Saturday, July 31, 2010

Samsung's Q3-bound tablet to boast 7-inch display, Android OS

Slowly but surely, Samsung's future as a tablet PC provider is taking shape. Details on the outfit's foray into the world of the slate has been trickling out over the past few months, and shortly after learning that a so-called Galaxy Tab  would be out and about in Q3, now we're finding out two more critical details: screen size and operating system. According to the company, the Q3-bound device (assumed to be the aforesaid Galaxy Tab) will boast a smaller-than-average 7-inch screen, and rather than humming along on Bada or Windows 7, Google's Android  will be at the helm. We're being forced to wait for further information.

Samsung's 4-inch Windows Phone 7 handset gets named: Cetus (SGH-i917)

You'd probably assume that Samsung would have a difficult time overshadowing the Galaxy S  right now, but all it really takes is a salacious Bluetooth SIG entry that leaves only the most important parts to the imagination. We've known for some time now that Sammy would be one of Microsoft's closest Windows Phone 7 launch partners, and we've even taken the time to toy with a prototype  earlier in the year. But a new Bluetooth certification is now all-but-confirming a name: Cetus.

The SGH-i917 is apt to be North America's first WP7 device from Samsung, a 4-inch smartphone with an 800 x 480 AMOLED display, 5 megapixel camera, a VGA front-facing camera, an FM radio tuner, inbuilt GPS, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, USB 2.0 and of course, Bluetooth. As for pricing, availability and form factor? "Not yet."

Samsung confirms Galaxy S will get Froyo in September

Wondering when the Galaxy S will be getting its own cup full of Froyo, the 2.2 build that every Google handset is screaming for? Samsung promised that an update would be coming not long after release, and now courtesy of the company's official UK Twitter feed we know it's due in September.


Micromax Q7

  • Dual SIM enabled
  • Dimensions :110 x 59 x 10.7 mm
  • Weight :100 g
  • Display :TFT screen which shows 256K colors in 320 x 240 pixels resolutions ,it is 2.2 inches
  • Keyboard:QWERTY keyboard with a smooth track ball
  • Camera:2 MP, 1600x1200 pixels and also with the video facility
  • Memory :Internal memory of 78 MB and external memory can be extended upto 4GB(microSD)
  • Has GPRS with 32 - 48 kbps,EDGE(236.8kpbs),WLAN(Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g),Bluetooth with A2DP and also USB port enabled in it
  • Available colors :White,black
  • Battery : Standard battery, Li-Ion 800 mAh which stand up for  144Hrs and talk time upto 4 h 30 min


  • Messaging :SMS, MMS
  • Browser :WAP 2.0/xHTML (Opera Mini)
  • Radio :Stereo FM radio
  • supported with Java , MIDP 2.0
  • Social networking like Facebook, NimBuzz are available
  •  MP3/WAV player
  • MP4/H.263 player
  • Voice memo

Friday, July 30, 2010

ASUS U33Jc-A1 Bamboo series review

Product Features:
  • Intel Core i3-370M Processor (2.4 GHz)
  • Nvidia G310M Graphics Engine with 1 GB DDR3 Dedicated VRAM and Optimus Technology
  • 4 GB of DDR3 1066MHz DRAM (2 GB x 2 slots), 4 GB Max; Intel Wireless 802.11 b/g/n + WiDi
  • 500 GB Hard Drive (5400 RPM); No Optical Disk Drive; Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit) Operating System
  • 13.3-Inch HD (1366x768) LED Display; HDMI Port; USB 3.0 port; Bluetooth; 8 cell 5600 mAh battery  
Processor, Memory, and Motherboard
  • Hardware Platform: PC
  • Processor: 2.4 hertz Intel Core Duo
  • Number of Processors: 2
  • RAM: 4 MB
  • RAM Type: SODIMM
  • Memory Slots: 2

Hard Drive
  • Size: 500 GB
  • Type: Serial ATA

Graphics and Display
  • Graphics RAM: 1024.0 MB

Cases and Expandability
  • Size (LWH): 12.9 inches, 9.28 inches, 0.98 inches
  • Weight: 3.74 pounds

Thursday, July 29, 2010

HTC beginning Froyo rollout tomorrow? Maybe, maybe not

HTC Europe director Mark Moons caused quite a stir this morning when he tweeted that the company would begin rolling out Android Froyo updates to devices tomorrow, starting with the Desire, but we wouldn't get too excited yet -- HTC tells us that it's possible a rollout will begin tomorrow, but nothing's finalized yet pending some final testing.

We've certainly got our fingers crossed -- and we're sure Desire owners the world over will be hitting that System Updates button nonstop for the next few days.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Intel's 50Gbps Silicon Photonics Link shines a light on future computers

Using copper cables to transfer data around a computer? Get your head out of the sand, Grandpa! Intel  thinks that's on the outs and is touting its recent accomplishments with Silicon Photonics and integrated lasers, using light pulses to move data at 50Gbps. The emphasis is on low-cost, high-speed fiber optics, the removal of cable clutter, and with the speed boost, the ability to try new system designs by being able to space chips and components farther apart from one another without as much hit on speed -- all theoretical at this point, of course.

Researchers hopes to hit terabit per second speeds further down the line. As for John Q. Consumer, enjoy the progress from afar but don't count on seeing this technology hit Newegg anytime soon.

SanDisk ships its smallest USB thumb drive, the diminutive Cruzer Blade

We suspect SanDisk would have run into some friction by proclaiming that its Cruzer Blade is the world's smallest USB flash drive, but it smartly chose to word things as its  smallest in order to not draw attention from those other guys. No matter how you slice it, though, this little doohickey is awfully minuscule, being "about the size of a standard size paper clip and weighing approximately the same as a penny." It's tailor made to hang off of your existing keyring, and it's available in capacities ranging from 2GB to 16GB. As for prices? $14.99 to $77.99, and (just about) everywhere in between.


Chevy Volt officially priced at $41,000, $350/month on a three-year lease

It may not exactly be a huge surprise at this point, but GM has finally revealed that the official base price for its Chevrolet Volt  will be $41,000 (including a $720 destination charge). That price is before the $7,500 federal tax credit, however, which will bring your eventual end cost down to a slightly more reasonable $33,500. Those looking to get on the road for even less up-front can also opt for a three-year lease, which will run you $350 a month after a $2,500 down payment.

As Autoblog notes, you'll also have an option to purchase the car at the end of the lease, so GM won't be repeating its infamous EV1 scenario. Still too much for you? Then you might just want to wait a bit -- GM says it will also be offering the Volt with less features and a lower price point "within a year or two."

Google Maps for Android updated to 4.4, adds dedicated 'Places' for searching nearby

Ready to suck down your sixth Google Maps  for Android update in the past six months? Good. Version 4.4 has just been shoved out into the bright, hopeful world that we call home, with this one bringing about an easier way to find places around you. With the update will come an entirely new logo, as a dedicated 'Places' icon allows users to quickly look up nearby places in a Yelp-esque manner. If you tend to search for similar things regardless of where you are, you can load up your own personalized categories to make finding frequent searches that much easier (think "gas station" or "In N Out").

There's also Place Pages, which now shows the operating hours of listed businesses, compass direction and distance from your location. It's available now for all Android phones using v1.6 or newer, and if you're rocking a BlackBerry, you can expect the Place Page to head your way soon

Dell shows off Android 2.1 running on the Streak, still planning to make it to Froyo

Dell's Kevin Andrew answered a few questions about the Streak  in a new "vlog" on YouTube, and it's a mixture of encouragement and confusion. On the good side, Kevin showed off Android 2.1 up and running on the phone / tablet / lady-killer. It looks just like 2.1, of course, but with Dell's customizations still riding atop it. Oddly, while showing off 2.1, Kevin reassures us that Dell is still planning to go to Froyo (2.2),  with no clarification if 2.1 will actually be released as an intermediate measure.

Either way we don't have a timeline, which is pretty much the same tune we hear with every Android handset. In other news, Dell is planning to launch the cherry red version of the streak "shortly" after the international launch of the graphite model -- which might be as soon as tomorrow

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dell Inspiron M101z tosses AMD Neo chips into a new 11-inch chassis

Dell's taking the slightly revamped "forward hinge" design language it introduced with the Inspiron R  line and bringing it down to 11.6-inches with the new Inspiron M101z. The laptop is a followup to the Inspiron 11z, and packs your choice of AMD Athlon Neo K125 (single core) or K325 chips (dual core). AMD, which might still be a bit of a sore subject  for Dell, really seems to have carved out a niche for itself in the 11.6-inch size, with its blend of more-than-Atom power, cheaper-than-Intel price, and decent-but-not-ULV power sipping; Dell claims a bit over 6.5 hours of battery life with the standard 6-cell battery.

The AMD chips bring along integrated ATI RS880M graphics, and the laptops pack 2GB of RAM and 250GB HDDs standard. What we don't have yet is the US price: the laptop starts at £379 for a single core model in the UK, which should translate to something around $400-$450 US -- Dell has to beat out HP's $449, similarly specced Pavilion dm1, after all.

Acer Aspire Predator AG7750 available, currently trying to kill Adrien Brody

The Aspire Predator AG7750  is the gaming desktop you don't want to leave alone with your children or small pets. Starting at $1999, you get Windows 7 Home Premium, an Intel Core i7-930 CPU, 12GB SDRAM, NVIDIA GTX 470 graphics card, all sorts of storage options, and more.


Acer debuts S201HL, S211HL and S231HL LCD monitors

Acer is offering up a new trio of monitors here in the US for those suffering the ancient panel blues. The new S1 series checks in between 13mm and 15mm thick, and the company is making 'em available in 20-, 21.5- and 23-inch sizes. As you'd expect, the whole lot offers white LED backlighting, an Energy Star 5.0 sticker, 12,000,000:1 (dynamic) contrast ratio, 5ms response time, 250 nits of brightness and 16.7m colors.

The bigger two offer a native 1,920 x 1,080 resolution , with connections including VGA, DVI and HDMI (23-inch only). They'll be splashing down soon on US shelves for $169.99 (S201HL), $219.99 (S211HL) and $269.99 (S231HL).

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mystery HTC Windows Phone 7 device: in the wild and lacking any Sense

A candybar slate from HTC with a 3.7-inch SLCD and 1GHz Snapdragon processor -- sounds about right for the Desire, but this little puppy is actually running Windows Phone 7  (presumably a developer build, given the apps catalog). According to our tipster, the three buttons under the screen are touch-sensitive à la Nexus One, the camera boasts 8 megapixels of memory retention, and the "hardware is ready." What you're not seeing, however, is any sign of skinning -- no Sense on this one, we're afraid.

The company is apparently in talks with two US carriers, including Verizon (we'd presume Sprint given the CDMA connection, but we've no insight here). Are we looking at the rumored VZW-bound HTC Spark from June? Unfortunately we can't confirm anything at this point.

HTC Vision headed to T-Mobile in new spy shot, dubbed G1 Blaze?

While high-end QWERTY sliders loaded with Android aren't nearly as uncommon now as when HTC's Vision first leaked onto the scene, it appears this particular handset may be destined for T-Mobile with its (alleged) 1GHz processor, spacious keyboard and 3.7-inch WVGA screen. Of course, we'd heard that the Vision would appear on T-Mobile  before, and our worries are the same as then -- there's no telling whether the phone will actually land stateside, or if it's destined for T-Mobile Europe instead.

Panasonic's consumer-grade 3D camcorder leaks out, the HDC-SDT750

We'd heard Panasonic was planning a more affordable stereoscopic 3D camcorder, but it looks like we won't have to wait-- it's called the HDC-SDT750, and Panny's advertising it as the "World's first 3D Shooting Camcorder." Leaks at all the seams of the company's website afforded us the above picture, and the surprising revelation that the product may not be a brand-new camcorder, but rather an existing high-end 3MOS model (we'd guess the HDC-HS700) with a "3D conversion lens" attached.

The SDT750 will shoot in 1080p AVCHD at 60fps, feature Panny's proprietary Hybrid O.I.S. image stabilization technology, and come in a lovely shade of Henry Ford black.

Samsung TV schedule points to Epic 4G in August?

On August 20th, at 4:30PM Eastern Standard Time, Samsung will show off the Epic 4G  smartphone on their television support website. Why is this of interest to you? Simply because the last two times the company did such a thing -- for the Vibrant and Captivate, respectively -- these infomercials all but coincided with the phones' planned  release date.

 We wouldn't go around making any wagers if we were you, but if someone asks you when we might see a Galaxy S with a physical keyboard, you'll be able to make a ballpark estimate instead of pulling numbers out of your hat. Don't know what we're on about?

HTC Sense coming to Windows Phone 7

Some cried and some cheered when Microsoft revealed that handset manufacturers couldn't reskin Windows Phone 7 devices wholesale. But as it turns out, at least one major OEM is still banking on software to help differentiate its phones. HTC's Drew Bamford told Forbes that Sense UI will still appear in the company's Windows Phone 7 creations, and believes it will live on in Android 3.0 (Gingerbread) as well. "Microsoft has taken firmer control of the core experience," acknowledged Bamford, who added that Sense wouldn't be fully integrated into WP7 phones, but that HTC would "augment" the Microsoft experience with as-yet-undisclosed functionality of its own.


Dell Streak makes friends with Logitech diNovo Mini

So, you've either purchased a Streak, or you're anxiously awaiting your own  here in the US. Fantastic. Now what? If you've just over $100 to spend and even a pinch of smarts, you'll give strong consideration to Logitech's diNovo Mini. Though launched around two years ago, this portable Bluetooth keyboard looks like a match made in heaven for Dell's newfangled 5-inch smartphone, with the cover holding the Streak (almost) perfectly in order to create a makeshift Android laptop.

 Better still, the Bluetooth device pairs seamlessly with Dell's doodad, and both the keys and  finger pad operate sans any major issues. Dig down in to the source link for even more inspiration.

RIM's BlackBerry Curve 9300 spotted in T-Mobile branding

It's certainly not the first time we've seen this here BlackBerry (with "this here" meaning "Curve 9300"), but it's the first time we've seen it outfitted in carrier clothing. Notice that T-Mobile logo at the bottom? That's the clearest indication yet that this particular 'Berry will soon be headed to T-Mob, but given that it's unlikely to support an upgrade to BlackBerry OS 6, your off-the-chart excitement level may indeed be unwarranted.


BlackBerry Bold 9780 leaks out with OS 6, QWERTY instead of touchscreen

Yesterday evening, CrackBerry discovered a RIM document that describes a QWERTY-packing, OS 6-rocking "BlackBerry 9780" destined for a GSM carrier near you. While we quite honestly can't tell the difference, the man who outed the Curve 2  says this device's chrome bezel is a tad darker than the original, and that it'll have 512MB of flash memory when it hits the scene. Of course, this could just be an Bold 9700 with a hacked ROM or a theme of some sort, but we certainly hope not; pepper it up with CDMA.


Hitachi 'Life Microscope' promises to track your every movement

Sure, there's plenty of devices like the Fitbit  that can track your movement and report on your general level of activity or laziness, but only Hitachi has what it's dubbed a "Life Microscope." That name apparently comes from the fact that the device is able to track your activity with more detail than other fitness monitors -- including, it seems, the difference between sitting and sleeping, and even the difference between eating or playing video games.

That data is then naturally able to be transferred to a PC, and it also sounds like the Life Microscope could be incorporated into actual watches as well -- if it ever moves beyond the concept stage, that is.

Tweaker ports Samsung's TouchWIz UI onto non-rooted Nexus One for reasons unknown

This one's been kicking around the interwebs for a few weeks now, but it has managed to grow into something of a beast during that period. Frankly, we couldn't think of less fitting way to send the glorious Nexus One  out than to completely deface it and ruin what Google has worked so hard to perfect. But regardless of what we think, that's exactly what has happened here. One rolle3k over at xda developers clearly has a masochistic gene or two planted inside of his skull, but at least his APK doesn't require your N1 to be rooted before providing you access to a TouchWiz user interface.

HP not making Windows Phone 7 devices, focusing on webOS instead

No big surprise here, but HP Personal Systems Group VP Todd Bradley just flat-out confirmed to CNBC that HP will not be making any Windows Phone 7 devices, preferring instead to focus on the newly-acquired webOS for its line of smartphones.

 Here's the entire exchange:

    Q: Can you make webOS successful with developers when you're selling Windows Phone 7, maybe Android or Linux at the same time?

    A: We continue to be Microsoft's biggest customer, and we continue to believe we will drive innovation with Microsoft. At the same time, I think it's clear to say, that we're very focused on the customer, and giving the customer the experience that's important to them. We won't do -- will not do a Linux / Android phone. We won't do a Microsoft phone.

    Q: So no Windows Phone 7?

    A: We will continue to more broadly deliver the webOS-based phones that are in the market today, and Jon and his team have driven a strong roadmap for the future.

    Q: So does that mean you're going webOS only for phones?

    A: For smartphones it does. Our intent is to focus those resources and really make webOS the best OS it can be.

That's a big ouch for Microsoft -- it has to sting when your biggest customer turns its back on your fledgling mobile efforts -- but we can't exactly see HP spending a billion dollars on Palm only to turn around and support multiple platforms.

How would you change HTC's EVO 4G?

It may be America's first 4G smartphone, but if we had to guess, we'd surmise that not everyone sees it as perfect. Even if we  did. HTC's EVO 4G  was a showstopper of epic proportions, boasting one of the largest screens in the smartphone universe and offering blistering speed under the hood. But with phone innovation happening faster than anyone could've ever imagined just a few years ago, we're sure that some ideas have been planted in your head since its launch earlier in the year.

 For those who've been toying with this here phone, we're keenly interested in learning how you'd change things if given the chance. Would you offer a 3G-only version for those uninterested in paying that extra $10 / month surcharge? Would you be a lot more satisfied with Android 2.2 loaded on? Toss it over to another carrier? Go on and get vocal in comments below, cool?

HP Slate lookalike spotted in China, might beat the real thing to the market

Once again, China has proven to the world that it's the place to be for all sorts of gadgetry miracle. Just look at this 10-inch Windows 7 tablet here -- it may not be a full clone of the forthcoming 8.9-inch HP Slate, but it does come with a couple of interesting features: a 1366 x 768 resistive  multitouch display (ideal for tackling the complicated Chinese characters with a stylus) and a webcam.

You'll also find a handful of regular tidbits on this 1.66GHz Atom N450 device: a regular USB port coupled by a mini version, 3.5mm headphone jack, VGA port, LAN port, accelerometer, Bluetooth, WiFi and 3G. Oh, and you'll get a free stand, too, but we'll be minding our own business until this no-frills tablet gets a price.

Apple keeps antennagate alive with Droid X's 'kill switch'

We had a feeling Apple wasn't done showing off the apparent reception woes of its competitors -- after all, the company already updated once this week with the Nokia N97 mini. Now it's going after Motorola's celebrity of the moment (and known iPhone 4 bully), the Droid X.

 You can see Cupertino's results in the video after the break, but unlike Apple's other videos, we can't seem to recreate this one as easily with our Droid Xs. But hey, it's not like anyone's gonna buy a big phone anyway, right?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Nokia Kinetic concept revealed in prototype form

Impressed by Jeremy Innes-Hopkins' Nokia Kinetic  concept the other day? Then take a good look at the image above. That's the actual prototype of the device, which unfortunately doesn't power on (or have anything to power on), but does look remarkably like the previous renders we've seen, and gives us a far better idea of the scale of the device. In case you missed it, the real hook of the concept is an electromagnet in the phone's base that allows it to stand up on cue, and be flipped down to dismiss an action (like an alarm or a video call).
We also now know that Innes-Hopkins worked on the project at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in London under the tutelage of former Nokia Senior Designer Silas Grant, who was responsible for many of Nokia's premium phones like the 8800 Scirocco.

ASUS Eee PC 1018P and 1015PE review

ASUS's next generation Eee PC 1018P and 1015PE over five months ago at CeBIT, our excitement may have waned for the stylish netbooks. Oh, but it's actually the opposite, and when the brand new netbooks arrived last week, we grabbed the X-Acto knife (safely, of course) and eagerly unboxed them to see if the aluminum clad little laptops were as svelte as we'd remembered them. Sure, the $350 1018P and 1015PE have standard netbook internals (an Intel Atom N450 CPU, 1GB of RAM and Windows 7 Starter), but without a doubt they're some of the best quality netbooks ASUS has made in quite a while

Thursday, July 22, 2010

HP TouchSmart tm2 gains Core i5 CPU option, a whole new level of respect

We're looking at a case of the latter here today, as HP's oh-so-lovable 12-inch TouchSmart tm2 is now available to order with a Core i5 processor. Just months after gaining  Core i3 support, the convertible tablet can now be ordered with a 1.2GHz Core i5-430UM (capable of hitting 1.73GHz with Turbo Boost). Said CPU can be paired with integrated Intel graphics or with a discrete ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5450, and 4GB of DDR3 RAM is standard on either configuration.

Sharp's XMDF format looks to bring e-books into the next generation

When it comes to boring 'ol text and images, there are plenty of formats that modern e-readers can manage -- your EPUBs and OPFs and the like. But, when it comes to integrating multimedia content into a kind of next-gen e-book experience, the sort Wired is pushing on the iPad, things are rather less standardized. Sharp wants to be on the forefront of bringing that style of content together under a single standard: XMDF, or ever-eXtending Mobile Document Format. It enables video and animations and flashy presentation to be mingled in with the text, surely with the intent of distracting you from actually having to read anything. Of course, XHTML can manage all this stuff too, but it never was particularly great at the sort of precision text layout publishers crave, and presumably that's also being addressed here. Naturally we're a little more excited about hardware, and Sharp showed off two prototype readers measuring 5.5- and 10.8-inches respectively.

Apple to charge upgrade fee for iPads moving to iOS 4?

As if waiting around until fall to get iOS 4 weren't enough of a downer for iPad owners, the latest rumor we're hearing is that they'll have to pay a fee in order to do so. That's right, for the privilege of waiting patiently to get some semblance of multitasking on your slate device, you'll have to pony up the cash -- or so the story goes. Stuff has it on strong authority from app developers in the know that Apple will be asking for a (relatively small) tithe from those wishing to update their iPads when the leaves start turning amber. We'd advise keeping the pitchforks stowed for now -- at least until there's some solid corroboration for this -- but then it's not like Apple hasn't done this before.

ASUS Eee Pad EP101TC opts for Android, dumps Windows Embedded Compact 7

The lesser of ASUS' two Eee Pad tablets announced at Computex  this year, the EP101TC, is getting itself a software rejig ahead of its planned early 2011 launch. Originally slated to run on Microsoft's Windows Embedded Compact 7 -- a wordy OS, if nothing else -- the Pad will now entrust its operational infrastructure to Google's Android. ASUS is currently working on prototypes with Froyo on board, but Gingerbread (or Android 3.0) has not been ruled out as a possible final OS choice.

ASUS U33Jc and U53Jc Bamboo Series laptops priced for UK consumption

ASUS has finally shipped some of its latest offerings to the UK. Unlike the US, however, the lucky tea-sipping Brits are spoiled with two size options: the 13-inch, 3.75-pound U33Jc and the 15-inch, 6.1-pound U53Jc. Apart from the extra inches and the bonus DVD burner on the U53Jc, these two Windows 7 machines are almost identical: there's a 2.26GHz Core i5-430M CPU, 1,366 x 768 LED-backlit LCD, NVIDIA GeForce 310M with Optimus technology, 4GB DDR3 RAM, and one USB 3.0 port along with two 2.0 ports. The prices? £849 ($1,292) and £899 ($1,368), respectively.

China happy with Google's latest tweaks, saga appears at an end

The China versus Google spat seems to be drawing to a conciliatory end today, as a senior state official has announced China is "satisfied" with Google's latest round of changes. This was somewhat predictable given that the country just recently renewed El Goog's license to host sites within its borders, but it's always reassuring to get confirmation from an official source. The American search giant had tried to strike a precarious balance, by having its local .cn domain adhere to Chinese laws and dictum while also providing a link out to its uncensored Hong Kong hub, and that seems to have done the trick.

Lenovo promises LePad Android tablet for the end of the year

Liu Jun, Senior VP and President of Lenovo's Consumer Business Group, has revealed his company's intention to deliver an Android tablet by the end of this year. To be known as LePad, this apparent resurrection of the Skylight / U1 Hybrid R&D effort seems destined to follow LePhone in seeking its fortunes in China first before expanding out to the rest of the world. Lenovo's chairman did recently note that Apple's relative inaction toward mainland China creates opportunities for others, so this may well represent the IdeaPad maker's play for that burgeoning market.

Microsoft patent application cuts controller cords, sews them back together

Wireless gamepads are more convenient, but for latency, copper trumps 2.4GHz. What to do? Build hybrid controllers that can instantly cut the cord. It seems that's what Microsoft's thinking, as the company applied for a patent on just such a controller in March, using infrared, Bluetooth or RF technologies alongside a wired (possibly USB) connection and switch between the two "without permanent disruption to an ongoing game." Of course, dual-mode controllers have been around for months in a slightly different form -- Microsoft's own Sidewinder X8 and the Razer Mamba did the same for the high-end gaming mouse. It also doesn't bode well that this particular application clearly describes the original chunky Xbox.

Nokia looking for new CEO to replace Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, says WSJ

It doesn't come as a complete surprise, but the Wall Street Journal is reporting (care of "people familiar with the matter") that the search is on for a new Nokia CEO to replace Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo. Investor confidence and falling stock prices are to blame as the company has had -- and we're being nice here -- great difficulty competing in the smartphone market against the likes of Apple  and Google.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Apple releases iTunes 9.2.1 and iBooks 1.1.1, fixes galore promised

Merely days after iTunes 9.2 hit the pipes in order to enable iPhone 4 syncing, Apple's software team has pushed out the first "minor" update since with 9.2.1. Truth be told, the list of changes, fixes and tweaks is rather lengthy for a simple point-point update, with this one allowing users to organize apps on the iOS 4 home screens into folders using iTunes, organize and sync PDF documents as books, etc. As for fixes? For starters, it'll "disable older versions of some incompatible third-party plug-ins" (thanks?), while also addressing "minor issues with dragging and dropping items, a performance issue when first syncing to some devices with iTunes 9.2" and other general speed issues that users were reporting.

Droid 2 being prepared for launch, set to arrive August 23rd?moto

The Droid 2's been leaking out all over the place in the past few weeks, but it looks like it'll be another month before it officially hits shelves ,the above picture was publishes in engadget which puts it right on schedule for that rumored August 23rd launch. The phone will definitely ship with an 8GB microSD card, and that pricing appears to be $199 on contract and $599 standalone.

Motorola mini Droid slider caught by Mr. Blurrycam

Okay, this one's a complete and very welcome surprise -- some extremely blurry pictures  of what appears to be a smaller Motorola portrait QWERTY Android slider for Verizon just popped up on the Chinese Hiapk forums -- and yes, it's got the glowing red Droid eye. We're not sure if that means the Droid line is about to get a smaller midrange sibling or what, but Motorola's definitely pushing out some of the more interesting Android form factors lately, and this mini Droid certainly fits right in with the Flipout  and the Charm.

HP files for 'PalmPad' trademark -- a webOS tablet, perhaps?

HP's been extremely direct in saying that it plans to release webOS tablets and other devices in the future, and now that the Palm acquisition is complete, it looks like those plans are starting to move forward -- the company just filed a trademark application for "PalmPad," which certainly sounds like a webOS tablet to us. We don't know much apart from that, but it's certainly an encouraging sign -- and we can't help but feel a twinge of nostalgia for a name that harkens back to the glory days of the PalmPilot. Now we're just wondering when (this fall?), how much, and -- as usual -- what this means for the HP Slate.

Apple's Magic Trackpad gets FCC approval?

We're pretty sure Apple's Magic Trackpad (or whatever they'll end up calling it) just got FCC approval -- and considering how tightly Apple usually manages its FCC dealings, this could mean it'll be announced as early as this week. A device known only by its model number A1339 is the culprit here, described as a "Bluetooth Device" used in conjunction with a MacBook without any associated filings for WiFi or WWAN networks. The ultra-rough label location diagram is definitely the right shape for the accessory, and what's interesting is that the test report was completed way back in October of 2009. Has Apple seriously been sitting on this thing for the better part of a year? Keep a close eye on the Apple Store for this one, folks.

ASUS' 23-inch VG236H 3D monitor gets reviewed: pricey, but a real looker

ASUS' VG236H was quietly announced  back at CeBIT, but the 23-inch 3D monitor is just now getting around to making itself known to worldwide retailers. On sale now for a penny under $500 (which includes the complete $180 NVIDIA 3D Vision kit), this 1080p display has also managed to hit the test bench over at Hot Hardware. Critics over there found that it was amongst the nicest looking TN (boo) panels out there, and that the third dimension had no issue popping out on command. In fact, they had little to complain about, noting that it "consistently hit the mark in their testing [while producing] a fantastic image, whether it be 2D, 3D, work or play." Granted, it's not like you've too many options when it comes to snagging a 3D LCD.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

ASUS Mars 2 teases superpowered dual GeForce GTX 480

We'll be honest with you, we thought the GTX 480 was finally a graphics core too damn large and power-hungry to get the dual-GPU treatment. ASUS, however, is making us think again. Imagery has emerged of a Mars  2 reference board that fits two 480s on its densely populated surface, and is fed by not one, not two, but three 8-pin auxiliary power connectors. Back when Galaxy showed off a dual-GTX 470 prototype at Computex a month ago, we deemed it an unreasonable proposition -- in terms of power draw, heat dissipation, and cost -- but apparently those Taiwanese focus groups are really into their extravagantly overpowered video cards. We suspect if and when this Mars 2 hits retail it'll do so in a highly exclusive fashion, like its predecessor, and anticipate the unveiling of its cooler -- which is likely to be either the biggest or best engineered one we've seen yet.

Samsung Captivate now shipping from AT&T

Sure, the Samsung Vibrant came out three days earlier, but you don't care if T-Mobile customers beat you to the Galaxy S punch -- you're on AT&T, and it's about time you had  high-end Android smartphone to call your own. Our recent hands-on showed it was a bit sluggish, so you might want to wait for our full review, but if your heart's set on that 4-inch Super AMOLED screen and 1GHz Hummingbird core, you're only two clicks away from adding the Android 2.1 handset to your virtual shopping cart. Click our source link, immediately below.

Droid X sold out online and scarce at retail

Verizon told CNET the company had "done everything possible" to ensure adequate supply of the Droid X, but there's apparently no anticipating the demand for a top-tier smartphone -- like the Droid Incredible before it, the giant 1GHz Motorola handset is already out of stock, both online  and in many brick and mortar stores. Verizon confirmed the shortages in a communique to Android Central, saying the company was pleased with initial sales, and that though they were "successful at keeping up with early demand" supplies are presently "low or out."

LG VL600 hybrid LTE / CDMA modem for Verizon clears FCC hurdle

What you're looking at here is LG's VL600, a USB modem that'll do both LTE and CDMA in the same package -- in other words, it'll have you covered on Verizon for laptop data pretty much anywhere you go within the carrier's entire footprint. Judging from the size of the USB connector relative to the rest of the device's body, this might not be ridiculously large, either; typically, first-gen products like this are bordering on hilariously huge, but LG and others have had a really long time to ramp up to commercialization of their LTE products, so we're cautiously optimistic for once.

Panasonic Lumix LX5 outed by tech support page, improvements are black and white

Panasonic may be pushing Micro Four Thirds  tech these days, but that doesn't mean it's forgotten about the pocketable high-end -- in fact, full spec sheets and pictures have just leaked from the company's technical support website, detailing the unannounced latest in the Lumix LX lineup. The 10.1 megapixel DMC-LX5 doesn't have any revolutionary new features, sadly, but it certainly brings the 2008 LX3 predecessor up to spec in nearly every way, with a longer 3.8x optical zoom lens by Leica, 12,800 ISO mixed-pixel sensitivity and a familiar-sounding  AVCHD Lite 720p video recording mode. Slightly heavier due to a larger 1250mAh battery, the camera supports SDXC memory cards this time round, has an anti-glare coating on the 3-inch LCD and thankfully replaces those bulky breakout component cables with a mini-HDMI out.