Maingear's Titan 17 is one hefty desktop replacement

Subject: Mobile | July 4, 2011 - 05:06 PM |
Tagged: maingear, desktop replacement, 17.3

The stats read like a high end desktop, from the hexa-core i7-990X to the GTX485M's in SLI which support the 1080p display, though the weight of 12.1lbs is a little lighter than most desktops.  TechSpot had a chance to review this $5,400 laptop and they had quite a bit of fun doing it.  As you can see from the image below, this notebook produces a lot of heat and you'd be foolish to place it on your lap but perhaps it would be handy for reheating a snack.  When they tested the power the notebook pulled 85 watts at idle, 336W under load, making the 8 cell battery more of a UPS than anything.  Check out the full review to see the long list of peripherals and some incredible gaming performance.

TS_MaingearTitan.jpg

"Today we will be looking at the notebook equivalent of the above mentioned Shift desktop system, known as the Titan 17. Our evaluation system consists of an Intel Core i7-990X Extreme Edition processor, a hexa-core desktop CPU operating at 3.46 GHz. Other notable hardware includes a 17.3” LED-backlit display running at 1920 x 1080, two Nvidia GeForce GTX 485M graphics cards, 6GB of Kingston DDR3-1333 memory, a 120GB Intel 510 solid state drive, a 750GB Western Digital 7200 RPM hard drive, a Blu-ray optical drive, Bigfoot Killer Wireless-N Ultimate network adapter and integrated Bluetooth technology, all running under Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit."

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Source: TechSpot

Intel is attempting to revive their CULV with the Ultrabook

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | July 4, 2011 - 04:02 PM |
Tagged: Intel, culv, ultrabook, Ivy Bridge, sandy bridge, ultramobile

You can't really blame the failure of Intel's CULV form factor on just the name, though it is very awkward, since at the same time Intel was trying for that type of ultraportable we saw netbooks catch on.  The netbook was easier to market than the CULV which was being trumped by the Macbook Air on one side and the surprising popularity of netbooks in general.  Sure the Atom powered midgets couldn't do much, but they were just so cute.

We heard of the new Intel Ultrabooks at CES 2011 during Intel's keynote speech, and Ryan saw an example of one, the ASUS UX21 which sports a nice brushed aluminium shell.  It was powered by a Sandy Bridge Core i7 and was 1.7cm at its widest and weighed only 1.1kg fully loaded, sported SATA 6Gb/s and can boot in 5 seconds with ASUS' Instant On feature.  It should be available by September of this year and in theory will be a sub-$1000 Ultrabook.

DigiTimes today reported on Intel's plans for the release of their first Ultrabook and the future models, which they hope will together net Intel about 40% market share by the end of 2012.  The strategy sounds familiar, those who remember what they did with the chipset for their Atom processor.  DigiTimes reports that Intel is planning on "providing a significant budget to support its partners launching Ultrabooks".  Now that is not very specific as to the support that Intel will be offering, but with Llano's decent performance and incredible price, it will be had for 1st tier vendors to be attracted to selling Ultrabooks that are faster but cost three times as much.  Hence Intel's announcement about support for any vendors willing to build and sell their new form factor.

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"Intel has recently started planning a new marketing strategy for its Ultrabook concept and has invested heavily into the related budget and resources hoping to attract first-tier notebook vendors into developing Ultrabooks, according to sources from downstream notebook players.

Due to the failure of Intel's Consumer Ultra Low Voltage-based (CULV-based) ultra-thin notebooks in 2009, while the notebook market has been severely impacted by tablet PCs, most notebook vendors are taking a conservative attitude toward Intel's Ultrabook concept and Intel is hoping its heavy investment will be able to attract these vendors to launch Ultrabook products, the sources noted.

Intel announced its Ultrabook concept in June with a goal of having 40% of the global consumers notebooks using its Ultrabook concept at the end of 2012. Asustek is already set to launch its first Ultrabook concept-based notebook, UX21, in September."

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Source: DigiTimes

AVADirect Now Offering NVIDIA GTX 580M Graphics In Clevo Notebooks

Subject: Mobile | June 29, 2011 - 01:53 PM |
Tagged: notebook, gtx 580m, gaming, AVADirect

Hot on the trail of NVIDIA's latest 580M mobile graphics release, AVADirect has just announced that it will be incorporating the new graphics chip into their gaming focused Clevo notebook lineup. The 15.6" P150HM, 17.3" P170HM and 17.3" X7200 gaming notebooks will be the first to receive the upgrade, and will be made configurable with the new mobile graphics chip today. Further, the new notebooks with the GTX 580M will be shipping out to customers according to their advertised time frame starting today.

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Because the GTX 580M uses the same MXM module as the preceeding 400M graphics cards, laptops with the older chip will be able to be upgraded to the GTX 580M easily, according to AVADirect who further stated that the chip uses less power and has a smaller footprint than the 485M.

In addition to recieving the updated graphics card, the three Clevo gaming notebooks all feature HDMI, USB 3.0, SATA III 6 Gbps, Intel Sandy Bridge processors, DDR3 SODIMMS at 1600 MHz, and the option of a SSD (Solid State Drive).  The three notebooks further feature a Full HD 1080P 16:9 display, that the GTX 580M should easily power with cranked up visuals on today's latest games.

Source: AVADirect

NVIDIA Releases GeForce GTX 580M and 570M, Brings Optimus to Hardcore Gaming Laptops

Subject: Mobile | June 28, 2011 - 12:47 PM |
Tagged: nvidia mobile, nvidia, mobile graphics, gtx 580m, gtx 560m

The green team today announced the GTX 580M and GTX 570M, the newest high-end GPUs for gaming laptops. These parts succeed the GTX 485M and GTX 470M, respectively. According to NVIDIA, the GTX 580M will be the quickest mobile graphics solution on the market, while the GTX 570M will be 20% faster than the 470M it replaces.

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Gaming performance samples show a substantial improvement over the previous generation. According to the press material, a single GTX 580M is capable of outputting over 30 frames per second at 1920x1080 at high detail in various games including Crysis 2, DIRT3, and Civilization V. These high marks are only further improved when the two GPUs are placed into SLI. In Crysis 2, for example, this configuration achieves over 70 FPS with detail set to Extreme Quality.

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Both the GTX 580M and 570M will support all of the company’s typical hardware features including PhysX, Nvidia 3D Vision, 3DTV Play, SLI, CUDA and OpenCL. In addition to this, these new mobile solutions will offer support of Optimus.

This is the first time that Optimus support has been offered in high-end mobile GPUs, and it could provide the green team with a significant advantage. In past reviews of Optimus enabled laptops, such as the ASUS N53, we’ve found that the feature made it possible to offer battery life on par with laptops that don’t have a discrete GPU. Optimus in the 580M and 570M will likely replicate this, making it possible for gamers to enjoy extreme gaming performance while plugged in and reasonable battery life while on the go.

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NVIDIA also continues to push its NVIDIA Verde driver program. For those who missed the initial announcement, Verde can be summed up as a monthly driver release program. The goal is to consistently improve performance and stability, giving owners of Nvidia GPUs a better long-term experience. Driver updates have proven to increase performance in the past, sometimes significantly, so these monthly updates are welcome.

The initial wave of 580M mobile graphics will be found in three laptops: the Alienware M18x, the Clevo P170HM3, and the Clevo P270WM. It’s reasonable to expect that both Clevo models will be picked up by various companies, such as Origin and Maingear, and released with some modifications under those brands. MSI will be the only company launching a 570M equipped laptop, in this case the MSI GT780R. Pricing has yet to be announced.

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With the release of these new parts, NVIDIA has converted nearly all of its current components to the 5xx series brand. Only the “mainstream” GeForce 315M and 410M remain outside the fold.

UPDATE: Need some more proof of the power of the GTX 580M?  Here it is seen running the brand-new DX11 variant of Crysis 2:

Source: Nvidia

Acer's new Honeycomb driven Iconia Tab A500 tablet

Subject: Mobile | June 27, 2011 - 10:51 PM |
Tagged: tablet, honeycomb, Android, acer

As the table in AnandTech's review demonstrates, the interior of most tablets is dominated by a 1 Ghz ARM Cortex A9 with Tegra 2 doing the heavily graphical lifting.  This puts the onus for standing out among the crowd on the look of the tablet and the compatible peripherals as well as the pice.   Acer's design was not particularly well received at AnandTech, with several seams reducing their enjoyment of the tablet.  On the plus side is the peripheral support, with HDMI and both a microSD card reader and a miniUSB port you will have no problems interfacing with your other gadgets.  With a cost just under $400 AnandTech does like the tablet but they can't help but point out that with quad core ICS/Android 4.0 and Kal-El just around the corner you might want to wait for the next generation.

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"Next in our series of Honeycomb tablet reviews is the Acer Iconia Tab A500. The A500 was the second Honeycomb tablet to go on sale, and is one of four on the market at present, all of which are very similar. They share basic specs—10.1” 1280x800 displays, NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 underhood, 1GB LPDDR2 RAM, 16-64GB onboard NAND, front and rear facing cameras with HD video capture, basic wireless connectivity options, and stock versions of Android 3.0/3.1 Honeycomb (albeit with different preloaded software packages). The hardware similarities makes things like design and price that much more important, and the latter is where Acer seemed to have an edge."

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Source: AnandTech

AMD is out and ARM is in for several major notebook vendors

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | June 22, 2011 - 04:05 PM |
Tagged: arm, amd, texas instruments, snapdragon, amazon, tegra

It is not just AMD which is forging a new relationship with ARM, which we saw evidence of during the AMD Fusion Developer Summit, several other manufacturers are making good on previous statements made while waiting for AMD, and are going to be selling ARM based notebooks.  These companies are not on the fringe of the market, these are major vendors like ASUS which are releasing quad-core ARM based notebooks which will use SnapDragon, Tegra or TI for the graphics portion.  DigiTimes has the scoop here, as well as news on a tablet which will be released by Amazon running an unspecified TI processor which we should see by August.

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"Several vendors, including Samsung Electronics, Toshiba, Acer and Asustek Computer, plan to develop ARM architecture notebooks, with products possibly to be launched as early as the end of 2011, according to industry sources.

The sources pointed out that ARM-based systems using Android were already launched under the smartbook name two years ago with Toshiba and Lenovo both launching products in the retail channel. However, due to weaker than expected demand, the related products were soon phased out of the market.

Since ARM's CPU has already been upgraded from single-core two years ago to quad-core with a significant increase in performance, while the platform's storage capacity has also seen significant improvements, and an enhanced user interface, ARM is already capable of launching notebook products that are able to run for a long period of time, and if the price is attractive, there is a great chance for the products to create a brand new market segment in the IT industry.

Asustek has already made plans to launch a 13-inch ARM-based notebook adopting Nvidia's processor with Android.

The sources pointed out that there are already several brand vendors reportedly set to launch ARM-based notebooks with prices lower than US$299 to compete for market share and the vendors' processor choices include Nvidia's Tegra, Qualcomm's Snapdragon and processors from Texas Instruments."

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Source: DigiTimes

World's first 7-inch Android 3.2 tablet

Subject: General Tech, Mobile, Shows and Expos | June 21, 2011 - 10:58 PM |
Tagged: Huawei, CommunicAsia, Android 3.2

There seems to always be a trade show going on at some corner of the ellipsoid world particularly at this time of the year. Down in Singapore the CommunicAsia 2011 exhibition is on until the 24th and news is starting to trickle out about advancements in communication technology. If you were holding your breath until Android reached version 3.2 on devices you can almost finally exhale, if you are still conscious because you can at best hold your breath for like 8 minutes and Android products are not that quick to ship. Yet.

Seventh floor… going up… ... WHAMMY BAR!!!

Huawei announced on the 21st that they are releasing a 7-inch tablet based on Android’s 3.2 release. The tablet will feature a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor from Qualcomm but no mention of how much system RAM it will contain as it still allegedly depends on partners. The capacitive touchscreen will be IPS-based at a 217 PPI pixel density. After a little trigonometry: a 7-inch screen will have a resolution somewhere between 1280x720 and 1366x768 if its pixel density is 217 pixels per inch. The unit itself is capable of outputting 1080p to an external display through HDMI. There are currently no details towards a price, but Huawei stated that there are no plans for a Wifi-only version. The unit is expected to ship in the third quarter of this year.

Source: Engadget

Keeping your laptop cool in the summer with Akasa

Subject: Mobile | June 21, 2011 - 09:32 PM |
Tagged: akasa, cooler, helix

Akasa's Helix Widescreen notebook cooler has arrived just in time for summer, bringing not only a cooling breeze to your laptop but also looking relatively stylish at the same time.  The large size does negate the ability of most people to be able to place it on their laps, so the cooler is intended more for high powered gaming laptops that have trouble keeping their cool over extended gaming sessions.  eTechnix preferred it to the Lapchilla they reviewed previously but warn their readers not to expect cooling miracles.

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"Akasa are at the forefront of the PC components market and are well known for their 'Superb Design and Engineering'. Currently their products range from CPU coolers and fans to cases and power supplies and several things in between. They are a company who are very aware of its target market and as such tend to produce products that are very popular, like the Akasa Venom for instance."

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Source: eTechnix

Sony gearing up for S1 and S2 tablets with ads

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | June 19, 2011 - 04:22 AM |
Tagged: tablet, sony, S2, S1

We are going to see quite a few Android-based tablets come out in the next few months as the flood gates open for tablet creators. We have been reporting on strong rumors have been pointing to Amazon stepping in the tablet space to extend their Kindle portfolio this fall. Amazon is generally very successful when they decide to step in the market, yet that did not deter Sony from preparing to dive in to the tablet space as well. Sony are preparing to launch a 9-inch tablet and a dual screen 5.5-inch tablet in the autumn and to build hype they have released a video ad campaign to build hype for that event.

This “Two Will” Pass

As you can tell from watching the video, it says little about the product except that they slide really quickly, absolutely love someone, cast ominous shadows, and can kill action figures with lightbulb mind bullets. Sony did mention that this is just the first episode of five so it is possible that their later videos may be more informative. However, if you just want to see what an Echochrome 2-esque city has to do with Android tablet then be sure to watch the next four commercials.

Source: Tom's Guide

Thank you, come again, We need more Llano reviews!

Subject: Mobile | June 17, 2011 - 10:03 PM |
Tagged: llano

AnandTech offers an overview of Llano, the new APU from AMD aimed at the mobile market in general and SandyBridge in particular.  They start with a high level overview of the changes to the Star core, though don't mention that Llano is not a star; then proceed onto what it is capable of in a notebook.  Click on through to see what will be powering the best  $500-600 gaming notebooks for the next quarter or so.

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"The past few years have been very difficult for AMD but we're at the beginning of what may be a brand new company. Without the burden of expensive fabs and with the combined knowledge of two great chip companies, the new AMD has a chance but it also has a very long road ahead. Brazos was the first hint of success along that road and today we have the second. Her name is Llano.”

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Source: AnandTech

Acer Unveils Two New Ethos Notebooks With Removable Touchpad Remote Control

Subject: Mobile | June 17, 2011 - 03:42 PM |
Tagged: notebook, hd, gt550m, gaming, acer

Acer recently announced two new additions to its Ethos notebook lineup, which specialize in HD media and gaming. The Acer Aspire Ethos AS59516 and Ethos AS89516 specifically, feature all black, brushed aluminum chassis with a magnesium alloy cover. A 1.3 megapixel webcam, back-lit keyboard, and a scratch resistant Gorilla Glass LCD display are features of both models. External Ports include HDMI, USB 3.0, a combination USB/eSATA port. Further, internal hardware includes Intel’s 2nd generation Core i5 or Core i7 processors, up to 16 GB of RAM, between 500GB and 1.5TB of hard drive storage, a NVIDIA GT550M, and a WiFi radio, and Blu-Ray (or DVD) optical drive are all available options.

Acer Aspire Ethos AS59516 laptop 

The removable touchpad/remote.

With the general hardware out of the way, the most interesting feature that the two models share is a new touchpad that is able to detach from the laptop and act as a media remote control. Upon removal, the touchpad can be oriented horizontally or vertically and presents LED buttons to start, pause, and play music “from across the room.” While the idea of a removable remote has been done before, on HP notebooks especially, the integration into the touchpad will certainly encourage me to not misplace the remote lest I be forced to memorize keyboard shortcuts to use the computer.  Further, the remote control does provide controls for easy music playback; therefore, this seems like a good evolution of the idea that Acer has on their hands.

The AS59516 is the smaller of the two new notebooks, and features a 15.6” display at 1366x768 resolution. On the audio side of things, it features 5.1 surround sound output in addition to two built-in speakers and “TubaBooster” technology which seeks to enhance the bass of the sound. The laptop has a starting MSRP of $1399.99 USD, and will be available this week at numerous retailers.

On the other hand, the AS89516 is a much larger affair, which sports a 18.4” display and HD 1920x1080 resolution. It further includes five dolby-tuned built-in speakers in addition to a subwoofer using Acer CineSurround and CineBass technology. The notebook carries a MSRP of $1599.99 USD and will also be available for purchase starting this week.  You can check out more images of the new notebooks over at cnet.

Source: Acer

Microsoft reiterates stance on 'harmful' WebGL

Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Mobile | June 17, 2011 - 08:35 AM |
Tagged: webgl, microsoft

Microsoft has made substantial efforts lately to increase their support of open standards even to the point of giving them first class treatment ahead of their home-grown formats. Internet Explorer 9 shows the best support for web standards such as HTML 5, CSS, and Javascript that the browser line has ever had. One feature set, however, has been outright omitted from Internet Explorer: WebGL. Microsoft has very recently made a more official statement on the subject, claiming it harmful from a security standpoint.

WebGL-Angel.png

WebGL: Heaven or Hell?

(Image from MrDoob WebGL demo; contains Lucy model from Stanford 3D repository)

WebGL is an API very similar to OpenGL ES 2.0: the API used for OpenGL features in embedded systems, particularly smart phones. The goal of WebGL is to provide a light-weight, CSS obeying, 3D and shader system for websites that require advanced 3D graphics or even general purpose calculations performed on the shader units of the client’s GPU. Mozilla and Google currently have support in their public browsers with Opera and Apple shipping support in the near future. Microsoft has stated that allowing third-party websites that level of access to the hardware is dangerous as security vulnerabilities that formerly needed to be exploited locally can now be exploited from the web browser. This is an area of expertise that Microsoft knows all too well from their past attempts at active(x)ly adding scripting functionality to the web browser evolving into a decade-long game of whack-a-mole for security holes.

But skeptics to Microsoft’s position could easily point to their effort to single out the one standard based on OpenGL, competitor to their still-cherished DirectX standard. Regardless of Microsoft’s motives it seems to put to rest the question of whether Microsoft will be working towards implementing WebGL in any release of Internet Explorer currently in development.

Do you think Microsoft is warning its competitors about its past ActiveX woes, or is this more politically motivated? Comment below (registration not required.)

Source: Microsoft

AMD Fusion Developer Summit 2011: Live Blog

Subject: Editorial, Graphics Cards, Processors, Mobile, Shows and Expos | June 16, 2011 - 06:41 PM |
Tagged: llano, liveblog, fusion, APU, amd, AFDS

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The AMD Fusion Developer Summit 2011 is set to begin at 11:30am ET / 8:30am PT and promises to bring some interesting and forward looking news about the future of AMD's APU technology.  We are going to cover the keynotes LIVE right here throughout the week so if you want to know what is happening AS IT HAPPENS, stick around!!

Source: PCPer

1 Llano beats 3000 Intel HDs

Subject: Mobile | June 14, 2011 - 04:40 PM |
Tagged: llano, APU, sabine

It has been a long wait for AMD's Llano APU but the wait is over and unlike a certain game the news is good.  The CPU portion is based on the same Stars architecture that current generation Phenoms use but that only accounts for about 50% of the die space, the remaining space is taken up by the graphics processing units.  Using what AMD calls the 'Fusion Compute Link', the graphics portion of the die can access the memory it shares with the CPU which has big impacts on the speed of processing OpenCL and other applications that can utilize the GPGPU architecture both AMD and Intel are using currently.  What that translates to in terms of performance is significantly better gaming performance than Intel's HD 3000 IGP, though performance in other situations is not up to the competitions level.  It looks like this particular implementation of Llano will give you a notebook in the range of $700 which will allow you to game at a decent resolution with most settings enabled.  

Read Ryan's full review of the architecture and the AMD A-Series Notebook here.

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"Since competing with Intel on processor performance is out of the question, this entire platform instead must rely on its graphics performance and its portability. Fortunately, these are two areas where Llano shows great strength. Even with dual graphics disabled, the APU was capable of out-performing Intel’s current HD 3000 IGP by a significant margin."

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AFDS11: AMD Demonstrates Trinity Powered Notebook

Subject: Processors, Mobile, Shows and Expos | June 14, 2011 - 04:08 PM |
Tagged: trinity, fusion, APU, AFDS

On stage during the opening keynote at the AMD Fusion Developer Summit 2011, Rick Bergman showed off a notebook that was being powered not by the recently released AMD Llano A-series APUs, but rather the Trinity core due in 2012.

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Trinity is the desktop APU for next year that will combine Bulldozer-based x86 CPU cores with an updated DX11 GPU architecture built on the current 32nm process.  Not much else is known about the chip yet but hopefully we'll get some more details this week at the show.

Source: PCPer

MSI Ships New 17” Gaming Laptops with Lethal Combination of Graphics, Power and Design

Subject: Mobile | June 13, 2011 - 06:05 PM |
Tagged: steelseries, msi, gtx 560m, GT780R

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. – June 13, 2011 – MSI Computer Corp., a leading manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, today announced the first North American shipment of the GT780R and the GX780, two gaming notebooks with keyboards expertly designed in partnership with global leading gaming peripherals manufacturer SteelSeries. The notebooks combine brilliant graphics from the latest NVIDIA© GeForce© graphics processors, along with the second-generation Intel® Core™ i7 Processor, to create a sleek new design with ultimate power that outperforms the competition.

“Serious gamers understand that not all notebooks are created equally,” said Andy Tung, vice president of sales, MSI US. “The GT780R and GX780 are built specifically for gamers, with a professionally-designed keyboard, plus top-of-the-line graphics and processing power from NVIDIA and Intel.”

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Speaking of SteelSeries

MSI constructed the 17.3-inch GT780R and GX780 notebooks with invincible gaming hardware optimized for gaming, including:

  • SteelSeries Full Color Backlit Keyboard: Expertly designed together with the gaming gurus at SteelSeries, this keyboard features several exclusive gaming designs for ultimate gaming control. Enjoy perfect hand positioning with keys that never get in the way, and a rugged keyboard that offers solid feedback while you slay your enemies. The Power 10 key solution can support 10 keys typing simultaneously so every keystroke counts. And the multicolor LED backlit keyboard features 5 programmable modes so you can sync the color and rhythm of the backlighting to suit your game.
  • NVIDIA GeForce Graphics: NVIDIA GPUs provide realistic and immersive graphics for both notebooks. The GT780R features NVIDIA’s newest GeForce GTX 560M with 1.5GB GDDR5 of high-end, large-capacity display memory for superior performance and vivid graphics. The GX780 boasts NVIDIA’s GeForce GT555M with 1GB DDR5 VRAM.
  • 2nd Generation Intel Core i7 2630QM Processor: The newest energy-efficient processor from Intel supports Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, which allocates processor resources to boost core clock speeds and overall performance. Both notebooks boast core clock speeds of 2.00 GHz. 
  • Sleek New Design: This sleek black notebook features a stylish, brushed aluminum textured body that is sophisticated and subtle. The notebook’s modern design compliments the bold stylings of the backlit keyboard.
  • 17-Inch Full HD Screen: No gamer can tolerate a small screen, and the GT780R and GX780 notebooks feature a bold, 17.3-inch HD screen with an anti-reflective coating. Enjoy 1920 x 1080 resolution and a 16:9 display ratio for a clear and realistic image rendering.
  • MSI’s Exclusive Turbo Drive Engine (TDE) Technology: TDE provides a boost in graphics performance to accelerate video decoding and add extra excitement to your gaming.
  • USB 3.0: These notebooks feature a plethora of ports so you can customize your setup and achieve the quickest data transfers. With two USB 3.0 ports and three USB 2.0 ports, you’re ready to roll.
  • Dynaudio Speakers with THX Surround Sound: No gaming experience is complete without booming audio, and MSI collaborated with Dynaudio to build the highest quality speakers plus a built-in subwoofer. Enjoy cinema-quality surround sound with THX TruStudio PRO.

The new GT780R and has an MSRP of $1,749.99 and the GX780 at $1,549.99. Both models will be available on Newegg and Amazon.com.

Source: MSI

Panasonic Updates Toughbook 19 Tablet With New Internals

Subject: Mobile | June 10, 2011 - 08:30 PM |
Tagged: Toughbook, tablet, Panasonic, fully-rugged

Panasonic recently announced a series of upgrades to its Toughbook 19 convertible tablet, including new Intel Sandy Bridget processors, increased RAM and hard drive space, and a brighter LCD screen. After being on the market for five years, the Toughbook 19 and its ruggedized chassis is ideal for military usage or anyone needing a portable computer that is likely to be subjected to extreme operating conditions.

As the first time Panasonic has used a standard voltage Intel CPU, the upgraded Toughbook has gained decreased boot-up time and faster overall system performance compared to its predecessors. Despite the standard voltage processor, Panasonic has been able to maintain the computer’s fan-less design which is important for reliability in harsh operating conditions such as when used around water and sand. The new model comes standard with an Intel Core i5 2520M at 2.5GHz, 4GB of RAM (upgradeable to 8GB), either the 32 or 64 bit version of Windows 7 Pro, and either a 320GB 7200 RPM hard drive or a 128GB SSD (upgradeable to 256GB).

Further, an SDXC card reader, ExpressCard slot, Intel WiFi chip supporting 802.11 b/g/n, 3G, GPS, Bluetooth, and optional 4G LTE modem that will be available later this year.  Numerous security features and a dual-touch touchscreen (including stylus).  The new Toughbook fits into the same chassis as the older models, enabling users to upgrade the device and continue to use it with existing expansion and vehicle docks. The LCD has also receive an upgrade. The 10.1” XGA touchscreen uses Panasonic’s TransreflectivePlus technology, which features and adjustable LED backlight as well as an internal reflective layer that uses reflected sunlight to help illuminate the screen. Panasonic claims that the screen is capable of 6000 nit of brightness.

Panasonic expects that the new Toughbooks will be available in September 2011, and will start at an estimated street price of $3,349 USD from authorized retailers. A standard three-year limited parts and labor warranty. You can read more about the new rugged convertible tablets on Panasonic’s website.

Source: Engadget

A portable TV in this day and age? RCA's 3.5" DHT235C Portable LED TV

Subject: Mobile | June 10, 2011 - 05:17 PM |
Tagged: portable tv, gadget

With the Stanley Cup turning into a best of 3 series between now and Wednesday, and 3G being hit very hard in Vancouver for those wanting to watch the live CBC stream when they are on the road, RCAs new portable TV suddenly makes some sense to own.  Since you can't record live events before they happen to watch on the road and occasionally whatever wireless data carrier you use will be overwhelmed with traffic, maybe owning a tiny portable LED TV with a 320x240 resolution makes some sense.  Check it out over at Overclockers Online to see of you might want visit Radio Shack and drop $80 on a TV in time for the game.

OO_RCA_LED_TV.jpg

"RCA is making an active push in the portable TV market and the DHT235C Portable Digital TV is the entry model. The DHT235C runs on four AA batteries that provide up to three hours of runtime. The built in digital antenna provides a clean and crisp picture and proves that terrestrial television isn’t dead."

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Sprint Shows Off Its First 4G Dual Core Tegra 2 Super Phone

Subject: Mobile | June 9, 2011 - 10:43 PM |
Tagged: Tegra 2, super phone, Sprint, Photon, nvidia, arm, 4g

If desktop processors are advancing at the speed of sound, then mobile processors are advancing at somewhere near the speed of light. Just a year ago, a 600MHz Ti processor was very fast; however, in the age of dual core 1GHz+ processors that seems to be rather slow by comparison. Speaking of the speed of photons, Sprint has recently unveiled a new Motorola smart phone called the Photon 4G that is packed with lots of hardware and powered by Android 2.3.

What makes the Photon 4G special; however, is that it is the first NVIDIA Tegra powered "super phone" on Sprint's 4G cellular network. The 2.6 inch x 5 inch device has a depth of .5 inches and weighs in at 5.6 ounces. This rather hefty chassis holds a large 4.3" "qHD" display with a resolution of 540x960.  Further, the phone has two cameras with the rear camera being capable of capturing 720p HD video and the front facing camera sporting a VGA (480x640) resolution.  An HDMI output port, a microSD card slot supporting up to 32GB cards, and a metal kick stand also have a place on the device.

Internally, the phone features a 1GHz dual core Tegra 2 processor, 16GB of on-board storage, and 1GB of RAM.  A 3G/4G radio supporting International GSM frequencies as well as a Bluetooth and Wifi 802.11 b/g/n radio are also present.  This hardware is in turn backed by a 1700 mAh Lithium Ion battery.

According to the NVIDIA blog, the device is made further desirable due to it's ability to play "multi-platform, console-class Android OS games with the kind of experience you expect from a game console."  The Photon 4G also supports Bluetooth controller input, enabling it to act as a sort of portable gaming console by hooking it up to a large display via HDMI and playing games using a Bluetooth controller.  NVIDIA demonstrated playing Riptide GP on the phone using a Wii controller.  It will likely support the dual shock controller down the road as well.

NVIDIA shows off the Wii controlled super phone's gaming abilities

Sprint claims a nine to ten hour talk-time for the phone, depending on the network the phone is using (3G/4G); therefore, it will be interesting to see if this phone will have the battery life in real world tests to be a good portable gaming machine.  It may even steal some market share from the Playstation Vita if Android can keep new games flowing.  What do you think about the Photon 4G?

Source: Sprint

Samsung Releases 1 TB Laptop Hard Drive

Subject: Storage, Mobile | June 9, 2011 - 07:21 PM |
Tagged: Samsung, laptop, Hard Drive, 1TB

Samsung today announced a new update to their Spinpoint laptop hard drive line, the Spinpoint M8 1 TB. Joining the storage ranks of the Seagate Constellation and Western Digital Scorpio 1 TB drives, the new Samsung hard disk features two 500 GB platters in a 2.5” 9.5mm form factor along with an 8 MB buffer, and utilizes a SATA II (3Gb/s) interface. The 500 GB per platter density was achieved by using their Advanced Format Technology (AFT), which raises the data storage density per unit area, which results in a reduced number of requisite platters and read/write heads. Samsung claims that the reduction in necessary components results in a seven percent performance increase as well as an eight percent decrease in the amount of power drawn.

The new 2.5” drive carries an MSRP of $129.00 USD. Mobile gamers and road warriors in particular are likely happy to see competition in the 1 TB+ laptop arena, which should hep to bring the 1 TB mobile drives’ prices a bit closer to their 1 TB desktop brethren.  You can read more about the new drive here.

Source: Samsung