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Sep 27, 2012

Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 Launched in Australia

On Thursday, Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia unveiled plans to have its newly announced Windows Phone 8-based Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 available for purchase in Australia through various wireless carriers and retailers in the country.

The company confirmed that the flagship Lumia 920 would be released on Telstra’s network, and that Vodafone and Optus would add the new Lumia 820 to their offerings. Both Windows Phone 8 handsets would be made available for purchase through various retailers in the country, the handset vendor also announced. "Operators and retailers are throwing their weight behind our new Nokia Lumia smartphones and we appreciate their continued support,” Nokia Australia's Managing Director, Steve Lewis, said. "So many consumers and businesses have already made the switch to Nokia Lumia and with the new range, we believe many more will follow suit. The industry tide is turning and that's good news for us, Microsoft and our partners.” Telstra’s users will be able to enjoy the capabilities of Lumia 920 on the wireless carrier’s 4G LTE network. They will benefit from leading camera capabilities, along with great performance levels, courtesy of the included 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor.

“The camera takes in five times more light than competing smartphones without using flash so the user can capture clear, bright pictures and video indoors and at night. It also compensates for hand movement while the photo is being taken,” Nokia explains. The handset also sports a large touchscreen display, as well as powerful mapping and navigation capabilities, courtesy of applications such as Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive and Nokia City Lens. Vodafone and Optus users will enjoy the functionality of Lumia 820, a powerful mid-range device that sports a compact design and enhanced personalization options via exchangeable shells. “Exchangeable shells not only make it possible to select from a range of colours, but also to add wireless charging. Beneath the shell is room to insert a micro SD memory card,” Nokia explains.

Both smartphones are 4G-capable and will be released in color flavors such as yellow, red, grey, white and black. No pricing has been provided as of yet, nor specific info on when they are set to land on shelves, but Nokia promised these details for the end of October.

Nokia Lumia 920
Image credits to Nokia

Nokia Lumia 820
Image credits to Nokia

Acrosser AMB-QM77T1, Mini-ITX Motherboard with Intel Ivy Bridge Support

Acrosser Technology had a very specific skill set in mind when it designed the AMB-QM77T1, so it chose the QM77 Intel Express chipset and the FCPGA 988 socket.

FCPGA, short for flip-chip pin grid array, is a type of pin grid array integrated circuit packaging that has the die facing downwards on the top of the substrate and its back exposed. This lets the die have direct contact with whatever heatsink or waterblock happens to be present, thus maximizing the cooling efficiency. Intel's Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 central processors, as well as its Celeron processors, all feature this packaging. This is why Acrosser chose the Intel QM77 chipset and FCPGA 988 socket, even though its AMB-QM77T1 is not a consumer motherboard, but a platform intended for industrial automation, ARM machines, digital signage, kiosks and medical applications. Speaking of which, the AMB-QM77T1 supports up to 3 independent displays at once, in any combination of HDMI, LVDS, VGA and DVI outputs.

The integrated GPU found in the third-generation Ivy Bridge mobile processors can run multimedia, gaming and business/industrial programs with even DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.0 and OpenCL 1.1 graphics features. Acroser's motherboard just takes advantage of that. The rest of the feature set is similar to what we've grown to expect, though the two DDR3-1600 SO-DIMM slots can handle laptop memory, not desktop DIMMs (up to 16 GB). Dual PCI Express Gigabit LAN support, eight USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, five SATA ports (three SATA 2 and two SATA III), one PCI Express x16 slot, one mini PCI Express slot and a CFast socket round up the spec list. Unfortunately, Acroser did not specify the price of this mini-ITX motherboard with laptop CPU support. Then again, only clients from the aforementioned industries will be interested in it, and they can place an inquiry with the company here.

Acrosser AMB-QM77T1
Image credits to Acrosser

VIA New ETX Module with a Dual-Core CPU

Having established itself as the primary provider on the niche market, though not one bereft of troubles, of embedded hardware, VIA has announced the latest computing module, bearing the name of VIA ETX-8X90.

VIA's computing modules, similar to small board PCs really, are made in such a way that they can take any role assigned to them, while also wasting as little energy as possible. The ETX-8X90 is no exception, featuring not only the 1.2 GHz VIA Nano X2 E-Series dual core processor, but also the VIA VX900 media system processor. Alongside them, packed inside the 114 x 95 mm package (4.48 x 3.74 inches), are two memory slots (up to 4 GB of DDR3 RAM supported), a pair of PCI buses, an ISA bus, one SATA port (for storage), one IDE slot (also for storage) and a pair of COM ports. In addition to that, VIA implemented 18/24-bit dual-channel LVDS, a VGA port (resolution of up to 2560 x 1600 pixels), four USB 2.0 ports and a pair of mini USB connectors. Finally, since no self-respecting computing system, even a small one such as this, is complete without network connectivity, the VIA ETX-8X90 got 10/100 Ethernet as well.

"We continue to broaden the range of our Computer-on-Module portfolio with the addition of the ETX legacy form factor," said Epan Wu, head of the VIA embedded platform division, VIA Technologies, Inc. "The VIA ETX-8X90 module provides industry leading processing performance in the shape of the VIA Nano X2 E processor allowing existing ETX customers to quickly scale to today's requirements." VIA ETX-8X90 features hardware acceleration for the VC1, WMV9, MPEG-2 and H.264 video formats, and works under a wide range of Windows and Linux systems. A proprietary start-up kit including a multi-I/O baseboard reference can help customers set up whatever system they have in mind. The product page located here has more information.

Images credits to VIA

AMD Silently Releases Two Ultra-Low Voltage Trinity APUs

All eyes are on the impending launch of AMD's desktop Trinity accelerated processing units (APUs), but that shouldn't be enough reason to miss out on the release of new laptop parts.

Then again, Advanced Micro Devices isn't making it easy for us. There was no press release or even a short announcement about the arrival of the A4-4355M and A8-4555M, its two newest ultra-low voltage APUs. The chips did make it on the product specifications page though, along with a new chip in the C-Series, based on the Bobcat architecture: C-70. We'll get the C-70 out of the way first. It is a rather odd piece of work, simply because there seems to be no difference between it and the C-60. The two cores run at 1/1.33 GHz, the integrated GPU (80 cores) is a 276/400 MHz part, the memory controller supports DDR3-1066, the cache memory is 1 MB and the TDP (thermal design power) is of 9W. The A8-4555M quad-core APU has 4 MB L2 cache, a speed of 1.6 GHz (2.4 GHz in Turbo Core), integrated graphics (AMD Radeon HD 7600G, 384 Cores) at 320/424 MHz and a TDP of 19W. It is the sort of chip that HP Sleekbooks and other ultrathins will appreciate.

As for the A6-4455M, it is a dual-core model with an IGP (AMD Radeon HD 7400G) of 327/424 MHz (192 cores), a clock frequency of 1.9 GHz (2.4 GHz in Turbo Core) and 1 MB of L2 cache (a bit low really). The TDP is 17W, again good for ultrahins. The next few months should see the arrival of cheaper system configurations based on these BGA package APUs. We wouldn't be surprised if a nice “war” started between them and all the pre-Haswell ultrabooks, especially since the average price of the latter will be of $750 around the holidays, not the coveted $699.

AMD Trinity APU
Image credits to AMD

Two New Samsung Galaxy S III Ads Released, To Mock Apple Device

Samsung is already known for its video ads for the Galaxy smartphones, as they are usually intended to pick on Apple’s iPhone.

The last two videos released by the South Korean handset vendor do exactly the same, touting some of the features that Galaxy S III comes with and which are not available on the iPhone, as can be seen in the clip above. In fact, both these videos are parts of the longer ad that Samsung released for the smartphone a few weeks back, with some new lines added to them, so as to mock Apple’s device even more.

In the clip embedded below, the mockery turns to a different direction through showing a Galaxy S III owner saving a spot for his parents, who want to grab the new iPhone model.

Videos credits to SamsungMobileUSA

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