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Oct 31, 2012

ZTE U950, an Affordable Quad-Core Smartphone at Only $160

Chinese mobile phone maker ZTE appears set to ensure that it does remain strong on its fourth position on the mobile market, and the newly announced U950 smartphone should help it do so.

Packing a 1.3GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor inside, the new handset was announced for China at only 999 yuan (around $160 / €123), with Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich platform loaded on it. The smartphone also comes with a 4.3-inch touchscreen display, 1GB of RAM inside, 4GB of internal memory, a 5-megapixel photo snapper on the back, and a front camera for making video calls while on the go.

The phone is 9mm thick, sports a 2,000 mAh battery inside, and is expected to arrive on shelves on November 11. No details on its international availability have been provided for the time being.

ZTE U950
Images credits to News.Mydrivers.com

Nokia Lumia 510 Listed as Available in India

Nokia’s Windows Phone 7.5-based Lumia 510, a smartphone made official only last week, is now available for purchase for mobile phone users in India.

The handset is listed on the website of online retailer FlipKart with a price tag of INR 9,999 attached to it. Initially said to be delivered in 6-8 business days, the smartphone is now listed as out of stock. Lumia 510 is an entry-level device, featuring a 4-inch TFT capacitive touchscreen and an 800MHz single-core processor inside, complemented by 256MB of RAM.

The phone’s specs list also includes a 5-megapixel camera on the back, 4G of internal memory, 3G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, built-in GPS receiver, and a 1,300 mAh battery. The downside is that the new device will not get a taste of Windows Phone 8, although it will most probably be upgraded to Windows Phone 7.8 when it arrives.

Nokia Lumia 510 listed on Flipkart
Image credits to Flipkart

ECS New LGA 1155 Micro-ATX Motherboard

Even though PC sales aren't expected to rise all that much, Windows 8 or no, motherboard makers continue to sell all kinds of platforms. In this particular instance, Elitegroup Computer Systems is presenting one.

The mainboard has the micro-ATX form factor and bears the name of H61H2-MV, which does a good job of revealing which chipset is used as the basis. Contrary to what its name might suggest, the Intel H61 Express chipset is actually the low-end core logic for LGA 1155 central processing units (Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge). The socket is powered by a 3+1+1 phase VRM and is wired to a pair of memory slots (DDR3-1600 DIMM), for a maximum capacity of 16 GB. Two expansion slots are available as well. One of them is a PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot, while the other is a PCI Express 2.0 x16 for graphics cards.

Furthermore, ECS included four SATA 3.0 Gbps ports (all wired to the PCH, like the PCIe slots), but no SATA 6.0 Gbps. Other features include 6-channel HD audio, DVI, HDMI, UEFI BIOS and a D-Sub output, making the H61H2-MV very shrewd for something of its size. We may have said that this is a micro-ATX motherboard and, indeed, ECS has labeled it as such, but the reality is a bit different. Even with two PCIe slots, the platform is small enough that it might just fit in mini-ITX-compatible cases. As for the looks, ECS decided on an all-black PCB.

All in all, the motherboard might be a good fit for those who want to put together a strong HTPC or LAN Party gaming rig, although the lack of SATA III storage (SATA 6.0 Gbps) could be a bit off-putting. The price will be of much less than $100, or 76-100 Euro according to exchange rates.

ECS LGA 1155 Micro-ATX Motherboard
Images credits to ECS

Sony C2105 (Unannounced) Emerges in GLBenchmarks

Japanese mobile phone maker Sony appears set to bring to the market a nice range of new devices next year, one of which is said to sport the model number of Sony C2105.

The handset has just emerged in GLBenchmark with a FWVGA screen resolution and with on-screen virtual buttons, which makes it the first of the kind from Sony, XperiaBlog notes. Moreover, the handset was listed with a 1GHz CPU inside, most probably single-core, but with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean loaded on it (firmware version 15.0.A.0.8).

The phone is expected to land on shelves next year as an entry- to mid-level device, similar to this year’s Xperia J handset, but situated a bit higher than the recently spotted Xperia E (C150X) and Xperia E Dual (C160X), yet no official info on it has been provided as of now.

Sony C2105 Emerges in GLBenchmarks
Image credits to XperiaBlog

VIA ARTiGO A1250, World's Smallest Quad-Core PC

Showing that Intel's dismissive attitude towards it and ARM doesn't really matter, VIA Technologies has introduced the arguably smallest quad-core x86 system ever designed: VIA ARTiGO A1250.

The VIA ARTiGO A1250 is about as large as one of those old mobile phones that barely anyone uses these days. For that matter, smartphones are thinner and smaller than it is, but not by a large margin. Basically, the new PC is as large as a deck of playing cards, a size which belies its performance, to say the least. Thanks to the 1.0 GHz VIA quad-core central processing unit and the VIA VX11H MSP (media system processor), all sorts of media can be played, up to and including stereoscopic 3D. Thus, the ARTiGO A1250 can act as a standard PC or home server, maybe even as a means to turn an HDTV into a Smart TV, provided the display has a VESA mount at the back, where the PC can be placed.

Hotels might buy a few of these units for management purposes too, while digital signage and surveillance applications could benefit just as much. Home automation is yet another potential venue. "By leveraging the ultra compact Pico-ITX form factor, the VIA ARTiGO A1250 is able to deliver a powerful x86 quad core computing experience in the smallest system design on the market," said Epan Wu, head of the VIA embedded platform division, VIA Technologies, Inc. "The VIA ARTiGO A1250 boasts the latest technology with 3D stereoscopic display and USB 3.0 support for an unparalleled ultra compact computing experience, making small truly beautiful."

The power draw of the new system is 32W, which is much less than a normal light bulb, despite the presence of one 2.5" SATA HDD or Flash SSD, up to 8 GB RAM and a bunch of ports (VGA, 2 x USB 3.0, Gigabit LAN, audio/mic). Finally, as a bonus, VIA provides customers with Windows Embedded Standard 7 (WES), WES2009 & Linux operating systems, plus third-party software security.

Image credits to VIA

MSI Debuts Its 27-Inch All-in-One PC

Micro-Star International released several all-in-one PCs over the past few weeks, but it isn't ready to stop. Not yet. The AE2712G is proof of that.

Measuring 27 inches in diagonal, the AE2712 has a Full HD display (1920 x 1080 pixels) with 10-point multitouch support.It has an Intel Core i5 CPU acting as the heart, while customizable storage and RAM back it up. The AE2712G has an NVIDIA GeForce GT630M graphics card as well. Needless to say, both run Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system.

Sales will begin in the first week of November 2012 (this one, as it were), but we do not know the prices. They probably won't be as low as some may like, since MSI decided to implement Military Class II components and the MSI Instant Display Technology (activates the display without needing to press the power button if an HDMI cable is connected).

MSI Wind Top AE2712/AE2712G
Images credits to MSI

Galaxy Nexus Gets Unofficial Android 4.2 Camera and Gallery

On Monday, Google made official its latest flavor of Android, with various enhancements packed inside, including new camera and gallery app.

Today, the software is available for Galaxy Nexus, the Android 4.1.2-powered Google phone that was made official last year. This is not an official release for the device, but some enthusiasts have already managed to port the new camera software to the older handset, so that users can already take advantage of the Photo Sphere feature packed inside it.

However, it seems that the port is not fully operational, and that some issues might still emerge when loading the new camera app on a Galaxy Nexus. Those who would like to give it a try should know that it does require tweaking the device. Some additional info on the matter is available through the Android Central Forums.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Image credits to Google

HP ElitePad 900 Windows 8 Tablet Got FCC Approval

HP revealed the ElitePad 900 tablet at the start of this month (October 2012), but that did not mean that shipments could start.

Indeed, the tablet wasn't even approved by the Federal Communications Commission yet. The approval has finally been passed though, for the 3G model at least. The 850MHz, 1,700MHz and 1,900MHz bands are supported. Dual-band 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless support is confirmed by the filing as well, as is the existence of NFC (near field communications).

Since sales won't start until January 2013, the cost was kept under wraps. If the other Windows 8 devices on the market are anything to go by, the tag of the HP ElitePad 900 probably won't be very appealing. We can still hope though.

HP ElitePad 900
Image credits to Anandtech

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