Samsung Transparent Smart Window Visible At CES

Subject: General Tech | January 12, 2012 - 04:39 PM |
Tagged: touch screen, smart window, Samsung, lcd, CES

Aside from "no compromises," "smart" was the big buzz word at this years CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2012. Among Samsung's "smart" products on display was a transparent touchscreen LCD monitor that doubles as a window named appropriately enough the Transparent Smart Window. The new concept design can be made transparent to see the world outside or completely opaque using virtual blinds that blank out the window with a window blind closing animation, even. Tested's Will Smith takes a look at the Samsung window in the video below.

The window display can show more than just blinds, however. It is capable of acting as a fully functional LCD display; playing movies, browsing the Internet, and displaying widgets and backgrounds are all possible. At CES, many sites noted the Twitter application and weather widgets for seeing just how much better the weather is elsewhere in the world. As it is just a concept, there were no specific specifications or hardware sets given. Pricing and availability are just as much up in the air (unknown). It is not likely that we will see this exact product come to market. On the other hand, the technology behind the concept device is what is important, and we will likely see it rolled into other future products. One such likely application of this technology would be to finally bring the HUD, or heads up display, to car windshields including image/light enhancement, back-up cameras, car information (speed, warnings, gps, ect), et al.

What other applications of this technology would you like to see come to market?

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: CNET

Microsoft Surpasses Yahoo In Search Usage For First Time

Subject: General Tech | January 12, 2012 - 12:13 PM |
Tagged: yahoo, search, microsoft, Internet

The Internet search market is a competitive space, as the more control over search a company has, the more money they can make from ad networks, analytic and tracking data, and having an influence over the development of the Internet. Google still remains handily in first place with a majority share of the search market. That's not anything surprising. Where competition heats up; however, is beneath Google where companies fight over the remaining 30% or so of the search market. Microsoft's Bing search engine is the latest major entrant to the market, and for the first time since it's launch it has surpassed Yahoo for the number 2 spot over the search market.

 

ms_vs_bing.png

Microsoft Bings Yahoo.  Also, transparency fail.

According to comScore, Bing and Microsoft's other websites reached 2.75 billion search requests in the United States during the month of December. This allowed Microsoft to slip past Yahoo, who's search engine fielded 2.65 billion requests. Microsoft now holds a 15.1 % share of US search traffic while Yahoo holds 14.5 %. To put those numbers in perspective, Google holds 65.9 % market share. This fight for a slice of the search market has come at a huge cost to Microsoft who's online division lost $7 billion USD in operating costs since June of 2008, according to CBS News.

Further, the article suggests that Microsoft and Yahoo will now continue to draft and pass each other for the next few years. More information can be found at the article linked above.  Have you used Bing, and will it ever have the oomph to take on Google? I personally use Google for the majority of the time but Bing is an okay backup. The image searching is fairly good. I predict that a Bing powered Windows search box (offer internet results from bing in Explorer if no files matching keywords are found, for example) would be interesting and help Microsoft to maintain a search market presence, but don't let the EU find out. What are your thoughts on Microsoft taking second place? Will they be able to maintain their position?

Source: CBS News

Took you long enough! EVGA finally shows off the dual socket SR-X

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | January 12, 2012 - 12:11 PM |
Tagged: SR-X, lga2011, evga, CES

EVGA's dual LGA 1366 SR-2 motherboard has been on the HWLB Extreme System for a while now, even as the Dream system continued to change since there has not been a new high performance dual socket motherboard ... until now.  The EVGA SR-X should be replacing the board soon, paired with some LGA2011 Xeon processors.  It will not be the Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E CPU however, even though they are essentially trimmed down Xeons they are not designed to work in tandem.  Strangely the memory is not balanced between the two sockets, with 4 DIMM slots near one socket and 8 near the other, though space is tight on the board as there are also 7 PCIe 16x slots.  Check out the pictures of this board and other EVGA displays at Legit Reviews.

LR_evga-lga2011-srx-1.jpg

"It doesn't seem all that long ago that we were able to get our hands on the EVGA Classified SR-2 motherboard. It featured dual Intel LGA1366 sockets and support for Intel Xeon processors. During our meeting with EVGA this morning, the revealed the successor to the SR-2, the SR-X! The EVGA SR-X is a dual socket LGA2011 motherboard once again for Xeon processors. If you're hoping to use your Intel Sandy Bridge-E processor, unfortunately it won't work with a pair of them due the single QPI design of the Sandy Bridge-E processors."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Microsoft Releasing Kinect for Windows And SDK On February 1st, 2012

Subject: General Tech | January 12, 2012 - 11:18 AM |
Tagged: xbox, windows, voice, software, PC, microsoft, kinect, gestures

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced at the Consumer Electronics Show that on February 1st, the new Kinect sensor for Windows would become available for purchase. In addition to the new Kinect for Windows sensor hardware, Microsoft is releasing an official SDk or Software Development Kit. Having the SDK installed on a Windows operating system will be required in order to use Kinect software applications. Currently, there are no (Microsoft official) consumer applications using Kinect; however, official hardware and an official SDK will surely spur software development.

Kinect_for_Windows.jpg

Microsoft is confident that the launch of the SDK and specially tuned hardware will spur development of software. According to MSNBC, the company is working with over 200 companies to develop software applications for Windows using Kinect. Microsoft's partners include Toyota, Mattel, American Express, and United Health Group. These corporate partners seem to indicate that initial Kinect applications will be designed for consumers to use in a business setting, say on a sales floor of car dealerships, at hospitals, or point of sale devices (maybe American Express is planning a "card swipe" application where holding the card up to the Kinect can be used to purchase items. Software for consumers to use at home is also likely in the pipeline and users will see them in the future.

Due to the Microsoft Kinect for Windows sensor not being subsidized by Xbox 360 games and accessories, the PC version is $100 more than the Xbox 360 version, and will retail for $250 USD. Amazon currently has the device (for pre-order) here for a whole penny less at $249.99.

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: MSNBC

CES Day 4 Podcast - 1/11/2012

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | January 12, 2012 - 11:04 AM |
Tagged: ultrabook, razer, podcast, nvidia, Intel, CES, amd

PC Perspective CES 2012 Day 4 - 1/11/12

Join us tonight as we talk about our final full day of CES 2012 - including yet more Ultrabooks, New products from Razer, and our closing thoughts on this years show.

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, Matt Smith and Allyn Malventano

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

 

Source:

Raspberry Pi's ARM Powered Linux Computer Enters Manufacturing

Subject: General Tech | January 12, 2012 - 08:15 AM |
Tagged: Raspberry Pi, linux, computer, arm

The UK based charity behind the Raspberry Pi Linux computer, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, announced in a blog post that the two ARM 11 powered Linux computers have entered the manufacturing stage and are that much closer to going on sale. The two models, Raspberry Pi A and B, will be $35 and $25 respectively. The difference between the tow models is that the cheaper model A board has half the RAM at 128 MB and lacks an Ethernet port. Both models have an HDMI and analog RCA video output along with a USB port to attach a mouse and keyboard.

Raspberry Pi.jpg

The charity elaborated that while they tried to find a manufacturing partner in the UK, they ran into cost and logistical issues. Specifically, tax and import laws in the UK requires any electronic components to be subject to import tax, making importing components into the UK and manufacturing it from within an expensive proposition. The Raspberry Pi Foundation was able to find a manufacturing plant that could produce computers for them at or above break even prices; however, they would not be able to produce enough units to meet demand- only a few hundred instead of the estimated 10,000 units the charity wanted. Further, because the manufacturing plants could only produce a few hundred units a month the release date would be months away instead of the 3 to 4 week turnaround offered by Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturing plants.

In the end, the charity chose to produce the Raspberry Pi computers outside of the UK in order to keep costs down and meet the release and quantity expectations. They will then use the savings to invest in further research and development and expanding the organization.

Are you guys going to purchase the Raspberry Pi computer when it comes out?

Source: Raspberry Pi

Asus Shows Off New Networking and Audio Equipment At CES 2012

Subject: General Tech | January 12, 2012 - 05:34 AM |
Tagged: wireless router, motherboard, audio, asus

At CES 2012 this week, popular motherboard manufacturer Asus showed off quite a few products. Among the new products, the company is releasing a wireless gigabit router, wireless repeater and Ethernet bridge, a new motherboard, and the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Xonar Phoebus audio sound card set.

ASUS_RT-N66U_b.jpg

The two new wireless products are the Asus RT-N66U, which is a dual band Wireless N Gigabit router, and the Asus EA-N66 Wi-Fi Ethernet bridge. The RT-N66U is a dual band Wireless N router that promises up to 900 Mbps over Wi-Fi thanks to two simultaneous Wireless N streams of 450 Mbps maximum each. One stream is done at 2.4 GHz and on the other stream data is broadcast and received on the 5 GHz spectrum. Asus has bundled the router with 26 dbm Wi-Fi amplifiers to extend the network's range. Other hardware includes three Wi-Fi antennas on the rear of the device, a four port Gigabit Ethernet switch, WAN port, two USB ports, power button, power input, and reset button. The front and top of the router shows off a stylish black pattern, blue status LEDs, and the Asus RT-N66U "Dark Night" name/logo while the back/bottom of the router contain plenty of ventilation ports and a stand to hold the router vertical. On the software side of things, the router features QoS, or Quality of Service, traffic management that the company claims can address up to 300,000 data sessions, eight SSIDs (for setting up guest networks, for example), and the company's ASUSWRT firmware. Downloading files without needing a PC and remote management of USB devices are also features.

ASUS_EA-N66.jpg

The EA-N66 is a wireless Ethernet bridge and Wi-Fi access point. Under the hood of the rather (shall we say) stylized design, it is capable of using either the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz wireless spectrum in 450 Mbps bands. Asus claims that when the repeater is paired with their new router, "the EA-N66 gives gamers incredible network speeds and coverage for multi-player gaming sessions."

ASUS_Rampage IV Formula_ThunderFX.jpg

As Asus demonstrated for us at CES, their new Rampage IV Formula motherboard features a SupremeFX III sound card chip connected to the rear audio ports by traces on their own PCB layer. This "moat" of traces (that light up red, even!) being on a separate PCB layer helps to eliminate interference caused by the other electrical components on the board. Now, you get isolated sound without needing to take up a PCI-E slot. In the video below, Asus shows off the feature.

The Rampage IV motherboard also comes with a bundled headphone amplifier dubbed the ThunderFX. It provides up to 120 dB of amplification and can support up to 600 Ohm high end headphones. The amplifier is EMI shielded and with ENC support, the ThunderFX has dedicated channels for headphone audio and in-game voice chat. Further, the box is compatible with both PCs and game consoles (PS3 and Xbox 360), and enables regular PC gaming headsets to be used with the consoles. Last up, it has three audio presets for FPS, RTS, and Racing games.

ASUS_Xonar Phoebus.jpg

Asus is also showing off the Xonar Phoebus sound card and breakout box for gaming under the company's Republic of Gamers brand. The set includes a PCI-E sound card capable of driving 600 Ohm headphones and a SNR (signal to noise ratio) of 118 dB. The card itself is shielding using, according to Asus, "carefully selected materials and perfectly shielded" to block EMI (electromagnetic interference) and and isolate itself from other issues caused by the other components in the case. The other piece of hardware is the Xonar Phoebus control box that integrates array microphones to reduce environmental noise when using voice chat and VOIP calls by "up to 50 percent." It further allows volume control and has Dolby Home Theater V4 surround sound and the GX3.0 gaming engine to enhance headphone audio when gaming.

ASUS_Xonar_Phoebus_control box.jpg

More information can be found here. Unfortunately, there is no word yet on pricing or availability.

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Asus

Mozilla Considers Extended Support for Firefox: a Whole Year

Subject: General Tech | January 12, 2012 - 02:40 AM |
Tagged: mozilla, firefox

Just seven months after taking their firm stance against supporting back versions Mozilla is considering following a model similar to Ubuntu: every few major versions, flag one as being supported much longer than the rest and support it while innovating on your main versions. I still believe that supporting many enterprise customers is wasteful for a company like Mozila, but now that they have substantially more revenue as of their recent deal with Google I suppose it could help advertise Firefox outside of work as well.

Firefox-LTS.png

Firefox installments versus long running media franchise installments.

Yeah I was VERY conservative with Final Fantasy... I know.

John O’Duinn, current director of Release Engineering at Mozilla, wrote about the proposal in his personal blog last October and discussed attempts to compromise between long-term support and Mozilla’s current release plan. It is still quite early to tell what they will ultimately come up with and whether it will mend relations with their enterprise customers, but it looks as though Mozilla will not follow their original decision to focus on the present and future at the expense of those reliant on the past.

Source: Mozilla Wiki

Microsoft Rereleases Update to Improve Bulldozer... yeah.

Subject: General Tech, Processors | January 11, 2012 - 06:21 PM |
Tagged: windows, processor, microsoft, cpu, bulldozer, amd

Let us take a little break from the CES news with a load of bull -- a download of Bulldozer. If you have an eerie sense of being in this situation before then you may in fact have a bad memory as it did in fact happen and it was only about a month ago. Microsoft released an update in mid-December to optimize their operating systems for AMD Bulldozer technology; that patch disappeared without any listed reason. As of today, we have access to both the patch as well as most of the reason for the delay in the first place.

amd_bulldozer_performance boost.jpg

You know: part of me wants to see a Bulldozer go 100MPH, and another part of me fears greatly.

The first order of business is to explain to those who have an AMD FX series, Opteron 4200 series, and/or an Opteron 6200 series processor how to increase their potential performance: KB 2646060 and KB 2645594 each contain a patch which will optimize Windows to the Bulldozer architecture for most users when both are applied.

It turns out that Microsoft pulled the Bulldozer update last month when discussions with AMD revealed that the patch would not provide the promised performance increases for most users. The problem specifically centers on the Core Parking feature within Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2: after the hotfix in December was applied, Core Parking would still interfere with Bulldozer’s design by attempting to save power and sleep cores that were unused without understanding that Bulldozer cores are not typical cores. With Core Parking disabled for Bulldozer-based CPUs either through this hotfix or by changing your performance profiles to “High Performance” from the often default “Balanced” you would allow Bulldozer to run as it actually desires to run. According to how these bulletins are worded, should you have been on “High Performance” profile back in December before the hotfix was pulled you would have experienced what should only have been available starting today.

These performance increases are not for every application, however. AMD has stated that applications which are more sparsely multithreaded would benefit most from the update.

Workloads that are moderately threaded have the potential for uplift. This could include virtualization, database, or transactional environments that are “bursty” – a mixture of light and heavy transactions, or legacy applications that are by nature not very threaded. The more heavily threaded the application, the less the likely the uplift.

My intuition knowing this as well as the Core Parking issue is that once Windows finally wakes the Bulldozer core, your experience is maximal with the December patch; applications which only temporarily become multithreaded either do not wake the proper portions of the processor or wake the processor in time to be of maximum benefit.

It appears as if the removal of the hotfix last month was simply because AMD believed that while the patch was effective, it would not be correctly applied to the vast majority of customers without a second hotfix and thus give the appearance of little to no real benefits.

Source: AMD Blogs

LucidLogix Announces XLR8 Tech To Improve Embedded and SoC GPU Performance

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | January 11, 2012 - 03:48 AM |
Tagged: virtualization, tegra, Lucidlogix, gpu, gaming, game, embedded, CES2012, CES

Earlier today Lucid (LucidLogix), the company behind quite a few GPU virtualization technologies, announced yet another piece of GPU virtualization software. This time; however, instead of wrangling as much performance as possible from multi-GPU beasts, this technology- codenamed "XLR8"- is aimed at the mobile market of tablets, smartphones, and laptops with integrated graphics. Such products are powered by integrated GPUs in AMD's APUs and Intel's Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors, and by the GPUs in mobile SoCs (system on a chip) like Nvidia's Tegra and ARM's Mali graphics processors. XLR8 uses "unique CPU multithreading" to feed the mobile GPUs as efficiently as possible.

xlr8_tablet.png

According to Lucid, many of the PC graphics issues are magnified when it comes to embedded GPUS including visual tearing, pipeline inefficiencies, power management, and artifacting. Offir Remez, president of Lucid further stated that most of the big, popular PC games have playability issues on mobile platforms and on computers with integrated graphics. "If it's got a GPU, we can improve the end user experience."

The company further expanded that the XLR8 technology works by disabling unnecessary and redundant processes in addition to "unique multithreading" to improve system (gaming) responsiveness up to 200 percent. The XLR8 software monitors battery drain and power draw while shutting down background processes to increase CPU frame generation and minimizing redundant GPU rendering processes.

If this sounds a lot like marketing speak, it certainly does. On the other hand, Lucid has been able to push some useful virtualization technology into desktops, so maybe mobile platforms are just the next step for the company. The company is currently demonstrating the XLR8 software in private at CES and is being tested by hardware partners.  Mobile SoC are getting faster and more powerful, and on battery powered devices there is always room for efficiency improvements.  Once reviewers manage to get their hands on some actual hardware, and XLR8 is past the concept/testing stage you can bet that people will have a better understanding of what exactly XLR8 is capable of.

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Reddit Planning Blackout To Protest SOPA

Subject: General Tech | January 11, 2012 - 02:57 AM |
Tagged: SOPA, reddit, protect ip, forum

Popular forum and social website discovery site Reddit is very much against SOPA. They fear that the ease to which the possible law could be abused to censor free speech and take down entire website solely based on allegations without needing to prove anything in court. We reported earlier that some websites were considering the "nuclear option" of protesting SOPA by shutting down their sites and displaying messages imploring users to contact their congressmen and beg them to stop SOPA and Protect IP (the Senate version of SOPA).

sobrave.png

Viva la Reddit! (Source: Reddit blog)

Well, it seems as if Reddit is joining the fight to stop SOPA and will be blacking out the Reddit website from 8 am to 8 pm EST on January 18th 2012. They state in their blog that the choice to blackout the website was a difficult one; however, it is a necessary measure to force people into action. "We feel focusing on a day of action is the best way we can amplify the voice of the community."

While Reddit is a popular website with a lot of fans, a good number of them are internet savvy enough to have likely already complained to their congressmen. Until a mainstream site with as much reach as Facebook joins the blackout campaign, I fear that money will continue to speak louder than the words of constituents. More information on the blackout can be found here.

Source: Reddit

CES 2012: Razer's Project Fiona -- PC Gaming tablet PC tablet

Subject: General Tech, Mobile, Shows and Expos | January 10, 2012 - 08:24 PM |
Tagged: razer, CES 2012, CES

If you believe our title to be awkward, please glance downward a little at the concept image. While I do not want to lash on Razer for trying something that no-one has it must be said that aesthetically the concept must be altered. Hardcore PC Gamers are a unique breed, but I expect that even the most bold of gamers would be shy at holding this around in public. Now that we are past the design, let us look at what Razer claims in terms of expected hardware.

razer-fiona.jpg

It looks like Razer is fitting a bit into Booth Category One.

Razer is being very careful about giving out too many specific details due to the concept nature of the device, but they suggested that they aim for the following:

  • Intel Core i7
  • 10.1” 1280x800 display
  • Full Screen interface supporting multi-touch “hybrid” for PC Gaming.
  • 3-axis gyro, magnetometer, accelerometer
  • Force feedback
  • Dolby 7.1 surround sound
  • Wifi b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0

You should notice a lack of information about the expected video card but the screen resolution paired with the CPU choice should slightly indicate their intent.

What do you think? What changes, if any, would you request before you hand over your wallet?

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: RazerZone

CES 2012: EVGA parties like it's socket 2011 in Viva Las Vegas. Dual-socket SR-X mobo, UV Plus+ 39 video out for USB3, PSUs

Subject: General Tech, Motherboards, Cases and Cooling, Shows and Expos | January 10, 2012 - 07:22 PM |
Tagged: evga, CES 2012, CES

There are most commonly three types of booths in CES: a display of one or more new and innovative products to hope to blaze their very own trail, a display of one or more intriguing iterations on existing product lines, or a display of some sort of pasta or alcoholic beverage. This year EVGA appears to fit mostly into the middle category; I hear they make good chips, however. The three major iterations this year quite possibly could not be more diverse: a new dual-socket Xeon motherboard, new power supplies, and an update to their UV Plus+ USB video adapter.

EVGA-logo.jpg

There’s something ironic about HDMI and DVI products by EVGA.

Dual-Socket 2011 SR-X Xeon motherboard

EVGA-mobo.jpg

Not to be outdone by their old pizza box-sized components, EVGA announced their new SR-X motherboard to bring a product like the SR-2 to socket 2011. This time around they retain their 12 DIMM slots update their PCI-E slots to the third generation with 4-way SLI possible. You can also expect 8 SAS/SATA ports to connect a large number of hard drives at 6Gbps to your computer. It is clear that EVGA has aimed this PC motherboard at enthusiasts who want what they want and have the credit to get it.

1500W, 1000W, 750W power supplies

EVGA-psu.jpg

EVGA has made a few power supplies in the past so why not add a few more products to their portfolio? Partially pictured above is the 1000W unit that can provide 82A over the 12V rail -- which should be useful to pair with a Quad-SLI SR-X rig; and if not, there’s the 1500W one with a stated “customizable number of 12V rails” whatever that actually means.

UV Plus+ 39 video out by USB 3.0

EVGA-UV.jpg

The general masses regularly ask for methods to connect their computers to their HDTV through their USB ports and are routinely shocked to find that it is not a simple cable solution. Ponder that, USB cannot do everything… or can it? EVGA updated their UV Plus+ 19 with their UV Plus+ 39 to add support for dual-monitor output and USB3.0 for higher bandwidth, though USB 2.0 is still supported. There is no word on whether the maximum resolution would be reduced in dual-monitor mode. If you are worried about graphics acceleration over a USB device, the driver created links to your real video card thus you still have access to your GPU for processing.

Now we just need to find out about their video cards.

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: PCPer

You call that a steering wheel SteelSeries?

Subject: General Tech | January 10, 2012 - 04:16 PM |
Tagged: input, steering wheel, steelseries, Simraceway SRW-S1

One tends to think of a steering wheel as a fairly simplistic device, with perhaps a few controls on it that do not directly relate to steering a vehicle, but for the most part it simply allows you to steer.  SteelSeries obviously thinks differently as you can see on their Simraceway SRW-S1 below.  It seems to possess more buttons than a gamepad, with speakers and a camera built in and accelerometres to allow you to use it in mid air.  Legit Reviews had fun reviewing the wheel and driving around tracks and their shoulders are much broader after a few hours of gameplay as well.

LR_Simraceway_SRW-S1_4.jpg

"I have a been a real-world racing fan for all of my life, growing up in earshot distance from a famous dirt racetrack in Southern California. I’ve always enjoyed NASCAR and more recently have come to love Formula 1 and World Rally Championships so when SteelSeries announced a new peripheral – their first ever racing wheel – I was more than a little skeptical. A racing controller without pedals for less than $120?!? What does SteelSeries, a manufacturer who is best known for headsets and professional mice know about racing? At this point I was thinking that a good comparison for the SRW-S1 might be my kid’s Mario Kart Wii wheel..."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

Shocking news! Intel is talking up Ultrabooks at CES

Subject: General Tech, Shows and Expos | January 10, 2012 - 11:50 AM |
Tagged: CES, Intel, ultrabook, Ivy Bridge

It might be hard to believe but the form factor everyone loves to talk about is on the lips on Intel reps everywhere at CES including the GM of the PC Group, Mooly Eden.   The new ultra-thin form factor introduced by Intel this follows the design theory of the Macbook Air while trying to stay a PC at heart and has been received with mixed feelings.  While it is nice to have an ultra-thin, ultra-light machine which is capable of running office productivity tasks at a good level of performance the attached price tag has discouraged potential distributors and buyers alike; the under $1000 specification cannot be reached without sacrificing quality.  That is in part do to the materials used to make an ultrathin laptop that is still rigid enough to stand up to normal usage and in part to the philosophy of 'instant on' which requires an SSD to be used as the main storage medium.  Eden tells The Inquirer that he sees Windows 8 offering huge potential to the ultrabook thanks to its touchscreen friendly design.  He describes devices similar to the ASUS Transformer, a product usable as a touch device like a tablet but with a full keyboard available for when you are doing more than just surfing the web.   New Ivy Bridge internals will probably help as well, bringing increased performance and lowered power usage, though probably not doing anything good to the sticker price. 

hpspectre14-3.jpg

"CHIPMAKER Intel gave its attention at the CES conference to promoting the real-world benefits of ultrabooks.

The company highlighted a design and marketing effort to shift its focus from benchmarks and statistics to examples of real-world capabilities and applications that will be improved by what it hopes will become a growing ultrabook market."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

Tech Talk

 

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: The Inquirer

CES 2012: GIGABYTE unveils Z77 -- big, small, gigabytesized

Subject: General Tech, Motherboards, Shows and Expos | January 10, 2012 - 04:45 AM |
Tagged: gigabyte, CES 2012, CES

The first day of CES is nearly to a close and while I escape the blisters on my feet due to my location a few time zones and one border away from the organized chaos, the callusing of my fingertips has just begun. Allow us to each stretch our hands out, loosen our wrists, and prepare to indulge on distilled product announcements and testimony of how awesome various TVs look. Since we are a computer hardware website, how about indulging in a jackpot of information about Gigabyte’s next generation of Z77 Ivy Bridge motherboards?

gigabyte-vegas.png

So… uh… did I win?

The Z77 chipset will be Intel’s higher-end platform for the upcoming Ivy Bridge CPUs as well as support for the previous generation of Sandy Bridge processors. While there are some 60-series chipsets that support Ivy Bridge with a BIOS update I am sure Gigabyte, for one, hopes you upgrade to a motherboard more suited for the CPU.

Perhaps you would like a 3D BIOS with that?

gigabyte-3d.png

Gigabyte decided to attack the user-interface within the BIOS and chose its weapon to be 3D graphics with their X79 motherboards for Sandy Bridge-E. Tim wrote a little piece on it last November and it looks like the product had enough potential to continue pressing the issue with their Z77 line. The 3D BIOS can also be dropped down into Advanced Mode for those who are not afraid of the more traditional BIOS layout; the advanced mode will apparently still be prettied up, just not at the sacrifice of functionality.

Big sniper, little sniper, green sniper, Killer sniper.

gigabyte-sniper.png

Two motherboards announced during CES stem from the G1.Sniper product line: one ATX (3), and one Micro-ATX (M3). BigFoot Systems has their Killer (brand name, not adjective) technology present in these products with the larger board also containing a second Intel Gigabit network adapter.

Motherboards for small businesses.

gigabyte-smallbusiness.png

Gigabyte ended their press release with a few notes about their small business products. As expected, they focused their motherboard on the core needs of what a small business would desire: remote monitoring, backup, and durability.

Setting its sights on the small business market, GIGABYTE will demonstrate the B75M-D3H motherboard that represents a new product range featuring the ability to remotely monitor and manage PC health, installed software, data backup, energy saving and connectivity. This allows system integrators to add value to their products by offering these services to small businesses with between 1 and 6 PCs. Key features and selling points for these models will be manageability, affordability and GIGABYTE’s Ultra Durable design quality.

What do you think about Gigabyte’s product line? Do you desire a Micro ATX gaming machine for your desk or perhaps your home theatre cabinet? Do you own a small business? 

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: PCPer

Sony Shows Off Bloggie Live Video Recorder At CES

Subject: General Tech | January 10, 2012 - 04:03 AM |
Tagged: CES, sony, bloggie, bloggie live, camera, camcorder, streaming, qik

Among the Crystal LED televisions Sony had a small pocket camera on display, the Sony Bloggie Live. The successor to the original Bloggie, the stylish camera fits in your pocket and somewhat resembles a smartphone in design.

Sony Bloggie Live.png

The Bloggie Live features 8 GB of internal storage space, a 3" touch screen LCD, and a water resistant exterior. The ExmorCMOS sensor is capable of recording 1080p or 720p video, and the Wi-Fi radio is able to upload photos and videos to the various sharing services including Facebook, YouTube, Dailymotion, Flickr, and Picassa. The Bloggie Live has an LED flash and a stereo microphone. In addition to video, the camera is able to take 12.8 megapixel still photos. In addition, the camera is able to stream video to the internet over Wi-Fi using the Qik streaming service. Using the PlayMemories application, users are also able to wirelessly transfer files from the Bloggie Live to a smartphone.

Sony Bloggie Sport.png

Alternatively, Sony also showed off the Bloggie Sport, with is a bit smaller than the Bloggie Live and is waterproof up to 16 feet of water. This camera features 4 GB of internal memory, and is capable of shooting HD MP4 video and 5 megapixel still shots. An "Underwater Mode" further adjusts the white balance automatically.

The Bloggie Live is available for purchase immediately for $250 USD while the Bloggie Sport will cost $180 and will be available in February. The price tag is a bit steep considering the storage is not expandable and there is no external mic jack. Still, aesthetics wise, the new pocket camcorder looks slick.

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: MSNBC

Goal Zero Shows Off Sherpa 50 Portable Power Pack At CES 2012

Subject: General Tech | January 10, 2012 - 12:20 AM |
Tagged: CES, solar, goal zero, sherpa, portable power

Goal Zero has a product on display at CES 2012 that every CES news and reviews editor can appreciate, a small and light 50 Watt Hour battery pack that can provide USB, 12 V, 16 V, and AC power (via a separate attachment). The portable recharger acts as a big battery that can recharge cell phones, laptops, cameras, and other devices thanks to a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery.

Veronica Belmont of Tekzilla fame shows off the Sherpa 50.

The Sherpa 50 weighs 2.2 pounds and is encased in a aluminum shell with rubberized edges and provides 50 Watt Hours of extra battery power, enough to recharge an iPad twice or "power a cell phone for 50 hours," according to the company's product video. It further features a small LCD screen that displays the remaining battery power in 20% increments, AC and 12V inputs, USB and 12 V outputs. The power pack is designed to be used with the company's 13.5 watt fold-able solar cell array for long camping, hiking, or climbing trips. An event like CES would also be the perfect place to have a bit of extra power on tap.

The device is going to run $250 without the optional AC inverter and will be available in June 2012. More information on the technical specifications can be found here.

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Goal Zero

Sony Shelves OLED Tech, Brings Crystal LED TV To Bear Against OLED Competition

Subject: General Tech, Displays | January 9, 2012 - 09:50 PM |
Tagged: CES, sony, led, crystal led, oled, tv

While I read a few weeks ago that Sony would not be showing off any OLED TVs at CES, I was a bit saddened. The company was the first to bring a real OLED television one step above vaporware, even if it was only 11" and prohibitively expensive it was advancing the technology. Well, CES is here and Sony did not bring any OLED television to demo, much less bring to market this year. Fortunately, LG and Samsung have the OLED TVs covered. The question of how Sony plans to compete with the OLED competition seems to be in improved LED TV technology.

crystala5iue3u2io432ohjd.jpg

Speaking of LED TV technology, while Sony did not bring an OLED TV to CES, they did bring a new LED TV that they claim is much improved over current LED back-lit televisions. They are calling this technology "Crystal LED," and it is powering a 55" prototype television at this years CES. The 55" television uses very small RGB (red, green, and blue) LEDs to create the picture. This is an important distinction as current "LED TVs" are really just LCD televisions with LEDs as the back-light; where the LEDs shine light through the LCD pixels to create the picture. This Sony prototype is an actual LED TV, not just a branding misnomer as the LED lights are what creates the picture and not just a light source.

According to Engadget, Sony claims their true LED TV is greatly improved over LED-back-lit LCDs and offers 3.5 times the contrast, a 1.5 times wider color gamut, and is 10 times faster than LCDs. Although these are Sony's numbers and should be taken with a grain of salt (until independent reviewers can verify), they at least seem reasonable and plausible. The contrast improvement and true blacks should be readily possible thanks to the panel tech being self emitting. If done right, it should come close to the contrast offered by OLEDs which share the self-emitting property. The ability to be 10 times faster than LCDs may be the most questionable number, but still not an outrageous claim.

Stay tuned for more information as we get it! Do you think Sony's Crystal LED prototype has a chance against OLED?

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: Engadget

OLED TV Greatness: Samsung and LG Showing Off 55" OLED TVs

Subject: General Tech | January 9, 2012 - 06:34 PM |
Tagged: tv, Samsung, oled, LG, 55

There were rumors floating about the Internet pre-CES concerning a massive 55" OLED Television from LG. Lo and behold, CES is upon us and not only do we have a OLED TV from LG to drool over, but Samsung has also joined the fray with its own TV!

The LG television is 55" of OLED panel. The TV is 4mm thick and weights a mere 16.5 pounds, which is quite impressive compared to comparably sized LCD and Plasma Televisions which can weigh around 80 pounds and are not pleasant carrying up three flights of stairs (that's personal experience talking, folks). According to The Verge, LG claims their image processing technology, "Color Refiner," and WOLED (white organic light emitting diode) panel results in "the most natural colors of any TV set."

LG_55-inch_OLED-560.jpg

Also squarely in the good news pile, the company claims to have wrangled the manufacturing process into a more streamlined solution and are able to offer the panel at much lower price points than previous OLED televisions. The bad news; however, is that "much lower price points" are good but when it's "much lower" from tens of thousands of dollars, it's not all that much lower for most folks.

The LG US Director of Product Development, Tim Alessi, stated that the OLED beauty would be available for purchase towards the end of this year (Q4).

Meanwhile, Samsung is showing off a OLED television of its own. The TV promises accurate colors, "true-to-life" image quality, and extremely minimal motion blur. This is thanks to an OLED panel featuring RGB sub-pixels. In the world of apps and app stores, the Samsung TV includes access to the company's Smart TV apps. Further, the television has a Microsoft Kinect like feature called "Smart Interaction" that allows users to turn the set on and off, search the browser, and start up applications using voice commands.

Samsung.jpg

Samsung will be putting this beauty on "sale" in the second half of the year; however, there is no word yet on pricing (though indications are north of "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" territory).  More info on the Samsung can be found here.

While I won't be getting one of these this year, I will definitely be jealous of the early adopters who do. Although the 4K 3D LED backlit LCD TVs are cool and all, OLED colors just look so damn good! Stay tuned for more CES news and drool worthy photos (I just hope we'll be able to pry the guys away from the OLED and 4K TV demos)!

PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.

Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!

Source: The Verge