New top-end mobile chips from Qualcomm bring the boom
Qualcomm just threw down the gauntlet in the mobile handset space by announcing some potent parts. More specifically, Qualcomm unveiled its Snapdragon 610 and Snapdragon 615 chipsets for high-end smartphones. According to Qualcomm, the 615 part is the world's first commercial octa-core solution with integrated LTE and 64-bit capabilities, while the 610 offers the same in a quad-core package.
If your daily work space is on a mountain top or some other tough terrain, an Ultrabook may not be what you need. Instead, GammaTech offers a line of rugged systems, including its new Durabook R8300, a 13.3-inch notebook that's certified to stringent MIL-STD-810G and IP64 specifications. It can withstand drops, getting wet, dust, temperature fluctuations, and other variables that are likely to occur in hostile environments.
Tired of slow file transfers? Assuming your PC has a USB 3.0 port, it might be worth upgrading to a USB 3.0 flash drive. Not all of them are created equal, however, though Toshiba just announced its large-capacity TransMemory Pro USB 3.0 flash drive family with high-speed transfers. Specifically, Toshiba rates the read and write speeds at up to 222MB/s and 205MB/s, respectively.
As expected, Samsung introduced its Galaxy S5 smartphone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, a handset that represents an attempt at returning "back to basics" with a focus on capabilities that consumers want most, the South Korean phone maker said. It starts with a big size display -- a 5.1-inch Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) Super AMOLED powered by a peppy 2.5GHz quad-core processor.
Western Digital continues the trend of color coding its hard drive line by adding a Purple model built specifically for surveillance applications. The Purple line differs from regular hard drives in that they're better suited for 24/7 always-on conditions, whereas standard HDDs are built to run for only short intervals, WD says. In addition, Purple drives can withstand high temperature fluctuations and equipment vibrations inherent in typical surveillance applications.
Underneath Origin PC's custom heat spreaders are HyperX modules
Boutique system builder Origin PC has teamed up with Kingston Technology to deliver a line of its own brand memory modules offered in the company's Genesis, Millennium, and Chronos desktops. Though the DDR3 memory kits bear Origin PC's name on the low profile black heat spreaders, they're essentially rebadged Kingston HyperX modules, only they've been factory tested and approved by both Kingston and Origin PC engineers.
Low priced convertible from HP takes on Lenovo's Yoga
If the HP Pavilion x360 looks familiar, it's because we've seen the 360-degree hinge trick before when Lenovo introduced its Yoga. HP's Pavilion x360 is also capable of swinging all the way around and transforming itself from a laptop into a tablet, but it carries a much lower starting price. The cost of entry is $400, significantly lower than the Lenovo Yoga 11s, which starts out at $1,100 on Lenovo's website.
New SoCs give Intel a greater presence in the mobile sector
The mobile device category is dominated by ARM-based processors, and that's something that doesn't sit well with Intel. The Santa Clara chip maker is used to being on top of the semiconductor world, and in the mobile space, Intel will attempt to wrestle some share away from ARM with its new 64-bit Atom Z3480 processor, otherwise known as Merrifield, which is a quad-core part intended for Android devices.
It worked for netbooks, can it also work for entry-level laptops?
Regardless of how power users feel about Chromebooks, they're selling, and they're selling well. In fact, a Samsung Chromebook model is the best selling laptop on Amazon, and out of the top 10 most popular notebooks (in terms of sales), Chromebooks account for half. That's certainly not the landscape Microsoft envisioned when it released Windows 8, and to counter the Chromebook movement, the company is reportedly planning to slash Windows 8.1 licensing fees by 70 percent.
SanDisk has been on a tear lately. Following up the launch of its Extreme Pro SDHC/SDXC UHS-II card earlier this month, which it bills as the fastest SD card from here to the edge of the galaxy, SanDisk today announced its new 128GB Ultra microSDXC UHS-1 memory card, which offers the most capacity of any microSD card ever made. That's a pretty impressive amount of storage for a part that's smaller than the size of a fingernail.