Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Thursday, April 19, 2012

First Intel based smartphone to go on sale in India tomorrow

For years, Intel has been saying that they’ll one day enter the smartphone market. And for good reason too. During the fourth quarter of last year, for the first time in recorded history, smartphone sales eclipsed PC sales. At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show show in Las Vegas, the chip company showed off a reference design and promised that it would hit the market during the first half of this year. We’re delighted to say that Intel has kept their promise. Lava, a phone manufacturer we’ve never heard of, is going to start selling the Xolo X900 in India tomorrow. It’ll have a 1.6 GHz Intel Medfield processor, 4 inch screen, 8 megapixel camera, all the good stuff. But, and this is a huge but, it’s going to run Android 2.3 Gingerbread. No word on pricing.

So what about the rest of the world, and more importantly what about devices from more reputable brands? Organe UK is going to launch the “London” during the summer. It’s basically Intel’s reference design with an Orange logo on it. Lenvo has the K800, but it’s never going to leave China. Motorola has promised that it’ll come out with an Intel based smartphone during the second half of 2012, but we frankly don’t even know if Motorola will even exist by the end of the year since they’re due to be gobbled up by Google.

Subaru launches iPad brochures for its 2012 vehicle range

Paper brochures are so 20th century with more and more people owning a tablet these days. Subaru of America knows that, hence it launched not one but an array of iPad apps, each showcasing one of their 2012 vehicles. In other words, there are apps for the 2012 Subaru Impreza, Impreza WRX/STI, Outback, Legacy and Forester.

As you can imagine, each app rocks fully photographic exterior and interior 360-degree views that also allows you to experiment with paint colors and interior trims. Moreover, there are interactive feature demos, videos and comprehensive specifications.

The 2012 Subaru model iPad apps build on the Dynamic Brochure program, which Subaru debuted in 2011 to give audiences more engaging choices for information, comparison and sharing. At the same time, the program also supports Subaru commitment to environmentally-friendly practices by reducing paper usage, energy consumption, inks, and production waste.

LG Optimus Elite joins Sprint’s and Virgin Mobile’s eco friendly range

Sprint announced a new member of its eco-friendly family of devices LG Optimus Elite, which supersedes pretty popular Optimus S model. This low-to-mid end smartphone is ULE Platinum Certified for sustainability, sporting an outer shell that is made of 50% recycled plastics. Moreover, it’s also an RoHS compliant device, meaning it is free of hazardous materials like PVC, phthalates, halogens and mercury. Finally, the packaging is also green with Sprint’s version sporting a fully recyclable, glue-free box, printed with soy inks and containing 87% post-consumer paper; Virgin Mobile’s variant, on the other hand, comes with the packaging that contains 30% post-consumer paper.

As for the specs, the Optimus Elite rocks a 3.5-inch screen, 800MHz processor, 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with flash, 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity with mobile hotspot, GPS, and NFC with Google Wallet support.

Sprint will begin taking orders for the new phone on May 18th in-store, with online orders starting on Earth Day, April 22. The price is $29.99 after rebate and with a new contract. Timing and pricing for the device on Virgin Mobile USA will be announced shortly.

Giveaway: Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch and Motorola PHOTON 4G

DROID RAZR and BIONIC, and now it's time to take care of Sprint's users as well! For those lucky fellows, what we have here are a Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, and a Motorola PHOTON 4G, which means we'll again have not one, but two winners.

As you probably already know, this month (April 1-28) is RadioShack's Mobile Makeover Month, which aims to help you get rid of some unused technology by guaranteeing a minimum $30 (and a maximum $300) trade-in value for your old phone, upon purchasing a new one. Of course, you can trade-in all kinds of working gear: phones, cameras, MP3 players, etc., so you not only get rid of old tech and make a few bucks along the way, but you also help keep the environment clean. You can trade your old device in at a retail RadioShack location, or online here, where you can also determine the value of your device. By the way, RadioShack is also organizing sweepstakes through Facebook and Twitter, where you can try to guess how much a given collection of old gadgets is worth, for a chance to win a $300 RadioShack gift card.

most anticipated laptops of 2012

If you've watched our extensive laptop coverage from CES 2012, only to look down at your own busted-up old clunker of a machine, then 2012 might be the year you buy a new laptop. And with so many high-end, high-design systems hitting store shelves this year, there are more worthy candidates than ever to choose from, and many of them fall into the still-new ultrabook category.

 If you need a refresher on what "ultrabook" means, it's an Intel marketing term (much like Centrino was), encompassing a growing category of Windows laptops that are thin and reasonably powerful (typically under 188 millimeters thick with the latest Core i-series processors), with good battery life and at least some solid-state-drive (SSD) storage.

With all the ultrabooks already confirmed for 2012, it's a fairly safe bet that your next laptop will be a very thin one.

Running from just under $1,000 to $1,500 or more, the 2012 laptops that seem the most exciting aren't exactly the least expensive we've ever seen, especially after several years of falling prices, but at least they all look good.

Our question for you is: based on design, price, components, and features, which of these highly anticipated 2012 laptops are you hoping to buy this year?

Below you'll find a brief executive summary of each one, linked to more in-depth coverage, with our take on why it's a lustworthy machine. Check out the contenders, then vote in our poll. Or, if you have a different choice, let us know in the comments section below.

HP Envy 14 Spectre
Estimated price: $1,499, Q1 2012

The winner of our Computers and Hardware Best of CES category, this glass-covered beast is certainly unique. We're still not convinced a glass-lid laptop can survive in the wild, but the NFC support and great audio controls are big pluses.

Dell XPS 13
Estimated price: $999, Q1 2012

The look and feel remind us of Dell's corporate Latitude line spliced with a MacBook Air, rather than previous XPS laptops, and inside it has edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass over the screen and a large clickpad.

Acer Aspire S5
Estimated price: $999, Q2/3 2012

The S5 is 15mm thick--2mm thinner than last year's Aspire S3--weighs less than 3 pounds, and has a sleek Onyx Black magnesium alloy chassis. More importantly, the ports--HDMI, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt--are tucked away via a motorized rear port door.

Samsung Series 9
Estimated price: $1,399, Q1 2012

Last year's big design winner was the ultraslim Samsung Series 9, which hit before anyone had ever heard of an ultrabook. This year's version is even slicker, but still on the expensive side for what you get.
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga
Estimated price: $1,199, Q2/3 2012

Another laptop we'll have to wait for Windows 8 to get our hands on, the Yoga works perfectly fine as a standard clamshell laptop, but its lid flips all the way back to form a touch-screen tablet, providing extra flexibility (no pun intended) in how you use it.

15-inch Apple MacBook Air
Estimated price: $1,699 or more, sometime in 2012

A shot in the dark here, but there have been enough rumors and online chatter about a larger version of Apple's MacBook Air that it must be on at least some people's list of most-lusted-after laptops of 2012. If there is indeed a 15-inch Air, it could very well hit sometime around midyear, when the next generation of Intel CPUs is expected, and would most likely involve a decent premium over the existing 11- and 13-inch versions.

AMD Shows Brazos Powered Tablet Running Ice Cream Sandwich

Unlike Intel, which showed off its Android-running Medfield chip at CES, AMD has no official plans to support Google’s mobile operating system. Still, that hasn’t stopped the Android development community from porting Ice Cream Sandwich over to the MSI WindPad 110W, a Windows tablet powered by AMD’s Brazos platform.

At CES last week, the company showed off a hacked WindPad 110W with Android 4.0 on it. In a brief demo, AMD reps showed  how the Brazos C-50-powered tablet could run an animated fishtank wallpaper smoothly, pinch-to-zoom on web pages in the browser without any lag, and even play a 3D basketball game with great aplomb.

Though AMD was not involved in porting Ice Cream Sandwich to the device and hasn’t announced an intention to support Android, a company rep said that the work Google has done with Intel on creating x86 compatible versions of its operating system makes this kind of port possible. If partners like MSI want to use AMD’s chips on an Android slate in the future, they may not even need much support from the chipmaker.

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