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Oct 4, 2011

Three Nokia N9 Tips on Video

Nokia N9, the MeeGo-powered smartphone that Nokia is getting ready to make available for purchase in various markets around the world, has some nice features to offer to those who will acquire it. 

The MeeGo OS is something completely new, and the same is the all-touch design that the Nokia N9 comes to the market with. 

To learn some more on the capabilities of this phone, Nokia came up with some videos to familiarize users with the handset and the OS, and one of them is available above.

In the video, you will learn how to easily find an application on the handset, or how to make sure that you will never miss a photo opportunity. 

Moreover, Nokia will also show you how to personalize the lock screen of the handset with favorite photos.


Intel WiDi 3.0 to Include Dual Monitor Support and Gaming Optimizations

Intel's WiDi wireless video streaming technology has seen limited use in the short time since its been out, but this won't stop the chip maker from further developing it in the future as the third version of Wireless Display is expected to come with dual-monitor support and a series of gaming optimizations.

This information was provided by an Intel official during a local even that we attended earlier today.

According to the company representative, Intel is currently working on a new version of the technology (most probably dubbed WiDi 3.0), which will feature support for connecting a maximum of two monitors simultaneously.

The displays connected through WiDi will be able to stream different images and can also work as an extended desktop.

In addition to providing multi-monitor support, Intel will also focus its attention on improving the response time of WiDi in the future iteration of the technology.

According to the company, the first generation of Wireless Display had a delay of about 600ms between the time the images were sent from the laptop and when they were displayed on the HDTV or monitor, while the second version of WiDi dropped this time to just 200ms.

However, this is expected to drop even further in WiDi 3.0, which should make this technology better suited for gamers. 

The second version of the Wireless Display technology was introduced at the same time with the company's Sandy Bridge processors and is available in laptops based on the Huron River platform that feature Intel network cards.

Compared to the first iteration of this technology, WiDi 2.0 is able to stream content at Full HD resolutions (1080p) with support for Dolby 5.1 surround sound.

To take advantage of WiDi 2.0, the notebooks have to be equipped with a wireless transmitter, a feature that has been neglected by most laptop makers. A similar device (for receiving the content) is also required for the HDTV or projector that is connected to the notebook.

Intel calls these devices media extenders and, until now, these are manufactured by Belkin, D-Link and Netgear, but others are expected to join the party later this year.

The 3.0 version of WiDi will most probably be introduced together with the company's mobile Ivy Bridge processors, which are expected to become available in March or April of 2012.


Intel Atom Cedarview Mobile CPUs Use Less than 2W of Power

While we are still waiting for the official debut of the first mobile Atom processors based on the Cedarview architecture, a German publication has managed to uncover a series of new details about these chips, including the power consumption of the CPUs.

These new Intel chips will go by the name of Atom N2600 and Atom N2800 and just like their desktop counterparts feature two processing cores with a total of 1MB of Level 2 cache memory.

Their operating frequencies however, have been reduced in order to make them better suited for the mobile environment, and the Intel Atom N2800 works at 1.86GHz, while the less powerful N2600 is clocked at 1.6GHz.

Outside of the increased processing speed, the N2800 also sports an integrated 1066MHz memory controller as well as a 640MHz on-die GMA 3650 GPU that is based on a PowerVR SGX545 core.

This adds a series of multimedia oriented capabilities to the Cedar Trail platform including support for Blu-ray 2.0 video playback.

The same graphics PowerVR graphics unit is also used for the N2600, but, this time, the GPU operating frequency has been lowered to 400MHz.

Compared to its older brother, the N2600 also comes with a slower memory controller that supports DDR3 DIMMs clocked as high as 800MHz.

The most surprising feature of these new Atom processors however is their power consumption, as Intel has managed to reach some extremely low values.

According to the information provided by the German website Heise, the N2800 requires only 1.81 Watts of power in order to function, while its smaller brother drops this figure to an impressive 1.09W.

Both the N2600 and N2800 are designed to be paired together with the Intel NM10 chipset, which was also used by the Santa Clara chip giant for the previous Pine Trail Atom platform.




Toshiba Debuts Thinnest 10.1-inch Honeycomb Tablet in Japan, Regza AT700

Toshiba has just announced the Regza AT700 Honeycomb tablet at the CEATEC 2011 in Japan, along with a 7-inch slate dubbed AT3S0.

Touted world's thinnest 10.1-inch tablet, Regza AT700 is quite similar to the Toshiba T200, which was unveiled one month ago at IFA 2011 trade fair.

In addition to Regza AT700 tablet, Toshiba also announced a Japanese version of the Thrive 7-inch slate, the Regza AT3S0.

According to the Japanese manufacturer, Regza AT700 tablet is expected to arrive in stores in mid-December, while the the Regza AT3S0 should hit shelves later this month.

Toshiba REGZA AT700 is powered by Android 3.2 Honeycomb operating system and weighs only 558g (battery included), which makes it one of the lightest 10.1-incher available in the market.

Furthermore, AT700 is equipped with a 1.20GHz dual core TI OMAP 4430 processor and a 10.1-inch WXGA wide-screen LED LCD backlit touchscreen display with wide viewing angle and 1280 x 800 pixels resolution.

The tablet packs 1GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, as well as a host of ports, including HDMI, USB 2.0 and microSD.

Both tablets sport dual cameras (5-megapixel main camera and 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls) and Wireless WLAN IEEE802.11b/g/n connectivity.

Regza AT700 measures 256.0 x 176.0 x 7.7mm and offers 7 hours of battery life.

The smaller Regza AT3S0 embeds a slightly less powerful 1 GHz dual core Tegra 2 processor and weighs 379g (battery included).

It comes with a 7-inch WXGA wide-screen TFT LED LCD backlit touchscreen display with wide viewing angle and 1280 x 800 pixels resolution.

Toshiba Regza AT3S0 promises 6 hours of continuous usage, along with Bluetooth,GPS and card reader.

Toshiba has yet to announce any price options for the Regza AT700, but the Regza AT3S0 will be available for a suggested retail price of 49,800 Yen (about $650 or 493 EUR).




iOS 5 Available for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad Today (Update)

Apple will use today’s event not only to announce new iPhone hardware, but also to launch iCloud and iOS 5, in accordance with the company’s June announcement that both products would be launched this fall.

While the new iPhone thing isn’t a certainty (at least the exact model, anyway) for today’s festivities, Apple should use today’s event to roll out iCloud and the iOS 5 IPSW to the masses, as promised during WWDC 2011.

Not surprisingly, Apple’s Support / Downloads section is acting up, either because many are accessing it anxiously to see if the company is listing anything new (not that you could actually make the download there), or because Apple's own technicians are tripping on some back-end wires trying to accommodate the anticipated influx of downloads.

Compatible devices start at iPhone 3GS and end with the iPad 2. Stick around for our coverage of Apple’s iPhone event (just a few hours away).

Update: Looks like Apple is delaying the iOS 5 release 'till next week.


Corsair Intros 8 GB DDR3 Vengeance and Vengeance Value Modules

Corsair has again made good on its reputation as supplier of high-quality memory products, its newest press release introducing two new Vengeance series DDR3 modules of 8 GB each.

It may have run into a little snag with a few Hydro H100 coolers, but Corsair is nothing if not undeterred in its continued push on the consumer hardware front.

It is the company's virtual memory division that has taken the word now, revealing the 8 GB Vengeance and a Value Select DDR3 module of the same capacity.

The Value Select is a DIMM with latencies of 9-9-9-24 and a clock speed of 1,333 MHz, plus the ability to run on 1.5V. It is advertised as a good memory option for mobile computers.

"Otherwise-powerful laptop PCs are often underequipped when it comes to memory, which can cause usability problems with office application suites and complex documents that notebook PC users need to work with in the real world," said Giovanni Sena, director of Memory Products at Corsair. 

"8GB Value Select memory modules solve this problem."

Meanwhile, the 8 GB Vengeance, also of the 1.5V variety, has 10-10-10-27 timings and a clock speed of 1,600 MHz.

It should work best in high-end systems belonging to performance enthusiasts, maybe even in setups of up to 32 GB RAM.

"Vengeance DDR3 memory is the premier choice for reliable, overclockable DRAM for system builders on a budget," Sena said.

"Our kits based on 8GB modules give builders, system integrators, and gaming enthusiasts the power to break the 16GB barrier."

The desktop-aimed 8 GB Vengeance has a heatspreader featuring the fairly common jet Black color scheme.

The Value Select, obviously, lacks a heatspreader of its own, since it wouldn't be much of a laptop part otherwise.

People who want the Vengeance 8 GB module can find it listed online here, for the price of $269.99. Exchange rates say this means 204.70 Euro, but actual European listings probably won't stick to this figure much when and if they show up.




Intel Core i7-2700K CPU and Specs Confirmed

We have previously covered Intel's upcoming Core i7-2700K processor, but now a new series of leaked slides has arrived to confirm the existence of this chip as well as the specifications of this multiplier-unlocked chip.

Compared to the current top of the line Core i7-2600K, the new Intel processor will have a base clock speed of 3.5GHz, which is 100MHz higher than its predecessor.

According to the Intel documents, the maximum Turbo Core frequency has also received a small bump as this will be set at 3.9GHz, compared to the 3.8GHz of the 2600K.

The rest of the CPU specifications were left unchanged, and the chip includes 8MB of Level 3 cache, Intel HD 3000 graphics with 850/1350MHz clock speeds and a dual-channel DDR3-1333 memory controller, all packed inside a 95W TDP. 

Just like all the K-series Intel processors, the Core i7-2700K also features an unlocked multiplier which means overclockers will be able to push the operating frequencies of the CPU further than Intel's specifications.

The existence of this chip was uncovered at the beginning of September when Intel listed it in the company's updated Material Declaration Data Sheets (MDDS), but no specs were available at that time.

When it arrives, the Core i7-2700K will take the place of the current 2600K in Intel's lineup and will become the fastest Sandy Bridge desktop processor to be released to date.

Unfortunately, we don't know when this is supposed to happen, but rumors seem to point out to an October 24 launch date.

Pricing is also unknown, but the Santa Clara chip maker usually releases its updated top-of-the-line offerings as the same price as their predecessors, in the case of the Core i7-2600K this being set at $317. (via Donanim Haber)




PlayStation Vita Gets Box Design, Core Apps Description

Sony has just unveiled the retail box design of its upcoming PlayStation Vita handheld console, while describing the core applications that will help users take full advantage of the variety of features that are included in the portable device.

The PlayStation Vita will be released on December 17, in its native Japan, and next year, in North America and Europe, so, you can imagine that Sony wants to make sure potential customers know everything they can about the device and make an informed decision.

The most recent step in helping them has been taken by the company, which presented the retail box design for the PlayStation Vita. As you can see above, the Vita will have the same design no matter the version, the only distinctive thing being the Wi-Fi/3G inscriptions on the box.

Besides the box, Sony also released the first official details on the various core applications that are included in the Vita's main menu screen, from the Welcome Park, which is a series of mini-games that highlight the main features of the console, to the already familiar PlayStation Store, so check out all their descriptions below. 
  • Welcome Park – We invite you to the Welcome Park to explore and discover all of the brilliant features packed into PS Vita through a series of mini-games.
  • Party – Fancy a chat while you’re gaming? Speak with your friends anytime you like with Party. The voice and text chat application allows you to talk to up to eight party members, no matter what you’re doing. Party also allows you to set up and jump in multiplayer games and chat with Friends while you play different games, bringing cross-game chat to PS Vita.
  • PlayStation Store – A direct link to PlayStation Store where you will be able to download all PS Vita games, trailers, DLC and apps.
  • Group Messaging – Another great way to contact your PlayStation Network friends is with a PSN Message. Send them an update or even a picture you’ve taken with your PS Vita to let them know what’s going on. You can message your friends on PSP and PS3, and you can have conversations with multiple people at once.
  • Photos – PS Vita allows you to capture photos and this is the direct link to the camera and also the photo viewer application.
  • Near – An exclusive location based gaming network for PS Vita. With near you can stay connected to all of your PlayStation Network friends and make new ones by sharing information about yourself, based on your location. Press the Update button and find new people based on where you are, challenge them to games or play cooperatively and enjoy a completely unique gaming experience on PS Vita. You can even send and receive new levels, unlocks and in-game items to enhance the way you play – everywhere you go will hold new surprises. You can view your friends’ game preferences, see how many trophies they’ve earned and compare your stats to see who the better player is.
  • Trophies – PS Vita games will support Trophies and this app will store and track your Trophies earned on both PS Vita and PS3. It also allows you to compare your Trophies with your friends.
  • Music – A music player that will allow you to play your own tunes transferred to PS Vita via a computer or PS3.
  • Friends – Your Friends List will allow you to search and keep in touch with your PSN Friends. Click on a friend’s profile to see what game they are playing on either PS Vita or PlayStation 3. You can join their game, take a look at what you’ve played together recently or compare your trophy collections. You can also see your friend’s recent gaming activity and what they are doing now. In your profile you can share information about yourself. Choose an avatar that represents you best, add your friends and let the world know what you are playing.
  • Internet Browser – With the 5″ OLED Touchscreen, PS Vita will offer a great web browsing experience over Wi-Fi and 3G.

Expect more details about the PlayStation Vita to appear in the near future.


Zune Devices, and So It Ends

The death of Zune digital media players has been long a time coming, so much so that even Microsoft thinks that it already announced it officially, which it didn’t. 

The company recently introduced some changes to Zune.net and dropped the Zune HD links which pointed customers to various sources where they could still acquire the last surviving Zune device. 

When users started noticing the change, a software giant blamed the modification on a mistake. Fact is, that at the time of this article, the Zune HD link is back on, and redirecting visitors to online retail outlets that still offer the product. 

Still, at the same time, Microsoft is noting that the Zune devices are dead on a Zune player support and service webpage

“We recently announced that, going forward, Windows Phone will be the focus of our mobile music and video strategy, and that we will no longer be producing Zune players. So what does this mean for our current Zune users? Absolutely nothing,” Microsoft promises.

“Your device will continue to work with Zune services just as it does today. And we will continue to honor the warranties of all devices for both current owners and those who buy our very last devices. Customer service has been, and will remain a top priority for us.”

There seems to be a bit of confusion over in Redmond as to what the company communicated about the fate of Zune devices. 

I for one cannot think of when Microsoft announced that it would no longer be producing Zune players, but…

It’s important to note that Zune has always been about services, even more than about the players themselves. 

With Zune devices failing lamentably to make a dent in Apple’s domination over the media player market, it was really just a matter of time before Microsoft would have killed them off. 

As far as I’m concerned, the only reason why Zune is still alive is because of the services component and its connection to Windows Phone. Still, Zune has yet to truly be an international service, and as such, it’s completely irrelevant to the vast majority of potential Windows Phone customers worldwide, not only adding absolutely no extra value to the devices, but actually qualifying for the dead weight award.


ASUS Eee Pad Transformer 2 Not Very Cheap at All

People who hoped the Eee Pad Transformer 2 would have the same level of affordability as its predecessor will sadly be disappointed once the object actually gets launched, according to a new report. 

The tablet market has spawned quite a few things so far, some items succeeding in scoring a fair number of sales. 

The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is one of the more obvious examples, having reached the point where it sold in quantities of 400,000 a month back in July. 

With how slates have been doing their best to differentiate themselves form the Apple iPad, price differences emerged as well. 

People had started, in some measure, to hope the Transformer 2, set to make its entrance this month, will be one of those cheaper slates. 

If that happens, it will most likely thrive as well, what with it being powered by the NVIDIA Kal-El Tegra 3 platform and everything. 

Unfortunately, a report made by Digitimes has revealed that the Transformer 2 will cost just as much as the Apple iPad 2. 

For those that want to be reminded what that means in numbers, the base price is of $499, a sum that, according to current exchange rates, would be the same as 377.60 Euro. 

Then again, seeing as how products tend to cost in Europe as many Euro as they do dollars, the likelihood exists that shops on the old continent will sell it for more (the iPad is at 479 Euro)

Even if they don't, the first Transformer now has a base price tag of about $399, though it can be found for less. 

Nevertheless, the company still expects to ship about 1.5 or 2 million tablets before the ongoing year (2011) is out. 

For those who want a short reminder, the 10-inch ASUS Eee Pad Transformer 2 has the quad-core Tegra 2 chip running Android Honeycomb (or Ice Cream Sandwich). Full specs will be disclosed at launch, which shouldn't be overly far off.


Windows Phone 7.5 Mango Now Available for 50% of Users

Roughly one week ago, Redmond-based software giant Microsoft has started the roll-out of a new software update for its Windows Phone users, and has made significant progress in the area, it seems. 

The company notes that they already managed to make the new OS flavor available for half of Windows Phone devices out there, and that updates have been successful so far. 

Most of the Windows Phone devices out there have started to receive the update, with some minor exceptions that we mentioned for both the United States and for the global market. 

Apparently, the first wave of updates were successful on all handset models out there, in every country and on every carrier that started the roll-out. 

“On behalf of the engineering team, I want pass on a big thank you for updating your phones so quickly, since it helps us gather the data we need to make decisions more rapidly,” Eric Hautala, general manager, Customer Experience Engineering, Microsoft, notes in a blog post. 

“In fact, the update success rates we’re seeing look so good we’ve decided to open the spigot ahead of schedule, and make Windows Phone 7.5 available to 50 percent of eligible customers starting right now,” he continues. 

At the moment, Microsoft is still collecting and analyzing installation data from various smaller carriers, and it needs a little longer before making sure that all is good for all Windows Phone users to receive Mango. 

“I know some of you have questions about how Windows Phones are selected to receive the update. Put simply, it’s done totally at random, with absolutely no preference for carrier, model, or country,” Hautala explains. 

According to him, this is the manner in which the company can accurately measure quality and find issues in due time. Additional info on the handsets that are receiving the new software update at the moment can be found on this page at Microsoft.


Hotmail Application Arrives in the Android Market

Microsoft has just made available for download in the Android Market its official Hotmail application for devices powered by Google's mobile operating system.

With the new mobile software, users can easily access their email while on the go, while receiving notification on each of the new messages they receive. 

The application was made available for download for all devices that run under Android 2.1 to 2.3.3 platform versions. 

The software comes with push email capabilities and enables users to keep their contacts and calendar synced, or to send, receive and view attachments. 

The app also offers folder viewing, as well as the ability to send pictures from the handset. Not to mention that it comes with support for multiple accounts. The Hotmail application is available for download from the Android Market here.






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