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Apr 9, 2012

OfficeSuite Pro 6 for Android Now Available for Download

The long-awaited OfficeSuite Professional 6 for Android devices has just made its way to Google Play store. The latest version of the application brings lots of new features and improvements.

Unfortunately, those who already use a previous iteration of the OfficeSuite Pro and wish to upgrade to the latest version will have to pay $9.99 USD.

OfficeSuite Pro 6 brings SugarSync compatibility, Excel filters, Headers and Footers in Word documents, as well as page numbering.

In addition, the application now features page view for Word and other text documents, along with objects manipulation in PowerPoint files (move, resize, rotate). The number of functions in Excel has been increased and the cell selection in spreadsheets has been improved.

OfficeSuite Pro 6 is now available as free trial via Google Play and it should be fully compatible with all devices running Android 1.6 and up. The full version is available for purchase for $14.99 USD.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 680 Goes Cheaper in India

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 was launched in India back in February for a suggested retail price of Rs 33,571 (655 USD or 500 EUR) outright.

Two months after release the slate’s price got a small price cut. The guys over at AndroidOS have just learned that the Galaxy Tab 680 is now available via Flipkart for only Rs 28,500 (555 USD or 425 EUR).

That’s a pretty consistent price drop, but still not quite on par with the new Android 4.0 ICS tablets recently launched in India.

Those who are not familiar with the Galaxy Tab 680 specs sheet should know that the slate is powered by Google’s Android 3.2 Honeycomb operating system, though Samsung has already promised it will deploy an Ice Cream Sandwich update by the end of the year.

The Indian market is well-known for its cheap Android devices, including smartphones and tablets, which are released by regional manufacturers. 

This is the main reason that big brands are having a hard time launching competitive devices on the Indian market. 

Although the quality of these native products is questionable, most Indian customers prefer low prices over quality.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 680 is a multimedia device that “efficiently takes care of users’ entertainment related needs with pre-loaded multi-format audio and video player.” 

The slate comes bundled with Google’s entire suite of services and apps, including Gmail, Gtalk and YouTube. In addition, it offers access to more than half a million apps and games via Google Play store.

On the inside, the Galaxy Tab 680 packs a dual core Exynos processor clocked at 1.4 GHz, a Mali-400MP graphics processing unit (GPU), 16GB of internal storage, 1 GB of RAM and microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB).

Last but not least, the tablet’s 7.7-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display supports HD (800 x 1280 pixels) resolution.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) Gets Priced at $310 (€235), Still Not Available

Samsung introduced the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) and (10.1) two months ago at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and promised the tablets would be launched on the market as early as March.

However, it appears that the company had to delay both slates due to some problems with the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich optimization.

Those who are waiting to purchase the Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0), but don’t know how much they will have to pay for the slate, will be happy to know that the device has just been priced at $310 (€235) at QVC retailer.

Obviously, this is the basic 8GB version of Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0), but the enhanced 16GB and 32GB models should be priced around the same amount. No word on the exact release date of the slate, but rumor has it that it should hit shelves in late April. via PhoneArena

MacBook Pro "Slim" Stirs Up Competition in Notebook Space - Report

The hit-and-miss DigiTimes is at it again with a new report citing market watchers as saying that the notebook space will witness some fierce competition between Cupertino, California-based Apple Inc. and PC vendors Acer, HP, Asus, and Lenovo - all of which are planning to roll out new, ultra-thin laptopts.

Rumored for quite some time to be updating the MacBook Pro line with a design akin to that of the MacBook Air, “Apple will launch its updated MacBook Pro, while notebook brand vendors are aggressively pushing 15-inch ultrabooks,” reads the latest report from Taiwan’s rumor-centric trade publication.

As such, market watchers believe thay “the competition will help reduce the overall thickness of 15-inch notebook models. Apple is set to upgrade its 15-inch MacBook Pro with an ultra-thin design,” the report bluntly states.

By eliminating the optical disc drive from the chassis of its upcoming MacBook Pros, Apple will not only be able to reduce the thickness of the laptops, the company will also be able to leverage new space for additional battery cells.

What’s more is that the entire internal structure of the computer will be changed, leading to new optimizations which should further enable Apple technicians to use up every last square inch for enhanced performance and, of course, looks.

The existing MacBook Pro line features Intel’s Core i5 and Core i7 Sandy Bridge processors, AMD graphics, and platter based SATA drives. The MacBook Air uses pretty much the same CPUs but offers slightly lower specs on the graphics front.

However, the Air has solid state storage drives (SSD), which is what the MacBook Pro will get, should this rumored redesign take place.

The MacBook Pro refresh may not be announced at a special event, though it’s not out of the question to see WWDC 12 host a range of new Macs on stage, including new iMacs featuring Ivy Bridge CPUs and anti-glare displays, as rumored last week.

Centon Releases New Server Memory

After all the desktop products announced recently, it is actually quite refreshing to see something unrelated for a change, even though it isn't going to directly enrich the lives of consumers all that much.

And by “it” we mean the new server memory that Centon Electronics officially introduced not overly long ago.

This isn't an occasion where a company brings out some massive lineup of RAM kits and modules.

Instead, Centon has completed the development of a 16 GB ECC Registered DIMM that can have VLP or LP form factors.

That is to say, it can be a 240 pin DDR3 VLP (very-low profile) 0.74-inch Registered Mini-DIMM or a 204-pin SODIMM.

The capacity of 16 GB is either provided by just one module or achieved by a kit of two 8 GB.

That said, the speed is PC3-12800 (1600MT/S), the latency is CL11, the operating voltage is 1.35V and the chip configuration is 1024MX8 Based (Stacked-two 512Mx8).

"The ability to go beyond the normal memory will boost and be great for graphics designers, video editors on the go, IT professionals, network administrators, web hosts, or anybody who wants to push their computer to the limits of its performance," said Gary Clack, product manager at Centon Electronics Inc.

Centon's high-density DDR3 memory modules and kits can lack ECC (error correcting code) or be of the regular ECC or ECC Registered varieties.

Finally, the spec sheet includes RoHS compliance and lists the operational temperature as ranging from 0 to 95 degrees Celsius.

Centon Electronics is an American private, multinational corporation that develops both RAM-based memory as well as flash products. It also provides contract manufacturing and supply chain management services.

Its customer, distributor and OEM chain extends across the entire world, but the brand is still relatively unknown, although it might just be because it doesn't bother with the consumer segment, which gets more of the media's attention.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone Reaches New Milestone: LTE Devices Available

Microsoft’s Windows Phone has come a long way. One year and a half following the initial launch of the platform, the first two LTE-enabled devices came to the market. 

These are the Lumia 900 from Nokia and the TITAN II from HTC, both available today at wireless carrier AT&T.

This is a key milestone for Microsoft and its mobile platform, which is still lagging behind rivals Android and iOS, as well as for Nokia, which has announced plans to adopt the OS roughly a year ago, but already unveiled four devices powered by it. 

Microsoft, Nokia and AT&T are working together for the marketing of Lumia 900, and have already launched the Smartphone Beta Test advertising campaign, as well as Free-Time Machines (FTMs) to offer users the possibility to win numerous prizes, including Windows Phones. 

“This LTE launch is a big milestone here in the U.S. and there is some great momentum overseas as well,” says Terry Myerson, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Windows Phone Division.

“As many media have already commented, this is a major milestone for Nokia, for our partnership with Microsoft and for the Windows Phone ecosystem,” says Jo Harlow, executive vice president, Smart Devices, at Nokia.

Nokia Lumia 900 has achieved what AT&T calls “hero status,” which means that it will be used as the primary device in marketing for a given promotional period, Michael Woodward, vice president, Mobile Phone Portfolio, AT&T Mobility, explains.

Along with TITAN II, the Lumia 900 will provide users not only with great data transfer speeds on the carrier’s network, but also with the latest Windows Phone features and enhancements. 

According to Microsoft, however, Lumia 900 marks only the beginning of a new journey on the evolution of the Windows Phone. 

The company is determined to make the platform available on more countries around the world than before, and will also work with partners on loading it one newer, better hardware. 

“The Nokia Lumia 900 shows what can happen when companies with different areas of expertise come together to make something great,” Myerson says. 

“Since we formed our partnership just over a year ago, we’ve launched four Lumia phones and expanded into countries all over the world, most recently China. Based on the progress we’ve accomplished so far, the future is very bright.”

Nokia Working on QWERTY Slider with 4-Inch WVGA Screen for Sprint – Report

After revealing Nokia’s plans to launch a Lumia PureView smartphone at Verizon Wireless this fall, MS Nerd leaks a new rumor, but this time it’s about a Sprint exclusive device.

The good news is that Nokia is reportedly preparing to launch a QWERTY slider at Sprint, which will feature a large 4-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen display. In addition, the handset is said to be packed with Qualcomm’s latest MSM8960 chipset.

This means that the unannounced device might be equipped with a 1.5 GHz dual core Snapdragon S4 processor and an Adreno 320 graphics processing unit.

According to MS Nerd, the QWERTY slider will be exclusively launched at Sprint, so no other carrier in the country will get this one.

Apparently Nokia plans to release various carrier-bounded smartphones in the following months, all with exclusive designs to make them unique.

It’s unclear which operator will offer the best Nokia devices and which will carry the company’s entry-level handsets for the North American market.

However, rumor has it that Verizon Wireless has already teamed up with Nokia to offer its customers the latter’s flagship smartphone, a certain Lumia PureView device that is expected to hit shelves sometime this fall.

No other details on Sprint’s slider are available for the moment, but there’s a high chance that this will be powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform rather than Nokia Belle.

Moreover, this might be one of the new Windows Phone 8 (Apollo) devices that Nokia has been confirmed to release by the end of the year.

With the release of Windows Phone 8 just around the corner, we expect that, if nothing goes wrong, the Finnish company will announce these two smartphones, as well as others, during Nokia World annual event, which is set to kick off on September 25, in Helsinki, Finland.

Here Are the First Z77-Based Desktop PC Systems

It looks like some Japanese built to order (BTO) desktop PC makers really can't wait for the Ivy Bridge processor platform, having hurried to be the first to release computers equipped with the latest motherboards. 

To get right to the point, some Japanese PC makers have launched systems powered by the Z77 high-end chipset. 

Mouse Computer, SHG Galleria, G-Gear and EX Computer have all brought forth such desktop computers. 

People shouldn't be too worried though, or enthusiastic, depending on one's view. 

That the latest motherboards have been used doesn't mean that the companies jumped the gun on the CPUs too. 

Instead, they chose to equip the systems with existing Sandy Bridge LGA 1155 central processing units. 

Once the next-generation CPUs appear, the configurations will likely be updated to reflect their existence. 

Spec-wise, Mouse Computer's machine has a Core i5-2500K chip as the standard option. 

Secondly, the system from SHD Galleria boasts an Intel Core i7-2700K CPU and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 graphics card for good measure. 

Thirdly, the G-gear and EX Computer PCs have the same CPU as above (Intel Core i7-2700K) and the Radeon HD 7970 graphics card from Advanced Micro Devices. 

The prices shouldn't be all that different compared to the Z68-based models, but this might change once Intel's new CPUs come into play. 

We'll leave it to people looking for a new computer to decide if they really want one of these instead of waiting for a couple more weeks. 

In the meantime, we'll contemplate the performance differences and the time it will take for the full Ivy Bridge line to be out and about. 

Mainstream models will, indeed, be out by the end of this month, but laptop and high-end, workstation and server parts will come later. Only near the end of 2012, or the start of 2013, will all the products be up for sale.

SHG Galleria PC

Mouse Computer PC

G Gear PC

eX Computer PC

MSI Builds GeForce GTX 680 Twin Frozr III Graphics Card

Micro-Star International may have already released some GeForce GTX 680 cards, but it isn't done yet, since it still has to flaunt its special cooling technology.

And here, by special cooling technology we, of course, mean the latest iteration of the Twin Frozr, dubbed Twin Frozr III.

For those expecting some major clock tweaks and the like, disappointment awaits.

While the GK104 Kepler GPU (graphics processing unit) was pushed a bit, the memory was not, even though the cooler could have probably handled it.

Then again, the GeForce GTX 680 is such a beast by default that there is hardly any need for major factory overclocking, especially when users can just play with the numbers themselves.

That said, the GPU has a base core speed of 1,058 MHz and a GPU Boost speed of 1,124 MH (dynamic overclocking technology akin to CPU's Intel Turbo Boost / AMD Turbo Core).

For those who need a reminder, the reference clocks are 1,006 MHz and 1,058 MHz, respectively.

Moving on, the 2 GB of GDDR5 memory have an actual speed of 1,502 MHz and 6 GHz effective.

As for connectivity, there are two dual-link DVI ports, an HDMI connector and a DisplayPort output.

And now we finally get to write a little about the cooler itself. It has apparently been designed to perfectly fit the PCB (printed circuit board) and has two 70mm fans ventilating an aluminum fin stack.

The heat is led away from the GPU and everything else that produces heat (VRM memory etc.) by five 8mm nickel-plated copper heatpipes.

All in all, the video controller isn't the strongest out there but, on the other hand, it doesn't need as much energy either, making do with two 6-pin PCI Express power connectors.

We don't know when sales of the N680GTX Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC are going to start, or what price this item will bear. Until more details show up, we'll be quietly wondering why the PCB is brown instead of a fitting black or blue.

Script: Cassette

Cassette is a C# asset bundling toolkit for .NET web apps development.

It was developed to automatically sort, merge, compress, version and cache JavaScript, CoffeeScript, CSS, LESS and HTML files.

Cassette readies resources for deploying on live websites. It helps developers neatly package resources, optimize and speed up their app.

It's a really helpful tool if the app you're developing grows constantly as features are added to it.

Some of Cassette's most important features include correct order of resource loading, auto-detection of file references, automatic compilation of CoffeeScript and LESS files, constantly updated documentation and a cache system that ensures assets are downloaded once per user.

Cassette's development is handled via its GitHub page. Also available through its NuGet page.

Download Cassette here.

And Finally, Some Details on the Ivy Bridge Chipset

We know that the first members of Intel's Ivy Bridge CPU collection will be launched in about two weeks, and we also know that the full range won't be out until next year, or late 2012 if the company is really fast. 

As we wait for Intel to make it happen, we are, naturally, going to cover whatever leaks, rumors and product releases come our way. 

ASUS's Maximus V GENE  is just the latest of the many mainboards with the Ivy Bridge chipset. 

Granted, that's not exactly the correct way to put it, since Ivy Bridge is the CPU codename, while Panther Point is the chipset moniker. 

Ivy Bridge CPUs are built on the 22nm manufacturing process technology and would have been already selling if they hadn't been delayed a few months. April 23 is not an official date, but whatever leaks and rumors we spotted seem to be in agreement that it's going to be the big day. We'll see what happens. 

Regardless, AnandTech got to look at some motherboards and published its preliminary findings. 

We'll get the obvious out of the way first: the Z77 chipset natively supports the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface standard. 

Truthfully, it was about time this happened, even though the implementation is rather limited: only two ports are available, which means that third-party controllers are still necessary if motherboards are to have more. 

The other major feature is that all 16 PCI Express lanes are compatible with the PCI Express 3.0 standard. 

For particularly hardcore customers, motherboard makers are even using special chips to increase the number of lanes. 

A third element of the Panther Point is the DDR3L memory support, which reduces the voltage requirements for HTPCs and other low-end machines. 

There is one other curiosity that AnandTech noted, but that's something we already covered here (basically, ASUS invented a new way of reading memory, though details are scarce).

EVGA’s Z77 FTW Is Now Official

In anticipation of Intel’s Ivy Bridge launch, California-based video card and motherboard manufacturer EVGA has just announced its new EVGA Z77 FTW motherboard on its official website

The mainboard is targeted at PC overclocking enthusiasts and power users.

The mainboard has robust overclocking features, good cooling and high quality components to ensure a reliable and stable system. It supports Intel’s Core i5 and i7 Socket 1155 processors, and is powered by Intel’s own Z77 chipset.

On the expansion side, the motherboard has five PCI-e x16 slots supporting 4-way SLI and one small PCI-e 1x slot. It has four memory DIMM slots supporting up to 32 GB of DDR3 2133 MHz memory.

There’s lack of concordance here as the announcement page states that the maximum memory configuration can contain up to 32 GB of DDR3 DRAM, while the product features page mentions only 16 GB. 

We think this is likely a small error on EVGA’s site, and that the motherboard really supports 32 GB of DDR3 DRAM memory.

Storage is well served by 14 Serial ATA ports. 10 ports are Serial ATA 300MB/s, with eight being internal and 2 being eSATA ports. All of these 10 ports have support for RAID 0,1, 0+1, 5, 10 and JOBD. There are an additional 4 internal Serial ATA 600 MB/s ports with support for RAID 0 and RAID 1.

The sound is HD and is processed by an eight-channel chip while the network connectivity is achieved through 2 Gigabit LAN adapters.

The board has Clear CMOS, Power and Reset buttons, along with EVGA EZ Voltage read points and Vdroop control. It uses 100% solid state capacitors and comes with EVGA Dummy OC tech and EVGA E-LEET Tuning support.

The new toy is currently priced at 329 USD on EVGA’s official website and is available for preorder. That’s around 252 EUR for the European buyer.

Nokia Lumia PureView with Windows Phone 8 Exclusively Launching at Verizon – Report

Last week we reported on a render of a mysterious Nokia device that is said to carry PureView technology and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 (Apollo) operating system.

Some specs details emerged as well, but nothing is confirmed for the moment. The device that appears in the render has a touch-sensitive button that features the new Windows Phone 8 logo, which suggests that Nokia is planning to announce some Apollo-based devices this year.

Completely unrelated to the render that leaked online last week, new rumors on the upcoming Nokia Lumia PureView device have just surfaced.

It appears that MS Nerd heard some interesting rumors about Nokia’s plans for United States' smartphone market. According to him, the Finnish company plans to release a flagship Windows Phone 8 device for Verizon Wireless.

The smartphone will be released sometime this fall and will include Nokia’s PureView technology along with a ClearBlack HD capacitive touchscreen display.

However, the smartphone’s camera won’t be based on Nokia 808 PureView sensor. Instead, it will integrate N8’s sensor, which has yet to be beaten by other camera phone available on the market.

Another interesting piece of information is the fact that the upcoming smartphone will be equipped with Qualcomm’s powerful Snapdragon S4 chipset. 

It appears that at least some of the details leaked last week along with the render of the Lumia PureView device were accurate. 

The unannounced smartphone will be powered by a dual core Qualcomm MSM8960 Pro processor, which will be complemented by an Adreno 320 graphic processing unit. No word on the CPU’s speed, but it’s likely to come in at 1.5 GHz.

MS Nerd further claims that Nokia plans to release more powerful smartphones in the United States, but these will be carrier exclusives with unique designs and hardware configuration. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

Haswell Will Have Powerful GPU Thanks to Crystalwell Technology

Intel’s integrated GPUs have always suffered from lack of decent performance, acceptable driver compatibility, stability and image quality. Lately, there have been many rumors creating high expectations for next year’s graphics unit integrated in Intel's Haswell CPU.

Semiaccurate’s Charlie Demerjian is reporting that the fastest Haswell GPU, the GT3 variant, will sport 64 MB of on-package GPU memory on an interposer connected through an ultra-wide bus. 

Now called Crystalwell, this tech will prove very expensive for Intel in the initial stages.

There was much speculation about some sort of L4 cache on an MCM module or something similar, but that made little sense. 

Cache-ing the whole CPU has no real point in a context where you have a single socket in a PC, laptop or workstation.

There is no cross talk between sockets and memory controllers, no coherence data, and generally no such high latency between the CPU and the main memory that would require the former to use a Level  4 cache.

Still there were reports about an expected high level of performance and everybody searched for an explanation.

Ever since Intel launched CPUs with integrated GPUs, the performance was indeed lacking but, with each new generation, it went up very fast. It went from Intel HD 2000’s 6 shaders to HD 3000’s 12 shaders, and from a lower clocked version to a faster one.

The future Intel HD 4000 will only have 16 shaders. A very small 33% increase from HD 3000’s 12 shaders when compared to a 100% increase marked by the HD 3000 versus the old HD 2000.

Even so, the performance will be there as promised, because HD 4000 is a completely redesigned architecture, and each of the 16 shaders is much more capable than the units in the HD 3000. This will help Intel demonstrate its claim of 100% increase in performance.

However, from HD 4000 to Haswell’s GPU, it seems that Crystalwell is the technology that will make the difference.

iPhone 5 Launching in October, Not Summer, Says Foxconn Staffer

After a Japanese television studio interviewed a Foxconn recruiter who said the next iPhone would be released this June, another Foxconn employee appears to have spilled the beans on the launch date. However, this time it’s October.

South Korea's Maeil Business Newspaper says it has talked to the head of human resources at Foxconn’s recently established Taiyuan factory who reportedly told them: "We just got the order. It [the release] will be around October."

Not that this report should be any more credible than the first, but the October launch has always been more plausible. Last year, Apple broke tradition by releasing its newest iPhone not in Summer, but in Fall at a special even just one day before former CEO, Steve Jobs, passed away.

Reports from The China Morning News and M.I.C. Gadget have revealed this month that Foxconn is almost finished building “a new base for iPhone 5 production” in Taiyuan, the capital and largest city of Shanxi province in Northern China.

The electronics manufacturer Foxconn, which is not only partners with Apple, but other hardware vendors as well, has reportedly put out ads for 18,000 positions on its iPhone assembly line. The reason? Apple’s upcoming handset.

The mass hiring, coupled with the TV Tokyo report quoting a recruiter, spawned widespread belief that Apple was, indeed, returning to the summer refresh cycle.

According to a Japanese translation of the original interview (in Chinese), "it seems it will go on sale in June," the recruiter said in response to a question.

While this is still possible, Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference for this year is expected to feature iOS 6 and a new preview of OS X Mountain Lion. In other words, no hardware announcements.

Most analysts still expect Apple to introduce its iPhone 5, or the sixth-generation iPhone sometime in fall.

Samsung Galaxy Note Running ICS in Tablet Mode

At the moment, Samsung’s Galaxy Note is the closest a smartphone would get to a tablet. 

It features a large 5.3-inch touchscreen display and, with the proper software loaded, it can easily offer an experience similar to that of a slate. 

In fact, it already does that, thanks to an “imilka” custom tablet ROM based on Ice Cream Sandwich, as can be seen in the video embedded above, courtesy of the guys over at RootGalaxyNote.com

The handset’s large screen can easily accommodate the UI designed for tablet PCs, but it is not available for all users out there. Only the aforementioned custom ROM - which can be seen detailed in this thread on XDA-Developers forum - offers it. 

Those interested in the matter should know that the installation of this unofficial software could void warranty and might harm the device if not performed properly.

ASUS Special Memory Perk "Stuns" Intel Engineers

With all the Intel Ivy Bridge-ready motherboards that have been launched over the past few days, one might think it is hard to figure out which to choose.

It looks like we might have an answer to that or, to be more precise, we found something that could tip the scales on AnandTech.

In their preview of the Panther Point chipset, they mentioned that ASUS reworked the memory sub-system.

Memory banks are now read in parallel instead of sequentially, which should clearly boost performance.

“Their new method stunned Intel engineers but should provide distinct memory speed advantages,” the folks at AnandTech said.

Alas, no one seems to know anything more on the matter, but we are pretty sure the ASUS Maximus V GENE ROG motherboard just became a lot more appealing. We'll be looking for more on this, so keep your fingers crossed.

Lenovo S2109 Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Tablet Incoming

Lenovo has officially introduced the S2109 Android tablet, even though it didn't say when sales would start or at what price.

The product relies on a Texas Instruments OMAP processor and a TI WiLink WL1281 wireless controller.

The screen diagonal is of 9.7 inches in length, and the aspect ratio is 4:3 (the resolution is 1,024 x 768 pixels).

Also, the slate includes SRS Trumedia sound support (quad speakers), a microSD card slot, a 1.3 megapixel front webcam and a battery that can keep everything running for up to 10 hours, all in a package with a thickness of 8.9mm 0.35 inches.

As for the software, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) is present, along with Google Play and the Lenovo App Shop.

Make sure to let your eyes hover over that video intro embedded above if you're interested in seeing how this IdeaPad behaves.

Samsung’s Flexible AMOLED Display Gets a Name: Youm

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung is moving closer to having its flexible AMOLED displays available for purchase around the world. 

Last year, the company promised this technology to be commercially available in 2012, and is now unveiling a name for it: Youm. 

On Samsung Mobile Display’s website, Youm is listed as the company’s unbreakable, flexible panel, which is also said to be thinner than the previously available products. 

On said page from Samsung’s website, we can have a look at a comparison between the various screen technologies that the handset vendor used before, such as LCD and OLED. 

Youm is similar to OLED, only that it replaces glass layers with film, so that the screen would be both thinner and tougher than before. 

The company has yet to unveil specific details on the availability of these panels in smartphones, so stay tuned for more on the matter.

Intel’s “Knights Corner” MIC Architecture on Track for 2013

World’s biggest CPU manufacturer, Intel, has its people making waves and raising expectations in anticipation of the arrival of the “Stampede” supercomputer next year. Intel’s MIC (Many Intel Cores) is the company’s attempt at building a highly parallel architecture that could, someday, compete with AMD and Nvidia’s GPUs.

In a statement cited by xbitlabs, Intel’s Radoslaw Walczyk said that, “Knights Corner is in great shape and is exactly where it has to be according to our internal schedule. We have not disclosed any information related to production or launch date of 'Knights Corner'.”

Other company representatives, like Diane Bryant, vice president and general manager of Intel's server product group, said that Intel’s MIC was “set to go into production in about a year.”

They are most likely referring to Texas Advanced Computing Center’s “Stampede” supercomputer.

Using funds from a National Science Foundation grant, the Texas Advanced Computing Center, or TACC, from the University of Texas in Austin, announced its plans to build a supercomputer that would be operational in January of the next year.

It will be made of several thousand DELL “Zeus” servers using dual socket platforms with 8-core Xeon E5 CPUs and 32 GB of memory.

The cluster will be using Intel’s MIC co-processors and will provide 10 petaflops of performance.

In the DGEMM benchmark, using a double-precision general matrix-matrix multiplication test, Intel’s Knight’s Corner, with its 50 cores built on 22nm technology, is able to deliver 1 teraflop of performance.

This is almost twice the performance offered by Nvidia’s Tesla 2090 card of around 665 gigaflops. Sure, the Tesla is a one-year-old card and the new Tesla generation is right around the corner, but Intel has quite an achievement here.

Even more impressive is the fact that all those thousands of Xeon E5 CPUs will offer just 2 petaflops of performance, while the “Knights Corner” co-processing units will be responsible for 8 petaflops of computing power.

NVIDIA Tegra 4 Detailed, Four A15 Cores, 2 GHz Clock

NVIDIA may have been all but locked out of the motherboard chipset and entry-level graphics market, but it is essentially compensating for that by coming up with more and more advanced mobile platforms. 

And by compensate we mean to say it is developing a tablet and phone platform to trounce all platforms. 

We've known about the incoming Tegra 4 for a while, how it will utilize the 4-PLUS-1 chip layout (like its predecessor) and how it will be used in superphones and the like. 

Alas, this may be a case of “too much of a good thing”, where the “good thing” is performance. 

Simply put, the Tegra 4 might be too powerful, as in needlessly mighty for the sort of devices that the industry will offer when the chip comes out. 

Not only does it use newer ARM cores than the Tegra 3 (Cortex A15), but it also boasts four of them, clocked at up to 2 GHz no less. 

It is said that three variants are in the making, one of which, the T40, has the A15 cores working at 1.8 GHz. It will power 10-inch tablets and has Q1, 2013 as the ETA (estimated time of arrival) 

The second version of Tegra 4, T43, will target the same products, but will operate at 2 GHz. ETA is Q3. 

The third chip, AP40, is, shall we say, the tamer of the lot, with a clock of 1.2 GHz to 1.4 GHz. Again, it should be ready by the third quarter of next year. 

Clearly, the Santa Clara, California-based company is envisioning tablets and flagship smartphones that will leave existing ones in the dust. 

Alas, it is unlikely, or at best uncertain, that carriers and mobile device makers will see much of a need for such a leap in ability. There is also the issue of A15 being a bit too hot and it's unclear how the company is dealing with this problem. 

NVIDIA is aware of it at least, as its product range will presumably include a fourth product, the Sp3X, which sticks to A9 cores but still sports a 4-PLUS-1 configuration. It will still have a high performance though, and will integrate an LTE and HSPA+ modem too.

Intel Ivy Bridge CPU Range Complete by Next Year

We know that the Ivy Bridge line of central processing unit will be launched on April 23, rumors say so anyway, but not all chips will appear on that date. 

In fact, only a small batch of the processors is set for this unveiling, two weeks from now, even though the 22nm processors have already been delayed for months. 

Still, getting mainstream desktop chips is better than nothing, especially for those who've already ordered (or bought) a suitable motherboard

Nevertheless, since VR-Zone decided to report on what it knows about the later releases, we can't help but take a look into the matter ourselves. 

The first chips that will follow the mainstream desktop parts are the mobile processors, in early summer (June). 

High-end desktop and dual-socket workstation/server chips won't be available before the end of the year though. 

In fact, it is possible that we will only see those mighty units only in 2013, perhaps during CES or some other event. 

One of the chips will be an Ivy Bridge EP 10-core unit with 14-20% higher clock speeds than the Xeon E5 of today (2.4 GHz, 3 GHz, 3.3 GHz, +/- 100 MHz or so). 

Also, the cache memory will be of either 25 MB or 30 MB, while the power consumption will go from 95W to 130W or thereabouts. 

Moving on, Sandy Bridge EX will be skipped altogether, because of large multi-core dies and power concerns. 

That means that Intel will jump straight to Ivy Bridge EX Xeon 7, with the Patsburg I/O chipset, DDR3-1600 server memory (probably DDR3-1866 too) and 15-16 cores with similar cache size as Ivy Bridge EP. 

Clock frequencies probably won't climb much higher than 2.4 GHz (the maximum attained by the Westmere EX Xeon E7 4870), but the four memory controllers will have a new scalable memory buffer, leading to eight DDR3-1600 channels and 1.5TB memory per socket.

Polarized Glasses Will Affect Your iPad Experience

A two-year old video (embedded below) showing how the iPad does’t get along with polarized sunglasses has re-captured the attention of several Mac-centric blogs which quote screen expert Raymond Soneira as saying that “Using polarized sunglasses all iPads go black in Portrait mode.” (emphasis ours)

Despite the fact that said video is featuring an original iPad from 2010, Dr. Soneira, of DisplayMate Technologies, says that all models suffer from this drawback. ZDNet confirms this, offering the physicist’s full statement.

According to Dr. Soneira, “other displays go black in Landscape mode [too]. Much better is for the manufacturer to set the extinction at 45 degrees so the display looks good in both Portrait and Landscape modes."

"The Motorola Xoom behaves this way. Best of all, with compensating films this effect can go away almost entirely.”

It is unclear why Apple never fixed this on the iPad. Dr. Soneira added that “The iPhone 4 and Samsung Galaxy Tab have no extinction at any angle (just a small color shift). The effect should only apply to LCDs because they use polarized light internally. So OLEDs also should not show any such extinction effect,” he said.

Considering the few scenarios in which all these factors come into play - person wearing polarized glasses, working mostly in the field, requiring an Apple iPad to get his / her job done - Apple isn’t likely to lose many customers because of this single drawback.

However, people relying on polarized glasses may find this information useful, should they be planning to purchase Apple’s tablet computer for outdoor use.

It would be nice on behalf of the Cupertino, Calif. tech giant to make a note of this lackluster feature in the marketing materials over at apple.com/ipad.

Perhaps it would have been just as wise to make that LTE clarification for Australian customers, before news of its incapacity to leverage 4G began to spread like wildfire.

Pixel Qi on a Lenovo IdeaPad S10-2 Netbook

It has been a week since we reported on Pixel Qi's determination to come up with better displays. 

In the meantime, the Pixel Qi DIY kits sold by MAKE magazine have been acquired by some daring users. 

Truthfully, you don't need to be all that brave to actually change the display of a compatible laptop, in this case the Lenovo IdeaPad S10-2 netbook. 

The whole process takes just 15 minutes and, at the end of it, your netbook will be sunlight-readable. 

You'll even get to choose between having it act like an E Ink panel or a standard LCD. 

Either way, the visibility and power gains are clear, even though the warranty of your laptop won't survive. 

Check out the video above, that the folks at NetbookNews set up for your, and our, convenience.

Facebook Unsocial Reader - Free Google Chrome Extension To Bypass App Install Link

Facebook Apps are definitely a great utility but some of them really get on your nerves, one such Facebook application is "Social Reader". Every time you click on an article link associated with this app to read the article, you are required to grant this app possible privacy invasive permissions to proceed with access to the article. Now if you dont want to do this the "Facebook Unsocial Reader" Google Chrome Extension is the solution to bypass this app install prompt and read the article directly.

Download Facebook Social Reader here.

Nokia 808 PureView Up for Pre-Order in Italy for €599 ($785)

Unveiled back in February at the Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona, one of the best camera phones that will soon be available on the market, Nokia 808 PureView has just gone up for pre-order in Italy.

That’s one month earlier than expected, as Nokia promised the smartphone would be launched on the market sometime in May, for a suggested retail price of €450 ($585).

However, an Italian retailer has just kicked off Nokia 808 PureView pre-orders for those who want to make sure they will be among the first to get it. 

Unfortunately, the phone is priced much higher than expected, as NStore.it offers the 808 PureView for no less than €599 ($785) outright.

Customers are required to pay a €99 ($130) fee in order to reserve the smartphone and another €500 ($655) later in May when the Nokia 808 PureView hits shelves. 

There’s more to it, as the retailer mentions that the contents of the sales package and the final price may be subject to change, so those who pre-order now may end up paying much more or exactly the suggested retail price.

The 808 PureView is powered by Nokia Belle operating system. The phone has a 1.3 GHz ARM 11 processor, 16GB of internal memory, 1GB of ROM, 512MB of RAM and microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB).

The 41-megapixel rear camera is the main selling point of the smartphone. It features Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, Xenon flash and full HD (1080p) video recording.

With the new PureView technology, the smartphone’s camera can easily combine up to seven pixels into one “pure” pixel. 

It is also worth mentioning that the smartphone may be the world’s first video recording device that allows users to capture clips without any audio distortions whatsoever, though this has yet to be confirmed by users.

Nokia 306 Manual Spotted in the Wild, Possibly a New Asha S40 Phone

Nokia announced two months ago three new Asha series phones, which have already made their debut on the market. The Asha 302, 203 and 202 run Nokia’s advanced S40 UI and are aimed at emerging markets.

However, there’s a new Nokia phone that might soon be officially announced, the Asha 306. The folks over at NokiaPort.de managed to tracked down the handset’s manual, which offers some details on the unannounced device.

Although the document does not mention anything about the Nokia 306 being an Asha series handset, the screen resolution, along with the two buttons at the bottom of the display, suggests that this is a simple S40 feature-phone.

Apparently, the Nokia 306 will be delivered with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, as well as microSD card slot, microUSB and FM radio function.

The phone drains energy from a Nokia BL-4U 1100 mAh Li-Ion battery, though the Finnish company has yet to rate it for talk time and standby time.

If this is indeed an Asha series handset, then it would be the first to feature a full touchscreen. 

The phone’s manual reveals that the Nokia 306 does not come with a physical keyboard, instead it offers a capacitive touchscreen display that supports 240 x 412 pixels resolution.

There’s further evidence that Nokia 306 is indeed real, as the name of the phone has been spotted on Nokia’s official site. 

It seems that the Nokia 306 is compatible with a certain universal pouch CP-594, along with other unannounced devices, such as Nokia 605, 305 and 311.

None of the phones mentioned above has been announced by Nokia, so they might be new devices that are expected to go official in the following months.

There’s a high chance that we won’t be hearing about these mysterious phones until September, when the Finnish company plans to kick off its yearly Nokia World event.

Swiftech Announces New Water Cooling for Radeon HD7970

American cooling company Swiftech has just announced the KOMODO-HD7970 full cover VGA waterblock on their official website. This is a single slot water cooling solution compatible with AMD’s Radeon HD7970 video cards.

Swiftech is one of the founding fathers of water cooling for personal computers, and it’s now offering enthusiasts a very good water block that takes care of cooling the GPU, video memory and the voltage regulation modules.

Swiftech says that proper cooling of all the critical components will lead to a stable and reliable operation during a high overclock.

The company calls its product a “true full water-block,” and says the Komodo HD7970 is “an industry first.” 

It covers the full length of the card and uses all the PCB mounting points, thus resulting in better protection for the adapter against physical damage from bending or hitting the card.

Swiftech claims the Komodo HD7970 offers better thermal performance thanks to its micro-pin matrix technology with pins measuring 0.25 x 0.25 millimeters. The manufacturer also says that its design offers moderate flow restriction for powerful water pumps that might tune down their engine during lesser work, or for users with less powerful pumps.

The metallic block has laser-engraved markings and a LED back-lit logo, so that the user can see it working. It comes with an anodized aluminum back plate to offer better protection for the components located on the back side of the card.

It comes with pre-applied thermal pads for all the essential components, and has an optional CrossFireX bridge that will cost you an extra 25 USD, or around 19 EUR.

The Komodo HD7970 will allow you to have a Quad Radeon HD7970 configuration with four single-slot cards using two CrossFireX bridges.

The water-block comes with a price tag of 155 USD. That’s around 119 EUR for European buyers.

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