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Oct 16, 2012

Galaxy Premier GT-I9268 (TD-SCDMA) Receives WiFi Certification

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics is getting closer and closer to the release of a new handset in its popular Galaxy range, and has already received WiFi certification for it.

Dubbed Galaxy Premier, the smartphone was spotted online a few times before, and has received the necessary approvals from the WiFi Alliance, but only for China, it seems. The handset that was granted WiFi certification features model number GT-I9268, and is said to be the TD-SCDMA version of the mobile phone, which will make it fit for the network of wireless carrier China Mobile.

When released, the mobile phone will provide users with WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n connectivity options (with support for 2.4GHz and 5.xGHz bands). Samsung hasn’t provided info on Galaxy Premier as of yet, but it is expected to hit the market with a design similar to that of Galaxy S III.

Samsung Galaxy Premier WiFi certification
Image credits to WiFi Alliance

DROID RAZR HD by Motorola Now on Pre-Order

Next week, mobile phone carrier Verizon Wireless will make available for purchase on its network a new high-end device coming from Motorola, namely the DROID RAZR HD.

Made official last month, the new device has already been officially confirmed for release on October 18th, although Verizon has not announced a pre-order period for it as of yet. However, those users who would like to grab the new device as soon as it arrives on shelves can now head over to Costco to reserve a unit for the release date. The mobile  phone is available through this retailer with a small price cut attached to it, namely $189 on a two-year contract. Additionally, the company will throw in a navigation dock and battery charger for free. For those out of the loop, we should note that Motorola DROID RAZR HD was made official with a large 4.7-inch 720p Super AMOLED screen that hides a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor beneath it and which can deliver a great viewing experience.

The specs list of this device also includes an 8-megapixel photo snapper that should deliver full HD video recording to users, along with a front camera to enable them to make video calls while on the go. In addition to offering support for Verizon’s 4G LTE network, the smartphone also comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, NFC capabilities, built-in GPS receiver, and the like. “Delivering up to an amazing 24 hours of performance on a single charge, DROID RAZR HD presents everything in stunning HD detail. Movies, photos, magazines, and even websites shine through in vibrant clarity. This mobile entertainment hub runs on the hyper fast 4G LTE network,” Costco notes.

“With an eye catching high def display designed for gorgeous entertainment. And encased in premium materials like Corning Gorilla glass and DuPont KEVLAR fiber. To defend against the occasional spills and splashes, there’s even a protective layer of water-repellent nanocoating.” The smartphone runs under Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but will be upgraded to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean soon. You can learn more on the available offer for DROID RAZR HD by Motorola on this page at Costco.

Image credits to Motorola

Exceleram Extensive X Series Dual-Channel Memory Collection

When we say that Exceleram's new X Series memory line reaches 8 GB, we mean that the highest-end dual-channel kits offer the amount (4GB per module).

Constructed with Hynix CFR chips, the modules actually come in both 2 GB and 4 GB, though the former is only available standalone, as the E30106X 2GB. Since Exceleram has decided to cover the entire desktop market segment in one swoop, the list is extensive, so we wanted to leave it alone and unspoiled.

See below for the capacity, frequency, latency, voltage and cooling (or lack thereof) possessed by each product.

E30106X 2GB (1x2GB) 1333MHz, CL9, 1.5V, w/o Heatsink
E30112X 4GB (1x4GB) 1333MHz, CL9, 1.5V, w/o Heatsink
E30149X 4GB (1x4GB) 1600MHz, CL11, 1.5V, w/o Heatsink
E30146X 4GB (1x4GB) 1600MHz, CL9, 1.5V, w/o Heatsink
E30150X 4GB (1x4GB) 1866MHz, CL9, 1.65V, w/o Heatsink
E30138X 8GB (2x4GB) 1866MHz, CL9. 1.65V, Black Sark Heatsink
E30149XB 4GB (1x4GB) 1600MHz, CL11, 1.5V, Black PCB, w/o Heatsink
E30146XB 4GB (1x4GB) 1600MHz, CL9, 1.5V, Black PCB, w/o Heatsink
EBW301X 8GB (2x4GB) 1600MHz, CL9, 1.5V, Black PCB, White Sark Heatsink
E30150XB 4GB (1x4GB) 1866MHz, CL9, 1.65V, Black PCB, w/o Heatsink
E30138XB 8GB (2x4GB) 1866MHz, CL9. 1.65V, Black PCB, Black Sark Heatsink

Exceleram X Series memory
Image credits to Exceleram

12 iPad mini Models Are Launching Next Week

A list of 24 iPad mini SKUs (stock keeping units) for black and white versions has popped up on the web, indicating that Apple has prepared what is essentially a line of 12 different models with storage capacities ranging between 8GB and 64GB.

AppleInsider has published an image of the “presumed ‘iPad mini’ product SKUs” based on information obtained from people who are familiar with Apple's product inventory. The full list shows 24 separate device models. However, when the Black vs White distinction is taken into account, the list only shows 12 clearly distinct models, from a technical standpoint. The four different product descriptions each come with three distinctions labeled as “GOOD,” “BETTER,” and “BEST” which, according to the source, could point to Wi-Fi-only, 3G, and 4G LTE models, respectively. The A / B references most likely refer to the color of the tablet, which indicates that Apple is not shipping the iPad mini in a variety of colors, but rather in the same Black and White scheme as it does with the current line of iPads. Lastly, an 8GB version is expected to launch next week with a $249/€192 price tag.

Rumored for October 23, an Apple media event is said to be hosted at the company’s 1 Infinite Loop headquarters in the Town Hall auditorium. There, Tim Cook and his troops are expected to take to the stage to unveil not only the iPad mini, but also a slew of much-needed new Macintosh upgrades. The iMac is said to get a complete redesign (a teardrop shaped enclosure), while the Mac mini changes are said to be more interesting on the inside, rather than on the outside. On the laptop front, a 13-inch version of the MacBook Pro with Retina display is said to be ready for launch. The Mac Pro, on the other hand, seems close to its demise.

Alleged iPad mini part numbers
Image credits to AppleInsider

ASUS ROG Matrix HD 7970 GHz Edition Graphics Card

Here is a video board that definitely doesn't fit the guidelines that the European Union is thinking of eventually enforcing.

Called ASUS ROG Matrix HD 7970 GHz Edition, it actually comes in two models, so we might say that ASUS has introduced two cards instead of one. The “Platinum” edition is faster, at 1,050 MHz / 1,100 MHz GPU Clock, while the “normal” adapter operates at 1,000 MHz / 1,050 MHz. Otherwise, they are identical, down to the three-slot, dual-fan cooler and the VRAM speed of 6.6 GHz (there are 3 GB of GDDR5 VRAM on each). Compared to the 925 MHz GPU / 5.5 GHz VRAM of the reference model, the Matrix are giants. The 20-phase VRM and Super Alloy Power components are only the icing on the cake.

Speaking of which, with the extra stability and lifespan provided by enduring components, overclockers should be able to go wild. The ASUS GPU Tweak utility will help in that regard. The US price is unknown, but Singapore retailers tag the beasts at SGD$749, which translates into US$613 and 470 Euro. We're willing to bet the real cost will be of $750 / 750 Euro though.

ASUS ROG Matrix HD 7970
Image credits to ASUS

Samsung StartMenu for Windows 8 Start Menu

Although it comes with numerous cosmetic changes, Windows 8 abandoned the old-fashioned “Start Menu” and instead sports what Microsoft calls a “good-looking” Start Screen.

Samsung on the other hand plans to develop a so-called S Launcher that will play the role of a “Start Menu” and will be pre-installed on all Windows 8 computers that’ll bear its badge. Samsung’s “Start Menu” doesn’t look quite eye-appealing, but it still seems to integrate very well into the Windows operating system.

It copies the traditional Start Menu’s design, but will be launched via a toolbar placed at the top of the screen. The app isn’t yet available for testing, but Samsung will most likely release it for free via its official page after Windows 8’s official debut.

Samsung Start Menu for Windows 8
Image credits to Laptop Mag

Intel Prepares “Avoton” CPUs with 8 Cores

Intel's habit of making long-term roadmaps has backfired again, although we doubt it is too concerned about the information that emerges this way, especially when it doesn't concern high-profile products.

The central processing units (CPUs) that got detailed are, or will be, part of the Atom series. Or perhaps it is more accurate to call them system-on-chip devices (SoCs). They bear the codename “Avoton” and will be paired with the Edisonville platform in the second half of 2013. Thus, Avoton Atom CPUs will follow in the footsteps of the Centerton collection, which should be out by the end of the year. Each SoC will have between two and eight cores, with every pair of cores sharing 1 MB of L2 cache memory. Thus, an 8-core Avoton chip will have 4 MB cache. We don't exactly know why the company is considering such a high core count, especially when the frequency of each will be of up to 2.4 GHz. Presumably, the 22nm architecture makes it easy to integrate more cores, even alongside everything else of importance.

Speaking of which, the SATA storage interface, Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.2/2.0 will be part of the same die as the CPU cores. To elaborate, devices based on the Edisonville platform, which is based on the Avoton SoCs, will have up to four Gigabit Ethernet ports, four USB 2.0 ports, four SATA II ports (3 Gbps) and two SATA III (6 Gbps). No external controllers will be needed. PCI Express 3.0 will be absent, but the 2.0 interface will be present and accounted for. Intel is actually going to somehow cram four controllers (16 PCI Express lanes) next to everything else mentioned so far. Add to that the Turbo Boost technology (2.7 GHz frequency) and these 5 to 20 Watt SoCs could actually make a lasting impression.

Intel Atom logo
Image credits to Intel

Instagram App for BlackBerry 10 (Rumor)

One of the applications that might not arrive on devices powered by Research In Motion’s upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform is Instagram, some of the latest reports on the matter suggest.

According to an article on VentureBeat, Facebook will not make the application available for the upcoming mobile operating system, although users might be able to take advantage of RIM’s own photo editor with filters. Facebook’s photo-sharing service already has over 100 million users, and BlackBerry 10 users will certainly be disappointed to not be attending the party, provided that the rumor pans out. According to CrackBerry, however, the thought of skipping BlackBerry 10 from the list of Instagram-supported mobile platforms is far from Facebook’s mind.

Such an application will be released, based on the strong relations between the social network and the Canadian mobile phone marker. A new Facebook for BlackBerry 10 application is also in the works, as RIM has showcased at the BlackBerry Jam Americas conference.

Instagram for BlackBerry 10
Image credits to CrackBerry

Upstart Announce 1-2 TB Optical Disks

A little over a week ago, we learned about a nanotechnology-based technique that could lead to the creation of DVDs with 4TB capacities, but it was implied that years would pass before practical applications emerged.

A new startup company, created by a Case Western Reserve University physics professor and his graduate student, might have discovered a method that will produce high-capacity optical disks sooner than that. Called Folio Photonics, the upstart company proposes a scribing method that can cram 1 TB or 2 TB of data on a single disk. It starts with taking a thick flow of polymers similar to putty, then dividing and stacking it repeatedly, and then spreading it into a film. The film is rolled onto a spool. After that, it is a simple matter of cutting and pasting film onto the same hard plastic base that DVDs and Blu-ray disks are designed with. “A disc will be on the capacity scale of magnetic tapes used for archival data storage. But, they will be substantially cheaper and have one advantage: you can access data faster,” said Kenneth Singer, the Ambrose Swasey professor of physics, and co-founder of Folio Photonics.

“You just pop the disc in your computer and you can find the data in seconds. Tapes can take minutes to wind through to locate particular data.” Folio Photonics will be based in the Cleveland area and intends to sell its optical disks as an alternative to magnetic drives (hard disk drives) and magnetic tapes that corporations use for long-term backup purposes. The equivalent of 50 Blu-ray disks can be loaded on a single disk by writing data in dozens of layers, not two or four (the optical film can have 64 layers). Finally, the company promises that it only needs to make some small adjustments to a normal disk reader to enable it to read the data on each layer (without interference from the layers above and below). Kenneth Singer and his partner Mr. Valle hope to have prototype discs and readers to show within a year.

Upstart company reveals disks with 50 times the capacity of Blu-ray
Image credits to Wikimedia Common, Cdnomad

ASUS PadFone 2 Now Official with Quad-Core CPU and 4.7’’ Screen

Today, computer maker ASUS made official the successor of its phone-in-tablet PadFone, confirming most of the features that have been previously leaked on the device.

Dubbed PadFone 2, the new device arrives on shelves not only with a larger display, but also with improved overall performance, being capable of providing users with a better experience than before. The smartphone comes to the market with a 4.7-inch 720p Super IPS+ touchscreen display based on Sharp's IGZO technology and capable of delivering up to 550nits of brightness, as well as with a quad-core APQ8064 SoC from Qualcomm packed inside. On the back, the new device sports a 13-megapixel photo snapper with support for full HD video recording courtesy of Sony’s f/2.4 BSI sensor, complemented by a 1.2-megapixel front camera for making video calls. The handset runs under Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich platform at the moment, yet ASUS says that it won’t take long before the newer Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS flavor is being delivered to the device.

Additionally, the new ASUS smartphone comes with a slimmer PadFone Station slate that has left the docking bay cover aside, the guys over at Engadget report. The specifications list of this device also includes 2GB of RAM, along with WCDMA 900/2,100MHz plus LTE 800/1,800/2,600MHz connectivity, NFC, and a 2,140mAh fixed battery. Users also get access to 50GB ASUS WebStorage for a period of two years (there is no microSD memory card slot available with the device, and it makes sense for ASUS to provide customers with additional storage space). The slate too has been improved, now featuring a 10.1-inch 1,280 x 800 IPS display, a 5,000mAh battery, a new 13-pin connector that is present on the handset as well, and which is also compatible with micro-USB, and a weight trimmed down to 514g.

The smartphone is expected to become available for purchase in Taiwan as soon as next week in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB flavors, with price tags ranging from NT$17,990 to NT$21,901 (about $620 / €479 to $750 / €579).

ASUS PadFone 2
Images credits to Engadget

Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean Arrives on Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S via OTA

Google has started to push out the over-the-air Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean software update to both Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S handsets out there.

For the time being, however, the OS upgrade is being delivered only to those who own a GSM-based flavor of one of these smartphones, Engadget notes. The CDMA versions of the newest Google phones are expected to receive the update at a later date, yet no specific info on when that might happen has been provided as of yet.

Unfortunately, it appears that Google did not include the landscape homescreen orientation feature in this build, although it did make it available for the owners of a Nexus 7 tablet PC. Other than that, the new platform release is said to arrive on devices with various bug fixes and performance enhancements, as well as with the possibility to expand notifications using a single finger.

Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean arrives on Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S via OTA

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