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Portables

Submission + - Nintendo's New 3DS XL Offers Uncertain Appeal (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "Nintendo took the wraps off its new, super-sized 3DS XL handheld on Friday, but reactions have been anything but enthusiastic. The new DS offers a larger set of screens (4.88 inches top / 4.18" bottom), better battery life, and will ship with a copy of New Super Marios 2 but it's launching into a very different market than what the original DS XL faced in 2009. The 3DS XL's battery improvements aren't just icing on the cake — they're seen as remedying a critical problem with the current handheld. It also won't support the second circle pad added by the Circle Pad Pro, which implies Nintendo is ready to kill that peripheral altogether. The other major problem is that a larger screen isn't really what the 3DS needed in order to be more successful."
Android

Submission + - NVIDIA Teases Android 4.0 on Tegra 3, Transformer (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "NVIDIA continues to tease their Tegra 3 platform with the upcoming release of Google's Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) operating system and the Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablet from Asus. The company has released a video of the two working together driven by NVIDIA's Tegra 3 quad-core processor. Reportedly, the video above was recorded on November 16, just two days after the source code for ICS was made publicly available. Even though it's only an early demo, you can already see Ice Cream Sandwich is looking solid, from silky smooth transitions to impeccable 1080p playback performance. There's even a quick look at fully optimized gaming that taps into all four cores of NVIDIA's Tegra 3 processor."
Portables

Submission + - NVIDIA and Asus Unwrap Transformer Prime Tablet (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "Asus and NVIDIA have collectively taken the wraps off the next-generation version of Asus' well-received Transformer tablet line. The new system aims to carve out a slice of the premium tablet market that Apple's iPad has dominated for so long. On paper and in pictures, the Prime impresses. The Transformer Prime incorporates NVIDIA's new Kal-El (Tegra 3) processor and is one of NVIDIA Tegra 3's upper-end launch systems. The new ARM-based CPU contains a fifth "companion core" to reduce and manage idle power consumption and contains 12 GPU cores, up from the eight GPUs in Tegra 2. NVIDIA claims that Tegra 3's GPU is up to 3x faster than Tegra 2, thanks to additional architectural enhancements. Asus is also rolling out a new LCD they're calling "Super IPS+." The display's normal brightness tops out at ~500 nits, but the Prime offers an alternate Super IPS mode that pushes display brightness up to 600 nits for use in bright outdoor environments."
Intel

Submission + - Hands-On with the Asus Zenbook UX21E Ultrabook (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "The Asus Zenbook UX21E is a new ultra-slim notebook by Asus, that fits into the new "Ultrabook" class of machines, to use a marketing term coined by Intel. An Ultrabook is a thin and light ultraportable notebook defined to Intel specifications and the company has a $300M fund in place to support partners with development and marketing of products. The Zenbook UX21E is an incredible 3mm thick at the front and 9mm at the rear and has spun metal and hairline aluminum for a strikingly sleek appearance. It's also built with Intel's new low-power CULV Sandy Bridge Core i7 2677M mobile dual-core processor, 4GB of DDR3-1333 memory, and a 128GB SATA 3 SSD."
Portables

Submission + - Lenovo Unveils Android ThinkPad and IdeaPad Slates (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "While many tablets are slimming down (and losing valuable ports), Lenovo's new ThinkPad Tablet is on the bulky side with the hope that business professionals appreciate it. The Tablet is a biz-oriented slate with a 10.1" panel, a Tegra 2 (1GHz) chip, and most importantly, a full-size USB port. Lenovo is also introducing a $99 Keyboard Folio case, which will wrap around the device to keep it safe, sut also provides a full QWERTY keyboard and an optical trackpad. It features Android 3.1, access to Lenovo's app store a 2MP front-facing camera, 1080p video output, Wi-Fi, 3G, 16/32/64GB of storage, a 5MP rear camera. The company also introduced a consumer targeted slate called the IdeadPad K1 and it sports a 13.3mm thin form-factor that focuses on entertainment and consumption."
Portables

Submission + - Lenovo's Thinnest ThinkPad Yet, X1 Tested (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "The new Lenovo ThinkPad X1 is generally billed as Lenovo's champion of choice vs. the Macbook Air. That comparison makes sense based on the Air's visibility, but also the ThinkPad X1 is set to compete across mutiple market segments, including in the enterprise, where the ThinkPad traditionally has had a strong presence. Sporting Intel's latest Core i5 Sandy Bridge dual-core CPU and weighing in at under 4lbs, the ThinkPad X1 packs a fair bit of punch for a thin and light machine. Its strong suit is not battery life, though the system's optional "slice" battery, when snapped on to the bottom, will get you well over 5 hours untethered under moderate workloads."
Graphics

Submission + - NVIDIA Announces GeForce GTX 560M and GT 520MX Mob (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "NVIDIA just took the wraps off of a couple of new mobile GPUs at Computex and announced a slew of notebooks designs that will feature the new chips. The new GeForce GTX 560M and GT 520M will be arriving very soon, in notebooks from Asus, Alienware, Clevo, Toshiba, MSI, Samsung and others. The GeForce GT 520MX is an entry level DirectX 11 GPU designed for thin, light, highly mobile platforms. It sports 48 CUDA cores with a 900MHz graphics clock, 1800MHz shader clock, and 900MHz memory clock. Decidedly more powerful, the GeForce GTX 560M is outfitted with 192 CUDA cores and clocks in at 775MHz, with 1559MHz shaders, and 1250MHz for GDDR5 memory."
Android

Submission + - Adobe Ships Flash Player 10.2 for Android 3.x (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "Adobe last night announced the release of Flash Player 10.2 for Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablets and it is available for download in the Android Market. Eventually, this could prove to be a big deal, but it looks as though a Honeycomb update is needed to take full advantage of the Flash Player 10.2's new features. It's not certain if it was intentional or not, but Adobe's statement points to an updated Honeycomb release, Android 3.1. According to reports, the new Android build is coming out soon for currently shipping Honeycomb tablets like the Xoom and Eee Pad Transformer."
Blackberry

Submission + - RIM Demos BlackBerry Playbook (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "RIM held an event today in New York City, they were showing off their upcoming BlackBerry Playbook tablet. This hands-on
demo of the device shows it definitely has promise, although a flaky internet connection at the venue made it hard to get at good feel for browsing speed. The Playbook’s form factor made it very easy to handle and at under a pound it's one of the lighter tablets out there. The 7” screen (1024x600 resolution) had good viewing angles all around and it felt very responsive when navigating through various menus on the device and typing on the on-screen keyboard. Playbook is powered by a 1GHz dual-core TI processor and it has 1GB of RAM. Browsing the web, the Playbook has full support for Flash and performance was solid. Perhaps most impressive was the windowed OS interface with active mutlitasking."

AMD

Submission + - First ThinkPad with AMD Fusion Ships, Tested (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "AMD's Fusion technology is finally shipping in a few retail products and the combination of the company's low power Zacate processor along with its integrated Radeon HD 6130 graphics cores make it a competent chip for the ultralight notebook and netbook market. Apparently Lenovo felt the same as well and they've recently begun shipping the new ThinkPad X120e with an AMD E-350 Zacate processor under the hood. Versus the likes of a dual core Intel Atom machine, even with an NVIDIA Ion GPU helping it out, the new AMD-power ThinkPad ultralight held its own and even beat out Atom/Ion 2 in some light-duty gaming benchmarks."
Portables

Submission + - Lenovo's ThinkPad Gets NVIDIA Optimus Graphics (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "NVIDIA has been locking down a few key design wins with their Optimus dynamically switching mobile graphics technology and scoring one in one of the most respected business class notebooks on the market definitely makes a statement. The ThinkPad T410s is the first model from Lenovo to offer NVIDIA Optimus technology which provides users with seamless switching between discrete GPU performance and the power saving benefits associated with integrated graphics. It features a 14 inch LED backlit screen with a native resolution of 1440 x 900, an Intel Core i5 560M processor, NVIDIA NVS3100M graphics (a Quadro Pro GPU technically), a 128GB Toshiba SSD, and a total weight just under 4lbs. The ThinkPad has definitely evolved over the years and with these better specs, it could be one of the best incarnations yet."
Portables

Submission + - Hands-On Test With The Dirt-Cheap CherryPad Tablet (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "The quarter is starting to look like it will bring a veritable tidal wave of Android and Windows 7-based devices competing for shopping carriage space versus Apple's 10-inch darling slate PC. The good news is, all of this competition is bound to mean lower prices at retail. A small company out of Paola Alto, CA no less--Cherrypal, made headlines recently with the announcement of their dirt-cheap $188 CherryPad tablet. The CherryPad is a 7-inch slate that comes preloaded with the Android 2.1 operating system and is driven by an 800MHz ARM11-based processor by Samsung, backed by a meager 256MB of DDR2 system memory. The device is also based on a resistive touch display, so it takes a bit of getting use to, if you've been working with devices like the iPhone or similar, where capacitive touch displays are ubiquitous. Just what does $188 buy you in an Android tablet? In short, the CherryPad falls down a bit where Cherrypal decided to cut corners from a cost perspective. The device needs another 256MB of RAM (for 512MB total) and a higher quality touch screen (perhaps a 1GHz CPU?) and that would have likely pushed its price northward a bit to be sure."
Portables

Submission + - Lenovo Sells 60M ThinkPads, Optimus Enabled T410s (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "If you took a poll of the notebook-toting business community, with respect to what the most popular workhorse laptop has been over the past decade or more, the response would likely be the venerable Lenovo (formerly IBM) ThinkPad. It almost sounds a little over-the-top actually but Lenovo is celebrating their 60 millionth ThinkPad sold. Apparently the ThinkPad is like the "McDonalds" of notebooks... at least volume-wise. Today also Lenovo announced updates to three ThinkPad models. In addition, they also unveiled their latest ThinkPad T410s machine, now infused with NVIDIA Optimus graphics switching technology. This demo video of the ThinkPad T410s shows the company's impressive implementation and the innovation they bring to NVIDIA's existing Optimus solution. Not only was this the first notebook seen running both the integrated IGP and discrete NVIDIA GPU simultaneously but it's also first time a notebook has been capable of driving three external monitors, as well as the internal LCD simultaneously."
Graphics

Submission + - NVIDIA:Tegra 3 Imminent, Commits Annual Updates (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "While there are only a select few devices currently sporting NVIDIA's Tegra 2 processor, the GPU giant apparently hasn't stopped R&D on their series of low power SoCs. For the uninitiated, various flavors of NVIDIA's Tegra chip integrate an ARM processor core, with a GPU, along with memory controller and IO functionality within one chip. Tegra and Tegra 2's low power consumption coupled with HD video playback capabilities--among other features--make them ideal candidates for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. One problem, up to this point, however, is the lack of products on the market that are actually powered by Tegra. However, the latest news from San Jose, where NVIDIA is currently holding its GPU Technology Conference, is the surprising revelation of annual Tegra updates from here on out. NVIDA's charismatic CEO Jen-Hsun Huang underscored this firmly in a panel discussion today."
Portables

Submission + - Axon Builds Tablet You Can Hackintosh, Win, Linux (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "All this time we thought the way to one-up Apple's iPad was to build a Windows- or Android-based tablet with all the features the iPad neglects. Boy were we off, or so hopes a company called Axon Logic. Never heard of them? If history is any indication, you soon will. That's because Axon has gone and put together a tablet --
the Axon Haptic — that's primed for end users to slap a Darwin OS onto its slate, such as Apple's Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Should this thing catch on, and perhaps even if it doesn't, you can bet Apple's legal team will be ready to go the distance."

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