The LG Optimus 3D certainly isn’t the slimmest smartphone we’ve ever seen, but it looks like the chunky handset is about to get seriously streamlined. In an interview with Pocket-Lint, LG developer Dr. Henry Noh confirmed that his company is working on a thinner version of its 4.3-inch phone, hinting that it may be ready for release by next year. Noh didn’t offer specifics on dimensions, but acknowledged that the current version, at 11.9mm (0.47 inches) thick, definitely isn’t the “sexiest phone on the street” — something he hopes to change. “Eventually, we want to make it so that having the 3D won’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be thicker,” Noh explained. “That’s going to be a differentiating factor that comes for free to the user.” Doing so, he claims, could help LG’s glasses-free 3D device distinguish itself from its 2D competitors:
“These days, all the phones look the same. They have a huge screen – 4.3-inches is normal these days – and next year they’re moving even larger. And they have a fixed number of touch buttons. They’re the same thickness. They have the same camera. And even the same OS. It’s so boring.”
Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not this strategy actually pans out, but it’s definitely something we’ll be keeping an eye on.
We’ve already seen Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt reinvigorating the MacBook Pro line, so it’s only logical for the MacBook Airs to eventually follow suit — presumably they’ll pick up Sandy Bridge’s 17W mobile processors to match the current 10W and 17W Core 2 Duos. So when can we expect this to happen? Well, according to DigiTimes’ sources within the supply chain, Apple may receive shipment of the refreshed Airs in late May ahead of a June or July launch — this echoes earlier reports from Apple Insider and CNET that cited the same time frame. Additionally, DigiTimes says Quanta will continue to assemble Apple’s ultra-portable laptops, with Simplo Technology and Dynapack supplying the battery packs. As always, we shall remain open-minded about such rumors, but you’ll know the real deal as soon as we do within the next couple of months or so.
If you asked us to design our ideal Android phone, it might well end up looking like LG’s Optimus Black. The handset that was once known under the codename “B” features a clean, elegant and exceedingly thin exterior, which is garnished with a 4-inch IPS display capable of generating 700 nits of brightness. There’s the usual litany of added features, too, like a 5 megapixel shooter with the ability to record 720p video, a special G-Key for motion controls, and Wi-Fi Direct for peer-to-peer file transfers. Of course, looks and headline features are just the tip of the iceberg that is user experience, so if you want to know about the mountainous whole, join us after the break for a deep dive with LG’s latest Android phone.
During our Monday morning HP deluge, we managed to overlook this rather slender 22-inch monitor. Buried beneath a slew of other announcements in the outfit’s latest press release is the Elite L2201x: an LED-backlit display, measuring just 0.4-inches thick. It offers a 1920 x 1080 display, 5000:1 contrast ratio, and a DisplayPort for hooking up. It may not be the slimmest screen we’ve ever come across, but we’d say it’s a mighty fine looking monitor, and for $250, it’s a relatively cheap date to boot. The Elite L2201x lands stateside June 1st.
HP unveils Elite L2201x
It may not look like it, but that sleek black thing pictured above is actually a microscope. Designed by engineers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF, this little guy boasts a 5.3mm optical length, rendering it slim enough to fit in the palm of your hand, yet powerful enough to deliver images at a scanner-like resolution of five micrometers, over a wide surface area. Fraunhofer’s researchers achieved this balance by essentially tossing out the manual on traditional microscope design. Whereas most devices slowly scan areas and construct images on a piecemeal basis, this handheld uses several small imaging channels and a collection of tiny lenses to record equal sized fragments of a given surface. Unlike conventional scanner microscopes, all of these 300 x 300 square micrometer imaging channels are captured at the same time. With a single swipe, then, users can record 36 x 24 square mm shots of matchbox-sized objects, without even worrying about blurring the images with their shaky hands. The prototype is still two years away from going into production, but once it does, engineers say it could help doctors scan patients for skin cancer more easily, while also allowing bureaucrats to quickly confirm the authenticity of official documents. We can only imagine what it could do for Pac-Man. Full PR after the break.
It’s time for us to welcome yet another contender in the battle for world’s slimmest Android phone: the LG Optimus Black. This 9.2mm-thick handset made its debut to oohs and aahs of admiration at CES earlier in the year, and is now on the very precipice of a global release. Admittedly, it’s not quite slender enough to knock the 7.7mm-thick NEC MEDIAS N-04C off its perch as the absolute thinnest, but it is sufficiently slender to give Samsung’s Galaxy S II and Sony Ericsson’s Xperia Arc a good fright. That pair of smartphones offer thinner proportions on the spec sheet, but when rested on a flat surface they sit ever so slightly higher than the Optimus Black. This is because, unlike its tricky contemporaries, the Optimus Black keeps to the same thickness along its full length (don’t laugh), which, technically speaking, makes it the thinnest Android handset on the European market. Check it out in the gallery below or video after the break — and hold tight, we’ll have a full review for you in the coming days!
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.
Samsung seems to be killing time until it finally ships the Galaxy S II by making promo videos for its dual-core superphone. The latest in a series of ads for the S II spends a few precious seconds reminding us just how excellently thin it is, and gives us a particular usage scenario where that slim profile truly becomes practical. We won’t spoil that for you, though we should play spoiler in noting the barely readable small print above — “Thickness of the device may differ by country or carrier.” So remember, just because you and your pen pal from across the world are both buying a product with an excruciatingly specific title like Samsung Galaxy S II doesn’t mean you’ll both get the same thing. All that said, the 8.49mm-thick version of the device is ready to wow you on video just past the break. We’ve thrown a couple of Samsung’s earlier commercials in there as well, just to complete the set.