CES 2012: Intel and mobiles have never really gone together like... peanut butter and jelly (for you Americans) and vegemite on toast (for you Australians), but this year, marks a very big change for the chip developer. During Intel's keynote presentation at CES, Liu Jun, president of Lenovo's mobile Internet division, announced the Lenovo K800 smartphone built on Intel's "Medfield" Atom platform.
The K800 sports a 4.5-inch 720p screen, HSPA+ support, runs Android 4.0 and will be available in China in Q2 of 2012. Inside, the processor is the Intel Atom Z2460 with 21Mbps HSPA+ connectivity on the China Unicom network from Intel's XMM 6260 chipset. Lenovo also showed off its IdeaPad K2110, a 10-inch Android 4.0-based tablet, powered again, by Intel's Medfield.
The Medfield goodness didn't stop though, Motorola Mobility CEO, Sanjay Jha announced that Motorola and Intel had entered into a "multiyear, multidevice strategic partnership," with Motorola's first Atom-powered phones to ship in the second half of this year.
CES 2012: America's first 16-megapixel cameraphone is here, folks. HTC's Titan II is a heavyweight against other phones, sporting a 4.7-inch screen and 1.5GHz processor. The 16-megapixel camera is capable of taking 4640x3840 (!) photos, as well as built-in support for AT&T's 4G LTE network.
It measures in at 5.2 x 2.7 x 0.4-inches, is a little shorter, and wider, than Samsung's Galaxy Nexus. The downside to this phone is its somewhat low resolution screen: just 800x480. Titan II sports Microsoft's Windows Phone Mango OS, and processor wise, while it may be a 1.5GHz chip, it's only a single-core. The chip is a Qualcomm Snapdragon S2.
It seems all of the work went into its camera, and LTE capabilities. PC Mag had some hands-on time with the Titan II and said while the phone has a 16-megapixel camera, it doesn't mean the pictures are all high quality. Filling out the specs is HSPA+ back up to its LTE connection, the standard Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, 16GB storage (no memory card slot!), and a 1730 mAh battery. AT&T and HTC did not announce a price or release date for the 16-megapixel-packing Titan II.
ASUS are rolling out their eagerly-awaited Transformer Prime update, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). This is actually 48 hours earlier than previously known, with a few sites and people already updated to the new OS, the first impressions of it seem to be that the Prime is vastly-improved with ICS, especially with web browsing.
Sites that usually took 10-20 seconds, now reportedly take around 6 seconds. A very nice, and free, improvement. Another nice UI update that comes with ICS is the Roboto font scheme Google have introduced. Swipe-to-dismiss notifications are now baked in, which is much better than trying to squeeze your finger down to a smaller pin size to hit that 'x' next to the notification you want to dismiss.
But, it feels like a bit of a sour update. Considering ASUS teased the super-Transformer yesterday in the form of the TF700T Transformer Prime that sports the 1920x1200 display and is overall, much better - the OTA update feels... stale. But, you can't complain about getting something for free. If you've got a Transformer Prime and haven't updated to ICS, you should really do so. Once you're done, let us know how you go. I'm interested on your thoughts between Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich, which one tastes better?
CES 2012: Not only has AT&T announced multiple 4G LTE devices in the form of the Sony Xperia ion, Samsung Galaxy Note and budget-friendly Pantech Burst and Pantech Element, but the diamond in the rough there is the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD.
The Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD is a follow-up to the current AT&T Galaxy S II variant, but instead of sporting the 4.52-inch display, it'll rock along with a 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED screen with a 1280x720 resolution. It'll be powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and have Android 2.3 baked in.
A removable battery is included, as well as LTE support all stuffed into a 9.27mm thin chassis. No more details are available on the device, but the specs announced are sure enough to get people talking. I can't wait to see how that 4.65-inch display looks, personally. As usual, pricing and launch dates are not yet available.
CES 2012: Razer are a hardware PC gaming orientated company and are constantly living life on the edge by releasing new product after new product. At CES, they unveiled Project Fiona. It is handheld PC gaming, made by Razer. The possibly future of portable PC gaming.
Project Fiona is a proof-of-concept design shown off at CES as part of Razer's strategy to stand out from the crowd of been-there-seen-that smartphones and tablets. Last year they unveiled the Razer Switchblade and now, Project Fiona. Switchblade never really made it to the market, but elements of the technology were baked into Razer's Blade gaming laptop.
Razer's Project Fiona may just be a proof-of-concept, but Razer CEO and creative director, Min-Liang Tan has said that they plan on shipping an actual project by the end of the year, and what will be sold as an actual product, will differ to just shipping a tablet PC with handlebars. Min-Liang Tan said to Kotaku, "I love my iPad," as he explained Project Fiona to them. He went on to say:
It's great for Words with Friends or Plants Vs. Zombies, but it's pretty much only good for casual gaming. You get a high score, you blast it out to your friends and say 'Hey, can you beat my Bejeweled score?' That's tablet gaming.
CES 2012: Nokia have just announced the first Nokia smartphone specifically for the U.S. features LTE, a large display and exclusive applications. Nokia and AT&T both announced the Nokia Lumia 900, which is the first Nokia Windows Phone-based smartphone that sports high-speed LTE connectivity.
The Lumia 900 features a very nice 4.3-inch AMOLED ClearBlack Display for "rich, bright images both indoor and out", faster connection speeds thanks to 4G LTE technology, and a long-lasting 1830 mAh battery. Lumia 900 sports Nokia's exclusive Carl Zeiss optics, featuring a large aperture (F2.2) and wide-angle focal length (28mm) for high-quality, uncropped images, even in low-light conditions.
Chris Weber, president of Nokia Americas said:
The introduction of the Nokia Lumia 900 with AT&T is another significant milestone in the ongoing rollout of Nokia's global smartphone strategy. The Nokia Lumia 900 is designed specifically with the US in mind and the announcement of this collaboration with AT&T, in addition to other recent announcements, signifies a new dawn for Nokia in the US.
CES 2012: The original ASUS Transformer Prime has barely gotten into the hands of many users, and if you were still in the market for one, this news will make you want to wait. ASUS showed off a brand new Prime, with some drool-worthy specs.
Transformer Prime (TF700T) is the model, and it still sports the usual NVIDIA Tegra 3 chip (1.3GHz quad-core Cortex A9), a 10.1-inch display with an insane 1920x1200 resolution, 32 or 64GB of internal storage, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and 2-megapixel front-facing cam, support for 1080p playback, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, a micro-HDMI port, microSD card reader, a 25WHr Lithium-Polymer battery and weighs in at just over one pound.
It'll rock some of that sweet Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.1) instead of being released with Honeycomb ala original Transformer Prime and will be compatible with the same keyboard dock that the current Prime uses. ASUS is aiming at retail pricing of $599 and $699 for the 32 and 64GB models, respectively.
CES 2012: Just when we thought NVIDIA's Tegra 3 was all fleshed out and even after a conference call with the company, so did I. But, NVIDIA have just unveiled at CES, "DirectTouch". DirectTouch is a Tegra 3-exclusive technology that uses the fifth companion core to improve touch detection.
What does NVIDIA's DirectTouch do exactly? Well, apps that use DirectTouch will be able to have much higher touch responsiveness, and a more streamlined experience on the Tegra 3-based devices. What I find weird is that only NVIDIA are doing this.
What does this mean for non NVIDIA Tegra 3-powered devices? Well, they'll still have a little bit of lag. I think the DirectTouch technology is something we'd need to have a hands-on and not just an eyes-on, although a video demo will be nice.
CES 2012 - This is something that is sure to brush up some feathers over at the Apple camp, where NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang and ASUS Chairman Jerry Shen took the stage of CES at the same time and teased a 7-inch ASUS tablet.
It was powered by NVIDIA's SoC, Tegra 3, and sported Google's latest Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). But, that's not the best bit. The best part of the tease is it will be sold for just $249. That is an insane price for what you'd be getting in this tablet.
This is the same price as the much less-specced Nook Tablet, which is a great starting point. It's an ASUS-branded product, powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 3, 7-inch screen and sports Android 4.0, oh and it's $249. That's enough to get excited about, for sure. From what Engadget were able to see, it seems to be the Eee Pad MeMO ME370T.
On top of those specs, it will be a WiFi-only model, and sports an 8-megapixel camera.
CES 2012: Intel did warn us of next-gen netbooks, and well, here we are. CES is a great time to launch products and every man, and his dog knows this. Gigabyte, too. Gigabyte haven't given too many details on their two new 10-inch slates, which both sport unspecified variants of Intel's Cedar Trail. Not only were specs hush-hush, but so too were launch dates and pricing.
Details that are known are the T1006M is a convertible tablet that features a 1366x768 resolution display, a USB 3.0 port, and what looks like a 3.5G modem. The S1081 on the other hand, is a normal Windows 7 business slate, and includes the choice between HDD and SSD storage, an optical trackpad for extra "precision", USB 3.0, VGA and HDMI outputs, plus the same optional multimedia dock.
These puppies should hit the CES floor and will be judged over and over. Also heading to the U.S. market that were announced by Gigabyte are the Booktop T1132, Booktop M2432 and P2532 gaming notebook.
CES 2012: In a world of NVIDIA Tegra 3, Transformer Prime and quad-core tablet goodness, Lenovo have steered away from that and unveiled a new 10-inch tablet based on Google's Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) OS.
The IdeaTab S2 sports a 10-inch screen, Android 4.0, a Snapdragon 1.5GHz dual-core 8X60A or 8960, 1280x800 LED-backlit IPS display, 3G with call support, 1GB LPDDR2 RAM, SSD of up to 64GB, HDMI Micro connection, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing cam, 5-megapixel with auto-focus rear-facing camera all weighing in at just 1.27-pounds (580 grams) and at 0.34-inch (8.69mm) thick.
Battery life on the IdeaTab S2 can hit up to 9 hours, and using the keyboard dock provides another 9 hours as well as two USB 2.0 ports, a multitouch trackpad and an SDHC card reader. At the moment, as with most things announced at CES, no word on pricing or availability yet.
This is something new for me, I've never heard of it before and wow does it sound interesting. Tobii, have introduced eye-tracking technology called "Gaze", where you can control Windows 8 with your... eyes. Yes, the eyes you're reading this text with, can control the next-generation OS from Microsoft. The project is a result of research conducted in 2001 at Stockholm's Royal Institute of Technology.
Gizmodo tried it out and they seem to have nothing but great words to say about it, and it makes me just as excited to read about it and imagine the possibilities. Gaze's eye control device, which is said to look like a "horizontal rectangle glass obelisk attached to the hinge of a laptop", is incredibly accurate.
Just like smartphones, Gaze requires some personal calibration before you can use it and some unique finger movements. Gaze is said to be very accurate, never missing the target by more than a "few pixels". On top of the eye tracking, swipe gestures are also available through Windows 8 and Gaze. Included at the demo was an Asteroids-like game with Tobii's Gaze and everything that was impressive about Tobii before, was just as impressive in Asteroids, according to Gizmodo.
CES 2012: Parrot have just flown into CES 2012 with an upgraded AR.Drone 2.0 and while flying around the Las Vegas Convention Center, they've let out some information and specs on their next-gen AR.Drone.
AR.Drone 2.0 features an upgraded 720p HD video-recording camera, a revamped app with updated flight controls and features, as well as revised hardware and reinforced hulls. The smartphone-controlled UAV is definitely flying into next-gen territory and I want one, quite bad. Parrot have also included some other tweaks to the AR.Drone 2.0.
Included new features allow easier control, on top of its usual sensors, AR.Drone 2.0 sports a 3D magnetometer which allows it to auto-orient based on its front camera and the position of the smartphone you're using. Additionally, Parrot have added a "pressure sensor" which allows the unit to fly higher than the previous models, up to six meters. Even though Parrot have baked in these new features into the AR.Drone 2.0, it is said to maintain the same flying time as its older brother.
AR.Drone 2.0 flies into your hands in "Q2 of this year" and should hit the same $300 price point, too.
Samsung in the last few days have launched a new smartphone, touted as an "affordable" handset, the Galaxy M Style. The Samsung Galaxy M Style is a mid-range smartphone featuring a 4-inch Super AMOLED display and a slim form factor of just 9.9mm.
The Galaxy M Style sports Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 1GHz single-core processor, 4GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB) and sports dual cameras, with a VGA front-facing camera and a rear-facing 3-megapixel camera. It also supports HD (720p) video recording.
The Galaxy M Style is only going to splash onto South Korean shores and will launch in three colors: Platinum Silver, Blue Black, and Lavender Pink. Samsung haven't confirmed whether Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) will come to the handset. Galaxy M Style is priced at just $500, which is significantly less than their flagship ICS-powered Galaxy Nexus handset.
Gorilla Glass is featured on a bunch of smartphones and tablets, and keeps us protected from the harsh environments such as our pockets, the ground, keys, and more. The created of Gorilla Glass have announced that they will be displaying Gorilla Glass 2 technology at CES next week.
Senior vice president of Corning, James Steiner says:
Handset and tablet device manufacturers are clearly driving toward higher functionality from thinner designs. Corning's latest innovation in Gorilla Glass technology is very well positioned to meet these challenges and enable broader touch technology penetration.
Full product details will be revealed in an announcement tomorrow and Corning will have live demonstrations of the technology in their booth, as well as an example of Gorilla Glass applied to an 82-inch multitouch LCD, and more. Corning are set to deliver Gorilla Glass to thinner panels, which enable smartphones and other devices to continue to shrink.
DigiTimes have a fresh rumor that we should see the iPad 3 in March, and a fourth-generation iPad 4 in October. DigiTimes still maintains that the iPad 3 will sport the 2048x1536 display and that it should also include longer battery life and otherwise "no... so amazing" specifications.
The iPad 2 could see a price drop to $399 once the iPad 3 arrives and not the $299 which was rumored a few days ago. The iPad 4 is rumored to coincide with the arrival of the first Windows 8 tablets. It should sport a 9.7-inch display, the same as the iPad 2, but should sport "much upgraded hardware specifications and integrated applications."
Apple's iPad is going to get slapped with competition this year, with the Android 4.0-based tablets, Kindle Fire and Windows 8-powered tablets, Apple have never had this much competition before. You know what I think? Bring it on.
CES is upon us, and whilst our boss Cameron is over there, one problem: he forgot my ticket. It must've been lost in the mail, and I'll forgive him... this time. Ha. Onto the exciting ASUS News. ASUS were barely able to contain their CES excitement, and at a press event in Taipei, Vice President and General Manager of the Eee Systems Business Unit, Samson Hu, let loose the ASUS tablet road map.
ASUS confirmed they will be launching an ARM-powered, Windows 8-based tablet that will hit at the end of this year, there is a 3G version of the Transformer Prime confirmed for a March release and also includes a more powerful GPS module. Netbook News are expecting ASUS to unveil a 7-inch tablet, which should be the ASUS Memo as well as a high-resolution 10-inch tablet. The excitement doesn't stop there though, two new 10-inch tablets were announced for 2H 2012, but no additional details were provided.
ASUS also gave some projections for 2012, with sales expected to reach the 6 million mark. ASUS are also expanding their Android Tablet division from 300 to 400 employees. Right now, ASUS have 150 developers and engineers working on the new Windows 8 tablets. As you can see from the increase in employees, ASUS are really pumping some energy into the tablet market, which in my opinion, is a very smart move indeed.
AnandTech have a great article in which they've stripped apart ASUS' latest tablet, the Eee Pad Transformer Prime. They were researching the GPS issue, and got to the point where they'd rather tear it apart to take a look instead.
In order to tear it apart, you hold it in landscape position with the camera at the top, and notice the Prime is held together by a bunch of plastic snaps across the top/sides and adhesive along the bottom. AnandTech reckon the best way to get it open is to separate the display from the aluminum chassis using a plastic opening tool along the top and sides. Tools required would be a heat gun to warn up the glue to get the bottom to pry apart. Of course, there's always a risk with doing something like this, so use caution.
AnandTech didn't find any surprises in the Prime, noting that there's a 32GB Hynix e-NAND (eMMS controller + MLC NAND in a single package) device on-board as well as a single 1GB Elpida LPDDR2 DRAM. To check out AnandTech's teardown, clicky your mouse over here.
Wishful thinking, we all use it to dream a wonderful dream, but could this turn into reality? DigiTimes reports that we could see $299 iPads, and the next-generation iPad that sports the new 2048x1536 resolution could start at just $399, $100 cheaper than what the iPad 2 costs today.
DigiTimes quote "sources from Apple's supply chain" (one day I need to meet all these sources in the supply chains) who talk about two third-generation iPads: the high-end 2048x1536-sporting iPad and another with same resolution as the iPad 2, 1024x768. DigiTimes state that if the iPad 2 is to stay on sale, Apple will need to change its pricing strategy.
We could see $299 for the iPad 2, and two price steps for the next-gen iPad at something like $349, $399. I think we'll see something like $399 for the iPad 2S (bits from the iPad 3, but screen res of the iPad 2) with a $499 iPad 3 sporting the super high-res.
ASUS released their Tegra 3-packing Eee Pad Transformer Prime before Christmas last year and they are pretty quick out of the gates in 2012 to deliver Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich on January 12.
ASUS also released an update yesterday which improves focus issues with the Prime's camera and provides better touchscreen response and GPS performance. ASUS used Facebook to announce the update, and to thank customers for their ongoing support and address some of the growing issues that the Transformer Prime is experiencing.
The first issue ASUS address is the GPS problem, claiming the issue stems from the metallic unibody design meaning that the material may affect the performance of the GPS when receiving signals from satellites. ASUS reminds users that the Transformer Prime isn't a professional-grade GPS device and that signal strength can be influenced by a number of additional factors.
In order to avoid any further "confusion", ASUS have decided to remove the GPS function from their specification sheet and marketing materials for Transformer Prime.
Nokia's entry-level value-priced Windows Phone is currently rolling out across the world: Lumia 710. It has virtually the same insides as the Lumia 800, sporting a 1.4GHz Qualcomm MSM8255 (WCDMA) processor, 512MB RAM, a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, 3.7-inch CBD LCD display and weighs in at 126 grams.
The task the Lumia 710 has is to allow greater penetration of the Windows Phone platform into the middle segment of the market. And since it shares hardware with the Nokia Lumia 800, it can be considered a second-generation Windows Phone, from the best value for money.
Because the Lumia 710 uses a plastic design, it cuts off some of the weight the usual premium handsets have, but with no consequences to build quality. It also features swappable back covers, in case you want to change things up, old-school Nokia style. You could have black or white Lumia 710 with back colors ranging from blue, pink, yellow and others.