Intel are just days away from launching their fourth-generation Core processors otherwise known as 'Haswell', and now they're teasing the world by stating that Haswell-based notebooks will offer 50% more battery life than Ivy Bridge-based counterparts.
Haswell CPU's were designed with mobile devices in mind, with one of their core focuses being lower power consumption, according to Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Intel Architecture Group, Rani Borkar, when speaking in a media briefing. Longer battery life also will not be coming at the cost of lowered performance, as in idle or standby mode, Haswell chips will do even better, extending battery life to something like 20 times what Ivy Bridge products can offer.
The big question here is, is this enough for consumers to get back into PCs again? Smartphone and tablet sales have no signs of stopping, while PC sales are moving backwards, let's hope this ignites a fire under consumers' feet.
Google have updated the Chrome beta for Android, which has reached version 28 (28.0.1500.21) and includes a bunch of requested features as well as a new code base. Chrome users on tablets will now enjoy the same full screen experience that was included in version 27 for smartphones.
This means that the toolbar and omnibox disappear as you scroll down the page, which is very useful to use more of the screen. Automatic translation of pages not in the device's native language is now available, which desktop users have enjoyed for a while now. Here are the full details of the new version:
Google Translate: When you come across a page written in a language that isn't in the same language as your phone or tablet, look for the translation bar
Fullscreen on tablets: Simply scroll the page to dismiss the toolbar
Support for fullscreen API
New graph showing your estimated bandwidth savings when you use the experimental data compression feature
Just days after the Xbox One reveal, and we're hearing that Turtle Beach have been approved as one of the first next-gen headset providers. Turtle Beach aren't unveiling any details on their products just yet, which is something we'll hear more about at E3 in a few weeks time.
The problem here is that existing headsets won't be compatible with the Xbox One, as the controllers on the Xbox One use a new proprietary port that makes your old devices incompatible with the new controller, good work, Microsoft. We should keep our eyes and ears open at E3 for Turtle Beach's goodies.
We've heard about Samsung's Galaxy S4 "Google Edition", but could a similar move by HTC help the company's nosedive into the ground? Russell Holly at Geek, according to his sources, has said that HTC are working on a HTC One sans their Sense UI.
Holly says that the release of this device is "imminent", so we could expect it very soon. I've asked for a stock ROM on Android devices in my numerous Android smartphone reviews, so it looks like my dreams could be coming true.
Nokia are reportedly set to launch a new 41-megapixel Lumia smartphone, codenamed EOS, in July. MobileGeeks' report says that the EOS would launch in the second week of July, with the latest rumors pointing to the Lumia EOS being similar to the Lumia 920.
This means we should expect a polycarbonate case and a 4.5-inch 720p display, but the big change here will be the 41-megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens and Nokia's new "Pro Camera" application. Nokia will probably gain some customers by just stating it has a 41-megapixel camera, but most of us won't be buying it for the camera's 'abilities'.
Bungie's new game is getting closer to being in our hands, so what better way to tease everyone before it is shown off at E3 next month? You debut a new live-action trailer directed by the man behind Iron Man 1 and 2, Jon Favreau.
The Destiny trailer also features Revolution and Breaking Bad star Giancarlo Esposito. The trailer, above, shows off a huge CGI space marine who has a gigantic gatling gun. No gameplay footage is shown off, but we should see that at E3.
Microsoft Interactive Entertainment president, Don Mattrick, talked to the Wall Street Journal stating that there are no plans for any form of backwards compatibility on the Xbox One, where he says "if you're backwards compatible, you're really backwards". Mattrick has said that only 5% of customers play titles on a new system, and because of this, the thought of backwards compatibility was thrown away.
I don't see why Microsoft build up a multi-billion-dollar industry around the Xbox 360 (without thinking of the Xbox) and then throw all of those consumers to the side for the next-gen console. If they wanted to look like the good guy here, and they really need to right now with the various holes in their ship (Windows 8, Surface, PC sales), then they would've included full backwards compatibility for their entire Xbox 360 library.
Open your calendar, and find June 10, put a huge cross in it because Apple are planning their keynote speech at their Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) for June 10. The keynote will take place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
Apple haven't announced that they are going to stream the event live or not, but we should expect that, as they did so last October when they introduced the iPad mini and new iMacs to the world. We should expect iOS 7 to be shown off, as well as the next iteration of OS X. WWDC runs between 10-14 June, with tickets selling out in just two minutes this year.
We've looked at the specifications between the next-gen consoles, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but it looks like the PS4 might come out as the graphical champion. The PS4 features 50% more graphical horsepower than Microsoft's Xbox One, which is a huge advantage for Sony.
Both consoles share the same AMD architecture, built on AMD's HD 7000 GCN architecture. Microsoft however, have opted for a different configuration of the GPU that includes just 12 Compute Units that provides 768 shader processors (SPs) or ALUs. Sony have powered ahead, cramming 18 Compute Units that provide a total of 1152 shader processors giving them a huge 50% lead in graphical performance.
When it comes to compute performance the PS4 is around 33% faster than the Xbox One with the PS4 capable of 1.84 TFLOPS compared to 1.23 TFLOPS on the Xbox One. Normally this would see the PS4 with better looking games, or games that aren't as efficient, but developers are working with the same AMD architecture between the consoles, so that won't be the case here. What I think we'll see is Microsoft have more tuning behind the scenes in terms of the operating system, so it might multi-task better, but the PS4 will have more grunt.
It's probably pretty obvious to most that the cat has been let out of the bag in terms of 3-D-printed guns. Once Distributed Defense posted the CAD files for the gun, there was no way they would ever be eradicated from the Internet. The file has reportedly been downloaded in excess of 100,000 times.
In an interesting turn of events, Kim Dotcom and others have blacklisted the files and removed them from their services. But, it would be nearly impossible to remove them from the various torrent sites that they have been uploaded to. The bulletin by the Joint Regional Intelligence Center obtained by Fox News notes, "Even if the practice is prohibited by new legislation, online distribution of these digital files will be as difficult to control as any other illegally traded music, movie or software files."
Significant advances in three-dimensional (3D) printing capabilities, availability of free digital 3D printer files for firearms components, and difficulty regulating file sharing may present public safety risks from unqualified gun seekers who obtain or manufacture 3D printed guns. Limiting access may be impossible.
Nomura Equity Research's Stuart Jeffrey believes that Apple, Nokia, and BlackBerry will suffer at the hands of Android devices that are good enough. Jeffrey believes these lower cost devices will provide attractive options for emerging markets, making it tougher for the aforementioned companies to enter.
The drivers of our higher growth estimates are ones to which Apple appears to have no exposure, at least not currently. These drivers include: We see APAC driving 70-79% of growth; Apple's 1Q13 APAC share was 13%; "Good enough" Android phones priced at $100 and below are driving most of the growth; Apple has no exposure to this segment; 5" screen sizes are driving the higher-priced market segments, a segment where Apple has no exposure; Local application development in APAC is focused on Android, giving Android a big competitive advantage over Apple.
Jeffrey maintains a Neutral rating on Apple, with a price target of $420. He has, however, lowered his estimates for Nokia to $25.22 billion in revenue and a 1-cent-per-share net loss. BlackBerry's estimates have also been cut to $13.31 billion in revenue and 31 cents per share.
Microsoft's customer satisfaction rating has plummeted to levels it hasn't seen since Windows Vista was the current operating system. Most attribute this fall of satisfaction to Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system, which has been received by consumers with much discontent.
Windows 8.1 should hopefully help customer satisfaction recover as its rumored the much-loved Start button will be making a return along with an option to boot straight to the desktop mode. Microsoft's ACSI report has consumer satisfaction at 74 out of 100. Shortly after Vista launched, it was just 73 out of 100. In 2011, Microsoft's ACSI was at 78 out of 100 and it quickly dropped to 75 after Windows 8 launched.
David VanAmburg, director of ACSI:
It seems clear that the release of Windows 8 did not give Microsoft a significant bump, as the release of Windows 7 did, nor did it dramatically lower customer satisfaction in a rather short time frame, as the release of Vista did.
One of the issues with PC software appears to be that there is less of it out there now. While productivity software remains in demand -- Office, TurboTax, Acrobat -- with so many households that own PCs relying more and more on their tablets, smartphones and gaming systems for entertainment and recreation, the range of PC software may be shrinking, not a welcome sign for diehards [who are] still very loyal to the traditional PC.
We've learned more about Grand Theft Auto V's upcoming special editions that will be available for pre-order. Rockstar is offering up two special editions: the Special edition and the Collector's edition. Both come with special features, though the Collector's edition is more expensive and features more perks.
The Special edition costs just $79.99 and comes with loads of special content. Gamers who opt for the Special edition will be provided with a SteelBook case, a blueprint map of Los Santos and Blaine County, a regeneration boost for each character's in-game special ability bar, extra challenges for the stunt plane, bonus outfits and tattoos, special deals at the in-game shops, and additional weapons.
The Collector's edition comes with even more. It includes everything the Special edition does and adds a unique outer box, a real life "security deposit bag", a New Era hat with the Los Santos logo, classic GTA characters for GTA Online, and a special garage with custom vehicles. It will set you back $149.99, or just under double that of the Special edition.
The game will be released September 17 and pre-orders are now available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
An eagle-eyed ad watcher caught that Microsoft might have done their math wrong, or just completely lied, in their latest round of Windows 8 tablet ads. In the ads, Microsoft tries to portray that an ASUS VivoTab Smart has a larger screen than the iPad 4. While the diagonal measurement of the ASUS is indeed larger, the actual area of the screen is smaller.
Microsoft claims that the ASUS features a 36 percent larger screen. However, the iPad's screen is actually about 3.55 percent larger due to its dimensions. The ipad measures 7.76 by 5.82 inches and the ASUS measures 8.8 by 4.95 inches. Because of the different ratio, the iPad is actually bigger.
Microsoft has announced that there will be a new Kinect sensor for Windows and an accompanying SDK released next year. The new Kinect sensor will be similar to the one recently announced for the Xbox One, which means we should see a 1080p camera, better skeletal tracking, and a new active IR.
Microsoft says that the new Kinect sensor will power "some exciting new Windows PC experiences." We can expect more information regarding the new Kinect for Windows at BUILD 2013, which takes place towards the end of June. Windows 8.1 will also be making an appearance at the BUILD conference in June.
Thanks to Evleaks, official images of the Hauwei Ascend P6 have been leaked onto the Internet. The device continues to appear extremely thin and is quite good looking. An official release date still hasn't been divulged, but there isn't much left for Huawei to do other than officially announce the device.
We suspect June 18 to be the date it is officially launched because Huawei Device Chairman Richard Yu psoted that the device should be revealed at Huawei's June 18 event in London. Of course, the post was quickly deleted, seemingly adding credibility to the post. If the phone does debut on June 18, you'll be able to read about it on TweakTown.
Samsung can't seem to turn out variants of the popular Galaxy S4 fast enough. Now, the latest is that Verizon and AT&T will be getting Developer Editions of the venerable Galaxy S4. Oddly enough the variants are going to carriers that have been the worst in the past in terms of locking devices down.
The Galaxy S4 Developer Edition will be available in Black Mist with 16GB of internal storage. I find it odd that internal storage on a developer device would be so slim. We doubt that the Developer Edition will be available with a subsidy, so you can expect to pay full price for the device. Users of AT&T will also soon get access to Samsung's new Google Edition Galaxy S4 that was announced at Google I/O.
Now that both next-gen gaming consoles have been announced, EA has been issuing a flurry of press releases detailing games that we can expect on the consoles. Today's announcement sees Need for Speed Rivals coming to both the newly announced Xbox One and the PlayStation 4.
Need for Speed Rivals will make use of the Frostbite 3 game engine, allowing the game to use stunning graphics and continue to blur the line between virtual and real. The game is being developed by EA's newest studio, Ghost Games, and is being built with help from Criterion Games.
Need for Speed Rivals is bringing with it several new features, most interesting of which is AllDrive. The developers explain:
At the heart of Need for Speed Rivals is AllDrive, an innovative new online feature that allows gamers to seamlessly transition from playing alone to playing with friends, eliminating the line between single player and multiplayer. Players will have to keep one eye on their rearview mirror as friends will be able to enter and exit races on-the-fly, creating a world where no two events will ever be the same.
Gamers who pre-order Need for Speed Rivals will receive the NfS Rivals Ultimate Cop Pack for no additional cost. It brings an exclusive Nissan GT-R Black Edition cop car and various other exclusive items. To learn more, head over to Need for Speed's website.
We've seen several great new products out of HP today. First the Envy TouchSmart 14 with a 3,200x1,800 pixel display, now the Envy Rove 20. HP's engineers appear to be working overtime to produce feature-rich products. The Envy Rove 20 is a "mobile all-in-one PC" and is significant as it is HP's first mobile all-in-one.
Ron Coughlin, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer PCs and Consumer Solutions:
Customers are looking for mobility and flexibility in their computing devices to give families new ways to bring generations together. HP is evolving to meet our customers' needs by designing next-generation form factors, like the Rove mobile All-in-One PC, which will enable people to connect, share and create in ways they never imagined.
The system can be utilized like a tablet around the house, running on its built-in battery, or as a desktop all-in-one, making it highly versatile. The 20-inch display is of the IPS variety, meaning users can expect excellent color reproduction and viewing angles. I am a bit disappointed that the resolution is just 1,600x900. The Envy Rove 20 will be powered by Intel's upcoming Haswell line of processors.
I'm just a little bit giddy about this latest announcement from HP. The company as of late is producing more and more products with features that actually matter to consumers in attempts to return to their previous glory. HP has announced a new Envy TouchSmart 14 laptop with a 3,200x1,800 pixel display.
That resolution is packed into a 14-inch screen. The Retina MacBook Pro, for comparison, features a resolution of 2,880x1,800 in a 15-inch display. This means the new HP should pack more pixels into a smaller screen, providing an even higher pixel density. Wow. The Envy TouchSmart 14 notebook will be available sometime in June after Intel launches Haswell.
We aren't sure just how much the machine will set you back, but the version with a 1366x768 display cost just $699. I would venture to guess that the display will be a $150-200 upgrade. We'll have more when this notebook launches, hopefully with a review shortly after.