Submitted by lalit on May 15, 2012 - 7:12pm.
Sony today announced updates for VAIO E, VAIO S and VAIO Z series laptops. The E Series will get two new laptops with larger 15.5-inch and 17.3-inch screens. Both the laptops will have last generation Intel Core i5-2450M processor, AMD Radeon 7650M graphics, up to 750GB hard drive, built in webcam, USB 3.0, HDMI, Bluetooth and WiFi. The main difference between the two laptops is the screen, the 15.5-inch model has 1366 x 768 resolution screen and the 17.3-inch model has 1600 x 900 resolution screen (there is option of selecting Full HD screen also).
The new VAIO S Series now comes in 13.3-inch and 15.5-inch screen sizes, and is made out of materials like magnesium, aluminum and carbon fiber. The laptops feature new 3rd generation Intel Core i5 and i7m processors, NVIDIA GeForce GT640M LE graphics, anti-reflective VAIO Display Plus, slot-in optical drive (Blu-ray optional), up to 1TB hard drive, WiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI, USB 3.0 and optional 4G LTE/3G WWAN. Both the 13.3-inch and 15.5-inch models weigh less than 4.5 pounds and offer up to 14 hours battery life with optional sheet battery.
The Ultrathin and powerful VAIO Z Series also get Ivy bridge treatment with new Core i7 processor. The 0.7-inch thick laptop features 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, AMD Radeon HD 7670M graphics, optional Power Media Dock with Optical drive, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G/LTE support and USB 3.0. VAIO Z’s tough “hexashell” design is crafted with superlight carbon fiber and aluminum resulting in less than 2.6 pounds weight. And like the slightly heavier S Series the VAIO Z can also offer 14 hours battery life with optional sheet battery.
New VAIO E Series 15 and 17 is available in a choice of white, black or (E Series 15 only) silver color finishes for a starting price of $459, but if you go for slightly decent configuration the price will jump over $700. No word on when the new VAIO S and VAIO Z Series will ship or pricing.
Submitted by lalit on May 15, 2012 - 3:06pm.
AMD today announced its 2nd generation AMD A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APU) for mainstream and ultrathin notebooks. The new APUs, codenamed “Trinity” have an improved design over previous generation and offer following new features:
AMD has launched the new A-Series with three APUs for mainstream laptops and two APUs for ultrathin laptops. On the mainstream side, following APUs are available:
On the Ultrathin side, AMD has the following two APUs:
Laptop based on new A-Series APUs from Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba are available beginning today with starting price as low as $649.
AnandTech, HotHardware, Hexus and PC Perspetive have posted reviews of the new A-Series APUs. And the reviews are very positive specially when is comes to integrated GPU performance. However, AMD still lags behind Intel when it comes to CPU performance. In fact, some reviewers have written that AMD’s new A-Series is still behind Intel’s last generation Sandy Bridge processors. Jarred Walton wrote on AnandTech:
Intel continues to offer better CPU performance, and if you need graphics—which mostly means you want to play games—they have a good partner with NVIDIA. AMD on the other hand is delivering better integrated graphics performance with less CPU power, and depending on what you want to do that might be a more well rounded approach to mobile computing.
Overall, AMD’s new A-Series Trinity APUs are a step in right direction and depending on your requirements can be a good option. Especially, if the prices of upcoming laptops based new APUs are right (rumors are prices will start as low as $649).
Apple to Use Thin-Film Touch Technology in 7.85-inch iPad, and Has Booked Half of Mobile DRAM Capacity at Elpida
Submitted by lalit on May 15, 2012 - 6:09am.
DigiTimes today published two Apple related rumors, both hinting at upcoming iOS devices. In the first rumors DigiTimes claimed that they have heard from reliable industry sources that Apple will use “G/F2” thin-film capacitive touch technology in upcoming 7.85-inch iPad. Siu Han posted:
The second rumor talked about Apple booking about 50% capacity at Elpida’s 12-inch fab in Hiroshima, Japan for production of mobile DRAM. Josephine Lien posted on DigiTimes:
This would indicate that not only Apple is expecting a big jump in DRAM memory use, but they are also expecting it soon. Rumors are that Apple will launch the next generation iPhone and 7.85-inch iPad before the end of Q3 2012. And they expect both these products to be big sellers.
Submitted by lalit on May 14, 2012 - 8:01pm.
Just few weeks back Intel started shipping Ivy Bridge processors based on 22nm process technology and Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini is already talking about 7nm and 5nm process technologies that are at least 3-5 generations away. In a presentation Otellini revealed that Intel has begun research on 7nm and 5nm manufacturing technology for processor. He said, “Our research and development is quite deep, I talk about ten years”.
Intel is looking into process lithography, materials for manufacturing and Interconnect technologies for 7nm and 5nm processors, as at such small size most of the current technologies won’t work without modifications or completely new materials.
Intel has already equipped D1X Oregon Fab, Fab 42 Arizona and Fab 24 Ireland for 14nm fabrication processes, which Intel will start in 2013. The company will follow 14nm processors with 10nm process technology in 2015. If Intel follows this time frame we should see 7nm processors in 2017-18 and 5nm processors in 2019-20. [Via Xbit Laboratories]
Submitted by lalit on May 14, 2012 - 5:32am.
Just few weeks before a new Mac is launched two things happen – one, benchmarking results are posted on Geekbench and two, Apple’s retailing partners drop prices of current models. And in past 24 hours these two things have happened for multiple Mac models including the much rumored upcoming MacBook Pro and Ivy Bride iMac.
Lets start with Geekbench results, MacRumors has posted benchmark results that appeared in Geekbench’s database in past few days. The first result shows a new MacBook Pro with model number MacBookPro9,1 (current model numbers are MacBookPro8,1, 8,2 and 8,3). According to Geekbench result table, the new laptop has quad core 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-3820QM processor, 8GB RAM and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion). However, the best thing is that the CPU and memory performance of the new laptop is about 15% faster than current MacBook Pro model, scoring 12,252 compared to 10,500 scored by current top of the line Pro.
The second Geekbench result shows a new iMac model with model number iMac13,2 (current iMac has model number iMac12,x). It also features the new Ivy Bridge processor from Intel and Mac OS X 10.8. However, the Geekbench results of this new iMac only show moderate improvement over previous iMac model. The new iMac scored 12,183 compared to 11,500 scored by old model. Looking at the result table we believe that 4GB memory on the iMac is responsible for lower performance. Our guess is that this test iMac is only running on a single 4GB memory DIMM and hence memory system on the iMac is working as single channel rather than as dual channel decreasing the performance.
These two benchmarking results hint that Apple is almost ready to ship the new MacBook Pro and iMac. Normally we see an update within 4 weeks of such leak. Also adding weight to the Mac update rumors are the recent price drops on various Mac systems at Best Buy. The retailer has dropped prices of Mac mini by up to $50, MacBook Air prices by up to $100, MacBook Pro prices by up to $150, iMac prices by up to $125 and Mac Pro prices by up to $300.
This would indicate that not just MacBook Pro and iMac, but the complete Mac lineup is about to get an update in next few months. We believe MacBook Pro and iMac will be first in the line followed by other Macs.
Submitted by lalit on May 13, 2012 - 9:00pm.
CNET is reporting that Windows 8 tablets based on Intel processors will be coming to the market in November. It has been rumored that ARM based Windows 8 tablets will ship when Microsoft launches Windows 8 in early Q4 2012 (mostly end of September or early October), which would indicate that Intel based tablets will be few weeks behind ARM tablets featuring the new shiny Windows 8. Brooke Crothers wrote:
It will be interesting to see if Microsoft favors ARM over Intel for Windows 8 tablet launch. It will actually show where Microsoft is going for future of tablet.
Submitted by lalit on May 13, 2012 - 5:56pm.
Yesterday, AppleInsider reported that Apple was negotiating to acquire German HDTV maker Loewe for 87.3 million Euros (about $122 million). However, today Loewe’s spokesperson said that there was “absolutely nothing to it”. But there are still rumors that Apple offered a deal to Loewe and their board of directors is yet to decide. Many believe that Apple is interested in Loewe because of their minimalist designs and premium market appeal.
However, we don’t think Apple will buy anyone for design or market appeal. As far as design is concerned, Apple has always depended on their internal design team led by Jonathan Ive. And as for market appeal, there is no bigger brand than Apple today in the world. So, why would they need Loewe?
We believe that if Apple buys Loewe, it will be for intellectual property (IP) and nothing else. Yes, they might use the engineers from Loewe for making Apple’s upcoming HDTV, but that isn’t the main reason for Apple to buy Loewe.
Apple will be entering a very crowded TV market with many big name electronic companies wanting to keep them out, as Apple is known to drain away all the profits from the market they enter. For example, in 2011 Apple took away 80% profit of MP3 player market, over 75% profit of smartphone market and over 80% profit of tablet market. And companies like Samsung, Sony and LG will do anything to keep Apple away from already drying TV market. So, if Apple has some IP backing from an old company like Loewe it will be that much better/easier for them to enter the TV market.
Submitted by lalit on May 12, 2012 - 9:44am.
Japanese online music store, e-onkyo has announced launch of their online music distribution service that will feature Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround sound tracks. The service will be launched on May 30, 2012, in Japan and in fall 2012 elsewhere in the world. The service will initially offer 100 album titles (about 1,000 tracks) in lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel surround sound.
Along with lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel surround sound, the music service will also provide consumers with high-quality audio at reduced sizes for faster download. The reduced file size tracks will have 24bit/96kHz audio and they will be around 200MB for five minute track, while the lossless track will have 24bit/192kHz audio with about 800MB file size. Both file sizes will be 5.1-channel Dolby TrueHD.
Shinsuke Yamashita, President and Representative Director, Onkyo Entertainment Technology Corporation, explained: "We are very happy that e-onkyo music will start distribution with Dolby TrueHD lossless audio, thanks to the cooperation of Dolby. The evolution of network audio and PC audio means that users can enjoy high-resolution sound with data volumes greater than those that are possible on a CD. And we are aiming to achieve even further growth in our music distribution business. Through the collaboration between our two companies, we intend to increase our breadth of content and improve the user's listening experience, in a way that only high-quality surround sound distribution can."
The e-onkyo music service featuring Dolby TrueHD 5.1 tracks will start on May 30, 2012 at 1 PM in Japan. On e-onkyo Dolby TrueHD 5.1 music service albums will start at ¥3,000 (about $35) and single will cost ¥400 (about $5). [Via Engadget]
Submitted by lalit on May 11, 2012 - 5:43pm.
Apple currently uses Google Maps data in iOS Maps app, but that it going to change with iOS 6, as Apple is going to bring the complete Maps applications in house. With both user interface and backend support by Apple alone. According to 9to5mac, not only will Apple replace the Google Maps data from the Maps app, but they will also add new features like 3D view, which isn’t present in current app. Mark Gurman wrote:
Check out the video below in which 3D map mode is shown for Hoover Dam, it looks awesome. We have been hearing about Apple developing their own Maps app for quite sometime now so it’s no surprise that we will finally see it in iOS 6. However, based on what we have heard and today’s report from 9to5mac, we think that the Maps app on iOS 6 will be nothing like we have seen before and it will be simply amazing.
Submitted by lalit on May 11, 2012 - 8:59am.
Terry Gou, Chief of Foxconn, Apple’s biggest manufacturing partner today revealed in a interview with China Daily newspaper that the company was in fact preparing for manufacturing of Apple’s much rumored iTV. China Daily posted the following about iTV:
Terry Gou is Chairman of Hon Hai Precision (Foxconn), he isn’t some low level employee at Foxconn factory. So, if he comes out and says that Foxconn is preparing for iTV then we have no doubt that they are, but as you can see from his statement development or manufacturing hasn’t yet started on Foxconn’s side, which would indicate that Apple iTV shipment is still at least 4-6 months away.
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