Archive for October, 2013

By October 22, 2013 Read More →

Apple Mac Pro announced

Apple Mac ProToday Apple have been treating us to another look at the Apple Mac Pro and updated us with new specification details and have announced the starting price of ‘just’ $2999 and it will be available from December of this year.

Some of the headline info:

Capable of real-time 4K video editing, extremely low power consumption on idle and as quiet as the Mac Mini.

Engineered around workstation graphics with dual GPUs, PCI Express–based flash storage, high-performance Thunderbolt 2, new-generation Xeon processors, ultra-fast memory and support for 4K video, the new Mac Pro delivers state-of-the-art performance across the board.

Apple Mac Pro Processors:

The new Mac Pro is muscle through and through, starting with the new-generation Intel Xeon E5 chipset. With configurations offering up to 12 cores of processing power, up to 40GB/s of PCI Express gen 3 bandwidth and 256-bit-wide floating-point instructions, you’ll never be at a loss for speed.

Every component in the new Mac Pro is optimised for performance. That includes a four-channel DDR3 memory controller running at 1866MHz. It delivers up to 60GB/s of memory bandwidth, which means you can fly through even the most compute-intensive tasks in no time. And since it’s ECC memory, your render job, video export or simulation won’t be stopped by transient memory errors.

Traditionally, pro computers have relied primarily on the CPU for their computing power. But as GPU performance has dramatically increased, software developers have begun to leverage that power in their apps. With the new Mac Pro, we looked ahead and engineered an even more powerful GPU architecture. Not only does it feature a state-of-the-art AMD FirePro workstation-class GPU with up to 6GB of dedicated VRAM — it features two of them. With all that power, you’ll be able to do things like seamlessly edit full-resolution 4K video while simultaneously rendering effects in the background — and still have enough power to connect up to three high-resolution 4K displays.

Mac Pro specification:

  • Intel Xeon E5
  • 4, 6, 8, or 12 core
  • 1866MHz DD3 RAM, up to 64GB
  • AMD FirePro graphics, up to 12GB of GDDR5
  • PCIe based next gen flash based storage
  • Thunderbolt 2
  • Up to 3 x 4K displays
Posted in: Desktop Computing, News
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By October 22, 2013 Read More →

Apple releases OS X Mavericks for FREE

os x mavericks freeAt their press conference just now in California, Apple have announced that OS X Mavericks will be available to download from the App store from today, and the big news is that it will be free!

Obviously we saw Mavericks first demonstrated a few months ago and since then there have been several beta versions made available to developers and just a few weeks ago the gold master version was also released.

There are over 200 new features and enhancements in Mavericks including some optimisation methods built in to maximise battery life and and memory compression to make best use of the available RAM.

As mentioned before, OS X Mavericks will be FREE and available on almost every Mac!

In OS X Mavericks, Timer Coalescing groups low-level operations together, creating tiny periods of idle time that allow your CPU to enter a low-power state more often. With its activity reduced up to 72 percent, the CPU uses less energy, giving your battery a break, too. This happens so fast you won’t notice a thing. And your Mac still gets just as much done just as quickly.

App Nap helps you save power when you’re working with multiple apps at the same time. OS X can tell when an app is completely hidden behind other windows. And if that app isn’t currently doing something for you — playing music, downloading a file, or checking email, for example — App Nap conserves valuable battery life by slowing the app down. But as soon as you start to use it again, the app instantly shifts back to full speed. It’s so seamless you’ll think it had been running that way all along. App Nap works the same way with Safari tabs, so only the visible tab is running at full speed. With App Nap, CPU energy use can be reduced by up to 23 percent.

The more memory your Mac has at its disposal, the faster it works. But when you have multiple apps running, your Mac uses more memory. With OS X Mavericks, Compressed Memory allows your Mac to free up memory space when you need it most. As your Mac approaches maximum memory capacity, OS X automatically compresses data from inactive apps, making more memory available.

By October 22, 2013 Read More →

Nokia announces Lumia 1320, Lumia 1520 and Lumia 2520

Nokia-lumia-2520Nokia World 2013 is now in full swing in Abu Dhabi and things have started off with something of a bang as Nokia have announced 3 new devices right of the bat.

Starting with the Lumia 1520 and 1320, both 6″ Windows Phone 8 devices, and also the much anticipated Nokia Lumia 2520 Windows RT Tablet.

For the most part it has been a case of confirming most of what we had already heard about each product.

The Lumia 1520 will have a 6 inch full HD screen, quad-core snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB RAM, 20 MP PureView camera and come with either 16 or 32GB of on-board storage.

As for the Lumia 1320 you’ll find a 6 inch 720p resolution IPS display, Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core 1.7GHz with just 1GB of RAM and a rather cut-down 5MP camera.

Arguably the most exciting to be announced though is the Lumia 2520 tablet device. Whilst technically not the first tablet device from Nokia, the N700 and N800’s came way before,  it will be the first that we’ve seen from Nokia to be of what we now commonly consider a tablet format. The 10.1-inch Windows RT tablet will have a 1920×1080 pixel resolution display and have a similar design to the other Lumia devices and will also be just 9mm thick.

Full specs of each new product will follow soon.

Posted in: News, Phones, Tablets
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By October 22, 2013 Read More →

Samsung Galaxy Express 2 coming to the UK

Samsung Galaxy Express 2Samsung today announced that the updated LTE version of the popular Samsung Galaxy Express will be available here in the UK

The Samsung Galaxy Express 2 will be a Vodafone exclusive from the 23rd October but other UK retailers will stock the phone from a yet undisclosed date.

Looks like the Galaxy Express 2 will be popular,  it has a powerful quad-core 1.7GHz CPU and a large, 4.5 inch display. No word in the cost as yet but if Vodafone can get the price point right I’d expect them to sell plenty of these.

SAMSUNG GALAXY EXPRESS 2 COMING TO THE UK

Samsung’s latest Galaxy device available exclusively at Vodafone stores across the UK

 

London, UK October 22nd, 2013 –Samsung has today announced that the Galaxy Express 2 LTE version, an updated version of the popular Galaxy Express, will be available to buy in the UK from 23rd October exclusively from Vodafone stores at launch with additional retailers to follow at a later date.

The Galaxy Express 2 is powered by Android 4.2, and with a 1.7GHz dual core processor and 4.5 inch display it allows you to watch multimedia content on the go. The new device features a number of Samsung’s smart functions such as Smart Stay, which uses advanced facial recognition to detect when the phone is in use, as well as Group Play which allows you to share music, documents and photos with other compatible Samsung devices. In addition, the new handset also features S Travel, Story Album and S Translator making Samsung’s latest device the perfect travel companion.

Simon Stanford, Vice President of IT & Mobile Division, Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland said: “Our latest addition to the Galaxy portfolio, the Galaxy Express 2 has been designed to provide a faster and smoother user experience. As with all smartphones in our Galaxy range, the Galaxy Express 2 is packed full of intuitive features and smart functions, offering customers superior performance.”

The Galaxy Express 2 will be available in Ceramic White in the UK exclusively at Vodafone stores at launch and further retailers from a later date. Vodafone will also be offering an exclusive shade of Rigel Blue.

Samsung GalaxyExpress 2 LTE Version Product Specification

Network

LTE (800,900,1800,2600) HSPA+, EDGE/GPRS

Processor

1.7GHz Dual Core processor

Display

4.5” qHD PLS TFT

OS

Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)

Camera

5MP AF with Flash + VGA front facing

Video

MP4(Video: H.264 Audio: AAC LC)

Recording [email protected] / Playing [email protected]

Audio

AAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, eAAC+, MP3, OGG, WAV, WMA

Services & Additional Features

 

Smart Stay, Group Play, Motion UX, S Travel, StoryAlbum, S Translator

Connectivity

BT4.0, USB2.0

WiFi 802.11 b/g/n

MicroUSB

NFC

Sensor

Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Proximity Sensor

Memory*

1.5GB RAM, 8GB ROM, MicroSD card slot (up to 64GB)

GPS

GPS/GLONASS

Dimension

132.43 x 65.75 x 9.8

Battery

2100mAh
Posted in: News, Phones, Press Releases
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By October 22, 2013 Read More →

BlackBerry Z30 unboxing and demo video

BlackBerry Z30Announced back in September of this year, the BlackBerry Z30 emerges as the new flagship BlackBerry devices, taking over this spot from the existing Z10.

With its 5.0 inch display, the Z30 is bigger than the Z10 and the screen technology has been changed to Super AMOLED. The advantage here is that AMOLED typically use less power than their LCD counterparts and this coupled with the 2880mAh battery should give the Z30 a healthy endurance.

The Z30 is all touchscreen and comes with the latest iteration of BB10, running 10.2. Not a huge difference here but there are some updated and new features that we’ll cover in more detail in our review.

When we first heard rumours of a new BlackBerry 10 device codenamed Aristo, it was said to be the  “most powerful BlackBerry ever”. We now know that phone as the Z30 and inside we find a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU clocked at 1.7GHz, 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB on board storage.

Here we have an initial unboxing and demo video of the BlackBerry Z30 where I take a look at the hardware and some of the OS features.

We must also say thanks to Unlocked-Mobiles.com for supplying the loan unit.

By October 21, 2013 Read More →

BlackBerry to resume BBM roll out

BBMiconwhite.jpgIt’s now almost a month since BlackBerry first tried to release BBM for Android and iOS. You may recall that the release started in New Zealand on the 21st September but that this was quickly halted due to an ‘unreleased’ version of the Android app being leaked online and apparently causing serious issues.

However, today BlackBerry have now confirmed that the global roll out will resume and the app is cited to be available within the next few hours on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Although we expect that the actual availability of the app will vary depending upon the each countrie’s store.

Head of BBM Andrew Bocking said: “Our team of developers and engineers has been working around the clock to bring you BBM – and make some upgrades while we’re at it – and some incredible work has been done.”

As before, a word of caution, particularly to those of you with Android devices. There are a huge number of bogus BBM apps still available in the Play Store so please ensure that you are downloading the correct and official version. Users are encouraged to visit BBM.com for more details.

 

Update: Anyone that registered their interest in BBM and email is starting to go out as follows:

We promised you’d be the first to know when BBM™ for Android™ and iPhone® is available.
We’re excited to announce that the rollout has resumed!

Due to incredible demand there is a line-up to start using BBM. But, since you took the time to sign up in advance, we’d like to give you the chance to start using BBM on Android or iPhone right away without having to wait in line.
Here’s what to do to get past the line-up:
1. Visit BBM.com from your iPhone or Android browser to download BBM.
2. Once the BBM app has been installed, open it.
3. When asked to “Enter your email address to check if you can start using BBM”, use the email address this message was sent to.
4. Get started with setting up BBM.
Note to iPhone users: Apps can take up to a few hours to appear in the App Store

Posted in: Apps & Games, News, Phones
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By October 21, 2013 Read More →

Tegra 5 and Kepler to be more powerful than PS3

wpid-IMG_20131021_133113.JPGAlthough we have seen the above tech demo before, there is some new info regarding NVIDIA’s development of the technology. As a refresher, the above tech demo is being rendered in real-time using the Tegra 5 (Logan) Core architecture married with their mobile Kepler based GPU chips. Mobile Kepler is a variation of the same GPU technology NVIDIA currently employs in their GTX 600 and 700 series graphics cards for the PC. Since the video above (titled “Digital Ira”) was first presented back in July of this year, NVIDIA has made some refinements to the technology pushing it closer to mainstream production in future tablet devices.

Not only has NVIDIA been able to shrink SOC down to smaller than a dime, they have also reduced the power requirements down to 2-3 Watts. This is still to much for a smartphone, but is in a good range for tablets. That’s not all, NVIDIA has also been able to improve the graphics performance on top of these other refinements of the hardware. Here’s a quote with some additional detail,

As the Tegra 5 SoC continues to develop, Nvidia has been able to boost Ira’s shader passes to render more realistic textures (as seen below). Much of this is thanks to Nvidia’s GameWorks developer tools. Many of the top Tegra-optimized Android titles have been built with this software in recent years, and it has now been updated for Tegra 5 (and to show off Ira). Still, the Logan dev kit only pulls 2-3W of power to do all this — the final Tegra 5 for phones should run at about 1W whereas a Titan needs at least 250W.

In a tablet, Nvidia believes the beefier 2W version of Logan will be more powerful than the PS3 or the GeForce 8800 GTX — in the neighborhood of 400 GFLOPS. Granted, these are both a few years out of date, but we’re clearly into the realm of desktop-level graphics. These raw numbers put the mobile Kepler GPU at around 5.2x the power of the PowerVR SGX 554MP4 in the most recent iPad. At this level there is the potential for memory bandwidth to bottleneck performance, but the company has not yet commented on this.

It’s almost frightening how quickly the technology continues to evolve. Versions of Tegra 5 are expected to hit retail mobile devices sometime next year.

Posted in: News, Phones
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By October 21, 2013 Read More →

Virgin extends its EE MVNO partnership

virginEE have long been the company that underpins the Virgin Mobile’s MVNO and today we learn that partnership is to be extended.

Virgin Mobile have alwasy offered good value for money mobile contracts and flexible PAYG options so it would be our hope that this extended partnership would also see Virgin offering flexible and inexpensive 4G connectivity.

Press release follows:

Virgin Media extends long-standing MVNO partnership with EE

Virgin Media customers to continue to benefit from the UK’s biggest and fastest mobile network

21 October 2013, United Kingdom: EE and Virgin Media have announced that EE will continue to provide the network and services that underpin Virgin Media’s mobile service, Virgin Mobile, the UK’s leading MVNO with over three million customers.

The new and exclusive MVNO agreement is an extension of EE and Virgin Media’s longstanding and successful partnership, which dates back to the launch of Virgin Mobile in 1999 as the world’s first MVNO.

EE was selected based on the strength of its network, its strong industry reputation and its flexible and technologically advanced MVNO platform. EE offers the widest 3G and 2G coverage in the UK as well as the country’s biggest and fastest 4G network.

Gerry McQuade, Chief Marketing Officer, Non-consumer, EE said: “We’re delighted that following a competitive industry tender, Virgin Media has again chosen to partner with EE and build on our longstanding and successful relationship. By choosing the EE network, Virgin Media will ensure its customers and around 14,000 employees continue to have access to the UK’s biggest and fastest mobile network.”

Dana Strong , Virgin Media’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Combining the leading mobile network with our powerful broadband means Virgin Media customers get the best connectivity whether at home, out and about, or even beneath the streets of London. Having worked together for over a decade, this partnership between the world’s first virtual operator and what is now Britain’s most comprehensive mobile network is moving into an exciting new phase.”

By October 20, 2013 Read More →

Google Chromecast Unboxing and Setup

google chromecastGoogle have yet to officially announce a date for the UK launch of the Google Chromecast however there has been the odd occasion Amazon have been able to deliver the Chromecast around the world if only for short periods of time. I managed to pick one up and here is the unboxing and basic operations. I must have spent about an hour trying to get this to work, the unboxing video is more of a highlights video if anything.

Google’s Chromecast is a simple way of streaming web video to the big screen thanks to being easier to use and slicker than your existing smart TV, set-top box or games console.

The HDMI dongle has already launched in the US, and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Google has promised it will launch in ‘other countries’ soon, but as of yet, there’s no news on its exact price in the UK or when it will actually launch.

Update: I have tried the Chromecast on various televsions around the house and on both main wireless networks and the problem is still evident. I will have to do some reading and maybe one day it will work…

By October 20, 2013 Read More →

Nokia Lumia 1520 leaked

nokia_lumia_1520The mobile industry seems to be full of leaks at the moment and there’s more today for the rumoured Nokia Lumia 1520 aka ‘Bandit’.

We’ve seen previous leaks about upcoming Nokia devices and a few weeks ago we heard that Nokia would be releasing 6 or so new devices at Nokia World on the 22nd October. It’s possible that one of these new devices could be the 1520 phablet device.

Once again the notorious tweeter, @evleaks, has released the main specification of the Nokia Lumia 1520 citing that it will have a 6 inch full HD screen, quad-core snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB RAM, 20 MP camera and come with either 16 or 32GB of onboard storage. @evleaks also says that the device will come in black, white and yellow although other leaked images claiming to be of the 1520 have shown the device clad in blue.

The 1520 is also expected to feature the Qi compliant wireless charging technology. Qi, developed by the Wireless Power Consortium for inductive electrical power transfer over distances of up to 4 cm.

Also expected to be announced this week is the Lumia 2520.

Perhaps the most interesting though is the long-awaited Nokia tablet, code-named “Sirius,” that is also expected to be announced alongside this raft of new smartphones. This is likely to be called the Nokia Lumia 2520, and will take the form of a 10.1-inch Windows RT device.

Tuesday is going to be a very busy news day with announcements coming from Nokia World, Apple, Google and Microsoft. Have I missed anyone?

We’ll be here with the news as we get it.

Posted in: News, Phones, Rumours
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