Microsoft desires it's name on hardware so much it is willing to compete with its self

Subject: General Tech | October 4, 2012 - 01:49 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, win8, surface, google, Android, nexus 7, Samsung, Pegatron

Two companies which for the most part sold software only are making a name for themselves in the hardware sector, in two very different ways.  Google's Android has become quite a player and the upcoming release of the Nexus 7 platform is anticipated by many mobile players because Google has no intentions of making its own phones.  Instead they will make their money licensing the platform to a variety of established cellphone and tablet manufacturers, as they have in the past.  According to what DigiTimes has heard, Microsoft is going in the exact opposite direction with Surface and will be continuing with the same plan as their tablet, which has already caused negative backlash from many of the major player in the market such as Acer.  Designers of Microsoft Win8 based phones are required to use the same platform and interface in order to meet the requirements of Microsoft's licensing agreement which will make phones difficult to differentiate as competitors are very limited in the customization they can offer, at least on the software side.  To make the market even more confusing, Microsoft is reaching out to Pegatron to manufacture their own branded Surface phone, which will find its self in direct competition with the phones from established players, the ones Microsoft is count on to license the portable version of Win8.  It would be hard to come up with another way that Microsoft could make licensing their new OS even less attractive for OEMs and ODMs.

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"Google and Microsoft both reportedly plan to extend the Nexus 7 and Surface tablet lineups to include smartphones as a means to further increase the penetration of their own platforms, but the two companies will implement the strategies in a different tune, according to industry sources.

Google aims to launch smartphones based on its Nexus 7 platform in cooperation with a number of smartphone branded vendors with Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Sony Mobile Communications and HTC likely to be potential partners, said the sources.

On the other hand, Microsoft is reportedly tapping ODM maker Pegatron for the production of WP8-based smartphones slated for launch in the first half of 2013, the sources indicated."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

Source: DigiTimes
Subject: Storage
Tagged: tlc, ssd, Samsung, pro, mdx, 840

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Introduction

Last week, Samsung flew myself and a few of my fellow peers in the storage review community out to Seoul, Korea. The event was the 2012 Samsung SSD Global Summit:

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At this event, Samsung officially announced their new 840 Pro, which we were able to obtain early under NDA and therefore publish in concert with the announcement. The 840 Pro was largely an incremental inprovement over their 830 Series. Newer, faster flash coupled with a higher clocked controller did well to improve on an already excellent product.

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As the event closed, we were presented with the second model of the lineup - the 840. This model, sans the 'Pro' moniker, is meant more for general consumer usage. The first mass marketed SSD to use Triple Level Cell (TLC) flash, it sacrifices some write speed and long-term reliability in favor of what should become considerably lower cost/GB as production ramps up to full capacity. TLC flash is the next step beyond MLC, which is in turn a step after SLC. Here's a graphic to demonstrate:

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Read on for the full review!

Podcast #220 - Samsung 840 Pro SSD, a 1500W PSU from EVGA, AMD GPU leaks, and more!

Subject: General Tech | September 27, 2012 - 01:46 PM |
Tagged: tlc, ssd, Sea Islands, Samsung, PSU, podcast, nvidia, IOPS, Intel, evga, amd, 840 pro, 840, 1500W

PC Perspective Podcast #220 - 09/27/2012

Join us this week as we talk about the Samsung 840 Pro SSD, a 1500W PSU from EVGA, AMD GPU leaks, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Allyn Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:07:28

Podcast topics of discussion:

  1. Week in Reviews:
    1. 0:02:55 Samsung 840 Pro 512GB SSD
    2. 0:17:50 EVGA SuperNOVA 1500 watt PSU
  2. 0:23:20 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  3. News items of interest:
    1. 0:24:05 Raspberry Pi to get a Turbo button?
    2. 0:26:30 Looking for a $1200 Muderbox?
    3. 0:29:05 GLOBALFOUNDRIES goes 3D with FinFET
    4. 0:41:10 AMD Sea Islands GPU leaks
    5. 0:46:00 Maingear launches an All-in-One with a GTX 680
    6. 0:50:50 Catalyst 12.9 Released
    7. 0:55:20 Long term storage?
  4. Closing:
    1. 0:57:30 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
      1. Ryan: AVADirect Mini-ITX Gaming System
      2. Jeremy: and now I can't find the smegging disks
      3. Josh: A fun barebones- not perfect, but cheap!
      4. Allyn: Samsung 830 deals! (anywhere you can get 'em)
  1. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  2. http://pcper.com/podcast
  3. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  4. Closing/outro
  5.  

Samsung smashes the 830 series with the 840 Pro

Subject: Storage | September 25, 2012 - 05:02 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, 840 Pro 512GB, 840, mdx, pro, ssd

Allyn wasn't the only one blown away by the performance and efficiency increase of the new Samsung 840 Pro 512GB SSD, anyone who had a chance to review this drive saw incredible performance.  It is not yet available for purchase but you can expect to see the 256G at $270 and this 512GB at around $600 when they do become available.  Inside the 3-core eight channel MDX controller is paired with eight 64GB modules of Samsung’s new 21nm MLC DDR-2 toggle mode NAND, which give this drive its incredible speed.  SSD Reviews came to the same conclusion that Al did, we need a new interface as SATA 6Gb/s is already being saturated by high end SSDs.

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"Our report on the Samsung 840 Pro SSD begins post take off from Pearson Int’l Airport in Toronto and on route to Seoul, South Korea. Having had this SSD in our hands for some time, even the enormity of the Samsung 840 family release celebration cannot overshadow the performance of what just might be the hottest solid state drive to hit the streets to date. How does just under an extra hour laptop life and 100,000 IOPS grab you to start?"

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Storage

Source: SSD Review
Subject: Storage
Tagged: 840, mdx, pro, Samsung, ssd

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Introduction

Samsung has been at this SSD thing for quite some time now. The first SSD I bought was in fact a Samsung unit meant for an ultraportable laptop. Getting it into my desktop was a hack and a half, involving a ZIF to IDE adapter, which then passed through yet another adapter to convert to SATA. The drive was wicked fast at the time, and while it handily slaughtered my RAID-0 pair of 74GB VelociRaptors in random reads, any writes caused serious stuttering of the drive, and therefore the entire OS. I was clearly using the drive outside of its intended use, but hey, I was an early adopter.

Several SSDs later came the Intel X25-M. It was a great drive, but in its earliest form was not without fault. Luckily, these kinks were worked out industry-wide, and everyone quickly accelerated their firmware optimizations as to better handle random writes. Samsung took a few generations to get this under control. The first to truly get over this hump was the 830 Series, which launched earlier this year. It utilized a triple core Arm 9 CPU which was able to effectively brute force heavy random write workloads. It also significantly increased the speed and nimbleness of the 830 across the board, which combined with Samsung's excellent reliability record, quickly made it my most recommended series as of late.

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...and now we have the 840 Series, which launched today. Well, technically it launched yesterday if you're reading from the USA. Here in Korea the launch started at 10 AM and spanned a day of product press briefings leading to the product NDA expiration at 8 PM Korea time. This review will focus on the 512GB capacity of the 840 Pro model. We will follow on with the 840 (non-pro) at a later date:

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Read on for the full review!

Samsung Launches New 840, 840 Pro SSD Series at Global SSD Summit

Subject: Storage | September 23, 2012 - 10:00 PM |
Tagged: ssd, Samsung, pro, mdx, 840

Good morning from Seoul, Korea!

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I'm here at the Samsung Global SSD Summit, where Samsung has officially launched their 840 Series of SSDs. This new controller features many advancements which enable it to climb past 100,000 IOPS in random reads (!!!). Samsung also claims peaks of 90,000 IOPS in random writes. These are seriously high numbers for any SATA SSD, and we will be publishing our full review of the 840 Pro once the NDA lifts later this evening (tomorrow morning for everyone back in the states).

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Unfortunately there is nothing more I can disclose at this time, but stay tuned for more info! While all of you are sleeping tonight, I will be attending several briefings covering the 840, and those juicy tidbits will all be filtered into our review, so don't miss this one!

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Press Blast after the break:

Samsung versus Qualcomm; don't judge a tablet by its cover

Subject: Mobile | September 13, 2012 - 07:16 PM |
Tagged: tablet, Snapdragon S4 Pro, Samsung, qualcomm, ice cream sandwich, Exynos 4412

You are likely already somewhat familiar with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, running Ice Cream Sandwich on a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos 4412.  Externally it looks almost identical to the 10.1" engineering sample that Qualcomm pulled out in front of The Inquirer today but internally they are very different.  Inside the Qualcomm tablet is the new 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, running a hair faster than the Exynos and with a different architecture.  That customized architecture showed up in the testing, the Qualcomm tablet benchmarked higher the Samsung, much higher than the 100MHz speed difference would imply.  However not all was perfect with the usability of the tablet, though The Inquirer does point out this is a tablet still in development and the software is not quite ready for prime time.

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"The INQUIRER took the chance to test Qualcomm's developer tablet Snapdragon processor against the Exynos quad-core chip used in Samsung's popular Galaxy Note 10.1.

On paper, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and the Qualcomm development tablet are quite similar. Both devices run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and have 10.1in touchscreens."

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Source: The Inquirer

Samsung Unveils ATIV S WP8 Smartphone at IFA 2012

Subject: Mobile | September 6, 2012 - 07:16 PM |
Tagged: wp8, windows phone 8, Samsung, microsoft, ifa, ativ s

Tablets and ultrabooks are not the only devices Samsung is unveiling at IFA 2012. The company also showed off its first Windows Phone 8 smartphone, the ATIV S.

Featuring a brushed aluminum chassis, the ATIV S is 8.7mm thin and weights 135 grams (just under 0.3 pounds). It is approximately 5.4” tall and 2.8” wide at 137.2mm x 70.5mm. The front of the smartphone features a large 4.8” HD Super AMOLED touchscreen display covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 2. Below the display is a slightly raised physical Windows button along with capacitive back and search buttons on either side. Above the display is a 1.9MP webcam and aluminum speaker grill. On the rear of the ATIV S is an 8MP autofocus camera, rear aluminum speaker bar, and a compartment that holds a 2300 mAh battery.

Samsung ATIV S.jpg

Inside the smartphone running Windows Phone 8 is a 1.5 GHz dual core ARM SoC, 1GB of RAM, and 16 or 32 GB of storage. The ATIV S also includes a microSD card slot. According to the Windows Team Blog, the ATIV S is noticeably thinner than Samsung’s other Windows Phone (7) smartphones. On the other hand, the phone is wider and taller, so it is less pocket-able. Thanks to the slightly curved edges of the phone, it is easy to hold and use with one hand despite the larger form factor (I’m sure Josh is making a joke for the podcast as we speak).

Samsung ATIV S_back.jpg

Overall, it looks like Samsung has put a lot of work into its new ATIV S Windows Phone 8 smartphone. While I’ve been intrigued with the Windows Phone mobile OS for a while now, I have not found a phone running it that I like; Nokia is great and all but the Nokia 920’s design just isn’t my thing. Personally, I think the ATIV S might be the perfect replacement for my Samsung Infuse 4G. You can see more photos of the ATIV S over at the Windows Team Blog.

Read more about Windows Phone 8 at PC Perspective.

Samsung Shows Off Ultrabook With 2560x1440 Display at IFA

Subject: Mobile | September 2, 2012 - 09:50 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook, Series 9, Samsung, retina display, prototype, ifa

The Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin (IFA) 2012 electronics show in Berlin has seen numerous Windows 8 tablets, but those are not the only mobile devices on the show floor. Samsung is at the event with its lineup of Series 9 Ultrabooks, for example.

The most interesting model is a prototype (engineering sample) Series 9 ultrabook that sports a WQHD display. That’s right, the 11.6” and 13.3” ultrabooks have displays with a resolution of 2560x1440 pixels! The new display has a pixels-per-inch (PPI) rating of 220.84, which is a major improvement over the current 13” Series 9 ultrabook’s 1600x900, 138.03 PPI display. The new prototype Series 9 has a total display resolution lower than the 2880x1800 “Retina” display in the 15” Macbook Pro, but due to its overall smaller size at 13,” the PPI is comparable. In fact, it is ever-so-slightly higher at 220.84 PPI versus 220.53 for the Apple Macbook Pro. In addition, the Series 9 display features a matte finish, which is something road warriors will appreciate.

Samsung Series 9 Ultrabook.jpg

Image credit: Engadget.

It seems that – except for the new higher resolution display – the prototype spotted by Engadget at IFA is exactly the same as the latest Ivy Bridge-powered Series 9 ultrabook. It features a full QWERTY keyboard and click-able multitouch trackpad. The right side of the Samsung ultrabook includes a microphone, HDMI output, combination headphone/microphone jack, and a USB 2.0 port. There is also a covered slot for a full-size SD card on the underside of the chassis. On the left side of the ultrabook is a power jack, USB 3.0 port, micro-HDMI port, and micro RJ45 Ethernet port.

Powering the Series 9 prototype is likely an Intel Ivy Bridge processor, at least 4GB of RAM and an SSD. Further, the computer comes loaded with Microsoft's latest Windows 8 operating system. Beyond that, it is impossible to know the exact parts being used as Samsung isn’t ready to unleash this notebook yet. Unfortunately, that also means that pricing and availability are also not known.

With rumors that Apple is working on a new 13” Macbook Pro with “retina” display of its own, one possibility is that the prototype Series 9 is just that – a prototype (and proof of concept) – from which the company will sell the panels to Apple for its Macbook while not coming out with its own high resolution ultrabook. On the other hand, Samsung may be pursuing this and trying to beat Apple to market with a smaller notebook packing a comparible display to Apple's current Macbook Pro.

Personally, I’m rooting for the Series 9 with 2560x1440 display to at least come to market even if the panels also end up in Macbooks (though with Samsung’s luck that would just give Apple yet another device to attempt to get an injunction on….).

Either way, the concept is certainly promising, and here’s hoping that it inspires other OEMs to step up their ultrabook designs by using higher resolution displays!

Below is a hands on video by Mat Smith over at Engadget. For more information, you can find our Series 9 review as well as an editorial on the "Retina Macbook Pro from a PC Perspective" (see what we did there?).

Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more IFA 2012 coverage!

Source: Engadget

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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