are that claim will be challenged before long, but still, an 85" UHDTV is very impressive. No word on price or release date on the monster TV, but that should be forthcoming. If not, CES 2013 isn't too far away.
Posted: November 13, 2012 02:04PM
It wasn't too long ago when a Valve job posting heavily suggested the company would begin developing hardware. Last month a survey appeared looking for beta testers of both hardware and software, which pretty much confirmed that earlier job posting. Now, Gabe Newell has said the hardware is already in beta testing and three different controller prototypes are in circulation. Newell believes these controllers are just another part of bringing Steam into living rooms. He also doesn't think current controllers are cutting the slack, as Newell explains: "The reason we're doing controllers is we didn't think there was enough interesting innovation going on."
Hopefully it isn't very long before Valve can officially show off these new controllers and maybe show other companies what's missing.
Posted: November 8, 2012 04:15PM
Author: Marko Jurac
ZOTAC International has released today a refresh of its AMD based ZBOX mini-PC. The ZOTAC ZBOX was updated to have more power in terms of both graphics and CPU performance without taking a hit in power efficiency. The graphics solution that is so notable in the new ZOTAC ZBOX is its AMD Radeon HD 7340 graphics processor. The ZOTAC ZBOX Plus will be powered by an AMD E2-1800 APU (dual-core, 1.7 GHz) CPU, 2GB DDR3 RAM (2 x 204-pin DDR3 SO-DIMM up to 8GB), and a 320GB 5400RPM HDD. Other notable features include HDMI and DVI support, 6-in-1 (SD/SDHC/MMC/MS/MS Pr/xD) memory card reader, Ethernet 10/100/1000Mbps, onboard 802.11n Wi-FI, Bluetooth 4.0, and four USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports. A media remote is also included with the latest ZBOX for easy navigation through popular Microsoft applications like Microsoft Windows Media Center.
The ZOTAC ZBOX will come in two flavors, a barebone (ZBOX AD06) and the ZBOX AD06 Plus, which includes the pre-installed 2GB DDR3 RAM and 320GB hard drive. For more information, you visit the ZOTAC ZBOX's product page here.
Posted: November 7, 2012 09:36PM
Author: Marko Jurac
The HTC-built DROID DNA is set to be announced next week in New York City as a collaboration between HTC and Verizon to bring the first 1920x1080 resolution smartphone into the US. Specifications include a retina packing 5" Super LCD3 display with a 1080p resolution with a PPI (pixels per inch) density of 440, a 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset, Adreno 320 GPU, 16GB of storage (also expandable by a microSD slot), and finally Andrioid 4.1 Jelly Bean will come preloaded on the device. The DROID DNA is very closely related to the HTC J, which is rumored to be released in Japan sometime this year with specifications similar to the DROID DNA. Other notable features that are reportedly to be included are 2GB of RAM, an eight or twelve megapixel camera, and a 2,500 mAh battery. The phone will be officially announced on November 13th at 11 A.M. in New York City with the release date rumored to be around a week later on November 20th.
Posted: November 7, 2012 02:13AM
Windows 8 and Microsoft Surface have arrived, and many more tablets, laptops, and desktops running the new OS are available or soon will be. A Windows 8 Pro version of Surface is on the horizon as well, as the current one runs on Windows RT. However, those Surface tablets are designed for office work and the like, with gaming a possibility but not tailor-made. That may soon change, as a new report states Microsoft is at work on a 7" Xbox Surface designed for gaming. The report says the Xbox Surface would likely run an ARM chip with high speed RAM or (after some modification) an Intel SoC, but it's developed independently from a set hardware specification. It also would not run a full Windows version, but rather a custom one focused on gaming (and maybe some light messaging). Interestingly, this is not the first time ARM has been mentioned with an Xbox device and it could shed some light on those Xbox FL domains.
All of this is unconfirmed rumor for now, although it apparently comes from people within Microsoft. It's interesting to note that Microsoft's Silicon Valley location recently limited access to some of the Xbox buildings, possibly due to testing of the Xbox Surface. So long as this tablet continues development and sees the light of day, it should arrive before the Next Xbox and coexist along side it. We'll just have to wait and see if Microsoft officially confirms it.
Posted: October 23, 2012 11:43AM
Last week Apple announced it had a press conference to show off a "little more," and today we finally know what the folks in Cupertino have in store. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, first started talking about the iPhone 5 and how it sold the most units over an opening weekend, five million, in its history, and how the new iPods are both selling to the tune of over three million. Impressive numbers to be sure, but this event is about something more than just sales number. Something like a new 13" MacBook Pro that is only 0.75" thin and weighs 3.5 pounds. Oh, and a Retina display with a 2560x1600 resolution screen, which is four times larger than the screen on the previous 13" MacBook Pro. The laptop also has dual Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 ports, SD card slot, HDMI out, a 720p FaceTime camera, a MagSafe 2 connector, and no optical drive. Internally it can pack up to 768GB of storage, an Ivy Bridge Core i5 or i7 processor, 8GB of RAM, built-in WiFi and Bluetooth 4, and Intel HD 4000 graphics.
Apple then moved on to desktop Macs, like the new Mac mini, which is the company's smallest and most affordable Mac. It features an Ivy Bridge Core i5 or i7 CPU, up to 16GB of RAM, either 1TB HDD or 256GB SSD, an SD card reader, HDMI out, and four USB 3.0 ports. Next Apple moved on to a new iMac that features edge-to-edge glass and a 5mm thickness along the edges. The 21.5" model features a 1920x1080 screen, while the 27" is at 2560x1440, just like last time, but each have a laminated screen to reduce glare. Internally, the new iMac has a Core i5 or i7 CPU, NVIDIA Kepler GPU, up to 32GB of RAM, and up to either 768GB SSD or 3TB HDD. There is also something Apple is calling a Fusion Drive, which combines a 128GB SSD with either a 1TB or 3TB HDD. The OS and apps sits on the SSD portion, while the HDD side gets all your documents, music, and more. On the front the iMacs have a 720p FaceTime camera, dual mics, and dual speakers, with the back containing four USB 3.0 ports and three Thunderbolt ports.
Lastly, talk turned to the iPad and how 100 million tablets have sold in two and a half years. The third generation iPad released earlier this year, but Apple announced the new fourth gen iPad today, which is basically just a refresh. It features a new A6X processor that doubles the processing and graphics performance of the third gen, a new image signal processor like in the iPhone 5, and still gets ten hours of battery life. In addition to the fourth gen iPad, there is also a brand new iPad mini with a 7.9" screen and a 1024x768 resolution. It weighs only 0.68 pounds, half of the fourth gen iPad, and comes in at 7.2mm thin, a quarter thinner than the iPad. The iPad mini features a dual-core A5 processor, FaceTime HD camera on the front, five megapixel iSight camera on the rear, and ten hours of battery life just like the bigger one. Both iPads have a new Lightning connector, dual-band 802.11b/g/n WiFi, and support for LTE.
The new 13" MacBook Pro ships today and starts at $1,699 for the base model with a 2.5GHz Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. The Mac mini ships today and starts at $599 for a dual-core 2.5GHz Core i5, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB HDD, while a server model is available for $999 with a quad-core 2.3GHz Core i7, 4GB of RAM, and dual 1TB HDDs. The 21.5" iMac arrives in November and starts at $1,299 with a 2.7GHz Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB HDD, with the 27" model lands in December and starts at $1,799 for a 2.9GHz Core i5 and the same memory and storage configuration. The fourth gen iPad ships on November 22 and starts at $499 for the 16GB, WiFi model, while the iPad mini also ships on November 22 starts at $329 for the 16GB with WiFi. An LTE version of the fourth gen starts at $629, with the LTE iPad mini starting at $459.
Posted: October 18, 2012 10:43PM
It was just the other day when Microsoft launched the pre-order page for its Surface tablet running Windows RT. Priced at $499 for the 32GB and $599 for the 64GB (both without the Touch Cover), the folks in Redmond are providing an affordable option for those wanting to try out its definitive tablet. It seems that $499 price was a major hit, as it is now sold out at Microsoft's online store. The order page says it should ship within three weeks, while the other options are still expected to arrive on October 26. Those two options are the 32GB model with a Touch Cover for $599 or the 64GB model with Touch Cover for $699. It remains to be seen just how popular those bundles are, especially when customers can save $20 over a separate Touch Cover purchase for the bare Surface. To that end, Touch and Type Covers, the more traditional keyboard version, are still available for $120 and $130, respectively, and will also ship on October 26 for pre-orders.
Posted: October 17, 2012 11:14AM
Author: Leo Ohayon
iTwin first made a name for itself in 2009 when it released its dongle, which connects PCs to each other via USB. Now iTwin presents to us its all new SecureBox, a more secure form of cloud storage. The only requirements are an iTwin dongle and the SecureBox software. Once the two halves of the iTwin are set up, it syncs itself with Dropbox and generates a unique security code, which is stored on both halves of the dongle. Then, SecureBox pops up and lets you transfer your files back and forth from your PC or Mac to your encrypted cloud and encrypts your data before storing it in the Dropbox cloud. You will only need to connect the two halves of the iTwin during the setup procedure; once this is done, each device will be able to encrypt and upload your files to the Dropbox cloud. This system is virtually flawless aside from the fact that the iTwin dongle can be physically separated. Ideally, only one of the USB devices will ever be accessible to remove the risk of someone being able to use the second one to access your personal information.
Posted: October 16, 2012 08:05PM
Good news for anyone wanting to check out one of those new Microsoft Surface tablets, as the company has officially unveiled the price for the ARM-powered version. The Microsoft Surface tablets running Windows RT start at $499 for the 32GB version, with the 64GB coming in at $599. Each 10.6" slate unfortunately does not include that snazzy Touch Cover, as it is a $120 extra. The Type Cover, the more traditional keyboard version, is an extra $130. Microsoft is selling a bundle of the Touch Cover and 64GB Surface for $699, which is a good deal for those wanting to pick up both. Microsoft's website is the place to pre-order the Surface, and it will ship to your door on October 26. If you happen to live near a retail Microsoft Store, you can head in there to pick one up on the 26th as well.
Posted: September 6, 2012 12:13PM
Amazon held a press conference just moments ago where many were expecting the unveiling of a new Kindle Fire, e-readers, and more. The conference has just wrapped up, so what did Amazon show off? Well, the retail giant certainly did not disappoint, as it introduced the new Kindle Paperwhite that features a sharper display, lighting from the front, and capacitive touch, an updated Kindle Fire with a new processor, double the RAM, and a new price, the Kindle Fire HD with more storage and a massive screen resolution, and the $69 Kindle, which is nearly the same as last year's $79 model, just more affordable.
The Kindle Paperwhite has a display with 25% more contrast, 62% more pixels, and 212ppi. The font style and size can be easily adjusted with the capacitive touchscreen, but the real star is the frontlighting. Four years of research and development went into the lighting system, which projects the light onto the display and is nano imprinted for even distribution. The touchscreen also controls the lighting level, as there are no buttons at all on the Paperwhite. The e-reader is 9.1mm thick, but it packs a battery capable of eight weeks of life with the light on.
The Kindle Fire has received an update with a new processor, double the RAM (1GB now), better battery life, and 44% better performance. However, the main attraction is that Kindle Fire HD, which comes in two sizes: a 7" and an 8.9". The 7" is nearly the same as the old, except for a larger 1280x800 resolution, while the 8.9" features a massive 1920x1200 resolution at 254ppi, an 8.8mm thickness, and weighs only 20 ounces. It packs a TI OMAP 4470 processor that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos claims is better than NVIDIA Tegra 3, dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus (a first for a tablet), and two wireless antennas that can alternate to find the best signal. Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technology is built into the Kindle Fire HD and the two antennas are 2.4GHz and 5GHz. WiFi is supposedly 41% faster than the iPad 3, which is key for a device built for streaming. The touch sensor is laminated for 25% less glare and sharper text, plus there is a front-facing HD camera for video chats.
Storage space on the Kindle Fire HD starts at 16GB, with the OS only taking up 2GB on both it and the Fire. The tablet still has cloud streaming as its main source of content, and Amazon has added new features for Whispersync. Audiobooks and games are now stored with Whispersync, so you never have to worry about losing your spot in either. Audiobooks let you listen to the book and then pick up reading where you left off. Games are stored in Whispersync so you never lose any progress, not even for any unlocked levels. There is a new Kindle FreeTime mode with parental controls so you can easily keep track of what your kids read, watch, or play. All of your music is stored in the cloud, and those dual antennas help get rid of buffering for seamless streaming.
You can pre-order the Kindle Paperwhite today for $119 or $179 for the 3G version, and both ship on October 1. The $69 Kindle ships on September 14. The old Kindle Fire, dubbed the Kindle Fire SD internally by Amazon, will be available on September 14 for $159, while the Kindle Fire HD ships on November 20 at $199 for the 7" 16GB model and $299 for the 8.9" 16GB. There will be a Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE for $499, which features 32GB of storage, the 8.9" display, access to AT&T's 4G LTE network, and a $50 yearly fee. That yearly fee nets you 250MB of data each month (AT&T charges $14.99 per month for that), 20GB of cloud storage, and $10 appstore credit. It will ship on November 20 just like the other Fire HD models.
That is an insane amount of Kindles for some pretty affordable prices, with the only question being, "which to buy?" The pictures below are of the 8.9" Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Paperwhite.
Posted: July 24, 2012 08:08AM
USB charging has become a necessity amongst the gadget-carrying folks of the 21st century, and even more so in the near future, now that the 100W Power Delivery spec has been approved for both USB 2.0 and 3.0. This upgrade should allow for future power-hungry devices (including a laptop) to be readily charged over USB. Unfortunately, only future hardware will be compatible with the new power spec, although the technology behind it promises to be flexible in terms of charging devices. To get the maximum 100W juice high-powered USB cables are a prerequisite, but older cables can still be used as voltages will be automatically checked and adjusted based on the capabilities of the wires and the plugged devices. Brilliant, as this should help reduce issues arising from USB charging, and give the added convenience of using lesser cables to bring while travelling.
Posted: July 4, 2012 04:54AM
Buying a watch carved out of genuine ivory can be really tricky, but what if you could buy one that's based on tusks 10,000 years old? That's what Lang & Heyne are offering for the discerning millionaire watch collector, a $44,000 timepiece that uses ivory from a wooly mammoth buried for 10,000 years in Russian permafrost. All that extremely rare ivory is incorporated within the watch's innards, so every extinct fragment is put to good use. There are currently 25 limited edition watches available in a Friedrich August I or Johann von Sachsen variant, so if you've got $44,000 to spare, why not grab one before the endangered timepiece permanently disappears from Lang & Heyne's shelves?
Posted: June 27, 2012 06:15PM
There have been many Android tablets released over the years, but there has not been a reference tablet from Google. That all changes today as the Nexus 7 tablet was unveiled at the Google I/O event. There had been some leaks before hand, but Google officially introduced this 7" slate today. The Nexus 7 is built by ASUS and features a 1280x800 touchscreen that uses an IPS panel and scratch-resistant Corning glass, a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, and either 8 or 16GB of internal storage. There is also NFC, WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth, an accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, GPS, and a microphone. A 1.2 megapixel camera is on the front of the Nexus 7 for video calls, but no rear camera on the tablet or an SD slot. Battery life is expected to last eight hours during active use (longer on standby) and the whole thing weighs 340 grams.
The Nexus 7 will be the first (and so far only) device to ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The new Android version makes better use of smaller tablet screens, and provides an easier time reading books and magazines or watching movies. Android 4.1 is also the first version to ship with a finished Chrome browser, which should be welcome news to many people.
The best part about the Nexus 7 tablet is that it will not break the bank. The 8GB model is $199 while the 16GB model is $249, which competes very well with Amazon's and Barnes & Noble's tablets. Either Nexus 7 will include some free content and $25 of Google Play credit, and will ship in the middle of July.
Posted: June 11, 2012 11:06AM
Apple's WWDC 12 is going on right now and the biggest news concerns two pieces of hardware. Apple has announced refreshed versions of both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, which should make either laptop a lot more enticing. The MacBook Air gets a processor upgrade in the form of Intel Ivy Bridge and will support up to a 2GHz Core i7 chip (Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.2GHz). The Airs will also have up to 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3 RAM, while storage is being expanded up to 512GB. The 11" model now has a 1366x768 screen powered by Intel HD Graphics 4000, the 13" has a 1440x900 screen, and both receive a 720p FaceTime camera. Each MacBook Air will have two USB 3.0 ports as well.
The MacBook Pros get some new upgrades, including one very special type. For starters, the MacBook Pros sport Intel Ivy Bridge processors and up to 8GB of RAM. The 13" MacBook Pro can have either Core i5 or Core i7 dual-core processors at 2.9GHz (Turbo at 3.6GHz), while the 15" MacBook Pro has quad-core Core i7 processors at 2.7GHz (Turbo at 3.7GHz). The 15" MBP will have GeForce GT 650M graphics, which Apple claims is 60% faster than the graphics in past versions. Either size can have 1TB hard drives or up to 512GB SSDs installed, so storage should not be an issue. The MacBook Pros will also have two USB 3.0 ports and a Thunderbolt port, but no mention was made of a 17" model. However, the real star of the MacBook Pro line is a brand new model.
The next-generation MacBook Pro comes in at 0.71 inches thick and weighs only 4.46 pounds, and it packs a 2880x1800 resolution screen. Apple says this is the first Retina Display in a laptop, and at 220 ppi, it is far higher than past MacBook screens. Apple also promises a higher contrast ratio, better viewing angles, and reduced glare compared to other laptop screens, plus all stock Apple apps and some third-party programs will take advantage of the new screen. The new MBP has a quad-core Core i7 2.7GHz processor, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 768GB of storage, GeForce GT 650M graphics, and seven hours of battery life with 30 days of standby. Curiously there is no mention of an optical drive, so it looks like any programs you install will need to be downloaded or done via an external drive.
The MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros will be available to ship today. The basic MacBook Air option starts at $999 and can go to $1,099, while the MacBook Pro starts at $1,599 and goes to $2,199. The next-gen MacBook Pro will also be available to ship today and starts at $2,199 for a 2.3GHz processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage.
Posted: May 10, 2012 10:56AM
Two days ago, Portal 2's Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC arrived, allowing anyone to create their own puzzles. No matter how awesome your creation will be, odds are it will sadly not be as awesome as one Penn State University student's final project for his Advanced Mechatronics class — a tracking and shooting Portal turret. The "shell" is currently in development, but the video below shows the frame of the turret, equipped with an IP webcam and two USB-powered Nerf rocket launchers. Powered by MATLAB, the turret features Portal sound effects and tracks anyone wearing a pink shirt, eventually shooting the target. Pretty impressive if you ask me!
Posted: April 16, 2012 07:56AM
A sub-$300 "iPad Mini" is reportedly on the way, according to Chinese news site, NetEase. The source reports that the smaller Apple tablet is scheduled for Q3 release window, and could cost somewhere between $249 to $299. With around six million tablets purportedly ready for release on its launch date, the iPad Mini is supposedly Apple's answer to the looming threat of upcoming Windows 8 tablets. NetEase also hinted that Foxconn's Honhai Precision and Pegatron were tapped to manufacture the iPad Mini. With Apple's dominant market share in the tablet business, a smaller, more affordable iPad could perhaps overthrow reigning "mini" Android tablets.
Posted: April 13, 2012 09:31AM
Tired of using the ubiquitous iPad for the usual iOS gaming, web-browsing or taking awkward pictures? With a BuffLab protective screen cover, your iPad just might be useful in the kitchen too. Now, before you cringe at slicing a carrot on your fragile $499 tablet, South Korea's hard-as-nails BuffLab screen cover promises to absorb all the damage from the culinary pounding. Apparently, its shock-absorption properties are so strong that it can even withstand the force of a walnut-cracking hammer. Just remember not to rinse the iPad afterwards, as even the world's toughest screen protector doesn't stand a chance against soap and running water.
Posted: April 10, 2012 06:22PM
Toshiba is staying commited to the tablet world, but is retiring its unpopular Thrive in favor of something new. Toshiba has announced the new Excite line of tablets, which come in 7.7, 10, and 13 inch sizes. Yes, that last one is a 13" tablet and not an Ultrabook. Regardless of the size you get, all the Excites pack an NVIDIA Tegra 3 SoC and run a stock version of Android 4.0. All feature 1GB of RAM, a five megapixel rear camera, two megapixel front camera, and are WiFi-only. The 7.7" model comes in at 0.3 inches thick, weighs 13.1 ounces, and features a 1280x800 AMOLED display. The Excite 10 is only 0.35 inches thick, weighs 1.32 pounds, and has a 1280x800 AutoBrite LED display. The Excite 13 comes in at 0.4 inches thick and 2.2 pounds, but packs a 1600x900 AutoBrite LED display.
The Excite 7.7 has a microSD slot and micro USB port, but the Excite 10 and 13 both have a micro HDMI port and a full-size SD slot. The Excite 10 is rated for 10 hours of battery life, the Excite 13 at 13 hours of battery life, but the Excite 7.7 does not have any information. Since it is the smallest of the Excite tablets, I imagine it will have at least 10 hours of runtime.
The Excite 10 will be the first to launch on May 6th, with the Excite 13 and 7.7 on June 10th. The 10" model starts at $449.99 for the 16GB model, the 7.7" starts at $499.99 for 16GB, and the 13" at $649.99 for 32GB of storage.
Posted: March 7, 2012 12:49PM
Apple held its iPad event today in San Francisco, just as planned, and showed the world the new iPad. The new tablet is the same size as the old, 9.7" screen, but it is sporting a new Retina Display with a 2048x1536 resolution. The new screen has a 264ppi and improved color saturation, so it should look even better than the old. Powering the whole thing is the new A5X processor and quad-core graphics chip, which Apple says is four times as powerful as NVIDIA's Tegra 3. I think we will just have to wait for comparisons before that debate is settled, as I am sure NVIDIA will have a thing or two to say about it. The new iPad has an iSight camera, similar to the one on the iPhone 4S, but this one is just five megapixels. It has a backside illuminated sensor with a five element lens and is capable of shooting 1080p video.
Apple is pulling a cue from Google and Android by including a dictation key next to the keyboard. That key will allow you to speak instead of type your messages, and it should come in handy for longer messages. The new iPad can act as a WiFi hotspot depending on carrier restrictions, but if you are thinking you are limited to 3G speeds, you would be wrong. The new iPad is packing a 4G LTE radio that will work on both Verizon and AT&T, with Apple claiming speeds of up to 73Mbps being supported. There is also a 21Mbps HSPA+ modem for those not wanting to spring for an LTE model. Outside of the US, Bell, Rogers, and Telus will have 4G versions to run on each company's network, so international users should be set.
Apple says the new iPad can deliver 10 hours of battery life on WiFi and nine hours on LTE, which that last one will be impressive if true. The tablet weighs in at 1.4 pounds and has a thickness of 9.4mm. The new iPad will come in 16, 32, and 64GB capacities, priced between $499 and $829, and will be available on March 16th in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and Australia. Other countries will get it on March 23rd.