Apple 7-inch iPad Coming in October with Retina Display and $200 to $250 Price Point

Submitted by lalit on May 10, 2012 - 1:55pm.

Apple rumor website iMore is reporting that Apple will launch the much rumored iPad mini in October along with the new iPhone. Some of the details that iMore posted about the upcoming iPad mini are very interesting, Rene Ritchie wrote:

Apple will be going forward with the 7-inch iPad, currently targeting an October 2012 release alongside the new iPhone, and -- here's the killer -- at a $200 to $250 price point. According to our source, which has proven reliable in the past, the reason for such aggressive pricing is to do to the tablet market what Apple did to the MP3 market in 2004 with the expansion of the iPod product line -- leave absolutely no space for competitors.

We haven't gotten a firm read on the exact screen dimensions, so we're using 7-inches generically here. Our source has indicated, however, that the 7-inch iPad will be identical in every way to the current 9.7-inch iPad, just scaled down. That seems to include a 2048x1536 resolution display, just like the new iPad. If accurate, that would put the pixel density at around 326 ppi, identical to the iPhone 4S (and higher than the 264 ppi new iPad) retina display. It's hard to imagine a device with a panel like that having a price tag of just $200, especially when the baseline new iPad comes in at $500, but one way Apple will be keeping costs lower is by providing less storage capacity. $200 will get you 8GB. That's identical to the current entry-level iPod touch, which also starts at $200. (And no, Apple won't be replacing the iPod touch with the 7-inch iPad, both devices will remain in the product lineup -- though it'll be interesting to see what happens with iPod touch pricing and storage capacity.)

From what we have heard via our sources Apple isn’t going to use a Retina display on the iPad mini. The cost of production of 7-inch Retina display alone will be more than 1/3 the price of iPad mini. Also price difference between 8GB memory module and 16GB module is less than $5, which won’t make up for higher cost of Retina display (about $60-$70). So we believe that the assumption about Apple keeping the cost lower by using less storage is baseless.

 

Samsung Unveils Sleek 17-inch Series 7 Chronos Laptop

Submitted by lalit on May 10, 2012 - 12:29pm.

Samsung today announced the newest addition to Series 7 laptop lineup, the new 17-inch Series 7 Chronos laptop. The sleek desktop replacement laptop features 3rd generation Intel Core i7 processor, 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M GPU, 17.3-inch full HD LED display and premium JBL speakers.

"The new Series 7 CHRONOS can truly serve as a desktop replacement, whether it's being used for work or play, because we've integrated so many powerful features into our innovative design and engineering, resulting in the ultimate personal computing experience," said Todd Bouman, vice president of marketing at Samsung Enterprise Business Division. "This product incorporates great features from our award-winning Series 7 CHRONOS line while offering consumers the newest, most powerful components available and a larger screen for a more immersive viewing experience without sacrificing the convenience of a laptop."

The laptop comes with ExpressCache with 8GB flash memory resulting in fast start up time and powerful application launch performance. It also offers up to 8 hours of battery life on a single charge. The 17-inch Series 7 Chronos has been made using brushed aluminum for sleek design, and it is just one inch thick with 6.5 pounds weight.

Samsung 17-inch Series 7 Chronos laptop is available now priced $1,499.

 

NVIDIA Launches More Affordable GeForce GTX 670 GPU (Reviews added)

Submitted by lalit on May 10, 2012 - 9:18am.

After launching the two top-of-the-line GeForce GTX 600 series GPUs in past two months, NVIDIA today launched the more affordable third GPU based on the new 28nm Kepler architecture, the GeForce GTX 670. The new card has 1344 NVIDIA CUDA cores in place of 1536 on big brother GTX 680 and 2GB of GDDR5 graphics memory. The card supports NVIDIA PhysX, NVIDIA 3D Vision and SLI technology.

According to NVIDIA, GTX 670 outpaces the closest competitive product in gaming performance by upwards of 45 percent, while consuming 18 percent less power. NVIDIA also claims “the GeForce GTX 670 ties the competition's much higher-priced flagship product on 25 of the world's most popular games and benchmarks, a testament to the overall performance efficiency of the Kepler architecture.” And many reviewers agree with NVIDIA on these points.

The new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 GPU is available now, priced $399 from the world's leading add-in card suppliers, including ASUS, EVGA, Gainward, Gigabyte, Inno3D, KFA2, MSI, Palit, Point of View, PNY, and Zotac.

AnandTech, PCWorld, Tom’s Hardware, Neoseeker and Hot Hardware have posted reviews of the new NVIDIA GTX 670. And they all say one thing in common “Ultimately, we feel that the new GeForce GTX 670 is another strong offering from NVIDIA. The card offers all of the features of the higher-end GeForce GTX 680 and 90+% of the performance, but at a lower price. Hopefully NVIDIA’s availability issues are rectified soon, because we suspect many of you are going to want to score on of these puppies.”

 

HTC Evo 4G LTE Coming to Sprint on May 18th

Submitted by lalit on May 9, 2012 - 11:15am.

Last month, Sprint introduced the new HTC Evo 4G LTE featuring 4.7-inch screen, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and LTE support. However, Sprint didn’t provide launch date for the handset. Today the company came out clean with the exact launch date and pricing for the new handset. The HTC Evo 4G LTE will start shipping on May 18th, 2012. It will cost $199.99 with new line of service or eligible upgrade and two year service agreement. Pre-order began May 7th on Sprint’s website.

 

Sony Introduces Xperia GX and Xperia SX – The First Sony LTE Smartphones for Japan

Submitted by lalit on May 9, 2012 - 8:56am.

Sony today announced two new Xperia Android smartphones designed specifically for the Japanese market – the Xperia GX and Xperia SX. Both Xperia GX and Xperia SX are the first Sony smartphones with 4G LTE support with download speeds of up to 75mbps. These handsets also come with 1.5GHz dual core processors, Reality Display powered by the Mobile BRAVIA Engine, full HD video and Sony Exmor R camera.

Key features of Xperia GX are:

  • 4.6” Reality Display powered by Mobile BRAVIA Engine for razor-sharp clarity.
  • 1.5GHz dual-core processor for faster performance.
  • 16GB internal flash storage.
  • 13MP camera with Sony Exmor R for mobile, HD video recording, and Sony technology to take 3D panoramic images.
  • Launching on Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.
  • Available in white and black.

Key features of Xperia SX are:

  • World’s lightest LTE smartphone, weighing only 95g.
  • 3.7” Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine.
  • 1.5GHz dual-core processor for faster performance.
  • 8GB internal flash storage.
  • 8MP camera with Sony Exmor R for mobile, HD video recording, and Sony technology to take 3D panoramic images.
  • Japanese specific features such as infrared port data exchange, mobile wallet and mobile TV.
  • Launching on Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.
  • Available in black and white

Sony Xperia GX and Xperia SX will be available in Japan this summer. No word on pricing yet.

Apple Places Next Generation iPhone Manufacturing Orders

Submitted by lalit on May 9, 2012 - 7:16am.

Digitimes is reporting that Apple has placed manufacturing orders for next generation iPhone and a new 10-inch iPad model to Pegatron technology. Monica Chen posted:

Pegatron Technology reportedly has landed orders for a new-generation iPhone to be launched in September and a 10-inch iPad to be launched in the fourth quarter, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers. Pegatron is currently an OEM for the iPhone 4S and new iPad.

Pegatron has already finished expanding its equipment and labor force for Apple's orders.

Pegatron first got iPhone manufacturing orders from Apple when CDMA iPhone 4 for Verizon was launch. Since then Pegatron has become Apple’s second major manufacturing partner after Foxconn. So it’s very likely that they will be playing a role in manufacturing of next generation iPhone. However, we haven’t heard anything about a 10-inch iPad that will be launched in Q4 2012. Also, it’s very unlikely that Apple will launch a 10-inch model when they are already shipping two 9.7-inch models, as the difference in screen size is very little to justify a completely new product.

 

Micron Develops First Fully Functional DDR4 DRAM Module

Submitted by lalit on May 8, 2012 - 8:56pm.

Micron today announced development of its first fully functional DDR4 DRAM module. Codeveloped by Nanya and based on Micron's 30-nanometer (nm) technology, the 4-gigabit (Gb) DDR4 x8 part is the first piece of what is expected to be the industry's most complete portfolio of DDR4-based modules, which will include RDIMMs, LRDIMMs, 3DS, SODIMMs and UDIMMs (standard and ECC). For the soldered down space, x8, x16, and x32 components will also be available, with initial speeds up to 2400 megatransfers per second (MT/s), increasing to the JEDEC-defined 3200 MT/s.

Micron has begun sampling and has received feedback from major customers to support quick implementation for applications in 2013. According to Micron, the new DDR4 memory will not only be beneficial for server and workstation market because of its data transfer speeds, but will also be great for ultrathin laptops and tablets as it will consume less power than memory modules based on DDR2 and DDR3 standards.

 

Olympus Tough TG-1 iHS with 12-Megapixel Sensor and F/2.0 Lens

Submitted by lalit on May 8, 2012 - 2:09pm.

Olympus today introduced new Olympus TG-1 iHS camera, a waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, crushproof and dustproof Tough Series compact camera. The TG-1 iHS is worlds first compact rugged camera with high speed bright f2.0 lens. It is Waterproof to 40 feet, Shockproof to 6.6 feet, Freezeproof to 14°F and even Crushproof to a weight of 220 pounds. Other features of the camera include 12-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor, TruePic VI image processor, 4x optical Zoom, 1080p full HD video recording, 3-inch OLED screen and 30 different scenes including Night, Sport, Beach, Snow, Underwater and Backlight HDR.

Olympus has also released a Teleconverter Lens for that camera that extends the 4x zoom to 6.8x. The camera has built-in GPS and e.compass functions for location and landmark information recording with every image. The Olympus TG-1 iHS will be available in June priced $399.99.

 

Mobile Devices Outdoor Readability Shootout

Submitted by lalit on May 8, 2012 - 11:22am.

We have all seen our smartphone and tablet screens fade out as soon as we step outdoors. In some cases it’s almost unreadable outdoors even though these devices are designed to be used on the go. To find out which smartphones and tablets worked better (were more readable) in high ambient lighting DisplayMate tested 4 tablets and 5 smartphones. The test were done inside an Integrating Hemisphere using a powerful light source that uniformly illuminates the displays from all directions from 0 lux (Absolute Darkness) up through 40,000 lux (Indirect Sunlight), which is very bright.

On the tablet side, DisplayMate tested Galaxy Tab 10.1, iPad 2, Kindle Fire and Motorola Xoom. While on the smartphone side they tested Nokia Lumia 900 Samsung Galaxy S, iPhone 4, Motorola Droid X and HTC Desire. All devices showed decreased viewability in high ambient lighting, but tablets performed worst than most smartphones. DisplayMate concluded the results by saying:

The DisplayMate Contrast Rating for High Ambient Light for the displays ranges from a low of 15 (HTC Desire) to a high of 90 (Nokia Lumia 900). From both the Lab Measurements and the Screen Shot Viewing Tests (below) the top performing device for display viewability under Bright Ambient Lighting is the Nokia Lumia 900. This results from a combination of its high screen Brightness and low screen Reflectance, which Nokia calls ClearBlack technology. The Samsung Galaxy S and Apple iPhone 4 are tied for second place. The best Tablets all performed a notch below the Smartphones – the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was the leader, with the iPad 2 in second place. The new iPad (not included below) performs better than the iPad 2 and just behind the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The other Smartphones and Tablets performed well below these top models.

You can read the complete shootout results with detailed explanation on how each smartphone and tablet screen performed, and also see the master photo grid showing each device screen in various lighting conditions on DisplayMate’s website.

 

Nokia Launches Augmented Reality App City Lens for Lumia Smartphones

Submitted by lalit on May 8, 2012 - 8:58am.

Nokia Beta Labs today launched City Lens for Windows Phone, an augmented reality app that overlays places to eat, tourist hotspots and points of interest on the phone’s camera display to help you find what you are looking for. You can simply click you chosen destination on the phone’s screen and it will give you walking directions, make a reservation for you or offer more details about the locale.

The application also has a sharing feature that allows you to share your find with your friends via social networks, SMS or email. The introductory video below gives a good idea about how the application works. Nokia City Lens is still in beta, so Nokia says, “we would love to receive your feedback about City Lens, including any enhancements that would help make it a better product.”