Subject: Mobile | November 9, 2011 - 07:08 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Samsung, Infuse 4g, froyo, AT&T, Android
Just Delivered is a new section of PC Perspective where we share some of the goodies that pass through our labs that may or may not see a review, but are pretty cool none the less.
I've been rocking an aging Nokia N900 smart phone for quite some time now. It was a good phone but I felt that it was time to take advantage of the upgrade pricing, and pick up a new phone with better support and hardware. Fed Ed today dropped off a smart phone in this ever unassuming box. Let's hope the phone is shinier than the box!
After opening the box and taking out all of the components, I was left with quite a bit of kit. The phone in question is a Samsung Infuse 4G (for AT&T), and the box includes all the various retail odds and endsa that go with it. The Android smart phone is fairly thin, and although made of plastic it feels sturdy. Weighting in at 4.9 ounces, the phone resembles a small tablet with a massive 4.5" Super AMOLED+ capacitive multi-touch display with a resolution of 480 by 800 pixels. Powering the display is a single core Hummingbird processor running at 1.2 GHz, 512 MB of RAM, and 16 GB of internal storage via an internal microSD card. Unfortunately, the phone is only running Android 2.2 and Samsung is using their own TouchWiz UI on top of the OS. Despite that, the phone does still feel very snappy in terms of scrolling, bringing up menus, and transitioning between applications. I'll have to play around with it some more though.
Notable accessories Included in the box are a 1750 mAh battery, 2 GB MicroSD card (and SD card adapter), and wired headset as shown in the image below. Also a nice touch is a combination USB/AC charger and USB cable, which will be easier to manage than carrying around two chargers for my old phone (the AC charger and separate USB cable). The phone is capable of supporting up to a 32 GB microSDHC card for maximum storage.
As far as very first impressions go, I'm really liking the Samsung Infuse. Although the display is one of the largest on a phone I've ever used, the phone is surprisingly light. It doesn't hurt that the display is very sharp and the colors are great, either. Now excuse me while I run out and get a screen protector before I scratch this thing!
Subject: Mobile | November 9, 2011 - 01:00 AM | Matt Smith
Tagged: tegra 3, tegra, tablet, quad-core, kal-el, eee pad, asus, Android
ASUS Eee Pad Prime
Rumors have been swirling around the ASUS Prime tablet and dock, successors to the popular ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, for months. Today, many of those rumors can rest, as ASUS has taken the wraps off the tablet's official specifications.
The big story for enthusiasts is the tablet’s NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor. Provided that the product makes its anticipated December release (the exact date has yet to be announced), this will be the first tablet to hit the market with Tegra 3 as well as the first Android tablet to sport a quad-core. You can read some more details that Ryan discussed about Tegra 3 and its five (5?!?) cores, by checking out this post from September.
NVIDIA Kal-El / Tegra 3 Processor
As the follow-up to the Transformer, the Prime offers many of the same features including the keyboard dock. However, the Prime is improved across the board. The tablet is just 8.3 millimeters thin, making it the thinnest tablet on the market (the next thinnest is the 8.6mm Galaxy Tab 10.1, while the iPad 2 is 8.8mm). Weight has been reduced to 586 grams (1.29 lbs), down from 680. The rear-facing camera now sports an 8MP sensor, the battery in both the tablet and the optional dock is slightly larger, and base storage is now 32GB, with a 64GB model available as an optional upgrade. Even the display has been improved via a new brightness enhancement function that promises to make the tablet easier to use in sunlight.
Even the design has been upgraded. Unlike the Transformer, which has a plastic back, the Prime has a “spun metallic” finish. It will be available in amethyst gray and champagne gold.
The battery tests from ASUS put the Prime at 12 hours of life on its own and 18 hours with the keyboard dock while playing back 720p video with all ports enabled and the screen brightness at 60 nits.
Despite all of these improvements, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer will not be going away. In fact, it will be remaining at its current price. Instead, the Prime is entering the market as a “premium” product built to compete directly with the iPad 2 and Galaxy Tab 10.1. The base Prime model with 32GBs of storage is $499, while the 64GB model is $599. As with the original, purchasing the optional keyboard dock will set you back another $149.
ASUS claims that the Prime will in fact ship with Android 3.2 in its initial release with an over-the-air updated to 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) as soon as it has been "optimized, tested and approved". They weren't willing to put a date or time frame on that release but they are planning on using the 4.0 OS revision at the launch event coming in December; that seems to indicate to us we may have it in time for CES in January 2012.
When PC Perspective reviewed the Transformer, I called it “the best Android tablet on the market today.” The thinner, lighter, more powerful Prime should be a significant improvement to an already excellent product. My only concerns were with the dock itself, which was sometimes finicky and added a fair amount of bulk. It’ll be interesting to see if the Prime can address those concerns.
Subject: General Tech | November 1, 2011 - 08:25 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: windows 8, tablet, software, kal-el, hardware, Android
With Asus’ previous tablets being a success, the company has decided to push forward with four new tablets that are slated to debut next year. The new tablets will join the ranks of the Transformer and soon to be released Transformer Prime tablets under the Asus Eee Pad lineup. Of the four new devices, two tablets will be running Google’s Android OS (Operating System) while the remaining two tablets will run Microsoft’s Windows 8 OS.
The two tablets running Android are slated for release in the first quarter of 2012. While Asus has not released any specific hardware specifications, they will likely be powered by the quad core Nvidia Kal-El ARM processor like the upcoming Asus Transformer Prime (or the Kal-El’s successor).
On the other hand, quarter 3 of 2012 will see the release of two tablets running Windows 8. Interestingly, Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors are also supposed to launch in 2012, which would make for a nice match of technology. Whether we'll see Ivy Bridge powered tablets; however, will depend on how soon Ivy Bridge launches and how quickly Asus can turn around and roll out a product designed around it.
The marketing speak in the above slides indicates that at least the marketing department is excited about the prospect of what they have dubbed hero products. They are striving to win mind share and achieve a “perfect” product. Whether they will achieve that or not remains to be seen; however, having more Windows 8 tablets isn’t a bad thing! More information can be had here.
Are you still holding out for your “perfect” tablet, and if so what are you looking/waiting to see from a tablet?
Introduction, Specs, Design and Ergonomics
Samsung's Galaxy S II smartphone debuted in the U.S. with Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile in September and we finally got our hands on a review sample. The Samsung smartphone runs on Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" operating system and includes an 8 MP camera with LED flash and 1080p video, front facing 2 MP camera, and Samsung’s custom TouchWiz user interface.
T-Mobile and Sprint’s version sports a 4.52-inch display, but AT&T’s version has a 4.3-inch screen that matches the original international version of the Galaxy S II. We are reviewing T-Mobile's Galaxy S II with 16GB of internal memory (there are two options for 16 and 32 GB). The Sprint and AT&T versions are outfitted with a dual-core 1.2 GHz Orion processor, but the T-Mobile version we are reviewing today sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU.
Subject: General Tech | October 7, 2011 - 12:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Android, ice cream sandwich, Samsung, nexus prime
It looks like the release of the full specs of Samsung's Nexus Prime yesterday was nothing more than a tease as today we find out that the release of the phone and Google's new Ice Cream Sandwich will be delayed. Not only do we not know the new schedule for release, we also do not know the reason for the delay. The Inquirer mentions the possibility that the release of the phone would be overshadowed by the iPhone 4S and iOS 5, though it could also be simply because of the leaks about the phone that have occurred recently. Whatever the true reason, you won't able to snack on a sandwich anytime soon.
"KOREAN HARDWARE GIANT Samsung has confirmed it has pushed back its product announcement that was due to take place next week.
It was extremely likely that the company was going to announce, along with Google, the Nexus Prime smartphone at the Cellular Telephone Industries Association conference in San Diego next Tuesday. The phone will be the first to run Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), but the announcement now has no date or venue."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- TSMC, UMC post revenue drops in September 2011 @ DigiTimes
- Microsoft will patch critical IE and .NET bugs next week @ The Inquirer
- Future Firefox to slurp updates silently @ The Register
- Real World Labs And OCZ Technology Joint Contest
Introduction and Design
Tablets may be the darling of the tech industry, but they’ve also received their fair share of criticism as well. One of the most consistent barbs throw towards them is the tablet’s inability to serve as a competent platform for content creature. While it’s technically possible to write a document or edit an image on a tablet, it’s certainly not enjoyable.
Part of the problem is the lack of a keyboard and mouse. Touchscreens are beautiful and intuitive, but they’re not precise. While third-party cases and docks have tried to solve this issue, they’re often both clunky and expensive.
It’s little surprise that a tablet designed specifically to work in conjunction with a keyboard dock has hit the market, but it is surprising that the first such device comes from ASUS, a company with relatively little experience building mobile products. The Eee Pad Transformer is already the second-best selling tablet on the market (after the iPad, of course) and reports indicate sales are constrained by supply rather than demand. What is it that has made the Transformer a quick success?
Introduction, Design and Ergonomics
Courtesy of Samsung
Samsung's first product to make a splash into the Android tablet market was the original 7" Tab, and while its performance numbers were on par with other similar tablets produced in 2010, it left many consumers wanting more multimedia, gaming, and productivity features like what was available with Apple's iPad and iPad2. Many vendors, including Samsung, were dealing the same issues and challenges associated with the lack of tablet support in Android-based games and applications because Android's SDK only comes in one flavor for general mobile devices, not tablets with larger displays.
Courtesy of Samsung
After hearing feedback from consumers and hardware reviewers, Samsung completely redesigned the Tab 10.1 to accommodate users eager for enhanced video and gaming capabilities that take advantage of modern technologies like Android's latest Honeycomb OS and NVIDIA's Tegra 2 processor that support higher resolution displays beyond 1024x768 (the Tab 10.1's display runs at 1280x800). They also gave the Tab 10.1 a slimmer profile that is comparable to the iPad2. The Tab 10.1 can be purchased for around $499 for the 16GB version and $599 for the 32GB version, which is also on par with its Apple counterparts. We are reviewing the 16GB version to check out all the new features in Honeycomb and see what surprises Samsung included with the Tab 10.1 that justify the $500 price tag.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Mobile | July 25, 2011 - 02:58 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: msi, Android
Are you a hardcore PC user who likes to tweak your computer? Naturally there is an app for you. MSI has launched an application for the Android Marketplace this morning to allow users wishing to monitor and overclock their computers the ability to use their Android-powered smartphone or tablet for that purpose through their wireless network. This version allows you to monitor temperature, voltage, fan speed and adjust clock rates, voltages, and fan speeds.
Let's hope Angry Birds doesn't see this: Some systems' power consumptions are pigs!
MSI Afterburner APP has relatively modest requirements: a tablet or smartphone device running Android 1.6 or higher, a system running Windows XP or later with a discrete graphics card, access to a network with wireless access for the Android device to link into, and Afterburner 2.1.0 or later installed on the PC. Setting up your PC is relatively simple once you have Afterburner installed as you just need to run, not even install, an application “Remote Server” that you can download from the MSI website linked to from the Android Marketplace link. While this application is too new to be rated, it is free and thus there is little reason to not simply try it out yourself.
Subject: General Tech | July 21, 2011 - 03:37 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: vellamo, podcast, nvidia, Intel, eyefinity, Android, amd
PC Perspective Podcast #163 - 7/21/2011
This week we talk about a Mini ITX Z68 Motherboard, PDXLAN coverage, Sandy Bridge-E rumors and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom and Allyn Malventano
This Podcast is brought to you by
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- 0:02:20 BlackBerry PlayBook Review: Good Hardware Seeks Great Software
- 0:04:10 Eyefinity and Me - An Idiot's Guide to AMD's Multi-Monitor Technology
- 0:05:05 Qualcomm Vellamo Browser Benchmark and Results - Android Web Performance
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- 0:16:20 One Billion work units down and the FLOPs are still rising - team ranking page
- 0:20:05 Intel Sandy Bridge-E Processors Just In Time For Christmas But With Some Features Removed
- 0:25:02 Steam readies update to download system, just in (Valve) time
- 0:29:25 PDXLAN Custom Cases Round 1
- 0:34:15 Overclockers Achieve Impressive Llano Overclocking Results, Come Close to 5GHz
- 0:38:30 Intel and AMD be warned; ARM could grab up to 20% of the laptop market in the next 4 years
- 0:44:00 Southern Island is ahead of the pack, but it is set to low power for now
- 0:48:02 FPS games have hit the innovation wall? Not so says John Carmack
- 0:56:35 With Intel's recent purchasing habits, could crossdressing be in their future?
- 1:03:00 New Apple Hardware overview
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- 1:20:55 Closing
Subject: Mobile | July 20, 2011 - 05:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: toshiba, thrive, tablet, Android
The basic stats of the Toshiba Thrive don't make it stand out, a 1GHz Tegra 2, 1GB of RAM, 8, 16 or 32MB internal storage and a 10.1" screen at 1280 x 800 pixels. What does make this Honeycomb 3.1 device stand out is its support for peripherals, a full-sized HDMI port, 2 USB ports, one standard and one micro and a full-sized SD card slot. That means this slightly weighty tablet doesn't need adaptors for your peripherals which might mean less total weight for you to carry around. Even better, Ars Technica had absolutely no problems using the ports, it truly was plug'n'play.
"When Toshiba asked if we'd like to review its Android tablet, called the Thrive, we were initially a bit skeptical of the Honeycomb 3.1 device. There are so many other Android tablets on the market, so why choose this one? Especially when it's heavy?
When you're fighting the iPad on one hand and multiple Android competitors on the other, you have to stand out. Toshiba chose to fight a battle of connectivity and convenience with the Thrive, and it added full-sized HDMI, USB, and SD ports. If those things matter to you, the Thrive succeeds admirably."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- The HP TouchPad Review: webOS on the Big Screen @ AnandTech
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 3G Tablet Review @ t-break
- HP TouchPad Review: webOS on the Tablet @ Techspot
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 hands-on @ The Inquirer
- Bad times ahead for Android phones? @ t-break
- Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Laptop Review @ t-break
- Acer Aspire One 722 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Alienware M14x Gaming Laptop Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Alienware M14x: the Sound and the Fury @ AnandTech
- Coolink Lapchilla Notebook Cooler Review @ HardwareLOOK
- Zalman ZM-NC3000U Ultra Quiet Notebook Cooler Review @ HardwareLOOK
- Cooler Master NotePal Infinite EVO Review @ BayReviews
- Mobile GPU Comparison Guide @ Tech ARP
- LG’s Optimus smartphone 2D to 3D conversion technology explained @ The Inquirer