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Oct 2, 2012

Nokia Explains Lumia Phones Wireless Charging

Nokia’s new Windows Phone 8 handsets will arrive on shelves with some highly appealing features packed inside, including support for wireless charging.

The upcoming Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 are the first devices from the company to provide users with support for wireless charging, which should make the use of the phone far easier than before. “All you have to do is place your phone onto a Nokia Wireless Charging Plate, Nokia Wireless Charging Pillow by Fatboy, Nokia Wireless Charging Stand, or even the JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker for Nokia to begin the charging process,” the company explains in a blog post. For those out of the loop, we should note that wireless charging means that energy is transmitted through the air to an electrical device, so that it would be charged. When it comes to smartphones, the feature translates into being able to charge a device without having to plug the wire into it. From a user’s perspective, the process is very simple, yet it becomes quite complicated when the technology behind it is explained.

“A transmitter coil is positioned at the bottom (L1) and the receiver coil (L2) is situated at the top and these coils are embedded into different electrical devices. L1 would be the Nokia Wireless Charging Plate and L2 would be the Nokia Lumia 920, for example,” Nokia notes. “An alternating current in the transmitter coil generates a magnetic field, which induces a voltage in the receiver coil. This voltage is then used to charge up the device.” Nokia chose to go for the Qi (pronounced chi) standard with the wireless charging capabilities of its smartphones, as it is already used by over 100 different companies worldwide.

Moreover, the company partnered with various restaurants and coffee shops to provide Lumia users with the possibility to charge their phones while not at home. “Nokia already has partnerships with Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Virgin Atlantic that will allow users of Nokia’s upcoming Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 to charge up using table-top wireless charging stations,” the company explains. The standard charging solution is the Nokia Wireless Charging Plate, yet users can also choose to go for the Nokia Wireless Charging Pillow by Fatboy or for the Nokia Wireless Charging Stand. Additionally, there is the JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker for Nokia that can be used when listening to music.

Nokia Lumia 820
Images credits to Nokia

AsRock FM2A75 Pro4 and FM2A75 Pro4-M AMD Trinity FM2 ATX Trinity Motherboards with 2-way CrossFire Support

Well-known motherboard manufacturer AsRock has just launched the FM2A85X Extreme6 motherboard that we presented here, but the company has also launched affordable platforms for cost effective systems. All three motherboards launched today come with dual PCI-Express x16 slots.

The first CrossFire certified motherboard is the AsRock FM2A75 Pro4 there is also an ATX model just like the big FM2A85X Extreme6, but it has less fancy features and a more affordable price. This mainboard comes with five SATA3 ports and an eSATA port on the backside I/O panel along with no less than eight USB 3.0 ports. Two USB 3.0 ports on the back panel come from the AMD A75 FCH Hudson-D3 chipset while four other USB 3.0 ports come from an Etron EJ188 controller. There is an extra USB 3.0 header on the motherboard from the AMD A75 FCH Hudson-D3 chipset that will also allow you to have two front USB 3.0 ports.

The two PCI-Express x16 ports can unfortunately work only in x16 + x4 mode which is less optimal than an x8 + x8 configuration. Triple display support is present through D-Sub, DVI-D and HDMI connectors on the I/O panel and the mainboard still has some nice overclocking features such as power, reset and CLR CMOS buttons along with a LED POST indicator and al-solid capacitors. A full complement of 64 GB of DDR3 memory is supported and DDR3-2600 can be achieved through OC DDR3 2600+support. Getting to MicroATX motherboards, we have the AsRock FM2A75 Pro4-M that still has the eSATA port on the back panel along with five internal SATA3 ports, but only comes with four USB 3.0 ports. It also has support for the 64 GB DDR3 2600+ memory, but lacks the on-PCB buttons and the LED POST indicator.

AsRock FM2A75 Pro4 AMD Trinity FM2 ATX Motherboard
Images credits to AsRock

AsRock FM2A75 Pro4 -M AMD Trinity FM2 ATX Motherboard
Images credits to AsRock

AMD Demonstrates Fanless A10-5700K Trinity System

AMD has surprised everybody today with a set of Trinity pricing that make us go and buy one just to test its capabilities.

In Japan, the company decided to show what could be done with its new APUs and, among numerous FM2 motherboards, they’ve demonstrated a completely fanless Trinity system. The case used by the system is a high quality Streacom FC5 OD fanless chassis that can house MicroATX and MiniITX motherboards so MSI should have something to fit inside it as we reported here. The cooling system is very well designed and it takes the heat away from the CPU by using six copper heatpipes with a considerable length and transfers it to the outside part of the case. As a matter of fact, that exterior wall of the case is made of thick, solid aluminum and it is basically shaped like a heatspreader.

The CPU used was an AMD A10-5700K that runs at a default 3400 MHz and has the option to Turbo up to 4 GHz. This is a quad-core CPU with a full complement of 4 MB L2 cache and 384 VLIW4 Radeon cores running at 760 MHz. The interesting aspect is the fact that AMD lists A10-5700K on the cardboard although we know that this CPU is not yet available in the official launch lineup. This might be an OEM-only processor, but it’s interesting as OEM’s are usually not interested in unlocked CPUs.

AMD logo
Image credits to AMD

AMD Fanless Trinity Demonstration
Image credits to AMD

AMD Fanless Trinity Demonstration
Image credits to AMD

Streacom FC5 OD Fanless Case
Image credits to Streacom

Streacom FC5 OD Fanless Case
Image credits to Streacom

Streacom FC5 OD Fanless Case
Image credits to Streacom

BlackBerry 10 London Specs

Research In Motion is expected to launch some very appealing devices running under its BlackBerry 10 operating system in the beginning of the next year, including the long rumored BlackBerry 10 London.

The mobile phone was spotted online for the first time a long time ago, and some more info on it is now available, courtesy of a leaked spec sheet that emerged over at rapidberry. The handset is said to include a TI OMAP4 chipset inside, along with an ST-E MS730 chip, while being capable of providing users with support for 21Mbps HSPA+ connectivity. The phone’s specs list also shows that it would arrive on shelves with GSM/EDGE connectivity, and that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth would also be included in the mix. Moreover, the new device brings along 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory, along with a microSD memory card slot with support for additional storage space.

The BlackBerry 10 London might pack a 4.2-inch touchscreen display capable of delivering a 1280 x 768 pixel resolution, while featuring an 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back, with support for HD video recording and with great photo snapping capabilities. The specifications list of this device also includes 4G Mobile hotspot capabilities, along with NFC, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, microUSB and MicroHDMI out. The phone would run under the upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system when released, and would offer a nice range of features powered by this OS. Just as expected, BlackBerry 10 London won’t be a high-end smartphone from RIM, but rather a mid-range device, the same as other new phones set to hit shelves in the first quarter of the year from the company.

However, RIM is set to launch higher-end smartphones soon after, and info on a possible such phone, codenamed Aristo and included in the A-Series of BlackBerry 10 devices, has already emerged. Hopefully, all these leaks will pan out sooner rather than later.

BlackBerry 10 London specs
Image credits to rapidberry

Windows 9 Work Already in Progress, Microsoft Confirms

Microsoft will launch the new Windows 8 this month, but the company has already started work on the next Windows iteration, apparently codenamed Windows 9.

Of course, no information is yet available, but James Akrigg, Microsoft's head of technology for partners, confirmed at Misco Expo 12 in the United Kingdom that Windows 9 is the next major project to be released by his company. “It should just work. I'm not going to say we're going to do it [reach perfection] with Windows 8 because we're already working on Windows 9,” he said when asked about his expectations regarding Windows 8.

Curiously, sources close to the matter are also suggesting that Microsoft is working on a different Windows iteration called Windows Blue, but this one may actually be the first major improvement to the yet to be released Windows 8.

Windows 8's successor may be called Windows 9
Image credits to Eoffice.net

Samsung Galaxy S III Mini to Become Official on October 11

Samsung is gearing up for the release of a new device in Germany on October 11th, and has already started sending out invites to the launch event.

The company did not offer specific info on what could be unveiled on that day, but it appears that it might have something to do with the popular Galaxy S series. According to SammyHub, the event could involve the launch of a Galaxy S III mini smartphone, which has been rumored before, or might be focused on the unveiling of the recently leaked Galaxy Music.

The invitation that Samsung sent to All About Samsung reads “small is now a big hit,” which further suggests a connection with the highly popular Galaxy S III. One way or the other, we should expect a powerful handset coming from Samsung soon, so stay tuned to learn more on the matter.

Samsung to launch new phone on October 11
Images credits to All About Samsung

MSI MicroATX and MiniITX AMD FM2 Motherboards

AMD has just launched its new Trinity APUs and we were amazed by the affordable pricing of the new chip as we reported here. MSI now launches the perfect mainboard companions for the new APUs.

We reported here about the company’s top of the line FM2-A85X-G65 motherboard, but today MSI is presenting the MicroATX models called FM2-A55M and FM2-A75MA-E35 along with the MiniITX FM2-A75IA-E53. Not much is known about the new models, but from the low-quality pictures that MSI has provided we can distinguish that they all feature a full-sized PCI-Express Gen2 x16 slot for a powerful discrete video card when such a graphics adapter is deemed necessary. USB 3.0 support should also be present, along with SATA 3 and RAID support.

The official press release and the official MSI website do not offer any pricing information on the new motherboards, but we expect them to be quite affordable in order to be in line with AMD’s own Trinity pricing scheme. We’ve managed to gather some better pictures of the new models and you can check these in the gallery below.

MSI FM2 Motherboards for AMD Trinity APU
Images credits to MSI

Nokia Says Lumia 920 Sensitive Screen Won't Drain Battery

One of the appealing features that Nokia’s first Windows Phone 8-powered smartphone will arrive on shelves with is a sensitive touchscreen, one that can be operated even with gloves on.

For the people who are doing a lot of activities in the open this feature should prove great, especially when it’s cold outside and they don’t want to remove the protection of their fingers in order to be using the phone. However, JDB Pocketware suggests that this might actually be an issue with the new smartphone, and that users might find the battery of their Lumia 920 devices to be draining fast due to it. The scenario in which this would happen is simple: if the power button is pressed when the device is in your pocket, the screen will activate, and a timer to power the display off starts. Provided that the screen is not touched in a specific number of seconds, it will turn off, thus saving battery. However, with the new sensitive screen on Lumia 920, if the phone is mistakenly activated when in the pocket, the screen won’t turn off, JDB Pocketware notes, claiming that all touches on the display, including accidental ones, will keep it awake.

According to Nokia, this is not the case. They considered this kind of scenario when building the phone, and took specific measures to ensure that it doesn’t happen. “While the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 both enjoy super sensitive touch, the firmware has been configured to avoid accidental activation of the display. In testing this has not proven to be an issue or to cause unwanted battery drainage,” Nokia said in a statement, MyNokiaBlog reports. Nokia also explained that “the firmware requires a ‘landing event’ to move into active mode and without a repeat of that landing event it will eventually return into sleep mode.”

This means that users should be safe from unwanted battery drainage, and that the sensitive screen will remain only a great feature of the new device, and not an actual issue. What remains to be seen is how well Nokia's new Windows Phones will perform when brought to shelves later this year.

Nokia Lumia 920
Image credits to Nokia

AMD Trinity Desktop APUs Officially Announced at Incredible Prices

Texas-based fabless chip designer AMD has just announced its new desktop APUs previously known as Trinity. The new devices are using the Piledriver enhanced x86 computing cores and a VLIW4 integrated graphics processing unit (iGPU) architecture.

AMD’s new chips are still manufactured in 32nm SOI technology, just like most of the processors that the company is selling, but these are benefitting from a mature 32nm process and that has brought numerous advantages. The chips are running at very high frequencies and the lowest default working frequency is a high 3.4 GHz while the highest is a straight 4 GHz. All the new APUs come with Turbo core technology and this allows them a 200 MHz to 600 MHz frequency boost when the software needs the best possible performance and the system thermals allows it. This makes the fastest A10-5800K APU reach an amazing 4.2 GHz clockspeed and over 700 GFLOPS of floating point performance.

The new FM2 platform will be a long-lived implementation as AMD and the motherboard companies are saying that the future generation of Kaveri APUs built in 28nm technology will fit perfectly in the current systems. The maximum DDR3 frequency officially supported is 1866 MHz, but the integrated memory controllers (IMC) are capable to drive memory up to more than 2400 MHz with ease and the iGPU will greatly benefit from such a frequency boost. The company says that the new chips are highly overclockable and even goes as far as saying that most will surpass the 6.5 GHz mark when extra cooling is added. The pricing of the entire range is absolutely amazing as it crushes anything Intel can offer at comparable prices.

In fact, the most powerful Intel processor that would have a comparable price is the $117 Core i3-3220T, but this is a modest dual-core CPU that won’t stand a chance in the face of a quad-core Trinity APU. AMD prices the new chips starting at a modest $53 for an A4-5300 dual-core Trinity running at 3.4 GHz with a 3.6 GHz boost and 1600 MHz DDR3 memory support and goes up to a maximum of just $122 for an unlocked A10-5800K quad core APU running at a default 3.8 GHz with a maximum 4.2 GHz boost. The new APUs are available starting today.

AMD logo
Image credits to AMD

AMD Official Trinity Processor Pricing
Image credits to AMD

BlackBerry 10 Aristo Detailed

Research In Motion has been long rumored to plan the launch of more than one type of BlackBerry 10 devices at the beginning of the next year, and some new info on one of the company’s upcoming series of phones is now available.

Initial rumors suggested that there could be only two family of BlackBerry 10 devices, namely the full-touch L-Series and the QWERTY-enabled N-Series, yet it appears that other sets of handsets are also under development. One of the smartphones that the company will bring to shelves at some point in the future is supposedly the recently leaked BlackBerry 10 Aristo, which should be included in the A-Series, the guys over at rapidberry note. Apparently, handsets in this family of BlackBerry 10 smartphones could prove to be high-end, as the leaked specs sheet of Aristo shows a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm APQ8064 Krait processor. The screen size of this mobile phone is a match for the CPU, measuring 4.65-inch diagonally and being an OCTA Glass OLED that can deliver a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution. Inside, the new BlackBerry 10 smartphone would pack 2GB of RAM, complemented by 16GB of internal memory and a microSD memory card with support for additional storage space (a 16GB card included from the start).

The upcoming device is said to be en-route to shelves with GSM – Quad band (not specified), WCDMA –  2100/1900/850-850MHz, LTE – AWS/700/1900/850MHz bands inside (also EU/APAC – GSM and WCDMA). WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4GHz/5GHz would also be included inside it, along with 4G Mobile Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi Direct, DLNA, NFC capabilities, and MicroUSB and MicroHDMI ports. The specs list of BlackBerry 10 Aristo also shows a 2800mAh non-removable battery, along with noise reduction features, stereo speakers and the like, all packed inside a device that measures 136 x 68 x 8.85mm.

Some of the recent reports suggested that RIM would plan on releasing only mid-range BlackBerry 10 smartphones at the beginning of the next year, and that high-end phones would be coming to shelves after, yet specific info on when that might happen is not available as of now. Provided that the specs list of Aristo pans out, RIM would soon have a highly appealing smartphone to compete against giants such as Galaxy S III, iPhone 5 and the upcoming Windows Phone 8 handsets from Nokia, HTC and other vendors.

Specs of RIM BlackBerry 10 Aristo
Image credits to RapidBerry

BlackBerry 10 Laguna Specs

With several months still left until the official launch of BlackBerry 10 devices, the first specs details have started to surface online.

The folks over at RapidBerry have been recently tipped on the CDMA version of BlackBerry London, which is expected to be released next year in the United States through Verizon Wireless. Dubbed BlackBerry Laguna, the smartphone will be powered by RIM’s latest BlackBerry 10 OS, and it will be equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960 processor, though the CPU’s clock speed is still unknown. However, knowing that this particular processor is part of the Pro category of CPUs, we suspect that BlackBerry Laguna’s core will be clocked at 1.5 – 1.7 GHz. RIM plans to include other category of processors within its upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices, which seem to be sorted according to their power, so expect to have Play, Plus, Pro and Prime CPUs.

Furthermore, BlackBerry Laguna is said to boast a stunning 4.2-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports 1280 x 768 pixels resolution and 355 DPI. On the inside, the smartphone will feature 1GB of RAM, 16GB flash, and microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB). The device is rumored to carry an enhanced 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back, which features autofocus, LED flash and full HD (1080p) video recording, as well as a secondary 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls. When it comes to connectivity, BlackBerry Laguna offers a slew of options, including NFC (Near Field Communication), Wi-Fi, LTE, UMTS, Wi-Fi Direct, micro HDMI Out and DLNA.

There’s only one discrepancy between official info and the recently leaked specs. It appears that BlackBerry Laguna has been listed with Bluetooth 2.1 onboard, though the included Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960 chipset features Bluetooth 4.0 support. Last but not least, the Laguna will drain energy from a 1800 mAh Li-Ion removable battery, which has yet to be rated by the manufacturer. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

BlackBerry Laguna specs sheet
Image credits to RapidBerry

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