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Sep 24, 2012

Casio Elixim EX-H50 16.1MP 24x Digital Photo Camera

Japanese watch maker Casio has just launched a new compact mega-zoom digital photo camera that comes with various useful features to make a tourist’s life easier. The new model can also film HD movies in 720p mode and sports sensor-shift image stabilizationn.

The official denomination of the new model is Casio Elixim EX-H50 and it features a 1/2.3” CCD sensor. We’d really like all compact cameras to move away from 1 / 2.x” type of sensors and to stick to 1 / 1.1x sensors, but it seems that pennies matter much more than quality or user satisfaction these days.

The new camera can’t film in FullHD, but it features an impressive 24x optical zoom and this is quite an achievement in such a small body and brings some competition to Panasonic’s famous TZ line.

Casio Elixim EX-H50 16.1MP 24x Digital Photo Camera
Images credits to Casio

ASUS F2A85-V Pro FM2 AMD Motherboard

World’s largest motherboard manufacturer, Taiwanese company ASUS has just announced its new F2A85 mainboard series that offer support for AMD’s FM2 Trinity processors. The new boards come with high quality components and a rich bundle of hardware and software technologies.

The “Dual Intelligent Processors 3” and “DIGI+ Power Control” technologies offer significant power consumption reductions while the latter also brings a possible 68% CPU frequency boost along with increased RAM overclocking capability. One important addition is the USB 3.0 Boost that is actually UASP driver support and, besides the marketing talk, this brings real performance and stability improvements to the USB 3.0 system of the mainboard.

The most powerful version is the ASUS F2A85-V PRO that features no less than three PCI-Express x16 slots along with two PCI-Express x1 slots and two classic PCI 32-bit slots. The first two PCIe x16 slots can operate in dual x8 mode, while the third PCIe x16 slot can only have an x4 bandwidth. SATA3, eSATA and USB 3.0 support come on all the motherboards in the F2A85 series, so we can definitely say that ASUS is ready for the Trinity launch coming this October.

ASUS F2A85-V Pro FM2 AMD Motherboard
Images credits to ASUS

Intel NUC Cracked Open

We’ve heavily criticized Intel’s NUC and some readers argued that the system demonstrated back then was not actually a production model. From what we’ve heard, this one is and it’s not much different from the one displayed in spring.

Maybe the most important aspect we must emphasize is the performance of this small device. The 4” by 4” NUC system from Intel is probably the most powerful computer in its class and there’s nobody denying that. Moreover, it comes with the powerful Intel HD 4000 iGPU and, therefore, it provides decent office graphics. On the negative side we must mention the fact that one of the most important aspects for systems of such small size is the noise level and it’s quite a disappointment that the company has not managed to make it a fanless design. On the connectivity side, the NUC has decent options when compared with any desktop system, but the thing is that such a SFF doesn’t have any expansion slots so what you see is what you get. Therefore, Intel should have provided more USB ports and especially USB 3.0 slots, as Thunderbolt is considerably more expensive.

The NUC is not targeting the expensive sector, so fitting Thunderbolt on it makes it even more costly and also forces the user to buy less affordable Thunderbolt peripherals. One other important aspect is the innovation factor, as some other SFF manufacturers have envisioned various usage models for their systems and have fitted them with dual LAN ports or special multi-display options. Intel’s NUC has none of that and it is apparently only trying to compete with standard desktop PCs. On size it will most likely win, but on any other aspect it has no reason to. It has almost no expandability and upgradeability.

It lacks any other features that might make it a good application for a SFF workstation or a network gateway or anything similar. Moreover, it won’t appeal to noise sensitive users, as it missed the opportunity to be fanless. It will also be considerably more expensive than most SFF systems of comparable size. The insides have been revealed by hardware enthusiasts at Legitreviews.com and the CPU is soldered on the PCB, so there is no chance to change it with a more powerful one. The only thing that can be upgraded is the RAM modules, and there are only two miniPCI slots available for something like an mSATA SSD.

Intel NUC SFF Computer System
Images credits to LegitReviews

Camera Samples from Alleged Future Google Nexus (Samsung GT-i9260) Emerge

Google has been long rumored to plan the release of new Nexus smartphones this year to celebrate the launch of Android 5.0, and some more info on the matter has allegedly emerged.

Photos taken with what is said to be the next-generation Google phone are now available online, showing a GT-I9260 model number and an 8-megapixel camera attached to it. This is the same model number that has been spotted recently in a User Agent Profile, and which was said to be designating Samsung’s next Nexus smartphone. A series of details on the handset have been spotted before, confirming the 8MP photo snapper on the back, as well as a 4.65-inch HD display on the front. The aforementioned images that have been reportedly taken with the handset also show that its camera will sport F/2.65 aperture and a 4mm focal length, which could point at the same sensor as the one present in Galaxy S II, GSMArena notes.

Two firmware flavors are listed in the EXIF data attached to the leaked images, namely I9260XXALI5 and I9260XXALI6. Packing 8GB/16GB of internal memory, the handset is also said to be powered by a 1.5GHz application processor and to sport a 2MP camera on the front, along with a microSD memory card slot to allow for storage expansion. Some of the previous rumors on this device suggested that Samsung might be set to release it as Galaxy Premier, yet nothing has been confirmed on the matter for the time being. The smartphone is powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean at the moment, it seems, but it could be launched with a new flavor of Android, provided that Google is indeed getting ready to make the new OS release available before year’s end.

For the time being, we’ll take all the info on this smartphone with a grain of salt, but we’ll keep an eye out for more details on it, so stay tuned.

Samsung GT-I9260 camera samples
Images credits to Picasa via rbmen

Apple iPhone 5 Fully Dismantled on Video

RepairsUniverse has released a teardown video of the iPhone 5 to promote its stock of iPhone 5 replacement parts. Die hard geeks are sure to have a lot of fun watching the 9-minute clip.

Unlike iFixit, which admittedly offers the best teardowns in the tech blogosphere, RepairsUniverse has released not only photos, but a video that acts as an iPhone 5 repair guide. Embedded above, the footage shows the full disassembly of the iPhone 5 with details on how to replace the screen which, according to the repair shop, “is the most common part of the device to get damaged.”

Paul Weatherley founder of RepairsUniverse.com said “It's great that the design of the iPhone 5 makes it easy to repair. Following our free video instructions people will be able to save themselves a lot of money if they ever have the misfortune of damaging their phone.”

http://www.RepairsUniverse.com - RepairsUniverse completely takes apart the Apple iPhone 5 straight from the box. In this free video we take a closer look at replacing the screen, and our iPhone 5 repair video will also assist in other repairs such as replacing the battery, the camera, along with the new charge dock port. 

iPhone 5 replacement parts and repair tools can be found here - http://www.repairsuniverse.com/iphone-5-screen-replacement-repair-parts.html
Video credits to RepairsUniverse

Intel Promises LTE-Enabled Medfield Chip in 2012

Chip maker Intel is working on new flavors of its Medfield processor for mobile devices, including LTE-capable versions of the silicone.

The company claims that it will be able to showcase the first 4G-capable chips before the end of this year, and that they will be included in products in 2013. Intel has been long showing interest in the smartphone market, yet the first handsets powered by its CPUs were made official only in 2012. The latest of these was the Motorola RAZR i, an Android-based handset capable of delivering 2GHz of raw power. The availability of LTE-enabled Medfield processors will help the company gain some more ground on the smartphone market, while also allowing it to storm the Android tablet segment. To ensure its success in this area, the company is also looking for the launch of dual-core versions of the processor, Intel confirmed to TechCrunch. Sumeet Syal, Intel’s director of product marketing confirmed not only the upcoming availability of LTE chips, but also the fact that the company has multi-core CPUs in the pipeline.

He also noted that the hyper threading technology that Intel is using will provide users with increased performance levels even on a smaller number of cores. “You have to take a look at how many instructions per clock can the architecture handle — our belief is that others are throwing cores at the issue in terms of getting more performance,” he said. “We make that determination based on our architecture so we felt very comfortable coming out with a single core dual-threaded for our first product, and as we’re able to get more and more performance in the right implementation of the architecture we believe putting in dual-core would be the right thing for our next generation product,” he continued.

The company is also likely to look into application compatibility issues that currently prevent some software in the Google Play Store to be installed on devices powered by its chips.

Motorola RAZR i
Image credits to Motorola

MSI MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt, Intel Z77 Mainboard with THX TruStudioPro Sound

Well-known mainboard manufacturer, Taiwanese company MSI has just announced a new Intel Z77 motherboard that comes with Intel’s own Thunderbolt controller. The new device also comes with SLI and CrossFire certification from AMD and Nvidia.

The new product is officially named Z77A-G45 and is THX-certified, as it comes with 7.1 TruSoundPro audio channels. On the video side, the Z77A-G45 comes with support for three different displays with a HDMI connector, a D-Sub 15 output and a mini-DisplayPort. The new motherboard comes with three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 ports with the usual Ivy Bridge configuration, where only the first slot can function with the full x16 bandwidth, while the rest are configurable. On the backside I/O bracket, the Z77A-G45 from MSI comes with a combo PS/2 keyboard/mouse port, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 connectors, 6 HD audio jacks, a single Thunderbolt port, an RCA and an optical audio connector along with the already mentioned D-Sub 15, HDMI and mini-DisplayPort connectors.

MSI’s marketing department has come up with some interesting numbers for describing the motherboard’s Thunderbolt capability. “Data transfers for backup, sharing, and editing are faster with Thunderbolt technology, significantly reducing times to complete these tasks. Running at 10 Gbps, Thunderbolt™ technology on the MSI Z77A-G45 Thunderbolt can transfer a full-length HD video in less than 30 seconds and backup 1 year (!!!) of continuous audio playback in just over 10 minutes.”  While this is mainly marketing talk and the USB 3.0 ports on the mainboard are just as impressive as the Thunderbolt connector without coming with the likely $40 price premium that this technology brings, we can appreciate the good overall quality of the device. Pricing information has not been made available at the moment, but you can calculate it for yourself by adding around $40 to an existing MSI model with similar characteristics and lacking the Thunderbolt port.

MSI Z77A-G45 LGA1155 Motherboard with Thunderbolt connectivity
Images credits to MSI

HTC Rumored 5-Inch Phablet to Become Nexus 5

HTC is said to be hard at work with the development of a new Android-based smartphone, one that would sport a 5-inch screen and that would be able to compete against Samsung’s Galaxy Note range of devices.

The handset made it to the headlines a few times before, being rumored to land at Verizon in the US, but nothing has been officially confirmed on it for the time being. A new rumor suggests that the phablet could be set to become Google Nexus 5, after being said to be named DROID Incredible X or One X 5 before.

With a full HD screen, a 12MP camera on the back, 64GB of internal memory, a 2,500mAh battery and LTE connectivity, it will certainly prove a great device for anyone, provided that it will indeed be released as the next Google phone out there.

HTC rumored 5-inch phablet
Image credits to TechOrz

Intel Tests Pentium CPUs Against AMD Trinity

Intel has just launched two new Pentium processors. If you were wondering about the performance of these new chips, Intel has prepared a marketing-based performance chart in its own sales kit.

The company has decided to test its new CPUs against older, Sandy Bridge-based processors and against AMD’s Trinity. The problem with Intel’s choice of benchmarks is the fact that the software suite is officially Intel-optimized and clearly can’t scale correctly on AMD’s hardware. The difference between a 1.6 GHz dual-core Trinity and a 1.7 GHz quad-core Trinity is less than 50%, according to Intel’s marketing. We have a hard time believing that doubling the cores, quadrupling the L2 cache, increasing the base frequency by 100 MHz and the Turbo frequency by a whole 600 MHz will result in less than a 100% performance jump. We’re talking about the results that show an AMD A6 dual-core clocked at 1600 MHz and featuring 1MB of L2 cache being just 30% slower than an AMD A8 quad-core Trinity clocked at 1700 MHz and sporting 4MB of L2 cache, CPU-World reports.

An IPC difference between Intel’s Ivy Bridge-based cores and AMD’s Trinity is to be expected and it will be in Intel’s favor when a single core is compared. When comparing a Trinity quad-core with an Intel Pentium dual-core, it’s likely impossible that the dual-core will manifest higher performance while running at comparable frequencies. This is a simple marketing chart and we believe we should wait until real test numbers will surface on the internet rather than making a quick and subjective judgment based only on Intel’s sales material.

Intel Core i7 Marketing Shot
Image credits to Intel

Intel Pentium 987 and Pentium 2117U Performance Marketing Charts
Image credits to CPU-World

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