Like it or not, 3D is destined for your living room, and there's a race to get there first (just ask Panasonic and Best Buy). But how much can you expect to plunk down on a fancy new 3D television set?
Samsung answered that question today by announcing the availability and pricing info for its next-generation lineup of LED HDTVs, including several 3D-capable units. The least you can expect to pay for 3D, at least for a Samsung set, is $2,000, which buys you a 40-inch HDTV. Pricing goes up from there, all the way to $7,000 for a 55-inch set due out in April.
"Our commitment to innovation has always been strong. We’re not only delivering elegant design and eco-friendly energy consumption, but we’re adding a new dimension to superior home entertainment through a broad lineup of 3D LED TVs," said John Revie, vice president of Home Entertainment for Samsung Electronics America. "We are passionate about this year’s LED TV lineup as we once again raise the bar on technology innovation by delivering a superior TV experience and leadership in the HDTV space."
While Samsung announced 27 new models in all, 8 of them will come with built-in 3D (C7000, C8000, and C9000 series). All of these include Samsung's Real240Hz refresh rate technology and are compatible with major 3D format standards, the company said.
See here for a full list of details and new models.
Samsung on Thursday said it plans to launch a new line of multimedia "powerhouse" R80 series notebooks at Best Buy, both online and offline, on March 7th. The sub-$1,-00 notebook line will come with Blu-ray capabilities and Nvidia GeForce graphics.
"Best Buy continues to be an important retail partner for Samsung, and we’re excited to offer a range of notebook and netbook options to our customers that deliver exceptional craftsmanship and performance," said Todd Bouman, director of product marketing at Samsung Electronics Information Technology Division. "True to Samsung’s unique, customer-focused design aesthetic, these mobile PCs are flexible enough to be used as mobile devices or desktop replacements for all-day use."
There will be three models in all -- R480 ($730), R580 ($830), and R780 ($930) -- all of which come built around Intel's Core i3/i5 platform. The flagship 17-inch R780 unit will include 4GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce GT 330M graphics, a 500GB hard drive, DVD burner, 1.3MP webcam, Wi-Fi, and Windows Home Premium 64-bit. Interestingly, there's no Blu-ray drive on the higher end model, which is offered only on the 14-inch R480 and 15-inch R580.
Samsung has also started selling its N210 netbook in Best Buy stores, which comes with an Intel Atom N450 processor, 1GB of DDR2 memory, Intel GMA 3150 graphics, a 250GB hard drive, and Windows 7 Starter Edition. This one sells for $380.
It used to be that if you wanted to run with the big dogs in photography, you needed a DSLR. And while some would argue that's still the case, point-and-shoot cameras continue to blur the line between the two market segments. Enter Samsung's new TL350, a 10 megapixel point-and-shoot with a few tricks up its sleeve.
Samsung's latest entry to the point-and-shoot market comes with a 24mm ultra wide-angle Schneider Keuznach lens, five levels of optical zoom, and a 3-inch AMOLED display. Budding photographers benefit from both smart and manual controls, but that's not all.
Video buffs will appreciate the TL350's ability to capture 1080p HD video. And with Samsung's Dual Capture Mode, users can shoot videos and stills at the same time.
Of course, we need to see its performance before making any kind of judgment, but as far as spec sheets go, Samsung's off to a good start, and a decent price point. This one will carry an MSRP of $350 when it ships this Spring.
Samsung has just upped the ante on DDR3, by making the memory modules even smaller and more energy efficient. It’s reduced the process size from 40nm to 30nm, which lowers productions costs, allows for higher density memory, and reduces energy consumption.
According to Samsung, productivity in mass production is 60 percent greater with 30nm-class process technology, with production-cost efficiencies double that of DRAM using 50nm or 60nm-class technology.
Furthermore, the 30nm-class 2Gb “Green” DRAM reduces energy consumption by 30 percent. Samsung says a 4GB, 30nm DDR3 in a new generation notebook will only use three watts per hour, or about three percent of the notebook’s power consumption.
Samsung’s focus is not specifically the consumer market, but rather the server market where memory is one of the drivers for energy costs. Widespread use of this new memory technology promises significant reduction in server energy costs, which should be attractive to the enterprise market. (Hence the “Green” appellation.) Still, this new 30nm-class DDR3 will be making its way into consumer products: desktops, laptops, netbooks, and mobile devices.
Samsung says mass production of its new 30nm-class 1.35V DDR3 is scheduled for the second half of 2010. That could mean they will start appearing in consumer hardware by the end of the year.
Up to this point, Acer has been able to sit on top of the netbook hill with a comfortable market lead over its competitors, and while Acer will probably maintain a shipment advantage throughout 2010, other vendors are quickly closing the gap, DigiTimes reports.
Acer managed to ship about 9 million netbooks last year, almost double that of its nearest competitor (Asus), who shipped 5.4 million. Meanwhile, HP and Samsung shipped 4.2 million and 2.9 million units respectively in 2009, posing no real threat to Acer's No. 1 spot. That's about to change.
Acer recently indicated it expects mostly flat performance on its netbook shipments in 2010, or slight growth in a best case scenario. That leaves the door open for Asus to close the gap, who reckons it will ship 8 million units this year. Samsung and HP also expect better performance in the coming months and hope to finish the year with 7-8 million and 6 million units, respectively.
Those of us in the States have been able to pick up Samsung's NB30 netbook for quite some time now, while our U.K. brethren have had to wait patiently. The wait is over, as Samsung's Pine Trail netbook has finally started shipping in the U.K.
As a refresher, Samsung's 10.1-inch NB30 is built around Intel's Pine Trail platform and sports a still-new Atom N450 processor clocked at 1.66GHz and Intel GMA3150 graphics. Other specs include 1GB of memory, a 160GB hard drive, 0.3MP webcam, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3 USB 2.0 ports, and 3-in-1 memory card reader.
Those who opt for Windows XP can pick up an NB30 netbook for £247.56 (about $383 USD) from MicroWarehouse.co.uk, or spend £296.95 (about $460 USD) and get Windows 7 Starter.
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.