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Feb 10, 2012

Firefox 10.0.1 Available for Download




There have been talks about releasing a new version of Firefox this week. This chemspill release should not be too surprising since Firefox 8 and 9 already built up a pattern in this sense.

The purpose of Firefox 10.0.1 is to fix two top issues that could not wait until the launch of the future major version. One of them is a top startup crash and the other refers to Java applets causing text fields to hang.

The effects of the latter are visible when interacting with an embedded Java applet, which causes all text spaces to become unusable. Minimizing Firefox or resizing is the workaround, unless updating to Firefox 10.0.1.

Developers are also looking to block AVG Safe Search versions causing broken location bar behavior.

Currently, there is also an issue with the add-on manager but more details are to be uncovered. Also, this problem seems manageable through the release of a hotfix.

Just go here for complete platform version and language.


Acer CloudMobile with Android 4.0 Revealed Ahead of MWC Launch




If you thought that Acer is out of the mobile phone business than think again. It appears that the company is trying to cut its heavy losses and regroup under the Android banner.

Acer has revealed that its unannounced CloudMobile smartphone has received the “iF design award 2012,” which recognizes the device’s outstanding look.

In addition, Acer’s mobile division claims that Acer CloudMobile is the first smartphone built to take advantage of the AcerCloud technology. Apparently, this technology “securely connects personal content from Cloud PCs through CloudMobile.” 

Photos can be pushed to and from CloudMobile, as well as music files, so user can listen their favorite music while on the go. According to the company, AcerCloud “enhances mobile productivity by providing seamless document management.”

AcerCloud offers users the possibility to access and browse any recent file from CloudMobile and print it with Acer Print wirelessly.

Acer CloudMobile smartphone features an ultra-slim design, which is one of the reasons it got rewarded by iF design jury. 

Acer describes the device as being made from “stainless steel on the front, featuring a Dolby speaker plate on the back.” Acer CloudMobile has a narrow bezel to provide more room for the 4.3-inch capacitive HD display.

Although the company does not provide more details on the phone’s specs sheet, the guys over at Pocket-lint have learned from a source close to the matter that the Acer CloudMobile will be delivered with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on board.

No word on the smartphone’s processor, but we can safely assume it will be equipped with a dual core CPU. Acer also confirmed that the device is only 10mm thin and will be available in Q3 2012.

The Acer CloudMobile will be officially unveiled at the end of February at the Mobile World Congress exhibition in Barcelona, Spain.



HP Envy Spectre Ultrabook Will Also Get a 15-Inch Version




If you loved the glass-covered chassis of the Envy Spectre Ultrabook, but you felt that that 14-inch screen is too small for you, HP may soon meet your needs with a new 15-inch version of the notebook.

HP has already presented such a model during the Taiwanese launch of the Spectre, which was spotted by DigiTimes.

In Taiwan, the 15-inch HP Ultrabook will sell for nearly $2200 (roughly 1,668 EUR), which is definitely quite a lot if you ask us.

Its specs aren’t known yet, but its smaller brother includes Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processors, 128GB to 256GB solid state disks, backlit keyboards, and a 1600x900 pixel display.

A higher res screen and a discrete GPU would be a nice update if you would ask us, but we’ll have to wait and see if HP thinks the same thing.


Nikon’s D800 DSLR Is the First Camera to Gain USB 3.0 Certification




SuperSpeed USB continues to gain market traction among the consumer electronics industry, the recently announced Nikon D800 and D800E professional DSLR cameras being the first such products to feature USB 3.0 support.

Nikon’s digital SLR’s were certified by the USB Implementers Forum to support this standard, which enables devices using it to reach transfer speeds up to 10 times higher than those of their Hi-Speed USB counterparts. 

"The USB-IF is delighted to see the D800 achieve SuperSpeed USB certification," said Jeff Ravencraft, USB-IF President & COO. 

"The addition of Nikon's camera to the ever-growing SuperSpeed USB ecosystem will revolutionize the consumer and photographer/videographer experience of transferring hundreds of photos and streaming videos from their cameras to displays, devices and computers. 

“This camera will allow all users to transfer and stream rich content in seconds," concluded USB-IF’s president. 

Nikon’s D800 and D800E professional DSLR’s were announced a few days ago by the Japanese company, and feature a full-frame 36.3MP image sensor.

The new high-res image sensor installed in the D800 forced Nikon to limit the noise sensitivity of its full-frame DSLR to ISO 6400 (25,600 in Hi2 extended mode), but otherwise the D800 adopts many of the features of the D4.

These include the same Advanced Scene Recognition System with 91k-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering III, 51 point AF, 1080/30p HD video shooting, uncompressed HDMI output, and the special two-shot HDR mode.

The Nikon D800 will be available in late March for the suggested retail price of $2999.95 (about 2,289 EUR).

The D800E (basically the same camera but with the anti-aliasing filter removed) will be available in mid April 2012 for a suggested retail price of $3,299.95 (2,518 EUR).


AMD Plans to Refresh Opteron 6200 Series with Faster Interlagos CPUs




Introduced by AMD just three months ago, the company’s Opteron 6200-series "Interlagos" CPU range will soon receive the addition of six new processors with slightly better specs than their predecessors.

According to CPU-World, the new models will feature 200MHz higher clock and Turbo Core frequencies at the same power level as currently manufactured Opteron 6200 chips.

The simplest of the SKUs AMD plans to introduce is the Opteron 6208, which will feature just four processing cores working at a speed of 3.5GHz.

This CPU will fit inside a 115 Watt thermal envelope and is the second Opteron 6200 processor to come without Turbo Core support.

The other chips developed by AMD will feature the same 115W TDP as the Opteron 6208. These will be the 8-core 6224, the 12-core 6242 and the 16-core 6280.

The clock speed of these processors will range between 2.5GHz and 3.2GHz, but thanks to the Turbo Core technology select parts can reach frequencies as high as 3.8GHz when not all their cores are in use.

AMD’s clients who require higher performance can also opt for the 16-core Opteron 6286 SE which has a 140W TDP, but comes clocked at 2.8GHz and can reach up to 3.5GHz when in Turbo mode.

At the other end of AMD’s lineup stands the Opteron 6266 HE, which packs 8 Bulldozer modules for a total of 16 computing cores, but thanks to its 1.8GHz base clock speed (3.1GHz max Turbo) manages to fit inside a 85 Watt thermal envelope.

All the processors detailed here incorporate 16 MB L3 cache, and fit into socket G34 motherboards

The launch date of the new Opteron 6200-series CPUs is not yet known, but CPU-World believes these will arrive at about the same time as Intel’s Xeon E5 server products.



NEC Casio Medias LTE N-04D Lands in Japan on February 15 via NTT Docomo




NEC and Casio have teamed up to offer Android enthusiasts their latest masterpiece, which is called Medias LTE N-04D. The smartphone is expected to arrive in Japan next week via major carrier NTT Docomo.

Although there’s no word on the phone’s price, it is almost sure that this one won’t be available outside the country. Just like all Japanese handsets, NEC Casio Medias LTE N-04D features a waterproof body, as well as IrDA connectivity and one-seg wallet.

The phone will be compatible with Casio’s G-Shock via Bluetooth, and will run Google’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread platform. 

Other highlights of the smartphone include 1.2 GHz dual core processor, 8.1-megapixel camera, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, and Bluetooth Low Energy profile. The phone is only 11.3mm thin and weighs around 150g (battery included).



Prolimatech Readies Two New High-End Intel LGA 2011 Coolers




Prolimatech, a company well known to enthusiasts for its high-performance cooling solutions, is working on developing two new CPU coolers, which are both specially designed to be used together with Intel’s LGA 2011 Sandy Bridge-E processors.

The two models haven’t been named yet, but Expreview managed to get into the possession of a series of pictures showing both of Prolimatech’s upcoming solutions.

The first one of these, utilizes a pair of horizontally placed aluminum heatsinks, which dissipate the heat gathered by the six copper heatpipes coming out of the cooler’s CPU base.

Fans can be presumably placed both on top and bellow the two heatsinks (a total of four fans will be supported), a configuration which could also help cool the various components found around the CPU socket.

In LGA 2011 motherboards, these include, but are not limited to, the memory and the board’s VRMs.

The second cooler to be pictured appears to be in a much earlier development stage than its companion and also uses a more unique design.

Judging from the concept images provided, the cooler will also use six copper heatpipes for drawing the heat away from the CPU and into an aluminum fin stack, but this time these will be arranged in a stranger configuration.

Users will be able to pair this Prolimatech heatsink with up to three coolers, which should be more than enough even for the performance freaks among you.

Currently the model number, pricing and launch date of the two Prolimatech high-end coolers are unknown. 

However, taking into account the Expreview pictures, the dual-heatsink cooler will most probably be the first one to see the light of day, since it appears to be in a much more advanced development stage. We will keep you up to date with how things evolve.





AMD 2012 CPU and APU Roadmap Presumably Revealed




AMD has already confirmed that its next-generation Trinity APUs will become available in mid-2012, but a recently leaked company roadmap has now arrived to give us more details about the launch of these APUs, as well as about the Brazos 2.0 and Vishera processors.

The first new chips to come out from AMD will arrive in the second quarter of this year, and they will cover the low-end and upper-mainstream performance sectors.

The starts of the show will be of course the new Trinity APUs based on the Bulldozer architecture, four such parts being expected to arrive by the end of the second quarter, according to the leaked Donanim Haber roadmap.

AMD will split these into the A10- and A8-Series, the first one including the A10-5800 and A10-5700 APUs with Radeon HD 7660D graphics, while the latter will welcome the A8-5600 and A8-5500 models with Radeon HD 7560D graphics.

These APUs will coexist with AMD’s previous Llano processors until the third quarter of this year when the chip maker plans to introduce the A6-5400 and A4-5300 APUs with Radeon HD 7540D and 7840D GPUs.

In the performance sector, the third quarter of this year will witness the introduction of the Vishera processors featuring the same Piledriver cores as those used for the Trinity APUs.

Four such CPUs are prepared, two of them including eight processing cores, the FX-8350 and FX-8320, while the other two pack six and, respectively, four computing cores. These two chips are called the FX-6300 and FX-4320. 

For the low-end computer market, AMD plans to introduce the Brazos 2.0 platform in the second quarter of this year.

This includes the AMD E2-1800 and E1-1200 APUs, both of these chips coming as slightly faster versions of the E-300 and E-450 processors they are meant to replace. We’ll keep you up to date with how things evolve from now on.



Cisco Linksys EA2700 Dual-Band N600 Router Hits the FCC




Those of you searching for a new dual-band Wireless N router will soon have one more option to check out as Cisco is getting ready to release the Linksys EA2700 N600.

The router has recently visited FCC’s offices, where it was spotted by Wireless Goodness as it won approval for operation in the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz frequencies.

According to FCC’s own tests, the router can reach transfer speeds of up to 450Mbps, while also supporting every consumer wireless standard in existence, since this is actually an 802.11 a/b/g/n model.

Gigabit Ethernet is also there to round up the specs list, so the Linksys EA2700 definitely looks worthy of your consideration.

Sadly, no information regarding the price or the availability of this device was unveiled, but we tend to believe the EA2700 will be somewhat pricier than other similar routers out there.


This May Be the iPad 3 SIM-Card




An image provided by a tipster to phoneArena shows what could potentially be the micro-SIM card required by Apple’s next-generation of iPads to connect to the carrier’s LTE network.

Leaked by a “store contact,” who claimed that AT&T staff have been instructed to do away with their existing micro-SIMs and replace them with these ones, the SIMs came with a memo from AT&T high-ups. Unfortunately (for the Apple fan base), the memo does little to specify what these new SIMs are for.

However, with Apple gearing up to unveil a potentially LTE-capable iPad next month, there’s little doubt about where these babies will go. Not to mention there’s an iPhone 5 in the pipeline which, by all means, better have LTE networking, or else Apple fans will be quite disgruntled.


teXet TM-7025 Android Tablet Has 3D Video Support




Even though 3D hasn’t really managed to catch on in the PC or HDTV markets, a small company known as teXet tries to make it popular in the tablet space.

teXet plans to achieve this with the launch of the TM-7025, a 7-inch Android tablet that is now running on Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread, with the promise of Ice Cream Sandwich coming later.

Going past its 3D video support (a special pair of glasses is needed for viewing stereoscopic images), the TM-7025 is pretty much a no-frills Android slate that features a low-res 7-inch 800x480 display, a single-core Boxchip A10 Cortex A8 SoC, 512MB of RAM, and just 4GB of internal memory.

Other features include WiFi, a 0.3 megapixel front camera, a miniUSB port, and HDMI output, all of these coming for a fair $200 US (about 151 EUR), according to UberGizmo

The teXet table has already begun selling in Russia, but it should also be out to other countries soon.


Office 15 Will Be Included in Windows 8 on ARM




When made available for purchase, devices that pack ARM processors and run under Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system will have to offer features and capabilities similar to those available for x86/64 Windows 8.

Among these, we can count the inclusion of Office applications that have been designed specifically for the desktop. 

Microsoft has just confirmed that these office tools will be included in WOA (Windows for ARM), and that they will be part of the upcoming Office 15. 

Moreover, these applications will arrive with enhancements that make it fit both on touchscreen devices, as well as on those who make use of keyboard and mouse for navigation and input. 

“WOA includes desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote,” Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky notes in a post on the Building Windows 8 blog

“These new Office applications, codenamed “Office 15”, have been significantly architected for both touch and minimized power/resource consumption, while also being fully-featured for consumers and providing complete document compatibility.

“WOA supports the Windows desktop experience including File Explorer, Internet Explorer 10 for the desktop, and most other intrinsic Windows desktop features.” The main focus was on power efficiency, Sinofsky stresses out. 

Office 15 applications represent only some of the software that will be made available for Windows on ARM, Steven Sinofsky continues. 

Devices packing this platform flavor will also offer support for Metro-style applications that will be available for download via the Windows Store. Specific Microsoft applications will also be included into the mix. 

“WOA can support all new Metro style apps, including apps from Microsoft for mail, calendaring, contacts, photos, and storage. WOA also includes industry-leading support for hardware-accelerated HTML5 with Internet Explorer 10,” Steven Sinofsky notes.

“WOA will provide support for other industry-standard media formats, including those with hardware acceleration and offloading computation, and industry-standard document formats. In all cases, Microsoft seeks to lead in end-user choice and control of what apps to use and what formats to support.”

Overall, Microsoft aims at offering the same experience on Windows 8 running on both ARM-based and x86/64-powered devices. 

Some more info on what the final version of Windows 8 will look and feel like will emerge by the end of this month. The company plans on making the Windows 8 Consumer Preview available for the general public at that time.

Sony NEX Camera E-Mount Lens Collection Will Grow to 15




Fresh from speeding up the work on the Cyber-Shot TX300V wireless charging camera, Sony has announced that it has big plans for the NEX Camera line. 

In its new blog post, it said that it didn't feel that the existing collection of seven E-mount lenses was sufficient for the NEX line. 

As such, it will release an extra eight over a period of roughly two years, so that all of them may be out and about by the end of 2013. 

Unfortunately, Sony did not reveal any specifications, although it did provide a diagram with the official timeline. 

Check it out above to understand when each of the upcoming 8 lenses will make their appearance. 

At the end of it all, there will be more than enough Carl Zeiss Lenses, G lenses, Zoom Lenses and fixed focal length lenses.


Unannounced HTC Phone with Ice Cream Sandwich Leaks in Live Photos




Taiwanese handset manufacturer HTC seems to have lost its momentum on the Android smartphone market, which is why the company decided to take it slower and release fewer models this year.

However, at least six handsets have already been leaked in the wild, and some of them are expected to be announced at the end of the month during the Mobile World Congress 2012.

We’ve already been invited to attend HTC’s main press event, which will be held on February 26, in Barcelona, Spain. Until then we can only speculate whether or not some of these devices will also make it to the market.

Currently, HTC Endeavour (also known as HTC Edge), HTC Ville, HTC Vertex (also known as HTC Quattro), HTC Fireball (also known as HTC Fighter), HTC Evita, and HTC Totem (also known as HTC Tahiti) codenames have been leaked on the Internet, but there’s no telling which ones will be picked for this year’s MWC trade fair.

In the same news, pictures of an unannounced HTC smartphone have just been published by the guys over at PhoneArena. They have been approached by one of their trusted tipsters who was willing to share some live photos with this mysterious device.

Design-wise, the handset strongly resembles Verizon’s HTC DROID Incredible 2, but the shapes and the pattern on the back cover are different. 

Some may like the design, but others may think that the change that HTC announced for their future handsets is not enough to make it more appealing to the masses.

By looking at the pictures, we can tell that this HTC smartphone runs Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich with Sense 4.0 on top. In addition, the device is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, along with 1GB of RAM. 

It appears that the mysterious device sports an AMOLED capacitive touchscreen of unknown size. There’s also an 8-megapixel rear camera, a secondary VGA front-facing camera, as well as LTE support.

It is also worth mentioning that the LTE logo that appears in the photos is a clear indication that this phone is headed to Verizon Wireless. Head over to PhoneArena for more live pictures of the mysterious ICS-based smartphone.



Building Windows 8 Apps Is the Same for ARM and x86




One of the main focuses Microsoft has announced for the next flavor of its desktop client, Windows 8, is the availability of a consistent experience across all devices.

That also includes the development of applications for Windows on ARM, which is now to be the same as when it comes to building apps for x86 architectures. 

For application developers, this means that their Metro-style software will work on Windows 8 regardless of whether it runs on ARM or other architecture. 

WOA (Windows on ARM) arrives with all the WinRT capabilities present in the Windows Developer Preview. This means that developers can take advantage of all the tools and techniques used for building Metro style apps for x86/64, to come up with apps for ARM as well. 

Devs will be able to use available tools to create native C/C++ code for increased performance, and can also benefit from C#, XAML, VB, and HTML5 based tools for delivering applications for WOA. All that is required is that their code targets the WinRT API set. 

“Additionally, developers with existing code, whether in C, C++, C#, Visual Basic, or JavaScript, are free to incorporate that code into their apps, so long as it targets the WinRT API set for Windows services,” Steven Sinofsky explains in a blog post

“The Windows Store can carry, distribute, and service both the ARM and x86/64 implementations of apps (should there be native code in the app requiring two distributions).”

Windows 8 will arrive with specific Metro style apps from Microsoft, including Hotmail, SkyDrive, Messenger, which will offer access to the respective services. 

Users will be able to remove these apps from Windows, Microsoft notes, adding that they will also have the Windows Store at their disposal to download and install other software. 

Windows 8 Consumer Preview will arrive with Metro style apps that offer support for industry-standard media and document formats. There will also be the Internet Explorer 10 browser, which comes with support for the standard HTML5 web platform. 

Windows 8 has been designed with focus on the Metro UI, but will also arrive with the Windows desktop, so that users will be able to interact with various resources the same as before. Windows on ARM will include the Windows desktop as well. 

“We have not yet announced the editions or SKUs we will have for any new Windows products, and during the pre-release phase we include almost all features in the software as a way of testing and exercising the full surface area of the product,” Steven Sinofsky notes. 

“You can expect that we will adjust the features included with the single WOA offering such that it is competitive in the marketplace and offers a compelling value proposition to customers of all types.”


VTX3D Unleashes HD7970 & 7950 X Edition Factory Overclocked Graphics Cards




VTX3D, a branch of the same TUL Corporation that also owns the PowerColor brand, has just announced the release of two new factory overclocked graphics cards based on the Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7950 designs.

Both of these solutions were released by the company in the X Edition series, which uses a custom cooler developed by VTX3D.

The most distinctive feature of this cooling solution is its dual-fan design, which should help eliminate the heat produced by the card, when running more quickly compared to other coolers that rely on a single central fan.

This design also has the added benefit of pushing airflow towards the PCB of the two cards in order to cool the VRMs and memory chips.

Thanks to the addition of this improved cooler, VTX3D raised the operating clocks of its two cards, the Radeon HD 7970 X Edition coming with a 1050MHz GPU and 1425MHz (5.7GHz data rate) memory, while the VTX3D Radeon HD 7950 X Edition has its graphics core running at 880MHz.

The rest of the specifications are fairly standard for AMD HD 7900-series cards, as both of these solutions include the usual dual miniDP, HDMI and DVI-D video outputs.

AMD’s Radeon HD 7970 and HD 7950 graphics cards are based on the Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture and Tahiti GPU.

In the more powerful HD 7970, this includes 32 Compute Units for a total of 2048 stream cores that are joined by 128 texture units, 32 ROP units and a 384-bit wide memory bus.

In the stock version of the card, this connects the GPU to 3GB of GDDR5 video buffer, which runs at 1.375GHz (5.5GHz effective), while the graphics core’s operating frequency is set at 925MHz.

As far as the Radeon HD 7950 is concerned, this includes 1792 stream processors, 112 texture units, 32 ROP units, as well as the same 384-bit bus and 3GB VRAM as its elder brother. 

VTX3D hasn’t mentioned anything about the price or the availability of these two graphics cards.



First Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 Specs and Photo Leak




The successor of the popular Samsung Galaxy mini S5570 has just been spotted in the wild. It appears that the Galaxy mini 2 S6500 will be announced later this month at the Mobile World Congress 2012, in Barcelona.

The guys over at GSMArena have just been tipped on the unannounced Samsung Galaxy mini 2, which seems to be yet another budget-friendly Android phone.

Given the fact that Samsung already confirmed it wouldn’t have any conferences at the MWC 2012, it will be interesting to see whether the phone will still get a launch event at the end of the month.

Speculations aside, the leaked photo of the Samsung Galaxy mini 2 clearly states that the smartphone will be announced in February 2012.

According to GSMArena, the Galaxy mini 2 runs Google’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread platform and is powered by a low-performance 800 MHz single-core processor, which is slightly better than Galaxy mini’s 600 MHz CPU.

The handset comes with 3GB of internal memory, which is a consistent storage boost in comparison with the original Galaxy mini that embeds only 160 MB onboard memory.

Although there’s no mention yet, the Galaxy mini 2 is most likely shipping with a microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB), but this has yet to be confirmed by Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy mini 2 sports the same 3-megapixel rear camera, as the original model, but comes with a slightly larger 3.3-inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen display that supports 320 x 480 pixels resolution.

It’s possible that the Galaxy mini 2 will be delivered with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, but there’s no info on which version it will run.

Most importantly, the smartphone features HSDPA and HSUPA support, along with Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as Bluetooth and built-in GPS. It is also worth mentioning that the phone comes pre-loaded with ChatON messaging app and is also known as Samsung Jena.


Windows 8 on Tablets Powered by NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and TI




Windows 8, the first version of the desktop client to arrive with enhancements meant for mobile devices and with expanded support for touchscreens, will also be the first to be loaded on ARM architectures. 

Dubbed WOA (Windows on ARM), the platform will offer the same features and capabilities that Windows 8 will offer when loaded on x86/64 architectures. 

To ensure that Windows will work on devices that are powered by a System on Chip (SoC), Microsoft has partnered with companies that make ARM processors. 

Thus, Windows 8 will be loaded on devices featuring processors coming from NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments. 

When it comes to ARM licensees, each of them has its own approach towards selecting features and designing the complete silicon package, which means that there are differences between products that are based on the same ARM CPU

“There is no single ARM experience, and as we have seen with other operating systems, even the same ARM CPU combined with different components, drivers, and software can yield different types or qualities of experiences,” Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky explains in the blog post. 

“That is why from the start of the WOA project, we have been working with three ARM licensees: NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments.” Each of these companies will bring its own contribution to WOA, he continues. 

The new version of Windows will be tuned to fit ARM hardware, and Microsoft was keen on making sure that users will benefit from a great experience regardless of the Windows 8 device they own. 

“Our goal is to make sure that a reimagined Windows delivers a seamless experience from the chipset through firmware, through hardware, through the OS, through applications, and ultimately to the person interacting with the PC,” Sinofsky notes. 

“This is a new level of involvement that brings with it a new level of engineering work across all of the parties involved. This new approach is about delivering a unique combination of choice, experiences, and a reliable end-to-end experience over the life of the PC.”

Microsoft is currently working on the beta release of Windows 8, set to arrive later this month as Windows Consumer Preview.


Asus Transformer Prime v9.4.2.13 Firmware Fixes Random Reboot Issue




When we first talked about Asus’ v9.4.2.13 firmware for the Asus Transformer Prime a couple of days ago, there were quite a few users who pointed out that the update resolved the random reboot issues they were experiencing with their tablet.

However, without official confirmation from Asus, we couldn’t say for sure that the new firmware would actually resolve this problem, so we remained somewhat skeptical about that.

But our doubts were cast away by Asus a few hours ago, when the outfit posted a message on its official Twitter account announcing that the v9.4.2.13 firmware did indeed fix those random reboot issues.

As usually, the new software update will reach all the Transformer Prime tablets out there over-the-air. 

According to Asus, this is expected to happen by the end of this week. If you are impatient however, you can downlaod the new Asus firmware from here via links provided below.



Ice Cream Sandwich for Samsung Galaxy S II in Three Weeks




Samsung might start rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system on Galaxy Nexus as soon as March 1st, some of the latest reports on the matter suggest. 

Apparently, all will depend on the country and on the carrier that has the Galaxy S II on its airwaves, but the update is near. The news comes from Eldar Murtazin, who says that the update will be available both via Kies and over the air. 

Nothing has been officially confirmed on this for the time being, and we’ll take the info with a grain of salt. However, we’ll keep an eye out to learn more on the matter. 

Samsung was the first company to bring to the market a handset running under Ice Cream Sandwich, and many expected it to start delivering the update to more devices sooner.

With HTC announcing ICS for Sensation smartphones for the next month, we might indeed see Samsung delivering updates at the end of this month.


These Are the AMD Radeon HD 7750 and 7770 Specifications




We've seen the unique traits of the NVIDIA Kepler GPUs that will power the GeForce 600 line of graphics cards and, now, the specifications of the AMD Radeon HD 7750 and 7770 graphics cards have been uncovered as well. 

The Cape Verde graphics processing unit (GPU) is the chip that will act as the heart of these two video controllers from Advanced Micro Devices. 

3D Center seems to have found the exact specifications of this chip, as well as of the two video cards known to be based on it. 

The chip, built on the 28nm manufacturing process, is the cheapest of the GCN units in the Southern Islands family, even though it works at a clock speed of as much as 1 GHz. 

To elaborate, that is the default frequency for the stronger of the two cards, HD 7770, but we will look at the 7750 first. 

The Radeon HD 7750 adapter comes with 16 ROP, 8 active CUs and 512 stream processors, plus clock speeds of 800 MHz for the GPU and 4.5 GHz for the memory. 

Speaking of the memory, there is 1 GB of GDDR5 VRAM available, leading to a bandwidth of 72 GB/s (the interface is of 128 bits). Furthermore, the theoretical maximum SP throughput is of 819 Gflops (75% of the HD 7770). 

All in all, it should work at the same level as the AMD Radeon HD 6770 and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti, while using only 55W of power. 

Meanwhile, the Radeon HD 7770 board has the full 1 GHz GPU clock speed and 10 active CU, albeit the same memory specification as above. 

That said, it approaches the Radeon HD 6850 in terms of leaked benchmarking scores and clearly outdoes the HD 6790 and the GeForce GTX 550 Ti. All this is possible on a power draw of 80W. The likeliest price points for the AMD Radeon HD 7770 and HD 7750 are $129 / 115 Euro and/$99- $110 / 90 – 100 Euro, respectively.


Nokia N9 Breaths New Life with Ice Cream Sandwich Port




Nokia N9 is one of the nicest handsets that Nokia has made available for its users in 2011. The smartphone, however, was destined for a short life, being the first and last Nokia phone to run MeeGo. 

But hope is not lost for Nokia N9 owners. Soon, they will be able to take advantage of new features and capabilities on their devices, courtesy of an Android 4.0 port. 

Although Nokia N9 is only one big 3.9-inch touchscreen, with no buttons on the front, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich can still work on it, and it looks pretty great too, it seems. 

The news comes from Alexey Roslyakov, part of the NITDroid team, who has been working on the porting of Ice Cream Sandwich to this device for the past weeks. 

He already managed to bring Android to Nokia N900, and is now set to have Ice Cream Sandwich on the successor of that device, the Nokia N9. 

The images attached to this article come from him, and they are proof of the progress registered on the porting of Google’s latest Android flavor on Nokia’s last MeeGo smartphone. 

Apparently, things are advancing nicely, and it might not be too long before a public release is announced. Alexey Roslyakov suggests that the port is nearly finished. 

The best part is the fact that Alexey is working on ensuring that Nokia N9 users benefit from dual-boot capabilities, which means that they will be able to taste both Android 4.0 and MeeGo on their devices. 

Nokia is working on delivering software updates for the Nokia N9 community as well, but there will be no major enhancement, since it has already shut down the development of MeeGo. With the Android 4.0 port, however, the high-end smartphone will have much more to offer to its users. 

Those who would like to learn more on the porting of Android to N9 should head over to this thread on talk.maemo.org.



Micron Launches New Type of Low-Power RAM, DDR3Lm




Micron has many sorts of memory up for sale, but it has invented a new type of DDR3, one that focuses on low energy use without crippling performance or increasing costs overmuch.

The new RAM (random access memory) chips that Micron has made are called DDR3Lm and come in 2 Gigabit and 4 Gigabit capacities.

Both of them will be constructed on the 30nm manufacturing process technology and will enter volume production in the second quarter of the year (2012).

“Power reduction is becoming ever more critical in the fast growing ultrathin markets. Micron's expertise with traditional PC memory requirements enables these markets to enjoy high performance targets and optimal cost efficiencies,” said Robert Feurle, vice president for Micron's DRAM marketing. 

“The combination of our commitment to customer collaboration and dedication to leading the way in DRAM technologies has proven highly successful, and this new class of 30nm DRAM continues to deliver on that promise.”

The 2 Gb DDR3Lm chips enable self-refresh power saving of up to 50% compared to regular 2Gb chips, even though performance can go up to -1600MT/s.

On that note, the 4 Gb chips are just as efficient but, thanks to a lower chip count compared to other chips of that capacity, are particularly well suited for tablets and ultrathin PCs (Ultrabooks). They can work at up to -1866 MT/s.

“As computing becomes more and more mobile, longer battery life is increasingly valuable to end users,” said Geof Findley, Intel's senior memory enabling manager. 

“The reduced standby power consumption of low-power memory is a move in the right direction.”

The focus on low self-refresh power (IDD6) is what gives the 2 Gb and 4 Gb DDR3Lm chips their ability to allow mobile consumer electronics devices to last longer on each battery charge. No clue on which companies, if any, have already adopted the new memory or plan to.


Acer Aspire One D270 Cedar Trail Netbook Goes on Sale




Listed by Amazon US since the middle of January, Acer’s Aspire One D270 netbook, based on Intel’s recently announced Atom Cedar Trail platform, just went on sale in both Europe and the US, with pricing starting at 259 EUR (about $343).

Acer’s creation doesn’t differ all that much from all the other Cedar Trail netbooks introduced so far by Asus, MSI, HP and others, as is based on the same Atom N2600 CPU.

Sporting a dual-core design and a 1.6GHz operating frequency, the chip is paired together with a wimpy 1GB of system memory and a 5,400RPM hard drive delivering 320GB of storage space.

Just as the rest of its hardware configuration, the 10.1-inch LED backlit display used by the Aspire One AOD270 also fails to impress, as it sports a low-res 1024x600 pixel panel.

Moving to the connectivity front, we get the usual multi-card reader, Wireless N WiFi and USB 2.0 ports, but also an HDMI output.

The rest of the specs list is completed by a 0.3MP webcam and a 6-cell Li-Ion battery that Acer says is able to provide users with up to 9 hours of autonomy. The whole system weights 1.3kg (about 2.86 pounds).

The Cedar Trail platform that stands at the base of the Aspire One D270 comprised Intel’s Cedarview processors and the NM10 chipset, basically the same controller used for the previous Pine Trail netbooks.

However, unlike its predecessors, the new Cedarview CPUs are built using the 32nm fabrication process and feature a unified architecture that pairs the two computing cores present with a GPU based on a PowerVR design.

Thanks to this graphics core, the Cedar Trail platform features hardware decoding capabilities for a wide range of HD formats, including MPEG2, VC1, AVC, H.264 and Blu-ray 2.0. 

The Aspire One D270 is available right now from Amazon.de for 259,00 EUR (roughly $343 US), while in the US the netbook is offered by two Amazon featured merchants for $399.45.




iPad 3 Boasts a "Truly Amazing" Display, Says Apple Staffer




An Apple employee speaking on the condition of anonymity has revealed to the NT Times’ Bits blog that the next iPad features a “truly amazing” screen.

This person confirmed to the American news blog that Apple is actively testing iPad 3 units internally.

The device is “essentially the same size and shape as the iPad 2,” the staffer said, with an improved and “truly amazing” screen. Apple is also throwing in a faster processor, according to this person.

While this is pretty much on par with every iPad 3 rumor out there, it doesn’t hurt to hear it coming from the mouth of an (alleged) Apple staffer who was eager to share these details with the press.

Apple is reportedly gearing up to launch the iPad 3 at a special event scheduled for the first week of March.

The venue Apple has chosen for the announcement is believed to be the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California.

Several leaks from parts manufacturers have painted a rough picture of what the iPad 3 will boast in terms of functionality.

Some leaks, for example, indicate that the tablet will have a bigger camera module. Others suggest there will be more battery space inside the chassis, and that the logic board will take up even less space.

The device is virtually identical to its predecessor (the current generation of iPads), which means this third iPad is much like the iPhone 4S upgrade from the iPhone 4. Some have even suggested that Apple’s upcoming tablet will have a 2S moniker, with the real iPad 3 being slated for fall 2012.

But since the iPad 2 itself can be considered a mere updated version of the original tablet, why would this year’s refresh be any different?


Android 4.0 for HTC Sensation Confirmed for March




Taiwanese mobile phone maker HTC Corporation has just announced plans to start rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system on its Sensation devices at the end of next month.

The handset vendor will start deploying the new OS flavor on HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation 4G and HTC Sensation XE as soon as next month, and will continue with the Sensation XL soon afterwards. Moreover, HTC aims at releasing Android 4.0 for other devices too in the following months. 

Previously, the mobile phone maker confirmed plans to deliver the new software update to its devices, but did not offer a specific release date for it. 

Today, however, it unveiled all on the matter via its Facebook page. HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation 4G and HTC Sensation XE owners should rejoice, as they will be the first to benefit from the new software release. 

“HTC has been working hard to get its Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades ready, and we’re excited to announce that our first round of ICS upgrades will roll out by the end of March for the HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation 4G and HTC Sensation XE, followed soon thereafter by the HTC Sensation XL,” the handset vendor announced

In addition to confirming the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Sensation family of devices, HTC announced plans to provide more users with the new OS flavor before the end of this year. 

“In addition, we can confirm Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades will be coming later this year to the HTC Rezound, HTC Vivid, HTC Amaze 4G, HTC EVO 3D, HTC EVO Design 4G, HTC Incredible S, HTC Desire S and HTC Desire HD,” HTC announced. 

In the coming weeks, the mobile phone maker will unveil some more details on its plans for the Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, so stay tuned to learn more on the matter.


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