We reported last week that Samsung's Unpacked 2011 event had been cancelled due to the unfortunate death of Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs. But now it seems the event has been rescheduled and is actually just over a week away, hitting on October 19th. A source of Engadget's says that the Unpacked event should be on October 19th in Hong Kong, timed to go alongside AsiaD: All Things Digital even next week.
We'll have to wait and see, but I will have my eyes peeled for news as it hits.
Bulldozer has launched. Yes, officially launched. After all of the delays, rumors, and hoopla, its here. AMD's next-generation Bulldozer architecture launches today and with it, a tonne of reviews go live.
Of course, without bias (sarcasm intended), I think the best one is from our NerdGasm reviewer extraordinaire, Shane Baxtor.
AMD's Bulldozer unfortunately does not topple Intel's enthusiast champion CPU, the 2600K, but it does come close. What Bulldozer introduces is a new direction for AMD as well as a new price point for end users.
Models and pricing of the Bulldozer CPUs vary as all new releases do. AMD have made sure to bulldoze any pre-existing price barriers and instead of having a price premium on their just-released new goodies, they've given us a really great starting point on pricing to combat the never-ending flow of CPUs from Intel. There are four different AMD FX CPUs that launch today, we have the FX-8150, FX-8120, FX-6100 and finally, FX-4100. With clock speeds of 3.6, 3.1, 3.3 and 3.6GHz, respectively. The FX-8150 and FX-8120 are eight-core chips, FX-6100 sports six cores and the cheaper FX-4100 has just four-cores.
Price wise they are definitely hitting sweet-spot territory, with Suggested Retail Prices (US) of $245, $205, $165 and $115 for the FX-8150, FX-8120, FX-6100 and FX-4100, respectively.
The recently announced iPhone 4S had pre-orders last Friday and they should start hitting retail stores and customers door steps on this Friday. But, while industry-folk were mostly underwhelmed by the iPhone 4S, Apple still managed to break sales records by scooping up over one million pre-orders in 24 hours, impressive. Now that the initial first week wave of buzz is over, we can move onto the juicy bits: actual reviews.
The iPhone 4S packs a new dual-core A5 processor (like the iPad 2 sports), an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with 1080p recording capabilities, the swish new Siri voice recognition technology and 14.4Mbps HSDPA support. It is also the hero standing in the wind for iOS 5. Now we have reviews, maybe not real-world, in-the-hands-of-real-customers reviews, but closer than the marketing magic that Apple sprinkle onto their followers.
Samsung's current flagship Android-based handset, the Galaxy S II has won Phone of the Year award at the T3 awards. This is the first time in three years that Apple or HTC have not won the prize, so Samsung really are shining bright right now. The Galaxy S II packs a 4.3-inch AMOLED screen, an 8-megapixel camera and 1GB of RAM. Luke Peters, editor of T3 talked about the GSII:
The Samsung Galaxy S II is a gorgeous looking phone with slick operation, a great social hub and the best camera on any smartphone to date. It has great integration with Samsung's TVs and a screen that matches the iPhone 4.
Even though Apple missed out on Phone of the Year, Apple did take home three awards. First of all, the MacBook Air 11-inch took out the T3 Design Award and Computer of the Year, whilst the iPad took home Tablet of the Year. Microsoft actually didn't too bad, as they won Gaming Gadget of the Year and overall Gadget of the Year for their motion-sensing gizmo, Kinect.
Due to "Government restrictions", Google's Android Market has been blocked, again. This is not the first time Google's app store has been rejected, as it happened back in 2009. Android users now only have the chance to use China's local app stores. The move could possibly have been to funnel money into Chinese Government's own app store, rather than Google. China's local app stores offer most of the content for free and Android devices are often not synced with the Android Market, so users usually use them.
Google is facing fierce competition in China as they have their local search engine butting heads with them, Baidu. There are reports floating around that Baidu is also planning an OS of their own, Quishi, which funnily enough is meant to be similar to Android. The Android Market is not the only big thing China blocks right now, the Great Firewall black list also includes Google+, Twitter and Facebook.
Start-up company BlueStacks has rubbed their hands together and produced some magical app that allows Android apps to run on all Windows PC, as it is ready to start publicly testing its software. BlueStacks is making an alpha of its software available to the public. But their long-term goals are to have both a free and a paid version of its software and to have it loaded onto new PCs. The alpha version of the software allows most (not all) Android apps to be loaded onto a PC, but prohibits some games such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja - which will be left for the paid version of the app.
BlueStacks VP, John Garguilo said in an interview "We're very happy with the degree to which apps work, not every app will work perfectly." That I agree with, we can't expect every app to work perfectly, but for just an app to appear [for what seems] out of nowhere, this is a magic day indeed. BlueStack's app will actually ship with several Android apps already preloaded and users will have the ability to push programs from their phone or tablet to the PC from a program that will be on the Android market.
Apple have just dumped iTunes 10.5 onto the Internet and with it, includes support for wirelessly syncing your iOS-based devices running the soon-to-be-released iOS5. iTunes 10.5 is available as a download from Apple, and interestingly, iTunes 10. no longer requires or includes QuickTime. The release of iTunes 10.5 is just one day ahead of the public release of iOS 5 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Users will require iTunes 10.5 before they can upgrade any iOS device to iOS 10.5.
The full list of features is below:
iTunes in the Cloud. iTunes now stores your music and TV purchases in iCloud and makes them available on your devices anywhere, any time, at no additional cost.
Automatic Downloads. Purchase music from any device or computer and automatically download a copy to your PC and iOS devices.
Download Previous Purchases. Download your past music, TV, app, and book purchases again, at no additional cost. Previous purchases may be unavailable if they are no longer on the iTunes Store.
Sync with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 5.
Wi-Fi Syncing. Automatically sync your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iTunes any time they're both on the same Wi-Fi network.
In collaboration with ECS, Futuremark has just announced the birth of a new competition inviting all overclockers with whatever hardware they feel competitive enough to place some fierce competition into the mix and push for top scores in 3DMark 11. If you're quickly discouraged by the inevitable overclocking elite that will no doubt get in on the action, you'll be glad to know Futuremark has set up a separate precision contest segment to make your chances of winning much more realistic.
The worldwide competition starts October 10 and runs until November 7. It is open to overclockers with all brands of commercially available PC hardware. The competition will award weekly high score and lucky draw winners.
You can get the full scoop on prizes along with rules and how to participate etc. at the official contest page here.
Some ads from Nokia have popped online early displaying the upcoming Windows Phone 7.5 running "Nokia 800" smart phone. The leaked ads of the phone (previously referred to as Sea Ray) show up with two weeks to go until Nokia World winds up and the phone is formally announced (along with other models most likely).
The ads show the phone physically looking much like the MeeGo-powered N9. What we can ascertain about the phone to date from prior information is that it runs a 3.7-inch (800 x 480) AMOLED touchscreen with a 1.4GHz single core processor and is said to sport 16GB of built-in storage.
When we checked out Patriot's new mainstream Pyro series of SSDs back in early August we were overall quite impressed with the performance on tap considering the associated pricing. These weren't meant to go up against the heavy hitting SandForce drives running more expensive, faster performing synchronous flash, but still gave you very impressive performance at a lower price point.
Nonetheless, Patriot has just stepped things up with a new line of Pyro series drives that push performance to new heights thanks to the use of synchronous NAND. Dubbed the Pyro SE series, the new drives are otherwise much the same as the original Pyro ones except for the aforementioned change.