Nvidia unveils Tegra 4 chip and Project Shield handheld console at CES conference

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It’s the first day of CES proper today, and the news has started to flood in. Nvidia held an interesting press conference today to announce a few things. There’s no doubt that the most anticipated (and most important) announcement of the day was the Tegra 4 – Nvidia’s new flagship chip to ‘rule them all’. That is until Qualcomm and Samsung show off their work. The new chip packs 72 GPU CUDA cores, and is produced on a 28nm manufacturing process which is a step up from the 40nm of the Tegra 3. This means that even though the chip packs more power, it’ll take less of a hit on the battery life. It uses a new quad core, Cortex-A15 based architecture as well. One notable omission is the lack of integrated LTE – while it does ship with an external modem, that both takes a hit on battery life and reduces space inside of the phone. It’s interesting to see whether this impacts Tegra 4 adoption, as many phones which used a Tegra processor internationally had to use a Qualcomm processor in the US so as to keep LTE.

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The other thing that Nvidia announced was a new handheld gaming system called Project Shield. This came to me as a surprise, but its very very interesting. It features a 5″ 720p display, a Tegra 4 chip and an Xbox-esque controller portion. It is running stock android (i.e good) and has the ability to stream games from your Steam library from your computer to the device, where you can play them. It’ll be interesting to see whether this catches on or flops when it becomes available in Q2 2013

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Samsung expands phablet range with mid-range Galaxy Grand

Samsung Galaxy Grand

While we may remain cynical about phone/tablet hybrids such as Samsung’s Galaxy Note and LG’s Optimus Vu, sales reports suggest that consumers are embracing them with open arms. As such, it comes as no surprise that Samsung has announced a new phablet model pitched at the mid-range market. Running TouchWiz-encrusted Android 4.1.2, the Galaxy Grand sports the usual array of Samsung-only features such as Direct Call, Popup Video and S Voice, all powered by an as-yet unspecified 1.2GHz dual-core processor. Sharing many design elements with the S III and Note II, the Grand also features a 5″ display with an 800 x 480 display, producing a less-than-average 187ppi. It also has 8GB of on-board storage that can be increased by 64GB with a microSD card and a 2100mAh removable battery, alongside an 8MP rear camera and 2MP front camera.

If the Galaxy Grand sounds like your cup of tea, you will be able to pick it up in either single-SIM (GT-I9080) or dual-SIM (GT-I9082) versions, although pricing and release information has not yet been confirmed. What has been confirmed, however, is that the dual-SIM model will launch first, although we expect to hear further information at CES in Las Vegas next month.

Samsung Galaxy Grans Specifications

Source Samsung Tomorrow
Via The Verge

Vizio’s first computers go on sale in the US starting at $898

Since they were announced back at CES in January, people have been heavily anticipating the launch of Vizio’s first range of Windows PCs. Famed in the States for low priced TVs with unbeatable value, the company unveiled an all-in-one, a notebook and a pair of Ultrabooks thin-and-lights at the trade show, but remained coy on release dates, pricing or exact specifications until today. In a press release that can be found below, the company revealed a few more details, including that pricing for all 3 ranges would begin at just $898 (£578), and that all of their computers would run on Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge chips with a clean installation (i.e. zero bloatware) of Windows 7. The AIO will come in both the $898 24″ model and an $1100 27″ model, and both come with USB 3.0, Nvidia’s latest Kepler graphics architecture, up to a 1TB HDD paired with a 32GB SSD for boot and 1920 x 1080 displays. The thin-and-lights both come with integrated Intel graphics and a 7 hour battery life, with the $898 14″ model coming equipped with a 1600 x 900 panel, while an extra hundred dollars will get you a 15.6″ model with a 1080p display. The $898 notebook is internally identical to the larger thin-and-light, but in exchange for the added girth you get an as yet unspecified Nvidia Kepler GPU. Pre-orders for all models are live at a number of American retailers right now, but don’t get your hopes up for a UK release, as Vizio has yet to release any of their bargain bin products outside the US of A.

Design, Power and Entertainment Reign Supreme in VIZIO’s Incredibly Sleek and Sophisticated, Premium PC Line Unveiled Today

Irvine, CA – June 15, 2012 – VIZIO, America’s #1 LCD HDTV Company*, announced today the availability of its highly anticipated line of innovative personal computers designed to work hard and play hard. By combining its entertainment know-how with the unmatched power of the latest Intel® Core™ processors, VIZIO intends to set a new standard for the Windows® experience. The premium line, which consists of the VIZIO Thin + Light, Notebook and All-in-One PC, was created to break through the clutter present in the mainstream market and prove that power, design and entertainment can flawlessly co-exist in a PC.

Similar to its entrance into the HDTV category nearly a decade ago, VIZIO took careful inventory of the needs and wants evident in the PC space. The result is a sophisticatedly handsome PC line that meets the productivity and power standards consumers expect, while delivering the entertainment and design differentiators they desire. Calling on its HDTV background, VIZIO developed the PCs with contrast, image quality and viewing angles top of mind, giving PC users an experience only HDTVs could previously deliver. Combined with an NVIDIA® Kepler™-Class GeForce GPU, the brilliant HD display of the VIZIO PCs makes watching movies, gaming and streaming TV shows more enjoyable than ever. Deep and resonate SRS Premium Sound HD™ serves as an ideal complement to stunning image quality but can also stand alone, allowing music junkies to immerse themselves in rich, custom-tuned audio.

Understanding the impact aesthetics have on experience, VIZIO also focused heavily on design. Manifested beyond a few sleek bevels, VIZIO’s purposeful design decisions and premium materials culminate in a line of PCs that rival the status-quo. From the die-cast aluminum neck with its hidden hinge, premium wireless keyboard and wireless touchpad of the All-in-One, to the anodized aluminum unibody construction with precision CNC detailing of the Thin + Light and Notebook, VIZIO took every detail into account, creating top-quality work and entertainment fixtures like no other.

“PCs haven’t always been made with design at the forefront. While customers want an elegant, multi-purpose device capable of executing tasks and flawlessly delivering entertainment, some PCs still look like mundane work machines,” said Matt McRae, Chief Technology Officer, VIZIO. “VIZIO is passionate about innovation, design and the user experience. We listened to consumers and created a line of PCs that deliver on productivity but are also uncompromisingly clean, stylish and sophisticated.”

Optimized to deliver power, mobility and familiar ease of use, VIZIO PCs ensure a fast and immersive best-in-class consumer experience. To that end, VIZIO and Microsoft® worked together to build an optimized system image that includes the Microsoft Signature experience for Windows 7 PCs to deliver a great experience for customers, from out of box to support. Every VIZIO PC also includes Microsoft Security Essentials to help guard against viruses and spyware with no renewal fees and 90 days of Microsoft technical support.

“We’re pleased to be working closely with VIZIO as it debuts in the PC category,” said Steven Guggenheimer, CVP OEM Division, Microsoft. “VIZIO has a strong reputation of providing consumer innovation and entertainment experiences, and it’s great to see the company using Windows to help deliver premium experiences on PCs.”

Designed to tackle any task a user needs to accomplish, VIZIO PCs are powered by 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors. Providing an extra performance boost, the efficient Intel® Core™ processors are capable of handling a multitude of jobs, allowing users to multi-task with ease.

“We know how important it is for VIZIO to have its PCs deliver best in class performance,” said CJ Bruno, Intel VP, GM Americas. “VIZIO has repeatedly shown its ability to deliver leading technology to its customers and we are thrilled that 3rd generation Intel core processors will power VIZIO’s latest computing innovations. We think people will be amazed by the stunning visual experiences in these new systems, from the beautiful all-in-one to the slim, stylish and responsive Ultrabook™ device.”

VIZIO All-in-One: Starting at $898
Elegantly combining a powerful PC with features similar to a television, the VIZIO All-in-One PC offers an unparalleled entertainment experience**. With a stunning 24″ or 27″ Full HD 1080p display, included subwoofer for 2.1 surround sound audio with SRS Premium Sound HD™ and dual HDMI® inputs for connecting cable boxes and game consoles, the VIZIO All-in-One PC delivers serious entertainment.

The premium wireless keyboard, wireless touchpad with multi-touch gesture support, remote control and subwoofer with integrated power supply makes the VIZIO All-in-One PC easy on the eyes. Crafted from genuine, top-quality materials with design advancements, these machines challenge the very notion of what a PC can be, making it the ideal fixture in a bedroom, design studio, kitchen, dorm or swanky boutique.

For the ultimate in entertainment, consumers can use the display of their VIZIO All-in-One PC even when the computer is off, plugging in up to two HDMI® sources to enjoy cable or satellite programming, gaming and other HD offerings.

VIZIO Notebook: Starting at $898
The VIZIO Notebook delivers remarkable power in a beautifully portable profile. Stylish and light, the aluminum construction provides solid durability not possible when using cheaper plastics. With an impressive 15.6″ Full HD 1080p display, performance-tuned audio with SRS Premium Sound HD™ and a long-lasting battery, the VIZIO Notebook is an all-day, on-the-go, multimedia powerhouse.

The sleek, seamless surface of the VIZIO Notebook boasts beveled edges and a slip-free, soft-touch underside. The machine’s slim profile is made possible by an anodized aluminum unibody construction that lends itself to strength and durability. Smart innovations include a concealed passive heat venting that pulls in cool air to reduce the need for bulky, noisy and unnecessary grills and fans.

VIZIO Thin + Light: Starting at $898
Part of a new class of Ultrabook™ devices inspired by Intel, the VIZIO Thin + Light is an ultra-responsive, ultra-sleek and long-lasting portable PC. This powerful machine boots up in seconds and packs enough battery to stay up and running all day.

With a 14″ HD+ or 15.6″ Full HD display and a razor-thin design made possible by a durable, anodized aluminum unibody construction, the VIZIO Thin + Light is sleek enough to take anywhere and easily outperforms notebooks twice its size.

Entertainment enthusiasts will appreciate the HD resolution, stellar picture quality with wider viewing angles and SRS Premium Sound HD™ of the Thin + Light, allowing users to enjoy their content on-the-go or tap into the full-size HDMI® outputs to put entertainment on the big screen.

For more information on VIZIO PCs visit VIZIO.com. Consumers can also find the new PC line at key retailers such as Walmart, Amazon.com, Sam’s Club, Costco, Target and Microsoft Store.

Asus Eee Pad MeMo to become the Nexus tablet?

The £157 quad-core 7″ Asus Eee Pad MeMo, which made its debut at CES, could become Google’s first Nexus tablet according to a report by Techland.
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Tech

As if we weren’t already excited enough about the Asus MeMo 370T, a new rumor suggests that the $250, 7-inch, quad-core tablet could get a $50 price drop and launch with Google’s “Nexus” branding.

Citing “two different industry sources,” Android and Me reports that Google was impressed by a prototype of the MeMo that Asus showed off at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. At the time, Asus had promised to launch the tablet for $250 in the second quarter of this year, but Google then reportedly approached the electronics maker to see about reducing the bill of materials to reach a $200 price point and launching a Google-branded tablet running Android 4.0, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich.

(MORE: Asus MeMo 370T: The 7-Inch, Quad-Core, $250 Dream Tablet)

(A caveat before we go any further: Android and Me tends to be hit-or-miss with its rumors. For recent…

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Samsung to merge Bada into the Tizen project

Forbes are reporting that Bada, Samsung’s proprietary TouchWiz-skinned and Linux-based OS, is now effectively dead and will be merged into the Tizen project. Tizen is the evolution of MeeGo, itself a successor to Maemo, and its development as an open source OS is being spearheaded by Intel and Samsung. Tae-Jin King of Samsung confirmed at CES that the company are set to launch devices with the platform by the end of the year As part of the merger, full backwards compatibility will be on offer, with Tizen set to support Bada apps and the SDK. It has however been confirmed that Android and Windows Phone handsets will remain at the top of Samsung’s priority list, meaning that Badzen or whatever it becomes might not have such a bright future after all.

The Poll: What is your favourite thing from CES?

It’s been great, but what is your favourite new thing?

Motorola (re)build on the RAZR line with MAXX, Droid 4 and purpleness

Sorry for the lack of posts but the start of a term doesn’t mix well with CES for a teenage blogger. We will get through the big stuff this week but it may take time!

At CES, Motorola announced 3 new devices based on the RAZR, a phone that is officially as old as Digixav. While it seems unlikely that they will ever hit the UK as none are featured on the Motorola website, it gives us an excuse to look at the phone that narrowly lost out on our Best Design Award. Despite it’s godawful screen that somehow manages to look bad in adverts.

On the left, we have the RAZR MAXX. As the name suggests, this is a RAZR that is fatter and equipped with a bigger and better battery of 3300mAh. This gives you (supposedly) 21 hours of talk-time and 6 hours of LTE video streaming. It is 8.99mm thick and is otherwise a bog-standard RAZR. This is coming soon for $299 with a 2 year plan.

In the middle, we have the purple RAZR. It is a RAZR. It’s purple. Along with the cut-price white and black models, this will be $199 on contract.

On the right, we have the Droid 4. It’s like a 4 inch RAZR with a sliding QWERTY keyboard and 4.6mm thicker. It’s what the Droid 3 should have been. Like how the heavily delayed and redesigned Bionic is a fat RAZR. The Bionic is like the RAZR MAXX, but with a worse battery. Pricing is currently unannounced but it’ll probably be $249.

All of these phones are Verizon exclusives in the USA and have ‘4G’ LTE, the same internals as each other, splash-resistant nanocoating and Motoblur as a skin. If you are in America and feel the need for Android, forget these and get a Galaxy Nexus. Or get a Windows Phone on AT&T. Made by Nokia.