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Oct 28, 2012

Apple 12W USB Power Adapter Is Cheaper

Apple’s legacy iPad 10W USB power adapter sells for $29 / €29 but there’s a newer 12 Watt version now that actually retails for less, despite charging your iDevice faster. And here’s why.

After unboxing the new 12W USB Power Adapter from Apple, iLounge confirmed that the $19 / €19 price tag is justified by the lack of a Dock Connector to USB Cable and a longer extension cord. That’s right, “this version is merely a cube with wall blades,” notes iLounge, which puts a big emphasis on accessories and add-ons for Apple products. As the source confirms, the only benefit that comes with the purchase of Apple’s new wall charger is the increased wattage.

While the iPhone and iPod touch charge relatively fast no matter where you plug them, this new charger is godsent for iPad users, especially owners of the third-generation model with Retina display. That thing takes a whole night to charge its huge battery.

Apple's new 12 Watt Power Adapter unboxed
Image crdits to iLounge

Intel-Based XOLO X700 Goes on Sale in India for $260 (€200)

Lava Mobile and Intel have teamed up earlier this year to bring Indian customers the first Intel-based Android smartphone, the Xolo X900.

Although the smartphone was powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system at launch, Lava Mobile recently released the long-awaited Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade. Well, it looks like Lava Mobile and Intel decided to bring another Android phone powered by an Intel processor in India, the XOLO X700. The smartphone is now listed at HomeShop18 retailer for Rs 14000 (260 USD or 200 EUR), though it appears to be Out of Stock. We suspect the XOLO X700 has yet to make its entrance on the Indian market, so we suggest those who wish to grab one to keep an eye out on this page.

Unlike its XOLO X900 predecessor, the X700 comes with dual-SIM capability and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system out of the box. However, the XOLO X700 is equipped with a less powerful 1.2 GHz single core Intel Atom processor, whereas the X900 packs a much better 1.6 GHz Intel Atom CPU. Unfortunately, there's no word on the amount of storage and RAM, but it's been confirmed the X700 comes with microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB). Furthermore, the XOLO X700 sports a pretty decent 4.3-inch qHD capacitive touchscreen display that supports 540 x 960 pixels resolution and 16 million colors.

There's also a 5-megapixel rear photo snapper, and possibly a front facing camera for video calls, though the latter has yet to be confirmed. Last but not least, XOLO X700 drains energy from a 2000 mAh Li-Ion battery, which is rated by the manufacturer for up to 450 hours of standby time or up to 13 hours of talk time. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

Image credits to 

ASRock Z77 Extreme6/TB4 Thunderbolt Motherboard

After launching several AMD-compatible motherboards in quick succession, ASRock is back in business on Intel's side of the field, having released the Z77 Extreme6/TB4 motherboard.

ASRock dwells on the existence of Thunderbolt support quite a bit, describing it as the most relevant feature of the new mainboard. Whether or not that is true is debatable. On the one hand, the 10 Gbps transfer speed is considerable, twice as fast as USB 3.0. On the other hand, there aren't many Thunderbolt-equipped devices (monitors, external storage units, etc.), and the majority of those that do exist are designed for Apple PCs, not normal desktops. Still, ASRock is behaving as though it believes TB will become more widespread soon enough. “Thunderbolt technology is unquestionably the great finale of year 2012,” its announcement says. The company chose the full-size ATX form factor and the Intel Z77 chipset when designing the newcomer. Two PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots are present, along with a pair of PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots and four DDR3-2800+ memory slots. 7.1-channel HD audio is part of the feature set as well, along with Gigabit LAN, six USB 3.0 ports, right USB 2.0 connectors and the Lucid Virtu MVP technology (switches between the HD 4000 integrated graphics and whatever add-in video board is present).

Furthermore, the company figured it would be useful to ensure the Z77 Extreme6/TB4 didn't burn or melt at the first sign of clock tweaking. As such, premium gold caps were used in the manufacturing. The other relevant perks are UEFI BIOS, Instant Flash boot-up, THX TruStudio audio technology and a dehumidifier.  Sadly, ASRock did not say what price the Z77 Extreme6/TB4 Thunderbolt-equipped motherboard has. Then again, if Thunderbolt lovers will want to use those two ports to the fullest, they will want to buy 12 external storage units (six per each port, daisy-chained, 6TB capacity per set), and that will cost more than what the mainboard itself ever could.

ASRock Z77 Extreme6/TB4 Thunderbolt motherboard
Images credits to ASRock

Nexus 10 Photos and Specs Leaked

If Apple's ship's been a bit leaky lately, Google's looks more like a sieve. We know everything Google has planned for the October 29 event; we've even had specs for all the devices that will be unveiled and even photos.

It wouldn't be too surprising if the script for what all the execs are going to say on stage was published ahead of time. Now, the Nexus 10, the big (literally) Google/Samsung tablet that's finally supposed to take on the iPad, has been fully revealed. The first definite hints of the tablet came from none other than Google+ boss Vic Gundotra, who's been posting vacation photos, on the aforementioned social network, shot with the yet to be unveiled Nexus 10 tablet. There's a been a leaked manual for the device that made it online and now, BriefMobile has managed to get ahold of one ahead of everyone else and put some photos of it online. The site is actually down due to all the traffic this generated, but it was enough for all the interesting details to come out.

The Nexus 10 looks fairly tame, a black slab with rounded corners, though not "rounded" like Apple's iPad or Samsung would get sued again. If the Nexus 7 build quality is anything to go by, it should be up there with the best of Android tablets in this respect. If the Samsung build quality is anything to go by, it should be entirely made of plastic and it will show it. The back could be aluminum, but it's probably brushed plastic judging from the photo. We'll find out soon enough. What's inside is much more interesting though. The tablet is sporting the new Samsung Exynos 5250, the first Cortex A15-based processor to hit the market, clocked at 1.7 GHz. The processor made its debut in the newly launched $249 Chromebook, so the choice is obvious.

A Mali-T604 GPU completes the computing package, there's 2 GB of RAM, which is the norm these days for high-end devices, 16 GB of storage and no microSD card, again the norm for Nexus devices these days, a 5 megapixel front camera, NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0. The eye catcher though, again literally, is the uber high DPI 2,560 x 1,600 pixel Super AMOLED screen, which actually trumps the new Retina iPad in pixel density, with 298.9 pixels per inch. The iPad has "just" 264 ppi. All of this is running Android 4.2, which is still Jelly Bean; it's only a minor update not worthy of a name, though it has been called Key Lime Pie for a while.

Android 4.2 will also be powering the LG Nexus 4 phone also launching on Monday and presumably the new 32 GB Nexus 7 as well. You can also expect all Nexus devices that have Jelly Bean to get upgraded too.

Nexus 10
Images credits to BriefMobile

ASUS RT-N12HP High-power Wireless-N300 Router

Wi-Fi networks that need to be reached by many people usually use range extenders and signal boosters, but ASUS has decided to merge the concepts together.

The RT-N12HP high-power wireless-N300 router was the result. A merger between a router and range extender (by virtue of the huge 9dBi antennas), it also acts as an access point (adds Wi-Fi to an existing wired-only modem/router). To change between these three modes of operation, all it takes is to launch the EX Switch software on a PC and select standard router usage, access point mode or range extender mode. The Wi-Fi range should be 300% that of normal routers, while the signal strength stays consistent and stable because of the inner parts.

A final advantage is the support for four distinct networks, or SSIDs, at once. This allows for very specific access and control settings depending on who is allowed to use the internet/network at any given time. Guest SSIDs can have controlled bandwidth and access, even individual passwords. ASUS did not specify the price of the RT-N12HP, unfortunately.

ASUS RT-N12HP high-power wireless-N300 router
Image credits to ASUS

MSI Wind Top AE2282/AE2282G 21.5-Inch All-in-One PC

There was no way that Micro-Star International would let the launch of Windows 8 pass by without some new all-in-one systems, so the Wind Top series is bracing itself to receive a new member.

Contrary to what people may have come to expect, after all the high-end hardware revealed the past couple of months, this isn't some sort of super PC. In fact, MSI seems to have decided that it was time for a mid-range all-in-one to make an appearance. We do not know what price it will have, but we suspect it will be more than reasonable, unless MSI takes a cue from all other Windows 8 devices and sets the bar higher for some reason. At any rate, the name of the newcomer is Wind Top AE2282/AE2282G. Measuring 21.5 inches in diagonal, the computer pairs an Intel Core i3 or Core i5 CPU with 4 GB or 8 GB of RAM (DDR3-1333) and an NVIDIA GeForce GT630M graphics card (2 GB DDR3 memory).

A hard disk drive of 1 TB provides storage (SATA III / 6.0 Gbps speed). There is a DVD drive on the specifications sheet too. Everything else is the same as on any other computer: Wi-Fi, Ethernet, a card reader, US 3.0 (two ports, one with SuperCharger technology for faster device battery recovery), USB 2.0 (four ports), HDMI, audio/mic jacks, etc. As for the screen itself, the 21.5-inch LCD uses LED backlighting and an optional multi-touch panel. The native resolution is, naturally, 1920 x 1080 pixels (Full HD). There is something strange though. The specifications sheet we've seen says that a non-touch panel is available on both Windows 8 and Windows 7, while the multi-touch screen is only sold with Windows 7. This doesn't really make sense, since the new UI in Windows 8 is the one that made PC and monitor makers start adding touch support to everything, so it is probably a typo.

MSI Wind Top AE2282/AE2282G
Image credits to MSI

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