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June 20th, 2011

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

HP's TouchPad priced, coming July 1st Source: June 20th, 2011

HP has finally unveiled the official pricing for its first two TouchPad tablet SKUs and we're looking at 16 and 32GB with Wi-Fi for now, although 3G models are set to follow suit. The question that remains unanswered is if HP's webOS will have enough pull to win over consumers and business users alike from Apple and the vast array of Android tablets already available in the market.

Other features include 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (which is a bit surprising considering the Snapdragon SoC supports both Bluetooth 3.0 + HS and Bluetooth 4.0), a micro USB 2.0 port, a headphone socket, Beats Audio branded speakers and a front facing camera for video calls, but oddly enough not one around the back. Of course there are features like light sensors, an accelerometer, a gyroscope and a digital compass built in as well, but the non 3G versions of the TouchPad lacks a built in GPS.

HP has finally unveiled the official pricing for its first two TouchPad tablet SKUs and we're looking at 16 and 32GB with Wi-Fi for now, although 3G models are set to follow suit. The question that remains unanswered is if HP's webOS will have enough pull to win over consumers and business users alike from Apple and the vast array of Android tablets already available in the market.

The battery is rated at a healthy 6,300mAh which is about the same as Apple's iPad. At 740g the TouchPad isn't light; in fact it's one of the heaviest ARM tablets out there, albeit only just. HP's webOS main strength is multitasking, something it does better than most other hand held device operating systems, but this alone isn't going to make it a winner. The biggest problem for HP is going to be the lack of apps for the TouchPad at launch, although most standard apps come pre-installed.

What's on offer is a 9.7-inch screen with 1024x768 resolution, a screen size and resolution that many an iPad user should be familiar with. On the inside HP hasn't skimped on the hardware though with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060 SoC clocked at 1.2GHz (3G models would have and equivalent MSM model) paired with a healthy 1GB of RAM.

At US$499.99 for the 16GB, HP wants 99 cents more than Apple charges for an iPad and the 32GB follows the same route with a price tag of US$599.99. At least it's also roughly the same you'd expect to have to pay for a Motorola Xoom, but you can pick up Asus' 32GB Eee Pad Transformer for the same price as HP's 16GB TouchPad. The proof will be in the pudding as they say and HP is really going to have a tough time convincing both consumers and business users that its webOS is the way forward.

Intel adds new ULV mobile CPUs to its line up Source:


June 20th, 2011 June 20th, 2011

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EVGA outs GeForce GT 545 for retail market Source: June 20th, 2011

This one nearly slipped us by, but Intel launched no less than four new ULV mobile CPUs on Sunday, ranging from a mere 1.1GHz all the way to 1.8GHz. These are of course all Sandy Bridge based CPUs and we're looking at two Core i7's, a Core i5 and last, but not least, Intel's first ULV Sandy Bridge Celeron. Details of three of the models leaked a month ago, but now we know how much they'll cost as well. This one nearly slipped us by, but Intel launched no less than four new ULV mobile CPUs on Sunday, ranging from a mere 1.1GHz all the way to 1.8GHz. These are of course all Sandy Bridge based CPUs and we're looking at two Core i7's, a Core i5 and last, but not least, Intel's first ULV Sandy Bridge Celeron. Details of three of the models leaked a month ago, but now we know how much they'll cost as well. Starting at the bottom we have the dual core Mobile Celeron 847 which unsurprisingly is Intel's slowest ULV Sandy Bridge processor at a mere 1.1GHz. Oddly enough it's still a 17W TDP CPU despite having a mere 2MB L3 cache, no Hyper Threading and no Turbo boost and of course that very low clock speed. It's also worth remembering that Intel's Celeron and Pentium Sandy Bridge CPUs have inferior graphics to the Core i models.

The NVIDIA GeForce GT 545, originally an OEM card, has hit the retail market thanks to EVGA. The EVGA GeForce GT 545 is based on the GF116 GPU and has been paired with 1.5GB of GDDR3 memory running on a 192-bit bus. 2-way NVIDIA SLI is supported and the card does not require additional power. The NVIDIA GeForce GT 545, originally an OEM card, has hit the retail market thanks to EVGA. The EVGA GeForce GT 545 is based on the GF116 GPU, which is also the chip powering the faster GeForce GTX 550 Ti. A fully-enabled GF116 has 192 CUDA cores, 32 texture units and 24 ROPs. For the GeForce GT 545, some portions of the GPU have been disabled, leaving it with 144 CUDA cores and 24 texture units. The number of ROPs and memory bus depends on the memory type used on the GT 545. There are 24 ROPs and a 192-bit memory bus if GDDR3 memory is used, and 16 ROPs and a 128-bit memory bus if GDDR5 memory is used.

Next up we have the Core i5-2557M which is a step up from the current and so far only ULV Core i5, the 2537M. Here we're looking at a dual core CPU with Hyper Threading clocked at 1.7GHz which is a 300MHz jump in speed over the 2537M. The top Turbo frequency has also been boosted from 2.3GHz for the 2537M to 2.7GHz for the 2557M, although the L3 cache remains the same at 3MB. The first ULV i7 is the 2637M which end up faster than the 2657M, as this is yet another dual core 1.7GHz part. The 2637M also beats the 2657M when it comes to Turbo frequency as the older top of the range ULV part stops at 2.7GHz whereas the 2637 goes all the way to 2.8GHz. The final CPU is the Core i7-2677M which is a 1.8GHz part with a Turbo frequency of 2.9GHz and at full Turbo speed it gets quite close to Intel's entry level 25W LV Core i7-2629M in terms of single core performance, although with a slower graphics clock. Pricing is as follows in quantities of 1,000 units, Mobile Celeron 847 US$134, Core i5-2557M US$250 (the same as the Core i5-2537M), Core i7-2637M US$289 (the same as the Core i7-2617M) and finally the Core i7-2677 is US$317 (the same as the Core i7-2657M). Pretty impressive stuff for 17W TDP CPU's, now let's see some nice 11.6 to 12.5-inch notebooks that take advantage of the new CPUs.

As for the EVGA card, the company has decided to go with 1.5GB of GDDR3 memory, hence its GeForce GT 545 has 24 ROPs and a 192-bit memory bus. The graphics core clock and memory clock are 720MHz and 1800MHz respectively, similar to reference operating frequencies for the GDDR3-equipped


June 20th, 2011

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variant. 2-way NVIDIA SLI is supported and the card does not require additional power (connectors).

Patriot introduces G2 Series AMD Edition memory kits Source: June 20th, 2011

Patriot has introduced the new G2 Series, AMD Series Memory kits which are designed for AMD 9-series platforms. More details inside. Gregory Wade, managing director of Research in Motion, Southeast Asia, said that the new BlackBerry Bold 9900 will make its Asia debut at CommunicAsia 2011, whereby this year, the event is held at Marina Bay Sands.Convention.

The Patriot G2 Series, AMD Edition modules have low profile heatsinks which aid heat dissipation, and yet not obstruct large CPU coolers. The G2 Series, AMD Edition memory kits will be available in two speed flavors of 1333MHz and 1600MHz. There will be two different capacities, 4GB (2 x 2GB) and 8GB (2 x 4GB) in low and enhanced CAS latencies to suit the needs of various users.

"The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is our flagship device in the Bold franchise. It is the ultimate communication, performance and productivity device and (I sincerely believed) it is the best BlackBerry built ever. With its premium design and highend functionality, the BlackBerry Bold 9900 combines the QWERTY keyboard plus a vivid touchscreen; is sleek and the most powerful BlackBerry smartphone yet, featuring the new BlackBerry 7 OS," Wade said. BlackBerry Bold 9900 quick hands on

Patriot will provide standard lifetime warranty as well and the kits are expected some time late June.

Research in Motion unveils BlackBerry Bold 9900 in Singapore Source: June 20th, 2011

This evening, Research in Motion unveiled the latest BlackBerry Bold 9900 in Singapore. The Bold 9900 claims to be the thinnest and most powerful BlackBerry smartphones yet with the renowned Blackberry keyboard, brilliant touchscreen display and the new BlackBerry 7 OS. VR-Zone brings you the coverage.

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 sports a brushed stainless steel frame and besides the QWERTY keyboard, you can also navigate and type messages on the touchscreen display. Overall user experience is quite good, and the device is pretty responsive.


June 20th, 2011

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Pricing and availability information has yet to be released though. But we will let you know once we got the details.

The Daily VR-Zone News Summary - 20 June 2011 Source: June 20th, 2011

On the right, we spotted the 3.5mm audio jack and the microUSB connector for charging the phone's battery and connecting to the PC for file transfer.

In today's news roundup: Analysts are predicting that demand for USB 3.0 is set to experience a huge spike as a result of AMD's introductions of new chipsets that integrate support for it into the core logic chipset, and that Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge platform, when released in 2012, will see support for the standard reach even higher levels; Word has it that Apple is planning something major for the Thunderbolt interface which will not only change the way users work with their Macs, but will also help stimulate demand for the interface as well; HP has released a new wireless computer mouse which is reportedly capable of connecting to PCs through a WiFi connection, as opposed to most existing wireless mice which require the use of additional hardware such as bluetooth dongles; Engineers from Google's Chrome team have claimed that future versions of the Chrome browser will be capable of predicting a user's next link and automatically pre-rendering pages to further reduce loading times; Sony unveils a new variant of its PlayStation 3 console, the CECH-3000B, which is said to be both slimmer and less power hungry than its predecessor, in Japan, and DICE has confirmed that the console ports of Battlefield 3 will have their framerates locked to 30fps in order to "allow a greater degree of graphical detail whilst enabling the consoles to cope better with vehicles and multiplayer". Hardware news 80 Million 3.0 Devices Set to Be Shipped in 2011 Description: 2011 should be a much bigger year for the technology, especially in mobile PCs, driven by the first chipsets from AMD that integrate SuperSpeed into the core logic chipset. Intel is expected to follow with its Ivy Bridge chipset in 2012. This all will lead to sales of USB 3.0-capable devices to 80 million units.

Here we see the power button on the top of the BlackBerry Bold 9900. The rear holds the battery compartment and the 5-megapixel camera that can capture 720p videos. The BlackBerry Bold 9900 also supports Near-Field Communication (NFC) and comes with Orientation Sensor (Accelerometer), Digital Compass (Magnetometer), Proximity Sensor.

Is this summer the real debutante ball for Thunderbolt? Description: Thunderbolt, Intel’s new high speed data transfer tech, has arrived, but it’s been on the market now since February, and we’ve heard a lot of noise, but have yet to see it really do much in the way of changing how we use our Macs. Signs indicate that this summer could be the time we do see that happen. OCZ Vertex 3 240GB Max IOPS Edition SSD Review @ Legit Reviews Description: We've done quite a few SSD reviews this year and frankly, some of the drives we test seem like carbon copies of the one before save for different branding. Performance tends 4

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to be relatively equal, at least within the standard deviation of the benchmarks used and it's rare for a drive to really stand out. The Vertex 3 MI is one of those rare drives that, in a sea of virtual SSD homogeny, distinguishes itself with all around performance perceptively better than any other single SATA III interfaced drive we've tested to date - except maybe the... GIGABYTE X58A-OC (Intel X58 Express) Motherboard Review Description: Back at CES (during the G1-Killer launch) we were shown something pretty special; besides the G1 we mean. While Tim Handley was telling us about the virtues of the G1-Killer line-up, he flashed us a picture of a new board that was still under development. This was an early image of the X58A-OC. The concept was a streamlined product intended just for overclocking and performance. You still get audio and LAN on the board, but for the most part the extras that are on many boards are gone. Of course, with the items removed other pieces have been dropped in to handle the extra voltage and current load from pushing the CPU and multiple GPUs to extremes. Despite the lack of all of the "extra" features, the price is still $380 from Corsair Vengeance 1866 MHz DDR3 Memory @ Benchmark Reviews Description: Corsair is a well-known name within the memory market and although they have diversified in recent years their main focuses is still memory. Their most recent addition to their arsenal line is the Vengeance which fits in-between their XMS and Dominator lines of RAM. Benchmark Reviews will be looking at the Corsair Vengeance 1866Mhz 9-10-9-28 CMZ8GX3M2A1866C9 kit which is perfect for Sandy Bridge systems which require memory speeds to be divisible by 266.66 MHz in order to run at their rated speeds. Since prices have for high performance DDR3 have plummeted in the recent years this kit is priced at only $104.99 compared to the comparable Dominators $169.99 price. Benchmark Reviews will see if corners were cut to reach this price or if Vengeance is the frugal enthusiast best friend. ASUS BC-12B1ST Internal 12X BD-Combo Drive Review @Hi Tech Legion Description: The ASUS BC-12B1ST drive can read a Blu-Ray disc and has the ability to burn data onto a DVD media. The ASUS BC-12B1ST BD-Combo drive can reach read speeds of 12X for BD-ROM discs and 16X for DVD-ROM discs. As for data burning speed, the ASUS BC-12B1ST BD-Combo drive can burn a DVD+/-R disc up to 16X and store data on CD-R discs up to 48X. Using ASUS’ E-Green technology, the BC-12B1ST BD-Combo drive conserves energy by closing unused drive applications while the Optical Tuning Strategy employed by the BC-12B1ST drive when burning results in excellent error-free burning. Using a SATA interface and being compatible with a Windows operating system, makes the ASUS BC-12B1ST a great addition to your PC-based home theater system. RaidSonic Icy Box IB-NAS6220 HDD Network Mediaserver Review @ Real World Labs Description: The ICY BOX IB-NAS6220 HDD Network Mediaserver by RaidSonic is the ideal choice for people looking for a cost-effective dual-bay NAS solution without

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the advanced functions and extra features found on more expensive solutions. Consumer Electronics and Software News HP Shipping a Mouse That Connects Using Wi-Fi Description: Wireless mice are pretty handy, but not everyone can utilize them the same way. Some run off Bluetooth, which requires for the computer to have Bluetooth hardware – not a standard part. An alternative is for an external USB dongle that adds a Bluetooth or RF receiver. HP is now selling a third option that uses a Wi-Fi connection, which these days is standard on laptops, to add a wireless mouse on a Windows 7 system without the requirement of Bluetooth or use of any additional dongles. RAZER Chimaera Wireless Gaming Headset Review @ Madshrimps Description: The RAZER Chimaera Gaming Headset offers wireless connectivity for maximum liberty of movement, features large cups for confortable wear during long gaming sessions, a uni-directional microphone with a flexible mic boom and an easy to use charging dock. Skype rolls out bespoke low-bandwidth client for "hardship locations" Description: A bespoke low-bandwidth version of Skype has now been rolled out to 90 hardship locations, providing UNHCR employees with both free and low-cost voice and video calls over the Internet even when connection quality is poor. By the end of 2011, the aim is for Skype to be in at least 80% of UNHCR hardship locations and available to more than 3,000 staff members. Future Versions of Chrome Will Predict Your Next Link & PreRender Pages Automatically Description: ChromeGoogle engineers are known for doing whatever it takes to shave precious milliseconds off of page loads, but it’s pretty rare to see them steal a page from the past in pursuit of their goal. Upcoming releases of Chrome however will do just that, adding link pre-fetching/pre-rendering to the latest editions of the company’s flagship browser. Google's Father's Day Reminder Sparks Backlash Description: In Buzz-like fashion, Google set off a backlash among some U.S. Gmail users unhappy to see a "Call dad" reminder automatically show up in their inboxes on Sunday. The search giant meant to use Father's Day as a chance to show off Gmail's built-in voice calling feature that Google launched in 2010. Instead it has sparked another embarrassing episode for Google earning it another social black eye. Canon brings multi-color Rebel T3 hues to US Description: After previously limiting the production runs to a handful of countries like Australia and Canada, Canon on Monday brought new colors of the Rebel T3 to the US. The DSLR now comes not just in conservative black but but also the previously seen red hue as well as brown and metallic gray. The palette swap is the first in years for the Rebel after the company stopped shipping the camera in silver. Gaming news Sony unveils greener, lighter PS3 slim in Japan Description: Sony's mystery new PS3 model was uncovered on Monday with a new model in Japan. The CECH-3000B, 5

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a Japanese version of the CECH-3001B, should be betterbehaved than the old model with a 200W power draw instead of 230W on the current slim PS3. The newer design would be lighter, too, at 5.7 pounds instead of the usual 6.6. Battlefield 3 on Console Will Run At Half PC Frame Rate Description: Over the weekend, DICE confirmed that Battlefield 3 will run at 30 frames per second on consoles, half the framerate of the PC version. The developer claims that this will allow a greater degree of graphical detail whilst enabling the consoles to cope better with vehicles and multiplayer.

Huawei launches MediaPad, world's first 7-inch Android 3.2 Honeycomb Dual-Core Tablet

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experience; it can support full high definition (HD) 1080p video playback as well as HD HDMI output" Xu explained. Of course, that is not discounting that the MediaPad is equipped with Qualcomm’s dual-core 1.2GHz processor and supports Huawei Device’s Hi-Space cloud solution and Google Android Market. According to Huawei, the company will have the Wi-Fi and 3G versions, though the offering would differ from country to country. No pricing information is available at press time, though the MediaPad is said to be available in Q3 this year. Huawei MediaPad hands on

Source: June 20th, 2011

It was just two weeks ago when Chinese networking and telecommunications equipment company, Huawei, introduced their new range of Android smartphones. This afternoon, Huawei had a global launch of their MediaPad, which touts to be the world's first 7-inch dual-core tablet to run Android 3.2 Honeycomb OS.

Victor Xu, chief marketing officer of Huawei, talked about the company's position and goal, which is to be the top five leading vendor in the handset space worldwide by 2015, and leader in mobile broadband device and home device (connected home solution). "This year, we are proud to launch the the first Android 3.2 operating system for a 7-inch tablet. One important feature is the high definition display of this device; the MediaPad has a rated 217 PPI (pixels per inch) compared to the competitors in the market to give you a better visual experience. The tablet can also provide you with the very best entertainment

The MediaPad has a aluminium uni-body which feels very sturdy, and at 7-inch, it doesn't really feel very heavy. While the tablet claims to incorporate Android 3.2 Honeycomb OS, the one we hands-on was said to be a prototype model running Android 3.1. From what we gathered from Huawei, Android 3.2 is said to be optimized for 7-inch tablet devices with improvement including graphics performance and Google Maps functionality.


June 20th, 2011

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At the top of the MediaPad holds the power button and the volume controls. On the upper left hand corner of the display is the 1.3-megapixel front camera, designed for video calls.


Opening the rear compartment revealed the SIM card and microSD memory card slots. On the right side (close to the rearcompartment) are the power, mini HDMI and microUSB connectors.

BIOSTAR to release AMD APU motherboards


Source: June 20th, 2011

BIOSTAR will be releasing new AMD motherboards based on the A75 chipset in July to coincide with the official worldwide launch of the Llano APU. More details inside. BIOSTAR TA75A+


June 20th, 2011

BIOSTAR will be releasing three motherboards based on the AMD A75 chipset, namely the TA75A+, TA75M and TA75M+. The BIOSTAR TA75A+ is basically an ATX motherboard whereas the TA75M and TA75M+ are microATX form factor motherboards. The BIOSTAR TA75A+ will feature the upcoming FM1 processor socket, four DDR3 memory slots, two PCI Express x16 expansion slots allowing CrossFire, and six SATA3 ports. It also has USB 3.0, 7.1-channel surround sound and Blu-ray audio output. See the full press release here.

HP Pre 3 shows off Skype integration

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It is often said that the rumour mill is not the most credible source to go mining for information, but there are always rare instances where data obtained from such sources can turn out to be right on the money, and this particular case appears to be a shining example of one of those "rare instances". Apparently, the rumour that HP's upcoming Pre 3 smartphone will be powered by version 2.2 of the webOS operating and that Skype will be fully integrated into the aforementioned operating system has been proven to be true, and a German blog known as webOS Blog claims to have in its possession a bunch of screenshot that should be enough to put all other claims to the contrary to rest. According to the webOS blog, the integration of Skype into webOS 2.2 has been done in such a way that users are able to set the Pre 3 to allow the routing of all international calls through Skype and its VoIP protocol, which would be extremely convenient if they intend to make use of Skype as their main means of making phone calls. Alternatively, the Pre 3 also allows users to configure webOS in such a way that the operating system will automatically prompt them to select between Skype and the carrier's telephony services for every phone call, as shown in the screenshot below:

Source: June 20th, 2011

Some time back, rumour had it that HP was planning to launch its Pre 3, webOS-powered smartphone with version 2.2 of the operating system instead of the newer 2.3.1, and that support for Skype will be fully integrated into said operating system, thus negating the need to install a separate, standalone app if a user wanted to engage in some VoIP telephony. As it turns out, those rumours were right on the money this time. Read on for more information.


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In addition, webOS Blog also claims that users do not have to import their contact lists over from Skype, as the HP Pre 3 supports the making of Skype calls directly from the smartphone's contact list. This essentially eliminates any remaining need to have a discreet Skpye app installed on the Pre 3.

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Unfortunately, webOS Blog was not able to provide any specific dates for the HP Pre 3's release, although most sources claim that HP is still sticking to its plans for a mid to late July release for Germany and the US. Here's hoping that it will not take too long before the Pre 3 starts showing up for sale as part of a bundle from one of our own local telcos.

More hidden features in Windows 8 revealed Source: June 20th, 2011

We may still be months away from the RTM release of Windows 8, but that has not stopped developers and curious hackers from getting their hands dirty with the various leaked builds of Microsoft's upcoming operating system in the hopes of turning up new, unheard-of features that might eventually debut in its final release. And from the looks of it, it seems that Microsoft has indeed hidden quite a few surprises in Windows 8 which may very well challenge most people's perception of what an operating system should be.


June 20th, 2011

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location, although how Microsoft intends to implement it without running afoul of privacy issues remains to be seen.

There may still be a long time before the finalized build of Windows 8 will ever see the light of day outside of Microsoft's labs, but as it is always the case with unreleased software, one can always count on the large number of curious users and enterprising hackers to start pouring over leaked builds of Microsoft's upcoming operating system in a bid to find out more about various features which Microsoft has yet to announce publicly. After all, when one has an operating system as ubiquitous as that of Windows, it really goes without saying that any major release will be the subject of intense scrutiny and interest, especially when it has the potential to completely change the way things are usually done in Windows. As it turns out, some enthuasiasts have managed to get hold of a leaked copy of a new Windows 8 build, Build 7989, and has since proceeded to reverse-engineer certain system files in leaked build; this has resulted in some rather interesting results that seemingly hint at a variety of unannounced features which Microsoft may have in store for Windows 8. For example, one particular code dump suggests that Microsoft may be looking to follow in Apple's footsteps by offering its own App Store for Windows 8, ostensibly to make it easier for users to download popular software applications. However, the code also seems to suggest that Microsoft has got bigger plans in mind for the App Store, as there are references to what appears to be the capability to license and 'unlock' various features in the operating system through it, as shown in the image below. This discovery has led to speculation that Microsoft may decide to do away with the various SKUs introduced for Vista and Windows 7, opting instead to ship a single, bare-bones image with most of the features disabled by default, thus allowing users to purchase and unlock the features of their choice as and when needed.

Additional code dumps have also unearthed information of two unannounced features that appear to be in line with Microsoft's aims of putting Windows 8 on a wider variety of devices instead of limiting itself to desktop and notebook PCs. The first such feature concerns geo-location, which supposedly allows Microsoft to track a Windows 8-powered machine's

Last but definitely not least, the code dumps also seems to suggest that Windows 8 may come with built-in SMS capabilities. Once again, this makes perfect sense, considering how Microsoft has been attempting to pitch its Windows operating system as being suitable for use on non-PC devices, such as tablets. And with most tablets already being 3Gcapable (and are thus able to accept SIM cards), it might not be too much of a stretch to speculate that Windows 8 may even feature built-in calling capabilities to complement its SMS functionality.

Of course, there are bound to be more surprises in store for consumers as Windows 8 passes through each stage of the development process, and suffice to say the features we have described today are probably nothing more than the proverbial iceberg's tip. Still, considering how much Microsoft has managed to achieve at this point of time, we cannot help but feel that the company might just be able to outdo itself when Windows 8 is finally released for retail.

Mitsubishi releases new 23inch, 120Hz widescreen IPS monitor Source: June 20th, 2011

Need a new monitor with an extremely high refresh rate? If so, look no further than Mitsubishi for such needs; the Japanese company has just announced the release of a new 23-inch monitor in Japan that boasts an IPS display panel capable of supporting full HD resolutions and a refresh rate of 120Hz, among other features. Read on to find out more about Mitsubishi's new monitor... IPS panels? Who needs them, considering how they usually tend to suffer from much slower pixel response times which 10

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usually results in ghosting when used for various tasks such as gaming or video playback? Well, tell that to people who require near-perfect colour accuracy, image quality and an extremely wide viewing angle on their displays, which have been widely accepted as some of the needs that can only be solved by IPS monitors. And leave it to Mitsubishi to provide consumers with yet another choice in the market for high-end IPS monitors with the introduction of its new RDT233WX-Z widescreen monitor, as shown below.

Quick Look: Kingston HyperX Plug n Play DDR3-1866 SODIMM Source: June 20th, 2011

At first glance, the RDT233WX-Z looks just like any other typical LCD monitor available for sale on the market today, except that its hardware specifications are anything but typical. According to Mitsubishi, the matte IPS panel used in the assembly of the 23-inch RDT233WX-Z monitor is not only capable of displaying content at full HD resolutions (1920 x 1080), but also delivering extremely high refresh rates of up to 120Hz. Mitsubishi also claims that the RDT233WX-Z also comes built-in support for what it calls its Giga Clear Engine II technology, which is supposedly capable enhancing video playback by delivering crisp and high quality images. In addition, Mitsubishi has also confirmed that the RDT233WXZ supports PinP or Picture in Picture technology, and boasts a variety of video input ports such as having two HDMI ports, a DVI port, a VGA port and even the old Japan-only D5 port. Unfortunately, it would seem that Mitsubishi has no plans release the RDT233WX-Z for sale outside of its domestic market, so chances of having the monitor appearing for sale in a country that is not explicitly spelt "Japan" are next to zero. Still, if you happen to have a wad of cash to burn and a Japanese friend who is willing to help you ship the monitor over to your residence, the RDT233WX-Z can be yours for 54,800 yen (approx US$683) once it is officially introduced into the Japanese market on June 29 this year.

We received an interesting set of notebook memory in the mail recently. Kingston claims these HyperX Plug n Play modules will run at DDR3-1866 speed right out the box, so we decided to take them for a quick test drive... Kingston recently sent us a pair of HyperX notebook memory modules rated for a whopping DDR3-1866. What's more, Kingston says these "Plug n Play" memory modules should automatically run at DDR3-1866 when installed in a compatible platform. How is this possible, you ask. At the start of this year, JEDEC updated the DDR3 specification to officially support DDR3-1866 and DDR3-2133 speeds. This raises the speed ceiling for SPD profiles (Serial Presence Detect), which are used by a system to automatically determine and select the maximum speed supported by both the memory modules and the platform. As enthusiasts would know, when using modules rated above JEDEC's official speeds, memory speed and timings have to be set manually to fully exploit the module's capabilities. Alternatively, XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) can also be used if both the motherboard and memory support it. But changing memory settings is usually impossible on notebooks, which renders the updated JEDEC specification of greater significance there than on the desktop. This is where Kingston's HyperX Plug n Play DDR3-1866 SODIMM comes in to take advantage of the new speed ceiling.


June 20th, 2011

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We first installed these modules in a ASUS N82JV, which uses a previous-generation (Arrandale) Intel Core i7-620M processor and a Intel HM55 chipset. Disappointingly, the notebook decided to run the HyperX modules at the same DDR3-1333 speed as the default modules, albeit at much tigher timings. Next stop was a Fujitsu Lifebook NH751 using the latest mobile Sandy Bridge platform. At this point we were feeling somewhat pessimistic since both Intel and Fujitsu list support for only DDR3-1333. To our surprise, the modules worked exactly as advertised.

Kingston sells the HyperX Plug n Play SODIMM modules in 4GB and 8GB kits. DDR3-1866 as well as slower DDR3-1600 parts are available. In the table below you'll see that the slower parts are actually rated for tighter timings at DDR3-1600. Part Number

Capacity 8GB (2 x 4GB)

Rated Timings DDR3-1866 CL11-11-11 @1.5V DDR3-1600 CL10-10-10 @1.5V DDR3-1333 CL8-8-8 @1.5V

4GB (2 x 2GB) 8GB (2 x 4GB)

DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9 @1.5V DDR3-1333 CL8-8-8 @1.5V

There's even a DDR3-2133 SPD profile, but the timings for that are so loose there's really no point.

DDR3-1066 CL6-6-6 @1.5V 4GB (2 x 2GB) Click on a part number to view its datasheet. We received the DDR3-1866 8GB kit. In typical HyperX fashion, Kingston has decided to prettify the modules with heatspreaders. Being very thin, they shouldn't cause any compatibility issues unlike the notoriously oversized heatspreaders found on some HyperX desktop modules.

Let's find out how much of a performance advantage these modules will give us over standard DDR3-1333 modules of the same capacity. Benchmarks Installation

The Fujitsu Lifebook NH751 has the following specifications:


June 20th, 2011

Processor Chipset Memory


Storage Operating System

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Intel Core i7-2630QM Intel HM65 Samsung Kingston HyperX DDR3-1333 Plug n Play 2 x 4GB (9-9-9-24) DDR3-1866 2 x 4GB (11-11-11-32) Intel HD Graphics 3000 / Nvidia GeForce GT 525M 1GB (Optimus) 500GB 7200rpm Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit

The performance increase so far is marginal, which is hardly surprising since we've encountered the same results on desktop Sandy Bridge.


June 20th, 2011

Published by: VR-Zone

Likewise, gaming performance shows hardly any gains when using the faster DDR3-1866 modules. We had been hoping for a bigger increase when using Intel HD Graphics since it shares system memory. Conclusion Kingston's HyperX Plug n Play notebook modules don't provide any noticeable performance advantages in return for their considerable asking price. There are far more costeffective ways to improve your notebook's performance, such as replacing that slow 5400rpm drive with a speedy solid state drive. Furthermore, these modules only worked for us on a recent Sandy Bridge notebook, and even then we can't guarantee that they work on all Sandy Bridge notebooks since Intel doesn't appear to support such high memory speeds officially. If Kingston were to provide a notebook compatibility list (a tall order, we know) or even a CPU/chipset compatibility list, we would at least feel somewhat safer when spending this much on memory. Kingston HyperX Plug n Play DDR3-1866 SODIMM

Pros Cons Plug and play in compatible Minimal performance gains notebooks Twice the price of the cheapest memory Not be compatible with some notebooks, especially older ones Retail Price: US$148*

*Price based on an average of online stores. We were unable to find this item on sale in Singapore.

LulzSec promises "retribution" against hackers responsible for attacking SEGA Source: June 20th, 2011

Now this has got to be an interesting twist to SEGA's recent woes of having the personal information of its subscribers compromised after a successful attack by hackers on its database. Apparently, the well-known hacker group known as LulzSec has not only made an announcement to distance itself from the attack; the group has even put up a notice claiming that it wants to help SEGA by threatening to retaliate against those who were responsible for forcing the company's service offline. Looks like vigilantism is still alive and well in the virtual world after all. So you have read the news about SEGA being the latest victim in a string of cyber attacks that have seen many huge corporations being forced to take their servers offline in a bid to perform damage control and prevent hackers from further compromising any more personal information. However, in this case, SEGA can probably thank its lucky stars that it did not suffer the same kind of damage and data loss that some of its fellow victims have faced; while the company did not deny that it did lose a huge chunk of personal information as a result of a successful attack on one of its databases, it has also assured users that the most important piece of information, which is 14

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the credit card details of its subscriber base, was still safely secure in its servers. According to a report posted by ZDnet, SEGA has confirmed that the attack has resulted in its SEGA Pass service being forced offline, and that the information that had been stolen as a result of the attack consists of personal information such as names, dates of birth, email addresses and passwords that that subscribers typically use to access the service, although it was quick to point out that the damage is not as severe as most people may have imagined it to be. For example, the company has revealed that the stolen passwords stored in its database were encrypted and not stored in plain text; as such, hackers or individuals in possession of those passwords will have their work cut out of them in the form of decrypting the information in order to obtain a subscriber's original passphrase. And even then, SEGA is clearly taking no chances, having taken additional measures to prevent unauthorised access by resetting the passwords for all its subscribers, so the possibility of having someone successfully gaining access to SEGA Pass with a stolen password is decidedly slim. More importantly, SEGA also revealed that the server used to store its subscribers' credit card information is in the custody of an external service provider, and was therefore safe from the attack.

Published by: VR-Zone June 20th, 2011

Singapore telco operator, M1, has announced the launch of their Long Term Evolution (LTE) based network, which claims to be the first in South East Asia region. However, the coverage at launch will only be limited within the financial district though the company said that it will be expanded nationwide by Q1 next year.

However, it would seem at least one prominent hacker group does not condone such actions, and has gone out of its way to offer SEGA its assistance in finding and exacting vengeance on those hackers who perpetuated the attack. Indeed, a quick look at LulzSec's twitter page reveals that the hacker group does mean business this time round: Today, M1 has announced the launch of its Long Term Evolution (LTE) based Next Generation Mobile Network on 21 June 2011 - which claims to be the first in South East Asia. M1’s dual band LTE network, operating on both the 1.8 GHz and 2.6 GHz frequency bands, will have an initial theoretical downlink speed of 75 Mbps and uplink speed of 37.5 Mbps. By end 2012, the theoretical downlink and uplink speeds will be upgraded to 150 Mbps and 75 Mbps respectively. At launch, the LTE network covers areas within the financial district which include Marina Bay, Suntec, Shenton Way and other areas (shown in above pic). Coverage is progressively expanding and is scheduled to be nationwide by the first quarter of 2012. By the way, just for the record, a total of 1.3 million accounts were compromised in the recent attack against SEGA's database. Now that is definitely food for thought.

M1 claims to be first to launch South East Asia's LTE network Source:

The launch will involve customers from M1’s enterprise sector. These customers will be able to access M1’s Next Generation Mobile Network service via USB modems on existing mobile broadband plans at S$59.40 (with GST) per month. An expanded range of LTE devices, including tablets and smartphones, are expected to be available later this year.

BlackBerry PlayBook: officially available in Singapore on 23 June Source:


June 20th, 2011

Published by: VR-Zone

June 20th, 2011

- 1080p HDMI output - Dual 1080p HD cameras for video conferencing and video capture (3MP front and 5MP rear) It was only slightly over a week when Research in Motion announced the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook in Singapore, though pricing and availability details weren't made known then. Today, the company said that the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will be availabile in Singapore from 23 June.

- 1GB RAM memory - Up to 64 GB internal storage (16, 32 and 64 GB models) - GPS, Orientation Sensor (Accelerometer), 6-Axis Motion Sensor (Gyroscope), Digital Compass (Magnetometer) - Stereo speakers and stereo microphones - Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n) connectivity - Bluetooth 2.1+EDR support

Research In Motion (RIM) today announced that the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will be available in Singaporeon 23 June 2011 from SingTel, M1, and Starhub, as well as some nation-wide retail stores. The BlackBerry PlayBook will come in three Wi-Fi models, featuring 16GB, 32 GB or 64 GB of memory storage. Starting today, customers can place orders for the BlackBerry PlayBook. Customers can preorder online at . The BlackBerry PlayBook features an ultra-portable design and claims to deliver superb performance, uncompromised web browsing with support for Adobe Flash Player, true multitasking, high definition (HD) multimedia, advanced security features, out-of-the-box enterprise support and a robust development environment.

LG finally rolls out Optimus 3D with world's first Tri-Dual architecture Source: June 20th, 2011

Korean manufacturer LG has finally launched their highlyanticipated Optimus 3D smaartphone which features glassfree 3D display and claims to incorporate world's first Tri-Dual architecture. It will be available in Europe first and later other parts of the world in the next several weeks.

Three versions of the PlayBook will be available in Singapore at the recommended retail price (RRP) of: 16GB: S$668 (incl. GST) 32GB: S$798 (incl. GST) 64GB: S$928 (incl. GST) BlackBerry PlayBook specifications: - 7-inch 1024x600 WSVGA capacitive LCD touch screen - Ultra-portable at 425g and measures 130mm x 194mm x 10mm - 1GHz dual-core processor - BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing - MP3, AAC and WMA audio playback

LG has recently launched the long-awaited LG Optimus 3D, a smartphone that features second generation dual core technology and advanced “Tri-Dual� architecture. The Optimus 3D was first unveiled at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona in February, and claims to offer a full 3D experience -- recording, viewing, sharing.

- Support for high resolution video playback (H.264, MPEG4, WMV) 16

June 20th, 2011

With its Tri-Dual configuration – dual-core, dual-channel and dual-memory; it offers improved performance when multitasking, enjoying a movie or playing graphics-intensive games. Users can also record and immediately view content in 3D without the need for special glasses. Peak Efficiency and Performance Powered by Unique Tri-Dual Configuration Unlike other smartphones, the Optimus 3D has a dual-channel configuration, data transfers take place simultaneously between the dual-core and dual-memory, resulting in noticeably faster performance. As a result, the LG Optimus 3D maximizes run-time efficiency leading to noticeably smoother, faster, and longer multi-tasking, browsing, gaming and multimedia enjoyment than ever before.

Published by: VR-Zone June 20th, 2011

Sony Ericsson has announced that it has selected NXP Semiconductors N.V.'s Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to be incorporated in their Android smartphones, offering users enhanced mobile entertainment experiences. Details inside.

Full 3D Experience: 3D Recording-Viewing-Sharing 3D recording, viewing and sharing is faster and more convenient in the Optimus 3D and can be enjoyed without cumbersome glasses. LG’s latest smartphone enables owners to capture high quality 3D content with 3D video stabilization technology and real-time misalignment correction algorithm which automatically corrects for shake during recording. The smartphone also offers wide viewing angle which makes watching videos and movies more convenient and comfortable. The 4.3-inch WVGA display offers bright and flicker-free images in HD, up to 1080p in 2D and up to 720p in 3D. Special software allows for real-time conversion of 2D photo and video content into 3D. Free software for converting 2D games will be available for download during the third quarter this year, letting users enjoy a variety of multimedia content in 3D. Captured 3D content can be shared to 3D TVs via a HDMI connection and the phone can also send content to any DLNA certified device. In addition, users can upload and stream 3D content on YouTube’s dedicated 3D channel ( The LG Optimus 3D also incorporates the world’s first 3D augmented reality (AR) browser in collaboration with AR pioneer Wikitude. The browser will be available through an app downloadable from LGWorld ( The Optimus 3D will be available in Europe first, and then in more than 60 markets around the world over the next several weeks.

Sony Ericsson Android smartphones to use NXP's NFC solutions Source:

Today, NXP Semiconductors N.V. announced that its near field communication (NFC) technology has been selected by Sony Ericsson for inclusion in its Android-based smartphones. Sony Ericsson will use NFC to enhance consumers’ mobile experiences, creating a portfolio of smartphones that enable mobile transactions. Using simple touch gestures, users can make purchases or connect to a point of sale (POS) terminal, ticketing terminal or location-based promotional tag simply and securely with their NFC-enabled smartphones. NXP provides complete embedded, secure NFC solutions and recently announced that its NFC software is open source on the Android platform and enables the Google Wallet application. Sony Ericsson intends to use the NXP PN65 NFC solution in their Android-based smartphones, which includes the NFC radio controller, the embedded secure element and NFC software. The embedded secure element enables NFC to be used for mobile transactions. The PN65 uses advanced cryptography to offer the highest level of security for transactions, with the technology already being extensively used in contactless banking cards, e-passports, e-ID cards and secure access systems.

PC SHOW 2011 Lucky Draw Results Released - Winners Not So Random After All? Source:


June 20th, 2011

Published by: VR-Zone

June 20th, 2011

During the recent PC SHOW 2011, every $50 spent entitled the shopper to a lucky draw ticket. A few of our sharped eyed VRForum members spotted a few anomalies in the Lucky Draw Results released yesterday - some of the winning ticket numbers chosen were in series, the implication being that some "winners" could have got multiple prizes. Is this a case of a careless drawing process, divine intervention, or something more sinister? Lucky Draw Results with the anomalies highlighted in yellow:

The Prizes

As most productive shoppers in the PC SHOW would spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on their IT gadgets, they will be holding on to multiple tickets numbered in series.

Prizes on display

A look again at the Lucky Draw Prizes and Processes:


June 20th, 2011

Redemption of Tickets

Published by: VR-Zone

• Very high efficiency (80PLUS Bronze) • Very reliable and stable operation by 3x12V rails

Coupon Drop-off VR-Zone won't be drawing any conclusions without first getting the organizer's side of the story. Tell us what you think in the comments section below or this forum thread!

Be Quiet Straight Power E8 400W PSU review Source: June 20th, 2011

Be-Quiet is a company based in Germany which for the past few years has been creating computer related products for enthusiasts. It was only a few weeks ago that we reviewed one of their high performance, modular power supplies, the Straight Power E8-CM 680W unit. Today we are going to put to the test the weakest and simplest product of the Straight Power line, the Straight Power E8 400W unit. Be-Quiet is a company based in Germany which for the past few years has been creating computer related products for enthusiasts. It was only a few weeks ago that we reviewed one of their high performance, modular power supplies, the Straight Power E8-CM 680W unit. Today we are going to put to the test the weakest and simplest product of the Straight Power line, the Straight Power E8 400W unit. Manufacturer features and specifications

Continuous power (W) Peak power 500 ms (W) Form factor ATX 12V Form factor EPS 12V Modular cable management Special technology Voltage (Vac) Frequency (Hz) Input current (A) PFC, active PF Power factor at 100% load Compliant to Intel C6 mode Power consumption in standby (W) Average life time (h / 25°C) Operating temperature (°C)

400 450 ATX12V Version 2.3

DC/DC 100 - 240 50 - 60 8-4 Yes 0.99 Yes <0.3 100.000 0-40°C

Sony Ericsson going dual core with Xperia duo Source: June 20th, 2011

Dual core smartphones are starting to gain more and more traction and so far we've seen devices from pretty much all of Google's Android partners with one major exception being Sony Ericsson. Well, it seems like the company is getting close to announcing the Xperia duo which is expected to be the company's first dual core smartphone and a picture of what is believed to be the upcoming handset has now made an appearance on the web. Dual core smartphones are starting to gain more and more traction and so far we've seen devices from pretty much all of Google's Android partners with one major exception being Sony Ericsson. Well, it seems like the company is getting close to announcing the Xperia duo which is expected to be the company's first dual core smartphone and a picture of what is believed to be the upcoming handset has now made an appearance on the web. Beyond having a as yet unknown dual core CPU the Xperia duo is expected to sport a larger screen, a 4.5-inch unit has been suggested and judging by the picture it reaches almost from edge to edge of the handset. Can we hope for a qHD 960x540 display, or is this trying to push our luck too far?

• Extremely quiet running 19

June 20th, 2011

Published by: VR-Zone June 20th, 2011

In today's news roundup: Rambus has announced the development of a fast power-on, low-power clocking technology that boasts 5Gb/s+ data transfer speeds with minimal power consumption; AMD Graphics CTO Eric Demers has revealed some interesting facts about the company's next graphics processor architecture, claiming that it will serve as the foundation for all future AMD GPUs over the next few years; Acer has given its Predator line of gaming PCs a makeover with the new Predator G5910 series, which trades in the funky orange case for a matte black body that is supposedly meant to "evoke power and performance" and "a high-tech futuristic mood"; Word has it that Google is keen on bringing out a "Nexus 3" smartphone to the market, and that the device will feature a dual-core processor and is expected to be bundled with version 4.0 of the Android operating system, aka Ice Cream Sandwich; John Carmack has outlined the direction he'd like to take the Quake series in the future, and that is a remote possibility of id Software abandoning the Strogg-based storyline of Quake 2 and Quake 4, and The first console-based action from Battlefield 3 appeared last evening on Jimmy Fallon's late night show. Hardware news

The processor is likely to once again be from Qualcomm and it's very possible that it'll be the MSM8260, but once again, this is purely based on speculation and Sony Ericsson's current models. That said, we would go out on a limb here and say that Sony Ericsson might be eyeing ST-Ericsson's Novathor U9500, but the problem here would be the different graphics solution used, something we're not sure if Sony Ericsson would take a chance on. If the picture of the handset is the real deal, then we can expect a front facing camera on the Xperia duo (if that really is the name of the final handset), something the Xperia arc is missing. Otherwise the design of the handset is similar to the Xperia arc, albeit a lot less angular as all the corners are now rounded. Hopefully it won't take too long until we find out what Sony Ericsson is up to, as the company desperately needs a dual core handset to keep up with the competition, at least as far as headline features are concerned.

The Daily VR-Zone News Summary - 17 June 2011 Source:

ASUS P8H67-I Deluxe mITX Motherboard @ Benchmark Reviews Description: By now we have all heard of the media capabilities of the Intel H67 Chipset. With so much going for it in this aspect, it seems like an H67 motherboard would be great as a starting point for the perfect Home Theatre PC. ASUS has decided to take this idea to the next level with the ASUS P8H67-I Deluxe mini-ITX motherboard. In this article, Benchmark Reviews will break down all the special features ASUS has included in the P8H67-I Deluxe motherboard to see if it is ready to provide a comprehensive solution for the HTPC enthusiast. Mushkin Enhanced Joule 700 Watt Power Supply Review Description: This time around we have another power supply from Mushkin ready to go through our load tests. Last month we took a look at the Mushkin Enhanced Joule 800W power supply. Now we have the Joule 700W on the bench for testing. Being that the unit is from the same series and manufacturer, you would expect almost identical builds and results. Right off the delivery truck we could tell a big difference in design between the 700W and 800W models. It was quite apparent that the Joule 700W didn't have nearly as extensive cooling on the inside. We also noticed that while the 800W model holds an 80Plus Silver rating, the smaller 700W model only manages to hold an 80Plus Bronze rating. Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 Ultimate Edition 1GB DDR5 DX 11 Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion Description: One of those products is the Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 Ultimate Edition. The 6670 Ultimate includes two special features that differ from a traditional 6670. Those being the "Ultimate" passive cooling, and a key to Dirt 3. 20

June 20th, 2011

Under the hood the 6670 Ultimate is no different from a stock version. The core clock speed is set at 800MHz while the memory speed is set at 1000Mhz. Onboard is 1 GB of DDR5 memory. The 6670 comes with 480 stream processors and a 40 nm chip. The interface includes a single HDMI, Display Port, and Dual-Link DVI input. All of the usual 6000 series features apply such as DX 11, Eyefinity, OpenGL 4.1, UVD3, and AMD App acceleration. Chillblast Fusion Impact 3D Review @ Description: Chillblast may not be as well renowned – or as infamous – as Overclockers or Scan, but they’ve been around the block enough to know the game and they’re well established as a solid, affordable gaming system builder. Today we take a look at another of their setups, this one that provides the full 3D experience: monitor, glasses and GPU. It’s got a Sandybridge i5 CPU too. Rambus Develops Clocking Technology for Power Reduction in High-Speed Interfaces. Description: Rambus, a designer of various memory and interface technologies, has announced the development of a fast power-on, low-power clocking technology that can enable a whole new class of memory devices. The new technology enables 5Gb/s+ data transfer speeds with minimal power consumption. AMD's Demers reveals details of next GPU architecture Description: At the Fusion Developer Summit here in Bellevue, Washington this morning, AMD Graphics CTO Eric Demers made some interesting revelations about his company's next graphics processor architecture. While he didn't talk about specific products, he did say this new core design will materialize inside all future AMD products with GPUs in them over the next few years. Consumer Electronics and Software News A.C.Ryan PlayOn!HD2 Media-Player Review (German) Description: (Machine translation) The A.C.Ryan PlayOn! HD2 Media-Player arrived Technic3D. Store thousands of photo, music and video files on the internal Hard Drive. The Playon!HD2 brings again your music, video and photo library to life with unsurpassed audio and visual quality? We will check the new Features on the HD2 Player. Sony Teases New Tablets With a Mysterious New Video Description: Sony wants you to know that it’s about to launch two tablets – the Sony S1, and the Sony S2 – but it doesn’t want to reveal much about them, promoting them instead with a visual feast that gives little info, but is amazing to watch. The video is actually the first episode of a 5-episode story dubbed “Two will”, featuring Sony’s tablets; we can expect the next four installments soon. Back in early May 2011, Sony released a far more straightforward teaser video for its upcoming tablets, showing us at least a little of what they can do. RAIDON GT5630-SB3 USB 3.0 4 Bay Desktop Data Backup Storage Solution Review @ Real World Labs Description: With 4 easy swap HDD tray modules for up to a massive 12TB of storage capacity and both eSATA and USB 3.0 connectivity for blazing fast transfer speeds the GT5630SB3 USB 3.0 4 Bay Desktop Data Backup Storage Solution by RAIDON is the ideal unit to house your backups and/or media collection.

Published by: VR-Zone

Report: Dual-core Nexus 3 Specs Leaked Description: According to BGR sources, what’s believed to be the next Nexus phone will feature a next-generation dualcore 1.2GHz or 1.5GHz CPU (likely an OMAP 4460 or an ultra low-power 28nm Krait-based Snapdragon); 1GB of RAM; 1080p HD video capture and playback; a 1-megapixel frontfacing camera; and a rear-facing camera with an “advanced 5-megapixel sensor delivering class-leading image quality in addition to superior low-light performance.” All of this will run on Ice Cream Sandwich, aka Android 4.0. Acer Gives Predator Desktop a Makeover, Inside and Out Description: Acer's attention-seeking Predator desktop series has been known for its over-the-top chassis design that some find totally bad ass, and many others feel is gaudy, to put it nicely (and ugly, if we're being blunt). The new Predator G5910 series trades in the funky orange case for a matte black body that Acer says is supposed to "evoke power and performance, while the angles and grooves on the front add a high-tech futuristic mood." Chrome Nearly Replaced Firefox as Ubuntu's Default Browser Description: Chrome adoption has also been on a rapid rise in recent versions, doubling its market share in some regions from just one year ago. The upstart browser is raising even more eyebrows now that Chromebooks are hitting the market, and when you combine these three factors -- performance, consumer interest, and Shuttleworth's personal endorsement -- it's really no surprise that Firefox was nearly unseated as the default browser in Ubuntu 11.04. Gaming news Carmack outlines vision for a new Quake Description: John Carmack has outlined the direction he'd like to take the Quake series in the future, explaining to Eurogamer that there are factions within id Software that want to abandon the Strogg-based storyline of Quake 2 and Quake 4. Sega Europe opens its third UK code shop; studio already at work on a "next gen" action adventure. Description: Sega Europe has announced the formation of a new boutique studio based in the UK's West Midlands, set up to focus its resources "exclusively for next generation platforms." The forward-looking studio has an unnamed "unique action adventure experience" project already underway, due for release late next year. Battlefield 3 console footage unveiled on latest Fallon Description: As promised, the first console-based action from Battlefield 3 appeared last evening on Jimmy Fallon's late night show, teasing a scene we've watched play out a dozen or so times now on the PC version. Despite the grumblings of many long-time PC Battlefield gamers -- not to mention our own doubts -- BF3 running on PlayStation 3 looks pretty wonderful.

Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz CL9 8GB DDR3 Kit Review Source:


June 20th, 2011

Published by: VR-Zone

June 20th, 2011

While nearly every single memory kit introduced these days appears 'designed for the second-generation Intel Core platform', this Corsair Vengeance dual-channel memory kit is designed to work on both Intel or AMD DDR3 platforms.

Gigabyte readying no less than 12 AMD Llano compatible motherboards Source: June 20th, 2011

A rather eye-catching image adorns the front of the packaging with a pair of Vengeance memory seated on an ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) motherboard. According to Corsair, Vengeance kits are designed with overclockers in mind and the memory chips used are specifically selected to meet their needs.

We're about two weeks from the desktop AMD Llano CPU launch which is meant to take place on the 30th of this month and although we've already seen plenty of boards at Computex, Gigabyte has now kindly provided some additional details of its Llano plans. Gigabyte's German branch posted a whole bunch of information about Gigabyte's upcoming Llano motherboards on Facebook and according to it we can expect 12 new boards with the A75 and A55 chipsets. We're about two weeks from the desktop AMD Llano CPU launch which is meant to take place on the 30th of this month and although we've already seen plenty of boards at Computex, Gigabyte has now kindly provided some additional details of its Llano plans. Gigabyte's German branch posted a whole bunch of information about Gigabyte's upcoming Llano motherboards on Facebook and according to it we can expect 12 new boards with the A75 and A55 chipsets.

A universal product code (UPC) label is affixed at the bottom left corner, and there are two small cut-outs which are positioned where the product labels on the two memory sticks are. Before we proceed further, here is a quick run through of the Vengeance kit's specifications: Type Capacity Speed Latency Voltage Registered / Unbuffered Error checking Warranty

However, it seems like Gigabyte is starting to divide up its products into different sub-categories and although we can understand that the rising price in raw materials have something to do with it, it's getting a little bit confusing for consumers. It's not as if Gigabyte is trying to hide the fact that its new Llano boards will fit in to the Ultra Durable 3, Ultra Durable 2 and Ultra Durable 1 sub-categories, but a lot of people wouldn't know what the difference is. There are only three Ultra Durable 3 boards, namely the A75-UD4H, the A75M-UD2H (mATX) and the A75N-USB3 (mini ITX). Of course, if you're an avid VR-Zone reader, you'll already know that we've seen the first two boards, just ahead of Computex, but judging by the slides, a few things have been changed on the A75-UD4H, but more on that a little bit later.

240-pin DDR3 8GB (2 x 4GB) PC3-12800 (1600MHz) CL9-9-9-24 1.5V Unbuffered Non-ECC Lifetime


June 20th, 2011

Published by: VR-Zone

this case, a 3D display. What some of you might not know is that 3D displays require either an HDMI 1.4a port or a duallink DVI port as you're sending twice as much information to the screen compared to a non 3D display.

The Ultra Durable 2 boards include the A75-D3H, A75DS3P, A75M-D2H (mATX) and A55-DS3P. We don't know much about these models beyond the A75-D3H which was previewed by, also just before Computex. The obvious difference between the A75-D3H and the A75-UD4H besides having slightly less copper in the PCB layers include the loss of two of the four front USB 3.0 ports, but there are still four ports around the back, no FireWire and no DisplayPort connectors, a slightly more basic PWM design and finally one of the x1 PCI Express slots was changed for a PCI slot. The Ultra Durable 1 boards consist of the A75M-S2V (mATX), A55-S3P, A55M-S2HP (mATX), A55M-S2H (mATX) and A55M-S2V (mATX). Sadly we can't offer much in terms of details of any of these boards and the only thing we really know is that they're using regular solid capacitors rather than Japanese made capacitors, a concern for overclockers but unlikely to be an issue for your average consumer.

So what about the changes to the A75-UD4H? Well, not much has changed since we saw an early board at the back-end of May, but the red ports at the back have been replaced by yellow ones. What we didn't know back then as well was that Gigabyte has kitted out the board with a dual-link DVI port and claims that this is a world's first. The benefit of this is that you can either drive a display with a resolution higher than 1920x1200/2048x1152 or and possibly more importantly in

The board also supports AMD's Radeon Dual Graphics as well as CrossFire. This means that you could get an APU to start with, then add a graphics card for a performance boost and then a second graphics card to take things even further. Gigabyte claims a 3DMark Vantage P score of about 4,000 points for AMD's A8-3850 APU for this board using 4GB of DDR3-1866MHz memory, although this can be boosted to 5,600 3DMarks by overclocking the APU. Adding a Radeon HD 6670 graphics card boosts the score to 10,173 points which seem like pretty decent performance for what should be an affordable combination, even though the APU is the top of the line model. Gigabyte is suggesting that this combination offers a US$40-60 saving compared to getting a similar performing graphics card.

The final slide we decided to include here shows the performance difference that can be expected by combining one of AMD's desktop APU's with a discrete graphics card and although it's a smaller performance boost on the highend, it's a pretty impressive performance boost on the lowend, especially considering that AMD's A4 APU is apparently outperforming its own Radeon HD 6450 graphics card in 23

June 20th, 2011

Published by: VR-Zone

3DMark Vantage. Hit the source link for a few more slides, although you do need a Facebook account to see them.

Sony launches Music Unlimited app for Android Source: June 20th, 2011

Need another music streaming service for your Androidpowered smartphone? If so, look no further than Sony to deliver on such needs with a new app that gives users access to its Music Unlimited digital music cloud service, where they can listen to Internet radio stations and stream their favourite songs onto any Android-powered smartphones. And from the looks of it, Sony's offering might just have what it takes to one-up the competition in the race to provide the best music streaming service consumers are looking for. With cloud computing being the biggest buzzword in data processing and accessibility today, it really should not be surprising to see many companies start jumping onto the bandwagon in a bid to offer consumers their own take of what a cloud server should be, especially when said consumers are slowly but surely starting to see the potential benefits of having their data readily accessible, regardless of their location. And leave to to Sony to offer Android users with yet another cloud based music service, Music Unlimited, that boasts a few unique features not found on other competing online music streaming services currently offered by the competition. Officially launched by Sony yesterday, the Music Unlimited app allows users of Android-powered smartphones to gain access to its digital cloud-based music streaming service, which was previously available for variety of Sony-branded devices such as its PlayStation 3 video game console, Internetcapable television sets and Blu-ray players. At the time this article is published the app is already available on the Android Market and can be downloaded at no cost, although users will need to foot monthly subscription fees if they intend to make use of the Music Unlimited streaming service.

According to Sony, the Music Unlimited app comes with a feature that allows it to scan a user's music library and allow them to stream the same songs to any compatible Androidpowered smartphone from its huge database of songs without having to upload the same tracks online to its server first. Apparently, Sony can offer such a feature simply because it owns the rights to millions of popular songs due to its status as one of the biggest record companies in the world. To many, this feature will undoubtedly come across as a huge time saver, considering how most average users have music collections which stretches into gigabytes territory, and having to upload such large collections manually to a cloud is an act that can take hours, or even days. In addition, Sony also claims that users who sign up for its Premium plan will score unlimited access to the entire catalog of songs available in its database; this means that users can stream and listen to songs which they do not own directly onto the Android-powered handsets. In contrast, Apple's iCloud streaming service limits users to streaming songs thatr they already own, and that puts it at a huge disadvantage when one compares the huge selection of tracks that Sony immediately has at its disposal. Unfortunately, it seems that not all countries will be fortunate enough to be blessed with access to Sony's Music Unlimited streaming service for Android-powered smartphones. Apparently, the service is only available in Europe, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, and Sony has made no announcements as to whether it intends to introduce the service to other countries, if at all. But more importantly, with Sony still reeling from the aftermath of having both its PlayStation Network and Music Unlimited services forced offline as a result of hackers managing to compromise the company's servers, whether millions of Android users are willing to take a leap of faith and entrust the company with data pertaining to their music libraries once again remain to be seen.


June 20th, 2011

Published by: VR-Zone

Fujitsu PC Asia Pacific unveils STYLISTIC Q550 slate PC in Singapore Source: June 20th, 2011

Fujitsu PC Asia Pacific today launched their new STYLISTIC Q550 slate PC that is designed for business professionals. It is powered by 1.5GHz Intel Atom Z670 processor, runs Microsoft Windows 7 operating system and comes with an optional stylus pen for writing and drawing. The STYLISTIC Q550 is scheduled to be available next month.

Matthew Hardman, Windows Client Business Group Lead of Microsoft Singapore, was also at the event and talked about the slate devices for Windows 7 are designed to meet enterprise end user needs; they are optimized for online and offline data storage, support content creation and consumption and support variety of devices and peripherals.

Ivan Ong, associate director, South East Asia Operations, Fujitsu PC Asia Pacific said that the company introduced the new STYLISTIC Q550 to meet the most stringent business requirements. "The STYLISTIC Q550 is an accumulation of twenty years of Fujitsu's tablet PC engineering expertise that offers features and capabilities that allow mobile workforce to be more productive anywhere, anytime. The slate PC can also integrate perfectly into existing IT infrastructure such that it can be deployed as easily as a notebook PC, offering a full suite of security features like the fingerprint sensor, smart card reader, full disk encryption and TPM (Trusted Platform Module)" Ong said.

Edmund Lim, product marketing manager, Fujitsu PC Asia Pacific, did a product demonstration on the features of the Fujitsu STYLISTIC Q550. According to Lim, the non-3G version of the STYLISTIC Q550 will be available in early July in Asia Pacific (including Singapore), while the 3G model will be available end July. For Singapore, only selected stores will be selling the Q550 althought for consumers, it would be the model with the stylus pen. The suggested retail price for the STYLISTIC Q550 is S$1,788 (price varies according to customized specifications) and comes in Blue or Black.


June 20th, 2011

Published by: VR-Zone

At the rear are the 1.3-megapixel camera, fingerprint sensor and SDHC card slot. The Q550 comes with either 2- or 4-cell Lithium-ion battery that claims to offer a battery life of 4.5 hours and 9 hours respectively.

Fujitsu has also a wide range of accessories for use with the STYLISTIC Q550 including a nylon folio case, cradle, USB optical mouse, Bluetooth keyboard and external USB Super Multi Writer.

Microsoft rejects WebGL over security concerns The STYLISTIC Q550 features a 10.1-inch IPS WXGA antiglare touchscreen display that boasts 400nits brightness and 500:1 contrast ratio. On its sides, you will find the USB, HDMI out, HDA out, port replicator, as well as power button and wireless switch.

Source: June 20th, 2011

Say what you want about Microsoft, but it is clear that the Redmond software giant is taking a very strong stance on security recently, especially after its experience in dealing with the security disasters that were Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6. In fact, so uncompromising is the company's stand that Microsift has decided to reject the open WebGL in favor 26

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of its own Direct3D technology for accelerating 3D graphics on browsers, in spite of it having voiced broad support for HTML5 and new web-based standards. Read on to find out more... When Microsoft officially released Internet Explorer 9 for the masses, there was much excitement over what appeared to be a new web browser from a company which, at the time, appeared to have finally seen the light with regards to open web standards. Indeed, at the time of its launch, Internet Explorer 9 was known to be the most standards-compliant browser ever released from Microsoft, and many are expecting that the upcoming Internet Explorer 10 is set to carry on the trend of what seems to be Microsoft's genuine efforts to embrace such standards. However, it is also clear that the Redmond giant is still planing to draw a fine line between open standards and security, and is always more than ready to drop the former in favor of proprietary solutions if it does not match up to the company's own Security Development Lifecycle requirements. And one prominent aspect of HTML5 which has been unceremoniously given the boot from Microsoft is that of WebGL, which is a software library based on OpenGL ES 2.0 and designed to provide an API for the rendering of 3D graphics on a web browser via HTML5's canvas element.

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running off Microsoft's own restricted Direct2D and Direct3D APIs. To further complicate matters, a recent study has confirmed that none of the current WebGL implementations in browsers today conform to the standards set forth by the Khronos group, which is a clear sign of just how immature the standard really is. Last but not least, Microsoft claims that the reliance on insecure and buggy display drivers for use in WebGL will open doors to "problematic system denial-of-service scenarios", due to the fact that "modern operating systems and graphics infrastructure were never designed to fully defend against attacker-supplied shaders and geometry". The Redmond giant further believes that this will allow rogue websites "to freeze or reboot systems at will", which may have the potential to bring down "critical infrastructure". With that said and done, it looks like Microsoft's stand on WebGL is as definitive as it can get. Until most major browser developers can agree on a universal implementation of WebGL that conforms to the Khronos group's specifications and graphics card manufacturers start ensuring that their drivers do not end up opening more holes in an operating system for hostile websites to attack from, WebGL is not going to get itself any love from the likes of Microsoft.

Kingston HyperX SO-DIMM Rams Certified for Intel XMP According to a recent post made on Microsoft's TechNet blogs, the engineering team over at Microsoft's Security Response Center (MSRC) made the decision not to endorse WebGL over three critical security flaws which it considers to be "harmful". The first flaw pointed out by the MSRC's team centers around the fact that WebGL's very nature allows the API to expose too much low-level information about a system and its accompanying hardware to the Internet, up to a point where even Microsoft describes it to be "overly permissive". The posting also goes on to claim that Microsoft expects the large amount of information exposed in WebGL to result in the authoring of customized bugs "that exist only on certain platforms or with certain video cards, potentially facilitating targeted attacks". The second flaw, as contended by Microsoft, is that WebGL is too dependent on third-party code in order to ensure that users are able to enjoy a proper web experience. In addition, Microsoft has also singled out video card drivers as one of the weakest links in WebGL security, claiming that some of the vulnerabilities in the standard "will not always manifest in the WebGL API itself", and that "the problems may exist in the various OEM and system components delivered by IHV". The post also goes on to explain how most video card manufacturers tend to adopt a yearly update schedule for their hardware drivers, a practice which Microsoft has criticized as bring incompatible with "the needs of a security update process". And it seems that Microsoft may be right on this one, considering how Mozilla itself had to blacklist a large number of hardware configurations due to driver issues, even when

Source: June 20th, 2011

Kingston's 2133MHz HyperX SO-DIMM memory module is now Intel XMP-compatible. It is one of the fastest notebook memory modules in the market. More details inside.

The Kingston HyperX 2133MHz 4GB SO-DIMM memory kit (Kingston part #: KHX2133C9S3K2/4GX) has been tested 27

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Published by: VR-Zone

with the ASRock HD65-MXM motherboard which was installed with Intel Core i7 2920XM processor. In the tests, the Kingston HyperX rams ran at the rated frequency of 2133MHz with 9-11-9-27 timings at 1.5V. Kingston will also provide a lifetime warranty and free technical support for consumers who purchase the HyperX memory. Enthusiasts using laptops will be delighted to have this.

Kinect's Windows SDK Beta Released Source: June 20th, 2011

Computer with dual-core, 2.66GHz processor Windows 7 compatible graphics card that supports DirectX 9.0c 2GB Ram Software Windows 7 Visual Studio 2010 Express Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 For more information regarding Kinect for Windows SDK Beta: Microsoft Download Kinect for Windows SDK Beta: Microsoft

Nintendo Wii U to use AMD Radeon Graphics Kinect for Xbox 360 had been released for some time already. How does Kinect for PC sound? Microsoft has released the official Windows SDK Beta for Kinect. More details inside.

Source: June 20th, 2011

The Wii U shown during this year's E3 is rumored to be using the AMD's previous generation graphics card. The Wii U will be available in 2012. More details inside.

The Kinect for Windows SDK Beta is basically a programming toolkit that will allow users to access the Kinect device easily. With some creativity and knowledge in programming, users can create applications which utilise the Kinect device in Windows 7. Some of the SDK features include raw sensor streams, skeletal tracking, advanced audio capabilities, sample code and documentation. However, a point to note: this SDK is for non-commercial purposes only. A commercial version will be available later. System Requirements Hardware

Xbox 360 Kinect

Nintendo Wii U is said to be using an AMD Radeon HD 4000 series graphics card. The GPU is based on a RV770 core which is capable of DirectX 10.1 and Shader Model 4.0. GPUs used in Xbox 360 and PS3 can only handle up to DirectX 9 and have Shader Model 3.0. The Wii U is about 26.7cm long, 17.3cm wide and 4.6cm thick and will come with a media bay to load in Wii optical discs. It cannot support DVD or Blu-ray disc though. The Nintendo Wii U is scheduled to launch in 2012.

Battlefield 3: Physical Warfare Pack and Back to Karkand Expansion dates announced Source:


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DICE, developers of the Battlefield series of FPS games, have posted on their blog today to clarify that that the Battlefield 3 Physical Warfare Pack, initially announced as an exclusive pre-order weapons upgrade DLC, will be unlocked for free to all Battlefield 3 players after the title release on 25th October 2011 later this year. Relieved Battlefield fans should now see it as a "reward for pre-ordering" and not a "punishment for not pre-ordering". The much hyped Back to Karkand expansion (remake of 4 BF2 goldies maps - Strike at Karkand, Gulf of Oman, Sharqi Peninsula and Wake Island) will also be released some time after the BF3 base game, developed by the same team that did BFBC2: Vietnam.

DICE, developers of the Battlefield series of FPS games, have posted on their blog today to clarify that that the Battlefield 3 Physical Warfare Pack, initially announced as an exclusive pre-order weapons upgrade DLC, will be unlocked for free to all Battlefield 3 players after the title release on 25th October 2011 later this year. Relieved Battlefield fans should now see it as a "reward for pre-ordering" and not a "punishment for not pre-ordering".

Panasonic announces Android Toughbook tablet Source: June 20th, 2011

If you're one of those users that always end up in situations where your devices break, then you're most likely familiar with Panasonic's range of Toughbook notebooks. Panasonic has announced that it's going to launch a Toughbook Android tablet that should arrive sometime in the fourth quarter of this year.

Published by: VR-Zone

If you're one of those users that always end up in situations where your devices break, then you're most likely familiar with Panasonic's range of Toughbook notebooks. Panasonic has announced that it's going to launch a Toughbook Android tablet that should arrive sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. The so far unnamed tablet, simply going by Toughbook tablet at the moment will be shown of InfoComm in Florida which kicks off today. It's not intended as a consumer tablet, but instead this should be the first corporate Android tablet. Panasonic didn't reveal much in terms of specifications, but considering that the tablet will have a 10.1-inch screen with XGA resolution (1024x768) we might be looking at an Gingerbread free tablet.

What little is given away in the press release tells us that the tablet will come with a stylus, but it's not clear if we're looking at a resistive touch screen or some other kind of technology. The good news is that the tablet will have a matte screen, so it should be easy to read. Beyond the screen, the only other specifications listed include full-shift (read 8h) battery life, integrated GPS, 3G and/or 4G connectivity and â&#x20AC;&#x153;professional-gradeâ&#x20AC;? accessories. The picture of the tablet also suggests that it will be possible to store several user profiles on it, as it has a dedicated user button beyond the menu, home, back and power buttons. Most of us won't need a Toughbook level ruggedized tablet, but it's good to know that the option is out there and hopefully we'll see a few other manufacturers follow suite with some more consumer oriented models that can take a knock or two and still survive. Expect to pay silly money for the Toughbook tablet, but we can imagine that there are quite a few companies out there that can't wait to get their hands on one.

MSI readying second mATX Z68 board Source:


June 20th, 2011

Published by: VR-Zone

June 20th, 2011

So far MSI has announced surprisingly few Intel Z68 based motherboards and if you swing by MSI's website you'll notice that there are a mere three models listed. A fourth model and MSI's second mATX Z68 board is on the way though, although we don't quite follow MSI's reasoning on where this model ends up in MSI's range of boards. So far MSI has announced surprisingly few Intel Z68 based motherboards and if you swing by MSI's website you'll notice that there are a mere three models listed. A fourth model and MSI's second mATX Z68 board is on the way though, although we don't quite follow MSI's reasoning on where this model ends up in MSI's range of boards. The upcoming model is called the Z68MA-G45 and the G in the second half of the model name signifies that this is a gaming board. The current mATX model is the Z68MA-ED55 where the E tells you that it's part of MSI's Extreme series of boards and as such should be a higher-end model than the Z68MAG45, but this isn't quite the whole truth in this case.

You see, the Z68MA-ED55 sports a pair of x16 PCI Express slots, but the board lacks support for CrossFire and SLI, as the secondary slot only offers four lanes worth of bandwidth. A surprising move on a high-end model like this and what's even more surprising is that the upcoming Z68MA-G45 offers support for both CrossFire and SLI. The basic layout of the two boards is near identical, with two x16 PCI Express slots and two x1 PCI Express slots, but the Z68MA-G45 is equipped with the all-important switches which enables the two slots to work in dual x8 mode, or at least it is if you want to use two graphics cards. The Z68MA-G45 should end up cheaper than the Z68MAED55 as well, as the missing D in the model name signifies DrMOS, something that isn't present on the Z68MA-G45. The board has a fairly basic 4+1 PWM design whereas the Z68MAED55 sports DrMOS, SFC chokes and tantalum capacitors, all of which are expensive components and none of which are present on the Z68MA-G45. That said, we're not looking at a feature stripped board beyond this as pretty much everything you'd want it still there.

As this is a mATX board it only has the standard four SATA 3Gbps and two SATA 6Gbps ports from the Intel chipset. What struck us as rather unusual when we first saw the pictures of the board were the angled pin-headers along the bottom edge, as they're all at 90 degree angle. The reason behind this appears to be so that you can fit a dual-slot graphics card easier, but you'd of course need a case with five slots at the back for this to work. There appear to be three pin-headers for a total of six USB 2.0 ports, but things like the front audio, S/PDIF in and the chassis connectors are all also at an angle. Oddly enough MSI has also included pin-headers for a serial and a parallel port, just above the power connector. The board sports a really simple heatsink, although the one in our pictures might not be the final one.

Around the back we find a PS/2 port, six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports (MSI is still using Renesas chips), a Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio and a D-sub, DVI and HDMI port. The only things missing here compared to the Z68MAED55 are a FireWire port and an optical S/PDIF of which only the latter might be an issue for some users. The board should arrive shortly and it comes with Lucid Logix's Virtu software. Sadly we don't know what it'll cost, but judging by how many features MSI dropped, we'd bet this will be a pretty affordable board. At least this is one of only a handful of mATX Z68 board in the market and looking at the specs alone, this could turn out to be a fairly successful model for MSI. Just one thing MSI, when you have to start putting "Top Quality & Stability" on your boxes to convince 30

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Published by: VR-Zone

your potential customers that you have a great product, then something has gone a little bit wrong.


June 28th, 2011

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

Logitech announces new M185 wireless mouse capable of 12month battery life Source: June 28th, 2011

Wireless mice. Don't we all love them for the luxury to use our mice in any way we see fit without having to deal with the pesky cable that always seems to restrict one's freedom of movement while working at the PC? Well, leave it to Logitech to makethe experience of using a wireless mouse even better by introducing a new wireless mouse that is reportedly capable of lasting for up to 12 months on a single battery charge. Read on to find out more about Logitech's new wireless mouse...

There is no denying that wireless mice are like a godsend for those who simply cannot stand the idea of having to deal with a pesky cable that isseemingly designed with the sole purpose of getting in the way of one's working or gaming needs. However, it is also true that one of the biggest peeves most owners have with wireless input devices is that they seem to be capable of going through batteries at very fast rates, a trait which is definitely not going to endear it to the busy PC user who cannot afford to deal with any form of downtime at all. Fortunately, it seems that Logitech has come up with a solution to address this need, and it comes in the form of its M185 wireless mouse.

According to Logitech, the Logitech Wireless Mouse M185 is capable of providing up to a full year of uptime without the need for any battery replacements during the aforementioned period, and sports both an On/Off switch and smart sleep mode to help users gain the most out of the device's battery uptime. Also present on the M185 wireless mouse is a "helpful indicator light", which the company claims is designed to help "eliminate low-power surprises". In addition, Logitech claims that the M185 is capable of lightning-fast data transmission and precise tracking, features which it attributes to the use of its Advanced Optical Tracking technology and nano-receiver. Last but not least, Logitech has also confirmed that the M185 wireless mouse comes with built-in support for "advanced 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity", which is reportedly capable of delivering "a dependable connection with virtually no delays or dropouts". The Logitech Wireless Mouse M185 is currently available for sale at all Logitech authorised resellers (including Challenger) in three different colours (Blue, Red and Swift Grey) at the suggested retail price of S$19.90.

Seagate announces availability of new GoFlex Ultra-portable external hard pink Source: June 28th, 2011

With external storage devices such as portable hard disks now being neccessities for keeping one's data portable, it would make sense that users will crave products which allow them to show off their individuality in a sea of similar-looking devices. And as far as Seagate is concerned, the best way to fulfill such a need will be to deck out its products with bright colours that 1

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are reportedly capable of "perking up dull days" and giving one "a fashionable reason to be tech-savvy", like what it has done with its new GoFlex Ultra-portable external hard disk, which is now available Yep. We all know that portable hard disks are but one of the essential tools that any PC user needs to ensure that they can always access their data in the event that there is no Internet connection available for doing so via online means. However, the fact that most OEMs only offer a limitted variety of colours for their external hard disks does not do much to help a consumer satisfy his or her need for individuality, although it seems that Seagate is about to remedy that situation with the introduction of a new addition to its GoFlex Ultra-portable hard disk, which, unlike most of the competition, is available in a bright pink hue.

Looks aside, there is little else to distinguish the new, limited edition, pink-coloured Seagate GoFlex Ultra-portable from its 'normal edition' counterparts, at least where performance is concerned. Stashed away under that bright pink body is a 500GB hard disk which, according to Seagate, allows for easy and fast storage, backup and access to one's photos, movies and music. More importantly, Seagate claims that the device is slim enough to be slipped into any IT bag without issues, so portability is definitely not going to be a problem. Last but definitely not least, the GoFlex Ultra-portable external hard disk makes use of the superspeed USB3.0 interface which is capable of data transmission speeds of up to 5 Gbits/s, which is 10 times faster than what you can get with a typical USB 2.0 device.

Published by: VR-Zone

a single page through a single query. And it even has an interesting name to boot, too. Even though most people make use of Google's online searching services on a daily basis, we often find ourselves being completely unaware about any plans the search giant may have that could potentially assist users in further reducing the time needed to sort through the huge number of results that usually get returned every time a query is made. However, it seems that Google is fully aware that its services could use a little more work, for we have received word from various online sources that the company is reportedly trying out a certain new service that is capable of doing just that, while trying to appear a little more personal in the process. Of course, to get the most out of this service, you will probably have to let Google know what you love:

Jokes aside, Google's new search service, which is known as "What do you love?", is seemingly designed around the idea that the typical user is most likely to utilize simple, one-word queries for their searching needs, and that sorting through various text links that claims to contain the information sought after is not the most efficient of ways to get quick answers. And from the looks of it, What do you love? aims to tackle that problem by compiling its search results from its various services such as text links, image search, trends, videos, books and even email services, into a single page which is then presented to the user, such as the one we received when our curiosity got the better of us:

If that has gotten you interested in being the proud new owner of a pink GoFlex Ultra-portable external hard disk, it can be purchased from Challenger stores at the price of S$109.

Google wants to know what you love with new service Source: June 28th, 2011

Everybody knows that Google wants to help users make the most out of their time spent on utilizing its search engine to get to the information they need in the shortest amount of time possible, but it seems that the search giant may have outdone itself this time. Apparently, the company is in the midst of trying out a new service which is supposedly capable of allowing consumers to retrieve a wide range of results in

Looks great, does it not? Well, as nice as the presentation may seem, it is also clear that What do you love? comes with some flaw, chief of which is the fact that the service does not really seem to like it when users request for specific or detailed queries. Rather, it seems that the best way to obtain results from What do you love? is to keep your search string as simple and broad as possible, and this brings us back to the point we described earlier, where users are most likely to input one-word queries for their searching needs. Even then, it seems that certain one-word queries can be narrow 2

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enough to confuse the service; our example above had Google complaining about how "Android" is not simple enough for it to turn up any information under the "Buy" panel.

Published by: VR-Zone

performance. However, it seems that this is about to change today, if a certain notebook which is currently available for sale on Amazon is supposed to mean anything.

Still, we cannot help but admit that this is an interesting effort by Google to make online searching more convenient: by leveraging all its existing services to provide the best possible results in a single page, users can potentially spend more time actually working with the relevant information as opposed to having to sieve through the likes of thousands of possible results through seperate Google services. To top it off, the results page is also remarkably well-designed, which makes browsing through the results a snap. Last but not least, we were rather tickled to see Google utilize a heart as the button for the search field. Don't worry Google, we love you too.

Sandy Bridge-powered ENVY 14 Beats Edition notebook shows up in Amazon Source: June 28th, 2011

HP's ENVY 14 Beats Edition notebook may be well-known among audiphones and notebook users as one such device which boasts some serious enphasis on how notebook audio can and should be, but the fact that HP has yet to refresh the notebook with some love in the form of Intel's latest processors may probably turn some people off from the purchase. Until today, that is: apparently, there is a certain ENVY 14 Beats Edition notebook that is currently up for sale at Amazon which is powered by Intel's Sandy Bridge platform.

Now that Intel's mobile Sandy Bridge platform for has been out on the market long enough for people to consider it "mainstream", it would make sense that most OEMs would have already refreshed their notebook lineup with the aforementioned platform. After all, it is important to ensure that their products are more than capable of meeting their consumers' needs and demands.

While Amazon did not explicitely specify the processor's model number, it did not take long for us to determine that the hardware used in this particular notebook is not part of the standard configuration that is currently being offered by HP. Indeed, a quick look at HP's product page reveals that there are only three processors available for consumers to choose from in the ENVY 14 Beats edition: an i3-370M, an i7-720QM and i7-740QM. Yep, no i5 in the list there.

More importantly, Amazon's mention of a 2.3GHz i5 processor was the final piece of the puzzle to give away the game that the particular ENVY 14 Beats Edition notebook which it currently has for sale is one that is powered by Intel's Sandy Bridge platform. For one, there is no Arrandale-based mobile i5 processor which is shipped with a clock speed of 2.3GHz, but a certain Sandy Bridge-based chip known as the i5-2410M does.

That being said, HP's premium ENVY 14 Beats Edition notebook was starting to appear like the odd player out due to the fact that the notebook has yet to receive any Sandy Bridge love from the company, in spite of it being positioned as a highend product that boasts both exceptional audio quality and 3

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With all the pieces of the puzzle falling into place, it does not require much for one to deduce that HP must have silently updated its ENVY 14 Beats Edition notebook to bring its performance up to par with the competition. Still, one has got to wonder why this particular configuration has yet to make itself known in HP's very own product page...

EVGA Releases Frostbite Thermal Grease Source: June 28th, 2011

EVGA follows up after the release of Superclock CPU Cooler by introducing its very own Frostbite Thermal Grease. More details inside.

Published by: VR-Zone

See the specifications from the EVGA website.

The Daily VR-Zone News Summary - 27 June 2011 Source: June 28th, 2011

In today's news roundup: Intel has released some details about its upcoming Haswell microarchitecture, while claiming that its upcoming chips that are based off this architecture will feature new instruction sets that will see it being capable of accelerating a greater variety of "applications and workloads"; Elpida Memory Inc. has just announced a new memory module which boasts a four-layer PCB that is reportedly "only 0.8mm thick, is based on PoP (Package on Package) technology and consists of 4 low power DDR2 chips that each has a capacity of 2Gb, thus giving the module a total capacity of 1GB"; Jabra has announced today that they will be launching two new Bluetooth headsets - the EASYCAL, which is designed for users who have no experience in dealing with such devices, and the CRUISER2 in-car speaker phone for users who prefer to hear their telephone conversions through a proper speaker; Word has it that Nokia is planning to update its smartphone lineup with at least three more Symbian Anna-based devices, and they will come in the form of the Nokia N5, Nokia N6 and Nokia N7; Our sister site SGCafe has just published a review on the Xbox 360 version of Ubisoft's recently-published rhythmic action game, Child of Eden, and Bethesda has announced that the first downloadable content pack for the Brink video game will be made available for free to players for a limited time as a form of gift to players who have had to deal with the severe lag found in game's multiplayer mode prior to the flaw being fixed in a recent patch. Hardware news

The EVGA Frostbite Thermal Grease is claimed to have high heat conductivity for maximum thermal transfer. It is also designed for easy application. Furthermore, it was tested by renowned overclocker, Vince "K|ngp|n" Lucido. The Frostbite Thermal Grease has over 30% silver content and a thermal conductivity of 6.5W/M. The thermal grease will come in 2 grams syringe.

Cooler Master Storm Enforcer Mid-Tower Case Review @ Description: Cooler Master has always made a good impression with their cases, and the Storm Enforcer midtower case continues this tradition. Some of the things that would-be buyers might be most pleased to see include tool-less drive installation, water cooling grommets, support for long video cards, good cable management features, and support for solid state drives. 4

June 28th, 2011

OCZ Agility 3 240 GByte Review @ ocaholic Description: With the Agility 3, OCZ has a Solid State Drive in its portfolio which is based on the latest SandForce SF-2200 series SSD processor. The drive also features SATA-III support and OCZ claims that the drive can reach throughput rates of more than 500 MByte. Also for the IOPS the manufacturer promises sky-high numbers. When writing 4 KByte blocks the drive should be able to hit a whopoing 85'000 IOPS. With the Agility 3 OCZ uses asynchronous NAND Flash and we're really curious if one can spot this from benchmark results. Crucial m4 128GB SATA 6G Solid State Drive Review Description: Last year Crucial was the only major SSD manufacturer to offer a SATA III (6Gb) SSD, the RealSSD C300. When the C300 was first launched you only had two options to get the most out of the drive; use an expensive RAID controller capable of SATA 6G speeds or use a motherboard with a Marvell SATA 6G controller. Looking back, the Marvell SATA 6G chip was terrible and plagued with several problems at launch. Over time the SATA bridge chip became better, but even after several updates the X58 / Marvell combination still can't deliver the same performance as a native chipset solution. MSI R6850 Cyclone PE / OC Graphics Card Review @ Description: Discrete computer graphics are one of the toughest markets to keep current with. New graphics cores are released on a pretty frequent basis from both ATI and NVIDIA and with naming schemes that change nearly as often, it can be difficult to determine where each card stands in relation to others in the same price range. Today we will be taking a look at the MSI R6850 PE / OC graphics card, a mid-range GPU that was launched at the end of last year. Codenamed Barts, this GPU is built on a 40nm process with support for DirectX 11 & Open GL 4.0. Other notable features include HDMI 1.4a & DisplayPort 1.2 support as well as AMD Eyefinity multidisplay technology and CrossfireX support. AMD Radeon HD6850 & HD6950 CrossFire Performance @ BmR Description: To run today's PC games at high resolutions with all the settings maxed out you need a high end video Card, or two mid/high end video cards in CrossFire/SLI. The best thing about CrossFire/SLI is that you don't need to buy both cards at once, meaning you can spread out the cost of a system build, or simply wait until prices drop before you make your second purchase. Dual video card scaling has come a long way since its conception, in the early days Crossfire performance wasn't always what it was made out to be. However, our setups show near 90% scaling in most of our tests, this is great news for us budget enthusiasts out there as not all of us can afford to fork out $600 up front for the latest highest end equipment. In this article Benchmark Reviews will provide you with our performance and cost analysis of a HD6850 CrossFire setup and a HD6950 CrossFire setup. ASUS RoG Matrix GTX 580 Platinum 1.5GB DX11 Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion Description: The ASUS Matrix GTX580 Platinum is part of the Republic of Gamers line, designed for enthusiasts and hardcore overclockers. The ASUS Matrix GTX580 Platinum is outfitted with a custom cooling solution and equipped

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with a 19-phase Super Alloy Power technology. Similar to RoG motherboards, the ASUS Matrix GTX 580 Platinum has onboard voltage readout and volt-modding features as well as LED load indicators for the voltage adjustment and GPU load. In case an overclock is unstable, a handy “safe mode” BIOS reset switch can be found at the back that will restore the Matrix GTX 580 Platinum to its factory settings Intel Haswell on Track for Release in 2013, Will Sport New Instructions to Boost Wide Range of Apps Description: Intel Corp. earlier this month published the first details about its next-generation micro-architecture codenamed Haswell. The forthcoming chips will feature new instructions that accelerate a wide number of applications and workloads. Elpida does 4 layer DRAM Description: The Japanese memory manufacturer Elpida Memory Inc. (TYO:6665) has just announced a new interesting mobile memory module. The module is a 4 layer module that is only 0.8mm thick. It is based on PoP (Package on Package) technology and consists of 4 low power DDR2 chips that each has a capacity of 2Gb, thus giving the module a total capacity of 1GB. Consumer Electronics and Software News New VAIO L Series All-in-One desktop PC with 3D display from Sony Description: Sony's new VAIO L Series All-in-One desktop with 3D touchscreen display benefits from a full 1080p high definition 24-inch LED backlit multi-touch screen, packs a second generation Quad Core Intel Core i7-2720QM processor running at 2.2 GHz supported by 8GB of DDR3 system memory and is provided with 1TB of 7200RPM HDD storage. There's dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M graphics with 1GB of video memory, S-FORCE 3D Front Surround Sound technology, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 and a 1280 x 1024 resolution HD webcam which includes an Exmor CMOS image sensor and face tracking technology. A better Xbox Live to help Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Description: With the third major mobile platform up for grabs, Microsoft continues to improve its Windows Phone 7 platform, which has seen a lukewarm response so far against Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android systems. Microsoft is betting on something it has and rivals don’t however: a thriving Xbox Live game community that boasts 35 million members who average 60 hours per month each on the service. In the upcoming Mango software update, Microsoft is expanding and improving the Xbox Live gaming integration in an effort to attract more consumers to its mobile handset platform. HTC EVO 3D Coming to Europe in July Description: One of the most powerful Android-based smartphones around, the HTC EVO 3D, is coming to Europe this July, HTC has announced. The HTC EVO 3D runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and packs some mighty hardware: a 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1 GB of RAM memory, and a 1.3-megapixel front camera for video chats as well as dual 5megapixel cameras for capturing 3D images and videos. Arctic Sound P531 5.1 Surround Headset Review @ Real World Labs 5

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Description: Although the overall finish of the P531 Surround Headset by Arctic Sound is certainly not on par with the rest of the unit still it combines a very good in-game surround sound along with a somewhat attractive price tag. Slim ASUS Eee PC X101 to hit shelves next month Description: That super thin Eee PC X101 that we manhandled back at Computex is just about ready to make its retail debut. Starting in July you'll be able to pick up one of these MeeGorunning crimson clamshells for $199 or, if you're a fan of desktop apps, Windows 7 versions (X101H) starting at $310. Inside the base model you'll find a 1.33GHz, single-core Atom N435, a six-cell battery, and a small SSD (probably of the 16GB variety). Unfortunately, the two most important details -- can it cut a cake and will it blend -- remain unanswered. Jabra Announces CRUISER2 And EASYCALL Bluetooth Headsets Description: Jabra has announced today that they will be launching two new Bluetooth headsets, and will both be available exclusively at AT&T stores. Their first offering will be the EASYCALL Bluetooth headset, which they claim was designed for users who have not previously used Bluetooth headsets before. The EASYCALL headset features the ability for two devices to be paired with the headset, so if you had a phone for work, and another for your private life, you will be able to receive calls from either devices on the headset. This is definitely more convenient than having to pair the headset up with another device when you want to use it. Nokia N5 with Symbian Anna leaks, N6 and N7 on the way Description: Nokia is planning one of its first more entry-level Symbian Anna phones. A new leak Monday has shown the N5 using a now relatively small touchscreen and a five-megapixel camera but with a current and even possibly newer interface. The OS seen by GSMArena now has a very MeeGo-like app grid that's likely to help keep consistency between all of the nonWindows phone platforms.

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downloadable content pack will be made available for free to players for a limited time.

MySpace to axe a third of its staff, imminent shutdown predicted by many Source: June 28th, 2011

Looks like things are definitely not going well for what was formerly the world's most popular online social networking service. According to information that has been leaked out from inside sources, the company is currently planning to axe over a third of its workforce over the coming days, and that speculations of an imminent shutdown of the once-popular online social networking service now runs rampant among many. Read on to find out more. Facebook may be the de facto online social networking service to make use of today for keeping in touch with friends and acquaintances from all over the world , but there are many who will probably hold fond memories for older services which once held the honor of being the most popular such service available for users until they were soundly dethroned by the likes of Facebook. And apparently, life after getting dethroned from such a position has not been the most rosy for one such service: MySpace.

Gaming news Child of Eden Review – Xbox 360 Description: Child of Eden is a rhythmic based shooter game. It combines the best of shooters and music to formulate by far one of the best rhythm games I’ve played so far. You have the choice of either using the controller OR Kinect. For mindblowing results, I reccomend the Kinect. New AKB48 Game Puts You Dating in Guam Description: Last year, AKB48 fans were thrilled with the release of a AKB48 fan by Namco Bandai for the PlayStation Portable (PSP); they will be thrilled again. Namco Bandai has confirmed the sequel and will be titled “AKB1/48: I fell in love in Guam” Brink to Offer its DLC Free for Two Weeks Description: Brink has faced an uphill battle since release. Regardless of how you feel about its merits as a game, online play -- a major attraction for a shooter like Brink -- has faced serious issues with lag. A patch was released last month to fix them and another is on the way that will further address those problems, improve bot AI, and tweak weapon balance. As a gift to players, Bethesda has announced that the first

According to a report published by TechCrunch, an inside source has seemingly confirmed that the company has plans to commence yet another massive round of layoffs by as early as tomorrow, with almost 150 members of its 400-strong workforce being expected to lose their jobs. And if that is not bad enough, word has it that yet another 150 more staff will also be laid off, but will be put on a "transition plan" in which they will be allowed to continue working at MySpace for a few weeks with pay while they make use of the 'borrowed time' to search for employment options at other companies. This effectively reduces MySpace's entire workforce to no more than a mere 100 employees.


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Last but definitely not least, TechCrunch also reports that the troubled online social networking service, which was once considered the poster child for such services until the bubble popped, is preparing itself for a sale to another company, an act that is expected to take place this Friday. Although no information has been leaked out as to which company will be MySpace's new owner, rumour has it that Activision is the most likely candidate to purchase MySpace, and that the price MySpace's new owners are going to pay for the service will not come close to the US$100 million pricetag that News Corporation has slapped on it. That being said, many people will probably remember MySpace fondly for a variety of reasons, even if it does not deserve to come to such an end. As ZDNet's Zack Whittaker puts it, MySpace was the service which allowed "for dialup connected kids to express ourselves in a truly beautiful, hedonistic and open way".

Google's next phone to be called Nexus Prime? Source: June 28th, 2011

Well, look at what the rumour mill has chruned out today. Apparently, sources who privy to Google's plans for its next Nexus-branded smartphone are claiming that the search giant has apparently decided on a name for the new device, and that it will feature a "next-generation" system-on-a-chip or SoC that will reportedly be clocked at decently high speeds, along with various other features. Read on to find out more.

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That being said, it seems that Google's upcoming Nexus phone will be capable of delivering on that promise, if the rumors surrounding the device's hardware specifications are to be believed. According to a report posted by Boy Genius Report or BRG, the new phone will reportedly be dubbed the Nexus Prime (apparently, the staff over at Google are fans of Transformers), and that it will be shipped with a "vanilla" firmware of Ice Cream Sandwich that is free of any form of carrier or OEM customizations. However, the real draw of the "Nexus Prime" has got to be the hadware that goes into the device; BGR claims that the smartphone will feature a "Super AMOLED HD" display that boasts a native resolution of 720p, which is almost guaranteed to be supplied by the likes of Samsung, and that it will be Texas Instruments' TI OMAP 4460 system-on-a-chip, which features a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor clocked at 1.5GHz and a 384MHz PowerVR SGX540 GPU, that provides the handset's processing power. Last but not least, BGR's report claims that Google may be planning to expand its Nexus product line by working with a variety of OEMs and carriers to provide a Nexus-branded product that is exclusive to each company, and that all these products may be slated for a launch "at around the same time". In other words, this means that consumers will potentially have access to a wide range of Nexus smartphones from the likes of OEMs such as HTC, LG, Motorola, Sony Ericsson through various carriers "at practically the same time" on top of the "original" Nexus Prime to choose from for their next smartphone purchase. Now that has to be the best example of how choice is always a good thing, no?

ASRock Launches AMD A75 Chipset Based Motherboards Source: June 28th, 2011

ASRock launches the latest AMD A75 chipset based motherboards which will be available in five different models. Each model will cater for the different needs of various consumers. More details inside.

With Google having already launched two Nexus-branded phones, both of which would later go on to become huge successes on the retail market, it would make sense that the search giant will be keen to solidify its position in the smartphone industry by releasing yet another device to ensure that its Nexus brand remains well-remembered by consumers. After all, there is no better way to keep one's customers satisfied by pampering (or rather, tempting) them with newer products that promise to deliver significant improvements over its predecessors. 7

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The high end ASRock A75 motherboard, A75 Extreme6 will have three PCIe 2.0 x16 slots which allow up to 3-way CrossFireX. A75 motherboards will also support USB 3.0 and SATA 3, along with a bundled THX TruStudio package allowing great audio experience.

MSI Introduces AMD A75 Chipset Based Motherboard Source: June 28th, 2011

MSI has introduced their latest AMD A75 chipset based motherboard with MilitaryClass II components, the MSI A75MA-G55. More details inside.

ASRock will be offering five different A75 chipset based motherboards, A75 Extreme6, A75 Pro4, A75 Pro4-M, A75M and A75M-HVS. The A75 motherboards will feature the latest AMD Llano APUs as well as FM1 socket processors. The latest 32nm AMD APU will feature the AMD Radeon HD65XX/ HD64XX which will deliver DX11 graphics and other features such as AMD Steady video, which allows correction of blurry online video to a clearer one.

MSI's new A75MA-G55 motherboard is equipped with Military Class II components which are said to be certified by the US Department of Defense. Such components offer the highest quality and stability to end users which will supposedly allow better overclocking, optimal power consumption, as well as increasing the lifespan of motherboards. The MSI A75 based motherboard feaures USB 3.0, SATA 3 interface as well as Click BIOS and i-Charger. Click BIOS allows one to manipulate the BIOS with the mouse, and supports the booting of hard disk drivers over 2.2TB. i-Charger allows user to freely recharge their Apple iPad anytime after the software is installed and activated. Packed with integrated graphics, it offers DirectX 11 support, Full HD Blu-ray playback and AMD Steady Video. Last but not least, the MSI A75MA-G55 comes in the mATX form factor, which will be a hit amongst HTPC lovers.


June 28th, 2011

The Making of the Crysis 2 DirectX 11 Ultra Upgrade

Published by: VR-Zone June 28th, 2011

Source: June 28th, 2011

Crytek has published a rather informative "Making of the DX11 Ultra Upgrade for Crysis 2" document on MyCrysis about the graphical improvements and performance optimizations involved in the upgrade. Read more to see them... Also, stay tuned on VR-Zone for our comprehensive benchmarks, videos and image quality screenshot comparisons for NVIDIA and AMD Discreet GPUs, APUs and IGPs later today!

We've already seen plans to AMD to phase out its first generation of both APU's and AM3+ CPU's fairly quickly in favour for some kind of improved models. But what about its current socket AM3 CPU's? Well, it looks like the company is planning to phase them out even quicker. We've already seen plans to AMD to phase out its first generation of both APU's and AM3+ CPU's fairly quickly in favour for some kind of improved models. But what about its current socket AM3 CPU's? Well, it looks like the company is planning to phase them out even quicker. The Phenom II's are the first ones to go as AMD is expecting to have phased them out entirely by Q3, although this might have been shifted by a quarter by now, since as you can see, AMD expected to have both the A-series and the new FX-series out in the market at Q2, while they're only just making that date for the A-series. That said it's fairly certain we can expect the Phenom II's to be gone by Q4 this year and the Athlon II's are following the same destiny, although they might still be around early next year in small quantities if there's still demand for them.

AMD plans to phase out its AM3 Phenom II's ASAP Source:

By Q1 next year, unless of course AMD decided to delay its plans by a quarter, all we're left with is the E-series at the entrylevel, the A-series as AMD's main product and the FX-series being AMD's enthusiast platform having what AMD seems to expect, a similar share with the E-series of its total shipments. The current E-series of APUs will also be phased out with the single core E-240 being the first to go in Q4, having been replaced by the dual core E-300 model in Q3. The E-350 will hang around until Q1 2012, although it's more powerful sibling, the E-450 should launch in Q3 as well and it's going to be the really interesting part to watch as although it's only 50MHz faster it will feature an improved graphics core and support for faster DDR3 1333MHz memory. 9

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On a side note, only AMD's A-series of APU's will support Bluray 3D playback, so if you're planning on building an HTPC based on the E-series, think again if you want to watch Blu-ray 3D content. This includes the socket FM1 E2-3200 as well, but overall it's a minor consideration for most consumers.

Most FM1 motherboards get priced, in Europe Source: June 28th, 2011

Thursday is the official launch of AMD's desktop Llano platform, but it seems like the motherboard partners and online retailers are in a hurry, as most boards have already appeared online for sale, at least in some parts of the world. We've managed to dig up some pricing of boards from ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte and MSI, all on sale in Europe, but most likely in other parts of the world as well. Thursday is the official launch of AMD's desktop Llano platform, but it seems like the motherboard partners and online retailers are in a hurry, as most boards have already appeared online for sale, at least in some parts of the world. We've managed to dig up some pricing of boards from ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte and MSI, all on sale in Europe, but most likely in other parts of the world as well. We won't be giving you all the specs of the different models here, we're going to stick with model name and price in Euro and S$ and we've put it all in a simple to read table. Do note that we found prices for the last two models from ASRock and Asus, but they were too far out of line with the other models, so we didn't include them.

What's somewhat surprising is that the only two APU's that will be available at launch as far as we're aware, the A6-3650 and the A8-3850 cost about the same as the high-end A75 chipset motherboards with the A6-3650 currently listed for around â&#x201A;Ź108 (S$192) and the A8-3850 for around â&#x201A;Ź130 (S $230). That said, with a basic board costing very reasonable money, who's complaining as even the really stripped down ASRock A75M-HVS has both USB 3.0 and HDMI connectivity, although it doesn't have much else, but this is still good enough for a lot of people. This is also why we believe AMD will have a good chance with its Fusion platform, despite a lot of naysayers out there. True, AMD is not going to be able to compete with Intel on raw CPU performance, but we're looking at a vastly cheaper platform with superior graphics performance. The biggest problem for AMD is to get this message out to consumers while not running into any roadblocks placed in its way by a certain competitor that has been known to do such things in the past. As always, time will be the judge when it comes to how successful or not AMD will be this time around, but for the general mainstream market, AMD does at least in theory have a winner on its hands.

Crysis 2: World's First DirectX 11 Video, Benchmarks & Screenshots Source: June 28th, 2011


June 28th, 2011

Published by: VR-Zone

The long-awaited DirectX 11 update to Crysis 2 has finally arrived. Look inside for benchmarks, videos and screenshots galore to see Crysis 2 in its full glory! Don't forget to check back tomorrow for further updates, including benchmarks of AMD cards and CPU scaling! (Now with 1080p video! - link) Crysis 2 was released three months back to some disappointment. Despite a generally warm reception on the gameplay front, Crysis 2 was neither the eye-candy fest nor the graphics card torture test some were hoping for. If you recall, Crysis was the definitive real-world torture test back in its day. For quite some time after its release, even the most powerful systems struggled to run Crysis at maximum detail. Crysis 2's lack of graphical oomph was mainly due to missing DirectX 11 support at launch, which meant that Crysis 2 could not take advantage of the latest technologies such as tessellation. Fortunately, Crytek promised to add DirectX 11 support in a future patch, and, three months later, it has made good on its promise. Trust us when we say that Crysis 2 looks darn good with DirectX 11. In fact, it might just be reason enough to play the Crysis 2 single-player campaign all over again. See for yourself in the video below: To get DirectX 11 working on your copy of Crysis 2, you'll firstly need the 1.9 patch. After that, grab the DirectX 11 patch (64-bit Windows required). If you want to stress your graphics card even further, don't forget to download the High-Res Texture Patch. In total you'll need three files for the maximum eyecandy possible: • 1.9 Patch

With DirectX 11, it looks like Crysis 2 can finally assume its rightful place as the new Crysis. Check out the next page for some image quality comparisons.

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Review: Android tablet that offers no deception Source: June 28th, 2011

• DirectX 11 Patch (requires 64-bit Windows) • High-Res Texture Patch (optional) Hit MyCrysis for all the above files. Of course, you're also going to need a souped up system to run at maximum settings. We benchmarked Crysis 2 with a system comprising a Intel Core i7-965 and Nvidia GeForce GTX 580.

When it comes to the term "Transformer", most users would associate it with either the electrical device that transfers energy from one circuit to another, or the popular cartoon and movie. And if you have followed the news, it looks like ASUS has named their new Android tablet device the Eee Pad Transformer. So, how good and how different is this tablet as compared to the competition? Find out inside.


June 28th, 2011

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Tablets are gaining popularity and it is not surprising to see many manufacturers jumping on the bandwagon with their tablet devices, whereby most are based on the Google Android operating system, while some are on the Microsoft Windows 7 OS. Renowned Taiwanese manufacturer ASUS is also getting into the market with their latest Eee Pad Transformer. The 10.1-inch Eee Pad Transformer is powered by Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor and runs the new Android 3.1 Honeycomb operating system. Our review unit came with Android 3.0, but an update was available whereby it was updated to 3.1 through the air.

Rumours may be a good source of information at times, but there can also be cases whereby certain rumours may be nothing more than hoaxes with the potential to adversely affect the reputation of individual people or even huge companies. And in this case, the unfortunate victim of a recent rumour is none other than Twitter, who is currently finding itself at the middle of a little controversy over claims that it intends to start charging Japanese users for its services.

But it isn't only the tablet's solid feel, stylish design and specifications that makes the Eee Pad Transformer stands out from the rest. Apparently, ASUS has forged a unique keyboard docking station that turns the tablet into a mobile content creation device. Before we move on, here's a summary of the Eee Pad Transformer specifications:CPU Memory Screen Display Resolution Storage Wireless Camera Sensor


Battery Platform Dimensions Weight

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Nvidia Tegra 2 (dual-core) 1GB 10.1-inch IPS scratchresistant glass 1280x800 16GB/32GB + Unlimited ASUS WebStorage 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR 1.2MP front, 5MP autofocus rear G-sensor, light sensor, gyroscope, E-compass, GPS 2-in-1 audio jack (headphone/mic), microSD card reader, mini HDMI, 9.5 hrs / 16 hrs with dock Android 3.1 Honeycomb 270 x 180 x 13mm 680g

Twitter shoots down rumours that it intends to charge for its services in Japan Source: June 28th, 2011

Would you pay to use Twitter's services? Well, as outlandish as it might sound, that was the question which many Japanese twitters found themselves asking after word broke out that the company was seemingly in the midst of planning to charge its Japanese user base for the right to utilize its services. And apparently, this rumour had gathered so much momentum that the company had to step in and issue an official announcement that any claims of Twitter intending to levy some sort of fees for the right to utilize its services are nothing more than a hoax, and should not be believed. According to an article published by ITMedia, "information" of Twitter's supposed plans to start charging its Japanese user base first broke out when users stumbled upon a wellcrafted story in Uncyclopedia. Apparently, the article alleged that Twitter's CEO was upset at the fact that Japanese Twitter users were consuming so much bandwidth that the "fail whale" error screen was becoming a common occurrence in the Land of the Rising Sun, and that the situation was made much worse by the recent earthquake that leveled much of Northern Japan. The Uncyclopedia article also goes on to claim that Twitter's CEO did not take very kindly to how Japanese users were using Twitter as a tool for various tasks such as marketing and sharing information about local celebrities in the wake of the natural disaster, even going as far as to claim that Twitter has been reduced to a "stupid discovery machine" (machine translation). And apparently, the company's response to such alleged dissatisfaction with its user base was to start charging users for Twitter's services to prevent consumer abuse, with the most recent update to the Uncyclopedia article seemingly "confirming" the fact that Twitter will commence operations as a pay-to-use service come July, where consumers will be charged at various rates, depending on the number of tweets they send out.


June 28th, 2011

Published by: VR-Zone

Needless to say, this piece of "news" was not well received by the Japanese, although the good news is that Twitter has since stepped in to squash the "news" as being nothing more than a hoax, and that Twitter's services will remain free-to-use for all Japanese. Then again, this just goes to show how powerful unsubstantiated rumors can be, even if they originate from sources that have been known to be extremely unreliable. After all, whoever gets their news from a site like Uncyclopedia?

ECS Makes A75 Motherboards Official; ATX & micro-ATX models detailed Source: June 28th, 2011

Details of A75 motherboards have been leaking worse than Deepwater Horizon, but today motherboard makers have finally gone official. ECS has lined up three motherboards for use with A-series desktop APUs. Specifications and pictures after the break. With just days to go before desktop Llano's official release, ECS has announced its A75 motherboard lineup. Currently, there are two micro-ATX boards and a single ATX model.

We previously previewed the A75F-A, which belongs to the enthusiast-oriented Black Deluxe series. The A75F-M has similar features but only has one PCIe x16 slot. The A75F-M2 will be the cheapest model, possessing only two DIMM slots and 6-channel audio. Model A75F-A (Black Deluxe)



Supported SpecificationForm CPU Factor AMD AMD A4xDDR3, ATX Hudson D3 series APU 4xUSB 3.0, 5xSATA 6.0Gb/s, 1xeSATA 6.0Gb/s, 1xPCIex16, HDMI/ DVI/D-Sub 8-Ch HD Audio with S/PDIF 4xDDR3, Micro-ATX 4xUSB 3.0, 6xSATA 6.0Gb/s, 1xPCIex16, HDMI/ DVI/DSub, 8-Ch HD Audio 13

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with S/ PDIF A75F-M2 2xDDR3, 4xUSB 3.0, 6xSATA 6.0 Gb/s, 1PCIex16, HDMI/ DVI(Optional)/ D-Sub, 6-Ch HD Audio In addition to the standard A75 repertoire of SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0, ECS is also advertising their unique applications which include EZ Charger, eDLU, eBLU and MIB III.

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ECS Black Deluxe A75F-A, A75F-M and A75F-M2 all support the latest AMD A series APU with AMD Hudson D3 chipset and AMD FM-1 socket. With native USB 3.0 and SATA 6.0Gb/s powered by AMD Hudson D3 chipset, ECS A75 series represents the official arrival of new age of high transportation speed, and that USB 3.0 and SATA 6.0Gb/s have also officially become the basic equipment for every computer. The Latest AMD Fusion TM A Series APU Platform Supporting the latest AMD FusionTM A series APU means that ECS A75 series has great graphics ability to support DirectX 11, UVD 3 and all provide at least two outputs of HDMI and D-Sub(VGA). ECS A75 series motherboards all supply ECS unique applications: EZ Charger/eDLU/eBLU/MIB III for users to experience the convenient using environment. Last but not least, all A75 series motherboards have anti-static (ESD) protect, ensure the durability of your computer to keep your motherboard safe from electrostatic damage. About ECS The Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) has been a pioneer in designing and manufacturing computer motherboards since 1987. Today, the motherboard maker also designs and manufactures desktop PCs, notebooks, servers, motherboards, video cards, wireless solutions and handheld devices for distributors worldwide. Headquartered in Taiwan with operations in North America, Europe and China, Korea and Japan, ECS also has ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified manufacturing facilities in China.

See the full press release below: ECS Presents A75 Series, the Latest AMD Fusion TM APU Platform to Color Your Vision. Taipei, Taiwan, June, 2011 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) introduces the latest AMD based motherboard series â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ECS Black Deluxe A75F-A, and ECS mainstream series A75F-M and A75F-M2 motherboards. ECS A75 series motherboards powered by AMD Hudson D3 chipset support the latest AMD A series APU.

For more information,





Asus unveils a pair of AMD A75 Llano motherboards Source: June 28th, 2011

One More Black Deluxe Member, A75F-A As one of the ECS Black Deluxe series, ECS A75FA has passed 50? burn test, presenting high quality and unbelievable durability. ECS Black Deluxe A75FA also equips with complete expansion slots from PCI Express 2nd generation x16, x4 to PCI 1st generation for users to enlarge the power of yours computers with every possibility. To match the amazing graphics power of APU, ECS A75F-A has full video output options: HDMI/DVI/D-Sub with optical audio output for you to enjoy the ultimate entertainment moment.

Not to be one upped by the competition, Asus has also announced some of its AMD A75 motherboards for AMD's upcoming Llano APUs which are launching later this week. Both of Asus' first models are full-size ATX boards and they're quite similar, but the boards aren't without differences. Click on through to check out some high-res pictures of the two boards and for the full specs.

The High Speed Transportation Era Not to be one upped by the competition, Asus has also announced some of its AMD A75 motherboards for AMD's 14

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upcoming Llano APUs which are launching later this week. Both of Asus' first models are full-size ATX boards and they're quite similar, but the boards aren't without differences. Click on through to check out some high-res pictures of the two boards and for the full specs.

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headers for eight USB 2.0 ports and one header for a serial port. Both boards also have two additional 4-pin fan headers, a one regular 3-pin one and of course switches and buttons for Asus' EPU, TPU and MemOK features.

Let's start with the model names, the more basic model of the two and by basic we merely mean that it's the less feature rich of the two, we have the F1A75-V PRO and this is followed by the slightly feature richer F1A75-V EVO. The main difference between the boards is the slot layout; in fact it appears to be the only difference between the two models.

The F1A75-V PRO features a pair of x16 PCI Express slot, although the second slot only has four lanes worth of bandwidth, two x1 PCI Express slots and three PCI slots. On the other hand the F1A75-V EVO packs three x16 PCI Express slots where the first slot is a x16 slot that operates in dual x8 mode together with the second slot, while the third slot is now a x4 slot. The board also has two x1 PCI Express slots and two PCI slots.

The rear I/O is full to the brim with ports as well which consists of a PS/2 port, four USB 3.0 ports (two via an ASMedia controller and two via the chipset), two USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA port, Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out and all four display interfaces, D-Sub, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort. Both boards also feature an 8-phase PWM design and a very flat and long heatpipe that connects the chipset heatsink to the MOSFET heatsink.

Overall we're looking at a pair of competent desktop boards here, but we have a feeling that many DIY:ers are waiting for mATX and mini-ITX boards to appear before taking the jump to the new Fusion platform from AMD. No word on pricing as yet, but with the launch taking place on Thursday this week, it won't be long until we'll find out. Common features include seven SATA ports, six from the A75 chipset and one from an ASMedia SATA 6Gbps controller, a pin-header for two front USB 3.0 ports (from the chipset), four 15

June 28th, 2011

Facebook Has Reached 750 Million Users

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refresh the Galaxy S II with faster and more powerful hardware to ensure that the smartphone remains well-equipped to take on the needs of smartphone users.

Source: June 28th, 2011

Just months before, Facebook reached their 500 million users milestone. However, the social network doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop there and still piled on having more users. According to a source close to the company, Facebookâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s user count has just passed the 750 million mark though the company has not come out to confirm the figure. Probably it is holding until it reaches the 1 billion user point before it makes another official announcement. Despite the increase in numbers, Facebook faces some signs of troubles, particularly in countries where Facebook was adopted quickly. The site "Inside Facebook" reported that the company has lost approximately 6 million users in the U.S. and about 1.5 million users in Canada during the month of May this year. The report said that the social network is still growing in members throughout the world, but not in established markets like the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Russia. The gains are reportedly coming from countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil and Mexico, where Facebook was introduced later.

Samsung to update Galaxy S II with faster hardware? Source: June 28th, 2011

With Apple's iPhone 5 expected to be headed for a September launch this year, it should be of little surprise that competing OEMs will be attempting to raise the stakes by ensuring that their products are ready to take on Apple's offerings when the big day arrives. And based on information we have been receiving from various online outlets, it seems that Samsung's plan to go up against Apple will be centered around performance, as word has it that the Korean electronics giant is planning to refresh its new Galaxy S II smartphone with faster, more porwerful processors come August or September this year. Well, that certainly did not take very long. While Samsung's Galaxy S II smartphone may have been launched for retail only recently, it is clear that the Korean electronics giant is not about to bide its time and wait for the competition to catch up to it anytime soon. And based on what the rumor mill has been churning out, it seems that Samsung is already planning to

According to a blog post made on the SamsungHub website, sources who are familiar with Samsung's plans claim that the Korean electronics giant is preparing to furnish the new Galaxy S II smartphones with a more powerful 1.4GHz processor (the current S II's processor currently tops out at a clock speed of 1.2GHz). In addition, the post goes on to claim that it is quite likely that the newer Galaxy S II's RAM will remain unchanged at 1GB, although the smartphone will be given a more updated firmware in the form of version 2.3.4 of the Android operating system, as opposed to the current S II, which is preloaded with v2.3.3. That being said, there is some dispute as to whether the new phone will retain the "Galaxy" branding that most consumers have come to know and appreciate as far as Samsung's premium smartphones are concerned. Apparently, the sources believe that Samsung'w new phone, which will compete with the iPhone 5 upon the latter's release, could either reuse the "Galaxy" and "S II" branding, or ditch both in favor of a yet-unannounced name. Furthermore, SamsungHub's source, which goes by the name of SamFirmware is also claiming that the new 1.4GHz processor which will used in the phone is most likely to be Samsung's very own upgraded Exynos system-on-a-chip (SoC), although we will not be surprised if Samsung puts in orders for other chips of similar performance to meet the high demand for its devices. After all, this is precisely what the company has done with the current Galaxy S II, which is known to be powered by both its own Exynos SoC and NVIDIA's Tegra 2 SoC.

Mitsubishi announces new HDTV with built-in Blu-ray and hard disk recorder Source:


June 28th, 2011 June 28th, 2011

While some people may prefer to build up every aspect of their home theatre setup with individual, standalone components in order exercise as much control over the hardware as possible, there will always be others who prefer the convenience of having everything baked into a single device so that the initial setup is nothing short of a breeze. And leave it to Mitsubishi to take the concept of an all-in-one system which consists of a HDTV that comes with various bells and whistles, such as a built-in Blu-ray and hard disk recorder, among others. Read on to find out more. For most people, the act of building up one's very own home theatre setup out of various individual components is something which many will aspire to do at least once in their life, except that the high cost involved in doing so, especially where time and real estate is concerned, can be high enough to deter all but the more enthusiastic consumers. However, if you are the kind of consumer who is willing to pay good money for a more convenient solution, chances are you will have much to love about Mitsubishi's new LCD television, which is clearly designed to cater to the needs of such audiences.

According to the official press release issued by Mitsubishi, the REAL LCD-22BLR500 is an all-in-one package which consists of a 22-inch HD television set that comes bundled with a variety of other appliances built into the device. Indeed, the real biggest of the REAL LCD-22BLR500's package comes from the fact that Mitsubishi has managed to cram in not only a digital TV tuner, but a Blu-ray recorder that features a 500GB hard disk and boasts support for AVCREC. In addition, Mitsubishi claims that the REAL LCD-22BLR500 also comes bundled with support for a variety of standard features most people will expect to see on HDTVs, such as the inclusion of an Ethernet port for online connectivity, along with a built-in SD card reader and a USB port for media playback via external storage devices. This essentially means that users of the REAL LCD-22BLR500 are unlikely to require the purchase of any additional peripherals to set

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up a functional home theatre setup (save for the addition of surround speakers) right out-of-the-box. Unfortunately, Mitsubishi has not released any information as to whether it will be releasing the REAL LCD-22BLR500 for sale outside of its own domestic Japanese market. That being said, if that is not going to deter you from importing one over somehow, you might be interested to know that the device will be made available for retail on July 21 at the price of 100,000 yen (approx US$1,238).

Transdroid torrent manager gets shown the door from Android Market Source: June 28th, 2011

Google may be known for taking a very laid-back attitude over apps that are submitted for download on its Android Market app repository, but it seems that there are lines which even the search giant are loathe to cross, especially when copyright infringement is involved. And it seems that the victim of Google's tough stance on copyright infringement is the Transdroid torrent manager, which was recently shown the door from the Android Market after having occupied a spot there for two years.

Torrent management apps have always been able to occupy a spot in Google's Android Market app repository without getting harassed over claims of copyright infringement, simply because of their very nature as tools which serve to facilitate peer-to-peer sharing of digital content via the BitTorrent protocol, and were never designed with the intention to serve as tools in carrying out acts of copyright infringement. However, it seems that the status quo might soon be changed, for word has it that Google has just dropped a very popular torrent management app by the name of Transdroid from the Android Market over claims of "violations in the content policies of publishing in the Android Market". According to developer Erik Kok, Transdroid was issued a notice by Google some time last week, where he was informed that Google would be taking down both the free and paid version of Transdroid over the app's failure to conform to the 17

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search giant's Developer Content Policy. However, Google did not make any mention of the specific policy the app is in violation of, instead merely asking that Transdroid's developers "review the Content Policies and Business and Program Policies before creating or uploading additional applications".

Considering how Transdroid was already present on the Android Market for two years before it was officially shown the door last week, speculations are rife as to why Google would opt to take action against Transdroid only now and not when it was first published for download on the Android Market. Some people, along with the popular torrent news website known as TorrentFreak, are suggesting that Transdroid's developers made a grave mistake by uploading screenshots of the app being used to download copyrighted material, a move which Google would clearly interpret as one which suggests that Transdroid facilitates copyright infringement. To back its claim, TorrentFreak has pointed out that torrent management apps have always been able to reside in the Android Market without any form of harassment for the longest time, and even Cydia for iOS takes a very strong stance on content that may be perceived as helping to promote the act of infringing on copyrighted material.

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LG rolls out Easy Home service for senior smartphone users in Korea Source: June 28th, 2011

For most people, the act of getting used to how a smartphone works and feels is usually as easy as taking candy from a baby; unfortunately, the same cannot be said for older people who are likely to experience a great deal of difficulty with the smaller font and unfamiliar icons that are now considered mainstream on a smartphone. And this is where LG steps in to assist those older folks with their migration to today's technology with the use of its Easy Home service. Read on to find out more about LG's Easy Home service for smartphones... For most of us, getting used to the way a smartphone is supposed to be operated is usually a walk in the park; after all, most smartphones boast a near universal style when it comes to presenting the user interface, and the fact that our eyesight has not started failing yet means that we can easily make out even the smallest-sized fonts without having to squint too much. However, for most senior citizens and first-time smartphone users who have grown accustomed to the way things were done back in the days of feature phones, those 'features' are very real obstacles which are actively preventing them from hopping onto the smartphone bandwagon and enjoying the benefits brought about by the rapid advancement of mobile phone technology. And this is where LG comes in with its new Easy Home software service, which is aimed at making life good for consumers who are affected by the aforementioned issues.

That being said, there is still some good news for fans of Transdroid: apparently, Kok will be putting up the source code for the app up for download on the Trandroid home page, while those who are looking for the standalone APK for installation will be provided with a link to the Google Code site, where the APK currently resides. Last but not least, Kok has also confirmed that he will be happy to work with Google to produce a version of Transdroid which will conform to the Android Market's policies, so do keep hitting up the Market to check for its availability if you strongly believe in downloading apps only from Android's official app repositories.


June 28th, 2011

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Nokia Windows Phone 7 "Sea Ray" Leaked Source: June 28th, 2011

Nokia unveiled the N9, the company's first MeeGo device, at the Nokia Connection in Singapore last week. And not long after, the Finnish company's internal presentation was leaked, including a Windows Phone 7 smartphone codenamed "Sea Ray".

According to the official press release posted on LG's home page, the new Easy Home service, when installed into a compatible LG smartphone, will assist users in the UI department by providing users with a more simplified layout for the Home screen. In addition, LG claims that Easy Home will also increase the size of the icons used in the smartphone's UI by 50% more, while font sizes will be also be upscaled by as much as 30% to ensure that users with poor eyesight can see the text on the device without much difficulty. In addition to the size tweaks, LG has also confirmed that Easy Home will redesign the icons used in the Home screen and app drawer so that they resemble their feature phone counterparts instead, ostensibly to help new users quickly acquaint themselves with the smartphone equivalents of their favorite features, as can be seen from the image above.

Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop had recently unveiled the device codenamed "Sea Ray" at an internal event. The Sea Ray is a smartphone based on Microsoft's Windows Phone 7, though it resembles the N9 which was showcased at Nokia Connection last week, and also at the company's booth in CommunicAsia 2011 in Singapore. There are some differences though - the physical camera button isn't available on the N9, but for the Windows Phone 7 Sea Ray, it is placed on the right hand side of the phone. It will also feature the same 8-megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens as well as 1GHz processor with 512 MB RAM. According to some of the leaked images, the rear of the phone looks similar to the N9 apart from the placement of the dual LED flash. Needless to say, the Sea Ray is running the latest Windows Phone 7.5, which is more commonly known as the Mango update.

Easy Home is currently available for both the LG Optimus 2X (SU660) and LG Optimus Black (KU9900) smartphones, although LG claims that there are plans to bring the service over to the recently-launched LG Optimus Big (LU6800) as well. In addition, the company has revealed that it has plans to "expand the program", so it is possible that future LGbranded smartphones may also gain access to the service. Unfortunately, Easy Home is currently a Korea-only service, and LG has not commented on whether there will ever a global version of the service for consumers residing in other parts of the world. Oh well.


June 28th, 2011

Performance preview of Gigabyte's A75M-UD2H and AMD A8-3850 APU Source: June 28th, 2011

Although we can't publish any actual benchmarks as yet, what we have for you is a quick preview of Gigabyte's upcoming A75M-UD2H motherboard alongside AMD's A8-3850 APU running Crysis 2 with a bit of a twist, or two. Click on through for a short video and some details on how to overclock an APU. Although we can't publish any actual benchmarks as yet, what we have for you is a quick preview of Gigabyte's upcoming A75M-UD2H motherboard alongside AMD's A8-3850 APU running Crysis 2 with a bit of a twist, or two. Click on through for a short video and some details on how to overclock an APU. In all fairness, we didn't do the overclocking, but we'll let you guess who did it, but if you have a look at the video you'll see Crysis 2 running on AMD's A8-8350 APU at 30-40fps. The run is only using the built in Radeon HD 6550D GPU, although neither is running at stock speed. To the story goes that we saw the setup hitting 60fps, but the system wasn't 100 percent stable with the air cooler used and as such we weren't able to grab any video of this.

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The CPU core of the A8-3850 was overclocked from 2.9GHz to 3.38GHz in this specific case running on a 22.5x multiplier at a 150MHz bus while being feed 1.48V. Note that the CPU was still going faster The IGP was overclocked from 600MHz to 900MHz at stock Voltage. In all fairness some rather extreme memory was fitted in the system which consisted of a pair of G.Skill modules running at 2,400MHz CL9-11-9-27, but keep in mind that these were 1600MHz CL6 modules that were overclocked. Finally a 64GB Kingston SSD and a Zalman CNPS11X Extreme CPU cooler rounded off the system. That's some pretty impressive stuff, but with better cooling AMD's APUs can be pushed even faster. Do keep in mind that the video wasn't recorded under ideal conditions and as mentioned above, it can perform even better. However, we've left out one little mention; while the APU was running Crysis 2 it was also running Linpack (LinX 0.6.4) on two of the CPU cores so in fact you're looking at only half of the CPU power available for the game to play and this is why the four cores are nearly maxed out during the demo run in the video. So ok, Crysis 2 was â&#x20AC;&#x153;onlyâ&#x20AC;? running in 1280x800 resolution, but how often have you seen an IGP that can play the latest game titles at a playable frame rate? AMD isn't going to beat Intel in terms of CPU performance with Llano, but the entire package is very impressive and we can see this becoming a huge hit with the mainstream consumer, as they get a more than capable CPU core paired with an IGP that will actually allow them to pretty much everything they'd want to, at an affordable price level. Marketed right, AMD could easily take over the entrylevel and mainstream market space from Intel, but we'll have to wait and see some real benchmarks before we draw any final conclusions.

CommunicAsia / BroadcastAsia 2011: Booth Babes and Exhibitors Source: June 28th, 2011

Today, we visited CommunicAsia 2011 with various indistries showcasing their products and technologies. However, It is no surprise that with every trade show or event, there is a certain warmth in the midst of cold hardware. And they are the booth babes and exhibitors of CommunicAsia 2011. They carry a lovely smile to to the attendees and visitors, bringing up the mood of the event. CommunicAsia 2011 is held for the first time in Marina Bay Sands which begins on June 21 - 24 and will feature a comprehensive range of technologies from backhaul network, systems integration to software and applications to the end users.


June 28th, 2011

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In this article however, we look at the lovely booth babes and sweet-smiling exhibitors that brings a certain warmth to the event.

whoa! Chinese zither performance

"we are hiring!" - Dinglicom


June 28th, 2011

2 sweet lookng ladies from Sumitomo Electric Industries

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ir.deta booth babes welcoming you to their hospitality suite

Smile !


June 28th, 2011

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a showcase of ntt docomo services

ntt docomo. lovely red

3 ladies in black from Atrium not booth babes but hardworking guides of CommunicAsia 2011

The Daily VR-Zone News Summary - 24 June 2011 Source: June 28th, 2011

ntt docomo again...

In today's news roundup: TechSpot has shortlisted a total of six sub-US$200 gaming PC cases which it claims are capable of capturing the attention of most gamers who have a slightly tighter budget where their PC's hardware is concerned; Seagate has officially launched its new Momentus Thin line of mechanical hard disks for tablets, which it 23

June 28th, 2011

claims are the world's first ultra-thin hard disks to boast a maximum height of 7mm; BAPCo's woes do not appear to be disappearing anytime soon, considering how it has just suffered yet another setback in the form of NVIDIA and VIA Technologies Inc announcing their resognation from the consortium, citing conerns about SYSmark2012's outdated method for measuring performance as the main cause; Telstra has reportedly confirmed that the Gingerbread update for the old HTC Desire smartphone is a go, but that it will come at the price of losing the popular Sense UI that has been a distinctive feature available on all HTC-branded smartphones; Word has it that the reported Diablo 3 "external beta" will be revealed to the public on the first of August this year, and Yet another trailer of Black Rock Shooter: The Game has been released online, with this one showing off the gameplay aspects of the title. Hardware news Arctic Accelero Xtreme Plus II @ Madshrimps Description: Arctic , previously known as Arctic Cooling has a long reputation in creating silent yet very powerfull cooling components. This all at an afforcable price. Most known are the versatile GPU coolers. Versatile as most models can be used on a wide range of reference PCBs. This being it ATI/ AMD or Nvidia based. Today we received their brand new revised version of the Accelero Extreme Plus. Well you guessed it this slightly revamped version is called the Plus II. Victim of the day is our hot GTX480 Fermi card. Easily reaching over 80°C in gaming and close to meltdown when being tortured with Furmark ASUS Sabertooth 990FX Motherboard Review @ Legit Reviews Description: ASUS has a long history of great performing motherboards. Hopefully the ASUS Sabertooth 990FX motherboard will continue that history. The ASUS Sabertooth is the first ASUS AM3+ motherboard to come across the Legit Reviews test bench. Featuring support for the up and coming "Bulldozer" Octo-core processors as well as many other features it looks like it will be a great motherboard! Are the looks going to be deceiving? Read on to find out! ASUS EAH5550 Review @ ocaholic Description: With the EAH5550 ASUS has AMD's low end product in its portfolio that comes with PCB layout made by ASUS themselves. This card is based on the RV870 architecture which has been fully reworked for the entry level market. Never the less we're curious how this thing will perform in our benchmark parcours. For a small teaser: this card proves quite decent and overclocking was a lot of fun. Intel 510 Series 250GB SSD Review on Technic3D (German) Description: The Intel 510 Series SSD 250GB arrived Technic3D. Available in 120GB and 250GB configurations. Results in extreme performance with up to 500 MB/s sequential read and 315 MB/s sequential write speeds? We will check this and more against the SSDs from Corsair, OCZ, Western Digital and G.Skill. ASUS MATRIX GeForce GTX 580 1536MB Platinum OC’ed Video Card Review Description: Over the last few months we've seen MSI do some wonderful things to the GTX 580, releasing the model into its

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Lightning series and then during Computex re-releasing the GTX 580 in 3GB form also under the Lightning series; but in this case it was the Lightning Xtreme Edition. Someone else has done something with the GTX 580, but I can't really remember who; it's probably got something to do with the fact we haven't seen it. Anyway, the latest company to go all out with the model is ASUS with it getting the ROG MATRIX treatment. Imagine a facial with an electric sander to make everything smooth. It's big, it's fat, it's got lots of extra buttons and it looks powerful. Today we intend to find out if it performs as good as it looks, because oh does it looks good. Gaming Case Roundup: Six Sub-$200 Choices Description: With dozens of affordable, well-equipped desktop cases begging for your cash, it can be a nightmare to find the right one for your needs. Hoping to simplify your building experience, we've assembled a shortlist of six unique sub-$200 enthusiast chassis that deserve your attention. Included in our roundup is BitFenix's flagship Colossus Venom Edition, and their new budget Shinobi mid-tower. The Cooler Master Storm Enforcer and the highly acclaimed HAF X making an appearance in Nvidia-green. Rounding up the review is Lian Li's LanCool PC-K63 chassis and Thermaltake's Chaser MK-1. Seagate Announces Hard Drives For Tablets Description: Seagate officially launched its new Momentus Thin line of HDDs in conjunction with the introduction of the upcoming ARCHOS 80 G9 8-inch tablet and the ARCHOS 101 G9 10.1-inch tablet, both of which will feature a Momentus Thin drive. The company is promoting the new HDD line as the "world's first" ultra-thin 2.5-inch hard drives for ultra portables including tablets and slim laptops. Consumer Electronics and Software News Sandberg StreetBlaster Stereo Headset Review @ Real World Labs Description: Thanks to its massive 57mm speaker drivers the audio clarity and bass levels of the Sandberg StreetBlaster Stereo Headset easily make it one of the best entry to mid-end music oriented headsets we have ever used. Nvidia, Via Technologies Confirm Quitting BAPCo. Description: Nvidia Corp. and Via Technologies confirmed on Thursday that they had quit BAPCo (Business Applications Performance Corp.) due to disagreements over the scoring system of SYSmark2012 which does not take graphics card's role into account while measuring performance in applications that are considered by many as outdated. Acer Iconia A500 - Honeycomb on a Budget Description: Next in our series of Honeycomb tablet reviews is the Acer Iconia Tab A500. The A500 was the second Honeycomb tablet to go on sale, and is one of four on the market at present, all of which are very similar. They share basic specs—10.1” 1280x800 displays, NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 underhood, 1GB LPDDR2 RAM, 16-64GB onboard NAND, front and rear facing cameras with HD video capture, basic wireless connectivity options, and stock versions of Android 3.0/3.1 Honeycomb (albeit with different preloaded software packages). The hardware similarities makes things like design and price that much more important, and the latter is where Acer seemed to have an edge. 24

June 28th, 2011

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Samsung seems confused about Chromebook Description: Having seen a bit of guff on Chromebooks before, we had to admit that two blokes wearing suits did not seem to fit the description of what one would look like. Neither did it fit the somewhat vague description in the release. Apparently the Chromebook is powered by an "Intel Dual Core". It is not clear if this was a Yonah, Allendale, Merom-2M, Wolfdale-3M, Penryn-3M or something more modern which was not discontinued in 2010. We know they are supposed to be dumb terminals, but surely Chromebooks are not going to be that dumb.

Description: One of the greatest PC games ever has gone free. Team Fortress 2 is now available on Steam at zero price beginning today. The F2P announcement comes as part of the “Über Update” released today, it is the largest content pack delivered to TF2 since it shipped in 2007

Nokia's Android flirtations revealed Description: We don't know if this device is "super confidential" or not, but we've just come across yet another Nokia N9 lookalike with a non-MeeGo operating system on board. Well, it looks that way, anyhow. There's no way to verify that the Android homescreen we see above is a legitimate Gingerbread installation and not a mere screenshot (the resolution looks all wrong, for one thing), but the source of this image is the same Chinese fellow that posted a picture of Nokia's Windows Phone prototype, the Sea Ray, way back in May, so we're inclined to believe he's got an inside line on these things. Additionally, the undersized Android UI elements on the screen actually encourage us to believe that this is indeed a Nokia testing device -- if we were going to fake something like this, we'd use a regular screen grab for our tomfoolery -- and Stephen Elop has openly admitted that Nokia spent a couple of wild seconds contemplating a switch to Android. Well, folks, here's what that alternate future might have looked like.

Source: June 28th, 2011

Skullcandy Unveils Retro Looking Vandal iPhone Speaker Dock Description: For those unfamiliar with Skullcandy, they’re a company that produces skate/punk styled headphones, usually with pretty loud graphics and colors, fitting the whole skate/punk look if that’s what you’re aiming for. In their latest offering, the Vandal iPhone speaker dock, it looks like the company may have decided that just this once, to step away from the whole skater/punk image, and if only for just this particular product.

Hackers successfully unlock Atrix 4G's bootloader, thanks to Motorola

Most people will be fully aware that Motorola used to adopt an "anti-hacker" strategy for its Android-powered smartphones by securing them with various tamperproof mechanisms, such as locking the bootloader and futher restricting access to it by implementing the dreaded eFuse system. However, Motorola fans, expecially users of the new Atrix smartphone, will probably be gratified to know that things appear to be changing for the better, thanks to a chance discovery made by the hacker community about the company's upcoming Gingerbread update for the device.

Telstra: HTC Desire will lose Sense to get Android 2.3 Description: The planned upgrade to Android 2.3 for the HTC Desire has been an "on again/off-again" story. Now the Gingerbread update appears to be back on again, as Australian wireless carrier Telstra has scheduled the software update for the Desire in August. Gaming news Diablo 3 Beta Details Arriving Soon? Description: There's talk that details surrounding the reported Diablo 3 "external beta" will be revealed to the public on August 1st. The news arrives after Blizzard quietly distributed an invitation to a special Diablo 3 press event at their campus in Irvine, California just days prior on July 27. Black Rock Shooter: The Game In-game Trailer Description: Looks like Black Rock Shooter: The Game is gearing up much hype in Japan, Imageepoch has another trailer which contains some gameplay and vocals. The game is headed for a August 25 release this year.

Ever since the fiasco over its use of eFuse technology in its smartphones to prevent users from installing their own custom firmware made headlines for the wrong reasons, Motorola has been adopting a friendlier approach with regards to the notion of having consumers unlocking their devices and performing all kinds of modiciations to it, and the latest information seems to confirm the fact. Apparently, some hackers were able to get their hands on a leaked build of an upcoming Gingerbread update for the recently-launched Atrix smartphone, and have used some of the information in it to produce a working patch that essentially unlocks the device's bootloader.

Team Fortress 2 Is Now FREE To Play 25

June 28th, 2011

Published by: VR-Zone

Singapore. That is all set to change though, now that Fujitsu has officially released its 17-inch Lifebook NH751 gaming and multimedia entertainment notebook for sale locally. But will it be able to perform well enough to handle the demands of today's 3D games and high-quality multimedia content? Read on to find out...

Yes, this is an actual screenshot of the unlocking sequence That being said, you must probably be wondering why we said that the hackers' efforts were possible with Motorola's help. Well, the answer is quite simple; apparently, the leaked build which the hacker community managed to get its hands on actually contains a code within the firmware which unlocks the Atrix's bootloader upon installation. That is right; in other words, Motorola had already planned to carry out its promise to the hacker community by unlocking the Atrix's bootloader with the upcoming Gingerbread update for the device, and that the hacker community did not really create the bootloader unlock instructions from scratch. Rather, they utilized the code to create their own unlocker patch which allows impatient users who cannot afford to wait for the official update to unlock their Atrix right now and start installing their custom formware of choice. Of course, with the act of using unauthorized tools to unlock a handset's bootloader being one that is of dubious legality, we will not be posting any links or instructions on how users can obtain and use the unofficial patch to unlock their Atrix. Last but not leasr, if you do decide to go ahead with the risk either way, let's just say that VR-Zone cannot, and will not be responsible for any unexpected mishaps that may occur in the unlocking process. You have been warned.

Fujitsu Lifebook NH751 gaming notebook review Source: June 28th, 2011

As it stands, there appears to be two approaches available for OEMs who seek to build a notebook that is designed specifically to cater to the needs of gamers. Apparently, they could go for portability by offering a smaller-sized notebook which features a more conventional display size and "bulk" up the chassis so as to provide enough ventilation to ensure that the components do not overheat, or throw all notions of size out of the window by offering huge notebooks that have display sizes larger than 16 inches and leave any ventilation issues to the sheer amount of real estate present in the notebook's interior to handle. Needless to say, there are no prizes for guessing which category Fujitsu's new Lifebook NH751 falls into. However, with the NH751 being the company's first gaming notebook to be made commercially available in Singapore, it would stand that consumers are likely to have high expectations of it, considering how gaming and entertainment notebooks are usually considered to be creme de la creme where performance is concerned. So how does Fujitsu's NH751 notebook fair when put under the blade? We shall see. Fujitsu Lifebook NH751 Specifications Processor

Chipset Graphics Card Fujitsu may be one of the more popular brands for notebook PCs here, and while their products usually span the entire gamut of possible hardware configurations ranging from entry-level machines to mainstream-grade notebooks, it does not change the fact that the company has never released a high-performance, gaming-grade notebook for sale in

Operating System

Intel Core i7-2630QM processor clocked at 2GHz (2.9GHz w/Turbo Boost, 6MB Cache) Intel Sandy Bridge HM65 Chipset 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT525M with NVIDIA Optimus switchable graphics technology Windows 7 Home Premium (x64 version)


June 28th, 2011


Memory Hard Disk capacity Weight

Published by: VR-Zone

17.3-inch LED-backlit display supporting full HD resolutions (1920 x 1080) 8GB DDR3 SDRAM (2 x 4GB SODIMM) 640GB SATA hard disk Approx. 3.7kg

Google to integrate internet telephony features into Chrome? Source: June 28th, 2011

With Skype's internet telephony solution being the most popular one available to consumers by far, it would make perfect sense that Microsoft would have attempted to acquire the company and its interlectual property in order to integrate its functionality into is software offerings. However, it seems that Google is also keen to integrate Skype-like features into its very own Chrome browser, and from the looks of it, the company appears to be in a position where it can potentially deliver a very compelling alternative to what Skype has been offering users for the longest time. As far as Internet telephony and video conferencing are concerned, there is probably only one company that is capable of offering a decent solution that appeals to both consumers and enterprises, and it comes in the form of Skype's software product, which bears the same name as the the company which created it. However, it seems that Google has been harboring plans to create a Skype-like competitor for some time already, and that the recent acquisition of the company by Microsoft has been the catalyst that has led to the search giant unveiling its plans of integrating some form support for online telephony into its Chrome web browser via its WebRTC project, as revealed in a recent posting made on the Chromium developers mailing list:

communication functionality on web browsers via a set of "simple JavaScript APIs" and HTML5, and that future releases of WebRTC will allow developers to write their own real-time communication applications for use in browsers. The concept behind WebRTC is also rather simple: when implemented, WebRTC will allow users to make and recieve both audio and video calls from within the browser itself, as opposed to how users currently have to rely on external applications such as Skype to achieve such functionality. Of course, an observant person would probably point out that Google already allows users to engage in Internet telephony on web browsers already via its GMail and Google Talk services. That is true, but the real draw of WebRTC stems from the fact that it, when integrated into a web browser, could "open the door for all kinds of new chat services and apps". And considering how the WebRTC project's home page claims that support for the new API is expected to make its way in Firefox and Opera soon, both of which are extremely popular web browsers in their own right, it might seem that WebRTC is in a good position to provide some serious competition to both Microsoft and Skype in the area of Internet telephony services.

Team Fortress 2: Meet the Medic and Free to Play (Forever) Source: June 28th, 2011

Valve, developers and publishers of acclaimed game franchises (like Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead, and Counter-Strike), announced today that after four years and over 200 updates, Team Fortress 2 (TF2) is now Free To Play (F2P) for both PC & Mac players via Steam. Valve have also released "Meet the Medic," the latest in its series of TF2 animated shorts. Hopefully this generous move by Valve will trigger a tsunami through the gaming industry and compel the likes of Activision and EA to release their golden oldies like Call of Duty 4 : Modern Warfare and Battlefield 2 in similar fashion. After all, today's games ain't made like the way they used to anymore - this writer blames frankinstein cutscene laden console ports and rushed release cycles +}+}

Best Buy announces Music Cloud; store your favourite songs and playlists online Now, you might probably be scratching your head in confusion as to what this "WebRTC" thingamajig is all about, and why Google wants to integrate its functionality into Chrome. Well, based on what we were able to find out, WebRTC is, according to the project's home page, a means on enabling real-time



June 28th, 2011

Published by: VR-Zone

June 28th, 2011

Apple has recently announced their iCloud service for users to store data such as music files while Google has their Music Beta, and Amazon, the Cloud Player. And now, Best Buy has launched their new Music Cloud, which allow users to store their songs and playlists online.

Music is surely in the air (well, literally). With companies like Apple, Amazon, Google and Sony announcing their cloud service for music, Best Buy has also introduced their new Music Cloud service for users to upload their songs and playlists online and stream the content through a line of Android, BlackBerry and iOS devices. According to reports, the service is currently linked to Apple iTunes; the Music Cloud will automatically grab the songs from your playlists. However, if you do not use iTunes, you are out of luck. The Best Buy" Music Club" is available in the Apple App Store free of charge. There is also a premium option for users at US$3.99 per month. The Best Buy Music Cloud service is currently in beta and through invitation-only. However, you can sign up at their website to get your invite.


VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks Jun 2011 Issue  

VR-Zone is a leading online technology news publication reporting on bleeding edge trends in PC and mobile gadgets, with in-depth reviews an...