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Sep 3, 2012

Intel Five New Mobile Processors

In a surprising move, the world’s largest PC processor manufacturer, American company Intel is launching today five new mobile processors that replace some models launched just this Spring.  Apparently the company is preparing for the AMD Trinity attack that will follow after the Windows 8 launch.

The top three performing CPUs are replacing the Core i7-3720QM, i7-3820QM and i7-3920XM Extreme models that have been just launched in April of this year. The new models are called Core i7-3740QM, i7-3840QM and Core i7-3940XM Extreme and come with higher working frequencies and different prices, CPU-World reports.

On the low end, Intel comes with two “new” Sandy Bridge based Celerons, but you can find all the necessary information in the table below. Today is day that that Intel has also launched 16 new desktop processors. So make sure you check those out right here.

Intel Core i7 Marketing Shot
Image credits to Intel

Intel New Mobile Processors Launched in September 2012
Image credits to CPU-World

Lenovo IdeaPad Z Series is 25% Slimmer Than Standard Notebooks

Chinese company Lenovo was apparently on a product launch spree at this year’s IFA event in Berlin, Germany. With the new Z series that have just been announced, the company is trying to offer a powerful mobile computing station in a modestly-sized package.

The new product line is officially called Z series and the company claims that the members of this line are overall 25% slimmer than a standard notebook while bringing the same amount of performance and features. The first member of the new Z series is the Lenovo IdeaPad Z500. It comes with a 15.6” LED backlit screen sporting a standard 1366 by 768 pixel resolution and a normal tray-loading DVD Writer along with nice stereo speakers with Dolby Home Theatre v4 audio certification. The Z400 has the same features as its bigger brother but sports a more modest 14” screen with the same characteristics and resolution. When talking about slimness, Lenovo compares the new Z series with older G series notebooks that were on average 32 to 36 millimeters thick. That clears things up and makes the new Z series considerably less impressive.

The Z500 is officially 25.4 millimeters (1”) thick, while the smaller Z400 is actually thicker, measuring 26 millimeters (1.02”). Lenovo offers a rich color scheme where the buyers can opt for a blue, brown, pink or silver colored lid. All notebooks come with a 720p front facing webcam and a OneKey Recovery system. The 3D side is serviced by a rather modest Nvidia GeForce GT 645M video card coming with 2 GB of dedicated video memory, while the storage side can support hard drives up to 1 TB. The IdeaPad Z400 will become available in November, 2012, starting at $550 (€437) while the IdeaPad Z500 will be available starting with September, 2012, priced at apparently the same $550 (€437).

Lenovo New Z Series Slim Powerful Notebooks featuring Intel Ivy Bridge and Nvidia Kepler
Images credits to Lenovo

Nokia Lumia 920 Pack Wireless Charging and 32GB Memory

While we already know that Nokia is getting ready to unveil to the world two Windows Phone 8 devices as soon as this week, we still don’t have an official confirmation on the matter.

However, following the emergence of photos with the two mobile phones, supposedly Lumia 820 and Lumia 920, some more info on the latter has leaked online, enabling us to make a better idea on the device. Expected to become available for purchase as Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone 8 smartphone, the Lumia 920 is now said to be en-route to shelves with wireless charging capabilities inside. The smartphone will arrive on shelves with a magnetic strip hidden in the back, providing the capability to charge the device wirelessly. Moreover, the guys over at The Verge suggest that the phone will include support for the Qi wireless power standard, which will make it compatible with other wireless charging products. Lumia 920 was also rumored to hit shelves with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor inside, as well as with 1GB of RAM.

Additionally, it should feature 32GB of internal memory, though info on a possible microSD memory card slot hasn’t been provided as of yet. The phone was confirmed with a 4.5-inch HD touchscreen display on the front, as well as with an 8-megapixel PureView photo snapper on the back. A 1.3-megapixel camera will be present on the phone’s front. Although of only 8-megapixel, the Lumia 920 should still provide a great imaging experience courtesy of the PureView technology packed inside it, the news site notes. Nokia and Microsoft have already announced plans to unveil Windows Phone 8-related products on Wednesday, and Lumia 920 is expected to make its official debut on that day.

However, the smartphone might not arrive on shelves until later this year, most probably being set for an October or November release. Stay tuned for more info on the matter.

Nokia Lumia 920
Image credits to @evleaks on Twitter

Samsung's First Windows Phone 8 Handset, Samsung ATIV S

Last week, South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung unveiled to the world its first handset powered by Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 platform, the Samsung ATIV S.

Packing the latest technology inside, the new smartphone is expected to provide users with all they want from a handset, both software and hardware-wise. Samsung ATIV S was designed with a thin 8.7mm brushed aluminum body and with an impressive 4.8” HD Super AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 2 coating. The phone’s internals were meant to impress as well, starting with the 1.5 GHz dual-core application processor that is complemented by 1GB of RAM. The new mobile phone will be released in two capacities, namely 16GB and 32GB, and will also enable users to add more storage via a microSD memory card slot. The new Windows Phone 8 smartphone includes an 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back, most probably with support for full HD video recording, and a 1.9MP camera on the front for making video calls.

Despite its large touchscreen, the phone feels light and easy to use, courtesy both of its thinness and of its bezel, designed as an oblong hemisphere. Microsoft’s Ben Rudolph explains that the bezel “bulges out slightly, then tapers more acutely to the back. This makes the ATIV extremely comfortable to hold and keeps your fingers off the screen when it’s in your hand.” The handset comes with some other small features aimed at impressing, such as a raised physical Windows button and aluminum speaker bar and buttons.

Samsung ATIV S is powered by a 2300mAh battery, expected to provide users with increased usage times. Running under Microsoft’s new mobile operating system, the ATIV S should be able to provide users with a great experience. No specific info on when the new mobile phone should arrive on shelves has been provided for the time being, or on its pricing. However, we should expect for all of these details to be announced in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Samsung ATIV S
Images credits to Microsoft

Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 Important Events on September and October

It actually all started early last month, when Microsoft announced the RTM of Windows 8 and plans to make the platform officially available for purchase starting with October 26th, but Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 will remain in the spotlight for two more months.

In September, for example, we should expect for a variety of Windows Phone 8-related events to take place, including new launches from Nokia and HTC. In fact, the two handset vendors were already rumored to plan the launch of new devices in the coming weeks, with the Finnish phone maker being expected to make the move as soon as this week, on September 5th. Following the unveiling of Nokia’s new Lumia phones, we should see HTC making its first Windows Phone 8 devices official later this month, either in mid or in late September. October is also expected to keep users’ attention on Microsoft’s two new operating system releases, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley notes in a recent article.

Not only is the Redmond-based giant set to make Windows 8 officially available on October 26th, but it also plans a launch event for the OS for October 25th. The event, set to take place in New York City, is also said to feature the Surface RT tablet. Both the platform and the device are expected to become available at midnight, just after the event. While no official confirmation on the matter has been provided as of yet, Windows Phone 8 is expected to be officially launched on October 29th, in San Francisco or in Los Angeles. This is said to be the consumer launch of the platform, followed by the availability of the first Windows Phone 8 devices one or two weeks later.

Starting with October 30, Microsoft will host the Build 2012 conference at its own headquarters in Redmond, an event that will once again focus on Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. However, other products from the company will also be discussed at the developer event, including Windows Azure, Xbox and more.

Windows 8 logo
Image credits to Microsoft

Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 and GTX 660 Launch Date

California-headquartered GPU and mobile CPU design company, American corporation Nvidia is working hard to get out the door its own alternatives to AMD’s Radeon HD 78xx series and HD 77xx series.

Nvidia is obviously catastrophically late to the market with these solutions, but we’re glad it is finally here, as this way it will force AMD into a price decrease. As we all know, the GTX 650 video cards will be powered by the GK107 Kepler-based GPU that we know from the GT 640 video cards. The GTX 660 will use the novel GK106 chip that we reported here.

The GK107 has 384 CUDA cores and benefits from GDDR5 memory on the GTX 650 cards, while the GK106 reportedly has 960 CUDA cores active with some of them deactivated by the maker. The launch will reportedly take place on September 12, 2012, but you can already check out initial infos here, 3D-Center reports.

Nvidia GTX 650 Video Card
Image credits to vga.it168

Intel to Confuse Buyers with 16 New Desktop CPUs

Most of us knew that a Core i5-2xxx processor was using 32nm manufacturing technology and the Sandy Bridge silicon, while the Core i5-3xxx models were designated to 22nm chips using the Ivy Bridge silicon.

Just like with the Core i7 and Core i5 switcheroo, Intel today is trying to make buyers mistake Sandy Bridge CPUs for Ivy Bridge processors, naming the former using the Core i5-3xxx pattern. Back in the days of the LGA1366 socket, many were lead to believe that the Core i7 naming scheme was only reserved for top-performing CPUs, but then Intel started designating the high-end moniker on mid-end solutions that use LGA1156 socket and it all went downhill from there.

With today’s launch, Intel swamps the market with 16 new models with strange model numbers, CPU-World reports.  Check out the table below for the complete details on the new additions, but keep in mind that all CPUs from the lowest Celeron to the Core i5-3240T are all based on 32nm Sandy Bridge.

Intel Core i7 Marketing Shot
Image credits to Intel

16 New Intel Desktop Processors Launched in September 2012
Image credits to CPU-World\

Strongest AMD Trinity Will Cost As Much As a Low-End Intel Core i3

AMD did tell us that it intended to play to its strength, that being of offering hardware that was as or almost as good as Intel's but for half or a third of the price. We might have just seen a strong piece of evidence to support this claim.

During the meeting at IFA 2012, where we sat down with a couple of representatives and had a talk about Trinity, we were treated to a demonstration of two tablets running the same set of programs in concert. This is something we didn't touch on in our highlights article. One tablet was a Core i5-based model, while the other used an AMD C-60 design with a much lower price. They both performed pretty much the same, and the Core i5 took the lead only when a complicated data document was started, showing Intel's moderate superiority in terms of raw processing. The point AMD wanted to make was that, even at a much lower price, they could offer pretty much the same capabilities.

What we're going to talk of here isn't tablets, but it is related in the way that it shows just how serious AMD is about offering a better price-performance ratio. Everyone who knows even a bit about current goings-on, on the CPU segment, has heard about Intel's Core series at least in passing. They also know that Core i3 are the lowest-end and cheapest of the lot. Online stores usually list the latter, for example a dual-core with 3MB cache and HD2500 (two generations-old) graphics, for $130 / 130 Euro. AMD's Trinity will sell for just as much, and we don't mean the small and entry-level models (A4 and A6). We mean the high-end, quad-core A10.

Retailer BLT lists the A10-series BLK ED 100W FM2 4MB 3800MHz for $131.45, and the 65W FM2 4MB 3400MHz for the same. Below these two are a couple of A8-series ($109.38), an A6-series ($73.59) and the A4 ($59.60). Granted, Intel itself also reduced a few prices recently, pushing low-end chips to $117 / 93-117 Euro, but that's still above the mid-range Trinity. And since we know, for certain, that games like Battlefield 3 run perfectly fine on A10, and probably decently on A8, that's something that should benefit AMD greatly this year and the next.

AMD Trinity APU
Image credits to AMD

BlackBerry 10 UI Photos Emerge

Canadian mobile phone maker Research In Motion is moving closer to the release of its next-generation mobile operating system, the BlackBerry 10, which can now be admired in a new set of leaked photos.

Available courtesy of BlackBerryItalia, these images reportedly show the upcoming platform in all of its glory, although they have been Photoshopped a little. The tweaking was made only for privacy purposes, it seems, so as to remove serial numbers and bar codes. The looks of the OS, however, were not altered. The first image to the left shows, among other applications that have already been seen on BlackBerry smartphones and on the PlayBook, a Skype app, which is new to the OS. However, some suggest that the icon emerged there is coming from Android, though there’s no official confirmation on it. At the same time, the photo shows that BlackBerry 10 devices might arrive on shelves with AT&T apps loaded on them, the same as the PlayBook beta did.

As CrackBerry notes, there is a page number indicator at the bottom of the screen, along with quick launch buttons, meant to prove handy for all users. Two more photos reportedly depicting RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform can be seen attached to this article, although they do not offer too many other details on the OS itself. While these photos seem legit, we should still take them with a grain of salt, especially since they have been modified a bit. The Canadian handset vendor has already confirmed that it is on track for the launch of the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones in the first quarter of the next year, and confirmed that at least six such devices would hit shelves.

Among them, we will see both full-touch smartphones, as well as handsets packing a physical QWERTY keyboard. Rumor has it that R044 BlackBerry Nevada, R061 BlackBerry Colt, R064 BlackBerry Wynton, R072 BlackBerry London, R084 BlackBerry Nashville, R085 BlackBerry Naples, and R086 BlackBerry Liverpool will be some of RIM’s first BB10s.

BlackBerry 10
Images credits to BlackberryItalia

AMD FX-8350 Vishera 8-Core vs FX-8150 Bulldozer Benchmark

Late last month (August 2012), we reported that the specifications of the AMD FX-8350 Vishera processor had been discovered. Now we are bringing you the results of a benchmark test conducted on the chip, in comparison to its predecessor, the FX-8150 Bulldozer.

The folks at OBR-Hardware are the ones that managed to pit the two 8-core units against one another, and they were quite thorough in their tests. Cinebench R20 x64, Cinebench R11.5 x64, Fritz Chess, SuperPi 1M, x264 Benchmark – 720p and wPrime 32 are the names of the benchmarking suites. The results vary, but the overall conclusion is that the AMD Vishera has a 10% better multi-threaded performance and 4-5% better single-thread performance. Thus, the Piledriver architecture (which Vishera is based on) does come with some improvements, but they aren't all that legendary. Fortunately, we can find hope in the fact that the Vishera herein tested, being an engineering sample, may be further improved before it reaches retail, even if it already is in the OR-C0 revision, which is bound to ship in its current form.

The system that the processors were tested on used an AM3+ Crosshair V Formula-Z from ASUS, plus a Noctua heatsink, Kingston 2,333 MHz DDR3 RAM (random access memory), the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti graphics card and an Antec PSU. And now, for the specs: the Bulldozer FX-8150 features a clock speed of 3.6 GHz and a Turbo Core frequency of 4.2 GHz, while the FX-8350 Vishera is a 4.0 GHz part with 4.2 GHz Turbo Core. Since both are constructed on the 32nm manufacturing process, the advantage of the latter is, thus, owed solely to the Piledriver architecture. The higher base clock likely helped, but the top maximum speed was still the same, so the benchmarks probably weren't swayed by them much either way.

AMD Vishera vs. Bulldozer benchmarking results
Images credits to OBR-Hardware

AMD FX-8350 CPU on CPU-Z
Image credits to OBR-Hardware

Nokia Windows Phone 8 Device Emerge Again

At least two Windows Phone 8 handsets are expected to make an official appearance this week from Finnish vendor Nokia, and one of them appears to have made it online in a new series of images.

The phone, resembling a lot the Lumia 820 that we’ve seen earlier today, emerged on the web courtesy of Chinese website CoolXAP. The phone didn’t get a name, but some of its specs were unveiled, such as the 335MB of RAM (512MB in total, most probably), and the WVGA (800 x 480 pixels) screen resolution.

By the looks of it, this could turn out to be a low-end smartphone from Nokia, which means that it should be different than the aforementioned Lumia 820. We could presume that it would be a phone resembling the rumored Lumia 610 successor codenamed Glory, though we’ll have to wait for an official confirmation on the matter to learn more on it.

Nokia Windows Phone 8
Images credits to coolxap via liveside

Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 with Windows Phone 8

This week, Nokia’s next-generation Lumia handsets should become official, with at least two new handsets expected to make their official debut at a press event held in New York on Wednesday.

While Nokia hasn’t yet provided an official confirmation on what would be announced at the event, info on the aforementioned new Lumia handsets has started to emerge online. Two new handsets are expected to be officially announced on Wednesday, both of them powered by Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Phone 8 operating system. These devices are said to be aimed at the mid- and high-end segments of the market, thus boasting better specs than previous Lumia phones. First, there’s the Nokia Lumia 820, a mid-range smartphone featuring a 4.3-inch touchscreen display, as Twitter user @evleaks suggests. Details available on this smartphone are scarce and include Carl Zeiss lens on the back, in addition to the aforementioned large touchscreen display.

Nokia Lumia 820 is said to be the same device as the mid-range "Arrow" that leaked recently en-route to AT&T, which is also expected to hit Verizon’s network with the codename of “Atlas” attached to it. The second new Nokia smartphone set to become official this week is the Lumia 920, which emerged courtesy of the same Twitter user. Aimed at the high end of the market, Lumia 920 should sport a 4.5-inch touchscreen display when launched, while featuring a PureView camera (after all, Nokia did confirm the technology for Windows Phone handsets).

Lumia 920 appears to be the same device as the previously leaked dual-core Nokia “Phi” smartphone, but specific info on its hardware capabilities are still shrouded in mystery. You can have a glimpse at these two smartphones courtesy of the photos attached to this article, with Lumia 820 above and Lumia 920 below. More info on both handsets should become available later this week, so keep an eye on this space.

Nokia Lumia 820
Image credits to @evleaks on Twitter

Nokia Lumia 920
Image credits to @evleaks on Twitter

Nokia Testing Windows Phone 7.8-Based Lumia 610 Successor

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia is reportedly working on the release of a new series of handsets in the Lumia range, one of which should be released with the Windows Phone 7.8 platform on board.

The company is expected to unveil Windows Phone 8-powered handsets later this week, and it might also throw into the mix the aforementioned Windows Phone 7.8 device, a successor for the currently available Lumia 610 smartphone. Only a few details related to this device are known at the moment, and nothing has been officially confirmed on the phone’s existence for the time being, but it should not be too long before the leading handset vendor decides to make a formal announcement on this, it seems. Codenamed “Glory,” the new mobile phone is rumored to arrive on shelves with a 4-inch touchscreen display, which will make it a bit bigger than the Lumia 610. The internal circuitry, however, is expected to remain the same as inside the older handset, including the 256MB of RAM that powers it.

Moreover, the upcoming Windows Phone 7.8 smartphone should feature an 800MHz application processor inside, which will indeed make it a low-end handset. The rest of the phone’s hardware specifications are not known yet, but we don’t expect it to include anything impressive. According to a report on The Verge, the new device will not be unveiled this week during Nokia’s press event focused on Windows Phone 8. However, the device could be released in time for the holiday season, although its exact availability date is unknown for the time being. What remains to be seen at this time is how well it will be received once made available, especially since it won’t feature the latest version of Microsoft’s mobile OS. At the aforementioned press event this week, Nokia is expected to make official no less than two Windows Phone 8 handsets, namely the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820. Unlike Glory, they are aimed at the mid- and high-end segments of the market.

Nokia Lumia 610
Image credits to Nokia

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