Archivi giornalieri: 03/05/2011
The last time Apple updated its iMac line we were treated to Intel Core 2010 processors. So it’s no surprise — really, no surprise at all — to see Apple refreshing the lineup today. Prices start at $1,199 (as usual) for the 21.5-inch (1,920 x 1,080 pixel IPS) model with new 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor and 512MB of AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics. Prices soon jump to $1,999 for a 27-inch (2,560 x 1,440 IPS panel) model with 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 CPU and 1GB of AMD Radeon HD 6970M graphics, or optional 3.4GHz quad-core Core i7 proc and 2GB of HD 6970M graphics if you so desire. We’re talking Intel Sandy Bridge, of course, but Apple never goes into specifics. New owners will also be treated to a Thunderbolt jack (one on the 21.5-inch model and two on the 27-incher) and FaceTime HD camera with 24 hours shipping. Yeah, it looks the same, but it’s the insides that count.
If you have yourself a Skype-compatible 2011 Viera Connect HDTV from Panasonic but still find your living room lacking the optics required to make high-latency VOIP calls that much more interesting, you now have yet another option courtesy of Logitech. The company has just announced its TV Cam for Skype, a 720p model that, if we didn’t know better, we’d say was exactly the same as the camera you can get for the Revue — which is also a dead ringer for the C910. Anyhow, it’ll do 720p video, has cool blue lights, and is set to be available sometime this month for $149.99. More details in the PR after the break.
We heard of a bezel-hating LG Shuriken display sneaking its way onto Acer laptops recently, but the Korean company has wisely opted to debut that cutting-edge technology in its own portable computers first. The 14-inch P430 and 15.6-inch P530 mark the start of its new Blade series of laptops, which are the result of some obsessive slimming work at the LG labs — display thickness is 4.5mm and 4.7mm, respectively, while the bezel on the 14-inch model is so narrow as to fit its screen within the dimensions of a traditional 13.3-inch laptop. Weight, at 1.94kg on the P430 and 2.2kg on P530, is also said to be on par with machines offering significantly smaller screens, but that’s not at the sacrifice of construction materials as brushed aluminum is used to strengthen LG’s new slimsters. A Core i7 CPU and GeForce GT520M GPU will provide the internal firepower, though the rest of the internal specs are as yet unannounced. The P430 will launch in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South America at the end of May, to be followed by the P530 in June. Full PR after the break.
We had a chance to peek at a glass-protected dummy version of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 8.9 at CTIA, but the real thing popped up at an event in Germany over the weekend, in all its svelte gadget glory. Our friend Johannes went hands-on with the tablet in Frankfurt, and liked what he saw. The version he saw was noticeably thinner than the prototype 8.9-incher that we got to smudge up in March (it’s even slimmer than the iPad 2), and if this Europe appearance is any indication, Sammy may be on track to launch these sometime this summer, as promised. The launch date has yet to be announced, so if you can’t wait any longer to get your hands on the Android Honeycomb device, you can try the 10.1-inch version on for size beginning this month.
EV’s are great for getting around in a green-conscious way, but plug-in people must practice patience while waiting hours to juice up their ride. Better Place’s battery swapping stations offer much faster EV refueling, which is why China Southern Power Grid Co. (CSG) is betting big on the technology. The Chinese utility giant has teamed up with Guangzhou’s municipal government and Better Place to build a power pack exchange depot and an EV education center. With exhibits, meeting rooms, and EVs to test drive, the education center aims to help persuade administrative officials, captains of industry, and the general populace to jump on the electric car bandwagon. In addition, Ghuangzhou’s government will “encourage local car manufacturers” to create autos with switchable batteries and “promote” EV adoption in taxis and state vehicles — all of which seems likely to happen post-haste, ’cause what the Chinese government wants, the Chinese government gets.
Are you starting to feel bad for Sony yet? No? Maybe this will change your mind. Sony Online Entertainment has, apparently, been the victim of another breach that has, according to Nikkei.com, resulted in the release of 12,700 credit card numbers — and presumably some other information as well. 4,300 of those credit card numbers are said to be Japanese, but no saying how many are American. Thankfully, data is said to be from 2007, minimizing the number of still-valid credit cards exposed making us wonder if perhaps this wasn’t some sort of backup that was exposed. Regardless, SOE’s online services were taken offline earlier today and, well, now we know why. We’re presently expecting further information from the company but, until then, feel free to continue cowering in the corner and quietly sobbing onto your compromised credit cards.
Well everybody, it looks like the free ride is over: carriers in the US have started to seriously crack down on Android tethering apps. Head on over to the Android Market site and try to install an app that turns your smartphone into a WiFi hotspot — there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be told, “this item is not available on your carrier.” We checked out a number of different tethering options and they were all blocked by T-Mobile and AT&T, which isn’t entirely new. Verizon has also joined the party and, while it missed at least one that we spotted, we’re sure they’ll all be gone in short order. Only Sprint has decided against banning such apps… for now. It looks like you might have to finally cough up for that tethering plan you’ve been desperately trying to avoid.
We’re still shaking our heads and sighing longingly at the performance of Samsung’s Galaxy S II, a phone that wowed us in Europe but likely won’t be coming to American shores for some time — and who knows what it’ll look like when it does. But don’t get too down, dear reader, because here comes another slice of Samsung and this slab has that same 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display tucked in there. It’s a little less slim, a little less classy, and a little less quick than Sammy’s latest world-conquering wunderphone, but the LTE-equipped Charge is a proper contender in its own right. Read on to see why.
So we finally got our dirty little hands on RIM’s new BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone here at BlackBerry World 2011. It’s basically the old Bold but with a capacitive touchscreen and updated innards including a 1.2 GHz CPU, 768 MB of RAM, a GPU , HSPA+, and NFC support. From a design perspective it mixes BlackBerry’s traditional formula with iPhone 4-like materials (that familiar stainless steel rim). It certainly looks premium and feels lovely in the hand, and the keyboard is typical BlackBerry — which is to say fantastic. The screen is beautiful too, perfect to showcase that elusive new BlackBerry 7 OS. Still, we can’t shake the feeling that we’re looking at the device RIM should have shipped last summer instead of the lackluster Torch. We’ll have a hands on video up soon but for now take a peek at our gallery below.
We were promised we’d get Dell’s latest Precision powerhouses on May 10th, and that may still be the case for the US, but the company’s UK outlet is ready to let you customize and buy an M6600 today. The 17.3-inch laptop offers options for a multitouch display with stylus functionality, a 2.5GHz quad-core Core i7-2920XM CPU, 16GB of DDR3 RAM, up to half a terabyte (2x 256GB) in solid state storage, and NVIDIA Quadro 4000M graphics. Prices start at £1,549 ($2,590) excluding VAT and shipping, though the spec we’ve listed above would set you back a neat £4,714 ($7,880). Still, a pretty sweet rig if you can afford it.
Who’s going to get the very first “tablet-optimized” Facebook app? Why, it’s RIM and the PlayBook! The Canadian company has today revealed it’s bringing a native Facebook app to its 7-inch, QNX-based slate, which will also be joined by a new Video Chat application. The latter will be available to download on May 3rd, with an over-the-air update dishing it out to current PlayBook owners. Its functionality will be no different from what we’ve come to expect from such clients — both voice and video calls will be available anywhere you can find a WiFi connection. As to the Facebook app, it’s coming some time later in the month, and will let you view and add your friends, share photos and videos “seamlessly,” access Facebook Chat, and view and interact with the news Feed. Both should be getting extensive demos at BlackBerry World, which is taking place this week, and we’ll be sure to have a gander and report our findings. Skip past the break for the full press releases.
We’ve seen it photographed, videotaped, and even, briefly, up on RIM’s own website. Now it’s up there to stay, the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 (aka the Bold Touch) have been made official as RIM kicks off BlackBerry World in Orlando. As expected, the phone packs a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor that has only a 2.8-inch VGA touchscreen with a 287dpi pixel density to worry about. On the back is a five megapixel camera and inside is 8GB of internal storage (with microSD expansion) and NFC circuitry. At 10.5mm it’s RIM’s thinnest handset yet, featuring a stainless steel circumference and a fiberglass back, while up front of course it makes room for a full QWERTY keyboard. The 9900 supports HSPA+ connectivity to get its 4G on, while the 9930 is the world variant, adding dual-band CDMA and quad-band GSM to the mix, and both do 802.11a/b/g/n along with Bluetooth 2.1. Both, quite naturally, include the new BlackBerry 7 OS, including a faster browser and voice-activated search. Another picture and full specs are listed after the break, which will have to do you until this handset releases sometime in the summer, meaning this could be your next great beach accessory for those working vacations.
Samsung has yet to announce a revised release date for its Sliding PC 7 Series tablet / laptop hybrid, but the 2.2-pound netvertible slider is already available for pre-order on Amazon. According to Amazon’s listing, the 7 Series should ship with many of the same specs we noticed at this year’s CES: a 10-inch touchscreen with 1366 x 768-resolution, dual front and rear cameras (1.3 and 3.0 megapixels, respectively), a 32GB SSD, 2GB of RAM and, of course, Intel’s 1.5GHz Atom Oak Trail Z670 processor, which was originally scheduled to launch in March, before being pushed back to May. The slider will also run on Windows 7 Home Premium, and come equipped with 802.11b/g/n WiFi. When it debuted earlier this year, the Series 7 boasted optional 3G and WiMax features, as well as a six-cell battery that claimed to last up to nine hours on a single charge. Amazon doesn’t mention either of these specs in its listing, but everything else checks out with what we’ve already heard. And, at $649, it’s even a little cheaper than we expected.