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VR-Zone Technology News | Stuff for the Geeks! Issue #29

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A weekly roundup of VR-Zone.com Technology News covering facebook, google, apple, baidu, social media, PC, gadget, hardware, intel, microsoft, AMD, NVIDIA, ARM, iphone, android

A weekly roundup of VR-Zone.com Technology News covering facebook, google, apple, baidu, social media, PC, gadget, hardware, intel, microsoft, AMD, NVIDIA, ARM, iphone, android

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  • 1. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneVR-Zone.com | Stuff for the Geeks! VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.Google announces partnerChromebooksSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-announces-partner-chromebooks/12169.htmlMay 11th, 2011 Other parts of the specifications include dual band Wi-Fi, optional 3G (most likely cost option), an HD webcam, two USB 2.0 ports, a memory card reader a pair of audio jacks andNot entirely unexpected, Googles first Chromebook partners surprisingly an HDMI port. Theres also a "full size Chromewill be Acer and Samsung and both companies have a model keyboard" and the Acer Chromebook is using an Acer "floatingthat will go on sale in the US on the 15th of June. Surprisingly island" type keyboard and it also has an "oversize fully-the two models are quite different in terms of not only in terms clickable trackpad". The battery is said to be good for up toof features, but also cost. In fact, the only similarity is the fact 6h of continuous usage, not a huge surprise considering this isthat theyre both black and running Googles Chrome OS. pretty much a netbook and the whole thing weighs in at a very portable 1.34kg.Not entirely unexpected, Googles first Chromebook partners Samsungs Chromebook on the other hand is slightly largerwill be Acer and Samsung and both companies have a model at 12.1-inches its surprisingly using a 16:10 display withthat will go on sale in the US on the 15th of June. Surprisingly 1280x800 resolution. Maybe this is a good way of getting ridthe two models are quite different in terms of not only in terms of old stock? Were looking at another unspecified dual coreof features, but also cost. In fact, the only similarity is the fact Atom CPU here and once again no mention of memory orthat theyre both black and running Googles Chrome OS. storage capacity. As with the Acer, the Samsung sports dual- band Wi-Fi, optional 3G, an HD webcam, two USB 2.0 ports,Acers Chromebook is an 11.6-inch netbook as far as the a memory card reader, but seemingly only a single audio jackspecifications goes, as at its core is an unspecified dual core and a "mini-VGA port" which is kind of frustrating.Atom processor. For whatever reason theres no mention ofsystem memory or storage space, although we wouldnt expecteither to be particularly huge, especially as the Cr-48 onlycame with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The screen shouldhave a resolution of 1366x768 pixels as far as we can tell, buttheres no explicit mention of the resolution apart from it being"HD". 1
  • 2. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneSamsung has gone for a chiclet keyboard design and onceagain an "oversize fully-clickable trackpad". The battery lifein this case has been upped to 8.5h which is pretty decent,although the weigh has also gone up a little bit to 1.48kg.Design wise the Samsung looks nicer that the Acer on thepictures, but were somewhat sold on the HDMI port and thesmaller size and lighter weight of the Acer.Where the Acer really wins though is on price, as it shouldretail for US$349 (S$432), although this is without 3G,whereas the Wi-Fi only Samsung model is US$429 (S$531)with the 3G model going for $499 (S$618). Its worth keepingin mind that at least in the US, owners of a Chromebookget 100MB of 3G data free every month for two years fromVerizon, although an unlimited day pass is a steep US$9.99 (S The DZ68DB is part of Intels media series of motherboards$12) and 1GB of DATA is $20 (S$25) a month, with 3GB for rather than the extreme series. Intel should be launching theUS$35 (S$43) and 5GB for a massive US$50 (S$62) a month. DZ68BC at a later stage though and this is part of the extreme series and should end up taking the top LGA-1155 board position ahead of the DP67BG. Were somewhat mystified byIntel Z68 gets official, own the DZ68DB as we cant really see this board having muchbrand motherboard too appeal unless you fall in the category of users that needs the power of a graphics card once in a while. However, in this caseSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-z68-gets-official-own-brand- it would be wiser to spend your money on an H67 board.motherboard-too/12168.htmlMay 11th, 2011 So what we have here is a board that has a pretty good rear I/O layout with six USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports (via a Renesas host controller), a FireWire port, Intel Gigabit Ethernet (of course), an eSATA port (from the chipset), 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PIDF out and last, but not least, a DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI port. Intel has obviously decided to drop all types of legacy connectors here with no PS/2 or D-subIn case you havent been paying attention to whats going on connectors in sight.in the motherboard market for the past week or so, today isthe official launch of Intels Z68 chipset (note. This entirelydepends on what time zone you live in). Weve already coveredmany of the motherboards announced today, but Intel does ofcourse still have a line of its own motherboards and alongsidethe new chipset announcement, the company also launchedthe DZ68DB motherboard.In case you havent been paying attention to whats going onin the motherboard market for the past week or so, today isthe official launch of Intels Z68 chipset (note. This entirelydepends on what time zone you live in). Weve already coveredmany of the motherboards announced today, but Intel does ofcourse still have a line of its own motherboards and alongside However, the board itself doesnt impress much and as athe new chipset announcement, the company also launched matter of fact, this might as well have been a mATX board asthe DZ68DB motherboard. the lower half of the PCB is almost void of components. Its also interesting that on what should be a high-end board forThe Z68 chipset doesnt really hold any secrets by now and a company that has removed PCI support from its chipset; weIntel didnt really seem to make much of a fuss about the have a board with no less than three PCI slots. The board alsowhole launch. The interesting thing will be to see how many has a single x16 PCI Express slot and two x1 PCI Express slots.people will consider spending US$100 (S$124) for the Intel There are three SATA 3Gbps and two SATA 6Gbps ports on the311 series SSD designed for Intels Smart Response technology. board and not very much else apart from a set of four headersYou could of course use any SSD, but the faster the better for an additional eight USB 2.0 ports spread around the board.really. Its somewhat surprising that Intel only launched on The VRM design is also very basic and by the looks of it weremotherboard today though and its not even their high-end looking at a 4+1 phase design.models. Price wise the board is listed with one retailer in the US for about US$135 (S$167) which is pretty decent, but considering the uninspiring board layout, wed pick something else to be honest. That said, as with so many other Z68 boards, Intel does 2
  • 3. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonesupply a copy of Lucid Logix Virtu software with the board Intel will exhibit a range of mobility products and technologieswhich is at least something. at the Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC) Nangang Exhibition Hall from May 31-June 4.In related news, Digitimes reports that top tier Taiwanesemotherboard makers are expecting to ship 350,000-400,000Z68 motherboards before the end of May. Gigabyte is expected DATES:to be shipping the bears share of this and it might turn outthat the companys claim of an 80 percent market share will Opening Ceremony:come true, as Asus in only expecting to ship 30,000 boards and Tue.-Fri., May 31-June 3 (9:30 a.m-6 p.m.)MSI and ASRock will only managed 15,000 together, if wereto believe Digitimes numbers. Sat., June 4 (9:30 a.m-4 p.m.) WHERE:Intel to Showcase Latest Intel Exhibition Showcase at ComputexTechnology on Mobile Booth M0410Computing at COMPUTEX TWTC Nangang, 4F (Address: No. 1, Jingmao 2nd Rd., Nangang District, Taipei2011 City, Taiwan)Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-to-showcase-latest-technology-on-mobile-computing-at-computex-2011/12167.htmlMay 11th, 2011 PRESS ACTIVITIES: Computex Opening Keynote Tuesday, May 31, 2-3 p.m. (Reception: 1:30–2 p.m.) Intel is hosting a series of events over at COMPUTEX Speaker: Sean M. Maloney, executive vice president andTaipei 2011 to unveil and showcase its latest hardware and general manager of Intel Architecture Groupsoftware technology innovations spanning a spectrum ofmobile personal computing devices. Intel will exhibit a range TICC, 3F Plenary Hallof mobility products and technologies at the Taipei World (Address: No. 1, Xin-yi Rd., Sec. 5, Hsin-yi District, Taipei City,Trade Center (TWTC) Nangang Exhibition Hall from May 31- Taiwan)June 4. PC Client Event Grand Hyatt Hotel, 3F, Ballroom A (Address: No. 2, Song Shou Rd., Hsin-yi District, Taipei City, Taiwan) PC Client Event Post-Keynote Press Q&A Session Grand Hyatt Hotel, Crane Room, 3/F Intel Speaker:Intel Corporation is hosting a series of events to unveil Shmuel (Mooly) Eden, vice president and general manager ofand showcase its latest hardware and software technology PC Client Groupinnovations spanning a spectrum of mobile personalcomputing devices. Netbooks and Tablets Event: Companion Computing Gets PersonalIntel’s presence at Computex 2011 will kick off with the Wednesday, June 1, 3-5 p.m. (Reception time: 3-3:30 p.m.)opening keynote address by Sean Maloney, executive vicepresident and general manager, Intel Architecture Group, at Grand Hyatt Hotel, 3F, Ballroom Athe Taipei International Convention Center (TICC), 3F PlenaryHall, on May 31. Netbooks and Tablets Event Post-Keynote Press Q&A Session Grand Hyatt Hotel, Crane Room, 3/F Intel Speakers: 3
  • 4. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneDouglas L. Davis, vice president and general manager of CPUs have a 65W TDP and 2MB L3 cache. The graphics clockNetbook and Tablet Group on these models start at 850MHz with a turbo clock of 1GHz.Douglas W. Fisher, vice president and general manager of No word on a launch date or pricing as yet, but its possibleSystems Software Division that theyll arrive alongside the Pentium G CPUs which are expected to launch on the 22nd of May. The Celerons should be priced below US$64 (S$79) as thats the expected price ofIntel Booth Guided Tour for Media the Pentium G620.Thursday, June 2, 10-11 a.m.Booth M0410 The Daily VR-Zone NewsTWTC Nangang, 4F Summary - 11 May 2011 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-daily-vr-zone-news-summary--11-Computex Taipei Executive Speech 2011 may-2011/12165.html May 11th, 2011Speaker: Boyd A. Davis, vice president of Intel ArchitectureGroup and general manager of Data Center GroupMarketing TICC, 3F, Banquet HallSource : http://newsroom.intel.com/community/intel_newsroom/blog/2011/05/10/media-alert--intel-at- In todays news roundup: AMD has admitted that it is willingcomputex-taipei-2011 to reconsider its x86 everywhere strategy if market conditions change drastically, in spite of it having no intention to licenseIntels Celeron G440, G530 ARM technologies for use in producing ARM processors at this point of time; ASUS has announced the launch of two new self-and G540 specs are out designed graphics cards, the Radeon HD 6770 DirectCU andSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-celeron-g440-g530-and-g540- HD 6750 Formula; Motion Computings enterprise-centricspecs-are-out/12166.html CL900 tablet is finally available for ordering in the US at theMay 11th, 2011 starting price of US$899; Microsoft has reportedly sent at least two employees packing from its offices over the alleged leak of the beta builds of its upcoming Windows 8 operating system, making it one of the more high-profile sacking cases to occur over at Redmond; Square Enix has announced a Dragon Quest Wii collection which will consist of the original Famicom versions of Dragon Quest I, Dragon Quest II, andIn the midst of Intels Z68 chipset launch, details have Dragon Quest III, and their respective Super Famicom (SNES)emerged of three upcoming budget CPUs from Intel, its first G- versions, specifically Dragon Quest I & II and Dragon Questseries Celeron CPUs. What were looking at here are one single III, and Fans of Portal 2 can now start modding the game andcore CPU and two dual core CPUs which will be Intels new creating their own test puzzles now that Valve has released theentry level Sandy Bridge processors and a step down from the official game authoring tools for downloadsoon to launch Pentium G-series of CPUs. Hardware news Cooler Master Storm Enforcer Mid Tower Chassis ReviewIn the midst of Intels Z68 chipset launch, details have Description: A couple months back I took a look at the Cooleremerged of three upcoming budget CPUs from Intel, its first G- Master Test Bench V1.0, but it seems like it has been a whileseries Celeron CPUs. What were looking at here are one single since I had a look at a case from CM. The last couple of casescore CPU and two dual core CPUs which will be Intels new I looked at were the HAF-X, CM690II and the Storm Sniper.entry level Sandy Bridge processors and a step down from the The Sniper had some very cool features and a style all its own,soon to launch Pentium G-series of CPUs. keeping most of what made those cases a success while adding a fair bit of individualism to this new concept. AestheticallyThe most basic model will be known as the Celeron G440 and this case looks like no other I have seen and almost looks likethis is a 35W TDP single core 1.6GHz CPU with 2MB L3 cache. the case is in motion with the rounded design and stamped inThis almost seems too basic by todays standards and we have designs in the steel.a hard time seeing anyone being interested in buying this CPU.It has a claimed graphics clock of 650/1000MHz in standard/ Kingston X58 Triple Channel kit 2250Mhz Cas 9 Review @turbo mode. Madshrimps Description: At the latest MSI MOA Benelux qualifier we wereNext up we have the dual core Celeron G530 and G540 where allowed to play with MSIs Xpower board, some 980X ES CPUsthe only difference is clock speed, as the G530 is clocked at and some pretty high specced Kingston rams. The 2250Mhz2.4GHz whereas the G540 is a smidgen faster at 2.5GHz. Both CL9 triple channel kit seemed very interesting for a spin in the 4
  • 5. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneMadshrimps Lab. Could these blue beauties come close to the Google Finally Delivers On Promise Of Admin-Free Chromealmighty Corsair Hyper IC based GTX2s ? Whats the use for Frame Installs For IEsuch a high MHz kit for a daily user ? Is this kit Bloomfield Description: Today at Google I/O in San Francisco, Googlefriendly ? A lot of questions warped through my brain. Time to developers Amit Joshi and Alex Russell took the stage atopen the box and find some answers a breakout session to announce an important milestone: a version of Chrome Frame that doesn’t require admin rights toEK Water Blocks EK-FC580 GTX Nickel @ install. While this might not jump out at you as a huge thing,Hardwareoverclock.com it’s big news for millions of users stuck working at offices orDescription: The summer is not so far away, also the high schools with older machines where admins won’t allow themtemperatures of the hardware components, specially the video to upgrade to newer, modern browsers. And some 30 percentcard. A great alternative will be a water cooler, for example the of these users were not even able to install plug-ins for IE. NowEK Water Blocks EK-FC580 GTX Nickel. This cooler has an there’s a way around that with the new dev build of Chromeextreme high flow path design and unique increased cooling Frame. You can install this within IE without needing adminsurface over GPU keeps all your graphic cards components access.cool even at highest graphical loads and over clock. We havetested this sample on a GTX 570 in a comparison between Adobe Takes Wowza to Court Over Flash Patentsother alternative VGA coolers. Description: Adobe is taking Wowza Media to court, suing it for patent infringement related to its Flash Media Server.GIGABYTE Z68X UD4 Review @ Vortez Adobe filed its lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for theDescription: So what do we get from GIGABYTE if the video Northern District of California last week, alleging patentoutputs aren’t present? Well with the Z68 chipset we have the infringement, false advertising and unfair competition.new Touch BIOS, SSD caching and we have been told – betteroverclocking. So today we will be putting the Z68-UD4 on our Google To Lease Chrome Laptops for $20/Monthtest bench and putting it through its paces within synthetic and Description: Google will begin leasing Chrome laptops for $20gaming benchmarks in order to reveal to our readers whether per month in a “student package” that includes both hardwarethere is any great advantage of moving to this new chipset over and access to online services, a senior Google executive hasP67. reportedly told Forbes. The report aligns with earlier rumors that Google would begin offering Chrome OS-based notebooksEthernet Aims for Terabit for between $10 and $20 per month this summer. TheDescription: IEEE 802.3 – among friends know as Ethernet official announcement is expected to hit the wire sometime– has formed a working group to look beyond 100 Gbps Wednesday.speed. Currently the group is soliciting input at expects toreport some time next year. There is, however already a divide Motion Computings CL900 tablet now available for order,between power users and silicon suppliers. End customers like starting at $899Facebook and Google cannot wait to get a higher speed version Description: Its been a while since we first laid eyes uponof Ethernet and is lobbying for 1 Tb/s as soon as 2013. They this rugged little guy, but Motion Computings CL900 tabletare countered by silicon suppliers who would like to move to is finally available for orders, starting at $899. Designed400 Gbps in the first instance. with enterprise markets in mind, the 2.1-pound Windows 7 slate runs on a 1.5GHz Intel Oak Trail Atom Z670 processorOCZ IBIS 240GB Review @ ocaholic and rocks a 10.1-inch, 1366x768 multi-touch display thatsDescription: If you take a look at the SSD market, searching for shielded in Corning Gorilla Glass. Seated atop that displaya really powerful product, then youll definitely take the OCZ is a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, with a 3.0-megapixelIBIS into account. With a throughput of 740 MB/s read and sensor keeping watch over the backside. Boasting a thickness720 MB/s write this drive shows serious throughput rates and of 15.5mm, the device also offers up to 2GB of RAM (along withalso the claimed 120000 IOPS are massive. a 30GB or 62GB SSD), promises a battery life of up to eightAMD May Reconsider Its Opinion About ARM Processors . hours and houses a USB port, SD card slot and Bluetooth 3.0Description: Advanced Micro Devices does not close the doors module.to ARM and may reconsider its x86 everywhere strategy if Lenovo spoils own ThinkPad X1s May 17 launch with videothe market requirements change drastically. Even though the Description: Lenovo effectively pre-announced the ThinkPadcompany is not working on a deal to license ARM technologies, X1 on Wednesday with a video (below). The minute-longAMD admits that its vision is generally similar to ARMs when ad was short on details but confirmed the backlit, spill-it comes to heterogeneous multi-core computing. resistant keyboard and Gorilla Glass screen. The PC builderASUS announces self-designed Radeon HD 6770 DirectCu and also pledged a May 17 release date.HD 6750 Formula graphics cards Microsoft Employees Fired Over Windows 8 LeaksDescription: ASUS announced the launch of the new self- Description: The recent leaks of Windows 8 suggests that theredesigned HD 6770 DirectCU and HD 6750 Formula graphics are sources within Microsoft that are letting out copies of thecards. Both are equipped with the ASUS-exclusive Super Alloy work-in-progress operating system. According to a well knownPower technology that delivers a 15% performance boost along leak tracker, as characterized by WinRumors, Microsoft haswith a lifespan that is 2.5 times longer than conventional fired two employees that the company believed to be leakinggraphics cards. the beta builds.Consumer Electronics and Software news Gaming news 5
  • 6. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneSquare Enix announces Dragon Quest Wii collectionDescription: With the Dragon Quest franchise being insanelypopular in Japan, it was only a matter of time before publishersSquare Enix formally announced that a collection of the seriesearlier games is in the works. According to the official site, saidcollection will be released on the Wii and will contain all fivepast titles on one disk. The games on the collection are theoriginal Famicom versions of Dragon Quest I, Dragon QuestII, and Dragon Quest III, and their respective Super Famicom(SNES) versions, specifically Dragon Quest I & II and DragonQuest III. Unlike Microsofts Surface and Surface 2 tabletop PCs whichSoulCalibur V Announced were available in 30-inch and 40-inch touchscreen displays,Description: At a press conference in Dubai just now, Namco Pioneers WWS-DT101 boasts a gigantic 52-inch displayofficially announced SoulCalibur V. While no details were that is capable of full HD resolutions, thus making it therevealed just yet, the game is slated for a 2012 release. We do largest known tabletop PC known to exist today. However,know that more info and a teaser trailer will be coming soon, in Pioneers case, bigger does not necessarily translate toso stay tuned for those. better; while Microsofts 40-inch Surface 2 multitouch displayAlright Modders, Lets Get Modding: Valve Releases Portal 2 supported up to a maximum of 50 simultaneous contactAuthoring Tools points, the WWS-DT101 is only capable of recognizing up toDescription: Admit it: while playing through Portal 2, you 10 contact points at any time.couldnt help but devise your own devious test lab puzzle. That being said, do you remember the little demonstrationWell, now is your chance to make that turret-bot filled vision made by Microsoft which showed off how users can place dataa reality. Valve has released the Portal 2 Authoring Tools on storage devices on Surface and its contents would spill ontoSteam. the display for easy collaboration? Well, it would seem that Pioneer has been hard at work in replicating this function inCant afford Microsofts the WWS-DT101. Which, in hindsight, makes perfect sense when one takes into account that the WWD-DT101 is meantSurface? Try Pioneers WWS- to be used as a digital conference system, and the ability to share files by simply sliding them around a tabletop PCsDT101 alternative instead display is definitely a huge time saver, no matter how one looksSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/can-t-afford-microsoft-s-surface-try- at it. However, Pioneer has once again managed to one-uppioneer-s-wws-dt101-alternative-instead/12164.html Microsofts Surface by adding tablets such as iPads to the listMay 11th, 2011 of supported devices in its collaboration process, as shown in the image below:A long, long time ago in a news posting made way, way backin January, we spoke a little about Microsofts new Surface2 tabletop PC and how it could potentially change the waybusinesses handle their digital collaborating needs. As it turnsout, there is a new contender in the tabletop PC game todaywhich is supposedly capable of performing the same tasks asMicrosofts Surface, and it comes in the form of Pioneers newWWS-DT101 discussion table PC that was launched today inJapan.Microsofts Surface tabletop PC is definitely one of the moreinteresting PCs out there to exist in the market today, andwe are sure that Apple and Google will be hard pressed tocome up with a suitable product to compete against it ifMicrosoft was willing to release the product for sale to end- What is more amazing though, is the fact that Pioneer, likeusers instead of limiting its purchase to enterprise customers. Microsoft before it, was able to pull off such features usingHowever, it would seem that Microsoft is about to face some nothing more than the standard PC software and hardware tocompetition in its own market segment very soon, thanks power the tabletop PC. Yes, you read that correctly; hiddento the introduction of Pioneers own tabletop PC, the WWS- under that pretty and flashy-looking user interface is the sameDT101, which is supposedly capable of performing the same Windows 7 operating system that we all know and love today,functions as Surface. while the giant touchscreen is powered by none other than a standard Intel Core i7 processor paired with 6GB of system RAM. 6
  • 7. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneAs is the case with most enterprise products, Pioneer has that is not x86 or x86-64 based. Therefore, it should be ofchosen not to set a fixed price on the WWS-DT101. Instead, the no surprise that the VersaPro Touch VT will be poweredcompany has seemingly adopted an open pricing model for by Intels Atom processor. To be more specific, it will bethe tabletop PC, which suggests that the WWS-DT101s pricing Intels recently-launched Z670 Oak Trail processor that willmay vary based on the results of negotiations between Pioneer be providing the computational horsepower needed to runand its prospective clients. The PC is expected to start shipping Windows 7 smoothly on the NEC VersaPro Type VT. Clockedin late July, so there should be plenty of time for customers to at 1.5GHz, Intel claims that the Z670 processor has beenstart making their way to the negotiation tablet with Pioneer. specially designed for use on tablets and is supposed to be capable of supporting 1080p video playback with some help from the onboard Intel GMA 600 graphics core; asNEC unveils Atom-powered such it should be powerful enough to support a desktop-tablet running Windows 7 for grade operating system like Windows 7 without any major performance hiccups.business users In addition, NEC has also announced that the VersaPro TypeSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nec-unveils-atom-powered-tablet- VT sports a 10.1-inch touchscreen display that has a nativerunning-windows-7-for-business-users/12159.html resolution of 1280 x 800, is pre-loaded with the 32-bit versionMay 11th, 2011 of Windows 7 Professional, and will feature a user-removable battery pack. Last but definitely not least, the company also claims that the tablet utilizes a 64GB SSD for data storage purposes and can be used with a docking station to provide a desktop-esque experience for the user, as shown in the image below:Mention the words tablet PC to most consumers and chancesare the mental image they will conjure about such a deviceis one that runs on ARM processors and comes preloadedwith an operating system that is anything but MicrosoftsWindows. While that may be true in the consumer space, itwould appear that things are notably different in the enterprisespace; apparently, there is enough demand for tablets runningon Windows 7 for NEC to justify rolling out its own Windows-powered tablet for business users. Japan, meet NECs VesaPro The NEC VersaPro Type VT is expected to be available forType VT slate PC. purchase by business users in summer, with the pricing to be confirmed at a later date.Lets not deny it; Windows 7 is an astounding operatingsystem that works wonders on almost any PC available on themarket today. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the relatively high Icy Dock Debuts USB 3.0 EZ-hardware requirements and touch-unfriendly user interface ofits OS means that Windows 7 is essentially a no-go as far as DOCKconsumer tablets are concerned, especially when touchscreen Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/icy-dock-debuts-usb-3.0-ez-computing is starting to become mainstream for highly mobile dock/12163.htmldevices. May 11th, 2011However, things are usually different in the enterprise space,and based on the looks of it, tablets loaded with Windows 7are apparently doing well enough in various areas for OEMs tojustify their continued production. More importantly, it seemsthat NEC is keen to carve out a slice of the business tabletmarket for itself as well, having just launched its own Windows7-powered tablet, the VersaPro Type VT, today in Japan. Icy Dock has released the MB881U3-1SA, a USB 3.0 docking station supporting one 2.5" and 3.5" SATA/ IDE HDDs and SSDs. It features a USB 3.0 interface, removable aluminum stand for mobility, and works with both PC & Mac systems. The easy to use MB881U3-1SA is bundled with a low profile power adapter for 3.5 drives and is expected to hit store shelves soon. ICY DOCK PRESS RELEASEAs most of us will undoubtedly know by now, Windows isincapable of running on any other processor architecture 7
  • 8. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Shuttle Announces SX58H7 Pro LGA1366 Mini PC barebone Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/shuttle-announces-sx58h7-pro- lga1366-mini-pc-barebone/12162.html May 11th, 2011Introducing Icy Docks new MB881U3-1SA USB 3.0 2.5 &3.5 SATA and IDE hard drive adapter with docking station Shuttle has unleashed the XPC Barebone SX58H7 Pro,functionality. Icy Dock has taken another one of its tried and targeting gamers on the lookout for high-performance SFFtrue products and taught it some new tricks. It features the desktops. Measuring 326 x 208 x 189mm, the stylish barebonenew USB 3.0 interface for up to a 5 Gbsec transfer rate. The comes in a black aluminum enclosure and boasts an X58MB881U3-1SA is perfect for any DIY user or IT Professional motherboard, four DDR3 memory slots (up to 16Gb), dualin need of a quality hard drive adapter. The hard drive adapter PCI-Express x16 slots (for SLI/ CrossFireX), four SATA ports,will work with both 3.5 & 2.5 SATA drives and IDE drives and three drive bays, two Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, I.C.E.use them on a USB 3.0 interface. (Integrated Cooling Engine) heatpipe technology, a 80-PLUS certified 500W PSU, audio connectors, two USB 3.0 andThe 2.5 SATAIDE drives can be powered with the USB cable eight USB 2.0 connectors. The XPC Barebone SX58H7 Pro isalone. A small power adapter is included for faster or bigger available from major retailers and e-tailers now at a MSRP of2.5 hard drives or 3.5 hard drives. Using the USB 3.0 interface EUR 444.00 (excl. VAT).will maximize not only the SATA drives but also the IDE drives SHUTTLE PRESS RELEASEreadwrite speeds not found on other USB 2.0 products. TheMB881U3-1SA will accept almost any size of 2.5 3.5 IDE andSATA hard drives.Product Features • Perfect hard drive adapter with docking station functionality in USB 3.0 speeds. • USB bus power for 2.5 drives. • Low profile power adapter for 3.5 drives. • Detachable docking platform to use while on the go. • Compatible with both 2.5 & 3.5 SATA hard drives and supports hot swap. Shuttle Computer Handels GmbH, the European subsidiary of • Compatible with both 2.5 & 3.5 IDE hard drives. Shuttle Inc., one of the leading developers and manufacturers • Supports USB 3.0 connection for maximum of compact PC solutions such as the world-renowned XPC performance. Mini-PC Barebones, today launches its 2011 model with • Plug & Play USB 3.0 with backwards capabilities to Intel X58 Express chipset and support for all Intel Core i7 USB 2.0 for quick connection processors (LGA1366). • for any computer system. The Shuttle XPC Barebone SX58H7 Pro cuts an elegant figure • User friendly screw-less and tool-less design just plug with a black aluminium chassis, case and front panel. It also in the hard drive and play. boasts two heatpipe cooling systems – ideal for ensuring optimal heat dissipation and high stability. • Exposed working HDD stands in the air vertically for fast heat radiation. • Aluminum alloy stand is detachable for portable use. Owners of this powerpack have a choice to fit either two single- slot graphics cards or one dual-slot graphics card. Two PCIe- • Designed for PC & Mac systems. x16-2.0 slots offer an enormous bandwidth and a separate Mini-PCIe-x1 slot allows the installation e.g. of a WLAN module. 8
  • 9. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone for DVD-R+R DL and DVD+RW, 6x for DVD-RW, 48x for CD- R, and 24x for CD-RW".A further important innovation is the provision of external andinternal ports to the latest standards. Shuttles SX58H7 Prohas 2x USB 3.0 (up to 5 Gbits) and 2x SATA 6 Gbits. External Lite-on, manufacturer of numerous OEM PC parts, hasstorage media and internal drives (hard disks or SSDs) can introduced the eHBU212 external Blu-ray writer in Europe.now run at maximum speed. In addition, at the front and rear The writer boasts a USB 3.0 interface, 8Mb of cache memory,are 8x USB 2.0, 2x eSATA and 1x eSATAUSB 2.0 ports as LightScribe support, Smart-Burn and Smart-X technologies,well as eSATA power supply. Two 1000 Mbit network cards on and support write speeds up to "12x for BD-R, 8x for BD-Rthe mainboard of the SX58H7 Pro offer maximum reliability DL, 2x for BD-RE (DL), 16x for DVD-R+R, 12x for DVD-RAM,or maximum data transmission speed. The teaming function 8x for DVD-R+R DL and DVD+RW, 6x for DVD-RW, 48xenables the activation of failover or load balancing. for CD-R, and 24x for CD-RW". The eHBU212, bundled with CyberLinks Blu-ray Suite, can be pre-ordered from selectedWith the 80-PLUS-certified 500 W power supply unit, a resellers and distributors at a MSRP of €165.maximum configuration with 6-core processor, 16 GB DDR3 News via [Techconnect]RAM, one or two modern graphics cards and three drivesis possible at any time. A comparable configuration waspresented live at CeBIT 2011 and silenced the skeptics. ADATA Announces New PSU Series Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/adata-announces-new-psu-The technical possibilities offered here within a space series/12160.htmlmeasuring just 32.6 x 20.8 x 18.9 cm are simply astounding, May 11th, 2011states Tom Seiffert, Head of Marketing & PR at ShuttleComputer Handels GmbH. Although wed be hard pushed towin an energy-saving competition with the SX58H7 Pro, in theperformance per cm³ category this PC is streets ahead of itsrivals.The XPC Barebone SX58H7 Pro is available now. Shuttles Taipei based ADATA Technology, the world’s 2nd largestrecommended retail price is EUR 444.00 (ex VAT). vendor of DRAM Modules, has unveiled the BN series of PSUs. These 80 Plus Bronze certified units feature active PFC and comply with the European Energy Using Products DirectiveLite-on Unveils USB 3.0 Blu- (EuP) and The American Energy Star 5.0 standard. Availableray Writer in 400W, 450W, 500W and 550W capacities, they can be purchased from authorized retailers and e-tailers now.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lite-on-unveils-usb-3.0-blu-ray-writer/12161.html ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-May 11th, 2011 performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash application products, today announced the launch of its latest series of power supply for personal computers. The BN Series is targeted towards consumer and professional users who are looking for economical solutions in energy efficient power.Lite-on, manufacturer of numerous OEM PC parts, has With 80 Plus Bronze certification, the BN series offer up tointroduced the eHBU212 external Blu-ray writer in Europe. 85% efficiency, while the 95% Active Power Factor CorrectionThe writer boasts a USB 3.0 interface, 8Mb of cache memory, (PFC) minimizes power loss. The series comes in four wattageLightScribe support, Smart-Burn and Smart-X technologies, models to meet a wide range of individual user needs, andand support write speeds up to "12x for BD-R, 8x for BD-R DL, all models meet both the European Energy Using Products2x for BD-RE (DL), 16x for DVD-R+R, 12x for DVD-RAM, 8x Directive (EuP) and The American Energy Star 5.0 standard. 9
  • 10. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneThe units run quietly and emit extremely low levels of capacitive touchscreen display is 3D-capable and boasts ainterference. native qHD resolution of 960 x 540. However, the company neglected to mention the exact version of Android that the phone will be shipping with, although the image above seemsAn interesting aesthetic touch on what is often a bland system to suggest that the SH-12C may be getting some (heavily-component is the patented design pattern on the laminated customized) Gingerbread love right out of the box instead ofsteel shell. The innovative surface coating process yields an the older Froyo.attractive textured appearance. That being said, it would seem that the dual 3D cameras situated at the SH-12Cs rear might just happen to be the smartphones real draw. Capable of capturing images at aAvailability remarkably high resolution of eight megapixels, the dualADATA BN Series power supply units are now distributed cameras can also be used to capture 3D HD videos at thethrough selected distributors and resellers. maximum resolution of 720p. Last but not least, Sharp did not provide any informationSharp introduces 3D AQUOS about the smartphones price in its press release, but sufficePhone SH-12C for Japan to say a smartphone that boasts both a 3D camera and a 3D- capable display is definitely not going to be the most affordableSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sharp-introduces-3d-aquos-phone- mobile communications device on the market. However, thesh-12c-for-japan/12158.html company did mention that the SH-12C will be released forMay 11th, 2011 retail in Japan on May 20 via NTT DoCoMo. As for the rest of the world...well, lets just say that watching pigs grow wings and fly would be a good way to pass the time while waiting for the SH-12C to show up on the shelves.Granted, mobile phones with 3D-capable displays are not the StarHub and M1 announcenorm yet, but it is only a matter of time before more OEMsstart hopping onto the bandwagon and rolling out devices iPad 2 offering; SingTel unveilsthat will see 3D-enabled smartphones eventually becoming iPad 2 price and availabilitythe new mainstream. However, those who prefer to live their Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/starhub-and-m1-announce-ipad-2-digital life on the bleeding edge of technology would probably offering-singtel-unveils-ipad-2-price-and-availability/12156.htmltake delight in the fact that there is a new player in the market May 11th, 2011for 3D-capable smartphones, and it comes in the form ofSharps new AQUOS Phone SH-12C.Smartphones sporting 3D-capable displays are more of anovelty than a mobile communication tool today due to the factthat consumer, carrier and software support for such devices Earlier this week, StarHub and M1 have announced that theyis still at its infancy. However, it is also widely understood would be offering the Apple iPad 2, though there have been nothat the world is slowly but surely moving towards 3D, and word on the pricing and availability. Today, SingTel unveiledthat it is only a matter of time before such smartphones their iPad 2 offering, the price and its availability.eventually take their place as the new standard mobilecommunication tool. And it will seem that Sharp is lookingto accelerate the adoption rate of 3D-enabled smartphoneswith the announcement of its own 3D smartphone, the AQUOSPhone SH-12C. SingTel has announced it will offer iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G in Singapore on May 14, this Saturday. The telco operator will offer iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G models with select tariff plans on a two-year contract, as well as a range of attractive data plansNot much about the SH-12C has been revealed by Sharp; for iPad 2 without a contract.indeed, the only thing we know about the SH-12C is that it has Here are the data plans:-both rear and front-facing cameras, is (obviously) preloadedwith Googles Android operating system, while the 4.2-inch 10
  • 11. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Acording to the press release issued by Panasonic, the 14-inch Toughbook CF-53 is packs a multitouch-capable touchpad that is 25% larger than the ones found on previous versions of the Toughbook and an "adjustable backlit keyboard" that is meant to assist users who often use their notebooks under poor lighting conditions. Additional features present on the CF-53 include the use of a spill-resistant keyboard, a "high-definition LED display" and the ability to survive 30-inch drops on six faces unscathed, due to it passing nine MIL-STD-810G tests. Finally, the CF-53 will come standard with USB 3.0, VGA and HDMI ports and an SDXC card reader, along with anPanasonic announces integrated 3G modem from Qualcomm.its latest addition to the However, the CF-53s real draw stems from the fact that it isToughbook family - the CF-53 powered by Intels Sandy Bridge platform, and Panasonic has confirmed that the CF-53 will be available in three differentSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/panasonic-announces-its-latest- configurations. The US$1,599 model is due for shipment inaddition-to-the-toughbook-family--the-cf-53/12157.html August and will feature an Intel Core i3-2310M processorMay 11th, 2011 clocked at 2.1GHz, a 320GB mechanical hard disk with a platter speed of 5400rpm along with 2GB of memory. The i5 model, on the other hand, costs US$1,899 and is expected to start shipping in June. It will pack an Intel Core i5-2520M vPro processor clocked at 2.5Ghz (3.2Ghz on TurboBoost), a high-performance mechanical hard disk with a platter speed of 7200rpm and 320GB of storage and 4GB ofPanasonics Toughbooks make for popular notebook PCs memory. In addition, a touchscreen-capable version of the i5among military and business users for obvious reasons, but model is available, although it will only start shipping in Julymost consumers who desire a notebook with bleeding-edge and will set consumers back by US$2,449.hardware usually tend to shy away from them because oftheir last-gen specifications. However, this is all set to changewith Panasonics newest addition to the Toughbook family, the A sneak peek at Asussemi-rugged CF-53, which is powered by...yep, Intels SandyBridge platform. Looks like good things really do come to those Maximus IV Gene-Zwho have the patience to wait, after all. Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/a-sneak-peek-at-asus-maximus-iv- gene-z/12153.htmlMost of us are slaves to our notebooks when it comes to May 11th, 2011being productive while on the move, but more often that not,the cheap notebooks which most of us use as our primarymobile workhorse are seldom, if ever designed to handlethe abuses of the outside world. In fact, it would not be anexaggeration to claim that an accidental mishap that involvesphysical trauma is more than sufficient to see screen, bodyand battery part company from the device that was previouslycalled a notebook. In fact, such mishaps are the main reason Asus unveiled a tiny picture of its Maximus IV Gene-Z inrugged notebooks like the Panasonic Toughbook are in such its Z68 motherboard announcement, but it didnt really givehigh demand among careless professionals, and leave it to away a lot of details. However, VR-Zone can now offer somePanasonic to delight Toughbook fans with its latest addition to more detailed pictures of the board, albeit we have as yet notthe lineup - the semi-rugged CF-53. managed to get hold of a decent picture of the entire board. On the other hand, the pictures we have do give a good idea of 11
  • 12. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonewhat the board has to offer in terms of hardware features andtheyre a lot more detailed than the first picture.Asus unveiled a tiny picture of its Maximus IV Gene-Z inits Z68 motherboard announcement, but it didnt really giveaway a lot of details. However, VR-Zone can now offer somemore detailed pictures of the board, albeit we have as yet notmanaged to get hold of a decent picture of the entire board.On the other hand, the pictures we have do give a good idea ofwhat the board has to offer in terms of hardware features andtheyre a lot more detailed than the first picture. The board also has a set of Voltage readout points for overclockers and of course X-Fi 2 SupremeFX audio. We cant really tell how many power phases the board has, but wed hazard a guess at something like a 12-phase design judging by the size of the heatsinks. Overall a pretty decent little board with plenty of features, although what remains is the one question we all would like to know, how much is it?First up weve got a larger picture of the one supplied with thepress release which still isnt all that detailed, but a lot betterthan the tiny one weve seen so far. Its clear from this picture In related news, Asus has also confirmed via its Asus ROGalone that the board has a single HDMI port, but lets have a forums that well be seeing the Maximus IV Extreme-Z at acloser look shall we? later stage, alongside the P8Z68 Deluxe and the P8Z68. Lian Li releases new casing Cowry PC-U6 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lian-li-releases-new-casing-cowry-pc- u6/12148.html May 11th, 2011Although the close-up we have of the rear ports doesntreveal everything, its clear that we have one special USB 2.0port here, most likely for Asus ROG Connect. Theres also aCMOS reset button around the back and beyond that it lookslike we were pretty much spot on, even based on the tinypicture provided alongside the announcement. The Ethernetcontroller is from Intel, and it has two ASMedia USB 3.0 host Very often, we see computer cases in the shape of the dullcontrollers. looking cuboid, but Lian Lis latest Cowry PC-U6 casing is set to dispel the conventional looks. Read on.Around the front we were also spot on, although its now clearthat the board also has a pair of pin headers for four USB 2.0ports. Theres also a POST80 debug LED and a power andreset button at the bottom of the board. Interestingly the PCIExpress x4 slot is open ended, so on theory a full-length cardcould be fitted to it. 12
  • 13. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneFrom a designers point of view, the Cowry PC-U6 certainlyscored a few points. Its design is sleek and really stands outfrom other regular cases. Although it is a mid tower chasis, the At the Google I/O conference, the company has announced thespecifications show that it can only mount Micro-ATX / Mini- new Android mobile operating system (Ice Cream Sandwich),ITX motherboards. This is probably why they only included 2 and revealed that the next Nexus smartphone will be launchedx 140mm intake fans by the side of the case. in Q4 this year. Andy Rubin, senior vice president of Mobile at Google, said that the next Nexus smartphone can easily run Android "Ice Cream Sandwich" platform. This means that the Nexus phone will only be ready closer to the end of this year. From the current development of smartphones, it would be no surprise if the Nexus phone incorporate dual-core processor. It is anyones guess whether Sony Ericsson would be the manufacturer tasked to make the new Nexus smartphone, seeing HTC and Samsung had already made one for Google. The biggest feature of the next version of Android mobile operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich, is that it will support both tablet and smartphone devices. Google wants to fulfil "One OS Everywhere", be it on the smaller screen smartphonesLian Li have included dust filters within the casing for easy or the tablets with larger displays.cleaning and a tool-less system for easy mounting. There isalso a little knob for the fan control found at the back of thecase. Its SRP is estimated to be US$349 (S$430). Updated:Gigabyte reveals Z68See the full specifications and introductory video of the CowryPC-U6 Case at the Lian Li website. board with mSATA connector Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/updated-gigabyte-reveals-z68-board- with-msata-connector/12151.htmlNew Nexus phone will May 11th, 2011incorporate Android "IceCream Sandwich" platformSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-nexus-phone-will-incorporate-android-ice-cream-sandwich-platform/12150.htmlMay 11th, 2011 Heres a surprise, Gigabyte is going to have more Z68 motherboards and well be seeing boards with an mSATA connector on them which will accept mSATA SSDs. Talk about spoiling it on the day of the launch of the much anticipated Z68 motherboards. Well, ok, its not that big of a deal, but its a neat feature and we can see other board makers follow suite.At the recent Google I/O conference in San Francisco, thesearch engine giant has revealed that the next Nexus Android Heres a surprise, Gigabyte is going to have more Z68smartphone is scheduled to launch in Q4 this year and will motherboards and well be seeing boards with an mSATArun the new Android Ice Cream Sandwich. The question is, connector on them which will accept mSATA SSDs. Talk aboutwill Sony Ericsson be the next manufacturer to build the phone spoiling it on the day of the launch of the much anticipated(after HTC and Samsung)? 13
  • 14. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneZ68 motherboards. Well, ok, its not that big of a deal, but its May 11th, 2011a neat feature and we can see other board makers follow suite.The mSATA connector was developed for tablets and thinand light notebooks, but it works just as well on a desktopmotherboard. Its pretty much a mini PCI Express connector,although rather than having PCI Express and USB interfaces, It is old news that the next version of the Android operatingit does as the name suggests have a SATA interface. This allows system will be known as Ice Cream Sandwich (hmm, yummy)for extremely small, but standardised SSDs to be installed in and that it will supposedly be released to OEMs sometimesmall devices, yet more flexibility compared to soldering the in Q4 this year. But in spite of that, Google has somehowchips onto the PCB or using a non-standard connector or SSD. managed to push out an update for its tablet-centric build of Android known as Honeycomb in its Google I/O 2011 keynote address before it gets merged with Gingerbread to form Ice Cream Sandwich. So what can consumers look forward to the first major update to Honeycomb?Gigabyte has so far only provided a single picture via itsFacebook page of the new board and it doesnt reveal much atall about the board itself. The SSD in question is the mSATA Honeycomb-totting tablets are still few and far between on theversion of Intels Larsen Creek SLC SSD, also known as the 311 market, but it is clear that Google is trying its best to fix theseries. major bugs and issues that have been reportedly found on itsWhat details we can see from the board is that it has at least tablet-centric build of the Android operating system. However,one x16 PCI Express slot and the mSATA connector is located it seems that Google may have outdone even itself this time,between it and the CPU socket which is a somewhat unusual now that it has finally taken the wraps off what is essentially aplace to fit anything beyond a x1 PCI Express slot. Of course major update for tablets running on Honeycomb in its Googlethe model name has been handily cropped out of the picture I/O 2011 developer conference held at San Francisco.as well, so all we know for a fact is that its a Z68 board.Interestingly though, the blue PCB is suggesting that this isan entry-level motherboard, as Gigabytes higher-end boardshave black PCBs these days. That said, it could just be that thisis a prototype on the blue PCB and final boards will have ablack PCB.Update: Gigabyte has now announced the model names ofthe board with the mSATA connector and there will befour models, all launching sometime in June. The modelsare the Z68XP-UD3, Z68XP-D3, Z68AP-D3 and Z68P-DS3suggesting that all four models are fairly far down in Gigabytesrange as well as lacking display connectivity. On top of that themodel names give away that all three boards are full size ATXboards of which only one is part of the Ultra Durable 3 series, According to various reports, one of the major refinementsi.e. the other three models dont have 2oz copper layers in the made to Honeycomb in version 3.1 is centred around thePCBs. The P in the model names are obviously an indicator operating systems user interface. Google claims that thefor the mSATA connector. Wed expect to see the boards on updated user interface in Android 3.1 is now more intuitivedisplay at Computex. and efficient for consumers to use, due to the implementation of various features such as improved transitions between theGoogle unveils Android 3.1 at system and installed apps, while the Launchers animations have been tweaked to allow for "a smoother and fasterGoogle I/O 2011 transition to and from the Apps list". In addition, theSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-unveils-android-3.1-at-google- user interface in Android 3.1 now features consistent audioio-2011/12147.html feedback, while the ability to resize widgets has also been added to the mix. 14
  • 15. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneAnother new feature which Google was quick to boast of inAndroid 3.1 is its newfound compatibility with a wide range ofUSB accessories. Examples of such accessories include digitalcameras, keyboards, computer mice and even that controllerfrom your favourite video game console. However, Google wasquick to add that its support for USB accessories is greatlydependant on the components used in the correspondingdevices, and that Android support for these devices is purelyup to the manufacturers discretion.Last but not least, the other new features present inAndroid 3.1 includes a faster web browser with an improveduser interface, an updated Gallery app which supports theimporting of images directly from digital cameras via PTP ,the introduction of new features for WiFi connectivity, such Specificationsas WiFi Lock and Preferred Network Offload and a new CPU AMD Dual-Core ProcessorMovies app which allows users to rent movies directly from the E-350Android Market. Chipset AMD Hudson M1 FCH (A50) Graphics Integrated AMD Radeon HD 6310 Memory 2 x 240-pin DDR3 DIMM, Max. 8 GB, DDR3 1066/800 SDRAM Expansion Slots 1 x PCIe x16 slot (x4 bandwidth) 1 x Mini PCI Express x1 slot Storage 4 x SATA 6GbpsThe Motorola XOOM will be the first tablet to receive the 1 x eSATA 6GbpsAndroid 3.1 update, which will be rolled out to owners of the Audio VIA VT1708B 8-channel Highdevice by as early as today. Also, word has it that the GoogleTV Definition audio CODECis slated to receive the update some time in summer, although Network Atheros AR8151 PCIe Gigabitthere is no word on when non-XOOM tablets will be able LANto obtain the update. And with Ice Cream Sandwich due forrelease in the fourth quarter of 2011, it seems that Android 3.1 Realtek RTL8188CE 802.11b/will be the first and last major update for Honeycomb before g/n (single antenna with rearboth the tablet-optimized and smartphone-optimized versions bracket included)of Android are unified back into a single common release. Rear Panel I/O 1 x RJ45 LAN connector 1 x Audio port (Line-in,4x Line-out, SPDIF out)ECS HDC-I Review 1 x D-sub(VGA)Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ecs-hdc-i-review/12031.html 1 x DVI PortMay 11th, 2011 6 x USB 2.0 2 x USB 3.0 1 x Bluetooth 3.0 adapter 1 x HDMI Port 1 x eSATA 6GbpsWe take a look at the latest AMD Brazos motherboard from 1 x S/PDIF Out (optical)ECS. Featuring USB 3.0, WiFi and Bluetooth, how well does 5 x Audio jacksthe ECS HDC-I compare with the other E-350 motherboards Internal I/O Connectors and 1 x CPU Fan connectorreviewed so far? HeadersTo date, weve looked at MSIs and Asus AMD E-350 1 x Chassis Fan connectormotherboards. Today well be adding another board to the 4 x USB 2.0 headerclub, ECS HDC-I. 1 x Front panel audio headerECS may be better known for no-frills solutions targeted at 1 x Chassis Intrusionconsumers on a budget, but the ECS HDC-I doesnt seem to fit connectorthis mold. Instead, its list of features looks to be on par with Form Factor Mini-ITX (170x170mm)the others weve seen so far. 15
  • 16. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone No mirrors glossy coatings for these panels (matte anti-glare is here to stay), and the monitors will accept DVI-D and DisplayPort connections. All three models will be pushed outDell to release UltraSharp of the door by the end of the year, with the U2412M (orU2412M / U2412HM, U2312HM U2412HM) expected to appear first in Q3.and U2212HM soonSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dell-to-release-ultrasharp-u2412m-u2412hm-u2312hm-and-u2212hm-soon/12134.htmlMay 11th, 2011 Hotels.com introduces two new apps for iPhone andDell regularly refreshes its high-end LCD products Android phones Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hotels.com-introduces-two-new-apps-approximately every one year and a half. Recent product for-iphone-and-android-phones/12146.htmllistings and driver releases on Dells support site reveal that May 11th, 2011the replacement for the UltraSharp U2410, the U2412M (orU2412HM), is on track for a Q3 2011 release, along with twoother smaller-sized models, the U2312HM and U2212HM. Hotels.com has recently introduced two new smartphone apps for the iPhone and Android phones. The apps lets users log in to their account, search for their accomodation options and do their booking.Last week, the folks over at HKEPC unearthed a monitor drivermeant for Dells upcoming high-end 24-inch UltraSharp LCD,which will be called the U2412M, according to the filename.This week however, FlatpanelsHD and TFT Central have both Hotels.com, a hotel booking website, has launched two newsuggested that the U2412M will be called the U2412HM, and smart phone applications for the Apple iPhone and AndroidDell will be replacing the current U2311H and U2211H with the phones. The two new applications, which are availableU2312HM and U2212HM respectively too around the same in over 30 languages, allow users to search and booktime frame as the 24-incher. from over 135,000 hotels around the world, with 20,000TFT Central went on to explain that the H in the model accommodation deals.name signifies a 16:9 screen aspect ratio, and the M an e-IPS The apps act as an extension of the Hotels.com website,panel classification. It is suggested that the new U2412HM 24- allowing travellers to log in as either a guest, or create aincher will use an e-IPS panel, move away from the 16:10 Hotels.com account from inside the app. User can searchformat and adopt a more common 16:9 ratio and native for accommodation options, browse two million user reviews,resolution of 1920 x 1080. Also, the use of White-LED (W- access hotel deals and book and manage their choices.LED) backlighting in the new monitor would mean revertingto a standard NTSC gamut. The ‘sign in once’ feature, which applies to both apps, automatically remembers previous users’ log in details toNext, the smaller-sized 23-inch and 21.5-inch models will be avoid hassle of the need to log in every time. Even without areplaced with the U2312HM and U2212HM. These two e-IPS data connection, all past and future bookings can be accessedpanels will be W-LED backlit, have a 16:9 aspect ratio and anative display resolution of 1920 x 1080. 16
  • 17. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonedisplaying a hotel address, phone number and map with just Other accessories include a carrying bag and velcro strips forone touch. cable management. The CSP-X1200CB has 80-Plus® Silver certification and highly durable & reliable 105°C and 85°C capacitors.Club 3D introduces 1200W See the full specifications at the Club 3D website.Power Supply Nikon announcesSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/club-3d-introduces-1200w-power-supply/12137.htmlMay 11th, 2011 discontinuation of COOLPIX S4100 and S6100 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nikon-announces-discontinuation-of- coolpix-s4100-and-s6100/12145.html May 11th, 2011Club3Ds has introduced the CSP-X1200CB 1200W powersupply. Aimed at enthusiasts, it supports multiple graphicscards and has a semi modular design. It also features a 135mmfan to ensure ample cooling. Today, Nikon has issued a statement that they will be discontinuing their COOLPIX S4100 and S6100 compact digital cameras. The reason is due to issues with production and supplies. Read on for the official world wide announcement.Club 3D has announced its latest power supply, the CSP-X1200CB. This 1200W behemoth is aimed at hardware andoverclocking enthusiasts intending to run multiple graphicscards and high-end processors. Nikon has decided not to embark on sales of the COOLPIX S6100 and COOLPIX S4100, which were announced on February 9, 2011. Though these two models were announced in February, it has been determined that steady production and supply of these models will be difficult. For this reason, sales of the two cameras have been discontinued in Asia. We sincerely apologize to all those affected by this decision, and especially to those who had intended to purchase the camera, as well as our retailers and others whose business will be affected by the inconvenience this decision may cause. ZiiLABS announces new ZMS-20 and ZMS-40 media processors for Android Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ziilabs-announces-new-zms-20-and-The CSP-X1200CB has four dedicated +12V rails capable of zms-40-media-processors-for-android/12143.htmldishing out a total of 40A/1020W. There are sufficient PCIe May 11th, 2011power connectors for multiple graphics cards. A semi modulardesign reduces cable clutter, and a 135mm fan keeps the powersupply cool even under load. When Creative launched its ZiiO tablet last year, many techies were understandably more interested in the unique ZiiLabs 17
  • 18. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonestemcell processor that was being used to supply the ZiiOs the chips is expected to be carried out sometime in the thirdprocessing power, as opposed to being interested in the tablet quarter of 2011. Unfortunately, the company made no mentionas most average consumers would be. As it turns out, ZiiLABS about details on expected sampling and shipment dates for theis not content with having only one processor to compete in ZMS-40, only claiming that the detailed specifications for thethe highly competitive ARM space, for the company has just chip will be made available at a later date.announced two new additions to its processor lineup today. The full specifications for the ZMS-20 StemCell mediaCreatives ZiiO tablet may not have the sleek finish and smooth processor are as follow:curves that form an integral part of most mainstream tablets ZMS-20 Key Featuresdesign elements today, but Creative sure did manage to getsome heads turning when the ZiiO was first launched. After all, • Dual 1.5GHz ARM Cortex A9 cores with Neonproviding the ZiiOs processing power was a unique ZiiLABSZMS-08 media processor which utilized a StemCell media • ZiiLABS flexible Stemcell media processing capabilitiesprocessor, as opposed to the other typical ARM-based chips o Low-energy SIMD architecture for highsupplied by many other companies which utilized Mali or performance media accelerationNVIDIA GPUs. o 48 x 32-bit floating point media processing coresHowever, it is clear that ZiiLABS has not been standing still for 26GFlops of computewith StemCell while other companies such as Qualcomm, o High Profile H.264 video playback at 1080p@30fpsSamsung and NVIDIA were basking in the limelight with theirnewer, more powerful SoCs. In fact, the company seems set o Wide range of accelerated video codecs includingto compete head-on in the high-performance segment of the H.264, VC1 and VP8market with its new ZMS-20 and ZMS-40, which it touts as o High Definition, low latency video conferencingthe most powerful additions to the Zii line of energy-efficientmedia processors. o Optimised OpenGL ES 2.0 for robust 3D graphics acceleration and application compatibility o Accelerated OpenCL 1.1 (desktop profile) integrated into Android NDK o High Dynamic Range (HDR) Image Processing o High-quality Text-to-Speech and Voice Recognition o 150 MPixel/sec image processing o Adobe Flash 10 acceleration o Integrated HDM1 1.4 with 3D stereo support • 1GB addressable memory o DDR2/3 at 533 MHz for low-costAccording to the official press release. the ZMS-20 andZMS-40 media processors have been specially engineered for o LPDDR2 for maximum memory bandwidth andthe high-resolution tablet computing markets, and it clearly low-powershows. ZiiLABS claims that the ZMS-20 media processor o 64-bit wide memory bussports a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 MPcore pocessor clocked • Quad independent video controllers supporting 24-bitat 1.5GHz, but it is the graphics-related portion of the ZMS-20 displays and camerasthat takes the cake. Indeed, the ZMS-20 boasts 48 StemCellprocessing cores that are designed to deliver "stunning 1080p • 3V3 and 1V8 I/O’s reduce peripheral power consumptionhigh profile video playback, immersive OpenGL ES 2.0 3D • Dual USB 2.0 HS OTG (Host/Peripheral) controllersgraphics, HD video calling and a rich desktop browsing with PHY for low system costexperience including Adobe Flash Player", and is expected toperform up to eight times faster than the existing ZMS-08 • Three independent SDIO/MMC controllerssystem-on-a-chip used in Creatives ZiiO tablets. • Extended battery life with robust Dynamic PowerOn the other hand, ZiiLABS did not release any specifications Management and Instantaneous Onfor its quad-core ZMS-40 SoC. However, the company claims • Xtreme Fidelity X-Fi audio effectsthat the ZMS-40 will be clocked at the same speed of theZMS-20 at 1.5GHz, and will feature 96 StemCell cores for • Enhanced Security: 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryptionhandling graphical and media-related tasks, thus bringing the Standard) and TrustZonetotal number of processing cores available in the ZMS-40 toan unheard-of number of 100.Last but not least, ZiiLABS has confirmed that the ZMS-20SoC is now available for sampling, and volume shipment of 18
  • 19. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Biostar has just announced the Biostar TZ68A+ motherboardOver 23,000 BitTorrent users using the Intel Z68 chipset. Features include Biostarsmay face legal actions from exclusive BIO-Remote2 and Charger Booster utilities, a 5- phase power supply design with 100% solid capacitors, andillegal downloads Lucid Virtu GPU Virtualization.Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/over-23-000-bittorrent-users-may- Biostar has just announced its Z68 motherboard. Theface-legal-actions-from-illegal-downloads/12141.html Biostar TZ68A+ features Biostars exclusive BIO-Remote2 andMay 11th, 2011 Charger Booster utilities. Biostar has also engineered a 5- phase power supply design with 100% X.D.C solid capacitors.Yes, you read right. Another lawsuit has been filed againstillegal Bit Torrent downloaders, and approximately 23,000 ofthem in the US. This could well be the biggest downloadingcase in US to date. The TZ68A+ has onboard HDMI, DVI and VGA outputs. It supports Lucid Virtu GPU Virtualization, allowing the user to take dynamically switch between Intel HD Graphics and a discrete GPU for different tasks.According to online reports, over 23,000 users in the USmay face lawsuits for illegal Bit Torrent movie downloads.Apparently, a federal judge has allowed the U.S. CopyrightGroup, a plaintiffs organization formed by indy filmproducers, to force ISPs to unveil the IP addresses of every userwho illegally downloaded the film.To top it all, these file sharers were found to have downloadedthe 2010 movie "The Expendables" starring popular actionstars like Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Dolph Lundren and Jason The Biostar TZ68A+ also features USB 3.0 support and six-Statham. This could be the largest illegal-downloading case channel HD Audio. Six SATA ports (including two SATAin U.S. history. The 23,000 BitTorrent users may have to 6Gbps ports) are available for use with Intels SSD cachingdecide whether to pay the Copyright Group several thousand feature.dollars to settle or face possible damages of up to $150,000per infringement.Biostar Reveals Z68MotherboardSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/biostar-reveals-z68-motherboard/12144.htmlMay 11th, 2011 See the full press release below: BIOSTAR announces new Z68 motherboard - “TZ68A +” Taipei, Taiwan, May 11, 2011 - BIOSTAR MICROTECH INTL CORP., A professional manufacturer of motherboards, introduces Intel Z68 chipset based motherboard that supports Intel 19
  • 20. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone 2nd generation Sandy Bridge processor family, markets respectively. These lower cost alternatives will also it is special designed for advanced gamers and use the SandForce SF-2200 controller found in OCZs top-end overclocking fans. BIOSTAR “TZ68A+”, the only Vertex 3. solution supports both built-in graphics and external overclocking among Intel Sandy Bridge processors; it is also equipped with Lucid Virtu GPU Virtualization – a dynamic switching between built-in processor graphics and high-end 3D performance discrete graphics cards. Moreover, it also fully supports Intel Smart Response Technology – enabling SSD like performance with HDD capacity. BIOSTAR “TZ68A+”, is ATX form factor with black color PCB design; it adopts Intel’s latest Z68 B3 stepping chipset and BIOSTAR exclusive BIO- The Agility 3 is available in 60GB, 120GB and 240GB sizes, Remote2 & Charger Booster utilities. For the on board while the Solid 3 is available only in 60GB and 120GB sizes. power supply, “TZ68A+” uses a 5-phase power supply The 60GB option is targeted for use as a boot drive. For best design with 100% X.D.C solid capacitor. performance, OCZ recommends that the drive be used with a SATA 6Gbps controller. Both drives come with a 3-year warranty. For the memory, “TZ68A+” provides 4 DIMM We have quoted below OCZs specifications for 120GB drives slots supporting dual-channel DDR3 2133 (OC) and across its three SSD product lines: features a one-phase power supply independently. For storage, it provides 4 x SATA2 and 2 x SATA3 disk Solid 3 120GB Max Performance interfaces. For the extended slots, “TZ68A+” provides • Max Read: up to 500MB/s 2 x PCI-E x16 2.0 display card slots, supporting dual- card mode. Furthermore, various IO interfaces are • Max Write: up to 450MB/s available including 2 x USB2.0, 2 x USB3.0, PS/2, • Random Write 4KB (Aligned): 20,000 IOPS HDMI+DVI+HDCP, RJ45, and 6 channel HD audio outputs. Agility 3 120GB Max Performance • Max Read: up to 525MB/s About BIOSTAR Group • Max Write: up to 500MB/s BIOSTAR was established in 1986, ranked Top 20 • Random Write 4KB (Aligned): 50,000 IOPS most valuable international Taiwanese brand in 2008 with an estimate brand value of US$ 46 million. Vertex 120GB Max Performance BIOSTAR has enriched its competence in the design and manufacture of motherboards, and will continue • Max Read: up to 550MB/s serving its customers with the best quality and • Max Write: up to 500MB/s services. • Random Write 4KB (Aligned): 60,000 IOPSOCZ Announces New Value See the full press release below:SSDs: Agility 3 & Solid 3 OCZ Technology Announces the Agility 3 and Solid 3 SATA IISource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-announces-new-value-ssds-agility-3--solid-3/12142.htmlMay 11th, 2011 New SSDs Deliver SATA 6Gbps Speeds with Outstanding Balanc SAN JOSE, CA?May 10, 2011?OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (NasdOCZ has updated its range of solid state drives (SSD) with theAgility 3 and Solid 3. These are targeted at the mainstreamand budget markets, and will also use the SandForce SF-2200 ?With increased availability of SATA III platforms, the decontroller found in OCZs top-end Vertex 3.OCZ has updated its range of solid state drives (SSD) with theAgility 3 and Solid 3, targeted at the mainstream and budget Agility 3 and Solid 3 SSDs feature the leading-edge SandFo 20
  • 21. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone you answer, the greater the opportunity to win. One lucky fan will be drawn from each theme category. The six lucky Available in a new boot-drive size 60GB capacity as well as 120GB and able to options, Agility 3 and SolidBooth winners will be 240GB collect their prizes at the MSI 3 SSDs fea (#L607) during Computex 2011. These prizes include the MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) mainboard, MSI 560GTX-Ti Hawk graphics card, Kingston 2133/4GX (Genesis XMP Special Grey Series) http://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-agility-3-sata-iii-2-5-ssd.htmlhttp://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-solid-3-sata-iii-2 Memory and Tt eSPORTS Gaming Acessories. Don’t forget to invite your friends to join!Great prizes for MSI Fans at Adobe launches PhotoshopComputex 2011 Touch apps for the Apple iPad Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/adobe-launches-photoshop-touch-Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/great-prizes-for-msi-fans-at- apps-for-the-apple-ipad/12138.htmlcomputex-2011/12140.html May 11th, 2011May 11th, 2011 Adobe has launched their new Photoshop Touch apps, MSI hosts the “Star Fans Come To Meet” event on the designed for the Apple iPad tablet device - Adobe ColorMSI Fan Club Facebook Fanpage from May 11 - May 26 in Lava, Adobe Eazel and Adobe Nav. The apps are available fororder to connect with fans. Join MSI Fan Club and answer the purchase on the Apple App Store.questions on the event page, and you will have the opportunityto win the great prizes from MSI at Computex 2011. Theseprizes include the MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) mainboard, MSI560GTX-Ti Hawk graphics card, Kingston 2133/4GX (GenesisXMP Special Grey Series) Memory and Tt eSPORTS GamingAcessories.Leading mainboard and graphics card manufacturer MSIhosts the “Star Fans Come To Meet” event on the MSI Fan ClubFacebook Fanpage from May 11 - May 26 in order to connectwith fans. Join MSI Fan Club and answer the questions on theevent page, and you will have the opportunity to win the greatprizes from MSI at Computex 2011. Adobe has announced the availability of their new Adobe Photoshop Touch apps – Adobe Color Lava, Adobe Eazel and Adobe Nav – for the Apple iPad. The apps were developedA major IT event in Taiwan, Computex 2011 will take place in using the Photoshop Touch Software Development Kit (SDK)Taipei from May 31 - June 4. As a leading IT manufacturer to demonstrate the potential for new interaction betweenin the world, MSI will undoubtedly take part in this great IT Photoshop and tablet devices.occasion. At Computex 2011, MSI will display its mainboards Adobe Color Lava for Photoshop, Adobe Eazel for Photoshopand graphics cards in six different themes for consumers to and Adobe Nav for Photoshop offer fun and interactivelearn about the new technology and product features of 2011. experience of touch devices with the power and precision of Photoshop by enabling users to create custom color swatches,MSI Fan Club provides consumers with the latest product paint directly onscreen and drive popular Photoshop toolsinformation on Facebook, and now it has organized the “Star from tablet devices.Fans Come To Meet” event during Computex 2011 for fans to Photoshop is a part of the recently announced Adobe Creativeget the latest information on MSI products and even win great Suite 5.5 product family, enabling designers and developersprizes from the MSI booth. to create for popular and emerging smartphone and tablet platforms. Current Photoshop CS5 owners can download a free update to enable new interaction between Photoshop andBe sure to visit the MSI Fan Club site, and answer the tablet devices.questions related to the six thematic sites to win greatprizes from MSI Fan Club and other leading componentmanufacturers at Computex 2011. The more the questions 21
  • 22. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone- Adobe Color Lava allows creatives to use their fingertips to in its tenth revision and engineers again gave their best for thismix colors on the iPad, creating custom color swatches and new edition. It comes with a 80-Plus-Platinum certification,themes to transfer back into Photoshop. which guarantees the highest possible efficiency and is still very rare within the market.- Adobe Eazel takes advantage of cutting-edge paintingtechnology by letting digital artists create rich realisticpaintings with their fingertips, and introduces a new kind of Revised Dark Rock coolers und new SilentWings fansinteraction between “wet” and “dry” paints. These paintingscan then be sent directly to Photoshop CS5 for compositing or Even in cooling, theres a lot to come from be quiet!. Thoughfor taking the artwork further. the German brand just launched into the CPU cooler market, they already present new models in Taipei. There will be- Adobe Nav increases workflow efficiency by letting users revised Dark Rock coolers with new 135mm fans as well as twoselect and control Photoshop tools using the iPad as the input new coolers. The very popular SilentWings fans will have ansurface, customize the toolbar, browse and zoom in on up to update to and will surprise the public with their new abilities200 open Photoshop files, or easily create new files. and look.- Adobe Photoshop Touch Software Development Kit (SDK)enables developers to build tablet applications that interactwith Photoshop from Android, BlackBerry PlayBook and iOS Third Attack Attempt On Sonydevices. PlayStation Network Thwarted Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/third-attack-attempt-on-sony-COMPUTEX : be quiet! to playstation-network-thwarted/12133.html May 11th, 2011unveil new line of PSUs,SilentWings Fans and CPUCoolersSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/computex--be-quiet-to-unveil-new-line-of-psus-silentwings-fans-and-cpu-coolers/12135.htmlMay 11th, 2011 Another bad day for Sony? CNET is actually claiming that Sony managed to thwart the would-be hackers and stopped a third attack, but it’s all thanks to them! "CNET has learned that our publication of the group’s plan be quiet! will attend this years Computex in Taipei and may have caused Sony to secure the remaining servers thispresent ten new exclusive products. Updates and extensions group claims it had access to, shutting off any avenuesof existing models can as well be expected as some brand new for another attack.", the company said. And continues: "Onproducts. The highlights are the new Straight Power and Dark Thursday we reported that a group of hackers believedPower Pro models, the extension of the SilentWings fan family to be involved in the intrusion on PlayStation Networkand new CPU coolers with 135mm fans. was planning yet another attack on Sony, this time on an unspecified company Web site, with the goal of posting any information they could find somewhere online. The hackers said at the time that they were planning another wave of cyberattacks against Sony in retaliation for its handling of the PlayStation Network breach. An observer of the Internet Relay Chat channel used by the hackers told CNET about the hackers plans."be quiet!, Germanys marketleader for computer power "Apparently Sony saw that article because the last server thatsupplies, will attend this years Computex in Taipei. The I could access is offline now…its probably (sic) being patchedcompany uses this event as a stage to present ten new exclusive like the other servers. There goes our window."products. Updates and extensions of existing models can as Sony has shut down PSN, Qriocity, and Sony Online whilewell be expected as some brand new products. The highlights it does a total rebuild of the security systems. Overall,are the new Straight Power and Dark Power Pro models, the the personal information of more than 100 million Sonyextension of the SilentWings fan family and new CPU coolers customers has been exposed in the breach. Sony has promisedwith 135mm fans. to compensate customers with free ID theft monitoring, as well as free content and 30 days of free access to the premium version of PSN.Dark Power Pro P10 and Straight Power E9Looking at power supplies, visitors can get a look at the newversions of the Dark Power Pro and Straight Power series,which will set new efficiency and performance records, whenthey are releases. The top model, called Dark Power Pro P10 is 22
  • 23. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneReview : Akasa Helix Although a little bit on the early side, Asus has announcedNotebook Cooler its Intel Z68 chipset based motherboards without giving awaySource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/review--akasa-helix-notebook- too much information. Currently the only board listed oncooler/12132.html the manufacturers website is the P8Z68-V Pro, although theMay 11th, 2011 announcement did at least give us an early glance at the Maximus IV Gene-Z, Asus ROG mATX board. The picture of the board is tiny and its hard to make out a lot of details, but from what we can see its clear that the Maximus IV Gene-Z has a pair of PCI Express x16 slots as well as a single x4 slot. The space between the x16 slots is taken up by what mostly appears to be capacitors. There are no additional SATAAkasa first started off in 1997, making them one of the first ports on this board, so the 4+2 SATA 3Gbps/6Gbps standardhigh performance computer cooling solutions manufacturers. Intel chipset ports is all you get. The board appears to have aToday Akasa has diversified into other market areas but the front header for a pair of USB 3.0 ports as well which is a nicecompany still offers a great range of cooling related products. addition.Today we are going to review a simple but interesting product,the Helix aluminium notebook cooler. What makes the Helixspecial is......not the aluminium body but that it features a massive 20cmfan which is still powered from a single USB port.Application 17" - 15.6" Notebooks / MacBooksMaterial Aluminium facia panelOutline dimension 380 x 296.5 x 54mmFan dimension 200 x 200 x 20mmFan speed High speed 800 RPM, low speed 500 RPMFan air flow 63.7 CFMFan air pressure 0.44mm H2OVoltage rating 5V DCUSB cable 600mm Around the back we can see a PS/2 port, what appears to beWeight 910g eight USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a pair of eSATA ports,Available colours Anodized black or brushed a Gigabit Ethernet port, an HDMI port and 7.1-channel audio aluminium with optical S/PDIF out. The board will come with Lucid Logix Virtu graphics switching software in the box, but apart fromProduct code AK-NBC-31BK , AK- that we dont know much else about the board. Hopefully it NBC-31AL wont be too long until we have more details on this board and Asus other upcoming Z68 products.Asus announces its Z68boards ViewSonic launches theSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-announces-its-z68- ViewPad 4 and V350 in Taiwanboards/12131.html Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/viewsonic-launches-the-viewpad-4-May 11th, 2011 and-v350-in-taiwan/12130.html May 11th, 2011Although a little bit on the early side, Asus has announcedits Intel Z68 chipset based motherboards without giving awaytoo much information. Currently the only board listed on On Tuesday, ViewSonic launched two new smartphones,the manufacturers website is the P8Z68-V Pro, although the although the company prefers to call one of them a tabletannouncement did at least give us an early glance at the for some reason. Apparently ViewSonic has an arbitrary limitMaximus IV Gene-Z, Asus ROG mATX board. that devices with screens 4-inches and below are smartphones, whereas devices with screens 4.1-inches and above are tablets. 23
  • 24. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneAs such we have the ViewPad 4, 4.1-inch "tablet" and the V3503.5-inch smartphone.Earlier today ViewSonic launched two new smartphones,although the company prefers to call one of them a tabletfor some reason. Apparently ViewSonic has an arbitrary limitthat devices with screens 4-inches and below are smartphones,whereas devices with screens 4.1-inches and above are tablets.As such we have the ViewPad 4, 4.1-inch "tablet" and the V3503.5-inch smartphone. Overall the ViewPad 4 ticks most of the boxes it should tick to be a competitive Android smartphone, although for whatever reason ViewSonic decided to launch it with Android 2.2, but promises that itäll work with 2.3 without mentioning an actual date when the upgrade would become available. At least ViewSonic refrained from messing around too much with Android and itäs pretty much a stock build with a few extra apps thrown in, which is a good thing in our opinion.The ViewPad 4 is actually a pretty decent handset, evencompared to most competitors as it sports a 1GHz QualcommMSM8255 SoC which has been paired up with 512MB of RAMand 2GB of storage memory. Add to this an 800x480 4.1-inch capacitive touch screen, a 5 Megapixel camera with LEDflash that shoots 720p video, a VGA resolution front camera,802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, aGPS, every sensoryou could ever need, a micro SD card slot and even a microHDMI port and you got a pretty decent handset. The design of the handset itself is somewhat unusual with the silver part at the bottom with the ViewSonic logo on it. The tiny, side mounted power button is another strange design quirk and we can see this becoming a potential long term problem, as the one button you donät want to stop working on you is the power button. All said and done, it comes down to the price and ViewSonic has priced the ViewPad 4 at in Taiwan a very competitive NT$14,900 (S$641) which is all things considered more affordable than its competitors. Microsoft agrees to buy Skype for $8.5B Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-agrees-to-buy-skype-However, it doesnät stop there though, as ViewSonic has for-8.5b/12129.htmlkitted out the ViewPad 4 with a tri-band WDCMA radio which May 11th, 2011supports the 900, 1900 and 2100MHz frequencies and offersHSDPA speeds of up to 14.4Mbit/s. Thereäs of course supportfor quad band GSM as well, just in case. The battery is ratedat 1,400mAh which is said to last up to 400h in standby. Thehandset measures 122x66x10mm (HxWxD) and weighs in at Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy the143g. popular Internet telephone service Skype SA for $8.5 billion in the biggest deal in the software makers 36-year history. Buying Skype gives Microsoft access to a user base of about 170 million people who log in to Skype every month, using 24
  • 25. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonethe Internet and Skype usernames as a complement to thetraditional phone network and its phone numbers.Microsoft said it will marry Skypes functions to its Xbox gameconsole, Outlook email program and Windows smartphones. The Daily VR-Zone NewsAll of these platforms already have other options for Internet Summary - 10 May 2011calling, but the addition of Skype users would expand their Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-daily-vr-zone-news-summary--10-reach, making them more useful. may-2011/12128.html May 11th, 2011Microsoft said it will continue to support Skype on othersoftware platforms.The sellers include eBay Inc. and private equity firms SilverLake and Andreessen Horowitz.Skype users made 207 billion minutes of voice and video callslast year. Most of that usage is free calling from computer to In todays news roundup: Preview of the new GIGABYTE Z68-computer, which has made it difficult for the service to make UD4 motherboard with subtle undertones of matt grey on themoney since entrepreneurs Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis heatsink ; ASUS P8Z68-VPro is the manufacturers flagshipstarted the company in 2003. An average of about 8.8 million model regarding Intels upcoming Z68 chipset, and itcustomers per month, or just over 5 percent of the user base, gets reviewed; Adobes three Photoshop CS5 companionpay to use Skype to call out to the regular phone network. applications for iPad -- Adobe Ezel, Nav and Color Lava -- are now available for purchase on the App Store; Next week, youllThe vast majority of paying Skype users is in Europe, where be able to use your Paypal account to purchase content onhigh country-to-country rates for traditional phone calls make your Xbox 360 system; Sony has delayed the relaunch of itsSkype more popular than in the U.S., where state-to-state online PlayStation video game network, and If you enjoyed thecalling is cheap. Thor movie and plans to get the game, read on for the God ofSkype is the largest provider of international calling services Thunder review .in the world, surpassing any single phone company, according Hardware newsto research firm TeleGeography. Description: While the original Tempest was a very wellSkype lost $7 million on revenue of $860 million last received case, NZXT did not rest on their laurels and madeyear, according to papers that the company has filed since some improvements creating the Tempest EVO. This case isannouncing its intentions last summer to launch an initial designed with the PC enthusiast and/or gamer in mind.public offering of stock. The IPO was later put on hold. Skypeslong-term debt, net of cash, was $544 million at the end of Description: Deepcool has added an addition to the array2010. of thermal compounds out there, and it isn’t one to be overlooked. While not being the absolute best out there, theThe Skype takeover tops Microsofts biggest previous Z5 still has lots to offer, especially for anyone looking toacquisition — a $6 billion purchase of the online ad service replace their stock thermal compound with something that canaQuantive in 2007. offer much better performance, at a very reasonable price. It’sMicrosoft said Skype will become a new business division estimated to be roughly $10 for the 3 gram tube.headed by Skype CEO Tony Bates, who will report directly to Description: GIGABYTE redesigned their motherboards thisMicrosoft CEO Steve Ballmer. year with the introduction of Sandy Bridge and now endorseAlthough it makes billions from its computer software, a stealthy black paintjob on all major ports, sockets and lanesMicrosoft has been accustomed to losing money on the with subtle undertones of matt grey on the heatsink.Internet in a mostly futile attempt to catch up to Google Inc. in Description: The Black Element looks to be a strong contenderthe lucrative online search market. Microsoft got so desperate in the world of gaming. It has a ton of features that any gamerthat it made a $47.5 billion bid to buy Yahoo Inc. three years would love to have. The main features push it towards a goodago, but withdrew the offer after Yahoo balked. Yahoo is now MMO or RTS gamer mouse.worth about half of what Microsoft offered. Description: Today we are looking at a chassis that may be aMicrosoft can well afford to buy Skype: On March 31, it had a mid tower, but takes traits from a couple of the later cases Icash hoard of $50.2 billion. just looked at; the Dragon Rider, and Dragon Slayer chassisMicrosoft would be Skypes second large-company owner. exteriors. You will soon see the similarity in the exterior, alongEBay bought Skype for $2.6 billion in 2005, but its attempt to with a cool little lockable door on the side to give access to yourunite the phone service with its online shopping bazaar never hard drives..worked out. It wound up selling a 70 percent stake in Skype to Description: The P8Z68-VPro will be ASUS flagship modela group of investors led by private equity firms Silver Lake and regarding Intels upcoming Z68 chipset. Therefore its able toAndreessen Horowitz for $2 billion 18 months ago. score with a long featurelist. But first of all we will check out ifBesides eBay, Silver Lake and Andreessen Horowitz, Skypes it is able to convince from a layout and design perspective.other major shareholders are Joltid and Canada Pension Plan Description: The V.REX L-1200 is yet another temptingInvestment Board. product by 3R System and although it doesn’t bring anything 25
  • 26. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonenew and not already seen with their cases still it does feature HP Singapore had unveiled the new TouchSmart 610 all-in-way more room for cable management, USB 3.0 ports, 5 pre- one PC in March, and we at VR-Zone managed to get one ininstalled fans, top 3-way fan controller and the latest version for review. So is this all-in-one PC as good as other full desktopof their HDD noise killer 2. systems? Read on.Consumer Electronics and Software newsDescription: Adobes three Photoshop CS5 companionapplications for iPad -- Adobe Ezel, Nav and Color Lava -- arenow available for purchase on the App Store.Description: Sources say Sony Music and Universal provedto be bottlenecks for the cloud-based service, which allowsusers to upload music to a personal online storage locker,from where they can stream and download files to Internetconnected devices.Description: Firefox 4s share shot up 11% the first day afterMozilla started offering users the upgrade last week, andclimbed 30% in four days.Description: Next week, youll be able to use your Paypal The desktop PC has evolved over the years fromaccount to purchase content on your Xbox 360 system. the rectangular tower to trendy chassis designs, and nowMicrosoft reportedly plans to begin rolling out a new update we have the all-in-one systems whereby the hardwareto the Xbox 360 on May 19, and one of the biggest changes will components are usually incorporated to the back of thebe the addition of Paypal. display. No more fuss about those medium tower chassis and not to mention, an all-in-one PC helps to save space in yourDescription: Epson has created a well-rounded projector with home or office too.the EX7200. It has versatile connection options that make itideal for both corporate and home environments. The ability Introduced in 2007, the HP TouchSmart series comprisedto use the remote control as a wireless mouse comes in handy, of tablet PC laptops and touchscreen all-in-one desktopwhile support for USB drives to view JPG images allows quick computers and the TouchSmart 610 is the latest addition to theviewing of photos. family and boasts a 23-inch HD wide LCD touchscreen display. Yes, it has a touchscreen that lets you draw and write onwithDescription: Although physically sizeable, Samsung Sens your finger.R540 isn’t too heavy, which means that it’ll sit in anyone’slap or on a desk just as easily. The production quality is Before we move on, heres a quick look at the HPsmarvellous, there are no screeches or “breathing room”, specifications:-everything fits nicely and gives an impression of firmness and HP TouchSmart 610reliability. CPU Intel Core i3-560 @ 3.33GHzGaming news Memory 4GB DDR3 RAM (Up toDescription: Sony has delayed the relaunch of its online 8192MB)PlayStation video game network. It had previously said the Hard disk 1TB SATA (Up to 2TB)network would resume normal operations by the weekend. Screen 23-inch HD wide LCDDescription: The first part of Mileena and Kitanas story Graphics AMD Radeon 5570focused on the mythology of the series. This second part Display resolution 1920x1080delivers more centralized action and character. Connectivity 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi,Description: Thor: God of Thunder hammers out an 10/100/1000BaseTexperience that is absolutely awful in every way. LAN, 6x USB 2.0, headphone, microphone, 6-in-1 cardHP TouchSmart 610 Review: A readerstylish and smart all-in-one PC OS Windows 7 Home PremiumSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hp-touchsmart-610-review-a-stylish- 32-bitand-smart-all-in-one-pc/12062.htmlMay 11th, 2011 Nufront shows off new high- performance, ARM Cortex A9- based SoC Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nufront-shows-off-new-high- performance-arm-cortex-a9-based-soc/12127.html 26
  • 27. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneMay 11th, 2011 acceleration for full HD videos as well as integrated controllers for SATA2, USB2, Ethernet and other standard I/O ports. On top of that, Nufront has reportedly tested the NuSmart 2816 SoC by using it to power a tablet of its own making which features an 8-inch display and runs off Android 3.0. According to reports, the tablet was easily outperforming even NVIDIAsNufront has been touting an overclocked, ARM Coretx A9- Tegra 2 SoC, which is recognized as one of the fastest SoCsbased SoC that runs at the blazing speed of 2GHz for quite available today.some time already, but it is only now that the company hasstarted to show off the aforementioned SoCs capabilities whenused to power a tablet. So what does Nufronts overpoweredSoC has to offer for tablet devices, besides its unheard-ofspeeds? Read on to find out more.A long time ago, way back in September last year, acompany known as Nufront showed off what was essentially asuperpowered version of a System-on-a-chip (SoC) based offthe ARM Cortex A9 microarchitecture. Known back then as theNuSmart 2815, the SoC boasted various unique features suchas its use of a dual-core processor and an unheard-of speed of2GHz, all at a puny power consumption of 2w.Fast forward to the present, and it appears that Nufront hasbeen hard at work in further refining the NuSmart 2815 it No information about the NuSmart 2816s power consumptionshowed off back then, and its results come in the form of what has been revealed, although it is very possible that the chipappears to be the direct successor of the NuSmart 2815 - the is not expected to be significantly power-hungrier than theNuSmart 2816 SoC. Which, once again, has been based off the NuSmart 2815, which had a rating of a mere 2w, due to bothARM Cortex A9 microarchitecture. the 2816 and 2815 having many features in common. More importantly, Nufront has been keeping quiet about when its first batch of NuSmart 2816 chips will be ready for sampling (if at all), so suffice to say there is a distinct possibility that the NuSmart 2816 may never see the light of day outside of China. But if it means anything, it would seem that the NuSmart 2816 will be built off a 40nm process. Microsoft announces Windows Azure Toolkit for iOS Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-announces-windows-azure- toolkit-for-ios/12125.html May 11th, 2011*image is for illustration only If Steve Ballmers little dance and "developers, developers,While very little detail was known about the NuSmart 2815 developers" chant made onstage years ago was anything towhen it first saw the light of day, Nufront has apparently go by, it should be no surprise that Microsoft clearly ranksreleased significantly more information about its NuSmart developers high on their list of people they need to spare no2816 SoC and its various capabilities. Like its predecessor, expense in pleasing. And from the looks of it, it seems thatthe NuSmart 2816 is capable of breaking the maximum clock Microsofts love for developers have not faded in the slightestspeed limit of 1.5GHz specified by ARM due to Nufront bit even after so many years; apparently, in an effort to winhaving signed a licence agreement with ARM which gives more developers for its Windows Azure cloud platform, thethe company the right to make its own modifications to the software giant is willing to show some love to its competitorsprocessor. As such, the NuSmart 2816 is capable of attaining by porting its Windows Azure Toolkit to both iOS and Android.clock speeds ranging from 1.6GHz to 2.0GHz, thus making itthe fastest A9-based SoC to exist. It is an open secret that Microsoft loves developers a lot. Or at least, Steve Ballmer does, especially if one remembersIn addition to its high clock speeds, the NuSmart 2816 that it was Ballmer himself who broke into a little dance andalso comes with various other features built into it. These started chanting "developers, developers, developers" in onefeatures include an integrated multi-core 2D/3D graphics of his presentations many years back. Fast forward to theprocessor, 64bit DDR2/3-1066 memory controller, hardware present, and it would seem that the software giants love for developers has not diminished in the slightest bit over the 27
  • 28. May 11th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneyears. In fact, the company is still actively trying to court evenmore developers for its Windows ecosystem, and its latest actinvolved attempting to sway mobile developers into creatingapps for its Windows Azure cloud platform by releasing itsWindows Azure toolkit for Apples iOS operating system.According to the blog posting made on the Windows Azureblogs in MSDN, the Windows Azure toolkit is aimed at"enabling developers to build native experiences on multipleplatforms using Windows Azure", and the release of theiOS version of the toolkit is "the next step in the process".The iOS toolkit will contain various resources such as acompiled Objective C library needed to work with servicesrunning in Windows Azure, as well as the full sourcecode for the aforementioned library (along with an Xcodeproject file), sample iOS applications and the all-importantdocumentation.If the developer in you is interested in getting this toolkit foryour iOS-powered device and giving it a go, do take note thatMicrosoft is not making the toolkit available for download inthe form of a tarball. Instead, developers will have to head overto Github to pull the required libraries needed for use at thefollowing links:Furthermore, Microsoft has revealed that it is working hardto extend the same love to Android developers as well. Andto prove it, the software giant showed off a screenshot of pre-release version of the Windows Azure toolkit running on theAndroid emulator provided by Googles Android SDK, with thefinal release build slated for a June release 28