Is Samsung's Galaxy S III really the best Android out there?

Subject: Mobile | August 30, 2012 - 04:18 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, galaxy s III, Android

Android 4.1, aka Jellybean, is not yet available for the Samsung Galaxy S III, so The Tech Report tested out Samsung's existing TouchWiz software and UI tweaks to the current Android OS present on the phone.  They liked that a lot of the special functions available on the phone were controlled with the body as opposed to swiping motions on the screen, as you wouldn't want to smear that 720p screen.  They did run into some quirks with the phone which they were less than impressed with as well as the history Samsung has of delaying the release of updated operating systems.  That is probably why they ended up getting a Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

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"Samsung's Galaxy S III is the hottest Android handset on the market right now. We spent a few weeks with one to see what it's like."

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Mobile

Looking for upcoming mobile PC and smartphone release information?

Subject: General Tech | August 29, 2012 - 06:09 PM |
Tagged: smartphones, Samsung, release

The Inquirer is the place to be if you are desperate for news from the IFA Technology Conference in Berlin.  It seems that most of the major smart phone manufactures are there showing off their upcoming products.  You have Samsung showing off the Windows 8 powered Ativ S, the Galaxy Note 2 smart phone, a tablet and a pair of hybrid systems while Sony is showing off three new Xperia phones and an Xperia Tablet.

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From ASUS comes a quartet of devices, the dual screen Taichi, Transformer Book, Zenbook U500VZ and Zenbook Prime UX21A Touch.  The Transformer Book will look similar to the existing Pad models on the exterior but the interior will be very different as it will be an Intel processor running Win8.  All of the above will sport SSDs and the Prime will sport an IPS display, the details on the displays of the other devices were not specified. 

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You can also check out a review contrasting Apple's new Ipad against the Tegra powered Asus Transformer Pad Infinity which is due for release in Europe in the near future.  As this conference is taking place in Europe, many of the phones and other devices on display may never make it to North American markets though you can bet similar devices will.

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"SAMSUNG HAS LAUNCHED its first Windows Phone 8 device, the Ativ S, as well as a tablet and two laptop/tablet hybrids that will run Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system.

The launch comes a week ahead of Nokia's expected launch of its first handset running the next generation Microsoft Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system."

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Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

ARM-A9 SOC showdown, Tegra 3 versus ODROID-X

Subject: Mobile | August 21, 2012 - 04:00 PM |
Tagged: tegra 3, Samsung, nvidia, Exynos 4412, cortex-a9, arm

The participants in this System on a Chip showdown both bear long names, on one side is NVIDIA's Tegra 3 ARM SoC and on the other the ODROID-X Samsung Exynos 4412 quad-core ARM Cortex-A9.  NVIDIA's offering is well known by now but the ODROID-X is a relative newcomer to the market, offering their product for about $130.  After setting up Linux on these systems Phoronix got to benchmarking and the results will surprise NVIDIA fans as the ARM based system actually came out on top on quite a few of the tests.

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"While not as popular as NVIDIA's Tegra 3 ARM SoC, the Samsung Exynos 4412 quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 found on cheaply priced ODROID-X can actually outperform the quad-core NVIDIA ARM processor. Here are benchmarks of the $129 USD ODROID-X benchmarked against the NVIDIA Tegra 3 reference tablet and a PandaBoard ES running the Texas Instruments OMAP4460."

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Mobile

Source: Phoronix

WinRT spreads to the major vendors after they touched the Surface

Subject: General Tech | August 14, 2012 - 02:54 PM |
Tagged: winRT, asus, dell, Lenovo, Samsung, microsoft, arm

When Microsoft released their Surface tablet/notebook, the tech community wondered if this move by a software company would upset the Tier 1 hardware vendors who might not want the competition.  That discussion was ended when Microsoft announced that Surface was a proof of concept and would be released in very limited qualities.  Today The Inquirer reports on upcoming mobile devices running on ARM hardware and WinRT from all the major vendors, giving us a rough idea what to expect in the way of performance.  The quoted specs include user interface animations at 60FPS and touchscreen sampling rates of 100Hz per finger.  Battery life will be impressive, 320 hours and 409 hours of standby time and for video playback you can expect 8-13 hours of HD playtime, though they do not talk about the quality of that playback.

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"SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft has revealed Asus, Dell, Lenovo and Samsung Windows RT devices will be available at the launch of the operating system.

Microsoft has been playing a very dangerous game with its Surface tablet hogging the Windows RT limelight, something that its long-term and invaluable partners will not like. Now the company has come out and said that Asus, Dell, Lenovo and Samsung will also have Windows RT devices when the operating system launches later this year."

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Tech Talk

Source: The Inquirer

Deals for August 14th - Samsung 830 128GB SSD for $97

Subject: Editorial, Storage | August 14, 2012 - 10:45 AM |
Tagged: deal of the day, ssd, Samsung

If you are still looking for a deal on your first SSD, the very popular and highly recommended Samsung 830 Series drives are among the best.  Using the offer below, you can get the 128GB model for just $97 with free shipping!

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Top Deal

128GB Samsung 830 Series 2.5" 128GB SATA III Internal SSD for $97 with free shipping(normally $117.00).

Laptops

17.3" MSI GE70 0ND-033US Core i7-3610QM 2.3GHz Quad-core Ivy Bridge Gaming Laptop w/8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, 1080p LCD, 2GB GeForce GTX 660M for $1,130 (normally $1,250).

17.3" Alienware M17x Core i7-2670QM 2.2GHz Quad-core 1080p Gaming Laptop w/4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, 2GB Radeon HD 6970M for $1,349 with free shipping (normally $1,849 - use coupon code ?W22Z75PB3DT22).

15.6" ASUS N56VM-TB71 Core i7-3610QM 2.3GHz Quad-core Ivy Bridge Laptop w/8GB RAM, 750GB HDD, 1080p LCD & 2GB GeForce GT 630M for $900 (normally $980).

15.6" Dell Inspiron 15R Special Edition Core i5-3210M 2.5GHz Ivy Bridge Dual-core Laptop w/6GB RAM, 750GB HDD, 1080p & 2GB Radeon HD 7730M for $750 with free shipping (normally $900 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

14" Dell Inspiron 14z Core i7-3517U 1.9GHz Dual-core Ivy Bridge Ultrabook w/8GB RAM, 500GB HDD + 32GB mSSD, 1GB Radeon HD 7570M for $892 with free shipping (normally $1,189 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

14" Lenovo ThinkPad T430s Core i3-2370M 2.4GHz Ultra-thin Business Laptop (Customizable) w/4GB RAM, 320GB HDD for $703 with free shipping (normally $879 - use coupon code 2DAYSALE).

12.5" Lenovo ThinkPad X230 Core i3-2370M 2.4GHz Ultra-portable Laptop (Customizable) w/4GB RAM, 500GB 7200RPM HDD for $711 with free shipping (normally $889 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

13.3" Dell Inspiron 13z Core i5-3317U 1.7GHz Dual-core Ivy Bridge Laptop w/6GB RAM, 500GB HDD for $629 with free shipping (normally $839 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Desktops

Dell Vostro 260s Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-core Slim Tower w/4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Wireless Keyboard + Mouse, 21.5" LCD Monitor & $100 Gift Card for $529 with free shipping (normally $749).

Dell Optiplex 790 Core i5-2400 3.1GHz Quad-core Mini Tower w/4GB RAM, 500GB SATA III HDD, 3-year warranty, Windows 7 Pro, 21.5" LCD Monitor & $100 Gift Card for $649 with free shipping (normally $849 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Alienware Aurora Core i7-2600 3.4GHz Quad-core microATX Liquid-cooled Gaming PC w/8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Blu-ray, Radeon HD 6870 for $1,229 with free shipping (normally $1,729 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Monitors

Two (2) Dell ST2420L 24" 1080p LED-backlit HDMI LCD Monitors Bundle for $340 with free shipping (normally $480).

23" HP 2311xi 1080p IPS panel LED-backlit Monitor for $170 with free shipping (normally $230).

Tablets

10.1" Samsung Galaxy Tab 16GB Android 3.1 Tablet (Refurbished) for $249 (normally $299).

7" Nook Color eBook reader for $145 with free shipping (normally $150).

Peripherals

1TB Toshiba Canvio USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive (HDTB110XK3BA) for $87(normally $130).

128GB Samsung 830 Series 2.5" 128GB SATA III Internal SSD for $97 with free shipping(normally $117.00).

64GB Centon DataStickPro USB 2.0 Flash Drive for $35 with free shipping(normally $50).

3GB VisionTek Radeon HD 7970 Video Card for $370 with free shipping (normally $430 - use coupon code YWI68641).

Gigabyte Radeon HD 6450 Low Profile Video Card for $10(normally $35).

Xerox Phaser 6280N Color Laser Printer for $399 with free shipping (normally $549).

Brother HL-2280DW Laser Multi-Function Printer for $95 with free shipping (normally $140 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Gaming:

Madden NFL 13 (PS Vita) + $10 Credit for $35 with free shipping (normally $40).

Home Entertainment:

55" Proscan PLED3792A 37" 1080p LED HDTV for $320 (normally $400).

55" Panasonic VIERA TC-P55ST50 3D 1080p Plasma HDTV + $50 Restaurant.com Gift Certificate for $1,250 with free shipping (normally $1,350).

42" LG 42PA4500 720p Plasma HDTV for $400 with free shipping (normally $500).

32" Samsung UN32EH4000 720p LED HDTV + $40 Gift Card for $319.99 with free shipping (normally $350

Panasonic DMP-BDT220 Integrated Wi-Fi 3D Blu-ray Player for $110 with free shipping (normally $145 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Personal Portables & Peripherals:

Klipsch Reference S4 In-Ear Noise-Isolating Headphone for $46 with free shipping (normally $69 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

16MP Nikon COOLPIX S8200 Digital Camera (Red) for $210 with free shipping (normally $249).

16MP Canon PowerShot A2400 IS Black Digital Camera for $134 with free shipping (normally $159 - use coupon code 16MP Nikon Coolpix AW100 Waterproof Digital Camera for $269 with free shipping (normally $300).

Miscellaneous:

Ooma Telo VoIP Phone System w/ Bluetooth Adapter for $185 with free shipping (normally $250 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Serta Executive High-Back Leather Chair (Black or Brown) for $145 with free shipping (normally $230 - use coupon code on LogicBuy).

Source: LogicBuy

Samsung Launches Cortex A15-based Exynos 5 Dual Core SoC

Subject: Mobile | August 10, 2012 - 05:12 AM |
Tagged: Samsung, Exynos 5250, exynos 5, dual core arm, cortex a15

A few months back, Samsung debuted its latest Exynos 4 quad core mobile System on a Chip (SoC) based on four Cortex A9 cores. The company recently released details of its next generation Exynos processor, only this time it is a dual core variant. The Samsung Exynos 5 Dual (Exynos 5250) is packing the latest mobile ARM technology with two ARM Cortex A15 CPU cores and a Mali T604 graphics core.

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The dual core processor is running at 1.7 GHz and features the NEON fixed function hardware for accelerated video decoding. Further, the Mali T604 GPU is based on ARM’s new Midgard architecture. The T604 includes a unified shader design with support for OpenGL ES 3.0 and the full OpenCL 1.1 profile. Not too shabby for a mobile GPU!

The Exynos 5250 also sees an upgrade (from 6.4 GB/s in the Exynos 4) in memory bandwidth to 12.8 GB/s between the processor and two port LPDDR3 memory at up to 800Mhz. The increased memory bandwidth along with the new–and more powerful–processor and graphics hardware enables Samsung to offer support for much higher resolution displays up to WXQGA or 2560x1600 pixels.

Other features of the new Exynos 5 dual core processor include USB 3.0 support, wireless display support, and a claimed ability to playback 1080p video at 60 FPS using Google’s VP8 video decoder (no word on H.264 performance, though the ARM processor’s NEON hardware should handle those videos well enough). The GPU is also able to allegedly use 20-times less power when displaying a static image (such as a web page or ebook page) called PSR mode.

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According to the Android Authority, the first product to be powered by the new Samsung Exynos 5 processor will likely be the company’s upcoming Galaxy Tab 11.6 tablet. Quad core variants of the Exynos 5 should come out following the successful dual core launch.

The Cortex A15-based mobile processor is packing some impressive specifications, and it will be interesting to see Exynos 5-powered devices. Specifically, it will be interesting to see how it stacks up compared to products like NVIDIA’s Tegra 3, TI’s OMAP 5, and even Samsung’s own Exynos 4 quad core SoC. Are you excited about the new dual core SoC?

Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Samsung

Introduction and Design

 

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Samsung played a little trick on me when I reviewed the Samsung Series 5 earlier this year. You see, I barely finished my review of it when – surprise! – Samsung announced the new Series 5 550.
 
With that said, I can forgive them. They sent me the new model to review as well. It is a complete redesign both inside and out. The updated exterior is built with better quality materials and is only available in silver instead of your choice of white or black. 
 
Inside, Samsung has thrown Atom aside and replaced it with an Intel Celeron 867. This part uses the Sandy Bridge architecture and offers two cores clocked at 1.3 GHz. It, of course, lacks the Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost features found in some Core series products.
 
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The rest of the laptop is similar to the previous model. The display size is the same and the hard drive is still a 16GB SSD instead of a standard mechanical hard drive. Going with a Sandy Bridge part has also upgraded the graphics, so the pathetic GMA 3150 found in the previous Chromebooks has been replaced with Intel HD, albeit a low-power version with a base clock of 350 MHz and a maximum clock of 1 GHz.
 
These improvements have resulted in a price adjustment that brings the new Series 5 back in line with the debut price of the original. You can expect to pay $450 for the Wi-Fi model or $550 for the 3G version. Consumers who opt for the 3G version receive 2 years of free service from Verizon, but the data cap is a strict 100MB per month. That’s enough for occasional web browsing but not enough for serious use. 
 
Increasing the price puts the Samsung Series 5 back in competition with budget ultraportables like the ASUS 1225B and the Lenovo X130e. Can the Chromebook and Chrome OS hold up against such competitors? Let’s find out.
 

Hardkernel Launching Quad Core ODROID-X Android Computer

Subject: General Tech | July 14, 2012 - 08:53 AM |
Tagged: SFF, Samsung, linux, hardkernel, Exynos 4, computer, arm

If you are an Android developer and have been itching to get your hands on some high end, quad core hardware, than Korean company HardKernel may have just what you’re looking for. The new ODROID-X is an Android developer board (meaning it comes as just a single board computer sans case or accessories. For $129 plus shipping and customs fees, you can have a 90 x 94mm PCB with a Samsung Exynos 4412 ARM Cortex-A9 quad core at 1.4 GHz (1MB cache), Mali 400 GPU, 1GB RAM, and runs on a 5V, 2A power adapter.

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IO for the ODROID-X includes headphone and microphone jacks, six USB 2.0 ports, 10/100 Ethernet, SDHC card slot, 50-pin GPIO connector, UART serial connector, MIPI-CAM camera connector, HDMI, and a power jack. In other words, it is extremely expandable. It is capable of outputting 1080p video over HDMI when using the H.264 video codec thanks to dedicated hardware acceleration. Hardkernel will happily sell you accessories but you would likely be better off buying it from a local retailer or online shop that is in-country to avoid the extra shipping and customs fees. The power jack and other ports are standard, so there aren’t any worries there. Android 4.0 ICS is reportedly available for download, though no word yet on when the newly announced Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" OS build will be up on the site.

Thanks to the Samsung Exynos 4, you definitely have more oomph than the 700 MHz ARMv7 in the Raspberry Pi, though this board isn’t nearly as small (and costs about four times as much). If you need the extra horsepower, this may be worth considering at this price but be sure figure out the import taxes and shipping for your location to figure out what it will really cost you to get your hands on. Read more about the ODROID-X's specifications over at the Hardkernel website.

Source: Ars Technica

AMD and NVIDIA are sticking with TSMC

Subject: General Tech | July 9, 2012 - 04:32 PM |
Tagged: TSMC, Samsung, amd, nvidia, 28nm, rumour

All of the speculation about the problems TSMC has had with their 28nm process and the possible issues they might have producing enough wafers to meet their clients demands.  Today we hear from DigiTimes that Qualcomm is going to switch to Samsung, possibly because TSMC was focusing on AMD and NVIDIA, but this is pure speculation at the moment.  What seems more reliable is that GPU vendors are stating that both AMD and NVIDIA are sticking with TSMC which makes a lot of sense, even if TSMC has problems delivering it is a better alternative than AMD or NVIDIA redesigning their graphics processors to be compatible with Samsung's process.  The story also mentions that in 2013 Brazos 2.0 and Hondo will be moved to a 28nm design, again likely sourced at TSMC.

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"While Qualcomm has reportedly switched foundry orders for its 28nm-based Snapdragon S4 processors from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to Samsung Electronics because TSMC's 28nm capacity has failed to meet its needs, Nvidia and AMD may not follow suit, according to graphics card makers.

TSMC has the upper hand over Samsung in 28nm technology, yield rate and price and therefore changing foundry partnership involves high risks, the sources said. In addition, Nvidia is expected to consider Samsung's ARM-based processors in competition with its Tegra 3 processors, the sources indicated."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes
Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Samsung

Introduction, Design, User Interface

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In August of 2011 I reviewed the Acer AC700-1099, one of two Chromebooks available in the North American market. The review was almost entirely negative. The hardware wasn’t great and the operating system was a bit of a mess–capable of only the most basic tasks. 

Since then, the small surge of hype that surrounded the Chrome OS release has receded. You could be mistaken for thinking Google has abandoned it, but they haven’t. In typical Google fashion it has been slowly, quietly improved. Performance tweaks have allegedly improved web browsing, a proper file manager has been added and Google has just launched Google Drive, its cloud storage service. 

Such enhancements could address a lot of the concerns I had with the Acer rendition. Do they? That’s what we’re here to find out. Let’s start with the basics - what’s inside?

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The hardware inside the Samsung Series 5 is nearly identical to what was inside the Acer AC700-1099 that we reviewed late last year. We’re talking an Atom processor that must rely on its own IGP, two gigabytes of RAM and a tiny–but quick–16GB solid state drive. 

While the equipment is the same, the pricing has changed. When we reviewed the Acer Chromebook it was $349.99. That has been slashed to $279.99. The Series 5, which used to be priced at $429, is now sold for just $299.

Let’s see if improved software and a lower price can turn Chromebooks into winners.