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Dec 2, 2012

Nokia Lumia 920T Now on Pre-Order in China for 4,499 Yuan

Nokia Lumia 920T, the Windows Phone 8 model that will provide China Mobile users with the benefits of Microsoft’s latest mobile operating system version, is now officially available on pre-order in the country through Suning.

The handset is listed with a price tag of 4,499 Yuan (around $720 / €555) attached to it, ahead of the official launch date set for December 5. The phone will hit shelves on December 16, Winp.cn reports. Nokia’s Lumia 920T arrives in China with a dual-core 1.5Hz processor, 1GB of RAM, a 4.5-inch touchscreen display, and 32GB of internal memory.

The handset also lands in the country with an 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back, the same as the original model. Furthermore, it offers support for China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA (3G), GSM (2G) and TD-LTE (4G) network and should be exclusive to this carrier for a short period of time.

Nokia Lumia 920T on pre-order in China
Image credits to Weibo

New Sapphire Vapor-X CPU Cooler

This week, Sapphire launched two products. One was the Radeon HD 7750 OC Graphics Card we covered yesterday (November 29, 2012) and the other is what we will be looking at today.

Long story short, Sapphire Technologies has introduced a new cooler compatible with central processing units from both Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. The list of supported sockets is quite extensive really. From Intel, we have the LGA 2011, LG A1155, LGA 1156 and LGA 775. From AMD, all chips, CPUs or APUs (accelerated processing units), designed for the AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1 and FM1 sockets should work. That said, the Vapor-X cooler, as the series is called, uses a vapor-chamber plate to pull heat out of whatever CPU happens to be inside a customer's desktop. Four 7 mm-thick nickel-plated copper heatpipes lead the heat to a dense aluminum fin stack. They should be more effective than the 6mm pipes common to most other coolers.

Naturally, the fin array isn't capable of getting rid of the heat on its own. Sapphire, thus, chose to add not one, but two PWM-controlled fans with a diameter of 120mm. Each one can go from 495 RPM (rotations per minute) to 2,200, for 77 CFM of air. Overall, the cooler measures 135 x 110.4 x 163.5 mm / 5.31 x 4.35 x 6.43 inches and weighs almost a kilo (925 grams / 2.03 pounds). Finally, prospective customers will need to meet a price of around $80 or less if they want to buy this Sapphire Vapor-X CPU cooler. That's 61 Euro, according to exchange rates, but it is likelier that the EU price, assuming sales ever start there, will be closer to 80 Euro instead. Buyers will have to decide on their own if all that plastic surrounding the cooler is aesthetically pleasing enough to compensate for the detrimental effect on heat dispersion.

Sapphire Vapor-X cooler
Images credits to Sapphire

Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition, a Linux Ultrabook

Ultrabooks running Microsoft's Windows 8 or 7 operating system are quite many now, which is why Dell figured it would stir all the fuss it needed for extra publicity if it just used a different OS.

Though some do not want to realize it, Linux, regardless of build, is generally quite popular, and not just among those who don't want to pay for a license. While capable of doing most everything Windows can do (though many programs won't run easily on it), Linux has some advantages of its own. The main one is very low vulnerability to viruses, malware, spyware, etc. Most malicious software is made for Windows kernel, so there just aren't many hackers who bother with Linux. Linux also won the hearts of software developers, being an open-source OS. Speaking of which, Dell gave its XPS 13 Developer Edition the Precise Pangolin Ubuntu build, plus pre-installed drivers that make sure all, or most, peripherals work with the ultrabook from the start.

Two Project Sputnik open-source tools are part of the feature set as well: Profile Tool and Cloud Launcher. They will help developers install and deploy their projects efficiently. Overall, the new laptop from Dell is easily one of the best pre-assembled open-source notebooks we've seen so far. Its price is $1,549 / 1,191-1,549 Euro, about $50 higher than that of the Windows version (38-50 Euro). Some may think it is steep, and they would be right, considering that Ultrabooks were supposed to sell for well beneath $1,000 / 769 -1000 Euro by now. They again, Dell wasn't aiming for cheap. Instead, it gave the laptop an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 CPU, plus up to 8 GB of DDR3 RAM and a SATA III SSD of 256 GB. More details on the Ubuntu ultrabook can be found here.

Dell XPS 13 (Windows Edition)
Image credits to Dell

AMD Radeon HD 8000 Graphics Ready for Q2 2013 Release

The Radeon HD 7000 series is more or less complete at this point, which means AMD is furiously working on the HD 8000 series.

We don't mean the GPUs previously found inside laptops though, since those are most likely rebrands of the 7000 series. Instead, we are referring to the so-called Sea Islands graphics processing units. Fudzilla says they will be available in early 2013, or at least during the second quarter. They will be designed on the 28nm manufacturing process, the same one used by HD 7000.

Until a while ago, it was hoped that the Radeon HD 8000 would make their appearance this year (2012), in the fourth quarter or even the third. The company roadmap has gone through some changes since then, however, so now we have to wait for a few more months.

AMD Radeon Graphics logo
Image credits to AMD

XiaoMi Phone 2 Sold Out in 2 Minutes [Again]

XiaoMi Phone 2 appears to be one of the fastest selling devices in China, if we’re to believe data coming from its maker.

Today, the company claims to have put up for sale 150,000 units of the device, and to have sold all of them out in about two minutes. The handset was sold similarly fast before, though fewer units were made available then. According to some users, however, they failed to order the device although they tried to do so using multiple computers at the same time. People are even wondering whether anyone was actually able to purchase the device.

XiaoMi Phone 2 was released with a price tag of RMB $1999 ($320 / €245) attached to it, but can be purchased only through TaoBao at the moment, which asks RMB $2799 ($450 / €345) for it.

XiaoMi Phone 2
Image credits to GSMInsider

Nokia is Seeking Linux Engineer to Hire, Might Plan Android Devices

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia is focused on the release of Windows Phone devices as part of its partnership with Microsoft, but it seems that the company is also looking into other platforms out there.

In fact, the handset vendor has already published a job listing on LinkedIn, announcing that it is looking for a Linux software engineer. According to the post, which is dated November 29, Nokia is looking into embedding Linux software and drivers into its new products, which would suggest that Android might soon arrive on its devices. “We are looking for an expert C/C++ & JAVA engineers to develop embedded Linux device software and hardware drivers for our exciting new products,” the job listing reads. “The candidate must have knowledge and experience working with mobile phone technology. Strong knowledge of embedded linux drivers and resource optimizations such as scheduler/governor is a must. Experience with network stack, RF driver, display driver, and imaging pipeline are also essential.”

Furthermore, the company notes that the candidate will join the team that will build products and services that take advantage of mobile, imaging, and location technologies. Those interested in applying for the job, located in Sunnyvale, California (part of the company’s Concepting & Innovation team in Location & Commerce) also need to have great team collaboration and communication skills. “You should also be passionate for mobile devices, be self-driven and motivated and be adaptable to the ever changing mobile market. You will also be closely involved in architecture, system design and product specification,” Nokia notes. Nokia’s Windows Phone devices are picking up steam on the market, but not as fast as one might have expected them to, and it seems that the Finnish handset vendor might soon try to find a new way out of the rather unpleasant position it finds itself in at the moment.

However, the company has already said that Android is not in its near future plans, although it gave it a thought or two when considering the move away from Symbian. Of course, there is also the possibility that Nokia is considering porting some of its popular applications to Google's Android platform, which would explain the need for a Linux specialist. Most probably, the company will offer more details on this in the not too distant future, so stay tuned.

Nokia logo
Image credits to Nokia

Nokia is seeking Linux engineers
Image credits to LinkedIn

Raspberry Pi Model A Now Shipping

Even though some may not have thought there would be room for a downgrade of the Raspberry Pi, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has its own opinion.

Here is the Raspberry Pi Model A, almost identical to the Model B but equipped with only 256 MB of RAM (B has 512 MB) and one USB port (B has two). Most interesting is that the Model A completely lacks Ethernet connection, meaning it can't be used as a Smart WEB TV creator. It should, however, be a cheaper ($10 / 7.68-10 Euro cheaper) means of creating mods and gadgets, like a certain pocket-sized MAME arcade cabinet. The lack of an Ethernet chip significantly cuts power use as well.

“We’re seeing demand for the Model A from people making industrial control modules, from roboticists, from people doing automation, for a bunch of headless operations – and, significantly, for people who want to use the Pi as a very cheap media center,” Liz Upton wrote.

Raspberry Pi Model A
Image credits to Raspberry Pi Foundation

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