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Jul 20, 2012

Samsung to Unveil “the Newest GALAXY Device” on August 15

With the launch of the third-generation Galaxy S smartphone, we thought Samsung will be focusing on releasing several mid-range handsets and some tablets until the end of the year.

The 2012 is a busy year for Samsung who recently took Nokia's crown as the world's most prolific handset maker. The South Korean company faced overwhelming demand for its Galaxy S III smartphone before it even got into the market. Moreover, Apple continued to sue Samsung in an attempt to stop the South Korean sales in many regions. Some actions were successful, but many other failed. Last but not least, Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean launch put Samsung in an awkward position due to the fact that the company has yet to update some of its devices to Ice Cream Sandwich. We expect Samsung to come forward with an official statement and confirm which devices will received Google's latest Jelly Bean upgrade and when exactly this is going to happen.

However, all these actions won't prevent Samsung launch new, powerful devices in following months. One such device will be announced next month in the United States. According to Engadget, there's a new Samsung Galaxy event set for August 15 and all the media is invited to take part at the unveiling of a new devices. Even though the invitation does not reveal any details on the identity of the devices, it's likely that Samsung will announce the Galaxy Note II. Rumor has it that Galaxy Note II will arrive in North America in September, but there are no certain details for the moment. “Please join Samsung Electronics America for a major announcement and unveiling of the newest GALAXY device. An exclusive press conference will take place where full details will be disclosed,” says the invitation.

There's also a slim chance that the South Korean company will introduce a new Galaxy Tab tablet as well, but we don't have any confirmation on this one yet. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

Samsung Galaxy logo
Image credits to Samsung

Sony Xperia SL Confirmed to Arrive with 1.7 GHz Dual-Core CPU

Rumors on an Xperia S follow-up surfaced last week, along with allegedly press photo of the device. However, it appears that the image that leaked last week is fake and that the upcoming Sony Xperia SL will look a bit different.

We’re still looking for more details on the full specs sheet of the Xperia SL, but the latest hearsay claim that the smartphone will be equipped with a powerful 1.7 GHz dual-core processor. The information emerged last week and it’s been confirmed today by an AnTuTu benchmark. Apparently, Sony Xperia SL is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8260 Snapdragon S3, though this has yet to be confirmed by the handset maker.

For the time being, we only have confirmation that the phone’s CPU is clocked at 1.7 GHz, but additional details might leak in the following weeks. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter. via XperiaBlog.

Xperia SL AnTuTu benchmark results screenshot
Image credits to Blog of Mobile

Nokia Drive for Windows Phone Updated with My Commute

Nokia has just announced the availability of an updated flavor of its Nokia Drive application for devices running under Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system.

The application provides users with a great turn-by-turn voice guided navigation experience while on the go, though it is available only for Lumia handsets for the time being. As soon as Windows Phone 8 will arrive on shelves, however, things will change, as Nokia already announced. Drive will be available on other devices as well, which should help the company build momentum for its mapping service, already recognized as a leader internationally. The newest flavor of Nokia Drive, version 3.0, brings new features to Lumia users today, so that they won’t have to wait for the Windows Phone 8 OS to arrive. One of these is My Commute, a recent post on Nokia Conversations reads. “Nokia Drive with My Commute learns your driving preferences and uses information about the latest traffic conditions to help you choose between the different routes you usually take to get to the places you travel most,” said post explains.

“It even remembers when you usually leave, providing traffic updates along your route so you’ll know in advance whether there are delays or if you have time to stop by that new cafĂ© on your way home.”  The new feature will arrive on devices only in select markets, based on the available traffic data. The first country where the feature is being launched is the United States. Nokia Drive also brings along automatic adjustment for the Nokia Lumia display, so that users can benefit from great viewing during day or night driving conditions. Moreover, the app also provides users with the possibility to pin to start their favorite destinations, so as to be able to access them with a single tap.

“This was one of the most requested features of Nokia Drive and we are happy to have implemented it in this update. We think this one of the best examples how to use the Windows Phone tiles: one tap on the start screen and you are all set to drive to your destination,” the aforementioned blog post continues. The Nokia Drive application is available for the owners of Nokia Lumia 610, Nokia Lumia 710, Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 900 handsets. It can be found in the Windows Phone Marketplace for free (though the latest update might take a few days to emerge there).

Nokia Drive
Image credits to Nokia

How Nokia Drive can make your commute even easier
Video credits to Nokia

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Arrives on HTC EVO 4G LTE via CyanogenMod 10

Sprint’s latest addition to its LTE portfolio, the HTC EVO 4G LTE is powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich platform integrated with HTC Sense 4.0 user interface.

Although today the Taiwanese company confirmed plans to deliver Android 4.1 Jelly Bean updates for the One XL, One X and One S, many other powerful HTC phones have yet to be scheduled for this upgrade. However, until HTC decides which handsets are eligible for Google’s latest Jelly Bean operating system, we can always try out unofficial ROMs that get released online.

One of the first Android 4.1 Jelly Bean ROMs for the HTC EVO 4G LTE has just been released by XDA forum user Mazda. Based on CyangogenMod 10, this unofficial ROMs has a few features that do not work yet, such as camera, 4G , Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO, stock Browser. For more details on how to flash this custom Android 4.1 Jelly Bean ROM for HTC EVO 4G LTE, head over to the original thread.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for HTC EVO 4G LTE screenshots
Image credits to XDA Developers

Samsung Galaxy Note II GT-N7100 Spotted with 1.6GHz Quad-Core CPU

Samsung is getting ready to bring to the market a successor to its large Galaxy Note smartphone, and the device has just made an appearance on the GLBenchmark website.

According to the info available there, the phone should hit the market with a quad-core CPU inside clocked in at 1.6GHz, a bit higher than that of Galaxy S III, although it is the same Exynos 4412 chip. The smartphone will also arrive with Mali-400 graphics inside, the same as the current flagship Android device from Samsung.

The listing also confirms that the handset will pack a screen boasting a 1280x720 pixel resolution, and that it will run under Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (though Samsung might actually load Jelly Bean on it). As reported by PhoneArena, Galaxy Note II features model number GT-N7100, in line with its predecessor, which is GT-N7000.

Galaxy Note II GT-N7100 GLBenchmark result
Image credits to GLBenchmark

MSI CX61 and CR61 15.6-inch Multimedia Laptops

Micro-Star International posted a nice and long press release in which it details the CX61 and CR61 multimedia laptops.

Both products have the same specs, including the screen size of 15.6 inches, with one exception: the CX61 has an advantage in terms of graphics. While CR61 has to settle for the integrated GPU in the third-generation Core i-Series CPU, the CX61 has an NVIDIA GeForce GT640M or GT630M as well (with 2 GB VRAM).

That said, the other relevant hardware is as follows: HD LCD (1,36 6 x 768 pixels), 2.5-inch SATA HDD (500/640/720 GB), up to 8 GB DDR3 RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, DVD Super multi optical drive, two 2W speakers, a 5-in-1 card reader, HDMI, D-Sub, USB 3.0 (2 ports) and USB 2.0 (1 port). Go here to read all about them (skim down to the end if it's just the raw specs you're looking for).

MSI CX61 and CR61
Images credits to MSI

Intel Core i3-2328M CPU

No differently from how a Biostar PC spec sheet revealed the AMD A4-3450 APU, Fujitsu and Toshiba have released specification information that contains data on an Intel chip.

The laptops in question are Toshiba C850-B121, Satellite L850-B257 l and Fujitsu LifeBook AH531 / E752 (PDF file) / S752. The processor is called Core i3-2328M and is a Sandy Bridge CPU instead of an Ivy Bridge. It should still prove quite capable though, with its two cores working at 2.2 GHz (100 MHz better than Core i3-2308M).

Speaking of which, the chip has 3 MB of L3 cache memory, HD 3000 integrated graphics, DDR3-1333 memory support, 650 MHz GPU frequency and a TDP of 35W. Unfortunately, we don't know when the CPU will be launched any more than CPU World does. Guesswork points at September, but we could be wrong.

Intel Core i3 logoImage credits to Intel

Microsoft Office 2013 to RTM in November, General Availability in February 2013

Microsoft is expected to make its newly unveiled Office 2013 productivity suite available for purchase starting with February 2013, recent reports suggest.

The Redmond-based software giant has made available for download a preview flavor of Office 2013 on Monday, and it is expected to announce further details on the application’s availability in the coming months. According to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, the company is on track to release the software to manufacturers as soon as November this year, and is gearing up for general availability starting with the second month of next year. In November, Microsoft is expected to release to manufacturing all flavors of Office, including Office client, server and services products. Some previous rumors suggested that the Redmond-based software giant might have actually delayed the release of the product to May 2013, but it seems that this is not the case. However, Mary Jo Foley notes that there might be some enhancements headed to Office 2013 during that month, although specific info on what they might include was not made available.

One other interesting aspect that needs to be brought in the spotlight is that Windows RT devices will arrive on shelves starting with October this year, and that they will sport Office 2013 preloaded. However, it appears that only the preview flavor of the application will be available for users at that time, since the RTM will land only one month later. Microsoft confirmed Office to be part of its Windows RT offering, and also showed it loaded on its own such devices, the Surface tablets. Office 2013, or office 15, as it is known internally, was unveiled to the world with a brand new user interface on top of various performance and functionality enhancements.

The productivity suite was redesigned to fit the upcoming Windows 8 platform, which should reach its commercial availability status on October 26th this year. Microsoft even said that Office 2013 would be at its best on Windows 8 devices.

Microsoft Office 2013
Image credits to Microsoft

GeIL Evo Corsa DDR3-2666 Gaming Memory

Memory company Geil has just expanded its gaming memory series with two new sets of DDR3 modules belonging to the "Evo Corsa" line. The Taiwanese company says it has colored the heatsinks of its new DIMMs in “acid green” as a reference to the famous race track “Nurburgring,” that has been called the “Green Hell.”

Geil is, in fact, short for Golden Emperor Int'l Ltd. and the company has always maintained an image of mid to high-end manufacturing. The new additions to the “Evo Corsa” series work at 2400 MHz and 2666 MHz.

The 2400 MHz versions come in 4, 8 and 16GB pairs while the 2666 MHz model is only available as a 16GB pair with 11-13-13-32 latencies and the standard 1.65V voltage. The 2400 MHz series come in six different combinations of 4 GB (2 GB x 2), 8 GB (4 GB x 2) and 16 GB (8 GB x 2).

Geil Evo Corsa DDR3 Memory
Images credits to GeIL

EVGA Mini-ITX Z77 Motherboard

The Z77 chipset isn't something meant for small form factor PCs, but that isn't stopping EVGA from preparing a miniature motherboard based on it.

In true preview fashion, the company decided not to actually say or write anything about the specifications when it released the photos, besides the form factor and chipset. That means that all we have to go on are what the purposely blurry pictures can show us. It's not a lot, but it should be sufficient until the company gets around to selling it. The mini-ITX motherboard, as a Z77 platform, will allow even the fastest LGA 1155 central processing units to work. That includes the best Ivy Bridge CPUs (Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7).  Two SATA 6 Gbps ports are visible through the haze, along with six USB 3.0 ports, mini PCI Express and a Clear CMOS onboard button. What's more, EVGA has added Bluetooth, HDMI and a mini-DisplayPort output.

All in all, this is a very small mainboard which, somehow, packs all of the most relevant overclocking features people could wish for. Enthusiasts probably won't look in its direction much, since they normally have enough money for one of those oversized beasts, like the EVGA Z77 FTW and ASRock's Z77 OC Formula. Still, if there are people who want to just play around with CPUs, memory or video cards, this new critter will do just fine.

Furthermore, due to its size, the EVGA mini-ITX Z77 model will be a good fit for gaming gatherings. Laptops may be the “mobile” computers of today, but there are many gamers who attend so-called LAN parties where they bring their desktops along. A mini-ITX motherboard with no actual limitations is just right for such a job, since it makes desktops much smaller and easy to move around.

EVGA mini-ITX Z77 motherboard
Images credits to EVGA

Samsung Galaxy S II i9100 Gets Unofficial Android 4.1 Jelly Bean ROM

It’s been only a few weeks since Google officially announced Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system and only one handset maker confirmed it would update some of its devices to the latest version of the mobile platform.

Taiwanese handset manufacturer HTC has just confirmed an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean upgrade will be available for One XL, One X and One S smartphones in the near future. Google also revealed plans to update the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S and Motorola XOOM to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but there are no exact release dates available yet. Samsung has yet to offer more details on its Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update schedule, though we can safely assume that Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note will be among the first to receive this upgrade in the following months. Until more handset makers confirm Jelly Bean updates for their devices, Android enthusiasts and tech-savvy can already try the first custom ROMs, which continue to be released by various developers. Shortly after folks at XDA Developers released one of the first unofficial Android 4.1 Jelly Bean ROMs for Samsung Galaxy S II i9100G, the i9100 model joins the frail.

XDA forums user kalgecin managed to cook a Jelly Bean ROM that boots smoothly on the Samsung Galaxy S II (i9100). Although this is just an alpha build, we can be sure that the developer will continue to work on ironing out all the features that are not working yet. For the time being, it has been confirmed that the Jelly Bean ROM for Galaxy S II (i9100) boots without any troubles and that the GSM and mobile data are fully functional as well. The Bluetooth works as well, but it might reconnect sometimes. Unfortunately, the list of things that are not working yet is a bit larger: sound, Wi-Fi, 3G, camera, H/W accelerator, ADB debugging doesn’t start automatically if switched on with cable plugged in.

For more details on how to download and install one of the first Android 4.1 Jelly Bean ROMs for Samsung Galaxy S II (i9100), check out the original thread.

Samsung Galaxy S II
Image credits to Samsung

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