VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks Aug 2011 Issue 2


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VR-Zone is a leading online technology news publication reporting on bleeding edge trends in PC and mobile gadgets, with in-depth reviews and commentaries. Our inquisitive team of journalists cover key international events like CES, CeBIT, MWC, Computex and local exhibitions like CommunicAsia, IT SHOW, PC SHOW, COMEX and SITEX.

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VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks Aug 2011 Issue 2

  1. 1. August 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonebe, considering how the company has announced the releaseof what appears to be yet another such entry-level tablet forsale in its domestic market.Sleek-looking and high-performance tablets may be all therage today, but it does not change the fact that such devices,which are often known for their equally sleek pricetags, areusually way to expensive for the average Joe to afford in thesform of an impulse purchase. However, the good news is thatif you ever happen to find yourself in China, low-cost entry-level tablets, such as Aishuos new A820 tablet here, are readilyavailable for most people to purchase without breaking thepiggy bank. That being said, a quick search on Aishuos product page reveals that the A820 tablet as described by M.I.C Digi does not exist in the companys product lineup at all. However, we were able to find an A816 which, interestingly, boasts near- identical specifications as the ones M.I.C Digi has listed for the aforementioned “A820” tablet device, but with a slightly different design. Interesting.According to a report posted by M.I.C Digi, the new AishuoA820 tablet makes use of a somewhat unconventional eight-inch display which utilizes resistive touch technology andsports the relatively low maximum resolution of 800 x 600pixels. In addition, the A820 also features a paltry 512MB ofonboard memory, although the 4GB of internal flash storageavailable on the machine is somewhat more substantial thansome of the other entry-level tablets that are being sold inChina. Forget Google phones;In addition, M.I.C Digi has also claimed that the A820 willfeature a Samsung S5PV210 processor clocked at 1.2GHz as SoftBank unveils "Yahooits main muscle, and will boast support for wireless Internet Phone" in Japanconnectivity via WiFi only. However, if it is of any consolation, Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/forget-google-phones-softbank-unveils-M.I.C Digi claims that the A820 sports an upgraded WiFi yahoo-phone-in-japan/13337.htmlmodule produced by Samsung which is capable of receiving August 19th, 2011wireless signals from as far as 50m away. And from the looksof it, it seems that the A820 also features a variety of I/O portssuch as a single full-sized USB port, a micro-USB port as wellas what appears to be a mini-USB port, along with a microSDcard reader and audio output jacks. So the Android operating system is a hit and even Google wants to get in to the game by releasing the occasional Google phone that boasts premium hardware and access to the latest firmware version of Android. But for a smartphone OEM to churn out a “Yahoo Phone”? Dont be surprised, but that is exactly what SoftBank in Japan has done with its new smartphone that is every bit the Yahoo-equivalent of those Google phones we have been reading all about. When it comes to Japan, one is almost always assured of an announcement or launch of an unconventional product every 3
  2. 2. August 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneso often, especially where consumer electronics products such competition. According to SoftBank, this comes in the formas smartphones are concerned. And true enough, this latest of 13 preloaded apps and services for Yahoo Japan, such asannouncement from SoftBank only serves to reinforce that Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Calendar and Yahoo Weather, amongclaim, for thhe country;s third largest mobile network carrier many others. In addition, SoftBank has also claimed thathas announced the availability of what is probably the first ever subscribers who purchase the 009SH Y can expect to score“Yahoo Phone” for its domestic smartphone market. two years of free membership to Yahoo Premium, as well as obtain additional points with every purchase made on Yahoo Shopping throughout that time frame. Oh, and one last thing; the Yahoo Phone runs of version 2.3 (aka Gingerbread) of the Android operating system. But you probably know that already, no? Epson announces availability of five new LED printers Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/epson-announces-availability-of-five- new-led-printers/13336.html August 19th, 2011The machine translation of SoftBanks press release throws upsome funky interpretations, but from what we have managedto gather, it seems that SoftBanks new Yahoo phone, which ismanufactured by Sharp, is known domestically as the AQUOSPHONE THE PREMIUM SoftBank 009SH Y. This makes it arebranded variant of the original 3D-capable AQUOS PHONE Epson has announced the availability of five new high-THE PREMIUM SoftBank 009SH, which we first spoke about performance LED printers which have been reportedlylast month and was slated to be released for sale in Japan in designed to cater to both home and small business users.mid-August this year. According to Epson, the new LED printers, which are known as the AcuLaser M1400, MX14, MX14NF, C1700 and CX17NF,Specs-wise, it appears that the 009SH Y is virtually identical will be replacing the companys entry-level laser printerto the original 009SH in that it sports a four-inch QHD display lineup.capable of a maximum resolution of 960 x 540, along withan eight-megapixel rear-facing camera. However, it seems Need a new printer? If so, you are in luck, for Epson hasthat the 009SH Y might have a chance of seeing life outside just announced the availability of ive new high-performanceof Japan, for the specifications sheet released by SoftBank LED printers which have been reportedly designed to caterindicates that the smartphone features both CDMA and GSM to both home and small business users. According to theradios, thus making it a world phone of sorts. company, the new line of LED printers, which consists of three monochrome models (AcuLaser M1400, MX14 and MX14NF) and two colour printers (AcuLaser C1700 and CX17NF), will be replacing the companys entry-level laser printer lineup. Epson claims that its new line of LED printers will be capable of a maximum printing speed of 24ppm for the monochrome models, while its colour printers will feature a slightly lower speed of 12ppm. In addition, features common among all five printers include high monthly cycles of up to 20,000 pages a month, along with built-in memory capacities of up to 128MBOf course, with the 009SH Y being a “Yahoo phone”, it would for what the company claims amounts to "better workloadonly make sense that the smartphone comes preloaded with management". In addition, all five printers will also sportvarious Yahoo-centric features to distinguish itself from the lower energy consumption because of their use of LEDs over conventional laser technology. 4
  3. 3. August 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneThat being said, the monochrome models will feature a titles that have been optimised for use on its smartphone, andmaximum print resolution of up to 1200 x 1200 dpi, while the then some.colour models sports slightly higher print resolutions whichtop out at 1200 x 2400 dpi. More information about eachindividual printers specification can be viewed in the tableshown below: Sony Ericsson has announced the availability of what it claims is an “ever-growing ecosystem” of over 150 games that have been optimized for use on its Xperia PLAY smartphone at the Gamescom event that is currently taking place in Cologne. According to the company, its ability to offer such a healthy selection of titles was made possible due to its expanding partnerships with top publishers and leading independent studios.The printers will be made available for sale locally startingfrom August 19 (which happens to be today) at the followingprices: • AcuLaser M1400 – S$138.00 • AcuLaser MX14 – S$218.00 • AcuLaser MX14NF – S$298.00 Some of the new titles include smartphone ports of well- • AcuLaser C1700 – S$300.00 known console and PC titles, such as EAs Need For Speed Hot • AcuLaser CX17NF – S$545.00 Pursuit and Dead Space. In addition, the company has also claimed that that the Android premiere of Polarbits driving game, Reckless Getaway, was featured at Gamescom.Sony Ericsson announces An incomplete list of the Xperia PLAY Android titles thatavailability of new content for were announced and showcased at Gamescon this week are as follow:Xperia PLAY at Gamescom • Dead Space, Need For Speed Hot Pursuit and FIFA12 by2011 EASource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-ericsson-announces-availability- • Reckless Getaway, Reckless Racing 2 and Tanks byof-new-content-for-xperia-play-at-gamescom-2011/13335.html PolarbitAugust 19th, 2011 • Lets Golf 3 by Gameloft • Townsmen 6, Guns & Glory WW2 and Clouds and Sheep by HandyGame • They Need To Be Fed by YoYo GamesIf a certain smartphone is going to be marketed and sold • Lame Castle by Be-Rad Entertainmentas a portable gaming device in its own right, it would make • Hyperlight by Catfishblues Gamessense that such a phone will need to boast a strong selectionof popular game titles to ensure that interest in its product • Diversion and Crazy Snowboard by Ezone PTY LTDremains high, no? That is exactly what Sony Ericsson has done • Gibs & Gore Micronyteswith with its first ever Playstation-certified smartphone, theXperia PLAY, where it has announced the availability of new • Protoxide and Battle Boats 3D by Herocraft 5
  4. 4. August 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone • EVAC HD and Radient HD by Hexage • PewPew 2 by Jean-Francois Geyelin • Stellar Escape by Orange Agenda • Jumpy, INC and Meganoid by Orange Pixel • Death Worm by PlayCreek LLC • No Gravity by Real Tech VR • Crusade of Destiny by Divide Arts • Desert Winds by Southend InteractiveLastly, Sony Ericsson has also announced the availabilityof new smartphone features for the Xperia PLAY. Thisincludes plans for a new Facebook app which will allowusers to recommend their favourite games in their Xperia For those who are wondering about the Galaxy Tab 10.1sPLAY smartphone on Facebook, as well as upload screenshots specifications, the tablet runs off version 3.1 of the Androidto share their high scores or memorable gaming moments operating system (aka Honeycomb) and is touted to measure awith other users. Sony has also confirmed that the Xperia mere 8.6mm in thickness, thus making it the world;s thinnestPLAY now supports Skype video calling via the official Skype tablet. On the hardware side, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will beapp that is currently available for download off the Android powered by a 1GHz “dual-core application processor”, whileMarket. the built-in 3G modem is reportedly capable of achieving network speeds of up to 21Mbps.No details pertaining to availability and exclusivity of theaforementioned game titles has been released by Sony Last but definitely not least, Samsung has also claimedEricsson yet, although the company has claimed that the that the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 will boast “surround soundgames “will be released in the coming months”, and that such stereo speakers”, dual-facing cameras and support for 1080pinformation will follow in due course. video playback, thus allowing for users to enjoy a “rich entertainment experience”.Samsung releases Galaxy Tab Full specifications of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet are as follow:10.1 for sale in SingaporeSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-releases-galaxy-tab-10.1-for-sale-in-singapore/13334.htmlAugust 19th, 2011Samsungs woes with the current injunctions Apple has wonagainst its new Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany may have juststarted, but the good news is that local fans of the Koreanelectronics giants mobile computing devices will not have toworry about a potential ban over here. This is because thecompany has just confirmed that its highly anticipated GalaxyTab 10.1 tablet computing device has just been launched forsale in Singapore.So Samsungs new Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computing device hasjust been officially shown the door in Germany. Now, that isdefinitely not going to be good for German fans of the Koreanelectronics giants mobile computing products, but the good Intel delays new Atoms tonews is that local fans will not have to fret about the possibility Novemberof a ban over in Singapore. This is because Samsung has just Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-delays-new-atom-s-to-announced that it has officially released the Tab 10.1 for retail november/13333.htmlin Singapore, where it will be sold at the price of S$848 (GSTincluded) without a contract from a carrier. 6
  5. 5. August 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneAugust 19th, 2011 Only a few days ago HP dropped the price of its webOS powered TouchPad tablets by $100 in the US and its less than a week since the TouchPad launched in Singapore, but the company has now announced that its going to discontinue all its webOS devices. That means no more TouchPad and no more Pre phones. Were not quite sure whats going on at HP, but the companyBy the look of things November is going to be a busy month has issued a press release where its talking about its intentfor Intel, at least with all the delays that the rumour mill to join forces with Autonomy Corporation plc., alongsideis currently churning out. The latest rumour is that Intels its preliminary third quarter fiscal results and a three lineupcoming Cedar Trail Atom processors have now been delayed statement that simply states "[HP] will discontinue operationsfrom an expected September launch to November, alongside for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOSthe Sandy Bridge-E processors. phones." It wasnt long ago that the company announced that it had appointed a new executive to lead the development of webOS.By the look of things November is going to be a busy monthfor Intel, at least with all the delays that the rumour mill To call this surprising news is being modest, as althoughis currently churning out. The latest rumour is that Intels HPs webOS products havent been a roaring success, its Preupcoming Cedar Trail Atom processors have now been delayed 3 handset only launched in Europe less than 48h ago. HPfrom an expected September launch to November, alongside only took over Palm just over a year ago and has so farthe Sandy Bridge-E processors. only launched three webOS devices, the TouchPad, the Pre 3 and the Veer. However, the company did indicate that fromThe new Atom processors are the mobile N2600 (1.6GHz) next year, all of its PCs were to ship with webOS alongsideand N2800 (1.86GHz) and the desktop D2500 (1.86GHz) Windows.and D2700 (2.13GHz). All four models are said to have beendelayed, although the reason behind the delay is quite unusual. The very short statement goes on to say "HP will continue toAccording to Digitimes, Intel has run into problems with explore options to optimize the value of webOS software goingthe graphics driver and as such failed to pass Windows 7 forward." Were not quite sure what this means, but maybecertification. This means that Intel is going to have to re- HP is still considering to put webOS on its PCs, but it seemssubmit its drivers to Microsoft for re-certification, something a bit moot if there are no handheld devices to go with the OS.that doesnt happen overnight with complex drivers like the The idea as we understood it was that youd be able to runones for graphics. the same apps on your desktop or notebook as you could on your handheld device. Well see how things develop, but itsThe Cedar Trail Atom processors sports PowerVR graphics not looking good for fans of the webOS.as we exclusively reported back in May and were lookingat a PowerVR SGX545 graphics core. Were not quite sure In related news, theres also a rumour going around thatwhat kind of snag Intel has run into here, but its obviously HP is considering spin-off its PC business. The potentialsomething fairly crucial since Microsoft has deemed the reason behind this is that HP wants to become a software anddrivers unsuitable for Windows 7. If wed have a guess wed service company, somewhat in line with what IBM is doing.be leaning towards something to do with media decoding, as Apparently theres no longer any value in hardware, but wellIntel has struggled with past PowerVR implementations when just have to wait and see how things develop.it has come to just that part of its drivers. Hopefully we should ASUS ROG Mars II 3GB - Afind out more from IDF in September.HP calls it quits on webOS Mini Review Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-rog-mars-ii-3gb--a-mini-devices review/13306.htmlSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hp-calls-it-quits-on-webos- August 19th, 2011devices/13332.htmlAugust 19th, 2011Only a few days ago HP dropped the price of its webOSpowered TouchPad tablets by $100 in the US and its less than Back in 2009, ASUS launched their 1000-piece limited editiona week since the TouchPad launched in Singapore, but the mammoth "Mars" (2 x GTX285 on a single card) and took thecompany has now announced that its going to discontinue performance crown over then GPU leaders NVIDIA GTX295all its webOS devices. That means no more TouchPad and no and AMD HD5970, albeit at a significant price premium. Twomore Pre phones. years later today, we do a mini review on the worlds fastest single graphics card equipped with two GTX580 Fermi cores - the ASUS Republic of Gamers Mars II 3GB. 7
  6. 6. August 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneIntroduction (effective) (4008MHz) (3416MHz) (4008MHz) Memory 1.5GB 2 x 1.5GB 2 x 1.5GB Stream 512 1024 1024 Processors TDP 243W 365W ? From the specifications table above, we see that the Mars II is clocked marginally higher (1.3%) than the reference GTX 580 core clock, and 28% over the similar dual chip GTX 590. To sustain the higher frequencies, the ROG team at ASUS designed a custom PCB and power circruitry on the Mars II, allowing the 2 GF110 Fermi cores to perform at their full potential on a single card.A very big box On the triple slot I/O shield, we have two DVI-D ports, a HDMI and a Display Port interface on the card allowing for up to 4 display outputs.Like its predecessor, the ASUS ROG Mars II has limitedproduction run of 999 pieces (ours was the "529th"). At the side of the card, there are 3 x 8 pin PCIE power connectors delivering up to 450W of additional power. There GTX 580 GTX 590 (2 Mars II is also a red-backlit button to override and trigger 100% fan x GTX 580) speeds on the two huge 120mm fans in the cooling system.Core Clock 772MHz 607MHz 782MHzShader Clock 1544MHz 1215MHz 1564MHzMemory Clock 1002MHz 854MHz 1002MHz 8
  7. 7. August 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone The upcoming Xperia Ray took about one and a half yearAccesories to develop from product conceptualization to launch, though along the way, changes and adjustments have to be made to meet users requirements. You must be thinking, with so many phone manufacturers coming up with display of 4- inch and larger, Sony Ericsson is going to launch one with a smaller 3.3-inch screen. Well, apparently, the Xperia Ray is designed for youths (with the majority at females) and it promises something unique and stands out with good quality design, features and is easy to use. Another reason is also because it is more of a Japan and Asian-focused phone. Weighing a mere 100g, the 9.4mm slim Android phone is available in four colors - black, white, gold and pink - and Sony Ericsson design team explained the color choices. Black is Xperias signature color with a matte soft exterior which adds to the solidity of the product, while white gives a modern fresh look with emphasis on the metal part of the phone. Gold is a premium color that gives a sophisticated elegance thoughASUS has thoughtfully bundled a "PCI-E sustainer" to protect it is toned down to be less striking to the eyes, and pink isthe motherboard and to aid mounting in obtuse cases. expressive, young and vivid. However, the black flavour is not available in Japan and it is the only one with matte exterior while the other trendy colors are high gloss.Sony Ericsson shares insight So how did the company come up with the name Xperia Ray?on design, concept and The name is taken from the Japanese "rei", of the word Ki-rei which means beauty, elegant.engineering of upcomingXperia RaySource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-ericsson-shares-insight-on-design-concept-and-engineering-of-upcoming-xperia-ray/13325.htmlAugust 19th, 2011The Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray was first unveiled at a globalevent in Singapore, in June (same time as CommunicAsia2011) and is scheduled to launch in Q3 this year. Find out inthe next pages on the design, concept and engineering of theAndroid smartphone as we bring the coverage from Tokyo,Japan. Here we see the Xperia Ray (left pic) placed side-by-side with the Xperia Arc. The circuitry and PCB area on the Xperia Ray is significantly reduced compared to the Arc, and 9
  8. 8. August 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneeven the battery for the Ray is smaller but slightly thicker. Note contract. Availability and pricing details have yet to be releasedthat even though the battery for Xperia Ray is smaller, it has for other countries.the same 1500mAh rating to that of the one used in the Arc. Samsung unveils high-capacity 32GB DRAM module for servers Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-unveils-high-capacity-32gb- dram-module-for-servers/13331.html August 19th, 2011The Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 on the left has a display Samsung has announced the availability of its new RDIMMwith defined edges when the power is off. But for the DRAM module for servers, which boasts a maximum capacityXperia Ray, the display is true black and looks more of 32GB and makes use of 3D-TSV technology. According toseamless. According to the company, the Xperia Ray has an the Korean electronics giant, the new high-capacity RDIMM25% increased brightness to the Xperia Arc, even though DRAM module was designed to meet the needs of high-both feature Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine performance next-generation server platforms.technology. Unfortunately, for its small footprint, the Xperia Samsung has announced the availability of its new RDIMMRay does not have the HDMI output or camera shutter button DRAM module for servers, which boasts a maximum capacitywhich are found on the Xperia Arc. of 32GB. According to the Korean electronics giant, the new high-capacity RDIMM DRAM module was designed to meet the needs of high-performance next-generation server platforms.At the event (from left) were Tetsuya Okuchi, mechanicaldesign leader; Linda Lissola, color and material seniordesigner; Shigeaki Suzuki, design manager, industrial design;Kozue Tanaka, product planner; Tatsu Nishimura, productmanager; Yoshio Kawahara, electronics design leader; andRyuichi Arai, radio design leader of Sony Ericsson Japan. Touted as the industrys first such high-capacity RDIMMAccording to Tanaka, the most important point for the Xperia DRAM module to be built with 3D-TSV technology, SamsungRays design is the metal part which can be seen on the sides claims that the new 32GB memory stick, which is fabricated viaof the Xperia Ray, which not only gives a premium feel to a 30nm process, consumes a mere 4.5w of energy per hour, orthe phone but also gives the slim form factor; the thickness is almost 30% lower than what LRDIMMs of the same capacityjust 9.4mm. In order to appeal to feature phone users, high typically draw. Samsung has also added that its new RDIMMSspecifications is necessary. Thus, it was decided to re-use all of are able to achieve transfer speeds of up to 1,333Mbits/s, asthe new technologies for viewing and capturing - the Mobile opposed to the 800Mbits/s speed found on older RDIMMBRAVIA engine for viewing quality images and Exmor R for memory.imaging sensor from the flagship Xperia Arc. So it can be saidthat all the high-end features of the Xperia Arc are integrated Samsung has not released any details pertaining to globalinto the smaller, compact Xperia Ray. availability of its new 32GB RDIMM DRAM modules, although it has confirmed that engineering samples of the modulesThe Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray will be available in Japan on 27 have already been released for evaluation purposes, and that itAugust at 37,000 yen (approximately US$482) with two year will continue to produce memory modules based off 3D-TSV 10
  9. 9. August 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonetechnology while working to help shrink down the fabrication of Macbooks. To qualify for the quiz, participants will have toprocess to as low as 20nm. compete in a fastest finger first round of sorts, where they will be tasked with answering 10 Apple-related questions correctly in the shortest amount of time. The top 10 participants fromNubox issues "The Ultimate the qualifying round will then compete in the finals “live” atMac Challenge" to Apple fans Nuboxs Raffles City branch on September 24, where the top two scorers will win for themselves Nubox vouchers worth SSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nubox-issues-the-ultimate-mac- $1,300 and S$300 respectively.challenge-to-apple-fans/13329.htmlAugust 19th, 2011 The online qualifying quiz, which is already open to the public, can be accessed via http://www.nubox.com.sg/umc/ and will run till August 31. Results of the qualifying round will be announced on September 12, while the top 10 participants will be notified of their selection via email,, so mmake sure that you enter the correct email address when attempting the quiz!What processors do Apples Mac computers run on? Whichspecific gesture activates a certain feature in OS X? If you know Monster announcesthe answers to such questions, perhaps the time has come for availability of limited editionyou to walk the talk and show off your in-depth knowledgeabout Apples line of consumer electronics devices in exchange Detox Beats Pro professionalfor prizes. This is because Nubox has just announced the headphoneslaunch of its “The Ultimate Mac Challenge” quiz, which will be Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/monster-announces-availability-of-held from August 15 to September 24 this year. More details limited-edition-detox-beats-pro-professional-headphones/13330.htmlabout the quiz inside. August 19th, 2011If you are a loyal Apple user who can rattle off any informationthat is related to the Cupertino giants line of software titlesor consumer electronic devices, now is your chance to actuallytake all of that knowledge of yours and turn it into a moneyspinner of sorts. This is because Nubox has just announced thelaunch of its “The Ultimate Mac Challenge” quiz, which will beheld from August 15 to September 24 this year. Are you a fan of Monster-branded products? If so, this latest announcement from the Californian-based company might be just be of interest to you. Apparently, Monster has decided to celebrate the release of Dr. Dres latest album, which is known as Detox, by announcing the availability of its new limited edition headphones, Monster Beats Pro Special Edition Detox Professional Headphones, which the company claims is a must-have product for any audiophile or Dr. Dre fan. Monster has announced the availability of its new limited edition headphones, Monster Beats Pro Special Edition Detox Professional Headphones. Said to be uniquely designed by Dr. Dre himself, the company claims that its new limited edition headphones are a must-have product for any audiophile or Dr. Dre fan.According to Nubox, the quiz, which is the first of its kind inSingapore and is designed to help the company engage withthe local Apple community, will be centred around Apples newrange of products, namely OS X Lion, iLife and the new series 11
  10. 10. August 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Internet Explorer 9 tops browser security test once again Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/internet-explorer-9-tops-browser- security-test-once-again/13328.html August 19th, 2011 Remember the news we posted some time back about how Microsofts Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) web browser topped the charts for browser security in Europe?It turns out that NSS Labs has released the results of yet another browser security test that pits IE9 against other popular browsers, except that this time the test consists of socially engineered malware data generated worldwide. And the results? Well, lets just say IE9 came in first yet again. A month ago, we published a story describing how a research company known as NSSS Labs has released the results of its study on browser security in Europe, where Microsofts new Internet Explorer 9 web browser topped the charts with its 100% success rate in blocking socially engineered malware. However, if those results were not enough to convince you to actually start considering IE9 as a suitable web browser for use on your Windows-based PC, the latest results released by NSS Labs might just do the trick. This is because the research company has released yet another report claiming that Internet Explorer 9 has once again beaten its competitorsAccording to Monster, the new Detox Pro headphones are to retain its top position in actively blocking malware fromconstructed out of strong and lightweight aluminium in order entering a users PC.to ensure that the headphones is able to stand up to heavy Unlike the previous study, which was centered around theduty use and rough treatment. In addition, the lightweight effectiveness of a web browsers protection against socially-aluminium is also said to be capable of resisting vibrations, engineered malware targeting European users, the new testthus allowing the Detox Pro to deliver what Monster claims is was expanded upon to include users from all over the world.“pure, clean sound” that is free from any form of artefacts. And just as it was in the previous test, Microsofts InternetTopping of the package are “large, plush ear cushions” which, Explorer 9 came through as the undisputed winner, if theaccording to Monster, is designed to provide both passive results below are of any indication.noise isolation and user comfort from extended usage, whilethe use of the companys proprietary driver technology andmaterials reportedly allows the Detox Pro to deliver pro-calibre sound with a deep bass response. Lastly, Monsterhas also confirmed that the Detox Pro headphones will sportdual input/output cable ports that allows users to share theirmusic with other listeners by daisy-chaining other headphonestogether.The limited edition Monster Beats Pro Detox Editionheadphones by Dr. Dre are currently available for sale atthe retail price of S$999 and can be purchased from AudioHouse, Alpha Audio, Best Denki, Courts, DG Lifestyle Store,Epicentre, Farle Innovation, Harvey Norman, HMV, iP Case, iStudio, Macshop, Stereo and Nubox outlets 12
  11. 11. August 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone LinkedIn introduces new mobile platform for smartphones and web browsers Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/linkedin-introduces-new-mobile- platform-for-smartphones-and-web-browsers/13327.html August 19th, 2011 LinkedIn has announced the availability of a new, fasterOnce again, Internet Explorer 9s stellar performance in mobile experience for LinkedIn members on the iPhone,browser security was credited to Microsofts strategy of Android and mobile web platform. According to the business-implementing a dual-pronged approach of actively filtering focused online social networking outfit, the new platform hasout malware via a combination of URL and application- been completely rebuilt from the ground up and is intendedbased reputation scans. NSS Labs claims that Microsofts URL to offer members a richer, simpler, and faster way to get thefiltering system was capable of nabbing as much as 96% of information they need to help them be even more productive.live threats, while the added protection offered by ApplicationReputation bumped the filters success rate up to 99.2%. If you are a business user who makes use of LinkedIn to socialize with your colleagues and to network with industryOn the other hand, Chrome managed to block a total of 13.5% experts, this latest announcement by the popular business-of the live threats it was exposed to, a figure which NSS Labs focused online social networking service ought to be of greatclaims is significantly higher than the 3% it was able to manage interest to you. This is because LinkedIn has announced thein last years test, while Safari 5 and Firefox 4 are both tied for availability of updated mobile apps for LinkedIn members whothird place with a successful block rate of 7.6%. access the service via their Android-powered smartphones andIn addition, the report also credits Internet Explorer 9 with iPhones.having the shortest response time in blocking suspicious sites According to a blog posting made by Chad Whitney ofthat might be hosting malware, although this is largely due to LinkedIns mobile team, the new mobile apps that it hasthe browsers Application Reputation feature playing a huge released for both the Android and iOS operating systems arepart in helping it achieve such a low response time, as shown capable of improving performance by up to 10 times acrossin the graph below. all features, including search and updates streaming. Whitney also points out that the new apps sport a more simpler user interface which makes it easier for members to not only accomplish tasks easily, but also makes it more intuitive to find what they are looking for when they download the app for the first time.With results as definitive as this, it seems that Microsoft is welland truly on its way to banishing the previously held stereotypethat it can never make a browser which is secure enough toactively protect users from a variety of online treats that lurkin cyberspace. So, the next time Microsoft Update issues anotice recommending that you upgrade your copy of InternetExplorer to the latest version available, you might want to doyourself and your PC a favor by actually accepting it.The full report can be obtained from NSS Labss website here. 13
  12. 12. August 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone AMD launches its first triple core APU, brings a friend along Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-launches-its-first-triple-core-apu- brings-a-friend-along/13326.html August 19th, 2011 If the current quad core APUs from AMD are a bit on the expensive side for you, then we have good news, AMD has launched a triple core APU today called the A6-3500. The interesting thing tough is the other CPU AMD launched today, the Athlon II X4 631, as this is AMDs first socket FM1 Athlon branded CPU. If the current quad core APUs from AMD are a bit on the expensive side for you, then we have good news, AMD has launched a triple core APU today called the A6-3500. The interesting thing tough is the other CPU AMD launched today, the Athlon II X4 631, as this is AMDs first socket FM1 Athlon branded CPU. The A6-3500 doesnt hold any real surprises as the specs leaked quite some time ago, but this triple-core model is clocked at 2.1GHz with a 2.4GHz turbo frequency, which just happens to be the same as the A6-3600. Losing out on a core also means losing out on 1MB of L2 cache, so the A6-3500 has a total of 3MB L3 cache. The graphics core also remains the same, which is one of the better aspects of this APU as the Radeon HD 6530D should be more than sufficient for anyone that doesnt play demanding 3D games. The GPU core is clocked at 444MHz and has 320 shaders. The TDP also remains the same at 65W. The Athlon II X4 631 on the other hand is a curious beast and we have a feeling that it will cause a lot of consumer confusion. Its comparatively slow to AMDs older Athlon II X4 modes at a mere 2.6GHz which coincidentally is the same CPU clock as the A6-3650 APU. In fact, the Athlon II X4 631 is pretty much identical, as it sports 4MB L2 cache and a 100W TDP, the only thing missing is the graphics found in the APUs. The problem is that it goes into a socket FM1 motherboard and currently every single FM1 board has display interfaces, something this CPU cant take advantage of and something were not sure how AMD is going to highlight towards consumers. The A6-3500 is priced at US$95 in retail packaging or US$89Last but definitely not least, Whitney has announced the in quantities of 1,000 units, whereas the Athlon II X4 631 islaunch of a new mobile version of LinkedIn that is reportedly priced at US$79 in quantities for 1,000 units. Both models arecreated with HTML5 and can be accessed via any modern priced fairly competitive compared to AMDs current Athlonmobile web browser. II CPUs, although both models also have the CPU core clockedThe new mobile apps are now available for download off a fair bit slower.Apples iTunes Store and the Android Market for your Source: AMDrespective platform. 14
  13. 13. August 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneFusion Garage rejoins mobilecomputing fray with new Grid10 and Grid 4Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fusion-garage-rejoins-mobile-computing-fray-with-new-grid-10-and-grid-4/13323.htmlAugust 19th, 2011So the JooJoo tablet turned out to be nothing sort of adisaster for local startup company Fusion Garage. Usually,most startups would have abandoned ship after such a failure,but it seems that Fusion Garage is a big believer in the sayingthat one should always try again until they succeed. And The Grid 4 smartphone, on the other hand, sports a four-inchwhat better way to get the world to take it seriously once TFT LCD screen which boasts a native resolution of 800 xagain than to announce the availability of two new mobile 480 pixels, and will be powered by a Qualcomm MSM8255computing devices for the masses, complete with their own processor that is clocked at 1GHz. Like the aforementionedunique operating system? Grid 10 tablet, the Grid 4 will also be preloaded with FusionRemember the ill-fated JooJoo tablet that was essentially Garages own Grid OS and will feature 512MB of memory,dead-on-arrival as soon as it was launched for sale globally, along with a healthy 16GB of internal flash storage.due to extremely fierce competition from the likes of Apples That being said, most of the focus is on the companys newiPad and the plethora of Android-powered tablets produced by Grid OS, which, according to its CEO, Chandra Rathakrishnan,various big-name OEMs such as Samsung, LG, Archos at that is essentially an extremely customized version of Googlestime? Well, it appears that Fusion Garage is all set to banish Android operating system. Rathakrishnan has also gone onthose bad memories of the JooJoo by once again attempting to explain in interviews to various media outlets that whatto claim a share of the mobile computing pie with not one, but Fusion Garage did was to take Androids Linux-based kerneltwo new devices. These take the form of the 10-inch Grid 10 and build a completely new operating system over it. This istablet and the four-inch Grid 4 smartphone, both of which will extremely similar to what Apple has done with Mac OS X,be powered by Fusion Garages brand new operating system which consists of the Mach kernel which is reportedly basedknown as Grid OS. off FreeBSD, along with Apples own proprietary APIs layered over it. This probably makes Grid OS the first true blue fork of the Android operating system, much like how most popular Linux distributions are essentially forks of a single parent distribution. More interestingly, it seems that Fusion Garages move has allowed Grid OS to maintain some form of binary compatibility with the actual Android operating system, for the companys website has explicitly claimed that both the Grid 10 and Grid 4 will be shipped with Android applications preloaded into Grid OS. If this is true, Fusion Garage might well have an extremely potent differentiating factor from itsAccording to Fusion Garage, the Grid 10 will make use of a competitors, as it provides a means for users to migrate over ton LED-backlit, 10-inch display that is capable of outputting Grid OS seamlessly without any fears of losing access to theira maximum resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. In addition, the favorite apps they have come to depend on in their Android-Grid 10 will feature an NVIDIA Tegra 2 system-on-a-chip powered smartphones. This is vital, especially if one takes into(SoC) which boasts a dual-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz; consideration the fact that it is the size of a mobile platformsFusion Garage claims that the Tegra 2 will be capable of application repository, and not its technical benefits, whichproviding all the power the Grid 10 needs to run all of the will decide whether an operating system has any chance ofeye candy in the tablets bundled Grid OS. The Grid 10 will surviving in the highly competitive mobile computing space.also reportedly feature a front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera foruse in video chats, along with 16GB of internal flash memoryand a 5,800mAh battery pack, although the 512MB of systemmemory comes across as being somewhat limited. 15
  14. 14. August 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zone Foxconns dual-core Xiaomi smartphone shows up in Beijing Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/foxconn-s-dual-core-xiaomi- smartphone-shows-up-in-beijing/13322.html August 19th, 2011 Most people will probably associate Foxconn with hardware components such as motherboards, but it seems that the Taiwan-based manufacturer has since decided to make a name for itself in the lucrative smartphone market by releasing a handset which will reportedly be sold under its own brand. And the name of the companys first attempt at a smartphone that will soon be released for sale? Why, the Foxconn Xiaomi, of course. We have heard of various Chinese brands such as Meizu, ZTE and and even Huawei making the leap and offering its smartphones up for sale globally under their very own brands,Lastly, our first impressions of the various Grid OS screenshots and this latest piece of news seems to confirm our suspicionsthat have shown up on Fusion Garages product pages seems to that there is indeed a market for low-cost smartphones.suggest that the company might be taking a couple of pages out Apparently, Foxconn, a well-known supplier of computerof Microsofts Windows Phone 7 book over its user interface, a hardware, has decided to branch out to selling smartphonessuspicion which is also shared by popular technology website under its own banner as well, and its first such product will beThe Inquirer. But at the very least, it is quite hard to deny the Xiaomi, as shown below.that Grid OS does look more polished that Android at this verypoint of time, although we can only wait and see how well theGrid 10 and the Grid 4 will perform on the market. Assumingthat Fusion Garage gets everything right this time, of course. 16
  15. 15. August 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneDetails about the Xiaomi are scarce, but according to a reportpublished by GizChina, the smartphone will offer consumersa choice between two dual-core processors of differing clockspeeds, namely 1.2GHz and 1.5GHz. While no informationabout the Xiaomis support for 3G wireless connectivity, alongwith its memory and onboard flash storage capacity has beenreleased at this point of time, what we do know from oldreports is that the smartphone will reportedly make use of afour-inch Super LCD panel that sports a maximum resolutionof 854x 480 pixels.Last but definitely not least, GizChina has claimed that theXiaomi is slated to be released for sale some time in Octoberthis year at the price of US$310. And yes, the fact that it is due According to a report published by Shanzai.com, the newfor a release in October puts it in direct competition with the hiPhone 5, which is currently available for sale on Taobao atlikes of Apples iPhone 5, Huawei;s Blaze and Meizus quad- the retail price of 850 yuan (approximately US$133), is saidcore MX smartphone. to be built off dimensions and designs that have somehow*Update: It runs out that there has been an error in this report. managed to leak out from the Cupertino giants iron-cladWhile the smartphone will indeed be produced by Foxconn, curtain of secrecy. And apparently, the OEM responsible forit will not be sold under the companys banner. Rather, the producing the hiPhone apparently did a decent job in thephones actual name is the M1, and that it will be sold by a process, as reports have claimed that the hiPhone 5 doesmobile apps vendor known as Xiaomi Tech. We apologize for indeed appear thinner than an iPhone 4 and features lessthe inaccuracy. rounded edges. In addition, the hiPhone 5 is available in a variety of colours such as black, white, red and even pink.Cant wait for the iPhone 5? Unfortunately, no information about the hiPhone 5s technical specifications have been released at this point of time,Get the hiPhone 5 instead although the image above seems to suggest that the bundledSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/can-t-wait-for-the-iphone-5-get-the- operating system has been extensively skinned to mimic thehiphone-5-instead/13321.html iOS user interface.August 19th, 2011 That being said, the fact that the hiPhone 5 is nothing more than an elaborate Chinese clone means that it is not going to give out those HiHi vibes that a real Apple product boasts, but hey, at least it is cheap.Sometimes, you just got to love China for coming out with Samsung hires CyanogenModgadgets such as this. Apparently, OEMs over there are fully lead developer Steve Kondikaware of the fact that there are users out there who will pay Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-hires-cyanogenmod-lead-good money for lookalikes of popular or upcoming products, developer-steve-kondik/13320.htmland the iPhone 5 no exception. That being said, can we interest August 19th, 2011you in a very realistic-looking hiPhone 5 to satisfy your iOSurges?If it looks and feels like the real thing, that it has got to be If you have in your possession an Android-poweredthe real thing, no questions asked, right? Apparently, that was smartphone which has been rooted and flashed to run on awhat the OEM of this interesting smartphone had in mind custom Android ROM, wed bet that there is a very high chancewhen it rolled out its hiPhone 5 smartphone, which reportedly that the ROM which you are currently using hails from whathas the dubious honour of being one of the more realistic is probably the biggest name in the Android hacking scene,iPhone 5 knockoffs, in spite of the latter having yet to see the CyanogenMod. And for those who are into such modifications,light of day on retail shelves. this latest piece of news ought to be interesting, for we have just received word that CyanogenMods lead developer Steve Kondik, aka “Cyanogen”, has been hired by Samsung. When we lasted posted a story about CyanogenMod, it was revealed that Samsung was taking an interest in the outfit, having sent the team some of its smartphones, along with a request that they get the custom ROM working on them. However, it seems that Samsungs love for CyanogenMod has just gone up by another level, for we have received word that the Korean electronics giants mobile division has started to absorb members of the outfit into its very own development 17
  16. 16. August 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-Zoneteam, with Steve Kondik (aka “Cyanogen” himself) being thefirst such hire.According to an article posted by AndroidFC, Kondik hasjust recently updated his Facebook profile to reflect his newemployment status as being that of a software engineer forSamsung Mobile. However, as Kondik has kept his Facebookpage private, we are unable to show you any screenshots of hisupdated status.That being said, Kondiks employment does raise a couple of Maybe it is because I was one playful kid back then, butquestions. For one, what Samsung intends to do with Kondiks when I was first introduced to the concept of universal remoteexpertise in ROM hacking and customization remains to controls my immediate thought was about how one could usebe seen, although AndroidFC is currently speculating that such a device for mischief-making, such as turning off theSamsung might task him to work on improving TouchWizs neighbours television set from a distance. However, thoseuser interface. This makes sense, considering how Samsung is days are long gone, and today we cannot help but appreciatecurrently engaged in a legal catfight with Apple over the “look the convenience such remote controls bring to our lives, andand feel” of its GALAXY line of smartphones, which are said to Logitechs new Harmony 200 looks set to continue that trend.sport interfaces that are too similar to those of iOSs.And if you are wondering about CyanogenMods fate now thatits lead developer has already been snapped up by Samsung,fret not. Apparently, Kondik has assured his user base thathis employment at Samsung and CyanogenMod are twocompletely unrelated issues, and that Samsung has apparentlygiven him permission to proceed with the development ofCyanogenMod. Last but definitely not least, Kondik hasreportedly claimed that Samsung has got no plans to licenseCyanogenMod for use on its smartphones. Oh well.Many thanks to Jacek for sending this in.Logitech announcesavailability of Harmony 200universal remote controlSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/logitech-announces-availability-of-harmony-200-universal-remote-control/13319.html According to Logitech, the new Harmony 200 universalAugust 19th, 2011 remote control is capable of controlling up to three devices. Which, for most people, will probably be the television set, the pay-TV setup box and a surround sound speaker setup. The company also claims that the new Harmony 200 is designed to be easy to configure, as users merely need to register for an online Harmony account, enter the details of the devices they wish to control with the remote and Logitechs servers, which boast a hardware compatibility database of “over 5,000 brandsDo you still remember those good old days where the act of and 225,000 devices”, will automatically handle the rest.turning on the television set to catch a few shows involvedhaving to fiddle with no more than two remote controls? Well, The new Logitech Harmony 200 universal remote control willthe good news is that Logitech is attempting to bring back be available for sale locally at the suggested retail price of S$39such simplicity to a users home entertainment by introducing come early September this year.its new Harmony 200 universal remote control, which isreportedly capable of performing the functions of up to threeremote controls in a single unit. Samsung announces availability of GALAXY S WiFi 4.0 in Singapore Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-announces-availability-of- galaxy-s-wifi-4.0-in-singapore/13318.html 18
  17. 17. August 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneAugust 19th, 2011 According to Samsung, the new GALAXY S WiFi 4.0 will feature specifications that are similar to the Super Clear variant of its GALAXY S smartphones. This means that users of a GALAXY S WiFi 4.0 will get to enjoy features such as a 1GHz processor and a four-inch WVGA Super Clear LCD screen which boasts a native resolution of 800 s 480, as well as support for 720p video playback and access to Samsung SocialWant a smartphone but do not wish to get involved with costly Hub. However, unlike the original GALAXY S, the new WiFi3G mobile data plans? Dont worry, there is a smartphone for 4.0 variant will sport 8GB of internal flash memory insteadthat, and it comes in the form of Samsungs new GALAXY S of the 3GB found in the former, thus allowing users to storeWiFi 4.0 smartphone, which has just been recently released more data in the new GALAXY S WiFi 4.0s internal memoryin Singapore. According to Samsung, the new smartphone before resorting to the use of microSD cards.In addition, thewill allow users to enjoy what it claims is an “unrivalled GALAXY S WiFi 4.0 will also be preloaded with version 2.2.2entertainment experience” thanks to the variety of features it of the Android operating system.comes bundled with. The new Samsung GALAXY S WiFi 4.0 is now available for saleMobile broadband connectivity may be ubiquitous in many at all Samsung retail stores at the suggested retail price of Sparts of the the world today, but it does not change the fact that $328, inclusive of GST.there will be users who will prefer to retain their existing non-data plan for various personal reasons, even as they make themigration from a low-end feature phone to a smartphone. Andthe good news for such users is that Samsung has announcedthe release of its new WiFi-only smartphone, the GALAXY SWiFi 4.0. X79 to have 10 SATA ports after all Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/x79-to-have-10-sata-ports-after- all/13317.html August 19th, 2011 This is slightly embarrassing, but we have to start by apologizing here, as we got some information mixed up, but then again, no-one else spotted it either so there you go. It turns out that Intels X79 chipset will have a total of 10 SATA ports after all, although there still wont be any SAS support. This is slightly embarrassing, but we have to start by apologizing here, as we got some information mixed up, but then again, no-one else spotted it either so there you go. It turns out that Intels X79 chipset will have a total of 10 SATA ports after all, although there still wont be any SAS support. 19
  18. 18. August 19th, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneThe mistake came to light when looking at a couple ofslides from an updated presentation detailing Intels Patsburgchipset, as the -A version of chipset will have an additional fourSATA ports via the SCU. This was an oversight on our side andif you remember the chipset diagram that weve already posteda couple of times, its even listed as a feature on there.So what were looking at is four SATA 3Gbps ports and twoSATA 6Gbps ports which are part of Intels standard AHCIsetup as per the current 6-series chipsets. The other four portsare added via the SCU, but unlike early details of the X79chipset suggested, were not getting any SAS support and werestill four ports short. One major difference between the X79 aswell as the -A version of the Patsburg chipset compared to thehigher-end versions (-B/-D/-T) is that there will be supportfor RAID 5 for the SCU ports, something thats an optionalfeature on the higher-end SKUs. Note that its not possible torun a RAID between the SCU and AHCI ports at BIOS/UEFIlevel, although it should be possible to stripe drives across thecontrollers in the OS.Once again, apologies for this little snafu, especially as theinformation was right in front of us. To make up for things alittle bit, weve also gotten word that Intels will be bringingout a new stepping of the Patsburg chipset in late Q4, as thereare still a few kinks to work out in the versions beyond the -ASKU. The company is also actively working on validating PCIExpress 3.0 support in the platform, but theres no word as towhen well see actual support. Once all of this has been done,we might, with a bit of luck, finally see a version of the X79chipset that delivers everything that was promised, well, ok, itwasnt really promised, but it was part of what people expectedto get from the X79 chipset based on various roadmap leaks. 20
  19. 19. August 23rd, 2011 Published by: VR-ZoneVR-Zone.com | Stuff for the Geeks! The Core i7-2760QM sports 6MB L3 cache just like the VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication Core i7-2670QM, but as it falls in the business category of covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks. CPUs it also has support for VT-d, TXT and vPro, features the consumer models have to make without. The other two business models consists of the dual core Core i7-2640MWide range of new mobile which is a 2.8GHz part with 4MB L3 cache, the Coreprocessors coming from Intel i7-2860QM which is a 2.5GHz quad core with 8MB of L3 cache.this autumn Finally we have the Core i7-2960XM which is the new ExtremeSource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/wide-range-of-new-mobile-processors- Edition model which is clocked at 2.7GHz and it too sportscoming-from-intel-this-autumn/13370.html 8MB L3 cache. Were not sure when Intel is expecting toAugust 23rd, 2011 have the last four models out, but the Core i5-2430M and Core i7-2670QM are both slated to arrive in notebooks come October with Asus, Dell and Fujitsu already having revealed models sporting the new CPUs. According to pricing from Fujtisu, the Core i5-2430M is priced the same as the Core i5-2410 and the Core i7-2670QM is priced the same as the Core i7-2630QM, although theres no official pricing for any of theseIf youre at the verge of splashing out on a shiny new Sandy models from Intel, as the company is considering them OEMBridge notebook, you might just want to gold on to that hard models and as such doesnt provide pricing.earned cash for just a little bit longer if you can, as Intel isgetting ready to launch a few new consumer focused mobileSandy Bridge processors which should arrive in early October, USB 3.0 Speed Tests: 7-Wayas well as a few business oriented models. Its a shame that thecompany is missing the school start by about a month, at least Host Controllers Roundup Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/usb-3.0-speed-tests--7-way-host-for those that need a new computer for school. controllers-roundup/13358.html August 23rd, 2011If youre at the verge of splashing out on a shiny new SandyBridge notebook, you might just want to gold on to that hardearned cash for just a little bit longer if you can, as Intel isgetting ready to launch a few new consumer focused mobileSandy Bridge processors which should arrive in early October, Believe us when we say that this is one of the most epicas well as a few business oriented models. Its a shame that the reviews weve ever put together. Not because it was thecompany is missing the school start by about a month, at least hardest roundup weve ever done, but its by far the most timefor those that need a new computer for school. consuming one and it doesnt even have anything to do withIntel is set to boost the performance of a couple of its consumer the benchmarks we ran. We thought itd be a good idea to dolevel Sandy Bridge processors, although were not talking a comparative review of the various USB 3.0 host controllersabout any huge performance increases here, but considering out there, as by now weve finally reached a stage where theresthe price points remain the same, itd be madness not getting some competition in the market with at least three majora notebook with one of the new processors if possible. players and a couple of smaller ones. VR-Zone is also proud to have a world exclusive first review of the upcoming RenesasFirst up we have the Core i5-2430M which is a 2.4GHz model D720201 host controller which is launching later this year aswith 3MB of L3 cache which slots in above the Core i5-2410 part of this roundup.which is 100MHz slower. The second new model is a quadcore CPU which will be known as the Core i7-2670QM and To give a little bit of background information to the USBits clocked at 2.2GHz and has 6MB L3 cache. This is the big 3.0 standard we thought wed do a quick rundown of thebrother of the 2GHz Core i7-2630QM and its important not theoretical benefits over USB 2.0. As you most likely alreadyto mix up the Core i7-2670QM with the much more expensive know, USB 3.0 is promising over 10 times the bandwidth ofCore i7-2760QM which is a 2.4GHz model that is also set to USB 2.0 and although in reality USB 3.0 doesnt quite reach itslaunch later this year alongside three additional siblings. theoretical bandwidth of 5Gbps. It is possible to reach speeds in excess of 400MB/s (3.2Gbps) and weve already seen this demoed, but and this is a big but, only if you use very specific 1
  20. 20. August 23rd, 2011 Published by: VR-Zonehardware today. Currently we only know of one solution that August 23rd, 2011can provide these kinds of speeds and its a SATA to USB 3.0RAID controller by Fujitsu, but to our knowledge its only soldin one product made by a Japanese company. If you are looking for some good deals on music players, sound card, headphones and speakers, do drop by the Creative Technology booth at Hall 602 (booth no: 6121) on level 6. Offers include the ZiiSound D5x wireless speaker system, ZEN Style M300 portable media player and Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD audio card.On that premise, lets take a closer look at the contestants.The USB 3.0 host controllers we put through the paces are theAMD A75 chipset, the ASMedia ASM1042, the Etron EJ168A,the Fresco Logic FL1009, the NEC/Renesas µD720200, theRenesas µD720201 and the VLI VL800. Sadly we were unableto source a Texas Instruments host controller as the companyrequested to have an FAE present during the testing and thiswasnt possible to arrange from their side.Most of these host controllers can be found on a wide range ofmotherboards with the exception of the Fresco Logic FL1009and the upcoming Renesas µD720201 which wont go intomass production until October. The integrated solution inAMDs A75 chipset was co-developed with Renesas and our Creative ZiiSound D5x Wireless Speaker Systemunderstanding is that its something of a hybrid between theolder µD720200 and the upcoming µD720201. The ZiiSound Dx series wireless speakers connect independently to stereo Bluetooth devices such as the AppleThe baseline for this test would have to be the NEC/Renesas iPhone, Blackberry, Android smartphone, iPad or other tabletµD720200 as it was the first USB 3.0 host controller on the devices. You can also configure such that more speakersmarket and its become something of the de facto standard. As are connected wirelessly to form a multi-channel home audiosuch we expected the other controllers to outperform it simply system. It also allows link to ZiiSound DSx wireless subwooferon the virtue of it having been developed so much earlier. for deep bass capability or more ZiiSound D5x speakers forHowever, we were surprised to see the old NEC controller keep stereo or surround applications. Featuring renowned apt-Xup with the competition in most of the test we threw at it, audio technology for superb sound quality, the D5x also offersalthough its clear that there are faster options out there. One precision volume control when used with the included BT-D5thing that helps the µD720200 stay ahead of the pack in some Bluetooth transmitter.tests is native UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol) support inits drivers, which means that theres a performance boost to be Usual Suggested Retail Price - S$399had in specific tests thanks to the way the UASP drivers work COMEX 2011 Promotional Price - S$349 (limited to 50 sets)compared to the standard BOT (Bulk Only Transfer) driver Special bundles or extra goodies during COMEX 2011 -most of the controllers rely upon. Purchase second unit of Creative ZiiSound D5x Wireless Speaker System at S$249 or purchase Creative ZiiSound DSx Wireless Subwoofer at S$149 (Usual Price - S$199)COMEX Show 2011Promotions: CreativeTechnologySource: http://vr-zone.com/articles/comex-show-2011-promotions-creative-technology/13369.html 2