Fusion powered 15.6" notebook joins Toshiba's Satellite lineup

Subject: Mobile | March 14, 2011 - 02:25 PM |
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The Toshiba Satellite C655D is an AMD E-240 Fusion powered notebook that you can pick up for under $450.  Unfortunately the MSRP is $349, so you might want to wait for the price to come down somewhat before picking up this notebook.  AMD's choice to offer a relatively low powered CPU on such a large notebook has resulted in some interesting sacrifices.  The extra size is nice but Matt discovered that it meant 720p playback on YouTube was not smooth and gaming at the native resolution also suffered.   Check out his full review to see if you feel the positive outweighs the negative.

"This makes for a complex verdict. Yes, the AMD E-240 is slow. But this laptop, the Toshiba Satellite C655, is a nice laptop for the price - and this laptop only exists because AMD has finally produced a competent Atom competitor. The 15.6” display, with its correspondingly large keyboard, is more pleasant to use than your typical 10.1” or 11.6” netbook. If you’re looking for a laptop, but your budget is slim, the Toshiba Satellite C655 should be on your short list."

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Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Toshiba
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Introduction and Specifications

The processor inside the Toshiba Satellite C655 is just one reason why this laptop is interesting. The other is the laptop’s size. Yes, laptops with 15.6” displays are the most common sold today, but Intel has made sure to keep Atom processors out of them. The company has been understandably guarded about the idea of placing such an inexpensive part into the most popular category of laptops.

Netbooks have been solid Intel territory since their rise to popularity in 2008. Intel won the category virtually by default; AMD had no alternative to offer. Even AMD’s most power efficient models have never been capable of providing battery life comparable to Atom. The debut of the Nile platform late last year finally gave AMD the ability to compete in the ultraportable market, but that was a long way from the power efficiency Atom could provide. AMD needed a new architecture, one made with power efficiency as a primary goal.

Now, after much anticipation and some delays, AMD has delivered. The new Fusion processors, which combine the CPU and GPU into a single processor architecture known as an APU, are filtering into production laptops. With them comes opportunity. AMD is rolling out low-end, power efficient components first, which means Atom finally has a competitor. Intel has done very little to update the performance and functionality of Atom since its introduction because there was no reason to make changes. With no competition from AMD, and the margins on Atom products small, Intel has had little incentive to substantially revise or improve the processor. AMD’s E-240 APU may finally spark a battle that has been absent for far too long.

The processor inside the Toshiba Satellite C655 is just one reason why this laptop is interesting. The other is the laptop’s size. Yes, laptops with 15.6” displays are the most common sold today, but Intel has made sure to keep Atom processors out of them. The company has been understandably guarded about the idea of placing such an inexpensive part into the most popular category of laptops. If consumers suddenly decided that an Atom was really all they needed (which I think is unlikely, but a possibility) Intel’s entire mobile processor business could be throw into a blender.

The Satellite 655 is simultaneously one of the least and most unique laptops on the market. Let’s see what (besides the APU) makes it tick.

Nothing here is surprising besides the processor and the price. While it is not unusual for 15.6” laptops to sell for $349, laptops that sell below $450 are usually stripped models, clearance products, or loss-leaders that stores hope can be attached to profit-fat extended warranties and peripherals. The Satellite C655 has an MSRP of $349, however – it would not be surprising to see this laptop sell for $325 or even $300 after a few months on the market.

Inexpensive pricing doesn’t excuse poor quality, however; the Toshiba Satellite C655 needs to be pleasant to use even if it is inexpensive. This is a place where many netbooks stumble, and even 15.6” bargain laptops sometimes have hidden flaws. Can the Satellite C655 cut costs without cutting into your experience?

 
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Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Apple
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Introduction and Features

After Apple released their new line of Macbook Pros on Feb. 24, many users thought Apple would do a basic performance bump of the system's hardware and send it out the door to consumers. They predictably included Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processors, which integrates an HD Graphics 3000 processor with the CPU, but they also became the first company to adopt Intel's new Thunderbolt technology. The combination of Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt is just the tip of the iceberg for this year's Macbook Pro lineup. We ordered one of their entry level 13" models to see firsthand how these new capabilities boost system performance and usability.

Apple brings Sandy Bridge, Thunderbolt technologies to MacBook Pros


Courtesy of Apple

After Apple released their new line of Macbook Pros on Feb. 24, many users thought Apple would do a basic performance bump of the system's hardware and send it out the door to consumers. They predictably included Intel's latest Sandy Bridge processors, which integrates an HD Graphics 3000 processor with the CPU, but they also became the first company to adopt Intel's new Thunderbolt technology. The combination of Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt is just the tip of the iceberg for this year's Macbook Pro lineup. We ordered one of their entry level 13" models to see firsthand how these new capabilities boost system performance and usability.

 


Courtesy of Apple

The 13" model we configured for our review includes a 13.3" glossy widescreen LED display that natively runs at 1280x800. We also kept everything else standard like the 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with 3MB shared L3 cache and 4GBs of DDR3-1333 system memory, but we upgraded the hard drive to a 500GB, 5,400 RPM SATA model. We also chose to stick with the Intel HD Graphics 3000 with 384MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared memory to keep the cost down below $1,300. 

 


Courtesy of Apple

As of Mar. 5, Apple had five basic Macbook Pro configurations that consumers could purchase from their website. Their entry-level 13" model starts at $1,199 while the 15" model starts at $1,799 because of the included Intel Core i7 2GHz quad-core processor and AMD Radeon HD 6490M 256B graphics card. The high-end 17" model only comes in one configuration that starts at $2,499, but it uses an Intel Core i7 2.4GHz quad-core CPU and an AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1GB of DDR5 memory. Overall, these five configurations help users with a wide range of needs and professional backgrounds.

 

Apple Macbook Pro 13" Features

Up to 2x Faster Processors
With all-new quad-core and dual-core processors, the new MacBook Pro isn’t just faster. It’s phenomenal.

Up to 3x Faster Graphics
The 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro feature discrete AMD Radeon graphics for stunning visuals.

Ultrafast Thunderbolt I/O
New input/output technology lets you connect high-speed peripherals and high-resolution displays.

FaceTime HD Camera
Now when you make video calls with FaceTime, your friends will see you three times more clearly than before.

Multi-Touch Trackpad
The spacious Multi-Touch trackpad lets you use gestures to control and interact with what’s on your screen.

Long-Lasting Battery
Even with faster processors and graphics, the new MacBook Pro lasts an amazing 7 hours on a single charge.

 

 

 

It's a 3D phone from LG, no glasses needed

Subject: Mobile | March 7, 2011 - 02:44 PM |
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With a 4.3" LCD screen powered by a 1GHz OMAP4 3D dual core processor the LG Optimus 3d can display 2D content at full 080p when outputed to an HD capable screen and 3D video at 720p on a stereoscopic display.  You can also watch 3D content on the phone its self without needing glasses, though The Inquirer warns you can't move your head much without the image degrading.  You can also create your own 3D content as the phone has dual stereoscopic 5MP cameras with which to capture your video. Check out the sneak peek over at The Inquirer.

"The INQUIRER was able to get its hands on the Optimus 3D for a quick test run at the CeBIT trade show in Germany. The phone was running Android 2.2 Froyo at the show but will be upgraded to Android 2.3 Gingerbread shortly after release and eventually will be available on the Three network."

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Source: The Inquirer
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Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Motorola
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Introduction and Honeycomb Overview

Early this year Google teased the next version of their mobile device operating system, Android 3.0 (codenamed Honeycomb). Now we finally have our hands on the first Honeycomb device, the Motorola Xoom. Read on to see how much the face of Android has changed.

While the Motorola Xoom may not be the first tablet that has been released with Android, it marks a major shift in the paradigm of mobile computing. Tracing back the history of Android, Google seems to release new software platforms with a specific hardware partner. While the original G1 phone was developed by HTC, Google decided to launch Android 2.0 (Eclair, known as 2.1 on other phones) with Motorola and their original Droid product. The success of the Motorola Droid is a hallmark moment for Motorola, who had been slowly dying after the massive success of their RAZR phone years ago.

With 2.2 and 2.3, Google decided to partner with hardware partners to develop what they considered the ideal platform. From this we got the HTC built Nexus One, and Samsung built Nexus S. Both of which have been heralded as phenomenal devices.

This brings us to Google’s newest and most ambitious mobile operating system yet, Android 3.0 (Honeycomb). Once again, Google has partnered here with great hardware companies, giving us a Motorola built device, powered by the NVIDIA Tegra 2 ARM SoC.

One of the things that veteran Android users will notice right away when looking at a Xoom in action is the lack of the standard Home, Menu, Back, and Search buttons of Android devices of the past. This is actually due to a Google decision, and not one on Motorola’s part. In Honeycomb, the way you navigate through the operating system has been reworked, and these buttons integrated into the UI, instead of the device itself. This allows Google greater flexibility in displaying these navigational items when needed, and flexibility to change their appearance or function down the road in later revisions of Android.

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Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: General
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Introduction and Specifications

Luxury. Premium. Exclusive. These are words rarely associated with laptops, particularly PC laptops. While Apple happily reaps in profits from the MacBook Pro, most other laptop manufacturers have a difficult time selling high-end laptops. The U260 is Lenovo’s attempt at a stylish flagship that will stick in the minds of buyers. Indeed, if you visit the IdeaPad main page, you’ll find that the U series is the only line of IdeaPad laptops described as “stylish” in the bite-sized popup descriptions.

 

Luxury. Premium. Exclusive. These are words rarely associated with laptops, particularly PC laptops. While Apple happily reaps in profits from the MacBook Pro, most other laptop manufacturers have a difficult time selling high-end laptops. Some companies, such as HP, have simply resorted to emulating Apple’s successful formula (with the Envy line) while others, such as Sony, seem to have made peace with their small portion of the laptop market. ASUS’s recent Bamboo line, which we recently reviewed in the form of the U33JC, proved to be the best recent attempt at a luxury laptop by any PC laptop vendor. But it was essentially a diamond in the rough, and it has few peers.

The U260 is Lenovo’s attempt at a stylish flagship that will stick in the minds of buyers. Indeed, if you visit the IdeaPad main page, you’ll find that the U series is the only line of IdeaPad laptops described as “stylish” in the bite-sized popup descriptions.

Before we go into the design details, however, let’s take a look at the guts of this slim machine.

Apple announces iPad 2

Subject: Mobile | March 2, 2011 - 02:38 PM |
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Today, amidst much rumor and speculation, Apple announced the second generation of their iPad. The iPad 2 as Apple is calling it, is the first device to feature their new A5 processor. Apple is touting the specs of the A5 as having a dual core processor with a "9x faster' GPU. It seems most likely that PA Semi and Intrinsity (both ARM design companies purchased by Apple in the past few years) have developed a chip based off of the ARM Cortex A9 platform with a PowerVR SGX543 dual core GPU.

The power of this GPU is utilized in the new HDMI video out feature of the iPad 2. Like some Android Tegra devices that we have seen, the iPad 2 will support mirroring on the screen through HDMI output at resolutions up to 1080p with a separate adapter. A nice feature of the adapter however is that it has a fullsize HDMI port, and Apple 30pin dock connector to still facilitate charging.


Image courtesy of Engadget

Apple is also saying that this new iPad is 33% percent thinner (8.5mm), with the same battery life oh 10 hours that the original iPad achieved. This points to improvements in efficiency of the new A5 chip.

The iPad 2 also adds cameras to the equation. Both a back and front facing camera allow for things such as video conferencing through FaceTime on Apple devices.

Apple also talked about features of their new iOS 4.3, such as the Photo Booth application, enhancements to the Apple AirPlay standard, and an improved JavaScript rendering engine for the mobile Safari browser.

The iPad 2 will be available in both black and white on March 11, in the same pricing scheme for the current iPad with prices ranging from $599 to $830 (16GB WiFi only to 64GB 3G model).

Hate the iPhones and figure Android is a flash in the pan? HTC has a Win7 phone for you.

Subject: Mobile | February 28, 2011 - 01:16 PM |
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If you are a Windows user and want a phone with a familiar interface then perhaps the HTC HD7 Windows 7 smartphone will be perfect for you.  A 4.3" WVGA display at 480 x 800 pixels gives decent video as it is powered by a a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.  It even has some nice extras like a built in kickstand so you can rest it on a flat surface, but expandable storage would have been nice.

Source: TECHGAGE

Apple updates Macbook Pros with Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt

Subject: Mobile | February 24, 2011 - 01:52 PM |
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Along with the release of Intel's Thunderbolt technology, Apple also released updated MacBook Pros that is really only a minor product update.  In general, the major update includes a move from Arrandale platform on the 15-in and 17-in models and from the Core 2 Duo CPU on the 13-in model to a complete Sandy Bridge based lineup.  Dual-core CPUs ranging from 2.3 GHz to 2.7 GHz will make up the 13-in MacBook Pro while the 15-in and 17-in versions will get the quad-core varian

Check out the Viewsonic Viewpad 7

Subject: Mobile | February 21, 2011 - 02:22 PM |
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The numeral on the Viewsonic Viewpad 7 indicates the size, not the version.  It is a 7-inch TFT @ 800x480 powered by a 600MHz Qualcomm MSM 7227 processor, 512MB SDRAM and with 512MB NAND Flash storage and a microSD card slot that supports up to 32GB of removable storage.  The Inquirer had a chance to try it out and were quite impressed by all but the resolution of the front-facing camera which sports a 0.3MP resolution.

Source: The Inquirer