The latest happenings from around the web - August 3rd, 2011
- iBUYPOWER Gamer Power BTS11 System @ Pureoverclock
- Patriot Box Office Core @ Techpowerup
- Gigabyte Z68X-UD4-B3 - Layout and Design @ Ocaholic
- ASUS F1A75-M PRO Motherboard @ HiTechLegion
- Gigabyte GA-A75M-UD2H @ Pureoverclock
- Roundup: Eight Mini-ITX Mainboards for LGA1155 Processors @ XBit Labs
CPU & APU
- AMD A6-3650 Llano APU Performance Review @ Hot Hardware
Google's Android OS has taken an amazing 48% of the smartphone market in Q2 of 2011, which is an all-time high according to a report by market research firm Canalys. Android overtook Symbian in Q4 of 2010 to become to top smartphone platform representing 32.9% market share at the time. Smartphone shipments have increased exponentially also, seeing a total of 107.7 million units shipped in Q2 of 2011 which is a 73% year-on-year growth.
Android was also the biggest driver of smartphone shipments in Q2, with Android-based smartphone shipments being 379% year-over-year higher, coming in at 51.9 million total units shipped. This is thanks to Android being on so many different branded phones such as Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, ZTE and Huawei.
Sony have previously said their next-generation portable gaming machine, PlayStation Vita, will launch globally by the end of the year and have said more specifically, that'll it'll be in the fall. Blockbuster have jumped the gun, with IGN nabbing their flier which suggests the PS Vita will hit UK retail shelves on Friday, October 28, 2011. The advertisement suggests that both Vita models will arrive in Europe after two months. Will we see a US or Japan release at the same time? We don't know.
As we can see from the above image (if true), the Vita will be £$229.99 for the Wi-Fi only model, with the 3G & Wi-Fi Vita at £279.99. Pricing doesn't seem too bad considering Sony has promised a PlayStation 3-level experience, as the Vita sports a quad-core ARM Cortex A9 processor with a multi-core PowerVT SGX543MP4 graphics chip that is four times as fast as the PSP. The Vita will come with a 5-inch OLED screen with a resolution of 950x544, two micro-analog sticks to simulate the Dual Shock experience, front and rear-facing cameras, as well as a two-finger multitouch pad on the back of the Vita unit.
Sony is hoping that the front and rear touch screens will offer new three dimension-like motion gameplay experiences never before seem on any device through "touch, grab, trace, push and pull" finger motions. A Sixaxis equivalent with a gyroscope and accelerometer is also available to let players control games by moving and tilting the Vita itself.
WD have today announced that its making the Hulu Plus subscription service available to its WD TV Live Plus and WD TV Live Hub family of media players. WD TV customers can now watch hit TV shows, movies and catch up on previous seasons of their favorite shows.
Hulu Plus compliments the already strong content offerings such as Netflix, Blockbuster, Cinema Now, Pandora, YouTube, Facebook and many others. The Hulu Plus subscription service will allow WD TV customers in the US to watch nearly every episode from dozens of current hit programs all season long from networks such as ABC, Comedy Central, FOX, MTV, NBC and VH-1.
Series such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,South Park, Modern Family and Grey's Anatomy, to Glee andFamily Guy, to The Office and 30 Rock, dozens of classic shows like Battlestar Galactica, The X-Files, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Arrested Development, Saturday Night Live, Miami Vice, Ugly Betty, Quantum Leap, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Roswell andAlly McBeal, and hundreds of movies from Miramax and the Criterion Collection.
It was only a few weeks ago that Google announced that their Instant Pages feature would make its way to the Chrome beta channel users. But today they're releasing Instant Pages is on by default in the latest stable version of Google Chrome. This means that sometimes when you click a Google search result in Chrome, the page will appear to load much faster than before. How much faster you ask? Well, take a look below at a side-by-side comparison with Instant Pages on/off by default.
Google haven't stopped there, they've also announced that print preview is available for Windows and Linux users in the latest stable version of Chrome, with the Mac release coming soon. There's now a "print to PDF" option which should please people. Finally, there's the omnibox, Chrome's combination search box and address bar, which has gotten a bit smarter in the latest release which makes it easier to get back to pages you visited before.
Just type part of the page's address or title and look in the dropdown for matching pages from your history.
I'm going to admit something, I'm the biggest Superman fan I know. So when NVIDIA decided to codename their upcoming quad-core Tegra chip, Kal-El, my interest was a little high to say the least. I ended up purchasing an ASUS Transformer and I absolutely love it. Now the news of the next-gen ASUS Transformer is coming out and it's sounding very nice indeed, rumor has it that the next-gen tablet will include the next-gen NVIDIA quad-core Kal-El chip.
Not only that, but we might see it by October of this year! The chip is reported to be out in August, so two months in production and manufacturing is not out of hand. This would also mean that ASUS would have some very strong competition against the next-gen iPad also, which is launching in the same time frame. Nice work, ASUS. Can I get an early sample, ASUS? ;)
Our App of the Day today is Skype for iPad with iOS 4.0 or later.
Launched only several hours ago, then taken down due to an issue with the app and then re-added to the App Store an hour or so after that, Skype for iPad has finally made it and it works rather well.
Bring your Skype contacts closer with full screen video at your fingertips.
Beautiful and simple, this is Skype built especially for the iPad. Call, video call, or instant message anyone on Skype. Plus, if you add a little Skype Credit, call landlines and mobiles at really low rates.
Simple to use:
Join Skype on our website or just sign straight in to your account.
If you already have a Skype account, your Skype contacts will automatically be there on your iPad.
We've made adding new Skype contacts really easy.
Once they're in your Contact list, call, video or instant message them in one touch.
Flick through recent calls and instant messages in your Skype for iPad history.
Skype for iPad works over Wi-Fi or 3G (operator data charges may apply). Call Skype contacts on their iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, PC, Mac and even Skype enabled TVs.
As many of us know, the next big move we're waiting for from NVIDIA since Fermi came about is the release of its next-generation 600 series cards, dubbed Kepler. As the days roll on following a somewhat uneventful past 8 months or so in the VGA market, it's looking pretty certain that Kepler should come about around the start of 2012.
Kepler will be one of the first products to use TSMC's new 28nm process (with them getting a warmup session on some mobile 28nm GPU parts initially). Of course, it's safe to assume there will be a number of additional features on tap from NVIDIA with these next-gen cards, one of which looks to be in the way of better multi-monitor support.
As reported via the source, NVIDIA is apparently taking serious notice of the clear success that is Eyefinity with so many folks jumping aboard and making use of 3-screen gaming bliss since its inception.
ASUS are readying up a standout AMD A75 powered motherboard for launch very soon which HTPC and SFF builders will primarily be attracted to. The new F1A75-I Deluxe is a Mini-ITX based Socket FM1 board which packs a ton of features given its stature.
Using a 4+1 phase CPU VRM setup, it also has a couple DDR3 slots supporting dual channel DDR3-1866 memory and a dedicated PCI-E x16 slot for discrete add-in GPUs should you not already be satisfied with the kickass built-in GPU on the new A-series APU's.
Looking elsewhere on the board, we've got four SATA 6Gbps ports, one eSATA 6Gbps port, 6-channel HD audio with optical S/PDIF, four USB 3.0 ports (two in the form of headers, the other two on the rear I/O), built in WiFi b/g/n support, Gigabit ethernet, Bluetooth and a range of USB 2.0 ports.
Current Wireless modem not good enough? You should wait for some 802.22 goodness. IEEE just announced a new Wireless standard 802.22 that is capable of covering up to 12,000 square miles. The standard is actually for Wireless Regional Area Networks or WRAN which uses the white spaces left in the TV frequency spectrum.
The new wireless standard is meant to bring internet connectivity to large areas which are less densely populated that did not have previous coverage. The WRAN-standard will be capable of delivering up to 22Mbps without interfering with existing TV broadcast stations. The network is said to function with a series of base stations like current wireless networks, the customer will only require a small box installed in their house for internet access.