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Dec 19, 2011

LG Optimus Sol and Optimus Net Dual-SIM Coming Soon to India

Unveiled back in August, the LG Optimus Sol is about to make its debut in India alongside the more recently launched LG Optimus Net Dual.

For the time being, both smartphones are listed as “Out of Stock” by Letsbuy, but the major retailer states that they will be available for purchase in the last week of December.

The Optimus Sol will be available for a suggested retail price of Rs 16,999 (320 USD or 245 EUR), while the Optimus Net Dual will go for Rs 10,699 (200 USD or 155 EUR).

As their prices suggest the Android-powered smartphones are aimed at different targets. The Optimus Sol is a mid-budget handset, while the Optimus Net Dual is an affordable smartphone with dual-SIM capability.

Dual-SIM phones are quite popular in India, which means the Optimus Net Dual will have the upper hand over its competitors in the same price range.

Those unfamiliar with the Optimus Net Dual should know that this is the dual-SIM version of the Optimus Net, which was recently launched in India.

LG Optimus Net Dual comes with a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen that supports 320 x 480 pixels resolution and 262k colors. It runs Google’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system and packs 150MB of internal memory, which can be expanded via microSD card slot up to 32GB.

In this regard, potential customers should know that the phone is delivered with a free 2GB memory card in the sales package. The phone is powered by an 800 MHz processor and sports a mediocre 3-megapixel camera on the back.

The LG Optimus Sol has a slightly larger 3.8-inch Ultra AMOLED capacitive touchscreen that boasts 480 x 800 pixels resolution and 262k colors support, which is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass.

Just like the Optimus Net Dual, the Optimus Sol is powered by Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread with Optimus 2.0 user interface on top.

On the inside, the phone is equipped with a 1 GHz processor, 2GB of ROM (150MB user available), 512 of RAM and microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB, 2GB memory included).

Dell Streak V04B Shows Up at FCC with 1.5GHz Dual-Core CPU

Dell and Baidu, the Chinese search giant hinted to a possible collaboration for the launch of the first smartphone to run the Yi operating system.

Although details on the collaboration were scarce it appears that the first results have just been spotted at FCC, the Dell Streak V04B, which is also known as Softbank Pro 101DL.

The smartphone has just won approval for the 1,700 MHz WCDMA radio and will probably make its debut in early 2012.

According to the folks over at Engadget the smartphone will be introduced in China tomorrow for a suggested retail price of $475 (360 EUR).

The smartphone is said to sport a 4.3-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display that boasts 540 x 960 pixels resolution, a dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 8GB of ROM and microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB).

AMD Radeon HD 7970 Could Be Up to 60% Faster than Nvidia’s GTX 580

In just a few days from now, AMD is expected to unveil its next-generation graphics cards in the Radeon HD 7900 series and recently a company slide that compares the performance of this GPU with Nvidia’s GTX 580 was just leaked online.

The slide details the performance of the Radeon HD 7970 in 11 popular titles including Crysis 2, Metro 2033 and Civilization 5 and in all of these games, the AMD card gets past its counterpart without any difficulty.

In fact, the performance gain of the HD 7970 in comparison with the GTX 580 can be as high as 60% in games such as BattleForge, Civilization and Shogun 2, while the smallest difference is recorded in AvP where the AMD GPU surpasses its competitor by a little less than 30%.

All the tests published in the AMD slide and published on the Tweakers.net forums were run at 2560x1600 with various levels of Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic-Filtering thrown in.

For those of you in need of a quick refresher you should know that the Radeon HD 7970 is based on the Tahiti XT core and a recent leak revealed that it would feature 32 Compute Units, for a total of 2048 streaming cores, 128 texture units, 32 ROPs and a 384-bit wide memory bus.

This will be connected to 3GB of GDDR VRAM working at 1.37GHz (5.5GHz effective), while the GPU will be clocked at 925MHz.  

The AMD graphics card will get its power through a 6-pin and an 8-pin connector and the load TDP of the Radeon HD 7970 is rated at 300W while the idle board power is rated at an incredibly low 3W thanks to AMD’s ZeroCore technology.

AMD’s Radeon HD 7970 is expected to be announced on December 22, so we don’t have that much time to wait until we can see if the figures included in this leaked slide are actually true.

Intel Ivy Bridge CPU Pricing Unveiled

In the second quarter of 2012, Intel is expected to launch its first desktop processors based on the Ivy Bridge architecture and a recent leak has revealed the pricing of some of the upcoming Core i7 and i5 parts based on this 22nm design.

The specifications of most of the CPUs listed were unveiled a short while ago and these feature similar features as their Sandy Bridge counterparts, but come with slightly higher base and/or Turbo Boost frequencies.

The integrated graphics cores have also suffered a series of changes which make them significantly more powerful that the current HD 2000 and HD 3000, while also receiving support for DirectX 11.

However, despite these improvements, it seems like Intel will keep Ivy Bridge prices identical with those of SNB.

As CPU-World reports, the most expensive of these new chips will be the multiplier-unlocked Core i7-3770K. 

This 3.5GHz CPU with 8MB of L3 cache, Hyper-Threading and up to 3.9 GHz Turbo Boost speed will be priced at $332 (255 EUR), which makes it just as expensive as the current Core i7-2700K, the processor that it’s meant to replace.

Intel will also use this pricing policy for the rest of the Core i7 line, including its energy efficient “S” and “T” models. 

As far as the Core i5 processor lineup is concerned, six of the seven processor listed will retail for the same prices as their Sandy Bridge predecessors, the only exception being the Core i5-3570K that will be priced at $225 (173 EUR) compared to the $216 of the i5-2500K it replaces.  

A full price list compiled by CPU-World is included in this article, together with the name and pricing of the parts they will succeed.

Intel is expected to launch its quad-core Ivy Bridge processors in the Core i5 and i7 lineups in April of 2012, while the dual-core parts will arrive one month later.

New AMD Radeon HD 7900 Presentation Slides Appear

One by one, AMD’s slides from the company’s media deck for the Radeon HD 7900 make their appearance, and the latest of these focus on the energy-efficiency achieved by this cards.

This time too, the slides have originated from Donanim Haber, and they go to show AMD’s advancement into adopting new fabrication nodes as well as its ZeroCore technology.

We already talked about this in another article, but this basically cuts power consumption in idle to just 3W by turning off the GPU when it isn’t in use.

The technology also works for CrossFireX configurations by completely shutting down the non-primary graphics cards, which AMD claims is a major win over Nvidia’s SLI technology that doesn’t include any such advanced power saving technologies.

The slides are pretty self- explanatory, so make sure to take a look at them (they are enclosed in the gallery bellow) if you want to learn more about the power reduction technologies in the Radeon HD 7900 series.

IM+ 6 Brings BBM Functionality to iPhone, iPad

SHAPE Services has announced a new version of their popular instant messaging application, IM+, which now comes with a new feature called ‘Beep’.

IM+ comes in both free and paid form and supports most IM standards, as well as the most popular social networks, including Facebook and Twitter.

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better, SHAPE coded a bunch of new features for users of the application and deployed them all in version 6.0 - now available from the iTunes App Store for iPhone and iPad.

The flagship addition in this update is, of course, Beep, a free mobile-to-mobile in-app messenger.

It borrows functionality from Apple’s own iMessage and Blackberry’s BBM, and even goes beyond by providing cross-platform functionality.

SHAPE Services explains: “We figured you've been looking for a free alternative to SMS for a while now. And now we've got that right in IM+. Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and other mobile devices that your friends use IM+ on: Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone.”

“Whenever you send and receive text messages, photos, video or voice messages, IM+ Beep will make sure that your message was successfully sent and notify you when it is safely delivered. Push will make incoming messages instantly pop up on your device.
Always on, always instant, always fun,” says the company.

What else? You can now share what's on your mind with your local community by using the updated Neighbors feature that now support Shouts.

Another new addition is the cool Angry Birds theme for avid fans of the Rovio-developed puzzler, and there is added support for "Invisible" status in Google Talk, tweaked IM+ performance and a refined interface.

The ad-supported IM+ is free and the Pro version goes for $1.99 / 1,59 €. It’s compatible with all iDevices and requires only iOS 3.0.

Sony Ericsson LT28AT Specs Emerge

A few weeks ago, we saw a new Sony Ericsson smartphone receiving the necessary approvals from the Bluetooth SIG, and some more info on the specifications that it will land on shelves with has emerged now. 

Rumor has it that this might become the next Sony Ericsson flagship smartphone for the North American market, and the leaked hardware specs for it seem to confirm that. 

A recently spotted User Agent Profile (UAProf) for this device unveiled the fact that it will pack an HD screen, and the newly rumored specs point in the same direction.

The new mobile phone is expected to arrive on shelves with a 4.55-inch Reality display that can deliver a HD 720p resolution (1280 x 720 pixels).

Moreover, the new high-end smartphone should pack a fast 1.4 or 1.5GHz dual-core application processor, which translates into great performance capabilities. 

On the back, the new device is expected to feature a 13-megapixels BSI (backside illumination) photo snapper, which should feature LED Flash and auto focus, as well as HD 720p video recording. It will be accompanied by a front camera with video calling features. 

When it comes to connectivity, the new handset will sport WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 capabilities, along with 4G LTE and 3G. It will also include a built-in GPS receiver.

One thing that has not been detailed for the time being is the platform version that the smartphone will arrive on shelves with. All that we know at the moment is that it packs Google’s Android operating system.

The Sony Ericsson LT28AT is set to land on shelves on the North American continent sometime next year and should be included in the company’s popular Xperia series.

No specific info on the wireless carrier that might carry the Android smartphone emerged either. However, chances are that the new device will go official in less than a month from now, during next year’s CES show in Las Vegas. 

New Symbian Belle ROM for Nokia N8 Leaks (Video)

Nokia N8 owners rejoice as a new Symbian Belle ROM for Nokia’s ex flagship smartphone has just leaked and it appears to be much better than the previous version that was published several weeks ago.

The new ROM version is 111.030.609 and seems to be newer than the recently leaked Symbian Belle ROM for the Nokia C7.

The unofficial Symbian Belle ROM for the Nokia N8 is available for download courtesy to the folks over at Daily Mobile forum.

Those who are anxiously waiting for Nokia to release the official Symbian Belle update for the N8 should know that the Finnish company plans to launch the major upgrade in early 2012.

Until then we suggest Nokia N8 owners to check out some of the features offered by Symbian Belle for the N8, but we do not recommend flashing this unofficial ROM unless you know what you’re doing.

AMD Radeon HD 7770 Pictures Leaked, Packs Cape Verde XT GPU

The existence of the Radeon HD 7770, the cheapest AMD graphics card based on the Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, was just confirmed by a series of leaked images that made their appearance on the Web a short while ago.

The card will come as the direct descendant of the Radeon HD 5770 and its HD 6770 rebrand as it targets the same mainstream performance class, but this time it will utilize the new Cape Verde XT core.

On the outside, the cooling solution employed by the Radeon HD 7700 looks surprisingly similar with that introduced by Nvidia with the GTX 460, although the shroud is now painted in AMD’s colors and it slightly resembles the HD 7970 that was leaked at the end of last week.

Moving to the back of the HD 7770 we see that AMD has decided to pair the graphics card with 3 display outputs, one DVI, one HDMI and a mini-DisplayPort connector.

Just like it’s the case with Juniper XT, the HD 7770 requires only a single 6-pin PCI-e connector, which seems to imply that its power consumption is set at a little over 100W.

Two-way CrossFireX is also supported by the AMD graphics card and the reference design includes four GDDR5 memory chips, which seems to indicate the presence of a 128-bit wide memory controller.

The operating speed of the chips is not yet known, but we expect these to come clocked higher than the current HD 5770/6770.

The operating frequency of the GPU also isn’t known, but from what we can tell from the pictures its die seems to be smaller than that of Juniper XT, VR-Zone claiming that it measures well under 150 mm².

Sadly, the launch date of the HD 7770 is not yet known, but we expect it to arrive in the first part of 2012.

SeaSonic Launches 1000 Watt 80PLUS Platinum Power Supply

SeaSonic showed us the first pictures of its 80PLUS Platinum certified power supplies more than nine months ago, and after a long wait these units have now finally become available for purchase, at least in some parts of Europe.

For starters, the series will be comprised of just two models, with 860W (P-860XP) and 1,000W (P-1000XP) ratings, and both PSUs feature completely modular cable management.

In addition, the units will pack six PCI Express connectors as well as an 120mm San Ace fan from Sanyo Denki which kicks in only when a higher than 40% load is recorded by the PSU.

In the case of the 1000W SeaSonic model, this means that the fan won't start until the system draws more than 400W form the power supply.

According to SweClockers, most of the PSU's internals were taken from the current X-series and then tweaked so that it would comply with the 80 PLUS Platinum standard.

As the same website report, the 1KW unit has a single 12V rail, which is rated at 83 Amps, so it alone can supply the system with 996W, while the 860W model is said to deliver 71 Amps over the same rail.

Judging by its power rating, the P-1000XP should be compatible with a wide range of CrossFireX and SLI setups as well as with all the upcoming high performance CPUs, including solutions built on top of the AMD Bulldozer and Intel Sandy Bridge-E architectures.

Pricing for the 1kW PSU is set at 2700 Swedish kronor which translates into about 300 EUR or $391 US.

The 860W model hasn’t yet been priced, but both of these SeaSonic power supply units will come with 80PLUS Platinum certification and a 7 years warranty.

Windows 8 Beta Delivered to Testers, Screenshots Leak

Windows 8 is moving fast towards the first beta release, but it appears that Microsoft still has some work to do on the matter, though the latest Windows 8 screenshots that emerged on the web show new changes brought to the platform’s UI. 

The new shots are available courtesy of Winunleaked.tk, which claims that the Redmond-based software giant is very close to completing the first beta builds of the next platform flavor. 

Apparently, Microsoft might be ready to sign off the first beta build of Windows 8 as soon as this month, although the platform should be publicly released only sometime in February. 

If the beta build is completed in December 2011, users will have two months to wait before it is pushed out, though chances are that they would get a taste of it before that. 

Some rumors suggested that the company was considering the possible unveiling of Windows 8 beta during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but nothing has been confirmed on the matter until now. 

The latest Windows 8 build has been released to testers last week, Winunleaked.tk claims offering the screenshots attached to this article as proof of the latest changes made to the OS. 

One of these screenshots shows that the Metro Start Screen in Windows 8 beta comes with a new background (apps like Reader, Music, Video, Photos and the Windows Store can also be seen pinned to the start menu).

There are new themes included into the mix, along with a series of other changes as well. Overall, the new build is fast and clean, and promises a great experience. 

One of the screenshots also show the Install menu for the new Windows 8 beta build, which is accompanied by the privacy statement for installing the OS. Unfortunately, no specific info on the under-the-hood changes performed in the OS has been unveiled so far. 

Android-Powered Lynx Satellite Radio by Sirius XM Stars in FCC Teardown

The Lynx satellite radio from Sirius XM may not have yet reached retail, but this Android powered gadget has just starred in an FCC teardown giving us a glimpse at its insides.

As you can see in the picture above (provided by Wireless Goodness), at the heart of the device stands a STMicro processor which is seconded by Samsung SDRAM and Flash memory, and by a microSD card slot.

Right above this, there’s also an Immersion logo, which seems to suggest that the radio could support its touchscreen haptic feedback technology.

For those of you eager to get your hands on the Lynx, Crutchfield is having it for pre-order listed at $250 (192 EUR).

Sadly, we still don’t have a release date for this satellite radio, but the FCC visit makes us believe that the Lynx will reach stores soon.

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