It’s hardly a secret that Samsung’s been working on a 7-inch tablet device called the “Galaxy Tab.” Still, it’s always nice to have confirmation, and that’s exactly what we got today from Samsung. While we’re not sure that we agree with the press release that the Tab is a “new category of device” (prepare for the initial wave of iPad comparisons in 3… 2… 1…) it does have a pretty compelling featureset, including Flash support, DivX certification, and front- and rear-facing cameras (1.3 and 3 megapixels, respectively).
Inside, the Tab’s packing a 1GHz Cortex A8 proc, a PowerVR SGX540 GPU and 512 MB of RAM. Every version of the tab can connect to Wi-Fi and 3G networks (with a data plan, of course.) It’ll be available in a 16GB and a 32GB model, and it ships with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI on top of Android 2.2 (Froyo).
No word on pricing yet, but expect the Tab to come out in Europe in September, and in the states sometime after that.
Having trouble playing Blu-ray flicks from Universal and Warner Brothers on your Samsung player? If it's any consolation, so are scores of other users.
Here's the deal. Something funky in Samsung's latest firmware -- version 2.09 -- for its line of BD-Px600 Blu-ray players is preventing the unit from playing movies like "The Hangover" and "The Book of Eli," two must-see movies, by the way, in case you haven't watched them already.
As is predictably the case, the SNAFU deals with copy protection, and once again, it's the paying consumer who pays the price. While software pirates are merrily clogging up their ISP's pipes downloading movies from BitTorrent sites, several Samsung Blu-ray player owners are forced to sit back and wait for a fix. The good news is a fix is on the way, but not until September, the company said.
Does that mean early September or closer to the end? Nobody knows. Samsung BD-Px600 owners may be able to watch their legally purchased/rented Blu-ray movies next week, or maybe several weeks from now. And if we sound particularly critical about the whole situation, consider that this isn't the first time something like this has happened. Earlier this year, Samsung BD-UP5000 and BD-P1400 Blu-ray players coughed up a hairball when owners tried to watch "Avatar" on Blu-ray. Samsung did fix the issue, but is this really the future of HD movies on the home front?
When you think of memory, Samsung probably isn't the first name to come to mind, but perhaps it should be. No other company produces more DRAM, and in the second quarter of 2010, Samsung further distanced itself from all competitors.
"Samsung's memory business long has pursued a strategy of taking the leadership in investment in new manufacturing processes, allowing it to be the first to move to advanced semiconductor process geometries, and thus enabling the company to make semiconductors at a lower cost and at greater efficiency than its competitors," said Mike Howard, senior analyst for DRAM technology at iSuppli. "The company's aggressive push into 40nm semiconductor lithography for DRAM manufacturing boosted the volume of its bit production dramatically. Meanwhile, Samsung's broad DRAM portfolio, including high-end devices like mobile and legacy parts, allowed it to achieve an ASP higher than the industry average."
Samsung cranked out 1.2 billion 1Gb density equivalent DRAM units in the second quarter, a 13 percent increase over its first quarter production and enough to pull in revenues of $3.8 billion.
While Samsung is flying high, Micron (Crucial's parent company) showed the weakest growth among the top-five DRAM suppliers in the second quarter. Micron's revenues rose by 4.1 percent to $1.43 billion, which iSuppli blames on manufacturing challenges at the company's Inotera facility.
Melissa Thompson, a 27-year-old woman living in Salford, England, used to text message her boyfriend some 40 or 50 times per day. Now she holds the Guiness World Record for being the fastest typist on a phone, which she achieved using a Samsung Galaxy S smartphone.
Here's what Thompson typed to claim the record: "The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human."
The previous record for typing the above blip on a smartphone was held by Franklin Page of Seattle, who took 35.54 seconds to type it all out. But Thompson not only broke that record, she shattered it by nearly 10 seconds, taking only 25.94 seconds to punch out all the characters.
According to Thomspon, she's not up to speed on her texting, despite having set the record. The reason? She now lives with her boyfriend and no longer fires off dozens of messages to him each day.
Samsung has already admitted to harboring media pad ambitions. Back in June, JK Shin, president of Samsung's mobile communications division, confirmed that the Korean electronics titan is working on an Android-based tablet, the Galaxy Tab, that will lock horns with the Apple iPad. But Samsung has yet to detail the tablet.
That might change at the forthcoming IFA consumer electronics show in Germany (September 3-8), according to Korean newspaper the JoongAng Daily. The newspaper's source, a “high-ranking” Samsung official, revealed that the company plans to showcase its tablet PC for the first time at IFA.
Following an investigation into the business practices of several LCD makers, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has gone and sued a number of companies on allegations of price fixing, a charge he contends has been going on for a decade.
"Our investigation shows that an illegal cartel eliminated competition in the marketplace for LCD screens, made its own secret decisions to boost prices, and then took steps to make those high prices stick," Cuomo said. "As a result, hard-pressed New York cities, towns, schools, and hospitals spent hundreds of millions of dollars on LCD screens affected by the illegal conspiracy. My office is bringing this case to get those illegal overcharges back."
The lawsuit accuses top-level executives, including CEOs, of attending secret meetings on a quarterly, and sometimes monthly basis to set minimum prices, price targets and increases, and prices to be charged to specific manufacturers. Cuomo's lawsuit also accuses LCD makers of exchanging production information to control output, and coordinating messages to cover-up the entire scheme.
Defendants listed in the suit include AU Optronics, Chi Mei Corporation, CMO Japan, Hitachi, LG, Samsung, Sharp, and Toshiba.
Look for Samsung to soon begin shipping the EcoGreen F4EG, a 2TB 3.5-inch hard drive the company claims is the world's highest density HDD, and environmentally friendly to boot.
"Storage-hungry multimedia professionals, gamers, and home PC users continue to increase the amount of video, music, photo, and other personal data they store and back-up," said I.C. Park, vice president, Storage Sales, Semiconductor Business, Samsung Electronics. "The F4EG delivers all the benefits of a low-power drive yet features top performance quality and is environmentally friendly."
In order to claim the density crown, Samsung packed 667GB of storage space onto three platters. Combined with "advanced technology," Samsung says the F4EG is 19 percent better in standby time performance, and boasts a 23 percent lower power consumption in standby compared to the previous four-disk F3EG model.
Other features include SATA 3.0Gbps, NCQ, and a 32MB buffer. The F4EG will ship in September for $120.
Shout it with us: No more wires! That's the idea behind Samsung's PL90, the company's latest point-n-shoot camera with a built-in USB connector. No more fumbling around your bag for that USB cable, just flip open the connector and jam the digicam right into a free USB port.
"We want consumers to enjoy the entire photographic experience through the PL90, with the ability to capture, connect, and share pictures instantly and even charge on the move," said Sangjin Park, President of the Digital Imaging Business, Samsung Electronics. "In this fast paced world, we understand that our customers need to have these capabilities at their fingertips, and the PL90 puts this power in their hands. The PL90 is further evidence of the continued innovation behind Samsung cameras."
More than a one-trick pony, the PL90 comes packed with a respectable spec sheet. There's a 12.2 megapixel sensor, 4x optical zoom, a 2.7-inch LCD screen, 30FPS VGA movie mode, red eye fix, and a handful of proprietary technologies.
With so many tablets purportedly on the horizon, many of which will tap into Google's Android platform, it's going to be increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd without some kind of novel twist. Samsung may have found one, as evidenced by a recent patent filing that places a touch panel on both the front and rear of a tablet. Here's the short and sweet of the lengthy patent app:
"A terminal device having a dual touchscreen capable of controlling a content is disclosed. The terminal device displays at least one content to a display unit. A processor coupled to the terminal is configured to checking content mapped to an area at which a touch event is detected and released from the dual touchscreen including a first touch sensor and a second touch sensor and to control the content according to the touch event."
It's an interesting idea, though it also raises a number of questions. Can you pick up the device and use either side, or is there a true front and back? And what are the optimal uses for a dual-sided tablet? Is this something Joe User even wants?
If you've got the answers, we'd love to hear them. Hit the jump and sound off!
If Intel had its way every single device on the planet would be powered by one of its processors, but one thing is holding them back from world domination, namely their dependence on x86 architectures. ARM Processors have proven to be the faster and more power efficient design for mobile up until now, leaving Intel to spectate jealously from the sidelines. So how will Intel find its way inside some of the most coveted consumer devices on the planet? Well, if recent rumors are true than a few billion out of the war chest to buy Germany-based Infineon might just do the trick.
Infineon chips show up in mobile products from Nokia, Samsung, and even Apple which power everything from the 3G radios to the interface chips for high resolution cameras. These critical pieces of hardware don’t get the same level of press as the A4, but are just as important to the final package. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this story is that Intel is more or less buying back technology that they invented and sold off to Marvell back in 2006.
Intel has a fair bit of work to do before it can become entrenched in mobile platforms, but an acquisition of Infineon would be a positive first step buying them a valuable chunk of PCB real estate inside the iPad and iPhone 4.