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Jul 26, 2012

TL-WR702N 150Mbps Wireless Nano Pocket Router

If TP-LINK's TL-WR702N isn't the smallest wireless router in the world, it comes really close, as it is very convenient to use and carry around wherever one may travel.

The full name of TP-LINK's latest invention is TL-WR702N 150Mbps Wireless Nano Pocket Router, quite informative even on its own really. Its purpose is to grant wireless Internet access to any Wi-Fi-equipped device out there, whether at home or on the go. The device is more or less square, with each side measuring 2.5 inches in length, or 63.5 mm, while the depth is 0.75 inches / 19.05 mm. Indeed, even credit cards are larger than this thing, which might cause problems in case the router is ever misplaced. Fortunately, it does have that small light that all routers, and most gadgets, seem to have, so unless it's unplugged and hidden somewhere it should be easy to spot even in the dark.

We don't know when sales will start, unfortunately. They may have already started by the time this article is posted, or maybe TP-LINK will hold off for a while. What we do know is the price ($39.99 / 33 Euro) and everything else relevant, thanks to the nice product page located hereFirst off, the router has just two connectors: the 10/100Mbps WAN/LAN Port and the micro USB port used for drawing power out of a PC or USB power adapter. Secondly, the product can function in AP, Router, Bridge, Client and Repeater modes, depending on the behavior of other device on the network. All owners have to make sure is that the TL-WR702N is within range of the gadgets it is supposed to link to the net (tablet computers, smart phones, portable gaming consoles, etc).

Finally, the 150Mbps Wireless N Nano Router supports WEP, WPA/WPA2, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK encryptions and pretty much every IEEE 802.11b/g/n or 2.4GHz Wi-Fi device in existence, with few exceptions. “The TL-WR702N is small enough to put into your pocket and take on the road to share the Internet,” the company says. “When your location only offers a wired network connection, just plug the network cable into the TL-WR702N and enter the default password to enjoy the convenience of wireless networking anywhere.”

TP-LINK TL-WR702N 150Mbps Wireless Nano Pocket Router
Images credits to TP-Link

Motorola MOTOLUXE XT685 Dual-SIM with Android 4.0 ICS Live in China

Motorola Mobility has just announced the immediate availability of the MOTOLUXE XT685 in China. Although this is just a mid-range device, the smartphone will be shipped with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.

Beginning this week, customers in China can purchase the Motorola MOTOLUXE XT685 from authorized resellers across the country for a suggested retail price of 1,999 yuan (315 USD or 260 EUR) outright. Design-wise, this is the same MOTOLUXE handset unveiled back in January at the Consumers Electronics Show, but the Chinese version comes in brown and white color options, while the standard model is currently available in licorice and white color schemes. When it comes to software, MOTOLUXE XT685 is clearly more appealing than the standard variant due to the fact that it runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich platform. The smartphone might also be pre-loaded with Motorola’s MotoSwitch UI, but this has yet to be confirmed. Another selling point of the XT685 smartphone is the WCDMA+GSM dual-mode dual-standby ability, which is almost mandatory in emerging markets, such as China.

The device sports a decent 4.0-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports 480 x 854 pixels resolution, as well as four touch-sensitive controls. According to Motorola, the MOTOLUXE XT685 will be powered by a 1 GHz single core processor, but there are no details on the amount of RAM and internal memory. However, it’s likely that the handset will come with microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB). The mid-range Android phone sets itself apart from other devices in its range thanks to a special lanyard that notifies users when they missed a call or received a message. Last but not least, Motorola MOTOLUXE XT685 is packed with popular apps such as Sina Weibo, Sohu Women and more. There’s also an impressive 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and LED flash, as well as a VGA front facing camera for video calls.

“Motorola is making smartphones that push the boundaries between fashion, technology and computing power. This new, more powerful MOTOLUXE XT685 sets a new standard with its amazing combination of style, power and value,” said Frank Meng, senior vice president and president of Greater China, Motorola Mobility.

Motorola MOTOLUXE XT685
Image credits to Motorola Mobility

BlackBerry Elegance Concept Smartphone with Android

Research In Motion’s BlackBerry smartphones are highly appealing to enthusiasts, especially to those who have been using them for quite some time now.

In fact, some are so attached to these handsets that would want to see them offering the same interface as before, even if RIM decided to adopt another operating system for them. This is why the new BlackBerry Elegance concept device sports a custom user interface loaded on top of Android. Called Berry UI, it would be able to enhance some of the features that Google’s mobile platform has to offer. Coming from Bob Freking (via concept-phones), the handset combines a touchscreen display with a QWERTY keyboard in a portrait form factor, much like Palm’s Pixi smartphones did. However, it does include higher-end specifications, starting with the 3-inch touchscreen display that can deliver a 480 x 640 pixel resolution and 266 ppi density.

The mobile phone also packs a dual-core Snapdragon S4 application processor inside, which should provide users with the same performance capabilities as other Android handsets available on shelves today can deliver. On the back, BlackBerry Elegance would sport an 8-megapixel photo snapper, capable of shooting videos in 1080p resolution. In addition to the aforementioned QWERTY keyboard, the new device would also come with a BlackBerry button on the front. The most intriguing aspect of this concept phone remains the graphical interface that users get to interact with. Upon closer inspection, it would show both a series of elements that can be found today in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, as well as icons, widgets and the like that should be unique to the BlackBerry platform. Overall, the new handset boasts elegant lines and a shape that would certainly make it a great option for business users out there. Other BlackBerry concept phones did the same, though they did not move outside RIM’s mobile OS range.

BlackBerry Elegance concept phone
Image credits to concept-phones

Gran Turismo 5: Academy Edition

Sony and its Polyphony Digital team have presented a brand new version of their hit Gran Turismo 5 racing game, in the form of Gran Turismo 5: Academy Edition, which will be released this September in Europe.

Gran Turismo 5 came out back in 2010 and quickly managed to draw in millions of PlayStation 3 owners to its racing simulation experience. Since then, plenty of add-ons have been released for the title, as well as special editions like the GT 5 Spec II in Japan, or XL Edition in North America, which included some of the DLC packs already launched. Now, Sony is preparing a similar compilation for European PS3 owners, as they’ll soon be able to buy the Gran Turismo 5: Academy Edition. This special bundle celebrates the long-running partnership between the franchise and carmaker Nissan in the GT Academy, which allows players to become real-life racing drivers.

“GT Academy has captured the imagination of many Gran Turismo fans. It is exciting to watch what Lucas Ordóñez, Jordan Tresson, Jann Mardenborough and Bryan Heitkotter in the USA, are achieving in their new racing careers with Nissan,” said the creator of the series, Kazunori Yamauchi. “People can now see that it is possible to make the switch from being a fast gamer to become a real racing driver. We wanted to mark the tremendous success of GT Academy with the very latest version of GT5.”

Besides the actual game, the upcoming bundle comes with an array of downloadable content packs, including different cars and courses, not to mention a special version of the Nissan GT-R race car, which has recently entered the Nurburgring 24 Hour Race. Check out the DLC that will be available as PSN vouchers below:

  • Complete Pack (Car Pack, Course Pack, Special Paint Pack, Racing Gear Pack)
  • Car Pack 2
  • Car Pack 3 and Course Pack 2
  • The Nissan GTR driven in this year’s Nurburgring 24 hour race by Kazunori Yamauchi.

The Gran Turismo 5: Academy Edition is going to appear on September 26 across Europe for just €29.99/£19.99 (around $36).

Gran Turismo 5: Academy Edition
Image credits to Sony

New Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, Multiplayer & Co-Op Modes

Activision and High Moon Studios have posted a brand new video of the multiplayer and cooperative modes included in their upcoming Transformers: Fall of Cybertron title.

High Moon Studios wants to deliver a proper follow-up to the rather impressive War for Cybertron game and, with the upcoming Fall of Cybertron, the developer is trying not just to continue the story but also deliver a top notch multiplayer experience. In order to show off the online modes in Fall of Cybertron, the studio has released, via GameSpot, a special trailer focused on the competitive multiplayer and the cooperative mode.

The multiplayer allows people to customize their own Transformer by buying different parts, ranging from heads, to hands or body pieces. 10 maps are included in the multiplayer and, judging from the footage above, they’re all quite massive. Tranformers: Fall of Cybertron is out on August 21, in North America, and August 24, in Europe, for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 platforms.

Build your own character and battle in 10 multiplayer maps in Transformers: Fall of Cybertron.

Follow Transformers: Fall of Cybertron at GameSpot.com!
Official Site - http://transformersgame.com/
Video credits to Gamespot.com

Sapphire Two AMD Radeon 7970 GHz Vapor-X Edition Cards

Traditional AMD video card partner Sapphire has now decided to add two more Vapor-X Radeon HD 7970 graphics adapters to the company’s custom line of AMD “Tahiti” GHz Edition. The new cards feature more tamed characteristics when compared to Sapphire’s flagship, but they’re nonetheless impressive by themselves.

The most powerful of the two is called Sapphire HD 7970 6GB Vapor-X and comes with a huge amount of GDDR5 memory clocked at 6000 MHz. There are 6 GB of video memory on the card working on a 384-bit BUS. The PCB has 12 layers and features a 10-phase power design that will allow for 1 GHz default GPU working frequency and a 1050 MHz GPU Boost with the standard BIOS. The performance BIOS will up these frequencies to a high 1050 MHz “normal” setting and an 1100 MHz Boost. The card’s high-end target can be easily observed once we notice the Black Diamond Chokes, DirectFET technology and a set of LEDs that display PCB temperature.

The second card launched today is Sapphire HD 7970 3GB Vapor-X Edition and, like the name says, it features the standard 3 GB memory quantity running at default GHz Edition speeds. The Sapphire HD 7970 3GB Vapor-X Edition PCB is only made of 8 layers, but both cards feature the same powerful cooling system, Fudzilla reported. The cooling assembly contains two serious heatpipes with an 8-millimeter diameter and two more heatpipes featuring the “standard” 6-millimeter diameter. We must commend Sapphire for using 8mm heatpipes, as these offer much better cooling performance when compared with the 6mm variety. The heatsink and heatpipes are cooled by two fans with a 90-millimeter diameter.

Sapphire HD 7970 6GB Vapor-X
Images credits to Sapphire

Sapphire HD 7970 3GB Vapor-X
Images credits to Sapphire

Nokia Belle Feature Pack 2 Update, Demo Video Details

Good news for Symbian fans as Nokia will soon launch a new update for Belle operating system. Dubbed Nokia Belle Feature Pack 2, the update will probably be pushed in the following weeks.

Although it’s still a work in progress, a new video that shows off the new features and capabilities of the Nokia Belle Feature Packs 2 update has just been uploaded on YouTube. The short video demos the new lock screen, the new music player and a new keyboard. The guy that uploaded this video claims this is just an early version of the build, so we should not judge the performance and stability yet.

Word is that the first device to receive the update will be Nokia 808 PureView, though the Finnish company has yet to confirm this information. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter. via UnleashThePhones.

Here is a demo of the new keyboard, lockscreen, music player on a development version of Nokia Belle Feature Pack 2. The video has been shared by a kind friend with me. Now we shouldn't judge the performance & stability based on this development version, But I'm sharing this video so that the prospective 808 PureView buyers know that they are getting an update soon.
Post - http://unleashthephones.com/2012/07/26/video-nokia-belle-feature-pack-2-demokeyboard-music-player-lock-screen/
Video credits to alsiladka

Windows 8 Default Wallpaper Emerges

Windows 8, Microsoft’s next-generation operating system, is expected to become commercially available as soon as October 26th, 2012, while being set to hit the RTM status during the first week of August.

The platform will bring along a nice range of improvements when compared to the currently available Windows 8 iterations, including a new default wallpaper, rumor has it. What allegedly would be that very image has just made an appearance online, offering a glimpse at what the desktop in Windows 8 would look like when first accessed. With the Windows 8 RTM flavor approaching fast, it’s no wonder that more info on what the OS could include have started to emerge. There’s no telling on whether the wallpaper will indeed be used as the default on Windows 8 when it becomes available, though more on the matter will certainly emerge in the coming weeks. Coming from techit.co.il, the wallpaper is said to have been extracted from Windows 8 Build 6.2.8888.16384.win8_rtm.120724 1555.

However, it appears that this might not be the build that Microsoft will sign as the RTM flavor of Windows 8, due to a bug that was recently discovered – provided that the translation from Hebrew is accurateInstead, the Redmond-based software giant is expected to release Build 6.2.8888.16385.win8_rtm .120724 1555 in the coming days. The build number falls in line with some other of the latest reports on Microsoft’s plans for Windows 8 RTM, as well as with the path that Windows 7 took towards a final release back in 2009. On October 26th, Microsoft will make Windows 8 available on both old and new hardware, including tablet PCs that are powered by ARM processors. The final flavor of the platform is expected to be launched with a variety of graphical changes when compared to the currently available Release Preview, including the lack of Aero Glass, which has been around since Vista.

Windows 8 alleged default wallpaper
Image credits to techit.co.il

AsRock A55M-DGS AMD FM2 Mainboard, First Windows8 Certification

For those who need a reminder, AsRock motherboard company was founded by ASUS, as the famous mainboard manufacturer was not willing to associate its brand with mid- to low-end products and wanted the ASUS moniker to be associated only with quality and high-end devices.

Thanks to ASUS’ good channel contacts, market clout and influence, AsRock did very good and quickly achieved high sales and has eventually spun-off as an independent company. Now that it is on its own, AsRock no longer limits itself to low- or mid-end products and it also launches quality and expensive devices. AsRock’s new AMD FM2 mainboard is called A55M-DGS and the company claims it is the first Windows8 certified mainboard, but we should know better. We reported here about Biostar’s new AMD FM2 mainboard and the company claimed they were actually the first to receive Microsoft’s WHQL certification from Windows8. Not that it matters much, but it’s quite funny when PR teams make such claims one after another.

AsRock’s new A55M-DGS AMD FM2 mainboard is powered by AMD’s own A55 FCH Hudson-D2 chipset and features two DDR3 DIMM slots able to drive memory faster than 2400 MHz through overclocking. The maximum DRAM capacity supported is 16 GB and the maximum share for the iGPU inside the APU is 512 MB. The mainboard is a mid-end model and only features a single PCIe x16 slot and a classic 32-Bit PCI slot for legacy cards. There are four SATA 2 connectors with support for RAID 0, 1 and 10. The I/O panel provides legacy PS/2 ports for the keyboard and mouse and there is also a classic VGA D-SUB 15 connector along a DVI-D pots, 4 USB 2.0 ports, three HD audio jacks and the RJ45 LAN connector. While there is no official information on pricing yet, AsRock brags about its A55M-DGS being the first Windows8-certified mainboard, and it also has the screenshots to prove the certification.

AsRock A55M-DGS AMD FM2 Windows 8 Certified Mainboard
Images credits to AsRock

Sony LT30p Mint Previewed Ahead of Official Launch

Mobile phone maker Sony is reportedly gearing up for the release of a successor for its Xperia S flagship smartphone, and that device has just got previewed, far before being officially announced.

Featuring model number Sony LT30p Mint, the handset was already spotted on the web before, courtesy of a series of leaks and benchmarking results, but no specific info on what it would look like or have to offer has emerged before. Today, however, we can have a better look at the smartphone, courtesy of a full preview of the handset that emerged over at Mobile-reviewAlthough expected to replace the Xperia S, the new handset shows few design similarities with the currently available smartphone. Fitting nicely in the user’s hand, the phone sports a new front appearance, with only the on-screen buttons loaded on it, along with the earpiece, front camera and the usual sensors placed above the touchscreen display.

The phone features power, volume and camera keys on the right side, all placed on the bottom half, for easier use with a single hand. The back camera boasts 13 megapixels, with LED flash, most probably with support for full HD video recording. The handset is powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, that should further enhance its camera features. The phone’s screen measures 4.3 inches and can boast a 1280 x 720 HD resolution. Beneath it, Sony hid a Qualcomm MSM8960 dual-core chip, complemented by 1GB of RAM.

Sony LT30p Mint will land on shelves with support for micro-SIM cards, as well as for MicroSD memory cards. The phone will also pack WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, along with a micro-USB port, and support for USB-host mode. According to the news site, the new Android smartphone is expected to make an official appearance on the market in the third quarter of the year, though no specific info on its landing has been provided so far.

Sony LT30p Mint
Image credits to mobile-review

Sony LT30p Mint next to Galaxy S III
Image credits to mobile-review

AMD Athlon II X4 for Socket FM2

It looks like Advanced Micro Devices won't be sacrificing every product brand this year, as the Athlon II series of CPUs will live on, even gaining socket FM2 members.

The folks at CPU World have discovered three Athlon II X4 central processing units that will be compatible with the FM2 socket. We'd be lying if we didn't say this was at least a minor surprise. After hearing that the Phenom II line won't last the year, we were worried the Athlon II brand would suffer some untimely demise as well. Then again, Phenom II was a high-end desktop line, and AMD doesn't expect, or intend, to compete with Intel there for a while. As such, letting the brand die until they have the technology to revive it, if ever, actually makes a morbid kind of sense. At any rate, the Athlon II brand will continue from the FM1 platform into FM2, and we know of three models at the moment: Athlon II X4 730, 740 and 750K.

All of them are based on Piledriver and have four cores and L2 cache of 4 MB. The thermal design power and clock speeds are different though. The Athlon II X4 730, as the slowest, works at 2.8 GHz and needs 65 W of power. The Athlon II X4 740 is faster, at 3.2 GHz, but makes do with the same amount of energy. As for the Athlon II X4 750K, it is a 3.4 GHz quad-core chip with a power requirement of 100 Watts. There is no precise word on whether or not the Athlons will have integrated GPUs, but probability leans towards a “no.” The Athlon II with “Llano” cores had their on-chip GPUs disabled after all.

On the flip side, the processors could possess Turbo Core Technology. We'll have to wait for their launch for the confirmation and higher frequencies though, or lack thereof. Alas, the ETA is just as unknown, as is the answer to the question if the chips will be available through retail or just to PC OEMs.

AMD Athlon II X4 logo
Image credits to AMD

HIS Radeon HD 7750 iCooler Low Profile Graphics Card

AMD recently took the clock speed of the Radeon HD 7750 graphics card from 800 MHz to 900 MHz, but HIS decided to tone it back down when it made the Radeon HD 7750 iCooler low-profile. 

Advanced Micro Devices recently improved the base clock speeds of many Radeon HD 7000 graphics adapters, in order to better face off against NVIDIA's GeForce 600 line. That is to say 1 GHz editions of the stronger boards were presented, and even the HD 7750 was taken from 800 MHz to 900 MHz, as we mentioned above. The reason HIS tuned the clock back this once is that the Radeon HD 7750 iCooler low-profile, being half-sized, has a smaller cooler and, thus, a reduced ability to dissipate heat. The half-height PCB (printed circuit board) allows buyers to place the item inside small form factor cases, like those used by HTPCs (home-theater personal computers). Granted, the adapter comes with a standard, full-size bracket, but low-profile brackets are included in the shipment as well, so there are no problems on that end. That said, the cooler has two 40 mm fans that dissipate the heat drawn out of the GPU, VRM and memory chips by the monolithic aluminum heatsink.

During normal operation and even more graphically intensive tasks, there should be absolutely no danger of overheating or for the noise to go above 28 dBA. As for the other specs, they are as follows: 1 GB of GDDR5 VRAM at 1,125 MHz (4.50 GHz effective), a memory interface of 128 bits and maximum resolutions of 2,560 x 1,600 (Dual-link DVI) and 2,048 x 1,536 (VGA) per display. Indeed, the small card has, in addition to HDMI 1.4a, dual-link DVI and D-Sub outputs. HIS did not provide a price, but the regular iCooler card ships for $109.99 in the US and 101.53 Euro in Europe. The low profile version should only cost a bit more.

HIS Radeon HD 7750 iCooler low profile
Image credits to HIS

BlackBerry 10 with Native Picture Editor App [Video]

One of the appealing features that Research In Motion is expected to include inside the upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system is a native Picture Editor, info on which has just emerged online.

Apparently, the application will take advantage of the Scalado technology, while resembling a lot the editing features that users can enjoy now in Instagram. Courtesy of a series of leaked slides and the video embedded above, available via N4BB, we can now have a look at what the software will look like.

Through the BlackBerry 10 Picture Editor, users will be able to add various filters to their photos, among others. The best part, of course, is the fact that all these will be available for free, since the application comes from RIM themselves, and not from a third-party developer.

We all know RIM has been working on numerous different things for BlackBerry 10. Now, we're getting a hands on look at some of their plans for photo editing on the BlackBerry PlayBook and eventually, BlackBerry 10. BlackBerry devices have never really been know for their photo editing skills. Sure, there are a lot of apps out that are great but RIM truly needs a great built-in solution and as show in the above video -- they seem all too aware of that. As such, they're building a great solution for it. 
Video credits to CrackBerry.com

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