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Dec 12, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Receives Certification in Asia

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung has been rumored lately to plan the release of a Galaxy S II Plus handset, and it seems that the device has just received the necessary approvals in Asia.

The handset sports model number GT-I9105P and is expected to arrive on shelves in early 2013 with a 4.3-inch WVGA touchscreen display and with a 1GHz dual-core processor packed inside. At the same time, the new handset is said to sport an 8-megapixel camera on the back, a 2MP front camera, and Google’s Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean operating system loaded on it.

Although approved only in China for the time being, the mobile phone is expected to become available in various other markets around the world as well. The phone appears to be featuring a design similar to that of Galaxy S II.

Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
Image credits to ameblo.jp

The Google Homepage Is Now Built into Chrome

Google is making it official, search engines are coming to the new tab page. The only surprise is that it's not just Google, the team devised a new API which should enable any search engine to integrate with the Chrome new tab page to any degree it wants.

"We’re going to begin testing variations of Chrome’s New Tab page (NTP) in which a user’s default search provider will be able to add a search box or otherwise customize the NTP," Google explained. "While you can search straight from the omnibox in Chrome, we’ve found that many people still navigate to their search engine's home page to initiate a search instead. The goal is to save people time by helping them search and navigate the web faster," it added.

We've seen variations of this for a while now, just never enabled by default. Google has been playing around with the idea of a new new tab page for a while now and also looking at ways of building the Google homepage into the new tab page. It's now confident that it's on to something, so it's testing variations of the new design with some dev channel users on Windows and Chrome OS. If you're not part of the experiment, fret not, you can enable it by turning on the "Enable Instant extended API" flag.

The experimental Chrome new tab page, with Google built in
Image credits to Google

The searches are directed to the Omnibox which also returns results now
Image credits to Google

Eurocom Offer Very Powerful Graphics Upgrades for Notebooks

For those unfamiliar with the company and its activities, Eurocom is a provider of high-end, professional mobile workstations and gaming laptops, among other things.

The Panther 4.0, Scorpius, Netpune and Racer are just a few examples of what the company has to offer. The newest models already have top-of-the-line hardware, but the older ones could become a problem. Fortunately, Eurocom's laptops are actually quite easy to upgrade, as far as graphics go anyway. That is why Eurocom has opened a program through which owners of any laptops featuring the modular MXM 3.0b VGA technology can swap existing discrete graphics for a high performance or an ultra-high performance alternative. “At Eurocom, we have offered fully upgradeable notebooks to our clients for many years because we believe strongly in the long term benefits it offers,” said Mark Bialic, Eurocom president. “VGA upgradeability allows users to extend lifespan of their equipment while providing various levels of performance and easy migration to newer GPU technologies.” There are four high performance graphics cards and two ultra-high performance cards.

In the former category, the 1.5GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M is one example, with 336 CUDA cores. Then there is the 2GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675M (384 CUDA cores). The 3GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX (960 CUDA cores) and 4GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX (960 CUDA) cores are the other two. As for the strongest cards, one of them is the AMD Radeon HD 7970M, with 2 GB GDDR5 and 1,280 stream processors. The other is NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680M, with 4 GB VRAM and 1,344 CUDA cores.

Eurocom is one of the few companies that give their customers such an easy time upgrading their laptops. In theory, notebooks could easily be created while keeping this functionality in mind. Sadly, not many other companies are known to act on the possibility, definitely not to this extent.

Eurocom Panther 4.0
Image credits to Eurocom

BlackBerry 10 L-Series Handset [New Video]

We have already had the chance to have a look at various videos with Research In Motion’s upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system, while also having a glimpse at what the company’s future devices might look like, and a new such video is now available for your viewing pleasure.

Available courtesy of Vietnamese website Tinhte.vn, the video appears to complement the leaked high-resolution photos with the device that emerged online several hours ago. Those who have a look at it will have the chance to learn more on the phone’s outer design, although they might not understand much since the video is not in English.

With BlackBerry 10 and the first handsets running under it set to become official on January 30, more such leaks are expected to emerge. Stay tuned for more on the matter.

Video credits to Tinh TĂȘ

Dual-Screen YotaPhone with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean to Be Unveiled at MWC 2013

Russian company Yota has just announced the upcoming availability of its dual-screen Android handset YotaPhone.

This is the first smartphone announced to feature a full-color LCD, along with an electronic paper display (EPD) on the other side. The two displays integrated have different purposes and functions, which is what makes the YotaPhone so interesting in the first place. Given the fact that the electronic paper display (EPD) should not drain too much energy from the 2100 mAh Li-Ion battery, it stands to reason that the phone will offer users enough usage in comparison with devices that pack only one display. Although both screens measure 4.3 inches, the EPD display is mostly used for receiving notifications, social media updates, as well as for reading news and displaying pictures. “This will be the first time that people will be able to personalize the information they want to receive on their phones in an effortless way. You tell YotaPhone what information you want and when you want it. It becomes your personal assistant reminding you of what’s important to you,” said Yota Devices CEO Vlad Martynov.

On the other hand, YotaPhone users can watch videos, play games and perform the usual functions suitable for Android phones on its LCD display that supports HD (720 x 1280 pixels) resolution. Hardware-wise, the YotaPhone will be equipped with a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon processor and 32GB or 64GB of internal memory. The phone will also boast a 12-megapixel rear photo snapper with autofocus, LED flash and full HD (1080p) video recording, as well as a secondary HD front facing camera for video calls. It is also worth mentioning that the YotaPhone will be powered by Google’s Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system out of the box, and will support LTE connectivity. According to manufacturers, YotaPhone will be available for sale globally in H2 2013 and will be showcased at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, in late February.

Images credits to Yota

BlackBerry 10 L-Series Handset [New Photos]

BlackBerry enthusiasts are certainly looking forward to having a better look at the first devices that Canadian mobile phone maker Research In Motion will bring to the market with the new BlackBerry 10 OS on board, and they just got a bit lucky, it seems.

A new set of leaked images with RIM’s L-Series full-touch BlackBerry 10 smartphone can be seen online, presenting the device from all angles. Little is actually known on what the smartphone will pack inside in terms of hardware, but RIM is expected to bring it in line with some of the latest handsets out there, so as to prove that it can be competitive once again. These photos were taken in Vietnam and emerged over at tinhte.vn, but were not accompanied by details on the phone’s hardware capabilities. However, the news site notes that the BlackBerry L-Series smartphone will feature a design similar to the Dev Alpha B handset, although it will feel much better when held. The handset will arrive on shelves with rounded corners, and will be very comfortable to use, both with one hand and with both of them.

Provided that there are still some of you out of the loop, we should note that RIM is set to make the BlackBerry 10 OS and the first devices running under it official on January 30, 2013. These smartphones should land on shelves shortly after the official unveiling, RIM said, although analysts suggested recently that it might delay their release to March next year. The full touch device that can be admired in the photos attached to this article will be accompanied by QWERTY-enabled handsets as well, set to be released not long after the L-Series hit shelves. Yesterday, RIM made available for download the gold flavor of the BlackBerry 10 SDK, to ensure that users will have applications available for the new handsets at launch, and it seems that all is moving forth pretty smoothly with the development of the new OS.

BlackBerry 10 L-Series
Images credits to tinhte.vn

Intel Launches World's First 6W Server CPUs

Intel's Xeon processor line is a strong server chip collection, and a large one too, but it isn't exactly suited for all sorts of configurations, particularly microservers. Thus, Chipzilla has launched a different set of CPUs for them.

Microservers are the sort of computer systems that act as primary hubs for home and small office networks. They are usually much weaker than the desktop PCs and laptops connected to the same networks as them. They only need to provide a unified Internet connection after all, and maybe back up data. Power efficiency is an important factor here, which is why Intel has released the Atom S series of central processing units. There are three chips, called Atom S1220, Atom S1240 and Atom S1260. All of them are dual-core models with a TDP (thermal design power) of under 10W. One of them works on 6.1 watts. It is the first 6-watt server-class processor ever made actually, according to the company. The first of the three has a maximum clock speed of 1.6 GHz, 1 MB of cache memory (L2), supports Hyper-Threading (two physical cores become four logical cores) and a TDP of 8.1W.

The Atom S1240 is the all-important 6.1W CPU, but is otherwise identical to the one above. That leaves the Atom S1260, which is the strongest (up to 2.0 GHz clock speed) but has the highest TDP as well, of 8.5W. All three newcomers support 64-bit instructions, up to 8 GB of DDR3 memory and eight PCI Express 2.0 lanes (no PCI Express 3.0). Finally, the price of the Atom S CPUs, or rather SoCs (system-on-chip devices), is of as low as $54 / 41.54-54 Euro. In 2013, Intel will launch the Avoton Atoms (with up to eight cores each). Later, in 2014, 14nm low-power Xeon chips will pick up their mantle.

Intel Atom logo
Image credits to Intel

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