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January 3rd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

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

MSI launches Big BangXPower II overclocking motherboard Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-launches-big-bang-xpower-iioverclocking-motherboard/14419.html January 3rd, 2012

Overclocking is the name of the game for this motherboard, with the ability to run 4-way SLI or CrossFire via four PCI Express Gen3 slots. Renowned overclocker Jon “Elmor” Sandström helped MSI bump up the overclocking abilities of the Big Bang-XPower II. The board includes 8 DIMM slots, with support for up 128GB of RAM, significantly more than most people will ever need or use, but helping to make the motherboard that little bit more future-proof. Other features include Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 7.1 highdefinition audio, six USB 3.0 slots, 10 USB 2.0 slots, two Intel SATA 6Gb/s and four 3Gb/s slots with RAID support, two ASMedia SATA 6GB/s slots, a multi-BIOS UEFI interface, and several buttons for easy overclocking and resetting.

MSI has launched its latest motherboard, the Big BangXPower II, offering plenty of overclocking goodness for the Intel X79 chipset. MSI has launched its latest motherboard, the Big BangXPower II, offering plenty of overclocking goodness for the Intel X79 chipset. The company claims that this board is its most powerful to date, building on the record achievements of the original Big Bang-XPower, supporting Intel's latest second generation i7 processors. It is built with Military Class III components, such as DrMOS II, Super Ferrite Choke, Hi-c CAP and Solid CAP, allowing heavy duty use with an extended lifetime. An enhanced thermal design also ensures that no active cooling is required.

LG unveils world's largest OLED TV Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-unveils-world-s-largest-oledtv/14418.html January 3rd, 2012

LG will unveil a 55-inch OLED TV at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next week, touting it as the largest of its kind and the “future of TV technology”. LG will unveil a 55-inch OLED TV at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next week, touting it as the largest of its kind and the “future of TV technology”. The TV features a huge organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panel that is only 4mm thick and weighs just 7.5kg, utilising the technology used by many smartphones at a much larger scale. With an infinite contrast ratio and speeds that are 1,000 times faster than LCD displays, it looks like OLED technology is definitely the way forward for the TV manufacturing industry. It also comes with LG's 4-Colour Pixels, adding white to the traditional RGB mix, and Colour Refiner, which enhances

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January 3rd, 2012

colour consistency across multiple viewing angles to improve hues and tones.

Published by: VR-Zone

expected to be lower than supply for the first quarter of the year. The companies saw their ratings cut from 'overweight' to 'equal weight', market lingo for Barclays' belief that these companies are no longer outperforming and are pretty much on neutral territory, seeing negligible growth or remaining flat. "First quarter should be the trough for semis given the ongoing inventory correction, coupled with supply chain constraints, due to muted end demand visibility," said C J Muse, an analyst at Barclays, whom Reuters cited as being highly reliable.

“Working closely with LG Display, we have a product which not only delivers on all the advantages of OLED over LCD but at a significantly lower cost than what could be achieved using existing OLED manufacturing technologies,” said Havis Kwon, president and CEO of LG Electronics Home Entertainment Company. “OLED is clearly the future of home TV entertainment and LG is very focused on making this exciting technology as easy as possible for consumers to embrace.” LG previously released 15-inch and 31-inch OLED TV models, but those sizes won't satisfy many home entertainment enthusiasts who will want something larger than 40 inches. We can likely expect something in the 60 to 70 inch range within the next year or two, in addition to other sizes between the existing ranges. Price will be an obstacle, however, even with LG's cheaper production method.

Barclays cuts Intel and other chipmakers' ratings Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/barclays-cuts-intel-and-otherchipmakers-ratings/14417.html January 3rd, 2012

Investment firm Barclays Capital has downgraded a number of semiconductor companies, including Intel, Freescale, Microchip, Applied Materials and Spansion, as demand is expected to be lower than supply for the first quarter of the year.

Intel cut its fourth quarter forecast last month by $1 billion, blaming the shortage of hard disk drives (HDD) for plummeting demand in the entire PC industry, but Nomura Equity Research claims there is more to Intel's revised financial outlook than the HDD problem. It was not all bad news for chipmakers, however, as Micron, LSI and Cymer were all upgraded from 'equal weight' to 'overweight'. Market recovery is expected in the second half of the year, with end of year growth of five percent, followed by six to eight percent growth in 2013.

ASUS to launch the second Jay Chou edition laptop N45J Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-to-launch-the-second-jay-chouedition-laptop-n45j/14416.html January 3rd, 2012

Investment firm Barclays Capital has downgraded a number of semiconductor companies, including Intel, Freescale, Microchip, Applied Materials and Spansion, as demand is

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January 3rd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

It was about six months ago when ASUS announced the Jay Chou edition laptop N43SL, and it looks like the company is planning to launch a second laptop endorsed by the Taiwanese celebrity.

Last year, ASUS announced the Jay Chou Edition N43SL laptop and very soon we would see the second Taiwanese celebrity-endorsed notebook PC in the market. Unlike the first model with a piano black finish, the new laptop N45J will be white with similar artistic designs printed at the back of the display. The new design is said to be related to his upcoming album. The ASUS N45J will feature a 1600x800 resolution screen, second generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processor, 8GB memory, Nvidia GT555M graphics with choice of either 1GB or 2GB VRAM, SSD or hard disk storage options and Bang & Olufsen ICEpower audio technology that is found on the N45SF. Specifications would vary depending on country, although it is likely that this new laptop will be focused for the Asia market. According to sources, the ASUS N45J Jay Chou edition laptop is scheduled to launch in mid January this month. No details on the pricing yet.

SmartDevices unveils SmartQ Ten2 Plus T13 9.7-inch Android tablet Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/smartdevices-unveils-smartq-ten2plus-t13-9.7-inch-android-tablet/14415.html January 3rd, 2012

SmartDevices has recently unveiled their new SmartQ Ten2 Plus T13 Android tablet. The touchscreen is said to be similar to that of the Apple iPad - 9.7-inch capacitive, IPS panel and has a pixel resolution of 1024Ă—768. Internally, the T13 is powered by a 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor with 512MB DDR2 RAM and 8GB built-in Flash memory. It also has a microSD card slot for expansion, and supports up to 32GB. Other features include 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, 3G support, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and 2-megapixel front camera. The tablet also comes with a 7500mAh Lithium-ion battery and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. (Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is said to be in the works). But the most impressive thing about the SmartQ Ten2 Plus T13 is its incredible price tag; it is selling at RMB998 (or approximately US$160) which is value for what it offers.

Klipsch Mode M40 headphones with active noise-cancelling, lands in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/klipsch-mode-m40-headphones-withactive-noise-cancelling-lands-in-singapore/14414.html January 3rd, 2012

Tat Chuan Acoustic, distributor for Klipsch products in Singapore, has announced the availability of the Klipsch Mode M40 headphones. The stylish M40 claims to incorporate active noise-cancelling technology and provides superb quality sound for audiophiles.

Chinese manufacturer SmartDevices has announced their new Ten2 Plus Android tablet. The tablet sports a 9.7-inch touchscreen, runs Android 2.3 and retails at an unbeatable RMB999 (approximately US$160).

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January 3rd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Digital cameras might very well be on the decline, especially as Smartphones are getting better and better cameras, but that doesn't stop the camera makers from shoving more and more features into cameras. Samsung has announced an updated version of its DualView cameras and its latest model, the DV300F has gained Wi-Fi support for instant uploading of your pictures.

The Klipsch Mode M40 is said to be the company's first active noise-cancelling (ANC) headphones, designed to provide superior audio performance. It claims to offer 45 hours of ANC on a single triple AAA battery, which is almost double the time offered by other ANC headphone models currently in the market, as well as serves as a high-quality stereo headphone if you choose not to put in the batteries. Each of the Mode M40 lightweight ear cups are made of premium leather and a special high-density memory foam for long hours of listening comfort, and has an adjustable headband for secure fit. The M40 comes with two detachable cloth cables, with one of them having a three-button remote and built-in microphone with echo cancellation; users can make clear conversations and control the music on their iPhone, iPad or iPhone devices conveniently. Priced at S$599 (inclusive of GST), the Klipsch Mode M40 is available at all Apple Premium Resellers, and comes with a two-year warranty, AAA battery, microfiber carrying case, airline adaptor and 1/4-inch adaptor.

Samsung adds a dash of Wi-Fi to new DualView camera Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-adds-a-dash-of-wi-fi-to-newdualview-camera/14413.html January 3rd, 2012

Digital cameras might very well be on the decline, especially as Smartphones are getting better and better cameras, but that doesn't stop the camera makers from shoving more and more features into cameras. Samsung has announced an updated version of its DualView cameras and its latest model, the DV300F has gained Wi-Fi support for instant uploading of your pictures.

Samsung is so far the only company so slap an LCD display on the front of one of its cameras for self-portraits, a clever enough idea, although we're not sure if it's taken the world by storm. To give consumers easier access to their pictures, Samsung has kitted out the new DV300F with Wi-Fi which in turn allows you to connect the camera directly to the internet and upload your pictures and videos to websites such as Facebook, Picasa and YouTube. You can also email pictures directly as well and luckily the camera appears to have some basic editing options built in.

A much neater advantage that the Wi-Fi connectivity brings in our opinion is that Samsung has an auto backup feature which will upload the pictures to cloud storage services, although only Microsoft's SkyDrive and Samsung's own AllShare Play services are mentioned. In either case you would of course need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network, although hopefully a smartphone with a Wi-Fi enabled hotspot would do the job. The camera itself doesn't really stand out as such with a 16Megapixel sensor, 5x optical zoom with a 25mm wide angle lens, but it should be vastly superior to any camera equipped phone we can think of. The DV300F will come in black, silver, navy and red, although Samsung didn't announce any pricing or launch date.

HP's Envy Spectre gets teaser video, almost here Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hp-s-envy-spectre-gets-teaser-videoalmost-here/14412.html January 3rd, 2012

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January 3rd, 2012

Apart from its Folio 13 it appears that HP has a second, somewhat larger Ultrabook coming which may or may not be known as the Envy 14 Spectre. HP has released a short teaser video of something simply called the HP Spectre. Apart from its Folio 13 it appears that HP has a second, somewhat larger Ultrabook coming which may or may not be known as the Envy 14 Spectre. HP has released a short teaser video of something simply called the HP Spectre. So far next to nothing is known about the new notebook, or possibly Ultrabook as it may be and as you can see by yourself from the video below, HP doesn't exactly give away a lot of details. Some details with regards to the bottom design leaked just before Christmas, but even in that case it's not clear if it's of the actual model that will be known as the Spectre or not and by now HP has had the FCC remove even those details.

It's clear that the Spectre will be a high-end product and we'd expect something out of the ordinary from HP. The only thing that seems to be agreed upon is that it should be a 14-inch notebook of some kind and that it should arrive soon, maybe even ahead of CES. We'll just have to wait and see what HP manages to conjure up, but it's about time that HP brings out a high-end ultraportable notebook.

Published by: VR-Zone

Intel's partners aren't meant to be showing off any 7series motherboards for a few days yet, but Chinese Wibtek apparently doesn't care much for Intel's restrictions and has shown off its first Z77 based motherboard. For something from a smaller Chinese motherboard maker it's actually not a half bad board, but it's not up there with the Taiwanese board makers in some areas. The pictures got posted on Expreview and they're not exactly high-resolution, but plenty of details can be seen nonetheless. The board is called the Hacker Z77 and apparently Wibtek has jumped on-board the whole gun heatsink theme, albeit in a little bit more discrete way. The heatsink is meant to be of a “desert eagle� design, although it looks more like some ray gun from a Sci-Fi movie to us. Heatsink design apart, Wibtek has gone for a black on dark brown PCB in terms of slot and PCB colours and everything looks quite well polished.

The board has 16 power phases for the CPU, although the CPU socket area is quite crowded due in part to the large heatsink. The slot configuration consists of a pair of x16 slots where the second slot operates in x8 mode, a pair of x1 PCI Express slots and two PCI slots. There's also a half-size mini PCI Express slot located at the rear of the board which will accept a Wi-Fi card or similar. There are no less than 10 SATA ports in total, six of them SATA 6Gbps (four via two Marvell controllers) and four are thus SATA 3Gbps.

Wibtek first to show off alleged Z77 motherboard Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/wibtek-first-to-show-off-alleged-z77motherboard/14411.html January 3rd, 2012

Intel's partners aren't meant to be showing off any 7series motherboards for a few days yet, but Chinese Wibtek apparently doesn't care much for Intel's restrictions and has shown off its first Z77 based motherboard. For something from a smaller Chinese motherboard maker it's actually not a half bad board, but it's not up there with the Taiwanese board makers in some areas.

Around the back of the board we find six USB 3.0 ports of which four should be native ports to the Z77 chipset, a FireWire port, a Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/ PDIF out, an HDMI, DVI and D-sub connector and something else that we didn't manage to identify above the first pair of USB 3.0 ports. The additional USB 3.0 ports appear to be courtesy of a VLI host controller and there are pin headers for what appears to be four front USB 3.0 ports as well as four USB 5


January 3rd, 2012

2.0 ports and a FireWire port. The board also has power, reset and clear CMOS button located at the front.

Published by: VR-Zone

emissions, only remains to be seen (since there are no reliable data on carbon emissions from datacenters). Enter Asetek. The company known for its legendary VapoChill phase-change system and the LCLC (Low Cost Liquid Cooling) OEM design that today ships in numerous computers such as HP Z800 workstations or retail products such as Corsair H series, Antec Kuhler and many more is now entering the enterprise segment. In order to satisfy the needs and worries of the datacenter designers the company launched not one but three liquid cooling products.

There are markings on the board suggesting SLI and CoressFireX support and with the right CPU the board should support PCI Express 3.0. We should be seeing more 7-series motherboards at CES next week and hopefully we'll see something a bit more exciting than the Hacker 77, even though on a whole it's not a terrible board. Hit up the source for a few additional pictures.

Can Asetek's Technology Save Billions of Dollars and Reduce Carbon Emissions? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/can-asetek-s-technology-save-billionsof-dollars-and-reduce-carbon-emissions-/14409.html January 3rd, 2012

First and foremost, Asetek now offers closed liquid cooling for single 1U rackable server, including cooling for both CPU and the GPU, as demonstrated on Supermicro GPU server. Named Internal Loop Liquid Cooling (ILLC), Asetek created a compact radiator cooled by eight low profile fans. This design does not require any adjustments to the datacenter, so it can be retrofit into any server environment.

Asetek launched their concept of liquid cooling for high density servers to be used in datacenters. The idea of server liquid cooling in datacenters is as old as the datacenter itself, but this time we're approaching the tipping point. Every time we mention liquid cooling in datacenters, there is a string of skepticism about the durability of hardware and alleged danger of leaks. At the same time, server hardware is the cheapest investment from the whole datacenter budget sheet, since building a cooling system will eat up 40% of total build cost. Furthermore, largest portion of the monthly power bill will come from running the cooling subsystem. How big is this cost? Well, thanks to air cooling the server CPUs and GPUs, datacenters are now single largest consumer of electricity in the United States, with the situation not being exactly "great" in other countries around the globe. What this does to carbon

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January 3rd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

All of this solutions mean only one thing - death to the power consumer of the datacenter, CRAC (Computer Room Air Conditioning). Liquid cooling significantly reduces the current need for heavy investing in the cooling infrastructure, leaving room for significant computing density improvements. When it comes to redundancy, it is interesting to know that liquid cooling actually continues to work even if fans fail (most common situation for server technicians). Back to 2003, I started to experiment with liquid cooling for the first time, using components from German Innovatek AG. One of things that I forgot was to switch two 120mm fans on, so the system worked for three months (throughout the whole summer) without the active exchange of heat. Yet, Pentium 4 2.4@3.3GHz and two liquid cooled Gainward GeForce FX 5900 boards operated at 60C without hassle. Once this "genius" figured the fans were off, the temperature dropped to 32C for the CPU and 42C for the GPUs. You all remember the temperatures on those parts if they were air cooled.

If you are designing a new datacenter or remodeling the old one, Rack CDU (RCDU, Coolant Distribution Unit) is a multistage system which either connects high-performance 1U and 2U servers with the delivery of fresh coolant to be chilled by the rack itself, or by using additional blade chassis system called Sealed Server Liquid Cooling (SSLC). The Sealed Server Liquid Cooling blade chassis fits 10 blades with quad-socket motherboards. Since liquid cooling is much more efficient than air, you can forget about the common 95W TDP limitation for the Blade CPUs and go with fully fledged 130W, 150W TDP processors in the same space, increasing the computing power density by up to 58.7%, as calculated by Asetek.

If you're a computer enthusiast, and run liquid cooling for as long as you can remember - today is the day to celebrate since you were right. Liquid cooling is better than air, and now enterprise management can select best performing cooling solutions for the datacenter.

Asus Eee Pad 7-inch tablet expected at CES Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-eee-pad-7-inch-tablet-expectedat-ces/14410.html January 3rd, 2012

Back at CES last year, Asus showed off a device called the Eee Pad MeMo which later got a 3D suffix tucked onto its name at Computex, however the device itself never made a retail appearance. Now rumour has it that Asus will be launching it, or rather a pair of reworked versions of it at CES. Back at CES last year, Asus showed off a device called the Eee Pad MeMo which later got a 3D suffix tucked onto its name at Computex, however the device itself never made a retail appearance. Now rumour has it that Asus will be launching it, or rather a pair of reworked versions of it at CES. Notebook Italia has not only managed to dig out some brief specifications, but also a picture of what is said to possibly be the new device. We're still looking at a 7-inch display and we can apparently expect a resolution of 1280x800 pixels. The source claims that there will be a 3D and a non 3D version of what might still be known as the Eee Pad MeMo.

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January 3rd, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

An unnamed former member of the WebOS app development team said the main problem was not WebOS itself, but a leadership and engineering failure to secure outside programmers to develop apps for it.

The processors is rumoured to be a 1.2GHz Qualcomm chip and it should be paired with 16 to 64GB of flash memory. Other features include Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, although this is hardly surprising. Apparently we can look forward to a 7-inch Transformer tablet as well (of which the picture could be of), at least if we're to believe Notebook Italia, although the site has something of a track record when it comes to Asus leaks and their authenticity. It's not long to wait, so we'll just have to see what happens next week.

WebOS developers say HP TouchPad was doomed from start Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/webos-developers-say-hp-touchpadwas-doomed-from-start/14408.html January 3rd, 2012

Developers who worked on WebOS have revealed that HP's rival to Apple's iPad, the TouchPad, was doomed from the start, thanks to a number of design flaws. Developers who worked on WebOS have revealed that HP's rival to Apple's iPad, the TouchPad, was doomed from the start, thanks to a number of design flaws. Paul Mercer, the former senior director of software at Palm, which HP acquired for $1.2 billion in 2010, said that his company was ahead of its time and just was not able to achieve the ambitious outcome it aimed for with the mobile operating system. According to Mercer, who previously worked on a number of Apple products, one of the fatal mistakes of WebOS was its reliance on the open-source software engine WebKit, which ultimately slowed down apps, making it less appealing to opt for WebOS over faster rivals like iOS and Android.

Another issue was the numerous shortcuts taken over the nine month development period it took to give life to WebOS, including leaving app development kits until the last minute, which were then overhauled twice, which meant programmers had to relearn how to make apps for the platform several times. Other problems included a lack of staff to appropriately deal with such a large-scale project, with particular difficulties finding programmers who really understood WebKit. This shortage led to a situation where the initial launch was achieved, but updates and bug fixes could not be developed at a quick enough pace. When HP bought Palm many of the core team left, leaving the company with an even bigger manpower problem on its hands. Given these blunders with the software it is no surprise that the TouchPad failed to compete with Apple and Google based products. Mercer said that as long as WebOS depends on WebKit it will continue to linger far behind its rivals.

Google's Chrome browser to overtake Internet Explorer this year Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-s-chrome-browser-to-overtakeinternet-explorer-this-year/14407.html January 3rd, 2012

Google's Chrome web browser will overtake Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) this year, becoming the most used browser across the world, according to figures by StatCounter.

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January 3rd, 2012

Google's Chrome web browser will overtake Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) this year, becoming the most used browser across the world, according to figures by StatCounter.

Published by: VR-Zone

the memory. We also flashed the R4E's latest 0001 bios, which has further PCIe 3.0 signal tweaks for the HD7970.

Currently Chrome has a market share of 27 percent, putting it in second place behind IE, which still rules a healthy 38 percent of the industry. By June or July of 2012, however, Chrome is expected to outgrow Microsoft's former glory. This will be particularly bad considering the year Chrome launched in, 2008, saw IE dominate the market with a 70 percent market share.

Mozilla's Firefox, which was once the most popular alternative to IE, has dropped more than five percent since last year to 25.27 percent, putting it in third place behind Chrome. The remaining web browsers are significantly behind the others, with Safari gaining a small increase from 4.79 percent to over six percent, and Opera coming in fifth place with nearly two percent. The figures show how quickly and easily the market can change when new competition enters, especially if the established companies fail to adapt and push out better products.

Results: 3DMark 11 v1.03 Performance Preset (single card scores P9532)

AMD Radeon HD 7970 Tri-Fire Results Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7970-tri-fireresults/14406.html January 3rd, 2012

We are still missing one card for quadfire (Kim Jong-un aides probably hijacked the package for his Christmas present), but till then, here are some 3-way Crossfire results...

3DMark 11 v1.03 Extreme Preset (single card scores X3219)

Test Setup: As the software voltage tool we used for our 1.26GHz core overclock yesterday didn't work with multiple cards, we clocked all the cards to 1100Mhz on the core and 1500Mhz on 9


January 3rd, 2012

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Unigine Heaven 2.5 (single card scores 78.3fps)

Battlefield 3 (DX11) 1080p Ultra Preset Going Hunting Single Player Level Fraps Runthrough

Computemark (single card scores 6951)

Verdict: With such stellar performance already on 3 cards, we really can't wait for our 4th card to arrive and extended voltage options to be available for multiple cards! A quick check on our power meter showed around 900W power usage while in Battlefield 3 (quite the GPU waller) - which again outclasses previous generation cards. AMD have really shut the door on its competitiors this time...

AMD Postpones Radeon HD 7950 Until February Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-postpones-radeon-hd-7950-untilfebruary/14404.html

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Front of Box - one of the nicer boxes around

When AMD pushed the introduction of the Radeon HD 7970 from January 9, 2012 to December 22, 2011, the only that actually launched were the reviews by selected press. Now, AMD is making sure the same thing does not happen with 7950. By all standards, the introduction of Southern Islands GPU architecture is proving to be a success: the first card, Radeon HD 7970 launched on December 22, 2011 with the worldwide availability coming next week (on the original launch date: January 9, 2012). However, while the Radeon HD 7970 is delighting us with the performance achieved and fantastic overclocks on air (we cannot wait to see the water-blocks and LN2 cooling results), this was the first paper launch in ages. For reasons unknown, AMD introduced the part without actual hardware availability. Knowing that this came from the company that openly criticized its competitors in the past for doing so, we wondered is AMD planning another paper launch in the form of value part, the Radeon HD 7950.

Back of Box - Jonathan 'Fatal1ty' Wendel's face only appears once here and his endorsement message. We also noticed an alarming lack of any technical specs like DAC/ADC SNR rating or sample rate/resolution - which even Taiwanese motherboard makers are eager to boast about on their Realtek based implementations.

Not anymore: according to an e-mail from AMD, the company is making sure that Radeon HD 7950 launches on the same date as the retail availability, which is 1st week of February. That's right, no 7950 coming on January 9, 2012. In a way, this is an appropriate delay as well since NVIDIA is widely expected to introduce its GK104, its first part based on 28nm Kepler architecture in the last week of January or in early February. From the looks of it, even though we're still going through the hangover of New Years' party, 2012 is looking even more exciting on the GPU front. It looks like 28nm process from TSMC is nothing short of brilliant.

Quick Look: Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional

Quick Start leaflet and Driver CD

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/quick-look-sound-blaster-recon3dfatal1ty-professional/14401.html January 3rd, 2012

Almost three months ago back in September of 2011, Creative announced their Sound Core3D™ "quad core" chipset, and it has since featured in their latest gaming focused sound cards and headsets as well as on motherboards like the ASRock X79 Extreme9. We got the Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional PCIe sound card in our labs today to see if it pleases the audiophilles or the hardcore gamer groups.

Beamforming Microphone Array 11


January 3rd, 2012

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Hackers are working on sending their own satellites into orbit around the Earth as part of an effort to combat the rising threat of internet censorship, and are also planning to put an amateur astronaut on the moon. Hackers are working on sending their own satellites into orbit around the Earth as part of an effort to combat the rising threat of internet censorship.

The Card - Metal housing with a plastic window. Uses a PCIe x1 interface, which is good as legacy PCI slots are almost extinct

The Hackerspace Global Grid was revealed at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin. The proposals include developing and launching satellites in addition to a grid of ground stations for tracking them. The idea is to have the ground stations built by individuals or small groups, dividing the cost and control. "The first goal is an uncensorable internet in space. Let's take the internet out of the control of terrestrial entities," said hacktivist Nick Farr, who put out a call for contributions to the project in August. The major obstacle to this endeavour is funding. Hobbyists have previously managed to get small satellites into orbit, but they are usually unreliable and difficult to track, which would be no good for the internet. Other obstacles include the technical difficulties of low-orbit versus geostationary satellites and the potential for governments to interfere with and disable satellites.

Colour coded outputs for 5.1 audio, 600ohm amped headphone jack and TOSLINK Optical In/Out ports

Hackers to build satellites to combat internet censorship Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hackers-to-build-satellites-to-combatinternet-censorship/14405.html January 3rd, 2012

Three prototype ground stations are being planned for the first half of 2012. The group also hopes to give away working models at the next Chaos Communication Congress, with the aim to keep ground station costs around â‚Ź100, making it affordable for many people to participate in this space project. The hackers suggested they would even like to put an amateur astronaut on the moon within the next 23 years, though how feasible this is remains in question, particularly given the technical and monetary barriers, as well as the potential safety threat.

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The idea of making space open to more than just government agencies is an interesting and welcome thought, however, and could pave the way to some of humanity's greatest triumphs and discoveries.

Haswell graphics expectations: A quantum leap or just another small step forward? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/haswell-graphics-expectations-aquantum-leap-or-just-another-small-step-forward-/14399.html January 3rd, 2012

As the Ivy Bridge processors from Intel comes out four months from now, its graphics, with reportedly double the Sandy Bridge GPU performance, would have an impact on entry level discrete GPUs. Will Haswell continue with the same major performance jump, or just some moderate improvements? By now, we know that Ivy Bridge graphics, integrated in the CPU, will be quite a refresh compared to the current Sandy Bridge capabilities. The performance, DX11 compatibility, and high resolution multi-display capability should satisfy most mainstream users' needs, somewhat reducing the entry-level discrete GPU market at that point. A year later, in early 2013, the next generation Haswell platform should see the light of the day, again first in the mainstream PC and mobile arena. Haswell will again include grapghics enhancements, but how far are those likely to go? Here we share some insights on the graphics side of Intel's next major X86 PC microarchitecture revision.

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The 'Generation 7.5' graphics core in Haswell is, as the naming convention hints, a 'point upgrade' of the seventh generation Ivy Bridge graphics engine. Up to 20 execution units, each 128 bits wide, are to be supported, and these are supposedly enhanced with a new GPU compute architecture. The other major additions include a new internal GPU cache, hierarchical Z, as well as improved encode & decode pipelines for more hardware formats. A very interesting productivity enhancement is the processor's ability to simultaneously manage external display connection both by its own integrated graphics and the external PCIe GPU over up to two displays, avoiding the need for external switching hardware. How about the performance? It seems that the initial performance expectations aren't that high - compared to each matching Ivy Bridge graphics level, we're talking of maybe 20% average performance improvement. Two possible explanations come to mind, one being that Intel team is happy enough with the Ivy Bridge graphics speed-up, and focuses instead on features and power saving in Haswell (remember the power-focus on Haswell from their IDF keynote?), while the other one is that the actual speed-up is to be way higher, especially in the high-graphics GT3 version, and that future driver improvements should help as well. We'll look more into the possible additional features and capabilities expected from Haswell generation graphics over time, however we also have to keep in mind that graphics is one capability where AMD has very strong credentials, including integrating it on the CPU. If, say, Llano graphics is roughly 2x that of Sandy Bridge (i.e. similar performance as Ivy Bridge), yet Haswell is another 20% or 70%, depending on the version, that would roughly match the performance of AMD 'Trinity' graphics, which is, however, due much earlier - at about the same time as the Ivy Bridge itself. On the other hand, AMD is unlikely to have a Fusion integration with a Bulldozer follow-on on the high end desktop yet by early 2013, so the only competition that would beat Haswell at the time in the GPU department is another mainstream follow-on to 'Trinity', maybe in 20 nm GloFo process?

AMD Radeon HD 7970 Voltage Mod - 1.26GHz flying on air Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7970-voltagemod--1.26ghz-flying-on-air/14398.html January 3rd, 2012

One week ago, Santa Claus brought us the red themed AMD Radeon HD 7970, which practically smoked previous generation cards and showed great overclocking headroom. 13


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For our first feature in 2012, we sacrificed our holiday weekend to bring you an exclusive look at some benchmark results achieved with a slight voltage bump and core clocks raised to nearly 1.26GHz. Stay tuned also for our record breaking 4-way Crossfire tests which should be done this upcoming week! Update: "Lousy" Furmark Results (settings: http://imgur.com/WAuyP) spotted by sharp eyed viewers - even on the other benchies and BF3 (which walls the CPU to 99%), didn't see the temps go above the magical 66 degrees (toasty Singapore ambient), measured by onboard i2c sensor and ma fingers. If you recall our Radeon HD 7970 reference board review not too long ago, we got our card to overclock to 1125MHz core and 1500Mhz memory, limited by a bios controlled clock ceiling and lack of voltage mod tools. Things changed on this New Year's weekend though... With core voltage bumped from 1.15v to 1.25v using publicly available software and a special bios (9th Jan reveal), we got the core clock speed up to 1267MHz

At 100% fan speed and overvolted, the GPU temps were still only a lukewarm 66 degrees celcius - which implies that the reference cooling solution could probably handle a lot more voltage

Test Setup:

Update 2/1/12: These were the latest Furmark 1.9.2 Xtreme burn-in settings used (http://imgur.com/WAuyP) - different card but same settings. Even on the other benchies and BF3 (which walls the CPU to 99%), didn't see the temps go above the magical 66 degrees (toasty Singapore ambient), measured by onboard i2c sensor and ma fingers. 3DMark 11 1.03 Performance Preset (stock is P8227)

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Published by: VR-Zone

ComputeMark (stock is 5920 marks)

3DMark 11 1.03 Extreme Preset (stock is X2764)

Unigine Heaven 2.5 (stock is 69.6fps)

The 28nm process and new GCN architecture have really done wonders for the performance and frequency headroom (VRZone Legend Shamino has achieved way better - 1.7GHz+ on LN2). Considering that the the temperatures were still in the 60s on full load, we simply can't wait for the software controlled voltage ceiling (currently 1.25v on the software we used) to be raised to push our clocks higher!. If you have a 7970 and good soldering skills, visit Shamino's Lair at kingpincooling forums for his guide on the HD 7970 measuring points and hardware vmods. STAY TUNED FOR OUR POTENTIALLY RECORD BREAKING HD7970 4-WAY CROSSFIRE FEATURE THIS UPCOMING WEEK!

Collins Dictionary now available online Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/collins-dictionary-now-availableonline/14396.html January 3rd, 2012

Famous English dictionary by Collins is now avaliable online. The new beta website is designed to facilitate your referencing needs. Updates are on the way to expand the range of definitions and translated languages. Collins English Dictionary is the first dictionary to publish their contents online. Previously available with a major publisher, the beta website allows user to search for words to match some 120,000 entries available for free, including a list of possible leads for misspelled words. It supports 15


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Published by: VR-Zone

translations to French, German and Spanish, available via the tabs above the entry field. With an expanding range of the word definitions, the online dictionary will be adding another 100,000 entries by March, along with translations to 35 different languages. For a year and a half, the Scotlandbased team had been preparing the online publication. Head of digital at HarperCollins, Alex Brown, said: “We’ve brought together the web designers’ creativity with our own experience of language and how it’s used to create a really nice, user friendly but sharply designed website.”

Sapphire Readies HD 7970 with 1335 MHz GPU Clock Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sapphire-readies-hd-7970-with-1335mhz-gpu-clock/14397.html January 3rd, 2012

We tend to be skeptical about AMD or NVIDIA claiming stellar overclocking capabilities of their upcoming GPUs, but this time, it seems AMD wasn't playing the same old PR games. Sapphire is readying a non-reference design HD 7970 graphics card that boasts of 1335 MHz GPU clock speed. Out of the box! You read that right, 1335 MHz GPU core clock speed, out of the box! A leaked company document belonging to AMD's biggest add-in board (AIB) partner, Sapphire, disclosed details such as clock-speeds, of pretty much every non-reference design Radeon HD 7970 graphics card that company has, in the works. These include Sapphire's using brand markers Atomic, Toxic, FLEX, Vapor, and Dual-Fan. The cards that caught our eyes are "Atomic RX" and "Atomic WC".

Both "Atomic RX" and "Atomic WC" have the same exact clock speeds - 1335 MHz core, 5735 MHz (1433 MHz actual) memory. The "Atomic RX" could be an air-cooled model, while the "Atomic WC" could be a liquid-cooled one. Sapphire will most likely use a closed-loop, pre-fitted water-cooling solution. Other variants include Toxic 3G, with 1125 MHz core, 5600 MHz (1400 MHz actual) memory; FLEX 6G, with a flexible display output configuration of six mini-DisplayPort connectors, AMD reference clock speeds of 925/5500 MHz (core/memory effective), but with a whopping 6 GB of memory on board; VaporX 3G with 1010/5500 MHz (core/memory effective), Dual-Fan 3G, with a cost-effective double-fan cooler and AMD reference speeds; and "Da Original", which is the vanilla card that sticks completely to AMD reference board design. Boy, are we excited.

Intel to offer seventh mobile 7series chipset Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-to-offer-seventh-mobile-7-serieschipset/14395.html January 3rd, 2012

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Quite unexpectedly we got our hands on details of a seventh mobile chipset for Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge processors, a model that has us wondering what Intel is playing at. The chipset appears to be another budget model, yet it offers some additional features compared to chipsets with higher model numbers. Quite unexpectedly we got our hands on details of a seventh mobile chipset for Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge processors, a model that has us wondering what Intel is playing at. The chipset appears to be another budget model, yet it offers some additional features compared to chipsets with higher model numbers. The chipset in question is the HM70 and it appears to be something of a request from OEMs as it's something of a mix between the UM77 and the HM75. For starters it only has four lanes of PCI Express 2.0, the same as the UM77 chipset, yet it has support for two USB 3.0 ports, a feature lacking entirely from the HM75. That said, it still only has half the USB 3.0 ports of the other 7-series chipsets. Intel has also cut the total number of USB 2.0 ports down to a mere six, again the same as the UM77 chipset.

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for the notebook makers than Anti-Theft technology and additional SATA ports and PCI Express lanes.

Elpida samples 4Gbit Wide IO Mobile RAM Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/elpida-samples-4gbit-wide-io-mobileram/14394.html January 3rd, 2012

2012 is so far looking like it'll be a great year for mobile devices with plenty of quad core ARM implementations arriving, higher resolution screens expected, faster flash storage memory at ever increasing capacities and now, superfast, low power memory, at least if Elpida has anything to do with it. The company has announced that it has started to ship samples of its new Wide IO Mobile RAM as well as its Mobile DDR3 RAM in 4Gbit capacities. 2012 is so far looking like it'll be a great year for mobile devices with plenty of quad core ARM implementations arriving, higher resolution screens expected, faster flash storage memory at ever increasing capacities and now, superfast, low power memory, at least if Elpida has anything to do with it. The company has announced that it has started to ship samples of its new Wide IO Mobile RAM as well as its Mobile DDR3 RAM in 4Gbit capacities. Let's start with the Mobile DDR3 or LPDDR3 as it's also known as (not to be confused with Low Voltage DDR3) which is the next generation of "standard" DRAM to be used in mobile devices and it's a simple evolution from LPDDR2. We're looking at a doubling in the data rate from 800MHz to 1600MHz, or from 3.2GB/s to 6.4GB/s if you prefer. LPDDR3 still uses a fairly narrow 32-bit bus and it will be available in sizes of 512, 1024 and 2048MB down the line, although initial sample shipments will be 512MB. LPDDR3 can of course be configured in dual-channel which effectively doubles the bandwidth and this is something we'd expect to see in some high-end tablets where PCB space restrictions aren't as much of a concern as they are in smartphones.

As we move down the feature list we find that the HM70 only sports four SATA ports of which only one is SATA 6Gbps, once more mimicking the UM77. However, there's no support for RAID or Smart Response, something it shares with the HM75 and HM76. Almost other features are present though with the exception of Anti-Theft technology and the ones intended for corporate and business notebooks. We're not sure why Intel would do a chipset without support for its Anti-Theft technology as this seems rather backwards. What we don't know if package size or cost, but we'd guess that we're looking at pricing similar to the HM75, so somewhere around the US$40 mark. A very peculiar addition indeed, but a chipset we have a feeling we'll be seeing in a lot more notebooks than the HM75, despite its omissions as we have a feeling that USB 3.0 will be a more appealing selling point

So what about Wide IO Mobile RAM? Well, as the name suggests it has a much wider bus than regular DRAM, in fact its 512-bit wide, that's 16 times wider than that of LPDDR3 in single channel mode. However, the operating speed is a mere 200MHz, but thanks to the wide interface data transfer speeds still hit 12.8GB/s. Elpida claims that the vastly lower clock speed of Wide IO Mobile RAM allows for up to a 50 percent power saving compared to today's LPDDR2. Just as with its LPDDR3, we'll see capacities of 512, 1024 and 2048MB, but with initial shipments being limited to 512MB modules. The interesting thing here will be once clock speeds increase, as even fairly minor increases in the speed of Wide IO Mobile RAM (they really need to come up with a catchier name though) should result in big performance improvements. Hopefully we'll see a widespread adoption of Wide IO Mobile RAM, but it's not clear how easy it is to add support for it for 17


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the SoC manufacturers, but it's clear that it would require a different memory interface than what is widely used today.

Lenovo gives us a sneak peek of its upcoming IdeaPad S110 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lenovo-gives-us-a-sneak-peek-of-itsupcoming-ideapad-s110/14393.html January 3rd, 2012

If a teaser video posted by Lenovo on YouTube is anything to go by, Lenovo should be one of the first companies to launch a Cedar Trail-M netbook, although Lenovo seems to have ditched the term netbook in favour of "mini notebook". The IdeaPad S110 should feature the new Atom N2600 processor as well as a few other additions that most netbooks don't have. If a teaser video posted by Lenovo on YouTube is anything to go by, Lenovo should be one of the first companies to launch a Cedar Trail-M netbook, although Lenovo seems to have ditched the term netbook in favour of "mini notebook". The IdeaPad S110 should feature the new Atom N2600 processor as well as a few other additions that most netbooks don't have. The video gives away the fact that the IdeaPad S110 will come in a choice of red, blue, white or black. It has a 10.1-inch screen, but this is apparently an HD resolution screen, although by this we presume Lenovo means 1366x768 at the most. It also comes with an optional 720p webcam, USB 3.0 connectivity, Wi-Fi and optional 3G connectivity. A few other features were also dug out thanks to some helpful online retailers that have already listed the IdeaPad S110 for sale and as such we know we can expect 1GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive as standard. A bit sting in our opinion especially considering how cheap RAM is these days, but typical for a netbook. Lenovo also claims that the IdeaPad S110 weighs in at 1.15kg and measures in at 16mm thick/thin and that it comes with "long battery life for extended use" without going into any details. We managed to dig up some official pricing and at least in Canada the list price excluding tax is CAD$299.99 (S$382) which isn't terrible, but one should take into consideration that Intel is offering its Cedar Trail Atom processors at a much more affordable price than the previous generation with an Atom N2600 having an Intel list price of a mere US$42 which should be compared to US$86 for either of the Atom N550 or N570, a US$46 price difference that would be directly reflected in the price of the actual device.

Published by: VR-Zone January 3rd, 2012

We've managed to dig out a few details of an upcoming miniITX motherboard from Asus featuring Intel's Atom D2500 processor and although this isn't the most exciting platform in the world, Asus has created something a little bit different. In fact, anyone looking at building a home server with some fancy features might just want to consider this board. We've managed to dig out a few details of an upcoming miniITX motherboard from Asus featuring Intel's Atom D2500 processor and although this isn't the most exciting platform in the world, Asus has created something a little bit different. In fact, anyone looking at building a home server with some fancy features might just want to consider this board. The model name is D25NM10-I/CSM and it's quite different from the boards we've seen from ASRock, as Asus is targeting quite a different market segment. In reality this ought to be an industrial PC motherboard judging by the fact that it has an LVDS connector, five serial ports (of which two are RS422/485 compatible) and even a pin header for a parallel port. However, Asus has also included a PCI Express x1 and a mini PCI Express expansion slot, a DVI port and a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports making this an interesting solution for a home server. Other features include an on-board DC-DC converter, 5.1channel audio, a pair of SATA ports, a total of eight USB 2.0 ports (four via two headers), a PS/2 port, a D-sub connector and a pin header for S/PDIF out. Sadly we don't have a picture of the board, but we can imagine it being a fairly cramped board considering the amount of features Asus has squeezed in. Intel has finally allowed for up to 4GB of 1066MHz DDR3 RAM to be supported by its Atom processors and this further makes this a decent little server board. The CPU is passively cooled and with an external power adapter there's no noise from the PSU either. The only limitation as far as a server is concerned is the two SATA ports, but at least a PCI Express RAID card could be connected to the PCI Express slot if need be. The question is how much Asus is planning on charging for this board, as we have a feeling it'll be quite expensive due to all the industrial PC features, but we might be wrong here. No word on when it'll be available, but we'd expect it to arrive shortly.

Asus to launch Atom D2500 mini-ITX motherboard Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-to-launch-atom-d2500-mini-itxmotherboard/14392.html

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Published by: VR-Zone

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

SATA-IO announces DevSleep for reduced power draw of SATA devices Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sata-io-announces-devsleep-forreduced-power-draw-of-sata-devices/14451.html January 5th, 2012

in terms of what the user would notice in terms of delay, yet big in terms of power saved. An added bonus is that the host controller PHY would also be powered down, saving further power. The problem here is that it wouldn't work with today's SATA controller, as a DevSleep side-band signal would be needed to allow the host and device to communicate as to when to go to sleep and when to wake up. As such it's not likely that we'll see DevSleep support in any SATA devices this year, although the information provided by the SATA-IO doesn't really explain what is needed to add the extra side-band signalling, so it's entirely possible that this is a very minor addition that could easily be implemented in current SATA hardware.

Google drops Intel in favour of ARM for Google TV We seem to be living in the age of power frugality when it comes to mobile computing devices and although this is by no means a bad thing in most cases, we're starting to wonder if the technology companies aren't looking in the wrong direction sometimes. Now the SATA-IO is the latest organization to join with a new power saving feature called DevSleep which is meant to help reduce the power of SATA devices. We seem to be living in the age of power frugality when it comes to mobile computing devices and although this is by no means a bad thing in most cases, we're starting to wonder if the technology companies aren't looking in the wrong direction sometimes. Now the SATA-IO is the latest organization to join with a new power saving feature called DevSleep which is meant to help reduce the power of SATA devices. According to Microsoft and Intel the two most power hungry devices in a notebook is the hard drive and the display and it's clear that the SATA-IO is trying to address the first one of these two categories. What DevSleep enables is the ability for a SATA device such as an SSD or hard drive to more or less power itself off entirely when not in use. This is quite different from the various slumber modes currently available for SATA devices. One problem with DevSleep is that new device and host controllers would need to be made that supports DevSleep, as the PHY and other parts of the storage device would be completely powered off when the device is in DevSleep mode. In DevSleep mode a SATA device is meant to draw less than 5mW, yet have a response time of less than 20ms. This is a lot quicker than resuming a notebook from standby and should equate to a similar power draw. A SATA device today would draw in the region of 50-100mW in its lowest slumber mode, yet still take 10ms to respond, so the trade-off here is very small

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-drops-intel-in-favour-of-armfor-google-tv/14450.html January 5th, 2012

In a surprise to no-one move, Google or rather Marvell has come clean on the fact that Google TV will be moving away from Intel and onto ARM. The first new Google TV boxes should be based on the Marvell Armada 1500 HD media SoC and should make a debut at CES next week. In a surprise to no-one move, Google or rather Marvell has come clean on the fact that Google TV will be moving away from Intel and onto ARM. The first new Google TV boxes should be based on the Marvell Armada 1500 HD media SoC and should make a debut at CES next week. The Armada 1500 (also known as the 88DE3100) is a brand new SoC from Marvell and an up to date version of the older Armada 1000, a chip that found its way into some Blu-ray players among other things. The Armada 1500 sports a custom PJ4B dual core ARM v6/7 processor designed by Marvell which is said to be Cortex-A9 compatible. Marvell claims 2.61 DMIPS per MHz per core, somewhat faster than the 2.5 DMIPS for a standard Cortex-A9 implementation. According to the spec sheet, each core is clocked at 1.2GHz which gives us a performance of just over 6200 DMIPS. Marvell has also included Neon support and support for Intel WMMX in the Armada 1500. Marvell has also added a 3D graphics core to the Armada 1500, although this is not an in-house design, as Marvell has licensed the GC1000 from Vivante. According to Anandtech this is an OpenGL-ES 1.1/2.0 port with a core clock of 750MHz, but 1


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the details are fairly thin with regards to how this GPU core compares to that seen in other Cortex-A9 SoC's. Marvell has of course also included its own Qdeo post processing engine with supports per-pixel 3D noise reduction and de-interlacing, scaling and a wide range of other post processing features.

Other hardware features include support for 32-bit DDR3 800MHz memory, support for various types of Flash memory, HDMI 1.4 support, SATA 3.0 (we're not sure if Marvell refers to 3Gbps or 6Gbps here), 10/100Mbit Ethernet, SDIO, USB 2.0 connectivity and interestingly support for digital video input. In the latter case it seems like Marvell is hoping for its Armada 1500 to end up in some TVs and as such it would need to have HDMI inputs, although it will be interesting to see if anyone will create a device that will allow for recording from the digital input.

Published by: VR-Zone

A file-sharing organisation has gained official recognition in Sweden as a religion, an unusual move that could have repercussions on the debate about the illegal downloading of files. A file-sharing organisation has gained official recognition in Sweden as a religion, an unusual move that could have repercussions on the debate about the illegal downloading of files. The Church of Kopimism considers “kopyacting�, or filesharing, to be a religious service, despite most people seeing it as little more than a digital act. Kopimism gained recognition as a religion just before Christmas after applying three times to the Swedish government agency Kammarkollegiet. Not only is file-sharing considered its central sacrament, the CTRL+C and CTRL +V shortcuts for copying and pasting are viewed as sacred symbols.

Marvell has also included support for a ton of codecs in its VMeta video engine and it can decode two streams at once. It handles just about every format out there including High Profile H.264, VC-1 Advanced profile, DivX-HD, VP6/8 in HD, Real Video 9/10 up to 1080p and a bunch of other formats. We should point out that there's support for Blu-ray 3D video, although we don't expect this to be a feature of any new Google TV products, but it should as such also handle 3D TV broadcasts. On the audio side of things the Armada 1500 will handle multi-channel Dolby and DTS up to 7.1-channels. Beyond Google TV, Marvell is also claiming support for Android and various Linux operating systems. The planned implementations are as we've mentioned Google TV, smart TVs, set top boxes of various kinds, Blu-ray players and all kinds of media players. Marvell appears to have a well featured solution here, albeit maybe not quite as flexible as an x86 setup, but vastly cheaper. Marvell's own demo system that you can see pictured above might not look that impressive, but remember that this isn't what Google's partners' products will look like. Time will tell of Google TV 2.0 will be a success or not, but if the price can be brought down to something much more reasonable than the first generation hardware and if Google can put together slightly better software, then we see no reason bar that of Google being shut out by the content providers that the new Google TV boxes shouldn't be a success.

Swedish file-sharing group recognised as a religion Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/swedish-file-sharing-group-recognisedas-a-religion/14449.html January 5th, 2012

The group is run by Isak Gerson, a 19-year-old student of philosophy, who is now the spiritual leader of Kopimi, the people who follow the tenets of this new religion, which does not explicitly support illegal file-sharing, but the general free exchange of information. There are likely millions of unknowing adherents of Kopimism throughout the world. While this might sound like something akin to the idea of the Jedi religion, it could have a monumental effect on the legality of various laws against illegal file-sharing, as internet cuts and website blocks could be seen as religious persecution, a violation of a fundamental human right. File-sharing remains one of the big debates of modern society, with widespread opposition to various proposed laws that many see as internet censorship. Political groups like the Pirate Party have formed in recent years, and now advocates of file-sharing can add the divine to their list of supporters.

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Apple hires Adobe executive for iAd position Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-hires-adobe-executive-for-iadposition/14447.html January 5th, 2012

Reports suggest that Apple has hired Todd Teresi, an Adobe executive, for its iAd advertising platform, an ironic move considering the companies' past rivalry. Reports suggest that Apple has hired Todd Teresi, an Adobe executive, for its iAd advertising platform, an ironic move considering the companies' past rivalry. Teresi previously held the role of vice-president of Adobe's media solutions group and is now working as vice-president of iAd, despite the lack of a formal announcement of the employment shift. The position opened up after the founder of Quattro Wireless, the firm Apple acquired and turned into iAd, stepped down, suggesting all was not well in Apple's mobile advertising division.

Published by: VR-Zone

AMD Radeon HD 7970 Quad CrossfireX: The Stock Air Cooling Champion Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7970-quad-crossfirexthe-stock-air-cooling-champion/14444.html January 5th, 2012

Armed with only our fists, we slayed the murderous fire breathing dragon and rescued the princess (actually the last HD 7970 to complete our 4-way quadfire feature). This time, we have also included 5760x1080 Eyefinity tests in Battlefield 3 and DiRT3, complete with videos! Test Setup: This time we've upgraded our CPU cooling to a XSPC RX360 kit and clocked it higher at 4.8GHz (LinX 4gb 10 runs stable). Unfortunately we still couldn't get any of the available overclocking tools to set voltages or core clocks beyond 1125MHz on simultaneously all 4 cards without running into BSODs or weird artifacts, so we were forced to use the restrictive AMD Overdrive to run our cards @ 1100/1500MHz

The move is particularly interesting given strained relations between the two companies after Steve Jobs dismissed Flash as outdated and insecure.

Apple launched iAd in 2010 in an attempt to monopolise on the potential ad revenue that could be made from the booming smartphone and tablet sectors, an area that Google has been quite successful in. Some believe iAd has failed to achieve what Apple set out to do, however, with criticisms over its high cost and limited exposure. “Charging premium prices and reaching only Apple devices is a much harder sell,” said EMarket analyst Noah Elkin, according to Bloomberg. “That has been a huge stumbling block.” This might explain why Apple brought Teresi on board, as he has extensive experience in the media and advertising sector, working for both Adobe's digital publishing business and Yahoo's publishing sales. Whether or not he can turn iAd into the number one mobile advertising business remains to be seen.

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Published by: VR-Zone

3DMark Vantage Performance (http://3dmark.com/3dmv/3788612)

Preset

Unigine Heaven Benchmark (hwbot.org Submission)

The Tests: 3DMark 11 v1.03 Extreme (http://3dmark.com/3dm11/2480832)

Preset

LuxMark OpenCL Benchmark Tool (single card scores 19238)

3DMark 11 v1.03 Performance (http://3dmark.com/3dm11/2480813)

Preset

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Lenovo announces ThinkPad Hybrid laptop and business ultrabook Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lenovo-announces-thinkpad-hybridlaptop-and-business-ultrabook/14446.html January 5th, 2012

Lenovo has announced its first ThinkPad Hybrid laptop and first business ultrabook, combining portability with enterprise-class features and power-saving options. Lenovo has announced its first ThinkPad Hybrid laptop and first business ultrabook.

Published by: VR-Zone

The 14-inch ThinkPad T430u offers the portability of an ultrabook with a number of useful business features, such as Intel's Small Business Advantage productivity and security tools. Users can choose from a variety of Intel Core processors, Intel integrated or Nvidia graphics, and an SSD or HDD. It also has a fast boot and resume feature and a battery life of up to six hours. The X1 Hybrid will be available in the second quarter for around $1,599, while the T430u will come out in the third quarter for roughly $849.

Broadcom launches its first 802.11ac Gigabit 5G WiFi chips Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/broadcom-launches-its-first-802.11acgigabit-5g-wifi-chips/14445.html January 5th, 2012

The 13.3-inch ThinkPad X1 Hybrid features many improvements over its predecessor, the X1, such as double the CPU speed and quadruple the GPU performance. One of the more interesting elements of the X1 Hybrid is its instant media mode, which doubles the battery life to 10 hours and effectively gives the laptop some PC functionality, explaining the 'Hybrid' name. This mode, which can be accessed instantly by clicking an icon on the homescreen, utilises a Qualcomm dual-core processor, up to 16GB of RAM, and a custom Linux-based operating system. The battery can also be charged up to 80 percent in half an hour. The X1 Hybrid comes with some business features like encrypted hard drives, remote management support, and a fingerprint reader, in addition to having everything required for voice and video conferencing.

It's already been five years since 802.11n arrived, although back then in its draft standard and things have progressed slowly since then, although some 450Mbps hardware started to show up last year. This year looks set to be the launch for the 802.11ac standard, also known as 5G WiFi which promises Gigabit speeds, better coverage, improved reliability and lower power usage and Broadcom looks set to be one of the first chip makers for the new standard. It's already been five years since 802.11n arrived, although back then in its draft standard and things have progressed slowly since then, although some 450Mbps hardware started to show up last year. This year looks set to be the launch for the 802.11ac standard, also known as 5G WiFi which promises Gigabit speeds, better coverage, improved reliability and lower 5


January 5th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

power usage and Broadcom looks set to be one of the first chip makers for the new standard. We've already written about the 802.11ac standard, although that was nearly a year ago and things seem to have progressed quicker than originally anticipated. To do a quick recap and catch-up 802.11ac will operate on the 5GHz band, although originally it was said to operate at 6GHz and below, although no specific frequency was given. By now it's clear that 802.11ac will be using the same 5GHz band as 802.11a/n, although with some significant differences. For starters 802.11ac will use 80 and 160MHz channel width compared to a maximum of 40MHz for 802.11n.

802.11ac also supports twice as many MIMO spatial streams as 802.11n (8 vs. 4), an increase of the QAM (Quadrature amplitude modulation) count from 64 to 256 and it will support multi-user MIMO which allows for further increased performance depending on the configuration of the transmitting and receiving end. Not all devices will support Gigabit speed, as smaller devices are likely to end up much slower than that due to the inability to fit enough antennas. This is one of the downsides of 802.11ac, as to reach really high speeds, at least two, preferably three or four antennas need to be used, although eight antenna configurations are also planned. Broadcom has announced four new chipsets starting with the BCM43516 which is intended for PCs and other consumer electronics devices. It's a single chip solution that offers speeds of up to 433Mbps using 80MHz channel width, dual-band support with current Wi-Fi networks and a USB 2.0 interface. We'd say Broadcom is pushing it a bit here, as USB 2.0 has a theoretical peak bandwidth of 480Mbps and although we wouldn't expect to see wireless speeds of 433Mbps, there isn't much life left in the old USB 2.0 standard when it comes to new high-speed wireless technologies.

Next up we have the BCM4352 and BCM43526 which supports two streams and speeds of up to 867Mbps. The feature set is the same here, although the BCM4352 has a PCI Express 2.0 interface, while the BCM43526 gets to make do with USB 2.0 and clearly will never reach its advertised speeds due to the USB 2.0 bottle neck. That said, it's possible that the BCM43526 will still perform better than the BCM43516 in some environments thanks to its dual antenna configuration. The BCM43526 is intended for use in PCs, TVs and other A/V products according to Broadcom, while the BCM4352 is intended for PCs, access points, routers and internet gateways. The fourth and final product is the BCM4360 which supports three streams and speeds of up to 1.3Gbps. Interestingly it's still only using 80MHz per channel, so it appears that we'll have to wait for 160MHz per channel to make an appearance either from one of Broadcom's competitors, or at a later point in time. The BCM4360 uses a PCI Express 2.0 interface and is intended for use in PCs, access points, routers and gateways. Broadcom will be demoing partner products at CES and judging by the quotes in Broadcom's press release we can expect products from Asus, Belkin, Buffalo, D-Link, Huawei, Lenovo, Motorola, Netgear, Ubee and ZTE that supports 802.11ac. As to how many will actually use Broadcom's solutions is a different matter, but it looks like wireless networking is set to get a significant speed boost this year, even if wired Ethernet isn't likely to be disappearing any time soon.

More Cedar Trail Atom's on the way Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/more-cedar-trail-atom-s-on-theway/14443.html January 5th, 2012

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Intel has only just gotten its Cedar Trail-M processors out of the door, but the company is already planning new, slightly faster models in the mobile space, as well as a new desktop part. Intel has kindly leaked all the details of the three upcoming models in a spec sheet that recently got updated and if you were considering getting a new netbook, it might very well be worth holding off a little bit if you can wait. Intel has only just gotten its Cedar Trail-M processors out of the door, but the company is already planning new, slightly faster models in the mobile space, as well as a new desktop part. Intel has kindly leaked all the details of the three upcoming models in a spec sheet that recently got updated and if you were considering getting a new netbook, it might very well be worth holding off a little bit if you can wait.

Published by: VR-Zone

Intel Prepares for Ivy Bridge: EOLs 25 Desktop Processors Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-prepares-for-ivy-bridge-eols-25desktop-processors/14439.html January 5th, 2012

The company is getting ready to unleash the 22nm Ivy Bridge processors to the world by choosing to kill a lot of 32nm processors which currently make the desktop mix.

The three new models are the D2550, N2650 and N2850. The desktop focused D2550 is clocked at the same 1.86GHz as the D2500, but Intel bumped the GPU clock speed from 400 to 640MHz giving the D2550 the same GPU spec as the D2700. The increased GPU clock means that the D2550 will support Blu-ray playback, something the D2500 doesn't. The overall TDP hasn't increased for the D2550, although according to Intel's spec sheet, the idle TDP is up, albeit a mere 0.02W.

As for the mobile parts, the N2650 has been given a fairly nominal speed bump of 100MHz, something that increased the TDP by 0.1W compared to the N2600. We should point out that the N26x0 parts only supports 2GB of memory and as such only a single DIMM, a move by Intel that we don't quite understand. The N2850 got bumped 140MHz, again a very small performance increase and as with the N2650 the TDP increased by 0.1W, although in this case over the N2800. Interestingly Intel is listing the average power draw as 0.11W less than the N2800 despite the higher clock speed. Both of the new N models also supports DDR3L, something we're not sure if the first two models do and the spec sheet isn't clear here as it mentions the refreshed SKU which we presume is the N2650 and N2850.

In order to prepare for the launch, the company announced the discontinuation (EOL, End of Life product status) for 25 various desktop models based on LGA1155, LGA1156 and LGA1366 sockets. All of the EOL'ed models are based of 32nm Westmere and Sandy Bridge architectures: As you can see, this is a thorough cleanup of all sockets, with LGA1156 and LGA1366 essentially being terminated (i7 970, 980, 980X were all EOL’ed during 2011), simplifying the lineup to only feature the LGA1155 and LGA2011 sockets.

Arctic Comes Out with a new High-Performance Cooler for Radeon HD 7970 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/arctic-comes-out-with-a-new-highperformance-cooler-for-radeon-hd-7970/14438.html

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January 5th, 2012 January 5th, 2012

As the retail launch of Radeon HD 7970 approaches (January 9, 2012), the ecosystem is forming around the product: liquid and air cooling solutions. As the retail launch of Radeon HD 7970 approaches (January 9, 2012), the ecosystem is forming around the product: while we already saw waterblocks from Slovenian EK and German Aqua Computer, Far East is waking up with the highperformance air cooling: this time around, news are coming from Hong Kong.

Arctic launched Accelero Xtreme 7970, a high-performance cooler featuring a combination of copper base, six copper heatpipes (6mm diameter), 84 aluminum fins and three 92mm fans that operate from 900 to 2000 rpm, depending on the mode selected. The copper base features a MX-4 thermal compound, so you don’t need to look for additional highperformance TIM (Thermal Interface Material).

True, the potential show stopper is massive weight of the heatsink - at 653 grams or almost 1.5 pounds this triple-slot heatsink definitely requires to be mounted inside the case. If you’re interested in getting a 3rd party cooling for your precious new 7970, this beast comes to market just before Chinese New Year (shipping as of week starting January 30) for a price just below USD100 mark - $97.95 in the US, €73.83 in European Union and 126 SGD in Singapore.

Published by: VR-Zone

MSI announces new powerful GT685 gaming laptop Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-announces-new-powerful-gt685gaming-laptop/14442.html January 5th, 2012

MSI has announced their new ultimate gaming laptop, the GT685, which features the second generation Intel Core i7 quad processor, 32GB DDR3 memory, and Nvidia GeForce GTX 580M, the world's fastest discrete graphics card in a laptop.

This latest MSI gaming laptop features top-of-the-line hardware, including Nvidia GeForce GTX 580M, which claims to be the most powerful discrete graphics card in a laptop that provides superb display performance. The graphics card boasts 384 more CUDAs than the previous generation, giving it 256-bit memory bandwdith and 2GB GDDR5 VRAM. This translates to seamless experience with crisp and clear graphics and more detailed 3D images, and you can enjoy serious gaming without worrying that your laptop can’t keep up. Powered by second generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor with support of Intel Turbo Boost 2.0, the GT685 offers superb computing performance. On top of that, it comes equipped with four DDR3 memory slots to give a total of 32GB memory, as well as RAID 0 accelerated dual hard drive architecture that can increase hard drive read speeds by 70%. Other features include Dynaudio sound technology for faithful stereo reproduction, THX TruStudio Pro technology that provides cinematic-quality audio, and full high definition 16:9 widescreen display. The MSI GT685 also comes with an HDMI port for your to output your videos on any large-screen LCD televisions.

HP unveils new consumer PCs, including Omni27, the company's first 27-inch all-inone PC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hp-unveils-new-consumer-pcsincluding-omni27-the-company-s-first-27-inch-all-in-one-pc/14440.html

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January 5th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

January 5th, 2012

Just few days into 2012, HP has recently announced their new line of consumer PCs and a notebook docking monitor that offer stylish design and superb performance. Among the products is the HP Omni27, which is the company's first 27inch all-in-one PC.

HP Pavilion HPE Phoenix h9

HP Omni27 all-in-one PC HP has announced their new line-up of consumer PCs, as well as notebook docking monitor with enhanced design, performance and convenience for consumers and professionals. The HP Omni27 all-in-one PC is designed specifically for users who want stylish design, simplicity and performance. It has a brilliant 27-inch high-definition flat panel display with edge-to-edge glass and can tilt up to 25-degree to suit users' viewing preference. The all-in-one claims to be the company's first non-touch PC to feature HP’s Magic Canvas software, which allows the desktop to expand horizontally and accommodate photos, videos as well as applications.

The HP Pavilion HPE Phoenix h9 is the company’s most powerful Pavilion PC to date, with futuristic design and superb performance for users who enjoy content creation and immersive gaming. It has an armor plating that extends across the top and front of the bezel and attention-grabbing lighting in red, which makes the HPE Phoenix stand out among today’s desktop PCs. The HPE Phoenix has room for up to 16GB of DDR3 memory and three internal hard drives, as well as optional liquid cooling system to draw heat away from high-performance processors. It also comes equipped with high-end discrete graphics cards that can support multiple displays, while delivering amazing video performance and picture quality. Gamers can enjoy RIFT Digital Collector’s Edition, the latest massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) from Trion. With every purchase of HP Pavilion HPE Phoenix, users can download and enjoy free access to RIFT for sixty days, and following that a monthly subscription of around US$15 for continuous access to the game. The HP Pavilion HPE Phoenix h9 PCs are expected to be available from end January 2012 in APJ at a starting price of approximately US$1,599.

With convenient features such as HP LinkUp Technology, users can easily access and edit content from a notebook PC on the Omni27’s large display with little hassles. The HP Omni27 offers multi-core processors, advanced high definition (HD) graphics and up to 2TB of storage, and standard features including Beats Audio, Blu-Ray disc drive and optional TV tuner. The HP Omni27 All-in-One PCs are expected to retail in APJ at a starting price of approximately US$1,199.

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HP Compaq L2311c The HP Compaq L2311c 23-inch Notebook Docking Monitor is targeted at mobile professionals who wants a desktop experience via an easy connection with a USB cable to their notebook PC with a USB 2.0 or 3.0 port. The Notebook Docking Monitor sports a full high-definition (HD) LED backlit LCD display and features HP Smart AC Technology that powers and charges HP notebook PCs while also detecting and regulating the capacity of the electrical current. It also features a built-in 720p HD webcam and is equipped with HP MyRoom business edition software and Cyberlink YouCam, a productive webcam tool that eases communication with co-workers and clients in any location. The HP Compaq L2311c is expected to be available in APJ at a starting price of approximately US$319. The availability date will be announced at a later stage. The HP LV1911 and LV2011 are the latest LED backlit LCD monitors that claim to provide business performance at budget-friendly prices. The monitors come in attractive, slim form factors, and consumes lesser power compared to CCFL panel monitors. The HP LV1911 and LV2011 have a 18.5- and 19.5-inch respectively, offer VGA inputs, 3,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratios and 5ms response times. Both monitors are expected to be available in APJ at a starting price of approximately US$125 and US$135, respectively.

Published by: VR-Zone

Of course this rebrand was expected considering previous reports and HD 7000M announcements. In addition OEM versions of HD 7500, 7400 and 7300 are all expected to be rebrands, while HD 7700 up will feature GCN 28nm GPUs. Of course, the gap between HD 7600 and HD 7700 will be disproportionate, and might create a gap in AMD's Radeon HD 7000 line-up. Judging by NVIDIA's strategy wih GeForce 600M it is likely NVIDIA will also follow a similar strategy - rebrands for entry-level to mainstream GeForce 600M products. For now, the HD 7670 remains an OEM only product. However, it may eventually make it to the retail market - as HD 6700 did.

Nakamichi introduces cubesized "My Mini Plus" for music on the go Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nakamichi-introduces-cube-sized-mymini-plus-for-music-on-the-go/14437.html January 5th, 2012

Availability date for all HP products will be announced later.

AMD releases OEM Radeon HD 7670 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-releases-oem-radeonhd-7670/14441.html January 5th, 2012

Small, portable speakers looked to be the in-thing these days. Japanese audio company Nakamichi has launched "My Mini Plus", a new range of stylish looking mini speakers with builtin radio in Singapore.

AMD has quietly announced the second desktop product in its Radeon HD 7000 range - HD 7670 for OEMs. There's nothing new about the 7670 OEM however - it is simply a rebranded HD 6670. AMD has quietly announced the second desktop product in its Radeon HD 7000 range - HD 7670 for OEMs. There's nothing new about the 7670 OEM however - it is simply a rebranded HD 6670. The specifications and performance are identical to HD 6670. Both are based on Turks XT, featuring 480 VLIW-5 SP, 24 TMU and 8 ROPs running at 800 MHz. Upto 1GB GDDR5 at 4 GHz is mated to a 128-bit interface. HD 6670 held the distinction of being the fastest graphics card not requiring an addition PCIe connector (i.e. it draws all its power from the PCIe slot) which is what made it popular with OEMs. The HD 7670 powers HP's upcoming Phoenix products and is likely to show up in a few OEM desktops around CES 2012 time.

Renowned Japanese high fidelity audio company, Nakamichi, has launched a collection of stylish mini speakers with radio for music lovers on the go. The cube-sized speaker, which measures 5cm on every side and weighs 139g, claims to offer exceptional audio quality. The Nakamichi "My Mini Plus" fits easily into your bag, charges via a USB connection to your PC or laptop and on full charge, it can provide up to five hours of non-stop music playback. The speaker can also play music from microSD card and it has built-in FM radio function for you to listen to your favorite channel. Available in eight colors Light Pink, Fuchsia, Purple, Red, Blue, Black, Lime Green, and Silver; The "My Mini Plus" by Nakamichi will be available at CK Tang, Technobay level 3, epi lifestyle, and other premium 10


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Nakamichi authorized reseller stores from mid January 2012 at S$69.90 (inclusive of GST)

Published by: VR-Zone January 5th, 2012

Nokia plans to launch Lumia 900 at CES 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-plans-to-launch-lumia-900-atces-2012/14436.html January 5th, 2012

The Nokia Lumia 900 Ace was recently spotted on Nokia Pulse website which has the capacitive touch buttons that are placed closer to the edge, compared to the Lumia 800. It was also reported that the Finnish company would be launching the phone at the Consumer Electronics Show 2012 in Las Vegas next week.

It's hard not to get a bit frustrated with Intel and its many proprietary technologies, although at least a few things seems to be changing slowly but surely when it comes to WiDi, Intel's video streaming technology over Wi-Fi. We've managed to dig up a fair bit of news as to what to expect in 2012 from WiDi and some things are being improved while others remain the same. It's hard not to get a bit frustrated with Intel and its many proprietary technologies, although at least a few things seems to be changing slowly but surely when it comes to WiDi, Intel's video streaming technology over Wi-Fi. We've managed to dig up a fair bit of news as to what to expect in 2012 from WiDi and some things are being improved while others remain the same. For starters Intel has decided to take advantage of Wi-Fi Direct for the discover, pairing and connect part of WiDi which should make it easier for its partners that built the receivers. Intel will also be supporting Wi-Fi Display, but only for basic features. If you want to be able to play back 1080p video, especially copy protected content, then you need full-on WiDi support on the receiving end. This year Intel is also adding support for 3D video and 24fps video such as certain Blu-ray discs. It will also be possible to set up an extended display over WiDi, something that could actually be quite handy in certain situations.

According to sources, Nokia will be announcing the new Lumia 900 Ace (codenamed Eloko) at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) next week. Weighing 160g, the phone is said to be equipped with a 1.4GHz processor, 512MB memory and 8-megapixel rear camera. The Lumia 900 will feature a 4.3inch WVGA Nokia ClearBlack AMOLED display, which is slightly bigger than the 3.7-inch of the Lumia 800, although the resolution is the same as its older sibling. It will also come with 1830mAh battery, and runs Windows Phone 7.5 Mango operating system. No word on the pricing or availability yet, though all could be revealed at CES next week. The company is also expected to announce a mid-range device, the Lumia 719.

Intel WiDi to get cheaper, better and maybe inside TVs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-widi-to-get-cheaper-better-andmaybe-inside-tvs/14435.html

One interesting thing is that Intel is planning on offering WiDi support on desktops, a feature we can see at least a few people wanting. That said, if you were hoping for WiDi support in the upcoming Windows 8 tablets, then it looks like you're out of luck, as this isn't likely to happen this year at least. Beyond the small adapters you've had to connect to your TV so far to get WiDi support, Intel is apparently hoping to get its technology into TVs, game consoles, Blu-ray players (really?) and various other devices of which some will simply be able to have a piece of software loaded to enable WiDi support. We're still not sold on Intel's WiDi technology, mostly because so few notebooks in the grand scheme of things are sold with Intel Wi-Fi cards that support WiDi and this is one of the biggest failings of the technology. We fully understand Intel's argument here, but many notebook vendors would simply not put Intel Wi-Fi cards in their notebooks due to the cost difference compared to the many other options available to them. Still, if more Wi-Fi enabled devices will start to support WiDi there's a chance that things will change, but we're hoping for a more open standard to take over what Intel has started.

Roku goes tiny with its upcoming Streaming Stick Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/roku-goes-tiny-with-its-upcomingstreaming-stick/14434.html

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Published by: VR-Zone

January 5th, 2012

It's really a shame that Roku's products are only available in the US due to the technicalities of streaming content over the internet, something the traditional TV companies obviously are very much against even though they are allowing for it to a degree. The company has come up with a simple and elegant solution that would turn any TV into a smart TV, without the need of a clunky box. It's really a shame that Roku's products are only available in the US due to the technicalities of streaming content over the internet, something the traditional TV companies obviously are very much against even though they are allowing for it to a degree. The company has come up with a simple and elegant solution that would turn any TV into a smart TV, without the need of a clunky box. The device in question is called the Roku Streaming Stick which is said to be about the size of a USB flash drive, yet it packs so much more inside. Roku hasn't gone into too much with regards to the specific hardware, but the Streaming Stick will feature an SoC, memory and Wi-Fi as well as some software of course. However, unlike a USB flash drive the Streaming Stick sports an HDMI port, or rather an MHL port. If you remember, MHL or Mobile High-definition Link is a combo port that offers HDMI and USB in one.

Roku is expecting the Streaming Stick to retail for somewhere between US$50-100 (S$65-130) when it arrives later this year, although Roku is also hoping to bundle it with some TVs. One problem Roku has though is the small install base of MHL equipped TV's, but it shouldn't be too hard to make some kind of power adapter. We can see a lot of companies coming up with their own versions of this, as if the technology can be compacted down to this size, why would you want a larger box sitting around next to your TV?

Broadcom announces smart TV chips Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/broadcom-announces-smart-tvchips/14433.html January 5th, 2012

In the case of TV's it appears that this port is a standard size HDMI port judging by the pictures from Roku and not a micro USB port as it is on smartphones. Plonk the Roku Streaming Stick into a TV with one of these ports and you've got all the functionality of a Roku box without having to find space for the box itself. The only problem we see with this is how you actually control the Streaming Stick unless it's done over WiFi or some other wireless technology, as it would be hidden behind the TV and as such an IR remote wouldn't work.

Just ahead of CES, Broadcom has announced four new solutions related to Smart TVs which will be displayed at the show. Some of the chips are intended for integration inside the TV unit while others are destined for media streamers or what Broadcom calls Over-the-Top media players. Just ahead of CES, Broadcom has announced four new solutions related to Smart TVs which will be displayed at the show. Some of the chips are intended for integration inside the TV unit while others are destined for media streamers or what Broadcom calls Over-the-Top media players. It would seem that smart TV is not a sexy word any more as Broadcom is using the term hybrid TV instead, although for what it's worth, it's pretty much the same thing. What is 12


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common between all three of the new SoC's from Broadcom is support for Broadcom's own Web 2.0 application framework, Adobe AIR, Qt and Android. This should allow for some varied implementations from the device makers at least. The most basic SoC is called the BCM7219 and as with its higher-end siblings this is a 40nm chip (yes, SoC's are getting smaller and smaller too), although it lacks any really cool features. That said, it'll handle 1080p HD video, both decoding and encoding which means that we should hopefully be seeing more devices capable of recording HD video in the future. Moving up a step we have the BCM7220 which gains OpenGL ES 2.0 support for 3D UI's and maybe even some casual gaming. The third and final model is the BCM7221 which supports 3D TV MVC (Multiview Video Coding) which means that it can handle 3D TV broadcasts/streams. It can also be set up to support video conferencing if the TV has a built in camera. The three chips have been designed to support a wide range of other technologies such as DLNA, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Display, NFC, HomePlug and bog standard Ethernet. Apparently Netgear is one of the first companies that are ready to get on board as soon as the new chips hit mass production as the company is already working with Broadcom. As for other partners we'll just have to wait until CES, although half of the time you wouldn't know what chip is inside these type of devices anyhow.

Published by: VR-Zone

pretty clear from the small sizes of the SSDs that they weren't intended as a main storage option. The Deneva 2 drives sports a SandForce 2141 or 2181 controller (OCZ's website lists both options) and are as such SATA 3Gbps drives. The max read speed is rated at up to 280MB/s with the write speed following closely behind at up to 260MB/s. OCZ apparently has a 120GB model as well as the company is also targeting the Deneva 2 series for embedded applications in the enterprise, industrial and automotive industry. We've already seen Asus utilize mSATA SSDs from Adata, although these weren't intended for caching, but are in fact the main SSD of Asus' Ultrabooks. We're still not convinced that Intel's Smart Response technology is the way forward though, especially as SSDs continue to come down in price whereas at the same time pricing for hard drives are likely to remain quite high for much of this year. So far SSDs seem favourable in Ultrabooks, but as prices come down, we'd expect to see more hard drive equipped models and maybe this is when SSD caching will come into play.

Samsung secures approval for Chinese Flash memory plant Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-secures-approval-for-chineseflash-memory-plant/14431.html January 5th, 2012

OCZ announces mSATA SSD for Ultrabook hard drive caching Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-announces-msata-ssd-forultrabook-hard-drive-caching/14432.html January 5th, 2012

Samsung has been granted permission to build a Flash memory chip plant in China worth in the region of 5 trillion won ($4.5 billion) as the smartphone and tablet computer markets continue to boom. Samsung has been granted permission to build a Flash memory chip plant in China worth in the region of 5 trillion won ($4.5 billion) as the smartphone and tablet computer markets continue to boom.

Being in the retail SSD market isn't a money maker and OCZ has been trying to work its way into the OEM market space for some time. Now the company has announced a new mSATA SSD under its Deneva 2 brand that the company is targeting towards Ultrabooks for some Intel Smart Response caching action. Being in the retail SSD market isn't a money maker and OCZ has been trying to work its way into the OEM market space for some time. Now the company has announced a new mSATA SSD under its Deneva 2 brand that the company is targeting towards Ultrabooks for some Intel Smart Response caching action.

The Korean electronics giant announced the plan early last month, but was forced to seek approval from the South Korean government, which regulates foreign investment. The goahead was given this week on the provision that Samsung set up a committee to prevent potential leaks of its technology. The location of the factory has yet to be decided. It will produce NAND chips using 20nm processing technology and will serve the growing Chinese market, which many see as a lucrative region for smartphone and tablet sales.

The mSATA version of the Deneva 2 (OCZ is already offering standard 2.5-inch SATA drives in the Deneva 2 series) is available in 30 or 60GB and OCZ claims that the drives have been optimized for Intel's Smart Response technology. It's 13


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Published by: VR-Zone

It is not yet clear how much Google paid for these, but we can likely expect it to be hundreds of millions of dollars. The move might also signal plans to buy further patent stashes from other companies, and perhaps more from IBM, throughout 2012. Google previously bought over 1,000 patents from IBM last year and a huge portfolio of around 25,000 patents in an acquisition deal with Motorola Mobility worth $12.5 billion. The company is still awaiting final approval from regulators before that acquisition can go ahead.

Samsung dominates the NAND Flash market with a 40 percent share, with many of the major players in the industry, such as Apple, relying on it for memory chips. Mass production at the Chinese factory is expected to begin in late 2013, with plans to produce 100,000 wafers every month.

Google buys more IBM patents Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-buys-more-ibmpatents/14430.html January 5th, 2012

Google's patent spending spree is largely seen as an effort to protect its interests, which have been threatened by a number of lawsuits taken by Apple against its partners, such as HTC and Samsung. Google is quickly putting itself in a position where it cannot be sued for technology it uses or can at least counter-sue or offer a trade with some of its valuable collection.

Official Launch of VR-Zone Chinese Edition - Attractive prizes to be won! Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/official-launch-of-vr-zone-chineseedition--attractive-prizes-to-be-won-/14429.html January 5th, 2012

Google has bought another 187 patents and 36 patent applications from IBM in efforts to remain ahead of rivals like Apple in the bitter legal wars engulfing the industry. Google has bought another 187 patents and 36 patent applications from IBM in efforts to remain ahead of rivals like Apple in the bitter legal wars engulfing the industry.

VR-Zone is excited to announce the launch of our official chinese edition @ http://chinese.vr-zone.com. To mark this watershed moment, we will be giving away to some lucky readers an ECS X79 motherboard, Corsair power supply and SteelSeries products!

The patents include several related to social networks, such as a system for using semantic networks and a method to identify common interests between users of a communication network. This is particularly interesting, as it means Google is preparing new things for its social network Google+, which launched last year and became a viable alternative to Facebook. There are also patents related to web applications and mobile technology, areas that Google has had major success in with its Chrome web browser and Android operating system.

VR-Zone is excited to announce the launch our official chinese edition @ http://chinese.vr-zone.com, which will have its own 14


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editorial team (headed by industry veteran Chris Low) to produce quality original content and translate selected pieces from our main site. Based in Taiwan where most of the groundbreaking tech stories and product launches are at, the team aspires to serve the rapidly growing North Asian market, and provide exclusive stories for our international readers.

Samsung announces launch of new smartphones and tablets in Singapore

Published by: VR-Zone

The Samsung GALAXY Nexus was announced in October to be the world's first smartphone to run Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Equipped with a 1.2GHz processor, the phone features a 4.65-inch high definition Super AMOLED display and comes with various new innovations including Face Unlock, photo taking with zero shutter lag as well as Near Field Communication (NFC). However, for those who are eagerly waiting for the Samsung GALAXY Nexus will have to wait a while longer. The company said that Android smartphone is expected to be available in February next month.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-announces-launch-of-newsmartphones-and-tablets-in-singapore/14425.html January 5th, 2012

On the first week of 2012, Samsung has announced their new lineup of smartphone and tablets which include the GALAXY Nexus, Omnia W, GALAXY W, GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus and GALAXY Tab 7.7.

While the GALAXY Nexus touts itself as the world's first smartphone with Android 4.0, this new Samsung GALAXY Tab 7.7 claims to be the world's first tablet to feature the Super AMOLED Plus display. The tablet is extremely slim and portable, measuring 7.89mm in thickness and weighing 335g. It is powered by 1.4GHz processor with 1GB RAM and 16GB storage. If that's not enough, the GALAXY Tab 7.7 has a microSD card slot for expansion. The tablet runs Google Android 3.2 Honeycomb and has a 5,100mAh battery that can provide up to 10 hours of video playback. Like the GALAXY Nexus, the Samsung GALAXY Nexus will be available in February.

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Samsung releases audiophilegrade dock speakers

Published by: VR-Zone January 5th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-releases-audiophile-gradedock-speakers/14426.html January 5th, 2012

We have seen smartphones and tablet devices running Google Android mobile operating system. And apparently SiriusXM has recently introduced their new Android portable satellite radio called Lynx. An audiophile-worthy speaker dock for iOS devices and GALAXY S smartphones will be joining the ranks of Samsung products soon. The Samsung DA-E750 may sport a hybrid vacuum tube system akin to high-end audio equipment, but will it make the cut amongst audiophiles?

Audiophiles will be glad to know that Korean company Samsung is offering a new speaker dock, the DA-E750, with a hybrid vacuum tube amplifier technology that will interface with both iOS devices and GALAXY S smartphones while charging their batteries. For those not certain of audiophile jargons, a vacuum tube amplification system is usually present only in premium audio systems, which is said to produce one of the richest sound and has the best audio representation in clarity, despite the technology’s age. Sangchul Lee, senior vice president, Samsung Electronics says “As the leader in home entertainment, we wanted to create products that are unique, highly-functional and beautifully designed, yet offer the crystal clear, rich sound that consumers can enjoy, regardless of the portable device they store their music on.” The 2.1-channel speaker supports analog (composite) and USB inputs, as well as wireless and Bluetooth audio playback, while thumping away with its built-in 100-watt subwoofer. More details may be released at the upcoming Consumer Electronic Show.

SiriusXM unveils Lynx, Android portable satellite radio Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/siriusxm-unveils-lynx-androidportable-satellite-radio/14424.html

The SiriusXM Lynx claims to do everything you want it to - you can use it as satellite radio in the car or at home, or turn it into a portable player via a 3.5mm audio or Bluetooth headphone. It supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity and can record up to 200 hours of your favorite music. With "Show Finder" electronic programming guide, you can access the complete list of what’s on over the next seven days by channel, with the ability to set reminder alerts when favorite shows are being broadcast. The SiriusXM Lynx will be available soon and priced at US$250.

Fuji's mirrorless camera leaks again ahead of next week's unveiling Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fuji-s-mirrorless-camera-leaks-againahead-of-next-week-s-unveiling/14423.html January 5th, 2012

We've already seen what was meant to be some picture of an unfinished version of Fuju's upcoming mirrorless digital camera and now additional pictures have appeared, including a full-on frontal shot of the camera. There are still a lot of things that aren't known about the camera, but one thing is certain, Fuji is really digging retro styling on its high-end cameras. We've already seen what was meant to be some picture of an unfinished version of Fuju's upcoming mirrorless digital 16


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camera and now additional pictures have appeared, including a full-on frontal shot of the camera. There are still a lot of things that aren't known about the camera, but one thing is certain, Fuji is really digging retro styling on its high-end cameras. The camera which is expected to be called the X1 or LX10 should be officially unveiled next week at the PMA show which takes place at the same time as CES, although it won't actually be launched until sometime in February according to Photorumours. The camera looks set to be something quite special, at least as long as you don't mind the retro rangefinder styling.

In the single picture of the camera we can see the 35mm f/1.4 lens which was rumoured, something which should please many a photographer. Fuji has included a viewfinder as we reported previously, although this is apparently not a hybrid viewfinder as seen on the X100. We're also curious about the inclusion of what appears to be an LED light which might be intended for when you're shooting video with the camera. We could be wrong, but the picture seems to suggest that there is a pair of built-in microphones for stereo audio on each side of the LED. There's also what appears to be an auto focus light just below the viewfinder. We'll have to wait a few more days to see what the official word is. Update: The picture above is apparently not the real deal, but rather a mockup of what the camera might look like. Photorumors has a blurry picture from an odd angle of the real deal.

Published by: VR-Zone

Intel's slim-ITX motherboard incentive appears to have spilled over into other markets than the all-in-ones that Intel targeted the standard for initially. Tranquil PC, a UK company that specializes in low-noise media centers and home media servers has taken advantage of the form factor in its new 4cm thin MMC-12 system. The system specifications aren't what we'd call mind blowing, but the MMC-12 should be more than capable at doing its job. The motherboard in question is Intel's own DH61AG and as the name implies this is based on the Intel H61 chipset. In terms of connectivity you'll find a pair of USB 2.0 ports (both high current), two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, a Gigabit Ethernet jack, a pair of audio jacks, a DVI port and an HDMI port. Oddly enough there's no S/PDIF connector on the board which spoils things a little bit when it comes to media center usage.

To the board, Tranquil has added a 35W Core i3-2100T processor which is a 2.5GHz part, a single 4GB SO-DIMM and an 80GB mSATA SSD which we presume is also an Intel made product. The system also sports a slot loaded DVD drive and there's space for one internal 2.5-inch drive for a larger internal drive to compliment the SSD. The entire system is powered by an external power adapter and it's passively cooled, so this is a true zero noise system, despite its low profile. The downside you ask? Well, Tranquil wants a fairly steep ÂŁ649 (S$1,300) for the MMC-12, a steep price for what in reality is a very basic PC, but in this case you're paying for the custom chassis which you won't find elsewhere.

Asus promises Android 4.0 for Transformer Prime from next week Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-promises-android-4.0-fortransformer-prime-from-next-week/14421.html January 5th, 2012

Tranquil launches 4cm thin media center PC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/tranquil-launches-4cm-thin-mediacenter-pc/14422.html January 5th, 2012

Intel's slim-ITX motherboard incentive appears to have spilled over into other markets than the all-in-ones that Intel targeted the standard for initially. Tranquil PC, a UK company that specializes in low-noise media centers and home media servers has taken advantage of the form factor in its new 4cm thin MMC-12 system.

For those lucky few that has managed to get their hands on an Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime the company has announced that it will start rolling out Android 4.0 also known as Ice Cream Sandwich beginning on the 12th of January. On top of that, the company is working on a solution that will allow users to unlock the bootloader, with one small caveat. For those lucky few that has managed to get their hands on an Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime the company has announced 17


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that it will start rolling out Android 4.0 also known as Ice Cream Sandwich beginning on the 12th of January. On top of that, the company is working on a solution that will allow users to unlock the bootloader, with one small caveat. The details were posted on Asus' Facebook page and contain some confusion as it mentions an over the air update with a version number of 8.8.3.33 which will apparently improve the auto focusing of the camera, the fluidity of the touch experience and the APK capabilities in the Android market. Then it goes on to talk about the Android 4.0 upgrade which is also an over the air update, but it's not clear if this contains the aforementioned fixes or not, or if that's a separate update for those not wishing to move on to Android 4.0 as yet. The post also contains a disclaimer about the GPS and the fact that it's not as good as people expected it to be. Asus is making some excuse about the metal chassis of the tablet blocking the signal as well as the usual excuses as to why you wouldn't get a good GPS signal. Either which way it appears that the company has removed the GPS from the spec and it's now a feature that is included but may not work to everyone's satisfaction. Odd to say the least. As for the bootloader and the complaints about Asus locking it down, Asus is making some fairly lame excuse about Google DRM, yet Google's own phones aren't locked down as tightly as the Transformer Prime. Asus is also claiming that bricking is one of the reasons why Asus decided to lock down the Transformer Prime, but anyone that has tried to flash a recent Android device knows that it's relatively hard to brick it. Even so, Asus will apparently be offering a tool that unlocks the bootloader, but this means that you can no longer watch Google video rentals and other similar DRM'ed content on your tablet. Not a big loss in our opinion, but it might be for some.

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Toshiba's press release didn't reveal too much about the specific devices, but we can apparently expect tablets, laptops and smartphones featuring TransferJet. As you'd expect, Toshiba is one of the driving forces behind TransferJet alongside Sony, but many other companies are standing behind the technology including Canon, JVC, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pioneer, Samsung and Sony Ericsson to mention a few of the promoters of the standard. So far most of the companies are Japanese and this is part of the reason why the technology hasn't taken off. Another reason is the relatively high cost and this is what Toshiba is hoping to address with its new LSI, the TC35420 which is a single chip solution for TransferJet that incorporates bot the IC and the RF part. This should not only help simplify the implementation, but also help drive down cost, although at US$5 a pop in sample quantities one can hardly accuse Toshiba for selling the chips on the cheap. Compare this to a USB 3.0 host controller which by now we'd expect to be below US$2 in large quantities and you can see why TransferJet is struggling a bit. Actual transfer speeds of TransferJet are close to that of USB 2.0 at 375Mbps (USB 2.0 has a theoretical data speed of 480Mbps), so as long as you don't mind plugging in a cable, there are much faster alternatives. In as much as we're all for ease of use, it's hard to justify the extra cost and getting slower speed than a wired connection can offer at lower cost. Still, it'll be interesting to see what Toshiba and the TransferJet consortium will demo at the show.

Toshiba to promote TransferJet at CES Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/toshiba-to-promote-transferjet-atces/14420.html January 5th, 2012

You may or may not be familiar with TransferJet, a technology that allows for short range wireless data transfer speeds of up to 560Mbps using the 4.5GHz band. So far there isn't much in terms of devices that supports the standard, but Toshiba and the TransferJet consortium are set to change this at CES where they will be showing off a range of new devices that supports the technology. You may or may not be familiar with TransferJet, a technology that allows for short range wireless data transfer speeds of up to 560Mbps using the 4.5GHz band. So far there isn't much in terms of devices that supports the standard, but Toshiba and the TransferJet consortium are set to change this at CES where they will be showing off a range of new devices that supports the technology. 18


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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.

Asus' Transformer 700-series unveiled, previewed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-transformer-700-series-unveiledpreviewed/14483.html January 9th, 2012

The much rumoured high-end version of Asus' Eee Pad Transformer Prime has just been unveiled by the company as CES, namely the Transformer 700-series, albeit only as a mock-up as yet. The big news here is a move up in screen resolution from 1280x800 to 1920x1200, something that appears to be a common feature about many of the tablets that are appearing at the show. The much rumoured high-end version of Asus' Eee Pad Transformer Prime has just been unveiled by the company as CES, namely the Transformer 700-series, albeit only as a mock-up as yet. The big news here is a move up in screen resolution from 1280x800 to 1920x1200, something that appears to be a common feature about many of the tablets that are appearing at the show.

The Transformer 700-series isn't expected to arrive until sometime in Q2 at the earliest. It will of course arrive with Android 4.0 as standard and The Verge is tipping it to retail for around US$599 (S$777) and US$699 (S$907), that's about US $100 more than the current Transformer Prime. A steep price premium for what is pretty much the same hardware with a better screen and a hard to justify upgrade for anyone that's just got their hands on a Transformer Prime.

Huawei announces Ascend P1 S, claims to be world's slimmest smartphone Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/huawei-announces-ascend-p1-s-claimsto-be-world-s-slimmest-smartphone/14482.html January 9th, 2012

At pre-CES event in Las Vegas, US, Huawei unveiled two new Android smartphones - Ascend P1 and P1 S. The Ascend P1 S claims to be the world's slimmest smartphone, measuring 6.68mm thin and sports a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen display.

As you can see from the video, Asus has gone with a plainer design of the back of the tablet, although that plastic strip on the top should allow for vastly improved Wi-Fi and GPS signals. Asus has also fitted the 8Megapixel camera here and the front camera was given an upgrade to 2Megapixels. The rest of the chassis is still made from aluminium, although at least for the time being it doesn't feature any fancy brushed pattern. Apparently Asus has upgraded the audio though with a pair of its Sonic Master speakers around the back. Connectivity is also quite similar to the Transformer Prime with a micro HDMI port, a micro SD card slot and a combo headset jack. According to The Verge, we're looking at a 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 SoC as well as 32 or 64GB of internal storage, something that wasn't confirmed in the preview video by Asus. The keyboard dock adds an additional USB 2.0 port and a full-size SD card slot, again the same as with the Transformer Prime. The secondary battery is still present in the keyboard dock, as you'd expect. The screen, as we mentioned has a resolution of 1920x1200 pixels and it's using an IPS+ panel with a brightness of 600 nits.

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Published by: VR-Zone

On the left holds the power button and microSD card slot, while the microUSB, SIM card slot and the 3.5mm audio connector are at the top. The volume control is conveniently located on the right. Chinese information and communications technology solutions provider, Huawei, has unveiled the world's slimmest Android smartphone at the pre-Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012. The Huawei Ascend P1 S measures 6.68mm thin and sports a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen display with 960x540 pixel resolution and Corning Gorilla glass. (For comparison, the Samsung GALAXY S II has a thickness of 8.49mm while the Apple iPhone 4S is 9.3mm). On top of that, the Ascend P1 S also touts itself as the most compact and fastest smartphone, equipped with a dual-core 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4460 Cortex-A9 processor. The phone also runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The company alos unveiled the Ascend P1 that has similar functionality to the P1 S, except that it measure 7.69mm in thickness, is approximately 20g heavier and a 1670mAh battery; the P1 S has a 1800mAh battery. Both phones come with 8-megapixel BSI rear and 1.3megapixel high definition (HD) front facing cameras with dual LED flash and HDR effect optimization.

Smartphones and tablets to get USB 3.0 by year's end Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/smartphones-and-tablets-to-getusb-3.0-by-year-s-end/14479.html January 9th, 2012

Smartphones and tablet computers are to get USB 3.0 by the end of this year or early next year, according to the the USB standards organisation at CES 2012. Smartphones and tablet computers are to get USB 3.0 by the end of this year or early next year, according to the the USB standards organisation at CES 2012. Rahman Ismail, CTO of the USB Implementers Forum, revealed that the superfast USB speeds should be available in a MicroUSB port size for mobile devices within roughly a year's time. Data speeds are expected to be around 800Mb/s. To put this into context, Ismail said that a file that takes 15 minutes to send via USB 2.0 will take just over one minute with USB 3.0.

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to go out with a bang at CES 2012, with a wide range of announcements of new and upcoming products.

These speeds fall significantly short of USB 3.0 on PCs, however, which can manage up to 5GB/s, but this is a limitation of portable devices, which need more power to achieve higher transfer speeds. Data transfer is a huge boon, but mobile devices will also benefit in terms of battery recharging if they're powered by USB, as the energy will transmit at an equally faster pace. This will be particularly beneficial considering how power-hungry many modern devices are.

Demonstrations will include the upcoming Windows 8 operating system on tablet computers, something that many in the industry, including rivals like Apple and Google, will be watching very closely.

The mobile USB 3.0 will also be backwards compatible with USB 2.0.

Microsoft is aiming Windows 8 at multiple devices, including PCs, tablets and smartphones, in both the consumer and business markets, touting a range of enterprise features, including the added security of Intel chips, as a major selling point.

Microsoft planning big send-off at final CES

Other announcements will involve Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia for Windows Phone 7, with plans to unveil its launch product for the US market, which could be a deciding factor in the long-term success of the mobile operating system.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-planning-big-send-off-atfinal-ces/14478.html January 9th, 2012

SSD sales to reach record high in 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ssd-sales-to-reach-record-highin-2012/14477.html

Microsoft is expected to deliver a “dazzling” send-off at its last Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week, according to analysts, with demonstrations of both Windows Phone devices and the eagerly-awaited Windows 8 operating system. Microsoft is expected to deliver a “dazzling” send-off at its last Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week, according to analysts. The software giant announced recently that it would no longer be attending the electronics showcase after this year, citing scheduling difficulties as the reasoning for the decision, but some have suggested that the Redmond-based company had fallen out with CES organisers.

January 9th, 2012

SSD sales are expected to reach a record high this year, following on from a phenomenal year of growth in 2011, according to a study by the International Data Corporation (IDC). SSD sales are expected to reach a record high this year, following on from a phenomenal year of growth in 2011, according to a study by the International Data Corporation (IDC).

Analysts at Forrester said that Microsoft is not resting on its laurels for its final outing, however, and that it intends 3


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In 2010 SSD revenue was at $2.4 billion, but that figure increased by 105 percent to $5 billion in 2011, and is set to rise further over the next few years. Shipments of SSDs are expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 51.5 percent between 2010 and 2015. There are a number of reasons why SSD sales are booming, including technology advancements like the impending release of Windows 8, changing dynamics within the PC industry like the growth of tablet computers and ultrabooks, new enterprise server and storage architectures, and the shortage of Hard Disk Drives caused by flooding in Thailand, which is expected to continue to affect HDD supply in the first half of 2012.

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In the first part, we covered the overall situation of Taiwan vendors' predicament, and the need for the branding push to actually make real money without having to drive for multimillion volumes every time. Here we look at the details and specific vendors, with their chances to make it all the way up. So, the point of doing all the product research, design, manufacturing and delivery logistics effort for another vendor, just for that vendor then to capture lions' share of the product margin due to their 'branding' and sales connections, has hit the Taiwanese vendors - not just the biggies like Acer or Asus, who saw it a long time ago - across the board. If the Taiwan producers continue suffering in the low-margin model, no matter how thrifty they are, ultimately the products and the whole business will suffer. Then, we, the consumers, will suffer as well due to the reduced choice in the market from less businesses, and ultimately higher prices from those who survive the storm. So, those of them who have unique values, should have a chance to leap to a higher level of success through some sort of global - or at least regional, here in APAC - branding. What's worth branding?

“2011 was a record year for the worldwide SSD market, with revenue more than doubling year over year due to strong SSD shipment growth in the enterprise and client segments,” said Jeff Janukowicz, research director of SSD and HDD Components at IDC. “The increasing use of flash in enterprise solutions, explosive growth of mobile client devices, and lower SSD pricing is creating a perfect storm for increased SSD shipments and revenue over our forecast.”

Obviously, you can't just put a sticker with fancy naming on yet another 'me too' motherboard, PSU or a memory module, and call it a 'brand'. There were such tries before (look at LianLi casings, for instance) but without success. You got to have something unique, preferably from both product features / performance, and the design looks, to call it a special brand with attached higher price, of course.

IDC believes that SSD prices will drop below the pivotal $1/GB mark in the second half of the year, supporting similar findings from other research firms. This will help alleviate current high prices, which is the primary obstacle to SSD adoption.

Branding push for Taiwanese vendors - Lessons Learnt (Part 2/2) Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/branding-push-for-taiwanesevendors--lessons-learnt-part-22-/14476.html January 9th, 2012

Let's look at ASUS ROG (Republic Of Gamers). When, four years ago, I met Derek Yu, the original Asus ROG manager and the man responsible for the success of the initial, very good quality, ROG lines - anyone remembers the first Rampage Extreme? - we joked that ROG is a funky take on ROC, Republic of China, official naming of Taiwan. However, the combination of top performance with quality components, 4


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some really good OC records, and really unique product design, both from technical and looks points, kept ROG going even through internal Asus political thunderstorms, which still seem to rattle the company from time to time. In some sense, the ROG brand is more successful than their 'Eee' netbook brand, even though the latter one had far more top management attention and funding. Simply, netbooks proved to be not much more than a short-lived fashion fad now replaced by tablets - at least that gave Asus a chance to reuse the 'eee' brand, even though the ARM Android tablets are fundamentally different devices from Atom netbooks.

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chip market, like Crucial had backing of Micron, or bought whole wafers at once, like Kingston. So, G.Skill and GEIL both focused on very very high performance modules, especially in terms of latency. You've surely seen both vendors modules with extremely tight latencies quoted in their world-record announcements. It may not matter so much in the real world applications, but there are enough enthusiasts who would pay extra for the combination of best latency and bandwidth to get the last bit of performance from their systems.

ROG, up to now, has produced some of the best mainboards and graphics cards around, way above what you'd see in the reference designs in both features and performance, even though from time to time there were minor complaints about shortcuts on some of the products. The current Rampage IV Extreme mainboard and the MARS2 graphics card are a good example of 'cream of the crop' stuff. It's a pity that they didn't get top management go ahead for a dual Socket 1366 mainboard last time, as it would have been a worthy competitor to EVGA SR2 and made a lot of money in workstation and financial (high frequency trading) markets like the latter one unexpectedly did. I sincerely hope that, with our 'Shamino' there, we will see a dual Socket 2011 ROG board later this year at least. To make even more of their brands like RipjawsX for G.Skill and Black Dragon for GEIL, they could try to focus on moneyrich workstation markets and the above mentioned rich traders doing low-latency robbing of the world populace by stock market shenanigans, where they could provide very low latency ECC DIMMs with pre-programmed better latencies right in the SPD on the module, avoiding the need to have a special BIOS on workstations that allows latency modification, usually a very rare occurence. The value of these brands would then multiply quickly.

In the same market, only Gigabyte has built similar loyal following for their mainboards. On one side, the UD general purpose series did compete well against ROG to capture many records of its own. Then, the last year's G.1 Killer gaming mainboard series, with the unique design and bullets embedded on the board cooling system, plus offloading the CPU from sound and network load by using dedicated processing for these tasks, attracted quite a good following, as a specifically designed GAMER, not OC enthusiast, sub-brand. Another good example, in an even tougher market, are G.Skill and GEIL - a little similar sounding brands, even I was confused at the beginning. Memory module market is extremely hard to succeed in if looking at the enthusiast segment, especially if you aren't a part of the big memory

Another example where the company itself became a symbol of good brand for specific products are Antec and Xigmatek, two vendors famous for really unique casings and PSUs, as well as cooling systems. Their stuff does go at premium price, but the top end market segments attracted to them do justify the extra dollars with the quality and performance proven, as well as special casing designs, along the way. (Almost) all is in the name OK, Taiwanese are not native English, or other 'ang moh' language speakers. However, if creating an international brand, especially if aimed to be a large business, it pays to spend a bit more money to double check the meaning of the proposed brand in more than just a few languages. A good example is Qisda, an unit of BenQ which in turn was earlier spun off from Acer - still a very large multi-billion dollar company on its own. Yet, Qisda name is associated with the 5


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most vulgar word for female genitalia in much of Eastern Europe, which is the group's important market after all. If it was a much smaller company there eons ago, like Trizda (triple of...), a small Taiwan board level vendor from the early '90s, it could still be understood - but even then, it is a typical case of mentally myopic 'save a penny to lose a dollar' thinking which did badly affect many Taiwanese branding efforts. The lesson for the Taiwanese: when finally taking the leap into the branding battle, spend a bit extra and do a compehensive name meaning check, it won't hurt!

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architectures. Over time, we'll look more at specific success and failure - stories of those vendors in this tough business.

ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Gigabit Router Preview (Final Retail Revision) Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-rt-n66u-dual-band-gigabit-routerpreview-final-retail-revision-/14242.html January 9th, 2012

Branding can strike back, too...

Two months ago, we previewed an engineering sample of the much anticipated RT-N66U Dual Band Gigabit Router from ASUS which was first spotted at COMPUTEX 2011. After going through some hardware and software changes, we finally have the final version in our labs to be stripped bare again, and it is expected to hit local retail shelves soon, after its inception at CES 2012

Back to Acer, or Multi-Tech, as we knew it still some 20 years ago (yes, that name change was justified and created a better , very successful global brand). Some years ago, soon after acquisition of Texas Instruments notebook business the TravelMate line comes from that venture, by the way there were massive complaints about poor quality of many Acer laptops, including from yours truly. The machines were overheating, even the letter markings on keyboards would go off after few monts of use, and the Acer ePower bundled software was giving more trouble than benefit. Overnight, Acer became a synonym for an undesirable laptop, something, I guess, corrected well by now. ThermalTake's water cooling systems suffered the same fate ultimately, due to repeated leakage incidents, that led to less trust into the brand's water coolers. Similarly, their 'Expressar' attempt at fridge cooling also went nowhere, mostly due to the technical problems - the fact that the name sounded like those little breast milk expressors for women didn't help either. On the other hand, their 'Level 10' high end casing series did well, despite luxury-level prices and air flow peculiarities too. There are numerous examples of Taiwanese initial branding successes and failures, that could take whole books to cover. The point is, that's the only way - branding can justify a lot of things like, for instance, easier sales of high end non-reference graphics card designs, or even completely new PC formats and 6


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Back view - the screws for disassembly are under the 4 rubber feet

A stand is bundled with the router so that it can operate upright.

A shot of the power adapter, capable of up to 30W of output

3 Reversed BNC connectors for the antennas, Power Button, 2 USB ports, config reset button, WPS setup button, Gigabit WAN and LAN RJ-45 ports

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Published by: VR-Zone

We covered the T1132N in some detail back in towards the end of November and nothing appears to have changed since then. The T1006M is sort of the little brother to the T1132N and a refresh of the T1005P. The major upgrade here is to a Cedar Trail-M Atom processor, although Gigabyte hasn’t specified which model(s) the company is planning on fitting. All other features appear to be identical to the T1005P, including the 1366x768 resolution touch screen, USB 3.0 connectivity and the option to add your own 3G module.

Gigabyte announces updated notebook, netbook and tablet at CES Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-announces-updatednotebook-netbook-and-tablet-at-ces/14475.html January 9th, 2012

Gigabyte’s notebook division has updated a few of its products in time for CES and we’ve already told you about one of them, the Booktop T1132N. The other two refreshed products are the T1006M convertible netbook and the S1081 tablet, both of which have been given a bump to Intel’s latest Cedar Trail-M Atom processors. Gigabyte’s notebook division has updated a few of its products in time for CES and we’ve already told you about one of them, the Booktop T1132N. The other two refreshed products are the T1006M convertible netbook and the S1081 tablet, both of which have been given a bump to Intel’s latest Cedar Trail-M Atom processors.

Next up we have the S1081, the successor of Gigabyte’s first Atom powered tablet the S1080 which is now close to a year old. Again the major upgrade here is the move to a Cedar TrailM processor, although the hard drive has also been upgraded from 320 to 500GB and Gigabyte has updated the S1081 with Bluetooth 4.0 support. As with the S1080, Gigabyte will be offering a docking station for the S1081 with a built in optical drive and a wide range of connectivity options as well as a pair of speakers and two subwoofers.

AMD Radeon HD 7970 Roundup: Contenders from ASUS, Sapphire and XFX Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7970-roundupcontenders-from-asus-sapphire-and-xfx/14473.html January 9th, 2012

All the boards in our roundup today feature the reference PCB design of the Radeon 'Tahiti XT' HD 7970, with differences only in the pre-programmed default clock speeds, cooling solution, bundled software/accessories, warranties and most crucially, price. We help our readers to make an informed choice... ASUS Radeon HD 7970 A fiery looking box - with ASUS keen to emphasize their GPU Tweak software as a selling point

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Back of Box

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Like the reference design, it requires 8+6 pin PCIe power connectors and preferably a PCIe 3.0 compliant CPU (currently only Intel's SNB-E) for max link speed

Bundled Accessories (1 x MiniDP and 1 x HDMI to DVI convertor, 2 x 6 pin PCIe to 8 pin PCIe, Crossfire bridge) and Documentation Up to six-monitor Eyefinity 2.0 configurations from the miniDP, HDMI and DVI-D ports

ASUS's HD 7970 is based on the reference design by AMD, the only difference being an ASUS sticker pasted on the vapor chamber shroud

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ASUS has bundled an updated version of GPU Tweak software, which allows independent monitoring and control of the GPU and memory clocks/voltage on its cards. Some other thoughtful features we liked were the ability to sync GPU clocks with appropiate voltages (good for novice users), 2D mode clocks removal. FRAPS-like video recording, and Live Update for vBios and drivers.

Published by: VR-Zone

RIM drops two highly anticipated phones Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rim-drops-two-highly-anticipatedphones/14470.html January 9th, 2012

The new year doesn't seem to change the fortune of smartphone maker Research In Motion as it seems they have decided to cancel two projects. Given the series of mishaps they have experienced, relying on only one release this year is an act of putting all the eggs in a basket. Hopefully, that is not the case, but time will tell.

ASUS themed GPU-Z

Research In Motion (RIM), maker of the Blackberry series of phones, have no shortage of bad news as the latest in the long line of disasters involves the cancellation of not one, but two phones originally due to be released this year. The two phones, codenamed Colt and Milan, were to come with Blackberry 10 and Blackberry 7 mobile operating platforms respectively, but both are now scrapped. The Milan was also noted to resemble a lot to the existing Blackberry Torch. As 10


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of now, the only known project that RIM is working on would be the Blackberry London which is based on the Blackberry 10 software. Speculations suggest a 1.5Ghz dual core processor, a pair of cameras of whereby one of them is 8-megapixels in resolution, and topping off with a 3.7-inch display. While this phone may seem to be the company’s only lifeline left to turn their fortune, let's hope that RIM will give everyone a surprise with more exciting releases soon.

Ivy Bridge based Ultrabook with Thunderbolt announced by Acer Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ivy-bridge-based-ultrabook-withthunderbolt-announced-by-acer/14474.html January 9th, 2012

MagicFlip I/O panel

VR-Zone was in attendance at a pre-CES Acer press event where they announced the new Aspire S5 ultrabook and 14/15 inch Timeline Ultra notebook to be launched later this year, featuring the upcoming 'Ivy Bridge' Core i series processors and a retractable I/O panel with a Thunderbolt connector (on the Aspire S5 only). A teaser of the next Iconia Tab with Quad Core and 1080p display was also shown to the attendees. Acer CEO, JT Wang, was there to open the conference with a speech about Acer's commitment to ultrabooks in 2012

14 and 15 inch Timeline Ultra (more later also)

The Aspire S5 ultrabook - more pictures on the next page

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Next generation Iconia Tab - featuring Quad Cores and a 1080p display and probably Ice Cream Sandwich

OCZ Nocti 60GB mSATA SSD Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-nocti-60gb-msata-ssdreview/14472.html January 9th, 2012

OCZ is yet another company which started off as a computer RAM manufacturer and later diversified into other areas of the market. Nowadays OCZ is a renowned manufacturer of computer RAM, power supply units, solid state disk drives and more. OCZ however is one of the very few companies which offer mSATA SSD drives for high end notebooks and embedded systems. Today we are going to have a look at the Nocti 60GB SSD, a mSATA device designed mostly for high end notebooks and desktop systems, the motherboards of which come with an available mSATA slot. Acer also announced AcerCloud - which offers iCloud-like functionality over Windows and Android devices and will be available later this year

OCZ is yet another company which started off as a computer RAM manufacturer and later diversified into other areas of the market. Nowadays OCZ is a renowned manufacturer of computer RAM, power supply units, solid state disk drives 12


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and more. OCZ however is one of the very few companies which offer mSATA SSD drives for high end notebooks and embedded systems. Today we are going to have a look at the Nocti 60GB SSD, a mSATA device designed for high end notebooks and desktop systems, the motherboards of which come with an available mSATA slot.

After Radeon HD7970 'Tahiti', GPU Compute becomes mainstream Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/after-radeon-hd7970-tahiti--gpucompute-becomes-mainstream/14469.html January 9th, 2012

The massive jumps in both peak and actual usable GPU compute FP performance, especially across multiple GPUs, show that both the GPU and OpenCL have matured sufficiently to make graphics compute offload a more viable proposition down to the mainstream. Being among the first to get a hold of the new GPU - and multiples of them at that, in this case AMD Radeon HD7970 'Tahiti' has its advantages, one of them running a lot of tests for the first time for the public to see. In our case, benchmonkey Lennard ran quite a few such benchmark tests on one, two, three and, of course, four cards in parallel. You'd have noticed that the results from the compute tests scaled just as well, if not even better, than the 3-D graphics ones, which on their own did a wonderful scaling job as well - notice even the 3Dmark and Heaven test scaling gains between one and four cards! Putting aside the numbers, which you can see on our site and widely across the Net now as well, the impact is interesting. The AMD GCN new GPU architecture, which basically looks a lot like a vector FP processor surrounded by graphics acceleration hardware, did provide for much higher usable vs peak FP rate, especially for double precision FP critical for mainstream PC and HPC applications. On top of it, the OpenCL programming model has now matured well to handle single and multiple tasks with many threads being well balanced and spread across multiple GPUs, which the benchmark performance gains when running on up to four GPUs have shown. One important thing here is that the GPU compute is not limited by CrossFire - or SLI, on Nvidia - four-GPU barrier. If your application, or multiple tasks, can handle it, and the underlying board has enough PCIe slots to support it, there's nothing to stop you from having, say, eight or more GPUs in a single system, all running GPU compute and/or graphics at the same time. For instance, the upcoming Xeon E5 4600 quad-socket LGA 2011 platform, slated for release mid year, will have a whopping 160 PCIe v3 lanes available direct from the CPUs, enabling 8 or more GPU cards in the system. If each

Published by: VR-Zone

of these is a, say, 1.1 GHz pre overclocked 6 GB RAM HD7970, it would mean a 9 TFLOPs DP FP capability in a single box, yet with 48 GB dedicated RAM on these GPUs for large local dataset processing without having to go to the over an order of magnitude slower PCIe link - keep this in mind, as having to often go to PCIe for slow data movement was one of key limitations in wider GPGPU spread. In those apps where you can tolerate even higher PCIe latency induced by PCIe bridges present on dual-GPU cards, in return for higher total performance, that same Quad Xeon E5 box could take eight dual-GPU, say 975 MHz pre overclocked AMD HD7990, cards, and have 16 TFLOPs peak DP FP performance in a single box. Whether one can fit 2 x 6 GB RAM on a single dual-GPU card right now, remains to be seen, but it would help keep all those data away from having to shuffle over comparatively slower bridged PCIe. Why do I mention pre-overclocked here? Well, it seems AMD was really conservative with clocking the new parts, as so many of them run comfortably even at 1.1 GHz without any voltage changes or such. The yields seem to be good, and there's nothing wrong in producing higher-end binned parts, combined with more memory, to breach the 1 TFLOP peak DP FP limit, which for these cards would be at 980 MHz GPU, or let's just round it up to 1 GHz, frequency. The extra performance helps get a few more FPS in gaming, but it means real, monetizable, compute performance in supercomputing, workstation and multimedia use. Let's see what Nvidia answers in with the GK100 chips in the next few months, then followed by Intel's 'Knights Corner' compute version of the Larrabee project. Either way, with the new 'Tahiti' chips, GPU accelerated computing seems to be more efficient and meaningful.

First Looks: ASUS ROG Rampage IV GENE (Intel X79) mATX gaming powerhouse Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-looks-asus-rog-rampage-iv-geneintel-x79--matx-gaming-powerhouse/14468.html January 9th, 2012

Much like the Rampage and Maximus series of yesteryears, ASUS has a microATX "GENE" variant for its Republic of Gamers X79 offerings, built for small form factor setups but yet offering similar overclocking abilities to its bigger Formula and Extreme brothers. We take an exclusive look at the new Socket 2011 motherboard... Micro-sized box for the microATX motherboard - ASUS has some of the best packaging designers in the industry

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brother, passive heatpipe coolers take care of the cooling of the PCH and MOSFETs.

Rear View Back of board - no chance of accidental electrical shots at the power circuitry area. Notice that the last PCIe x16 slot actually has 8 PCIe lanes of soldering points only.

Included Accessories and Documentation

I/O Panel - Like all the other ASUS X79 boards, Bios Flashback (white USB port) makes it here as well. The eSATA is only 3GB/s and wired from the Intel PCH instead of the usual ASMedia 6GB/s (probably due to limited board space). Gold plated audio connectors are used as well, which is a nice touch. Only 2 USB 3.0 ports are provided, although the 7 USB 2.0 ports should be enough for most users.

The board - we see 4 DDR3 memory slots (which is excusable oweing to its size), 3 x PCIe x16 slots (more on the config later) and 1 PCIe x4 slot. Like its bigger Rampage IV Formula 14


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allowing multiple USB 2.0 devices to be connected and operated at their maximum." At press time, we weren't informed what chips support this feature so we'll have to leave you guessting. Still, this technology is quite neat as now you can copy from one USB 2.0 device to another and have the full available bandwidth, instead of sharing theoretical 60MB/s between the two.

One percent of smartphone users consume half of world's bandwidth VIA Accelerates USB 2.0 Using USB 3.0 Hubs. Confused? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/via-accelerates-usb-2.0-using-usb-3.0hubs.-confused-/14464.html January 9th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/one-percent-of-smartphone-usersconsume-half-of-world-s-bandwidth/14467.html January 9th, 2012

Just one percent of smartphone users consume a whopping 50 percent of the world's mobile bandwidth, according to a study by network management firm Arieso. Just one percent of smartphone users consume a whopping 50 percent of the world's mobile bandwidth, according to a study by network management firm Arieso.

VIA Labs Inc., a subsidiary of VIA Technologies just announced a new way to accelerate the USB 2.0 devices using "USB2Expressway Dedicated Bandwidth Technology" feature.

It isn't a secret that the speed of USB 2.0 devices has gone back over the course of the past couple of years. First and foremost, the USB drives went from fast and expensive SLC to slower and cheaper MLC NAND flash. Secondly, the appearance of USB 3.0 meant that USB 2.0 devices are taking a second place in terms of bandwidth available to the standard.

Capacity is expected to become a bigger issue this year as a a small section of 'extreme' users take up an even larger amount of available bandwidth than before, exacerbated by the growing popularity of mobile devices that are 3G and 4G capable. Owners of newer smartphones appear to be bigger culprits, with the iPhone 4S considered the worst. They consume three times more download data than iPhone 3G users and twice as much as iPhone 4 users. However, Google Nexus One users make twice as many data calls as iPhone 3G users, showing that heavy use is not limited to Apple devices.

One such example was connecting a USB 3.0 device on a 2.0 port and witnessing the bandwidth speed tumbling way below USB 2.0 levels, which are rated for maximum of 480Mbps i.e. 60MB/s. Realistically, you're lucky if you get 30-40MB/s. VIA is now offering "USB2Expressway Dedicated Bandwidth Technology", quite the long name for a feature inside their USB 3.0 hubs which are present on an increasing number of devices (this article is being typed on a HP EliteBook 14“ which utilizes VIA VL810 2-port USB 3.0 chip). The company states that they "eliminate USB 2.0 bandwidth limitations by providing full, dedicated bandwidth per port, 15


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accounts for 17.3 percent of new malware infections, has become a major social networking concern. A hybrid virus is believed to have been created that employs the best of Ramnit and the ZeuS banking trojan, making this latest malware an even bigger threat to people's wallets, particularly considering around 800,000 computers were infected with it in the last four months of 2011.

“The introduction of increasingly sophisticated devices, coupled with growing consumer demand, is creating unrelenting pressure on mobile networks,” said Dr. Michael Flanagan, CTO of Arieso and author of the study. “The capacity crunch is still a very real threat for mobile operators, and it looks set to only get harder in 2012. The mobile industry needs new investment and new approaches to boost network performance and manage the customer experience”. The figures echo similar findings in terms of the world's wealth and will likely fuel Occupy Wall Street protests over the growing divide between the rich and “the 99 percent”, with a small 'elite' becoming increasingly 'well off' with digital information.

Online banking worm steals 45,000 Facebook account details Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/online-banking-worm-steals-45-000facebook-account-details/14466.html January 9th, 2012

The Ramnit worm, which traditionally attacks financial services, has begun stealing Facebook login details, with over 45,000 accounts compromised so far, according to security research firm Seculert. The Ramnit worm, which traditionally attacks financial services, has begun stealing Facebook login details, with over 45,000 accounts compromised so far, according to security research firm Seculert. The worm was originally discovered in April 2010. It can infect both Windows .exe files and HTML files, and it steals sensitive information, including financial data, that is stored in FTP credentials and browser cookies. Now the virus, which

Seculert said that the version of Ramnit that is infecting Facebook is completely new and financially-orientated. It also indicated that most of the 45,000 stolen account details come from the UK and France, suggesting a deliberate targeting of these countries. Once the virus gains access to an individual's account it spreads malicious spam messages to the user's friends, who, trusting the source, click the links and end up with an infection of their own. Corporate networks are also being made vulnerable thanks to the passwords gained from Facebook. Regularly updating your antivirus software, changing and keeping different passwords for each service, and remaining vigilant against suspicious messages, via email or social networks, remains the most effective method to combat this growing threat.

Samsung, LG and others to release Google TV devices Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-lg-and-others-to-releasegoogle-tv-devices/14465.html January 9th, 2012

Samsung, LG and others are to join a growing list of TV manufacturers announcing Google TV products at the Consumer Electronics Show next week.

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Samsung, LG and others are to join a growing list of TV manufacturers announcing Google TV products at the Consumer Electronics Show next week. Samsung is expected to release a number of Google TV devices in 2012. There does not appear to be a date set, so we can probably expect that it will be later in the year, but the move is big, as Samsung is the largest manufacturer of TVs in the world. Another heavyweight joining Google's team is LG, which plans to unveil a line of Google TVs using its own L9 chipset at the Last Vegas electronics event.

Other supporters include Marvell, MediaTek and Vizio, all of which will be hosting demonstrations of their Google TV devices. Sony, one of the few initial partners Google secured, will also be announcing several new Google TV products for the US and other countries. The Android-powered Google TV was released in October 2010, but failed to generate the interest that many expected, particularly due to a falling out with major US television broadcasters like NBC, ABC and CBS. Google released an update for Google TV last October, which introduced a simpler interface and improved experience. Since then Google TV activations more than doubled, suggesting Google's fortunes might be turning around with the once ailing platform.

Published by: VR-Zone January 9th, 2012

Most of PC hardware development, aside from core chips like CPU or memory, is done by Taiwan vendors, even though, for most of the time, they sacrificed most of the margin to their brand-wielding overseas customers. Can the infamous Taiwanese uber-thrift continue to manage the low-margin board business, or should they fight back with their own brands this year? For time immemorial, Taiwanese vendors managed to pretty much control the PC OEM hardware scene, most of this being OEM hardware sales to a 'brand' holding vendor that would put together the final product. The problem with that approach was that lions's share of the total marking between the manufacture and the end user sale was going to that 'brand' and its channels, if any, rather than the Taiwan product manufacturer who put a comparatively greater effort, including capital expenditure. So, the Taiwanese had to use a combination of their well known extreme thrift, which would sometimes make even the Scottish look positively generous, and long hard work combined with scouring for as many as possible customers to build up high volumes necessary to make any money. For instance, for most of the time, Asus, and before it Acer - which called itself Multitech some 20-odd years ago - had majority of their turnover from this OEM / ODM work for big overseas customers, rather than their own brand sales. That brand push started comparatively late, and - at least at the start - kind of shy, with concern that they don't offend the big customers by pushing their own brand, even though it's their own design through and through!

With a host of new partners, including the market leaders, and a slew of new products, Google TV could become the next big thing in the TV industry since the 3D boom in 2010.

However, the accumulated effects of rollercoaster crisisrecovery-crisis times these past few years, and the sea change in market, where Asia-Pacific takes the lead now, are pushing for a change. It meant that, if you still want to have a semblance of stable business for medium to long term, and knowing that those big western or Japanese Tier 1 / 2 vendor customers can disappear overnight too, you, the Taiwan vendor, should control as much of the whole 'vertical stack' as possible - starting from control of your manufacturing facility somewhere in Dongguan or like, right up to the branded end user sales shops worldwide.

Things to look forward to in 2012: Branding push for Taiwanese vendors?

Remember that, as covered here the past few weeks, China has taken control of the whole vertical stack, including the microprocessor design and manufacturing, for the national benefit. However, that rubs of positively on its companies' branding effort too.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/things-to-look-forward-to-in-2012branding-push-for-taiwanese-vendors-/14460.html

Talkin about China, another regional company example Lenovo - which catapulted itself to a global branding success rapidly by taking over IBM PC division, a move considered literally crazy then, but proven wrong - has given an example 17


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that an Asian company outside Japan or Korea - from mainland China, at that - can become a global brand leader. After all, Lenovo bought IBM PC first for the ThinkPad brand, which paid itself over many times, plus the fact that the original PC brand was now in Chinese hands. Acer, than Asus, took that plunge already. The other significant Taiwan name, Gigabyte, is in now as well, although, I feel, their high end server team also has capability to churn out branded products rather than just do it for the others, as is the case now. A bit of extra support and marketing infrastructure is what it would take at this stage. Then we talk about other critical component vendors - on the graphics card side, Palit Group's Gainward brand is a good example. For memories, among the enthusiasts, G.Skill and GEIL brought up well accepted brands for high end modules, just like A-DATA has its own branded memory products across the board. Thermaltake and Antec branding effort also paid off well in the casing, power and cooling departments, while Viewsonic displays are well known under the brand these days. Of course, sales under own brand takes more effort, from marketing, to logistics across the markets present, to convincing the end users that it is your brand that they should choose for their purchase, and to direct fight in the market against what often were your previous 'branded' customers. In the second part of the story, we look at the efforts, and which Taiwan vendors have good chances at making it even more by the brand push at the world scene.

LG launches PRADA 3.0 Android smartphone in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-launches-prada-3.0-androidsmartphone-in-singapore/14463.html January 9th, 2012

Just a month ago, LG and PRADA have announced the collaboration to develop the new LG PRADA 3.0, and today, LG has announced the luxurious phone in Singapore. The smartphone runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and pre-orders will begin tomorrow. The LG PRADA 3.0 features the company's proprietary NOVA display technology on its 4.3-inch TFT touchscreen that boasts 800 nit brightness. Powered by 1GHz dual-core processor, the phone features various PRADA signature design including the Saffiano pattern rear cover, the black and white user interface as well as the limited edition wallpapers. Opening the rear cover reveals the SIM and microSD card slots and the 3.7V 1540mAh Lithium-ion battery. At the top are the power and camera buttons, 3.5mm audio jack as well as the microUSB 18


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connector for power charging and file transfer. According to LG, the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update will be available to the phone in Q2 this year. The PRADA phone by LG 3.0 will retail at S$1,088 without contract and available from February. Preorders and sales information will be also be released by all three telco operators on their website from tomorrow, 7 January. Customers who pre-order the phone from the three telco operators will receive a limited edition PRADA-branded phone cradle worth S$228 (while stocks last). LG will also hold a one-day-only sale on 21 January at their LG Live Store in Marina Bay Sands, and for those who purchase the phone at its retail price (without contract) would also receive the limited edition PRADA-branded phone cradle.

Published by: VR-Zone January 9th, 2012

Nikon Singapore has announced their new flagship digital SLR camera, the Nikon D4. It boasts the latest FX-format CMOS image sensor and EXPEED 3 imaging-processing engine, which claim to offer superior performance and image quality with rich details. According to Nikon Singapore, the D4 will retail in February.

Nikon Singapore announces new flagship D4 digital SLR camera Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nikon-singapore-announces-newflagship-d4-digital-slr-camera/14462.html

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install any application as anyone can access via a web browser with Javascript support, although there are plans to introduce an app for the iPhone and even Android devices in the near future. The Nikon D4 will retail in Singapore, in February. Pricing details will be revealed nearer to launch date. Nikon will also be exhibiting the D4 at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Creative's 100-Core Chip Looks like AMD's Fusion, but with ARM CPUs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/creative-s-100-core-chip-looks-likeamd-s-fusion-but-with-arm-cpus/14459.html January 9th, 2012

The Nikon D4, with the new FX-format CMOS image sensor and EXPEED 3 image-processing engine, has an effective pixel count of 16.2-million and supports a wide range of sensitivity from ISO 50 to ISO 204800. The AF system features 51 focus points with improved speed of initiating autofocus and detect and focus on subjects under low light conditions. The DSLR camera supports high-speed UDMA 7-compatible CompactFlash memory cards and next-generation, high-speed XQD memory cards. It also features Multi-area Mode full high definition (HD) D-movie recording function which can record full HD movies at 30 frames per second and with three movie recording formats to choose from. One of the unique features of the D4 is the built-in wired LAN connector, and it also supports high speed image transfer via wireless LAN (via optional Wireless Transmitter WT-5).

When you plug in the Nikon Wireless Transmitter WT-5, the D4 will create an ad-hoc wireless network that allows users to log on via their mobile devices including mobile phone, tablet or notebook PCs. Simply go to the device web browser and key in the IP address of the digital SLR camera and you can adjust the camera settings, take photos or videos and even view the thumbnails of the photos and videos that were taken. Note that only the first user who log in would have the access to the controls while subsequent users would only have view only privileges. And according to Nikon Singapore, it can support up to 255 users concurrently. There is no need to download or

We received news from ZiiLABS, a subsidiary of Creative Technology Ltd that the company announced a "groundbreaking 100-core ZMS-40 StemCell Media Processor". After looking at the specs, some similarities appeared. With yet another CES starting next week, the time has come for ZiiLABS to announce yet another media processor. This time around, the company revealed a 100-core SoC (System-on-aChip) ZMS-40 which combines 96 "StemCells", floating point units remotely similar to shaders used in graphics cards paired with four Cortex-A9 units operating at 1.5GHz.

If you take a look at diagram above, the concept looks similar to AMD's Zacate (E-Series) and Llano (A-Series) Fusion APUs, but ZiiLABS took few steps further with the architecture which targets Android 4.0 operating system. The base principle of the design is quite simple - pack general processing cores (be that X86 or ARM or MIPS) and pair them with an array 20


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of simple processing units such as MADD (Multiply Add) or FMAD (Fused Multiply Add), pack as many as possible and then program them to accelerate specific tasks using industry standard interfaces (in this case OpenCL). A while back, ZiiLABS debuted ZMS-20 which packed 48 StemCell cores with two ARM Cortex-A9 cores, meaning the ZMS-40 is an evolution, doubling the processing power and optimizing the design. The main focus of ZMS-40 is to serve as a chip for tablets, even though no design wins were announced at press time. The only customer for previous-gen ZMS-08 and ZMS-20 was the parent company, Creative. ZMS-40 supports video decoding and encoding using industry standard H.264 and the upcoming H.265 standard (known as HEVC – High Efficiency Video Coding). Furthermore, ZMS-40 can decode 3840x1080 pixels for true 3D stereo playback, while the maximum supported screen resolution is 2560x1600. The company did not state what manufacturing process is being used or who the manufacturing partner is, but its previous chips such as ZMS-08 (65nm) and ZMS-20 were manufactured at TSMC. The full list of specifications is as follows:

• Dual USB 2.0 HS OTG (Host/Peripheral) controllers with PHY for low system cost • Three independent SDIO/MMC controllers • Extended battery life with robust Dynamic Power Management and Instantaneous On • Enhanced Security: 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and TrustZone ZiiLABS will demonstrate ZMS-40 next week at the CES 2012 show in Las Vegas, NV. However, if you're member of the media or anybody who is not an OEM, you won't be let into the suite as the company is trying to avoid being asked nonscripted questions. With an attitude like that we would not be surprised to see ZMS-40 sticking with a single customer: their parent company.

More AMD Radeon HD 7000 OEM products revealed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/more-amd-radeon-hd-7000-oemproducts-revealed/14461.html January 9th, 2012

• Quad 1.5 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 MP Cores • 96 fully-programmable StemCell Media Processing cores • 58 GFLOPS StemCell compute power • Wide range of accelerated video codecs including HEVC, H.264, VC1 and WebM (VP8) • Support for ZiiLABS implementation

enhanced

Android

4.0

• 2560x1600 (WQXGA) resolution support for nextgeneration LCDs and Displays Features • High-Definition, low-latency video conferencing • Optimized OpenGL ES 2.0 for robust 3D graphics acceleration • Accelerated OpenCL 1.1 (desktop profile) integrated into Android NDK • High Dynamic Range (HDR) Image Processing • High-quality Text-to-Speech and Voice Recognition • Integrated HDMI 1.4 with 3D stereo support • 2GB addressable memory • DDR2/3 at 533 MHz for low-cost • LPDDR2 for maximum memory bandwidth and lowpower • 64-bit wide memory bus • Quad independent video controllers supporting 24-bit displays and cameras • 3V3 and 1V8 I/O's reduce peripheral power consumption

Following the recent reveal of Radeon HD 7670, AMD has now listed an entire range of OEM-only Radeon HD 7000, covering budget oriented graphics cards. As previously expected, these "new" HD 7000 are rebrands of the smallest Northern Islands GPUs - Turks and Caicos, covering HD 7300 to HD 7600. Following the recent reveal of Radeon HD 7670 , AMD has now listed an entire range of OEM-only Radeon HD 7000, covering budget oriented graphics cards. As previously expected, these "new" HD 7000 are rebrands of the smallest Northern Islands GPUs - Turks and Caicos, covering HD 7300 to HD 7600. The cheapest product in the HD 7000 line-up will be HD 7350. It is actually a healthy boost over HD 6350, moving from Cedar to Caicos. This means double the SP and TMU, and an option for GDDR5 - with the higher clocked GDDR5 versions with the potential to nearly double performance over HD 6350. HD 7450/7470 are more direct rebrands from HD 6400, with both featuring the Caicos chip at between 625 to 750 MHz, upto 1GB GDDR5. Moving up, HD 7570 and HD 7670 are essentially direct rebrands of HD 6570 and HD 6670 respectively - both powered by fully enabled Turks. The HD 7500 and 7600 series are left sparse as Trinity based APUs are also likely to be branded under these series. Upcoming Brazos 2.0 APUs will likely fill in the HD 6300 series. Both Turks and Caicos are based on the VLIW-5 architecture featuring DX11, fabbed at 40nm. This provides a distinct disconnect between HD 7600 and HD 7700 - the latter of which is codenamed Cape Verde, featuring the brand new GCN 21


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architecture (which introduces various new features including DX11.1 compliance) using the 28nm process. For now, these entry-level HD 7000 cards are strictly entrylevel. However, the HD 6300, 6400 and 6700 series were also first revealed for OEMs in Feb 2011, with a retail release later in April 2011. Thus, these HD 7000 cards may make it to retail, possibly after AMD fills up the new 28nm GCN based line-up - HD 7700, 7800 and 7900.

LG to showcase new notebooks and super Ultrabooks at CES 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-to-showcase-new-notebooks-andsuper-ultrabooks-at-ces-2012/14458.html January 9th, 2012

LG will be showcasing their new notebook as well as all-in-one PCs at next week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, US. The new products boast breakthrough technologies from the company including IPS display, glasses-free 3D and Super Speed Boot that will improve the personal computing experience.

Published by: VR-Zone

notebooks in the market. Powered by the second generation Intel Core i7 processor, the Z330 is equipped with the latest SATA3 Solid State Drive (SSD) and features a 13.3-inch high definition display. The Ultrabook measures 14.7mm thin throughout, weighs 1.21kg and comes with a gyro-brush line finish, which gives it the chic look. LG Z430 Super Ultrabook The Z430 is a 14-inch model in the Super Ultrabook Series that promises superb performance in a sleek, compact chassis. It is equipped with second generation Intel Core i7 processor, as well as SSD and HDD storage. The Z430 claims to be the most compact 14-inch notebook available in the market. It weighs a portable 1.5kg and comes with metallic cover with a gyrobrush line finish. LG P535 notebook The LG P535 cinematic 3D notebook is designed to please style-conscious users who want comprehensive entertainment experience. It sports a 15.6-inch super-slim LED backlight display, weighs 2.2 kg, and is powered by the second generation Intel Core i7 processor and NVIDIA’s latest GeForce GT 630M graphics card. the P535 boasts unbeatable performance, along with a wide display panel that exhibits superior CINEMA 3D capabilities. LG A540 3D laptop Consumers who want 3D entertainment on their laptop would want to check out the LG A540. It is equipped with the second generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, Nvidia GT555M graphics card and glasses-free 3D display panel for true-tolife visuals. Add in the SRS premium sound effect, 4.1-channel 3D sound and CINEMA 3D display technology, movie fans can enjoy immersive 3D experience on the A540 15.6-inch Full high definition display with LED backlight. The LG also comes with 3D editing software that allows users to personalize their 3D images and videos. LG V300 All-in-One PC

LG will be showcasing four new notebooks and an all-inone PC at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in Las Vegas. The products include the new Super Ultrabook series, the Z330 and the Z430, which offer powerful performance and sleek design; the P535 and the A540 3D notebooks; and the V300 23-inch all-in-one PC with 3D display and In-Plane Switching (IPS)-enabled wide viewing angle. LG Z330 Super Ultrabook The Z330 claims to be the most compact product in LG’s new Super Ultrabook series, and boasts stylish design, superior features, performance and portability. It incorporates LG’s proprietary Super Speed Boot technology that enables rapid booting, roughly three times faster than other 13-inch

The LG V300 claims to be the company’s first-ever all-in-one PC to feature Film Patterned Retarder (FPR) 3D technology and IPS display. FPR technology offers vivid and immersive full HD 3D viewing experience on the V300's 23-inch Full high definition display, while IPS display provides wide viewing angle of up to 178-degrees. The LG V300 is also equipped with a triple camera system that offers a superior multi-touch experience. LG will be launching the Super Ultrabook Series and the new 3D notebook models worldwide in the first quarter of 2012.

Corsair Performance Pro 256GB SSD review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/corsair-performance-pro-256gb-ssdreview/14456.html

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After the Thailand catastrophe which tripled the prices of mechanical drives, solid state drives became a much more appealing option for many users; especially for performancecrazed enthusiasts. It also increased the sales of high performance and capacity drives, even though the bulk of the sales still rely on low capacity, cost effective products. Power users require not only a very fast device but sometimes also a device large enough to store their data and with proven reliability, with storage becoming a critical issue particularly when using notebook computers which are limited to a single internal 2.5� drive. This is where Corsair came in with the release of the Performance Pro series 256GB drive, a product designed to offer high performance, adequate capacity and maximum reliability to power and professional users.

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few TV sets, none of them are anything like the telyHD from Telylabs. That said, you'll need to have a real desire to use your TV as your main Skype video conferencing setup with the telyHD as this Tegra 2 and Android powered HD camera doesn't come cheap. With the various solutions already available in the Skype shop for use with TV's, the pricing is somewhere between US $129.99 and US$169.99, much more expensive than a decent webcam for a computer. That said, the telyHD is far more expensive than any of these solutions at US$249.99. This is a bad start for the telyHD, but things aren't that clear cut as the telyHD has a few advantages over its competitors. For starters the telyHD will work with any TV as long as it has an HDMI port. It does require its own internet connection, but with built in 10/100Mbit Ethernet as well as 802.11b/g/n WiFi it shouldn't be too hard to get it connected to the internet one way or another. The telyHD does as the name suggests support 720p video, although it can do 25fps in HD (Skype's website lists it at 30fps) where some of the other TV friendly solutions can only do 22fps.

After the Thailand catastrophe which tripled the prices of mechanical drives, solid state drives became a much more appealing option for many users; especially for performancecrazed enthusiasts. It also increased the sales of high performance and capacity drives, even though the bulk of the sales still rely on low capacity, cost effective products. Power users require not only a very fast device but sometimes also a device large enough to store their data and with proven reliability, with storage becoming a critical issue particularly when using notebook computers which are limited to a single internal 2.5� drive. This is where Corsair came in with the release of the Performance Pro series 256GB drive, a product designed to offer high performance, adequate capacity and maximum reliability to power and professional users.

Skype teams up with Telylabs to deliver Tegra 2 powered HD camera Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/skype-teams-up-with-telylabs-todeliver-tegra-2-powered-hd-camera/14455.html January 9th, 2012

Ah yes, home video conferencing, an area where Skype is trying hard to be the leader and although we've already seen a few solution from Skype's partners that work with a select few TV sets, none of them are anything like the telyHD from Telylabs. That said, you'll need to have a real desire to use your TV as your main Skype video conferencing setup with the telyHD as this Tegra 2 and Android powered HD camera doesn't come cheap. Ah yes, home video conferencing, an area where Skype is trying hard to be the leader and although we've already seen a few solution from Skype's partners that work with a select

As the telyHD isn't interfacing with whatever software the TV is running, it also comes with its own remote and this is for more than just switching on the telyHD as behind the back of the camera you'll find a USB port and an SD card slot which allows you to share photos with other telyHD owners. Some of the other TV enabled cameras are also limited to only being able to call users running Windows versions of Skype, whereas the telyHD allows you to call any device running Skype. As we mentioned, the telyHD runs android and it has a dual core Tegra 2 chip at its core with 512MB of RAM and 2GB of built in storage. That's better than many smartphones and helps to at least partially explain the high cost. Telylabs is also working on various apps for the telyHD that will take advantage of the features of the camera beyond just being a Skype video phone. We can see this being a useful solution for those that aren't familiar with using computers, but considering that most people well into their 70's these day

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have computers and manage to use Skype, we're not sure that the telyHD will be a hit.

hybrid viewfinder is said to feature a zoom function, hence why it can work will all the difference lenses, as well as parallax compensation.

Fujifilm's X-Pro1 leaks for real this time

What looked like an LED light in the mock-up picture posted earlier is apparently an external auto-focus sensor and not a light at all. The body of the camera is made out of aluminium alloy and should be quite durable, something you'd expect for a camera in this market segment. All the lenses are also mate out of metal, but this is par for the course on higher-end lenses.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fujifilm-s-x-pro1-leaks-for-real-thistime/14454.html January 9th, 2012

It was only a couple of days since we last wrote about Fuji's upcoming digital interchangeable lens camera and thanks to an early press release and an eager French camera magazine, we know have some much better details, including pricing of Fuji's new high-end camera. In the end the name ended up being the X-Pro1, but much of the previous rumours have proven to be true in the end. It was only a couple of days since we last wrote about Fuji's upcoming digital interchangeable lens camera and thanks to an early press release and an eager French camera magazine, we know have some much better details, including pricing of Fuji's new high-end camera. In the end the name ended up being the X-Pro1, but much of the previous rumours have proven to be true in the end. The X-Pro1 will feature a Fuji developed 16Megapixel APS-C sensor with Fuji's EXR processing technology and a new filter array. Contrary to the early rumours it will indeed feature a hybrid view-finder and we're looking at a second generation implementation that is compatible with the three prime lenses that will be available at launch. The three lenses are as the rumours predicted an 18mm f/2.0 (27mm equivalent), a 35mm f/1.4 (53mm equivalent) and a 60mm f/2.4 (90mm equivalent). The fact that Fuji is launching the camera with only three prime lenses is telling you what kind of pricing to expect for the X-Pro1 and its lenses, but more on that later.

Cost wise the X-Pro1 should retail for around â‚Ź1,300 (S $2,150/US$1,660) in Europe, around the same price as Sony's NEX-7. The lenses are said to be retailing for around â‚Ź600 (S $990/US$770) each, so it's not a cheap camera system to buy into. We should know more about the X-Pro1 in a few days' time, although the actual launch isn't expected for another month or so.

VESA announces Mobility DisplayPort preview at CES Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/vesa-announces-mobility-displayportpreview-at-ces/14453.html January 9th, 2012

We haven't heard a peep about Mobility DisplayPort or MYDP for short, for nearly a year, a display interface standard that's intended for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. MYDP combines DisplayPort and USB connectivity over a single connector, much like MHL except for the small fact that MYDP has the blessing of the VESA standards organization. We haven't heard a peep about Mobility DisplayPort or MYDP for short, for nearly a year, a display interface standard that's intended for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. MYDP combines DisplayPort and USB connectivity over a single connector, much like MHL except for the small fact that MYDP has the blessing of the VESA standards organization. MYDP offers a lot of advantages over MHL, for starters it supports DisplayPort 1.2. This small fact allows for 4k x 2k resolution at 60Hz, multi-stream support, panel selfrefresh, 1080p 3D video, 7.1-channel HD audio support and data rates of up to 21.6Gbps. In all fairness most of these things are overkill for today's mobile devices, but it's at least good to know that it's there for future devices, especially as DisplayPort is meant to be the display interface for this century and maybe even the next.

The French magazine article contains further details and for starters the camera will ship with the 35mm lens as standard. The crop factor for the lenses is 1.5, much the same as with other APS-C sensor cameras. The 60mm lens is apparently macro capable and Fuji has come up with its own X-mount for the lenses. For those that care the bayonet system has a 17.7mm flange-to-sensor distance and should be well suited for adaptors to use third party lenses with the camera. The 24


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third party, although the press release doesn't go into any details with regards to the software itself beyond the fact that it'll allow for hard drive caching to take place. Apparently the software is fully automated, runs in the background and doesn't require any user interaction once installed.

The downside of MYDP in consumer devices is the fact that DisplayPort connectors aren't found on your average TV, although more and more computer displays are starting to adopt the interface. As DisplayPort is using a different kind of signalling that HDMI and DVI active adapters are needed, such as the one pictured above and these are significantly more costly than a passive adapter. That said, with a bit of luck well see DP++ support which means that passive adapters can be used for resolutions up to 1080p, but this will require additional support inside the device itself. As MYDP is only a proposed standard at this stage, it'll need to have the VESA members agreeing upon its implementation, although the standard is already backed by companies such as STMicroelectronics, ST-Ericsson and Analogix. MYDP also has the advantage of being royalty free, unlike HDMI. VESA's demo at CES should hopefully help push the standard forward, but with MHL already being adopted in a wide range of consumer devices, MYDP is fighting an uphill battle.

Crucial announces Adrenaline SSDs for hard drive caching Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/crucial-announces-adrenaline-ssds-forhard-drive-caching/14452.html January 9th, 2012

As for the SSD itself, it's a 50GB Crucial m4 SSD with an Adrenaline sticker as per the picture, but again we don't have any specifics in terms of performance, but we'd expect it to have lower performance than the 64GB m4 drive. This means sequential read speeds of around 500MB/s and write speeds of presumably less than 95MB/s. However, in a caching setup the IOPS are more important and the Crucial m4 drives do quite well here with the 64GB model managing around 45K IOPS in 4KB random reads and 20K IOPS in 4KB random writes and again we should see similar if slightly lower performance out of the Adrenaline drive. No word on pricing as yet, but it should hopefully end up under US$100, especially as Crucial's 64GB m4 model is priced at US$112. The Adrenaline drive is said to launch sometime later this quarter and it'll come with a three year warranty.

Is it just us or are we seeing nearly a new SSD for hard drive caching on a daily basis now? Well, no matter, Crucial has announced its entry into the SSD caching business with a new drive that the company calls the Adrenaline which in essence is a Crucial m4 SSD, a bracket and some caching software, of which the latter makes this an interesting offer. Is it just us or are we seeing nearly a new SSD for hard drive caching on a daily basis now? Well, no matter, Crucial has announced its entry into the SSD caching business with a new drive that the company calls the Adrenaline which in essence is a Crucial m4 SSD, a bracket and some caching software, of which the latter makes this an interesting offer. Unlike most companies, Crucial hasn't relied on Intel's Smart Response technology to handle the caching, instead Crucial is providing what we presume is sourced software from a 25


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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.

Gelid Darkforce Gaming Case Review

Fans (Rear): Fans (Right): Fans (Top): Hot-Swap Harddisk Dock: Material:

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gelid-darkforce-gaming-casereview/14513.html January 11th, 2012

Arcylic Side Window Motherboard Type: Net Weight: Power Supply:

Among enthusiasts and technology savvies, Gelid is a well known manufacturer of PC component cooling solutions. A few months ago we had a look at the GX-7, the best CPU cooler the company offers at this point of time. We were taken aback when a few weeks ago Gelid announced not a cooling related product but a high performance gaming case which the company baptized “Darkforce”. Being the first case Gelid ever released, this is the company’s stepping stone towards the case market and we are going to thoroughly examine its features and thermal performance in this review. Among enthusiasts and technology savvies, Gelid is a well known manufacturer of PC component cooling solutions. A few months ago we had a look at the GX-7, the best CPU cooler the company offers at this point of time. We were taken aback when a few weeks ago Gelid announced not a cooling related product but a high performance gaming case which the company baptized “Darkforce”. Being the first case Gelid ever released, this is the company’s stepping stone towards the case market and we are going to thoroughly examine its features and thermal performance in this review. 3.5" Drive Bay: 5.25" Drive Bay: Acrylic Window: Color: Dimensions (LxWxH): Extension Slot: Fan Power Extention PCB: Fans (Base): Fans (Front):

6+1 (Converted from one 5.25" Drive Bay) 4 (Without the Use of 5.25" to 3.5" Tray) 361.5 X 280 mm Visible Area with 3mm Thickness Black 530 x 207 x 505 mm / 20.9 x 8.1 x 19.9 inch 8+1 2 (Supports up to 6 Fans) 2 x 140 or 120mm (Optional) 2 x 120mm (1 x 120 x 25mm Fan @1200rpm included)

1 x 120 x 25mm Fan 1200rpm Side: 1x 80 or 120mm x 15mm Fan (optional) 2 x 140 or 120mm (Optional) 1 (Recommend Enabling AHCI Hard Drive Mode) 0.7mm SECC Steel Body Plastic Bezel with Metal Mesh Full ATX / Micro-ATX 9.2KG / 20.08LBS Support ATX PS2 / EPS 12V (Optional)

Kingston Shows off New HyperX Memory Modules, SSDs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kingston-shows-off-new-hyperxmemory-modules-ssds/14512.html January 11th, 2012

Kingston showed off some of its latest creations alongside the ongoing International CES event, in Las Vegas. Visiting journalists were shown a variety of products from Kingston's PC memory and SSD portfolios. To begin with, Kingston unveiled its latest HyperX module design, the HyperX T1. These modules are designed for overclocking, and keeping in mind today's congested highend motherboards. The DRAM chips on these modules are passively cooled by chunky aluminum with fins extended vertically. These modules will be likely available in lower module densities (up to 8 GB per module), but will pack very high out-of-the-box XMP 1.3 profiles, with headroom for more overclocking.

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Moving on, Kingston showed off a HyperX module with redcolored heatspreaders. Probably riding on the risk of these modules being shunned for looking too much like G.Skill modules from last decade, Kingston labeled these "Limited Edition". Available in capacities of up to 8 GB, these modules will carry mid-range clock speeds of DDR3-1600 MHz.

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Kodak sues Apple and HTC over alleged patent infringement Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kodak-sues-apple-and-htc-overalleged-patent-infringement/14511.html January 11th, 2012

Camera company Eastman Kodak has sued Apple and HTC over the alleged infringement of a number of patents relating to digital camera images, a move that could rescue the firm from impending bankruptcy. Camera company Eastman Kodak has sued Apple and HTC over the alleged infringement of a number of patents relating to digital camera images, a move that could rescue the firm from impending bankruptcy. Kingston also ran a demo of its HyperX Genesis 8 x 8GB quad-channel memory kit, on a Sandy Bridge-E testbench. This particular kit is capable of DDR3-2400 MHz, which is impressive for modules with sheet-thin heatspreaders.

Kodak claims that Apple has infringed four of its digital camera patents and HTC has infringed five. It also previously filed a patent lawsuit against BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM). It is seeking an injunction against the sale of the infringing products, which include the iPad 2, iPod Touch, several iPhone models, and a number of HTC smartphones. It also wants compensation for its losses, including triple damages.

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The ultrabook features a range of options, including Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, Intel HD 3000 graphics, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and 128GB or 256GB solid-state drives. An additional 100GB of cloud storage is offered via Dell DataSafe. Intel Smart Connect allows automatic updating of calendar and email, while Intel Rapid Start helps improve boot times, which will already be faster thanks to the SSD. The XPS 13 also comes with a 12-month subscription to Skype Premium for voice and video chat. Kodak has been struggling to survive, having made a late move into the digital camera arena. The widespread availability of cameras in mobile phones has likely also contributed to its plummeting sales. Things are so bad for the company that it might file for bankruptcy, but it is hoping to avoid that outcome by revamping its business and selling off key assets, such as a portfolio of over 1,000 of its patents. However, if it secures licensing deals and large settlements from HTC and Apple, the latter of which has a market value over 2,400 times higher than Kodak, it could potentially keep itself afloat. At the time of writing, Kodak shares were up $0.22, or 36.7 percent, to $0.82.

Dell unveils XPS 13 ultrabook with edge-to-edge display Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dell-unveils-xps-13-ultrabook-withedge-to-edge-display/14510.html January 11th, 2012

Dell touts its XPS brand as one of its leading ranges, totalling 20 percent of its consumer laptop business, with revenue growing 207 percent in this area over the last year. Dell is offering a free T-Mobile 4G Mobile HotSpot and 90 days of free 4G access for the first 10,000 customers who buy an XPS 13 in the US. The ultrabook will go on sale at the end of February in the US, with a price tag starting at $999. Those who chose more powerful features, such as an i7 processor, will pay significantly more. Dell plans to release the XPS 13 to other countries in March.

Dell has unveiled the XPS 13, its first ultrabook with edge-toedge display, offering a slew of features in an ultraportable package. Dell has unveiled the XPS 13, its first ultrabook with edge-toedge display, offering a slew of features in an ultraportable package. The laptop comes with a 13.3-inch high-defition WLED 300nit display that utilises edge-to-edge glass, resulting in what Dell is calling a nearly frameless display panel. This means that the display fits within a case size that would normally be used for an 11-inch product, making it several inches smaller than other 13.3-inch laptops.

Intel and Motorola Mobility join forces for smartphones and tablets Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-and-motorola-mobility-joinforces-for-smartphones-and-tablets/14509.html January 11th, 2012

Intel and Motorola Mobility are teaming up to provide Android-powered smartphones and tablets using Intel Atom 3


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processors, with the first devices expected for release later this year. Intel and Motorola Mobility are teaming up to provide Android-powered smartphones and tablets using Intel Atom processors. The duo announced the deal at the International Consumer Electronics (CES) show in Las Vegas, where they said that they will be partnering for multiple devices over a period of years, with the first Motorola smartphones using Intel chips expected later this year.

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Intel to Release Romley platform, 8-core Sandy BridgeEP at CeBIT 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-to-release-romley-platform-8core-sandy-bridge-ep-at-cebit-2012/14506.html January 11th, 2012

The companies plan to deliver devices with high performance and long battery life, the latter of which is becoming increasingly important as smartphones and tablets eat up power. The partnership is more than just about supplying chips to Motorola, however, as they also plan to collaborate on software and services.

On this years’ CES 2012 conference in Las Vegas, we spoke with several vendors of commercial products and the main product for them in first quarter will (finally) be the long awaited arrival of SNB-EP and Romley.

“When great silicon and software technology meets great mobile and design innovation, amazing things can happen,” said Paul Otellin, president and CEO of Intel. “Our long-term relationship with Motorola Mobility will help accelerate Intel architecture into new mobile market segments. We expect the combination of our companies to break new ground and bring the very best of computing capabilities to smartphones and tablets, which in turn will help to create powerful new experiences that connect and enrich people's lives wherever they may be.”

The X79 Romley is getting a nice feature and performance update in the terms of features the company had to disable for the launch of X79 and Core i7-3000 series processors. For starters, Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) makes a debut. That is one move that will make a lot of specialized controller vendors shiver, since they base their business upon selling the PCIebased SAS RAID cards.

The new workstation/server platform will bring the aging X58 based Tylersberg chipset platform to its end and be succeded by X79 based Romley.

Motorola Mobility’s chairman and CEO, Sanjay Jha, said that there is a lot of room for growth still in the smartphone market, with only 800 million people using smartphones, compared to a 5 billion mobile subscriber base. The partnership is particularly significant given that Google is in the process of buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, an acquisition that is awaiting approval from a number of regulators around the world. If it goes ahead it will mean an even stronger relationship between the internet giant turned software developer and the world's leading chipmaker. The financial details of the deal were not revealed.

If we add to boot that Intel will support TRIM inside RAID0 array with the new RST, the need for SAS controllers might become thing of the past. Then again, we’ll see if Intel learned their lesson on scaling, since it was quite easy to saturate the available bandwidth with four SSDs on the Intel chipsets of the past. Not to mention the enabled two more processing cores and the missing 5MB of L3 cache from the Core i7-3800 processors, meaning we’re heading into wonderful world of octal-core processors and CPU dies with 20MB of cache and more.

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The platform is expected to finally launch with the first day of CeBIT, on March 6, 2012. You can expect a tidal wave of news from that show, only two months from now.

Report: AMD Radeon HD 7950 releases on January 31st Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/report-amd-radeon-hd-7950-releaseson-january-31st/14505.html January 11th, 2012

AMD is preparing to release the second GCN-based SKU, Radeon HD 7950 on January 31st. Unlike the HD 7970 Dec 22nd paper launch, this should be a hard release with retail availability, slipping in under the HD 7970 with an expected retail price of $449. AMD is preparing to release the second GCN-based SKU, Radeon HD 7950 on January 31st. Unlike the HD 7970 Dec 22nd paper launch, this should be a hard release with retail availability, slipping in under the HD 7970 with an expected retail price of $449. Radeon HD 7950, as it's name suggests is a harvested Tahiti chip with 28 CUs enabled, for a total of 1792 SP and 112 TMU. However, all memory channels are enabled and the 384bit interface will drive 3GB GDDR5 memory. A cheaper 1.5 GB variant is also expected in the future. Clock speeds and performance are not known yet, but judging by the general specifications and price, it should end up edging out the GTX 580. Following HD 7950, both Pitcairn / HD 7800 and flagship dual-Tahiti New Zealand are expected to release in February/ March 2012. Interestingly, Fudzilla also report that NVIDIA is planning to release its first Kepler GPU - GK104 - around the same time.

Wi-Fi Display coming by midyear, partners already working on it Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/wi-fi-display-coming-by-mid-yearpartners-already-working-on-it/14504.html January 11th, 2012

Last week we wrote about Intel's plans for its WiDi technology and one of the new additions this year will be support for WiFi Display, although we didn't know much about it at the time. Now some additional details have emerged at CES and as we

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suspected, Wi-Fi Display is a standard by the Wi-Fi Alliance which could drive Wi-Fi enabled display products into the mainstream. Last week we wrote about Intel's plans for its WiDi technology and one of the new additions this year will be support for WiFi Display, although we didn't know much about it at the time. Now some additional details have emerged at CES and as we suspected, Wi-Fi Display is a standard by the Wi-Fi Alliance which could drive Wi-Fi enabled display products into the mainstream. The details are still fairly slim with a short mention in a press release by the Wi-Fi Alliance. It mentions support for “rich video and audio content, including HD video� but doesn't go into any details. We presume it'll rely on Wi-Fi Direct as the press release goes on to mention that there's no need for a traditional Wi-Fi network to use Wi-Fi Display. Thankfully Marvell also issued a press release that talks a bit more about Wi-Fi Display and the company is apparently running demoes at its booth at CES. From this press release it's pretty clear that it's Wi-Fi Direct based as it mentions peer-topeer connectivity. Even though the technology is labelled WiFi Display, it will support audio streaming, so we'd expect to see this in Hi-Fi equipment as well as built into TVs, projectors and what not. In fact, Marvell is expecting Wi-Fi headphones that connect to your home stereo, although we're not so sure about this one. Marvell will implement support for Wi-Fi Display into its range of Avatar Avastar Wi-Fi solutions and the company is working on a new Wi-Fi stack to add features such as link provisioning and management, video transcoding, 1080p HD video transport over Wi-Fi and of course DRM. Marvell is expecting to add support to Android and Windows based mobile devices as well as HDMI dongles with Wi-Fi Display, Blu-ray and set top boxes and even throws in a mention of Google TV which makes sense as the company is making the chips for the second gen Google TV hardware. Wi-Fi Display should have a couple of advantages over any current wireless display technology, as for one Wi-Fi can be found in just about any type of device these days. Secondly it's cheap to implement, something that guarantees a widespread adoption and something that's preventing technologies such as WHDI which has proven to be quite costly. There are of course limitations, but considering Intel claims to be able to do 3D video over WiDi, we see no reason why this shouldn't work over Wi-Fi Display in the future. We wouldn't expect higher resolution video or 1080p60 video to work, nor does multiple video streams work, yet. This is something the recently announced 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard would be able to address and again shows that going down the Wi-Fi route makes sense, as there's no reason why 802.11ac wouldn't get support for Wi-Fi Display. We'll keep an eye on things as they develop, as there are still a good six months until the first devices will start to appear with Wi-Fi Display support.

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AMD demonstrates 17W Trinity, GCN HD 7000M GPU Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-demonstrates-17w-trinity-gcnhd-7000m-gpu/14502.html January 11th, 2012

At CES 2012, AMD demonstrated notebooks running Trinity - with heavy workloads - and high-end HD 7000M graphics featuring next-gen 28nm GCN GPUs. AMD's neat Trinity demonstration can be viewed at Youtube (courtesy HotHardware).

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Sony PlayStation Vita to land in Singapore on 22 February 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-playstation-vita-to-land-insingapore-on-22-february-2012/14501.html January 11th, 2012

Good news to those of you in Singapore who have been eagerly waiting for the PlayStation Vita since last year. Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong has announced that the handheld game console will be available from 22 February.

Assuming you have viewed the video or do not mind spoilers, AMD is actually showing off Trinity running Dirt 3 live in DirectX 11 and converting videos using Arcsoft MediaConverter on two different monitors. While impressive as it is, AMD later reveals these two monitors are actually driven by a notebook, which itself is running a video (a possible poke at Intel's botched Ivy Bridge demo). Even more impressive is that the notebook is using a ULV variant of Trinity with a TDP of only 17W. So that's three displays driven with three different workloads, off a single 17W APU. It is worth noting that while MediaConverter supports GPU acceleration, AMD opted to turn it off and run it CPU-only to better distribute load. The CPU usage is shown to be in the 60% range - so this platform has even more headroom! One of the stories of CES 2012 has been ultrabooks with 17W Intel Core products, so it is no surprise that AMD is targeting the 17W market. Of course AMD avoids calling the demo notebook "ultrabook", instead opting for "ultra-thin". One of the primary complaints about Intel-based ultrabooks has been inflated pricing - AMD can drive these new ultra-thin form factors down to a much lower price point. Trinity features upto 2 Piledriver modules, or 4 cores, combined with a Radeon GPU rumoured to be based on the VLIW-4 architecture. However, there is no word on whether the 17W demo'd APU is the 2 module or 1 module variant. AMD also showed off working high-end HD 7000M GPU (in single as well as Crossfire configurations) based on Pitcairn - a true next-gen 28nm GCN architecture GPU. Likely to be branded HD 7800M or HD 7900M, these Pitcairn based mobile GPUs will form the high-end for AMD's Radeon HD 7000M family. In addition, AMD demonstrated a new I/O solution called Lightning Bolt (curiously similarly named to Thunderbolt), which enables connecting a mobile PC up to 4 external displays, multiple USB 3 devices through a single DisplayPort 1.2 cable. MSI and Acer tablets powered by Z-01 APU were also shown running Android 4.

Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong (SCEH) has announced that the PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) Wi-Fi handheld game console will be released in Singapore on 22 February 2012. The suggested retail price for this model will be S$399. Gamers will not only enjoy the rich and immersive gaming content, but also have easy access and greater opportunity to communicate with friends through the addition of social networking services and communications widely used around the globe such as Facebook, Flickr, foursquare, Skype, and Twitter. You can also share your photos and movies with friends and peers. Accompanying the launch of PS Vita is a line-up of peripherals and accessories including memory cards, and the “Accessory Pack�, which consists of a case, protective film, cleaning cloth, game card case and wrist strap. The PS Vita launch titles include Army Corps of Hell (English Version), BLAZBLUE CONTINUUM SHIFT EXTEND (English Version), DUNGEON HUNTER ALLIANCE, Dynasty Warriors NEXT (English Version), EA SPORTS FIFA Football, MICHAEL JACKSON THE EXPERIENCE HD, NINJA GAIDEN ? PLUS, RIDGE RACER (English Version), ULTIMATE MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 3 (English Version), and UNCHARTED: Golden Abyss (Chinese & English Version).

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Samsung reveals connected ecosystem for its range of products, content and services Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-reveals-connectedecosystem-for-its-range-of-products-content-and-services/14494.html January 11th, 2012

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users to email photos or share them on social networks. The latest product came in the form of the WB850F, a Wi-Fienabled long-zoom camera that boasts a 21x super zoom and 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor which reduces image noise and distortion, even under low light conditions, to deliver high quality images. Housed in an ultra-compact body, the WB850D has a 3-inch VGA AMOLED screen and comes with features including GPS and Live Landmark that utilize mapping functionality and point users to the landmarks.

Samsung has unveiled their vision for future of consumer electronics, which is to have a connected ecosystem among the various products, be they TVs, phones, tablets, PCs, cameras or appliances. This would allow user to easily share and enjoy content across all these devices anywhere, anytime. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in Las Vegas, Samsung has unveiled a new connected ecosystem across its entire product portfolio to deliver a smarter, simpler and more connected life for consumers. In the home entertainment department, the company has announced their first Super OLED TV, and the UNES8000 flagship LED TV that is powered by a dual-core processor for seamless web surfing and downloading multiple apps simultaneously. A wide range of content is also available through Samsung Apps, the company’s TV apps platform. On top of that, Samsung also envisions the future of Smart TVs to have Smart Interaction, Smart Content and Smart Evolution. Smart Interaction allows Smart TV users to communicate with their TVs via voice control, motion control and face recognition; Smart Content, offering users more robust and personalised content offerings where currently there are more than 1,400 Smart TV apps available including Angry Birds, Discovery Channel; and Smart Evolution which offers a new “Evolution Kit” which will come with necessary hardware and software each year using Samsung’s proprietary systemon-chip technology and brings enhancements to content and performance to select or newer Smart TVs.

Samsung has also announced the next generation Series 9 Notebook which is slimmer and smaller than its predecessor, and is positioned as the thinnest premium notebook on the market. Crafted with a new aluminium unibody design, the new Series 9 will be available in a 13.3-inch and 15-inch SuperBright Plus screen sizes and feature second generation Intel Core processors, full connectivity solid state storages. For home appliances, the Korean manufacturer introduced the WiFi-enabled WF457 washer with a Smart Control system that allows users to monitor cycle selections and remaining time as well as receive an alert when the load is complete via an application on their Samsung smartphone. Samsung has also included a Grocery Manager app for LCD refrigerators that will allow consumers to track the location and expiration time of perishables.

SanDisk launches 128GB SDXC card and 64GB iNAND Ultra Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sandisk-launches-128gb-sdxc-cardand-64gb-inand-ultra/14500.html January 11th, 2012

Following the success of the SH100 digital camera, Samsung is coming up with more wireless SMART cameras that allow 7


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When it comes to flash memory there's no doubt that SanDisk is one of the major players, especially as the company has developed or at least co-developed most of the flash memory card standards in use today. Now the company has gone and announced what it claims is the world's fastest 128GB SDXC card, as well as a new iNAND Ultra chip using 19nm flash memory. When it comes to flash memory there's no doubt that SanDisk is one of the major players, especially as the company has developed or at least co-developed most of the flash memory card standards in use today. Now the company has gone and announced what it claims is the world's fastest 128GB SDXC card, as well as a new iNAND Ultra chip using 19nm flash memory. SanDisk is something of a household name and often a first choice for many when they're shopping memory cards for their digital cameras, camcorders and phones. However, SanDisk's latest additions aren't likely to end up in your average consumer device, as they're simply outrageously expensive. What we're looking at is a 64 and a 128GB SanDisk Extreme SDXC card that supports the Ultra High Speed or UHS-I standard which is rated at speeds of up to 50 or 104MB/s, but SanDisk's new cards falls a little bit short here with a read and write speed of 45MB/s.

As for SanDisk's new iNAND Ultra chip, we're looking at a reasonably small 11.5x13mm piece of flash memory that can hold 8GB all the way up to 64GB. As we mentioned it's using 19nm flash of the MLC kind and it sports an eMMC interface. Sequential read speeds are rated at up to 80MB/s, but sadly the write speed is a mere 20MB/s. Still, it's comparable or better than the NAND flash you'll find in many smartphones and when it comes to copying files the USB 2.0 interface is still a limiting factor as far as the write speed is concerned. As this is a product intended for devices makers, SanDisk didn't offer any pricing details, but volume production will take place in Q2, so in other words it'll be at least another quarter after that until it starts appearing in devices.

Intel working on speech solution for Stephen Hawking Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-working-on-speech-solution-forstephen-hawking/14499.html January 11th, 2012

Chip giant Intel is working on a method to help renowned physicist Stephen Hawking continue to communicate, a project which could change the lives of many people. It doesn't make the new cards the fastest SD cards out there either as even SanDisk itself has faster models, but there are only so many 64 and 128GB, hence the world's fastest claim. The cards are still plenty fast to handle high bit-rate 1080p video or 24Megapixel RAW images from the latest DSLR's, so this shouldn't be too much of an issue and the card is labelled as being able to store 32h of video. However, with an asking price of US$199.99 (S$258) and US$399.99 (S$516) respectively, they're anything but affordable.

Chip giant Intel is working on a method to help renowned physicist Stephen Hawking continue to communicate. Hawking has been almost completely paralysed since he was 21 after he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, but that has not stopped him from becoming one of the most prominent thinkers of our time. He communicates by twitching his right cheek, which alerts a sensor attached to his glasses and converts the signals into words via a voice synthesizer. 8


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As Hawking ages, however, the nerves in his cheek have begun to deteroriate, making it more difficult to communicate as the pace of his word creation drops to just one per minute. Hawking celebrated his 70th birthday on Sunday, defying doctors who said he would live a maximum of five years after diagnosis.

Intel has launched a research project to come up with a solution to the problem, according to the company's CTO Justin Rattner. Possible ideas include technology that can track eye movement or brainwaves, developments which could revolutionise the lives of many people. There is no timeframe for when this technology will be ready, however, as it is still in the early stages of research and development.

Imagination Technologies announces PowerVR Series6 GPU cores Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/imagination-technologies-announcespowervr-series6-gpu-cores/14498.html January 11th, 2012

Things could hardly be any more obvious that the new technology battle field is mobile computing, as we're seeing an onslaught of new technologies that are all targeting what is a massively growing market space. Imagination Technologies is one of the companies that are pushing this development forward and the company has revealed its first PowerVR Series6 GPU cores, previously known under the Rouge code name.

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an onslaught of new technologies that are all targeting what is a massively growing market space. Imagination Technologies is one of the companies that are pushing this development forward and the company has revealed its first PowerVR Series6 GPU cores, previously known under the Rouge code name. Many of you may not remember that back in the early days of 3D graphics cards Imagination Technologies PowerVR GPU's were some of the best, competing and even sometimes beating 3dfx, Nvidia and ATI. However, the company had a fairly small market share and not enough partners and decided to pull out of the PC graphics market. The one key technology the company had that its competitors didn't back in the day and still doesn't really use was tile-based deferred rendering, a technology that the company has stuck with over the years. You might wonder what this flash back has to do with cutting edge mobile graphics, well, as it happens the PowerVR Series6 features an improved version of tile-based deferred rendering and unlike a PC graphics card, you have much more limited memory bandwidth in a GPU that's part of an SoC, generally no more than a 32-bit wide bus, whereas even an entry level graphics card has a 64-bit memory bus. This means that PowerVR's GPU cores can render higher resolution 3D graphics without the need of additional memory bandwidth. To further help reduce the memory bandwidth requirements the PowerVR Series6 also features texture compression, although this is pretty much a standard feature on modern GPUs. However, Imagination Technologies is also using cutting edge GPU design and the Series6 is right up there with AMD and Nvidia as it's as far as we're aware the first GPU core of its kind to feature "compute clusters". Imagination Technologies didn't reveal too many details in its press release, but the company has launched two different GPU cores the G6200 and the G6400, featuring two and four compute clusters respectively. This might sound pathetic compared to AMD's latest Radeon HD 7970 which features no less than 32 compute units, but keep in mind that we're talking GPU cores that will be part of an ARM chip here, so low power is as important as performance. Imagination Technologies claims that its PowerVR Series6 GPU cores will deliver up to 20 times the performance yet be five times more efficient than its Series5 GPU cores. The company didn't go into any performance specifics beyond mentioning that we should expect "computing performance exceeding 100GFLOPS" with future parts reaching the TFLOPS range. We're going to reach out to Imagination Technologies and see if they can give us any better estimates here and maybe some comparisons as well. As far as API support is concerned, Imagination Technologies is expecting the PowerVR Series6 GPU cores to be compatible with OpenGL ES "Halti" (code name for the next gen of OpenGL ES), OpenGL 3.x/4.x, OpenCL 1.x and DirectX 10. The company did point out that some apparently yet unannounced GPU cores in the PowerVR Series6 will support DirectX 11.1 and be fully WHQL compliant. Maybe this is what we'll see in some future Atom processors from Intel.

Things could hardly be any more obvious that the new technology battle field is mobile computing, as we're seeing 9


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It will be interesting to see which companies pick up the new PowerVR Series6 GPU cores and so far ST-Ericsson, Texas Instruments, Renesas Electronics and MediaTek are apparently on board with ST-Ericsson's Nova A9600 possibly being the first SoC to feature the new GPU core. Texas Instrument's upcoming OMAP 5000-series is also expected to feature it. On a side note, Samsung recently became a licensee of Imagination Technologies and let's not forget that both Apple and Intel are using its GPUs in a wide range of products. We can't wait to see what these new GPU cores can do and we'd expect to see some near desktop level graphics, albeit a couple of years old, in our mobile devise in the not too distant future.

Google admits it profits from illegal ads Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-admits-it-profits-from-illegalads/14497.html January 11th, 2012

Google has admitted that it profits from illegal ads selling fake Olympics tickets, cannabis and false ID cards and passports, a questionable practice for the company that goes by the motto "don't be evil". Google has admitted that it profits from illegal ads selling fake Olympics tickets, cannabis and false ID cards and passports, a questionable practice for the company that goes by the motto "don't be evil". A BBC television show called 5 Live Investigates found that the illegal products were being advertised via Google's AdWords service, and despite Google subsequently removing those ads, it revealed that it still kept the money it received from the fraudsters. Selling fake London Olympics tickets, which usually cost hundreds of dollars, is illegal under the London Olympic and Paralympic Games Act passed in the UK in 2006, with a penalty of ÂŁ20,000, but many people are being duped by fake online ticket sellers as the dates draw closer.

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It said its system is partially automated, which can let some illegal content through, but that it removes any ads that are found to break its policies. Google has previously attempted to remove a growing number of fake product ads from its service, but since there is so much money to be made in these scams they keep appearing and reappearing, often at the top of search results. The fact that Google is taking a cut of the proceeds, however, raises questions over whether or not it is indirectly facilitating or benefiting from this behaviour.

Samsung confident it will oust Nokia for top mobile spot Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-confident-it-will-oust-nokiafor-top-mobile-spot/14496.html January 11th, 2012

Samsung said it is confident that it will oust Nokia this year to become the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world, changing the face the of the industry completely. Samsung said it is confident that it will oust Nokia this year to become the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world, changing the face the of the industry completely. The Korean electronics giant is currently in second place, but its CEO Choi Gee-sung believes that 2012 is the year for it to steal Nokia's crown, putting an end to a position the Finnish mobile maker has held for 14 years. Nokia already lost its 10 year dominance in the smartphone arena to apple in the first half of 2011, but maintained its overall position thanks to continued sales of feature phones, particularly in emerging markets.

"While Google AdWords provides a platform for companies to advertise their services, we are not responsible for, nor are we able to monitor the actions of each company," said Google. 10


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All of that appears set to change, however, and many analysts support Samsung's optimistic forecast. It is not hard to see why, as Samsung has become the top seller of Android phones, with flagship models like the Galaxy S series, and since Android phones are typically cheaper than their iPhone equivalents, Samsung can aim for a wide range of price brackets, and therefore a larger slice of the mobile pie.

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are a few really interesting additions that we can expect at the launch.

Samsung reached the 300 million unit landmark last December. Reuters believes that Samsung will sell around 359 million handsets this year, compared to roughly 388 million fromm Nokia. This is a huge difference to the estimated 320 million and 418 million units respectively sold in 2011, but it also means that Nokia will narrowly cling to the top spot for this year, with Samsung's achievement likely to follow in 2013 instead.

Gigabyte 7-series motherboard preview from CES 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-7-series-motherboardpreview-from-ces-2012/14495.html January 11th, 2012

Just to keep you waiting for the good stuff we'll start with the B75M-D3H, a motherboard Gigabyte is targeting towards the small business market. Even so it's a fairly well-rounded board and the chipset has support for Intel's Small Business Advantage software that allows for better manageability than your average consumer motherboard. The B75 chipset offers native USB 3.0 support for up to four ports and a single SATA 6Gbps port. Gigabyte has also included DVI and HDMI and in this case the PCI slots are actually native to the chipset.

If you've been waiting for some more consumer friendly motherboards than the dual-socket workstation board we've seen so far from CES, then we have good news, we've got a few shots of Gigabyte's upcoming Intel 7-series motherboards. The boards on display at the show are far from the final versions and we do have some press shots to show as well, although at fairly low resolution, but it'll give you a better idea of what the final boards should look like. If you've been waiting for some more consumer friendly motherboards than the dual-socket workstation board we've seen so far from CES, then we have good news, we've got a few shots of Gigabyte's upcoming Intel 7-series motherboards. The boards on display at the show are far from the final versions and we do have some press shots to show as well, although at fairly low resolution, but it'll give you a better idea of what the final boards should look like.

As with Gigabyte's X79-series motherboards, the upcoming 7series boards for the LGA-1155 socket will be equipped with digital PWMs, Gigabyte's 3D Power and of course the 3D UEFI. However, there's a lot more to these new boards and there

Moving up one step we have the H77M-D3H, a board that wasn't part of Gigabyte's press release, but a model that was being shown of briefly at CES. This board is very similar to the B75M-D3H, but as the name suggests it's based on the H77 chipset instead. The only real difference that we noticed is that one of the PCI slots have been replaced by a x1 PCI Express slot and in this case the PCI slot isn't native to the chipset. 11


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x8 action. There's also a third x16 slot which we presume is connected via four lanes to the chipset. A couple of other additions that the Z77X-UD3H gains is a power button, a POST80 debut LED, an additional SATA controller for a seventh internal SATA port and one eSATA port and interestingly a SATA power connector at the front of the PCB, much like what we've seen on Gigabyte's OC boards. Here we also get a DisplayPort thrown in for good measure in addition to the HDMI, DVI and D-sub connectors.

The first full-size ATX board is the Z77-D3H and now things are starting to get a little bit more interesting. Although Gigabyte introduced a few 6-series motherboards with mSATA connectivity, the company has now gone full-out adding mSATA to most of its7-series ATX models. The Z77-D3H is the most basic model with an mSATA connector. Other features as per standard of the Z77 chipset include two SATA 6Gbps ports and four USB 3.0 ports. We're not entirely sure about the display options here, but it looks like DVI and possibly HDMI as well as a D-sub connector. This board appears to have a single x16 PCI Express slot as well as a second slot that goes via the chipset rather than sharing lanes with the primary slot.

It appears that Gigabyte has given the UD4 series a miss this time around and instead we're moving straight to the Z77XUD5H which in essence is the Z77X-UD3H with the addition of some heapipe cooling for the chipset and MOSFETs, a pair of additional SATA 6Gbps ports and a few extra USB 3.0 ports thanks to an unknown third party chipset or two.

Moving on to the first of the black PCB motherboards in Gigabyte's 7-series we have the Z77X-UD3H and here we're looking at a pair of x16 slots with a switch for some dual 12


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If you've been patient (or just skipped past the other boards) we've now reached the models a lot of you have been waiting for, the G1.Sniper 3 and the G1.Sniper M3. The G1.Sniper M3 is Gigabyte's first mATX motherboard focused on gaming and although we'll be honest and say that it's not the most impressive mATX board we've ever seen, it has a pretty decent feature set with three x16 PCI Express slots (two of which are switchable), five SATA ports, one eSATA port, a full set of display connectors and USB 3.0 of course.

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The G1.Sniper 3 has no less than four x16 PCI Express slots and appears to have some kind of third party chip to enable this, but it's not clear what this chip is. It also has a total of 10 SATA ports, an mSATA port and the extra SATA power connector. According to Sin's Hardware the new G1.Sniper boards also features Creative's new Sound Core 3D audio chip as well as a yet unannounced revision of Bigfoot's Killer NIC which now appears to be a custom design rather than relying on an FPGA. This should help to vastly reduce the cost of adding a Killer NIC to motherboards. In fact, the G1.Sniper 3 incorporates a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports, of which the second appears to be via an Intel chip.

Come Cebit in March we should be able to bring you a lot more details on the upcoming boards from Gigabyte, although we can also tell you that the company is planning on bundling its Bluetooth 4.0/Wi-Fi card with several more models and we might even see some improved versions in the future here.

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Ultimate SFF Lanparty Machine: Intel Xeon E5 (SNBEP 8C/16T) on an ASUS Rampage IV GENE! Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ultimate-sff-lanparty-machine-intelxeon-e5-snb-ep-8c16t-on-an-asus-rampage-iv-gene-/14486.html January 11th, 2012

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Xeon E5-2670 (2.6GHz, 20MB Smart Cache, a 115W TDP which is easily handled by most decent X79 boards), this is an apparently rather dated ES C0 sample, but nonetheless an excellent working proof of concept that the uber expensive i7-3960X won't be the top of the line option for desktop 1P systems

Here's a treat for all hard core enthusiasts - an engineering sample of the upcoming Xeon E5 (Sandy Bridge-EP 8 Cores, 16 Threads) was spotted by our team working on a ASUS ROG Rampage IV GENE motherboard, which was housed inside a small Thermaltake mATX lanparty box. This pretty much confirms internet rumors that have been going around for quite some time that the 8-core server part will work on regular 1P desktop boards, although not officially sanctioned or validated by Intel. Heres a treat for all hard core enthusiasts - an engineering sample of the upcoming Xeon E5 (Sandy Bridge-EP 8 Cores, 16 Threads) was spotted by our team working on a ASUS ROG Rampage IV GENE motherboard, which was housed inside a small Thermaltake mATX lanparty box. This pretty much confirms internet rumors that have been going around for quite some time that the 8-core server part will work on regular 1P desktop boards, although not officially sanctioned or validated by Intel. A supermassive (and real, not pseudo) 8-cores 16 threads in action on a mATX 1P socket

Things we hope will happen when the Xeon E5/SNB-EP comes out: 1. Unlocked SKUs and adjustable multipliers all the way to 57X 2. Usable BCLK straps (125MHz is enough actually) and PCIe clock speeds up to or beyond 107MHz 3. IMC support for 2400MHz+ low latency memory CL1

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4. No irritating cold bug like the SNB-Es of today so that world record frequency and linpack Gflops power records can be smashed 5. Overclockable 2P motherboard, preferably ROG :)

Lenovo unveils SmartTV K81 and K91, and IdeaPad Yoga tablet-ultrabook hybrid Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lenovo-unveils-smarttv-k81-and-k91and-ideapad-yoga-tablet-ultrabook-hybrid/14493.html January 11th, 2012

This afternoon, Lenovo introduced their new SmartTV product line that consists of the K81 and K91, as well as the IdeaPad Yoga which claims to be the world's slimmest convertible Ultrabook, at the pre-Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012.

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Lenovo is a name closely associated with PCs, tablets and smartphones in China), and it looks like the Chinese manufacturer is adding a new product to its existing portfolio, the SmartTV. The company has announced two models, the 42-inch K81 and 55-inch K91. The K91 claims to be the world’s first SmartTV to be powered by Qualcomm’s 8060 Snapdragon CPU running at 1.5Ghz as well as the first smart TV to run the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. Both offer voice control, gamepad control and other smart device control, including smart phones and tablets. Lenovo is also partnering with content providers in China to offer video on demand services and TV content. According to a Lenovo executive, content may be purchased for Lenovo tablets, but due to resolution constraint, it would not be advisable to share the content on the TVs. Both SmartTVs are also 3D-capable (passive 3D technology and 2D-to-3D upscale feature) with built-in wireless and wired connections. If you have a Lenovo Android tablet, you can also use a remote control application to control the TVs. The K81 and K91 will be available in China, in March, though no news as to the pricing and whether they will be available to other parts of the world.

Liu Jun, senior vice president and president for Mobile Internet and Digital Home Business Group (MIDH), Lenovo, said that that the traditional devices are being replaced by the new smart devices; and even the personal computer is moving to the tablets and Ultrabooks. Lenovo believes that in future, smart devices will have similar hardware and software architecture and that they will be connected and powered by the cloud.

Sneak Preview: ASUS's new ROG sound cards @ CES 2012 undressed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sneak-preview-asus-s-new-rog-soundcards--ces-2012-undressed/14487.html

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January 11th, 2012

Back of the PCB

Over at the 64th floor of the luxurious Trump Hotel in Vegas, we got our readers some exclusive sneaks of ASUS's new ROG Xonar Pheobus sound card, which is a PCIe 118db SNR standalone offering. Also on display was the ROG 'ThunderFX' USB powered audio breakout box (sequel to the R3E-Black Edition's Thunderbolt), to be bundled with a planned special edition of the ROG Rampage IV Formula. ROG Xonar Phoebus Besides being famous for its motherboards, the Republic of Gamers team at ASUS also dabbled in gaming accessories like keyboards, mice and headsets (ROG Vulcan) We noticed that the Pheobus has an unusual amount of ports at its I/O panel (from top: headset connectors, power for the volume control, line-in, 5.1 audio amd SPDIF-out)

The ROG Xonar Pheobus (god of music and light) is a standalone product rated at 118db SNR at its regular outputs and has a dedicated amplifier for driving up to 300ohm headphones. Also included in the package is a volume control/wire extender for gaming headsets

After removing the metal shroud, the layout is fairly crowded and components doen't look too different from the usual Xonar offerings. One notable inclusion is a 6-pin PCIe power connector (probably for the amplifer), which is not normally used for audio applications

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High quality gold plated jacks are used at the I/O panel Elsewhere on the board we found a Realtek ALC889 codec, which we guess handles the headphone output and microphone input

Over at the bottom right, we can see the C-Media DSP which is normally used on the other high end boards like Xonar STX

ASUS's Dual Socket 2011 Workstation Motherboard Z9PE-D8 WS Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-s-dual-socket-2011-workstationmotherboard--z9pe-d8-ws/14488.html January 11th, 2012

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Performance zealots will remember the ASUS Z7S WS which went head on with then Intel 'Skulltrail' D5400XS Xeon luxury gaming platform (using dual unlocked QX9775 chips), but since then ASUS has done nothing of that sort, leaving EVGA with the iconic SR-2 to mop up things in the Xeon 55xx/56xx era. This is about to change with the imminent launch of the Sandy Bridge-EP Xeon E5 platform, and the ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS may well be the followup that power hungry gamers and high frequency traders are looking for.

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Nothing notable at the I/O panel except the provision of only two USB 3.0 connectors (probably due to PCB space restrictions)

ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS is a dual Socket 2011 motherboard designed for the upcoming 'Sandy Bridge-EP' Xeon E5s, featuring 8 DDR3 dimm slots and 7 PCIe slots in a SSI CEB form factor

Besides using Intel PHYs and Realtek audio, there is an ASPEED AST2300 2D VGA controller and also provides management over IP.

Rear view - we see that three out of seven of the PCIe slots have actually 8 lanes worth of solder points only - which makes sense as each CPU has 40 PCIe Gen 3 lanes only

We also spotted the swappable LOTES 'X-Socket' used on the X79 ROG boards and CHiL PWMs

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There was a fully assembled but powered down system next to it - and the use of the performance HyperX rams implied some level of overclocking prowness

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Memoright goes after the 7mm SSD market Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/memoright-goes-after-the-7mm-ssdmarket/14492.html January 11th, 2012

As notebooks and even more so Ultrabooks are getting slimmer, so are the needs for slimmer storage drives and Memoright has announced that it has launched a slimmed down version of its FTM Plus series of SSDs called the FTM Plus Slim. Ok, so the name doesn't exactly make sense, but its new 7mm thick SSD will allow for a wide range of notebooks and at least some Ultrabooks to be upgraded after purchase.

Support for 4-Way GPUs - or actually more if you use singleslot cards

As notebooks and even more so Ultrabooks are getting slimmer, so are the needs for slimmer storage drives and Memoright has announced that it has launched a slimmed down version of its FTM Plus series of SSDs called the FTM Plus Slim. Ok, so the name doesn't exactly make sense, but its new 7mm thick SSD will allow for a wide range of notebooks and at least some Ultrabooks to be upgraded after purchase. The FTM Plus Slim series will be available in size of 60, 120, 240 and 480GB and although Memoright doesn't specify which controller is being used, the 550/500MB's read/write speeds are suggesting that we're looking at yet another SandForce powered SSD. The FTM Plus Slim series does of course support Trim and there's also support for 128/256-bit AES encryption. Memoright has also added various over Voltage and over current protection features as well as ESD protection, but maybe most interesting is a feature that allows the SSD to power itself down to protect the data if it's feed irregular power. This could be a handy feature in a notebook, as it's not always you get a clean mains feed when you're out travelling and it might very well save you from losing all your data. 19


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No word on pricing or availability, but the FTM Plus Slim has already appeared on the Memoright website, so we can't imagine it'll be too long before it becomes available.

Belkin comes clean on its Thunderbolt Express Dock Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/belkin-comes-clean-on-itsthunderbolt-express-dock/14491.html January 11th, 2012

What everyone expected to be Belkin's Thunderbolt dock appeared IDF a couple of months back and it was a rather stylish if somewhat impractical design. Now the company has unveiled the final product design and well, it's a grey slab of what looks like rendered metal in the pictures, but could just as well be plastic.

Beyond the rear Thunderbolt port for daisy chaining the Express Dock, we find a Gigabit Ethernet port, a headphone jack, a FireWire 800 port, a power socket, an HDMI port and three USB 2.0 ports. It's pretty clear that Belkin designed the Thunderbolt Express Dock for Mac's initially, as very few PC users use FireWire 800 and most Ultrabooks should have an HDMI port. The lack of USB 3.0 connectivity is also disappointing.

What everyone expected to be Belkin's Thunderbolt dock appeared IDF a couple of months back and it was a rather stylish if somewhat impractical design. Now the company has unveiled the final product design and well, it's a grey slab of what looks like rendered metal in the pictures, but could just as well be plastic. Practicality aside, we have to wonder what went through the mind of Belkin's designers when they went from the first design which you can see below, to what ended up being the final design. We can imagine one consideration was cost and in all fairness, Belkin did add some additional functionality to the new, uglyfied design, but somehow it all doesn't add up to us.

Sadly this is not one of Belkin's best products and with an asking price of US$299 (S$388) when it arrives in September (yes, that's about nine months from now), we'd hope that there are plenty of more affordable, competing solutions in the market with better designs and features.

OCZ shows off Thunderbolt SSD, demos new Indilinx controller at CES Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-shows-off-thunderbolt-ssd-demosnew-indilinx-controller-at-ces/14490.html January 11th, 2012

The one that wasn't to be Anyhow, in terms of functionality Belkin has done a pretty decent job with one Thunderbolt in and one through port, although what appears to be another peculiar design choice has put one Thunderbolt port on the front of the Express Dock and next to it is a rather large hole through which the cable appears to be feed to the back of the dock, another head scratcher, although this is presumably the input port and as such it might be more practical for notebook users. We'd preferred a side mounted port to this design though.

With Intel's Ivy Bridge based Ultrabooks and a fair few other Ivy Bridge notebooks and desktops expected to offer Thunderbolt connectivity – the first time for computers no from Apple – it looks like several companies are getting interested in the still relatively new, high-speed interface. OCZ has shown off its upcoming external SSD with Thunderbolt interface at CES, as well as its new Indilinx Everest 2 SSD controller. 20


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With Intel's Ivy Bridge based Ultrabooks and a fair few other Ivy Bridge notebooks and desktops expected to offer Thunderbolt connectivity – the first time for computers no from Apple – it looks like several companies are getting interested in the still relatively new, high-speed interface. OCZ has shown off its upcoming external SSD with Thunderbolt interface at CES, as well as its new Indilinx Everest 2 SSD controller. The Thunderbolt equipped SSD is known as Lightfoot, quite an amusing name, but there's nothing really light-footed about it. For starters it's using the recently announced Kilimanjaro PCI Express SSD controller that is co-developed by PCZ and Marvell. This should allow the Lightfoot to take advantage of the PCI Express interface offered by Thunderbolt without any major bottlenecks. According to Anandtech "OCZ has focused more on small block performance as well as reducing write amplification" something Anand found to be issues with the Everest controller in the OCZ Octane SSDs. Apparently part of the solution is a different firmware architecture to go alongside the new SSD controller. OCZ is said to be eyeing performance figures of around 550MB/s for sequential reads, 500MB/ s for sequential writes and 90K 4KB random write IOPS, quite a performance improvement over the Everest controller, although the early silicon with an early firmware didn't quite reach those kind of numbers in a quick test performed by Anandtech with over 60K 4KB write IOPS and about 345MB/s in a sequential write test. It's good that OCZ has a few months to fine-tune things before the Everest 2 is ready for retail.

Capacities are expected to be 128, 256 and 512GB as well as 1TB with a price of around US$2 per GB. Not cheap, but considering that OCZ is eyeing a performance figure in the region of 750MB/s (most likely for the higher capacity models), it's hard to fault the pricing too much, as there's no real competitor in the market as yet. The new Indilinx Everest 2 SSD controller is your typical SATA 6Gbps SSD controller, although it should offer a decent performance boost over the recently launched Indilinx Everest. That said, the Indilinx Everest 2 is some six months out as yet, although OCZ already has early silicon and the performance is already said to be superior to the Indilinx Everest.

The SD Association announces Wi-Fi standard for SD cards, is really two standards Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-sd-association-announces-wi-fistandard-for-sd-cards-is-really-two-standards/14489.html January 11th, 2012

To date the most prominent company when it comes to Wi-Fi enabled SD cards has been Eye-Fi, especially as the company has managed to combined Wi-Fi and storage, although Toshiba did launch a competing product back in September. Now the Wi-Fi Association has finally decided that it's time to standardise things and somehow still managed to bodge things up by creating two standards. To date the most prominent company when it comes to Wi-Fi enabled SD cards has been Eye-Fi, especially as the company has managed to combined Wi-Fi and storage, although Toshiba did launch a competing product back in 21


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September. Now the Wi-Fi Association has finally decided that it's time to standardise things and somehow still managed to bodge things up by creating two standards. The good news is that the so called Wireless LAN SD standard supports the 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi standards and it will apparently be available for both full size SD/SDHC/SDXC cards as well as for the micro verities thereof. This is all great news and the SD Association is banging on about how it'll make it easier for consumers to upload their holiday photos and videos to their computers without the need of cables and of course to share the same directly from the camera onto the interwebs directly from the camera.

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on ARM systems and worse of all, they got caught faking the DirectX 11 demo on the upcoming 22nm Ivy Bridge processor. On Intel CES 2012 press conference, Intel raised a lot of attention when the company gave away 50 ASUS "Zenbook" Ultrabooks which were located under randomly positioned seats. When it comes to the content as such, the press conference was solely dedicated to the Ultrabook and how Intel is going to unleash the marketing wave of global advertising to push Ultrabook in the same manner Centrino brand was pushed back in 2004. But one of bigger demo error of CES happened during the alleged live demonstration of F1 2011.

It will apparently even be able to transfer files directly between cameras, or to smartphones and tablets without the need of an access point. Even more intriguingly the SD Association is suggesting that you'll be able to use your Wireless LAN SD card equipped devices to control various other devices, although we're not entire clear how that's meant to work, albeit we have a feeling that some of this is DLNA related. The problem is that the SD Association has created two standards and the only way you'll be able to tell the two apart is by the logo on your SD card. Even more confusingly, a card can support both standards and as such has to carry both logos. The first standard has a W shaped logo and sports a web interface and apparently supports server uploads and peer-topeer functions. The second standard has a D shaped logo and has somehow been designed for home networks as it supports home network communication and server uploading. The details are sketchy at best and either we're miss-reading the details posted by the SD Association or it has managed to come up with an overly complex way to describe the difference between the two standards. In as much as we've had moments when it would've been handy to be able to transfer a picture from our camera onto a smartphone for a quick upload, we've never felt the need to offload the pictures on our camera to a PC this way, but then again this might be exactly what a lot of people want to do. It will be interesting to see how the awkwardly named Wireless LAN SD memory card standard evolves, but at least it's a standard, well two standards really, but it should hopefully lower the cost for this kind of technology in the future, as the Eye-Fi cards are still quite pricey for what you get.

Intel Fakes the Ivy Bridge DirectX 11 demo at CES 2012 Press Conference Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-fakes-the-ivy-bridge-directx-11demo-at-ces-2012-press-conference/14484.html January 11th, 2012

The CES 2012 show is starting with multiple affairs for Intel: the company is apparently spreading FUD around Windows 8

F1 2011 is a DirectX 11 game and the presentation was supposed to demonstrate the 22nm Ivy Bridge processor running DirectX 11 code. Sadly for Mooly and the Intel DEMO team, we saw VLC player controlls popping on the screen a few times - clearly proving this was not a live demo, and what Mooly Eden did was something that millions of Formula One fans do worldwide - pretended to drive an F1 car while looking at the TV. The only difference being, those millions of fans don't act in front of 500 people (and millions more watching the coverage of Intel on CES) while trying to pitch a product. You can read more here.

Intel Trademarks Ultrabook, Joins Smartbook AG in Pointless Naming WarsTM Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-trademarks-ultrabook-joinssmartbook-ag-in-pointless-naming-warstm/14481.html January 11th, 2012

From the looks of it, the 2012 might be the year more known for patent and naming wars rather than the innovation itself. The return of naming wars might be interesting though, with Intel trademarking the Ultrabook name. Without any doubt, the 2012 is shaping up to be the year of Ultrabooks - or at least Intel hopes so. In order to secure stockholder confidence, the design originally known as the Apple MacBook Air is now pushed by Intel to all qualifying notebook vendors. The company is heavily investing in getting vendors putting as much products on the market as possible. 22


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Also, the company reserved a lot of marketing funds in order to push the name “Ultrabook” as the new and hip, beyond tablet name.

Tablets for $500, Ultrabooks for $1000 seems to be the going rate for marketing focus. However, in talks with some of the partners and some Intel sources too, the company is going to actively protect the Ultrabook name. We’re not exactly certain did Intel employ lawyers from German SMARTBOOK AG, which are known to send Cease& Desist letters to anyone who dares to use the name Ultrabook with for example, an AMD Trinity, NVIDIA Tegra 3+ or Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 notebooks, but who knows.

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6Gbps chips of which the 88SE9230 is going to be the most interesting one. Marvell is claiming twice the performance over its 88SE91xx series of SATA 6Gbps controllers of which your motherboard is quite likely to feature one, especially if you have a 5-series Intel chipset motherboard with SATA 6Gbps support. Although we'd take this with a pinch of salt for the time being, we'd imagine Marvell has done some serious work to get its SATA performance up there on par with Intel's integrated SATA 6Gbps controller. However, what makes the 88SE9230 and its siblings, the 88SE9235 and 88SE9220 so special is the fact that they all feature a PCI Express 2.0 x2 interface. This does in theory allow for twice the bandwidth over any other third party SATA controller currently available. Moreover, Marvell has added support for up to four SATA ports in the 88SE9230 and 88SE9235 making this as far as we're aware the first four port SATA 6Gbps controller, not taking into account AMD's chipsets.

All we know is if you're a notebook vendor and put "Ultrabook“ in the same sentence as "AMD Fusion A-Series 4000“, you're in trouble in terms of receiving those lofty MDF's (Market Developing Fund). In order not to violate the FTC antitrust settlement, the company is not calling the alleged $100 subsidy for each notebook "MDF" but rather "an incentive".

Marvell announces new SATA 6Gbps controllers, unveils PCI Express x2 interface Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/marvell-announces-new-sata-6gbpscontrollers-unveils-pci-express-x2-interface/14485.html January 11th, 2012

Of course doubling the ports kind of negates the doubling in PCI Express bandwidth to a degree, but the controller should still offer plenty of bandwidth for hard drives. One slight issue though is the fact that there's no standard for a PCI Express x2 interface today, although we did report about the fact that Intel was considering introducing such an interface way back in July and by now this is the second confirmation we've had for a possibility of such an interface. Even without a specific interface it should be quite easy on a motherboard level to use two lanes of PCI Express rather than a single lane.

Third party SATA 6Gbps controllers haven't exactly impressed in terms of performance and Marvell has felt at least some of the criticism here as it was the first company to offer a standalone SATA 6Gbps controller. However, it looks like the company is about to solve problem with a range of new SATA 6Gbps chips of which the 88SE9230 is going to be the most interesting one.

Worst case, all three controllers will work with a single lane of PCI Express bandwidth, albeit at reduced speed. The 88SE9220 and the 88SE9230 both support RAID 0/1 with the latter also supporting RAID 10. Both models also offers 128 and 256-bit AES encryption and support for Marvell's HyperDuo SSD caching technology. Apparently the 88SE9230 can handle two SSDs and two hard drives for dual drive caching, something that will be interesting to see how well it works in the real world.

Third party SATA 6Gbps controllers haven't exactly impressed in terms of performance and Marvell has felt at least some of the criticism here as it was the first company to offer a standalone SATA 6Gbps controller. However, it looks like the company is about to solve problem with a range of new SATA

The 88SE9235 is a basic four port SATA controller without RAID, HyperDuo or encryption support, but it supports the AHCI standard, as well as eSATA support and port multipliers, just as the other two models. According to the press release we'll see the 88SE9230 on motherboards from ASRock, server boards from Asus and add-in cards from HighPoint for the 23


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time being, although we'd expect most motherboard makers to slap at least one of these chips on upcoming motherboard models. Presumably all three models are available as of right now, although it'll most likely take a few months before they start appearing on retail products.

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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.

Intel's mini-ITX Cedar Trail Atom motherboards are here Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-mini-itx-cedar-trail-atommotherboards-are-here/14542.html January 13th, 2012

With CES going on we almost missed that Intel quietly added all of its new Cedar Trail powered mini-ITX motherboards to its website. The company has launched five new models targeting a wide range of different market segments and some of the boards are actually quite decent, considering we're talking Intel motherboards here. With CES going on we almost missed that Intel quietly added all of its new Cedar Trail powered mini-ITX motherboards to its website. The company has launched five new models targeting a wide range of different market segments and some of the boards are actually quite decent, considering we're talking Intel motherboards here. Intel seems to have skipped a couple of models that were initially expected, although in this case it would just have been some minor differences between the boards, such as DVI connector or not for one model and the other would've been given a CPU boost and a DVI port. Most of the new boards are not intended for consumers, although one or maybe two models could be quite appealing for HTPC builders, while the other three models aren't very likely to appeal even to your granny.

Starting at the very bottom we have the D2500HN also known as Houlton and this is a legacy board with very basic connectivity and as the model name implies, an Atom D2500 CPU. Intel was supposed to launch a model of Houlton with a D2700 CPU and a DVI port, but this board seems to have been scrapped. Intel is targeting this board towards entry-level desktop systems which in Intel speak these days seem to mean developing countries. Although not on the picture of the board we have, there is a SKU of the D2500HN that will apparently have a mini PCI Express slot for Wi-Fi or WiMax support. Other features include a pair of SO-DIMM's for up to 4GB of RAM, a PCI slot, two SATA ports, a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, a serial and parallel port, a D-sub connector, Gigbit Ethernet and stereo audio.

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Express slot and it's targeting the same market space as the D2500CC.

SOPA creator vows to fight on Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sopa-creator-vows-to-fighton/14541.html January 13th, 2012

The man behind the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has revealed that he will continue to fight against illegal file-sharing, regardless of growing criticism of the proposed laws. The man behind the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has revealed that he will continue to fight against illegal file-sharing, regardless of growing criticism of the proposed laws. Intel's only other Atom D2500 model is the D2500CC or Canoe Creek as it's also known as. This model is for industrial applications and digital signage and he basic feature set is the same as for the D2500HN, although some things have been moved around a bit. The parallel port got moved to a header to make space for a DVI port and two serial ports and there are now two PS/2 ports as well as a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports. The board also has an LVDS connector that would be used to drive an LCD screen, a feature you wouldn't find on your average consumer motherboard. The audio has also been upgraded to 5.1-channels, but everything else remains largely the same.

Lamar Smith, a Republican member of the US House of Representatives, is the author of the Act, which calls for tough new measures to tackle online piracy, such as forcing ISPs to block access to websites and requiring firms like PayPal to stop taking payments for allegedly infringing websites. The proposals have garnered a lot of opposition, including from big names like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and Reddit, the latter of which is proposing a blackout day in protest. These firms, and dozens like them, claim that SOPA will result in widespread internet censorship, which will cripple the internet, stunt the internet economy, and lead to substantial job losses.

"It is amazing to me that the opponents apparently don't want to protect American consumers and businesses," Smith told Reuters. "Are they somehow benefiting by directing customers to these foreign websites? Do they profit from selling advertising to these foreign websites? And if they do, they need to be stopped. And I don't mind taking that on." Next up we have the D2700MUD or Mount Union. This board is nearly identical to the D2500N but it has a faster Atom D2700 CPU. In addition to the faster CPU, the serial port has been replaced with a DVI port and the board has a special USB connector that can be fitted with one of Intel's Z-U130 USB SSDs which really are more of a glorified USB stick with SLC NAND on it, available in capacities from 1GB to 8GB. This board also has an LVDS connector as well as a mini PCI

Some have criticised Smith for his hypocrisy in opposing the awarding of more powers to the federal government, while proposing that the government should have sweeping powers over the internet, seen by many as the last free marketplace. Smith said he would fight for the Act and believes it will be passed. It will likely faced further opposition, however, 2


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and popular opinion and protests might help avoid the introduction of internet censorship in the US.

arrange just two rows of six iron atoms on a surface of copper nitride and still store information on it.

NVIDIA Kepler to arrive in March or April - Hard Launch Only

This experiment relies on temperatures being 0 degrees, however, which will not be the case for most usage of storage equipment. However, the researchers believe that they can replicate the same results at room temperature with just 150 atoms. They also demonstrated how IBM's motto, “Think”, could be stored in a computer byte using just 96 atoms.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-kepler-to-arrive-in-march-orapril--hard-launch-only/14538.html January 13th, 2012

While CES 2012 showed a clear focus on Tegra 3, with all the automotive, tablet and several smartphone launches, the company did not discuss Kepler. But, it was for a reason. According to our sources, what NVIDIA does not want to do is a paper launch of the product, thus the launch of their first high-end Kepler part will only occur once there are enough units for the first wave of consumers. The company originally scheduled GeForce Kepler for the launch in the first quarter (i.e. fiscal fourth quarter 2012), Quadro Kepler was scheduled for the second quarter (i.e. fiscal first quarter 2013) and Tesla Kepler was scheduled for the third quarter (second fiscal quarter 2013). However, the new plan calls for launching the GeForce Kepler when the company is able to insure hard availability and have all of its partners covered. Will it be in the dying weeks or March or steal Ivy Bridge’s thunder with the launch around April 8... only time will tell.

IBM researchers makes storage breakthrough Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ibm-researchers-makes-storagebreakthrough/14540.html January 13th, 2012

The findings are significant, as it means that storage devices could eventually store around 80,000 times more information in the same amount of space. Even if the amount of atoms required is 150, that will still be around 6,500 times smaller than existing technology. The achievement could also affect other sectors, with the researchers claiming that the smaller groups of atoms have acted as both 1 and 0 simultaneously, a finding that will go a long way to supporting theories on quantum mechanics. “Nanotechnology labs are going to begin asking, ‘What else is going on down there?’” said Richard Doherty, director of Envisioneering. “The information storage side of this is fantastic, but this truly changes our ideas of the behavior of materials at molecular levels.” Image Credit: IBM

IBM's research division has made a monumental breakthrough in storage technology which could result in even smaller devices that can store larger amounts of information. IBM's research division has made a monumental breakthrough in storage technology which could result in even smaller devices that can store larger amounts of information.

Apple suspends iPhone 4S sales in China due to unrest Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-suspends-iphone-4s-sales-inchina-due-to-unrest/14539.html January 13th, 2012

Previous magnetic storage technology requires around one million atoms to store a digital 1 or 0. However, the team at IBM's Almaden Research Centre, found that they could 3


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Apple has suspended sales of its iPhone 4S in mainland China after violence and vandalism broke out at its flagship store in Beijing. Apple has suspended sales of its iPhone 4S in mainland China after violence and vandalism broke out at its flagship store in Beijing.

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VIA Labs mixes up USB 3.0 and fibre optics for extended range Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/via-labs-mixes-up-usb-3.0-and-fibreoptics-for-extended-range/14537.html January 13th, 2012

The Chinese launch of Apple's latest smartphone was expected to go ahead today, but as demand skyrocketed past supply Chinese police ordered that the store in the Sanlitun district of Beijing remain shut to avoid unrest. Unfortunately this had the opposite effect, with people who had been camping out all night becoming frustrated with the news. Eggs were thrown at the Apple store's glass windows and people shoved police.

One of the drawbacks of USB, no matter the version is the limited range of 5m, not an issue for most home users, but known to be a big problem when it comes to a lot of vertical markets. With USB 2.0 it was easy enough to extend the connections over an Ethernet cable with the help of some signal boosters, but USB 3.0 required a different solution and VIA Labs seems to have come up with a solution to the problem with some help of fibre optical cable. One of the drawbacks of USB, no matter the version is the limited range of 5m, not an issue for most home users, but known to be a big problem when it comes to a lot of vertical markets. With USB 2.0 it was easy enough to extend the connections over an Ethernet cable with the help of some signal boosters, but USB 3.0 required a different solution and VIA Labs seems to have come up with a solution to the problem with some help of fibre optical cable.

Part of the problem is due to scalpers, who are paying people to buy the device for them, which they then resell at inflated prices. People working for these scalpers were told they would get the equivalent of around $16, but since the sales did not go ahead, they will be lucky to get a tenth of that as a food allowance, despite spending the night in the cold.

We've already seen some examples of what VIA Labs have worked on; most recently back at Computex where the company was demoing its first fibre optic USB 3.0 ICs. However, back then the company was a bit secretive about what it was working on and it turns out the project was a lot bigger than it sounded back then. The final product is called the V0510 and it was developed in co-operation with FOCI, PCL, OpTarget and UMEC.

The incident caused Apple to postpone sales of the iPhone 4S in all five of its Chinese stores, which will likely only exacerbate the situation. The device can still be bought online, however, or through authorised resellers. The Sanlitun store was previously the location of similar violence when the iPad 2 was released, resulting in the smashing of a glass door and four people being injured. Until supply meets demand we can likely expect similar incidents in the future. Source & Image Credit: New York Times

Image from Computex 2011 showing of the basic workings of the AOC cables The chip itself is small enough to be integrated into the cables – which are referred to as Active Optical Cables or AOC – and 4


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one of the advantages of using optical cable rather than active signal boosters beyond the fact that you can generally achieve greater distances is that optical cables are not affected by EMI. We're not entirely sure if full USB 3.0 speed is available though, as the press release mentions “gigabit-speed USB 3.0 transmission distance up to 100m� which sound like you won't get the full speed of USB 3.0, but it could simply be the way the press release was written. One of the downsides of using optical fibre instead of copper wires beyond cost is that there's no way of delivering power over the fibre cables. As such this solution is for data only, but it will most likely find plenty of uses anyhow and adding power at the remote side shouldn't be all that difficult in most cases VIA Labs and its partners are targeting this solution towards digital signage, surveillance and zero clients, although we can see this becoming popular for applications like trading floor display setups which today rely on very expensive fibre optic remote desktop solutions from the likes of Matrox, as well as many other niche markets.

Asus announces unusual looking 450Mbps Ethernet to Wi-Fi bridge Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-announces-unusuallooking-450mbps-ethernet-to-wi-fi-bridge/14536.html January 13th, 2012

You've most likely already read our preview of Asus' just launched RT-N66U router, at least if you're the least bit interested in wireless networking or are planning on getting a new router. Until 802.11ac devices start appearing later this year, dual band 450Mbps 802.11n Wi-Fi will be as fast as you can get and during CES Asus also announced another dual band 802.11n device, the EA-N66 Ethernet to Wi-Fi bridge. You've most likely already read our preview of Asus' just launched RT-N66U router, at least if you're the least bit interested in wireless networking or are planning on getting a new router. Until 802.11ac devices start appearing later this year, dual band 450Mbps 802.11n Wi-Fi will be as fast as you can get and during CES Asus also announced another dual band 802.11n device, the EA-N66 Ethernet to Wi-Fi bridge. There aren't a huge amount of devices out there that support 450Mbps 802.11n Wi-Fi at either 2.4 or 5GHz beyond some recently announced routers and this makes it hard to actually connect anything to the routers at full speed. In all fairness, some of Apple's most recent MacBook's support 450Mbps and so does a few of Intel's high-end mini PCI Express Wi-Fi cards and we've even seen the odd USB adapter. However, what do you do if you have a device that doesn't have a USB port and want to connect it to your router at full speed?

Well, Asus' EA-N66 is one of less than a handful of 450Mbps Ethernet to Wi-Fi bridges that we've seen so far and Asus has come up with a design that you don't really need to hide away in a corner. In fact, if the final product will look anything like the PR photo, this will be one of the most interesting looking Wi-Fi devices made so far. In reality it's a very simple device with an Ethernet port and a power connector hidden away somewhere out of sight in the only picture Asus has shared so far. However, the EA-N66 can also act as a Wi-Fi repeater if you need to extend the range of your Wi-Fi network and Asus has even added an access point mode which can come in handy for those that have an Internet connection that doesn't require a router. No word on pricing or availability, but we'd expect the EA-N66 to be reasonably price when it arrives, although less so than the RT-N66U router.

Razer @ CES 2012: A Dalliance with the Project Fiona Concept PC Gaming Tablet Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/razer--ces-2012-a-dalliance-with-theproject-fiona-concept-pc-gaming-tablet/14535.html January 13th, 2012

The VR-Zone team @ Las Vegas had the exclusive opportunity of a back room hands-on session with Best of CES 2012 winner 'Project Fiona' Concept Gaming Tablet and to interview Razer's enigmatic CEO Min-Liang Tan. Also on display were the Blade Gaming Laptop and other new peripherals like the Naga Hex and SWTOR licensed devices. Razer's Booth @ CES 2012 Las Vegas Convention Centre North Hall

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'Project Fiona' Concept PC Gaming Tablet inside a transparent case - kept away from the hands of the unwashed masses

All the niggling issues of the SwitchBlade UI has been ironed out, and the Blade will be shipping soon to American markets

The dual nunchucks controllers caused quite a stir when it was unveiled to the public - but we shall testify later on that it works rather well

The new Razer Naga Hex gaming mouse designed for MMORPG gamers - with a more optimized and ergonomic shape and less buttons to accidentally actuate than the original Naga

Many demostration units of the Razer Blade 17-inch "World's first true gaming laptop" were available for freeplay

The Naga Hex still uses the dreadful Philips Twin-Eye hybrid sensor (Z-Axis issues) that Razer seems fond of using in their new 4G labelled products. 6


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....also uses the Philips Twin-Eye sensor - but like the Razer Mamba the cord can be detached to be turned into a wireless mouse

Star Wars: The Old Republic Keyboard - which has their innovative SwitchBlade UI keys where the numpad usually resides The new Synapse 2.0 cloud gaming profiles synchronization software

SWTOR Mouse and Mousepad

Microsoft @ CES 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft--ces-2012/14503.html January 13th, 2012

This year may be Microsoft's last participation in the Consumer Electronics Show, but according to various sources, the software giant has plans to have their own show, similar to some technology companies. Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, at his keynote, talked about Kinect for Windows, voice commands on Xbox, new LTE Windows Phone - Nokia Lumia 900 and HTC Titan II, and Windows 8. VR-Zone is at CES to find out more. 7


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Like Windows Phone 7, the OS is laid out with various Live Tiles, each representing an application. Depending on the app, pictures will animate and get updated. Navigation is fast, fluid and extremely responsive. In the Windows App Store, you can browse the various apps including games, entertainment, photos etc. You can also go by browse the app category according to Top Paid, Top Free and even Top Rated, as well as access the app details page. According to Flores, the Windows App Store offers trial versions of the applications, which allows users to try before purchasing. Unlike other App store model whereby users have to download a trial version, and if they enjoy using the app, will have to download the full version and delete the trial one, the WIndows App Store makes it a lot easier by turning the trail to a full version. It also save developers the hassle from having to update two versions every time. A Samsung slate PC seen at the Microsoft demo booth, not from the private session. VR-Zone was one of the media invited for a closed session on Windows 8 OS demo. Unfortunately, we were told no photos, video and audio recording were allowed at the session. The new operating system was demonstrated on two Samsung tablet-like device on docking stations, and were said to be powered by Intel processors. We managed to find out that the "tablet" is actually a Samsung Series 7 Slate PC that is incorporating the second generation Intel Core i3/i5 processor, up to 128GB SSD, has 400nit LED display, and comes in configurations of Wacom Pen, touch, and with wireless keyboard and mouse. According to a Samsung executive at CES 2012, the Slate PC has been announced few weeks ago, though there's no mention as to the availability of the product (or even the product to be preinstalled with Windows 8).

Moving on, Flores said that as a user download and install more apps, the Start screen will grow with more Live Tiles and navigation can be made easy by simply pinching with fingers to zoom out. You can also drag and rearrange the tiles accordingly, as well as categorize and group them. For the keyboard and mouse version, there is a clickable area on the lower right of the screen to zoom out. Remember the switching of tasks (shortcut key ALT+Tab)? You can do so now by swiping your finger from, or move your mouse to the left screen. The Windows 8 operating system can do a lot more with no more, or fewer resources required than that of Windows 7. This literally means that if your system can run Windows 7, it will have no problem running the new Windows 8. Flores also mentioned that apps that are available on Windows Store will run unmodified across the tablet device and PCs. However, there will be two different stores for Windows 8 and WIndows Phone 7.

Chris Flores, director, Windows Group, Microsoft, ran us through the various features of Windows 8 which was designed to provide a whole new way of computing, for users who need portability of the tablet, and power and precision of a PC, and a seamless experience across devices. Unlike some other lock screens, the new operating system shows your important appointment, as well as unread messages and emails. Swipe upwards will unlock the screen. 8


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With Windows 8 OS being capable of running on both PC and tablets, it seems that we may see the gap between the two closing up and resulting to a single hybrid device of both a PC and a tablet. This certainly makes sense as it is more convenient carrying one device than two. Lenovo has recently unveiled the IdeaPad Yoga at CES 2012 which is a multimode Ultrabook with 360-degree hinges that can be flipped backward to become a tablet. The 13.3-inch IdeaPad Yoga runs Windows 8 OS and is powered by Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and approximately eight hours of battery life. The concept is brilliant and we foresee other PC and tablet manufacturers would also come up with such hybrid system. Like its previous Windows announcement, we would probably hear more of these in the upcoming months, leading to the official launch of WIndows 8.

GCN HD 7000M GPUs release in Q2

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Mobile GCN GPUs are likely to be based on Pitcairn and Cape Verde, filling in HD 7700M, HD 7800M and HD 7900M. It is not known whether Tahiti will make the mobile line-up, as in the recent past the top flagship chip for both NVIDIA and AMD has been reserved for desktops only. As expected, these GPUs will bring all the new features introduced with HD 7970 to notebooks. NVIDIA has followed a similar strategy for its lower end GeForce 600M parts. Notebooks powered by higher end GTX 600M GPUs were glimpsed at CES 2012, and are also set to debut in Q2 2012. Q2 2012 brings Intel's Ivy Bridge and possibly AMD's Trinity platforms to the notebook, to co-incide with next-gen GPU families.

ICube UPU, the next step in processor evolution? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/icube-upu-the-next-step-in-processorevolution-/14518.html January 13th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gcn-hd-7000m-gpus-release-inq2/14534.html January 13th, 2012

In the last part of our Chinese CPU story, we covered ICube and their processors with a brand new instruction set, something not seen in like two decades. Here's a bit more about the new architecture after the visit to their Shenzhen HQ. While AMD's entry-level and mid-range HD 7000M GPUs upto HD 7600M are nothing but rebrands and refreshes from the HD 6000M family, HD 7700M and up are expected to be true next-gen parts based on 28nm GCN GPUs. These GCN mobile GPUs will release in Q2 2012. While AMD's entry-level and mid-range HD 7000M GPUs upto HD 7600M are nothing but rebrands and refreshes from the HD 6000M family, HD 7700M and up are expected to be true next-gen parts based on 28nm GCN GPUs. These GCN mobile GPUs will release in Q2 2012.

Any processor guru will tell you - It's very difficult to prop up a new instruction set architecture, even after going through all the technical difficulties, as the whole software stack has to be created from scratch: BIOS, compilers, libraries, operating system porting, drivers, basic applications, not to mention convincing the critical third-party software vendors to actually support the new architecture. All this requires substantial engineering, marketing and financial resources, not to mention a lot of guts. Ever since Alpha in 1991, there was no new major instruction set architecture to appear in the general market. In fact, since then, most of the non-X86 architectures disappeared from the scene, leaving the X86 - even though widely agreed to be technically the worst - as the pre-dominant one. Power and Sparc still keep a part of the server field, while ARM is, of 9


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course, the king of the hill right now in the mobile arena, with its old RISC competitor, MIPS, making some inroads as well.

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computing' where different threads of different nature would run separately on CPU and GPU portions.

Now, for the first time in two decades, there's a company openly promoting its own new instruction set, and launching a processor based on it right into the hot waters on the mobile device market. Furthermore, UPU is a brand new philosophy too - for the first time, CPU and GPU are truly fused into one processor core, MVP (Multi-thread Virtual Pipeline), where even the register file is shared! And, the extra surprise element is that the whole thing is fully designed and made in China, a true 'China Core' right from the instruction set definition, without any licensing or other dependencies on the US technology. ICube was set up by Fred Chow and Simon Moy, two industry veterans: Simon was behind the world's first 64bits MIPS processors in SGI, and after that the principal engineer in Nvidia for 7 years until 2004, in charge of all the inital GPU, shader and GPU computing efforts. Fred was chief scientist at SGI, in its golden days of funky coloured superworkstations, and principal engineers at MIPS, later developing the Pathscale compiler suite that enabled AMD Opteron its first 64-bit X86 support. He is the chief architect of the open-source Open64 compiler suite. So, interestingly, here you have two CPU designers actually driving the initial CPU design and instruction set - often it was memory companies (Intel was a DRAM maker when designing its first CPUs) or system companies like IBM, DEC or HP.

A very simple, elegant 32-bit RISC core, not unlike the original MIPS, does both functions, and the single 32-unit 32-bit register file is there for all operations. To support further parallelism, 4-way multithreading per core is supported, with optimised logic to remove the need for 4 separate register files. The compromises in the initial version? No SIMD vector stuff like Intel AVX, and no double-precision FP either. If you want more performance, you use more cores, which can be piled up together easily due to comparatively very small core footprint - only 2.7 square mm in the old 65 nm process. If in 32 nm process, it'd likely be only 1 square mm. This means that, on an average current 200 square mm CPU chip in 32 nm process, you could mount over 100 of these cores, plus interconnect logic and huge multimegabyte shared cache, all together. The result is a very small, compact dual-core chip even in the initial IC1 iteration, which they plan to scale to a quad-core IC2 next year, using 40 nm or better process. Simon Moy told us that, since China is in need of fast catching up, we are likely to see its CPU vendors jumping two process generations in one go to reach higher performance. That also applies to high-end MIPS-based Loongson processors there. The first chip specs are not bad knowing it's the very first iteration of a brand new instruction set:

UPU (Unified Processor Unit) approach in their 'Harmony' architecture is the first situation where CPU and GPU threads are sharing the same execution units, register file and many instructions. In a sense, it is a 'total fusion' of the two, unlike the AMD Fusion APU approach where CPU and GPU are still distinct, with separate instruction sets, registers, execution units and such. You could consider the UPU as an example of 'homogeneous computing' just like any standard processors we are used to, while the APU belongs to 'heterogeneous

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Over here at CES 2012 Las Vegas in their Bellagio suite, Cooler Master unveiled their latest products coming this year, including limited editions of the their larger than life COSMOS 2 casings, updated CM Storm Mice and full-sized mechanical keyboards (more on these later), and a new vapour chamber based CPU cooler with performance designed to compete head-on with entry level water cooling solutions. We take a look at the latter... The new and radical TPC 812, comes with a 12cm PWM fan (additional brackets for push-pull also provided) and Socket LGA 2011 brackets

While this first iteration is aimed squarely at inexpensive smartphones and tablets, without need for Full HD display or encoding, the potential of the architecture is there. Small, very low power core, yet with clean, elegant instruction set and ability to put thousands of cores in a single rack, can cover both client and server sides of a cloud, since many-user web page serving doesn't require 64-bitness or fast cores with large memory, just many cores for each of many threads to have its own resource without context switching overhead. What they could add further is, obviously, 64-bitness with SIMD support in some future iteration for the high end market, as it would help both integer and GPU performance ultimately, as well as address the high end market too. Also, a single channel of DDR2-533 is enough for a low-end phone, but multichannel DDR3 support will be important for market expansion to higher-end devices like servers where its new instruction set is not a problem as the whole open source stuff can be quickly compiled usually.

Side View - the TPC 812 uses the same quick install fan bracket as their ubiquitous V6 and newer Hyper coolers

Once the Android port is fully tuned over the next few months, we'll have a look at the device's performance in real OS, and its real potential. ICube has a tough job on their hand convincing partners that a brand new instruction set should be supported, but, what they created here can apply across many market segments ultimately, from smartphone to superserver. Let's see how they do in their initial chosen market segments first.

Cooler Master introduces a new Vapour Chamber CPU cooler - TPC 812 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cooler-master-introduces-a-newvapour-chamber-cpu-cooler--tpc-812/14531.html January 13th, 2012

Rear view - Honeycombed fins design help to maximize surface area

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Usually found in high end graphic card coolers, the flat vapour chamber element in the middle enables the TPC 812 handle up to 240+W of TDP

Top view - 6 regular U-shaped heatpipes with the vapour chamber block in the middle. Quite a pretty face for windowed cases The TPC 812 performs close to or better than entry level single radiator water cooling kits, and will be priced to compete with Corsair's H70/H80 series around the US$100 price point

Copper Base

Intel's last high-end Sandy Bridge processors arrives in February Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-last-high-end-sandy-bridgeprocessors-arrives-in-february/14530.html January 13th, 2012

We've already reported about the upcoming graphics-less Sandy Bridge models, the Core i5-2380P, Core i5-2450P and the Core i5-2550K and now we have the launch date. We also have the target demographics of these new CPUs, even though we still have a bit of a hard time following it.

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We've already reported about the upcoming graphics-less Sandy Bridge models, the Core i5-2380P, Core i5-2450P and the Core i5-2550K and now we have the launch date. We also have the target demographics of these new CPUs, even though we still have a bit of a hard time following it.

For those of you that are into small high-end motherboards, Zotac was showing off no less than three new models at CES intended for Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge processors. Two were based on the H77 chipset and one on the Z77 and in typical Zotac style all three features on-board Wi-Fi.

If you're planning on getting a graphics less Sandy Bridge processor then you only have three weeks to save up, as all

Pictures of the boards were posted over at TechPowerUp!, although no model names were mentioned and the only specifications we have is what we can see from the pictures. The first of the H77 boards features four SATA ports, of which two should be SATA 6Gbps, an mSATA slot, two full-size DIMMs, a x16 PCI Express slot and a vertical half-size mini PCI Express slot into which the Wi-Fi card is fitted. We should also expect four USB 3.0 ports thanks to chipset support, of which two appears to be via a header. Although we can't see the ports, the board should have at least one HDMI port and maybe even a DVI port, as well as Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1-channel audio and maybe even an eSATA port.

three models are set to arrive on the 6th of February. Sadly we don't know the pricing as yet, but judging what we've heard, the Core i5-2550 might actually end up more expensive than the Core i5-2500, or at least not any cheaper. The Core i5-2550 will apparently be targeted mainly for Europe and the US, with the Core i5-2450 for Europe and APAC and finally the Core i5-2380P heading to China and parts of Asia. The reasoning behind these chips is that there are usage scenarios where Intel's integrated graphics will never be used and as Intel has a few chips where the graphics doesn't work, they decided to launch processors without graphics. Oh, we lie, Intel actually has a lot of these chips, in fact the company has so many that it can't make enough graphics-less Xeon's out of them and this is one of the main reasons why Intel made them and not because they're certain that there will be a huge demand for them. We're not at all surprised, especially if these are chips where the graphics cores couldn't even be used for Core i3's. We heard a number and although we can't mention it here, let's just say that there won't be any short supply of these three new processors. For those of you that are concerned about not being able to get hold of a Sandy Bridge CPU in six months' time, no need to worry as Intel is apparently planning on keeping certain Sandy Bridge SKUs alive well into next year and these graphics-less parts will be some of those models that'll stick around. In related news Intel will be launching the quad core Core i7-3820 for the LGA-2011 socket on the 13th of February with an expected retail price of around US$300 (S$386), although the channel cost will be US$285 (S$367) according to various reports. It's not clear if this model will be using a different stepping than the initial hexa core LGA-2011 models or not.

Zotac shows off three mini-ITX 7-series motherboards at CES Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zotac-shows-off-three-mini-itx-7series-motherboards-at-ces/14529.html January 13th, 2012

Moving on to the slightly different model which appears to be a higher-end sibling we're looking at the addition of a DisplayPort, one extra SATA port, a heatink over the MOSFETs and a different PWM design which appears to use higher quality components. As far as we can tell, most of the other features remain the same, although it's possible that there are some hidden features that we can't make out. There's also a small sticker on both of the boards that appears to be hiding some of the writing on the boards.

For those of you that are into small high-end motherboards, Zotac was showing off no less than three new models at CES intended for Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge processors. Two were based on the H77 chipset and one on the Z77 and in typical Zotac style all three features on-board Wi-Fi. 13


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As for the Z77 model, things are quite different although here too we have four SATA ports; a pair of full-size DIMMS, a x16 PCI Express slot, an mSATA slot and a half-size mini PCI Express slot, the board layout is quite different. Somehow Zotac has managed to squeeze in an eight phase PWM and even a short heatpipe connecting the chipset heatsink with the MOSFET heatsink. There's also a POST80 debug LED at the front of the PCB next to what appears to be power and reset buttons. There's also an 8-pin EPS power connector in place here and it's clear that Zotac is targeting mini-ITX overclockers with this board.

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Oddly enough though, TechPowerUp! Is reporting that the Z77 doesn't feature a DisplayPort, but instead only has a DVI and HDMI port. It doesn't appear to have a header for front USB 3.0 ports either which suggests all four porst are around the back alongside an Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio and some other ports such as USB 2.0. All thee boards will of course have UEFI and the Z77 is said to have additional features over the H77 models, most likely to do with overclocking as the H77 chipset doesn't allow for overclocking. All in all a pretty impressive line-up from Zotac, if you want a mini-ITX Ivy Bridge motherboard that is.

CyberLink PowerDirector Mobile for Android announced Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cyberlink-powerdirector-mobile-forandroid-announced/14528.html January 13th, 2012

We're not sure if there's a huge demand for doing video editing on tablets and smartphones, although Google is already offering its own video editing utility with Android 3.x and many a smartphone has basic video editing programs. Now CyberLink wants a slice of the Android video editing space and has announced PowerDirector Mobile which the company has been demoing at CES. We're not sure if there's a huge demand for doing video editing on tablets and smartphones, although Google is already offering its own video editing utility with Android 3.x and many a smartphone has basic video editing programs. Now CyberLink wants a slice of the Android video editing space and 14


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has announced PowerDirector Mobile which the company has been demoing at CES. There seems to be a small caveat though, although the press release doesn't specifically state what hardware is supported, it does talk a lot about Nvidia's Tegra 3 SoC and how CyberLink has worked closely with Nvidia when PowerDirector Mobile was developed. The program is apparently optimized for the Tegra 3 chip, but it should seemingly work on most ARM processors, although we're fairly certain that there's a minimum hardware level. PowerDirector Mobile will apparently be able to decode two 1080p video streams simultaneously in real-time, although we're not entirely sure what this is good for beyond previews, but the press release states that multiple HD video streams can be previewed in real-time, although only with a quad core chip. There are also options for theme based video editing with various effects and transitions on offer. Somewhat obvious the press release also states that video production will be quicker using a quad core processor, no surprise there. Sadly PowerDirector Mobile will only be available bundled with devices and won't make an appearance in the Android market.

Google works to repair relations with China Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-works-to-repair-relations-withchina/14527.html January 13th, 2012

Google is working to repair relations with China after the two fell out over the alleged hacking of email accounts and censorship of search engine results two years ago. Google is working to repair relations with China after the two fell out over the alleged hacking of email accounts and censorship of search engine results two years ago. Daniel Alegre, head of Google Asia-Pacific, said that the company is hiring additional engineers, salespeople and product managers and will be introducing new products and services, particularly for Android devices, for Chinese consumers over the coming months. Alegre said that Google's go-founders recognise the “very large business opportunity in China�. Google never completely abandoned China, but it did severely curtail its investment there, including a drop in employees from 700 to 500. Google also did not release a lot of features in the country that many other countries around the world have. For example, China currently does not have access to the Android Market, Google's equivalent of Apple's App Store, but that is set to change.

Google previously threatened to completely withdraw from China after it attributed an alleged cyberattack of Gmail accounts belonging to human rights activists to the country. Google also decided it would no longer cooperate with the government's internet censorship rules, redirecting users of its Google.cn website to the uncensored Hong Kong equivalent. That move is believed to have originated from Google's cofounder Sergey Brin, with the company's then CEO, Eric Schmidt, expressing an unwillingness to leave the lucrative Chinese market. Now that tensions have eased and as analysts continue to predict massive growth in China's technology industry, it appears that Google is willing to let bygones be bygones and return to China.

Etron first with four port USB 3.0 controller with PCI Express x2 interface Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/etron-first-with-four-port-usb-3.0controller-with-pci-express-x2-interface/14526.html January 13th, 2012

Although Intel will be incorporating USB 3.0 support in most of its 7-series chipsets and AMD already having support in its A75 chipset, we're still a long way from ubiquitous USB 3.0 support and both Intel and AMD won't be offering more than four ports as standard. As such third party USB 3.0 host controllers aren't going anywhere for the time being at least and Etron has upped the game by launching two new four port host controllers. Although Intel will be incorporating USB 3.0 support in most of its 7-series chipsets and AMD already having support in its A75 chipset, we're still a long way from ubiquitous USB 3.0 support and both Intel and AMD won't be offering more 15


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than four ports as standard. As such third party USB 3.0 host controllers aren't going anywhere for the time being at least and Etron has upped the game by launching two new four port host controllers.

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the 17W variant designed for "ultrathins" - AMD's answer to ultrabooks.

First up we have the EJ188 which we saw early silicon of back at Computex in June, although that was a much larger BGA chip that what the announced chip which is a small 88pin QFN chip measuring 10x10mm, although it's still slightly larger than Renesas µPD720201. This is a fairly standard four port USB 3.0 host controller with a PCI Express 2.0 x1 interface and it should be competing with VLI, Renesas and Texas Instruments in the four port market. Much more interesting then is the EJ198 as this is the first – at least announced – four port USB 3.0 host controller with a PCI Express 2.0 x2 interface. Twice the PCI Express lane count means that in theory the USB 3.0 ports should have twice as much bandwidth to share between the host controller and the chipset. As such this should allow for better performance across the four ports than any current four port host controller when pushed to its limits. The EJ198 comes in the same 88pin QFN packaging as the EJ188. Etron claims to have had the EJ188 adopted by its partners already, but didn't mention anything about the EJ198. In truth we're hoping that the motherboard makers will adopt the EJ198 over the EJ188, if for no other reason that for future proofing. We'll do some digging and see if we can't find out a bit more about these new host controllers. In related news, Etron also announced a new USB 3.0 flash drive controller called the eV268 which will come in two different versions with support for either eight channels (eV268H) or 16 channels (eV268K) of SLC, MLC or TLC NAND flash. The eV268K also supports synchronous and toggle-mode MLC flash which allows for increased performance. Both versions of the eV268 supports 60-bit ECC and Etron claims that speeds of up to 230MB/s is possible with the eV268K. The eV268 has already been certified by the USBIF, so hopefully it won't take too long until we see a few USB 3.0 flash drives based on it.

Performance improvements expected for mobile Trinity are upto 25% for the CPU and 50% for the GPU over equivalent mobile Llano A-Series APUs it will succeed. The APUs benchmarked were 35W variants for both Trinity and Llano. However, these numbers are just projections and may vary with the final shipping product. AMD claims the 25% CPU performance increase is in the PC Mark Vantage Productivity benchmarks - a benchmark which has traditionally favoured Intel CPUs. The massive 50% uplift in GPU performance is in 3D Mark Vantage benchmark, while actual games may not scale as much. Trinity will also bring notable performance improvements to the desktop, though of lesser magnitude than the mobile variants - roughly 15% for the CPU, 30% for the GPU. Trinity introduces Turbo Core 3.0 and new video capabilities - possibly including VCE (Video Compression Engine) to take on Intel QuickSync. The battery life is stated to be 12 hours at idle, and as much as 3:20 hours / 200 minutes running 3D Mark 06 workfload. However, battery capacity used was not mentioned for these tests.

AMD Trinity slides leaked, 17W APU detailed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-trinity-slides-leaked-17w-apudetailed/14525.html January 13th, 2012

ComputerBase has leaked a couple of slides from AMD's CES 2012 press deck, covering performance gains expected over Llano, as well as battery life. The focal point is certainly the 17W variant designed for "ultrathins" - AMD's answer to ultrabooks. ComputerBase has leaked a couple of slides from AMD's CES 2012 press deck, covering performance gains expected over Llano, as well as battery life. The focal point is certainly

AMD's power efficiency improvements not only improve battery life and performance, but also enable new platforms. Trinity will be available in 17W variants - directly competing with Intel's ULV products. Trinity 17W APUs will find themselves in "ultrathins" - AMD's answer to Intel's "ultrabooks". However, the key difference is lower pricing, as AMD seeks to drive ultrathins into mainstream markets. While Intel ULV parts are restricted to dual-core, AMD is bringing all four cores to 17W. Trinity is set to release in mid-2012, and will directly compete with Intel's Ivy Bridge. While Intel will continue to maintain 16


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a dominant lead in raw CPU performance, Trinity is expected maintain AMD's leadership on the GPU front. The 17W quadcore Trinity is especially shaping up to be a very promising product, competing with dual-core Ivy Bridge, and driving thin and light notebooks into more affordable mainstream segments ultrabooks are unlikely to achieve for a while.

Microsoft to restructure marketing department and cut jobs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-to-restructure-marketingdepartment-and-cut-jobs/14524.html January 13th, 2012

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of skill sets or duplication of work. A number of jobs may be saved by shifting people to other areas. The revamp is likely due to increasing competition from rival firms like Apple and Google, the latter of which is expected to outgrow Microsoft’s Internet Explorer with its Chrome web browser this year. Microsoft’s troubles are also undoubtedly exacerbated by falling PC sales created by the current hard drive shortage. One of the sources suggested that an official announcement about the cuts could come within the next month.

Broadcom working on highend smartphone chips Microsoft is allegedly planning to restructure its marketing department and cut hundreds of jobs, a move that could signal a complete revamp of the company.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/broadcom-working-on-high-endsmartphone-chips/14523.html January 13th, 2012

Microsoft is allegedly planning to restructure its marketing department and cut hundreds of jobs, a move that could signal a complete revamp of the company. Bloomberg revealed that Microsoft conducted an internal review of its marketing division, which suggested some radical changes be employed, according to anonymous sources close to the Redmond-based company. Microsoft’s chief marketing officer Chris Capossela is believed to be organising the review, which is, according to the sources, being carried out at the request of CEO Steve Ballmer, who has questioned the value for money and return of investment for its excessive marketing budget. Microsoft spent $13.9 billion in this area in 2011 alone.

Broadcom's CTO, Henry Samueli, said at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas that the company is developing high-end smartphone processor chips for release by the end of this year. Broadcom's CTO, Henry Samueli, said at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas that the company is developing high-end smartphone processor chips for release by the end of this year. The wireless and broadband semiconductor firm plans to expand its processor portfolio over the next two years with chips that cater for the higher end of the market, according to Samueli, with the first ones out later this year. The company has previously catered for low-priced smartphones and feature phones, but now that more and more people are looking for a phone that can do more, and do it faster, Broadcom has decided to change its direction.

An exact figure on possible job cuts is unknown, but estimates suggest it will be in the hundreds rather than the thousands. The redundancies are to be made in areas where there is a lack 17


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Samueli told Reuters that Broadcom is pretty much ready in terms of having the capability to make the chips in question, but that designing them into products, testing them and certifying them will delay the process. A number of smartphone manufacturers have signed up to use the Broadcom chips, but Samueli would not say which companies these were.

AMD Phenom II X8 2420 Spotted Running in the Wild Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-phenom-ii-x8-2420-spottedrunning-in-the-wild/14522.html January 13th, 2012

Just like one of those elusive dinosaurs which live under your sofa and cast shadows at night, we spotted a Phenom II X8 running in the wild, which first appeared in QVL lists released by some motherboard manufacturers last month. No details about its performance or availability yet... We spotted this running on an ASUS Crosshair V Formula and snagged a picture of the bios cpu information screen . AMD Phenom II X8 2420 is a '8-Core', 2.40GHz, 95W AM3+ part. No word on which core architecture its actually based on but it does have double the L1 and L2 cache sizes of the 'Zambezi' FX-8150. We speculate it could either be the aged Stars or the more forward-looking Piledriver (which the upcoming Trinity processors are confirmed to be using)...

Microsoft Re-Releases Patches for AMD Bulldozer Architecture Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-re-releases-patches-for-amdbulldozer-architecture/14521.html January 13th, 2012

Few weeks back, Microsoft caused a lot of fuss by releasing an incomplete Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2 patch for AMD Bulldozer architecture, which should increase the performance. Download those today. FIRST INSTALL THIS KB2645594 The CPU scheduling techniques that are used by Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are not optimized for the AMD Bulldozer module architecture. Therefore, multithreaded workloads may not be optimally distributed on computers that have one of these processors installed in a lightly-threaded environment. This may result in decreased system performance for some applications. When this update is installed, the scheduler will be aware that your Bulldozer processor contains dual-core modules. In essence, threads 1-4 now get assigned to their own module first. 18


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THEN INSTALL KB2646060 The CPU Power Policies that are used by Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are not optimized for the dual core AMD Bulldozer module architecture. This can result in decreased system performance with multithreaded workloads in lightly-threaded environments. When this update is installed, Bulldozer modules will be less likely to achieve the C6 power state. This potentially results in increased power consumption in more lightly-threaded environments.

EVGA to Enter PSU Business, Plans Fully Modular 750W, 1KW and 1.5KW Models Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/evga-to-enter-psu-business-plans-fullymodular-750w-1kw-and-1.5kw-models/14520.html January 13th, 2012

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company opted against entering the market with a “mee too” product.

The lineup will be consisted out of three units, the 750W, 1KW and 1.5KW models which are fully modular. The company will also bring a certain software to the market (hence the USB header on the PSU) and “a unique cabling”. We expect to see these parts being finalized for one of the next trade shows that being German CeBIT in March or Computex Taipei in June.

EVGA used this year's CES 2012 to show its new line of power supplies. Unlike the trial from a few years back, this time the products are actually coming to market. On CES 2012, we met with the EVGA team featuring Andrew Han, founder and CEO of the company, Joe Darwin and Jacob Freeman (not in a relation with Gordon Freeman of Half Life fame).

CES 2012 Booth Tour Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ces-2012-booth-tour/14517.html January 13th, 2012

VR-Zone is in Las Vegas for the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week. We managed to have a quick tour of the convention centre and here are some of the highlights.

The company has versatile plans for the future, such as establishing themselves in the premium financial market which is actually consuming more ultra-high end gaming PC’s than the actual gamers themselves. Thus in order to power all the GeForce cards which are serving as number crunchers, and the upcoming SRX ultimate gaming/workstation board based on the X79 Romley platform, the company is entering the power supply business. Readers will remember that few years back, EVGA demonstrated prototype units of power supplies but the

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Despite being the software giant's last participation, Microsoft has a huge presence at the Consumer Electronics Show 2012. The company showcased their popular Kinect for Xbox (and Windows); Windows-based products including Ultrabooks and Windows Phones; as well as a demo on the various features off the upcoming Windows 8 operating system.

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The company has also announced th new Motorola DROID 4, the thinnest and most powerful 4G smartphone with QWERTY slide-out keyboard for ease of typing. The phone also comes with high definition camera and webcam that can capture pictures and videos in great clarity. With MotoCast, it provides infinite access to music, videos and photos that have been saved to the remote PC.

Asus Launches Eee Pad Transformer Prime Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-launches-eee-pad-transformerprime/14519.html January 13th, 2012

At the Motorola's booth, we spotted a MOTOACTV device, which is both a fitness tracker and a smart music player, designed for athletes. Announced In November last year, the MOTOACTV claims to be equipped with GPS tracker and can track time, distance, pace and elevation; measures daily step cpunt and calories burnt, as well as synchronize to fitness-tracking website wirelessly and automatically.

Asus launched the ultra-slim and light Transformer Prime in Singapore at a mere 8.3mm thin and weighing only 586g. The Transfomer Prime is one of the most unique tablets available on the market today and priced at on SGD 899. The Transformer as it is called can transform from your traditional tablet based to a clamshell design with a real keyboard. The dock functions not only as a keyboard but an additional power source to keep you computing all day and night for a whopping 18 hours of up-time.

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Models posing with ASUS Transformer Prime

Asus launched the ultra-slim and light Transformer Prime at a mere 8.3mm thin and weighing only 586g. The Transfomer Prime is one of the most unique tablets available on the market today and priced at on SGD 899. The Transformer as it is called can transform from your traditional tablet based to a clamshell design with a real keyboard. The dock functions not only as a keyboard but an additional power source to keep you computing all day and night for a whopping 18 hours of uptime.

Long queue formed at Suntec City for Transformer Prime

The Transformer Prime uses nVidia's latest Quad Core processor, the Tegra 3, deliver processing power beyond imagination. Imagine dazzling rendered gaming effects and smooth 1080p HD video playback. Built tough to withstand the rigours of on-the-road computing, Transformer Prime has a metallic spun finish, Gorilla glass from Corning and the tough glass screen doesn't sacrifice the display's brilliance. The display is a Super IPS+ (In-Plane Switching) panel featureing 178-degree viewing angle so you can easily share and use it for client presentations or sharing the screen with a friend as you watch a high definition movie. Detail specification can be found here:

Group shot with ASUS Singapore, NVIDIA Taiwan and the models

Sony PlayStation Vita to land in Singapore on 22 February 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-playstation-vita-to-land-insingapore-on-22-february-2012/14501.html

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January 13th, 2012

January 13th, 2012

Good news to those of you in Singapore who have been eagerly waiting for the PlayStation Vita since last year. Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong has announced that the handheld game console will be available from 22 February.

We've already reported on Intel and Motorola's partnership on smartphones and tablets, but what wasn't included there was anything about the actual hardware. Intel has finally announced its Medfield Atom processor, now known as the Z2460 and this is what will be making its way into the first Intel powered smartphones. We've already reported on Intel and Motorola's partnership on smartphones and tablets, but what wasn't included there was anything about the actual hardware. Intel has finally announced its Medfield Atom processor, now known as the Z2460 and this is what will be making its way into the first Intel powered smartphones.

Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong (SCEH) has announced that the PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) Wi-Fi handheld game console will be released in Singapore on 22 February 2012. The suggested retail price for this model will be S$399.

Although Intel signed a partnership with Motorola, it looks like the first device out the door will be Lenovo's K800 smartphone which will according to Intel start selling in China as soon as the second quarter of this year. We've got a nice photo of the phone below with Lenovo's representative at CES holding it up-side-down as it happens. Intel has been very scarce with details of the Atom Z2460 and the press release only goes as far as to say that it features Hyper-Threading and that it'll paired up with the Intel XMM 6260 HSPA+ modem in the Lenovo K800.

Gamers will not only enjoy the rich and immersive gaming content, but also have easy access and greater opportunity to communicate with friends through the addition of social networking services and communications widely used around the globe such as Facebook, Flickr, foursquare, Skype, and Twitter. You can also share your photos and movies with friends and peers. Accompanying the launch of PS Vita is a line-up of peripherals and accessories including memory cards, and the “Accessory Pack�, which consists of a case, protective film, cleaning cloth, game card case and wrist strap. The PS Vita launch titles include Army Corps of Hell (English Version), BLAZBLUE CONTINUUM SHIFT EXTEND (English Version), DUNGEON HUNTER ALLIANCE, Dynasty Warriors NEXT (English Version), EA SPORTS FIFA Football, MICHAEL JACKSON THE EXPERIENCE HD, NINJA GAIDEN ? PLUS, RIDGE RACER (English Version), ULTIMATE MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 3 (English Version), and UNCHARTED: Golden Abyss (Chinese & English Version).

Intel sort of announces the Atom Z2460 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-sort-of-announces-the-atomz2460/14516.html

Intel does of course have its own reference design handset as so often before and this time around it has a 4.03-inch display and a rear 8Megapixel camera that can snap 15 pictures in less than a second. It's running Android, but this is hardly surprising after Intel's disaster with MeeGo. As it happens, Anandtech has a lot of extra information that will help fill in the blanks in Intel's press release and we'll summarize some of them here, but we'd suggest you head over there for the full story.

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close to 50fps. Do remember that this is at reasonably high resolution. Intel does have the advantage of having a higher clocked GPU core than most ARM based processors using the PowerVR SGX540, but even so it's far from the fastest GPU core available in this market space.

Let's start with a closer look at the Atom Z2460 which according to Anand is a power optimized Atom SoC. It should be noted that the Z2460 doesn't have a PCH and as such this is Intel's first, fully integrated Atom SoC. As with so many other Atom processors we're looking at graphics from Imagination Technologies, in this case the PowerVR SGX 540, the same graphics core found in Texas Instruments OMAP4 ARM processors, albeit at a higher clock speed of 400MHz. Intel has also integrated Imagination Technologies VDX385 video decoder and VDE285 video encoder, both capable of 1080p30 video. Finally there are some components inside the Atom Z2460 from Silicon Hive to handle cameras and image processing and just as the video encoder and decoder, this is to offload these task from the x86 core to help reduce power consumption. The Atom Z2460 supports LPDDR2 memory and is only available in a PoP (Package on Package) configuration. What this means is that there are pins on top of the SoC for the DRAM to be soldered on to help reduce PCB space taken up by the two otherwise rather large chips.

One of the most important aspects here though is power draw and according to Intel's own tests their reference platform ends up drawing roughly the same kind of power as a Samsung Galaxy S II, give and take a little bit depending on the test in question. Not bad going considering that this is Intel's first real attempt at a SoC designed specifically for smartphones. Time will tell how well actual retail devices are in terms of power usage, but it's fairly obvious that Intel has done some serious work on getting the power draw down to as low levels as possible. Intel still has an uphill battle to fight, even if the company has already found a couple of partners willing to work on developing devices based on Intel's new Atom SoC as well as future models. Apparently we can expect revised versions as soon as by the end of this year with improved graphics among the upgrades. We'd steer clear of first generation hardware though, simply based on the fact that first generation hardware tends to have a fair few issues that are generally solved by the second generation.

LucidLogix wants to play in the cloud, games that is Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lucidlogix-wants-to-play-in-the-cloudgames-that-is/14515.html January 13th, 2012

In addition to its XLR8 software, LucidLogix also announced VGWare or Virtual Graphics Ware which is a cloud graphics software according to the company that will allow for cloud gaming and remote graphics rendering. Beyond enabling remote gaming on just about any device away from your desktop PC it's also targeting any other application that would need high-end graphics performance on a platform that lacks it. In terms of performance Anand got the chance to run a couple of benchmarks and the Atom Z2460 outperformed all current ARM implementations and that was running Android 3.x with Intel expecting even better performance from Android 4.x. The benchmarks aren't what we'd call the most telling out there, as one was the SunSpider Javascript benchmark which can produce quite varying results depending on the web browser – try it on Opera mobile and you'll see what we mean – as well as BrowserMark. Even so, it looks like we can expect a good web experience from the Z2460 which is important considering its target market.

In addition to its XLR8 software, LucidLogix also announced VGWare or Virtual Graphics Ware which is a cloud graphics software according to the company that will allow for cloud gaming and remote graphics rendering. Beyond enabling remote gaming on just about any device away from your desktop PC it's also targeting any other application that would need high-end graphics performance on a platform that lacks it.

Anand also got the opportunity to run GLBenchmark 2.1 on the Intel device at 1024x600 and although there are no comparative numbers posted, Intel managed to stay well over 30fps in the two tests that were run with one hitting 23


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Lucid's usage scenario seems to be based around a "server" which in reality could be a high-end PC with a graphics card in it. VGWare supports AMD and Nvidia GPUs, multiple ones at that, as well as CUDA, OpenGL and OpenCL. In other words it's possible to use it for a lot more than gaming, especially as GPU computing starts to really take off. Lucid claims low latency for fetching and transmitting frame buggers and even suggests that it's possible to run multiple, concurrent games on a single GPU, although we're not quite sure how that would work.

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Interesting stuff, although in some parts not entire revolutionary as OnLive is offering a remote gaming service in the US that does the same, just over much greater distances. That said, Lucid's press release seems to suggest that VGWare is capable of doing something similar as it talks about running remote servers in the cloud or data center (aren't they the same?). This is another tricky one, but something that doesn't seem quite as farfetched as Lucid's XLR8 claims. The question is how much of a demand there will be for VGWare, as in as much as it sounds like a useful solution in some cases such as shuffling your PC games onto your TV, we'd rather not play them on a smartphone or tablet.

LucidLogix announced XLR8 software for ARM GPUs and more Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lucidlogix-announced-xlr8-softwarefor-arm-gpus-and-more/14514.html January 13th, 2012

That said, Lucid doesn't tend to use a GPU as intended with its software and we have a feeling this has something to do with it. On the client side Lucid claims less than to frames lag over WiFi, something that sounds quite impressive. Apparently any DirectX or OpenGL program should work, be it a game or a professional 3D application and it should be possible to run them on another desktop, a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone or even an internet TV. We would expect that Lucid would have to provide some kind of client software on this end, unless its relying on a web browser based solution.

We've already seen a lot of examples of what LucidLogix has managed to do with its Virtu software, but its latest software named XLR8 has us scratching our heads. The software is targeting the various GPUs you'd find inside ARM processors, as well as integrated graphics in AMD and Intel processors and is not only said to be boosting the performance, but also lower the power usage of said GPUs. We've already seen a lot of examples of what LucidLogix has managed to do with its Virtu software, but its latest software named XLR8 has us scratching our heads. The software is targeting the various GPUs you'd find inside ARM processors, as well as integrated graphics in AMD and Intel processors and is not only said to be boosting the performance, but also lower the power usage of said GPUs. According to the press release, XLR8 is compatible with AMD's Fusion APUs, ARM's Mali GPUs, Intel's HD4000 and HD2500 IGPs in the upcoming Ivy Bridge processors and 24


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Nvidia's various Tegra models. The idea here is that Lucid's new software will optimize the system to help prevent things like tearing and artefacts, but it's also meant to improve power efficiency and help improve playability of games.

Lucid's president Offir Remez went as far as saying "If it's got a GPU, we can improve the end user experience" which is quite a cocky statement. The company claims that XLR8 can improve certain configurations by as much as 200 percent in terms of performance by increasing GPU frame generation while preventing the GPU from performing redundant rendering tasks. It all sounds great, but as we all know, the proof is in the pudding and Lucid has as yet to offer the software for testing by third parties. It will be interesting to see if XLR8 lives up to Lucid's claims, but for now, we'll remain sceptical.

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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.

Steve Jobs doll cancelled Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/steve-jobs-doll-cancelled/14574.html January 18th, 2012

In Icons, a Chinese action figure firm, has pulled the plug on its plans to release a doll of the late co-founder and former CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, after it was consistently threatened by lawyers from Apple and Jobs' family. In Icons, a Chinese action figure firm, has pulled the plug on its plans to release a doll of the late co-founder and former CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, after it was consistently threatened by lawyers from Apple and Jobs' family. The 12-inch doll is the splitting image of Jobs, complete with his trademark attire of a black turtleneck, jeans, and round glasses. It was also to come with various accessories, including a miniature apple. The figure was set for release next month, with a $99 price tag. The company said that it does not believe it was illegal to make the doll, but decided that it would not proceed “out of our heartfelt sensitivity to the feelings of the Jobs family�.

Many saw the doll as a tribute to Jobs, his life and his legacy, in much the same way fans of pop legend Michael Jackson have been treated to numerous life-like statues and action figures. This is not the first time Apple has interfered with the sale of Jobs memorabilia, however. The company previously blocked the sale of Steve Jobs bobble-heads made by a different company last year. The question remains as to whether or not Apple and Jobs' family were being a bit too heavy-handed with the legal hounds in this case. We wonder if perhaps a deal could not have been struck so that some of the proceeds could have went to Jobs' family.

Before and After Microsoft's Bulldozer Scheduler Patches: AMD Opteron 'Interlagos' 6274 Server Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/before-and-after-microsofts-bulldozer-scheduler-patches-amd-opteron-interlagos-6274server/14572.html January 18th, 2012

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Last week during the CES period, Microsoft finally released a set of Windows 7/2008 R2 operating system patches (KB2646060 and KB2645594) to change core parking and scheduler behaviour to more effectively utilize the "Bulldozer" modules (first dreamt of in 2006) found in newer AMD FX desktop and Opteron server chips. Using a 2P Opteron 'Interlagos' 6274 which is 115W TDP part and has a nominal frequency of 2.2GHz with all cores loaded, we do a quick check for any performance improvements. Test Setup:

Benchmarks:

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Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang resigns Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/yahoo-co-founder-jerry-yangresigns/14573.html January 18th, 2012

Jerry Yang, the co-founder of internet portal Yahoo, has resigned from the company's board of directors, potentially freeing the ailing firm for a possible buyout. Jerry Yang, the co-founder of internet portal Yahoo, has resigned from the company's board of directors, potentially freeing the ailing firm for a possible buyout. He said that it was time to “pursue other interests outside of Yahoo”, and resigned from the boards of Yahoo, Yahoo Japan, and Alibaba Group. He also dropped his title as “Chief Yahoo”. Yang founded Yahoo with the help of David Filo in 1995 and acted as CEO from 2007 to 2009, but he also became the biggest obstacle to the sale of the company, upsetting shareholders by turning down tempting buyout offers by rival firms. Yang was responsible for turning down Microsoft's $47.5 billion acquisition bid in 2008, with the company now valued at around $20 billion, less than half of Microsoft's offer.

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The move comes just two weeks after Yahoo hired Scott Thomson, a former PayPal executive, to becomes its latest CEO, suggesting there might have been a difference of opinion between these two on how the company should proceed going forward. Now that he is leaving the company, many analysts believes that a potential sale could go ahead. It will also mean that a full restructuring of the company can proceed unimpeded. At the time of writing Yahoo's stock was up $0.34, or 2.24 percent, to $15.77, which shows how shareholders felt about Yang.

Dell releases Alienware X51 affordable gaming PC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dell-releases-alienware-x51-affordablegaming-pc/14571.html January 18th, 2012

Dell has released the Alienware X51, its latest gaming PC, offering an affordable performance rig with room for upgrades. Consumers have a choice of an Intel Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7 processor, a 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 545 or GTX 555 graphics card, and 4GB or 8GB of DDR3 RAM, all on a Mini-ITX motherboard. Other features include a 1TB hard drive and a slot-loading dual layer DVD burner, with the option to add a more expensive Blu-ray disc reader. It also comes with an Alienware 240 Watt PSU, which can be upgraded to a 330 Watt version, which are not exactly the most powerful for a gaming system, but they will do for lower specs.

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Connectivity wise, there are six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a HDMI 1.4 output, a RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet port, and the usual headphone and speaker ports. It also supports Wi-Fi. US and Canadian buyers can get access to the Alienware Gaming Services, which offers technical support for the latest games, such as setup, performance optimisation, customisation, and troubleshooting. Let's not forget the chassis, which, like other Alienware rigs, looks pretty awesome. The base price for the X51 starts at $699, £699 or €799, considerably lower than other Alienware systems, making it one of the more affordable gaming computers.

Microsoft 30th anniversary trade-in offer, and Arc Touch "Year of the Dragon" edition Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-30th-anniversary-trade-inoffer-and-arc-touch-year-of-the-dragon-edition/14568.html January 18th, 2012

This Lunar New Year, Microsoft is offering a cool trade-in program for all your old mice, as well as introducing the new Arc Touch ‘Year of the Dragon’ edition. Read on for the details.

It supports internal high-definition 7.1 performance audio and comes with Waves MAXX Audio Software. Other software includes the Alienware Command Centre, and, of course, Windows 7 Home Premium. 4


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Chinese dragon etched into the silicone “tail” of the mouse. This special edition is only available at selected Newstead stores at a suggested retail price of S$89. The Arc Touch Mouse is the first computer mouse designed to flatten for portability and pop up for comfort. For easier navigation, users can move a finger slowly for controlled navigation or flick for hyperfast scrolling via the touch scroll strip. Consumers will love packing up their laptop bags without the added bump of a mouse, as the Arc Touch Mouse flattens with just the touch of a finger. Flattening the mouse also switches it off to conserve battery power. The Arc Touch Mouse features BlueTrack Technology that tracks on more surfaces than conventional laser and optical mice. Microsoft is announcing its first-ever mouse trade-in program in Singapore. Customers can bring their old computer mouse (any condition or brand) to participating retailers island-wide, and drop them in specially designed recycling boxes to receive a special discount off the Explorer Touch Mouse and Touch Mouse. With each trade-in, customers can either receive S $10 off the Explorer Touch Mouse (suggested retail price S $59 before trade-in) or S$20 off the Touch Mouse (suggested retail price S$99 before trade-in). Customers can purchase any color or edition of the two eligible Microsoft mice with this promotion; there are also no limits to the number of tradeins per customer. This promotion is available from today, 18 January till 31 March 2012 or while stocks last. The Explorer Touch Mouse comes with a unique scroll pad that replaces the traditional scroll-wheel allowing users to scroll horizontally and vertically within browsers or documents with absolute precision. Scroll carefully with soft nudges or speed through documents faster with a flick of a finger. Hidden underneath the scroll pad are three buttons which can be customized for multiple uses like cut, paste, page-up and more. To cap it off, the Explorer Touch can last up to 18 months on a single set of AA batteries. The Touch Mouse was designed ground up to accelerate the consumer’s Windows 7 experience. With simple one, two and three-finger gestures, users can scroll through documents with ease, manipulate Windows programs, and move quickly between applications to finish work faster and better. This is thanks to the series of touch sensors embedded on the top half of the Touch Mouse that enable multi-touch capabilities – all on an ergonomic design. This is Microsoft’s most advanced mouse ever and has won awards such as the PC Mag’s Editor’s Choice Award.

Philips gift guide for Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/philips-gift-guide-for-chinese-newyear-and-valentine-s-day/14567.html January 18th, 2012

With Chinese New Year just next week away, and Valentine’s Day coming soon, Philips has some gift ideas for you in these special occasions. Philips Blu-ray Player BDP9600

This Philips Blu-ray Player BDP9600 is able to play any popular disc format, and lets you watch your favorite festive movies in high definition quality. It comes with built-in WiFi which allows you to access a world of entertainment. After the holiday celebrations, you can even use DLNA to connect the player to your home network and stream festive videos and photos from your computers wirelessly, to share with your family. Price: S$699 Philips Fidelio Docking Speaker AS851

Microsoft is launching the Year of the Dragon limited edition Arc Touch Mouse, with custom packaging and a classic 5


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The Philips Fidelio Docking Speaker AS851 is a classic fit for every living room. It features a smart design to fit and charge your Apple, Android or other phones, and you can also wirelessly stream your favorite music from your Android device via Bluetooth. Price: S$349

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Available in a range of attractive colors, the Philips In-Ear Headsets use neodymium magnets and specially designed vents to provide a smoother and more enjoyable listening experience. For iPhone or Blackberry users, these color pop headsets come with built-in microphones that allows you to enjoy hands-free conversation easily. Price: S$27.90 to S$29.90

Philips SHL9700 Headband Headphones

LG unveils Optimus Pad LTE, the company's first LTE tablet Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-unveils-optimus-pad-lte-thecompany-s-first-lte-tablet/14566.html January 18th, 2012

LG has introduced its first LTE tablet, the Optimus Pad LTE. Powered by 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, the 8.9-inch tablet runs Android 3.2 Honeycomb and features True high definition (HD) IPS display for breath-taking visuals.

With innovative memory-foam Floating Cushions and superior 40mm speaker drivers, the Philips SHL9700 Headband Headphone claim to provide amazing comfort and superb sound quality. Its portable and flat-folding design also allows users to have an enjoyable and stylish music experience on the go. Price: S$119 Philips In Ear Headsets SHE2675/SHE3575

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Today, LG unveiled their first LTE-capable tablet, the Optimus Pad LTE. Launching first in Korea, the company has equipped the tablet with both LTE technology and True high definition (HD) IPS display, which helped to differentiate itself from the competition. Users can enjoy high definition multimedia content with 1280x720 True HD IPS display and the tablet also comes with an 8-megapixel camera for capturing high resolution images and videos. The Optimus Pad LTE also claims to be the world’s first tablet to support an SD memory card of up to 32GB.

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Korean energy and environmental device company, MotomoTechWon, has come up with their newly developed ‘SAVE PC’ which claims to be the first Smart PC to adopt a core technology that prevents leakage of standby power, i.e. zero watt standby power.

The Optimus Pad LTE offers easy-to-use controls and functions such as the Smart Movie Editor for editing pictures and videos; Web Duet for e-mailing, messaging and SNS sharing with search functions; and On-Screen Phone (OSP) software that ensures compatibility with LG smartphones. Weighing 479g and measuring a mere 9.34mm thin, the LG Optimus Pad LTE is equipped with a 1.5 GHz dualcore processor and runs Android 3.2 Honeycomb OS. It also comes with HDMI output and supports Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA). Specifications Operating System: Android 3.2 Honeycomb Memory: User 32GB (Micro SD up to 32GB) Size: 245 x 151.4 x 9.34 mm Weight: 497 g Display: 8.9-inch IPS True HD Display Resolution: 1280 x 768 Camera: 8MP (Rear) / 2MP (Front) Processor: Qualcomm 1.5GHz Dual-Core / Dual Channel Processor Battery: 6,800mAh Others: HDMI, DLNA

MotomoTechWon "SAVE PC" is world's first Smart PC with zero watt standby power Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/motomotechwon-save-pc-is-world-sfirst-smart-pc-with-zero-watt-standby-power/14565.html January 18th, 2012

MotomoTechWon, an energy and environmental device company in Korea, has developed a new eco-friendly computer ‘SAVE PC’. Claims to be the first of its kind in the world, the ‘SAVE PC’ adopts a core technology that can prevent leakage of standby power to zero watts. Standby power refers to the electricity that is consumed by an appliance while its power is turned off. Standby power continuously leaks from PCs, electric rice cookers, TVs, gas stoves, washing machines and refrigerators as long as they don't pull their plugs out of the wall at home. Installed with the innovative ‘Standby Power Cutoff Apparatus for Computer’ (SPCAC) chip, the MotomoTechWon ‘SAVE PC’ can block leakage of standby power by 100%, reducing power charges by 10% and emission of CO2 by 3Kg a year. Unlike products of other companies that are installed with an auxiliary battery, SPCAC chip can completely block standby power by turning off its power switch, which is equivalent to pulling the plug of the PC out of the wall.

Bose launches Bluetooth Headset Series 2 in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bose-launches-bluetooth-headsetseries-2-in-singapore/14564.html January 18th, 2012

Incorporating various proprietary technologies, the compact Bose Bluetooth headset Series 2 is designed to meet the demands of consumers on the go. You are ensured clear conversations, thanks to its noise-rejecting microphone system and automatic reaction to noise levels.

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Plantronics Marque M155 Review: Small, stylish and smart Bluetooth headset Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/plantronics-marque-m155-reviewsmall-stylish-and-smart-bluetooth-headset/14335.html January 18th, 2012

Atlas Sound & Vision, the audio visual retailer and distributor for Bose, has announced the availability of the Bose Bluetooth headset Series 2 in Singapore. It ensures conversations are clear and natural – even in challenging environments. The Bose Bluetooth headset Series 2 integrates Bose full-range audio and A2DP, and comes in right and left ear versions. The Bose Bluetooth headset Series 2 includes a proprietary dual microphone system that not only improves speech intelligibility but also rejects background and wind noise dramatically. To keep incoming voices clear, Bose incorporate their proprietary TriPort acoustic structure and Bose Adaptive Audio Adjustment technology that react automatically as noise levels change; there’s no need to adjust volume settings or strain to hear a conversation. With the new customdesigned internal antenna, the Bose Bluetooth headset Series 2 aims to offer superb performance. It also features Bose StayHear tips designed for long wearing comfort and stability, making it ideal for driving, commuting, working or multitasking at home. Made of soft, flexible silicone, the StayHear tips conform to the ear, eliminating irritation or the need to reposition. The Bose Bluetooth headset Series 2 is compatible with devices using the Bluetooth 2.1 (or earlier) specifications that support the Bluetooth handsfree or A2DP profiles. For consumers who want to maintain an active connection between their headset and two Bluetooth enabled devices, it includes multi-point functionality. Pricing and Availability The Bose Bluetooth headset Series 2 is available for S$249, and includes a portable zipper case, a one-foot USB cable,and three StayHear tips (small, medium, large) for a personal fit. The Bose Bluetooth headset Series 2 can be purchased from selected partners, Atlas Experience Audio Visual Boutique at TripleOne Somerset and Bose at Millenia Walk.

Not everyone uses a Bluetooth headset to have hands-free conversation. But for those who do, they are mostly busy business professionals or drivers on the road, though it seems that there is also a growing number of mainstream consumers who are using the device. The Plantronics Marque M155 was announced in Singapore earlier last month, and we managed to get hold of one for this review.

When it comes to Bluetooth headsets, Plantronics is one of the well-known names that come to mind. The company started as a maker for aviation headsets, and slowly grew to mobile headset, noise-canceling technology and the personal speakerphone. (In case you didn't know, when U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon, his first words were transmitted through a Plantronics headset). The Marquee M155 is the latest brainchild and claims to be Plantronics' smallest Bluetooth headset to date. If you go to the Plantronics' website, you'll notice that there isn't a lot of details on the Marquee M155's specifications. But for those who are interested: the headset weighs 7g; has a built-in lithium polymer rechargeable battery; supports Bluetooth 3.0 with an operating distance of up to 10 metres, streams music and from A2DP-enabled phones and has a run time of up to five hours and standby time of nine days.

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Oppo releases official images and specifications of Find 3 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/oppo-releases-official-images-andspecifications-of-find-3/14563.html January 18th, 2012

Last month, Oppo was reported to be planning the launch of their Find 2 smartphone that runs Android 4.0 ICS. It seems that the company has recently released the official images and specifications of their new Find 3 (and not Find 2) phone.

Oppo has released the official product images and information of their latest Find 3 Android smartphone. Made of aluminium alloy with a brushed finish, the Oppo Find 3 has a large touch screen with a layer of protective glass. Specifications include Qualcomm MSM8260 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM / 16GB ROM, 2-megapixel front camera, and 8megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash, which is similar to the Xiaomi M1 and Meizu MX. The Oppo Find 3 will run a custom user interface based on Android 2.3 Gingerbread at launch, though the company said that it will be upgradeable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Apple iPad 3 to launch in March with new features The Plantronics Marquee M155 comes In the standard retail box, which seems to be oversized for such a small Bluetooth headset. Well, that's only to fit in a carton case made of environmentally-friendly cardboard which contains the user's manual, USB cable, two translucent ear pieces of different sizes and a ear loop. The USB cable has another female USB connector for user to connect to their phone (or other devices).

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-ipad-3-to-launch-in-march-withnew-features/14562.html January 18th, 2012

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Apple's iPad 3 is expected to hit shops in March, touting a new high-definition display and a faster processor, and offering 4G capability. Apple's iPad 3 is expected to hit shops in March, touting a new high-definition display and a faster processor, and offering 4G capability. Three sources close to the Cupertino, California-based company said that Apple's manufacturing partners in Asia are increasing production of the device this month and will reach full volumes by February, according to Bloomberg. Two of the anonymous sources said that the next-generation tablet will come with a quad-core processor, which will greatly speed up applications. This will be a big improvement over the 1GHz dual-core processor employed in the iPad 2.

Published by: VR-Zone January 18th, 2012

Since the displays are getting cheaper, yet their resolution is not improving, the ability to effectively use multiple displays together will be even more useful in the near future. What to expect from Ivy Bridge... or even Haswell then? Looking back the past ten years, the monitor resolution didn't improve at all. In fact, no thanks to mentally myopic Taiwanese and Korean LCD panel makers (hope the Chinese will save the day there) attitude, we are all stuck with LOWER resolution and lesser effective productivity screens than we had years ago. From 1920x1200 decent screens, and 2560x1600 plus some 3840x2400 models, all in productive 16:10 ratio, now we are being offered 1920x1080 movie screen 'scroll up-down forever' time wasting 16:9 monitors, with occassional 2560x1440 models. All that to save few bucks on LCD panel cutting, at the cost of world populace's productivity, every single day. Anyway, the new lousy display cost went down somewhat, so, if you are in the mood to do so, you could easily afford multiple displays even on a mainstream PC then, without the need for discrete graphics cards. How about the support for these over the next few years?

The iPad 3 should come with a better display that is capable of higher resolutions than the current model. Another potential selling point is the device's ability to use Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks, which even the latest iPhone can't do. The iPad 2 offers a WiFi or WiFi and 3G model, so we can probably expect the 4G functionality to be on a more expensive version of the iPad 3. Foxconn is manufacturing the device for Apple and is believed to be operating factories 24 hours a day to meet the numbers Apple wants. The device, like previous models, will likely sell like hotcakes.

Multi-display support futures on Intel CPUs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/multi-display-support-futures-on-intelcpus/14560.html

We already covered the enhancements to multi-display support on the upcoming Ivy Bridge, aside from its welcome ability to take in 4K resolution displays, which hopefully should finally appear this year at costs lower than five digits. One generation beyond, in Haswell timeframe, you should see even more of it. For instance, two monitors on the internal graphics engine can be supported together with multiple monitors with the discrete graphics card - the question is, would 'drag and drop' be able to work there? If using internal graphics alone, then you'll have three identical high-performance graphics interfaces for full three-monitor support, all configurable as DisplayPort or HDMI or even old DVI. Importantly, Intel is expected to go with the market flow and enable features such as 3D and deep colour together with the already included 4K resolution on these ports by that time as well. Likelihood of supporting 3D symmetric displays is also high, no wonder noticing that 3D 'functionality' is becoming a fairly low-priced add-on - Chinese OEMs will charge you something like ten bucks extra for it, excluding the glasses of course. Talking about 3D, Haswell generation graphics is expected to support most 3D stereoscopic formats, including autostereoscopic 3D displays, quite a big one for a 'mainstream PC graphics' device. The glasses-free, and hopefully not headacheinducing, technology has several approaches, including parallax barrier, lenticular and head tracking. And, if BluRay 3D disk playback means anything to you, the multi format encode and decode will be enhanced to fully support even this in hardware. 10


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Finally, when combining the internal and external adapter graphics, the upcoming 'Dynamic Muxless SG' feature would enable different applications to be rendered by either graphics engine, even though the display itself is driven by the Intel internal graphics. This is quite an useful capability, as you could literally have application-driven choice depending on the requirements. In summary, while still not as fast as midrange discrete cards, Ivy Bridge and then Haswell graphics will go many steps towards being sufficient enough in features and capabilities for a multimedia consumer, especially with the extra support for multi-display usage even with the new generation 3D and beyond-HD monitors and TV sets. The extra pixels do matter too, and these processors will support such monitors as well.

Intel teams up with retailers to enhance shopping experience Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-teams-up-with-retailers-toenhance-shopping-experience/14561.html January 18th, 2012

Intel is teaming up with retailers like HSN, Kraft Foods and Macy's to offer an enhanced shopping experience through digital signage. Intel is teaming up with retailers like HSN, Kraft Foods and Macy's to offer an enhanced shopping experience through digital signage.

“Today’s consumers are increasingly mobile, connected and inundated with information,” said Michelle Tinsley, GM of Intel’s Personal Solutions Division. “As a result, retailers are searching for new ways to deliver more personalized brand interactions that effectively reach their target audience. Intel is working with these industry leaders to drive the transformation of shopping through high-tech retail solutions that will change how brands engage and connect with shoppers.” E-signage is an area that has only barely been tapped, but many companies see great potential in it, including Samsung, which today announced a 46-inch transparent display that could be used for this purpose.

Samsung announces 46-inch transparent LCD panel Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-announces-46-inchtransparent-lcd-panel/14559.html January 18th, 2012

The stores are using Intel's second-generation Core processors to create visual displays and interactive screens, which brings in-store advertising to a whole new level. Intel is also offering its Audience Impression Metric Suite, which will change the content on display to suit the demographic of the viewing customer, giving them a more personalised experience. Kraft Foods joined forces with Intel to develop the DIJITASTE Sampling Experience, which distributes product samples based on the consumer demographic. Macy's worked with Intel to develop the Beauty Spot, a terminal that assists shoppers in finding and evaluating cosmetics and fragrances. Information from this can also be downloaded directly to the consumer's mobile phone. HSN employed the Intel CPUs in its huge interactive touchwall, which it is using to offer a virtual cooking class by Wolfgang Puck to its customers.

Samsung has announced that it is beginning production of a 46-inch transparent LCD panel this month, expanding in a sector that is set to boom over the next decade. Samsung has announced that it is beginning production of a 46-inch transparent LCD panel this month, expanding in a sector that is set to boom over the next decade. “Transparent panels, an exciting application of nextgeneration display technology, have unlimited potential to change our viewing habits over the next several years,” said Younghwan Park, SVP of LCD marketing at Samsung's Device Solutions division. “As a strong supporter of the transparent display market, Samsung plans to develop this technology into a new growth engine for our LCD business.” 11


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Published by: VR-Zone January 18th, 2012

That growth could come from a 47.8 trillion won ($41.8 billion) investment the company plans to make in expanding its operations this year. Samsung is one of the top manufacturers of LCD panels in the world, but clearly it does not intend to rest on its laurels in this area, where transparent LCDs will likely become the norm in the next few years. The 46-inch panel features a contrast ratio of 4,500:1 with a resolution of 1,366x768 and a colour gamut of 70 percent.

The display is not limited in its application either. Samsung demonstrated its use in a commercial cooler and as a subway platform door, while promising that it will also be used in eboards, information windows, medical equipment, e-signage and mobile devices. Samsung previously created a 22-inch transparent LCD panel, which offers high-definition images and low power consumption. Bigger is always better, however, and this larger size will be particularly appealing to businesses who want to make animated advertising on doors and windows. Research firm Display Bank expects the transparent display market to grow fom $0.9 billion in 2015 to $87 billion in 2025, making Samsung's expansion in this area a potentially very profitable and forward-looking move.

Modern day executives do not just carry their laptops, but also other gadgets such as a tablet and perhaps more than one smartphone. Laptop computer cases and accessories maker, Targus, has created a fresh line of innovative backpacks to cater to their diverse needs which include the the Terminal, Dash II and Cobra series.

Targus Terminal backpack series - For savvy business travellers For the business travellers, the sleek black-and-red Terminal backpacks have padded compartments to provide protection to your valuable devices such as tablets and laptops. Unlike most backpacks, Terminal backpacks comes with a trolley strap system that is compatible with any roller cabin luggage, making it ideal for the busy road warriors. It has an expandable compartment that is tucked neatly behind the zip that goes around the bag. Simply unzip, and the volume of this amazing backpack increases by 50% in additional volume storage space. Terminal backpacks also pack an expandable file divider for ease of access, organising your files even on the move. The backpacks come with a water-resistant bottom, mesh padded back panel and ergonomic adjustable shoulder straps. It is light and compact, and offers maximum comfort, organisation convenience and capacity for daily use and travel. Price: from S$238.90

Targus introduces three brand new series of backpacks for today's business executives Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/targus-introduces-three-brand-newseries-of-backpacks-for-today-s-business-executives/14558.html

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Available at the following locations: Targus Boutique - Funan Ctr #05-09, Inforcom Technologies - Funan Ctr #04-20, PK Computer - Funan Ctr #04-07, South Asia Computer - Funan Ctr #03-01, Sprint-Cass - Changi T2 & T3, Challenger - Ang Mo Kio Hub, Bedok Pt, Clementi Mall, Eastpoint, Funan Ctr, Hougang Mall, IMM, Jurong Pt, Nex, Parkway Parade, Plaza Singapura, Sembawang, Tampines 1, Thomson Plaza, Tiong Bahru Plaza, United Square, Vivo City, White Sands

Targus Dash II backpack series – For casual business executives Comes in a black exterior with yellow detailing, the Dash II is the perfect gadget shield for the out-going lifestyle of modern day businessmen. The backpack features a built-in hidden rain cover and a water-resistant bottom to cater to the harshest weather conditions. It has a large padded compartment big enough for a pair of gym shoes or a 15-inch laptop, while the front pocket allows quick access to the most needed items. There is also a functional organiser in the middle segment with different compartments to neatly pack away items such as tablets, mobile phones, business cards and access cards. Heavy-duty but lightweight, Dash II comes with mesh padded back panel for ventilation. The contoured adjustable straps are ergonomically-designed for maximum comfort, perfect for a busy active lifestyle. Price: from S$159.90

Targus Cobra backpack series – For sporty business executives The stylish black Cobra Backpack series claims to be the perfect fit for sporty businessman who are looking for a functional, light and compact backpack. It features a convenient dual compartment layout that accommodates to laptop gadgets as well as personal items. Made from super light weight polyester and designed with a water-resistant bottom, the Cobra comes with mesh padded back panel for ventilation. It also has contoured adjustable straps are ergonomically-designed for maximum comfort. Price: from S$89.90

Logitech pocket-size wireless mini mouse M187 to be available in Singapore end January Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/logitech-pocket-size-wireless-minimouse-m187-to-be-available-in-singapore-end-january/14557.html January 18th, 2012

Logitech has announced their new M187 wireless mini mouse. The pocket-size mouse features reliable wireless connectivity, and fits easily in your purse, handbag or pocket. The Logitech M187 will be available by end of this month at authorized retailers.

Logitech has introduced the Wireless Mini Mouse M187, which comes in a pocket-size design and claims to offer reliable wireless connectivity. Thanks to its extra-small design, the mouse easily fits in your purse, handbag or pants pocket. No more cable entanglement; you can enjoy wireless freedom and a powerful, reliable connection with virtually no delays or dropouts. Setup is simple as it doesn’t require any software to be installed. Just plug in the nano receiver and start using your mouse. The nano receiver is so small it stays in your USB port – and stores inside the mouse if you need to remove it. Pricing and Availability Available in white, black and red, the Logitech Wireless Mini Mouse M187 is expected to be available in Singapore at end 13


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January 2012, at a suggested retail price of S$19. It also comes with three-year limited hardware warranty.

Monster unleashes six new colors to Beats by Dr. Dre Studio Headphones Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/monster-unleashes-six-new-colors-tobeats-by-dr.-dre-studio-headphones/14556.html January 18th, 2012

With Lunar New Year arriving next week, Monster has introduced six exciting new colour editions of the Beats by Dr. Dre Studio high-definition headphones line to audiophiles lovers. The headphones are designed to let you hear what the artists hear, and listen to the music the way it should be listened to.

The Ladies @ CES 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-ladies--ces-2012/14555.html January 18th, 2012

The Consumer Electronics Show 2012 at Las Vegas may have ended just a few days ago. Aside from the various announcements and product showcases, you won't think we would miss our the show girls there, would you? Well, here are some pics of the ladies at CES 2012.

Start the new year with the latest and exciting additions from Monster. The Consumer Electronics company has introduced six exciting new colour editions of Beats by Dr. Dre Studio High-Definition Headphones to music lovers. The headphones are equipped with Monster's powered isolation technology, which can actively cut external noise such that it allows audiophiles to experience all the rich details their favorite artists want them to hear. The Beats by Dr. Dre Studio High-Definition headphones come with spacious earcups that give extra room for a higher level of listening comfort, and plush ear cushions covered with ultra-soft breathable materials keep listeners cool. On top of that, the headphones also have an additional Monster iSoniTalk iPhone-enabled headphone cable with built-in answer button and microphone so that you can easily stop the music playback and answer your calls.

The models showcasing the latest Nikon 1 mirrorless cameras

The Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Studio High-Definition Headphones retails from S$699 and is available at Audio House, Alpha Audio, Best Denki, Courts, DG Lifestyle Store, Epicentre, Farle Innovation, Harvey Norman, HMV, i Studio, iP Case, Macshop, Nubox, Stereo and all Two Bros outlets.

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A show girl in flash costumes spotted at the Nikon booth

The ladies from Ferrari by Logic3

Model spotted at LG booth..

A model distributing the CES newsletters...

The Power Bag comes with integrated on-board battery and connectors for your various devices, as demonstrated by the model..

Posing and promoting mydlink cloud services

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And the pretty Razer girls...

...and another

Some Huawei show ladies with nice smiles..

And this model is introducing the new headphones from Jaybird...

Hackers target Israeli airline and stock exchange Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hackers-target-israeli-airline-andstock-exchange/14554.html January 18th, 2012

Hackers have targeted the websites of the Israeli stock exchange and the country's main airline in a cyber attack that is clearly designed to cause financial and travel chaos. Spotted a model for Skullcandy headphones

Hackers have targeted the websites of the Israeli stock exchange and the country's main airline in a cyber attack that is clearly designed to cause financial and travel chaos.

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A pro-Palestinian group called Nightmare took responsibility for the attacks on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and El Al Israel Airlines in what appears to be a new digital battleground for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A stock exchange spokesperson said that only its main website was attacked, not the trading computers, so trading carried on completely uninterrupted. El Al said that its website had been slowed down, but was still online.

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Google and Rupert Murdoch are at each others throats in a public spat over the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). News Corp. chairman Murdoch threw the first punch when he posted a tweet accusing Google of being the main company behind online piracy. “Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells [adverts] around them. No wonder [it is] pouring millions into lobbying,” the 80-year-old media tycoon said. Murdoch said that Google is a great company doing many exciting things, but accused it of blocking many undesirable websites except those that infringe copyright. In a not very scientific production of 'evidence', he said he did a Google search for Mission Impossible and found several websites offering free links. “I rest my case,” he added.

This is not the first cyber attack on Israel in recent weeks. Thousands of credit card details were exposed by a Saudi Arabian hacker, believed to be the same person behind these latest attacks. Hamas has also called for an all out cyber war against Israel. Ironically, Israel is often considered one of the most advanced countries in terms of cyberwarfare and cyber defence, having pumped millions into this area. It is widely believed by security firms to be one of the countries behind the Stuxnet computer worm that infected and damaged Iran's nuclear facilities. Now that it is the victim of hacking it will likely step up its cyber security efforts even more.

Google and Rupert Murdoch battle over SOPA Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-and-rupert-murdoch-battleover-sopa/14553.html January 18th, 2012

Google and Rupert Murdoch are at each others throats in a public spat over the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

Google, which is one of the main opponents to SOPA, responded to Murdoch's accusations, labelling them as “nonsense”. It said that it respects copyright and works hard to deal with online piracy, including removing five million infringing websites from its search results last year alone. It said it also invested over $60 million to target “bad ads”. Murdoch also took a stab at US President Barack Obama, accusing him of siding with “Silicon Valley paymasters” after it emerged that the White House was opposed to some aspects of SOPA. Murdoch's own company has not been without its own controversies, however. The past year has seen both him and his son face questioning over a slew of hacking allegations facing a number of their newspapers, one of which, the News of the World, was forced to close after 168 years in business. At least they don't pirate though, right?

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Rumour: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 to release in February Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rumour-nvidia-geforce-gtx-680-torelease-in-february/14552.html January 18th, 2012

A rumour from Chinese forums Chiphell suggests that NVIDIA has pulled in the release of GeForce GTX 680 from the original plan of March/April to as early as late February. The rumour claims GTX 680 will offer similar performance to AMD's Radeon HD 7970. Clock speed is 780 MHz - no higher than GTX 580 - while it sports 2GB memory. While this suggests a 512-bit or 256-bit memory bus, NVIDIA has in the past mated 1GB to 192-bit with GTX 550 Ti, so it is possible GTX 680 has a 384-bit memory interface. Little else is revealed about the mysterious GTX 680. The source of the rumour is notable forum member Napoleon from Chiphell, who has a history of leaking GPU related information. That said, this is nothing but a rumour - amidst other conflicting rumours - and must be considered as such.

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Sony TruBlack display, the tablet offers vibrant colours and vivid image quality for the movie fans. With its smooth and smart ergonomic design, entertainment is a breeze with the ease of controlling your media devices with the built-in infrared Universal Remote. One unique feature of the “Sony Tablet” S is it lets you “throw” your personal video, music clips or photos to home entertainment devices, making content more shareable. The 3G model of the “Sony Tablet” S will be available in a 16GB version, and will retail at S$798 from 13 January at all Sony Stores and authorised outlets. The 16GB and 32GB Wifi models of the “Sony Tablet” S will also be revised to S$618 and S$748 respectively.

Jabra releases Clipper with new mono and stereo headset options in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/jabra-releases-clipper-with-new-monoand-stereo-headset-options-in-singapore/14550.html January 18th, 2012

3G version of "Sony Tablet" S lands in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/3g-version-of-sony-tablet-s-lands-insingapore/14551.html January 18th, 2012

For business road warriors who are looking for a Bluetooth headset, check out the Jabra Clipper. The Clipper claims to be a fuss-free tool for users to take calls, as well as superb companion for music enthusiasts on the move. It has both new mono/stereo options and is available at Jabra's authorized resellers.

The "Sony Tablet" S was launched in October last year, though it was the Wi-Fi only model. Just a few days ago, Sony Electronics Asia Pacific has announced the launch of the 3G version of their popular "Sony Tablet" S in Singapore.

Sony has launched its much-anticipated 3G model of the “Sony Tablet” S recently which is said to bring convenience and portability to the popular Android 3.2 tablet. Incorporating

In its stylish, discreet and contemporary Scandinavian design, the Jabra CLIPPER Bluetooth headset is available in Singapore with new mono/stereo options for the best Bluetooth experience. The CLIPPER offers a wearable Bluetooth clip with two sets of earphones: a pair of stereo earphones for users to enjoy music on the go, and a new mono earphone to make fuss-free crystal clear calls in a busy, professional environment. If you want an affordable, quality Bluetooth headset that can be either mono or stereo, then Jabra Clipper is just for you. Compatible with Bluetoothenabled mobile devices, the CLIPPER is equipped with 18


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Multiuse capabilty; it can stream music playing from your smartphone, iPod, iPad or even your laptop, all without missing a call. Incoming calls will automatically override the music being played. To conduct phone conversations, simply slide the Clipper on to your collar to use the built-in microphone. Weighing just 20g with six hours of talk time, the Jabra Bluetooth headset is extremely rugged with its US military grade rain and shock-resistance certification. At the touch of the multi-function button, you can easily pause, skip music tracks or adjust the volume. it has a working range of 10-metre, and if you go out of range, you’ll even hear a warning signal. For audiophiles who insist on their favorite corded headphones, the CLIPPER’s standard-sized 3.5mm audio jack and built-in microphone gives you the freedom to plug in your headphones of the day, or even change between different earphones, according to your fashion style and mood. The Jabra CLIPPER is available at Challenger, Apple premium resellers: Epicentre, Nubox and authorised Jabra resellers with an attractive price tag of S$78. Key product specifications of the Jabra CLIPPER include:

The Philips 27-inch 3D Gaming monitor features Full high definition 120Hz display. With the Philips Active 3D wireless shutter glasses, you can see crisp and clear images with vibrant colors. It also comes with dual HDMI ports that allow you to connect multiple devices to the monitor.

- Bluetooth 2.1 (Including EDR, A2DP and AVRCP) - Clip-on wearing style - US Military Grade Rain and Shock protection, IP44 - Talk/Music time = up to 6 hours; standby time = up to 8 days - Dimensions = 4.8 cm (L) x 1.6.5 cm (W) x 2.55 cm(H) - Weight = 20 grams - Interchangeable sets of mono and stereo earphones with noise-blocking in-ear buds in different sizes

Philips Chinese New Year promotion Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/philips-chinese-new-yearpromotion/14549.html January 18th, 2012

Philips is having an island-wide promotion for their monitors. You stand to walk away with free gifts worth up to S$129 with the purchase of selected monitors.

The Philips IPS display offers “True” wide viewing angle, which lets you enjoy stunning visuals from different positions without any shift in image color. With superior color reproduction technology, the display produces vivid and life-like images that are color-accurate both on screen and in print. Selected IPS monitors are also equipped with Philips PowerSensor technology that can automatically reduce monitor brightness when you step away from the desk, helping to reduce energy consumption by up to 80 per cent. Philips will be giving away free gifts worth up to S$129 with the purchase of selected monitors. The promotion will start on 14 January and end on 15 February 2012. The list of freebies include: Philips docking clock radio worth S$129 with the purchase of selected 27-inch monitors Philips desklamp worth S$39.90 with thepurchase of selected 21.5- 24-inch monitors Philips screen cleaner worth S$29 with the purchase of selected 20- and 21.5-inch monitors 19


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Included on the list of selected monitors are the recently unveiled Philips 3D Gaming monitor and the Philips IPS monitor. The Philips extensive range of monitors are available at retail chains such as Harvey Norman and Challenger, and at independent retailers across the island.

Targus offers business travellers new range of accessories Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/targus-offers-business-travellers-newrange-of-accessories/14548.html January 18th, 2012

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- Wireless mobility works up to a distance of 10m from the receiver, great for complete control in larger rooms. - The blue light underneath the mouse allows for use in dim or dark settings, eliminating unnecessary fumbling during presentations. Targus速 also offers wide range of mice including: - Compact Wired Blue Trace mouse (AMU75AP-54) also a new arrival, this is the smaller version of the regular sized Blue Trace mouse. Wired for travel convenience, it eliminates the need for batteries on the go. - Wired mice for users who prefer the convenience of not having an external power supply. (AMU73AP-50, AMU76AP-50, AMU89AP-50, AMU95AP-50) - Optical and Laser mice. (AMW51AP-51, AMW55AP-50, AMW56AP-50, AMU89AP-50)

Targus has some new accessories designed for the busy business professionals which include the Wireless Blue Trace Mouse, Travel Chill Mat, Multimedia Presentation Remote and Cobra backpack series.

Work on the laptop can be done anywhere from the plane to a park bench with the Targus Travel Chill Mat. It is half the size of average chill mats for ease of mobility. In a black glossy finish with smooth rubber grooves on the sides, the Targus Blue Trace Wireless Mouse not only fits perfectly in the palm of your hand, but is easy to handle. The scroll wheel provides fluid navigation while the ergonomic shape of the mouse guarantees minimal effort during use. Equipped with Blue trace technology, a combination of optical with precision laser technology, the mouse can be used on virtually any surface - rough, smooth, glassy and even on the carpet. Price: S$29.90 - The micro USB receiver clicks in neatly under the mouse, ensures minimal clutter and frustration of misplacing the receiver while on the go. - Energy efficiency means that the batteries can be used up to 12 months. A built in power indicator warns when new batteries are required. This saves the hassle of having to carry heavy spare batteries while travelling.

Price: S$39.90 - Soft neoprene exterior that is comfortable for the lap. - Two USB powered fans that keep both laptop and user cool at work. - No-slip rubber grips on the bottom prevent sliding on uneven surfaces such as airplane trays or laps. The Chill Mat range by Targus includes: - Targus Lap Chill Mat (AWE55AP-50) for users who prefer a bigger Lap Chill Mat as compared to the smaller Travel Chill Mat (AWE54AP-50) - Targus Laptop Chill Mat (AWE61AP-50 & AWE6105AP-50). Ergonomically designed to rest on the lap and a white chill mat (AWE6105AP-50) that compliments the Apple MacBook

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January 18th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

The Targus Multimedia Presentation Remote (AMP09AP-50) is made with a simple yet stylish layout that allows for remote ease of access to music, presentations and other programs, lightweight and easy to carry, The Targus Multimedia Presentation Remote slips into the side of any luggage or laptop bag with ease.

The Targus Cobra Backpack series is ideal for sporty businessman who are looking for a functional, light and compact backpack. Comes in black, Cobra is a sleek, smart way to travel light in today’s active business world. It features a convenient dual compartment layout that accommodates laptop gadgets as well as personal items.

Price: S$129.90

Made from super light weight polyester and designed with a water-resistant bottom, the Cobra is made for businessmen who require functional, organised and light backpacks. It also has a mesh padded back panel for ventilation, and contoured adjustable straps that are ergonomically-designed for maximum comfort. For added security, Cobra comes with a hidden security pocket to store items such as deodorant sticks or wallets.

- Built in laser pointer for highlighting important content while the backlit buttons increases visibility dark environments. - Volume buttons allow for remote control of audio output. - KeyLock Technology locks non-essential buttons and eliminates accidental button presses. - The presenter works up to 15m away, making it ideal for use in larger rooms. - Self contained yet sleek, the Targus Multimedia Presentation Remote features storage space for the mini USB receiver and spare batteries. The presenter also comes with new AAA batteries upon purchase. Other presenters by Targus are:

Price: S$89.90 to S$129.90

Motorola unveils XOOM 2 in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/motorola-unveils-xoom-2-insingapore/14547.html January 18th, 2012

- Targus Laser Presentation Remote (AMP13AP-50). The integrated laser pointer allows the presenter to highlight important content while the backlit buttons increases visibility in dark environments. - Wireless Presenter with Laser Pointer (AMP16AP-50). This sleek wireless presenter has a layout designed for simplicity. - Wireless Presenter with Cursor Control (AMP17AP-50). A presenter that allows for navigation of cursor movement, allowing for left and right clicking wirelessly.

Motorola has introduced the new XOOM 2 tablet in Singapore. Equipped with a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor and a bright display, the new tablet runs Android 3.2 and claims to offer users enhanced experience.

- Targus Presentation Remote (AMP18AP-50) features just two buttons for easy access to opening and navigating through a presentation without the need for any other buttons. All Targus presenters are ergonomically designed with built in laser pointers and long range technology.

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January 18th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

With Lunar New Year arriving next week, 313@Somerset has recently announced their new iPhone app that gives shoppers a new social experience using augmented reality technology, with discounts and promotions of up to S$200,000.

Building on the success of Motorola XOOM, Motorola Mobility is introducing a new addition to its tablet portfolio that is said to bring enhanced experiences to consumers in Singapore. The Motorola XOOM 2 features Android 3.2 Honeycomb,dualcore 1.2 GHz processor and a 10.1-inch widescreen high definition display with scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla glass. The tablet also includes the new MotoCast app that lets you stream your music, photos, videos and documents from your computer to your tablet without any media tools, apps, or cords. The Motorola tablet also features MOTOPRINT integrated into key apps so you can print wirelessly from your tablet. It is more than 100g lighter than the original Motorola XOOM, can withstand poolside use, spilled drinks or dashes out to the car in the rain, and boasts a battery life of up to 10 hours on video playback. The Motorola XOOM 2 is now available at a recommended retail price of S$978 from January 13 at major retailers. For the first 200 customers during the promotional period can enjoy a free Motorola Bluetooth keyboard and mouse worth S $168 with every purchase of a Motorola XOOM 2 at $978 (3G/ wifi, 32GB) at selected stores only: Best Denki Ngee Ann • Challenger Funan • Courts Megastore • Gain City Changi Point • Harvey Norman Millenia Walk • MC2 Funan • Newstead NEX Serangoon • South Asia Funan. Promotion valid while stocks last.

313@Somerset announces new 313 iDragon iPhone app for new shopping experience Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/313-somerset-announces-new-313idragon-iphone-app-for-new-shopping-experience/14546.html January 18th, 2012

313@Somerset welcomes the Year of the Dragon by launching the first ever 313 iDragon iPhone app for Singaporean shoppers. You can use the app that uses augmented reality technology to find and capture "3-D" Jewels hidden on the iconic 313 Fashion Dragon installation in the Atrium. These Jewels contain exclusive promotions and other prizes, worth up to S$200,000 that can be redeemed within the mall. The Fashion Dragon installation can be seen between level 2 and 3 in the Atrium. The stylised mannequin is dressed in a purple gown, headgear that resembles the head of a dragon and is covered with golden fins. With the 313 iDragon app, shoppers can spot and capture the “3-D” Jewels as they appear from the Fashion Dragon in the atrium. Each Jewel captured can be stored for usage at a later date, up to a maximum of three Jewels per day, or released immediately for other shoppers to capture. Shoppers can then redeem at the respective retailers by presenting them upon payment. The entire process to spot and capture a Jewel takes less than a minute. The 313 iDragon app is free for download from the Apple App Store by searching ‘313 iDragon’, The promotional concept has seen a positive response among 313’s retailers, with B’dazzle, ESPIRIT, Limited Edt Vault, Goal@313, Gong Cha, Lee Hwa Diamond Gallery, The Faceshop and Marché Restaurant among the retailers involved in the Jewel promotions. The 313 iDragon promotions will continue to run until 6 February 2011.

Thermaltake Overseer RX-I Case Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/thermaltake-overseer-rx-i-casereview/14545.html

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January 18th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Drive Bays

January 18th, 2012

Having been designing and manufacturing enthusiast-grade PC cases for over a dozen years, nowadays Thermaltake is one of the most experienced companies in the market and also one of the most well known brands among technology enthusiasts. Today we are having a look on a cheaper, less featured version of the Chaser MK-I full tower case which we reviewed several months ago, the Overseer RX-I, the case which Thermaltake desires to dominate the 110-130$ USD gaming case market with. Having been designing and manufacturing enthusiast-grade PC cases for over a dozen years, nowadays Thermaltake is one of the most experienced companies in the market and also one of the most well known brands among technology enthusiasts. Today we are having a look on a cheaper, less featured version of the Chaser MK-I full tower case which we reviewed several months ago, the Overseer RX-I, the case which Thermaltake desires to dominate the 110-130$ USD gaming case market with. P/N Case Type Dimension (H x W x D) Net Weight Side Panel Color Material Cooling System

VN700M1W2N Full Tower 535 x 220 x 580 mm (21.1x 8.7x 22.8 inch) 10.3 Kg / 22.7 lb Window Exterior & Interior : Black SECC Front (intake) : 200 x 200 x 30 mm Blue LED fan (600~800rpm, 13~15dBA) Rear (exhaust) : 120 x 120 x 25 mm Turbo Fan (1000rpm,16dBA)

Expansion Slots Motherboards

I/O Ports PSU LCS Upgradable Other

- Accessible: 3 x 5.25’’, 1 x 3.5’’ - Hidden: 5 x 3.5’’ or 2.5’’ - HDD Docking: 1 x 3.5’’ or 2.5’’ 8 9.6” x 9.6” (Micro ATX), 12” x 9.6” (ATX) , 12” x 13” (Extend ATX) USB 3.0 x 2, USB 2.0 x 2, eSATA x 1, HD Audio x 1 Standard PS2 PSU Supports 1/2”?3/8”?1/4” water tube CPU cooler height limitation: 177mm VGA length limitation: 344mm

Cooler Master Silent Pro M2 1500W - Power for hungry systems Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cooler-master-silent-pro-m2-1500w-power-for-hungry-systems/14544.html January 18th, 2012

We have previously previewed the 1000W model of the upcoming 80 Plus Silver rated Silent Pro M2 series from Cooler Master. Then during CES 2012 which recently concluded, the monstrous 1500W version was on display at their private hotel suite. Delivering up to 125A of current over two 12v rails, this big daddy of power supplies should be able to handle overclocked multi-gpu setups with ease. The 1500W Silent Pro M2 which was on display, among other items at Cooler Master's Bellagio suite in Las Vegas

Top (exhaust) : 200 x 200 x 30 mm Blue LED fan (600~800rpm, 13~15dBA) 200 x 200 x 30 mm fan (Optional) Side (intake) : Optional 200 x 200 x 30 mm fan Bottom (intake) : Optional 120 x 120 x 25 mm fan 23


January 18th, 2012

Uses a high current C19 connector, which is rated up to 16A from the socket and usually found on blade servers and higher wattage power supplies like Antec HCP 1200,

Specs Label, no word on availability or pricing yet

Published by: VR-Zone

to improve hard disk drive performance without having to use a large capacity SSD; Intel introduced the SRT (Smart Response Technology) n their Z68 chipset, Seagate designed hybrid mechanical drives with a small SSD cache installed and OCZ introduced various solutions, the most popular being a hybrid PCI-E 1TB drive. OCZ however also introduced another very interesting product, an SSD baptized “Synapse”, which has been designed to be used as a plug & play caching solution. OCZ promises SSD speeds while using virtually any mechanical HDD of up to 2TB capacity as a primary system disk. Sounds too good to be true? We will find out in this review. The SSD market is continuously growing, yet high capacity devices will most likely not be affordable by the bulk of consumers for several years to come. Even after the Thailand catastrophe which increased mechanical drive prices by as much as 300%, high capacity SSDs were far too expensive to be competitive. Many manufacturers are working on solutions to improve hard disk drive performance without having to use a large capacity SSD; Intel introduced the SRT (Smart Response Technology) n their Z68 chipset, Seagate designed hybrid mechanical drives with a small SSD cache installed and OCZ introduced various solutions, the most popular being a hybrid PCI-E 1TB drive. OCZ however also introduced another very interesting product, an SSD baptized “Synapse”, which has been designed to be used as a plug & play caching solution. OCZ promises SSD speeds while using virtually any mechanical HDD of up to 2TB capacity as a primary system disk. Sounds too good to be true? We will find out in this review.

OCZ Synapse 64GB Caching SSD Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-synapse-64gb-caching-ssdreview/14543.html January 18th, 2012

The SSD market is continuously growing, yet high capacity devices will most likely not be affordable by the bulk of consumers for several years to come. Even after the Thailand catastrophe which increased mechanical drive prices by as much as 300%, high capacity SSDs were far too expensive to be competitive. Many manufacturers are working on solutions 24


January 21st, 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 Medfield Atom - impact on smartphones and tablets? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-medfield-atom--impact-onsmartphones-and-tablets-/14602.html January 21st, 2012

So, Intel's first smartphone Atoms are out, at least in CES show halls. The performance seems good, and the big Intel name is behind it. However, are there greater implications beyond just that? While Intel is the all dominant king of the PC processor world, it was next to nothing when it comes to the recent fashion fad smartphones and tablets. While these don't have much dollar revenue per CPU - it's just a few percent of what one Xeon can earn, per unit - the hundreds of millions of units sold make a huge mindshare statement in the heads of whole population worldwide. Even a remote villager deep in Africa will want to have a phone, but he may never bother about a computer. So, Intel has to do in the smartphone & tablet world what its competitors were, for decades, trying to do in the PC market - unseat, or at least challenge, a very powerful incumbent. Yes, the ARM grouping isn't nearly as cohesive as one single company, and sometimes their agreeing processes remind us of Communist Party Central Commitee meetings of old. Yet, the combined strength of Samsung, Qualcomm, Apple, TI, Nvidia and others is not to ignore - after all, even AMD takes the ARM seriously as one of its potential future escape routes, so to say. The initial reception to the Medfield show at CES, especially in those lovely HD-resolution phones, isn't bad. The phones with it seem really fast, ahead of current ARM phone processors, and the power consumption - while no figures around yet didn't seem to be an issue. Of course, that all may change once Cortex A15-based ARM cores are out later this year, but there is more to it than just performance and power game here.

yet, it does help on the binary compatibility front, since the same binary could run on this phone, as it runs on an Atom microserver, or a Xeon supercomputer. Not likely to be used often, but good to have. ARM, keep in mind, still needs another two years to take care of the 64-bitness in actual shipping products. Then there is another aspect, often overlooked: the X86, as much as we dislike it technically - myself included - has that huge library of software, including operating systems. A X86based, that means Medfield in this case, smartphone or tablet, is not limited to Android or future Windows 8. With the appropriate driver support, it could run any of today's X86 Linux distributions, and of course it could run the current Windows 7. In theory, someone could even hack the full fledge MacOS X to boot on a Medfield phone or tablet... Why is that important? While Android, iOS and Windows 8 Phone solely depend on 'remote control of the user' via online marketplace application stores, the desktop operating systems like the standard Linuxes, Windows or MacOS give you full freedom to find, install and run binaries from any possible source, whether it's from a CD, USB flash, or any other. Basically, you as the user have far more freedom on desktop OS platforms than on the mobile phone OS platforms. It may not seem so critical from everyday point of view, but the strategic value of freedom to install and run what you wish, as you wish, is great. Now, Atom, unlike ARM, can run all these without problems - a little slow, yes, but still run fine. Whether Intel and its launch partners in the smartphone and tablet markets use this capability as a big-time feature, or just ignore or even disable it, is another story. However, the capability is there, and running Windows 7, even if non-Aero setup, or say Ubuntu Linux, on a high end smartphone like that Lenovo HD unit at CES, would be quite a feat to show.

Apple launches iBooks 2 with digital textbooks Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-launches-ibooks-2-with-digitaltextbooks/14601.html

Let's look at it from another angle: Atom architecture is 64bit by default, and while the phones don't need such memory 1


January 21st, 2012 January 21st, 2012

Apple has launched iBooks 2 with digital textbooks for schools and colleges, an attempt to secure additional adoption of its iPad tablet computer in educational circles. Apple has launched iBooks 2 with digital textbooks for schools and colleges, an attempt to secure additional adoption of its iPad tablet computer in educational circles. The Cupertino, California-based firm has inked deals with publishers Pearson PLC, McGraw-Hill Cos Inc., and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the three of which rule a whopping 90 percent of the textbook market in the US. The idea to move in this sector, which Amazon is currently the ruler in with its Kindle devices, came from Apple's co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs only months before he died. It may mark the last of his great business ideas put into action, with the digital textbook market worth an estimated $8 billion. Initially students will buy books directly from Apple at $14.99, significantly cheaper than their hardcover versions. Apple will take 30 percent of the money generated in this way.

Published by: VR-Zone

which is two and a half times the price of Amazon's Kindle Fire and up to five times the price of a regular Kindle, where students can also get digital textbooks.

Capcom announces Resident Evil 6 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/capcom-announces-residentevil-6/14600.html January 21st, 2012

Capcom has announced Resident Evil 6, the latest instalment in the action horror franchise, which is set for release on multiple gaming platforms. Time to kill some zombies. Capcom has announced Resident Evil 6, the latest instalment in the action horror franchise, which is set for release on multiple gaming platforms. The game's storyline will focus on the threat of a bioterrorist attack on the President of the United States, who is due to give the people an address on the country's safety. This setting promises plenty of goosebumps and bloodshed, and some good old-fashioned zombie slaying. As for the stars of the show, old favourites like Leon S. Kennedy and Chris Redfield will be returning, along with several new faces with unique personalities.

iBooks 2 is a free app available on the iPad. There are textbooks available on a wide range of subjects at different levels of education, with many of the books coming with interactive features. Apple is hoping that widespread adoption of digital textbooks will push sales of its iPad, the next version of which is expected for release in March. Apple claims that its iPads are “very affordable,� a difficult marketing spin to swallow, given the starting price of $499,

The game will initially be released on the Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3 consoles, but there will also be a PC version some time later.

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January 21st, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

The Resident Evil series began in 1996 and has become one of the most successful brands in the industry, resulting in over 47 million games sold and $525 million made from the Hollywood adaptations staring Milla Jovovich.

The move has angered some internet users, with hacktivist group Anonymous targeting the websites of the FBI, Department of Justice, and several music label and industry websites, forcing them offline. They are since back to normal.

Resident Evil 6 will be released on 20 November 2012.

Government officials said they seized almost €40 million worth of assets, as well as 18 domain names. They took the website offline last night.

US shuts down Megaupload, arrests founders without SOPA Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/us-shuts-down-megaupload-arrestsfounders-without-sopa/14599.html January 21st, 2012

The US Department of Justice and the FBI has shut down one of the world's largest file-sharing websites, Megaupload.com, and arrested its founders and some employees on copyright infringement charges – all without the help of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The US Department of Justice and the FBI has shut down one of the world's largest file-sharing websites, Megaupload.com, and arrested its founders and some employees on copyright infringement charges – all without the help of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). In what was described as one of the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought in the US, armed police raided ten properties belonging to Megaupload staff in Auckland, New Zealand, including that of founder Kim Dotcom, who previously went by the name Kim Schmitz.

The move comes as people and companies around the world protest against new proposed anti-piracy laws, which will allow website blocking and shutdowns, but clearly authorities do not need SOPA to take against against alleged copyright infringers.

Nike+ Fuelband wristband can track your movement and inspire you to be more active Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nike-fuelband-wristband-can-trackyour-movement-and-inspire-you-to-be-more-active/14597.html January 21st, 2012

Nike has announced the new Nike+ Fuelband wristband that can track movement, and motivates you to be more active. The company also introduced the NikeFuel metric that can measure your activity through the movement of your wrist; the more you move, the more NikeFuel you earn.

Dotcom was arrested on charges of racketeering, copyright infringement, and conspiring to commit money laundering, while the company's chief marketing officer, Finn Batato, and chief technical officer and co-founder, Mathias Ortmann, were arrested on similar charges. Another employee, Bram van der Kolk, was also charged, and all four were denied bail. The charges carry penalties of between five and 20 years in prison.

Nike has announced the NIKE+ FuelBand wristband which is designed to track movement throughout the day, and motivate and inspire users to be more active. The NIKE+ FuelBand captures and displays in four different metrics: time, calories, steps and NikeFuel. NikeFuel is a new metric and proprietary technology that measures activity through the movement of your wrist. It aims to motivate athletes to do more with a NikeFuel score that makes movement fun. The more you 3


January 21st, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

move, the more NikeFuel you earn, whether you're playing basketball, or going for a run. The NIKE+ FuelBand also comes with a series of 20 LED lights from red to green which show your progress according to the goal you set and the level of NikeFuel you want to achieve. The data captured syncs with the Nike+ website through a built-in USB, or wirelessly through Bluetooth to a free iPhone app to record activity each day and track progress. The NIKE+ FuelBand will be available for preorder starting 19 January in the U.S. at Nikestore.com for a suggested retail price of US$149.

Cooler Master COSMOS II contest: Comment and Win a CM Storm Spawn Gaming Mouse!

How to win one of ten CM Storm Spawn Gaming Mice

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cooler-master-cosmos-ii-contestcomment-and-win-a-cm-storm-spawn-gaming-mouse-/14595.html January 21st, 2012

To celebrate the launch of the COSMOS II in Singapore, Cooler Master Singapore is partnering with VR-Zone to give away ten CM Storm Spawn gaming mice. Read more for the details! The COSMOS II Ultra Tower features a streamlined design accentuated by a pair of distinctive handles like no other. The smooth, brushed aluminum touch of the side panels unlock and swing open like the doors of a luxurious race-car. Hidden behind the front slide cover lies a stack of hotswappable drive bays. The black interiors provide enough space for oversized XL-ATX System Boards equipped with 4 double width graphics accelerators. A second slide cover on top hides the Advanced Control Panel to manage up to 10 fans and their respective LED lights. The combination of its elegant looks, numerous expansion options and features make the COSMOS II a "Dream Case".

Western Digital announces My Book Live Duo personal cloud storage with dual drives Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/western-digital-announces-my-booklive-duo-personal-cloud-storage-with-dual-drives/14594.html

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January 21st, 2012 January 21st, 2012

Western Digital has announced My Book Live Duo with dual drives that offer high capacity and double-safe file protection, and provide anytime, anywhere access to stored media and files whether you are on your computer, tablet or smartphone.

Published by: VR-Zone

The WD My Book Live Duo personal cloud storage is available at selected retailers and resellers at S$599 for 4TB and S $699 for 6TB, and distributed by Achieva Technology and SiS Technology in Singapore

SingTel offers free mobile calls, SMS, MMS and mio TV treats for Lunar New Year Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/singtel-offers-free-mobile-calls-smsmms-and-mio-tv-treats-for-lunar-new-year/14593.html January 21st, 2012

SingTel users have something to celebrate for this Lunar New Year. The telecommunication operator has announced that it is providing free mobile calls, SMS, MMS and mio TV treats for 48 hours, from 23 to 24 January. Read on for the details.

Western Digital has unveiled My Book Live Duo, a personal cloud storage system that provides shared storage and remote access with double-safe backup or increased capacity of a dualdrive system with RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) technology. Compatible with Mac and PC operating systems, My Book Live Duo can continuously maintains a second copy of your files for real-time backup in mirrored mode (RAID 1). Users do not have to worry in the event of a drive failure as the data is duplicated on another drive. For automatic backup, Windows users can use the included WD SmartWare software, while Mac users can utilize all the features of Apple Time Machine backup software to protect their data. The My Book Live Duo connects to the home network to create shared storage that users can access within the home or anywhere in the world through secure remote access. Remote access to My Book Live and My Book Live Duo is available on any computer through www.WD2go.com and with WD mobile apps for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch or Android smartphones and tablets. With the built-in media server, you can stream movies, photos and music to tablets, smartphones (via WD 2go mobile application) as well as DLNA-certified multimedia device including a WD TV Live streaming media player, Bluray Disc player, game consoles including PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and smart TVs. The WD My Book Live Duo claims to deliver fast read speeds than traditional USB 2.0 drives. It is compatible with Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS X Leopard, Snow Leopard, or Lion, as well as DLNA/UPnP enabled devices, and currently available in 4TB and 6TB capacities.

Today, SingTel has announced that it will celebrate the Lunar New Year holidays with 48 hours of free local mobile calls, SMS and MMS, as well as S$1 mio TV blockbuster movies from 12.00am on 23 January to 11.59pm on 24 January. In addition, the telecommunication service provider will also offer 88 hours of free Chinese entertainment from the mio TV Jingxuan Pack from 8.00am on 21 January to 11.59pm on 24 January. The free calls, SMS and MMS can be enjoyed by postpaid mobile customers and will not be deducted from the free bundled minutes and SMS included in their current service plans.

Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Pictures, Specifications Leaked Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sapphire-radeon-hd-7950-picturesspecifications-leaked/14592.html

Price and Availability 5


January 21st, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

January 21st, 2012

January 21st, 2012

A forum member from Guru3D has leaked the first press pictures of a Radeon HD 7950 - this one being Sapphire's version.

In what should be no surprise, Intel has reported record revenues for full year of 2011 - $54 billion. This is a massive $10.6 billion or 24% up over 2010.

A forum member from Guru3D has leaked the first press pictures of a Radeon HD 7950 - this one being Sapphire's version.

In what should be no surprise, Intel has reported record revenues for full year of 2011 - $54 billion. This is a massive $10.6 billion or 24% up over 2010. While gross margin was down 1.9%, operating income was still up 12%. Net income grew to $12.9 billion (GAAP), up 13% over 2010. Quarterly revenus for Q4 2011 were up 21% year-overyear to $13.9 billion. However, it is down from the record Q3 2011 revenues . The only unit at Intel that regressed was Atom with revenues down 25% from 2010, no doubt to pressure from AMD's C and E series from above and ARM from below. However, in addition to Ivy Bridge and ultrabooks, Intel hopes Atom in smartphones and tablets will be a growth area for 2012.

Report: NVIDIA GK104 branding, specifications revealed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/report-nvidia-gk104-brandingspecifications-revealed/14589.html January 21st, 2012

Since the Radeon HD 7950 is a fully custom part with no reference design, we expect to see significant product differentiation across various AIBs. Sapphire's take on the HD 7950 features a blue PCB with the same cooler from Sapphire's HD 6970 Dual Fan Edition, with two 90mm fans and a hefty 5 heatpipe cooler. The PCB is as long as HD 7970's reference PCB, while the cooler is obviously quite a bit thicker - occupying 3 slots. The product is named "Sapphire HD7950 3G GDDR5 PCIE HDMI/DVI-I/DUAL MINI DP OC VERSION", featuring 3GB GDDR5 with the same standard output configuration as the HD 7970 reference design - 1xDVI, 1xHDMI, 2xminiDP. Notably, this particular version is overclocked, with a core clock of 900 MHz. HD 7950 is based on the Tahiti chip with 4 CUs disabled, for a final count of 1792 SP. The GDDR5 memory is clocked at 5 GHz.

Intel reports record revenue for 2011 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-reports-record-revenuefor-2011/14591.html

NVIDIA is preparing to release it's Kepler family of GPUs in Q2 2012, with GK104 being a crucial part of the family. GK104 will be the performance product, succeeding GF114 and GTX 560 in its various variants, and likely branded as GeForce GTX 660. GK104 impressively doubles up on GF114's core count to 768 CUDA cores - although Kepler shaders will be different from Fermi counterparts. Single precision performance is rated at above 2 Teraflops, twice that of GTX 560 Ti and over 50% higher than GTX 580. GK104 will continue to feature a 256-bit memory interface, but with frame buffer doubled to 2GB presumably at higher clocks. With everything increasing, unfortunately so does power consumption, to a TDP of 225W. A GTX 660 Ti variant is also expected in the future. While the remaining details remain unknown, including Kepler's architectural peculiarities, GK104 or GTX 660 will most likely end up competing with AMD's Radeon HD 7970. NVIDIA is expected to start releasing its Kepler parts in early Q2 2012, as we had previously reported, with GK110 releasing first - presumably going up against AMD's New Zealand dualTahiti flagship.

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January 21st, 2012

Streaming music service rara.com launches in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/streaming-music-service-rara.comlaunches-in-singapore/14588.html January 21st, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

web:Australian Dollar (AUD) – first 3 months $0.99 / then $7.99 web+ mobile: Australian Dollar (AUD) – first 3 months $2.99 / then $12.99 Canada web:Canadian Dollar (CAD) – first 3 months $0.99 / then $4.99 web+ mobile: Canadian Dollar (CAD) – first 3 months $1.99 / then $9.99

Nikon launches COOLPIX S2600 in Singapore Digital music service Rara.com was launched in US and Europe last month, and today, it is launching across Singapore, Australia and Canada. You get to access a catalogue of over 10 million tracks ad-free, at a small fee of S$0.99 a month, for the first three months.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nikon-launches-coolpix-s2600-insingapore/14587.html January 21st, 2012

Nikon has announced the launch of their new COOLPIX S2600 which begins retailing today. The slim and stylish compact camera has a 5x zoom NIKKOR lens with 26mm wide-angle view and boasts 14-megapixel sensor to capture high resolution images.

Rara.com, a new digital music service designed specifically for the consumers who want an easier way to adopt digital music, has been launched today across Singapore, Australia and Canada. The music service was launched in USA, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and New Zealand last month. Users get to access a catalogue of over 10 million tracks ad-free on rara.com, from just S$0.99 per month in Singapore, AUD$0.99 per month in Australia and CAD$0.99 per month in Canada, though that is only for the first three months. The service will also be pre-loaded on the vast majority of Singapore, Australia and Canada HP PCs, as well as Android, iOS and other platforms. Introductory Price Accessto rara.com in Singapore costs just S$0.99 cents per month for the first 3 months followed by a flat fee of S$4.99 per month for online access (web), with mobile access to rara.com on Android smartphones (web + mobile) just S$1.99 per month for the first 3 months and S$9.99 per month.

Nikon has launched the COOLPIX S2600 in Singapore. Based on its previous model, S2500, the new compact digital camera also comes in an ultra-stylish and slim form factor. The COOLPIX S2600 feaures a 14-megapixel sensor with Nikon EXPEED C2 image processing engine that can deliver high quality images with minimised processing time. It is also equipped with 5x zoom NIKKOR lens with 26mm wide-angle coverage and electronics VR image stabilisation to ensure nonblurry pictures. You can also record high definition movies at 1280x720 pixels, with just a press of the record button, and the camera claims to be optimised for windy settings with automatic noise reduction. Besides silver, black, pink, blue and red, Nikon is offering the S2600 in decorative purple and black. The Nikon COOLPIX S2600 officially starts retailing today at an attractive S$179.

Australia

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January 21st, 2012

Closed beta for SD Gundam Capsule Fighter Online to roll out on Valentine's Day Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/closed-beta-for-sd-gundam-capsulefighter-online-to-roll-out-on-valentine-s-day/14586.html January 21st, 2012

SD Gundam Capsule Fighter Online will be distributed by Shanda Games International in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Australia. The closed beta is scheduled to roll out on 14 February (which is also Valentine's Day). Have you signed up for closed beta of the 3D online shooter game yet?

SD Gundam Capsule Fighter Online is a free-to-play 3D online shooter game produced by Bandai Korea, which allows players to take command of units involving all Gundam eras: Universal Century, CosmicEra (Gundam SEED), Future Century (Mobile Fighter G Gundam) etc. Over 350 units are planned in the pipeline with each having unique statistics, weapons, movement and style. Players can also customize their own Gundams to differentiate from others on the battlefield. In addition, there are also fun and mysterious element whereby players redeem their Gundam via the ingame Capsule Toy Machine (also known as Gashapon). Closed beta for the game will roll out on 14 February 2012, and players who are interested to take part in the beta can apply at the game’s official website - http://sd.cherrycredits.com from today, 1800hrs (Standard Time +0800 UTC). Players can also register for the closed beta test by visiting the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/sdgundamsea, which will also host exclusive contests and events. Shanda Games International, an online game developer, operator and publisher, has announced that it has entered into an agreement with Bandai Korea, to distribute SD Gundam

Published by: VR-Zone

CapsuleFighter Online in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Australia.

New apps for Facebook Timeline Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-apps-for-facebooktimeline/14585.html January 21st, 2012

As you probably know, Facebook has launched their new Timeline profile which allows users to rediscover things they shared, including new experiences, songs they have listened to or the distance they ran. The popular social networking site has introduced some new apps that you can use to enhance your Timeline.

There are some new Timeline apps available for users to share their cooking, traveling, running and even review movies. Apps include Foodspotting, Foodily, Ticketmaster, Pinterest, Rotten Tomatoes, Pose, Kobo, Gogobot, TripAdvisor, and others. To add the apps to your timeline, go to http:// www.facebook.com/about/timeline/apps You can select the app you want and decide who can see it. After you've added the app, you can always remove posts directly from timeline, and you can also edit your settings from your personal Activity Log. For example, add the Foodily app to share your latest dishes. If your friends have added the Foodily app, you can also discover new recipes with each other, as you'll see their updates in the ticker and their timeline, and possibly News Feed.

Silent Phase Change Cooling Overclocks a GTX 580 Beyond 2GHz Clock Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/silent-phase-change-coolingoverclocks-a-gtx-580-beyond-2ghz-clock/14570.html

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January 21st, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

January 21st, 2012

During CES 2012, we met with Patrick Zulli, elaborate French who is the co-founder and CTO of PowerQuest LLC, the creator of CompuCold phase-change system. Cooling down the components to freezing temperatures is and will probably always be an obsession of performance enthusiasts. Just like the F1 car is being prepared for race by blowing dry ice onto the radiators hidden inside side pods, we all desire to cool down our processors to the lowest stable temperature and clock them as high as possible.

However, CompuCold isn't exactly designing their parts for enthusiasts - CompuCold mostly cools down Xeons as well as Quadro and Tesla graphics cards.

Samsung's Great Looking Display Becomes an All-in-One PC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-s-great-looking-displaybecomes-an-all-in-one-pc/14583.html January 21st, 2012

CompuCold is not a new concept - after all, we all remember VapoChill by Asetek from the turn of the century, overclocking Athlons and Pentiums to then magical 1GHz mark. Today, PowerQuest LLC is bringing CompuCold to market. CompuCold is a near-silent phase-change cooling for the CPU and GPU targeting high-end systems and servers.

We first heard about the Samsung beautiful TA9 Series 3D display launching as a part of AMD HD3D initiative. Since that launch, we wondered could you cram a whole PC inside the base. Today, we got that answer - meet the Series 9 AIO. Without any doubt, Samsung TA950 is one of best looking computer displays we have seen in all of 2011. Stylish and sleek, this 27" display boasts asymmetric design and flawless manufacturing quality. However, we have all wondered could the base, which fits quite a lot of connectors - be sufficient to pack a fully featured computer? On CES 2012, we have received our answer. Computer Shopper noticed the All-In-One version of TA950 named "Series 9 AIO" and it should be available in EMEA and Asian markets now.

Patrick Zulli, co-founder and CTO of the company explained to us that the company is enjoying a meteoric rise even though their products are‌ well, let's just say that they look quite prototype like. Yet, customers such as the US Army aren't shy on ordering computers powered by CompuCold as there are no second choices when it comes to required performance. 9


January 21st, 2012

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Roy Blunt, Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch, John Boozman and Marco Rubio said they were withdrawing their support for the controversial anti-piracy bill, with some blaming their decision on the fact that the Senate version (Protect IP Act or PIPA) had been rushed. Reddit, Wikipedia and a number of other websites blocked access to their websites yesterday to show what could happen if SOPA is approved. Google censored its logo and directed users to a protest page, while Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg asked users to protest against the Act.

Samsung took a page from Apple book (again) and equipped the part with components similar to those used in 27" iMacs. The Series 9 AIO available with Core i5 and i7 processors, AMD Mobility Radeon graphics and 4 or 8GB of system memory. Did we mention the display is still 120Hz, 3D compliant (with DDD middleware)? There are six USB ports, two of them being USB 3.0, and four being the regular 2.0. Two HDMI ports are also available but for some reason, we could not find a single DisplayPort. Given that even the original TA950 supported RJ-45 Ethernet and DisplayLink USB connectivity (use USB or Ethernet instead of HDMI to display picture), don't be surprised to see an RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet connector on the AIO model as well. Sound capabilities featured a downgrade, unfortunately as we no longer see the multi-channel audio output, only "Headphones In" and "Microphone In" ports being present. Systems start at $1399, which is about $700 (double) more than the original price for the display. Given the hardware inside, we're not surprised.

Supporters of SOPA in Congress now oppose it Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/supporters-of-sopa-in-congress-nowoppose-it/14582.html January 21st, 2012

A number of lawmakers in Congress who previously supported the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) have switched sides and now oppose the proposed bill, a result of mass protests by internet users and companies and a blackout of a number of popular websites. A number of lawmakers in Congress who previously supported the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) have switched sides and now oppose the proposed bill, a result of mass protests by internet users and companies and a blackout of a number of popular websites.

Most of the websites and companies in question called on people to contact local legislators and voice their opposition to the bill. This increasing pressure is most likely the reason why previous supporters of SOPA have jumped ship today. The battle is far from over, however. SOPA advocates like Creative America and News Corp. are stepping up efforts to win additional support for the Act via television and billboard campaigns. News Corp.'s chairman and CEO, Rupert Murdoch, called Google the “piracy leader�, while SOPA's creator, Lamar Smith, said he will fight on. The White House has indicated that Obama might veto the bill if it gets approval in the Senate and House of Representatives, but opponents of the Act, who claim it will lead to widespread internet censorship, hope it won't come to that. Continued protests and pressure on Congress officials will likely result in more opposition to the ill-fated Act.

Samsung announces eMCP entry-level smartphone memory Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-announces-emcp-entry-levelsmartphone-memory/14581.html January 21st, 2012

Samsung has announced production of its latest memory chips aimed at the entry-level and mid-level smartphone markets.

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January 21st, 2012

The embedded multi-chip package (eMCP) memory will come in a variety of densities and will employ LPDDR2 DRAM using 30nm process technology and NAND flash memory using 20nm process technology. Each package will feature a 4GB embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) using an NAND chip for data storage, and a choice of 256MB, 512MB or 768MB DRAM chip for delivering higher performance on mobile devices.

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Kodak has announced that it has filed voluntary petitions for reorganisation with the US Bankruptcy Court in efforts to protect it from impending bankruptcy. Kodak has announced that it has filed voluntary petitions for reorganisation with the US Bankruptcy Court in efforts to protect it from impending bankruptcy. The move will see additional liquidity pumped into its business, with a $950 million debit-in-possession credit facility made by Citigroup, which has a maturity duration of 18 months. Kodak is seeking to protect its two most valuable businesses, its digital capture patents and its printing division. The camera sector itself is largely an area that Kodak is no longer viable in.

“As the need is growing for more advanced software and increased data storage in smartphones and tablets, mobile device makers are expected to introduce embedded memory solutions throughout 2012 that offer higher performance and density,” said Myungho Kim, VP of memory marketing at Samsung's Device Solutions division. “Samsung will further accelerate growth in the mobile device market as it extends the advanced memory segment by providing a more expansive line-up of eMCP solutions in 2012.”

Kodak said it expects to be able to pay employee wages and benefits, and to continue customer programs. It said that its US operations should not be overtly affected, and that foreign operations are not subject to this proposal and will thus operate as normal.

The 30nm LPDDR2 DRAM will give data transmission speeds of 1,066 Mb/s, double that of previous mobile DRAM. It also performs 30 percent better and uses 25 percent less power than 40nm LPDDR2 DRAM. Chip manufacturing productivity also increases 60 percent as a result. Samsung also offers a high-end eMCP product that combines 1GB of 30nm LPDDR2 DRAM and 32GB of eMMC memory using a 20nm NAND flash chip.

Kodak files reorganisation petition with US Bankruptcy Court Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kodak-files-reorganisation-petitionwith-us-bankruptcy-court/14580.html January 21st, 2012

Kodak has been steadily losing money since the industry moved from film to digital. Rivals adopted the new format, but Kodak delayed the switch, which has brought the company almost to its knees. Now 75 percent of its business comes from digital, but that hasn't stopped its overall revenue and stocks from plummeting. “After considering the advantages of chapter 11 at this time, the Board of Directors and the entire senior management team unanimously believe that this is a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of Kodak,” said Antonio M. Perez, Chairman and CEO of Kodak. “Our goal is to maximize value for stakeholders, including our employees, retirees, creditors, and pension trustees. We are also committed to working with our valued customers. The company has already attempted a painful restructure by closing 13 manufacturing plants and 130 processing labs, as 11


January 21st, 2012

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well as axing 47,000 employees since 2003. The company expects restructuring to complete in 2013, and will file monthly operating reports with the Bankruptcy Court between now and then.

T1, T2, T3), Stereo (ION Orchard, Plaza Singapura), Funan DigitalLife Mall (AAAs Com, Inforcom, PK Computers, South Asia), Sim Lim Square (AAAs Com, Million Mobile, Million Tech, Song Brothers, Vision 1).

Recently the company sued Apple and HTC, claiming that they infringed some of its camera patents, a move which many saw as a last-ditch effort to pull in some extra funds to keep the company alive.

Capture better quality dark scenes with the Canon IVIS camcorders

Plantronics M50 offers simpler and smarter mobile communications Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/plantronics-m50-offers-simpler-andsmarter-mobile-communications/14579.html January 21st, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/capture-better-quality-dark-sceneswith-the-canon-ivis-camcorders/14578.html January 21st, 2012

Canon Japan has unveiled three camcorders from the IVIS series - HF M52/M51, HF M41/M43 and R31 - which incorporate the improved CMOS sensor that can capture good quality video even in dark situations.

Plantronics have announced the M50 Bluetooth headset that not only looks sleek and offers good audio quality, but is also affordable for consumers. The M50 also features stereo Bluetooth (A2DP standard) that lets you listen to music, podcasts or GPS directions.

The Plantronics M50 offers great style, exceptional audio quality, and affordability for every users, the M50 headset combines Plantronics' sound and noise reduction technology, long battery life and style designs for today's consumer. The M50 is one of the more affordable headsets at this price point that can offer stereo Bluetooth (A2DP standard) that lets you listen to music, podcasts or GPS directions. The Plantronics M50 Bluetooth headset is designed to make communications easier and more intuitive for mobile professionals and mainstream consumers.

Canon Japan has increased the sensitivity of the CMOS sensor which allows their IVIS series camcorders to record videos at good quality even under dark environment. The Canon iVIS HF M52 camcorder features Wi-Fi capability which allow captured videos to be shared to social networking sites, and fast transmission of high definition movies with support of MPEG-4 format. The HF R31 is equipped with a 32x optical zoom that assures wide-angle and telephoto conversion. All three camcorders incorporate DIGIC DV III image processing technology, "Canon HD video lens" and "multiple scene IS" that lets you shoot beautiful images easily. The company will be launching three models, namely the HF M52, HF M51 and HF R31, early March.

Android 4.0 ICS update slowly rolling out for Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/android-4.0-ics-update-slowly-rollingout-for-motorola-xoom-wi-fi/14577.html

The M50 headset is available now at suggested retail price of S$89, at Apple stores (EpiCentre, iStudio, Infinite, Macshop, Nubox), Challenger, Newstead, Sprint-Cass (Changi Airport 12


January 21st, 2012

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January 21st, 2012

Motorola Xoom owners (in US) rejoice. The Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update is slowly rolling out to users in USA, starting last night. However, the update is only for the Wi-Fi model only, and there's no word yet as to when it will be available to users in other countries.

Priced at approximately US$316, the Xiaomi M1 is one of the cheapest Android smartphones to incorporate a dual-core processor and an 8-megapixel rear camera. It runs Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread, though the company has promised that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will be made available to this phone. That doesn't mean you can't get and install the latest version of Android ICS on the Xiaomi M1. It seems that there is a beta ROM of Android 4.0.3 called ‘Mioneplus’ which is currently only available for developers. But if you are one of the few who are comfortable with ‘flashing’ and installing new Android ROM, you can try it out too. Note that the beta will still exist some bugs and that not all features are available, especially the Xiaomi’s proprietary MIUI user interface.

Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi owners in US are getting Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update, starting last night. The company has promised an update the Android ICS six weeks after receiving the core code, though the update is reportedly to be for the Wi-Fi version of the Xoom tablet at this point in time. To receive the update, you need to be connected over a Wi-Fi connection. If you are not connected via Wi-Fi, or your Motorola XOOM is off when the notification arrives, you will see the notification when you next connect to a Wi-Fi network.

Google Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich beta has been released for Xiaomi M1 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-android-4-ice-cream-sandwichbeta-has-been-released-for-xiaomi-m1/14576.html January 21st, 2012

Nikon Asia launches "Nikon Asia Image Guide" iPhone app Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nikon-asia-launches-nikon-asia-imageguide-iphone-app/14575.html January 21st, 2012

Nikon has announced their new iPhone app which allows photographer enthusiasts to accessNikon’s imaging expertise anytime and anywhere. The "Nikon Asia Image Guide" is free to download from the Apple App Store and offers the latest news from the company, informative videos, photography tips and even photo gallery.

Xiaomi M1 smartphone was earlier spotted as to run the new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS with some new interface enhancements. Well, it looks like the beta of the OS has been released, and is available for download.

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January 21st, 2012

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Users can locate Nikon’s camera experts and products no matter where they are in Asia. The mobile application features a search function by country and centre name, and along with a location map, this function makes being part of the Nikon experience all the easier. Technical Note - Supported devices: iPhone and iPad - Supported operation systems: iOS4 and above

Nikon Asia has launched their new “Nikon Asia Image Guide” iPhone app that provides users access to a host of photography tools and extensive knowledge database. The app is free to download from Apple’s App Store in English and traditional Chinese, and offers photographer enthusiasts with the latest Nikon news; an exclusive interactive guide that helps improve photography skills as well as an extensive tips section; and also Nikon Asia service centre and showroom locator. Nikon News The Nikon News section shows the latest key Nikon photography news and product updates in an easy-to-read format. Users can check the constantly updated links to get more details. Informative Videos You can watch the latest videos uploaded to the Nikon Asia’s YouTube channel, just by a simple touch. Interactive Guide It offers users a virtual simulation on how different camera settings under different conditions will affect the resulting picture. With numerous scenarios and the option to experiment, users can take their photography skills to the next level even before whipping out their cameras. Tips Database Access a comprehensive database of photography tips ranging from basics such as composition techniques or understanding focal length, to advanced skills such as silhouette shooting techniques or macro photography techniques. With real examples and in-depth explanations, users can brush up their skills at anytime. In addition, a Maintenance tips portion will help users keep their equipment in tip-top shape. Gallery Connected with the Nikon Asia Facebook page, users can browse hand-picked photos which include key information such as camera settings and how the image was taken. Nikon Asia Service Centre and Showroom Locator

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January 25th, 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.

Hackers ban Battlefield 3 players to highlight anticheating flaws Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hackers-ban-battlefield-3-players-tohighlight-anti-cheating-flaws/14634.html January 25th, 2012

Hackers have banned some players of the popular Battlefield 3 game to send a message to developers at Electronic Arts (EA) that its anti-cheating software is flawed. Hackers have banned some players of the popular Battlefield 3 game to send a message to developers at Electronic Arts (EA) that its anti-cheating software is flawed. A junior member of the Artificial Aiming game hacking website revealed that he and his anonymous hacking group are “framing” players to make the controversial PunkBuster software believe they were cheating in game. The group took responsibility for a previous attack in 2011 and said it has already banned more than 150 Battlefield 3 players to show how easy it is for PunkBuster to wrongly block a player.

While the hackers might have a point, that will be little comfort to the players affected. Many have expressed anger and outrage at what the hackers are doing. Since PunkBuster is not used on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 versions of the game the undeserved bans only apply to PC users. EA said it was aware of the problem and that it only affects “a small subset of players.” It said that it expects to have a “permanent solution” in place soon. It suggested a short-term workaround of joining servers that don't employ PunkBuster.

Apple posts strong first fiscal quarter growth Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-posts-strong-first-fiscal-quartergrowth/14633.html January 25th, 2012

Apple has posted its financial results for the first quarter of its fiscal year 2012, beating Wall Street analyst predictions and showing that the company still has huge growth potential after the passing of its co-founder and former CEO, Steve Jobs. Apple has posted its financial results for the first quarter of its fiscal year 2012, beating Wall Street analyst predictions and showing that the company still has huge growth potential after the passing of its co-founder and former CEO, Steve Jobs. Revenue was up from $26.74 billion a year ago to a whopping $46.33 billion, while net profit was up from $6 billion to $13.06 billion. Diluted shares also more than doubled from $6.43 to $13.87. While many criticised the paltry upgrades of the iPhone 4S, iPhone sales were up 128 percent compared to the same time last year, with the Cupertino, California-based company selling 37.04 million smartphones in the 14 week period, which included the lucrative Christmas holidays. iPad sales were not far behind, with a 111 percent increase in sales to 15.43 million. Apple's other businesses also grew, with 1


January 25th, 2012

5.2 million Macs sold, a 26 percent increase. However, sales in its iPod division dropped by 21 percent to a still reasonable 15.4 million. Part of this is likely due to people using their smartphones for music.

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European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, Viviane Reding, said that the protection of personal data is “a fundamental right for all Europeans” and that a strong legal framework needed to be adopted to protect this right. The so-called “right to be forgotten” is a controversial proposal that will put considerable power into the hands of internet users, so much so that they can demand online companies to remove all of their data if they desire. While some services like Google+ allow users to remove their data, others like Facebook make it incredibly difficult to do so. Such companies, which rely on this personal information for their advertising revenue, are voicing staunch opposition to the proposals. The US government and a number of historians are also concerned, as they believe that valuable records, for prosecution and history, will be lost.

“We’re thrilled with our outstanding results and recordbreaking sales of iPhones, iPads and Macs,” said Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. “Apple’s momentum is incredibly strong, and we have some amazing new products in the pipeline.” This is all good news for the company, but it faces increasingly stiff competition from rivals, including Samsung and Amazon, both of which are vying for the tablet computer throne. Apple is locked in bitter legal disputes with many of its Android opponents and recently lost an appeal for a proposed ban of Samsung's Galaxy Tab in the Netherlands. The company expects to bring in revenue of $32.5 billion in its second fiscal quarter.

EU data protection laws will carry high fines Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/eu-data-protection-laws-will-carryhigh-fines/14632.html January 25th, 2012

Companies that breach the European Commission's new data protection laws could be fined up to two percent of their annual turnover, a heavy penalty designed to enhance user privacy online.

The laws have already been tamed compared to their prior incarnation, however. The proposals will not, for example, make a company liable for not removing every trace of data if they can show that a third party copied the information without their knowledge or consent. Personal blogs will also be exempt from the rules. However, companies will be required to gain user permission, rather than assuming that a user agrees, as is currently the case with many “opt out” services. In some cases the firms in question are more worried about this than the fines, as they will likely lose far more than two percent of their revenue if they cannot continue with their existing data practices. The new laws will come into effect at the end of 2013, subject to approval by the European Parliament and all Member States.

Companies that breach the European Commission's new data protection laws could be fined up to two percent of their annual turnover, a heavy penalty designed to enhance user privacy online.

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January 25th, 2012

The date is set for QuakeCon 2012. Will we see Doom 4 shown off?

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new screen to feature a NOVA display; a new energy efficient technology from LG that gives significantly better brightness for all types of conditions and from multiple viewing angles.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-date-is-set-for-quakecon-2012.will-we-see-doom-4-shown-off-/14629.html January 25th, 2012

Today Bethesda, id's parent company revealed the dates and venue for this year's QuakeCon event, one of the largest and longest running LAN parties in existence. The event will be held at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas, running from August 2nd to the 5th. The Hilton Anatole has hosted QuakeCon for five out of the last six years and is offering a special rate for attendees. Today Bethesda, id's parent company revealed the dates and venue for this year's QuakeCon event, one of the largest and longest running LAN parties in existence. The event will be held at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas, running from August 2nd to the 5th. The Hilton Anatole has hosted QuakeCon for five out of the last six years and is offering a special rate for attendees. Bethesda said in today's announcement, "Those interested in attending can reserve special room rates at the hotel by calling 1-800- Hiltons and ask for the QuakeCon 2012 rate ($154 per night)". Apart from specific details mentioned on the official QuakeCon website, one question remains. Will we see Doom 4 shown off this year? Despite id having announced development on it before last year's event, we heard or saw nothing about it then. it's quite possible id will have it at a stage where they're happy to give us a taste this time around. Time will tell.

LG's Optimus 3D II exposed with unofficial specs

LG's Optimus 3D II is apparently 2mm thinner than the previous model and features NFC technology for touch payments, DLNA-capable 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and 5MP front-facing camera that is capable of recording HD 3D video. One other thing the new model is said to be able to do which its predecessor can't is the ability to convert 2D objects into 3D.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-s-optimus-3d-ii-exposed-withunofficial-specs/14631.html January 25th, 2012

Some (supposed) leaked images and specs for the LG Optimus 3D II (codenamed CX2) have made their way online which indicate a new screen with slimmer chassis and a faster processor. The details provided mention a Texas Instruments 1.2GHz dual core processor used in the upcoming model and the 3


January 25th, 2012

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Today, Korean electronics company LG announced that the sales of its Optimus LTE smartphone have exceeded over one million units. Available in US, Canada, Korea and Japan, the Optimus LTE claims to be the world's first high definition (HD) LTE smartphone. First launched in Korea in October 2011, the Optimus LTE managed to hit sales of 600,000 units in the first three months, making it the most popular LTEcapable phone on the market. it also has a record sales of 8,500 units on the first day of its launch in Japan. The Optimus LTE is available through three major mobile carriers in North America

The new smart phone is expected to launch at the Mobile World Congress, scheduled for 27th February in Barcelona.

LG Optimus LTE Android smartphone hits one million units in sales Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-optimus-lte-android-smartphonehits-one-million-units-in-sales/14630.html January 25th, 2012

Launched in December 2011, the LG Optimus LTE claims to be the world’s first high definition LTE smartphone. And barely two months, the company has announced that the sales of the LTE smartphone has exceeded one million units.

The LG Optimus LTE comes with a 4.5-inch True HD IPS display (1280 x 720, 16:9 widescreen) that offers superb color accuracy, clarity and consumes less power compared to phones with similar sized displays. Other features include 1.5GHZ dual-core processor, 1,830 mAh battery, 8-megapixel camera, and multiple connectivity options including Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA).

Sony announces new B Series Walkman in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-announces-new-b-serieswalkman-in-singapore/14628.html January 25th, 2012

Sony Electronics Asia Pacific has announced the launch of the new B Series Walkman in Singapore. Designed for music lovers on the move, the Walkman has eye-catching designs and boasts up to 18 hours of playback with rich bass and superb audio quality.

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January 25th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

The new notebooks appear to be refreshments to Alienware's existing M14x, M17x and M18x models; these said to be dubbed the M14x R2 (14-inch), M17x R4 (17.3-inch) and M18x R2 (18.4-inch).

Sony Electronics Asia Pacific has announced the Walkman NWZ-B170 Series in Singapore. The new Walkman has a flashy new design and allows music lovers to enhance their audio experience with rich and pumping lows; simply with a press of the BASS Boost button. The built-in lithium-ion battery claims to deliver up to 18 hours of music playback, and the Quick Charge function is capable of providing 90 minutes of music with just a mere three-minute charge. With its sleek and simple USB-dongle design, you just need to plug it to your PC and transfer your songs accordingly; it also recharges the battery at the same time. You can easily search through hundreds of songs with the Sony's ZAPPIN technology. Just click the "ZAP" button once to scan through quick snippets of your library of songs and click it again to play the song. The NWZ-B170 Series also comes with a voice recorder feature and FM tuner with 30 presets for listening in to your favourite radio stations. Available in Black, Red, Pink, Blue, and Gold, the NWZ-B170 Series comes in 2GB and 4GB capacities and will be available from February 2012 at all Sony stores and authorised outlets. Pricing details will be available closer to launch.

There's little detail shared on the M18x R2 at this time; only that it will be available in both red and black (as will the M14x R2). The M17x R4 is said to give GPU options of AMD's Radeon 7970M or NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 660M or 675M. The 14-inch M14x R2's GPU options remain unclear at this time, but it will apparently offer 1 or 2GB discrete graphics, with the option of saving money and going for integrated graphics. It was also mentioned that all three laptops are expected to adopt Intel's upcoming 22nm (Ivy Bridge) processors.

Philips introduces new Fidelio docking speakers for Android devices Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/philips-introduces-new-fideliodocking-speakers-for-android-devices/14627.html January 25th, 2012

Details out on Alienware's 2012 notebook range Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/details-out-on-alienware-s-2012notebook-range/14626.html January 25th, 2012

With the growing number of Android adopters, it is no wonder Philips has come up with their new docking speakers for this group of users. The electronics manufacturer has announced four Fidelio docking speakers - AS851, AS351, AS141 and AS111.

A reputable source tied closely with Dell has provided a bunch of details ahead of any official announcements on several upcoming laptops entering Alienware's lineup, rumoured to be launched sometime during Q2 2012. A reputable source tied closely with Dell has provided a bunch of details ahead of any official announcements on several upcoming laptops entering Alienware's lineup, rumoured to be launched sometime during Q2 2012. 5


January 25th, 2012

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Philips Fidelio Docking Speaker AS851 The Philips Fidelio Docking Speaker AS851 incorporates Digital Sound Processing technology that claims to deliver clear and detailed sound. With its precisely tuned bass pipes and optimal acoustic volume, you can enjoy superior audio performance from this docking speaker. Elegantly designed, the Philips AS851 Fidelio Docking Speaker will complement any living room. Price: S$349

Philips Fidelio Docking Speaker AS141 The Philips Fidelio Docking System AS141 comes with a builtin sleep timer that lets you drift off to dreamland with relaxing music playing. With a dual alarm system, it gives users a gentle wake-up experience every morning. The built-in Bass Reflex Speaker System provides deep, powerful bass, and for those who enjoy listening to radio channel, the AS141 also features FM digital tuning with great audio quality. Price: S$219

Philips Fidelio Docking Speaker AS351 The Philips Fidelio Docking Speaker AS351 features superb gaming audio effects and shielding technology to block mobile phone interference. It aims to provide users with great convenience with its battery or AC power option, for you to experience music enjoyment anytime, anywhere. Price: S$249

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Published by: VR-Zone January 25th, 2012

Sony has unveiled a new color for their popular VAIO Z series laptop as well as having an optional built-in LTE mobile broadband, for the support of 4G data service. On top of that, selected models have also been refreshed for this quarter.

Sony VAIO Z Series

Philips Fidelio Docking Speaker AS111 The stylish Philips Fidelio Docking Speaker AS111 is a perfect speaker for your bedside table. Despite its small footprint, the AS111 comes with built-in Neodymium speakers that provides balanced sound for any genre of music, with omni-directional sound that fills your room with rich tones. It also offers auto clock synchronization with your Android phones with soft glow night light. Price: S$199 Philips has created the FlexiDock to make it simpler for consumers. The FlexiDock can be adjusted to fit your Android device by simply moving it left or right – to ensure that the phone is placed in a centralized location even if the micro USB port is not located in a central position. The FlexiDock can also be rotated 180-degrees so that no matter what direction your micro USB port faces. The Philips Fidelio Docking Speakers AS851, AS351, AS141 and AS111 will be available at large electronics retail outlets in Singapore by end February 2012

Sony refreshes VAIO laptops for spring 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-refreshes-vaio-laptops-forspring-2012/14624.html

The updated Z Series now comes with a new Carbon Silver model on top of t the existing choices of Carbon Black, Carbon Gold, and Premium Carbon Black. It also offers optional builtin LTE mobile broadband which supports 4G data service, and is equipped with the latest second generation Intel processors ranging from Core i5 (and higher) and RAID 0 solid state drives. Price starts from US$1949.99 and includes the Power Media Dock drive for users who want additional ports or external displays. Sony VAIO S Series The 13- and 15-inch S Series feature standard voltage processors, Hybrid Graphics, optical drives (and Blu-ray Disc options), backlit keyboards and the VAIO, ASSIST and WEB hardware buttons for launching Media Gallery software, VAIO Care support software and access to the web without full boot-up Windows. In addition, both the 13- and 15-inch Sony laptops come with options for solid state drives in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB and feature QUAD RAID 0 technology for enhanced performance. Both incorporate second genertaion Intel processors, up to Core i7, Hybrid Graphics with either an AMD Radeon HD 6470M (512MB VRAM) or AMD Radeon HD 6630M (1GB VRAM). The larger model will come with a 15.5-inch Full high definition display (1920 x 1080) with IPS technology for improved image quality and viewing angles. The 13-inch S Series has a starting price of US$799 while the 15-inch S Series will start at US$979 and includes the Full HD display and Intel Core i5 processor. Both models will be available starting early February. Sony VAIO E Series 7


January 25th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

The refreshed E Series is designed for students and everyday users and come with the latest second generation Intel Core processors. It is available in four colors - Glacier White, Charcoal Black, Midnight Blue and Blush Pink - with a unique textured design, and in 14- and 15-inch sizes. On top of that, the E Series also features Intel Wireless Display for select models, VAIO, ASSIST and WEB hardware buttons, optional keyboard skins and optional dedicated NVIDIA graphics with up to 1GB VRAM. Pricing starts at US$499 for the 14-inch model and US$459 for the 15-inch.

Large LED TVs price drop, drop, drop: 55-inch LED TV for just S$1,000? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/large-led-tvs-price-drop-drop-drop-55inch-led-tv-for-just-s-1-000-/14623.html January 25th, 2012

Like the idea of 55-inch LED TV at close to S$1K? Or 42-inch 3D LED TV for less than S$500? Well, it is coming... Flat screen TV sets are dropping in price, as we all could see during the X'mas and Lunar New Year sales around the region. However, the interesting surprise awaited me when I checked the pricing of those new-generation TV's from the actual manufacturers in Shenzhen, and visited a few sites. Few key trends - first, the price of 42 inch LED backlight TV sets, including those with 120/240 Hz refresh and 3-D stereoscopic capability, has now dropped so close to the 32inch TV set level that, unless you really have no space at home for one, it makes no sense to choose 32-inch over 42-inch. The prices manufacturers quote for 100 plus units now, for a 42-inch FullHD LED TV, are less than US$ 300, and just another 20 - 40 bucks more if you want 3-D. In fact, one vendor quoted just US$ 259 for a non-3D FullHD LED 42inch set. Once you could the export and GST, plus extra sample charge, you could have one at your home for some S$ 500, I guess - and I'm talking of good quality panels with zero dead pixels (including Shenzhen's own 8.5G panel factory now on line), and reasonably thin casing margins around the panel, meaning not a too bulky TV.

Then, even more interestingly, the very large panels - up to 55 inch - got progressively cheaper, and with them the prices of large 50-inch and 55-inch sets. Now, you can get a 55-inch FullHD LED TV, non 3-D, for around US$ 780 if buying, say, 20 units. Add 3-D functionality, again, for a few bucks. If you add the sample charges and taxes, it's still less than S$ 1,200 just figure out the way to carry it here, of course. The point is, good quality large LED TVs are cheaper than ever, and the choice, across different price classes, is wider than ever. Even in China, there's stratification of vendors now, with some like TCL and Changhong going upper-class and fighting in features against the likes of Samsung and Sharp in some cases, and the rest keeping the more budget profile. The competition for both the internal and global market is pressing all those vendors to produce high quality goods, though shoddy wares are not an option anymore, if the business is to survive.

Korean actress Han Chaeyoung criticized on Twitter for luxurious car Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/korean-actress-han-chae-youngcriticized-on-twitter-for-luxurious-car/14622.html January 25th, 2012

Korean actress Han Chae-young was recently criticized on Twitter for flaunting her wealth when she posted a New Year greeting to her fans, with a picture of her driving a luxurious car, even though that was not her intention. Social networking sites can be a double-edge sword, especially when your fans or followers misunderstood the updates you have posted. That was what happened to Korean actress Han Chae-young, who is well-known for her roles in the television drama, Delightful Girl Choon-Hyang, whereby a sincere New Year greetings to her fans on Twitter was received with harsh criticism. As reported by Kpopfever website, on her Twitter 8


January 25th, 2012

page, Chae-young tweeted fans with the message, "HAPPY NEW YEAR! I am taking a drive for the first time in a while this holiday weekend. I pray that in the New Year, everyone will be prosperous with everything they do. Always remember to be happy and healthy". The Korean actress also shared a photo of her driving a luxurious car that looked to be the Italian Lamborghini sports car. While there were fans who replied back with the same wishes, there were others who criticized her for showing off, especially when times are bad and on the first day of New Year. The negative comments apparently proved to be too much for Chae-young and the tweet was removed.

Published by: VR-Zone January 25th, 2012

Sony Japan has announced their new Walkman E-series, which is scheduled to launch on 11 February next month. Available in 2GB and 4GB models, the NW-E060 and NWE060K series come in four trendy colors with a 1.4-inch LCD display.

AMD reports Q4 and 2011 results Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-reports-q4-and-2011results/14621.html January 25th, 2012

AMD has announced financial results for Q4 2011 and full year 2011. Revenue for Q4 2011 stayed flat over Q3 2011 at $1.69 billion, while revenues were slightly up in 2011 to $6.57 billion over 2010. AMD has announced financial results for Q4 2011 and full year 2011. Revenue for Q4 2011 stayed flat over Q3 2011 at $1.69 billion, while revenues were slightly up in 2011 to $6.57 billion over 2010. Non-GAAP net income for Q4 2011 was reported as $138 million. However, AMD underwent restructuring changes costing $98 million, and an impairment of AMD's investment in Globalfoundries at $209 million. Accounted for in the GAAP results, this lead to a net loss of $177 million for Q4 2011. Despite this, AMD still managed an increase in net income for 2011 to $491 million, up from $471 million in 2010. AMD shipped more than 30 million APUs in 2011 over A, C and E series. AMD's server division also saw strong growth, due to the introduction of Bulldozer bazed Opteron 6200/4200 series. The graphics segment however saw a decrease in Q4 2011, 5% over Q3 and 10% over Q4 2010. This was largely due to a decline in mobile GPU shipments, possibly caused by processor graphics / APUs gaining traction, as well as NVIDIA's Optimus gaining mind share. However, this was offset partially by increase in royalties from increased Xbox 360 and Wii sales in Q4. Curiously, AMD made no mention of the hard drive shortage, something NVIDIA and Intel have blamed.

Sony Japan has announced that their entry-level Walkman NW-E060 series is scheduled to launch on 11 February. Retail price for the 4GB NW-E063 will be around 11,000 yen (US $140), while the 2GB NW-E062 is approximately 9000 yen (US$115). In addition, the company is also launching the NWE060K series that comes with a dedicated speaker stand. The 4GB models are estimated to retail "NW-E063K" at around 13,000 yen (US$166), while the 2GB model will sell at 11,000 yen (US$140). TheNW-E060 series sport a 1.4-inch screen with features including FM radio, five-band equalizer, Clear Bass, Clear Stereo, and Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE). Each model is available in Black, Blue, Pink and Red, and the earphones will come in black for the black/red, and white for the blue/pink models. The color of the speaker stand will be similar to the NW-E060 series.

Research in Motion plans a variety of new BlackBerry products in 2012/2013 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/research-in-motion-plans-a-variety-ofnew-blackberry-products-in-20122013/14619.html January 25th, 2012

Looking forward to Q1 2012, AMD expect revenue to decrease 8% Âą 3%.

Sony new E-series Walkman to launch on 11 February

With the recent announcement of Research in Motion's newly appointed CEO, the question in everyone's minds is what will the company's future direction?

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-new-e-series-walkman-to-launchon-11-february/14620.html

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January 25th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

tapped its advertising potential, compared to Facebook, it still suffers from fake ads that present a security threat to users. Adding a protective layer around these ads could be just what it needs, and other social networks might follow suit.

BlackBerry 10 will be the focus of Research in Motion, and the overall structure will be QNX-based. However, it will take more than 6 months before we will see the formal launch of the new mobile operating system. Let's see what are RIM's general direction for this year. - RIM is expected to launch two new Curve smartphones based on BlackBerry 7 OS, the Curve 9230 (EDGE) and Curve 9320 (HSPA). - The new BlackBerry Playbook, which comes with 1.5GHz processor, supports HSPA+ 42Mbps and Near Field Communication, is schedled to launch in either May or June - A BBX 10 smartphone will be added to the BlackBerry Bold series. And like the Bold 9900, the new phone will have both touchscreen and QWERTY keys, and is scheduled to launch in December this year.

The deal means that the Dasient brand will be winding down and won't be accepting new customers. It's not clear if Twitter will charge users for this extra protection or just tack it on for free and rely on advertising revenue, the latter of which seems more likely. The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Apple loses Dutch appeal for Samsung Galaxy Tab ban Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-loses-dutch-appeal-for-samsunggalaxy-tab-ban/14616.html January 25th, 2012

Twitter acquires web security firm Dasient Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/twitter-acquires-web-security-firmdasient/14617.html January 25th, 2012

Twitter has acquired web security firm Dasient, which could result in a more secure micro-blogging service with fewer malware messages. Twitter has acquired web security firm Dasient, which could result in a more secure micro-blogging service with fewer malware messages. Dasient said that it will be able to apply its technology and team to Twitter, including its URL scanning software, which detects and blocks malware. This will be particularly useful for all those shortened links on Twitter, which can often hide the nature of the website behind. Another particularly interesting about this merger is Dasient's “anti-malvertising� service, which protects ad networks and publishers from malicious ads. While Twitter has barely

Apple has lost its appeal in the Netherlands over its attempt to get the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the primary rival to its iPad tablet computer, banned in the country. Apple has lost its appeal in the Netherlands over its attempt to get the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the primary rival to its iPad tablet computer, banned in the country. A lower Dutch court originally dismissed Apple's case in October, but Apple was hoping to change their mind with an appeal. The appeals court, however, decided that there was no basis for an injunction banning sales of Samsung's products, as it deemed that the products were sufficiently different to negate accusations of copying. This is a big win for Samsung, which needs to prevent sales bans similar to that secured by Apple in Germany. Samsung lost its own case there against Apple for one of the patents it claimed the Cupertino, California-based firm infringed, and Apple has upped the heat by filing fresh German complaints against Samsung's smartphone range.

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January 25th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

It claims that Sabelnikov not only created the malware, but operated and maintained it.

The two companies have been at each others' throats over the past year, suing and counter-suing in multiple countries, resulting in bans, appeals, reversals of bans, and a general mockery of the patent system. The legal war has shown an ugly side of the technology industry, where healthy competition is replaced by lawsuits and complaints to antitrust regulators. While the giants of the smartphone and tablet arenas battle it out, it's the little guys, the consumers, that ultimately lose out.

Microsoft names former antivirus employee as Kelihos botnet suspect Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-names-former-anti-virusemployee-as-kelihos-botnet-suspect/14615.html January 25th, 2012

Microsoft named Andrey Sabelnikov, a former employee of an anti-virus software firm, as a suspect behind the Kelihos botnet, which was responsible for a large proportion of the world's spam emails. Microsoft named Andrey Sabelnikov, a former employee of an anti-virus software firm, as a suspect behind the Kelihos botnet, which was responsible for a large proportion of the world's spam emails. The company filed an amended complaint with the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, citing evidence that Sabelnikov wrote the code for the Kelihos malware and created or participated in the creation of the botnet. These are serious allegations, but Microsoft believes that its evidence, which is based on analysing the malware, is solid.

Sabelnikov previous worked for anti-virus firm Agnitum from 2005 until 2008 and is currently working on a freelance basis with a software development and consulting firm. It is possible that his time with the security firm helped him gain the knowledge and expertise needed to construct the botnet. The Kelihos botnet spanned 41,000 computers and sent close to 4 billion spam emails every day. Microsoft and Kaspersky Labs took down the botnet in a coordinated strike in September 2011, ending a significant volume of spam and malware messages, but thousands of computers are still believed to be infected.

Revenge is Sweet: PowerVR Discrete GPGPU PCIe Card Coming Later in 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/revenge-is-sweet-powervr-discretegpgpu-pcie-card-coming-later-in-2012/14609.html January 25th, 2012

Imagination Technologies is not resting on its laurels after becoming a leader in the handheld and tablet business. The company is preparing its return to the world of discrete GPU cards, this time around with a GPGPU product. Imagination Technologies is not resting on its laurels after winning a lot of the handheld, tablet and SmartTV market. The company is preparing its return to the world of discrete GPU cards in quite the opposite way from what you might guesstimate. As you can see on the picture below, the last time we saw PowerVR inside of a PC, the card was being bundled with Myst III: Exile, and its competitors were Radeon 8500 and GeForce 3.

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January 25th, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

After all, OpenRT and Brazil are open SDK’s and follow the mantra of “Citus Altis Fortus” (Faster, Stronger).

Intel graphics to challenge NVIDIA, AMD in CAD pro space? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-graphics-to-challenge-nvidiaamd-in-cad-pro-space-/14613.html January 25th, 2012

Even in the current Sandy Bridge generation, Intel processors don't really compete against discrete 3-D cards when it comes to heavy duty 3-D gaming or multimedia creation tasks. The shader, texture, pixel and effects processing capabilities were never even intended for that. What about one even more lucrative yet more stable market over the decades - the 3-D CAD for engineers and architects, for instance? Last year, Imagination Technologies acquired Caustic Graphics, a small start-up company out of San Francisco which was working hard on creating an accelerator that would make real-time ray-tracing a reality. The company managed to create two generations of products which were more technology demonstrators than anything else, but their FPGA chips worked.

Well, have a good look at the contents of a large 3-D building or city model compared to a complex environment simulated within a modern 3-D game.

Following the acquisition, Caustic continued working hard on building commercial purpose for its technology and on CES 2012, we managed to see the birth of commercialization. By using OpenRL Brazil 3.0 software dev kits (SDK), Imagination Technologies are in the final stages of bringing a real-time raytracing accelerator card to market.

While talking to representatives of both Caustic and Imagination Technologies, we were told that the card is set to be introduced in the second half of this year, with the goal being Siggraph 2012. Given that for example, Quadro and Tesla units represent bread and butter at NVIDIA, and that the company is virtually unchallenged with their mentalray software and Tesla hardware - there could be plenty of room for a second player. If AMD turns focus on their FirePro line of products, maybe even a third challenger appears.

In the city or building case, basically you got a lot of polygons, as even curved buildings defined by NURBS at the end get broken into that. Depending on the level of detail involved, a typical 50-storey building with some actual facade design effort put into it, like beautiful Art Deco style towers popping up in China or Malaysia, may take anywhere between 500,000 and 10 million polygons in total. There would likely be no more than 10 different texture types for the outside facade, and another few dozen at most for the interior, if that one is included at the initial modeling stage at all. Look at CapitaLand's Chaotianmen project in Chongqing, a site the author is very familiar with, as a good example of maximum complexity 3-D building model, whose 8 towers with skybridge and coastal modeling of two rivers' confluence could take even 20 million polygons - still nothing compared to the most complex game scenes when all stuff is turned on. If, on the other hand, we use some of our Singaporean 'quickie boring design to maximise early profits' approach like the 50storey One Raffles Quay, for instance, resulting in an ugly box, you can do the whole thing precisely in just 50 polygons plus a very, very simple flat texture - something even an early

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Pentium CPUs could visualise in real time on its own, no GPUs needed. Notice that, aside from some 'sky' and 'trees' and a bit of water surface here and there, there are no game-like special effects required anywhere here. So unlike the contemporary games where the combination of complex, changing environments and the effects, plus the player experience bits, taxes even the more advanced discrete GPUs. Yet, for architectural and engineering CAD, we're talking about very demanding, mission-critical market with requirement for precision, error-free simulation and certified application support. These guys do pay thousands for each app license in some cases, after all - look at AutoCAD, Microstation, ProEngineer and so on.

Published by: VR-Zone

the user feels a need for faster graphics, it can be done by adding a discrete GPU. Or, more cost effectively in the Intel case, upgrading the CPU to an Ivy Bridge-class Xeon E3 with doubled graphics speed in the same socket, plus the side CPU benefits. While this is not a solution for more demanding multimedia 3-D content creation, or real-time Virtual Reality (VR) where the demands exceed even the toughest games, the allure of capturing quite a chunk of base level CAD marketshare and mindshare wasn't lost on Intel. What can the competitors do about it?

Back to Intel and their Sandy Bridge, yes a no-good for big time games, but... it has pretty decent 3-D polygon processing throughput, sufficent texture and effects capability for architectural and engineering CAD, and allows for a very compact system design in fashionable little casings that the design-conscious creative firms like to deploy.

For Nvidia, nothing much it can do, except drastically reducing the entry-level Quadro card prices to offer a 'still faster' alternative at small price premium. The argument how the users spend a lot on the apps so won't mind spending more on the hardware doesn't hold, as this author has also seen many times that this class of users can be often more stingy on the hardware than on the software running on it.

So, Intel came up with an interesting strategy for their Xeon versions of the Sandy Bridge LGA1155 processor line. These Xeon E3-1200 series CPUs are now OpenGL certified, including support and certifications for a bunch of these high end architecture and engineering design applications. Therefore, you can get a 'certified 3D engineering workstation' base within a simple miniITX or microATX (if in need for more memory) mainboard, for a very compact system. I have played with AutoCAD on the E3-1275, basically a Xeon version of Core i7-2600K, and the performance is satisfactory even for 3-D real time manipulation of a (textureless though) model of central KL city area. You can pan, zoom, 3-D rotate in both isometric and perspective views easily, and this is roughly a 5 million polygon class model, meaning more triangles than most typical building models under, say, AutoCAD, right now. So, most other users could be happy with it as well. This way, Intel takes a part of Nvidia and AMD's highest profit market, workstation graphics cards, by cutting into their entry level with 'good enough' solution that yet gives peace of mind to the users without requiring to buy an extra GPU anyway - this saving is welcome as, even if later in design cycle

AMD has a chance here though, if they are willing to take it - by offering high-end Llano and Trinity Fusion APU selected bins as "FirePro-class OpenGL certified" and throw in selected key apps full certification and support, they could ride the same wave as the above Intel Xeon E3's. After all, 'good enough' combined CPU and GPU performance was one of key Fusion APU marketing points. The question is, can AMD put aside enough extra money and resources to do the certification and support effort, and yet accept a little canibalisation of the low-end FirePro card line? Either way, I feel, they should do it - Intel is only going to up the stakes as their Ivy Bridge and then Haswell models of E3 Xeons continue to advance both CPU and GPU performance in the next one year to beyond 'good enough' level. At the end, building model complexity grows slower than the processor speed...

Compucase to unleash Cougar Evolution BO 'Super Mid Tower' Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/compucase-to-unleash-cougarevolution-bo-super-mid-tower-/14612.html

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Published by: VR-Zone

January 25th, 2012

Taiwanese maker of cases Compucase (HEC) has a new Cougar-branded 'Super Mid Tower' planned for the European market next month. Dubbed the Evolution BO, the upcoming model is more of a variation to the existing Evolution that is already available, featuring a bold orange and black color scheme inevitably attracting a love or hate it crowd, top mounted 3.5/2.5-inch SATA drive dock and built-in fan controller. Taiwanese maker of cases Compucase (HEC) has a new Cougar-branded 'Super Mid Tower' planned for the European market next month. Dubbed the Evolution BO, the upcoming model is more of a variation to the existing Evolution that is already available, featuring a bold orange and black color scheme inevitably attracting a love or hate it crowd, top mounted 3.5/2.5-inch SATA drive dock and built-in fan controller.

Internally there are four 3.5-inch trays, eight PCI slots and a couple pre-drilled holes for watercooling at the rear. On the subject of cooling, the case comes with a single 120mm Vortex HDB fan installed at the rear, with the ability to add a further six fans at your leisure. It is expected that the Evolution BO will hit European stores at a price point of 99 Euro.

With support for both micro and full-sized ATX cases, the Evolution BO's I/O panel gives two USB 2.0 as well as three USB 3.0 ports and there are six external 5.25-inch bays resident, all of which use tool-free mounting.

AMD x86 powered MSI tablet runs Android 4.0 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-x86-powered-msi-tablet-runsandroid-4.0/14610.html January 25th, 2012

A curiously alluring tablet from MSI was perked up on display during CES earlier this month which was primarily due to the OS this AMD powered WindPad 110W was running; Android 4.0. And luckily, unlike the Tegra-3 powered Windows 8 tablet also seen at the event, this one was available for some handson.

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Published by: VR-Zone January 25th, 2012

The launch of AMD's Radeon HD 7950 isn't far away now with just a little over a week remaining. Following initial leaked images and specs which we reported on last week, we now have some more concrete info on specs thanks to the first GPU-Z screenshot of the card making its way online.

As far as hardware goes, the WindPad 110W uses a 10-inch IPS screen running a resolution of 1280x800 and packs a Z-01 APU comprising a couple x86 cores @ 1GHz, Radeon HD 6250 graphics and 2GBs of RAM. The Ice Cream Sandwich running tablet isn't exactly all that exclusive, however, due to the Android-x86 project which just recently released a public test build (20120101) of its Android 4.0 ISO specifically suited to AMD Brazos-based tablets not unlike the one seen here.

The launch of AMD's Radeon HD 7950 isn't far away now with just a little over a week remaining. Following initial leaked images and specs which we reported on last week, we now have some more concrete info on specs thanks to the first GPU-Z screenshot of the card making its way online.

It will be quite a while before AMD gets onboard with official support however, if at all. Although it does look like there is some form of interest in the project when looking at Android-x86 project's website where it can be seen that the company has donated some development boards to the project last April, and their "Persimmon" platform of embedded processors have also officially become a target for new code as of October.

The screenshot does indeed look to be genuine with the device ID matching up with that of the upcoming 28nm "Tahiti" GPU powered card. What's important to know from this screenshot is that the core clock rate was manually increased from its default to 880MHz for the purposes of a 3DMark 11 Extreme run (in which it returned a rather impressive result of 2385, still faster than the GTX 580). The source states that the default core clock will be 800MHz on these cards, while the 3GB of GDDR5 based memory will be paired with the same 384-bit memory interface, running at a speed of 1,250MHz (5GHz QDDR) and dishing out 240GB/ s of memory bandwidth. In terms of where things are at for Android/ x86, the WindPad 110W on demo showed that there's still a ways to go for a harmonious matchup, mostly due to some ill running effects at random like forced closes and the odd freezing, but it was clear that progress is going well and there is certainly a bit of potential there.

Specifications on HD 7950 shared via GPU-Z Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/specifications-on-hd-7950-shared-viagpu-z/14611.html

As previously made known, AMD has given permission for partners to mix things up from the reference design right out the gate, so we should be seeing a good bunch of models with varying custom coolers and factory overclocks to keep things interesting.

MegaUpload arrests prompt mass file-sharing host closures Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/megaupload-arrests-prompt-mass-filesharing-host-closures/14608.html

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The seizure of the MegaUpload website and arrest of its founders and employees has sparked widespread fear amongst other file-sharing companies, resulting in a number of them, including FileSonic and FileServe, banning all downloads. The seizure of the MegaUpload website and arrest of its founders and employees has sparked widespread fear amongst other file-sharing companies, resulting in a number of them, including FileSonic and FileServe, banning all downloads. The fallout from last week's raid on homes belonging to MegaUpload staff is quickly piling up, with many similar companies fearful that they are next on the list. Even if the MegaUpload case does not go anywhere, it has created such a scare that many in the music and film industry will be content with the results. FileSonic, one of the top 10 file-sharing websites, closed its affiliate rewards program and stopped anyone from downloading files from other people. The site has essentially become a storage facility, where subscribers can only access and download their own files, much to the anger and frustration of paying members. Some reports suggest that users cannot even access their own files, with mass file deletion and account banning going on, likely due to staff finding copyrighted material.

Another major player, FileServe, has followed suit, ending its affiliate program, banning third party downloads, and performing mass deletion and account bans. Smaller sites are also running scared. FileJungle, UploadStation, FilePost, VideoBB, VideoZer, and 4Shared are copying the others. Uploaded.to has banned all US IP addresses. Some like UploadBox and x7.to have decided to close up entirely. As the fallout continues we will likely see dozens, if not hundreds, of other file-sharing websites follow suit, an avalanche of closures that will greatly change the shape of the internet and the availability of files, legal or illegal.

Published by: VR-Zone

Intel acquires InfiniBand for supercomputing Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-acquires-infiniband-forsupercomputing/14607.html January 25th, 2012

Intel has announced the acquisition of QLogic's InfiniBand networking business for $125 million, a move that will help it realise its goal of ExaFLOP supercomputers. Intel has announced the acquisition of QLogic's InfiniBand networking business for $125 million. The move is designed to support Intel's existing networking portfolio and provide scalable high-performance computing (HPC) fabric technology. InfiniBand is used in a number of supercomputers and Intel is hoping that the acquisition will help it achieve computing speeds of over one ExaFLOP/s, or one quintillion computer operations per second, by 2018. This would firmly put Intel on the map as one of the leaders in the highly competitive supercomputing industry.

“At the International Supercomputing Conference 2011, Intel unveiled a bold vision to redefine HPC performance and break the Exascale barrier by 2018,” said Kirk Skaugen, VP and GM of Intel’s Data Center and Connected System Group. “The technology and expertise from QLogic provide important assets to provide the scalable system fabric needed to execute on this vision.” Intel will also be hiring many of the employees that currently work on InfiniBand. The companies expect the deal to close by the end of the first quarter, subject to regulatory approval.

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Published by: VR-Zone

RIM co-CEOs resign in BlackBerry shakeup

LG Shows Glasses-Free 3D PC Display and Notebook

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rim-co-ceos-resign-in-blackberryshakeup/14606.html January 25th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-shows-glasses-free-3d-pc-displayand-notebook/14584.html January 25th, 2012

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) is undergoing a major overhaul after co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie resigned. The duo made the shock announcement at a press conference at the company's headquarters in Waterloo, Canada. They said they recognised that the company needed to change and they thought that now was the time for them to go. Lazaridis founded the company in 1984 and will maintain a role as vice chairman, but Balsillie will only keep his role on the board of directors. Thorsten Heins, current chief operating officer, will replace them as CEO. Barbara Stymiest will also replace the two as chairman.

The company has been struggling to compete with rivals like Apple and Google, which have been steadily stealing its market share, even in the business smartphone sector, which it previously dominated. RIM's failure to keep up and adapt to the changing market has sent its share plummeting in recent months by as much as 75 percent. "As with any company that has grown as fast as we have, there have been inevitable growing pains," said Heins. "We have learned from those challenges and, I believe, we have and will become a stronger company as a result."

On CES 2012, LG showed two interesting products - glassesfree 3D display and a notebook and we've just learned about the availability of the parts - second quarter of this year. One of biggest challenges for 3D is to become widely accepted among users which are not used to wearing glasses. There are many companies that plan on launching glasses-free products, but it looks like LG will be the first major manufacturer to have more than a demo product.

The company introduced A540 notebook and D2500N monitor, both featuring the same glasses-less stereoscopic 3D technology on vastly different screen sizes. A540 notebook is based off typical components such as Intel Core i5 and i7 processors (CES model had an i7), up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, GeForce GTX 555 GPU, 1TB hard drive. Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and a 15.6" 1920x1080, Full HD glasses-free 3D display. Regardless of do you like the 3D or not, there is one thing great about this display - IPS panel. That's right, no more TN and its shoddy viewing angles. Given that there are 4.1 channel surround system built in, there is no doubt this is not a thin'n'light notebook. At 2.6 kilos, it may weigh more than its competitors, but in our opinion - every gram is worth. Quality is what matters here, and LG obviously knew they can't cut corners with an important product as this one.

Many analysts see today's move as an essential step in the right direction for the company, which might just rescue it from free-fall and make it a viable contender to the smartphone throne again.

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For one or more reasons ASUS chose to hold off on the launch of one particular product until after CES came to a close; this in the form of a new business oriented Ultraportable. Dubbed the B23E, the new 12.5-inch notebook falls under the company's ASUSPRO Ultraportable family and running over the specs, it sure does look like it means business. Packing either a Core i5 or i7 processor, it comes with up to 8GB of RAM and a 750GB (7200RPM) HDD in a rather tidy looking magnesium-aluminum alloy case that combines strength with minimal weight. Complimenting the Pro-series of models, it sports a fingerprint reader, anti-shock mounted HDD and a spill-proof keyboard.

Second, perhaps the more intriguing product is D2500N monitor. This baby packs a 25" IPS panel (again, no more TN!) with a standard 1920x1080, Full HD resolution. The reason for this is simple - LG representative told us that the company would like to utilize higher resolutions in order to achieve Full HD in 3D but they need 4K resolution in order to be able to do so. Secondly, Dual-link DVI only supports 1920x1080 in 120Hz. Thus, when first 3840x2160 panels appear, you'll be seeing 3D videos in 1920x2160 resolution. Expect them to use the DisplayPort 1.2a and HDMI 1.4a 3GHz connectors, though. Response time is set at 5ms, which is typical for an IPS panel. The most worrying part about 3D is lack of brightness and D2500N does not impress: 2D mode gives you just 250 cd/ m2, while in 3D mode this drops to 100 cd/m2. Given that IPS panels usually feature 300-450 cd/m2, the experience with this display might be‌ "darker".

Other features are a standard fare for the most part with a screen resolution of 1366 x 768, 2MP web camera, DVD Drive and an Express Card slot. It is unlikely the unit will impress much in the way of battery life, however, due to the mention on ASUS' product page of a lowly 3-cell 4,400mAh battery.

We have examined the display and to us, it did not appear as dark as some movie theaters but then again, show floor is not lit, it is floodlit. Experience in your own room may wary. If you are wondering how these displays work in 3D, the principle is more similar to ELSA monitors in 1990s than MasterImage 3D is doing right now. The A540 and D2500N feature head tracking camera which optimizes 3D signal for optimal display. Thus, do not significantly move your head. LG is claiming they solved the problems from 1990s by using highframerate cameras (30-60fps) and there should be no visible lag in showing the 3D image. Both products will be available in second quarter of this year, but we were not given prices on any. We were told they will be "competitive", whatever that means.

ASUS roll out B23E business Ultraportable post CES Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-roll-out-b23e-businessultraportable-post-ces/14605.html January 25th, 2012

While official pricing is yet to be disclosed, it is expected the fully spec'd up model will come in at around $1000 US.

LucidLogix Hydra destined to go the way of its ancient ancestor? Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lucidlogix-hydra-destined-to-go-theway-of-its-ancient-ancestor-/14598.html

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LucidLogix made a technological breakthrough when introducing its first generation multi-GPU accomodating Hydra Engine to the world around 2 years ago now, which at the time by concept alone had people shouting out "Bravo!" thanks to the ability to mix up brands and models of graphics cards between the two major players, AMD and NVIDIA. The issue is, Hydra's performance with a mixed config has never been astonishing in line of what can be harnessed in using a pair of duplicate cards in CrossFire or SLi. It is for this reason that most avid gamers and enthusiasts don't go down this road. LucidLogix made a technological breakthrough when introducing its first generation multi-GPU accomodating Hydra Engine to the world around 2 years ago now, which at the time by concept alone had people shouting out "Bravo!" thanks to the ability to mix up brands and models of graphics cards between the two major players, AMD and NVIDIA.

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SoCs on select boards in the past) no longer has any products on the horizon, nor planned in the future that will use Hydra.

Brookstone offer WiFi Hotspot with 2GB Storage in Cufflinks form Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/brookstone-offer-wifi-hotspotwith-2gb-storage-in-cufflinks-form/14604.html January 25th, 2012

Brookstone have just introduced something that looks like its come straight from the creative labs of those gadget minded gurus, MI6. Specialising in a vast range of lifestyle products available directly from their online catalog, the company has just started listing some new High-Tech Cufflinks which provide both a WiFi HotSpot as well as 2GBs of storage. Brookstone have just introduced something that looks like its come straight from the creative labs of those gadget minded gurus, MI6. Specialising in a vast range of lifestyle products available directly from their online catalog, the company has just started listing some new High-Tech Cufflinks which provide both a WiFi HotSpot as well as 2GBs of storage.

The issue is, Hydra's performance with a mixed config has never been astonishing in line of what can be harnessed when using a pair of duplicate cards in CrossFire or SLI. It is for this reason that most avid gamers and enthusiasts don't go down this road. In turn, it is becoming clear to motherboard manufacturers that the cost in adding Hydra to select motherboards isn't as appealing as it once was when the idea had everying sharing 'wow' and 'cool' comments together after its inception in the enthusiast motherboard segment. The folks over at Overclockers Ukraine have indicated that Hydra could well be on its way to nothing more than ancient history, not unlike its its greek mythological multi-headed ancestor. While Lucid as a company are well and truly thriving thanks to their well evolved technologies including Lucid Virtu and XLR8, apparently as far as their hardware-based Hydra Engine technologies go, they're looking square on at stamping them with a big "Obsolete" sign, especially since several motherboard manufacturers are providing both AMD and Intel chipset boards these days that give support for both SLI and Crossfire. The signs of Hydra's demise are particularly intensified after an MSI rep recently told OCUA that the company (who tended to always be the first and most likely partner to opt for Hydra

Opening up the snazzy polished-silver Cufflinks (measuring 75" L x .75" W x .25" each) will reveal a USB connector, which when plugged into "any" USB power source will function as a convenient WiFi hotspot, allowing its 2GB of storage to be accessible to anyone connecting to it. If plugged into a PC, the Cufflinks will provide both 2GB of mass-storage (most likely limited to USB 2.0) along with the ability to set it up as a WiFi hotspot from there. This would no doubt be quite useful in certain situations, but you may beg to differ in light of the price tag Brookstone is fetching.

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While you do get two of these WiFi Cufflinks in the deal, you'll be up for a whopping $250 US. Then again, if you've got a thing for cufflinks in general as being a part of your regular attire, there's a good chance your wallet doesn't at all mind the hit.

Gigabyte X79-UD5 Review

Published by: VR-Zone

Before we dive into the UD5 itself, below is a general overview of the X79 platform supporting 2nd generation Intel i7 processors for the LGA2011 socket. The increased number of PCIe lanes and quad channel memory support are the major distinguishing features over the mainstream P67/Z68 platforms.

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-x79-ud5-review/14133.html January 25th, 2012

Today we are taking a look at the Gigabyte X79-UD5, an eight DIMM slot E-ATX motherboard and one of four models in the streamlined Gigabyte X79 range. This feature packed board brings several firsts for Gigabyte including a UEFI BIOS implementation and a digital PWM system. Introduction & Specifications Today we are taking a look at the Gigabyte X79-UD5, an eight DIMM slot E-ATX motherboard and one of four models in the streamlined Gigabyte X79 range. This feature packed board brings several firsts for Gigabyte including a UEFI BIOS implementation and a digital PWM system.

Specifications of the Gigabyte X79-UD5 CPU Support

Chipset Memory

Support for Intel® Core™ i7 processors in the LGA2011 package Intel® X79 Chipset 1. 8 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 64 GB of system memory 2. 4 channel memory architecture 3. Support for DDR3 2133/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules 4. Support for non-ECC memory modules

In contrast to previous generations where Gigabyte have released a dozen or more models in a range, the X79-UD5 is one of just four clearly delineated models along with the UD3, UD7 and G1 Assassin 2. Gigabyte is pitching the feature packed UD5 at content creators, professionals and any users requiring memory capacity with heavy multithreaded CPU workloads. The other boards cover the budget (UD3), gaming (G1 Assassin) and overclocking (UD7) segments. Notably, the UD5 is the only board in the range to feature eight DIMM slots and therefore the only one that supports the full 64gb memory capacity of the platform. This fact alone will appeal to many users.

Audio

5. Support for Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) memory modules 1. Realtek ALC898 codec 2. High Definition Audio 3. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel 4. Support for Dolby® Home Theater

LAN Expansion Slots

5. Support for S/PDIF Out 1 x Intel GbE LAN (10/100/1000 Mbit) 1. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at

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x16 (PCIEX16_1/ PCIEX16_2) * For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16_1 slot; if you are installing two PCI Express graphics cards, it is recommended that you install them in the PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2 slots.

2. 2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connectors (including 1 eSATA/USB Combo) on the back panel supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices 3. Support for SATA RAID 0 and RAID 1 USB

1. Up to 14 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (8 ports on the back panel, including 1 eSATA/USB Combo, 6 ports available through the internal USB headers)

2. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8) (All PCI Express x16 slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.) 3. 2 x PCI Express x1 slots (All PCI Express x1 slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.) Multi-Graphics Technology

Storage Interface

4. 1 x PCI slot Support for 3-Way/2-Way AMD CrossFireX™ / NVIDIA SLI technology. Chipset: 1. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0/ SATA3 1) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices 2. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2 2~SATA2 5) supporting up to 4 SATA 3Gb/s devices 3. Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, and RAID 10 * When a RAID set is built across the SATA 6Gb/s and SATA 3Gb/s channels, the system performance of the RAID set may vary depending on the devices being connected. 3 x Marvell 88SE9172 chips: 1. 4 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3 6~GSATA3 9) supporting up to 4 SATA 6Gb/s devices

. Chipset:

2 x Fresco FL1009 chips:

IEEE 1394

Internal I/O Connectors

1. Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB headers) VIA VT6308 chip: 1. Up to 2 IEEE 1394a ports (1 port on the back panel, 1 port available through the internal IEEE 1394a header) 1. 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector 2. 1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector 3. 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors 4. 4 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors 5. 1 x CPU fan header 6. 4 x system fan headers 7. 1 x front panel header 8. 1 x front panel audio header 9. 1 x S/PDIF Out header 10. 3 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers 11. 1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header 12. 1 x IEEE 1394a header 13. 1 x Clear CMOS jumper 14. 1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header

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Back Panel Connectors

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1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard/ mouse port

5. Support for Xpress Install

2. 1 x CPU overclocking button

6. Support for Xpress Recovery2

3. 1 x BIOS switch button 5. 1 x IEEE 1394 port

7. Support for EasyTune * Available functions in EasyTune may differ by motherboard model.

6. 7 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports

8. Support for Smart 6™

7. 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports

9. Support for eXtreme Hard Drive (X.H.D)

4. 1 x Clear CMOS button

8. 1 x eSATA/USB Combo connector

10. Support for ON/OFF Charge

9. 1 x eSATA 6Gb/s connector

I/O Controller H/W Monitoring

10. 1 x RJ-45 port

12. Support for TouchBIOS

11. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector

13. Support for 3TB+ Unlock

12. 5 x audio jacks (Center/ Subwoofer Speaker Out, Rear Speaker Out, Side Speaker Out, Line In/ Mic In, Line Out) iTE IT8728 chip 1. System voltage detection 2. CPU/System temperature detection 3. CPU/System fan speed detection 4. CPU overheating warning 5. CPU/System fan fail warning

BIOS

11. Support for Cloud OC

6. CPU/System fan speed control * Whether the CPU/ system fan speed control function is supported will depend on the CPU/system cooler you install. 1. 2 x 64 Mbit flash 2. Use of licensed AMI EFI BIOS

14. Support for Q-Share Operating System Form Factor

Support for Microsoft® Windows 7/Vista/XP E-ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 26.4cm

Additional note: Since the release of the UD5, Gigabyte issued a statement urging users who overclock their boards to update to the F7 or later BIOS. The new BIOS' update some protection mechanisms relating to the PWM. The update is only necessary for users with heavily overclocked systems. Day to day users won't notice any difference even if they don't switch to the new BIOS. They went as far as offering an unconditional five year warranty on the boards to alleviate concerns. Gigabyte in house overclocker Hicookie went on to claim several overclocking records with the new BIOS, debunking some unjustified forum scare-mongering. Our own overclocking tests resulted in no issue whatsoever with both the old BIOS and the new.

OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB SSD Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-vertex-3-max-iops-240gb-ssdreview/14603.html January 25th, 2012

3. Support for DualBIOS™

Unique Features

4. PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.6, ACPI 2.0a 1. Support for @BIOS 2. Support for Q-Flash 3. Support for Xpress BIOS Rescue 4. Support for Download Center

Even though SSDs are a relatively new technology and market penetration is not yet extensive, demand from performance-crazed enthusiasts has led several of the major manufacturers to release products designed for maximum performance regardless of their high cost. Today we will 22


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examine OCZ’s currently fastest 2.5” SSD offering, the Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB drive. As the name suggests, this disk has been designed and tuned to deliver the best possible IOPS performance which current controllers and flash memory technologies allow. How well it can perform in both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications? We will find out in this review. Even though SSDs are a relatively new technology and market penetration is not yet extensive, demand from performance-crazed enthusiasts has led several of the major manufacturers to release products designed for maximum performance regardless of their high cost. Today we will examine OCZ’s currently fastest 2.5” SSD offering, the Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB drive. As the name suggests, this disk has been designed and tuned to deliver the best possible IOPS performance which current controllers and flash memory technologies allow. How well it can perform in both synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications? We will find out in this review. Manufacturer features and specifications • MLC NAND Flash • Interface: SATA 6Gbps / Backwards Compatible 3Gbps • Native TRIM support • Seek Time: .1ms • Slim 2.5" Design • 99.8 x 69.63 x 9.3mm • Lightweight: 77g • Operating Temp: 0°C ~ 70°C • Ambient Temp: 0°C ~ 55°C • Storage Temp: -45°C ~ 85°C • Low Power Consumption: 3W Active, 1.65W Idle • Shock Resistant up to 1500G • RAID Support • Included 3.5" Desktop adapter bracket • Compatible with Windows 7, Vista, XP 32-bit/64-bit, Mac OSX • MTBF: 2 million hours • 3-Year Warranty 240GB Drive Max Performance • Max Read: up to 550MB/s • Max Write: up to 500MB/s • Random Read 4KB: 55,000 IOPS • Random Write 4KB: 65,000 IOPS • Maximum 4K Random Write: 85,000 IOPS

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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.

• Random Write 4KB (Aligned): 120,000 IOPS • Internal RAID 0 • 181.07 (L) x 21.59 (W) x 125.08mm (H)

OCZ RevoDrive X2 240GB & RevoDrive 3 X2 480GB PCI-E SSD Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-revodrive-x2-240gb--revodrive-3x2-480gb-pci-e-ssd-review/14697.html January 31st, 2012

• Shock Resistance: 1500g • Seek Time: 0.1 ms • Operating Temp: 0°C ~ 70°C • Ambient Temp: 0°C ~ 55°C • Storage Temp: -45°C ~ 85°C • Power Consumption: 4.3W Idle, 8.3W active • MTBF: 2,000,000 hours • 3-Year Warranty • Compatible with Windows XP 32/64, Vista 32/64, Windows 7 32/64

PCI-Express SSD drives are not new in the market, with the technology being implemented in several portable devices and companies offering various PCI-E SSD drives for home and professional applications. One of the first to offer a commercial PCI-E SSD drive in the form of a PC card was OCZ, several years ago. The company today offers several similar devices, two of which we have here today; the RevoDrive X2, successor of the first PCI-E based SSD drives and designed for enthusiasts and the RevoDrive 3 X2, an improved version of the same device for workstation/professional use. Are 2.5” SATA SSD drives not fast enough for you? Then read on… PCI-Express SSD drives are not new in the market, with the technology being implemented in several portable devices and companies offering various PCI-E SSD drives for home and professional applications. One of the first to offer a commercial PCI-E SSD drive in the form of a PC card was OCZ, several years ago. The company today offers several similar devices, two of which we have here today; the RevoDrive X2, successor of the first PCI-E based SSD drives and designed for enthusiasts and the RevoDrive 3 X2, an improved version of the same device for workstation/professional use. Are 2.5” SATA SSD drives not fast enough for you? Then read on… Manufacturer features and specifications - OCZ Revodrive X2 240GB • PCI-Express interface (x4) • For use as primary boot drive or data storage • 4 x SATA • Read: Up to 740 MB/s • Write: Up to 720 MB/s

Manufacturer features and specifications - OCZ Revodrive 3 X2 480GB • PCI-Express Gen. 2 x4 interface • MLC NAND flash • Full height form factor • OCZ SuperScale Storage Controller • Virtualized Controller Architecture 2.0 • Bootable as a direct-attach device • Read: Up to 1500 MB/s • Write: Up to 1250 MB/s • Max Random Write 4KB (Aligned): 230,000 IOPS • 128-bit & 256-bit AES-compliant data encryption • SMART monitoring • 167.64 (L) x 98.42 (W) x 15.25mm (H) • Weight: 114g • Shock Resistance: 1500g • Operating Temp: 0°C ~ 70°C • Ambient Temp: 0°C ~ 55°C • Storage Temp: -45°C ~ 85°C • Power Consumption: 7.5W idle, 8.3W active • MTBF: 1,000,000 hours • 3-Year Warranty

• Sustained Write: Up to 600 MB/s 1


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• Current OS Supported: Windows 7 32/64

100-year-old woman suggests secret to old age is gaming Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/100-year-old-woman-suggests-secretto-old-age-is-gaming/14696.html January 31st, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

has previously shown that the brain needs to be exercised regularly, just like the body, or it will start to decline. Puzzle games are clearly a good way to do this, while being fun at the same time. “If there's any secret to a long life it's to think positive and keep your mind active,” she said. Source & Image Credit: The Sun

A 100-year-old woman who plays her Nintendo DS on a daily basis suggests that the secret to old age might be gaming, which helps keep her mind active. A 100-year-old woman who plays her Nintendo DS on a daily basis suggests that the secret to old age might be gaming.

2011 was record malware year, with 26 million new samples Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/2011-was-record-malware-yearwith-26-million-new-samples/14695.html January 31st, 2012

Kathleen Connell from Thornliebank, East Renfrewshire in the UK hit the big 100 last Friday, but she claims that she doesn't feel a day over 80 – and she has a Brain Training age of just 64. The elderly gamer said that she plays games for at least two hours a day, so much so that she even wore out her original DS and had to buy another one. “I can't speak highly enough of it,” she told The Sun newspaper. “I don't know what I would do without it."

2011 was a record year for malware creation, with 26 million new samples detected by security software firm Panda Labs. 2011 was a record year for malware creation, with 26 million new samples detected by security software firm Panda Labs. To put that figure into context, Panda Labs has detected 88 million samples of malware in its entire history within the industry, making last year's contribution to security woes amount to nearly one third of existing malware. This is an average of 73,000 new strains created on a daily basis, up from 63,000 in 2010. Trojans were the major form of malware in 2011, reversing a decline from 60 percent in 2009 to 56 percent in 2010. Last year trojans accounted for a whopping 73 percent of all malware, followed by viruses at nearly 15 percent, worms at just over eight percent, and adware and spyware at just under three percent.

Connell has 10 games, including Brain Training, Scrabble, Family Fortunes and Art Academy. All of these exercise the mind and creative faculties, rather than simply being a form of entertainment, but the stress release value is probably also a contributor to her health and happiness. Connell was emphatic that the DS helped to keep her brain active and thought that kids should likewise be using one to help them with their spelling and maths. Research 2


January 31st, 2012

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The company will not be able to sell an older version of its 10.1inch tablet computer in Germany, upholding an earlier ruling. However, it will still be allowed to sell its altered Galaxy Tab, which Apple failed to secure an injunction against. More worryingly for Samsung, the European Commission is probing the company's patent deals over allegations that it is trying to “distort competition” in Europe. The investigation focuses on whether or not Samsung has failed to license its technology to other industry players on a “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” basis, an agreement Samsung made with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute in 1998. The top countries for infection were China at 60 percent, Thailand at 56 percent, and Taiwan at 52 percent, which means that more than half of all computers in those countries are infected with malware. This reality is doubly embarassing, because these three countries are the only ones to exceed the worldwide average of 38.49 percent for infection. 2011 was also deemed the year of hacking and cyberwarfare, with a multitude of attacks on companies and websites, most notobly Sony. Governments were not immune either, however, and cyberwarfare became a global concern for many. Malware spread via social media was also seen as an increasing worry. Image Credit: Panda Labs

Samsung loses German appeal, European regulators investigating it for patent abuse Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-loses-german-appealeuropean-regulators-investigating-it-for-patent-abuse/14694.html January 31st, 2012

Samsung's patent dispute with Apple in Europe have become a full blown headache as the Korean electronics giant lost its appeal against the German ban of its Galaxy Tab and is now being investigated by European Union regulators over alleged patent abuse.

The impetus for this criticism is Samsung's multiple lawsuits in European countries calling for a sales ban against certain Apple products, such as the iPhone 4S. The European Commission appears to be viewing Samsung's lawsuits as a vindictive move to quash competition, rather than what many analysts see as a response to Apple's extensive legal manoeuvrings throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Despite the bitter battle with Apple, it was not the Cupertino, California-based firm that lodged the complaints, but rather a move made independently by regulators. Of course, Apple does not need to do anything if European officials are going to hunt down Samsung anyway. We wonder if they plan to do the same for Apple, and somehow we doubt it.

Samsung's patent dispute with Apple in Europe have become a full blown headache as the Korean electronics giant lost its appeal against the German ban of its Galaxy Tab and is now being investigated by European Union regulators over alleged patent abuse.

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AMD Radeon HD 7000 series roadmap revealed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7000-series-roadmaprevealed/14693.html January 31st, 2012

With Radeon HD 7950 and HD 7970 now retailing, it is time to shift focus to the remaining HD 7000 family GPUs - Pitcairn, Cape Verde and New Zealand. Luckily, CPU-World has leaked a roadmap from AIB MSI, including prices and specifications. Next up in AMD's release schedule is Cape Verde - to be branded Radeon HD 7750 and HD 7770 - February 15th. Cape Verde features 896 SP over 14 CUs and 56 TMU, with a core frequency of 900 MHz in the HD 7770 SKU. HD 7750 will come with 1 CU disabled for a total of 832 SP and 52 TMU. Both HD 7750 and HD 7770 will feature 1GB GDDR5 memory, likely at different frequencies. As previously revealed, the Cape Verde die is rather small and features a 128-bit interface. If previously leaked benchmarks are to be believed, HD 7770 offers near-HD 6850 performance. HD 7770 is expected to be priced at $149, with HD 7750 just $10 cheaper at launch.

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is $849, which gives it the dubious honour of being the highest priced reference graphics card at launch, eclipsing the 8800 Ultra. Hopefully, we will see some competition from NVIDIA's Kepler not much later, which could see price movements. In addition to GCN based HD 7000 products, AMD has also released a range of rebranded SKUs from HD 7600 down for OEMs. As with the HD 6700 OEM launch, these could also quietly seep into the retail market. Closing out the HD 7000 line-up will be Trinity and Brazos 2.0 APUs.

Panasonic announces Lumix ZS20, ZS15, TS4 and TS20 digital cameras Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/panasonic-announces-lumix-zs20-zs15ts4-and-ts20-digital-cameras/14689.html January 31st, 2012

Panasonic has unveiled four new Lumix digital cameras for the photographer enthusiasts, which come in the form of ZS20, ZS15, TS4 and TS20. The Lumix ZS20 claims to be the slimmest compact camera with 20X optical zoom, while the Lumix TS4 comes with a barometer, an altimeter and full manual controls. Panasonic Lumix ZS20

Following in March will be the much anticipated performance GPU - Pitcairn. Both HD 7850 and HD 7870 are scheduled for a simultaenous release in March. Pitcairn features 1408 SP / 22 CU / 88 TMU and most likely a 256-bit memory interface. HD 7850 will have 2 CUs disabled, or 1280 SP and 80 TMU. HD 7870 will retail for $299 with HD 7850 coming in at $249. That leaves a massive gap in price and performance between HD 7770 and HD 7850, which will likely be filled with a Pitcairn LE product branded either HD 7830 or HD 7790. Somewhere along the way a 1.5GB HD 7950 is also expected at the $399 price point. Finally, the dual Tahiti behemoth New Zealand is slated for an early Q2 2012 release, with a final date TBD. As expected, New Zealand will be branded HD 7990 and will take over the overall performance crown from HD 6990 and GTX 590. Launch price

The Panasonic Lumix ZS20 is billed as the slimmest digital camera with a 20X zoom lens, measuring 27.9mm deep, which is thinner than the Pentax Optio VS20 (38.1mm) and the Fujifilm FinePix F770EXR (35.6mm) that were announced this year. It is equipped with an optically stabilized 20X optical zoom lens that reaches from 24mm wide-angle to 480mm telephoto, and features a 14-megapixel CMOS sensor that can capture high-resolution images and 1080p videos. Other features include in-camera GPS functions, faster 120fps autofocus system, 3D still-image capture, 3-inch touchscreen 4


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viewfinder and full manual controls. The Panasonic Lumix is scheduled to retail in March at US$350. Panasonic Lumix ZS15

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at 60i or MP4 format in 30p. On top of that, the Lumix TS4 also offers full manual controls for shutter and aperture, and imaging effects such as time-lapse, miniature and incamera panorama stitching modes. The Panasonic Lumix TS4 is priced at US$400 and will be available in March. Panasonic Lumix TS20

The Panasonic Lumix ZS15 sports a 16x optical zoom optics (24mm to 384mm), 12-megapixel CMOS sensor, and offers manual exposure controls like its ZS20 sibling. It can shoot 1080i AVCHD video at 60fps; 1080p MP4 video at 30fps; and record audio via its mono microphone. The Panasonic Lumix ZS15 lacks built-in GPS feature and no touchscreen viewfinder. The Lumix ZS15 will be selling in March at US$280. Panasonic Lumix TS4

Aimed at the entry-level users, the Panasonic Lumix TS20 features a 4X-optical-zoom (25mm to 100mm) and 16 megapixels CCD sensor. However, unlike the TS4, this one does not have manual controls, GPS, and other integrated instruments. It is also less rugged - waterproof up to 4.9m, and shockproof at drops of 1.5m. The Panasonic Lumix TS20 will retail at US$180 in late February.

BitFenix shows off upcoming mid-tower and mini-ITX case Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bitfenix-shows-off-upcoming-midtower-and-mini-itx-case/14692.html January 31st, 2012

BitFenix are renowned for bringing affordable, yet really well featured chassis' into the market and it's always interesting to see what goodies they plan to add next as they continue to expand their range and maintain low pricing.

The Panasonic Lumix TS4 is the company's latest rugged digital camera that is dustproof; waterproof down to 12.2m underwater; drop-proof of 2.2m; and freezeproof of -10 degrees Celsius. Besides in-camera mapping and real-name location database features that are on the ZS20, the TS4 also offers internal barometer, altimeter, and compass. The camera features 4.6X-optical-zoom lens, 12-megapixel "HiSpeed CCD" sensor and can capture video in AVCHD format

BitFenix are renowned for bringing affordable, yet really well featured chassis' into the market and it's always interesting to see what goodies they plan to add next as they continue to expand their range and maintain low pricing. A couple new, yet to be named cases in the form of a midtower and a compact mini-ITX offering were displayed by the company this week at the IT Partners event in France and in typical fashion they both look to be clean and solid looking cases. 5


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Published by: VR-Zone

handles and mesh panels in both the front and on top of the case, along with an exposed 5.25" bay.

The larger case that was spotted has a front door which can be opened in both directions. It sports three 5.25" bays and has a removable mesh panel up top. Its I/O panel provides four USB 3.0 ports along with a couple audio jacks.

Pricing and release date info for the two new chassis' has yet to be disclosed.

Mad Catz Cyborg F.R.E.Q. 5 Gaming Headset now up for Pre-Order Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mad-catz-cyborg-f.r.e.q.-5-gamingheadset-now-up-for-pre-order/14691.html January 31st, 2012

Following an official announcement earlier this month, Mad Catz's Cyborg F.R.E.Q. 5 Pro Gaming Headset is now up for pre-order at a cost of $149.99. Following an official announcement earlier this month, Mad Catz's Cyborg F.R.E.Q. 5 Pro Gaming Headset is now up for pre-order at a cost of $149.99.

Meanwhile, the smaller mini-ITX case is designed in a way that it can still accomodate long graphics cards and tall CPU coolers. It gives two USB 3.0 ports and an eSATA connector on the side of the case and boasts BitFenix' lovely SofTouch coating. For added convenience, it has a couple built-in 6


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Published by: VR-Zone

Advance smartphone which shapes up similarly to the original Galaxy S, but sports a 1GHz Cortex-A9 dual-core processor.

The Cyborg F.R.E.Q. 5 is a stereo headset featuring a durable metal headband and uses 50mm sized drivers with Neodymium magnets. It has a detachable noise-cancelling mic, on-ear controls and a 2 meter long USB braided cable. It also comes with a 1 meter cord that connects to a 3.5mm jack.

The Galaxy S Advance's screen is the same 4-inch sized (480 x 800) Super AMOLED one used on the Galaxy S, only it is more curved not unlike the Galaxy Nexus. It also uses the same rear 5MP camera (along with a 1.3MP front facing) and near identical dimensions. RAM is superior with 768MB on tap, while it will be offered with 8 or 16GB of internal storage and gives HSDPA connectivity at speeds of up to 14.4 Mbit/s as touted by Samsung. The phone won't be shipping with Android 4.0 unfortunately, instead using Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It should hopefully be cheap enough though, with Samsung positioning it as the most affordable dual-core smart phone in its range. The Galaxy S Advance is scheduled to be rolled out in Russia sometime next month, followed by gradual rollouts in other parts of the world including Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Southeast and Southwest Asia, Latin America and China.

You can read more details on the Cyborg F.R.E.Q. 5 over at the official product page here, and if you're keen to jump in and pre-order it now, head over to this link. It's scheduled to become available this spring.

Samsung lifts the curtains on its Galaxy S Advance

Lenovo IdeaPad and ThinkPad to get Android 4.0 ICS in Q2 2012 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lenovo-ideapad-and-thinkpad-to-getandroid-4.0-ics-in-q2-2012/14688.html January 31st, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-lifts-the-curtains-on-itsgalaxy-s-advance/14690.html January 31st, 2012

The wait is soon to be over. For those of you who own the Lenovo IdeaPad or ThinkPad tablet, the company has announced that the Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update will be coming in Q2 this year. Jumping the gun on this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC) in late Feb, Samsung has just unveiled its new Galaxy S 7


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The latest Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) update will be coming to both the IdeaPad and Thinkpad range of tablets in Q2, as confirmed by Lenovo. For those of you who have been wondering if the update will come, well, it is just a few more months of wait. Both the IdeaPad and ThinkPad tablets were launched in July last year and run Android 3.1 Honeycomb. The new update will provide a completely different user interface with enhanced features for the users. It is likely that the Android 4.0 ICS update will be rolled out in US and other parts of the world before it becomes available for owners in Singapore.

Logitech introduces Mini Boombox mobile speaker and speakerphone Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/logitech-introduces-mini-boomboxmobile-speaker-and-speakerphone/14687.html January 31st, 2012

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Today Logitech introduced their Mini Boombox, a compact sound system for music, movies, games and calls. It can pair easily with smartphones, tablets and other Bluetooth-enabled devices, and features a specially designed acoustic chamber that lets you enjoy great sound with enhanced bass. The Mini Boombox also doubles as a handy speakerphone with built-in mic to give you clear conversation in the office or car. The Logitech Mini Boombox is compatible with devices that support Bluetooth Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP), and works with phones that support Bluetooth Hands-Free Profile (HFP 1.5). It features an internal battery that charges over USB and lasts up to ten hours. The Mini Boombox also comes with a backlit touch control panel that lets you control with ease.

Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB OC Edition Review: GCN For A Better Price Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sapphire-radeon-hd-7950-3gb-ocedition-review-gcn-for-a-better-price/14657.html January 31st, 2012

This new Logitech Mini Boombox will bring you an immersive audio experience wherever you go. The mobile speaker and speakerphone boasts up to ten hours of enjoyment and can connect easily to your phone, tablet and other Bluetoothcapable devices.

Coming almost a month after the launch of the AMD Radeon 'Tahiti XT' HD 7970 and the 'Graphics Core Next' architecture, the Radeon 'Tahiti Pro' HD 7950 is essentially a stripped down version (87.5%, 1792 out of 2048 Stream Processors) of its more illustrious sibling . The extra lead time and lower TDP requirements has allowed the usual AIB manufacturers to work on non-reference PCB layouts and cooling designs, giving end users more innovation and choice. Today we look at one such offering from Sapphire... Sapphire opted for a glossy box design with the same voluptuous female mascot in military camouflage which first appeared on the Sapphire HD 7970 that we reviewed earlier this month

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Sadly no backplate behind to prevent warping or shorts

Back of box

Accessories - mini-DP/HDMI/DVI-D display convertors, a pair of Molex to 6-pin PCIe convertors, Crossfire bridge and the mandatory documentation/driver CD

Front of card - Sapphire has used the same dual-90mm fan design on this card as its HD 6970/6950 models instead of the noisy reference blower

With the cooler attached, the card measures 12 inches long (11.5 inch PCB).

Like the HD 6950, it requires 2 x 6pin PCIe power connectors which is rated for 150W of additional juice on top of the power derived from the slot

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Same layout and outputs as the HD 7970 - 2 x mini-DP, 1 HDMI and 1 DVI-D

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iLuv Creative Technology has created a line of premium Mac adapters and cable which have won the prestigious iF Product Design award for their superior design and their capabilities to enhance the versatility of MacBook products. The Mac adapters and cable line up is designed to be OS-agnostic, plugand-play and multi-functional, all with the brushed aluminum look and feel made to compliment the design of the Mac. Each adapter and cable is compact and portable, and manufactured with high performance materials for improved reliability, durability, and protection from signal loss.

RIM announces BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rim-announces-blackberry-businesscloud-services-for-microsoft-office-365/14248.html January 31st, 2012

iLuv launches new multifunctional, premium Mac adapters and cables Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/iluv-launches-new-multi-functionalpremium-mac-adapters-and-cables/14686.html

Research in Motion has announced BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365, which allows business and government organizations to extend Microsoft Exchange Online to their BlackBerry smartphone devices, as well as allow users to manage their BlackBerry deployments in the cloud.

January 31st, 2012

iLuv, a company that manufactures a comprehensive line of accessories for Apple devices, has launched their new mutli-functional, premium Mac adapters and cables. The award-winning plug-and-play Mac adapters and cables claim to incorporate Thunderbolt Technology that supports high-resolution displays and high-performance data devices through a single, compact port. Today, Research In Motion (RIM) has announced the general availability of BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365 – a new service for business and government organizations that extends Microsoft Exchange Online to BlackBerry smartphones, and allows customers 10


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to manage their BlackBerry deployments in the cloud. The service is available free to current medium-sized or enterprise subscribers of the Office 365 suite or standalone Exchange Online, and works with BlackBerry smartphones on business or consumer data plans. Key features include: - Wireless synchronization with Microsoft Exchange Online email, calendar and organizer data from a BlackBerry smartphone - BlackBerry Balance technology, which presents a unified view of work and personal content on a BlackBerry smartphone while keeping the content separate and secure - An intuitive web-based console for IT administrators to provision, manage and secure BlackBerry smartphones from wherever they are - Online access to employee self-service smartphone security functions, allowing users to easily reset a device password or remotely lock or wipe a device in the event of loss or theft Managed service providers, systems integrators,carriers, resellers and other partners can also use the cloud service to manage BlackBerry deployments on behalf of their customers. The service is available today in over 50 countries. Users can go to www.blackberry.com/cloudservices to get started.

ABIT Website to close at the End of February Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/abit-website-to-close-at-the-end-offebruary/14684.html January 31st, 2012

There aren't many old-school hardware enthusiasts that didn't own at least one of ABIT's products in the past. Now, one final remainder of the motherboard that brought us the legendary Celeron overclock is dying at the end of February. The legendary motherboard maker is long gone (since 2009) but the website lingered on in order to enable users to download the materials. That website is also drawing to a close in less than a month from now. On February 28, 2012 - www.abit.com.tw will shut down forever and you have time until then to download everything you may want or need.

Published by: VR-Zone

or the product did not "sound right". According to our friends who worked there, the place turned into a region of terror and uncertainty and a lot of people jumped boat. Result was such that practically everybody else reaped the awards of success of trends which were pioneered by ABIT, such as overclocking motherboards, Fatal1ty brand, dedication to gamers and gamer branded boards and graphics cards. To say farewell to ABIT, just by coincidence - this past weekend was marked with retirement of my brother's computer, which ran an ABIT motherboard. Seeing engineering ingenuity on that product, whatever it be relocation of thermal load by heatpipes, excellent simple-to-use BIOS and a very good layout‌ as Heraclitus said it the best, Panta chorei kai ouden menei - everything changes and nothing remains still.

Intel's My WiFi Dashboard with Wi-Fi Direct unveiled Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-my-wifi-dashboard-with-wi-fidirect-unveiled/14683.html January 31st, 2012

Software screenshots are generally not that exciting, but we've gotten our hands on a slide that unveils a lot of upcoming features that will make an appearance in Intel's upcoming WiFi utility called My WiFi Dashboard which is finally getting some Wi-Fi Direct support. The significant thing here is that it allows you to connect to other Wi-Fi devices much in the same way as you connect to Bluetooth devices. Software screenshots are generally not that exciting, but we've gotten our hands on a slide that unveils a lot of upcoming features that will make an appearance in Intel's upcoming WiFi utility called My WiFi Dashboard which is finally getting some Wi-Fi Direct support. The significant thing here is that it allows you to connect to other Wi-Fi devices much in the same way as you connect to Bluetooth devices. Intel has thrown in a few extra features beyond the basics of Wi-Fi Direct, although you do of course get things like file transfer support and synchronization of smartphones, tablets and other computers. For some reason Intel has also added a chat feature, although we're not entire certain how useful chat over peer-to-peer Wi-Fi really is.

Sadly for many of us, the story of ABIT's fall comes not from the changing market conditions, since former marketing and sales executives went on and shaped up the companies such as Corsair Memory, ASUSTeK, DFI, Cooler Master, TuL (PowerColor), Foxconn Channel and BitFenix. The problem was an overzealous senior management lead by the CEO, who was a hardcore superstitious individual who would fire people for having a bad horoscope, changed the features of products because "the numbers would not align" 11


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SKUs of the model beyond that, as it either comes with one or two SO-DIMM slots and various LVDS options. In terms of expansion options, Jetway is going old school with a single PCI slot, although there's also a full-size mini PCI Express slot. Oddly enough Jetway has also included a SATA 6Gbps controller that adds a pair of ports, as well as a CFast slot which is connected to one of the SATA 3Gbps ports of the NM10 chipsets.

More useful then is the ability to set up your notebook as a WiFi hotspot, a feature you'd think ought to be standard this day in age, yet is anything but. In as much as Intel has added a far bit of functionality, we can't say that we're sold on the round UI of Intel's My WiFi Dashboard, as it looks like one of those dreadful motherboard utilities from a few years back that were nearly unusable thanks to the poor UI. We're not sure when Intel is planning on launching its new utility, but it should at the latest be out alongside the new Ivy Bridge powered notebooks that are set to arrive in early April. Now we just need to cross our fingers that some notebook makers pick Intel's Wi-Fi options over more affordable third party options with at least for the time being, fewer features.

Jetway launches low-profile mini-ITX Cedar Trail-M board Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/jetway-launches-low-profile-mini-itxcedar-trail-m-board/14682.html January 31st, 2012

It looks like Intel's new mobile Atom processors are finding their way onto several mini-ITX motherboards and Jetway has joined the fray with a low-profile model of its own, not that dissimilar to Intel's own DN2800MT in many ways. The NF9C as the model is called is clearly targeting the industrial PC market, unlike Intel's board, although it appears to be suitable for all-in-one systems making it a bit of an oddball board. It looks like Intel's new mobile Atom processors are finding their way onto several mini-ITX motherboards and Jetway has joined the fray with a low-profile model of its own, not that dissimilar to Intel's own DN2800MT in many ways. The NF9C as the model is called is clearly targeting the industrial PC market, unlike Intel's board, although it appears to be suitable for all-in-one systems making it a bit of an oddball board. Jetway offers the NF9C with an Atom N2600 processor or optionally an N2800 and there appears to be a few different

The rear I/O is spartan even compared to Intel's fairly modest offering of ports on the DN2800MT with only three USB 2.0 ports, a single Gigabit Ethernet port, a single audio jack for line out and optical S/PDIF out, an HDMI port and a serial port. There's also a power connector here that accepts 12V. There are a wide range of headers on the board for up to three additional serial ports, a D-sub connector, a parallel port, an additional four USB 2.0 ports, a PS/2 port, a GPIO header and the aforementioned LVDS options and this is what makes this more of an industrial PC board than anything else. Retailing for US$150 (S$189) the board is also over US$50 more than Intel's DN2800MT and that's the model with the N2600 processor making this a fairly unappealing option for consumers that want to build a low-profile HTPC or something similar. We'd really like to see some more consumer focused mini-ITX boards from Jetway, as the company has a wide range of industrial PC boards that are so close to being suitable for consumer applications, yet are so far away when it comes to cost that no-one would seriously consider them over more affordable alternatives.

More MSI Z77 motherboards get previewed Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/more-msi-z77-motherboards-getpreviewed/14681.html

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Published by: VR-Zone

January 31st, 2012

Our Chinese language site got a look at a couple of MSI Z77 motherboards back at CES, although early revisions and now pictures of what appears to be close to a final revision of a yet unseen Z77 motherboard has appeared online. The model in question is the Z77A-GD55, a slightly more basic model than what we've seen so far, albeit a reasonably feature rich board nonetheless. Our Chinese language site got a look at a couple of MSI Z77 motherboards back at CES, although early revisions and now pictures of what appears to be close to a final revision of a yet unseen Z77 motherboard has appeared online. The model in question is the Z77A-GD55, a slightly more basic model than what we've seen so far, albeit a reasonably feature rich board nonetheless. The board pictures appeared over at MyDrivers and although some attempts were made to cover up which board model it was, it's pretty clear that we're looking at the Z77A-GD55 in this case. The board is near enough identical to the Z77AGD65, albeit with a few features missing. The main differences here is the lack of the two additional SATA 6Gbps ports, no FireWire and a missing plastic support on the Voltage check points.

However, we noticed one other peculiar difference between the two boards which points at the PCBs actually being different, as the GD65 has all the pins on its lowest x16 slot connected to solder points on the bottom of the PCB, whereas the GD55 only has eight lanes connected and the PCB lacking solder points for any more. While looking for more details we also found some fresh pictures of a revision 2.1 model of the Z77A-GD65 over at Zol.com.cn which made us aware of two other differences between the two boards.

The GD65 has a pair of BIOS chips and a POST80 debug LED, features not present on the GD55. Once you start taking a closer look you also noticed that there are some minor changes to the pin configuration at the bottom of the board and comparing with the pictures from CES, it appears as if MSI has made quite a few changes to the GD65, or possibly taken the model shown at CES and turned it into the GD55 after some minor changes. Both boards have very similar looking heatsinks, although the GD65 model has a heatpipe connecting the two blocks fitted to the PWM, something that has required a slightly different placement of the 12V EPS power connector. Speaking of the PWM, the GD65 has been upgraded from an 8+1 phase design to a 12 phase design which further helps explain the move of the 12V EPS connector.

We'll just have to wait and see what the final boards will look like, as we even spotted a version of the GD65 with gold coloured chokes, although we're not certain if this will be the final design on or not. We should have a clearer picture at Cebit in March, as by then MSI should have its final board designs ready, unless there are some last minute changes. We can't say that we're blown away by either model here, as MSI has only added enough features without having made a real effort to add any unique selling points to either model.

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Fujitsu launches retail SSD's in APAC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fujitsu-launches-retail-ssd-s-inapac/14680.html January 31st, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

to wait and see how they perform, but we did find a quick video preview on YouTube which you can find below.

Sony will be last to announce next-gen console Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-will-be-last-to-announce-nextgen-console/14679.html January 31st, 2012

As one of the many companies to have recently pulled out of the hard drive business, Fujitsu hasn't made any real inroads into the SSD market, although this looks set to change with the introduction of a new series of SSD's in the retail market. For the time being it appears the new SSD's are only available in the APAC region and we don't have any details with regards to wider availability. As one of the many companies to have recently pulled out of the hard drive business, Fujitsu hasn't made any real inroads into the SSD market, although this looks set to change with the introduction of a new series of SSD's in the retail market. For the time being it appears the new SSD's are only available in the APAC region and we don't have any details with regards to wider availability. What we're looking at is a pair of SandForce SF-2281 powered SSD's with a capacity of either 120 or 240GB using Micron MLC NAND flash. Fujitsu claims read speeds of up to 550MB/ s or 55,000 IOPS and write speeds of up to 520MB/s (500MB/ s for the 120GB model) or 40,000 IOPS putting its new models up there with the best SandForce models in the market. Fujitsu doesn't seem to have bothered with a fancy marketing name, instead there's only a model code for the new drives which is HLACC2031A-G1 which isn't exactly a memorable model name.

Price wise we've found the 120GB retailing for AU$189 (S $252/US$200) with the 240GB coming in at AU$399 (S$530/ US$420) which at least compares well with prices for other SSD's from the same retailers. We've also found the drives for sale at slightly higher pricing in both Taiwan and Hong Kong and we'd expect availability in other countries in the APAC region as well. With the drives only just hitting retail we'll have

Sony will probably be last to announce its next-generation console, according to the leader of its French gaming division, a possibility that won't sit well with gamers or investors. Sony will probably be last to announce its next-generation console, according to the leader of its French gaming division, a possibility that won't sit well with gamers or investors. Philippe Cardone, CEO of PlayStation France, told Le Point that it is in no rush to give details about its next console, suggesting that it is nowhere near a point where a prototype can be developed and shown off at events, like the popular E3 event this Summer. Sony claims there is no pressure, but since its PlayStation 3 trails behind in third place after the Wii and Xbox 360, the company should probably reconsider whether or not such a laidback approach is a good idea. Cardone claimed that Nintendo announced the Wii U because the Wii is in decline, which there is some truth to, but the reality is because Nintendo had something to announce. With the new console slated to launch later this year it's only natural that the company is ramping up its marketing efforts.

The lack of announcement plans from Sony suggests that we definitely won't see an eight generation console from it this year, as there is unlikely to be enough time to build the 14


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Published by: VR-Zone

appropriate buzz for it. It might also fear competing directly with the Wii U this holiday season. Microsoft already announced that it will launch its next console, dubbed Xbox 720, in late 2013, giving the Wii U a full year advantage. We can likely expect Sony to release its next device within a similar timeframe, with hopes that it can grab the number two slot behind Nintendo. However, Sony Computer Enterainment's chairman, Kazuo Hirai, recently reasserted that the PlayStation 3 will have a 10-year life cycle, which means we might not see its successor until as late as 2016, by which time we might have ninth generation consoles from Nintendo and Microsoft. If Sony lags behind in both PlayStation 4 announcements and a release date then it will likely fail to generate enough buzz for the product. It needs to deliver a truly new console, however, not just the same thing with better graphics, a lesson both it and Microsoft learned when the Wii took the gaming world by storm.

Data of 50 million MegaUpload users faces deletion Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/data-of-50-million-megaupload-usersfaces-deletion/14678.html January 31st, 2012

Data belonging to 50 million users on file-sharing website MegaUpload is in danger of being deleted this week due to unpaid hosting fees. Data belonging to 50 million users on file-sharing website MegaUpload is in danger of being deleted this week due to unpaid hosting fees. The data, which MegaUpload's lawyer is hoping can be saved, faces potential deletion as early as 2 February by Carpathia Hosting and Cogent Communications, two firms which have not received payments for hosting the data since MegUpload's funds were frozen earlier this month. MegaUpload was shut down on 19 January after the homes of its founder and staff were raided. Arrests were made on allegations of copyright infringement and fraud, but MegaUpload asserts that its service is legitimate.

The service has around 150 million users and is considered one of the largest file hosting companies in the world. While many of the files stored might have infringed copyright, many more were uploaded by their original creators, and now they face deletion. MegaUpload is hoping to show some of these legal files to prove its case that illegal file-sharing isn't what it's about. The shutdown and arrests have prompted many other filesharing services to shut down or severely restrict uploads and downloads, for fear that they will be next on the list of the antipiracy brigade.

TomTom releases The Simpsons sat nav voices Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/tomtom-releases-the-simpsons-satnav-voices/14677.html January 31st, 2012

If you ever thought that a road trip would be a lot more fun with characters from The Simpsons guiding you, then TomTom's latest GPS navigation voices are for you. If you ever thought that a road trip would be a lot more fun with characters from The Simpsons guiding you, then TomTom's latest GPS navigation voices are for you. The sat nav firm partnered with Twentieth Century Fox, Gracie Films, and Locutio Voice Technologies to bring the voices of Mr. Burns and Marge Simpson directly into your car, adding to an existing range which includes Homer Simpson. The donutmunching man has become the most downloaded character voice in history. The cartoon characters don't just tell you where to go, however. Marge will say, for example: “Hmm, it smells a little funky in here … was Homer in this car?”

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Published by: VR-Zone

Designed for Class-Leading Speed and Range

Dual-Band Connectivity Entertainment

for

Lag-Free

Mr. Burns, on the other hand, is quite emphatic when giving directions: “Do it, driving monkey!” and “Trust me – I'm an evil billionaire.” Luckily it's just his voice in the car. The voices can be bought for $12.95 each as a download for a TomTom navigation device or for $5.99 each via the TomTom iPhone or iPad apps.

Separate and Secure Wi-Fi Network via Guest Network Access

TomTom plans to release further Simpsons voices over time. All we can say is: “Excellent!”

ASUS RT-N66U Dual Band Gigabit Router Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-rt-n66u-dual-band-gigabit-routerreview/14666.html January 31st, 2012

Earlier this month, we did a preview piece of the RT-N66U Dual Band Gigabit Router from ASUS. Back then we covered the physical aspects of the router. Now, It’s time we put it to the test and see how well it performs.

Powerful Online Multitasking 300,000 Data Sessions

up

to

VPN Server Enabled

Advertised Features and Specifications We've covered the hardware and software in a preview earlier this month, and heres a quick recap of what the RT-N66U is capable of:

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Specifications Network Standard

Data Rate

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Specifications IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n, IPv4, IPv6 802.11a : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54Mbps 802.11b : 1, 2, 5.5, 11Mbps 802.11g : 6,9,12,18,24,36,48,54Mbps

Antenna Operating Frequency WAN Connection Type

Utilities

802.11n : up to 450Mbps Detachable Dipole RP-SMA antenna x 3 2.4G~2.4835GHz /5.1~5.8GHz Internet connection type : Automatic IP, Static IP, PPPoE(MPPE supported), PPTP, L2TP Dual Link support Multicast Proxy support Download master - support BT, NZB, HTTP, ED2K

Network map Traffic monitor Ports

- download scheduling Media server: Image: JPEG Audio: mp3, wma, wav, pcm, mp4, lpcm, ogg Video: asf, avi, divx, mpeg, mpg, ts, vob, wmv, mkv, mov

User definable rules for IP/MAC/Port. Upload and Download bandwidth management. ACK/SYN/FIN/RST/ICMP with Highest priority

Printer Server: multifunctional printer support(Windows nly), LPR protocol support

PPTP VPN server

- upload and download bandwidth control

WMM

2.4GHz guest network x 3, 5GHz guest network x 3

File server: Samba and FTP server with account management

- support encryption, DHT, PEX and magnet link

QoS:

Guest Network

Button LED Indicator

4 x RJ45 for 10/100/1000/ Gigabits BaseT for LAN, 1 x RJ45 for 10/100/1000/ Gigabits BaseT for WAN, Support Ethernet and 802.3 with max. bit rate 10/100/1000/ Gigabits Mbps and auto cross-over function(MDIX) USB 2.0 x 2 WPS Button, Reset Button, Power Button LAN x 4 WAN x 1 AIR x 2 USB x 1

Power Supply

AC Input : 110V~240V(50~60Hz)

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January 31st, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Specifications

Weight / Dimensions

January 31st, 2012

DC Output : 19 V with max. 1.58 A current 450g / 207 x 148.8 x 35.5 mm (WxDxH)

Intel outs seven new Core i5 desktop and Celeron mobile CPUs Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-outs-seven-new-core-i5-desktopand-celeron-mobile-cpus/14671.html January 31st, 2012

Lenovo's web shop now lists the IdeaPad Y470p 14-inch laptop complete with Radeon HD 7690M graphics for just $799, with shipping expected to commence on February 13th. Lenovo's web shop now lists the IdeaPad Y470p 14-inch laptop complete with Radeon HD 7690M graphics for just $799, with shipping expected to commence on February 13th.

Intel has just released a bunch of new processors to market; no less than seven of them with three being desktop Core i5 models and four new Celeron mobile parts. Intel has just released a bunch of new processors to market; no less than seven of them with three being desktop Core i5 models and four new Celeron mobile parts. The new Core i5 models include the Core i5-2550K at $225 (just $9 more than the i5-2500K), i5-2450P ($195) and i5-2380P ($177) with clock rates of 3.4GHz, 3.2GHz and 3.1GHz, respectively. Other specs are typical of the i5 range with these three new chips; four threads (w/o HyperThreading), 6MB of L3 cache and a 95W TDP.

The notebook features a 14-inch 1366 x 768 display with 2.2GHz Core i7-2670QM processor, 750GB HDD, 8GB RAM and DVD writer. It also packs JBL stereo speakers with Gigabit ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, HDMI output, 2.0MP webcam and a 6-cell battery.

Turning our attention to the mobile Celeron variants, these include the Celeron B815, B720, 867 and 797. The B815 has two physical cores running at 1.6GHz with 2MB of L3 cache and carrying a price tag of $86. The B720 has just a single core, clocked at 1.7GHz with 1MB of L3 cache and costs $70. The new ultra-low voltage Celeron 867 ($134) and 797 ($107) chips run clock rates of 1.3GHz and 1.4GHz, respectively, with the former sporting two cores, carrying 2MB of L3 cache and the latter just a single (with 1MB L3 cache).

Lenovo's Radeon HD 7690Mequipped IdeaPad Y470p now up for pre-order

As mentioned, the notebook weighs in at just $799 thanks to a special offer and is backed by a 1 year warranty. Quite the sweet little deal, we think!

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lenovo-s-radeon-hd-7690m-equippedideapad-y470p-now-up-for-pre-order/14674.html

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January 31st, 2012

Impressive new trailer for Aliens: Colonial Marines released Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/impressive-new-trailer-for-alienscolonial-marines-released/14673.html January 31st, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone January 31st, 2012

Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong has released the pricing and availability of the popular role-playing video game "FINAL FANTASY XIII-2" in Singapore. Read on for details.

A new cinematic trailer for Aliens: Colonial Marines was exclusively released via IGN just prior to the weekend and it really does make for a fantastic impression with immense visual and atmospheric quality being the order of the day here. A new cinematic trailer for Aliens: Colonial Marines was exclusively released via IGN just prior to the weekend and it really does make for a fantastic impression with immense visual and atmospheric quality being the order of the day here. SEGA and Gearbox sure do look to be on track in living up to the franchise's bold history if this trailer is anything to go by. More details on the title after the vid :Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.) "Welcome to Aliens: Colonial Marines. Created by Gearbox Software and published by SEGA, this sci-fi first-person shooter is steeped in the eerie, claustrophobic and terrifying atmosphere that made the Aliens films successful worldwide. You and your friends will become the most badass military outfit in the galaxy - the US Colonial Marines. It's down to you to not just survive, but wipe out the Xeno infestation. Aliens: Colonial Marines begins with an ostensibly abandoned ship, the U.S.S. Sulaco, recovered in orbit around LV-426. Players lead a group of highly trained United States Colonial Marines as they board the deserted craft to uncover the fate of the crew. They will have to fight to survive unspeakable horrors and their own anxieties as they chase down the truth behind a galaxy-spanning deception that places humanity at the mercy of the most murderous and deadly species in the universe. Aliens: Colonial Marines features authentic environments, such as the surface of LV-426 and Hadley's Hope, weapons inspired by the film series and is designed to provide an exhilarating and engaging new chapter in the Aliens universe."

Sony PlayStation 3 "FINAL FANTASY XIII-2" pricing released Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-playstation-3-final-fantasy-xiii-2pricing-released/14675.html

Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong Limited (SCEH) has unveiled the pricing and availability of PS3 FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 Chinese+ English and English Versions. The PS3 FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 Chinese + English (Regular Version) will retail from tomorrow, 31 January, at S $74.90 and bundled with limited time gift - Serah's Outfit: Summoner's Garb and Noel's Outfit: Battle Attire. Note that the costumes can be changed at any time during the main story, although costumes may not be displayed during some scenes. The PS3 Chinese + English FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 LIGHTNING EDITION Ver.2 hardware bundle will be launched on 31 January at S$529. Contents include the PS3 FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 Chinese+ English regular software, mini clear poster (1 out of 8 designs), Original Soundtrack, and PS3 Chinese + English FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 LIGHTNING EDITION Ver.2. As previously announced, following the PS3 FINAL FANTASY XIII, the PS3 FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 will also be released with a Chinese + English version. As with the previous title,this is a fully localized version with voices in Japanese and text/ menus in Traditional Chinese or English. The PS3 Chinese + English FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 LIGHTNING EDITION 19


January 31st, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Ver.2 Hardware Bundle will also be released to expand the excitement of the FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 universe. PS3 FINAL FANTASY XIII-2?English Version will be launched on 31 January 2012 at S$74.90, with limited time gift of two additional contents - Opponent: Omega and Serah's Outfit: Summoner's Garb. Opponent: Omega whereby Coliseum will appear in the “Historia Cross” from Episode 2. To play this additional content, select “Coliseum XXX Year” from thespace time area in the “Historia Cross” Serah's Outfit: Summoner's Garb Changing Costumes: Costumes can be changed at any time during the main story. Note that costumes may not be displayed during some scenes.

Sony Electronics Asia Pacific is launching three new compact cameras in March this year, namely the TX200V, WX70 and WX50 which come with Sony’s Exmor R CMOS Sensor and advanced high-speed BIONZ imaging processor that promise high quality and advanced performance even for high-sensitivity shooting. With the enhanced Auto Focus function, the TX200V can focus easily at just 0.25 seconds even in dimly lit environments. Under bright conditions, the auto focus speeds are capable of reaching 0.13 seconds. The TX200V is equipped with GPS and Compass functions and also supports GPS log recording, which outdoor enthusiasts can see their shooting location and lens direction, as well as track journeys on a map. It has high resistance to water, dust and low temperatures, making it a great companion in almost any environment. All three cameras leverage upon the Extra High Sensitivity technology to deliver clearer, more stunning images even in dark settings; the maximum sensitivity is now boosted to ISO 12800. The new Sony Cyber-shot TX200V, WX70 and WX50 digital compact cameras are available in Asia Pacific from March 2012. Pricing information will be released closer to launch date.

Sony Singapore launches DSCTX200V,DSC-WX70 and DSCWX50 cameras Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-singapore-launches-dsc-tx200vdsc-wx70-and-dsc-wx50-cameras/14672.html January 31st, 2012

Canon Valentine's Day Gift Guide Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/canon-valentine-s-day-giftguide/14670.html January 31st, 2012

If you have been fretting over the best gift for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day, you may find the following Canon products helpful in your search. Canon PowerShot S100

If you're looking for a digital compact camera, check out the new offerings from Sony Electronics Asia Pacific - DSCTX200V,DSC-WX70 and DSC-WX50. The Sony cameras are scheduled to launch in March this year.

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January 31st, 2012

Capture the moments with the ultra-slim, super-intelligent PowerShot S100. Featuring the new DIGIC 5 image processor, the camera comes with the professional-style control ring for intuitive manual control, perfect for any one. It is easy to use, and with Intelligent IS, the camera automatically selects the optimum IS for all situations, regardless whether it is for photographs or videos. The high-speed burst ensures that you capture the perfect moment in high resolution, and with a bright maximum aperture of f/2.0, you will get perfect shots even in dim candlelight.

Published by: VR-Zone

The Canon All-In-One PIXMA MG5370 is equipped with WiFi connectivity and Apple AirPrint and auto duplex printing that lets you get more done. It offers high-speed printing, copying and scanning in brilliant colour reproduction right out of the box. Price: S$299 Canon LEGRIA FS406

Price: S$699 Canon EOS 600D

With 18 megapixels and kit lenses that offer maximum range, the EOS 600D allows your loved ones to capture all scenes, from breathtaking landscapes to close-up portraits in flattering details. The flexible Vari-Angle LCD screen is perfect for the more curious shutterbugs to discover fresh framing perspectives. Price: S$1,199 - Canon EOS 600D with kit I (EF S18-55 IS II) Canon PIXMA MG5370

Available in red, blue and silver, the trusty Canon LEGRIA FS406 is filled with user-friendly features and includes a PreREC function to ensure key moments are captured by keeping a three-second rolling buffer even before the Record button is pressed. It incorporates the DIGIC DV II Processor and delivers brilliant video quality and high resolution. Price: S$499 Say “Happy Valentine’s” with a Homemade Card -http://www.canon.com.sg/creativepark Whether you are thinking of customizing a card, a gift card, or scrapbook of the perfect Valentine’s Day memories, you will find Creative Park a creative resource for your perfect creation. Available in key languages including English, Mandarin & 21


January 31st, 2012

Japanese, the Canon site features colorful and meaningful images in high resolution for your selection. For a start, use the pattern papers under Creative Park’s Valentine Day Special Collection as wrapping paper for your gifts. You can find these and a lot more at http://cp.c-ij.com/en/event/ valentine/index.html.

Bose unleashes OE2 and OE2i headphones in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bose-unleashes-oe2-and-oe2iheadphones-in-singapore/14669.html January 31st, 2012

The Bose OE2 and OE2i headphones have landed in Singapore and claims to offer new style and audio performance for the audiophiles on the move. Available in white and black, the OE2i has an additional OE2i inline remote and microphone that works with select Apple products, such as iPhone, iPod, iPad, MacBook, and MacBook Pro.

Atlas Sound & Vision, the premium audio visual retailer and distributor for Bose, has announced the availability of the new Bose OE2 and OE2i audio headphones. The OE2 and OE2i headphones claim to offer better audio performance than their predecessors, and feature an updated look and design. The main difference between the OE2 and OE2i headphones is that the latter comes with an inline remote and microphone. The remote and microphone lets users interact with select Apple products - iPhone, iPod, iPad, MacBook, and MacBook Pro - and lets you easily control volume, tracks, and voice applications. 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. There is also no manufactured “boost” across the frequency range. Made from memory foam, the headphone’s ear cushions conform to the user and combine with a redesigned headband for a better, more comfortable fit. Owners can listen for hours without the irritating pressure points caused by some conventional headphones.

Published by: VR-Zone

partners, Atlas Experience Audio Visual Boutique at TripleOne Somerset and Bose at Millenia Walk.

Coby to release several lowcost Android 4 tablets this quarter Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/coby-to-release-several-low-costandroid-4-tablets-this-quarter/14668.html January 31st, 2012

Thanks to U.S. based manufacturer and distributer Coby we will soon be seeing a range of inexpensive Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) powered tablets hit the market. There will be five models released within this quarter, ranging from $179 to $300 USD. Thanks to U.S. based manufacturer and distributer Coby we will soon be seeing a range of inexpensive Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) powered tablets hit the market. There will be five models released within this quarter, ranging from $179 to $300 USD.

Starting with the 7-inch MID7042, this is expected to hit the market at $179, sporting a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 CPU, multitouch screen, 1GB RAM, 4GB built-in storage (expandable up to 32GB), front facing camera, WiFi connectivity and HDMI 1080p output. A step up, we have the 8-inch sized MID8042 model with 4:3 aspect ratio, this otherwise carrying all the same specs as the MID7042. Next is the 9-inch MID9042 with 8GB built-in storage, then a 9.7-inch MID9742 (4:3 aspect) model, and finally a 10-inch MID1042 topping the lineup at $299.

Antec P280 Case Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/antec-p280-case-review/14656.html

The Bose OE2 and OE2i audio headphones are available for S$219 and S$269,respectively. They replace the current Bose on-ear headphones, and are now available in a choice of black or white. Bose headphones can be purchased from selected 22


January 31st, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

Color(s)

January 31st, 2012

Cooling System

Always amongst the first few choices of an enthusiast’s shortlist when style and silence are of primary importance, Antec’s Performance One series has been synonymous with style and silent computing for many years. Antec’s engineers must have been very busy because the new P280 not only claims the ability to offer silent computing and unparalleled quality but outstanding thermal performance as well. Is it actually possible for quiet computing and high thermal performance to be combined, in a steel case no less? We will find out in this review. Also, stand a chance to win a brand new Antec P280! (more details at the end of the article) Always amongst the first few choices of an enthusiast’s shortlist when style and silence are of primary importance, Antec’s Performance One series has been a synonym with style and silent computing for many years. It has been a long while since the company replenished this particular series, until the recent release of the P280 case. The P280 is not a case designed to replace an older design but to enrich the series and become its new lead model. Antec’s engineers must have been very busy because the new P280 not only claims the ability to offer silent computing and unparalleled quality but outstanding thermal performance as well. Is it actually possible for quiet computing and high thermal performance to be combined, in a steel case no less? We will find out in this review. Manufacturer features and specifications • 9 expansion slots and up to XL-ATX motherboards • 2 front panel USB 3.0 ports • Advanced cooling system: includes 3 fans and 4 additional fan mounts • Dual-layer design: 0.8 mm steel / polycarbonate side panels deaden noise • 6 quiet 3.5” / 2.5” drive bays utilize trays with preinstalled silicone grommets

Black with gunmetal anodized aluminum front door • 2 x 120 mm top TwoCool™ exhaust fans • 1 x 120 mm rear TwoCool™ exhaust fan • 2 x 120 mm internal intake fans (optional) • 2 x 120 mm front intake fans (optional) • Fan power hub allows you to connect four 3-pin fans

Drive Bays

Front Ports

to a single Molex for improved cable management • 3 x 5.25” tool-less drive bays • 2 x 2.5” drive bays (dedicated) • 6 x 3.5” / 2.5” drive trays 2 x USB 3.0 with internal motherboard connector 2 x USB 2.0

Audio In/Out • 9 expansion slots • Maximum video card size: 13” / 330 mm Maximum CPU Cooler Height 6.7" / 170 mm PSU No power supply included Motherboard Support XL-ATX [13.6” x 10.3” (345 mm x 262 mm)], Standard ATX, microATX, Mini-ITX CPU Cutout Enlarged CPU cutout Cable Management 30 mm of cable routing space behind motherboard tray Side panel features None Dimensions • Unit Dimensions: - 526 mm (H) x 231 mm (W) x 562 mm (D) Expansion Slots / video card size

• 120 mm internal intake fans (optional) • Triple-layer (aluminum, plastic, foam) front bezel with double-hinged door: opens up to 270°

-20.7” (H) x 9.1” (W) x 22.1” (D)

• Grommet-lined cable routing holes with 30 mm of space behind the motherboard tray

• Package Dimensions:

• 3 tool-less 5.25” drive bays

-575 mm (H) x 290 mm (W) x 630 mm (D)

• Fan power hub: 4 x 3-pin fan connector on a single Molex • PSU intake & front air filters Weight Model Case Type

P280 Super Mid Tower

-22.6” (H) x 11.4” (W) x 24.8” (D) • Net Weight: 22.3 lbs / 10.2 kg • Gross Weight: 26.5 lbs / 12.0 kg

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January 31st, 2012

Qualcomm's Snapdragon "Krait" MSM8960 GPU Benchmarked Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/qualcomm-s-snapdragon-kraitmsm8960-gpu-benchmarked/14667.html January 31st, 2012

A NenaMark 2 benchmark result has surfaced on one of Qualcomm's upcoming 28nm based Snapdragon SoCs well ahead of launch. Expected to arrive later this year, the 1.5GHz Qualcomm "MSM8960" SoC (codenamed Krait) was in an unidentified device with Qualcomm's Andreno 225 graphics, running a display resolution of 1024 x 600 which is typical of a 7-inch tablet device. A NenaMark 2 benchmark result has surfaced on one of Qualcomm's upcoming 28nm based Snapdragon SoCs well ahead of launch. Expected to arrive later this year, the 1.5GHz Qualcomm "MSM8960" SoC (codenamed Krait) was in an unidentified device with Qualcomm's Andreno 225 graphics, running a display resolution of 1024 x 600 which is typical of a 7-inch tablet device.

Despite the notably high resolution, Krait still managed to push out quite a decent score of 54.90 in NenaMark 2. When comparing it with a Galaxy S II running the same benchmark with its lower 800 x 480 display and Mali-400 GPU, this achieved just 46.2. It should be noted however that the Qualcomm reference unit was using Android 4.03 which could possibly have contributed to the higher score. Nonetheless, it is clear we are well on the way to seeing console-quality gaming on our handheld devices!

Published by: VR-Zone

Guiness announces the world's largest video game controller Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/guiness-announces-the-world-slargest-video-game-controller/14665.html January 31st, 2012

Thanks to the Guinness Book of World Records we often get to hear about or see some pretty staggering events take place as people continue to be driven by the desire to achieve something never before been done that becomes recognized worldwide. A bunch of students from the Netherlands have added themselves to the list by building a "fully functional" NES controller that is in fact the largest video game controller in the world. Thanks to the Guinness Book of World Records we often get to hear about or see some pretty staggering events take place as people continue to be driven by the desire to achieve something never before been done that becomes recognized worldwide. A bunch of students from the Netherlands have added themselves to the list by building a "fully functional" NES controller that is in fact the largest video game controller in the world.

Students Benjamin Allen, Stephen van't Hof and Michel Verhulst hauled this massive controller to London's Liverpool Street Station where the latest edition of Guiness' World Records 2012 Gamer's Edition was launched. It was there where it received formal recognition as indeed being the largest controller in the world, working out to be 30 times the size of a standard NES controller. It runs dimensions of 366 cm x 159 cm x 51 cm (12ft x 5ft 3 in x 1ft 8 in) and has a weight of 265 pounds! At that size, it does of course require not one, but two people operate it and apparently it's been built well enough that jumping on any of the buttons is A'okay as well. In terms of build time, the three students were planning the project over a period of five months, then managed to build it in just one (at a grand total cost of ÂŁ4,000).

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January 31st, 2012

Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.) Ben said, "This is really a labour of love. We're passionate about gaming and wanted to honour its most iconic device; the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) joypad. We put our heads together in the pub and decided to create this absurdly large working version! It's such a rush to know we've made history and are being included in the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition."

Motorola start shipping WiFionly Xoom 2 "Xyboard" tablets Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/motorola-start-shipping-wifi-onlyxoom-2-xyboard-tablets/14664.html January 31st, 2012

After listing them earlier in the month for pre-order with shipping expected to commence on January 18th, Motorola has now unleashed its new Android-running second-gen Xoom 2 "Xyboard" tablets for purchase with immediate availability. After listing them earlier in the month for pre-order with shipping expected to commence on January 18th, Motorola has now unleashed its new Android-running second-gen Xoom 2 "Xyboard" tablets for purchase with immediate availability.

At this time however, Motorola has chosen only to release its WiFi-only models of the Xyboard tablets, with the Verizon 4G LTE models expected to show up on an undisclosed date in the (hopeful) near future. The other thing is that for now, the tablets are shipping with Android 3.2 Honeycomb. It is expected that the company will roll out an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for these devices at some point, but again we are not exactly sure when.

Published by: VR-Zone

A bit about the models and pricing on offer, there's the Xyboard 8.2-inch 32GB variant that's listed at $499.99, followed by the 16GB version for $399.99. If it's a larger screen you're after, you can opt for the 10.1-inch 16GB model for $499.99 or the 32GB version for $599.99.

Buffalo enhances LinkTheater line with multi-format happy LT-V200 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/buffalo-enhances-linktheater-linewith-multi-format-happy-lt-v200/14663.html January 31st, 2012

Buffalo has just announced its latest generation LinkTheater series LT-V200 which is basically a suped up multi-format capable media player for the lounge, featuring an internal SATA port to add in a HDD alongside the USB connectivity (in the form of a couple USB 2.0 ports; one on the front and one at the rear) that allows it to work as a DLNA-compliant NAS server. Buffalo has just announced its latest generation LinkTheater series LT-V200 which is basically a suped up multi-format capable media player for the lounge, featuring an internal SATA port to add in a HDD alongside the USB connectivity (in the form of a couple USB 2.0 ports; one on the front and one at the rear) that allows it to work as a DLNA-compliant NAS server.

The unit also features an SD card slot and can connect to a network over 10/100 Ethernet. In terms of format support, almost all popular formats will work including MPEG-1/2 and WMV9, Mpeg-4 AVC/H.264, DivX, Divx HD, FLV and Real Video. Audio support is also extensive with formats such as AAC, MP3, WMA, WAV, OGG, FLAC, Real Audio, Dolby Digital and DTS being recognized. Another cool function of the LT-V200 is "Remote Play" which allows it to stream media wirelessly to iOS and Android devices. In terms of outputs, these include HDMI, S/PDIF (both Toslink and Coaxial) and also Component.

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January 31st, 2012

Published by: VR-Zone

The unit is said to start selling on the Japanese market in early Feb at about 14,000 Yen ($183 US).

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VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks Jan 2012 Issue