MSI slims the notebook but doesn't trim the features

Subject: Mobile | August 25, 2011 - 12:45 PM |
Tagged: msi, x-slim x460, ultraportable, 14

The 14" MSI X-Slim X460 Ultraportable laptop hides a little more power than the Ultraportable portion of its name implies.  The 2GHz Core i7-2630QM adds some serious processing power and also provides the graphics, making the machine good for video but not so good for gaming.  While TechSpot is unsure if the model they reviewed may be different from retail models, they saw 4GB of DDR-1333 and the storage was handled by a 500GB 7200RPM Western Digital Scorpio Black in their review sample.  Battery eater showed a range of battery life, from 63 minutes when fully stressed by gaming to 5hr 41min under the reader benchmark.  If you are looking for a laptop in the range of $1100 that is worth what you pay for, this laptop bears further investigation.

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"MSI recently expanded its ultraportable offerings with the addition of two last generation X-Slim notebooks. Although they're designed to be lightweight and compact, the X460 notebooks also strive to be powerful, courtesy of Intel's Sandy Bridge processors. The flagship model comes with Intel's Core i7-2630QM, packing the quad-core chip while boasting an 8-hour battery life.

There's also the X460DX, which can come configured with Core i3 or i5 processors and the Nvidia GeForce GT 540M GPU. Both the X460 and X460DX share the same dimensions using a 14" LED backlit screen. While ultraportable laptops generally carry a 12 to 13" display, MSI says the X460 strikes a fine balance between mobility and performance.

With enough power to put the average desktop PC to shame, the MSI X460 flagship model costs roughly $1,100. Even so, that price tag makes the X460 one of the cheapest second-gen Core i7 notebooks money can buy."

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Source: TechSpot

Acer Aspires for a low cost laptop with the 5750

Subject: Mobile | August 18, 2011 - 12:35 PM |
Tagged: acer, aspire 5750, 15.6 inch

The 15.6", 1366x768 Acer Aspire 5750 has a 640 GB, 5400 RPM HDD, a DVD multiburner, 3GB of unbalanced DDR3-1333 (one DIMM is 2GB and one is 1GB) and a choice of a mobile i3, i5 or i7 CPU which also provides the graphics.  The laptop wights in at 5.7lbs, certainly not the lightest 15.6" laptop out there, even with a battery only rated for 210 minutes of run time.  It does only cost $500 which will make it attractive to people needing a bit more power than something like Acer's hromebook provides.  Check out the rest of the information at Hardware Secrets if you are in the market for something similar.

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"Let's take a look at the Acer Aspire 5750 laptop, which has a 15.6-inch screen and can come with the Core i3-2310M, Core i5-2410M, or Core i7-2630QM CPU. It has 2 GB to 6 GB of RAM, a hard disk from 320 GB to 640 GB, and one USB 3.0 port. The model we analyzed was the 5750-6606, with a Core i3-2310 CPU, 3 GB RAM and a 640 GB hard disk. Check it out!"

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MSI's new line of Slim and Sleek Superior Performance notebooks

Subject: Mobile | August 16, 2011 - 05:27 PM |
Tagged: msi, x460, x460dx, 14

Today MSI introduced three new 14" 1366 x 768 notebooks, the X460DX-008US, X460DX-006US and the X460-004US.  All but the X460DX-008US sport 6GB of DDR3, with the aforementioned limited to 4GB, the two DX models have a 500GB drive for storage while the non-DX has 750GB. All three have THX TruStudio Pro Technology for sound, USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out, 802.11 b/g/n Wireless LAN and extended battery life that MSI claims will provide all-day computing.  Check out the rest of the specs, including processor below, and click over to MSI if you are interested in purchasing one.

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Source: MSI
Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Acer

Introduction and Design

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We have our heads in the clouds. Once a dream, cloud computing is now common and used to support everything from file sharing to email. Here at PC Perspective, for example, we often make use of Dropbox. Storing certain files “in the cloud” is much easier than directly emailing them to and fro. 

Google is one of the cloud’s most ardent supporters. The Internet seems to be Google’s answer to everything from emails to file sharing to document editing. All these tasks can be accomplished online through a browser with a Google utility. 

When Google announced that it was going to develop an entire OS based off its Chrome web browser there was much shock, speculation and excitement. In hindsight, however, this development was probably inevitable given the company’s love of everything online. Now, Google Chrome OS is a retail product. Let’s find out if a cloud OS can compete with more traditional options. 

Read on for our full review of the Acer AC700-1099 Chromebook!

T-Mobile Stops Throttling and Starts Charging Overage Fees For 200MB Data Plan

Subject: Mobile | August 13, 2011 - 08:43 PM |
Tagged: t-mobile, mobile, Data

It seems as though T-Mobile users’ streak of bad luck just keeps on coming. According to AllThingsD, the US cellular provider is changing its lowest tier 200MB data plan’s overage policy from throttling to overage charges. Specifically, once users exceed their allotted data, they will be charged $0.10 per megabyte, which is the bad news. The slightly better (but still not quite good) news is that the overage charges will be capped at a maximum of $30.

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T-Mobile stated that it will begin notifying customers once they reach 90% of the 200MB data allotment, or 180MB, in addition to giving customers the ability to move to a higher tier data plan with a larger data allotment.

The changes in their data plan from customers being throttled to a lower data speed after going over their data allotment to being charged overage fees will happen tonight at midnight, so (new) customers who wish to become grandfathered into the plan should sign up quickly.

What are your thoughts on carrier data caps? Do you believe overage charges are the answer? Share your opinions in the comments below!

Source: AllThingsD

New Solar Cell Enhanced LCDs Could Improve Mobile Device Battery Life

Subject: Displays, Mobile | August 12, 2011 - 04:51 AM |
Tagged: solar cell, mobile, lcd, display

According to Ars Technica, researchers at UCLA announced on Tuesday a new LCD screen containing photovoltaic cells that promises to reduce back-light energy waste and improve battery life on mobile devices.

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My N900 eats up battery with an hour of Angry Birds, but can go for two days with the display off. Where's my happy medium? 

The researchers have placed what they are calling polarizing organic photovoltaics inside the LCDs in such a way that light that is normally filtered out and blocked in areas to create the displayed images can now be (mostly) recovered. While the process does not result in 100% reclamation of energy due to energy loss during the conversion process(es) and heat given off by the back-light, in a mobile device any amount of energy that can be recovered is desirable. Ars Technica states that up to 90% of a battery’s power is used to power the back-light of the display. Further, of that percentage, up to 75% is lost to the polarizing layers. By infusing the polarizing layer with photovoltaic cells and reclaiming as much of the otherwise wasted light as possible, battery life could be dramatically extended.

Mobile devices are getting beefier multi-core processors and graphics chips, numerous wireless radio connections (4G, WiFi, Bluetooth), and large power hungry displays; however, battery technology advancements have been rather stagnant and flat. As a result of this, having to make processors, displays, and other components as efficient as possible to make up the difference of battery technology not keeping up with other advancements, interesting tweaks like the photovoltaic infused displays become that much more important.

Whether this particular technology will catch on and work as well as they claim remains to be seen; however it is nonetheless an interesting experiment. More data on the researchers’ project will be published in the Advanced Materials journal in September 2011. What are your thoughts on the idea?

Source: Ars Technica

Just how awesome is the new Toshiba Qosmio?

Subject: Mobile | August 11, 2011 - 01:07 PM |
Tagged: toshiba, Qosmio, desktop replacement

The new Qosmio model is a serious laptop and a contender for anyone looking for a desktop replacement.  With a Core-i7-2635QM, 8GB of DDR3, a 1.5GB GTX 560M and two HDD, a 750GB 7,200 RPM for your OS and programs and a secondary 500GB 5,400 RPM for long term storage.  It also has a 1080p 17.3" 3D-ready LCD so you can watch your 3D Blu-ray copy of Avatar on the go.  You'll probably want to watch it while plugged into a wall wart, Tech Review Source found the battery pegged out at around the 2 hour mark.

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“The Toshiba Qosmio X775-3DV78 is a 17-inch laptop that has a 1080p full HD 3D display, a second-generation Intel quad-core CPU and 8GB of RAM. Along with USB 3.0, dual-hard drives and a Blu-ray player, users will find this laptop's performance to be very appealing.”

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Author:
Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: Samsung

Introduction, Design and Ergonomics

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Courtesy of Samsung

Samsung's first product to make a splash into the Android tablet market was the original 7" Tab, and while its performance numbers were on par with other similar tablets produced in 2010, it left many consumers wanting more multimedia, gaming, and productivity features like what was available with Apple's iPad and iPad2. Many vendors, including Samsung, were dealing the same issues and challenges associated with the lack of tablet support in Android-based games and applications because Android's SDK only comes in one flavor for general mobile devices, not tablets with larger displays. 

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Courtesy of Samsung

After hearing feedback from consumers and hardware reviewers, Samsung completely redesigned the Tab 10.1 to accommodate users eager for enhanced video and gaming capabilities that take advantage of modern technologies like Android's latest Honeycomb OS and NVIDIA's Tegra 2 processor that support higher resolution displays beyond 1024x768 (the Tab 10.1's display runs at 1280x800). They also gave the Tab 10.1 a slimmer profile that is comparable to the iPad2. The Tab 10.1 can be purchased for around $499 for the 16GB version and $599 for the 32GB version, which is also on par with its Apple counterparts. We are reviewing the 16GB version to check out all the new features in Honeycomb and see what surprises Samsung included with the Tab 10.1 that justify the $500 price tag.

Continue reading our review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

This Two Will Passed – Episode 4 released of total 5…ish.

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | August 6, 2011 - 02:19 PM |
Tagged: tablet, sony, S2, S1

Want to rest your eyes from all of the Quakecon coverage? How about another Sony tablet ad? The first three parts of Sony’s S1 and S2 ad campaign are behind us with the conclusion of this five part series occurring in the fourth part. Frankly I do not really understand it either, but apparently the fifth ad will be a collection of the previous four making the fourth one the actual finale of a series of five. I guess that somewhat makes sense: what better way to promote the products’ collective slogan “Open Your Imagination” than blowing your mind? I say nothing.

This Two Will Passed… okay? Go play it.

The title of this video is “Together anywhere” and features an unsurprising amount of tracks for anyone who watched any or all of the preview videos. Besides metal rails, be sure to pay close attention to the setup prior to the couch station because you will drop bricks at the end of the video. This is also the first time that lyrics appear in the ads which put a very uplifting feel on the campaign. While not as metaphorical as the first two parts suggested, I believe they got their point across. Now all that is left to do is see if it will translate to sales.

Source: Sony

Intel Releases $700 Bill of Materials For Thinnest Ultrabooks

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | August 5, 2011 - 02:00 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook.asus, Intel

Digitimes reported today that Intel will be meeting with its Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) partners in Taipei next week to discuss the Bill of Materials (BOM) that outlines the components to be used in Intel's Ultrabook notebook class.  The goal of the meeting will be to tweak the Bill of Materials such that the initial selling price will be below $1,000 USD.

Intel has further broken up the Ultrabook category into two thickness classes of 18mm and 21mm.  The 18mm reference designs, of which Intel has rendered five, have thus far omitted any optical drives.  An example of the 18mm design can be seen in the upcoming Asus UX21 and UX31 ultrabooks.  The proposed Bill of Materials for the 18mm ultrabooks is between $493 and $710 USD while the 21mm ultrabooks BOM is between $475 and $650 USD. 

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Beyond the Bill of Materials, the site notes that Intel is further planning to release next generation ultrabooks based on 22nm Ivy Bridge processors in 2012 and 22nm Haswell CPUs in 2013.  These ultrabooks will come in sizes ranging from 11" to 17."  The 11" to 13" models will have a thickness of 18mm while the 14" to 17" models will be of the 21mm variety.

Apple Insider notes that the push from Intel to keep the cost of materials and initial selling price for its ultrabooks below $1,000 may be due to the $999 entry level Macbook selling so well and Intel's desire to provide a competitive product that can match the thin-ness of the Mac notebooks and is priced to sell.  Do you think Intel's ultrabooks will catch on with consumers, or will it be another niche and/or gimmick product?

Source: Digitimes