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February 20th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Panasonic gets back in the international phone business with the Eluga Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/panasonic-gets-back-in-theinternational-phone-business-with-the-eluga/14954.html February 20th, 2012

Some of you might remember the days when Panasonic sold mobile phones outside of Japan, in fact, the company made some of the smallest, usable phones ever made shortly before pulling out of the global market. Panasonic has finally decided that it's time to get back into the global handset business again, but this time around we're talking smartphones and its upcoming Eluga handset bringing some of the Japanese tech to the rest of the world. Some of you might remember the days when Panasonic sold mobile phones outside of Japan, in fact, the company made some of the smallest, usable phones ever made shortly before pulling out of the global market. Panasonic has finally decided that it's time to get back into the global handset business again, but this time around we're talking smartphones and its upcoming Eluga handset bringing some of the Japanese tech to the rest of the world. For the time being the Panasonic Eluga will only be available in Europe, but it's likely that it will show up in other parts of the world. Some of the specifications are a bit underwhelming, while others have so far been anything but standard features on Android smartphones. Starting with the not so exciting, we're looking at 1GHz dual core Texas Instruments OMAP4430 SoC with PowerVR SGX540 graphics – hardly what you'd call cutting edge these days – 8GB of flash memory – again fairly average and what's worse is that there's no memory card slot – and finally 1GB of RAM, which at least isn't too bad.

The screen is a 4.3-inch OLED unit with qHD resolution (960x540 pixels), which is still considered pretty good, albeit not super high-end any more with the latest crop of devices moving to 720p displays. The handset sports 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, DLNA, a micro USB port, a GPS receiver, various sensors, an 8Megapixel camera and somewhat unusually – at least for the European market – NFC support. Another rare addition is that the handset is water and dust proof according to the IP57 standard which means that it can be submerged down to depths of up to 1 meter for 30 minutes without any of the internal components taking any damage. Finally it has a micro SIM slot, something that seems to become increasingly popular with the handset makers.

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The Eluga sports support for the 900 and 2100MHz UMTS bands, but oddly enough the UK spec page is also pointing towards a 900/1900MHz model, although it's possible that this is a typo. It supports download speeds of up to 21.1Mbps and upload speeds of up to 5.76Mbps. The 1,150mAh battery is sadly not removable and it's only good for 300h of standby and a meagre 240 minutes of talk time which compares poorly to the competition. Part of the reason for the small battery pack is the 7.8mm slim profile of the handset which also measures 123mm tall and 62mm wide, while weighing in at a fairly light 103g. Things worthy of note on the software side includes the fact that the Eluga will ship with Android 2.3.5, but Panasonic is promising an update to Android 4.0 at a later point this year year, which may or may not be around the time that the handset ships. There's also native support for DivX video files, something that more often than not isn't the case on Android phones. If you happen to own a Panasonic VIERA TV or DIGA Blu-rau player – we're not sure as to which models are supported – then you'll also be able to use the Eluga as a remote for it.

Published by: VR-Zone

Panasonic will also be offering a selection of NFC tags for the Eluga which allows for profile changing and potentially a few other options. Panasonic is expecting to have the Eluga in the European market by April, although there's no word on pricing as yet. As a side note, Panasonic is hoping to sell at least 1.5 million smartphones in Europe over the next 12 months, but we'd have to say that the company is going to have to do a little bit better than the Eluga to get there. We also found a short video of the new handset from Panasonic Spain which you can find below.

NVIDIA GK107 Details Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-gk107-details/14953.html February 20th, 2012

While NVIDIA's upcoming GK104 / GeForce GTX 670 Ti may be the talk of the rumour mill, we have some details regarding NVIDIA's entry-level Kepler GPU - GK107, including a PCB diagram. First sampled in September 2011, the GK107 will appear in a variety of N13 GeForce M GPUs, N14 Quadro M GPUs. In addition, GK107 will also make it to the desktops as D14 or GeForce 600. There will be two variants of GK107, GK107-200 GPU in D14M2-20 and the top bin GK107-300 in D14P1-10 SKU. The GK107-300 variant will be powered by GDDR3 or GDDR5 memory, while the GK107-200 will sport 512MB of DDR3 RAM.

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Published by: VR-Zone

As the nomenclature suggests, GK104 / GTX 670 Ti is more of a successor to the GF114 / GTX 560 Ti. The flagship GTX 580 sucessor is at least half a year away, and will not be released till Q3 or Q4 2012. Till then, AMD is expected to hold on to the single GPU crown with Radeon HD 7970 with the GTX 670 Ti and HD 7950 following behind.

Prima releases Skyrim interactive iPad and iPhone app Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/prima-releases-skyrim-interactiveipad-and-iphone-app/14951.html February 20th, 2012

At first glance, the GK107 PCB and heatsink is very similar to the ones used for the GeForce GT 440 (GF108 based, which the GPU GK107 will replace) with identical dimensions. Like the GF108, the GK107 will feature a 128-bit memory interface. The heatsink + fan system will also be similar a shroud-less Coolermaster heatsink with an 11 blade axial fan, albeit with minor modifications for GK107. Legacy VGA output will be dropped for 1 DVI-I DL output, 1 DVI-D or HDMI out, and a third port with either mini-DP or miniHDMI. The two variants of GK107 are likely to be branded GeForce GT 6x0, and may well be two of NVIDIA's final entry-level GPUs with AMD's A-Series and Intel's HD IGPs starting to cannibalize the entry-level market.

Prima Games has released an interactive map app for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on the iPad and iPhone The company is behind the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Prima Official Game Guide, but this latest offering provides an official, Bethesda-approved app with over 150 maps of Skyrim locations. All primary and secondary locations are marked, as are points of interest, world encounters, vendors, trainers, and unique items. This includes all nine major hold cities and the more obscure terrain of forests and mountains.

Report: NVIDIA is releasing GK104 in March as GeForce GTX 670 Ti Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/report-nvidia-is-releasing-gk104-inmarch-as-geforce-gtx-670-ti/14952.html February 20th, 2012

A report from Sweclockers claims that NVIDIA is finally set to release the first Kepler GPU in March. As expected, first in line will be GK104 - to be branded as GeForce GTX 670 Ti. A report from Sweclockers claims that NVIDIA is finally set to release the first Kepler GPU in March. As expected, first in line will be GK104 - to be branded as GeForce GTX 670 Ti. The GTX 670 Ti branding was first revealed by VR-Zone Chinese earlier this month and Sweclockers' sources Taiwanese AIB partners - confirm the same. They peg the release date in March after Cebit 2012. This suggests a release some time between March 11th and March 31st. The GeForce GTX 670 Ti is vaguely indicated to have performance "better than GeForce GTX 580 and Radeon HD 7950", which implies average performance somewhere between HD 7950 and HD 7970.

“Since work on this set of guides began in early May, I always knew we were planning on releasing something truly epic," said David Hodgson, author of the Prima guide for Skryim. “I’ve personally logged over 600 hours of exploration, and with the help and support from Bethesda, we’ve managed to create the most informative and detailed work I’ve ever been a part of.” The basic version of the app, which shows the nine hold capital city locations, is free. Players who want to find the other locations and points of interest can do so with in-app purchases.

Rumours suggest GK104 will bring a radically new architecture, with specifications including 1536 shaders, 128 TMU, 32 ROP and 2 GB 256-bit memory GDDR5. Core clock for the top bin, GTX 670 Ti, is expected to be around 950 MHz.

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US celebrates 50th anniversary of American in space Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/us-celebrates-50th-anniversary-ofamerican-in-space/14950.html February 20th, 2012

Today is the 50th anniversary of the the first US space flight, marking a significant stage in the history of humanity and a particularly important element of the Cold War space race.

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The move will allow Samsung to focus on its more successful business endeavours, such as smartphones and tablet computers. It said it plans to develop new technology to maintain its lead over competitors.

AMD Pitcairn Specifications Leak: Radeon HD 7850, HD 7870 Coming Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-pitcairn-specifications-leakradeon-hd-7850-hd-7870-coming/14948.html February 20th, 2012

Samsung board approves LCD business spin-off Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-board-approves-lcdbusiness-spin-off/14949.html February 20th, 2012

In just two weeks' time, AMD will introduce third and final silicon for their 7000 Series of graphics cards: Pitcairn or the RV940, as the old nomenclature would imply. At CeBIT 2012, AMD will introduce the Radeon HD 7800 Series. The two boards will be based off a silicon codenamed Pitcairn (four volcano islands in south Pacific, 5400km east of New Zealand, 5600km west of Chile).

The board of directors at Samsung has approved a plan to spin off its ailing Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) business. The board of directors at Samsung has approved a plan to spin off its ailing Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) business. The Korean electronics giant plans to launch Samsung Display Company as a separate entity on 1 April, providing it is met with shareholder approval, which is likely not to be a problem given the financial difficulties of the LCD sector. Falling demand and profits for LCD panels has had a huge affect on Samsung, particularly given the fact that it is the largest TV maker in the world. Market saturation and newer technologies have forced it to re-evaluate its position with LCDs.

With Radeon HD 7850 and HD 7870, AMD will replace the venerable HD 6900 series which are based on the Cayman GPU. AMD Cayman featured 1536 cores in HD 6970 and 1408 cores in HD 6950, paired with 256-bit memory interface and 1GB or 2GB of GDDR5 memory. Since Pitcairn is based on the latest "Graphics Core Next" GPU architecture, AMD did not need to cram in 1536 cores to get similar or higher results. Rather, Pitcairn will have the same number of units as Radeon HD 6950. That's right - a fully featured Pitcairn carries 22 Compute Units, i.e. 1408 cores. There are also 24 ROPs (Raster Operation Processor) and 88 TMUs (Texture Memory Unit). Just like all GCN parts, ROP is decoupled from the memory controller. This connects with a 256-bit memory controller and GDDR5 memory. The part about the clocks is interesting though, since AMD kept the clocks similar to the Radeon HD 7900 Series. Without further adue, these are the specs at glance: AMD Radeon HD 7850 1GB • $139 (Rumored) • 20 Compute Units • 1280 cores (Stream Processors) • 80 Texture Units; 72.0 GTexel/s • 24 Color ROP Units; 21.6 GPixel/s • 1 GB GDDR5 Memory; 156.25 GB/s • 900 MHz GPU Core • 1250 MHz QDR GDDR5 clock (5.0 GHz "effective")

"The spin-off will allow us to make quicker business decisions and respond to our clients' needs more swiftly," said Donggun Park, EVP and head of Samsung's LCD unit.

AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB • $169 (Rumored) 4


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• 20 Compute Units • 1280 cores (Stream Processors) • 80 Texture Units; 72.0 GTexel/s • 24 Color ROP Units; 21.6 GPixel/s • 2 GB GDDR5 Memory; 156.25 GB/s • 900 MHz GPU Core • 1250 MHz QDR GDDR5 clock (5.0 GHz "effective") AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB • $199 (Verified) • 22 Compute Units • 1408 cores (Stream Processors) • 88 Texture Units; 83.6 GTexel/s • 24 Color ROP Units; 22.8 GPixel/s • 2GB GDDR5 Memory; 171.88GB/s • 950MHz GPU Core • 1375 MHz QDR GDDR5 clock (5.5GHz "effective") Only 15 days remain. Source: Expreview, internal intelligence

IT Show 2012 Promotions: Nissin MF18 Macro Flash

Published by: VR-Zone

a designed-in-Japan ring flash which is compatible with both Canon and Nikon cameras, and allows photographers to achieve an even spread of light from their macro work. The MF18 Macro Flash is particularly suited for use to take portrait shots, taken either in a studio or on location. Features of the MF18 include an impressively high power guide number of 16 (ISO 100) and a power ratio that can be adjusted down to 1/1024 in the Fine Macro mode. It also provides a Wireless TTL function, which allows for the addition of slave flashes. Firmware updates are available directly from the Nissin website via the unit's USB connection. The flash head extends in diameter and will fit lenses from 49 to 82mm with mount adaptors. 52, 58, 62, 67, 72 and 77mm adapters are included, while 49, 55 and 82mm are available as optional extras. Retail price: S$560 IT Show 2012 promotion: Free Lenspen LP1 for every Nissin purchase, free lens cleaning (for cameras, lenses, tablets, mobile phones) at the Lenspen counter.

Pre-order of Spark Tablet with KDE Plasma Active begins Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pre-order-of-spark-tablet-with-kdeplasma-active-begins/14944.html February 20th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-nissinmf18-macro-flash/14947.html February 20th, 2012

Unlike the Android tablets on the market, the Spark tablet uses KDE Plasma Active, a version of Linux which claims to be suitable for use with small displays.

You can achieve perfect macro-work images with the Nissin MF18 Macro Flash. If you're going to the IT Show 2012 in March, be sure to check out the promotion for the Nissin MF18 Macro Flash at Red Dot Photo, booth number 6811.

Schmidt Marketing, an Asian distributor of camera accessories, has recently launched the Nissin MF18 Macro Flash which will be retailing at the IT Show 2012. It has

The Spark tablet, which is based on the Zenithink C71 Android tablet, features clean, simple lines, sturdy body and good workmanship. It is equipped with 1GHz ARM processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage and a 7inch capacitive multitouch LCD display (800x480 pixels resolution). It adopts the Mer mobile-optimized OS and KDE Plasma Active for the graphical user interface, and comes with two USB 2.0 ports and a HDMI port. It also supports 802.11 b/g wireless LAN and 3G with a USB dongle. In a blog post Aaron Seigo, a KDE developer, explained that currently the only part not yet available to the community about some hardware drivers. Seigo said that over time, 5


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the community would be able to develop their own drivers, replacing the current one at a time, thereby making it fully open the project, even if it is not a simple goal to achieve. Preorders for Spark tablet has already begun at Make Play Live website, and the price is just a mere 200 euros (or US$265).

Published by: VR-Zone

6th Floor

IT SHOW 2012 Lucky Draw Details - Over S$90,000 cash to be Won! Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-lucky-draw-details-over-s-90-000-cash-to-be-won-/14946.html February 20th, 2012

Be handsomely rewarded when shopping at the upcoming IT SHOW 2012! Win S$2000 cash every hour during the show period and qualify for the grand draw on the final day! How to qualify? For every S$100 spent during the show, you will get 1 lucky draw coupon with a unique serial number. Every hour the organizers will select 4 winners who will get S$500 each!

IT Show 2012 Promotions: Soul by Ludacris Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-soul-byludacris/14923.html February 20th, 2012

Other details: The lucky draw retails will be published in the New Paper and on the organizer's web page on 19th March 2012 (Monday) All lucky draw winners will be notified by post and phone. Prizes must be claimed by 19th April 2012 (1 Month)

The IT Show 2012 is coming next month, and if you are looking for new headphones such as Soul by Ludacris, be sure to check out the new products at Nubox booth at 8236 level 4, as well as booth 6241 and 6501.

Unclaimed prizes will be donated to Singapore Community Chest after 19th April 2012.

IT SHOW 2012 Floor Plans Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-floorplans/14945.html February 20th, 2012

The IT SHOW is back again next month at Suntec Convention Centre for its 2012 iteration! Check out which of your favourite brands and shops will be participating in the show on our exclusive floor plans and start planning ahead! 4th Floor

SL 300 Gold / White and Black - Advanced Driver and Circuitry Design for Superb Bass, Clear Mids and Highs, Creates High-Precision Audio Balance - World Class Active Noise Cancelling Technology, eliminates unwanted sounds and noises - iPhone速 Ready: Compatible with iPhone 4G and 3GS, iPadTM and iPod - Compatible with Most Smartphones and Multimedia Devices with1/8-inch (3.5mm) or 1/4-inch Headphone Input Jack

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- Includes Straight Audio Cable with In-line Remote Control and Standard Straight Audio Cable - Superior, Over-ear Design with Full Ear Cup Articulation Ensures the Best and Most Comfortable Fit Every Time - Music Playback in Passive Mode After Battery has Been Drained

Published by: VR-Zone

- Design by Award Winning Team Commands Quality and Innovative Style Features such as Advanced Breathable Headband Pad and Ear Cups - Protective Road Case for Convenience and Storage Normal Price: S$449 IT Show 2012 Price: S$379

- Illuminated Earcup Badge - Sleek Folding Design for Easy Storage - Gold-Plated Connector for Seamless Signal Transfer - Design by Award Winning Team Commands Quality and Innovative Style Features such as Advanced Breathable Headband Pad and Ear Cups - Protective Road Case for Convenience and Storage Normal Price: S$599 IT Show 2012 Price: S$499

SL 100 Blue / Red / Pink - Advanced Driver and Circuitry Design for Superb Bass, Clear Mids and Highs, Creates High-Precision Audio Balance - iPhone Ready: Compatible with iPhone 4G and 3GS, iPad and iPod - Compatible with Most Smartphones and Multimedia Devices with 1/8-inch (3.5mm) or 1/4-inch Headphone Input Jack - Includes Straight Audio Cable with In-line Remote Control and Standard Straight Audio Cable SL 150 Black / White - Advanced Driver and Circuitry Design for Superb Bass, Clear Mids and Highs, Creates High-Precision Audio Balance - iPhone Ready: Compatible with iPhone 4G and 3GS, iPad and iPod

- Full Ear Cup Articulation Ensures the Best and Most Comfortable Fit Every Time - Sleek Folding Design for Easy Storage - Tangle-Resistant Cable for Easy Cable Management - Gold-Plated Connector for Seamless Signal Transfer

- Compatible with Most Smartphones and Multimedia Devices with 1/8-inch (3.5mm) or 1/4-inch Headphone Input Jack

- Design by Award Winning Team Commands Quality and Innovative Style Features such as Advanced Breathable Headband Pad and Ear Cups

- Includes Straight Audio Cable with In-line Remote Control and Standard Straight Audio Cable

- Protective Road Case for Convenience and Storage

- Full Ear Cup Articulation Ensures the Best and Most Comfortable Fit Every Time

SL100 (Blue/Red) Normal Price: S$349 IT show 2012 Price: S$289

- Sleek Folding Design for Easy Storage - Tangle-Resistant Cable for Easy Cable Management

SL100 (Pink) Normal Price: S$379 IT show 2012 Price: S$329

- Gold-Plated Connector for Seamless Signal Transfer

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Published by: VR-Zone

- Ultra-Comfort, In-Ear Design Seals Music In and Noise Out - Includes Small, Medium and Large Ear Tips for an Ideal Fit - Tangle-Resistant Cable Design with Cord Manager for Hassle-Free, Customized Fit - Gold-Plated Connector for Seamless Signal Transfer - Design by Award-Winning Team, Commands Quality and Innovative Style - Protective Road Case for Convenience and Storage Normal Price: S$169 IT show Price: S$139

SL 99

Location at IT Show 2012 - Nubox booth at 8236 level 4, booth 6241 and 6501

- Advanced Driver and Circuitry Design for Superb Bass, Clear Mids and Highs, Creates High-Precision Audio Balance - iPhone Ready: Compatible with iPhone 4G and 3GS, iPad and iPod

Teaser pics of Huawei Ascend D1 Q out before MWC 2012

- Ultra-Comfort, In-Ear Design Seals Music In and Noise Out

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/teaser-pics-of-huawei-ascend-d1-qout-before-mwc-2012/14943.html February 20th, 2012

- Includes Small, Medium and Large Ear Tips for an Ideal Fit - Tangle-Resistant Cable Design with Cord Manager for Hassle-Free, Customized Fit - Gold-Plated Connector for Seamless Signal Transfer - Design by Award-Winning Team, Commands Quality and Innovative Style

Seems like more smartphones have been unveiled or leaked just days before the Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona. The teaser product images of the new Huawei Ascend D1 Q are out on the web, which looks rather sleek and stylish.

- Protective Road Case for Convenience and Storage Normal Price: S$249 IT Show 2012 Price: S$199

SL 49 (Black / Red / Green) - Advanced Driver and Circuitry Design for Superb Bass, Clear Mids and Highs, Creates High-Precision Audio Balance - iPhone Ready: Compatible with iPhone 4G and 3GS, iPad and iPod

The Huawei Ascend P1 was first showcased at CES 2012 in Las Vegas earlier this year, and with Mobile World Congress 2012 approaching, the Chinese company is launching their new heavyweight smartphone, the Ascend D1 Q. The official announcement for the new phone will be on 26 February, though the teaser pictures have recently gone on the web. According to online sources, the Ascend D1 Q is scheduled to launch in April and will be equipped with a quad-core CPU, which is twice as fast as the Nvidia Tegra 3. As for the model name, it was said that there's a deep meaning to it - D1 being the first of Huawei's Diamond line of product; Q stands for quad-core CPU.

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LG launches Optimus Vu: with 5-inch display ahead of MWC 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-launches-optimus-vu-with-5-inchdisplay-ahead-of-mwc-2012/14941.html February 20th, 2012

Mobile In Style 7-inch eden TAB to retail in Japan on 25 February Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mobile-in-style-7-inch-eden-tab-toretail-in-japan-on-25-february/14942.html

With Mobile World Congress 2012 being just a week away, Korean electronics maker, LG, has decided to unveil their new Optimus Vu: smartphone before the event. The Optimus Vu: boasts a 5-inch IPS display with 4:3 aspect and supports LTE technology.

February 20th, 2012

Mobile in Style, established by Kingsoft Office Software Corporation in Hong Kong, has a new 7-inch eden TAB Android tablet which is scheduled to retail in Japan this Saturday, 25 February.

Japanese consumers looking for a new 7-inch Android tablet can check out Mobile In Style's eden TAB ET-701 this weekend. The Android tablet is equipped with Samsung S5PC210 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB memory, 16GB storage, 7-inch LCD display (1280Ă—800 WXGA resolution) and runs Google Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread OS. According to the company, update to Android 4.0 is in the works. The eden TAB differs from regular Android tablets as Google does not officially endorse it, and therefore you must install from the standalone Tapnow Market provided by the associated company, Accessport. Ad revenue from bundled content and apps are used to push the price of the tablet down.

LG has unveiled one of their new LTE devices, the Optimus Vu: which is designed to maximize user experience on a smartphone. Powered by a powerful 1.5GHz dual-core processor with 32GB internal memory, the Optimus Vu: is equipped with 5-inch IPS touchscreen display (4:3 aspect ratio) and LG’s advanced LTE technology. The 4:3 aspect ratio is optimized for viewing, and with the IPS display, colors looked vibrant and natural even under bright sunlight. Measuring only 8.5mm thin, the Optimus Vu may well be the slimmest among all currently available LTE phones on the market. Despite having such a compact body, it comes with a 2,080mAh battery that can provide you with enough multimedia enjoyment before the need to recharge. The 9


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Optimus Vu: also comes with 8-megapixel camera, HDMI output, supports Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) and will initially be launched with Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The company states that update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is already in the works.

Archos greets us with lowcost Arnova 8b G2 tablet Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/archos-greets-us-with-low-costarnova-8b-g2-tablet/14940.html February 20th, 2012

Archos has just extended its low-cost Arnova tablet line with a new 8-inch sized model dubbed the Arnova 8b G2. For the most part the tablet appears to be much like the existing Arnova 8 G2 which has been on the market for a few months, only the new 8b model has a different looking case design and does away with physical buttons such as home, back, menu and search. Archos has just extended its low-cost Arnova tablet line with a new 8-inch sized model dubbed the Arnova 8b G2. For the most part the tablet appears to be much like the existing Arnova 8 G2 which has been on the market for a few months, only the new 8b model has a different looking case design and does away with physical buttons such as home, back, menu and search.

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Archos has not revealed pricing on the Arnova 8b G2 as yet, but this will most likely be its best selling point and given the original Arnova 8 G2 can be had for as little as US $149 it's hard to imagine the new one going north of US $200.

Alleged photos of the iPad 3 appear online Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/alleged-photos-of-the-ipad-3appear-online/14939.html February 20th, 2012

A Chinese blog site has supposedly gotten hold of various leaked photos of Apple's iPad 3 ahead of its own unveiling early next month. These unconfirmed photos closely match the iPad 2's outer design, while the source is reporting that the third-gen iPad will boast a quad-core Apple A6 processor and 4G. A Chinese blog site has supposedly gotten hold of various leaked photos of Apple's iPad 3 ahead of its own unveiling early next month. These unconfirmed photos closely match the iPad 2's outer design, while the source is reporting that the third-gen iPad will boast a quad-core Apple A6 processor and 4G.

While the tablet ships with a cobwebbed version of Android (2.3 Gingerbread), the removal of physical buttons suggests that Archos might be planning to roll out an Android 4.0 update for it sometime soon. Dimensions of the Arnova 8b G2 are 8.8" x 6.1" x 0.5" with a weight of 1.1 pounds.

In terms of actual specs, the Arnova 8b G2 uses a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 single core processor, has 512MB of RAM and comes with 4 or 8GB of built-in storage + a microSD slot for further expansion possibilities. The 8-inch TFT display has an 800 x 600 resolution and there's the inclusion of a front-facing shooter along with mic, g-sensor and speaker. The tablet has 802.11b/g WiFi and there is support for Archos' 3G USB stick and host cable if you want to connect to mobile networks or add a camera, USB flash drive or otherwise.

As previously reported, the iPad 3 will have a 9.7-inch Retina display not unlike the iPad 2, but will sport double the resolution of 2048 x 1536 instead of the previous 1024 x 768 on the past two generations. Apple Daily also commented that the camera on the outer corner is an 8-megapixel one. The truth will be told when Apple steps up for the official unveiling that we're expecting to take place on March 7th. In the meantime, you can find additional (unconfirmed) photos of the iPad 3's internals via the source link below.

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VideoLAN releases major 2.0.0 update for VLC Media Player Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/videolan-releases-major-2.0.0update-for-vlc-media-player/14938.html February 20th, 2012

Are you one of the "many" VLC Media Player fans out there? - You may like to know that the VideoLAN team have just released the final version 2.0 build of this terrific open source media player for all to download. Are you one of the "many" VLC Media Player fans out there? - You may like to know that the VideoLAN team have just released the final version 2.0 build of this terrific open source media player for all to download.

Published by: VR-Zone

By now, it's clear that the very high end Nvidia Kepler parts aren't going to see the light until much later this year, while the GK104 definitely can't fight AMD GPUs for the performance crown. On top of that, Intel is eating away at the low end, where Sandy Bridge Xeons chip at profitable entry level Quadro business, and Ivy Bridge is to follow... Nvidia, as a corporate entity, still suffers from certain heavy structural weaknesses - the lack of an X86 CPU cannot be compensated by ARM Tegra, as there are a dozen other ARM vendors, plus the hungry upcoming Chinese mobile CPU companies, which fight for the same market, some of them with far higher financial resources - and, in a few cases, own fabs - than Nvidia itself. Add to that a speculative story which I heard in China, that only a very large order of many thousands of Nvidia Tesla GPGPU cards for their Tianhe multi-petaflop supercomputer few years ago actually saved Nvidia from a rumoured Intel takeover attempt - not that I would recommend such thing to Intel for their own corporate health anyway - by artificially boosting their stock price at the time, and the situation becomes truly intriguing. Having exploited their own past performance leads to the fullest, Nvidia knows well the benefits of the 'waterfall effect' where many users, including our own readers, watch who holds the current speed lead at a given time and, based on that, affect the buying decisions for the lower-cost parts towards the same vendors. Right now, AMD holds that lead with the HD7970 and, soon, the HD7990. The GK100 'Kepler' and its GK110 follow on were supposed to wrest that lead back to Nvidia, just a month or two from now. However, right now it looks a gone case, at least for the next half year. For whatever reasons, the GK104 upper midrange part, a follow on to the GeForce 560 family, is now the top-end part to launch, and it can't - I mean can't - win over the HD7970 in any meaningful use. That role was reserved for the GK100 and follow ons.

This is considered a major update of the software with there being a kaboodle of updates and inclusions. Alongside several UI adjustments (particularly for the Mac version) and a whole mass of bug fixes, decoding performance is said to be significantly improved on multi-core processors, GPUs and other mobile hardware as well as there being a bunch of new filters included, support for 10-bit codecs and some subtitle improvements. Another bold addition (although only in 'experimental' form for now) is that this is the first version of VLC to provide support for Blu-ray playback.

Nvidia in for a tough year, pressure on both high end and low end? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-in-for-a-tough-year-pressureon-both-high-end-and-low-end-/14937.html February 20th, 2012

Either way, the lack of the premium 'crown holder' part is bound to affect Nvidia's image. Unlike AMD and its problematic at times, too - CPU business, and with the chipset presence long gone, Nvidia has no other major PC foothold aside the GPUs. AMD can, at least, alternate between attractive CPU/APU and GPU launches to keep the market buzzing, even if some things go wrong. On the other hand, the 'fashion fad' tablets and smartphones, with zero CPU vendor loyalty to boot, will never fully replace the long term stability of the PC market. On the other hand, as covered here before, Intel had - at truly minimal cost to themselves - suddenly started eroding Nvidia's key profit center and 'leadership refuge' of sorts, where they invested top dollar, and gained top profits in return: the Quadro OpenGL professional GPU family. Even though the Sandy Bridge Xeon E3 integrated GPUs can only target the entry level of Quadro line, the 'good enough yet certified performance' approach simply works well for polygon-based, zero-effects but large and profitable 3-D CAD market. The Ivy Bridge will, with further performance doubling and more app certifications, deepen the attack as well. So, Nvidia has to address both the high end and low end GPU market problems this year. The performance leadership is lacking, and that will affect things down the product line 11


February 20th, 2012

too. On the high end, besides obviously pushing forward the true high end part if the circumstances allow, it should also embrace one good idea that AMD has, if they want more acceptance in mainstream compute GPGPU in the future - no deliberate crippling of double precision FP math functionality in high end consumer parts. AMD never curtailed the DP FP performance in their high end HD6900 and HD7900 lines, and gained more traction even in HPC because of that. After all, the HD7990 is a Teraflop-class double precision FP monster. On the low end, cutting Quadro profits to keep the line survive might be a good long term idea, to justify the users to still bother about the products. Simply, even if the Intel OpenGL graphics in their processors is somewhat slower (and how much speed besides vertex processing you need anyway for typical polygon-based 3-D building or machine models), it comes in fully certified, supported, and - free. The company has invested so much over the years in this flagship product brand and the market segments it covers, it would be a pity to see it squeezed hard by Intel from the low end and AMD at the high end by the increasingly assertive FirePro OpenGL line too, with improved drivers and apps certifications now...

Published by: VR-Zone

Moving on we have one SATA 6Gbps port, three SATA 3Gbps ports, four DIMM slots and headers for two USB 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 ports. At the rear we have a PS/2 port, two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA port, 5.1channel audio (via three jacks), Intel Gigabit Ethernet and a DVI-D and a D-sub connector. Next up we have another mATX board, namely the DQ77MK – codename Moccasin Peak – but this time things are somewhat more interesting even from a consumer standpoint. The layout is similar to the DB75EN as far as we can tell with a single PCI Express x16 3.0 slot, a single PCI Express 2.0 slot and one PCI slot, but here we also get an open-ended PCI Express 2.0 x4 slot into which x16 slots can be fitted. Intel has also added a mini-card PCI Express slot that can be put in mSATA mode for some SSD caching action.

Exclusive: Intel's 7-series Executive motherboards specced Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/exclusive-intel-s-7-series-executivemotherboards-specced/14936.html February 20th, 2012

Back in November we gave you the model names of Intel's upcoming 7-series motherboards alongside some fairly basic details as far as the specifications went, but now we can offer you a much more detailed look at what Intel has planned for its Executive series of motherboards. These are Intel's motherboards for office computers as far as the chipsets are concerned, but at least one of the new models should be more than suitable for home users too. Back in November we gave you the model names of Intel's upcoming 7-series motherboards alongside some fairly basic details as far as the specifications went, but now we can offer you a much more detailed look at what Intel has planned for its Executive series of motherboards. These are Intel's motherboards for office computers as far as the chipsets are concerned, but at least one of the new models should be more than suitable for home users too.

Furthermore the board has two SATA 6Gbps ports – thanks to the Q77 chipset – three SATA 3Gbps ports – or two if the mSATA slot is in use – and headers for two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports and one FireWire port. Around the rear the board has four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a FireWire port, an eSATA port, a pair of Intel Gigabit Ethernet adapters, 5.1-channel audio, a DisplayPort, a DVID and a DV-I port. Not a bad board at all for an office PC and even pretty decent for a home system. The third and final Executive series motherboard launching next quarter from Intel is the DQ77KB – codenamed Kearnens Bend – is potentially the most interesting out of the lot. This mini-ITX board is packed to the brim with features and if you're looking at building yourself a DIY allin-one PC, or any other mini-ITX system for that matter, then this board is well worth a look. It's not the obvious choice for everyone's needs, especially as it requires an external 19V power adapter, but on the upside this should make for a quite system.

Starting at the bottom of the executive series we have the DB75EN – codename Elkhorn Creek – which is based on the B75 chipset. This mATX board is pretty kitted out considering it's targeting the small business market. In terms of slots, we have a single x16 PCI Express 3.0 slot, one PCI Express x1 2.0 slot and two PCI slots – do keep in mind that Intel's Q and B-series chips have native PCI support, something the consumer focused chipsets lack.

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Published by: VR-Zone

We've been having a hard time to figure out the difference between the Atom Z2460 and the Z2610, as the two are virtually identical as far as we can tell. Both are 12x12mm chips in a POP (Package-on-Package) chip package with support for single channel 32-bit LPDDR2 memory at 800MHz. The Atom Z2610 should feature the same PowerVR SGX540 graphics with a core clock of 400MHz as the Atom Z2460, with the ability to encode and decode 1080p30 video, so no change here either.

As far as mini-ITX boards from Intel goes, this one is loaded with expansion options, including a PCI Express 2.0 x4 slot – although in this case it's connected to the CPU – one half-size and one full-size mini card PCI Express slot – with support for mSATA on the full size-slot – two SO-DIMM slots that sadly are limited to DDR3 1333MHz memory, two SATA 6Gbps ports, three SATA 3Gbps ports, LVDS and eDP connectors and headers for up to five USB 2.0 ports. Add to that four rear USB 3.0 ports, a pair of Intel Gigabit Ethernet ports, a pair of audio jacks and a DisplayPort and HDMI connector and this is one sweet little board. Common for all the boards is support for Windows 7 and Windows 8, as well as RedHat and SUSE Linux certification. Both of the Q77 boards also support Intel Rapid Storage technology with RAID, Intel ATM 8.0 and support for a discrete TPM module. Sadly we don't have any information on pricing as yet, but the boards should be announced alongside Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge processors in early April.

Intel's next Medfield chip is the Atom Z2610, targeting tablets Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-next-medfield-chip-is-theatom-z2610-targeting-tablets/14934.html February 20th, 2012

We've already seen Intel's first Medfield Atom SoC, the Z2460 which was announced at IDF back in October; however, this chip was designed specifically for Smartphones. Details of what should be Intel's second Medfield chip has now come to light and it should be known as the Atom Z2610 and it looks like Intel will be targeting it for tablets. We've already seen Intel's first Medfield Atom SoC, the Z2460 which was announced at IDF back in October; however, this chip was designed specifically for Smartphones. Details of what should be Intel's second Medfield chip has now come to light and it should be known as the Atom Z2610 and it looks like Intel will be targeting it for tablets.

The clock speed of two Medfield chips also top out at 1.6GHz, but one thing we did notice that should make the two chip slightly different is that whereas the Z2460 has a minimum clock speed of a mere 100MHz, the Z2610 can only clock down to 600MHz according to details that VR-Zone has been privy to. However, the Z2460 only operates at 1.3GHz in general, with the 1.6GHz clock speed being a burst state, i.e. it would only reach this speed during very short periods of time, just like when a desktop or notebook CPU goes into Turbo mode. It's very possible that the Atom Z2610 will run at 1.6GHz at all times due to the fact that it's easier to cool a chip in a tablet compared to a phone.

Image courtesy of Anandtech According to Anandtech, the Atom Z2460 consumes about 175mW at 600MHz and we should see something similar for the atom Z2610, although at 100MHz the Atom Z2460 draws a mere 50mW, an overall saving of 125mW. This isn't a huge power saving if you compare it to the 750mW power draw at 1.6GHz, or 500mW at 1.3GHz, so it seems like Intel has tried to balance the power/performance ratio a bit differently on the Z2610. This makes the Z2610 less suitable for really low power devices such as smartphones, but considering that tablets can be equipped with higher capacity battery packs than a smartphone, it's not likely to have a huge impact in terms of device battery life while improving overall performance for the user. According to Fudzilla, Intel already has a reference tablet known as Red Ridge up and running built on the Atom Z2610 and it's said to offer up 9 hours plus battery life in a slim 8.55mm frame that weighs in at a smidgen under 680g. Although no other specifics were revealed about the tablet itself, it looks like it should feature HDMI and USB 2.0 connectivity, as these are features that are built into the Atom Z2610 SoC. The Intel tablet is running Android 4.0x and Intel is specifically targeting Medfield as a hardware solution that will run Android and Tizen (previously MeeGo). Fudzilla is suggesting that we should see the first Medfield tablets in the market as soon as Q2 this year, so expect a fair few tablets to be on display at Computex in early June.

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Intel is only delaying dual core mobile Ivy Bridge CPUs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-is-only-delaying-dual-coremobile-ivy-bridge-cpus/14933.html February 20th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

A Japanese manufacturer by the name of Green House has just released its new GH-UFI-XSA series of 'industrial grade' USB Flash Drives that use Single-level cell NAND chips. A Japanese manufacturer by the name of Green House has just released its new GH-UFI-XSA series of 'industrial grade' USB Flash Drives that use Single-level cell NAND chips.

Remember that article from the other day that made some people panic as Intel might've delayed Ivy Bridge to June? Well, there's no need to be worried if you're planning on getting a new desktop system, as none of the desktop parts that were originally meant to launch have been delayed and on the mobile side, only the dual core models have been pushed back.

The capacities available in the new lineup aren't all that crash hot which isn't terribly surprising considering they depend on SLC flash - they come in sizes as small as 128MB; with 256MB, 512MB, 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB capacities completing the lineup.

Remember that article from the other day that made some people panic as Intel might've delayed Ivy Bridge to June? Well, there's no need to be worried if you're planning on getting a new desktop system, as none of the desktop parts that were originally meant to launch have been delayed and on the mobile side, only the dual core models have been pushed back.

The GH-UFI-XSA series is USB 2.0 limited, but they should certainly be reliable enough and support ECC (Error Correcting Code) with a read and write speed of up to 20MB/ s. The drives boast a durable metal construction and they run dimensions of 47.3 x 17.6 x 8.4 mm with a weight of about 10 grams. They will also happily withstand temperatures anywhere between -40 and +85c Celcius.

As you may or may not have read, Intel is planning to launch several quad core Ivy Bridge mobile processors, in fact, we're expecting more quad cores mobile processors this time around than ever before. We're not entirely sure as to which models will launch first, but we know for certain that it'll be the socketed CPU's that will appear in April, although judging by Samsung's leak last week, it looks like some of OEM BGA chips will also be part of the initial launch.

While the product page on the new GH-UFI-XSA series of drives is now live, we are yet to hear of pricing details.

The dual core models are being held back as there's simply too much stock of Sandy Bridge in the channel. What's even worse, at least if you're Intel, is that there's plenty of stock piled up in its warehouses too that hasn't even shipped to partners as yet. As such the first dual cores won't start to trickle out until sometime in May at the earliest and this applies to both standard Voltage and ULV models. In other words, we won't see any updated Ultrabooks until May or June. As far as the mobile Core i3's are concerned, it looks like we have to hold on until sometime in August or September before these models land. Sadly we can't offer a specific launch window for the desktop Core i3's as yet, but judging by the information we've seen, Intel will be releasing new models at an even pace throughout the year with some quad core desktop Core i5 models arriving in Q3. For what it's worth it looks like Ivy Bridge will be a drawn out launch with Intel replacing Sandy Bridge model as and when the company and its partners have depleted their stock.

Microsoft's Windows 8 Logo takes a radical change Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-s-windows-8-logo-takes-aradical-change/14931.html February 20th, 2012

Say goodbye to the multicolored Windows flag, as what you see here is the new Windows logo for Microsoft's next consumer level OS, Windows 8. Some radical changes are on the cards with Windows 8 especially pertaining to the mobile/touchscreen friendly Metro UI and Microsoft wanted to reflect Metro's emphasis on cleaner lines in its new logo. Say goodbye to the multicolored Windows flag, as what you see here is the new Windows logo for Microsoft's next consumer level OS, Windows 8. Some radical changes are on the cards with Windows 8 especially pertaining to the mobile/touchscreen friendly Metro UI and Microsoft wanted to reflect Metro's emphasis on cleaner lines in its new logo.

Green House opt for SLCbased NAND Flash Drives Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/green-house-opt-for-slc-based-nandflash-drives/14932.html February 20th, 2012

Funnily enough, the new logo is actually somewhat reminiscent of the company's earliest Windows logo in existence, that of Windows 1.0 as you can see below.

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Published by: VR-Zone

The Windows logo underwent a significant transformation when 1992's Windows 3.1 came about, resembling the waves of a colored flag that was said to be done with intent to represent a sense of motion. But as commissioned agency Pentagram said (whom has created the new Windows 8 logo), "Your name is Windows. Why are you a flag?"

Love or hate the direction Microsoft has gone with its next logo? Comment below!

LG's Windows Phone 7running Miracle makes another appearance Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-s-windows-phone-7-runningmiracle-makes-another-appearance/14930.html February 20th, 2012

The phone uses Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS and has a 4-inch display with a 1GHz Snapdragon processor housed within. It's said to be arriving with 8GB of internal storage, a 5 Megapixel rear facing camera and carries support for NFC connectivity. Following a number of small leaks over the past few months, LG's Windows Phone-running Miracle smartphone has appeared online once again, this time in the form of a brief video demonstration as well as a new set of photos. The LG Miracle is expected to be arriving on shelves very soon and is en-route for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain toward the end of the month. Following a number of small leaks over the past few months, LG's Windows Phone-running Miracle smartphone has appeared online once again, this time in the form of a brief video demonstration as well as a new set of photos. The LG Miracle is expected to be arriving on shelves very soon and is en-route for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain toward the end of the month.

Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.)

ASRock Revives the "Blaster" Sound Card Brand in Cooperation with Creative Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asrock-revives-the-blaster-soundcard-brand-in-cooperation-with-creative/14929.html February 20th, 2012

Over the past couple of weeks, we've noticed that ASRock and Creative started to go more and more "hand in hand" with each other. Today, ASRock announced a "Blaster" sound card. ASRock just released a card which is the first sound card outside Creative to bear the name "Blaster" without a worry of a lawsuit. In the past, Creative was very vigilant in protecting the "Sound Blaster" heritage but the company opened to 3rd parties who can manufacture products of required quality.

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Published by: VR-Zone

The "Sound Core3D quad-core audio and voice processor" is the actual sound-chip powering the latest generation of Sound Blaster cards from Creative. We wondered who is going to take that chip and create a 3rd party product which is not a motherboard (ASRock, ASUS, MSI, GigaByte all shipped products with Creative chips in the past).

As you can see on picture above, ASRock's Game Blaster is an interesting product which combines two technologies in a single package: Creative Sound Core3D and Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet LAN. Unlike Killer NIC and USB ports, Gigabit Ethernet is not present to ensure the datastream fits the sound, but rather to enable Full-Duplex 2Gbps i.e. "teaming". As far as sound capabilities go, there's CrystalVoice filtering technology, EAX 1.0-5.0, THX TruStudio PRO and probably the most interesting one - Scout Mode. This technology enables you to hear enemies from further away... while this may be called a cheat, the technology works that the part of the screen you focus in has more audio focus than things off the screen. If two foes are running towards you, the Scout Mode will "elevate your game" and focus the audio on the person closest to you.

SP/Silicon Power launches Extreme E25 Solid State Disk Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/spsilicon-power-launches-extremee25-solid-state-disk/14927.html February 20th, 2012

Although the company baptized the E25 "Extreme SSD", it actually is the mainstream series which the company offers. Although the top speed of the drive is not dramatic by today's standards, the SATA-II drive features built in error correcting and DDR2 RAM Cache, as well as support of TRIM command. The drive's memory and/or controller are currently unknown. • Built-in ECC error correcting code to guarantee data reliability. Super high speed transmission speed WearLeveling technology to extend its lifespan

AMD to release three new FX CPUs in Q1 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-to-release-three-new-fx-cpusin-q1/14926.html February 20th, 2012

A leaked slide reveals AMD is preparing to release three new Zambezi based FX CPUs with 95W TDP - FX-8140, FX-6120 and FX-4150. The Taiwanese company Silicon Power has just announced the launch of their newest SSD Extreme E25 drives. The 2.5" drives feature TRIM support, built in ECC and a maximum read speed of 278MB/s.

A leaked slide reveals AMD is preparing to release three new Zambezi based FX CPUs with 95W TDP - FX-8140, FX-6120 and FX-4150.

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Published by: VR-Zone

and offers dual-band 802.11n 2x2 MIMO connectivity and Broadcom claims that it offers up to 70 percent greater range than single stream solutions and speeds of up to 300Mbps when using 40MHz channel width. It sports integrated RF power amplifiers (this is usually done by external chips) to help reduce BOM cost and PCB space taken up. Broadcom also claims that this is the first chip to combine MIMO WiFi with Bluetooth 4.0 and FM radio on a single chip.

AMD FX-8140 is a fully enabled 4 module, 8 core part, featuring clocks of 3.2 GHz and Turbo Core up to 4.0 GHz - 0.1 GHz more than the FX-8120. However, it is unknown if like FX-8120 it will ship in both 95W and 125W variants. FX-8140 will co-exist with two other 95W CPUs - FX-8120 and FX-8100, the latter of which has only ever appeared in OEM systems thus far and has yet to show up in retail. FX-6120 will be a 6-core CPU, with a 0.2 GHz boost over FX-6100, at 3.5 GHz base and 4.1 GHz Turbo. Finally, FX-4150 will be the new quad-core CPU, with clocks at 3.9 GHz and 4.1 GHz Turbo. The exact pricing details and release dates are unknown, though they are likely to release in March. In addition to these 95W models, AMD is also releasing at least two new 125W CPUS in Q1 - FX-6200 and FX-4170 both of which have been spotted online for pre-orders. The fabled FX-8170 has yet to show it's face.

The second chip is the BCM4334 which is said to be a power efficient solution for smartphones that incorporates offloading of audio processing, or in other words, the BCM4334 handles audio playback and allows the main SoC to go into sleep mode to help save power. It also features dual-band Wi-Fi, although only single stream technology this time around, but unlike most Wi-Fi solutions for smartphones we're looking at support for 40MHz channels and as suck speeds of up to 150Mbps. The Bluetooth 4.0 + HS and FM radios have apparently also been designed specifically to draw less power in this chip. Both solutions are currently sampling to Broadcom's partners, although full production won't kick off until Q3 which means these chips aren't likely to end up in devices until the end of the year.

ECS X79R-AX Motherboard Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ecs-x79r-ax-motherboardreview/14745.html February 20th, 2012

AMD is planning to release its second gen FX models Vishera, to be branded FX-x300 - in Q3 2012.

Broadcom announces cost effective dual-band Wi-Fi chips for mobile devices Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/broadcom-announces-cost-effectivedual-band-wi-fi-chips-for-mobile-devices/14925.html February 20th, 2012

ECS isn't usually the first brand name that springs to mind when considering an enthusiast motherboard despite being one of the largest motherboard manufacturers. Up for review today we have the X79R-AX, one of the most feature rich X79 motherboards available. Let's see if it can go toe to toe with the big boys and put itself on the shortlist of the hardcore enthusiast. Introduction

One feature where smartphones and tablets are generally lagging behind notebooks is in Wi-Fi connectivity, as most devices are stuck at speeds of around 65Mbps. This is because of various limitations of the Wi-Fi chips used, but now Broadcom seems to have a couple of solutions that should remedy this, while being cost effective. One feature where smartphones and tablets are generally lagging behind notebooks is in Wi-Fi connectivity, as most devices are stuck at speeds of around 65Mbps. This is because of various limitations of the Wi-Fi chips used, but now Broadcom seems to have a couple of solutions that should remedy this, while being cost effective. Broadcom has announced two new Wi-Fi chips for mobile devices manufactured at 40nm, although beyond Wi-Fi they also include Bluetooth 4.0 + HS and an FM radio. The first model which is targeting tablets is called the BCM43241

ECS isn't usually the first brand name that springs to mind when considering an enthusiast motherboard despite being one of the largest motherboard manufacturers. Up for 17


February 20th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

review today we have the X79R-AX, a part of their premium Black edition range and one of the most feature rich X79 motherboards available. Let's see if it can go toe to toe with the big boys and put itself on the shortlist of the hardcore enthusiast.

º Support by ASMEDIA ASM1061 • 2 x Serial ATA 6.0Gb/s devices

Before we go into the X79R-AX, we begin with a general overview of the Socket 2011 platform supporting second generation Intel Core I7 processors. Quad channel memory support and more PCIe lanes are the major improvements over the mainstream Sandy Bridge platform. The ECS X79R-AX brings more than these specs would suggest. It adds features such as integrated WiFi, Bluetooth and no doubt the most interesting feature: four Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) ports resulting in twelve SATA ports plus another pair of eSATA ports on the back panel.

• 2 x eSATA 6.0 Gb/s ports

Audio

LAN Rear panel I/O

º *User please be notice due to chipset limitation, the compatibility and stability of SATA port(SAS6G1_2/3_4) may differ by different devices. º Realtek ALC892 8-Ch High Definition audio CODEC º Compliant with HD audio specification º Dual RealTek RTL 8111E Gigabit Lan º 4 x USB 3.0 ports º 6 x USB 2.0 ports º 2 x eSATA 6.0Gb/s ports º 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port º 2 x RJ45 LAN connectors º 1 x Audio port (1x Line in, 4x Line out, 1x Optical SPDIF Out)

Specifications of the ECS X79R-AX CPU

Chipset Memory

Expansion Slots

Storage

Supports 2nd Gen Intel Core i7 processor family for the LGA 2011 Socket Intel® X79 Express Chipset Quad-channel DDR3 memory architecture º 4 x 240-pin DDR3 DIMM socket support up to 64GB, per one DIMM support 16GB

º 1 x Wireless LAN Dongle º 1 x Bluetooth Dongle

Internal I/O Connectors & Headers

º DDR3 2500(OC)/2400(OC)/2133(OC)/1800/1600 º 4 x PCI Express x16 Gen3.0 slot (2 slots run at x8 bandwidth) º 2 x PCI Express x1 slots º Support by Intel®X79 • 2 x Serial ATA 6Gb/s devices • 4 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s devices • 4 x Serial ATA 6.0Gb/ s devices(SAS6G1_2, SAS6G3_4) *

º 1 x Clear_CMOS button º 1 x 24-pin ATX Power Supply connector º 1 x 8-pin ATX Power Supply Connector º 1 x 4-pin power connector for VGA card º 2 x 4-pin CPU_FAN connector (with smart fan) º 1 x 3-pin SYS_FAN connector (with smart fan) º 2 x 3-pin PWR_FAN connector º 4 x Serial ATA 3Gb/s connectors (90 degrees) º 8 x Serial ATA 6Gb/s connectors (90 degrees)

• RAID0, RAID1, RAID5, RAID 10 configuration 18


February 20th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

º 2 x USB 2.0 headers support additional 4 USB ports(One support EZ Charger) º 1 x USB 3.0 header supports additional 2 USB 3.0 Ports º 1 x COM header º 1 x SPDIF out header º 1 x Front panel switch/LED header º 1 x Front panel audio header º 1 x Clear CMOS header º 1 x Buzzer º 6 x Voltage measure points º 1 x Power on button

February 20th, 2012

Antec Inc. announced a new series of power supplies, the EarthWatts Platinum. With this addition Antec upgraded their mainstream power supplies with high energy efficiency, escaping from the standards. The Antec EarthWatts Platinum series now has 100% Japanese capacitors for maximum quality, stability and reliability and has won the 80+ Platinum certification with energy efficiency up to 93%. In the cooling department, the power supplies are using a silent 120 mm DBB Silence fan which even under full load conditions, according to Antec, the fan remains silent. “The 80 PLUS® PLATINUM certified power supplies have so far only been available in higher wattage classes and not for the everyday gamer,” said Mafalda Cogliani, Global Marketing Director at Antec. “Our EarthWatts Platinum power supplies enable more mainstream users and system builders to truly make a difference in their total energy consumption, benefiting both monthly electric bills as well as the environment.”

º 1 x Reset button

BIOS

º 1 x 7S-LED Display º AMI BIOS with 64Mb SPI Flash ROM º Supports Plug and Play, STR (S3) / STD (S4) , Hardware monitor, Multi Boot º Supports ACPI & DMI º Audio, LAN, can be disabled in BIOS º Support ECS M.I.B X Utility

2K Games announces Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gods & Kings expansion pack Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/2k-games-announces-sid-meier-scivilization-v-gods--kings-expansion-pack/14922.html February 20th, 2012

º Support EZ Charger º Support eBLU º Support eOC º Support eDLU

Form Factor

º Support eSF º ATX Size 305mm*244mm

If you're a fan of Sid Meier's Civilization V and wanted something more challenging, you may want to check out the new Gods & Kings expansion pack from 2K Games that offers more features, new gameplay scenarios and strategies.

Antec Launches EarthWatts Platinum PSU Series Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/antec-launches-earthwattsplatinum-psu-series/14924.html

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Published by: VR-Zone

world moves into the Renaissance, spies can be unlocked to establish surveillance of foreign cities, steal advanced technologies from your strongest competitors, or garner influence with City-States through election rigging, or even a coup. - City-States: Two new city-state types have been added, Mercantile and Religious, adding new gameplay to a greatly expanded quest system to further the narrative of the game and making diplomatic victories more challenging. Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Gods & Kings is not yet rated by the ESRB and will be available for Windows PC in late spring 2012. Pricing details not available at press time. For more information on Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Gods & Kings, please visit www.civilization.com.

Today, 2K Games announced the Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gods & Kings Expansion Pack for Windows-based PC. Developed by Firaxis Games, Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gods & Kings introduces new gameplay content and enhanced Civilization V experience and provides more ways for players to achieve world domination. The Gods & Kings expansion pack spans the breadth of human civilization, taking players from founding the first Pantheon of the Gods and spreading religion across the world, to deploying spies in enemy cities to steal information and technology. Players get to engage in new quests and global competitions, interact with new types of city-states, and master exciting new systems for land and naval combat. Nine new civilizations; nine new wonders; three original scenarios; and dozens of new units, buildings, technologies and resources have also been added, offering even more ways for players to expand their empire on their quest to rule the world. Key features: - Expanded Epic Game: The core game experience has been greatly expanded with the addition of new technologies, 27 new units, 13 new buildings and nine new Wonders. - New Civilizations and Leaders: The expansion features nine new civilizations including Carthage, the Netherlands, the Celts and the Mayans, each with unique traits, units and buildings. Gods & Kings also adds nine new leaders including William I, Prince of Orange, Boudicca and Pacal the Great. - New Game Scenarios: Three new scenarios let gamers experience the medieval period, the fall of Rome, and embark on a new adventure in Empires of the Smoky Skies, a Victorian science-fiction scenario. - The Return of Religion: A first for Civilization V, players seek out Faith, choosing a Pantheon of the Gods and creating Great Prophets to found and spread their customized religion across the world. - World Domination: The fight for world domination is more dynamic than ever. Gods & Kings features a reworked combat system and AI that places more emphasis on a balanced army composition. Additionally, the navy is now split into two different ship types, melee and ranged, making coastal cities vulnerable to a surprise naval attack. - Enhanced Diplomacy and Espionage: Establish embassies at foreign courts for closer ties or clandestine operations. As the religions of the world start settling in and the

Bluetooth SIG opens Sports and Fitness Working group, targets active lifestyle users Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bluetooth-sig-opens-sports-andfitness-working-group-targets-active-lifestyle-users/14921.html February 20th, 2012

In the not-so-distant future, we may see more Bluetoothenabled sports and fitness sensor products and training computers that can be operated via our smartphone or tablet devices. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group is inviting members to help drive the technology’s use and growth in the sports and fitness markets. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced the creation of the Sports and Fitness Working Group and is accepting members. The group is focussed on enhancing interoperability between Bluetooth-enabled sports and fitness sensor products and training computers (Bluetooth Smart devices) and hub devices such as smartphones, PCs, TVs (Bluetooth Smart Ready devices), gym equipment, watches and more to allow a new generation of functionality. Bluetooth v4.0 with low energy technology allows any device to connect, share and distribute information in real-time. No other wireless technology is able to provide the limited energy consumption, usability, functionality and install20


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base that Bluetooth v4.0 brings to the sports and fitness market.

Published by: VR-Zone

Canon Singapore has a new President and CEO, Kensaku Konishi, following his successful tenure as the President and CEO of Canon India.

Bluetooth SIG member company, Mosoro, has announced a Bluetooth Smart sensor that connects to a golf club and can instantly send information about the player’s golf swing to a smartphone for real-time feedback on how to improve. In 2011, Motorola introduced the MOTOACTV, a Bluetooth Smart fitness watch that can support low energy devices like a heart rate sensor - and lets you receive alerts on your phone, as well as stream music through Bluetooth-enabled ear buds. Fitness giant, Nike, has recently introduced its Nike+ FuelBand, a wristband that uses Bluetooth technology to automatically synchronize with your smartphone to let users easily track and analyze physical activity.

These unique products are a few examples of how sports and fitness devices are being made better with Bluetooth technology and it is just the beginning of what users can expect to see in this market. IMS Research forecasts more than 60 million Bluetooth enabled sports, fitness and health monitoring devices will ship between 2010 and 2015 including over 17.7 million heart monitors, more than seven million sports watches and over two million speed and distance monitors.

Canon launches the PowerShot G1 X Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/canon-launches-the-powershot-g1x/14920.html February 20th, 2012

Canon announced the availability of the latest PowerShot G-Series digital camera, the PowerShot G1 X. The PowerShot G-Series has a pedigree lineage and with each generation it got more difficult to pack in all the new features and developments to make it better than the last. Canon doesn't disappoint with the latest G1 X. The G1 X takes it to a new level of resolution, power and features while keeping with the style and design that is loved by many. The G1 X will be available in early March 2012 at a Suggested Retail Price of S$999.

Kensaku Konishi is new President and CEO of Canon Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kensaku-konishi-is-new-presidentand-ceo-of-canon-singapore/14909.html February 20th, 2012

Kensaku Konishi has worked in Canon Singapore in 2001 as managing director of Canon Marketing Singapore, incharge of domestic marketing operations. In 2003, he was promoted to Executive Vice President when Canon Marketing Singapore and Canon Singapore Pte Ltd merged, and in 2004, he was appointed as the President and CEO of Canon Hong Kong. From 2007 to 2011, Konishi was President and CEO of Canon India, and this year, he returned to Canon Singapore as President and CEO. "Asia is one area where we can see some substantial growth. Canon, as you may know, produce cameras, printers, photocopying machines etc. All these products are popular in advanced countries. Therefore, more than 90% of sales have increased in Asia in the past ten years. Asia Pacific sales among Canon was at 70%. But last year, that portion increased up to 20% and we are expecting more. Singapore's consolidation sales in the last couple of years, the average sales growth was around 13%, including last year's, considering there were earthquake in Japan and the flood in Thailand. And that is good number (for us). And when I talked about India, in the last five years, the average sales growth for Canon is more than 30%. Last year, we acheived 22%. Considering these, we are looking to increase more than 20% this year, as a consolidated base in Singapore-region to reach US$4 billion," Konishi said. In 2012, he expects the south and southeast region to grow more than 20% in sales and that Canon’s growth to be driven by new business areas including professional ideo production cameras.

HD screen size battle moves to the smartphones - in search for the golden ratio Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hd-screen-size-battle-moves-to-thesmartphones--in-search-for-the-golden-ratio/14919.html February 20th, 2012

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The iPhone 4 960x640 'retina' resolution started the race, then Samsung brought in a quality 16:10 1280x800 display to the 5-inch smartphone level. And now, some vendors are introducing 16:9 720p displays on the new high-end offerings. Can the phones, at least, avoid the moviescreen format fiasco that befell the desktop and mobile PC realms? Like them or not, Apple did keep one very commendable thing going on: they didn't give in to the panel makers' idiocy with few-cents panel cut saving by enforcing the 16:9 moviescreen monstruosity onto the PC ecosystem. The iPad line had and will likely continue to keep the ergonomically most suitable 4:3 format for their tablets, whether it's 1024x768 at the low end or the 2048x1536 retina stuff, expected for their new cream of the crop this year. Also, the iPhone 4 brought along the 3:2 960x640 (note, not 'qHD' narrow 960x540 !) resolution, which was ahead of all other phones at the end of 2010. The combination of very high resolution and useful aspect ratio, where you could easily read a web page or even a document either in the vertical or horizontal mode, proved to be one of the key benefits of Apple's otherwise overpriced gadget. Other vendors also innovated here - the last year's Samsung Galaxy Note, while equally overpriced and based on the old Android 2.3, did bring along the 1280x800 screen, at the very acceptable 16:10 'golden ratio' format, to the 5-inch 'supersize smartphone' or 'mini tablet', call it as you wish, hybrid market that seems to be popular even with office girls on Hong Kong streets, as this author saw earlier this month. Keep in mind, this is the same resolution as most 10-inch tablets! The 16:10 ratio here is not only good because it is the basis of natural order of harmony, and both Great Pyramid and the human body use it as a key to the proportions - over the years, it was proven that, on the high-res monitors, this 16:10 ratio allows you to see two pages side by side, without having to scroll! I have played with the Galaxy Note, and actually, with good eyesight, you could see the whole A4 page document very clearly in the vertical mode, with just enough extra space for the necessary buttons and such, unlike the wasted spaces on the 16:9 moviescreens. Talking about those, this week's MWC in Barcelona will showcase several major vendors' models with, guess what, 16:9 720p HD - meaning 1280x720 - resolution screens, in the 4 to 5 inch class. Yes, it is an improvement over the 800x480 high end baseline resolution seen in the past 18 months, however the only real benefit it brings is that the phones can be made even more narrow for sexy looks in some cases. Otherwise, a narrow screen will make these phones useful for Web and other major content again more in the horizontal mode, when the hated scrolling, non stop seen in the destkop and mobile moviescreens, becomes necessary for any content review. Since they are going with these progressively larger screens yet in the elongated 16:9 format, at the very least the vendors could follow Samsung or Apple's examples and introduce units with useful screen ratios for more beneficial work. The phones are a very competitive market these days, and there is more differentiation than in the PC space. The screen proportions and quality, together with the resolution, are

Published by: VR-Zone

one of important features that distinguish them, so let's be 'braver' and not follow the panel peddlers dictate?

Acer US confirms Android 4 (ICS) for Iconia A500 and A100 in April Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/acer-us-confirms-android-4-ics-foriconia-a500-and-a100-in-april/14918.html February 20th, 2012

Acer US has just confirmed in a Tweet that not only will its Iconia Tab A500 be getting an Android 4.0 update in April, but the company is also going to provide Iconia A100 users with some Ice Cream Sandwich goodness while they're at it (presumably at the same time). Acer US has just confirmed in a Tweet that not only will its Iconia Tab A500 be getting an Android 4.0 update in April, but the company is also going to provide Iconia A100 users with some Ice Cream Sandwich goodness while they're at it (presumably at the same time).

To all Acer Iconia Tab A500 and A100 users, please expect an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade in mid-April! Thank you for your patience April is also the month that Acer has indicated it will be rolling out its ICS running, Tegra-3 powered Iconia Tab A510. We're still left wondering when the ICS update for the A100 and A500 tablets will be available in other regions, but no doubt Acer will reveal all sometime soon.

Lenovo's IdeaPad U300e Ultrabook now available Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lenovo-s-ideapad-u300e-ultrabooknow-available/14917.html February 20th, 2012

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Following last month's announcement at CES, Lenovo's IdeaPad U300e Ultrabook is now available for purchase through its online store. In case you missed previous details on this one, the U300e is a 13.3-inch (MBP lookalike) ultrabook that is a mere 0.7-inches thin, weighing in at 1.58Kg and sports a one-piece aluminum shell and an LEDbacklit (1366 x 768) display ("where's the 1600 x 900 screen?" I hear many saying).

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Sanko intros miniature USB 3.0 to HDMI adapter Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sanko-intros-miniature-usb-3.0-tohdmi-adapter/14916.html February 20th, 2012

Following last month's announcement at CES, Lenovo's IdeaPad U300e Ultrabook is now available for purchase through its online store. In case you missed previous details on this one, the U300e is a 13.3-inch (MBP lookalike) ultrabook that is a mere 0.7inches thin, weighing in at 1.58Kg and sports a one-piece aluminum shell and an LED-backlit (1366 x 768) display (<i>"where's the 1600 x 900 screen?" I hear many saying</ i>).

A Japanese company going by the name of Sanko has come up with a USB 3.0 to HDMI adapter that is significantly smaller than any other we've seen before, measuring just 48 x 87 x 11 mm (WxDxH). A Japanese company going by the name of Sanko has come up with a USB 3.0 to HDMI adapter that is significantly smaller than any other we've seen before, measuring just 48 x 87 x 11 mm (WxDxH).

The keyboard on this model is of a breathable type by harnessing Intel's Advanced Cooling Technology and there's a lovely glass touchpad implemented that complements the U300e when seen in the flesh. Packed within is a Core i5-2467M processor with its HD 3000 graphics core in use, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB HDD as well as a 32GB SSD. Looking around outside, there's a single USB 3.0 port, 1.3MP webcam, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, WiDi support, Gigabit ethernet, a HDMI output and a 4-cell battery that promises up to 7 hours of use.

The manufacturer has stated that it's possible to use up to six of these impressively small USB3TOHD adapters in a single 6+port USB 3.0 hub without experiencing any image degradation or performance decreases. while having such a small footprint, the adapter is designed so that it can still be used with a HDMI to DVI-I single-link dongle if need be. The only real shortcoming with it is its single-link limitation, where it is confined to resolutions only up to 1920 x 1200. Meaning users with 2560 screens are out. Sanko lists support for Windows XP, Vista and 7 with the USB3TOHD and it's priced at 9,800 JPY (about US $124.30).

Rockstar confirms Max Payne for mobile devices With there being a web promotion and eCoupon in place for this listing, the IdeaPad U300e can be had in this configuration for US $959.20 at the time of writing.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rockstar-confirms-max-payne-formobile-devices/14915.html

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Published by: VR-Zone

February 20th, 2012

Avid Max Payne fans, this piece of news should have you grinning like cheshire cats. Rockstar has indicated that it plans to bring the original 'Max Payne' game to "mobile devices" (indicative of both iOS and Android) very soon. Avid Max Payne fans, this piece of news should have you grinning like cheshire cats. Rockstar has indicated that it plans to bring the original 'Max Payne' game to "mobile devices" (indicative of both iOS and Android) very soon.

News of Rockstar's intent to work on a mobile version of this hit title came about as far back as late last year, soon after it wrapped up the iOS release of Grand Theft Auto III. But at that time we had no idea of how long a wait we had for Max Payne to arrive, if at all. According to a recent Q&A response from the company it will be arriving very soon - as early as a couple months from now. An official statement confirming the game's release date will be coming within the next few weeks.

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February 22nd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Monster introduces Immersion first in-ear headphone of new iSport line Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/monster-introduces-immersion-firstin-ear-headphone-of-new-isport-line/14984.html February 22nd, 2012

"Immersion" is the first in-ear headphone under Monster's iSport line which promises superior quality audio for the active lifestyle users. It boasts to be sweatproof and is washable, and features a proprietary in-ear clip design for secure and comfortable fit

Initially available in both blue and black versions, the unique, sweatproof Monster iSport Immersion in-ear headphones will also come in a variety of different colors, themes and models in the coming months. The Monster iSport Immersion Headphones is available at Alpha Audio, Digivue , Farle Innovation, Harvey Norman, HMV, Sprint Cass and all Stereo outlets at S$290.

UK warns of "likely" nuclear space bomb threat Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/uk-warns-of-likely-nuclear-spacebomb-threat/14983.html February 22nd, 2012

The UK's Defence Select Committee has warned about the “likely” threat of a nuclear weapon launched into space by a rogue state and causing devastating destruction to infrastructure and technology. The UK's Defence Select Committee has warned about the “likely” threat of a nuclear weapon launched into space by a rogue state and causing devastating destruction to infrastructure and technology. The Committee's chairman, Tory MP James Arbuthnot, said that the government is complacement about the risks involved in such an attack, which he said was “quite likely.” The radiation and electromagnetic pulse of a nuclear bomb going off in space could affect power and water supplies, as well as defence and satellite navigation systems. This would occur as radiation destroys computer chips that power nearly everything that keeps a country and economy going.

Monster has announced “Immersion” – the first in-ear headphone in the company’s new iSport line designed to offer superior audio performance for atheletes. The Monster iSport In-Ear Headphones feature patented proprietary inear clip design that fits the curve of the inner ear to anchor securely and provide maximize comfort to listeners. It is washable, incorporates noise isolation to block out distractions, and has a special adjustable ear pipe on the headphone housing. The Monster’s new iSport Immersion headphones also feature the company’s ControlTalk an innovative control system that gives users music and movie playback control of their Apple, iPad and iPhone. The integrated high-grade microphone and answer button allows users to access their music and answer phone calls without having to reach into their pocketbook, backpack or pocket.

No health risks were mentioned, but a lack of power and water could make it very difficult for millions of people to 1


February 22nd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

live. The report suggests that cities would become impossible to live in within days of such an attack. Arbuthnot said that a small number of nuclear weapons could be used in space to cause more devastation over a wider area than firing them directly at a city. However, even if a nuclear weapon isn't fired into space, solar flares could have a similar effect upon the Earth. He said that the UK and other countries need to replace existing delicate systems, chips and connections with “hardened” versions that are now available at a low price. This could be done during routine maintenance.

Philips Singapore unveils new range of sports headset Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/philips-singapore-unveils-newrange-of-sports-headset/14979.html February 22nd, 2012

Philips has announced their new range of sports headset for the sporty users - SHQ4017, SHQ3017 and SHQ1017. The new headsets (and headphones models without the microphone) are now available at all electronics retail outlets in Singapore.

Philips Sports Headsets SHQ1017 If you are looking for a sleek, sweatproof yet affordable headset that can be your ideal companion during fitness activities, check out the Philips Sports In-ear Headset SHQ1017. It features an ultra lightweight design with soft silicon caps that provides great comfort, portability and ease of use. The SHQ1017 is also sweat-resistant for active outdoor use. The Philips Sports Headsets range also comes in headphones versions – the Philips Sports Headphones SHQ4000, SHQ3000 and SHQ1000. Retail price Philips Sports Neckband Headset SHQ4017- S$87.90 Philips Sports Earhook Headset SHQ3017- S$74.90 Philips Sports In-ear Headset SHQ1017- S$49.90 Philips Sports Headphones SHQ4000- S$54.90 Philips Sports Headphones SHQ3000- S$44.90 Philips Sports Headphones SHQ1000- S$24.90

Philips Sports Headsets SHQ4017 Whether you are doing circuit training or simply going for a run, the new range of sweatproof Philips Sports Headsets SHQ4017, SHQ3017 and SHQ1017 will make perfect companions. Constructed with antimicrobial and waterproof materials, the headsets not only lets you listen to your favorite music but also allows you to answer calls during your workout. The Philips Sports Neckband Headset SHQ4017 is built with fine acoustics and provides excellent bass. It comes with a sleek built-in microphone and controller that lets you talk, listen and remote control your smartphone while exercising. The Philips Sports Earhook Headset SHQ3017 comes with customizable ear hooks, ultra-soft silicon caps and three sizes of ear sleeves to fit your ears. It is also designed to be water resistant, thus washable and sweatproof.

Philips Sports Headphones SHQ3000

Barnes & Noble launches $199 Nook Tablet to rival Amazon's Kindle Fire Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/barnes--noble-launches-199-nooktablet-to-rival-amazon-s-kindle-fire/14982.html February 22nd, 2012

Barnes & Noble has launched a $199 8GB Nook Tablet to compete with Amazon's popular Kindle Fire tablet. 2


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The tablet computer offers a 7-inch colour touchscreen, 8GB of storage, 512MB of RAM, a 1GHz dual-core processor, and a battery that can last up to 11.5 hours when reading or up to nine hours when viewing video. “For any customer who likes to read digitally, watch movies or TV shows, browse the web, or help their kids read and learn through interactive books and apps, our new $199 NOOK Tablet with 8GB is the best product value on the market,” said William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble. “Nook Tablet is the highest-rated wireless media tablet in the 7-inch class, ultra-portable at under a pound, offers our exclusive VividView screen technology, and since its introduction this holiday has received rave reviews from customers about all its great features. We’re pleased to now offer customers the ability to experience Nook Tablet’s unmatched content experience for only $199.”

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PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 600W PSU Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pc-power--cooling-silencer-mkiii-600w-psu-review/14981.html February 22nd, 2012

PC Power & Cooling is a company both well known and favored among enthusiasts for their high performance power supplies. Although the company had been acquired by OCZ several years ago, PC Power & Cooling maintained their (at least partial) autonomy and continues their operation to this date, offering a long list of power-related products. Today we are going to examine the latest addition to the company’s products lineup, the Silencer Mk III 600W power supply. Is the latest Mk III version a worthy continuer of the legendary Silencer series? We will find out in this review. PC Power & Cooling is a company both well known and favored among enthusiasts for their high performance power supplies. Although the company had been acquired by OCZ several years ago, PC Power & Cooling maintained their (at least partial) autonomy and continues their operation to this date, offering a long list of power-related products. Today we are going to examine the latest addition to the company’s products lineup, the Silencer Mk III 600W power supply. Is the latest Mk III version a worthy continuer of the legendary Silencer series? We will find out in this review. Manufacturer’s features and specifications • 600W Continuous @ 50C • Dual-GPU Ready

Since Amazon is technically losing a few dollars on every Kindle Fire tablet sold, due to the high manufacturing costs, we can possibly expect something similar for Barnes & Noble, or at least a very tight margin of profit. However, content sales have more than made up for the losses for Amazon and could do the same for Barnes & Noble, which has 2.5 million digital books in its catalogue.

• 80-Plus Bronze Certified (85% Efficiency); .98 Active PFC • 120mm double ball-bearing fan • Up to 90% (10dB) Less Noise per Watt • +12VDC @46A (Powerful Single Rail) • Premium Components with 100% Japanese 105°C Capacitors • Modular Cabling Design

Amazon's push to become the leader of low-cost tablets has put intense pressure on rivals, including Apple and Samsung, which sell their iPads and Galaxy Tabs for extremely high prices. Barnes & Noble's addition will increase this pressure and could even give Amazon a run for its money.

AC Input Operating Range:

The 8GB Nook Tablet is available immediately for $199. The bookshop also lowered the price of its Nook Colour e-reader to $169.

Frequency: Current: Efficiency:

• Automatic Fan Speed Control Circuit • 5-Year Warranty and Tech Support

EMI: DC Output Output:

90-264 VAC 0.98 power factor 50/60Hz 100-240Vrms, 9-4.5A 85% typical load (80+ Bronze) FCC Class-B, CE +3.3V@24A,+5V@24A, +12V@46A, 3


February 22nd, 2012

Regulation: Ripple: Hold Time: PG Delay: Safety Over Voltage Protection: Over Current Protection: Agency Approval:

Environmental Temperature: Humidity: Fan Type: Noise: Miscellaneous Compatibility: M/B Connectors: Video Connectors: Drive Connectors:

MTBF: Dimensions/Harness: Power Cord: Warranty:

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-12V@0.8A,+5VSB@2.5A 5% (+3.3V, +5V, +12V) 5% (-12V, +5Vsb) 1% (p-p) 20ms minimum 100-500ms +3.3V, +5V, +12V 135% OPP cTÜVus, CB, TÜV, CCC, Ctick, GOST, BSMI, China RoHS, WEE, RoHS

The struggling Finnish mobile maker is trying to recover lost market share by making its next Windows Phone device more affordable. The phone will be called the Lumia 610 and will be unveiled along with a worldwide version of its Lumia 900 at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona next week. The company has booked a news conference for Monday, 27 February for the big announcement.

0-50°C 20-80% 120mm, ball bearing, thermally controlled 20 - 37dB(A) ATX12V & EPS12V 1 x 20+4-pin ATX 2 x 4+4-pin CPU 2 x 6+2-Pin PCI-E 3 x Peripheral 6 x 5-pin SATA 1 x FDD 100,000 Hours 150mm (W) x 86mm (H) x 160mm (L) US, EU, UK, CN, AU, JP/BZ 5-Years

Nokia to unveil cheap Windows Phone smartphone next week Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-to-unveil-cheap-windowsphone-smartphone-next-week/14980.html February 22nd, 2012

Nokia will unveil a cheap smartphone running the Windows Phone operating system next week in an attempt target the lower end of the market, according to sources cited by Reuters.

With dirt cheap competition from Android manufacturers it's not surprising that Nokia is aiming for a wider market by pushing prices down. The company has had huge success in the past with cheap feature phones, so focusing on this area could help restore some of its previous dominance. Nokia needs to make its Windows Phone range work or it will face further difficulties in the coming months and years. Last year it lost €1 billion, forcing it to cut 4,000 jobs and move its assembly to cheaper factories in Asia. Microsoft's deal with Nokia has so far failed to generate the success that some analysts predicted. A Strategy Analytics report shows that Microsoft's smartphone share has plummeted from 13 percent four years ago to just two percent in the last quarter. Image Credit: Nok4Us

Sony Computer Entertainment officially launches PlayStation Vita in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-computer-entertainmentofficially-launches-playstation-vita-in-singapore/14978.html February 22nd, 2012

Nokia will unveil a cheap smartphone running the Windows Phone operating system next week in an attempt target the lower end of the market, according to sources cited by Reuters. Today, Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong (SCEH) has officially announced the PlayStation Vita in Singapore.

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Published by: VR-Zone

To celebrate the launch, the company is having a road show at 313 Somerset (ground floor) which will end this Sunday.

The Sony PlayStation (PS) Vita was launched in Japan and Hong Kong in December last year. Today, the highly-anticipated handheld game console is officially available in Singapore, which coincide with the launch in Europe, Latin and North America - 23 February. According to Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong, the reason for having the Singapore launch in February and not December, is because the majority of gamers in Singapore prefer English games. And there are approximately 30 English game titles at launch (and growing). The PS Vita claims to offer users immersive gaming, social connectivity and rich entertainment experience anytime, anywhere. It features a 5-inch OLED multi-touch capacitive touchscreen (960x544) which you can navigate on, aside from the buttons, two analog sticks and D-Pad. The rear also holds a touchpad that provides users with a new way of interacting with the game or application. In the social network space, the PS Vita lets you communicate with your friends through the popular social networking services including Facebook, Flickr, foursquare, Skype, and Twitter. The PS Vita Wi-Fi model is retailing at S$399 in Singapore, and customers who purchase the console at the designated shops will get a limited edition T-shirt (first come, first served). There will also be a 3G model of the PS Vita, although no official date has been revealed at press time.

Unlike the traditional games that come in Universal Media Discs (UMD) for the PlayStation Portable, the PS Vita games come in the proprietary PlayStation Vita card, which resembles the SD card.

Intel Haswell iGPU: there's something for everyone Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-haswell-igpu-there-ssomething-for-everyone/14976.html

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Published by: VR-Zone

February 22nd, 2012

Quite a few web sites, including our own, covered Haswell graphics prospects over the past few months, with source materials obtained from Intel's roadmaps and such. On one side, the argument was that the generic - mainstream - quadcore Haswell version, the one likely to see the light of the day first in the second quarter of 2013, will very likely have graphics less than half faster than than the quad core Ivy Bridge it replaces. The other side had a statement that the best Haswell graphics should be well over two times, if not more, faster, than the Ivy Bridge. Actually, both might be right - how come? There are three graphics varieties expected for Haswell - GT1, GT2 and, the fastest, GT3. The latter one is expected to have twice as many shaders as the GT2, however some of leaked documents show that particular graphics implementation as existing only on dual core Haswell flavours. For instance, you'd have a combination of quad CPU cores and GT2 graphics, or dual CPU cores and GT3 graphics. Or, for top end Ultrabooks, dual CPU cores and GT2 graphics... oh my, how many die varieties would be there then? If this ends up the case, it explains it all: the standard quad-core Haswell with GT2 would be somewhat, but not madly, faster in graphics than the Ivy Bridge, while the graphics-oriented dual-core GT3 part with much larger GPU will correspondingly bring along much faster GPU - including GPU compute, since Haswell is expected to support it. But then, with all the transistor budgets and 22 nm process on hand, what stops Intel from having the ultimate combination of quad CPU cores and GT3 graphics together - a lovely solution both for high end desktop and engineering workstation? The time will tell if this might be the hidden weapon Intel keeps under the hood...

Fujifilm launches X-Pro1 interchangeable lens camera in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fujifilm-launches-x-pro1interchangeable-lens-camera-in-singapore/14975.html February 22nd, 2012

VR-Zone saw the Fujifilm X-Pro1 at the Consumer Electronics Show 2012, which claims to be the company's first compact system camera with 16-megapixel APS-C XTrans CMOS sensor, new X lens mount, Hybrid Multi Viewfinder and three prime lenses. And today, Fujifilm has announced the X-Pro1 in Singapore and that it will be available in March.

According to Hiroshi Kawahara, operations manager of Products Planning Division, Fujifilm Corporation, the XPro1 was in development three years ago, even before the popular Finepix X100 that was launched last year. The Fujifilm X-Pro 1 features the new X-Trans CMOS sensor which claims to be capable of delivering resolution that is on par (if not, superior) to a full frame sensor. It incorporates the original "X-Mount" that is specifically designed to maximize the mirrorless design of the body, and has a short flange back distance (17.7mm). The camera also features Hybrid Viewfinder that is first seen on the X100, which lets you switch between optical and electronic viewfinder instantly. According to Fujifilm, three compact XF FUJINON fast aperture prime lenses will be available in March. The Fujifilm X-Pro1 will begin shipping at end of February and retail in stores in March. The recommended retail price for the X-Pro1 is S$2,400 (w/GST) for the body, and S $900 to S$1,000 (w/GST) for the basic lens. It is uncertain whether the X-Pro1 will make it in time for the IT Show 2012, which is happening in Singapore from 8 to 11 March.

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February 22nd, 2012

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With the lengthy delays finally behind us on Intel's Cedar Trail platform and several netbooks having now reached retail using the N2600 Atom core, we're hearing of Intel's plans to roll in another desktop part to co-exist alongside the still scarce D2500 and D2700 Cedar View units.

"The company has put in a lot of effort in digital cameras, ever since the introduction of the world's first digital camera, DS-1P, in 1988. Fujifilm has been a strong player in the industry, especially in Japan, United States and Europe. We have a wide range of products and cameras from entry level to high-end models for SOHO and prosumer segment. Today, we are introducing our first interchangeable mirrorless camera, X-Pro1, which I believed should stand out among competition with its features and performance," said Hiroyuki Sakai, corporate vice president of Fujifilm Corporation, managing director of Fujifilm Asia Pacific and Fujifilm Singapore.

That chip is the D2550, a minor revision of the D2500 which appears to only differ in its base GPU clock rate of 640MHz versus 400MHz. Its CPU clock rate is still 1.86GHz with the TDP remaining at 10W. All other aspects of the D2500 and D2550 are equal as well, including 512KB of L2 cache on each of the two cores along with Hyper-Threading capabilities. CPU World mentioned that the D2550 would be launching sometime next month, but we have since been able to ascertain that it will launch in just four days time, on the 26th of Feb with immediate shipments to follow.

Noctua releases low-profile NH-L12 CPU Cooler Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/noctua-releases-low-profile-nh-l12cpu-cooler/14973.html February 22nd, 2012

Cedar View based Atom D2550 soon to arrive with faster GPU clock Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cedar-view-based-atom-d2550-soonto-arrive-with-faster-gpu-clock/14974.html February 22nd, 2012

Noctua is better catering to users requiring a lower profile CPU cooler with the birth of its new NH-L12; a cooler sporting four nickel-plated copper heatpipes that should feel right at home in Small Form Factor and HTPC cases in particular. Noctua is better catering to users requiring a lower profile CPU cooler with the birth of its new NH-L12; a cooler sporting four nickel-plated copper heatpipes that should feel right at home in Small Form Factor and HTPC cases in particular.

Update: Launch date has been added. With the lengthy delays finally behind us on Intel's Cedar Trail platform and several netbooks having now reached retail using the N2600 Atom core, we're hearing of Intel's plans to roll in another desktop part to co-exist alongside the still scarce D2500 and D2700 Cedar View units.

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Published by: VR-Zone February 22nd, 2012

NVIDIA has just released the first WHQL'd R295 series driver for GeForce graphics cards, 295.73 and with it comes some bold promises in terms of performance improvements in various popular game titles. NVIDIA has just released the first WHQL'd R295 series driver for GeForce graphics cards, 295.73 and with it comes some bold promises in terms of performance improvements in various popular game titles.

The NH-L12 features a dual PWM fan setup in the form of a NF-F12 (120mm) PWN fan on top and an NF-B9 (92mm) fan positioned underneath. If you're dealing with minimal clearance in a highly compact mini-ITX enclosure you also have the option of switching things up for just the NF-B9 fan, which reduces the overall height of the cooler to only 66mm.

With support for all GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 Series cards as well as ION GPUs, the latest 295.73 driver comes bundled with PhysX System Software v9.12.0209 and rolls in the following benefits :In usual Noctua fashion, Low-Noise adapters are supplied that drop the fan's maximum speed to just 1200/1300rpm if its super quiet operation you seek. The cooler also comes with a tube of Noctua's NT-H1 thermal compound and SecuFirm2 mounting system.

- Game-changing performance boost of up to 45% in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, "the fastest selling title in Steam's history" - Up to 2x performance Mass Effect 3 with SLI technology. - GeForce-exclusive quality enhancements with ambient occlusion support for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Diablo III, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. - New 3D Vision and SLI profiles for over 50 titles. - New PhysX software for the best experience in top PhysX titles like Alice: Madness Returns and Batman: Arkham City.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 gets benchmarked, smokes the competition The NH-L12 low-profile CPU cooler is on its way to e and retailers now with a price tag of US $59.90.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/qualcomm-s-snapdragon-s4-getsbenchmarked-smokes-the-competition/14971.html February 22nd, 2012

NVIDIA's GeForce 295.73 WHQL Driver is out Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-s-geforce-295.73-whql-driveris-out/14972.html

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February 22nd, 2012

During the Mobile World Congress next week we should see several handsets launch based on Qualcomm's new Snapdragon S4 SoC, previously known under the name of Krait. Just ahead of the show benchmarks of the new chip have been published that gives us a good insight as to what to expect from this year's Qualcomm based handset. During the Mobile World Congress next week we should see several handsets launch based on Qualcomm's new Snapdragon S4 SoC, previously known under the name of Krait. Just ahead of the show benchmarks of the new chip have been published that gives us a good insight as to what to expect from this year's Qualcomm based handset.

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competing SoCs that there tested are topping out at about 1.4GHz. Even so, the performance improvements are not directly tied to the slightly higher clock speed. In an easily repeatable benchmark such as Vellamo the MSM8960 offers twice the performance and then some of Google's recently launched Galaxy Nexus. In all fairness, this is a Qualcomm made benchmark, so it's not entirely fair, but it uses several standard web-based benchmarks and offers a good selection of tests.

Anandtech has posted an extensive set of benchmarks, in as much as you can do on mobile devices these days and has also gone over the general architecture changes that Qualcomm has done. However, we won't be going over the architecture here and suggest you head over to Anandtech and read the full review. That said, we're going to take a quick look at some of the benchmarks, as Qualcomm has come up with a pretty ground breaking chip in terms of performance. One of the key factors to the Snapdragon S4's performance is that each core in a Krait based SoC can decode and execute three instructions per clock, compared to only two instructions per clock for ARM Cortex-A9 based SoCs. This gives Qualcomm a significant performance lead on paper, but it appears to have paid off in real world applications as well. In fairly simple benchmarks like Linkpack, the new MSM8960 Snapdragon SoC beats the competition with easy in both single-threaded and multi-threaded runs and we're not talking about a narrow margin here either, as it beats the competition by delivering nearly twice or even over twice the performance. Of course some of this has to do with the larger 1MB cache and improved memory controller as well as the improvements to the actual SoC itself, but it shows that Qualcomm has come up with a very competitive chip design.

Qualcomm has also improved the GPU, the Adreno 225. Even though it has eight SIMDs with four MADs per SIMD and a paper performance of 19.2 Gflops at 300MHz, it's not as impressive as you'd think at first. What's worse in a way is the fact that Qualcomm is actually clocking the Adreno 225 at 400MHz in the MSM8960, yet it's having a tough time beating the PowerVR SGX 543MP2 found inside Apple's A4 SoC. As for the other GPUs found on the market today the only one able to offer some kind of competition â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and that is only at certain resolutions and tests at that â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is ARM's own Mali-400 MP4 found in the Samsung Exynos 4210, i.e. the SoC used on the global version of the Galaxy S II. In all fairness to Qualcomm, the Adreno 225 isn't a bad GPU, but it's not going to last that long in the high-end market segment with several new GPUs expected to arrive in competing products later this year.

In more real world benchmarks the lead isn't as large, but the margins are still there and it's going to take a serious increase in clock speed for the competition to catch up. That said, the MSM8960 is a 1.5GHz chip, whereas most of the 9


February 22nd, 2012

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USB 2.0 devices to appear as USB 3.0 devices to the system and this is how VLI gets around the USB 2.0 bottle neck. We should explain that the USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 data paths in a USB 3.0 host controllers are separate and no USB 2.0 data goes over the USB 3.0 bus, something that you can easily see in the block diagrams of USB 3.0 host controllers. The company showed us some comparative benchmarks where three USB 2.0 flash drives where attached simultaneously to the VL811 hub. Copying data to and from these drives over a standard USB 2.0 connection showed that the USB 2.0 bus caused severe bottlenecking, in fact, one of the drives got data ahead of the other two and finished copying data while the other two hadn't finished, but speed up when additional bandwidth became available.

For now, Qualcomm is likely to lead the dual core SoC market, although Nvidia's Tegra 3 is at least going to outperform the MSM8960 in CPU intensive tasks where all of its four cores can be used. It's unlikely to be vastly superior in terms of graphics performance though, unless Nvidia has some kind of ace up its sleeve. We'll also have to wait and see what the likes of Texas Instruments, Samsung and the other smaller players have to show. That said, Qualcomm already has a refresh of the MSM8960 planned for September which should see it hitting speeds of 1.7GHz and getting an improved GPU in the shape of the Adreno 320 which should offer vastly improved graphics performance.

VLI explains how USB2Expressway works Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/vli-explains-how-usb2expresswayworks/14970.html February 22nd, 2012

If you're a regular reader you might remember that VIA Labs announced its USB2Expressway technology back at CES, but it wasn't really clear as to how it worked. Well, we've now had a chance to sit down with the company for an explanation and it's actually a lot simpler than it seemed. If you're a regular reader you might remember that VIA Labs announced its USB2Expressway technology back at CES, but it wasn't really clear as to how it worked. Well, we've now had a chance to sit down with the company for an explanation and it's actually a lot simpler than it seemed. What VLI has done is take one of its new VL811 USB 3.0 hubs and tweaked the controller slightly by adding some additional chips that sits between the hub and each of the USB 3.0 ports. It's not the chips you see on the picture below, as they're on the rear of the PCB, but we weren't allowed to take pictures of them. What the extra chips do is to allow

In USB2Expressway mode on a USB 3.0 bus, not only did the read and write performance improve significantly on all three drives, but there was enough bandwidth to go around so no slowdowns took place. That said, unlike what early information alluded to, a USB 2.0 device won't be able to operate faster than what the USB 2.0 controller in the device itself allows for, so even though there might be a small performance boost for a single USB 2.0 device, it's really when multiple devices are being used to copy data to and from where you'll see a significant advantage of this technology. Another interesting aspect of USB2Expressway is that you get all the benefits of the USB 3.0 protocol, such as support for simultaneous read and write operations. That said, VLI isn't targeting this solution for consumer implementations at this point in time, as the drawback is that you can't daisy chain hubs with USB2Expressway due to the way that the additional chip works. As such, VLI is pitching this solution to companies that do data duplication at large scale to USB 2.0 devices, for example copy data from a master USB 2.0 device to several new USB 2.0 devices. If nothing else it's a

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clever way of getting the benefits that USB 3.0 offers to work with USB 2.0 storage devices.

Intel's upcoming 7-series Media motherboards detailed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-upcoming-7-series-mediamotherboards-detailed/14969.html February 22nd, 2012

We've already given you the specs of Intel's upcoming Executive series of motherboards and now it's time for the more consumer focused Media series. Sadly we don't have any pictures this time around, but we can at least offer the full specifications of another five models. We've already given you the specs of Intel's upcoming Executive series of motherboards and now it's time for the more consumer focused Media series. Sadly we don't have any pictures this time around, but we can at least offer the full specifications of another five models. Starting at the bottom we have the DH77EB – codename Eb Lake – which is the replacement for the DH67BL. This is Intel's only mATX H77 motherboard, but it offers a pretty well-rounded selection of connectivity options. As the H77 motherboards don't support multiple graphics cards, the DH77EB has a single x16 PCI Express 3.0 slot, as well as three PCI Express x1 2.0 slots. The board has four DIMM slots, three SATA 3Gbps ports – of which one is shared with a mini card PCI Express slot which also accepts mSATA drives – and two SATA 6Gbps ports. There are also headers for two USB 3.0 ports, six USB 2.0 ports and a serial and parallel port. The rear I/O consists of four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/ PDIF out, Intel Gigabit Ethernet and a DisplayPort, DVI-I and HDMI port. Intel's only full-size ATX board with the H77 chipset is the DH77KC – codename Knoll Creek – which extends the connectivity options of the DH77EB and replaces the DH67CL. In addition to the features of the DH77EB, the DH77KC gains three PCI slots, a PCI Express x4 2.0 slot and a PS2 port, although it only has a single PCI Express x1 2.0 slot. We couldn't spot any other changes here in terms of connectivity and there's really little else to say about this board. The third and final H77 board is the DH77DF – codename Dry Fork – which is a mini-ITX board that will replace the DH67CF. This time around it's not a low-profile board though, so you get a full set of connectivity options around the back. The board has a single PCI Express x16 3.0 slot, as well as a pair of DIMM slots, headers for four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports and a FireWire port. There's also a mini card PCI Express slot that takes mSATA SSDs just like the previous two models, as well as two SATA 3Gbps and two SATA 6Gbps ports. The rear I/O is made up of four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, a FireWire port, an Intel Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/ PDIF out and a DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI-I port. Overall it

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seems little has changed compared to the DH67CF in terms of features, something that is a good thing in this case. This brings us to Intel's only Z75 motherboard, the DZ75SL – codename Spur Lake – which will replace the DZ68DB. This is a standard ATX motherboard with a single PCI Express x16 3.0 slot, one PCI Express x4 2.0 slot, one PCI Express x1 2.0 slot and three PCI slots. As the Z75 chipset doesn't support Intel Rapid Storage technology there's no mini card PCI Express slot on this board. What you do get is three SATA 3Gbps ports, two SATA 6Gbps ports and headers for four USB 2.0 ports and three USB 3.0 ports. In terms of ports, things are a little bit more basic here with four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, an Intel Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out and a single HDMI port. The fifth and final board in the Media series is the DZ77BH – codename Blue Hills – which as it happens, won't be replacing any current Intel model. This is the first board to offer a pair of PCI Express x16 3.0 slots, albeit in dual x8 mode. The board also has three PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots and two PCI slots, as well as three SATA 3Gbps and four SATA 6Gbps ports, where the extra two ports are via a third party controller. Headers for six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports and a FireWire port are also present. Around the back the DZ77BH has four USB 3.0 ports – of which two are presumably via a third party controller – four USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA port, a FireWire port, a PS/2 port, an Intel Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out and a single HDMI port. The DZ77BH will also ship with a copy of Lucidlogix Virtu software. That's it for now, but we'll bring you some details on Intel's Extreme series of boards in a separate post, detailing the DZ77GA and DZ77RE.

Asus warranty does not protect computers during alien invasions Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-warranty-does-not-protectcomputers-during-alien-invasions/14968.html February 22nd, 2012

Asus computers are not protected by its warranty in the event of an invasion by aliens from outer space, it has been revealed. Asus computers are not protected by its warranty in the event of an invasion by aliens from outer space, it has been revealed. The unusual clause in the Asus warranty was recently spotted by a number of technology news outlets, suggesting that lawyers might have a sense of humour after all. It is not clear if this exclusion will affect sales, as no studies have been conducted regarding how many alien abductees are loyal Asus customers.

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February 22nd, 2012

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The developers set up their own independent game studio called Stoic, where they are operating from a goat shack in a very low budget attempt to make and release a game. Their first game will be The Banner Saga, a cross between an RPG and turn-based strategy game focusing on the Vikings. Art, story and strategy are the three cornerstones of the game.

It might also be possible that Asus knows more than the rest of us about the possibility of extraterrestrial life. We wonder if competitors will now start including a similar clause. Of course, trying to get a refund for a zapped computer might be the last thing on our minds when the little green men start landing.

Star Wars: The Old Republic developers leave BioWare to work on independent game Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/star-wars-the-old-republicdevelopers-leave-bioware-to-work-on-independent-game/14967.html February 22nd, 2012

Several BioWare developers who worked on its recently launched Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) MMORPG have left the company to work on an independent game that fuses strategy with role-playing. Several BioWare developers who worked on its recently launched Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) MMORPG have left the company to work on an independent game that fuses strategy with role-playing. Arnie Jorgensen, Alex Thomas and John Watson spent the past five years working on BioWare's first online game, which has met with positive reviews, but now they want to do a little something different. “It sounds like a cliche, but we're making the kind of games we'd like to play,” the trio said. “We appreciate good art, thoughtful design and engaging story and think there are plenty gamers out there who agree.”

The game will be released soon and will be free to some extent. It's not clear if there will be in-game purchases, ad revenue, or donations for keeping the studio in existence, but the game sounds like it could be a very enjoyable experience.

Mach Xtreme Technology Releases MX-STARTER PREMIUM SSD Series Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mach-xtreme-technology-releasesmx-starter-premium-ssd-series/14966.html February 22nd, 2012

Mach Xtreme Technology Inc. released today an improved MX-STARTER PREMIUM Series 2.5” SSD for mainstream users, aiming to satisfy those willing to migrate to SSD technology but want to do so from an affordable price point. The new MX-STARTER PREMIUM Series of SSDs is the latest addition to the Mach Xtreme lineup of solid state drives. The particular series is offering users robust data protection with enhanced hardware BCH ECC engine, StaticDataRefresh technology support and data shaping for higher data reliability. How about the speeds? Mach Xtreme Technology Inc. released today an improved MX-STARTER PREMIUM Series 2.5” SSD for mainstream users, aiming to satisfy those willing to migrate to SSD technology but want to do so from an affordable price point. The new MX-STARTER PREMIUM Series of SSDs is the latest addition to the Mach Xtreme lineup of solid state drives. The particular series is offering users robust data protection with enhanced hardware BCH ECC engine, StaticDataRefresh technology support and data shaping for higher data reliability. The drives also have a 64MB DDR2 cache memory installed. How about the speeds?

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February 22nd, 2012

Speed wise, the new series is rated at 150MB/s read and 80MB/s write, with a max of 10000IOPS. Not exactly a rocket by today's standards but possibly satisfactory for mainstream users, meaning that the success of the new series entirely depends on its retail price.

Apple reaches "Nike moment" over Foxconn issues Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-reaches-nike-moment-overfoxconn-issues/14965.html February 22nd, 2012

An auditor from the Fair Labor Association (FLA) said that Apple has reached a “Nike moment” in its history, referencing the negative publicity surrounding the working conditions at iPad and iPhone factories owned by Foxconn. An auditor from the Fair Labor Association (FLA) said that Apple has reached a “Nike moment” in its history, referencing the negative publicity surrounding the working conditions at iPad and iPhone factories owned by Foxconn. Inaes Kaempfer is one of a team of 30 people from the FLA investigating the Foxconn plants, and despite an initially positive and perhaps somewhat biased appraisal, Apple and Foxconn remain subject to extensive criticism over the treatment of workers in Chinese facilities. “We call it the 'Nike moment' in the industry," Kaempfer told ABC News' Nightline. "There was a moment for Nike in the '90s, when they got a lot of publicity, negative publicity. And they weren't the worst. It's probably like Apple. They're not necessarily the worst, it's just that the publicity is starting to build up. And there was just this moment when they just started to do something about it. And I think that's what happened for Apple."

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Foxconn staff are currently paid just $1.78 per hour, giving staff a measly $425 per month. While prices are usually lower in China, this is still a very low rate, forcing staff to seek overtime, a practice which Foxconn has been attempting to limit. Foxconn has also recently promised to increase pay by 25 percent, the second pay rise since these troubles began in late 2009. The “Nike moment” for Apple has prompted it to axe contracts with 11 suppliers in the past and its CEO Tim Cook has vowed to fight underage labour, which he called “abhorrent.” Foxconn, however, is a major supplier and one of the reasons why Apple has been making high profits. It will be difficult for it to move production and assembly elsewhere, so changes at Foxconn facilities will largely depend on audits like this current one by the FLA.

Yahoo attempts to avoid Indian lawsuit over offensive content Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/yahoo-attempts-to-avoid-indianlawsuit-over-offensive-content/14964.html February 22nd, 2012

Yahoo is attempting to remove itself from a lawsuit filed by an individual in India against social networks that host what the country deems to be “offensive” content. Yahoo is attempting to remove itself from a lawsuit filed by an individual in India against social networks that host what the country deems to be “offensive” content. The internet portal claims that since the lawsuit is targeted towards social networks, such as Facebook and Google+, then Yahoo should not be included, as it does not provide these services. Its lawyers said the lawsuit was filed on this “patently mistaken assumption.” Yahoo said that the lawsuit brought against it was “a complete abuse of the process of law” and added that there was no cause of action against the company. Of course, just because it is not a social network does not mean it might not host content which some in India find offensive.

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has been forced to investigate many of its suppliers after a spate of suicides and suicide attempts brought the media spotlight on Foxconn, revealing poor working conditions, low pay, and a failure to adequately provide for the emotional and psychological well-being of employees. 13


February 22nd, 2012

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improved performance out of the 24GB drives, but sadly we don't have any performance figures at hand.

India has been a bitter battleground for advocates of freedom of information against supporters of censorship, with government authorities demanding many online companies to remove content that it alleges is offensive. Given the large market in question both Google and Facebook have so far given in to these requests. However, they and around 20 other internet companies have filed an appeal at the Delhi High Court to have the cases dismissed.

Intel will launch new SSDs for caching, to go with Ivy Bridge Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-will-launch-new-ssds-forcaching-to-go-with-ivy-bridge/14963.html February 22nd, 2012

It's still debatable as to how many consumers have taken advantage of SSD caching in their systems, but Intel is about to replace its Larson Creek series of SSDs – more commonly known as the 311 series – with a range of new models in time for its Ivy Bridge processors. The new models has been designed for the 7-series chipsets, but are still backwards compatible with the 6-series and has thus far been known under the code name of Hawley Creek. It's still debatable as to how many consumers have taken advantage of SSD caching in their systems, but Intel is about to replace its Larson Creek series of SSDs – more commonly known as the 311 series – with a range of new models in time for its Ivy Bridge processors. The new models has been designed for the 7-series chipsets, but are still backwards compatible with the 6-series and has thus far been known under the code name of Hawley Creek. The retail brand will be the 313 series, indicating only a minor upgrade over Intel's current 311 series. As with the 311 series, the 313 series will use SLC NAND flash, although Intel has moved from 34nm parts to 25nm parts. Beyond a change in NAND flash Intel has decided to offer two capacities, 20GB and 24GB. We're not sure what difference the extra 4GB of flash memory will make, but there's obviously a reason as to why Intel had added a second capacity to its range of caching drives. It's possible that we'll see slightly

Intel is retaining the 2.5-inch and mSATA form factors, but the 2.5-inch drives are now only 7mm tall, instead of 9mm of the 311 series. The SATA interface is still at 3Gbps, but the reason for is simply because Intel doesn't have a new SSD controller of its own. The reason Intel is sticking with SLC flash for its caching drives is most likely because the company is expecting a high wear and tear ratio on this type of SSDs and as such using cheaper NAND flash would mean that the drives would wear out quicker. As for pricing, well, things haven't changed much, with Intel's MSRP of the 20GB models coming in at US$99 (S $125) and the 24GB models being slightly more expensive at US$119 (S$150). We actually spotted all four models on pre-order at a wide range of online retailers, although every single one was listing them for a fair bit more money than Intel's MSRP, although in this case at least some of that additional cost would have included sales tax. The new drives should be launched in April alongside Ivy Bridge and the 7-series chipset, although it's possible that they may arrive earlier in the channel.

Epson introduces world's lightest GPS running monitor Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/epson-introduces-world-s-lightestgps-running-monitor/14959.html February 22nd, 2012

Epson is renowned for their line of printers and imaging devices, and it looks like the Japanese company is going into electronic sporting goods market as it unveils the world's lightest GPS running monitor.

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February 22nd, 2012

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As of now, expect the high end desktop - and selected topend mobile - quad core Ivy Bridge CPUs, including the muchexpected desktop Core i7 3770K and its notebook equivalent as well, to arrive six weeks from this story appearance. However, the ultra low voltage 17 Watt dual core parts, optimised for the UltraBook market, are only to be launched sometime in May. The initial highest end UltraBook Ivy Bridge part, the Core i7 3667U dual core 4MB L2 part in BGA1023 packaging we grew familiar in these machines, will bring quite a good refresh to the UltraBook performance: 2 GHz core frequency with up to 3 GHz Turbo with both cores, or 3.2 GHz Turbo with a single core, as well as DDR3-1600 memory support with extra memory OC enabled - a very welcome benefit for extra bandwidth to feed the sped up DX11 graphics engine too. Today, Seiko Epson announced the world's lightest GPSenabled running monitor. The monitor boasts an extremely thin design, long battery life, uses GPS to provide runners with accurate distance, pace and other data, and wears comfortably on your wrist. Epson plans to release a commercial version of the monitor in Japan this year and it would be the company's first entry into the electronic sporting goods market. The running monitor can operate for up to 12 hours on a full charge with GPS tracking on which is more than sufficient for long-distance events, from full marathons to trial runs. The long battery life also means that the monitor will require less frequent recharging; a runner who uses it for five hours a week with GPS tracking on would not need to recharge the unit for a full two weeks. Epson's GPS running monitor weighs about 50 grams and measures just 13mm thin, which is comfortable to wear on the wrist. It also offers water resistance of up to 5 bars, or 50 meters of water, compared to other GPS watches that can be fully submerged in water no deeper than one meter for a maximum of 30 minutes.

Intel and AMD arm wrestle again: this time on power sipping ultrathins Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-and-amd-arm-wrestle-againthis-time-on-power-sipping-ultrathins/14962.html February 22nd, 2012

As the low voltage mobile Intel Ivy Bridge launch is now confirmed for May, just as well as similar TDP low voltage AMD Trinity aimed at the same market at the same time, a very interesting duel is in the offing, and in a fresh new platform market to boot... Yes, Intel needs to take care of their customers' unsold inventories, and no, Intel doesn't have much competition right now either. So, there was no apparent need for them to rush the Ivy Bridge launch across the desktop and mobile platforms, especially since the same-socket Sandy Bridge stocks still need a bit of time to clear.

Talking about the graphics, the integrated GPU unit is expected to allow both Turbo and overclocking way beyond the basic 350 MHz clock, towards the gigahertz. Couple it with the increased memory bandwidth and, something not expected before, overclocking abilities in the UltraBook form factor, and it only can mean two things. One, the power consumption of the new parts is so well improved that Intel can allow, even with the UltraBook form factor limitations, a very substantial clock speed increase from the base, and still declare the basic 17W TDP for which the existing components and system design are optimised already. This will of course mean that the UltraBook usage scope increases, to be able to handle more complex content authoring - and yes, even some 3-D gaming - usually reserved for higher-performance systems, and also accomodate much better displays with beyond 720p resolution, so not to be ashamed at 2048x1536 iPad 3 or even ther 1920x1200 of the next Qualcomm-based Asus Transformer Prime FHD. After all, a well noticeable CPU speed increase, plus double the GPU speed, will open up a lot of new possibilities. Second, Intel is obviously taking into account the AMD Trinity launch, which - guess what - is expected at almost the same time as the UltraBook Ivy Bridge parts see the light of the day. Now, Trinity might not compete with the higherend Ivy Bridge units in the CPU performance department, although their GPU is expected to win anyway, but it is their own 17W flavour promise that makes things interesting. Basically, a 17W Trinity, despite its 32 nm process disadvantage over the 22 nm Intel unit, is expected to keep two dual-core Piledriver processor modules (i.e. two pairs of integer cores, each with a shared FPU - I still dislike the idea, but it may just work well in this case) and the same very powerful GPU from the higher TDP versions, just of course clocked lower. The DDR3-1600 support is a given here too, since the top end Trinity will support DDR3-2133 anyway. So, what happens then? You'll have two core-pairs of Trinity vs two hyperthreaded - and surely faster clocked after Turbo - cores of Ivy Bridge, as well as somewhat stronger Trinity GPU vs the Ivy Bridge graphics. The outcome could be, pending the final system speed checks, a slightly faster CPU performance on the Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks, but with not so much delta as the high end Ivy Bridge has vs high end 15


February 22nd, 2012

Trinity, as well as somewhat faster GPU on the Trinity side, since it is far more capable as a design, but the TDP demands, coupled with the 32 nm process power consumption, force it to be clocked down quite a lot compared to its higherpowered mobile and desktop brethren. Either way, the ultrathin notebook arena could be a new playing field where Intel and AMD can have some sparring from a more even point of view, compared to the usual desktop and mobile markets where their position is tougher. Even Apple - put aside their attempts to patent the Macbook Air design as a sign of pressure to the UltraBook vendors could take a note of this expanded CPU choice...

LG unveils Optimus LTE Tag with NFC technology Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-unveils-optimus-lte-tag-with-nfctechnology/14961.html February 22nd, 2012

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IT Show 2012 Promotions: Dell Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotionsdell/14960.html February 22nd, 2012

If you're looking for a new Ultrabook, gaming desktops or laptops, do drop by Dell's booth at the IT Show 2012. The Dell products can be found are on level 3 (Newstead booth 3001) and level 4 (Dell booth 8230, 8251 and Newstead booth 8139). Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

LG Korea has announced the Optimus LTE Tag, which isn't only an aestheitcally-enhanced version of the Optimus LTE, but it also claims to offer innovative features that make the smartphone smarter.

Made of durable aluminum and lightweight carbon fiber, the Dell XPS 13 is an extremely thin and portable Ultrabook which features an edge-to-edge 13-inch gorilla glass display. It measure up to 18mm and weighs approximately 1.36kg, and features a full size backlit keyboard. The XPS 13 is equipped with second generation Intel Core i5 2467M processor, 4GB memory, Intel HD graphics, 128GB solid state drive, and all-day battery life. Yesterday, LG unveiled the Optimus Vu: smartphone with 5-inch touchscreen, and today, the manufacturer has announced the latest member of its LTE smartphone lineup in Korea, the Optimus LTE Tag. Following the success of the Optimus LTE, the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first HD LTE smartphone, the Optimus LTE Tag features Near Field Communication (NFC) technology that lets users communicate with "tags" that can be programmed to automatically change the phone's settings, turn on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth etc. It sports a slim and sleek form factor, 4.3-inch IPS display, is powered by 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 16GB eMMC, and runs Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The Optimus LTE Tag will also be able to upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in future. The phone also comes with 5-megapixel rear camera with AF-LED flash, and 1.3-megapixel front camera for video calls.

Original price: S$1,499 IT Show 2012 price: TBA Alienware M17x (3D)

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The Alienware M17x (3D) claims to be the first 3D-capable gaming laptop in its line, providing users with immersive gaming experience; graphics pop off the 17.3-inch full high-definition (HD) 1080p display. Powered by second generation Intel Core i7-2860QM processor, 16GB memory, NVIDIA GTX 580 graphics with 2GB VRAM, the M17x (3D) comes with 1.5TB RAID drive and DVD+/-RW optical drive. Original price: S$3,999 IT Show 2012 price: TBA Alienware X51

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doing graphics design, gaming or watching a high definition (HD) movie. It boasts full HD 1920x1080 resolution, 10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and IPS technology and brightness of 300cd/m2. The U2312 comes with heightadjustable stand, four USB ports, built-in cable management and allows you to tilt and swivel to your viewing comfort. Original price: S$309 IT Show 2012 price: TBA Booth number - level 3 (Newstead booth 3001) and level 4 (Dell booth 8230, 8251 and Newstead booth 8139)

ZTE announces PF200 and N910 LTE Android 4 handsets Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zte-announces-pf200-and-n910-lteandroid-4-handsets/14958.html February 22nd, 2012

The Alienware X51 is designed to offer powerful digital entertainment, customization options and upgradeability, all in a compact size that will fit any space. It claims to deliver immersive high definition gaming experience and lets you enjoy amazing visuals with desktop graphics card options. Hardware specifications include the second generation Intel Core i5-2320 processor, 8GB memory, NVIDIA GTX 555 graphics with 1GB VRAM, 1TB hard disk and DVD+/- RW optical drive. Note that the desktop does not come with monitor.

Jumping the gun a bit on MWC, ZTE has just announced two new handsets both featuring the latest version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich along with LTE connectivity. The PF200 and N910 will be ZTE's headliners at the show in Barcelona next week. Details are still a bit sketchy, but we'll gather up what we can from ZTE's announcement until all is revealed toward the end of the month. Jumping the gun a bit on MWC, ZTE has just announced two new handsets both featuring the latest version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich along with LTE connectivity. The PF200 and N910 will be ZTE's headliners at the show in Barcelona next week. Details are still a bit sketchy, but we'll gather up what we can from ZTE's announcement until all is revealed toward the end of the month.

Original price: S$1,499 IT Show 2012 price: TBA Dell Ultrasharp U2312 monitor

The PF200 is the higher specced of the two models with its 4.3-inch (950 x 540) qHD capacitive touchscreen, 1.5GHz (dual-core?) processor, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, DLNA support, Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi, GPS, LTE, mobile high-definition link (MHL) and near field communications (NFC). The 23-inch Dell Ultrasharp U2312 monitor provides vivid clarity and brilliant display performance whether you are 17


February 22nd, 2012

The "mid-range" N910 has a 1.2GHz chip and a 5MP shooter on the rear with autofocus and flash. It uses a WVGA (800 x 480) touchscreen of unknown size and includes DLNA technology, LTE connectivity, GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth. It must also be noted that ZTE's N910 is a CDMA-only smartphone which will inevitably affect its global availability. We shall be back with more info in the coming days to clear up the specs a bit more and talk about where, when and at what prices ZTE's PF200 and N910 handsets will launch at.

Rockstar talks a bit more about Max Payne 3 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rockstar-talks-a-bit-more-aboutmax-payne-3/14957.html February 22nd, 2012

Seeking a little more meat on the third instalment of Rockstar's Max Payne series scheduled to arrive in May on the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360? Rockstar has openly talked some more on its next hit third person shooter to give us an idea of what we can expect. Seeking a little more meat on the third instalment of Rockstar's Max Payne series scheduled to arrive in May on the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360? Rockstar has openly talked some more on its next hit third person shooter to give us an idea of what we can expect. And thankfully, they've made it clear that Max Payne 3 will remain true to its roots and stay closely tied in with the original gameplay mechanics we loved the most.

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"As we’ve stated in the past, we’re working very hard to ensure that we’re being faithful and true to the heritage of Max Payne – and the heart and soul of Max Payne gameplay has always been as a pure shooter,” Rockstar said. “Apart from some pretty cool melee kills that can be triggered when in close quarters with an enemy, we have no intention of betraying that to introduce driving/racing or brawling elements. Just get ready for some of the most cutting-edge, advanced and insane shooting gameplay you’ve ever experienced. If you want driving, we do make some other games. This game is all about story driven gun play." Downloadable content (DLC) for the game while still unconfirmed, is something Rockstar is also looking to roll in at some point :"As for future looking downloadable content, it’s a bit early yet for us to confirm exactly what shape Max Payne 3 DLC might take as we’re still in the planning stages for that, but yes we do plan to support Max Payne 3 with content postrelease to properly extend the game experience for fans." PS3 and Xbox 360 gamers will first be able to get their hands on Max Payne 3 in the middle of May, with PC gamers being able to pick up their copy by the end of the month.

PowerColor's HD 7970 LCS is up for Pre-Order Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/powercolor-s-hd-7970-lcs-is-up-forpre-order/14956.html February 22nd, 2012

A pre-order listing for PowerColor's beefed up Radeon HD 7970 LCS Ed. graphics card has appeared on a UK website with an also beefed up price tag of £599.99. A pre-order listing for PowerColor's beefed up Radeon HD 7970 LCS Ed. graphics card has appeared on a UK website with an also beefed up price tag of £599.99.

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The card does come equipped with a single-slot EK Nickel Acetal waterblock and higher than stock clock rates of 1050 MHz on the core and 5700MHz (effective) on its 3GB of GDDR5 memory, but it's still hard to imagine anyone feeling ok about dropping close to US $1K on one of these, especially considering a couple of HD 7950s could be had for a similar amount of money.

Touching base on the remaining specs, the card boasts 2048 Stream Processors, a 384-bit memory interface, is PCI-E 3.0-ready and has four display outputs comprising one duallink DVI, one HDMI and two mini DisplayPorts.

Broadcom talks in-car networking Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/broadcom-talks-in-carnetworking/14955.html February 22nd, 2012

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thickness of the kind of wires used to connect a computer cooling fan to the motherboard.

FlexRay cables have so far only supported fairly low-speed implementations up to about 20Mbps, not remotely fast enough for today's needs. Combining this type of lowcost cabling with its BroadR-Reach technology and a new Ethernet PHY, Broadcom has managed to create a solution where it's possible to run 100Mbps Ethernet over FlexRay cabling. Broadcom was making a big deal out of the 80 percent cost saving and 30 percent weight reduction when using FlexRay cabling compared to LVDS cabling which is commonly used for various applications inside cars thanks to the LVDS cablings low emissions and EMI resistance.

One big growth area for computing these days is the automotive industry and we're not talking about things like the engine management system here, but rather about things like navigation, entertainment and something known as ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems). One problem that has cropped up is that it's getting costly to implement all of these solutions as they all have their own interconnect systems, something Broadcom wants to help with. One big growth area for computing these days is the automotive industry and we're not talking about things like the engine management system here, but rather about things like navigation, entertainment and something known as ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems). One problem that has cropped up is that it's getting costly to implement all of these solutions as they all have their own interconnect systems, something Broadcom wants to help with. Broadcom has started a special interest group known as the OPEN (One Pair Ether-Net) alliance which is focusing on developing products built on Broadcom's BroadR-Reach technology. In the case of the automotive industry we're talking about 100Mbps Ethernet over a single twisted pair of FlexRay cables. For those not familiar with FlexRay cabling, it looks not that dissimilar to a pair of wires from a standard Ethernet cable, albeit slightly thicker, we'd say about the

FlexRay cabling on the left, LVDS on the right Combining its BroadR-Reach technology with FlexRay allows Broadcom to offer a much more flexible solution with the same low emissions and EMI resistance as LVDS cables, although what the company sort of neglected to mention during the presentation was the cost of its transceivers and switches which are needed to implement this technology. 19


February 22nd, 2012

That said, it's not free to implement LVDS technology either and this too requires additional chips and far more costly connectors on both ends. Broadcom is offering a single-port 100Mbps transceiver and three different switch solutions today, as well as a transceiver used for diagnostics that allows external equipment to be attached at Gigabit speed. The trick here is that the OPEN alliance consists of a wide range of companies, including a few other chip makers, several car manufacturers and in-car entertainment product makers to mention a few. As such Broadcom isn't the only company making compatible solutions and the idea of it all is for this technology to become the dominant in-vehicle networking standard.

Long term Broadcom is hoping that its technology will replace most; if not all the various systems used in cars to allow for an overall simplified network topology. In as much as it has been designed for use in cars, it can also be used in other types of vehicles, such as busses for example, as cable lengths of up to about 50m are supported. In as much as we're all for standardisation, we can't but feel a little bit worried about cars ending up with a single network for all of its various computer systems, as when something goes wrong with the network, then what? Broadcom did mention that link aggregation is supported to either help boost the performance beyond 100Mbps, or for the purpose of failover.

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counting the power regulation components â&#x20AC;&#x201C; of which the one you can see in the picture is Broadcom's BCM89810 Ethernet transceiver which is also pictured below the camera alongside one of the switches.

For more details about the OPEN alliance we suggest you head over to its website where you can find out more details about its members and where you might be finding this technology. Implementations in cars aren't expected until later this year with BMW allegedly being one of the first out the door. The OPEN alliance is also working on a next generation standard and is hoping to be able to reach speeds of 1Gbps over the same type of cabling. You can also find more details on Broadcom's product page.

Although no live demo was shown, Broadcom did bring along a typical in-vehicle camera module used for example as a rear view camera for when you're reversing. The entire module was tiny and featured a mere three IC's â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not 20


February 24th, 2012

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VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

NVIDIA Kepler Power Circuitry Revealed: 300W TDP?

The board in question was manufactured in the third quarter of 2011, meaning that NVIDIA has had Kepler for quite some time. Given that the original plan called for Kepler debut in 2011 and Maxwell in 2013, it's obvious that the yields were too low to initiate launch production. In the recent financial analyst call, Jen-Hsun commented that the 28nm supply will be "constrained through the year (2012)".

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-kepler-power-circuitryrevealed-300w-tdp-/15011.html February 24th, 2012

On the week starting March 20th, NVIDIA will unveil GeForce products based on the Kepler GPU architecture. We got our hands on a board and saw very interesting solutionsâ&#x20AC;Ś In the first of a series of articles, we'll analyze the way how NVIDIA will supply power for the GK104, rumored to debut as the "GeForce GTX 670 Ti". The specs are wildly rumored "on the Internets", but it is clear that this might be another winner for NVIDIA. Orâ&#x20AC;Ś not. The final verdict will be given by the reviewers and more importantly - the consumers. What we are going to focus on is another thing, and that is how efficient is the power design on the GeForce 600 Series boards and more importantly, the Kepler GPU itself.

As you can see on the diagram above, the board requires a single six-pin and eight-pin power cables (Theoretical Max: 75W + 150W + 75W from the PCIe connector = 300W) even though it should operate with just two six-pin rails. Then again, if you purchase a performance product, it is expected that you'll have at least a 500W+ PSU where 8-pin connector is the norm. Three phases are dedicated to feed the GPU (NVVDD-PH2, PH4, PH5), and dual phase is for driving the rest of the board - a couple of gigabytes of GDDR5 memory and 3rd party chips (NVVDD-PH1 and PH3). We'll continue the examination in our future articles. Stay tuned.

Apple planning to axe iPhone dock connector Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-planning-to-axe-iphone-dockconnector/15016.html February 24th, 2012

For starters, the thing that you need to know about Kepler is that NVIDIA is using Foxconn to manufacture the highend board. According to various sources, NVIDIA has used the strategy of switching between Flextronics and Foxconn in the past, but they're now perfectly happy with Foxconn (that one with the anti-suicide nets).

Apple is planning to axe its proprietary iPhone dock connector in order to make room for more important things, like a larger battery, in its popular smartphone device. Apple is planning to axe its proprietary iPhone dock connector in order to make room for more important things, like a larger battery, in its popular smartphone device.

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February 24th, 2012

In its quest to launch new and improved versions of the iPhone the Cupertino, California-based company will axe the large dock connector and replace it with something considerably smaller. Apple previously agreed to a plan by the European Union for all phone manufacturers to adopt the micro-USB connector as standard for charging phones. This will eliminate the need to buy specific chargers for phones and will have a beneficial effect upon the environment as well, given how many useless chargers are thrown out each year.

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Republic and other massively multiplayer online (MMO) games. Idea Fabrik, the company behind the Hero Engine, has revealed a massive surge in developers expressing interest in using its platform after the success of Star Wars: The Old Republic and other massively multiplayer online (MMO) games that use the engine. Since the beginning of this year Idea Fabrik has seen a sharp increase in developer subscriptions to its HeroCloud managed service, which lets game studios build 3D online games in a variety of genres. There are now over 5,000 developers using the Hero Engine, “fuelled by the excitement about successful launches last year of MMO games from EA and from Trion Worlds,” according to Idea Fabrik's COO, Neil Harris.

The Trion Worlds title is Rift, which released in early 2011, and the EA title is, of course, Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare's first foray into the world of online games. This has paid off big time, as The Old Republic is now the fastest growing MMO in history, with over two million copies sold so far. Not bad for a game that's just over two months old. However, it does not appear that Apple is going to use this opportunity to switch to micro-USB, despite most of its rivals having already done so. It still makes a lot of money from its proprietary connectors and is likely unwilling to give them up without a fight. Employing a micro-dock will make Apple's new line of products incompatible with older devices, a problem that could be solved with an adaptor, but this will cause some customer confusion and disgruntlement, since it will force the purchase of additional unnecessary hardware. We cannot help but think that Apple is missing out on a major opportunity to become a market leader in terms of a universal connector standard for smartphones. That should be micro-USB, not a new Apple micro-dock.

Developers flock to Hero Engine after Star Wars: The Old Republic success Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/developers-flock-to-hero-engineafter-star-wars-the-old-republic-success/15015.html February 24th, 2012

Idea Fabrik, the company behind the Hero Engine, has revealed a massive surge in developers expressing interest in using its platform after the success of Star Wars: The Old

“We’ve been watching Hero Engine’s evolution over the last several years,” said Wanda Meloni, analyst at M2 Research. “The technology has really become quite mature. My guess is, you’re going to see Hero Engine not only continue to be a dominant platform for MMOs, but that the reference products the company is developing will illustrate that it is viable for other genres of games as well.”

Proview sues Apple in the US over iPad trademark infringement Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/proview-sues-apple-in-the-us-overipad-trademark-infringement/15013.html February 24th, 2012

Proview Electronics has filed a lawsuit against Apple in California over the alleged infringement of its iPad trademark, bringing the bitter dispute that has been raging in China to US soil. Proview Electronics has filed a lawsuit against Apple in California over the alleged infringement of its iPad trademark, bringing the bitter dispute that has been raging in China to US soil.

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The struggling technology company filed a lawsuit on 17 February at the Santa Clara Superior Court, according to Alice Wang, a spokesperson for Proview. Proview failed to secure a sales ban of Apple's iPad tablets in Shanghai earlier this week, but it is not giving Apple time to breathe a sigh of relief. By going after Apple's home market, where an injunction could prove disastrous, it might be hoping that the company will buckle and strike a deal to put an end to the legal tangle.

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Adata Technology announced today the launch of a brand new lineup of expanded capacity solid state drives. The new SSD range includes the XPG SX900, the Premier Pro SP900, and the Premier SP800, all of which use new optimized firmware to utilize greater storage capacity of the NAND Flash components. All of the drives being launched use NAND Flash for improved stability and performance. The 3 new series are the XPG (Xtreme Performance Gear), the Premier Pro SP900 and the Premier SP800.

Proview registered the iPad name in 2000, ten years before Apple launched its popular device. However, Apple claims that a Proview subsidiary sold it the rights in 2009 for ÂŁ35,000, a rather measly sum of money given the success of the iPad. Proview once dominated the monitor market when display panels used cathode-ray tubes. Failure to quickly adapt to the LCD market has caused the company to virtually collapse, landing it with excessive debt and forcing the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to delist its shares. It therefore desperately needs additional funding and Apple has plenty to offer.

The XPG (Xtreme Performance Gear) SSDs are designed to satisfy hardcore, speed crazed enthusiasts. Its maximum sequential read and write speeds are 550/530 MB per second, with maximum random 4k write speeds as high as 85,000 IOPS. With capacities of 64, 128, 256, and 512GB, the SX900 is poised to take its place as a market and performance leader.

ADATA launches a brand new lineup of SSDs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/adata-launches-a-brand-new-lineupof-ssds/15012.html February 24th, 2012

Adata Technology announced today the launch of a brand new lineup of expanded capacity solid state drives. The new SSD range includes the XPG SX900, the Premier Pro SP900, and the Premier SP800, all of which use new optimized firmware to utilize greater storage capacity of the NAND Flash components. All of the drives being launched use NAND Flash for improved stability and performance. The 3 new series are... 3


February 24th, 2012

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speeds are 280/260MB per second, and max random 4k write speeds are up to 44,000 IOPS. It enters the market as a high value entry-level solid state drive for those who are just now making the transition from mechanical drives.

IT Show 2012 Promotions: LifeProof Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotionslifeproof/15010.html February 24th, 2012

Most iPhone owners will invest in a case that gives some protection to your phone. LifeProof cases claim to be waterproof, shockproof, dirt proof, and snow proof. The LifeProof cases will be available at the IT Show at Nubox (booth 3001) and Multimedia Integrated (booth 8338).

The Premier Pro SP900 also boasts impressive performance numbers, but also offers a competitive price advantage to those looking to upgrade. Maximum sequential read and write speeds are 550/ 520 MB per second, with maximum random 4k write speeds of 85,000 IOPS. Capacities of 64, 128 and 256 GB make the SP900 an outstanding option for upgrading notebooks that are compatible with the SATA 6Gb per second specification.

The brand name LifeProof is inspired by the protection the product provides mobile devices including the Apple iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S from the mishaps and harsh exposures that happen daily. It features all the four ‘Proofs’ of LifeProof – waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof, and shockproof. Comes in Black, White, Pink and Purple, the LifeProof case has a slim profile, measuring 10.8mm depth (which is 1.3mm thicker than the iPhone), and is thinner than many standard cases. It is fully sealed and protects against minute dust particles, as well as provides the ability to swim and take underwater (2m).

Camera & Photo Imaging Show - CP+ 2012 the aftermath Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/camera--photo-imaging-show-cp-2012-the-aftermath/15008.html February 24th, 2012

Finally, the Premier SP800 is a SATA II SSD that also makes efficient use of the Flash storage capacity, allowing for capacities of 32 and 64GB. Max sequential read and write 4


February 24th, 2012

CP+ 2012 is the exhibition to attend if you want to see and touch all the new digital cameras, imaging products and accessories. Held in Japan at Pacifico Yokohama Exhibition Hall and Annex Hall. The exhibition opened on Thursday, 9 Februrary and concluded on 12 February 2012. CP+ 2012 is the exhibition to attend if you want to see and touch all the new digital cameras, imaging products and accessories. Held in Japan at Pacifico Yokohama Exhibition Hall and Annex Hall. The exhibition opened on Thursday, 9 Februrary and concluded on 12 February 2012. In the second year running it has grown in popularity with a big jump of over 131% in the registered visitors. Although the exhibitor and exhibition booth numbers were down from the previous year, the attendance numbers were not. Over the 4-day show the total visitors was 65,120. Visitor numbers was not the only record breaker. A total of 55 new products were announced at the show versus 45 at CP+2011. The numbers are expected to grow again next year with the camera manufacturers creating a new level and breed of digital cameras. You can get more information abotu CP+ here if you plan to visit next year. http://cpplus.jp You can download and read the full report of the show here. http:// cpplus.jp/download/cp+2011report_E.pdf

"Sony Tablet" P launches today in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/-sony-tablet-p-launches-today-insingapore/15006.html February 24th, 2012

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5.5-inch TFT screens that lets you watch a movie on one, while using the other as a video player controls. You can also have the email on one screen and the virtual keyboard on the other to type your message. Powered by NVIDIA Tegra2 mobile processor, the tablet weighs 372g and runs Android 3.2 Honeycomb. According to Sony, it will be upgradeable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich over-the-air in future. The "Sony Tablet" P is PlayStation-certified, which means you can access the Sony Entertainment Network to download games, music and videos. The “Sony Tablet” P will be available from today, 24 February at all Sony stores and authorised outlets at S $848.

IT Show 2012 Promotions: Seagate Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotionsseagate/15005.html February 24th, 2012

The GoFlex Satellite mobile wireless storage device is Seagate's star product for the upcoming IT Show 2012. It is extremely portable and lets you stream your movies, music and photos to your smartphone, tablet and other Wi-Fi enabled devices easily with the GoFlex media app. Check it out at Seagate booth on level 6 (booth 6381).

The "Sony Tablet" S and P were unveiled together last year, but it was the "Sony Tablet" S that was first to be launched in Singapore on October 2011. Good news is, the "Sony Tablet" P with dual 5.5-inch TFT screens has been announced and it is available from today.

Sony Singapore launched the "Sony Tablet" S Wi-Fi model in October last year, and the 3G version in January. But the "Sony Tablet" P came later than expected; the company has announced that it will be launched today, 24 February. The "Sony Tablet" P features a unique clamshell design with dual

The GoFlex Satellite mobile wireless storage device allows users to carry their media library with them wherever they go. and wirelessly stream movies, photos, music and documents to their iPad, Android tablet, smartphones or any Wi-Fi enabled device via the GoFlex Media app. The GoFlex Media app is available from the Apple App Store and Android market or a web browser. The GoFlex Satellite’s fast USB3.0/USB2.0 connection and downloadable Media Sync software also allows for easy transfer of media and documents from a PC or Mac computer. The device can store up to 500GB of data, the equivalent of 300 HD movies, and can continuously stream up to five hours of video on a single

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February 24th, 2012

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battery charge. Media can also be streamed to three Wi-Fienabled devices at the same time.

Demo of the new BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/demo-of-the-new-blackberryplaybook-2.0/14994.html February 24th, 2012

The BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 operating system was recently announced on 21 February, promising new features and enhanced tablet experience for users. If you own the PlayBook, it will prompt that there's an update available if you have not updated to the new OS. VR-Zone was treated to a demo at Research in Motion Singapore's office to check out the new OS.

The PlayBook 2.0 is not a new piece of hardware, but a free software upgrade which was launched on 21 February globally and anyone with a PlayBook can simply download the software over-the-air. The new user interface now comes with a bar of apps at the top, which can be customized to your favorites. You can also order the icons wherever you want it to be placed, and even move the icons to the next menu screen. On top of that, you can also create and name the folders and drop the apps into the folders.

The email app can render HTML-emails, and has a unified inbox whereby you can group all messages from your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, besides your personal and work email accounts. When you create a new email, you can create it in rich text - change text color, font type, font size, etc; and if you decided to create multiple emails on top of the one you're writing on, the app will provide "tabbed email" which you can easily access whichever you want.

The Calendar features numbers of sizes in different formats, known as "growing numbers". Growing numbers tells you very quickly when you're busy and when you're not - from the size of the day. And to help users save on printing, you can choose to print your documents, be it Word document or web pages, from your computer to your BlackBerry PlayBook. This "Print to Go" feature requires the download of the drivers from the website, and when you first go to print, you will be prompted a six-digit code that allows you to pair the PlayBook to the printer driver. The "printed" document will only be in PDF format. There's no BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) on the PlayBook - this was an engineering decision during the building of PlayBook 2.0; but if you want to connect BBM, you can still do it via the BlackBerry Bridge function.

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Published by: VR-Zone

Dell's Streak Pro GS01 smartphone to launch in Japan March 8th Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dell-s-streak-pro-gs01-smartphoneto-launch-in-japan-march-8th/15004.html February 24th, 2012

Dell has announced plans to launch its Streak Pro GS01 smartphone early next month after MWC has come and gone - on March 8th to be exact. On the downside, due to previously low handset sales globally the company has chosen to confine availability of this phone to the Japanese market upon launch, with no word of when or if it will ever emerge elsewhere. Dell has announced plans to launch its Streak Pro GS01 smartphone early next month after MWC has come and gone - on March 8th to be exact. On the downside, due to previously low handset sales globally the company has chosen to confine availability of this phone to the Japanese market upon launch, with no word of when or if it will ever emerge elsewhere.

Initially the phone will arrive only in black, but if it's popular enough there's always the chance of other color schemes (with bright and vivid coloring being applauded by the Japanese in particular) coming to market later on. Dell is shipping the phone with a now stale piece of Gingerbread (Android 2.3) and we're yet to find out if the company plans to upgrade the Streak Pro GS01 to the much more appetising Ice Cream Sandwich OS.

Early Microsoft Office 15 screenshots are out Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/early-microsoft-office-15screenshots-are-out/15003.html February 24th, 2012

Some screenshots have appeared online of Microsoft's Office 15 productivity suite following a Technical Preview release that was provided to a number of businesses and partners last month. All applications within are designed to run as standard on Windows 7 or 8 with the ribbon interface that we saw introduced in Office 2007 making its return yet again. The Dell Streal Pro GS01 will be available for purchase outright at a retail cost of 짜54,800 (about 680 USD / 510 EUR), or at a much lower price on various plans. The phone packs a dual-core processor at 1.5GHz with 8GB of internal memory, 1GB of RAM and the addition of a microSD card slot allowing for further storage expansion (up to 32GB). Its display is 4.3-inches in size, of OLED capacitive-type supporting a resolution of 960 x 540.

Some screenshots have appeared online of Microsoft's Office 15 productivity suite following a Technical Preview release that was provided to a number of businesses and partners last month. All applications within are designed to run as standard on Windows 7 or 8 with the ribbon interface that we saw introduced in Office 2007 making its return yet again.

Camera wise, the phone has an 8MP shooter on the rear with autofocus, LED flash and HD video recording, while on the front is a 1.3MP camera used for video calls. Including the battery, the phone weighs in at about 145g with the battery (of which is rated to provide up to 280 hours of standby time and 6 hours of talk time). Dimensions come in at 125.9 x 64.5 x 10.3mm. However, things have been changed up extensively this time around with more of a Metro oriented twist to the interface. For one, the ribbon will now be collapsed by 7


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default and things like the gradients, panels and dividing lines which were common place previously appear to be mostly removed; all in Microsoft's efforts to make Metro a less cluttered, cleaner experience.

Another new feature of Microsoft's next-gen Office suite is the ability to broadcast select documents online. This is more or less an expansion of the "Broadcast Slide Show" feature in Powerpoint 2010 where all other Office applications have a similar functionality referred to as "Present Online". The function ties in with Windows Live where your documents are broadcasted.

While it's still got fair ways to go before release (there's a public beta due out in the summer which is expected to have most of the new Office 15 features implemented), it looks like the next instalment of Office will be giving us some more real-estate to work with, thanks to its minimalistic layout that should integrate quite well with the Metro UI.

Published by: VR-Zone

interface. Connecting over USB 2.0 is also possible, but one should expect less than smooth results in this instance. A Japanese company by the name of RATOC has just unveiled its "REX-USB3HDMI" display adapter which provides a single HDMI output via connection to a USB 3.0 interface. Connecting over USB 2.0 is also possible, but one should expect less than smooth results in this instance.

The REX-USB3HDMI measures 42 x 64 x 14 mm (WxDxH) and weighs in at about 26g. Inside its housing is a DL-3500 DisplayLink chipset which gave the device its certification. It supports resolutions of up to 2048 x 1536 and up to six of them can be connected to a single USB 3.0 hub without any apparent performance loss.

RATOC's REX-USB3HDMI is expected to hit the market by mid-March at 10,500 JPY (about US $131).

For the remaining screenshots, head over to the source folks.

RATOC releases 2048 x 1536supporting USB 3.0 to HDMI Adapter Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ratoc-releases-2048-x-1536supporting-usb-3.0-to-hdmi-adapter/15002.html February 24th, 2012

A Japanese company by the name of RATOC has just unveiled its "REX-USB3HDMI" display adapter which provides a single HDMI output via connection to a USB 3.0

Samsung demos quad core Cortex-A9 SoC at the ISSCC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-demos-quad-core-cortexa9-soc-at-the-isscc/15001.html February 24th, 2012

The rumoured quad core Exynos 4412 from Samsung is said to have been demoed at the ISSCC or International SolidState Circuits Conference held in San Francisco, which as it happens finishes today. Samsung didn't announce the model name, but details of the Exynos 4412 has already leaked and the SoC that was being demoed is said to have been a quad core Cortex-A9 chip built on Samsung's 32nm high-k metal gate process. 8


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The rumoured quad core Exynos 4412 from Samsung is said to have been demoed at the ISSCC or International SolidState Circuits Conference held in San Francisco, which as it happens finishes today. Samsung didn't announce the model name, but details of the Exynos 4412 has already leaked and the SoC that was being demoed is said to have been a quad core Cortex-A9 chip built on Samsung's 32nm high-k metal gate process.

Published by: VR-Zone

x8 and x8 configuration. The board also has a single x1 PCI Express 2.0 slot and two PCI slots of which the latter two are unusable if the two full x16 slots are being occupied.

EE Times Asia is reporting that the quad core chip will operate at speeds of between 200MHz and 1.5GHz and that it features 1MB of L2 cache as well as 64-bit ARM Neon support. The publication seems to have gotten slightly confused about the GPU though, claiming that Samsung has its own GPU design, which isn't the case. Instead, the Exynos 4412 is expected to be one of the first SoCs that uses ARM's Mali-T604 GPU architecture. The new chip is said to deliver up to 26 percent more performance compared to a 45nm on Samsung's older manufacturing process, while also improving battery life by 34 to 50 percent. Impressive numbers indeed, although not all is thanks to the die shrink, as some of it is said to be coming from improved power and thermal management. It's also meant to deliver in excess of 26 percent improvement in frame rate while again drawing far less power than its 45nm siblings. The new chip is expected to be announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week, where Samsung is also expected to be demoing its dual core Exynos 5250 based on ARM's Cortex-A15 architecture. Source: EE Times Asia (requires free registration)

ASRock launches the Fatal1ty X79 Professional Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asrock-launches-the-fatal1ty-x79professional/15000.html February 24th, 2012

Intel's Sandy Bridge-E processors are still in fairly short supply, especially the Core i7-3930K, but that hasn't stopped ASRock from launching its eighth X79 motherboard, the Fatal1ty X79 Professional. The new model is as with ASRock's previous Fatal1ty boards targeting gamers, but it's by far not the most feature rich board on offer by ASRock.

Moving on we find four SATA 3Gbps and no less than six SATA 6Gbps ports, with the additional four ports being via two Marvell SE9172 controllers. Moving on we find two USB 3.0 header connected to a TI TUSB7340 host controller, headers for six USB 2.0 and a FireWire port, a POST80 debug LED, power and reset buttons and a Molex connector for extra power to the PCI Express slots. Around the back we have a PS/2 port, six USB 2.0 ports of which one is a “Fatal1ty Mouse Port”, four USB 3.0 ports connected to a second TI TUSB7340 host controller, two eSATA ports, a FireWire port, Gigabit Ethernet via a Broadcom chip, 7.1channel audio with optical and coaxial S/PDIF out and a clear CMOS button. Overall not a bad board, but ASRock has “only” fitted four DIMM slots and four PCI Express x16 slots, something we're sure some potential buyers will complain about, especially as some of ASRock's other models have additional slots of both kinds. You don't get a sound card with this board either, unlike a couple of ASRock Extreme series boards, something that's a bit disappointing for what is being sold as a motherboard for gamers. You do at least get all kinds of SLI bridges in the box as well as a front USB 3.0 panel and a rear USB 3.0 bracket, each for two ports.

Intel's Sandy Bridge-E processors are still in fairly short supply, especially the Core i7-3930K, but that hasn't stopped ASRock from launching its eighth X79 motherboard, the Fatal1ty X79 Professional. The new model is as with ASRock's previous Fatal1ty boards targeting gamers, but it's by far not the most feature rich board on offer by ASRock. That said, the Fatal1ty X79 Professional isn't what you'd call a feature light board, as beneath all the Fatal1ty branding, there's plenty on offer. The slot layout allows for four x16 cards to be used as long as you have a chassis with at least eight expansion slots if you want to use dual-slot cards. The PCI Express 3.0 slots will operate in either a x16, x8 and x16 mode with the fourth slot being disabled, or in a x16, x8,

The problem is really the asking price, as we found the board on sale in Europe for around €250 (S$420/US$335) making it more expensive – if not by that much – than the Extreme7 and Extreme6/GB, two models from ASRock which we'd say are competing for the same market, just with less branding. At the end of the day it comes down to a matter of personal 9


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preference and how much you can afford to spend on a new motherboard, but with Ivy Bridge around the corner, it might not be the best move to invest in the Sandy Bridge-E platform.

Qualcomm Atheros announces its first 802.11ac Wi-Fi solutions

Published by: VR-Zone

that this means that we're unlikely to see a lot of 802.11ac products this year.

Baidu to set up research center in Singapore, focuses on Southeast Asia Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/baidu-to-set-up-research-center-insingapore-focuses-on-southeast-asia/14998.html

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/qualcomm-atheros-announces-itsfirst-802.11ac-wi-fi-solutions/14999.html February 24th, 2012

February 24th, 2012

The 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard was unveiled at CES and first out the gate with hardware solutions was Broadcom. Now Qualcomm Atheros is getting ready to join the 802.11ac standard with no less than six new products targeting four different market segments.

Chinese web services giant, Baidu, has announced plans to set up a research centre in Singapore, to focus on Southeast Asia. The venture is a collaboration with Institute for Infocomm Research (I²R), a research institute of the Agency for Science and Technology Research (A*STAR) in Singapore.

The 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard was unveiled at CES and first out the gate with hardware solutions was Broadcom. Now Qualcomm Atheros is getting ready to join the 802.11ac standard with no less than six new products targeting four different market segments. First up is the WCN3680 which is targeting mobile applications and it's of course compatible with Qualcomm's own Snapdragon SoCs, specifically the new S4 models. The WCN3680 is a 1x1 802.11ac combo chip which should be backwards compatible with older Wi-Fi standards and it also sports Bluetooth and FM radios. Being a 1x1 802.11ac device it tops out at speeds of 433Mbps, the same as Broadcom's BCM43516 which targets the same market space. The next two products are the QCA9860 and QCA9862, where the QCA9860 delivers three streams and the QCA9862 two streams for speeds of up to 1.3Gbps. Both models are backwards compatible with older WiFi standards and also offer supports for Bluetooth 4.0. Qualcomm is targeting these two models towards consumer electronics and various computing environments, such as notebooks and tablets. Additional features for the WCN3680 and the QCA9860 and QCA9682 includes support for Wi-Fi Direct and Wi-Fi Display. Qualcomm also has two solutions for home networking, although in this case we're talking about devices such as routers and access points. The two models here are the QCA9880 and QCA9882 and just as with the previous two models we're looking at 3x3 and 2x2 MIMO configurations. The good news here is that both models supports dualconcurrent dual-band operation, i.e. both 802.11ac at 5GHz and 802.11n at 2.4GHz will be operational simultaneously.

Baidu has partnered Agency for Science and Technology Research (A*STAR), to set up a research centre in Singapore to develop web services in Southeast Asia. The joint will be named Baidu-I²R Research Centre (BIRC). Baidu had started services in Arabic and Thai last year to step up efforts of expansion outside of China. With the joint venture, BIRC plans to focus more on Southeast Asia with researching in technologies including natural language processing, information retrieval and information extraction, speech information processing and multimedia processing.

Blizzard tells gamers to lower expectations for Diablo III Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blizzard-tells-gamers-to-lowerexpectations-for-diablo-iii/14997.html February 24th, 2012

The last two models are for the enterprise market and here Qualcomm has added “enhanced in-building location and spectral sensing capabilities”. Beyond that we're looking at fairly similar products to the previous two, but the model names have changed to QCA9890 and QCA9892. Qualcomm is set to demo its products at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week and the company will start to sample its partners next quarter. The only bad news is

A Blizzard community manager has told gamers to lower their expectations for the upcoming Diablo III hack and slash RPG, a surprising comment that might cause some fans of the Diablo series considerable concern. 10


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A Blizzard community manager has told gamers to lower their expectations for the upcoming Diablo III hack and slash RPG, a surprising comment that might cause some fans of the Diablo series considerable concern. “On a more serious note, I too worry that we won't be able to meet the expectations people have built up for themselves,” wrote community manager Bashiok. “Part of my job is managing people's expectations, so... eh... stop it. Stop thinking about how awesome this game could be. Just imagine it's a new M. Night Shyamalan movie. Sure Sixth Sense was amazing and Unbreakable had it's moments, but this right here is the sequel to The Village ... or The Happening ... or Signs ... or any of the movies besides the two I first mentioned. So just like, lower those expectations, but still definitely buy the game please, and everything will be just fine. K?” This honesty may come as a shock to many who are used to community managers acting like part of a company's PR team, refusing to accept any blame and constantly twisting a situation so that it reads as positively for the company as possible.

Published by: VR-Zone February 24th, 2012

Google has released an update to its Google Docs for Android app, which adds a collaboration feature and several improvements to the interface and formatting. Google has released an update to its Google Docs for Android app, which adds a collaboration feature and several improvements to the interface and formatting. The addition will allow Android users to see real time updates to their documents as others make changes from their computers, tablets or smartphones. Joining in on the collaboration process is as easy as tapping the document. The update also improves the interface to make it easier to work on documents while on the go. Users can pinch the screen to zoom in and focus on specific paragraphs or to see the whole document at a glance.

Another important addition is rich text formatting, which lets users stylise documents by adding colour, bolding or italicising words, or creating bullet lists. This update marks another step in Google's attempts to make Android a viable operating system for enterprise. As business people have become increasingly mobile, travelling abroad for meetings, it has become more essential that smartphones can fill the role of a laptop or desktop computer. Document collaboration is a key part of this.

Bashiok makes some good points about the hype surrounding Diablo III. It's been 12 years since the last Diablo game and 11 years since Blizzard began working on Diablo III. An announcement only came in 2008, but it's easy to see why players are expecting great things, given the long development process. The problem is that if players are being told to expect just a good game rather than a huge improvement over the previous ones, Blizzard could run the risk of losing a lot of its frenzied customers. Given that the release of the game is only months away, that's probably a very unwise thing to do.

Google adds collaboration to Google Docs for Android Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-adds-collaboration-to-googledocs-for-android/14996.html

Hands on with VIA's new quad core mini-ITX motherboard Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hands-on-with-via-s-new-quad-coremini-itx-motherboard/14995.html February 24th, 2012

All the way back in May of last year, VIA announced its first quad core CPU, simply named QuadCore which was known as the L4700. Now the company has announced its first mini-ITX motherboards based on its QuadCore processor, albeit this time we’re talking about an E-series – or embedded series – processor on the new EPIA-M900 and EPIA-M910 motherboards. All the way back in May of last year, VIA announced its first quad core CPU, simply named QuadCore which was known as the L4700. Now the company has announced its first mini-ITX motherboards based on its QuadCore processor, albeit this time we're talking about an E-series – 11


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Published by: VR-Zone

or embedded series – processor on the new EPIA-M900 and EPIA-M910 motherboards. VR-Zone got a quick hands on with the EPIA-M900 the other day which features a slightly different design than your average mini-ITX motherboard by offering a pair of expansion slots while maintaining the 170x170mm form factor. But more on that a little bit later, let's take a look at the new QuadCore processors first, as VIA has three new models.

First up we have the U4650E which can be passively cooled despite its fairly high 18W TDP. It's clocked at a mere 1GHz, but has a turbo mode that takes it to 1.2GHz. Each CPU core has 1MB of L2 cache and the processor has a bus speed of 800MHz. Next up is the L4700E, a 1.2GHz part with a turbo mode that takes it to 1.46GHz. This was in fact the model we were shown by via and although not recommended unless the chassis airflow is good, even this model can be passively cooled despite its 27.5W TDP. Lastly we have the L4800E, a 1.46GHz part that will operate at 1.6GHz in turbo mode, but here we have a TDP of 45W which is as much as Intel's quad core mobile processors. The L4700E and L4800E both operate at a bus speed of 1066MHz. As for the new motherboards, the EPIA-M900 will be available with the U4650E or the L4700E, whereas the EPIA-M900 will only be available with the U4650E. The EPIA-M900 sports as we mentioned a pair of expansion slots, namely a x16 PCI Express slot – with eight lanes of bandwidth – and a PCI slot. The problem here is that you wouldn't be able to use the PCI Express slot in a regular miniITX chassis which is a shame. The board also has two SODIMM slots, two SATA ports, headers for four USB 2.0 ports and three serial ports. Around the back things are pretty basic with four USB 2.0 ports, a serial port, Gigabit Ethernet, three jacks for 5.1-channel audio, an HDMI port and a D-sub connector.

As for the EPIA-M910, we're looking at a fairly different board design, as here we're talking about a board that can run of a 12V power supply, although a SKU with a standard ATX power connector is also available. VIA decided to go with a pair of standard DIMMs for this board and it also has a typical industrial PC style expansion slot layout with a PCI Express x1 slot located right behind the PCI slot to allow for a riser card to be use with both expansion slots. Here we also find LVDS connectors, support for six serial ports via pinheaders and various other connectors used in the embedded motherboard market. Around the back the EPIA-M910 has another pair of serial ports, four USB 2.0 ports, a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports, three jacks for 5.1-channel audio, a pair of PS/2 ports and an HDMI and D-sub connector. The EPIA-M900 can also be equipped with an S3 graphics card as per the one we were demoed and this allows for up to four 1080p displays to be connected. The system could even handle four 1080p video streams simultaneously, although this did slow down the system to a crawl, but at least the videos appeared to play just fine without any stuttering. From a consumer perspective neither board is all that interesting, but at least it goes to show that VIA is still busy making use of its x86 license. What VIA serious needs is a node shrink on its processors to something like 32 or 28nm as this would help to reduce the TDP radically. In our opinion the 45W TDP part just isn't competitive and in as much as VIA offers a low power quad core solution, the 1.46GHz model isn't likely to be the most popular alternative for VIA's partners.

Nikon COOLPIX S4300 and S3330 On Sale Now Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nikon-coolpix-s4300-and-s3330-onsale-now/14887.html

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The COOLPIX S Series S4300 and S3300 were announced in early February and are now available for purchase. The S4300 is available in a variety of colours as is the S3300. Both point and shoot digital cameras feature a 16.0-Megapixels seonsor, 6x wide-angle zoom lens, a slim body and built in special effects and filter effects. There is even a Pet Portrait Mode if you are pet owner. The S4300 has a RRP of S$279 while the S3300 is priced at S $219. The S4300 is available in Black, Red, Blue, White and Purple. The S3300 tickles you slight variations in the colour and is available in:- Silver, Black, Red, Gold, Purple, Pink, Pale Green and Blue.

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and a high-resolution sensor to capture an image of any document or any small object. A total of six images are captured per scan or copy—three with flashes from different angles and three in ambient light conditions with different exposure levels—producing virtually glare-free and shadowfree images. These separate shots are then automatically combined into one seamless image of exceptional quality. IT Show Price: TBA HP ENVY110 e-All-in-One printer

IT Show 2012 Promotions: HP Printers Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-hpprinters/14989.html February 24th, 2012

Check out the four HP star printers at the upcoming IT Show 2012 - HP TopShot LaserJet Pro M275, HP ENVY 110 e-Allin-One, HP Photosmart 7510 e-All-in-One and HP Officejet Pro 8500A Plus e-All-in-One. The HP Printers booth can be located in Hall 401, Booth 8150. HP TopShot LaserJet Pro M275

Enjoy cutting edge design and premium printing experience with the sleek and chic HP ENVY110 e-All-in-One. This lifestyle printer adds a touch of elegance to any study or living room. Get impressive and lab quality photos and daily documents in a touch. The printer also features the revolutionary HP ePrint technology that lets users email print jobs directly to the printer – from anywhere in the world. Go green with this beauty as it is the planet's first PVC-free printer that is Energy Star qualified and features automatic two-sided printing to reduce environmental impact. IT Show Price: TBA HP Photosmart 7510 e-All-in-One Printer

HP’s 'Studio in a box’ allows micro and small businesses to capture professional-quality images of 3-D objects for presentations, marketing materials, or directly to the web – all at the touch of a button. The HP TopShot LaserJet Pro M275 is HP’s first color MFP with TopShot Scanning that lets you scan, copy and print with ease. The HP TopShot Scanning is a revolutionary technology enabling you to quickly capture high-quality images of your documents— and even 3-D objects—for immediate use in your printed materials or on the web. It features a camera embedded into a hinged arm that is elevated above the capture stage of the device. The camera uses a high-quality optical lens

The HP Photosmart 7510 e-All-in-One is a family friendly printer that allows you to do more. Enjoy convenient 13


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features such as automatic document feeder (ADF), and duplexer and boost your home printer capabilities. Print lab quality photos and web content without a PC. Indulge your kids with coloring pages and activity sheets from HP Print apps such as Easy HP Games and Craft, DreamWorks Animation Printables and puzzles by Lovatts. With the revolutionary HP ePrint technology, users can print anytime, anywhere and from any mobile device.

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Chinese website Expreview has shared out images of a new micro-ATX motherboard from ZOTAC based on Intel's H67 chipset which could be quite the attraction for budget conscious HTPC / SFF builders.

IT Show Price: TBA HP Officejet Pro 8500A Plus e-All-in-One Printer

Dubbed the ZT-H67D3, the board accomodates Core i3/i5/ i7 LGA1155 processors and has quite a decent 6-phase VRM power setup going on along with the use of all-solid state caps.

Drive business growth with the HP Officejet Pro 8500A Plus e-All-in-One Printer. It allows small businesses to get professional-quality color prints, marketing materials or other business documents for up to 50% lower cost per page and energy usage than laser printers1. Increase productivity with the revolutionary HP ePrint which allows users to print from anywhere using any email-capable devices like smartphones, desktops, laptops or netbooks. Perfect for SMEs or SOHOs, this business-friendly printer also features a 4.3inch colour touchscreen, automated twosided printing ability with a 250-sheet paper tray and an automatic document feeder. IT Show Price: TBA

There are four DDR3 DIMM slots resident on the board supporting dual-channel operation. Expansion slots come in the form of a single PCI-E x16 slot, two PCI-E x1 slots and a legacy PCI slot. The board's storage sub-system comprises a couple of SATA 6Gb/s ports, three SATA 3 Gb/s ports and an eSATA 3 Gb/s port.

Booth Number: Suntec Singapore Hall 401, Booth 8150

ZOTAC's micro-ATX sized ZTH67D3 exposed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zotac-s-micro-atx-sized-zt-h67d3exposed/14992.html February 24th, 2012

Chinese website Expreview has shared out images of a new micro-ATX motherboard from ZOTAC based on Intel's H67 chipset which could be quite the attraction for budget conscious HTPC / SFF builders.

Flicking around to the rear I/O section, Display connectivity is offered via a DVI, DisplayPort and HDMI port. Oddly there is no D-Sub port on the ZT-H67D3. Rounding out things, 14


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the board has 8-channel HD audio and Gigabit ethernet. Unfortunately there isn't a USB 3.0 controller on this board.

Published by: VR-Zone

rewarding in-game items and bonuses, including a new Golden Gun Pack, a Vault Hunterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Relic that helps boost a playerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s loot and a Golden Key that unlocks an in-game mystery.

Samsung now lists i515 Pogo Galaxy Nexus dock Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-now-lists-i515-pogogalaxy-nexus-dock/14990.html February 24th, 2012

On the upside, the board is expected to hit the retail market at just 399 RMB (about US $63).

Borderlands 2 gets a release date and trailer Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/borderlands-2-gets-a-release-dateand-trailer/14991.html February 24th, 2012

Samsung has now listed a docking station for its Galaxy Nexus smartphone which makes use of those 3-pin connectors on the side of the phone. But it doesn't come cheap at an associated price tag of US $89.99. Samsung has now listed a docking station for its Galaxy Nexus smartphone which makes use of those 3-pin connectors on the side of the phone. But it doesn't come cheap at an associated price tag of US $89.99.

An announcement from Gearbox and 2K Games yesterday confirms that the sequel to blockbuster game title, Borderlands will be released on September 18th in the U.S. for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, with international availability to follow on September 21st. An announcement from Gearbox and 2K Games yesterday confirms that the sequel to blockbuster game title, Borderlands will be released on September 18th in the U.S. for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, with international availability to follow on September 21st. Along with the disclosed launch date for Borderlands 2, 2K Games has upped the first official trailer which retains a similar overall gameplay style to the original, combining RPG character leveling with First-Person Shooter elements which the developer refers to as more of a <em>shooterlooter</em> genre of play. Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.) The new trailer shows off new playable characters, new skill tree selections and vastly differing environments to the original.

The Verizon LTE model of the Galaxy Nexus is said to be compatible with this particular landscape mode dock which is formally called the "Galaxy Nexus i515 Pogo Desktop dock". What the dock promises is quicker and easier charging than the standard charger via the mini-USB port. Sadly, this dock doesn't offer a HDMI output despite the Nexus sporting MHL, but it does provide a standard 3.5mm audio jack for stereo output to stream music etc.

Once again the game is set on the planet Pandora in similar Western dressing to the original, allowing players to get involved in quests through non-player characters and bounty boards. Four-player network multiplayer remains intact along with split-screen play for local players. If you're already sold on it, you should be made aware that if you pre-order the game you will receive access to the Borderlands 2 Premiere Club which comprises several 15


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The Wi-Fi Alliance set to simplify hotspot roaming Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-wi-fi-alliance-set-to-simplifyhotspot-roaming/14987.html February 24th, 2012

The dock is still showing as being out of stock, but it is on back-order so you shouldn't be waiting too long before you get yours after ordering from Samsung's website.

Intel rumoured to reduce pricing on Ivy Bridge Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-rumoured-to-reduce-pricingon-ivy-bridge/14988.html February 24th, 2012

The rumours about Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge processors never seem to take a pause these days and the latest ones are suggesting that Intel is considering reducing its pricing to its partners. This is not the kind of move you'd expect from Intel at the launch of a new processor family and we'll see how this one plays out. The rumours about Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge processors never seem to take a pause these days and the latest ones are suggesting that Intel is considering reducing its pricing to its partners. This is not the kind of move you'd expect from Intel at the launch of a new processor family and we'll see how this one plays out. In a story talking about hybrid storage in Ultrabooks, Digitimes casually mentions that â&#x20AC;&#x153;In order to promote Ivy Bridge, Intel will lower processor prices by US$60-70 on averageâ&#x20AC;?. This would be highly irregular for Intel, as normally the company has a fairly set pricing structure and any discounts tend to go via its co-marketing program where Intel helps promote specific products. It's not clear if this discount only relates to Ultrabooks or if it will apply to other Ivy Bridge processor SKUs as well. What is certain though is that the Ivy Bridge launch is something of a disaster already and from what we've heard via the grapevine, things aren't set to improve any time soon. Sadly we can't say more than that yet, but hopefully we'll be able to give you more information once Cebit kicks off. The good news is that if you're not overly concerned about having a cutting edge notebook, Sandy Bridge notebooks are expected to get a lot cheaper in the run up to the Ivy Bridge launch.

One of the biggest drawbacks of Wi-Fi is that in a multihotspot environment it's difficult to roam between the various access points, as often the login isn't carried over between the access points. The Wi-Fi Alliance is busy working on a solution for this problem and when it launches in July, it should be known as Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint. One of the biggest drawbacks of Wi-Fi is that in a multihotspot environment it's difficult to roam between the various access points, as often the login isn't carried over between the access points. The Wi-Fi Alliance is busy working on a solution for this problem and when it launches in July, it should be known as Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint. According to Computerworld, Passpoint will make it easier for users to access hotspots thanks to the ability to retain the user's login credentials when roaming between several access points in the same network. Unlike today there will be no need to access a webpage to log on, instead the SIM card could be used or a certificate based method could be applied which would vastly improve the user experience when it comes to accessing hotspots. This would potentially also make it easier for browser-less devices to access Wi-Fi networks, for example digital cameras with built in Wi-Fi. Passpoint will be rolled out in an initial version that offers fairly basic features that will form the 802.11u standard, although the good news here is that any access point that is part of the Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint standard will be required to use WPA-2 Enterprise level security.Come next year, additional features will be added such a simplified user account creation process and operator specific policies. One of the key features of Passpoint is for cellular network operators to be able to offload data onto Wi-Fi networks and as such it's meant to be possible to roam between the cellular network and Wi-Fi hotspots, although the details are still thin as to how this will work in real world usage scenarios. The advantage of a universal standard is that various manufacturers' hardware will be interoperable which should lead to a smoother experience for both the service providers and the consumers who use the service, unlike the way things often are today. It's interesting stuff indeed, but the question is how much extra consumers will be charged for the pleasure of offloading their data onto Wi-Fi networks compared to today's high network data charges in some countries. Deploying Wi-Fi hotspots isn't free, but then again it's a lot more affordable than cell towers, so maybe the network operators will take pity on their customers and offer the WiFi services at no extra charge.

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February 24th, 2012

Hitachi puts its new Travelstar Z7K500 on a diet Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hitachi-puts-its-new-travelstarz7k500-on-a-diet/14986.html February 24th, 2012

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The Travelstar Z7K500 draws 1.8W during read/write operations and a mere 0.8W when it's in low-power idle mode. Hitachi also offers models with self-encryption and an enhanced-availability SKU for use in data centre environments. Hitachi will be offering the Travelstar Z7K500 in capacities of 250, 320 and 500GB and the company is expecting volume shipments to kick off in March.

SanDisk and Toshiba creates 19nm 128Gbit NAND flash You might have noticed that SSDs have been getting a slimmer profile with several companies recently announcing 7mm drives. Well, the hard drive makers don't want to be left behind in the race to provide components for Ultrabooks and now Hitachi has announced a new series of 7mm 2.5inch hard drives. You might have noticed that SSDs have been getting a slimmer profile with several companies recently announcing 7mm drives. Well, the hard drive makers don't want to be left behind in the race to provide components for Ultrabooks and now Hitachi has announced a new series of 7mm 2.5inch hard drives. With its new Travelstar Z7K500 series, Hitachi is offering 7,200rpm 500GB drives with a slim 7mm profile. The new model has a SATA 6Gbps interface, 32MB of cache and Hitachi claims that it delivers up to 33 percent better performance than other 2.5-inch drives, although it's not clear what models Hitachi compared it to.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sandisk-and-toshibacreates-19nm-128gbit-nand-flash/14985.html February 24th, 2012

The latest announcement from SanDisk suggests that we can expect even cheaper flash memory in the near future, as well as being able to store much more data within the same size memory chip. Jointly with Toshiba, SanDisk has created 128Gbit NAND flash using its 19nm manufacturing technology, no small feat, but not entirely free of caveats. The latest announcement from SanDisk suggests that we can expect even cheaper flash memory in the near future, as well as being able to store much more data within the same size memory chip. Jointly with Toshiba, SanDisk has created 128Gbit NAND flash using its 19nm manufacturing technology, no small feat, but not entirely free of caveats. In as much as it's impressive to squeeze 128Gbit or 16GB if you prefer into a mere 170 square millimetres, this was done using TLC NAND flash technology â&#x20AC;&#x201C; each cell can store three bits â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or what SanDisk likes to call its X3 technology. This helps reduce the cost for the NAND flash makers, but it also makes for less reliable memory. In fact, just the other day we heard that some cheap TLC NAND flash only survives 200 cycles per cell, although we would expect SanDisk to offer a vastly superior product to this. In a normal NAND flash chip, there are usually several chips stacked inside to make up the final storage size whereas this new TLC NAND flash would allow for a single, un-stacked chip to meet many consumer flash memory storage product requirements. This would help to lower production costs, or vastly increase the size of memory cards and USB drives with 128GB being a single chip. Interestingly, SanDisk has also managed to improve the write speed with the 128Gbit NAND flash delivering write speeds of up to 18MB/s and the company is hoping that its TCL NAND flash will be used in some situations where MLC NAND flash is used today. The new chip has already gone into volume production and should arrive in products shortly, alongside a 64Gbit version that SanDisk developed specifically for micro SD cards. SanDisk is also moving its MLC NAND flash products to 19nm to help drive down the cost. Moving to more advanced manufacturing technologies sadly has the opposite effect on NAND flash compared to microprocessors and other integrated circuits, as NAND flash is getting less and less reliable, something that isn't desirable when it comes to data storage devices, but it's the way the industry is moving to be able to deliver more affordable products. At least this is good news for the hard 17


February 24th, 2012

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drive manufacturers, as backing up ones data is going to become increasingly important.

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February 27th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Intel pushes Medfield Atom SoCs at MWC

like Intel will be offering faster versions with speeds of up to 2GHz, although this is presumably in turbo mode. Intel is also planning a more affordable Atom Z2000 model with clock speeds of a mere 1GHz and which will use a different HSPA+ model called the XMM 6265, compared to the XMM 6260 which is paired with the Atom Z2460. Intel is hoping to hit retail prices of sub US$150 on handsets based on the Atom Z2000.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-pushes-medfield-atom-socs-atmwc/15047.html February 27th, 2012

Besides announcing a couple of partners beyond Lenovo and Motorola that are willing to take on themselves to build smartphones using Intel's Z2460 Atom SoC, Intel also gave us a quick glimpse into the future as to what the company has planned for this market space for next year. With a handful of partners, Intel might just manage to carve itself a niche in the smartphone market after all. Besides announcing a couple of partners beyond Lenovo and Motorola that are willing to take on themselves to build smartphones using Intel's Z2460 Atom SoC, Intel also gave us a quick glimpse into the future as to what the company has planned for this market space for next year. With a handful of partners, Intel might just manage to carve itself a niche in the smartphone market after all. At its press conference Intel announced three new partners, Orange –a network service provider in Europe that will launch a handset in France and the UK this summer – Lava – an Indian handset maker that will launch its Xolo X900 at some point this year – and ZTE which simply announced that they will have a device at some point in the second half of this year. The Orange and Lava devices are as far as we're aware based on Intel's reference design, so no big surprises here.

By next year we'll see a process shrink to 22nm using Intel's FinFET technology – or 3D transistors if you prefer – and Intel is planning the Atom Z2580 for 2013 using this process technology. Intel is promising twice the performance over the current model, without going into any real details. The Atom Z2580 will be paired up with the XMM 7160 model which supports LTE and increased HSPA+ performance. Come 2014 Intel will be moving its Atom processor to 14nm, although the company didn't go into any details here. We're still not sold on the idea of having an Intel chip in our phone, but we have as yet to play with one so it's too early to draw any conclusions, but it's clear that Intel has managed to drum up enough interest from its partners to start the ball rolling.

Nintendo announces latest Pokemon games for DS and 3DS Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nintendo-announces-latestpokemon-games-for-ds-and-3ds/15046.html February 27th, 2012

The company will launch Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 in Autumn of this year in North America. The games are the sequels to Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version, which launched in late 2010 in Japan and early 2011 throughout the rest of the world. However, what Intel did show was a glimpse into the future, detailing what to expect this year and next. For this year we'll have the already announced Atom Z2460, although it seems 1


February 27th, 2012

Nintendo is promising â&#x20AC;&#x153;plenty of new surprisesâ&#x20AC;? and has showcased some new character art for Black Kyurem and White Kyurem, shown above. The games will be available for the variety of 2D DS devices, as well as the Nintendo 3DS when used in 2D mode.

MWC 2012: NVIDIA Samples Tegra 3+, Tegra 4 to OEM Partners Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mwc-2012-nvidia-samples-tegra-3-tegra-4-to-oem-partners/15014.html February 27th, 2012

Even though NVIDIA is at rage on the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain - all of the industry players are heavily working on next-generation of devices which threatens to turn the current generation obsolete. There is no doubt about it, producing bleeding edge silicon is going through a lot of pain at this years' Mobile World Congress. TSMC's even openly admitted that the yields for its state-of-the-art 28nm process are far from satisfactory the situation is still better than it was for the 40nm process. Intel is having issues with the 22nm FinFET (so called 3D transistors), while GlobalFoundries had issues in ramping up both 32nm and 28nm process. Samsung is being silent but we've all seen the amount of 3rd party chips the company ordered from NVIDIA and TI to compensate for its own products. Yet, the development of the latest products is not stopping. According to the rumors in Barcelona, NVIDIA went by the book and taped out T40, i.e. Wayne in late December 2011. The silicon took some time to get back and the company is now starting to sample its OEM partners with the next generation parts which will be launched at the next years' CES and MWC. You can probably expect a repeat of the Tegra 3 launch - limited run of units through a single vendor (in case of Tegra 3, it was ASUS and Transformer Prime tablet), and mass availability in the second quarter of 2013.

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In that perspective, NVIDIA is keeping to its roadmap the company outlined at GPU Technology Conference in 2010. As you can see on the image above, Tegra 3 will be offered in a refreshed form, codenamed T35. Our sources said this is not a 28nm die-shrink, but rather increased clocks for the Windows on ARM "clamshells". We've been cited 1.6 and 1.7GHz clocked Tegra 3 SOC's, which is 20% higher than the originally predicted 1.5GHz clock. Bear in mind that first generation of Tegra 3 cores only worked at 1.3-1.4GHz, as the company was constrained by strict thermal guidelines (100 mW idle, 2W TDP). Clamshells have higher TDP and you can expect a lot more functionality coming from this "quad-core plus a ninja core", "4 PLUS 1" (NVIDIA Marketing Team, seriously - just say it's a quint-core and we're over and done with). Based on information available, T40 i.e. Wayne i.e. Tegra 4 is a 28nm chip which combines several ARM Cortex-A15 cores (our source says it's different from T30) with a new graphics engine which we assume to be compliant with CUDA. Unlike the roadmap which we have here, we've been told that there might be some delays for the T40 since NVIDIA has to attack Qualcomm Snapdragon, and if the company won't offer Tegra 4+Baseband - Qualcomm will get (most) of the design wins. MWC 2013 will also see the debut of Grey, a 28nm singlechip package which combines Cortex-A15 cores, the new GPU and the Icera 4G LTE baseband. Grey is a successor of T28, which is a dual-core Tegra 2 combined with an Icera 450 baseband chip. The Tegra+Icera debuted at the show in the form of ZTE Mimosa X smartphone. Thus, in 12 months from now, NVIDIA will have a top to bottom solution for the expanding smartphone market. Is that enough? Only time will tell.

Adobe launches Photoshop Touch for Apple iPad 2 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/adobe-launches-photoshop-touchfor-apple-ipad-2/15044.html February 27th, 2012

Adobe has launched Photoshop Touch for the iPad 2, offering the core features of its popular Photoship image editing software, along with custom-built creative and sharing capabilities just for tablet computers. 2


February 27th, 2012

Adobe has launched Photoshop Touch for the iPad 2, offering the core features of its popular Photoship image editing software, along with custom-built creative and sharing capabilities just for tablet computers. Adobe made the announcement at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where it shared how iPad users can edit pictures and apply professional effects to them without needing a desktop or laptop computer. Since it's a touch-based application there are some potential difficulties in getting the level of precision needed for creating and editing photos and artwork, but Adobe has adapted its technology with things like the Scribble Selection Tool for easy extraction of image objects, and Refine Edge to help cope with hard-to-select areas with soft edges.

Published by: VR-Zone February 27th, 2012

Intel's excuse that it's a manufacturing issue that has delayed its launch of Ivy Bridge is highly exaggerated, but we'll leave you – our dear readers – to figure out the real reason so that no-one gets in trouble for us posting it here. Details of the new launch schedule have now made an appearance online and it confirms what we already knew, but couldn't post about. Intel's excuse that it's a manufacturing issue that has delayed its launch of Ivy Bridge is highly exaggerated, but we'll leave you – our dear readers – to figure out the real reason so that no-one gets in trouble for us posting it here. Details of the new launch schedule have now made an appearance online and it confirms what we already knew, but couldn't post about. Sweclockers has posted details of what appears to be Intel's revised launch schedule due to “unforeseen delays”. As of April 8th motherboards with the Z77, Z75, H77 and B75 should still go on sale, although we're still trying to confirm this as we've heard different rumours here, but it's possible that different sources have been told different information. As such, we'll chalk this one up to a maybe for the time being. Come April 29 and Intel will launch its quad core desktop Ivy Bridge processors and this is also when the first media reviews can be published alongside details of new desktop systems from the various PC builders. This is not the same as this being the date when you'll be able to buy Ivy Bridge hardware, although from what we understand it's going to happen very close to this date.

Photoshop Touch also helps users find images on Google Image Search, and users can share edited photos directly to Facebook. “People will be amazed with what they can create on the iPad using Photoshop Touch,” said David Wadhwani, SVP and GM of the Digital Media Business Unit at Adobe. “Photoshop Touch combines the magic of Photoshop and its core features with the convenience of a tablet, bringing image-editing power to the fingertips of millions of people.” Adobe is planning a number of other apps for the iPad in the coming months, including Adobe Collage for moodboards, Adobe Debut for presenting and reviewing creative work, Adobe Ideas for sketching, Adobe Kuler for colour themes, and Adobe Proto for making website and mobile app prototypes.

Intel's revised Ivy Bridge launch schedule revealed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-revised-ivy-bridge-launchschedule-revealed/15043.html

As for the rest of the Ivy Bridge platform, well, on the 3rd if June Intel will apparently launch the Q77 and Q75 desktop chipsets for business systems. Following later in the month – most like at Computex – Intel will announce its dual core mobile processors, both standard Voltage and ULV models, although Sweclockers doesn't mention anything about quad core mobile processors. Talk about a mess of a launch and we can't imagine many of Intel's motherboard partners are all too happy about this. It feels like a re-run of AMD's Bulldozer launch where the 900-series chipsets arrived months before the CPUs and once the CPUs arrived, everyone was disappointed by the performance improvements, or lack thereof. Hopefully Intel has done a better job with Ivy Bridge, but we're going to have to wait an extra three weeks to find out. Source: Sweclockers (in Swedish)

Elpida files for bankruptcy protection Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/elpida-files-for-bankruptcyprotection/15042.html February 27th, 2012

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February 27th, 2012

The inevitable has happened for Japanese memory maker Elpida, with the company filing for bankruptcy protection due to its whopping 448 billion yen ($5.55 billion) in debt. The inevitable has happened for Japanese memory maker Elpida, with the company filing for bankruptcy protection due to its whopping 448 billion yen ($5.55 billion) in debt.

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At the Mobile World Congress 2012, Microsoft has announced the beta version of Skype for Windows Phone; new hardware support; and new developer opportunities with the launch of the Windows Phone marketplace in 23 more markets, including China, Thailand and Vietnam for Asia.

The DRAM maker has struggled to survive in the face of intense competition from rivals like Samsung, while other issues like a strong yen, low prices, and chip oversupply have also contributed to falling profits and rising debt. Earlier this month Elpida indicated that the possibility of it going under was becoming a bigger concern, and now those fears have become a reality. Despite efforts to secure funding from investors, it appears that the company was unable to negotiate a deal.

The bankruptcy protection filing won't put an end to chip production immediately, but it does mean that it will lose many of its existing customers, further hammering in the nail in its coffin. Elpida is the last DRAM maker in Japan, which means if it bites the dust Japan will have effectively lost the final ship in its memory armada. Trade Minister Yukio Edano said he hoped that DRAM production in Japan would continue, but it seems increasingly unlikely. However, there is still the possibility that the Japanese government will intervene. It has expressed interest in taking on struggling chip businesses and bringing in GlobalFoundries to run them, an opportunity that could give Elpida another lease of life.

Microsoft announces Skype for Windows Phone; new hardware support Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-announces-skype-forwindows-phone-new-hardware-support/15041.html February 27th, 2012

At MWC 2012, Microsoft announced that the beta version of Skype app for Windows Phone is now available for download. The app allows users to make free audio and video calls to their Skype contacts over 3G, 4G or WiFi, make affordable calls to landlines and mobiles using Skype Credit, create and hold one-to-one and group chats, and update profile and account information, among others features. Users can download directly from their Windows Phone (selected models only) or from the Windows Phone Marketplace. The Windows Phone engineering team has also optimized the Windows Phone experience for affordable devices which can run almost all the apps that are available on Windows Phone Marketplace. Apps that require more power will be flagged on Windows Marketplace such that user does not download the app that won't run well. The Windows Phone OS now supports a lower cost processor, the Qualcomm 7x27a â&#x20AC;&#x153;system on a chipâ&#x20AC;?, and runs seamlessly on reduced memory (256MB onboard memory). Taking advantage of this expanded hardware support, Nokia has announced the new Nokia Lumia 610, while ZTE will be launching their ZTE Orbit in selected market in Q2 this year. The Windows Phone will also have Southeast Asia language support - Malay and Indonesian. The Windows Phone marketplace will also be launched in 23 other countries including China, Thailand and Vietnam, providing more opportunities to new developers.

ASUS Padfone Preview - An MWC 2012 Exclusive Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-padfone-preview--anmwc-2012-exclusive/15038.html February 27th, 2012

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February 27th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

The ASUS Padfone, first announced and displayed at COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2011, is the unconventional marriage of an Android smartphone and tablet. We take an exclusive first look at the latest iteration of the design which should hit retail stores in April... A Quick History Lesson ASUS first introduced the radical Padfone concept at COMPUTEX Taipei 2011 last year

Mockup of environment

the

phone-tablet's

Android

operating

The phone component of that initial non-working concept was based on an older Garmin-ASUS smartphone

Several web sites since then have also reported unfounded rumors that the Padfone will be powered by Nvidia's Tegra 3 quad core SoC, which was quashed by ASUS later at CES 2012 when they revealed that it will have a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 8660 1.5GHz dual core in it

Phone docked into a full-sized tablet

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February 27th, 2012

Huawei launches MediaPad 10 FHD, world's first 10-inch quad-core tablet Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/huawei-launches-mediapad-10-fhdworld-s-first-10-inch-quad-core-tablet/15040.html February 27th, 2012

Many companies vie to be the first to come up with a breakthrough product, be it the largest, slimmest or equipped with the latest feature etc. At Mobile World Congress 2012 this week, Huawei has just announced their MediaPad 10 FHD, which claims to be the world's first 10inch tablet with quad-core processor.

Huawei has introduced the MediaPad 10 FHD, which claims to be the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first 10-inch quad-core tablet, at the Mobile World Congress 2012. Equipped with the company's proprietary 1.5GHz K3 quad-core processor, reportedly the smallest quad-core processor in the industry, the tablet features a 10-inch IPS high definition display (1920 x 1200) and runs the latest Google Android 4.0 ICS operating system. The K3 chipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s embedded GPU offer fast processing power and 3D graphics processing capability, which ensures seamless experience when playing high definition video clips or 3D games. Measuring 8.8mm thin and weighing 598g, the MediaPad 10 FHD also supports high speed wireless access of up to 84 Mbps (HSPA+ 21/42/84Mbps), while at the same time supporting a number of network standards including LTE. In addition, the tablet comes with Dolby surround sound technology for superb audio experience whether you are playing games, watching movies or listening to your favorite songs. Other specifications include an 8-megapixel rear automatic-focus camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and 2GB memory storage of 2GB.

Published by: VR-Zone February 27th, 2012

Sony Mobile Communications will be launching the Xperia S smartphone, from the new Xperia NXT series, at the IT Show 2012. On top of that, the company will also be having some great promotions for their other products including the Xperia pro, Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V, Live with Walkman, W8 Walkman, Mix Walkman, and other accessories. Xperia S

Equipped with 1.5GHz dual-core processor, the new Xperia S features 4.3-inch Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine and Razor sharp HD resolution screen (1280 x 720) that offers superior image quality. It features 12megapixel camera with Sony Exmor R for mobile along with Fastest Capture that can take pictures in less than 1.5 seconds from standby mode. The phone also runs Android OS and incorporates Near Field Communications (NFC) which offers access to NFC applications and accessories such as Xperia SmartTags. Other features include HD sharing through DLNA, HDMI and using BRAVIA Sync for controlling your Xperia S with your TV remote control when connected to the TV. Retail price:TBA IT Show price 2012: TBA Xperia arc S

The Huawei MediaPad 10 FHD is scheduled to be available in Singapore in Q3 2012.

IT Show 2012 Promotions: Sony Mobile Communications Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-sonymobile-communications/15037.html

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February 27th, 2012

The Sony Xperia arc S is the improved model of the Xperia arc phone, and comes with an upgraded 1.4Ghz processor and boasts 25% faster camera start up and 20% faster web page rendering. It has an 8.1-megapixel camera with Exmor R for mobile image sensor, and supports 3D and 2D sweep panorama photography. The Xperia arc S also sports a 4.2inch Reality display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine. Retail price:TBA IT Show price 2012: TBA W8 Walkman

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This is indeed bad news for those waiting to upgrade their notebooks, as it means another few months wait, something that isn't always an option. According to FT.com, Mr Maloney said that Ivy Bridge notebooks aren't likely to arrive until June now, although the exact quote is â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think maybe it's June nowâ&#x20AC;? which suggests that Intel hasn't set a firm launch date as yet. Coincidentally Computex takes place in Taipei, Taiwan in June and Intel generally has a fair few announcements at the show, although the company disappointed last year, so it would be a good opportunity for Intel to have something slightly more interesting to announce this year. That said, Intel will still start shipping processors to its partners in the second quarter, so nothing has changed here, it's just that the actual retail launch has been pushed back for the notebook products. As we reported previously, the mobile quad core models were expected to arrive in April, but it looks like this might've changed as well. As far as we're aware, Intel will still be launching its desktop parts in April, although we're hearing that the actual launch date might have changed. Intel's partners are still set to show off their motherboards at Cebit early next months, albeit without Ivy Bridge processors to demo them with and they won't be allowed to run any benchmarks at the show, although this would be mostly pointless without the new processors.

Even though the W8 Walkman runs Android OS, it features a unique user interface which is similar to the one found on the Xperia mini phone. It has a four corner user interface which provides convenient one hand usage and one touch access to applications. With Walkman player, you can organize your songs conveniently and enjoy the music.

IT Show 2012 Promotions: Audio House Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-audiohouse/15036.html February 27th, 2012

Retail price:TBA IT Show price 2012: TBA Sony Mobile Communications can be located at Hall 603, Level 6, Booth 6201

Intel confirms notebook Ivy Bridge delay Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-confirms-notebook-ivy-bridgedelay/15039.html February 27th, 2012

Electronics mega store, Audio House, will be at the IT Show 2012 located at Suntec City Convention Centre. While the electronic retailer may have a lot of promotions, their star product is the Philips 46PFL5605 46-inch Full HD LED TV. The Audio House booth can be located in Hall 401, Booth 8161.

It's official, Intel has delayed its mobile Ivy Bridge processor launch, at least according to an interview with Intel's executive VP and chariman of Intel China, Sean Maloney. This is indeed bad news for those waiting to upgrade their notebooks, as it means another few months wait, something that isn't always an option. It's official, Intel has delayed its mobile Ivy Bridge processor launch, at least according to an interview with Intel's executive VP and chariman of Intel China, Sean Maloney. 7


February 27th, 2012

AudioHouse is offering an amazing deal for the Philips TV at the upcoming IT Show 2012. The 46-inch Philips 46PFL5605 Full High Definition LED TV features Pixel Plus HD technology that offers superb image details and clarity. It has 100Hz LCD with 2ms response time that ensures no motion blur, and with LED backlight, the TV has significant lower power consumption compared to conventional LCD TVs. Other features include HD Natural Motion for ultra smooth motion in Full HD movies, 40W surround sound speakers, PC-input allows you to use your TV as a PC monitor, and seamless connectivity with three HDMI inputs and Easylink.

LG introduces new smartphones at MWC 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-introduces-new-smartphones-atmwc-2012/15035.html February 27th, 2012

LG is unveiling its biggest collection of smartphones at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012 in Barcelona this week, which includes the Optimus Vu: with 5-inch True HD IPS display; Optimus 4X HD with quad-core processor; and Optimus 3D Max that offers immersive 3D viewing experience.

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LG is unveiling its biggest range of smartphones at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012 this week. The smartphones boast new features, such as 5.0-inch, 4:3 ratio True HD IPS display and glasses-free 3D technology, the company's first Quad-Core smartphone, and LG’s new design identity, LStyle, which will be introduced on a number of new, visually appealing devices. Equipped with LG’s LTE and IPS display technology, the Optimus Vu: offers a unique combination of tablet-like viewing with smartphone portability. It is powered by a powerful 1.5GHz dual-core processor, with 32GB internal memory, a huge 2,080 mAh battery, and sports a 5inch display with bright 4:3 aspect ratio makes viewing documents, books, websites and multimedia content easier and more comfortable. The LG Optimus 4X HD is equipped with the latest NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor and claims to offer PC-like performance in a smartphone package. It runs the latest Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS and offers a high definition viewing experience with True HD IPS technology. When running at full speed, the 12-core graphics processing unit (GPU) in Tegra 3 delivers a visually rich experience and console-quality game playability. LG Optimus 3D Max is the company's latest brainchild in portable 3D entertainment. It not only offers great 3D viewing enjoyment, but also superior 2D features as well. The phone offers real viewing enjoyment with LG’s exclusive brightened display and users can convert Google Earth, Google Maps and other road views to 3D through the enhanced 3D Converter and use the 3D Hot Key to easily toggle between 2D and 3D modes.

Newstead Technologies launches Digital Style concept store at Jurong Point Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/newstead-technologies-launchesdigital-style-concept-store-at-jurong-point/15034.html February 27th, 2012

Newstead Technologies has recently launched their Digital Style concept store at Jurong Point in Singapore. The new store claims to be the largest at 9,000 square feet at Jurong Point #B1-92/93.

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broadband project which it claimed to have paid to the Chinese company. QMax Communications, a subsidiary of Creative Technology, has contracted Huawei to set up a WiMAX broadband network in Singapore in 2010. According to Creative's second-quarter financial statement released earlier this month, the company stated that "QMax has suspended the wireless broadband project as the vendor for the equipment has failed to deliver on the key network performance requirements set out in the relevant supply contract". The vendor had not been named at that time.

IT Show 2012 Promotions: Motorola Newstead Technologies have recently announced the launch of Digital Style, their largest multi-brand electronics concept store yet, at 9,000 square feet at Jurong Point #B1-92/93. The concept store promises a stress-free environment where shoppers can compare brands at ease and test-drive them at six solution corners namely Entertainment and Media, Gaming, Home Computing, Mobile Communications, Office and Professional and Ultra Mobile and Business. Newstead Technologies debuted their first Digital Style at Funan DigitaLife Mall in September 2011. The store marks its bold departure from the industry practice of categorising products by brands. Instead, consumer needs are key and products are categorised according to functions and specifications at different solution corners. The store is also specially designed to allow shoppers to easily mix-andmatch and plug-and-play the gadgets in-store.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotionsmotorola/15032.html February 27th, 2012

Good news if you plan to get the Motorola RAZR smartphone or XOOM 2 tablet at the IT Show 2012. Aside from the free gifts, every purchase also stands a chance at winning a 4D3N stay at the W Retreat Koh Samui. Motorola Booth is located on level 3 (booth no. 3008) and level 6 (booth no. 6018; XOOM2 tablet and accessories). Motorola RAZR

Creative Technology sues Huawei over failed WiMAX project Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/creative-technology-sues-huaweiover-failed-wimax-project/15033.html February 27th, 2012

Creative Technology and its subsidiary, QMax Communications, are suing Huawei for more than US$9.3 million (S$11.7 million) for the collapse of the mobile broadband project between the two companies in Singapore.

Comes in Black and Glacier White finish, the Motorola RAZR is stylish and slim, measuring just 7.1mm thin. It is build with a durable Kevlar at the rear, Corning Gorilla glass, and has splash-guard coating and a diamond-cut nameplate. It is equipped with â&#x20AC;&#x153;Smart Actionsâ&#x20AC;? app that optimizes battery life and automates everyday tasks. Motorola XOOM 2

Creative has launched a lawsuit against Huawei for US $9.3 million (S$11.7 million) for the failure of the WiMAX 9


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processors and features Sony's Reality Display powered by Mobile BRAVIA Engine. Xperia P â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ultra-bright viewing experience

The Motorola XOOM 2 tablet claims to be the company's most innovative tablet to date. It sports a 10.1-inch widescreen high definition display that is brighter and more vibrant with edges strategically designed to make the tablet more comfortable to hold. The XOOM 2 is also lighter than its Motorola XOOM elder sibling, and is equipped with MotoCast app that lets you stream all media files from your computers without any media tools, apps or cords. Motorola Promotions Purchase a Motorola RAZR or XOOM 2 tablet and stand a chance at redeeming:1. S$100 Takashimaya voucher and 2. Limited edition Motorola thumb drives worth S$38 The free gift redemptions are limited to first 100 customers; Promotion valid while stocks last. Redemptions are to be made at Motorola booths no. 3008 level 3, Motorola booth no. 6018 level 6, M1, Singtel and StarHub. Every purchase also stands a chance at winning a 4D3N stay at the W Retreat Koh Samui. 10 hotel vouchers to be given away; each hotel voucher is worth S$2,000. For participating details and terms & conditions, log onto www.motorola-luxurygetaway.com Motorola Booth is located on level 3 (booth no. 3008) and level 6 (booth no. 6018; XOOM2 tablet and accessories).

The Xperia P has a full aluminium unibody design and incorporates WhiteMagic technology which boasts to deliver the brightest viewing experience in any situations. it also comes with Smart power efficiency that can automatically adjust the brightness of the screen to the surroundings to conserve battery life. With the new SmartDock, built exclusively for the Xperia P, you can easily connect to multiple screens, turning the smartphone into an entertainment hub for the living room. Users can also navigate their smartphone's media content to watch their high definition videos, the latest movies or favourite TV shows on the big screen with a TV remote control. The SmartDock has USB support, which means you can hook up a wireless keyboard and mouse to write your messages or post on Facebook on the TV. Xperia P Specifications - 4-inch Reality Display with WhiteMagic technology - Reality Display powered by Mobile BRAVIA Engine - 1GHz dual-core processor - 8-megapixel camera with fast capture and HD recording - 16GB flash storage

Sony Mobile Communications unveils Xperia U and Xperia P Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-mobile-communicationsunveils-xperia-u-and-xperia-p/15031.html February 27th, 2012

- NFC enabled with HDMI and DLNA connectivity - Launches on Android platform 2.3 (Gingerbread); will be upgraded to Android platform 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) during Q2 2012. Xperia U - powerful Sony entertainment in a stylish and compact design

Sony Mobile Communications has unveiled their new next generation smartphones at this week's Mobile World Congress, which comes in the form of Xperia U and Xperia P. Both smartphones are equipped with 1GHz dual-core

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The Xperia U combines powerful Sony entertainment in a stylish and compact design. Music lovers can enjoy crips and loud audio experience with the xLoud and Sony 3D surround sound technologies integrated into the music player. On top of that, you can enjoy improved sound quality with the new stylish Smart Headset designed for Android smartphones. You can also stream music from the Xperia U to wireless speakers with a single touch via Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA). The phone's transparent element illuminates to match the colour of photos viewed in the gallery or the album art of music tracks currently playing. You can also personalize your Xperia U with exchangeable caps and themes to your liking. Xperia U Specifications - 3.5-inch Reality Display powered by Mobile BRAVIA Engine - 1GHz dual-core processor - 5-megapixel camera with fast capture and HD recording - xLoud and 3D surround sound audio technology - Launches on Android platform 2.3 (Gingerbread); will be upgraded to Android platform 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) during Q2 2012 *image courtesy of chinese.vr-zone.com

HTC One series smartphones announced at Mobile World Congress Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/htc-one-series-smartphonesannounced-at-mobile-world-congress/15029.html February 27th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

HTC has announced its new HTC One series of smartphones that offer premium mobile experience with iconic design, amazing camera and authentic sound experience at the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, Spain. The HTC One series integrates Google Android 4.0 (ICS) with HTC Sense 4, the new version of the company's branded user experience with HTC ImageSense, a new suite of camera and imaging features to deliver fast image capture, superb image quality, and easy-to-use interface that enables quick access to capturing stills and videos with side-by-side photo and video capture buttons. The HTC Sense 4 also includes enhancements to audio quality and simplifies how people listen to music on their phone. Beats By Dr. Dre Audio has been integrated to HTC One, providing richer and more authentic sound whether you are listening to your favourite songs, watching videos or playing games. HTC One also makes it easy to transfer your music and playlists from your PC's music library to your phone with the built-in HTC Sync Manager software that automatically installs to your computer when connected. You can also customise the new Music Hub with your favourite services and music applications, like the latest Soundhound technology, giving you one place to go for all of your music. HTC One X The HTC One X features a polycarbonate unibody with ruggedness of metal, and is super lightweight. It has a unique high gloss 'piano' finish and a matte back and is equipped with the new 1.5GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 Super 4-PLUS-1 quadcore mobile processor for clear graphics, faster applications and longer battery life. It also sports a 4.7-inch 720p high definition screen with contoured Corning Gorilla Glass. The HTC One X will be available in select 4G LTE markets with a LTE-enabled Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor with up to 1.5GHz dual-core CPUs. HTC One S

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, HTC has announced its new One series smartphones which claim to offer premium mobile experience to users. The phones include the quad-core One X, One S and One V.

The HTC One S is designed for users who want a compact smartphone with high-end performance. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor with up to 1.5GHz dual-core CPU and comes with a 4.3-inch screen with contoured Corning Gorilla Glass. In its metallic unibody, the smartphone claims to be the company's thinnest phone at 7.9mm slim, and comes in ultra-matte black Ceramic Metal and light-to-gradient finishes that look sophisticated.. HTC One V 11


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Based on the award-winning design of the HTC Legend, the HTC One V promises top-notched design with premium experience. It has an aluminium unibody design and can capture amazing images with its built-in camera and deliver authentic sound.

seems to match the choices that the US had - accent: HAD - in the best days of late nineties... no X86 dominance here - quite a healthy base for future system development, from smartphone to supercomputer...

Pricing and Availability The HTC One series will begin shipping in April with broad global availability available beginning in April through more than 140 mobile operators and distributors globally. Pricing will be announced in Q2 this year.

Microsoft to remove "Windows Live" and "Zune" branding in Windows 8

Huawei's own ARM adds to a dozen other Chinese ARM CPUs, signals further phone price reduction chances Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/huawei-s-own-arm-adds-to-adozen-other-chinese-arm-cpus-signals-further-phone-price-reductionchances/15030.html February 27th, 2012

Inexpensive ARM licensing does pay off sometimes, it seems - for China and, in this case, Huawei, its own phone & tablet ARM for greater cost control... As you saw from our reports here, Huawei now has its own ARM CPU line - and high end dual-core, not less - in its new phones launched at MWC. The other phone specs are very decent for a high end unit by any means compared to other leading vendors, but the other fact, that Huawei is the only phone vendor besides Samsung and Apple - LG might be the next one in line - to base the high end phones on its own CPU, is more interesting. We said before that China wants complete control of its computing hardware, in particular the trophy core - the CPU, for both cost and security reasons. Huawei creates far more than smartphones, keep in mind. Its enterprise networking and telecommunication strength has seriously kicked CISCO in many parts of the world, and the US government seems to panic everytime Huawei sells even a small switch or something, evaluating every sale. Also, as far as can be seen in China, Huawei has started entry into the server business, and is planning a whole range of systems in this space, including some very high end ones. Of course, ARM can address the 'green server' massive web serving farms, that the likes of Baidu and Tencent there will need regularly, but a combination of own processor and completely own rest of hardware, from server to networking and infrastructure around it - and the client smartphone & tablet cores too - makes for a pretty potent Tier 1 giant. This Huawei ARM of course just adds to a dozen or so of other Chinese ARM licensees, but don't forget those MIPS, Alpha, Sparc and even their own instruction set (Icube) products all working well. The buffet spread of architectures

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-to-remove-windows-liveand-zune-branding-in-windows-8/15028.html February 27th, 2012

It has been discovered through Microsoft's soon to be released Windows 8 Consumer Preview that the software giant is planning to do away with a couple of its big user-facing brands, namely Zune and Windows Live. The associating programs will still be there, but with simpler names applied to appear more seamless with the whole Windows 8 core environment. It has been discovered through Microsoft's soon to be released Windows 8 Consumer Preview that the software giant is planning to do away with a couple of its big user-facing brands, namely Zune and Windows Live. The associating programs will still be there, but with simpler names applied to appear more seamless with the whole Windows 8 core environment.

All Windows Live applications are preinstalled in Windows 8 as the operating system's core "Windows Communications" apps and the associating names are changed up to be much more simplified (ie. "Windows Live ID" now becomes "Microsoft Account" and "Windows Live Contacts" now becomes "People"). As for Zune, many traces of the brand are dissapearing from Microsoft's Windows Store, Music and Video applications, but Zune Pass functionality is still in place. we're hearing that Microsoft's Xbox team is taking care of the creation and management of Windows 8's Metro style Video and Music applications and apparently this will be rolled into the new OS under the title of "Xbox Live for Windows" as the entertainment brand for Windows 8 Music, Video and Games close to its release later this year. In replacing Zune with this entirely new system, we've been told to expect something that's more "Spotify-like", 12


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which still leaves us somewhat unclear as to what exactly Microsoft have on the cards. We do know however that the company is already talking with all the major music companies regarding its new service. In terms of what will happen to Zune on Windows Phone, Zune Desktop will be no more once Windows Phone 8, Apollo is outed later in the year where the synchronization function between phone and PC will be through the means of better integration in Windows 8. Of course, synchronization tools will still be there for those running an older Windows OS. By this time, everything with the Zune name is expected to have vanished from Windows Phone in replacement of the new version. Here is the rundown on Microsoft's simplified application branding plans for Windows 8 :- Microsoft Account (was Windows Live ID) - Mail (was Windows Live Mail) - Calendar (was Windows Live Calendar) - People (was Windows Live Contacts) - Photos (was Windows Live Photo Gallery) - Music (was Zune Music Player) - Video (was Zune Video Player) If you're wondering why there was no mention of Messenger here, it's being rumoured that Microsoft is planning to do away with it as a standalone application and tie it in more closely with Skype. We can only presume at this point that Microsoft is working on a vastly refreshing strategy that's more future proof for its instant messaging facility.

The handset itself isn't all that exceptional as such, but it's a fairly competent handset. Besides the pico projector, the most interesting aspect of the Galaxy Beam is the choice of SoC, as Samsung has gone for ST-Ericsson's NovaThor U8500 which is a dual core ARM Cortex-A9 chip with Mali-400 graphics. This is a platform we haven't seen a lot of handset based on to date and it is as far as we know the first globally available handset from Samsung using an STEricsson SoC.

Samsung shoves pico projector inside the Galaxy Beam Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-shoves-pico-projectorinside-the-galaxy-beam/15027.html February 27th, 2012

We're pretty sure that Samsung's first foray into pico projector phones – the i7410 that was announced two years ago – was anything but a success, but if you don't succeed, try again. Samsung has as such announced the Galaxy Beam at the MWC which features a lot more potent hardware and this time around we're talking about an Android handset as well. We're pretty sure that Samsung's first foray into pico projector phones – the i7410 that was announced two years ago – was anything but a success, but if you don't succeed, try again. Samsung has as such announced the Galaxy Beam at the MWC which features a lot more potent hardware and this time around we're talking about an Android handset as well.

Samsung has also kitted out the Galaxy Beam with 768MB of RAM (the press release has typo here), 8GB of internal storage memory, a micro SD card slot, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 + HS, a 5Megapixel camera that shoots video at 720p and a 4-inch screen with 800x480 pixel resolution. So pretty much your average mid-range smartphone for 2012, despite the dual core processor and otherwise decent specification. Samsung has also thrown in an HSPA model capable up download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps and 13


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download speeds of up to 5.76Mbps with support for the 850, 900, 1900 and 2100MHz bands, as well as quad band GSM.

The projector sports nHD (640x360 pixels) resolution and 15 Lumens brightness according to Engadget and is said to be good for projection size of up to 50-inches wide. The phone has a 2,000mAh battery pack to be able to power the projector when away for a wall socket. The Galaxy Beam measures 64.2x124x12.5mm (WxHxD) and weighs in at 145g, which really isn't that bad when you consider that it has a built in pico projector. If you've been waiting for a phone with a built in projector, then you'll have to keep waiting until next quarter when the Galaxy Beam will launch for a yet unannounced price.

Huawei announces in-house quad core ARM SoC, new handsets at MWC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/huawei-announces-in-house-quadcore-arm-soc-new-handsets-at-mwc/15026.html February 27th, 2012

Huawei isn't mincing words either, as the company is calling its quad core ARM SoC – known simply as the K3V2 – the world's fastest quad core smartphone [processor], this making the Ascend D quad the world's fastest smartphone. The only details known about the K3V2 right now is that it will be available with a clock speed of either 1.2 or 1.5GHz and that it has the “industry's most powerful 32-bit true color graphic processor”, suggesting that it might be sporting an ARM Mali-T604 CPU core. The SoC appears to be made by its HiSilicon subsidiary which is listing a model called Hi3611 (K3) on its websites, albeit without providing any specifications, although the K3V2 is likely to be a successor to this specific chip.

Chinese Huawei is apparently none too fond of sourcing outside chips for its smartphones, as the company has announced that its latest handset – the Ascend D quad – sports a Huawei made quad core ARM based SoC. That makes Huawei – as far as we know – the second handset maker that also makes its own processors, the other being Samsung. Chinese Huawei is apparently none too fond of sourcing outside chips for its smartphones, as the company has announced that its latest handset – the Ascend D quad – sports a Huawei made quad core ARM based SoC. That makes Huawei – as far as we know – the second handset maker that also makes its own processors, the other being Samsung.

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As for the handset, well, it has a 4.5-inch display with 720p resolution (1280x720 pixels), an 8Megapixles camera with a BSI sensor that shoots 1080p video, Dolby 5.1 surround sound, Audience earSmart voice technology, an 1,800mAh battery pack and various power management technologies which are said to allow the Ascend D quad to offer up to 30 percent longer battery life than competing devices. The Ascend D quad measures 8.9mm deep with a width of 64mm, although no height was provided. Huawei will offer two variants of the Ascend D quad, the Ascend D quad XL which comes with a 2,500mAh battery pack and the Ascend D1 which is not a single core, but rather a dual core version with a clock speed of 1.5GHz and a smaller 1,670mAh battery pack.

Published by: VR-Zone

The Huawei Ascend D quad will ship in Q2 and will be available in white and black. The Ascend D1 will according to the press release be available as early as April. All three models should be shipping with Android 4.0x. Sadly no pricing was announced.

Cooler Master 20th Anniversary Dinner Event Report Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cooler-master-20th-anniversarydinner-event-report/15025.html February 27th, 2012

Last Friday, 50 VRForums enthusiasts in Singapore were invited to a dinner event in celebration of Cooler Master's 20th Anniversary. Besides the mandatory sumptuous buffet spread, the attendees had the opportunity see and try out current and upcoming products like the behemoth COSMOS II tower and QuickFire Pro (Red) mechanical keyboard. Attendees collecting their goodie bags at the registration area

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Generous Door Gift: Cooler Master GX450 Bronze power supply (worth S$79) Cooler Master's 20th Anniversary Mascot

COSMOS II rig with CM Storm Trigger Keyboard and Sentinel Zero-G mouse running Battlefield 3

The upcoming Counter-Strike Global Offensive game running on a CM Storm Trooper Rig with CM Storm Inferno Mouse and Sirus 5.1 headset

Current and upcoming CM Storm gaming oriented peripherals

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year of Solid State Drive war. One of the major contestants in this war is definitely OCZ and one of their greatest weapons is the 3rd generation of their Agility series drives. The company ranks the Agility 3 series as “mainstream performance” drives, designed to balance performance and value for enthusiasts who want to migrate to SSD technology without breaking the bank. Interestingly enough, the Agility III series drive features a SATA III interface and boast speeds that could be trouble for the high performance series of every manufacturer. We will see just how fast these mainstream SSD drives are in this review.

Also on display was Cooler Master's laptop cooling stands, CPU heatsinks and the soon to be released Silent Pro M2 power supplies (including that 1500W whopper which we saw at CES)

Rockstar shows off Max Payne 3's "glorious detail" on PC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rockstar-shows-off-max-payne-3-sglorious-detail-on-pc/15023.html February 27th, 2012

Rockstar has provided Max Payne fans with the first batch of visual candy ahead of the third game's launch in a few months time. Some high-res screenshots of the PC version have been published online in support of Rockstar's commentation which expresses "gloriously increased resolution and graphical detail in both the epic story and the explosive multiplayer modes".

OCZ Agility 3 240GB SSD Review

Rockstar has provided Max Payne fans with the first batch of visual candy ahead of the third game's launch in a few months time. Some high-res screenshots of the PC version have been published online in support of Rockstar's commentation which expresses "gloriously increased resolution and graphical detail in both the epic story and the explosive multiplayer modes".

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-agility-3-240gb-ssdreview/15024.html February 27th, 2012

With the shortage of mechanical disks and the constant price reductions of flash memory, 2012 turned into the year of Solid State Drive war. One of the major contestants in this war is definitely OCZ and one of their greatest weapons is the 3rd generation of their Agility series drives. The company ranks the Agility 3 series as “mainstream performance” drives, designed to balance performance and value for enthusiasts who want to migrate to SSD technology without breaking the bank. Interestingly enough, the Agility III series drive features a SATA III interface and boast speeds that could be trouble for the high performance series of every manufacturer. We will see just how fast these mainstream SSD drives are in this review.

Aside from the screenshots Rockstar has withheld most other details for now in the way of special graphics hardware support and enhancements, instead saying that it will talk more on that subject closer to the game's launch date.

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On that note, the game is scheduled to arrive both on the consoles (Xbox 360 and PS3) as well as the PC on May 29th in the U.S. and on June 1st in Europe.

Up to 3GB of total free space is provided by Dropbox to every user, but there is a condition applied on this in that the storage is given in 500MB increments versus all at once.

Dropbox gives Android users auto-sync photo/video uploading

Further to the new implementation for Android, Dropbox for Windows and Mac has also been updated with the ability to automatically upload from pretty much any camera, smartphone, tablet or SD card that is connected directly to your PC. It's as simple as plugging the device in, then the auto synchronization process takes place.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dropbox-gives-android-users-autosync-photovideo-uploading/15022.html February 27th, 2012

Dropbox has just updated its Android application with a number of bugs having been addressed along with the addition of a particularly useful function many of us will find quite handy. Dropbox has just updated its Android application with a number of bugs having been addressed along with the addition of a particularly useful function many of us will find quite handy. Now it is possible to automatically upload photos and videos in the background using either WiFi or obile connectivity. The original resolution and quality of the photo is untouched, unlike a similar function available via Google + where it downsizes any photos over 2,048 pixels wide.

Incidently, with regard to SD cards Dropbox has purposely prevented the means to install the app onto an Android device's SD memory in efforts to retain "more secure credential storage". In his latest blog posting, director of Dropbox Jeff Bartelma mentioned that the auto photo/video upload feature will soon be available for iOS as well.

AMD said to be providing GPU for the PlayStation 4 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-said-to-be-providing-gpu-forthe-playstation-4/15021.html

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An article over at Forbes suggests that Sony is looking to drop NVIDIA in favour of AMD as the GPU of choice in its next-gen PlayStation 4 gaming console. A former AMD employee has apparently come forward and revealed that AMD is involved in development on a new Sony system. An article over at Forbes suggests that Sony is looking to drop NVIDIA in favour of AMD as the GPU of choice in its next-gen PlayStation 4 gaming console. A former AMD employee has apparently come forward and revealed that AMD is involved in development on a new Sony system.

Published by: VR-Zone

While he might have had a valid point about over a decade of hype, Diablo III's Game Director, Jay Wilson, was quick to step in, assuring players that Bashiok's post was “obviously sarcastic” and that “nothing could be further from the truth” when it comes to the idea of people lowering their expectations for the hack and slash RPG. The problem is that if Bashiok's post was sarcastic, it certainly was not obvious. Not only does this comment from Wilson suggest a bit of a cover-up, it is also somewhat insulting to the thousands of players who expressed disgruntlement at Bashiok's buzz-killing words, as it implies that they did not cop on to what was supposedly “obvious.”

Commenting further, he said that CEO Rory Read who was appointed back in August 2011 has been charged with making "sure AMD doesn’t screw up its slate of new products —which includes a hush-hush effort to put its graphics chips in Sony’s still-unannounced new game console—and shake off the once scrappy company’s years-long funk." Until now we had no real substance whatsoever that Sony was actively working on a new console, so that is an obvious point of interest in the case of Forbes' article. Rumour is now circulating that it will reveal elements of its next-generation system to the masses during the E3 Expo in June. If the rumour of choosing to go with an AMD GPU on the PS4 turns out to be true and the console launches soon enough, it would mean all three major game console makers (including Microsoft and Nintendo) would have AMD-made GPUs.

Blizzard backtracks on Diablo III expectation fiasco Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blizzard-backtracks-on-diablo-iiiexpectation-fiasco/15020.html February 27th, 2012

Wilson also added more fuel to the fire by saying that the beta version of the game is in “good shape,” a rather tame choice of words for what many are expecting to keep them up into the wee hours as they roam some dungeons. However, Wilson did say that the full build that the company is working on is in “great shape,” suggesting there's more to come for those testing the game. “We want you to have high expectations for Diablo III and all Blizzard games,” said Wilson. “That’s what pushes us to try to make the best gaming experiences we possibly can. … If Diablo III wasn’t a worthy next installment in the Diablo series, we wouldn’t release it. That’s the way we do it. That’s the way we’ve always done it.”

Blizzard has backtracked on a message by one of its community managers that told gamers to lower their expectations for Diablo III, with the game's director assuring fans that the wait will be worth it. Blizzard has backtracked on a message by one of its community managers that told gamers to lower their expectations for Diablo III, with the game's director assuring fans that the wait will be worth it. A Blizzard employee writing under the name Bashiok caused controversy earlier this week when he told people who have waiting up to 12 years for this game that they should “lower those expectations.”

Worthy is one thing. Ground-breaking and better than the previous two is a whole different game altogether. If Blizzard staff are not so sure, then it's hard to expect gamers to be either.

ViewSonic unveils three dualSIM phones for MWC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/viewsonic-unveils-three-dual-simphones-for-mwc/15019.html

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February 27th, 2012

It's easy to forget that ViewSonic makes phones, as well as displays and tablets, but in time for the MWC the company has unveiled three new models. We're not sure if ViewSonic is trying to get in legal trouble with Apple or not though, as the new models are called the ViewPhone 4s, 4e and 5e. It's easy to forget that ViewSonic makes phones, as well as displays and tablets, but in time for the MWC the company has unveiled three new models. We're not sure if ViewSonic is trying to get in legal trouble with Apple or not though, as the new models are called the ViewPhone 4s, 4e and 5e. The 4e is technically the least impressive of the three with a 3.5-inch 480x320 display and a 650MHz processor, all of which suggests this is a real budget model. The 5e on the other hand has – as the name implies in this case – a 5-inch display, albeit with a fairly mediocre 800x480 resolution. Common for all three models is dualSIM support, something which could come in handy for people that wants to keep their business and personal SIM cards in the same device.

We have to give it to ViewSonic for at least having managed to come up with its own design, as the 4s and 4e look quite different from many other handsets out there, although the 5e isn't all that different. Not muc is known about the technical aspects of the new models, but the 4s is said to feature a 3.5-inch IPS display with 960x640 resolution – that's the same as Apple's iPhone – a 5Megapixel camera and an unspecified 1GHz processor.

Acer announces the Liquid Glow ahead of MWC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/acer-announces-the-liquid-glowahead-of-mwc/15018.html February 27th, 2012

We've already had a preview of Acer's upcoming CloudMobile and now the company has unveiled a second handset that will be announced in more detail at the MWC next week. This time around we're looking at a budget friendly model called the Liquid Glow, one of the first budget models with Android 4.0. 20


February 27th, 2012

We've already had a preview of Acer's upcoming CloudMobile and now the company has unveiled a second handset that will be announced in more detail at the MWC next week. This time around we're looking at a budget friendly model called the Liquid Glow, one of the first budget models with Android 4.0. Acer wasn't very forthcoming with specifications, simply stating that the handset will have a 3.7-inch screen, a 5Megapixel camera, NFC and a new soft-touch casing available in pink, white and black. Luckily the core specifications didn't stay secret for long, as Pocket-Lint managed to dig up more details on the handset ahead of the MWC.

As such we know that we're looking at a Qualcomm MSM7227A SoC clocked at 1GHz, a WVGA display (800x480 pixels), 1GB of storage memory and 512MB of RAM. The SoC choice is interesting as Acer went for the fastest SKU available for the MSM7227A which is based on ARM's Cortex-A5 core. It's got Adreno 200 graphics and uses basic LPDDR memory, so don't expect blistering performance, but if Acer has priced the Liquid Glow right, this should be a pretty decent handset for the money. Acer is expecting the Liquid Glow to hit retail sometime in the early summer.

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and a two PCI slots. Intel has kitted out the board with four SATA 3Gbps ports and four SATA 6Gbps ports, pin headers for four USB 3.0 ports, six USB 2.0 ports and a FireWire port as well as four DIMM slots and a POST80 debut LED. Around the rear of the board we find four USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, a FireWire port, an eSATA port, a pair of Intel Gigabit Ethernet ports, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out and a single HDMI port. For some reason it seems like Intel doesn't want high-end users to be able to take advantage of the option of having multiple screens connected to the motherboard which is quite strange as the company supplies a copy of LucidLogix Virtu software with the board which would allow the signal from discrete graphics cards to be passed through the integrated graphics. The second and final model in Intel's new Extreme series is the DZ77RE – codename Roads End – and as far as we can tell, it's identical to the DZ77GA bar one minor addition, a Thunderbolt port. We're somewhat surprised that Intel hasn't removed by x4 PCI Express slot on this board, but we have a feeling that it might not be operation when the Thunderbolt interface is being used. Sadly we don't have any details on how this works, but we're going to try and find out more details at Cebit in a couple of weeks' time. That said, this is the first motherboard that we have confirmation on that will feature a Thunderbolt interface. So there you have it, Intel's complete line of 7-series motherboards for Ivy Bridge. There were a couple of surprises in there, but nothing really mind-blowing. Intel might be offering boards that are good enough for the average office computer and then some, but the company does clearly not understand the consumer DIY market at all, something that is clear simply by looking at its highend consumer models. In fact, it's a bit hard to understand why Intel really bothers to create so many high-end products when most consumers rather buy from the Taiwanese motherboard makers.

Intel's Extreme series Z77 motherboard spec's revealed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-extreme-series-z77motherboard-spec-s-revealed/15017.html February 27th, 2012

Over the past few days we've unveiled the details of Intel's upcoming 7-series motherboards and today we'll unveil the last couple of models, namely the Extreme series. We only have two models left and Intel will be keeping at least a couple of its current 6-series boards around for now. Over the past few days we've unveiled the details of Intel's upcoming 7-series motherboards and today we'll unveil the last couple of models, namely the Extreme series. We only have two models left and Intel will be keeping at least a couple of its current 6-series boards around for now. The first model of the two is the DZ77GA – codename Gasper – which is a fairly competent Intel board. For starts it has a pair of x16 PCI Express 3.0 slots that operates in dual x8 mode – just like the DZ77BH – and on top of this you also get a single PCI Express x4 2.0 slot, two PCI Express x1 2.0 slots 21


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Published by: VR-Zone

VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Intel is betting on Tizen and Atom marriage for smart TVs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-is-betting-on-tizen-and-atommarriage-for-smart-tvs/14732.html February 2nd, 2012

With Intel having lost its opportunity with Google TV, the company is now re-focusing its efforts in the smart TV business towards its own Linux operating system â&#x20AC;&#x201C; no not MeeGo, but rather Tizen. There will be a smart TV specific version called Tizen TV which will run on Intel's CE range of Atom processors, but the question is if it'll be good enough to compete with Google TV on ARM. With Intel having lost its opportunity with Google TV, the company is now re-focusing its efforts in the smart TV business towards its own Linux operating system â&#x20AC;&#x201C; no not MeeGo, but rather Tizen. There will be a smart TV specific version called Tizen TV which will run on Intel's CE range of Atom processors, but the question is if it'll be good enough to compete with Google TV on ARM. The interesting thing here is that much of Tizen TV will be open source, so in that way it should be similar to Google TV. Intel will of course be the ones providing the major hardware components, but as Intel doesn't make TV-tuners, at least not to our knowledge, some third parties will have to be involved as well. There are some core blocks to Tizen TV which include the open source core services, web run-time and native application runtime. Some of the TV services such as remote input and the unified multi-media services core blocks will also be open source, but key parts like being able to watch broadcast content, video on demand and the various DRM technologies required to do so are of course not open source and will all be third party implementations. The web runtime will be based on Chromium and it means that Tizen TV will support HTML5 among other things. It also means that we should see OpenGL ES support in addition to hardware accelerated support for various graphics, audio, video and security applications, many which has yet to be specified, but Intel is apparently working on bringing hardware accelerated Adobe Flash support to the Tizen TV platform, as well as support for Blu-ray playback.

Intel is hoping to provide its partners with its hardware, Tizen TV and some developer tools and SDK's and then expects its partners to come up with their own UI, applications and other value add bits of software as well as being responsible for things like security features and system management. It's most definitely the easy way out for Intel, as the company provides none of the tricky parts that can make or break a Tizen TV powered smart TV or set top box. As we reported back in October, Intel is still pushing its CE range of Atom processors and the CE4100 family now consists of six models of which two has Hyperthreading and a pair of models are even clocked at 1.6GHz, compared to 1.2GHz for earlier models. The CE4200 family has even more products as there are no less than 12 different models here, again with clock speeds of either 1.2 or 1.6GHz, although only three of the 12 features Hyperthreading. That said, Intel is getting ready to launch its Berryville (no, that's not a joke) range of 32nm Atom CE processors sometime this quarter, but more on those later. What is clear is that Intel has no intention of letting the ARM based competition get an easy win in this growing market segment, something that will be even clearer when Intel's Berryville Atom CE processors arrive. The question is if Tizen will be enticing enough for Intel's potential partners to move away from whatever platform they're currently using. There's also the question of cost and here ARM based solutions have had a big lead over Intel, so it'll be interesting to see how things change here as we transition towards more demanding HD video usage scenarios.

AMD APU/GPU 2012-13 Roadmap Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-apugpu-2012-13roadmap/14729.html February 2nd, 2012

At its much awaited Financial Analyst Day 2012, AMD has revealed a roadmap for 2012 and 2013 for Client and Graphics Roadmap covering APUs and GPUs over A, C, E & Z series and Radeon product lines. As we have seen, the first products of AMD's first 2012 range - Southern Islands or Radeon HD 7000 family - are already shipping, with the entire line-up to be filled in the coming months. Next in line for AMD are the 2012 APU line-up Trinity, Brazos 2.0 and Hondo.

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Published by: VR-Zone February 2nd, 2012

Trinity has been covered in much detail over the last few months, and is due to release in Q2 2012 - around the same time as Intel Ivy Bridge. AMD expects numerous design wins, the first of which has already been announced by Arctic. Trinity will be predominantly branded as 2nd gen A-Series, with A4, A6, A8 and A10 segmentations. Following the cancelation of Wichita and Krishna, Brazos 2.0 will have to hold ground in the low-power market covering C-series and A-series for 2012. Brazos 2.0 is reported to be a minor improvement over Brazos. The main improvements are in the chipset as well as the introduction of Turbo Core. Hondo is the successor to Z-01 (Desna) and will appear in tablets and other ultra low power devices. Like Brazos 2.0, Hondo's improvements are also mostly in the FCH - power optimizations will cut down consumption significantly over Z-01. Hondo is rumoured to be branded Z-03. Both Hondo and Brazos 2.0 are based on the same infrastructure and fabricated by TSMC's 40nm process.

It seems like monitor manufacturers are finally starting to move away from TN panels with recent arrivals of several affordable IPS panel based displays from a wide range of manufacturers. ViewSonic has joined the fray with its new VX2336s-LED model which as the name implies features an LED backlit IPS panel featuring what ViewSonic calls SuperClear IPS technology. It seems like monitor manufacturers are finally starting to move away from TN panels with recent arrivals of several affordable IPS panel based displays from a wide range of manufacturers. ViewSonic has joined the fray with its new VX2336s-LED model which as the name implies features an LED backlit IPS panel featuring what ViewSonic calls SuperClear IPS technology. The display itself doesn't really stand out in terms of design or connectivity, as it's a fairly standard looking 23-inch LCD screen with 1920x1080 resolution. It features a single DVI and D-sub connector, although unlike many of the fashionable super-slim displays of last year, the slightly chunkier enclosure of the VX2336s does at least allow for an internal power supply. The stand offers 20 to -5 degrees tilt, but that's all the adjustment options you get.

Moving to 2013, AMD's Graphics division will introduce Sea Islands, which brings major archictecture enhancements to GCN and introduce Heterogenous System Architecture (HSA) features. HSA was previously called Fusion System Architecture that will ultimately see future APUs fully integrate CPU and GPU. The transition to HSA will begin with 3rd gen APU, Kaveri. It will introduce Steamroller CPU cores, which improve IPC and power over Trinity's Piledriver cores. Kaveri will be the first APU featuring GCN and with HSA enhancements, which suggests it will be derived the Sea Islands generation rather than Southern Islands. Kaveri will also see a shrink to 28nm and will compete with Intel's 22nm Haswell. Rounding up an all-28nm 2013 (Intel will be at 22nm) will be Kabini and Temash, built round new Jaguar CPU cores, which will finally succeed Bobcat. Kabini will also introduce HSA features, and possibly GCN to the GPU. As with Hondo and Brazos, Temash will be the ultra low power variant of Kabini, succeeding Hondo / Z-03. Image Source: HardOCP

ViewSonic launches affordable LED backlit IPS display Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/viewsonic-launches-affordable-ledbacklit-ips-display/14728.html

ViewSonic claims that its SuperClear technology offers 178 degree viewing angles, both horizontally and vertically and that it enhances grey levels and offers true black colours. For some reason ViewSonic has still implemented a dynamic contrast ratio of 20 million to one, although the standard contrast ratio is only 1000:1. The brightness is 250cd/m2, a little dull compared to more expensive displays, but about par for this price segment. The grey to grey response time is rated 2


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Published by: VR-Zone

at 6ms and 14ms black to white to black, which is pretty decent for an IPS panel. The VX2336s features automatic aspect ratio adjustment for 4:3 signals and ViewSonic claims that it offers 50 percent energy saving compared to a display with fluorescent backlights. The power draw is said to peak at 35W, but will be as low as 21W in eco mode. What makes the VX2336s-LED interesting though doesn't really have too much to do with its average feature set, but instead it's the retail price, as you can pick one up for around US$180 (S$225) which makes it one of the cheapest 23-inch IPS panels currently on sale.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg defends hackers Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-founder-mark-zuckerbergdefends-hackers/14727.html February 2nd, 2012

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has defended hackers in a lengthy letter on what he considers a growing misconception about a skill which he says is essential to his company's success. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has defended hackers in a lengthy letter on what he considers a growing misconception about a skill which he says is essential to his company's success. “The word 'hacker' has an unfairly negative connotation from being portrayed in the media as people who break into computers,” the 27-year-old wrote. “In reality, hacking just means building something quickly or testing the boundaries of what can be done. Like most things, it can be used for good or bad, but the vast majority of hackers I've met tend to be idealistic people who want to have a positive impact on the world.” Zuckerberg not only defended the profession of hacking, but said that every few months Facebook holds a “hackaton” where coders work to build a better implementation of an idea. He said that many of the social network's products, such as the timeline, chat, video, and mobile development, are the results of such hacking activity.

Hacking has gained notoriety over the past year or two, particularly with the rise of hacktivist groups like Anonymous and Lulzsec, both of which have caused widespread disruption to internet services. There are many other hacking groups in operation too, some with darker and more criminal motives, such as stealing credit card information. Other groups work to expose criminal hackers or test the security of websites and servers, showing that things are not always black and white when hacking is concerned. The letter was given to investors just as the company launched a bid to raise $5 billion in public shares. It is not clear if the message was intended to assert Zuckerberg control of the company, which he will still control 57 percent of after the initial public offering, and it remains to be seen if some investors will be spooked by his pro-hacker rhetoric.

Android tablet ad with Steve Jobs lookalike draws mixed reactions Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/android-tablet-ad-with-steve-jobslookalike-draws-mixed-reactions/14726.html February 2nd, 2012

A television advert that contains a Steve Jobs lookalike, who praises an Android tablet computer, has resulted in mixed reactions from consumers. A television advert that contains a Steve Jobs lookalike, who praises an Android tablet computer, has resulted in mixed reactions from consumers.

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The Taiwanese ad features Ah-Ken, a comedian and impersonator, who is decked out in the iconic attire of Jobs: black turtleneck, jeans and round glasses. Instead of touting an iPad, however, he shows off the Android-powered Action Pad from Action Electronics. Perhaps the most controversial element of the ad is the fact that the lookalike is wearing wings and a halo, a nod to the death of Jobs from cancer last year, a caricature that some might consider insensitive. “Thank God I can finally play another pad,” the impersonator says in the final seconds of the video, suggesting that Jobs changed his long-time hatred of Google's Android platform into a glowing admiration after he passed through the pearly gates.

Published by: VR-Zone February 2nd, 2012

Apple remains the industry leader in terms of customer service quality, but that may soon change, as customer support satisfaction has been steadily dropping for the company over the past 18 months, according to a report by Vocal Laboratories. Apple remains the industry leader in terms of customer service quality, but that may soon change, as customer support satisfaction has been steadily dropping for the company over the past 18 months, according to a report by Vocal Laboratories. During the second half of 2011 Apple's support call satisfaction, where customers said they were “very satisfied,” was down to 54 percent, a huge drop from its 73 percent satisfaction in the first half of 2010. This still leaves Apple ahead of the competition, such as HP with 49 percent and Dell with 44 percent, but the gap between them is significantly narrower than it was before, and such a large drop in such a short space of time presents a worrying future for the customer satisfaction rating of the company.

The ad led to conflicting responses from consumers, with some labelling it as “awesome” and “funny,” while others found it “disrespectful.” Apple fans were not alone in their complaints about the video, however. Several Android supporters found the ad in “bad taste,” labelling it as “very disturbing.” Many users called for more respect to be shown for the late co-founder and former CEO of Apple. Since the video does not name Jobs or Apple, Action Electronics claims that it should not be liable to legal action, a reality which ended the sale of a Steve Jobs action figure. One thing is for sure, however – the controversy surrounding this video will likely have succeeded in generating the intended buzz around the Action Pad.

Apple customer satisfaction plummets in last 18 months Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-customer-satisfaction-plummetsin-last-18-months/14725.html

“Despite its significant decline, Apple continues to lead our survey in overall tech support quality,” said Peter Leppik, CEO of Vocal Laboratories. “But where Apple used to be well ahead in nearly every measure of service quality, there are now areas where Apple is tied with, or even behind, its competitors.” In terms of customer complaints, only one percent complained about the language skills of their support technician, compared to 10 percent for HP and eight percent for Dell.

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Likewise, one percent complained about costs, compared to six percent for the rival companies.

Published by: VR-Zone

The other bonus here is that the K-01 has a standard 3.5mm microphone jack, a feature missing in many more expensive cameras in this market segment.

Apple has prided itself on a consistently high rating of customer satisfaction, but as competition mounts in many of its dominant sectors, the crown could finally be slipping.

The Pentax K-01 is official Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-pentax-k-01-is-official/14724.html February 2nd, 2012

Well, that didn't take long, Pentax has no officially unveiled the K-01 and it seems like the information released ahead of the launch was spot on of the most part. There are some additional features worth mentioning and we also know what the new 40mm lens will retail for on its own. Well, that didn't take long, Pentax has no officially unveiled the K-01 and it seems like the information released ahead of the launch was spot on of the most part. There are some additional features worth mentioning and we also know what the new 40mm lens will retail for on its own.

The green and red buttons on the top of the camera are programmable, although by default the red button starts video recording. The rechargeable Li-Ion battery is said to be good for up to 540 shots without flash and the camera is supplied with a dedicated battery charger. We'd suggest you head over to Pentax website for a full run-down of the specifications.

For starters, we were slightly off on the colours, as Pentax will offer the K-01 in white rather than silver. The camera is a fair bit chunkier than the first images made it look like, as it measures 121x59x79mm (WxDxH) and weighs in at 560g with its battery fitted. This makes the K-01 barely any smaller than entry level DSLR's and it's almost 90g heavier than Sony's A35 SLT. It's interesting reading the comments on the various photography sites about the K-01, as it hasn't exactly taken the world by storm. Despite being designed by Marc Newson it seems like many commenters would've preferred a more traditional camera design, or to be more precise something a bit less chunky. The main reason behind the wide girth of the K-01 simply comes down to the fact that to be able to use Pentax's existing range of lenses, the sensor had to be fitted the same distance from the lenses on Pentax's range of DSLR's. As for the rest of the design though, well, it's a matter of person preference really, but as you can see in the video below, the K-01 is being compared to a 1980's Volvo.

Apparently the 16Megapixel sensor is not the same as in Pentax's K-5; although it's not entirely clear what has been changed. For those interesting in shooting video with their camera, the K-01 looks like a good option though â&#x20AC;&#x201C; albeit somewhat dependant on autofocus performance â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as the camera can shoot in 1080p at 30, 25 and 24fps, 720p at 60, 50, 30, 25 and 24fps and finally at 480p at 30, 25 and 24fps.

As for the new 40mm f/2.8 XS lens, it'll retail for US$249.95 (S$315) on its own, US$100 than when bundled with the K-01. As mentioned in our pre-launch post, the K-01 will start at US$749.95 (95 cents higher than the rumours suggested), body only. The 40mm lens bundle will come in a special Marc Newson designed packaging bundled with a carrying strap by the designer. Overall the Pentax K-01 is an interesting product, but it feels like Pentax has missed a few things, such as an option for an external EVF and the lack of a tilting LCD. These are potentially features that will make or break the K-01, 5


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alongside the rather peculiar design. That said, when it comes to cameras, image quality and usability is what matters and we'll have to wait for some reviews before we know if the K-01 is worth its asking price.

MSI X79 Big Bang X-Power II Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-x79-big-bang-x-power-iireview/14711.html February 2nd, 2012

Today we take a look at MSI's flagship X79 motherboard. This feature packed overclocking board is aimed at anyone who wants something extreme. A 22 phase VRM coupled with quad SLI capability and every OC feature from direct OC buttons to manual PCI-E switches this board packs a strong punch, but does it live up to all the hype? Introduction:

The MSI X79 BigBang X-Power II (X79 BigBang) is MSI's top dog motherboard. Combine a very rich and abundant set of components and team it up with some cool overclocking features and then add some sugar and spice and you'll have something nice. The X79 BigBang doesn't cease to impress, whether it be in raw performance or innovation, MSI has done their best to put out a very special board within its own respects. If you are an overclocker this board really hits all the main points, yet it also has features for gamers and hardcore workstation people as well.

The X79 chipset has all the goodies one could ever imagine, except for a few things. First off it is missing USB 3.0, something we hope to see with Intel's Z77 chipset. Second it is missing all of those additional SAS or SATA6GB/s ports we saw on earlier X79 prototypes. That was a lot of SATA/SAS ports and now we have none of it, so we basically have a redo of the Z68 chipset just without SSD Caching and iGPU support. What is more interesting about the LGA2011 platform is what is the CPU has in store for us. Even though the current LGA2011 CPU's lack virtualization and PCI-E 3.0 certification, they still have many features. Quad channel memory controller with supreme overclocking abilities is a plus as is PCI-E 3.0 which can't be claimed until the second stepping gets PCI-SIG certification. We seem to take for granted the 40 PCI-E lanes and native Quad SLI/CF support. With LGA2011 we have Intel moving back to satisfy the overclocker, of course not how we would like, but BLCK straps are nothing to push to the side. Today we will take a look at MSI’s top LGA2011 board for overclockers, gamers, and enthusiasts, let’s see how it does. Specifications:

CPU Support

Chipset Memory

MSI X79 BigBang XPower II Supports 2nd Generation Intel® Core i7 processors in LGA2011 package. Intel X79 Express Supports eight unbuffered DIMM of 1.5 Volt DDR3 1066/1333/1600/1866*/2133*/2400 (OC) DRAM, 128GB Max - Supports Quad channel mode 6


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Multi-GPU Support

Expansion Slots

Published by: VR-Zone

Supports NVIDIA® 4-Way SLI™ Technology Supports AMD 4-Way CrossFireX™ Technology • 4 PCI Express gen3 x16 slots - PCI_E1 supports up to PCIE x16 speed - PCI_E5 supports up to PCIE x16 speed when PCI_E3 is empty, or supports x8 speed when PCI_E3 is occupied

Audio

- Compliant with Azalia 1.0 Spec

USB

- PCI_E3 & PCI_E7 support up to PCIE x8 speed • 3 PCI Express gen2 x16 slots

Storage

- PCI_E2, PCU_E4 & PCI_E6 support up to PCIE x1 speed SATAII controller integrated in Intel® X79 chipset - Up to 3Gb/s transfer speed.

FireWire

Back Panel I/O Ports

- Supports four SATAII ports (SATA3~6) by X79

- 1 x IEEE1394 port - 2 x RJ45 LAN Jacks - 6 x USB 2.0 ports

- Supports two SATAIII ports (SATA1~2) by X79

- Supports four SATAIII ports (SATA7~10) • RAID - SATA1~6 ports support Intel Rapid Storage Technology enterprise (AHCI / RAID 0/1/5/10) by Intel X79

- Supports up to two 1394 ports. (Rear panel x1, pinheader x1) - Transfer rate is up to 400Mbps. - 1 x PS/2 Mouse/ Keyboard port

- 1 x Optical SPDIF port

- Up to 6Gb/s transfer speed.

- Up to 6Gb/s transfer speed.

- Meet Microsoft Vista Premium spec • 1 USB 3.0 internal connector by NEC® D720200 • 4 USB 3.0 rear I/O ports by NEC® D720200 -• VIA® VT6315N chipset

- 1 x Clear CMOS button - 1 x Coaxial SPDIF port

• SATAIII controller integrated in Intel® X79 chipset

• SATAIII controller integrated in ASMedia® ASM 1061 chipset

• Chipset integrated by Realtek® ALC898 - Flexible 8-channel audio with jack sensing

- 4 x USB 3.0 ports

Internal I/O Connectors

- 1 x 6 in 1 audio jack - ATX 24-Pin power connector - 2 x 8-pin Power connectors - CPU x 1 / System x 5 FAN connectors - Front panel audio connector - Front panel connector - 1 x Chasis intrusion connector - 2 x USB 2.0 connectors - 1 x USB 3.0 connectors

LAN

Supports dual PCI Express LAN 10/100/1000 Fast Ethernet by Intel 82579V and 82574L.

- 4 x Serial ATAII connectors - 6 x Serial ATAIII connectors - 1 x IEEE1394 connector 7


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- 1 x Clear CMOS jumper - 1 x Power button - 1 x Reset button - 1 x OC Genie button - 2 x Base clock buttons

Form Factor

- 1 x Multi BIOS button 34.5cm(L) x 26.4cm(W) XLATX Form Factor

Nikon integrates NAVTEQ maps into COOLPIX AW series digital cameras

in GPS (Global Positioning System) functionality that allows geo-tagged images to be pinpointed via Point of Interest (POI) data supplied with the NAVTEQ map. The NAVTEQ map today features millions of POIs in over 50 categories including restaurants, tourist attractions, shops, hotels and much more. The AW100 will recognize your location and display it, either as longitude and latitude, or by place name. With the integration of maps and location content in the AW100, users can now geographically organize their photos effortlessly, allowing them to easily identify the exact location of where the photo was taken and when.

Piracy is Good For Business: Who Said That? Angry Birds, That's Who! Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/piracy-is-good-for-business-who-saidthat-angry-birds-that-s-who-/14721.html February 2nd, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nikon-integrates-navteq-maps-intocoolpix-aw-series-digital-cameras/14723.html February 2nd, 2012

The Nikon COOLPIX AW100 is the company's first digital camera that is waterproof, shock-proof and cold-resistant. It has built-in GPS, electronic compass and a map display, and soon, you can also load NAVTEQ map and location content from the camera.

Nikon is integrating NAVTEQ map and location content to their line of COOLPIX AW series compact digital cameras, designed for outdoor users. The AW100 claims to be the Japanese manufacturer's first compact digital camera that is not only waterproof, but also shock-proof and cold-resistant. Unique to the AW100 is the ability for users to view their exact location on the map display that comes pre-loaded within the cameras. The AW series are equipped with built-

If you own a smartphone, chances are you have Angry Birds running on the phone, even if you never launched the app yourself. What would the creators of the game think about piracy? You'd be surprised... Regardless of the industry you work in, counterfeiting or unauthorized distribution is something you'll have to learn to live with. The biggest difference is how you treat the end customer - are you going to punish or educate the customer. While MPAA and RIAA are hell bent on punishing the customer, even when that customer is U.S. Congress, or the actual offices of MPAA and RIAA themselves, there are companies that strive on educating the customer and expanding their own ecosystem to cover counterfeited products as well.

One such example is Rovio Mobile and their Angry Birds franchise. At Midem 2012 conference in Cannes, France, CEO of Rovio Mobile Mikael Hed stepped forward and made a daring statement: "We have some issues with piracy, not only in apps, but also especially in the consumer products. There 8


February 2nd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

are tons and tons of merchandise out there, especially in Asia, which are not officially licensed products," continuing with "we could learn a lot from the music industry, and the rather terrible ways the music industry has tried to combat piracy." Seeing multi-billion dollar companies like Valve, Blizzard as well as music artists actually thriving on changing their business models to protect their own content and yet protect the consumer at the same time is the right way forward. Digital distribution channels created tens of billions of dollars in revenue which did not exist before. "Already our apps are becoming channels, and we can use that channel to cross-promote - to sell further content," Mikael said. "The content itself has transformed into the channel, and the traditional distribution channels are no longer the kingmakers." The conclusion of his speech was "Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business at the end of the day." The problem with RIAA and MPAA model is ultimately, it is more about the control of the user than the control of who owns the content - given the number of artists who have their own parallel channels of their own content distribution. But the companies like Rovio Mobile can challenge the counterfeiting and piracy, educate the consumer and earn ton of money in the process. Will it account for lost sales - they certainly would. But they will be too busy counting the money earned by customer education.

Using a base clock rate of 258.2 MHz and multiplier of 47x, a whopping 6067.7 MHz was achieved. Further to that, Christian also managed to get the memory running nicely at an also staggering 3505 MHz, just 95 MHz shy of a new world record for that alone. Of course, this couldn't have been accomplished without a big spoonful of voltage fed to the chip, but with sub-zero (LN2) cooling being the order of the day, the 2V core voltage used was kept in check.

AMD A8-3870K makes it past 6GHz with memory at 3505 MHz! Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-a8-3870k-makes-it-past-6ghzwith-memory-at-3505-mhz-/14719.html February 2nd, 2012

We've seen some pretty darn impressive overclocks out of AMD's trusty A-series processors, but this fresh result certainly tops the list, An overclocker from the HWBOT community by the name of "Christian Ney" looks to have crossed the 6GHz barrier using an A8-3870K APU, and that's with all of its cores enabled. We've seen some pretty darn impressive overclocks out of AMD's trusty A-series processors, but this fresh result certainly tops the list, An overclocker from the HWBOT community by the name of "Christian Ney" looks to have crossed the 6GHz barrier using an A8-3870K APU, and that's with all of its cores enabled.

Christian used a GIGABYTE A75-UD4H motherboard for the job together with GeIL's EVO Corsa DDR3 memory. When attempting to submit his CPU-Z result for validation it was rejected however, probably out of disbelief that Llano could handle such abuse from a 2 volt vCore and 258.2MHz base clock versus the default that is a whole 158.2MHz lower.

Microsoft releases Kinect for Windows with version 1.0 SDK Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-releases-kinect-for-windowswith-version-1.0-sdk/14716.html February 2nd, 2012

As promised at CES early last month, Microsoft has just launched Kinect for Windows in the form of the version 9


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1.0 Software Development Kit and a new version of the Kinect hardware that's been tweaked to better suit close range operation at the desk. As promised at CES early last month, Microsoft has just launched Kinect for Windows in the form of the version 1.0 Software Development Kit and a new version of the Kinect hardware that's been tweaked to better suit close range operation at the desk.

Published by: VR-Zone

Besides Canon, Pentax was the only DSLR camera manufacturer that didn't offer a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, but that should change today with the introduction of the Pentax K-01. Both pictures and partial specifications of the new camera have already leaked, so we can give you a glimpse of what to expect ahead of the launch. Unlike most of its competitors, bar Panasonic, Pentax has gone for a fairly traditional camera design for the K-01 and it doesn't appear that Pentax has gone out of its way to make the most compact mirrorless interchangeable lens camera in the market. On the other hand, the company hasn't skimped on quality as the camera features an aluminium frame and there's also plenty of dials and buttons, something that should appeal to more professional users.

At $249 for the bundled Kinect for Windows kit it does seem pretty steep when considering the fact that it's possible to just head out, buy Kinect for Xbox 360 for $99, plug that into your PC and download the SDK freely off the internet. The issue is, you won't end up with the same result due to the device being modified to suit much closer distances, right up to just 40cm away while maintaining optimal accuracy and precision.

You may not want to bite just yet given the hefty $249.99 MSRP as seen listed over at Amazon, and the other factor being that we're still waiting on developers to create some apps and games that'll hopefully wow many of us into wanting one of these things. We'll have to see how that all pans out in the coming months.

Pentax K-01 leaks ahead of imminent launch Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pentax-k-01-leaks-ahead-of-imminentlaunch/14722.html February 2nd, 2012

Thanks to a press release issued by one of Pentax retail partners, we also have an idea about the specifications of the upcoming camera. The K-01 uses the standard Pentax K-mount and is as such as far as we're aware, the only mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with an APS-C size sensor that uses the same mount as its predecessors. All of Pentax competitors require a lens adapter to use older lenses and this could prove to be a huge advantage for Pentax when it comes to getting current Pentax camera owners to upgrade to the K-01. The sensor is a 16Megapixel APS-C size CMOS unit which offers multiple aspect ratios and is claimed to offer low noise image capture and as with previous Pentax DSLR cameras the K-01 has sensor-shift image stabilization and a dust reduction system. The K-01 is capable of capturing 1080p30 video as well as 720p60 using H.264 encoding. The camera can also shoot 6 FPS bursts, offers shutter speeds of 1/4000 to 30 seconds and has an ISO range of between 100 and 25,600. As with your average DSLR the K-01 offers P, Av, Tv and M shooting modes, as well as fully automatic and various creative modes and filters.

Besides Canon, Pentax was the only DSLR camera manufacturer that didn't offer a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, but that should change today with the introduction of the Pentax K-01. Both pictures and partial specifications of the new camera have already leaked, so we can give you a glimpse of what to expect ahead of the launch.

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Published by: VR-Zone February 2nd, 2012

Other features include a 3-inch LCD with 920,000 dots, not cutting edge, but at least as good as most of its competitors if not better, a built in pop-up flash as well as a standard Pentax hot-shoe, something that is rare in this market segment. You also get focus peaking which helps when focusing manually, in-camera HDR support and JPEG as well as RAW capture. As for the rest of the features we'll just have to wait and see, but some rumours suggest that we might be seeing a microphone input and we'd expect HDMI connectivity and support for SDXC cards.

Samsung has said that their highly-anticipated GALAXY S III smartphone will not be unveiled at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and many speculated that the phone may not be ready to be showcased yet. Recently, there had been some pictures of a phone with a curved screen, and the Samsung brand name on it. Could this be the Samsung GALAXY S III?

In addition to the K-01, Pentax will also be launching its new DA 40mm f/2.8 XS lens which is a 9.1mm thick pancake lens that weighs in at a mere 51g. This will be one of the lens options that will be bundled with the K-01 at launch, although Pentax will also offer it on its own.

Samsung has showcased their flexible display concept last year and suggested that the flexible screens would be implemented on mobile phones, tablets and other mobile devices this year. Well, it seems like someone has leaked pictures of a flexible screen mobile phone, and as you can see, the product has the Samsung brand name on it. And with the recent rumor mills on the GALAXY S III, could this phone actually be that?

The Pentax K-01 is expected to have a MSRP of US$749 (S $935) body only, US$899 (S$1125) with the 40mm pancake lens and US$999 (S$1245) with an 18-55 and 50-200mm lens bundle. The K-01 should be available in black, silver and apparently yellow as well. Full details, including availability is expected to be revealed later today.

From what we have gathered till now, the Samsung GALAXY S III, it will be equipped with quad-core Exynos processor, 2GB RAM, 4.6-inch 1280x720 high definition Super AMOLED Plus 3D touchscreen display, 12-megapixel camera and runs Google Android 4.0 ICS. Of course we cannot confirm that the photos are that of the Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S III, but it would be interesting to have a mobile phone with a screen that you can bend.

Another Valentine's Day Gift Can this prototype phone with Guide curved screen be the Samsung Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/another-valentine-s-day-giftguide/14713.html GALAXY S III? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/can-this-prototype-phone-with-curvedscreen-be-the-samsung-galaxy-s-iii-/14720.html

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With Valentine's Day just two weeks away, here are some more new gift ideas for the guy, the girl, and even the couple - BlackBerry 9900 White, The Darkness game, and Seagate GoFlex Satellite.

For Her: The pure white Blackberry Bold 9900 is the perfect gift for her this Valentine's Day, not to mention that it is sleek, smart and sexy. With the unique white colour, she will stand out in a crowd and always be looking for reasons to pull her phone out of her handbag. The Bold 9900 runs the latest BlackBerry OS 7 and comes with a touchscreen display and QWERTY keyboard for convenience of typing messages. Price: S$888 (before telco subsidies)

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Available on Xbox, Playstation and PC, this blockbuster sequel is inspired by the popular comic book series The Darkness. What's even more applicable is the game actually includes quite a sad love story where the main character loses the love of his life. Price: Xbox 360: S$69.90 ; PlayStation 3: S$79.90 ; Windows PC: S$59.90

For The Romantic Couple: The Seagate GoFlex Satellite is the first battery-powered external hard drive to wirelessly extend the storage capacity of any Wi-Fi enabled device such as your iPad or any other tablet and mobile device. Couples can now stream their favorite videos, music and pictures from their GoFlex Satellite straight to their mobile device. With 500GB (or 300 high definition movies), the GoFlex Satellite allows you to connect up to three devices simultaneously. This means that if the boyfriend wants to watch an action film and the girlfriend wants a romantic comedy, they can still sit together (holding hands) and stream off the same hard drive. Even if you do not have internet connection, the Satellite will still work as it creates its own Wiâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Fi network. Price: S$299

For Him: The Darkness II, launching in Singapore on the 10 February, comes at a perfect time for Valentine's Day. Any guy would love this game and what's great for the girls is that it isn't a present that will break the bank account.

The OE2 and OE2i are Bose' latest headphones that feature an updated look and design, and provide superb audio performance. The main difference between the OE2 and OE2i headphones is that the latter comes with an inline remote and microphone. Both the OE2 and OE2i headphones feature an enhanced proprietary TriPort acoustic headphone structure, with redesigned and newly tuned earcup ports to give a more balanced and natural audio reproduction. Price: S$219 (Bose OE2) and S$269 (Bose OE2i) 12


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Published by: VR-Zone

The benchmarks performed were a mix of heavily multithreaded and single-threaded. In most cases, the result was clear - a ~9% increase in performance over Core i7 2600K. Considering the 3% boost in clocks, Ivy Bridge brings a ~6% boost in IPC over Sandy Bridge. This also means Core i7 3770K will beat the current top Sandy Bridge Core i7 2700K by about 6%-7% as well. Compatible with devices using the Bluetooth 2.1 (or earlier) specifications that support the Bluetooth handsfree or A2DP profiles, the Bose Bluetooth headset Series 2 integrates Bose full-range audio and A2DP, and comes in right and left ear versions. It includes a proprietary dual microphone system that not only improves speech intelligibility but also rejects background and wind noise dramatically. Price: S$249

Intel Core i7 3770K benchmarks leaked Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-core-i7-3770k-benchmarksleaked/14714.html February 2nd, 2012

Of course, Ivy Bridge is a "tick" step, with the focus on die shrink, power efficiency and graphics performance. While Core i7 3770K may not appreciably improve on the performance of its Sandy Bridge predecessors, it will do so at a low TDP of 77W - a full 18W down on outgoing i7 2600/2700 parts. This 77W will also include an improved IGP - HD 4000 - now featuring 16 EUs. Low-power 65W SKUs will see greater increases in clock speeds over Sandy Bridge 65W parts thanks to the increase power efficiency. This is not the first time we have seen Core i7 3770K benchmarks leaked, with the first leaks showing very similar results. However, both show numbers are a tad lower than Intel's in-house projections. The first Ivy Bridge quad-core CPUs are still on course to hit retail in the first or second week of April.

Arctic Announces First Products with Next-Gen AMD Trinity A8 and A10 APUs A set of benchmarks comparing Intel's upcoming Core i7 3770K - top of the Ivy Bridge heap - to Core i7 2600K have leaked online. The benchmarks were performed by OBR-Hardware using a C0 stepping engineering sample of Core i7 3770K, clocked at 3.5 GHz with 3.9 GHz turbo - identical clocks to the current Core i7 2700K. A Z68 chipset motherboard was used, using a new UEFI/BIOS to include Ivy Bridge support. Of course, Ivy Bridge CPUs will ship alongside 7 series chipset motherboards at launch, including Z77.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/arctic-announces-first-products-withnext-gen-amd-trinity-a8-and-a10-apus/14712.html February 2nd, 2012

Back in 2011, Swiss-Hong Kong brand Arctic announced its entrance into the world of all-in-one HTPC's with their MC001. The company was satisfied with the market success of the first generation part and decided that the time has come to unveil its successor. New HTPC is the first one that is solely tailored for the role of a living room device. MC101 carries the tag line "Entertainment Always" and the company is following suit with a very sleek design. The interesting bit is that this compact HTPC is powered by the upcoming AMD Fusion "Trinity" processors carrying a familiar name "A8", and not so familiar "A10". Both 13


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processor lineups will be powered by the Trinity silicon, i.e. next-generation CPU core codenamed "Piledriver" with the GPU core codenamed "Northern Islands".

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threatening individuals or companies with litigation, it might be that MC101 line of products is a way of making a peace offer. Then again, the calling of not growing, but exploding market of advanced set-top boxes. For example, Intel is currently shipping over 30,000 set-top-boxes per day... in EMEA region alone alone! Yes, that's 900,000 devices per month, all powered by a variant of a 45nm Core processor, named Pentium for the sake of argument.

Targus launches dual-display USB 3.0 graphics adapter Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/targus-launches-dual-display-usb-3.0graphics-adapter/14710.html February 2nd, 2012

According to the associated slide, AMD "Trinity A8" comes with Radeon HD 7640G, while "Trinity A10" comes with Radeon HD 7660G, implying this will be a higher performance part (current Fusion APUs top out with X500 series). According to Arctic, the products will be released when AMD decides to launch Trinity-based Fusion APUs, which could be CeBIT 2012 in March, or Computex Taipei 2012. Given the timing when Llano was introduced to market, we would assume the second option is a more realistic one.

The aptly named Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Adapter does exactly what the name suggests; it adds option to add up to two displays via a USB 3.0 adapter. It's based on DisplayLink's new DL-3900 chipset which allows for a pair of display to be driven over USB 3.0. The aptly named Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Adapter does exactly what the name suggests; it adds option to add up to two displays via a USB 3.0 adapter. It's based on DisplayLink's new DL-3900 chipset which allows for a pair of display to be driven over USB 3.0. The device itself doesn't look like much, a small black box with a short USB cable at the rear and an HDMI and DVI port at the front. We're not sure if it was a wise choice by Targus to use a none removable cable, as we've already experienced issues with some USB 3.0 devices where the cables have caused poor connectivity, but hopefully Targus has tested this to make sure it'll last the lifetime of the device.

Do note that Arctic is deliberately not mentioning AMD's "Fusion" brand in any part of the press release. This comes from an interesting legal case taking place: few days ago, a report came out that Arctic actually plans to sue AMD over the Fusion brand, claiming it has filed for a trademark before AMD. The problem with that could be that AMD was saying Fusion for their future products before that power supply trademark was filed - both came out in 2006. However, that is a legal matter and knowing Arctic's previous love for

Each display connector can drive an independent display at resolutions of up to 2048x1152, somewhat disappointing considering the DL-3900 chipset should support resolutions of up to 2560x1600, but this would require a dual-link DVI port, an HDMI 1.3 or DisplayPort connector, something which apparently is missing here. The HDMI does at least support 5.1-channel audio and HDCP 2.0 for copy protected content. The Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Adapter should be available as of now at a retail price of US$99.99 (S$125)

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Published by: VR-Zone

which isn't too bad when you consider Targus is asking for US $79.99 for its single port version.

LevelOne launches clever Powerline Wi-Fi access point Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/levelone-launches-clever-powerline-wifi-access-point/14709.html February 2nd, 2012

Powerline networking has its use and although it is nowhere nearly as popular as the almost ubiquitous Wi-Fi standard when it comes to networking there are times when it's the only option to get a network connection in your home. LevelOne has announced a clever solution that helps bridge the two technologies, something that should appeal to that need network connectivity in a larger building. Powerline networking has its use and although it is nowhere nearly as popular as the almost ubiquitous Wi-Fi standard when it comes to networking there are times when it's the only option to get a network connection in your home. LevelOne has announced a clever solution that helps bridge the two technologies, something that should appeal to that need network connectivity in a larger building. Although being far from the first of its kind the PLI-3411 as it's called, it manages to combine the functionality of both being a Powerline adapter, an Ethernet switch and a Wi-Fi access point. This means that you can use it to extend your Wi-Fi network to remote areas of your home or office without the need of additional Ethernet cables while also having the additional benefit of being able to connect multiple wired devices that can communicate locally with each other without having to send the data over the Powerline interface.

The PLI-3411 features Powerline speeds of up to 200Mbps and the three port switch is only offer 10/100Mbit speeds, not exactly cutting edge, but good enough for streaming HD quality video and then some. The Wi-Fi part support speeds of up to 300Mbps and features a pair of external antennas with 2x2 MIMO support, another rare combination for this kind of product. Another handy addition is an off-switch for the Wi-Fi, which allows the Wi-Fi to be disabled easily without affecting other devices that are plugged in. The PL-3411 is available as of now and retails in Europe for around â&#x201A;Ź70 (S$115/US$95).

Zynga denies it plagiarised other games Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zynga-denies-it-plagiarised-othergames/14708.html February 2nd, 2012

Zynga has denied allegations that it plagiarised other companies' games, a controversy that has engulfed the highlysuccessful social gaming firm. Zynga has denied allegations that it plagiarised other companies' games, a controversy that has engulfed the highlysuccessful social gaming firm. Buffalo Studios claimed that Zynga's Bingo game is copied from its Bingo Blitz, both of which are popular on Facebook, but Zynga's CEO, Mark Pincus, denies the accusations. In an interview with VentureBeat, Pincus said that not only is Zynga Bingo not a copy of Buffalo's game, but that Buffalo copied elements of its Poker Blitz game. He added that numerous other companies have copied its games in the 15


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past, such as the many almost identical clones of its popular FarmVille title, like Farm Town, My Farm and Happy Farm. Of course, just because other people or companies do it doesn't necessarily make it right, but Pincus claims that there shouldn't be an issue if a game idea is taken and improved upon. Considering the game in question is the age-old bingo, we suppose he might have a point.

Published by: VR-Zone

Facebook to file $5 billion IPO Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-to-file-5-billionipo/14707.html February 2nd, 2012

Facebook is to file an initial public offering request worth $5 billion today, a move which will set it on the road to becoming a public company. Facebook is to file an initial public offering request worth $5 billion today, a move which will set it on the road to becoming a public company. The social network, which has over 800 million users, will offer shares for sale in May, according to Reuters, with its $5 billion preliminary target being the largest ever offered by a technology firm, easily surpassing Google's $2 billion IPO in 2004. That high price could also go up further, depending on investor demand.

This isn't the first time Zynga has been accused of plagiarism, however. Game developer NimbleBit accused Zynga's Dream Heights game of copying its Tiny Tower title, right down to the exact game mechanics, such as the numbers of business types, workers, products, and so forth. Pincus denied this, saying that games within a certain genre will definitely have similar features, but that Zynga evolves these games much further. He said that Tiny Tower is not the first game of its kind and has striking similarities with previous titles like SimTower and Tower of Babel. In a letter to employees, which was intended to be confidential, Pincus said that just as Google was not the first creator of the search engine, nor Facebook the first creator of the social network, Zynga does not have to be first to market with a game – but it does have to be “best in market.” That means evolving a game beyond its original idea. Since no lawsuits have been filed over the alleged plagiarism, the issue remains open to debate. There are definite cases for either side, and the burning question is how much of an idea can be used before it becomes plagiarism, and how far plagiarism accusations can go before they start hurting the gaming industry, where reinvented titles are common.

Facebook selected five bookruners to handle the IPO, led by heavyweight Morgan Stanley. The others are Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, and JP Morgan. Other underwriters could join this illustrious group in future.

Speculation about a Facebook IPO has been mounting for months, with many investors keen to get a slice of the action in what many consider to be a very lucrative company. While other technology IPOs have been a hit and miss affair, Facebook is generally seen as almost a guaranteed success. The outcome of the deal will be watched closely by other social networks, such as Twitter, Myspace and Bebo, all of which continue to trade privately. Rumours are circulating that Twitter could file an IPO as early as 2013.

MegaUpload users offered legal aid to restore data Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/megaupload-users-offered-legal-aid-torestore-data/14706.html

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MegaUpload users are being offered legal aid to help them get their lawful data back, with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Carpathia Hosting criticising the way in which the seizure and closure of MegaUpload was handled. MegaUpload users are being offered legal aid to help them get their lawful data back. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Carpathia Hosting have set up a website, MegaRetrieval.com, for those affected by the closure of the file-sharing service, where they can begin co-ordinated legal action to claim back non-pirated data that was stored on MegaUpload servers. “EFF is troubled that so many lawful users of Megaupload.com had their property taken from them without warning and that the government has taken no steps to help them,” said Julie Samuels, staff attorney at the EFF. “We think it's important that these users have their voices heard as this process moves forward.” Previously as many as 50 million users faced the possibility that their data would be deleted as early as tomorrow, but this data may be held for several more weeks as the prospects of lawsuits arise. Lawyers defending MegaUpload claim that this information would prove that the site stores legal data.

Carpathia, which is one of two companies that provides hosting for MegaUpload, also reassured customers that it has no immediate plans to reprovision those servers, and that any such plans will come with a seven-day notice, but until the matter goes to court there is very little that can be done to restore access to uploaded files. “Carpathia does not have access to any data for Megaupload customers,” said Brian Winter, CMO of Carpathia. “We support the EFF and their efforts to help those users

Published by: VR-Zone

that stored legitimate, non-infringing files with Megaupload retrieve their data.” Should the EFF launch a class-action lawsuit, it will undoubtedly be watched closely by the entire internet, music and movie industries, and many other file-sharing sites, some of which have since closed up, will be hoping that legitimate users regain access to their data.

Shuttle launches mSATA supporting XPC SZ68R5 MiniPC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/shuttle-launches-msata-supportingxpc-sz68r5-mini-pc/14705.html February 2nd, 2012

While certainly not as popular these days as they were several years ago, Shuttle is still keeping its small form factor based XPC lineup refreshed with new models from time to time. A new model dubbed the XPC SZ68R5 has just been released which is based on Intel's Z68 Express chipset, using the company's FZ68 motherboard. While certainly not as popular these days as they were several years ago, Shuttle is still keeping its small form factor based XPC lineup refreshed with new models from time to time. A new model dubbed the XPC SZ68R5 has just been released which is based on Intel's Z68 Express chipset, using the company's FZ68 motherboard.

This barebone PC is ready for your LGA-1155 CPU of choice and offers support for up to 32GB of DDR3 memory in the form of four physical slots. In terms of expansion options, it has a single PCI-E x16 v2.0 slot (with enough room to house a dual-slot graphics card) along with a PCI-E x4 slot and a miniPCI-E x1 v2.0 slot.

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Leo 'Sneezes the day' in latest AMD tech demo Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/leo-sneezes-the-day-in-latest-amdtech-demo/14704.html February 2nd, 2012

AMD's latest real-time tech demo has just been released for its DX 11-capable Radeon cards. Dubbed Leo, the demo apparently runs fairly well on higher end HD 6000 series cards, but for optimal smooth as glass performance a HD 7900 series card is said to be required.

A first for Shuttle's barebone systems is the inclusion of an mSATA slot to be able to add in an mSATA SSD and take advantage of Smart Response Technology. Power wise, the XPC SZ68R5 comes with a 500W 80Plus certified mini-PSU that provides both 6 and 8-pin connectors for your graphics card of choice. Cooling of the system is handled by Shuttle's I.C.E. (Integrated Cooling Engine) which features advanced I.C.E. heatpipe technology.

AMD's latest real-time tech demo has just been released for its DX 11-capable Radeon cards. Dubbed Leo, the demo apparently runs fairly well on higher end HD 6000 series cards, but for optimal smooth as glass performance a HD 7900 series card is said to be required. The demo weighs in at a slightly chunky 740MB, but the original download link from AMD remains fairly quick, at least for now. If you'd like to see the demo in action before making the effort to download and run, a 1080p running video has been uploaded on Youtube for your viewing pleasure :Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.) The Leo demo showcases a real-time, DirectXÂŽ 11 based lighting pipeline that is designed to allow for rendering scenes made of arbitrarily complex materials (including transparencies), multiple lighting models, and minimal restrictions on the number of lights that can be used -all while supporting hardware MSAA and efficient memory usage.

Running over the remaining features and forms of connectivity, the XPC SZ68R5 has two SATA 6Gbps ports and two SATA 3Gbps ports, one eSATA, four USB 3.0 ports (two in the front), six USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and DVI-I outputs (if using the built-in graphics support on a 2nd gen Intel Core CPU), Gigabit LAN and 8-channel HD audio. The XPC SZ68R5 from Shuttle has been given a suggested price tag of â&#x201A;Ź301.00 (ex. VAT).

Specifically, this demo uses DirectCompute to cull and manage lights in a scene. The end result is a per-pixel or per-tile list of lights that forward-render based shaders use for lighting each pixel. This technique also allows for adding one bounce global illumination effects by spawning virtual point light sources where light strikes a surface. Finally, the lighting in this demo is physically based in that it is fully HDR and the material and reflection models take advantage of the ALU power of the AMD Radeon HD 7900 GPU to calculate physically accurate light and surface interactions (multiple BRDF equations, realistic use of index of refraction, absorption based on wavelength for metals, etc).

Xilence release dual-drive 5.25-inch SSD/HDD-Dock Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xilence-release-dual-drive-5.25-inchssdhdd-dock/14703.html

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Looking for a more accessible, convenient way to add a couple 2.5-inch SSDs or HDDs to your desktop along with a bit of extra functionality? Xilence might have just the solution for you with its new Dual-Drive Dock that's designed to be mounted in an available 5.25-inch drive bay. Looking for a more accessible, convenient way to add a couple 2.5-inch SSDs or HDDs to your desktop along with a bit of extra functionality? Xilence might have just the solution for you with its new Dual-Drive Dock that's designed to be mounted in an available 5.25-inch drive bay.

The SSD/HDD-Dock from Xilence features hot swappable support for the two residing 2.5-inch SATA drive slots, while also taking advantage of the vacant USB 3.0 header on your motherboard (assuming you arn't currently using a case that already gives USB 3.0 connectivity via its own I/O). A 19-pin plug is provided for direct connectivity to the board's header which gives a couple USB 3.0 ports on the Dock's face.

The SSD/HDD-Dock is now shipping through Euro channels at a recommended price tag of 27.90 Euro.

Adata 8GB DDR3 1600MHz DIMMs announced Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/adata-8gb-ddr3-1600mhz-dimmsannounced/14702.html February 2nd, 2012

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With memory pricing remaining at record low levels there's no wonder that the memory manufacturers are trying to convince its customers to buy higher capacity modules, although even those are appearing to be moving towards more affordable price points. Adata has a pair of new 8GB modules in its Premier series which despite the name is Adata's more basic memory modules and as such carries an affordable price tag. With memory pricing remaining at record low levels there's no wonder that the memory manufacturers are trying to convince its customers to buy higher capacity modules, although even those are appearing to be moving towards more affordable price points. Adata has a pair of new 8GB modules in its Premier series which despite the name is Adata's more basic memory modules and as such carries an affordable price tag.

The significant thing here though is the fact that the modules are operating at 1600MHz, whereas most 8GB modules to date have only been clocked at 1333MHz, albeit with fairly slow latencies of 11. This seems to be a move from Adata's side to be ready for Ivy Brige which will support higher memory clocks than Sandy Bridge across the board, at least as far as the initial Core i5 and Core i7 processors are concerned.

The fact that Adata has managed to put together an 8GB SODIMM at 1600MHz â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which would work with a few Sandy Bridge quad core mobile CPUs â&#x20AC;&#x201C; further suggests that this is a move towards having large capacity modules ready for the Ivy Bridge launch in just over two months' time. Both modules are operating at 1.5V and we'd really have liked to have seen a 1.35V SO-DIMM here. No word on pricing or availability, but we'd expect these modules to start trickling out into the channel over the next few weeks.

Samsung announces Series 5 ULTRA notebooks and Series 7 Smart Station Monitors Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-announces-series-5-ultranotebooks-and-series-7-smart-station-monitors/14701.html

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February 2nd, 2012

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February 2nd, 2012

Today, Samsung Asia introduced their new Series 5 ULTRA notebooks, which come in 13- and 14-inch sizes, and are the company's latest Ultrabooks. On top of that, the Korean electronics manufacturer also announced Series 7 Smart Station monitors, ML-2165 monochrome laser printers and SCX-3400 series multi-function laser printers Left of the Samsung ULTRA 13-inch

Right of the Samsung ULTRA 13-inch

The Samsung Series 5 ULTRA notebooks are the company's first Ultrabooks that are not just thin and light, but claims to pack superb computing performance. Available in 13- and 14-inch, both are powered by second generation Intel Core i5-2467M processor, up to 8GB memory and boasts fast boot of just 20 seconds and wake up in two seconds. The Series 5 ULTRA also offers up to 6.4 hours of battery life on a single charge, and with Samsung Battery Life Plus, it keeps 80 percent of the cell's original capacity in three years (or life cycle of up to 1,500 charging cycles). Measuring 20.9mm slim and weighing 1.84kg, the 14-inch model offers up to 1TB storage and features AMD Radeon HD7550M graphics card with 1GB VRAM and integrated optical disc drive. It also comes with full-size HDMI, VGA, two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, 4-in-1 multi SD card slot, Ethernet and webcam. The Series 5 ULTRA 13-inch measures 14mm at its thinnest point and is extremely lightweight at 1.43kg. It doesn't have the AMR Radeon graphics card or built-in optical drive and has a smaller 500GB storage. But for connectivity, the Samsung offers full-size HDMI, one USB3.0, two USB2.0, 4in-1 multi SD card slot, Ethernet and webcam. Both the 13- and 14-inch are equipped with Samsung superior LCD technology with 300 nits high definition LED SuperBright display, Image Enhancer technology and anti-reflective screen.

DoCoMo launches two "Disney Mobile on docomo" Android smartphones Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/docomo-launches-two-disney-mobileon-docomo-android-smartphones/14700.html February 2nd, 2012

DoCoMo and Walt Disney have jointly announced two "Disney Mobile on docomo" Android smartphones, F-08D and P-05D. Both phones offer exclusive benefits, services and content that allow users to have a unique Disney experience.

According to Samsung, the Series 5 ULTRA will not come with SSD and Core i7 processors at launch, although it is likely the company will bring in the options in future. Both models will be available in early February at S$1,298 (13-inch) and S $1,598 (14-inch). 20


February 2nd, 2012

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CyberLink announces PowerDVD 12, ought to change the name Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cyberlink-announces-powerdvd-12ought-to-change-the-name/14699.html February 2nd, 2012

Walt Disney Japan and NTT DoCoMo have announce two smartphones under the "Disney Mobile on docomo" brand. The new models announced are the Fujitsu "Disney Mobile on docomo" F-08D, and the Panasonic "Disney Mobile on docomo" P-05D which run Google Android 2.3 operating system with full touchscreen display. Users will get to enjoy free access to animated feature film services, original live wallpapers, puzzle and music game applications for children and family-entertainment. Special customer benefits will also be offered in cooperation with Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, whereby DoCoMo is an official corporate sponsor. Equipped with 1.2GHz dual core CPU, the F-08D sports 4.3-inch high definition display and features waterproof/ dustproof design, sparkling silhouettes of Mickey and Minnie mouse, and compatible with Osaifu-Keitai mobile wallet service and one-seg services. The stylish P-05D smartphone measures 7.8mm thin with a huge 4.3-inch Organic EL display, and designed to fit comfortably in one's palm. It has waterproof/dustproof design and two customizable Disney jackets for your personalized preference. The "Disney Mobile on docomo" F-08D will retail end February, while the "Disney Mobile on docomo" P-05D will sell in March. Pricing details not available at press time.

It's amazing that there's still a market for DVD playback software for computers these days, although as is clear by CyberLink's latest iteration of PowerDVD which has reached version 12, DVD playback is really just a minor feature these days. CyberLink should really change the name of its software, but the familiar name is most likely selling the company a lot of software, despite the fact that the software has evolved far beyond DVD playback. It's amazing that there's still a market for DVD playback software for computers these days, although as is clear by CyberLink's latest iteration of PowerDVD which has reached version 12, DVD playback is really just a minor feature these days. CyberLink should really change the name of its software, but the familiar name is most likely selling the company a lot of software, despite the fact that the software has evolved far beyond DVD playback. PowerDVD 12 comes with a range of new features including converting standard Blu-ray to 3D Blu-ray, 3D support for YouTube, support for a range of new audio formats such as DTS-HD 7.1, OGG, FLAC and MK3D, a music store and maybe most importantly support for converting and syncing media with mobile devices. Additional mobile device support also comes in the shape of a mobile version of PowerDVD that is supplied free with the Ultra version of PowerDVD 12 and the option of using your smartphone as a remote for PowerDVD 12. What strikes us as a bit odd though is that the standard version of PowerDVD 12 lacks Blu-ray playback support, yet CyberLink is charging no less than US$49.95 for this software and at the same time manages to cut out features such as 3D video support, syncing and video transcoding which makes this a fairly poor purchase. The Pro version, priced at US $79.95 is nearly fully featured and just lacks the mobile apps, some streaming features and 7.1-channel audio support which can be forgiven, but the steep price point is off-putting. The Ultra version is priced at US$99.95 which does include all the mobile apps for both Android and iOS, which would otherwise be an extra cost of US$24.98, a fairly minor saving compared to adding them separately to the Pro version, but yet again not what we'd call good value for money unless you really take advantage of the features on offer.

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February 2nd, 2012

Box Office app lets you purchase movie tickets in Singapore fuss-free

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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. or TSMC for short is without any doubt, world's largest foundry. The company churns out billions of chips per year and easily beats even Intel in number of chips manufactured. Revenue side of business is another thing, though.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/box-office-app-lets-you-purchasemovie-tickets-in-singapore-fuss-free/14698.html February 2nd, 2012

Now you can book and purchase your movie tickets in Singapore using your iPhone; there's an app for that. The Box Office app has a clean user interface that is extremely easy to use. Just choose the cinema, the show you want to watch and pick your seats.

TSMC gained a lot of attention since companies like AMD, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and others use them to manufacture products on the bleeding edge of technology and the recent past made several "claim to fame", beating the industry benchmark (Intel) by a process node. For example, TSMC's 80nm process shipped dozens of millions chips while Intel was manufacturing 90nm IC's (Integrated Circuit) and 55nm continued the same trend. Apple iPhone users who are also frequent movie-goers would love this "Box Office" app. Developed by Ohmpa, the app features a clean user-friendly interface and lets you book and purchase your movie tickets in Singapore easily. There's no need to fill in your personal details repetitively; just choose the cinema, the movie you want to watch, pick your seats and the app will handle the rest. You can browse the latest showtimes from Golden Village and Cathay, find out how packed each showtime is, select the seats you want and book them immediately, store your details securely within the app such that you don't need to key them in every time.

28nm Process a Resounding Success: Can TSMC reach 200 28nm Chip Designs? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/28nm-process-a-resounding-successcan-tsmc-reach-200-28nm-chip-designs-/14685.html February 2nd, 2012

Even though there are doubts that some financial analysts casted over TSMC, foundry's clients and TSMC themselves came out and said nothing is wrong with the 28nm process.

However, the company hit a wall with the yields of 40nm silicon, which was supposed to overtake Intel's 45nm process. However, the company did manage to launch a large number of 28nm chips for its clients Advanced Micro Devices and Qualcomm, targeting high end segment with the Tahiti GPU (Radeon HD 7950, HD 7970) and dual-core Snapdragon processors. Once again, the company beat Intel's 22nm node by a quarter, and TSMC wants to introduce 20nm process before Intel is able to come out with 14nm process node, where TMSC will equal with Intel and GlobalFoundries. The story will sound the same for the 10nm process. Also, TSMC is going forward with Gate Last HKMG concept, pioneered by Intel and will be joined by GlobalFoundries at 20nm node and below. According to TSMC representatives, the company has no less than 36 IC designs in mass production right now, and additional 132 designs in the tapeout stage. Maria Merced, President of TSMC Europe stated that the company "have learned the lessons on 40nm. We have put engineering teams on every tape-out to drive down defect density and drive up yields," she said. "It will be more difficult at 20nm again, but still we see very good momentum." The customers interest for the 28nm node grew three times as much as it did for the 40nm node, which was headed by AMD, NVIDIA and Qualcomm. It isn't entirely unbelievable that TMSC will break 200 designs on a single process node while the process is at its peak. All of this demand is being driven by the exploding smartphone and tablet market, as well as continuous growth in the PC and Consumer Electronics 22


February 2nd, 2012

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space, which all requires more and more power efficient semiconductors.

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February 6th, 2012

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VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Microsoft might launch an Xbox TV Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-might-launch-an-xboxtv/14768.html February 6th, 2012

Some might wonder who Perry is, however, and what insight into the industry he really has, and others might question the impartiality of his predictions, as both Microsoft and Apple cloud gaming offerings would provide significant benefits to his business. However, it's an interesting possibility, and this could be an area where Microsoft goes with its next Xbox, the muchrumoured Xbox 720, which is expected to release by the end of 2013. It would certainly give Microsoft a product that is very different to what Nintendo will be offering with the Wii U this year and might help ensure it remains ahead of rival Sony, which has yet to announce its next-generation console plans.

Microsoft might launch an Xbox TV in the future, which could be its contribution to the eight generation of gaming consoles or an entirely new product altogether, with gaming occuring on the cloud.

Apple delays German sales ban of iPhone and iPad ranges

Microsoft might launch an Xbox TV in the future, which could be its contribution to the eight generation of gaming consoles or an entirely new product altogether.

iphone-and-ipad-ranges/14767.html February 6th, 2012

David Perry, head of open cloud gaming platform Gaikai, said that he predicts that Microsoft will enter the TV market, following in the footsteps of Sony and Apple by offering a cloud gaming system. In an interview with CVG Perry argued that Microsoft has little choice but to launch an Xbox TV, and he suggested that Apple was also in the process of launching cloud gaming products on its iTV, which he expects will launch later this year.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-delays-german-sales-ban-of-

Apple has delayed a sales ban of its iPhone and iPad ranges in Germany, which could help it avoid a disastrous drop in sales in the largest European economy. Apple has delayed a sales ban of its iPhone and iPad ranges in Germany, which could help it avoid a disastrous drop in sales in the largest European economy. Motorola Mobility, which Google is awaiting approval to buy, secured the sales ban in December after the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court ruled that Apple had infringed its patents. Apple managed to secure a last minute temporary suspension of the sales ban, however, which will ensure its products remain on sale for at least another few days or weeks. Apple claims that Motorola won't license the patent in question to it, but Motorola claims that the two disagree over payment terms for Apple's unauthorised use of the patent in the past. Despite Apple's efforts, Motorola is continuing to push for a sales ban, saying that the court recognises that Apple infringed its patents and that the suspension is therefore only 1


February 6th, 2012

a temporary waiver before the products need to be taken off the shelves.

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The Delhi High Court told the firms that they must develop a way to check and remove offensive and objectionable materials or it would follow in the footsteps of China and block all offending websites. Facebook and Google have since announced that they have removed the content in question, though it is not exactly clear what this material actually is, and whether these firms can keep up with censoring any future content that the Indian authorities may not like.

Now that the tables are turning on Apple, we wonder if it regrets beginning this latest patent war with Android smartphone makers. It previously secured a sales ban of the Samsung Galaxy Tab in Germany and has been fighting for similar bans in other countries across the world. It has also launched cases against HTC and Motorola. The products that face a ban include the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 4, as well as all 3G models of the iPad. The iPhone 4S and Wi-Fi versions of the iPad are not affected.

A civil case is also being heard today in Delhi, brought by Mufti Aizaz Arshad Kazmi, a Muslim who alleges that the companies are hosting religiously intolerant material. The situation in India raises big questions over how far countries can go with censorship of the internet, and whether or not big firms should comply with those orders. Google has recently been attempting to repair relationships with China after taking a stand against censorship there, as it is otherwise losing out on the potential revenue of that huge market.

Apple also faces another problem in that Motorola has secured a ruling against the infringement of another of its patents relating to two-way communications between pagers and other devices. This affects Apple's iCloud and MobileMe products, but Apple claims that the patent is invalid and is appealing the decision.

Many of the companies in question have filed an appeal for the Indian ruling to be overturned, stating that it is impossible for them to monitor and pre-filter content, not to mention the issue of freedom of speech, which many feel is being trampled upon by increasingly authoritarian regimes.

Facebook and Google comply with Indian censorship ruling

Haswell qualification sample gets pictured

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-and-google-comply-withindian-censorship-ruling/14766.html February 6th, 2012

21 companies, including Facebook, Google and Yahoo, have been ordered by an Indian court to remove “offensive” material from their websites or face being blocked. So far Facebook and Google have announced their compliance with the ruling. 21 companies, including Facebook, Google and Yahoo, have been ordered by an Indian court to remove “offensive” material from their websites or face being blocked.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/haswell-qualification-sample-getspictured/14764.html February 6th, 2012

Intel is still about two months away from launching its Ivy Bridge CPUs, yet pictures of next year's Intel consumer CPU – codenamed Haswell – has appeared online. The CPU is strutting its stuff alongside Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge and Nehalem for an Intel family photo. 2


February 6th, 2012

Intel is still about two months away from launching its Ivy Bridge CPUs, yet pictures of next year's Intel consumer CPU â&#x20AC;&#x201C; codenamed Haswell â&#x20AC;&#x201C; has appeared online. The CPU is strutting its stuff alongside Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge and Nehalem for an Intel family photo.

Published by: VR-Zone

Llano). The manufacturing of standard CPUs (FX, Opteron) remains solely at GlobalFoundries domain.

Thanks to a set of slides that leaked way back in November, we have a good idea of what to expect from Haswell and its accompanying Shark Bay platform. We also mostly know what to expect in terms of graphics improvements over Ivy Bridge, at least architecturally speaking. What is surprising though is that the company has qualification hardware ready a year ahead of the expected launch, something that must be a first even for Intel.

Looking at the chips it's clear that Haswell has a larger die than Ivy Bridge, something that shouldn't come as a surprise as Haswell has a more advanced IGP, something that will physically take up more die space. As both CPUs are made using Intel's 22nm process, Haswell ends up being slightly larger due to the laws of physics. The CPUs in question here should all be mobile CPUs, hence why there's no heat spreader on top. This allows for a more candid view of the CPU core itself, but it also shows that Intel has changed the placement of the resistors once again and there also appear to be a lot more of them than on previous CPU generations, albeit much smaller resistors are being used. Due to the fact that his is a mobile CPU, we should be looking at either at a BGA part or a socket G3 947-pin part, but it's not clear which one of the two it is. For more details on Haswell we suggest you hit up the links above.

AMD Adds a Third Foundry for its Fusion APUs: Hello IBM Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-adds-a-third-foundry-for-itsfusion-apus-hello-ibm/14759.html February 6th, 2012

Trinity, the successor of Llano will be manufactured using 32nm SOI process at both GlobalFoundries and IBM, presumably at IBM's East Fishkill facility in New York State. Two companies are not competitors though. IBM's East Fishkill is the location of former AMD CPU Silicon Design Team, which became GlobalFoundries CPU Silicon Design Team following the manufacturing spin-off in 2008. Following the issues with the manufacturing of Llano, it seems that AMD is moving forward to check GlobalFoundries processes with a different measurement. This is not a surprising turn of events, since the manufacturing cluster in New York state is practically joined at hip: first revenue 32nm SOI chips manufactured at GlobalFoundries Fab 8 in Malta were for - International Business Machines, i.e. IBM. The mantra that Rory P. Read, Chief Executive Officer of AMD was saying during his keynote speech was "execute". Remember, AMD lost a breakthrough contract with Apple in the first half of 2011 because the company could not execute and deliver a sufficient quantity of 32nm "Llano" chips. Same thing is with Lenovo, where Rory lead the company since its spun-off from IBM. Can GlobalFoundries and IBM create enough Trinity chips to avoid the Llano debacle and put AMD inside the major players such as above mentioned Apple and Lenovo? Only time will tell.

Rambus buys Unity Semiconductor for nextgeneration memory Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rambus-buys-unity-semiconductor-fornext-generation-memory/14760.html February 6th, 2012

At the recently held Financial Analyst Day held in Sunnyvale, California, AMD disclosed that the company added a third foundry in its manufacturing portfolio - IBM. After GlobalFoundries and TMSC, AMD executives admitted that the company will use IBM as a third foundry for its Fusion Accelerated Processing Units (APUs): TSMC manufactures 40nm E-Series, W-Series and Z-Series, while GlobalFoundries manufactures 32nm A-Series (codename:

Intellectual property holder Rambus has bought computer memory company Unity Semiconductor for $35 million, a move designed to strengthen its position as a major licensor of memory products.

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February 6th, 2012

Intellectual property holder Rambus has bought computer memory company Unity Semiconductor for $35 million, a move designed to strengthen its position as a major licensor of memory products. The deal involves the team behind Unity Semiconductor joining Rambus' ranks and continuing to work on nextgeneration non-volatile memory technology like CMOx, which is intended to replace existing NAND memory products by offering higher density, faster performance, lower manufacturing costs, and greater data reliability.

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Toshiba launches Satellite U840, company's first 14-inch Ultrabook Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/toshiba-launches-satellite-u840company-s-first-14-inch-ultrabook/14758.html February 6th, 2012

Rambus is currently one of the dominant players in the memory industry, particularly when it comes to NAND, so it's not surprising that it's preparing for changes in technology that could otherwise upset its position.

Toshiba Singapore has announced their latest 14-inch Ultrabook, U840 which is not just stylish, but also offers good computing performance and weighs a portable 1.59kg.

“At Rambus, we are creating disruptive technologies to enable future electronic products,” said Sharon Holt, SVP and GM of the Semiconductor Business Group at Rambus. “With the addition of Unity, we can develop non-volatile memory solutions that will advance semiconductor scaling beyond the limits of today’s NAND technology. This will enable new memory architectures that help meet ever-increasing consumer demands.”

Toshiba Singapore has announced their new Satellite U840, which claims to be the company's first 14-inch Ultrabook. It measures 19.9mm thin with a weight starting from 1.59kg, and is equipped with the latest second generation Intel Core processors for Ultrabook, fast DDR3 memory and offers improved power management for long battery life. The U840 sports a metallic silver finish with brushed aluminum chassis which not only looks sleek, but also provides good durability to knocks and bumps. Comes in 128GB solid state drive (SSD) or Hybrid HDD with 16GB SSD, the Ultrabook can power on in seconds with Toshiba's new proprietary Hi-Speed Start technology. It features a 14-inch high definition display and powerful speakers with SRS Premium Sound 3D technology for great multimedia experience. Connectivity options include Bluetooth, Wireless LAN, and full-size ports such as HDMI and three USB ports, one of which is a USB 3.0 port. With Toshiba's USB Sleep and Charge technology, you can charge your smartphones even when the system is powered down.

Rambus has gained notoriety in technology circles for numerous lawsuits against chips firms over the alleged infringement of its many patents, including heavweights like Samsung and Nvidia. The acquisition of Unity Semiconductor will give it more ammunition for lawsuits and licensing deals, like the recent one it secured with Broadcom, for the next wave of memory products. Image Credit: Unity Semiconductor

The Toshiba Satellite U840 will be available at @shopToshiba and major authorised reseller outlets in Q1 this year, retailing from S$1,399, depending on configurations.

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February 6th, 2012

GameStop allows some handson time with a PS Vita ahead of launch Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gamestop-allows-some-hands-on-timewith-a-ps-vita-ahead-of-launch/14755.html February 6th, 2012

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Bob Puzon, vice president of merchandising at GameStop said, "We are excited to be the first retailer where consumers can experience the PS Vita. We are impressed with how the quad-core technology brings gaming to life and are confident consumers will be, too." If Feb 22 is just too long of a wait to handle, there is a quicker way to get it. If you pre-order the First Edition Bundle you'll get it one week ahead of the official launch, on February 15th. The bundle gives $435 worth of stuff at a price of $349.99. It includes :• PS Vita 3G/Wi-Fi system • PS Vita case

Keen to get some hands-on time with Sony's PlayStation Vita hand-held before it hits shelves on the 22nd Feb? - A press release issued out from GameStop on the weekend lets us know that if you're based in the U.S. you'll be able to do just that to help finalize your purchasing decision. How? Just waltz on in to a GameStop retail store. Keen to get some hands-on time with Sony's PlayStation Vita hand-held before it hits shelves on the 22nd Feb? - A press release issued out from GameStop on the weekend lets us know that if you're based in the U.S. you'll be able to do just that to help finalize your purchasing decision. How? Just waltz on in to a GameStop retail store.

• Little Deviants game • 4GB memory card • AT&T DataConnect Pass good for one free 250MB data session ($14.99 value) upon purchase of one 250 MB data session • PlayStation Network game voucher provided upon 3G activation on the AT&T mobile broadband network. Come February 22nd there'll be three additional PS Vita options available; these including a Wi-Fi model for $249.99, a 3G/Wi-Fi model for $299.99 and a limited edition PS Vita Launch Bundle comprising :• PS Vita 3G/Wi-Fi system • 8GB memory card • AT&T DataConnect Pass good for one free 250MB data session ($14.99 value) upon purchase of one 250MB data session • PlayStation Network game voucher provided upon 3G activation for $299. It should be noted that the bundle is a promo offer and availability is limited, so be quick!

Over 3,300 of GameStop's stores across the country have been equipped with PlayStation Vita demo kiosks which let you get your mits on one and try it out with a variety of launch titles including :• UNCHARTED: Golden Abyss • Little Deviants

Intel's Berryville Atom CE processors revealed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-berryville-atom-ce-processorsrevealed/14756.html February 6th, 2012

• Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational • EA SPORTS FIFA Soccer • ModNation Racers: Road Trip • Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition • Escape Plan • WipEout 2048

By the end of this quarter, or early next quarter Intel should be unveiling its next generation of Atom CE processors, currently codenamed Berryville. Although as amusing as the code name might be, Intel has gone through great lengths to make Berryville a real contender in the consumer electronics market space and maybe even giving some high-end ARM solutions a run for their money. 5


February 6th, 2012

By the end of this quarter, or early next quarter Intel should be unveiling its next generation of Atom CE processors, currently codenamed Berryville. Although as amusing as the code name might be, Intel has gone through great lengths to make Berryville a real contender in the consumer electronics market space and maybe even giving some high-end ARM solutions a run for their money. We've already given you a run-down of Intel's plans for Tizen, its co-operation with Samsung which merged what was left of MeeGo after Nokia pulled out and Samsung's in-house Linux OS Bada. Intel clearly wants Tizen to succeed MeeGo as its OS for Smart TVs and this is where Berryville comes into play. Intel might have lost its partnership with Google, but looking at Intel's upcoming Atom CE processors, we'd say the company is planning to bring the game to the ARM partners. As mentioned, the first Berryville processors should arrive within the next few months and the company is planning to launch at least seven models, although not all are expected to launch at the same time and some are only available for certain partners. All of the Berryville Atom CE processors will be dual core with Hyperthreading, in other words, all of them can handle up to four threads. This suggests that they're very similar to Intel's Cedar Trail processors and the graphics clock speed for the 3D graphics at 400MHz further makes us think Intel has based Berryville on Cedar Trail. The most basic version will be known as the CE5310 or CE5320 and it'll be a basic 1.2GHz with HDMI output. Moving up we have the CE5343, the only other part that lacks hardware video encoding despite having HDMI input, but the higher 1.8GHz clock speed might help when it comes to encoding video. This is also the first Atom CE part with Intel PQE, where PQE stands for Picture Quality Engine, which enables Intel's â&#x20AC;&#x153;Joint Colour Correction and Enhancement IPâ&#x20AC;? which is some kind of software/hardware video enhancer. The remaining five or so models all feature a built in HD resolution H.264 hardware video encoder and Intel will be offering a separate SDK here to allow its partners to take advantage of its features. Having a built in hardware video encoder also means CPU's with slower clock speeds can handle video encoding with a breeze, as shown by so many ARM processors. As such, we start with the Atom CE5328, yet another 1.2GHz part, although here we have both hardware video encoding and support for Intel PQE. This is followed by its 1.8GHz sibling, the CE5348. Then we have a typical Intel oddity, the CE5315 which is a 1.2GHz part with the hardware video encoder, but no support for PQE. The final two models, the 1.2GHz CE5318 and the 1.8GHz CE5338 are both intended for integration into Smart TVs and as such lack HDMI input and have LVDS connectivity instead. Both models feature the hardware video encoder and Intel PQE and will only be offered to manufacturers of television sets. Common features among all SKUs include a pair of SATA ports, three USB ports and a pair of PCI Express lanes as well as a eMMC 4.4 NAND flash interface. Intel has taken steps to reduce BOM (Build of Materials) cost, so presumably devices based on Intel's CE5300 family should be more

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affordable than those based on the CE4x00 family, despite more functionality having been added. The first models to arrive should be the CE5310/5320, the CE5315 and the CE5328, which means that the faster 1.8GHz parts will be launched at a later date, presumably sometime in Q3. Intel is going to have to be very cost competitive with Berryville if the company is going to be able to compete with the likes of Marvell's new Armada 1500 SoC which is what we'll see in the second generation of Google TV boxes. The overall feature set in terms of what the consumers are concerned is very similar and estimated pricing mentioned at CES for the second generation Google TV boxes was said to be US $99. 2012 could turn out to be a very interesting year for the Smart TV, although we've already seen other competitive solutions like Roku's MHL streaming stick to mention but one competing low-cost solution. There's no doubt that Intel has a tough fight on its hands, but the company does have the money and resources to stick it out, but the real question is if Tizen will prove to be popular with Intel's potential hardware partners or not.

Facebook, Google, Microsoft and more - edging towards Big Brother or, worse, SkyNet? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-google-microsoft-and-more-edging-towards-big-brother-or-worse-skynet-/14754.html February 6th, 2012

Facebook, with close to a billion users now, is a perfect data mining treasure for any intelligence service that would control it - but what about Google's combination of tracking and searching capabilities? Or Microsoft's rumoured backdoors in Windows for the US intelligence? I am not an active Facebook user, and when my contacts send me Facebook notifications, I kindly advise them to use more traditional means, or other contact networks. However, over 800 million others are active there and, even with China somewhat justifiably - blocking the service, the number might reach a billion by the end of this year. Now, imagine you are any government's intelligence service, and you have some control over a huge, truly huge, data base of all the Facebook users profiles, photos, activity updates and such - basically, the users themselves provide most of the work needed to track them! Any data mining on these would obviously create a lot of return - no wonder that the real forces behind Mark Zuckerberg and the team were often rumoured to be Mossad or CIA or both, mentioned in various combinations. What to do, if true, can only take a hat off to them for such ingenious idea... But, is Facebook the only Big Brother-potential service that can turn you into a slave of the New World Order - aside of MSG & Aspartame laced food, fluoridated water and poisoned planetary environment meant to dumb you down further and if possible exterminate most of us along the way for easier 6


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control of the survivors? Well, far from it... ever thought about Google? Google itself, at the initial stages of gaining popularity of its OS and browser efforts, was seen as the 'freedom' alternative compared to Microsoft, whose links to the US NSA agency after all, Bill Gates was no 'self made enterpreneur', do check his father's US government connections - are quite well known, including widely rumoured - but never officially proven security backdoors in Windows itself. Now you understand why the Chinese government is not exactly friendly towards Windows on their systems? But then, is Google any better? Let's have a good look at the combined resources of this behemoth, and what these could do in the future... deep-dive geographical locating service combining Google Earth and Google Streetview with GPSbased real time tracking of millions of Android phones and associated Google user profiles and such, not to mention data mining capabilities and worldwide search data on anyone and anything, and the combined world's knowledge, where Google by far exceeds any other known public service. Plus, why not add DNA profiling and related database, for further tracking of everyone's specific genome and - why not specific vulnerabilities in the future for ethnic-based or even personally-tailored bioweaponry aimed to take out specific groups or individuals. The gigantic datacentres, combined with knowledge mining and even decision making software layers, combined with all the above could create a true blue SkyNet machine from the Terminator movies, that would in theory track all the humans as if they were a sort of robotic androids... oh well, that's the name of Google's seemingly unstoppably popular mobile OS platform, isn't it? Ouch, that Windows Phone OS now looks positively safe... Either way, whether we allow total control over ourselves or not, is largely our call - whether it is on food we eat, fluids we drink, air we breathe - minus the chemtrails of course as well as protection from natural or increasingly artificial germs around us. Same applies to the addition to 'application stores' which are a very easy way for total control of what you can install and run on your, name it, smartphone, tablet, and maybe mobile PCs. Again, even generic Windows, not to mention Linuxes, look like oasis of freedom, compared to the app-store level of control - and there we come to another particularly paranoid company - Apple...

Firefox 11 beta adds some useful features Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/firefox-11-beta-adds-some-usefulfeatures/14753.html

Published by: VR-Zone February 6th, 2012

Mozilla's dev dept. is certainly quite the active one when it comes to dishing out continuously new builds of Firefox. Just days after the release of Firefox 10, you guessed it, they're already actively working towards Firefox 11 with the first beta already now available for download. Mozilla's dev dept. is certainly quite the active one when it comes to dishing out continuously new builds of Firefox. Just days after the release of Firefox 10, you guessed it, they're already actively working towards Firefox 11 with the first beta already now available for download. But don't be so quick to turn your nose up at this one, as it may actually bring one or more things with it that appeal to you this time around. One significant inclusion here is addon synchronization, allowing you to easily mirror any add-on installations you might have across multiple desktop machines without having to go through the process manually. Quite the time saver for some, I'm sure. Another notable addition is the ability to migrate all your Bookmarks, History and Cookies from Google's Chrome browser, then there's some redesigned media controls for HTML5 based video playback and CSS text-size-adjust property support. Devs also get some new stuff to play with as well, including a Page Inspector 3D View that gives a whole new perspective on structuring and making up a web page, a Style Editor tool, SPDY support and more. Keen to give it a shot? Just click over to this page where it's available for Windows, Mac or Linux in a wide array of languages.

Antec Eleven Hundred Case Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/antec-eleven-hundred-casereview/14746.html February 6th, 2012

It was not two weeks ago since we studied the P280, a chassis designed to merge high performance with elegance. Today we are going to examine, test and review a case of comparable size and design, which however has been adjusted to cover the needs of an entirely different market group, hardcore gamers and overclocking enthusiasts. This product is no other than the new flagship in Antecâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gaming series, the Eleven Hundred. Also, stand a chance to win a brand new Antec Eleven Hundred! (more details at the end of the article) 7


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Published by: VR-Zone

Founded in 1986, Antec has been around for over 25 years and today is one of the most experienced high performance PC case manufacturers. In an effort to keep every enthusiast pleased, the company offers a very long list of products. It was not two weeks ago since we studied the P280, a chassis designed to merge high performance with elegance. Today we are going to examine, test and review a case of comparable size and design, which however has been adjusted to cover the needs of an entirely different market group, hardcore gamers and overclocking enthusiasts. This product is no other than the new flagship in Antec’s Gaming series, the Eleven Hundred.

Cable Management

Model Case Type Color(s) Cooling System

Dimensions

Eleven Hundred Mid-Tower Black - One 200 mm blue LED top fan - One 120 mm rear fan - One 120 mm intake fan behind. motherboard for CPU cooling (optional) - Two 120 mm internal intake fans (optional) - Two 120 mm front intake fans (optional)

Side panel features

Weight

Grommet-lined cable routing holes with 36 mm of space behind the motherboard tray - Side Panel Window (Right side) - Two 120 mm fan mounts (Right side - Optional) - One 120 mm fan mount behind motherboard (Left side – Optional) - 20.7” (H) x 9.3” (W) x 21.5” (D) / - 527 mm (H) x 237 mm (W) x 546 mm (D) - Net weight: 15.3 lbs / 6.9 kg - Gross weight: 18.7 lbs / 8.5 lbs

Creative intro HN-900 and Aurvana X-Fi 2 noise-canceling headphones Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/creative-intro-hn-900-and-aurvana-xfi-2-noise-canceling-headphones/14752.html February 6th, 2012

- Two 120 mm side panel fans to cool graphic cards (optional) - Fan power hub (allows you to connect four 3-pin fans to a single Molex

Drive Bays

Front Ports

for improved cable management) - Three 5.25" tool-less drive bays - Two 2.5” drive bays (dedicated) - Six 3.5” tool-less drive bays (rail-mount design) - Two USB 3.0 with internal motherboard connector - Two USB 2.0

Creative has just announced a couple new pairs of headphones, the HN-900 and Aurvana X-Fi 2, both with active noise cancelling that promises reduced ambient noise by up to 85%. Both sets feature 40mm Neodymium magnet drivers that Creative says will give precise, crystal clear sound with a frequency response range of 20Hz to 20 kHz. Creative has just announced a couple new pairs of headphones, the HN-900 and Aurvana X-Fi 2, both with active noise cancelling that promises reduced ambient noise by up to 85%. Both sets feature 40mm Neodymium magnet drivers that Creative says will give precise, crystal clear sound with a frequency response range of 20Hz to 20 kHz.

- Audio In/Out - Nine expansion slots - 13" (330 mm) video card size Maximum CPU cooler height 6.7” (170 mm) PSU None Motherboard Support XL-ATX [13.6” x 10.3” (345 mm x 262 mm)], Standard ATX, microATX, Mini-ITX) CPU Cutout Enlarged CPU Cutout Expansion Slots / video card size

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Published by: VR-Zone

along with X-Fi Crystalizer which promises to deliver a more immersive listening experience. Also powered by a single AAA battery, the peripheral's active noise cancellation is said to work for up to 9 hours with all features turned on. "The Creative X-Fi Crystalizer utilizes algorithms to make any digital audio sound better by intelligently and selectively restoring the highs and lows that were lost during MP3 or other compression. The Creative X-Fi CMSS-3D virtually transforms stereo headphone playback into the more immersive listening experience of a surround sound speaker system. Users can independently select noise cancellation, XFi Crystalizer, X-Fi CMSS-3D and volume with convenient controls on the headphones. All of the technologies can be enjoyed together for up to nine hours from two AAA batteries. The headphones can also be used without audio technologies in passive mode." Creative lists the HN-900 noise-canceling headphones at the MSRP of US$99.99, while the Aurvana X-Fi noise-canceling headphones will be arriving sometime later this month for US $199.99.

Info shared on GPU options for Dell's Alienware M18X R2 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/info-shared-on-gpu-options-for-dell-salienware-m18x-r2/14750.html February 6th, 2012

The HN-900 comes with an in-line mic which can be used in conjunction with an iPhone for convenient single-click voice communication. A single AAA alkaline battery can provide active noise-cancellation for up to 40 hours, or there's the option of running in passive mode without the need for power.

A source close to Dell has disclosed the graphics options that will be available with Dell's yet to be launched M18x R2 under its Alienware branding. This laptop will sport an 18.4-inch display and feature one of Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge CPUs. A source close to Dell has disclosed the graphics options that will be available with Dell's yet to be launched M18x R2 under its Alienware branding. This laptop will sport an 18.4-inch display and feature one of Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge CPUs. It will be available in either black or red and will come crammed to the hilt with an array of features and optional extras such as Wireless HD (WiHD).

Shifting focus to the more feature rich Aurvana X-Fi 2 headphones, incorporated within is Creative's proprietory virtual sound technology in the form of X-Fi CMSS-3D 9


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Published by: VR-Zone

In usual fashion Apple has kept its cards close to its chest to prevent leaked information about the third-gen iPad and for the most part that's worked out pretty well for them. However, as we draw closer to its release things are ramping up and there is now an apparent minor leak of specs after photos were shared out from a source of a supposed iPad 3 prototype.

In terms of GPU options, the M18X R2 can be had with dual Radeon HD 7970M's in Crossfire, or if NVIDIA's offerings are preferred, you can opt for two GeForce GTX 675M's (SLI) or the slightly lower spec'd GTX 660M (it is unconfirmed at this time as to whether or not the 660M will be available in an SLI configuration or just as a single card).

Photos leaked of iPad 3 prototype running iBoot Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/photos-leaked-of-ipad-3-prototyperunning-iboot/14749.html February 6th, 2012

In line with prior reports of a March launch date for Apple's iPad 3, latest word from the rumor mill predicts its launch event within the first week of the month, and shipping to commence around mid month.

The photos show the iPad running while connected to a development tool called iBoot, allowing us to get an idea of what's lurking inside. The unit looks to be running a CPU using model number "S5L8945X" which when comparing it to model numbers of the single-cored iPad 1's processor (S5L8930X) and dual-cored A5 (S5L8940X), gives inclination that this is a quad-core Apple A6 processor.

In line with prior reports of a March launch date for Apple's iPad 3, latest word from the rumor mill predicts its launch event within the first week of the month, and shipping to commence around mid month. 10


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iBoot also makes mention of the iPad 3 WiFi and iPad 3 WiFi +GSM/CDMA/LTE in the form of models J1 and J2. You can view more photos over at the source.

Micron CEO Steve Appleton has passed away Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/micron-ceo-steve-appleton-has-passedaway/14747.html February 6th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Micron to maintain its position in sales figures as one of the top 20 global semiconductor manufacturers. Micron said in a proceeding statement, Our hearts go out to his wife, Dalynn, his children and his family during this tragic time. Steve's passion and energy left an indelible mark on Micron, the Idaho community, and the technology industry at large". Micron has not yet formally named a long term successor to Appleton. As it stands now, the company president and Chief Operating Officer, Mark Durcan takes over as interim chief executive officer. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Steve's family.

Sadly, we've just heard that Micron's CEO and chairman Steve Appleton has died at 51 years of age on Friday morning as the result of a small plane crash at Boise, Idaho. it's been reported that Appleton was flying alone in his Lancair fixedwing single-engine stunt plane when something caused the plane to malfunction and plummet to the ground. Sadly, we've just heard that Micron's CEO and chairman Steve Appleton has died at 51 years of age on Friday morning as the result of a small plane crash at Boise, Idaho. it's been reported that Appleton was flying alone in his Lancair fixedwing single-engine stunt plane when something caused the plane to malfunction and plummet to the ground.

Kingston expected to drop pricing on NAND flash storage products Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kingston-expected-to-drop-pricing-onnand-flash-storage-products/14751.html February 6th, 2012

With speculation that both motherboards and potentially DRAM will be increasing in price in the next few months, it looks like NAND flash based products aren't following the same trend. Kingston is said to be dropping is pricing on at least some of its NAND flash based products by as much as 15 percent.

Appleton had already aborted a previous flight that morning soon after takeoff when realising something was wrong with the plane. Yet only 8 minutes after returning from that flight and into the hanger, he was heading back into the sky once again, of which a very short time later the ill-fated event unfolded. Appleton narrowly escaped his peril back in 2004 when he crashed an aerobatic aircraft over an Idaho desert. He was renowned for his love of planes and athletic interests in general. It all started with Steve when he held a tennis scholarship at Boise State University before graduating and joining Micron in 1983. He was appointed president and chief operating officer for the company in 1991 and was listed as the third youngest CEO in the Fortune 500 list after taking over the reins from retiring Micron founder, Joe Parkinson at the age of 34. Despite some challenging times for the company through recent economic turmoil, Appleton's leadership allowed

With speculation that both motherboards and potentially DRAM will be increasing in price in the next few months, it looks like NAND flash based products aren't following the same trend. Kingston is said to be dropping is pricing on at least some of its NAND flash based products by as much as 15 percent. Digitimes is reporting that Kingston is considering a price drop for its SSDs, memory cards and USB flash drives by up to 15 percent due to more affordable NAND flash memory. Thanks to an almost industry wide move towards 2Xnm and sub 20nm manufacturing technology of NAND flash and a ramp in production has led to potential oversupply concerns. Moving from 3Xnm to 2Xnm allows for more chips per wafer and this in turn has also resulted in more affordable NAND flash. Hopefully we'll be seeing others follow suite, as SSDs are still too expensive to garner mass market appeal despite their apparent performance advantages over regular hard disk drives. We're already starting to see the 120GB SSD market space sliding below US$150 in retail and if we'll see a market wide price reduction by as much as 15 percent, there's really very little reason for consumers to not adopt the technology. The mass market adoption point of SSDs has been said to be

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the time we hit sub US$1 per GB and we're very close at hitting that point now.

AMD Explains Trinity codename: Piledriver, Northern and Southern Islands

Published by: VR-Zone

Samsung delays launch of the Galaxy S III Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-delays-launch-of-the-galaxys-iii/14737.html February 6th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-explains-trinity-codenamepiledriver-northern-and-southern-islands/14744.html February 6th, 2012

Despite hearing rumours of a launch at MWC 2012 in Barcelona later this month, a report has surfaced with supposed confirmation from Samsung directly that its highly anticipated Galaxy S III will not show up until later in the year. In the breaks during Financial Analyst Day, one AMD executive took the time to explain why the Trinity received its name. It comes from the fact that this is a final part in which AMD will do mix-and-match between different generations of architectures.

Despite hearing rumours of a launch at MWC 2012 in Barcelona later this month, a report has surfaced with supposed confirmation from Samsung directly that its highly anticipated Galaxy S III will not show up until later in the year.

AMD's Financial Analyst Day 2012 came and went. The feeling we have is that the company is taking 2012 and 2013 as the years in which the company will realign itself and start executing from top-to-bottom with a unified strategy on the processing cores, as well as merge the CPU and the GPU with very similar functionality.

The final part of now departing AMDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mix-and-match strategy is the Trinity APU. While there was a lot of rumors how Trinity got its name (3-display Eyefinity theory is now out the door, since Trinity APU supports up to six displays), the company did not elaborate on the origin of the codename until now. Trinity that got its name due to the fact that it is consisted out of three distinctive architectures. This is a first x86 processor from AMD that will utilize a second generation Bulldozer core, codenamed Piledriver. Furthermore, the GPU part is consisted out of two parts: shader cores and fixed function units come from Northern Islands architecture (Radeon HD 6000 Series), while video processing engine and multi-display connectivity come from Southern Islands GPU architecture (Radeon HD 7000). Hence, forget the biblical context, ok?

Samsung is apparently looking to unveil the Galaxy S3 seperately in a Samsung-organized event before the first half of 2012 is up; the reason for the delay being that Samsung wants the time frame between its launch and actual availability to be as minimal as possible. The other possible factor could be Samsung's intent to see what Apple has planned with the iPhone 5, rumored to be launching in July. Samsung does intend to make a bit of noise during this year's MWC event, most likely in the way of some new tablets and potentially some Windows phone handsets, but it is without doubt that hearing of this delay is a disappointment to the mass of Android fans out there eagerly awaiting a glance at Samsung's next (killer?) smartphone.

Acer updates Revo Nettop line with the RL70 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/acer-updates-revo-nettop-line-withthe-rl70/14743.html

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Published by: VR-Zone

February 6th, 2012

Acer has just quietly released its new Revo series RL70 Nettop PC powered by AMD's E-450 (Brazos) APU.The design is akin with previous Nettop models from the company, but has a few subtle design changes to help it blend in a bit better in the lounge. Acer has just quietly released its new Revo series RL70 Nettop PC powered by AMD's E-450 (Brazos) APU.The design is akin with previous Nettop models from the company, but has a few subtle design changes to help it blend in a bit better in the lounge.

Connectivity is relatively well covered with a multi-format card reader, a couple USB 2.0 ports on the front along with mic and headphones jacks, four more USB 2.0 ports on the rear, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wifi, VGA and HDMI video outputs and an S/PDIF audio output. No sign of USB 3.0 or eSATA, but that's probably not of too much concern given the RL70's intended purpose.

Running over the specs, as mentioned, it uses AMD's E-450 APU which houses a couple of Bobcat cores at 1.65GHz along with Radeon HD 6320 graphics - more than enough for typical multimedia use. There's 2GB of RAM and a 500GB HDD in it out of the box.

Acer ships the Revo RL70 with Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit and it's now available at a cost of $329.99.

Skype 5.8 brings Full HD video calling, Facebook integration and more Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/skype-5.8-brings-full-hd-video-callingfacebook-integration-and-more/14736.html

13


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Published by: VR-Zone

Pioneer is about to release a new 5.25" Blu-ray writer which is able to write to 100GB BDXL discs at speeds of up to 6X. Pioneer is about to release a new 5.25" Blu-ray writer which is able to write to 100GB BDXL discs at speeds of up to 6X.

What looks to be quite a significant update for Skype has just been made available, which most notably brings with it Full HD video-calling support, Facebook integration and Group Screen Sharing features.

The BDR-S07 can also burn typical BD-R single and dual layer discs at speeds of up to 12X, while single, double and triple-layer BD-RE discs can be written to at 2X. The trayloading 5.25" drive uses the SATA interface and comes in three variants that differ by their bezels.

Provided you are using a suitable webcam (of which for now looks to be limited to the Logitech C920), Skype 5.8 for Windows will allow you to make high definition video calls. We're not quite sure if there are other webcams that will work in Full HD mode at this time, but in the case of the Logitech, Skype was quick to support it, thanks to the video encoding being done inside the camera, allowing smooth Full HD video quality on older computers.

AMD Trinity ULV 3DMark scores revealed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-trinity-ulv-3dmark-scoresrevealed/14742.html February 6th, 2012

AMD has revealed internal 3D Mark Vantage benchmarks for two upcoming Trinity APUs that will find their way into "ultrathin" ultrabook competitors - A6 17W ULV and an 25W LV. The Facebook integration feature will allow you to initiate a video call with a Facebook user, regardless of whether or not they have Skype installed, while the new Group screen sharing feature allows a user to share their full desktop or a single application with others in a conference call. It should be noted that this feature is only for users on Skype Premium account, though. Along with the above, there are a few other little additions added into Skype 5.8 as well, such as the new "push to talk" option which allows you to set up a hotkey of your choice for triggering the microphone; a feature that could be quite useful during multiplayer gaming. And there's also the ability to hide all offline Facebook contacts that you see fit.

Pioneer to release 6X BDXL capable Blu-ray writer Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pioneer-to-release-6x-bdxl-capableblu-ray-writer/14734.html February 6th, 2012

To counter Intel's ultrabook initiative, AMD is preparing fully enabled quad-core (two module) APUs for ultrathins. The typical AMD ultrathin will be around ~18mm, featuring 17W APUs, while slightly thicker ultrathins may use high performance 25W APUs. In Appendix A to Lisa Su's presentation at Financial Analyst Day, AMD revealed typical 3D Mark Vantage scores for selected 17W and 25W SKUs, performed on Compal reference designs. A A6 ULV 17W Trinity scores 2355 3D Marks. This is twice as fast as Sandy Bridge Core i5 2537M, an ultrabook regular, which scores 1158 3D Marks. Of course, Trinity will be competing with Ivy Bridge ultrabooks, but AMD expects the given A6 ULV to still be over 50% faster than competing Ivy Bridge ultrabooks. The pinnacle of performance/power lies with the A10 Low Voltage APU, however. The 25W LV APU scores a blistering 3600 3D Marks, which sets a new record for integrated graphics in a laptop and puts most entry-level mobile discrete GPUs to shame. Trinity will also be present in performance laptops in 35W and 45W variants, which will further advance integrated graphics in notebooks. On the CPU front, Ivy Bridge should be dominant in less threaded benchmarks. However, things will be much closer in 14


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multi-threaded benchmarks as AMD is offering two-module / quad-core APUs against Intel's dual-core / four hyper-thread CPUs. With the right price points, AMD is well positioned to offer a compelling alternative to Intel's pricey ultrabooks. AMD is tracking almost 100 design wins for Trinity, which will show up in retail in Q2 2012. The full presentation is available at AMD's FAD page.

Frequency benefits of Ivy Bridge to benefit the higherend Ivy Bridge-EP too Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/frequency-benefits-of-ivy-bridge-tobenefit-the-higher-end-ivy-bridge-ep-too/14741.html February 6th, 2012

The desktop Ivy Bridge is just two months away, and it's tremendous frequency headroom is already well known. What then about its high-end Ivy Bridge-EP Xeon sibling half a year later?

Published by: VR-Zone

Another leak shows a 2.8 GHz 105W TDP Ivy Bridge - EP CPU, this time with an unexpected 30 MB L3 cache, i.e. 3 MB per CPU. Even more intriguing is the CPU-Z detection of the processors as Ivy Bridge EP/EX, as the EX part is supposed to be a different platform aimed at 8P and above systems, in a different socket with more QPI links, and likely sharing that socket with the further future Haswell-EX. Yes, you guessed right, there will be no SandyBridge-EX. Now, this is an early part, with at least 10 months away from actual launch in the best case, if Intel pushes Ivy Bridge-EP out faster - for which the current competitive situation doesn't give them any reason, unfortunately. The usual few steppings before the final launch should give us further refinement on the clock front too, probably allowing 15-20% extra clock despite a quarter more cores inside. If we extrapolate it to the upcoming E5 Sandy Bridge-EP topbin, the 3.1 GHz 150W Xeon E5 2687W for workstations, that means its successor in the Ivy Bridge-EP series could be as fast as 3.6 GHz 10-core in the same socket and power envelope. Of course, it'd be able to reach 4 GHz even just with Turbo, on all the cores, without any extra OC or such. Wow!

We all know by now that the upcoming Ivy Bridge desktop CPUs not only save power, but also can hit the roof with their clock speed headroom. The Core i7 3770K is expected to be able to pass 5 GHz easily with any decent air cooling, after all, despite the 'only' 3.5 GHz stock frequency before the Turbo kicks in.

So, the biggies can scale well up too, now let's see how to justify a business case for unlocking the darn multipliers there too. However, if such luxury does come out, be ready to pay for it - the extra validation, binning and other overheads to cost money, after all...

Obviously, the benefits of 22 nm Tri-gate 3-D transistors in the new semicon process, as well as refined design with a very small die, are showing there. How about its larger high-end sibling, the 10-core Ivy Bridge-EP, aimed at workstations and servers sometime around - or after - end 2012?

Motherboard prices expected to increase 10 percent by next quarter

Yes, you heard it right - as uncovered by another web site recently, who had a look at the early chip sample, the Ivy Bridge refresh of the Xeon E5 series, in the same Socket 2011 format, will have 10 cores, each of them with a 2.5 MB cache block for a total of 25 MB shared L3 cache. There will also be a speed up of the memory channels to quad-channel DDR3-1866 server memory capability, with everything else staying pretty much the same. Except for power and speed, of course - the website that posted the CPU-Z of the new chip is a confirmation of what we expected: even for a large die with server-related constraints and tougher validation, the new process enabled two speed bins up within the same power envelope. So, while the Xeon E5 2660, a 2.2 GHz 8-core 95W part, is the matching one here in the current lineup for March this year, the follow on seen on this site is a 2.4 GHz 10-core part in the same 95W TDP window.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/motherboard-prices-expected-toincrease-10-percent-by-next-quarter/14739.html February 6th, 2012

Thanks to increasing world market prices of copper, the major retail motherboard manufacturers are looking at increasing their motherboard prices by about 10 percent or so come April. This is bad news for Intel, as this will end up coinciding with Intel's launch of its Ivy Bridge processors and the new 7-series chipsets. Updated: We've added a statement at the end of the article from Gigabyte, which states that the company is not about to increase its motherboard prices. Thanks to increasing world market prices of copper, the major retail motherboard manufacturers are looking at increasing their motherboard prices by about 10 percent or so come April. This is bad news for Intel, as this will end up coinciding with 15


February 6th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Intel's launch of its Ivy Bridge processors and the new 7-series chipsets. This is the second motherboard price hike in as many years thanks to increasing costs of copper, as prices were increased of between five and 10 percent at the beginning of last year. Om top of that prices went up due to increased labour costs in China last year by another three to eight percent according to Digitimes and that doesn't begin to take into account the increase in component costs after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan last year. The price of copper has increased by over US$600 per tonne in only a few weeks' time and even though motherboards only use a few hundred grams of copper, the increased cost per tonne is still going to have an adverse effect on motherboard pricing. It's also likely lead to increased costs of other computer components such as high-end graphics cards which use 10 layer PCBs. On top of everything else, wages in China are going up which is further helping to increase the cost for the motherboard makers. Even so, according to Digitimes, Asus is expecting to see an increase in motherboard shipments by 10 percent, with Gigabyte expecting an increase of as much as 20 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same quarter last year. Update: We were contacted by Gigabyte with regards to this story and the company stated that it is not expecting any increase to the pricing of its motherboards and the information posted on Digitimes is incorrect as far as Gigabyte is concerned. Gigabyte is expecting to launch its next generation of LGA-1155 motherboards at similar price points as its current LGA-1155 motherboards, depending on the feature set on offer. The company is also expecting to see improved performance of the new motherboards compared to its current range of LGA-1155 models.

Motorola DROID 4 to launch on 9 February; retails US$199 with contract Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/motorola-droid-4-to-launch-on-9-

We have seen the Motorola DROID 4 as early as October last year, and everytime we thought it would be released, the launch was delayed. At the recent 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), we saw the DROID 4 (and its siblings), but unfortunately, the company didn't unveil the exact release date of the Android smartphone. New rumors suggested that the Motorola DROID 4 will go on retail on 9 February next Thursday Similar to its predecessor, the phone will have a US$199 price tag with two-year contract. The DROID 4 (also known as Milestone in Asia), is like the RAZR; it is Motorola's flagship model. It resembles the DROID RAZR, except for the additional QWERTY keyboard. The Motorola DROID 4 is powered by 1.2GHz dual-core CortexA9 processor, 1GB memory, 4-inch TFT screen (960x540 resolution), 16GB storage, 8-megapixel camera and supports 1080p high defintion video recording.

Canon Singapore launches PIXMA PRO-1 A3+ photo printer Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/canon-singapore-launches-pixmapro-1-a3-photo-printer/14735.html February 6th, 2012

february-retails-us-199-with-contract/14738.html February 6th, 2012

News of the Motorola DROID 4 has been going on since late last year, and even before the phone is launched, its specifications and product images have been known. The Droid 4 is like the RAZR, except that it has a keyboard. But on top of that, the RAZR has a 4.3-inch display, while the Droid 4 sports a 4-inch touchscreen.

Canon Singapore has announced the launch of their new PIXMA PRO-1, which claims to be the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first 12-ink A3+ photo printer that promises superb speed, quality and accuracy for color and monochrome prints.

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analyst expectations by quite a lot. The company reported 4.68 billion U.S. dollar revenue with 1.4 billion in profits i.e. a 20% growth when looking year-on-year and 33% quarter-onquarter. All in all, the company had spectacular financial results, but there was one thing mentioned which was very intriguing. It turns out that the United States Attorney's Office and the Department of Justice initiated investigation regarding compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977. This is a U.S. federal law which checks for company's business practices in the country and abroad. Will the regulators find irregularities that would be the reason for launching an official indictment - it is too early to tell. Canon Singapore has unveiled their new PIXMA PRO-1 professional inkjet printer, which features 12 separate ink tanks - five monochrome inks for producing professional quality black and white prints; six color (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Red, PhotoCyan, Photo Magenta), and a Chroma Optimizer. The Chroma Optimizer smoothens out stray ink droplets that cause uneven reflection, and add glossiness with anti-bronzing. The PIXMA PRO-1 uses LUCIA pigment inks for accurate colours and a Full-Photolithographic Inkjet Nozzle Engineering (FINE) print head to provide the highest possible print resolution. It has three colour modes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; colour, monochrome, and a new photo colour print mode which reproduces blues and greens to match visual memory of colours. The printer can achieve a high print resolution of upto 4,800 x 2,400dpi, and coupled with a printing depth of 16-bits per channel, it promises smooth tonal gradations. Other features include Ethernet network connectivity, rear tray that can accommodate up to 20 sheets of photo paper and a manual feed slot which accepts photo paper of up to 356mm (14") wide. The Canon PIXMA PRO-1 will retail S$1,399 in mid February, and available at authorized Canon dealers.

Qualcomm Under Investigation for "Foreign Corrupt Practices Act" Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/qualcomm-under-investigation-forforeign-corrupt-practices-act-/14730.html February 6th, 2012

Qualcomm's financial results for the fourth calendar quarter 2011 i.e. their first quarter in fiscal 2012 revealed a potentially problematic issue: the company is being investigated by the U.S. Attorney office and the Department of Justice. Qualcomm recently reported record results for the company, with their fiscal 2011 ending with almost 15 billion dollar revenue, nearly a 50% growth from the fiscal 2010. The company started the fiscal 2012 with a bang, beating the 17


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VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

The Witcher 2 developer criticises Xbox 720 preowned game ban rumour Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-witcher-2-developer-criticisesxbox-720-pre-owned-game-ban-rumour/14796.html February 8th, 2012

CD Projekt Red, the developer behind The Witcher 2, has voiced concern over a rumoured feature in the nextgeneration Xbox console that will prevent players from using pre-owned games. CD Projekt Red, the developer behind The Witcher 2, has voiced concern over a rumoured feature in the nextgeneration Xbox console that will prevent players from using pre-owned games. The Polish game developer said that Microsoft's alleged proposal is a “bad thing” and that tightening restrictions will ultimately lose players and potentially cause devastating effects on the survival of small game studios. The Witcher 2 was sold without digital rights management (DRM) technology, a method employed on many games to try to put an end to piracy. The company also offered free downloadable content, and it believes that it would be restricted in this regard if Microsoft adopts tough policies to prevent game sharing.

The developer said that it believes trust will win out, that customers will build loyalty with a studio and its games if it doesn't try to force them to keep the game they bought. The company said it wants to change the industry and is rebelling against the traditional approach taken by many other gaming firms. CD Projekt Red is also pushing for better value for customers by giving things that other companies would reserve for special editions in its standard edition of The Witcher 2 on Xbox 360, including a printed guide and map, without hiking up the price to compensate. The rumoured pre-owned game ban on the Xbox 720 could prove disastrous for Microsoft by sending players to rival consoles, and it could also have an adverse effect upon game stores, where pre-owned titles often take up a significant amount of space.

Hitachi announces Ultrastar 25nm SLC NAND flash SSD Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hitachi-announces-ultrastar-25nmslc-nand-flash-ssd/14795.html February 8th, 2012

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has announced the Ultrastar enterprise-class solid-state drive (SSD), which it claims is the industry’s first to use 25nm single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has announced the Ultrastar enterprise-class solid-state drive (SSD), which it 1


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claims is the industryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first to use 25nm single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash. As a business device it touts several security features, such as encryption. Hitachi is offering an optional selfencryption technology which will protect sensitive company data, as well as enhance secure erasure of information. Since encryption is handled by the drive itself and not software on a computer, this could save time, effort and money. The SSDs comply with the the Trusted Computing Group's Enterprise A Security Subsystem Class encryption specification. Hitachi has worked with Intel to develop the high-endurance SLC NAND flash memory and has produced the SSD400S.B in three capacities: 100GB, 200GB, and 400GB. It features a 2.5-inch 6GB/s Serial Attached SCSI interface, which opens up potential avenues for use as tiered storage in datacentres.

Published by: VR-Zone February 8th, 2012

Nokia is to axe an additional 4,000 jobs and move its assembly work to Asia in a bid to cut costs and return to its previous dominance in the mobile arena. Nokia is to axe an additional 4,000 jobs and move its assembly work to Asia in a bid to cut costs and return to its previous dominance in the mobile arena. The job cuts amount to eight percent of the Finnish company's workforce and brings the total of job losses to 30,000 since Stephen Elop became CEO in late 2010. 2,300 of the cuts will occur in Hungary, 1,000 will be chopped in Finland, and a final 700 will be lost in Mexico. Finland's employment unions were furious with the news and wanted large cash payments for staff that were given the boot. Given the continuing poor situation within the company and its finances, these are unlikely the last job losses we will see.

The SSD has up to 536MB/s and 502MB/s read and write speeds respectively. IOPS speeds are also up to 57,500 and 25,000 for reading and sustained writing, making the device 100 times faster than traditional hard drives. Reliability is also one of the primary selling points, with the 400GB version able to endure up to 35 petabytes of random writes before finally petering out. To put that in context, that would mean five years of writing close to 20TB every single day, which is far more than people are likely to use, and given the relatively low capacity of SSDs in comparison to HDDs it would mean overwriting data several times a day. Additional advanced data integrity and power loss management technologies enhance the device's reliability. The SSD400S.B is available immediately through select original equipment manufacturers. Self-encryption does not come as standard, and all versions of the device come with a five year or max petabyte write limited warranty.

Nokia to cut 4,000 jobs and move assembly to Asia Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-to-cut-4-000-jobs-and-moveassembly-to-asia/14794.html

Nokia is also moving its assembly business to Asia, where other rivals like Apple have been established for years. It is not yet clear where it plans to set up shop, but a likely candidate is China, where there is a large workforce, many of which will already be familiar with mobile technology. The lower wages there could save Nokia millions, but it might also raise questions over working standards, the same accusations levelled at rival firms. It's not hard to understand why Nokia is making these cuts, as the company recently reported a whopping â&#x201A;Ź1 billion loss for the fourth quarter of last year, with earnings dropping by 73 percent. Cutting costs is a necessary evil, but this alone is unlikely to stop the company from crumbling. It is hoping its deal with Microsoft to launch Windows Phone devices will put it back on top, or at least make it a viable contender to Apple and Google's many Android supporters. 2


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Nokia's American CEO Repeats U.S. Receipt: Offshore Everything to Asia Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-s-american-ceo-repeats-u.s.receipt-offshore-everything-to-asia/14793.html February 8th, 2012

The CEO of Nokia, former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop is continuing with his grand restructuring plan, bringing the next wave of cuts to the manufacturing division in Finland, Hungary and Romania. Following is arrival in Nokia, Stephen Elop has created a lot of controversial movements, introducing instability in the ecosystem which was under attack from Apple and Google anyways. Needless to say, memos such as his infamous "Burning Platforms" damaged confidence in Nokia's ability to execute.

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NVIDIA Settles with Rambus; New Patent License Agreement Signed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-settles-with-rambus-newpatent-license-agreement-signed/14782.html February 8th, 2012

After everything settled with Rambus getting their key patents invalidated and losing 60% of market value in a single day, NVIDIA finally decided to sit down with Rambus and iron things out about the new, favorable agreement for the company. Following the survival of the perfect storm for IP troll Rambus Inc, the company is facing new realities in terms of how much can they charge for their valid DRAM and XDR patents, as well as how much they cannot charge for now invalidated core patents, so called "Barth patents". These three patents were key for winning the infrigement suits against Hewlett Packard, NVIDIA Corporation and threatens numerous other parties (AMD, Intel, STMicroelectronics). In summer of 2010, Rambus won an injunction with the International Trade Commission (ITC) against NVIDIA and the company was forced to settle with Rambus. Furthermore, Rambus lost 60% of its market value after the $4 billion anti-trust lawsuit against Micron, Hynix was thrown out of court. Following the U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) decision to invalidate those three patents, NVIDIA was quick to react and in just two weeks, the company ironed out a new agreement with Rambus.

At the end of 2011, the company that created the smartphone dropped to third spot on the list, and recorded bigger losses than complete Google revenue. But the moves aren't stopping anytime yet. After Compal received the contract to manufacture Lumia series of smartphones (710 and 800), it was clear that the jobs in the West will come under siege. Today, the company has announced that 4000 Nokia employees at three manufacturing locations in Europe and North America will be terminated, equipment sold and the only thing factories in Komarom (Hungary), Reynosa (Mexico) and Salo (Finland) will be doing is "smartphone product customization." In any case, this news is really good for Compal, which can expect even more work in its Far Eastern facilities.

This time around, the new patent license agreement is more unvaforable to Rambus, Inc. The original case attacked NVIDIA products which utilized DDR2 and DDR3 memory, while GDDR memory did not contain any Rambus IP. In our conversations with AMD DRAM design team, we were told that they were "avoiding Rambus IP like the plague, and refrained from talking to Rambus about the memory standard. For as long as there's JEDEC, GDDR task force will remain closed to them." In conclusion of this article, if any of your friends figures out that this settlement means "NVIDIA will now ship Rambus XDR memory with its future GPUs or SOC's", think twice the patent license agreement covers DRAM in existing and future products. Just like AMD, our sources at NVIDIA tells us there is "zero interest" to go with an XDR DRAM based design. Just like "Radeon HD 7970 comes with XDR memory", the upcoming "GeForce goes XDR?" stories have the same value as the recent wave of Kepler "leaks", originating from masters of "imaginative jornalism", pardon students of imaginative journalism/blogism at Lenzfire.

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Cooler Master to drop prices on HAF X and HAF 932 Advanced in Europe Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cooler-master-to-drop-prices-onhaf-x-and-haf-932-advanced-in-europe/14792.html February 8th, 2012

With this year marking Cooler Master's 20th year in business, the company is feeling extra generous and has an anniversary gift to share out to the masses, providing you're based in Europe. With this year marking Cooler Master's 20th year in business, the company is feeling extra generous and has an anniversary gift to share out to the masses, providing you're based in Europe.

Now you can pick the HAF 932 up €20 cheaper than the usual going price at €119, while the HAF X also gets a €20 discount, selling for €139. Not drastic price cuts, but savings are savings. Cooler Master aims to roll in said price cuts on the 18th of February across Europe.

Logitech launches the Touch Mouse M600 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/logitech-launches-the-touch-mousem600/14791.html February 8th, 2012

If you've got a soft spot for their enthusiast oriented HAF X or HAF 932 Advanced chassis', perhaps now's the time to strike with Cooler Master dropping prices on both models in European countries. The HAF 932 Advanced is a recent update to the already well regarded HAF 932 with USB 3.0 ports, support for up to four SSDs and an all-black interior.

A little bit late to the game, Logitech has launched its first touch mouse, simply called the Touch Mouse M600. Logitech has gone for a design that ends up somewhere between Apple's Magic Mouse and Microsoft's Touch Mouse, although it seems to suffer from the same low profile as the Magic Mouse. A little bit late to the game, Logitech has launched its first touch mouse, simply called the Touch Mouse M600. Logitech has gone for a design that ends up somewhere between Apple's Magic Mouse and Microsoft's Touch Mouse, although it seems to suffer from the same low profile as the Magic Mouse. As with its competitors' products, Logitech's Touch Mouse M600 supports scrolling and swiping and Logitech claims that it's just as smooth to use as the touch screen on a smartphone. There are no buttons on the Touch Mouse M600, but it still allows for right and left clicking like a normal mouse, unlike the recently launched Cube. As there are no buttons, the Touch Mouse M600 is ambidextrous, so it works just as well for lefties and righties.

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The Touch Mouse M600 relies on an optical sensor, although Logitech claims that it offers “laser-grade precision”. The mouse is powered by a pair of AA batteries said to be good for up to six months usage and it uses Logitech's unifying receiver which can be stored inside the mouse when not plugged into a computer. The Touch Mouse M600 will be available later this month with a retail price of US$69.99 (S$87).

Olympus unveils OM-D interchangeable-lens digital camera Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/olympus-unveils-om-dinterchangeable-lens-digital-camera/14790.html February 8th, 2012

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It looks like digital cameras are going the retro way. From the "revival" of Olympus PEN series three years ago, and we have also seen Fujifilm introduced their FinePix X100 and X-Pro1 cameras with the classic design. This morning, Olympus unveiled their new OM-D, from the Olympus OM line started in the 1970's; the "D" in the model name stands for digital. The Olympus OM-D claims to be the world’s first mirrorless camera that is dust and splash-proof, and features 5-axis image stabilization to compensate for camera shake during shooting. It incorporates 16-megapixel Live MOS Sensor with TruePic VI image processing engine that can capture images of good quality and high sensitivity, and features a built-in electronic viewfinder that lets you check various shooting conditions in real-time, high sensitivity ISO 25600, 3-inch OLED touchscreen swivel viewfinder, and fast AF Autofocus system plus 3D tracking for improved performance on tracking fast moving objects. Comes in black and silver options, the Olympus OM-D is scheduled to be available end of March, though local pricing details is not available at press time.

Olympus has unveiled their new interchangeable-lens digital camera - Olympus OM-D. Based on the Micro Fourthirds standard, the Olympus OM-D claims to be the world's first to feature dust and splash-proof capability, with built-in electronic viewfinder and 16-megapixel new Live MOS Sensor and TruePic VI image processing engine.

ASUS Singapore announces RT-N53 Black Diamond dual band wireless router Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-singapore-announces-rt-n53black-diamond-dual-band-wireless-router/14774.html

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ASUS Singapore has unveiled the RT-N53 Black Diamond dual band wireless router which features a stylish "Black Diamond" design and boasts enhanced Wi-Fi network coverage for users.

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SKUs - Athlon II X4 638 and 641 - will close the gap between the current FM1 Athlons - Athlon II X4 631 and 651. AMD has quietly rolled out two more Athlon II X4 CPUs for Socket FM1. These FM1 Athlon II X4s are nothing but harvested Llano dies with the GPU part disabled. The new SKUs - Athlon II X4 638 and 641 - will close the gap between the current FM1 Athlons - Athlon II X4 631 and 651. The Athlon II X4 641 features 4 cores clocked at 2.8 GHz, 0.2 GHz lower than the 651. The TDP for the 641 is also 100W. The official price for the Athlon II X4 641 is $81, which makes it an excellent bargain choice. In comparison, the now EOLed AM3+ Athlon II X4 640 retailed at $99. Current preorder prices are in the $90-$95 range, but we can expect it to fall under $90 once supply/demand stabilizes. The second new Athlon is the Athlon II X4 638. The 638 is clocked just 0.1 GHz less than the 641 at 2.7 GHz, but fits in under the 65W TDP. This makes it AMD's fastest 65W desktop CPU. The 638 is also priced at $81, so the choice between 638 and 641 revolves around 100 MHz or 65W TDP. Looking forward, Trinity and Socket FM2 are introduced in Q2 2012, so these may well be the last CPUs launched for the FM1 platform. Whether the Trinity line-up will also feature GPU-less Athlons remains to be seen.

ASUS Singapore has recently announced the launch of their latest RT-N53 Black Diamond dual band wireless router, designed to bring the best home and office networking experience to users. It has a slim and elegant wallmountable design, universal repeater mode that extends and enhances Wi-Fi network coverage, and boasts data rates of up to 600Mpbs at bandwidth with simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The 2.4GHz band allows users to download files and browse the web, while the 5GHz band takes care of high definition content streams. In the security department, the RT-N53 features enhanced network security with support for up to four SSIDs. There is no need for software installations and users can easily configure the settings, thanks to the intuitive ASUS QIS wizard that automatically connect to the Internet regardless of the OS being used, and EZ UI that offers user-friendly graphics-based management interface. The ASUS RT-N53 Black Diamond dual band wireless router is available at all ASUS authorized resellers, at S$169.

AMD launches two Llano Athlon II X4 CPUs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-launches-two-llano-athlon-iix4-cpus/14789.html February 8th, 2012

Samsung's Galaxy S III reported to be a slender 7mm thin Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-s-galaxy-s-iii-reported-tobe-a-slender-7mm-thin/14788.html February 8th, 2012

The latest piece of information we're hearing about Samsung's highly anticipated Galaxy S III is in regards to its thickness. Supposedly the phone will be the second thinnest to date at just 7mm thick - only .3mm thicker than the world's thinnest smartphone recently announced from Huawei, the Ascend P1 S, and just slightly edging out Motorola's RAZR XT910 with its 7.1mm waistline. The latest piece of information we're hearing about Samsung's highly anticipated Galaxy S III is in regards to its thickness. Supposedly the phone will be the second thinnest to date at just 7mm thick - only .3mm thicker than the world's thinnest smartphone recently announced from Huawei, the Ascend P1 S, and just slightly edging out Motorola's RAZR XT910 with its 7.1mm waistline. These fresh rumours that are circulating about the shape of the device also make mention of a similar shaped camera 'hump' as found on the S II. And speaking of which, the S III's camera is apparently going to sport an 8 or possibly 12 MP rear camera along with a 2 MP front facing sensor.

AMD has quietly rolled out two more Athlon II X4 CPUs for Socket FM1. These FM1 Athlon II X4s are nothing but harvested Llano dies with the GPU part disabled. The new 6


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What we're also lead to believe at this stage is that the phone will sport a quad-core chipset with 2GB of RAM and a 4.6inch Super AMOLED Plus HD display. Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) would of course be the order of the day, with a side dish of Samsung's own TouchWiz UI layered over. We're still waiting to get some sort of substantial release date on the S III series after hearing all kinds of dates being thrown around over the past month or two. I think it's safe to say we can expect it within the first half of this year however, as indicated by Samsung themselves when they confirmed the phone would not be making its debut at MWC later this month.

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Other new options include the ability to choose one or two GTX 580M GPUs in SLI or a Quadro 5010M with 4GB of graphics memory and 384 CUDA cores. Then there's the fullsized backlit keyboard complete with numpad, up to 32GB of DDR3 memory, up to 3 HDDs/SSDs with RAID options along with room for an optical drive (up to a Blu-ray combo drive).

MAINGEAR arms TITAN 17 Desktop Replacement with Sandy-E Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/maingear-arms-titan-17-desktopreplacement-with-sandy-e/14787.html February 8th, 2012

High performance PC System builder MAINGEAR has just given its mighty TITAN 17 desktop replacement a number of aesthetic adjustments along with some updated componentry. For one, this 17.3-inch sized bad boy is now offered with Sandy Bridge-E goodness packed inside; your choice of a Core i7-3930K or i7-3960X Extreme Edition processor. High performance PC System builder MAINGEAR has just given its mighty TITAN 17 desktop replacement a number of aesthetic adjustments along with some updated componentry. For one, this 17.3-inch sized bad boy is now offered with Sandy Bridge-E goodness packed inside; your choice of a Core i7-3930K or i7-3960X Extreme Edition processor.

Connectivity for the TITAN 17 is plentiful; it provides two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, DVI-D and DisplayPort, FireWire, S/PDIF, Gigabit Ethernet and an eSATA port. Needless to say you'll need to be prepared to cough up a decent amount of dosh to get your mits on this sucker. Prices start at US $3,499 in base form and it's available for preorder now with free shipping. MAINGEAR is also throwing a couple game titles into the deal - Jagged Alliance: Back in Action and Batman: Arkham City.

Pentax outs 13th generation of waterproof cameras Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pentax-outs-13th-generation-ofwaterproof-cameras/14785.html

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Just about every single camera maker offers a waterproof model these days, but Pentax was one of the first, if not the first company to offer an affordable waterproof consumer grade digital camera with the original Optio WP. Now the company has announced its 13th generation of waterproof cameras in the shape of the WG-2 which bumps several of the specs up from the WG-1. Just about every single camera maker offers a waterproof model these days, but Pentax was one of the first, if not the first company to offer an affordable waterproof consumer grade digital camera with the original Optio WP. Now the company has announced its 13th generation of waterproof cameras in the shape of the WG-2 which bumps several of the specs up from the WG-1. Key upgrades to the WG-2 over the WG-1 include 1080p30 and 720p60 video modes, an extra two meters of waterproofing, now good down to 12m, a slightly higher resolution sensor at 16Megapixles and a slightly larger and higher resolution 3-inch LCD screen with 460k dots. Another interesting addition the digital microscope mode where Pentax has added a sixth LED light around the lens to allow for better quality macro shots compared to the WG-1.

As with the WG-1, the WG-2 comes in two versions, with or without GPS. A new accessory has also been made available for the WG-2 which is a "SportMount Chest Harness" which allows for hands-free video capture, although we're not sure how good chest level video looks. The GPS less versions of the WG-2 will come in black or black and red, whereas the GPS equipped models will come in black and orange and black and silver. The WG-2 is expected to hit retail next month with pricing starting at US$349.95 (S$435) for the SKU without GPS and US$399.95 (S$499) for the one with GPS. The chest harness won't be available until late spring or early summer and will retail for US$49.95 (S$62) which seems quite expensive for a fancy strap.

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French Company Releases Military-grade, Ultra-Dense OLED Screens: 2687 and 5374 PPI! Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/french-company-releases-militarygrade-ultra-dense-oled-screens-2687-and-5374-ppi-/14778.html February 8th, 2012

If you never heard about a MicroOLED, think again. Based in the heart of French Silicon Valley, next to SOITEC and STMicroelectronics, MicroOLED is creating next-gen OLED display for professional devices. While the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was all about large, consumer-oriented OLED panels as the LCDsucceeding technology, one of promises of OLED technology is the creation of extremely dense displays, driving sky-high resolutions. For an example, create a mental image in your head: when somebody tells you 1280x1024 or 2560x2048 pixel resolutions, by default you will imagine a computer monitor or a TV. However, French company MicroOLED is creating ultradense OLED displays which do not exceed 1.55cm in diameter. That's correct, 0.61 inch diagonal gets you an OLED display with a massive pixel density of 2687 PPI (Pixels-Per-Inch)! The product doesn't stop there - since it utilizes a technology very similar to Samsung's AMOLED (four "pixels" per pixel: Red, Green, Blue +one pixel for lighting), we're talking about 5.24 million pixels driving a resolution of just 1.31million pixels (1280x1024).

If you don't require color, you can acquire a sample with double resolution: 1280 becomes 2560 and 1024 becomes 2048 for a total resolution of 2560x2048 (5374 PPI), all while being driven through a digital connection. If you ask yourselves what is the practical application of this technology, the answer is quite simple: the products are all passing military-grade requirements. The displays are intended for use with night vision systems (goggles), pilot targeting systems - but there is civilian use as well. According to the manufacturer, the target application also are head-mounted surgical displays for neurosurgeons, heart surgeons etc, as well as electronic microscopes, professional camera and camcoders and so on. If you're interesting in acquiring a sample of the product, be warned - it is not "affordable", and not for playing around. You can contact Sophie Vincent at info@microoled.net. If 8


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you're interested in receiving more information about these amazing OLED displays, visit www.microoled.net.

Google launches Chrome for Android beta Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-launches-chrome-forandroid-beta/14784.html February 8th, 2012

Google is getting ready to give Android users – well, at least those on Android 4.0 devices – a desktop browser experience on their mobile devices with the introduction of Chrome for Android beta. Currently it's limited to 12 countries, but more should be following shortly. Google is getting ready to give Android users – well, at least those on Android 4.0 devices – a desktop browser experience on their mobile devices with the introduction of Chrome for Android beta. Currently it's limited to 12 countries, but more should be following shortly. Just as with the desktop version of Google Chrome, the Android version will allow you to sign into your Google account and it will sync all the data that you're syncing on your desktop browser with the mobile browser. However, Google has added some extra features to the mobile version of Chrome of which the most useful one is automatic sync of whatever is open on your desktop browser when you start Chrome on your mobile device.

As with the desktop version of Chrome, the mobile version also supports tabs, although these work slightly differently as you simply flick through them rather than having them at the top of the web browser. The mobile version of Chrome also supports auto complete suggestions, just like the desktop version. For now Chrome for Android beta is only available in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, although it can be downloaded as of right now from the Android Market if you have a device that runs Android 4.x. Check out the video below for some additional details.

SanDisk set to cut pricing on retail flash products too Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sandisk-set-to-cut-pricing-on-retailflash-products-too/14783.html February 8th, 2012

Kingston appears to be only the first in what might be an industry wide move towards reducing pricing for NAND flash based products, as no SanDisk is reported to be following in Kingston's footsteps. SanDisk is said to be slashing the price of its retail flash memory cards and USB drives to keep up with the competition. 9


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Kingston appears to be only the first in what might be an industry wide move towards reducing pricing for NAND flash based products, as no SanDisk is reported to be following in Kingston's footsteps. SanDisk is said to be slashing the price of its retail flash memory cards and USB drives to keep up with the competition. Digitimes is reporting that SanDisk has more or less been forced into this situation as the company want to maintain its market share which is said to be about 40 percent. Dropping its prices will allow SanDisk to boost its sales volume which would allow it to maintain its market share. The question that begs to be answered though is what products SanDisk will be discounting. We have a feeling that it's unlikely to be its high-end, high-margin memory cards used by professional users; instead we'd expect SanDisk to adjust the pricing on its more mainstream products. 2012 looks set to be a very competitive year for NAND flash products with a general downward trend in pricing if DRAMeXchange numbers are anything to go by. 64Gbit (8GB) TLC NAND flash chips are going for under US$5 a piece now and with a move towards 2Xnm and sub 20nm manufacturing processes, these prices are only likely to decrease further. This should allow for vastly more affordable consumer grade flash memory card as well as USB drives, but isn't really suitable for use in SSDs as yet. MLC NAND flash is also trending downwards and even large size 256Gbit (32GB) chips are selling for well under US$35 with the more commonly used 128Gbit (16GB) chips going for about US$16 a chip on average. Of course this is spot pricing and not contract pricing, but even a standard 120 or 128GB SSD uses 16 128Gbit chip which current average spot pricing would mean that just the NAND flash in your average SSD is close to US$130 and that is not far off from what a cheap SSD in the 120 to 128GB market segment costs today. In fact, looking at online retail prices in the US, SanDisk is offering its 120GB Ultra series SSD for as little as US$130 and that's without any kind of rebate. It might not be the fastest SSD out there, but it suggests that SanDisk's price reductions might already be taking place.

Google launches Solve for X scientific breakthrough programme Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-launches-solve-for-xscientific-breakthrough-programme/14781.html February 8th, 2012

Google has launched a scientific breakthrough programme called Solve for X, where it brought together entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists from across the world to propose technological solutions to some of the world's biggest problems, like cancer and climate change. Google has launched a scientific breakthrough programme called Solve for X, where it brought together entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists from across the world to propose

Published by: VR-Zone

technological solutions to some of the world's biggest problems, like cancer and climate change. The search giant hosted an event last week led by Eric Schmidt, which aimed to get people of all ages and backgrounds working on what it calls “moonshots,” solutions to problems that drastically change the way we live and think – and border on science fiction. One of the ideas being worked on is the provision of fresh water to anywhere and everywhere in the world at a cost of less than one tenth the existing energy input and effect upon the environment. If this proposal works it could save millions of lives throughout the world, and improve the water quality, and therefore the health, of many people.

Last week's gathering is just the first of many planned by Google. It hopes to bring together the world's visionaries several times a year to push the boundaries of scientific theory and development. Google said that Solve for X is not about making products and expanding business portfolios, but about addressing some of the world's unresolved challenges. It invited participants to join the programme at its website: www.wesolveforx.com

Hackers wanted $50,000 for Symantec security software blueprints Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hackers-wanted-50-000-forsymantec-security-software-blueprints/14780.html February 8th, 2012

Hackers who stole blueprints for Symantec's security and anti-malware software tried to extort a $50,000 ransom from the company, but the security firm refused to pay up. Hackers who stole blueprints for Symantec's security and anti-malware software tried to extort a $50,000 ransom from the company, but the security firm refused to pay up.

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The hacker group Lords of Dharmaraja stole the source code for many of Symantec's popular security software, including its Norton anti-virus range and its business remote access software pcAnywhere, which the company has since told users to disable. The hackers contacted what they thought was a Symantec employee, demanding a $50,000 payment in return for the stolen source code, but the emails were actually being monitored by law enforcement officials as part of their investigation into the theft and now extortion attempt.

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Thousands of home security camera have been breached by hackers, allowing people to bypass password security and spy on people in their houses, including children in their bedrooms. The major security concern affects the live video feeds of 26 different Trendnet models and the first vulnerabilities were detected as early as 12 January, yet the problem is only coming to light now. Trendnet contacted users who registered their devices with it, but only five percent of users have registered, leaving 95 percent of affected customers still exposed to a nightmare privacy invasion. The company is issuing firmware upgrades to plug the security holes and has released the update for seven of the 26 affected models so far. Trendnet hopes to release the other updates within the next week. As many as 50,000 cameras could be vulnerable. The coding error, which Trendnet believes was a simple oversight, was introduced as far back as 2010, which means people may have been spied on, and possibly recorded, for the last two years.

This latest turn of events came to light after the hackers released the email exchange on Pastebin, where it shows the fake Symantec employee offering to pay the money, but only at a later date. The hackers said they were not planning to accept the money, but that the bribe offer was an attempt to humiliate the company. They said they would release the code into the wild soon. The version of the software in the hands of hackers is from 2006, which Symantec believes is obsolete and presents no security threat, but it originally thought that about pcAnywhere and was forced to change its stance as the security holes became clearer. Since then it has released patches that fix those vulnerabilities.

Home security camera breach lets hackers spy on people Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/home-security-camera-breach-letshackers-spy-on-people/14779.html February 8th, 2012

Thousands of home security camera have been breached by hackers, allowing people to bypass password security and spy on people in their houses, including children in their bedrooms.

The problem was first identified on 10 January by a customer who set up a camera with a password, but found that they could access it with the correct internet address without needing to enter the password. The only variance in the web address was the IP address of the user, which meant that someone could easily tap into the camera feeds of other users. The hacker revealed that the Shodan search engine could be used to find devices vulnerable to the security hole, and that the last time they did a search 350 exposed devices were found. Other hackers posted web addresses and even Google Map locations of where the cameras were located, with 679 vulnerable camera links uploaded to one website alone. Some people commented that they saw people naked in their bathrooms and also saw children and babies in their bedrooms, raising significant concerns over the potential for this security flaw to be used by pedophiles. 11


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Trendnet has stopped shipments of the affected models, but the company has been relatively closed-lipped about informing the public of this monumental privacy disaster.

Sony Singapore launches Balanced Armature in-ear headphones Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-singapore-launches-balancedarmature-in-ear-headphones/14777.html February 8th, 2012

Today, Sony Singapore launched their range of Balanced Armature in-ear headphones - XBA-1, XBA-2, XBA-3 and XBA-4 that also come in "iP" models which are compatible with iPhone and iPods; wireless and Bluetoothcapable XBA-BT75; XBA-NC85D with Digital NoiseCancelling; and XBA-S65 for the sporty users.

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models of BA in-ear headphones will be selling in Sony stores and authorized retailers from 15 February next week. The range include XBA-1 with one full range BA driver; XBA-2 with full range and woofer BA drivers; XBA-3 with full range, woofer and tweeter BA drivers and XBA-4 with full range, woofer, tweeter and super woofer BA drivers, and also the "iP" models which are designed to be compatible with the iPhone and iPod devices. The XBA-S65 is Sonyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest offering for the sporty users. It is washable, waterproof and features high sound transmission waterproof film coating with adjustable ear loop for comfort during long hours of usage. Users who are looking for wireless headset that can offer quality audio will want to check out the XBA-BT75. It boasts 3.5 hours of playback and comes with a carrying case that lets you charge the headset conveniently while on the move. The XBANC85D claims to be the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s smallest and lightest in-ear digital noise cancelling headphones to date. It features up to 20 hours long battery life and proprietary Digital NoiseCancelling Software Engine for clear audio enjoyment. Here are the prices for the Sony Balanced Armature in-ear headphones:XBA-1 - S$109 XBA-2 - S$279 XBA-3 - S$419 XBA-4 - S$529 XBA-1iP - S$129 XBA-2iP - S$299 XBA-3iP - S$439 XBA-4iP - S$549 XBA-BT75 - TBA XBA-NC85D - S$699 XBA-S65 - S$129 On top of that Sony Singapore has also announced the Sony Sound Quality Campaign whereby any consumers who purchase Sony BA products from authorized dealers, and if they are not satisfied with the audio, they can return the products to Sony Care centre at Isetan Orchard and get a full refund.

Ultrabooks to get price drops across the board The Balanced Armature (BA) in-ear headphones were announced in September last year, but it took longer than expected for the products to go on retail. Yes, the eleven

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ultrabooks-to-get-price-dropsacross-the-board/14776.html

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Good news if you're looking to pick up an Ultrabook in the near future. Digitimes reports that notebook makers are expected to significantly drop pricing on their first generation ultrabooks ahead of Intel's Ivy Bridge launch early in the second quarter of the year. Good news if you're looking to pick up an Ultrabook in the near future. Digitimes reports that notebook makers are expected to significantly drop pricing on their first generation ultrabooks ahead of Intel's Ivy Bridge launch early in the second quarter of the year.

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The GIGABYTE Battlefield 3 Cup Asia was organized by VR-Zone with the generous backing of sponsors GIGABYTE and NVIDIA. Held over the Christmas and New Year festive season, 16 teams of 8 players from Singapore, Malaysia ,Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Australia fought it out in a single elimination format to win attractive prizes like US$2000 cash, GIGABYTE SOC GTX580 graphics cards and GIGABYTE gaming peripherals. These were the teams who took part in the competition: [Bf.Nut] JEDI Ewoks

MBT Abrams MBT Challenger

JEDI-Wookies

nXa_Garuda

=Crysis=

Combat Elite Battle Unit â&#x20AC;&#x201C; [C3BU]

GuNooB ANGAS uRas. Gaming Team eXile5 Decade Of Wars [Thai] Steelrain e-Sports Carnage Team Immunity Here are the fixtures and results:

We've already seen the likes of Acer, Lenovo and HP push pricing down on several of their ultrabooks by as much as 25% in the U.S. and further cuts are expected to come into effect soon. Acer's Ultrabook S3 recently dropped from US $999 down to US $799, while Lenovo has dropped its pricing by 25% and HP by 21%. In summary, we should see the remainder of these first-gen US $1000 Ultrabooks start hovering around the US $749$799 bracket in attempts to help clear inventories before the next wave of Ivy Bridge equipped Ultrabooks arrive in the second quarter.

Last Saturday, a lunch reception was held at IBIS Hotel Singapore to give away some of the prizes for champions [Bf.Nut] and 4th place winner =Crysis=.

GIGABYTE Battlefield 3 Cup Asia Season 1: Singapore Prize Presentation Ceremony Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-battlefield-3-cup-asiaseason-1-singapore-prize-presentation-ceremony/14775.html February 8th, 2012

The inaugural GIGABYTE Battlefield 3 Cup Asia Season 1 concluded last month, with asian gaming powerhouse [Bf.Nut] emerging as champions after battling through the single elimination knockout stage which included teams from all over the region and Australia. A prize presentation ceremony was held at IBIS Hotel Bencoolen over the weekend for some of the winners...

Some of the prizes on display

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Ms Etien from GIGABYTE flew down from Taiwan to give a short presentation about the merits of GIGABYTE peripherals

Sumptuous spread offered to the attendees

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Champions [Bf.Nut] gets a whopping US$2000 and 8 x GIGABYTE SOC GTX580 for their efforts

Thermaltake expands Toughpower and SMART PSU series Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/thermaltake-expands-toughpowerand-smart-psu-series/14772.html February 8th, 2012

4th placed team =Crysis= won 4 pieces of GIGABYTE gaming keyboard and mice

Several new models in Thermaltake's Toughpower and SMART series of power supplies are due to arrive this month. These include 80Plus Gold certified PSUs in the Toughpower 550 W, 650 W and 750 W as well as a couple 80Plus Bronze certified offerings under Tt's SMART lineup; a 750 W and 850 W. Several new models in Thermaltake's Toughpower and SMART series of power supplies are due to arrive this month. These include 80Plus Gold certified PSUs in the Toughpower 550 W, 650 W and 750 W as well as a couple 80Plus Bronze certified offerings under Tt's SMART lineup; a 750 W and 850 W. Thermaltake's eco-friendly Toughpower Gold Series of PSUs comprise 100% high quality Japanese capacitors throughout along with active CLAMP circuitry with various protection 14


February 8th, 2012

levels including over current and voltage, under voltage, over power, over temperature and short-circuiting. Costs are kept to a minimum on the Toughpower GOLD range by using a non-modular design while maintaining high efficieny for mainstream users.

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AMD refreshes FirePro series at the entry level with V3900 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-refreshes-firepro-series-at-theentry-level-with-v3900/14773.html February 8th, 2012

AMD's FirePro family of graphics cards for the Professional/ Workstation user has just seen a new addition today with the launch of the FirePro V3900 which replaces the V3800. AMD promises best-in-class workstation experiences at an entry level price point with this card - that being a US $119 MSRP at select online resellers. AMD's FirePro family of graphics cards for the Professional/ Workstation user has just seen a new addition today with the launch of the FirePro V3900 which replaces the V3800. AMD promises best-in-class workstation experiences at an entry level price point with this card - that being a US $119 MSRP at select online resellers.

The new SMART 750 W and 850 W units boast flat modular cabling along with a range of industrial-grade protections not unlike the Toughpower family. The 750 and 850 W models in particular sport 100% high quality Japanese capacitors and four 6+2pin PCIe connectors for dual graphics support. Compared to the V3800, the V3900 gets double the memory at 1GB and uses a GPU derived from the 6800 family of Radeon cards, dubbed "TURKS". The card's 128-bit DDR3 memory arrangement gives it 28.8GB/s of memory bandwidth compared to the V3800 which had a 64-bit interface providing half the bandwidth at 14.4GB/s.

For further details along with individual product page links, head over to Thermaltake's website where the full press release resides. We're not yet made aware of pricing or exact dates of availability at this time.

AMD has claimed through the means of several presentation slides that its V3900 outperforms both the Quadro 400 and V3800 in a wide range of tests. The V3800 sells at just $99, 15


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but for a mere $20 difference it's expected that this price point is well validated in line of its performance increase. AMD will ship the V3900 with both a full and half-height bracket to allow it to be installed in small form factor systems. The card will also be showing up in several systems from HP with ISV certification from Fujitsu-Siemens to follow in the spring.

Valentine's Gift? Microsoft Prepares for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Launch Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/valentine-s-gift-microsoft-preparesfor-the-windows-8-consumer-preview-launch/14769.html February 8th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone February 8th, 2012

With AMD more or less pulling out of the high-end CPU market, it looks like the motherboard makers are following suit, at least if Gigabyte's latest AM3+ motherboard is anything to go by. The GA-970A-DS3 is part of Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 4 Classic series which is a more affordable range of boards which is target towards your average consumer rather than performance junkies. With AMD more or less pulling out of the high-end CPU market, it looks like the motherboard makers are following suit, at least if Gigabyte's latest AM3+ motherboard is anything to go by. The GA-970A-DS3 is part of Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 4 Classic series which is a more affordable range of boards which is target towards your average consumer rather than performance junkies.

There is no doubt about it - there is a new public version of Windows 8 coming in the matter of weeks, if not days. The company is adjusting its own services to accommodate for the consumer attack. While there are numerous screenshots leaking from the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Build 8220 showing things such as removed the Start Orb, there is much more important information at play. From the looks of it, Microsoft is in the final stages of preparing for a public release, since the company just adopted Bing Search engine interface for the Internet Explorer 10. As you can see in the screenshot below, this is how Bing looks if you have Windows 8. We have checked the link and it works in Windows 7 and different browsers, such as Chrome or Firefox.

The board isn't going to impress those used to spending a small fortune on their motherboard, but Gigabyte has at least managed to include enough connectivity to make this an overall appealing board, at least if it's priced accordingly. The board is a full-size ATX model with two x16 PCI Express slots, although the secondary slot only operates in x4 mode due to the use of the AMD 970 chipset. The board also has three x1 PCI Express slots and two PCI slots.

Gigabyte quietly launches the 970A-DS3 AM3+ motherboard Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-quietly-launches-the-970ads3-am3-motherboard/14771.html

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As with most recent AM3+ motherboards we're looking at six SATA 6Gbps ports and the board has pin-headers for up to six additional USB 2.0 ports, but the only other feature of note is Gigabyte's dual BIOS. Around the back things are as spartan with a pair of PS/2 ports, six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports via an Etron host controller, a Gigabit Ethernet port and a mere three audio jacks that supports 5.1-channel analogue output. There's always a market for basic motherboards and not everyone are running multiple graphics cards in their system or overclock their CPU, something that's easy to overlook when you're always surrounded by high-end gear.

Intel launches its new performance 520 series of SSDs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-launches-its-newperformance-520-series-of-ssds/14770.html February 8th, 2012

Intel has finally launched its 520 series of SSDs – previously codenamed Cherryville – its first SSD with a SandForce controller and a model set to replace the Marvell powered 510 series. The question is if this will make Intel a "me too" SSD manufacturer or if the company has managed to bring anything to the table. Intel has finally launched its 520 series of SSDs – previously codenamed Cherryville – its first SSD with a SandForce controller and a model set to replace the Marvell powered 510 series. The question is if this will make Intel a "me too" SSD manufacturer or if the company has managed to bring anything to the table.

Where Intel doesn't compare so well, albeit still ahead of Kingston's HyperX drive is in sequential read tests and here the new 520 series actually falls behind the older 510 series and other Marvell based SSDs. When it comes to incompressible data the 520 series doesn't do so well either and here the lower capacity 60GB model is really suffering, especially in terms of write performance, falling behind even the good old X25-M, albeit a 160GB model. Overall this is very much a "me too" product from Intel that performs really well where SandForce controllers have traditionally performed well to start with, but doesn't really stand out from the competition elsewhere. However, as far as a consumer alternative, the 520 series is quickly losing any appeal when you start looking at cost, as Intel is asking for US$149 for the 60GB model, US $229 for 120GB, US$369 for 180GB, US$509 for 240GB and finally US$999 for the 480GB model. This makes even Kingston's otherwise highly priced HyperX models look cheap at around US$205 for the 120GB SKU and US$420 for the 240GB SKU. It's clear that Intel isn't aiming the 520 series towards consumers with this kind of pricing, but we have a feeling that Intel will be selling plenty of drives nonetheless.

Early reviews are revealing that Intel has its own firmware for the SF-2281 controller which is used in the 520 series and as such Intel is claiming to have abolished some of the issues that have plagued SF-2281 based SSDs, although it's not entirely clear as to what extent Intel has done this, as it's early days yet. What Intel has done is integrate support in its own SSD Toolbox for the 520 series of SSDs which means that there's no problem with Intel's RST drivers, something that apparently can be a problem with SandForce's own toolbox. Looking at some of the first benchmarks, specifically from Anandtech in this case, it looks like Intel has managed to tweak the SF-2281 firmware to work well with its own NAND flash and although the 520 series is far from the fastest SSDs in the market, the 60GB drive manages to do remarkably well, especially when compared to larger drives which generally performs better due to the way SSD controllers generally offers better performance when additional NAND flash modules are being utilized. Intel seems to be a market leader in 4KB random writes, bettering Kingston's HyperX drive with over 40MB/s comparing 240GB models.

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Published by: VR-Zone

VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Xbox 720 to copy Wii U touchscreen controller Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xbox-720-to-copy-wii-utouchscreen-controller/14837.html February 10th, 2012

Microsoft looks set to copy some of the features of Nintendo's Wii U, with plans to use a touchscreen controller in its Xbox 720 next-generation game console. Microsoft looks set to copy some of the features of Nintendo's Wii U, with plans to use a touchscreen controller in its Xbox 720 next-generation game console. Sources cited by Xbox World magazine said that Microsoft is experimenting with a tablet controller with touchscreen capability, but that it will be closer in shape and size to the PlayStation Vita than the Wii U's somewhat larger controller. Gamers might immediately accuse Microsoft of being a copycat, but it likely learned its lesson when the Wii released with features completely different to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. While some are not sure about Nintendo's new controller, Microsoft appears to recognise its potential, which takes advantage of the tablet craze since the launch of the original iPad in 2010.

track four people, with accuracy right down to identifying individual finger movements. The tablet controller appears to be a smaller part of the next Xbox's feature list, playing a secondary role to the Kinect, so there will still be some major differences between Microsoft's console and the Wii U. The Xbox 720 is likely to be expensive, however, with rumours suggesting a price tag of ÂŁ399, which would be about â&#x201A;Ź480 or $630. While the Wii U will be packing more punch than its predecessor, we can likely expect it to be significantly cheaper than its rivals. Source and Image Credit: CVG

FBI releases files on "questionable" Steve Jobs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fbi-releases-files-on-questionablesteve-jobs/14836.html February 10th, 2012

The FBI has released its files on the late Steve Jobs, cofounder and former CEO of Apple, who apparently was a questionable character in the eyes of colleagues and the law enforcement agency. The FBI has released its files on the late Steve Jobs, cofounder and former CEO of Apple, who apparently was a questionable character in the eyes of colleagues and the law enforcement agency. As part of a freedom of information request the FBI uploaded files to its website, which it collected on Jobs during an investigation into his character when he was being considered for a presidential appointment by George H. W. Bush to a position as advisor on export policy.

Other features rumoured to be included in the Xbox 720, expected for release at the end of 2013, include augmented reality, directional sound, and a revamped Kinect which can

The files show that several people questioned Jobs' honesty and morality. The FBI interviewed a number of people who worked with him and found that he would twist the truth to achieve his goals. Other people said he was honesty and trustworthy, but suggested he had moral issues.

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The documents also show that Jobs was difficult to work with, a fact backed up by details in his biography released last year.

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Hirai wants to link Sony hardware with software via online networks, a model used with the PlayStation console and PlayStation Network, suggesting that the company won't try to limit its growth to just hardware in many of its other important sectors. The problem with linking with online networks is the bad reputation Sony has received over the hacking of its PlayStation Network and online gaming division, Sony Online Entertainment. If it decided to add internet connectivity to other product lines it will need to beef up security even more to avoid an even bigger disaster than what happened early last year.

Other details in the files include Jobs' experimentation with drugs in the 1970s, particularly LSD, which he claimed was one of the few important things he did in his life. It's unclear if this drug use was what some meant by his questionable morality or if there were more alleged skeletons in his closet. His conversion to Buddhism was also documented, though we're not sure whether or not the FBI saw any significance to this in relation to their investigation. Despite the questions raised over his character he secured to post Bush Senior wanted him for in 1991. The position did not involve any financial payment. The files also show that Jobs was on the receiving end of a bomb threat in 1985, which was designed to extort money. Image Credit: Matt Yohe

Sony to extend PlayStation business model to entire company Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-to-extend-playstation-businessmodel-to-entire-company/14835.html February 10th, 2012

Hirai was responsible for driving a successful PlayStation division in the face of tough competition from Nintendo's Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360, cutting costs and increasing sales. The company's next-generation console could be years away, however, putting it at yet another disadvantage against its rivals. However, before Hirai embarks on this ambitious plan he needs to restructure the company to cut losses. This will likely involve significant job cuts and the axing of some under-performing and non-strategic products. Its TV division will be under particular scrutiny. Hirai officially takes the helm on 1 April, replacing current CEO Howard Stringer. Many see Hirai as a good person to bring the company back on track and shares have already gained 13 percent since he was named for the top job, in stark contrast to the 60 percent loss in share value under Stringer's leadership. The company is losing billions, however, so he has his work cut out for him. Image Credit: Tokyoship

Sony's incoming CEO, Kazuo Hirai, is planning to extend the business model he employed for Sony Computer Entertainment, the home of the PlayStation, to the entire company. Sony's incoming CEO, Kazuo Hirai, is planning to extend the business model he employed for Sony Computer Entertainment, the home of the PlayStation, to the entire company.

Intel settles New York antitrust lawsuit Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-settles-new-york-antitrustlawsuit/14834.html

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Published by: VR-Zone

February 10th, 2012

Intel claimed that the Attorney General's complaint was grounded on “rhetoric and politics” rather than fact and law, and this latest settlement certainly supports its assertion that it did nothing wrong. Intel has settled a lawsuit with the New York Attorney General that alleged it violated US and state antitrust laws, with the chip giant making a token payment of $6.5 million to cover legal costs. Intel has settled a lawsuit with the New York Attorney General that alleged it violated US and state antitrust laws. The chip giant paid out $6.5 million to settle the charges, which were originally filed in November 2009. The settlement also follows a court ruling in December 2011 which significantly reduced the scope of the Attorney General's lawsuit, which explains the relatively small payment involved. The payment is intended to cover some of the costs of litigation rather than act as a penalty for wrongdoing, a fact that Intel will be very pleased with. The settlement also included conditions where Intel was recognised as not admitting any guilt for the alleged violations of law. Intel is also not required to make any changes to its business, which makes this settlement little more than a token victory, if even that, for the Attorney General.

“Following recent court rulings in Intel’s favor that significantly and appropriately narrowed the scope of this case, we were able to reach an agreement with New York to bring to an end what remained of the case,” said Doug Melamed, SVP and general counsel at Intel. “We have always said that Intel’s business practices are lawful, procompetitive and beneficial to consumers, and we are pleased this matter has been resolved.” The original complaint centred around allegations that Intel had obtained exclusive or near-exclusive agreements from large computer makers in exchange for billions of dollars of payments and retaliation threats to rival companies. Bribery and coercion of original equipment manufacturers in order to destroy competition with AMD was also part of the accusations.

Image Credit: Gallo & Spero

Windows 8 Consumer Preview to debut on February 29 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/windows-8-consumer-preview-todebut-on-february-29/14832.html February 10th, 2012

Microsoft is going to use the special date occurring once every four years to unveil the beta version of Windows 8 and make it available for a public download. Mind you, the new name for "Windows 8 Beta" is Windows 8 Consumer Preview. On February 29, the third day of Mobile World Congress 2012 which takes place in Barcelona, Spain - Microsoft will host an event between 15-17h (3-5PM) Central European Time.

Titled "Windows 8 Consumer Preview", the official name of publicly available Windows 8 Beta (current development releases are Builds 8220 and 8224), the new version of operating system will be the first to target the conventional PC market as well as tablets and smartphones - through Windows Phone 8 (which shares the same kernel, heart of Windows operating system). As you can see in the screenshot above, there is a lot of changes coming to the conventional perception of Windows user interface. First off, you'll note that the orb is no longer in the left corner of the Windows tray... further more, there is a shift from leftcentric approach to a right-centric approach, with key icons and controls being positioned on the right.

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Published by: VR-Zone

Naturally, Windows 8 UI enables you a good level of customization, thus we expect to see more and more users moving the bottom tray to the left or right vertical arrangement. Given the shift from 5:4, 4:3 and 16:10 to a wide 16:9 format, we see this as a missed opportunity for Microsoft. The company could have just positioned the tray on the left or right and be gone with it. Given the press invitations to press conferences and briefings from AMD, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, HTC and others, this year's MWC is a definite do-not-miss event.

MSI R7950 Twin Frozr 3GD5/ OC Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-r7950-twin-frozr-3gd5ocreview/14811.html February 10th, 2012

Accessories and Documentation - VGA-DVI dongle, MiniDP to HDMI, Crossfire Bridge and two Molex to 6-pin PCIe convertors

Since the official launch of the Radeon 7970/7950 series last month, prices have dropped from their inflated levels and actual stock availability have improved (at least here in Singapore stores). With Nvidia's Kepler based cards not ready anytime soon (or else we'll have them in our pants already), AMD's 28nm Tahiti GPUs remains on the shopping lists of gamers and overclockers alike for the forseeable future. Today we review MSI's custom cooled Radeon 7950 (dubbed Twin Frozr III) to see how it fairs against the rest. MSI has gone with their usual arctic blue theme on the box and are not afraid to tout the merits of their flagship Twin Frozr III cooler which they claim is better performing and quieter than the stock reference blower. They also mention that the card is ready for 3DMark 11 (which MSI features prominently inside the benchmark) and has "Military Class III" certification

The MSI R7950 Twin Frozr 3GD5/OC is overclocked by default to 880/1300MHz

Back of Box

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Published by: VR-Zone

Back of Card - Apart from some gratuitous silkscreen markings and stickers, the card is similar to the Sapphire HD 7950 that we reviewed earlier, the implication being it is using a reference PCB design. One nice addition would be a backplate to prevent warping and accidental electrical shorts from the giant CPU heatsinks that we see today.

Like all the other Radeon 7950 / 7970s we've seen so far, the MSI R7950 Twin Frozr 3GD5/OC has the same layout - a single DVI-D, HDMI and 2 mini-DP connectors for hooking up to up to 6 displays. The card only takes up 2 slots which means quad Crossfire operation is possible with top of the line motherboards and enclosures.

MSI's 7950 measures 11.25 inches long and uses 2 x 6 pin PCIe connectors which provide up to 150W extra in addition to the 75W from the PCIe slot

Detailed AMD 2012 Desktop Roadmap Leaked Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/detailed-amd-2012-desktoproadmap-leaked/14831.html February 10th, 2012

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While AMD released general public roadmaps at the recent Financial Analyst Day, details and branding were omitted. A more detailed slide has now leaked online, covering branding for upcoming Trinity, Brazos 2.0 and Vishera SKUs for desktops in 2012. The big release for Q2 2012 is Trinity. In general, Trinity will feature the A-5000 Series branding and introduce a new segment with A10. The first Trinity APUs to release will be A10-5800, A10-5700, A8-5600 and A8-5500. Within each segment, the differentiation will likely be CPU clock speeds, thus both A10 SKUs will feature the same GPU - Radeon HD 7660D. A8 will feature a cut down GPU, possibly with 1 or 2 SIMDs disabled and branded HD 7560D. Both A8 and A10 will feature 2 module / 4 core Piledriver CPU cores. The GPU branding also gives a clue to GPU performance - the top A10-5800 with HD 7660D will end up just short of HD 7670, which is a rebrand for HD 6670. This also means a significant boost in performance over Llano's HD 6550D.

Llano A6 and A4 APUs will co-exist with Trinity A8 and A10, while the FX line-up will be reinforced with FX-6200 and FX-4120. The other release scheduled for Q2 is Brazos 2.0. The two APUs will be E2-1800 and E1-1200, replacing E-450 and E-300. As previously covered, E2-1800 will be 1.7 GHz with Radeon HD 7340 graphics and E1-1200 clocks at 1.4 GHz with HD 7310. Both are dual-core, 18W TDP and only evolutionary successors to Brazos. The main improvements are the addition of Turbo Core, native USB 3.0 and other chipset optimizations. Q3 2012 brings the successor to FX Zambezi CPUs - Vishera. Vishera will feature 4 Piledriver modules or 8 cores over 4, 6 and 8 core variants. The top 8-core will be branded FX-8350 and FX-8320, replacing FX-8150 and FX-8120 respectively. 6-core FX-6300 will replace Bulldozer based FX-6200, while 4-core FX-4320 will succeed FX-4120. Q3 will also complete the Trinity line-up with A6-5400 with HD 7450D and A4-5300D with HD 7480D. If AMD can stick to the schedule mentioned in the above slide, we could finally see AMD go down the path of a regular yearly release cadence, as alluded to at FAD 2012.

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BlackBerry Curve 9380 smartphone lands in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blackberry-curve-9380-smartphonelands-in-singapore/14830.html February 10th, 2012

If you like the BlackBerry Curve smartphones, well, Research in Motion has announced the latest Curve 9380 which is going to be retailing in Singapore from tomorrow. The BlackBerry Curve 9380 claims to be the first ever Curve device to come equipped with a touch display.

Research In Motion (RIM) has announced the new BlackBerry Curve 9380 smartphone in Singapore, which claims to be the first BlackBerry Curve smartphone with a touchscreen display. This sleek and stylish new smartphone will be available from all BlackBerry authorised partners on 11 February 2012, tomorrow. The sleek and stylish BlackBerry Curve 9380 smartphone is powered by the new BlackBerry 7 OS, which delivers a faster and richer user experience. It also includes the ability to manage personal content separately from corporate content, and comes with a variety of personal and productivity apps out of the box. The new BlackBerry 7 OS introduces an enhanced browser that offers faster and more fluid web browsing experience. It also offers optimized HTML5 performance for incredible gaming and video experiences. Enhanced with support for voice-activated search, you can simply speak to begin searching for information on your device and the web. On top of that, the BlackBerry Curve 9380 includes built-in support for Augmented Reality and NFC. With the Wikitude Augmented Reality application, users can find nearby BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) contacts in real-time, read reviews about restaurants close to them, or get the story behind an interesting landmark and points of interest. NFC enables new and exciting capabilities, including the ability to make mobile payments, pair accessories or read SmartPoster tags with a simple tap of the smartphone. Interested users should

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check with the telco operators with regards to the pricing of the Curve 9380.

Report: AMD Radeon HD 7750/7770 Specifications

Published by: VR-Zone

Plantronics has introduced the Backbeat 216 and 116 headphones with microphones which are compatible with iPhone and Android devices, and boast high-quality audio performance be it listening to your favorite music, or answering calls.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/report-amd-radeon-hd-77507770specifications/14829.html February 10th, 2012

Purported final specifications for AMD's upcoming Radeon HD 7700 series have leaked online. Based on Cape Verde, these will be the cheapest 28nm GCN chips in the HD 7000 family, competing in the mainstream market. The Cape Verde chip features 1.5 billion 28nm transistors, with a die sized at a tiny ~130mm2. Cape Verde will be the cheapest of GCN chips in the Southern Islands family, with 10 CU. This equates to 640 SP and 40 TMU. Cape Verde features 16 ROP and a 128-bit memory interface. However, thanks to increased efficiency with GCN and an immense 1 GHz clock, the HD 7770 manages to come close to VLIW-5 based HD 6850 in leaked benchmarks, while being clearly faster than the likes of HD 6790 or GTX 550 Ti. HD 7770 consumes a meagre 80W, well below HD 6850 or even HD 5770/6770. HD 7750 features 8 active CUs or 512 SP. Core clocks are down to 800 MHz for a theoretical SP throughput of 819 Gflops - only 65% of HD 7770. However, the memory clocks are retained at 4.5 GHz and both HD 7750 and HD 7770 feature 1GB GDDR5 with a memory bandwidth of 72 GB/ s. HD 7750 should offer HD 6770 / GTX 550 Ti level of performance but will do so only consuming 55W - which will surely make it the fastest GPU not requiring a PCI-e power connector. Both HD 7770 and HD 7750 are expected to be reasonably priced - at â&#x201A;Ź115/$129 and â&#x201A;Ź90-100/$99-$110 respetively. If these prices are held in retail and AMD can maintain supply, the HD 7700 is sure to become a popular option for gamers on a budget.

Plantronics BackBeat 216 and BackBeat 116 headphones promise superb audio quality at amazing prices Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/plantronics-backbeat-216-andbackbeat-116-headphones-promise-superb-audio-quality-at-amazingprices/14824.html February 10th, 2012

Plantronics has announced the two new BackBeat stereo headphones with microphone for smartphones with multimedia capabilities. Compatible with iPhone and Android phones, the BackBeat 216 and BackBeat 116 headphones deliver high-quality audio performance and easy switching between music and calls. The Plantronics BackBeat 216 is a certified headphone with microphone for the Apple iPod, iPhone and iPad. The corded stereo headphones provide plug-and-play simplicity and feature noise-isolating ear buds with neodymium micro-speakers that boost bass levels and deliver well-balanced high and mid ranges. The BackBeat 216 also features a discreet inline controller with built-in microphone for convenient calling plus volume and music track control. The new BackBeat 116 features the popular earbud form factor with asimpler in-line controller and built-in mic. The standard 3.5mm stereo connector and interface makes it compatible with the iPhone, iPod and iPad, as well as most Android-based phones, Blackberry and other music phones. The BackBeat 116 will be offered in stylish colors such as Glow Green and Electric Blue. Pricing and Availability The Plantronics Backbeat 216 is selling at S$69, while the Backbeat 116 is retailing at S$39. Available at Apple stores (EpiCentre, Macshop), Challenger, Newstead, Sprint-Cass (Changi Airport T2, T3), Funan DigitalLife Mall (AAAs Com, Inforcom, PK Computers, South Asia), Sim Lim Square (AAAs Com, Million Mobile, Million Tech).

Microsoft plans to roll in nine major updates next Tuesday Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-plans-to-roll-in-ninemajor-updates-next-tuesday/14827.html February 10th, 2012

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Microsoft has given advanced notification of its plans to roll out nine patches on February's Patch Tuesday (Valentine's Day) next week which address 21 vulnerabilities. Four of these updates carry severity ratings of 'Critical', while the remaining patches are rated 'Important'. Microsoft has given advanced notification of its plans to roll out nine patches on February's Patch Tuesday (Valentine's Day) next week which address 21 vulnerabilities. Four of these updates carry severity ratings of 'Critical', while the remaining patches are rated 'Important'.

Published by: VR-Zone

We can however share with you the full official list of which models will be dressed in Ice Cream Sandwich attire, those being :- HTC Sensation (XE, XL, 4G, and sans moniker) - Arriving before the end of March. - HTC Rezound - HTC Vivid - HTC Amaze 4G

Seven of the nine updates deal with a series of bugs that could potentially lead to remote code execution and the other two address privilege elevation vulnerabilities.

- HTC EVO 3D

These patches are applicable to all still commonly used versions of Microsoft Windows (going as far back as XP) as well as Internet Explorer, Silverlight, Microsoft Server Software, Microsoft Office and Microsoft .NET Framework.

- HTC Incredible S

- HTC EVO Design 4G

- HTC Desire S

The updates are said to become available at about 10am PST (or 6pm GMT) on the 14th.

- HTC Desire HD

HTC lets us know its Android 4.0 rollout plans

iOS 5.1 might be released on March 9th

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/htc-lets-us-know-its-android-4.0rollout-plans/14826.html February 10th, 2012

Thanks to another update on HTC's Facebook page we can get a clearer picture of what's happening on the Ice Cream Sandwich front with regards to which models will get the update and (a very rough estimate of) when. Thanks to another update on HTC's Facebook page we can get a clearer picture of what's happening on the Ice Cream Sandwich front with regards to which models will get the update and (a very rough estimate of) when.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ios-5.1-might-be-released-onmarch-9th/14825.html February 10th, 2012

Along with the now more than likely announcement of Apple's iPad 3 within the first week of March, it looks like we could be seeing iOS 5.1 released around the same time at least that's what a fresh discovery over at YourDailyMac is indicating. Along with the now more than likely announcement of Apple's iPad 3 within the first week of March, it looks like we could be seeing iOS 5.1 released around the same time at least that's what a fresh discovery over at YourDailyMac is indicating.

Apparently Apple has just published eleven new profiles for a number of iPhone-operators which are set to be released on March 9th. The profiles are designated for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod Touch 3G/4G, iPad and iPad 2 and are said to be compatible with iOS 5.1. As was previously made known in an earlier status update, the full suite of Sensation series models will be getting some Android 4.0 loving, including the XE, XL, 4G and sans moniker. These will be the first HTC phones to get the update which is said to arrive before the end of March. We do not know as yet when exactly several other phones from the company will be getting their respective updates - we're only told that it will be sometime 'later this year'.

These profiles are said to update the network connection for the iPhone so that it continues to work correctly after jumping over to iOS 5.1. And normally when these profiles are released it is roughly the same time when the iOS update arrives, so we should be seeing that rolled out to the masses right around the March 9th date - which could also potentially be right about the same time as when Apple plans to formally announce the third-gen iPad. 8


February 10th, 2012

Belkin unveils new brand identity and People-Inspired Products for 2012 in Singapore

Published by: VR-Zone

varying these products; it is not just about covers, but how do one create accessories to handle devices like iPad and GALAXY Tab and make the experience much better. Belkin also showcased their huge range of products under home entertainment, as well as iPhone 4S and iPad 2 solutions.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/belkin-unveils-new-brand-identityand-people-inspired-products-for-2012-in-singapore/14820.html February 10th, 2012

At yesterday's event in Singapore, Belkin unveiled their new brand identity and new products for this year. The new products include the ScreenCast AV4 which lets you connect your home theatre equipment to your HDTV wirelessly, N900 Advanced dual-band N+ router, LiveAction Mic for the iPhone and other accessories.

At last month's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Belkin announced its new brand identity which promises the company's commitment to innovation and developing People-Inspired Products (PIP). PIP is also the new Belkin logo, an image made of nine dots to create a symbol of a person. And to achieve the promise of delivering PIP, the company is listening to customers and partners in the development and improvement of their products.

Kevin Gilmore, senior director for Belkin Asia Pacific, said that the interesting thing about the smartphone revolution is the accessories-based products. While it is good to have people showing off their products, the real challenge is

The Belkin N900 Advanced Wireless dual-band N+ router features improved gaming speeds, increased download speeds, fewer dead zones, multiple device connectivity and improved reach. It also supports many Wi-Fi devices and media intensive activies including online gaming and 3D video streaming. The Belkin ScreenCast AV4 can connect your home theatre equipment to your HDTV and keeps 9


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devices out of sight. It can connect four HDMI AV devices, Blu-ray player, gaming consoles and others wirelessly. The Belkin ScreenCast AV4 will be available in May this year, while the N900 advanced wireless dual-band N+ router will be available soon.

Published by: VR-Zone

details about the upcoming AMD GPU along with a viral website for the same pills. The "natural performance enhancement" pill is called "Verdetrol" which not only refers to Cape Verde but is also an obvious jab at NVIDIA. AMD sends in exactly 28 pills - as we know Cape Verde is a GCN based 28nm GPU.

Rumour: NVIDIA GK104 Specifications Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rumour-nvidia-gk104specifications/14823.html February 10th, 2012

Needless to say, such reports should be taken with fair amounts of salt. However, 3D Center's previous such compilation for Tahiti turned out to be fairly accurate. Kepler introduces a radical new architecture but the overall structure may be somewhat similar to Fermi. GK104 features 4 overall Graphics Processing Clusters (GPC) - twice that of GF114. Each GPC has 4 SMs - same as GF114. However, each SM now consists of 96 SP or CUDA cores again twice that of GF114. Each SM features 8 TMU. The end resut is 16 SMs, 1536 SP and 128 TMU. GK104 continues to feature 32 ROP and 256-bit memory interface like GF114. The core clock is expected to be 950 MHz for the top bin, slightly higher than HD 7970. As previously rumoured, the hotclock for shaders has been dropped, so the shaders will operate at 950 MHz as well. Of course, the drop in shader clocks is compensated by massively increasing shader count - a similar strategy to AMD. The end result is 1536 SP clocked at 950 MHz for 2.9 SP TeraFlops and a 1/6 DP rate of 486 GFlops. The 256-bit memory interface now uses 2GB GDDR5 and the memory controller is also improved over Fermi, now clocking at 5 GHz GDDR5 for a bandwidth of 160 GB/s. However, this is still massively short of HD 7970's 260 GB/s. The die size for GK104 is "unofficially estimated" at

HD 7770 is now all but confirmed as world's first 1 GHz reference GPU. The "Never Settle" slogan for HD 7000 family continues, this time pushing "Never Settle for Average Performance". The viral website can be viewed at www.verdetrol.com, where a promotional video will be uploaded soon. HD 7700 series is rumoured to release in February with performance close to HD 6850.

Sony reveals plans for eight new E-mount lenses Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-reveals-plans-for-eight-new-emount-lenses/14819.html February 10th, 2012

340mm2, which is slightly lower than Tahiti's 365mm2. The first GK104 product is due to be released in early Q2 2012.

AMD teases Cape Verde / HD 7700 with... Pills Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-teases-cape-verde-hd-7700with...-pills/14821.html February 10th, 2012

In a most unique marketing stunt, AMD is sending out special pills to internet websites. Yes, you read that right, pills. They are no ordinary pills, however, they reveal several details about the upcoming AMD GPU along with a viral website for the same pills. In a most unique marketing stunt, AMD is sending out special pills to internet websites. Yes, you read that right, pills. They are no ordinary pills, however, they reveal several

There's no doubt that Sony's NEX interchangeable lens cameras have been a roaring success for the company, but many users have been disappointed with the lack of lenses. Sony did address this to some extent last year, but during the CP+ show in Japan the company unveiled a roadmap showing an additional eight lenses being planned between now and next year. There's no doubt that Sony's NEX interchangeable lens cameras have been a roaring success for the company, but many users have been disappointed with the lack of lenses. Sony did address this to some extent last year, but during the CP+ show in Japan the company unveiled a roadmap showing an additional eight lenses being planned between now and next year. As always with these things, Sony has been pretty vague in terms of what to expect, but the roadmap contains a wide range of lenses that should hopefully suit as wide a range of users. Starting at the top we have a Sony G branded high performance standard zoom, a lens that Sony has shown off 10


February 10th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

prototypes of in the past. It's not clear what zoom range this lens will cover when it launches, but many are hoping for something like a 16-50mm f/2.8 lens, something that isn't impossible, especially considering the size of the mock up that Sony has been showing in the past, which is nearly as long as the 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 lens. Sadly this lens has been pushed back from earlier roadmaps where it looked like it would launch this year to what appears to be next year.

Moving on we have a high-magnification zoom lens, a standard zoom – which we presumed the current 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens was – a wide angle zoom, something that Sony is missing in its range and a mid-magnification zoom, another lens which isn't quite clear as to what it is. The first three should launch this year with the last coming in early 2013 judging by the roadmap. As for prime lenses, Sony is planning a large aperture standard lens – read expensive – a middle telephoto and a “snap” lens which will be the second pancake lens for the E-mount. Only the large aperture lens is expected this year, with the other two coming next year. One of the downsides of Sony's APS-C size sensor is the fact that the company ends up making fairly large lenses for the diminutive NEX cameras, something that is at least in part negating the size of the camera bodies. We'll see how many new camera bodies Sony manages to launch before all the new lenses have arrived, but we'd guess that the company manages to launch at least a couple of new models between now and then.

Make your own V-Day gift for greater impact - HP shows you how

a) Express your love with a scrapbook of your journey together as a couple – just download suitable templates from http://www.hp.com/hho/ hp_create/p_and_s-scrapbooks.html and you can start getting creative with the photographs you have taken together.

b) Fresh flowers don’t last? Make your own paper ones. Fuchsia flowers (http://www.hp.com/hho/hp_create/ party_kits_decorations-decorations-fuchsia.html? ref=themes_holidays_valentines_day) or roses: http:// www.hp.com/hho/hp_create/party_kits_decorationsdecorations-3d_rose.html? ref=themes_holidays_valentines_day? Take your pick!

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/make-your-own-v-day-gift-forgreater-impact--hp-shows-you-how/14817.html February 10th, 2012

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, HP Singapore has introduced some ideas for those who are looking to make their own V-Day gift.

c) If you are eschewing the usual romantic dinner for a quiet time at home, why not engage in some fun bonding activities ala Valentine’s Day Bingo? just print out the materials from this link http://www.hp.com/hho/hp_create/toys_gamesgames-valentine_bingo.html? ref=themes_holidays_valentines_day and you are all set!

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Published by: VR-Zone

rather it has Intel's entry level mobile Atom N2600 under the hood. Although Intel's new mobile Atom processors were announced at the very end of last year, retail availability of netbooks based on the new processors was meant to start by mid-January, but it's taken Acer until now to get its first product out in the market. The Aspire One D270 is not as you might be forgiven to think; sporting an Atom D2700, but rather it has Intel's entry level mobile Atom N2600 under the hood.

d) For singletons, this is not a day to despair! Celebrate the blessings you already have by showing your family and friends how much you care with a card. Go here: http://h30393.www3.hp.com/printing/app/us/en/ gc_valentines_critter_friends-landing.aspx, personalize with a message and a photo and print! Besides the CPU upgrade, the only really interesting thing on offer is the fact that Acer has kitted out the D270 with an HDMI port which means that it can be used for watching content on a large screen display. Everything else about the D270 is typically netbook, as you get a measly 1GB of RAM – do note that the N2600 only supports up to 2GB unlike the other Cedar Trail models – a 320GB hard drive, larger than in the past, but hardly mind blowing and a typical 1024x600 resolution 10.1-inch netbook screen. e) Who says Valentine’s Day should only be spent with your significant other? Enjoy time together with your family on Valentine’s Day. Sit around the table and have some good old family fun. Print these beautiful games from HP Creative Studio and enjoy hours of fun with your family members! There’s a whole host of other Valentine’s Day gift and game ideas you can explore at the HP Creative Studio – just hop on over to: http://www.hp.com/hho/hp_create/ themes_holidays_valentines_day.html

Acer's first Atom N2600 netbook goes on sale Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/acer-s-first-atom-n2600-netbookgoes-on-sale/14818.html February 10th, 2012

You do of course get luxuries like a webcam – Acer didn't bother to specify what kind – 802.11b/g/n WiFi, 10/100Mbit Ethernet, three USB 2.0 ports, a D-sub connector, a memory card reader and a pair of audio jacks. The only good news is that Acer does at least include a 6-cell battery pack that is rated at up to 8h of usage; something of a bonus considering so many netbooks recently has shipped with 3-cell battery packs.

Although Intel's new mobile Atom processors were announced at the very end of last year, retail availability of netbooks based on the new processors was meant to start by mid-January, but it's taken Acer until now to get its first product out in the market. The Aspire One D270 is not as you might be forgiven to think; sporting an Atom D2700, but 12


February 10th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

this gives us about 8mW. The significant thing here is that Micron claims that its DDR3Lm memory managed to improve upon this by up to 50 percent, so in other words DDR3Lm memory should have a self-refresh of about 4mW, calculated on a 1Gbit chip at 1333MHz. The smallest DDR3Lm chips are 2Gbit though and these are expected to be operating at 1600MHz. As the speed and size increase, so does the self-refresh power draw.

The 1.3kg Aspire One D270 isn't exactly impressing in terms of specifications, but it has one redeeming feature and that's is the price. Acer US is listing it for a mere US $279.99 (S$350) which makes it one the cheapest netbooks to date made by one of the large brand name notebook manufacturers. Did we mention that it comes in a choice of black, blue, silver or red?

Micron will also have 4Gbit parts with speeds of up to 1866MHz and here the company has specified a self-refresh current of 3.7mA or less than 5mW. It might seem like a trivial power saving, but it all adds up when you're running on battery power. Of course the self-refresh power draw only matters when the memory is in standby mode, but considering how often computing devices are left idling, or in standby power mode, this is a way to reduce useless power draw. The new DDR3Lm memory chips will be made using Micron's 30nm class DRAM manufacturing process and the company is expecting to start shipping DDR3Lm chips in Q2, although the company is already sampling chips to its partners.

Micron announces DDR3Lm memory for mobile computing Analyst Downgrades NVIDIA; Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/micron-announces-ddr3lm-memoryClaims no "Major Catalysts" for-mobile-computing/14816.html until Second Half 2012 February 10th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/analyst-downgrades-nvidia-claimsno-major-catalysts-until-second-half-2012/14806.html February 10th, 2012

It's that time again when we're getting yet another letter to add to the ones we already love and cherish when it comes to memory acronyms and this time it's the letter m and it's quite suitable that it comes from Micron then, in the shape of its DDR3Lm memory. What DDR3Lm memory brings to the table is reduced self-refresh power draw, something that should help improve the battery life of mobile devices. It's that time again when we're getting yet another letter to add to the ones we already love and cherish when it comes to memory acronyms and this time it's the letter m and it's quite suitable that it comes from Micron then, in the shape of its DDR3Lm memory. What DDR3Lm memory brings to the table is reduced self-refresh power draw, something that should help improve the battery life of mobile devices.

We have received word from 111-year old investment group Sterne Agee that their analysts are removing NVIDIA from their "Catalyst Driven Idea List", claiming lack of innovation until second half of 2012. NVIDIA's recent enthusiasm over Tegra 3 wasn't met with as many design wins as the analysts expected, and the fact that 2011 came and went without Kepler didn't went unnoticed with the financial analyst community.

Presumably the m stands for something like mobile, as the DDR3Lm memory intended for use in notebooks and tablets, although Micron seems to have forgotten to mention that part in the press release. The trick here though is what's called â&#x20AC;&#x153;low self-refresh powerâ&#x20AC;? something that can potentially save a fair amount of power, depending on the usage scenario. One of the downsides of RAM, no matter the type used today, is that it needs to continuously self-refresh, as otherwise it will lose charge in the capacitors when the memory isn't being accessed. This in turn would mean that data held in the RAM would be lost. This is an oversimplification of how things work, but explains the basic principle here. Although we're only talking mW's here per DRAM chip, higher capacity chips use more power for the self-refresh. According to Micron's own spec sheets, its DDR3L 1333MHz memory has a self-refresh current of 6mA and at 1.35V

If you feel that NVIDIA stock is unjustifiedly low at "just" $16 mark, the fact is that there are financial analysts who will call the company out if they feel they're underperforming. According to 111-year old Sterne Agee investment group, 13


February 10th, 2012

NVIDIA is doing just that - underdelivering. The analyst firm announced they're removing NVDA from "Catalyst Driven Idea List", their in-house overview of progressive companies.

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storage space for free users. Anyone going over the quota will likely have to pay a subscription fee, depending on which bracket of use they fall into.

Vijay Rakesh and Mark Kelley, financial analysts with the group weighed heavily on NVIDIA's loss of Tegra 2 design wins and lack of major design wins for Tegra 3, as well as increased competition from AMD: "We had put NVDA on our Catalyst Driven Idea list on January 3 ahead of anticipated catalysts at CES and Mobile World Congress (MWC). While there were some catalysts at CES with the quad-core Tegra 3 integrating Touch on its Ninja 5th core, CES also saw a Win8 Tablet prototype running an NVDA Tegra. While we believe there could be more catalysts with MWC February 27, we believe NVDA shares are fairly valued here. MWC catalysts could include Tegra 3 handsets with Icera baseband and some 7-10 tablets running Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Overall PCs Continue to be Weak & New Tablet Ramps are Just Getting Announced - We believe near term PCs are seasonally weaker, and while HDD supply is improving, we believe PC demand continues to be weak. Also for NVDA, Tegra 2 into tablets is ramping down, and while the company could have new Tegra 3 design wins into tablets, we believe the production ramp on any new tablets in the April Q will not be as material. Discrete GPU Competition -- With AMD ramping 28-nm Radeon HD7970 which delivers 5-30% better graphics performance than competitor GPUs on the market, paired with integrated APU Llano and INTC's Ivy Bridge-Haswell, we continue to believe the core discrete GPU market could have some structural challenges." The question remains if this removal from the list and claim that the stock price is a bit too high for their internal PT (Price Target). You can read the full report here.

Google rumoured to launch cloud storage service Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-rumoured-to-launch-cloudstorage-service/14815.html February 10th, 2012

Google is rumoured to be working on a cloud storage service that is believed to be nearing readiness for launch. Google is rumoured to be working on a cloud storage service that is believed to be nearing readiness for launch. Sources close to the company suggest that the search giant is working on a service that will rival Dropbox and possibly also Amazon and Microsoft, expanding the company's existing storage offerings like Google Docs and Google Music by offering a universal and scalable cloud storage solution. No prices or storage limits are known at this stage, but since Dropbox offers 2GB for free we can likely expect that Google will do the same and might even offer significantly more

The service is believed to be a resurrection of the G-Drive idea it proposed and killed off several years ago. This is certainly the time for such a move, as the cloud is becoming increasingly big. There is also an opening in online storage as companies like MegaUpload are taken down, but Google will likely have to be a lot stricter with what kinds of files it hosts to avoid similar problems. Google's cloud service will allow users to share videos directly from the cloud and will likely feature integration with other Google products, such as Google Docs and possibly Google+. The service is expected to launch within weeks or months, suggesting there's mostly just polishing work remaining.

Germany approves sale of reworked Samsung Galaxy Tab Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/germany-approves-sale-of-reworkedsamsung-galaxy-tab/14814.html February 10th, 2012

A German court has given Samsung the go-ahead to sell its reworked Galaxy Tab in the country, putting an end to an injunction secured by Apple last year. A German court has given Samsung the go-ahead to sell its reworked Galaxy Tab in the country, putting an end to an injunction secured by Apple last year. The Dusseldorf state court ruled that there were clear differences between the reworked and renamed Galaxy Tab 10.1N and the iPad, affirming an earlier preliminary ruling that sought to allow Samsung's tablet back on the shelves.

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Germany was the primary arena where Apple won its case, halting sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which many saw as the biggest competition to the iPad. Now that Samsung has circumvented the ban by altering the product, a common tactic in these cases, Apple can no longer try to monopolise the tablet market there.

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Apple is seeking changes to rules regarding how patents relating to crucial technology are dealt with as the company suffers from several patent disputes backfiring. Apple is seeking changes to rules regarding how patents relating to crucial technology are dealt with as the company suffers from several patent disputes backfiring. The Cupertino, California-based company wants greater consistency and transparency in the application of rules relating to vital technology patent licenses. These kinds of licenses, which are intended to be shared on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (Frand) terms, include some that Samsung and Motorola have sued Apple over. Apple appears to be trying to undermine the lawsuits launched by rival firms using Google's Android operating system by suggesting they are breaching agreements they made to licensing technology to rivals in the interest of competition. The European Commission is already investigating Samsung over this, but Apple did not make a formal complaint in that case.

Samsung has fought back against Apple in Germany, counter-suing the company over the alleged infringement of three of its mobile patents. The Mannheim court has so far rejected two of those claims and a third is to be decided in early March. With the legal war changing in favour of rivals to Apple, the company has recently called for changes in how patent rules should be applied, making proposals that would benefit it and put its rivals at a distinct disadvantage. What has transpired shows that trying to play the patent game does not necessarily work if a company wants to beat the competition. The companies should probably look to pushing out new and better products with more innovative features if they want to remain on top.

Apple wants patent rule changes as legal battles backfire Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-wants-patent-rule-changes-aslegal-battles-backfire/14813.html February 10th, 2012

Apple's proposals are that companies should only be able to claim an appropriate royalty rate, regardless of the place in the negotiation process. The costs should be determined as a percentage of the cost of components rather than the device as a whole, a policy which would particularly benefit Apple, given its high product costs. Finally, it wants patent owners to agree not to seek injunctions that will ban the sale of products using a Frand patent. This is an incredibly biased proposal, as it would ensure Apple products remain on sale, while Apple's nonFrand patents keep rival products off the shelves. Apple appeared to be okay with how patents worked when it launched its widespread patent claims against Samsung, HTC, Motorola and others in several countries around the world. When those companies fought back, however, and particularly when Motorola secured a sales ban of many of 15


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Apple's products, now it seems to think there's problems with the system.

Watch it OLED, LCD, Plasma: Mitsubishi's "LaserVue" Laser Projection TV Wins Energy Star Award Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/watch-it-oled-lcd-plasmamitsubishi-s-laservue-laser-projection-tv-wins-energy-staraward/14812.html February 10th, 2012

While OLED is taking a lot of media space recently, and LCD and Plasma TVs are touting 3D and Smart TV technologies, there is a new player coming to the market. Mitsubishi's "blast from the past" TV entered retail sales in the U.S. LCD TV, LED TV (i.e. LCD with LED lighting), Plasma TV, 600Hz Plasma, 3DTV, Smart TV... while marketing is trying to reinvent the wheel from two technologies, there are companies that have experimented with alternative way of creating motion pictures. Mitsubishi is one of those companies - the company manufacturers backsideprojection TV's based on conventional light bulb technology, delivering large scale TV's at unbeatable prices. Just how unbeatable those prices are...? Take a look at a 103" Panasonic. It weighs 215 kilos and is priced at US$69,995. For comparison, 92" Mitsubishi is US$3,380... and weighs 88 kilos. Power consumption is also incomparable, 1550W i.e. 1.55kW for the 103" panasonic, versus 216W taken by the rear projection Mitsubishi. However, rear projection TVs have their downfalls equal to projectors: the bulb has a specific lifespan and you will have to replace it. Unless... we dial the clock four years ago at CES 2008. Mitsubishi showed its laser projection TV, using laser beams instead of bulb. Besides the fact that this now closed system has theoretical longer lifespan than LCDs and Plasma TV's, LaserVue also cut down the power consumption in half.

For US$3,699, you can buy a 75" LaserTV (yes, $100 for an inch) which brings plasma-like image quality (mitigating one of technological pitfalls), consumes around 100 Watts and delivers Full HD resolution in 120Hz. This TV is fully compatible with NVIDIA 3D Vision and 3D Vision 2 glasses as well - or you can buy Mitsubishi's own 3D glasses which utilize the same technology.

Intel Haswell to release between Mar-Jun 2013 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-haswell-to-release-betweenmar-jun-2013/14810.html February 10th, 2012

Intel's latest roadmap has leaked online, which confirms Haswell for H1 2013 and reveals a tentative release date between March and June 2013. Intel's latest roadmap has leaked online, which Haswell for H1 2013 and reveals a tentative release date between March and June 2013.

Last week, after four years in development, Mitsubishi finally released a 75" LaserVue "laser TV", which immediately won Energy Star 2012 rating for most efficient TV on the market.

By now, we know much about Haswell, including detailed specifications, the graphics, and we have even seen a die shot. Like Ivy Bridge, Haswell will be fabbed at 22nm and appear in dual-core and quad-core variants. Unlike Ivy Bridge, Haswell will feature three graphics configurations GT1, GT2 and GT3 and introduce a new socket - LGA 1150. It is also suggested that Haswell will bring the TDP for the top 16


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SKUs back to 95W, after the top Ivy Bridge i7 3770K ducks in at 77W. While the above roadmap is for desktops, we can expect Haswell for notebooks around Q2 2013 as well. Of course, Haswell is a long way away, and we have the small matter of an impending Ivy Bridge release in April. Interestingly, Ivy Bridge-E is not mentioned on the roadmap, which covers till H1 2013. Thus, Sandy Bridge-E is likely to continue as the enthusiast platform, co-existing with Haswell for a while. This means before Sandy BridgeE goes EOL, it would have complemented three different mainstream generations - Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge and Haswell.

Issue 18 of The Overclocker now online Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/issue-18-of-the-overclocker-nowonline/14809.html February 10th, 2012

The 18th issue of the web's most popular overclocking magazine, The Overclocker is now online for your reading pleasure. With it comes some assistance in helping you choose the right X79 motherboard, an investigative look at the claimed inefficiency of ASUS' Crosshair V and a one-on-one chat with overclocking extraordinaire, Andrew "DrWeez" Roberts just to name a few highlights. The 18th issue of the web's most popular overclocking magazine, The Overclocker is now online for your reading pleasure. With it comes some assistance in helping you choose the right X79 motherboard, an investigative look at the claimed inefficiency of ASUS' Crosshair V and a one-on-one chat with overclocking extraordinaire, Andrew "DrWeez" Roberts just to name a few highlights.

Review wise, GeIL's EVO TWO PC3-19200 Quad-Channel RAM kit gets looked at in Issue 18 as well as Patriot's Pyro SE 240GB SSD, ASUS' Radeon HD 7970, GIGABYTE's G1.Assassin2 and G.Skill's RipJaws Z 2400MHz CL9 RAM. Adding to that is an in-depth review of Skyrim, a look at Cooler Master's COSMOS II, ASUS' VG278H monitor and Corsair's Vengeance series K90 keyboard and M90 mouse.

I-O Data soon to release new 23-inch IPS display Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/i-o-data-soon-to-release-new-23inch-ips-display/14808.html February 10th, 2012

I-O Data is readying up a new 23-inch IPS based monitor for launch at the end of the month, initially set to arrive in the Japanese market at an equivilent cost of about US $347. I-O Data is readying up a new 23-inch IPS based monitor for launch at the end of the month, initially set to arrive in the Japanese market at an equivilent cost of about US $347.

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now listed for purchase over at HP's online store with free standard shipping. After a a brief announcement following a teaser video early into the new year, HP's new Envy 14 Spectre Ultrabook is now listed for purchase over at HP's online store with free standard shipping.

Dubbed the LCD-MF234XPGBR, this IPS display uses LED backlighting and has 178 / 178 degree viewing angles along with a native 1920 x 1080 resolution. Its maximum brightness is rated at 250 cd/m2 along with a constrast ratio of 1000:1 (80,000:1 DCR).

The Envy 14 Spectre in base trim will set you back US $1,399,99. With that you get a 128GB SSD and Core i5-2467M processor, while HP also lists a "recommended configuration" model at US $1,899,99 which sports a 256GB SSD and Core i7-2770M processor. Size and weight isn't exceptional, but give it worthiness as part of the Ultrabook realm with its 20mm thickness, dimensions of 12.88" (W) x 8.7" (D) x 0.79" (H) and weighing in at about 1.8Kg.

Rated response time for the display is 14ms with mention of an 'Overdrive' mode taking that number down to 8ms. It also houses a couple 1.5W speakers and features an ECO mode that does its bit to be more energy efficient. Connectivity wise, the LCD-MF234XPGBR has 1x D-Sub, 1x DVI and 2x HDMI inputs.

HPs Envy 14 Spectre Ultrabook now selling Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hps-envy-14-spectre-ultrabook-nowselling/14807.html February 10th, 2012

A particularly bold feature of the Envy 14 Spectre is the use of Gorilla Glass in spades; used on its lid, display, palmrest and even the touchpad. Also standard is its Beats Audio support, backlit keyboard and near-field communication (NFC) (referred to as 'HP Touch to Share'). The 14-inch Brightview Infinity LED display is confined to a resolution of just 1366 x 768, but word has it this spiffy looking Ultrabook will be launching at the end of the month in the Asia-Pacific region with a higher resolution 1600 x 900 panel.

After a a brief announcement following a teaser video early into the new year, HP's new Envy 14 Spectre Ultrabook is 18


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These are all informations disclosed at press time. HWBOT and Gigabyte will disclose further information on February 14, one day before the competition kicks off. There is no information will this competition last until Intel's Ivy Bridge processors make an appearance or not (April 8) so it's a wait and see game. For those that wish to participate, the only thing they need to do is register on HWBOT and respect the rules of the competition. Six more days to go...

According to E-Vonne Loh, product marketing manager of HP Personal Systems Group, Asia Pacific and Japan, the HP ENVY14 Spectre is expected to retail from S$1,999 in Singapore. Customers who purchase the HP ENVY14 Spectre will also receive one year of dedicated ENVY concierge phone line for premium support which include failure for any reason, spillage of liquids on the keyboard, theft etc. The service also include a one-time wireless home setup of the Ultrabook to the TV or even speakers. Loh also mentioned that the concierge service could be available for all ENVY products as well as countries in the region, in the near future although no tentative dates yet.

HWBOT and Gigabyte Launch Spring Extreme Competition on February 15 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hwbot-and-gigabyte-launch-springextreme-competition-on-february-15/14805.html February 10th, 2012

IBM, GlobalFoundries and Samsung to Present NextGeneration Chip Technology in March Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ibm-globalfoundries-and-samsungto-present-next-generation-chip-technology-in-march/14804.html February 10th, 2012

Three players joined in the largest foundry alliance - the Common Platform Alliance will present next generation silicon at the 2012 Common Platform Technology Forum in Santa Clara, California. With all the news about the changes in manufacturing with its clients (AMD is now a customer with all three major vendors), it is easy to forget that three major players are actually in an alliance, jointly working on technology development.

Continuing in the tradition of overclocking competitions, overclocking enthusiast community HWBOT is launching a new competition, this time sponsored by Gigabyte. Following the winter break, HWBOT is kicking off the 2012 competition season with Gigabyte's Spring Extreme Competition. The competition is divided into four stages, without any regional restrictions. First stage is Wprime 32M, followed by SuperPI 32M, PiFast and PCMark05 as the final, fourth stage. As you can see beside the PCMark05 which has a GPU component, the benchmarks are heavily CPU bound - neatly leaving the graphics part out of equation. This should defer the squabble between AMD Radeon 7000 series and the upcoming GeForce 600 series for some time. Competition is points-based, thus you will probably need to aim as high as possible in all four competitions, with the theoretical 40 points being the maximum score - first place is awarded with 10, second with 8, third with 6 points and so on.

We have received news that on March 14, just a week after CeBIT 2012 in Germany - IBM, GlobalFoundries and

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Samsung Electronics will host the 2012 Common Platform Technology Forum in Santa Clara, California.

GALAXY Note owners, the app has failed to work and they were unable to claim the voucher by the 31 January deadline.

The topics are mighty impressive - "previewing the future of silicon technology", as the press release put it. On the conference, the mayor players will answer the questions put forward in terms of 28nm, 20nm and 14nm processes, the upcoming conversion to 450mm wafers (34% larger wafer than current 300mm).

It is hard to judge how bad the Samsung Hub app is as it is country-specific. Moreover, the company could be developing a newer version to solve the problems Samsung users are facing. There's no word as to whether the Samsung Hub Android app will be available here, but if it does, hopefully it will be an improvement to what the unhappy Samsung users are using now.

Besides IBM/GlobalFoundries/Samsung Electronics triangle, there will be between 20 and 30 additional member companies which create chips that end up in "majority of world's mobile devices and consumer electronics."

Samsung Hub Android app in UK plagued by negative feedback

Samsung GALAXY Nexus and GALAXY Tab 7.7 arriving in Singapore on 11 February Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-galaxy-nexus-and-galaxytab-7.7-arriving-in-singapore-on-11-february/14803.html February 10th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-hub-android-app-in-ukplagued-by-negative-feedback/14802.html February 10th, 2012

Samsung UK has launched the Samsung Hub app recommendation tool in August last year. But the user feedbacks have been far from positive by the looks of it.

The Samsung Hub Android app is designed to let users find their favorite apps, as well as keep up to date on the latest apps. However, it seems that users in UK aren't exactly pleased with it. According to feedbacks that were listed on the Android Market website, some users were angry that the Samsung Hub crashes occasionally and prompts Internet connection problems even though there were none. Some users also felt the app was a bit pointless since they are being redirected to the Android Market to download anyway, and the app that came preinstalled with Samsung devices, cannot be uninstalled. There also seems to be a special promotion going on last month whereby consumers in UK who purchases a Samsung GALAXY Note will get a free voucher containing £25 case and £120 worth of free music and videos. Unfortunately, according to two of the Samsung

Samsung Asia has finally unveiled the availability of their highly anticipated GALAXY Nexus, which claims to be the world's first smartphone to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and the GALAXY Tab 7.7. Both products will be available this weekend.

The Samsung GALAXY Nexus and GALAXY Tab 7.7 were unveiled in Singapore early this year, though the company did not confirm when both products will be available. The GALAXY Nexus was jointly announced by Samsung and Google, and is the world’s first smartphone running Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. The smartphone features a 4.65inch high definition Super AMOLED display and is equipped with a 1.2GHz dual core processor. Powered by 1.4GHz dual core processor, the GALAXY Tab 7.7 claims to be the world’s first tablet to feature the brilliant Super AMOLED Plus display and is ideal for web-surfing, multitasking and offers superior multimedia performance, The Samsung GALAXY Nexus and GALAXY Tab 7.7 will retail in Singapore on 11 February, this Saturday, at S$948 (inclusive of GST) and S$898 (inclusive of GST) respectively, without line contract. The GALAXY Nexus will come in black and white versions. 20


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Notable features of the new dslr:• Hi ISO range of 100 to 6400 which can be expanded to 50-to-25600 • 51-point Auto-Focus system • Auto-Focusing even with camera apertures of f/8 when used with teleconverters • Full HD video recording in either FX or DX format • External HDMI monitor output for video recording • Built-in Interval-meter for time-lapse capture of scenes • 100% video finder coverage • A 10% reduction of weight compared to the D700 yet still maintaining the water resistance and durability On top of that, the Korean maker has also announced the Coral Pink version of the GALAXY S II which will retail at S$888 (inclusive of GST), without line contract. The phone will be available on 18 February.

Nikon Announces 36.3Megapixel D800/D800E Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nikon-announces-36.3-megapixeld800d800e/14797.html February 10th, 2012

• 3.2-inch LCD, USB 3.0, multiple battery options, builtin electronic horizon and more

The huge leap in megapixels is said to bring the level of the full-frame 35mm DSLR almost to the level of a medium format camera at a fraction of the cost. The difference between the D800 and D800E is the ability to disable additional filtering in the D800E. Disabling the filtering makes the D800E more suitable for shooting landscapes and nature scenes.

Nikon announced on 7 February 2012 the successor to the D700 after a three and a half year wait. The new D800 / D800E are almost the same camera with the exception of an 'E'nhancement to the D800E and a presumably a small price difference. The D800/D800E is a Full Frame digital SLR also referred to as an FX body to distinguish the difference in the sensor size with the smaller sensor of Nikon's APS-C bodies being called, DX. The new digital camera is the first 35mm equivalent DSLR to receive and use a 36.3-Megapixel sensor. To ensure image capture is done well a new 91K pixel RGB sensor was developed and the D800/D800E gets the Expeed 3 image processing engine.

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Price to be advised. D800 / D800E Brochure (Adobe Acrobat) Check out Nikon's D800 Microsite here.

AverMedia announces Live Gamer HD live streaming card Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/avermedia-announces-live-gamerhd-live-streaming-card/14801.html February 10th, 2012

Admittedly we can't say that we're spending a lot of time watching gameplay videos online and even less so as a live stream, but there are plenty of people that do, least not semi-professional and professional gamers that want to keep an eye on the competition. However, live streaming games, especially if you're not on a PC isn't as easy as it should be, but AverMedia has announced a solution which should make it a lot easier called the Live Gamer HD. Admittedly we can't say that we're spending a lot of time watching gameplay videos online and even less so as a live stream, but there are plenty of people that do, least not semi-professional and professional gamers that want to keep an eye on the competition. However, live streaming games, especially if you're not on a PC isn't as easy as it should be, but AverMedia has announced a solution which should make it a lot easier called the Live Gamer HD. PC gamers haven't had too much of a problem getting live streams or recordings of their gameplay online, although one downside has been CPU and hard drive usage which could result in unwanted lag when using software video recorders/ encoders. Recently a few solutions have appeared, like AverMedia's own Game Capture HD and Game Broadcaster HD, the first being an external hard drive recorder and the other being a PCI Express card. What the new Live Gamer HD improves upon here is the ability to pass through the video signal, enabling you to play games on your TV rather than on your computer screen.

The Live Gamer HD also features a built in H.264 hardware encoder that can record your games at resolutions of up to 1080p30, although the pass-through signal is 1080p60, so the card shouldn't introduce any kind of lag or image quality reduction. Another benefit of the Live Gamer HD over the Game Broadcaster HD is the option to connect it up to your sound card so you can record other audio than what is coming over the HDMI interface, something that could come in handy for those using teamspeak etc. AverMedia also supplies its own software called RECentral with the card which allows for live streaming to TwitchTV which is a site dedicated to live streaming games. To make starting and stopping the recording/live stream easier, AverMedia also supplies a rather over the top button that connects over USB to your PC. It's an interesting product, although it still requires that console gamers have a desktop PC handy, but at least thanks to the hardware video encoder, PC gamers shouldn't be seeing any CPU usage spikes and compressed video won't cause hard drives to slow down thanks to the smaller amount of data being written. Sadly we don't know how much the Live Gamer HD is going to cost, but we'd hazard a guess that it'll be more than the Game Broadcaster HD which is retailing for around US $160 (S$200). The Live Gamer HD is expected to hit retail sometime in the next quarter and we suggest you check out the video below for some additional details.

Notebook makers find ARM cheaper than x86, no-one surprised Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/notebook-makers-find-arm-cheaperthan-x86-no-one-surprised/14799.html February 10th, 2012

It's surprising how certain apparently obvious things come as a chock to some and now notebook makers have noticed that Intel and AMD's processors cost more than ARM based SoCs, something they think is an issue in the low-power 22


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market space. As such, the notebook makers now wants Intel and AMD to offer more competitive pricing ahead of Microsoft's launch of Windows 8 to better compete with ARM based products. It's surprising how certain apparently obvious things come as a chock to some and now notebook makers have noticed that Intel and AMD's processors cost more than ARM based SoCs, something they think is an issue in the low-power market space. As such, the notebook makers now wants Intel and AMD to offer more competitive pricing ahead of Microsoft's launch of Windows 8 to better compete with ARM based products. This really sounds like a joke, but as Digitimes is reporting, when it comes to low power devices, most likely tablets â&#x20AC;&#x201C; of which many are still being made by the notebook makers even if some are also made by smartphone manufacturers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; x86 is simply too expensive. Now, traditionally you did tend to get more performance for your buck, but with the latest generations of dual and quad core ARM based SoCs, this isn't always the case compared to entry-level, low-power x86 processors and this is most likely where the upset is coming from. It will be an interesting year, especially when it comes to the ARM vs. x86 battle as there seem to be a general market move towards ARM for a lot of different devices that traditionally belonged to the x86 CPU makers. The extra pressure of being cost competitive with ARM can't be good news for AMD as the company is trying to refocus on mainstream and developing markets, in which both ARM based products are taking a larger market share. Intel isn't having quite the same pressure, but even so, it's not going to be easy for Intel to get design wins for its Atom processors unless the company can compete on price as well as performance.

LG's peculiar Optimus Vu teased Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-s-peculiar-optimus-vuteased/14798.html February 10th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

screen smartphone with the main differentiator being its 4:3 aspect ratio. LG Korea has a teaser website up for the new device and the company is suggesting that a large device like this is somehow meant to be more comfortable to hold in a 4:3 form factor, a reasoning that seems a bit hard to follow. The Optimus Vu is also rumoured to be shipping with a stylus, which should operate in a similar fashion to Samsung's Galaxy Note. This is about as much as one can make out from the video, besides the fact that there's a micro USB port hidden behind a cover and the fact that there's a headphone jack and a couple of buttons on the top, but some alleged specifications have also turned up online alongside with an actual photograph of what should be the Optimus Vu.

We wouldn't bet our farm on these specifications, but the Optimus Vu is said to feature a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC, most likely the APQ8060 due to the fact that we should be looking at an LTE equipped device here. There should also be 8GB of internal storage memory, potentially 1GB of RAM and a micro SD card slot present. An 8Megapixel camera, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi of some kind and NFC are all also said to be part of the package.

It's tough differentiating yourself as a mobile phone manufacturer these days, but LG's upcoming Optimus Vu seems to be a pretty good attempt at creating something slightly difference in the hybrid smartphone/tablet space. The Optimus Vu is a rather large 5-inch black slab of a touch screen smartphone with the main differentiator being its 4:3 aspect ratio. It's tough differentiating yourself as a mobile phone manufacturer these days, but LG's upcoming Optimus Vu seems to be a pretty good attempt at creating something slightly difference in the hybrid smartphone/tablet space. The Optimus Vu is a rather large 5-inch black slab of a touch

A couple of oddities include the screen resolution which is expected to be 1024x768, the same as Apple's iPad, but 23


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lower than many competing devices and the fact that we're apparently looking at an Android 2.3 device here as it still has touch buttons below the display, something Android 4.0 devices won't be having. Then there's what appears to be a beam of light coming out of the Optimus Vu in the video which has sparked some rumours suggesting that it might have an integrated pico projector, something LG has tried once before, albeit only as an accessory for a single smartphone model in the US. We'll let you draw your own conclusions, but as the device is rumoured to launch this month, we shouldn't have to wait too long to find out the facts.

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VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Angry Birds finally launches on Facebook Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/angry-birds-finally-launches-onfacebook/14873.html February 14th, 2012

Rovio has finally launched Angry Birds on Facebook, along with several new features, including power-ups and Facebook-exclusive levels. The popular bird-flinging mobile game is now open to Facebook's more than 845 million members just in time for Valentine's Day, giving lovers and loveless alike an outlet to vent frustration on hapless little pigs hiding beneath wood and stone constructs. The Facebook version is not just a clone of the smartphone and tablet game, however, as there are many unique elements that take advantage of social networking. For example, Facebook friends can give each other gifts and power-ups, players can compete against each other, and scores can be shared.

“This launch is just the beginning for Angry Birds on Facebook,” said Petri Järvilehto, SVP of Game Publishing at Rovio. “We have great new features and gameplay lined up for the fans in the upcoming weeks. Angry Birds on Facebook will offer a unique experience for our fans, and we’re really excited to finally be on the platform.” As part of the launch festivities Rovio is offering 14 free power-ups to Facebook players between now and 16 February. The game be played here.

Elpida fears it might go under due to rising debt Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/elpida-fears-it-might-go-under-dueto-rising-debt/14872.html February 14th, 2012

Japanese chipmaker Elpida Memory said its future is uncertain as it finds it increasingly difficult to repay its growing debts. Japanese chipmaker Elpida Memory said its future is uncertain as it finds it increasingly difficult to repay its growing debts. The company, which makes DRAM chips, has unto April to pay back money it owes, but it said it might not be able to remain in business, suggesting bankruptcy is the most likely option as it approaches the deadline. Elpida had hoped to secure funding by the end of March, but now it believes it might not get this. Some analysts expect the Japanese government to step in to provide financial aid, particularly considering it provided funding for the company in the past.

There are several unique power-ups, which can be earned in game, gained as gifts from friends, or bought with real cash. The initial four include a Sling Scope for precision targeting, a King Sling to improve power and velocity, Super Seeds to increase the size of your birds, and Birdquake to cause splash damage.

There are significant doubts over the future of the company today, however, as Elpida revealed that its discussions with the Development Bank of Japan and its main lenders fell 1


February 14th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

through. Merger talks with Nanya Technology also appear to have gone nowhere. The chipmaker needs a lot of support to pay back 92 billion yen ($1.2 billion) worth of bonds and loans. Elpida has been struggling to repay this, as chip prices continue to plummet and the company has been making significant losses. Part of Elpida's struggle is due to Samsung's expansion in the chip sector, which has driven prices down and made Elpida's business model untenable. With few allies to look to for funding, it looks increasingly likely that Elpida will have to close up shop in the near future.

US and EU give green light to Google and Motorola Mobility deal Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/us-and-eu-give-green-light-togoogle-and-motorola-mobility-deal/14871.html February 14th, 2012

Google has cleared two major hurdles in its bid to acquire Motorola Mobility as both European and US regulators approved the deal within hours of each other. Google has cleared two major hurdles in its bid to acquire Motorola Mobility as both European and US regulators approved the deal within hours of each other. The $12.5 billion buyout has been held up by lengthy investigations by regulators across the world, but the European Commission recently ruled that the deal would not negatively impact competition and therefore should be allowed to go ahead. Hours later the US Department of Justice also approved the acquisition. However, both regulators said they would keep a close eye on the behaviour of all companies in the mobile sector and expressed concern over the use of patents to crush competition, suggesting they might bring in new laws to put an end to the recent spate of patent lawsuits.

Samsung was recently brought up by the European Commission on allegations of patent abuse, but other companies, such as Apple and Motorola Mobility, could also face scrutiny. It is largely believed that Google's bid for Motorola Mobility was to gain its portfolio of over 17,000 patents, which could also bring Google into the crossfire. The European and US approval was largely considered the biggest obstacle for Google to overcome, and one that Google VP Don Harrison said was an “important milestone,” but the company still needs approval from regulators in China, Taiwan and Israel before the deal goes through. Approval from Europe and the US makes it increasingly likely, however, that the acquisition will be given the green light elsewhere as well.

Independent labour group launches investigation of Apple suppliers Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/independent-labour-group-launchesinvestigation-of-apple-suppliers/14870.html February 14th, 2012

Apple has revealed that an independent non-profit labour group has launched a major investigation into the working conditions at a number of its suppliers, including the controversial Chinese firm Foxconn. Apple has revealed that an independent non-profit labour group has launched a major investigation into the working conditions at a number of its suppliers, including the controversial Chinese firm Foxconn. The Fair Labor Association (FLA) began its investigation at Foxconn's factory in Shenzhen, better known as “Foxconn City.” Foxconn is under particular scrutiny after a wave of suicides and attempted suicides, including 14 deaths in 2010. Suicide is not the only worry for Apple, as Foxconn also came under the spotlight again last year after an explosion at 2


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its Chengdu factory killed three employees. The FLA is also investigating that facility.

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• Cool - thanks to its Copper-Aluminum Heat Sink • Quiet - 135mm Super Silent HDB Fan • Safe - through Multiple Over Power Protections • Powerful - Single 12V Rail with 80A • Smart – Modular Flat cable system • Efficient - 80Plus Silver Certification* • Reliable – 5 year warranty • Environmental Friendly - ERP & RoHS *varies per Model The Silent Pro M2 Series will be available in 420W, 520W, 620W, 720W as 80 Plus Bronze and 850W and 1000W models as 80 Plus Silver. These will be available from the beginning of March for these prices:

Foxconn assembles both the iPhone and iPad ranges, two of Apple's most popular products, which makes Foxconn's widely reported poor working conditions reflect badly on the Cupertino, California-based company. Apple has attempted to rectify the problem, which is increasingly tarnishing its image, by launching several investigations of its own. Last month it released details of an audit of its entire supply chain, a significant move to enhance transparency. Other Apple suppliers, such as Quanta and Pegatron, will be subject to investigations by the FLA later this year. Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, who took over from Steve Jobs last year, said that the inspections that are now underway are “unprecedented … both in scale and scope.”

Silent Pro M II 420W € 79,90 Silent Pro M II 520W € 89,90 Silent Pro M II 620W € 99,90 Silent Pro M II 720W € 114,90 Silent Pro M II 850W € 149,90 Silent Pro M II 1000W € 169,90 Source : Coolermaster Press Release

Apple is toying with the idea of a mini iPad Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-is-toying-with-the-idea-of-amini-ipad/14868.html February 14th, 2012

Image Credit: Steve Jurvetson

Cooler Master launches the Silent Pro M2 PSU series Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cooler-master-launches-the-silentpro-m2-psu-series/14869.html February 14th, 2012

Coolermaster today launched an update of one of the world's most famous PSU series - the Silent Pro. The company claims that the Silent Pro M2 is improved in every aspect and that it has been designed to meet the broad needs of enthusiasts and mainstream users alike. The power supplies will feature a single 12V line, modular cabling and a number of thermal/acoustic performance improvements.

Rumours have been reignited about a smaller iPad after the Wall Street Journal made a statement that the company is testing an 8-inch model at the moment. Rumours have been reignited about a smaller iPad after the Wall Street Journal made a statement that the company is testing an 8-inch model at the moment. In typical fashion the Cupertino firm remains tight lipped, but it's been indicated through sources working at some of Apple's suppliers that the company may well be accompanying next month's launch of its third-gen 9.7-inch iPad 3 with a mini iPad using a resolution of 1024 x 768 not unlike the iPad 1 and 2.

Among the new features of the Silent Pro M2 series are:

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The phone is said to be around 9.8mm slim and incorporates ISP-LCD display for more vibrant and crisp images, though power consumption is similar to the 4.5-inch Nitro HD display. It will incorporate 4.3-inch 3D WVGA Nova touchscreen display, weighs 148g (20g lighter than Optimus 3D), and comes with 8GB storage capacity, HDMI output, 5-megapixel rear camera, and supports DLNA and HSPA connectivity. The model number is LG CX2, though it is likely to be named 3D Max. The LG smartphone will be carried by SK Telecom in Korea first before rolling out to other countries.

Both AU Optronics and LG Display are apparently testing panels for the smaller tablet at the moment and it's also being rumoured that it will run on LTE. But remember, Apple does have a tendency to play around with prototypes in various sizes which sometimes never see the light of day, so it's difficult to say if the birth of a midget iPad is definitively on the cards at this time.

More information on LG second 3D smartphone Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/more-information-on-lg-second-3dsmartphone/14867.html February 14th, 2012

Sharp Japan announces new 70-inch AQUOS LC-70Q7 LCD TV Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sharp-japan-announces-new-70inch-aquos-lc-70q7-lcd-tv/14866.html February 14th, 2012

Fancy a new, large-size LCD TV? Well, Sharp Japan has just announced their latest 70-inch AQUOS LC-70Q7 LCD TV which claims to provide superb quality images, and consumes less power compared to conventional 70-inch TVs.

Online sources suggest that Korean maker LG would be showcasing their second 3D-capable smartphone at this year's Mobile World Congress, and it could be called Optimus 3D 2 or Optimus 3D Max.

Last year, LG announced the glasses-free Optimus 3D smartphone which lets you view 3D content such as YouTube, games, apps and photo gallery with just a push of a button. This year, the company is planning to launch a new 3D-capable smartphone. According to rumors, the phone could be named the Optimus 3D 2 or Optimus 3D Max, and reveal itself at the upcoming Mobile World Congress 2012 at Barcelona.

Sharp Japan has introduced their new AQUOS LC-70Q7 70inch LCD TV, which is scheduled for release on 10 March, priced at 550,000 yen (approximately US$7,056). With such a huge display, you can have side-by-side Web browser screen, and television broadcasting simultaneously, though the recommended viewing distance is 2.6m. The LC-70Q7 comes with a full high definition (1920 Ă&#x2014; 1080 pixels) panel and incorporates the proprietary UV2A technology which can have precise control of the alignment of liquid crystal molecules in the LCD panel structure; and four color technology for vibrant, accurate colors. It supports video recording to external USB HDD and is equipped with two digital tuners that lets you watch broadcast of real-time TV while recording the program. Other connectivity options include optional wireless LAN adapter, HDMI input, composite video input, and analog RGB. The Sharp LCD TV also has energy-saving features

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Published by: VR-Zone

such as automatic screen brightness adjustment according to the ambient lighting.

Extreme Edition CPUs, indicating the lack of a bundled cooler.

Intel's Core i7-3820 LGA 2011 CPU quietly appears

Overclocking wise we know little at this point in terms of what it's capable of getting to on average. It's said to be a 'limited unlocked' chip which means it has a more limited range of multiplier options available.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-core-i7-3820-lga-2011-cpuquietly-appears/14865.html February 14th, 2012

Sony considers prospect of Vita OS on smartphones and tablets Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-considers-prospect-of-vita-oson-smartphones-and-tablets/14864.html February 14th, 2012

AKIBA PC has reported that Intel's Core i7-3820 processor has been spotted for purchase in Japan with a price tag of 25,000 Yen, converting over to about US $322. AKIBA PC has reported that Intel's Core i7-3820 processor has been spotted for purchase in Japan with a price tag of 25,000 Yen, converting over to about US $322.

It's possible that we'll be seeing a range of Vita OS running smartphones and tablets in the future to come. At least that's the hint given by Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai during a Q&A last Friday. It's possible that we'll be seeing a range of Vita OS running smartphones and tablets in the future to come. At least that's the hint given by Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai during a Q&A last Friday.

This LGA 2011 Sandy Bridge-E based processor is the new entry level choice when going down the LGA 2011 route - a quad core unit with eight threads, running at a stock clock frequency of 3.6GHz and 3.9GHz when Turbo Boost is active. The CPU has 10MB of L3 cache and a TDP of 130W.

The retail packaging for the processor looks to be the same size as that used for the Core i7-3930K and Core i7-3960X

It was said during the talk that while the Vita OS has debuted in a gaming device, it is actually a mobile OS with significant room for expandability. SCE's Senior Vice President Yoshio Matsumoto also chimed in when the relative questions were put forth by saying, "If you're asking if we've made it in a way that's expandable, so that it's possible to apply to smartphones and tablets on top of achieving the high responsiveness we need for gaming devices--it is possible. That doesn't mean that we're applying it to smartphones and tablets at this point in time, but it's been designed with expandability in mind".

When considering what Vita OS provides as is on the PlayStation Vita it's not hard to see it being incorporated into a smartphone or tablet. It's already equipped with a range of useful apps such as Twitter, Facebook, Netflix and Skype etc. then there's all the mobile functions included like web

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browsing, 3G connectivity, location-based social networking and camera functions etc. Nonetheless, it's difficult to predict just how long it would take to bring the software across to the smartphone and tablet world in a way that it would be instantly competitive against the two super well established dominants, iOS and Android.

Published by: VR-Zone

ASUS unveils Eee Pad Transformer TF101 with builtin WiMAX Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-unveils-eee-pad-transformertf101-with-built-in-wimax/14862.html February 14th, 2012

GeIL expands into SSD market with Zenith S2 and S3 series Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/geil-expands-into-ssd-market-withzenith-s2-and-s3-series/14863.html February 14th, 2012

Last year, ASUS announced their Eee Pad Transformer TF101. And today, the Taiwanese company has unveiled the model that comes with integrated WiMAX capabilities, which is scheduled to retail in Japan later this month.

GeIL has become the next memory maker to expand into the SSD market with its first series of drives being readied up for a likely time of availability when CeBIT comes around next month. GeIL has become the next memory maker to expand into the SSD market with its first series of drives being readied up for a likely time of availability when CeBIT comes around next month.

Dubbed the Zenith series, these 2.5-inch solid state drives come in two flavours; the more value positioned Zenith S2 with a SATA 3.0 Gbps interface and performance focused Zenith S3 which is SATA 6.0Gbps and packed with the latest Sandforce SF-2000 series goodness. The Zenith S2 will launch with 60 and 120GB capacity choices, delivering read and write speeds of up to 280MB/s and 270MB/s respectively. The Zenith S3 lineup is broader with capacities of 60GB, 120GB, 240GB and 480GB being offered and with performance likely well over the 500MB/ s mark. Competition is certainly fierce in this segment these days and showing no sign of slowing down with the likes of Intel having just outed its new 520 series performance line. But if GeIL can introduce the Zenith range at the right price points and get their name out there for producing quality SSDs then they could be off to a flying start in being a tough competitor to beat.

ASUS has announced the Eee Pad Transformer TF101-WiMAX, which comes with a built-in WiMAX communication module. The Android tablet will be available in Japan from 25 February at 49,800 yen including tax (approximately US$639). The ASUS Eee Pad TF101-WiMAX features 10.1-inch touchscreen LCD with 1280Ă&#x2014;800 pixel resolution, and runs Google Android 3.2.1 Honeycomb. It is equipped with 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor with 16GB memory and offers IEEE 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN, IEEE 802.16e WiMAX (2005 compliant) and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR. The tablet was launched in June 2011 and this model basically has the same specifications except for the additional WiMAX communication module and the newer version of the OS. According to ASUS, the WiMAX capabilities can provide up to 40Mbps downlink and 15.4Mbps uplink, and you can tether to up tp six wireless LAN equipment. No word as to when the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer TF101-WiMAX will be available in other countries.

Fairchild semi has solved the headset connector issue Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fairchild-semi-has-solved-theheadset-connector-issue/14861.html

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Published by: VR-Zone

February 14th, 2012

February 14th, 2012

In as much as we're all for Bluetooth headsets, they're generally not that great for listening to music on, but getting a high-quality wired headset that actually works with your phone isn't always that easy, as not every manufacturer wires up the connector the same. An unlikely candidate has stepped up to the task of solving this problem in the shape of Fairchild Semiconductor with its FSA8049 cross point switch.

Apparently Samsung is none too concerned about the MWC at the end of this month, since the company has seemingly decided to launch its new devices at its own leisure. The latest addition to Samsung's stable of tablets was announced at the Samsung Forum held in Prague and it's an updated version of the original Galaxy Tab which will be known as the Galaxy Tab 2.

In as much as we're all for Bluetooth headsets, they're generally not that great for listening to music on, but getting a high-quality wired headset that actually works with your phone isn't always that easy, as not every manufacturer wires up the connector the same. An unlikely candidate has stepped up to the task of solving this problem in the shape of Fairchild Semiconductor with its FSA8049 cross point switch.

Apparently Samsung is none too concerned about the MWC at the end of this month, since the company has seemingly decided to launch its new devices at its own leisure. The latest addition to Samsung's stable of tablets was announced at the Samsung Forum held in Prague and it's an updated version of the original Galaxy Tab which will be known as the Galaxy Tab 2.

What is a cross point switch you ask? Well, it's a little chip that would be integrated into the handset you're using at the time it's being manufacturer and it has the ability to detect the type of headset that's being connected to the handset. It will automatically detect the location of the ground and microphone poles on the headset and thus allow any type of headset or headphones to be used, something that isn't always the case today.

The chip could of course be used in just about any device with an audio jack to auto detect what's being plugged into the jack and with modern laptops seemingly moving to a single jack for headsets, this is another potential market where you have the same problem. Now if only all the device makers would be willing to implement the FSA8049 into their devices and the life of all consumers would be so much easier.

The big news here is of course the OS, as the Galaxy Tab 2 is Samsung's first tablet with Android 4.0. However, this is far from the only upgrade that the 7-inch tablet has received as we're looking at all new internals with an unspecified 1GHz dual core processor, HSPA+ connectivity up to 21Mbps (on the 3G model which also features A-GPS and GLOSNASS), a new 3Megapixel camera that can shoot full HD video and a new PLS screen, although with the same 1024x600 resolution.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 with Android 4.0 announced Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-galaxy-tab-2-withandroid-4.0-announced/14860.html

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Other changes include storage options of 8, 16 and 32GB (the 8GB model being the new addition) as well as a micro SD card slot (whereas the old model had an SD card slot), modified connectivity which adds Wi-Fi Direct, but oddly enough loses the HDMI port and DLNA support. At least Samsung managed to trim some of the fat off the tablet and has reduced the weight from 380g to 344g and slimmed all the dimensions by 2mm. The Galaxy Tab 2 will arrive in the UK next month and although we don't have any UK pricing, Sammyhub managed to dig up some Scandinavian pricing where the Wi-Fi version will sell for around US$450 and the 3G version coming in at around US$555 (excluding contract) somewhat depending on the country you purchase it in.

Texas Instruments announces news series of wireless connectivity solutions Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/texas-instruments-announces-newsseries-of-wireless-connectivity-solutions/14859.html February 14th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

TI has announced no less than five different series with three sub-categories in each series, as seen in the table below. The most basic versions only supports Wi-Fi connectivity, but moving up just one step you gain Bluetooth 4.0 support and an FM radio (receive and transmit), whereas more advanced models adds NFC and what its now referred to as GNSS, a combination of GPS and GLOSNASS. The interesting thing here is that TI has added support for 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi or alternatively SISO 40MHz and TI claims speeds in excess of 100Mbps on either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz band. Note that current smartphone are limited to about 65Mbps due to the Wi-Fi chip designs used.

TI claims that it its new 45nm WiLink 8.0 chips are 45 percent smaller, use 30 percent less power and cost 60 percent less compared to â&#x20AC;&#x153;traditional multi-chip offeringsâ&#x20AC;?. Showing five radios into a single chip is pretty impressive, especially when you consider all the connectivity options on offer that range from very close range to pin-pointing satellites in the sky. As for what devices these new chips will end up is anyone's guess, but we'll most likely find out sooner or later once smartphones and tablets that arrives later this year gets torn down.

Gigabyte adds some Cedar Trail love to its S1080 tablet Come the second half of this year, we can expect smartphones and tablets with improved wireless connectivity, at least if Texas Instruments has anything to do with it. Its new WiLink 8.0 series of wireless connectivity solutions will bring a range of new features to smartphones, some more useful than others. Come the second half of this year, we can expect smartphones and tablets with improved wireless connectivity, at least if Texas Instruments has anything to do with it. Its new WiLink 8.0 series of wireless connectivity solutions will bring a range of new features to smartphones, some more useful than others.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-adds-some-cedar-trail-loveto-its-s1080-tablet/14858.html February 14th, 2012

Ah yes, spring is coming and so are the upgraded netbooks and tablets with Intel Atom processors and the latest model to get a processor bump is Gigabyte's S1080 Windows tablet which from now on will be known as the S1081. The change of that single digit in the model name signals Cedar Trail internals, plus a few other minor tweaks. 8


February 14th, 2012

Ah yes, spring is coming and so are the upgraded netbooks and tablets with Intel Atom processors and the latest model to get a processor bump is Gigabyte's S1080 Windows tablet which from now on will be known as the S1081. The change of that single digit in the model name signals Cedar Trail internals, plus a few other minor tweaks.

Published by: VR-Zone

Google is working on a secret laboratory at its Californian headquarters worth $120 million, where it plans to test a range of new experimental products. Google is working on a secret laboratory at its Californian headquarters worth $120 million. The search giant has begun construction of the new lab, which includes several buildings that are shielded from external radio waves, in addition to several anechoic and thermal chambers for testing sound and radiation patterns. The lab will be used to test new experimental products, such as advanced home wireless projects and glasses with an innovative optical coating, some of which will be part of its recently announced Android@home range. Google is also modifying a different lab for use in its Project X, which involves an 800,000 square foot refurbishment of the Googleplex and marks a new stage in its plans to expand into different consumer sectors.

Gigabyte has upgraded the processor from an Atom N570 to an Atom N2800 bumping the clock speed up by 200MHz. This also means improved graphics of course, as well as support for up to 4GB of DDR3 memory which should make Windows 7 run a bit smoother. And HDMI port has also been added, as it should be on a Cedar Trail device.

Other minor additions include options for either a larger 500GB hard drive or a 256GB SSD and Bluetooth 4.0 support. The rest of the specifications appear to remain the same, but the optional docking station has also been upgraded with an HDMI port. No word on pricing or availability, but we would guess that it's not too far away.

Google working on $120 million secret lab Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-working-on-120-millionsecret-lab/14857.html February 14th, 2012

Other plans include a Google Experience Centre, where people will be able to view the history and achievements of the company. It is intended to hold up to 900 people and will primarily be used to showcase Google's talent to prospective clients. This will work like a museum, exhibit and mercantile space, but it won't be open to the public. This expansion and refurbishment effort might be a response to a similar project by Apple, which was begun by the late co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs shortly before his death. The companies have become major rivals in recent years, particularly in the smartphone and tablet arenas, and are likely hoping their new research centres will give them an edge in next-generation consumer products.

China seizes iPads in Apple trademark dispute Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/china-seizes-ipads-in-appletrademark-dispute/14856.html

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Published by: VR-Zone

February 14th, 2012

intending to seek financial compensation through another channel.

Chinese authorities have seized Apple's iPad tablets from retailers in the Xinhua province over a dispute with a Chinese company which owns the iPad trademark in the country.

US Air Force wants up to 18,000 units of Apple's iPad 2

Chinese authorities have seized Apple's iPad tablets from retailers in the Xinhua province over a dispute with a Chinese company which owns the iPad trademark in the country. Shenzhen Proview Technology registered the trademark for the iPad in China in 2000, ten years before Apple released the lucrative tablet computer. Apple lost a lawsuit against the company in December when it tried to claim that Shenzhen Proview was infringing its trademark. An affiliate of Shenzhen Proview, Proview Taipei, sold the trademark to the iPad name for a measly £35,000 in 2009, a year before the first iPad launched, but the Intermediate People's Court ruled that the Shenzhen company was not bound by this agreement. Now it looks like the Chinese firm is getting its own back against Apple. It filed a complaint with China's economic investigation unit and investigators have begun seizing iPads from stores in Shijiazhuang in Xinhua, taking them off shop shelves and from storage.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/us-air-force-wants-up-to-18-000units-of-apple-s-ipad-2/14855.html February 14th, 2012

Apple could soon be rolling in lots more cash soon, as the US Air Force has expressed interest in buying a whopping 18,000 units of the iPad 2. Apple could soon be rolling in lots more cash soon, as the US Air Force has expressed interest in buying a whopping 18,000 units of the iPad 2. Pilots won't be playing Angry Birds, however, as the tablet computers will be used to replace manuals and navigation charts, which collectively weigh upwards of 40 pounds and need to be carried by pilots and navigators. Captain Kathleen Ferrero, a spokeswoman for the Air Mobility Commands, told Bloomberg that the airline industry is way ahead of the Air Force on this issue, with most airlines already switching to tablet computers.

The investigators would not reveal the scale of the seizures, but it could prove disastrous for Apple, particularly given how large the Chinese market is. Apple has five stores in mainland China, but there are numerous resellers which are authorised to sell its devices. If it is forced to pull the iPad from the country it could lose a lot of money, and changing the name of it will be a less than ideal situation given the company's image. It could perhaps opt for something like the iTablet, but this might cause confusion and hinder sales. This is only the beginning of action taken against Apple. Shenzhen Proview is planning to ask for similar seizures in more than 20 other cities throughout China, and it is also

The final figure for how many tablets will be bought could range from as little as 63 units to as many as 18,000, and the iPad 2 is not necessarily the only model under consideration, as the Air Force appears to be open to alternative brands that are roughly equal. This might give Samsung's Galaxy Tab, for example, a shot at being the Air Force's tablet flagrunner. “My job in the US Air Force would have been truly enhanced if I'd had one of these,” said C.E. Wallace, Vietnam veteran and NCO for 13 years in the US Air Force. “All the bulky technical manuals for each of the systems and aircraft in the tablet. And all of my troubleshooting notes and records I 10


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Published by: VR-Zone

made on those spiral notebooks in the tablet. All of those work orders, aircrew debriefing notes and all of those many many forms in the tablet. I get new trainees, I transfer my files, with my comments, to their tablets! Downloading the data from the aircraft's malfunction analysis system and from the individual 'black boxes' into the tablet, incredible!â&#x20AC;? The Air Force is expected to make its request for the transition to tablet computers within the next week or two.

First Impressions: Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB Cherryville Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-impressions-intel-ssd-520series-240gb-cherryville/14822.html February 14th, 2012

The 9.5mm thick drive still comes with the usual black 2.5mm spacer which can be removed for use in laptops

Intel's first LSI-Sandforce based Solid State Drive launched with much fanfare last week, with pundits raving about the extra enterprise class reliability brought about by Intel's historically stringent firmware validation, on one of the fastest controllers around with a much storied (BSOD ridden) history. We take a quick look at the new 520 series now running on our primary test rig... Like previous SSD families from Intel, the 520 uses the same blue box theme from its mainstream line of products. Unsurprisingly. the 520 is the 2nd SSD from Intel after the 510 (Marvell) series to support native 6Gb/s operation, which is fast becoming the de facto SATA signalling standard

Accessories and Documentation - the "Speed Demon" sticker and the 2.5-3.5 inch bracket remains as well, although we're a tad disappointed that it is still not compatible with regular hotswap bays, forcing such users to buy additional mounting.

Stripped: The LSI-Sandforce SF-2281V drives sixteen 25nm MLC Intel NAND, which is usually used on premium SSDs like OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPs.

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Published by: VR-Zone February 14th, 2012

From the looks of it, Friday February 17, 2012 will be the first time NVIDIA demonstrates its upcoming Kepler GPU architecture in public. The past month saw an intense amount of rumors about the upcoming Kepler GPU architecture from NVIDIA. First and foremost, Samsung showed an Ivy Bridge + mainstream Kepler GPU notebook on CES 2012 which got its official page shown by accident (thanks to Google Cache, you can still see it), then numerous sites posted bogus rumors originating from Lenzfire (to which we will not link to), and recently we saw first credible specifications originating from 3DCenter.org.

We loaded the SSD with an Operating System and some applications on our reference Rampage IV Extreme setup (using a 6GB/s port from the PCH in AHCI mode) and ran CrystalDiskMark. The numbers are similar to other SSDs in the same performance class and price bracket.

The very latest information comes from EVGA, Gearbox Software and NVIDIA. This weekend will see 19th PDXLan taking place in Portland, Oregon. Over the course of weekend, EVGA plans to showing the next generation "Kepler" running PhysX demo of a new game from Gearbox Software. We expect that specifications stay the secret over the course of weekend, with everybody talking about the game alone, and the official unveil of Kepler will follow in weeks to come.

Report: AMD Trinity Specifications Stay tuned for our full review of the Intel 520 240GB!

NVIDIA to Demonstrate PhysX on GK104, Kepler GPU on Friday? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-to-demonstrate-physx-ongk104-kepler-gpu-on-friday-/14853.html

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/report-amd-trinityspecifications/14852.html February 14th, 2012

Further to the previously leaked roadmap, DonanimHaber has now leaked a slide which reveals detailed specitications for the previously leaked desktop SKUs. The first Trinity APUs to release will be A10-5800K, A10-5700, A8-5600K and A8-5500 - all quad-core APUs, releasing in Q2 2012. These will be followed by A6-5400K 12


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and A4-5300 dual-core in Q3 2012. All Trinity APUs will fit into a new socket - FM2. The general branding is consistent with Llano, except A8 is now A10, A6 is A8, A4 is A6 and E2 is A4. E2 branding is now dedicated to Brazos 2.0.

The top Trinity APU for desktop in Q2 will be A10-5800K. 2 Piledriver modules with 4 cores will be clocked at 3.8 GHz with Turbo Core upto 4.2 GHz. The HD 7660D IGP will feature a total of 384 SP. While this may seem lower than the 400 SP in Llano's HD 6550D, Trinity's GPU features the more efficient VLIW-4 architecture, packing in 6 SIMDs. Proportionately, the progression is identical from the one seen with HD 5870 to HD 6970 (1600 VLIW-5 to 1536 VLIW-4). Moreover, the HD 7660D is clocked at 800 MHz - 33% higher than HD 6550D. A10-5800K features a TDP of 100W and an unlocked multiplier, like the A8-3870K. A10-5700 fits in at only 65W. Despite the modest TDP, the 5700 surprisingly only features slight reductions in clock speeds. The base clock is down to 3.4 GHz, while Turbo is 4.0 GHz - only 0.2 GHz below A10-5800K. The GPU clock is down by 40 MHz to 760 MHz. The GPU is still branded HD 7660D, suggesting that AMD feels the difference from 5800K's 800 MHz is not significant enough.

Published by: VR-Zone February 14th, 2012

With Mobile World Congress approaching just two weeks from now, Taiwanese manufacturer HTC is believed to launch a new device, HTC Endeavor. It looks like the ROM has been leaked recently, which also shows the upcoming HTC Sense 4.0 custom UI that would be layered on top of Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. There are various new screenshots including Sense themes for home screens in portrait and landscape, switching between home screen tabs, favorite contacts, lock screen and alert notifications. The Sense shortcuts on the bottom of the screen also appear to be closer to stock while the notifications on the lock screen could be redesigned.

A8 series also features 2 module / quad-core APUs, but with some 2 GPU SIMDs disabled. This leaves 256 SP, clocked at 760 MHz, branded HD 7560D. Like A10, A8 also includes to SKUs - 100W, unlocked multipler A8-5600K and 65W locked A8-5500. A8-5600K's CPU clocks at 3.6 GHz / 3.9 GHz turbo, while A8-5500 is down to 3.2 GHz / 3.7 GHz turbo. The GPU clock for A8-5500 remains unchanged at 760 MHz. A6-5400K and A4-5300 will only release in Q3, which may be why the clocks are still TBD. Both are 65W dual-core APUs. Surprisingly, the L2 cache is listed at only 1MB, whereas we know 1 Piledriver module features 2MB L2 cache. A6-5400K features HD 7540D with 192 SP, while A4-5300's HD 7480D has only 2 active SIMDs with 128 SP. Unlike all other Trinity APUs, A4-5300 is restricted to 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM and does not allow Dual Graphics with discrete Radeon GPUs.

HTC Sense 4.0 Screenshots leaked from HTC Endeavor

Leica Camera Asia Pacific reveals improved Customer Care Centre Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/leica-camera-asia-pacific-revealsimproved-customer-care-centre/14847.html February 14th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/htc-sense-4.0-screenshots-leakedfrom-htc-endeavor/14851.html

This morning, Leica Asia Pacific unveiled their new and improved Leica Customer Care Centre at the International Building along Orchard Road, Singapore. The Customer 13


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Care Centre aims to offer Leica customers the delight factor and "wow" experience.

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Images have appeared online of an unnamed smartphone from HTC running Android Ice Cream Sandwich which looks be 100% Verizon-bound according to its Service Information screen.

Leica customers can now enjoy a better experience when they need to send in their camera for servicing. Leica Camera Asia Pacific has announced the new and improved Customer Care Centre located at the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore. According to Gerald Wagner, service manager, the company has a 2015 Customer Service Strategy and the vision includes the increase of value of Leica products, and enhance customers binding and enthusiate for new products. It is a shift from the traditional "repair shop" to a supplier of services with strong focus to customers needs. The Customer Care Centre has recently been equipped with new Leica Rangefinder and sensor calibration machine for the M digital cameras. The new equipment can perform adjustment and calibration checks as well as confirms and aligns sensor flatness. Such services were previously conducted only in the Leica Customer Care Centre back in Solms, Germany, but now two of the local technicians can do the checks and calibrations. This also helps to shorten the waiting period for M-cameras servicing to around seven working days, as compared to six to eight weeks if the cameras went sent back to Germany. However, note that for the S-cameras and lens adjustments and repairs, these would have to be done by Leica HQ in Germany, while upgrades from M9 to M9-P can be performed here.

As per the images leaked into Phone Arena's hands, The mystery phone runs Android 4.0.1 along with HTC's Sense 4.0 and it's believed that the phone could possibly be a follow-up to the Incredible S judging by the shrink-wrapped back.

The Leica Customer Care Centre handles requests from Southeast Asia, namely Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

Unnamed HTC Android 4.0 phone for Verizon appears online Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/unnamed-htc-android-4.0-phonefor-verizon-appears-online/14850.html February 14th, 2012

Images have appeared online of an unnamed smartphone from HTC running Android Ice Cream Sandwich which looks be 100% Verizon-bound according to its Service Information screen. 14


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The front of the phone is designed in classic HTC style not unlike the company's Sensation lineup and from what we can also gather via some hardware specs listed in the images provided, the phone looks not to be one of several much anticipated NVIDIA quad-core Tegra 3 powered models, rather housing a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor along with 1GB of RAM. Rounding out the specs we can ascertain from the images at this time, it appears there's an 8MP rear-facing camera, VGA front camera and connectivity via WiFi, Bluetooth and LTE. The screen is said to be an AMOLED one which we're guessing to be sized somewhere around the 4-inch mark.

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We'll be sure to bring you more details on this curious HTC phone as they come in.

Thermalright to unleash beastly Silver Arrow SB-E CPU Cooler Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/thermalright-to-unleash-beastlysilver-arrow-sb-e-cpu-cooler/14849.html February 14th, 2012

Going a long while back now, Thermalright quickly gained a much stronger presence in the CPU cooling realm when it introduced the almighty Ultra 120 Extreme (or TRUE as it became more popularly referred to) which was arguably the biggest, boldest and best performing air cooler for your Pentium IV or Athon 64 CPU and it took quite a lot of effort from competing manufacturers to eventually come up with something that could knock it off the podium. Going a long while back now, Thermalright quickly gained a much stronger presence in the CPU cooling realm when it introduced the almighty Ultra 120 Extreme (or TRUE as it became more popularly referred to) which was arguably the biggest, boldest and best performing air cooler for your Pentium IV or Athon 64 CPU and it took quite a lot of effort from competing manufacturers to eventually come up with something that could knock it off the podium.

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imagine that it won't be one hell of a serious piece of kit if you want to stay on the air cooled path.

We've seen some pretty interesting CPU heatsinks released from them since then, but perhaps nothing that has gained the same level of market presence. That may potentially be about the change however with the birth of Thermalright's new Silver Arrow SB-E CPU Cooler. This monster-ish dual tower/fan setup boasts eight chunky nickel-plated copper heatpipes each with a 6mm thickness, while its dual-fan arrangement comes in the form of a 140mm and a 150mm TY PWM fan. On the subject of fans, this model looks to be more friendly in terms of leaving more space for taller memory modules thanks to some cleverly designed fan-clips.

While an official price and date of availability are also yet to be disclosed, the upcoming cooler has been spotted for preorder at 78 Euro (about $103 USD).

Gateway's LT4004U Cedar Trail netbook now on sale Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gateway-s-lt4004u-cedar-trailnetbook-now-on-sale/14848.html February 14th, 2012

With Cedar Trail netbooks finally beginning to penetrate the market, Gateway (now subsidiary of Acer) is next in line with a listing on BestBuy for its LT4004U, a 10.1-inch unit using Intel's Atom N2600 processor. With Cedar Trail netbooks finally beginning to penetrate the market, Gateway is next in line with a listing on BestBuy for its LT4004U, a 10.1-inch unit using Intel's Atom N2600 processor.

Processor support is strong with Intel LGA 2011 / 1366 / 1156 / 1155 / 775 and AMD AM2(+) / AM3(+) / FM1 processors all being on the compatibility list. We would have liked to have shared some impressive numbers in terms of exact dimensions and weight etc. but we are yet to obtain these details. The pictures floating about online however do show the kind of immense footprint we're looking at with the Silver Arrow SB-E and it's hard to 16


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The LT4004U is priced at a respectable US $279.99 and as mentioned has a 10.1-inch (1024 x 600) LED-backlit display and 1GB of RAM, 250GB (5400 RPM) HDD, multicard reader, 100Mbit LAN, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, three USB 2.0 ports and and a HDMI output.

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The users' opinions may vary, but I did like the idea of Ultrabook the first time it was mooted by Intel last year. Why? Well, who wouldn't like a full feature, productive PC machine in a sexy looking, ultra slim, light form factor not much heavier than an iPad, yet able do actually create business and other content, rather than just show it like the tablets usually do? And, for all the dislike of X86 platform - shared by me, surely - it is a proper PC, not dependent on some online application stores for things I want to run on it. Of course, the challenges of combining decent PC performance and feature set, together with usable keyboard, power & cooling gadgetry, slim display and long battery life, into those slim enclosures - ah yes, rigid and sturdy enough enclosures - do affect the cost too.

The netbook comes with Windows 7 Starter installed and a 6-cell battery that is expected to provide up to 8 hours of use. It is covered by warranty for 1 year.

First looks: Toshiba Portege Z830 and Satellite U840 Ultrabooks for during and after office hours Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-looks-toshiba-portegez830-and-satellite-u840--ultrabooks-for-during-and-after-officehours/14846.html February 14th, 2012

The main problems with the initial Ultrabook rollouts aside from having to wait for the Ivy Bridge as a true full-performance Ultrabook platform within the prescribed power envelope - are the focus on the business form factor, and, of course, the still somewhat high (or perceived so) price. You've all seen how sexy the ASUS UX31 is, however the price - which even went up slightly here in Singapore recently - is a huge barrier, leading Asus to create the lower end UX21 model as well. Toshiba, as one of leading notebook makers and designers over the past two decades, is one of the few Japanese names, together with Sony and Fujitsu, that stays still strong in global mobile PC business. They have their fair share of unique innovations in this segment - remember the little Libretto with two LCD screens, one of them a touchscreen in place of a keyboard? Here, in a quick glance over a few hours we had available, we look at their attempt to differentiate the business and consumer Ultrabook streams - the Portege Z830 being the first one, and the new Satellite U840 as the second one.

Half a year into their launch, Ultrabooks are expanding beyond the niche expensive business market into the 'enthusiast consumer' stream as well. Here we look at how they differ in a quick half-day preview, with Toshiba's two flagship entries from each camp, side by side. 17


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Both systems' displays are at 1366x768 resolution something that, like with most other Ultrabook systems, could be changed for the better. Even if one sticks to the irritating 16:9 aspect ratio that the mentally myopic panel vendors seem to impose on the laptop brands these days, going up to 1600x900 or, better, 1920x1080 FullHD resolution does improve the usability somewhat. I hope we see that in the Ivy Bridge refresh, at least. In the short time I had with the systems, the goal was to find the differences in basic hardware performance between the two systems, as well as the battery life impact. I ran Sandra 2012 and PCmark Vantage tests here - PCmark Vantage was chosen rather than PCmark 7 as its lighter graphics load is more appropriate for Ultrabook usage models. Here are the results: Portege Z830, being the flashy corporate model used to beam up presentations to (or by) CxOs, among others, has smaller AND slimmer casing, with its 13.3-inch LCD screen being stretched quite close to the edge - it is definitely a very compact, lean design well comparable in the sexiness factor to the Asus UX31, for instance, even though it doesn't taper to a sharp edge like the Asus offering. At just over 1.1 kg and a third of an inch thick, the Portege Z830 is among the lightest 13-inch notebooks around, partly enabled by the magnesium alloy casing material. The CPU, Sandy Bridge Core i7-2677M CPU at 1.8 GHz, is pretty decent for such a compact notebook, with up to 8 GB RAM supported - we had 6 GB, a little odd number, in the test unit. There was also a 128 GB SSD built-in.

As you can see, there is a marked difference between the two machines, with the smaller business Ultrabook having a noticeable lead. However, a part of the explanation is not in the two CPU bins slower processor, but in only one memory module present, which halves the memory bandwidth for both CPU and the integrated graphics, of course. This, of course, is easily solved by plugging in another similar DIMM into the empty socket for dual channel operation. The SSD in the Portege also helped with storage performance in the PCMark Vantage run over the hybrid solution in the Satellite. Overnight, I also left both systems to drain their batteries with idle run, but with screens forced on. The Portege reached around 7 hours 20 minutes, while the larger Satellite managed more - 7 hours 50 minutes to be exact. These are quite good figures, within the spec expectations.

On the other side, the Satellite U840, while still quite slim, is larger - the 14-inch LCD is there too - and heavier, at some 1.6 kg, feeling more like a cross between Ultrabook and standard thin notebook. Its speaker seems larger too, an useful feature when playing multimedia content - something more likely to happen in home use, anyway. To make it more affordable, the Satellite U840 is based on Intel's Sandy Bridge ULV Core i5-2467M 1.6 GHz processor, a few notches below the CPU in the Portege, although it still has up to 8GB of DDR3-1333 RAM - only 1 DIMM was installed in the test system, with 4 GB capacity. The 128 GB SSD from Portege is replaced in the Satellite by a 500GB + 16GB hybrid drive - yes those 16 GB are a SSD cache. It also has 3 USB ports (one is USB3) as well as usual Ethernet and audio I/O.

In summary, these are well built systems despite the challenges, and the design of both machines is attractive, but the Portege is still the sexier - and faster - choice, of course at a premium price. The Satellite can be a good student or home Ultrabook choice, however do make sure the memory is configured in dual-channel mode for full performance. We will look at these and more Ultrabooks in our subsequent detailed reviews.

Extreme Llano A8-3870K LN2 Action: 6GHz Attempt Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/extreme-llano-a8-3870k-ln2action-6ghz-attempt/14845.html

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Published by: VR-Zone

12. A 700W+ PSU, preferably with a strong single 12v rail 13. Fans to blow vapour away from the board, and keep air flowing 14. A lot of paper towel and tape for soaking up the wet 15. Cannisters of LN2

A few weeks ago AMD added a few new special SKUs to its Llano lineup, one of which really interested us as it came with an unlocked multiplier. The A8-3870K we have here with us today has been put through one of our famous bench sessions, follow us as we go through what we did to accomplish our highest speeds. Did we really hit 6GHz? Sort of. Below is the A3870K we used after it had gone through a 5 hour LN2 session. You can see that it is still so cold it refuses to defrost even after being under our 1000W heat gun for a minute or two. The beauty of such cold is that AMD CPUs for the most parts are an LN2 Overclocker's wet dream, they lack any cold bugs and are pretty forgiving even after some harsh voltage treatment. Today we will provide sort of a recipe for how we accomplished our overclocks, so that you at home and try it yourselves!

16. Faith in your CPU and Motherboard, and most importantly yourself. However we first need to go over some of the limitations of the CPU, and compare against the A3850 which we used in our Llano Round-Up. Most notably you can see that the max multiplier on the A3870K is only 47X, which means the FSB has to be increased to around 135MHz to hit 6GHz. A8-3870K CPU Cores 4 Clock Speed 2900MHz Integrated HD 6550D / Graphics 600MHz Memory Upto 1866MHz Support Max Multiplier 47X TDP(Watts) 100W Chipset (Socket) A75/A55 (FM1)

A8-3850 4 3000MHz HD 6550D / 600MHz Upto 1866MHz 29X 100W A75/A55 (FM1)

Samsung's Galaxy mini 2 leaks ahead of MWC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-s-galaxy-mini-2-leaksahead-of-mwc/14844.html February 14th, 2012

Ingredients: 1. AMD Fusion A8-3870K 2. Decent A75 board with a BIOS to support the multipliers of the A8-3870K (We used ASUS F1A75V Pro) 3. LN2 POT or container to act like a large heatsink that you pour LN2 into 4. Digital Thermometer that can measure to -200C, along with K-Type thermocouples 5. Silicon based conformal coat (we used a spray on) 6. Art eraser, you can buy this from an art store. 7. Neoprene for the POT and the board 8. Armaflex Insulation 9. Thermal Paste that can withstand very cold temps (EVGA Frostbite is what we used, but there are many more)

Not everyone can afford – or want for that matter – a highend smartphone and it looks like Samsung is getting ready to unveil a new affordable model which is expected to be announced around the Mobile World Congress at the end of this month. The new model is the Galaxy mini 2, or S6500. Not everyone can afford – or want for that matter – a highend smartphone and it looks like Samsung is getting ready to unveil a new affordable model which is expected to be announced around the Mobile World Congress at the end of this month. The new model is the Galaxy mini 2, or S6500. Although fairly basic compared to the latest generations of smartphones, the Galaxy mini 2 would've been a high-end model only a couple of years ago. It sports an unspecified 800MHz processor, 3GB of built in storage, a 3.3-inch HVGA (480x360) resolution display, a 3Megapixel camera and HSDPA connectivity at speeds of up to 7.2Mbps.

10. Discrete GPU 11. A single low-density memory stick 19


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The Galaxy mini 2 will be running Android 2.3 which again is better than a lot of entry level smartphones and it will apparently have coloured backs, as the single image leaked of the new handset sports an orange back and a typical black fascia. That's all the information that's available for the time being, although we shouldn't have to wait long considering the February launch date given.

Toshiba updates netbooks, forgets to add HDMI Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/toshiba-updates-netbooks-forgetsto-add-hdmi/14843.html February 14th, 2012

Although only available in Japan so far, Toshiba has updated its netbooks with Intel's Cedar Trail Atom N2800 processor, although for whatever reason, the company decided to forgo HDMI output, one of the key features of the new Atom models. Presumably we'll be seeing what is known as the Dynabook N301 in Japan in other parts of the world shortly. Although only available in Japan so far, Toshiba has updated its netbooks with Intel's Cedar Trail Atom N2800 processor, although for whatever reason, the company decided to forgo HDMI output, one of the key features of the new Atom models. Presumably we'll be seeing what is known as the Dynabook N301 in Japan in other parts of the world shortly. Besides the processor upgrade, little else has changed over the old model, although with the new processor comes improved graphcis and support for up to 4GB of memory. As with Acer's new Aspire One D270, the N301 also sports a 320GB hard drive. Other features include the netbook typical 10.1-inch 1024x600 resolution display, 10/100Mbit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, three USB 2.0 ports, a D-sub connector, a pair of audio jacks and a memory card reader.

One novel feature that Toshiba has added though, sort of in lieu of the missing HDMI port is support for Intel's WiDi wireless display technology, although this does require a receiver. As with previous models, the N301 also feature the rather large Harman/Kardon branded speakers that are fitted to the wrist rest. The battery is said to be good for up to 6.5h of usage, although Toshiba offers a larger battery pack good for up to 8h of usage. No word on pricing or availability as yet, but we'd expect the N301 to end up at a similar price point as Toshiba's current netbooks.

The Pirate Bay Unveils Portable Site, USB Key that Multiplies TBP by Factor of N Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-pirate-bay-unveils-portable-siteusb-key-that-multiplies-tbp-by-factor-of-n/14833.html February 14th, 2012

One of most popular file sharing sites online, the controversial The Pirate Bay, is making steps to stay alive in a way that would require the governments to "break the fabric of the internet" i.e. the DNS. There is no doubt that over the past several years, the content distribution lobbies started to exercise their power and tighten the global piracy chains. However, given that they're doing at the same time when the industry behind the lobbies are cracking down on legal distribution chains, it's clear that there is a different interest at play.

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sensitive Steam purchase information from 2004 through 2008. A statement has just been issued out to all Steam users by Valve president, Gabe Newell which gives an update to last year's event of intrusion where the Steam forums had been hacked and a backup file had likely been obtained which held sensitive Steam purchase information from 2004 through 2008. When Valve admitted to the the hacking attempt in November of last year it did acknowledge that some user data including encrypted credit card information and hashed passwords had been stolen. While Valve said it did not find any evidence that the encrypted data had been hacked, advice was given that all users should still change their Steam passwords. Gabe's most recent announcement goes into a little more detail on what type of user information had been gotten a hold of.

One of websites that sticks out in movie (MPAA) and music (RIAA) industry associations eyes is The Pirate Bay. This Swedish website became a global phenomenom, raking as high as the 12th website in the world. Following the demise of MegaUpload, The Pirate Bay decided to deploy a series of methods that will keep the site online regardless of what local authorities want to do on global scale. For starters, The Pirate Bay changed its domain from .org to .se (Sweden) domain as file sharing is now recognized as a religion in Sweden. Furthermore, the organization announced that they will stop hosting torrent files and shift to magnet links - essentially, a same thing for the user, but a very different server load for The Pirate Bay. Last stroke is the creation of "The Pirate Bay on a Stick", a portable index that contains all the magnet links on The Pirate Bay that can serve as a proxy for the Pirate Bay domain. The idea came from TPB user "allisfine", who indexed over million and half magnet links - enough to put on a USB stick and keep in numerous computers worldwide. The whole log is just 164MB in size i.e. a 90MB zip file. Will this move be enough to keep things going for undoubtedly #1 file sharing and copyright breaking website on the Internet - only time will tell.

Valve says Steam users should watch out for fraudulent CC activity Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/valve-says-steam-users-shouldwatch-out-for-fraudulent-cc-activity/14842.html February 14th, 2012

A statement has just been issued out to all Steam users by Valve president, Gabe Newell which gives an update to last year's event of intrusion where the Steam forums had been hacked and a backup file had likely been obtained which held

Recently we learned that it is probable that the intruders obtained a copy of a backup file with information about Steam transactions between 2004 and 2008. Thi backup file contained user names, email addresses, encrypted billing addresses and encrypted credit card information. It did not include Steam passwords. Gabe then went on to say that there continues to be no evidence that the encrypted credit card info or billing addresses were compromised, but irrespective of this it would be advisable as a cautionary measure to more closely watch your credit card activity and statements for a while.

Samsung unveils Ivy Bridge powered notebook too early Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-unveils-ivy-bridgepowered-notebook-too-early/14841.html February 14th, 2012

Unless Intel has decided to move the launch of its Ivy Bridge processors forward, Samsung is getting way ahead of itself as the company had put up one of its Ivy Bridge powered notebooks – the NP700G7C – on its US website yesterday. Beyond having an Ivy Bridge processor, the 17.3-inch notebook also sports Nvidia 600-series mobile graphics. Unless Intel has decided to move the launch of its Ivy Bridge processors forward, Samsung is getting way ahead of itself as the company had put up one of its Ivy Bridge powered notebooks – the NP700G7C – on its US website yesterday. Beyond having an Ivy Bridge processor, the 17.3-inch notebook also sports Nvidia 600-series mobile graphics. The product page has since then been pulled, but thanks to Google's cache the details are still available. As for the notebook, it's part of Samsung's 7-series, although there seems to either be a mistake in the specifications, or 21


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Samsung posted the wrong pictures as the key count for the keyboard doesn't add up. That aside, we're looking at a fully loaded notebook here with a Core i7-3610QM quad core CPU clocked at 2.3GHz with 6MB of L3 cache, 16GB of RAM (using four 4GB modules) and a pair of 1TB hard drives in RAID with the addition of Samsung's ExpressCache which adds 8GB of on-board flash memory as an SSD caching solution.

Published by: VR-Zone

CoolerMaster Cosmos II : The Ultra Tower Case Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/coolermaster-cosmos-ii--the-ultratower-case-review/14839.html February 14th, 2012

The Ultra Tower; that’s what CoolerMaster classes their latest flagship chassis as. A bold, even smug statement some would believe and we too were filled with doubt; at least until we gazed upon the new Cosmos II. The CoolerMaster Cosmos II is a case of colossal proportions and loaded with features, designed to be an enthusiast’s dream. Want to see what CoolerMaster’s manifestation of a “Dream Case” looks and performs like? Then read on this review.

As mentioned, we're looking at a 17.3-inch screen and the good news here is that it means 1920x1080 resolution. The GPU in question is a GeForce GTX 675M with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, although it's unclear in this point in time as to where in Nvidia's new line-up this GPU will end up. Other features include a Blu-ray drive, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with WiDi support, Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit Ethernet, an HDMI port, a Samsung specific connector for a D-sub adapter, two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port, a memory card reader, a headphone/mic combo jack, a 2Megapixel webcam and finally there's a backlit keyboard.

The Ultra Tower; that’s what CoolerMaster classes their latest flagship chassis as. A bold, even smug statement some would believe and we too were filled with doubt; at least until we gazed upon the new Cosmos II. The CoolerMaster Cosmos II is a case of colossal proportions and loaded with features, designed to be an enthusiast’s dream. Want to see what CoolerMaster’s manifestation of a “Dream Case” looks and performs like? Then read on this review. Available Color Material

Dimension (W / H / D) Weight M/B Type 5.25" Drive Bay 3.5" Drive Bay

Midnight Black Exterior: Aluminum, Mesh, Synthetics Interior: Steel-Alloy, Synthetics, Rubber 344 x 704 x 664 mm / 13.5 x 27.7 x 26.1 inch 22 kg / 48.5 lb Micro-ATX, ATX, E-ATX, XL-ATX, SSI CEB, SSI EEB 3 13 (2 from X-docking with key locks 5 HDDs in the Middle cage

I/O Panel Expansion Slots Cooling System Samsung has also thrown in an 8-cell battery, but there's no mention of how long this will keep the notebook going away from a power socket. That said at 3.8kg, this isn't a notebook you're going to want to lug around with you for too long. For the pleasure of owning this loaded out notebook, Samsung is asking for US$1,699.99 (S$2,145) which isn't what we'd call the bargain of the day, but it doesn't sound like a terrible deal considering what you get for your money.

6 HDDs in the bottom cage USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 4, eSATA x 1, Audio In and Out 10+1 Front: 200mm LED fan x 1, 700 RPM, 19 dBA Top: 120mm black fan x 1, 1200 RPM, 17 dBA (200mm fan x 1 / 140mm fan x 2 / 120mm fan x 3) Rear: 140mm fan x 1, 1200 RPM, 19 dBA Side: 120mm fan x 2 (optional) HDD: Mid.HDD: 120x25mm fan x 1 (optional) 22


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Bottom HDD: 120mm fan x 2, 1200 RPM, 17 dBA Power Supply ATX PS2 / EPS 12V (optional) 2.5"/3.5"- SATA HDD Drive 11 (converted from 3.5" Bay cages) Maximum Compatibility CPU cooler height: 190mm / 7.48 inch VGA card length: 385mm / 15.15 inch

Acer's upcoming CloudMobile revealed, wins design award Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/acer-s-upcoming-cloudmobilerevealed-wins-design-award/14840.html February 14th, 2012

Ahead of the Mobile World Congress which kicks off later this month, Acer has decided to give the world a sneak peek at its upcoming CloudMobile which just garnered an iF product design award. It's easy to forget that Acer makes a range of smartphones, although the company has managed to come up with some rather unusual devices such as the Incionia Smart S300 with its unconventional 21:9 aspect ratio. Update: New picture added showing the display with Android 4.0 Ahead of the Mobile World Congress which kicks off later this month, Acer has decided to give the world a sneak peek at its upcoming CloudMobile which just garnered an iF product design award. It's easy to forget that Acer makes a range of smartphones, although the company has managed to come up with some rather unusual devices such as the Incionia Smart S300 with its unconventional 21:9 aspect ratio. As for the CloudMobile, well, we don't know much about the actual hardware, but the press release did at least let us know that it'll sport a 4.3-inch slim bezel display that is "fully laminated" i.e. using something like gorilla glass and that it will offer HD resolution. It also has a rear speaker with Dolby mobile audio, an unspecified camera and an LED flash. We'd presume that it'll have a micro USB port, or possibly MHL or something similar as we can only make out a single connector on the handset.

The selling point of the CloudMobile â&#x20AC;&#x201C; besides its design â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is given in the name, cloud connectivity. Acer has apparently come up with some software that allows you to access content on your PC remotely as long as it's connected to the internet. Beyond simple tasks like accessing audio, video and picture content, Acer has also added support for document management and wireless printing. These are all things that can be done already, although to our knowledge no single device maker has put all these features in a device as a standard set of features. As for availability, the Acer CloudMobile won't arrive until Q3 this year and judging by the lack of physical buttons of any kind at the front of the handset, we presume it'll come with Android 4.0. More detailed specifications should be revealed at the Mobile World Congress which kicks off on the 27th.

Classical board games get iDevice upgrade Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/classical-board-games-get-ideviceupgrade/14838.html February 14th, 2012

Most of us have probably played board games at some point in our youth and one of the bigger makers of popular board games, Hasbro, has announced its revamped line up for 2012. What's new is that three classical board games have been given an iDevice overhaul, or as Hasbro prefers to put it, zAPPed Gaming. Most of us have probably played board games at some point in our youth and one of the bigger makers of popular board games, Hasbro, has announced its revamped line up for 2012. What's new is that three classical board games have been given an iDevice overhaul, or as Hasbro prefers to put it, zAPPed Gaming. 23


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Published by: VR-Zone

Hasbro is planning three titles in its zAPPed Gaming series, the game of life, monopoly and battleship. The first one available will be the game of life which will require that you own an iPad to play it. The concept here is that the iPad acts as an interactive part of the board game. Not only will it feature a virtual “spinner” (instead of dice), but it will also play video clips and animations.

Next up we have good old monopoly which will work with the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch where the iDevice will act as a virtual bank so that there's no longer any need to handle cash. It will also display the chance and community chest cards – all of which are animated of course – and provide some new kind of mini games. The third and last game is battleship, a real classic that normally doesn't require much more than a pen and some squared paper. In this instance though the game will require an iPad which acts as the playing surface and this is where all the moves are made. The press release didn't divulge much more, so we'll see how this one pans out. The game of life is available as of right now and it retails for US$24.99, but the app is a free download from the App Store. Monopoly is expected to arrive in June, with battleship following sometime in September, with no word on pricing for either game.

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VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.

Renesas gets into the LTE device chipset market Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/renesas-gets-into-the-lte-devicechipset-market/14910.html February 16th, 2012

By now it's pretty clear that LTE is the next generation of mobile wireless connectivity technology for smartphones and tablets, but so far there has been a shortage of SoCs with integrated LTE support and apparently Renesas Electronics thinks it's found a good entry point into what is a very competitive market. In all fairness, Renesas inherited a range of mobile SoCs designs from NEC, but most of them weren't very popular outside of the Japanese market, something that the new MP5232 has the opportunity to change. By now it's pretty clear that LTE is the next generation of mobile wireless connectivity technology for smartphones and tablets, but so far there has been a shortage of SoCs with integrated LTE support and apparently Renesas Electronics thinks it's found a good entry point into what is a very competitive market. In all fairness, Renesas inherited a range of mobile SoCs designs from NEC, but most of them weren't very popular outside of the Japanese market, something that the new MP5232 has the opportunity to change. Despite the lack of a cool marketing name, the MP5232 is Renesas' first integrated LTE triple-mode SoC. If you're not keeping up on your mobile data connectivity terminology, we'll make things simple, as in this case triple-mode means LTE category 4 (up to 150Mbps down and 50Mbps up), DC-HSPA+ (up to 42Mbps down) and of course good old fashioned EDGE. Besides great connectivity we're looking at a pair of ARM Cortex-A9 cores with clock speeds of up to 1.5GHz, unspecified PowerVR SGX graphics, although we'd dare to suggest that we're looking at an SGX540 core here, or possibly an SGX545 if we're really lucky.

Other integrated features include support for up to 20Megapixel camera sensors, full HD video encoding and decoding, an audio subsystem and a sensor control framework, pretty much all the bits you need for a smartphone or a tablet. The MP5232 does of course support feature such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and FM radios, NFC, HDMI and a wide range of other features. However, what makes this chip really interesting isn't so much the feature set as Renesas target market, which is the US$150-300 device space, whereas most competing LTE equipped devices are ending up in the US$600+ market space according to Renesas. It's not clear if Renesas has any takers for the MP5232 as yet, but the company is also working on a quad core SoC with an otherwise similar feature set, although this as yet un-named chip is of course targeting higher priced devices. Renesas will be at the Mobile World Congress demoing its new mobile solutions at the end of this month and hopefully we'll find out some more details then.

NVIDIA preparing GeForce GTX 560 SE Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-preparing-geforce-gtx-560se/14908.html February 16th, 2012

NVIDIA is preparing yet another GTX 560 - this time a salvaged GF114 based graphics card to be branded GeForce GTX 560 SE. The GTX 560 SE will be at least the 6th member of the desktop GTX 560 family, following GTX 560 Ti, GTX 560, GTX 560 Ti (OEM), GTX 560 (OEM) and GTX 560 Ti 448 1


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Core. Ironically, the GTX 560 SE has much more in common with the OEM GTX 555. As the branding suggest, GTX 560 SE is a salvaged GF114 derivative with 2 SMs disabled for a total of 288 SP and 48 TMU. The core is clocked at 776 MHz and shaders at 1552 MHz. 1 MC is disabled, so the memory interface is 192-bit mated to 3828 MHz 1GB GDDR5 for a total bandwidth of 92 GB/s.

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Camera (DCS-942L; above pic second from left). The D-Link Enhanced Wireless N Day/Night Home Network Camera offers H.264 video compression which can record up to five times more footage than MJPEG, and comes with enhanced motion detection and night vision of up to five metres in pitch darkness, as well as built-in microphone. The DCS-942L will be available in Singapore at authorized retailers at S$199, in Q3 this year.

GTX 560 SE will offer similar performance to GTX 555 OEM and is squarely aimed at AMD's latest Radeon HD 7770. While the aging GF114 is never going to match the performance/watt ratio offered by AMD's latest 28nm GPUs, the GTX 560 SE will offer excellent performance/ price value if priced around the $150 mark - much like the GTX 460 SE did towards the end of GF104's relatively short life cycle. The GTX 560 SE is being rushed to the market and should be available within weeks. Looking forward, we hope this is the last in a long line of muddled GTX 560 branding and the next major graphics card from NVIDIA be GK104 based.

D-Link introduces new Cloud initiative and mydlink platform in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/d-link-introduces-new-cloudinitiative-and-mydlink-platform-in-singapore/14902.html February 16th, 2012

The D-Link DNR-322L mydlink Network Video Recorder (NVR) is a standalone storage that can record real-time video from up to nine D-Link network cameras to hard disk storage. It can support real-time remote monitoring and playback via web browser (via mydlink website) or NVR's web graphical user interface. On top of that, users can control pan/tilt/zoom functions from within the interface or by directly clicking on the video. The D-Link DNR-322L mydlink Network Video Recorder (NVR) will be available in Singapore at authorized retailers at S$329, in Q2 this year.

Today, D-Link shared their Cloud initiative which incorporates innovative cloud functionality in their line of consumer networking products for enhanced secure data access, sharing and viewing.

D-Link has unveiled their portfolio of Cloud products including routers, cameras and network storage devices, which allow you to access your digital content, and connect to family anytime, anywhere. The new products include the D-Link Cloud Camera 5000 (DCS-5222L) which offers pan/tilt capabilities and autotmatic day/night viewing, and D-Link Enhanced Wireless N Day/Night Home Network

Jacky Chang, vice president of D-Link, South Asia region, said that D-Link Cloud provides user with a single platform (mydlink) and account to connect to all the D-Link Cloud devices. You can use any smartphone or tablet to log in to the portal with your username and password to access your home cloud devices such as router, camera and storage.

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Xbox 720 is codenamed Durango Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xbox-720-is-codenameddurango/14906.html February 16th, 2012

The codename for Microsoft's next-generation console is Durango, according to several sources cited by gaming news website Kotaku. The strange name will be employed for the next Xbox as it approaches launch, before being changed to its formal launch title, which is widely believed to be Xbox 720. Why it doesn't just go with the latter right now is anyone's guess, but likely it wants to keep some of the features under wraps, such as a rumoured touchscreen controller similar to that of the Wii U.

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Cisco Systems will file a challenge with the European Union against Microsoft's $8.5 billion bid to acquire Skype, the company has revealed. Cisco Systems will file a challenge with the European Union against Microsoft's $8.5 billion bid to acquire Skype, the company has revealed. The networking giant said it does not oppose the merger itself, but it wants the European Commission to put in place a number of conditions that would ensure â&#x20AC;&#x153;greater standards-based interoperability.â&#x20AC;? Cisco has its own video conferencing software, WebEx, but it is nowhere near as popular as Skype, which has more than 650 million users across the globe. Open standards could allow WebEx calls to Skype, Google Video and other video software, but it could also weaken Skype's dominance in this area.

Cisco fears that Microsoft will control the future of video conferencing if an open standard is not adopted. Cisco's approach would certainly provide significant benefits to users so that they can make seamless video calls from one platform to another, but whether or not Microsoft should be obliged to do this remains to be seen. Durango is one of Mexico's 31 states, the significance of which remains unknown. However, Microsoft's codename for the Kinect was Project Natal, a city in Brazil, suggesting a policy of using place names for secret projects. We have to admit that it's a bit of a weird choice of codename, compared to, for example, Revolution for the Wii, which had some relevance to what the console was intended to do, but the odd name might have so far helped avoid spying eyes as Microsoft prepares its competition to the Wii U.

Cisco to file EU complaint against Microsoft's Skype deal

Microsoft announced the acquisition in May 2011 and the European Commission gave it the green light in October, deciding that the deal would not negatively affect competition. Cisco's legal action, however, puts the EC in the spotlight, but the EC said it would defend its decision in court.

Proview admits it will be difficult to ban Apple iPad exports in China Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/proview-admits-it-will-be-difficultto-ban-apple-ipad-exports-in-china/14904.html February 16th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cisco-to-file-eu-complaint-againstmicrosoft-s-skype-deal/14905.html February 16th, 2012

Proview Technology has admitted that it will be difficult to impose a ban on shipments of Apple's iPad tablet due to the popularity of the device in the country. 3


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Proview Technology has admitted that it will be difficult to impose a ban on shipments of Apple's iPad tablet due to the popularity of the device in the country. The company's leader, Yang Long-sang, revealed that Chinese customs is unwilling to intervene in the trademark dispute between Proview and Apple over the term â&#x20AC;&#x153;iPad,â&#x20AC;? a name which Proview registered ten years before the launch of the lucrative tablet computer. This difficulty isn't stopping Proview from pushing ahead with legal action, however. It is attempting to get local customs to ban the device, and earlier this week it secured seizures of iPads from retailers in Shijiazhuang in the Xinhua province. It is also seeking bans in 20 other cities.

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According to Digitimes' sources among AIBs, AMD is set to release their next Southern Islands GPUs - Radeon HD 7870 and HD 7850 - in the first half of March. NVIDIA will respond to HD 7000 series with GTX 600 series, starting in April. In addition to Picairn / HD 7800 series, AMD is also preparing to release the flagship New Zealand, Radeon HD 7990. While a firm schedule is not reported by Digitimes, a late March release sounds most likely, rounding out the first wave GCN 28nm GPU launches for the HD 7000 family. NVIDIA is expect to respond to HD 7000 with three new Kepler chips - GK110, GK104 and GK106 over eight different SKUs including GTX 690, GTX 660 and GTX 640. Surprisingly, Digitimes reports that NVIDIA is releasing all eight models in April - an unprecedented and unlikely release schedule for the GPU industry. However, we should certainly see the first Kepler GPUs around April, most likely GK104. According to latest rumours, GK104 is expected to be radically different from its predecessors and NVIDIA's biggest architectural change since G80 in 2006.

New fibre broadband provider MyRepublic offers nocontract, optimized Internet experience to users In addition to the bans, the company is seeking monetary compensation from Apple to the value of 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion), a move that is largely seen as a last ditch effort to rescue the company from bankruptcy after abysmal losses in recent years. Apple disputes Proview's claims, saying that it bought rights to use the iPad trademark from Proview Taipei in 2009. However, a recent Chinese court decision ruled that Proview still owns the trademark in China, a major economy that Apple cannot afford to lose.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-fibre-broadband-providermyrepublic-offers-no-contract-optimized-internet-experience-tousers/14901.html February 16th, 2012

There's a new fibre broadband provider in Singapore, MyRepublic, which claims to be purpose-built for consumers to optimally utilize the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN) in their homes. Best of all, you can sign up without being bound by contractual agreement.

Rumour: AMD Radeon HD 7800 to release in March, NVIDIA Kepler in April Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rumour-amd-radeon-hd-7800-torelease-in-march-nvidia-kepler-in-april/14903.html February 16th, 2012

According to Digitimes' sources among AIBs, AMD is set to release their next Southern Islands GPUs - Radeon HD 7870 and HD 7850 - in the first half of March. NVIDIA will respond to HD 7000 series with GTX 600 series, starting in April. 4


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Malcolm Rodrigues, CEO and co-founder of MyRepublic, said that they are seeing alot of users who are finding their own online content often for free, and have developed a habit of watching what they want and when they want. The problem with this is they are continuing to use the telcos' networks, and these networks are not purpose-built for these new applications - streaming videos, online gaming etc; they are built for surfing and email. "As part of the Intelligent Nation 2015 (iN2015) plan, the Singapore Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (NGNBN) was born. It's fibre to the homes, schools and businesses, and fast connectivity of minimum 100Mbps everywhere. And more importantly, at affordable prices. Three years ago, if you want a 100Mbps connection, you pay over S$2,000 a month for it; today, the service to the average user is under S$100." "Here, we have the first (and the best) National broadband network in the world, and the incumbents are not doing anything with it. MyRepulic (we) are the first service provider that is purpose-built for the NBN. We don't offer DSL, coaxial services; we offer fibre-based services. We are offering National broadband services that are tuned to the new requirements of the Internet, building specific connectivity for specific applications. This means if you're trying to watch a streaming Korean drama serial at night, there is no buffering or lag time; if you're playing an online game at night, you will have a competitive edge over your opponent with a better network and experience", Rodrigues said. MyRepublic claims to have tuned the network to optimize all traffic flows; guaranteed performance of 4Mbps even at peak hours; there's no International caps, and offer personalized experience for each customer. There are three packages MyRepublic offers - Pure, Gamers and Tutor. If you like to stream, you can go for Pure package (S$59/month), which gives the guaranteed capacity. if you're a gamer, there is a separate network built for Gamers (S$69/month) that is low latency. MyRepulic has partnered with some local providers to create the Tutor package(S$89/month) that is an online tutorial exam preparation tool and website. Children can get tutorial services for Mathematics, Science, English and Chinese through a premium broadband experience. According to Rodrigues, tte first 100,000 subscribers can sign up for the Pure plan with the option of no contract, but terms and conditions apply - there is a standard service activation charge of S$128.40, with all one-time charges set out in Service Application Form. The standard cancellation charge is S$48.15, and within the first 6 months from service activation, service cancellation requires 30 days notice. If you choose to sign a two-year contract on Pure plan, you only need to pay S$9.90 for the first six months, and subsequent S$59 for the rest of the 18 months. To sign up, you can go online to their website, call them, or approach one of the 57 dealers that are located island-wide. MyRepublic is looking to build the number of dealers to 500 by the end of the year.

NVIDIA reports Q4 and FY 2012 results Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-reports-q4-and-fy-2012results/14900.html February 16th, 2012

NVIDIA has reported results for financial results for Q4 FY 2012, and full FY 2012 ended Jan 29th 2012. Revenues for FY 2012 stood at $4 billion, with Q4 at $953 million. NVIDIA has reported results for financial results for Q4 FY 2012, and full FY 2012 ended Jan 29th 2012. Revenues for FY 2012 stood at $4 billion, with Q4 at $953 million. Compared to Q3, Q4 revenues were down 10.6%. Despite this, overall FY 2012 revenues were up 12.8% over FY 2011. GAAP net income for FY 2012 was up to $581.1 million, an immense 230% over FY 2011. Q4 FY 2012 income was down to $116 million from Q3's $178 million, although up 7.5% from the same period last year. Gross margin for FY 2012 was upto 51.4%, up sharply from 39.8% in FY 2011. Highlights from Q4 FY 2012 (which includes CES 2012) were the release of Tegra 3 and Maximus, and announcements of several Tegra 3 devices, particularly high-end tablets with Full HD displays. Looking to the future, NVIDIA expects Tegra 3 and Kepler to be the main growth drivers. For Q1 FY 2013, ending May 30th 2012, NVIDIA expects revenue to be between $900 and $930 million. Gross margin will also be down to 49.2% +/- 1%.

Russian devs prove that Portal can be ported to Android Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/russian-devs-prove-that-portal-canbe-ported-to-android/14899.html February 16th, 2012

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As more or less just as proof of concept rather than a definitive long term project, some developers have proven that it's possible to port Valve's Portal over to Android. It is only one level of the game that has been brought across, but as Valve has no ties with this project it's hard to say if it will eventuate into anything more. As more or less just as proof of concept rather than a definitive long term project, some developers have proven that it's possible to port Valve's Portal over to Android. It is only one level of the game that has been brought across, but as Valve has no ties with this project it's hard to say if it will eventuate into anything more.

How did they accomplish it? They used the Unity engine for the task. Android Police who managed to get a hold of it recorded a video showing it in action (seen below), and it must be noted before you watch that apparently the choppiness is solely from their recording rather than the game port itself. Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.) If you're keen to try it you'll be quick outta luck unless you're super slick at hunting well into the dark crevices of the web. The build is purely an Alpha from a sketchy source, at least for now. All we can say to Valve is, are you paying attention? DO WANT! Help these guys out please.

For one, the phone is said to boast NVIDIA's Tegra 3 quadcore chip which runs at 1.5GHz on a single core and 1.4GHz when 2 to 4 cores are used. Then there's all the other bits and pieces that make you raise your eyebrows such as a schmick 720p 4.7-inch display, 1GB RAM, 8MP camera on the rear and a 1.3MP on the front, 16GB internal storage with the inclusion of a microSD slot and of course, a smothering of Ice Cream Sandwich. The phone is expected to come with a 2000mAh battery.

LG's Tegra 3 powered X3 smartphone scores big in Quadrant Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-s-tegra-3-powered-x3smartphone-scores-big-in-quadrant/14898.html February 16th, 2012

More details have leaked on LG's upcoming flagship handset, the X3, and if these rumoured specs turn out to be true then LG could well have a real winner on their hands. More details have leaked on LG's upcoming flagship handset, the X3, and if these rumoured specs turn out to be true then LG could well have a real winner on their hands.

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Published by: VR-Zone

The 13.3-inch NT900X3B-A74 works out to about US $2,376 if you opt for the higher configuration which comprises a Core i7-2637M CPU, 4GB of RAM and 256GB SSD. The notebook depends on integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics and has dual 1.5W speakers, a 4-in-1 card reader, 802.11b/ g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, a single USB 3.0 port, mini-HDMI output and a 6-cell (40 Wh) battery. Its weight is said to be just 2.5 pounds.

One of the most interesting screenshots obtained via the source link shows a *very* impressive Quadrant benchmark run on the phone with a score of 4412. Hopefully at MWC later in the month we'll see LG announce and show off this lovely sounding phone for all to see.

Samsung outs second-gen Series 9 Ultra-thin Notebooks Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-outs-second-gen-series-9ultra-thin-notebooks/14897.html February 16th, 2012

Little detail was shared about the 15-inch Series 9 model at this time apart from the mention of weight at 1.59Kg / 3.5 lbs, although it was indicated that the 15-inch model also has a SuperBright LED-backlit display with 1600 x 900 resolution not unlike the 13.3-inch model. Both will also sport backlit keyboards. Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.) Base prices for the 13.3 and 15-inch models will be $1,399 and $1,499, respectively with global shipments expected to take place later this month.

Samsung has just debuted its second generation of Series 9 notebooks at a media event in Korea today - these ultra-slim units coming in 13.3-inch and 15-inch sizes with a singlepiece aluminum body that's only 12.9mm thick. Samsung has just debuted its second generation of Series 9 notebooks at a media event in Korea today - these ultra-slim units coming in 13.3-inch and 15-inch sizes with a singlepiece aluminum body that's only 12.9mm thick.

Four new cameras from Olympus were announced: SZ-14, VG-150, VG-170 and VR-350 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/four-new-cameras-from-olympuswere-announced-sz-14-vg-150-vg-170-and-vr-350/14892.html February 16th, 2012

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All 4 cameras are from the point and shoot compact category. The Olympus SZ-14 is the compact Super Zoom featuring 24x Optical zoom. The Olympus VG-150 is the value for money super slim offering. The Olympus VG-170 is still regarded as value for money but packed with features. Lastly, the Olympus VR-350 is the solid and sturdy all metal body design featuring built-in creative filters for beauty shots, 3D, Fish-Eye and many more which can be added to both stills and video. Olympus SZ-14 Features • 24x Optical Super Zoom equivalent to 25-500mm • Multi-motion Movie Image Stabilisation • 10 Magic Filters, including the new Fragmented filter • TruePic III+ Image Processor with 14-megapixels of resolution

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• Sturdy metallic body • Hand-grip for steadying the 10x optical zoom lens • 16-megapixel sensor • Dual image stabilisation to reduce camera shake and still capture fast-moving subjects • Creative Make-up Mode and Magic Filters Price to be advised - Available from June 2012 - ### -

Far Cry 3 trailer and release date surfaces Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/far-cry-3-trailer-and-release-datesurfaces/14896.html February 16th, 2012

• 3-inch colour LCD (460,000 pixels) makes it easy on the eyes for shooting and showing off shots Price S$398 - Available end January 2012

Olympus VG-150 Features • 12-megapixel sensor • 19.8mm slim • Versatile lens at 27mm wide and 108mm telephoto zoom • Digital Image Stabilisation to reduce blur cause by camera shake S$138 - Available from March 2012

Olympus VG-170 Features • Powerful built-in flash - nearly twice as powerful increase flash distance coverage upto 15-metres

Following a leaked trailer a number of hours ago along with a slightly differing "official" trailer a short time later, we now know with certainty that Far Cry 3 is well into development and has a slated release date of September 7th. Following a leaked trailer a number of hours ago along with a slightly differing "official" trailer a short time later, we now know with certainty that Far Cry 3 is well into development and has a slated release date of September 7th. Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.) This is the ‘official’ version of the Far Cry 3 trailer, which is almost exactly the same as the one that leaked earlier on today. I actually felt bad about linking to that one, but we’re all about disclosure here at RPS: whether you’re Ubisoft or John Walker, we’ll get to the heart of the story, no matter what. So, tell us Ubisoft: why did the leaked trailer have a Sept 6 release date when this one says Sept the 7th?

32GB Galaxy Nexus has apparently been canceled Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/32gb-galaxy-nexus-has-apparentlybeen-canceled/14895.html February 16th, 2012

• 5x Optical Zoom which works in conjunction with the flash and ISO to get the best lighted shot • 9 Magic Filters • 3D Photo shooting • 720p HD Movie recording S$198 - Available from February 2012

Olympus VR-350 Features

If you've been holding out on your purchase of the Galaxy Nexus while waiting for availability of the 32GB model, you'll be saddened to hear that the waiting is probably doing you no good. Online retailer Expansys-USA as well as Negri Electronics have both indicated that the larger capacity model has been canceled by Samsung altogether, for reasons unknown at this time. If you've been holding out on your purchase of the Galaxy Nexus while waiting for availability of the 32GB model, you'll 8


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be saddened to hear that the waiting is probably doing you no good. Online retailer Expansys-USA as well as Negri Electronics have both indicated that the larger capacity model has been canceled by Samsung altogether, for reasons unknown at this time.

We've just been notified this morning that Samsung have dropped the Galaxy Nexus 32GB from production. At this time it looks like they will not be releasing it. Not good news at all. This is particularly disappointing if true as the phone does not sport a microSD slot for storage expansion possibilities and your only other option is the 16GB model.

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full memory and I/O complement, yet satisfactory for most of the users.

With 1 DIMM per channel, and optimised traces, you can still have up to 64 GB of normal or 256 GB (of eight Samsung 32 GB Quad Ranked RDIMMs) in the compact footprint machine based on this board, as well as four x16 PCIe v3 graphics cards (or seven if you use single slot cards). What's more interesting is the BIOS, which I checked on a configuration with two high end workstation-grade Xeon E5 processors.

ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS - Dual Socket 2011 to have its second overclockable board Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-z9pe-d8-ws--dual-socket-2011to-have-its-second-overclockable-board/14894.html February 16th, 2012

It's confirmed, first hand - the ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS mainboard, shown at CES, is the second Dual Socket LGA2011 mainboard with full set of overclocking features. Only the matching unlocked CPUs are missing... When talking about performance tuning and overclocking of the Socket 2011 dual CPU platforms, only one mainboard came to mind until recently - the big, powerful but complex EVGA SR-X. Its unusual 4+2 DIMM configuration, many slots and large size (HPTX) don't make it convenient for some setups, though. Now, after some hands-on testing, we can confirm that ASUS has the horse for this race too. The Z9PE-D8 WS mainboard, from their server and workstation group, resurrects the glory days of the 4-year old Z7S-WS Dual Socket 775 ATX board by creating a dual socket standard SSI EEB sized offering with

There are a myriad of options. First, you can change the CPU multiplier all the way to beyond 50, if the CPU supports it this one didn't, as expected, since all C-stepping Xeon E5 for now have locked multipliers. Then, you can change the CPU, chipset, QPI, PCIe and memory voltages; force memory to run at higher speeds like 1866 and 2133MHz, and change primary and secondary memory latency timings, with over a dozen settings to control. The latter one worked very well, as I managed to push various kinds of memory well above their designated speeds, and get corresponding bandwidth increases. How does eight channels of memory at DDR3-1600 CL 6-6-6-16 sound, yet at CR1 command rate? On the other hand, while having a beefed up power and chipset cooling capabilities, the board doesn't go to the same extreme extents like the EVGA entry or its Republic of Gamers betherens - but, based on the features seen, if 9


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and once Intel does release unlocked multiplier Xeon E5's, this board could comfortably handle dual 8-core processors @ 4.0GHz+ (spoiler: which is faster than anything available today) , with enough memory bandwidth to feed all those cores well. Now, we have to see whether Intel can work out a business case for the unlocked Xeons, knowing the warranty and validation headaches that come along. How many readers would want to lay their hands on such unlocked beasts, put aside the costs? Let us know in the comments section below.

Intel's Core i7 3820 and its compact die - truly cheaper Socket 2011? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-core-i7-3820-and-itscompact-die--truly-cheaper-socket-2011-/14893.html February 16th, 2012

While the Core i7 3960X was based on an 8-core die with 2 cores disabled, the just announced entry level Socket 2011 CPU, the Core i7 3820, is based on a different die. Intel will also offer 4-core Xeons based on the same smaller die. Any implications? Good news is that the Socket 2011 platform entry just become a whole lot cheaper for the average enthusiast. At some 400 Singapore dollars apiece in the retail, the brand new Intel Core i7 3820 lets you combine it with an affordable entry level ATX X79 mobo, 4 sticks of DDR3-1333 Value RAM and, say, Radeon HD7770 GPU to make a roughly S $1,000 class basic kit before shopping for the enclosure and storage. Not bad at all! What enabled that drastic CPU price drop, though? Just disabling more cores off the huge 8-core die doesn't make sense, especially since Intel's yields on these chips are improving as the subsequent steppings come out - C2 is the one to see this month, for instance. Intel may - and of course will - sell more of these as true 8-core Xeon E5's at upwards of one grand apiece, anyway. Why not then just stick with the Socket 1155 4-core Sandy Bridge i7-2700K and its Xeon E3 equivalents? Well, there is a nice missing sweet spot in the market for both desktop and workstation/server users who don't need that many cores yet benefit from huge memory bandwidth & capacity given by the quad DDR3 channels, and also can use those 40 PCIe v3 lanes per socket. No Socket 1155 CPUs can provide that. So, yes, Intel did produce a separate die which is, at roughly two thirds the total size of the big 8-core one, containing everything the big one has, except that the total core and cache count is halved, at 4 cores (8 threads) and 10 MB L3, all shared over a ring bus which, with only half the cores and caches in place, is now a little shorter for the round trip, reducing the internal latencies oh so slightly as well. Why not just 50% of the big die? Simple: the memory controller, the PCIe links, as well as the dual-link QPI, used in the dual

Published by: VR-Zone

socket Xeon E5 flavour, are still all the same, taking the same die area as well. Of course, this smaller die, with lower TDP and less heat to create, is also less demanding on the cooling. The impact of the new entry? I feel this could be looked in two ways: one, it is a more attractive buy right now for any high end user wanting more and faster RAM and multi-GPU expandability without clunky PCIe bridges like the Lucid Hydra/Nvidia NF200 board over-heaters, for instance. The value for money, looking at the total system costs, definitely beats the Z68 Sandy Bridge LGA1155 platforms in this department. Of course, this changes if you're hell bent on waiting for the very first Ivy Bridge desktops sometime in April. The other impact? It can bulldoze the Bulldozer, to put it that way. This processor, placed squarely in the AMD FX-8150 pricing territory, but with somewhat better CPU performance, and memory and I/O superiority to boot, makes any consideration of the current Bulldozer CPUs moot. AMD has to come out with Vishera processors as soon as possible, else Llano and the upcoming Trinity would remain the only competitive (in their own segments of course) offerings that AMD can place on the destkop. Last but not least, the dual socket Xeon E5 version of this CPU, which is coming, and I saw it, will be loved by workstation and server users who need very high per-core performance but not too many cores, and yet worry about money grabbing per-core licensing policies of some server and workstation software vendors. After all, a pair of these would still have 8 fast cores total, plus 8 memory channels and 80 PCIe v3 lanes, truly lovely for a data mining machine on your desk, for instance... It would be interesting to see if Intel will continue the same approach with the 10-core Socket 2011 Ivy Bridge EP processors sometime around the end of this year. One can't exactly cut a 10-core die in half easily, so, if they elect to continue this way, a 6-core cut-down die is more likely, at least to keep some differential vs the 4-core LGA1155 one, I assume. In summary, a good move that lets Intel cover every price point from low end Core i3 to high end Xeons with just 4 dies: two LGA1155 (2-core and 4-core) and two LGA2011 (4core and 8-core), all with likely leadership offering. And then comes the Haswell...

Meet Creative HanzPad, Its Chinese Tablet Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/meet-creative-hanzpad-its-chinesetablet/14886.html February 16th, 2012

Recently, ZiiLabs a subsidiary of Creative Technologies recently launched its ZMS-40 System-on-a-Chip. We wondered who will be the launch customer and lo and

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Published by: VR-Zone

behold, it's Creative's HanzPad tablet for the Chinese market.

under the media spotlight in recent years for a spate of employee suicides.

The ZiiLabs ZMS-40 is a successor of ZMS-20 System-ona-Chip silicon, bringing four ARM Cortex-A9 cores clocked 100MHz faster than NVIDIA Tegra 3 - 1.5GHz. These four cores are paired with an array of 96 dedicated "cores" which handle graphics and multimedia using Android 4.0 operating system (ZMS-20 only supports Android 3.x).

Since then Foxconn has attempted to improve conditions, even increasing worker pay, but that hasn't stopped the negative publicity both it and Apple has received over the treatment of its hundreds of thousands of employees.

In order to gain traction for the product, Creative Technologies launched HanZpad as a platform for the Chinese market. That's right - even though the company manufacturers HanZpad, it will carry on branding from local Chinese IT vendors - as the market may not see hand in hand with the Singaporean brand. We're uncertain of this decision, but what can be done...

This investigation could prove more beneficial for Foxconn and Apple than previously thought, however, as initial comments from the FLA are remarkably positive. “I was very surprised when I walked onto the floor at Foxconn, how tranquil it is compared with a garment factory,” said Auret van Heerden, president of the FLA, according to Reuters. “So the problems are not the intensity and burnout and pressure-cooker environment you have in a garment factory. It's more a function of monotony, of boredom, of alienation perhaps ...The facilities are firstclass; the physical conditions are way, way above average of the norm.”

In any case, Creative even developed specialized software for the Google Android platform. Given Creative's experience in the Chinese market, we were not surprised to hear that Creative developed China-oriented software which utilizes encryption - it will only run on ZiiLabs hardware such as afore mentioned ZMS-40. Software package includes Chinese handwriting software, Digital BriefCase (business) and eSchoolBag (education). No pricing or availability were announced, but given the arrival of first samples (mid-May); don’t expect HanZpad tablets before August/September timeframe.

Investigation shows above average working conditions at Apple supplier Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/investigation-shows-above-averageworking-conditions-at-apple-supplier/14891.html February 16th, 2012

The Fair Labor Association (FLA) has revealed that working conditions at factories of Apple supplier Foxconn in China are “above average” and better than those at garment factories. The Fair Labor Association (FLA) has revealed that working conditions at Apple supplier factories in China are “above average” and better than those at garment factories. The independent watchdog began its investigation earlier this week at plants belonging to Foxconn for Apple, the firm which assembles iPhones and iPads and which has come

Exterior of a Foxconn dormitory (according to Foxconn) Of course, just because conditions are better than sweatshops does not necessarily mean that they are “good,” nor that improvements cannot and should not be made. The final verdict on Foxconn's Shenzhen and Chengdu facilities has yet to be decided, with FLA staff planning to interview 35,000 of the factories' roughly 200,000 staff. Questions will include how the workers were hired, if they were paid a fee, if they were given contracts to sign and if they understood them, what the condition of their rooms and food is, whether or not complaints are acted upon, and what their emotional state is. The fact that the FLA staff will be using Apple iPads to document their survey might raise questions over the firm's neutrality in this investigation, particularly given how laudatory its president has been before the probe has been completed. An interim report on Foxconn will be released to the public in early March. Apple's other main suppliers in China, including Quanta and Pegatron, will be subject to similar investigations.

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Image Credit: Foxconn

Microsoft warns users to update Internet Explorer to avoid major security risk Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-warns-users-to-updateinternet-explorer-to-avoid-major-security-risk/14890.html February 16th, 2012

Microsoft has released a critical update for Internet Explorer that it is advising all users to download and install, warning of several vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to gain user rights on your PC.

Published by: VR-Zone

Motorola Mobility outlines Android Ice Cream Sandwich plans Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/motorola-mobility-outlines-androidice-cream-sandwich-plans/14889.html February 16th, 2012

Motorola Mobility has outlined extensive plans for upgrading its smartphones to Android 4.0, otherwise known as Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS).

Microsoft has released a critical update for Internet Explorer that it is advising all users to download and install, warning of several vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to gain user rights on your PC.

Motorola Mobility has outlined extensive plans for upgrading its smartphone range to Android 4.0, otherwise known as Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS).

The February 2012 Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer fixes five separate issues with Microsoft's troubled web browser, which is expected to be overtaken by Google Chrome this year.

The company previously announced plans for ICS availability on its Droid Razr, Droid Razr Maxx, Droid 4, Droid Bionic, Droid Xyboard 8.2 and 10.1, and Xoom WiFi +3G/4G models, but Motorola has released details of plans to bring ICS to many of its other devices.

The vulnerabilities allow hackers to use remote code execution through web pages viewed in Internet Explorer to gain the same users rights as the currently logged-on user, which is, generally speaking, the administrator. This acts as a huge backdoor into people's computers.

The only dates revealed so far are vague estimates that primarily fall in the second and third quarters of this year, and are subject to change, while most other models are still too early in the development cycle to release an upgrade date.

The Redmond, Washington-based firm rated the update “critical” for all versions of Internet Explorer except IE6, where it is only marked as “moderate.” The irony is that the older version, which Microsoft is attempting to kill off due to its insanely high security risk, appears to be less vulnerable to this bug. Anyone who has Automatic Updates on, which is recommended for best security, will not need to do anything, but Microsoft recommends that users who wish to manually update should do so immediately. Considering the extent of the risk, we think that's a wise decision.

Motorola also outlined its upgrade development cycle, which features four stages: 1) evaluation and planning; 2) development; 3) testing; and 4) availability. Most models are still in stage one, with around a dozen in stage two. Since none are in stage three we should not expect a release anytime soon, especially considering how long the testing process could take. Google recently secured approval from the US and EU for its bid to acquire Motorola Mobility, which leaves few obstacles remaining in the way of the deal. If the acquisition closes within the next few months we could see a faster process in rolling out ICS upgrades to Motorola devices, and it is likely 12


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Published by: VR-Zone

that today's outline of the plan going forward was made in anticipation of this.

• Prepared for water cooling tubes and units

For a full list of Motorola devices receiving the ICS update, check here.

• Quality backed by 2 year manufacturer warranty

Spire Sonex 6010 Case Review

• Supports up to six (6) 3.5-inch & four (4) 5.25-inch drive devices

Product Specification Features

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/spire-sonex-6010-casereview/14888.html February 16th, 2012

* Strong 0.6mm SECC Steel structure * Tool-free thumb-screw side panels * Excellent thermal solution * Stylish, unique design for real enthusiast * Front mesh and fence design for excellent ventilation

One of the most important parameters when choosing the components of a computer system is, without any doubt, the monetary budget. Enthusiasts frequently spend substantial amounts of cash on computer components and thus can afford high-level parts. When assembling a low budget gaming system however any enthusiast knows that cannot afford to spend a third of the entire budget on an expensive chassis, which led several well known companies to release cost-effective enclosures. Today we are going to examine the features and performance of such a product from Spire, the new Sonex 6010 gaming chassis. One of the most important parameters when choosing the components of a computer system is, without any doubt, the monetary budget. Enthusiasts frequently spend substantial amounts of cash on computer components and thus can afford high-level parts. When assembling a low budget gaming system however any enthusiast knows that cannot afford to spend a third of the entire budget on an expensive chassis, which led several well known companies to release cost-effective enclosures. Today we are going to examine the features and performance of such a product from Spire, the new Sonex 6010 gaming chassis.

* Dust-control filters for all meshed areas * All edges debarred for safely assembly

Dimensions Material Colors 3.5 Bays 5.25 Bays Mainboard Power supply Bracket slots Cooling

Front: 1*12cm Blue LED fan Additional option:

Manufacturer’s features and specifications • Cool & versatile gamer chassis design • Front top Blue LED glow

Front panel connection

• Front and rear pre-installed 120 Blue LED fans • 0.6mm SECC Steel structure • Cool aluminum all meshed front panel • Front-Top USB2.0*2 and AC'97 & HD Audio connections • Front-Top Card reader: SD/MMC/MS (Optional) • Tool-free thumb-screw access side panels • Efficient Air In-take, rear, front and side-panel • Optimized internal space, fits large CPU coolers and long VGA cards • Mainboard cut out for easy mounting of CPU cooler with back-plate

* water-cooling holes are pre-drilled to support watercooling systems. 467*185*445mm(L x W x H) Structure Info: SECC 0.6mm Black 6--- 5 internal, 1 external 4--- 4 external ATX / Micro ATX ATX 7 Pre-installed fans: Rear: 1*12cm Black fan

Certifications MTBF Operating Temperature Storage Temperature Warranty Packaging type Package Includes

2*12cm fan on side-panel USB2.0 * 2, Audio x1, Mic x1 (Supports AC'97 & HD Audio) Top Card reader: SD/MMC/ MS (Optional) CE/ROHS/TUV 5 years -20 to 70 oC -20 to 70 oC 2 years Brown carton * Case * User installation manual * Warranty registration card 13


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N.W. Weight G.W. Weight UPC Code

Published by: VR-Zone

* Pouch with Screws , MB Stand-Off, Cable-Clips 6.5kg 7.5kg 6943051261256

Kinect for Media Center is now available Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kinect-for-media-center-is-nowavailable/14884.html February 16th, 2012

Following the recent release of Kinect for Windows, forms of further expansion in the differing ways Kinect can be used in Windows are starting to show face with the first major addin being Kinect for Media Center. Following the recent release of Kinect for Windows, forms of further expansion in the differing ways Kinect can be used in Windows are starting to show face with the first major addin being Kinect for Media Center. Certainly, the ability to control Windows Media Center while chilling out on the sofa without the need to hold onto anything sounds both useful and downright cool. A beta version of the add-in was floating around last year, but now the final version is here and it's said to be a pretty smooth experience in all.

invert the horizontal, vertical, and pinch/zoom actions, as well as their sensitivity.

If you're keen to get it up and running in your lounge room, you can pick up the final version of Kinect for Media Center for US $6.99. And of course you'll need to have Kinect for Windows on hand, as the 360 version is said not to be supported at all (we'd highly appreciate a comment below if you find that the 360 version does in fact work with it). For further details on Kinect for Media Center and / or to purchase and download it, head over to the official website here folks.

HP announces HP Z1, world's first 27-inch all-in-one workstation Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hp-announces-hp-z1-world-sfirst-27-inch-all-in-one-workstation/14883.html February 16th, 2012

Designed for computer-aided design, digital media and entertainment professionals, the HP Z1 touts itself as the world's first 27-inch all-in-one workstation whereby users can easily swap parts and make upgrades without any tools.

Kinect for Media Center allows you to use hand gestures and / or voice commands to control not only Media Center itself, but also any addins that run on it including Netflix, My Movies and Media Browser. The final version has been tweaked up to run flawlessly according to the developer and is quite customizable :Also implemented are advanced Voice features such that audio coming from Media Center will not interfere with your Voice Commands, nor will the playing audio accidently trigger any commands, within a reasonable volume level. Also, there are commands that can temporarily turn off the gesture and voice recognition until you turn them back on. There are also configuration tools to tweak the settings. One such setting is the 'Dominant Hand' (left or right), as certain commands rely on this. Other settings allow you to

HP has unveiled the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first all-in-one workstation with a 27-inch diagonal display - HP Z1. The display can snap open for users to swap parts and do upgrades easily without the need of tools. It features Intel Xeon processors, NVIDIA Quadro graphics and offers blazingly fast rendering and performance which is ideal for computeraided design, digital media and entertainment professionals. It also offers a full range of workstation-class graphics cards 14


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and processors, and is thoroughly tested and certified to work with todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading industry applications. Users can choose from a variety of storage types, including 7.2K and 10K SATA, SSD, optional RAID configurations, removable drives (AMO), a multiformat media card reader and optical drives including a slot-load Blu-ray Writer. The 27-inch white LED display supports more than 1 billion colors and features a wide, 178-degree viewing angle and an in-plane switching (IPS) panel. The HP Z1 also comes with front-facing dual-cone speakers and SRS Premium Sound that offer high-fidelity audio, and high definition (HD) webcam for face-to-face meetings and HD-quality video capture. Pricing and Availability The new HP Z1 Workstation is expected to be available worldwide in April. Pricing starts at US$1,899 in the United States. Additional information is available at www.hp.com/ z1.

Published by: VR-Zone

Toshiba unveils world's thinnest and lightest 10.1inch Android tablet Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/toshiba-unveils-world-s-thinnestand-lightest-10.1-inch-android-tablet/14881.html February 16th, 2012

Toshiba Singapore has launched their new REGZA AT200 which claims to be the world's thinnest and lightest 10.1inch tablet on the market. It measures 7.7mm from front to rear, weighs 535g, and runs Google Android 3.2 Honeycomb OS.

Ultrabooks fail to appeal to Europeans? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ultrabooks-fail-to-appeal-toeuropeans-/14882.html February 16th, 2012

Ultrabooks are gaining popularity with their stylish design, slim form factor, ultra-portability and affordable price tags. However, it seems that the mobile computer may not be appealing to everyone, especially the Europeans. Toshiba Singapore Digital Products and Service Group (DS) has launched their new ultra-thin and ultra-light 10.1-inch REGZA Tablet AT200. It measures only 7.7mm from front to rear, and boasts a broad range of essential ports and interfaces including micro-USB, micro-SD, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and micro-HDMI for streaming high definition (HD) content to the TV. Equipped with front and rear HD cameras, you can do video conferencing with friends and family as well as run augmented reality applications.

While Ultrabooks are one of the focus by notebook makers, it seems like the global sales of the mobile computer this year is estimated to be 20%, which is lower than the targeted 30%, or 40% expected from Intel. According to Taiwanbased supply chain makers, the reason is because ultrabooks are less desirable in Europe; consumers in Europe prefer notebooks with 15-inch or larger displays. According to sources, of the current notebooks available for sale in the global market, 40-45% are 15-inch models but there are no 15-inch ultrabook models and approximately 35-40% are 14inch models.

The AT200 comes with stereo speakers with sound enhancement technologies from Toshiba and SRS Labs that can deliver rich and natural sound experience on the go. With Adaptive Sound Device Enhancerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sophisticated algorithm that maximizes sound quality to that of large speakers, and Sound Masking Equalizer which can enhances sound that is being masked or distorted by surrounding noise, you can enjoy well-balanced, powerful playback of music and videos even under high ambient noise levels. On top of that, the AT200 also offers users an amazing wide-view display for comfortable content consumption plus full web browsing capabilities. A proprietary tablet docking station is available for purchase, providing a convenient place to dock the REGZA Tablet AT200 for comfortable usage. The Toshiba REGZA Tablet AT200 is available at all authorised resellers, and Toshiba outlets from end February at S$849.

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Published by: VR-Zone

The Electronics Wholesale Expo @ Singapore Expo Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-electronics-wholesale-expo-singapore-expo/14880.html February 16th, 2012

The Electronics Wholesale Expo is coming this weekend with various top brands offering wholesale prices directly to consumers, at the Singapore Expo. The Electronics Wholesale Expo will be held at the Singapore Expo (Hall 4B) this weekend, from 17 to 19 February, 11am to 9pm. Electronics including LCD/LED/Smart TVs, notebooks, cameras, home appliances and small appliances will be selling below wholesale prices, from branded names such as Samsung, Sony, Acer, Nikon, Canon, LG, Toshiba, Philips and Panasonic. (However, wholesalers will not be allowed to purchase at the fair, only consumers are allowed).

Samsung Notebook - U.P. S$999 , Wholesale Price - S$399

Everything is while stocks last so be early to avoid disappointment.

Shinco 5-inch Tablet PC - U.P. S$399 , Wholesale Price - S $89

Panasonic 42-inch HD TV - U.P. S$899 , Wholesale Price S$299

Casio 14-megapixels digital camera - U.P. S$299 , Wholesale Price - S$99

Fujifilm 12-megapixels digital camera - U.P. S$199 , Wholesale Price - S$69 16


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Samsung 40â&#x20AC;? Smart LED TV - U.P. S$1,599 , Wholesale Price - S$799

AMD Radeon HD 7770 Performance Preview: Bringing 28nm GCN to the Masses

Published by: VR-Zone

GPU Die Shot - Unlike its bigger Tahiti brothers, the Cape Verde (123mm2) die is far less complex (365mm2) and doesn't have a metal shim at the edges to protect the core from overzealous HSF mounting

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7770-performancepreview-bringing-28nm-gcn-to-the-masses/14879.html February 16th, 2012

Officially launched later today, the AMD Radeon 'Cape Verde' HD 7770 features stock 1GHz core clock speed, previously unheard of on entry level SKUs, along with the introduction of DirectX 11.1, PCIe 3.0 and the use of GDDR5 memory. Read more for our quick performance preview of this new game changer for the masses. The HD 7770 uses the Graphics Core Next architecture and requires one 6-pin PCIe connector, which is typically found on lower TDP SKUs

GPU-Z - compared to the Tahiti GPUs, the Cape Verde has about a third of the former's horsepower in terms of fillrate and comes with 1GB of GDDR5 memory in a 128Bit configuration

HD 7770 PCB - the relatively few number of components and empty spaces on the PCB suggests that smaller half-height configurations can be possible 3DMark 11 Performance Score (CPU used was a i7-3960X) - the performance figures show that the HD 7770 is somewhere between a HD 6850 and a HD6870

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Published by: VR-Zone

Idle Power Usage with Intel Core i7-3960X

3DMark 11 Performance Score

Load Power Usage (Furmark) - +90W from idle to load, which is outstanding considering its performance

Lost Planet 2

Street Fighter 4

Kinect Star Wars and Xbox 360 Limited Edition "Kinect Star Wars" console bundle arriving 3 April Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kinect-star-wars-and-xbox-360limited-edition-kinect-star-wars-console-bundle-arriving-3april/14878.html February 16th, 2012

If you are a true blue Star Wars fan and enjoy playing on the Xbox 360, you probably would like this Xbox 360 18


February 16th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Limited Edition “Kinect Star Wars” console bundle. Well, not only do you get to own a golden "C3PO"-like game controller, you also get to be a Jedi when you play Kinect Star Wars.

Microsoft and LucasArts have collaborated to create the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Kinect Star Wars” bundle especially for “Kinect Star Wars”, offering immersive, oneof-a-kind Star Wars experience to avid gamers. The Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Kinect Star Wars” bundle features a custom Star Wars design, modeled after iconic Star Wars characters like R2-D2 blue-and-white themed console and the first ever white Kinect sensor, a custom Xbox 360 Wireless Controller inspired by C3PO, unique sounds from the Star Wars universe and an Xbox 360 Wired Headset. The bundle also comes with copies of “Kinect Adventures” and “Kinect Star Wars” – the only Star Wars game that puts you directly in the game, no controller required. Additionally, the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Kinect Star Wars” console bundle will feature an exclusive C-3PO unlockable for the Galactic Dance Off mode. Both the Kinect Star Wars and Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Kinect Star Wars” console bundle will retail in Singapore on 3 April, while preorders will be announced on 29 February. You sure you know how to dance?

Xbox has recently rolled out their first nation-wide Kinect dance competition in Singapore – the Dance Central Championships 2012. Inspired by the best-selling videogame, Dance Central 2 on Xbox 360, the competition offers over S$15,000 worth of cash and prizes to aspiring dancers. Leveraging Kinect for Xbox 360 means everyone has a chance to make it to the top, not just experienced dancers. The latest “Dance Central 2” game allows two players to dance together to the tune of over 40 charttopping hits from artists like Usher, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars, Daft Punk, Justin Bieber, and more. With the Dance Central Championships 2012, Xbox Singapore is inviting dancers, young and old, to show off their skills and win great prizes in the following categories: - Singles (age 13 and up) - Doubles (age 13 and up. A bonus prize of S$500 for each team member if both are from the same educational institution) - Junior (age 6-12) Qualifying rounds will be held in selected malls (IMM, 313 Orchard, Tampines 1, Plaza Singapura) and schools from 13th February to 5th April 2012, culminating in a semi-finals and grand finals at Plaza Singapura from 6-8th April. The winners of each category will then enter into a final danceoff on 8th April to determine Singapore’s Ultimate Dance Champion. The finals will be judged by a distinguished panel that includes Mediacorp DJ Rosalyn Lee (Rozz) from 98.7FM and Vernon Huang from Studio Wu, one of the top Hip Hop and jazz dance studios in Singapore. For more

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information and latest updates, visit http://xbox.com.sg/ dance. The Dance Central Championships 2012 and Kinect Star Wars will come together at Plaza Singapura from 3rd to 8th April. Members of the public will get the chance to witness the grand finals of the Championships as well as delve into immersive Star Wars experiences with live gameplay and Star Wars-themed activities.

Published by: VR-Zone

USB 2.0 headers, a POST80 debug LED and power, reset and clear CMOS buttons. The board also has a 12+1 PWM design cooled by a pair of fairly large heatsinks connected to each other via a heatpipe.

Biostar's Z77 motherboard makes a surprise appearance Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/biostar-s-z77-motherboard-makes-asurprise-appearance/14877.html February 16th, 2012

It's easy to forget about the smaller players in the motherboard market, but Biostar has reminded us that it's still a player with the unveiling of its first Z77 motherboard, the TZ77XE4. The board itself isn't all that remarkable though, especially not for a high-end model, but it's the first Z77 motherboard to be officially announced. It's easy to forget about the smaller players in the motherboard market, but Biostar has reminded us that it's still a player with the unveiling of its first Z77 motherboard, the TZ77XE4. The board itself isn't all that remarkable though, especially not for a high-end model, but it's the first Z77 motherboard to be officially announced.

Around the back there's a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-channel analogue audio and a D-sub, DVI, DisplayPort and HDMI port. That's a pretty decent set of features from a company like Biostar, although we're expecting to see more impressive boards in the near future. We should be getting a closer look at what else Biostar has to offer at Cebit in March.

First desktop Core i3 Ivy Bridge processors leaked ahead of launch Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-desktop-core-i3-ivy-bridgeprocessors-leaked-ahead-of-launch/14876.html February 16th, 2012

Ah yes, we're getting close to Intel's unveiling of Ivy Bridge and now we know what to expect from at least some of the Core i3 models that should be launching sometime next quarter. Details of five upcoming Ivy Bridge Core i3 processors had shown up online with full specifications in tow. Ah yes, we're getting close to Intel's unveiling of Ivy Bridge and now we know what to expect from at least some of the Core i3 models that should be launching sometime next quarter. Details of five upcoming Ivy Bridge Core i3 processors had shown up online with full specifications in tow.

The TZ77XE4 looks decent enough with no less than three PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots which should operate in x8, x4 and x4 when all four slots are in use, although it's not clear if two slots can operate in dual x8 mode. The board also has a single PCI Express x1 slot and two PCI slots. Other features include the standard set of Intel SATA ports – two SATA 6Gbps and four SATA 3Gbps – as well as an additional pair of SATA 6Gbps ports, a header for two USB 3.0 ports – which now are integrated into the Intel chipset – a few

As always with Intel we have a rather peculiar mishmash of models and as such we're looking at three 55W parts and two low power 35W parts. Starting from the bottom we have the power frugal Core i3-3220T, a 2.8GHz part bettering its fastest Sandy Bridge sibling by 200MHz. The Core i3's are of course all dual-core models with HyperThreading and no turbo boost. Intel has kept the cache at the same level as with Sandy Bridge, but the memory support has been bumped to 1333 and 1600MHz, just as with the higher-end Ivy Bridge models. The Core i3-3220T has Intel HD Graphics 2500 with a base clock of 650MHz and a top dynamic speed of 1050MHz. It's slightly faster counterpart is the Core 20


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i3-3240T and the only difference between the two is that in this case we're looking at a core clock of an even 3GHz.

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Intel Lynx Point chipset details leaked Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-lynx-point-chipset-detailsleaked/14875.html February 16th, 2012

Ivy Bridge is still a month and a half out, yet details of Intel's 2013 platform keeps leaking like there's no tomorrow. The latest leak gives us a much better idea as to what to expect from the Lynx Point chipset, or the Intel 8-series as it will be known when it arrives sometime in the first half of 2013.

Moving over to the standard 55W desktop models we start with the Core i3-3220, a modest 3.3GHz part with Intel HD Graphics 2500 with the same clock speeds as the low power models. In fact, besides the higher clock speeds, we can't spot any differences. The fastest Core i3 model will be the Core i3-3240 which is only a smidgen faster at 3.4GHz and once again there are no other differences that we can spot in the leaked specs. The third and final part is potentially the most interesting one, the Core i3-3225 and if you remember from the Sandy Bridge Core i3 models, a 5 on the end means highend graphics. In this case we're looking at Intel HD 4000 graphics, although the clock speed is the same with a base clock of 650MHz and a peak dynamic clock of 1050MHz.

Ivy Bridge is still a month and a half out, yet details of Intel's 2013 platform keeps leaking like there's no tomorrow. The latest leak gives us a much better idea as to what to expect from the Lynx Point chipset, or the Intel 8-series as it will be known when it arrives sometime in the first half of 2013. As you hopefully already are aware of, Haswell will be using a different socket compared to Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge and it's simply known as LGA-1150 at this stage. Some of Intel's changes in the architecture between Ivy Bridge and Haswell meant that certain parts currently residing inside the chipset has been moved into the CPU and Lynx Point will as such in some ways be less advanced than Intel's upcoming 7-series. One of the major changes is that the digital display outputs are now going straight from the CPU to the ports without the need of going via the chipset, although the good old analogue VGA interface still has to go via the chipset. But let's cut to the chase and look at the important stuff, as Intel has finally added full SATA 6Gbps support to all six SATA ports. Intel is only three years behind AMD to offer SATA 6Gbps speeds on all the ports, but at least it's coming. What's more is that Intel is adding two more USB 3.0 ports compared to the upcoming 7-series chipsets for a total of six USB 3.0 ports. Intel has also added something called I/O port flexibility here, a feature that seems to suggest that it should potentially be possible to re-allocate which ports are USB 3.0 and which are USB 2.0.

Although we can't be entire sure that this information is correct, or up to date, it looks like Intel has managed to conjure up yet another SKU differentiator and we have a feeling that this one will upset a lot of people. Intel doesn't appear to offer PCI Express 3.0 support for its Ivy Bridge Core i3 models, whereas all the Core i5 and Core i7 models has a tick in the corresponding box. This feels like a cheap move by Intel, despite the limited usage of a faster PCI Express interface today. In other words, if you for some reason need PCI Express 3.0 support, you need to invest in a more expensive CPU. At least back in the good old days you could put a cheap CPU in a more expensive motherboard and still get all the functionality, not so any more.

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Other new additions include SSD performance and power optimizations, new Rapid Storage driver enhancements, lower TDP and power usage, a smaller package at 22x23mm and support for quad-read SPI flash memory for the UEFI to be stored in. The bad news is that it appears as if Intel hasn't as yet moved to a faster DMI interface, although there's nothing to the contrary either, so we'll just have to wait and see. The chipset PCI Express ports are at least still stuck at PCI Express 2.0 suggesting that the DMI bus hasn't changed. As with Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge, it looks like the LGA-1150 socket will last for two CPU generations, so Lynx Point will as such be good for Haswell and Broadwell, the 14nm shrink of Haswell. Intel is still citing a fairly broad timeline for the launch of Haswell, putting it somewhere between March and June of 2013, but until then we'll have Ivy Bridge to play with.

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We're also looking at an improved GPU core known as the Adreno 203 which should offer about twice the performance over the Adreno 200. The improved GPU also means support for higher resolution displays on entry level smartphone, at up to WVGA (800x480) resolution. Otherwise the MSM8x25 doesn't differ significantly from the MSM7x25A models, although it supports higher resolution cameras. Expect this to be a popular solution in a lot of entry level smartphones towards the end of the year, as this chip isn't expected to arrive until sometime in Q2 and after that there's still a fairly long development and certification cycle before devices built on it will arrive in the market.

Qualcomm delays upcoming quad core SoC's by a quarter Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/qualcomm-delays-upcoming-quadcore-soc-s-by-a-quarter/14874.html February 16th, 2012

We're not sure about the exact background, but news has reached us that Qualcomm has delayed some of its upcoming Snapdragon SoC's by a quarter or more. Most products for this year aren't affected though, so it doesn't appear to be an issue with Qualcomm's foundry partner(s). We're not sure about the exact background, but news has reached us that Qualcomm has delayed some of its upcoming Snapdragon SoC's by a quarter or more. Most products for this year aren't affected though, so it doesn't appear to be an issue with Qualcomm's foundry partner(s). The products in question that are affected by the delay are Qualcomm's high-end parts, such as the quad core MSM8974 and APQ8094, which we reported about in some detail back in September. The delay seems to only affect a few quad core models, although in addition to the two high-end Snapdragon models mentioned, the mid-range APQ8074 has also been pushed back. The only possible explanation that we currently have is a change in the foundry process technology used, as the one thing these models have in common is that they're Qualcomm's first parts over 2GHz. That said, things may yet change again, as we're over a year away from most of these products. It's not all bad news though, a in addition to some delays for next year, Qualcomm has managed to introduce some new additions this year. In the entry level smartphone segment the company has decided to introduce a new model known as the MSM8625 with CDMA support or MSM8225 without. This new model will be replacing the aging MSM7625A/7225A, both of which are based on the ARM Cortex-A5 core, but the MSM8x25 models gain not only a higher clock speed of 1GHz, but also a second core and twice the L2 cache at 512KB. 22


VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks Feb 2012 Issue