VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks Feb 2012 Issue by vrzone

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A monthly roundup of VR-Zone.com Technology News covering facebook, google, apple, baidu, social media, PC, gadget, geek, technology, intel, microsoft, AMD, NVIDIA, ARM, Samsung, iphone, android, internet

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									February 20th, 2012                                                                                         Published by: VR-Zone




VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks!
  VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly
  publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the
  geeks.


Panasonic gets back in the
international phone business
with the Eluga
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/panasonic-gets-back-in-the-
international-phone-business-with-the-eluga/14954.html
February 20th, 2012




Some of you might remember the days when Panasonic
sold mobile phones outside of Japan, in fact, the company
made some of the smallest, usable phones ever made shortly
before pulling out of the global market. Panasonic has
finally decided that it's time to get back into the global
handset business again, but this time around we're talking
smartphones and its upcoming Eluga handset bringing some
of the Japanese tech to the rest of the world.
Some of you might remember the days when Panasonic
sold mobile phones outside of Japan, in fact, the company
made some of the smallest, usable phones ever made shortly
before pulling out of the global market. Panasonic has
finally decided that it's time to get back into the global
handset business again, but this time around we're talking        The screen is a 4.3-inch OLED unit with qHD resolution
smartphones and its upcoming Eluga handset bringing some          (960x540 pixels), which is still considered pretty good, albeit
of the Japanese tech to the rest of the world.                    not super high-end any more with the latest crop of devices
                                                                  moving to 720p displays. The handset sports 802.11b/g/n
For the time being the Panasonic Eluga will only be available     Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, DLNA, a micro USB port, a
in Europe, but it's likely that it will show up in other          GPS receiver, various sensors, an 8Megapixel camera and
parts of the world. Some of the specifications are a bit          somewhat unusually – at least for the European market
underwhelming, while others have so far been anything             – NFC support. Another rare addition is that the handset
but standard features on Android smartphones. Starting            is water and dust proof according to the IP57 standard
with the not so exciting, we're looking at 1GHz dual core         which means that it can be submerged down to depths of
Texas Instruments OMAP4430 SoC with PowerVR SGX540                up to 1 meter for 30 minutes without any of the internal
graphics – hardly what you'd call cutting edge these days –       components taking any damage. Finally it has a micro SIM
8GB of flash memory – again fairly average and what's worse       slot, something that seems to become increasingly popular
is that there's no memory card slot – and finally 1GB of RAM,     with the handset makers.
which at least isn't too bad.




                                                                                                                               1
February 20th, 2012                                                                                             Published by: VR-Zone




                                                                Panasonic will also be offering a selection of NFC tags for
                                                                the Eluga which allows for profile changing and potentially a
                                                                few other options. Panasonic is expecting to have the Eluga
                                                                in the European market by April, although there's no word
                                                                on pricing as yet. As a side note, Panasonic is hoping to sell
The Eluga sports support for the 900 and 2100MHz UMTS
                                                                at least 1.5 million smartphones in Europe over the next 12
bands, but oddly enough the UK spec page is also pointing
                                                                months, but we'd have to say that the company is going to
towards a 900/1900MHz model, although it's possible that
                                                                have to do a little bit better than the Eluga to get there. We
this is a typo. It supports download speeds of up to 21.1Mbps
                                                                also found a short video of the new handset from Panasonic
and upload speeds of up to 5.76Mbps. The 1,150mAh battery
                                                                Spain which you can find below.
is sadly not removable and it's only good for 300h of standby
and a meagre 240 minutes of talk time which compares
poorly to the competition. Part of the reason for the small     NVIDIA GK107 Details
battery pack is the 7.8mm slim profile of the handset which     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-gk107-details/14953.html
also measures 123mm tall and 62mm wide, while weighing          February 20th, 2012
in at a fairly light 103g.
Things worthy of note on the software side includes the fact
that the Eluga will ship with Android 2.3.5, but Panasonic
is promising an update to Android 4.0 at a later point this
year year, which may or may not be around the time that
the handset ships. There's also native support for DivX video
files, something that more often than not isn't the case on     While NVIDIA's upcoming GK104 / GeForce GTX 670
Android phones. If you happen to own a Panasonic VIERA          Ti may be the talk of the rumour mill, we have some
TV or DIGA Blu-rau player – we're not sure as to which          details regarding NVIDIA's entry-level Kepler GPU - GK107,
models are supported – then you'll also be able to use the      including a PCB diagram.
Eluga as a remote for it.                                       First sampled in September 2011, the GK107 will appear in
                                                                a variety of N13 GeForce M GPUs, N14 Quadro M GPUs.
                                                                In addition, GK107 will also make it to the desktops as
                                                                D14 or GeForce 600. There will be two variants of GK107,
                                                                GK107-200 GPU in D14M2-20 and the top bin GK107-300
                                                                in D14P1-10 SKU. The GK107-300 variant will be powered
                                                                by GDDR3 or GDDR5 memory, while the GK107-200 will
                                                                sport 512MB of DDR3 RAM.




                                                                                                                                      2
February 20th, 2012                                                                                                        Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                           As the nomenclature suggests, GK104 / GTX 670 Ti is more
                                                                           of a successor to the GF114 / GTX 560 Ti. The flagship GTX
                                                                           580 sucessor is at least half a year away, and will not be
                                                                           released till Q3 or Q4 2012. Till then, AMD is expected to
                                                                           hold on to the single GPU crown with Radeon HD 7970 with
                                                                           the GTX 670 Ti and HD 7950 following behind.


                                                                           Prima releases Skyrim
                                                                           interactive iPad and iPhone
                                                                           app
                                                                           Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/prima-releases-skyrim-interactive-
                                                                           ipad-and-iphone-app/14951.html
                                                                           February 20th, 2012

                                                                           Prima Games has released an interactive map app for The
At first glance, the GK107 PCB and heatsink is very similar to             Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on the iPad and iPhone
the ones used for the GeForce GT 440 (GF108 based, which
the GPU GK107 will replace) with identical dimensions.
Like the GF108, the GK107 will feature a 128-bit memory                    The company is behind the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Prima
interface. The heatsink + fan system will also be similar -                Official Game Guide, but this latest offering provides an
a shroud-less Coolermaster heatsink with an 11 blade axial                 official, Bethesda-approved app with over 150 maps of
fan, albeit with minor modifications for GK107. Legacy VGA                 Skyrim locations.
output will be dropped for 1 DVI-I DL output, 1 DVI-D or
HDMI out, and a third port with either mini-DP or mini-
HDMI.                                                                      All primary and secondary locations are marked, as are
                                                                           points of interest, world encounters, vendors, trainers, and
The two variants of GK107 are likely to be branded GeForce                 unique items. This includes all nine major hold cities and the
GT 6x0, and may well be two of NVIDIA's final entry-level                  more obscure terrain of forests and mountains.
GPUs with AMD's A-Series and Intel's HD IGPs starting to
cannibalize the entry-level market.


Report: NVIDIA is releasing
GK104 in March as GeForce
GTX 670 Ti
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/report-nvidia-is-releasing-gk104-in-
march-as-geforce-gtx-670-ti/14952.html
February 20th, 2012




A report from Sweclockers claims that NVIDIA is finally set
to release the first Kepler GPU in March. As expected, first
in line will be GK104 - to be branded as GeForce GTX 670 Ti.
                                                                           “Since work on this set of guides began in early May, I always
A report from Sweclockers claims that NVIDIA is finally set
                                                                           knew we were planning on releasing something truly epic,"
to release the first Kepler GPU in March. As expected, first
                                                                           said David Hodgson, author of the Prima guide for Skryim.
in line will be GK104 - to be branded as GeForce GTX 670 Ti.
                                                                           “I’ve personally logged over 600 hours of exploration, and
The GTX 670 Ti branding was first revealed by VR-Zone                      with the help and support from Bethesda, we’ve managed to
Chinese earlier this month and Sweclockers' sources -                      create the most informative and detailed work I’ve ever been
Taiwanese AIB partners - confirm the same. They peg the                    a part of.”
release date in March after Cebit 2012. This suggests a
release some time between March 11th and March 31st.
The GeForce GTX 670 Ti is vaguely indicated to have                        The basic version of the app, which shows the nine hold
performance "better than GeForce GTX 580 and Radeon                        capital city locations, is free. Players who want to find the
HD 7950", which implies average performance somewhere                      other locations and points of interest can do so with in-app
between HD 7950 and HD 7970.                                               purchases.
Rumours suggest GK104 will bring a radically new
architecture, with specifications including 1536 shaders, 128
TMU, 32 ROP and 2 GB 256-bit memory GDDR5. Core clock
for the top bin, GTX 670 Ti, is expected to be around 950
MHz.


                                                                                                                                                    3
February 20th, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone


US celebrates 50th
                                                                         The move will allow Samsung to focus on its more successful
anniversary of American in                                               business endeavours, such as smartphones and tablet
space                                                                    computers. It said it plans to develop new technology to
                                                                         maintain its lead over competitors.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/us-celebrates-50th-anniversary-of-
american-in-space/14950.html
February 20th, 2012

                                                                         AMD Pitcairn Specifications
                                                                         Leak: Radeon HD 7850, HD
                                                                         7870 Coming
             Today is the 50th anniversary of the the first              Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-pitcairn-specifications-leak-
US space flight, marking a significant stage in the history of           radeon-hd-7850-hd-7870-coming/14948.html
humanity and a particularly important element of the Cold                February 20th, 2012
War space race.


Samsung board approves LCD
business spin-off
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-board-approves-lcd-
business-spin-off/14949.html                                             In just two weeks' time, AMD will introduce third and final
February 20th, 2012                                                      silicon for their 7000 Series of graphics cards: Pitcairn or the
                                                                         RV940, as the old nomenclature would imply.
                                                                         At CeBIT 2012, AMD will introduce the Radeon HD 7800
                                                                         Series. The two boards will be based off a silicon codenamed
                                                                         Pitcairn (four volcano islands in south Pacific, 5400km east
                                                                         of New Zealand, 5600km west of Chile).
                                                                         With Radeon HD 7850 and HD 7870, AMD will replace
The board of directors at Samsung has approved a plan to                 the venerable HD 6900 series which are based on the
spin off its ailing Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) business.               Cayman GPU. AMD Cayman featured 1536 cores in HD 6970
The board of directors at Samsung has approved a plan to                 and 1408 cores in HD 6950, paired with 256-bit memory
spin off its ailing Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) business.               interface and 1GB or 2GB of GDDR5 memory.
                                                                         Since Pitcairn is based on the latest "Graphics Core Next"
                                                                         GPU architecture, AMD did not need to cram in 1536 cores
The Korean electronics giant plans to launch Samsung
                                                                         to get similar or higher results. Rather, Pitcairn will have the
Display Company as a separate entity on 1 April, providing
                                                                         same number of units as Radeon HD 6950. That's right - a
it is met with shareholder approval, which is likely not to be
                                                                         fully featured Pitcairn carries 22 Compute Units, i.e. 1408
a problem given the financial difficulties of the LCD sector.
                                                                         cores. There are also 24 ROPs (Raster Operation Processor)
                                                                         and 88 TMUs (Texture Memory Unit). Just like all GCN
Falling demand and profits for LCD panels has had a huge                 parts, ROP is decoupled from the memory controller.
affect on Samsung, particularly given the fact that it is the            This connects with a 256-bit memory controller and GDDR5
largest TV maker in the world. Market saturation and newer               memory. The part about the clocks is interesting though,
technologies have forced it to re-evaluate its position with             since AMD kept the clocks similar to the Radeon HD 7900
LCDs.                                                                    Series. Without further adue, these are the specs at glance:
                                                                         AMD Radeon HD 7850 1GB

                                                                             • $139 (Rumored)
                                                                             • 20 Compute Units
                                                                             • 1280 cores (Stream Processors)
                                                                             • 80 Texture Units; 72.0 GTexel/s
                                                                             • 24 Color ROP Units; 21.6 GPixel/s
                                                                             • 1 GB GDDR5 Memory; 156.25 GB/s
                                                                             • 900 MHz GPU Core
                                                                             • 1250 MHz QDR GDDR5 clock (5.0 GHz "effective")

"The spin-off will allow us to make quicker business                     AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB
decisions and respond to our clients' needs more swiftly,"
                                                                             • $169 (Rumored)
said Donggun Park, EVP and head of Samsung's LCD unit.

                                                                                                                                                 4
February 20th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

   • 20 Compute Units                                                 a designed-in-Japan ring flash which is compatible with
                                                                      both Canon and Nikon cameras, and allows photographers
   • 1280 cores (Stream Processors)
                                                                      to achieve an even spread of light from their macro work.
   • 80 Texture Units; 72.0 GTexel/s                                  The MF18 Macro Flash is particularly suited for use to
   • 24 Color ROP Units; 21.6 GPixel/s                                take portrait shots, taken either in a studio or on location.
                                                                      Features of the MF18 include an impressively high power
   • 2 GB GDDR5 Memory; 156.25 GB/s                                   guide number of 16 (ISO 100) and a power ratio that
   • 900 MHz GPU Core                                                 can be adjusted down to 1/1024 in the Fine Macro mode.
                                                                      It also provides a Wireless TTL function, which allows
   • 1250 MHz QDR GDDR5 clock (5.0 GHz "effective")
                                                                      for the addition of slave flashes. Firmware updates are
AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB                                                available directly from the Nissin website via the unit's USB
                                                                      connection. The flash head extends in diameter and will fit
   • $199 (Verified)                                                  lenses from 49 to 82mm with mount adaptors. 52, 58, 62, 67,
                                                                      72 and 77mm adapters are included, while 49, 55 and 82mm
   • 22 Compute Units                                                 are available as optional extras.
   • 1408 cores (Stream Processors)                                   Retail price: S$560
   • 88 Texture Units; 83.6 GTexel/s                                  IT Show 2012 promotion: Free Lenspen LP1 for every Nissin
                                                                      purchase, free lens cleaning (for cameras, lenses, tablets,
   • 24 Color ROP Units; 22.8 GPixel/s
                                                                      mobile phones) at the Lenspen counter.
   • 2GB GDDR5 Memory; 171.88GB/s
   • 950MHz GPU Core
                                                                      Pre-order of Spark Tablet
   • 1375 MHz QDR GDDR5 clock (5.5GHz "effective")
                                                                      with KDE Plasma Active
Only 15 days remain.
                                                                      begins
Source: Expreview, internal intelligence                              Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pre-order-of-spark-tablet-with-kde-
                                                                      plasma-active-begins/14944.html

IT Show 2012 Promotions:
                                                                      February 20th, 2012


Nissin MF18 Macro Flash
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-nissin-
mf18-macro-flash/14947.html
February 20th, 2012

                                                                      Unlike the Android tablets on the market, the Spark tablet
                                                                      uses KDE Plasma Active, a version of Linux which claims to
                                                                      be suitable for use with small displays.


You can achieve perfect macro-work images with the Nissin
MF18 Macro Flash. If you're going to the IT Show 2012 in
March, be sure to check out the promotion for the Nissin
MF18 Macro Flash at Red Dot Photo, booth number 6811.




                                                                      The Spark tablet, which is based on the Zenithink C71
                                                                      Android tablet, features clean, simple lines, sturdy body
                                                                      and good workmanship. It is equipped with 1GHz ARM
                                                                      processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage and a 7-
                                                                      inch capacitive multitouch LCD display (800x480 pixels
                                                                      resolution). It adopts the Mer mobile-optimized OS and
                                                                      KDE Plasma Active for the graphical user interface, and
                                                                      comes with two USB 2.0 ports and a HDMI port. It also
                                                                      supports 802.11 b/g wireless LAN and 3G with a USB dongle.
Schmidt Marketing, an Asian distributor of camera
accessories, has recently launched the Nissin MF18 Macro              In a blog post Aaron Seigo, a KDE developer, explained that
Flash which will be retailing at the IT Show 2012. It has             currently the only part not yet available to the community
                                                                      about some hardware drivers. Seigo said that over time,
                                                                                                                                                5
February 20th, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

the community would be able to develop their own drivers,               6th Floor
replacing the current one at a time, thereby making it fully
open the project, even if it is not a simple goal to achieve. Pre-
orders for Spark tablet has already begun at Make Play Live
website, and the price is just a mere 200 euros (or US$265).


IT SHOW 2012 Lucky Draw
Details - Over S$90,000 cash
to be Won!
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-lucky-draw-details--
over-s-90-000-cash-to-be-won-/14946.html
February 20th, 2012




Be handsomely rewarded when shopping at the upcoming IT                 IT Show 2012 Promotions:
SHOW 2012! Win S$2000 cash every hour during the show
period and qualify for the grand draw on the final day!                 Soul by Ludacris
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-soul-by-
How to qualify?                                                         ludacris/14923.html
For every S$100 spent during the show, you will get 1 lucky             February 20th, 2012
draw coupon with a unique serial number. Every hour the
organizers will select 4 winners who will get S$500 each!
Other details:
The lucky draw retails will be published in the New Paper
and on the organizer's web page on 19th March 2012
(Monday)                                                                  The IT Show 2012 is coming next month, and if you are
All lucky draw winners will be notified by post and phone.              looking for new headphones such as Soul by Ludacris, be
                                                                        sure to check out the new products at Nubox booth at 8236
Prizes must be claimed by 19th April 2012 (1 Month)                     level 4, as well as booth 6241 and 6501.
Unclaimed prizes will be donated to Singapore Community
Chest after 19th April 2012.




IT SHOW 2012 Floor Plans
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-floor-
plans/14945.html
February 20th, 2012




The IT SHOW is back again next month at Suntec
Convention Centre for its 2012 iteration! Check out which of
your favourite brands and shops will be participating in the
show on our exclusive floor plans and start planning ahead!
4th Floor
                                                                        SL 300 Gold / White and Black
                                                                        - Advanced Driver and Circuitry Design for Superb Bass,
                                                                        Clear Mids and Highs, Creates High-Precision Audio
                                                                        Balance
                                                                        - World Class Active Noise Cancelling Technology,
                                                                        eliminates unwanted sounds and noises

                                                                        - iPhone® Ready: Compatible with iPhone 4G and 3GS,
                                                                        iPadTM and iPod

                                                                        - Compatible with Most Smartphones and Multimedia
                                                                        Devices with1/8-inch (3.5mm) or 1/4-inch Headphone
                                                                        Input Jack


                                                                                                                                               6
February 20th, 2012                                                                                     Published by: VR-Zone

- Includes Straight Audio Cable with In-line Remote Control   - Design by Award Winning Team Commands Quality and
and Standard Straight Audio Cable                             Innovative Style Features such as Advanced Breathable
                                                              Headband Pad and Ear Cups
- Superior, Over-ear Design with Full Ear Cup Articulation
Ensures the Best and Most Comfortable Fit Every Time          - Protective Road Case for Convenience and Storage
                                                              Normal Price: S$449
- Music Playback in Passive Mode After Battery has Been       IT Show 2012 Price: S$379
Drained

- Illuminated Earcup Badge

- Sleek Folding Design for Easy Storage

- Gold-Plated Connector for Seamless Signal Transfer

- Design by Award Winning Team Commands Quality and
Innovative Style Features such as Advanced Breathable
Headband Pad and Ear Cups

- Protective Road Case for Convenience and Storage
Normal Price: S$599
IT Show 2012 Price: S$499



                                                              SL 100 Blue / Red / Pink
                                                              - Advanced Driver and Circuitry Design for Superb Bass,
                                                              Clear Mids and Highs, Creates High-Precision Audio
                                                              Balance
                                                              - iPhone Ready: Compatible with iPhone 4G and 3GS, iPad
                                                              and iPod

                                                              - Compatible with Most Smartphones and Multimedia
                                                              Devices with 1/8-inch (3.5mm) or 1/4-inch Headphone
                                                              Input Jack

                                                              - Includes Straight Audio Cable with In-line Remote Control
                                                              and Standard Straight Audio Cable

                                                              - Full Ear Cup Articulation Ensures the Best and Most
SL 150 Black / White                                          Comfortable Fit Every Time
- Advanced Driver and Circuitry Design for Superb Bass,
Clear Mids and Highs, Creates High-Precision Audio            - Sleek Folding Design for Easy Storage
Balance
- iPhone Ready: Compatible with iPhone 4G and 3GS, iPad       - Tangle-Resistant Cable for Easy Cable Management
and iPod
                                                              - Gold-Plated Connector for Seamless Signal Transfer
- Compatible with Most Smartphones and Multimedia
Devices with 1/8-inch (3.5mm) or 1/4-inch Headphone           - Design by Award Winning Team Commands Quality and
Input Jack                                                    Innovative Style Features such as Advanced Breathable
                                                              Headband Pad and Ear Cups
- Includes Straight Audio Cable with In-line Remote Control
and Standard Straight Audio Cable                             - Protective Road Case for Convenience and Storage
                                                              SL100 (Blue/Red)
- Full Ear Cup Articulation Ensures the Best and Most         Normal Price: S$349
Comfortable Fit Every Time                                    IT show 2012 Price: S$289
- Sleek Folding Design for Easy Storage                       SL100 (Pink)
                                                              Normal Price: S$379
- Tangle-Resistant Cable for Easy Cable Management            IT show 2012 Price: S$329

- Gold-Plated Connector for Seamless Signal Transfer




                                                                                                                           7
February 20th, 2012                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone

                                                               - Ultra-Comfort, In-Ear Design Seals Music In and Noise Out

                                                               - Includes Small, Medium and Large Ear Tips for an Ideal Fit

                                                               - Tangle-Resistant Cable Design with Cord Manager for
                                                               Hassle-Free, Customized Fit

                                                               - Gold-Plated Connector for Seamless Signal Transfer

                                                               - Design by Award-Winning Team, Commands Quality and
                                                               Innovative Style

                                                               - Protective Road Case for Convenience and Storage
                                                               Normal Price: S$169
                                                               IT show Price: S$139
                                                               Location at IT Show 2012 - Nubox booth at 8236 level 4,
                                                               booth 6241 and 6501
SL 99
- Advanced Driver and Circuitry Design for Superb Bass,
Clear Mids and Highs, Creates High-Precision Audio             Teaser pics of Huawei
Balance                                                        Ascend D1 Q out before MWC
- iPhone Ready: Compatible with iPhone 4G and 3GS, iPad
and iPod                                                       2012
                                                               Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/teaser-pics-of-huawei-ascend-d1-q-
- Ultra-Comfort, In-Ear Design Seals Music In and Noise Out    out-before-mwc-2012/14943.html
                                                               February 20th, 2012
- Includes Small, Medium and Large Ear Tips for an Ideal Fit

- Tangle-Resistant Cable Design with Cord Manager for
Hassle-Free, Customized Fit

- Gold-Plated Connector for Seamless Signal Transfer           Seems like more smartphones have been unveiled or leaked
                                                               just days before the Mobile World Congress 2012 in
- Design by Award-Winning Team, Commands Quality and           Barcelona. The teaser product images of the new Huawei
Innovative Style                                               Ascend D1 Q are out on the web, which looks rather sleek
                                                               and stylish.
- Protective Road Case for Convenience and Storage
Normal Price: S$249
IT Show 2012 Price: S$199




                                                               The Huawei Ascend P1 was first showcased at CES 2012 in
                                                               Las Vegas earlier this year, and with Mobile World Congress
                                                               2012 approaching, the Chinese company is launching their
                                                               new heavyweight smartphone, the Ascend D1 Q. The official
                                                               announcement for the new phone will be on 26 February,
                                                               though the teaser pictures have recently gone on the web.
                                                               According to online sources, the Ascend D1 Q is scheduled to
SL 49 (Black / Red / Green)                                    launch in April and will be equipped with a quad-core CPU,
- Advanced Driver and Circuitry Design for Superb Bass,        which is twice as fast as the Nvidia Tegra 3. As for the model
Clear Mids and Highs, Creates High-Precision Audio             name, it was said that there's a deep meaning to it - D1 being
Balance                                                        the first of Huawei's Diamond line of product; Q stands for
- iPhone Ready: Compatible with iPhone 4G and 3GS, iPad        quad-core CPU.
and iPod


                                                                                                                                        8
February 20th, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone


                                                                          LG launches Optimus Vu:
                                                                          with 5-inch display ahead of
                                                                          MWC 2012
                                                                          Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-launches-optimus-vu-with-5-inch-
                                                                          display-ahead-of-mwc-2012/14941.html
                                                                          February 20th, 2012




Mobile In Style 7-inch eden                                               With Mobile World Congress 2012 being just a week
                                                                          away, Korean electronics maker, LG, has decided to unveil
TAB to retail in Japan on 25                                              their new Optimus Vu: smartphone before the event. The
                                                                          Optimus Vu: boasts a 5-inch IPS display with 4:3 aspect
February                                                                  and supports LTE technology.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mobile-in-style-7-inch-eden-tab-to-
retail-in-japan-on-25-february/14942.html
February 20th, 2012




Mobile in Style, established by Kingsoft Office Software
Corporation in Hong Kong, has a new 7-inch eden TAB
Android tablet which is scheduled to retail in Japan this
Saturday, 25 February.




Japanese consumers looking for a new 7-inch Android tablet
can check out Mobile In Style's eden TAB ET-701 this
weekend. The Android tablet is equipped with Samsung
S5PC210 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB memory, 16GB
storage, 7-inch LCD display (1280×800 WXGA resolution)
and runs Google Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread OS. According
to the company, update to Android 4.0 is in the works.                    LG has unveiled one of their new LTE devices, the Optimus
The eden TAB differs from regular Android tablets as                      Vu: which is designed to maximize user experience on
Google does not officially endorse it, and therefore you must             a smartphone. Powered by a powerful 1.5GHz dual-core
install from the standalone Tapnow Market provided by the                 processor with 32GB internal memory, the Optimus Vu:
associated company, Accessport. Ad revenue from bundled                   is equipped with 5-inch IPS touchscreen display (4:3
content and apps are used to push the price of the tablet                 aspect ratio) and LG’s advanced LTE technology. The 4:3
down.                                                                     aspect ratio is optimized for viewing, and with the IPS
                                                                          display, colors looked vibrant and natural even under bright
                                                                          sunlight.
                                                                          Measuring only 8.5mm thin, the Optimus Vu may well be
                                                                          the slimmest among all currently available LTE phones on
                                                                          the market. Despite having such a compact body, it comes
                                                                          with a 2,080mAh battery that can provide you with enough
                                                                          multimedia enjoyment before the need to recharge. The
                                                                                                                                               9
February 20th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

Optimus Vu: also comes with 8-megapixel camera, HDMI                  Archos has not revealed pricing on the Arnova 8b G2 as yet,
output, supports Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA)               but this will most likely be its best selling point and given the
and will initially be launched with Google Android 2.3                original Arnova 8 G2 can be had for as little as US $149 it's
Gingerbread. The company states that update to Android 4.0            hard to imagine the new one going north of US $200.
Ice Cream Sandwich is already in the works.

                                                                      Alleged photos of the iPad 3
Archos greets us with low-                                            appear online
cost Arnova 8b G2 tablet                                              Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/alleged-photos-of-the-ipad-3-
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/archos-greets-us-with-low-cost-   appear-online/14939.html
arnova-8b-g2-tablet/14940.html                                        February 20th, 2012
February 20th, 2012




                                                                      A Chinese blog site has supposedly gotten hold of various
                                                                      leaked photos of Apple's iPad 3 ahead of its own unveiling
Archos has just extended its low-cost Arnova tablet line with         early next month. These unconfirmed photos closely match
a new 8-inch sized model dubbed the Arnova 8b G2. For                 the iPad 2's outer design, while the source is reporting that
the most part the tablet appears to be much like the existing         the third-gen iPad will boast a quad-core Apple A6 processor
Arnova 8 G2 which has been on the market for a few months,            and 4G.
only the new 8b model has a different looking case design             A Chinese blog site has supposedly gotten hold of various
and does away with physical buttons such as home, back,               leaked photos of Apple's iPad 3 ahead of its own unveiling
menu and search.                                                      early next month. These unconfirmed photos closely match
Archos has just extended its low-cost Arnova tablet line with         the iPad 2's outer design, while the source is reporting that
a new 8-inch sized model dubbed the Arnova 8b G2. For                 the third-gen iPad will boast a quad-core Apple A6 processor
the most part the tablet appears to be much like the existing         and 4G.
Arnova 8 G2 which has been on the market for a few months,
only the new 8b model has a different looking case design
and does away with physical buttons such as home, back,
menu and search.
While the tablet ships with a cobwebbed version of Android
(2.3 Gingerbread), the removal of physical buttons suggests
that Archos might be planning to roll out an Android 4.0
update for it sometime soon. Dimensions of the Arnova 8b
G2 are 8.8" x 6.1" x 0.5" with a weight of 1.1 pounds.




                                                                      As previously reported, the iPad 3 will have a 9.7-inch Retina
                                                                      display not unlike the iPad 2, but will sport double the
                                                                      resolution of 2048 x 1536 instead of the previous 1024 x 768
In terms of actual specs, the Arnova 8b G2 uses a 1GHz ARM            on the past two generations. Apple Daily also commented
Cortex-A8 single core processor, has 512MB of RAM and                 that the camera on the outer corner is an 8-megapixel one.
comes with 4 or 8GB of built-in storage + a microSD slot for          The truth will be told when Apple steps up for the official
further expansion possibilities.                                      unveiling that we're expecting to take place on March 7th. In
The 8-inch TFT display has an 800 x 600 resolution and                the meantime, you can find additional (unconfirmed) photos
there's the inclusion of a front-facing shooter along with mic,       of the iPad 3's internals via the source link below.
g-sensor and speaker. The tablet has 802.11b/g WiFi and
there is support for Archos' 3G USB stick and host cable if
you want to connect to mobile networks or add a camera,
USB flash drive or otherwise.

                                                                                                                                          10
February 20th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                           By now, it's clear that the very high end Nvidia Kepler
VideoLAN releases major                                                    parts aren't going to see the light until much later this year,
2.0.0 update for VLC Media                                                 while the GK104 definitely can't fight AMD GPUs for the
                                                                           performance crown. On top of that, Intel is eating away at the
Player                                                                     low end, where Sandy Bridge Xeons chip at profitable entry
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/videolan-releases-major-2.0.0-         level Quadro business, and Ivy Bridge is to follow...
update-for-vlc-media-player/14938.html
                                                                           Nvidia, as a corporate entity, still suffers from certain heavy
February 20th, 2012
                                                                           structural weaknesses - the lack of an X86 CPU cannot be
                                                                           compensated by ARM Tegra, as there are a dozen other
                                                                           ARM vendors, plus the hungry upcoming Chinese mobile
                                                                           CPU companies, which fight for the same market, some of
                                                                           them with far higher financial resources - and, in a few
                                                                           cases, own fabs - than Nvidia itself. Add to that a speculative
Are you one of the "many" VLC Media Player fans out there?                 story which I heard in China, that only a very large order
- You may like to know that the VideoLAN team have just                    of many thousands of Nvidia Tesla GPGPU cards for their
released the final version 2.0 build of this terrific open                 Tianhe multi-petaflop supercomputer few years ago actually
source media player for all to download.                                   saved Nvidia from a rumoured Intel takeover attempt - not
                                                                           that I would recommend such thing to Intel for their own
Are you one of the "many" VLC Media Player fans out there?
                                                                           corporate health anyway - by artificially boosting their stock
- You may like to know that the VideoLAN team have just
                                                                           price at the time, and the situation becomes truly intriguing.
released the final version 2.0 build of this terrific open
source media player for all to download.
                                                                           Having exploited their own past performance leads to the
                                                                           fullest, Nvidia knows well the benefits of the 'waterfall effect'
                                                                           where many users, including our own readers, watch who
                                                                           holds the current speed lead at a given time and, based
                                                                           on that, affect the buying decisions for the lower-cost parts
                                                                           towards the same vendors. Right now, AMD holds that lead
                                                                           with the HD7970 and, soon, the HD7990.

                                                                           The GK100 'Kepler' and its GK110 follow on were supposed
                                                                           to wrest that lead back to Nvidia, just a month or two from
                                                                           now. However, right now it looks a gone case, at least for the
                                                                           next half year. For whatever reasons, the GK104 upper mid-
                                                                           range part, a follow on to the GeForce 560 family, is now the
                                                                           top-end part to launch, and it can't - I mean can't - win over
                                                                           the HD7970 in any meaningful use. That role was reserved
                                                                           for the GK100 and follow ons.
This is considered a major update of the software with
                                                                           Either way, the lack of the premium 'crown holder' part
there being a kaboodle of updates and inclusions. Alongside
                                                                           is bound to affect Nvidia's image. Unlike AMD and its -
several UI adjustments (particularly for the Mac version)
                                                                           problematic at times, too - CPU business, and with the
and a whole mass of bug fixes, decoding performance is said
                                                                           chipset presence long gone, Nvidia has no other major
to be significantly improved on multi-core processors, GPUs
                                                                           PC foothold aside the GPUs. AMD can, at least, alternate
and other mobile hardware as well as there being a bunch
                                                                           between attractive CPU/APU and GPU launches to keep the
of new filters included, support for 10-bit codecs and some
                                                                           market buzzing, even if some things go wrong. On the other
subtitle improvements.
                                                                           hand, the 'fashion fad' tablets and smartphones, with zero
Another bold addition (although only in 'experimental' form                CPU vendor loyalty to boot, will never fully replace the long
for now) is that this is the first version of VLC to provide               term stability of the PC market.
support for Blu-ray playback.
                                                                           On the other hand, as covered here before, Intel had - at
                                                                           truly minimal cost to themselves - suddenly started eroding
Nvidia in for a tough year,                                                Nvidia's key profit center and 'leadership refuge' of sorts,
pressure on both high end                                                  where they invested top dollar, and gained top profits in
                                                                           return: the Quadro OpenGL professional GPU family. Even
and low end?                                                               though the Sandy Bridge Xeon E3 integrated GPUs can
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-in-for-a-tough-year-pressure-   only target the entry level of Quadro line, the 'good enough
on-both-high-end-and-low-end-/14937.html                                   yet certified performance' approach simply works well for
February 20th, 2012                                                        polygon-based, zero-effects but large and profitable 3-D
                                                                           CAD market. The Ivy Bridge will, with further performance
                                                                           doubling and more app certifications, deepen the attack as
                                                                           well.

                                                                           So, Nvidia has to address both the high end and low end GPU
                                                                           market problems this year. The performance leadership is
                                                                           lacking, and that will affect things down the product line
                                                                                                                                         11
February 20th, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

too. On the high end, besides obviously pushing forward                     Moving on we have one SATA 6Gbps port, three SATA 3Gbps
the true high end part if the circumstances allow, it should                ports, four DIMM slots and headers for two USB 3.0 ports
also embrace one good idea that AMD has, if they want                       and four USB 2.0 ports. At the rear we have a PS/2 port,
more acceptance in mainstream compute GPGPU in the                          two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA port, 5.1-
future - no deliberate crippling of double precision FP                     channel audio (via three jacks), Intel Gigabit Ethernet and a
math functionality in high end consumer parts. AMD never                    DVI-D and a D-sub connector.
curtailed the DP FP performance in their high end HD6900                    Next up we have another mATX board, namely the
and HD7900 lines, and gained more traction even in HPC                      DQ77MK – codename Moccasin Peak – but this time things
because of that. After all, the HD7990 is a Teraflop-class                  are somewhat more interesting even from a consumer
double precision FP monster.                                                standpoint. The layout is similar to the DB75EN as far as
                                                                            we can tell with a single PCI Express x16 3.0 slot, a single
On the low end, cutting Quadro profits to keep the line                     PCI Express 2.0 slot and one PCI slot, but here we also get
survive might be a good long term idea, to justify the users                an open-ended PCI Express 2.0 x4 slot into which x16 slots
to still bother about the products. Simply, even if the Intel               can be fitted. Intel has also added a mini-card PCI Express
OpenGL graphics in their processors is somewhat slower                      slot that can be put in mSATA mode for some SSD caching
(and how much speed besides vertex processing you need                      action.
anyway for typical polygon-based 3-D building or machine
models), it comes in fully certified, supported, and - free.
The company has invested so much over the years in this
flagship product brand and the market segments it covers, it
would be a pity to see it squeezed hard by Intel from the low
end and AMD at the high end by the increasingly assertive
FirePro OpenGL line too, with improved drivers and apps
certifications now...


Exclusive: Intel's 7-series
Executive motherboards
specced
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/exclusive-intel-s-7-series-executive-
motherboards-specced/14936.html
February 20th, 2012




                                                                            Furthermore the board has two SATA 6Gbps ports – thanks
                                                                            to the Q77 chipset – three SATA 3Gbps ports – or two if
                                                                            the mSATA slot is in use – and headers for two USB 3.0
Back in November we gave you the model names of Intel's
                                                                            ports, four USB 2.0 ports and one FireWire port. Around
upcoming 7-series motherboards alongside some fairly basic
                                                                            the rear the board has four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0
details as far as the specifications went, but now we can offer
                                                                            ports, a FireWire port, an eSATA port, a pair of Intel Gigabit
you a much more detailed look at what Intel has planned
                                                                            Ethernet adapters, 5.1-channel audio, a DisplayPort, a DVI-
for its Executive series of motherboards. These are Intel's
                                                                            D and a DV-I port. Not a bad board at all for an office PC and
motherboards for office computers as far as the chipsets are
                                                                            even pretty decent for a home system.
concerned, but at least one of the new models should be
more than suitable for home users too.                                      The third and final Executive series motherboard launching
                                                                            next quarter from Intel is the DQ77KB – codenamed
Back in November we gave you the model names of Intel's
                                                                            Kearnens Bend – is potentially the most interesting out of
upcoming 7-series motherboards alongside some fairly basic
                                                                            the lot. This mini-ITX board is packed to the brim with
details as far as the specifications went, but now we can offer
                                                                            features and if you're looking at building yourself a DIY all-
you a much more detailed look at what Intel has planned
                                                                            in-one PC, or any other mini-ITX system for that matter,
for its Executive series of motherboards. These are Intel's
                                                                            then this board is well worth a look. It's not the obvious
motherboards for office computers as far as the chipsets are
                                                                            choice for everyone's needs, especially as it requires an
concerned, but at least one of the new models should be
                                                                            external 19V power adapter, but on the upside this should
more than suitable for home users too.
                                                                            make for a quite system.
Starting at the bottom of the executive series we have the
DB75EN – codename Elkhorn Creek – which is based on
the B75 chipset. This mATX board is pretty kitted out
considering it's targeting the small business market. In
terms of slots, we have a single x16 PCI Express 3.0 slot, one
PCI Express x1 2.0 slot and two PCI slots – do keep in mind
that Intel's Q and B-series chips have native PCI support,
something the consumer focused chipsets lack.


                                                                                                                                       12
February 20th, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                         We've been having a hard time to figure out the difference
                                                                         between the Atom Z2460 and the Z2610, as the two are
                                                                         virtually identical as far as we can tell. Both are 12x12mm
                                                                         chips in a POP (Package-on-Package) chip package with
                                                                         support for single channel 32-bit LPDDR2 memory at
                                                                         800MHz. The Atom Z2610 should feature the same
                                                                         PowerVR SGX540 graphics with a core clock of 400MHz
                                                                         as the Atom Z2460, with the ability to encode and decode
                                                                         1080p30 video, so no change here either.
                                                                         The clock speed of two Medfield chips also top out at 1.6GHz,
                                                                         but one thing we did notice that should make the two chip
                                                                         slightly different is that whereas the Z2460 has a minimum
                                                                         clock speed of a mere 100MHz, the Z2610 can only clock
                                                                         down to 600MHz according to details that VR-Zone has
As far as mini-ITX boards from Intel goes, this one is loaded            been privy to. However, the Z2460 only operates at 1.3GHz
with expansion options, including a PCI Express 2.0 x4 slot              in general, with the 1.6GHz clock speed being a burst state,
– although in this case it's connected to the CPU – one                  i.e. it would only reach this speed during very short periods
half-size and one full-size mini card PCI Express slot – with            of time, just like when a desktop or notebook CPU goes into
support for mSATA on the full size-slot – two SO-DIMM                    Turbo mode. It's very possible that the Atom Z2610 will run
slots that sadly are limited to DDR3 1333MHz memory, two                 at 1.6GHz at all times due to the fact that it's easier to cool a
SATA 6Gbps ports, three SATA 3Gbps ports, LVDS and eDP                   chip in a tablet compared to a phone.
connectors and headers for up to five USB 2.0 ports. Add to
that four rear USB 3.0 ports, a pair of Intel Gigabit Ethernet
ports, a pair of audio jacks and a DisplayPort and HDMI
connector and this is one sweet little board.
Common for all the boards is support for Windows 7 and
Windows 8, as well as RedHat and SUSE Linux certification.
Both of the Q77 boards also support Intel Rapid Storage
technology with RAID, Intel ATM 8.0 and support for a
discrete TPM module. Sadly we don't have any information
on pricing as yet, but the boards should be announced
alongside Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge processors in early
April.                                                                   Image courtesy of Anandtech
                                                                         According to Anandtech, the Atom Z2460 consumes about
Intel's next Medfield chip is                                            175mW at 600MHz and we should see something similar
                                                                         for the atom Z2610, although at 100MHz the Atom Z2460
the Atom Z2610, targeting                                                draws a mere 50mW, an overall saving of 125mW. This
tablets                                                                  isn't a huge power saving if you compare it to the 750mW
                                                                         power draw at 1.6GHz, or 500mW at 1.3GHz, so it seems
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-next-medfield-chip-is-the-
                                                                         like Intel has tried to balance the power/performance ratio
atom-z2610-targeting-tablets/14934.html
                                                                         a bit differently on the Z2610. This makes the Z2610 less
February 20th, 2012
                                                                         suitable for really low power devices such as smartphones,
                                                                         but considering that tablets can be equipped with higher
                                                                         capacity battery packs than a smartphone, it's not likely to
                                                                         have a huge impact in terms of device battery life while
                                                                         improving overall performance for the user.
                                                                         According to Fudzilla, Intel already has a reference tablet
We've already seen Intel's first Medfield Atom SoC,                      known as Red Ridge up and running built on the Atom
the Z2460 which was announced at IDF back in                             Z2610 and it's said to offer up 9 hours plus battery life
October; however, this chip was designed specifically for                in a slim 8.55mm frame that weighs in at a smidgen
Smartphones. Details of what should be Intel's second                    under 680g. Although no other specifics were revealed
Medfield chip has now come to light and it should be known               about the tablet itself, it looks like it should feature HDMI
as the Atom Z2610 and it looks like Intel will be targeting it           and USB 2.0 connectivity, as these are features that are
for tablets.                                                             built into the Atom Z2610 SoC. The Intel tablet is running
                                                                         Android 4.0x and Intel is specifically targeting Medfield
We've already seen Intel's first Medfield Atom SoC,                      as a hardware solution that will run Android and Tizen
the Z2460 which was announced at IDF back in                             (previously MeeGo). Fudzilla is suggesting that we should
October; however, this chip was designed specifically for                see the first Medfield tablets in the market as soon as Q2 this
Smartphones. Details of what should be Intel's second                    year, so expect a fair few tablets to be on display at Computex
Medfield chip has now come to light and it should be known               in early June.
as the Atom Z2610 and it looks like Intel will be targeting it
for tablets.



                                                                                                                                       13
February 20th, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                          A Japanese manufacturer by the name of Green House has
Intel is only delaying dual                                               just released its new GH-UFI-XSA series of 'industrial grade'
core mobile Ivy Bridge CPUs                                               USB Flash Drives that use Single-level cell NAND chips.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-is-only-delaying-dual-core-     A Japanese manufacturer by the name of Green House has
mobile-ivy-bridge-cpus/14933.html                                         just released its new GH-UFI-XSA series of 'industrial grade'
February 20th, 2012                                                       USB Flash Drives that use Single-level cell NAND chips.




Remember that article from the other day that made some
people panic as Intel might've delayed Ivy Bridge to June?
Well, there's no need to be worried if you're planning on                 The capacities available in the new lineup aren't all that
getting a new desktop system, as none of the desktop parts                crash hot which isn't terribly surprising considering they
that were originally meant to launch have been delayed and                depend on SLC flash - they come in sizes as small as 128MB;
on the mobile side, only the dual core models have been                   with 256MB, 512MB, 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB capacities
pushed back.                                                              completing the lineup.
Remember that article from the other day that made some                   The GH-UFI-XSA series is USB 2.0 limited, but they
people panic as Intel might've delayed Ivy Bridge to June?                should certainly be reliable enough and support ECC (Error
Well, there's no need to be worried if you're planning on                 Correcting Code) with a read and write speed of up to 20MB/
getting a new desktop system, as none of the desktop parts                s. The drives boast a durable metal construction and they run
that were originally meant to launch have been delayed and                dimensions of 47.3 x 17.6 x 8.4 mm with a weight of about
on the mobile side, only the dual core models have been                   10 grams. They will also happily withstand temperatures
pushed back.                                                              anywhere between -40 and +85c Celcius.
As you may or may not have read, Intel is planning to                     While the product page on the new GH-UFI-XSA series of
launch several quad core Ivy Bridge mobile processors, in                 drives is now live, we are yet to hear of pricing details.
fact, we're expecting more quad cores mobile processors this
time around than ever before. We're not entirely sure as to
which models will launch first, but we know for certain that              Microsoft's Windows 8 Logo
it'll be the socketed CPU's that will appear in April, although
judging by Samsung's leak last week, it looks like some of                takes a radical change
OEM BGA chips will also be part of the initial launch.                    Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-s-windows-8-logo-takes-a-
                                                                          radical-change/14931.html
The dual core models are being held back as there's simply
                                                                          February 20th, 2012
too much stock of Sandy Bridge in the channel. What's even
worse, at least if you're Intel, is that there's plenty of stock
piled up in its warehouses too that hasn't even shipped to
partners as yet. As such the first dual cores won't start to              Say goodbye to the multicolored Windows flag, as what
trickle out until sometime in May at the earliest and this                you see here is the new Windows logo for Microsoft's
applies to both standard Voltage and ULV models. In other                 next consumer level OS, Windows 8. Some radical changes
words, we won't see any updated Ultrabooks until May or                   are on the cards with Windows 8 especially pertaining to
June.                                                                     the mobile/touchscreen friendly Metro UI and Microsoft
                                                                          wanted to reflect Metro's emphasis on cleaner lines in its new
As far as the mobile Core i3's are concerned, it looks like
                                                                          logo.
we have to hold on until sometime in August or September
before these models land. Sadly we can't offer a specific                 Say goodbye to the multicolored Windows flag, as what
launch window for the desktop Core i3's as yet, but judging               you see here is the new Windows logo for Microsoft's
by the information we've seen, Intel will be releasing new                next consumer level OS, Windows 8. Some radical changes
models at an even pace throughout the year with some quad                 are on the cards with Windows 8 especially pertaining to
core desktop Core i5 models arriving in Q3. For what it's                 the mobile/touchscreen friendly Metro UI and Microsoft
worth it looks like Ivy Bridge will be a drawn out launch                 wanted to reflect Metro's emphasis on cleaner lines in its new
with Intel replacing Sandy Bridge model as and when the                   logo.
company and its partners have depleted their stock.


Green House opt for SLC-
based NAND Flash Drives
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/green-house-opt-for-slc-based-nand-   Funnily enough, the new logo is actually somewhat
flash-drives/14932.html                                                   reminiscent of the company's earliest Windows logo in
February 20th, 2012                                                       existence, that of Windows 1.0 as you can see below.




                                                                                                                                              14
February 20th, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone




The Windows logo underwent a significant transformation
when 1992's Windows 3.1 came about, resembling the waves
of a colored flag that was said to be done with intent to
represent a sense of motion. But as commissioned agency
Pentagram said (whom has created the new Windows 8
logo), "Your name is Windows. Why are you a flag?"




Love or hate the direction Microsoft has gone with its next
logo? Comment below!


LG's Windows Phone 7-
running Miracle makes
another appearance
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-s-windows-phone-7-running-
miracle-makes-another-appearance/14930.html
February 20th, 2012
                                                                    The phone uses Microsoft's Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
                                                                    OS and has a 4-inch display with a 1GHz Snapdragon
                                                                    processor housed within. It's said to be arriving with 8GB
                                                                    of internal storage, a 5 Megapixel rear facing camera and
                                                                    carries support for NFC connectivity.

Following a number of small leaks over the past few                            Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.)
months, LG's Windows Phone-running Miracle smartphone
has appeared online once again, this time in the form of a
brief video demonstration as well as a new set of photos. The       ASRock Revives the "Blaster"
LG Miracle is expected to be arriving on shelves very soon
and is en-route for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona,         Sound Card Brand in
Spain toward the end of the month.                                  Cooperation with Creative
Following a number of small leaks over the past few                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asrock-revives-the-blaster-sound-
months, LG's Windows Phone-running Miracle smartphone               card-brand-in-cooperation-with-creative/14929.html
has appeared online once again, this time in the form of a          February 20th, 2012
brief video demonstration as well as a new set of photos. The
LG Miracle is expected to be arriving on shelves very soon
and is en-route for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona,
Spain toward the end of the month.
                                                                    Over the past couple of weeks, we've noticed that ASRock
                                                                    and Creative started to go more and more "hand in hand"
                                                                    with each other. Today, ASRock announced a "Blaster"
                                                                    sound card.
                                                                    ASRock just released a card which is the first sound card
                                                                    outside Creative to bear the name "Blaster" without a worry
                                                                    of a lawsuit. In the past, Creative was very vigilant in
                                                                    protecting the "Sound Blaster" heritage but the company
                                                                    opened to 3rd parties who can manufacture products of
                                                                    required quality.


                                                                                                                                            15
February 20th, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

The "Sound Core3D quad-core audio and voice processor"
is the actual sound-chip powering the latest generation of
Sound Blaster cards from Creative. We wondered who is
going to take that chip and create a 3rd party product which
is not a motherboard (ASRock, ASUS, MSI, GigaByte all
shipped products with Creative chips in the past).




As you can see on picture above, ASRock's Game Blaster
is an interesting product which combines two technologies
in a single package: Creative Sound Core3D and Broadcom
Gigabit Ethernet LAN. Unlike Killer NIC and USB ports,                  Although the company baptized the E25 "Extreme SSD", it
Gigabit Ethernet is not present to ensure the datastream                actually is the mainstream series which the company offers.
fits the sound, but rather to enable Full-Duplex 2Gbps i.e.             Although the top speed of the drive is not dramatic by
"teaming".                                                              today's standards, the SATA-II drive features built in error
                                                                        correcting and DDR2 RAM Cache, as well as support of
As far as sound capabilities go, there's CrystalVoice filtering
                                                                        TRIM command. The drive's memory and/or controller are
technology, EAX 1.0-5.0, THX TruStudio PRO and probably
                                                                        currently unknown.
the most interesting one - Scout Mode. This technology
enables you to hear enemies from further away... while this                • Built-in ECC error correcting code to guarantee data
may be called a cheat, the technology works that the part of                 reliability. Super high speed transmission speed Wear-
the screen you focus in has more audio focus than things off                 Leveling technology to extend its lifespan
the screen. If two foes are running towards you, the Scout
Mode will "elevate your game" and focus the audio on the
person closest to you.
                                                                        AMD to release three new FX
                                                                        CPUs in Q1
SP/Silicon Power launches                                               Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-to-release-three-new-fx-cpus-
Extreme E25 Solid State Disk                                            in-q1/14926.html
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/spsilicon-power-launches-extreme-   February 20th, 2012
e25-solid-state-disk/14927.html
February 20th, 2012




                                                                        A leaked slide reveals AMD is preparing to release three new
                                                                        Zambezi based FX CPUs with 95W TDP - FX-8140, FX-6120
                                                                        and FX-4150.
The Taiwanese company Silicon Power has just announced                  A leaked slide reveals AMD is preparing to release three new
the launch of their newest SSD Extreme E25 drives. The 2.5"             Zambezi based FX CPUs with 95W TDP - FX-8140, FX-6120
drives feature TRIM support, built in ECC and a maximum                 and FX-4150.
read speed of 278MB/s.




                                                                                                                                            16
February 20th, 2012                                                                                                     Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                         and offers dual-band 802.11n 2x2 MIMO connectivity and
                                                                         Broadcom claims that it offers up to 70 percent greater range
                                                                         than single stream solutions and speeds of up to 300Mbps
                                                                         when using 40MHz channel width. It sports integrated RF
                                                                         power amplifiers (this is usually done by external chips) to
                                                                         help reduce BOM cost and PCB space taken up. Broadcom
                                                                         also claims that this is the first chip to combine MIMO Wi-
                                                                         Fi with Bluetooth 4.0 and FM radio on a single chip.
                                                                         The second chip is the BCM4334 which is said to be a power
                                                                         efficient solution for smartphones that incorporates off-
                                                                         loading of audio processing, or in other words, the BCM4334
                                                                         handles audio playback and allows the main SoC to go into
                                                                         sleep mode to help save power. It also features dual-band
                                                                         Wi-Fi, although only single stream technology this time
AMD FX-8140 is a fully enabled 4 module, 8 core part,                    around, but unlike most Wi-Fi solutions for smartphones
featuring clocks of 3.2 GHz and Turbo Core up to 4.0 GHz                 we're looking at support for 40MHz channels and as suck
- 0.1 GHz more than the FX-8120. However, it is unknown                  speeds of up to 150Mbps. The Bluetooth 4.0 + HS and FM
if like FX-8120 it will ship in both 95W and 125W variants.              radios have apparently also been designed specifically to
FX-8140 will co-exist with two other 95W CPUs - FX-8120                  draw less power in this chip.
and FX-8100, the latter of which has only ever appeared in
OEM systems thus far and has yet to show up in retail.                   Both solutions are currently sampling to Broadcom's
                                                                         partners, although full production won't kick off until Q3
FX-6120 will be a 6-core CPU, with a 0.2 GHz boost over                  which means these chips aren't likely to end up in devices
FX-6100, at 3.5 GHz base and 4.1 GHz Turbo. Finally,                     until the end of the year.
FX-4150 will be the new quad-core CPU, with clocks at
3.9 GHz and 4.1 GHz Turbo. The exact pricing details and
release dates are unknown, though they are likely to release             ECS X79R-AX Motherboard
in March.
In addition to these 95W models, AMD is also releasing at
                                                                         Review
                                                                         Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ecs-x79r-ax-motherboard-
least two new 125W CPUS in Q1 - FX-6200 and FX-4170 -                    review/14745.html
both of which have been spotted online for pre-orders. The               February 20th, 2012
fabled FX-8170 has yet to show it's face.
AMD is planning to release its second gen FX models -
Vishera, to be branded FX-x300 - in Q3 2012.


Broadcom announces cost
                                                                         ECS isn't usually the first brand name that springs to mind
effective dual-band Wi-Fi                                                when considering an enthusiast motherboard despite being
chips for mobile devices                                                 one of the largest motherboard manufacturers. Up for review
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/broadcom-announces-cost-effective-   today we have the X79R-AX, one of the most feature rich X79
dual-band-wi-fi-chips-for-mobile-devices/14925.html                      motherboards available. Let's see if it can go toe to toe with
February 20th, 2012                                                      the big boys and put itself on the shortlist of the hardcore
                                                                         enthusiast.
                                                                         Introduction



One feature where smartphones and tablets are generally
lagging behind notebooks is in Wi-Fi connectivity, as most
devices are stuck at speeds of around 65Mbps. This is
because of various limitations of the Wi-Fi chips used, but
now Broadcom seems to have a couple of solutions that
should remedy this, while being cost effective.
One feature where smartphones and tablets are generally
lagging behind notebooks is in Wi-Fi connectivity, as most
devices are stuck at speeds of around 65Mbps. This is
because of various limitations of the Wi-Fi chips used, but
now Broadcom seems to have a couple of solutions that
should remedy this, while being cost effective.
Broadcom has announced two new Wi-Fi chips for mobile
devices manufactured at 40nm, although beyond Wi-Fi they                 ECS isn't usually the first brand name that springs to
also include Bluetooth 4.0 + HS and an FM radio. The first               mind when considering an enthusiast motherboard despite
model which is targeting tablets is called the BCM43241                  being one of the largest motherboard manufacturers. Up for

                                                                                                                                          17
February 20th, 2012                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

review today we have the X79R-AX, a part of their premium
Black edition range and one of the most feature rich X79                                     º Support by ASMEDIA
motherboards available. Let's see if it can go toe to toe with                               ASM1061
the big boys and put itself on the shortlist of the hardcore
enthusiast.                                                                                    • 2 x Serial ATA 6.0Gb/s
                                                                                             devices
Before we go into the X79R-AX, we begin with a general
overview of the Socket 2011 platform supporting second
                                                                                               • 2 x eSATA 6.0 Gb/s ports
generation Intel Core I7 processors. Quad channel memory
support and more PCIe lanes are the major improvements
                                                                                             º *User please be notice due
over the mainstream Sandy Bridge platform.
                                                                                             to chipset limitation, the
The ECS X79R-AX brings more than these specs would                                           compatibility and stability of
suggest. It adds features such as integrated WiFi, Bluetooth                                 SATA port(SAS6G1_2/3_4)
and no doubt the most interesting feature: four Serial                                       may differ by different
Attached SCSI (SAS) ports resulting in twelve SATA ports                                     devices.
plus another pair of eSATA ports on the back panel.              Audio                       º Realtek ALC892 8-Ch High
                                                                                             Definition audio CODEC
                                                                                             º Compliant with HD audio
                                                                                             specification
                                                                 LAN                         º Dual RealTek RTL 8111E
                                                                                             Gigabit Lan
                                                                 Rear panel I/O              º 4 x USB 3.0 ports
                                                                                             º 6 x USB 2.0 ports

                                                                                             º 2 x eSATA 6.0Gb/s ports

                                                                                             º 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse
                                                                                             combo port

                                                                                             º 2 x RJ45 LAN connectors

                                                                                             º 1 x Audio port (1x Line
                                                                                             in, 4x Line out, 1x Optical
Specifications of the ECS X79R-AX                                                            SPDIF Out)
CPU                            Supports 2nd Gen Intel Core                                   º 1 x Wireless LAN Dongle
                               i7 processor family for the
                               LGA 2011 Socket                                               º 1 x Bluetooth Dongle
Chipset                        Intel® X79 Express Chipset
Memory                          Quad-channel DDR3                                            º 1 x Clear_CMOS button
                               memory architecture               Internal I/O Connectors &   º 1 x 24-pin ATX Power
                               º 4 x 240-pin DDR3 DIMM           Headers                     Supply connector
                               socket support up to 64GB,                                    º 1 x 8-pin ATX Power
                               per one DIMM support 16GB                                     Supply Connector

                               º DDR3                                                        º 1 x 4-pin power connector
                               2500(OC)/2400(OC)/2133(OC)/1800/1600                          for VGA card
Expansion Slots                º 4 x PCI Express x16
                               Gen3.0 slot (2 slots run at x8                                º 2 x 4-pin CPU_FAN
                               bandwidth)                                                    connector (with smart fan)
                               º 2 x PCI Express x1 slots
Storage                        º Support by Intel®X79                                        º 1 x 3-pin SYS_FAN
                                 • 2 x Serial ATA 6Gb/s                                      connector (with smart fan)
                               devices
                                                                                             º 2 x 3-pin PWR_FAN
                                 • 4 x Serial ATA 3.0Gb/s                                    connector
                               devices
                                                                                             º 4 x Serial ATA 3Gb/s
                                  • 4 x Serial ATA 6.0Gb/                                    connectors (90 degrees)
                               s devices(SAS6G1_2,
                               SAS6G3_4) *                                                   º 8 x Serial ATA 6Gb/s
                                                                                             connectors (90 degrees)
                                • RAID0, RAID1, RAID5,
                               RAID 10 configuration

                                                                                                                           18
February 20th, 2012                                                                                               Published by: VR-Zone

                                    º 2 x USB 2.0 headers          February 20th, 2012
                                    support additional 4 USB
                                    ports(One support EZ
                                    Charger)

                                    º 1 x USB 3.0 header
                                    supports additional 2 USB
                                                                     Antec Inc. announced a new series of power supplies,
                                    3.0 Ports
                                                                   the EarthWatts Platinum. With this addition Antec
                                                                   upgraded their mainstream power supplies with high
                                    º 1 x COM header
                                                                   energy efficiency, escaping from the standards. The Antec
                                                                   EarthWatts Platinum series now has 100% Japanese
                                    º 1 x SPDIF out header
                                                                   capacitors for maximum quality, stability and reliability
                                                                   and has won the 80+ Platinum certification with energy
                                    º 1 x Front panel switch/LED
                                                                   efficiency up to 93%. In the cooling department, the power
                                    header
                                                                   supplies are using a silent 120 mm DBB Silence fan which
                                                                   even under full load conditions, according to Antec, the fan
                                    º 1 x Front panel audio
                                                                   remains silent.
                                    header
                                                                   “The 80 PLUS® PLATINUM certified power supplies have
                                    º 1 x Clear CMOS header        so far only been available in higher wattage classes and
                                                                   not for the everyday gamer,” said Mafalda Cogliani, Global
                                    º 1 x Buzzer                   Marketing Director at Antec. “Our EarthWatts Platinum
                                                                   power supplies enable more mainstream users and system
                                    º 6 x Voltage measure points   builders to truly make a difference in their total energy
                                                                   consumption, benefiting both monthly electric bills as well
                                    º 1 x Power on button          as the environment.”

                                    º 1 x Reset button

                                    º 1 x 7S-LED Display
BIOS                                º AMI BIOS with 64Mb SPI
                                    Flash ROM
                                    º Supports Plug and Play,
                                    STR (S3) / STD (S4) ,
                                    Hardware monitor, Multi
                                    Boot

                                    º Supports ACPI & DMI          2K Games announces Sid
                                    º Audio, LAN, can be           Meier's Civilization V: Gods &
                                    disabled in BIOS               Kings expansion pack
                                                                   Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/2k-games-announces-sid-meier-s-
                                    º Support ECS M.I.B X          civilization-v-gods--kings-expansion-pack/14922.html
                                    Utility                        February 20th, 2012

                                    º Support EZ Charger

                                    º Support eBLU

                                    º Support eOC
                                                                   If you're a fan of Sid Meier's Civilization V and wanted
                                                                   something more challenging, you may want to check out the
                                    º Support eDLU
                                                                   new Gods & Kings expansion pack from 2K Games that offers
                                                                   more features, new gameplay scenarios and strategies.
                                    º Support eSF
Form Factor                         º ATX Size 305mm*244mm



Antec Launches EarthWatts
Platinum PSU Series
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/antec-launches-earthwatts-
platinum-psu-series/14924.html




                                                                                                                                         19
February 20th, 2012                                                                                             Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                world moves into the Renaissance, spies can be unlocked
                                                                to establish surveillance of foreign cities, steal advanced
                                                                technologies from your strongest competitors, or garner
                                                                influence with City-States through election rigging, or even
                                                                a coup.
                                                                - City-States: Two new city-state types have been added,
                                                                Mercantile and Religious, adding new gameplay to a greatly
                                                                expanded quest system to further the narrative of the game
                                                                and making diplomatic victories more challenging.
                                                                Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Gods & Kings is not yet rated by
                                                                the ESRB and will be available for Windows PC in late spring
                                                                2012. Pricing details not available at press time. For more
                                                                information on Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Gods & Kings,
                                                                please visit www.civilization.com.


Today, 2K Games announced the Sid Meier's Civilization
V: Gods & Kings Expansion Pack for Windows-based
PC. Developed by Firaxis Games, Sid Meier's Civilization
V: Gods & Kings introduces new gameplay content and
enhanced Civilization V experience and provides more ways
for players to achieve world domination. The Gods & Kings
expansion pack spans the breadth of human civilization,
taking players from founding the first Pantheon of the Gods
and spreading religion across the world, to deploying spies
in enemy cities to steal information and technology. Players
get to engage in new quests and global competitions, interact
with new types of city-states, and master exciting new
systems for land and naval combat. Nine new civilizations;
nine new wonders; three original scenarios; and dozens of
new units, buildings, technologies and resources have also
                                                                Bluetooth SIG opens Sports
been added, offering even more ways for players to expand       and Fitness Working group,
their empire on their quest to rule the world.
                                                                targets active lifestyle users
                                                                Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bluetooth-sig-opens-sports-and-
Key features:                                                   fitness-working-group-targets-active-lifestyle-users/14921.html
- Expanded Epic Game: The core game experience has been         February 20th, 2012
greatly expanded with the addition of new technologies, 27
new units, 13 new buildings and nine new Wonders.
- New Civilizations and Leaders: The expansion features
nine new civilizations including Carthage, the Netherlands,
the Celts and the Mayans, each with unique traits, units
and buildings. Gods & Kings also adds nine new leaders
                                                                In the not-so-distant future, we may see more Bluetooth-
including William I, Prince of Orange, Boudicca and Pacal
                                                                enabled sports and fitness sensor products and training
the Great.
                                                                computers that can be operated via our smartphone or tablet
- New Game Scenarios: Three new scenarios let gamers            devices. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group is inviting
experience the medieval period, the fall of Rome, and           members to help drive the technology’s use and growth in
embark on a new adventure in Empires of the Smoky Skies,        the sports and fitness markets.
a Victorian science-fiction scenario.
                                                                The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has announced
- The Return of Religion: A first for Civilization V, players   the creation of the Sports and Fitness Working Group and
seek out Faith, choosing a Pantheon of the Gods and creating    is accepting members. The group is focussed on enhancing
Great Prophets to found and spread their customized             interoperability between Bluetooth-enabled sports and
religion across the world.                                      fitness sensor products and training computers (Bluetooth
- World Domination: The fight for world domination is           Smart devices) and hub devices such as smartphones, PCs,
more dynamic than ever. Gods & Kings features a reworked        TVs (Bluetooth Smart Ready devices), gym equipment,
combat system and AI that places more emphasis on a             watches and more to allow a new generation of functionality.
balanced army composition. Additionally, the navy is now
split into two different ship types, melee and ranged, making
coastal cities vulnerable to a surprise naval attack.           Bluetooth v4.0 with low energy technology allows any device
                                                                to connect, share and distribute information in real-time.
- Enhanced Diplomacy and Espionage: Establish embassies         No other wireless technology is able to provide the limited
at foreign courts for closer ties or clandestine operations.    energy consumption, usability, functionality and install-
As the religions of the world start settling in and the

                                                                                                                                      20
February 20th, 2012                                                                                                     Published by: VR-Zone

base that Bluetooth v4.0 brings to the sports and fitness               Canon Singapore has a new President and CEO, Kensaku
market.                                                                 Konishi, following his successful tenure as the President and
                                                                        CEO of Canon India.


Bluetooth SIG member company, Mosoro, has announced
a Bluetooth Smart sensor that connects to a golf club and
can instantly send information about the player’s golf swing
to a smartphone for real-time feedback on how to improve.
In 2011, Motorola introduced the MOTOACTV, a Bluetooth
Smart fitness watch that can support low energy devices -
like a heart rate sensor - and lets you receive alerts on your
phone, as well as stream music through Bluetooth-enabled
ear buds. Fitness giant, Nike, has recently introduced its
Nike+ FuelBand, a wristband that uses Bluetooth technology
to automatically synchronize with your smartphone to let
users easily track and analyze physical activity.



These unique products are a few examples of how sports
                                                                        Kensaku Konishi has worked in Canon Singapore in 2001
and fitness devices are being made better with Bluetooth
                                                                        as managing director of Canon Marketing Singapore, in-
technology and it is just the beginning of what users
                                                                        charge of domestic marketing operations. In 2003, he
can expect to see in this market. IMS Research forecasts
                                                                        was promoted to Executive Vice President when Canon
more than 60 million Bluetooth enabled sports, fitness and
                                                                        Marketing Singapore and Canon Singapore Pte Ltd merged,
health monitoring devices will ship between 2010 and 2015
                                                                        and in 2004, he was appointed as the President and CEO
including over 17.7 million heart monitors, more than seven
                                                                        of Canon Hong Kong. From 2007 to 2011, Konishi was
million sports watches and over two million speed and
                                                                        President and CEO of Canon India, and this year, he
distance monitors.
                                                                        returned to Canon Singapore as President and CEO.
                                                                        "Asia is one area where we can see some substantial
Canon launches the                                                      growth. Canon, as you may know, produce cameras,
PowerShot G1 X                                                          printers, photocopying machines etc. All these products are
                                                                        popular in advanced countries. Therefore, more than 90%
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/canon-launches-the-powershot-g1-
                                                                        of sales have increased in Asia in the past ten years. Asia
x/14920.html
                                                                        Pacific sales among Canon was at 70%. But last year, that
February 20th, 2012
                                                                        portion increased up to 20% and we are expecting more.
                                                                        Singapore's consolidation sales in the last couple of years,
                                                                        the average sales growth was around 13%, including last
                                                                        year's, considering there were earthquake in Japan and
                                                                        the flood in Thailand. And that is good number (for us).
                      Canon announced the availability of the           And when I talked about India, in the last five years, the
latest PowerShot G-Series digital camera, the PowerShot G1              average sales growth for Canon is more than 30%. Last
X. The PowerShot G-Series has a pedigree lineage and with               year, we acheived 22%. Considering these, we are looking to
each generation it got more difficult to pack in all the new            increase more than 20% this year, as a consolidated base in
features and developments to make it better than the last.              Singapore-region to reach US$4 billion," Konishi said.
Canon doesn't disappoint with the latest G1 X. The G1 X
 takes it to a new level of resolution, power and features while        In 2012, he expects the south and southeast region to grow
keeping with the style and design that is loved by many. The            more than 20% in sales and that Canon’s growth to be
G1 X will be available in early March 2012 at a Suggested               driven by new business areas including professional ideo
Retail Price of S$999.                                                  production cameras.


Kensaku Konishi is new                                                  HD screen size battle moves
President and CEO of Canon                                              to the smartphones - in
Singapore                                                               search for the golden ratio
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kensaku-konishi-is-new-president-   Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hd-screen-size-battle-moves-to-the-
and-ceo-of-canon-singapore/14909.html                                   smartphones--in-search-for-the-golden-ratio/14919.html
February 20th, 2012                                                     February 20th, 2012




                                                                                                                                             21
February 20th, 2012                                                                                               Published by: VR-Zone

The iPhone 4 960x640 'retina' resolution started the race,        one of important features that distinguish them, so let's be
then Samsung brought in a quality 16:10 1280x800 display          'braver' and not follow the panel peddlers dictate?
to the 5-inch smartphone level. And now, some vendors
are introducing 16:9 720p displays on the new high-end
offerings. Can the phones, at least, avoid the moviescreen        Acer US confirms Android
format fiasco that befell the desktop and mobile PC realms?       4 (ICS) for Iconia A500 and
Like them or not, Apple did keep one very commendable
thing going on: they didn't give in to the panel makers'          A100 in April
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/acer-us-confirms-android-4-ics-for-
idiocy with few-cents panel cut saving by enforcing the 16:9
                                                                  iconia-a500-and-a100-in-april/14918.html
moviescreen monstruosity onto the PC ecosystem. The iPad
                                                                  February 20th, 2012
line had and will likely continue to keep the ergonomically
most suitable 4:3 format for their tablets, whether it's
1024x768 at the low end or the 2048x1536 retina stuff,
expected for their new cream of the crop this year.

Also, the iPhone 4 brought along the 3:2 960x640 (note,
not 'qHD' narrow 960x540 !) resolution, which was ahead           Acer US has just confirmed in a Tweet that not only will its
of all other phones at the end of 2010. The combination           Iconia Tab A500 be getting an Android 4.0 update in April,
of very high resolution and useful aspect ratio, where you        but the company is also going to provide Iconia A100 users
could easily read a web page or even a document either in         with some Ice Cream Sandwich goodness while they're at it
the vertical or horizontal mode, proved to be one of the key      (presumably at the same time).
benefits of Apple's otherwise overpriced gadget.
                                                                  Acer US has just confirmed in a Tweet that not only will its
Other vendors also innovated here - the last year's Samsung       Iconia Tab A500 be getting an Android 4.0 update in April,
Galaxy Note, while equally overpriced and based on the old        but the company is also going to provide Iconia A100 users
Android 2.3, did bring along the 1280x800 screen, at the          with some Ice Cream Sandwich goodness while they're at it
very acceptable 16:10 'golden ratio' format, to the 5-inch        (presumably at the same time).
'supersize smartphone' or 'mini tablet', call it as you wish,
hybrid market that seems to be popular even with office girls
on Hong Kong streets, as this author saw earlier this month.
Keep in mind, this is the same resolution as most 10-inch
tablets!

The 16:10 ratio here is not only good because it is the basis
of natural order of harmony, and both Great Pyramid and
the human body use it as a key to the proportions - over
the years, it was proven that, on the high-res monitors, this
16:10 ratio allows you to see two pages side by side, without
having to scroll! I have played with the Galaxy Note, and
actually, with good eyesight, you could see the whole A4 page
document very clearly in the vertical mode, with just enough
extra space for the necessary buttons and such, unlike the        To all Acer Iconia Tab A500 and A100 users, please expect
wasted spaces on the 16:9 moviescreens.                           an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade in mid-April! Thank you
                                                                  for your patience
Talking about those, this week's MWC in Barcelona will            April is also the month that Acer has indicated it will be
showcase several major vendors' models with, guess what,          rolling out its ICS running, Tegra-3 powered Iconia Tab
16:9 720p HD - meaning 1280x720 - resolution screens, in          A510.
the 4 to 5 inch class. Yes, it is an improvement over the
800x480 high end baseline resolution seen in the past 18          We're still left wondering when the ICS update for the A100
months, however the only real benefit it brings is that the       and A500 tablets will be available in other regions, but no
phones can be made even more narrow for sexy looks in             doubt Acer will reveal all sometime soon.
some cases. Otherwise, a narrow screen will make these
phones useful for Web and other major content again more
in the horizontal mode, when the hated scrolling, non stop        Lenovo's IdeaPad U300e
seen in the destkop and mobile moviescreens, becomes              Ultrabook now available
necessary for any content review.                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lenovo-s-ideapad-u300e-ultrabook-
                                                                  now-available/14917.html
Since they are going with these progressively larger screens      February 20th, 2012
yet in the elongated 16:9 format, at the very least the vendors
could follow Samsung or Apple's examples and introduce
units with useful screen ratios for more beneficial work. The
phones are a very competitive market these days, and there
is more differentiation than in the PC space. The screen
proportions and quality, together with the resolution, are

                                                                                                                                       22
February 20th, 2012                                                                                             Published by: VR-Zone

Following last month's announcement at CES, Lenovo's
IdeaPad U300e Ultrabook is now available for purchase           Sanko intros miniature USB
through its online store. In case you missed previous details   3.0 to HDMI adapter
on this one, the U300e is a 13.3-inch (MBP lookalike)           Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sanko-intros-miniature-usb-3.0-to-
ultrabook that is a mere 0.7-inches thin, weighing in at        hdmi-adapter/14916.html
1.58Kg and sports a one-piece aluminum shell and an LED-        February 20th, 2012
backlit (1366 x 768) display ("where's the 1600 x 900
screen?" I hear many saying).
Following last month's announcement at CES, Lenovo's
IdeaPad U300e Ultrabook is now available for purchase
through its online store.
In case you missed previous details on this one, the U300e
is a 13.3-inch (MBP lookalike) ultrabook that is a mere 0.7-    A Japanese company going by the name of Sanko has come
inches thin, weighing in at 1.58Kg and sports a one-piece       up with a USB 3.0 to HDMI adapter that is significantly
aluminum shell and an LED-backlit (1366 x 768) display          smaller than any other we've seen before, measuring just 48
(<i>"where's the 1600 x 900 screen?" I hear many saying</       x 87 x 11 mm (WxDxH).
i>).                                                            A Japanese company going by the name of Sanko has come
                                                                up with a USB 3.0 to HDMI adapter that is significantly
                                                                smaller than any other we've seen before, measuring just 48
                                                                x 87 x 11 mm (WxDxH).




The keyboard on this model is of a breathable type by
harnessing Intel's Advanced Cooling Technology and there's
a lovely glass touchpad implemented that complements the
U300e when seen in the flesh.
Packed within is a Core i5-2467M processor with its HD
3000 graphics core in use, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB HDD
as well as a 32GB SSD. Looking around outside, there's
a single USB 3.0 port, 1.3MP webcam, 802.11b/g/n WiFi,
WiDi support, Gigabit ethernet, a HDMI output and a 4-cell      The manufacturer has stated that it's possible to use up to
battery that promises up to 7 hours of use.                     six of these impressively small USB3TOHD adapters in a
                                                                single 6+port USB 3.0 hub without experiencing any image
                                                                degradation or performance decreases. while having such a
                                                                small footprint, the adapter is designed so that it can still be
                                                                used with a HDMI to DVI-I single-link dongle if need be.
                                                                The only real shortcoming with it is its single-link limitation,
                                                                where it is confined to resolutions only up to 1920 x 1200.
                                                                Meaning users with 2560 screens are out.
                                                                Sanko lists support for Windows XP, Vista and 7 with
                                                                the USB3TOHD and it's priced at 9,800 JPY (about US
                                                                $124.30).


                                                                Rockstar confirms Max Payne
                                                                for mobile devices
                                                                Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rockstar-confirms-max-payne-for-
With there being a web promotion and eCoupon in place           mobile-devices/14915.html
for this listing, the IdeaPad U300e can be had in this
configuration for US $959.20 at the time of writing.




                                                                                                                                       23
February 20th, 2012                                                 Published by: VR-Zone

February 20th, 2012




Avid Max Payne fans, this piece of news should have you
grinning like cheshire cats. Rockstar has indicated that it
plans to bring the original 'Max Payne' game to "mobile
devices" (indicative of both iOS and Android) very soon.
Avid Max Payne fans, this piece of news should have you
grinning like cheshire cats. Rockstar has indicated that it
plans to bring the original 'Max Payne' game to "mobile
devices" (indicative of both iOS and Android) very soon.




News of Rockstar's intent to work on a mobile version of this
hit title came about as far back as late last year, soon after it
wrapped up the iOS release of Grand Theft Auto III. But at
that time we had no idea of how long a wait we had for Max
Payne to arrive, if at all.
According to a recent Q&A response from the company it will
be arriving very soon - as early as a couple months from now.
An official statement confirming the game's release date will
be coming within the next few weeks.




                                                                                      24
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone




VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks!
                                                                          Initially available in both blue and black versions, the
  VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly                            unique, sweatproof Monster iSport Immersion in-ear
  publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the               headphones will also come in a variety of different colors,
  geeks.                                                                  themes and models in the coming months. The Monster
                                                                          iSport Immersion Headphones is available at Alpha Audio,
                                                                          Digivue , Farle Innovation, Harvey Norman, HMV, Sprint
Monster introduces                                                        Cass and all Stereo outlets at S$290.
Immersion first in-ear
headphone of new iSport line                                              UK warns of "likely" nuclear
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/monster-introduces-immersion-first-   space bomb threat
in-ear-headphone-of-new-isport-line/14984.html                            Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/uk-warns-of-likely-nuclear-space-
February 22nd, 2012                                                       bomb-threat/14983.html
                                                                          February 22nd, 2012




"Immersion" is the first in-ear headphone under Monster's
iSport line which promises superior quality audio for the
                                                                          The UK's Defence Select Committee has warned about the
active lifestyle users. It boasts to be sweatproof and is
                                                                          “likely” threat of a nuclear weapon launched into space
washable, and features a proprietary in-ear clip design for
                                                                          by a rogue state and causing devastating destruction to
secure and comfortable fit
                                                                          infrastructure and technology.
                                                                          The UK's Defence Select Committee has warned about the
                                                                          “likely” threat of a nuclear weapon launched into space
                                                                          by a rogue state and causing devastating destruction to
                                                                          infrastructure and technology.


                                                                          The Committee's chairman, Tory MP James Arbuthnot,
                                                                          said that the government is complacement about the risks
                                                                          involved in such an attack, which he said was “quite likely.”


                                                                          The radiation and electromagnetic pulse of a nuclear bomb
                                                                          going off in space could affect power and water supplies,
                                                                          as well as defence and satellite navigation systems. This
                                                                          would occur as radiation destroys computer chips that power
                                                                          nearly everything that keeps a country and economy going.

Monster has announced “Immersion” – the first in-ear
headphone in the company’s new iSport line designed to
offer superior audio performance for atheletes. The Monster
iSport In-Ear Headphones feature patented proprietary in-
ear clip design that fits the curve of the inner ear to
anchor securely and provide maximize comfort to listeners.
It is washable, incorporates noise isolation to block out
distractions, and has a special adjustable ear pipe on the
headphone housing. The Monster’s new iSport Immersion
headphones also feature the company’s ControlTalk an
innovative control system that gives users music and movie
playback control of their Apple, iPad and iPhone. The
integrated high-grade microphone and answer button allows
users to access their music and answer phone calls without                No health risks were mentioned, but a lack of power and
having to reach into their pocketbook, backpack or pocket.                water could make it very difficult for millions of people to

                                                                                                                                                  1
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone

live. The report suggests that cities would become impossible
to live in within days of such an attack.


Arbuthnot said that a small number of nuclear weapons
could be used in space to cause more devastation over a
wider area than firing them directly at a city. However, even
if a nuclear weapon isn't fired into space, solar flares could
have a similar effect upon the Earth.


He said that the UK and other countries need to replace
existing delicate systems, chips and connections with
“hardened” versions that are now available at a low price.
This could be done during routine maintenance.



                                                                     Philips Sports Headsets SHQ1017
Philips Singapore unveils new
                                                                     If you are looking for a sleek, sweatproof yet affordable
range of sports headset                                              headset that can be your ideal companion during fitness
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/philips-singapore-unveils-new-   activities, check out the Philips Sports In-ear Headset
range-of-sports-headset/14979.html                                   SHQ1017. It features an ultra lightweight design with soft
February 22nd, 2012                                                  silicon caps that provides great comfort, portability and
                                                                     ease of use. The SHQ1017 is also sweat-resistant for active
                                                                     outdoor use. The Philips Sports Headsets range also comes
                                                                     in headphones versions – the Philips Sports Headphones
                                                                     SHQ4000, SHQ3000 and SHQ1000.

Philips has announced their new range of sports headset              Retail price
for the sporty users - SHQ4017, SHQ3017 and SHQ1017.                 Philips Sports Neckband Headset SHQ4017- S$87.90
The new headsets (and headphones models without the                  Philips Sports Earhook Headset SHQ3017- S$74.90
microphone) are now available at all electronics retail outlets      Philips Sports In-ear Headset SHQ1017- S$49.90
in Singapore.                                                        Philips Sports Headphones SHQ4000- S$54.90
                                                                     Philips Sports Headphones SHQ3000- S$44.90
                                                                     Philips Sports Headphones SHQ1000- S$24.90




Philips Sports Headsets SHQ4017
Whether you are doing circuit training or simply going
for a run, the new range of sweatproof Philips Sports
Headsets SHQ4017, SHQ3017 and SHQ1017 will make
perfect companions. Constructed with antimicrobial and
waterproof materials, the headsets not only lets you listen
to your favorite music but also allows you to answer                 Philips Sports Headphones SHQ3000
calls during your workout. The Philips Sports Neckband
Headset SHQ4017 is built with fine acoustics and provides
excellent bass. It comes with a sleek built-in microphone and
                                                                     Barnes & Noble launches
controller that lets you talk, listen and remote control your        $199 Nook Tablet to rival
smartphone while exercising. The Philips Sports Earhook
Headset SHQ3017 comes with customizable ear hooks,                   Amazon's Kindle Fire
ultra-soft silicon caps and three sizes of ear sleeves to fit your   Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/barnes--noble-launches-199-nook-
ears. It is also designed to be water resistant, thus washable       tablet-to-rival-amazon-s-kindle-fire/14982.html
and sweatproof.                                                      February 22nd, 2012

                                                                     Barnes & Noble has launched a $199 8GB Nook Tablet to
                                                                     compete with Amazon's popular Kindle Fire tablet.
                                                                                                                                            2
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone


                                                                  PC Power & Cooling Silencer
The tablet computer offers a 7-inch colour touchscreen, 8GB
of storage, 512MB of RAM, a 1GHz dual-core processor, and         Mk III 600W PSU Review
a battery that can last up to 11.5 hours when reading or up to    Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pc-power--cooling-silencer-mk-
nine hours when viewing video.                                    iii-600w-psu-review/14981.html
                                                                  February 22nd, 2012

“For any customer who likes to read digitally, watch movies
or TV shows, browse the web, or help their kids read and
learn through interactive books and apps, our new $199
NOOK Tablet with 8GB is the best product value on the
market,” said William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble. “Nook
Tablet is the highest-rated wireless media tablet in the 7-inch     PC Power & Cooling is a company both well known and
class, ultra-portable at under a pound, offers our exclusive      favored among enthusiasts for their high performance power
VividView screen technology, and since its introduction this      supplies. Although the company had been acquired by OCZ
holiday has received rave reviews from customers about            several years ago, PC Power & Cooling maintained their (at
all its great features. We’re pleased to now offer customers      least partial) autonomy and continues their operation to this
the ability to experience Nook Tablet’s unmatched content         date, offering a long list of power-related products. Today
experience for only $199.”                                        we are going to examine the latest addition to the company’s
                                                                  products lineup, the Silencer Mk III 600W power supply. Is
                                                                  the latest Mk III version a worthy continuer of the legendary
                                                                  Silencer series? We will find out in this review.
                                                                  PC Power & Cooling is a company both well known and
                                                                  favored among enthusiasts for their high performance power
                                                                  supplies. Although the company had been acquired by OCZ
                                                                  several years ago, PC Power & Cooling maintained their (at
                                                                  least partial) autonomy and continues their operation to this
                                                                  date, offering a long list of power-related products. Today
                                                                  we are going to examine the latest addition to the company’s
                                                                  products lineup, the Silencer Mk III 600W power supply. Is
                                                                  the latest Mk III version a worthy continuer of the legendary
                                                                  Silencer series? We will find out in this review.


                                                                  Manufacturer’s features and specifications

                                                                     • 600W Continuous @ 50C
                                                                     • Dual-GPU Ready
                                                                     • 80-Plus Bronze Certified (85% Efficiency); .98 Active
Since Amazon is technically losing a few dollars on every              PFC
Kindle Fire tablet sold, due to the high manufacturing costs,
                                                                     • 120mm double ball-bearing fan
we can possibly expect something similar for Barnes &
Noble, or at least a very tight margin of profit. However,           • Up to 90% (10dB) Less Noise per Watt
content sales have more than made up for the losses for              • +12VDC @46A (Powerful Single Rail)
Amazon and could do the same for Barnes & Noble, which
has 2.5 million digital books in its catalogue.                      • Premium Components with 100% Japanese 105°C
                                                                       Capacitors
                                                                     • Modular Cabling Design
Amazon's push to become the leader of low-cost tablets
has put intense pressure on rivals, including Apple and              • Automatic Fan Speed Control Circuit
Samsung, which sell their iPads and Galaxy Tabs for                  • 5-Year Warranty and Tech Support
extremely high prices. Barnes & Noble's addition will
increase this pressure and could even give Amazon a run for       AC Input
its money.                                                        Operating Range:                   90-264 VAC
                                                                                                     0.98 power factor
                                                                  Frequency:                         50/60Hz
The 8GB Nook Tablet is available immediately for $199. The
bookshop also lowered the price of its Nook Colour e-reader       Current:                           100-240Vrms, 9-4.5A
to $169.                                                          Efficiency:                        85% typical load (80+
                                                                                                     Bronze)
                                                                  EMI:                               FCC Class-B, CE
                                                                  DC Output
                                                                  Output:                            +3.3V@24A,+5V@24A,
                                                                                                     +12V@46A,

                                                                                                                                       3
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                                Published by: VR-Zone

                                   -12V@0.8A,+5VSB@2.5A              The struggling Finnish mobile maker is trying to recover
Regulation:                        5% (+3.3V, +5V, +12V)             lost market share by making its next Windows Phone device
                                   5% (-12V, +5Vsb)                  more affordable.
Ripple:                            1% (p-p)
Hold Time:                         20ms minimum                      The phone will be called the Lumia 610 and will be unveiled
PG Delay:                          100-500ms                         along with a worldwide version of its Lumia 900 at the
Safety                                                               Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona next week. The
Over Voltage Protection:           +3.3V, +5V, +12V                  company has booked a news conference for Monday, 27
Over Current Protection:           135% OPP                          February for the big announcement.
Agency Approval:                   cTÜVus, CB, TÜV, CCC, C-
                                   tick,
                                   GOST, BSMI, China RoHS,
                                   WEE, RoHS
Environmental
Temperature:                       0-50°C
Humidity:                          20-80%
Fan Type:                          120mm, ball bearing,
                                   thermally controlled
Noise:                             20 - 37dB(A)
Miscellaneous
Compatibility:                     ATX12V & EPS12V
M/B Connectors:                    1 x 20+4-pin ATX
                                   2 x 4+4-pin CPU
Video Connectors:                  2 x 6+2-Pin PCI-E                 With dirt cheap competition from Android manufacturers
Drive Connectors:                  3 x Peripheral                    it's not surprising that Nokia is aiming for a wider market by
                                   6 x 5-pin SATA                    pushing prices down. The company has had huge success in
                                                                     the past with cheap feature phones, so focusing on this area
                                   1 x FDD                           could help restore some of its previous dominance.
MTBF:                              100,000 Hours
Dimensions/Harness:                150mm (W) x 86mm (H) x            Nokia needs to make its Windows Phone range work or it
                                   160mm (L)                         will face further difficulties in the coming months and years.
Power Cord:                        US, EU, UK, CN, AU, JP/BZ         Last year it lost €1 billion, forcing it to cut 4,000 jobs and
Warranty:                          5-Years                           move its assembly to cheaper factories in Asia.


                                                                     Microsoft's deal with Nokia has so far failed to generate
Nokia to unveil cheap                                                the success that some analysts predicted. A Strategy
Windows Phone smartphone                                             Analytics report shows that Microsoft's smartphone share
                                                                     has plummeted from 13 percent four years ago to just two
next week                                                            percent in the last quarter.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-to-unveil-cheap-windows-
phone-smartphone-next-week/14980.html
February 22nd, 2012
                                                                     Image Credit: Nok4Us


                                                                     Sony Computer
                                                                     Entertainment officially
                                                                     launches PlayStation Vita in
Nokia will unveil a cheap smartphone running the Windows             Singapore
Phone operating system next week in an attempt target                Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-computer-entertainment-
the lower end of the market, according to sources cited by           officially-launches-playstation-vita-in-singapore/14978.html
Reuters.                                                             February 22nd, 2012

Nokia will unveil a cheap smartphone running the Windows
Phone operating system next week in an attempt target
the lower end of the market, according to sources cited by
Reuters.
                                                                     Today, Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong (SCEH)
                                                                     has officially announced the PlayStation Vita in Singapore.


                                                                                                                                        4
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone

To celebrate the launch, the company is having a road show
at 313 Somerset (ground floor) which will end this Sunday.




The Sony PlayStation (PS) Vita was launched in Japan
and Hong Kong in December last year. Today, the
highly-anticipated handheld game console is officially
available in Singapore, which coincide with the launch
in Europe, Latin and North America - 23 February.
According to Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong,
the reason for having the Singapore launch in February
and not December, is because the majority of gamers
in Singapore prefer English games. And there are
approximately 30 English game titles at launch (and
growing).
The PS Vita claims to offer users immersive gaming, social
connectivity and rich entertainment experience anytime,
anywhere. It features a 5-inch OLED multi-touch capacitive
touchscreen (960x544) which you can navigate on, aside
from the buttons, two analog sticks and D-Pad. The rear
also holds a touchpad that provides users with a new way
of interacting with the game or application. In the social
network space, the PS Vita lets you communicate with
your friends through the popular social networking services
including Facebook, Flickr, foursquare, Skype, and Twitter.
The PS Vita Wi-Fi model is retailing at S$399 in Singapore,
and customers who purchase the console at the designated
shops will get a limited edition T-shirt (first come, first   Unlike the traditional games that come in Universal Media
served). There will also be a 3G model of the PS Vita,        Discs (UMD) for the PlayStation Portable, the PS Vita
although no official date has been revealed at press time.    games come in the proprietary PlayStation Vita card, which
                                                              resembles the SD card.


                                                              Intel Haswell iGPU: there's
                                                              something for everyone
                                                              Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-haswell-igpu-there-s-
                                                              something-for-everyone/14976.html




                                                                                                                                  5
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

February 22nd, 2012

Quite a few web sites, including our own, covered Haswell
graphics prospects over the past few months, with source
materials obtained from Intel's roadmaps and such. On one
side, the argument was that the generic - mainstream - quad-
core Haswell version, the one likely to see the light of the
day first in the second quarter of 2013, will very likely have
graphics less than half faster than than the quad core Ivy
Bridge it replaces. The other side had a statement that the
best Haswell graphics should be well over two times, if not
more, faster, than the Ivy Bridge.

Actually, both might be right - how come? There are three
graphics varieties expected for Haswell - GT1, GT2 and, the
fastest, GT3. The latter one is expected to have twice as many
shaders as the GT2, however some of leaked documents
show that particular graphics implementation as existing
only on dual core Haswell flavours. For instance, you'd have
a combination of quad CPU cores and GT2 graphics, or dual
CPU cores and GT3 graphics. Or, for top end Ultrabooks,
dual CPU cores and GT2 graphics... oh my, how many die
varieties would be there then?

If this ends up the case, it explains it all: the standard
quad-core Haswell with GT2 would be somewhat, but not
madly, faster in graphics than the Ivy Bridge, while the
graphics-oriented dual-core GT3 part with much larger
GPU will correspondingly bring along much faster GPU
- including GPU compute, since Haswell is expected to
support it. But then, with all the transistor budgets and
22 nm process on hand, what stops Intel from having the
ultimate combination of quad CPU cores and GT3 graphics
together - a lovely solution both for high end desktop and
engineering workstation? The time will tell if this might be
the hidden weapon Intel keeps under the hood...                  According to Hiroshi Kawahara, operations manager of
                                                                 Products Planning Division, Fujifilm Corporation, the X-
                                                                 Pro1 was in development three years ago, even before
Fujifilm launches X-Pro1                                         the popular Finepix X100 that was launched last year.
interchangeable lens camera                                      The Fujifilm X-Pro 1 features the new X-Trans CMOS
                                                                 sensor which claims to be capable of delivering resolution
in Singapore                                                     that is on par (if not, superior) to a full frame sensor.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fujifilm-launches-x-pro1-    It incorporates the original "X-Mount" that is specifically
interchangeable-lens-camera-in-singapore/14975.html              designed to maximize the mirrorless design of the body,
February 22nd, 2012                                              and has a short flange back distance (17.7mm). The camera
                                                                 also features Hybrid Viewfinder that is first seen on the
                                                                 X100, which lets you switch between optical and electronic
                                                                 viewfinder instantly. According to Fujifilm, three compact
                                                                 XF FUJINON fast aperture prime lenses will be available in
                                                                 March.
VR-Zone saw the Fujifilm X-Pro1 at the Consumer
                                                                 The Fujifilm X-Pro1 will begin shipping at end of February
Electronics Show 2012, which claims to be the company's
                                                                 and retail in stores in March. The recommended retail price
first compact system camera with 16-megapixel APS-C X-
                                                                 for the X-Pro1 is S$2,400 (w/GST) for the body, and S
Trans CMOS sensor, new X lens mount, Hybrid Multi
                                                                 $900 to S$1,000 (w/GST) for the basic lens. It is uncertain
Viewfinder and three prime lenses. And today, Fujifilm
                                                                 whether the X-Pro1 will make it in time for the IT Show 2012,
has announced the X-Pro1 in Singapore and that it will be
                                                                 which is happening in Singapore from 8 to 11 March.
available in March.




                                                                                                                             6
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                        With the lengthy delays finally behind us on Intel's Cedar
                                                                        Trail platform and several netbooks having now reached
                                                                        retail using the N2600 Atom core, we're hearing of Intel's
                                                                        plans to roll in another desktop part to co-exist alongside the
                                                                        still scarce D2500 and D2700 Cedar View units.




"The company has put in a lot of effort in digital cameras,
ever since the introduction of the world's first digital                That chip is the D2550, a minor revision of the D2500 which
camera, DS-1P, in 1988. Fujifilm has been a strong player               appears to only differ in its base GPU clock rate of 640MHz
in the industry, especially in Japan, United States and                 versus 400MHz. Its CPU clock rate is still 1.86GHz with the
Europe. We have a wide range of products and cameras                    TDP remaining at 10W. All other aspects of the D2500 and
from entry level to high-end models for SOHO and                        D2550 are equal as well, including 512KB of L2 cache on each
prosumer segment. Today, we are introducing our first                   of the two cores along with Hyper-Threading capabilities.
interchangeable mirrorless camera, X-Pro1, which I believed             CPU World mentioned that the D2550 would be
should stand out among competition with its features and                launching sometime next month, but we have since been
performance," said Hiroyuki Sakai, corporate vice president             able to ascertain that it will launch in just four days time, on
of Fujifilm Corporation, managing director of Fujifilm Asia             the 26th of Feb with immediate shipments to follow.
Pacific and Fujifilm Singapore.

                                                                        Noctua releases low-profile
                                                                        NH-L12 CPU Cooler
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/noctua-releases-low-profile-nh-l12-
                                                                        cpu-cooler/14973.html
                                                                        February 22nd, 2012




                                                                        Noctua is better catering to users requiring a lower profile
                                                                        CPU cooler with the birth of its new NH-L12; a cooler
Cedar View based Atom                                                   sporting four nickel-plated copper heatpipes that should feel
D2550 soon to arrive with                                               right at home in Small Form Factor and HTPC cases in
                                                                        particular.
faster GPU clock                                                        Noctua is better catering to users requiring a lower profile
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cedar-view-based-atom-d2550-soon-   CPU cooler with the birth of its new NH-L12; a cooler
to-arrive-with-faster-gpu-clock/14974.html                              sporting four nickel-plated copper heatpipes that should feel
February 22nd, 2012                                                     right at home in Small Form Factor and HTPC cases in
                                                                        particular.




  Update: Launch date has been added. With the lengthy
delays finally behind us on Intel's Cedar Trail platform and
several netbooks having now reached retail using the N2600
Atom core, we're hearing of Intel's plans to roll in another
desktop part to co-exist alongside the still scarce D2500 and
D2700 Cedar View units.



                                                                                                                                                  7
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                           February 22nd, 2012




                                                                           NVIDIA has just released the first WHQL'd R295 series
                                                                           driver for GeForce graphics cards, 295.73 and with it comes
                                                                           some bold promises in terms of performance improvements
                                                                           in various popular game titles.
                                                                           NVIDIA has just released the first WHQL'd R295 series
                                                                           driver for GeForce graphics cards, 295.73 and with it comes
                                                                           some bold promises in terms of performance improvements
                                                                           in various popular game titles.




The NH-L12 features a dual PWM fan setup in the form of
a NF-F12 (120mm) PWN fan on top and an NF-B9 (92mm)
fan positioned underneath. If you're dealing with minimal
clearance in a highly compact mini-ITX enclosure you also
have the option of switching things up for just the NF-B9 fan,
which reduces the overall height of the cooler to only 66mm.




                                                                           With support for all GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, 100, 200, 300,
                                                                           400 and 500 Series cards as well as ION GPUs, the latest
                                                                           295.73 driver comes bundled with PhysX System Software
                                                                           v9.12.0209 and rolls in the following benefits :-
In usual Noctua fashion, Low-Noise adapters are supplied                   - Game-changing performance boost of up to 45% in The
that drop the fan's maximum speed to just 1200/1300rpm                     Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, "the fastest selling title in Steam's
if its super quiet operation you seek. The cooler also comes               history"
with a tube of Noctua's NT-H1 thermal compound and                         - Up to 2x performance Mass Effect 3 with SLI technology.
SecuFirm2 mounting system.
                                                                           - GeForce-exclusive quality enhancements with ambient
                                                                           occlusion support for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,
                                                                           Diablo III, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

                                                                           - New 3D Vision and SLI profiles for over 50 titles.

                                                                           - New PhysX software for the best experience in top PhysX
                                                                           titles like Alice: Madness Returns and Batman: Arkham City.


                                                                           Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4
                                                                           gets benchmarked, smokes
                                                                           the competition
The NH-L12 low-profile CPU cooler is on its way to e and                   Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/qualcomm-s-snapdragon-s4-gets-
retailers now with a price tag of US $59.90.                               benchmarked-smokes-the-competition/14971.html
                                                                           February 22nd, 2012


NVIDIA's GeForce 295.73
WHQL Driver is out
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-s-geforce-295.73-whql-driver-
is-out/14972.html


                                                                                                                                                8
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                         Published by: VR-Zone

During the Mobile World Congress next week we should               competing SoCs that there tested are topping out at about
see several handsets launch based on Qualcomm's new                1.4GHz. Even so, the performance improvements are not
Snapdragon S4 SoC, previously known under the name of              directly tied to the slightly higher clock speed. In an easily
Krait. Just ahead of the show benchmarks of the new chip           repeatable benchmark such as Vellamo the MSM8960 offers
have been published that gives us a good insight as to what        twice the performance and then some of Google's recently
to expect from this year's Qualcomm based handset.                 launched Galaxy Nexus. In all fairness, this is a Qualcomm
                                                                   made benchmark, so it's not entirely fair, but it uses several
During the Mobile World Congress next week we should
                                                                   standard web-based benchmarks and offers a good selection
see several handsets launch based on Qualcomm's new
                                                                   of tests.
Snapdragon S4 SoC, previously known under the name of
Krait. Just ahead of the show benchmarks of the new chip
have been published that gives us a good insight as to what
to expect from this year's Qualcomm based handset.
Anandtech has posted an extensive set of benchmarks, in
as much as you can do on mobile devices these days and
has also gone over the general architecture changes that
Qualcomm has done. However, we won't be going over the
architecture here and suggest you head over to Anandtech
and read the full review. That said, we're going to take a quick
look at some of the benchmarks, as Qualcomm has come up
with a pretty ground breaking chip in terms of performance.
One of the key factors to the Snapdragon S4's performance
is that each core in a Krait based SoC can decode and
execute three instructions per clock, compared to only two
instructions per clock for ARM Cortex-A9 based SoCs. This
gives Qualcomm a significant performance lead on paper,
but it appears to have paid off in real world applications as
well.
In fairly simple benchmarks like Linkpack, the new
MSM8960 Snapdragon SoC beats the competition with easy
in both single-threaded and multi-threaded runs and we're
not talking about a narrow margin here either, as it beats         Qualcomm has also improved the GPU, the Adreno 225.
the competition by delivering nearly twice or even over twice      Even though it has eight SIMDs with four MADs per SIMD
the performance. Of course some of this has to do with the         and a paper performance of 19.2 Gflops at 300MHz, it's
larger 1MB cache and improved memory controller as well as         not as impressive as you'd think at first. What's worse in
the improvements to the actual SoC itself, but it shows that       a way is the fact that Qualcomm is actually clocking the
Qualcomm has come up with a very competitive chip design.          Adreno 225 at 400MHz in the MSM8960, yet it's having a
                                                                   tough time beating the PowerVR SGX 543MP2 found inside
                                                                   Apple's A4 SoC. As for the other GPUs found on the market
                                                                   today the only one able to offer some kind of competition
                                                                   – and that is only at certain resolutions and tests at that –
                                                                   is ARM's own Mali-400 MP4 found in the Samsung Exynos
                                                                   4210, i.e. the SoC used on the global version of the Galaxy
                                                                   S II. In all fairness to Qualcomm, the Adreno 225 isn't a
                                                                   bad GPU, but it's not going to last that long in the high-end
                                                                   market segment with several new GPUs expected to arrive in
                                                                   competing products later this year.




In more real world benchmarks the lead isn't as large, but
the margins are still there and it's going to take a serious
increase in clock speed for the competition to catch up. That
said, the MSM8960 is a 1.5GHz chip, whereas most of the

                                                                                                                               9
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                             Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                       USB 2.0 devices to appear as USB 3.0 devices to the system
                                                                       and this is how VLI gets around the USB 2.0 bottle neck. We
                                                                       should explain that the USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 data paths in
                                                                       a USB 3.0 host controllers are separate and no USB 2.0 data
                                                                       goes over the USB 3.0 bus, something that you can easily see
                                                                       in the block diagrams of USB 3.0 host controllers.
                                                                       The company showed us some comparative benchmarks
                                                                       where three USB 2.0 flash drives where attached
                                                                       simultaneously to the VL811 hub. Copying data to and from
                                                                       these drives over a standard USB 2.0 connection showed
                                                                       that the USB 2.0 bus caused severe bottlenecking, in fact,
                                                                       one of the drives got data ahead of the other two and finished
                                                                       copying data while the other two hadn't finished, but speed
                                                                       up when additional bandwidth became available.




For now, Qualcomm is likely to lead the dual core SoC
market, although Nvidia's Tegra 3 is at least going to
outperform the MSM8960 in CPU intensive tasks where
all of its four cores can be used. It's unlikely to be vastly
superior in terms of graphics performance though, unless
Nvidia has some kind of ace up its sleeve. We'll also have to
wait and see what the likes of Texas Instruments, Samsung
and the other smaller players have to show. That said,
Qualcomm already has a refresh of the MSM8960 planned
for September which should see it hitting speeds of 1.7GHz
and getting an improved GPU in the shape of the Adreno 320
which should offer vastly improved graphics performance.


VLI explains how
USB2Expressway works
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/vli-explains-how-usb2expressway-
works/14970.html
February 22nd, 2012
                                                                       In USB2Expressway mode on a USB 3.0 bus, not only did
                                                                       the read and write performance improve significantly on all
                                                                       three drives, but there was enough bandwidth to go around
                                                                       so no slowdowns took place. That said, unlike what early
                                                                       information alluded to, a USB 2.0 device won't be able
                                                                       to operate faster than what the USB 2.0 controller in the
If you're a regular reader you might remember that VIA Labs            device itself allows for, so even though there might be a
announced its USB2Expressway technology back at CES, but               small performance boost for a single USB 2.0 device, it's
it wasn't really clear as to how it worked. Well, we've now had        really when multiple devices are being used to copy data
a chance to sit down with the company for an explanation               to and from where you'll see a significant advantage of this
and it's actually a lot simpler than it seemed.                        technology.

If you're a regular reader you might remember that VIA Labs            Another interesting aspect of USB2Expressway is that you
announced its USB2Expressway technology back at CES, but               get all the benefits of the USB 3.0 protocol, such as support
it wasn't really clear as to how it worked. Well, we've now had        for simultaneous read and write operations. That said, VLI
a chance to sit down with the company for an explanation               isn't targeting this solution for consumer implementations
and it's actually a lot simpler than it seemed.                        at this point in time, as the drawback is that you can't daisy
                                                                       chain hubs with USB2Expressway due to the way that the
What VLI has done is take one of its new VL811 USB 3.0                 additional chip works. As such, VLI is pitching this solution
hubs and tweaked the controller slightly by adding some                to companies that do data duplication at large scale to USB
additional chips that sits between the hub and each of the             2.0 devices, for example copy data from a master USB 2.0
USB 3.0 ports. It's not the chips you see on the picture below,        device to several new USB 2.0 devices. If nothing else it's a
as they're on the rear of the PCB, but we weren't allowed to
take pictures of them. What the extra chips do is to allow

                                                                                                                                  10
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

clever way of getting the benefits that USB 3.0 offers to work         seems little has changed compared to the DH67CF in terms
with USB 2.0 storage devices.                                          of features, something that is a good thing in this case.
                                                                       This brings us to Intel's only Z75 motherboard, the DZ75SL –
Intel's upcoming 7-series                                              codename Spur Lake – which will replace the DZ68DB. This
                                                                       is a standard ATX motherboard with a single PCI Express
Media motherboards detailed                                            x16 3.0 slot, one PCI Express x4 2.0 slot, one PCI Express
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-upcoming-7-series-media-   x1 2.0 slot and three PCI slots. As the Z75 chipset doesn't
motherboards-detailed/14969.html                                       support Intel Rapid Storage technology there's no mini card
February 22nd, 2012                                                    PCI Express slot on this board. What you do get is three
                                                                       SATA 3Gbps ports, two SATA 6Gbps ports and headers for
                                                                       four USB 2.0 ports and three USB 3.0 ports. In terms of
                                                                       ports, things are a little bit more basic here with four USB
                                                                       2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, an Intel Gigabit
                                                                       Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out
                                                                       and a single HDMI port.
We've already given you the specs of Intel's upcoming
Executive series of motherboards and now it's time for the             The fifth and final board in the Media series is the DZ77BH
more consumer focused Media series. Sadly we don't have                – codename Blue Hills – which as it happens, won't be
any pictures this time around, but we can at least offer the           replacing any current Intel model. This is the first board to
full specifications of another five models.                            offer a pair of PCI Express x16 3.0 slots, albeit in dual x8
                                                                       mode. The board also has three PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots
We've already given you the specs of Intel's upcoming
                                                                       and two PCI slots, as well as three SATA 3Gbps and four
Executive series of motherboards and now it's time for the
                                                                       SATA 6Gbps ports, where the extra two ports are via a third
more consumer focused Media series. Sadly we don't have
                                                                       party controller. Headers for six USB 2.0 ports, two USB
any pictures this time around, but we can at least offer the
                                                                       3.0 ports and a FireWire port are also present. Around the
full specifications of another five models.
                                                                       back the DZ77BH has four USB 3.0 ports – of which two are
Starting at the bottom we have the DH77EB – codename Eb                presumably via a third party controller – four USB 2.0 ports,
Lake – which is the replacement for the DH67BL. This is                an eSATA port, a FireWire port, a PS/2 port, an Intel Gigabit
Intel's only mATX H77 motherboard, but it offers a pretty              Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out
well-rounded selection of connectivity options. As the H77             and a single HDMI port. The DZ77BH will also ship with a
motherboards don't support multiple graphics cards, the                copy of Lucidlogix Virtu software.
DH77EB has a single x16 PCI Express 3.0 slot, as well as
                                                                       That's it for now, but we'll bring you some details on Intel's
three PCI Express x1 2.0 slots. The board has four DIMM
                                                                       Extreme series of boards in a separate post, detailing the
slots, three SATA 3Gbps ports – of which one is shared with a
                                                                       DZ77GA and DZ77RE.
mini card PCI Express slot which also accepts mSATA drives
– and two SATA 6Gbps ports. There are also headers for two
USB 3.0 ports, six USB 2.0 ports and a serial and parallel             Asus warranty does not
port. The rear I/O consists of four USB 2.0 ports, two USB
3.0 ports, an eSATA port, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/            protect computers during
PDIF out, Intel Gigabit Ethernet and a DisplayPort, DVI-I
and HDMI port.
                                                                       alien invasions
                                                                       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-warranty-does-not-protect-
Intel's only full-size ATX board with the H77 chipset is               computers-during-alien-invasions/14968.html
the DH77KC – codename Knoll Creek – which extends                      February 22nd, 2012
the connectivity options of the DH77EB and replaces the
DH67CL. In addition to the features of the DH77EB, the
DH77KC gains three PCI slots, a PCI Express x4 2.0 slot
and a PS2 port, although it only has a single PCI Express x1
2.0 slot. We couldn't spot any other changes here in terms
of connectivity and there's really little else to say about this
                                                                       Asus computers are not protected by its warranty in the
board.
                                                                       event of an invasion by aliens from outer space, it has been
The third and final H77 board is the DH77DF – codename                 revealed.
Dry Fork – which is a mini-ITX board that will replace
                                                                       Asus computers are not protected by its warranty in the
the DH67CF. This time around it's not a low-profile board
                                                                       event of an invasion by aliens from outer space, it has been
though, so you get a full set of connectivity options around
                                                                       revealed.
the back. The board has a single PCI Express x16 3.0 slot, as
well as a pair of DIMM slots, headers for four USB 2.0 ports,          The unusual clause in the Asus warranty was recently
two USB 3.0 ports and a FireWire port. There's also a mini             spotted by a number of technology news outlets, suggesting
card PCI Express slot that takes mSATA SSDs just like the              that lawyers might have a sense of humour after all.
previous two models, as well as two SATA 3Gbps and two                 It is not clear if this exclusion will affect sales, as no studies
SATA 6Gbps ports. The rear I/O is made up of four USB 2.0              have been conducted regarding how many alien abductees
ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA port, a FireWire port, an           are loyal Asus customers.
Intel Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio with optical S/
PDIF out and a DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI-I port. Overall it


                                                                                                                                             11
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                  The developers set up their own independent game studio
                                                                  called Stoic, where they are operating from a goat shack in a
                                                                  very low budget attempt to make and release a game.


                                                                  Their first game will be The Banner Saga, a cross between an
                                                                  RPG and turn-based strategy game focusing on the Vikings.
                                                                  Art, story and strategy are the three cornerstones of the
                                                                  game.


                                                                  The game will be released soon and will be free to some
It might also be possible that Asus knows more than the rest      extent. It's not clear if there will be in-game purchases, ad
of us about the possibility of extraterrestrial life.             revenue, or donations for keeping the studio in existence, but
We wonder if competitors will now start including a similar       the game sounds like it could be a very enjoyable experience.
clause. Of course, trying to get a refund for a zapped
computer might be the last thing on our minds when the
little green men start landing.
                                                                  Mach Xtreme Technology
Star Wars: The Old Republic                                       Releases MX-STARTER
developers leave BioWare to                                       PREMIUM SSD Series
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mach-xtreme-technology-releases-
work on independent game                                          mx-starter-premium-ssd-series/14966.html
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/star-wars-the-old-republic-   February 22nd, 2012
developers-leave-bioware-to-work-on-independent-game/14967.html
February 22nd, 2012




                                                                   Mach Xtreme Technology Inc. released today an improved
Several BioWare developers who worked on its recently
                                                                  MX-STARTER PREMIUM Series 2.5” SSD for mainstream
launched Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) MMORPG
                                                                  users, aiming to satisfy those willing to migrate to SSD
have left the company to work on an independent game that
                                                                  technology but want to do so from an affordable price
fuses strategy with role-playing.
                                                                  point. The new MX-STARTER PREMIUM Series of SSDs
Several BioWare developers who worked on its recently             is the latest addition to the Mach Xtreme lineup of solid
launched Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) MMORPG               state drives. The particular series is offering users robust
have left the company to work on an independent game that         data protection with enhanced hardware BCH ECC engine,
fuses strategy with role-playing.                                 StaticDataRefresh technology support and data shaping for
                                                                  higher data reliability. How about the speeds?

Arnie Jorgensen, Alex Thomas and John Watson spent the            Mach Xtreme Technology Inc. released today an improved
past five years working on BioWare's first online game,           MX-STARTER PREMIUM Series 2.5” SSD for mainstream
which has met with positive reviews, but now they want to         users, aiming to satisfy those willing to migrate to SSD
do a little something different.                                  technology but want to do so from an affordable price
                                                                  point. The new MX-STARTER PREMIUM Series of SSDs
                                                                  is the latest addition to the Mach Xtreme lineup of solid
“It sounds like a cliche, but we're making the kind of games      state drives. The particular series is offering users robust
we'd like to play,” the trio said. “We appreciate good art,       data protection with enhanced hardware BCH ECC engine,
thoughtful design and engaging story and think there are          StaticDataRefresh technology support and data shaping for
plenty gamers out there who agree.”                               higher data reliability. The drives also have a 64MB DDR2
                                                                  cache memory installed. How about the speeds?




                                                                                                                                     12
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

Speed wise, the new series is rated at 150MB/s read and
80MB/s write, with a max of 10000IOPS. Not exactly a                  Foxconn staff are currently paid just $1.78 per hour, giving
rocket by today's standards but possibly satisfactory for             staff a measly $425 per month. While prices are usually
mainstream users, meaning that the success of the new                 lower in China, this is still a very low rate, forcing staff to seek
series entirely depends on its retail price.                          overtime, a practice which Foxconn has been attempting to
                                                                      limit. Foxconn has also recently promised to increase pay by
Apple reaches "Nike                                                   25 percent, the second pay rise since these troubles began in
                                                                      late 2009.
moment" over Foxconn issues
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-reaches-nike-moment-over-
foxconn-issues/14965.html                                             The “Nike moment” for Apple has prompted it to axe
February 22nd, 2012                                                   contracts with 11 suppliers in the past and its CEO Tim
                                                                      Cook has vowed to fight underage labour, which he called
                                                                      “abhorrent.” Foxconn, however, is a major supplier and one
                                                                      of the reasons why Apple has been making high profits.
                                                                      It will be difficult for it to move production and assembly
                                                                      elsewhere, so changes at Foxconn facilities will largely
An auditor from the Fair Labor Association (FLA) said                 depend on audits like this current one by the FLA.
that Apple has reached a “Nike moment” in its history,
referencing the negative publicity surrounding the working
conditions at iPad and iPhone factories owned by Foxconn.
An auditor from the Fair Labor Association (FLA) said                 Yahoo attempts to avoid
that Apple has reached a “Nike moment” in its history,
referencing the negative publicity surrounding the working
                                                                      Indian lawsuit over offensive
conditions at iPad and iPhone factories owned by Foxconn.             content
                                                                      Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/yahoo-attempts-to-avoid-indian-
                                                                      lawsuit-over-offensive-content/14964.html
Inaes Kaempfer is one of a team of 30 people from the FLA             February 22nd, 2012
investigating the Foxconn plants, and despite an initially
positive and perhaps somewhat biased appraisal, Apple
and Foxconn remain subject to extensive criticism over the
treatment of workers in Chinese facilities.

                                                                      Yahoo is attempting to remove itself from a lawsuit filed by
“We call it the 'Nike moment' in the industry," Kaempfer told         an individual in India against social networks that host what
ABC News' Nightline. "There was a moment for Nike in the              the country deems to be “offensive” content.
'90s, when they got a lot of publicity, negative publicity. And       Yahoo is attempting to remove itself from a lawsuit filed by
they weren't the worst. It's probably like Apple. They're not         an individual in India against social networks that host what
necessarily the worst, it's just that the publicity is starting       the country deems to be “offensive” content.
to build up. And there was just this moment when they just
started to do something about it. And I think that's what
happened for Apple."                                                  The internet portal claims that since the lawsuit is targeted
                                                                      towards social networks, such as Facebook and Google+,
                                                                      then Yahoo should not be included, as it does not provide
                                                                      these services. Its lawyers said the lawsuit was filed on this
                                                                      “patently mistaken assumption.”


                                                                      Yahoo said that the lawsuit brought against it was “a
                                                                      complete abuse of the process of law” and added that there
                                                                      was no cause of action against the company. Of course, just
                                                                      because it is not a social network does not mean it might not
                                                                      host content which some in India find offensive.




The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has been
forced to investigate many of its suppliers after a spate of
suicides and suicide attempts brought the media spotlight
on Foxconn, revealing poor working conditions, low pay,
and a failure to adequately provide for the emotional and
psychological well-being of employees.


                                                                                                                                            13
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                      improved performance out of the 24GB drives, but sadly we
                                                                      don't have any performance figures at hand.




India has been a bitter battleground for advocates of
freedom of information against supporters of censorship,
with government authorities demanding many online
companies to remove content that it alleges is offensive.
Given the large market in question both Google and
Facebook have so far given in to these requests.
                                                                      Intel is retaining the 2.5-inch and mSATA form factors, but
                                                                      the 2.5-inch drives are now only 7mm tall, instead of 9mm
However, they and around 20 other internet companies have             of the 311 series. The SATA interface is still at 3Gbps, but
filed an appeal at the Delhi High Court to have the cases             the reason for is simply because Intel doesn't have a new
dismissed.                                                            SSD controller of its own. The reason Intel is sticking with
                                                                      SLC flash for its caching drives is most likely because the
                                                                      company is expecting a high wear and tear ratio on this type
                                                                      of SSDs and as such using cheaper NAND flash would mean
Intel will launch new SSDs for                                        that the drives would wear out quicker.
caching, to go with Ivy Bridge                                        As for pricing, well, things haven't changed much, with
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-will-launch-new-ssds-for-   Intel's MSRP of the 20GB models coming in at US$99 (S
caching-to-go-with-ivy-bridge/14963.html                              $125) and the 24GB models being slightly more expensive
February 22nd, 2012                                                   at US$119 (S$150). We actually spotted all four models
                                                                      on pre-order at a wide range of online retailers, although
                                                                      every single one was listing them for a fair bit more money
                                                                      than Intel's MSRP, although in this case at least some of
                                                                      that additional cost would have included sales tax. The new
                                                                      drives should be launched in April alongside Ivy Bridge and
                                                                      the 7-series chipset, although it's possible that they may
It's still debatable as to how many consumers have taken              arrive earlier in the channel.
advantage of SSD caching in their systems, but Intel is about
to replace its Larson Creek series of SSDs – more commonly
known as the 311 series – with a range of new models in
                                                                      Epson introduces world's
time for its Ivy Bridge processors. The new models has been           lightest GPS running monitor
designed for the 7-series chipsets, but are still backwards           Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/epson-introduces-world-s-lightest-
compatible with the 6-series and has thus far been known              gps-running-monitor/14959.html
under the code name of Hawley Creek.                                  February 22nd, 2012
It's still debatable as to how many consumers have taken
advantage of SSD caching in their systems, but Intel is about
to replace its Larson Creek series of SSDs – more commonly
known as the 311 series – with a range of new models in
time for its Ivy Bridge processors. The new models has been
designed for the 7-series chipsets, but are still backwards
compatible with the 6-series and has thus far been known              Epson is renowned for their line of printers and imaging
under the code name of Hawley Creek.                                  devices, and it looks like the Japanese company is going
                                                                      into electronic sporting goods market as it unveils the
The retail brand will be the 313 series, indicating only a
                                                                      world's lightest GPS running monitor.
minor upgrade over Intel's current 311 series. As with the 311
series, the 313 series will use SLC NAND flash, although Intel
has moved from 34nm parts to 25nm parts. Beyond a change
in NAND flash Intel has decided to offer two capacities,
20GB and 24GB. We're not sure what difference the extra
4GB of flash memory will make, but there's obviously a
reason as to why Intel had added a second capacity to its
range of caching drives. It's possible that we'll see slightly

                                                                                                                                           14
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                       As of now, expect the high end desktop - and selected top-
                                                                       end mobile - quad core Ivy Bridge CPUs, including the much-
                                                                       expected desktop Core i7 3770K and its notebook equivalent
                                                                       as well, to arrive six weeks from this story appearance.
                                                                       However, the ultra low voltage 17 Watt dual core parts,
                                                                       optimised for the UltraBook market, are only to be launched
                                                                       sometime in May.

                                                                       The initial highest end UltraBook Ivy Bridge part, the Core
                                                                       i7 3667U dual core 4MB L2 part in BGA1023 packaging
                                                                       we grew familiar in these machines, will bring quite a good
                                                                       refresh to the UltraBook performance: 2 GHz core frequency
                                                                       with up to 3 GHz Turbo with both cores, or 3.2 GHz Turbo
                                                                       with a single core, as well as DDR3-1600 memory support
                                                                       with extra memory OC enabled - a very welcome benefit for
                                                                       extra bandwidth to feed the sped up DX11 graphics engine
                                                                       too.
Today, Seiko Epson announced the world's lightest GPS-
enabled running monitor. The monitor boasts an extremely               Talking about the graphics, the integrated GPU unit is
thin design, long battery life, uses GPS to provide runners            expected to allow both Turbo and overclocking way beyond
with accurate distance, pace and other data, and wears                 the basic 350 MHz clock, towards the gigahertz. Couple it
comfortably on your wrist. Epson plans to release a                    with the increased memory bandwidth and, something not
commercial version of the monitor in Japan this year and               expected before, overclocking abilities in the UltraBook form
it would be the company's first entry into the electronic              factor, and it only can mean two things.
sporting goods market.
                                                                       One, the power consumption of the new parts is so well
The running monitor can operate for up to 12 hours on a full
                                                                       improved that Intel can allow, even with the UltraBook
charge with GPS tracking on which is more than sufficient
                                                                       form factor limitations, a very substantial clock speed
for long-distance events, from full marathons to trial runs.
                                                                       increase from the base, and still declare the basic 17W
The long battery life also means that the monitor will require
                                                                       TDP for which the existing components and system design
less frequent recharging; a runner who uses it for five hours
                                                                       are optimised already. This will of course mean that the
a week with GPS tracking on would not need to recharge
                                                                       UltraBook usage scope increases, to be able to handle more
the unit for a full two weeks. Epson's GPS running monitor
                                                                       complex content authoring - and yes, even some 3-D gaming
weighs about 50 grams and measures just 13mm thin, which
                                                                       - usually reserved for higher-performance systems, and
is comfortable to wear on the wrist. It also offers water
                                                                       also accomodate much better displays with beyond 720p
resistance of up to 5 bars, or 50 meters of water, compared
                                                                       resolution, so not to be ashamed at 2048x1536 iPad 3 or
to other GPS watches that can be fully submerged in water
                                                                       even ther 1920x1200 of the next Qualcomm-based Asus
no deeper than one meter for a maximum of 30 minutes.
                                                                       Transformer Prime FHD. After all, a well noticeable CPU
                                                                       speed increase, plus double the GPU speed, will open up a
Intel and AMD arm wrestle                                              lot of new possibilities.

again: this time on power                                              Second, Intel is obviously taking into account the AMD
sipping ultrathins                                                     Trinity launch, which - guess what - is expected at almost
                                                                       the same time as the UltraBook Ivy Bridge parts see the light
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-and-amd-arm-wrestle-again-
                                                                       of the day. Now, Trinity might not compete with the higher-
this-time-on-power-sipping-ultrathins/14962.html
                                                                       end Ivy Bridge units in the CPU performance department,
February 22nd, 2012
                                                                       although their GPU is expected to win anyway, but it is their
                                                                       own 17W flavour promise that makes things interesting.

                                                                       Basically, a 17W Trinity, despite its 32 nm process
                                                                       disadvantage over the 22 nm Intel unit, is expected to keep
                                                                       two dual-core Piledriver processor modules (i.e. two pairs
As the low voltage mobile Intel Ivy Bridge launch is now               of integer cores, each with a shared FPU - I still dislike the
confirmed for May, just as well as similar TDP low voltage             idea, but it may just work well in this case) and the same very
AMD Trinity aimed at the same market at the same time,                 powerful GPU from the higher TDP versions, just of course
a very interesting duel is in the offing, and in a fresh new           clocked lower. The DDR3-1600 support is a given here too,
platform market to boot...                                             since the top end Trinity will support DDR3-2133 anyway.
Yes, Intel needs to take care of their customers' unsold
inventories, and no, Intel doesn't have much competition               So, what happens then? You'll have two core-pairs of Trinity
right now either. So, there was no apparent need for them              vs two hyperthreaded - and surely faster clocked after Turbo
to rush the Ivy Bridge launch across the desktop and mobile            - cores of Ivy Bridge, as well as somewhat stronger Trinity
platforms, especially since the same-socket Sandy Bridge               GPU vs the Ivy Bridge graphics. The outcome could be,
stocks still need a bit of time to clear.                              pending the final system speed checks, a slightly faster CPU
                                                                       performance on the Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks, but with not
                                                                       so much delta as the high end Ivy Bridge has vs high end

                                                                                                                                   15
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

Trinity, as well as somewhat faster GPU on the Trinity side,
since it is far more capable as a design, but the TDP demands,             IT Show 2012 Promotions:
coupled with the 32 nm process power consumption, force                    Dell
it to be clocked down quite a lot compared to its higher-                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-
powered mobile and desktop brethren.                                       dell/14960.html
                                                                           February 22nd, 2012
Either way, the ultrathin notebook arena could be a new
playing field where Intel and AMD can have some sparring
from a more even point of view, compared to the usual
desktop and mobile markets where their position is tougher.
Even Apple - put aside their attempts to patent the Macbook
Air design as a sign of pressure to the UltraBook vendors -
could take a note of this expanded CPU choice...
                                                                           If you're looking for a new Ultrabook, gaming desktops or
                                                                           laptops, do drop by Dell's booth at the IT Show 2012. The
LG unveils Optimus LTE Tag                                                 Dell products can be found are on level 3 (Newstead booth
                                                                           3001) and level 4 (Dell booth 8230, 8251 and Newstead
with NFC technology                                                        booth 8139).
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-unveils-optimus-lte-tag-with-nfc-
                                                                           Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook
technology/14961.html
February 22nd, 2012




LG Korea has announced the Optimus LTE Tag, which
isn't only an aestheitcally-enhanced version of the Optimus
LTE, but it also claims to offer innovative features that
make the smartphone smarter.




                                                                           Made of durable aluminum and lightweight carbon fiber,
                                                                           the Dell XPS 13 is an extremely thin and portable Ultrabook
                                                                           which features an edge-to-edge 13-inch gorilla glass display.
                                                                           It measure up to 18mm and weighs approximately 1.36kg,
                                                                           and features a full size backlit keyboard. The XPS 13 is
                                                                           equipped with second generation Intel Core i5 2467M
                                                                           processor, 4GB memory, Intel HD graphics, 128GB solid
                                                                           state drive, and all-day battery life.
                                                                           Original price: S$1,499
                                                                           IT Show 2012 price: TBA
Yesterday, LG unveiled the Optimus Vu: smartphone
with 5-inch touchscreen, and today, the manufacturer has                   Alienware M17x (3D)
announced the latest member of its LTE smartphone line-
up in Korea, the Optimus LTE Tag. Following the success
of the Optimus LTE, the world’s first HD LTE smartphone,
the Optimus LTE Tag features Near Field Communication
(NFC) technology that lets users communicate with "tags"
that can be programmed to automatically change the
phone's settings, turn on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth etc. It sports a
slim and sleek form factor, 4.3-inch IPS display, is powered
by 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 16GB eMMC, and runs
Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The Optimus LTE Tag will
also be able to upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
in future. The phone also comes with 5-megapixel rear
camera with AF-LED flash, and 1.3-megapixel front camera
for video calls.




                                                                                                                                            16
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

The Alienware M17x (3D) claims to be the first 3D-capable             doing graphics design, gaming or watching a high definition
gaming laptop in its line, providing users with immersive             (HD) movie. It boasts full HD 1920x1080 resolution,
gaming experience; graphics pop off the 17.3-inch full                10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and IPS technology and
high-definition (HD) 1080p display. Powered by second                 brightness of 300cd/m2. The U2312 comes with height-
generation Intel Core i7-2860QM processor, 16GB memory,               adjustable stand, four USB ports, built-in cable management
NVIDIA GTX 580 graphics with 2GB VRAM, the M17x (3D)                  and allows you to tilt and swivel to your viewing comfort.
comes with 1.5TB RAID drive and DVD+/-RW optical drive.               Original price: S$309
Original price: S$3,999                                               IT Show 2012 price: TBA
IT Show 2012 price: TBA

                                                                      Booth number - level 3 (Newstead booth 3001) and level 4
Alienware X51                                                         (Dell booth 8230, 8251 and Newstead booth 8139)


                                                                      ZTE announces PF200 and
                                                                      N910 LTE Android 4 handsets
                                                                      Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zte-announces-pf200-and-n910-lte-
                                                                      android-4-handsets/14958.html
                                                                      February 22nd, 2012




                                                                      Jumping the gun a bit on MWC, ZTE has just announced two
                                                                      new handsets both featuring the latest version of Android
                                                                      4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich along with LTE connectivity. The
                                                                      PF200 and N910 will be ZTE's headliners at the show in
                                                                      Barcelona next week. Details are still a bit sketchy, but we'll
The Alienware X51 is designed to offer powerful digital
                                                                      gather up what we can from ZTE's announcement until all is
entertainment, customization options and upgradeability,
                                                                      revealed toward the end of the month.
all in a compact size that will fit any space. It claims to deliver
immersive high definition gaming experience and lets you              Jumping the gun a bit on MWC, ZTE has just announced two
enjoy amazing visuals with desktop graphics card options.             new handsets both featuring the latest version of Android
Hardware specifications include the second generation Intel           4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich along with LTE connectivity. The
Core i5-2320 processor, 8GB memory, NVIDIA GTX 555                    PF200 and N910 will be ZTE's headliners at the show in
graphics with 1GB VRAM, 1TB hard disk and DVD+/- RW                   Barcelona next week. Details are still a bit sketchy, but we'll
optical drive. Note that the desktop does not come with               gather up what we can from ZTE's announcement until all is
monitor.                                                              revealed toward the end of the month.
Original price: S$1,499
IT Show 2012 price: TBA


Dell Ultrasharp U2312 monitor




                                                                      The PF200 is the higher specced of the two models with its
                                                                      4.3-inch (950 x 540) qHD capacitive touchscreen, 1.5GHz
                                                                      (dual-core?) processor, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera,
                                                                      DLNA support, Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi, GPS, LTE, mobile
                                                                      high-definition link (MHL) and near field communications
                                                                      (NFC).

The 23-inch Dell Ultrasharp U2312 monitor provides vivid
clarity and brilliant display performance whether you are

                                                                                                                                         17
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone




The "mid-range" N910 has a 1.2GHz chip and a 5MP
shooter on the rear with autofocus and flash. It uses a
WVGA (800 x 480) touchscreen of unknown size and
includes DLNA technology, LTE connectivity, GPS, WiFi,
and Bluetooth. It must also be noted that ZTE's N910 is                "As we’ve stated in the past, we’re working very hard to
a CDMA-only smartphone which will inevitably affect its                ensure that we’re being faithful and true to the heritage
global availability.                                                   of Max Payne – and the heart and soul of Max Payne
                                                                       gameplay has always been as a pure shooter,” Rockstar
We shall be back with more info in the coming days to clear            said. “Apart from some pretty cool melee kills that can be
up the specs a bit more and talk about where, when and at              triggered when in close quarters with an enemy, we have
what prices ZTE's PF200 and N910 handsets will launch at.              no intention of betraying that to introduce driving/racing
                                                                       or brawling elements.
Rockstar talks a bit more                                              Just get ready for some of the most cutting-edge, advanced
                                                                       and insane shooting gameplay you’ve ever experienced. If
about Max Payne 3                                                      you want driving, we do make some other games. This
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rockstar-talks-a-bit-more-about-   game is all about story driven gun play."
max-payne-3/14957.html
February 22nd, 2012                                                    Downloadable content (DLC) for the game while still
                                                                       unconfirmed, is something Rockstar is also looking to roll in
                                                                       at some point :-
                                                                       "As for future looking downloadable content, it’s a bit early
                                                                       yet for us to confirm exactly what shape Max Payne 3 DLC
                                                                       might take as we’re still in the planning stages for that, but
                                                                       yes we do plan to support Max Payne 3 with content post-
Seeking a little more meat on the third instalment of                  release to properly extend the game experience for fans."
Rockstar's Max Payne series scheduled to arrive in May on              PS3 and Xbox 360 gamers will first be able to get their hands
the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360? Rockstar has openly talked some              on Max Payne 3 in the middle of May, with PC gamers being
more on its next hit third person shooter to give us an idea           able to pick up their copy by the end of the month.
of what we can expect.
Seeking a little more meat on the third instalment of
Rockstar's Max Payne series scheduled to arrive in May on
                                                                       PowerColor's HD 7970 LCS is
the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360? Rockstar has openly talked some              up for Pre-Order
more on its next hit third person shooter to give us an idea           Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/powercolor-s-hd-7970-lcs-is-up-for-
of what we can expect. And thankfully, they've made it clear           pre-order/14956.html
that Max Payne 3 will remain true to its roots and stay closely        February 22nd, 2012
tied in with the original gameplay mechanics we loved the
most.




                                                                       A pre-order listing for PowerColor's beefed up Radeon HD
                                                                       7970 LCS Ed. graphics card has appeared on a UK website
                                                                       with an also beefed up price tag of £599.99.
                                                                       A pre-order listing for PowerColor's beefed up Radeon HD
                                                                       7970 LCS Ed. graphics card has appeared on a UK website
                                                                       with an also beefed up price tag of £599.99.


                                                                                                                                            18
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

The card does come equipped with a single-slot EK Nickel          thickness of the kind of wires used to connect a computer
Acetal waterblock and higher than stock clock rates of 1050       cooling fan to the motherboard.
MHz on the core and 5700MHz (effective) on its 3GB of
GDDR5 memory, but it's still hard to imagine anyone feeling
ok about dropping close to US $1K on one of these, especially
considering a couple of HD 7950s could be had for a similar
amount of money.




                                                                  FlexRay cables have so far only supported fairly low-speed
                                                                  implementations up to about 20Mbps, not remotely fast
Touching base on the remaining specs, the card boasts 2048
                                                                  enough for today's needs. Combining this type of low-
Stream Processors, a 384-bit memory interface, is PCI-E
                                                                  cost cabling with its BroadR-Reach technology and a new
3.0-ready and has four display outputs comprising one dual-
                                                                  Ethernet PHY, Broadcom has managed to create a solution
link DVI, one HDMI and two mini DisplayPorts.
                                                                  where it's possible to run 100Mbps Ethernet over FlexRay
                                                                  cabling. Broadcom was making a big deal out of the 80
Broadcom talks in-car                                             percent cost saving and 30 percent weight reduction when
                                                                  using FlexRay cabling compared to LVDS cabling which is
networking                                                        commonly used for various applications inside cars thanks
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/broadcom-talks-in-car-        to the LVDS cablings low emissions and EMI resistance.
networking/14955.html
February 22nd, 2012




One big growth area for computing these days is the
automotive industry and we're not talking about things like
the engine management system here, but rather about things
like navigation, entertainment and something known as
ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems). One problem
that has cropped up is that it's getting costly to implement
all of these solutions as they all have their own interconnect
systems, something Broadcom wants to help with.
One big growth area for computing these days is the
automotive industry and we're not talking about things like
the engine management system here, but rather about things
like navigation, entertainment and something known as
ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems). One problem
that has cropped up is that it's getting costly to implement
all of these solutions as they all have their own interconnect
systems, something Broadcom wants to help with.
Broadcom has started a special interest group known as
the OPEN (One Pair Ether-Net) alliance which is focusing          FlexRay cabling on the left, LVDS on the right
on developing products built on Broadcom's BroadR-Reach           Combining its BroadR-Reach technology with FlexRay
technology. In the case of the automotive industry we're          allows Broadcom to offer a much more flexible solution with
talking about 100Mbps Ethernet over a single twisted pair of      the same low emissions and EMI resistance as LVDS cables,
FlexRay cables. For those not familiar with FlexRay cabling,      although what the company sort of neglected to mention
it looks not that dissimilar to a pair of wires from a standard   during the presentation was the cost of its transceivers and
Ethernet cable, albeit slightly thicker, we'd say about the       switches which are needed to implement this technology.
                                                                                                                            19
February 22nd, 2012                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

That said, it's not free to implement LVDS technology either     counting the power regulation components – of which the
and this too requires additional chips and far more costly       one you can see in the picture is Broadcom's BCM89810
connectors on both ends.                                         Ethernet transceiver which is also pictured below the camera
                                                                 alongside one of the switches.
Broadcom is offering a single-port 100Mbps transceiver
and three different switch solutions today, as well as
a transceiver used for diagnostics that allows external
equipment to be attached at Gigabit speed. The trick here
is that the OPEN alliance consists of a wide range of
companies, including a few other chip makers, several car
manufacturers and in-car entertainment product makers to
mention a few. As such Broadcom isn't the only company
making compatible solutions and the idea of it all is for this
technology to become the dominant in-vehicle networking
standard.




                                                                 For more details about the OPEN alliance we suggest you
                                                                 head over to its website where you can find out more details
                                                                 about its members and where you might be finding this
                                                                 technology. Implementations in cars aren't expected until
                                                                 later this year with BMW allegedly being one of the first
                                                                 out the door. The OPEN alliance is also working on a next
                                                                 generation standard and is hoping to be able to reach speeds
                                                                 of 1Gbps over the same type of cabling. You can also find
Long term Broadcom is hoping that its technology will            more details on Broadcom's product page.
replace most; if not all the various systems used in cars
to allow for an overall simplified network topology. In as
much as it has been designed for use in cars, it can also be
used in other types of vehicles, such as busses for example,
as cable lengths of up to about 50m are supported. In as
much as we're all for standardisation, we can't but feel a
little bit worried about cars ending up with a single network
for all of its various computer systems, as when something
goes wrong with the network, then what? Broadcom did
mention that link aggregation is supported to either help
boost the performance beyond 100Mbps, or for the purpose
of failover.




Although no live demo was shown, Broadcom did bring
along a typical in-vehicle camera module used for example
as a rear view camera for when you're reversing. The entire
module was tiny and featured a mere three IC's – not

                                                                                                                           20
February 24th, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone




VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks!
                                                                     The board in question was manufactured in the third quarter
  VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly                       of 2011, meaning that NVIDIA has had Kepler for quite some
  publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the          time. Given that the original plan called for Kepler debut in
  geeks.                                                             2011 and Maxwell in 2013, it's obvious that the yields were
                                                                     too low to initiate launch production. In the recent financial
                                                                     analyst call, Jen-Hsun commented that the 28nm supply will
NVIDIA Kepler Power                                                  be "constrained through the year (2012)".
Circuitry Revealed: 300W
TDP?
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-kepler-power-circuitry-
revealed-300w-tdp-/15011.html
February 24th, 2012




On the week starting March 20th, NVIDIA will unveil
GeForce products based on the Kepler GPU architecture.
We got our hands on a board and saw very interesting                 As you can see on the diagram above, the board requires a
solutions…                                                           single six-pin and eight-pin power cables (Theoretical Max:
In the first of a series of articles, we'll analyze the way how      75W + 150W + 75W from the PCIe connector = 300W) even
NVIDIA will supply power for the GK104, rumored to debut             though it should operate with just two six-pin rails. Then
as the "GeForce GTX 670 Ti". The specs are wildly rumored            again, if you purchase a performance product, it is expected
"on the Internets", but it is clear that this might be another       that you'll have at least a 500W+ PSU where 8-pin connector
winner for NVIDIA. Or… not.                                          is the norm.
The final verdict will be given by the reviewers and more            Three phases are dedicated to feed the GPU (NVVDD-PH2,
importantly - the consumers. What we are going to focus on           PH4, PH5), and dual phase is for driving the rest of the board
is another thing, and that is how efficient is the power design      - a couple of gigabytes of GDDR5 memory and 3rd party
on the GeForce 600 Series boards and more importantly, the           chips (NVVDD-PH1 and PH3).
Kepler GPU itself.                                                   We'll continue the examination in our future articles. Stay
                                                                     tuned.


                                                                     Apple planning to axe iPhone
                                                                     dock connector
                                                                     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-planning-to-axe-iphone-dock-
                                                                     connector/15016.html
                                                                     February 24th, 2012




                                                                     Apple is planning to axe its proprietary iPhone dock
                                                                     connector in order to make room for more important things,
For starters, the thing that you need to know about Kepler           like a larger battery, in its popular smartphone device.
is that NVIDIA is using Foxconn to manufacture the high-
end board. According to various sources, NVIDIA has used             Apple is planning to axe its proprietary iPhone dock
the strategy of switching between Flextronics and Foxconn            connector in order to make room for more important things,
in the past, but they're now perfectly happy with Foxconn            like a larger battery, in its popular smartphone device.
(that one with the anti-suicide nets).


                                                                                                                                          1
February 24th, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

In its quest to launch new and improved versions of the                Republic and other massively multiplayer online (MMO)
iPhone the Cupertino, California-based company will axe                games.
the large dock connector and replace it with something                 Idea Fabrik, the company behind the Hero Engine, has
considerably smaller.                                                  revealed a massive surge in developers expressing interest
                                                                       in using its platform after the success of Star Wars: The Old
                                                                       Republic and other massively multiplayer online (MMO)
Apple previously agreed to a plan by the European Union for
                                                                       games that use the engine.
all phone manufacturers to adopt the micro-USB connector
as standard for charging phones. This will eliminate the need
to buy specific chargers for phones and will have a beneficial         Since the beginning of this year Idea Fabrik has seen a
effect upon the environment as well, given how many useless
                                                                       sharp increase in developer subscriptions to its HeroCloud
chargers are thrown out each year.                                     managed service, which lets game studios build 3D online
                                                                       games in a variety of genres.


                                                                       There are now over 5,000 developers using the Hero Engine,
                                                                       “fuelled by the excitement about successful launches last
                                                                       year of MMO games from EA and from Trion Worlds,”
                                                                       according to Idea Fabrik's COO, Neil Harris.




                                                                       The Trion Worlds title is Rift, which released in early 2011,
                                                                       and the EA title is, of course, Star Wars: The Old Republic,
                                                                       BioWare's first foray into the world of online games. This
                                                                       has paid off big time, as The Old Republic is now the fastest
                                                                       growing MMO in history, with over two million copies sold
                                                                       so far. Not bad for a game that's just over two months old.

However, it does not appear that Apple is going to use this
opportunity to switch to micro-USB, despite most of its                “We’ve been watching Hero Engine’s evolution over the last
rivals having already done so. It still makes a lot of money           several years,” said Wanda Meloni, analyst at M2 Research.
from its proprietary connectors and is likely unwilling to give        “The technology has really become quite mature. My guess
them up without a fight.                                               is, you’re going to see Hero Engine not only continue to
                                                                       be a dominant platform for MMOs, but that the reference
                                                                       products the company is developing will illustrate that it is
Employing a micro-dock will make Apple's new line of                   viable for other genres of games as well.”
products incompatible with older devices, a problem that
could be solved with an adaptor, but this will cause some
customer confusion and disgruntlement, since it will force
the purchase of additional unnecessary hardware.                       Proview sues Apple in the
                                                                       US over iPad trademark
We cannot help but think that Apple is missing out on a
major opportunity to become a market leader in terms of a
                                                                       infringement
                                                                       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/proview-sues-apple-in-the-us-over-
universal connector standard for smartphones. That should
                                                                       ipad-trademark-infringement/15013.html
be micro-USB, not a new Apple micro-dock.
                                                                       February 24th, 2012




Developers flock to Hero
Engine after Star Wars: The
Old Republic success                                                   Proview Electronics has filed a lawsuit against Apple
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/developers-flock-to-hero-engine-
                                                                       in California over the alleged infringement of its iPad
after-star-wars-the-old-republic-success/15015.html
                                                                       trademark, bringing the bitter dispute that has been raging
February 24th, 2012
                                                                       in China to US soil.
                                                                       Proview Electronics has filed a lawsuit against Apple
                                                                       in California over the alleged infringement of its iPad
                                                                       trademark, bringing the bitter dispute that has been raging
Idea Fabrik, the company behind the Hero Engine, has                   in China to US soil.
revealed a massive surge in developers expressing interest
in using its platform after the success of Star Wars: The Old


                                                                                                                                                2
February 24th, 2012                                                                                             Published by: VR-Zone

The struggling technology company filed a lawsuit on 17                  Adata Technology announced today the launch of a brand
February at the Santa Clara Superior Court, according to                 new lineup of expanded capacity solid state drives. The new
Alice Wang, a spokesperson for Proview.                                  SSD range includes the XPG SX900, the Premier Pro SP900,
                                                                         and the Premier SP800, all of which use new optimized
                                                                         firmware to utilize greater storage capacity of the NAND
Proview failed to secure a sales ban of Apple's iPad tablets             Flash components. All of the drives being launched use
in Shanghai earlier this week, but it is not giving Apple                NAND Flash for improved stability and performance. The
time to breathe a sigh of relief. By going after Apple's home            3 new series are the XPG (Xtreme Performance Gear),
market, where an injunction could prove disastrous, it might             the Premier Pro SP900 and the Premier SP800.
be hoping that the company will buckle and strike a deal to
put an end to the legal tangle.




Proview registered the iPad name in 2000, ten years before
Apple launched its popular device. However, Apple claims
that a Proview subsidiary sold it the rights in 2009 for
£35,000, a rather measly sum of money given the success of
the iPad.


Proview once dominated the monitor market when display
panels used cathode-ray tubes. Failure to quickly adapt
                                                                         The XPG (Xtreme Performance Gear) SSDs are designed
to the LCD market has caused the company to virtually
                                                                         to satisfy hardcore, speed crazed enthusiasts. Its maximum
collapse, landing it with excessive debt and forcing the
                                                                         sequential read and write speeds are 550/530 MB per
Hong Kong Stock Exchange to delist its shares. It therefore
                                                                         second, with maximum random 4k write speeds as high as
desperately needs additional funding and Apple has plenty
                                                                         85,000 IOPS. With capacities of 64, 128, 256, and 512GB,
to offer.
                                                                         the SX900 is poised to take its place as a market and
                                                                         performance leader.


ADATA launches a brand new
lineup of SSDs
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/adata-launches-a-brand-new-lineup-
of-ssds/15012.html
February 24th, 2012




Adata Technology announced today the launch of a brand
new lineup of expanded capacity solid state drives. The new
SSD range includes the XPG SX900, the Premier Pro SP900,
and the Premier SP800, all of which use new optimized
firmware to utilize greater storage capacity of the NAND
Flash components. All of the drives being launched use
NAND Flash for improved stability and performance. The 3
new series are...

                                                                                                                                   3
February 24th, 2012                                                                                           Published by: VR-Zone

                                                               speeds are 280/260MB per second, and max random 4k
                                                               write speeds are up to 44,000 IOPS. It enters the market as a
                                                               high value entry-level solid state drive for those who are just
                                                               now making the transition from mechanical drives.


                                                               IT Show 2012 Promotions:
                                                               LifeProof
                                                               Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-
                                                               lifeproof/15010.html
                                                               February 24th, 2012




                                                               Most iPhone owners will invest in a case that gives some
                                                               protection to your phone. LifeProof cases claim to be
                                                               waterproof, shockproof, dirt proof, and snow proof. The
                                                               LifeProof cases will be available at the IT Show at Nubox
                                                               (booth 3001) and Multimedia Integrated (booth 8338).




The Premier Pro SP900 also boasts impressive performance
numbers, but also offers a competitive price advantage to
those looking to upgrade. Maximum sequential read and
write speeds are 550/ 520 MB per second, with maximum
random 4k write speeds of 85,000 IOPS. Capacities of 64,
128 and 256 GB make the SP900 an outstanding option for
upgrading notebooks that are compatible with the SATA 6Gb
per second specification.




                                                               The brand name LifeProof is inspired by the protection the
                                                               product provides mobile devices including the Apple iPhone
                                                               4 and iPhone 4S from the mishaps and harsh exposures that
                                                               happen daily. It features all the four ‘Proofs’ of LifeProof –
                                                               waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof, and shockproof. Comes
                                                               in Black, White, Pink and Purple, the LifeProof case has
                                                               a slim profile, measuring 10.8mm depth (which is 1.3mm
                                                               thicker than the iPhone), and is thinner than many standard
                                                               cases. It is fully sealed and protects against minute dust
                                                               particles, as well as provides the ability to swim and take
                                                               underwater (2m).


                                                               Camera & Photo Imaging
                                                               Show - CP+ 2012 the
                                                               aftermath
                                                               Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/camera--photo-imaging-show--
                                                               cp-2012-the-aftermath/15008.html
                                                               February 24th, 2012


Finally, the Premier SP800 is a SATA II SSD that also
makes efficient use of the Flash storage capacity, allowing
for capacities of 32 and 64GB. Max sequential read and write

                                                                                                                                  4
February 24th, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

CP+ 2012 is the exhibition to attend if you want to see and             5.5-inch TFT screens that lets you watch a movie on one,
touch all the new digital cameras, imaging products and                 while using the other as a video player controls. You can also
accessories. Held in Japan at Pacifico Yokohama Exhibition              have the email on one screen and the virtual keyboard on the
Hall and Annex Hall. The exhibition opened on Thursday, 9               other to type your message.
Februrary and concluded on 12 February 2012.                            Powered by NVIDIA Tegra2 mobile processor, the
CP+ 2012 is the exhibition to attend if you want to see and             tablet weighs 372g and runs Android 3.2 Honeycomb.
touch all the new digital cameras, imaging products and                 According to Sony, it will be upgradeable to Android 4.0 Ice
accessories. Held in Japan at Pacifico Yokohama Exhibition              Cream Sandwich over-the-air in future. The "Sony Tablet"
Hall and Annex Hall. The exhibition opened on Thursday,                 P is PlayStation-certified, which means you can access the
9 Februrary and concluded on 12 February 2012. In the                   Sony Entertainment Network to download games, music
second year running it has grown in popularity with a big               and videos. The “Sony Tablet” P will be available from today,
jump of over 131% in the registered visitors. Although the              24 February at all Sony stores and authorised outlets at S
exhibitor and exhibition booth numbers were down from the               $848.
previous year, the attendance numbers were not. Over the
4-day show the total visitors was 65,120. Visitor numbers
was not the only record breaker. A total of 55 new products             IT Show 2012 Promotions:
were announced at the show versus 45 at CP+2011. The
numbers are expected to grow again next year with the
                                                                        Seagate
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-
camera manufacturers creating a new level and breed of
                                                                        seagate/15005.html
digital cameras. You can get more information abotu CP+
                                                                        February 24th, 2012
here if you plan to visit next year. http://cpplus.jp You can
download and read the full report of the show here. http://
cpplus.jp/download/cp+2011report_E.pdf


"Sony Tablet" P launches
today in Singapore                                                      The GoFlex Satellite mobile wireless storage device is
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/-sony-tablet-p-launches-today-in-   Seagate's star product for the upcoming IT Show 2012. It is
singapore/15006.html                                                    extremely portable and lets you stream your movies, music
February 24th, 2012                                                     and photos to your smartphone, tablet and other Wi-Fi
                                                                        enabled devices easily with the GoFlex media app. Check it
                                                                        out at Seagate booth on level 6 (booth 6381).




The "Sony Tablet" S and P were unveiled together last year,
but it was the "Sony Tablet" S that was first to be launched in
Singapore on October 2011. Good news is, the "Sony Tablet"
P with dual 5.5-inch TFT screens has been announced and it
is available from today.




                                                                        The GoFlex Satellite mobile wireless storage device allows
                                                                        users to carry their media library with them wherever
                                                                        they go. and wirelessly stream movies, photos, music and
                                                                        documents to their iPad, Android tablet, smartphones or
                                                                        any Wi-Fi enabled device via the GoFlex Media app. The
                                                                        GoFlex Media app is available from the Apple App Store and
                                                                        Android market or a web browser. The GoFlex Satellite’s
                                                                        fast USB3.0/USB2.0 connection and downloadable Media
                                                                        Sync software also allows for easy transfer of media and
Sony Singapore launched the "Sony Tablet" S Wi-Fi model in              documents from a PC or Mac computer. The device can store
October last year, and the 3G version in January. But the               up to 500GB of data, the equivalent of 300 HD movies, and
"Sony Tablet" P came later than expected; the company has               can continuously stream up to five hours of video on a single
announced that it will be launched today, 24 February. The
"Sony Tablet" P features a unique clamshell design with dual

                                                                                                                                          5
February 24th, 2012                                                                                        Published by: VR-Zone

battery charge. Media can also be streamed to three Wi-Fi-
enabled devices at the same time.


Demo of the new BlackBerry
PlayBook 2.0
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/demo-of-the-new-blackberry-
playbook-2.0/14994.html
February 24th, 2012




The BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 operating system was recently
announced on 21 February, promising new features and
enhanced tablet experience for users. If you own the              The email app can render HTML-emails, and has a unified
PlayBook, it will prompt that there's an update available if      inbox whereby you can group all messages from your
you have not updated to the new OS. VR-Zone was treated           Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, besides your
to a demo at Research in Motion Singapore's office to check       personal and work email accounts. When you create a
out the new OS.                                                   new email, you can create it in rich text - change text
                                                                  color, font type, font size, etc; and if you decided to create
                                                                  multiple emails on top of the one you're writing on, the app
                                                                  will provide "tabbed email" which you can easily access
                                                                  whichever you want.




The PlayBook 2.0 is not a new piece of hardware, but a
free software upgrade which was launched on 21 February
globally and anyone with a PlayBook can simply download
the software over-the-air. The new user interface now comes       The Calendar features numbers of sizes in different formats,
with a bar of apps at the top, which can be customized to         known as "growing numbers". Growing numbers tells you
your favorites. You can also order the icons wherever you         very quickly when you're busy and when you're not - from
want it to be placed, and even move the icons to the next         the size of the day.
menu screen. On top of that, you can also create and name         And to help users save on printing, you can choose to print
the folders and drop the apps into the folders.                   your documents, be it Word document or web pages, from
                                                                  your computer to your BlackBerry PlayBook. This "Print to
                                                                  Go" feature requires the download of the drivers from the
                                                                  website, and when you first go to print, you will be prompted
                                                                  a six-digit code that allows you to pair the PlayBook to the
                                                                  printer driver. The "printed" document will only be in PDF
                                                                  format.
                                                                  There's no BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) on the PlayBook
                                                                  - this was an engineering decision during the building of
                                                                  PlayBook 2.0; but if you want to connect BBM, you can still
                                                                  do it via the BlackBerry Bridge function.




                                                                                                                              6
February 24th, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone


Dell's Streak Pro GS01
smartphone to launch in
Japan March 8th
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dell-s-streak-pro-gs01-smartphone-
to-launch-in-japan-march-8th/15004.html
February 24th, 2012




Dell has announced plans to launch its Streak Pro GS01
smartphone early next month after MWC has come and                       Initially the phone will arrive only in black, but if it's popular
gone - on March 8th to be exact. On the downside, due                    enough there's always the chance of other color schemes
to previously low handset sales globally the company has                 (with bright and vivid coloring being applauded by the
chosen to confine availability of this phone to the Japanese             Japanese in particular) coming to market later on.
market upon launch, with no word of when or if it will ever              Dell is shipping the phone with a now stale piece of
emerge elsewhere.                                                        Gingerbread (Android 2.3) and we're yet to find out if the
Dell has announced plans to launch its Streak Pro GS01                   company plans to upgrade the Streak Pro GS01 to the much
smartphone early next month after MWC has come and                       more appetising Ice Cream Sandwich OS.
gone - on March 8th to be exact. On the downside, due
to previously low handset sales globally the company has
chosen to confine availability of this phone to the Japanese
                                                                         Early Microsoft Office 15
market upon launch, with no word of when or if it will ever              screenshots are out
emerge elsewhere.                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/early-microsoft-office-15-
                                                                         screenshots-are-out/15003.html
                                                                         February 24th, 2012




                                                                         Some screenshots have appeared online of Microsoft's Office
                                                                         15 productivity suite following a Technical Preview release
                                                                         that was provided to a number of businesses and partners
                                                                         last month. All applications within are designed to run as
                                                                         standard on Windows 7 or 8 with the ribbon interface that we
                                                                         saw introduced in Office 2007 making its return yet again.
                                                                         Some screenshots have appeared online of Microsoft's Office
The Dell Streal Pro GS01 will be available for purchase                  15 productivity suite following a Technical Preview release
outright at a retail cost of ¥54,800 (about 680 USD / 510                that was provided to a number of businesses and partners
EUR), or at a much lower price on various plans. The phone               last month. All applications within are designed to run as
packs a dual-core processor at 1.5GHz with 8GB of internal               standard on Windows 7 or 8 with the ribbon interface that we
memory, 1GB of RAM and the addition of a microSD card                    saw introduced in Office 2007 making its return yet again.
slot allowing for further storage expansion (up to 32GB).
Its display is 4.3-inches in size, of OLED capacitive-type
supporting a resolution of 960 x 540.
Camera wise, the phone has an 8MP shooter on the rear with
autofocus, LED flash and HD video recording, while on the
front is a 1.3MP camera used for video calls.
Including the battery, the phone weighs in at about 145g with
the battery (of which is rated to provide up to 280 hours of
standby time and 6 hours of talk time). Dimensions come in
at 125.9 x 64.5 x 10.3mm.


                                                                         However, things have been changed up extensively this
                                                                         time around with more of a Metro oriented twist to the
                                                                         interface. For one, the ribbon will now be collapsed by

                                                                                                                                             7
February 24th, 2012                                                                                             Published by: VR-Zone

default and things like the gradients, panels and dividing        interface. Connecting over USB 2.0 is also possible, but one
lines which were common place previously appear to be             should expect less than smooth results in this instance.
mostly removed; all in Microsoft's efforts to make Metro a        A Japanese company by the name of RATOC has just
less cluttered, cleaner experience.                               unveiled its "REX-USB3HDMI" display adapter which
                                                                  provides a single HDMI output via connection to a USB 3.0
                                                                  interface. Connecting over USB 2.0 is also possible, but one
                                                                  should expect less than smooth results in this instance.




Another new feature of Microsoft's next-gen Office suite is
the ability to broadcast select documents online. This is more
or less an expansion of the "Broadcast Slide Show" feature
in Powerpoint 2010 where all other Office applications have
a similar functionality referred to as "Present Online". The
function ties in with Windows Live where your documents
are broadcasted.                                                  The REX-USB3HDMI measures 42 x 64 x 14 mm (WxDxH)
                                                                  and weighs in at about 26g. Inside its housing is a DL-3500
                                                                  DisplayLink chipset which gave the device its certification.
                                                                  It supports resolutions of up to 2048 x 1536 and up to six of
                                                                  them can be connected to a single USB 3.0 hub without any
                                                                  apparent performance loss.




While it's still got fair ways to go before release (there's a
public beta due out in the summer which is expected to have
most of the new Office 15 features implemented), it looks
like the next instalment of Office will be giving us some more
real-estate to work with, thanks to its minimalistic layout       RATOC's REX-USB3HDMI is expected to hit the market by
that should integrate quite well with the Metro UI.               mid-March at 10,500 JPY (about US $131).
For the remaining screenshots, head over to the source folks.
                                                                  Samsung demos quad core
RATOC releases 2048 x 1536-                                       Cortex-A9 SoC at the ISSCC
supporting USB 3.0 to HDMI                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-demos-quad-core-cortex-

Adapter
                                                                  a9-soc-at-the-isscc/15001.html
                                                                  February 24th, 2012
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ratoc-releases-2048-x-1536-
supporting-usb-3.0-to-hdmi-adapter/15002.html
February 24th, 2012

                                                                  The rumoured quad core Exynos 4412 from Samsung is said
                                                                  to have been demoed at the ISSCC or International Solid-
                                                                  State Circuits Conference held in San Francisco, which as it
                                                                  happens finishes today. Samsung didn't announce the model
                                                                  name, but details of the Exynos 4412 has already leaked and
A Japanese company by the name of RATOC has just                  the SoC that was being demoed is said to have been a quad
unveiled its "REX-USB3HDMI" display adapter which                 core Cortex-A9 chip built on Samsung's 32nm high-k metal
provides a single HDMI output via connection to a USB 3.0         gate process.
                                                                                                                                        8
February 24th, 2012                                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone

The rumoured quad core Exynos 4412 from Samsung is said                 x8 and x8 configuration. The board also has a single x1 PCI
to have been demoed at the ISSCC or International Solid-                Express 2.0 slot and two PCI slots of which the latter two are
State Circuits Conference held in San Francisco, which as it            unusable if the two full x16 slots are being occupied.
happens finishes today. Samsung didn't announce the model
name, but details of the Exynos 4412 has already leaked and
the SoC that was being demoed is said to have been a quad
core Cortex-A9 chip built on Samsung's 32nm high-k metal
gate process.
EE Times Asia is reporting that the quad core chip will
operate at speeds of between 200MHz and 1.5GHz and
that it features 1MB of L2 cache as well as 64-bit ARM
Neon support. The publication seems to have gotten slightly
confused about the GPU though, claiming that Samsung has
its own GPU design, which isn't the case. Instead, the Exynos
4412 is expected to be one of the first SoCs that uses ARM's
Mali-T604 GPU architecture.
The new chip is said to deliver up to 26 percent more
performance compared to a 45nm on Samsung's older
manufacturing process, while also improving battery life by
34 to 50 percent. Impressive numbers indeed, although not
all is thanks to the die shrink, as some of it is said to be
coming from improved power and thermal management. It's
also meant to deliver in excess of 26 percent improvement in            Moving on we find four SATA 3Gbps and no less than six
frame rate while again drawing far less power than its 45nm             SATA 6Gbps ports, with the additional four ports being via
siblings.                                                               two Marvell SE9172 controllers. Moving on we find two USB
                                                                        3.0 header connected to a TI TUSB7340 host controller,
The new chip is expected to be announced at the Mobile                  headers for six USB 2.0 and a FireWire port, a POST80
World Congress in Barcelona next week, where Samsung is                 debug LED, power and reset buttons and a Molex connector
also expected to be demoing its dual core Exynos 5250 based             for extra power to the PCI Express slots. Around the back
on ARM's Cortex-A15 architecture.                                       we have a PS/2 port, six USB 2.0 ports of which one is a
Source: EE Times Asia (requires free registration)                      “Fatal1ty Mouse Port”, four USB 3.0 ports connected to a
                                                                        second TI TUSB7340 host controller, two eSATA ports, a
                                                                        FireWire port, Gigabit Ethernet via a Broadcom chip, 7.1-
ASRock launches the Fatal1ty                                            channel audio with optical and coaxial S/PDIF out and a
X79 Professional                                                        clear CMOS button.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asrock-launches-the-fatal1ty-x79-   Overall not a bad board, but ASRock has “only” fitted four
professional/15000.html                                                 DIMM slots and four PCI Express x16 slots, something we're
February 24th, 2012                                                     sure some potential buyers will complain about, especially
                                                                        as some of ASRock's other models have additional slots
                                                                        of both kinds. You don't get a sound card with this board
                                                                        either, unlike a couple of ASRock Extreme series boards,
                                                                        something that's a bit disappointing for what is being sold
                                                                        as a motherboard for gamers. You do at least get all kinds of
                                                                        SLI bridges in the box as well as a front USB 3.0 panel and a
                                                                        rear USB 3.0 bracket, each for two ports.
Intel's Sandy Bridge-E processors are still in fairly short
supply, especially the Core i7-3930K, but that hasn't stopped
ASRock from launching its eighth X79 motherboard, the
Fatal1ty X79 Professional. The new model is as with
ASRock's previous Fatal1ty boards targeting gamers, but it's
by far not the most feature rich board on offer by ASRock.
Intel's Sandy Bridge-E processors are still in fairly short
supply, especially the Core i7-3930K, but that hasn't stopped
ASRock from launching its eighth X79 motherboard, the
Fatal1ty X79 Professional. The new model is as with
ASRock's previous Fatal1ty boards targeting gamers, but it's
by far not the most feature rich board on offer by ASRock.
That said, the Fatal1ty X79 Professional isn't what you'd call
a feature light board, as beneath all the Fatal1ty branding,            The problem is really the asking price, as we found the board
there's plenty on offer. The slot layout allows for four x16            on sale in Europe for around €250 (S$420/US$335) making
cards to be used as long as you have a chassis with at least            it more expensive – if not by that much – than the Extreme7
eight expansion slots if you want to use dual-slot cards. The           and Extreme6/GB, two models from ASRock which we'd say
PCI Express 3.0 slots will operate in either a x16, x8 and x16          are competing for the same market, just with less branding.
mode with the fourth slot being disabled, or in a x16, x8,              At the end of the day it comes down to a matter of personal

                                                                                                                                    9
February 24th, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

preference and how much you can afford to spend on a                  that this means that we're unlikely to see a lot of 802.11ac
new motherboard, but with Ivy Bridge around the corner, it            products this year.
might not be the best move to invest in the Sandy Bridge-E
platform.
                                                                      Baidu to set up research
Qualcomm Atheros                                                      center in Singapore, focuses
announces its first 802.11ac                                          on Southeast Asia
                                                                      Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/baidu-to-set-up-research-center-in-
Wi-Fi solutions                                                       singapore-focuses-on-southeast-asia/14998.html
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/qualcomm-atheros-announces-its-   February 24th, 2012
first-802.11ac-wi-fi-solutions/14999.html
February 24th, 2012




The 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard was unveiled at CES and first             Chinese web services giant, Baidu, has announced plans
out the gate with hardware solutions was Broadcom. Now                to set up a research centre in Singapore, to focus on
Qualcomm Atheros is getting ready to join the 802.11ac                Southeast Asia. The venture is a collaboration with Institute
standard with no less than six new products targeting four            for Infocomm Research (I²R), a research institute of the
different market segments.                                            Agency for Science and Technology Research (A*STAR) in
                                                                      Singapore.
The 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard was unveiled at CES and first
out the gate with hardware solutions was Broadcom. Now
Qualcomm Atheros is getting ready to join the 802.11ac
standard with no less than six new products targeting four
different market segments.
First up is the WCN3680 which is targeting mobile
applications and it's of course compatible with Qualcomm's
own Snapdragon SoCs, specifically the new S4 models. The
WCN3680 is a 1x1 802.11ac combo chip which should be
backwards compatible with older Wi-Fi standards and it also
sports Bluetooth and FM radios. Being a 1x1 802.11ac device
it tops out at speeds of 433Mbps, the same as Broadcom's
BCM43516 which targets the same market space.
The next two products are the QCA9860 and QCA9862,                    Baidu has partnered Agency for Science and Technology
where the QCA9860 delivers three streams and the                      Research (A*STAR), to set up a research centre in
QCA9862 two streams for speeds of up to 1.3Gbps.                      Singapore to develop web services in Southeast Asia. The
Both models are backwards compatible with older Wi-                   joint will be named Baidu-I²R Research Centre (BIRC).
Fi standards and also offer supports for Bluetooth 4.0.               Baidu had started services in Arabic and Thai last year
Qualcomm is targeting these two models towards consumer               to step up efforts of expansion outside of China. With
electronics and various computing environments, such as               the joint venture, BIRC plans to focus more on Southeast
notebooks and tablets. Additional features for the WCN3680            Asia with researching in technologies including natural
and the QCA9860 and QCA9682 includes support for Wi-Fi                language processing, information retrieval and information
Direct and Wi-Fi Display.                                             extraction, speech information processing and multimedia
                                                                      processing.
Qualcomm also has two solutions for home networking,
although in this case we're talking about devices such as
routers and access points. The two models here are the
QCA9880 and QCA9882 and just as with the previous two
                                                                      Blizzard tells gamers to lower
models we're looking at 3x3 and 2x2 MIMO configurations.              expectations for Diablo III
The good news here is that both models supports dual-                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blizzard-tells-gamers-to-lower-
concurrent dual-band operation, i.e. both 802.11ac at 5GHz            expectations-for-diablo-iii/14997.html
and 802.11n at 2.4GHz will be operational simultaneously.             February 24th, 2012

The last two models are for the enterprise market and here
Qualcomm has added “enhanced in-building location and
spectral sensing capabilities”. Beyond that we're looking at
fairly similar products to the previous two, but the model
names have changed to QCA9890 and QCA9892.
Qualcomm is set to demo its products at the Mobile World
Congress in Barcelona next week and the company will start            A Blizzard community manager has told gamers to lower
to sample its partners next quarter. The only bad news is             their expectations for the upcoming Diablo III hack and
                                                                      slash RPG, a surprising comment that might cause some fans
                                                                      of the Diablo series considerable concern.


                                                                                                                                            10
February 24th, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

A Blizzard community manager has told gamers to lower                      February 24th, 2012
their expectations for the upcoming Diablo III hack and
slash RPG, a surprising comment that might cause some fans
of the Diablo series considerable concern.

                                                                           Google has released an update to its Google Docs for
“On a more serious note, I too worry that we won't be
                                                                           Android app, which adds a collaboration feature and several
able to meet the expectations people have built up for
                                                                           improvements to the interface and formatting.
themselves,” wrote community manager Bashiok. “Part of
my job is managing people's expectations, so... eh... stop                 Google has released an update to its Google Docs for
it. Stop thinking about how awesome this game could be.                    Android app, which adds a collaboration feature and several
Just imagine it's a new M. Night Shyamalan movie. Sure                     improvements to the interface and formatting.
Sixth Sense was amazing and Unbreakable had it's moments,
but this right here is the sequel to The Village ... or The
Happening ... or Signs ... or any of the movies besides the                The addition will allow Android users to see real time
two I first mentioned. So just like, lower those expectations,             updates to their documents as others make changes from
but still definitely buy the game please, and everything will              their computers, tablets or smartphones. Joining in on the
be just fine. K?”                                                          collaboration process is as easy as tapping the document.


This honesty may come as a shock to many who are used                      The update also improves the interface to make it easier to
to community managers acting like part of a company's PR                   work on documents while on the go. Users can pinch the
team, refusing to accept any blame and constantly twisting                 screen to zoom in and focus on specific paragraphs or to see
a situation so that it reads as positively for the company as              the whole document at a glance.
possible.


                                                                           Another important addition is rich text formatting, which
                                                                           lets users stylise documents by adding colour, bolding or
                                                                           italicising words, or creating bullet lists.


                                                                           This update marks another step in Google's attempts to
                                                                           make Android a viable operating system for enterprise. As
                                                                           business people have become increasingly mobile, travelling
                                                                           abroad for meetings, it has become more essential that
                                                                           smartphones can fill the role of a laptop or desktop
                                                                           computer. Document collaboration is a key part of this.


                                                                           Hands on with VIA's
Bashiok makes some good points about the hype
surrounding Diablo III. It's been 12 years since the last
                                                                           new quad core mini-ITX
Diablo game and 11 years since Blizzard began working on                   motherboard
Diablo III. An announcement only came in 2008, but it's                    Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hands-on-with-via-s-new-quad-core-
easy to see why players are expecting great things, given the              mini-itx-motherboard/14995.html
long development process.                                                  February 24th, 2012



The problem is that if players are being told to expect just
a good game rather than a huge improvement over the
previous ones, Blizzard could run the risk of losing a lot of
its frenzied customers. Given that the release of the game is
only months away, that's probably a very unwise thing to do.
                                                                           All the way back in May of last year, VIA announced its
                                                                           first quad core CPU, simply named QuadCore which was
                                                                           known as the L4700. Now the company has announced
Google adds collaboration to                                               its first mini-ITX motherboards based on its QuadCore
                                                                           processor, albeit this time we’re talking about an E-series –
Google Docs for Android                                                    or embedded series – processor on the new EPIA-M900 and
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-adds-collaboration-to-google-   EPIA-M910 motherboards.
docs-for-android/14996.html                                                All the way back in May of last year, VIA announced its
                                                                           first quad core CPU, simply named QuadCore which was
                                                                           known as the L4700. Now the company has announced
                                                                           its first mini-ITX motherboards based on its QuadCore
                                                                           processor, albeit this time we're talking about an E-series –
                                                                                                                                              11
February 24th, 2012                                                                                             Published by: VR-Zone

or embedded series – processor on the new EPIA-M900 and
EPIA-M910 motherboards.
VR-Zone got a quick hands on with the EPIA-M900 the
other day which features a slightly different design than
your average mini-ITX motherboard by offering a pair of
expansion slots while maintaining the 170x170mm form
factor. But more on that a little bit later, let's take a look
at the new QuadCore processors first, as VIA has three new
models.




                                                                  As for the EPIA-M910, we're looking at a fairly different
                                                                  board design, as here we're talking about a board that can
                                                                  run of a 12V power supply, although a SKU with a standard
                                                                  ATX power connector is also available. VIA decided to go
                                                                  with a pair of standard DIMMs for this board and it also has
                                                                  a typical industrial PC style expansion slot layout with a PCI
First up we have the U4650E which can be passively cooled         Express x1 slot located right behind the PCI slot to allow for
despite its fairly high 18W TDP. It's clocked at a mere 1GHz,     a riser card to be use with both expansion slots. Here we also
but has a turbo mode that takes it to 1.2GHz. Each CPU core       find LVDS connectors, support for six serial ports via pin-
has 1MB of L2 cache and the processor has a bus speed of          headers and various other connectors used in the embedded
800MHz. Next up is the L4700E, a 1.2GHz part with a turbo         motherboard market. Around the back the EPIA-M910 has
mode that takes it to 1.46GHz. This was in fact the model we      another pair of serial ports, four USB 2.0 ports, a pair of
were shown by via and although not recommended unless             Gigabit Ethernet ports, three jacks for 5.1-channel audio, a
the chassis airflow is good, even this model can be passively     pair of PS/2 ports and an HDMI and D-sub connector.
cooled despite its 27.5W TDP. Lastly we have the L4800E,
a 1.46GHz part that will operate at 1.6GHz in turbo mode,         The EPIA-M900 can also be equipped with an S3 graphics
but here we have a TDP of 45W which is as much as Intel's         card as per the one we were demoed and this allows for
quad core mobile processors. The L4700E and L4800E both           up to four 1080p displays to be connected. The system
operate at a bus speed of 1066MHz.                                could even handle four 1080p video streams simultaneously,
                                                                  although this did slow down the system to a crawl, but
As for the new motherboards, the EPIA-M900 will be                at least the videos appeared to play just fine without any
available with the U4650E or the L4700E, whereas the              stuttering. From a consumer perspective neither board is
EPIA-M900 will only be available with the U4650E. The             all that interesting, but at least it goes to show that VIA is
EPIA-M900 sports as we mentioned a pair of expansion              still busy making use of its x86 license. What VIA serious
slots, namely a x16 PCI Express slot – with eight lanes of        needs is a node shrink on its processors to something like 32
bandwidth – and a PCI slot. The problem here is that you          or 28nm as this would help to reduce the TDP radically. In
wouldn't be able to use the PCI Express slot in a regular mini-   our opinion the 45W TDP part just isn't competitive and in
ITX chassis which is a shame. The board also has two SO-          as much as VIA offers a low power quad core solution, the
DIMM slots, two SATA ports, headers for four USB 2.0 ports        1.46GHz model isn't likely to be the most popular alternative
and three serial ports. Around the back things are pretty         for VIA's partners.
basic with four USB 2.0 ports, a serial port, Gigabit Ethernet,
three jacks for 5.1-channel audio, an HDMI port and a D-sub
connector.                                                        Nikon COOLPIX S4300 and
                                                                  S3330 On Sale Now
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nikon-coolpix-s4300-and-s3330-on-
                                                                  sale-now/14887.html




                                                                                                                                     12
February 24th, 2012                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

February 24th, 2012                                               and a high-resolution sensor to capture an image of any
                                                                  document or any small object. A total of six images are
                                                                  captured per scan or copy—three with flashes from different
                      The COOLPIX S Series S4300 and              angles and three in ambient light conditions with different
S3300 were announced in early February and are now                exposure levels—producing virtually glare-free and shadow-
available for purchase. The S4300 is available in a variety of    free images. These separate shots are then automatically
colours as is the S3300. Both point and shoot digital cameras     combined into one seamless image of exceptional quality.
feature a 16.0-Megapixels seonsor, 6x wide-angle zoom lens,       IT Show Price: TBA
a slim body and built in special effects and filter effects.
There is even a Pet Portrait Mode if you are pet owner. The       HP ENVY110 e-All-in-One printer
S4300 has a RRP of S$279 while the S3300 is priced at S
$219. The S4300 is available in Black, Red, Blue, White and
Purple. The S3300 tickles you slight variations in the colour
and is available in:- Silver, Black, Red, Gold, Purple, Pink,
Pale Green and Blue.


IT Show 2012 Promotions: HP
Printers
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-hp-
printers/14989.html
February 24th, 2012




Check out the four HP star printers at the upcoming IT Show       Enjoy cutting edge design and premium printing experience
2012 - HP TopShot LaserJet Pro M275, HP ENVY 110 e-All-           with the sleek and chic HP ENVY110 e-All-in-One. This
in-One, HP Photosmart 7510 e-All-in-One and HP Officejet          lifestyle printer adds a touch of elegance to any study or
Pro 8500A Plus e-All-in-One. The HP Printers booth can be         living room. Get impressive and lab quality photos and
located in Hall 401, Booth 8150.                                  daily documents in a touch. The printer also features the
HP TopShot LaserJet Pro M275                                      revolutionary HP ePrint technology that lets users email
                                                                  print jobs directly to the printer – from anywhere in the
                                                                  world. Go green with this beauty as it is the planet's first
                                                                  PVC-free printer that is Energy Star qualified and features
                                                                  automatic two-sided printing to reduce environmental
                                                                  impact.
                                                                  IT Show Price: TBA


                                                                  HP Photosmart 7510 e-All-in-One Printer




HP’s 'Studio in a box’ allows micro and small businesses
to capture professional-quality images of 3-D objects for
presentations, marketing materials, or directly to the web –
all at the touch of a button. The HP TopShot LaserJet Pro
M275 is HP’s first color MFP with TopShot Scanning that
lets you scan, copy and print with ease. The HP TopShot
Scanning is a revolutionary technology enabling you to
quickly capture high-quality images of your documents—
and even 3-D objects—for immediate use in your printed
materials or on the web. It features a camera embedded
into a hinged arm that is elevated above the capture stage        The HP Photosmart 7510 e-All-in-One is a family friendly
of the device. The camera uses a high-quality optical lens        printer that allows you to do more. Enjoy convenient

                                                                                                                            13
February 24th, 2012                                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone

features such as automatic document feeder (ADF), and                   Chinese website Expreview has shared out images of a
duplexer and boost your home printer capabilities. Print                new micro-ATX motherboard from ZOTAC based on Intel's
lab quality photos and web content without a PC. Indulge                H67 chipset which could be quite the attraction for budget
your kids with coloring pages and activity sheets from                  conscious HTPC / SFF builders.
HP Print apps such as Easy HP Games and Craft,
DreamWorks Animation Printables and puzzles by Lovatts.
With the revolutionary HP ePrint technology, users can print
anytime, anywhere and from any mobile device.
IT Show Price: TBA


HP Officejet Pro 8500A Plus e-All-in-One Printer




                                                                        Dubbed the ZT-H67D3, the board accomodates Core i3/i5/
                                                                        i7 LGA1155 processors and has quite a decent 6-phase VRM
                                                                        power setup going on along with the use of all-solid state
                                                                        caps.




Drive business growth with the HP Officejet Pro 8500A
Plus e-All-in-One Printer. It allows small businesses to
get professional-quality color prints, marketing materials
or other business documents for up to 50% lower cost
per page and energy usage than laser printers1. Increase
productivity with the revolutionary HP ePrint which allows
users to print from anywhere using any email-capable
devices like smartphones, desktops, laptops or netbooks.
Perfect for SMEs or SOHOs, this business-friendly printer               There are four DDR3 DIMM slots resident on the board
also features a 4.3inch colour touchscreen, automated two-              supporting dual-channel operation. Expansion slots come in
sided printing ability with a 250-sheet paper tray and an               the form of a single PCI-E x16 slot, two PCI-E x1 slots and a
automatic document feeder.                                              legacy PCI slot. The board's storage sub-system comprises a
                                                                        couple of SATA 6Gb/s ports, three SATA 3 Gb/s ports and
IT Show Price: TBA
                                                                        an eSATA 3 Gb/s port.

Booth Number: Suntec Singapore Hall 401, Booth 8150


ZOTAC's micro-ATX sized ZT-
H67D3 exposed
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zotac-s-micro-atx-sized-zt-h67d3-
exposed/14992.html
February 24th, 2012




Chinese website Expreview has shared out images of a
                                                                        Flicking around to the rear I/O section, Display connectivity
new micro-ATX motherboard from ZOTAC based on Intel's
                                                                        is offered via a DVI, DisplayPort and HDMI port. Oddly there
H67 chipset which could be quite the attraction for budget
                                                                        is no D-Sub port on the ZT-H67D3. Rounding out things,
conscious HTPC / SFF builders.

                                                                                                                                   14
February 24th, 2012                                                                                                     Published by: VR-Zone

the board has 8-channel HD audio and Gigabit ethernet.                   rewarding in-game items and bonuses, including a new
Unfortunately there isn't a USB 3.0 controller on this board.            Golden Gun Pack, a Vault Hunter’s Relic that helps boost
                                                                         a player’s loot and a Golden Key that unlocks an in-game
                                                                         mystery.


                                                                         Samsung now lists i515 Pogo
                                                                         Galaxy Nexus dock
                                                                         Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-now-lists-i515-pogo-
                                                                         galaxy-nexus-dock/14990.html
                                                                         February 24th, 2012




On the upside, the board is expected to hit the retail market            Samsung has now listed a docking station for its Galaxy
at just 399 RMB (about US $63).                                          Nexus smartphone which makes use of those 3-pin
                                                                         connectors on the side of the phone. But it doesn't come
                                                                         cheap at an associated price tag of US $89.99.
Borderlands 2 gets a release                                             Samsung has now listed a docking station for its Galaxy
date and trailer                                                         Nexus smartphone which makes use of those 3-pin
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/borderlands-2-gets-a-release-date-   connectors on the side of the phone. But it doesn't come
and-trailer/14991.html                                                   cheap at an associated price tag of US $89.99.
February 24th, 2012




An announcement from Gearbox and 2K Games yesterday
confirms that the sequel to blockbuster game title,
Borderlands will be released on September 18th in the U.S.
for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, with international availability to
follow on September 21st.
An announcement from Gearbox and 2K Games yesterday
confirms that the sequel to blockbuster game title,
Borderlands will be released on September 18th in the U.S.
for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, with international availability to
follow on September 21st.
Along with the disclosed launch date for Borderlands 2, 2K               The Verizon LTE model of the Galaxy Nexus is said to be
Games has upped the first official trailer which retains a               compatible with this particular landscape mode dock which
similar overall gameplay style to the original, combining                is formally called the "Galaxy Nexus i515 Pogo Desktop
RPG character leveling with First-Person Shooter elements                dock".
which the developer refers to as more of a <em>shooter-                  What the dock promises is quicker and easier charging than
looter</em> genre of play.                                               the standard charger via the mini-USB port. Sadly, this dock
                                                                         doesn't offer a HDMI output despite the Nexus sporting
           Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.)                      MHL, but it does provide a standard 3.5mm audio jack for
                                                                         stereo output to stream music etc.
The new trailer shows off new playable characters, new
skill tree selections and vastly differing environments to the
original.
Once again the game is set on the planet Pandora in
similar Western dressing to the original, allowing players
to get involved in quests through non-player characters and
bounty boards. Four-player network multiplayer remains
intact along with split-screen play for local players.
If you're already sold on it, you should be made aware
that if you pre-order the game you will receive access to
the Borderlands 2 Premiere Club which comprises several

                                                                                                                                            15
February 24th, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone


                                                                        The Wi-Fi Alliance set to
                                                                        simplify hotspot roaming
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-wi-fi-alliance-set-to-simplify-
                                                                        hotspot-roaming/14987.html
                                                                        February 24th, 2012




                                                                        One of the biggest drawbacks of Wi-Fi is that in a multi-
                                                                        hotspot environment it's difficult to roam between the
The dock is still showing as being out of stock, but it is on
                                                                        various access points, as often the login isn't carried over
back-order so you shouldn't be waiting too long before you
                                                                        between the access points. The Wi-Fi Alliance is busy
get yours after ordering from Samsung's website.
                                                                        working on a solution for this problem and when it launches
                                                                        in July, it should be known as Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint.
Intel rumoured to reduce                                                One of the biggest drawbacks of Wi-Fi is that in a multi-
pricing on Ivy Bridge                                                   hotspot environment it's difficult to roam between the
                                                                        various access points, as often the login isn't carried over
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-rumoured-to-reduce-pricing-
                                                                        between the access points. The Wi-Fi Alliance is busy
on-ivy-bridge/14988.html
                                                                        working on a solution for this problem and when it launches
February 24th, 2012
                                                                        in July, it should be known as Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint.
                                                                        According to Computerworld, Passpoint will make it easier
                                                                        for users to access hotspots thanks to the ability to retain
                                                                        the user's login credentials when roaming between several
                                                                        access points in the same network. Unlike today there will
                                                                        be no need to access a webpage to log on, instead the SIM
The rumours about Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge processors
                                                                        card could be used or a certificate based method could be
never seem to take a pause these days and the latest ones are
                                                                        applied which would vastly improve the user experience
suggesting that Intel is considering reducing its pricing to its
                                                                        when it comes to accessing hotspots. This would potentially
partners. This is not the kind of move you'd expect from Intel
                                                                        also make it easier for browser-less devices to access Wi-Fi
at the launch of a new processor family and we'll see how this
                                                                        networks, for example digital cameras with built in Wi-Fi.
one plays out.
                                                                        Passpoint will be rolled out in an initial version that offers
The rumours about Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge processors
                                                                        fairly basic features that will form the 802.11u standard,
never seem to take a pause these days and the latest ones are
                                                                        although the good news here is that any access point that
suggesting that Intel is considering reducing its pricing to its
                                                                        is part of the Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint standard will be
partners. This is not the kind of move you'd expect from Intel
                                                                        required to use WPA-2 Enterprise level security.Come next
at the launch of a new processor family and we'll see how this
                                                                        year, additional features will be added such a simplified user
one plays out.
                                                                        account creation process and operator specific policies.
In a story talking about hybrid storage in Ultrabooks,
                                                                        One of the key features of Passpoint is for cellular network
Digitimes casually mentions that “In order to promote
                                                                        operators to be able to offload data onto Wi-Fi networks and
Ivy Bridge, Intel will lower processor prices by US$60-70
                                                                        as such it's meant to be possible to roam between the cellular
on average”. This would be highly irregular for Intel, as
                                                                        network and Wi-Fi hotspots, although the details are still
normally the company has a fairly set pricing structure and
                                                                        thin as to how this will work in real world usage scenarios.
any discounts tend to go via its co-marketing program where
                                                                        The advantage of a universal standard is that various
Intel helps promote specific products.
                                                                        manufacturers' hardware will be interoperable which should
It's not clear if this discount only relates to Ultrabooks or if it     lead to a smoother experience for both the service providers
will apply to other Ivy Bridge processor SKUs as well. What             and the consumers who use the service, unlike the way things
is certain though is that the Ivy Bridge launch is something            often are today.
of a disaster already and from what we've heard via the
                                                                        It's interesting stuff indeed, but the question is how
grapevine, things aren't set to improve any time soon. Sadly
                                                                        much extra consumers will be charged for the pleasure
we can't say more than that yet, but hopefully we'll be able
                                                                        of offloading their data onto Wi-Fi networks compared
to give you more information once Cebit kicks off. The good
                                                                        to today's high network data charges in some countries.
news is that if you're not overly concerned about having a
                                                                        Deploying Wi-Fi hotspots isn't free, but then again it's a
cutting edge notebook, Sandy Bridge notebooks are expected
                                                                        lot more affordable than cell towers, so maybe the network
to get a lot cheaper in the run up to the Ivy Bridge launch.
                                                                        operators will take pity on their customers and offer the Wi-
                                                                        Fi services at no extra charge.




                                                                                                                                                  16
February 24th, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                       The Travelstar Z7K500 draws 1.8W during read/write
Hitachi puts its new                                                   operations and a mere 0.8W when it's in low-power
Travelstar Z7K500 on a diet                                            idle mode. Hitachi also offers models with self-encryption
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hitachi-puts-its-new-travelstar-   and an enhanced-availability SKU for use in data centre
z7k500-on-a-diet/14986.html                                            environments. Hitachi will be offering the Travelstar
February 24th, 2012                                                    Z7K500 in capacities of 250, 320 and 500GB and the
                                                                       company is expecting volume shipments to kick off in March.


                                                                       SanDisk and Toshiba creates
                                                                       19nm 128Gbit NAND flash
                                                                       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sandisk-and-toshiba-
You might have noticed that SSDs have been getting a                   creates-19nm-128gbit-nand-flash/14985.html
slimmer profile with several companies recently announcing             February 24th, 2012
7mm drives. Well, the hard drive makers don't want to be
left behind in the race to provide components for Ultrabooks
and now Hitachi has announced a new series of 7mm 2.5-
                                                                       The latest announcement from SanDisk suggests that we
inch hard drives.
                                                                       can expect even cheaper flash memory in the near future,
You might have noticed that SSDs have been getting a                   as well as being able to store much more data within the
slimmer profile with several companies recently announcing             same size memory chip. Jointly with Toshiba, SanDisk has
7mm drives. Well, the hard drive makers don't want to be               created 128Gbit NAND flash using its 19nm manufacturing
left behind in the race to provide components for Ultrabooks           technology, no small feat, but not entirely free of caveats.
and now Hitachi has announced a new series of 7mm 2.5-
                                                                       The latest announcement from SanDisk suggests that we
inch hard drives.
                                                                       can expect even cheaper flash memory in the near future,
With its new Travelstar Z7K500 series, Hitachi is offering             as well as being able to store much more data within the
7,200rpm 500GB drives with a slim 7mm profile. The                     same size memory chip. Jointly with Toshiba, SanDisk has
new model has a SATA 6Gbps interface, 32MB of cache                    created 128Gbit NAND flash using its 19nm manufacturing
and Hitachi claims that it delivers up to 33 percent better            technology, no small feat, but not entirely free of caveats.
performance than other 2.5-inch drives, although it's not
                                                                       In as much as it's impressive to squeeze 128Gbit or 16GB if
clear what models Hitachi compared it to.
                                                                       you prefer into a mere 170 square millimetres, this was done
                                                                       using TLC NAND flash technology – each cell can store three
                                                                       bits – or what SanDisk likes to call its X3 technology. This
                                                                       helps reduce the cost for the NAND flash makers, but it also
                                                                       makes for less reliable memory. In fact, just the other day we
                                                                       heard that some cheap TLC NAND flash only survives 200
                                                                       cycles per cell, although we would expect SanDisk to offer a
                                                                       vastly superior product to this.
                                                                       In a normal NAND flash chip, there are usually several chips
                                                                       stacked inside to make up the final storage size whereas this
                                                                       new TLC NAND flash would allow for a single, un-stacked
                                                                       chip to meet many consumer flash memory storage product
                                                                       requirements. This would help to lower production costs, or
                                                                       vastly increase the size of memory cards and USB drives with
                                                                       128GB being a single chip.
                                                                       Interestingly, SanDisk has also managed to improve the
                                                                       write speed with the 128Gbit NAND flash delivering write
                                                                       speeds of up to 18MB/s and the company is hoping that
                                                                       its TCL NAND flash will be used in some situations where
                                                                       MLC NAND flash is used today. The new chip has already
                                                                       gone into volume production and should arrive in products
                                                                       shortly, alongside a 64Gbit version that SanDisk developed
                                                                       specifically for micro SD cards. SanDisk is also moving its
                                                                       MLC NAND flash products to 19nm to help drive down the
                                                                       cost.
                                                                       Moving to more advanced manufacturing technologies
                                                                       sadly has the opposite effect on NAND flash compared to
                                                                       microprocessors and other integrated circuits, as NAND
                                                                       flash is getting less and less reliable, something that isn't
                                                                       desirable when it comes to data storage devices, but it's
                                                                       the way the industry is moving to be able to deliver more
                                                                       affordable products. At least this is good news for the hard


                                                                                                                                         17
February 24th, 2012                                        Published by: VR-Zone

drive manufacturers, as backing up ones data is going to
become increasingly important.




                                                                             18
February 27th, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone




VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks!
                                                                          like Intel will be offering faster versions with speeds of up
  VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly                            to 2GHz, although this is presumably in turbo mode. Intel
  publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the               is also planning a more affordable Atom Z2000 model with
  geeks.                                                                  clock speeds of a mere 1GHz and which will use a different
                                                                          HSPA+ model called the XMM 6265, compared to the XMM
                                                                          6260 which is paired with the Atom Z2460. Intel is hoping
Intel pushes Medfield Atom                                                to hit retail prices of sub US$150 on handsets based on the
SoCs at MWC                                                               Atom Z2000.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-pushes-medfield-atom-socs-at-
mwc/15047.html
February 27th, 2012




Besides announcing a couple of partners beyond Lenovo and
Motorola that are willing to take on themselves to build
smartphones using Intel's Z2460 Atom SoC, Intel also gave
us a quick glimpse into the future as to what the company has
planned for this market space for next year. With a handful
of partners, Intel might just manage to carve itself a niche in           By next year we'll see a process shrink to 22nm using Intel's
the smartphone market after all.                                          FinFET technology – or 3D transistors if you prefer – and
Besides announcing a couple of partners beyond Lenovo and                 Intel is planning the Atom Z2580 for 2013 using this process
Motorola that are willing to take on themselves to build                  technology. Intel is promising twice the performance over
smartphones using Intel's Z2460 Atom SoC, Intel also gave                 the current model, without going into any real details. The
us a quick glimpse into the future as to what the company has             Atom Z2580 will be paired up with the XMM 7160 model
planned for this market space for next year. With a handful               which supports LTE and increased HSPA+ performance.
of partners, Intel might just manage to carve itself a niche in           Come 2014 Intel will be moving its Atom processor to 14nm,
the smartphone market after all.                                          although the company didn't go into any details here.

At its press conference Intel announced three new partners,               We're still not sold on the idea of having an Intel chip in our
Orange –a network service provider in Europe that will                    phone, but we have as yet to play with one so it's too early to
launch a handset in France and the UK this summer – Lava                  draw any conclusions, but it's clear that Intel has managed
– an Indian handset maker that will launch its Xolo X900                  to drum up enough interest from its partners to start the ball
at some point this year – and ZTE which simply announced                  rolling.
that they will have a device at some point in the second half
of this year. The Orange and Lava devices are as far as we're
aware based on Intel's reference design, so no big surprises
                                                                          Nintendo announces latest
here.                                                                     Pokemon games for DS and
                                                                          3DS
                                                                          Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nintendo-announces-latest-
                                                                          pokemon-games-for-ds-and-3ds/15046.html
                                                                          February 27th, 2012

                                                                          The company will launch Pokémon Black Version 2 and
                                                                          Pokémon White Version 2 in Autumn of this year in North
                                                                          America.
                                                                          The games are the sequels to Pokémon Black Version and
                                                                          Pokémon White Version, which launched in late 2010 in
                                                                          Japan and early 2011 throughout the rest of the world.


However, what Intel did show was a glimpse into the future,
detailing what to expect this year and next. For this year we'll
have the already announced Atom Z2460, although it seems

                                                                                                                                            1
February 27th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone




Nintendo is promising “plenty of new surprises” and has
showcased some new character art for Black Kyurem and
White Kyurem, shown above.                                              In that perspective, NVIDIA is keeping to its roadmap the
The games will be available for the variety of 2D DS devices,           company outlined at GPU Technology Conference in 2010.
as well as the Nintendo 3DS when used in 2D mode.                       As you can see on the image above, Tegra 3 will be offered
                                                                        in a refreshed form, codenamed T35. Our sources said this
                                                                        is not a 28nm die-shrink, but rather increased clocks for the
MWC 2012: NVIDIA Samples                                                Windows on ARM "clamshells". We've been cited 1.6 and
                                                                        1.7GHz clocked Tegra 3 SOC's, which is 20% higher than the
Tegra 3+, Tegra 4 to OEM                                                originally predicted 1.5GHz clock.
Partners                                                                Bear in mind that first generation of Tegra 3 cores only
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mwc-2012-nvidia-samples-tegra-3--   worked at 1.3-1.4GHz, as the company was constrained
tegra-4-to-oem-partners/15014.html                                      by strict thermal guidelines (100 mW idle, 2W TDP).
February 27th, 2012                                                     Clamshells have higher TDP and you can expect a lot more
                                                                        functionality coming from this "quad-core plus a ninja core",
                                                                        "4 PLUS 1" (NVIDIA Marketing Team, seriously - just say it's
                                                                        a quint-core and we're over and done with).
                                                                        Based on information available, T40 i.e. Wayne i.e. Tegra 4 is
Even though NVIDIA is at rage on the Mobile World                       a 28nm chip which combines several ARM Cortex-A15 cores
Congress in Barcelona, Spain - all of the industry players              (our source says it's different from T30) with a new graphics
are heavily working on next-generation of devices which                 engine which we assume to be compliant with CUDA. Unlike
threatens to turn the current generation obsolete.                      the roadmap which we have here, we've been told that there
                                                                        might be some delays for the T40 since NVIDIA has to
There is no doubt about it, producing bleeding edge silicon             attack Qualcomm Snapdragon, and if the company won't
is going through a lot of pain at this years' Mobile World              offer Tegra 4+Baseband - Qualcomm will get (most) of the
Congress. TSMC's even openly admitted that the yields for               design wins.
its state-of-the-art 28nm process are far from satisfactory -
 the situation is still better than it was for the 40nm process.        MWC 2013 will also see the debut of Grey, a 28nm single-
                                                                        chip package which combines Cortex-A15 cores, the new
Intel is having issues with the 22nm FinFET (so called 3D               GPU and the Icera 4G LTE baseband. Grey is a successor of
transistors), while GlobalFoundries had issues in ramping               T28, which is a dual-core Tegra 2 combined with an Icera
up both 32nm and 28nm process. Samsung is being silent                  450 baseband chip. The Tegra+Icera debuted at the show in
but we've all seen the amount of 3rd party chips the company            the form of ZTE Mimosa X smartphone.
ordered from NVIDIA and TI to compensate for its own
products.                                                               Thus, in 12 months from now, NVIDIA will have a top to
                                                                        bottom solution for the expanding smartphone market. Is
Yet, the development of the latest products is not stopping.            that enough? Only time will tell.
According to the rumors in Barcelona, NVIDIA went by the
book and taped out T40, i.e. Wayne in late December 2011.
The silicon took some time to get back and the company                  Adobe launches Photoshop
is now starting to sample its OEM partners with the next
generation parts which will be launched at the next years'              Touch for Apple iPad 2
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/adobe-launches-photoshop-touch-
CES and MWC. You can probably expect a repeat of the
                                                                        for-apple-ipad-2/15044.html
Tegra 3 launch - limited run of units through a single vendor
                                                                        February 27th, 2012
(in case of Tegra 3, it was ASUS and Transformer Prime
tablet), and mass availability in the second quarter of 2013.




                                                                        Adobe has launched Photoshop Touch for the iPad 2,
                                                                        offering the core features of its popular Photoship image
                                                                        editing software, along with custom-built creative and
                                                                        sharing capabilities just for tablet computers.

                                                                                                                                              2
February 27th, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

Adobe has launched Photoshop Touch for the iPad 2,                       February 27th, 2012
offering the core features of its popular Photoship image
editing software, along with custom-built creative and
sharing capabilities just for tablet computers.


Adobe made the announcement at the Mobile World
Congress in Barcelona, where it shared how iPad users can                Intel's excuse that it's a manufacturing issue that has delayed
edit pictures and apply professional effects to them without             its launch of Ivy Bridge is highly exaggerated, but we'll leave
needing a desktop or laptop computer.                                    you – our dear readers – to figure out the real reason so
                                                                         that no-one gets in trouble for us posting it here. Details
                                                                         of the new launch schedule have now made an appearance
Since it's a touch-based application there are some potential            online and it confirms what we already knew, but couldn't
difficulties in getting the level of precision needed for                post about.
creating and editing photos and artwork, but Adobe has                   Intel's excuse that it's a manufacturing issue that has delayed
adapted its technology with things like the Scribble Selection           its launch of Ivy Bridge is highly exaggerated, but we'll leave
Tool for easy extraction of image objects, and Refine Edge to            you – our dear readers – to figure out the real reason so
help cope with hard-to-select areas with soft edges.                     that no-one gets in trouble for us posting it here. Details
                                                                         of the new launch schedule have now made an appearance
                                                                         online and it confirms what we already knew, but couldn't
                                                                         post about.
                                                                          Sweclockers has posted details of what appears to be Intel's
                                                                         revised launch schedule due to “unforeseen delays”. As of
                                                                         April 8th motherboards with the Z77, Z75, H77 and B75
                                                                         should still go on sale, although we're still trying to confirm
                                                                         this as we've heard different rumours here, but it's possible
                                                                         that different sources have been told different information.
                                                                         As such, we'll chalk this one up to a maybe for the time being.
                                                                         Come April 29 and Intel will launch its quad core desktop
                                                                         Ivy Bridge processors and this is also when the first media
                                                                         reviews can be published alongside details of new desktop
                                                                         systems from the various PC builders. This is not the same
                                                                         as this being the date when you'll be able to buy Ivy Bridge
                                                                         hardware, although from what we understand it's going to
                                                                         happen very close to this date.
                                                                         As for the rest of the Ivy Bridge platform, well, on the 3rd if
Photoshop Touch also helps users find images on Google                   June Intel will apparently launch the Q77 and Q75 desktop
Image Search, and users can share edited photos directly to              chipsets for business systems. Following later in the month
Facebook.                                                                – most like at Computex – Intel will announce its dual core
                                                                         mobile processors, both standard Voltage and ULV models,
                                                                         although Sweclockers doesn't mention anything about quad
“People will be amazed with what they can create on the
                                                                         core mobile processors.
iPad using Photoshop Touch,” said David Wadhwani, SVP
and GM of the Digital Media Business Unit at Adobe.                      Talk about a mess of a launch and we can't imagine many
“Photoshop Touch combines the magic of Photoshop and                     of Intel's motherboard partners are all too happy about this.
its core features with the convenience of a tablet, bringing             It feels like a re-run of AMD's Bulldozer launch where the
image-editing power to the fingertips of millions of people.”            900-series chipsets arrived months before the CPUs and
                                                                         once the CPUs arrived, everyone was disappointed by the
                                                                         performance improvements, or lack thereof. Hopefully Intel
Adobe is planning a number of other apps for the iPad in the             has done a better job with Ivy Bridge, but we're going to have
coming months, including Adobe Collage for moodboards,                   to wait an extra three weeks to find out.
Adobe Debut for presenting and reviewing creative work,
                                                                         Source: Sweclockers (in Swedish)
Adobe Ideas for sketching, Adobe Kuler for colour themes,
and Adobe Proto for making website and mobile app
prototypes.                                                              Elpida files for bankruptcy
                                                                         protection
Intel's revised Ivy Bridge                                               Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/elpida-files-for-bankruptcy-

launch schedule revealed                                                 protection/15042.html
                                                                         February 27th, 2012
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-revised-ivy-bridge-launch-
schedule-revealed/15043.html




                                                                                                                                             3
February 27th, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone

The inevitable has happened for Japanese memory maker                At the Mobile World Congress 2012, Microsoft has
Elpida, with the company filing for bankruptcy protection            announced the beta version of Skype for Windows Phone;
due to its whopping 448 billion yen ($5.55 billion) in debt.         new hardware support; and new developer opportunities
                                                                     with the launch of the Windows Phone marketplace in 23
The inevitable has happened for Japanese memory maker
                                                                     more markets, including China, Thailand and Vietnam for
Elpida, with the company filing for bankruptcy protection
                                                                     Asia.
due to its whopping 448 billion yen ($5.55 billion) in debt.


The DRAM maker has struggled to survive in the face of
intense competition from rivals like Samsung, while other
issues like a strong yen, low prices, and chip oversupply have
also contributed to falling profits and rising debt.


Earlier this month Elpida indicated that the possibility of it
going under was becoming a bigger concern, and now those
fears have become a reality. Despite efforts to secure funding
from investors, it appears that the company was unable to
negotiate a deal.




                                                                     At MWC 2012, Microsoft announced that the beta version
                                                                     of Skype app for Windows Phone is now available for
                                                                     download. The app allows users to make free audio and
                                                                     video calls to their Skype contacts over 3G, 4G or WiFi,
                                                                     make affordable calls to landlines and mobiles using Skype
                                                                     Credit, create and hold one-to-one and group chats, and
                                                                     update profile and account information, among others
                                                                     features. Users can download directly from their Windows
The bankruptcy protection filing won't put an end to chip
                                                                     Phone (selected models only) or from the Windows Phone
production immediately, but it does mean that it will lose
                                                                     Marketplace.
many of its existing customers, further hammering in the
nail in its coffin.                                                  The Windows Phone engineering team has also optimized
                                                                     the Windows Phone experience for affordable devices which
                                                                     can run almost all the apps that are available on Windows
Elpida is the last DRAM maker in Japan, which means if it            Phone Marketplace. Apps that require more power will be
bites the dust Japan will have effectively lost the final ship       flagged on Windows Marketplace such that user does not
in its memory armada. Trade Minister Yukio Edano said he             download the app that won't run well. The Windows Phone
hoped that DRAM production in Japan would continue, but              OS now supports a lower cost processor, the Qualcomm
it seems increasingly unlikely.                                      7x27a “system on a chip”, and runs seamlessly on reduced
                                                                     memory (256MB onboard memory). Taking advantage of
                                                                     this expanded hardware support, Nokia has announced the
However, there is still the possibility that the Japanese            new Nokia Lumia 610, while ZTE will be launching their ZTE
government will intervene. It has expressed interest in              Orbit in selected market in Q2 this year.
taking on struggling chip businesses and bringing in
GlobalFoundries to run them, an opportunity that could give          The Windows Phone will also have Southeast Asia language
Elpida another lease of life.                                        support - Malay and Indonesian. The Windows Phone
                                                                     marketplace will also be launched in 23 other countries
                                                                     including China, Thailand and Vietnam, providing more
                                                                     opportunities to new developers.
Microsoft announces Skype
for Windows Phone; new                                               ASUS Padfone Preview - An
hardware support                                                     MWC 2012 Exclusive
                                                                     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-padfone-preview--an-
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-announces-skype-for-
                                                                     mwc-2012-exclusive/15038.html
windows-phone-new-hardware-support/15041.html
                                                                     February 27th, 2012
February 27th, 2012




                                                                                                                                       4
February 27th, 2012                                                                                        Published by: VR-Zone

The ASUS Padfone, first announced and displayed at
COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2011, is the unconventional marriage
of an Android smartphone and tablet. We take an exclusive
first look at the latest iteration of the design which should hit
retail stores in April...
A Quick History Lesson


ASUS first introduced the radical Padfone concept at
COMPUTEX Taipei 2011 last year




                                                                    Mockup of      the   phone-tablet's   Android    operating
                                                                    environment




The phone component of that initial non-working concept
was based on an older Garmin-ASUS smartphone




                                                                    Several web sites since then have also reported unfounded
                                                                    rumors that the Padfone will be powered by Nvidia's Tegra
                                                                    3 quad core SoC, which was quashed by ASUS later at CES
                                                                    2012 when they revealed that it will have a Qualcomm
                                                                    Snapdragon S4 8660 1.5GHz dual core in it




Phone docked into a full-sized tablet




                                                                                                                              5
February 27th, 2012                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone


Huawei launches MediaPad
                                                                       February 27th, 2012


10 FHD, world's first 10-inch
quad-core tablet
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/huawei-launches-mediapad-10-fhd-
world-s-first-10-inch-quad-core-tablet/15040.html
February 27th, 2012                                                    Sony Mobile Communications will be launching the Xperia
                                                                       S smartphone, from the new Xperia NXT series, at the IT
                                                                       Show 2012. On top of that, the company will also be having
                                                                       some great promotions for their other products including the
                                                                       Xperia pro, Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V, Live with Walkman,
                                                                       W8 Walkman, Mix Walkman, and other accessories.
Many companies vie to be the first to come up with
a breakthrough product, be it the largest, slimmest or                 Xperia S
equipped with the latest feature etc. At Mobile World
Congress 2012 this week, Huawei has just announced their
MediaPad 10 FHD, which claims to be the world's first 10-
inch tablet with quad-core processor.




Huawei has introduced the MediaPad 10 FHD, which claims                Equipped with 1.5GHz dual-core processor, the new Xperia
to be the world’s first 10-inch quad-core tablet, at the               S features 4.3-inch Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA
Mobile World Congress 2012. Equipped with the company's                Engine and Razor sharp HD resolution screen (1280 x
proprietary 1.5GHz K3 quad-core processor, reportedly the              720) that offers superior image quality. It features 12-
smallest quad-core processor in the industry, the tablet               megapixel camera with Sony Exmor R for mobile along
features a 10-inch IPS high definition display (1920 x 1200)           with Fastest Capture that can take pictures in less than 1.5
and runs the latest Google Android 4.0 ICS operating                   seconds from standby mode. The phone also runs Android
system. The K3 chip’s embedded GPU offer fast processing               OS and incorporates Near Field Communications (NFC)
power and 3D graphics processing capability, which ensures             which offers access to NFC applications and accessories
seamless experience when playing high definition video clips           such as Xperia SmartTags. Other features include HD
or 3D games. Measuring 8.8mm thin and weighing 598g, the               sharing through DLNA, HDMI and using BRAVIA Sync for
 MediaPad 10 FHD also supports high speed wireless access              controlling your Xperia S with your TV remote control when
of up to 84 Mbps (HSPA+ 21/42/84Mbps), while at the same               connected to the TV.
time supporting a number of network standards including                Retail price:TBA
LTE. In addition, the tablet comes with Dolby surround                 IT Show price 2012: TBA
sound technology for superb audio experience whether you
are playing games, watching movies or listening to your                Xperia arc S
favorite songs. Other specifications include an 8-megapixel
rear automatic-focus camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing
camera, and 2GB memory storage of 2GB.
The Huawei MediaPad 10 FHD is scheduled to be available
in Singapore in Q3 2012.


IT Show 2012 Promotions:
Sony Mobile Communications
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-sony-
mobile-communications/15037.html




                                                                                                                                  6
February 27th, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

The Sony Xperia arc S is the improved model of the Xperia                 This is indeed bad news for those waiting to upgrade their
arc phone, and comes with an upgraded 1.4Ghz processor                    notebooks, as it means another few months wait, something
and boasts 25% faster camera start up and 20% faster web                  that isn't always an option.
page rendering. It has an 8.1-megapixel camera with Exmor                 According to FT.com, Mr Maloney said that Ivy Bridge
R for mobile image sensor, and supports 3D and 2D sweep                   notebooks aren't likely to arrive until June now, although
panorama photography. The Xperia arc S also sports a 4.2-                 the exact quote is “I think maybe it's June now” which
inch Reality display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine.                           suggests that Intel hasn't set a firm launch date as yet. Co-
Retail price:TBA                                                          incidentally Computex takes place in Taipei, Taiwan in June
IT Show price 2012: TBA                                                   and Intel generally has a fair few announcements at the
                                                                          show, although the company disappointed last year, so it
                                                                          would be a good opportunity for Intel to have something
W8 Walkman                                                                slightly more interesting to announce this year.
                                                                          That said, Intel will still start shipping processors to its
                                                                          partners in the second quarter, so nothing has changed here,
                                                                          it's just that the actual retail launch has been pushed back
                                                                          for the notebook products. As we reported previously, the
                                                                          mobile quad core models were expected to arrive in April,
                                                                          but it looks like this might've changed as well.
                                                                          As far as we're aware, Intel will still be launching its desktop
                                                                          parts in April, although we're hearing that the actual launch
                                                                          date might have changed. Intel's partners are still set to
                                                                          show off their motherboards at Cebit early next months,
                                                                          albeit without Ivy Bridge processors to demo them with and
                                                                          they won't be allowed to run any benchmarks at the show,
                                                                          although this would be mostly pointless without the new
                                                                          processors.


                                                                          IT Show 2012 Promotions:
Even though the W8 Walkman runs Android OS, it features a
unique user interface which is similar to the one found on the            Audio House
Xperia mini phone. It has a four corner user interface which              Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-audio-
provides convenient one hand usage and one touch access to                house/15036.html
applications. With Walkman player, you can organize your                  February 27th, 2012
songs conveniently and enjoy the music.
Retail price:TBA
IT Show price 2012: TBA


Sony Mobile Communications can be located at Hall 603,
Level 6, Booth 6201                                                       Electronics mega store, Audio House, will be at the IT
                                                                          Show 2012 located at Suntec City Convention Centre. While
                                                                          the electronic retailer may have a lot of promotions, their
Intel confirms notebook Ivy                                               star product is the Philips 46PFL5605 46-inch Full HD LED
                                                                          TV. The Audio House booth can be located in Hall 401, Booth
Bridge delay                                                              8161.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-confirms-notebook-ivy-bridge-
delay/15039.html
February 27th, 2012




It's official, Intel has delayed its mobile Ivy Bridge processor
launch, at least according to an interview with Intel's
executive VP and chariman of Intel China, Sean Maloney.
This is indeed bad news for those waiting to upgrade their
notebooks, as it means another few months wait, something
that isn't always an option.
It's official, Intel has delayed its mobile Ivy Bridge processor
launch, at least according to an interview with Intel's
executive VP and chariman of Intel China, Sean Maloney.

                                                                                                                                               7
February 27th, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

AudioHouse is offering an amazing deal for the Philips                  LG is unveiling its biggest range of smartphones at Mobile
TV at the upcoming IT Show 2012. The 46-inch Philips                    World Congress (MWC) 2012 this week. The smartphones
46PFL5605 Full High Definition LED TV features Pixel Plus               boast new features, such as 5.0-inch, 4:3 ratio True HD IPS
HD technology that offers superb image details and clarity.             display and glasses-free 3D technology, the company's first
It has 100Hz LCD with 2ms response time that ensures no                 Quad-Core smartphone, and LG’s new design identity, L-
motion blur, and with LED backlight, the TV has significant             Style, which will be introduced on a number of new, visually
lower power consumption compared to conventional LCD                    appealing devices.
TVs. Other features include HD Natural Motion for ultra                 Equipped with LG’s LTE and IPS display technology, the
smooth motion in Full HD movies, 40W surround sound                     Optimus Vu: offers a unique combination of tablet-like
speakers, PC-input allows you to use your TV as a PC                    viewing with smartphone portability. It is powered by a
monitor, and seamless connectivity with three HDMI inputs               powerful 1.5GHz dual-core processor, with 32GB internal
and Easylink.                                                           memory, a huge 2,080 mAh battery, and sports a 5-
                                                                        inch display with bright 4:3 aspect ratio makes viewing
LG introduces new                                                       documents, books, websites and multimedia content easier
                                                                        and more comfortable.
smartphones at MWC 2012                                                 The LG Optimus 4X HD is equipped with the latest NVIDIA
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-introduces-new-smartphones-at-
                                                                        Tegra 3 quad-core processor and claims to offer PC-like
mwc-2012/15035.html
                                                                        performance in a smartphone package. It runs the latest
February 27th, 2012
                                                                        Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS and offers
                                                                        a high definition viewing experience with True HD IPS
                                                                        technology. When running at full speed, the 12-core graphics
                                                                        processing unit (GPU) in Tegra 3 delivers a visually rich
                                                                        experience and console-quality game playability.
                                                                        LG Optimus 3D Max is the company's latest brainchild
                                                                        in portable 3D entertainment. It not only offers great
LG is unveiling its biggest collection of smartphones at
                                                                        3D viewing enjoyment, but also superior 2D features as
Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012 in Barcelona this
                                                                        well. The phone offers real viewing enjoyment with LG’s
week, which includes the Optimus Vu: with 5-inch True
                                                                        exclusive brightened display and users can convert Google
HD IPS display; Optimus 4X HD with quad-core processor;
                                                                        Earth, Google Maps and other road views to 3D through the
and Optimus 3D Max that offers immersive 3D viewing
                                                                        enhanced 3D Converter and use the 3D Hot Key to easily
experience.
                                                                        toggle between 2D and 3D modes.


                                                                        Newstead Technologies
                                                                        launches Digital Style
                                                                        concept store at Jurong Point
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/newstead-technologies-launches-
                                                                        digital-style-concept-store-at-jurong-point/15034.html
                                                                        February 27th, 2012




                                                                        Newstead Technologies has recently launched their Digital
                                                                        Style concept store at Jurong Point in Singapore. The new
                                                                        store claims to be the largest at 9,000 square feet at Jurong
                                                                        Point #B1-92/93.




                                                                                                                                              8
February 27th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                       broadband project which it claimed to have paid to the
                                                                       Chinese company. QMax Communications, a subsidiary
                                                                       of Creative Technology, has contracted Huawei to set
                                                                       up a WiMAX broadband network in Singapore in 2010.
                                                                       According to Creative's second-quarter financial statement
                                                                       released earlier this month, the company stated that "QMax
                                                                       has suspended the wireless broadband project as the vendor
                                                                       for the equipment has failed to deliver on the key network
                                                                       performance requirements set out in the relevant supply
                                                                       contract". The vendor had not been named at that time.


                                                                       IT Show 2012 Promotions:
                                                                       Motorola
                                                                       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-
Newstead Technologies have recently announced the launch               motorola/15032.html
of Digital Style, their largest multi-brand electronics concept        February 27th, 2012
store yet, at 9,000 square feet at Jurong Point #B1-92/93.
The concept store promises a stress-free environment where
shoppers can compare brands at ease and test-drive them
at six solution corners namely Entertainment and Media,
Gaming, Home Computing, Mobile Communications, Office
and Professional and Ultra Mobile and Business.
Newstead Technologies debuted their first Digital Style                Good news if you plan to get the Motorola RAZR smartphone
at Funan DigitaLife Mall in September 2011. The store                  or XOOM 2 tablet at the IT Show 2012. Aside from the free
marks its bold departure from the industry practice of                 gifts, every purchase also stands a chance at winning a 4D3N
categorising products by brands. Instead, consumer needs               stay at the W Retreat Koh Samui. Motorola Booth is located
are key and products are categorised according to functions            on level 3 (booth no. 3008) and level 6 (booth no. 6018;
and specifications at different solution corners. The store is         XOOM2 tablet and accessories).
also specially designed to allow shoppers to easily mix-and-           Motorola RAZR
match and plug-and-play the gadgets in-store.


Creative Technology sues
Huawei over failed WiMAX
project
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/creative-technology-sues-huawei-
over-failed-wimax-project/15033.html
February 27th, 2012




Creative Technology and its subsidiary, QMax
Communications, are suing Huawei for more than US$9.3
million (S$11.7 million) for the collapse of the mobile
broadband project between the two companies in Singapore.              Comes in Black and Glacier White finish, the Motorola RAZR
                                                                       is stylish and slim, measuring just 7.1mm thin. It is build
                                                                       with a durable Kevlar at the rear, Corning Gorilla glass, and
                                                                       has splash-guard coating and a diamond-cut nameplate. It
                                                                       is equipped with “Smart Actions” app that optimizes battery
                                                                       life and automates everyday tasks.
                                                                       Motorola XOOM 2




Creative has launched a lawsuit against Huawei for US
$9.3 million (S$11.7 million) for the failure of the WiMAX

                                                                                                                                         9
February 27th, 2012                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                  processors and features Sony's Reality Display powered by
                                                                  Mobile BRAVIA Engine.
                                                                  Xperia P – ultra-bright viewing experience




The Motorola XOOM 2 tablet claims to be the company's
most innovative tablet to date. It sports a 10.1-inch
widescreen high definition display that is brighter and more
vibrant with edges strategically designed to make the tablet
more comfortable to hold. The XOOM 2 is also lighter than
                                                                  The Xperia P has a full aluminium unibody design and
its Motorola XOOM elder sibling, and is equipped with
                                                                  incorporates WhiteMagic technology which boasts to deliver
MotoCast app that lets you stream all media files from your
                                                                  the brightest viewing experience in any situations. it also
computers without any media tools, apps or cords.
                                                                  comes with Smart power efficiency that can automatically
Motorola Promotions                                               adjust the brightness of the screen to the surroundings
Purchase a Motorola RAZR or XOOM 2 tablet and stand a             to conserve battery life. With the new SmartDock, built
chance at redeeming:-                                             exclusively for the Xperia P, you can easily connect
1. S$100 Takashimaya voucher and                                  to multiple screens, turning the smartphone into an
2. Limited edition Motorola thumb drives worth S$38               entertainment hub for the living room. Users can also
                                                                  navigate their smartphone's media content to watch their
The free gift redemptions are limited to first 100 customers;     high definition videos, the latest movies or favourite TV
Promotion valid while stocks last. Redemptions are to be          shows on the big screen with a TV remote control. The
made at Motorola booths no. 3008 level 3, Motorola booth          SmartDock has USB support, which means you can hook up
no. 6018 level 6, M1, Singtel and StarHub.                        a wireless keyboard and mouse to write your messages or
Every purchase also stands a chance at winning a 4D3N stay        post on Facebook on the TV.
at the W Retreat Koh Samui. 10 hotel vouchers to be given         Xperia P Specifications
away; each hotel voucher is worth S$2,000.
For participating details and terms & conditions, log onto        - 4-inch Reality Display with WhiteMagic technology
www.motorola-luxurygetaway.com                                    - Reality Display powered by Mobile BRAVIA Engine

Motorola Booth is located on level 3 (booth no. 3008) and         - 1GHz dual-core processor
level 6 (booth no. 6018; XOOM2 tablet and accessories).
                                                                  - 8-megapixel camera with fast capture and HD recording

                                                                  - 16GB flash storage

Sony Mobile Communications                                        - NFC enabled with HDMI and DLNA connectivity

unveils Xperia U and Xperia P                                     - Launches on Android platform 2.3 (Gingerbread); will be
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-mobile-communications-   upgraded to Android platform 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
unveils-xperia-u-and-xperia-p/15031.html                          during Q2 2012.
February 27th, 2012
                                                                  Xperia U - powerful Sony entertainment in a stylish and
                                                                  compact design




Sony Mobile Communications has unveiled their new
next generation smartphones at this week's Mobile World
Congress, which comes in the form of Xperia U and Xperia
P. Both smartphones are equipped with 1GHz dual-core


                                                                                                                           10
February 27th, 2012                                                                                        Published by: VR-Zone




The Xperia U combines powerful Sony entertainment in a
stylish and compact design. Music lovers can enjoy crips
and loud audio experience with the xLoud and Sony 3D              HTC has announced its new HTC One series of smartphones
surround sound technologies integrated into the music             that offer premium mobile experience with iconic design,
player. On top of that, you can enjoy improved sound quality      amazing camera and authentic sound experience at the
with the new stylish Smart Headset designed for Android           Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, Spain. The HTC
smartphones. You can also stream music from the Xperia            One series integrates Google Android 4.0 (ICS) with HTC
U to wireless speakers with a single touch via Digital Living     Sense 4, the new version of the company's branded user
Network Alliance (DLNA). The phone's transparent element          experience with HTC ImageSense, a new suite of camera
illuminates to match the colour of photos viewed in the           and imaging features to deliver fast image capture, superb
gallery or the album art of music tracks currently playing.       image quality, and easy-to-use interface that enables quick
You can also personalize your Xperia U with exchangeable          access to capturing stills and videos with side-by-side photo
caps and themes to your liking.                                   and video capture buttons. The HTC Sense 4 also includes
Xperia U Specifications                                           enhancements to audio quality and simplifies how people
                                                                  listen to music on their phone.
- 3.5-inch Reality Display powered by Mobile BRAVIA
Engine                                                            Beats By Dr. Dre Audio has been integrated to HTC One,
- 1GHz dual-core processor                                        providing richer and more authentic sound whether you
                                                                  are listening to your favourite songs, watching videos or
- 5-megapixel camera with fast capture and HD recording           playing games. HTC One also makes it easy to transfer your
                                                                  music and playlists from your PC's music library to your
- xLoud and 3D surround sound audio technology                    phone with the built-in HTC Sync Manager software that
                                                                  automatically installs to your computer when connected.
- Launches on Android platform 2.3 (Gingerbread); will be         You can also customise the new Music Hub with your
upgraded to Android platform 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)             favourite services and music applications, like the latest
during Q2 2012                                                    Soundhound technology, giving you one place to go for all of
                                                                  your music.
                                                                  HTC One X
*image courtesy of chinese.vr-zone.com
                                                                  The HTC One X features a polycarbonate unibody with
                                                                  ruggedness of metal, and is super lightweight. It has a unique
HTC One series smartphones                                        high gloss 'piano' finish and a matte back and is equipped
announced at Mobile World                                         with the new 1.5GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 Super 4-PLUS-1 quad-
                                                                  core mobile processor for clear graphics, faster applications
Congress                                                          and longer battery life. It also sports a 4.7-inch 720p high
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/htc-one-series-smartphones-   definition screen with contoured Corning Gorilla Glass. The
announced-at-mobile-world-congress/15029.html                     HTC One X will be available in select 4G LTE markets with a
February 27th, 2012                                               LTE-enabled Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor with up
                                                                  to 1.5GHz dual-core CPUs.
                                                                  HTC One S
                                                                  The HTC One S is designed for users who want a compact
                                                                  smartphone with high-end performance. It is powered by
                                                                  a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor with up to 1.5GHz
At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, HTC has                    dual-core CPU and comes with a 4.3-inch screen with
announced its new One series smartphones which claim              contoured Corning Gorilla Glass. In its metallic unibody, the
to offer premium mobile experience to users. The phones           smartphone claims to be the company's thinnest phone at
include the quad-core One X, One S and One V.                     7.9mm slim, and comes in ultra-matte black Ceramic Metal
                                                                  and light-to-gradient finishes that look sophisticated..
                                                                  HTC One V

                                                                                                                             11
February 27th, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

Based on the award-winning design of the HTC Legend,                  seems to match the choices that the US had - accent: HAD
the HTC One V promises top-notched design with premium                - in the best days of late nineties... no X86 dominance here
experience. It has an aluminium unibody design and can                - quite a healthy base for future system development, from
capture amazing images with its built-in camera and deliver           smartphone to supercomputer...
authentic sound.
Pricing and Availability
The HTC One series will begin shipping in April with broad
                                                                      Microsoft to remove
global availability available beginning in April through more         "Windows Live" and "Zune"
than 140 mobile operators and distributors globally. Pricing
will be announced in Q2 this year.                                    branding in Windows 8
                                                                      Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-to-remove-windows-live-
                                                                      and-zune-branding-in-windows-8/15028.html
                                                                      February 27th, 2012

Huawei's own ARM adds to
a dozen other Chinese ARM
CPUs, signals further phone
price reduction chances
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/huawei-s-own-arm-adds-to-a-       It has been discovered through Microsoft's soon to be
dozen-other-chinese-arm-cpus-signals-further-phone-price-reduction-   released Windows 8 Consumer Preview that the software
chances/15030.html                                                    giant is planning to do away with a couple of its big
February 27th, 2012                                                   user-facing brands, namely Zune and Windows Live. The
                                                                      associating programs will still be there, but with simpler
                                                                      names applied to appear more seamless with the whole
                                                                      Windows 8 core environment.
                                                                      It has been discovered through Microsoft's soon to be
                                                                      released Windows 8 Consumer Preview that the software
                                                                      giant is planning to do away with a couple of its big
Inexpensive ARM licensing does pay off sometimes, it seems            user-facing brands, namely Zune and Windows Live. The
- for China and, in this case, Huawei, its own phone & tablet         associating programs will still be there, but with simpler
ARM for greater cost control...                                       names applied to appear more seamless with the whole
                                                                      Windows 8 core environment.
As you saw from our reports here, Huawei now has its own
ARM CPU line - and high end dual-core, not less - in its new
phones launched at MWC. The other phone specs are very
decent for a high end unit by any means compared to other
leading vendors, but the other fact, that Huawei is the only
phone vendor besides Samsung and Apple - LG might be the
next one in line - to base the high end phones on its own CPU,
is more interesting.

We said before that China wants complete control of its
computing hardware, in particular the trophy core - the CPU,
for both cost and security reasons. Huawei creates far more
than smartphones, keep in mind. Its enterprise networking
and telecommunication strength has seriously kicked CISCO
                                                                      All Windows Live applications are preinstalled in Windows 8
in many parts of the world, and the US government seems
                                                                      as the operating system's core "Windows Communications"
to panic everytime Huawei sells even a small switch or
                                                                      apps and the associating names are changed up to be
something, evaluating every sale.
                                                                      much more simplified (ie. "Windows Live ID" now becomes
                                                                      "Microsoft Account" and "Windows Live Contacts" now
Also, as far as can be seen in China, Huawei has started entry
                                                                      becomes "People").
into the server business, and is planning a whole range of
systems in this space, including some very high end ones.             As for Zune, many traces of the brand are dissapearing from
Of course, ARM can address the 'green server' massive web             Microsoft's Windows Store, Music and Video applications,
serving farms, that the likes of Baidu and Tencent there              but Zune Pass functionality is still in place. we're hearing
will need regularly, but a combination of own processor and           that Microsoft's Xbox team is taking care of the creation
completely own rest of hardware, from server to networking            and management of Windows 8's Metro style Video and
and infrastructure around it - and the client smartphone &            Music applications and apparently this will be rolled into
tablet cores too - makes for a pretty potent Tier 1 giant.            the new OS under the title of "Xbox Live for Windows" as
                                                                      the entertainment brand for Windows 8 Music, Video and
This Huawei ARM of course just adds to a dozen or so of               Games close to its release later this year.
other Chinese ARM licensees, but don't forget those MIPS,             In replacing Zune with this entirely new system, we've
Alpha, Sparc and even their own instruction set (Icube)               been told to expect something that's more "Spotify-like",
products all working well. The buffet spread of architectures
                                                                                                                                          12
February 27th, 2012                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone

which still leaves us somewhat unclear as to what exactly
Microsoft have on the cards. We do know however that
the company is already talking with all the major music
companies regarding its new service.
In terms of what will happen to Zune on Windows Phone,
Zune Desktop will be no more once Windows Phone 8,
Apollo is outed later in the year where the synchronization
function between phone and PC will be through the means of
better integration in Windows 8. Of course, synchronization
tools will still be there for those running an older Windows
OS.
By this time, everything with the Zune name is expected to
have vanished from Windows Phone in replacement of the
new version.
Here is the rundown on Microsoft's simplified application
branding plans for Windows 8 :-
- Microsoft Account (was Windows Live ID)
- Mail (was Windows Live Mail)

- Calendar (was Windows Live Calendar)
                                                                     The handset itself isn't all that exceptional as such, but it's
- People (was Windows Live Contacts)                                 a fairly competent handset. Besides the pico projector, the
                                                                     most interesting aspect of the Galaxy Beam is the choice
- Photos (was Windows Live Photo Gallery)                            of SoC, as Samsung has gone for ST-Ericsson's NovaThor
                                                                     U8500 which is a dual core ARM Cortex-A9 chip with
- Music (was Zune Music Player)                                      Mali-400 graphics. This is a platform we haven't seen a lot
                                                                     of handset based on to date and it is as far as we know the
- Video (was Zune Video Player)                                      first globally available handset from Samsung using an ST-
                                                                     Ericsson SoC.
If you're wondering why there was no mention of Messenger
here, it's being rumoured that Microsoft is planning to do
away with it as a standalone application and tie it in more
closely with Skype. We can only presume at this point that
Microsoft is working on a vastly refreshing strategy that's
more future proof for its instant messaging facility.


Samsung shoves pico
projector inside the Galaxy
Beam
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-shoves-pico-projector-
inside-the-galaxy-beam/15027.html
February 27th, 2012




We're pretty sure that Samsung's first foray into pico
projector phones – the i7410 that was announced two years
ago – was anything but a success, but if you don't succeed,
try again. Samsung has as such announced the Galaxy Beam
at the MWC which features a lot more potent hardware and
this time around we're talking about an Android handset as
well.
                                                                     Samsung has also kitted out the Galaxy Beam with 768MB
We're pretty sure that Samsung's first foray into pico               of RAM (the press release has typo here), 8GB of internal
projector phones – the i7410 that was announced two years            storage memory, a micro SD card slot, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi,
ago – was anything but a success, but if you don't succeed,          Bluetooth 3.0 + HS, a 5Megapixel camera that shoots video
try again. Samsung has as such announced the Galaxy Beam             at 720p and a 4-inch screen with 800x480 pixel resolution.
at the MWC which features a lot more potent hardware and             So pretty much your average mid-range smartphone for
this time around we're talking about an Android handset as           2012, despite the dual core processor and otherwise decent
well.                                                                specification. Samsung has also thrown in an HSPA model
                                                                     capable up download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps and

                                                                                                                                 13
February 27th, 2012                                                                                             Published by: VR-Zone

download speeds of up to 5.76Mbps with support for the
850, 900, 1900 and 2100MHz bands, as well as quad band
GSM.




The projector sports nHD (640x360 pixels) resolution and
15 Lumens brightness according to Engadget and is said to
be good for projection size of up to 50-inches wide. The
phone has a 2,000mAh battery pack to be able to power
the projector when away for a wall socket. The Galaxy
Beam measures 64.2x124x12.5mm (WxHxD) and weighs in
at 145g, which really isn't that bad when you consider that
it has a built in pico projector. If you've been waiting for
a phone with a built in projector, then you'll have to keep
waiting until next quarter when the Galaxy Beam will launch
                                                                      Huawei isn't mincing words either, as the company is calling
for a yet unannounced price.
                                                                      its quad core ARM SoC – known simply as the K3V2 –
                                                                      the world's fastest quad core smartphone [processor], this
Huawei announces in-house                                             making the Ascend D quad the world's fastest smartphone.
                                                                      The only details known about the K3V2 right now is that it
quad core ARM SoC, new                                                will be available with a clock speed of either 1.2 or 1.5GHz
handsets at MWC                                                       and that it has the “industry's most powerful 32-bit true color
                                                                      graphic processor”, suggesting that it might be sporting an
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/huawei-announces-in-house-quad-
                                                                      ARM Mali-T604 CPU core. The SoC appears to be made
core-arm-soc-new-handsets-at-mwc/15026.html
                                                                      by its HiSilicon subsidiary which is listing a model called
February 27th, 2012
                                                                      Hi3611 (K3) on its websites, albeit without providing any
                                                                      specifications, although the K3V2 is likely to be a successor
                                                                      to this specific chip.




Chinese Huawei is apparently none too fond of sourcing
outside chips for its smartphones, as the company has
announced that its latest handset – the Ascend D quad –
sports a Huawei made quad core ARM based SoC. That
makes Huawei – as far as we know – the second handset
maker that also makes its own processors, the other being
Samsung.
Chinese Huawei is apparently none too fond of sourcing
outside chips for its smartphones, as the company has
announced that its latest handset – the Ascend D quad –
sports a Huawei made quad core ARM based SoC. That
makes Huawei – as far as we know – the second handset
maker that also makes its own processors, the other being
Samsung.




                                                                                                                                  14
February 27th, 2012                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone




As for the handset, well, it has a 4.5-inch display with 720p   The Huawei Ascend D quad will ship in Q2 and will be
resolution (1280x720 pixels), an 8Megapixles camera with        available in white and black. The Ascend D1 will according
a BSI sensor that shoots 1080p video, Dolby 5.1 surround        to the press release be available as early as April. All three
sound, Audience earSmart voice technology, an 1,800mAh          models should be shipping with Android 4.0x. Sadly no
battery pack and various power management technologies          pricing was announced.
which are said to allow the Ascend D quad to offer up
to 30 percent longer battery life than competing devices.
The Ascend D quad measures 8.9mm deep with a width of           Cooler Master 20th
64mm, although no height was provided. Huawei will offer
two variants of the Ascend D quad, the Ascend D quad XL
                                                                Anniversary Dinner Event
which comes with a 2,500mAh battery pack and the Ascend         Report
D1 which is not a single core, but rather a dual core version   Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cooler-master-20th-anniversary-
with a clock speed of 1.5GHz and a smaller 1,670mAh battery     dinner-event-report/15025.html
pack.                                                           February 27th, 2012




                                                                Last Friday, 50 VRForums enthusiasts in Singapore were
                                                                invited to a dinner event in celebration of Cooler Master's
                                                                20th Anniversary. Besides the mandatory sumptuous buffet
                                                                spread, the attendees had the opportunity see and try out
                                                                current and upcoming products like the behemoth COSMOS
                                                                II tower and QuickFire Pro (Red) mechanical keyboard.
                                                                Attendees collecting their goodie bags at the registration
                                                                area




                                                                                                                                      15
February 27th, 2012                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone




Generous Door Gift: Cooler Master GX450 Bronze power
supply (worth S$79)
                                                          Cooler Master's 20th Anniversary Mascot




COSMOS II rig with CM Storm Trigger Keyboard and
Sentinel Zero-G mouse running Battlefield 3




                                                          Current and upcoming CM Storm gaming oriented
The upcoming Counter-Strike Global Offensive game         peripherals
running on a CM Storm Trooper Rig with CM Storm Inferno
Mouse and Sirus 5.1 headset




                                                                                                                 16
February 27th, 2012                                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                  year of Solid State Drive war. One of the major contestants
                                                                  in this war is definitely OCZ and one of their greatest
                                                                  weapons is the 3rd generation of their Agility series drives.
                                                                  The company ranks the Agility 3 series as “mainstream
                                                                  performance” drives, designed to balance performance and
                                                                  value for enthusiasts who want to migrate to SSD technology
                                                                  without breaking the bank. Interestingly enough, the Agility
                                                                  III series drive features a SATA III interface and boast speeds
                                                                  that could be trouble for the high performance series of every
                                                                  manufacturer. We will see just how fast these mainstream
                                                                  SSD drives are in this review.


                                                                  Rockstar shows off Max
                                                                  Payne 3's "glorious detail" on
                                                                  PC
Also on display was Cooler Master's laptop cooling stands,        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rockstar-shows-off-max-payne-3-s-
CPU heatsinks and the soon to be released Silent Pro M2           glorious-detail-on-pc/15023.html
power supplies (including that 1500W whopper which we             February 27th, 2012
saw at CES)




                                                                  Rockstar has provided Max Payne fans with the first
                                                                  batch of visual candy ahead of the third game's launch
                                                                  in a few months time. Some high-res screenshots of
                                                                  the PC version have been published online in support
                                                                  of Rockstar's commentation which expresses "gloriously
                                                                  increased resolution and graphical detail in both the epic
                                                                  story and the explosive multiplayer modes".
                                                                  Rockstar has provided Max Payne fans with the first
                                                                  batch of visual candy ahead of the third game's launch
                                                                  in a few months time. Some high-res screenshots of
                                                                  the PC version have been published online in support

OCZ Agility 3 240GB SSD
                                                                  of Rockstar's commentation which expresses "gloriously
                                                                  increased resolution and graphical detail in both the epic
Review                                                            story and the explosive multiplayer modes".
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-agility-3-240gb-ssd-
review/15024.html
February 27th, 2012




With the shortage of mechanical disks and the constant
price reductions of flash memory, 2012 turned into the
year of Solid State Drive war. One of the major contestants
in this war is definitely OCZ and one of their greatest
weapons is the 3rd generation of their Agility series drives.     Aside from the screenshots Rockstar has withheld most
The company ranks the Agility 3 series as “mainstream             other details for now in the way of special graphics hardware
performance” drives, designed to balance performance and          support and enhancements, instead saying that it will talk
value for enthusiasts who want to migrate to SSD technology       more on that subject closer to the game's launch date.
without breaking the bank. Interestingly enough, the Agility
III series drive features a SATA III interface and boast speeds
that could be trouble for the high performance series of every
manufacturer. We will see just how fast these mainstream
SSD drives are in this review.
With the shortage of mechanical disks and the constant
price reductions of flash memory, 2012 turned into the

                                                                                                                                      17
February 27th, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone




On that note, the game is scheduled to arrive both on the
consoles (Xbox 360 and PS3) as well as the PC on May 29th
in the U.S. and on June 1st in Europe.




                                                                        Up to 3GB of total free space is provided by Dropbox to
                                                                        every user, but there is a condition applied on this in that the
                                                                        storage is given in 500MB increments versus all at once.
                                                                        Further to the new implementation for Android, Dropbox
                                                                        for Windows and Mac has also been updated with the ability
                                                                        to automatically upload from pretty much any camera,
                                                                        smartphone, tablet or SD card that is connected directly to
                                                                        your PC. It's as simple as plugging the device in, then the
                                                                        auto synchronization process takes place.
Dropbox gives Android
users auto-sync photo/video
uploading
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/dropbox-gives-android-users-auto-
sync-photovideo-uploading/15022.html
February 27th, 2012




Dropbox has just updated its Android application with a
number of bugs having been addressed along with the
addition of a particularly useful function many of us will find
quite handy.
Dropbox has just updated its Android application with a
number of bugs having been addressed along with the                     Incidently, with regard to SD cards Dropbox has purposely
addition of a particularly useful function many of us will find         prevented the means to install the app onto an Android
quite handy.                                                            device's SD memory in efforts to retain "more secure
Now it is possible to automatically upload photos and                   credential storage".
videos in the background using either WiFi or obile                     In his latest blog posting, director of Dropbox Jeff Bartelma
connectivity. The original resolution and quality of the photo          mentioned that the auto photo/video upload feature will
is untouched, unlike a similar function available via Google            soon be available for iOS as well.
+ where it downsizes any photos over 2,048 pixels wide.

                                                                        AMD said to be providing GPU
                                                                        for the PlayStation 4
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-said-to-be-providing-gpu-for-
                                                                        the-playstation-4/15021.html




                                                                                                                                            18
February 27th, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

February 27th, 2012                                                      While he might have had a valid point about over a decade of
                                                                         hype, Diablo III's Game Director, Jay Wilson, was quick to
                                                                         step in, assuring players that Bashiok's post was “obviously
                                                                         sarcastic” and that “nothing could be further from the
                                                                         truth” when it comes to the idea of people lowering their
                                                                         expectations for the hack and slash RPG.

An article over at Forbes suggests that Sony is looking to
drop NVIDIA in favour of AMD as the GPU of choice in                     The problem is that if Bashiok's post was sarcastic, it
its next-gen PlayStation 4 gaming console. A former AMD                  certainly was not obvious. Not only does this comment from
employee has apparently come forward and revealed that                   Wilson suggest a bit of a cover-up, it is also somewhat
AMD is involved in development on a new Sony system.                     insulting to the thousands of players who expressed
                                                                         disgruntlement at Bashiok's buzz-killing words, as it implies
An article over at Forbes suggests that Sony is looking to               that they did not cop on to what was supposedly “obvious.”
drop NVIDIA in favour of AMD as the GPU of choice in
its next-gen PlayStation 4 gaming console. A former AMD
employee has apparently come forward and revealed that
AMD is involved in development on a new Sony system.
Commenting further, he said that CEO Rory Read who
was appointed back in August 2011 has been charged with
making "sure AMD doesn’t screw up its slate of new products
—which includes a hush-hush effort to put its graphics chips
in Sony’s still-unannounced new game console—and shake
off the once scrappy company’s years-long funk."
Until now we had no real substance whatsoever that Sony
was actively working on a new console, so that is an obvious
point of interest in the case of Forbes' article. Rumour is now
circulating that it will reveal elements of its next-generation
system to the masses during the E3 Expo in June.
If the rumour of choosing to go with an AMD GPU on the PS4
turns out to be true and the console launches soon enough, it
would mean all three major game console makers (including
Microsoft and Nintendo) would have AMD-made GPUs.                        Wilson also added more fuel to the fire by saying that
                                                                         the beta version of the game is in “good shape,” a rather
                                                                         tame choice of words for what many are expecting to keep
Blizzard backtracks on Diablo                                            them up into the wee hours as they roam some dungeons.
                                                                         However, Wilson did say that the full build that the company
III expectation fiasco                                                   is working on is in “great shape,” suggesting there's more to
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blizzard-backtracks-on-diablo-iii-   come for those testing the game.
expectation-fiasco/15020.html
February 27th, 2012
                                                                         “We want you to have high expectations for Diablo III and
                                                                         all Blizzard games,” said Wilson. “That’s what pushes us to
                                                                         try to make the best gaming experiences we possibly can. …
                                                                         If Diablo III wasn’t a worthy next installment in the Diablo
                                                                         series, we wouldn’t release it. That’s the way we do it. That’s
                                                                         the way we’ve always done it.”
Blizzard has backtracked on a message by one of its
community managers that told gamers to lower their                       Worthy is one thing. Ground-breaking and better than the
expectations for Diablo III, with the game's director assuring           previous two is a whole different game altogether. If Blizzard
fans that the wait will be worth it.                                     staff are not so sure, then it's hard to expect gamers to be
Blizzard has backtracked on a message by one of its                      either.
community managers that told gamers to lower their
expectations for Diablo III, with the game's director assuring
fans that the wait will be worth it.
                                                                         ViewSonic unveils three dual-
A Blizzard employee writing under the name Bashiok caused                SIM phones for MWC
controversy earlier this week when he told people who have               Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/viewsonic-unveils-three-dual-sim-
waiting up to 12 years for this game that they should “lower             phones-for-mwc/15019.html
those expectations.”




                                                                                                                                                 19
February 27th, 2012                                                                                             Published by: VR-Zone

February 27th, 2012




It's easy to forget that ViewSonic makes phones, as well as
displays and tablets, but in time for the MWC the company
has unveiled three new models. We're not sure if ViewSonic
is trying to get in legal trouble with Apple or not though, as
the new models are called the ViewPhone 4s, 4e and 5e.
It's easy to forget that ViewSonic makes phones, as well as
displays and tablets, but in time for the MWC the company
has unveiled three new models. We're not sure if ViewSonic
is trying to get in legal trouble with Apple or not though, as
the new models are called the ViewPhone 4s, 4e and 5e.

                                                                 The 4e is technically the least impressive of the three
                                                                 with a 3.5-inch 480x320 display and a 650MHz processor,
                                                                 all of which suggests this is a real budget model. The
                                                                 5e on the other hand has – as the name implies in this
                                                                 case – a 5-inch display, albeit with a fairly mediocre
                                                                 800x480 resolution. Common for all three models is dual-
                                                                 SIM support, something which could come in handy for
                                                                 people that wants to keep their business and personal SIM
                                                                 cards in the same device.




We have to give it to ViewSonic for at least having managed
to come up with its own design, as the 4s and 4e look quite
different from many other handsets out there, although
the 5e isn't all that different. Not muc is known about the
technical aspects of the new models, but the 4s is said to
feature a 3.5-inch IPS display with 960x640 resolution –
that's the same as Apple's iPhone – a 5Megapixel camera and

                                                                 Acer announces the Liquid
an unspecified 1GHz processor.

                                                                 Glow ahead of MWC
                                                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/acer-announces-the-liquid-glow-
                                                                 ahead-of-mwc/15018.html
                                                                 February 27th, 2012




                                                                 We've already had a preview of Acer's upcoming
                                                                 CloudMobile and now the company has unveiled a second
                                                                 handset that will be announced in more detail at the MWC
                                                                 next week. This time around we're looking at a budget
                                                                 friendly model called the Liquid Glow, one of the first budget
                                                                 models with Android 4.0.


                                                                                                                                       20
February 27th, 2012                                                                                        Published by: VR-Zone

We've already had a preview of Acer's upcoming                    and a two PCI slots. Intel has kitted out the board with four
CloudMobile and now the company has unveiled a second             SATA 3Gbps ports and four SATA 6Gbps ports, pin headers
handset that will be announced in more detail at the MWC          for four USB 3.0 ports, six USB 2.0 ports and a FireWire port
next week. This time around we're looking at a budget             as well as four DIMM slots and a POST80 debut LED.
friendly model called the Liquid Glow, one of the first budget    Around the rear of the board we find four USB 2.0 ports,
models with Android 4.0.                                          four USB 3.0 ports, a FireWire port, an eSATA port, a pair of
Acer wasn't very forthcoming with specifications, simply          Intel Gigabit Ethernet ports, 7.1-channel audio with optical
stating that the handset will have a 3.7-inch screen, a           S/PDIF out and a single HDMI port. For some reason it
5Megapixel camera, NFC and a new soft-touch casing                seems like Intel doesn't want high-end users to be able to
available in pink, white and black. Luckily the core              take advantage of the option of having multiple screens
specifications didn't stay secret for long, as Pocket-Lint        connected to the motherboard which is quite strange as
managed to dig up more details on the handset ahead of the        the company supplies a copy of LucidLogix Virtu software
MWC.                                                              with the board which would allow the signal from discrete
                                                                  graphics cards to be passed through the integrated graphics.
                                                                  The second and final model in Intel's new Extreme series
                                                                  is the DZ77RE – codename Roads End – and as far as we
                                                                  can tell, it's identical to the DZ77GA bar one minor addition,
                                                                  a Thunderbolt port. We're somewhat surprised that Intel
                                                                  hasn't removed by x4 PCI Express slot on this board, but
                                                                  we have a feeling that it might not be operation when the
                                                                  Thunderbolt interface is being used. Sadly we don't have any
                                                                  details on how this works, but we're going to try and find out
                                                                  more details at Cebit in a couple of weeks' time. That said,
                                                                  this is the first motherboard that we have confirmation on
                                                                  that will feature a Thunderbolt interface.
As such we know that we're looking at a Qualcomm
MSM7227A SoC clocked at 1GHz, a WVGA display                      So there you have it, Intel's complete line of 7-series
(800x480 pixels), 1GB of storage memory and 512MB of              motherboards for Ivy Bridge. There were a couple of
RAM. The SoC choice is interesting as Acer went for the           surprises in there, but nothing really mind-blowing. Intel
fastest SKU available for the MSM7227A which is based             might be offering boards that are good enough for the
on ARM's Cortex-A5 core. It's got Adreno 200 graphics             average office computer and then some, but the company
and uses basic LPDDR memory, so don't expect blistering           does clearly not understand the consumer DIY market at
performance, but if Acer has priced the Liquid Glow right,        all, something that is clear simply by looking at its high-
this should be a pretty decent handset for the money. Acer is     end consumer models. In fact, it's a bit hard to understand
expecting the Liquid Glow to hit retail sometime in the early     why Intel really bothers to create so many high-end products
summer.                                                           when most consumers rather buy from the Taiwanese
                                                                  motherboard makers.

Intel's Extreme series Z77
motherboard spec's revealed
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-extreme-series-z77-
motherboard-spec-s-revealed/15017.html
February 27th, 2012




Over the past few days we've unveiled the details of Intel's
upcoming 7-series motherboards and today we'll unveil the
last couple of models, namely the Extreme series. We only
have two models left and Intel will be keeping at least a
couple of its current 6-series boards around for now.
Over the past few days we've unveiled the details of Intel's
upcoming 7-series motherboards and today we'll unveil the
last couple of models, namely the Extreme series. We only
have two models left and Intel will be keeping at least a
couple of its current 6-series boards around for now.
The first model of the two is the DZ77GA – codename Gasper
– which is a fairly competent Intel board. For starts it has
a pair of x16 PCI Express 3.0 slots that operates in dual x8
mode – just like the DZ77BH – and on top of this you also get
a single PCI Express x4 2.0 slot, two PCI Express x1 2.0 slots

                                                                                                                             21
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                        Published by: VR-Zone




VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks!
                                                                          Intel is hoping to provide its partners with its hardware, Tizen
  VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication                TV and some developer tools and SDK's and then expects its
  covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.                    partners to come up with their own UI, applications and other
                                                                          value add bits of software as well as being responsible for
                                                                          things like security features and system management. It's most
Intel is betting on Tizen and                                             definitely the easy way out for Intel, as the company provides
Atom marriage for smart TVs                                               none of the tricky parts that can make or break a Tizen TV
                                                                          powered smart TV or set top box.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-is-betting-on-tizen-and-atom-
marriage-for-smart-tvs/14732.html                                         As we reported back in October, Intel is still pushing its CE
February 2nd, 2012                                                        range of Atom processors and the CE4100 family now consists
                                                                          of six models of which two has Hyperthreading and a pair of
                                                                          models are even clocked at 1.6GHz, compared to 1.2GHz for
                                                                          earlier models. The CE4200 family has even more products
With Intel having lost its opportunity with Google TV, the                as there are no less than 12 different models here, again with
company is now re-focusing its efforts in the smart TV                    clock speeds of either 1.2 or 1.6GHz, although only three of the
business towards its own Linux operating system – no not                  12 features Hyperthreading.
MeeGo, but rather Tizen. There will be a smart TV specific                That said, Intel is getting ready to launch its Berryville (no,
version called Tizen TV which will run on Intel's CE range of             that's not a joke) range of 32nm Atom CE processors sometime
Atom processors, but the question is if it'll be good enough to           this quarter, but more on those later. What is clear is that
compete with Google TV on ARM.                                            Intel has no intention of letting the ARM based competition
                                                                          get an easy win in this growing market segment, something
                                                                          that will be even clearer when Intel's Berryville Atom CE
With Intel having lost its opportunity with Google TV, the                processors arrive. The question is if Tizen will be enticing
company is now re-focusing its efforts in the smart TV                    enough for Intel's potential partners to move away from
business towards its own Linux operating system – no not                  whatever platform they're currently using. There's also the
MeeGo, but rather Tizen. There will be a smart TV specific                question of cost and here ARM based solutions have had a
version called Tizen TV which will run on Intel's CE range of             big lead over Intel, so it'll be interesting to see how things
Atom processors, but the question is if it'll be good enough to           change here as we transition towards more demanding HD
compete with Google TV on ARM.                                            video usage scenarios.
The interesting thing here is that much of Tizen TV will be
open source, so in that way it should be similar to Google TV.
Intel will of course be the ones providing the major hardware             AMD APU/GPU 2012-13
components, but as Intel doesn't make TV-tuners, at least not
to our knowledge, some third parties will have to be involved
                                                                          Roadmap
                                                                          Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-apugpu-2012-13-
as well.                                                                  roadmap/14729.html
There are some core blocks to Tizen TV which include the                  February 2nd, 2012
open source core services, web run-time and native application
runtime. Some of the TV services such as remote input and
the unified multi-media services core blocks will also be open
source, but key parts like being able to watch broadcast
content, video on demand and the various DRM technologies                 At its much awaited Financial Analyst Day 2012, AMD has
required to do so are of course not open source and will all be           revealed a roadmap for 2012 and 2013 for Client and Graphics
third party implementations.                                              Roadmap covering APUs and GPUs over A, C, E & Z series and
                                                                          Radeon product lines.
The web runtime will be based on Chromium and it means
that Tizen TV will support HTML5 among other things.                      As we have seen, the first products of AMD's first 2012 range
It also means that we should see OpenGL ES support in                     - Southern Islands or Radeon HD 7000 family - are already
addition to hardware accelerated support for various graphics,            shipping, with the entire line-up to be filled in the coming
audio, video and security applications, many which has yet                months. Next in line for AMD are the 2012 APU line-up -
to be specified, but Intel is apparently working on bringing              Trinity, Brazos 2.0 and Hondo.
hardware accelerated Adobe Flash support to the Tizen TV
platform, as well as support for Blu-ray playback.

                                                                                                                                             1
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                         February 2nd, 2012




                                                                         It seems like monitor manufacturers are finally starting to
                                                                         move away from TN panels with recent arrivals of several
                                                                         affordable IPS panel based displays from a wide range of
                                                                         manufacturers. ViewSonic has joined the fray with its new
                                                                         VX2336s-LED model which as the name implies features
                                                                         an LED backlit IPS panel featuring what ViewSonic calls
Trinity has been covered in much detail over the last few                SuperClear IPS technology.
months, and is due to release in Q2 2012 - around the same
time as Intel Ivy Bridge. AMD expects numerous design wins,
the first of which has already been announced by Arctic.                 It seems like monitor manufacturers are finally starting to
Trinity will be predominantly branded as 2nd gen A-Series,               move away from TN panels with recent arrivals of several
with A4, A6, A8 and A10 segmentations.                                   affordable IPS panel based displays from a wide range of
                                                                         manufacturers. ViewSonic has joined the fray with its new
Following the cancelation of Wichita and Krishna, Brazos 2.0
                                                                         VX2336s-LED model which as the name implies features
will have to hold ground in the low-power market covering
                                                                         an LED backlit IPS panel featuring what ViewSonic calls
C-series and A-series for 2012. Brazos 2.0 is reported to be
                                                                         SuperClear IPS technology.
a minor improvement over Brazos. The main improvements
are in the chipset as well as the introduction of Turbo Core.            The display itself doesn't really stand out in terms of design
Hondo is the successor to Z-01 (Desna) and will appear in                or connectivity, as it's a fairly standard looking 23-inch LCD
tablets and other ultra low power devices. Like Brazos 2.0,              screen with 1920x1080 resolution. It features a single DVI
Hondo's improvements are also mostly in the FCH - power                  and D-sub connector, although unlike many of the fashionable
optimizations will cut down consumption significantly over               super-slim displays of last year, the slightly chunkier enclosure
Z-01. Hondo is rumoured to be branded Z-03. Both Hondo and               of the VX2336s does at least allow for an internal power
Brazos 2.0 are based on the same infrastructure and fabricated           supply. The stand offers 20 to -5 degrees tilt, but that's all the
by TSMC's 40nm process.                                                  adjustment options you get.
Moving to 2013, AMD's Graphics division will introduce
Sea Islands, which brings major archictecture enhancements
to GCN and introduce Heterogenous System Architecture
(HSA) features. HSA was previously called Fusion System
Architecture that will ultimately see future APUs fully
integrate CPU and GPU. The transition to HSA will begin
with 3rd gen APU, Kaveri. It will introduce Steamroller CPU
cores, which improve IPC and power over Trinity's Piledriver
cores. Kaveri will be the first APU featuring GCN and with
HSA enhancements, which suggests it will be derived the Sea
Islands generation rather than Southern Islands. Kaveri will
also see a shrink to 28nm and will compete with Intel's 22nm
Haswell.
Rounding up an all-28nm 2013 (Intel will be at 22nm) will be
Kabini and Temash, built round new Jaguar CPU cores, which
will finally succeed Bobcat. Kabini will also introduce HSA
features, and possibly GCN to the GPU. As with Hondo and
Brazos, Temash will be the ultra low power variant of Kabini,
succeeding Hondo / Z-03.
Image Source: HardOCP                                                    ViewSonic claims that its SuperClear technology offers 178
                                                                         degree viewing angles, both horizontally and vertically and
ViewSonic launches                                                       that it enhances grey levels and offers true black colours.
                                                                         For some reason ViewSonic has still implemented a dynamic
affordable LED backlit IPS                                               contrast ratio of 20 million to one, although the standard
                                                                         contrast ratio is only 1000:1. The brightness is 250cd/m2, a
display                                                                  little dull compared to more expensive displays, but about par
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/viewsonic-launches-affordable-led-   for this price segment. The grey to grey response time is rated
backlit-ips-display/14728.html

                                                                                                                                         2
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                         Published by: VR-Zone

at 6ms and 14ms black to white to black, which is pretty decent
for an IPS panel.
The VX2336s features automatic aspect ratio adjustment
for 4:3 signals and ViewSonic claims that it offers 50
percent energy saving compared to a display with fluorescent
backlights. The power draw is said to peak at 35W, but will be
as low as 21W in eco mode. What makes the VX2336s-LED
interesting though doesn't really have too much to do with its
average feature set, but instead it's the retail price, as you can
pick one up for around US$180 (S$225) which makes it one of
the cheapest 23-inch IPS panels currently on sale.


Facebook founder Mark
Zuckerberg defends hackers
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-founder-mark-zuckerberg-
defends-hackers/14727.html
February 2nd, 2012
                                                                        Hacking has gained notoriety over the past year or two,
                                                                        particularly with the rise of hacktivist groups like Anonymous
                                                                        and Lulzsec, both of which have caused widespread disruption
                                                                        to internet services. There are many other hacking groups in
                                                                        operation too, some with darker and more criminal motives,
                                                                        such as stealing credit card information. Other groups work
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has defended                  to expose criminal hackers or test the security of websites and
hackers in a lengthy letter on what he considers a growing              servers, showing that things are not always black and white
misconception about a skill which he says is essential to his           when hacking is concerned.
company's success.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has defended                  The letter was given to investors just as the company launched
hackers in a lengthy letter on what he considers a growing              a bid to raise $5 billion in public shares. It is not clear if
misconception about a skill which he says is essential to his           the message was intended to assert Zuckerberg control of
company's success.                                                      the company, which he will still control 57 percent of after
                                                                        the initial public offering, and it remains to be seen if some
                                                                        investors will be spooked by his pro-hacker rhetoric.
“The word 'hacker' has an unfairly negative connotation from
being portrayed in the media as people who break into
computers,” the 27-year-old wrote. “In reality, hacking just
means building something quickly or testing the boundaries
of what can be done. Like most things, it can be used for good          Android tablet ad with Steve
or bad, but the vast majority of hackers I've met tend to be            Jobs lookalike draws mixed
idealistic people who want to have a positive impact on the
world.”                                                                 reactions
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/android-tablet-ad-with-steve-jobs-
                                                                        lookalike-draws-mixed-reactions/14726.html
Zuckerberg not only defended the profession of hacking, but             February 2nd, 2012
said that every few months Facebook holds a “hackaton” where
coders work to build a better implementation of an idea. He
said that many of the social network's products, such as the
timeline, chat, video, and mobile development, are the results
of such hacking activity.
                                                                        A television advert that contains a Steve Jobs lookalike, who
                                                                        praises an Android tablet computer, has resulted in mixed
                                                                        reactions from consumers.
                                                                        A television advert that contains a Steve Jobs lookalike, who
                                                                        praises an Android tablet computer, has resulted in mixed
                                                                        reactions from consumers.




                                                                                                                                                 3
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                     Published by: VR-Zone

The Taiwanese ad features Ah-Ken, a comedian and                            February 2nd, 2012
impersonator, who is decked out in the iconic attire of Jobs:
black turtleneck, jeans and round glasses. Instead of touting
an iPad, however, he shows off the Android-powered Action
Pad from Action Electronics.


Perhaps the most controversial element of the ad is the fact
                                                                            Apple remains the industry leader in terms of customer
that the lookalike is wearing wings and a halo, a nod to the
                                                                            service quality, but that may soon change, as customer support
death of Jobs from cancer last year, a caricature that some
                                                                            satisfaction has been steadily dropping for the company
might consider insensitive.
                                                                            over the past 18 months, according to a report by Vocal
                                                                            Laboratories.
“Thank God I can finally play another pad,” the impersonator                Apple remains the industry leader in terms of customer
says in the final seconds of the video, suggesting that Jobs                service quality, but that may soon change, as customer support
changed his long-time hatred of Google's Android platform                   satisfaction has been steadily dropping for the company
into a glowing admiration after he passed through the pearly                over the past 18 months, according to a report by Vocal
gates.                                                                      Laboratories.


                                                                            During the second half of 2011 Apple's support call
                                                                            satisfaction, where customers said they were “very satisfied,”
                                                                            was down to 54 percent, a huge drop from its 73 percent
                                                                            satisfaction in the first half of 2010.


                                                                            This still leaves Apple ahead of the competition, such as HP
                                                                            with 49 percent and Dell with 44 percent, but the gap between
                                                                            them is significantly narrower than it was before, and such a
                                                                            large drop in such a short space of time presents a worrying
                                                                            future for the customer satisfaction rating of the company.




The ad led to conflicting responses from consumers, with some
labelling it as “awesome” and “funny,” while others found it
“disrespectful.”


Apple fans were not alone in their complaints about the video,
however. Several Android supporters found the ad in “bad
taste,” labelling it as “very disturbing.” Many users called for
more respect to be shown for the late co-founder and former
CEO of Apple.


Since the video does not name Jobs or Apple, Action
Electronics claims that it should not be liable to legal action,
a reality which ended the sale of a Steve Jobs action figure.
One thing is for sure, however – the controversy surrounding
this video will likely have succeeded in generating the intended
buzz around the Action Pad.                                                 “Despite its significant decline, Apple continues to lead our
                                                                            survey in overall tech support quality,” said Peter Leppik, CEO
                                                                            of Vocal Laboratories. “But where Apple used to be well ahead
                                                                            in nearly every measure of service quality, there are now areas
Apple customer satisfaction                                                 where Apple is tied with, or even behind, its competitors.”

plummets in last 18 months
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-customer-satisfaction-plummets-   In terms of customer complaints, only one percent complained
in-last-18-months/14725.html                                                about the language skills of their support technician,
                                                                            compared to 10 percent for HP and eight percent for Dell.


                                                                                                                                          4
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                        Published by: VR-Zone

Likewise, one percent complained about costs, compared to six                The other bonus here is that the K-01 has a standard 3.5mm
percent for the rival companies.                                             microphone jack, a feature missing in many more expensive
                                                                             cameras in this market segment.

Apple has prided itself on a consistently high rating of
customer satisfaction, but as competition mounts in many of
its dominant sectors, the crown could finally be slipping.


The Pentax K-01 is official
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-pentax-k-01-is-official/14724.html
February 2nd, 2012




Well, that didn't take long, Pentax has no officially unveiled the
K-01 and it seems like the information released ahead of the                 The green and red buttons on the top of the camera are
launch was spot on of the most part. There are some additional               programmable, although by default the red button starts video
features worth mentioning and we also know what the new                      recording. The rechargeable Li-Ion battery is said to be good
40mm lens will retail for on its own.                                        for up to 540 shots without flash and the camera is supplied
                                                                             with a dedicated battery charger. We'd suggest you head over
                                                                             to Pentax website for a full run-down of the specifications.
Well, that didn't take long, Pentax has no officially unveiled the
K-01 and it seems like the information released ahead of the
launch was spot on of the most part. There are some additional
features worth mentioning and we also know what the new
40mm lens will retail for on its own.
For starters, we were slightly off on the colours, as Pentax
will offer the K-01 in white rather than silver. The camera is a
fair bit chunkier than the first images made it look like, as it
measures 121x59x79mm (WxDxH) and weighs in at 560g with
its battery fitted. This makes the K-01 barely any smaller than
entry level DSLR's and it's almost 90g heavier than Sony's A35
SLT.
                                                                             It's interesting reading the comments on the various
                                                                             photography sites about the K-01, as it hasn't exactly taken
                                                                             the world by storm. Despite being designed by Marc Newson
                                                                             it seems like many commenters would've preferred a more
                                                                             traditional camera design, or to be more precise something
                                                                             a bit less chunky. The main reason behind the wide girth of
                                                                             the K-01 simply comes down to the fact that to be able to use
                                                                             Pentax's existing range of lenses, the sensor had to be fitted the
                                                                             same distance from the lenses on Pentax's range of DSLR's. As
                                                                             for the rest of the design though, well, it's a matter of person
                                                                             preference really, but as you can see in the video below, the
                                                                             K-01 is being compared to a 1980's Volvo.
                                                                             As for the new 40mm f/2.8 XS lens, it'll retail for US$249.95
                                                                             (S$315) on its own, US$100 than when bundled with the K-01.
                                                                             As mentioned in our pre-launch post, the K-01 will start at
                                                                             US$749.95 (95 cents higher than the rumours suggested),
Apparently the 16Megapixel sensor is not the same as in                      body only. The 40mm lens bundle will come in a special Marc
Pentax's K-5; although it's not entirely clear what has been                 Newson designed packaging bundled with a carrying strap by
changed. For those interesting in shooting video with their                  the designer.
camera, the K-01 looks like a good option though – albeit                    Overall the Pentax K-01 is an interesting product, but it
somewhat dependant on autofocus performance – as the                         feels like Pentax has missed a few things, such as an option
camera can shoot in 1080p at 30, 25 and 24fps, 720p at 60,                   for an external EVF and the lack of a tilting LCD. These
50, 30, 25 and 24fps and finally at 480p at 30, 25 and 24fps.                are potentially features that will make or break the K-01,

                                                                                                                                             5
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone

alongside the rather peculiar design. That said, when it comes
to cameras, image quality and usability is what matters and
we'll have to wait for some reviews before we know if the K-01
is worth its asking price.


MSI X79 Big Bang X-Power II
Review
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-x79-big-bang-x-power-ii-
review/14711.html
February 2nd, 2012




Today we take a look at MSI's flagship X79 motherboard. This
feature packed overclocking board is aimed at anyone who
wants something extreme. A 22 phase VRM coupled with quad
SLI capability and every OC feature from direct OC buttons to
manual PCI-E switches this board packs a strong punch, but
does it live up to all the hype?                                     The X79 chipset has all the goodies one could ever imagine,
Introduction:                                                        except for a few things. First off it is missing USB 3.0,
                                                                     something we hope to see with Intel's Z77 chipset. Second it
                                                                     is missing all of those additional SAS or SATA6GB/s ports we
                                                                     saw on earlier X79 prototypes. That was a lot of SATA/SAS
                                                                     ports and now we have none of it, so we basically have a redo of
                                                                     the Z68 chipset just without SSD Caching and iGPU support.
                                                                     What is more interesting about the LGA2011 platform is
                                                                     what is the CPU has in store for us. Even though the
                                                                     current LGA2011 CPU's lack virtualization and PCI-E 3.0
                                                                     certification, they still have many features. Quad channel
                                                                     memory controller with supreme overclocking abilities is a
                                                                     plus as is PCI-E 3.0 which can't be claimed until the second
                                                                     stepping gets PCI-SIG certification. We seem to take for
                                                                     granted the 40 PCI-E lanes and native Quad SLI/CF support.
                                                                     With LGA2011 we have Intel moving back to satisfy the
                                                                     overclocker, of course not how we would like, but BLCK straps
                                                                     are nothing to push to the side. Today we will take a look
                                                                     at MSI’s top LGA2011 board for overclockers, gamers, and
The MSI X79 BigBang X-Power II (X79 BigBang) is MSI's                enthusiasts, let’s see how it does.
top dog motherboard. Combine a very rich and abundant set
of components and team it up with some cool overclocking
features and then add some sugar and spice and you'll have           Specifications:
something nice. The X79 BigBang doesn't cease to impress,
whether it be in raw performance or innovation, MSI has
done their best to put out a very special board within its own                                       MSI X79 BigBang X-
respects. If you are an overclocker this board really hits all the                                   Power II
main points, yet it also has features for gamers and hardcore        CPU Support                     Supports 2nd Generation
workstation people as well.                                                                          Intel® Core i7 processors in
                                                                                                     LGA2011 package.
                                                                     Chipset                         Intel X79 Express
                                                                     Memory                          Supports eight unbuffered
                                                                                                     DIMM of 1.5 Volt DDR3
                                                                                                     1066/1333/1600/1866*/2133*/2400
                                                                                                     (OC) DRAM, 128GB Max
                                                                                                     - Supports Quad channel
                                                                                                     mode


                                                                                                                                   6
February 2nd, 2012                                                                          Published by: VR-Zone

Multi-GPU Support    Supports NVIDIA® 4-Way           Audio                     • Chipset integrated by
                     SLI™ Technology                                            Realtek® ALC898
                     Supports AMD 4-Way                                         - Flexible 8-channel audio
                     CrossFireX™ Technology                                     with jack sensing
Expansion Slots      • 4 PCI Express gen3 x16 slots
                                                                                - Compliant with Azalia 1.0
                     - PCI_E1 supports up to PCIE
                                                                                Spec
                     x16 speed
                     - PCI_E5 supports up to PCIE
                                                                                - Meet Microsoft Vista
                     x16 speed when PCI_E3 is
                                                                                Premium spec
                     empty, or supports x8 speed
                     when PCI_E3 is occupied          USB                       • 1 USB 3.0 internal
                                                                                connector by NEC®
                     - PCI_E3 & PCI_E7 support                                  D720200
                     up to PCIE x8 speed                                        • 4 USB 3.0 rear I/O ports by
                                                                                NEC® D720200
                     • 3 PCI Express gen2 x16 slots   FireWire                  -• VIA® VT6315N chipset
                                                                                - Supports up to two 1394
                     - PCI_E2, PCU_E4 & PCI_E6                                  ports. (Rear panel x1,
                     support up to PCIE x1 speed                                pinheader x1)
Storage              SATAII controller integrated                               - Transfer rate is up to
                     in Intel® X79 chipset                                      400Mbps.
                     - Up to 3Gb/s transfer speed.    Back Panel I/O Ports      - 1 x PS/2 Mouse/
                                                                                Keyboard port
                     - Supports four SATAII ports
                                                                                - 1 x Clear CMOS button
                     (SATA3~6) by X79
                                                                                - 1 x Coaxial SPDIF port

                                                                                - 1 x Optical SPDIF port
                     • SATAIII controller
                     integrated in Intel® X79
                                                                                - 1 x IEEE1394 port
                     chipset
                                                                                - 2 x RJ45 LAN Jacks
                     - Up to 6Gb/s transfer speed.
                                                                                - 6 x USB 2.0 ports
                     - Supports two SATAIII ports
                     (SATA1~2) by X79
                                                                                - 4 x USB 3.0 ports

                                                                                - 1 x 6 in 1 audio jack
                     • SATAIII controller
                     integrated in ASMedia® ASM       Internal I/O Connectors   - ATX 24-Pin power
                     1061 chipset                                               connector
                                                                                - 2 x 8-pin Power connectors
                     - Up to 6Gb/s transfer speed.                              - CPU x 1 / System x 5 FAN
                                                                                connectors
                     - Supports four SATAIII ports
                     (SATA7~10)                                                 - Front panel audio connector

                                                                                - Front panel connector
                     • RAID
                                                                                - 1 x Chasis intrusion
                     - SATA1~6 ports support Intel                              connector
                     Rapid Storage Technology
                     enterprise (AHCI / RAID                                    - 2 x USB 2.0 connectors
                     0/1/5/10) by Intel X79
                                                                                - 1 x USB 3.0 connectors

LAN                  Supports dual PCI Express                                  - 4 x Serial ATAII connectors
                     LAN 10/100/1000 Fast
                     Ethernet by Intel 82579V and                               - 6 x Serial ATAIII connectors
                     82574L.
                                                                                - 1 x IEEE1394 connector
                                                                                                                7
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                         Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                         in GPS (Global Positioning System) functionality that allows
                                     - 1 x Clear CMOS jumper             geo-tagged images to be pinpointed via Point of Interest
                                                                         (POI) data supplied with the NAVTEQ map. The NAVTEQ
                                     - 1 x Power button                  map today features millions of POIs in over 50 categories
                                                                         including restaurants, tourist attractions, shops, hotels and
                                     - 1 x Reset button                  much more. The AW100 will recognize your location and
                                                                         display it, either as longitude and latitude, or by place name.
                                     - 1 x OC Genie button                 With the integration of maps and location content in the
                                                                         AW100, users can now geographically organize their photos
                                     - 2 x Base clock buttons            effortlessly, allowing them to easily identify the exact location
                                                                         of where the photo was taken and when.
                                     - 1 x Multi BIOS button
Form Factor                          34.5cm(L) x 26.4cm(W) XL-
                                     ATX Form Factor                     Piracy is Good For Business:
                                                                         Who Said That? Angry Birds,
                                                                         That's Who!
Nikon integrates NAVTEQ                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/piracy-is-good-for-business-who-said-

maps into COOLPIX AW series                                              that-angry-birds-that-s-who-/14721.html
                                                                         February 2nd, 2012
digital cameras
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nikon-integrates-navteq-maps-into-
coolpix-aw-series-digital-cameras/14723.html
February 2nd, 2012



                                                                         If you own a smartphone, chances are you have Angry Birds
                                                                         running on the phone, even if you never launched the app
                                                                         yourself. What would the creators of the game think about
                                                                         piracy? You'd be surprised...
The Nikon COOLPIX AW100 is the company's first digital
                                                                         Regardless of the industry you work in, counterfeiting
camera that is waterproof, shock-proof and cold-resistant. It
                                                                         or unauthorized distribution is something you'll have to
has built-in GPS, electronic compass and a map display, and
                                                                         learn to live with. The biggest difference is how you treat
soon, you can also load NAVTEQ map and location content
                                                                         the end customer - are you going to punish or educate
from the camera.
                                                                         the customer. While MPAA and RIAA are hell bent on
                                                                         punishing the customer, even when that customer is U.S.
                                                                         Congress, or the actual offices of MPAA and RIAA themselves,
                                                                         there are companies that strive on educating the customer
                                                                         and expanding their own ecosystem to cover counterfeited
                                                                         products as well.




Nikon is integrating NAVTEQ map and location content to
their line of COOLPIX AW series compact digital cameras,
designed for outdoor users. The AW100 claims to be the
Japanese manufacturer's first compact digital camera that is             One such example is Rovio Mobile and their Angry Birds
not only waterproof, but also shock-proof and cold-resistant.            franchise. At Midem 2012 conference in Cannes, France, CEO
Unique to the AW100 is the ability for users to view their               of Rovio Mobile Mikael Hed stepped forward and made a
exact location on the map display that comes pre-loaded                  daring statement: "We have some issues with piracy, not only
within the cameras. The AW series are equipped with built-               in apps, but also especially in the consumer products. There

                                                                                                                                                     8
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

are tons and tons of merchandise out there, especially in Asia,
which are not officially licensed products," continuing with
"we could learn a lot from the music industry, and the rather
terrible ways the music industry has tried to combat piracy."
Seeing multi-billion dollar companies like Valve, Blizzard
as well as music artists actually thriving on changing their
business models to protect their own content and yet protect
the consumer at the same time is the right way forward. Digital
distribution channels created tens of billions of dollars in
revenue which did not exist before.
"Already our apps are becoming channels, and we can use
that channel to cross-promote - to sell further content,"
Mikael said. "The content itself has transformed into the
channel, and the traditional distribution channels are no
longer the kingmakers."
The conclusion of his speech was "Piracy may not be a bad
thing: it can get us more business at the end of the day."
                                                                       Using a base clock rate of 258.2 MHz and multiplier of
The problem with RIAA and MPAA model is ultimately, it is              47x, a whopping 6067.7 MHz was achieved. Further to that,
more about the control of the user than the control of who             Christian also managed to get the memory running nicely
owns the content - given the number of artists who have                at an also staggering 3505 MHz, just 95 MHz shy of a new
their own parallel channels of their own content distribution.         world record for that alone. Of course, this couldn't have been
But the companies like Rovio Mobile can challenge the                  accomplished without a big spoonful of voltage fed to the chip,
counterfeiting and piracy, educate the consumer and earn ton           but with sub-zero (LN2) cooling being the order of the day, the
of money in the process. Will it account for lost sales - they         2V core voltage used was kept in check.
certainly would. But they will be too busy counting the money
earned by customer education.


AMD A8-3870K makes it past
6GHz with memory at 3505
MHz!
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-a8-3870k-makes-it-past-6ghz-
with-memory-at-3505-mhz-/14719.html
February 2nd, 2012




                                                                       Christian used a GIGABYTE A75-UD4H motherboard for the
                                                                       job together with GeIL's EVO Corsa DDR3 memory. When
We've seen some pretty darn impressive overclocks out                  attempting to submit his CPU-Z result for validation it was
of AMD's trusty A-series processors, but this fresh result             rejected however, probably out of disbelief that Llano could
certainly tops the list, An overclocker from the HWBOT                 handle such abuse from a 2 volt vCore and 258.2MHz base
community by the name of "Christian Ney" looks to have                 clock versus the default that is a whole 158.2MHz lower.
crossed the 6GHz barrier using an A8-3870K APU, and that's
with all of its cores enabled.
We've seen some pretty darn impressive overclocks out
                                                                       Microsoft releases Kinect for
of AMD's trusty A-series processors, but this fresh result             Windows with version 1.0 SDK
certainly tops the list, An overclocker from the HWBOT                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-releases-kinect-for-windows-
community by the name of "Christian Ney" looks to have                 with-version-1.0-sdk/14716.html
crossed the 6GHz barrier using an A8-3870K APU, and that's             February 2nd, 2012
with all of its cores enabled.




                                                                       As promised at CES early last month, Microsoft has just
                                                                       launched Kinect for Windows in the form of the version

                                                                                                                                               9
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

1.0 Software Development Kit and a new version of the                      Besides Canon, Pentax was the only DSLR camera
Kinect hardware that's been tweaked to better suit close range             manufacturer that didn't offer a mirrorless interchangeable
operation at the desk.                                                     lens camera, but that should change today with the
                                                                           introduction of the Pentax K-01. Both pictures and partial
As promised at CES early last month, Microsoft has just
                                                                           specifications of the new camera have already leaked, so we
launched Kinect for Windows in the form of the version
                                                                           can give you a glimpse of what to expect ahead of the launch.
1.0 Software Development Kit and a new version of the
Kinect hardware that's been tweaked to better suit close range             Unlike most of its competitors, bar Panasonic, Pentax has
operation at the desk.                                                     gone for a fairly traditional camera design for the K-01 and it
                                                                           doesn't appear that Pentax has gone out of its way to make the
                                                                           most compact mirrorless interchangeable lens camera in the
                                                                           market. On the other hand, the company hasn't skimped on
                                                                           quality as the camera features an aluminium frame and there's
                                                                           also plenty of dials and buttons, something that should appeal
                                                                           to more professional users.




At $249 for the bundled Kinect for Windows kit it does seem
pretty steep when considering the fact that it's possible to just
head out, buy Kinect for Xbox 360 for $99, plug that into your
PC and download the SDK freely off the internet. The issue is,
you won't end up with the same result due to the device being
modified to suit much closer distances, right up to just 40cm
away while maintaining optimal accuracy and precision.




                                                                           Thanks to a press release issued by one of Pentax retail
                                                                           partners, we also have an idea about the specifications of
You may not want to bite just yet given the hefty $249.99                  the upcoming camera. The K-01 uses the standard Pentax
MSRP as seen listed over at Amazon, and the other factor being             K-mount and is as such as far as we're aware, the only
that we're still waiting on developers to create some apps and             mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with an APS-C size
games that'll hopefully wow many of us into wanting one of                 sensor that uses the same mount as its predecessors. All of
these things. We'll have to see how that all pans out in the               Pentax competitors require a lens adapter to use older lenses
coming months.                                                             and this could prove to be a huge advantage for Pentax when
                                                                           it comes to getting current Pentax camera owners to upgrade
                                                                           to the K-01.
Pentax K-01 leaks ahead of                                                 The sensor is a 16Megapixel APS-C size CMOS unit which
imminent launch                                                            offers multiple aspect ratios and is claimed to offer low noise
                                                                           image capture and as with previous Pentax DSLR cameras the
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pentax-k-01-leaks-ahead-of-imminent-
launch/14722.html
                                                                           K-01 has sensor-shift image stabilization and a dust reduction
February 2nd, 2012
                                                                           system. The K-01 is capable of capturing 1080p30 video as well
                                                                           as 720p60 using H.264 encoding. The camera can also shoot
                                                                           6 FPS bursts, offers shutter speeds of 1/4000 to 30 seconds
                                                                           and has an ISO range of between 100 and 25,600. As with
                                                                           your average DSLR the K-01 offers P, Av, Tv and M shooting
                                                                           modes, as well as fully automatic and various creative modes
                                                                           and filters.
Besides Canon, Pentax was the only DSLR camera
manufacturer that didn't offer a mirrorless interchangeable
lens camera, but that should change today with the
introduction of the Pentax K-01. Both pictures and partial
specifications of the new camera have already leaked, so we
can give you a glimpse of what to expect ahead of the launch.




                                                                                                                                        10
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                            February 2nd, 2012




                                                                            Samsung has said that their highly-anticipated GALAXY S
                                                                            III smartphone will not be unveiled at the upcoming Mobile
                                                                            World Congress in Barcelona, and many speculated that the
                                                                            phone may not be ready to be showcased yet. Recently,
                                                                            there had been some pictures of a phone with a curved screen,
                                                                            and the Samsung brand name on it. Could this be the Samsung
Other features include a 3-inch LCD with 920,000 dots, not                  GALAXY S III?
cutting edge, but at least as good as most of its competitors if
not better, a built in pop-up flash as well as a standard Pentax
hot-shoe, something that is rare in this market segment. You
also get focus peaking which helps when focusing manually,
in-camera HDR support and JPEG as well as RAW capture. As
for the rest of the features we'll just have to wait and see, but
some rumours suggest that we might be seeing a microphone
input and we'd expect HDMI connectivity and support for
SDXC cards.
In addition to the K-01, Pentax will also be launching its new
DA 40mm f/2.8 XS lens which is a 9.1mm thick pancake lens
that weighs in at a mere 51g. This will be one of the lens options
that will be bundled with the K-01 at launch, although Pentax
will also offer it on its own.



                                                                            Samsung has showcased their flexible display concept last year
                                                                            and suggested that the flexible screens would be implemented
                                                                            on mobile phones, tablets and other mobile devices this year.
                                                                            Well, it seems like someone has leaked pictures of a flexible
                                                                            screen mobile phone, and as you can see, the product has the
                                                                            Samsung brand name on it. And with the recent rumor mills
                                                                            on the GALAXY S III, could this phone actually be that?
                                                                            From what we have gathered till now, the Samsung GALAXY S
                                                                            III, it will be equipped with quad-core Exynos processor, 2GB
                                                                            RAM, 4.6-inch 1280x720 high definition Super AMOLED Plus
                                                                            3D touchscreen display, 12-megapixel camera and runs Google
The Pentax K-01 is expected to have a MSRP of US$749 (S                     Android 4.0 ICS. Of course we cannot confirm that the photos
$935) body only, US$899 (S$1125) with the 40mm pancake                      are that of the Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S III, but it would
lens and US$999 (S$1245) with an 18-55 and 50-200mm                         be interesting to have a mobile phone with a screen that you
lens bundle. The K-01 should be available in black, silver and              can bend.
apparently yellow as well. Full details, including availability is
expected to be revealed later today.

                              Another Valentine's Day Gift
Can this prototype phone with Guide
curved screen be the Samsung Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/another-valentine-s-day-gift-
GALAXY S III?                 guide/14713.html

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/can-this-prototype-phone-with-curved-
screen-be-the-samsung-galaxy-s-iii-/14720.html




                                                                                                                                        11
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone

February 2nd, 2012                                               Available on Xbox, Playstation and PC, this blockbuster sequel
                                                                 is inspired by the popular comic book series The Darkness.
                                                                 What's even more applicable is the game actually includes
                                                                 quite a sad love story where the main character loses the love
                                                                 of his life.
                                                                 Price: Xbox 360: S$69.90 ; PlayStation 3: S$79.90 ; Windows
                                                                 PC: S$59.90
With Valentine's Day just two weeks away, here are some
more new gift ideas for the guy, the girl, and even the couple
- BlackBerry 9900 White, The Darkness game, and Seagate
GoFlex Satellite.




                                                                 For The Romantic Couple: The Seagate GoFlex Satellite is the
                                                                 first battery-powered external hard drive to wirelessly extend
                                                                 the storage capacity of any Wi-Fi enabled device such as your
                                                                 iPad or any other tablet and mobile device. Couples can now
For Her: The pure white Blackberry Bold 9900 is the perfect      stream their favorite videos, music and pictures from their
gift for her this Valentine's Day, not to mention that it is     GoFlex Satellite straight to their mobile device. With 500GB
sleek, smart and sexy. With the unique white colour, she will    (or 300 high definition movies), the GoFlex Satellite allows
stand out in a crowd and always be looking for reasons to        you to connect up to three devices simultaneously. This means
pull her phone out of her handbag. The Bold 9900 runs the        that if the boyfriend wants to watch an action film and the
latest BlackBerry OS 7 and comes with a touchscreen display      girlfriend wants a romantic comedy, they can still sit together
and QWERTY keyboard for convenience of typing messages.          (holding hands) and stream off the same hard drive. Even if
Price: S$888 (before telco subsidies)                            you do not have internet connection, the Satellite will still work
                                                                 as it creates its own Wi–Fi network.
                                                                 Price: S$299




                                                                 The OE2 and OE2i are Bose' latest headphones that feature
                                                                 an updated look and design, and provide superb audio
                                                                 performance. The main difference between the OE2 and OE2i
                                                                 headphones is that the latter comes with an inline remote and
                                                                 microphone. Both the OE2 and OE2i headphones feature an
For Him: The Darkness II, launching in Singapore on the          enhanced proprietary TriPort acoustic headphone structure,
10 February, comes at a perfect time for Valentine's Day.        with redesigned and newly tuned earcup ports to give a more
Any guy would love this game and what's great for the girls      balanced and natural audio reproduction.
is that it isn't a present that will break the bank account.
                                                                 Price: S$219 (Bose OE2) and S$269 (Bose OE2i)

                                                                                                                                12
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone




                                                                      The benchmarks performed were a mix of heavily multi-
                                                                      threaded and single-threaded. In most cases, the result was
                                                                      clear - a ~9% increase in performance over Core i7 2600K.
                                                                      Considering the 3% boost in clocks, Ivy Bridge brings a ~6%
                                                                      boost in IPC over Sandy Bridge. This also means Core i7 3770K
                                                                      will beat the current top Sandy Bridge Core i7 2700K by about
                                                                      6%-7% as well.
Compatible with devices using the Bluetooth 2.1 (or earlier)          Of course, Ivy Bridge is a "tick" step, with the focus
specifications that support the Bluetooth handsfree or A2DP           on die shrink, power efficiency and graphics performance.
profiles, the Bose Bluetooth headset Series 2 integrates Bose         While Core i7 3770K may not appreciably improve on the
full-range audio and A2DP, and comes in right and left ear            performance of its Sandy Bridge predecessors, it will do so at a
versions. It includes a proprietary dual microphone system            low TDP of 77W - a full 18W down on outgoing i7 2600/2700
that not only improves speech intelligibility but also rejects        parts. This 77W will also include an improved IGP - HD 4000
background and wind noise dramatically.                               - now featuring 16 EUs. Low-power 65W SKUs will see greater
Price: S$249                                                          increases in clock speeds over Sandy Bridge 65W parts thanks
                                                                      to the increase power efficiency.

Intel Core i7 3770K                                                   This is not the first time we have seen Core i7 3770K
                                                                      benchmarks leaked, with the first leaks showing very similar
benchmarks leaked                                                     results. However, both show numbers are a tad lower than
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-core-i7-3770k-benchmarks-   Intel's in-house projections. The first Ivy Bridge quad-core
leaked/14714.html                                                     CPUs are still on course to hit retail in the first or second week
February 2nd, 2012                                                    of April.


                                                                      Arctic Announces First
                                                                      Products with Next-Gen AMD
                                                                      Trinity A8 and A10 APUs
A set of benchmarks comparing Intel's upcoming Core i7                Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/arctic-announces-first-products-with-
3770K - top of the Ivy Bridge heap - to Core i7 2600K have            next-gen-amd-trinity-a8-and-a10-apus/14712.html
leaked online.                                                        February 2nd, 2012

The benchmarks were performed by OBR-Hardware using a
C0 stepping engineering sample of Core i7 3770K, clocked at
3.5 GHz with 3.9 GHz turbo - identical clocks to the current
Core i7 2700K. A Z68 chipset motherboard was used, using a
new UEFI/BIOS to include Ivy Bridge support. Of course, Ivy
Bridge CPUs will ship alongside 7 series chipset motherboards
at launch, including Z77.                                             Back in 2011, Swiss-Hong Kong brand Arctic announced
                                                                      its entrance into the world of all-in-one HTPC's with their
                                                                      MC001. The company was satisfied with the market success of
                                                                      the first generation part and decided that the time has come to
                                                                      unveil its successor.
                                                                      New HTPC is the first one that is solely tailored for the role of a
                                                                      living room device. MC101 carries the tag line "Entertainment
                                                                      Always" and the company is following suit with a very sleek
                                                                      design. The interesting bit is that this compact HTPC is
                                                                      powered by the upcoming AMD Fusion "Trinity" processors
                                                                      carrying a familiar name "A8", and not so familiar "A10". Both
                                                                                                                                              13
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone

processor lineups will be powered by the Trinity silicon, i.e.   threatening individuals or companies with litigation, it might
next-generation CPU core codenamed "Piledriver" with the         be that MC101 line of products is a way of making a peace offer.
GPU core codenamed "Northern Islands".                           Then again, the calling of not growing, but exploding market
                                                                 of advanced set-top boxes. For example, Intel is currently
                                                                 shipping over 30,000 set-top-boxes per day... in EMEA region
                                                                 alone alone! Yes, that's 900,000 devices per month, all
                                                                 powered by a variant of a 45nm Core processor, named
                                                                 Pentium for the sake of argument.


                                                                 Targus launches dual-display
                                                                 USB 3.0 graphics adapter
                                                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/targus-launches-dual-display-usb-3.0-
                                                                 graphics-adapter/14710.html
                                                                 February 2nd, 2012




                                                                 The aptly named Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video
                                                                 Adapter does exactly what the name suggests; it adds option
According to the associated slide, AMD "Trinity A8" comes        to add up to two displays via a USB 3.0 adapter. It's based on
with Radeon HD 7640G, while "Trinity A10" comes with             DisplayLink's new DL-3900 chipset which allows for a pair of
Radeon HD 7660G, implying this will be a higher performance      display to be driven over USB 3.0.
part (current Fusion APUs top out with X500 series).
According to Arctic, the products will be released when AMD
decides to launch Trinity-based Fusion APUs, which could         The aptly named Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video
be CeBIT 2012 in March, or Computex Taipei 2012. Given           Adapter does exactly what the name suggests; it adds option
the timing when Llano was introduced to market, we would         to add up to two displays via a USB 3.0 adapter. It's based on
assume the second option is a more realistic one.                DisplayLink's new DL-3900 chipset which allows for a pair of
                                                                 display to be driven over USB 3.0.
                                                                 The device itself doesn't look like much, a small black box with
                                                                 a short USB cable at the rear and an HDMI and DVI port at the
                                                                 front. We're not sure if it was a wise choice by Targus to use
                                                                 a none removable cable, as we've already experienced issues
                                                                 with some USB 3.0 devices where the cables have caused poor
                                                                 connectivity, but hopefully Targus has tested this to make sure
                                                                 it'll last the lifetime of the device.




                                                                 Each display connector can drive an independent display
                                                                 at resolutions of up to 2048x1152, somewhat disappointing
Do note that Arctic is deliberately not mentioning AMD's         considering the DL-3900 chipset should support resolutions
"Fusion" brand in any part of the press release. This comes      of up to 2560x1600, but this would require a dual-link DVI
from an interesting legal case taking place: few days ago,       port, an HDMI 1.3 or DisplayPort connector, something which
a report came out that Arctic actually plans to sue AMD          apparently is missing here. The HDMI does at least support
over the Fusion brand, claiming it has filed for a trademark     5.1-channel audio and HDCP 2.0 for copy protected content.
before AMD. The problem with that could be that AMD was          The Targus USB 3.0 SuperSpeed Dual Video Adapter should
saying Fusion for their future products before that power        be available as of now at a retail price of US$99.99 (S$125)
supply trademark was filed - both came out in 2006. However,
that is a legal matter and knowing Arctic's previous love for

                                                                                                                                        14
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone

which isn't too bad when you consider Targus is asking for US
$79.99 for its single port version.


LevelOne launches clever
Powerline Wi-Fi access point
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/levelone-launches-clever-powerline-wi-
fi-access-point/14709.html
February 2nd, 2012




Powerline networking has its use and although it is nowhere
nearly as popular as the almost ubiquitous Wi-Fi standard
when it comes to networking there are times when it's the only
option to get a network connection in your home. LevelOne
has announced a clever solution that helps bridge the two                    The PLI-3411 features Powerline speeds of up to 200Mbps
technologies, something that should appeal to that need                      and the three port switch is only offer 10/100Mbit speeds,
network connectivity in a larger building.                                   not exactly cutting edge, but good enough for streaming HD
                                                                             quality video and then some. The Wi-Fi part support speeds of
                                                                             up to 300Mbps and features a pair of external antennas with
Powerline networking has its use and although it is nowhere
                                                                             2x2 MIMO support, another rare combination for this kind of
nearly as popular as the almost ubiquitous Wi-Fi standard
                                                                             product. Another handy addition is an off-switch for the Wi-Fi,
when it comes to networking there are times when it's the only
                                                                             which allows the Wi-Fi to be disabled easily without affecting
option to get a network connection in your home. LevelOne
                                                                             other devices that are plugged in. The PL-3411 is available as
has announced a clever solution that helps bridge the two
                                                                             of now and retails in Europe for around €70 (S$115/US$95).
technologies, something that should appeal to that need
network connectivity in a larger building.
Although being far from the first of its kind the PLI-3411 as                Zynga denies it plagiarised
it's called, it manages to combine the functionality of both
being a Powerline adapter, an Ethernet switch and a Wi-Fi
                                                                             other games
                                                                             Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zynga-denies-it-plagiarised-other-
access point. This means that you can use it to extend your
                                                                             games/14708.html
Wi-Fi network to remote areas of your home or office without
                                                                             February 2nd, 2012
the need of additional Ethernet cables while also having the
additional benefit of being able to connect multiple wired
devices that can communicate locally with each other without
having to send the data over the Powerline interface.



                                                                             Zynga has denied allegations that it plagiarised other
                                                                             companies' games, a controversy that has engulfed the highly-
                                                                             successful social gaming firm.
                                                                             Zynga has denied allegations that it plagiarised other
                                                                             companies' games, a controversy that has engulfed the highly-
                                                                             successful social gaming firm.


                                                                             Buffalo Studios claimed that Zynga's Bingo game is copied
                                                                             from its Bingo Blitz, both of which are popular on Facebook,
                                                                             but Zynga's CEO, Mark Pincus, denies the accusations.


                                                                             In an interview with VentureBeat, Pincus said that not only
                                                                             is Zynga Bingo not a copy of Buffalo's game, but that Buffalo
                                                                             copied elements of its Poker Blitz game. He added that
                                                                             numerous other companies have copied its games in the
                                                                                                                                                      15
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

past, such as the many almost identical clones of its popular
FarmVille title, like Farm Town, My Farm and Happy Farm.             Facebook to file $5 billion IPO
                                                                     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-to-file-5-billion-
                                                                     ipo/14707.html
Of course, just because other people or companies do it              February 2nd, 2012
doesn't necessarily make it right, but Pincus claims that there
shouldn't be an issue if a game idea is taken and improved
upon. Considering the game in question is the age-old bingo,
we suppose he might have a point.
                                                                     Facebook is to file an initial public offering request worth $5
                                                                     billion today, a move which will set it on the road to becoming
                                                                     a public company.
                                                                     Facebook is to file an initial public offering request worth $5
                                                                     billion today, a move which will set it on the road to becoming
                                                                     a public company.


                                                                     The social network, which has over 800 million users, will
                                                                     offer shares for sale in May, according to Reuters, with its $5
                                                                     billion preliminary target being the largest ever offered by a
                                                                     technology firm, easily surpassing Google's $2 billion IPO in
                                                                     2004. That high price could also go up further, depending on
                                                                     investor demand.


                                                                     Facebook selected five bookruners to handle the IPO, led by
                                                                     heavyweight Morgan Stanley. The others are Goldman Sachs,
                                                                     Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, and JP
                                                                     Morgan. Other underwriters could join this illustrious group
This isn't the first time Zynga has been accused of plagiarism,      in future.
however. Game developer NimbleBit accused Zynga's Dream
Heights game of copying its Tiny Tower title, right down to the
exact game mechanics, such as the numbers of business types,
workers, products, and so forth.


Pincus denied this, saying that games within a certain genre
will definitely have similar features, but that Zynga evolves
these games much further. He said that Tiny Tower is not the
first game of its kind and has striking similarities with previous   Speculation about a Facebook IPO has been mounting for
titles like SimTower and Tower of Babel.                             months, with many investors keen to get a slice of the action
                                                                     in what many consider to be a very lucrative company.
                                                                     While other technology IPOs have been a hit and miss affair,
In a letter to employees, which was intended to be confidential,
                                                                     Facebook is generally seen as almost a guaranteed success.
Pincus said that just as Google was not the first creator of
the search engine, nor Facebook the first creator of the social
network, Zynga does not have to be first to market with a game       The outcome of the deal will be watched closely by other
– but it does have to be “best in market.” That means evolving       social networks, such as Twitter, Myspace and Bebo, all of
a game beyond its original idea.                                     which continue to trade privately. Rumours are circulating
                                                                     that Twitter could file an IPO as early as 2013.
Since no lawsuits have been filed over the alleged plagiarism,
the issue remains open to debate. There are definite cases
for either side, and the burning question is how much of an
idea can be used before it becomes plagiarism, and how far           MegaUpload users offered
plagiarism accusations can go before they start hurting the
gaming industry, where reinvented titles are common.
                                                                     legal aid to restore data
                                                                     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/megaupload-users-offered-legal-aid-to-
                                                                     restore-data/14706.html




                                                                                                                                            16
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

February 2nd, 2012                                                that stored legitimate, non-infringing files with Megaupload
                                                                  retrieve their data.”


                                                                  Should the EFF launch a class-action lawsuit, it will
                                                                  undoubtedly be watched closely by the entire internet, music
                                                                  and movie industries, and many other file-sharing sites, some
                                                                  of which have since closed up, will be hoping that legitimate
MegaUpload users are being offered legal aid to help them get
                                                                  users regain access to their data.
their lawful data back, with the Electronic Frontier Foundation
and Carpathia Hosting criticising the way in which the seizure
and closure of MegaUpload was handled.                            Shuttle launches mSATA
MegaUpload users are being offered legal aid to help them get
their lawful data back.
                                                                  supporting XPC SZ68R5 Mini-
                                                                  PC
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/shuttle-launches-msata-supporting-
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Carpathia            xpc-sz68r5-mini-pc/14705.html
Hosting have set up a website, MegaRetrieval.com, for those       February 2nd, 2012
affected by the closure of the file-sharing service, where they
can begin co-ordinated legal action to claim back non-pirated
data that was stored on MegaUpload servers.


“EFF is troubled that so many lawful users of Megaupload.com
had their property taken from them without warning and that       While certainly not as popular these days as they were several
the government has taken no steps to help them,” said Julie       years ago, Shuttle is still keeping its small form factor based
Samuels, staff attorney at the EFF. “We think it's important      XPC lineup refreshed with new models from time to time. A
that these users have their voices heard as this process moves    new model dubbed the XPC SZ68R5 has just been released
forward.”                                                         which is based on Intel's Z68 Express chipset, using the
                                                                  company's FZ68 motherboard.

Previously as many as 50 million users faced the possibility      While certainly not as popular these days as they were several
that their data would be deleted as early as tomorrow, but this   years ago, Shuttle is still keeping its small form factor based
data may be held for several more weeks as the prospects of       XPC lineup refreshed with new models from time to time. A
lawsuits arise. Lawyers defending MegaUpload claim that this      new model dubbed the XPC SZ68R5 has just been released
information would prove that the site stores legal data.          which is based on Intel's Z68 Express chipset, using the
                                                                  company's FZ68 motherboard.




Carpathia, which is one of two companies that provides
hosting for MegaUpload, also reassured customers that it has
no immediate plans to reprovision those servers, and that any
such plans will come with a seven-day notice, but until the       This barebone PC is ready for your LGA-1155 CPU of choice
matter goes to court there is very little that can be done to     and offers support for up to 32GB of DDR3 memory in the
restore access to uploaded files.                                 form of four physical slots. In terms of expansion options, it
                                                                  has a single PCI-E x16 v2.0 slot (with enough room to house a
                                                                  dual-slot graphics card) along with a PCI-E x4 slot and a mini-
“Carpathia does not have access to any data for Megaupload
                                                                  PCI-E x1 v2.0 slot.
customers,” said Brian Winter, CMO of Carpathia. “We
support the EFF and their efforts to help those users


                                                                                                                                           17
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone


                                                                Leo 'Sneezes the day' in latest
                                                                AMD tech demo
                                                                Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/leo-sneezes-the-day-in-latest-amd-
                                                                tech-demo/14704.html
                                                                February 2nd, 2012




                                                                AMD's latest real-time tech demo has just been released
                                                                for its DX 11-capable Radeon cards. Dubbed Leo, the demo
                                                                apparently runs fairly well on higher end HD 6000 series
                                                                cards, but for optimal smooth as glass performance a HD 7900
                                                                series card is said to be required.
                                                                AMD's latest real-time tech demo has just been released
                                                                for its DX 11-capable Radeon cards. Dubbed Leo, the demo
                                                                apparently runs fairly well on higher end HD 6000 series
                                                                cards, but for optimal smooth as glass performance a HD 7900
                                                                series card is said to be required.
A first for Shuttle's barebone systems is the inclusion of an
mSATA slot to be able to add in an mSATA SSD and take           The demo weighs in at a slightly chunky 740MB, but the
advantage of Smart Response Technology. Power wise, the         original download link from AMD remains fairly quick, at least
XPC SZ68R5 comes with a 500W 80Plus certified mini-PSU          for now.
that provides both 6 and 8-pin connectors for your graphics     If you'd like to see the demo in action before making the
card of choice. Cooling of the system is handled by Shuttle's   effort to download and run, a 1080p running video has been
I.C.E. (Integrated Cooling Engine) which features advanced      uploaded on Youtube for your viewing pleasure :-
I.C.E. heatpipe technology.

                                                                             Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.)

                                                                The Leo demo showcases a real-time, DirectX® 11 based
                                                                lighting pipeline that is designed to allow for rendering
                                                                scenes made of arbitrarily complex materials (including
                                                                transparencies), multiple lighting models, and minimal
                                                                restrictions on the number of lights that can be used --
                                                                all while supporting hardware MSAA and efficient memory
                                                                usage.
                                                                Specifically, this demo uses DirectCompute to cull and
                                                                manage lights in a scene. The end result is a per-pixel or
                                                                per-tile list of lights that forward-render based shaders use
                                                                for lighting each pixel. This technique also allows for adding
                                                                one bounce global illumination effects by spawning virtual
                                                                point light sources where light strikes a surface. Finally, the
                                                                lighting in this demo is physically based in that it is fully
                                                                HDR and the material and reflection models take advantage
                                                                of the ALU power of the AMD Radeon HD 7900 GPU to
                                                                calculate physically accurate light and surface interactions
                                                                (multiple BRDF equations, realistic use of index of refraction,
Running over the remaining features and forms of
                                                                absorption based on wavelength for metals, etc).
connectivity, the XPC SZ68R5 has two SATA 6Gbps ports and
two SATA 3Gbps ports, one eSATA, four USB 3.0 ports (two
in the front), six USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and DVI-I outputs (if    Xilence release dual-drive
using the built-in graphics support on a 2nd gen Intel Core
CPU), Gigabit LAN and 8-channel HD audio.                       5.25-inch SSD/HDD-Dock
                                                                Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xilence-release-dual-drive-5.25-inch-
The XPC SZ68R5 from Shuttle has been given a suggested
                                                                ssdhdd-dock/14703.html
price tag of €301.00 (ex. VAT).



                                                                                                                                         18
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

February 2nd, 2012                                                  With memory pricing remaining at record low levels there's no
                                                                    wonder that the memory manufacturers are trying to convince
                                                                    its customers to buy higher capacity modules, although even
                                                                    those are appearing to be moving towards more affordable
                                                                    price points. Adata has a pair of new 8GB modules in its
Looking for a more accessible, convenient way to add a couple       Premier series which despite the name is Adata's more basic
2.5-inch SSDs or HDDs to your desktop along with a bit              memory modules and as such carries an affordable price tag.
of extra functionality? Xilence might have just the solution
for you with its new Dual-Drive Dock that's designed to be
mounted in an available 5.25-inch drive bay.                        With memory pricing remaining at record low levels there's no
                                                                    wonder that the memory manufacturers are trying to convince
Looking for a more accessible, convenient way to add a couple
                                                                    its customers to buy higher capacity modules, although even
2.5-inch SSDs or HDDs to your desktop along with a bit
                                                                    those are appearing to be moving towards more affordable
of extra functionality? Xilence might have just the solution
                                                                    price points. Adata has a pair of new 8GB modules in its
for you with its new Dual-Drive Dock that's designed to be
                                                                    Premier series which despite the name is Adata's more basic
mounted in an available 5.25-inch drive bay.
                                                                    memory modules and as such carries an affordable price tag.




                                                                    The significant thing here though is the fact that the modules
                                                                    are operating at 1600MHz, whereas most 8GB modules to date
                                                                    have only been clocked at 1333MHz, albeit with fairly slow
                                                                    latencies of 11. This seems to be a move from Adata's side to be
The SSD/HDD-Dock from Xilence features hot swappable                ready for Ivy Brige which will support higher memory clocks
support for the two residing 2.5-inch SATA drive slots, while       than Sandy Bridge across the board, at least as far as the initial
also taking advantage of the vacant USB 3.0 header on your          Core i5 and Core i7 processors are concerned.
motherboard (assuming you arn't currently using a case that
already gives USB 3.0 connectivity via its own I/O). A 19-pin
plug is provided for direct connectivity to the board's header
which gives a couple USB 3.0 ports on the Dock's face.




                                                                    The fact that Adata has managed to put together an 8GB SO-
                                                                    DIMM at 1600MHz – which would work with a few Sandy
                                                                    Bridge quad core mobile CPUs – further suggests that this is
                                                                    a move towards having large capacity modules ready for the
                                                                    Ivy Bridge launch in just over two months' time. Both modules
                                                                    are operating at 1.5V and we'd really have liked to have seen
The SSD/HDD-Dock is now shipping through Euro channels              a 1.35V SO-DIMM here. No word on pricing or availability,
at a recommended price tag of 27.90 Euro.                           but we'd expect these modules to start trickling out into the
                                                                    channel over the next few weeks.
Adata 8GB DDR3 1600MHz
DIMMs announced                                                     Samsung announces Series 5
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/adata-8gb-ddr3-1600mhz-dimms-
announced/14702.html
                                                                    ULTRA notebooks and Series 7
February 2nd, 2012                                                  Smart Station Monitors
                                                                    Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-announces-series-5-ultra-
                                                                    notebooks-and-series-7-smart-station-monitors/14701.html




                                                                                                                                            19
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

February 2nd, 2012




Today, Samsung Asia introduced their new Series 5 ULTRA
notebooks, which come in 13- and 14-inch sizes, and
are the company's latest Ultrabooks. On top of that, the
Korean electronics manufacturer also announced Series 7
Smart Station monitors, ML-2165 monochrome laser printers
and SCX-3400 series multi-function laser printers
                                                                        Left of the Samsung ULTRA 13-inch




                                                                        Right of the Samsung ULTRA 13-inch


The Samsung Series 5 ULTRA notebooks are the company's                  DoCoMo launches two "Disney
first Ultrabooks that are not just thin and light, but claims
to pack superb computing performance. Available in 13- and
                                                                        Mobile on docomo" Android
14-inch, both are powered by second generation Intel Core               smartphones
i5-2467M processor, up to 8GB memory and boasts fast boot               Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/docomo-launches-two-disney-mobile-
of just 20 seconds and wake up in two seconds. The Series               on-docomo-android-smartphones/14700.html
5 ULTRA also offers up to 6.4 hours of battery life on a                February 2nd, 2012
single charge, and with Samsung Battery Life Plus, it keeps 80
percent of the cell's original capacity in three years (or life cycle
of up to 1,500 charging cycles).
Measuring 20.9mm slim and weighing 1.84kg, the 14-inch
model offers up to 1TB storage and features AMD Radeon
HD7550M graphics card with 1GB VRAM and integrated                      DoCoMo and Walt Disney have jointly announced two "Disney
optical disc drive. It also comes with full-size HDMI, VGA, two         Mobile on docomo" Android smartphones, F-08D and P-05D.
USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, 4-in-1 multi SD card slot, Ethernet and           Both phones offer exclusive benefits, services and content that
webcam. The Series 5 ULTRA 13-inch measures 14mm at its                 allow users to have a unique Disney experience.
thinnest point and is extremely lightweight at 1.43kg. It doesn't
have the AMR Radeon graphics card or built-in optical drive
and has a smaller 500GB storage. But for connectivity, the
Samsung offers full-size HDMI, one USB3.0, two USB2.0, 4-
in-1 multi SD card slot, Ethernet and webcam. Both the 13- and
14-inch are equipped with Samsung superior LCD technology
with 300 nits high definition LED SuperBright display, Image
Enhancer technology and anti-reflective screen.
According to Samsung, the Series 5 ULTRA will not come with
SSD and Core i7 processors at launch, although it is likely
the company will bring in the options in future. Both models
will be available in early February at S$1,298 (13-inch) and S
$1,598 (14-inch).

                                                                                                                                             20
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                Published by: VR-Zone


                                                                 CyberLink announces
                                                                 PowerDVD 12, ought to change
                                                                 the name
                                                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cyberlink-announces-powerdvd-12-
                                                                 ought-to-change-the-name/14699.html
                                                                 February 2nd, 2012




                                                                 It's amazing that there's still a market for DVD playback
Walt Disney Japan and NTT DoCoMo have announce two               software for computers these days, although as is clear by
smartphones under the "Disney Mobile on docomo" brand.           CyberLink's latest iteration of PowerDVD which has reached
The new models announced are the Fujitsu "Disney Mobile          version 12, DVD playback is really just a minor feature these
on docomo" F-08D, and the Panasonic "Disney Mobile on            days. CyberLink should really change the name of its software,
docomo" P-05D which run Google Android 2.3 operating             but the familiar name is most likely selling the company a lot
system with full touchscreen display. Users will get to enjoy    of software, despite the fact that the software has evolved far
free access to animated feature film services, original live     beyond DVD playback.
wallpapers, puzzle and music game applications for children
and family-entertainment. Special customer benefits will also
be offered in cooperation with Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo        It's amazing that there's still a market for DVD playback
DisneySea, whereby DoCoMo is an official corporate sponsor.      software for computers these days, although as is clear by
                                                                 CyberLink's latest iteration of PowerDVD which has reached
Equipped with 1.2GHz dual core CPU, the F-08D sports             version 12, DVD playback is really just a minor feature these
4.3-inch high definition display and features waterproof/        days. CyberLink should really change the name of its software,
dustproof design, sparkling silhouettes of Mickey and Minnie     but the familiar name is most likely selling the company a lot
mouse, and compatible with Osaifu-Keitai mobile wallet           of software, despite the fact that the software has evolved far
service and one-seg services. The stylish P-05D smartphone       beyond DVD playback.
measures 7.8mm thin with a huge 4.3-inch Organic EL
display, and designed to fit comfortably in one's palm. It has   PowerDVD 12 comes with a range of new features including
waterproof/dustproof design and two customizable Disney          converting standard Blu-ray to 3D Blu-ray, 3D support for
jackets for your personalized preference. The "Disney Mobile     YouTube, support for a range of new audio formats such as
on docomo" F-08D will retail end February, while the "Disney     DTS-HD 7.1, OGG, FLAC and MK3D, a music store and maybe
Mobile on docomo" P-05D will sell in March. Pricing details      most importantly support for converting and syncing media
not available at press time.                                     with mobile devices. Additional mobile device support also
                                                                 comes in the shape of a mobile version of PowerDVD that is
                                                                 supplied free with the Ultra version of PowerDVD 12 and the
                                                                 option of using your smartphone as a remote for PowerDVD
                                                                 12.
                                                                 What strikes us as a bit odd though is that the standard
                                                                 version of PowerDVD 12 lacks Blu-ray playback support, yet
                                                                 CyberLink is charging no less than US$49.95 for this software
                                                                 and at the same time manages to cut out features such as 3D
                                                                 video support, syncing and video transcoding which makes
                                                                 this a fairly poor purchase. The Pro version, priced at US
                                                                 $79.95 is nearly fully featured and just lacks the mobile apps,
                                                                 some streaming features and 7.1-channel audio support which
                                                                 can be forgiven, but the steep price point is off-putting. The
                                                                 Ultra version is priced at US$99.95 which does include all the
                                                                 mobile apps for both Android and iOS, which would otherwise
                                                                 be an extra cost of US$24.98, a fairly minor saving compared
                                                                 to adding them separately to the Pro version, but yet again
                                                                 not what we'd call good value for money unless you really take
                                                                 advantage of the features on offer.




                                                                                                                                        21
February 2nd, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                         Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd. or TSMC
Box Office app lets you                                                  for short is without any doubt, world's largest foundry. The
purchase movie tickets in                                                company churns out billions of chips per year and easily beats
                                                                         even Intel in number of chips manufactured. Revenue side of
Singapore fuss-free                                                      business is another thing, though.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/box-office-app-lets-you-purchase-
movie-tickets-in-singapore-fuss-free/14698.html
February 2nd, 2012




Now you can book and purchase your movie tickets in
Singapore using your iPhone; there's an app for that. The Box
Office app has a clean user interface that is extremely easy to
use. Just choose the cinema, the show you want to watch and
pick your seats.




                                                                         TSMC gained a lot of attention since companies like AMD,
                                                                         NVIDIA, Qualcomm and others use them to manufacture
                                                                         products on the bleeding edge of technology and the recent
                                                                         past made several "claim to fame", beating the industry
                                                                         benchmark (Intel) by a process node. For example, TSMC's
                                                                         80nm process shipped dozens of millions chips while Intel
                                                                         was manufacturing 90nm IC's (Integrated Circuit) and 55nm
                                                                         continued the same trend.
                                                                         However, the company hit a wall with the yields of 40nm
Apple iPhone users who are also frequent movie-goers                     silicon, which was supposed to overtake Intel's 45nm process.
would love this "Box Office" app. Developed by Ohmpa, the                However, the company did manage to launch a large number
app features a clean user-friendly interface and lets you book           of 28nm chips for its clients Advanced Micro Devices and
and purchase your movie tickets in Singapore easily. There's             Qualcomm, targeting high end segment with the Tahiti GPU
no need to fill in your personal details repetitively; just choose       (Radeon HD 7950, HD 7970) and dual-core Snapdragon
the cinema, the movie you want to watch, pick your seats                 processors.
and the app will handle the rest. You can browse the latest
showtimes from Golden Village and Cathay, find out how                   Once again, the company beat Intel's 22nm node by a quarter,
packed each showtime is, select the seats you want and book              and TSMC wants to introduce 20nm process before Intel is
them immediately, store your details securely within the app             able to come out with 14nm process node, where TMSC will
such that you don't need to key them in every time.                      equal with Intel and GlobalFoundries. The story will sound the
                                                                         same for the 10nm process. Also, TSMC is going forward with
                                                                         Gate Last HKMG concept, pioneered by Intel and will be joined
28nm Process a Resounding                                                by GlobalFoundries at 20nm node and below.

Success: Can TSMC reach 200                                              According to TSMC representatives, the company has no
                                                                         less than 36 IC designs in mass production right now, and
28nm Chip Designs?                                                       additional 132 designs in the tapeout stage.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/28nm-process-a-resounding-success-   Maria Merced, President of TSMC Europe stated that the
can-tsmc-reach-200-28nm-chip-designs-/14685.html                         company "have learned the lessons on 40nm. We have put
February 2nd, 2012                                                       engineering teams on every tape-out to drive down defect
                                                                         density and drive up yields," she said. "It will be more difficult
                                                                         at 20nm again, but still we see very good momentum."
                                                                         The customers interest for the 28nm node grew three times
                                                                         as much as it did for the 40nm node, which was headed by
                                                                         AMD, NVIDIA and Qualcomm. It isn't entirely unbelievable
                                                                         that TMSC will break 200 designs on a single process node
Even though there are doubts that some financial analysts                while the process is at its peak. All of this demand is being
casted over TSMC, foundry's clients and TSMC themselves                  driven by the exploding smartphone and tablet market, as well
came out and said nothing is wrong with the 28nm process.                as continuous growth in the PC and Consumer Electronics

                                                                                                                                        22
February 2nd, 2012                                        Published by: VR-Zone

space, which all requires more and more power efficient
semiconductors.




                                                                            23
February 6th, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone




VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks!
                                                                      Some might wonder who Perry is, however, and what insight
  VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly publication            into the industry he really has, and others might question the
  covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the geeks.                impartiality of his predictions, as both Microsoft and Apple
                                                                      cloud gaming offerings would provide significant benefits to
                                                                      his business.
Microsoft might launch an
Xbox TV                                                               However, it's an interesting possibility, and this could be an
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-might-launch-an-xbox-   area where Microsoft goes with its next Xbox, the much-
tv/14768.html                                                         rumoured Xbox 720, which is expected to release by the end of
February 6th, 2012                                                    2013. It would certainly give Microsoft a product that is very
                                                                      different to what Nintendo will be offering with the Wii U this
                                                                      year and might help ensure it remains ahead of rival Sony,
                                                                      which has yet to announce its next-generation console plans.



Microsoft might launch an Xbox TV in the future, which could
be its contribution to the eight generation of gaming consoles        Apple delays German sales
or an entirely new product altogether, with gaming occuring
on the cloud.
                                                                      ban of iPhone and iPad ranges
                                                                      Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-delays-german-sales-ban-of-
Microsoft might launch an Xbox TV in the future, which could          iphone-and-ipad-ranges/14767.html
be its contribution to the eight generation of gaming consoles        February 6th, 2012
or an entirely new product altogether.


David Perry, head of open cloud gaming platform Gaikai,
said that he predicts that Microsoft will enter the TV market,
following in the footsteps of Sony and Apple by offering a cloud
gaming system.
                                                                      Apple has delayed a sales ban of its iPhone and iPad ranges in
                                                                      Germany, which could help it avoid a disastrous drop in sales
In an interview with CVG Perry argued that Microsoft has little       in the largest European economy.
choice but to launch an Xbox TV, and he suggested that Apple          Apple has delayed a sales ban of its iPhone and iPad ranges in
was also in the process of launching cloud gaming products on         Germany, which could help it avoid a disastrous drop in sales
its iTV, which he expects will launch later this year.                in the largest European economy.


                                                                      Motorola Mobility, which Google is awaiting approval to buy,
                                                                      secured the sales ban in December after the Karlsruhe Higher
                                                                      Regional Court ruled that Apple had infringed its patents.


                                                                      Apple managed to secure a last minute temporary suspension
                                                                      of the sales ban, however, which will ensure its products
                                                                      remain on sale for at least another few days or weeks. Apple
                                                                      claims that Motorola won't license the patent in question to it,
                                                                      but Motorola claims that the two disagree over payment terms
                                                                      for Apple's unauthorised use of the patent in the past.


                                                                      Despite Apple's efforts, Motorola is continuing to push for
                                                                      a sales ban, saying that the court recognises that Apple
                                                                      infringed its patents and that the suspension is therefore only

                                                                                                                                              1
February 6th, 2012                                                                                                        Published by: VR-Zone

a temporary waiver before the products need to be taken off
the shelves.                                                           The Delhi High Court told the firms that they must develop a
                                                                       way to check and remove offensive and objectionable materials
                                                                       or it would follow in the footsteps of China and block all
                                                                       offending websites.


                                                                       Facebook and Google have since announced that they have
                                                                       removed the content in question, though it is not exactly clear
                                                                       what this material actually is, and whether these firms can
                                                                       keep up with censoring any future content that the Indian
                                                                       authorities may not like.




Now that the tables are turning on Apple, we wonder if
it regrets beginning this latest patent war with Android               A civil case is also being heard today in Delhi, brought by Mufti
smartphone makers. It previously secured a sales ban of the            Aizaz Arshad Kazmi, a Muslim who alleges that the companies
Samsung Galaxy Tab in Germany and has been fighting for                are hosting religiously intolerant material.
similar bans in other countries across the world. It has also
launched cases against HTC and Motorola.
                                                                       The situation in India raises big questions over how far
                                                                       countries can go with censorship of the internet, and whether
The products that face a ban include the iPhone 3G, iPhone             or not big firms should comply with those orders. Google has
3GS, and iPhone 4, as well as all 3G models of the iPad. The           recently been attempting to repair relationships with China
iPhone 4S and Wi-Fi versions of the iPad are not affected.             after taking a stand against censorship there, as it is otherwise
                                                                       losing out on the potential revenue of that huge market.

Apple also faces another problem in that Motorola has secured
a ruling against the infringement of another of its patents            Many of the companies in question have filed an appeal for
relating to two-way communications between pagers and                  the Indian ruling to be overturned, stating that it is impossible
other devices. This affects Apple's iCloud and MobileMe                for them to monitor and pre-filter content, not to mention the
products, but Apple claims that the patent is invalid and is           issue of freedom of speech, which many feel is being trampled
appealing the decision.                                                upon by increasingly authoritarian regimes.




Facebook and Google comply                                             Haswell qualification sample
with Indian censorship ruling                                          gets pictured
                                                                       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/haswell-qualification-sample-gets-
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-and-google-comply-with-
                                                                       pictured/14764.html
indian-censorship-ruling/14766.html
                                                                       February 6th, 2012
February 6th, 2012




21 companies, including Facebook, Google and Yahoo, have
been ordered by an Indian court to remove “offensive”
material from their websites or face being blocked. So far
Facebook and Google have announced their compliance with               Intel is still about two months away from launching its Ivy
the ruling.                                                            Bridge CPUs, yet pictures of next year's Intel consumer CPU
                                                                       – codenamed Haswell – has appeared online. The CPU is
21 companies, including Facebook, Google and Yahoo, have
                                                                       strutting its stuff alongside Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge and
been ordered by an Indian court to remove “offensive”
                                                                       Nehalem for an Intel family photo.
material from their websites or face being blocked.

                                                                                                                                                2
February 6th, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                        Llano). The manufacturing of standard CPUs (FX, Opteron)
                                                                        remains solely at GlobalFoundries domain.
Intel is still about two months away from launching its Ivy
Bridge CPUs, yet pictures of next year's Intel consumer CPU
– codenamed Haswell – has appeared online. The CPU is
strutting its stuff alongside Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge and
Nehalem for an Intel family photo.
Thanks to a set of slides that leaked way back in November,
we have a good idea of what to expect from Haswell and its
accompanying Shark Bay platform. We also mostly know what
to expect in terms of graphics improvements over Ivy Bridge,
at least architecturally speaking. What is surprising though
is that the company has qualification hardware ready a year
ahead of the expected launch, something that must be a first
even for Intel.
                                                                        Trinity, the successor of Llano will be manufactured using
                                                                        32nm SOI process at both GlobalFoundries and IBM,
                                                                        presumably at IBM's East Fishkill facility in New York State.
                                                                        Two companies are not competitors though. IBM's East
                                                                        Fishkill is the location of former AMD CPU Silicon Design
                                                                        Team, which became GlobalFoundries CPU Silicon Design
                                                                        Team following the manufacturing spin-off in 2008. Following
Looking at the chips it's clear that Haswell has a larger die           the issues with the manufacturing of Llano, it seems that AMD
than Ivy Bridge, something that shouldn't come as a surprise            is moving forward to check GlobalFoundries processes with a
as Haswell has a more advanced IGP, something that will                 different measurement.
physically take up more die space. As both CPUs are made
                                                                        This is not a surprising turn of events, since the manufacturing
using Intel's 22nm process, Haswell ends up being slightly
                                                                        cluster in New York state is practically joined at hip: first
larger due to the laws of physics.
                                                                        revenue 32nm SOI chips manufactured at GlobalFoundries
The CPUs in question here should all be mobile CPUs, hence              Fab 8 in Malta were for - International Business Machines, i.e.
why there's no heat spreader on top. This allows for a more             IBM.
candid view of the CPU core itself, but it also shows that Intel
                                                                        The mantra that Rory P. Read, Chief Executive Officer of
has changed the placement of the resistors once again and
                                                                        AMD was saying during his keynote speech was "execute".
there also appear to be a lot more of them than on previous
                                                                        Remember, AMD lost a breakthrough contract with Apple in
CPU generations, albeit much smaller resistors are being used.
                                                                        the first half of 2011 because the company could not execute
Due to the fact that his is a mobile CPU, we should be looking
                                                                        and deliver a sufficient quantity of 32nm "Llano" chips. Same
at either at a BGA part or a socket G3 947-pin part, but it's not
                                                                        thing is with Lenovo, where Rory lead the company since its
clear which one of the two it is. For more details on Haswell
                                                                        spun-off from IBM.
we suggest you hit up the links above.
                                                                        Can GlobalFoundries and IBM create enough Trinity chips to
                                                                        avoid the Llano debacle and put AMD inside the major players
AMD Adds a Third Foundry for                                            such as above mentioned Apple and Lenovo? Only time will
its Fusion APUs: Hello IBM                                              tell.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-adds-a-third-foundry-for-its-
fusion-apus-hello-ibm/14759.html
February 6th, 2012
                                                                        Rambus buys Unity
                                                                        Semiconductor for next-
                                                                        generation memory
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rambus-buys-unity-semiconductor-for-
                                                                        next-generation-memory/14760.html
                                                                        February 6th, 2012

At the recently held Financial Analyst Day held in Sunnyvale,
California, AMD disclosed that the company added a third
foundry in its manufacturing portfolio - IBM.
                                                                        Intellectual property holder Rambus has bought computer
After GlobalFoundries and TMSC, AMD executives admitted                 memory company Unity Semiconductor for $35 million, a
that the company will use IBM as a third foundry for                    move designed to strengthen its position as a major licensor of
its Fusion Accelerated Processing Units (APUs): TSMC                    memory products.
manufactures 40nm E-Series, W-Series and Z-Series, while
GlobalFoundries manufactures 32nm A-Series (codename:

                                                                                                                                               3
February 6th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

Intellectual property holder Rambus has bought computer
memory company Unity Semiconductor for $35 million, a             Toshiba launches Satellite
move designed to strengthen its position as a major licensor of   U840, company's first 14-inch
memory products.
                                                                  Ultrabook
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/toshiba-launches-satellite-u840-
The deal involves the team behind Unity Semiconductor             company-s-first-14-inch-ultrabook/14758.html
joining Rambus' ranks and continuing to work on next-             February 6th, 2012
generation non-volatile memory technology like CMOx,
which is intended to replace existing NAND memory
products by offering higher density, faster performance, lower
manufacturing costs, and greater data reliability.


Rambus is currently one of the dominant players in the            Toshiba Singapore has announced their latest 14-inch
memory industry, particularly when it comes to NAND, so it's      Ultrabook, U840 which is not just stylish, but also offers good
not surprising that it's preparing for changes in technology      computing performance and weighs a portable 1.59kg.
that could otherwise upset its position.




“At Rambus, we are creating disruptive technologies to enable     Toshiba Singapore has announced their new Satellite U840,
future electronic products,” said Sharon Holt, SVP and GM         which claims to be the company's first 14-inch Ultrabook. It
of the Semiconductor Business Group at Rambus. “With              measures 19.9mm thin with a weight starting from 1.59kg,
the addition of Unity, we can develop non-volatile memory         and is equipped with the latest second generation Intel Core
solutions that will advance semiconductor scaling beyond          processors for Ultrabook, fast DDR3 memory and offers
the limits of today’s NAND technology. This will enable           improved power management for long battery life. The U840
new memory architectures that help meet ever-increasing           sports a metallic silver finish with brushed aluminum chassis
consumer demands.”                                                which not only looks sleek, but also provides good durability
                                                                  to knocks and bumps. Comes in 128GB solid state drive (SSD)
                                                                  or Hybrid HDD with 16GB SSD, the Ultrabook can power
Rambus has gained notoriety in technology circles for             on in seconds with Toshiba's new proprietary Hi-Speed Start
numerous lawsuits against chips firms over the alleged            technology. It features a 14-inch high definition display and
infringement of its many patents, including heavweights like      powerful speakers with SRS Premium Sound 3D technology
Samsung and Nvidia. The acquisition of Unity Semiconductor        for great multimedia experience. Connectivity options include
will give it more ammunition for lawsuits and licensing deals,    Bluetooth, Wireless LAN, and full-size ports such as HDMI
like the recent one it secured with Broadcom, for the next wave   and three USB ports, one of which is a USB 3.0 port. With
of memory products.                                               Toshiba's USB Sleep and Charge technology, you can charge
                                                                  your smartphones even when the system is powered down.
Image Credit: Unity Semiconductor                                 The Toshiba Satellite U840 will be available at @shopToshiba
                                                                  and major authorised reseller outlets in Q1 this year, retailing
                                                                  from S$1,399, depending on configurations.




                                                                                                                                         4
February 6th, 2012                                                                                                           Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                          Bob Puzon, vice president of merchandising at GameStop said,
GameStop allows some hands-                                               "We are excited to be the first retailer where consumers
on time with a PS Vita ahead                                              can experience the PS Vita. We are impressed with how the
                                                                          quad-core technology brings gaming to life and are confident
of launch                                                                 consumers will be, too."
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gamestop-allows-some-hands-on-time-
                                                                          If Feb 22 is just too long of a wait to handle, there is a quicker
with-a-ps-vita-ahead-of-launch/14755.html
                                                                          way to get it. If you pre-order the First Edition Bundle you'll
February 6th, 2012
                                                                          get it one week ahead of the official launch, on February 15th.
                                                                          The bundle gives $435 worth of stuff at a price of $349.99. It
                                                                          includes :-
                                                                          • PS Vita 3G/Wi-Fi system
                                                                          • PS Vita case
Keen to get some hands-on time with Sony's PlayStation Vita               • Little Deviants game
hand-held before it hits shelves on the 22nd Feb? - A press
release issued out from GameStop on the weekend lets us                   • 4GB memory card
know that if you're based in the U.S. you'll be able to do just
that to help finalize your purchasing decision. How? Just waltz           • AT&T DataConnect Pass good for one free 250MB data
on in to a GameStop retail store.                                         session ($14.99 value) upon purchase of one 250 MB data
Keen to get some hands-on time with Sony's PlayStation Vita               session
hand-held before it hits shelves on the 22nd Feb? - A press
release issued out from GameStop on the weekend lets us                   • PlayStation Network game voucher provided upon 3G
know that if you're based in the U.S. you'll be able to do just           activation on the AT&T mobile broadband network.
that to help finalize your purchasing decision. How? Just waltz           Come February 22nd there'll be three additional PS Vita
on in to a GameStop retail store.                                         options available; these including a Wi-Fi model for $249.99,
                                                                          a 3G/Wi-Fi model for $299.99 and a limited edition PS Vita
                                                                          Launch Bundle comprising :-
                                                                          • PS Vita 3G/Wi-Fi system
                                                                          • 8GB memory card

                                                                          • AT&T DataConnect Pass good for one free 250MB data
                                                                          session ($14.99 value) upon purchase of one 250MB data
                                                                          session

                                                                          • PlayStation Network game voucher provided upon 3G
                                                                          activation for $299.
                                                                          It should be noted that the bundle is a promo offer and
                                                                          availability is limited, so be quick!


Over 3,300 of GameStop's stores across the country have been              Intel's Berryville Atom CE
equipped with PlayStation Vita demo kiosks which let you get
your mits on one and try it out with a variety of launch titles           processors revealed
including :-                                                              Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-berryville-atom-ce-processors-
                                                                          revealed/14756.html
• UNCHARTED: Golden Abyss                                                 February 6th, 2012
• Little Deviants

• Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational

• EA SPORTS FIFA Soccer

• ModNation Racers: Road Trip
                                                                          By the end of this quarter, or early next quarter Intel should be
                                                                          unveiling its next generation of Atom CE processors, currently
• Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition
                                                                          codenamed Berryville. Although as amusing as the code name
                                                                          might be, Intel has gone through great lengths to make
• Escape Plan
                                                                          Berryville a real contender in the consumer electronics market
                                                                          space and maybe even giving some high-end ARM solutions a
• WipEout 2048
                                                                          run for their money.

                                                                                                                                                       5
February 6th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                    affordable than those based on the CE4x00 family, despite
                                                                    more functionality having been added. The first models to
By the end of this quarter, or early next quarter Intel should be
                                                                    arrive should be the CE5310/5320, the CE5315 and the
unveiling its next generation of Atom CE processors, currently
                                                                    CE5328, which means that the faster 1.8GHz parts will be
codenamed Berryville. Although as amusing as the code name
                                                                    launched at a later date, presumably sometime in Q3.
might be, Intel has gone through great lengths to make
Berryville a real contender in the consumer electronics market      Intel is going to have to be very cost competitive with Berryville
space and maybe even giving some high-end ARM solutions a           if the company is going to be able to compete with the likes
run for their money.                                                of Marvell's new Armada 1500 SoC which is what we'll see
                                                                    in the second generation of Google TV boxes. The overall
We've already given you a run-down of Intel's plans for Tizen,
                                                                    feature set in terms of what the consumers are concerned
its co-operation with Samsung which merged what was left of
                                                                    is very similar and estimated pricing mentioned at CES for
MeeGo after Nokia pulled out and Samsung's in-house Linux
                                                                    the second generation Google TV boxes was said to be US
OS Bada. Intel clearly wants Tizen to succeed MeeGo as its OS
                                                                    $99. 2012 could turn out to be a very interesting year for
for Smart TVs and this is where Berryville comes into play.
                                                                    the Smart TV, although we've already seen other competitive
Intel might have lost its partnership with Google, but looking
                                                                    solutions like Roku's MHL streaming stick to mention but one
at Intel's upcoming Atom CE processors, we'd say the company
                                                                    competing low-cost solution. There's no doubt that Intel has a
is planning to bring the game to the ARM partners.
                                                                    tough fight on its hands, but the company does have the money
As mentioned, the first Berryville processors should arrive         and resources to stick it out, but the real question is if Tizen will
within the next few months and the company is planning to           prove to be popular with Intel's potential hardware partners
launch at least seven models, although not all are expected         or not.
to launch at the same time and some are only available for
certain partners. All of the Berryville Atom CE processors will
be dual core with Hyperthreading, in other words, all of them       Facebook, Google, Microsoft
can handle up to four threads. This suggests that they're very
similar to Intel's Cedar Trail processors and the graphics clock
                                                                    and more - edging towards Big
speed for the 3D graphics at 400MHz further makes us think          Brother or, worse, SkyNet?
Intel has based Berryville on Cedar Trail.                          Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-google-microsoft-and-more--
The most basic version will be known as the CE5310 or CE5320        edging-towards-big-brother-or-worse-skynet-/14754.html
and it'll be a basic 1.2GHz with HDMI output. Moving up we          February 6th, 2012
have the CE5343, the only other part that lacks hardware video
encoding despite having HDMI input, but the higher 1.8GHz
clock speed might help when it comes to encoding video. This
is also the first Atom CE part with Intel PQE, where PQE
stands for Picture Quality Engine, which enables Intel's “Joint     Facebook, with close to a billion users now, is a perfect data
Colour Correction and Enhancement IP” which is some kind            mining treasure for any intelligence service that would control
of software/hardware video enhancer.                                it - but what about Google's combination of tracking and
                                                                    searching capabilities? Or Microsoft's rumoured backdoors in
The remaining five or so models all feature a built in HD
                                                                    Windows for the US intelligence?
resolution H.264 hardware video encoder and Intel will be
offering a separate SDK here to allow its partners to take          I am not an active Facebook user, and when my contacts send
advantage of its features. Having a built in hardware video         me Facebook notifications, I kindly advise them to use more
encoder also means CPU's with slower clock speeds can handle        traditional means, or other contact networks. However, over
video encoding with a breeze, as shown by so many ARM               800 million others are active there and, even with China -
processors. As such, we start with the Atom CE5328, yet             somewhat justifiably - blocking the service, the number might
another 1.2GHz part, although here we have both hardware            reach a billion by the end of this year. Now, imagine you
video encoding and support for Intel PQE. This is followed by       are any government's intelligence service, and you have some
its 1.8GHz sibling, the CE5348. Then we have a typical Intel        control over a huge, truly huge, data base of all the Facebook
oddity, the CE5315 which is a 1.2GHz part with the hardware         users profiles, photos, activity updates and such - basically,
video encoder, but no support for PQE.                              the users themselves provide most of the work needed to track
                                                                    them! Any data mining on these would obviously create a
The final two models, the 1.2GHz CE5318 and the 1.8GHz
                                                                    lot of return - no wonder that the real forces behind Mark
CE5338 are both intended for integration into Smart TVs and
                                                                    Zuckerberg and the team were often rumoured to be Mossad
as such lack HDMI input and have LVDS connectivity instead.
                                                                    or CIA or both, mentioned in various combinations. What to
Both models feature the hardware video encoder and Intel
                                                                    do, if true, can only take a hat off to them for such ingenious
PQE and will only be offered to manufacturers of television
                                                                    idea...
sets.
Common features among all SKUs include a pair of SATA               But, is Facebook the only Big Brother-potential service that
ports, three USB ports and a pair of PCI Express lanes as           can turn you into a slave of the New World Order - aside of
well as a eMMC 4.4 NAND flash interface. Intel has taken            MSG & Aspartame laced food, fluoridated water and poisoned
steps to reduce BOM (Build of Materials) cost, so presumably        planetary environment meant to dumb you down further and
devices based on Intel's CE5300 family should be more               if possible exterminate most of us along the way for easier
                                                                                                                                           6
February 6th, 2012                                                                                                        Published by: VR-Zone

control of the survivors? Well, far from it... ever thought about       February 6th, 2012
Google?

Google itself, at the initial stages of gaining popularity of its
OS and browser efforts, was seen as the 'freedom' alternative
compared to Microsoft, whose links to the US NSA agency -
after all, Bill Gates was no 'self made enterpreneur', do check
his father's US government connections - are quite well known,          Mozilla's dev dept. is certainly quite the active one when it
including widely rumoured - but never officially proven -               comes to dishing out continuously new builds of Firefox. Just
security backdoors in Windows itself. Now you understand                days after the release of Firefox 10, you guessed it, they're
why the Chinese government is not exactly friendly towards              already actively working towards Firefox 11 with the first beta
Windows on their systems?                                               already now available for download.
But then, is Google any better? Let's have a good look at the           Mozilla's dev dept. is certainly quite the active one when it
combined resources of this behemoth, and what these could               comes to dishing out continuously new builds of Firefox. Just
do in the future... deep-dive geographical locating service             days after the release of Firefox 10, you guessed it, they're
combining Google Earth and Google Streetview with GPS-                  already actively working towards Firefox 11 with the first beta
based real time tracking of millions of Android phones and              already now available for download.
associated Google user profiles and such, not to mention data           But don't be so quick to turn your nose up at this one, as it
mining capabilities and worldwide search data on anyone                 may actually bring one or more things with it that appeal to
and anything, and the combined world's knowledge, where                 you this time around. One significant inclusion here is add-
Google by far exceeds any other known public service. Plus,             on synchronization, allowing you to easily mirror any add-on
why not add DNA profiling and related database, for further             installations you might have across multiple desktop machines
tracking of everyone's specific genome and - why not -                  without having to go through the process manually. Quite the
specific vulnerabilities in the future for ethnic-based or even         time saver for some, I'm sure.
personally-tailored bioweaponry aimed to take out specific
groups or individuals.                                                  Another notable addition is the ability to migrate all your
                                                                        Bookmarks, History and Cookies from Google's Chrome
The gigantic datacentres, combined with knowledge mining                browser, then there's some redesigned media controls for
and even decision making software layers, combined with all             HTML5 based video playback and CSS text-size-adjust
the above could create a true blue SkyNet machine from the              property support.
Terminator movies, that would in theory track all the humans            Devs also get some new stuff to play with as well, including
as if they were a sort of robotic androids... oh well, that's the       a Page Inspector 3D View that gives a whole new perspective
name of Google's seemingly unstoppably popular mobile OS                on structuring and making up a web page, a Style Editor tool,
platform, isn't it? Ouch, that Windows Phone OS now looks               SPDY support and more.
positively safe...
                                                                        Keen to give it a shot? Just click over to this page where
                                                                        it's available for Windows, Mac or Linux in a wide array of
Either way, whether we allow total control over ourselves or
                                                                        languages.
not, is largely our call - whether it is on food we eat, fluids
we drink, air we breathe - minus the chemtrails of course -
as well as protection from natural or increasingly artificial           Antec Eleven Hundred Case
germs around us. Same applies to the addition to 'application
stores' which are a very easy way for total control of what             Review
you can install and run on your, name it, smartphone, tablet,           Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/antec-eleven-hundred-case-
and maybe mobile PCs. Again, even generic Windows, not                  review/14746.html
to mention Linuxes, look like oasis of freedom, compared to             February 6th, 2012
the app-store level of control - and there we come to another
particularly paranoid company - Apple...


Firefox 11 beta adds some
useful features                                                         It was not two weeks ago since we studied the P280, a chassis
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/firefox-11-beta-adds-some-useful-   designed to merge high performance with elegance. Today we
features/14753.html                                                     are going to examine, test and review a case of comparable
                                                                        size and design, which however has been adjusted to cover
                                                                        the needs of an entirely different market group, hardcore
                                                                        gamers and overclocking enthusiasts. This product is no other
                                                                        than the new flagship in Antec’s Gaming series, the Eleven
                                                                        Hundred. Also, stand a chance to win a brand new Antec
                                                                        Eleven Hundred! (more details at the end of the article)

                                                                                                                                             7
February 6th, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

Founded in 1986, Antec has been around for over 25 years          Cable Management                    Grommet-lined cable routing
and today is one of the most experienced high performance                                             holes with 36 mm of space
PC case manufacturers. In an effort to keep every enthusiast                                          behind the motherboard tray
pleased, the company offers a very long list of products. It      Side panel features                 - Side Panel Window (Right
was not two weeks ago since we studied the P280, a chassis                                            side)
designed to merge high performance with elegance. Today we                                            - Two 120 mm fan mounts
are going to examine, test and review a case of comparable                                            (Right side - Optional)
size and design, which however has been adjusted to cover the
needs of an entirely different market group, hardcore gamers                                          - One 120 mm fan mount
and overclocking enthusiasts. This product is no other than the                                       behind motherboard (Left
new flagship in Antec’s Gaming series, the Eleven Hundred.                                            side – Optional)
Model                          Eleven Hundred                     Dimensions                          - 20.7” (H) x 9.3” (W) x
Case Type                      Mid-Tower                                                              21.5” (D) /
                                                                                                      - 527 mm (H) x 237 mm (W) x
Color(s)                       Black
                                                                                                      546 mm (D)
Cooling System                 - One 200 mm blue LED top
                                                                  Weight                              - Net weight: 15.3 lbs / 6.9 kg
                               fan
                                                                                                      - Gross weight: 18.7 lbs / 8.5
                               - One 120 mm rear fan
                                                                                                      lbs
                               - One 120 mm intake fan
                               behind. motherboard for CPU
                               cooling (optional)
                                                                  Creative intro HN-900 and
                                                                  Aurvana X-Fi 2 noise-canceling
                                                                  headphones
                               - Two 120 mm internal intake
                               fans (optional)
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/creative-intro-hn-900-and-aurvana-x-
                               - Two 120 mm front intake          fi-2-noise-canceling-headphones/14752.html
                               fans (optional)                    February 6th, 2012


                               - Two 120 mm side panel
                               fans to cool graphic cards
                               (optional)

                               - Fan power hub (allows you
                               to connect four 3-pin fans to a    Creative has just announced a couple new pairs of headphones,
                               single Molex                       the HN-900 and Aurvana X-Fi 2, both with active noise
                                                                  cancelling that promises reduced ambient noise by up to
                               for improved cable                 85%. Both sets feature 40mm Neodymium magnet drivers
                               management)                        that Creative says will give precise, crystal clear sound with a
Drive Bays                     - Three 5.25" tool-less drive      frequency response range of 20Hz to 20 kHz.
                               bays
                                                                  Creative has just announced a couple new pairs of headphones,
                               - Two 2.5” drive bays
                                                                  the HN-900 and Aurvana X-Fi 2, both with active noise
                               (dedicated)
                                                                  cancelling that promises reduced ambient noise by up to
                                                                  85%. Both sets feature 40mm Neodymium magnet drivers
                               - Six 3.5” tool-less drive bays
                                                                  that Creative says will give precise, crystal clear sound with a
                               (rail-mount design)
                                                                  frequency response range of 20Hz to 20 kHz.
Front Ports                    - Two USB 3.0 with internal
                               motherboard connector
                               - Two USB 2.0

                          - Audio In/Out
Expansion Slots /         - Nine expansion slots
video card size           - 13" (330 mm) video card
                          size
Maximum CPU cooler height 6.7” (170 mm)
PSU                       None
Motherboard Support       XL-ATX [13.6” x 10.3” (345
                          mm x 262 mm)], Standard
                          ATX, microATX, Mini-ITX)
CPU Cutout                Enlarged CPU Cutout
                                                                                                                                             8
February 6th, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                along with X-Fi Crystalizer which promises to deliver a more
                                                                immersive listening experience. Also powered by a single AAA
                                                                battery, the peripheral's active noise cancellation is said to
                                                                work for up to 9 hours with all features turned on.
                                                                "The Creative X-Fi Crystalizer utilizes algorithms to make
                                                                any digital audio sound better by intelligently and selectively
                                                                restoring the highs and lows that were lost during MP3
                                                                or other compression. The Creative X-Fi CMSS-3D virtually
                                                                transforms stereo headphone playback into the more
                                                                immersive listening experience of a surround sound speaker
                                                                system. Users can independently select noise cancellation, X-
                                                                Fi Crystalizer, X-Fi CMSS-3D and volume with convenient
                                                                controls on the headphones. All of the technologies can be
                                                                enjoyed together for up to nine hours from two AAA batteries.
                                                                The headphones can also be used without audio technologies
                                                                in passive mode."
                                                                Creative lists the HN-900 noise-canceling headphones at the
                                                                MSRP of US$99.99, while the Aurvana X-Fi noise-canceling
                                                                headphones will be arriving sometime later this month for US
                                                                $199.99.


                                                                Info shared on GPU options for
                                                                Dell's Alienware M18X R2
                                                                Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/info-shared-on-gpu-options-for-dell-s-
                                                                alienware-m18x-r2/14750.html
                                                                February 6th, 2012




The HN-900 comes with an in-line mic which can be used in
conjunction with an iPhone for convenient single-click voice
                                                                A source close to Dell has disclosed the graphics options that
communication. A single AAA alkaline battery can provide
                                                                will be available with Dell's yet to be launched M18x R2 under
active noise-cancellation for up to 40 hours, or there's the
                                                                its Alienware branding. This laptop will sport an 18.4-inch
option of running in passive mode without the need for power.
                                                                display and feature one of Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge CPUs.
                                                                A source close to Dell has disclosed the graphics options that
                                                                will be available with Dell's yet to be launched M18x R2 under
                                                                its Alienware branding. This laptop will sport an 18.4-inch
                                                                display and feature one of Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge CPUs. It
                                                                will be available in either black or red and will come crammed
                                                                to the hilt with an array of features and optional extras such as
                                                                Wireless HD (WiHD).




Shifting focus to the more feature rich Aurvana X-Fi 2
headphones, incorporated within is Creative's proprietory
virtual sound technology in the form of X-Fi CMSS-3D

                                                                                                                                         9
February 6th, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                         In usual fashion Apple has kept its cards close to its chest to
                                                                         prevent leaked information about the third-gen iPad and for
                                                                         the most part that's worked out pretty well for them. However,
                                                                         as we draw closer to its release things are ramping up and
                                                                         there is now an apparent minor leak of specs after photos were
                                                                         shared out from a source of a supposed iPad 3 prototype.




In terms of GPU options, the M18X R2 can be had with dual
Radeon HD 7970M's in Crossfire, or if NVIDIA's offerings are
preferred, you can opt for two GeForce GTX 675M's (SLI) or
the slightly lower spec'd GTX 660M (it is unconfirmed at this
time as to whether or not the 660M will be available in an SLI
configuration or just as a single card).


Photos leaked of iPad 3
prototype running iBoot
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/photos-leaked-of-ipad-3-prototype-
running-iboot/14749.html
February 6th, 2012

                                                                         The photos show the iPad running while connected to a
                                                                         development tool called iBoot, allowing us to get an idea of
                                                                         what's lurking inside. The unit looks to be running a CPU
                                                                         using model number "S5L8945X" which when comparing
                                                                         it to model numbers of the single-cored iPad 1's processor
                                                                         (S5L8930X) and dual-cored A5 (S5L8940X), gives inclination
In line with prior reports of a March launch date for Apple's
                                                                         that this is a quad-core Apple A6 processor.
iPad 3, latest word from the rumor mill predicts its launch
event within the first week of the month, and shipping to
commence around mid month.




In line with prior reports of a March launch date for Apple's
iPad 3, latest word from the rumor mill predicts its launch
event within the first week of the month, and shipping to
commence around mid month.

                                                                                                                                      10
February 6th, 2012                                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone

iBoot also makes mention of the iPad 3 WiFi and iPad 3 WiFi                 Micron to maintain its position in sales figures as one of the
+GSM/CDMA/LTE in the form of models J1 and J2. You can                      top 20 global semiconductor manufacturers.
view more photos over at the source.                                        Micron said in a proceeding statement, Our hearts go out to
                                                                            his wife, Dalynn, his children and his family during this tragic
Micron CEO Steve Appleton                                                   time. Steve's passion and energy left an indelible mark on
                                                                            Micron, the Idaho community, and the technology industry
has passed away                                                             at large".
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/micron-ceo-steve-appleton-has-passed-
                                                                            Micron has not yet formally named a long term successor to
away/14747.html
                                                                            Appleton. As it stands now, the company president and Chief
February 6th, 2012
                                                                            Operating Officer, Mark Durcan takes over as interim chief
                                                                            executive officer.
                                                                            Our thoughts and prayers go out to Steve's family.
Sadly, we've just heard that Micron's CEO and chairman Steve
Appleton has died at 51 years of age on Friday morning as                   Kingston expected to drop
the result of a small plane crash at Boise, Idaho. it's been
reported that Appleton was flying alone in his Lancair fixed-               pricing on NAND flash storage
wing single-engine stunt plane when something caused the
plane to malfunction and plummet to the ground.
                                                                            products
                                                                            Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kingston-expected-to-drop-pricing-on-
Sadly, we've just heard that Micron's CEO and chairman Steve                nand-flash-storage-products/14751.html
Appleton has died at 51 years of age on Friday morning as                   February 6th, 2012
the result of a small plane crash at Boise, Idaho. it's been
reported that Appleton was flying alone in his Lancair fixed-
wing single-engine stunt plane when something caused the
plane to malfunction and plummet to the ground.

                                                                            With speculation that both motherboards and potentially
                                                                            DRAM will be increasing in price in the next few months,
                                                                            it looks like NAND flash based products aren't following the
                                                                            same trend. Kingston is said to be dropping is pricing on at
                                                                            least some of its NAND flash based products by as much as 15
                                                                            percent.


                                                                            With speculation that both motherboards and potentially
                                                                            DRAM will be increasing in price in the next few months,
                                                                            it looks like NAND flash based products aren't following the
                                                                            same trend. Kingston is said to be dropping is pricing on at
                                                                            least some of its NAND flash based products by as much as 15
                                                                            percent.
Appleton had already aborted a previous flight that morning
soon after takeoff when realising something was wrong with                  Digitimes is reporting that Kingston is considering a price
the plane. Yet only 8 minutes after returning from that flight              drop for its SSDs, memory cards and USB flash drives by up
and into the hanger, he was heading back into the sky once                  to 15 percent due to more affordable NAND flash memory.
again, of which a very short time later the ill-fated event                 Thanks to an almost industry wide move towards 2Xnm and
unfolded.                                                                   sub 20nm manufacturing technology of NAND flash and a
                                                                            ramp in production has led to potential oversupply concerns.
Appleton narrowly escaped his peril back in 2004 when                       Moving from 3Xnm to 2Xnm allows for more chips per wafer
he crashed an aerobatic aircraft over an Idaho desert. He                   and this in turn has also resulted in more affordable NAND
was renowned for his love of planes and athletic interests                  flash.
in general. It all started with Steve when he held a tennis
scholarship at Boise State University before graduating and                 Hopefully we'll be seeing others follow suite, as SSDs are
joining Micron in 1983. He was appointed president and chief                still too expensive to garner mass market appeal despite
operating officer for the company in 1991 and was listed as the             their apparent performance advantages over regular hard disk
third youngest CEO in the Fortune 500 list after taking over                drives. We're already starting to see the 120GB SSD market
the reins from retiring Micron founder, Joe Parkinson at the                space sliding below US$150 in retail and if we'll see a market
age of 34.                                                                  wide price reduction by as much as 15 percent, there's really
                                                                            very little reason for consumers to not adopt the technology.
Despite some challenging times for the company through                      The mass market adoption point of SSDs has been said to be
recent economic turmoil, Appleton's leadership allowed

                                                                                                                                                   11
February 6th, 2012                                                                                                     Published by: VR-Zone

the time we hit sub US$1 per GB and we're very close at hitting
that point now.                                                      Samsung delays launch of the
                                                                     Galaxy S III
AMD Explains Trinity                                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-delays-launch-of-the-galaxy-
                                                                     s-iii/14737.html
codename: Piledriver,                                                February 6th, 2012

Northern and Southern Islands
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-explains-trinity-codename-
piledriver-northern-and-southern-islands/14744.html
February 6th, 2012


                                                                     Despite hearing rumours of a launch at MWC 2012 in
                                                                     Barcelona later this month, a report has surfaced with
                                                                     supposed confirmation from Samsung directly that its highly
                                                                     anticipated Galaxy S III will not show up until later in the year.
In the breaks during Financial Analyst Day, one AMD                  Despite hearing rumours of a launch at MWC 2012 in
executive took the time to explain why the Trinity received its      Barcelona later this month, a report has surfaced with
name. It comes from the fact that this is a final part in which      supposed confirmation from Samsung directly that its highly
AMD will do mix-and-match between different generations of           anticipated Galaxy S III will not show up until later in the year.
architectures.
AMD's Financial Analyst Day 2012 came and went. The feeling
we have is that the company is taking 2012 and 2013 as
the years in which the company will realign itself and start
executing from top-to-bottom with a unified strategy on the
processing cores, as well as merge the CPU and the GPU with
very similar functionality.




                                                                     Samsung is apparently looking to unveil the Galaxy S3
                                                                     seperately in a Samsung-organized event before the first half
The final part of now departing AMD’s mix-and-match                  of 2012 is up; the reason for the delay being that Samsung
strategy is the Trinity APU. While there was a lot of rumors         wants the time frame between its launch and actual availability
how Trinity got its name (3-display Eyefinity theory is now out      to be as minimal as possible. The other possible factor could
the door, since Trinity APU supports up to six displays), the        be Samsung's intent to see what Apple has planned with the
company did not elaborate on the origin of the codename until        iPhone 5, rumored to be launching in July.
now.                                                                 Samsung does intend to make a bit of noise during this year's
Trinity that got its name due to the fact that it is consisted out   MWC event, most likely in the way of some new tablets and
of three distinctive architectures. This is a first x86 processor    potentially some Windows phone handsets, but it is without
from AMD that will utilize a second generation Bulldozer core,       doubt that hearing of this delay is a disappointment to the
codenamed Piledriver. Furthermore, the GPU part is consisted         mass of Android fans out there eagerly awaiting a glance at
out of two parts: shader cores and fixed function units come         Samsung's next (killer?) smartphone.
from Northern Islands architecture (Radeon HD 6000 Series),
while video processing engine and multi-display connectivity
come from Southern Islands GPU architecture (Radeon HD               Acer updates Revo Nettop line
7000).                                                               with the RL70
Hence, forget the biblical context, ok?                              Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/acer-updates-revo-nettop-line-with-
                                                                     the-rl70/14743.html



                                                                                                                                               12
February 6th, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

February 6th, 2012




Acer has just quietly released its new Revo series RL70 Nettop
PC powered by AMD's E-450 (Brazos) APU.The design is akin
with previous Nettop models from the company, but has a few
subtle design changes to help it blend in a bit better in the
lounge.
Acer has just quietly released its new Revo series RL70 Nettop
PC powered by AMD's E-450 (Brazos) APU.The design is akin
with previous Nettop models from the company, but has a few
subtle design changes to help it blend in a bit better in the
lounge.




                                                                 Connectivity is relatively well covered with a multi-format card
                                                                 reader, a couple USB 2.0 ports on the front along with mic
                                                                 and headphones jacks, four more USB 2.0 ports on the rear,
                                                                 Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wifi, VGA and HDMI video
                                                                 outputs and an S/PDIF audio output. No sign of USB 3.0 or
                                                                 eSATA, but that's probably not of too much concern given the
                                                                 RL70's intended purpose.




Running over the specs, as mentioned, it uses AMD's E-450
APU which houses a couple of Bobcat cores at 1.65GHz along       Acer ships the Revo RL70 with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-
with Radeon HD 6320 graphics - more than enough for typical      bit and it's now available at a cost of $329.99.
multimedia use. There's 2GB of RAM and a 500GB HDD in it
out of the box.
                                                                 Skype 5.8 brings Full HD video
                                                                 calling, Facebook integration
                                                                 and more
                                                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/skype-5.8-brings-full-hd-video-calling-
                                                                 facebook-integration-and-more/14736.html




                                                                                                                                          13
February 6th, 2012                                                                                                          Published by: VR-Zone

February 6th, 2012                                                        Pioneer is about to release a new 5.25" Blu-ray writer which is
                                                                          able to write to 100GB BDXL discs at speeds of up to 6X.
                                                                          Pioneer is about to release a new 5.25" Blu-ray writer which is
                                                                          able to write to 100GB BDXL discs at speeds of up to 6X.
                                                                          The BDR-S07 can also burn typical BD-R single and dual
What looks to be quite a significant update for Skype has just            layer discs at speeds of up to 12X, while single, double and
been made available, which most notably brings with it Full               triple-layer BD-RE discs can be written to at 2X. The tray-
HD video-calling support, Facebook integration and Group                  loading 5.25" drive uses the SATA interface and comes in three
Screen Sharing features.                                                  variants that differ by their bezels.

Provided you are using a suitable webcam (of which for now
looks to be limited to the Logitech C920), Skype 5.8 for
Windows will allow you to make high definition video calls.
We're not quite sure if there are other webcams that will work
in Full HD mode at this time, but in the case of the Logitech,
Skype was quick to support it, thanks to the video encoding
being done inside the camera, allowing smooth Full HD video
quality on older computers.



                                                                          AMD Trinity ULV 3DMark
                                                                          scores revealed
                                                                          Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-trinity-ulv-3dmark-scores-
                                                                          revealed/14742.html
                                                                          February 6th, 2012




                                                                          AMD has revealed internal 3D Mark Vantage benchmarks
                                                                          for two upcoming Trinity APUs that will find their way into
                                                                          "ultrathin" ultrabook competitors - A6 17W ULV and an 25W
                                                                          LV.
The Facebook integration feature will allow you to initiate a             To counter Intel's ultrabook initiative, AMD is preparing
video call with a Facebook user, regardless of whether or not             fully enabled quad-core (two module) APUs for ultrathins.
they have Skype installed, while the new Group screen sharing             The typical AMD ultrathin will be around ~18mm, featuring
feature allows a user to share their full desktop or a single             17W APUs, while slightly thicker ultrathins may use high
application with others in a conference call. It should be noted          performance 25W APUs.
that this feature is only for users on Skype Premium account,
                                                                          In Appendix A to Lisa Su's presentation at Financial Analyst
though.
                                                                          Day, AMD revealed typical 3D Mark Vantage scores for
Along with the above, there are a few other little additions              selected 17W and 25W SKUs, performed on Compal reference
added into Skype 5.8 as well, such as the new "push to talk"              designs. A A6 ULV 17W Trinity scores 2355 3D Marks. This
option which allows you to set up a hotkey of your choice for             is twice as fast as Sandy Bridge Core i5 2537M, an ultrabook
triggering the microphone; a feature that could be quite useful           regular, which scores 1158 3D Marks. Of course, Trinity will be
during multiplayer gaming. And there's also the ability to hide           competing with Ivy Bridge ultrabooks, but AMD expects the
all offline Facebook contacts that you see fit.                           given A6 ULV to still be over 50% faster than competing Ivy
                                                                          Bridge ultrabooks.

Pioneer to release 6X BDXL                                                The pinnacle of performance/power lies with the A10 Low
                                                                          Voltage APU, however. The 25W LV APU scores a blistering
capable Blu-ray writer                                                    3600 3D Marks, which sets a new record for integrated
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pioneer-to-release-6x-bdxl-capable-   graphics in a laptop and puts most entry-level mobile discrete
blu-ray-writer/14734.html                                                 GPUs to shame. Trinity will also be present in performance
February 6th, 2012                                                        laptops in 35W and 45W variants, which will further advance
                                                                          integrated graphics in notebooks.
                                                                          On the CPU front, Ivy Bridge should be dominant in less
                                                                          threaded benchmarks. However, things will be much closer in

                                                                                                                                               14
February 6th, 2012                                                                                                          Published by: VR-Zone

multi-threaded benchmarks as AMD is offering two-module /                  Another leak shows a 2.8 GHz 105W TDP Ivy Bridge - EP
quad-core APUs against Intel's dual-core / four hyper-thread               CPU, this time with an unexpected 30 MB L3 cache, i.e. 3 MB
CPUs. With the right price points, AMD is well positioned                  per CPU. Even more intriguing is the CPU-Z detection of the
to offer a compelling alternative to Intel's pricey ultrabooks.            processors as Ivy Bridge EP/EX, as the EX part is supposed
AMD is tracking almost 100 design wins for Trinity, which will             to be a different platform aimed at 8P and above systems, in
show up in retail in Q2 2012.                                              a different socket with more QPI links, and likely sharing that
                                                                           socket with the further future Haswell-EX. Yes, you guessed
The full presentation is available at AMD's FAD page.
                                                                           right, there will be no SandyBridge-EX.

Frequency benefits of Ivy
                                                                           Now, this is an early part, with at least 10 months away from
Bridge to benefit the higher-                                              actual launch in the best case, if Intel pushes Ivy Bridge-EP
end Ivy Bridge-EP too                                                      out faster - for which the current competitive situation doesn't
                                                                           give them any reason, unfortunately. The usual few steppings
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/frequency-benefits-of-ivy-bridge-to-
                                                                           before the final launch should give us further refinement on
benefit-the-higher-end-ivy-bridge-ep-too/14741.html
                                                                           the clock front too, probably allowing 15-20% extra clock
February 6th, 2012
                                                                           despite a quarter more cores inside.


                                                                           If we extrapolate it to the upcoming E5 Sandy Bridge-EP top-
                                                                           bin, the 3.1 GHz 150W Xeon E5 2687W for workstations, that
                                                                           means its successor in the Ivy Bridge-EP series could be as fast
The desktop Ivy Bridge is just two months away, and it's
                                                                           as 3.6 GHz 10-core in the same socket and power envelope. Of
tremendous frequency headroom is already well known. What
                                                                           course, it'd be able to reach 4 GHz even just with Turbo, on all
then about its high-end Ivy Bridge-EP Xeon sibling half a year
                                                                           the cores, without any extra OC or such. Wow!
later?
We all know by now that the upcoming Ivy Bridge desktop
CPUs not only save power, but also can hit the roof with their             So, the biggies can scale well up too, now let's see how to justify
clock speed headroom. The Core i7 3770K is expected to be                  a business case for unlocking the darn multipliers there too.
able to pass 5 GHz easily with any decent air cooling, after all,          However, if such luxury does come out, be ready to pay for
despite the 'only' 3.5 GHz stock frequency before the Turbo                it - the extra validation, binning and other overheads to cost
kicks in.                                                                  money, after all...

Obviously, the benefits of 22 nm Tri-gate 3-D transistors in
the new semicon process, as well as refined design with a very             Motherboard prices expected
small die, are showing there. How about its larger high-end
sibling, the 10-core Ivy Bridge-EP, aimed at workstations and
                                                                           to increase 10 percent by next
servers sometime around - or after - end 2012?                             quarter
                                                                           Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/motherboard-prices-expected-to-
                                                                           increase-10-percent-by-next-quarter/14739.html
Yes, you heard it right - as uncovered by another web site                 February 6th, 2012
recently, who had a look at the early chip sample, the Ivy
Bridge refresh of the Xeon E5 series, in the same Socket
2011 format, will have 10 cores, each of them with a 2.5 MB
cache block for a total of 25 MB shared L3 cache. There will
also be a speed up of the memory channels to quad-channel
DDR3-1866 server memory capability, with everything else
                                                                           Thanks to increasing world market prices of copper, the major
staying pretty much the same.
                                                                           retail motherboard manufacturers are looking at increasing
                                                                           their motherboard prices by about 10 percent or so come April.
                                                                           This is bad news for Intel, as this will end up coinciding with
Except for power and speed, of course - the website that
                                                                           Intel's launch of its Ivy Bridge processors and the new 7-series
posted the CPU-Z of the new chip is a confirmation of what we
                                                                           chipsets. Updated: We've added a statement at the end of the
expected: even for a large die with server-related constraints
                                                                           article from Gigabyte, which states that the company is not
and tougher validation, the new process enabled two speed
                                                                           about to increase its motherboard prices.
bins up within the same power envelope. So, while the Xeon
E5 2660, a 2.2 GHz 8-core 95W part, is the matching one here
in the current lineup for March this year, the follow on seen              Thanks to increasing world market prices of copper, the major
on this site is a 2.4 GHz 10-core part in the same 95W TDP                 retail motherboard manufacturers are looking at increasing
window.                                                                    their motherboard prices by about 10 percent or so come April.
                                                                           This is bad news for Intel, as this will end up coinciding with

                                                                                                                                                 15
February 6th, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

Intel's launch of its Ivy Bridge processors and the new 7-series
chipsets.
This is the second motherboard price hike in as many years
thanks to increasing costs of copper, as prices were increased
of between five and 10 percent at the beginning of last year.
Om top of that prices went up due to increased labour costs
in China last year by another three to eight percent according
to Digitimes and that doesn't begin to take into account the
increase in component costs after the earthquake and tsunami
in Japan last year.
The price of copper has increased by over US$600 per tonne in
only a few weeks' time and even though motherboards only use
a few hundred grams of copper, the increased cost per tonne
is still going to have an adverse effect on motherboard pricing.
It's also likely lead to increased costs of other computer
components such as high-end graphics cards which use 10
layer PCBs.
                                                                       We have seen the Motorola DROID 4 as early as October
On top of everything else, wages in China are going up which           last year, and everytime we thought it would be released, the
is further helping to increase the cost for the motherboard            launch was delayed. At the recent 2012 Consumer Electronics
makers. Even so, according to Digitimes, Asus is expecting to          Show (CES), we saw the DROID 4 (and its siblings), but
see an increase in motherboard shipments by 10 percent, with           unfortunately, the company didn't unveil the exact release date
Gigabyte expecting an increase of as much as 20 percent in the         of the Android smartphone. New rumors suggested that the
first quarter of this year, compared to the same quarter last          Motorola DROID 4 will go on retail on 9 February next
year.                                                                  Thursday Similar to its predecessor, the phone will have
Update: We were contacted by Gigabyte with regards to                  a US$199 price tag with two-year contract. The DROID
this story and the company stated that it is not expecting             4 (also known as Milestone in Asia), is like the RAZR;
any increase to the pricing of its motherboards and the                it is Motorola's flagship model. It resembles the DROID
information posted on Digitimes is incorrect as far as                 RAZR, except for the additional QWERTY keyboard. The
Gigabyte is concerned. Gigabyte is expecting to launch its             Motorola DROID 4 is powered by 1.2GHz dual-core Cortex-
next generation of LGA-1155 motherboards at similar price              A9 processor, 1GB memory, 4-inch TFT screen (960x540
points as its current LGA-1155 motherboards, depending on              resolution), 16GB storage, 8-megapixel camera and supports
the feature set on offer. The company is also expecting to see         1080p high defintion video recording.
improved performance of the new motherboards compared to
its current range of LGA-1155 models.                                  Canon Singapore launches
                                                                       PIXMA PRO-1 A3+ photo
Motorola DROID 4 to launch
                                                                       printer
on 9 February; retails US$199                                          Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/canon-singapore-launches-pixma-

with contract                                                          pro-1-a3-photo-printer/14735.html
                                                                       February 6th, 2012
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/motorola-droid-4-to-launch-on-9-
february-retails-us-199-with-contract/14738.html
February 6th, 2012




                                                                       Canon Singapore has announced the launch of their new
                                                                       PIXMA PRO-1, which claims to be the world’s first 12-ink
                                                                       A3+ photo printer that promises superb speed, quality and
News of the Motorola DROID 4 has been going on since                   accuracy for color and monochrome prints.
late last year, and even before the phone is launched, its
specifications and product images have been known. The
Droid 4 is like the RAZR, except that it has a keyboard. But on
top of that, the RAZR has a 4.3-inch display, while the Droid
4 sports a 4-inch touchscreen.




                                                                                                                                             16
February 6th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                        analyst expectations by quite a lot. The company reported
                                                                        4.68 billion U.S. dollar revenue with 1.4 billion in profits i.e. a
                                                                        20% growth when looking year-on-year and 33% quarter-on-
                                                                        quarter.
                                                                        All in all, the company had spectacular financial results, but
                                                                        there was one thing mentioned which was very intriguing.
                                                                        It turns out that the United States Attorney's Office and
                                                                        the Department of Justice initiated investigation regarding
                                                                        compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977.
                                                                        This is a U.S. federal law which checks for company's business
                                                                        practices in the country and abroad.
                                                                        Will the regulators find irregularities that would be the reason
                                                                        for launching an official indictment - it is too early to tell.

Canon Singapore has unveiled their new PIXMA PRO-1
professional inkjet printer, which features 12 separate ink
tanks - five monochrome inks for producing professional
quality black and white prints; six color (Cyan, Magenta,
Yellow, Red, PhotoCyan, Photo Magenta), and a Chroma
Optimizer. The Chroma Optimizer smoothens out stray ink
droplets that cause uneven reflection, and add glossiness
with anti-bronzing. The PIXMA PRO-1 uses LUCIA pigment
inks for accurate colours and a Full-Photolithographic Inkjet
Nozzle Engineering (FINE) print head to provide the highest
possible print resolution. It has three colour modes – colour,
monochrome, and a new photo colour print mode which
reproduces blues and greens to match visual memory of
colours.
The printer can achieve a high print resolution of upto 4,800
x 2,400dpi, and coupled with a printing depth of 16-bits per
channel, it promises smooth tonal gradations. Other features
include Ethernet network connectivity, rear tray that can
accommodate up to 20 sheets of photo paper and a manual
feed slot which accepts photo paper of up to 356mm (14") wide.
The Canon PIXMA PRO-1 will retail S$1,399 in mid February,
and available at authorized Canon dealers.


Qualcomm Under Investigation
for "Foreign Corrupt Practices
Act"
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/qualcomm-under-investigation-for-
foreign-corrupt-practices-act-/14730.html
February 6th, 2012




Qualcomm's financial results for the fourth calendar quarter
2011 i.e. their first quarter in fiscal 2012 revealed a potentially
problematic issue: the company is being investigated by the
U.S. Attorney office and the Department of Justice.
Qualcomm recently reported record results for the company,
with their fiscal 2011 ending with almost 15 billion dollar
revenue, nearly a 50% growth from the fiscal 2010. The
company started the fiscal 2012 with a bang, beating the

                                                                                                                                        17
February 8th, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone




VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks!
  VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly
  publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the
  geeks.


The Witcher 2 developer
criticises Xbox 720 pre-
owned game ban rumour
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-witcher-2-developer-criticises-
xbox-720-pre-owned-game-ban-rumour/14796.html
February 8th, 2012




                                                                          The developer said that it believes trust will win out, that
                                                                          customers will build loyalty with a studio and its games if
                                                                          it doesn't try to force them to keep the game they bought.
                                                                          The company said it wants to change the industry and is
CD Projekt Red, the developer behind The Witcher 2,                       rebelling against the traditional approach taken by many
has voiced concern over a rumoured feature in the next-                   other gaming firms.
generation Xbox console that will prevent players from using
pre-owned games.
CD Projekt Red, the developer behind The Witcher 2,                       CD Projekt Red is also pushing for better value for customers
has voiced concern over a rumoured feature in the next-                   by giving things that other companies would reserve for
generation Xbox console that will prevent players from using              special editions in its standard edition of The Witcher 2
pre-owned games.                                                          on Xbox 360, including a printed guide and map, without
                                                                          hiking up the price to compensate.

The Polish game developer said that Microsoft's alleged
proposal is a “bad thing” and that tightening restrictions                The rumoured pre-owned game ban on the Xbox 720 could
will ultimately lose players and potentially cause devastating            prove disastrous for Microsoft by sending players to rival
effects on the survival of small game studios.                            consoles, and it could also have an adverse effect upon game
                                                                          stores, where pre-owned titles often take up a significant
                                                                          amount of space.
The Witcher 2 was sold without digital rights management
(DRM) technology, a method employed on many games
to try to put an end to piracy. The company also offered
free downloadable content, and it believes that it would be               Hitachi announces Ultrastar
                                                                          25nm SLC NAND flash SSD
restricted in this regard if Microsoft adopts tough policies to
prevent game sharing.
                                                                          Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hitachi-announces-ultrastar-25nm-
                                                                          slc-nand-flash-ssd/14795.html
                                                                          February 8th, 2012




                                                                          Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has announced the
                                                                          Ultrastar enterprise-class solid-state drive (SSD), which it
                                                                          claims is the industry’s first to use 25nm single-level cell
                                                                          (SLC) NAND flash.
                                                                          Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has announced the
                                                                          Ultrastar enterprise-class solid-state drive (SSD), which it

                                                                                                                                                  1
February 8th, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone

claims is the industry’s first to use 25nm single-level cell            February 8th, 2012
(SLC) NAND flash.


As a business device it touts several security features,
such as encryption. Hitachi is offering an optional self-
encryption technology which will protect sensitive company
data, as well as enhance secure erasure of information. Since           Nokia is to axe an additional 4,000 jobs and move its
encryption is handled by the drive itself and not software on           assembly work to Asia in a bid to cut costs and return to its
a computer, this could save time, effort and money.                     previous dominance in the mobile arena.
                                                                        Nokia is to axe an additional 4,000 jobs and move its
                                                                        assembly work to Asia in a bid to cut costs and return to its
The SSDs comply with the the Trusted Computing                          previous dominance in the mobile arena.
Group's Enterprise A Security Subsystem Class encryption
specification.
                                                                        The job cuts amount to eight percent of the Finnish
                                                                        company's workforce and brings the total of job losses to
Hitachi has worked with Intel to develop the high-endurance             30,000 since Stephen Elop became CEO in late 2010.
SLC NAND flash memory and has produced the SSD400S.B
in three capacities: 100GB, 200GB, and 400GB. It features a
2.5-inch 6GB/s Serial Attached SCSI interface, which opens              2,300 of the cuts will occur in Hungary, 1,000 will be
up potential avenues for use as tiered storage in datacentres.          chopped in Finland, and a final 700 will be lost in Mexico.
                                                                        Finland's employment unions were furious with the news
                                                                        and wanted large cash payments for staff that were given the
                                                                        boot.


                                                                        Given the continuing poor situation within the company and
                                                                        its finances, these are unlikely the last job losses we will see.




The SSD has up to 536MB/s and 502MB/s read and write
speeds respectively. IOPS speeds are also up to 57,500 and
25,000 for reading and sustained writing, making the device
100 times faster than traditional hard drives.


Reliability is also one of the primary selling points, with the
                                                                        Nokia is also moving its assembly business to Asia, where
400GB version able to endure up to 35 petabytes of random
                                                                        other rivals like Apple have been established for years. It
writes before finally petering out. To put that in context,
                                                                        is not yet clear where it plans to set up shop, but a likely
that would mean five years of writing close to 20TB every
                                                                        candidate is China, where there is a large workforce, many
single day, which is far more than people are likely to use,
                                                                        of which will already be familiar with mobile technology.
and given the relatively low capacity of SSDs in comparison
                                                                        The lower wages there could save Nokia millions, but it
to HDDs it would mean overwriting data several times
                                                                        might also raise questions over working standards, the same
a day. Additional advanced data integrity and power loss
                                                                        accusations levelled at rival firms.
management technologies enhance the device's reliability.

                                                                        It's not hard to understand why Nokia is making these cuts,
The SSD400S.B is available immediately through select
                                                                        as the company recently reported a whopping €1 billion loss
original equipment manufacturers. Self-encryption does not
                                                                        for the fourth quarter of last year, with earnings dropping by
come as standard, and all versions of the device come with a
                                                                        73 percent.
five year or max petabyte write limited warranty.


Nokia to cut 4,000 jobs and                                             Cutting costs is a necessary evil, but this alone is unlikely to
                                                                        stop the company from crumbling. It is hoping its deal with
move assembly to Asia                                                   Microsoft to launch Windows Phone devices will put it back
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-to-cut-4-000-jobs-and-move-   on top, or at least make it a viable contender to Apple and
assembly-to-asia/14794.html                                             Google's many Android supporters.

                                                                                                                                       2
February 8th, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone


                                                                         NVIDIA Settles with Rambus;
Nokia's American CEO                                                     New Patent License
Repeats U.S. Receipt:                                                    Agreement Signed
                                                                         Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-settles-with-rambus-new-
Offshore Everything to Asia                                              patent-license-agreement-signed/14782.html
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-s-american-ceo-repeats-u.s.-   February 8th, 2012
receipt-offshore-everything-to-asia/14793.html
February 8th, 2012




                                                                         After everything settled with Rambus getting their key
                                                                         patents invalidated and losing 60% of market value in a
The CEO of Nokia, former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop                single day, NVIDIA finally decided to sit down with Rambus
is continuing with his grand restructuring plan, bringing the            and iron things out about the new, favorable agreement for
next wave of cuts to the manufacturing division in Finland,              the company.
Hungary and Romania.                                                     Following the survival of the perfect storm for IP troll
Following is arrival in Nokia, Stephen Elop has created a lot            Rambus Inc, the company is facing new realities in terms of
of controversial movements, introducing instability in the               how much can they charge for their valid DRAM and XDR
ecosystem which was under attack from Apple and Google                   patents, as well as how much they cannot charge for now
anyways. Needless to say, memos such as his infamous                     invalidated core patents, so called "Barth patents".
"Burning Platforms" damaged confidence in Nokia's ability                These three patents were key for winning the infrigement
to execute.                                                              suits against Hewlett Packard, NVIDIA Corporation
                                                                         and threatens numerous other parties (AMD, Intel,
                                                                         STMicroelectronics). In summer of 2010, Rambus won an
                                                                         injunction with the International Trade Commission (ITC)
                                                                         against NVIDIA and the company was forced to settle with
                                                                         Rambus. Furthermore, Rambus lost 60% of its market value
                                                                         after the $4 billion anti-trust lawsuit against Micron, Hynix
                                                                         was thrown out of court.
                                                                         Following the U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO)
                                                                         decision to invalidate those three patents, NVIDIA was quick
                                                                         to react and in just two weeks, the company ironed out a new
                                                                         agreement with Rambus.
                                                                         This time around, the new patent license agreement is more
                                                                         unvaforable to Rambus, Inc. The original case attacked
                                                                         NVIDIA products which utilized DDR2 and DDR3 memory,
                                                                         while GDDR memory did not contain any Rambus IP. In
                                                                         our conversations with AMD DRAM design team, we were
                                                                         told that they were "avoiding Rambus IP like the plague,
                                                                         and refrained from talking to Rambus about the memory
At the end of 2011, the company that created the smartphone              standard. For as long as there's JEDEC, GDDR task force
dropped to third spot on the list, and recorded bigger                   will remain closed to them."
losses than complete Google revenue. But the moves aren't
stopping anytime yet. After Compal received the contract to              In conclusion of this article, if any of your friends figures out
manufacture Lumia series of smartphones (710 and 800), it                that this settlement means "NVIDIA will now ship Rambus
was clear that the jobs in the West will come under siege.               XDR memory with its future GPUs or SOC's", think twice -
                                                                         the patent license agreement covers DRAM in existing and
Today, the company has announced that 4000 Nokia                         future products. Just like AMD, our sources at NVIDIA tells
employees at three manufacturing locations in Europe and                 us there is "zero interest" to go with an XDR DRAM based
North America will be terminated, equipment sold and                     design.
the only thing factories in Komarom (Hungary), Reynosa
(Mexico) and Salo (Finland) will be doing is "smartphone                 Just like "Radeon HD 7970 comes with XDR memory",
product customization."                                                  the upcoming "GeForce goes XDR?" stories have the same
                                                                         value as the recent wave of Kepler "leaks", originating
In any case, this news is really good for Compal, which can              from masters of "imaginative jornalism", pardon students of
expect even more work in its Far Eastern facilities.                     imaginative journalism/blogism at Lenzfire.




                                                                                                                                               3
February 8th, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone


Cooler Master to drop prices
on HAF X and HAF 932
Advanced in Europe
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cooler-master-to-drop-prices-on-
haf-x-and-haf-932-advanced-in-europe/14792.html
February 8th, 2012




With this year marking Cooler Master's 20th year in
business, the company is feeling extra generous and has an
anniversary gift to share out to the masses, providing you're
based in Europe.
                                                                       Now you can pick the HAF 932 up €20 cheaper than the
With this year marking Cooler Master's 20th year in                    usual going price at €119, while the HAF X also gets a €20
business, the company is feeling extra generous and has an             discount, selling for €139. Not drastic price cuts, but savings
anniversary gift to share out to the masses, providing you're          are savings.
based in Europe.
                                                                       Cooler Master aims to roll in said price cuts on the 18th of
                                                                       February across Europe.


                                                                       Logitech launches the Touch
                                                                       Mouse M600
                                                                       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/logitech-launches-the-touch-mouse-
                                                                       m600/14791.html
                                                                       February 8th, 2012




                                                                       A little bit late to the game, Logitech has launched its
                                                                       first touch mouse, simply called the Touch Mouse M600.
                                                                       Logitech has gone for a design that ends up somewhere
If you've got a soft spot for their enthusiast oriented HAF            between Apple's Magic Mouse and Microsoft's Touch
X or HAF 932 Advanced chassis', perhaps now's the time to              Mouse, although it seems to suffer from the same low profile
strike with Cooler Master dropping prices on both models in            as the Magic Mouse.
European countries.                                                    A little bit late to the game, Logitech has launched its
The HAF 932 Advanced is a recent update to the already well            first touch mouse, simply called the Touch Mouse M600.
regarded HAF 932 with USB 3.0 ports, support for up to four            Logitech has gone for a design that ends up somewhere
SSDs and an all-black interior.                                        between Apple's Magic Mouse and Microsoft's Touch
                                                                       Mouse, although it seems to suffer from the same low profile
                                                                       as the Magic Mouse.
                                                                       As with its competitors' products, Logitech's Touch Mouse
                                                                       M600 supports scrolling and swiping and Logitech claims
                                                                       that it's just as smooth to use as the touch screen on a
                                                                       smartphone. There are no buttons on the Touch Mouse
                                                                       M600, but it still allows for right and left clicking like a
                                                                       normal mouse, unlike the recently launched Cube. As there
                                                                       are no buttons, the Touch Mouse M600 is ambidextrous, so
                                                                       it works just as well for lefties and righties.




                                                                                                                                            4
February 8th, 2012                                                                                               Published by: VR-Zone




                                                                  It looks like digital cameras are going the retro way. From
The Touch Mouse M600 relies on an optical sensor,                 the "revival" of Olympus PEN series three years ago, and
although Logitech claims that it offers “laser-grade              we have also seen Fujifilm introduced their FinePix X100
precision”. The mouse is powered by a pair of AA batteries        and X-Pro1 cameras with the classic design. This morning,
said to be good for up to six months usage and it uses            Olympus unveiled their new OM-D, from the Olympus OM
Logitech's unifying receiver which can be stored inside the       line started in the 1970's; the "D" in the model name stands
mouse when not plugged into a computer. The Touch Mouse           for digital. The Olympus OM-D claims to be the world’s
M600 will be available later this month with a retail price of    first mirrorless camera that is dust and splash-proof, and
US$69.99 (S$87).                                                  features 5-axis image stabilization to compensate for camera
                                                                  shake during shooting. It incorporates 16-megapixel Live
Olympus unveils OM-D                                              MOS Sensor with TruePic VI image processing engine that
                                                                  can capture images of good quality and high sensitivity, and
interchangeable-lens digital                                      features a built-in electronic viewfinder that lets you check
                                                                  various shooting conditions in real-time, high sensitivity
camera                                                            ISO 25600, 3-inch OLED touchscreen swivel viewfinder,
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/olympus-unveils-om-d-         and fast AF Autofocus system plus 3D tracking for improved
interchangeable-lens-digital-camera/14790.html                    performance on tracking fast moving objects.
February 8th, 2012
                                                                  Comes in black and silver options, the Olympus OM-D is
                                                                  scheduled to be available end of March, though local pricing
                                                                  details is not available at press time.


Olympus has unveiled their new interchangeable-lens digital
camera - Olympus OM-D. Based on the Micro Four-
thirds standard, the Olympus OM-D claims to be the
world's first to feature dust and splash-proof capability, with
built-in electronic viewfinder and 16-megapixel new Live
MOS Sensor and TruePic VI image processing engine.




                                                                  ASUS Singapore announces
                                                                  RT-N53 Black Diamond dual
                                                                  band wireless router
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-singapore-announces-rt-n53-
                                                                  black-diamond-dual-band-wireless-router/14774.html




                                                                                                                                         5
February 8th, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

February 8th, 2012                                                      SKUs - Athlon II X4 638 and 641 - will close the gap between
                                                                        the current FM1 Athlons - Athlon II X4 631 and 651.
                                                                        AMD has quietly rolled out two more Athlon II X4 CPUs
                                                                        for Socket FM1. These FM1 Athlon II X4s are nothing but
                                                                        harvested Llano dies with the GPU part disabled. The new
                                                                        SKUs - Athlon II X4 638 and 641 - will close the gap between
                                                                        the current FM1 Athlons - Athlon II X4 631 and 651.
ASUS Singapore has unveiled the RT-N53 Black Diamond
dual band wireless router which features a stylish "Black               The Athlon II X4 641 features 4 cores clocked at 2.8 GHz, 0.2
Diamond" design and boasts enhanced Wi-Fi network                       GHz lower than the 651. The TDP for the 641 is also 100W.
coverage for users.                                                     The official price for the Athlon II X4 641 is $81, which
                                                                        makes it an excellent bargain choice. In comparison, the now
                                                                        EOLed AM3+ Athlon II X4 640 retailed at $99. Current pre-
                                                                        order prices are in the $90-$95 range, but we can expect it
                                                                        to fall under $90 once supply/demand stabilizes.
                                                                        The second new Athlon is the Athlon II X4 638. The 638 is
                                                                        clocked just 0.1 GHz less than the 641 at 2.7 GHz, but fits
                                                                        in under the 65W TDP. This makes it AMD's fastest 65W
                                                                        desktop CPU. The 638 is also priced at $81, so the choice
                                                                        between 638 and 641 revolves around 100 MHz or 65W TDP.
                                                                        Looking forward, Trinity and Socket FM2 are introduced in
                                                                        Q2 2012, so these may well be the last CPUs launched for the
                                                                        FM1 platform. Whether the Trinity line-up will also feature
                                                                        GPU-less Athlons remains to be seen.


                                                                        Samsung's Galaxy S III
                                                                        reported to be a slender 7mm
ASUS Singapore has recently announced the launch of their
latest RT-N53 Black Diamond dual band wireless router,                  thin
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-s-galaxy-s-iii-reported-to-
designed to bring the best home and office networking
                                                                        be-a-slender-7mm-thin/14788.html
experience to users. It has a slim and elegant wall-
                                                                        February 8th, 2012
mountable design, universal repeater mode that extends
and enhances Wi-Fi network coverage, and boasts data
rates of up to 600Mpbs at bandwidth with simultaneous
2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The 2.4GHz band allows users
to download files and browse the web, while the 5GHz
band takes care of high definition content streams. In                  The latest piece of information we're hearing about
the security department, the RT-N53 features enhanced                   Samsung's highly anticipated Galaxy S III is in regards
network security with support for up to four SSIDs.                     to its thickness. Supposedly the phone will be the second
                                                                        thinnest to date at just 7mm thick - only .3mm thicker
There is no need for software installations and users can               than the world's thinnest smartphone recently announced
easily configure the settings, thanks to the intuitive ASUS             from Huawei, the Ascend P1 S, and just slightly edging out
QIS wizard that automatically connect to the Internet                   Motorola's RAZR XT910 with its 7.1mm waistline.
regardless of the OS being used, and EZ UI that offers
user-friendly graphics-based management interface. The                  The latest piece of information we're hearing about
ASUS RT-N53 Black Diamond dual band wireless router is                  Samsung's highly anticipated Galaxy S III is in regards
available at all ASUS authorized resellers, at S$169.                   to its thickness. Supposedly the phone will be the second
                                                                        thinnest to date at just 7mm thick - only .3mm thicker
                                                                        than the world's thinnest smartphone recently announced
AMD launches two Llano                                                  from Huawei, the Ascend P1 S, and just slightly edging out
Athlon II X4 CPUs                                                       Motorola's RAZR XT910 with its 7.1mm waistline.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-launches-two-llano-athlon-ii-   These fresh rumours that are circulating about the shape of
x4-cpus/14789.html                                                      the device also make mention of a similar shaped camera
February 8th, 2012                                                      'hump' as found on the S II. And speaking of which, the S
                                                                        III's camera is apparently going to sport an 8 or possibly 12
                                                                        MP rear camera along with a 2 MP front facing sensor.




AMD has quietly rolled out two more Athlon II X4 CPUs
for Socket FM1. These FM1 Athlon II X4s are nothing but
harvested Llano dies with the GPU part disabled. The new

                                                                                                                                                  6
February 8th, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone




What we're also lead to believe at this stage is that the phone
will sport a quad-core chipset with 2GB of RAM and a 4.6-
inch Super AMOLED Plus HD display. Android 4.0 (Ice
Cream Sandwich) would of course be the order of the day,
with a side dish of Samsung's own TouchWiz UI layered over.
                                                                      Other new options include the ability to choose one or two
We're still waiting to get some sort of substantial release
                                                                      GTX 580M GPUs in SLI or a Quadro 5010M with 4GB of
date on the S III series after hearing all kinds of dates being
                                                                      graphics memory and 384 CUDA cores. Then there's the full-
thrown around over the past month or two. I think it's safe to
                                                                      sized backlit keyboard complete with numpad, up to 32GB
say we can expect it within the first half of this year however,
                                                                      of DDR3 memory, up to 3 HDDs/SSDs with RAID options
as indicated by Samsung themselves when they confirmed
                                                                      along with room for an optical drive (up to a Blu-ray combo
the phone would not be making its debut at MWC later this
                                                                      drive).
month.


MAINGEAR arms TITAN 17
Desktop Replacement with
Sandy-E
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/maingear-arms-titan-17-desktop-
replacement-with-sandy-e/14787.html
February 8th, 2012




                                                                      Connectivity for the TITAN 17 is plentiful; it provides two
High performance PC System builder MAINGEAR has                       USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, DVI-D and
just given its mighty TITAN 17 desktop replacement a                  DisplayPort, FireWire, S/PDIF, Gigabit Ethernet and an
number of aesthetic adjustments along with some updated               eSATA port.
componentry. For one, this 17.3-inch sized bad boy is now             Needless to say you'll need to be prepared to cough up a
offered with Sandy Bridge-E goodness packed inside; your              decent amount of dosh to get your mits on this sucker. Prices
choice of a Core i7-3930K or i7-3960X Extreme Edition                 start at US $3,499 in base form and it's available for pre-
processor.                                                            order now with free shipping. MAINGEAR is also throwing
High performance PC System builder MAINGEAR has                       a couple game titles into the deal - Jagged Alliance: Back in
just given its mighty TITAN 17 desktop replacement a                  Action and Batman: Arkham City.
number of aesthetic adjustments along with some updated
componentry. For one, this 17.3-inch sized bad boy is now
offered with Sandy Bridge-E goodness packed inside; your
                                                                      Pentax outs 13th generation
choice of a Core i7-3930K or i7-3960X Extreme Edition                 of waterproof cameras
processor.                                                            Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pentax-outs-13th-generation-of-
                                                                      waterproof-cameras/14785.html




                                                                                                                                            7
February 8th, 2012                                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone


                                                                French Company Releases
February 8th, 2012


                                                                Military-grade, Ultra-Dense
                                                                OLED Screens: 2687 and
                                                                5374 PPI!
                                                                Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/french-company-releases-military-
Just about every single camera maker offers a waterproof        grade-ultra-dense-oled-screens-2687-and-5374-ppi-/14778.html
model these days, but Pentax was one of the first, if not the   February 8th, 2012
first company to offer an affordable waterproof consumer
grade digital camera with the original Optio WP. Now the
company has announced its 13th generation of waterproof
cameras in the shape of the WG-2 which bumps several of
the specs up from the WG-1.
                                                                If you never heard about a MicroOLED, think again. Based
                                                                in the heart of French Silicon Valley, next to SOITEC and
Just about every single camera maker offers a waterproof        STMicroelectronics, MicroOLED is creating next-gen OLED
model these days, but Pentax was one of the first, if not the   display for professional devices.
first company to offer an affordable waterproof consumer        While the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was all
grade digital camera with the original Optio WP. Now the        about large, consumer-oriented OLED panels as the LCD-
company has announced its 13th generation of waterproof         succeeding technology, one of promises of OLED technology
cameras in the shape of the WG-2 which bumps several of         is the creation of extremely dense displays, driving sky-high
the specs up from the WG-1.                                     resolutions.
Key upgrades to the WG-2 over the WG-1 include                  For an example, create a mental image in your head:
1080p30 and 720p60 video modes, an extra two meters             when somebody tells you 1280x1024 or 2560x2048 pixel
of waterproofing, now good down to 12m, a slightly higher       resolutions, by default you will imagine a computer monitor
resolution sensor at 16Megapixles and a slightly larger         or a TV.
and higher resolution 3-inch LCD screen with 460k dots.
Another interesting addition the digital microscope mode        However, French company MicroOLED is creating ultra-
where Pentax has added a sixth LED light around the lens to     dense OLED displays which do not exceed 1.55cm in
allow for better quality macro shots compared to the WG-1.      diameter. That's correct, 0.61 inch diagonal gets you an
                                                                OLED display with a massive pixel density of 2687 PPI
                                                                (Pixels-Per-Inch)! The product doesn't stop there - since it
                                                                utilizes a technology very similar to Samsung's AMOLED
                                                                (four "pixels" per pixel: Red, Green, Blue +one pixel for
                                                                lighting), we're talking about 5.24 million pixels driving a
                                                                resolution of just 1.31million pixels (1280x1024).




As with the WG-1, the WG-2 comes in two versions, with or
without GPS. A new accessory has also been made available
for the WG-2 which is a "SportMount Chest Harness" which        If you don't require color, you can acquire a sample with
allows for hands-free video capture, although we're not sure    double resolution: 1280 becomes 2560 and 1024 becomes
how good chest level video looks. The GPS less versions of      2048 for a total resolution of 2560x2048 (5374 PPI), all
the WG-2 will come in black or black and red, whereas the       while being driven through a digital connection.
GPS equipped models will come in black and orange and
                                                                If you ask yourselves what is the practical application of
black and silver.
                                                                this technology, the answer is quite simple: the products
The WG-2 is expected to hit retail next month with pricing      are all passing military-grade requirements. The displays
starting at US$349.95 (S$435) for the SKU without GPS and       are intended for use with night vision systems (goggles),
US$399.95 (S$499) for the one with GPS. The chest harness       pilot targeting systems - but there is civilian use as well.
won't be available until late spring or early summer and will   According to the manufacturer, the target application also
retail for US$49.95 (S$62) which seems quite expensive for      are head-mounted surgical displays for neurosurgeons,
a fancy strap.                                                  heart surgeons etc, as well as electronic microscopes,
                                                                professional camera and camcoders and so on.
                                                                If you're interesting in acquiring a sample of the product, be
                                                                warned - it is not "affordable", and not for playing around.
                                                                You can contact Sophie Vincent at info@microoled.net. If

                                                                                                                                        8
February 8th, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone

you're interested in receiving more information about these
amazing OLED displays, visit www.microoled.net.


Google launches Chrome for
Android beta
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-launches-chrome-for-
android-beta/14784.html
February 8th, 2012




Google is getting ready to give Android users – well, at least
those on Android 4.0 devices – a desktop browser experience
on their mobile devices with the introduction of Chrome for
Android beta. Currently it's limited to 12 countries, but more
should be following shortly.
Google is getting ready to give Android users – well, at least
those on Android 4.0 devices – a desktop browser experience
on their mobile devices with the introduction of Chrome for
Android beta. Currently it's limited to 12 countries, but more
should be following shortly.
Just as with the desktop version of Google Chrome, the
Android version will allow you to sign into your Google
account and it will sync all the data that you're syncing on
your desktop browser with the mobile browser. However,
Google has added some extra features to the mobile version
of Chrome of which the most useful one is automatic sync
of whatever is open on your desktop browser when you start        As with the desktop version of Chrome, the mobile version
Chrome on your mobile device.                                     also supports tabs, although these work slightly differently
                                                                  as you simply flick through them rather than having them
                                                                  at the top of the web browser. The mobile version of
                                                                  Chrome also supports auto complete suggestions, just like
                                                                  the desktop version.
                                                                  For now Chrome for Android beta is only available in the
                                                                  US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Japan,
                                                                  Korea, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, although it can be
                                                                  downloaded as of right now from the Android Market if you
                                                                  have a device that runs Android 4.x. Check out the video
                                                                  below for some additional details.


                                                                  SanDisk set to cut pricing on
                                                                  retail flash products too
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sandisk-set-to-cut-pricing-on-retail-
                                                                  flash-products-too/14783.html
                                                                  February 8th, 2012




                                                                  Kingston appears to be only the first in what might be an
                                                                  industry wide move towards reducing pricing for NAND
                                                                  flash based products, as no SanDisk is reported to be
                                                                  following in Kingston's footsteps. SanDisk is said to be
                                                                  slashing the price of its retail flash memory cards and USB
                                                                  drives to keep up with the competition.


                                                                                                                                          9
February 8th, 2012                                                                                                Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                   technological solutions to some of the world's biggest
                                                                   problems, like cancer and climate change.
Kingston appears to be only the first in what might be an
industry wide move towards reducing pricing for NAND
flash based products, as no SanDisk is reported to be              The search giant hosted an event last week led by
following in Kingston's footsteps. SanDisk is said to be           Eric Schmidt, which aimed to get people of all ages
slashing the price of its retail flash memory cards and USB        and backgrounds working on what it calls “moonshots,”
drives to keep up with the competition.                            solutions to problems that drastically change the way we live
Digitimes is reporting that SanDisk has more or less been          and think – and border on science fiction.
forced into this situation as the company want to maintain its
market share which is said to be about 40 percent. Dropping
its prices will allow SanDisk to boost its sales volume which      One of the ideas being worked on is the provision of fresh
would allow it to maintain its market share. The question          water to anywhere and everywhere in the world at a cost
that begs to be answered though is what products SanDisk           of less than one tenth the existing energy input and effect
will be discounting. We have a feeling that it's unlikely          upon the environment. If this proposal works it could save
to be its high-end, high-margin memory cards used by               millions of lives throughout the world, and improve the
professional users; instead we'd expect SanDisk to adjust the      water quality, and therefore the health, of many people.
pricing on its more mainstream products.
2012 looks set to be a very competitive year for NAND
flash products with a general downward trend in pricing
if DRAMeXchange numbers are anything to go by. 64Gbit
(8GB) TLC NAND flash chips are going for under US$5
a piece now and with a move towards 2Xnm and sub
20nm manufacturing processes, these prices are only likely
to decrease further. This should allow for vastly more
affordable consumer grade flash memory card as well as USB
drives, but isn't really suitable for use in SSDs as yet. MLC
NAND flash is also trending downwards and even large size
256Gbit (32GB) chips are selling for well under US$35 with
the more commonly used 128Gbit (16GB) chips going for              Last week's gathering is just the first of many planned by
about US$16 a chip on average.                                     Google. It hopes to bring together the world's visionaries
Of course this is spot pricing and not contract pricing, but       several times a year to push the boundaries of scientific
even a standard 120 or 128GB SSD uses 16 128Gbit chip              theory and development.
which current average spot pricing would mean that just
the NAND flash in your average SSD is close to US$130
and that is not far off from what a cheap SSD in the 120 to        Google said that Solve for X is not about making
128GB market segment costs today. In fact, looking at online       products and expanding business portfolios, but about
retail prices in the US, SanDisk is offering its 120GB Ultra       addressing some of the world's unresolved challenges. It
series SSD for as little as US$130 and that's without any kind     invited participants to join the programme at its website:
of rebate. It might not be the fastest SSD out there, but it       www.wesolveforx.com
suggests that SanDisk's price reductions might already be
taking place.

                                                                   Hackers wanted $50,000 for
Google launches Solve for                                          Symantec security software
X scientific breakthrough                                          blueprints
programme                                                          Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hackers-wanted-50-000-for-
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-launches-solve-for-x-   symantec-security-software-blueprints/14780.html
scientific-breakthrough-programme/14781.html                       February 8th, 2012
February 8th, 2012




Google has launched a scientific breakthrough programme
called Solve for X, where it brought together entrepreneurs,       Hackers who stole blueprints for Symantec's security and
innovators and scientists from across the world to propose         anti-malware software tried to extort a $50,000 ransom
technological solutions to some of the world's biggest             from the company, but the security firm refused to pay up.
problems, like cancer and climate change.                          Hackers who stole blueprints for Symantec's security and
Google has launched a scientific breakthrough programme            anti-malware software tried to extort a $50,000 ransom
called Solve for X, where it brought together entrepreneurs,       from the company, but the security firm refused to pay up.
innovators and scientists from across the world to propose

                                                                                                                                    10
February 8th, 2012                                                                                               Published by: VR-Zone

The hacker group Lords of Dharmaraja stole the source code              Thousands of home security camera have been breached by
for many of Symantec's popular security software, including             hackers, allowing people to bypass password security and
its Norton anti-virus range and its business remote access              spy on people in their houses, including children in their
software pcAnywhere, which the company has since told                   bedrooms.
users to disable.

                                                                        The major security concern affects the live video feeds of
The hackers contacted what they thought was a Symantec                  26 different Trendnet models and the first vulnerabilities
employee, demanding a $50,000 payment in return for                     were detected as early as 12 January, yet the problem is only
the stolen source code, but the emails were actually being              coming to light now.
monitored by law enforcement officials as part of their
investigation into the theft and now extortion attempt.
                                                                        Trendnet contacted users who registered their devices with
                                                                        it, but only five percent of users have registered, leaving 95
                                                                        percent of affected customers still exposed to a nightmare
                                                                        privacy invasion.


                                                                        The company is issuing firmware upgrades to plug the
                                                                        security holes and has released the update for seven of the 26
                                                                        affected models so far. Trendnet hopes to release the other
                                                                        updates within the next week. As many as 50,000 cameras
                                                                        could be vulnerable.


                                                                        The coding error, which Trendnet believes was a simple
                                                                        oversight, was introduced as far back as 2010, which means
                                                                        people may have been spied on, and possibly recorded, for
                                                                        the last two years.
This latest turn of events came to light after the hackers
released the email exchange on Pastebin, where it shows the
fake Symantec employee offering to pay the money, but only
at a later date. The hackers said they were not planning to
accept the money, but that the bribe offer was an attempt
to humiliate the company. They said they would release the
code into the wild soon.


The version of the software in the hands of hackers is from
2006, which Symantec believes is obsolete and presents
no security threat, but it originally thought that about
pcAnywhere and was forced to change its stance as the
security holes became clearer. Since then it has released
patches that fix those vulnerabilities.
                                                                        The problem was first identified on 10 January by a customer
                                                                        who set up a camera with a password, but found that they
                                                                        could access it with the correct internet address without
Home security camera                                                    needing to enter the password. The only variance in the web
                                                                        address was the IP address of the user, which meant that
breach lets hackers spy on                                              someone could easily tap into the camera feeds of other
                                                                        users.
people
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/home-security-camera-breach-lets-
hackers-spy-on-people/14779.html                                        The hacker revealed that the Shodan search engine could
February 8th, 2012                                                      be used to find devices vulnerable to the security hole, and
                                                                        that the last time they did a search 350 exposed devices were
                                                                        found.


                                                                        Other hackers posted web addresses and even Google Map
                                                                        locations of where the cameras were located, with 679
                                                                        vulnerable camera links uploaded to one website alone.
Thousands of home security camera have been breached by
                                                                        Some people commented that they saw people naked in
hackers, allowing people to bypass password security and
                                                                        their bathrooms and also saw children and babies in their
spy on people in their houses, including children in their
                                                                        bedrooms, raising significant concerns over the potential for
bedrooms.
                                                                        this security flaw to be used by pedophiles.

                                                                                                                                   11
February 8th, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                        models of BA in-ear headphones will be selling in Sony
                                                                        stores and authorized retailers from 15 February next week.
Trendnet has stopped shipments of the affected models,
                                                                        The range include XBA-1 with one full range BA driver;
but the company has been relatively closed-lipped about
                                                                        XBA-2 with full range and woofer BA drivers; XBA-3 with
informing the public of this monumental privacy disaster.
                                                                        full range, woofer and tweeter BA drivers and XBA-4 with
                                                                        full range, woofer, tweeter and super woofer BA drivers, and
                                                                        also the "iP" models which are designed to be compatible
Sony Singapore launches                                                 with the iPhone and iPod devices.
                                                                        The XBA-S65 is Sony’s latest offering for the sporty
Balanced Armature in-ear                                                users. It is washable, waterproof and features high sound
headphones                                                              transmission waterproof film coating with adjustable ear
                                                                        loop for comfort during long hours of usage. Users who are
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-singapore-launches-balanced-
                                                                        looking for wireless headset that can offer quality audio will
armature-in-ear-headphones/14777.html
                                                                        want to check out the XBA-BT75. It boasts 3.5 hours of
February 8th, 2012
                                                                        playback and comes with a carrying case that lets you charge
                                                                        the headset conveniently while on the move. The XBA-
                                                                        NC85D claims to be the world’s smallest and lightest in-ear
                                                                        digital noise cancelling headphones to date. It features up
                                                                        to 20 hours long battery life and proprietary Digital Noise-
                                                                        Cancelling Software Engine for clear audio enjoyment.
Today, Sony Singapore launched their range of Balanced                  Here are the prices for the Sony Balanced Armature in-ear
Armature in-ear headphones - XBA-1, XBA-2, XBA-3                        headphones:-
and XBA-4 that also come in "iP" models which are
                                                                        XBA-1 - S$109
compatible with iPhone and iPods; wireless and Bluetooth-
                                                                        XBA-2 - S$279
capable XBA-BT75; XBA-NC85D with Digital Noise-
                                                                        XBA-3 - S$419
Cancelling; and XBA-S65 for the sporty users.
                                                                        XBA-4 - S$529
                                                                        XBA-1iP - S$129
                                                                        XBA-2iP - S$299
                                                                        XBA-3iP - S$439
                                                                        XBA-4iP - S$549
                                                                        XBA-BT75 - TBA

                                                                        XBA-NC85D - S$699
                                                                        XBA-S65 - S$129
                                                                        On top of that Sony Singapore has also announced the
                                                                        Sony Sound Quality Campaign whereby any consumers who
                                                                        purchase Sony BA products from authorized dealers, and if
                                                                        they are not satisfied with the audio, they can return the
                                                                        products to Sony Care centre at Isetan Orchard and get a full
                                                                        refund.




                                                                        Ultrabooks to get price drops
                                                                        across the board
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ultrabooks-to-get-price-drops-
The Balanced Armature (BA) in-ear headphones were                       across-the-board/14776.html
announced in September last year, but it took longer than
expected for the products to go on retail. Yes, the eleven

                                                                                                                                             12
February 8th, 2012                                                                                               Published by: VR-Zone

February 8th, 2012                                                     The GIGABYTE Battlefield 3 Cup Asia was organized by
                                                                       VR-Zone with the generous backing of sponsors GIGABYTE
                                                                       and NVIDIA. Held over the Christmas and New Year
                                                                       festive season, 16 teams of 8 players from Singapore,
                                                                       Malaysia ,Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Australia
                                                                       fought it out in a single elimination format to win attractive
Good news if you're looking to pick up an Ultrabook in
                                                                       prizes like US$2000 cash, GIGABYTE SOC GTX580
the near future. Digitimes reports that notebook makers
                                                                       graphics cards and GIGABYTE gaming peripherals.
are expected to significantly drop pricing on their first
generation ultrabooks ahead of Intel's Ivy Bridge launch               These were the teams who took part in the competition:
early in the second quarter of the year.
                                                                       [Bf.Nut]                        MBT Abrams
Good news if you're looking to pick up an Ultrabook in                 JEDI Ewoks                      MBT Challenger
the near future. Digitimes reports that notebook makers
are expected to significantly drop pricing on their first              JEDI-Wookies                    nXa_Garuda
generation ultrabooks ahead of Intel's Ivy Bridge launch
early in the second quarter of the year.                                =Crysis=                        Combat Elite Battle Unit –
                                                                                                       [C3BU]
                                                                       GuNooB
                                                                                                       ANGAS
                                                                       uRas. Gaming
                                                                                                       Team eXile5
                                                                       Decade Of Wars [Thai]
                                                                                                       Steelrain e-Sports
                                                                       Carnage
                                                                                                       Team Immunity

                                                                       Here are the fixtures and results:




We've already seen the likes of Acer, Lenovo and HP push
pricing down on several of their ultrabooks by as much as
25% in the U.S. and further cuts are expected to come into
effect soon. Acer's Ultrabook S3 recently dropped from US
$999 down to US $799, while Lenovo has dropped its pricing
by 25% and HP by 21%.
In summary, we should see the remainder of these first-gen
US $1000 Ultrabooks start hovering around the US $749-
$799 bracket in attempts to help clear inventories before the          Last Saturday, a lunch reception was held at IBIS Hotel
next wave of Ivy Bridge equipped Ultrabooks arrive in the              Singapore to give away some of the prizes for champions
second quarter.                                                        [Bf.Nut] and 4th place winner =Crysis=.


GIGABYTE Battlefield 3 Cup
Asia Season 1: Singapore
Prize Presentation Ceremony
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-battlefield-3-cup-asia-
season-1-singapore-prize-presentation-ceremony/14775.html
February 8th, 2012




The inaugural GIGABYTE Battlefield 3 Cup Asia Season
1 concluded last month, with asian gaming powerhouse
[Bf.Nut] emerging as champions after battling through the
single elimination knockout stage which included teams
from all over the region and Australia. A prize presentation
ceremony was held at IBIS Hotel Bencoolen over the                     Some of the prizes on display
weekend for some of the winners...


                                                                                                                                     13
February 8th, 2012                                                                                     Published by: VR-Zone




Ms Etien from GIGABYTE flew down from Taiwan to          Champions [Bf.Nut] gets a whopping US$2000 and 8 x
give a short presentation about the merits of GIGABYTE   GIGABYTE SOC GTX580 for their efforts
peripherals




                                                         Thermaltake expands
Sumptuous spread offered to the attendees
                                                         Toughpower and SMART PSU
                                                         series
                                                         Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/thermaltake-expands-toughpower-
                                                         and-smart-psu-series/14772.html
                                                         February 8th, 2012




                                                         Several new models in Thermaltake's Toughpower and
                                                         SMART series of power supplies are due to arrive this
                                                         month. These include 80Plus Gold certified PSUs in the
                                                         Toughpower 550 W, 650 W and 750 W as well as a couple
                                                         80Plus Bronze certified offerings under Tt's SMART lineup;
                                                         a 750 W and 850 W.
4th placed team =Crysis= won 4 pieces of GIGABYTE
gaming keyboard and mice                                 Several new models in Thermaltake's Toughpower and
                                                         SMART series of power supplies are due to arrive this
                                                         month. These include 80Plus Gold certified PSUs in the
                                                         Toughpower 550 W, 650 W and 750 W as well as a couple
                                                         80Plus Bronze certified offerings under Tt's SMART lineup;
                                                         a 750 W and 850 W.
                                                         Thermaltake's eco-friendly Toughpower Gold Series of PSUs
                                                         comprise 100% high quality Japanese capacitors throughout
                                                         along with active CLAMP circuitry with various protection

                                                                                                                           14
February 8th, 2012                                                                                                Published by: VR-Zone

levels including over current and voltage, under voltage, over
power, over temperature and short-circuiting. Costs are kept     AMD refreshes FirePro series
to a minimum on the Toughpower GOLD range by using               at the entry level with V3900
a non-modular design while maintaining high efficieny for        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-refreshes-firepro-series-at-the-
mainstream users.                                                entry-level-with-v3900/14773.html
                                                                 February 8th, 2012




                                                                 AMD's FirePro family of graphics cards for the Professional/
                                                                 Workstation user has just seen a new addition today with
                                                                 the launch of the FirePro V3900 which replaces the V3800.
                                                                 AMD promises best-in-class workstation experiences at an
                                                                 entry level price point with this card - that being a US $119
                                                                 MSRP at select online resellers.
                                                                 AMD's FirePro family of graphics cards for the Professional/
                                                                 Workstation user has just seen a new addition today with
                                                                 the launch of the FirePro V3900 which replaces the V3800.
                                                                 AMD promises best-in-class workstation experiences at an
                                                                 entry level price point with this card - that being a US $119
                                                                 MSRP at select online resellers.




The new SMART 750 W and 850 W units boast flat
modular cabling along with a range of industrial-grade
protections not unlike the Toughpower family. The 750
and 850 W models in particular sport 100% high quality
Japanese capacitors and four 6+2pin PCIe connectors for
dual graphics support.

                                                                 Compared to the V3800, the V3900 gets double the memory
                                                                 at 1GB and uses a GPU derived from the 6800 family
                                                                 of Radeon cards, dubbed "TURKS". The card's 128-bit
                                                                 DDR3 memory arrangement gives it 28.8GB/s of memory
                                                                 bandwidth compared to the V3800 which had a 64-bit
                                                                 interface providing half the bandwidth at 14.4GB/s.




For further details along with individual product page links,
head over to Thermaltake's website where the full press
release resides. We're not yet made aware of pricing or exact
dates of availability at this time.                              AMD has claimed through the means of several presentation
                                                                 slides that its V3900 outperforms both the Quadro 400 and
                                                                 V3800 in a wide range of tests. The V3800 sells at just $99,

                                                                                                                                       15
February 8th, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

but for a mere $20 difference it's expected that this price                February 8th, 2012
point is well validated in line of its performance increase.
AMD will ship the V3900 with both a full and half-height
bracket to allow it to be installed in small form factor
systems. The card will also be showing up in several systems
from HP with ISV certification from Fujitsu-Siemens to
follow in the spring.                                                      With AMD more or less pulling out of the high-end CPU
                                                                           market, it looks like the motherboard makers are following
                                                                           suit, at least if Gigabyte's latest AM3+ motherboard is
Valentine's Gift? Microsoft                                                anything to go by. The GA-970A-DS3 is part of Gigabyte's
Prepares for the Windows 8                                                 Ultra Durable 4 Classic series which is a more affordable
                                                                           range of boards which is target towards your average
Consumer Preview Launch                                                    consumer rather than performance junkies.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/valentine-s-gift-microsoft-prepares-
for-the-windows-8-consumer-preview-launch/14769.html
February 8th, 2012                                                         With AMD more or less pulling out of the high-end CPU
                                                                           market, it looks like the motherboard makers are following
                                                                           suit, at least if Gigabyte's latest AM3+ motherboard is
                                                                           anything to go by. The GA-970A-DS3 is part of Gigabyte's
                                                                           Ultra Durable 4 Classic series which is a more affordable
                                                                           range of boards which is target towards your average
                                                                           consumer rather than performance junkies.
There is no doubt about it - there is a new public version of
Windows 8 coming in the matter of weeks, if not days. The
company is adjusting its own services to accommodate for
the consumer attack.
While there are numerous screenshots leaking from the
Windows 8 Consumer Preview Build 8220 showing things
such as removed the Start Orb, there is much more
important information at play. From the looks of it,
Microsoft is in the final stages of preparing for a public
release, since the company just adopted Bing Search engine
interface for the Internet Explorer 10.
As you can see in the screenshot below, this is how Bing
looks if you have Windows 8. We have checked the link and it
works in Windows 7 and different browsers, such as Chrome
or Firefox.
                                                                           The board isn't going to impress those used to spending
                                                                           a small fortune on their motherboard, but Gigabyte has at
                                                                           least managed to include enough connectivity to make this
                                                                           an overall appealing board, at least if it's priced accordingly.
                                                                           The board is a full-size ATX model with two x16 PCI Express
                                                                           slots, although the secondary slot only operates in x4 mode
                                                                           due to the use of the AMD 970 chipset. The board also has
                                                                           three x1 PCI Express slots and two PCI slots.




Gigabyte quietly launches the
970A-DS3 AM3+ motherboard
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-quietly-launches-the-970a-
ds3-am3-motherboard/14771.html




                                                                                                                                        16
February 8th, 2012                                                                                           Published by: VR-Zone

As with most recent AM3+ motherboards we're looking
at six SATA 6Gbps ports and the board has pin-headers
for up to six additional USB 2.0 ports, but the only other
feature of note is Gigabyte's dual BIOS. Around the back
things are as spartan with a pair of PS/2 ports, six USB
2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports via an Etron host controller,
a Gigabit Ethernet port and a mere three audio jacks
that supports 5.1-channel analogue output. There's always
a market for basic motherboards and not everyone are
running multiple graphics cards in their system or overclock
their CPU, something that's easy to overlook when you're
always surrounded by high-end gear.


Intel launches its new
performance 520 series of                                           Where Intel doesn't compare so well, albeit still ahead of
SSDs                                                                Kingston's HyperX drive is in sequential read tests and
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-launches-its-new-         here the new 520 series actually falls behind the older 510
performance-520-series-of-ssds/14770.html                           series and other Marvell based SSDs. When it comes to
February 8th, 2012                                                  incompressible data the 520 series doesn't do so well either
                                                                    and here the lower capacity 60GB model is really suffering,
                                                                    especially in terms of write performance, falling behind even
                                                                    the good old X25-M, albeit a 160GB model. Overall this
                                                                    is very much a "me too" product from Intel that performs
                                                                    really well where SandForce controllers have traditionally
                                                                    performed well to start with, but doesn't really stand out
Intel has finally launched its 520 series of SSDs – previously      from the competition elsewhere.
codenamed Cherryville – its first SSD with a SandForce
controller and a model set to replace the Marvell powered           However, as far as a consumer alternative, the 520 series
510 series. The question is if this will make Intel a "me too"      is quickly losing any appeal when you start looking at cost,
SSD manufacturer or if the company has managed to bring             as Intel is asking for US$149 for the 60GB model, US
anything to the table.                                              $229 for 120GB, US$369 for 180GB, US$509 for 240GB
                                                                    and finally US$999 for the 480GB model. This makes even
                                                                    Kingston's otherwise highly priced HyperX models look
Intel has finally launched its 520 series of SSDs – previously      cheap at around US$205 for the 120GB SKU and US$420
codenamed Cherryville – its first SSD with a SandForce              for the 240GB SKU. It's clear that Intel isn't aiming the
controller and a model set to replace the Marvell powered           520 series towards consumers with this kind of pricing, but
510 series. The question is if this will make Intel a "me too"      we have a feeling that Intel will be selling plenty of drives
SSD manufacturer or if the company has managed to bring             nonetheless.
anything to the table.
Early reviews are revealing that Intel has its own firmware
for the SF-2281 controller which is used in the 520 series
and as such Intel is claiming to have abolished some of the
issues that have plagued SF-2281 based SSDs, although it's
not entirely clear as to what extent Intel has done this, as it's
early days yet. What Intel has done is integrate support in
its own SSD Toolbox for the 520 series of SSDs which means
that there's no problem with Intel's RST drivers, something
that apparently can be a problem with SandForce's own
toolbox.
Looking at some of the first benchmarks, specifically from
Anandtech in this case, it looks like Intel has managed to
tweak the SF-2281 firmware to work well with its own NAND
flash and although the 520 series is far from the fastest SSDs
in the market, the 60GB drive manages to do remarkably
well, especially when compared to larger drives which
generally performs better due to the way SSD controllers
generally offers better performance when additional NAND
flash modules are being utilized. Intel seems to be a market
leader in 4KB random writes, bettering Kingston's HyperX
drive with over 40MB/s comparing 240GB models.




                                                                                                                               17
February 10th, 2012                                                                                                Published by: VR-Zone




VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks!
                                                                  track four people, with accuracy right down to identifying
  VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly                    individual finger movements.
  publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the
  geeks.
                                                                  The tablet controller appears to be a smaller part of the
                                                                  next Xbox's feature list, playing a secondary role to the
Xbox 720 to copy Wii U                                            Kinect, so there will still be some major differences between
                                                                  Microsoft's console and the Wii U.
touchscreen controller
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xbox-720-to-copy-wii-u-
touchscreen-controller/14837.html                                 The Xbox 720 is likely to be expensive, however, with
February 10th, 2012                                               rumours suggesting a price tag of £399, which would be
                                                                  about €480 or $630. While the Wii U will be packing more
                                                                  punch than its predecessor, we can likely expect it to be
                                                                  significantly cheaper than its rivals.


Microsoft looks set to copy some of the features of               Source and Image Credit: CVG
Nintendo's Wii U, with plans to use a touchscreen controller
in its Xbox 720 next-generation game console.
Microsoft looks set to copy some of the features of
                                                                  FBI releases files on
Nintendo's Wii U, with plans to use a touchscreen controller      "questionable" Steve Jobs
in its Xbox 720 next-generation game console.                     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fbi-releases-files-on-questionable-
                                                                  steve-jobs/14836.html
                                                                  February 10th, 2012
Sources cited by Xbox World magazine said that Microsoft
is experimenting with a tablet controller with touchscreen
capability, but that it will be closer in shape and size to
the PlayStation Vita than the Wii U's somewhat larger
controller.


Gamers might immediately accuse Microsoft of being a              The FBI has released its files on the late Steve Jobs, co-
copycat, but it likely learned its lesson when the Wii released   founder and former CEO of Apple, who apparently was a
with features completely different to the Xbox 360 and            questionable character in the eyes of colleagues and the law
PlayStation 3. While some are not sure about Nintendo's           enforcement agency.
new controller, Microsoft appears to recognise its potential,     The FBI has released its files on the late Steve Jobs, co-
which takes advantage of the tablet craze since the launch of     founder and former CEO of Apple, who apparently was a
the original iPad in 2010.                                        questionable character in the eyes of colleagues and the law
                                                                  enforcement agency.


                                                                  As part of a freedom of information request the FBI
                                                                  uploaded files to its website, which it collected on Jobs
                                                                  during an investigation into his character when he was being
                                                                  considered for a presidential appointment by George H. W.
                                                                  Bush to a position as advisor on export policy.


                                                                  The files show that several people questioned Jobs' honesty
                                                                  and morality. The FBI interviewed a number of people who
                                                                  worked with him and found that he would twist the truth
                                                                  to achieve his goals. Other people said he was honesty and
Other features rumoured to be included in the Xbox 720,           trustworthy, but suggested he had moral issues.
expected for release at the end of 2013, include augmented
reality, directional sound, and a revamped Kinect which can



                                                                                                                                            1
February 10th, 2012                                                                                                         Published by: VR-Zone

The documents also show that Jobs was difficult to work
with, a fact backed up by details in his biography released                Hirai wants to link Sony hardware with software via online
last year.                                                                 networks, a model used with the PlayStation console and
                                                                           PlayStation Network, suggesting that the company won't try
                                                                           to limit its growth to just hardware in many of its other
                                                                           important sectors.


                                                                           The problem with linking with online networks is the
                                                                           bad reputation Sony has received over the hacking of
                                                                           its PlayStation Network and online gaming division,
                                                                           Sony Online Entertainment. If it decided to add internet
                                                                           connectivity to other product lines it will need to beef up
                                                                           security even more to avoid an even bigger disaster than
                                                                           what happened early last year.




Other details in the files include Jobs' experimentation with
drugs in the 1970s, particularly LSD, which he claimed was
one of the few important things he did in his life. It's unclear
if this drug use was what some meant by his questionable
morality or if there were more alleged skeletons in his closet.


His conversion to Buddhism was also documented, though
we're not sure whether or not the FBI saw any significance
to this in relation to their investigation.


Despite the questions raised over his character he secured to              Hirai was responsible for driving a successful PlayStation
post Bush Senior wanted him for in 1991. The position did                  division in the face of tough competition from Nintendo's
not involve any financial payment.                                         Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360, cutting costs and increasing
                                                                           sales. The company's next-generation console could be
                                                                           years away, however, putting it at yet another disadvantage
The files also show that Jobs was on the receiving end of a                against its rivals.
bomb threat in 1985, which was designed to extort money.

                                                                           However, before Hirai embarks on this ambitious plan
Image Credit: Matt Yohe                                                    he needs to restructure the company to cut losses. This
                                                                           will likely involve significant job cuts and the axing of
                                                                           some under-performing and non-strategic products. Its TV
Sony to extend PlayStation                                                 division will be under particular scrutiny.
business model to entire
company                                                                    Hirai officially takes the helm on 1 April, replacing current
                                                                           CEO Howard Stringer. Many see Hirai as a good person to
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-to-extend-playstation-business-
model-to-entire-company/14835.html
                                                                           bring the company back on track and shares have already
February 10th, 2012
                                                                           gained 13 percent since he was named for the top job,
                                                                           in stark contrast to the 60 percent loss in share value
                                                                           under Stringer's leadership. The company is losing billions,
                                                                           however, so he has his work cut out for him.


                                                                           Image Credit: Tokyoship
Sony's incoming CEO, Kazuo Hirai, is planning to extend
the business model he employed for Sony Computer                           Intel settles New York
Entertainment, the home of the PlayStation, to the entire
company.                                                                   antitrust lawsuit
                                                                           Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-settles-new-york-antitrust-
Sony's incoming CEO, Kazuo Hirai, is planning to extend
                                                                           lawsuit/14834.html
the business model he employed for Sony Computer
Entertainment, the home of the PlayStation, to the entire
company.

                                                                                                                                                   2
February 10th, 2012                                                                                             Published by: VR-Zone

February 10th, 2012

                                                                  Intel claimed that the Attorney General's complaint was
                                                                  grounded on “rhetoric and politics” rather than fact and law,
                                                                  and this latest settlement certainly supports its assertion
                                                                  that it did nothing wrong.

Intel has settled a lawsuit with the New York Attorney
General that alleged it violated US and state antitrust laws,     Image Credit: Gallo & Spero
with the chip giant making a token payment of $6.5 million
to cover legal costs.
                                                                  Windows 8 Consumer
Intel has settled a lawsuit with the New York Attorney
General that alleged it violated US and state antitrust laws.     Preview to debut on February
                                                                  29
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/windows-8-consumer-preview-to-
The chip giant paid out $6.5 million to settle the
                                                                  debut-on-february-29/14832.html
charges, which were originally filed in November 2009.
                                                                  February 10th, 2012
The settlement also follows a court ruling in December
2011 which significantly reduced the scope of the Attorney
General's lawsuit, which explains the relatively small
payment involved. The payment is intended to cover some of
the costs of litigation rather than act as a penalty for wrong-
doing, a fact that Intel will be very pleased with.
                                                                  Microsoft is going to use the special date occurring once
                                                                  every four years to unveil the beta version of Windows 8
The settlement also included conditions where Intel was
                                                                  and make it available for a public download. Mind you, the
recognised as not admitting any guilt for the alleged
                                                                  new name for "Windows 8 Beta" is Windows 8 Consumer
violations of law. Intel is also not required to make any
                                                                  Preview.
changes to its business, which makes this settlement little
more than a token victory, if even that, for the Attorney         On February 29, the third day of Mobile World Congress
General.                                                          2012 which takes place in Barcelona, Spain - Microsoft will
                                                                  host an event between 15-17h (3-5PM) Central European
                                                                  Time.




“Following recent court rulings in Intel’s favor that
significantly and appropriately narrowed the scope of this
case, we were able to reach an agreement with New York
to bring to an end what remained of the case,” said Doug          Titled "Windows 8 Consumer Preview", the official name
Melamed, SVP and general counsel at Intel. “We have               of publicly available Windows 8 Beta (current development
always said that Intel’s business practices are lawful, pro-      releases are Builds 8220 and 8224), the new version of
competitive and beneficial to consumers, and we are pleased       operating system will be the first to target the conventional
this matter has been resolved.”                                   PC market as well as tablets and smartphones - through
                                                                  Windows Phone 8 (which shares the same kernel, heart
                                                                  of Windows operating system). As you can see in the
The original complaint centred around allegations that Intel      screenshot above, there is a lot of changes coming to the
had obtained exclusive or near-exclusive agreements from          conventional perception of Windows user interface. First off,
large computer makers in exchange for billions of dollars of      you'll note that the orb is no longer in the left corner of
payments and retaliation threats to rival companies. Bribery      the Windows tray... further more, there is a shift from left-
and coercion of original equipment manufacturers in order         centric approach to a right-centric approach, with key icons
to destroy competition with AMD was also part of the              and controls being positioned on the right.
accusations.


                                                                                                                                       3
February 10th, 2012                                                                                     Published by: VR-Zone

Naturally, Windows 8 UI enables you a good level of
customization, thus we expect to see more and more
users moving the bottom tray to the left or right vertical
arrangement. Given the shift from 5:4, 4:3 and 16:10 to a
wide 16:9 format, we see this as a missed opportunity for
Microsoft. The company could have just positioned the tray
on the left or right and be gone with it.
Given the press invitations to press conferences and
briefings from AMD, Intel, Microsoft, NVIDIA, Qualcomm,
Texas Instruments, HTC and others, this year's MWC is a
definite do-not-miss event.


MSI R7950 Twin Frozr 3GD5/
OC Review
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-r7950-twin-frozr-3gd5oc-
review/14811.html                                                  Accessories and Documentation - VGA-DVI dongle, Mini-
February 10th, 2012                                                DP to HDMI, Crossfire Bridge and two Molex to 6-pin PCIe
                                                                   convertors




Since the official launch of the Radeon 7970/7950 series
last month, prices have dropped from their inflated levels
and actual stock availability have improved (at least here
in Singapore stores). With Nvidia's Kepler based cards not
ready anytime soon (or else we'll have them in our pants
already), AMD's 28nm Tahiti GPUs remains on the shopping
lists of gamers and overclockers alike for the forseeable
future. Today we review MSI's custom cooled Radeon 7950
(dubbed Twin Frozr III) to see how it fairs against the rest.
MSI has gone with their usual arctic blue theme on the box
and are not afraid to tout the merits of their flagship Twin
Frozr III cooler which they claim is better performing and
quieter than the stock reference blower. They also mention         The MSI R7950 Twin Frozr 3GD5/OC is overclocked by
that the card is ready for 3DMark 11 (which MSI features           default to 880/1300MHz
prominently inside the benchmark) and has "Military Class
III" certification




Back of Box




                                                                                                                           4
February 10th, 2012                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone




Back of Card - Apart from some gratuitous silkscreen
markings and stickers, the card is similar to the Sapphire
HD 7950 that we reviewed earlier, the implication being it is
using a reference PCB design. One nice addition would be a
backplate to prevent warping and accidental electrical shorts
from the giant CPU heatsinks that we see today.




                                                                Like all the other Radeon 7950 / 7970s we've seen so far,
                                                                the MSI R7950 Twin Frozr 3GD5/OC has the same layout - a
                                                                single DVI-D, HDMI and 2 mini-DP connectors for hooking
                                                                up to up to 6 displays. The card only takes up 2 slots which
                                                                means quad Crossfire operation is possible with top of the
                                                                line motherboards and enclosures.




MSI's 7950 measures 11.25 inches long and uses 2 x 6 pin
PCIe connectors which provide up to 150W extra in addition
to the 75W from the PCIe slot




                                                                Detailed AMD 2012 Desktop
                                                                Roadmap Leaked
                                                                Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/detailed-amd-2012-desktop-
                                                                roadmap-leaked/14831.html
                                                                February 10th, 2012




                                                                                                                                  5
February 10th, 2012                                                                                           Published by: VR-Zone

While AMD released general public roadmaps at the recent
Financial Analyst Day, details and branding were omitted.       BlackBerry Curve 9380
A more detailed slide has now leaked online, covering           smartphone lands in
branding for upcoming Trinity, Brazos 2.0 and Vishera SKUs
for desktops in 2012.                                           Singapore
                                                                Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blackberry-curve-9380-smartphone-
The big release for Q2 2012 is Trinity. In general, Trinity
                                                                lands-in-singapore/14830.html
will feature the A-5000 Series branding and introduce a new
                                                                February 10th, 2012
segment with A10. The first Trinity APUs to release will be
A10-5800, A10-5700, A8-5600 and A8-5500. Within each
segment, the differentiation will likely be CPU clock speeds,
thus both A10 SKUs will feature the same GPU - Radeon
HD 7660D. A8 will feature a cut down GPU, possibly with 1
or 2 SIMDs disabled and branded HD 7560D. Both A8 and
A10 will feature 2 module / 4 core Piledriver CPU cores. The
GPU branding also gives a clue to GPU performance - the         If you like the BlackBerry Curve smartphones, well,
top A10-5800 with HD 7660D will end up just short of HD         Research in Motion has announced the latest Curve 9380
7670, which is a rebrand for HD 6670. This also means a         which is going to be retailing in Singapore from tomorrow.
significant boost in performance over Llano's HD 6550D.         The BlackBerry Curve 9380 claims to be the first ever Curve
                                                                device to come equipped with a touch display.




Llano A6 and A4 APUs will co-exist with Trinity A8 and A10,
while the FX line-up will be reinforced with FX-6200 and
FX-4120.                                                        Research In Motion (RIM) has announced the new
The other release scheduled for Q2 is Brazos 2.0. The two       BlackBerry Curve 9380 smartphone in Singapore, which
APUs will be E2-1800 and E1-1200, replacing E-450 and           claims to be the first BlackBerry Curve smartphone with a
E-300. As previously covered, E2-1800 will be 1.7 GHz           touchscreen display. This sleek and stylish new smartphone
with Radeon HD 7340 graphics and E1-1200 clocks at 1.4          will be available from all BlackBerry authorised partners
GHz with HD 7310. Both are dual-core, 18W TDP and only          on 11 February 2012, tomorrow. The sleek and stylish
evolutionary successors to Brazos. The main improvements        BlackBerry Curve 9380 smartphone is powered by the new
are the addition of Turbo Core, native USB 3.0 and other        BlackBerry 7 OS, which delivers a faster and richer user
chipset optimizations.                                          experience. It also includes the ability to manage personal
                                                                content separately from corporate content, and comes with
Q3 2012 brings the successor to FX Zambezi CPUs - Vishera.      a variety of personal and productivity apps out of the box.
Vishera will feature 4 Piledriver modules or 8 cores over
4, 6 and 8 core variants. The top 8-core will be branded        The new BlackBerry 7 OS introduces an enhanced browser
FX-8350 and FX-8320, replacing FX-8150 and FX-8120              that offers faster and more fluid web browsing experience.
respectively. 6-core FX-6300 will replace Bulldozer based       It also offers optimized HTML5 performance for incredible
FX-6200, while 4-core FX-4320 will succeed FX-4120. Q3          gaming and video experiences. Enhanced with support
will also complete the Trinity line-up with A6-5400 with HD     for voice-activated search, you can simply speak to begin
7450D and A4-5300D with HD 7480D.                               searching for information on your device and the web.

If AMD can stick to the schedule mentioned in the above         On top of that, the BlackBerry Curve 9380 includes built-in
slide, we could finally see AMD go down the path of a regular   support for Augmented Reality and NFC. With the Wikitude
yearly release cadence, as alluded to at FAD 2012.              Augmented Reality application, users can find nearby BBM
                                                                (BlackBerry Messenger) contacts in real-time, read reviews
                                                                about restaurants close to them, or get the story behind an
                                                                interesting landmark and points of interest. NFC enables
                                                                new and exciting capabilities, including the ability to make
                                                                mobile payments, pair accessories or read SmartPoster tags
                                                                with a simple tap of the smartphone. Interested users should



                                                                                                                                    6
February 10th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

check with the telco operators with regards to the pricing of        Plantronics has introduced the Backbeat 216 and 116
the Curve 9380.                                                      headphones with microphones which are compatible with
                                                                     iPhone and Android devices, and boast high-quality audio
                                                                     performance be it listening to your favorite music, or
Report: AMD Radeon HD                                                answering calls.
7750/7770 Specifications
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/report-amd-radeon-hd-77507770-
specifications/14829.html
February 10th, 2012




Purported final specifications for AMD's upcoming Radeon
HD 7700 series have leaked online. Based on Cape Verde,
these will be the cheapest 28nm GCN chips in the HD 7000
family, competing in the mainstream market.
The Cape Verde chip features 1.5 billion 28nm transistors,
with a die sized at a tiny ~130mm2. Cape Verde will be the
cheapest of GCN chips in the Southern Islands family, with           Plantronics has announced the two new BackBeat stereo
10 CU. This equates to 640 SP and 40 TMU. Cape Verde                 headphones with microphone for smartphones with
features 16 ROP and a 128-bit memory interface. However,             multimedia capabilities. Compatible with iPhone and
thanks to increased efficiency with GCN and an immense 1             Android phones, the BackBeat 216 and BackBeat 116
GHz clock, the HD 7770 manages to come close to VLIW-5               headphones deliver high-quality audio performance and
based HD 6850 in leaked benchmarks, while being clearly              easy switching between music and calls. The Plantronics
faster than the likes of HD 6790 or GTX 550 Ti. HD 7770              BackBeat 216 is a certified headphone with microphone
consumes a meagre 80W, well below HD 6850 or even HD                 for the Apple iPod, iPhone and iPad. The corded stereo
5770/6770.                                                           headphones provide plug-and-play simplicity and feature
HD 7750 features 8 active CUs or 512 SP. Core clocks are             noise-isolating ear buds with neodymium micro-speakers
down to 800 MHz for a theoretical SP throughput of 819               that boost bass levels and deliver well-balanced high and
Gflops - only 65% of HD 7770. However, the memory clocks             mid ranges. The BackBeat 216 also features a discreet inline
are retained at 4.5 GHz and both HD 7750 and HD 7770                 controller with built-in microphone for convenient calling
feature 1GB GDDR5 with a memory bandwidth of 72 GB/                  plus volume and music track control.
s. HD 7750 should offer HD 6770 / GTX 550 Ti level of                The new BackBeat 116 features the popular earbud form
performance but will do so only consuming 55W - which will           factor with asimpler in-line controller and built-in mic. The
surely make it the fastest GPU not requiring a PCI-e power           standard 3.5mm stereo connector and interface makes it
connector.                                                           compatible with the iPhone, iPod and iPad, as well as most
Both HD 7770 and HD 7750 are expected to be reasonably               Android-based phones, Blackberry and other music phones.
priced - at €115/$129 and €90-100/$99-$110 respetively. If           The BackBeat 116 will be offered in stylish colors such as
these prices are held in retail and AMD can maintain supply,         Glow Green and Electric Blue.
the HD 7700 is sure to become a popular option for gamers            Pricing and Availability
on a budget.                                                         The Plantronics Backbeat 216 is selling at S$69, while the
                                                                     Backbeat 116 is retailing at S$39. Available at Apple stores

Plantronics BackBeat
                                                                     (EpiCentre, Macshop), Challenger, Newstead, Sprint-Cass
                                                                     (Changi Airport T2, T3), Funan DigitalLife Mall (AAAs Com,
216 and BackBeat 116                                                 Inforcom, PK Computers, South Asia), Sim Lim Square
                                                                     (AAAs Com, Million Mobile, Million Tech).
headphones promise superb
audio quality at amazing                                             Microsoft plans to roll in nine
prices                                                               major updates next Tuesday
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/plantronics-backbeat-216-and-
                                                                     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-plans-to-roll-in-nine-
backbeat-116-headphones-promise-superb-audio-quality-at-amazing-
                                                                     major-updates-next-tuesday/14827.html
prices/14824.html
                                                                     February 10th, 2012
February 10th, 2012




                                                                                                                                            7
February 10th, 2012                                                                                                     Published by: VR-Zone

Microsoft has given advanced notification of its plans to roll          We can however share with you the full official list of which
out nine patches on February's Patch Tuesday (Valentine's               models will be dressed in Ice Cream Sandwich attire, those
Day) next week which address 21 vulnerabilities. Four of                being :-
these updates carry severity ratings of 'Critical', while the           - HTC Sensation (XE, XL, 4G, and sans moniker) - Arriving
remaining patches are rated 'Important'.                                before the end of March.
Microsoft has given advanced notification of its plans to roll          - HTC Rezound
out nine patches on February's Patch Tuesday (Valentine's
Day) next week which address 21 vulnerabilities. Four of                - HTC Vivid
these updates carry severity ratings of 'Critical', while the
remaining patches are rated 'Important'.                                - HTC Amaze 4G
Seven of the nine updates deal with a series of bugs that
                                                                        - HTC EVO 3D
could potentially lead to remote code execution and the
other two address privilege elevation vulnerabilities.
                                                                        - HTC EVO Design 4G
These patches are applicable to all still commonly used
versions of Microsoft Windows (going as far back as XP)                 - HTC Incredible S
as well as Internet Explorer, Silverlight, Microsoft Server
Software, Microsoft Office and Microsoft .NET Framework.                - HTC Desire S
The updates are said to become available at about 10am PST
(or 6pm GMT) on the 14th.                                               - HTC Desire HD


HTC lets us know its Android                                            iOS 5.1 might be released on
4.0 rollout plans                                                       March 9th
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/htc-lets-us-know-its-android-4.0-   Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ios-5.1-might-be-released-on-
rollout-plans/14826.html                                                march-9th/14825.html
February 10th, 2012                                                     February 10th, 2012




Thanks to another update on HTC's Facebook page we can
get a clearer picture of what's happening on the Ice Cream
Sandwich front with regards to which models will get the
                                                                        Along with the now more than likely announcement of
update and (a very rough estimate of) when.
                                                                        Apple's iPad 3 within the first week of March, it looks like
Thanks to another update on HTC's Facebook page we can                  we could be seeing iOS 5.1 released around the same time -
get a clearer picture of what's happening on the Ice Cream              at least that's what a fresh discovery over at YourDailyMac
Sandwich front with regards to which models will get the                is indicating.
update and (a very rough estimate of) when.
                                                                        Along with the now more than likely announcement of
                                                                        Apple's iPad 3 within the first week of March, it looks like
                                                                        we could be seeing iOS 5.1 released around the same time -
                                                                        at least that's what a fresh discovery over at YourDailyMac
                                                                        is indicating.




                                                                        Apparently Apple has just published eleven new profiles for
                                                                        a number of iPhone-operators which are set to be released on
                                                                        March 9th. The profiles are designated for the iPhone 3GS,
                                                                        iPhone 4, iPod Touch 3G/4G, iPad and iPad 2 and are said
                                                                        to be compatible with iOS 5.1.
As was previously made known in an earlier status update,               These profiles are said to update the network connection
the full suite of Sensation series models will be getting some          for the iPhone so that it continues to work correctly after
Android 4.0 loving, including the XE, XL, 4G and sans                   jumping over to iOS 5.1. And normally when these profiles
moniker. These will be the first HTC phones to get the update           are released it is roughly the same time when the iOS
which is said to arrive before the end of March.                        update arrives, so we should be seeing that rolled out to the
We do not know as yet when exactly several other phones                 masses right around the March 9th date - which could also
from the company will be getting their respective updates               potentially be right about the same time as when Apple plans
- we're only told that it will be sometime 'later this year'.           to formally announce the third-gen iPad.


                                                                                                                                            8
February 10th, 2012                                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                         varying these products; it is not just about covers, but how
Belkin unveils new brand                                                 do one create accessories to handle devices like iPad and
identity and People-Inspired                                             GALAXY Tab and make the experience much better.

Products for 2012 in                                                     Belkin also showcased their huge range of products under
                                                                         home entertainment, as well as iPhone 4S and iPad 2
Singapore                                                                solutions.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/belkin-unveils-new-brand-identity-
and-people-inspired-products-for-2012-in-singapore/14820.html
February 10th, 2012




At yesterday's event in Singapore, Belkin unveiled their
new brand identity and new products for this year. The
new products include the ScreenCast AV4 which lets you
connect your home theatre equipment to your HDTV
wirelessly, N900 Advanced dual-band N+ router, LiveAction
Mic for the iPhone and other accessories.




At last month's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Belkin
announced its new brand identity which promises the
company's commitment to innovation and developing
People-Inspired Products (PIP). PIP is also the new Belkin
logo, an image made of nine dots to create a symbol of
a person. And to achieve the promise of delivering PIP,
the company is listening to customers and partners in the
development and improvement of their products.




                                                                         The Belkin N900 Advanced Wireless dual-band N+ router
                                                                         features improved gaming speeds, increased download
                                                                         speeds, fewer dead zones, multiple device connectivity and
Kevin Gilmore, senior director for Belkin Asia Pacific, said
                                                                         improved reach. It also supports many Wi-Fi devices and
that the interesting thing about the smartphone revolution
                                                                         media intensive activies including online gaming and 3D
is the accessories-based products. While it is good to have
                                                                         video streaming. The Belkin ScreenCast AV4 can connect
people showing off their products, the real challenge is
                                                                         your home theatre equipment to your HDTV and keeps
                                                                                                                                    9
February 10th, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

devices out of sight. It can connect four HDMI AV devices,           details about the upcoming AMD GPU along with a viral
Blu-ray player, gaming consoles and others wirelessly. The           website for the same pills.
Belkin ScreenCast AV4 will be available in May this year,            The "natural performance enhancement" pill is called
while the N900 advanced wireless dual-band N+ router will            "Verdetrol" which not only refers to Cape Verde but is also
be available soon.                                                   an obvious jab at NVIDIA. AMD sends in exactly 28 pills - as
                                                                     we know Cape Verde is a GCN based 28nm GPU.


Rumour: NVIDIA GK104
Specifications
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rumour-nvidia-gk104-
specifications/14823.html
February 10th, 2012

Needless to say, such reports should be taken with fair
amounts of salt. However, 3D Center's previous such
compilation for Tahiti turned out to be fairly accurate.
Kepler introduces a radical new architecture but the overall
structure may be somewhat similar to Fermi. GK104
features 4 overall Graphics Processing Clusters (GPC) - twice
that of GF114. Each GPC has 4 SMs - same as GF114.
However, each SM now consists of 96 SP or CUDA cores -
again twice that of GF114. Each SM features 8 TMU. The end
resut is 16 SMs, 1536 SP and 128 TMU. GK104 continues to
feature 32 ROP and 256-bit memory interface like GF114.              HD 7770 is now all but confirmed as world's first 1
The core clock is expected to be 950 MHz for the top bin,            GHz reference GPU. The "Never Settle" slogan for HD
slightly higher than HD 7970. As previously rumoured, the            7000 family continues, this time pushing "Never Settle for
hotclock for shaders has been dropped, so the shaders will           Average Performance". The viral website can be viewed
operate at 950 MHz as well. Of course, the drop in shader            at www.verdetrol.com, where a promotional video will be
clocks is compensated by massively increasing shader count           uploaded soon. HD 7700 series is rumoured to release in
- a similar strategy to AMD. The end result is 1536 SP clocked       February with performance close to HD 6850.
at 950 MHz for 2.9 SP TeraFlops and a 1/6 DP rate of 486
GFlops.                                                              Sony reveals plans for eight
The 256-bit memory interface now uses 2GB GDDR5 and
the memory controller is also improved over Fermi, now               new E-mount lenses
                                                                     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-reveals-plans-for-eight-new-e-
clocking at 5 GHz GDDR5 for a bandwidth of 160 GB/s.
                                                                     mount-lenses/14819.html
However, this is still massively short of HD 7970's 260 GB/s.
                                                                     February 10th, 2012
The die size for GK104 is "unofficially estimated" at
340mm2, which is slightly lower than Tahiti's 365mm2. The
first GK104 product is due to be released in early Q2 2012.


AMD teases Cape Verde / HD                                           There's no doubt that Sony's NEX interchangeable lens
7700 with... Pills                                                   cameras have been a roaring success for the company, but
                                                                     many users have been disappointed with the lack of lenses.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-teases-cape-verde-hd-7700-
                                                                     Sony did address this to some extent last year, but during
with...-pills/14821.html
                                                                     the CP+ show in Japan the company unveiled a roadmap
February 10th, 2012
                                                                     showing an additional eight lenses being planned between
                                                                     now and next year.


                                                                     There's no doubt that Sony's NEX interchangeable lens
                                                                     cameras have been a roaring success for the company, but
                                                                     many users have been disappointed with the lack of lenses.
In a most unique marketing stunt, AMD is sending out                 Sony did address this to some extent last year, but during
special pills to internet websites. Yes, you read that right,        the CP+ show in Japan the company unveiled a roadmap
pills. They are no ordinary pills, however, they reveal several      showing an additional eight lenses being planned between
details about the upcoming AMD GPU along with a viral                now and next year.
website for the same pills.                                          As always with these things, Sony has been pretty vague in
In a most unique marketing stunt, AMD is sending out                 terms of what to expect, but the roadmap contains a wide
special pills to internet websites. Yes, you read that right,        range of lenses that should hopefully suit as wide a range
pills. They are no ordinary pills, however, they reveal several      of users. Starting at the top we have a Sony G branded high
                                                                     performance standard zoom, a lens that Sony has shown off
                                                                                                                                          10
February 10th, 2012                                                                                          Published by: VR-Zone

prototypes of in the past. It's not clear what zoom range this
lens will cover when it launches, but many are hoping for
something like a 16-50mm f/2.8 lens, something that isn't
impossible, especially considering the size of the mock up
that Sony has been showing in the past, which is nearly as
long as the 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 lens. Sadly this lens has been
pushed back from earlier roadmaps where it looked like it
would launch this year to what appears to be next year.




                                                                    a) Express your love with a scrapbook of your
                                                                    journey together as a couple – just download
                                                                    suitable   templates   from   http://www.hp.com/hho/
                                                                    hp_create/p_and_s-scrapbooks.html and you can start
                                                                    getting creative with the photographs you have taken
Moving on we have a high-magnification zoom lens, a                 together.
standard zoom – which we presumed the current 18-55mm
f/3.5-5.6 lens was – a wide angle zoom, something that
Sony is missing in its range and a mid-magnification zoom,
another lens which isn't quite clear as to what it is. The first
three should launch this year with the last coming in early
2013 judging by the roadmap.
As for prime lenses, Sony is planning a large aperture
standard lens – read expensive – a middle telephoto and a
“snap” lens which will be the second pancake lens for the
E-mount. Only the large aperture lens is expected this year,
with the other two coming next year. One of the downsides of
Sony's APS-C size sensor is the fact that the company ends up
making fairly large lenses for the diminutive NEX cameras,          b) Fresh flowers don’t last? Make your own paper ones.
something that is at least in part negating the size of the         Fuchsia flowers (http://www.hp.com/hho/hp_create/
camera bodies. We'll see how many new camera bodies Sony            party_kits_decorations-decorations-fuchsia.html?
manages to launch before all the new lenses have arrived,           ref=themes_holidays_valentines_day) or roses: http://
but we'd guess that the company manages to launch at least          www.hp.com/hho/hp_create/party_kits_decorations-
a couple of new models between now and then.                        decorations-3d_rose.html?
                                                                    ref=themes_holidays_valentines_day? Take your pick!
Make your own V-Day gift for
greater impact - HP shows
you how
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/make-your-own-v-day-gift-for-
greater-impact--hp-shows-you-how/14817.html
February 10th, 2012




                                                                    c) If you are eschewing the usual romantic dinner for a quiet
                                                                    time at home, why not engage in some fun bonding activities
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, HP Singapore
                                                                    ala Valentine’s Day Bingo? just print out the materials from
has introduced some ideas for those who are looking to make
                                                                    this link http://www.hp.com/hho/hp_create/toys_games-
their own V-Day gift.
                                                                    games-valentine_bingo.html?
                                                                    ref=themes_holidays_valentines_day and you are all set!




                                                                                                                               11
February 10th, 2012                                                                                             Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                       rather it has Intel's entry level mobile Atom N2600 under
                                                                       the hood.


                                                                       Although Intel's new mobile Atom processors were
                                                                       announced at the very end of last year, retail availability of
                                                                       netbooks based on the new processors was meant to start
                                                                       by mid-January, but it's taken Acer until now to get its first
                                                                       product out in the market. The Aspire One D270 is not as
                                                                       you might be forgiven to think; sporting an Atom D2700, but
                                                                       rather it has Intel's entry level mobile Atom N2600 under
                                                                       the hood.




d) For singletons, this is not a day to despair! Celebrate
the blessings you already have by showing your family
and friends how much you care with a card. Go
here: http://h30393.www3.hp.com/printing/app/us/en/
gc_valentines_critter_friends-landing.aspx,    personalize
with a message and a photo and print!


                                                                       Besides the CPU upgrade, the only really interesting thing
                                                                       on offer is the fact that Acer has kitted out the D270 with
                                                                       an HDMI port which means that it can be used for watching
                                                                       content on a large screen display. Everything else about the
                                                                       D270 is typically netbook, as you get a measly 1GB of RAM –
                                                                       do note that the N2600 only supports up to 2GB unlike the
                                                                       other Cedar Trail models – a 320GB hard drive, larger than
                                                                       in the past, but hardly mind blowing and a typical 1024x600
                                                                       resolution 10.1-inch netbook screen.

e) Who says Valentine’s Day should only be spent with your
significant other? Enjoy time together with your family on
Valentine’s Day. Sit around the table and have some good
old family fun. Print these beautiful games from HP Creative
Studio and enjoy hours of fun with your family members!
There’s a whole host of other Valentine’s Day gift and
game ideas you can explore at the HP Creative Studio –
just hop on over to: http://www.hp.com/hho/hp_create/
themes_holidays_valentines_day.html


Acer's first Atom N2600
netbook goes on sale                                                   You do of course get luxuries like a webcam – Acer
                                                                       didn't bother to specify what kind – 802.11b/g/n Wi-
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/acer-s-first-atom-n2600-netbook-
                                                                       Fi, 10/100Mbit Ethernet, three USB 2.0 ports, a D-sub
goes-on-sale/14818.html
                                                                       connector, a memory card reader and a pair of audio jacks.
February 10th, 2012
                                                                       The only good news is that Acer does at least include a 6-cell
                                                                       battery pack that is rated at up to 8h of usage; something of
                                                                       a bonus considering so many netbooks recently has shipped
                                                                       with 3-cell battery packs.


Although Intel's new mobile Atom processors were
announced at the very end of last year, retail availability of
netbooks based on the new processors was meant to start
by mid-January, but it's taken Acer until now to get its first
product out in the market. The Aspire One D270 is not as
you might be forgiven to think; sporting an Atom D2700, but

                                                                                                                                  12
February 10th, 2012                                                                                             Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                 this gives us about 8mW. The significant thing here is
                                                                 that Micron claims that its DDR3Lm memory managed
                                                                 to improve upon this by up to 50 percent, so in other
                                                                 words DDR3Lm memory should have a self-refresh of about
                                                                 4mW, calculated on a 1Gbit chip at 1333MHz. The smallest
                                                                 DDR3Lm chips are 2Gbit though and these are expected to
                                                                 be operating at 1600MHz. As the speed and size increase, so
                                                                 does the self-refresh power draw.
                                                                 Micron will also have 4Gbit parts with speeds of up to
                                                                 1866MHz and here the company has specified a self-refresh
                                                                 current of 3.7mA or less than 5mW. It might seem like a
                                                                 trivial power saving, but it all adds up when you're running
                                                                 on battery power. Of course the self-refresh power draw
The 1.3kg Aspire One D270 isn't exactly impressing in            only matters when the memory is in standby mode, but
terms of specifications, but it has one redeeming feature        considering how often computing devices are left idling, or
and that's is the price. Acer US is listing it for a mere US     in standby power mode, this is a way to reduce useless power
$279.99 (S$350) which makes it one the cheapest netbooks         draw. The new DDR3Lm memory chips will be made using
to date made by one of the large brand name notebook             Micron's 30nm class DRAM manufacturing process and the
manufacturers. Did we mention that it comes in a choice of       company is expecting to start shipping DDR3Lm chips in
black, blue, silver or red?                                      Q2, although the company is already sampling chips to its
                                                                 partners.
Micron announces DDR3Lm
memory for mobile computing Analyst Downgrades NVIDIA;
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/micron-announces-ddr3lm-memory-
for-mobile-computing/14816.html
                                                                    Claims no "Major Catalysts"
February 10th, 2012                                                 until Second Half 2012
                                                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/analyst-downgrades-nvidia-claims-
                                                                 no-major-catalysts-until-second-half-2012/14806.html
                                                                 February 10th, 2012

It's that time again when we're getting yet another letter to
add to the ones we already love and cherish when it comes
to memory acronyms and this time it's the letter m and it's
quite suitable that it comes from Micron then, in the shape
of its DDR3Lm memory. What DDR3Lm memory brings to
the table is reduced self-refresh power draw, something that     We have received word from 111-year old investment group
should help improve the battery life of mobile devices.          Sterne Agee that their analysts are removing NVIDIA from
                                                                 their "Catalyst Driven Idea List", claiming lack of innovation
                                                                 until second half of 2012.
It's that time again when we're getting yet another letter to
add to the ones we already love and cherish when it comes        NVIDIA's recent enthusiasm over Tegra 3 wasn't met with as
to memory acronyms and this time it's the letter m and it's      many design wins as the analysts expected, and the fact that
quite suitable that it comes from Micron then, in the shape      2011 came and went without Kepler didn't went unnoticed
of its DDR3Lm memory. What DDR3Lm memory brings to               with the financial analyst community.
the table is reduced self-refresh power draw, something that
should help improve the battery life of mobile devices.
Presumably the m stands for something like mobile, as
the DDR3Lm memory intended for use in notebooks and
tablets, although Micron seems to have forgotten to mention
that part in the press release. The trick here though is
what's called “low self-refresh power” something that can
potentially save a fair amount of power, depending on the
usage scenario.
One of the downsides of RAM, no matter the type used today,
is that it needs to continuously self-refresh, as otherwise it
will lose charge in the capacitors when the memory isn't
being accessed. This in turn would mean that data held
in the RAM would be lost. This is an oversimplification
of how things work, but explains the basic principle here.
Although we're only talking mW's here per DRAM chip,             If you feel that NVIDIA stock is unjustifiedly low at "just"
higher capacity chips use more power for the self-refresh.       $16 mark, the fact is that there are financial analysts who will
According to Micron's own spec sheets, its DDR3L 1333MHz         call the company out if they feel they're underperforming.
memory has a self-refresh current of 6mA and at 1.35V            According to 111-year old Sterne Agee investment group,

                                                                                                                                     13
February 10th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

NVIDIA is doing just that - underdelivering. The analyst               storage space for free users. Anyone going over the quota
firm announced they're removing NVDA from "Catalyst                    will likely have to pay a subscription fee, depending on which
Driven Idea List", their in-house overview of progressive              bracket of use they fall into.
companies.
Vijay Rakesh and Mark Kelley, financial analysts with the
group weighed heavily on NVIDIA's loss of Tegra 2 design
wins and lack of major design wins for Tegra 3, as well as
increased competition from AMD:
"We had put NVDA on our Catalyst Driven Idea list on
January 3 ahead of anticipated catalysts at CES and Mobile
World Congress (MWC). While there were some catalysts
at CES with the quad-core Tegra 3 integrating Touch on
its Ninja 5th core, CES also saw a Win8 Tablet prototype
running an NVDA Tegra. While we believe there could be
more catalysts with MWC February 27, we believe NVDA
shares are fairly valued here. MWC catalysts could include
Tegra 3 handsets with Icera baseband and some 7-10                     The service is believed to be a resurrection of the G-Drive
tablets running Android Ice Cream Sandwich.                            idea it proposed and killed off several years ago. This is
Overall PCs Continue to be Weak & New Tablet Ramps are                 certainly the time for such a move, as the cloud is becoming
Just Getting Announced - We believe near term PCs are                  increasingly big. There is also an opening in online storage
seasonally weaker, and while HDD supply is improving,                  as companies like MegaUpload are taken down, but Google
we believe PC demand continues to be weak. Also for                    will likely have to be a lot stricter with what kinds of files it
NVDA, Tegra 2 into tablets is ramping down, and while the              hosts to avoid similar problems.
company could have new Tegra 3 design wins into tablets,
we believe the production ramp on any new tablets in the
                                                                       Google's cloud service will allow users to share videos
April Q will not be as material.
                                                                       directly from the cloud and will likely feature integration
Discrete GPU Competition -- With AMD ramping 28-nm                     with other Google products, such as Google Docs and
Radeon HD7970 which delivers 5-30% better graphics                     possibly Google+.
performance than competitor GPUs on the market, paired
with integrated APU Llano and INTC's Ivy Bridge-Haswell,
we continue to believe the core discrete GPU market could              The service is expected to launch within weeks or months,
have some structural challenges."                                      suggesting there's mostly just polishing work remaining.
The question remains if this removal from the list and claim
that the stock price is a bit too high for their internal PT
(Price Target). You can read the full report here.
                                                                       Germany approves sale of
Google rumoured to launch                                              reworked Samsung Galaxy
cloud storage service                                                  Tab
                                                                       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/germany-approves-sale-of-reworked-
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-rumoured-to-launch-cloud-
                                                                       samsung-galaxy-tab/14814.html
storage-service/14815.html
                                                                       February 10th, 2012
February 10th, 2012




Google is rumoured to be working on a cloud storage service
that is believed to be nearing readiness for launch.
                                                                       A German court has given Samsung the go-ahead to sell its
Google is rumoured to be working on a cloud storage service            reworked Galaxy Tab in the country, putting an end to an
that is believed to be nearing readiness for launch.                   injunction secured by Apple last year.
                                                                       A German court has given Samsung the go-ahead to sell its
Sources close to the company suggest that the search giant is          reworked Galaxy Tab in the country, putting an end to an
working on a service that will rival Dropbox and possibly also         injunction secured by Apple last year.
Amazon and Microsoft, expanding the company's existing
storage offerings like Google Docs and Google Music by
offering a universal and scalable cloud storage solution.              The Dusseldorf state court ruled that there were clear
                                                                       differences between the reworked and renamed Galaxy Tab
                                                                       10.1N and the iPad, affirming an earlier preliminary ruling
No prices or storage limits are known at this stage, but since         that sought to allow Samsung's tablet back on the shelves.
Dropbox offers 2GB for free we can likely expect that Google
will do the same and might even offer significantly more

                                                                                                                                          14
February 10th, 2012                                                                                                Published by: VR-Zone

Germany was the primary arena where Apple won its case,                   Apple is seeking changes to rules regarding how patents
halting sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which many saw as                   relating to crucial technology are dealt with as the company
the biggest competition to the iPad. Now that Samsung has                 suffers from several patent disputes backfiring.
circumvented the ban by altering the product, a common                    Apple is seeking changes to rules regarding how patents
tactic in these cases, Apple can no longer try to monopolise              relating to crucial technology are dealt with as the company
the tablet market there.                                                  suffers from several patent disputes backfiring.


                                                                          The Cupertino, California-based company wants greater
                                                                          consistency and transparency in the application of rules
                                                                          relating to vital technology patent licenses.


                                                                          These kinds of licenses, which are intended to be shared
                                                                          on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (Frand) terms,
                                                                          include some that Samsung and Motorola have sued Apple
                                                                          over.


                                                                          Apple appears to be trying to undermine the lawsuits
                                                                          launched by rival firms using Google's Android operating
                                                                          system by suggesting they are breaching agreements they
                                                                          made to licensing technology to rivals in the interest
                                                                          of competition. The European Commission is already
                                                                          investigating Samsung over this, but Apple did not make a
                                                                          formal complaint in that case.




Samsung has fought back against Apple in Germany,
counter-suing the company over the alleged infringement of
three of its mobile patents. The Mannheim court has so far
rejected two of those claims and a third is to be decided in
early March.


With the legal war changing in favour of rivals to Apple, the
company has recently called for changes in how patent rules
should be applied, making proposals that would benefit it
and put its rivals at a distinct disadvantage.


What has transpired shows that trying to play the patent
game does not necessarily work if a company wants to beat
the competition. The companies should probably look to
pushing out new and better products with more innovative
                                                                          Apple's proposals are that companies should only be able to
features if they want to remain on top.
                                                                          claim an appropriate royalty rate, regardless of the place in
                                                                          the negotiation process. The costs should be determined as a
                                                                          percentage of the cost of components rather than the device
                                                                          as a whole, a policy which would particularly benefit Apple,
Apple wants patent rule                                                   given its high product costs.
changes as legal battles
backfire                                                                  Finally, it wants patent owners to agree not to seek
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-wants-patent-rule-changes-as-   injunctions that will ban the sale of products using a Frand
legal-battles-backfire/14813.html                                         patent. This is an incredibly biased proposal, as it would
February 10th, 2012                                                       ensure Apple products remain on sale, while Apple's non-
                                                                          Frand patents keep rival products off the shelves.


                                                                          Apple appeared to be okay with how patents worked when
                                                                          it launched its widespread patent claims against Samsung,
                                                                          HTC, Motorola and others in several countries around the
                                                                          world. When those companies fought back, however, and
                                                                          particularly when Motorola secured a sales ban of many of
                                                                                                                                     15
February 10th, 2012                                                                                                Published by: VR-Zone

Apple's products, now it seems to think there's problems
with the system.




Watch it OLED, LCD, Plasma:
Mitsubishi's "LaserVue" Laser
Projection TV Wins Energy
Star Award
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/watch-it-oled-lcd-plasma-
mitsubishi-s-laservue-laser-projection-tv-wins-energy-star-
award/14812.html
February 10th, 2012
                                                                   For US$3,699, you can buy a 75" LaserTV (yes, $100 for
                                                                   an inch) which brings plasma-like image quality (mitigating
                                                                   one of technological pitfalls), consumes around 100 Watts
                                                                   and delivers Full HD resolution in 120Hz. This TV is fully
                                                                   compatible with NVIDIA 3D Vision and 3D Vision 2 glasses
                                                                   as well - or you can buy Mitsubishi's own 3D glasses which
While OLED is taking a lot of media space recently, and LCD        utilize the same technology.
and Plasma TVs are touting 3D and Smart TV technologies,
there is a new player coming to the market. Mitsubishi's
"blast from the past" TV entered retail sales in the U.S.
LCD TV, LED TV (i.e. LCD with LED lighting), Plasma
                                                                   Intel Haswell to release
TV, 600Hz Plasma, 3DTV, Smart TV... while marketing is             between Mar-Jun 2013
trying to reinvent the wheel from two technologies, there          Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-haswell-to-release-between-
are companies that have experimented with alternative              mar-jun-2013/14810.html
way of creating motion pictures. Mitsubishi is one of              February 10th, 2012
those companies - the company manufacturers backside-
projection TV's based on conventional light bulb technology,
delivering large scale TV's at unbeatable prices.
Just how unbeatable those prices are...? Take a look at a 103"
Panasonic. It weighs 215 kilos and is priced at US$69,995.
For comparison, 92" Mitsubishi is US$3,380... and weighs           Intel's latest roadmap has leaked online, which confirms
88 kilos. Power consumption is also incomparable, 1550W            Haswell for H1 2013 and reveals a tentative release date
i.e. 1.55kW for the 103" panasonic, versus 216W taken by the       between March and June 2013.
rear projection Mitsubishi.
                                                                   Intel's latest roadmap has leaked online, which Haswell for
However, rear projection TVs have their downfalls equal to         H1 2013 and reveals a tentative release date between March
projectors: the bulb has a specific lifespan and you will have     and June 2013.
to replace it. Unless... we dial the clock four years ago at CES
2008. Mitsubishi showed its laser projection TV, using laser
beams instead of bulb. Besides the fact that this now closed
system has theoretical longer lifespan than LCDs and Plasma
TV's, LaserVue also cut down the power consumption in half.
Last week, after four years in development, Mitsubishi
finally released a 75" LaserVue "laser TV", which
immediately won Energy Star 2012 rating for most efficient
TV on the market.




                                                                   By now, we know much about Haswell, including detailed
                                                                   specifications, the graphics, and we have even seen a die
                                                                   shot. Like Ivy Bridge, Haswell will be fabbed at 22nm and
                                                                   appear in dual-core and quad-core variants. Unlike Ivy
                                                                   Bridge, Haswell will feature three graphics configurations -
                                                                   GT1, GT2 and GT3 and introduce a new socket - LGA 1150. It
                                                                   is also suggested that Haswell will bring the TDP for the top

                                                                                                                                           16
February 10th, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

SKUs back to 95W, after the top Ivy Bridge i7 3770K ducks
in at 77W. While the above roadmap is for desktops, we can
expect Haswell for notebooks around Q2 2013 as well. Of
course, Haswell is a long way away, and we have the small
matter of an impending Ivy Bridge release in April.
Interestingly, Ivy Bridge-E is not mentioned on the
roadmap, which covers till H1 2013. Thus, Sandy Bridge-E
is likely to continue as the enthusiast platform, co-existing
with Haswell for a while. This means before Sandy Bridge-
E goes EOL, it would have complemented three different
mainstream generations - Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge and
Haswell.


Issue 18 of The Overclocker
now online
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/issue-18-of-the-overclocker-now-
online/14809.html
February 10th, 2012




The 18th issue of the web's most popular overclocking
magazine, The Overclocker is now online for your reading
pleasure. With it comes some assistance in helping you
choose the right X79 motherboard, an investigative look
at the claimed inefficiency of ASUS' Crosshair V and a
one-on-one chat with overclocking extraordinaire, Andrew
"DrWeez" Roberts just to name a few highlights.                        Review wise, GeIL's EVO TWO PC3-19200 Quad-Channel
                                                                       RAM kit gets looked at in Issue 18 as well as Patriot's
The 18th issue of the web's most popular overclocking
                                                                       Pyro SE 240GB SSD, ASUS' Radeon HD 7970, GIGABYTE's
magazine, The Overclocker is now online for your reading
                                                                       G1.Assassin2 and G.Skill's RipJaws Z 2400MHz CL9 RAM.
pleasure. With it comes some assistance in helping you
                                                                       Adding to that is an in-depth review of Skyrim, a look at
choose the right X79 motherboard, an investigative look
                                                                       Cooler Master's COSMOS II, ASUS' VG278H monitor and
at the claimed inefficiency of ASUS' Crosshair V and a
                                                                       Corsair's Vengeance series K90 keyboard and M90 mouse.
one-on-one chat with overclocking extraordinaire, Andrew
"DrWeez" Roberts just to name a few highlights.
                                                                       I-O Data soon to release new
                                                                       23-inch IPS display
                                                                       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/i-o-data-soon-to-release-new-23-
                                                                       inch-ips-display/14808.html
                                                                       February 10th, 2012




                                                                       I-O Data is readying up a new 23-inch IPS based monitor for
                                                                       launch at the end of the month, initially set to arrive in the
                                                                       Japanese market at an equivilent cost of about US $347.
                                                                       I-O Data is readying up a new 23-inch IPS based monitor for
                                                                       launch at the end of the month, initially set to arrive in the
                                                                       Japanese market at an equivilent cost of about US $347.




                                                                                                                                              17
February 10th, 2012                                                                                               Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                         now listed for purchase over at HP's online store with free
                                                                         standard shipping.
                                                                         After a a brief announcement following a teaser video early
                                                                         into the new year, HP's new Envy 14 Spectre Ultrabook is
                                                                         now listed for purchase over at HP's online store with free
                                                                         standard shipping.




Dubbed the LCD-MF234XPGBR, this IPS display uses LED
backlighting and has 178 / 178 degree viewing angles
along with a native 1920 x 1080 resolution. Its maximum
brightness is rated at 250 cd/m2 along with a constrast ratio
of 1000:1 (80,000:1 DCR).
                                                                         The Envy 14 Spectre in base trim will set you back US
                                                                         $1,399,99. With that you get a 128GB SSD and Core
                                                                         i5-2467M processor, while HP also lists a "recommended
                                                                         configuration" model at US $1,899,99 which sports a 256GB
                                                                         SSD and Core i7-2770M processor.
                                                                         Size and weight isn't exceptional, but give it worthiness
                                                                         as part of the Ultrabook realm with its 20mm thickness,
                                                                         dimensions of 12.88" (W) x 8.7" (D) x 0.79" (H) and weighing
                                                                         in at about 1.8Kg.




Rated response time for the display is 14ms with mention of
an 'Overdrive' mode taking that number down to 8ms. It also
houses a couple 1.5W speakers and features an ECO mode
that does its bit to be more energy efficient.                           A particularly bold feature of the Envy 14 Spectre is the use
Connectivity wise, the LCD-MF234XPGBR has 1x D-Sub, 1x                   of Gorilla Glass in spades; used on its lid, display, palmrest
DVI and 2x HDMI inputs.                                                  and even the touchpad. Also standard is its Beats Audio
                                                                         support, backlit keyboard and near-field communication
                                                                         (NFC) (referred to as 'HP Touch to Share').
HPs Envy 14 Spectre                                                      The 14-inch Brightview Infinity LED display is confined to
Ultrabook now selling                                                    a resolution of just 1366 x 768, but word has it this spiffy
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hps-envy-14-spectre-ultrabook-now-   looking Ultrabook will be launching at the end of the month
selling/14807.html                                                       in the Asia-Pacific region with a higher resolution 1600 x
February 10th, 2012                                                      900 panel.




After a a brief announcement following a teaser video early
into the new year, HP's new Envy 14 Spectre Ultrabook is

                                                                                                                                    18
February 10th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                        These are all informations disclosed at press time. HWBOT
                                                                        and Gigabyte will disclose further information on February
                                                                        14, one day before the competition kicks off. There is no
                                                                        information will this competition last until Intel's Ivy Bridge
                                                                        processors make an appearance or not (April 8) so it's a wait
                                                                        and see game.
                                                                        For those that wish to participate, the only thing they need
                                                                        to do is register on HWBOT and respect the rules of the
                                                                        competition.
                                                                        Six more days to go...


                                                                        IBM, GlobalFoundries and
                                                                        Samsung to Present Next-
                                                                        Generation Chip Technology
According to E-Vonne Loh, product marketing manager of                  in March
HP Personal Systems Group, Asia Pacific and Japan, the                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ibm-globalfoundries-and-samsung-
HP ENVY14 Spectre is expected to retail from S$1,999 in                 to-present-next-generation-chip-technology-in-march/14804.html
Singapore. Customers who purchase the HP ENVY14 Spectre                 February 10th, 2012
will also receive one year of dedicated ENVY concierge
phone line for premium support which include failure for
any reason, spillage of liquids on the keyboard, theft etc. The
service also include a one-time wireless home setup of the
Ultrabook to the TV or even speakers. Loh also mentioned
that the concierge service could be available for all ENVY
products as well as countries in the region, in the near future         Three players joined in the largest foundry alliance - the
although no tentative dates yet.                                        Common Platform Alliance will present next generation
                                                                        silicon at the 2012 Common Platform Technology Forum in
                                                                        Santa Clara, California.
HWBOT and Gigabyte Launch
                                                                        With all the news about the changes in manufacturing
Spring Extreme Competition                                              with its clients (AMD is now a customer with all three
on February 15                                                          major vendors), it is easy to forget that three major players
                                                                        are actually in an alliance, jointly working on technology
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hwbot-and-gigabyte-launch-spring-
                                                                        development.
extreme-competition-on-february-15/14805.html
February 10th, 2012




Continuing in the tradition of overclocking competitions,
overclocking enthusiast community HWBOT is launching a
new competition, this time sponsored by Gigabyte.
Following the winter break, HWBOT is kicking off the
2012 competition season with Gigabyte's Spring Extreme
Competition.
The competition is divided into four stages, without any
regional restrictions. First stage is Wprime 32M, followed
by SuperPI 32M, PiFast and PCMark05 as the final, fourth
stage. As you can see beside the PCMark05 which has a GPU
component, the benchmarks are heavily CPU bound - neatly
leaving the graphics part out of equation. This should defer
the squabble between AMD Radeon 7000 series and the
upcoming GeForce 600 series for some time.
Competition is points-based, thus you will probably need to
aim as high as possible in all four competitions, with the              We have received news that on March 14, just a week
theoretical 40 points being the maximum score - first place             after CeBIT 2012 in Germany - IBM, GlobalFoundries and
is awarded with 10, second with 8, third with 6 points and
so on.
                                                                                                                                           19
February 10th, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone

Samsung Electronics will host the 2012 Common Platform               GALAXY Note owners, the app has failed to work and they
Technology Forum in Santa Clara, California.                         were unable to claim the voucher by the 31 January deadline.
The topics are mighty impressive - "previewing the future            It is hard to judge how bad the Samsung Hub app is
of silicon technology", as the press release put it. On the          as it is country-specific. Moreover, the company could be
conference, the mayor players will answer the questions put          developing a newer version to solve the problems Samsung
forward in terms of 28nm, 20nm and 14nm processes, the               users are facing. There's no word as to whether the Samsung
upcoming conversion to 450mm wafers (34% larger wafer                Hub Android app will be available here, but if it does,
than current 300mm).                                                 hopefully it will be an improvement to what the unhappy
                                                                     Samsung users are using now.
Besides      IBM/GlobalFoundries/Samsung          Electronics
triangle, there will be between 20 and 30 additional member
companies which create chips that end up in "majority of
world's mobile devices and consumer electronics."
                                                                     Samsung GALAXY Nexus and
                                                                     GALAXY Tab 7.7 arriving in
Samsung Hub Android app                                              Singapore on 11 February
in UK plagued by negative
                                                                     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-galaxy-nexus-and-galaxy-
                                                                     tab-7.7-arriving-in-singapore-on-11-february/14803.html

feedback                                                             February 10th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-hub-android-app-in-uk-
plagued-by-negative-feedback/14802.html
February 10th, 2012




                                                                     Samsung Asia has finally unveiled the availability of their
                                                                     highly anticipated GALAXY Nexus, which claims to be the
                                                                     world's first smartphone to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream
                                                                     Sandwich, and the GALAXY Tab 7.7. Both products will be
Samsung UK has launched the Samsung Hub app
                                                                     available this weekend.
recommendation tool in August last year. But the user
feedbacks have been far from positive by the looks of it.




                                                                     The Samsung GALAXY Nexus and GALAXY Tab 7.7 were
                                                                     unveiled in Singapore early this year, though the company
The Samsung Hub Android app is designed to let users find
                                                                     did not confirm when both products will be available. The
their favorite apps, as well as keep up to date on the latest
                                                                     GALAXY Nexus was jointly announced by Samsung and
apps. However, it seems that users in UK aren't exactly
                                                                     Google, and is the world’s first smartphone running Android
pleased with it. According to feedbacks that were listed on
                                                                     4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. The smartphone features a 4.65-
the Android Market website, some users were angry that the
                                                                     inch high definition Super AMOLED display and is equipped
Samsung Hub crashes occasionally and prompts Internet
                                                                     with a 1.2GHz dual core processor. Powered by 1.4GHz
connection problems even though there were none. Some
                                                                     dual core processor, the GALAXY Tab 7.7 claims to be the
users also felt the app was a bit pointless since they are
                                                                     world’s first tablet to feature the brilliant Super AMOLED
being redirected to the Android Market to download anyway,
                                                                     Plus display and is ideal for web-surfing, multitasking and
and the app that came preinstalled with Samsung devices,
                                                                     offers superior multimedia performance,
cannot be uninstalled. There also seems to be a special
promotion going on last month whereby consumers in UK                The Samsung GALAXY Nexus and GALAXY Tab 7.7 will
who purchases a Samsung GALAXY Note will get a free                  retail in Singapore on 11 February, this Saturday, at S$948
voucher containing £25 case and £120 worth of free music             (inclusive of GST) and S$898 (inclusive of GST) respectively,
and videos. Unfortunately, according to two of the Samsung           without line contract. The GALAXY Nexus will come in black
                                                                     and white versions.

                                                                                                                                        20
February 10th, 2012                                                                                           Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                      Notable features of the new dslr:-

                                                                         • Hi ISO range of 100 to 6400 which can be expanded to
                                                                           50-to-25600
                                                                         • 51-point Auto-Focus system
                                                                         • Auto-Focusing even with camera apertures of f/8 when
                                                                           used with teleconverters
                                                                         • Full HD video recording in either FX or DX format
                                                                         • External HDMI monitor output for video recording
                                                                         • Built-in Interval-meter for time-lapse capture of
                                                                           scenes
                                                                         • 100% video finder coverage
                                                                         • A 10% reduction of weight compared to the D700 yet
                                                                           still maintaining the water resistance and durability
On top of that, the Korean maker has also announced the                  • 3.2-inch LCD, USB 3.0, multiple battery options, built-
Coral Pink version of the GALAXY S II which will retail at                 in electronic horizon and more
S$888 (inclusive of GST), without line contract. The phone
will be available on 18 February.
                                                                      The huge leap in megapixels is said to bring the level of
Nikon Announces 36.3-                                                 the full-frame 35mm DSLR almost to the level of a medium
                                                                      format camera at a fraction of the cost. The difference
Megapixel D800/D800E                                                  between the D800 and D800E is the ability to disable
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nikon-announces-36.3-megapixel-   additional filtering in the D800E. Disabling the filtering
d800d800e/14797.html                                                  makes the D800E more suitable for shooting landscapes and
February 10th, 2012                                                   nature scenes.




Nikon announced on 7 February 2012 the successor to the
D700 after a three and a half year wait. The new D800 /
D800E are almost the same camera with the exception of an
'E'nhancement to the D800E and a presumably a small price
difference. The D800/D800E is a Full Frame digital SLR
also referred to as an FX body to distinguish the difference
in the sensor size with the smaller sensor of Nikon's APS-C
bodies being called, DX. The new digital camera is the first
35mm equivalent DSLR to receive and use a 36.3-Megapixel
sensor. To ensure image capture is done well a new 91K pixel
RGB sensor was developed and the D800/D800E gets the
Expeed 3 image processing engine.




                                                                                                                                21
February 10th, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone




Price to be advised.
D800 / D800E Brochure (Adobe Acrobat)
Check out Nikon's D800 Microsite here.



                                                                      The Live Gamer HD also features a built in H.264 hardware
AverMedia announces Live                                              encoder that can record your games at resolutions of up
Gamer HD live streaming                                               to 1080p30, although the pass-through signal is 1080p60,
                                                                      so the card shouldn't introduce any kind of lag or image
card                                                                  quality reduction. Another benefit of the Live Gamer HD
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/avermedia-announces-live-gamer-   over the Game Broadcaster HD is the option to connect it up
hd-live-streaming-card/14801.html                                     to your sound card so you can record other audio than what
February 10th, 2012                                                   is coming over the HDMI interface, something that could
                                                                      come in handy for those using teamspeak etc.
                                                                      AverMedia also supplies its own software called RECentral
                                                                      with the card which allows for live streaming to TwitchTV
                                                                      which is a site dedicated to live streaming games. To
                                                                      make starting and stopping the recording/live stream easier,
                                                                      AverMedia also supplies a rather over the top button that
Admittedly we can't say that we're spending a lot of time             connects over USB to your PC. It's an interesting product,
watching gameplay videos online and even less so as a live            although it still requires that console gamers have a desktop
stream, but there are plenty of people that do, least not             PC handy, but at least thanks to the hardware video encoder,
semi-professional and professional gamers that want to keep           PC gamers shouldn't be seeing any CPU usage spikes and
an eye on the competition. However, live streaming games,             compressed video won't cause hard drives to slow down
especially if you're not on a PC isn't as easy as it should be,       thanks to the smaller amount of data being written.
but AverMedia has announced a solution which should make
it a lot easier called the Live Gamer HD.                             Sadly we don't know how much the Live Gamer HD is going
                                                                      to cost, but we'd hazard a guess that it'll be more than
                                                                      the Game Broadcaster HD which is retailing for around US
Admittedly we can't say that we're spending a lot of time             $160 (S$200). The Live Gamer HD is expected to hit retail
watching gameplay videos online and even less so as a live            sometime in the next quarter and we suggest you check out
stream, but there are plenty of people that do, least not             the video below for some additional details.
semi-professional and professional gamers that want to keep
an eye on the competition. However, live streaming games,
especially if you're not on a PC isn't as easy as it should be,       Notebook makers find ARM
but AverMedia has announced a solution which should make              cheaper than x86, no-one
it a lot easier called the Live Gamer HD.
PC gamers haven't had too much of a problem getting live
                                                                      surprised
                                                                      Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/notebook-makers-find-arm-cheaper-
streams or recordings of their gameplay online, although one
                                                                      than-x86-no-one-surprised/14799.html
downside has been CPU and hard drive usage which could
                                                                      February 10th, 2012
result in unwanted lag when using software video recorders/
encoders. Recently a few solutions have appeared, like
AverMedia's own Game Capture HD and Game Broadcaster
HD, the first being an external hard drive recorder and the
other being a PCI Express card. What the new Live Gamer               It's surprising how certain apparently obvious things come
HD improves upon here is the ability to pass through the              as a chock to some and now notebook makers have noticed
video signal, enabling you to play games on your TV rather            that Intel and AMD's processors cost more than ARM based
than on your computer screen.                                         SoCs, something they think is an issue in the low-power

                                                                                                                                        22
February 10th, 2012                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

market space. As such, the notebook makers now wants             screen smartphone with the main differentiator being its 4:3
Intel and AMD to offer more competitive pricing ahead of         aspect ratio.
Microsoft's launch of Windows 8 to better compete with           LG Korea has a teaser website up for the new device and
ARM based products.                                              the company is suggesting that a large device like this is
                                                                 somehow meant to be more comfortable to hold in a 4:3
                                                                 form factor, a reasoning that seems a bit hard to follow. The
It's surprising how certain apparently obvious things come
                                                                 Optimus Vu is also rumoured to be shipping with a stylus,
as a chock to some and now notebook makers have noticed
that Intel and AMD's processors cost more than ARM based         which should operate in a similar fashion to Samsung's
                                                                 Galaxy Note. This is about as much as one can make out
SoCs, something they think is an issue in the low-power
                                                                 from the video, besides the fact that there's a micro USB port
market space. As such, the notebook makers now wants
                                                                 hidden behind a cover and the fact that there's a headphone
Intel and AMD to offer more competitive pricing ahead of
                                                                 jack and a couple of buttons on the top, but some alleged
Microsoft's launch of Windows 8 to better compete with
                                                                 specifications have also turned up online alongside with an
ARM based products.
                                                                 actual photograph of what should be the Optimus Vu.
This really sounds like a joke, but as Digitimes is reporting,
when it comes to low power devices, most likely tablets –
of which many are still being made by the notebook makers
even if some are also made by smartphone manufacturers –
x86 is simply too expensive. Now, traditionally you did tend
to get more performance for your buck, but with the latest
generations of dual and quad core ARM based SoCs, this
isn't always the case compared to entry-level, low-power x86
processors and this is most likely where the upset is coming
from.
It will be an interesting year, especially when it comes
to the ARM vs. x86 battle as there seem to be a general
market move towards ARM for a lot of different devices
that traditionally belonged to the x86 CPU makers. The
extra pressure of being cost competitive with ARM can't
be good news for AMD as the company is trying to re-
focus on mainstream and developing markets, in which both
ARM based products are taking a larger market share. Intel
isn't having quite the same pressure, but even so, it's not
going to be easy for Intel to get design wins for its Atom       We wouldn't bet our farm on these specifications, but
processors unless the company can compete on price as well       the Optimus Vu is said to feature a 1.5GHz Qualcomm
as performance.                                                  Snapdragon SoC, most likely the APQ8060 due to the fact
                                                                 that we should be looking at an LTE equipped device here.
                                                                 There should also be 8GB of internal storage memory,
LG's peculiar Optimus Vu                                         potentially 1GB of RAM and a micro SD card slot present. An
teased                                                           8Megapixel camera, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi of some kind and
                                                                 NFC are all also said to be part of the package.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-s-peculiar-optimus-vu-
teased/14798.html
February 10th, 2012




It's tough differentiating yourself as a mobile phone
manufacturer these days, but LG's upcoming Optimus Vu
seems to be a pretty good attempt at creating something
slightly difference in the hybrid smartphone/tablet space.
The Optimus Vu is a rather large 5-inch black slab of a touch
screen smartphone with the main differentiator being its 4:3
aspect ratio.


It's tough differentiating yourself as a mobile phone
manufacturer these days, but LG's upcoming Optimus Vu
seems to be a pretty good attempt at creating something
slightly difference in the hybrid smartphone/tablet space.
                                                                 A couple of oddities include the screen resolution which
The Optimus Vu is a rather large 5-inch black slab of a touch
                                                                 is expected to be 1024x768, the same as Apple's iPad, but

                                                                                                                            23
February 10th, 2012                                            Published by: VR-Zone

lower than many competing devices and the fact that we're
apparently looking at an Android 2.3 device here as it still
has touch buttons below the display, something Android
4.0 devices won't be having. Then there's what appears to
be a beam of light coming out of the Optimus Vu in the
video which has sparked some rumours suggesting that it
might have an integrated pico projector, something LG has
tried once before, albeit only as an accessory for a single
smartphone model in the US. We'll let you draw your own
conclusions, but as the device is rumoured to launch this
month, we shouldn't have to wait too long to find out the
facts.




                                                                                 24
February 14th, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone




VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks!
                                                                       “This launch is just the beginning for Angry Birds on
  VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly                         Facebook,” said Petri Järvilehto, SVP of Game Publishing at
  publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the            Rovio. “We have great new features and gameplay lined up
  geeks.                                                               for the fans in the upcoming weeks. Angry Birds on Facebook
                                                                       will offer a unique experience for our fans, and we’re really
                                                                       excited to finally be on the platform.”
Angry Birds finally launches
on Facebook                                                            As part of the launch festivities Rovio is offering 14
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/angry-birds-finally-launches-on-   free power-ups to Facebook players between now and 16
facebook/14873.html                                                    February. The game be played here.
February 14th, 2012

Rovio has finally launched Angry Birds on Facebook,
along with several new features, including power-ups and               Elpida fears it might go under
Facebook-exclusive levels.                                             due to rising debt
                                                                       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/elpida-fears-it-might-go-under-due-
                                                                       to-rising-debt/14872.html
The popular bird-flinging mobile game is now open to
                                                                       February 14th, 2012
Facebook's more than 845 million members just in time for
Valentine's Day, giving lovers and loveless alike an outlet to
vent frustration on hapless little pigs hiding beneath wood
and stone constructs.
                                                                       Japanese chipmaker Elpida Memory said its future is
The Facebook version is not just a clone of the smartphone             uncertain as it finds it increasingly difficult to repay its
and tablet game, however, as there are many unique                     growing debts.
elements that take advantage of social networking. For                 Japanese chipmaker Elpida Memory said its future is
example, Facebook friends can give each other gifts and                uncertain as it finds it increasingly difficult to repay its
power-ups, players can compete against each other, and                 growing debts.
scores can be shared.

                                                                       The company, which makes DRAM chips, has unto April to
                                                                       pay back money it owes, but it said it might not be able to
                                                                       remain in business, suggesting bankruptcy is the most likely
                                                                       option as it approaches the deadline.


                                                                       Elpida had hoped to secure funding by the end of March, but
                                                                       now it believes it might not get this. Some analysts expect
                                                                       the Japanese government to step in to provide financial aid,
                                                                       particularly considering it provided funding for the company
                                                                       in the past.




There are several unique power-ups, which can be earned in
game, gained as gifts from friends, or bought with real cash.
The initial four include a Sling Scope for precision targeting,
a King Sling to improve power and velocity, Super Seeds to
increase the size of your birds, and Birdquake to cause splash         There are significant doubts over the future of the company
damage.                                                                today, however, as Elpida revealed that its discussions with
                                                                       the Development Bank of Japan and its main lenders fell

                                                                                                                                             1
February 14th, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone

through. Merger talks with Nanya Technology also appear to
have gone nowhere.


The chipmaker needs a lot of support to pay back 92 billion
yen ($1.2 billion) worth of bonds and loans. Elpida has been
struggling to repay this, as chip prices continue to plummet
and the company has been making significant losses.


Part of Elpida's struggle is due to Samsung's expansion in
the chip sector, which has driven prices down and made
Elpida's business model untenable. With few allies to look to
for funding, it looks increasingly likely that Elpida will have
to close up shop in the near future.
                                                                     Samsung was recently brought up by the European
                                                                     Commission on allegations of patent abuse, but other
                                                                     companies, such as Apple and Motorola Mobility, could also
US and EU give green light to                                        face scrutiny. It is largely believed that Google's bid for
                                                                     Motorola Mobility was to gain its portfolio of over 17,000
Google and Motorola Mobility                                         patents, which could also bring Google into the crossfire.
deal
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/us-and-eu-give-green-light-to-   The European and US approval was largely considered
google-and-motorola-mobility-deal/14871.html                         the biggest obstacle for Google to overcome, and one that
February 14th, 2012                                                  Google VP Don Harrison said was an “important milestone,”
                                                                     but the company still needs approval from regulators in
                                                                     China, Taiwan and Israel before the deal goes through.
                                                                     Approval from Europe and the US makes it increasingly
                                                                     likely, however, that the acquisition will be given the green
                                                                     light elsewhere as well.
Google has cleared two major hurdles in its bid to acquire
Motorola Mobility as both European and US regulators
approved the deal within hours of each other.
                                                                     Independent labour group
Google has cleared two major hurdles in its bid to acquire
Motorola Mobility as both European and US regulators                 launches investigation of
approved the deal within hours of each other.                        Apple suppliers
                                                                     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/independent-labour-group-launches-
                                                                     investigation-of-apple-suppliers/14870.html
The $12.5 billion buyout has been held up by lengthy
                                                                     February 14th, 2012
investigations by regulators across the world, but the
European Commission recently ruled that the deal would
not negatively impact competition and therefore should be
allowed to go ahead. Hours later the US Department of
Justice also approved the acquisition.
                                                                     Apple has revealed that an independent non-profit labour
                                                                     group has launched a major investigation into the working
However, both regulators said they would keep a close eye
                                                                     conditions at a number of its suppliers, including the
on the behaviour of all companies in the mobile sector
                                                                     controversial Chinese firm Foxconn.
and expressed concern over the use of patents to crush
competition, suggesting they might bring in new laws to put          Apple has revealed that an independent non-profit labour
an end to the recent spate of patent lawsuits.                       group has launched a major investigation into the working
                                                                     conditions at a number of its suppliers, including the
                                                                     controversial Chinese firm Foxconn.


                                                                     The Fair Labor Association (FLA) began its investigation at
                                                                     Foxconn's factory in Shenzhen, better known as “Foxconn
                                                                     City.” Foxconn is under particular scrutiny after a wave
                                                                     of suicides and attempted suicides, including 14 deaths in
                                                                     2010.


                                                                     Suicide is not the only worry for Apple, as Foxconn also
                                                                     came under the spotlight again last year after an explosion at

                                                                                                                                         2
February 14th, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

its Chengdu factory killed three employees. The FLA is also                  • Cool - thanks to its Copper-Aluminum Heat Sink
investigating that facility.
                                                                             • Quiet - 135mm Super Silent HDB Fan
                                                                             • Safe - through Multiple Over Power Protections
                                                                             • Powerful - Single 12V Rail with 80A
                                                                             • Smart – Modular Flat cable system
                                                                             • Efficient - 80Plus Silver Certification*
                                                                             • Reliable – 5 year warranty
                                                                             • Environmental Friendly - ERP & RoHS

                                                                         *varies per Model
                                                                         The Silent Pro M2 Series will be available in 420W, 520W,
                                                                         620W, 720W as 80 Plus Bronze and 850W and 1000W
                                                                         models as 80 Plus Silver. These will be available from the
                                                                         beginning of March for these prices:

Foxconn assembles both the iPhone and iPad ranges, two
of Apple's most popular products, which makes Foxconn's
widely reported poor working conditions reflect badly on the
                                                                         Silent Pro M II 420W         € 79,90
Cupertino, California-based company.
                                                                         Silent Pro M II 520W         € 89,90
                                                                         Silent Pro M II 620W         € 99,90
Apple has attempted to rectify the problem, which is                     Silent Pro M II 720W         € 114,90
increasingly tarnishing its image, by launching several                  Silent Pro M II 850W         € 149,90
investigations of its own. Last month it released details of an
                                                                         Silent Pro M II 1000W        € 169,90
audit of its entire supply chain, a significant move to enhance
                                                                         Source : Coolermaster Press Release
transparency.


Other Apple suppliers, such as Quanta and Pegatron, will be
                                                                         Apple is toying with the idea
subject to investigations by the FLA later this year.                    of a mini iPad
                                                                         Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-is-toying-with-the-idea-of-a-
                                                                         mini-ipad/14868.html
Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, who took over from Steve Jobs last                February 14th, 2012
year, said that the inspections that are now underway are
“unprecedented … both in scale and scope.”


Image Credit: Steve Jurvetson


Cooler Master launches the                                               Rumours have been reignited about a smaller iPad after the
Silent Pro M2 PSU series                                                 Wall Street Journal made a statement that the company is
                                                                         testing an 8-inch model at the moment.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cooler-master-launches-the-silent-
pro-m2-psu-series/14869.html                                             Rumours have been reignited about a smaller iPad after the
February 14th, 2012                                                      Wall Street Journal made a statement that the company is
                                                                         testing an 8-inch model at the moment.
                                                                         In typical fashion the Cupertino firm remains tight lipped,
                                                                         but it's been indicated through sources working at some
                                                                         of Apple's suppliers that the company may well be
                                                                         accompanying next month's launch of its third-gen 9.7-inch
                                                                         iPad 3 with a mini iPad using a resolution of 1024 x 768 not
Coolermaster today launched an update of one of the world's              unlike the iPad 1 and 2.
most famous PSU series - the Silent Pro. The company
claims that the Silent Pro M2 is improved in every aspect
and that it has been designed to meet the broad needs of
enthusiasts and mainstream users alike. The power supplies
will feature a single 12V line, modular cabling and a number
of thermal/acoustic performance improvements.
Among the new features of the Silent Pro M2 series are:




                                                                                                                                                   3
February 14th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                        The phone is said to be around 9.8mm slim and incorporates
                                                                        ISP-LCD display for more vibrant and crisp images, though
                                                                        power consumption is similar to the 4.5-inch Nitro HD
                                                                        display. It will incorporate 4.3-inch 3D WVGA Nova
                                                                        touchscreen display, weighs 148g (20g lighter than Optimus
                                                                        3D), and comes with 8GB storage capacity, HDMI output,
                                                                        5-megapixel rear camera, and supports DLNA and HSPA
                                                                        connectivity. The model number is LG CX2, though it is
                                                                        likely to be named 3D Max. The LG smartphone will be
                                                                        carried by SK Telecom in Korea first before rolling out to
                                                                        other countries.


                                                                        Sharp Japan announces new
Both AU Optronics and LG Display are apparently testing
panels for the smaller tablet at the moment and it's also               70-inch AQUOS LC-70Q7 LCD
being rumoured that it will run on LTE.                                 TV
But remember, Apple does have a tendency to play around                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sharp-japan-announces-new-70-
with prototypes in various sizes which sometimes never see              inch-aquos-lc-70q7-lcd-tv/14866.html
the light of day, so it's difficult to say if the birth of a midget     February 14th, 2012
iPad is definitively on the cards at this time.


More information on LG
second 3D smartphone
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/more-information-on-lg-second-3d-   Fancy a new, large-size LCD TV? Well, Sharp Japan has
smartphone/14867.html                                                   just announced their latest 70-inch AQUOS LC-70Q7 LCD
February 14th, 2012                                                     TV which claims to provide superb quality images, and
                                                                        consumes less power compared to conventional 70-inch
                                                                        TVs.




Online sources suggest that Korean maker LG would be
showcasing their second 3D-capable smartphone at this
year's Mobile World Congress, and it could be called
Optimus 3D 2 or Optimus 3D Max.




                                                                        Sharp Japan has introduced their new AQUOS LC-70Q7 70-
                                                                        inch LCD TV, which is scheduled for release on 10 March,
                                                                        priced at 550,000 yen (approximately US$7,056). With such
                                                                        a huge display, you can have side-by-side Web browser
                                                                        screen, and television broadcasting simultaneously, though
                                                                        the recommended viewing distance is 2.6m. The LC-70Q7
                                                                        comes with a full high definition (1920 × 1080 pixels)
                                                                        panel and incorporates the proprietary UV2A technology
                                                                        which can have precise control of the alignment of liquid
                                                                        crystal molecules in the LCD panel structure; and four color
                                                                        technology for vibrant, accurate colors.
Last year, LG announced the glasses-free Optimus 3D
smartphone which lets you view 3D content such as                       It supports video recording to external USB HDD and
YouTube, games, apps and photo gallery with just a push of              is equipped with two digital tuners that lets you watch
a button. This year, the company is planning to launch a new            broadcast of real-time TV while recording the program.
3D-capable smartphone. According to rumors, the phone                   Other connectivity options include optional wireless LAN
could be named the Optimus 3D 2 or Optimus 3D Max, and                  adapter, HDMI input, composite video input, and analog
reveal itself at the upcoming Mobile World Congress 2012 at             RGB. The Sharp LCD TV also has energy-saving features
Barcelona.


                                                                                                                                            4
February 14th, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

such as automatic screen brightness adjustment according                 Extreme Edition CPUs, indicating the lack of a bundled
to the ambient lighting.                                                 cooler.
                                                                         Overclocking wise we know little at this point in terms of
Intel's Core i7-3820 LGA 2011                                            what it's capable of getting to on average. It's said to be a
                                                                         'limited unlocked' chip which means it has a more limited
CPU quietly appears                                                      range of multiplier options available.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-core-i7-3820-lga-2011-cpu-

                                                                         Sony considers prospect of
quietly-appears/14865.html
February 14th, 2012

                                                                         Vita OS on smartphones and
                                                                         tablets
                                                                         Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-considers-prospect-of-vita-os-
                                                                         on-smartphones-and-tablets/14864.html
                                                                         February 14th, 2012
AKIBA PC has reported that Intel's Core i7-3820 processor
has been spotted for purchase in Japan with a price tag of
25,000 Yen, converting over to about US $322.
AKIBA PC has reported that Intel's Core i7-3820 processor
has been spotted for purchase in Japan with a price tag of
25,000 Yen, converting over to about US $322.
                                                                         It's possible that we'll be seeing a range of Vita OS running
                                                                         smartphones and tablets in the future to come. At least that's
                                                                         the hint given by Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai during a Q&A last
                                                                         Friday.
                                                                         It's possible that we'll be seeing a range of Vita OS running
                                                                         smartphones and tablets in the future to come. At least that's
                                                                         the hint given by Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai during a Q&A last
                                                                         Friday.
                                                                         It was said during the talk that while the Vita OS has debuted
                                                                         in a gaming device, it is actually a mobile OS with significant
                                                                         room for expandability. SCE's Senior Vice President Yoshio
                                                                         Matsumoto also chimed in when the relative questions were
                                                                         put forth by saying, "If you're asking if we've made it
                                                                         in a way that's expandable, so that it's possible to apply
                                                                         to smartphones and tablets on top of achieving the high
                                                                         responsiveness we need for gaming devices--it is possible.
                                                                         That doesn't mean that we're applying it to smartphones
This LGA 2011 Sandy Bridge-E based processor is the new                  and tablets at this point in time, but it's been designed with
entry level choice when going down the LGA 2011 route                    expandability in mind".
- a quad core unit with eight threads, running at a stock
clock frequency of 3.6GHz and 3.9GHz when Turbo Boost is
active. The CPU has 10MB of L3 cache and a TDP of 130W.




                                                                         When considering what Vita OS provides as is on the
                                                                         PlayStation Vita it's not hard to see it being incorporated into
                                                                         a smartphone or tablet. It's already equipped with a range
The retail packaging for the processor looks to be the same              of useful apps such as Twitter, Facebook, Netflix and Skype
size as that used for the Core i7-3930K and Core i7-3960X                etc. then there's all the mobile functions included like web


                                                                                                                                                   5
February 14th, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

browsing, 3G connectivity, location-based social networking
and camera functions etc.                                                ASUS unveils Eee Pad
Nonetheless, it's difficult to predict just how long it would            Transformer TF101 with built-
take to bring the software across to the smartphone and
tablet world in a way that it would be instantly competitive
                                                                         in WiMAX
                                                                         Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-unveils-eee-pad-transformer-
against the two super well established dominants, iOS and
                                                                         tf101-with-built-in-wimax/14862.html
Android.
                                                                         February 14th, 2012


GeIL expands into SSD
market with Zenith S2 and S3
series
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/geil-expands-into-ssd-market-with-
                                                                         Last year, ASUS announced their Eee Pad Transformer
zenith-s2-and-s3-series/14863.html
                                                                         TF101. And today, the Taiwanese company has unveiled
February 14th, 2012
                                                                         the model that comes with integrated WiMAX capabilities,
                                                                         which is scheduled to retail in Japan later this month.



GeIL has become the next memory maker to expand into the
SSD market with its first series of drives being readied up for
a likely time of availability when CeBIT comes around next
month.
GeIL has become the next memory maker to expand into the
SSD market with its first series of drives being readied up for
a likely time of availability when CeBIT comes around next
month.




                                                                         ASUS has announced the Eee Pad Transformer
                                                                         TF101-WiMAX, which comes with a built-in WiMAX
                                                                         communication module. The Android tablet will be available
                                                                         in Japan from 25 February at 49,800 yen including tax
                                                                         (approximately US$639). The ASUS Eee Pad TF101-WiMAX
                                                                           features 10.1-inch touchscreen LCD with 1280×800 pixel
Dubbed the Zenith series, these 2.5-inch solid state drives
                                                                         resolution, and runs Google Android 3.2.1 Honeycomb.
come in two flavours; the more value positioned Zenith S2
                                                                         It is equipped with 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor with
with a SATA 3.0 Gbps interface and performance focused
                                                                         16GB memory and offers IEEE 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN,
Zenith S3 which is SATA 6.0Gbps and packed with the latest
                                                                         IEEE 802.16e WiMAX (2005 compliant) and Bluetooth
Sandforce SF-2000 series goodness.
                                                                         2.1+EDR. The tablet was launched in June 2011 and
The Zenith S2 will launch with 60 and 120GB capacity                     this model basically has the same specifications except
choices, delivering read and write speeds of up to 280MB/s               for the additional WiMAX communication module and
and 270MB/s respectively. The Zenith S3 lineup is broader                the newer version of the OS. According to ASUS, the
with capacities of 60GB, 120GB, 240GB and 480GB being                    WiMAX capabilities can provide up to 40Mbps downlink
offered and with performance likely well over the 500MB/                 and 15.4Mbps uplink, and you can tether to up tp six
s mark.                                                                  wireless LAN equipment. No word as to when the ASUS Eee
Competition is certainly fierce in this segment these days               Pad Transformer TF101-WiMAX will be available in other
and showing no sign of slowing down with the likes of Intel              countries.
having just outed its new 520 series performance line. But if
GeIL can introduce the Zenith range at the right price points
and get their name out there for producing quality SSDs then
                                                                         Fairchild semi has solved the
they could be off to a flying start in being a tough competitor          headset connector issue
to beat.                                                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fairchild-semi-has-solved-the-
                                                                         headset-connector-issue/14861.html




                                                                                                                                                 6
February 14th, 2012                                                                                        Published by: VR-Zone

February 14th, 2012                                               February 14th, 2012




In as much as we're all for Bluetooth headsets, they're
generally not that great for listening to music on, but getting   Apparently Samsung is none too concerned about the MWC
a high-quality wired headset that actually works with your        at the end of this month, since the company has seemingly
phone isn't always that easy, as not every manufacturer           decided to launch its new devices at its own leisure. The
wires up the connector the same. An unlikely candidate has        latest addition to Samsung's stable of tablets was announced
stepped up to the task of solving this problem in the shape       at the Samsung Forum held in Prague and it's an updated
of Fairchild Semiconductor with its FSA8049 cross point           version of the original Galaxy Tab which will be known as
switch.                                                           the Galaxy Tab 2.


In as much as we're all for Bluetooth headsets, they're           Apparently Samsung is none too concerned about the MWC
generally not that great for listening to music on, but getting   at the end of this month, since the company has seemingly
a high-quality wired headset that actually works with your        decided to launch its new devices at its own leisure. The
phone isn't always that easy, as not every manufacturer           latest addition to Samsung's stable of tablets was announced
wires up the connector the same. An unlikely candidate has        at the Samsung Forum held in Prague and it's an updated
stepped up to the task of solving this problem in the shape       version of the original Galaxy Tab which will be known as
of Fairchild Semiconductor with its FSA8049 cross point           the Galaxy Tab 2.
switch.
What is a cross point switch you ask? Well, it's a little chip
that would be integrated into the handset you're using at the
time it's being manufacturer and it has the ability to detect
the type of headset that's being connected to the handset.
It will automatically detect the location of the ground and
microphone poles on the headset and thus allow any type
of headset or headphones to be used, something that isn't
always the case today.




                                                                  The big news here is of course the OS, as the Galaxy Tab 2 is
The chip could of course be used in just about any device         Samsung's first tablet with Android 4.0. However, this is far
with an audio jack to auto detect what's being plugged into       from the only upgrade that the 7-inch tablet has received as
the jack and with modern laptops seemingly moving to a            we're looking at all new internals with an unspecified 1GHz
single jack for headsets, this is another potential market        dual core processor, HSPA+ connectivity up to 21Mbps (on
where you have the same problem. Now if only all the device       the 3G model which also features A-GPS and GLOSNASS),
makers would be willing to implement the FSA8049 into             a new 3Megapixel camera that can shoot full HD video
their devices and the life of all consumers would be so much      and a new PLS screen, although with the same 1024x600
easier.                                                           resolution.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 with
Android 4.0 announced
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-galaxy-tab-2-with-
android-4.0-announced/14860.html




                                                                                                                              7
February 14th, 2012                                                                                                     Published by: VR-Zone




                                                                        TI has announced no less than five different series with three
                                                                        sub-categories in each series, as seen in the table below. The
                                                                        most basic versions only supports Wi-Fi connectivity, but
                                                                        moving up just one step you gain Bluetooth 4.0 support and
                                                                        an FM radio (receive and transmit), whereas more advanced
                                                                        models adds NFC and what its now referred to as GNSS, a
                                                                        combination of GPS and GLOSNASS. The interesting thing
                                                                        here is that TI has added support for 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi or
Other changes include storage options of 8, 16 and 32GB                 alternatively SISO 40MHz and TI claims speeds in excess
(the 8GB model being the new addition) as well as a micro               of 100Mbps on either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz band. Note that
SD card slot (whereas the old model had an SD card slot),               current smartphone are limited to about 65Mbps due to the
modified connectivity which adds Wi-Fi Direct, but oddly                Wi-Fi chip designs used.
enough loses the HDMI port and DLNA support. At least
Samsung managed to trim some of the fat off the tablet and
has reduced the weight from 380g to 344g and slimmed all
the dimensions by 2mm. The Galaxy Tab 2 will arrive in the
UK next month and although we don't have any UK pricing,
Sammyhub managed to dig up some Scandinavian pricing
where the Wi-Fi version will sell for around US$450 and the
3G version coming in at around US$555 (excluding contract)
somewhat depending on the country you purchase it in.                   TI claims that it its new 45nm WiLink 8.0 chips are 45
                                                                        percent smaller, use 30 percent less power and cost 60
Texas Instruments                                                       percent less compared to “traditional multi-chip offerings”.
                                                                        Showing five radios into a single chip is pretty impressive,
announces news series                                                   especially when you consider all the connectivity options
                                                                        on offer that range from very close range to pin-pointing
of wireless connectivity                                                satellites in the sky. As for what devices these new chips will
solutions                                                               end up is anyone's guess, but we'll most likely find out sooner
                                                                        or later once smartphones and tablets that arrives later this
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/texas-instruments-announces-news-
                                                                        year gets torn down.
series-of-wireless-connectivity-solutions/14859.html
February 14th, 2012



                                                                        Gigabyte adds some Cedar
                                                                        Trail love to its S1080 tablet
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-adds-some-cedar-trail-love-
Come the second half of this year, we can expect
                                                                        to-its-s1080-tablet/14858.html
smartphones and tablets with improved wireless
                                                                        February 14th, 2012
connectivity, at least if Texas Instruments has anything to
do with it. Its new WiLink 8.0 series of wireless connectivity
solutions will bring a range of new features to smartphones,
some more useful than others.


Come the second half of this year, we can expect
smartphones and tablets with improved wireless                          Ah yes, spring is coming and so are the upgraded netbooks
connectivity, at least if Texas Instruments has anything to             and tablets with Intel Atom processors and the latest model
do with it. Its new WiLink 8.0 series of wireless connectivity          to get a processor bump is Gigabyte's S1080 Windows tablet
solutions will bring a range of new features to smartphones,            which from now on will be known as the S1081. The change
some more useful than others.                                           of that single digit in the model name signals Cedar Trail
                                                                        internals, plus a few other minor tweaks.

                                                                                                                                              8
February 14th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                     Google is working on a secret laboratory at its Californian
                                                                     headquarters worth $120 million, where it plans to test a
Ah yes, spring is coming and so are the upgraded netbooks
                                                                     range of new experimental products.
and tablets with Intel Atom processors and the latest model
to get a processor bump is Gigabyte's S1080 Windows tablet           Google is working on a secret laboratory at its Californian
which from now on will be known as the S1081. The change             headquarters worth $120 million.
of that single digit in the model name signals Cedar Trail
internals, plus a few other minor tweaks.
                                                                     The search giant has begun construction of the new lab,
                                                                     which includes several buildings that are shielded from
                                                                     external radio waves, in addition to several anechoic and
                                                                     thermal chambers for testing sound and radiation patterns.


                                                                     The lab will be used to test new experimental products,
                                                                     such as advanced home wireless projects and glasses with an
                                                                     innovative optical coating, some of which will be part of its
                                                                     recently announced Android@home range.


                                                                     Google is also modifying a different lab for use in its Project
                                                                     X, which involves an 800,000 square foot refurbishment of
                                                                     the Googleplex and marks a new stage in its plans to expand
                                                                     into different consumer sectors.



Gigabyte has upgraded the processor from an Atom N570 to
an Atom N2800 bumping the clock speed up by 200MHz.
This also means improved graphics of course, as well as
support for up to 4GB of DDR3 memory which should make
Windows 7 run a bit smoother. And HDMI port has also been
added, as it should be on a Cedar Trail device.




                                                                     Other plans include a Google Experience Centre, where
                                                                     people will be able to view the history and achievements of
                                                                     the company. It is intended to hold up to 900 people and will
                                                                     primarily be used to showcase Google's talent to prospective
                                                                     clients. This will work like a museum, exhibit and mercantile
Other minor additions include options for either a larger            space, but it won't be open to the public.
500GB hard drive or a 256GB SSD and Bluetooth 4.0
support. The rest of the specifications appear to remain
the same, but the optional docking station has also been             This expansion and refurbishment effort might be a
upgraded with an HDMI port. No word on pricing or                    response to a similar project by Apple, which was begun
availability, but we would guess that it's not too far away.         by the late co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs shortly
                                                                     before his death. The companies have become major rivals
                                                                     in recent years, particularly in the smartphone and tablet
Google working on $120                                               arenas, and are likely hoping their new research centres will
                                                                     give them an edge in next-generation consumer products.
million secret lab
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/google-working-on-120-million-
secret-lab/14857.html
February 14th, 2012
                                                                     China seizes iPads in Apple
                                                                     trademark dispute
                                                                     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/china-seizes-ipads-in-apple-
                                                                     trademark-dispute/14856.html



                                                                                                                                         9
February 14th, 2012                                                                                               Published by: VR-Zone

February 14th, 2012                                               intending to seek financial compensation through another
                                                                  channel.



Chinese authorities have seized Apple's iPad tablets from
retailers in the Xinhua province over a dispute with a
                                                                  US Air Force wants up to
Chinese company which owns the iPad trademark in the              18,000 units of Apple's iPad 2
country.                                                          Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/us-air-force-wants-up-to-18-000-
                                                                  units-of-apple-s-ipad-2/14855.html
Chinese authorities have seized Apple's iPad tablets from
                                                                  February 14th, 2012
retailers in the Xinhua province over a dispute with a
Chinese company which owns the iPad trademark in the
country.


Shenzhen Proview Technology registered the trademark for
the iPad in China in 2000, ten years before Apple released
the lucrative tablet computer. Apple lost a lawsuit against the   Apple could soon be rolling in lots more cash soon, as the
company in December when it tried to claim that Shenzhen          US Air Force has expressed interest in buying a whopping
Proview was infringing its trademark.                             18,000 units of the iPad 2.
                                                                  Apple could soon be rolling in lots more cash soon, as the
An affiliate of Shenzhen Proview, Proview Taipei, sold the        US Air Force has expressed interest in buying a whopping
trademark to the iPad name for a measly £35,000 in 2009,          18,000 units of the iPad 2.
a year before the first iPad launched, but the Intermediate
People's Court ruled that the Shenzhen company was not
                                                                  Pilots won't be playing Angry Birds, however, as the tablet
bound by this agreement.
                                                                  computers will be used to replace manuals and navigation
                                                                  charts, which collectively weigh upwards of 40 pounds and
Now it looks like the Chinese firm is getting its own back        need to be carried by pilots and navigators.
against Apple. It filed a complaint with China's economic
investigation unit and investigators have begun seizing iPads
                                                                  Captain Kathleen Ferrero, a spokeswoman for the Air
from stores in Shijiazhuang in Xinhua, taking them off shop
                                                                  Mobility Commands, told Bloomberg that the airline
shelves and from storage.
                                                                  industry is way ahead of the Air Force on this issue, with
                                                                  most airlines already switching to tablet computers.




The investigators would not reveal the scale of the seizures,
but it could prove disastrous for Apple, particularly given
how large the Chinese market is. Apple has five stores in
mainland China, but there are numerous resellers which are
authorised to sell its devices.
                                                                  The final figure for how many tablets will be bought could
                                                                  range from as little as 63 units to as many as 18,000, and the
If it is forced to pull the iPad from the country it could
                                                                  iPad 2 is not necessarily the only model under consideration,
lose a lot of money, and changing the name of it will be a
                                                                  as the Air Force appears to be open to alternative brands that
less than ideal situation given the company's image. It could
                                                                  are roughly equal. This might give Samsung's Galaxy Tab, for
perhaps opt for something like the iTablet, but this might
                                                                  example, a shot at being the Air Force's tablet flagrunner.
cause confusion and hinder sales.

                                                                  “My job in the US Air Force would have been truly enhanced
This is only the beginning of action taken against Apple.
                                                                  if I'd had one of these,” said C.E. Wallace, Vietnam veteran
Shenzhen Proview is planning to ask for similar seizures in
                                                                  and NCO for 13 years in the US Air Force. “All the bulky
more than 20 other cities throughout China, and it is also
                                                                  technical manuals for each of the systems and aircraft in the
                                                                  tablet. And all of my troubleshooting notes and records I

                                                                                                                                         10
February 14th, 2012                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone

made on those spiral notebooks in the tablet. All of those
work orders, aircrew debriefing notes and all of those many
many forms in the tablet. I get new trainees, I transfer my
files, with my comments, to their tablets! Downloading the
data from the aircraft's malfunction analysis system and
from the individual 'black boxes' into the tablet, incredible!”


The Air Force is expected to make its request for the
transition to tablet computers within the next week or two.




First Impressions: Intel SSD
520 Series 240GB Cherryville                                           The 9.5mm thick drive still comes with the usual black
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-impressions-intel-ssd-520-
series-240gb-cherryville/14822.html
                                                                       2.5mm spacer which can be removed for use in laptops
February 14th, 2012




Intel's first LSI-Sandforce based Solid State Drive launched
with much fanfare last week, with pundits raving about the
extra enterprise class reliability brought about by Intel's
historically stringent firmware validation, on one of the
fastest controllers around with a much storied (BSOD
ridden) history. We take a quick look at the new 520 series
now running on our primary test rig...
Like previous SSD families from Intel, the 520 uses the same
blue box theme from its mainstream line of products.

                                                                       Unsurprisingly. the 520 is the 2nd SSD from Intel after
                                                                       the 510 (Marvell) series to support native 6Gb/s operation,
                                                                       which is fast becoming the de facto SATA signalling standard




Accessories and Documentation - the "Speed Demon"
sticker and the 2.5-3.5 inch bracket remains as well,
although we're a tad disappointed that it is still not                 Stripped: The LSI-Sandforce SF-2281V drives sixteen 25nm
compatible with regular hotswap bays, forcing such users to            MLC Intel NAND, which is usually used on premium SSDs
buy additional mounting.                                               like OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPs.




                                                                                                                                 11
February 14th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                      February 14th, 2012




                                                                      From the looks of it, Friday February 17, 2012 will be the
                                                                      first time NVIDIA demonstrates its upcoming Kepler GPU
                                                                      architecture in public.
                                                                      The past month saw an intense amount of rumors about
                                                                      the upcoming Kepler GPU architecture from NVIDIA. First
                                                                      and foremost, Samsung showed an Ivy Bridge + mainstream
                                                                      Kepler GPU notebook on CES 2012 which got its official
                                                                      page shown by accident (thanks to Google Cache, you can
                                                                      still see it), then numerous sites posted bogus rumors
                                                                      originating from Lenzfire (to which we will not link to), and
                                                                      recently we saw first credible specifications originating from
                                                                      3DCenter.org.




We loaded the SSD with an Operating System and some
applications on our reference Rampage IV Extreme setup
(using a 6GB/s port from the PCH in AHCI mode) and ran
CrystalDiskMark. The numbers are similar to other SSDs in
the same performance class and price bracket.
                                                                      The very latest information comes from EVGA, Gearbox
                                                                      Software and NVIDIA. This weekend will see 19th PDXLan
                                                                      taking place in Portland, Oregon. Over the course of
                                                                      weekend, EVGA plans to showing the next generation
                                                                      "Kepler" running PhysX demo of a new game from Gearbox
                                                                      Software.
                                                                      We expect that specifications stay the secret over the course
                                                                      of weekend, with everybody talking about the game alone,
                                                                      and the official unveil of Kepler will follow in weeks to come.


                                                                      Report: AMD Trinity
                                                                      Specifications
                                                                      Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/report-amd-trinity-
                                                                      specifications/14852.html
Stay tuned for our full review of the Intel 520 240GB!                February 14th, 2012



NVIDIA to Demonstrate
PhysX on GK104, Kepler GPU
on Friday?                                                            Further to the previously leaked roadmap, DonanimHaber
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-to-demonstrate-physx-on-   has now leaked a slide which reveals detailed specitications
gk104-kepler-gpu-on-friday-/14853.html                                for the previously leaked desktop SKUs.
                                                                      The first Trinity APUs to release will be A10-5800K,
                                                                      A10-5700, A8-5600K and A8-5500 - all quad-core APUs,
                                                                      releasing in Q2 2012. These will be followed by A6-5400K
                                                                                                                                        12
February 14th, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

and A4-5300 dual-core in Q3 2012. All Trinity APUs will fit             February 14th, 2012
into a new socket - FM2. The general branding is consistent
with Llano, except A8 is now A10, A6 is A8, A4 is A6 and E2
is A4. E2 branding is now dedicated to Brazos 2.0.




                                                                        With Mobile World Congress approaching just two weeks
The top Trinity APU for desktop in Q2 will be A10-5800K.                from now, Taiwanese manufacturer HTC is believed to
2 Piledriver modules with 4 cores will be clocked at 3.8 GHz            launch a new device, HTC Endeavor. It looks like the ROM
with Turbo Core upto 4.2 GHz. The HD 7660D IGP will                     has been leaked recently, which also shows the upcoming
feature a total of 384 SP. While this may seem lower than               HTC Sense 4.0 custom UI that would be layered on top of
the 400 SP in Llano's HD 6550D, Trinity's GPU features                  Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. There are various
the more efficient VLIW-4 architecture, packing in 6 SIMDs.             new screenshots including Sense themes for home screens
Proportionately, the progression is identical from the one              in portrait and landscape, switching between home screen
seen with HD 5870 to HD 6970 (1600 VLIW-5 to 1536                       tabs, favorite contacts, lock screen and alert notifications.
VLIW-4). Moreover, the HD 7660D is clocked at 800 MHz                   The Sense shortcuts on the bottom of the screen also appear
- 33% higher than HD 6550D. A10-5800K features a TDP