The last 24 hours have been exciting for Android fans and prospective buyers. All four major US carriers (and a few regional ones as well) have now come out to say that they will carry a variant of the Samsung Galaxy S smartphone. This is an unusual situation for the wireless industry. Most highly anticipated phones are kept exclusive to a single carrier, at least at launch.
The Galaxy S is an Android 2.1-based smartphone running Samsung's TouchWiz 3.0 skin. It will be running on a 1GHz ARM-based chip called the Hummingbird. The screen is a 4-inch Super AMOLED panel reportedly capable of better performance in direct light than other AMOLED screens. T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T are looking at getting the standard slate version, but Sprint will be getting a version with a 4G WiMAX radio and a landscape sliding keyboard. This version will be called the Epic 4G. AT&T and Verizon will be branding the phones the Captivate and the Fascinate, respectively.
Only T-Mobile has announced official release information. The Samsung Vibrant (the carrier's name for the Galaxy S) will be available for $199 on contract on July 21. Anyone planning to take a long hard look at one of these phones?
By now, if you’re buying a netbook, you know what you’re getting: All the models of a given generation are the same on the inside. So with the internals out of the decision tree, how do you choose which of dozens of near-identical netbooks is worthy of your purchase? Sure, the old standby differentiator of battery life still applies. But how about aesthetics? Can you actually choose a netbook based on design?
We think so. The Samsung N210’s internals could be those of any current-gen non-Ion netbook—a 1.66GHz Atom N450 Pine Trail processor, 1GB RAM, a 250GB 5,400rpm hard drive—but it’s what’s on the outside that counts. The device has an embossed cream-color lid covered with a clear plastic coating. The interior is all matte white; and with its chrome edge trim and crisp gray lettering, it’s almost retro-futuristic. The keyboard puts every other netbook keyboard to shame—the chiclet-style keys aren’t cramped at all and the keyboard doesn’t feel mushy. We could type on it all day. The track pad’s multitouch capabilities help make up for its small size, and the LED-backlit screen is readable even at low brightness levels. Cranked up, the backlighting is quite bright for an office environment.
Samsung sounds awfully excited about its latest SSD, a 512GB drive utilzing "toggle-mode DDR NAND" memory. It's the first SSD to do so, and according to Samsung, this is a pretty major deal. As Samsung explains it, toggle-mode DDR allows for higher performance without a subsequent increase in power consumption.
"The resulting power throttling capability enables the drive’s high-performance levels without any increase in power consumption over a 40nm-class 16Gb NAND-based 256GB SSD," Samsung said. "The controller also analyzes frequency of use and preferences of the user to automatically activate a low-power mode that can extend a notebook’s battery life for an hour or more."
Samsung's first-run SSD to employ this technology checks in with up to 250MB/s sequential read and up to 220MB/s sequential write speeds. Respectable, though not earth shattering when considering that the competition has begun cranking out high-performance SSDs with read and write speeds in the vicinity of 280MB/s.
Volume production is expected to begin next month. No price has yet been set.
We had high hopes for Samsung’s P2770HD. After all, its 23-inch little brother rose to the top of a sea of crappy TN displays in our December 2009 roundup. With its street price of $400, the P2770HD looked like a strong value for folks with non-critical applications.
We stand by our opinion that twisted-nematic (TN) technology is inferior to in-plane switching (IPS), as well as our recommendation that you shouldn’t rely on a TN-panel monitor for critical applications such as photo and video editing (especially if your livelihood depends on it). On the other hand, TN panels like this one do deliver unarguably faster pixel response rates, which is great for gaming, and lately, they’ve become insanely cheap.
With the World Cup dominating the sports the world, soccer is all the rage right now, extending even into the tech sector. Underscoring this is Samsung's new N150 Plus Adidas Special Edition netbook.
What makes this a Special Edition unit is not only the Adidas branding slapped on the lid, but also colorful patterns signifying the World Cup. Otherwise, it's mostly the same N150 as before with a few upgrades, including Windows 7 Starter, 250GB hard drive, and Bluetooth 3.0. Otherwise, it still comes configured with the same Intel Atom N450 processor (1.66GHz, 667MHz FSB, 512KB L2 cache) as before, as well as Intel GMA3150 graphics, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and three USB 2.0 ports.
No word on how much it will cost, and we'd be surprised if this one made it to the U.S. market. But if you are able to track one down, Samsung is throwing in a similarly designed mouse and gift pouch.
Many viewed the advent of netbooks as a golden opportunity for Linux to capture the popular imagination. But netbook vendors and users never really warmed up to Linux. It might have failed to grab one massive opportunity, but it has a chance at redemption in the booming market for mobile internet-enabled devices.
British chip designer ARM and five system-on-chip (SoC) vendors – IBM, Freescale Semiconductor, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments - have formed a not-for-profit company called Linaro to provide “new resources and industry alignment for open source software developers using Linux on the world’s most sophisticated semiconductor System-on-Chips (SoCs).”
Linaro will be rolling out new releases of optimized tools, kernel and middleware software every six months, making Linux-based distributions such as Android, LiMo, MeeGo, Ubuntu and webOS compatible with semiconductor offerings from different vendors. This should, in turn, help reduce time-to-market for ARM- and Linux-based devices, including smart phones, tablets, digital televisions, automotive entertainment and enterprise equipment.
"ARM and our partners have a long history of working with, and supporting, open source software development for complex SoCs based on the ARM architecture," said Warren East, ARM CEO. "As a founding member of Linaro, we are working together with the broader open source community to accelerate innovation for the next generation of computing, focusing on delivering a rich connected experience across the diversity of devices in our daily lives."
Samsung has teamed up with 3LCD to deliver the first ever 3LCD LED projector, the F10M. You may recall the F10M from when it was first announced at CES earlier this year. The F10M made headlines as the world's first LED-based projector to break the 1,000 lumens mark.
"Utilizing 3LCD technology in the F10M was an obvious choice," said Tom Grau, senior product marketing manager for Samsung Electronics Co., LTD. "The technology advantages offered by the 3LCD architecture ensure the F10M provides customers with an incredibly bright and energy efficient projector, and when paired with an LED light source, even more amazing color and image quality."
Like all 3LCD projectors, the F10M uses a 3-chip optical engine. It doesn't rely on a color wheel, and as a result it doesn't suffer from the so-called "rainbow effect" or "color break-up," 3LCD says. The F10M is capable of beaming an XGA image ranging in size from 40 inches to 300 inches and includes HDMI input and PC connectivity. For you impatient types, 3LCD also promises instant-on/off functionality with virtually no warm-up time.
No word yet on when this will go on sale or for how much.
Yet another reason why you just can't have enough USB ports, Samsung has developed a USB-powered LCD PC display that requires no AC/DC power source.
The display, which was being shown off at the SID 2010 conference in Seattle, measures 18.5 inches and consumes as little as 6.3W. Plug it into a USB port and you're good to go.
"We are planning to start volume production of the LCD display for desktop PCs in 2011," Samsung said.
In order to ditch the traditional power cord, Samsung had to figure out a way to reduce power consumption. The company did this by improving the transmittance of the panel and luminance efficiency of the backlight. According to Samsung, the transmittance of the panel is at about 7 percent, but the company declined to elaborate on what technologies it used to achieve this.
What we do know is that it comes with an edge-lit type backlight that taps into LEDs for its light source. Samsung's LEDs boast a higher efficiency than traditional LEDs used in LCD monitors, but at a rated lifetime of 30,000 hours, they also offer about 20,000 hours less.
Following an extensive investigation into alleged price fixing violations, the European Commission found nine memory makers guilty of wrongdoing and fined them a collective $404 million.
The companies involved include Samsung, Infineon, Hynix, Elpida, NEC, Hitachi, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, and Nanya, all of which submitted settlements admitting their liability for infringement, according to reports. Micron would also have been included, but ultimately was not fined since it told the Commission about the cartel as far back as 2002.
"You may think that to use the word 'settlement' next to the word 'cartel' sounds quite strange," Almunia said. "So let me explain right away that we are not compromising on cartels, with or without a settlement. A cartel is the worst violation of competition rules since its object is to collude against the interests of other companies and of consumers."
Samsung received the biggest fine at $145.7 million, with Infineon receiving the second largest fine at $56.7 million. The cartel is said to have operated from July 1, 1998 and June 15, 2002.
Samsung this week announced the availability of an eight gigabit (Gb) OneNAND chip built on a 30nm manufacturing process. According to Samsung, the higher density memory will pave the way for more features in smartphones, while at the same time driving down the overall cost.
"We are happy to see that our advanced 30nm-class NAND solution is being widely adopted in smartphones," said Sejin Kim, vice president, Flash memory planning/enabling, Samsung Electronics. "The availability of 3Gb OneNAND chip will add considerably to our diverse line-up of advanced mobile memory solutions."
The OneNAND chip design is able to read data at up to 70MB/s, which is more than four times the speed of conventional NAND (17MB/s). Combined with a low-voltage design and higher productivity over previous 40nm class chips, Samsung says it is particularly well suited for touchscreen devices and other high resolution smartphone features.