Samsung made good on its promise to deliver its R430 notebook to the U.S. market, landing the 14-inch dual-core laptop at Buy.com for $650.
At that price and size, the R430 sits a little awkwardly somewhere between a netbook and a regular notebook, but there's nothing awkward about the parts inside. The R430 comes equipped with an Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 processor racing along at 2.2GHz, 4GB of RAM, Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics with 256MB of shared memory , a 320GB hard drive, DVD burner, 0.3MP webcam, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, and a 6-cell battery.
It also comes with HDMI output so you can hook it up to your television when you grow weary of the LED backlit, 1366 x 768 LCD display.
Flat panel TVs, both LCD and plasma, set the stage for a seismic shift manufacturing dominance. Where Sony was once the dominate player, back when TVs still had CRTs, today it’s Samsung. Samsung has been the ‘big boy on the block’ since 2006, but it’s become even bigger, verging on 20% of the global market share of TV sales.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Samsung is approaching a milestone not reached since the earliest days of television. And, Samsung has achieved the feat almost single-handedly, keeping production in-house, where it has greater control over quality, rather than outsourcing. Samsung shipped 38 million TVs in 2009, a 15 percent increase from 2008. It expects to ship 45 million in 2010.
Following on Samsung’s heels is LG Electronics, which accounts for 14.8 percent of the market. Panasonic (6.9 percent), TCL Electronics (6.6 percent), and Sony (5.9 percent), round out the top five. Together, these manufacturers account for 51.4 percent of the global television market.
Chrome OS is a curious thing. It does away with many of the paradigms we’ve become accustomed to over the years of computing. It will have users storing data in the cloud, and will offer a user interface based solely around the web browser. Google has also said they intend to have a reference platform for manufacturers to base their own hardware on. This is said to include very small SSDs for chache and operating system files only. This makes some recent comments from Samsung all the more interesting.
Samsung’s Australian head of IT Phil Newton, said that the company would be launching a Chrome OS netbook. Some specs were discussed as well. The machine would apparently have a 10.1 inch screen, 2GB of RAM, a 64GB SSD, and a 1.5 GHz Snapdragon CPU. We’re baffled why a Chrome OS netbook would need 64GB of hard drive space. This just doesn’t seem to jive with what Google has said. Could it be that Samsung intends to make modifications to Chrome OS?
“We have a lab in Korea that is currently working on developing a laptop with partially-transparent screen,” Samsung Electronics America's Reid Sullivan told PlusPlasticElectronics. “Soon, I imagine that all Samsung's audio-visual products will feature this technology. We want to be the first in this market.”
It appears as though transparent AMOLED displays have infatuated Samsung. It also plans to launch a see-through MP3 player christened IceTouch, which according to the report will be available in the early half of 2010. The IceTouch is likely to cost around $330. The real challenge for the consumer will be to think of a practical use for such gadgets once they cease to be a novelty.
Samsung showcased a couple of e-book readers, the $400 E6 and the $700 E101, at last month's Consumer Electronics Show 2010 in Las Vegas. Though neither is on the market yet, the company has bolstered its upcoming e-reader lineup by adding the E61, which features a full QWERTY keyboard.
The E61 is effectively an E6 with a QWERTY keyboard. A 6-inch screen, removable battery, Bluetooth 2.0, and 802.11b/g WiFi are some of the features common to both the e-readers. There is no word on its release date or price.
There's something green in the air this week, what with NEC announcing its carbon footprint conscious AS171 monitor, and Samsung introducing a new line of eco-friendly hard drives, the F3EG.
Sound familiar? That's because the EcoGreen F3EG series replaces the F2EG line, and with it bumps up the flagship model to a 2TB capacity consisting of four 500GB platters. By Samsung's math, that equates to 880 hours of DVD videor or 500,000 (or more) songs in MP3 format.
"Storage-hungry multimedia professionals, gamers, and home PC users contnue to increase the amount of video, music, photo, and other personal data they store and back-up," said In Cheol Park, vice president, Storage Sales, Samsung Electronics. "The F3EG delivers all the benefits of a low-power drive yet features high performance and is environmentally friendly."
Also in the eco-friendly F3EG mix is a 1.5TB model, and along with the 2TB drive, both boast Samsung's EcoTriangleTM technology comprised of low-power, low-noise components, and no halogen content.
Touchscreens are a kludge. For the most part they consist of a touchscreen laid over a display. It works, but it adds an extra layer of complexity and weight to any device that uses one. Samsung says it will begin mass producing a 3.3-inch AMOLED WVGA panel for mobile devices this March, which effectively merges the touchscreen into a single device.
An AMOLED is an incredibly thin LED screen, with brightness nearing that of LEDs, and which has no need for backlighting. What Samsung has done is place the touch sensor onto the display, making them one in the same. (The touch sensor is 0.001 mm thick.) This single-piece device is not only less complex, it’s lighter and thinner.
According to Samsung, “Through mass production, we want to make this touch embedded AMOLED panel number one in the LCD and AMOLED market. Also, we want to mass produce touch screens and construct a system so that we can expand the display market.
Samsung on Monday announced what it claims is the industry's first 30nm class DRAM to successfully complete customer evaluations in 2Gb (gigabit) densities.
"Our accelerated development of next generation 30nm-class DRAM should keep us in the most competitive position in the memory market," said Soo-In Cho, president, Memory Division, Samsung Electronics. "Our 30nm-class process technology will provide the most advanced low-power DDR3 available today and therein the most efficient DRAM solutions anywhere for the introduction of consumer electronics and server systems."
According to Samsung, shrinking down to a 30nm manufacturing process allows the company to raise production by 60 percent over 40nm-class DDR3. And as far as consumers are concerned, the company's Green DRAM lowers power consumption by up to 30 percent over 50nm-class DRAM. To give a real world example, Samsung says a 4GB, 30nm module will consume only 3W per hour in a new generation notebook.
If at first you don't succeed, sue, sue again. The reason? You might score a $900 million settlement, just as sue-happy Rambus did after years of litigation over memory patents. And this could be just the beginning, but more on that in a moment.
Under terms of the agreement, Samsung will pay Rambus $200 million upfront, followed by quarterly payments in the neighborhood of $25 million over five years. Samsung also agreed to purchase $200 million worth of Rambus stock, bringing the final tally to $900 million.
The settlement puts to rest a long-standing dispute over DRAM technology licenses, and going forward, the two companies have agreed to collaborate on a new generation of memory technologies, including graphics and mobile memory, and potentially server and high-speed NAND flash chips, CNet reports.
While this represents a major payday for Rambus, there could be more to come. The company is still going after Micron, Hynix, and Nanya.
Consider Kodak both a lover and a fighter, because the company loves to receive royalty payments, and is willing to fight for them in court. Such was the case last month when Kodak made arrangements with LG, who has already cut its first royalty check.
Now it's Samsung's turn, who Kodak accused of infringing on two of its patents. But rather than duke it out in court, the two companies have agreed to cross-license each other's patent portfolios, while Samsung, like LG, will pay royalties to Kodak.
"We are pleased to have reached a mutually beneficial arrangement that advances the interests of Kodak and Samsung and which validates the strength of Kodak's intellectual property portfolio," said Kodak's chief intellectual property officer, Laura G. Quatela.
Financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed.