Archive for July, 2012

Move over, AirPlay, and keep your closed ecosystem and pricey adapters to yourself, Wi-Di; there’s a new streaming display solution coming to town. The Wi-Fi Alliance plans on finalizing the Miracast wireless display standard in the next few months, enabling cord-and dongle-free streaming to monitors and TVs, and a big new partner just announced it was onboard: Nvidia. Even better, Big Green’s bringing the Tegra 3 processor along for the ride, which could help to quickly spur adoption of the standard.

Miracast operates similarly to Wi-Fi Direct, allowing Miracast-compatible devices to connect directly and bypass the need to piggyback on a working Wi-Fi network. Several companies have hopped onboard the Miracast train, but Nvidia’s positioning its Tegra 3 tablets and smartphones as a unique offering thanks to the mobile processor’s excellent CPU/GPU combo chops.

From Nvidia’s blog post:

At the heart of every Tegra chip is a high-performance CPU and GPU, which means you can use Tegra to play amazing games on the big screen. We’re not just talking about flinging Angry Birds but racing a super-charged jet ski in the game Riptide THD and playing heart-pounding first-person shooter games like Shadowgun THD. You can even take mobile gaming to the next level by pairing a Tegra device with a console controller for the ultimate wireless display experience.

Nvidia’s also striving to keep Tegra’s Miracast solution low-latency. Latency woes have plagued Intel’s Wi-Di.

Tablet on the table, Shadowgun on the big screen and controller in hand, with no wires or adapters anywhere to be found? Sounds like a good time to us. Nvidia has a whitepaper outlining the basic principles behind its Miracast support, but the details are scarce; the company promises to release more info when the Miracast standard becomes ratified as an official spec.


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Confidence in Mark Zuckerberg’s ability to navigate his social networking ship through rough financial waters is beginning to waver. Investors reacted negatively to Facebook’s second quarter financial report, sending shares of the social network down almost 15 percent in after market trading, after it had already dipped 8 percent during regular trading hours on Thursday.

Facebook, which debuted at $38 per share when it went public, is down to just over $23. This is despite the fact that Facebook’s revenue grew 32 percent in Q2, according to a report in The Washington Post. Facebook’s revenue was higher than expected, but the devil is in the details.

Profits weren’t all that great, and Facebook’s membership hasn’t grown as quickly as investors would like, which is worrisome in terms of long-term growth potential. Investors were also concerned that revenue growth has slowed overall, at least compared to a few quarters ago when revenue more than doubled, the LA Times reports.

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Will Microsoft’s Surface tablet really start at over $1,000? That is the question that has been on everyone’s mind ever since a listing for the upcoming Microsoft-branded tablet surfaced on Swedish site Webhallen. But we need not speculate any further as the Swedish e-tailer’s Surface pricing itself is pretty speculative.

A couple of days back, WPCentral spotted product listings for all four Surface SKUs on Swedish shopping site Webhallen. With the cheapest Surface tablet, the 32GB Windows RT model, listed for as high as 6990 SEK (around $1,000), it soon became a hot talking point and some people even went as far as writing obituaries for the Microsoft-branded slate.

But turns out Webhallen was merely trying to cash in on the buzz surrounding the Surface by using a very common sales technique: that of deliberately listing a much-awaited product at a much higher price than what it is actually expected to sell for. Obviously, this is done as pre-orderers are unlikely to back out of their purchase commitments in case the actual retail price turns out to be lower than the original listing price.

“Our customers are very interested in pre-ordering these products, so we have set a high preliminary pricing for the lineup so that they may be able to pre-order them,” the Swedish e-tailer told Techie Buzz.

“Just to clarify, we have not recieved [sic] any pricing from Microsoft regarding MRSP or purchasing net cost, and any people who have booked the Surface at this high price will of course have their order adjusted before any product is shipped. So we’re not going to overcharge anyone for being an early adopter.”


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HTC Desire C

This week has been TV-tastic with a whole range of brilliant TVs at different sizes making their way through the TechRadar office.

We’ve also been putting OX X 10.8 Mountain Lion through its paces.

HTC Desire C review

Although it’s not much of a step up from the Wildfire S and Explorer, the HTC Desire C is a well rounded budget handset which offers more than enough at its price point, even if it is a little under powered compared to some of its rivals. So it’s better than the handsets it’s come in to replace… but not by much. The intuitive interface, attractive design and competitive price tag means the Desire C certainly has the opportunity to do well at the low end of the market – especially against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Y and LG Optimus L3. But for those who need a little more bang for their buck, you might want to see what the Ascend G300 or BlackBerry Curve 9320 have to offer.

Panasonic TX-P50GT50 review

Panasonic TX-P50GT50B review

Packed with extra features it may be, but smart apps, web browsing and cute designs can be bought for less cash; buying the Panasonic TX-P50GT50 is all about a serious quest for picture quality prowess. And, boy, does this 50-inch plasma TV deliver. It’s a class-leading plasma TV at an affordable price and it’s impossible to think of a better screen on which to watch both 2D and 3D Blu-ray. Standard definition sources are coped with unusually well, too, and while the image isn’t as immediately bright as an LCD/LED TV, a picture this good shouldn’t be difficult to live with in any setting. However, the user interface is a little drab, and we’re sad to see no 3D specs in the box but a picture completely lacking in motion blur and with awesome black levels makes this a reference-level television.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion review

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion review

If there’s one feature that makes it worth upgrading your Mac to Mountain Lion, it’s Notification Center. At £13.99, Mountain Lion is a real bargain for that alone, though the true cost might be higher if you have to upgrade from Leopard, or upgrade any of your applications to make them compatible. The rearrangement of Notes and Reminders into their own apps is very welcome if you also use an iOS device, and the swathe of other minor tweaks around the system are positive as a whole. Apple needs to rethink iCloud document libraries before we’re willing to start putting work online though. Using iCloud to store documents is entirely optional, and it can be supplanted with alternatives such as Google Drive and Dropbox, which offer a more flexible file system.

Samsung PS60E6500 review

Samsung PS60E6500 review

Although judged purely on picture quality the PS60E6500 isn’t in quite the same league as Panasonic’s high-end plasmas, it’s a closer run thing than we’d imagined. As smart as any TV out there, the PS60E6500 excels with 3D. We’re talking smooth, depth-filled images that are comfortable to watch, though 2D action is none too shabby either. It’s great to see both Freesat HD and Freevew HD tuners inside, too, with HD channels playing a star role against standard definition channels that somehow look watchable on a 60-inch screen.

Samsung UE40ES7000 review

Samsung UE40ES7000 review

One of Samsung’s best-looking TVs both inside and out, the Samsung UE40ES7000’s Freesat & Freeview HD tuners grace a versatile and innovation-packed effort. Voice control impresses, as does a Smart Touch remote and clever smartphone app. The Smart Hub can feel busy, but there’s plenty on this high-end TV to wow – not least its contrast-rich, detailed pictures, solid upscaling and immersive 3D images.

Panasonic TX-L32X5 review

Panasonic TX-L32X5 review

Choosing an HD-ready TV over a Full HD version is risky if you plan to watch Blu-rays, but this 32-inch television from Panasonic’s low-resolution panel proves capable at hiding the video nasties emanating from the soft, low resolution, low bit-rate standard definition channels that still make up the majority of most people’s TV viewing. There is some endemic motion blur on the Panasonic TX-L32X5 and it’s a shame the Freeview HD electronic programme guide lacks a live TV thumbnail, but overall this is a reasonably good value attempt at a living room telly.

Camcorders

GoPro HD Hero2: Outdoor Edition review

Cameras

Olympus TG-1 review

Nikon Coolpix L810 review

Canon PowerShot SX260 HS review

Hands on: Canon EOS M review

Desktops

HP Z1 WM429EA review

Vibox Flame-X review

Flash drives

Kingston HyperX 64GB DataTraveler 3.0 review

Hard drives

SanDisk Memory Vault review

ioSafe Rugged Portable Hard Drive review

Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB review

Headphones

Sony MDR-V55 review

Headsets

Corsair Vengeance 2000 Wireless review

Sennheiser 323D 3D G4ME review

Laptops

Acer Aspire S5 review

Mice

Ozone Radon Opto review

Roccat Savu review

QPAD 5K LE review

Mobile phones

Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 review

HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE (Verizon) review

Samsung Focus 2 (AT&T) review

Samsung Conquer 4G (Sprint) review

Samsung Galaxy Beam review

Motherboards

Asus RoG Maximus V Formula review

Phone accessories

CrossKase Solar review

Processors

Intel Core i5 3470 review

Storage

OCZ Vertex 4 256GB review

Intel 330 series SSD 60GB review

Tablets

Fujitsu Stylistic M532 review

Televisions

Panasonic TX-L32X5 review

Samsung UE40ES6800 review

Samsung UE40ES7000 review

Samsung PS60E6500 review


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Luxury case designer Lian Li announced yet another brushed aluminum ATX computer case, though this latest one is purportedly silent. The PC-B12, as it’s been dubbed, features a handful of traits designed to keep noise at a minimum, including noise dampening foam attached to the removable front and side panels. There’s also a downward facing exhaust baffle that’s supposed to help keep acoustics to a minimum.

The case itself is a mid-tower chassis that measures 210mm (W) by 472mm (H) by 498mm (D) and weighs 6.4kg. It’s made of black aluminum and can support up to three 3.5-inch hard drives (with a hotswap option), a single 2.5-inch SSD, and up to eight expansion cards. Compatibility wise, the PC-B12 supports graphics cards up to 360mm in length, PSUs up to 240mm, and CPU coolers that stand up to 160mm.

Cooling duties are handled by a pair of 140mm fans up front and a 120mm fan in the rear, all three of which are included. There are no other optional fan mounts.

Lian Li neglected to mention when the PC-B12 will ship, though did say it will retail for $169.

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