Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors, Mobile | May 15, 2013 - 09:02 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: tegra 4, hp, tablets
Sentences containing the words "Hewlett-Packard" and "tablet" can end in a question mark, an exclamation mark, or a period on occasion. The gigantic multinational technology company tried to own a whole mobile operating system with their purchase of Palm and abandoned those plans just as abruptly with such a successful $99 liquidation of $500 tablets, go figure, that they to some extent did it twice. The operating system was open sourced and at some point LG swooped in and bought it, minus patents, for use in Smart TVs.
So how about that Android?
The floodgates are open on Tegra 4 with HP announcing their SlateBook x2 hybrid tablet just a single day after NVIDIA's SHIELD move out of the projects. The SlateBook x2 uses the Tegra 4 processor to power Android 4.2.2 Jellybean along with the full Google experience including the Google Play store. Along with Google Play, the SlateBook and its Tegra 4 processor are also allowed in TegraZone and NVIDIA's mobile gaming ecosystem.
As for the device itself, it is a 10.1" Android tablet which can dock into a keyboard for extended battery life, I/O ports, and well, a hardware keyboard. You are able to attach this tablet to a TV via HDMI along with the typical USB 2.0, combo audio jack, and a full-sized SD card slot; which half any given port is available through is anyone's guess, however. Wirelessly, you have WiFi a/b/g/n and some unspecified version of Bluetooth.
The raw specifications list follows:
NVIDIA Tegra 4 SoC
- ARM Cortex A15 quad core @ 1.8 GHz
- 72 "Core" GeForce GPU @ ~672MHz, 96 GFLOPS
- 2GB DDR3L RAM ("Starts at", maybe more upon customization?)
- 64GB eMMC SSD
- 1920x1200 10.1" touch-enabled IPS display
- HDMI output
- 1080p rear camera, 720p front camera with integrated microphone
- 802.11a/b/g/n + Bluetooth (4.0??)
- Combo audio jack, USB 2.0, SD Card reader
- Android 4.2.2 w/ Full Google and TegraZone experiences.
If this excites you, then you only have to wait until some point in August; you will also, of course, need to wait until you save up about $479.99 plus tax and shipping.
Subject: General Tech | May 15, 2013 - 03:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
You can't argue that components are good, a i7-3840QM @ 2.8GHz, 16GB DDR3-1600, a 1TB HDD for storage and 256GB SSD for the OS and a pair of GeForce GTX 675Ms will give you great gaming performance on the 1080p integral screen or a larger external one. If you do want a gaming laptop then getting one with $532 off the retail price is the best way to do it. Just remember to pick up extra batteries.
1. Start here at Dell Home direct store
2. Configure as per needs (optional), click Review & Checkout button at the top
3. Add to cart
4. Apply coupon code: NLZ5145HLZF?FL in-cart and proceed to final checkout/payment
Subject: General Tech | May 14, 2013 - 04:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: input, gaming keyboard, thermaltake, knucker plunger
The unfortunately named Thermaltake Knucker Plunger Keyboard gets its name from the Plunger switches that were used for the keys on this board. They are not quite mechanical switches but do offer more feedback, both tactile and audible, when a key is depressed so that you get a feel similar to a mechanical switch but without the accompanying price tag. With LED backlighting and easily removable keys it does offer the same benefits as high end gaming keyboards but at $40 it will not cost you as much as other models. Benchmark Reviews tried out the newest member of the Tt eSPORTS lineup finding it more than acceptable for the price point.
"In today's throw away culture it seems that nothing is sacred anymore, spending ~$100 on a keyboard seems like nothing to some folks with seamlessly disposable income, but not all of us have that luxury. To this end Thermaltake's Tt eSPORTS division have created the Knucker Plunger Gaming Keyboard (model: KB-KNK008). The Knucker Gaming Keyboard was designed and priced to sit part way between a regular rubber dome keyboard and a mechanical switch keyboard. The end result is what Thermaltake call 'Plunger switch technology', a semi-mechanical rubber dome setup that gives tactile feel of mechanical switches at a much lower cost. Here at Benchmark Reviews we aim to give you the information you want without all the hype, so you can make an educated decision for yourself. Read on to find out if the Knucker Keyboard is all that it promises to be."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Logitech G19s Gaming Keyboard @ Tweaktown
- Xebec Tech Easy Eye Large Letter Keyboard @ eTeknix
- TteSports Saphira Gaming Mouse @ eTiknix
- Mionix Ensis 320 Luna Mousepad @ Rbmods
- Neo Reflection Wireless 3D Finger Mouse @ Hardware.info
- Func MS-3 Gaming Mouse and Surface 1030 XL Review @ Madshrimps
- Shogun Bros Ballista MK1 8200dpi Pro Gaming mouse @ Kitguru
- SteelSeries Call of Duty Black Ops II Mouse Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Tesoro GUNGNIR H5 Optical Gaming Mouse Review @ NikKTech
- Logitech G500s @ LanOC Reviews
- Func MS-3 Gaming Mouse and Surface 1030 XL Mouse mat @ Metku.net
- Logitech G500s Laser Gaming Mouse Review @ Techgage
- Corsair M95 MMO Gaming Mouse @ eTekix
- ROCCAT Roundup: Mice, Mousepad, and Bungee @ OCC
- TteSports Black Element Combat White MMO Gaming Mouse @ eTeknix
- Tt eSPORTS THERON Battle Ready Gaming Mouse @ NikKTech
- ROCCAT Hiro Gaming Mouse Pad Review @ Neoseeker
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Processors, Systems, Mobile | May 14, 2013 - 03:54 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: haswell, nec
While we are not sure when it will be released or whether it will be available for North America, we have found a Haswell laptop. Actually, NEC will release two products in this lineup: a high end 1080p unit and a lower end 1366x768 model. Unfortuantely, the article is in Japanese.
IPS displays have really wide viewing angles, even top and bottom.
NEC is known for their higher-end monitors; most people equate the Dell Ultrasharp panels with professional photo and video production, but their top end offers are ofter a tier below the best from companies like NEC and Eizo. The laptops we are discussing today both contain touch-enabled IPS panels with apparently double the contrast ratio of what NEC considers standard. While these may or may not be the tip-top NEC offerings, they should at least be putting in decent screens.
Obviously the headliner for us is the introduction of Haswell. While we do not know exactly which product NEC decided to embed, we do know that they are relying upon it for their graphics performance. With the aforementioned higher-end displays, it seems likely that NEC is intending this device for the professional market. A price-tag of 190000 yen (just under $1900 USD) for the lower end and 200000 yen (just under $2000 USD) for the higher end further suggests this is their target demographic.
Clearly a Japanese model.
The professional market does not exactly have huge requirements for graphics performance, but to explicitly see NEC trust Intel for their GPU performance is an interesting twist. Intel HD 4000 has been nibbling, to say the least, on the discrete GPU marketshare in laptops. I would expect this laptop would contain one of the BGA-based parts, which are soldered onto the motherboard, for the added graphics performance.
As a final note, the higher-end model will also contain a draft 802.11ac antenna. It is expected that network performance could be up to 867 megabits as a result.
Of course I could not get away without publishing the raw specifications:
LL850/MS (Price: 200000 yen):
- Fourth-generation Intel Core processor with onboard video
- 8GB DDR3 RAM
- 1TB HDD w/ 32GB SSD caching
- BDXL (100-128GB BluRay disc) drive
- IEEE 802.11ac WiFi adapter, Bluetooth 4.0
- SDXC, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, USB3.0, 2x2W stereo Yamaha speakers
- 1080p IPS display with touch support
- Office Home and Business 2013 preinstalled?
LL750/MS (Price: 190000 yen):
- Fourth-generation Intel Core processor with onboard video
- 8GB DDR3 RAM
- 1TB HDD (no SSD cache)
- (Optical disc support not mentioned)
- IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi adapter, Bluetooth 4.0
- SDXC, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI, USB3.0, 2x2W stereo Yamaha speakers
- 1366x768 (IPS?) touch-enabled display
Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling | May 14, 2013 - 03:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Lian Li, PC -Q30, mini ITX, case
Lian Li has just released a very unique case for those who want to show off their internal components, the PC-Q30. The unique curved chassis will certainly make your system stand out as no other competitor is offering a case with this particular look. It is mini-ITX so their are some space constraints for the highest end systems but you can still fit a good system into the (W)223mm x (H)357mm x (D)300mm chassis.
May 14, 2013, Keelung, Taiwan - Lian-Li Industrial Co. Ltd, today announces a new brushed aluminum Mini-ITX chassis – PC-Q30. With its curve-shaped design and large acrylic front window the fully aluminum PC-Q30 allows users to show off their systems, and is sure to be the talking piece of any room.
Whether in the living room, bedroom, or office, the PC-Q30 with its curve-shape and brushed aluminium finish takes visual command without being ostentatious. Additionally, DIY builders can put their stylized internal components and intricate builds on full display – as they should not be hidden from sight.
Thanks to the two expansion slots on the top of the chassis, the PC-Q30 supports graphics cards up to 200mm (7.8”). For storage, up to four 2.5” hard drives or SSDs can be mounted in the removable hard drive cage at the bottom of the chassis.
A 140mm fan in the rear of the chassis expels hot air, while ventilation on the top and side allows for cool air to enter. A small form factor power supply up to 125mm (4.9”) is placed on rubber pads in order to reduce vibrations.
The front of the PC-Q30 is minimalistic in aesthetics and houses the dual LED illuminated power button that glows blue when on and red while loading. The I/O panel with two USB 3.0 ports and HD audio connections is located on the left side of the front of the chassis to not interrupt the elegant aesthetics.
Price and Availability
The PC-Q30 will be available in June in the US and Canada for the suggested retail price of US$149
Subject: General Tech | May 14, 2013 - 03:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microsoft. windows blue, win8, oops
Windows Blue is now officially Win8.1, coming sometime before Christmas and free to anyone currently running Win8 according to the links at Slashdot. We've talked about Microsoft's upcoming OS refresh many times at PC Per, from their plan to replicate the subscription model of Office365 to the inclusion of their Cloud services like SkyDrive. This will not be a new OS, merely tweaks added to the existing kernel focusing on the GUI and especially the new Start Screen. It isn't a reversal of the new look, nor does it lessen the emphasis on touch screens but it could make some compromises for those who prefer a mouse, keyboard and desktop.
"Several readers sent word that Microsoft has officially dubbed the upcoming revision to its flagship operating system "Windows 8.1," retiring the code-name "Windows Blue." They also said the update would be freely available to anybody with Windows 8. It will be available through the Windows Store. "Reller declined to provide an exact release date for Windows 8.1, but said that Microsoft is 'very sensitive to the timing of the holidays.' Ideally, Microsoft will be able to provide devices with Windows 8.1 pre-loaded in time for the holiday 2013 season, Reller said, but those who purchase a Windows 8 device later this year will be able to easily upgrade to 8.1."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Your Flying Car? Delayed again, but you WILL get it, says Terrafugia @ The Register
- Adobe lets you pay now and later and later again @ The Tech Report
- Intel's Thin Mini-ITX platform: nine months later
- Will your power supply work with Haswell? Seasonic announce compatible units @ Kitguru
- Blackberry announces Q5 QWERTY smartphone as BB10 hits 120,000 apps @ The Inquirer
- Blackberry announces BBM for iOS and Android @ The Inquirer
- http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2268009/blackberry-announces-bbm-for-ios-and-android @ TechARP
Subject: General Tech | May 14, 2013 - 01:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you know someone who is looking for a tablet that does a bit more than an eReader but doesn't need the power of an x86 based model, the Dell XPS WinRT tablet makes a good compromise. The dual core Snapdragon S4 @ 1.5GHz will power the 1366 x 768 10.1" screen when surfing and the included Office Home & Student 2013 RT will help with productivity. At $150 off the normal price it is a good deal.
To get the 10.1" XPS 10 32GB Tablet configuration, follow these steps:
1. Start here at Dell's direct store
2. Configure as per needs (optional), click Review & Add to cart button at the top
3. Proceed to final checkout/payment
10.1" XPS 10 32GB Tablet + Soft-Touch Case $329.98
10.1" XPS 10 32GB Tablet + Dockable Keyboard $399.99
10.1" XPS 10 64GB Tablet + Dockable Keyboard + 4G LTE $549.99
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | May 14, 2013 - 09:06 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: tegra 4, tegra, shield, project shield, nvidia
Solid information about the NVIDIA Shield (no longer called Project Shield) is finally becoming available with a blog post written up today on NVIDIA's website. The company will begin accepting pre-orders from users that have previously signed up for the Shield mailing list while the rest of you will have to wait until May 20th to plop down your money.
The cost? $349. Newegg, Gamestop, Micro Center and Canada Computer will carry it.
If you want to sign up for official June release schedule of the Tegra 4 powered mobile Android gaming device, you'll have to head over to shield.nvidia.com.
NVIDIA does point out in the blog that the PC game streaming feature that I truly believe is the one thing that makes Shield a compelling gaming device, will be launching as BETA feature.
And GeForce game streaming, launching as a beta feature, will give SHIELD the power to access your NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPU-powered computer from the comfort of your couch. We’re working on streaming your favorite PC games to SHIELD, including great titles from Steam.
High level features of the device, for those of you that are unaware, include:
- Tegra 4 – The world’s fastest mobile processor delivers rich graphics and unbeatable performance thanks to 72 GPU cores, four CPU cores and 2GB of RAM
- Console-grade controller – Precise control thanks to dual analog joysticks, a full-sized D-Pad, left and right analog triggers, full-sized bumpers and A/B/X/Y buttons
- Multi-touch display – 5-inch, 720p retinal multi-touch display for high-fidelity visuals
- Integrated speakers – Custom, bass reflex, tuned port audio system – we think this is SHIELD’s sleeper feature
- Wi-Fi – 802.11n 2X2 MIMO game-speed Wi-Fi for seamless game streaming
- Pure Android – Latest Android Jelly Bean operating system from Google, for access to Android games and apps
- There’s more – We put into SHIELD everything we would want in a premium mobile gaming device: 16 GB memory, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, a mini-HDMI output, micro-USB 2.0, a microSD storage slot, a 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack. See the full spec sheet, here.
We took a look at the NVIDIA Shield device at CES this year and posted a video of our experiences, so check it out below.
NVIDIA has also posted a separate blog that talks about some of the upcoming Android games that will highlight the power of the Tegra 4 mobile processor including Broken Age and Costume Quest from Double Fine, Chuck's Challenge from Niffler and more.
I think many people at NVIDIA as well as in the media are very curious to see what the reaction of Shield will actully be upon its release. I am very excited to test it out in real-world, long term usage models but I definitely have doubts about the market's desire for another mobile gaming platform.
Leave me your thoughts in the comments below!!
Subject: General Tech | May 13, 2013 - 11:37 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: sony, semi-custom business unit, ps4, gaming, financial report, amd
Sony, a company with an annual profit of 436 billion Yen ($458 million USD) in its fiscal year ending March 31, 2013 saw PS3 and PS2 sales decline and a slight bump up in PSP and PS Vita sales. In a recent earnings call covered by Euro Gamer, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Masaru Kato stated that the company expects this year to be even better with the launch of its upcoming PlayStation 4 console. Sony does not believe it will incur any significant losses with the PS4 and that sales will "increase significantly." Unlike the PS3 which used a Cell chip that was expensive to develop, the PlayStation 4 uses mostly-traditional PC hardware. With the upcoming console, AMD did the majority of the development legwork which saved Sony money. As a result, Sony believes that the PS4 will turn a profit much faster than it took the PS3.
Looking into Sony's next fiscal year ending March 2014, the company is putting a renewed focus on smartphones and smart TVs. In the previous year, Sony saw combined PS3 and PS2 sales decline to $16.5 million from $18 million the prior year. Sony expects to sell approximately $10 million worth of PS3s in the upcoming fiscal year. While the company's PS2 console had a wild ride, it is no longer included in the company's sales forecast. Sales of Sony's mobile PSP and PS Vita gaming consoles are expected to decrease to a mere $5 million as well. Basically, Sony has a lot riding on its PlayStation 4 console. It expects to see its next-generation console make up for the decreased sales of its existing hardware.
Either way, a profitable Sony is a good thing, and I hope that the upcoming console is priced to sell while also resulting in a tidy profit for the company. I expect the Xbox-PS3-PC gamer flame-war to be especially entertaining this year, as the consoles are essentially using lower-end PC hardware (heh) and the two consoles specs are more-similar than ever.
Subject: General Tech | May 13, 2013 - 10:28 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: x86, SoC, semi-custom chip, Patent, ip, APU, amd
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has an extensive intellectual property (IP) portfolio. The company has a range of products from CPUs and graphics cards to video acceleration hardware. It is also the only other major player to have a license to build chips with the x86 ISA. With the launch of its Semi-Custom Business Unit, AMD plans to take advantage of the engineering experience and patent portfolio to create a new revenue stream. AMD will work with other companies to create customized processors that integrate custom IP cores and technology but use AMD's existing products as a base to cut down on engineering time and R&D costs.
The first such customized chip is the System on a Chip used in Sony's PlayStation 4 gaming console. AMD intends to market its modular SoC technology and custom IP integration services to makers of set top boxes, smart TVs, tablets, PCs, networking hardware, and High Performance Computing applications. AMD argues that using its Semi-Custom Business Unit to create a customized SoC is cheaper and faster to design and produce than a fully-custom design, which makes sense since most of the engineering work is already done. AMD could stand to make quite a bit of extra money here, especially if it can land design wins for governmental and industrial design contracts. Intel's x86 license scarcity may actually benefit AMD here, in fact.
AMD's Semi-Custom Business Unit consists of an engineering team led by AMD Corporate Vice President and General Manager Saeid Moshkelani. I think doing this is a smart move for the x86 underdog, and it will be interesting to see how well the division does for the company's bottom line.