HP today unveiled a device called the DreamScreen, which the company describes as a companion to the PC. Sort of a hybrid between a full-blown computer and a digital photo frame, the DreamScreen's 10.2-inch (DreamScreen 100) or 13.3-inch (DreamScreen 130) display doesn't support multi-touch, but users can control the panels through touch-enabled controls around the screen's border.
The idea here is to give consumers quick and portable access to music streams (Pandora and HP SmartRadio), weather forecasts, Facebook updates, photo albums, and more. It also comes with 2GB of built-in memory for storing pictures, music, and even movies.
"Constant always-on access to friends, information, and entertainment is a common expectation today," said Satjiv S. Chahil, senior vice president, worldwide marekting, Personal Systems Group, HP. "With HP DreamScreen, social media, web services, and digital entertainment can be enjoyed in more areas of the home."
If this all sounds familiar, it's because Apple is rumored to be working on a similar device, which could possibly see the light of day this November. But HP has beaten Apple to the punch, and probably will have undercut Apple's price point, should Jobs and Co. release a handheld tablet.
HP says the DreamScreen is available now for $249 from online distributors, including BestBuy.com, Amazon.com, and HPDirect.com. The DreamScreen 130 is expected to be "broadly available" sometime this fall for $299.
When we began covering all-in-one PCs, we decided we wouldn’t benchmark them because they’re designed for quiet utility, not drag racing. But the Dell XPS One 24 we reviewed in May proved that an all-in-one could hang with the hot rods, so we decided to make that machine our all-in-one zero-point. We imagine Averatec would prefer we go back to our old ways.
On the outside, the Averatec looks very much like an iMac wrapped in shiny black plastic. Inside you’ll find a mixture of desktop and notebook components that explain why the machine is priced $600 less than Apple’s cheapest 24-inch iMac and a cool grand less than Dell’s 24-inch XPS One. Averatec reached far down Intel’s desktop CPU line to pick a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo E4600. It did the same for graphics, tapping Nvidia’s two-year-old GeForce 8400M GS mobile GPU. This GPU has just 16 shader processors, runs at a mild 400MHz, and has a narrow 64-bit interface to 256MB of memory. It drives the integrated display at its native resolution of 1680x1050, and there’s a DVI port in back if you want to connect a second monitor.
Sony announced their latest in the Walkman line of players, the NW-A840 series. The new Walkman comes in at 7.2mm, a touch thicker than the latest iPod Nano (6.2mm). However, it also sports capacities up to 64GB. You are going to pay for it though. The 64GB A-series Walkman (NW-A847) will set you back almost $450.
What does that hefty price tag get you? A 2.8in OLED display (no touch screen) with TV-Out capability, FM radio, digital noise cancelling and premium MDR-EX300SL ear buds in the box. The device also boasts on-screen lyric display. Further, it offers a smattering of popular format compatibilities as well as battery life lasting for 29 hours of music (at 128kbps) and 9 hours of video (at 384kbps).
It could be a tough sell in the US, especially where iPods dominate the portable-player market. The new line is due to be available on October 31st. Do you think it has enough appeal to edge out some iPod Nano market share?
A major defect in Research in Motion's (RIM's) new BlackBerry Tour could turn into a financial SNAFU for the smartphone maker, cautions Gerard Hallaren, director of research at TownHall Investment Research.
According to Hallaren, RIM is "having a big trackball problem," one which puts BlackBerry Tour owners in the unenviable position of having to frequently apply a blast of compressed air to avoid letting the trackball get all gunked up. We suppose it could be worse, as anyone who is 'old' enough to remember using mechanical mice can attest, but Tour owners are understandably displeased.
The research firm says that return rates on the Tour at Sprint are approaching 50 percent, while Verizon is also "experiencing serious problems." And according to Hallaren, Sprint has determined that a needed increase in quality control could add 2 to 3 percent to production costs, which would be offset by a lower return rate.
ARM today said it has developed a pair of Cortex-A9 hard macro implementations which will enable devices to operate at 2GHz, and beyond. To achieve the additional speed without disregarding power consumption, the new design calls for a 40nm manufacturing process.
"The Cortex-A9 MPCore processor has already been widely accepted as the processor of choice for high-performance embedded applications across a broad spectrum of demanding consumer and enterprise devices," said Eric Schorn, VP marketing, Processor Division, ARM. "ARM’s parallel development of advanced, optimized physical IP components demonstrates a new level of collaborative differentiation while enabling our Partners to expand their penetration into high margin domains traditionally occupied by proprietary architectures."
According to ARM, chips built on the new design should consume just 0.25W per processor. TSMC will likely end up producing the bulk of the 40nm chips, though any company can start licensing the technology.
Where chips based on the new design ultimately end up is anyone's guess. The Archos 5 current uses the Cortex-A8 chip, as does Apple's iPhone 3GS.
Even the Intel fanboys have to hand it to AMD once in a while. After Intel deftly dropped a Core i5 anvil on Phenom II’s head, AMD did a quick drop to floor and now fires back slo-mo style with its own chip: a $99 quad core.
Dubbed the Athlon II X4 620, this 2.6GHz quad core isn’t just leftover parts swept off the factory floor, either. The Athlon II X4 is based on the familiar K10 microarchitecture in the Phenom and Phenom II, but it’s actually a newer, smaller die. In fact, the new chip has less than half the transistors of a Phenom II X4 processor. Much of the shrinkage comes at the expense of cache. While the Phenom II packs 6MB of L3, the budget Athlon II X4 features none.
The TDP of the new Athlon II X4 chips (there are two, but only one is sub $100) is also considerably lower than the top-end Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition chip at 95 watts versus 140 watts. Other than the TDP and lack of L3 cache, the CPUs are essentially the same as their Phenom predecessors.
Read on for our full analysis, review, and benchmarks!
Some sources are saying that, at least internally, Intel is talking about shipping one million Lynnfield processors for desktops by the end of 2009. Should Intel meet its goal, it would put the pressure on motherboard makers to keep up.
Asus and Gigabyte are each on pace to ship 400,000 P55-based mobos by the end of the year, leaving 200,000 units for other manufacturers to pick up the slack. MSI, ECS, and ASRock are expected to ship around that many mobos, but all it takes is for one manufacturer to miss its goal for there to be more CPUs than there are mobos.
Asus looks to be the most active for the rest of the year. According to company VP Joe Hsieh, Asus' expects to ship between 5.5 to 6 million motherboards in the third quarter, 6 million in the fourth, and 22 million total. Going forward, Asus says P55-based boards will account for 10 percent of all shipments.
Someone's feeling ambitious, and that someone is Asus. According to company president Jerry Shen, the multifaceted manufacturer expects to ship 600,000 ultra-thin notebooks by the end of the year and could ship as many as one million units.
The mobile platform has been good to Asus, which further expects that its combined notebook shipments will reach 7.35 billion units in the first three quarters of 2009, and a respectable12 million units by the end of 2009. Driving those shipments is Asus' uber popular Eee PC line, with netbooks accounting for about 40 percent of the total shipments, Shen said.
Looking forward, Shen added that ultra-thins will likely account for 30 percent of the company's total notebook shipments in 2010. And in terms of competition, Shen said he believes Asus will reach its goal of becoming a top-three global vendor by 2011.
In exactly one week from now, AMD is expected to launch its ATI Radeon HD 5850 and 5870 videocards, which as it turns out will be a precursor of more 5000 series cards to come. And you won't have to wait long, either.
According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, un-named sources at graphics cards makers have been chirping about a new series of ATI Radeon HD 5700 GPUs just around the corner. Codenamed Juniper XT and LE, the Radeon HD 5770 and 5750 should be in stores sometime in October. Both will come with 1GB of GDDR5 video memory on a 128-bit memory bus and support the recently announced multi-monitor Eyefinity technology.
Then in November, AMD will update its flagship offering with the R800-based Radeon HD 5870 X2. The reason for the slight delay, says Fudzilla, is that AMD is trying to figure out how to power and cool the dual-GPU card, which reportedly carries a TDP of 376W. By comparison, the HD 4870 X2's rated TDP is 286W.
In addition to its desktop lineup, AMD will also port its HD 5000 series over to notebooks, including the ATI Mobility Radeon 5400 for entry-level systems, 5600 for mainstream, 5700 for performance, and 5800 for high-end laptops.
Seagate announced the release of their new FreeAgent Theater+™ HD Media Player in a press release today. With a modest prices increase over the previous version--key features include 1080p HD, Dolby DTS, HDMI, network support, and new file-format compatibility.
The FreeAgent Theatre provides a turnkey solution to media center PCs, making it easy to explore media in your living room. The new device features the docking system developed for FreeAgent drives as well as two additional USB ports to attach any storage device to the player. Further, when attached to the network it can pull content from file shares, NAS devices, and the internet.
The new player is available immediately from Seagate.com and online retailers. To find a complete listing of features and specifications visit Seagate.com.