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Acer Iconia W3 8.1-inch Windows 8 tablet now available in the US

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 24, 2013 10:31 pm

Acer's 8.1-inch Iconia W3 Windows 8 tablet is officially available in the United States from Office Depot and Staples. This smaller tablet provides the full Windows 8 experience via its dual-core 1.8GHz Atom Z2760 processor. While not one of the fastest x86 processors, the Atom Z2760 sips power, allowing for up to eight hours of battery life.

 

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It weighs in at just over a pound and measures in at under one-half-inch thick. It's screen is capable of 1,280x800 pixels, which is good enough for 720p video. Acer is also including the full Office suite for free with the tablet, adding some value to an already well-priced machine.

 

It features a front-facing and rear-facing camera, both of which are 2-megapixel snappers. For wireless connectivity, Acer has included Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11b/g/n wireless. The 32GB version is available from Office Depot for $349, though a 64GB version should be available sometime in the future.

Samsung said to be ending desktop PC production, wants to focus on portable devices

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 24, 2013 10:03 pm

Samsung is reportedly intensifying its focus on mobile devices by ending desktop PC production. According to the Korea Times, a Samsung executive was quoted as saying that desktops will not be produced any longer so that the company can focus on portable devices, something Samsung has been exceptionally strong at.

 

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"Tablets, all-in-one and hybrid PCs are Samsung's current focus. Samsung is speeding up its restructuring of its PC business via product realignment toward profitable variants," the executive is quoted as saying. This makes good sense as the desktop PC market continues to shrink quarter-over-quarter.

 

Samsung apparently believes there is still a market for the all-in-one desktop variety machine, though this could also be shrinking in the coming years as devices continue to get smaller, faster, and better. We'll keep our eye on Samsung's PC division and let you know of any changes to this course.

Apple signs deal with TSMC to build its A series chips for the next 3 years

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Jun 24, 2013 9:31 pm

Earlier this morning a report out of the Taiwanese supply chain indicates that Apple may have finally signed a deal with manufacturer TSMC to produce it's A-series chips for the next three years. TSMC is expected to begin building apples A8 processors along with future models during that timeframe.

 

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While rumors still circle between a Samsung and Apple breakup over chip manufacturing industry analysts state that Samsung will continue to manufacture Apple's next-generation A7 and A7X designs that are expected to appear in Apple's upcoming iPhone 5S as well as the fifth-generation iPad.

 

Other analysts are stating that over the next two years, TSMC will head up all of the A9 and A9x as well as A10 and A10X chip production through 2016. These reports appear to confirm reports that TSMC has been bolstering its foundries manufacturing assets over the last year in preparation for a big new client.

Continue reading 'Apple signs deal with TSMC to build its A series chips for the next 3 years' (full post)

Microsoft to port first-party game franchises to Android and iOS

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jun 24, 2013 9:02 pm

Microsoft has a long history of only releasing its first-party games on Windows-based platforms. This is because the company likes to use their games to sell more Windows-based systems. It's a business model that made sense in the past but might not be profitable in today's world.

 

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Today, Reuters is reporting that Microsoft has partnered with Japan's KLab to port its first-party titles to Android and iOS. The deal includes both PC and Xbox games and would start with a free-to-play variant of Age of Empires that is said to be launching before the end of the 2013 fiscal year. Porting existing games to Android and iOS usually equals big bucks as we've seen from other publishing houses in the past.

Apple releases iOS 7 Beta 2, now works on iPad, iPad Mini, iPod Touch and iPhones dating back to iPhone 4

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 24, 2013 8:43 pm

This morning, Apple officially released iOS 7 beta-2 for iPhone 5, 4S, 4, iPod Touch, iPad, and iPad mini, and it is now available for download from iTunes. This release comes two weeks after the original beta was handed to developers immediately after Apple's WWDC conference.

 

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iOS 7 Beta 2 has been optimized for the iPad and iPad mini, in addition to the iPhone and iPod touch. At the moment, we haven't had a chance to take a more in-depth look, but developers are reporting numerous bug fixes and improvements for all devices as well as the addition of the voice memos app. Siri also gets new voices in English and, as we reported earlier, name recognition is improved as well.

Huawei unveils MediaPad 7 Vogue, a 7-inch Android tablet that looks to compete with the Nexus 7

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 24, 2013 8:01 pm

We first saw Huawei's 7-inch budget tablet back in March when it was leaked by @evleaks, and today we're finally getting our first official look at the wallet-friendly tablet. Huawei has just announced the existence of the MediaPad 7 Vogue, a 7-inch Android tablet aimed at taking some market share back from the Google's Nexus 7.

 

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The new tablet is available in both 3G and Wi-Fi only flavors and sports a five-point multi-touch IPS display with a resolution of 1024x600. Handling the processing duties is Huawei's own in-house K3V2 ARM Cortex-A9 1.2GHz quad-core processor.

 

The device features 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, which is augmented by an microSD slot capable of up to 32GB of additional space. On the back is a three-megapixel camera capable of shooting 1080p video at 30 frames per second, while a 0.3-megapixel virtually useless camera upfront handles the video calling and selfie duties.

 

The tablet runs Android 4.1 and is skinned with Huawei's own Emotion UI. A 4,100 mAh battery provides decent battery life but is still slightly below the 4,325 mAh offering in the Nexus 7. The tablet comes in black and white trim and should launch in China later this month. Unfortunately, no pricing has been released at this time, but we will be sure to keep you updated.

Continue reading 'Huawei unveils MediaPad 7 Vogue, a 7-inch Android tablet that looks to compete with the Nexus 7' (full post)

HP unveils Slate 21, a 24.5-inch Android tablet for $400

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jun 24, 2013 7:42 pm

This morning, HP unveiled what has to be the largest Android tablet in existence. The 21.5-inch Slate 21 AIO is HP solution to a dwindling PC market which has seen a steady decline in sales ever since tablets became popular.

 

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Not much is known about the hardware featured in the Slate 21 AIO at the moment, but we do know that it is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor and runs Android 4.2.2. The display is a 21.5-inch full HD diagonal reclining IPS touchscreen with super wide viewing angles.

 

It has built-in DTS sound and HP TrueVision HD WebCam and wireless direct which enables users to share videos photos and data between devices without the need of a network connection. HP says the Slate 21 will be available in September with prices starting at $399.

RumorTT: Intel's Ivy-E to use solder not paste for die-heat spreader thermal transfer

By: Charles Gantt | More News: CPU, APU & Chipsets | Posted: Jun 24, 2013 6:54 pm

When it was first announced that Intel was using thermal grease instead of solder to attach the CPU die to the heat spreader on Ivy Bridge chips, the overclocking world became very disappointed. The thermal interface material that was used really left a lot to be desired, and as such, Ivy Bridge chips were not as overclocking-friendly as previous generations.

 

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This morning a forum post by user "Toppc" on the Taiwanese website Coolaler has unveiled what appears to be a next-generation Ivy-E ship, which has been delidded to unveil that Intel has once again switched back to solder as the connecting material between the heat spreader and CPU die.

 

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The chip in question is said to be an Ivy Bridge-E Core i7 4960x, which should retail in the $1000 range on release. Fortunately for us, Toppc cared less about his expensive CPU and more by showing the world what was inside. With Intel switching back to solder, we can most likely expect very respectable overclocking numbers coming from Ivy-E this September.

Continue reading 'RumorTT: Intel's Ivy-E to use solder not paste for die-heat spreader thermal transfer' (full post)

Microsoft unveils Bing for schools, removes ads and sets "SafeSearch" to maximum

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Jun 24, 2013 6:23 pm

This morning Microsoft unveiled its new Bing for Schools initiative, a voluntary program that offers schools in the US a custom tailored version of its Bing search engine that is K-12 appropriate. The customization process removes all advertisements from the search engine you to Microsoft believe that schools "are fore learning and not for selling".

 

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SafeSearch, brings built-in adult content filter is configured to the strictest settings by default and is locked down so students are unable to change it back manually. Microsoft says that there will also be many more enhanced privacy protections, but declined to elaborate further.

 

Bing for Schools will come with several bundled short lesson plans that the school can use to teach students basic digital literacy skills. "We see the program as something we can build alongside teachers, parents, and visionaries to create the best possible search experience for our children," Matt Wallaert, a Bing Behavioral Scientist said.

Continue reading 'Microsoft unveils Bing for schools, removes ads and sets "SafeSearch" to maximum' (full post)

Sony's PlayStation blog releases Gran Turismo 6 pre-order details

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jun 24, 2013 5:28 pm

Sony has announced pre-order details for the upcoming Gran Turismo 6 on it's PlayStation blog this morning. The company is offering a unique car pack with four cars to all who pre-order the game and has detailed out some pretty sweet exclusive pre-order packs from GameStop and Amazon.com.

 

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Up first, GameStop is offering not only the four cars pictured above, but for $59.99 gamers can pre-order the exclusive GT6 15th Anniversary Edition and get an additional 16 exclusive cars with exclusive paint jobs, race suits, helmets, and a PSN Avatar. Also included is a free copy of the Beyond the Apex II app. Other features are said to be included but will not be disclosed until closer to launch. Check out the awesome list of exclusive cars that come with the GameStop pre-order below.

Continue reading 'Sony's PlayStation blog releases Gran Turismo 6 pre-order details' (full post)

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