LaCie has expanded its lineup of USB 3.0-enabled external hard drives (maybe because the Rugged USB 3.0 mobile hard drive it launched in late April had begun pining for siblings). The Minimus and Rikiki are the company's latest USB 3.0-powered HDD offerings. If you believe in love at first sight, then an innate predilection for “sturdy brushed aluminum”will surely boost the odds of you falling for these two drives.
"The Minimus and Rikiki USB 3.0 offer our customers easy and affordable options to access the super speeds of USB 3.0," Philippe Rault, LaCie Consumer Product Manager, is quoted as saying in a release. "Since these products offer backward compatibility with USB 2.0, they will work on any PC or Mac with no worry."
Sources are indicating today that Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system will be launching on October 11. An event in New York is expected to be used to introduce the operating system to the public at large. Interestingly, this doesn't mean you will be able to head to the local mobile phone shop top buy one right away. Phones should be available to consumers later in the month.
Microsoft will presumably have final hardware at this event to best show off the new OS. At the very least, we should see a phone that consumers will actually be able to buy. We have previously heard that phones will come from manufacturers like Asus, HTC, LG, and Dell.
Since it's unveiling at Mobile World Congress 2010, development seems to have proceeded quickly. But will this launch happen in time to give Microsoft a shot in the mobile space?
The rumor mill has been very busy churning out tablet rumors in recent times. Last month, tech blog DownloadSquad made its long-awaited contribution to the growing body of tablet rumors by claiming that HTC was building a Chrome OS tablet, which would be launched by Verizon on Black Friday, November 26 – the busiest shopping day of the year. But the chances of that happening are virtually nonexistent, if Anders Sandholm, Google Chrome's senior product manager, is to be believed.
"What we are focusing on is netbooks in terms of form-factor and providing a really good experience for that," Sandholm told our sister site TechRadar. Although he didn't rule out “experiments in things like touch and other form-factors,” it is clear from Sandholm's comments that a Chrome OS-based tablet is not currently in the works. The first Chrome OS devices will be available next year.
Oh no Qualcomm, say it isn't so! That mighty 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon chip we've been so anxiously looking forward to isn't slated to ship until July 2011, and maybe later.
This is the same part that we were previously told would show up in the first quarter of 2011, but apparently someone at Qualcomm misspoke. Qualcomm's PR dudes were quick to clarify that it's the 1.2GHz Snapdragon part that we'll see in early 2011, with the faster 1.5GHz silicon hopefully making it in time for the holiday shopping season next year.
On the bright side, a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor should make for a nice upgrade over today's single-core 1GHz parts. And with Samsung hard at work developing a 2GHz dual-core mobile chip, we're still stoked about both the short- and long-term outlook of smartphones.
Seiko is trying to bring digital watches back in style, and to help do that, the company is equipping new models with e-ink displays.
This isn't the first time Seiko has gone this route, having used e-ink in a handful of limited edition watches for the ladies a few years back. They never really took off, which Seiko hopes is only because it was an idea slightly ahead of its time.
These second-gen e-ink watches sport an active matrix display that allows the screen to "actively" refresh itself whenever needed. The battery is only used when changing the display, so in theory, these suckers should run for long, long periods of time.
It's also equipped with a solar cell, and the movement is radio controlled so that it receives its time from an atomic clock. It all looks pretty promising (and geeky), and if the recent ebook price war is any indication, these things might actually end up being affordable too.
Acer, one of the pioneers in the netbook market, is ready to embrace tablets and isn't shy about the direction they're going to take. According to company president Simon Lin, Acer is feeling pretty enamored with Google's open-source Android platform and thinks that Android-tablets will have what it takes to knock Apple's iPad down a peg or three.
That doesn't mean Windows is being left out in the cold completely. Acer plans to test launch a Windows-based tablet built around Intel's Atom architecture in the fourth of this year to see how the market reacts. Come 2011, however, Acer will launch at least one Android-based slate.
Acer's infatuation with Android extends from the smartphone sector, and according to Lin, that will remain the company's main focus in the mobile phone space too. As it stands, most of the 5-6 million smartphones Acer will have shipped by the time 2010 comes to a close will have been Android devices.
Wired editor Chris Anderson issued a strange bit of information via a tweet last night. Apparently, he was told by a T-Mobile manager in no uncertain terms that the nation's number four carrier would be getting the Apple iPhone 3GS later this year. The new iPhone 4 is apparently left out of the deal. This is still strictly rumor material, but it seems to jive with previous rumors.
There have been rumors that the iPhone could come to T-Mobile. The transition to T-Mobile would be simpler for Apple than moving to Verizon. T-Mobile also uses the GSM standard like AT&T does. The iPhone would just need GSM chips capable of operating on T-Mobile's 3G frequency. Verizon uses CDMA, and would require a much larger redesign of the phone's internals.
User's have been clamoring to get access to the iPhone on another carrier. Verizon is often cited as the best option considering their expansive network. T-Mobile has a much smaller, but faster, HSPA+ data network. Would you be interested in the iPhone if it were on T-Mobile?
If you have, for some reason, been hankering for a smartbook, you may be a little disappointed. Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs stated during a company event today that tablets have most likely killed the nascent smartbook market. With Qualcomm being one of the most ardent supporters of the smartbook concept, there's little hope for the category to continue.
The HP Airlife was the only device to be marketed as a smartbook. This Android-based device never really found its audience when it was released earlier this year. Still, Qualcomm will continue to make faster mobile chips, they're just more likely to be seen in tablets and smartphones than in light-weight computers.
If smartbooks had materialized sooner, they may have had a shot. But in the wake of the iPad, it's not hard to see how it ended up this way. Were you interested in the smartbook category? What will you do now?
Samsung on Tuesday introduced its new dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex A9-based processor designed for mobile applications. If all goes to plan, you'll soon seen this spunky chip in a variety of devices, including tablets, netbooks, and even smartphones.
"Consumers are demanding the full web experience without compromise while on the go," said Dojun Rhee, vice president of Marketing, System LSI Division, Samsung Electronics. "Given this trend, mobile device designers need an application processor platform that delivers superb multimedia performance, fast CPU processing speed, and abundant memory bandwidth. Samsung's newest dual core application processor chip is designed specifically to fulfill such stringent performance requirements while maintaining long battery life."
Built on a 45nm manufacturing process, the Orion processor, as it's being called, comes with two cores clocked at 1GHz, each with 32KB data cache and a 32KB instruction cache. There's also 1MB of L2 cache to help speed things up, Samsung says.
Interestingly, Orion also comes with an onboard native triple display controller architecture, so that a device equipped with this chip could support two on-device display screens and still have the chops to drive a third external display, like a TV or monitor via on-chip HDMI.
Select customers will get their hands on the new chip in the fourth quarter of 2010, with mass production to follow in the first half of 2011.
The future of smartphones is looking bright, at least if you use these devices for more than just making calls. While today's top-end units sport 1GHz Snapdragon and Hummingbird processors, LG is stepping up the smartphone game by readying new models built around Nvidia's dual-core Tegra 2 platform.
Let that sink in for a moment. We're talking about smartphones with two processing cores as well as an ultra low-power Nvidia GeForce GPU.
"Taking full advantage of the two speedy 1GHz processors sharing the workload in Tegra 2, consumers can experience up to 2x faster web browsing and up to 5x faster gaming performance over single core processors running at 1GHz," LG says (PDF).
LG didn't mention how much these next-gen units will cost, but did say they'll be part of its Optimus series and ship in the fourth quarter.