Just when you thought changing television channels couldn’t get any easier, Philips astounds the world by creating the uWand, the first “remote touch pointer” control. General Manager of uWand at Philips, Navin Natoewal, says, “The traditional remote control, with its 50 or more buttons, simply isn’t keeping pace with modern interactive television.”
If you’ve ever played a Nintendo Wii you’ll be familiar with the technology behind the uWand. Button pushes along with image sensor data are sent to either an integrated sensor or an external sensor bar (for backwards compatibility). “Flicking” in one direction or another in combination with button presses would allow you to manipulate various devices. Philips claims the remote could control set-top boxes, media PCs, and other home electronics.
This could be a risky gadget for excitable sports fans who might find that they inadvertently switch channels during intense game moments.
Today’s graphics cards can barely handle one 30-inch monitor in gaming. Pushing around 2560x1600 pixels is a challenge for current-generation GPUs. While it’s true that each new generation of graphics cards can push performance, we weren’t quite prepared for the preview AMD gave us of its upcoming DirectX 11–capable graphics hardware.
AMD ushered us into its Sunnyvale, CA, test lab, where it had a high-end system set up with a single graphics card. AMD would only disclose that the card had a single GPU, and was one of the company’s upcoming DirectX 11–capable chips—nothing about the amount of video RAM, clock speeds, or anything else. This particular graphics card also sported six DisplayPort connectors. Attached to each DisplayPort connector was a 30-inch Dell display. The whole affair was configured as a single, 7680x3200 monitor. That's 24.6 megapixels!
Sure, you say, you can hook up six monitors and run Windows… but can it do 3D?
Both Samsung and Toshiba recently announced that they’d be among the first to release 2.5-inch 640GB hard drives for the mobile market.
Samsung’s new 640GB 2.5-inch Spinpoint M7 internal drive has a density of 516-Gigabit per square inch for each of the 320GB platters, which is a 28 percent increase per platter over it’s previous record setting 500GB internal drive. The density change allowed Samsung to up the storage capacity without adding additional platters.
On September 2nd Toshiba began shipping out their new sample 640GB 2.5-inch drive to OEMs and distributors. Given its density of 817.0 Mbit/mm2, the new drive will bring performance improvements over their previous generation of 5,400RPM drives, and will lower energy consumption by 28 percent.
According to Legit Reviews, who is out wining and dining with AMD at the AMD Evergreen Vision launch event, the chip maker plans to launch a pair of new videocards on September 22nd, the ATI Radeon HD 5870 and HD 5850.
AMD hasn't yet said a whole lot about its upcoming graphic cards, but news and rumor side Fudzilla feels pretty confident the RV870-based HD 5870 will come clocked at 825MHz and boast 1,600 shaders, which is twice as many as RV770. It will also pack as many as 2.1 billion transistors, which is more than twice as many as RV770.
Other purported specs include an unspecified amount of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1.3GHz and 150GB/s of bandwidth.
The less powerful HD 5850 is expected to come clocked at 725MHz and ship with 1,440 shaders, while the same GDDR5 memory will race along at 1GHz. Both cards will come with 32 ROPs, Fudzilla says.
Stock cooling is for chumps, but until cooling manufacturers either update their existing coolers with socket 1156 brackets or come out with new products that support the Core i5 platform, you might not have much choice. Enter Asetek, who just launched a liquid cooling system capable of cooling every major Intel socket currently available.
“Asetek’s robust liquid cooling can now easily be configured for any Intel desktop motherboard. A single mounting ring enables flexible manufacturing in both high and low volume PC manufacturing settings,” said Gary Baum, Asetek's SVP of Marketing. "The new retention ring helps our OEM customers reduce inventory costs by providing a single solution to support Intel's entire mix of socket types."
The one-size-fits-all mounting bracket features a single mounting ring and multiple screw inserts so there's no fumbling around the box to find the correct part.
No word yet on price or availability, but if past products are any indication, expect to see Asetek's new liquid cooler used primarily in OEM systems.
According to the AMD rep, consumers often buy netbooks expecting things the machines are not capable of. Indeed, studies have found that people often don’t know what they’re getting, but can dropping the jargon really change that?
Sobon said that Intel is concentrating far too much on marketing CPU clock speeds to consumers. She went on to indicate that Intel’s success with the Atom chip for netbooks has undermined the overall notebook market. So, are these valid concerns, or just sour grapes?
Dell launched a teaser site for the newest revision of the Adamo series of laptops, Adamo XPS. The site features little more than a picture of the ultra-thin device and the tag line reading “Crafted to fall in love with at 9.99MM.”
Let’s take a second to do the math: at 9.99MM the Adamo XPS aims to slice the Macbook Air (19.3mm) in half at their respective thinnest points. A remarkable feet no doubt, but Apple took heavy criticism for the features it removed to make Air the thinnest laptop available at the time. One must be wondering, what could possibly fit into the Adamo?
Dell insists this is merely a “design concept” and is holding out on technical specifications and details until a later date.
Sherwood today announced another set-top box the company hopes will vie for a place in your home theater. Towards that end, the new 700W R904-N NetBoxx AV receiver serves as both a 7.1-channel AV receiver and an internet media portal for streaming online content.
The 700W box measures just 17 x 10 x 2.5 inches and includes three HDMI 1.3 inputs, a Toslink input, two coaxial audio inputs, and support for Dolby Volume, Dolby TruHD, and DTS-HD Master high-res audio formats.
Once connected, you'll have access to Internet content from CinemaNow, YouTube, various TV channels, SHOUTcast audio "Internet radio" stations, and the ability to stream personal media and content from Hulu, Netflix, CBS, CNN, ESPN, Rhapsody, and Amazon Video On Demand, Sherwood says. You'll also find a USB port in the mix.
Sounds groovy, but it's anything but cheap. Slated for release later this month, the NetBoxx carries an MSRP of $650.
Most people’s first experience with the Japanese spice called wasabi teaches them to never approach it again. It would be a shame if folks were similarly averse to Dell’s Wasabi PZ310 printer, which offers fun, spontaneous, albeit tiny, prints.
For the most part, the Wasabi is a kissing cousin of the Polaroid PoGo printer that we reviewed in the July 2008 issue. Both printers use Zink’s zero-ink technology. A thermal head heats up crystals embedded in the paper itself. Send a photo to the Wasabi, and a minute later, a 2x3-inch print pops out. A light adhesive on the back of each print lets you then plaster the image of your family, friends, or pet to any object that deserves to be cute-ified.
The Wasabi uses a slightly smaller power brick than the PoGo and adds a button to reprint the last pic. We found image quality to be similar to that of the Polaroid PoGo. We can say that, as with the PoGo, output from the Wasabi is not particularly sharp or colorful, and is occasionally splotchy. These aren’t exactly the words you look for in association with a photo printer, but the primary draw of the Wasabi and its ilk is the fun factor.
With all the hoopla surrounding lifetime warranties by the likes of EVGA, BFG, and XFX, you probably don't own a Foxconn-branded videocard anyway. But in case you do, you may want to hold onto it as a nostalgiac keepsake, because pretty soon, there won't be any new Foxconn-branded videocards.
Foxconn said it's getting out marketing its own brand and has instead rearranged its Channel Service Division (CSD), along with most of its 9,000 employees, to its OEM division.
That doesn't mean Foxconn will suddenly disappear, however. The company still expects to ship 6-7 million of its own-brand motherboards in 2009, which is a whopping 5 million more than it shipped in 2008. As for videocards and other OEM products, the company expects shipments to reach 30 million units, those products just won't bear the Foxconn brand.