Acer president and CEO Gianfranco Lanci acknowledged yesterday all the attention Google's open-source Android platform has been receiving and assured investors that his company has taken notice, too.
"We are testing Android on a lot of different solutions," Lanci said during Acer's first-quarter investors conference in Taipei. "We are working on an Android solution for the smartphone, but I think it's too early to say if we're going to see Android on a netbook in the near future."
Lanci had previously been critical of Android for use in netbooks, noting Android is not yet ready to fit the needs that come with them, such as being able to "view a full web for the total internet experience." At the time, Acer did say it was testing Android for netbooks, noting that other companies have been doing the same thing.
Netbooks aside, Acer's latest statements regarding smartphones follow in line with what HTC, Far EasTone, and Samsung have also indicated. In other words, be prepared for a deluge of Android-based cellphones in the not too distant future.
You probably won't pull the global economy up by its bootstraps simply by upgrading your motherboard, but you will help reverse the downward sales trend mobo makers have had to contend with. According to a report by the Taiwanese Market Intelligence Institute (MIC), only 32 million motherboards were sold in the first quarter of 2009, a 16 percent drop from one year ago.
While sales in the US were down, the European market showed the most severe slowdown, according to the report. And it doesn't look to get any better in the second quarter of 2009.
"Markets in each region are entering the off-season, and channel inventory replenishment activities are slowing down," said Vincent Chang, MIC industry analyst. "market shipment momentum is thus weakening. Only several PC brands have continued to make procurements in April."
Chang went on to predict that year end sales figures, while still comparatively dismal, will fare a little better. He expects worldwide motherboard shipments to be in the 134 million range, or a 9 percent drop from 2008.
So there you have - tell your significant other you're only upgrading to Core i7 to help save mobo makers.
It's been nearly six months since Cooler Master impressed us with its HAF (High Air Flow) chassis, a full tower case we deemed worthy of a 9/KickAss award (get your recap right here). Its combination of effective and quiet cooling along with build and cable management options made it a joy to work in, and Cooler Master looks to duplicate those same qualities in a smaller, more compact mid-tower package.
Cooler Master says its HAF 922 supports up to seven case fans in all, three of which support 200mm fans that can be swapped for smaller 120mm units (the case will ship with three fans - a 200mm front intake with red LED, 200mm top exhaust, and and a 120mm rear exhaust). Despite being a mid-tower, Cooler Master also says the downsized HAF will still support liquid cooling with room for an internally installed radiator.
In the tale of the tape, the new enclosure will check in at 10 (W) x 19.7 (H) x 22.2 (D) inches and weight 19.2 pounds, compared to its 932 big brother, which checks in at 9.6 (W) x 22 (H) x 22.2 (D) inches and 29.1 pounds.
We're told the HAF 922 will start shipping on May 12 with an MSRP of $130.
Even if they won't say it publicly (and they aren't), Apple appears pretty juiced at the prospect of developing its own chips. According to a report in The Wall Street Journal Online, Apple has been hand-picking people from all over the semiconductor industry, which also includes engineers for creating multifunction chips for use in cellphones.
One such hire includes Raja Koduri, the former chief technology officer of the graphics group at AMD. Koduri started his new position this week, while other online job postings include a call for several chip-related positions, some of which are described as "verifying functionality correctness of a high performance chip design."
While Apple is keeping silent on the subject, the company's tight-lipped approach might be one of the reasons they're looking to develop their own chips. Citing people familiar with the situation, WSJO says Apple not only wants to beat its rivals to market with new features, but also wants to keep a lid on its technology plans with external chip suppliers.
USB flash drives are meant to do a very simple job. Try telling that to manufacturers who apparently regard them as a canvas that should, from time to time, tolerate their whimsical artistic and technological cravings. Our beautiful planet has been blessed with USB flash drives of various ilks, be it the radical or the rank outrageous.
So you’re a fan of multiplayer gaming, but you haven’t tried a LAN party yet. What’s holding you back? If it’s the (admittedly) huge hassle of packing up your entire computer, iBuypower has got you covered with their latest PC.
The LAN Warrior, which is a mega tower with a nylon strap attached, comes with your choice of an Intel Core i7 processor, a 1000W power supply, an Asus Rampage II Gene X58 motherboard, up to 24GB of RAM, and either dual Nvidia or ATI graphics cards.
The machine starts at only $1000, and is available now.
Uttering what every geek longs to hear (albeit admittedly not from an OEM), Dell says it's new multitouch Studio 19 all-in-one PC "Begs to be Touched." Those touches first came from Japan, where the Studio 19 debuted a month and a half ago, and is now being brought to the States for local groping.
Starting at $800, a base configuration includes an Intel Pentium Dual core E5200 processor (2.5GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 800MHz frontside bus), 3GB of DDR2-800 RAM, a 320GB 7200RPM hard drive, integrated Nvidia GeForce 9200 graphics, slot load DVD burner, and Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit. Several configuration options are available, including upgrading the proc to a Core 2 Quad Q8200 (2.33GHz, 6MB L2 cache, 1333MHz frontside bus), 4GB of RAM, up to a 750GB hard drive, GeForce 9400 integrated graphics, and slot load Blu-ray player.
All but one of the configurations come with an 18.5-inch touchscreen LCD with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1366x768 resolution. Only the $700 model doesn't include touchscreen functionality, as well as less RAM (2GB) and Vista Home Basic 32-bit.
Our initial impression of NEC’s widescreen 26-inch EA261WM LCD monitor was overwhelmingly positive, primarily due to the thought put into its ergonomics. What puzzles us most about monitor design is why—even with obscenely expensive panels—user comfort is so often overlooked. If you’re planning on shelling out a load of cash for a monitor, something as simple as height adjustment (rather than the default homebrew solution of piles of books) seems like an obvious feature. The EA261WM includes not only height adjustment but pivot, tilt, and swivel adjustments as well, making it easy to share information on your screen with coworkers or even switch to a portrait configuration, should the need arise.
The EA261WM is also one of only 26 monitors to achieve EPEAT’s gold rating, the highest standard for environmental friendliness. To further emphasize its green attributes, the monitor includes an ECO mode, which lowers power consumption, and a carbon-footprint reader tells you just how much you’re doing to save the planet by lowering the brightness on your monitor.
The latest graphics rumor making the rounds for the past month was that Nvidia would be releasing a single-PCB version of its dual-GPU GeForce GTX 295 videocard, however it was unclear what other changes the design alteration would result in. At least until now.
According to news and rumor site Fudzilla, the slimmer, single-PCB GTX 295 looks to be more about cutting costs than adding performance. Following in ATI's footsteps, Nvidia will place both GPUs on a single circuit board, which should help the company save a bit on manufacturing.
However, only the memory is said to getting a small boost, with Nvidia increasing the reference design's frequency from 1000MHz on the dual-PCB version to 1100MHz on the single-PCB. Both the core and shaders clockspeeds will remain the same at 576MHz and 1242MHz, respectively, and despite shelving the second PCB, it will still be a dual-slot card. It will also be half an inch longer, Fudzilla says, measuring a full eleven inches.
If the rumor holds true, look for the revised card to show up by the middle of May with no change to its price point.
Two new nettops based on Nvidia's Ion platform have been unveiled in Taipei this week, one by ASRock and the other by Pegatron Technology. ASRock's Ion 330 trades in the oft-used single-core Atom processor for a dual-core variant, the Atom 330 CPU (1.6GHz, 1MB L2 cache, 533MHz frontside bus). Not much else is known about the PC, other than it comes with an integrated DVD optical drive.
Taking up a slimmer form factor, Pegatron's Cape 7 comes encased in white plastic and has four USB 2.0 ports, an Ethernet port, HDMI port, 3.5mm audio jack, and a power connector for an external power brick. It doesn't come with an optical drive, nor are there any details regarding the processor.
While these are some of the first dual-core Atom 330 based nettops to be spotted in the wild, they won't be the last. According to web rumblings, Nvidia expects around 40 Ion platforms to show up on the markt by the end of the year, some of which are bound to come with dual-core Atoms.