Toshiba waited a long time to enter the netbook market, but as the NB205 proves, taking some time to learn from your competitors can be a good thing. The NB205 offers everything we expect from a netbook, as well as some unexpected bonus features, and does so for less than $400. We liked the NB205 when we used it in our netbook upgrading feature (October); here we give it a full review.
The NB205 has a matte-silver plastic chassis and a textured matte lid, available in blue, pink, black, white, or brown. We appreciate that Toshiba has bucked the glossy fingerprint-magnet trend here. The netbook is solidly constructed, with a color-matched glossy bezel and hinge. The included six-cell battery protrudes about a half an inch beyond the back of the netbook, and is slightly wobbly to the touch, but given the 6:45 (hr:min) battery life, a little wobble doesn’t bother us.
Talk about déjà vu. it's been a rough year-plus for DRAM manufacturers, who have had to contend with an oversupply of chips, falling prices, and a global recession on top of it all. At least one vendor said the DRAM market was the worst he'd seen it in 15 years. So it's a little bit curious that after finally showing signs of a rebound, memory makers appear stoked about an expected reduction in production costs in 2010.
It would make sense, provided the savings aren't passed on to the consumer, but that's usually not the way it works. Nevertheless, as memory makers compete with each other in a race to shrink dies, production costs are set to go down pretty significantly, DigiTimes reports.
Samsung has already adopted a 56nm process for over half of its DRAM output and has been churning out DDR3 chips using 40nm technology in small volume since the fourth quarter. By the second half of 2010, Samsung is expected to be heavily focused on 40nm.
Eplida and Nanya are also flirting with shrunken dies. And according to a recent iSuppli report, the worldwide DRAM industry has the manufacturing capacity to last through 2012.
It all sounds positive, until you consider the current condition of the memory market. But hey, from a consumer side, this is gravy. Bring on the faster, less expensive DDR3 modules.
AMD’s recent release of its RV870 GPU line makes the company the undisputed graphics performance leader. The Radeon HD 5870 is the fastest single-GPU graphics card on the market currently. But at roughly $380, it’s not inexpensive, so AMD has also rolled out the Radeon HD 5850, 5770, and 5750 cards. All are DirectX 11–capable, at lower price points than the flagship HD 5870.
The HD 5850 uses the same RV870 GPU as the 5870, but with a couple of functional units disabled. Priced at around $260, the 5850 occupies the lower tier of the high-end cards. The recently released 5770/5750 cards use a different chip. Based on the same DirectX 11 architecture as their big brothers, the 5770/5750 are built with 1.04 billion transistors—just slightly more than the 956 million used in the previous-generation Radeon HD 4870/4890 products. Contrast these numbers with the 2.15 billion transistors in the Radeon HD 5870. Current prices for 5770s are roughly the same as older 4870s, around $150–$160. So the 5770 is firmly positioned as a midrange graphics card.
We put eight cards to the test, from six companies: three Radeon HD 5870s, three HD 5850s, one HD 5770, and a factory-overclocked Nvidia GTX 260 from Gigabyte, our token Nvidia card in the mix. Read on to see which one is the best for your budget!
If you've ever lost a night's sleep because you couldn't wrap your head around how to build a Real Time Kinematic (RTK) GPS receiver without breaking the bank, then prepare to sleep like a baby. Why? Because researchers Tomoji Takasu and Akio Yasuda of Tokyo University have you covered.
The researchers developed an inexpensive, open source RTK GPS that runs on a beagle board, and better yet, they've posted instructions so you can do the same. And unlike traditional GPS, RTK units measures the shorter wavelengths in the satellite's carrier signal, which ultimately means greater accuracy.
Getting it work right, however, isn't an easy task. That's why Takasu and Yasuda deserve major kudos for printing the detailed instructions, which you can access here.
The wait is over, assuming you've been waiting all year for WowWee's Cinemin Swivel pico projector that was first shown off at CES 2009 in January.
Previously available for pre-order in the U.S. and Europe, the projector is now in stock at Amazon.com for a little under $300. What the three Benjamins gets you in return is a pocket sized projector that swivels on a 90-degree hinge. According to the manufacturer, the Cinemin can beam a "crisp" 60-inch image from over 8 feet away.
At the heart of the Cinemin is Texas Instruments' DLP projection technology. The projector boasts a 1000:1 contrast ratio, 8 ANSI lumens, an LED light source, and up 135 minutes battery life with a 180-minute recharge time.
So what's the verdict - would you pay $300 for this thing? Hit the jump and sound off!
HP on Monday launched a whole bunch of new hardware and software products, including a blade system the OEM claims can fit two systems in the physical space of one.
The company's ProLiant BL2x220c G6 combines two server nodes in a single blade chassis and supports up to two 4-core low voltage Intel Xeon 5500 series processors per node. And according to HP, the G6 increases memory capacity by 33 percent over previous generation blade server products.
HP's G6 is one of several products aimed at extending the company's Extreme Scale-Out (ExSO) portfolio introduced in June. The goal, HP says, is to cut back the total cost of ownership while also increasing data center capacity.
"The ExSO portfolio was created to meet the demanding needs of scale-out as well as high-performance computing customers that require highly efficient and powerful computing infrastructures," said Steve Cumings, director of Marketing for the Scalable Computing and Infrastructure organization at HP. "We will continue to add to this portfolio, delivering innovative solutions based on our deep understanding of scale-out data centers and enabling our customers to gain more value from their infrastructure."
It's that time again! This month, we've priced out an amazing $1500 gaming PC. If you recall from our Dream Machine feature, the $1500 "Budget Surplus" of mid-2009 was powered by a Core i7-920 and Radeon 4870 X2. Today -- a few months later -- we're able to make a few adjustments to upgrade to a Radeon 5870-based machine. The introduction of Intel's Lynnfield processor, increasing RAM prices, and the final retail release of Windows 7 also forced us to reevaluate our spending priorities, but we're very pleased with the outcome. As gamers, this is a system we'd be proud to build ourselves, and will play any game released in the foreseeable future.
Read on for our parts picks, and let us know what you think!
IBM's Roadrunner system at the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico is no longer the planet's most powerful supercomputer. That distinction now belongs to a Cray supercomputer named "Jaguar" at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which regained the performance crown over the weekend, ComputerWorld reports.
Jaguar, which benefited from a few recent upgrades, is now capable of 1,759 petaflops per second courtesy of 224,162 processor cores. That's enough to jump ahead of IBM's Roadrunner, which dropped to 1,042 petaflops per second after it was repartitioned.
Number three on the list of supercomputers is Kraken at the National Institute for Computational Sciences at the University of Tennessee. Kraken is capable of churning out 832 teraflops per second and was ranked No. 6 in June.
One of the more interesting supercomputers belongs to China. The hybrid Intel-AMD Tianhe-1 in the city of Tianjin pushes out 563 teraflops per second, putting it in fifth place. China's supercomputer combines Intel's Xeon processors with AMD-brand GPUs as accelerators. Each node contains two Xeon chips attached to two AMD GPUs.
The tech talk for much of the year has centered around upcoming tablets from Apple, Microsoft, and TechCrunch co-founder Michael Arrington, but to date, not one of them has come through. Will we ever see a next-gen tablet from one of these three? We certainly will, says Arrington, who insists that his CrunchPad tablet is "streamrolling along."
Arrington added that the upcoming CrunchPad will sell for between $300 and $400. It will sport a 12-inch touchscreen and come equipped with an Intel Atom processor (what else?).
Even though Arrington is adamant about an imminent release, some journalists wonder if the expected price tag won't render the CrunchPad irrelevant from day 1.
"While the project apparently isn't dead, I do still think there's a chance it will be DOA. For $300 to $400 I don't really see why anyone would buy a dedicated Web device instead of a fully functional computer," wrote Brad of Liliputing. "By the time the CrunchPad is available, you might even be able to pick up a touchscreen tablet style netbook in the $00 range. You can already get the Eee PC T91/T91MT for around $500 to $550."
Arrington did say he's exploring ways to cut back production costs, some of which include negotiating soft revenue and sponsorship opportunities.
AMD has wasted no time bringing its DirectX 11 GPU architecture to a more affordable, mainstream-class GPU in the HD 5770. HIS is one of the first manufacturers to bring the HD 5770 to market.
At around $160, the card is priced similarly to existing Radeon HD 4870 cards. It’s the lowest-cost card in the roundup, and given the 180mm2 die size (that’s incredibly tiny for a GPU), prices are likely to eventually come down even further.