samsung en GDC 2015: John Carmack on the Future of Mobile VR <!--paging_filter--><h3>Shooter godfather has advice for developers</h3> <p>The lead designer on some games you might have heard of, like Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, has been away from the forefront of first-person shooters for a few years, but he has not been idle. Aside from building rockets that fly into space, John Carmack also been dabbling in virtual reality. In August 2013, he became Chief Technology Officer of Oculus VR, founded by fellow techno-wunderkind Palmer Luckey. Perhaps sensing a kindred spirit, Carmack tackled the technical underpinnings of the company's purely mobile plans, specifically the Samsung Gear VR headset, which uses the company's mobile phones to act as the brains and display of the device. Today, in front of a packed house of hundreds of developers and journalists, Carmack gave a talk on how that process had worked, and what he expects of the platform in the future. There were no revelations about the Oculus Rift, but a lot of the work that he's putting into Gear VR can spill over into that.</p> <p>Our story begins at a Samsung R&amp;D facility in Dallas, Texas a few years ago, where the company was working on their first Gear VR (they've just released its sequel, the Gear VR 2). Carmack's base of operations has been in Texas since the early days of id Software, so it was a natural geographic fit. Carmack was enthused by the engineering challenges of VR and found the mobile variant especially interesting. In fact, he sees devices like Gear VR as the primary platform. By definition, they are far more portable than a device like the Oculus Rift; even if you can throw the Rift in a carry-on bag, you still need to bring your PC with you too.</p> <p>Gear VR, meanwhile, needs only a mobile phone slapped into a headset, though it is admittedly currently limited to a small handful of Samsung phones. Carmack mentioned that you can take the device with you on vacation, giving it more visibility in the headset market than a device that's tethered to a PC. He quipped, "The most fun thing to do with Gear VR is to show it to other people," because their reactions are so entertaining. He called this "an infection vector for virtual reality."</p> <p>But in Carmack's opinion, the content system needed some work. When Facebook bought Oculus VR, they were able to bring some people over from their new owner who could help with the infrastructure behind purchasing and downloading games over the Internet. Carmack sees the GearVR store as a competitor to Steam, in fact.</p> <p><img src="/files/u160416/gearvr.jpg" width="620" height="402" /></p> <p>With that in place, Carmack seems confident that the hardware itself is suitable to act as a commercial development platform, and they would be aggressively promoting Gear VR to create a user base. There are still some technical limitations compared to the Oculus Rift, chiefly positional tracking. The Rift uses a sophisticated motion sensor to synchronize your head movement with camera movement; so in addition to the Gear VR's ability to detect your head turning, the Rift can tell when you lean forward, lean, back, and tilt your head. When this detail is absent, the result can cause nausea. The Rift is also using the power of your PC, so its visual effects can be a lot more complicated.</p> <p>For the Gear VR, Carmack encouraged developers to aim for a level of complexity on par with that of a GameCube game. He noted that Wolfenstein 3D and Doom were essentially Gauntlet from a first-person perspective, so it wasn't necessary to re-invent the design wheel or blow people away with amazing visuals to make a compelling game. You could just iterate on an idea in a way that took interesting advantage of virtual reality. He added, "We still don't know what the best application will be."</p> <p>Even with more modest performance targets in mind, a technique called Asynchronous Time Warp is necessary for the hardware to keep up with the game engine's demands. ATW injects "filler" frames when the device can't maintain 60 frames per second. This avoids judder, which can cause disorientation. Oculus is also getting the word out about their layering system. In a 3D scene, you designate multiple layers for the engine to see as different distances. Tagging these beforehand means that the GPU doesn't have to figure it out in real time, but it also helps with anti-aliasing, especially with text.</p> <p>They're also working on multi-view rendering, where the same set of 3D engine instructions are sent to both eyes, which also cuts down on the calculations that the GPU needs to make. This raises the ceiling on the things that the CPU part of the phone or tablet can do, such as animation, AI, and some physics.</p> <p>At the end of the talk, Carmack had a Q&amp;A session, during which he gave us his opinion on augmented reality. He saw the platform as not competing directly with VR, and that the latter would be where innovations happened first. AR also uses cameras to simulate a set of eyes, but since the cameras can't be where your eyes actually are, this spatial gap can create disorientation. Nevertheless, he expressed enthusiasm for <a href="" target="_blank">Microsoft's Hololens initiative</a>.</p> 3D headset GearVR john carmack oculus rift oculus vr samsung virtual reality News Thu, 05 Mar 2015 00:24:41 +0000 Tom McNamara 29541 at Samsung Ultra-Thin and Light ATIV Book 9 Laptop Wafts Onto Store Shelves <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Samsung's 2015 ATIV Book 9" title="2015 ATIV Book 9" width="228" height="194" style="float: right;" />The lightest Book 9 ever</h3> <p>The new Samsung ATIV Book 9 laptop we told you about late last year is now available. The aluminum-clad device, which <strong>measures all of 11.19" x 8.37" x 0.46" and weighs 2.09 pounds</strong>, is the thinnest and lightest device yet in the company’s four-year-old Book 9 range.</p> <p>Let’s talk specs and pricing, shall we? Powered by a dual-core Intel Core M 5Y31 processor (900MHz-2.00GHz) and sporting a 12.2-inch WQXGA (2560x1600) display, the 2015 ATIV Book 9 is available in two flavors: one with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, and another with twice as much memory and storage. The former sports a <a href="" target="_blank">$1,199.99</a> price tag, whereas the 256GB is dearer at <a href="" target="_blank">$1,399.99</a>.</p> <p>As of press time, only two online retailers appear to have the two models in stock. You can find an updated list <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> ativ book 9 broadwell core m samsung ultrabook News Mon, 02 Mar 2015 08:33:39 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29509 at Samsung Promises Another Fix for 840 EVO SSD Performance Issues <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="" alt="Samsung EVO 840" title="Samsung EVO 840" width="228" height="122" style="float: right;" />The first fix, issued in October, turned out to be a dud</h3> <p>The Samsung 840 Evo launched to some rave reviews in 2013. We gave it a <a href="" target="_blank">“kick ass” 9 out of 10</a> and hailed it as “the fastest SSD we have ever tested by a sizable margin.” Unfortunately, some of that luster has since worn off, with a large number of <strong>840 Evo owners reporting a serious decline in read performance</strong> of drives with several months’ of data on them. As for the firmware update and Performance Restoration Software that the company released in October to address the issue, they were apparently of very little help as the problem has resurfaced like a recrudescent cancer.</p> <p>This leaves the South Korean firm with no other choice but to issue another fix, which it says is just around the corner.</p> <p>“In October, Samsung released a tool to address a slowdown in 840 EVO Sequential Read speeds reported by a small number of users after not using their drive for an extended period of time. This tool effectively and immediately returned the drive’s performance to normal levels,” the company told <a href="" target="_blank">AnandTech</a> in an email. “We understand that some users are experiencing the slowdown again. While we continue to look into the issue, Samsung will release an updated version of the Samsung SSD Magician software in March that will include a performance restoration tool.”</p> <p>Although the company has yet to state the cause of this current problem, it could very well have something to do with the original issue, which was caused by the manner in which Samsung’s NAND management algorithms handled NAND cell charge decay.</p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> firmware update fix nand samsung Samsung 840 EVO solid state drive ssd tlc News Mon, 23 Feb 2015 13:39:45 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29458 at Qantas Teams with Samsung to Test Virtual Reality on Airplane Flights <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/qantas_samsung_vr.jpg" alt="Qantas and Samsung VR" title="Qantas and Samsung VR" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Join the mile high VR club</h3> <p>Imagine that you're 40,000 feet above the ground, but instead of peering out a small oval window and looking at clouds (or darkness), you turn your head and see a dingo wandering about. Don't worry, it's not on the plane's wing feasting on wires and electronics, he's in your Gear VR headset. This is what Australian airline Qantas is working towards. <strong>Along with Samsung, Qantas has launched a new trial entertainment service that gives fliers a Gear VR headset during their flight</strong>.</p> <p>At the outset, the initiative is being tested in Sydney and Melbourne International First Lounges, along with first class cabins on select A380 services. The trial will last for three months, after which Qantas will assess customer feedback, presumably so it can decide whether to expand the program or nix it.</p> <p>Qantas sees multiple possibilities here. From a marketing standpoint, the company can partner with third-parties to provide 3D content that might inspire tourism to a particular attraction or region. In fact, Qantas is already working with Tourism NT, which will provide a special 3D experience from Kakadu National Park. Whether or not they'll include dingoes in that experience isn't known, but there's plenty to experiment with there.</p> <p>For live-action content, Qantas has partnered with Jaunt -- it's not clear exactly what the company has in store, though it will include "destination footage."</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/qantas_samsung_vr_first_class.jpg" alt="Qantas and Samsung VR in First Class Cabin" title="Qantas and Samsung VR in First Class Cabin" width="620" height="413" /></p> <p>"From an inflight entertainment perspective, it’s an industry first," <a href="" target="_blank">said Olivia Wirth</a>, Qantas Group Executive, Brand, Marketing &amp; Corporate Affairs. "Qantas is committed to being at the forefront of innovation to give our passengers the very best and latest in-flight experiences, like accessing the virtual worlds of their favorite Hollywood blockbusters from the comfort of their seat 40,000 feet above the ground."</p> <p>The initiative will kick off in mid-February in the First Class Lounge in Sydney and Melbourne, and in mid-March on select A380 flights between Australia and Los Angeles for first class fliers.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Gear VR Hardware Qantas samsung virutal reality vr News Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:50:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 29332 at Samsung Portable SSD T1 Review <!--paging_filter--><h3>The little engine that could</h3> <p>With the US still lagging behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to the availability of high-speed Internet, there's still a lot of need for high-capacity external storage. It's also a good idea to have local system backups. A few years ago, your choices were mostly clunky 3.5-inch drive enclosures that needed external power. We've since graduated to sleek 2.5-inch units that get their juice straight from USB 3.0 cables that shuttle bits between the drive and your PC. Today, Samsung is taking it a step further with the Portable SSD T1, an external solid-state drive that can operate in the neighborhood of SATA III speeds.</p> <p>An enterprising gearhead can get most of the T1's functionality by purchasing an internal SSD and a drive enclosure that supports UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol). In short, UASP lets an external storage device use commands normally reserved for internal storage devices. The two key differences between UASP and standard USB are the ability to deal with data requests in an arbitrary order, and the ability to process multiple data requests at once. This can boost your performance by hundreds of mehabytes per second, putting UASP drives in a completely different performance class from USB 3.0. As you might imagine, this also requires a more sophisticated USB controller on the motherboard, and a driver for your operating system. Your mobo manufacturer customarily provides drivers or software to enable the UASP function of its USB controller.</p> <p><img src="/files/u160416/samsung_portable_beauty_620_corrected.jpg" alt="Samsung Portable SSD T1" title="Samsung Portable SSD T1" width="620" height="413" /></p> <p>The Portable T1 has an additional advantage, however, and it's not the compact dimentions. It has integrated drive encryption. When you plug it into your PC, it will ask you to set a password for your new drive. You don't have to set one immediately. You can do it later by double-clicking the turquoise gear icon in your system tray and clicking on the arrow next to the drive's security status. Your password can be up to 22 characters, which isn't as long as we could like, but the only way to reset it is to wipe the drive. This is actually a good thing. An external drive whose encryption can be bypassed with a physical switch or a call to customer support isn't all that encrypted.</p> <p>You can set up all kind of fancy encryption with that SSD that you've put into a UASP enclosure, but it's not going to offer encryption out-of-the-box. It needs third-party software to interact with the drive before it's secured. Having this built into the drive is a big advantage for non-expert users. If you don't need encryption, or you don't mind the logitistics of using third-party encryption software, then getting your own internal SSD and a UASP enclosure is definitely more cost-effective; the 250GB version we tested has a list price of $179.99. The 500GB version comes in at $299.99, and the 1TB is $599.99. They may end up selling for much less than the list price, which happens frequently with PC components. But it's starting out on the high end. Right now, you can get a 960GB Sandisk Ultra II internal SSD for $350 from NCIX US, and a UASP enclosure from Amazon for less than twenty bucks (which comes with a USB 3.0 cable). Most internal SSDs in that size range hit between $400 and $450, but the price difference is still pretty significant.</p> <p>Its performance isn't too shabby, either. Without UASP, the drive will transfer data in the neighborhood of 200MB/s, which is very respectable. It still leaves the Sandisk Extreme Pro at the top of the heap when it comes to external storage speeds. That's ironic, because it's just a thumb drive. The Portable T1 has 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB capacities, though, so there's that. The Extreme Pro's largest size is 256MB.</p> <p>With UASP in the mix, the Portable T1 leaps ahead of the pack, with a sustained read speed of 433MB/s, and a sustained write speed of 355MB/s, according to CrystalDisk Mark. But your results will vary. When paired with an Asus Rampage IV Extreme motherboard, we couldn’t manage a sustained read speed of more than 350MB/s. When we plugged it into a USB 3.0 port on the back of a Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H, we could read at around 450MB/s, but the write speed maxed out at only 85MB/s. We tried another port on the back, and the sustained write speeds jumped up to 355MB/s. It's not the drive's fault, but it is disappointing to see this much variance from one USB controller to another, even on the same motherboard (which will sometimes use multiple controllers). PCMark Vantage also locked up while attempting to test this drive, but it reports a somewhat abstract score, rather than actual performance numbers, so it's not critical to our understanding of the drive's capabilities.</p> <p>The Portable T1's cable is also extremely short, measuring only about four inches long. This is perfect for laptop users, but desktop users will have the device basically dangling off one the ports on their case. We also regret to report that it uses a bright blue LED to indicate connectivity, though it's a small one, thankfully. It doesn't look like the electronics industry is in any hurry to return to the red LEDs we used for decades that never distracted the retina. On the bright side, it continues to push the envelope of external storage performance. In that light, our benchmark chart compares the drive to internal SSDs, since it completely outclasses non-UASP external drives. It's still not ideal for sustained high-bandwidth things like HD video editing, but it's a surprisingly snappy little unit otherwise.</p> external drive Portable T1 Review samsung solid state drive ssd storage UASP USB 3.0 Reviews SSD Tue, 20 Jan 2015 15:06:33 +0000 Tom McNamara 29278 at Samsung Wins Race to 8 Gigabit GDDR5 Memory, Begins Mass Production <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/samsung_8gb_gddr5.jpg" alt="Samsung 8Gb GDDR5 Memory Chips" title="Samsung 8Gb GDDR5 Memory Chips" width="228" height="178" style="float: right;" />Denser memory solution could lead to larger frame buffers</h3> <p><strong>Samsung today announced that its has started mass producing what it claims is the industry's first 8 gigabit (Gb) GDDR5 DRAM</strong>, which is being built on the company's 20nm manufacturing process. This is the same type of memory that's found on scores of graphics cards for PCs, along with onboard graphics solutions in game consoles and some laptops PCs, though it's a denser solution.</p> <p>It takes combining just eight of the new 8Gb chips to achieve the same density at the 8GB needed in the newest game consoles, which could lead to higher capacity solutions compared to the company's own 4Gb GDDR5 DRAM. The newer chips also sport faster reads at 8Gb per second per pin, versus 7Gb per second for the old stuff. That's four times faster than the DDR3 DRAM found in most notebooks today, with each chip being able to process data at 32-bit I/O rate.</p> <p>According to Samsung, 2GB of graphics memory can be created with just two of the new chips, which together can process up to 64GB of graphical images per second -- that's enough to process about 12 Full HD 1080p DVDs (5GB) in a single second.</p> <p>"We expect that our 8Gb GDDR5 will provide original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with the best graphics memory solution available for game consoles as well as general use notebook PCs," <a href="" target="_blank">said Joo Sun Choi</a>, Executive Vice president of Memory Sales and Marketing at Samsung Electronics. "By expanding our production of 20nm-based DRAM products including the new GDDR5, we will meet increasing global customer demand and take the lead in accelerating the growth of the premium memory market."</p> <p>Therein lies the real takeaway for consumers -- more efficient production should lead to somewhat lower pricing, giving graphics cards makers even more flexibility to wage price wars. We're not saying that video card pricing is set to plummet, but in theory, this should give vendors a bit more wiggle room. It should also allow for graphics cards with larger frame buffers, which could be of importance as the industry shifts to 4K resolutions and beyond.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 8GB GDDR5 graphics Memory ram samsung News Thu, 15 Jan 2015 14:03:45 +0000 Paul Lilly 29258 at Samsung Thumbs Nose at Android, Launches Low Cost Tizen Smartphone <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/samsung_z1.jpg" alt="Samsung Z1" title="Samsung Z1" width="228" height="130" style="float: right;" />Low cost device represents a significant mobile play</h3> <p>Entry level handsets launched in emerging markets don't typically elicit too much attention, though in this case, there's a reason why some people are making a big deal out of Samsung's latest smartphone. The <strong>Samsung Z1, launched today in New Delhi, runs the company's own Tizen operating system</strong>, which is indicative of Samsung wanting to groom new users and markets on something other than Android.</p> <p>This is part of a larger push in favor of Tizen, which is also found on other electronic devices and, as announced recently, will be featured on every single smart TV that Samung launches this year. The strategy is an interesting one, not just because Samsung is attempting to push Tizen into different product categories, but also due to its focus on a market segment (first time smartphone buyers in India) that isn't being fiercely contested by rivals.</p> <p>According to the press release, the Samsung Z1 will be priced at under $100 (5700 Indian Ruppees, or about $92 in U.S. currency). The timing of the low-cost release comes at a time when Samsung is undergoing a bit of internal restructuring due to sliding profits and the failure to sell as many flagship Galaxy S5 devices as it hoped it would.</p> <p>Samsung has tried on more than one occasion to push its Tizen platform as a viable alternative to Android, though it hasn't really caught one, especially in the smartphone category despite several different Tizen-based handset launches last year.</p> <p>What's different this time around is that Samsung isn't relying on wireless carriers and app developers to push its product -- it's selling the Samsung Z1 directly through its retail networks using web versions of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, the <em>Wall Street Journal</em> <a href="" target="_blank">reports</a>. Samsung also plans to heavily promote its brand name to help offset the fact that many people have never heard of Tizen.</p> <p>Looking longer term, Samsung hopes it can build a bit of a following in India, which in turn would give Tizen some street cred and attract more consumers and developers.</p> <p>As to the hardware, the Z1 is a fairly basic device -- 4-inch WVGA display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 768MB RAM, 4GB internal storage + microSD card slot (up to 64GB), VGA front-facing camera, 3.1-megapixel rear-facing camera, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, USB 2.0, GPS, accelerometer, 1500 mAh battery, and of course TIzen 2.3.</p> <p>"The smartphone market in India is rapidly evolving, with many consumers using their device as their screen of choice for content including videos, television programs and video games, as well as a range of apps," <a href=",-the-First-Tizen-Powered-Smartphone-for-Indian-Consumers-1" target="_blank">said Mr. Hyun Chil Hong</a>, President and CEO, Samsung India Electronics, "We have customized the Samsung Z1 to meet these unique, entertainment-focused needs of local Indian consumers for a personal and reliable mobile experience."</p> <p>Availability in India begins today with white, black, and "wine red" color options.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Hardware mobile samsung Samsung Z1 smartphone tizen News Wed, 14 Jan 2015 16:31:37 +0000 Paul Lilly 29252 at Samsung Starts Mass Producing Crazy Fast SM951 PCIe SSD for Laptops <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/samsung_sm951.jpg" alt="Samsung SM951" title="Samsung SM951" width="228" height="142" style="float: right;" />Low power SSD hits ultra high speeds (2,150MB/s reads, 1,550MB/s writes)</h3> <p>One of the biggest developments in the solid state drive market has been that of falling prices over the past couple of years. We hope that trend continues, though it's not the sole storyline -- there's also the transition to PCI Express, and with it comes much faster speeds than their SATA 6Gbps counterparts. How fast are we talking? Well, <strong>Samsung's SM951 SSD for ultra-slim laptops and workstations is rated to read and write data at up to 2,150MB/s, and 1,550MB/s, respectively</strong>.</p> <p>Those figures represent ultra-slim laptops and workstations that choose to adopt the PCIe 3.0 interface. In those situations, Samsung says the SM951 is about four times faster at sequential reads than current SATA SSDs, while also remaining power efficient -- it requires about 450MB/s per watt for sequential reads and 250MB/s per watt for sequential writes, which is more than a 50 percent improvement over the XP941, its predecessor.</p> <p>Samsung's drive also supports PCIe 2.0. When installed in PCIe 2.0 system, it can read and write data at up to 1,600MB/s and 1,350MB/s, respectively, along with random read speeds of up to 130,000 IOPS and random writes of up to 85,000 IOPS. That's still pretty darn fast.</p> <p>"We are helping to accelerate growth of the ultra-slim notebook PC market with the introduction of this energy-efficient, high-speed PCIe SSD," <a href="" target="_blank">said Jeeho Baek</a>, Senior Vice President of Memory Marketing at Samsung Electronics. He added that, "We will continue to introduce next-generation high-density SSDs with improved performance and increased differentiation, as we further strengthen our business competitiveness in global SSD market."</p> <p>Outside of raw speed, the SM951 is notable because it's the first SSD to adopt the L1.2 low power standby mode. This is a mode defined by the PCI-SIG standards body, which allows for all high-speed circuits to be switched off when a PC is in sleep or hibernation mode.</p> <p>No word yet on cost, though Samsung says the SM951 comes in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> Hardware samsung sm951 solid state drive ssd storage News Mon, 12 Jan 2015 14:04:15 +0000 Paul Lilly 29239 at Samsung Announces T1 Line of External SSDs <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u160416/untitled_1.jpg" alt="Samsung Portable SSD T1" title="Samsung Portable SSD T1" width="250" height="244" style="float: right;" /></p> <h3>Bigger Isn't Always Better</h3> <p>Samsung announced the <span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">Portable SSD T1 line of external solid-state drive today, the first of its kind for this company. The drive uses a standard USB 3.0 cable to connect to your PC and is backwards compatible with USB 2.0. But you'll definitely want the faster connection -- Samsung claims that the drive can acheive sequential read and write speeds of up to 450MB/s if your motherboard has a UASP mode available. It also comes with 256-bit AES encryption and Dynamic Thermal Guard, the latter of which helps to prevent the drive from overheating.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family:&quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">The drives, available in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB sizes, come with a three-year warranty and have MSRPs of $180, $300, and $600, respectively. Also, rather than being a standard 2.5-inch SSD inside an enclosure, the T1 uses a fully integrated design, which explains its compact dimensions (about 25% shorter than a regular internal SSD). You can expect these drives to show up at retail within the next few weeks.<br /></span></p> external samsung solid-state drive ssd storage USB 3.0 News Tue, 06 Jan 2015 01:05:07 +0000 Tom McNamara 29190 at Samsung Unveils ATIV Book 9 Laptop and ATIV One 7 Curved All-in-One PC <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/samsung_ativ_one_7_curved.jpg" alt="Samsung ATIV One 7 Curved" title="Samsung ATIV One 7 Curved" width="228" height="183" style="float: right;" />Samsung takes a break from mobile handsets to announce a pair of PC products</h3> <p>Between all the Galaxy smartphone and tablet releases, we're a little surprised Samsung has time to take a breath, let alone announce a pair of sleek looking PC products. Yet that's exactly that the company has done today. Specifically, <strong>Samsung today unveiled its ATIV Book 9</strong>, an all-aluminum laptop with an Intel Broadwell Core M processor inside, <strong>and ATIV One 7 Curved</strong>, the company's first curvaceous all-in-one PC.</p> <p>Starting with the latter, the ATIV One 7 Curved sports a 27-inch curved display with a Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) resolution. According to Samsung, the curved design ovvers a "unique entertainment perspective" that makes the screen feel even larger than it already is. The company also says it features wide viewing angles (178 degrees), so you don't need to worry about always being front and center.</p> <p>Other specs include an unspecified Intel Core i5 processor, Intel HD Graphics 5500, 8GB of DDR3L-1600 RAM, 1TB storage, USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports (two each), 3-in-1 memory card reader, two 10W stereo speakers, Full HD webcam, and Windows 8.1 64-bit. Look for it to be available beginning Q1 2015 for $1,300 MSRP.</p> <p>Moving on, the ATIV Book 9 measures a scant 0.46 inches thick and weighs just 2.06 pounds, qualifying it as the lightest Book 9 ever.</p> <p><img src="/files/u69/samsung_ativ_book_9.jpg" alt="Samsung ATIV Book 9" title="Samsung ATIV Book 9" width="620" height="527" /></p> <p>Inside those tight confines is an Intel Core M 5Y10c processor with Intel HD Graphics 5300, 8GB of RAM (4GB option will also be available), 128GB or 256GB SSD, 720p HD webcam, two USB 3.0 ports, micro HDMI output, Ethernet (supplied via an adapter dongle), headphone/mic combo port, two 1.5W speakers, and Windows 8.1</p> <p>Pricing will be $1,200 MSRP for the model with 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD, and $1,400 for 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Each will be available in the first quarter of next year.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> aio all-in-one ativ book 9 ativ one 7 curved Hardware laptop notebook OEM rigs samsung News Tue, 30 Dec 2014 20:00:51 +0000 Paul Lilly 29166 at Temple Run VR is Now Available for Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/temple_run_vr.jpg" alt="Temple Run VR" title="Temple Run VR" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />Endless runner gets a dash virtual realism</h3> <p>Remember Temple Run, the addictive endless runner that stole hours of your time, as such games are apt to do? Well, there's a new version available, and we're not talking about yet another themed release. Developer Imangi Studios announced that <strong>Temple Run VR is finished and available to play on Samsung's recently released Gear VR Innovator Edition</strong> headset. It's one of the first fully playable games for the Gear VR and it's free to download.</p> <p>Just like the non-VR version, you're an Indiana Jones wannabe who thieves an idol from what's apparently a cursed and very pissed off temple, which kicks off your endless escape across icy mountaintops in a first person perspective. Unfortunately for you, the ending is the same every time you play -- you die. However, <em>how</em> you die is at least changed up. Maybe you trip over a tree root and get caught by Arctic Demon Monkeys, or perhaps the baby's crying in the next room so you flick your character off a ledge when you should have made a hard left. Whatever, you'll end up playing it again anyway, not because the stolen idol belongs in a museum, but because we all turn into mindless zombies when playing these types of aggravatingly addictive titles (Flappy Bird, anyone?).</p> <p>Samsung released its <a href="">Gear VR Innovator Edition</a> earlier this month for $200. Developed in partnership with Oculus VR, the headset is intended to make use of mobile devices as a source of power and content generation. It has a 96-degree Field of View and sports gyrometer, geomagnetic, proximity, and accelerator sensors.</p> <p>To use the headset, you'll also need a Galaxy Note 4 device. It slides into the front and connects via micro USB.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and </em></p> games Gear VR imangi studios samsung temple run vr virtual reality News Wed, 24 Dec 2014 15:28:56 +0000 Paul Lilly 29146 at Benchmarking Site May Have Spilled the Beans on Samsung's Galaxy S6 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/galaxy_s5_1.jpg" alt="Samsung Galaxy S5" title="Samsung Galaxy S5" width="228" height="187" style="float: right;" />A possible look at Samsung's Galaxy S6 specifications</h3> <p>The Galaxy S6 could end up being Samsung's most important smartphone release in quite some time. There's certainly a lot riding on the release -- faced with lower than expected revenues from the Galaxy S5 not selling as well as the company hoped, a few heads in management rolled during a recent restructuring effort. Samsung chief J.K. Shin managed to avoid the axe and was given another chance, though his job could be on the line if the Galaxy S6 doesn't turn things around. With that in mind, <strong>we have some possible specs of the Galaxy S6 to share</strong>.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">According to <em>Forbes</em></a>, online benchmarking site AnTuTu showed for a short time showed details of a new smartphone believed to be Samsung's next flagship handset. The specs have since been removed, though as we always say, there's no undo button on the Internet. So, here's a look:</p> <ul> <li>5.5-inch display with a 2550x1440 resolution</li> <li>Samsung Exynos 7420 64-bit Octa-Core CPU</li> <li>3GB RAM</li> <li>32GB built-in storage</li> <li>5MP front-facing camera</li> <li>20MP rear-facing camera</li> <li>Android 5.0 Lollipop</li> </ul> <p>The model number for the not-so-mystery device was listed as SM-G925F, which is yet another sign that it's the Galaxy S6 in question, based on how Samsung numbers its phones in Europe.</p> <p>One thing that isn't clear is if the alleged Galaxy S6 outlined above is the regular version or Edge SKU with a wraparound display. Either way, how do you feel about the specs?</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> android antutu benchmarks galaxy s6 Hardware mobile samsung smartphone News Tue, 09 Dec 2014 17:42:38 +0000 Paul Lilly 29060 at Samsung Releases Gear VR Innovator Edition for $200 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/gear_vr.jpg" alt="Samsung Gear VR" title="Samsung Gear VR" width="200" height="200" style="float: right;" />Mobile VR is here, for the Galaxy Note 4</h3> <p>Back in <a title="MPC Gear VR Rumor" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">July</span></a>, it was rumored that Samsung was diving into the world of virtual reality devices, which the company finally <a title="MPC Samsung confirms Gear VR" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">confirmed</span></a> in September. But unlike the Oculus Rift, which is a standalone device, the Gear VR has been developed to make use of mobile devices as a source of power and content generation. But content creators and VR enthusiasts no longer have to wait for it. Today, <strong>Samsung has released the Gear VR Innovator Edition for $200</strong>.&nbsp;</p> <p>The <a title="Gear VR" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Gear VR</span></a>, which was developed in partnership with Oculus VR, features an optical lens that has a 96-degree Field of View and utilizes gyrometer, geomagnetic, proximity, and accelerator sensors. For controls, it comes with a built-in touchpad, back button, volume key, and a control for focal adjustment. A Samsung Gamepad, sold seperately or bundled, is also available for games that might require one.&nbsp;</p> <p>However, if you want to use the Gear VR you will also need to own Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4. Once connected by microUSB, the Gear VR will make use of the Galaxy Note 4’s 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display, which has a resolution of 2560x1440, and power source to help generate content. Samsung’s VR headset is also powered by the Oculus Mobile SDK, which is available for everyone to download, and lets Samsung’s VR device take advantage of low-latency 3DOF tracking and is able to achieve sub-20 millisecond motion-to-photons latency.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Gear VR Innovator Edition will include sample games and VR experiences that include a dungeon exploration adventure game called HeroBound and a multiplayer space shooter titled Anshar Wars as well as other titles and demos. There will also be 3D 360-degree video content available such as a portion of the Cirque de Soleil show, Zarkana, that was specially filmed for the Gear VR.</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> galaxy note 4 Gear VR Gear VR Innovator Edition mobile VR oculus samsung virtual reality News Mon, 08 Dec 2014 23:27:24 +0000 Sean D Knight 29057 at Samsung Brings 3D NAND to Mainstream with 850 Evo SSD Line <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/samsung_850_evo.jpg" alt="Samsung 850 Evo" title="Samsung 850 Evo" width="228" height="172" style="float: right;" />New SSD line starts at $100</h3> <p><strong>Samsung's 3D Vertical NAND (V-NAND) technology</strong> is no longer reserved for just its premium solid state drives (SSDs). With the introduction of its <strong>affordable 850 Evo SSD family</strong>, mainstream customers now have access to the same technology that was previously only found in Samsung's 850 Pro line released earlier this year. What that ultimately means for consumers is access to SSDs that are presumably more reliable and less expensive.</p> <p>As opposed to the 2D planar NAND found in the 840 Evo, Samsung's new 850 Pro utilizes NAND flash memory stacked vertically 32 layers high. This allows for higher density in the same or smaller packages, and also improved reliability since the NAND cells that store bits aren't packed so tightly together. According to Samsung, drive endurance in the 850 Evo line is twice that of its predecessor, along with a 25 percent improvement in power efficiency.</p> <p>The Samsung 850 Evo series comes in 1TB, 500GB, 250GB, and 120GB capacities. All four capacities sport the following performance ratings:</p> <ul> <li>Sequential Read: Up to 540MB/s</li> <li>Sequential Write: Up to 520MB/s</li> <li>4KB Random Read (QD1): Up to 10,000 IOPS</li> <li>4K Random Write (QD!): Up to 40,000 IOPS</li> </ul> <p>The 1TB and 500GB capacities also offer 4KB random read (QD32) performance of up to 98,000 IOPS, while the 250GB and 120GB boast up to 97,000 IOPs and up to 94,000 IOPs, respectively. For 4KB random write (QD32) performance, the 1TB and 500GB are rated for up to 90,000 IOPS, while the 250GB and 120GB are both rated for up to 88,000 IOPS.</p> <p>Pricing for the <a href="" target="_blank">850 Evo</a> has been set at $100 (120GB), $150 (250GB), $270 (500GB), and $500 (1TB).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> 3d nand 850 evo Build a PC flash memory Hardware samsung solid state drive ssd storage News Mon, 08 Dec 2014 16:10:29 +0000 Paul Lilly 29050 at Samsung Galaxy S5 Made Tastier with Android 5.0 Lollipop <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/android_lollipop.jpg" alt="Android 5.0 Lollipop" title="Android 5.0 Lollipop" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />Lollipop lands in record time</h3> <p>The one catch with Android is that it sometimes takes a long time for new builds to trickle down to handsets that Google isn't in direct control of. That's been the case with Samsung's Galaxy handsets as well, though surprisingly, <strong>Android 5.0 Lollipop is already being unwrapped on the Galaxy S5</strong>. We say "surprisingly" because this is the first time Samsung has pushed out a major new update this soon since being released.</p> <p>Google's finished code for Lollipop was made available on November 4th. Here a month later, it's installed on less than 1 percent of all Android devices -- not enough to even be included on Google's <a href="" target="_blank">pie chart</a> for Android builds. Nevertheless, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>SamMobile</em> says</a> the newest code has been rolling out to Galaxy S5 owners in Poland and should start appearing in other European countries shortly. Hopefully the U.S. market isn't far behind.</p> <p>Paring Android 5.0 with the Galaxy S5 meshes the best version of Google's open source operating system to date with arguably the best Android handset on the market. Android 5.0 brings with it an overhauled UI, a brand new lockscreen, better battery management, and several other improvements that make it a desirable upgrade. It's the biggest upgrade to Android since Ice Cream Sandwich.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> android 5.0 galaxy s5 lollipop mobile samsung smartphone News Fri, 05 Dec 2014 16:31:01 +0000 Paul Lilly 29040 at