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May 2, 2012

Gameloft Intros 11 Games for BlackBerry 10 OS

It looks like Gameloft is one of the first game developers to announce plans to release BlackBerry 10 OS titles in the following weeks.

According to the company, Shark Dash, N.O.V.A. 3: Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance, Ice Age Village and Oregon Trail: American Settler will be optimized for the new platform with the BlackBerry 10 Native SDK.

However, the number of BlackBerry 10 games launched by Gameloft won’t be limited to those four mentioned earlier. No less than 11 titles will be available on BlackBerry App World at launch or soon after.

Furthermore, Gameloft also confirmed that all these games would be fully compatible with the new features introduced with BlackBerry 10 OS, including the Scoreloop social gaming tools and multiplayer functions. They will range from freemium to $6.99 per app.

AMD Trinity Architectural Preview - Part III

As we’ve said in the beginning, SOI helps reducing leakage, power consumption and increases the achievable frequency.This is exactly why Trinity is able to achieve such low power consumption levels like 15W / 25W and 35W.

The Trinity APU will have working frequencies between 2 GHz and 3.8 GHz.

Other than refining the design, what else would make Trinity achieve such high clock frequencies when compared to Llano that’s made using the same process?

The answer is in the technology AMD licensed from Cyclos Semiconductor.

Trinity is specially designed to include and use Cyclos’ “clock mesh” technology, which supposedly delivers significant power savings.

Microprocessors rely on a clock rate, which must be propagated across the surface of the chip.

This controls the functioning of the entire chip and thus, the clock signal must avoid inconsistency.

There can be clock signal jitter (variances between two clock pulses) and skew (pulses that arrive at different areas of the chip at different times). 

When running a chip at 4 GHz, that CPU’s clock switches 4 billion times a second. Any inconsistency will be amplified 4 billion times and the CPU would practically be defective.

High-end microprocessors have a clock mesh. This minimizes skew, but uses significantly more power than a clock tree. There are various estimates about how much a clocking design will affect the CPU’s overall power consumption.

The bottom line is that Cyclos themselves are claiming that using their technology can cut total IC power by up to 10%.

Cyclos' design contains a tank circuit (also known as an LC circuit) that stores energy. Electricity will pass from the capacitor to the inductor and a magnetic field will manifest.

When the capacitor will reach the zero charge level, the flow of current will be reversed and the magnetic field will dissipate.

This process is similar to the movement of a pendulum or the ticking of the clock. It has also been compared to the sloshing of water in a tank, which is where the “tank circuit” concept coming from.

This kind of clock generation will reduce the "clocking" power consumption “up to 24% while maintaining the low clock-skew target required by high-performance processors,” according to Cyclos.

The power reduction obtained by changing the clock generation method, is estimated as representing around 10 percent of the chip’s total power consumption.

AMD seems to have refined their APU design and, along with this new clock mesh and other design improvements, managed to get the maximum clock speed from 2900 Mhz in Llano’s case to 3800 MHz on Trinity.

This is a considerable 31% frequency improvement despite the fact that they are using the same 32 nm SOI process.

Strangely, Trinity has a bigger die size of 246 square millimeters. That’s bigger than Llano’s 228 square millimeters despite the fact that Llano comes with 1.45 billion transistors versus Trinity’s 1.303 billion.

This clearly shows that the Trinity design is likely better distributed and more efficient. And by well distributed we mean that AMD might have done some rearranging of the CPU’s hot units so that they don create hot spots that will harm the CPU’s ability to achieve high frequencies.

The different number of transistors may also come from the fact that some functions are different. As we’ve said before, FMA support changed from FMA4 to FMA3 and the Bulldozer cores were replaced with more efficient and better performing Piledriver cores.

We should also consider that Trinity has a different UVD engine and that those 384 Stream Processing Units are using the VLIW4 design from the Radeon HD 6000 series rather than the VLIW5 cores that Llano got from the old Radeon HD 5570.

Remember that AMD’s Radeon 6870 had around half a billion less transistors when compared to the VLIW5 based Radeon HD 5870. 

Despite having 25% less transistors, the Radeon 6870 was able to be roughly equal to the Radeon HD 5870 or even surpass it in some situations.

Even if Cypress (HD5870) was able to beat Barts (HD 6870) some tests, Barts was never more than 10% behind. To build a 25% smaller design and only loose 10% of the performance in some cases , but win in other cases, is going for a more efficient solution.

The same move for a more efficient solution with more performance despite fewer transistors we can see in AMD Trinity and its integrated graphics processing unit (iGPU).

AMD’s Llano and Brazos were very successful. They’ve represented the fastest microprocessor ramp in the company’s history and now AMD rules 43% of the desktop CPU market despite the fact that they don’t have a high end solution at any price point.

AMD now needs volume and, with Trinity, they’ll need even more volume as Trinity will only increase AMD’s Fusion success.

So choosing the right manufacturing process and the right foundry becomes a serious problem for AMD and, because the sales are so good, AMD can’t develop a design and then search for a foundry to manufacture it. They must do exactly the other way around.

AMD must have a design compatible with more then one FAB. If the Texas based CPU manufacturer wants to compete with Intel’s volumes, they can’t work only with the Dresden FAB.

But more about AMD’s new Trinity APU, about manufacturing foundries and choosing the right design in Part IV of our AMD Trinity Architectural Preview.

Galaxy Nexus Black S Concept Phone Emerges

Samsung is gearing up for the release of Galaxy S III, its next flagship Android phone, which should stand above handsets such as Galaxy S II or the Galaxy Nexus, both launched last year. 

Galaxy S III should pack the latest in the wireless industry, thus being capable of securing a top position on the market right from the beginning, but that does not prevent enthusiasts from dreaming of the next Google phone out there. 

One concept phone that emerged on the web only recently shows what people want to see inside such as device, which should be the successor of Galaxy Nexus. 

In fact, the concept device sports a name that sends back to the first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich device out there: Galaxy Nexus Black S. 

Coming from Antoine Brieux/NAK Studio, the concept device packs features and an outer design capable of catching anyone’s attention. 

The smartphone features a 4.9 inch Super AMOLED+ touchscreen display, along with a 1.4 GHz quad-core application processor, which could be either an Exynos chip – if the device is made by Samsung – or a new Snapdragon from Qualcomm. 

The phone’s specs list also shows 1.5GB of RAM, along with 32GB or 64GB of internal memory, HSPA connectivity, WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities, MicroUSB, HDMI and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It is powered by a 2050 mAh battery. 

On the back, the new device would sport a 12-megapixel photo snapper, with LED flash and support for full HD video recording. A 3.2MP camera on the front would offer support for video calling. 

Powered by the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich platform release, the handset won’t sport buttons on the front, but it will be packed with the whole range of sensors that high-end smartphones feature today. 

Have a look at the images attached to this article to make an idea of what the next Galaxy Nexus could look like, or head over to NAK Studio for more of them.

Review of Unannounced LG Fantasy (E740) Windows Phone Emerges

One of the LG Windows Phones that might never see daylight is the LG Fantasy (E740), a handset that made it to the headlines quite a few times before. 

Given LG’s decision to focus on the release of Android devices for the immediate future, LG Fantasy is not expected to arrive on shelves anytime soon, and some suggest that it might never be launched. 

However, a prototype unit was already handed to enthusiast websites out there, and a mini review was published on the web, courtesy of WPCentral

Set to arrive on shelves only as a mid-level device, the smartphone does not pack capabilities that would impress, and its absence from the market might pass unnoticed. 

The phone’s specifications are in line with what we would have expected for a Windows Phone 7.5 device launched in 2011 to include. 

There is a 4.0" TFT LCD touchscreen display that hides a 1 GHz Scorpion application processor beneath, along with 512MB of RAM (356MB available). 

The smartphone was designed with 8GB of internal memory, 5.6GB of which are accessible to users, and with support for GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 and HSDPA networks. 

Moreover, it sports a 5-megapixel photo snapper on the back, with no flash included, along with a 1.3MP camera on the front, to offer video calling capabilities to all users. 

The handset’s specs list also includes a 1500 mAh (removable) battery, along with NFC capabilities, Compass and Proximity sensor. The unit that was reviewed was powered by Windows Phone 7.5 8107, but was not a final design. 

Apparently, the device failed to impress in almost all aspects. Of course, it was only a prototype, and issues were expected to be found, but the overall feel of “cheap” offset any appealing features that it might have included. Have a look at the video embedded below to make a better idea of this.

Script: FlowPlayer

FlowPlayer is a well-established Flash-based video player for streaming online movies.

The player is packed full of useful features for providing a good video playback experience and adapting the player to any website design.

Developers have access to a JavaScript scripting API, can extend the player through plugins, change the player skin with easy commands and overlay advertisements.

Other features include playlists for presenting more than one movie, video thumbs as splash images, progressive downloads for jumping playback position in the timeline and a security mechanism for accessing the raw video files.

For those interested, a commercial version with no branding is also available.

Download FlowPlayer here.

ASUS Launches the ROG G75VW and G55VW Gaming Laptops

Taiwanese mainboard manufacturer ASUS has just officially announced the new ROG G75VW and G55VW Gaming Laptops, on its official website. These are part of the Republic of Gamers (ROG) product line and come with exclusive features.

These notebooks are powered by Intel’s Core i7 3720QM processor that works at a 2600 MHz frequency and that comes with a 6 MB Level 3 cache memory.

The Turbo Boost can clock it up to 3600 MHz when only one thread is requesting maximum performance, 3500 MHz when two cores are involved, or 3400 MHz when three or all four cores are in full throttle.

The CPU is fitted in the Socket G2 with 988 pins and has HyperThreading enabled, so the operating system is able to play with 8 threads.

The integrated memory controller (IMC) can work with two DDR3 channels and supports support DDR3-1333 and DDR3-1600 memory.

The processor also comes with an HD4000 iGPU that works at 650 MHz at default frequency, but it will be clocked up to 1250 MHz in Turbo mode if a 3D task is upon it.

The maximum working temperature is 105 degrees Celsius and the maximum TDP is a modest 35 watts. There is also a somewhat cheaper Core i7 3610QM option.

The platform is Intel’s own HM77 and the operating system can be Winodws 7 in any consumer version.

There are four DIMM slots for a total of 16 GB of RAM memory, and the 3D side will be handled by Nvidia’s Kepler-based GeForce GTX 660M or 670M with 2GB or 3GB GDDR5 VRAM.

The first option is GK106-based, while the second is the well-known GK104. The display panel can be a high quality 17.3" HD+ or FullHD EWV LED Backlight or a FullHD 3D LED Backlight.

There are two 2.5” bays and the laptop comes with support for RAID 0 and 1. It will be fast, but it can’t be faster than MSI’s GT70

There is a dual SDD variant, but that would be very expensive and capacity-constrained when compared to MSI’s Ivy Bridge gaming wonder.

At 4.5 Kg the ROG G75VW is quite heavy but, paired with a 8-cell 5200 mAH 75 Whrs battery, we think the extra weight is worth it.

Weighing 9.9 pounds, the ASUS G75VW has a very efficient dual cooling system that will ensure a long healthy life.

Official pricing has not been made available yet, although the notebook was available for preorder on some sites, as we’ve reported here.

Inno3D iChill HerculeZ 3000 GTX 680 Enters

There is a new graphics card in Inno3D's portfolio, but the company has decided to withhold the specs for some reason. 

Instead, it practically gushed over the HerculeZ 3000 cooler and its three fans that use 9 scythe blades each. 

A large heatsink gets the heat from the GPU, and all other heat-producing parts, through several heatpipes that are visible on the side. 

Go ahead and look at the photo gallery to see what makes the cooler tick. 

We'll be snooping around for some performance numbers, which are probably superior to those of the reference model, even though the original is already overpowered. 

Go here to refresh your memory and here for the list of all other versions of the adapter, and related products. Expect the price to be $499 / 479 Euro or more when retailers finally list the iChill HerculeZ GTX 680.

Nokia Files Patent Suits Against HTC, RIM and Viewsonic

Speculations that Nokia plans to boost its revenues by filing patent suits against rival companies have come to fruition today when the Finnish company announced it had taken legal action against HTC, Research In Motion (RIM) and Viewsonic.

According to Nokia, these companies are currently taking advantage of no less than 45 patents owned by the Finnish handset manufacturer.

So far, Nokia has filed claims in the United States and Germany alleging that some of the products manufactured by HTC, RIM and Viewsonic infringe on a number of its patents. 

A complaint has been filed to the US International Trade Commission (ITC) against HTC, and suits against the Taiwanese company and Viewsonic in the Federal District Court of Delaware, US.

In addition, Nokia filed patent suits against HTC and RIM in the Regional Court in Dusseldorf, Germany, as well as against all three companies in the Regional Courts in Mannheim and Munich, Germany.

GALAXY S III Screen Protector Supposedly Confirms 4.8’’ Display

Tomorrow, South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics will make official the next generation Galaxy smartphone, supposedly called Galaxy S III. 

The company hasn’t offered official confirmation on what the device would feature in terms of hardware, but a recent leak is meant to offer weight to suppositions regarding a 4.8-inch touchscreen display on device’s front. 

Colorant, a screen protector film manufacturer, came up with a USG (Ultimate Screen Guard) screen protector for the device, and its size fits previous rumors regarding the panel’s measures. 

In the photos attached to this post, courtesy of Unwire, you can see the screen protector sized up against Galaxy S II, so as to make an idea of how large the successor of this device would be. 

All the necessary details on Galaxy S III and its release will be unveiled to the world on May 3rd, so stay tuned for more on the matter.

Blogger's Dynamic Views Get Translation, Blog List Gadgets

Blogger is continuing to add new gadgets for anyone that uses dynamic view themes. Gadgets were one of the biggest things people missed when they made the switch to the new high-tech templates.

Blogger added support for gadgets along with several of the most popular gadgets a few months back. Now, it's adding some more.

The first and probably the most interesting is a translate gadget which, you guessed it, enables readers to translate blogs into their languages, via Google Translate of course.

It's rather straightforward to translate any blog with Google Translate, just grab the URL and paste it in the translation box. But that means having to open a new tab, visiting Google Translate, copy-pasting the URL and so on.

So the ability to translate a blog with a single click may mean the difference between someone reading your posts or leaving the site.

"Today, we’ve made it easier to bring content from your blog to everyone, with the release of a new Google Translate gadget," Google announced.

"With the Google Translate gadget, visitors to your blog can select their preferred language from the drop-down menu, and using Google’s free translation service, it will display your posts in any of the 50+ languages Google Translate supports," it explained.

That's not all, some blogger favorites are making a comeback as well. Users will be able to add lists to their blogs, finally, be them blog lists with their favorite reads, link lists for any site they like, or simply text lists. The blog list and the simple list gadgets are new additions.

One nice thing about the new gadgets is that they really feel like gadgets all added to the right panel. This keeps the blogs clean and simple, but also enables users to add more functionality, as they see fit.

Asus Padfone Reportedly Delayed Due to Snapdragon S4 Shortage

Asus Padfone has just become one of those illusive devices that only appear showcased at trade fairs or demo sessions. 

The smartphone was initially slated to be released last year, but due to the rapid advancement of mobile technology, Asus decided to push the launch of the device a few months back, and use the time to improve the Padfone’s hardware configuration.

Unfortunately, the device has been delayed again, but this seems to have nothing to do with Asus. According to Asus Indonesia, the Padfone will be delayed due to a Snapdragon S4 shortage.

The problem seems to be real as the guys over at The Verge have reached out to Asus for an official confirmation and were met with an affirmative response. Moreover, Asus mentioned that the shortage was likely to affect all Qualcomm’s customers.

There are speculations running in the wild that claim the reason behind this shortage of Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processors is the fact that Samsung will be launching a US variant of the upcoming Galaxy S III device, which is said to be equipped with this chipset that has LTE support integrated.

Even if Samsung’s own Exynos chipset were to integrate LTE support, the company would probably never be able to produce so many in order to meet the huge market demands for the Galaxy S III.

All in all, those who were expecting to purchase the Asus Padfone this month will probably be disappointed by the postponing of the device. 

Unfortunately, the company wasn’t able to specify exactly when the Padfone is expected to hit shelves after the recent delay.

There’s no telling if Asus is really hurt by this Snapdragon S4 shortage or is just simply searching for a plausible reason to postpone the Padfone again. Hopefully, other Qualcomm customers affected by this shortage will come forward with official confirmations.

Nokia and Carl Zeiss Extend Partnership for “More PureView Innovation”

Nokia and Carl Zeiss have just announced they will extend their long-time partnership to offer customers new devices integrated with the innovative PureView technology.

The announcement doesn’t come as a surprise at all, especially given the hype built around the latest Nokia 808 PureView smartphone, which is about to make its debut on the market.

The collaboration between the two has given Symbian fans some of the best camera phones on the market, such as the Nokia N8, and fresh new Nokia 808 PureView.

Speaking about the latter, the Finnish company has just confirmed that rollout of the smartphone starts this week, with Russia and India being the first to get the 808 PureView within the next few days.

“Carl Zeiss was a crucial partner in the creation of the first PureView experience. The benefits of our ongoing collaboration will be more PureView innovation and further advancements in smartphone imaging in the coming months and years,” said Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia Smart Devices.

Nokia 808 PureView is considered one the best camera phones soon to be available on the market, only second to the older N8. 

The smartphone boasts a 41-megapixel rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, Xenon flash and full HD (1080p) video recording.

Some may consider the fact that the smartphone is powered by Nokia Belle operating system as a downside, but this is the only way Nokia could have fit such a powerful module camera. 

“When joining forces with Nokia in 2005, we wanted to push the boundaries of mobile photography. Looking back at seven years of successful partnership, we are proud of the innovations and outstanding products created in this shared journey. Today we are celebrating the extension of our collaboration with a new technology that sets another real benchmark in this sector,” concluded Michael Kaschke, CEO, Carl Zeiss AG.

Eurocom Shipping Race 2.0 Gaming Laptop with AMD Radeon HD 7970M

Eurocom Corporation has just announced the new 15.6" EUROCOM Racer 2.0 notebook powered by Intel’s Ivy Bridge and AMD’s new Radeon HD 7970M mobile GPU, on its official website. Eurocom is well known as a developer of long lifespan, fully upgradable notebooks.

The Racer 2.0 is a 15.6" small form factor laptop characterized as a mobile workstation by its manufacturer. It is utilizing the Intel Mobile HM 77 Express Chipset with support for the full line of the new 22 nm Ivy Bridge Processors.

The upgrade options are very numerous, as the Racer 2.0 comes with support for up to three storage drives. Also, the  maximum memory configuration is 32 GB of DDR3-1600 memory and that’s a lot for a 15.6” notebook.

The AMD Radeon HD 7970M is currently the highest performing mobile solution from AMD and, it seems to be performing even better than Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 675M.

The presence of the AMD Radeon HD 7970M along with an Ivy Bridge CPU in yet another high-end notebook is in total contradiction with what Nvidia’s own PR people said about the numerous Kepler design wins in the Ivy Bridge world.

Kepler options are available, but Eurocom lets them as being slower than AMD’s Radeon HD 7970M. Nvidia’s GTX 660M (Kepler); GTX 675M, GTX 670M; Quadro 3000M, 4000M and 5010M are also available.

The storage side is well designed and featured, as the laptop can be fitted with up to 3 drives: one HDD plus one mSATA SSD and a second HDD via ODD bay. 

Well, this setup might get you more storage space than MSI’s GT70, but MSI’s 17” gaming laptop, with its SSD RAID + HDD solution is still the fastest Ivy Bridge notebook in the world.

The pricing has not yet been made available, but you can head on to Eurocom’s website for more details on this innovative product.

Nokia 808 PureView Arrives on Shelves in May

Today, Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia announced that its Nokia 808 PureView smartphone would arrive on shelves starting this month. 

The handset, the first one to arrive on shelves with Nokia's award-winning PureView technology packed inside, will be launched on shelves in India and Russia initially. 

The mobile phone brings along an impressive imaging experience, putting together high-performance sensors, exclusive Carl Zeiss optics, and Nokia developed imaging algorithms. 

Nokia 808 PureView was made official in February at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and received the Best Mobile Device award at the event, along with the Best Imaging Innovation for 2012 title from the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA).

“PureView has completely raised the bar on imaging performance for the whole smartphone industry - and Nokia is not stopping here,” said Jo Harlow, head of smart devices at Nokia.

“We're going to carry on developing PureView for our future smartphones in ways that will again revolutionize the imaging experience.”

The main selling point of this device is its high-resolution 41 megapixel sensor, which delivers great imaging performance capabilities. 

Additionally, the device will also provide users with various options for fast and easy sharing of images via email, MMS, or social networks. 

“The Nokia 808 PureView makes it possible for anyone to capture professional looking images in any conditions,” the mobile phone maker notes. 

At the same time, the handset is capable of recording videos in full HD resolution, being the first in the world to use Nokia Rich Recording. 

The technology enables audio recording at CD-like levels of quality, a feature that was previously possible only through the use of external microphones. 

“The Nokia 808 PureView also features exclusive Dolby Headphone technology, transforming stereo content into a personal surround sound experience over any headphones and Dolby Digital Plus for 5.1 channel surround sound playback,” the Finnish handset vendor continues.

Samsung Series 7 Gamer Notebook Strides Forth

Samsung put its laptop-making expertise to good use when it made the Series 7 Gamer, creating a nice, large notebook that, nonetheless, isn't a pain to carry around. 

Series 7 obviously points at the 7-Series chipsets that Intel launched, to back the new central processing units (Ivy Bridge CPUs). 

The quad-core Ivy Bridge CPUs went on sale on April 29, so OEMs are busy launching products based on them. 

Samsung's Series 7 Gamer has a third-generation Core i7 CPU running a hardcore set of components from deep within a black 17.3-inch frame. 

That's right, the Full HD LCD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) of the Series 7 Gamer measures 17.3 inches in diagonal. 

Also, 16 GB of DDR3 RAM back up the processor and, for graphics, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M discrete card was chosen. 

Other specs include a 1.5 TB HDD with ExpressCache technology (8GB NAND), 4W stereo speakers (2 x 2W), subwoofer, a 2-megapixel webcam and all the connectivity and I/O ports and plugs one could possibly need. 

And now we get to a certain special perk of the Series 7 Gamer: a dial that can switch between four operational modes. 

First off, there's the obvious Gaming Mode, when the gaming keys are highlighted in red on the keyboard, the speakers get a pulsating light of their own (responds to game sounds) and the Windows key and touchpad are disabled. 

Secondly, there is the General Mode, when the laptop lets power-draining parts rest and only uses what's needed for web surfing, Microsoft office work, etc. 

The third is the Quiet Mode, when sound is disabled and even the fan is turned off, to eliminate noise. 

Finally, the fourth mode is Power Saver: only the essential parts of the laptop are running (CPU, memory etc.) 

Samsung's Series 7 Gamer should sell through all major online stores (Amazon, Newegg and the like), for $1,900 / 1 437.76 Euro. The weight is of 8.39 pounds (just under 4 kilos) and the color of the enclosure is black.

Purported iPhone 5 SIM Card Tray Leaked - Photos

Despite everyone eagerly anticipating a completely redesigned iPhone 5, perhaps even boasting tapered edges like the iPod touch or the iPad, a hardware leak suggests this is not the case with Apple’s next-generation smartphone.

The sim card tray purportedly designed for Apple’s new iPhone has been leaked in photos via iPhone part supplier sw-box which sells the small piece of machined metal for 7.69 pounds sterling.

That’s right, machined. Not cast, as you would do with a Liquidmetal part. The images clearly show a SIM card tray that looks virtually identical to the one employed by the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.

Another strange thing about it is that it has no part numbering, meaning it’s likely not commissioned by Apple, but rather crafted by a third-party in accordance with the current specifications.

For all we know, this could well be nothing more than a fabrication by someone who wanted to stir up things in the tech blogosphere, contradicting rumors of a completely redesigned iPhone 5.

However, even if this “leaked” SIM card tray is genuine, this still doesn’t confirm that Apple’s next iPhone looks similar to the current-generation model.

In fact, it has long been argued by pundits and various analysts that Apple simply cannot afford not to innovate in terms of design this time around. A third iPhone boasting an unchanged design would spell death for Apple’s iPhone business until the next major refresh. In other words: not gonna happen.

It could well be that Apple is sticking to the flat-edged form factor, but not necessarily with the rest of the chassis as well. For example, the device iPhone 5 could be half as thick as the current iPhone yet it would still retain enough thickness to house this minute hardware piece. What are your thoughts on this?

New Samsung Galaxy S III Pictures Confirm Android 4.0.4 ICS Onboard

With only a day until the big “Galaxy moment” where Samsung plans to unveil its next-generation Android smartphone, we continue to be teased with new alleged photos of the mysterious device.

Although rumor has it that Samsung will announce more than one device at the launch event, which is set to take place tomorrow, the highlight is surely the long-awaited Galaxy S III device.

The new pictures published by the guys over at SamMobile confirm that the smartphone will run the latest Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, and that the phone’s codename is indeed Samsung GT-I9300.

According to SamMobile, along with the images of the alleged Galaxy S III, also came several details on the phone’s specs sheet.

Unlike other dummy units that were pictured in the wild in the past couple of weeks, this one is said to boast a 12-megapixel rear camera. There’s also a notification LED that is pretty obvious in the picture as well.

The source of these shots claim that the device, which might as well be another dummy unit, is thinner that the Samsung Galaxy S II, which also comes in line with previous rumors on the phone’s specs.

Furthermore, the smartphone has been pictured in Brazil, which leads us to believe this is in fact the same device revealed by the folks over at Gizmodo about two weeks ago. 

There’s more to it as SamMobile’s anonymous source claims Samsung plans to unveil more than one device tomorrow and mentions a certain GT-I9800. We’ve never heard anything about this device, which might be another variant of the Galaxy S III, or a completely new device.

Given the fact that the GT-I9800 codename is too far apart from the already known GT-I9300 (Galaxy S III), it’s likely that the former is a brand new device. Still, anything is possible, so it won’t come as a surprise if the GT-I9800 is the US variant of the Galaxy S III.

SONY Releases First VAIO UltraBook

SONY has just announced the new SONY VAIO T Ultrabook series, on its official website. The new systems are using an aluminum chassis and, surprisingly, are not powered by Intel’s Ivy Bridge, but by plain old Sandy Bridge.

The processor used is the same as the one used by HP in their new Envy 4 Series Sleekbook and Ultrabook.

The Intel Core i3-2367M CPU is a 1400MHz processor that fits into the BAG1023 socket.It has 256 KB of Level 2 cache for each of its two cores and a hefty 3 MB Level 3 cache.

It features an integrated memory controller able to support a maximum of 16 GB of DDR3 memory running at DDR3-1066 or DDR3-1333.

The CPU also comes with integrated HD 3000 graphics that can run at 350 MHz in default mode, or at 1 GHz in Turbo mode.

The maximum operating temperature is 100 degrees Celsius, while the TDP is a modest 17 watts.

The VAIO T is available in 29.4 cm (11.6") or 33.7 cm (13.3") screen sizes with an ordinary resolution of 1366 by 768 pixels. The standard memory configuration is 4 GB DDR3 modules running at 1333 MHz speed while the HDD is a slow 320 GB 5400 rpm model.

There are SSD models that perform better and that come with an improved battery life of about 9 hours.

SONY says there are also 'Hybrid' models available that, using new Intel Smart Response Technology (iSRT), teaming a fast SSD cache with a high-capacity HDD drive, will offer fast boot times plus more storage space.

On the connectivity side, the VAIO T comes with HDMI, VGA and RJ45 network ports plus an SD/MMC media slot.

All the other ordinary and plain features are there: a modest 1.3 MP webcam, the Windows 7 Home Premium OS and the Intel HD 3000 graphics iGPU.

All this weighs approximately 1.6 Kg. That’s a little over three and a half pounds. Pricing has not been made public.

Intel NUC Is a Hand-Sized PC with Laptop Performance

We may have a new product type on our hands, one that could ride the current of the rebounding but still weak worldwide economy. 

If nothing else, the Raspberry Pi credit-card-sized ARM computer has turned on the switch of that light bulb floating above IT players' heads. 

Intel, of all companies, has made a mini computer that, although not as small as the Raspberry Pi, comes close while packing the same performance as a mainstream laptop. 

Called NUC (Next Unit of Computing), the product has the size of a wireless router. 

Indeed, that small package (100 x 100 mm, under 4 x 4 inches) somehow crams together an Intel Core i3/i5 Sandy Bridge / Ivy Bridge dual-core mobile CPU (complete with HD 3000 / eventually 4000 graphics) and dual-channel DDR3 SO-DIMM memory. 

Not only that, but USB 3.0, two mini PCIe headers, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and HDMI with multi-channel HD audio exist as well, plus Thunderbolt, of all things. 

Strangely, we found no mention of storage anywhere, but that isn't too shocking, given that the target market is that of digital signage and kiosks. 

We are pretty sure people will be lobbying to see this in HTPCs too though. After all, Raspberry Pi started out as a tool for students that want to learn programming, but it got media coverage more for its other perks, like the ability to turn any TV into a SMART TV, all for $25. 

We can't tell for sure what will come of this new breed of miniature PC, but the marketing conditions might be perfect for it. The worldwide economy is still struggling, but not as badly as in 2008 and 2009. That means that, unlike back then, people do have some interest in new device ideas. Tablets would have never taken off otherwise. 

That said, if Intel manages to give its NUC a viable price, like $100 / 75.67 Euro, there isn't much reason for super-small systems to stay in limbo.

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