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VR-Zone Tech News for the Geeks Mar 2012 Issue

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					February 29th, 2012                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone




VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks!
                                                                      retailers starting today. The "Kinect Star Wars" game will
  VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly                        be selling at S$59.90, while the Limited Edition "Kinect
  publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the           Star Wars" console bundle will have a S$649 price tag.
  geeks.                                                              On top of that, customers who pre-order the game or the
                                                                      console bundle will also receive a free premium of a Star
                                                                      Wars toy figurine from Hasbro (worth S$19.90), and they
Kinect Star Wars pre-orders                                           will be able to collect both the purchases and premium
in Singapore begins today                                             on 3 April at Plaza Singapura main atrium (12.30pm to
                                                                      8pm). According to Ian Tan, category manager, Xbox 360,
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/kinect-star-wars-pre-orders-in-
                                                                      Microsoft Singapore, there is limited quantity to the "Kinect
singapore-begins-today/15065.html
                                                                      Star Wars" console with C-3PO golden wireless controller
February 29th, 2012
                                                                      and R2-D3 blue-and-white themed console. And if you don't
                                                                      buy this console, you will never find another one like this
                                                                      again.
                                                                      If you are looking to sign up for StarHub Broadband plan,
                                                                      well, you can also enjoy the Xbox 360 Limited Edition
                                                                      "Kinect Star Wars" console bundle for free. Simply sign
Star Wars fan who are looking to get the "Kinect Star                 up for two-year StarHub 50Mbps Fibre Home Broadband
Wars" game and Limited Edition "Kinect Star Wars" console             or 50Mbps Cable Broadband plan. On top of that, StarHub
bundle can pre-order at participating retailers in Singapore,         customer will also receive a free Star Wars figurine.
starting today.                                                       The "Kinect" Star Wars offers give dynamic modes - Jedi
                                                                      Destiny: Dark Side Rising; Duels of Fate; Podracing mode;
                                                                      Rancor Rampage mode and Galactic Dance Off mode.




                                                                      On top of that, Microsoft has also introduced the all-white
                                                                      edition of the 4GB Xbox 360 with Kinect, which is selling
                                                                      at all major IT retail stores at S$469. The bundle will
                                                                      come with a glossy white Xbox 360 console, white Kinect
                                                                      sensor, one white wireless controller, two free games -
                                                                      Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports, and 3-month Xbox
                                                                      LIVE Gold subscription. Note that this exclusive bundle is
                                                                      available for a limited time only.



The "Kinect Star Wars" game, and Limited Edition "Kinect
Star Wars" console bundle will only be retailing on 3 April,
but for those hardcore Star Wars fans who want to ensure
they would get a copy of the game, and even own the limited
edition game console, can pre-order them from participating
                                                                                                                                  1
February 29th, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone




                                                                       With the death of Apple's co-founder and former CEO,
                                                                       Steve Jobs, last year investors have expressed concern about
                                                                       whether or not the company can continue to push forward.
Apple iPad 3 expected to                                               The launch of the iPhone 4S disappointed investors and fans
                                                                       alike, so many eyes will be watching the iPad 3 to see if it can
launch on 7 March                                                      steal back market share that is being slowly lost to rivals like
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-ipad-3-expected-to-launch-   Samsung's Galaxy Tab and Amazon's dirt cheap Kindle Fire,
on-7-march/15073.html                                                  the latter of which now has its own competition in the form
February 29th, 2012                                                    of a $199 Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet.


                                                                       All is not rosey for Apple, however, as it it is embroiled
                                                                       in a patent war with rival companies, with lawsuits fired
                                                                       back and forth. Initially it appeared to have the upper hand,
                                                                       but recent struggles with Samsung, Motorola Mobility and
                                                                       Proview have shown that it's best not to throw stones when
The next version of Apple's iPad is expected to launch on              living in a glass house.
7 March at a scheduled event organised by the Cupertino,
California-based company.
The next version of Apple's iPad is expected to launch on
7 March at a scheduled event organised by the Cupertino,               Toshiba and Western Digital
California-based company.
                                                                       sign agreement to exchange
Apple has not confirmed the product launch, but strongly
                                                                       HDD assets
                                                                       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/toshiba-and-western-digital-sign-
hinted at it in its invitation to journalists. “We have
                                                                       agreement-to-exchange-hdd-assets/15072.html
something you really have to see. And touch,” it said,
                                                                       February 29th, 2012
accompanying an image of what appeared to be an iPad
touchscreen, according to the BBC.


The iPad 2 launched in March of last year, suggesting a
trend for launches of the Apple tablet range, but the original
iPad released in early April, so we cannot necessarily assume
anything on the basis of dates.                                        Toshiba and Western Digital have signed an agreement to
                                                                       exchange certain assets relating to their hard disk drive
                                                                       (HDD) businesses in efforts to increase capacity and expand
Sales of the first two iPad models have topped 50 million              market portfolios.
units worldwide, which, when we consider the high price tag
                                                                       Toshiba and Western Digital have signed an agreement to
involved, is a lot of profit for the company.
                                                                       exchange certain assets relating to their hard disk drive
                                                                       (HDD) businesses in efforts to increase capacity and expand
                                                                       market portfolios.


                                                                       The deal will see Toshiba acquire a number of Western
                                                                       Digital's 3.5-inch HDD manufacturing equipment and
                                                                       related intellectual property, opening up the potential
                                                                       for new hard drive releases. Toshiba will also acquire
                                                                       manufacturing equipment for near-line HDDs for server
                                                                       applications.

                                                                                                                                               2
February 29th, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                        Electronic Arts (EA) has announced the first downloadable
                                                                        content (DLC) pack for its recently released RPG Kingdoms
Meanwhile, Western Digital will acquire complete control
                                                                        of Amalur: Reckoning.
of Toshiba Storage Device Thailand, Toshiba's HDD
manufacturing subsidiary in Thailand. This will give
Western Digital the potential for additional capacity, which            The additional game content, entitled Legend of Dead Kel,
will help it pump out hard drives into what is still a market           gives players access to a huge new continent called Gallows
drought after last year's floods in the country, providing, of          End, adding over 15 percent more landscape to the game,
course, that the factories are still in working order.                  with tons of new quests and side quests to keep players busy.
                                                                        There's also many new enemies, a new dungeon type called
                                                                        Dverga Fastings, and dozens of new items to kit out your
                                                                        characters.


                                                                        The add-on also opens up what EA is calling “the ultimate
                                                                        player housing.” Users don't just get a little hut to store their
                                                                        belongings, but rather a huge estate with several buildings
                                                                        and many servants who even have their own side quests.




Toshiba is hoping to become the market leader in HDDs,
SSDs, and NAND flash, with this deal expanding its HDD
portfolio so that it covers all segments of the HDD market.
It also enhances Toshiba's capacity to make near-line HDDs
for the server market, which it expects to boom.


It is not clear if this was a simple one for one exchange or if
either company provided additional financial payment. If it             Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning launched earlier this
is the latter neither company has released the figures.                 month in Europe and North America to some rave reviews.
                                                                        With a story developed by author R.A. Salvatore and the
                                                                        game's artwork influenced by Todd McFarlane, creator
The companies hope to complete the deal by the end of                   of Spawn, developer 38 Studios has brought on some
March once it meets approval by the relevant authorities.               heavyweights to make this a successful and enjoyable game.
This could be delayed, however, as it is also dependant
on Western Digital's acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage
Technologies.                                                           Downloadable content has become a new way to expand
                                                                        a game without going all out with an expansion pack,
EA announces DLC for                                                    borrowing from the regular updates users see in massively
                                                                        multiplayer online (MMO) games. Not only does this
Kingdoms of Amalur:                                                     method save the company money on packaging a new title,
                                                                        it can give a constant stream of revenue.
Reckoning
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ea-announces-dlc-for-kingdoms-of-
amalur-reckoning/15071.html                                             The Legend of Dead Kel DLC pack will be available on
February 29th, 2012                                                     20 March on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Origin and
                                                                        Steam.




                                                                        Is Lucid's Virtu MVP the next
Electronic Arts (EA) has announced the first downloadable               big thing for gaming?
content (DLC) pack for its recently released RPG Kingdoms               Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/is-lucid-s-virtu-mvp-the-next-big-
of Amalur: Reckoning.                                                   thing-for-gaming-/15070.html




                                                                                                                                                 3
February 29th, 2012                                                                                             Published by: VR-Zone

February 29th, 2012                                             current hardware. Expect a more in-depth look at what Virtu
                                                                MVP has to offer ones it becomes available.


                                                                OCZ expands Agility 3 SSD
We have as yet to see LucidLogix's new Virtu MVP software       lineup with 180GB and 360GB
in action, but if we're to believe a blog post on Gigabyte's
(un)official blog, then we're looking at something that every   variants
single gamer will want to get in on. Lucid's logo for Virtu     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-expands-agility-3-ssd-lineup-
MVP simply states Universal GPU Virtualization, but the         with-180gb-and-360gb-variants/15069.html
way we're hearing it, this is way beyond anything the           February 29th, 2012
company has done so far.
We have as yet to see LucidLogix's new Virtu MVP software
in action, but if we're to believe a blog post on Gigabyte's
(un)official blog, then we're looking at something that every
single gamer will want to get in on. Lucid's logo for Virtu
MVP simply states Universal GPU Virtualization, but the         The Japanese market has become the first to learn of two
way we're hearing it, this is way beyond anything the           new Agility 3 series solid state drives on the horizon - a
company has done so far.                                        180GB and 360GB model. Looking at the Agility 3 product
Lucid's Hydra never really took off, mostly due to the fact     page on OCZ's website confirms the two additional variants
that motherboard and graphics card makers alike never           with their respective part numbers listed.
really got on board. Lucid's Virtu software gained some         The Japanese market has become the first to learn of two
traction though, especially after Intel launched the Z68        new Agility 3 series solid state drives on the horizon - a
chipset and Virtu MVP builds on this, but is meant to           180GB and 360GB model. Looking at the Agility 3 product
have a much bigger impact when it comes to the overall          page on OCZ's website confirms the two additional variants
performance increase you get by combining multiple GPUs.        with their respective part numbers listed.
We've only heard some rumours so far, but apparently Virtu
MVP can deliver more performance than what you'd get if
you'd combine the single GPU performance of two separate
GPUs. This sounds almost too good to be true and apparently
it's somewhat dependant on the types of GPUs you combine.




Lucid is carrying over many of the features from Virtu to       OCZ's Agility 3 line of SSDs sits underneath the company's
Virtu MVP, such as Virtual Vsync which the company claims       flagship Vertex 3 line with the same SandForce SF-2281
will allow for “unlimited frame rate” although in this case     controller, but with cheaper asynchronous NAND flash
we're talking about higher frame rates with Vsync enabled       memory and the general consensus is that these drives offer
on LCD screens. The company has also added something it         pretty good bang for buck. The new 180GB drive (with a
calls HyperFormance which is said to improve the overall        part number of AGT3-25SAT3-180G) fills the void between
responsiveness in 3D games, i.e. reduced input lag. This        the existing 120GB and 240GB models, while the 360GB
should be a feature that a lot of gamers are going to want on   (AGT3-25SAT3-360G ) takes care of the gap between the
top of what's already been mentioned, as reduced input lag      240GB and 480GB models.
could mean that you end up on the winning end of a gunfight     Running quickly over the rated performance figures, the
for example.                                                    180GB model gives sequential read rates of up to 525MB/sec
We'll have to wait and see how good Virtu MVP really is,        and writes at up to 500MB/sec with 35,000 IOPS 4K random
but we know that several motherboard makers are planning        write performance. The 360GB model is also rated at up to
on supplying a copy of the software with their upcoming         525MB/sec read, but with 495MB/sec write rates and the
Intel 7-series motherboards. Lucid has apparently managed       same 35,000 IOPS 4K random write performance applies.
to impress them so much that this will be one of the headline   Pricing on the two new models comes in at 19,000 JPY (US
features of their new boards and we presume this is part of     $256) for the 180GB Agility 3 and 36,000 JPY (US $447) for
the reason why Gigabyte is mentioning it on its blog. That      the 360GB.
said, the software will work with AMD's various platforms
as well and hopefully there will be a way to purchase the
software on its own for those that want a copy for their

                                                                                                                                        4
February 29th, 2012                                                                                                Published by: VR-Zone


Almost a couple dozen Doom
4 screenshots are out!
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/almost-a-couple-dozen-doom-4-
screenshots-are-out-/15068.html
February 29th, 2012




If you're a die hard Doom fan you've no doubt been
frantically holding out to get whatever bits of info you can        As for these screenshots however, Bethesda has not come
source on the fourth release in id SOftware's classic FPS           forward and confirmed or denied their authenticity. They
series, as until now there's been very little mentioned about       certainly appear to be legit, depicting previous rumours that
it apart from a brief statement during QuakeCon 2011 from           Doom 4 would be a remake of an earlier installment (Doom
John Carmack. At that time Carmack said Doom 4 was a go             II: Hell on Earth) or possibly a prequel to Doom 3 where the
and that it would be using a new scripting language called          carnage would take place on Earth.
"super-script" which is based on C++.
If you're a die hard Doom fan you've no doubt been
frantically holding out to get whatever bits of info you can
source on the fourth release in id SOftware's classic FPS
series, as until now there's been very little mentioned about
it apart from a brief statement during QuakeCon 2011 from
John Carmack. At that time Carmack said Doom 4 was a go
and that it would be using a new scripting language called
"super-script" which is based on C++.




                                                                    To see the full stash of screenies head over to the source, but
                                                                    remember to ignore the cancellation talk!


                                                                    The $35 Raspberry Pi
                                                                    computer launches, crashes
                                                                    servers due to demand
Since then we've heard next to nothing on its development,          Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-35-raspberry-pi-computer-
not until this report came in on Tuesday morning that is.           launches-crashes-servers-due-to-demand/15067.html
AllGamesBeta have posted up no less than 21 screenshots of          February 29th, 2012
id Software's work in progress on the game, although in this
same report they give some shattering news that supposedly
the game has been cancelled and won't be seeing light of day.



                                                                    If you thought the Apple fan boys (and girls) were silly
                                                                    for queuing up ahead of new product launches, then the
                                                                    craziness going on around the Raspberry Pi launch would
                                                                    have you flabbergasted. Not only has the $35 computer
                                                                    managed to crash the servers of both the retail partners, but
                                                                    people got up at daybreak to get their orders in as soon as
                                                                    the order pages went live.
                                                                    If you thought the Apple fan boys (and girls) were silly
                                                                    for queuing up ahead of new product launches, then the
Thankfully it was indicated a short time later through a            craziness going on around the Raspberry Pi launch would
Tweet that Doom 4 is anything but doomed and is indeed              have you flabbergasted. Not only has the $35 computer
still a work in progress.                                           managed to crash the servers of both the retail partners, but
                                                                    people got up at daybreak to get their orders in as soon as
                                                                    the order pages went live.
                                                                                                                                        5
February 29th, 2012                                                                                             Published by: VR-Zone

It's amazing how much attention the Raspberry Pi has            some time studying programming many years ago. Either
been getting in the media, with coverage on the television      which way, we do condone what the Raspberry Pi foundation
news, all just because it's a low cost computer targeting the   is trying to achieve, as it's not an easy task to get students
educational market. That said, the buyers at launch aren't      interested in programming.
schools, as the first batch of 10,000 units is limited to one
order per customer and this this case it's mostly hardware
enthusiasts and various companies trying to get their hands     AMD cuts prices by 2 to 15%
on it.                                                          across nine Phenom II CPUs
For the time being the availability is limited to only the      Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-cuts-prices-by-2-to-15-across-
more expensive of the two models that the Raspberry             nine-phenom-ii-cpus/15066.html
Pi foundation will be offering and that's only if you're        February 29th, 2012
lucky enough to place an order with one of its two
distribution partners, RS Components or Premier Farnell.
However, the foundation is moving over to a licensed
manufacturing model where RS and Farnell will take over
the manufacturing and this should hopefully alleviate some
pressure from the foundation as well as get product out in
the market.                                                     Along with AMD's juggling of its FX-Series that took place
                                                                yesterday in the form of two new models (the FX-6200 and
                                                                FX-4170) as well as some price cuts to a couple existing FX
                                                                chips, we've since learned that the company hasn't stopped
                                                                there in terms of the price slashing with significant cuts
                                                                made across its Phenom II range of processors as well.
                                                                Along with AMD's juggling of its FX-Series that took place
                                                                yesterday in the form of two new models (the FX-6200 and
                                                                FX-4170) as well as some price cuts to a couple existing FX
                                                                chips, we've since learned that the company hasn't stopped
                                                                there in terms of the price slashing with significant cuts
                                                                made across its Phenom II range of processors as well.




The idea behind the Raspberry Pi was to create an affordable
computer for schools that would allow kids to learn the
basics of programming and general computer “hacking”. It's
a fairly basic system that comes with a Broadcom BCM2835
                                                                Nine Phenom II processors have been reported to be affected
SoC based on an ARM11 processor that operates at 700MHz
                                                                with cuts ranging from 2% up to 15% across the board.
paired up with Broadcom's VideoCore IV GPU and 256MB
                                                                The Phenom II X4 965 appears to have taken the biggest
of RAM. There's no on board storage, but an SD card slot
                                                                drop, shifting down from $135 to $115. The X4 955, X4 975
is present. The cheaper – yet un-launched – $25 model
                                                                and X4 980 all receive double-digit % cuts as well, while
has a single USB 2.0 port whereas the more expensive $35
                                                                the X6 1055T and X6 1075T saw drops of 6.1% and 8.8%,
model has two USB 2.0 ports and an Ethernet port with both
                                                                respectively.
models sporting an HDMI port, an composite video RCA
connector, a 3.5mm audio jack and various other low-level
interfaces and a micro USB port for power.                      IT Show 2012 Promotions:
The Raspberry Pi will run various flavours of Linux and
the foundation has been working closely with Fedora and
                                                                Samsung
                                                                Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-
Debian among others to create special versions of the OS
                                                                samsung/15057.html
that can run on the fairly low specced system. Various pre-
                                                                February 29th, 2012
compiled images will be downloadable from the foundation,
of which some had already appeared ahead of the hardware
launch and we're sure more are to come.
As to how popular the Raspberry Pi will be with students is
anyone's guess as the moment, but at least the foundation
has found itself a big enough following with the enthusiast
market to make a splash in the general media which              Samsung's presence can surely be felt at the IT Show 2012,
will hopefully help them to reach into the educational          with lots of promotions on their wide range of products from
institutions. The question is if the teachers will be able to   TV, digital cameras, notebook PCs, to monitors, printers,
integrate something as complex as the Raspberry Pi into         mobile phones and tablets. Their booths can be located at
their lessons, know how poor some programing teachers           Hall 4, booth number 8328 and 8301.
are at teaching programming, with yours truly having spent
                                                                Samsung LED D7000 TV
                                                                                                                                         6
February 29th, 2012                                                                                        Published by: VR-Zone




The Samsung LED D7000 series features a minimalist               The Series 5 ULTRA is powered by second generation Intel
design and is aesthetically pleasing with a thin 5mm black       Core i5-2467M processor, up to 8GB memory, combined
bezel and framed by a jewel-like transparent bezel that uses     with ExpressCache system by Diskeeper and AMD Radeon
Samsung's Crystal TV design. The Smart TV incorporates           HD graphics card. Comes in 13- and 14-inch models, the
improved backlight scanning technology with Samsung's 3D         Series 5 ULTRA is able to fast boot in just 20 seconds,
frame interpolation algorithm, which claims to improve 3D        restarts from sleep mode in two seconds, and offers up to
picture quality and creates sharp 2D and 3D pictures and         6.4 hours of battery life on a single charge. The laptops also
smooth frame transitions without blurring.                       come with Samsung’s superior LCD technology with 300nit
                                                                 HD LED SuperBright display, Image Enhancer technology
Retail Price: 55-inch - S$5,999 ; 46-inch - S$4,499
                                                                 and anti-reflective screen for a superb viewing experience.
IT Show Price: TBC
                                                                 Retail Price: 13-inch - S$1,288 ; 14-inch - S$1,588
Samsung MultiView MV800 digital camera
                                                                 IT Show Price: TBC


                                                                 Samsung TA950 monitor




The Samsung MultiView MV800 has a 3-inch wide flip-
out touch display that lets you frame every shot and view
easily from any perspective. It claims to be the first premium
compact model with such flip screen, and boasts a 16.1-
megapixel rating with a 5x optical zoom lens that can
capture every detail close-up, and a 26mm wide-angle lens        The 27-inch Samsung TA950 3D LED monitor offers
to take picture of larger gatherings. The camera also comes      full high definition 1920x1080 resolution and realistic 3D
with the innovative Live Panorama function that lets you         playback on a wide variety of 3D content. It sports a metallic-
shoot panoramic photos by simply holding down the shutter        silver finish, has a wide viewing angle, and comes with
button. On top of that, just connect the MV800 to a 3D           built-in TV tuner, picture-in-picture (PIP) feature and can
HDTV, and you can view the images and panoramic shots in         function as a TV. Connectivity options include HDMI, USB
outstanding 3D in-depth quality instantly.                       and cable inputs, and with the Samsung Smart TV, you can
                                                                 navigate YouTube, social networking services like Facebook
Retail Price: S$499                                              and Twitter, or download a variety of Samsung Apps via a
IT Show Price: TBC                                               convenient on-screen widget. The TA950 is also equipped
                                                                 with two 7-watt speakers that support Dolby Digital, SRS
                                                                 TheaterSound HD, DTS 2.0 and 3D Sound.
Samsung Series 5 ULTRA notebook PCs
                                                                 Retail Price: S$899

                                                                                                                              7
February 29th, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

IT Show Price: TBC                                                        February 29th, 2012



Samsung booths can be located at Hall 4, booth number
8328 and 8301, at the IT Show 2012


Mozilla introduces new Boot                                               The new Xperia acro HD SO-03D is scheduled to retail in
to Gecko mobile OS                                                        Japan on 15 March next month, with pre-orders starting on
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mozilla-introduces-new-boot-to-       2 March.
gecko-mobile-os/15064.html
February 29th, 2012




A new mobile OS called "Boot to Gecko" has been unveiled by
Mozilla at this week's Mobile World Congress, which claims
to not only bring a similar user experience, but will also be 10
times more affordable than the current breed of high end
smartphones like the Apple iPhone.




                                                                          NTT DoCoMo has announced the pre-order of the Xperia
                                                                          acro HD SO-03D will commence from 2 March, while the
                                                                          sales date is on 15 March. The Xperia acro HD SO-03D is
                                                                          one of the latest model in DoCoMo series of smartphone,
                                                                          designed with characteristic features to suit the Japan
                                                                          market. It has similar specifications to the Xperia NX
                                                                          SO-02D, features mobile wallet, infrared, is waterproof and
                                                                          weighs 149g.

Mozilla is known for their free Firefox web browser from the              With a two-year contract, the Xperia acro HD SO-03D will
PC to mobile devices. And it looks like the software company              cost around 30,000 yen (approximately US$370) if you
could be going after Android with the introduction of a                   factor in discounts for monthly subscription. Note that you
new open-source mobile operating system, Boot to Gecko                    can probably get more discount from the Spring Special
(B2G). B2G claims to offer similar user experience like other             Smart Phone Campaign that runs until 31 March, whereby
smartphones, but best of all, it will bring down the cost of a            the price for the phone could go to the region of 20,000 yen
smartphone; reportedly 10 times cheaper than the iPhone.                  (approximately US$250) for two-year contract.

Mozilla is pushing web applications using web standards
and enouraging developers to create applications that will                LG demos voice-to-video
work on any HTML5-enabled devices. The company has also
introduced the Mozilla Marketplace for developers to submit               conversion over a LTE
the web apps, and for users to get them. In addition, Mozilla             network
is also promoting new web APIs that allow web applications                Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-demos-voice-to-video-conversion-
 to direct access to various services including phone dialing,            over-a-lte-network/15062.html
SMS messages, cameras, GPS, USB, and Bluetooth.                           February 29th, 2012
At the Mobile World Congress 2012, Spanish
telecommunications provider Telefónica has announced
that it would work with Mozilla to develop smartphones
based on the Boot to Gecko platform with price that is
comparable to feature phones.
                                                                          At the Mobile World Congress, LG demonstrated world’s
*Pics from PC Magazine
                                                                          first voice-to-video conversion over a LTE network, which
                                                                          allows users to switch between voice and video during an
Xperia acro HD SO-03D to                                                  ongoing call.

retail in Japan on 15 March
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xperia-acro-hd-so-03d-to-retail-in-
japan-on-15-march/15063.html

                                                                                                                                                8
February 29th, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone




At last year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC), LG
successfully demonstrated Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and
video calls. Prior to the introduction of LTE technology, high
definition video calls on smartphones were not possible, as
3G networks were unable to handle the volume of data at the
speeds required for high quality video images.


At MWC 2012, LG demonstrated the world’s first voice-
to-video conversion over a LTE network. Based on LG’s
proprietary technology, it allows users to switch between
high quality voice and high resolution video call modes
easily, during an ongoing telephone conversation. The LG’s
LTE voice-to-video conversion process adheres to the IP
Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) Profile for Conversational
Video Service, the industry standard established by the
GSMA to govern the delivery of both video and voice
data over LTE. The Korean electronics company said that
it will launch LTE-capable smartphones compliant with                With such an interesting setting and story, all that was
Conversational Video Service later this year.                        needed was good gameplay. The demo released by a Day 1
                                                                     Studios source to Siliconera shows that it had some potential
                                                                     in this area too. While we don't get to see the Dark Knight in
Cancelled Batman game                                                combat, we do get to see some nice lighting and cloak effects.
footage shows up                                                     The world is dark and moody, everything you'd expect from
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cancelled-batman-game-footage-   Gotham, but even moreso when set in the Victorian styling
shows-up/15061.html                                                  of the late 19th Century. Perhaps the only big failing of the
February 29th, 2012                                                  demo is seeing Batman leap several stories into the air to
                                                                     land on top of a building. This ruins some of the atmosphere
                                                                     and we would have rather seen him use a rope or similar
                                                                     device.


                                                                     ZTE announces Era quad-
Footage has surfaced of a cancelled Batman game based on             core Android smartphone
the Gotham by Gaslight alternative universe comic, which             Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zte-announces-era-quad-core-
shows the potential of the unfortunately axed title.                 android-smartphone/15060.html
Footage has surfaced of a cancelled Batman game based on             February 29th, 2012
the Gotham by Gaslight alternative universe comic, which
shows the potential of the unfortunately axed title.
Day 1 Studios, which made F.E.A.R., Fracture and
MechAssault, pitched a game featuring the Caped Crusader
to THQ, but the publisher was not impressed, forcing the
studio to put a premature end to what could have been an
interesting game.                                                    ZTE has announced its Era quad-core Android smartphone
                                                                     at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, touting it
The setting is based on the one-shot comic Gotham by                 as one of the thinnest high-end devices on the market.
Gaslight, where Batman tries to hunt down Jack the Ripper
in 1889. There's no time travel involved, and all the usual          ZTE has announced its Era quad-core Android smartphone
cast, including Gordon and the Joker, are there, but the time        at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, touting it
period changes everything.                                           as one of the thinnest high-end devices on the market.

                                                                                                                                        9
February 29th, 2012                                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                        Nine out of ten people have not read Google's new privacy
                                                                        policy, a study by Big Brother Watch and YouGov has
The ZTE ERA features a 4.3-inch screen, an Nvidia Tegra
                                                                        revealed.
3 quad-core mobile processor, 8GB of storage with room to
expand via a MicroSD card, and an Nvidia Icera 450 HSPA                 Nine out of ten people have not read Google's new privacy
+ modem.                                                                policy, a study by Big Brother Watch and YouGov has
                                                                        revealed.

The device is just 7.8mm thin and also comes with Android
4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Google's               Despite Google plastering links and notices to its new privacy
mobile operating system.                                                policy all over its numerous websites and services, only 12
                                                                        percent of Google users have read the changes.


                                                                        Even more worryingly, a whopping 47 percent of British
                                                                        adults did not know that a new privacy policy is coming into
                                                                        effect on 1 March, despite 92 percent of online British users
                                                                        employing Google on a regular basis.


                                                                        Only 40 percent of users think Google should implement
                                                                        the policy change this week. This is likely because they want
                                                                        more time to read it, or are simply content with how things
                                                                        are run now.


                                                                        The policy change will take Google's roughly 60 separate
                                                                        privacy policies and replace them with a single unified policy
                                                                        that contains more detail, a move which the company claims
                                                                        will make it simpler and easier to understand Google's stance
ZTE is hoping that this device and others like it helps push            on privacy.
it to becoming one of the top three handset makers by 2015,
a goal that is certainly achievable given recent growth of 50
percent in handset shipments and a whopping 400 percent
increase in smartphone shipments. It currently holds the
number four spot and is seeing faster smartphone growth
than any other company except Apple.


“In 2012, ZTE products will be building up from the low-
middle end of the market into the middle-high end, with
the ZTE Era being the best example of that development,”
said He Shiyou, EVP and Head of the Terminals Division at
ZTE. “We will continue our long-standing cooperation with
operators around the world, but we will also continue to
build our distributor channels (both ODM and OEM), and
we will be focusing our marketing in particular on the high-
end markets of Europe, America, Japan and China.”


The ZTE Era will launch in China and Europe in the second
                                                                        “The impact of Google’s new policy cannot be understated,
half of 2012.
                                                                        but the public are in the dark about what the changes actually
                                                                        mean,” said Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch.
9 out of 10 people have not                                             “Companies should not be allowed to bury in legal jargon
                                                                        and vague statements how they may monitor what we do
read Google's new privacy                                               online, where we use our phones and even listen to what we
policy                                                                  say in calls. This change isn’t about Google collecting more
                                                                        data, it’s about letting the company combine what’s in your
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/9-out-of-10-people-have-not-read-
                                                                        emails with the videos you watch and the things you search
google-s-new-privacy-policy/15059.html
                                                                        for.”
February 29th, 2012


                                                                        Big Brother Watch has contacted the UK's Information
                                                                        Commissioner to ask for an investigation of Google's privacy
                                                                        policy change and whether or not it breaks UK data
                                                                        protection law. The Article 29 Working Party has filed a

                                                                                                                                   10
February 29th, 2012                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

similar request with the data protection authorities of other
European Union member states.
                                                                                   • Dr Ni Zhengdong,
                                                                                     Founder, Zero2IPO
“If people don’t understand what is happening to their                             • Marc van der Chijs, Co-
personal information, how can they make an informed                                  Founder, Tudou.com
choice about using a service?” added Pickles. “Google is
putting advertiser’s interests before user privacy and should                      • Antonny Liem, CEO,
not be rushing ahead before the public understand what the                           Merah Putih Incubator
changes will mean.”                                                                • Professor Wong Poh
                                                                                     Kam, Director, NUS
                                                                                     Entrepreneurship
You can read the new privacy policy here.                                            Centre; Board Director,
                                                                                     BANSEA (Moderator)
DEMO Asia 2012: 76 Start-                                             9:50am    DEMO ASIA – Alpha Pitch
                                                                                Program Kickoff!
Ups, 14 countries, 1 Stage                                                      Overview DEMO’s Alpha
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/demo-asia-2012-76-start-ups-14-             Pitch Programme.
countries-1-stage/15055.html
February 29th, 2012
                                                                                   • Jessica Tan, Managing
                                                                                     Director, Microsoft
                                                                                     Singapore
                                                                                   • Alpha Pitch by 10
                                                                                     Innovators sponsored
                                                                                     by Microsoft BizSpark
DEMO Asia, a launchpad for budding startups, will take
place for the first time in Asia tomorrow here in Singapore.                    Alpha Pitch by sponsored by
The stage is set for pitches by 76 start-ups coming from 14                     Microsoft BizSpark:
countries where they will vie for the attentions of venture
capitalists and the public.                                                        • Audio Scribe Limited
                                                                                     (New Zealand)
DEMO Asia, a launchpad for budding startups, will take
place for the first time in Asia tomorrow here in Singapore.                       • Agate Studio
The stage is set for pitches by 76 start-ups coming from 14                          (Indonesia)
countries where they will vie for the attentions of venture                        • HobbyMash
capitalists and the public.                                                          (Philippines)
Each presenting team will be given only 6 minutes to                               • GIO Software Co, Ltd
pitch their ideas to the audience, without the use of flashy                         (South Korea)
powerpoints or electronic aids. There will also be networking
                                                                                   • StyleRocks Pty Ltd
opportunities and various panels on a myraid of topics
                                                                                     (Australia)
chaired by distinguished industry figures throughout the 3
days. The following is the event programme:                                        • Tapit Media Pty Ltd
                                                                                     (Australia)
8:00am                             Registration
                                   Level 2, Matrix@Biopolis                        • Rofarez Solutions Sdn
8:45am                             Guests to be seated by                            Bhd (Malaysia)
                                   8:45am                                          • Coworkify (Japan)
9:00am                             Welcome to DEMO Asia!                           • DocuBuzz Pte. Ltd.
                                                                                     (Singapore)
                                   Welcome and Opening                             • Appota.com (Vietnam)
                                   Speeches by:
                                                                      10:20am   DEMOfocus on Cloud &
                                       • Robin Hu, Chairman,                    Enterprise Technologies
                                         Sphere Exhibits                        Get a glimpse into promising
                                                                                startups that could to be the
                                       • Benjamin Ng, General                   next big thing in the cloud
                                         Manager, DEMO Asia                     and enterprise space.
                                      • Matt Marshall,
                                        Executive Producer,
                                        DEMO                                       • 6 Launch
9:20am                             Panel “Investing in Asia                        • 4 Alpha Pitch
                                   – Opportunities and                11:20am   Cloud & Enterprise
                                   Challenges for Startups and                  Technology Sages
                                   Investors”
                                                                                                            11
February 29th, 2012                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

                      Get valuable perspectives                  • 8 Launch
                      from our panel of experts
                                                                 • 2 Alpha Pitch
                      who will comment on the
                                                     3:20pm   Social and Media Technology
                      morning’s
                                                              Sages
                                                              Get valuable perspectives
                      demonstrators and the cloud
                                                              from our panel of experts
                      technology markets. Sages
                                                              who will comment on the
                      include:
                                                              morning’s

                         • Simone Brunozzi,                   demonstrators and the social
                           Technology Evangelist,             media technology market.
                           Amazon Web Services
                           – Asia Pacific
                                                                 • Jeff Clavier, Founder,
                         • Zane Adam, Senior                       SoftTech VC
                           Director, Azure Asia,
                                                                 • Marc van der Chijs, Co-
                           Microsoft
                                                                   founder, Tudou.com
                         • Lim Kuo-Yi, CEO,
                                                                 • Vinnie Lauria,
                           Infocomm Investment
                                                                   Founder, Lefora
                           Pte Ltd
                                                                 • James Chan, Principle,
                        • Matt Marshall,
                                                                   Neoteny Labs
                          Executive Director,
                                                                   (Moderator)
                          DEMO (Moderator)
                                                     3:40pm   DEMOfocus on Web
11:40am               DEMO One-on-One
                                                              Technologies
                                                              See the promising web
                      “Nation as IDM Platform”                technologies that aim to
                                                              make it big.
                         • Michael Yap, Deputy
                           Chief Executive
                           (Regulatory) Executive                • 8 Launch
                           Director (Interactive &
                                                                  • 3 Alpha Pitch
                           Digital Media Program
                           Office)                   4:40pm   Web Technology Sages
                                                              Get valuable perspectives
                         • Interview by Matt                  from our panel of experts
                           Marshall, Executive                who will comment on the
                           Producer, DEMO                     afternoon’s
12:00pm               DEMO Asia Showcase Opens
                      Levels 2, 2M, 3 & 4                     demonstrators and the web
                                                              technology market.
                      Networking Lunch
                      Sponsored by Media
                                                                 • Rebeca Hwang, Co-
                      Development Authority
                                                                   Founder, Younoodle
                      Singapore (MDA)
                                                                 • Erwan Mace, Developer
                      Levels 2, 2M, 3 & 4                          Relations, Google
2:00pm                DEMO One-on-One                            • Adriana Gascoigne,
                      Hear from one of Silicon                     Founder, Girls in Tech
                      Valley’s most active angel                   (Moderator)
                      investors.                     5:00pm   DEMO One-on-One
                                                              Hear from Infocomm
                                                              Development Authority of
                         • Jeff Clavier, Founder,
                                                              Singapore (IDA).
                           SoftTech VC
                         • Interview by Matt
                           Marshall, Executive                   • Robert Kim,
                           Producer, DEMO                          Director, Consumer
2:20pm                DEMOfocus on Social and                      Infocomm, Infocomm
                      Media Technologies                           Development Authority
                      Check out how the social                     of Singapore (IDA)
                      media companies intend to                  • Joerg Krahnert,
                      change the way we live.                      Managing Director,
                                                                   Netbiscuits
                                                                                            12
February 29th, 2012                                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone

                                       • Paul Doherty,                  operating 24/7 and is designed for higher education, house
                                         President, ScreamPoint         of worship, corporate and retail environments. Powered
                                                                        by a unique 3-chip 0.96-inch DLP system, the WUXGA
                                       • Dib Chaudhuri, Co-
                                                                        resolution projector boasts 11,000 ANSI lumens brightness
                                         founder & President,
                                                                        and features a sleek design. The company states that the
                                         Lakshya Digital
                                                                        PH1000U can take on most demanding integration projects,
                                      • Interview by Matt               under almost any operating conditions.
                                        Marshall, Executive
                                        Producer, DEMO                  It also offers Open Pluggable Specification (OPS), which
                                                                        is the first industry-wide standardization in option slots to
5:30pm                             DEMO Asia – Day 1 Wrap
                                                                        simplify installation, use and maintenance while offering
                                   Up
                                                                        input flexibility. On top of that, the projector supports
                                                                        multiple input cards, including an HD/SD-SDI and single
                                      • Matt Marshall,                  board computer (SBC). Other connectivity options include
                                        Executive Producer,             DisplayPort, HDMI and RGB connectors, as well as NEC’s
                                        DEMO                            Projector Viewer function. Users can also stream content
                                                                        over the network, while administrators can monitor and
5:40pm – 7:30pm                    DEMO Asia Showcase /
                                                                        control the projector via a wired or wireless connection (with
                                   Cocktail Reception
                                                                        optional Wi-Fi module).
                                   Hosted by Google
                                                                        The NEC PH1000U projector is available now at an
                                   Enjoy a fun evening with             estimated retail price of S$76,788 with two-year limited
                                   great networking at the              warranty.
                                   DEMO Showcase!                       Specifications
                                                                        - 11,000-lumen brightness
NEC unveils PH1000U                                                     - 2000:1 contrast ratio (with dynamic contrast)

professional projector                                                  - 3-Chip DLP - 1920 x 1200 WUXGA native resolution
of 11,000 ANSI lumens                                                   - Dual UHP lamps with lamp life up to 2500 hours in ECO
brightness                                                              Mode
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nec-unveils-ph1000u-professional-
projector-of-11-000-ansi-lumens-brightness/15056.html                   - Open Pluggable Specification option slot including an HD/
February 29th, 2012                                                     SD SDI input card and SBC

                                                                        - Connectivity includes HDMI with HDCP, DisplayPort,
                                                                        three computer inputs, component and S-Video

                                                                        - Stacking capability (up to 44,000 lumens with four
                                                                        projectors)
NEC has launched their latest professional projector,
PH1000U, which uses a three-Chip DLP system, and                        - Complete line of five bayonet-style lenses with powered
features high-performance video processing, integrated                  zoom, focus and lens shift
networking and asset management, and 11,000 ANSI
lumens brightness.                                                      - Lens Memory controls lens attributes (zoom, focus, shift)
                                                                        based on input resolution and input selection

                                                                        - Windows Network Projector Function directly connects
                                                                        to networked projectors without the need for additional
                                                                        proprietary software

                                                                        - Windows Remote Desktop Function allows the control of
                                                                        the projector with a keyboard and mouse through the USB
                                                                        input

                                                                        - Windows Network Drive and Media Connection functions
                                                                        display multimedia files (.jpeg, .bmp, .png, .mpeg2
                                                                        or .wmv9)

                                                                        - Cornerstone correction helps display the image properly
                                                                        when the projector is set up at an angle to the screen

                                                                        - Geometric correction allows the projector to display
Today, NEC Asia Pacific announced the new PH1000U                       square-looking images on cylindrical, spherical or cornered
digital projector with unique 3-chip DLP system. This                   screens
professional installation model claims to be capable of
                                                                                                                                   13
February 29th, 2012                                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                   processing engine’s adaptive noise reduction and other
- Edge blending technology creates panoramic images with           low noise technologies, the WX100/WX150 is able to
multiple projectors                                                deliver superb quality images. Other features include fast
                                                                   autofocus, approximately 0.13 seconds in daylight and
- DICOM simulation                                                 in low-light conditions, and advanced Optical SteadyShot
                                                                   image stabilization for crisp images.
- PIP/side-by-side allows two sources to be displayed on the
screen at one time
                                                                   Sony Cyber-shot HX10V / HX20V
- Carbon savings meter calculates the positive effects of
operating the projector in ECO Mode, which is encouraged
by an optional message at startup

- Security with lens anti-theft screw, cabinet control lock,
logo lock and password protection

- Email notifications to inform the system administrator
when the projector’s lamp is approaching the end of its
useful life


Sony announces new range
of Cyber-shot digital cameras                                      The Cyber-Shot DSC-HX20V is capable of taking clear and
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-announces-new-range-of-   high resolution images and videos at almost any distance. It
cyber-shot-digital-cameras/15054.html                              features Sony’s AA lens element, 18.2-megapixel Exmor R
February 29th, 2012                                                CMOS sensor, 20x optical zoom, optical SteadyShot, and a
                                                                   new GPS log recording function that lets users track and log
                                                                   location details of photos captured. The HX10V is the entry-
                                                                   level version to the HX20V and is also equipped with the
                                                                   same 18.2 megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor. It incorporates
                                                                   a 24mm lens with image stabilisation, a 3-inch LCD screen
                                                                   with Photo Creativity editing and can record 1080/60i HD
Sony Singapore has unveiled eight Cyber-shot cameras - WX          videos.
series (DSC-WX100), HX series (DSC-HX200V, HX20V,
HX10V), W690, TX series (DSC-TX20, TX66), and H series
                                                                   Sony Cyber-shot W690
(H90).
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX100




                                                                   Like its WX100 sibling, the Cyber-shot DSC-W690 is also
                                                                   very slim at 17.5mm, which claims to be the world's thinnest
                                                                   CCD-based digital camera with 10x optical zoom. It boasts
                                                                   a 16.1-megapixel Super HAD CCD, 10x optical zoom G Lens
                                                                   (25-250mm), improved Optical SteadyShot, and supports
Measuring 17.5mm slim, the Sony DSC-WX100 claims to
                                                                   360 Sweep Panorama.
be world’s smallest and lightest cameras in its class. It
comes with newly-developed Advanced Aspherical (AA)
lens that has 10x optical zoom and can be enhanced
by Clear Image Zoom for 20x zoom while resolution is
                                                                   Opera users can do online
kept. The camera also incorporates Extra High Sensitivity          shopping easily on InMobi
technology to reduce image noise up to 1/6, without
affecting image quality. Combined with the 18.2-megapixel
                                                                   mobile payment platform
                                                                   Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/opera-users-can-do-online-
(effective) Exmor R CMOS image sensor, BIONZ image
                                                                   shopping-easily-on-inmobi-mobile-payment-platform/15053.html

                                                                                                                                    14
February 29th, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

February 29th, 2012




InMobi has announced the partnership with Opera Software
to bring InMobi’s SmartPay mobile payment platform
to more than 160 million Opera mobile browser users
worldwide.




                                                                         ZDNet has said that LG are in the midst of discussions with
                                                                         Google about being the next Nexus maker, but it remains
                                                                         unclear for now as to whether or not they will score. HTC
                                                                         were given honours to present us with the first Google phone
                                                                         (the Nexus One), followed by Samsung with its lovely 4.65-
                                                                         inch Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich attire.
                                                                         It was previously speculated that the most likely candidate
                                                                         for a new Nexus device would be Motorola which Google
InMobi has announced its collaboration with Opera
                                                                         is currently in the process of acquiring. It was thought that
Software that lets users have a seamless online shopping
                                                                         following the acquisition Google would only allow Motorola
experience. With this partnership, InMobi SmartPay will
                                                                         to have access to all of its latest Android updates, but if
enable more than 16 million Opera users to pay for digital
                                                                         Google hand balls the next Nexus deal over to LG then it
goods easily around the globe, when they make purchases
                                                                         just goes to show that the company doesn't intend to play
with the leading publishers that partner with InMobi.
                                                                         favourites.
The two companies are committed to providing choice to
consumers, mobile content developers and app developers,
by building viable third-party monetization solutions in the             AMD now rolling out FX-6200
mobile browsing and computing space.
                                                                         and FX-4170 plus price cuts
                                                                         Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-now-rolling-out-fx-6200-and-
LG could be the next Google                                              fx-4170-plus-price-cuts/15051.html

Nexus handset maker                                                      February 29th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-could-be-the-next-google-nexus-
handset-maker/15052.html
February 29th, 2012




                                                                         AMD's FX lineup of desktop processors has been dusted off
                                                                         a bit thanks to a couple of new additions to the series in the
                                                                         form of the FX-6200 and FX-4170 along with some price
We're starting to hear the rumour mill pump out talk of the              cutting on two existing chips; namely the FX-8120 and the
next Nexus device being made by LG. It's been reported that              FX-6100.
LG is looking to get its mits on a contract that will give the
                                                                         AMD's FX lineup of desktop processors has been dusted
handset maker exclusive rights to produce Google's next-
                                                                         off a bit thanks to a couple of new additions to the series
gen Nexus device(s) and first dibs on one of Google's future
                                                                         in the form of the FX-6200 and FX-4170 along with some
major Android OS releases.
                                                                         price cutting on two existing chips; namely the FX-8120
We're starting to hear the rumour mill pump out talk of the              and the FX-6100. It's a shame AMD hasn't included its
next Nexus device being made by LG. It's been reported that              flagship FX-8150 with it still costing too much in line of the
LG is looking to get its mits on a contract that will give the           competition at about $245.
handset maker exclusive rights to produce Google's next-
                                                                         The new 32nm-based hexa-core FX-6200 and quad-core
gen Nexus device(s) and first dibs on one of Google's future
                                                                         FX-4170 AM3+ processors both run a TDP of 125W and
major Android OS releases.
                                                                         carry 8MB of L3 cache. The FX-6200 has a base clock of
                                                                         3.8GHz with Turbo at 4.1GHz, while the FX-4170 runs at
                                                                         4.2GHz with a 4.3GHz Turbo speed.
                                                                         Pricing on the FX-6200 and FX-4170 hasn't officially been
                                                                         disclosed, but as an indication the FX-6200 is up for pre-


                                                                                                                                            15
February 29th, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

order at 152.70 Euro and the FX-4170 is shifting for 120.60
Euro at the time of writing.
As for the aforementioned price cuts on the FX-8120 and
FX-6100 chips, they've taken a small dive from $205 to $185
and $155 to $145, respectively.


Xbox 360 Game Review:
Gears of War 3 and RAAM's
Shadow DLC
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xbox-360-game-review-gears-of-
war-3-and-raam-s-shadow-dlc/15050.html
February 29th, 2012

                                                                     In addition to the game:
                                                                     - Octus Award Box with the Octus Service Medal awarded to
                                                                     Dr. Adam Fenix
                                                                     - Exclusive Adam Fenix playable character for multiplayer
Are you ready for war? Well, if you are, you would want to try
hands on Gears of War 3 and RAAM's Shadow DLC third-                 - Fabric COG flag
person shooter. Developed by Epic Games, Gears of War 3
is the third instalment of its series and the final game in the      - Personal effects of Dr. Adam Fenix such as his Last Will and
story.                                                               Testament, Hammer of Dawn schematics and Fenix family
                                                                     mementos
Before we move on to the review, here's a look at what's
inside the Gears of War 3 Limited Edition box.                       Gears of Wars 3 Limited Edition (Xbox 360) - S$84.90
                                                                     Gears of War 3: RAAM’s Shadow DLC - 1200 MS Points


                                                                     Nokia's 41 Million Pixel
                                                                     Smartphone a Revolution in
                                                                     Mobile Photography?
                                                                     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-s-41-million-pixel-
                                                                     smartphone-a-revolution-in-mobile-photography-/15045.html
                                                                     February 29th, 2012




                                                                     High end movie cameras always record in higher resolution
                                                                     than stated, but starting today, similar technology is
                                                                     becoming available in the smartphone market: Meet the
                                                                     Nokia 808 PureView.
                                                                     Today, Nokia unleashed a product which no one expected.
                                                                     With all the talk of quad-core phones, Android 4.0, Windows
                                                                     Phone 7.5 "Mango" and upcoming 8.0 "Tango" it is easy to
                                                                     forget that while the performance of the phones is different,
                                                                     almost every phone comes with 5MP, 8MP or 12MP camera.
                                                                     Not anymore. 808 PureView certainly isn't going to make
                                                                     European car-maker Peugeot very happy (the company
                                                                     trademarked all three number with zero in the middle i.e.
                                                                     why Porsche 901 was renamed 911, extended to even some
                                                                     consumer products such as PC displays) - but this is a
                                                                     landmark smartphone.




                                                                                                                                       16
February 29th, 2012                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                 In some ways Qualcomm appears to be behind some of its
                                                                 competitors, especially with the delay of its first quad core
                                                                 processors, but its new MSM8960 SoC has proven that more
                                                                 cores aren't always the way forward, despite the market
                                                                 hype. Now the company has announced a "pro" version of
                                                                 the MSM8960, simply called the MSM8960 Pro.
                                                                 In fact, VR-Zone reported about this model way back in
                                                                 September of last year, but then we didn't have a lot of
                                                                 detail to go on, except that there would be to SKUs of
                                                                 the MSM8960, one with Adreno 225 graphics which is the
                                                                 model available now and one with Adreno 320 graphics
                                                                 which is the pro version that Qualcomm has announced now.
                                                                 The MSM8960 Pro will also be clocked higher at 1.7GHz
                                                                 versus 1.5GHz for the non pro version.
                                                                 According to the press release from Qualcomm, the
                                                                 MSM8960 Pro will be optimized for "the most advanced
                                                                 operating systems, including the highly anticipated
Based on Symbian "Belle" operating system, the 808               Windows 8 system" suggesting that the company is likely to
PureView brings a record 41 million pixel CMOS sensor            target the MSM8960 Pro towards ARM based tablets and
with Carl Zeis glass optics and the new proprietary pixel        the ultra-thin and light notebook segment rather than for
oversampling technology.                                         phones.
We might argue it's not pixel oversampling, but hardware         Qualcomm also claims to have over 120 OEM design wins
accelerated downsampling - the concept is effectively the        in development for its Snapdragon S4 class SoCs, although
same. The camera works in two ways. First and foremost,          to be clear, this includes some 14 different SKUs of which
with the standard resolutions (2, 3, 5 and 8 MPixels), you can   some hasn't launched as yet and of which a couple are even
zoom in up to 3x without any loss of clarity. Second mode        based on the ARM Cortex-A5 core rather than Qualcomm's
is to capture an almost full, 38 million pixel (7152x5368)       Krait architecture. Even so it's easy to see why Qualcomm is
image. Nokia released image gallery with the phone, and you      currently ahead of the competition when it comes to market
can see it by clicking on following links:                       share in the mobile SoC market space, but the company can't
However, don't expect to see a 4K video being shot on this       rest on its laurels, as there are plenty of competitors that
mobile phone. This phone captures Full HD i.e. 1080p video       want a slice of Qualcomm's market share and it looks like
at 30 frames per second with 4X lossless zoom. This is also      2012 is going to be a very competitive year among the ARM
the first mobile phone to support "Nokia Rich Recording" i.e.    licensees.
combining the integrated microphone with DSP processor
and allegedly "enabling CD-like levels of quality".
The headphones are not the downfall of this device either -
                                                                 Broadcom announces
multi-channel Dolby Headphone technology is here (hence          Android 4.0 optimized SoCs
the necessity for a headphone dock - it carries a separate DSP   Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/broadcom-announces-android-4.0-
processor). If you're wondering how much does this 41MP          optimized-socs/15048.html
goodness runs for, the answer is simple - $500 (without          February 29th, 2012
operator subsidies).
Is that too high or too low? Express your opinions below.


Qualcomm announces the                                           The ARM SoC market space for the mobile market is
Snapdragon S4 Pro                                                getting crowded, but it doesn't seem to stop Broadcom
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/qualcomm-announces-the-      getting into the game with several new models optimized for
snapdragon-s4-pro/15049.html                                     Android 4.0. The company has announced the BCM28155,
February 29th, 2012                                              BCM28145 and BCM21654G at the MWC, all based on
                                                                 ARM's Cortex-A9 core.
                                                                 The ARM SoC market space for the mobile market is
                                                                 getting crowded, but it doesn't seem to stop Broadcom
                                                                 getting into the game with several new models optimized for
                                                                 Android 4.0. The company has announced the BCM28155,
                                                                 BCM28145 and BCM21654G at the MWC, all based on
In some ways Qualcomm appears to be behind some of its           ARM's Cortex-A9 core.
competitors, especially with the delay of its first quad core    The most basic model is the BCM21654G which is a
processors, but its new MSM8960 SoC has proven that more         single core 1GHz chip with an integrated HSPA modem
cores aren't always the way forward, despite the market          that supports download speeds of up to 7.2Mbps and
hype. Now the company has announced a "pro" version of           upload speeds of up to 5.8Mbps. There's also support
the MSM8960, simply called the MSM8960 Pro.                      for 8Megapixel camera sensors, 720p video recording and


                                                                                                                                   17
February 29th, 2012                                            Published by: VR-Zone

accelerated 2D and 3D graphics courtesy of Broadcom's own
VideoCore IV technology.
The BCM28145 and BCM28155 appears to be near identical
in terms of what's on offer, as both are a dual core SoCs
with clock speeds of up to 1.3GHz with support for HSPA
+ download speeds of up to 21Mbps and upload speeds of
5.8Mbps. The main difference appear to be the fact that the
BCM28155 supports 1080p video whereas the BCM28145
is limited to 720p video, but both processors support still
images up to 20Megapixels. As with the BCM21654G, the
BCM28145and BCM28155 sports Broadcom's VideoCore IV
technology.
All three models support 400MHz LPDDR2 memory;
although the BCM28155 has an advantage over the other
two models by having a dual-channel memory interface.
Broadcom is also offering companion chips that add
Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct and Wi-
Fi Display support, GPS and GLOSNASS support as well
as NFC. All three models apparently support dual-SIM as
well, a feature that seems to be mostly popular in the Asian
market.
The only downside as we can see it is that Broadcom is
manufacturing its new SoCs at 40nm, which means that
are likely to run hotter and use a bit more power than its
competitors whom are moving its latest products to 32 or
28nm. All three solutions will go into production in the
second half of the year, suggesting that these will end up
in mid-range handsets that should launch towards the end
of the year. Broadcom is currently sampling customers, but
didn't mention any potential partners.




                                                                                 18
March 2nd, 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.


Gigabyte shrinks the
G1.Sniper series to mATX
with the M3
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-shrinks-the-g1.sniper-
series-to-matx-with-the-m3/15101.html
March 2nd, 2012




So far, all of Gigabyte's G1 series gaming motherboards
have used the ATX or XL-ATX form factor, but with the
introduction of its 7-series boards the company decided to
launch a much requested mATX model, the G1.Sniper M3. It
shares some of its features with the G1.Sniper 3, but as it's a       As with the G1.Sniper 3, Gigabyte has used Creative's Sound
smaller board; some compromises had to be made.                       Core3D here too, albeit with a slightly different design. We're
                                                                      not sure if there will be more capacitors or not, but there are a
So far, all of Gigabyte's G1 series gaming motherboards               lot of empty spaces where additional audio grade capacitors
have used the ATX or XL-ATX form factor, but with the                 appear to missing from. You do of course get the headphone
introduction of its 7-series boards the company decided to            amp here too, alongside the shielding which this time around
launch a much requested mATX model, the G1.Sniper M3. It              also surrounds the front audio jack header.
shares some of its features with the G1.Sniper 3, but as it's a
smaller board; some compromises had to be made.
 The G1.Sniper M3 starts off with a pair of x16 PCI Express
3.0 slots, albeit both slots would as usual operate in dual x8
mode when used with a pair of graphics cards. The board also
has a x16 PCI Express 2.0 slot, although it only has four lanes
connected via the chipset, as well as a x1 PCI Express 2.0 slot.
You only get two SATA 6Gbps and three SATA 3Gbps ports,
but most mATX chassis don't have space for much more than
five drives anyhow, so this shouldn't prove to be an issue for
most.

                                                                      There's no Killer NIC is sight on the G1.Sniper M3, instead an
                                                                      Intel Ethernet controller is being used which isn't a terribly
                                                                      bad alternative. The board also has headers for six USB 2.0
                                                                      ports and two USB 2.0 ports. What we are missing though
                                                                      is the power, reset and clear CMOS buttons alongside the
                                                                      POST80 debug LED.
                                                                      At the rear of the board we find four USB 2.0 ports – no
                                                                      USB 3.0 hubs on this board – two USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA
                                                                      port, a PS/2 port, an Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio with
                                                                      optical S/PDIF out and DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI and D-sub
                                                                      connectors. Not bad, but somewhat disappointing compared
                                                                      to the G1.Sniper 3.



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




We're not blown away by the G1.Sniper M3 and it looks
slightly short on features compared to ASRock's Fatal1ty
Z77 Professional-M, at least as far as we can tell from
the tiny picture that leaked. It's not a massive difference
and hopefully the G1.Sniper M3 will make up for being
somewhat lighter on features by being more affordable
than the competition. We should also point out that the
board we saw didn't have the final heatsinks, as they should
look more like the ones on the G1.Sniper 3. We'll have to            As you have most likely already seen from the picture above,
wait and see how popular the G1.Sniper M3 will be with               Gigabyte has really toned down the heatsink design on its
gamers, especially as this is the target market and also where       gaming boards with the G1.Sniper 3 and we were told that
Gigabyte is going to have to slug it out with the competition.       they'd received a lot of criticism for its heatinks on the
                                                                     previous boards and as such decided to go for something a
Detailed hands on pictures of                                        bit plainer. This looks a lot cleaner at least, although we're
                                                                     sure that some users won't be happy with this move either.
Gigabyte's G1.Sniper 3                                               So what's new? Well, let's start at the rear of the board – and
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/detailed-hands-on-pictures-of-   no we're not talking about the I/O – as some of the biggest
gigabyte-s-g1.sniper-3/15100.html                                    changes have taken place here. As you can see, the audio chip
March 2nd, 2012                                                      has changed, gone is the huge Creative 20K2 chip and in its
                                                                     place is the much smaller Sound Core3D which isn't much
                                                                     larger than your average audio chip. However, as with its
                                                                     previous models, Gigabyte has also added a headphone amp,
                                                                     Nichicon audio capacitors and some shielding to reduce any
                                                                     potential signal interference.

Earlier today we swung by Gigabyte's office for an update
ahead of Cebit and we were pleasantly surprised when the
company told us that we could post pictures of its near
final revision motherboards as of today. Due to the fact that
Gigabyte has several new boards, we'll be breaking this down
in a few articles so we can take a closer look at the various
models, starting with the G1.Sniper 3.
Earlier today we swung by Gigabyte's office for an update
ahead of Cebit and we were pleasantly surprised when the
company told us that we could post pictures of its near
final revision motherboards as of today. Due to the fact that
Gigabyte has several new boards, we'll be breaking this down         If you look closely in the bottom right hand corner of
in a few articles so we can take a closer look at the various        the picture you'll see another small chip underneath the
models, starting with the G1.Sniper 3.                               audio shielding, this is the new Killer NIC from Qualcomm.
Sadly we can't write too much about the technology of these          Considering that the previous implementation used an
7-series chipsets motherboards for Intel's third generation          FPGA, memory chips and a PHY from Broadcom, we'd say
Core i processors as they're currently being called, although        that this is a massive improvement in terms of PCB space
to make things easy we'll simply stick to Ivy Bridge as and          requirements. The cost is apparently a lot lower as well,
when we refer to the CPU. That said, it's not as if we're            but just don't know how much cheaper it is. The downside
looking at boring boards here, as although they might not be         both in terms of both of the new chips is the fact that
packed to the brim with shiny new features, there's enough           some additional CPU processing time is needed, but this is
here to go around.                                                   unlikely to be a huge issue for anyone going for one of these
                                                                     boards.
                                                                     Due to some controversy over the Killer NICs, Gigabyte has
                                                                     added a second network controller – this time from Intel
                                                                     – to allow competitive gamers to use a standard network
                                                                     controller to avoid being called cheaters, although you can't

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

see that chip in the picture above, but it's right above the first       images show the main character with what appears to be a
x16 PCI Express slot on the board.                                       tomahawk, as well as a bow and quiver on his back.


Ubisoft confirms Assassin's                                              The game studio has spent the past three years working on
Creed III setting in American                                            what it is promising to be the “biggest instalment” of the
                                                                         Assassins versus Knights Templars story, with a complete
Revolution                                                               rethinking of every element of the franchise.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ubisoft-confirms-assassin-s-creed-
iii-setting-in-american-revolution/15099.html
March 2nd, 2012
                                                                         Although some players considered the Assassin's Creed:
                                                                         Brotherhood game to be the third installation, it is
                                                                         technically a spin-off from Assassin's Creed II, continuing
                                                                         the story of the game's protagonist. Ubisoft has promised
                                                                         that Assassin's Creed III's main character will be completely
                                                                         new, which looks to be the case from the artwork we have
                                                                         seen.
Ubisoft has confirmed that Assassin's Creed III, the highly
anticipated sequel in its assassin adventure, will be set at the         Ubisoft has promised more details about the game on
time of the American Revolution.                                         Monday, 5 March. The game will be released on 30 October
Ubisoft has confirmed that Assassin's Creed III, the highly              of this year.
anticipated sequel in its assassin adventure, will be set at the
time of the American Revolution.


Leaked artwork showed the main character of the upcoming
game weilding an axe and a pistol, with an American flag
in the background, suggesting that the setting would in the
second half of the 18th Century in the New World, with the
protagonist potentially being a Native American.


The time period is the logical next step to that of the previous
two titles, which were set in the late 12th Century and late
15th Century respectively. The American Revolution gives
plenty of material for the game designers to work with and
should give players a unique experience at this important
time in history.

                                                                         First Look Video: Canon EOS
                                                                         5D Mark III Menu Structure
                                                                         Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-look-video-canon-eos-5d-mark-
                                                                         iii-menu-structure/15097.html
                                                                         March 2nd, 2012

                                                                          If you haven't seen the 1DX you wouldn't necessarily know
                                                                         that the menu structure has changed in the 5D Mark III.
                                                                         It isn't a drastic change but change none-the-less. http://
                                                                         www.youtube.com/embed/eYEA3NZFaQk


                                                                         German court dismisses
                                                                         Apple and Samsung lawsuits
                                                                         Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/german-court-dismisses-apple-and-
                                                                         samsung-lawsuits/15098.html
                                                                         March 2nd, 2012




Ubisoft revealed that the leaked images were real and
Game Informer has published several new ones, giving us                  A German court has dismissed two separate lawsuits
a tantalising first look at Assassin's Creed III. The new                brought by rivals Apple and Samsung against each other,

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

marking a stalemate in both companies' efforts to ban                    March 2nd, 2012
opposing devices in the largest European economy.
A German court has dismissed two separate lawsuits
brought by rivals Apple and Samsung against each other,
marking a stalemate in both companies' efforts to ban
opposing devices in the largest European economy.

                                                                         Scientists have demonstrated how “twisting” radio waves
The Mannheim regional court threw out Apple's case, which                can significantly increase their capacity to carry information,
alleged that Samsung infringed one of its patents relating to            which could free up frequency space for more radio,
slide-to-lock technology.                                                television, and Wi-Fi transmissions.
                                                                         Scientists have demonstrated how “twisting” radio waves
                                                                         can significantly increase their capacity to carry information,
The court also dismissed the final of three patent claims
                                                                         which could free up frequency space for more radio,
Samsung made against Apple, relating to 3G/UMTS
                                                                         television, and Wi-Fi transmissions.
technology, the other two of which had been previously
rejected.
                                                                         Professor Bo Thide from the Swedish Institute of Space
                                                                         Physics and a number of Italian colleagues shared their
                                                                         discovery in the New Journal of Physics, where they argued
                                                                         that the problem of limited bandwidth could soon be solved.


                                                                         The technique employs what is called “orbital angular
                                                                         momentum” to bend the waves, a method also believed to be
                                                                         employed in black holes. This allows for a wave to contain
                                                                         more information than previously possible by expanding its
                                                                         potential bandwidth.




Despite the stalemate both companies have additional
lawsuits and patent claims pending a decision, including
four more patents held by Samsung and another slide-to-
unlock lawsuit brought by Apple.


Samsung welcomed the court's rejection of Apple's claims,
stating that it affirms that its Galaxy range does not infringe
Apple's intellectual property. It expressed disappointment
that its own case was also dismissed, however, and vowed to
appeal it at the Higher Regional Court in Karlsruhe.

                                                                         The scientists demonstrated the theory by sending a signal
The smartphone and tablet rivals have been at each other's
                                                                         from San Giorgio island to Palazzo Ducale in St. Mark's
throats for the past year after Apple threw the first
                                                                         square, the location where Galileo first showed off his
stone, accusing Samsung of “slavishly copying” its designs,
                                                                         telescope hundreds of years ago. They employed a simple
particularly in terms of the Galaxy Tab and iPad. It secured
                                                                         technique of adding a twist to the dish that sent the signal,
an initial sales ban against the device in Germany, but
                                                                         resulting in it twisting and providing more bandwidth than
Samsung altered its design slightly and was able to put it
                                                                         normal.
back on the market.

                                                                         The significance of this discovery cannot be understated,
                                                                         as the telecommunications industry is suffering from a
Scientists demonstrate radio                                             severe lack of spectrum, particularly in the mobile sector,
wave "twisting" to increase                                              where Wi-Fi-capable smartphones and tablet computers are
                                                                         continuing to boom.
bandwidth
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/scientists-demonstrate-radio-wave-
twisting-to-increase-bandwidth/15096.html

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

Source and Image Credit: BBC                                       accompanied by pictures of a novel power connector
                                                                   solution.

NVIDIA GK104 PCB Pictured                                          Chinese websites have leaked a partial PCB drawing
                                                                   for NVIDIA's upcoming GK104 based graphics card,
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-gk104-pcb-
                                                                   accompanied by pictures of a novel power connector
pictured/15095.html
                                                                   solution.
March 2nd, 2012




Not content with leaking PCB drawings, a poster at chinese
forum Chiphell has now leaked a live picture of GK104's
PCB. The actual PCB is largely reminiscent of the leaked
diagrams, and also fills in the missing blanks with a die shot
and memory modules.
Not content with leaking PCB drawings, a poster at chinese
forum Chiphell has now leaked a live picture of GK104's
PCB. The actual PCB is largely reminiscent of the leaked           The GPU and memory area have been blanked out.
diagrams, and also fills in the missing blanks with a die shot     Fortunately, the rest of the drawing reveals important details
and memory modules.                                                about GK104. The PCB itself is of similar length to the GTX
                                                                   580. However unlike GTX 480 and GTX 580, there is no
                                                                   room spared in the fan area, with the 5-phase VRM section
                                                                   filled to the brim. The PCB seems to be capable of 2 x 6-
                                                                   pin PCI-e + 8-pin power connectors, which could see this
                                                                   connector scheme recycled in a possible dual-GPU variant
                                                                   requiring 375W. Display outputs include 2xDVI, 1x HDMI
                                                                   and 1x DisplayPort. As expected, two SLI connectors are
                                                                   featured, for up to 4 way SLI (if supported).
The picture confirms everything discussed in the diagram
leak article - from the overall length, unique stacked power
connectors, the five phase VRM, 2x SLI connectors to the
display outputs. The 2x DVI seem to be stacked like AMD's
Radeon HD 5800 and 6900 graphics cards, constricting
exhaust flow. In addition, HDMI and DisplayPort outputs
are present. While it is difficult to tell from this angle, this
particular PCB - most likely an engineering sample - appears
to be sporting the 8-pin + 6-pin stacked power connector, as
opposed to the previously leaked 2x6-pin stacked variant. It
remains to be seen which configuration the final production
boards will ship with.
As for the bits not shown by the drawings - a total of
8 memory chips are present, which all but confirms the
heavily rumoured 256-bit memory interface. A total of              In its single GPU GK104 form, it uses a stacked design
2GB GDDR5 memory is expected. At first glance, the die             featuring 2 x 6-pin PCI-e power connectors arranged on top
appears to be similar in size to Tahiti, perhaps a tad smaller.    of each other, driving upto 225W. However, certain samples
Unlike recent NVIDIA performance GPUs, GK104 sheds the             and possibly overclocked variants may feature 8-pin+6-pin
headspreader.                                                      stacked - as is shown possible by the PCB drawing. The
                                                                   second single 6-pin connecter leads are left unused. In the
GK104 is reported to release as GeForce GTX 670 Ti later           stacked design, the top connector is flipped, so the 6-pin plug
this month.                                                        must be rotated 180 degrees to fit.
                                                                   According to the latest rumours, the first GK104 based SKU
NVIDIA GK104 PCB diagram                                           is set to release later this month branded as GeForce GTX
                                                                   670 Ti, offering performance between GTX 580 / HD 7950
leaked                                                             and HD 7970.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-gk104-pcb-diagram-
leaked/15093.html
March 2nd, 2012                                                    LG showcases WCD-800
                                                                   advanced wireless charger
                                                                   Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-showcases-wcd-800-advanced-
                                                                   wireless-charger/15092.html

Chinese websites have leaked a partial PCB drawing
for NVIDIA's upcoming GK104 based graphics card,

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

March 2nd, 2012                                                      March 2nd, 2012




Wouldn't it be nice if we can do away with messy power               The wait is over. Canon has announced the highly-
cables to connect and charge our devices? Well, Korean               anticipated EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR camera. At
electronics maker, LG, has recently unveiled their new               Ion Orchard in Singapore, Canon Singapore unveiled the
advanced wireless charger, WCD-800, at Mobile World                  successor to the 5D Mark II which is targeted at professional
Congress (MWC) 2012 that provides users with great                   and advanced amateur photographers and film makers.
convenience and flexibility.




The WCD-800 wireless charger is actually a cradle which
allow the phone to be docked vertically, allowing users to           The 22.3-megapixel Canon 5D Mark III features a few
make video calls and send text messages or horizontally              improved features including the 36 x 24mm full-frame
to view TV programs and High Definition movies while                 CMOS sensor, ISO sensitivity of 100 - 25,600 (expandable
charging. Using electromagnetic induction, the WCD-800               up to L:50, H1:51,200, new DIGIC 5+ processor, and
relies on electric currents produced by the magnetic fields          continuous shooting speeds of up to 6 fps at full resolution.
of the electric coils located under the charger, and helps           The digital SLR camera is also equipped with new 61-point
to eliminate the inconvenience of power cable that needs             High Density Reticular AF system (41 cross-types), 63-
to be plugged into the smartphone when recharging. The               zone dual layer iFCL metering system, and offers multiple
WCD-800 will be introduced first in Korea followed by                exposures, High Dynamic Range (HDR) and supports CF
North America in the first half of the year.                         and SD cards.


Canon unveils long-awaited
5D Mark III digital SLR
camera
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/canon-unveils-long-awaited-5d-
mark-iii-digital-slr-camera/15091.html

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




                                                                   Andrew Koh, senior director and general manager,
                                                                   Consumer Imaging and Information Division, Canon
                                                                   Singapore, was at the event to introduce the EOS 5D Mark
                                                                   III as well as new EF24mm f/2.8 IS USM, EF28mm f/2.8 IS
                                                                   USM, EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lenses, Speedlite 600EX
                                                                   and 600EX-RT, and wireless file transmitter WFT-E7.


                                                                   16 and 32GB iPad 3s at
                                                                   launch, cheaper iPad 2 soon
                                                                   after, mini iPad coming Q3
                                                                   Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/16-and-32gb-ipad-3s-at-launch-
                                                                   cheaper-ipad-2-soon-after-mini-ipad-coming-q3/15090.html
                                                                   March 2nd, 2012



You can now compose and track fast moving objects while
maintaining focus, thanks to the new AF system. The new
AF system lets you achieve fast AF speeds on f/4.0 lenses
where it is usually associated with f/2.8 lenses on the
EOS 1D Mark IV. The 5D Mark III claims to significantly            More miniature iPad talk is continuing to churn its way
reduce color artifacts and moiré effect, and it supports           through the rumour mill with the latest word being that it'll
Standard Definition to Full High Definition recording (in          run a screen size of 7.85-inches with the same 1024 x 768
30P/25P/24P). It also supports continuous shooting up to a         resolution seen on the first couple gen iPads.
maximum of 30 minutes recording; it will create a new video        More miniature iPad talk is continuing to churn its way
file once the current file reaches 4GB during shooting. With       through the rumour mill with the latest word being that it'll
a 3.2-inch tempered glass LCD II monitor (3:2 aspect ratio),       run a screen size of 7.85-inches with the same 1024 x 768
you can frame shots, review images and navigate menus              resolution seen on the first couple gen iPads.
easily.
                                                                   Pricing on the mini iPad is expected to sit between US
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III will be available in end March           $249 and $299, helping Apple provide a counter attack
at authorized Canon dealers. Pricing details are not available     on affordable Android units including the Kindle Fire and
yet, until closer to retail. Canon has also not confirmed if the   Nook. While samples are said to be already out, volume
5D Mark III will be showcased or taking pre-orders at the          production on Apple's mini iPad isn't expected to kick off
upcoming IT Show 2012.                                             until Q3.
                                                                   Another interesting rumour has also just surfaced indicating
                                                                   that Apple is looking to roll out a cheaper, stripped down
                                                                   iPad 2 soon as well. This is said to be a model with just 8GB of
                                                                   storage and a lowly price tag of somewhere around US $349.
                                                                   The many potential iPad buyers out there who had great
                                                                   difficulty swallowing the cost of one may be snapping them
                                                                   up in droves once these market segments are covered with
                                                                   lower cost alternatives.
                                                                   Meanwhile, as we all know the other end of the spectrum
                                                                   is about to be polished right up on March 7th when Apple
                                                                   outs the iPad 3 in 16 and 32GB flavours (while perhaps not

                                                                                                                                        7
March 2nd, 2012                                                                                                          Published by: VR-Zone

quite as popular, surely a 64GB will follow). This supposed            - Receipts: Organizes receipts and business expenses.
quad-core wielding 9.7-inch tablet is rumoured to be slightly           Creates digital copies of receipts for returns, which you can
thicker than iPad 2 to accommodate several new features                re-print whenever you need them.
including a 2048 by 1536 (264dpi) Retina display, improved             - Business Cards: Captures important contact information
cameras and LTE 4G technology.                                         from business cards, even handwritten notes.
                                                                       - Imports: Imports data to Outlook, Word, Excel and
PlanOn introduces world's                                              compatible databases.
first credit card-sized receipt                                        - RMS Software: Includes Receipt Management System
                                                                       (RMS) Software that easily scans, edits, organizes, and
scanner                                                                imports.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/planon-introduces-world-s-first-
credit-card-sized-receipt-scanner/15089.html
                                                                       - Warrantee & Insurance Information: Keeps warrantee and
March 2nd, 2012
                                                                       insurance info safe.
                                                                       - Track Expenditures: Tracks expenditures however you
                                                                       want: by purchase type, expense category, month, or year.
                                                                       - Bargain Hunting While Shopping: Scans the labels of items
                                                                       at the store so you can bargain hunt at other stores or online
                                                                       for the best deal -- or remember favorite products or gifts
                                                                       that you want to buy.
PlanOn System Solutions, who is known for scanning
and printing solutions for the mobile professionals, has               - Promotional Gifts: SlimScan can be given out as
announced the world's first credit card-sized receipt scanner          promotional gifts imprinted with a company logo.
that offers high-resolution color scanning wherever you go.            - Dimensions: 1.96 x 3.06 x 0.08mm
It is extremely portable and you will never lose another
receipt again.                                                         - Resolution: 300 dpi, 24 bit color.
                                                                       - Memory: Stores 600 images.


                                                                       Intel lets slip its upcoming
                                                                       Ivy Bridge processors
                                                                       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-lets-slip-its-upcoming-ivy-
                                                                       bridge-processors/15088.html
                                                                       March 2nd, 2012




                                                                       We've already report just about everything there is to report
                                                                       on Intel's soon to launch Ivy Bridge processors, but with
                                                                       close to two months before the launch, Intel has gone and
                                                                       put up publically accessible information that details all of its
The PlanOn SlimScan claims to be the world’s first credit              upcoming processors models. This is about as official as it'll
card-sized portable full color scanner that lets you scan              ever get ahead of a launch and someone at Intel is most likely
and organize receipts and business cards wherever you                  going to be having a really bad day for it.
are. Measuring 1.96 x 3.06 x 0.08mm, SlimScan is a full-
featured, high resolution color scanner that can easily fit in         We've already report just about everything there is to report
your wallet or credit card holder. If you are one of those             on Intel's soon to launch Ivy Bridge processors, but with
who frequently misplace things including receipts, business            close to two months before the launch, Intel has gone and
cards or handwritten notes, then you probably would want               put up publically accessible information that details all of its
the SlimScan that can capture full-color digital images of             upcoming processors models. This is about as official as it'll
the items. Made of durable stainless steel, SlimScan features          ever get ahead of a launch and someone at Intel is most likely
a convenient preview screen that lets you instantly view,              going to be having a really bad day for it.
zoom-in and pan scanned images on the fly. It connects
directly to Windows PCs through USB and lets you upload
and edit scanned items conveniently.
The SlimScan scanner with special software bundle (SS100-
RMS) is available immediately from PlanOn and leading
retailers, priced at US$139.99 MSRP.
SlimScan Features:

                                                                       What Intel has posted is what it calls a flipbook, something
                                                                       that would normally be a printed product guide that is being
                                                                                                                                               8
March 2nd, 2012                                                                                                        Published by: VR-Zone

given to its various partners as a simple hand out to allow             claim to uphold, so it'll be interesting to see what the
their customers to keep track of all the CPU models. The PDF            company has to show.
was posted on one of Intel's partner sites called the Retail            OCZ will also be showing a range of solutions for cloud
Edge Program and it's not accessible to the general public.             computing and enterprise servers, including its Z-Drive R4
However, this specific PDF can be found by simply searching             CloudServ PCI Express SSD which will be demoed at the
for the various upcoming CPU models, so obviously Intel's               show. Expect us to swing by the OCZ booth next week to
security on its partner site isn't really of much use.                  take a look at the latest and greatest technology from the
                                                                        company and to see if the new Vertex 4 series can deliver on
                                                                        OCZ's claims.


                                                                        Some of ASRock's Z77
                                                                        motherboards leak ahead of
                                                                        Cebit
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/some-of-asrock-s-z77-motherboards-
                                                                        leak-ahead-of-cebit/15086.html
                                                                        March 2nd, 2012


The PDF doesn't really seem to contain any new information,
but it does confirm all the Core i7 and Core i5 models we've
known about to date. The screen shots above only details
some of the models and you can download the entire PDF if
you want to have a look for yourself. Interestingly the PDF is
dated January 2012 – April 2012 and as such it's clear that it          Come Cebit next week we'll get the first sneak peeks of what
doesn't really take Intel's delay into account and it puts more         should be the final motherboard designs based on Intel's
fuel on the fire that the delay has nothing to do with Intel's          upcoming 7-series chipsets for Ivy Bridge, but details of
ability to manufacture at 22nm.                                         ASRock's upcoming motherboards have made their ways
                                                                        online via a range of different sources, including pictures and
                                                                        specs of some of the models we can expect at the show. The
OCZ to show off its new                                                 pictures are of a pair of Fatal1ty branded models as well as
                                                                        of an Extreme board which all are the high-end modesl in
Indilinx Everest 2 based                                                ASRock's new line-up.
Vertex 4 SSD at Cebit                                                   Come Cebit next week we'll get the first sneak peeks of what
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-to-show-off-its-new-indilinx-   should be the final motherboard designs based on Intel's
everest-2-based-vertex-4-ssd-at-cebit/15087.html                        upcoming 7-series chipsets for Ivy Bridge, but details of
March 2nd, 2012                                                         ASRock's upcoming motherboards have made their ways
                                                                        online via a range of different sources, including pictures and
                                                                        specs of some of the models we can expect at the show. The
                                                                        pictures are of a pair of Fatal1ty branded models as well as
                                                                        of an Extreme board which all are the high-end modesl in
                                                                        ASRock's new line-up.
                                                                        First of all, our Chinese language sister site has dug up
Cebit might not be the most prominent IT show these                     the product names of ASRock's upcoming models. As such
days, but it doesn't stop companies from announcing new                 we can expect to see the H77M, H77 Pro4/MVP, Z77 Pro4,
products at the show and that's just what OCZ has said it               Z77 Pro4-M, Z77 Extreme4, Z77 Extreme6, Fatal1ty Z77
will be doing. The company is getting ready to unveil its               Professional and Fatal1ty Z77 Professional-M. The last three
Vertex 4 series of SSDs based on its new Indilinx Everest 2             of those models have made appearances on various websites
SSD controller which should prove to be competitive against             and the Z77 Extreme6 has been extensively detailed as you
SandForce's 2000-series of controllers.                                 can see below.
Cebit might not be the most prominent IT show these                     The Z77 Extreme6 is at least for now ASRock's highest-
days, but it doesn't stop companies from announcing new                 end non-Fatal1ty branded board. Although it's not a direct
products at the show and that's just what OCZ has said it               replacement for the Z68 Extreme7 Gen3, as it seem to slot in
will be doing. The company is getting ready to unveil its               just below it in terms of features, nor would it be a straight
Vertex 4 series of SSDs based on its new Indilinx Everest 2             replacement for the P67 Extreme6 based solely on features.
SSD controller which should prove to be competitive against             That said, ASRock has managed to squeeze in a fair amount
SandForce's 2000-series of controllers.                                 of features on the Z77 Extreme6.
OCZ is making some bold claims about the Indilinx Everest
2 controller and its new Vertex 4 series of SSDs, in fact,
the company goes as far as to say that its new SSDs will
deliver “industry-leading performance and superior data
management for all file types and sizes.” That's no small


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

                                                                    Microsoft has released a consumer preview of Windows
                                                                    8, the next version of its popular operating system, giving
                                                                    people a sneak peek at what is to come and letting them help
                                                                    iron out any kinks before its expected release later this year.
                                                                    Microsoft has released a consumer preview of Windows
                                                                    8, the next version of its popular operating system, giving
                                                                    people a sneak peek at what is to come and letting them help
                                                                    iron out any kinks before its expected release later this year.


                                                                    The Redmond, Washington-based firm previously released
                                                                    a Developer Preview last September to more than three
                                                                    million developers throughout the world, but now many
                                                                    more people can get their hands on a pre-release version of
                                                                    Windows 8 to see what it has to offer.


                                                                    “With Windows 8, we reimagined the different ways people
                                                                    interact with their PC and how to make everything feel
For starters it has three x16 PCI Express ready slots, of which     like a natural extension of the device, whether using
the first two are PCI Express 3.0 slots that will operate in        a Windows 8 tablet, laptop or all-in-one,” said Steven
dual x8 mode when both slots are in use. It's not clear as          Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live
to what the third slot is, but presumably we're looking at a        Division at Microsoft. “The Windows 8 Consumer Preview
x4 slot here. The board also has a PCI Express x1 slot, two         brings a no-compromises approach to using your PC.”
PCI slots and a mini card PCI Express slot – which might
support mSATA – located below the first x16 slot. Besides
the standard two Intel SATA 6Gbps ports and four SATA
3Gbps ports, ASRock has also added two additional SATA              This latest preview version features significant
6Gbps ports via an ASMedia ASM1061 controller, although             improvements over the Developer Preview, including
interestingly ASRock has shared the second port from the            performance tweaks and changes that increase quality and
ASMedia controller with the eSATA port, so you only get one         reliability. While not a finished product, it's considerably
or the other.                                                       closer to what we'll be using to replace Windows 7 in the
Other on board features include headers for two front USB           future.
3.0 ports (via the Intel chipset), what appears to be three
headers for six USB 2.0 ports, a header for a FireWire port,
power and rest buttons, a POST80 debug LED, a floppy drive          The Consumer Preview showcases many of the unique
connector, a serial port header and of course four DIMM             features of Windows 8, such as its secure boot, fast boot,
slots. The rear I/O is comprised of a PS/2 port, two USB 2.0        and Metro touch interface for tablet computers. It also gives
ports, four USB 3.0 ports – of which two are via an Etron           people a first look at a beta version of the Windows Store,
EJ168 host controller – the aforementioned shared eSATA             which contains a variety of Metro apps, Internet Explorer
port, a FireWire port, a Gigabit Ethernet port – connected          10, and the operating system's integration with Microsoft's
to a Broadcom controller – 7.1-channel audio with optical S/        cloud services.
PDIF out, a DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI and D-sub connector
and finally a clear CMOS button.
                                                                    The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is available immediately
For the Z77 Extreme6 ASRock went with an 8+4 PWM                    in English, French, German, Japanese, and simplified
design that's cooled by a pair of heatsinks connected via           Chinese. Users can download it here.
a heatpipe. The board will also come with a copy of
LucidLogix's Virtu MVP software and it does of course
support all the new Intel features like Smart Connect and           BioWare launches Star Wars:
Rapid Start that will come with Ivy Bridge and the new 7-
series chipsets.
                                                                    The Old Republic in Asia
                                                                    Pacific
Microsoft releases Windows
                                                                    Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bioware-launches-star-wars-the-old-
                                                                    republic-in-asia-pacific/15084.html

8 Consumer Preview                                                  March 2nd, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-releases-windows-8-
consumer-preview/15085.html
March 2nd, 2012


                                                                    BioWare has launched Star Wars: The Old Republic, its first
                                                                    foray into the world of massively multiplayer online games,
                                                                    in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore,


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

adding to the existing millions to players in Europe and
North America.                                                    Check out our review of the game here.
BioWare has launched Star Wars: The Old Republic, its first
foray into the world of massively multiplayer online games,
in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore,               World of Warcraft developer
adding to the existing millions to players in Europe and
North America.
                                                                  Blizzard to axe 600 jobs
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/world-of-warcraft-developer-
                                                                  blizzard-to-axe-600-jobs/15083.html
                                                                  March 2nd, 2012
Players in these Asia Pacific zones can avail of new servers
located in this region for reduced latency and they will also
be able to purchase the game in local shops.


BioWare is launching three servers initially for these
countries, which will be physically located in Australia.         Blizzard, the developer behind the popular World of
The first, called Dalborra, is for player-versus-environment      Warcraft MMORPG, has announced that it will be axing 600
gameplay (i.e. traditional MMORPG adventuring). The               jobs throughout the world, including 200 in Ireland.
second, called Master Dar'Nala, is for player-versus-player       Blizzard, the developer behind the popular World of
gameplay. The third, called Gav Daragon, is for role-playing      Warcraft MMORPG, has announced that it will be axing 600
player-versus-environment gameplay. More servers will be          jobs throughout the world, including 200 in Ireland.
added over time if demand calls for it.

                                                                  The company assured gamers that the jobs are mostly “non-
Players from these regions who have already signed up to          development,” and thus should not impact most of the
The Old Republic on US or European servers can avail of a         games it is working on, including an expansion for World of
limited-time free migration service to the Asia Pacific servers   Warcraft and the much-anticipated Diablo III.
in late April. BioWare has yet to determine a specific time for
these transfers, but will email qualifying players.
                                                                  Given a recent mess-up by a Blizzard community manager
                                                                  about lowering expectations for the hack-and-slash title,
                                                                  which forced the game's director to step in, we cannot help
                                                                  but wonder if this “Bashiok” is among the number getting
                                                                  the chop.


                                                                  A third of the jobs will be lost in Blizzard's offices in Cork,
                                                                  Ireland, where it employs 900 staff, mostly for customer
                                                                  support. It has only been in operation there for five years,
                                                                  but the global recession, which has hit Ireland particularly
                                                                  hard, has obviously affected its ability to maintain jobs.




The standard edition of the game costs $79.99 AUD, $89.99
NZD, $389.00 HKD, or $64.90 SGD. A Digital Deluxe
Edition, which contains several exclusive in-game items, is
available from Origin.com for $89.99 AUD, $99.99 NZD,
$465.00 HKD, or $76.90 SGD. Both editions come with 30
days of game time.


60-day game cards can be          bought for $32.99 AUS,
$42.99 NZD, $249.00 HKD,         or $39.90 SGD. Recurring
subscriptions, payable in US     dollars, are also available,
costing $14.99 for one month,    $41.97 for three months, or
$77.94 for six months.

                                                                  “Over the last several years, we've grown our organization
Players in Asia Pacific who redeem a game card or pay a
                                                                  tremendously and made large investments in our
subscription for the game by 29 April in Hong Kong and
                                                                  infrastructure in order to better serve our global
Singapore, and 30 April in Australia and New Zealand, will
                                                                  community,” said Mike Morhaime, co-founder and CEO
receive the in-game Founder's Medal, which awards a title
                                                                  of Blizzard. “However, as Blizzard and the industry have
only available to early players of the game.

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

evolved we've also had to make some difficult decisions in            we have the highest speed kit in the range. It is a 2x4gb kit
order to address the changing needs of our company.”                  rated at 2133MHz 9-11-10-28 @ 1.65v and carries the model
                                                                      name F3-2133C9D-8GAB. It is also available in a 4 x 4GB kit.
                                                                      It's great to see manufacturers re-embracing a standard
He added that letting people go is not easy, and that the
company is grateful for having worked with these employees            profile after many years of kits with tall heat-sinks, some
                                                                      with heat-pipes and even water-cooling. Many users have
and proud of the contributions they have made. Affected
                                                                      lost a few handfuls of hair when they discover their actually
staff will be offered a severance package and other benefits.
Blizzard is also making some efforts to help employees find           necessary huge CPU cooler prevents their memory from
                                                                      fitting or vice versa. The truth is, most of today's 1.5-1.65v
jobs elsewhere.
                                                                      memory doesn't require massive heat-spreaders. They are
                                                                      there more for the bling factor than for any tangible cooling
“I also want to emphasize that we remain committed to                 benefit. In the case of the G.Skill ARES, low profile doesn't
shipping multiple games this year, and that our development           mean boring looking though. G.Skill have produced a very
teams in particular remain largely unaffected by today's              nice looking, stylized kit that will look the part in a windowed
announcement,” Morhaime added. “We're continuing to                   case.
develop, iterate, and polish Blizzard DOTA, Diablo III,               We used one of the largest air coolers on the market, the
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, World of Warcraft: Mists of         Noctua NH-D14 tower cooler and of course had no problem
Pandaria, as well as other, unannounced projects. We'll have          at all with memory clearance.
exciting news to share in the coming weeks regarding Diablo
                                                                      Let's have a look at the specs of the 2133MHz G.Skill ARES
III's release date, and will soon be holding a private media
                                                                      kit.
event to showcase the latest work on Mists of Pandaria.”
                                                                             Specifications
                                                                      Model Number                       F3-2133C9D-8GAB
                                                                      Series                             ARES
G.Skill ARES 8GB (2x4GB)                                              System                             Desktop
2133MHz memory kit review                                             System Type                        DDR3
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/g.skill-ares-8gb-2x4gb-2133mhz-   Mainboard                          Intel
memory-kit-review/14977.html                                          M/B Chipset                        P67/Z68
March 2nd, 2012
                                                                      Capacity                           8GB (4GBx2)
                                                                      Multi Channel Kit                  Dual channel kit
                                                                      Tested Speed                       DDR3-2133MHz
                                                                                                         (PC3-17000)
                                                                      Tested Latency                     9-11-10 2N
                                                                      Tested Voltage                     1.65v
G.Skill recently unveiled their new low profile ARES line of          Registered/Unbuffered              Unbuffered
memory. It is aimed at performance systems using very large           Error Checking                     Non ECC
air coolers where tall ramsinks is an issue. Here for review
                                                                      Type                               240 Pin DIMM
we have the top spec kit in the range. This 2133MHz 2 x 4GB
kit has stock timings of 9-11-10-28 @ 1.65v. Let's see if it          SPD Speed                          1600MHz
performs as good as it looks.                                         SPD Voltage                        1.5v
                                                                      Warranty                           Lifetime
                                                                      Fan Included                       No
                                                                      Features                           Intel XMP (Extreme
                                                                                                         Memory Profile ) ready

                                                                      These specs list support for the Intel Sandy Bridge platform.
                                                                      There shouldn't be any problem running them on AMD sans
                                                                      Intel's XMP feature of course. A X79 user would go for the
                                                                      quad channel kit.


                                                                      MegaUpload Founder
G.Skill have really been on a roll recently. They offer some          Released from Prison, Gives a
of the highest spec memory on the market and have enjoyed
great success with their Ripjaws line for the Z68 and X79             Daring Interview
platforms. Now the company has turned its attention to its            Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/megaupload-founder-released-from-
refresh of the mainstream tier. They have released a new              prison-gives-a-daring-interview/15074.html
range of memory that really impresses by virtue of the fact
that it's low profile from the top to bottom of the range.
The range runs from 1333MHz to 2133MHz and is available
in kits ranging from 2 x 4GB up to 4 x 8GB. Here for review

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

March 2nd, 2012




Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz), founder of MegaUpload
gave a daring 23 minute interview as soon as he was released
from captivity. He explained his business was supposed to
be protected by the U.S.-own DMCA law, and that obviously
wasn't the case.
Earlier today, Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz) was
released from prison on bail. Immediately, Kim invited New
Zealand's 3 News and gave a detailed interview on Campbell
Live.
                                                                 The new Norton 360 V6.0 helps to optimize PC's settings,
                                                                 frees up memory, and removes unnecessary files to improve
                                                                 the computer's performance. It can automatically back up
                                                                 and encrypt user's important files so that they can retrieve
                                                                 them in case of a hard drive crash, natural disaster or other
                                                                 mishaps. Norton 360 offers four different layers of smart
                                                                 protection that proactively detect and eliminate threats
                                                                 before they reach the user's computers.
                                                                 Retail price: Norton 360 6.0 AP 1 user MM - S$65 ; Norton
                                                                 360 6.0 AP 1 user 3 License MM - S$119 ; Norton 360 6.0
                                                                 AP SOP 5 user Ret - S$169
                                                                 IT Show price: TBA

Kim compared the case of the to "Weapons of Mass                 Norton Internet Security 2012
Destruction" as the invented reason to go to war in Iraq.
The invention of MegaUpload and subsequent attack by the
content lobbyists was explained as U.S. government actively
working to "protect the outdated monopolistic business
media model which simply doesn't work in the age of
Internet".
Kim claims that he is protected by the Digital Millenium
Copyright Act, and that he is an easy target, since he doesn't
have 50 billion dollars in the bank account and is not on
Stock market, while public companies are protected.


IT Show 2012 Promotions:
Norton
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-
norton/15081.html
March 2nd, 2012
                                                                 Norton Internet Security 2012 (NIS) features Norton
                                                                 Identity Safe that provides a streamlined interface with
                                                                 improved login and form detection technology, and the
                                                                 capability to store passwords in the cloud so they are
                                                                 accessible from most devices with a web browser; and
                                                                 Norton Management that lets users download, transfer,
                                                                 update, or renew your Norton products from anywhere right
It is important to have some sufficient protection against       over the Internet. With Norton Online Family, you can keep
malware and viruses. Norton by Symantec will be launching        your kids safe online as it tracks where your kids go and
the new Norton 360 V6.0 at the IT Show 2012, as well as the      what they do online so you can keep them safe from online
Norton AntiVirus 2012 and Norton Internet Security 2012.         dangers and teach them good Internet habits.
Their booth can be located in Hall 6, booth number 6251.
                                                                 Retail price: NIS AP 1 user MM - S$49; NIS AP 1 user 3
Norton 360 V6.0                                                  License MM - S$89 ; NIS AP SOP 5 user Ret - S$149
                                                                 IT Show price: TBA



                                                                                                                            13
March 2nd, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

Norton Antivirus 2012




                                                                      According to the magazine, the game is approximately 30%
                                                                      complete and will be unveiled at the Game Developers
                                                                      Conference 2012, which takes place from March 5-9 in
                                                                      Moscone Center in San Francisco.
                                                                      The game is built upon a completely new game engine,
Norton Antivirus 2012 (NAV) features Norton Insight, the              including newly written Glassbox graphics engine. The new
latest version of Norton's security technology that checks            engine enables multiple zoom levels, from the conventional
where files came from and how long they’ve been around to             God mode to "reading street signs". The game will feature
automatically identify and stop new online threats. It also           multiple cities, downloadable buildings and other DLC's.
offers Norton Management that makes it easy to download,
transfer, update, or renew your Norton products from
anywhere right over the Internet.
Retail price: NAV AP 1 user MM - S$39; NAV AP 1 user 3
License MM - S$65 ; NAV AP SOP 5 user Ret - S$99
IT Show price: TBA


SimCity V Coming in 2013,
Looks Amazing
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/simcity-v-coming-in-2013-looks-
amazing/15080.html
March 2nd, 2012




After a decade of wait, EA and Maxis announced that the               Given the fantastic 3D experience in Civilization V, one
newest iteration of the game, SimCity V will come on the              cannot but feel excited about how SimCity V will look with
market in 2013. From the looks of it, this might be the game          3D glasses attached to your nose. We'll bring more news next
to spend countless nights on, becoming a major on your                week, as the game developer conference commences. You
own... without having to look at the dust and people asking           can see more SimCity V images on NeoGaf forum.
for a quarter on the streets, like real-world majors do.
German gaming magazine GameStar revealed one of most                  MSI unveils GT780DX
expected simulation titles in a while. After Sid Meier made
a big comeback with Civilization V, a 2011 hit title - Will           Notebook with 4.16GHz
Wright, another gaming legend is making his comeback with
yet another V, and that's SimCity V.
                                                                      clocked Core i7
                                                                      Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-unveils-gt780dx-notebook-
                                                                      with-4.16ghz-clocked-core-i7/15078.html
                                                                      March 2nd, 2012




                                                                      MSI has dared to do what no other notebook manufacturer
                                                                      would by selling a gaming laptop with a heavily overclocked
                                                                      mobile Core i7 EE processor tipping beyond the 4GHz

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

barrier. This will be as part of a limited edition variant of its
GT780DX, running a Core i7-2920XM Extreme Edition with
frequencies of up to 4.16GHz on tap in Turbo Boost mode
(up from the stock 3.5GHz Turbo Boost frequency).
MSI has dared to do what no other notebook manufacturer
would by selling a gaming laptop with a heavily overclocked
mobile Core i7 EE processor tipping beyond the 4GHz
barrier. This will be as part of a limited edition variant of its
GT780DX, running a Core i7-2920XM Extreme Edition with
frequencies of up to 4.16GHz on tap in Turbo Boost mode
(up from the stock 3.5GHz Turbo Boost frequency).




                                                                    Polishing off this notebook's feature set is the SteelSeries-
                                                                    made LED backlit keyboard (providing a good batch of
                                                                    gaming oriented features), a couple USB 3.0 ports, an eSATA
                                                                    port, HDMI 1.4 and VGA video outputs as well as Bluetooth
                                                                    3.0 connectivity and a 9-cell battery.
                                                                    Pricing on this limited edition overclocked model hasn't yet
MSI has made this possible by packing the notebook with             been disclosed. The base (non-overclocked) model of the
a superior cooling solution it calls "Cooler Boost". MSI says       GT780DX with its Core i7 2670QM processor sells for US
with this cooling tech implemented the fans can work at             $1,749.99.
higher than usual rotation speeds resulting in a temperature
drop by as much as 10c.
                                                                    Panasonic Singapore
                                                                    launches new LUMIX
                                                                    cameras and HD camcorders
                                                                    Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/panasonic-singapore-launches-new-
                                                                    lumix-cameras-and-hd-camcorders/15077.html
                                                                    March 2nd, 2012




                                                                    This morning, Panasonic Singapore unveils their latest
                                                                    members of the LUMIX camera family, which include
The GT780DX is already quite the impressive piece                   the DMC-TZ30 with built-in GPS feature; DMC-SZ7 and
of portable gaming prowess with its 17.3-inch (either               DMC-SZ1 which have slim form factor and packed with
1600x900 or 1920x1080) LED-backlit display, NVIDIA's                powerful performance; and the DMC-FT4 of the Tough and
GeForce GTX 570M graphics core supported by 3GB of                  Active series that is geared for outdoor usage. The electronics
GDDR5 memory and up to 16GB of DDR3 system memory.                  manufacturer also announced the new High Definition (HD)
                                                                    camcorders, including the HX-WA20 which is designed for
Up to two HDDs can be incorporated into the GT780DX
                                                                    shooting even under harsh conditions.
with the premium option being a couple 750GB 7200rpm in
RAID 0, offering 1.5TB of storage space. Further to that is
space for a DVD or Blu-ray drive.




                                                                    With its compact body, wide-angle versatile lens, and photo
                                                                    and video recording feature, the Panasonic LUMIX TZ30

                                                                                                                                       15
March 2nd, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

claims to be an ideal travel companion It offers a 20x optical
zoom on its LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens (compared to
16x zoom of the TZ20) , and has built-in GPS functions.
Panasonic also included a worldwide map data on the
bundled DVD which you can load onto a SD card and into
the camera. This allows you to not only geotag your pictures,
but you can also see where you are exactly on the map. Note
that, there is no turn-by-turn navigation feature to find you
way around the vicinity.
The DMC-FX80, DMC-FH8, DMC-FH6 and DMC-S2 are
not only stylish and slim, but also offer great ease of use
at shooting superb quality photos and videos. The FX80,
FH8 and FH6 are fitted with 24mm ultra wide angle lens
with 5x optical zoom, while the FH8, FH6 and S2 can record        Besides the cameras, Panasonic has also announced seven
dynamic HD videos in 1,280x720p at 25p in MP4 (FH8) or            video camcorders. The HC-X900 and HX-X900M feature
Motion JPEG (FH6).                                                advanced 3MOS sensor, F1.5 LEICA Dicomar lens with
                                                                  bright image rendering, high corner-to-corner resolution
                                                                  and Nano Surface Coating Technology to reduce ghosting
                                                                  and distortion. The HC-V700 features a 28mm wide angle
                                                                  lens with 46x zoom for ultra-telephoto shooting. It also
                                                                  incorporates HYBRID O.I.S + that can minimize blurring
                                                                  regardless of zoom. With the 3D Conversion lens, the HC-
                                                                  V700 can shoot in 3D .
                                                                  The HC-V500 and HC-V500M are equipped with 16GB
                                                                  built-in memory and SD card slot, and packs a 50x
                                                                  Intelligent Zoom that lets you zoom in easily on subjects.
                                                                  Both also feature a unique Advanced highlight Playback
                                                                  function that let you playback recorded images quickly and
                                                                  easily. The compact HC-V100 boasts up to 165 minutes
                                                                  continuous recording time, is lightweight and supports full
The LUMIX SZ series are designed with slim form factor and
                                                                  HD video recording.
powerful features. The DMC-SZ7 features 14.1-megapixel
MOS sensor and full HD video recording, while the DMC-            If you're looking for a camcorder for active outdoor use,
SZ1 is equipped with a 16.1-megapixel CCD sensor and              check out the Panasonic HX-WA20 that lets you shoot under
HD video recording. Both models incorporate LEICA DC              almost any conditions. The 16-megapixel WA20 can be used
VARIO-ELMAR lens with 25mm ultra wide-angle and 10x               to 3m underwater for up to an hour, and can record images
optical zoom. The DMC-SZ7 can record at 1,920x1,080 50i           at 240fps (640x360) or 480 fps (320x180) for 15 seconds.
(PAL) in AVCHD (MPEG-3/H.264) format.                             You can also shoot panoramic pictures easily by swinging the
                                                                  camera up, down, left or right to take vertical or horizontal
                                                                  images.
                                                                  The Panasonic LUMIX cameras and video camcorders will
                                                                  retail in authorized dealers from April. Pricing will be
                                                                  announced closer to retail.


                                                                  Buffalo enters the consumer
                                                                  SSD market
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/buffalo-enters-the-consumer-ssd-
                                                                  market/15076.html
                                                                  March 2nd, 2012

For users who are into outdoor sports and activities, the all-
weather LUMIX DMC-FT4 is the one you need to bring along
wherever you go. It has inner rubber padding and reinforced
glass and claims to be dustproof, waterproof, shockproof
and freezeproof. Besides GPS functions, the DMC-FT4 also
comes with compass, altimeter and barometer. But the most         Although Buffalo has a wide range of external storage
unique feature of th FT4 is that it can do time lapse shooting;   solutions, an entry into the consumer SSD market space
you can set in one-minute to 30-minute intervals for up to        wasn't something we expected from the company. Our
12 hours.                                                         expectations didn't stop Buffalo to launch is somewhat
                                                                  poorly named SSD-NS/PM3P in Japan though, although at
                                                                  this point in time it's not clear if it'll be available elsewhere.
                                                                  Although Buffalo has a wide range of external storage
                                                                  solutions, an entry into the consumer SSD market space
                                                                  wasn't something we expected from the company. Our
                                                                                                                                         16
March 2nd, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

expectations didn't stop Buffalo to launch is somewhat                     We've already seen details of Intel's upcoming Core
poorly named SSD-NS/PM3P in Japan though, although at                      i7-3667U and Core i5-3427U ULV Ivy Bridge processors
this point in time it's not clear if it'll be available elsewhere.         back in December, but now details of an additional three
                                                                           ULV models have reached us. On top of that, we have details
The SSD-NS/PM3P comes in three different sizes, 128,
                                                                           on the programmable TDP of all five ULV models and Intel
256 and 512GB and is apparently manufactured by
                                                                           has clearly allowed for a lot of flexibility for its partners.
PLDS, otherwise known as Philips and Lite-On Digital
Solutions which contract manufacture a wide range of items.                Let's start with the programmable TDP of the two models
Internally the SSD-NS/PM3P uses a Marvell controller and                   we already know about. The Core i5-3427U at stock 17W
NAND flash from Toshiba with the addition of 256MB of                      TDP will operate at 1.8GHz, but it can go down to 14W and
cache for the 128GB and 512MB of cache for the tow larger                  all the way up to 25W. All models can go down in terms
models.                                                                    of TDP, but not all can go up. Its lowest speed is 800MHz,
                                                                           again something that is a common feature across the entire
                                                                           range, although at 25W TDP it can operate as high as 2.3GHz
                                                                           without going into turbo mode. The Core i7-3667U will be
                                                                           able to operate at speeds of 2.5GHz at a 25W TDP, up from
                                                                           2GHz at 17W TDP.
                                                                           As for the new CPU models, at the bottom we have the
                                                                           first Core i3 models in the Ivy Bridge ULV range, the Core
                                                                           i3-3217U. This is a 1.8GHz model with no option to increase
                                                                           the TDP for higher speeds, but again it can be lowered to
                                                                           14W TDP and speeds of as low as 800MHz. As per all current
                                                                           Core i3 processors, it also lacks turbo boost and as such won't
                                                                           overclock. It also features slightly slower graphics at the top
                                                                           speed compared to the previous two models, as it tops out
                                                                           at 1050MHz rather than 1150MHz. However it does support
Buffalo has only provided rudimentary performance figures                  DDR3 1600MHz memory and it has 3MB of cache.
for its SSD-NS/PM3P, although at least they are measured                   Next up we have the Core i5-3317U which is a 1.7GHz part,
using CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1. As such the 128GB SKU will                    again with no option to increase the TDP, but it has the same
reach read speeds of up to 479MB/s, with the 256GB                         low TDP options as the Core i3-3217U. Here we're looking
SKU hitting 513MB/s and finally the 512GB SKU reaching                     at turbo support though at up to 2.4GHz for both cores and
500MB/s.                                                                   2.6GHz for a single core, making it slightly slower than the
Price wise it doesn't look like Buffalo is going to be all that            Core i5-3427U. The graphics clock is also the same as for
competitive, although it's worth keeping in mind that these                the Core i3-3217U, but in this case it's unlocked and can be
are Japanese prices and computer electronics are in general                overclocked, although that would be down to the notebook
more expensive in Japan. Considering that the list price for               manufacturer to add support for this, so it's unlikely that this
the 128GB SKU is 24,400 Yen (US$300/S$375) you can see                     is something we'll see implemented in a lot of Ultrabooks.
what we mean. The 256GB is a massive 47,700 Yen (US                        The third and final new model is the Core i7-3517U, a 1.9GHz
$588/S$736) and finally the 512GB SKU – which is at least                  part that supports the higher 25W TDP and as such an
for now only available as a special order item – is going for an           increased clock speed of up to 2.4GHz. In turbo mode it'll go
insane 90,300 Yen (US1,113/S$1,393). Comparing that with                   up to 2.8GHz for two cores and 3GHz on a single core. The
Crucial's pricing for its m4 series and it's hard to see how               GPU clock speeds are the same as for the Core i7-3667U and
Buffalo will have any potential buyers for its new SSDs.                   we're of course also looking at 4MB of cache here.
                                                                           What's interesting is that all the models ending with 17 in the
Exclusive: Additional ULV Ivy                                              model number appears to be OEM processors for consumer
                                                                           level Ultrabooks and as such lack support for Intel vPro
Bridge processor unveiled                                                  and TXT technology, something the Core i7-3667U and Core
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/exclusive-additional-ulv-ivy-bridge-   i5-3427U offers. The Core i3-3217U also lacks support for
processor-unveiled/15075.html                                              the new digital random number generator, VT-d and AES-
March 2nd, 2012                                                            NI, but this isn't really a big surprise. So there you have it,
                                                                           several new Ultrabook processors are coming, but with the
                                                                           "delay" this means we won't be seeing them in retail products
                                                                           until June or possibly even a little later in the year.


We've already seen details of Intel's upcoming
Core i7-3667U and Core i5-3427U ULV Ivy Bridge
processors back in December, but now details of an
additional three ULV models have reached us. On top of that,
we have details on the programmable TDP of all five ULV
models and Intel has clearly allowed for a lot of flexibility for
its partners.



                                                                                                                                        17
March 6th, 2012                                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone




VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks!
                                                                            improvements to the graphics, including more realistic facial
  VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly                              animations, in addition to better artificial intelligence.
  publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the
  geeks.
                                                                            The launch trailer for the game shows the American
                                                                            Revolution setting, revealed by Ubisoft last week, along with
Assassin's Creed III to                                                     a new main character, Connor, who is half Native American,
                                                                            making for an interesting divergence from the settings and
feature four-player online co-                                              characters of the previous installments. It also demonstrates
op mode                                                                     some of the cool new moves we can expect.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/assassin-s-creed-iii-to-feature-four-
player-online-co-op-mode/15147.html
March 6th, 2012

Assassin's Creed III, Ubisoft's upcoming back-stabbing
adventure, will include an online co-operation mode for up                  Intel Xeon E5-2690 and
to four people.
                                                                            E5-2660 8-core Sandy Bridge-
                                                                            EP Review
The multiplayer mode will allow between two and four                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-xeon-e5-2690-and-e5-2660-8-
people to get in on the Assassins versus Knights Templar                    core-sandy-bridge-ep-review/15122.html
action, with players able to find team-mates from across the                March 6th, 2012
world.


The game will also feature the other multiplayer modes that
came with Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, such as free-for-
all and team, with various maps and mission objectives.
This should add some longevity to the game once the single-
player gameplay is fully experienced.                                       Its been almost two years, an eternity in our IT circles, since
                                                                            the release of the Gulftown/Westmere-EP Xeon 5600
                                                                            series. After several delays, the Socket 2011 based Xeon
                                                                            E5 2600 series (formerly codenamed Romley) is officially
                                                                            launched today, with Intel porting over the Sandy Bridge
                                                                            microarchitecture to its 2P Xeon offerings. Featuring IPC
                                                                            improvements and two additional cores on higher end SKUs,
                                                                            Chipzilla reaffirms itself as a runaway leader in the x86
                                                                            Server/Workstation market. Read on for our review!
                                                                            Introduction / Quick Recap
                                                                            Prior reading before our quick recap: by Nebojsa Novakovic


                                                                            The Xeon E5 (8 core/16 thread) silicon live in living colour
                                                                            - with a 20MB L2, die size of 416mm and a transistor count
                                                                            of ~2.263 billion




Ubisoft is also promising that the use of its new AnvilNext
game engine will make Assassin's Creed III look like a
next-generation game on existing consoles. While this is
obviously a marketing ploy, the studio is promising some big

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




                                                           Partitioning   of    the   32nm      planar     double-gate
                                                           transistors Sandy Bridge-EP die




Overview of the Xeon E5 - basically all the improvements
of the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture like AVX and Turbo
Boost 2.0 brought to the server/workstation platform




                                                           Xeon E5-2600 SKUs ranging from low power quad core
                                                           variants to the full fledged 8-core 150W monsters




Block Diagram - with 2 QPI links, Quad Channel LRDIMM
support and 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes per socket, the Xeon E5
should be a no brainer for high performance workloads




                                                           Intel Integrated I/O in a nutshell - integrating traditional
                                                           north bridge into the CPU and providing DMA access to
                                                           storage and network controllers for reduced latencies


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




Unlike earlier Xeons and SNB/SNB-E, we're sad to report          CoolerMaster Silent Pro M2
that multiplier adjustment is disabled (BIOS values set to
read only) and base clock straps are non-existent (frequency
                                                                 1000W PSU Review
                                                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/coolermaster-silent-pro-m2-1000w-
only goes up to ~108MHz) across the current stepping. We
                                                                 psu-review/15146.html
sure hope Chipzilla changes their mind (since traditionally it
                                                                 March 6th, 2012
has never been obstructed, albeit not officially supported) or
maniac SR-X overclockers/high frequency traders are going
to be turned away.



                                                                 CoolerMaster has a long standing reputation as a power
                                                                 supply designer and manufacturer, much of which came
                                                                 from their Silent Pro M series. The Silent Pro M series
                                                                 saw the light of day a little over 3 years ago and, as
                                                                 the series name suggests, the units were designed with
                                                                 optimum acoustics performance in mind, quickly making
                                                                 them a favorite among enthusiasts who cared about silent
                                                                 operation. A few weeks ago the curiosity of enthusiasts was
                                                                 stirred by the news stating that CoolerMaster was preparing
                                                                 the 2nd generation of Silent Pro power supplies. Today the
                                                                 wait is over; the Silent Pro M2 1000W arrived in VR-Zone’s
                                                                 labs for thorough testing and review.
                                                                 CoolerMaster has a long standing reputation as a power
                                                                 supply designer and manufacturer, much of which came
                                                                 from their Silent Pro M series. The Silent Pro M series
                                                                 saw the light of day a little over 3 years ago and, as
Quad channel IMC in the Xeon E5 also supports DDR3
                                                                 the series name suggests, the units were designed with
LRDIMM (evolution of FB-DIMM but pin compatible with
                                                                 optimum acoustics performance in mind, quickly making
regular UDIMM) that allows densities up to 768GB (24 x
                                                                 them a favorite among enthusiasts who cared about silent
32GB modules)
                                                                 operation. A few weeks ago the curiosity of enthusiasts was
                                                                 stirred by the news stating that CoolerMaster was preparing
                                                                 the 2nd generation of Silent Pro power supplies. Today the
                                                                 wait is over; the Silent Pro M2 1000W arrived in VR-Zone’s
                                                                 labs for thorough testing and review.
                                                                 Manufacturer features and specifications

                                                                    • Copper-Aluminum Heat Sink
                                                                    • Silent Operation
                                                                    • Single 12V Power Rail
                                                                    • Modularized Cabling
                                                                    • Intel Compliant
                                                                    • Eco-friendly design: Erp Lot6 Ready

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

   • Multiple updated connectors for all types of interfaces     March 6th, 2012
     (PCIe, SATA etc.)
   • Double-Layer EMI Filter Dual protection from
     electromagnetic interference                                Yahoo is planning to lay off many of its employees, with the
   • Multiple Protection Design (OVP/UVP/OPP/OTP/                figure potentially numbering into the thousands, according
     SCP)                                                        to people close to the matter.
   • High reliability with an MBTF of at least 100,000 hours     Yahoo is planning to lay off many of its employees, with the
     of use                                                      figure potentially numbering into the thousands, according
                                                                 to people close to the matter.
   • Five Year Warranty

                                                                 The company's new CEO, Scott Thompson, who previously
                                                                 worked for PayPal, replaced Carol Bartz last September
                                                                 after she failed to achieve the turn-around the company was
                                                                 expecting. It looks like Thompson is going to be a bit more
                                                                 ruthless in his approach to rescuing Yahoo's finances.


Model                              RS-A00-SPM2                   Yahoo has 14,100 staff and could lose a huge number of
Type                               ATX 12V V2.3                  them, possibly into the thousands, according to anonymous
Dimension (W / H / D)              150 x 180 x 86mm              sources cited by AllThingsDigital. The job losses are
                                   5.9 x 7.1 x 3.4 inch          expected to be in products, research, marketing, PR, and
                                                                 non-essential businesses, suggesting that few sectors of the
Input Voltage                      90-264Vac (Auto Range)
                                                                 company will be immune to the axe.
Input Current                      6 - 12A
Input Frequency Range              47 - 63Hz
PFC                                Active PFC (>0.9)
Power Good Signal                  100-500ms
Hold Up Time                       >17ms
Efficiency                         88% Typically
MTBF                               100,000 Hours
Protection                         OVP/UVP/OCP/OPP/OTP/
                                   SCP
Output Capacity                    1000W
Operation Temperature              0~40°C (Nominal Input
                                   Voltage)
Regulatory                         TUV / CE / UL / FCC /
                                   BSMI / GOST / C-tick / KC /
                                   CCC
Fan                                135mm Hydraulic Dynamic
                                   Bearings
Certifications                     80 Plus Silver                "As we have indicated, our leadership is engaged in a process
                                                                 that will generate significant strategic change at Yahoo, but
Connector                          M/B 24 Pin Connector x 1
                                                                 final decisions have not yet been made at this point.” the
                                   CPU 8 Pin x 2
                                                                 company said, refusing to verify whether or not job cuts were
                                                                 on the table, and, if so, to what extent.
                                   PCI-E 8 Pin x 3

                                   PCI-E 6+2 Pin x 3             The layoffs will hurt a lot of families, but it is likely
                                                                 that Thompson sees little alternative, with the company's
                                   SATA x 12                     revenue dropping by more than a fifth last year. It was once
                                                                 a dominant force on the internet, but its failure to remain
                                   4 Pin Peripheral x 5          relevant in a quickly changing industry means that its future
                                                                 has been under question for a while.
                                   4 Pin Floppy x 1



Yahoo to axe thousands of
jobs
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/yahoo-to-axe-thousands-of-
jobs/15145.html



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


Adobe launches Photoshop                                         ZTE takes top patent slot in
Lightroom 4 for digital                                          2011 with nearly 3,000 PCT
photographers                                                    patent filings
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/adobe-launches-photoshop-    Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zte-takes-top-patent-slot-in-2011-
lightroom-4-for-digital-photographers/15144.html                 with-nearly-3-000-pct-patent-filings/15143.html
March 6th, 2012                                                  March 6th, 2012

Adobe has launched Photoshop Lightroom 4 for digital
photographers using either a Mac or Windows-based
computer.
                                                                 ZTE filed the most international patent applications in
                                                                 2011, earning it the top spot in the World Intellectual
Lightroom is one of the main pieces of software used by          Property Organization's rankings for Patent Cooperation
photographers who want to edit and touch up their digital        Treaty (PCT) filings.
photographs. Adobe promises even more features in the
latest version, with better shadow and highlight processing,     ZTE filed the most international patent applications in
the ability to create photo books, extra local adjustment        2011, earning it the top spot in the World Intellectual
controls, and enhanced video support.                            Property Organization's rankings for Patent Cooperation
                                                                 Treaty (PCT) filings.

The adjustment controls increase the dynamic range from
cameras, giving the photographer greater control of the use      The Chinese telecommunications and networking
of light in a photograph. Users can also adjust other elements   equipment firm filed a whopping 2,826 PCT patents last
with new local adjustment controls for noise reduction,          year, guaranteeing it the number one spot.
moire and white balance.
                                                                 Over 60 percent of these filings relate to LTE/3G technology,
                                                                 cloud computing, and the so-called “Internet of Things.”


                                                                 Last year's patent filings represent over a quarter of the
                                                                 company's total international patent filings and pending
                                                                 applications, which number over 10,000. Considering the
                                                                 patent battles that many other firms, such as Apple and
                                                                 Samsung, are embroiled in, ZTE is putting itself in a
                                                                 very strong position both to defend itself from lawsuits
                                                                 and go after rivals which it believes unlawfully employ its
                                                                 technology.

Users who want to work with video clips can now do
so thanks to native video support, which allows playing,
trimming and frame extraction of videos shot on digital SLR
                                                                 “Becoming the world No. 1 in PCT applications is a great
cameras, point-and-shoot cameras, and even smartphones.
                                                                 accomplishment, but not our ultimate goal,” said Shi Lirong,
                                                                 president of ZTE. “Through innovation, we seek to enable
Edited videos can be exported or published directly to Flickr    people around the world to enjoy enriching life experiences
or Facebook, while images can be emailed directly from the       through new technologies.”
program with a new integrated email feature.
                                                                 ZTE puts 10 percent of its annual revenue into research and
“Feedback from our customers is invaluable in developing         development, with spending in this area over the last three
Lightroom and the real trick to a great release is to combine    years topping 20 billion renminbi. With 15 research centres
these insights with Adobe’s unrivalled image processing          throughout the world and a research staff of 30,000, it's no
innovation,” said Winston Hendrickson, vice president            surprise that ZTE has been pumping out patent applications.
products, Creative Media Solutions, Adobe. “Lightroom 4
is a stunning new release that will enhance photography
workflows and help photographs stand out from the crowd.”
                                                                 Meet Seiko Astron, the
                                                                 world's first GPS solar watch
                                                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/meet-seiko-astron-the-world-s-first-
Lightroom 4 is available immediately for $149 for new users      gps-solar-watch/15139.html
or $79 as an upgrade from a previous version.




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

March 6th, 2012                                                          V Pro and P8Z77-V Deluxe. The differences between the
                                                                         three models are fairly subtle, yet there's enough difference
                                                                         that any potential buyer will have to pick carefully to get the
                                                                         right board.
                                                                         At the launch of the 7-series chipset Asus is expected to have
                                                                         three different P8Z77-V models ready, the P8Z77-V, P8Z77-
                                                                         V Pro and P8Z77-V Deluxe. The differences between the
It can be quite tedious to adjust your watch's time especially           three models are fairly subtle, yet there's enough difference
when you are flying to other parts of the world, and that you            that any potential buyer will have to pick carefully to get the
watch isn't digital. With this Seiko Astron GPS solar watch,             right board.
you can get an accurate time no matter where you are on
Earth.




Seiko, under the supervision of Seiko Epson Corporation,
has developed a patented, low-energy-consumption GPS
receiver and create a watch that can receive GPS signals
and identify time zone, time and date data using the
global network of GPS satellites. The Seiko Astron is solar-
powered, and claims to be able to recognize all the 39 time
zones on earth; the hands can adjust automatically to the
correct local time with Atomic Clock precision. The watch                Starting with the P8Z77-V we're looking at a fairly loaded
also has a perpetual calendar such that the date will also be            board straight away with a pair of x16 PCI Express 3.0 slots –
as accurate as the time. Simply press the button and the time            dual x8 mode when both are in use – a single x16 PCI Express
and time zone will adjust automatically. It takes six seconds            x16 slot – in x4 mode – two x1 PCI Express 2.0 slots and
or a little more for the time to self-correct and 30 seconds or          two PCI slots. Add the standard Intel SATA ports and two
a little more for the time zone.                                         additional SATA 6Gbps, a USB 3.0 header and four USB 2.0
According to Seiko, there are three models in high-intensity             headers for eight ports and you've pretty much covered all
titanium, which is stronger than stainless steel but 40%                 the features.
lighter, and two in stainless steel. But for such an advanced
watch, the price doesn't come cheap. The recommended
retail price for Seiko Astron is from 152,250 yen (US$1,880)
to 210,000 yen (US$2,594).


A quick look at the P8Z77-V
range from Asus
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/a-quick-look-at-the-p8z77-v-range-
from-asus/15141.html                                                     At the back we have a PS/2 port, two USB 2.0 ports, four
March 6th, 2012                                                          USB 3.0 ports – of which two are via an ASMedia controller
                                                                         – a Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio with S/PDIF out
                                                                         and a DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI and D-sub connector. There's
                                                                         also a space for one of Asus' proprietary pin headers for one
                                                                         of its Wi-Fi/Bluetooth combo cards, although this may or
                                                                         may not come with the board depending on the SKU/market.

At the launch of the 7-series chipset Asus is expected to have
three different P8Z77-V models ready, the P8Z77-V, P8Z77-

                                                                                                                                      6
March 6th, 2012                                                                                           Published by: VR-Zone




The P8Z77-V Pro has only had a few minor upgrades, such         Around the back Asus has done some serious overhauling
as an additional header for a pair of extra USB 3.0 ports and   as this time around we're looking at four USB 2.0 ports,
a different VRM design. We're not entirely sure why you'd go    six USB 3.0 ports – again using ASMedia host controllers
for the P8Z77-V Pro over the P8Z77-V considering the small      – two eSATA ports, a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports – one
differences, but we'll have to wait and see what the price      via an Intel controller and one via a Realtek controller – 7.1-
difference is to before we can draw any real conclusions.       channel audio with optical S/PDIF out, a DisplayPort and
                                                                HDMI connector and a clear CMOS button.




Moving up to the P8Z77-V Deluxe Asus has done quite a few
                                                                Overall a pretty solid line-up of boards from Asus and we'll
changes. Gone are the PCI slots in lieu of two additional x1
                                                                be hitting the company up at Cebit to see what else they have
PCI Express slots. The two extra SATA 6Gbps ports gains
                                                                lined up for the 7-series chipset launch, as well as all the
SSD caching and some of the USB 2.0 pin headers are gone
                                                                other motherboard makers of course.
and in their place we find power and reset buttons and a
POST80 debug LED.




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




Asus continues the TUF
series with the Sabertooth
Z77                                                                       As you can see, the Sabertooth Z77 features Asus' unique
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-continues-the-tuf-series-with-   Thermal armor, a plastic shield that encases the entire
the-sabertooth-z77/15140.html                                             board, although this time around Asus has made a few
March 6th, 2012                                                           tweaks to the design. For one the company has added a pair
                                                                          of 50mm fans this time around, one just below the CPU
                                                                          socket and one as part of the rear I/O that draws in cool
                                                                          air from outside the chassis to help cool the MOSFETs. The
                                                                          other addition is dust protection covers for all of the PCI
                                                                          Express slots as well as for two memory slots and some of
                                                                          the pin headers. These are simple plastic covers that prevent
As far as going after niche markets, Asus' TUF series is one of           buildup of dust in the slots over time.
those peculiar products that isn't necessarily selling towards
its intended target market, nor does the product range really
fit in as it sits on its own as a side-line to many of Asus'
other board ranges. The latest addition is the Sabertooth Z77
which builds on previous TUF boards and then adds a few
features of its own.
As far as going after niche markets, Asus' TUF series is one of
those peculiar products that isn't necessarily selling towards
its intended target market, nor does the product range really
fit in as it sits on its own as a side-line to many of Asus'
other board ranges. The latest addition is the Sabertooth Z77
which builds on previous TUF boards and then adds a few
features of its own.




                                                                          The general board design is fairly conservative with two x16
                                                                          PCI Express 3.0 slots in dual x8 mode, one x16 PCI Express
                                                                          2.0 slot which is operating in x4 mode and three x1 PCI
                                                                          Express 2.0 slots. You also get the standard four SATA 3Gbps
                                                                          ports and two SATA 6Gbps from the Intel chipset as well as
                                                                          a pair of additional SATA 6Gbps ports. The board also has
                                                                          a USB 3.0 header for two ports and what should be headers
                                                                          for an additional six USB 3.0 ports.




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

                                                                   IT Show price: S$1,499 with free upgrade to 8GB RAM
                                                                   (worth S$49), McAfee Anti-Virus Plus (worth S$49), and
                                                                   Lenovo Mouse (worth S$39, while stocks last)
                                                                   Lenovo IdeaCentre B320




Around the back we're looking at four USB 3.0 ports, four
USB 2.0 ports, two eSATA ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-
channel audio with optical S/PDIF out, a DisplayPort and
HDMI connector and a CMOS reset button. The rear fan
is recessed behind the CMOS reset button, but even so it
prevents any additional rear ports to be fitted to the board.
If you feel the extra cost for a five year warranty is worth
it, then maybe this is the board you've been waiting for, but
otherwise we'd say other models from Asus offer more in
terms of features for what has at least in the past been a lower
cost.


IT Show 2012 Promotions:
                                                                   The Lenovo IdeaCentre B320 has a space-saving all-in-one
Lenovo                                                             design that offers advanced cable management to avoid
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-       clutter. It features integrated stereo speakers, integrated
lenovo/15136.html                                                  Lenovo High-Sense webcam for clearer video chats, and
March 6th, 2012                                                    Lenovo Dynamic Brightness System that can automatically
                                                                   adjust screen brightness based on ambient light conditions.
                                                                   Retail price: starts from S$1,249
                                                                   IT Show promotion: free McAfee Anti-Virus Plus worth S
                                                                   $49


Lenovo's star products at the IT Show 2012 include the             Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E420
IdeaPad U400 ultraportable laptop, IdeaCentre B320 all-in-
one desktop, and ThinkPad Edge E420 business laptop. The
Lenovo booth can be located on Level 4, booth number 8358.
Lenovo IdeaPad U400




                                                                   In a sleek and stylish midnight black soft-touch finish with
                                                                   silver frames, the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E420 is powered
                                                                   by second Generation Intel Core processor with Turbo Boost
                                                                   Technology that offers the performance you need to run
The Lenovo IdeaPad U400 comes in a full aluminum shell             your tasks. It has a 14-inch LED widescreen panel and
in Graphite Gray, and is equipped with second generation           spill-resistant keyboard that helps to prevent liquid spills
Intel Core processor. It features a 14-inch HD display             from damaging the motherboard. With Lenovo Enhanced
with ATI Radeon HD6470M 1GB graphics, which gives                  Experience 2.0 for Windows 7, it ensures faster startup
sufficient viewing space. Thanks to optional RapidDrive SSD        and shutdown times. Other features include 720p HD cam,
technology, it can boot up in less than 17 seconds.                optional AMD Radeon HD 6630M 1GB switchable graphics
                                                                   and up to seven hours of battery life.
Retail price: S$1,499
                                                                   Retail price: starting at S$1,499


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

IT Show promotion: PWP upgrade to 3-year warranty at                      upgrade until Asus releases the Maximus V Formula. Not
S$99 (U.P S$269), additional 2GB memory worth S$49,                       only has the company brought back water cooling to the
and free Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Business Edition                  R.O.G. platform, but there's plenty of other features on offer,
worth S$228 (while stocks last)                                           some that were weren't even told about at the preview event
                                                                          we attended.
                                                                          Although not available at the launch of Intel's new 7-series
                                                                          chipset, we can see a lot of Asus R.O.G. fans waiting to
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680                                                    upgrade until Asus releases the Maximus V Formula. Not
Specifications Revealed                                                   only has the company brought back water cooling to the
                                                                          R.O.G. platform, but there's plenty of other features on offer,
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-geforce-gtx-680-
                                                                          some that were weren't even told about at the preview event
specifications-revealed/15137.html
                                                                          we attended.
March 6th, 2012
                                                                          The basic board layout consist of two x16 PCI Express 3.0
                                                                          slots – which are of course operating in dual x8 mode – a
                                                                          single x16 PCI Express slot, an open-ended x4 PCI Express
NVIDIA's much anticipated GK104 release is finally                        slot – we're not entirely sure how many lanes are available
impending and we have specifications and details for the                  for each slot – and three x1 PCI Express slots. We spotted
first SKU - GeForce GTX 680.                                              a PLX bridge chip on the board which means that Asus is
As previous rumours suggested, GTX 680 will feature 1536                  splitting the available bandwidth from the chipset between
SP and 256-bit memory. However, contrary to rumours,                      the various PCI Express devices on the board, as there isn't
NVIDIA has retained the shader hotclock, although the                     enough bandwidth to go around.
Kepler shaders could be significantly different from its
Fermi counterparts which makes it difficult to predict
performance. The core will be clocked at 705 MHz and the
shaders at 1411 MHz, retaining the 2x shader hotclock from
Fermi. GK104 significantly improves upon GF110/GF114's
memory controller, setting a new record for reference
memory clock at 6 GHz. This equates to a memory
bandwidth of 192 GB/s - exactly the same as GTX 580
despite the narrower memory bus.
As we have witnessed from previously leaked PCB pictures,
the GTX 680 will sport 4 display outputs - stacked dual DVI,
HDMI and DisplayPort. GK104's die appears to be slightly
smaller than Tahiti but significantly larger than Pitcairn.
Two SLI connectors will enable upto 3-way SLI. However,
the experimental stacked PCI-e power inputs may not make
it to the final production graphics cards. GTX 680 will be
10 inches long, which is longer than GTX 560 Ti or HD
7870 but shorter than HD 7950 or GTX 570. The general
visual appearance will be reminiscent of GTX 570, albeit
more compact with a repositioned fan. The rear end will be
similar to HD 5800 or HD 6900, with identical outputs and
a blocked exhaust.
                                                                          Beyond the standard four SATA 3Gbps and two SATA 6Gbps
NVIDIA will reveal details about GTX 680 in an event on
                                                                          ports, Asus has added a second set of SATA 6Gbps ports.
12th March, with a hard launch rumoured for 23rd March -
                                                                          Beyond that we spotted pin headers for two USB 3.0 ports,
days after HD 7800's release.
                                                                          four USB 2.0 ports, a POST80 debug LED, power and reset
                                                                          buttons and Voltage measuring points. The Maximums V
Asus brings back water                                                    Formula also has a new audio solution which we were
                                                                          told should be based on a C-Media chipset. If you look
cooling for the Maximus V                                                 closely at the lower left hand side corner of the board, you'll
Formula                                                                   notice an R.O.G. logo on a matte square, this apparently hid
                                                                          some secret feature that we weren't told about, so it'll be
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-brings-back-water-cooling-for-
                                                                          interesting to see what Asus has come up with once the board
the-maximus-v-formula/15135.html
                                                                          is officially announced.
March 6th, 2012




Although not available at the launch of Intel's new 7-series
chipset, we can see a lot of Asus R.O.G. fans waiting to

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

                                                                 Another new feature is the inclusion of the ThunderFX USB
                                                                 sound card and amplifier. The ThunderFX is quite different
                                                                 from your average USB sound card though, as not only can
                                                                 it be used with a PC headset, but it can also be connected to
                                                                 either a PS3 or an Xbox 360 thanks to a pair of RCA audio
                                                                 jacks at the rear. It even has a special 2.5mm microphone
                                                                 connector for Xbox 360 headsets. When used with a PC
                                                                 it also offers active noise cancelling thanks to a built in
                                                                 microphone that records and tries to cancel out background
                                                                 noise. This has apparently been specifically tuned to work
                                                                 well in environments where there are a lot of people, such as
The rear I/O is identical to that of the Maximus V Gene
                                                                 LAN parties.
and as such you get four USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports,
an eSATA port, Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1-channel audio with
optical S/PDIF out – note that Asus appears to have fitted
the wrong audio connector here as there are two optical S/
PDIF connectors and as far as we're aware, the board doesn't
feature S/PDIF input, unless this has something to do with
the change of audio chip – and a DisplayPort and HDMI
connector. You also get the same mPCIe Combo pin header
and riser card that accepts an half-size mini PCI Express card
and an mSATA SSD as you get with the Maximus V Gene.




                                                                 The Maximus V Formula might not be the most visually
                                                                 impressive R.O.G. board from Asus to date, but it has a
                                                                 decent enough feature set, although we're curious about
                                                                 what Asus was hiding. We'll make sure to follow up with
                                                                 more details once Asus is ready to launch the Maximus V
                                                                 Formula sometime in May according to what we were told
                                                                 at the preview event.


                                                                 Asus' Maximus V Gene gets
                                                                 some interesting additions
                                                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-maximus-v-gene-gets-some-
                                                                 interesting-additions/15127.html
                                                                 March 6th, 2012

The return of water cooling is done quite differently from
in the past, as this time there's no need to cool the chipset
with water, simply due to the fact that it doesn't get very
hot. So what Asus has done instead is to create a water
cooling solution for the MOSFETs. For those of you that
don't want to use water cooling this isn't a huge issue, as
below the water cooling pipe you'll find a regular heatpipe      As far as motherboard sub-brands go, Asus' R.O.G. series
connecting the two VRM heatsinks. As such you get good           of motherboards are part of what must easily be the
enough cooling without using water, but you might be able        most recognized series of motherboards. The latest mATX
to push the system even further with the addition of water       addition to the series is the Maximus V Gene based on Intel's
cooling.                                                         Z77 chipset and it brings with it a couple of interesting
                                                                 features that made us scratch our heads a little.
                                                                 As far as motherboard sub-brands go, Asus' R.O.G. series
                                                                 of motherboards are part of what must easily be the
                                                                 most recognized series of motherboards. The latest mATX
                                                                 addition to the series is the Maximus V Gene based on Intel's
                                                                 Z77 chipset and it brings with it a couple of interesting
                                                                 features that made us scratch our heads a little.




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

                                                                 Taking a closer look, you'll see a pin header at the top of the
                                                                 PCB labeled mPCIe-Combo. This allows a small module –
                                                                 picture below – to be inserted that can house not only a half-
                                                                 size mini PCI Express card, but also an mSATA SSD. The
                                                                 design is actually quite clever, except for the small fact that
                                                                 it has to be attached to the motherboard before it's installed
                                                                 into the chassis. This is due to the fact that the riser card has
                                                                 to be screwed in place through a hole in the motherboard.




In general the Maximus V Gene builds in the Maximus IV
Gene, it has two x16 PCI Express 3.0 slots as well as a single
open-ended x4 PCI Express 2.0 slot and Asus stuck with
the standard two SATA 6Gbps and four SATA 3Gbps ports
offered by the chipset. There are headers for two USB 3.0
                                                                 As you can see on the picture below, the raiser card fits
ports and four USB 2.0 ports as well as a POST80 debug LED
                                                                 neatly, but it's not clear as to how you'll attach the antennas
and power and reset buttons.
                                                                 from a Wi-Fi card or a TV-tuner, although it's likely that
                                                                 Asus will at least add some kind of holes in the I/O shield
                                                                 for Wi-Fi antennas. We're not entirely sure how popular this
                                                                 feature will be with gamers, but it's at least a different take
                                                                 on things and it adds more expansion options to this mATX
                                                                 motherboard. The Maximus V Gene should launch alongside
                                                                 all of Asus' other 7-series motherboards towards the end of
                                                                 April.




The rear I/O looks fairly basic with four USB 2.0 ports,
four USB 3.0 pots – of which two are via an ASMedia
host controller – an eSATA port, Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1-
channel audio with S/PDIF out and a DisplayPort and HDMI
connector. You also have a couple of buttons here, one that
should clear the CMOS and one that allows you to connect
the white USB 2.0 port to another computer for diagnostics
as with previous R.O.G. boards. However, what's interesting
with this board is what you don't see on the picture above.




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


A quick look at Asus's
P8Z77-I Deluxe mini-ITX
motherboard
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/a-quick-look-at-asus-s-p8z77-i-
deluxe-mini-itx-motherboard/15126.html
March 6th, 2012




                                                                      As this is a mini-ITX board you only get a single x16
                                                                      PCI Express 3.0 slot, although Asus has also fitted a half-
If you're a fan of mini-ITX motherboards, then Asus'                  size mini PCI Express card slot which houses a Wi-Fi and
upcoming P8Z77-I Deluxe is likely to blow your mind. We've            Bluetooth card as standard. There are two SATA 6Gbps and
seen a few high-end mini-ITX motherboards in the past from            two SATA 3Gbps ports as well as headers for two USB 3.0
Zotac, but so far no-one has come up with anything like what          ports and four USB 2.0 ports. At the rear we find four USB
Asus has created with the P8Z77-I Deluxe.                             3.0 ports – two of which are via an ASMedia host controller –
If you're a fan of mini-ITX motherboards, then Asus'                  four USB 2.0 ports, two eSATA ports, Gigabit Ethernet, 5.1-
upcoming P8Z77-I Deluxe is likely to blow your mind. We've            channel audio with optical S/PDIF out and a DisplayPort,
seen a few high-end mini-ITX motherboards in the past from            HDMi and DVI connector, as well as a pair of buttons that
Zotac, but so far no-one has come up with anything like what          we aren't sure as to what they do.
Asus has created with the P8Z77-I Deluxe.




                                                                      It's impossible to not be impressed by the engineering that
                                                                      has taken place here, as Asus has created a rather innovative
                                                                      mini-ITX board. It won't be everyone's cup of tea for sure
                                                                      and it's likely to cost as much, if not more than some full-size
                                                                      alternatives, but none of that makes the P8Z77-I Deluxe any
                                                                      less impressive.




Apparently the designers at Asus decided to go for the all
or nothing approach with the P8Z77-I Deluxe, as they've
literally crammed the board full of features of which the
most prominent one as odd as it is, is the VRM module. If
you've been around for a few years you might remember
that Gigabyte at one point in time had a card which
added additional power phases to some of its high-end
motherboard models, well, Asus has taken that concept to
the next level with the P8Z77-I Deluxe by placing the entire
VRM on a vertical PCB. This is the first mini-ITX board that          IT Show 2012 Promotions:
we've ever seen that features eight power phases and we were
told that the board is meant to be as good as an overclocker          Jabra
                                                                      Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-
as your average full-size motherboard thanks to it.
                                                                      jabra/15133.html




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

March 6th, 2012                                                   In addition to Noise Blackout 3.0, the Jabra Supreme is the
                                                                  first Bluetooth headset for mobile users that is equipped with
                                                                  Active Noise Cancellation technology. You can hear your
                                                                  caller better even with the background noise around you.
                                                                  With Voice Guidance and Voice Control features, you can
                                                                  easily activate phone functions by issuing voice commands -
                                                                  so your hands are always free for whatever you need to do. Its
With Jabra wireless noise-cancellation headsets, you can          powerful 24mm speaker produces a rich, high quality sound
have voice conversation wherever you are, be it noisy food        on every call while its patented flip-boom arm also acts as
centres or on the move. The company is showcasing their           the on/off function.
Jabra EXTREME2, Jabra SUPREME and Jabra WAVE and                  Retail price: S$198
others at the IT Show 2012 (booth 6711 and 3001).                 IT Show price: S$169 (FREE Powerocks Tarot portable
Jabra EXTREME2                                                    charger & Lucky Dip)


                                                                  Jabra WAVE




The Jabra EXTREME2 was launched in Singapore last
month and combines highly-acclaimed Noise Blackout
3.0 technology – using dual microphones to distinguish
sounds – along with advanced Digital Signal Processing            The Jabra WAVE incorporates advanced Digital Signal
(DSP) technology to cancel out up to 28dB of unwanted             Processing (DSP) and a 3-level Wind Noise reduction
background noise, such as traffic, machinery, wind while          technology, including rounded holes on microphone for
retaining the natural sound of your voice. Equipped with HD       smooth wind passage and a wind sock to reduce wind noise
voice technology and A2DP, the Extreme2 delivers voice-           for clear conversation. Launched last month, the WAVE
calls and audio output in crisp, crystal-clarity. New premium     features enhanced A2DP and HD Voice capabilities, has
features include caller ID, battery level, connectivity status,   consistently been voted most comfortable for headset for its
step-by-step audio instructions for pairing.                      unique behind-the-year wearing style. At just 13g, it offers
                                                                  all-day comfort and ease-of-use.
Retail price: S$128
IT Show price: S$109 (with Lucky Dip)                             Retail price: S$128
                                                                  IT Show price: S$109 (with Lucky Dip)
Jabra SUPREME

                                                                  Booth number: 6711 & 3001


                                                                  IT Show 2012 Promotions:
                                                                  Microsoft
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-
                                                                  microsoft/15007.html
                                                                  March 6th, 2012




                                                                  Come to the IT Show 2012 and check out the great
                                                                  promotions from Microsoft - from Xbox 360 game console,
                                                                  Kinect, to peripherals including mouse, keyboard and

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

webcam. The Microsoft booth can be located on level 6,       Pre-order console collection at the Kinect Star Wars road
number 6115.                                                 show on 3rd April at Plaza Singapura’s main atrium will
                                                             entitle customer to a special premium - Star Wars figurine
Xbox 360 250GB Ultimate Action Pack with Kinect Sensor
                                                             from Hasbro (worth S$19.90). *While stocks last.


                                                             Microsoft Touch Mouse




Xbox 360 250GB Ultimate Action Pack with Kinect Sensor,
and games including Super Street Fighter IV, Need for
Speed: Hot Pursuit, Kinect Adventures, R-Type Dimensions
game download card (IT Show ONLY), Gunstringer game          The Microsoft Touch Mouse is the new multitouch mouse
download card, Fruit Ninja Kinect game download card; 3-     for Windows 7 that will let you click, flick, scroll and swipe
month Xbox LIVE Gold membership; additional wireless         so it’s easy and fun to interact with your PC. Designed to
controller (IT Show ONLY); and sure-win Instant Jackpot at   enhance your Windows 7 usage, the Touch Mouse combines
IT Show.                                                     the virtues of a mouse with the rich natural language of
Total price: S$995                                           gesture to offer a more intuitive way to navigate your PC. The
IT Show 2012 price: S$649                                    top of the Touch Mouse is composed of a matrix of capacitive
                                                             touch-sensing electrodes to track the position of the user’s
Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Kinect Star Wars” bundle           fingertips along its surface.
                                                             Retail Price: S$99
                                                             IT Show Price: S$79 with free S$10 shopping voucher and
                                                             free 4GB thumb drive worth S$10 (limited to first 100
                                                             customers daily), and Sure-Win Instant Jackpot.


                                                             Explorer Touch Mouse




The Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Kinect Star Wars” bundle
features a custom Star Wars design, modeled after R2-
D2 and C3PO, including an R2-D2 blue-and-white themed
console and first ever white Kinect sensor, a custom
Xbox 360 Wireless Controller inspired by C3PO, unique
sounds from the Star Wars universe and an Xbox 360
Wired Headset. The bundle also includes copies of “Kinect
Adventures” and “Kinect Star War”. Additionally, the Xbox
360 Limited Edition “Kinect Star Wars” console bundle will
feature an exclusive C-3PO unlockable for Dance Mode.
IT Show 2012 price: S$649 with Limited Edition Xbox 360
320GB Star Wars R2D2-themed Console, Limited Edition
                                                             The Microsoft Explorer Touch Mouse is the latest addition
White Kinect Sensor, one Limited Edition C3PO-themed
                                                             to the Microsoft touch mouse family, featuring an
Wireless Controller, Xbox 360 Wired Headset, Kinect Star
                                                             advanced touch strip with vertical and horizontal scrolling
Wars game and Kinect Adventures game.
                                                             capability so you can flick, click and navigate in any
                                                             direction. Featuring BlueTrack Technology that exceeds the
                                                                                                                        15
March 6th, 2012                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone

performance of optical and laser mice1, the Explorer Touch
Mouse adapts to your active lifestyle. It allows you to swiftly
and smoothly track on the surfaces you use every day. And
you won’t have to worry about switching batteries often with
this mouse, which provides up to 18 months of battery life
on two AA batteries.
Retail price: S$59
IT Show price: S$49 with free S$10 shopping voucher
(limited to first 100 customers daily)


Booth location: Level 6, booth number 6115


IT Show 2012 Promotions:
Fuji Xerox
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-fuji-
xerox/15131.html
March 6th, 2012
                                                                    Incorporating the latest S-LED printing technology, the
                                                                    Fuji Xerox DocuPrint M205 fw offers print, copy, scan and
                                                                    fax (black) for your needs. The A4 Wireless Monochrome
                                                                    Multifunction Printer has a fast 24ppm print speed, and
                                                                    supports mobile printing (with Fuji Xerox Print Utility for
                                                                    iOS).
Aside from laptops, cameras, accessories and displays,              Retail price: S$349
printers are also one of the most sought after products at the      IT Show price: TBA
IT fairs. Well, many of us still need to print our documents
and even scan or fax. Check out Fuji Xerox's promotions on
the DocuPrint P205 b, DocuPrint M205 fw and DocuPrint               Fuji Xerox DocuPrint CM205 fw
CM205 fw.
Fuji Xerox DocuPrint P205 b




Available in Black, Quartz and Pink, the Fuji Xerox
DocuPrint P205 b monochrome printer features the latest
                                                                    If you need a color multifunction printer, you may want
S-LED printing technology and boasts a fast 24ppm print
                                                                    to consider the Fuji Xerox DocuPrint CM205 fw. Like the
speed. There's only a single toner to replace, and the printer
                                                                    DocuPrint M205 fw, this one also offers print, copy, scan
comes with 4-year carry-in warranty and 1-hr Express
                                                                    and fax (black); print speeds of 12ppm for color and 15ppm
Service guaranteed.
                                                                    for monochrome; and supports mobile printing (with Fuji
Retail price: S$139                                                 Xerox Print Utility for iOS).
IT Show price: TBA
                                                                    Retail price: S$649
Fuji Xerox DocuPrint M205 fw                                        IT Show price: TBA


                                                                    Booth location: Level 4, Hall 401, Booth 8468


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

                                                                tasking. It also incorporates exclusive ASUS Super Hybrid
IT Show 2012 Promotions:                                        Engine II technology that allows the notebook to resume in
ASUS                                                            just two second, and up to two weeks of standby time, and
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-    ASUS SonicMaster Technology and audio powered by Bang
asus/15120.html                                                 and Olufsen ICEpower for your music enjoyment.
March 6th, 2012                                                 Retail price: S$1,598
                                                                IT Show price: TBA


                                                                ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201


ASUS will be showcasing their range of products from
laptops, tablets, to routers and desktop at this week's IT
Show 2012. Their booth can be located on Level 4, Booth
8310 and 8220, 8405 and 8498 (Newstead).
ASUS K Series K43SD-i7




                                                                The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201 boasts to
                                                                be the world’s first tablet with NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad
                                                                core processor. It is incredibly thin at 8.3mm, and weighs
                                                                586g. It supports full high definition 1080p video with
The ASUS K Series K43SD-i7 claims to be the first notebook      seamless playback. With the dock, the Transformer Prime
PC with vibrant multi-color high quality aluminium              can be "transformed" into a laptop with the keyboard and
textures. It features IceCool Technology that helps to keep     touchpad.
palm rest cool even after long hours of usage, and comes with
                                                                Retail price: S$899 (with dock)
2GB VRAM for better graphics performance, and superfast
                                                                IT Show price: TBA
USB3.0 ports.
Retail price: S$1,498
IT Show price: TBA                                              ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router
ASUS Zenbook UX31E-i5




The ASUS Zenbook UX31E-i5 is extremely slim, measuring
only 3mm at the thinnest point. Despite its compact form
factor, the Ultrabook feature seconnd generation Intel Core     The ASUS RT-N66U dual-band wireless-N900 gigabit
processors that powers silky smooth multimedia and multi-       router delivers superb performance with wide coverage.
                                                                It features a new ASUSWRT UI that lets you setup your

                                                                                                                         17
March 6th, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

network easily, customize user access, as well as monitor            Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security is all you need to
signal strength. The RT-N66U increases Wi-Fi speed for               have the protection for your devices and data. The security
both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz transmission by 50% up to                     software vendor will be having a great promotion at the IT
900Mbps that makes it ideal for bandwidth intensive tasks            Show 2012, and their booth can be located at Level 6, booth
such as 3D high definition video steaming, multiplayer               number 6266.
gaming, USB hard drive file sharing, and USB connected
printer sharing. With the built-in Wi-Fi amplifiers, the RT-
N66U is ideal for large, multi-level homes and buildings as
its signal range can virtually reach any area.
IT Show price: TBA


ASUS ROG Tytan CG8565




                                                                     The Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security 2012 uses
                                                                     cloud-based technology to proactively stop threats before
                                                                     they reach users. It claims to utilize less than half the
                                                                     disk space and memory of other security products. The
                                                                     software also comes with intuitive interface that is easy
                                                                     to install and use, customizable parental controls to keep
                                                                     children safe online, as well as tools to protect data from
                                                                     loss or theft. The Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security
The ROG Tytan CG8565 claims to be the most equipped and              2012 can also extend protection to smartphones and tablets
powerful gaming desktop, featuring instant overclocking.             including Android, Windows and iOS devices. IT Show
Just a touch of the button, you can overclock the machine            promotion: Trend Micro will be giving away a free, exclusive
without the need to reboot. You can increase performance             Trend Micro water bottle for purchases by the first 100
with the optional Intel Core i7 2600K processor, unlocked            Popular Card members. Win attractive gifts freebies for
and overclocked to 4.6 GHz, while the DEFCON indicator               every purchase.
shows system readiness with blue and red LED lights. The
ROG Turbo Gear can also instantly shift between three
overclock modes.
                                                                     Gigabyte announces its first
Retail price: S$4,399                                                Ultrabook at CeBIT, we go
IT Show price: TBA                                                   hands on
                                                                     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-announces-its-first-
                                                                     ultrabook-at-cebit-we-go-hands-on/15125.html
Booth location:-
                                                                     March 6th, 2012
Level 3: 3015 (Newstead Booth)
Level 4: 8405, 8220, 8310, 8498 (Newstead Booth), 8139
(Newstead Booth), 8235 (Courts Booth)

Level 6: 6721 (AAAs Com Booth)


IT Show 2012 Promotions:                                             There's no denying that Ultrabooks haven't taken off like
                                                                     Intel hoped they would, but it looks like we looks forward to
Trend Micro                                                          some much more interesting machines once Intel launches
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-trend-   its Ivy Bridge ULV processors and Gigabyte has come
micro/15117.html                                                     up with an interesting take on the Ultrabook theme. The
March 6th, 2012                                                      company's first foray into the Ultrabook market space is with
                                                                     the U2442 series which is a 14-inch notebook with a lot of
                                                                     interesting features under the bonnet.
                                                                     There's no denying that Ultrabooks haven't taken off like
                                                                     Intel hoped they would, but it looks like we looks forward to
                                                                     some much more interesting machines once Intel launches
                                                                     its Ivy Bridge ULV processors and Gigabyte has come
                                                                     up with an interesting take on the Ultrabook theme. The
                                                                                                                                         18
March 6th, 2012                                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone

company's first foray into the Ultrabook market space is with
the U2442 series which is a 14-inch notebook with a lot of
interesting features under the bonnet.
Starting with the 14-inch display which makes the U2442
larger than most other Ultrabooks in the market today,
Gigabyte has gone for a 1600x900 resolution panel which
is a big win in our book. The downside is that the screen
is glossy and we hope that Gigabyte will consider offering
a matte display as an option. The U2442 isn't going to be
competing with the slimmest of Ultrabooks, as it measures
18.5 to 20.5mm thick, but at 1.49kg it's quite light for a 14-
inch Ultrabook. Part of the reason for this is that the U2442
has a plastic rather than a metal chassis, but at least Gigabyte
fitted a metal lid to help protect the LCD.




                                                                   But wait, there's more, much more, as they say on the
                                                                   shopping channels, as Gigabyte has also fitted the U2442
                                                                   series with a yet to be announced Nvidia GeForce GT 640M
                                                                   GPU with 2GB of dedicated graphics memory. This makes
                                                                   the U2442 the first Ultrabook with discrete graphics as far as
                                                                   we're aware. Sadly the standard SKUs will come fitted with
                                                                   a mechanical drive without SSD caching, although Gigabyte
                                                                   will be offering models with an SSD as standard.




                                                                   Connectivity has been one of the weak points of a lot of
                                                                   Ultrabooks, but not so with the U2442 as it's crammed full
                                                                   with ports. For starters Gigabyte has kitted it out with a
                                                                   Thunderbolt interface – although this is apparently optional
As with every other upcoming Ultrabook, Gigabyte will be           and won't be available on all SKUs – two USB 3.0 ports,
offering the U2442 with a selection of ULV Core i5 and i7          two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, a D-sub connector, an
processors, but the company has a real trick up its sleeve         Ethernet port, a pair of audio jacks and an SD card reader.
here and no, we're not talking about overclocking. Gigabyte        You also get a webcam, 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 +
will be offering two SKUs, the U2442V with the ULV                 HS, in other words, the U2442 has pretty much everything
processors and the U2442N which will come with a regular,          you'll need.
full fat, 35W mobile Core i5 or i7 CPU. This should make the
U2442 one of the most powerful sub 1.5kg notebooks in the
market.




                                                                   As for the battery, Gigabyte has gone for a Lithium-
                                                                   Polymer pack rated at 44Wh, although these aren't directly
                                                                   comparable to Li-Ion, as they're not made up out of multiple
                                                                   "cells". We weren't given any indication of battery life by the
                                                                   company and considering the model we looked at was an
                                                                                                                               19
March 6th, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

early pre-production unit, it's unlikely the company has run       After 11 years in the works, however, it would be wise to not
extensive battery tests.                                           drag out the release much longer.




                                                                   A recent comment from a Blizzard community manager
                                                                   caused considerable controversy when he told players to
                                                                   lower their expectations about the game. The game's director
                                                                   said that this was an “obviously sarcastic” comment and that
                                                                   gamers should have high expectations.

Some other features worth mentioning is the backlit
keyboard, a feature more and more people are looking for           Blizzard also recently announced that it was axing 600 jobs,
when they're buying a new notebook, a large trackpad with          most of them relating to customer service. It promised it
buttons and last, but not least, access to both of the SO-         won't affect its games, but it will likely mean longer delays in
DIMM slots which allows the owner to upgrade the memory.           sorting out purchases and in-game problems.
Our hands on time with the U2442 was far to short to
give any kind or real impression, but Gigabyte seems to
have come up with a good overall design with features like
all the hot air being vented out the rear of the chassis           US files extradition request
instead of towards the sides. As long as the build quality
of the production units is solid, alongside a decent price,        for MegaUpload founder and
Gigabyte could very well steal some market share from more         staff
established notebook makers with the U2442.                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/us-files-extradition-request-for-
                                                                   megaupload-founder-and-staff/15129.html

Release date for Diablo III                                        March 6th, 2012


leaked
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/release-date-for-diablo-iii-
leaked/15130.html
March 6th, 2012

Amazon has let slip the release date of 17 April for Blizzard's
highly-anticipated hack-and-slash RPG Diablo III.                  The United States has filed a formal application for the
                                                                   extradition of MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom and three
                                                                   staff members from New Zealand over allegations of
The date has since been removed from Amazon's website,             profiting from the illegal hosting and sharing of files.
suggesting it was not supposed to publish it at this stage.        The United States has filed a formal application for the
                                                                   extradition of MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom and three
                                                                   staff members from New Zealand over allegations of
Blizzard previously revealed that it was targeting a second
                                                                   profiting from the illegal hosting and sharing of files.
quarter release date, which could be anything from the
beginning of April to the end of June. Eager fans will be
pleased to see that it is looking increasingly likely that the     The US federal prosecutors file the request at the North
game will launch at the beginning of that period.                  Shore District Court in Auckland, New Zealand on Friday in
                                                                   efforts to get Dotcom and his associates onto American soil
                                                                   so that they can face prosecution, with the US claiming that
However, Blizzard has so far failed to confirm this release
                                                                   MegaUpload profited at the expense of intellectual property
date and likely won't do so until closer to launch, in case any
                                                                   holders, such as music and movie companies.
last minute game-breaking bugs force it to delay the launch.

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

                                                                           more than enough to encourage her to buy the full version of
                                                                           the game, and dozens more, as well as thousands of songs,
The three others who face extradition are Finn Batato,
                                                                           films and other media.
Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk, all of whom were
in prominent positions within the file-hosting company.




MegaUpload was shut down in January and the closure
caused such a stir in the file-sharing community that many
other file hosts decided to shut up shop to avoid similar
prosecution.                                                               “We’d like to thank our customers and developers for
                                                                           helping us achieve this historic milestone of 25 billion apps
                                                                           downloaded,” said Eddy Cue, SVP of Internet Software
Dotcom claims that US authorities selected emails and other                and Services at Apple. “When we launched the App Store
evidence in a misleading and malicious way. Lawyers for                    less than four years ago, we never imagined that mobile
MegaUpload claim that many files stored on the service                     apps would become the phenomenon they have, or that
show that it was a legal hosting company.                                  developers would create such an incredible selection of apps
                                                                           for iOS users.”
If Dotcom and his colleagues are extradited and found
guilty of the charges, which include racketeering, copyright               The record was achieved by users of the over 315 million iOS
infringement, and conspiracy to commit money laundering,                   devices across the world, with over 550,000 apps on offer.
they could face up to 20 years in prison.                                  The App Store launched in 2008 and broke the one billion
                                                                           download barrier within a year. Only four years later it has
                                                                           grown that figure by more than 25 times.

Apple achieves milestone 25
                                                                           A quick look at Gigabyte's
billion App Store downloads
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-achieves-milestone-25-billion-   GA-B75M-D3V motherboard
app-store-downloads/15128.html                                             Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/a-quick-look-at-gigabyte-s-ga-b75m-
March 6th, 2012                                                            d3v-motherboard/15124.html
                                                                           March 6th, 2012




Apple has reached a landmark figure of 25 billion downloads
in its App Store and is offering a prize of a $10,000 iTunes               Despite more and more features being integrated into
gift card to one lucky user to celebrate.                                  the CPU, motherboard prices haven't exactly gotten any
                                                                           cheaper, although at least part of the reason for this is
Apple has reached a landmark figure of 25 billion downloads                increased costs for the motherboard makers. However,
in its App Store and is offering a prize of a $10,000 iTunes               Gigabyte has come up with an interesting board for those
gift card to one lucky user to celebrate.                                  that are looking for something for a small business computer
                                                                           or similar in the shape of the GA-B75M-D3V which offers a
                                                                           well-rounded feature set without costing a fortune.
The Cupertino, California-based company began its
countdown last week, achieving the major milestone over the                Despite more and more features being integrated into
weekend when Chunli Fu of Qingdao, China downloaded the                    the CPU, motherboard prices haven't exactly gotten any
free trial version of Disney's game app Where's My Water?                  cheaper, although at least part of the reason for this is
                                                                           increased costs for the motherboard makers. However,
                                                                           Gigabyte has come up with an interesting board for those
Fu will now receive the huge iTunes gift card as thanks from               that are looking for something for a small business computer
Apple for helping it reach its record goal. $10,000 will be

                                                                                                                                               21
March 6th, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

or similar in the shape of the GA-B75M-D3V which offers a                March 6th, 2012
well-rounded feature set without costing a fortune.
If you're a regular VR-Zone reader you must think we've
gone nuts featuring what looks like a five year old
motherboard. Well, it's anything but, despite its looks.
Being based on Intel's B75 chipset which is targeting small
business computers you get all the latest features in a slightly
unusual package. The board has a PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot –              Amongst the mass of AIBs that handed out press releases
although for some reason the board we were shown only had                marketing their new HD 7800 series graphics cards
eight lanes connected – two x1 PCI Express slots and a PCI               following AMD's official launch earlier today, ASUS released
slot. Add a pair of SATA 6Gbps ports and four SATA 3Gbps                 new HD 7850 and HD 7870 models that are worthy of
ports and you have a pretty standard Intel board.                        mentioning in their own right as they steer away from the
                                                                         reference oriented mass.
                                                                         Amongst the mass of AIBs that handed out press releases
                                                                         marketing their new HD 7800 series graphics cards
                                                                         following AMD's official launch earlier today, ASUS released
                                                                         new HD 7850 and HD 7870 models that are worthy of
                                                                         mentioning in their own right as they steer away from the
                                                                         reference oriented mass.
                                                                         Utilizing ASUS' well regarded DirectCU II dual-slot,
                                                                         quad heatpipe and dual-fan wielding aftermarket cooling
                                                                         solution, ASUS has stepped up the pace on these cards with
                                                                         higher than stock frequencies out of the box.




As you can see, Gigabyte went for a compact mATX form
factor for the B75M-D3V and as such it only has two DIMM
slots, but you do at least get headers for two USB 3.0 ports,
four USB 2.0 ports and a serial port. The rear I/O has four
USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a PS/2 port, a parallel
port –a feature a lot of businesses wants – a Gigabit Ethernet
port, 5.1-channel audio and a D-Sub and DVI port.




                                                                         The core clock speed on ASUS' HD 7870 DirectCU II TOP
                                                                         has been boosted to 1100MHz (1000MHz stock), while the
                                                                         HD 7850 DirectCU II TOP comes in at 975MHz (860MHz
                                                                         stock). On the memory side of things, both models have
                                                                         their 2GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1250MHz (5GHz
                                                                         effective), where 1200MHz is the stock memory speed for
                                                                         AMD's reference models.
                                                                         Both cards run the same video output configuration with a
In as much as the B75M-D3V might be targeting businesses,                single DVI-I, 1 x HDMI and dual Mini-DP ports. If you're
it would be the kind of motherboard that would offer more                still confined to a D-Sub monitor (poor you!) ASUS has you
than enough features for many a user. As a further business              covered with a DVI to D-Sub adapter in the packaging.
incentive, it will also come with Intel's Small Business
Advantage software, although due to NDA's and such, we
can't go into any details about that for the time being. With
a sub US$80 MSRP, this should work out to be one of the
cheapest boards with a 7-series chipset.


ASUS intros beefed up
DirectCU II HD 7800 variants
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-intros-beefed-up-directcu-ii-
hd-7800-variants/15121.html


                                                                                                                                   22
March 6th, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone




ASUS has not confirmed pricing on the two DirectCU II
based HD 7800 offerings as yet, nor does a Google search
give us any love at this time, but it goes without saying
that these beefed up variants will be fetching a noticable
premium over AMD's recommended pricing of US $350 and
US $250.


GIGABYTE readies "gaming-
friendly" AIO 24-inch
Barebone                                                                The GB-AEGT All-in-One boasts a 24-inch LED backlit 2-
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-readies-gaming-friendly-   point multi-touch display, while housed inside is a Mini-ITX
aio-24-inch-barebone/15119.html                                         motherboard based on Intel's H61 Express chipset offering
March 6th, 2012                                                         support for Core i3/i5/i7 LGA-1155 processors and up to
                                                                        8GB of DDR3 memory.




GIGABYTE is preparing another All-in-One barebone PC
for market which is geared more toward gamers with its
vacant PCI-E x16 slot that can accomodate dual-slot cards.
The GB-AEGT All-in-One boasts a 24-inch LED backlit 2-
point multi-touch display, while housed inside is a Mini-ITX
motherboard based on Intel's H61 Express chipset offering
support for Core i3/i5/i7 LGA-1155 processors and up to
8GB of DDR3 memory.
GIGABYTE is preparing another All-in-One barebone PC for
market which is geared more toward gamers with its vacant
PCI-E x16 slot that can accomodate dual-slot cards.




                                                                        Other specs include a 2.5-inch HDD/SSD dock, a couple
                                                                        mini PCIe slots, a 3.5-inch bay, a slim optical drive slot,
                                                                        two USB 3.0 ports, a 4-in-1 card reader, webcam, Gigabit
                                                                        Ethernet, Wifi (optional) and Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity.

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




                                                                       While Samsung still hasn't confirmed when exactly it plans
                                                                       to launch the handset, the latest reports are now suggesting
                                                                       a May or possibly June launch. Samsung has stated that once
                                                                       the launch date has been scheduled for the GS III it would
                                                                       share that date out via Twitter.
                                                                       Apparently a Samsung representative has informed a
                                                                       Korean site that Samsung plans to launch a different
                                                                       smartphone in April packed with LTE capabilities and that
                                                                       the GS III is expected in May or June.
If dual display tickes your fancy, there's both D-Sub and
HDMI outputs on tap as well.
                                                                       IT Show 2012 Promotions:
Pricing and availability info on the GB-AEGT is yet to be
disclosed.                                                             Lexmark
                                                                       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-
                                                                       lexmark/15116.html
Samsung says no to Galaxy S                                            March 6th, 2012

III launch in April
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-says-no-to-galaxy-s-iii-
launch-in-april/15118.html
March 6th, 2012

                                                                       At the IT Show 2012, Lexmark will have some great
                                                                       promotions for their range of printers including the Lexmark
                                                                       C540n, E260d and Interpret S405. The Lexmark booth can
                                                                       be located on Level 4, Hall 403, Booth 8433.
                                                                       Lexmark C540n
A tweet from Samsung has let us know that previous
rumours indicating its highly anticipated Galaxy S III
smartphone would launch next month are false. We know
the phone isn't all that far away and it's safe to say it should
surface by mid-year, but April is a definite no go.
A tweet from Samsung has let us know that previous
rumours indicating its highly anticipated Galaxy S III
smartphone would launch next month are false. We know
the phone isn't all that far away and it's safe to say it should
surface by mid-year, but April is a definite no go.




                                                                       The Lexmark C540n claims to deliver vibrant high quality
                                                                       prints with true 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution, with print
                                                                       speeds of up to 20 pages per minute in black and color.
                                                                       It has a first page out time of as fast as 11 seconds with
                                                                       instant warm-up fuser and supports duplex printing. The

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

C540n has a sleek and desktop-friendly design with intuitive         The new Motorola ATRIX 2 is now retailing in Singapore,
configuration settings that lets you manage the printer              and comes with ten free EA games for your enjoyment.
easily.                                                              With a fast 1GHz dual-core processor and 4.3-inch qHD
                                                                     touchscreen, you can have a seamless gaming experience.
Retail Price: S$499
IT Show Price: S$249
IT Show Special Offers and Giveaways: Gift voucher worth
S$25
Lexmark E260d




                                                                     Building on the success of the ATRIX smartphone, Motorola
                                                                     has launched the new ATRIX 2 which promises great
                                                                     entertainment experience at an affordable price. The ATRIX
                                                                     2 is powered by 1GHz dual-core processor, 4GB onboard
                                                                     memory, and sports a brilliant 4.3-inch qHD display that is
                                                                     superb for gaming as well as viewing photos and videos. You
The Lexmark E260d A4 monochrome laser printer boasts                 can also choose to output your screen onto the home HDTV
professional print quality and rapid print speeds of 33 pages        via an optional HDMI cable to the phone's HDMI output.
per minute (ppm). It claims to be environmental-friendly             With the proprietary MotoCast app, the ATRIX 2 lets you
with built-in duplex printing feature and replacement toner          access your personal content from anywhere. You can open
cartridge with a 3,500 page yield, and offers efficient desktop      your work documents as well as stream music, videos and
printing for individual users or small groups with a print           pictures from your home PC. Other features include 8-
quality of 1200 x 1200 dpi.                                          megapixel camera, full 1080p HD video capture, GoogleTalk
                                                                     to make sure you always stay connected and 1735 mAh
Retail Price: S$199                                                  battery.
IT Show Price: S$129
IT Show Special Offers and Giveaways: Gift voucher worth             Like it's older sibling, you can connect your Motorola ATRIX
S$10                                                                 2 to the Motorola HD Dock with HDMI cable to launch a
                                                                     full version of the Firefox browser on any HD monitor or TV.
                                                                     You can also browse the web easily with the optional wireless
Lexmark Interpret S405                                               keyboard and mouse. The Motorola ATRIX 2 is retailing
                                                                     exclusively at SingTel, M1 and Newstead at a recommended
The Lexmark Interpret S405 A4 all-in-one mono inkjet                 retail price of S$699 (including GST) and comes with 10 EA
printer is designed for individual users or SMB users,               titles - Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, Need for Speed Shift,
and features Scan and Edit Text (OCR) with Lexmark                   Dead Space, EA SPORTS FIFA 10, THE GAME OF LIFE,
Scan Centre. The S405 also features wireless 802.11b/g               MONOPOLY, The Sims 3, Tetris, Worms and Bejeweled 2.
connectivity, and a 35-page automatic document feeder.
Retail Price: S$199
IT Show Price: S$109                                                 SingTel to acquire Amobee
IT Show Special Offers and Giveaways: Gift voucher worth
S$10
                                                                     to strengthen mobile
                                                                     advertising
Game on with the new
                                                                     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/singtel-to-acquire-amobee-to-
                                                                     strengthen-mobile-advertising/15114.html

Motorola ATRIX 2                                                     March 6th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/game-on-with-the-new-motorola-
atrix-2/15115.html
March 6th, 2012


                                                                     Singapore Telecommunications company, SingTel, is
                                                                     planning to acquire mobile advertising company, Amobee,
                                                                     for a hefty US$321 million, with the purchase finalizing by
                                                                     June this year.

                                                                                                                                         25
March 6th, 2012                                                                                          Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                 charge Android phones and you can also choose to wirelessly
                                                                 stream music from your Android device via Bluetooth.
                                                                 Retail Price: S$349
                                                                 IT Show Price: TBC
                                                                 Philips Fidelio Docking Speaker AS141




SingTel is planning to boost their mobile advertising
business with the acquisition of US mobile advertising
company, Amobee, for US$312 million dollars. If all goes
well, the purchase will finalize by June 2012 and the
management will remain in place. According to Allen
Lew, chief executive of SingTel Group, majority of their
400 million clients are in emerging markets. Based
in Redwood City, Amobee is a mobile advertising technology
company that provide solutions and services for advertisers,
publishers and operators, with a proprietary platform
that supports existing and emerging mobile ad formats
on any mobile, internet-enabled device, including gaming
platforms.
                                                                 Like its AS851 sibling, the Philips Fidelio Docking Speaker
IT Show 2012 Promotions:                                         AS141 also comes with a FlexiDock to fit and charge your
                                                                 Android phone. With the built-in Bass Reflex Speaker
Philips                                                          System, it provides powerful and deep bass when listening
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-     to your favorite songs. The AS141 also features FM digital
philips/15113.html                                               tuning with presets, MP3 Link for portable music playback
March 6th, 2012                                                  and Bluetooth wireless music streaming from your Android
                                                                 device.
                                                                 Retail Price: S$219
                                                                 IT Show Price: TBC


                                                                 Philips G-Line 273G3D Gaming monitor
Philips will be at the IT Show 2012 with their range of
products including earphones, iPhone/iPod and Android
phones docking speakers as well as displays. If you're going,
their booth can be located in Hall 4, booth number 8161, and
Hall 601, Harvey Norman Booth 6137.
Philips Fidelio Docking Speaker AS851




                                                                 The Philips G-Line 273G3D Gaming monitor features a
                                                                 unique pearl white finish and a 27-inch Full high definition
                                                                 (HD) 120Hz display that can produce vivid and realistic
Stylish and elegant designed, the Philips Fidelio Docking        images. The monitor also comes bundled with Philips Active
Speaker AS851 incorporates Digital Sound Processing              3D wireless shutter glasses that lets you view images in
technology that claims to deliver clear, detailed and powerful   3D, and can automatically detect 3D content and switch to
sound without any distortion. It has a FlexiDock to fit and      3D mode seamlessly. Input options include two HDMI and
                                                                 analogue VGA.

                                                                                                                           26
March 6th, 2012                                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone

Retail Price: S$699
IT Show Price: S$599


Philips E-Line 237E3QPHSU IPS monitor




                                                                      In case you've been living under a rock, the HD 7800
                                                                      'Pitcairn' cards that are released today is sandwiched
                                                                      between Southern Islands flagship HD 7900 'Tahiti' and the
                                                                      entry level HD 7700 'Carpe Verde', price and performance
                                                                      wise
The 23-inch Philips E-Line 237E3QPHSU IPS monitor
incorporates various proprietary technologies including
20,000,000:1 ratio SmartContrast; SmartImage technology
that can optimizes monitor performance by dynamically
adjusting the contrast, color saturation and sharpness of
the screen to enhance viewing experience; and SmartTouch
technology features intelligent touch sensitive icons that
replace conventional protruding buttons. It features a 1920
x 1080 screen resolution with wide viewing angles of 178-
degree vertical and lateral.
Retail Price: S$289
IT Show Price: S$269


Booth location: Hall 4, booth number 8161, and Hall 601,              The HD 7800 series also brings the much vaunted Graphics
Harvey Norman Booth 6137                                              Card Next architecture to replace the aging VLIW4/VLIW5
                                                                      designs of previous generations
AMD Radeon HD 7870 and HD
7850 Review
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7870-and-hd-7850-
review/15108.html
March 6th, 2012




Coming in at US$249 and US$349, the AMD Radeon
'Pitcairn' HD 7870/7850 fills the gap in the middle of the
increasingly crowded Southern Islands family. If you are on
a specific budget and not looking for absolute performance            Feature set wise, the HD 7800 series has the same selling
and don't want to wait for the impending arrival of Nvidia's          points that we've seen from new AMD cards over the
Kepler to apply performance and price pressures, then you             last two months, including improvements in process/power
may be interested in having a look at our review.                     efficiency, flexible multi-monitor configurations and an
Introduction / Quick Recap                                            improved UVD engine
Prior reading before our quick recap: AMD Radeon HD 7800
Series enters the fray just in time to fight GK104 by Nebojsa
Novakovic
Glorious shot of the 28nm Pitcain silicon in BGA form factor

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


                                                             AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series
                                                             enters the fray just in time to
                                                             fight GK104
                                                             Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7800-series-enters-
                                                             the-fray-just-in-time-to-fight-gk104/15109.html
                                                             March 6th, 2012




                                                             The tropical island adventure continues, this time with
Specifications Dump                                          Pitcairn - after addressing both the high end and the
                                                             "mainstream" with the HD7900 and HD7700 series
                                                             respectively, AMD now goes for the sweet spot in-between
                                                             with the HD7800...
                                                             Contrary to its CPU line-up, AMD has enjoyed blistering
                                                             success in the GPU arena for quite a while now, and its
                                                             newest generation GPU continue the same - from being able
                                                             to get away with charging pretty high prices for the high-
                                                             end HD7970 and HD7950 yet keep the sales going, to the
                                                             mainstream HD7700 parts wirh decent performance despite
                                                             only 128-bit memory bus. The Catalyst drivers seem to be
                                                             improving along the way too, and the OEM vendors are given
                                                             more freedoms for custom designs earlier in the product
                                                             lifecycle.
                                                             The new HD7800 'Pitcairn' series, that Lennard has a look
We are told that we will not see actual retail cards until   at today, continues the same tradition, filling in the gap
19th March (2 weeks from this review). The consolation is    between the two already announced lines for the US$ 300-
that there will be an impressive array of custom AIB board   class sweet price spot that would expect higher sales volumes
designs/bloat when it does hit the shops.                    than the HD7900, yet at higher margins than the HD7700
                                                             parts. The 256 bit GDDR5 memory bus wih 160 GB/s
                                                             memory bandwidth, and 2 GB memory capacity are the first
                                                             in class for this price level, aside from 32 ROPs, 1,280 stream
                                                             processors (20 Computer Units - CU) and, very importantly,
                                                             160 GFLOPs Double Precision floating point. While this is
                                                             far behind the high end HD7900 series, this is the first
                                                             serious DP FP performance enablement in the below US
                                                             $300 price class in any GPU around, important for GPGPU
                                                             applications that need double precision.


                                                             All these specs actually quite seriously tackle the upcoming
                                                             Nvidia GK104 Kepler parts from one end, while the HD7900
                                                             does it from the other end. Remember, Nvidia had the
                                                             practice to seriously curtail DP FP on all their consumer
                                                             products, including the highest end ones, to keep the Quadro
                                                             and Tesla going. AMD kept the full DP FP performance on
                                                             the high-end consumer lines, but usually never had any DP
                                                             FP in the lines below. Now that has changed - let's see the
                                                             Nvidia response.


                                                             HD7800 Series also brings in PCIe v3 for that extra
                                                             bandwidth, as well as very decent Crossfire scaling if you
                                                             want to run a pair of these in parallel. And, oh yes, it is the
                                                             first mainstream GPU around to ship at 1 GHz frequency as
                                                             standard! For more, here is Lennard's detailed review for
                                                             your pleasure...




                                                                                                                                28
March 6th, 2012                                                                                                Published by: VR-Zone


IT Show 2012 Promotions:
TomTom
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-
tomtom/15112.html
March 6th, 2012




TomTom’s latest GO and Via GPS range will be available at
the IT Show 2012. In addition, The manufacturer will also
be offering an extra two-year South East Asia Map Update
Service, as well as a 10% discount on all TomTom accessories
with the purchase of a TomTom GO or Via GPS. The booth
can be found on level 6, booth number 6711.                     The TomTom VIA 260 is ideal for the daily driver with
                                                                accurate navigation instructions such that you will never
TomTom GO 2000 series                                           miss your next turn. It features Advanced Lane Guidance
                                                                that shows which lane to take at junctions with photo
                                                                realistic junction views. And on the most difficult highway
                                                                intersections, a realistic 3D representation of the junction
                                                                keeps drivers relaxed and safe. With the integrated mount
                                                                with flip screen, yon can adjust the device to your preference,
                                                                and even turn it upside down; the screen will flip the right
                                                                way up automatically. South East Asia maps: The TomTom
                                                                Via 260 comes with maps of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand,
                                                                Indonesia, Brunei, Hong Kong and Macau via TomTom’s
                                                                latest map guarantee, free daily map updates with TomTom
                                                                Map Share and postcode search functions.
                                                                Usual Price: S$239
                                                                IT Show Price: S$199


The TomTom latest GO 2000 series features an intuitive          Booth location - Level 6, booth number 6711
design with large 5-inch fluid touch screen that lets you
navigate with ease. Simply pinch to zoom in and out of
maps, or scroll through menus with the tip of your finger. It   IT Show 2012 Promotions:
comes with an easy click magnetic mount that is easily fixed
and locked on the windscreen with one hand. The unique          Incase
                                                                Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-
magnetic dock makes docking and undocking your device
                                                                incase/15111.html
very convenient. The TomTom GO 2050 comes with maps
                                                                March 6th, 2012
of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Hong
Kong and Macau via TomTom’s latest map guarantee, free
daily map updates with TomTom Map Share and postcode
search functions – must-have for the discerning traveller.
Usual Price: S$399
IT Show Price: S$349
In addition to the features of the GO 2050, the GO 2050         If you're looking for accessories for your iPhone, iPad or
World allows seamless navigation across 66 countries.           Macbook, you may want to check out the stylish cases and
It comes pre-installed with the latest maps of Malaysia,        bags from Incase. Distributed by EQuest International, the
Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, Hong Kong, Macau,       Incase accessories can be found at Nubox booth on Level 3
Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America. It            (booth 3001).
also features maps of South Africa, and major towns and         Incase iPad Snap Case & Mag Snap Case
cities of Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe,
Mozambique, Malawi, Angola and Zambia.
TomTom GO 2050 World
Usual Price: S$479
IT Show Price: S$429


TomTom Via 260



                                                                                                                                 29
March 6th, 2012                                                                                                Published by: VR-Zone




The Mag Snap Case works with your Apple Smart                  Compatible with the latest 13-inch MacBook Air, as well
Cover to provide complete protection to your iPad, while       as 15-inch and 11-inch Macbooks, the Perforated Hardshell
conventiently holding the Smart Cover open, and gives          Case features durable, injection-molded construction for
you an additional viewing angle. The durable hardshell         excellent notebook coverage and a custom fit.
construction protects the iPad back while your Smart Cover
                                                               Usual Price: S$85
keeps the iPad front protected. Flip the Smart Cover open
                                                               IT Show Price: S$69
and it magnetically clings to the Mag Snap's built-in metal
bars, holding it out of the way while you use your iPad.       Booth location - Nubox booth on Level 3 (booth 3001).
iPad Mag Snap Black or White
Usual Price: S$59                                              iPad 3 configurations and
IT Show Price: S$35
iPad Snap Case
                                                               pricing revealed
                                                               Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ipad-3-configurations-and-pricing-
Usual Price: S$49
                                                               revealed/15110.html
IT Show Price: S$25
                                                               March 6th, 2012
Nylon Sling Sleeve




                                                               According to a fresh report over at 9to5Mac it appears that
                                                               iPad 3 pricing structure at launch will be identical to the
                                                               current gen iPad 2 lineup. While this is of no real surprise
                                                               from the likes of Apple who almost never inflate pricing,
                                                               there have been a few rumours circulating of late which
                                                               indicated that we might see US pricing increase by as much
                                                               as $70-$80 for the new iPad 3 tablets.
                                                               According to a fresh report over at 9to5Mac it appears that
                                                               iPad 3 pricing structure at launch will be identical to the
                                                               current gen iPad 2 lineup. While this is of no real surprise
                                                               from the likes of Apple who almost never inflate pricing,
                                                               there have been a few rumours circulating of late which
                                                               indicated that we might see US pricing increase by as much
Constructed of custom weather resistant nylon, the Incase      as $70-$80 for the new iPad 3 tablets.
Nylon Sleeve offers optimum notebook protection in a           This latest report quashes said price hikes while at the same
slender, durable design. Concealable nylon handles and         time letting us know the configurations that iPad 3 will be
an adjustable, removable shoulder strap provide carrying       available in - again no different to the iPad 2 lineup.
comfort and convenience. Available in various colors and for
15”, 13” and 11” Macbooks.
Usual Price: S$89
IT Show Price: S$69


Perforated Hardshell Case




                                                                                                                                    30
March 6th, 2012                                                                                                          Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                         HD 7870 will most likely feature 2x6-pin power connectors
                                                                         then. Of course, PowerTune will push up the Max Board
                                                                         Power up closer to 200W if enabled.
                                                                         More affordable Radeon HD 7850 disables off 4 CUs to
                                                                         leave 16 CUs enabled. This translates to 1024 SP and 64
                                                                         TMU. The HD 7850 is clocked at 860 MHz and rated 1.76
                                                                         TFlops. It retains the same memory subsystem as HD 7870,
                                                                         with 2 GB GDDR5 offering 154 GB/s bandwidth. Thanks
                                                                         to the disabled units and lowered core clock, the HD 7850
                                                                         drastically cuts down TDP to 130W. It could ship with only
                                                                         1 6-pin power connector, and could make it the fastest GPU
                                                                         with such a configuration for a long time to come.
                                                                         Of course, both HD 7850 and HD 7870 will be based on
                                                                         the GCN architecture, fabricated on TSMC's 28nm and will
                                                                         continue to offer all the same features introduced with
An earlier report from Digitimes has turned out to be bogus              Radeon HD 7970.
with indication of iPad 3 coming out in 8GB, 16GB and
32GB variants and no mention of a 64GB. We can see from
9to5Mac's report a more sensible arrangement not unlike                  A pre-CeBIT peek at
prior gen iPads with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models on the
horizon.                                                                 upcoming SFF Uni-box from
                                                                         Giada
AMD Radeon HD 7800                                                       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/a-pre-cebit-peek-at-upcoming-sff-
                                                                         uni-box-from-giada/15106.html
Specifications Revealed                                                  March 6th, 2012
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-radeon-hd-7800-specifications-
revealed/15107.html
March 6th, 2012



                                                                         Giada is planning to launch a new small form factor PC once
                                                                         CeBIT 2012 kicks off next week which it calls the Uni-box.
                                                                         The unit looks mildly Apple-inspired with a boxy aluminum
A specifications slide for AMD's upcoming Radeon HD 7800                 chassis with internals that together are said to pull just 30W
series has been leaked by a Japanese website. The Pitcairn               of power during 1080p video playback.
chip effectively doubles up on Cape Verde, featuring 1280
SP in 20 CU, 80 TMU, 256-bit 2GB memory and 32 ROP.                      Giada is planning to launch a new small form factor PC once
Transistor count also nearly doubles to 2.8 billion.                     CeBIT 2012 kicks off next week which it calls the Uni-box.
                                                                         The unit looks mildly Apple-inspired with a boxy aluminum
A specifications slide for AMD's upcoming Radeon HD 7800                 chassis with internals that together are said to pull just 30W
series has been leaked by a Japanese website. The Pitcairn               of power during 1080p video playback.
chip effectively doubles up on Cape Verde, featuring 1280
SP in 20 CU, 80 TMU, 256-bit 2GB memory and 32 ROP.
Transistor count also nearly doubles to 2.8 billion.




                                                                         On that subject, packed inside is an Intel HDM65 Express
The fully enabled Radeon HD 7870 clocks in at 1 GHz, and                 motherboard with support for Intel's mobile Sandy Bridge
will be branded Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition, taking after                 CPUs. The Uni-box ships with 4GB of system memory, and
the HD 7770 GHz Edition. 1280 SP at 1 GHz results in a                   a 16GB mSATA based SSD.
theoretical throughput of 2.56 TFlops, surprisingly close to             Connectivity wise, it has D-Sub, DVI and HDMI connections
the HD 7950. 2GB GDDR5 is clocked at 4.8 Gbps for an                     along with Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth and a multi-
effective memory bandwidth of 154 GB/s. The TDP of HD                    card reader.
7870 is rated at 175W - up from 150W of the HD 6870. The

                                                                                                                                                 31
March 6th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                  Can you guess the ninth? Indeed it's ARM.
                                                                  In all, confusion much, Microsoft? - It's hard to comprehend
                                                                  there being a truly logical need for this level of product
                                                                  segmentation. One thing's for sure, retailers are going to be
                                                                  sweating it out a bit when explaining to customers which
                                                                  one is the ideal choice for their needs. It's probable from
                                                                  Microsoft's angle that flooding the market with a chopped
                                                                  up range of varying sub-products will reel in more attention
                                                                  (and ultimately, $).


                                                                  Samsung 17.3-inch Ivy Bridge
                                                                  notebook gets a Pre-Order
                                                                  listing
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-17.3-inch-ivy-bridge-
                                                                  notebook-gets-a-pre-order-listing/15104.html
                                                                  March 6th, 2012
We'll know more about it including availability and pricing
during CeBIT next week.


Windows 8 Consumer
Preview reveals nine SKUs
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/windows-8-consumer-preview-   Online US retailer J&R have jumped the gun on an
reveals-nine-skus/15105.html                                      unannounced Ivy Bridge-equipped Samsung notebook
March 6th, 2012                                                   reminiscent by design of the company's Series 7 Chronos
                                                                  range, with a listing already on its website sharing out a good
                                                                  deal of detail on the upcoming model.
                                                                  Online US retailer J&R have jumped the gun on an
                                                                  unannounced Ivy Bridge-equipped Samsung notebook
                                                                  reminiscent by design of the company's Series 7 Chronos
                                                                  range, with a listing already on its website sharing out a good
Following the release of Microsoft's Windows 8 Consumer           deal of detail on the upcoming model.
Preview on Wednesday which was super quick to see over
a million downloads within the first 24 hours, through
some deeper investigation via the system registry it's been
discovered that there will likely be no less than nine
variations of the operating system when it hits shelves later
this year.
Following the release of Microsoft's Windows 8 Consumer
Preview on Wednesday which was super quick to see over
a million downloads within the first 24 hours, through
some deeper investigation via the system registry it's been
discovered that there will likely be no less than nine
variations of the operating system when it hits shelves later
this year.
                                                                  With a model name of NP700Z7C-S01US Nike, this is a large
                                                                  notebook with a 17.3-inch sized (1366x768) LED-backlit
                                                                  display (err, Samsung, this is a 17.3-inch notebook...) and as
                                                                  mentioned, it runs one of Intel's upcoming 22nm Ivy Bridge
                                                                  processors; namely the 2.3 GHz Core i7-3615QM.




Hiding (obviously not all that well) within the registry
are references to nine Windows 8 SKUs. Looking closer,
there appears to be two new Enterprise editions, one of
which is purely for evalulation purposes. From there we
can see there's the return of a Starter edition, Home Basic,
Home Premium, Professional (and Professional Plus), then
of course Ultimate sitting atop the pack.

                                                                                                                                      32
March 6th, 2012                                                Published by: VR-Zone




The notebook depends on Intel HD 4000 graphics and has
8GB of RAM, a 1TB HDD assisted by 8GB of NAND Express
Cache, DVD writer, multi-card reader, 1.3MP webcam,
802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and an 8-cell battery.




We're not yet sure where the 'Nike' nickname comes into play
here - perhaps a succeeding series to the current Chronos
lineup.
J&R lists the NP700Z7C-S01US at US $1,499.99 with
availability marked as 'Coming Soon'.




                                                                                 33
March 8th, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone




VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks!
                                                                    went to Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, beating Super
  VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly                      Mario 3D Land.
  publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the
  geeks.
                                                                    Supergiant Games won Best Debut thanks to its Bastion
                                                                    game, which also won Best Downloadable Game.
Skyrim wins Game of the
Year Award
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/skyrim-wins-game-of-the-year-
award/15184.html
                                                                    Movie industry goes after file-
March 8th, 2012                                                     hosting service Hotfile
                                                                    Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/movie-industry-goes-after-file-
                                                                    hosting-service-hotfile/15183.html
                                                                    March 8th, 2012




The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has won the coveted Game of the
Year title at the Game Developers Choice Awards this week.          The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has won the coveted Game of the         filed for a summary judgement against file-hosting service
Year title at the Game Developers Choice Awards this week.          Hotfile, claiming that it is infringing the copyright of its
                                                                    films.
                                                                    The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has
Five games were up for the top position, including Batman:          filed for a summary judgement against file-hosting service
Arkham City, Portal 2, Deus X: Human Revolution and                 Hotfile, claiming that it is infringing the copyright of its
Dark Souls, but it's probably no surprise that role-playing         films.
adventure Skryim took the crown.

                                                                    The group, which consists of big name studios like Disney,
While Skyrim took gold, it failed to win in any other category      20th Century Fox, Universal Studios, Columbia Pictures
it was nominated in, including Best Game Design, Best               and Warner Bros, claims that over 90 percent of the files
Technology, Best Visual Arts and Best Audio. We think               downloaded from Hotfile are infringing of copyright laws
Bethesda is probably content with Game of the Year though.          and that nearly every Hotfile user is liable.


                                                                    The request, if granted, could give the courts the right
                                                                    to force Hotfile offline without involving a lengthy trial
                                                                    procedure, a tactic that many hosting websites might feel is
                                                                    designed to prevent them from telling their side of the story
                                                                    and providing evidence of their innocence.


                                                                    The case follows the shutdown of MegaUpload and the arrest
                                                                    of its founders in January, with attempts by the US to
                                                                    extradite key employees to the US. That situation caused
                                                                    many rival hosting sites to shut up shop and the MPAA is
                                                                    likely hoping that Hotfile will do the same.


Valve's Portal 2 title did not lose out entirely, however, as it
won both Best Game Design and Best Audio.


Best Technology went to Battlefield 3. Best Visual Arts was
won by Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. Best Handheld


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

                                                                       DisplaySearch said that doubling the pixel density means
                                                                       a significantly smaller aperture ratio, which requires a
                                                                       brighter backlight. To compensate for this the iPad 3
                                                                       features at least twice as many LEDs at the 36 employed in
                                                                       the iPad 2.


                                                                       The problem with this is that it uses a lot more power. While
                                                                       Apple has added a larger and more powerful battery, and
                                                                       promised that it can run for up to 10 hours, the same time
                                                                       as an iPad 2, DisplaySearch analysts believe that this battery
                                                                       was employed to address the higher power usage of the A5X
                                                                       chip, not the additional LEDs. This could mean that, despite
The problem for Hotfile is that the MPAA's argument rests              Apple's promises, the iPad 3 will have lower battery life than
on the allegation that Hotfile employs a similar business              previous models.
model as MegaUpload, paying users for how many times
their files are downloaded, which it claims gives an incentive
for digital piracy.


Hotfile said that it removes copyright-infringing files as
soon as it is requested to do so, as outlined in the Digital
Millenium Copyright Act. This has been the argument of
many file hosts, citing the impossibility of monitoring the
upload of every single file for infringing content. It does,
however, force studios to hunt down infringing files, which
adds to the costs incurred in protecting intellectual property.


The MPAA claims that Hotfile does not qualify for immunity
under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act as it has
failed to go after repeat offenders, some of whom have
received as many as 300 notices. However, Hotfile has
since announced updates to its system that include more
aggressive procedures for identifying and tackling repeat              DisplaySearch also highlighted the fact that the iPad 3's
offenders.                                                             264ppi display is significantly less than the iPhone 4's
                                                                       326ppi, a fact which might disappoint some users.



Apple could have display                                               Another problem, which will undoubtedly be a big issue
                                                                       given the popularity of Apple devices, is the potential
issues with iPad 3                                                     that that the Cupertino, California-based company might
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-could-have-display-issues-   find it difficult to get enough supply. DisplaySearch found
with-ipad-3/15182.html                                                 that Sharp, Samsung and LG Display, all of which make
March 8th, 2012                                                        the panels, have had some difficulty achieving the 264ppi
                                                                       density on an a-Si TFT display. Whether or not these can
                                                                       be pumped out in the quantity that Apple will want or need
                                                                       remains to be seen.


                                                                       The iPad 3 goes on sale on 16 March.
Apple could have some display issues with its new third-

                                                                       Russian Password Crackers
generation iPad, such as supply shortages and a huge battery
drain, according to analysts at DisplaySearch.
Apple could have some display issues with its new third-               Switch to OpenCL, Add
generation iPad, such as supply shortages and a huge battery
drain, according to analysts at DisplaySearch.
                                                                       Support for Radeon HD 7000
                                                                       GPUs
                                                                       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/russian-password-crackers-switch-
The retina display is without doubt the main feature of                to-opencl-add-support-for-radeon-hd-7000-gpus/15181.html
the iPad 3, or “new iPad” as it is officially called, but the
enhanced clarity and higher resolution do not come without
a price.




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

March 8th, 2012                                                          March 8th, 2012




                                                                         There is no doubt about it, the hottest news coming from
If you need to crack somebody’s password, there’s no better              the Game Developer Conference are what game developers
piece of hardware than a graphics cards. ElcomSoft is a well             think of Kepler, i.e. GK104 and GK107 chips. The GK104 will
known security firm with government and private clients…                 take shape as the GTX 680.
and have just announced the switch to OpenCL.                            According to the stories coming from CeBIT 2012 show in
The company originally supported CUDA and NVIDIA                         Hannover, Germany - Kepler is just weeks away. The first
hardware, adding AMD and their STREAM library.                           desktop part being launched is known under the codename
However, according to one of ElcomSoft’s chiefs Andrey                   GK104, and in the old product naming convention, the card
Belenko, the company had a lot of problems with AMD                      would be named GTX 660 Ti or maybe GTX 670 Ti.
hardware. In order to address the situation, the company                 If rumors are true, NVIDIA sees this part as a competitor
just announced the switch to OpenCL for AMD hardware.                    to Radeon HD 7950 and 7970 and decided to give the new
According to a post by Belenko, users of NVIDIA hardware                 Kepler the top end name - GeForce GTX 680.
won’t be affected (CUDA is still the main API) but users
of AMD hardware should enjoy a smoother ride and much
higher efficiency than it was the case in the past. Belenko also
issued a damning statement when it comes to current state
of play in supporting developers:
“It’s great when we’re talking AMD, a company known
for a rather inconsistent developer support for its latest
hardware; there’s simply no alternative. If we wanted
access to their latest state-of-the-art graphic accelerators             GeForce GTX 680 is featuring 1536 CUDA Cores divided into
such as AMD Radeon™ HD 7000 Series boards, it was                        96 SM cluster, a 256-bit memory controller connecting to
OpenCL or nothing.                                                       2GB of GDDR5 memory. Graphic card vendors will also offer
                                                                         a variant with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, and according to the
We didn’t have such issues with AMD’s main competitor,                   sources – for the first time since GDDR5 was introduced,
NVIDIA. NVIDIA was the first player on this arena, being                 a NVIDIA GPU is able to drive clock the GDDR5 memory
the first to release graphical accelerators capable of fixed-            higher than AMD, which created the memory standard.
point calculations. It was also the first to offer non-gaming
developers access to sheer computational power of its GPU                There was a lot of confusion about the hot clocks, i.e. their
units by releasing CUDA, an application programming                      disappearance an re-appearance. The stories we were told
interface enabling developers use its hardware in non-                   cite that the company adopted a CPU like approach to its
graphical applications. From the very beginning and up to                upcoming GPU: dynamic clocking.
this day, CUDA maintains universal compatibility among                   Dynamic Clock Adjustment is very similar to former “hot
the many generations of NVIDIA graphical accelerators.                   clocks”, with the difference that GK104 comes with several
The same simply that can’t be said about AMD.”                           dozen power planes, and will operate on varying clocks
OpenCL support is now embedded into ElcomSoft Phone                      depending on the computational load, card temperature and
Password Breaker (EPPB) and Wireless Security Auditor                    the power consumption. As we posted several days ago, the
(WSA). Following the switch to OpenCL, AMD hardware                      complete GK104 chip will operate at a lower clock, very
was optimized further, and received up to 50% boost in                   similar figure to GTX 480: low power mode is 300 MHz,
performance.                                                             standard is 705 MHz extendable to 950 MHz – while the
                                                                         cores alone will be able to reach 1411 MHz when the chip is
Furthermore, the maker now supports complete Southern                    loaded to 100%.
Islands family of GPUs, the Radeon HD 7750, 7770, 7850,
7870, upcoming 7890, 7950, 7970 and upcoming dual-GPU                    The 2GHz QDR clock (six gigahertz effective) should be good
7990. Do note that due to restrictions NVIDIA put in the                 enough for massive 192GB/s, i.e. significantly less than 7950
GeForce boards (Double FP being nerfed), AMD Radeon                      and 7970, but significantly higher than 7850 and 7870.
6000 and 7000 series just level a GeForce GTX 580 to the
ground . The story is different when Tesla and Quadro are
used, though.


NVIDIA Kepler Takes Shape:
GeForce GTX 680 to Offer
Dynamic Clocking, 2 and 4GB
GDDR5
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-kepler-takes-shape-geforce-
gtx-680-to-offer-dynamic-clocking-2-and-4gb-gddr5/15148.html

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

                                                                         Product Features
                                                                         Digital video image resolution up to 1280 x 720 at 30fps
                                                                         4x digital zoom
                                                                         Records full motion HD video H.264 and MOV file formats
                                                                         Retractable USB 2.0 connector for instant internet upload
                                                                         6cm x 12.5cm x 2.3cm(W x H x D)
                                                                         5MP HD video image resolution up to 1280 x 720 at 30fps
                                                                         Record to SD Card or SDHC Card upto 8GB
                                                                         Flip Style retractable USB 2.0 connector for instant internet
                                                                         upload via PC/Laptop
                                                                         6cm x 12.5cm x 2.3cm(W x H x D) @ 93 grams
                                                                         AV output for direct to TV viewing


                                                                         Technical Details
                                                                         Dimensions: 60 (W) x 112.5 (H) x 23.5 (D)mm
                                                                         Display: 2.0 TFT (480 x 240 Pixels)
                                                                         Photo Viewer Formats: JPEG
                                                                         Power: 2 × AA batteries (included)
                                                                         Weight: 97g including battery
The rumored performance is a mixed bag between HD
                                                                         Zoom: 4x Digital
7870 and HD 7970: 10% faster than Radeon HD 7970 in
Battlefield 3, but 10% slower in 3DMark11. Also, Epic's
Samaritan demo, which required three GTX 580 boards only
requires a single Kepler, i.e. a single GK104 chip.
When it comes to availability, partners are typically saying
one thing in public, and another thing behind closed doors.
The availability isn’t known, and it won’t be known until
partners receive launch quantities. The estimations we
heard went from pessimistic “small quantities of Kepler
graphics cards only”, “no overclocking boards at launch” to
“they had the first silicon in September 2011, they (NVIDIA)
must have to stacked up the chips to flood the market and
claw the market and mindshare back”.
As usuall, the rumors need to be taken with a few grams of
salt (the Hawaiian one being one of most tastiest salts I have
ever tried).


IT SHOW 2012 Day 1
Giveaway - Veho Kuzo
VCCC-007 HD Camcorder
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-day-1-giveaway--veho-
kuzo-vccc-007-hd-camcorder/15180.html
March 8th, 2012




To reward our IT SHOW portal visitors, we will be
giving away products or cash prizes on every day of
the show! Today's draw is for the Veho Kuzo VCCC-007
HD Camcorder, sponsored by BOIA Pte Ltd, worth SGD
$299! Read more for the details on how you can win...


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

                                                                           compatibility, multi-monitor support, NVIDIA 3D support
                                                                           and Intel HD 3000 series support (without tessellation).
                                                                           There have also been a number of improvements made in
                                                                           regards to GPU detection and Mesa driver compatibility as
                                                                           well as a new cross-platform launcher that doesn't depend
                                                                           on .NET.

                                                                                      Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.)


                                                                           Here's the complete list of what's new :-
                                                                           - Added Mac OS X version compatible with 10.7+ (no
                                                                           tessellation).
                                                                           - Added support for Intel HD 3000 GPU (no tessellation).

                                                                           - Improved support for multi-monitor configurations.

                                                                           - Added support for NVIDIA 3D Surround (multi-monitor
                                                                           stereo 3D).

                                                                           - Enhanced NVIDIA 3D Vision support.

                                                                           - New cross-platform launcher without .NET dependencies.

                                                                           - Fixed Phoronix Test Suite compatibility issue.

                                                                           - Fixed minor visual artifacts.

                                                                           - Improved compatibility with Mesa drivers.

                                                                           - Improved detection of new GPUs.
To qualify for the giveaway, simply follow these steps:                    The basic version can be downloaded for free, while the
                                                                           professional edition comes in at a hefty US $495 via
                                                                           UNIGINE's online store and provides the following :-
Step 1 - Facebook Like: This giveaway page, the IT SHOW
portal and VR-Zone fan page                                                - Command line automation.
Step 2 - Leave a comment at the comments section                           - Reports in CSV format.
below on why you deserve to win -
                                                                           - Stress testing mode (benchmark looping).
Use a VALID EMAIL address so that we can contact you if
you are selected.                                                          - Technical support.

Contest open to Singapore Residents only. The winner will                  - Licensed for commercial use.
be picked on 9th March 2012 and contacted by email.
                                                                           Buffalo intros 14x BD-R, 6x
Unigine releases Version                                                   BDXL Blu-ray writer
3.0 of its Heaven DX11                                                     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/buffalo-intros-14x-bd-r-6x-bdxl-blu-
                                                                           ray-writer/15178.html
Benchmark                                                                  March 8th, 2012
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/unigine-releases-version-3.0-of-its-
heaven-dx11-benchmark/15179.html
March 8th, 2012


                                                                           Buffalo has just announced a new internal SATA Blu-ray
                                                                           writer capable of burning single-layer BD-R discs at speeds
UNIGINE has just released version 3.0 of its popular
                                                                           of up to 14x. The BRXL-14FBS-BK is also able to burn to
DX11 benchmarking tool, Heaven which rolls in a ton of
                                                                           BDXL discs at up to 6x.
new features and fixes. Some of these include OSX 10.7+
compatibility, multi-monitor support, NVIDIA 3D support                    Buffalo has just announced a new internal SATA Blu-ray
and Intel HD 3000 series support (without tessellation).                   writer capable of burning single-layer BD-R discs at speeds
                                                                           of up to 14x. The BRXL-14FBS-BK is also able to burn to
UNIGINE has just released version 3.0 of its popular
                                                                           BDXL discs at up to 6x.
DX11 benchmarking tool, Heaven which rolls in a ton of
new features and fixes. Some of these include OSX 10.7+
                                                                                                                                                  5
March 8th, 2012                                                                                                         Published by: VR-Zone

Further to the above, this 5.25-inch internal Blu-ray writer            with the official receipt and warranty card. This is part of
can also burn to BD-R DL at up to 12x, 2x for BD-RE, 16x for            the “Felicia Chin & XZ-1” campaign, and Chin will meet the
DVD-R/+R, 8x for DVD-R/+R DL/+RW, 6x for DVD-RW,                        88 Olympus customers on 10 March 2012, this Saturday,
5x for DVD-RAM, 48x for CD-R and 24x for CD-RW.                         between 3pm – 5pm.
                                                                        The Olympus XZ-1 is the company's flagship compact digital
                                                                        camera which is currently retailing at S$748. But at this IT
                                                                        Show 2012, customers can purchase the camera at S$598
                                                                        and receive free gifts worth S$145.


                                                                        SilverStone shows off range
                                                                        of USB 3.0 accessories at
                                                                        CeBIT
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/silverstone-shows-off-range-of-
The drive comes bundled with DiXiM BD Burner 2011
                                                                        usb-3.0-accessories-at-cebit/15177.html
and a host of CyberLink programs including PowerDVD
                                                                        March 8th, 2012
10, PowerDirector 8 HE, PowerProducer 5, Power2Go 7,
InstantBurn 5, PowerBackup 2 and MediaShow 5.
The BRXL-14FBS-BK will first hit the market in Japan at the
end of this month with an equivilent price tag of about US
$232.

                                                                        One area where SilverStone appears to be spending a lot
Felicia Chin makes                                                      of resources is in PC accessories and no, we're not talking
appearance at Olympus                                                   about mice and keyboards etc. but rather about various
                                                                        add-in cards and other interesting little trinkets. At CeBIT
booth, at IT Show 2012                                                  the company was showing off some new USB 3.0 host
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/felicia-chin-makes-appearance-at-   controllers and some internal USB 3.0 card readers that we
olympus-booth-at-it-show-2012/15175.html                                took a quick look at.
March 8th, 2012
                                                                        One area where SilverStone appears to be spending a lot
                                                                        of resources is in PC accessories and no, we're not talking
                                                                        about mice and keyboards etc. but rather about various
                                                                        add-in cards and other interesting little trinkets. At CeBIT
                                                                        the company was showing off some new USB 3.0 host
                                                                        controllers and some internal USB 3.0 card readers that we
It is not often a celebrity will come to IT exhibitions like the        took a quick look at.
IT Show 2012. Well, fans of Felicia Chin will be pleased to             First up we have the EC03-P which is SilverStone's first USB
know that the local actress will be gracing the IT Show 2012.           3.0 cards with the fairly recent Renesas uDP720202 host
Read on.                                                                controller and as with many of its previous cards, this model
                                                                        only features an internal pin header.




Appointed as brand ambassador for Olympus XZ-1 in
November last year, Felicia Chin, who is currently taking a
break from acting to pursue her Business Studies degree, will           The second new model is the EC04 which uses the 4-port
be making a special appearance at the IT Show 2012. The                 TI TUSB7340 host controller and as such the card has two
first 88 customers to purchase an Olympus XZ-1 between 1                rear ports as well as an internal pin header, ideal for those
February and 10 March 2012 will be entitled to a redemption             upgrading a system that lacks USB 3.0 altogether. It's a
of an exclusive Feli-XZ-1 mystery gift set and have their               shame though that SilverStone didn't go with Renesas 4-
photo taken with Felicia Chin at Olympus’ IT Show booth

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

port host controller as it offers superior performance to the
TUSB7340.
Next up we have a fairly basic card reader with only a SATA
port – although sadly we missed to get the model name of
this one – but it also sports a USB 3.0 port and an eSATA
port, again making a good chose for upgraders.




The final product is a more advanced USB 3.0 card reader
that handles a wide range of memory card formats, but
it also adds a front USB 3.0. These were just some of
the accessories on display at SilverStone's booth and the
company is apparently working on a PCI Express based
external storage solution which we'll try to find out more
about closer to launch.
                                                                        The first chassis in the new series is the RL01 which is a very
SilverStone goes budget with                                            functional chassis without too much bling. In fact, the only
                                                                        bling on the chassis is the backlit, red SilverStone logo which
the Red Line series                                                     also doubles as the power button. The model on display at
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/silverstone-goes-budget-with-the-   CeBIT was the Chinese SKU, but the global model will get
red-line-series/15176.html                                              upgraded slightly, as SilverStone will swap the front USB 2.0
March 8th, 2012                                                         ports for USB 3.0 ports.




One area where SilverStone has struggled a bit in past is
when it comes to cost, as most of its chassis have been quite
expensive. As such the company was working on a new series
for the Chinese market that the company has now decided to
launch globally which will be known as the Red Line series.
One area where SilverStone has struggled a bit in past is               The chassis is pretty standard otherwise with three front
when it comes to cost, as most of its chassis have been quite           5.25-inch drive bays, one 3.5-inch drive bay, five internal
expensive. As such the company was working on a new series              3.5-inch drive bays and space for a 2.5-inch drive. One
for the Chinese market that the company has now decided to              interesting addition is the magnetically attached dust filter
launch globally which will be known as the Red Line series.             on the top of the chassis, an unusual addition, but at least
                                                                        something that will be easy to remove and clean. The RL01
                                                                        might compare poorly to some of SilverStone's other chassis
                                                                        in terms of features, but we were told it should hit retail
                                                                        at around US$60 which makes it a pretty affordable option
                                                                        from SilverStone.


                                                                        SilverStone shrinks the FT03,
                                                                        simply calls it the FT03-mini
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/silverstone-shrinks-the-ft03-simply-
                                                                        calls-it-the-ft03-mini/15174.html




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

March 8th, 2012




There's no denying that SilverStone comes up with some of
the most innovative case designs in the market and the FT03
– also known as the Fortress – is possibly its most unusual
case to date. At CeBIT the company was showing off a mini-
ITX version of the FT03 simply called the FT03-mini which
radically shrinks the chassis.
There's no denying that SilverStone comes up with some of
the most innovative case designs in the market and the FT03
– also known as the Fortress – is possibly its most unusual
case to date. At CeBIT the company was showing off a mini-
ITX version of the FT03 simply called the FT03-mini which
radically shrinks the chassis.




                                                                  This allowed SilverStone to save a fair bit of money in terms
                                                                  of tooling for the chassis, something which usually is the
                                                                  most expensive thing when building a chassis. Some changes
                                                                  were made, such as rotating the optical drive tray so if faces
                                                                  the right way around, moving around the hard drive bracket
According to SilverStone a lot of its customers were              slightly and adding a second bracket so that two 2.5-inch
complaining about the fact that the FT03 wasn't small             drives as well as one 3.5-inch drive can be fitted internally.
enough, despite saving a fair bit of desktop real-estate thanks   At the bottom of the chassis a 140mm AP141 fan was fitted
to its unusual design. As such the company went back to the       to help cool the entire system and SilverStone told us that
drawing board and made FT03-mini. The interesting thing           they have made sure that there's enough space for even a full-
here is that most of the structural design is shared with the     length graphics card inside the FT03-mini.
SG05, but with a set of four thick aluminium panels fitted to
it and then put on its short end.




                                                                  One of the drawbacks of the FT03-mini over the SG05 is the
                                                                  fact that you can no longer use a standard ATX PSU, instead
                                                                  an SFX form factor PSU has to be used. These are generally
                                                                  not available at very high Wattage ratings though, but we
                                                                  have a feeling that SilverStone will offer its own version for
                                                                  the FT03-mini. A pair of USB 3.0 ports were added to the

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

top of the chassis and this is also where you'll find a pair         March 8th, 2012
of audio jacks and the power and reset buttons. The FT03-
mini is so far the most interesting mini-ITX chassis we've
seen at CeBIT and unlike the original FT03 it looks far less
complicated to build.


Razer hosts US$15,000 DOTA                                           Back at CES the first pictures of MSI's Z77A-GD80
2 Tournament at IT Show                                              motherboard made an appearance, a board that was said to
                                                                     feature Thunderbolt connectivity, but back then MSI hadn't
2012                                                                 actually implemented it. Fast forward three months and the
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/razer-hosts-us-15-000-dota-2-    company is now showing off the final board with the actual
tournament-at-it-show-2012/15161.html                                hardware fitted to the board.
March 8th, 2012
                                                                     Back at CES the first pictures of MSI's Z77A-GD80
                                                                     motherboard made an appearance, a board that was said to
                                                                     feature Thunderbolt connectivity, but back then MSI hadn't
                                                                     actually implemented it. Fast forward three months and the
                                                                     company is now showing off the final board with the actual
                                                                     hardware fitted to the board.
Besides the usual promotions and good deals, Razer has
gone further to host a Defense of the Ancients 2 (DOTA)
Tournament at the IT Show 2012 and a prize pool of US
$15,000. The tournament will take place during the four
days of IT Show and you can watch the stream live online.




                                                                     The actual Thunderbolt chip – which MSI wouldn't tell us
                                                                     anything about – is located just below the MOSFET heatsink
                                                                     and it wasn't that easy to get a good shot of it. What we
                                                                     should be looking at here is Intel's yet to be announced
                                                                     Cactus Ridge chipset, most likely the L3310 model. The
At technology and consumer electronics exhibitions like this         Thunderbolt/mini DisplayPort connector is also present on
week's IT Show 2012, you'll spot a lot of great deals. Aside         the board now, just below the antiquated D-sub connector
from the promotions, touting and packed crowd, peripheral            that everyone keeps on insisting to add to their boards.
maker Razer is hosting their first Defence of the Ancient 2
(DOTA) Tournament at the IT Show, with a prize pool of
US$15,000. From 8 to 11 March, the tournament features
some of the best DOTA players in the region, in a 5v5 single
elimination format. The invited teams include Team Razer-
sponsored Orange e-Sports, the top DOTA team in Malaysia,
Mineski, the top DOTA team in the Philippines, and PMS*,
the all-female team from Singapore. The tournament is
part of an effort to promote e-Sports in Asia Pacific, and
the event will be streamed live at http://www.twitch.tv/
rapturegaming.


MSI first to show Thunderbolt
equipped motherboard at
CeBIT
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-first-to-show-thunderbolt-
equipped-motherboard-at-cebit/15173.html


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




A quick overview of the Z77A-GD80 motherboard includes
three x16 PCI Express 3.0 slots, as MSI has gone for the
rather unusual – but completely Intel approved – option of
doing dual x8 or x8, x4 x4 for CrossFire X setups. There
are also four x1 PCI Express slots, the standard Intel SATA   The GUS II should be sporting the same L3310 Thunderbolt
ports plus two SATA 6Gbps ports, a front USB 3.0 header,      controller as the Z77A-GD80 motherboard, but in this
a FireWire header, Voltage measuring points, a POST80         instance MSI had fitted a heatsink to the Thunderbolt chip
debug LED, a manual BIOS swtich and power, reset and OC       which seems somewhat odd as the one on the motherboard
Genie buttons.                                                didn't have one. The GUS II will apparently ship with one
                                                              of MSI's R6770 Twin Frozr II cards as standard, but will
                                                              potentially be available with an Radeon HD 6850 or a
                                                              GeForce GTX 550Ti card as an option, as the GUS II is
                                                              limited to sub 150W cards. At least for the time being, MSI
                                                              doesn't have any laptops with Thunderbolt, so we're not
                                                              entirely sure who MSI is targeting the GUS II towards.


                                                              Ultimate 8-core mATX
                                                              Powerhouse: Xeon E5-2690,
At the rear we have a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, a        R4G, 7970DCii and more!
mere two USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1-channel audio   Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ultimate-8-core-matx-powerhouse-
with optical and coaxial S/PDIF out and of course the         xeon-e5-2690-r4g-7970dcii-and-more-/15123.html
aforementioned Thunderbolt and D-sub connectors as well       March 8th, 2012
as an HDMI port. That about wraps it up for the Z77A-GD80,
but we did also sneak a peek at MSI's GUS II or Graphics
Upgrade Solution II, MSI's first Thunderbolt accessory.



                                                              "What if I have about US$5000 to spend - Could I
                                                              have a true 8-core/16-thread CPU in a small form factor
                                                              setup without compromising on storage, thermals or online
                                                              gaming prowess?" Well, we show that we can!
                                                              Introduction:


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




Previously at CES, we came across a similar mATX based
rig huming along discreetly in a hotel suite without anyone
                                                                The X79 mATX scion of the acclaimed ASUS Republic
noticing. Since then, we have been obsessed with building a
                                                                of Gamers Rampage IV series, this small form factor
similar setup, specced out with some of the best hardware
                                                                motherboard still boasts of the same extreme overclocking-
from around our lab, to see how much compute power we
                                                                oriented engineering (like the Digi+ II VRMs and 10K Black
could squeeze in a small form factor. The following is a list
                                                                Metallic Capacitors) as its larger siblings, coupled with Intel
of parts that we've used...
                                                                gigabit ethernet for no-frills low latency networking and
CPU (Intel Xeon E5-2690 2.9GHz                                  dual PCIe 3.0 x16 multi-GPU support. Also, the onboard 8-
                                                                channel SupremeFX III audio solution is rated at an above
                                                                average 110dB SNR, doing away the need for a discreet
                                                                sound card.
                                                                One of the main reasons that we prefer using ASUS ROG
                                                                X79 boards is the excellent UEFI BIOS, which has a clean
                                                                and functional layout for overclockers, and it recovers well
                                                                during unstable runs. Frequent bios updates by the ROG
                                                                team to squeeze out every drop of memory and graphics
                                                                performance is also a huge plus.
                                                                The Rampage IV GENE can be purchased for US$289 on
                                                                Newegg.


                                                                CPU HSF (Thermalright Silver Arrow SB-E edition)


A hercules among CPUs, this top of the line Sandy Bridge-
EP Xeon packs 8-cores/16 threads at 2.9GHz (turbos to
3.8GHz), providing up to 152GFLOPs per socket and has
40 PCIe 3.0 lanes for ambitious multi-GPU builds. In well
threaded applications, our behemoth of a processor behaves
like a 4.6GHz Core i7-3960X, making it an excellent choice
if you don't overclock (which you currently can't). You can
read our full review on it here.
Quick search on Newegg shows it retailing for US$2039, and
if you are on a tighter budget the entry level 8-core 2.2GHz
(Xeon E5-2660, 95W) is not too far behind performance
wise and goes for a more palatable US$1329.

                                                                To take care of the CPU cooling (135W TDP on the 2.9GHz 8-
Motherboard (ASUS ROG Rampage IV GENE X79)
                                                                core E5-2690), we used the recent announced Thermalright
                                                                Silver Arrow SB-E, which is a updated version of the
                                                                original Silver Arrow that we did a review on last year.
                                                                Featuring eight nickel-plated 6 mm copper heatpipes and 2
                                                                * 154mm*120mm of heat dissipation area, it is bundled with
                                                                an efficient pair of TY-150 & TY-141 ultra low noise PWM
                                                                fans (clips for an optional third fan is included) for best-in-
                                                                class cooling.

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

We will update our readers about the pricing when it is        Hard disk storage is never enough, especially if you have
publicly available.                                            loads of data to backup. Well, Seagate has some nice
                                                               promotions at the IT Show 2012. Be sure to check out their
                                                               booth at level 6, booth number 6381
IT Show 2012 Promotions:                                       Seagate GoFlex Satellite
Huawei
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-
huawei/15132.html
March 8th, 2012




Huawei is gaining a lot of attention lately with their range
of smartphone and tablet devices. And it is not surprising
that the company will be having some presence at this week's
IT Show 2012. If you are looking for a new phone, you may
want to check out their Huawei Honor smartphone at the
Newstead booth on Level 3, Booth 3018 (Newstead); Level
4, Booth 8019 (ECS) and Level 6, Booth 6731 (AAAs Com).
                                                               The GoFlex Satellite mobile wireless storage device lets users
                                                               carry their media library with them while on-the-go. You can
                                                               wirelessly stream movies, photos, music and documents to
                                                               your iPad, Android tablet, smartphones or any
                                                               Wi-Fi enabled device via the GoFlex Media app which is
                                                               available from the Apple App Store and Android market,
                                                               or a web browser. The GoFlex Satellite offers fast USB3.0/
                                                               USB2.0 connection and downloadable Media Sync software
                                                               also allows for easy transfer of media and documents from
                                                               a PC or Mac computer. It has 500GB storage that lets you
                                                               store approximately 300 high definition movies, and can
                                                               continuously stream up to five hours of video on a single
                                                               battery charge.
                                                               Retail price: S$299
                                                               IT Show price: S$289 with free exclusive Seagate Satellite
                                                               Hard Pouch worth S$29.90 with every purchase

Powered by a 1.4Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, the         Seagate GoFlex Desk USB 3.0 external drive
Huawei Honor is a high performance Android smartphone
that features a 4-inch FWVGA capacitive touchscreen (16:9)
and 8-megapixel auto focus rear camera with HDR. It
supports HSPA+ 14.4Mbps data transfer and is DLNA-
enabled for easy file sharing with other DLNA-certified
devices. With its 1,900mAh battery, you can share and
connect for up to three days on a single charge, and
up to eight hours of talk time. The Honor runs Android
Gingerbread OS, though it will be upgradeable to Android
4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.


IT Show 2012 Promotions:
Seagate
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-
seagate/15134.html
March 8th, 2012
                                                               The GoFlex Desk external drive delivers high-capacity
                                                               storage and automatic, continuous backup with encryption
                                                               for all your files. It is equipped with a plug-and-play USB
                                                               3.0 interface that provides transfer speeds up to 10x faster
                                                               than USB2.0, and is still compatible with USB 2.0 ports.
                                                               Users can easily swap to FireWire 800 interface by pairing
                                                               the drive with the appropriate GoFlex upgrade adapter. The
                                                                                                                          12
March 8th, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

GoFlex Desk drive also allows for use between Windows            both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems on the home
and Mac computers interchangeably without formatting or          network.
performance loss.                                                IT Show price: 1TB S$229; 2TB S$259; 3TB S$329
IT Show price: 1TB S$179; 2TB S$209; 3TB S$299

                                                                 Booth location: Level 6, booth number 6381
Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex ultra-portable drive, USB 3.0

                                                                 Apple updates software for
                                                                 iPad 3
                                                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-updates-software-for-
                                                                 ipad-3/15172.html
                                                                 March 8th, 2012




                                                                 Apple has announced a plethora of new and improved
                                                                 software, apps and games for its iPad range, all with better
                                                                 graphics, to coincide with the announcement of the iPad 3.
                                                                 Apple has announced a plethora of new and improved
                                                                 software, apps and games for its iPad range, all with better
The Seagate GoFlex ultra-portable USB 3.0 drive is a sleek
                                                                 graphics, to coincide with the announcement of the iPad 3.
and lightweight hard drive that provides up to 10x faster file
transfer speeds vs USB 2.0. It also offers the world’s biggest
storage capacity for a 2.5-inch portable drive, with up to       All stock apps are being updated and other apps will benefit
1.5TB of capacity. The Seagate GoFlex ultra-portable drive       from the new retina display of the third generation iPad.
comes with USB 3.0 connection and can also be upgraded to        Developers who put in the time and effort can also push for
eSATA or FireWire 800 connections simply by switching the        an even better visual experience in their apps and games.
cable. It sits at the core of Seagate’s GoFlex storage system
that integrates a family of devices and cables, providing
users with seamless access to their content on a network,        Top of the agenda are launches or updates for Apple's
TV, or anywhere they go. People can pair a GoFlex or GoFlex      iLife software range, which includes iPhoto, iMovie and
Pro ultra-portable drive with a GoFlex TV HD media player        GarageBand. All are free for existing customers or $4.99 for
or the GoFlex Net media sharing device to enhance their          new users and are available today.
experience of the drive’s content.
IT Show price: 500GB S$119; 1TB S$189; 1.5TB S$239
                                                                 Apple announced iPhoto, an image-editing rival to Adobe's
                                                                 recently launched Photoshop Touch. The app, available on
Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Home network storage system             both the iPhone and iPad, comes with multi-touch editing
                                                                 and various gestures and cool effects, with the software
                                                                 capable of working with photos up to a whopping 19-
                                                                 megapixels, more than enough for many photographers.
                                                                 Apple has thrown in some easy sharing options too.




                                                                 iMovie is getting a big update (1.3) with storyboards and
The Seagate GoFlex Home is an easy-to-install network            new editing features, which makes the iPad a viable device
storage system. With the GoFlex Home connected to a              for video editing, at least on a small scale. A Theatre mode
wireless router, the entire household can centrally store,       for previewing videos, replete with genre templates and
easily access and continuously back up files wirelessly from     cinematic music, could be a fun tool to play around with.

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



GarageBand 1.2 features improvements such as Smart String
and a Note Editor. Making jam sessions becomes incredibly
easy with touch-based instruments and sharing them is even
easier, with iCloud, Facebook, YouTube and SoundCloud
compatibility.


Apple also announced several games for the iPad, the
most notable of which is Infinity Blade: Dungeons, which
sends adventurers out to craft the ultimate weapon using
an unusual dungeon crafting system. Players will have an
interesting mix of hack-and-slash while collecting crafting
items. The graphics are full high-definition and Apple is
touting that this game uses more memory and a higher
screen resolution than current-generation consoles like the
PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, providing, of course, it's played
on the iPad 3.
                                                                          The iPad 3 is powered by a battery capable of running for 10
                                                                          hours, or even nine hours in 4G, matching Apple's battery
No price or release date for this game was revealed, but we               life claims for the iPad 2. The device is 9.4mm thick and
can likely expect it shortly after the release of the iPad 3, if          weighs 1.4lbs.
not coinciding with it, as an incentive to buy the new device.
                                                                          Pricing will be $499, $599, $699 for 16GB, 32GB and 64GB
Apple announces iPad 3 with                                               Wi-Fi models respectively. The 4G models will obviously be
                                                                          more expensive, with a price tag of $629, $729, and $829
retina display, quad-core                                                 respectively.
graphics and 4G
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-announces-ipad-3-with-retina-
                                                                          Finally, the new iPad will launch in US, UK, Japan,
display-quad-core-graphics-and-4g/15171.html
                                                                          Singapore and several European countries on 16 March
March 8th, 2012
                                                                          (next Friday), and Apple claims it will be its biggest product
                                                                          launch ever. No word yet on many other Asian countries.


                                                                          Interestingly the iPad 3 hasn't been given a formal name
                                                                          yet. Rumours suggested it would be called the iPad HD, but
                                                                          nothing Apple has had so far confirms that name.
Apple has announced the iPad 3, which will feature a retina
display that the Cupertino, California-based company is
promising will be “amazing,” in addition to a quad-core                   Update 1: Apple has confirmed it will release a white "new
graphics and 4G.                                                          iPad."
Apple has announced the iPad 3, which will feature a retina
display that the Cupertino, California-based company is
promising will be “amazing,” in addition to a quad-core                   Update 2: iPad 2 will still be on sale, with a $100 price drop.
graphics and 4G.                                                          Apple thinks this will make the device more affordable and
                                                                          accessible, but it probably could have chopped off a bit more
                                                                          than that and still make a profit.
The resolution of the device will be 2048x1536, with 3.1
million pixels or 264ppi, more than any other mobile device
to date. In fact, it's so big that it could match the huge panel          Update 3: Confirmation from Apple that the iPad 3 is
the company is showing its slides on today and people still               technically just called the "iPad" or "new iPad," with a
wouldn't be able to see the individual pixels.                            qualification that it is the "third generation" of the device.
                                                                          This move away from its previous naming convention is
                                                                          unusual and will likely cause a lot of confusion, an effect that
The screen also promises to feature 44 percent improved                   is already apparent from those who were following the event.
colour saturation over previous models. Add in 1080p
video recording and a 5-megapixel “iSight” camera on the
back, with auto-exposure, auto focus and other features for               Apple announces new high-
improving picture quality.                                                definition Apple TV
                                                                          Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-announces-new-high-
                                                                          definition-apple-tv/15170.html
The device will also feature the A5X processor with quad-
core graphics, which the company is promising is twice as
fast as Nvidia's Tegra 3.

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

March 8th, 2012                                                  All eyes are on Cook and whether or not he can deliver,
                                                                 with today's event marking one of the most significant
                                                                 in the company's history, with expectations of a formal
                                                                 announcement for the iPad 3, rumoured to be called iPad
                                                                 HD.


Apple has announced its new Apple TV today, which can play       Cook said that the iPod, iPhone, and iPad ranges represent
high-definition video and will go on sale next week for just     what the company is calling the “post-PC” reality of the
$99.                                                             current and future market, where more and more people use
                                                                 devices other than traditional desktop and laptop computers
The new connected television will support high-definition        for all aspects of their lives.
1080p and a new UI that is not just a basic iOS interface.
Itunes and the iCloud are big factors of Apple TV, allowing
users to directly access music and video from the internet
and show it on their TV screens. The cloud-based iTunes
service will now support movies as part of this.




                                                                 "Any company would be thrilled to have just one of these
                                                                 devices,” Cook said. “At Apple, we're fortunate to have all
                                                                 three, and the momentum has been staggering."


Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, shared that there are now                 Apple has sold a whopping 315 million of these devices
100 million iCloud users. The focus of this part of              in 2011, representing 76 percent of the company's total
the demonstration appears to be more on showing the              revenue, so it's no surprise that this will continue to be a
connection with the cloud than the actual Apple TV device        big focus for Apple going forward. Apple sold 62 million iOS
itself.                                                          devices in the final quarter of 2011 alone.
Update 1: Users will be able to use Airplay to match or stream
content on or from their iOS devices. There will be 15,000
                                                                 Apple shops were also big on the agenda. Cook revealed
movies and 90,000 TV espisodes to choose from on the
                                                                 that there are now 363 retail stores throughout the world,
iTunes Store, with other content available from partners like
                                                                 with 110 million visitors in the fourth quarter of 2011 alone.
Netflix. The new Apple TV will go on sale 16 March, the same
                                                                 Examples included the Amsterdam store and the Grand
day as the iPad 3.
                                                                 Central outlet in New York.

Apple planning post-PC future                                    "Apple has its feet firmly planted in the post-PC future."
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-planning-post-pc-
future/15168.html
March 8th, 2012                                                  The tablets finally beat PCs
                                                                 in both graphics resolution
                                                                 and format
                                                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-tablets-finally-beat-pcs-in-both-
                                                                 graphics-resolution-and-format/15167.html
                                                                 March 8th, 2012
Apple is planning a post-PC future, according to its CEO, Tim
Cook, who took over after the death of co-founder Steve Jobs
last year.
Apple is planning a post-PC future, according to its CEO, Tim
Cook, who took over after the death of co-founder Steve Jobs
last year.



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

From this week onwards, nothing is same again - if you want       said before - play ANGRY BIRDS better on widescreen... can
better resolution AND better aspect ratio format, go smaller!     see all the birds and pigs at the same time, isn't it?
What's going on with this world?
It seems, as we wrote sometime ago, those same Taiwanese
and Korean panel makers who ramrod abysmal moviescreen
                                                                  Gigabyte displays its first
16:9 displays to the 'helpless' PC industry, at the end don't     LGA-2011 workstation board
have the same guts, or certain other when it comes to smaller
- and overall cheaper - tablets. After all, 16:9 screen are       at CeBIT
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-displays-its-first-lga-2011-
supposed to be there because of saving few bucks when
                                                                  workstation-board-at-cebit/15166.html
cutting the glass, so the 'more expensive' PC systems should
                                                                  March 8th, 2012
be less beneficial than tablets in this regard.

Anyway, those concerned with the quality of display graphics
which, together with the input device - not the CPU
or memory speed - determines the most of actual user
experience with a computer of any kind, may decide to
somewhat like the usually hated, for a number of good
reasons, certain fruit themed company with proprietary OS         Traditionally Gigabyte's consumer motherboard division
and product lines. The very productive and logical 4:3 aspect     has steered clear of the entry-level workstation market, so
ratio of their iPad line, to continue unchanged in the iPad 3     we were quite surprised to see its GA-X79S-UD5 board on
and rumoured iPad Mini, forces all other tablet vendors to        display at CeBIT, although we'd been told that the company
have similar or at least usable screen formats as well, if they   was working on such a product. The S in the model name
want a part of the game.                                          apparently stands for server, although this is much more of
                                                                  a workstation product than a server product.
These two weeks see the Mobile World Congress and                 Traditionally Gigabyte's consumer motherboard division
CeBIT next to each other. On the first one, Asus and other        has steered clear of the entry-level workstation market, so
major vendors announced a host of new quad-core tablets           we were quite surprised to see its GA-X79S-UD5 board on
with, guess what, 1920x1200 beyond Full HD resolution             display at CeBIT, although we'd been told that the company
and perfect Golden Section 16:10 aspect ratio. With good          was working on such a product. The S in the model name
eyesight, you can now see TWO vertical document or web            apparently stands for server, although this is much more of
pages on this 10-inch screen without any scrolling need.          a workstation product than a server product.
Wow!
                                                                  Despite the model name, the board is built around Intel's
Then comes 7th of March, when, during CeBIT but on the            new C606 chipset for the LGA-2011 Xeon E5 series of
other side of the world in California, a 2048x1536 often          processors rather than the X79 chipset, although the board
rumoured iPad 3 screen should see the light of the day.           only has a single CPU socket. The X79S-UD5 is compatible
When was the last time we had such good resolution on             with both the E5 Xeon processors and the consumer level
a notebook? I will tell you: some 8 years ago there were          Core i7's. Gigabyte also mentioned that its current line of
such screens in a limited number of workstation notebooks,        X79 has also received a BIOS upgrade that will make those
I myself had for five years one 2003 IBM Thinkpad with            boards compatible with the E5 Xeon's.
1600x1200 display resolution.

Now you are likely to have the same resolution in a US$ 700
tablet - but not any laptops, which could use such graphics
detail much more...

So, mark this week in your computer history books: it is
the week when, with the announcement of iPad 3, preceded
by Asus Transformer Infinity and similar Acer and other
vendors' tablet devices, the small US$ 500 - 700 class
tablets beat twice or triple - or any level - priced mobile PC
systems, including the highest end ones, in the display device
resolution and aspect ratio. Double whammy, surely.

If tablets have it, why not notebooks then? Remember,
not too ago, the top gaming or workstation notebooks
had 1920x1200 resolution, while now, two CPU refreshes
after, the resolution went DOWN to 1920x1080, and
the productivity went down much further with the extra
scrolling need during the actual work due to too wide
moviescreen. But no worries, at least those avid gamers or        So what about the board? Well, it has five x16 PCI Express
enthusiasts paying top dollar for such notebooks can - as I       slots, of which two are full x16 slots, one is a x8 slot and two
                                                                  are x4 slots, although we're not sure if all are PCI Express
                                                                  3.0. There's also a single PCI slot on the board. Add eight

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

DIMM slots, four SATA 3Gbps and two SATA 6Gbps ports
and you got a pretty high-end X79 board. However, thanks to
the C606 chipset, the X79S-UD5 has eight native SAS ports,
although sadly Intel was unable to deliver 6Gbps speeds in
the end, so the ports are limited to speeds of 3Gbps. One
important thing for anyone considering using this board
with a Core i7 CPU is that the SAS ports won't work with this
CPU, as it requires the extra four lanes of PCI Express 3.0
bandwidth available from the Xeon processors to work. The
SAS controller isn't a true hardware RAID, but it features
XOR processing, so it should help to offload the CPU a lot
more than your average software RAID implementation.
The board also has headers for two front USB 3.0 ports, six
USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire port and it has a power button. At
the rear we find a PS/2 port, four USB 3.0 ports, a FireWire
port, what looked like three eSATA ports, although at least
one appears to be a USB/eSATA combo port, four USB 3.0
ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1-channel audio with optical        Powered by 1.5GHz dual-core processor with 32GB flash
S/PDIF out and oddly enough an O.C. button and a BIOS                 storage and running Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the
chip switch button.                                                   Xperia S claims to be the first Sony smartphone from
                                                                      the Xperia NXT series to offer users high definition (HD)
                                                                      experience, and let them share content easily across multiple
                                                                      screens. The Xperia S features a razor-sharp 4.3-inch Reality
                                                                      Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine display and a 12-
                                                                      megapixel camera that can snap pictures in just 1.5 seconds
                                                                      from standby. You can also connect the smartphone via
                                                                      HMDI to TV or share photos wirelessly with just one
                                                                      touch. In addition, the Xperia S incorporates Near Field
                                                                      Communication (NFC) technology that lets users share
The X79S-UD5 will also ship with Gigabyte's 802.11n Wi-
                                                                      content as well as utilize various NFC applications and
Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 combo card. We're not sure when the
                                                                      services.
board will launch and as for pricing, well, it's not likely to be
a cheap motherboard thanks to the cost of the C606 chipset            The Sony Xperia S is available in Singapore today, in Black
which should be a fair bit more expensive than the X79                and White at a recommended retail price of S$898 without
chipset. That said, as an entry level workstation board or            contract. According to the company, the Xperia S will be
potentially even a single socket server board thanks to the           upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich during the
SAS ports, it might be an interesting option for some.                second quarter of 2012.


Sony Xperia S, now available                                          Boston teams up with Asetek
in Singapore                                                          to deliver water cooled
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-xperia-s-now-available-in-
singapore/15164.html
                                                                      workstation
                                                                      Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/boston-teams-up-with-asetek-to-
March 8th, 2012
                                                                      deliver-water-cooled-workstation/15163.html
                                                                      March 8th, 2012




Sony has acquired Ericsson's shares in the venture last
month, and the Xperia S is the company's first smartphone
                                                                      It's fairly likely that you've never heard of Boston Ltd,
that was announced earlier this year. Well, good news for
                                                                      a UK distributor and white box server and workstation
those of you waiting for this phone, the Xperia S is now
                                                                      manufacturer. The company has teamed up with Danish
available in Singapore.
                                                                      Asetek to deliver a fully water cooled workstation using
                                                                      Asetek's famous water cooling solutions with four Nvidia
                                                                      cards and two brand spanking new Intel Xeon E5 processors.
                                                                      It's fairly likely that you've never heard of Boston Ltd,
                                                                      a UK distributor and white box server and workstation
                                                                      manufacturer. The company has teamed up with Danish
                                                                      Asetek to deliver a fully water cooled workstation using
                                                                      Asetek's famous water cooling solutions with four Nvidia
                                                                      cards and two brand spanking new Intel Xeon E5 processors.


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

Although the system is built using fairly standard                  March 8th, 2012
components such as a chassis and motherboard from
Supermicro, the unit on display at CeBIT was a late stage
prototype. When Asetek announced it was moving into
the OEM server and workstation market there were some
questions as to why the company had moved away from its             If you're familiar with Genius, then you've mostly likely
fairly rigid water hoses in favour for something that looked        encountered their input peripherals which are generally
a lot more traditional and now we know the reason why.              quite affordable, if not exactly being the best kit you can get
As you can see in the picture above, the Boston system is           out there. At CeBIT the company was showing off something
using soft, black rubber hoses between the graphics cards           that we didn't really expect to see, a portable projection
and the radiators and this is what makes this a prototype           screen with built in speakers.
system. Before final retail systems will ship, Boston will          If you're familiar with Genius, then you've mostly likely
send its specs to Asetek who will then custom make cooling          encountered their input peripherals which are generally
solutions to fit Boston's requirements for hose length using        quite affordable, if not exactly being the best kit you can get
the regular rigid hoses that you get in the consumer water          out there. At CeBIT the company was showing off something
cooling solutions based on Asetek's products. As such you'll        that we didn't really expect to see, a portable projection
get a near perfect fit in the server or workstation without         screen with built in speakers.
extra bits of hosing having to be tied up or positioned to fit
properly.                                                           Mobile projects are anything but a rare occasion these days
                                                                    and we've even seen phones and camcorders with built in
                                                                    projectors these days. Genius was demoing a fairly typical
                                                                    LCOS projector at its booth at CeBIT with standard VGA
                                                                    resolution which we were told should retail for about US
                                                                    $250 when it arrives later this year, but it wasn't at all what
                                                                    caught our eye.




Also note the unusual position of the radiators for the             Instead, the company was demoing the projector on a
CPUs, as they're placed just above the pumps. Again,                portable projection screen which featured a pair of flat
this was done to reduce clutter and hose lengths, as the            speakers. What makes this projection screen so special is
cooling requirements are quite different inside a server or         that it folds flat, so not only is it easy to store and travel
workstation that in your average PC, as you always have             with, but thanks to its unusual design, it can be used virtually
much improved airflow inside a server or workstation. We            anywhere. The screen itself uses a special material to allow
were told that the fans will change on the final production         for improved image quality in bright light for LCOS and LED
setup as well and the overall noise level of the water cooling      lit DLP projector which in general aren't very bright.
setup of this workstation should end up at around 30dB.
                                                                    We were also surprised by how loud the flat speakers were,
Boston will guarantee the water cooling for up to seven years,      as they were only about one centimeter thick, yet managed
but after that Asetek is expecting that the pumps could start       to produce some very clear audio, despite the fairly noisy
to fail. That said, very few companies keep their servers           show floor. There wasn't much bass to speak of, but the
or workstations for that long, so it's unlikely to cause any        audio was more than good enough for something like a
problems. We've got another couple of interesting server            video presentation, although it's not really what you'd want
cooling solutions coming up that are unlikely anything we've        to use for watching a movie on. With a US$139 MSRP
ever seen before, although neither is very likely to ever enter     the mobile projection screen is also quite affordable and
the consumer market space.                                          although we don't know the exact screen size, we'd estimate
                                                                    it at somewhere around 32-inches, i.e. much larger than your
Genius shows off interesting                                        average notebook screen.

projector screen at CeBIT                                           IT Show 2012 Promotions: HP
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/genius-shows-off-interesting-
                                                                    Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-
projector-screen-at-cebit/15162.html
                                                                    hp/15160.html




                                                                                                                                     18
March 8th, 2012                                                                                           Published by: VR-Zone

March 8th, 2012




Besides their printers, HP is also popular with their
laptops and desktop PCs. If you are looking for some great
promotions on their new laptop, ultrabooks or all-in-one
PCs, you may want to pop by their booth on level 4, booth
8150, 8245 and 8428.

HP Folio13




                                                                   The HP ENVY14 Spectre claims to be the world’s first
                                                                   premium Ultrabook with multi-surface lightweight and
                                                                   scratch-resistant glass. It features a 14-inch screen in a
                                                                   13.3-inch body, and high-definition (HD) HP Radiance
                                                                   Display combined with Beats Audio to give you superb
                                                                   entertainment experience. It is packed with high-end
                                                                   hardware components and boasts up to 9.5 hours of battery
                                                                   life for long hours of usage.
                                                                   Retail price: S$1,999
                                                                   IT Show price: TBC


The HP Folio13 is not only stylish, but it is also slim at 0.75-   HP Omni27
inch and portable at 1.5kg. It incorporates the latest Intel
Core processors, which include Intel Rapid Start technology
that gets your system up and running almost instantly,
  HP CoolSense technology that can detect where you are
and automatically adjust your notebook to optimal cooling
levels. The HP Folio13 also boasts long battery life of up to
9.25 hours that is more than sufficient to last you the entire
day before the need to recharge.
Retail price: S$1,499
IT Show price: TBC


HP ENVY14 Spectre




                                                                   The HP Omni27 is designed with features including Beats
                                                                   Audio, Blu-Ray disc drive and TV tuner which make it
                                                                   an ideal multimedia machine. It is the first non-touch HP
                                                                   PC to feature HP’s Magic Canvas software, which allows
                                                                   the desktop to expand horizontally and accommodate the
                                                                   photos, videos and applications that users need. The HP
                                                                   Omni27 offers multi-core processors, advanced HD graphics
                                                                   and 1TB of storage for powerful performance.
                                                                   Retail price: S$2,499
                                                                   IT Show price: TBC




                                                                                                                            19
March 8th, 2012                                                                                           Published by: VR-Zone

Booth location: Level 4, Booth 8150, 8245 and 8428              Pacific & Jason Fedder, General Manager of Data Centre and
                                                                Connected Systems Group, Intel Asia Pacific & PRC

Xeon E5 (Romley-EP) Launch:                                     Q1: Can you enlighten the users & ecosystem that the rolling
                                                                out of the Intel® Xeon® processor E5 platform is smooth,
Interview with Intel APAC                                       and is Intel confident that the ecosystem is in full support?
team
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xeon-e5-romley-ep-launch-   A1: We announced at IDF last September that we had hit our
interview-with-intel-apac-team/15154.html                       production commitment for Intel® Xeon® E5 processors of
March 8th, 2012                                                 being in production in the second half of 2011, and were able
                                                                to provide production units to cloud and supercomputing
                                                                customers under an early ship program. Hence we have met
                                                                all of our commitments to the market.


                                                                The support by the ecosystem is apparent in a sense that
Finally, the wait seems to have been worthwhile - Intel         we are tracking 400 design wins around the world that will
is today launching its new generation Socket 2011 dual          come to market across a broad range of applications. From
CPU Xeon E5-2600 platform based on the Sandy Bridge             traditional data center servers, to powerful workstations,
architecture. Here we talk to Intel's regional honchos about    to storage solutions, to Telco solutions we expect leading
some of the opportunities and challenges Intel faces.           IT system providers from across the globe to select Intel®
                                                                Xeon® processor E5-2600/1600 product family as the heart
Xeon E5 is one of the most complex microprocessors Intel,       of their next generation solutions. We already have shipped
or anyone else, has ever designed - 8 cores with 20 MB          hundreds of thousands of production units since Q3’11 and
L3 cache, four DDR3-1600 memory channels, 40 PCIe v3            expect that many vendors will be making announcements
plus 4 v2 lanes, and of course two high-speed QPI links,        starting today about the availability of platforms based on
and all that in a pair, covering a wide range of frequency      the Xeon processor E5-2600/1600 product families.
and power targets from ULV thin blade servers to high-
powered superworkstations and HPC nodes. So, unlike the
even larger-die Xeon E7 parts, which are specifically focused
at 4-socket and above servers, the E5 series design had to
                                                                Q2, What are the usages for Intel® Xeon® processor E5
cover a much greater product deployment span.
                                                                family in other new markets such as storage controllers,
                                                                switches, HPC and high end gaming systems?
The number of new features, like AVX - which you already
saw in desktop Sandy Bridge, but now with enough memory
bandwidth to back it up - then integrated PCIe v3 with a        A2: Within the 400 design wins for Intel® Xeon®
third lower overall I/O latency, augmented with Direct I/O      processor E5 family, over 100 are in the communications
to receive I/O data directly into the cache instead of memory   infrastructure market segments. These communications
loops, is staggering. And, despite around 10% lower average     designs include wireless / cellular systems, network security
per-core frequency compared to the same TDP Westmere            appliances, network media processing appliances, and
predecessors, the new features and more balanced overall        routers. Intel provides unique features specifically targeting
design at the system level give the new platform gives          communications systems including higher reliability, 7 year
between 30% and 80% performance boost, depending on the         manufacturing life, and higher temperature ratings. These
application.                                                    vendors include Cisco, Dell, EMC, Hitachi, HP, Huawei,
Here we chat, in sunny Hong Kong, with the regional men in      IBM, Oracle, Quanta, etc.
charge of the new platform:

                                                                For HPC, features such as Intel® Integrated I/O (can
                                                                up to triple the movement of data into and out of the
                                                                processor so data can be made available faster than ever)
                                                                with PCI Express 3.0, Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions
                                                                (Intel® AVX) are ideal for demanding I/O usages from HPC
                                                                applications. For instance, Intel® AVX increases floating
                                                                point operations per clock up to 2X2 for technical, financial,
                                                                scientific & content creation applications. These instructions
                                                                double the size of the register used to process the instruction
                                                                up to 256 bits allowing the CPU to do more work every clock
                                                                cycle. Customers who have already taken advantage of these
                                                                new Xeon E5 features include Infowrap, face.com, Kakadu
                                                                Software, NHN and KISTI.


                                                                For high-end gaming – Intel® Core™ i7 Extreme Processor
VR-Zone interview with David McCloskey, Director of
                                                                is best positioned to address the high-end gaming market.
Product Marketing and Business Operations, Intel Asia


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

                                                                manageability of clouds will lead to greater benefits to IT
                                                                more quickly.
Q3: Can you provide some comparisons on Intel®
Xeon® processor E5 family versus AMD Opteron 6200
(Interlagos)?                                                   We are translating the engagements we have with
                                                                organizations like the Open Data Center Alliance into
                                                                solutions that address IT pain points. The Intel®
A3: Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 product family
                                                                Cloud Builders program brings together over 50 leading
offers significant performance leadership in addition to
                                                                technology partners who provide IT with reference
superior I/O capabilities that improve the flexibility and
                                                                architectures, or recipes, to make it easier to deploy and
responsiveness of IT infrastructure via faster, higher
                                                                optimize cloud infrastructure. Customers already benefited
capacity I/O interconnects. Some of our OEM systems from
                                                                from Intel’s cloud solution include Korea Telecom, TCC
Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM and Oracle also established
                                                                technology, a commercial managed hosting and data centre
impressive benchmarks with more than 15 new dual socket
                                                                service provider in Thailand and CloudEx Inc in PRC.
x86 world records.


These new server processors deliver up to 80 percent
                                                                IT Show 2012 Promotions:
improved performance compared to the prior generation.          PROLiNK
New Intel® Integrated I/O with PCI Express 3.0 can up to        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-
triple the movement of data into and out of the processor       prolink/15159.html
so information can be made available faster than ever           March 8th, 2012
to support data-hungry applications. It also provides best
data center performance per watt with over 50 percent
gain on SPECpower_ssj2008 plus extends platform power
control with Intel® Node Manager and Intel® Data Center
Manager.
                                                                Check out the great offers from PROLiNK by Fida
                                                                International at this IT Show 2012. Their booth can be
These capabilities in addition to continued superior energy     located on Level 6, Hall 603, booth number 6108, and
efficiency with Intel Xeon products leads us to believe that    their star products include the WNR1004 Wireless-N Green
a Xeon processor E5-2600 product family based platform          Pocket AP/ Router, PCML-5307G Wireless Multimedia
will offer the best total cost of ownership compared to an      Laser Desktop Combo and PKB-3811U illuminated
Opteron based platform.                                         keyboard.
                                                                PROLiNK WNR1004 Wireless-N Green Pocket AP/ Router


Q4, What is your opinion on the growth of cloud in APAC
and PRC? What Intel is doing in these markets to drive
cloud adoption? Can you name some design wins/customer
testimonials?


A4: Global data centre IP traffic is forecasted to grow 33%
annually through 2015, which is forecasted to more than
triple the number of Cloud servers by 2015. In APAC & PRC,
the growth is also phenomenal.


Intel is taking a leading role to accelerate open standards
for cloud to help achieve the 2015 vision and is enabling the
broadest ecosystem of open solutions from leading systems
and solutions providers to make it easier to deploy clouds.
                                                                The PROLiNK WNR1004 Wireless-N Green Pocket AP/
                                                                Router is compact in size which makes it suitable for
No one company can bring this vision to life alone. Intel
                                                                travellers. It can function in router/ AP/ client mode,
is proud to be actively engaged in multiple organizations
                                                                and features 300mbps (high speed) portable router. The
and standards groups to accelerate the development of
                                                                WND1004 is also incorporates energy-saving feature that
cloud standards that lead to more open, interoperable
                                                                can auto-adjust power consumption based on usage.
solutions. Intel serves as the technical advisor to the
Open Data Center Alliance, a group of >300 global IT            Retail price: S$59
who define IT requirements for cloud. Intel is also a           IT Show price: S$45
founding member of the Open Compute Project, governing          PROLiNK PCML-5307G               Wireless     Multimedia       Laser
member of the Open Virtualization Alliance, and significant     Desktop Combo
contributor to OpenStack. We believe that accelerating
standards development for interoperability, security, and

                                                                                                                                  21
March 8th, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                         Seen on display at CeBIT, the XPC Z77R5 mini-PC barebone
                                                                         features a typical looking and sized XPC chassis with
                                                                         dimensions of 32.5 x 21.5 x 19.8 cm (DxWxH). It houses an
                                                                         Intel Z77 chipset mainboard ready for Ivy Bridge and is of
                                                                         course backward compatible with existing LGA1155 Sandy
                                                                         Bridge processors.




Comes in three beautiful and stylish colours, the PROLiNK
 PCML-5307G Wireless Multimedia Laser Desktop Combo
has a slim design with multimedia and Internet hot keys. The
mouse can be toggled from 800/1600cpi and comes with
back/ forward buttons.
Retail price: S$39


Booth location: Level 6, Hall 603, booth 6108


Shuttle displays Z77-
equipped XPC Z77R5
barebone at CeBIT                                                        The following expansion slots are available in the XPC
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/shuttle-displays-z77-equipped-xpc-   Z77R5; one PCI-E 3.0 x16, a PCI-E 2.0 x4 and two mini-PCIe
z77r5-barebone-at-cebit/15158.html                                       slots. The chassis can accommodate a 5.25-inch device (most
March 8th, 2012                                                          commonly an optical drive) and a couple internal+exposed
                                                                         3.5-inch devices such as HDDs/SSDs or multi-card readers.
                                                                         Connectivity wise, there are a couple SATA 6Gb/s ports
                                                                         inside while externally is an eSATA port, 8-channel HD
                                                                         audio, six USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit
                                                                         ethernet, HDMI and DVI.
While certainly not as popular these days as they were going
back seven years or more, Shuttle is still polishing off its XPC
line of small form factor rigs from time to time with updated
units and its latest jumps on the Z77 bandwagon.
While certainly not as popular these days as they were going
back seven years or more, Shuttle is still polishing off its XPC
line of small form factor rigs from time to time with updated
units and its latest jumps on the Z77 bandwagon.




                                                                         The system's power is supplied via a 500W unit with 80 Plus
                                                                         Bronze efficiency. Shuttle has not yet revealed availability
                                                                         and pricing info on the XPC Z77R5.




                                                                                                                                   22
March 8th, 2012                                                                                                          Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                          Details are out on yet another Z77 based board coming
Toshiba gearing up for Ivy                                                to market; the Z77H2-A3 from ECS which caters to the
Bridge + Kepler in 17.3-inch                                              more budget focused crowd. A couple "Black Extreme" series
                                                                          boards in the Z77H2-AX and Z77H2-A2X were spotted from
3D Qosmio X870 laptop                                                     the vendor at CeBIT yesterday, but the Z77H2-A3 is trimmed
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/toshiba-gearing-up-for-ivy-bridge--   down in features and price to nestle into the sub-$150
kepler-in-17.3-inch-3d-qosmio-x870-laptop/15157.html                      bracket.
March 8th, 2012
                                                                          Details are out on yet another Z77 based board coming
                                                                          to market; the Z77H2-A3 from ECS which caters to the
                                                                          more budget focused crowd. A couple "Black Extreme" series
                                                                          boards in the Z77H2-AX and Z77H2-A2X were spotted from
                                                                          the vendor at CeBIT yesterday, but the Z77H2-A3 is trimmed
                                                                          down in features and price to nestle into the sub-$150
                                                                          bracket.
A new gaming weapon reminiscing of Alienware's design
cues is on the horizon from Toshiba under its Qosmio series,              While all the connectivity and overclocking functions native
the X870. While now unveiled, all that is waiting for its                 to the Z77 chipset remain in place, this board is only
arrival in store shelves is the availibity of Intel's next-gen            designed to accommodate single graphics cards and its CPU
Ivy Bridge processors and an NVIDIA (Kepler) GeForce GPU                  socket is powered by a simple 6-phase VRM. There are four
with 3GB of GDDR5 memory on tap.                                          DDR3 slots residing on the board despite the lesser more
                                                                          narrow dimensions of the PCB at 305 x 210 mm.
A new gaming weapon reminiscing of Alienware's design
cues is on the horizon from Toshiba under its Qosmio series,
the X870. While now unveiled, all that is waiting for its
arrival in store shelves is the availibity of Intel's next-gen
Ivy Bridge processors and an NVIDIA (Kepler) GeForce GPU
with 3GB of GDDR5 memory on tap.




                                                                          The expansion slot array comes in the form of a single PCI-
                                                                          E 3.0 x16 slot, four PCI-E x1 and two legacy PCI slots. When
                                                                          reflecting on the Z77 chipset's characteristics, remaining
                                                                          intact on the Z77H2-A3 are a couple SATA 6Gbps ports, four
                                                                          SATA 3Gbps ports, 8-channel HD audio, Gigabit ethernet
                                                                          four USB 3.0 ports (two on the rear I/O and two via
                                                                          motherboard headers) and display connectivity via D-Sub
                                                                          and DVI/HDMI.
The Qosmio X870 is a 17.3-inch sized gaming notebook
with its TruBrite NVIDIA 3D Vision-ready display running                  ECS has implemented a UEFI graphical BIOS for this board
a 1920 x 1080 res. Its storage array is said to be a 2TB                  along with its EZ-Charger feature for boosted USB device
SSD+HDD hybrid arrangement and it will sport Harmon-                      charging to your Apple device or otherwise. All in all, not
Kardon speakers and a Blu-ray drive.                                      too shabby if the pricing is indeed low enough when it hits
                                                                          shelves.

ECS to offer Z77 on a budget                                              Notebook vendors to
with Z77H2-A3                                                             intro cheaper Ultrabook
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ecs-to-offer-z77-on-a-budget-with-
z77h2-a3/15156.html                                                       alternatives
March 8th, 2012                                                           Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/notebook-vendors-to-intro-cheaper-
                                                                          ultrabook-alternatives/15155.html




                                                                                                                                              23
March 8th, 2012                                                                                           Published by: VR-Zone

March 8th, 2012                                                 March 8th, 2012




A report from Digitimes suggests the still quite exxy           SanDisk is making its usual appearance at the IT Show 2012
Ultrabook market is about to see some stiff competition that    with some great promotions on their products such as the
will attract folks who don't mind a small trade-off in some     SanDisk Memory Vault, Extreme SDXC UHS-I Card and
areas to retain Ultrabook slenderness while pocketing a good    Cruzer Edge USB Flash Drive. You can find their products
chunk of change.                                                at many of the resellers booths on level 3, 4 and 6.
A report from Digitimes suggests the still quite exxy           SanDisk Memory Vault
Ultrabook market is about to see some stiff competition that
will attract folks who don't mind a small trade-off in some
areas to retain Ultrabook slenderness while pocketing a good
chunk of change.
Where all "Ultrabooks" are confined to a specification
governed by Intel that comprises more exxy attributes like
metal unibody chassis', hollow hinges and SSDs, Taiwan-
based notebook vendors are looking to launch "Ultrabook-
like" notebooks which will retain the same compact, slim
dimensions but cut corners / costs where a lot of consumers
aren't so fussed.




                                                                The SanDisk Memory Vault is a photo album that claims
                                                                to be capable of storing images for up to 100 years in one
                                                                reliable location. This product is a first in a new category of
                                                                devices from SanDisk built for long-term data preservation.
                                                                The technology also incorporates key elements of advanced
                                                                solid-state storage into the Memory Vault that ensures that
                                                                the quality of your photos and videos remain the same as
                                                                they are stored in the Memory Vault. Best of all, the SanDisk
                                                                Memory Vault features a sleek, metallic, ruggedized design
                                                                that ensures the device is able to withstand external wear and
                                                                tear while looking good at the same time.
Doing away with the metal unibody chassis' will already         Retail price: S$129 (16GB)
drop prices by a decent amount and 7mm-thick HDDs are           IT Show price: S$78 (16GB)
now available for vendors to pack in as viable cost-effective   SanDisk Extreme SDXC UHS-I Card
alternatives. Not only this, but it was made widely known
just recently that Intel is delaying its mobile range of Ivy
Bridge processors until June and the current Sandy Bridge
Ultrabooks are still way too exxy.
So while these Ultrabook alternatives may not conform to
Intel's Ultrabook requirements, you could soon be walking
away with a slim ultrabook-sized lappy for around US $600.


IT Show 2012 Promotions:
SanDisk
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-
sandisk/15153.html




                                                                                                                            24
March 8th, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone

The SanDisk Extreme SDXC UHS-I card is ideal for                (Active Notebook), 6811 (Reddotphoto), 8418 (Harvey
videography and photography enthusiasts who want to             Norman), 6519 (Artwork photo), 6503 (AD Industries)
capture Full high defintion (HD) videos (and even 3D
videos) and high-resolution photos. It features up to 45MB/
sec read/write speeds which allows photographers to offload     Experience the Ultimate
an hour-long Full HD video in five minutes or a batch of 500
high-resolution photos in as little as one minute. With a UHS
                                                                Speed with Kingston, at the
Speed Class 1 rating, the SanDisk Extreme SDXC surpasses        IT Show 2012
the recording requirements of demanding video use cases,        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/experience-the-ultimate-speed-with-
allowing users to record anything from home movies to high-     kingston-at-the-it-show-2012/15152.html
quality 3D footage.                                             March 8th, 2012

Retail price: S$439 (128GB) / S$219 (64GB)
IT Show price: S$280 (128GB) / S$138 (64GB)


SanDisk Cruzer Edge USB Flash Drive
                                                                Don't miss the Kingston's “Experience the Ultimate Speed
                                                                with Kingston” activity at the upcoming Singapore IT Show
                                                                2012 at Suntec City (Kingston’s Redemption Booth: No.
                                                                6435, Level 6). Read on for details.




                                                                Memory manufacturer Kingston is holding an exciting
The SanDisk Cruzer Edge USB Flash Drive is compact and
                                                                activity, “Experience the Ultimate Speed with Kingston”, at
features a stylish slider design that lets you carry your
                                                                the IT Show 2012. Besides their range of DRAM and Flash
data conveniently wherever you go. It comes with SanDisk’s
                                                                memory products, the company is also offering attractive
SecureAccess software that keeps your data secure even if
                                                                promotions and generous prizes on site. Consumers who
you lose the Flash Drive, and also secure online backup (up
                                                                buy a Kingston product will be entitled to join the activities
to 2GB) provides additional protection against data loss.
                                                                including lucky draws and instant-win prizes.
Retail price: S$24 (16GB)
                                                                Promotion I – Lucky Draw
IT Show price: S$16 (16GB)
                                                                Buy any Kingston product at IT Show 2012 and get a lucky
                                                                draw chance to win more than 1,200 prizes, including the
IT Show Sure Win Lucky Dip Promotion                            grand prize of Kingston Wi-Drive 16GB with Apple iPhone
For High Performance Products (8GB and above),                  4S 16GB, Kingston 20-inch carry-on luggage, S$50 worth of
customers will be entitled to a “Sure Win Lucky Dip” and        Takashimaya Voucher, and more.
stand a chance to win:                                          Promotion II – Instant Prizes
1st Prize: Nikon D5100 DSLR                                     Buy one Kingston product and get one free prize
2nd Prize: Olympus Pen 2 Camera                                 immediately. Purchase any Kingston HyperX and branded
3rd Prize: Samsung Galaxy Tab 7”                                memory module, and you get a Kingston Redhead Penholder
Other prizes include: Mini Card Case / Metallic Card Case /     home; Purchase any Kingston SSDNow products, and get a
Light Bulb / Torch / Lenspen / Environmental Bag                Kingston Thermal Mug; Purchase Kingston Wi-Drive, and
                                                                get a Kingston Redhead Stress Ball. Moreover, a Kingston
Customers who purchase SanDisk’s High Capacity Products         limited 2012 Calendar will be provided for those who
(16GB and above) will also be entitled to a free lanyard in     purchase S$100 or more worth of Kingston products.
addition to being eligible for the lucky draw.
                                                                Promotion III – Capture the Beauty of Kingston
                                                                During IT Show 2012 from 8 to 11 March, join the
Booth location: 6859 (Cybermind), 8338 (Multimedia              “Capture the Beauty of Kingston” campaign and you
Integration), 6641 and 6611 (Direction), 6111 (Kao Yap),        stand to win a Kingston Wi-Drive home. Visit Kingston’s
6101 (Newstead), 6711 (AAAs), 6405 (Perdure), 6302 (Best        booth (booth no. 6435) and take photos of Kingston
Bargain Computer), 6241 and 6501 (Sprint Cass), 3038            pretty show girls with Kingston products, and then
                                                                upload one photo to Kingston Facebook Fan’s Page

                                                                                                                                     25
March 8th, 2012                                                                                           Published by: VR-Zone

(www.facebook.com/KingstonBlogFansClub.en) to join the
contest. The contestant whose photo gets the most “Like” can
win an amazing prize - Kingston Wi-Drive 16GB! The winner
will be announced on Kingston Facebook Fan’s Page on 14
March. Don’t forget to invite all your friends to “Like” your
post, and you could be the lucky winner to take a Wi-Drive
home.
Location: Suntec City, Level 6, Kingston’s Redemption
Booth: no.6435
Wi-Drive is the best device to connect you and your friends.
For more information about Wi-Drive, please visit: http://
www.kingston.com/en/usb/wireless.


MSI Z77A-GD65 Quick
Preview                                                          There aren't any real surprises when looking at the bundled
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-z77a-gd65-quick-
                                                                 accessories. We have user manuals and a installation guide,
preview/15138.html
                                                                 driver CD, I/O panel, single SLi connector, four SATA cables,
March 8th, 2012
                                                                 front panel connectors, a set of wires to connect a digital
                                                                 multimeter to the voltage read points and finally a official-
                                                                 looking certificate detailing the range of stress tests the
                                                                 board components have passed.




With CeBIT getting underway in Germany, manufacturers
are taking the wraps off of their Z77 motherboards. MSI are
preparing to release their boards, one of which is the Z77A-
GD65 which we are going to preview today.
We still have some time remaining before the official
launch of the Z77 platform (April 8th) and new Intel CPU's
(April 29th). However that's not stopping motherboard
manufacturers from showing off their ranges of Z77 boards.
Now that CeBIT is underway, every company will be proudly
displaying their wares. One of the boards to come into
the lab is the MSI Z77A-GD65. It is, of course, a Z77
motherboard supporting processors compatible with Socket         The board itself looks good and features MSI's iconic blue
1155. That means the whole LGA1155 Sandy Bridge range            on black theme. The layout is generally sound although an
and more importantly, 3rd generation 22nm Core i7 desktop        extra fan header to complement the single one at the bottom
processors due in the not too distant future.                    of the board would be nice. The PCIe slot layout is fine, with
First up we check out the retail packaging. The design           at least one 1x slot available even in a triple GPU setup. We
is nearly identical to the company's X79 range with its          also have a total of eight SATA ports, four of which are 3GB/
"Military Class III" components being the prominent theme.       s with the other four supporting 6GB/s.
The back of the box is chock full of the featured technologies   Taking a look at some of the controller chips, we have
of the board.                                                    a gigabit Intel 82579V chip taking care of a single LAN
                                                                 port with audio support provided by a standard Realtek
                                                                 ALC898 controller. The two extra SATA ports are controlled
                                                                 by a ASMedia ASM1061 supporting SATA 6GB/s. There is a
                                                                 board header for a firewire connector that is controlled by
                                                                 a VIA VT6315N chip. There is no need for a supplementary
                                                                 USB 3.0 chip as it is now integrated into the Panther Point
                                                                 PCH, which the board offers up to four such ports.




                                                                                                                            26
March 8th, 2012                                                                                          Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                Retail price: S$169
                                                                IT Show price: S$79
                                                                Belkin LiveAction Camera Remote




IT Show 2012 Promotions:                                        With the Belkin LiveAction Camera Remote, you can activate
Belkin                                                          your iPhone or iPod Touch camera shutter from up to 9.1
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/it-show-2012-promotions-    metres away, wirelessly. It has two button controls which let
belkin/15151.html                                               you instantly switch between photo and video functions, and
March 8th, 2012                                                 you can also use the detachable camera stand to prop up your
                                                                device and then slide it back onto the remote to create the
                                                                ultimate pocket-sized camera kit.
                                                                Retail price: S$79
                                                                IT Show price: S$59


Belkin has a wide range of products from accessories for your   Belkin Galaxy 10.1-inch Keyboard Folio
phones, tablets tonetworking devices. If you're dropping by
their booth (Level 6, booth number 6121) at the IT Show
2012, be sure to check out their star products - Belkin
Keyboard Folio, Belkin LiveAction Camera Remote, and
Belkin Galaxy 10.1-inch Keyboard Folio.
Belkin Keyboard Folio




                                                                Designed for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, this Belkin
                                                                Keyboard Folio connects via Bluetooth wireless, and offers
                                                                adjustable angles for viewing and typing as well as a
                                                                unique tri-fold design tucks keyboard away to keep screen
                                                                protected.
                                                                Retail price: S$129
The Belkin Keyboard Folio offers built-in computer-             IT Show price: S$99
style keyboard with tactile, well-spaced TruType keys. It
also comes with function-specific keys for copying and
pasting text, moderating volume and controlling music. The
Keyboard Folio can easily pair with the Apple iPad through
Bluetooth, and boasts 60 hours of active battery life and
2,000 hours standby battery life.


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

                                                                          base of the cooler, Sapphire is using a vapor chamber onto
Sapphire wants to bring                                                   which the heatpipes are attached.
Vapor-X to the CPU cooler
market
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sapphire-wants-to-bring-vapor-x-to-
the-cpu-cooler-market/15150.html
March 8th, 2012




It's funny how one product can lead to a new and quite
different product and in the case of Sapphire the company
feels that it's Vapor-X graphics card coolers have been so
popular that it's highly likely that we'll see CPU coolers
using the Vapor-X technology from the company. As such
the company was demoing a new cooler at CeBIT which is
very likely to go into mass production sometime in the near
future.                                                                   It's not an entirely unique idea, as Asetek created something
It's funny how one product can lead to a new and quite                    similar some years ago, although in their case the vapor
different product and in the case of Sapphire the company                 chamber was directly connected to the heatpipes and it was
feels that it's Vapor-X graphics card coolers have been so                far too sensitive as to how the cooler was installed. What
popular that it's highly likely that we'll see CPU coolers                sapphire has managed to do by using a sealed vapor chamber
using the Vapor-X technology from the company. As such                    is to create a cooler that is less sensitive to which direction it's
the company was demoing a new cooler at CeBIT which is                    installed while still being able to draw the heat away quickly
very likely to go into mass production sometime in the near               from the vapor chamber with the help of the heatpipes as
future.                                                                   secondary cooling setup. It'll be interesting so see how well
                                                                          this cooler performs compared to competing solutions that
At first sight the prototype Vapor-X cooler doesn't look all
                                                                          rely solely on heatpipes, once Sapphire brings it to retail.
that different from your average over-sized CPU cooler, in
fact, it could easily be mistaken for a cooler from someone
like Cooler Master or Thermal Take. There are four fairly                 NVIDIA Finalizes CARMA,
average heatpipes running from the base of the cooler to the
fins on the heatsinks and there are a pair of 120mm fans                  Its Tegra 3 + Quadro
and various bits of plastic shrouding to make the cooler look
funky.
                                                                          Development Kit
                                                                          Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-finalizes-carma-its-tegra-3--
                                                                          quadro-development-kit/15094.html
                                                                          March 8th, 2012




                                                                          Last November, NVIDIA announced CUDA on ARM during
                                                                          the unveiling of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center,
                                                                          which is powered by combination of ARM based Tegra
                                                                          3 SOC and the CUDA GPUs (prelude of Project Denver).
                                                                          Today, the company launched a developer kit based on this
                                                                          combination named CARMA.
                                                                          In 2013, NVIDIA plans to launch a desktop, notebook and
                                                                          more importantly, a server chip based on the Project Denver,
                                                                          it’s first custom CPU based on the in-house 64-bit ARM-
                                                                          compliant architecture.
                                                                          In order to allow developers to build the applications for
                                                                          the new chip, which will combine multiple ARM cores
However, none of this would make the new Sapphire cooler                  (allegedly) with 256 CUDA cores - NVIDIA has rolled
all that different from what's already out there and if you're            out a development kit which combines the NVIDIA Tegra
keyed into what Sapphire's Vapor-X technology is, you'll                  3 chip, featuring five ARM Cortex-A9 CPU cores with a
notice that we so far have omitted a crucial part, the vapor              Quadro 1000M GPU. The kit is manufactured by SECO,
chamber. Rather than using a standard metal plat for the                  and is consisted out of Quadmo747-X/T30 daughterboard,
                                                                          NVIDIA Quadro 1000M MXM board (very similar to one

                                                                                                                                                 28
March 8th, 2012                                                                                           Published by: VR-Zone

used by HP in their revolutionary upgradable workstation),
and the motherboard, also built by SECO.
The specifications are as follows:
•     NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A9 processor
with 2GB SOC Memory
•       NVIDIA Quadro 1000M GPU with 96 Cores and
2GB GPU Memory
•    270 Single Precision GFLOPS, 135 Double Precision
GFLOPS
•        4x PCIe Gen1 link connecting processor to GPU
•        Gigabit Ethernet Network Port
•        Direct attach storage support with SATA port
•        HDMI and DisplayPort display connectivity
The board was in development for quite some time and the         We highly doubt that there's any reason whatsoever to make
company decided to do a contest in order to get the name for     a graphics card with 6GB's of GDDR5 memory on a 384-
the part. Daniel Holt came up with the name CARMA (CUDA          bit wide bus, but hey, someone's going to buy it, as more
meets ARM) and won one of the first parts that will go off       is always better, right? Beyond sporting an insane amount
the line.                                                        of onboard memory, Sapphire has also designed a different
                                                                 looking cooler and shroud for these cards as you can see in
The price for the development kit isn’t known at current         the pictures.
point in time, but you can expect to be a typical low volume
part, with the price in upper XXX to a very low XXXX figure
(we’d wager between $800 and $1200).


Sapphire demos 6GB Radeon
HD 7970 card at CeBIT, might
be the next Toxic card
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sapphire-demos-6gb-radeon-
hd-7970-card-at-cebit-might-be-the-next-toxic-card/15149.html
March 8th, 2012




One of the most frustrating things when you're at a trade
show isn't the crowds, the noise of even the bad lighting
when you're trying to take pictures, but actually the Perspex
used to cover the hardware, so apologies for the fairly poor
pictures of Sapphire's otherwise utterly and totally over the
top graphics cards. For whatever reason, Sapphire decided
to demo a pair of Radeon HD 7970 cards with 6GB of
memory each at CeBIT and the company is considering going        On the top edge of the cards is a re-designed BIOS switch,
with these cards for its next Toxic branded model.               which is now a push button with a nice blue LED in it. The
One of the most frustrating things when you're at a trade        cards also feature a few diagnostics LEDs spread across the
show isn't the crowds, the noise of even the bad lighting        top edge of the card. The power input is via a pair of 8-
when you're trying to take pictures, but actually the Perspex    pin power connectors, so overclockers should hopefully be
used to cover the hardware, so apologies for the fairly poor     satisfied as well. Sapphire is expecting a GPU core clock of
pictures of Sapphire's otherwise utterly and totally over the    1200MHz or more when these cards eventually appear in
top graphics cards. For whatever reason, Sapphire decided        retail. We can only apologise for the quality of the pictures,
to demo a pair of Radeon HD 7970 cards with 6GB of               but sadly, Sapphire didn't have a card in the back for us to
memory each at CeBIT and the company is considering going        look at.
with these cards for its next Toxic branded model.




                                                                                                                            29
March 8th, 2012   Published by: VR-Zone




                                    30
March 12th, 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.


Thermaltake's Level 10 M
mouse goes to 11
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/thermaltake-s-level-10-m-mouse-
goes-to-11/15220.html
March 12th, 2012




Last week at CeBIT, Thermaltake officially unveiled the
Level 10 M mouse which the company co-designed with
BMW Designworks USA to much fanfare and the feature
laden mouse does stand out from the crowd in more than
one way. Sadly Thermaltake wasn't ready for hands on time,
but we did at least manage to snap a couple of shots of the
new mouse.
Last week at CeBIT, Thermaltake officially unveiled the
Level 10 M mouse which the company co-designed with
BMW Designworks USA to much fanfare and the feature
laden mouse does stand out from the crowd in more than
one way. Sadly Thermaltake wasn't ready for hands on time,
but we did at least manage to snap a couple of shots of the
new mouse.
                                                                      That said, the mouse has been designed to keep your palm
                                                                      nice and cool thanks to an air vent on the left hand side of
                                                                      the mouse. Just below the air vent is a Ttesports logo which
                                                                      glows when the mouse is in use. The top of the mouse is as
                                                                      far as we can tell adjustable five degrees to the left or the
                                                                      right to allow for a more comfortable fit depending on your
                                                                      preference.




At 147x67.5x39mm (DxWxH) it's quite a chunky mouse,
albeit with a fairly low profile despite its looks. It's both
deeper and wider than your average Logitech gaming mouse,
but it stands over half a centimetre less tall. The unusual
split-level design with an aluminium base makes the Level
10 M quite eye catching, although according to Thermaltake
it's there for more than looks, as it's meant to help dissipate
heat, although we're not entirely sure from what.




                                                                                                                                  1
March 12th, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                  Thermaltake didn't announce a price or availability, but we'll
                                                                  follow up with more details as and when we know more.


                                                                  NASA shows off Angry Birds
                                                                  in space
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nasa-shows-off-angry-birds-in-
                                                                  space/15219.html
                                                                  March 12th, 2012




                                                                  Rovio and NASA astronauts have announced a new space
                                                                  version of the popular Angry Birds game, with one flight
                                                                  engineer explaining some space physics with the help of
                                                                  some very upset feathered friends.
                                                                  Rovio and NASA astronauts have announced a new space
                                                                  version of the popular Angry Birds game, with one flight
                                                                  engineer explaining some space physics with the help of
                                                                  some very upset feathered friends.
Besides the regular mouse buttons and the scroll wheel
the Level 10 M also has five additional buttons that are
programmable and there's 128kB of on board memory for             The game developer made an ingenious deal with the US
storing up to five different profiles. The default DPI settings   space agency to promote the launch of Angry Birds Space,
are setting to 800, 1600, 3200 and 5000 DPI, but the mouse        which will feature traditional bird-flinging action in the
can go all the way up to 8200 DPI, currently the highest on       gravity-free realm of space, with the gravitational pull of
offer, but we heard that several of Thermaltake's competitors     various planetary bodies affecting gameplay.
are already working on mice that are capable of 8200 DPI.
                                                                  Don Pettit, a flight engineer for NASA, demonstrated
                                                                  some of the principles behind the game in the weightless
                                                                  environment of the International Space Station, where
                                                                  somehow he got his hands on a green balloon (becoming a
                                                                  badly-drawn pig), two eggs, and a little Angry Birds plushie.




                                                                  "This collaboration began with a simple Twitter exchange
                                                                  about birds and pigs in space, and it has grown into
                                                                  a tremendous outreach and education opportunity," said
                                                                  David Weaver, associate administrator for communications
                                                                  at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Games are fun
                                                                  and entertaining, but they also can be inspirational and
                                                                  informative. This ongoing collaboration with Rovio and
                                                                  Angry Birds is an exciting way to get people engaged
                                                                  with NASA's missions of exploration and discovery, and
                                                                  get students energized about future careers in science and
                                                                  technology."


                                                                  The game features 60 levels, new Angry Bird characters,
                                                                  new superpowers, and new gameplay elements. Additional
                                                                  levels will be added for free over time and even more can be
                                                                  purchased within the game.


                                                                  Angry Birds Space will be available for iOS, Android, Macs,
                                                                  and PCs on 22 March.
Thermaltake will be offering the Level 10 M in three different
colours, black, white and "military" green and judging by
the three models on display at the show, the white model is
glossy. The USB cable is also attached in a rather unusual
way which you can just see in one of the pictures above. Sadly

                                                                                                                                       2
March 12th, 2012                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                  features for Gigabyte, as it still includes support for SLI and
A quick look at Gigabyte's                                        CrossFireX among other things.
mainstream 7-series boards
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/a-quick-look-at-gigabyte-s-
mainstream-7-series-boards/15217.html
March 12th, 2012




We were fortunate enough to get a preview of Gigabyte's
high-end 7-series chipset motherboards ahead of CeBIT, but
it turned out that the company had plenty more on offer at
CeBIT. As such, here's a fairly quick run-down of the new
models on display at the show, as there are far too many
products for us to cover them all in detail.
We were fortunate enough to get a preview of Gigabyte's
high-end 7-series chipset motherboards ahead of CeBIT, but
it turned out that the company had plenty more on offer at
CeBIT. As such, here's a fairly quick run-down of the new
models on display at the show, as there are far too many
products for us to cover them all in detail.




                                                                  Moving down a step we are down to the blue PCB level and
                                                                  we find the Z77-D3H. Although the board has a pair of x16
                                                                  PCI Express slots, the second slot only has four lanes of
                                                                  bandwidth via the chipset. As will all of Gigabyte's new ATX
                                                                  boards, an mSATA slot is present for SSD caching. What's
                                                                  surprising here though is that instead of using a VLI USB 3.0
                                                                  hub, Gigabyte has added an Etron USB 3.0 host controller
                                                                  for the two extra rear USB 3.0 ports, for a total of six where
                                                                  two are via a pin header.




First up we have the Z77X-D3H, the little brother to the
Z77X-UD3H, although the boards aren't as similar as you'd
think at first. For starters there are no eSATA ports on the
Z77X-D3H, instead these ports are now internal SATA ports
which makes a lot more sense for 99 percent of users. The
PWM design and the heatsinks are somewhat simpler in
terms of design and there's no 2oz copper PCB here. There's
no DisplayPort connector on this board either, but otherwise
it's a fairly well rounded board and we have a feeling this
will be one of the more popular models in terms of price vs.


                                                                                                                               3
March 12th, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                            March 12th, 2012




                                                                            Blizzard has announced that it will be axing the player-
Next up we have the Z77MX-D3H which is a mATX Z77                           versus-player (PvP) mode from its upcoming hack-and-slash
chipset based board. Here we have three x16 PCI Express                     game Diablo III in order to keep it on track for its intended
slots of which the first two operate in dual x8 and the third               launch date.
being connected to the chipset via four lanes of bandwidth.                 Blizzard has announced that it will be axing the player-
There's really nothing out of the ordinary about this board,                versus-player (PvP) mode from its upcoming hack-and-slash
but it looks like a nice affordable board for a higher-                     game Diablo III in order to keep it on track for its intended
end mATX gaming system as it offers SLI and CrossFireX                      launch date.
support.

                                                                            Jay Wilson, Game Director for Diablo III, said that the
                                                                            company realised the “the PvP game and systems aren't yet
                                                                            living up to our standards.” Blizzard will therefore delay the
                                                                            PvP Arena system and launch it as a patch some time after
                                                                            the game goes live.


                                                                            Wilson said that the company decided it was better to launch
                                                                            the game without PvP than to delay the entire thing, which
                                                                            gamers have been eagerly awaiting for many years. He hoped
                                                                            that players would be consoled by the fact that the rest of the
                                                                            game has plenty to offer.


                                                                            When PvP finally lands, likely several months after release,
                                                                            it will feature multiple Arena maps with themed locations
                                                                            and layouts, PvP achievements, and a matchmaking system.
                                                                            Blizzard said it wants to make its Arenas “brutal, bloody,
                                                                            fast-paced, and awesome.” It is a shame that after more than
                                                                            a decade in production it has to delay this feature in order to
                                                                            deliver on that aim.




The little brother to the Z77MX-D3H is the Z77M-D3H
which is a peculiar board as unlike all of Gigabyte's other
Z77 motherboards, this one doesn't have a switchable slot
layout and as such there's no SLI support on this board. You
do get a PCI slot though and the second x16 slot offers four
lanes of bandwidth via the chipset and the board does as such
support CrossFireX. At the rear of the board you end up with
a pair of USB 2.0 ports less and 5.1-channal audio instead
of 7.1-channel audio with optical S/PDIF out for the Z77MX-
D3H.
                                                                            This announcement might also go a long way to explaining
Blizzard axes Diablo III PvP                                                a comment made by a Blizzard community manager last
                                                                            month, where customers were warned to lower their
to meet launch date                                                         expectations of the game. Wilson stepped in at the time and
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blizzard-axes-diablo-iii-pvp-to-meet-   reassured everyone that the game was in tip top shape and
launch-date/15218.html


                                                                                                                                         4
March 12th, 2012                                                                                                Published by: VR-Zone

players should have high expectations, but players are going     Apple took a new approach to the launch of the iPad 3 by
to wonder if this was what Bashiok was referring to.             scheduling a single worldwide date. This meant that stock
                                                                 needed to be available in multiple countries and could not
                                                                 be kept in reserve if demand went off the charts. We imagine
The fact that Blizzard chopped 600 jobs at the beginning of      the company regrets this decision now.
the month does not help the situation either. It promised
that these losses won't affect game production, but it's hard
for gamers not to join the dots between all these recent mess-   DisplaySearch predicted last week that Apple could face
ups at the company.                                              supply issues due to the new retina display, which many
                                                                 manufacturers are having trouble producing. The fact that
                                                                 delays have arisen so quickly raises some worrying questions
The removal of the PvP element of the game to meet               for the new iPad, which many investors see as a pivotal
the launch date plans suggests that the game's arrival is        product that will show if the company can continue its
imminent. This adds some credibility behind the leaked           astronomical success after the passing of Steve Jobs last
release date of 17 April featured on Amazon.                     year.


Apple iPad 3 pre-orders                                          While this is problematic for Apple, it also shows that there
delayed                                                          is still strong demand for new versions of its popular iPad
                                                                 range. Whether or not sales can surpass that of the iPad 2
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-ipad-3-pre-orders-
                                                                 remains to be seen.
delayed/15216.html
March 12th, 2012



                                                                 Video Reveals How to Enable
                                                                 Hidden, DLC-only Character
                                                                 in Mass Effect 3
Apple has been forced to delay the release of its iPad 3 to      Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/video-reveals-how-to-enable-hidden-
many people who pre-ordered it after demand skyrocketed          dlc-only-character-in-mass-effect-3/15207.html
past supply.                                                     March 12th, 2012
Apple has been forced to delay the release of its iPad 3 to
many people who pre-ordered it after demand skyrocketed
past supply.

                                                                 Recently, producers of Mass Effect 3 gave out statements
The “new iPad,” as it is officially known, goes on sale this
                                                                 that it is not true that they’ve deliberately disabled a “DLC-
Friday, 16 March, but the earliest many customers who
                                                                 only” character inside the game. A short video debunked
opted for a pre-order will get it is 19 March, with consumers
                                                                 those defensive claims…again.
in some countries facing longer delays of up to three weeks.
                                                                 Without any doubt, Mass Effect 3 is one of most
                                                                 controversial games that came out in the past couple of
Many customers decided to pre-order to avoid the extensive       years. This is not due to the content which is inside the game
queues outside Apple stores on launch day. Apple promised        which would cause mainstream media to spasm - but rather
that those who pre-ordered would get their device shipped        due to the content which was deliberately left out.
to them on the day it goes on sale, but now that has changed
                                                                 The decision to make a key character in the game accessible
and customers will undoubtedly be angry.
                                                                 as a DLC-only (DownLoadable Content) caused quite a
                                                                 backlash and even a boycott from several reputable gaming
                                                                 journalists and media. Additional issues for BioWare and
                                                                 EA were premature ejaculation i.e. publication of SDPS i.e.
                                                                 "Standard Defensive PR Statements" where game producers
                                                                 claimed that character was a part of DLC pack and is not
                                                                 located on the DVD.
                                                                 Unfortunately for BioWare's credibility and EA as a
                                                                 publisher, that too turned to be untrue. In a simple one
                                                                 minute video, an angry gamer showed how to enable the
                                                                 character. Thus, if you have a PC, you're all good. If you have
                                                                 a console - tough luck.
                                                                 Instructions for those that are too unpatient to watch the
                                                                 video:

                                                                   1. Open Coalesced.bin with this http://wenchy.net/me3-
                                                                      coalesced-utility


                                                                                                                                      5
March 12th, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

  2. Search    for     this:     MemberValidCID=22,                 - Remote Lock — Lets you remotely lock your lost or stolen
     MemberAvailablePlotLabel=IsSelectableProthean,                 phone via the Internet or SMS to keep critical data safe and
                                                                    block unauthorized access.
  3. Replace    with      this:               MemberValidCID=,
     MemberAvailablePlotLabel=,                                     - Remote Wipe — Lets you remotely erase the data on your
  4. That's it. Javik the Prothean is now unlocked. "From           phone via SMS, blocking access to your private information.
                                                                    In addition, your phone is instantly locked if its SIM card is
     Ashes" not required.
                                                                    removed or replaced, so it can’t be used with another SIM
                                                                    card.
Samsung offers Norton                                               - Anti-malware — Scans all files and application updates
                                                                    downloaded to your mobile phone and automatically detects
Mobile Security to select                                           and removes threats without slowing you down.
GALAXY smartphone users                                             - SD Card Scanning — Gives you the option of automatically
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-offers-norton-mobile-   scanning SD (Secure Digital) memory cards for threats when
security-to-select-galaxy-smartphone-users/15210.html               you plug them into mobile phone.
March 12th, 2012
                                                                    - Automatic LiveUpdate — Automatically downloads and
                                                                    installs security updates keeping you a step ahead of
                                                                    cybercriminals.


                                                                    Unitcom to retail 14-
Without proper protection, your personal data on your               inch LesanceNB S3431/L
mobile device can be compromised via malicious attacks,
as much as your PC or laptop. Samsung GALAXY users                  ultrabook in Japan on 24
can have protection on their Android smartphones with
the Norton Mobile Security software which is offered on
                                                                    March
                                                                    Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/unitcom-to-retail-14-inch-lesancenb-
Samsung App store.
                                                                    s3431l-ultrabook-in-japan-on-24-march/15212.html
                                                                    March 12th, 2012




                                                                    Unitcom, Japanese operator of small computer chain
                                                                    stores, will be retailing the new LesanceNB S3431/L
                                                                    Ultrabook on 24 March. Measuring 19mm thin, the
                                                                    Ultrabook will be priced at an attractive 59,980 yen
                                                                    (approximately US$730).




Korean electronics company, Samsung, will offer Norton
Mobile Security to select GALAXY smartphone users
worldwide. The full-featured, complimentary 90-day
subscription of Norton Mobile Security in multiple
languages will be offered to Samsung GALAXY users
through Samsung Apps (www.samsungapps.com). The
security software can be downloaded from the ‘Utility’
category in Samsung Apps or by entering ‘Norton Mobile
Security’ into the search query at the Samsung Apps. It
also supports all Samsung GALAXY Android smartphones,
including Galaxy S2 and is available in nine languages,
including Korean, English, French, German, Italian,
Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Traditional
Chinese languages; a one-year license costs S$19.90.
The Norton Mobile Security offers powerful anti-malware             UnitCom Inc. will be retailing their new 14-inch "LesanceNB
protection and anti-theft features that helps to safeguard          S3431/L" in Japan on 24 March, at an unbeatable price
user's personal data from loss, theft and other malicious           of 59,980 yen (approximately US$730). The LesanceNB
threats. Features include:-                                         S3431/L measures 19mm thin and boasts seven-second
                                                                    rapid recovery from sleep mode. To commemorate this sale,
- Remote Locate — Shows you the location of your
                                                                    there will be a special campaign: Pre-orders will be given
smartphone so you can find if it’s lost or stolen.
                                                                    exclusives such as a value pack containing a router and web

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

camera at low prices, and purchase-with-purchase offer of        We're still no closer to obtaining a definitive release date,
OFfice Personal 2010 at a low price                              only that it is most probable to arrive sometime during Q2.
The LesanceNB S3431/L is equipped with Intel Core
i5-2467M (1.60GHz with built-in video capabilities), Intel
HM65 Express Chipset, 4GB memory, 64GB SSD+500 GB
                                                                 GTX 580 pricing lowers as
hybrid HDD, 14-inch wide LCD display (1,366 × 768), and is       GTX 680 launch nears
preinstalled with Windows 7 Home Premium OS (SP1, can            Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gtx-580-pricing-lowers-as-gtx-680-
select 32bit or 64bit). The Ultrabook also comes with an SD /    launch-nears/15214.html
Memory Stick card reader, three USB 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet,       March 12th, 2012
mini D-Sub15 pin, IEEE LAN 802.11b/g/n, 1.3-megapixel
web camera, and voice input/output. It weighs 1.64kg and
the Lithium-ion battery offers about five hours of usage.


A few more details out on
                                                                 With the GTX 680 now getting all the attention at the top
Alienware M17x R4 gaming                                         end from the green team as it nears launch, to help deal
notebook                                                         with the clearing of current inventories there appears to be
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/a-few-more-details-out-on-
                                                                 a noticable price drop taking place on the current flagship
alienware-m17x-r4-gaming-notebook/15215.html
                                                                 GF110-based GTX 580.
March 12th, 2012                                                 With the GTX 680 now getting all the attention at the top
                                                                 end from the green team as it nears launch, to help deal
                                                                 with the clearing of current inventories there appears to be
                                                                 a noticable price drop taking place on the current flagship
                                                                 GF110-based GTX 580.


More info is out on Alienware's next invasion of gaming
notebooks, particularly pertaining to the upcoming M17x R4
this time thanks to a source tied in very closely with Dell.
More info is out on Alienware's next invasion of gaming
notebooks, particularly pertaining to the upcoming M17x R4
this time thanks to a source tied in very closely with Dell.
The M17x R4 is a 17.4-inch sized laptop and is said to arrive
with three display options available - HD+ (1600 x 900), Full
HD (1920 x 1080) and Full HD with 3D capabilities. Further
is the claim of eDP (embedded DisplayPort) being used for
this gaming notebook's LCD communication.


                                                                 Several European price-aggregators including Geizhals.at
                                                                 are quick to show that the reduction in price on the GTX 580
                                                                 is significant - as low as 339.8 EUR which makes the 1.5GB
                                                                 version even cheaper than the HD 7950 and thus improving
                                                                 on its price-performance ratio. Meanwhile, the 3GB versions
                                                                 are now being offered at similar pricing to the HD 7950.
                                                                 Putting things into further perspective, the GTX 570 starts
                                                                 at 249 EUR.


                                                                 Seagate preps 7200rpm,
                                                                 9mm thick 500GB USB 3.0
                                                                 FreeAgent HDD
                                                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/seagate-preps-7200rpm-9mm-
                                                                 thick-500gb-usb-3.0-freeagent-hdd/15213.html
The Alienware M17x R4 will be packed with an Ivy Bridge          March 12th, 2012
based processor and its discrete GPU options will comprise
a Radeon HD 7970M and a couple of NVIDIA choices; the
GeForce GTX 660M or GTX 675M. There was also a mention
by the source of it launching with two color schemes - black
and red.


                                                                                                                                          7
March 12th, 2012                                                                                                     Published by: VR-Zone

Revealed through European channels ahead of its official
release, details of an upcoming addition to Seagate's
FreeAgent GoFlex range of portable HDDs have been shared
online and it looks like quite the sleek, well featured little
drive.
Revealed through European channels ahead of its official
release, details of an upcoming addition to Seagate's
FreeAgent GoFlex range of portable HDDs have been shared
online and it looks like quite the sleek, well featured little
drive.




The 500GB FreeAgent GoFlex Slim drive would make an
ideal storage partner to go with your Ultrabook thanks to its
tidy, slim dimensions (124x78x9mm - yes, just 9mm thick)
and weighing in at a mere 160g. It's not just the size that is
alluring however, it sports a decent 7200rpm 2.5-inch drive
                                                                      2K Sports, a label of Take Two Interactive, has announced
and features USB 3.0 connectivity to make good use of the
                                                                      the start of the “Meet Michael Jordan contest” for fans of the
extra performance on offer.
                                                                      NBA2K series in Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan
The drive is yet to hit retail but is expected to come in at          and South Korea. Gamers who owns a legit copy of NBA2K12
about €129 (US $169).                                                 simply need to register for a chance to win the opportunity
                                                                      of a lifetime to meet His Airness himself, Michael Jordan, at
                                                                      the last Charlotte Bobcats game of the NBA2011-12 season.
Singapore NBA2K12 fans
                                                                      Three winners and their guests (one per winner) will be
can win the chance to meet                                            picked and get the opportunity to fly to North Carolina,
basketball legend Michael                                             USA on an all expenses paid trip, to meet Michael
                                                                      Jordan and watch the Bobcat Charlottes play against the
Jordan                                                                NY Knicks on 26 April PST. Registration is open at
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/singapore-nba2k12-fans-can-win-   www.meetmichaeljordan.com and closes on the 9th of April
the-chance-to-meet-basketball-legend-michael-jordan/15211.html        2012. The contest is exclusive to Asia, whereby anyone who
March 12th, 2012                                                      owns a copy of NBA2K12 in Singapore could win the chance
                                                                      to meet basketball legend Michael Jordan.


                                                                      White Nokia Lumia 800
                                                                      comes to Singapore
                                                                      Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/white-nokia-lumia-800-comes-to-
Are you a basketball fan? 2K Sports have announced a                  singapore/15209.html
contest that is exclusive to Asia, whereby gamers who owns            March 12th, 2012
a copy of NBA2K12 in Singapore could stand to win a chance
to meet basketball legend Michael Jordan.




                                                                      Aside from the black, fuchsia and cyan flavors that are
                                                                      currently available in the market, Nokia has introduced the
                                                                      white version of the Lumia 800. The white Windows Phone
                                                                      is now available in Singapore.




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




The Lumia 800 Windows Phone features the uniquely
curved 3.7-inch AMOLED ClearBlack screen with touch
buttons below the display. Powered by a 1.4GHz single core
MSM8255 processor, the phone features an 8-megapixel
autofocus rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics and LED flash,
high definition video playback, 16GB internal user memory
and 25GB free SkyDrive storage for storing images and
music. At its official launch in Singapore in December last
year, Nokia announces the Lumia 800 in fuchsia, cyan and
black finish. Today, the company has unveiled the sleek
white version which claims to offer the best social and
Internet performance. Retaining the qualities of the Lumia
800, the white Nokia Lumia 800 is available now at Nokia
Stores at a S$775 (before operator subsidies) and through all
three operators with attractive data plans.


The Showgirls @ IT Show
2012, Part II
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-showgirls--it-show-2012-part-
ii/15192.html
March 12th, 2012




And if you can't get enough of the show girls pics, more for
you in this second part of The Showgirls @ IT Show 2012.                A sweet-smiling showgirl for A.C Ryan
(Photo credit: AS1 from vrforums).




                                                                        Make it two of them...
The babes at HWM booth

                                                                                                                                   9
March 12th, 2012                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone




Are you looking for some Kingston products?
                                              ASRock's X79 Extreme11 has
                                              a very fitting name
                                              Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asrock-s-x79-extreme11-has-a-very-
                                              fitting-name/15206.html
                                              March 12th, 2012




                                              We've seen a fair few motherboards during CeBIT, but none
                                              of them were as insane as ASRock's new X79 Extreme11, as
                                              the company appears to have gone out of its way to create
                                              the most feature packed motherboard you could imagine and
                                              then some.
                                              We've seen a fair few motherboards during CeBIT, but none
                                              of them were as insane as ASRock's new X79 Extreme11, as
                                              the company appears to have gone out of its way to create
                                              the most feature packed motherboard you could imagine and
                                              then some.
                                              Unlike Gigabyte that went with Intel's C606 chipset for its
                                              X79S-UD5, ASRock has stuck it out with the X79 chipset
                                              for the X79 Extreme11, but the company has still managed
                                              to add SAS support thanks to the inclusion of an LSI
                                              SAS2308 controller. The upside of this move means that
                                              you're looking at real hardware RAID support, something
                                              the Intel C606 doesn't offer. On top of that the LSI controller
                                              support SAS/SATA 6Gbps and it has its own memory for
                                              caching, something you only see on higher-end RAID cards
                                                                                                                  10
March 12th, 2012                                                                                             Published by: VR-Zone

these days. The downside is of course the extra cost, as LSI
RAID cards with eight SAS ports are anything but cheap.




                                                                 Next to the PLX bridge is a Creative Sound Core3D which
                                                                 should be covered by a similar ”fake” heatsink as Creative
                                                                 uses on its latest sound cards. We also got some clarification
Just above the LSI controller and the chipset you'll see a       from ASRock as to why its sound cards are limited to only
pair of PLX PEX 8747 PCI Express 3.0 bridge chips which          certain motherboards and slots. If you had a look at the
enables the board to offer full quad x16 PCI Express 3.0         pictures of the Creative cards we posted some time back,
support. The downside is that it makes for a really complex      you'll have noticed that Creative uses a pair of chips on its
board design and there might be some potential issues with       cards, whereas ASRock – as well as Gigabyte on its G1 series
this kind of layout, least not by the fact that the PEX 8747     of boards – uses a single chip. The reason for this is that the
chips run quite hot. As such ASRock is working on a very         Sound Core3D uses the same audio interface as the Intel HD
large heatsink for the X79 Extreme 11 and this is also why the   audio codecs which isn't PCI Express and as such Creative is
two x8 PCI Express slots are missing retention clips for add-    fitting a bridge chip on its cards that allow the Sound Core3D
in cards. The smaller chip between the PLX bridges appears       to work as a PCI Express device.
to be some kind of power regulation IC.                          To keep with the theme of an all-out board ASRock has also
                                                                 kitted out the X79 Extreme11 with eight DIMM slots, a 16+2
                                                                 PWM design, a pair of 8-pin 12V power connectors as well as
                                                                 a pair of Molex connectors for extra power to the PCI Express
                                                                 slots. You also get a pair of four port USB 3.0 host controllers
                                                                 from TI for a total of four rear ports and four ports via pin
                                                                 headers. The board also sports two eSATA ports and a pair
                                                                 of Gigabit Ethernet ports.




                                                                 What we're really wondering though is how much this board
                                                                 is going to cost and if there's anyone that'll be willing to
                                                                 pay for it. There's no doubt that ASRock has created an
                                                                 interesting conversation piece, but somehow we feel that
                                                                 they've gone too far with this board, as it's likely going to cost
                                                                 more than any sane person is going to be willing to pay for an
At bottom left hand side corner you'll find another PLX          X79 motherboard. We've got a lot more motherboards from
bridge chip, this time a PCI Express 2.0 chip which handles      CeBIT coming, so just bare with us for a little bit for some
the peripheral chipsets, as the LSI SAS controller is most       more previews of what to expect in the comming months.
likely using up a good four lanes of PCI Express bandwidth
from the chipset. This means that peripheral chipsets
like USB 3.0 etc. will be going through the PLX bridge
which could potentially lead to lower performance, but it's
something that we'd have to test to be sure about.



                                                                                                                                11
March 12th, 2012                                                                                             Published by: VR-Zone


Ivy Bridge vs Sandy Bridge
vs Sandy Bridge-E @ 4.7GHz
Preview
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ivy-bridge-vs-sandy-bridge-vs-
sandy-bridge-e--4.7ghz-preview/15202.html
March 12th, 2012




Intel's Core i7-3770K (ES) vs i7-2600K vs i7-3960X, nuff
said! We have also included a brief USB 3.0 controller
shootout inside, involving the new Z77 (Panther Point)               3DMark 11 Physics Test (http://www.futuremark.com)
Native USB implementation and other popular solutions.
                                                                       • Rigid body physics simulation with a large number of
Prior Reading Disclaimer / Warning:
                                                                         objects
The Ivy Bridge Core i7-3770K (recent engineering sample)
                                                                       • Scales linearly with core count and frequency
results might or might not be indicative of final retail
performance, and is not supported or sanctioned by Intel               • Test conducted with HD 7970
and their partners . As such, we will refrain from making
judgements or opinions.
All test setups were equipped with 16GB of 2133MHz
CL9 modules and both LGA1155 processors ran on a Z77
motherboard (brand and model not featured on our site so
far).


CPU water cooled with Corsair H100, 1.34v linpack and
prime stable @ 4.7GHz




                                                                     Euler3D      (http://www.caselab.okstate.edu/research/
                                                                     euler3dbenchmark.html)

                                                                       • AGARD 445.6 aeroelastic test wing (computational
                                                                         fluid dynamics)
                                                                       • Does not scale very well with adding processors.
                                                                       • Does not scale linearly with processor clock speed.
                                                                       • Floating point intensive workload




Benchmarks:
Cinebench R11.5            (http://www.maxon.net/downloads/
cinebench.html)

    • Based on CINEMA 4D
    • Shows near linear scaling with CPU clock speed.
    • Performs a fair amount of floating point operations.

                                                                     LuxMark 2.0 (http://www.luxrender.net/wiki/LuxMark)

                                                                                                                               12
March 12th, 2012                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone

   • Rendering engine based on SLG2 with Metropolis
     Light Transport, Multiple Importance Sampling,
     Image reconstruction done on the GPU, etc;
   • Test conducted with ~2,000,000 triangles (Complex
     Room) setting




                                                            x264 FHD Benchmark 1.01 (http://forums.guru3d.com/
                                                            showthread.php?p=4189734)

                                                               • Created by Atak Snajpera
                                                               • Based on x264 free software codec
                                                               • Encode 1080p test sequence
UCBench 2011 http://anrieff.net/ucbench
                                                               • Supports SSE 4.1, SSE4.2, AVX
   • RAR password cracker
   • AES/SHA-1 units for decryption and support for SSE4/
     XOP instruction sets
   • Scales with clock speed and cores




                                                            Xbox 720 will not have a disc
                                                            drive
                                                            Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xbox-720-will-not-have-a-disc-
                                                            drive/15205.html
wPrime 2.07 1024M http://www.wprime.net/                    March 12th, 2012


   • Recursive call of Newton's method for estimating
     functions
   • Scales with core count, clock speed and memory
     latency
   • FP heavy                                               Microsoft's next-generation Xbox console will not feature
                                                            a disc drive, which suggests that digital downloads are the
                                                            way to go, a reality which could cause devastation to already
                                                            struggling brick-and-mortar game stores.
                                                            Microsoft's next-generation Xbox console will not feature
                                                            a disc drive, which suggests that digital downloads are the
                                                            way to go, a reality which could cause devastation to already
                                                            struggling brick-and-mortar game stores.


                                                            Gaming news site MCV cited sources close to the Redmond,
                                                            Washington-based company, who revealed that they had to
                                                            agree to a strict non-disclosure agreement. Not that this

                                                                                                                                 13
March 12th, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

has stopped them spilling the beans, but it suggests that                 Solar flares have been firing from the Sun all week, causing
Microsoft is planning some exciting features for its rival to             concern for some space weather forecasters, and despite
Nintendo's Wii U.                                                         signs of the storm easing down on Thursday, it is back to
                                                                          intense levels today.

The console, due at the end of 2013, is expected to come with
a solid-state card storage of some kind, but with no disc drive           Despite the threat to technology and the chants of some
the Xbox 720 presents a few challenges. For example, users                doomsday groups, scientists believe that these storms pose
will not be able to play old Xbox games that are on a disc,               no threat to people.
assuming Microsoft intends any backwards-compatibility at
all. With the Wii U allowing Wii games to be played this will
be a major setback for Microsoft.                                         The effect of the storm on our planet's magnetic field
                                                                          caused high frequency radio communications from Africa to
                                                                          Australia to black out for a two-hour period. Scientists have
                                                                          not yet identified any other damage caused by the storm,
                                                                          but there were significant worries about the potential for
                                                                          it to knock out electrical grids, destroy satellite chips, and
                                                                          upset GPS tracking. Some airlines also rerouted flights as a
                                                                          precaution.




Another problem is how users will actually buy their games.
While many, if not most, gamers have internet access
now, some may still suffer with slow download speeds,
which would make downloading several gigabytes of a game
incredibly frustrating. Add to that the fact that some ISPs
charge fees when users go over a certain download limit
every month and it could be a bad idea for Microsoft to ditch
the old-fashioned game disc option.


A bigger problem for the wider gaming industry is that this
will make it difficult for game shops to survive. GAME in the
UK is already facing the possibility of closing its hundreds of
stores. Having no games to sell will ensure that others follow            Last month the UK warned of the threat of rogue nations
suit.                                                                     launching nuclear weapons into space, which would have a
                                                                          similarly disastrous effect upon technology. There were also
                                                                          warnings about the effects of solar flares, prompting calls
Either way it is an interesting possibility and could certainly           for replacements of delicate chips on satellites and other
make the Xbox 720 unique compared to its rivals. Microsoft                essential technology.
refused to confirm the rumour, saying only that is is looking
for new ways to “defy the lifecycle convention” that existing
consoles face.                                                            To get an idea of the potential damage a solar storm can do,
                                                                          there was a significant one in 1989 which knocked out the
                                                                          power grid in Quebec, Canada, resulting in six million people
                                                                          having no power.
Solar storm hits Earth today,
could damage electrics                                                    Another solar flare fired off late on Thursday and scientists
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/solar-storm-hits-earth-today-could-   are currently analysing when it will hit Earth. It is not yet
damage-electrics/15204.html                                               clear if it will cause any damage to electrical equipment here.
March 12th, 2012

A solar storm has rocked the Earth today, with the potential
to cause damage and disruption to electrical systems.                     Solar flares and storms are a natural part of the Sun's 11-
                                                                          year cycle, which is expected to peak next year. We will likely
                                                                          see stronger and more frequent activity from the Sun in the
                                                                          build-up to that.
                                                                                                                                      14
March 12th, 2012                                                                                                         Published by: VR-Zone


                                                                         Could the MeMO 370T be the
Image Credit: NASA
                                                                         rumored Google-ASUS 7-inch
$35 Raspberry Pi computer                                                tablet?
                                                                         Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/could-the-memo-370t-be-the-
delayed due to manufacturing                                             rumored-google-asus-7-inch-tablet-/15199.html

mess-up                                                                  March 12th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/-35-raspberry-pi-computer-delayed-
due-to-manufacturing-mess-up/15203.html
March 12th, 2012



                                                                         Even though Apple has announced their new iPad tablet,
                                                                         the Android camp has been spreading the news of a 7-inch
                                                                         tablet, reportedly a Google tablet manufactured by ASUS.
The $35 Raspberry Pi computer has been delayed due to a
mistake in the manufacturing process which saw the wrong
networking jack soldered onto the circuit board.
The $35 Raspberry Pi computer has been delayed due to a
mistake in the manufacturing process which saw the wrong
networking jack soldered onto the circuit board.
The credit-card sized computer, which features just the bare
essentials, went on sale at the end of February, but the
company behind it revealed that the first shipment of the
device won't be able to connect to a computer network due
to the mess-up with the networking jack.
The problem arose in the Chinese factory that Raspberry Pi
is outsourcing production to in order to keep down costs.


                                                                         The MeMO 370T made its appearance during the Nvidia
                                                                         keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show 2012, as well
                                                                         as at ASUS booth. But thereafter, it has kept a low profile
                                                                         from other activities including the recent Mobile World
                                                                         Congress in Barcelona. Reportedly to be priced at US$249,
                                                                         the MeMO 370T features a 7-inch display and incorporates
                                                                         Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor. Its sibling, MeMO 171
                                                                         has been announced to launch on 5 March (have anyone
                                                                         seen it yet?). With recent news of Google and ASUS to jointly
                                                                         launch a 7-inch tablet - priced between US$199 to US$249 -
                                                                         and preinstalled with Google Android 4.x operating system.
                                                                         From our reliable sources, the Google-ASUS tablet would be
                                                                         the MeMO 370T, and scheduled to launch end of April or
                                                                         May this year. This is because Computex will be in June and
                                                                         at that time, ASUS will be showcasing more tablets.
The incident would not be such a disaster were it not
for the fact that the networking jack is the only thing
that distinguishes this particular model from the other one
Raspberry Pi is selling, effectively turning the model B device
                                                                         Super Talent prepare
into a model A.                                                          RAIDDrive upStream PCIe
An even bigger problem for the company going forward is                  SSD for consumers
that it is facing supply issues for the proper networking jack,          Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/super-talent-prepare-raiddrive-
which means further delays for the sold-out cheap as chips               upstream-pcie-ssd-for-consumers/15200.html
computer, which has met with a positive reception by many                March 12th, 2012
sectors of society.




                                                                         Super Talent displayed a new PCI-e based flash storage
                                                                         system at CeBIT that it plans to release to market by the end
                                                                                                                                               15
March 12th, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

of April. Dubbed the RAIDDrive upStream, it promises to
deliver superior performance to that of conventional SSDs
but will cost less than existing PCI-e products from the
company.
Super Talent displayed a new PCI-e based flash storage
system at CeBIT that it plans to release to market by the end
of April. Dubbed the RAIDDrive upStream, it promises to
deliver superior performance to that of conventional SSDs
but will cost less than existing PCI-e products from the
company.
The RAIDDrive UpStream is Sandforce-driven with the
implementation of four storage drives in an abstract RAID
group. It uses the PCIe 1.1 x8 interface for connectivity and
is capable of pushing out sequential speeds as high as 1GB/
s read and 900MB/sec write rates.
                                                                     The slide also points to June 3rd for the arrival of certain
                                                                     other Core i5 models, while dual-core Core i3 and Pentium
                                                                     Ivy Bridge models are slated for "Holiday".
                                                                     Intel's coinciding 7-series chipset motherboards (Z77, Z75,
                                                                     H77 & B75) will also be released to market on April 29th,
                                                                     with enterprise level Q77 and Q75 Express chipset boards to
                                                                     follow in June.


                                                                     Microsoft's Patch Tuesday to
                                                                     roll in six new updates
                                                                     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-s-patch-tuesday-to-roll-in-
                                                                     six-new-updates/15196.html
                                                                     March 12th, 2012


Super Talent said that the RAIDDrive UpStream is aimed
more toward the consumer rather than at the enterprise
level thanks to the more aggressive pricing that will put it
in line with the likes of OCZ's RevoDrive X2. It will become         Microsoft is gearing up for another Patch Tuesday next week
available in capacities of 220GB, 460GB and 960GB.                   which will comprise six new updates - one rated as being
We'll be sure to share out pricing info with you all on these        'Critical', four that are 'Important' and one 'Moderate'.
super quick PCI-e based SSDs from Super Talent as soon as            Microsoft is gearing up for another Patch Tuesday next week
possible.                                                            which will comprise six new updates - one rated as being
                                                                     'Critical', four that are 'Important' and one 'Moderate'.
New slide confirms April 29th
launch date for Ivy Bridge
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-slide-confirms-april-29th-
launch-date-for-ivy-bridge/15198.html
March 12th, 2012




A newly leaked slide on Intel's Ivy Bridge launch schedule
has hit the web which puts any previous uncertainty to rest          The patches are to resolve seven vulnerabilities that
in terms of when exactly the first wave of chips will hit retail.    potentially allow remote code execution or DoS (Denial
A newly leaked slide on Intel's Ivy Bridge launch schedule           of Service) attacks. The software affected includes several
has hit the web which puts any previous uncertainty to rest          versions of Microsoft Windows up to and including
in terms of when exactly the first wave of chips will hit retail.    Windows 7, Visual Studio and Expression Design.
As also indicated in recent reports, that day does indeed
look to be April 29th with a bunch of Core i7 and i5 desktop
models hitting retail at this time.



                                                                                                                                           16
March 12th, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone


OCZ demos the Vertex 4 at
CeBIT
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-demos-the-vertex-4-at-
cebit/15195.html
March 12th, 2012




Last week OCZ announced that it was going to be showing off
its Indilinx Everest 2 based Vertex 4 SSD at CeBIT and the
company did indeed have a couple of units up and running
                                                                 Apparently we can expect capacities of up to 2TB once the
at the show. What we're not so sure about is the so called
                                                                 Vertex 4 arrives, but apart from that OCZ didn't say much
industry leading performance that the press release was
                                                                 about the Vertex 4. Just a note on the performance figures,
talking about, but it's by no means a sloth.
                                                                 the drives at the show have been benchmarking straight for a
Last week OCZ announced that it was going to be showing off      few days by now and as such what we're looking at isn't peak
its Indilinx Everest 2 based Vertex 4 SSD at CeBIT and the       performance numbers from IOMeter, but rather the kind of
company did indeed have a couple of units up and running         performance you'd see from the drive after it has been in use
at the show. What we're not so sure about is the so called       for some time.
industry leading performance that the press release was
talking about, but it's by no means a sloth.
                                                                 Razer unveils Goliathus e-
                                                                 Sports edition mouse mat,
                                                                 beginning with Team Liquid
                                                                 Edition
                                                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/razer-unveils-goliathus-e-sports-
                                                                 edition-mouse-mat-beginning-with-team-liquid-edition/15194.html
                                                                 March 12th, 2012




                                                                 The Razer Goliathus mouse mat was launched mid last year,
OCZ claims preliminary performance numbers of up to              and today, the gaming peripheral company has unveiled the
90,000 IOPS or 500MB/s and although the company didn't           e-Sports edition. And the first team mat to be made available
say, we presume these are read performance figures. To           for purchase is the Team Liquid edition.
back up those claims, the company was also running live
IOMeter demos where the drives were hitting about 85k
IOPS, something that might be able to be improved with
newer firmware revisions.
IOMeter was also reporting read speeds of about
330-335MB/s, quite a way off from OCZ's claims, but it's
worth keeping in mind that the Everest 2 controller doesn't
rely on data compression like SandForce based controllers,
which means that the Vertex 4 could in fact be vastly faster
for those working with a lot of incompressible data like
video.




                                                                 The Razer Goliathus e-Sports edition mouse mat is designed
                                                                 to meet the expectations of world's top professional gamers,
                                                                 and features anti-fraying stitched frame for extended
                                                                 durability. It features the speed-enhancing surface that

                                                                                                                                         17
March 12th, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

offers fast responsiveness and precision control for almost      a RM10,000 winner-takes-all final, and the weakest links
all kinds of playstyles and mouse sensitivitiy. The Team         being eliminated at each passing stage.
Liquid edition is the first team mat to be made available for
purchase and each of the e-Sports edition mouse mat sports
the iconic logos and colors of the world’s top e-Sports teams.   In collaboration with the highly anticipated and successful
                                                                 Garena Malaysia Carnival, the grand finals will be held
                                                                 in December, where the finalists will meet for the total
Garena kicks off largest                                         grand prize money of RM340,000. The crowned champion
Malaysian e-Sports                                               will take home RM300,000 prize money, while the second
                                                                 and third placing will be presented with RM30,000 and
Tournament - Heroes                                              RM10,000 respectively.
of Newerth National
Championship 2012                                                The Showgirls @ IT Show
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/garena-kicks-off-largest-    2012
malaysian-e-sports-tournament--heroes-of-newerth-national-       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-showgirls--it-
championship-2012/15193.html                                     show-2012/15191.html
March 12th, 2012                                                 March 12th, 2012




if you're staying in Malaysia and is an avid gamer of Heroes     What's IT Show without the show girls? Well, worry not.
of Newerth real-time strategy (RTS) game, you can take part      Here are some pictures that are being taken at the IT Show
in the National Championship which will be commencing            2012. (Photo credit: AS1 from vrforums)
next month, featuring over RM500,000 worth in cash
prizes.




Garena has announced the largest official Malaysian e-
Sports tournament this year, the Heroes of Newerth
National Championship 2012, which features over
RM500,000 in cash prizes. Exclusively for Malaysians, the
tournament will kick off in April 2012. Registration for the
tournament will be opened to players of every league, and
the victors of each qualifier tournament are blocked from
participating in subsequent events. Even the vanquished
would stand a chance to make a comeback in later qualifiers.


Qualifiers will be played over the course of eight months        The gorgeous ladies at the Razer booth
whereby the events will be hosted in six different states
in Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang, Perak,
Johor and Sarawak. An online tournament will also be
held in conjunction with the events to accommodate the
various participating teams who will be competing for a
RM160,000 cash pool; a total of 16 different qualifiers with

                                                                                                                                    18
March 12th, 2012                                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone

                                                              The gals from Avira security software


                                                              Warner Bros. Interactive
                                                              Entertainment and Gaikai
                                                              bring cloud-based streaming
                                                              MMO game to your browser
                                                              Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/warner-bros.-interactive-
                                                              entertainment-and-gaikai-bring-cloud-based-streaming-mmo-game-to-
                                                              your-browser/15190.html
                                                              March 12th, 2012




                                                              A year ago, cloud-based gaming service Gaikai went live,
                                                              with the promise of quality gaming and no need for
                                                              installation of software or upgrade your PC. Gaikai has
                                                              recently announced an agreement with Warner Bros.
                                                              Interactive Entertainment to bring The Lord of the Rings
                                                              Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online to your web
                                                              browser




Are you looking to buy a spy equipment? These lovely ladies
could give you some recommendations




                                                              Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Gaikai have
                                                              collaborated to launch the world's first cloud-Based
                                                              streaming massively multiplayer online games (MMOs)
                                                              to the players without the need for any download or
                                                              installation. Players across North America can stream The
                                                              Lord of The Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online
                                                              directly from each game’s own website via a simple one-step
                                                              registration process. This would provide instant access to try
                                                              the full version free-to-play games on their web browser. The
                                                              Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online
                                                              are two of the most popular premium free-to-play games
                                                              on the market today, featuring an innovative hybrid pricing
                                                              model that allows players to play for free, purchase elements
                                                              from the in-game store, or subscribe to get VIP access to the
                                                              game’s content.


                                                              Chat with Intel's David
                                                              McKloskey on Ultrabooks
                                                              Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/chat-with-intel-s-david-mckloskey-
                                                              on-ultrabooks/15189.html


                                                                                                                                   19
March 12th, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

March 12th, 2012                                                  expect more than 75 Ultrabook designs to be available or in
                                                                  development in 2012.
                                                                  3, We are in the transition of Sandy bridge/IVB
                                                                  rollout - what is Intel's recommendation for users
                                                                  who want to buy an UTB now, shall they go with SNB
                                                                  UTB or wait for IVB to come out
The other day when we did the Xeon E5 interview with the
Intel's David McCloskey (Director of Product Marketing and        As always, I'd say that if you need an Ultrabook now, or
Business Operations), we took the opportunity to ask him a        any computer for that matter, then buy it now. Moore's Law
bit about the Ultrabooks.                                         means there will always be new innovations coming around
                                                                  corner.


                                                                  AFOX shows off single slot
                                                                  Radeon HD 7850 at CeBIT
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/afox-shows-off-single-slot-radeon-
                                                                  hd-7850-at-cebit/15188.html
                                                                  March 12th, 2012




1, What are the challenges & opportunities for delivering the
UTB platform, in terms of delivering the best combination of      It can't be easy being a tier three graphics card maker, but
performance, size & power, etc? Maybe highlight what you're       AFOX out of Hong Kong showed off a custom made Radeon
doing in perfecting the UTB component supply?                     HD 7850 card at CeBIT. The card is the first single slot
                                                                  Radeon HD 7850 card we've seen so far and despite this,
I'll start with the opportunities and saying we've been           AFOX has managed to squeeze in four display connectors.
pleasantly surprised by how well the Ultrabooks have been
received in the industry. If you think about the fact that        It can't be easy being a tier three graphics card maker, but
we only unveiled the Ultrabook concept to the world at            AFOX out of Hong Kong showed off a custom made Radeon
Computex last year, we've come a very long way---to a point       HD 7850 card at CeBIT. The card is the first single slot
in which 2012 is being talked about in the press as the year      Radeon HD 7850 card we've seen so far and despite this,
of the Ultrabook.                                                 AFOX has managed to squeeze in four display connectors.

But, by the same token, we've only just begun---Ultrabooks
will come in three phases and we've only seen the first
iteration as yet. The most significant changes are ahead
of us---at CES this year we talked about Ultrabooks with
touch and voice recognition for example. Our 22nm process
technology enables silicon with great power/performance
optimization, which means as we intro and ramp Ivy Bridge
into Ultrabooks beginning in Q2 it will deliver a step function
in processor graphics, as well as allowing for great all-around
performance in thinner form factors.
The biggest challenge for the industry is to continue to
deliver more and more in the Ultrabook experience while
continuing to make them increasingly more affordable and
hence mainstream. Part of that involves direct investment
via the Ultrabook fund but the larger part will come from         The AF7850-1024D5S1 as the card is awkwardly called also
working with customers and the industry to innovate.              differs in terms of its overall specification compared to
2, How are you working with vendors in the region to ramp         AMD's reference cards. For one, the GPU is clocked at
UTB, how do you see your partners are supporting it versus        900MHz rather than 860MHz, a fairly modest overclock,
the launch of your regular notebook platform?                     but still a peculiar move considering the single slot the
                                                                  design. As the model name gives away, AFOX halved the
Vendors globally have rallied their support to design,
                                                                  graphics memory to 1GB and underclocked it by 75MHz
launch, and ramp Ultrabooks. APAC and PRC OEMs and
                                                                  (300MHz effectively) for an effective clock speed of 4.5GHz
ODMs have broadly embraced the category as demonstrated
                                                                  compared to 4.8GHz.
by their products. In addition we have accelerated our
investments in the ecosystem to drive innovation and supply
availability of critical components. Our partners are ramping
Ultrabooks in line with their segmentation and pricing
strategies for their broader notebook lineups. Already more
than 15 models are available from such including Acer,
ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG, Samsung and Toshiba. We

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

                                                                        been upgraded with an AMD E450 APU whereas Zotac is still
                                                                        using the older E350. The Elite sports two USB 2.0 ports,
                                                                        two USB 3.0 ports, a DisplayPort and HDMI connector, an
                                                                        eSATA port, Gigabit Ethernet, a memory card reader, audio
                                                                        jacks and built in 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.




                                                                        There's room for an internal 2.5-inch drive and there's a
                                                                        single SO-DIMM slot for memory. We have to say that the
                                                                        Manli Elite has a much nicer looking enclosure than the
                                                                        ZBOX mini's, in part due to the lack of the brightly coloured
                                                                        circles used by Zotac in its design. Manli is also offering
                                                                        an optional media center remote with the Elite and pre-
                                                                        configured models with 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive
                                                                        will also be available in selected markets.


                                                                        Gigabyte's whitebox Android
                                                                        tablet is powered by Nvidia
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/gigabyte-s-whitebox-android-tablet-
What's more impressive though is that AFOX has managed                  is-powered-by-nvidia/15186.html
to squeeze in a dual-link DVI port, an HDMI port, a                     March 12th, 2012
DisplayPort and a mini DisplayPory connector. We're not
entirely sold on the cooling design, as we have a feeling
that the fairly modest fan is going to be quite noisy, but
either which way, the card is an impressive attempt at doing
something different.

                                                                        We're not entirely sure what's going on within Gigabyte, but
Manli gets back into the tiny                                           currently it's ODM aka "whitebox" department has much
PC market with the Elite                                                more impressive tablet than its notebook division. That said,
                                                                        the GN-TB100 as the tablet is known as should at least arrive
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/manli-gets-back-into-the-tiny-pc-   somewhere in retail, although under a different brand so it
market-with-the-elite/15187.html                                        might take some figuring out as to who will be selling it.
March 12th, 2012
                                                                        We're not entirely sure what's going on within Gigabyte, but
                                                                        currently it's ODM aka "whitebox" department has much
                                                                        more impressive tablet than its notebook division. That said,
                                                                        the GN-TB100 as the tablet is known as should at least arrive
                                                                        somewhere in retail, although under a different brand so it
Manli – one of several companies that is part of the PC                 might take some figuring out as to who will be selling it.
Partner group out of Hong Kong – was showing off its latest
mini PC at CeBIT and it's simply called the Manli Elite. It's
similar to Zotac's ZBOX mini systems, but with a different
design and upgraded hardware.
Manli – one of several companies that is part of the PC
Partner group out of Hong Kong – was showing off its latest
mini PC at CeBIT and it's simply called the Manli Elite. It's
similar to Zotac's ZBOX mini systems, but with a different
design and upgraded hardware.
In fact, it appears to be the same motherboard in both the
Manli Elite and Zotac's ZBOX mini AD10, but the Elite have

                                                                                                                                             21
March 12th, 2012                                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone

                                                              Gigabyte claims that the 4,100mAh battery pack is good
                                                              for up to 10.5h of 720p video playback. The GN-TB100
                                                              will come with either Android 3.2 or 4.0 and Gigabyte
                                                              will provide a desktop sync application with the tablet.
                                                              Overall the tablet felt pretty good in the hand and although
                                                              Gigabyte's claim of it being extremely thin at 12mm is a bit
                                                              exaggerated, it's not too heavy at 750g. It's a surprisingly
                                                              good product considering it's Gigabyte's first real attempt
                                                              at an Android tablet and vastly superior to the notebook
                                                              divisions Windows tablet.


                                                              Cooler Master unveils the
                                                              Silencio 650 at CeBIT
                                                              Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cooler-master-unveils-the-
                                                              silencio-650-at-cebit/15185.html
                                                              March 12th, 2012
The GN-TB100 isn't a cutting edge tablet as such, but it
features a 10.1-inch screen with 1280x800 resolution with
four-point multi-touch support. A dual core Nvidia Tegra 2
SoC clocked at 1GHz has been paired up with 1GB of memory
to make up the core of the GN-TB100. There will be options
for 16 or 32GB of flash storage, but this will be down to
Gigabyte's partners to choose and might not be available in
all markets.                                                  Besides an onslaught of new motherboards, the other big
                                                              thing at CeBIT this year appears to be new chassis. Cooler
                                                              Master had a few new models on display – of which a
                                                              few were current models in new colours – but one that
                                                              caught our eye was the Siliencio 650 which has some rather
                                                              interesting features of which one is unique to this case as far
                                                              as we're aware.
                                                              Besides an onslaught of new motherboards, the other big
                                                              thing at CeBIT this year appears to be new chassis. Cooler
                                                              Master had a few new models on display – of which a
                                                              few were current models in new colours – but one that
                                                              caught our eye was the Siliencio 650 which has some rather
                                                              interesting features of which one is unique to this case as far
                                                              as we're aware.



The GN-TB100 will also come with a 5Megapixel rear camera
and a 2Megapixel front camera. It has a microSD and a SIM
card slot – for optional 3G connectivity – hidden behind a
flap next the mini HDMI connector. We were also surprised
to see a mini USB port rather than the now much more
popular micro USB connector. There's also 802.11b/g/n
WipFu, Bluetooth 2.1+ EDR, an FM radio, a GPS, G-sensor,
gyroscope, digital compass, light sensor and of course a
headset jack.




                                                                                                                                22
March 12th, 2012                                                                                         Published by: VR-Zone

                                                              removed to allow for longer graphics cards. Due to the fact
                                                              that someone had attached a plate from what appears to
                                                              be an AMD motherboard, we're not entirely sure how many
                                                              drive bays are on offer and it almost appears as if Cooler
                                                              Master was trying to hide something here.




Unlike the previous Silencio models, the 650 doesn't have
any padding at the rear of the door, instead Cooler Master
has swapped the plastic door for a solid slab of aluminium
which should help reduce the noise to a degree. Behind the
door is a pair of 5.25-inch drive bays, a hot-swappable bay
and an easily removable fan filter which hides a pair of      Overall the internal design is pretty much what we've come
120mm fans.                                                   to expect from Cooler Master with a 7+1 rear slot layout,
                                                              a single rear 120mm fan and a bottom mounted PSU. The
                                                              interesting stuff as well as one real head scratcher takes place
                                                              on the top of the chassis. Underneath a sliding cover, Cooler
                                                              Master has fitted two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports as well
                                                              as a pair of audio jacks and an SD cards slot and of course
                                                              the power and reset buttons, so nothing really out of the
                                                              ordinary here, but we do like the inclusion of the SD card
                                                              reader which seems to become increasingly common on new
                                                              chassis from Cooler Master.




Whoever built the demo system didn't seem to be aware of
a product called cable ties, but disregarding the rats nest
inside the Silencio 650 we have a typical Cooler Master
design with two separate drive cages of which one can be

                                                                                                                           23
March 12th, 2012                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone

If you look just below the USB 3.0 ports you'll see two slides,    there are still some companies that bother making cases for
the one to the left controls the fan speed and again isn't         those that wants something that blocks out at least some of
anything really unusual, but the second switch had a lot of        the noise that computers can produce. Sadly we can't tell you
people guessing. Yours truly on the other hand figured it          when the Silencio 650 will be available, nor were we given
out within seconds. What you're looking it as a boot drive         an indication on pricing.
selector via a hardware switch. Normally you'd have to go
into the BIOS to switch boot drive, but in this case it's just a
matter of sliding the switch from one position to the other. It
might not be the ideal solution for everyone, but it's a quick
and easy way to switch between operating systems.




What we didn't get though was the top mounted air vent, as it
appears as if a fan can be mounted here, but for some reason
the engineers thought it would be a good idea to add a sliding
door here so the air vent could be closed. This makes about as
much sense as having a convertible car that you never open
the roof on. At least this time around Cooler Master added
noise insulating padding to both side panels of the chassis.




Overall the Silencio 650 looks like a decent case and it's
worth keeping in mind that model on display at CeBIT was a
prototype and not the final product. It's also good to see that

                                                                                                                              24
March 14th, 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.


Star Wars: The Old Republic
free to play this weekend
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/star-wars-the-old-republic-free-to-
play-this-weekend/15248.html
March 14th, 2012



                   Get out your lightsabers and blasters,
because Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare's first foray                This is unlikely to happen, however, as Tesco has already
into the world on MMORPGs, will be free to play this                      blamed the situation on an IT error. It said it would cancel
weekend.                                                                  all of the purchases in question and refund any money paid.

Tesco will not honour sales                                               This is not the first time Tesco has made a mistake like this.
after 50 pound iPad offer                                                 In January 2011 a glitch saw 36 cans of lager go on sale for
                                                                          £11, resulting in the store calling the police to keep order as
blunder                                                                   the shop was crowded with people looking for bargain beer.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/tesco-will-not-honour-sales-          A similar problem in October saw Terry's Chocolate Oranges
after-50-pound-ipad-offer-blunder/15247.html                              retail for a mere £0.29.
March 14th, 2012

                                                                          As the shops slogan goes, “Every little helps.” Unfortunately
                                                                          offering an unbeatable deal in error and then taking it away
                                                                          does not help at all.



Supermarket chain Tesco has refused to honour sales of
Apple's popular iPad tablet after it accidentally listed the              Teen wins Intel award for
price on its website for £49.99 rather than £499.99.
                                                                          breast cancer research
Supermarket chain Tesco has refused to honour sales of                    Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/teen-wins-intel-award-for-breast-
Apple's popular iPad tablet after it accidentally listed the              cancer-research/15246.html
price on its website for £49.99 rather than £499.99.                      March 14th, 2012



Tesco Direct made the pricing blunder on its website for the
iPad Wi-Fi 4G 64GB black model and only spotted the error
after numerous sales went through.

                                                                          A US teenager has won the top prize of $100,000
Customers thought it was their lucky day, with many                       from the Intel Science Talent Search competition for his
scrambling to purchase the tablet computer for a tenth of                 groundbreaking research on breast cancer, which could
its retail cost. News spread like wildfire across the internet,           revolutionise treatment.
eventually crashing the Tesco website as everyone tried to                A US teenager has won the top prize of $100,000
grab what they thought was a bargain.                                     from the Intel Science Talent Search competition for his
                                                                          groundbreaking research on breast cancer, which could
                                                                          revolutionise treatment.
While this is an obvious error it is still a mistake on the part
of Tesco, not its customers, so it's understandable why many
feel it should honour the price.                                          17-year-old Nithin Tumma, from Fort Gratiot, Michigan,
                                                                          was awarded the prestigious first place honours from the
                                                                                                                                                  1
March 14th, 2012                                                                                                          Published by: VR-Zone

Intel Foundation after he discovered that certain proteins              stores past midnight like M1, so do save the hassle of
in cancer cells could be inhibited to slow their growth and             queueing.
decrease their malignancy.

                                                                        Giada's Uni-box is a split-
The potential benefits of this finding include the
development of a more direct, targeted, effective and less
                                                                        level computer
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/giada-s-uni-box-is-a-split-level-
toxic treatment for breast cancer, a goal that many scientists
                                                                        computer/15244.html
have been working on for some time.
                                                                        March 14th, 2012




                                                                        We saw a preview of Giada's Uni-box just ahead of CeBIT
                                                                        and at the show we got a couple of minutes of hands on
                                                                        time with it and there's a reason for the unusually two-tone
                                                                        chassis design, as the Uni-box is made up from two different
                                                                        PCBs. In fact, the main motherboard was never intended for
Tumma is first in his class of 332, is a varsity tennis player          the Uni-box and as such we're looking at something of a bi-
and does volunteer work for the Port Huron Museum, where                product here that worked out to be an interesting product in
he initiated a restoration program for historical and cultural          its own right.
landmarks, showing that his contributions to society extend
                                                                        We saw a preview of Giada's Uni-box just ahead of CeBIT
beyond his scientific research.
                                                                        and at the show we got a couple of minutes of hands on
                                                                        time with it and there's a reason for the unusually two-tone
Tumma was not the only teen to win awards. Andrew Sushko                chassis design, as the Uni-box is made up from two different
and Mimi Yen, both also 17, won second and third place                  PCBs. In fact, the main motherboard was never intended for
respectively for their developments in tiny motors and the              the Uni-box and as such we're looking at something of a bi-
study of the evolution and genetics of microscopic worms.               product here that worked out to be an interesting product in
                                                                        its own right.

“We invest in America’s future when we recognize the
innovative achievements of our nation’s brightest young
minds,” said Paul Otellini, President and CEO of Intel.
“Hands-on experience with math and science, such as
that required of Intel Science Talent Search finalists,
encourages young people to think critically, solve problems
and understand the world around them. Rather than simply
memorizing facts and formulas, or repeating experiments
with known outcomes, this competition engages students in
an exciting way and provides a deeper level of understanding
in such important but challenging subjects.”


SingTel and StarHub
announce new iPad to retail
in stores on 16 March
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/singtel-and-starhub-announce-new-
ipad-to-retail-in-stores-on-16-march/15245.html
March 14th, 2012

                                                                        Giada will offer the Uni-box with a range of CPU options,
                                                                        although the base option which is likely to be the most
                                                                        common one includes a Celeron 857 which isn't exactly a
                       With M1 Limited announcing                       performance CPU. That said, Core i3, i5 and i7 options will
yesterday that the new iPad will hit the stores on 16 March,            be available, although as you might've guessed, the Uni-box
it is only expected that the other two telecommunication                uses mobile CPUs which are relatively costly.
companies, SingTel and StarHub, would follow shortly
with their own announcements. However, both SingTel
and StarHub will not have the iPad launch at their retail



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




                                                                 NTT Docomo unveils SH-06D
                                                                 NERV special edition Android
                                                                 smartphone
The two halves of the Uni-box are connected via a PCI            Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ntt-docomo-unveils-sh-06d-nerv-
Express interface and that is how it's possible to have things   special-edition-android-smartphone/15242.html
like the DisplayPort and DVI connector on the lower half         March 14th, 2012
of the Uni-box. The interesting thing here though is the
fact that Giada also sells the motherboard on its own and
it's called the NI-HM65T. The motherboard measures a
mere 120x128mm and it sports a single SO-DIMM slot, one
mSATA slot and a half-size mini PCI Express slot.

                                                                 NTT Docomo in Japan has unveiled the special edition
                                                                 Android smartphone that will launch in June, in conjunction
                                                                 with the "Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo" movie. The
                                                                 SH-06D NERV will be showcased at the NOTTV booth at the
                                                                 Anime Expo 2012 (held at Makuhari Messe in Japan) during
                                                                 the weekend, 31 March and 1 April.




To the right of the motherboard is an extension PCB that
Giada will offer that adds additional USB ports, a second
HDMI port, a DisplayPort, headset jacks and a couple of
SATA ports. The company can also make custom PCBs for
system integrators for the NI-HM65T and we might be
seeing a wide range of devices based on this motherboard
in the future from various companies. We were told that
the original concept for the motherboard was some kind of        The "Eva mobile" was extremely well received when it was
media player/streaming TV service STB for China, but we          first launched in 2009. And this year, NTT Docomo has
weren't told what that product is called, only that it was co-   come up with the second "NEXT series SH-06D NERV"
developed with Intel.                                            special edition phone, manufactured by Sharp, and will be
                                                                 launched in conjunction with the movie "Evangelion: 3.0
                                                                 You Can (Not) Redo" in June. The Evangelion: 3.0 You Can
                                                                 (Not) Redo is a Japanese animated film directed by Kazuya
                                                                 Tsurumaki and Hideaki Anno, and is the third of four movies
                                                                 released in the Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy, based on the
                                                                 original anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion.
                                                                 The SH-06D NERV special edition model reproduces the
                                                                 view of the world in the movie with the same concept of
                                                                 "government paramilitary organization NERV". The body

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

design, built-in content, as well as user interface are made         Next up we have the very odd looking TD-W8968 which is
to reflect the world of "Evangelion", and is supervised by           an all-in-one ADSL2+ modem, router and 802.11b/g/n Wi-
the color studio production company. The picture that has            Fi access point with a USB 2.0 port for printer or storage/
been released only shows the the rear panel of the phone -           media sharing. We’re not sold on the looks, but the TP-Link
the NERV logo, as well as the FeliCa mark. (FeliCa is the            representative we spoke to said that it had been popular with
contactless RFID smart card system used in Japan). Details           its customers.
on pre-orders and other information have yet to be released.
The price is rumored to be slightly higher than the original
Sharp SH-06D, though the special edition smartphone will
only be available in limited quantity. The SH-06D NERV will
be showcased at the NOTTV booth at the Anime Expo 2012
(held at Makuhari Messe in Japan) during the weekend, on
31 March and 1 April.


TP-Link shows off new line of
routers and more at CeBIT
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/tp-link-shows-off-new-line-of-
routers-and-more-at-cebit/15241.html
March 14th, 2012




Routers may not be the most exciting piece of hardware
around, but TP-Link has come up with some new designs
that look a lot more attractive than its current range of
products. Besides improved looks, the company has also
added much improved performance to some of its upcoming
models.
TP-Link has a bit of an odd mix of new products and starting         The next device is a new venture for TP-Link in some ways, as
at the bottom of sorts we have the TL-MR3040 which is a              the TD-VG3631 offers all the functionality of the TD-W8968,
new portable router that has a built in battery which can            but adds a second USB 2.0 port and more importantly, it’s a
be used to either power a USB 3G modem, or charge USB                VoIP gateway with two FXS ports and one FXO port which
devices. It only sports 150Mbps Wi-Fi, but there’s at least a        allows for regular phones to be attached to it so they can be
WAN port as well as a USB port, so it can be used to share a         used with VoIP services. The TD-VG3631 features a more
wired hotel connection as well as operate as a 3G router.            business like design, although we’re once again not sure we
                                                                     think it’s an improvement.




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




                                                                   The difference between the models are fairly minor, as the
                                                                   TL-WDR3600 is a 300/300Mbps router, whereas the TL-
                                                                   WDR4300 adds 450Mbps support on the 5GHz band and
                                                                   finally the TL-WDR4900 offers speeds of up to 450Mbps
                                                                   on both bands. The company is also offering similar models
                                                                   with built in ADSL2+ modems, but we didn’t catch the model
                                                                   names on those.
                                                                   The final new product on display was the TL-NS210, TP-
                                                                   Link’s first NAS which features a 1.2GHz Marvell processor,
                                                                   space for two hard drives, three USB 2.0 ports with the front
                                                                   port offering direct copying of files via a button and a Gigabit
                                                                   Ethernet port. On the software side the TL-NS210 offers a
                                                                   built in web server as well as the regular media and file
                                                                   sharing features you’d expect from a NAS.
Moving on we got three new routers in the same series that
all sports the same design and this time around TP-Link has
done a much better job, albeit our pictures aren’t the best
thanks to a lot of reflections in the Perspex that was shielding
the routers from the visitors at the show. The new models are
called the TL-WDR3600, TL-WDR4300 and TL-WDR4900
and all three models sport simultaneous dual-band 802.11n
support, two USB 2.0 ports and a full set of Gigabit Ethernet
ports on both the LAN and WAN side.




                                                                   When we quizzed TP-Link about 802.11ac products the
                                                                   company said it will be offering them in due time, but it’s
                                                                   early days yet and they feel that it’s more important to focus
                                                                   on its current range of products. We have a feeling it might
                                                                   not be that long to wait before we see the first 802.11ac
                                                                   devices in the market, but it’s likely that the cost will be fairly
                                                                   high at the start and as such people will stick with 802.11n
                                                                   for quite a while still.




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

                                                                       and then cooled by an external cooling system outside of the
Boston's Hardcore LSS 200                                              building. In fact, the heat could actually be extracted and
blade server is oil cooled                                             used to heat other parts of the building. Apparently there’s
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/boston-s-hardcore-lss-200-blade-   an 80 percent energy saving – in terms of cooling costs – and
server-is-oil-cooled/15240.html                                        a 40 percent cost saving – again in terms of cooling cost –
March 14th, 2012                                                       to use a system like this over a traditional air cooled server
                                                                       room.


                                                                       There are of course some major drawbacks of this otherwise
                                                                       superior cooling solution, as for one it’s difficult to clean the
                                                                       components inside the blades, although as each blade is hot-
                                                                       swappable, this isn’t a concern for the customer. Then it’s
We’ve seen a fair few whacky cooling solutions over the                the fact that each rack will be heavier than an air cooled
years, but a server cooled by mineral oil is a new one to              rack thanks to the oil and extra plumbing needed, so current
us, even though it’s hardly a new idea in itself. Boston was           server rooms are often unsuitable for retrofitting for this
demoing a small unit of its Hardcore LSS 200 blade server              type of cooling. Finally it’s quite a complex install due to the
solution at CeBIT which uses custom made enclosures for                plumbing requirements for the coolant, again making this an
the slim-line Super Micro blade motherboards, but things               unsuitable technology in many current installations.
are a lot more complex than that.
The idea behind the Hardcore LSS 200 is that current server
rooms are anything but ideal, as they rely on large open
spaces with cool air being blown in at floor level and vented
out at ceiling level, not exactly and elegant solution and it’s
hard to get the cool air to reach the servers in the racks. The
Hardcore LSS 200 on the other hand means that there’s no
need for the air conditioning and on top of that, the server
can be packed much denser.




                                                                       However, for a new server room installation, especially in
                                                                       hot and humid countries where a lot more energy is required
                                                                       to cool down and potentially dehumidify the air; this is an
                                                                       excellent solution in the right circumstances. We should
                                                                       mention that the technology was developed by LiquidBlade
                                                                       and not Boston, but Boston has the competence to build
                                                                       installations based on the technology and the Hardcore
                                                                       LSS 200 is a custom solution from Boston based on
                                                                       LiquidBlade’s technology. Just on case our poor description
                                                                       of how it works wasn’t clear enough, have a look at the video
                                                                       and you’ll get a clearer idea of what the advantages of this
                                                                       technology are.




Why you ask? It’s because each blade is connected to what              OCZ Octane 512GB SSD
can only be described as a plumbing system for the mineral
oil, where cool oil enters each of the blades in a rack and            Review
is then being circulated by a small pump inside the blade.             Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-octane-512gb-ssd-
The hot oil exits the blade and the oil from all of the blades         review/15238.html
are extracted out of the server room via a pipeline system
                                                                                                                                          6
March 14th, 2012                                                                                                Published by: VR-Zone

March 14th, 2012                                                   • Max Read: up to 480MB/s
                                                                   • Max Write: up to 330MB/s
                                                                   • Random Write 4KB: 26,000 IOPS
                                                                   • Random Read 4KB: 35,000 IOPS

It was a year ago when OCZ decided to acquire Indilinx, a
major designer and manufacturer of SSD drive controllers,      NCSoft reveals pre-order
revealing the company’s medium-to-long term business plan
to focus a large percentage of their operations on the SSD
                                                               details for Guild Wars 2
                                                               Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ncsoft-reveals-pre-order-details-for-
drives market. Today we are going to examine the fruits of
                                                               guild-wars-2/15236.html
that merger by testing and reviewing the Octane, the first
                                                               March 14th, 2012
Indilinx-based drive which found its way into our labs after
Indilinx was acquired by OCZ.
It was a year ago when OCZ decided to acquire Indilinx, a
major designer and manufacturer of SSD drive controllers,
revealing the company’s medium-to-long term business plan
to focus a large percentage of their operations on the SSD
drives market. Today we are going to examine the fruits of     NCSoft has revealed details of its pre-order offers for the
that merger by testing and reviewing the Octane, the first     Limited Collector's Edition, Digital Edition and Digitial
Indilinx-based drive which found its way into our labs after   Deluxe Edition of its highly-anticipated Guild Wars 2
Indilinx was acquired by OCZ.                                  massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
                                                               NCSoft has revealed details of its pre-order offers for the
Manufacturer features and specifications                       Limited Collector's Edition, Digital Edition and Digitial
                                                               Deluxe Edition of its highly-anticipated Guild Wars 2
   • Available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB capacities      massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
   • Interface: SATA 6Gbps / Backwards Compatible
     3Gbps
                                                               Anyone who pre-orders will get a guaranteed entry into all
   • 512MB Onboard Cache                                       beta weekend events, a three-day headstart when the game
   • Indilinx Infused™                                         launches, and a Hero's Band in-game item, which offers +2
                                                               to a variety of stats.
   • TRIM Support
   • Background Garbage Collection Support
                                                               The Digital Edition will feature just the core game and will
   • Boot Time Reduction Optimization                          thus be considerably cheaper than other offerings.
   • AES and Automatic Encryption
   • SMART Support                                             The Digital Deluxe Edition will feature the game and a
   • Proprietary Indilinx Ndurance™ Technology                 number of bonus in-game items, such as the Summon
                                                               Mistfire Wolf Elite Skill, Rytlock Miniature, Golem Banker,
   • Low-Latency Seek Time: 0.06ms Read; 0.09ms Write          Chalice of Glory (which gives a one-time boost to Glory for
   • Slim 2.5" Design                                          PvP gear), and a Tome of Influence (giving a one-time boost
                                                               to influence for guild features).
   • 99.8 (L) x 69.63 (W) x 9.3 mm (H)
   • Lightweight: 83g
   • Operating Temp: 0°C ~ 70°C
   • Ambient Temp: 0°C ~ 55°C
   • Storage Temp: -45°C ~ +85°C
   • Low Power Consumption: 1.98W active,1.15W standby
   • Shock Resistant up to 1500G
   • RAID Support
   • MTBF: 1,250,000 hours
   • 3-Year Warranty
   • Compatible with Windows XP, Vista, 7 (32/64 bit),
     Linux, Mac OSX                                            The Limited Collector's Edition includes all of the above and
                                                               some real-life items, such as a 10-inch statue of Rytlock,
                                                               a 112-page “making of” book, a custom art frame, an art
512GB Max Performance                                          portfolio with five prints, and a soundtrack CD.


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

All of this does not come cheap though, as the current price
tag is £129.99 ($205). Prices for the digital versions were
not revealed, but they should be considerably cheaper, given
there won't be any physical product to ship. Users also
need to take into consideration the lack of subscription fees
compared to other MMOs.


Players can begin pre-ordering the game on 10 April.


Marketing firm causes
outrage over using homeless
as wireless hotspots
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/marketing-firm-causes-outrage-over-
using-homeless-as-wireless-hotspots/15235.html
March 14th, 2012                                                          The phrasing on the t-shirts alone drew considerable
                                                                          criticism, as it made the homeless people into objects, like
                                                                          a piece of furniture or an electronic device that can be cast
                                                                          aside.


                                                                          Some saw humour in the event, joking that their Wi-Fi
                                                                          hotspots kept wandering out of range of their devices, thus
A marketing firm has caused controversy over the hiring of
                                                                          ruining their trades.
homeless people to carry mobile Wi-Fi devices at an internet
conference in return for small donations.
A marketing firm has caused controversy over the hiring of                Others thought the idea was ingenious, as it raised questions
homeless people to carry mobile Wi-Fi devices at an internet              about how we treat homeless people. One person highlighted
conference in return for small donations.                                 how it made them question their feelings about those living
                                                                          in shelters or on the streets.

BBH Labs gave 13 volunteers from a homeless shelter Wi-Fi
devices, business cards, and a t-shirt bearing their name and             Many of the volunteers themselves had no problems with the
a message, such as: “I'm Clarence, a 4G Hotspot.”                         project either, with one calling it “an honest day of work and
                                                                          pay.”

The volunteers got $20 a day for their work and were allowed
to keep any donations made by those who attended the                      Source and Image Credit: New York Times
conference. BBH Labs called its Homeless Hotspots project a

                                                                          NVIDIA Adds Windows 8 to
“charitable experiment,” but with such paltry payments and
the objectification of fellow human beings it is not surprising
that some were dismayed by the idea.                                      its Drivers Stack
                                                                          Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-adds-windows-8-to-its-
                                                                          drivers-stack/15232.html
Some onlookers labelled the marketing move as “exploitive,”
                                                                          March 14th, 2012
with one person describing it as something from a “darkly
satirical science-fiction dystopia.” Others pointed to the
huge divide between the haves and have-nots at the events,
with many touting their expensive devices and connecting to
the free Wi-Fi offered by the homeless volunteers.
                                                                          After AMD released its Catalyst beta drivers for Windows 8
                                                                          Consumer Preview, we didn’t have to wait on NVIDIA for
                                                                          too long: the company added Windows 8 to its regular driver
                                                                          update portfolio.
                                                                          Windows 8 Consumer Preview is turning to be the most
                                                                          popular beta program yet, with over a million downloads in
                                                                          the first 24 hours. It will be interesting to see can Microsoft
                                                                          reach 10-15 million downloads in the first month, but in
                                                                          order for that to happen - the companies need to offer new
                                                                          drivers.
                                                                          AMD was the first company out the door to offer a beta
                                                                          version of its Catalyst drivers for Windows 8 Consumer
                                                                          Preview, but NVIDIA came out with a very interesting

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

release today; as of today, the company added Windows 8 to
its driver stack. This means that every new release of drivers
for GeForce and Quadro boards will be simultaneously
launched for both the actual Windows 7/Vista and the
Windows 8 Consumer Preview.




                                                                        The case follows recent announcements by Facebook of a
                                                                        plan to go public later this year for a whopping $5 billion. The
                                                                        timing is particularly significant as Yahoo also sued Google
                                                                        before it went public in 2004. Google settled with a transfer
                                                                        of 2.7 million shares, a move which Facebook could also do,
                                                                        though analysts believe it will be more difficult to get money
                                                                        from the social network.
According to Bryan Del Rizzo, NV PR, the drivers are
just a quick update to 295.73 drivers, adding support for
Blacklight: Retribution. You can read more about it on the              Yahoo is facing mounting financial difficulty as it struggles
official GeForce page.                                                  to remain relevant in a digital age where rivals are quickly
                                                                        advancing new technology and services, leaving the once
                                                                        dominant internet portal in the dark. Layoffs and a board
Yahoo sues Facebook over                                                reshuffle have failed to rescue the company and even a
alleged patent infringement                                             payout from Facebook will only be a temporary boost until
                                                                        the company starts attracting customers again.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/yahoo-sues-facebook-over-alleged-
patent-infringement/15234.html
March 14th, 2012

Yahoo has sued social networking giant Facebook over the
alleged infringement of 10 of its patents.
                                                                        ARM announces "world's
                                                                        most energy-efficient"
The patents in question relate to messaging, news                       processor
feed generation, social commenting, advertising display,                Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/arm-announces-world-s-most-
preventing click fraud and privacy controls, which targets a            energy-efficient-processor/15233.html
number of important features in Facebook's service.                     March 14th, 2012

                                                                        The 32-bit processor uses just 9µA/MHz on a low-cost 90nm
                                                                        LP process, a third of the energy used by existing 8-bit or 16-
"Facebook's entire social network model, which allows users             bit processors, while providing a huge boost to performance.
to create profiles and connect with, among other things,
persons and businesses, is based on Yahoo's patented social             The chip is aimed at devices like home appliances, medical
networking technology,” Yahoo claimed.                                  monitoring, metering, lighting, and motor control devices,
                                                                        areas that are increasingly becoming known as “the Internet
                                                                        of Things.” All of these can benefit from the low-cost, low-
Facebook responded by describing the lawsuit as puzzling,               power, and high performance offered by the new Cortex
since Yahoo has not made any attempts to settle out of                  chip.
court. It said it was disappointed that a longtime business
partner resorted to litigation. Interestingly it never denied
the allegations.




                                                                                                                                          9
March 14th, 2012                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                  When considering the purchase of a PC chassis, cases from
                                                                  well known Taiwanese manufacturer Lian Li will often
                                                                  come up for consideration. They offer a whole range of
                                                                  models covering everything from the smallest mini ITX
                                                                  cases to huge full tower cases and everywhere in between.
                                                                  Of course Lian Li offer a variety of Micro ATX cases for
                                                                  different target markets. Here for review we have the PC-
                                                                  V600F, the primary design goal of which is to fit the largest
                                                                  components available into the smallest possible case while
                                                                  keeping compromises to a minimum. It is available in the
                                                                  black color we have here as well as silver or red.




The CPU also comes with a number of new features,
such as a single-cycle IO to speed access to GPIO and
peripherals, improved debug and trace capability, and a two-
stage pipeline to reduce the number of cycles per instruction
and improve Flash accesses, which further reduces power
consumption.
The Cortex-M0+ employs a model that is particularly
suitable for the C programming language and it features
binary compatibility with existing Cortex-M0 processors
tools and RTOS. It is also compatible with other ARM              The PC-V600F is compact even by mATX case standards.
software for Cortex processors.                                   Looking at the dimensions, a height of just 390mm is as
Freescale and NXP Semiconductor have already agreed               small as it is reasonably possible to make a mATX case
to licence the Cortex-M0+ processor, and considering the          without major compromise. At just 190mm wide it's also
fact that 50 companies licensed the previous Cortex-M0            thinner than you'd expect, so much so that there isn't
processor, we can likely expect to see many other firms show      space at the back for a standard 12cm exhaust fan. Lian Li
their support.                                                    presumably opted not to use a 80mm fan for noise reasons.
                                                                  The PC-V600F may be small for a mATX case, yet it can take
Lian Li PC-V600F Case                                             an oversized PSU, a very long dual or triple slot graphics card
                                                                  and up to five 3.5" and two 2.5" drives within its compact
Review                                                            frame.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lian-li-pc-v600f-case-
review/15201.html
                                                                  Specifications
March 14th, 2012
                                                                  Model                                     PC-V600F
                                                                  Case Type                           Mini Tower Chassis
                                                                  Dimensions                            (W) 190mm x (H)
                                                                                                     390mm x (D) 470mm
                                                                  Front Bezel Material                      Aluminum
                                                                  Color                               Black / Silver / Red /
Lian Li have long been held in high regard in the field of                                           Black ( Internal Black )
PC case manufacturing. The PC-V600F mATX chassis we
                                                                  Side Panel                                Aluminum
have for review is the latest incarnation of their popular
PC-V600 series, although it bears little resemblance to the       Body Material                             Aluminum
original. This lovely looking little case promises a nice blend   Net Weight                                   5 KG
of features and a compact size. Let's see if it can meet our      5.25" Drive Bay (External)                     2
high expectations.                                                3.5" Drive Bay (External)                   None
Introduction                                                      HDD Bay                              3.5” HDD (Sata hot
                                                                                                    swap) x 5 / 2.5” HDD x 2
                                                                                                                                10
March 14th, 2012                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

Expansion Slot                                  4
Motherboard                           Micro-ATX / Mini-ITX
System Fan (Front)                     120mm LED Fan x 2
System Fan (Top)                         140mm Fan x 1
System Fan (Rear)                             None
I/O Ports                                USB 3.0 x 2 / e-
                                       SATA x1 / HD Audio
                                                                Four small rubber feets at the bottom to keep the box
Maximum Compatibility                VGA Card length: 370mm     grounded during a user-induced earthquake..
                                       PSU length: 240mm

                                     CPU cooler height: 150mm



ASUS Xonar Essence One
Review
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-xonar-essence-one-
review/14935.html
March 14th, 2012




In a market flooded with muddy onboard audio codecs and
laughable "multi-core" DSP effects devoid of actual audio       On top of the Essense One, we see the iconic gold "Chime of
fidelity, ASUS is thankfully one of those companies who have    Tiger" totem which also appears on the other Xonar family
invested quality engineering with the intent of the faithful    of sound cards.
reproduction of PC audio. Today we take a look at their
flagship S$699 sound card - the Xonar Essence One USB
DAC & headphone amplifier.
Aesthetics and Connectivity
The Xonar Essence One has a brushed metal faceplate
with blue LED indicators, silver push buttons (power,
upsampling, input selection and mute) and large rheostats/
knobs (headphone and speaker volume) at the front. There
is also a 1/4" headphone out jack which when plugged can
still be driven simultaneously with the speakers.




                                                                Blue LEDs when switched on. Note that it does take up a
                                                                considerable amount of space on most desks (261.33 x 230
                                                                x 60.65 mm).




At the back, we see a variety of input and output options.
Besides the usual RCA L/R outputs to connect to 2.0/2.1
speakers, the box also includes balanced XLR connectors
which allows for extended cabling distances. In additional
to the computer USB input, there is the capability to handle
Coxial S/PDIF and TOSLINK digital links. A 115/230v
voltage selection switch (why no auto switching?) is also
present and the Xonar One takes a ubiquitous C14 power
inlet.
                                                                                                                         11
March 14th, 2012                                                                                               Published by: VR-Zone



Accessories and documentation included with the DAC (USB
cable not in picture). Being positioned as an audiophile class
product, ASUS could have bundled a thicker power cord with
a better AWG rating as audio purists will testify the effects
of resistance on the "energy" of the sound output.




                                                                      When connecting the device to a host over USB it will operate
                                                                      as a USB HID keyboard while simultaneously getting a
                                                                      battery recharge.
Elecom unveils the TK-
PBL042BK Projection
Keyboard in Japan
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/elecom-unveils-the-tk-pbl042bk-
projection-keyboard-in-japan/15231.html
March 14th, 2012




A Japanese company by the name of Elecom is one of the
first out the gate to introduce a projection keyboard to
market. The TK-PBL042BK wireless projection keyboard
simply requires nothing more than a flat surface and its host
to carry either USB or Bluetooth connectivity, which means            The device itself measures only 38.0 x 29.0 x 75.0 mm and
iOS and Android will natively support it.                             weighs in at a mere 77g without the rechargeable battery
                                                                      (said to provide up to two hours of continuous use).
A Japanese company by the name of Elecom is one of the
first out the gate to introduce a projection keyboard to
market. The TK-PBL042BK wireless projection keyboard
simply requires nothing more than a flat surface and its host
to carry either USB or Bluetooth connectivity, which means
iOS and Android will natively support it.




                                                                                                                                 12
March 14th, 2012                                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone

The source has indicated that the K-PBL042BK will arrive in
early April. Elecom has priced it at 28,875 JPY which works
out to around US $352.


The final stable build of
Firefox 11 arrives today
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/the-final-stable-build-of-firefox-11-
arrives-today/15230.html
March 14th, 2012




                                                                            The new Sony Xperia sola claims to incorporate the
                                                                            company's proprietary technology to offer users premium
                                                                            entertainment they want. It features a unique "floating
                                                                            touch" navigation that allows users to browse the web, and
Little more than two months after Mozilla's final build of its
                                                                            their home screens by hovering their finger above the screen,
"Firefox 10" web browser came out, the official stable version
                                                                            without actually touching it. The smartphone is also NFC-
of FireFox 11 is now right on our doorstep with the launch
                                                                            enabled and comes with two NFC Xperia SmartTags in the
taking place a little later today.
                                                                            box, which can be personalized with up to 10 commands.
Little more than two months after Mozilla's final build of its              Powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor, the Xperia sola
"Firefox 10" web browser came out, the official stable version              sports a crisp 3.7-inch Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA
of FireFox 11 is now right on our doorstep with the launch                  Engine, xLOUD and 3D surround sound audio technology
taking place a little later today.                                          to deliver superb multimedia experiences. It also comes
The final build of FireFox 11 will bring with it a fair chunk               with fast capture that allows the phone's built-in camera to
of new features and performance improvements including                      activate from sleep in just over a second with a single key
support for the SPDY protocol, meaning that all pages are                   press.
loaded on SSL with SPDY resulting in speedier and more                      Comes in black, white and red, the Sony Xperia sola will
secure attributes.                                                          be available in Q2 this year, initially with Android 2.3
Some other additions include built-in migration tools to                    Gingerbread. And upgradeable to Android 4.0 ICS during
make it much easier to port bookmarks and preferences                       summer 2012. Pricing details not available at press time.
across from Google's Chrome browser, a new Add-On
Synchronization tool allowing users to synchronize add-
ons between sync'd PCs, a stack of more useful developer-
                                                                            Apple's new iPads run a
oriented tools and last but certainly not least, the inclusion              higher bill of materials, offer
of Adobe Flash support on devices running Android 2.3 and
earlier. Mozilla has said that Flash support will arrive for                better value
                                                                            Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-s-new-ipads-run-a-higher-bill-
Android 3.0+ running devices in a later release.
                                                                            of-materials-offer-better-value/15229.html
Keep an eye out here for the stable build of Firefox 11 folks.              March 14th, 2012
It will likely pop up within the next 8 hours or so.


Sola joins the ranks in Sony
Xperia family                                                               It's been revealed that Apple's bill of materials (BOM) on the
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sola-joins-the-ranks-in-sony-xperia-    'new iPad' is heftier than some may have previously thought;
family/15228.html                                                           this despite Apple keeping its latest range of tablets at the
March 14th, 2012                                                            same respective price points as their predecessors.
                                                                            It's been revealed that Apple's bill of materials (BOM) on the
                                                                            'new iPad' is heftier than some may have previously thought;
                                                                            this despite Apple keeping its latest range of tablets at the
                                                                            same respective price points as their predecessors.
The Sony Xperia S was announced in Singapore last week,                     The 16GB 4G version of the latest iPad is estimated to be US
and today, the company has introduced the new addition                      $310 which is substantially higher than the 16GB iPad 2 (US
to the Xperia range of smartphones - the Xperia sola. The                   $270). The biggest factor in the higher cost of build would
Android smartphone features "floating touch" navigation                     inevitably be due to the higher res (2048 x 1536) screen,
for web browsing without touching the screen, Near Field                    estimated to come in at about US $70 alone (about $20
Communication (NFC) to launch apps and other actions via                    higher than the iPad 2's). Then there's other factors like the
Xperia SmartTags, and sports a Reality Display with Mobile                  bulkier battery (US $8 higher), the US $5 dearer camera and
Bravia engine for brilliant image display.                                  the A5X processor at US $28 (close to double that of the A4
                                                                            used in the first-gen iPad).


                                                                                                                                                 13
March 14th, 2012                                                                                                         Published by: VR-Zone

The lower margins as a result of the increased BOM equate                 Square Enix will release the game outside of Japan or
to a 6% dip from 57% for the original iPad to 51% on the                  even an English version of it.
new model. So if you're thinking iPad pricing is still way too
inflated, at least you can rest assured if you pick up a third-
gen model you're literally getting better bang for your buck              Sony Singapore introduces
versus its predecessors.                                                  Alpha 57 with 12fps
                                                                          continuous shooting and Full
M1 Singapore to offer new
                                                                          HD 50p recording
iPad on 16 March                                                          Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-singapore-introduces-alpha-57-
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/m1-singapore-to-offer-new-ipad-       with-12fps-continuous-shooting-and-full-hd-50p-recording/15225.html
on-16-march/15227.html                                                    March 14th, 2012
March 14th, 2012




                   The new iPad was unveiled last week,
which features a high resolution Retina Display, A5X                      Sony Singapore has announced the Alpha SLT-A57, the
processor, 5-megapixel iSight camera and supports 4G LTE.                 successor to the Alpha SLT-A55, which boasts 12fps
Singapore telecommunication company, M1 Limited, has                      continuous shooting and Full HD 50p (PAL) recording. The
announced that the mobile device will retail in M1 stores on              SLT-A57 will be retailing in Singapore next month.
16 March, this week.


Final Fantasy III comes to
Android, only in Japan though
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/final-fantasy-iii-comes-to-android-
only-in-japan-though/15226.html
March 14th, 2012




Final Fantasy fans would love this piece of news: Square
Enix's Final Fantasy III has come to Android devices. But the
bad news is, the game is only available for Japan Android
users.
                                                                          The mid-range Sony Alpha SLT-A55 digital SLR camera has
                                                                          garnered favorable reviews, and today, the company has
                                                                          unveiled its successor, the Alpha SLT-A57 that is built with
                                                                          enhanced features and performance. The Alpha SLT-A57
                                                                          incorporates Translucent Mirror Technology which directs
                                                                          incoming light to the CMOS image sensor and the AF sensor
                                                                          at the same time, achieving full continuous autofocus during
                                                                          both still and video recording. You capture exactly what
                                                                          you see on screen, with the new high-resolution Tru-Finder
                                                                          which offers a wide viewing angle and 100% field of view;
                                                                          and allows for efficient framing, focusing and real-time
                                                                          preview.
                                                                          Combined with the 16.1-megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS
                                                                          sensor and the latest BIONZ engine, the SLT-A57 claims
Square Enix had launched their Android games marketplace
                                                                          to reproduce superb images with low noise across a wide
app late last year, which is available only in Japan, with
                                                                          ISO 100-16,000 range. The digital SLR camera also boasts
games including Dragon Quest, Crystal Defenders and Final
                                                                          high-speed 12 frames per second shooting with full-time
Fantasy. Well, it looks like Final Fantasy III has now come to
                                                                          continuous autofocus (in Tele-zoom Continuous Advance
the Android Marketplace, but unfortunately, users outside of
                                                                          Priority AE mode), and full high definition 50p (PAL) video
Japan would not be able to get the game. The Final Fantasy
                                                                          with full P/A/S/M control. For those of you who are looking
III for Android is retailing for 1,400 "points" through Square
                                                                          to get the Sony Alpha SLT-A57, it will be available in Asia
Enix's convoluted pricing system, which works out to 1,470
                                                                          Pacific at all Sony stores and authorised outlets from April
yen (approximately US$18). There is no word as to whether
                                                                          2012. Pricing details to be released closer to retail.


                                                                                                                                              14
March 14th, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                        Comes in three color options – sparkling black, winter blue
HP unveils new Pavilion                                                 and ruby red; the g-series claim to offer enhanced audio
notebook PCs with stylish                                               experience with both design and functional elements. It
                                                                        has a chrome strip that borders the speaker which also
designs and enhanced                                                    serves as a visual cue for audio, while the exposed speaker
features                                                                bar provides better sound projection. The new HP Pavilion
                                                                        g4 and g6 will be available in Asia Pacific from 8 April
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hp-unveils-new-pavilion-notebook-
                                                                        with a starting price of approximately US$499 and US
pcs-with-stylish-designs-and-enhanced-features/15224.html
                                                                        $529 respectively.
March 14th, 2012


                                                                        Android 4.0 Ice Cream
                                                                        Sandwich upgrade now
HP has a new Mosaic design approach, an extension to its                available for Samsung
MUSE (materials, usability, sensory appeal and experience)              GALAXY S II
design philosophy, which focuses on improved usability and              Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/android-4.0-ice-cream-sandwich-
aesthetics to users. The Mosaic design was applied to the new           upgrade-now-available-for-samsung-galaxy-s-ii/15223.html
range of Pavilion dv-series and Pavilion g-series of laptops            March 14th, 2012
that were announced today.
HP Pavilion dv-series




                                                                        Samsung GALAXY S II owners rejoice! The Korean
                                                                        electronics manufacturer has announced that the Google
                                                                        Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) upgrade is now
                                                                        available for the GALAXY S II smartphone.




The new HP Pavilion dv4, dv6 and dv7 sport an infinity
waterfall edge, tapered chassis, slim top view and metal
finish on select models. Available in licorice black or carmine
red for the dv4, and midnight black for the dv6 and
dv7 models, the dv-series come with soft-touch bottom
panel and are easy to hold. For the Pavilion dv6 and dv7,
the exposed speaker bar is integrated with the display,
and magnifies the dv series’ Beats Audio experience by
projecting audio directly towards the user. The re-designed
HP Pavilion dv4, dv6 and dv7 will be available in Asia Pacific
from 8 April with a starting price of approximately US$699,
US$749 and US$849 respectively.
HP Pavilion g-series                                                    Even though Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
                                                                        came to the Samsung GALAXY Nexus first, the company
                                                                        has promised that the upgrade will be made available
                                                                        for selected GALAXY smartphones such as the popular
                                                                        GALAXY S II. Well, the wait is finally over. Today, Samsung
                                                                        Korea announced Android 4.0 ICS software upgrade for
                                                                        GALAXY S II, starting in Europe - Poland, Hungary, and
                                                                        Sweden; as well as Korea and slowly rolling out to other
                                                                        markets.
                                                                        On top of that, Android 4.0 ICS software upgrade will
                                                                        also be made available for the GALAXY Note, GALAXY SII
                                                                        LTE, GALAXY R, GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus, 7.7, 8.9 and 10.1
                                                                        soon. Samsung will also provide Android 2.3 Gingerbread
                                                                        firmware upgrades for the GALAXY S, GALAXY Tab 7,
                                                                        GALAXY S Plus, GALAXY S SCL(Super Clear LCD), and
The redesigned HP Pavilion g4 and g6 feature curved,
                                                                        GALAXY W from end of March. The upgrades include
beveled edges with a bowl-shape keyboard deck and textured
touchpad with bowl-set curvature which looked distinct.

                                                                                                                                              15
March 14th, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

features such as Face Unlock, Snapshot, Photo Editor and                we're not sure it's the most intuitive UI out there. That said,
others.                                                                 it beats the budget Android media players from China that
                                                                        lacks any kind of UI at all. The Stick N1 supports HDMI 1.4
                                                                        and will play just about any video and audio formats you
Valueplus shows off the                                                 throw at it, including Blu-ray, although we're not sure about
TizzBird Stick N1 at CeBIT                                              3D content. You can also use the standard Android UI and
                                                                        the Stick N1 supports user installed apps, although this is
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/valueplus-shows-off-the-tizzbird-
                                                                        apparently only via the TizzBird Appstore.
stick-n1-at-cebit/15222.html
March 14th, 2012




Once in a while you run into the oddest companies at trade
shows and although Korean Valueplus isn't that odd in itself,
as it's a manufacturer of a wide range of Android powered
media players, but its retail branding which is TizzBird, is
rather odd. Still, the company has some interesting products
and its latest addition is the Stick N1, an HDMI adapter that
turns your dumb TV into a smart TV.
Once in a while you run into the oddest companies at trade
                                                                        Other software features include support for NFS, Samba and
shows and although Korean Valueplus isn't that odd in itself,
                                                                        uPnP and Flash support. Valueplus will also offer an iPhone
as it's a manufacturer of a wide range of Android powered
                                                                        and Android app that allows you to use your smartphone as
media players, but its retail branding which is TizzBird, is
                                                                        the remote control for the TizzBird Stick N1. It's the most
rather odd. Still, the company has some interesting products
                                                                        retail ready product of its kind we've seen so far, but we have
and its latest addition is the Stick N1, an HDMI adapter that
                                                                        a feeling that there will be a lot of competition in this market
turns your dumb TV into a smart TV.
                                                                        space this year with several other players working on getting
                                                                        their products out onto the market. Price wise the Stick N1
                                                                        should cost around US$150 (S$185) when it launches later
                                                                        this year.


                                                                        Synology to launch updated
                                                                        4-bay NAS products, draws
                                                                        less power
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/synology-to-launch-updated-4-bay-
The TizzBird Stick N1 sports a Cortex-A5 based ARM SoC                  nas-products-draws-less-power/15221.html
from Telechips which operates at 1GHz which has been                    March 14th, 2012
paired up with 4GB of internal NAND flash and 2GB of RAM
in a fairly small dongle that slots into the HDMI port of your
TV. The dongle also has a USB 2.0 port for external storage
devices or wireless keyboards and mice, a micro USB port
for power, a micro SD card slot and integrated 802.11n Wi-
Fi. The company is also contemplating adding support for an
RF remote, but this wasn't ready at the show.                           At CeBIT, Synology was demoing a pair of new NAS
                                                                        products, both being 4-bay units with a fairly similar
                                                                        external design, but the internal hardware is quite different
                                                                        between the two models. The company has not only revised
                                                                        the internals, but the two new models share the new re-
                                                                        designed enclosure as well which looks similar to the DS212
                                                                        series, albeit larger due to the additional drive bays.
                                                                        At CeBIT, Synology was demoing a pair of new NAS
                                                                        products, both being 4-bay units with a fairly similar
                                                                        external design, but the internal hardware is quite different
                                                                        between the two models. The company has not only revised
                                                                        the internals, but the two new models share the new re-
                                                                        designed enclosure as well which looks similar to the DS212
                                                                        series, albeit larger due to the additional drive bays.


Valueplus has created a custom UI on top of Android 4.0 for
the Stick N1 and it was all very smooth in operation, although

                                                                                                                                            16
March 14th, 2012                                                                                         Published by: VR-Zone




                                                                 The new NAS design is quite attractive, in as much as a NAS
                                                                 can be attractive, but we'd expect these two new models to
                                                                 be fairly pricey considering the hardware inside them. Sadly
                                                                 we don't know the exact launch date, but both models should
The two new models are the DS412 and the DS412+ and              arrive in the next couple of months.
common features includes a front USB 2.0 port, two rear
USB 3.0 ports and a rear eSATA port. The DS412 sports
a single Gigabit Ethernet port whereas the DS412+ sports
a pair of ports. Both models also sport a pair of rear fans
and Synology informed us that the new fans feature failover
support, so in case one of the fans would fail, the speed of
the second fan will increase to help cool the NAS box until
the failed fan can be replaced.




The DS412 is Synology's most power efficient 4-bay NAS
to date, as it draws a mere 3W in idle thanks to in part
a new PowerPC based CPU. The DS412+ is intended for
more advanced usage scenarios and sports an Intel Atom
processor, most likely the D2500, but the company merely
informed us it was one of the new models without going into
details as the DS412+ hasn't been officially announced as yet.




                                                                                                                           17
March 18th, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone




VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks!
                                                                  3DMark 11 Xtreme Score: 6243
  VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly
  publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the
  geeks.


NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 SLI
Performance Preview
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-geforce-gtx-680-sli-
performance-preview/15273.html
March 18th, 2012




                                                                  That's all for now. We hope to show you more benchmarks
                                                                  especially in overclocked, 3-way or 4-way configurations
What happens when you pair two Kepler GK104 boards                when we get the cards officially next week.
together when you get them from the stores next weekend?
We take an exclusive preview...
                                                                  Original Source: Chinese VR-Zone
Disclaimer: Test results might or might not be indicative of
final retail performance, and is not supported or sanctioned
by NVIDIA and their partners. As such, we will refrain from       Mystery solved - Haswell
making judgements or opinions.
                                                                  expected to up the graphics
3DMark 11 Entry Score: 22878
                                                                  ante further again
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mystery-solved--haswell-expected-
                                                                  to-up-the-graphics-ante-further-again/15272.html
                                                                  March 18th, 2012




                                                                  So, after all the guesses, it seems to be true: Intel will
                                                                  continue its rapid integrated 3-D graphics improvement
                                                                  into Haswell generation , with more GT3 options across
                                                                  both desktop and mobile - including UltraBook - markets.
                                                                  Further cause for Nvidia to worry on the entry level discrete
                                                                  segment...
3DMark 11 Performance Score: 16860
                                                                  Remember all the polemics over the Net, whether Haswell
                                                                  will offer the same substantial performance jump in 3-
                                                                  D from the Ivy Bridge, as Ivy Bridge is expected to give
                                                                  compared to the Sandy Bridge, or if it will just be a smaller
                                                                  incremental upgrade? Well, both are right... how?

                                                                  There are three distinct die choices here, it seems: one is
                                                                  the ULV focused dual core Ultrabook option but with up
                                                                  to GT3 graphics. The other is a mainstream desktop and
                                                                  mobile choice with 4 cores and GT2 graphics, just a bit faster
                                                                  than the best Ivy Bridge graphics - we're talking 20% to 50%
                                                                  extra GPU performance here. Then, there is the 'king of the
                                                                  hill', the 4 core CPU plus GT3 GPU die with graphics further
                                                                  double as fast as the GT2, i.e. well over twice, possibly thrice,
                                                                  the Ivy Bridge speed.

                                                                                                                                          1
March 18th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                   In summary, interesting times ahead this and next year...
                                                                   and that's even before we've seen the Ivy Bridge!
Now, this die is likely to have a very very fancy extra external
cache option on a multi chip module too. Wait a second,
aside from IBM Power7 superserver processors and such,             New Intel Xeon E5 to offer
why would anyone want to have a L4 cache, maybe even
an eDRAM based one? The answer could be in sharing the
                                                                   ultra-dense high speed
system memory bandwidth resources between a powerful               compute solutions - right
quad core CPU, what Haswell surely will be, and a powerful
GPU with compute capabilities too.                                 from Intel itself
                                                                   Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-intel-xeon-e5-to-offer-ultra-
To avoid such contention, having an additional large cache,        dense-high-speed-compute-solutions--right-from-intel-itself/15271.html
implemented in a fashion similar to dedicated 'backside            March 18th, 2012
cache buses' seen on the old Pentium III processors many
years ago, helps satisfy more CPU memory requests in
that cache, leaving more memory bandwidth for the GPU.
An exciting optional capability would be to designate a
portion of that large cache as a 'scratchpad' memory for GPU
compute and graphics usage - most high end GPUs do rely
on internal directly addressable scratchpad memory besides         The freshly launched Xeon E5 does break all the
the caches for such purpose.                                       performance records in 2 socket X86 space, as seen by our
                                                                   Lennard's server review as well. However, compute density
How this extra cache connection would be implemented, we           is critical to win large scale HPC contracts too. What did Intel
don't know yet - but it definitely makes no sense to put it        develop to fit all this stuff into the smallest space, without
on the usual DDR3 memory bus, since it would add lots of           compromising the performance?
unwelcome extra latency there. But, since the 4 core CPU           The Socket 2011 'Sandy Bridge EP' Intel Xeon E5 processors
plus GT3 desktop and mobile graphics die will be different         are fast, with 8 cores, 20 MB L3 cache, and plenty of
than the standard 4 core plus GT2 graphics die, yet they all       memory and I/O resources to boot. They also inherit a
share the same socket - it makes sense to implement the            large installed base of previous generation Xeons across the
extra L4 cache bus on the bigger die, and keep that L4 cache       whole range of workstations and servers, from mini blades
connection to the MCM multi chip substrate without it being        to supercomputers.
seen by the system at all.
                                                                   However, for the evaluation of high performance
                                                                   computing project platforms, especially medium to large
As widely talked about, Haswell will be the first Intel            supercomputers, the power and the density achievable play
mainstream CPU in a few years, after the Westmere low end          a big role too. We can't do much about the power here - the
DC part with graphics die, to bring back MCM packaging into        larger 416 mm2 dies required to fit all the features do take
the general desktop and mobile PC realm. So, the standard          their toll, with the fastest server part, the E5-2690, spec'ed
parts will have an option of integrating the PCH I/O bridge        at 135W TDP at 2.9 GHz plus Turbo, of course.
to the same package, saving quite a bit of board wiring and
real estate for ultra-compact mobile computing - and I don't
mean just UltraBooks here.                                         The density can be worked on, though - just figure out how
                                                                   to squeeze four memory channels as well as all those QPI
                                                                   and PCIe v3 lanes coming out of each CPU to the smallest
Talking about the UltraBooks, having GT3-class graphics            possible dual socket board layout, then engineer the cooling
inside a Haswell UltraBook is definitely going to help the         and power feed, not to mention the interconnect between the
cause of true 3-D capable ultrathin Intel platforms, without       boards, to squeeze many dozens of those into each 42U or
resorting to additional discrete graphics. It doesn't help         similarly tall compute rack.
companies like Nvidia, who seemingly lost a big chunk of its
Apple future Ivy Bridge MacBook Air GPU deployment, as
GT3 Haswell would likely obliterate that market in the long        Here's Intel's solution - look how compact it feels compared
run. Of course, GT3 graphics on an UltraBook doesn't need          to a typical high-end PC mainboard:
L4 cache and such enhancements, since only two CPU cores
will not compete much with it for the memory bandwidth.


On the desktop side, Nvidia and AMD entry level discrete
graphics are definitely to be badly affected by this evolution,
and lots of it is to be felt with the Ivy Bridge already. The
midrange and high end GPU segments should go on as usual,
though.




                                                                                                                                            2
March 18th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone




                                                                    Hell is very real, kids.
                                                                    The Darkness II was released by Digital Extremes and 2K
A small, half width 6.4 inch by 17.7 inch board contains it         Games earlier this year for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox
all - two CPUs with full bandwidth memory, three full x16           360. Building on the success of its predecessor in 2007, The
PCIe v3 slots, I/O riser connections for storage, as well as a      Darkness II continues the story of Jackie Estacado and his
combination of dual GigE plus Connect-X Infiniband QDR              struggle with the demonic entity residing within him, known
(40 Gbps) or FDR (56 Gbps) high speed interconnect. Quite           as The Darkness. It has been two years since Jackie Estacado
impressive, isn't it?                                               helplessly witnessed the brutal murder of his girlfriend,
                                                                    Jenny, by the don of the New York mafia. Formerly a
Now, two of these boards can easily fit into one 1U                 hitman with aforementioned mafia, he was targeted for
rackmount server chasis, and of course, depending how               assassination by the head of the criminal organization. The
much space you need for other hardware, up to 40 of course          attempts on his life and the subsequent murder of his
could fit into a standard 42U rack. So, up to 80 high speed         beloved Jenny unknowingly awakened an ancient unholy
dual CPU servers, each with ~360 GFLOPs dual precision              power deep within him, the Darkness. Visually, they are
FP peak performance and up to 256 GB ECC RAM, in just               a pair of tentacles that talk and they grant him immense
one rack - or nearly 30 TFLOPs single rack cluster if you           strength, regeneration and other supernatural abilities at a
like it counted that way. Do keep in mind that, with at least       grave price. With every life he took, he became perilously
400W per node, such cluster would also need a good 30 kW            closer to losing control of himself to them, or raher The
of power at the peak usage... but at least you can pack them        Darkness.
tight.                                                              The Darkness II begins when Jackie (the new don of
                                                                    the criminal organization) and his gang are assaulted at
                                                                    a restaurant. Grievously wounded in the surprise attack,
Xbox 360 Review: The                                                Jackie gives in to the temptations of The Darkness and
Darkness II                                                         allows it to aid him in battle. You take control of Jackie,
                                                                    now imbued with the unholy abilities of The Darkness,
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/xbox-360-review-the-darkness-
ii/15259.html
                                                                    as you attempt to fight your way out of the ambush. The
March 18th, 2012
                                                                    game centers on Jackie as the main protagonist this time,
                                                                    as compared to the previous installment of the game that
                                                                    focuses on his personal vendetta to avenge his deceased
                                                                    partner. The Darkness II deals with his struggles to keep
                                                                    himself in control while using his them at the same time to
                                                                    stop a cult hellbent on stealing them from him.
                                                                    The story unfolds with the help of flashbacks, hallucinations
"The Darkness 2" is the sequel to the first-person                  and narration from Jackie. They may appear bewildering
shooter game that was launched in 2007. And the plot                and confusing initially, but the mystery slowly and artfully
continues from the main protagonist, Jackie Estacado, who           unravels as the game progresses. The story stays fresh
is struggling with the power of the Darkness and the death          thanks to Jackie’s raw emotions – grief, regret, and anguish.
of his girlfriend. So is the "The Darkness 2" as good as the        You will feel keen to press on, wanting to find out more about
first one? Read on.                                                 why you are being attacked, what the antagonist wants to do
                                                                    with your powers, and what plans does The Darkness have
                                                                    in store.
                                                                    Here's the game trailer of The Darkness II:-


                                                                    Using mobile phones while
                                                                    pregnant could make children
                                                                    hyperactive
                                                                    Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/using-mobile-phones-while-
                                                                    pregnant-could-make-children-hyperactive/15269.html


                                                                                                                                      3
March 18th, 2012                                                                                                           Published by: VR-Zone

March 18th, 2012                                                           Sega is resurrecting some of its old Dreamcast titles by
Women who use mobile phones while pregnant could end                       making high-definition versions of the games for the Xbox
up with hyperactive children, according to a recent study.                 Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.
                                                                           Sega is resurrecting some of its old Dreamcast titles by
                                                                           making high-definition versions of the games for the Xbox
Professor Hugh Taylor of Yale University led a team of                     Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.
scientists studying the effects of radiation from mobile
phones on the development of unborn babies' brains,
revealing some unsettling findings.                                        Ben Harborne, Associate Digital Brand Manager of Sega,
                                                                           revealed that the company may be re-releasing two classic
                                                                           Dreamcast games, Shenmue and Skies of Arcadia.
As part of the tests pregnant mice were exposed to an
active mobile phone, resulting in offspring that suffered
from hyperactivity, anxiety and poor memory. Those who                     The games are two of the most popular and most often
were not exposed to this radiation were not affected in this               requested, and while Harborne was reluctant to give a firm
way.                                                                       “yes” or “no” regarding their re-release, it seems increasingly
                                                                           likely that we will see these, and possibly other Dreamcast
                                                                           titles, on Xbox and PlayStation 3 consoles soon enough.




Of course, since the study involved tests on mice, it cannot
be taken as conclusive when it comes to the effects of mobile
phone radiation on human mothers and children, but the
scientists believe that the results are likely to be the same.
                                                                           Sega previously confirmed a re-release of the Dreamcast
                                                                           skater title Jet Set Radio for the Xbox Live Arcade,
Taylor claims that the effects are so strong that that it                  PlayStation Network and Windows for this Summer,
might explain a growing rise in cases of attention deficit                 suggesting it plans to go through its back catalogue of
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).                                             Dreamcast titles and bring them back from the dead.


However, Professor Eric Taylor of King's College London                    The Dreamcast was Sega's last forray into the world of
refuted the claims that mobiles were linked to rising levels               game consoles, releasing in 1998 to stiff competition from
of ADHD in children, so the jury is not necessarily out on                 Sony's PlayStation 2, Microsoft's Xbox, and Nintendo's
whether or not mobile phones are causing damage to our                     GameCube. The system was the first of the sixth generation
kids.                                                                      consoles to launch and contained internet connectivity, but
                                                                           the company could not keep up with the competition and
                                                                           decided to pull the product in 2001.


Sega to release Dreamcast                                                  Since then it has gained a cult status amongst gamers, so it's
titles in HD for Xbox Live and                                             not surprising to see high demand for re-issues of its popular
                                                                           titles.
PlayStation Network
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sega-to-release-dreamcast-titles-in-
hd-for-xbox-live-and-playstation-network/15268.html
March 18th, 2012                                                           Bethesda planning Elder
                                                                           Scrolls MMO announcement
                                                                           in May
                                                                           Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bethesda-planning-elder-scrolls-
                                                                           mmo-announcement-in-may/15267.html



                                                                                                                                                  4
March 18th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone


                                                                  Fewer Apple fans flock to
March 18th, 2012


                                                                  stores as new iPad goes on
                                                                  sale
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fewer-apple-fans-flock-to-stores-as-
                                                                  new-ipad-goes-on-sale/15266.html
Bethesda is rumoured to be working on a massively                 March 18th, 2012
multiplayer online (MMO) version of its popular Elder
Scrolls role-playing games, with a formal announcement
expected in May.
Bethesda is rumoured to be working on a massively
multiplayer online (MMO) version of its popular Elder
Scrolls role-playing games, with a formal announcement            Queues for Apple's third generation iPad were not as big as
expected in May.                                                  those for the iPad 2 last year, suggesting potentially weaker
                                                                  sales for the Cupertino, California-based company.
                                                                  Queues for Apple's third generation iPad were not as big as
According to an anonymous industry source cited by Tom's
                                                                  those for the iPad 2 last year, suggesting potentially weaker
Guide, Bethesda and ZeniMax Online Studios have teamed
                                                                  sales for the Cupertino, California-based company.
up for Elder Scrolls Online, a title that has been speculated
about for years, following the success of the latest game in
the series, Skyrim.                                               Apple's store in Regent Street, London saw over 600 people
                                                                  line up for the iPad 2's launch, but that number has dwindled
                                                                  to roughly 400 people for today's launch of the so-called
The source claims that the game will be set in the world's
                                                                  “new iPad.”
“Second Era,” hundreds of years before the time period of
the existing Elder Scrolls franchise.
                                                                  While this does not necessarily account for interest in the
                                                                  device across the world, it will be a worrying figure for
                                                                  investors and for Apple's new CEO, Tim Cook, who took over
                                                                  from Steve Jobs last year.


                                                                  However, a study by Dynamo PR, which interviewed those
                                                                  standing in the queue, found that 63 percent of those waiting
                                                                  to buy the latest iPad were PC owners, up from 44 percent
                                                                  last year and just 25 percent two years ago for the launch of
                                                                  the initial iPad.




Gameplay will involve three playable factions related to
three different animals: a lion, dragon, and bird of prey.
Whether or not these are merely emblems or possible pet
creatures is not yet known.


The game studio is expected to announce the game in
May, followed by some gameplay footage shown at E3 and
Quakecon later in the year. It seems unlikely that the game
will launch this year, unless Bethesda has been working on
this secretly for a long time. Late 2013 is much more likely.


It is not clear how this might affect the possibility of future
                                                                  This is significant, as it means that more PC users are
single-player games in the Elder Scrolls series, but by setting
                                                                  considering tablet computers as either a replacement for
it long before the current games it frees things up for
                                                                  or a complementary system to their desktop or laptop
Bethesda to continue to add a sequel to Skyrim.
                                                                  computers. Apple said last week that it is planning a post-
                                                                  PC future, and while it is unlikely that PCs will got he way
                                                                  of the dodo, there are clearly more alternative devices being
                                                                  bought than ever.


                                                                                                                                         5
March 18th, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

Other findings in the report showed that a whopping 88
percent of those in line were men, while the average age
was 26, supporting the public perception of technology
enthusiasts as being young males.


Some people queued for unholy amounts of time. For
example, one man managed to secure a prominent place at
the front by waiting for an insane 141 hours. Say what we will
about Apple fanbois, but that's dedication.


“The surprising difference in this year’s iPad launch
compared to other years is the actual number of people
queuing,” said Paul Cockerton, co-founder of Dynamo PR.
“It’s significantly less than previous years. Whether that
means pre-orders have been more successful, or selling in
other retail stores takes some of this burden only Apple
would be able to answer.”                                             Sadly the 3-inch VGA resolution AMOLED display doesn't
                                                                      appear to have been updated from the NX10/11, but
                                                                      Samsung has at least done a side swivel display, much like
                                                                      the one on its EX1 compact. There's no word on whether or
Samsung NX20 leaked,                                                  not Samsung has made any changes to the EVF, something
                                                                      a lot of it competitors have made vast improvements to over
catches up to competition                                             the past year.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-nx20-leaked-catches-up-
to-competition/15265.html
March 18th, 2012




It's easy to forget that Samsung is a player in the
interchangeable lens camera market as so far the company
hasn't really impressed with its NX series of cameras.
Now its upcoming NX20 model has leaked and it looks
like Samsung has managed to catch up with most of its                 Other features include built in Wi-Fi, i-Function 2.0, a built
competitors, but if the preliminary specs are correct, not            in flash, a hot-shoe for Samsung flashguns and a dedicated
really overtaken anyone.                                              video button. The NX20 supports 1080p video, although it's
                                                                      not clear at what frame rates it'll be able to record video. As
It's easy to forget that Samsung is a player in the                   for the exact launch date and pricing, we're going to have to
interchangeable lens camera market as so far the company              wait a while longer as this information hasn't leaked as yet.
hasn't really impressed with its NX series of cameras.
Now its upcoming NX20 model has leaked and it looks                   Source: Focusmedia (in Dutch)
like Samsung has managed to catch up with most of its
competitors, but if the preliminary specs are correct, not
really overtaken anyone.
                                                                      Cooler Master gets back into
The NX20 is said to be slightly larger than the current               the watercooling business
NX10/11 models with an improved grip which can be clearly
seen in the pictures. Samsung has kitted out the NX20 with a
                                                                      with Eisberg range
                                                                      Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cooler-master-gets-back-into-the-
20.3Megapixel APS-C size CMOS sensor and the camera has               watercooling-business-with-eisberg-range/15264.html
an improved ISO range of 100-12800. The NX20 can also                 March 18th, 2012
shoot 8fps and it has a max shutter speed of 1/6000 (up from
1/4000 for the NX11).




                                                                      It's been quite a few years since we last saw a watercooling
                                                                      solution in retail from Cooler Master, despite the company
                                                                      demoing various solutions over the past two years at all the
                                                                      major trade shows. Now the company has finally decided


                                                                                                                                              6
March 18th, 2012                                                                                                Published by: VR-Zone

to make a return to the watercooling business, initially in      120 which should retail at around €120 that takes a single
Europe only with its new Eisberg series of coolers.              120mm fan and the Eisberg 240 which will retail for around
                                                                 €140 and feature a larger dual fan radiator for a pair of
It's been quite a few years since we last saw a watercooling
                                                                 120mm fans.
solution in retail from Cooler Master, despite the company
demoing various solutions over the past two years at all the
major trade shows. Now the company has finally decided
to make a return to the watercooling business, initially in
Europe only with its new Eisberg series of coolers.




                                                                 Cooler Master isn't likely to launch the Eisberg series in
                                                                 the APAC region but the company is working on a different
                                                                 solution for the APAC market that we sadly can't write about
                                                                 at the moment, but it's based on what Cooler Master showed
                                                                 off at Computex last year. We don't know when this solution
                                                                 will launch, but it's being evaluated by Cooler Master for a
                                                                 not too distant launch as far as we're aware.


The pump is actually made by German Eheim which                  Cooler Master demoed Elite
normally produces pumps for aquariums and it features
ceramic bearings which suggest that it should have a long life   120 mini-ITX chassis at
span. Unlike sealed unit watercoolers from its competitors,      CeBIT
Cooler Master has allowed for the liquid to be topped up and     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/cooler-master-demoed-elite-120-
the pump contains a small reservoir unlike many competing        mini-itx-chassis-at-cebit/15263.html
solutions. The tubing is of a softer more flexible type than     March 18th, 2012
used by Asetek, but Cooler Master has fitted metal coils to
the outside of the hoses that increases the rigidity of the
hoses.




                                                                 With several recently announced monster cases – or Ultra
                                                                 Towers as Cooler Master prefers – such as the Cosmos II, the
                                                                 company was demoing its first high-end mini-ITX chassis at
                                                                 CeBIT last week, the Elite 120. The cube shaped case doesn't
                                                                 really stand out from the crowd in terms of design, in fact
                                                                 it looks a lot like some of Silver Stone's mATX cubes, but
                                                                 Cooler Master has done a pretty decent job on small chassis.
                                                                 With several recently announced monster cases – or Ultra
                                                                 Towers as Cooler Master prefers – such as the Cosmos II, the
                                                                 company was demoing its first high-end mini-ITX chassis at
                                                                 CeBIT last week, the Elite 120. The cube shaped case doesn't
                                                                 really stand out from the crowd in terms of design, in fact
                                                                 it looks a lot like some of Silver Stone's mATX cubes, but
                                                                 Cooler Master has done a pretty decent job on small chassis.
Initially Cooler Master will be offering two different SKUs,
the Eisberg 120 which should retail at around Initially Cooler
Master will be offering two different SKUs, the Eisberg
                                                                                                                                       7
March 18th, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone


                                                                  REVIEW: PROLiNK Wireless
                                                                  Pan/Tilt IP Camera
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/review-prolink-wireless-pantilt-ip-
                                                                  camera/14993.html
                                                                  March 18th, 2012




                                                                  Internet Protocol (IP) cameras were for the longest time
                                                                  expensive, especially if it had pan and tilt functionality.
                                                                  Things have changed and you can now purchase an IP
                                                                  Camera that uses either a Wired or a Wireless network
                                                                  connection and includes pan & tilt. Let's take a look at just
                                                                  how easy it is to setup, configure and deploy the PROLiNK
                                                                  Wireless Pan/Tilt IP Camera (PIC1003WP).
                                                                  The PROLiNK PIC1003WP Wireless IP Camera with Pan
                                                                  Tilt (IP Camera) is not new, that is, there are many
                                                                  other manufacturers making such devices. This is especially
                                                                  true for CCTV (Close Circuit TeleVision) cameras. In the
                                                                  early days such cameras were wired and you had to use
The front of the Elite 120 is made from Aluminium and             customised hardware to interface and control the cameras.
plastic and Cooler Master has gone for a fairly simple, but
appealing design. A single USB 3.0 port as well as two USB
2.0 ports and a pair of audio jacks are found on the right and
left sides of the front, with a 5.25-inch drive bay taking up
the top part of the case.




                                                                  One of the other problems associated with IP cameras
                                                                  is accessing them over the Internet through all the
                                                                  technicalities like, firewalls and routers. There is a way to
                                                                  resolve this but it comes at a price. PROLiNK’s IP Camera
                                                                  is a simple plug and play even through your router and
                                                                  firewall. PROLiNK achieves this by magically managing all
                                                                  the connection settings which is tied to a unique camera
                                                                  id. This is almost like RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger ID and
                                                                  even WhatsApp. Each of those applications keeps a unique
                                                                  number for your device. By managing only the unique device
                                                                  ID and a password you can basically connect to the IP
                                                                  Camera using a web browser or mobile device running
Internally you get three 3.5-inch bays of which two can           Android 2.2 or Apple iOS.
be converted into no less than six 2.5-inch bays for SSDs.
There's also a front mounted 120mm fan and the Elite 120
takes a standard ATX PSU. Around the back you'll find a
pair of expansion slots which means that you can use dual-
width graphics cards with the Elite 120. No word on pricing
or availability, but we can see this being a popular choice for
SFF gaming rigs when it arrives.




                                                                                                                                            8
March 18th, 2012                                                                                                Published by: VR-Zone




                                                                        D-Link has announced their premium app, mydlink+ that is
                                                                        designed for iPad and Android tablets. The app allows users
If you really need to manage the IP Camera LiveView
                                                                        to view high quality footage as long as they have Wi-Fi or
software for scheduling and managing the settings you will
                                                                        3G access. You can save the snapshots to the tablet, switch
need Windows as the Active X controls are not available in
                                                                        between different cameras with the built-in monitoring
Mac OS. That should be easily rectified with software like
                                                                        dashboard, and see four feeds on the same screen (1 live
Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac.
                                                                        view, 3 snapshots). The app is available to download from
Run the included CD-ROM to install LiveView and LivePlay                iTunes and Android Market.
and have access to the Adobe Acrobat PDF manual. The
                                                                        D-Link All-in-One Mobile Companion (DIR-505)
installation is straightforward and requires only input to
move along with the default settings.




D-Link launches new app for
iPad and Android Tablet, and
all-in-one mobile companion
router
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/d-link-launches-new-app-for-ipad-
and-android-tablet-and-all-in-one-mobile-companion-router/15261.html
March 18th, 2012




                                                                        For the busy mobile road warriors, the D-Link All-in-
                                                                        One Mobile Companion (DIR-505) is all they need to get
                                                                        wireless access, wherever an existing network is available.
                                                                        The portable device also offers USB sharing features for
D-Link has announced their new mydlink+ app for the Apple
                                                                        users to share videos, music and photos from an external
iPad and Android tablet devices that allows users to monitor
                                                                        hard drive or thumb drive to the iPad, iPhone or Android
up to four network cameras in your home or office. On top
                                                                        devices.
of that, the company also introduced their latest DIR-505
mobile companion router that claims to offer instant Wi-                The DIR-505 is smaller than a standard mouse, with easy
Fi access, convenient file sync, USB sharing, and device                one-touch Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) that provides quick
charging wherever you go.                                               setup. With the free SharePort Cloud app for both Android
                                                                        and iOS devices, you can access videos, music and photos
                                                                        from anywhere. The All-in-One Mobile Companion also
                                                                        comes with a USB port for sharing content from a USB
                                                                        storage device (or charging smartphones), as well as an
                                                                        Ethernet Port that enables users to easily connect to an
                                                                        existing network in a conference room or hotel room.
                                                                        The D-Link All-in-One Mobile Companion DIR-505 will be
                                                                        available in Q3 2012. Pricing details to be announced closer
                                                                        to retail date.




                                                                                                                                   9
March 18th, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                         Once in a while you run into a company you've never heard
Motorola unveils white                                                   of that has a product that makes you wonder why no-
version of MotoLuxe Android                                              one thought of it before. AIO is such a company, although
                                                                         speaking to a representative of the company at CeBIT, it
phone                                                                    turns out their heritage is from a defunct case maker and the
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/motorola-unveils-white-version-of-   product in question is its Myriad chassis.
motoluxe-android-phone/15260.html
                                                                         Once in a while you run into a company you've never heard
March 18th, 2012
                                                                         of that has a product that makes you wonder why no-
                                                                         one thought of it before. AIO is such a company, although
                                                                         speaking to a representative of the company at CeBIT, it
                                                                         turns out their heritage is from a defunct case maker and the
                                                                         product in question is its Myriad chassis.


The Motorola Motoluxe (also known as XT615) is a
mid-ranged Android smartphone that was announced in
January this year. It was initially launched in black finish,
but recently, the company has come up with a white version
of the Motoluxe.




It looks like in recent months, many flagship smartphones
have launched a white version, which offers users another
choice if they don't like the original finish. The origin of
a white phone traced back to the Apple iPhone, and after
that, we have also seen the white Xperia arc S, Lumia 900
and the Droid Razr. The Motorola Motoluxe (also known
as XT615) was first launched in black, and recently the
white version has popped up in the market; price-wise, it
is similar to the original black Motoluxe. From the above
picture, the white finish is mainly at the rear and both sides
                                                                         The Myriad is anything but your average chassis, as this
of the phone. For those who are interested, the Motoluxe
                                                                         mATX case has no less than seven hot-swappable hard drive
is powered by 800MHz processor and 512MB RAM (with
                                                                         bays behind a heavy door. But as nice as the hot swappable
1GB ROM). It features a 4-inch FWVGA LCD display, 8-
                                                                         drive bays are, the fact that five of them are connected to a
megapixel rear and 3-megapixel fron cameras, runs Android
                                                                         port multiplier makes this a truly unique product. It allows
2.3 Gingerbread OS and Moto Switch UI. Unfortunately, the
                                                                         for the creation of a soft RAID without the need of a RAID
mid-range phone is available only in some countries, and in
                                                                         controller in the system, as all five drives are connected
China, it is priced at around 2335 yuan (or US$370).
                                                                         to a single SATA connector on the motherboard. The port
                                                                         multiplier allows for RAID 0, 1, 3, 5 and 10.
AIO Group shows off mATX
case with built in RAID
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/aio-group-shows-off-matx-case-
with-built-in-raid/15258.html
March 18th, 2012




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


                                                                    WD finally launches My Book
                                                                    Thunderbolt Duo, is cheaper
                                                                    than competition
                                                                    Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/wd-finally-launches-my-book-
                                                                    thunderbolt-duo-is-cheaper-than-competition/15257.html
                                                                    March 18th, 2012




                                                                    Thunderbolt devices are finally starting to trickle out into the
                                                                    market, albeit most of them so far have been storage devices
                                                                    and Western Digital's new My Book Thunderbolt Duo is no
                                                                    different in this regard. However, where WD has managed
                                                                    to excel compared to its competitors in terms of pricing.
                                                                    Thunderbolt devices are finally starting to trickle out into the
                                                                    market, albeit most of them so far have been storage devices
The only minor complaint is the fact that AIO decided to use
                                                                    and Western Digital's new My Book Thunderbolt Duo is no
trays for the drives which makes the hot-swapping kind of
                                                                    different in this regard. However, where WD has managed
awkward as you have to remove the drive from the tray and
                                                                    to excel compared to its competitors in terms of pricing.
screw the new drive back in before you can swap out a faulty
drive. Other features of the chassis includes a single 5.25-        The My Book Thunderbolt Duo is available in either 4TB or
inch drive, another internal 3.5-inch bay and a 2.5-inc bay, as     6TB, although currently only the 4TB model is available from
well as a USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports and a pair of audio       WD's website. WD has gone for a more expensive setup with
jacks on the front, all accessible without having to open the       support for Thunderbolt in and out ports at the rear of the
door.                                                               My Book Thunderbolt Duo which allows for daisy chaining
                                                                    of drives for improved performance. As with previous My
                                                                    Book products from WD, the My Book Thunderbolt Duo has
                                                                    user upgradeable drives.




Internally there's space for five expansion cards with plastic
retention clips and the case comes pre-fitted with a 120mm
fan. We're not so keen on the top mounted PSU, but as this is
a mATX chassis it's not a massive deal breaker. AIO claims
that the Myriad can handle four 350mm add-in cards, albeit
these would only be single slot cards of course. The finishing
of the chassis also caught our attention, as it's quite different
from what we've seen from other manufacturers. Overall,
this is an unusual little chassis, but sadly it only appears to
be available in Europe for the time being.


                                                                                                                                       11
March 18th, 2012                                                                                                Published by: VR-Zone




WD doesn't provide any performance figures for the My           Where the My Book Thunderbolt Duo really shines though
Book Thunderbolt Duo on its website, but Engadget posted        is when it comes to the purchase price, as the 4TB is priced
from figures showing off four daisy chained My Book             at US$599.99, $50 cheaper than LaCie's similar offering
Thunderbolt Duo drives with a read speed of 690MB/s and         and the 6TB model comes in at US$699.99, a whole $100
a write speed of 530MB/s. As such the write speed is slightly   cheaper than LaCie's equivalent. It's disappointing that
slower than what LaCie claims for its 2big with Thunderbolt     neither company supplies a Thunderbolt cable with their
interface which manages a write speed of 596MB/s when           device, but at US$49 a pop, we can sort of understand why.
four drives are daisy chained, but the read performance is to
WD's advantage as LaCie only manages 670MB/s.
                                                                Apple's new iPad already torn
                                                                down, contains some news
                                                                Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-s-new-ipad-already-torn-
                                                                down-contains-some-news/15256.html
                                                                March 18th, 2012




                                                                Trust iFixit to send a member of their team to Australia just
                                                                so they could be the first to tear down Apple's new iPad.
                                                                Although much is already known about the new hardware,
                                                                iFixit's teardown did reveal some interesting design changes
                                                                that give us some interesting revelations of potential future
                                                                products from Apple.
                                                                Trust iFixit to send a member of their team to Australia just
                                                                so they could be the first to tear down Apple's new iPad.
                                                                Although much is already known about the new hardware,
                                                                iFixit's teardown did reveal some interesting design changes
                                                                that give us some interesting revelations of potential future
                                                                products from Apple.

                                                                                                                                     12
March 18th, 2012                                                                                                         Published by: VR-Zone

As it goes, most mobile devices that use ARM processors –               Electronic Arts has announced the open beta of its
with the exception of some of the Tegra 3 based tablets – use           upcoming Command & Conquer Tiberium Alliances free-to-
an SoC with support for a PoP package for the DRAM and                  play massively multiplayer online (MMO) strategy game.
this was also the case with past iPad's from Apple. However,
the new A5X SoC has reverted from this and gone back to a
more traditional approach with the DRAM mounted on the                  The game, developed by EA's Phenomic studio is the
same PCB as the rest of the components. Although it's not               latest addition to the company's Play4Free portfolio, which
entirely clear as to what kind of packaging Apple is using for          includes other games like Battlefield Heroes, Battleforge,
the A5X, it's clear that we're looking at a larger chip and it's        Need For Speed World, and Lord of Ultima.
obviously running a fair bit hotter than the A5, judging by
the heat spreader on the chip.
                                                                        The game employs the popular Command & Conquer
                                                                        strategy franchise and takes advantage of quickly growing
                                                                        browser-based online gameplay. The game will also launch
                                                                        on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets and users
                                                                        can switch back and forth between their devices, creating a
                                                                        unique cross-platform experience.




The new iPad appears to use a standard dual-channel                     Players will be able to harvest resources, form alliances, and
memory configuration with a pair of 512MB Elpida LP-                    engage in epic battles, pretty much all the things that can be
DDR2 DRAM chips. The network chip has of course been                    done in a standard Command & Conquer title.
upgraded to the same BCM4330 as the iPhone 4S and
beyond dual-band Wi-Fi support it also offers Bluetooth
4.0 + HS connectivity and an FM transceiver. The 3G/4G                  The beta can be accessed for free by anyone across the globe
modem is Qualcomm's MDM9600 which is pretty much par                    today and the final product will be free to play, though like
for the course when it comes to 3G/LTE modem solutions at               most other free to play games some restrictions or in-game
the moment.                                                             purchases may be applicable.
The change to a new package for the A5X SoC suggests
that Apple might be trying out some new hardware designs                Nokia confirms iPad tablet
inside the new iPad and considering the rumours that Apple
are working on an ARM powered MacBook Air, this isn't                   rival in the works
too farfetched. The simple reason for this is that a larger             Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-confirms-ipad-tablet-rival-in-
device wouldn't need to use such a highly integrated PCB as a           the-works/15254.html
phone and moving away from a PoP package has some other                 March 18th, 2012
advantages, such as the ability to improve the cooling of the
SoC. We'll see how things evolve, but as far as what Apple is
planning for the future, no-one knows but Apple itself.
                                                                        Nokia has confirmed that it is working on a tablet computer
EA launches beta of free-to-                                            of its own, marking the once dominant mobile phone
                                                                        company's first competition with the Apple iPad and myriad
play Command & Conquer                                                  of Android tablets.

MMO strategy game                                                       Nokia has confirmed that it is working on a tablet computer
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ea-launches-beta-of-free-to-play-
                                                                        of its own, marking the once dominant mobile phone
command--conquer-mmo-strategy-game/15255.html
                                                                        company's first competition with the Apple iPad and myriad
March 18th, 2012
                                                                        of Android tablets.


                                                                        The firm's head of design, Marko Ahtisaari, revealed to a
                                                                        Finnish magazine that he is spending a third of his time
Electronic Arts has announced the open beta of its                      developing the new tablet computer, which has long been
upcoming Command & Conquer Tiberium Alliances free-to-                  rumoured as a major project for the struggling company.
play massively multiplayer online (MMO) strategy game.

                                                                        Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia, said that the tablet category
                                                                        has always interested the company, but that if it was to enter

                                                                                                                                              13
March 18th, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

that market it wanted to employ a different approach to             of the loosely-organised Anonymous group, but more official
the existing offers. This is important, as the tablet sector is     channels for the group have denied involvement.
already saturated with many rival products, most of which
are very similar.
                                                                    Unfortunately for over 26,000 people that distancing has
                                                                    come too late, as they already installed the software and are
                                                                    now potentially at risk of hidden malware.




Nokia's PR team refused to confirm the announcement,
but suggested that it was watching the tablet market “with
interest.”


The rumours over Nokia's tablet suggest that it will                The people behind the software claim it is not infected with
employ Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system,             viruses, but they also claim that there is no such thing
marking a new stage in its partnership with the software            as a virus in the world of open source software, a rather
giant. While Windows Phone 7 has failed to match the might          questionable statement that suggests their denial might be a
of iOS or Android, many have high hopes for Windows 8,              matter of pedantry.
which will be employed on PCs, smartphones and tablets.
                                                                    Security firms are testing the software to see if it poses any
Nokia's tablet computer is expected to launch towards the           risk. It is probably wise not to use it (or to uninstall it) until
end of the year.                                                    its safety has been verified by an independent source. Source
                                                                    Forge has removed the software for now until it is certain it
                                                                    is not a security risk.

Thousands download
Anonymous hackers virus-                                            MMD introduces Philips C-
riddled OS                                                          Line Blade 2 monitor
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/thousands-download-anonymous-   Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mmd-introduces-philips-c-line-
hackers-virus-riddled-os/15253.html                                 blade-2-monitor/15252.html
March 18th, 2012                                                    March 18th, 2012




Hacktivist group Anonymous claims that an operating
system erroneously linked to its members has infected               MMD, a wholly-owned company of TPV through brand
thousands of computers with malware.                                license agreement with Philips, have announced the new
                                                                    Philips C-Line Blade 2 monitor that features an ultra-
Hacktivist group Anonymous claims that an operating                 slim 12.5mm display, IPS display technology that claims
system erroneously linked to its members has infected               to deliver superior images and color reproduction.
thousands of computers with malware.


The 1.5GB Ubuntu-based OS, known as Anonymous OS,
was circulated on software website Source Forge with the
expressed aim of checking the security of webpages for
“education purposes.” It was allegedly created by members


                                                                                                                                         14
March 18th, 2012                                                                                                        Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                         The 22.3-megapixel Canon 5D Mark III was unveiled just
                                                                         two weeks ago, with improved features such as 36 x
                                                                         24mm full-frame CMOS sensor, ISO sensitivity of 100 -
                                                                         25,600 (expandable up to L:50, H1:51,200, new DIGIC 5+
                                                                         processor, and continuous shooting speeds of up to 6 fps
                                                                         at full resolution. Today, Canon Singapore has released the
                                                                         pricing and availability of the EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR
                                                                         camera.


                                                                         Samsung unveils new
                                                                         products at South East Asia,
                                                                         Oceania and Taiwan Forum
                                                                         Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-unveils-new-products-at-
                                                                         south-east-asia-oceania-and-taiwan-forum/15250.html
                                                                         March 18th, 2012
The Philips Blade 2 monitor (239C4QHSB) sports a
stylish, ultra-slim design with IPS (In-Plane Switching)
technology that can deliver exceptional desktop experience
for consumers. Measuring 12.5mm in depth, it claims to
be one of the slimmest desktop displays on the market.
Available in classy black or elegant white, the Blade 2 is               At the South East Asia, Oceania and Taiwan Forum,
equipped with a 23-inch IPS display that delivers vivid and              Samsung has unveiled their new line of products for 2012,
life-like images when viewed even from obscured angles.                  with the vision of delivering connectivity and content across
It also features a SmartContrast ratio of 20,000,000:1                   all their devices - TVs, mobile phones, tablets, laptops,
and comes with dual HDMI ports and a VGA (Analog)                        digital cameras and home appliances.
connection.                                                              Samsung ES8000 LED TV


Canon Singapore reveals
price and availability of EOS
5D Mark III
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/canon-singapore-reveals-price-and-
availability-of-eos-5d-mark-iii/15251.html
March 18th, 2012




The highly-anticipated EOS 5D Mark III was officially
launched two weeks ago, and today, Canon Singapore has
unveiled the pricing and availability of the digital SLR
camera. Read on.                                                         The Samsung ES8000 Smart LED TV sports a new metallic
                                                                         U-shape stand that gives a unique, minimalistic design. It
                                                                         claims to offer crisp images in both 2D and 3D. It features
                                                                         Micro Dimming Ultimate technology that can analyze the
                                                                         picture and optimize the LED backlight and video signal in
                                                                         real time. This provides 20 percent increase in brightness,
                                                                         richer colors and higher contrast ratios. The technology also
                                                                         helps to eliminate the "halo" effect and image distortion
                                                                         associated with diffused light.
                                                                         The Smart TV also features Smart Content, Smart
                                                                         Interaction and Smart Evolution. Smart Content allows
                                                                         users to share photos, memories and memos with loved
                                                                         ones from the TV to the cloud to smart devices. You
                                                                         can also access wide offerings of movies, TV shows and
                                                                         streaming videos via Samsung Apps, while Samsung Smart
                                                                         Hub provides multi-tasking between apps simultaneously.
                                                                         The 55-inch Samsung ES8000 LED TV will be available End
                                                                         March 2012 at S$6,499.


                                                                                                                                            15
March 18th, 2012                                                                                             Published by: VR-Zone

Samsung WB850F




The Samsung WB850F has an ultra-compact body and
                                                             The Samsung Series 9 claims to be the world’s thinnest and
boasts a 21x optical zoom, and 16.2-megapixel BSI CMOS
                                                             most compact laptop in the market. Thanks to the company's
sensor technology that can reduce image noise and
                                                             MaxScreen technology that minimize bezel size, it features
distortion, even in low light conditions. The camera also
                                                             a vivid 15-inch display fitted into a stylish 14-inch chassis.
features 3-inch VGA AMOLED screen, Wi-Fi direct that
                                                             The Series laptop measures 14.9mm thin and weighs 1.59kg,
lets users link the WB850F to a phone or tablet for photo
                                                             which claims to be almost 50 percent more compact than
sharing, and Auto Backup function that enables user to
                                                             other 15-inch thin and light. Incorporating Intel Core i7
transfer images to the PC without having to carry around
                                                             processor and Samsung SSD, the notebook powers up in just
cables. The Samsung WB850F is available in Black from
                                                             9.8 seconds and wakes in only 1.4 seconds. The Samsung
April 2012.
                                                             Series 9 will be available in Q2 2012.

Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 (7.0) and GALAXY Tab 2 (10.1)           ASUS HD7850 DirectCU II
                                                             TOP Review
                                                             Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-hd7850-directcu-ii-top-
                                                             review/15243.html
                                                             March 18th, 2012




                                                             Earlier this month we reviewed the (paper launched)
                                                             reference AMD Radeon HD 7850, which shares the same
                                                             PCB as the higher end HD 7870. Back then we also
                                                             felt that the stock performance was lackluster and our
                                                             review sample had almost zero overclockability. Coming to
Samsung has announced the GALAXY Tab 2 (7.0) and             stores next week, ASUS's custom pre-overclocked HD7850
GALAXY Tab 2 (10.1) tablets which are powered by a 1GHz      offering actually punches above its weight and impressed us.
dual core processor, and runs Google Android 4.0 ICS         Read on to find out why!
operating system. Available in 3G and Wi-Fi versions, the
                                                             Built with AMD Southern Island's 'Pitcairn Pro' GPU, ASUS
7-inch model is designed for personal on-the-go, while the
                                                             HD7850 DirectCU II TOP 2GB (HD7850-DC2T-2GD5) is a
10.1-inch model is suited for home and family. Both the
                                                             dual slot card with their much heralded "DirectCU II" direct
GALAXY Tab 2 will be available in Q2 2012, in 16GB.
                                                             contact heatpipe cooler.

Samsung Series 9 Notebook




                                                                                                                                16
March 18th, 2012                                                                                        Published by: VR-Zone




At first glance from the front, the dual fan ASUS card looks
similar size wise to the reference HD7850 blower design.       The PCB is actually 8-inches length wise but the protuding
                                                               part of the cooler extends it to 10.5-inches. We feel that
                                                               there is a missed opportunity here to serve users of space
                                                               constrained enclosures since the rated TDP of the HD 7850
                                                               at 130W is not very high anyway and can make do with
                                                               a smaller cooling system. A 6-pin PCIe extension cable is
                                                               preinstalled as the release catch on the card is obstructed by
                                                               the cooler.




But when we turn the cards around, we see that the ASUS
card actually uses a significantly cut down version of the
reference PCB.




                                                               Accessories - the mandatory driver CD and instruction
                                                               manual, a CrossfireX bridge and a DVI to analog convertor




No changes at the display outputs so six monitor Eyefinity
can be achieved with pair of mini-DP, a single HDMI and a
DVI-D port.




                                                                                                                          17
March 18th, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone



Quick refresher - the HD 7850 has 16 'Graphics Core Next'
compute units (almost half that of the big daddy HD 7970),
with 1024 Stream processors, 32 ROPs and a GDDR5 256bit
memory bus. ASUS pre-overclocked their card to 975MHz
on the core and 1250MHz on the memory, a decent increase
of 115MHz (13.4%) and 50MHz (4%) respectively. As with all
the new 28nm based cards launching this year, the HD 7850
has PCIe 3.0 support, which helps in transfer bandwidth
constrained scenarios like HD video encoding and will work
with the current Intel Sandy Bridge-E and the upcoming Ivy
Bridge platforms.



                                                                         The Leica MP film camera (body alone) is priced at NT
                                                                         $360,000 (or US$12,185), and every limited edition unit will
                                                                         be engraved with the serial number, which could be regarded
                                                                         as a value of a collection of traditional film cameras, and is
                                                                         available for pre-order.
                                                                         Comes in Leica's original wood-made box, the camera
                                                                         features a copper and zinc-alloy body, while the the upper
                                                                         and lower lids are military grey, which resembles the Leica
                                                                         M2 Grey film camera that was launched in 1960. The Leica
                                                                         MP also uses "Vulcanite" leather that was on the Leica
                                                                         M8.2. Another special feature is the engravings of "MP100
                                                                         - XXX" on the top camera shoe, the chinse words "Exciting
                                                                         Hundred 1912 - 2011", and Taiwan's national flower, the
                                                                         plum blossom. Such a limited edition Leica MP camera
                                                                         would surely appeal to collectors.




Leica launches limited
edition MP cameras to
commemorate Taiwan's
centenary establishment
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/leica-launches-limited-edition-mp-
cameras-to-commemorate-taiwan-s-centenary-establishment/15249.html
March 18th, 2012




To commemorate Taiwan's centenary establishment (from
1912), Leica has launched the limited edition Leica MP
cameras in the country, and apparently, only 100 units.




                                                                                                                                    18
March 18th, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                         from her tyranny. To do so, mercenaries have to be hired,
                                                                         locations emptied of enemy troops, and funds “acquired” to
                                                                         hire more guns and buy more gear. As a means to an end,
                                                                         the storyline works. The wide varieties of maps – ranging
                                                                         from towns to mines to even a water pumping station –
                                                                         mean players gain a believable feel to the conveniently-
                                                                         square island. These varied, salad-y areas are chock-full of
                                                                         littered objects that breathe life into Arulco, such as NPC’s
                                                                         who cower at your gun-toting approach, or children who
                                                                         follow obliviously with their saviours. For a simple island,
                                                                         Arulco is rich in varied landscapes, a diced salad of jungle,
                                                                         desert, and suburban neglect.
                                                                         The neat touches add colour and also give players a
                                                                         sense of progression and permanence. Dead NPCs stay
                                                                         dead, their half-looted houses still hosting the remnants
Gracing the launch event include Taiwanese model and                     of whatever trash you chose not to take during a previous
actress, Tiffany Hsu.                                                    rampage. Enemies who re-take positions are smarter,
                                                                         covering previous loopholes and forcing players to work
                                                                         around them in a different manner. A pleasant day/night
                                                                         cycle also adds some interesting spice to battles. Depending
                                                                         on how you equip mercenaries, the time of day and their
                                                                         surroundings affects how well they hide. Having the glaring
                                                                         opposite type of camouflage might even give penalties!




Jagged Alliance: Back in
Action PC Game Review
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/jagged-alliance-back-in-action-pc-
game-review/15208.html
March 18th, 2012




Jagged Alliance: Back in Action marks a return and a re-
make of the hit title from the late 1990’s. Boasting updates
to bring it more in-line with the current generation, is this
quiet title release worth your money and game time? Flip on
past the break to find out.
I enjoy four-course meals. These tend to have the sort of
length that dinner conversation is witty without becoming
stale. They also give me a solid amount of food to chew on,
since I dislike having just a small bite of something great.
Jagged Alliance: Back in Action is just that sort of meal,
despite some undercooked meat and tough flavors. Before
we move on, check out the trailer and gameplay for the game
(in case you have not).
Back in Action is a remake of the second game, from way
back in the 1990’s. The hokey story behind Jagged Alliance
hasn’t changed – Players are hired to oust a dictatorial
Queen from island paradise Arulco, freeing its populace

                                                                                                                                    19
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone




VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks!
                                                                       discomfort. The problem, however, is that some people have
  VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly                         been reporting that their device is switching off due to the
  publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the            overheating problem, which means that even if they were
  geeks.                                                               willing to bear the heat, it is still something that Apple needs
                                                                       to address.

Independent tests verify iPad
                                                                       We contacted Apple yesterday about the overheating reports
3 overheating claims                                                   but received no response.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/independent-tests-verify-ipad-3-
overheating-claims/15309.html
March 21st, 2012                                                       Image Credit: Remle M.
Several independent tests have verified claims by iPad 3
users that the latest Apple gadget is overheating.
                                                                       ASUS Eee Pad Transformer
                                                                       Prime Review: A tablet in its
Engineers at Consumer Reports tested out the new iPad with
a thermal imaging camera and compared its temperature to               prime
that of the iPad 2 when playing a resource-intensive game,             Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-eee-pad-transformer-prime-
Infinity Blade II, for 45 minutes.                                     review-a-tablet-in-its-prime/15262.html
                                                                       March 21st, 2012

The result was temperatures that reached as high as 113
degrees Fahrenheit when unplugged and 116 degrees when
plugged in, which is as much as 13 degrees higher than the
iPad 2.

                                                                       The ASUS Eee Pad Transformer was launched about a year
The heat was worse in one corner of the device and the                 ago, and it stood out from the rest with its optional docking
engineers also found that it failed to charge while playing the        station with a standard keyboard and touchpad. This year,
game, despite it being plugged in. When the game was not               the company launched their Eee Pad Transformer Prime
turned on it charged as normal.                                        which claims to be the first tablet device to incorporate
                                                                       Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor. We managed to get one
                                                                       in to see how good it really is.




Another test made by Dutch website Tweakers.net showed
temperatures of 92.5 degrees Fahrenheit after five minutes,
compared to 83 degrees Fahrenheit on the iPad 2 for the
same duration, a roughly 10 degree difference, supporting              Transformers fans who went to the Transformer Cybertron
the findings from Consumer Reports.                                    Con at Resort World Sentosa in Singapore last week,
                                                                       would be fascinated by the showcase of the limited edition
                                                                       figures, as well as the 6.7 metres Optimus Prime aluminium-
Both reports suggest that while the new iPad can get
                                                                       steel statue that was standing in the centre of the ballroom.
incredibly hot, it can still be held without too much
                                                                       Coincidentally, Taiwanese company, ASUS, has come up
                                                                                                                                             1
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

with their Eee Pad Android-based tablets with similar names       March 21st, 2012
to that of the popular changing toys; the first was the Eee
Pad Transformer, followed by the recently launched Eee Pad
Transformer Prime.
Late last year, toy maker Hasbro filed a lawsuit against ASUS
for infringing the trademark on the name "Transformer             Hewlett-Packard (HP) will merge its PC and printer
Prime" on the new Android tablet. The case is still               businesses in an effort to cut costs, marking the latest stage
ongoing, though there have been not been any new updates.         in the company's restructuring.
However, this has not detered the Taiwanese company from          Hewlett-Packard (HP) will merge its PC and printer
continuing to manufacture their line of "Transformer"             businesses in an effort to cut costs, marking the latest stage
tablets.                                                          in the company's restructuring.
Last October, the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201
made its first appearance at AsiaD: All Things Digital
event in Hong Kong, and claims to be the first tablet to          The new unit will be led by Todd Bradley, the existing chief
incorporate Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor. The Eee           of HP's PC business, suggesting that his approach to PC sales
Pad Transformer Prime TF201 is slightly thinner and lighter       could be employed for printers as well. Marketing will also
than its older sibling, measuring 8.3mm thin and weighing         be unified to improve brand image and company efficiency.
586g (to 13mm and 680g of the Eee Pad Transformer).
Another distinct difference is that the TF201 sports a
                                                                  "Ensuring we have the right organizational structure in place
metallic spun finish, compared to the honeycomb texture of
                                                                  is a critical first step in driving improved execution, and
the Transformer. Before we take a closer look at the Android
                                                                  increasing effectiveness and efficiency," said Meg Whitman,
tablet, here's the specifications:-
                                                                  CEO of HP. "The result will be a faster, more streamlined,
                                   ASUS Eee Pad Transformer       performance-driven HP that is customer focused and poised
                                   Prime                          to capitalize on rapidly shifting industry trends.”
CPU                                1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3
                                   (quad-core)
Memory                             1GB
Screen                             10.1-inch LED Backlight
                                   WXGA (1280x800) Screen,
                                   Super IPS+, 10-finger multi-
                                   touch support
Display Resolution                 1280x800
Storage                            32GB EMMC + 8G life time
                                   ASUS Webstorage space
Wireless                           802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 +
                                   EDR
Camera                             1.2MP front, 8MP autofocus
                                   rear                           Last year HP was considering spinning off its PC business
Sensor                             G-sensor, light sensor,        or selling it altogether, despite it being one of the more
                                   gyroscope, E-compass           profitable sectors of the company's business. It ultimately
Interface                          2-in-1 audio jack              decided not to go with that route, but clearly it still sees the
                                   (headphone/mic),               need to make savings.
                                   microSD card reader, mini
                                   HDMI
                                                                  The problem with a merger is that the PC and printer
Battery                            12 hours; 25Wh Li-polymer      industries are very different, which means that a single
                                   Battery, 18 hours pad with     management policy for both could result in failures in either
                                   dock                           of them. Analysts remain cautious about the move, as it is not
Platform                           Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream        yet clear if it will be a viable business long-term, but many
                                   Sandwich                       investors are happy that Whitman is at least making changes
Dimensions                         263 x 180.8 x 8.3mm            to keep the company relevant.
Weight                             586g


HP to merge PC and printer                                        Blizzard acknowledges Star
businesses                                                        Wars: The Old Republic effect
                                                                  on World of Warcraft
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hp-to-merge-pc-and-printer-
businesses/15308.html
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blizzard-acknowledges-star-wars-
                                                                  the-old-republic-effect-on-world-of-warcraft/15307.html




                                                                                                                                         2
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

March 21st, 2012                                                  older parts of the game for free. This could help bring in new
                                                                  players, but it appears that a full free-to-play conversion, like
                                                                  that made by Turbine with its Dungeons & Dragons Online
                                                                  and Lord of the Rings Online titles, is not currently being
                                                                  considered.

Blizzard has admitted that the launch of rival massively
multiplayer online (MMO) game Star Wars: The Old                  Blizzard has been steadily moving developer talent away
Republic has had a negative effect on its leading title, World    from World of Warcraft to its highly-secretive Project Titan,
of Warcraft, and the company has some plans up its sleeve         a second MMO title it has been working on for some time.
to bring players back.                                            Details remain under wraps, but it is hoping to keep both
Blizzard has admitted that the launch of rival massively          games running simultaneously, despite the potential for it to
multiplayer online (MMO) game Star Wars: The Old                  ultimately end up competing with itself.
Republic has had a negative effect on its leading title, World
of Warcraft, and the company has some plans up its sleeve
                                                                  With the developer might of BioWare and the much-loved
to bring players back.
                                                                  Star Wars setting, it is not surprising that The Old Republic
                                                                  is presenting a genuine threat to the market leader. After
The Irvine, California-based firm has been losing                 only three months in operation the game is approaching
subscribers since a peak of over 12 million in 2010. Before       two million paying subscribers and is the fastest growing
BioWare's Star Wars title launched in December of last year,      MMO in North America. What is surprising, however, is that
Blizzard recorded World of Warcraft subscriptions at just         Blizzard is vocally recognising this threat.
over 10 million people, a huge drop as the hype meter went
off the charts for a shared, persistent world of lightsabers
and blasters. Since The Old Republic's launch Blizzard has
not yet shared subscriber numbers, which are likely down          MSI R7970 Lightning Review
even further.                                                     Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-r7970-lightning-
                                                                  review/15270.html
                                                                  March 21st, 2012
"Of course people are trying Star Wars - our development
team are trying Star Wars!” said John Lagrave, senior
producer on World of Warcraft. “I'm one of the few people
who's still playing it actually, but yeah we've seen a dip in
subs. It certainly has to at least be attributable to The Old
Republic, but it's also attributable to people who want to wait   Equipped with their brand new Twin Frozr IV cooling system
and get Mists of Pandaria, so it's not surprising.”               and various other overclocking-oriented components, is the
                                                                  MSI R7970 Lightning the best graphics card that money can
                                                                  buy?
Mists of Pandaria is Blizzard's upcoming expansion for            First unveiled at CeBIT 2012, the heavily souped up MSI
World of Warcraft, featuring a new Asian-themed zone,             R7970 Lightning is one of the best looking cards we ever had
a new panda-style race, and a new monk class. Its                 in our labs. If you still don't know what a Radeon HD 7970
announcement has proven controversial, as some players            is or how it performs, read this article first.
thought it was a step too far in the direction of making the
game child-friendly.




                                                                  At the back of the card, we get a large black metal backplate
                                                                  with a plastic blue orb-like cap placed behind the GPU core
                                                                  (more on that later)


World of Warcraft offers a free trial up to level 20, but
Lagrave suggested that the company could open the trial up
to level 40 or 60, letting users experience much more of the
                                                                                                                                     3
March 21st, 2012                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone




Unlike the reference design, we actually get six physical
display outputs for an immersive Eyefinity setup - 4 x mini-
DP and 2 x DVI (single link) ports




                                                                By default, the core speed of the MSI R7970 Lightning
                                                                is factory overclocked at 1070MHz, 16% higher than the
Box, documentation and bundle - besides the mandatory           reference design (925MHz). This is not surprising as most
manual and driver CD, we have a "Military Class MIL-            Radeon HD 7970s that we've played with can run at that
STD-810G" certificate touting its durability, handy probe       frequency without a voltage bump.
wires for the voltage check points, mini-DP to DP convertor,
DVI to HDMI dongle and two 6-pin to 8-pin PCIe convertors
(rare).




When the card is in operation, there are attractive blue LEDs
at the front and back, and 14+2+1 of them at the VRM area
behind actually indicates how many power phases are in use.




                                                                                                                         4
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                           • Apple iPad 2 (iOS 5.1, Apple A5) - Peacekeeper score
New iPad Performance                                                         383
Disappoints: Peacekeeper                                                   • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Android 4.0.1, NVIDIA
Benchmark Scores Remain                                                      Tegra 2) - Peacekeeper score 356

the Same                                                                   • ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime (Android 4.0.3,
                                                                             NVIDIA Tegra 3) - Peacekeeper score 344
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/new-ipad-performance-disappoints-
peacekeeper-benchmark-scores-remain-the-same/15288.html                    • Apple iPad 1st gen (iOS 5.1, Apple A4) - Peacekeeper
March 21st, 2012                                                             score 234

                                                                        Yes, it is odd seing Tegra 2-based tablet beating the Tegra 3-
                                                                        based one, but that is not surprising, given the load on the
                                                                        internal bus. Still, the difference in clock (T20 operates at
                                                                        1GHz, T30 operates at 1.3GHz) should give better results.
                                                                        Pleasant surprise is AMD powered Acer W500, which leads
While Apple did an untypical thing and attacked NVIDIA
                                                                        the tablet pack. As the picture above clearly suggests, tablets
and their Tegra 3 quad-core chip, claiming 4x better
                                                                        from 2011 and 2012 are still around 10 times slower than a
performance, the first benchmark results tell a different
                                                                        standard gaming PC from 2009.
story, especially in Futuremark’s Peacekeeper benchmark.
Firstly, Notebook Magazine ran an article in which editors
compared the New iPad (iPad 3) and ASUS Eee Pad                         Nokia Lumia smartphones
Transformer Prime, powered by NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor.
In their comparison, they did find a benchmark or two where
                                                                        get Maps and Drive updates
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-lumia-smartphones-get-maps-
Apple’s A5X chip managed to beat NVIDIA Tegra 3 but
                                                                        and-drive-updates/15305.html
in all honesty, there were benchmarks in which A5X got
                                                                        March 21st, 2012
hammered by Tegra 3. If I was CEO of NVIDIA, I could not
be happier for the amount of free PR given by Tim Cooke and
the fruity gang.
Now, Futuremark is joining the fold, comparing the New
iPad to existing batch of tablets with surprising results.
Given that Apple did not give any processing power boost                Nokia has just rolled out updates for two of the most popular
between A5 and A5X, it is not surprising to hear that                   Windows Phone apps on its Lumia smartphones, Maps and
performance in HTML5 and JavaScript-based Peacekeeper                   Drive. Nokia Drive 2.0 provides the ability to do offline route
did not move by an inch.                                                planning and navigation as well as taking notice of speed
                                                                        limits.
                                                                        Nokia has just rolled out updates for two of the most popular
                                                                        Windows Phone apps on its Lumia smartphones, Maps and
                                                                        Drive. Nokia Drive 2.0 provides the ability to do offline route
                                                                        planning and navigation as well as taking notice of speed
                                                                        limits.
                                                                        Further is the improved interface design with an advanced
                                                                        dashboard giving more detail and a list of recent destinations
                                                                        as well as better all round responsiveness/performance.
                                                                        Nokia Drive 2.0 currently works in 100 countries on six
                                                                        continents.
                                                                        Nokia Maps takes the jump to v1.3 and with that comes
                                                                        the ability to provide users with a means to see traffic
                                                                        situations in several countries. There are also a number
According to the company, “Peacekeeper takes 5 minutes                  of improvements made to the design, but otherwise things
to run during which time it evaluates the browser’s                     remain much the same.
performance with a rendering test, WebGL test, HTML5                    Both Nokia Maps 1.3 and Nokia Drive 2.0 are available now
video test, HTML5 canvas test, HTML5 web worker test,                   as free downloads through the Windows Phone marketplace.
data manipulation tests, DOM operations test and text
parsing tests. For more detailed explanations of these
tests see the FAQ: http://peacekeeper.futuremark.com/                   ASUS launches K93SM 18.4-
faq.action”
And if you wonder what the scores are, the results are here:
                                                                        inch notebook in Europe
                                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-launches-k93sm-18.4-inch-
                                                                        notebook-in-europe/15304.html
   • Acer Iconia W500 (Windows 8 CP, AMD Fusion E-
     Series) - Peacekeeper score 405
   • Apple iPad 3rd gen (iOS 5.1, Apple A5X) - Peacekeeper
     score 384


                                                                                                                                             5
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone

March 21st, 2012                                                 proprietory IceCool technology. The notebook ships with
                                                                 Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.




ASUS has just officially released its latest K-Series notebook
into the European market boasting an 18.4-inch sized LED-
backlit Full HD (1920 x 1080) display. The K93SM can
now be found online at various EU e/retailers with stock
showing and pricing that ranges from 849 Euro to 1,149 Euro
depending on the chosen configuration.
ASUS has just officially released its latest K-Series notebook
into the European market boasting an 18.4-inch sized LED-
backlit Full HD (1920 x 1080) display. The K93SM can
now be found online at various EU e/retailers with stock
showing and pricing that ranges from 849 Euro to 1,149 Euro
depending on the chosen configuration.



                                                                 MSI's R7970 Lightning lives
                                                                 up to the name with 1800MHz
                                                                 core o/c
                                                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-s-r7970-lightning-lives-up-to-
                                                                 the-name-with-1800mhz-core-oc/15303.html
                                                                 March 21st, 2012




                                                                 MSI certainly wasn't kidding anyone with all the marketing
                                                                 hype it ran with to put its Radeon R7970 Lightning graphics
                                                                 card up on a pedestal, as Swedish overclocking pro Elmor
                                                                 demonstrated when pairing up this lovely highly non-
For that you get a notebook that packs a Core i5-2450M or        reference HD 7970 with liquid nitrogen cooling measures.
i7-2670QM processor, up to 8 GB of RAM, a GeForce GT             MSI certainly wasn't kidding anyone with all the marketing
630M 1 GB graphics card and a 500 GB (or 1 TB) HDD.              hype it ran with to put its Radeon R7970 Lightning graphics
Connectivity includes Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, a     card up on a pedestal, as Swedish overclocking pro Elmor
USB 3.0 port and 3-in-1 card reader. Rounding out the specs,     demonstrated when pairing up this lovely highly non-
the S93SM comes with either a 8x DVD writer or 6x Blu-ray        reference HD 7970 with liquid nitrogen cooling measures.
combo drive, 6-cell (5200 mAh) battery and a chiclet style
                                                                 Elmor wasn't afraid to go to extremes with the card and
keyboard; in all weighing in at 4.1Kg.
                                                                 pumped a whopping 1.7V into it (which it surprisingly
                                                                 sustained without demise) and then proceeded to reach for
                                                                 the skies in the clocks department.




ASUS keeps temps at bay and ensures the palmrest won't
get uncomfortably warm with the implementation of its
                                                                 The end result saw the card thumping along at an incredible
                                                                 1800MHz core clock rate, while the memory was pushed
                                                                                                                                          6
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                         Published by: VR-Zone

to an equally staggering 1925MHz memory clock (equating                  price for the body is around 300,000 yen (US$3,580), while
to 7.70GHz effective and a massive 370 Gb/s of memory                    the body with AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm F3.5-5.6 G ED VR
bandwidth on tap).                                                       lens will sell at 400,000 yen (US$4,777). The D800E, which
                                                                         has the ability to disable additional filtering, will retail at
With that in place, stability was the next point of concern;
                                                                         350,000 yen (US$4,180) for the body alone, in April.
alas there were no dramas with a 3DMark11 result obtained
of P15035 (Performance preset) in conjunction with a Core                According to Nikon Singapore, the supply shortage would
i7-3960X Extreme Edition clocked at 5207MHz and 4GB                      not have a great impact to consumers here. In fact, the
(4x1GB) of DDR3 at 2314 MHz sitting on MSI's Big Bang                    company will be releasing the stock to the market and
XPower II motherboard.                                                   making them available for sales from 22 March onwards.
                                                                         Consumers can make a visit to the authorized retailers and
MSI's custom PCB certainly looks to have paid off in
                                                                         check out the digital SLR camera, before the stocks get
providing a real treat for overclocking buffs alike. Give it a
                                                                         grabbed off the shelves. For those who are worried they
few weeks or so and we'll no doubt be hearing of even higher
                                                                         can't get the unit before stocks run out, can place pre-
clock rates achieved.
                                                                         orders with the stores directly. However, Nikon Singapore
                                                                         was unable to comment on how long consumers would have
Expect shortage in supply for                                            to wait, if stocks did run out.

the Nikon D800/D800E
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/expect-shortage-in-supply-for-the-
nikon-d800d800e/15299.html

                                                                         Zinio now available on
March 21st, 2012


                                                                         BlackBerry PlayBook
                                                                         Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zinio-now-available-on-blackberry-
                                                                         playbook/15302.html
                                                                         March 21st, 2012

Last month, Nikon announced the 36.3-megapixel D800/
D800E digital SLR camera which is scheduled to be
available end of March, next week. But for photographer
enthusiasts who are looking to get the camera, don't be
surprised if the popular D800/D800E is out of stock in
stores.                                                                  For those of you who aren't familiar with Zinio, it is
                                                                         an application that brings digital magazines to your Apple
                                                                         iPad, iPhone, Android devices, Mac and the PC. And
                                                                         BlackBerry Playbook owners will be pleased to know that
                                                                         Zinio is now available on the tablet.




The Nikon D800 digital SLR camera is scheduled to go on
retail in Japan on March 22 (and end of March in Singapore),
though the company's web site states that to expect supply
shortages. The Nikon Imaging Japan said that it has
received pre-orders which are higher than expected, and                  The Zinio app offers digital magazines and newspapers from
the originally released quantity is not sufficient to meet the           around the world to your devices, and now to the BlackBerry
demand, and the company may require more time to deliver                 PlayBook. Zinio has over 5,000 titles in more than 30
the D800.                                                                languages and lets you access your magazines on the go,
The newly announced Nikon D800 is a full-frame digital                   read while online or download for easy offline access. The
SLR camera that is equipped with a 36.3-megapixel FX-                    Zinio app is free on the BlackBerry App World, though if you
format CMOS sensor. It has a 100% video finder coverage,                 want to read the digital magazines, you will need to purchase
51-point Auto-Focus system, high ISO range of 100 to 6400                the individual ones within the app. For a limited time only,
which can be expanded to 50-to-25600 and supports full HD
video recording in FX or DX format. The estimated retail
                                                                                                                                                  7
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

PlayBook users who download the app and register on Zinio
can enjoy access to free titles including Elle and Esquire.


Samsung GALAXY S III
appears in Visa commercial?
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-appears-in-
visa-commercial-/15301.html
March 21st, 2012




                                                                       Samsung has partnered Viki to offer Smart TV owners,
There have been many rumors about the Samsung GALAXY                   thousands of hours of content with the Viki Premiere app.
S III circulating on the web, especially with its launch               Viki is an international video site, known for aggregating
coming closer each day. And it seems that the Android                  some of the world’s best TV programs and movies, which
smartphone may have made an appearance in a Visa                       are subtitled in more than 150 languages. The video site is
commercial recently.                                                   also the content partner for the KPop Service App, which is
                                                                       a collaboration between Samsung and major Korean record
                                                                       labels, bringing together the latest news and information
                                                                       of popular Korean music artistes; the KPop Service App is
                                                                       exclusively available on Samsung Apps
                                                                       Smart TV users can now watch TV shows, movies and
                                                                       entertainment news from around the world, including the
                                                                       hottest Korean dramas, Japanese anime, award-winning
                                                                       independent films and more, all free and translated into
                                                                       the language of choice. Best of all, Viki Premiere is free to
                                                                       download and will be available via Samsung Apps on Smart
                                                                       TV from March in Singapore and across Southeast Asia.


Even though there have been no specific details as to
                                                                       OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid 1TB
when the Samsung GALAXY S III will be launched, it                     PCI-E SSD Review
seems that the new flagship phone have been spotted in a               Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ocz-revodrive-hybrid-1tb-pci-e-ssd-
Visa commercial with its Near Field Communication (NFC)                review/15298.html
capability. However, many believed that it is the GALAXY               March 21st, 2012
S II and not the upcoming Android device. Foreign media
states that the phone in the Visa commercial could be the
Samsung GALAXY S III because it looks fairly wide and does
not have the Home key. What do you think? Could this phone
really be the Samsung GALAXY S III?

                                                                          SSD drives undoubtedly are extremely fast, with their
Samsung partners Viki to                                               speeds being only limited by the bandwidth of the SATA
                                                                       bus interface. However they also remain disproportionately
offer users high quality video                                         expensive per GB when compared to mechanical drives,
content in Singapore                                                   forbidding mainstream customers from purchasing large
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-partners-viki-to-offer-
                                                                       capacity drives. For those who require a fairly large primary
users-high-quality-video-content-in-singapore/15300.html
                                                                       drive and want to reap the benefits of SSD technology,
March 21st, 2012
                                                                       several companies developed caching solutions, such as the
                                                                       Synapse which we reviewed several weeks ago. OCZ however
                                                                       offers another interesting product, the RevoDrive Hybrid
                                                                       1TB. The RevoDrive Hybrid is a ready-to-go storage solution
                                                                       which couples a 1TB mechanical drive with a 128GB SSD
                                                                       cache in the form of a PCI-E device. In this review we will
Samsung Smart TV owners in Singapore can enjoy more                    find out not only how well it compares against SSD drives
quality content in the comfort of their homes. The Korean              but when compared to other caching solutions as well.
company has partnered with international video site, Viki, to          SSD drives undoubtedly are extremely fast, with their
offer a wide variety of TV shows, movies and entertainment             speeds being only limited by the bandwidth of the SATA
news, all for free.                                                    bus interface. However they also remain disproportionately
                                                                       expensive per GB when compared to mechanical drives,
                                                                       forbidding mainstream customers from purchasing large
                                                                       capacity drives. For those who require a fairly large primary

                                                                                                                                                 8
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                        Published by: VR-Zone

drive and want to reap the benefits of SSD technology,
several companies developed caching solutions, such as the              Fairchild Semiconductor
Synapse which we reviewed several weeks ago. OCZ however                shrinks Driver MOSFETs for
offers another interesting product, the RevoDrive Hybrid
1TB. The RevoDrive Hybrid is a ready-to-go storage solution             Ultrabooks
which couples a 1TB mechanical drive with a 128GB SSD                   Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/fairchild-semiconductor-shrinks-
cache in the form of a PCI-E device. In this review we will             driver-mosfets-for-ultrabooks/15296.html
find out not only how well it compares against SSD drives               March 21st, 2012
but when compared to other caching solutions as well.


Intel cans 3.4W TDP Cactus                                              Driver MOSFETs, more commonly known as DrMOS are
Ridge Thunderbolt chip                                                  a key part in the VRM design in modern computers and
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-cans-3.4w-tdp-cactus-ridge-   despite being smaller than traditional MOSFET designs,
thunderbolt-chip/15297.html                                             once you start looking at notebooks and even more so at
March 21st, 2012                                                        Ultrabooks, these chips actually take up quite a lot of space.
                                                                        Now Fairchild Semiconductors have managed to shrink the
                                                                        foot print of its Generation II XS DrMOS by 50 percent to
                                                                        make them more suitable for use in Ultrabooks.
                                                                        Driver MOSFETs, more commonly known as DrMOS are
We're not sure if this is good news or bad news, but Intel has          a key part in the VRM design in modern computers and
decided to cancel one of its planned Thunderbolt chipsets               despite being smaller than traditional MOSFET designs,
in the upcoming Cactus Ridge range of chips. The company                once you start looking at notebooks and even more so at
has canned the 3.4W TDP part, also known as the L3510H                  Ultrabooks, these chips actually take up quite a lot of space.
in favour of the lower power L3510L.                                    Now Fairchild Semiconductors have managed to shrink the
We're not sure if this is good news or bad news, but Intel has          foot print of its Generation II XS DrMOS by 50 percent to
decided to cancel one of its planned Thunderbolt chipsets               make them more suitable for use in Ultrabooks.
in the upcoming Cactus Ridge range of chips. The company                The chips in question are called FDMF6708N and measure
has canned the 3.4W TDP part, also known as the L3510H                  a mere 6x6mm and come in a PQFN package. Beyond
in favour of the lower power L3510L.                                    being smaller, Fairchild has also implemented something
Technically there is no different between the 3.4W TDP                  called Zero Cross Detect or ZCD which allows for improved
L3510H and the 2.8W L3510L Cactus Ridge Thunderbolt                     light load performance which results in improved battery
chips, although we presume that Intel was planning on                   life. Fairchild claims 2.5 percent improved efficiency at peak
charging more for the lower power part as it would've been              loads of 15A and a six percent better efficiency at a 30A full
targeting the notebook market space with the 3.4W part                  load compared to its nearest competitor when connected to
going into desktops and powered devices.                                a 19V power source.

The L3510 is a 4-channel Thunderbolt controller and it's                By integrating more features into the same package,
set to replace the original Thunderbolt controller known                Fairchild's new DrMOS also helps simplify the PCB design
as Light Ridge or 82523EF/EFL which launched towards                    by allowing for shorter PCB trances, the use of fewer
the end of 2010. The L3510 is a smaller 12x12mm chip                    components and reduced thermals at higher frequencies.
– compared to 15x15mm for Light Ridge – and with the                    Sadly this is one of those aspects where it's really up to the
changes it's also slightly more power efficient. Intel has              device maker, but hopefully we'll see this kind of product
also managed to implement additional features on-chip for               in future Ultrabooks, as when it comes to battery life, every
Cactus Ridge, such as a DisplayPort redriver, a connection              little helps. The FDMF6708N is priced at US$ 1.86 a piece
manager and a link controller which should help drive down              in quantities of 1,000 units, although as multiple parts are
the cost of implementing Thunderbolt as well as help to                 being used in one and the same Ultrabook and these things
reduce the PCB space taken up by the components needed.                 are usually bought in far larger quantities, we'd doubt that
                                                                        this is anywhere near the actual cost for the Ultrabook
That said, Intel isn't expecting to have final samples for              manufacturers.
its customers until mid-April, or about four weeks late
according to its earlier schedules. This is unlikely to have
a huge effect on any actual products now with the new Ivy               Windows 8 is expected to
Bridge Ultrabooks not launching until June or even later in
the year. In related news, Intel is planning a Thunderbolt              launch in October
developer lab in Taiwan later this month for its partners to            Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/windows-8-is-expected-to-launch-in-
give them additional training and advice as to how to best              october/15295.html
implement the technology in their products.                             March 21st, 2012




                                                                        Not entirely unexpectedly, Microsoft is aiming for an
                                                                        October launch for Windows 8 and we should see both the
                                                                        x86 and ARM versions launch at the same time. This would
                                                                        give Microsoft ample time to get its new OS out into the

                                                                                                                                               9
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

channel in time for the holiday shopping season, be it on new          About a month and a half ago VR-Zone revealed Intel's
devices or in retail boxed versions.                                   Atom CE5300 series of media processors (also known as
                                                                       Berryville) as well as Intel's plans for Tizen and now Intel has
Not entirely unexpectedly, Microsoft is aiming for an
                                                                       officially announced the Atom CE5300 platform at the IPTV
October launch for Windows 8 and we should see both the
                                                                       World Forum in London. Intel also had some of its partners
x86 and ARM versions launch at the same time. This would
                                                                       at the show, displaying their very first set-top-boxes based
give Microsoft ample time to get its new OS out into the
                                                                       on the new platform.
channel in time for the holiday shopping season, be it on new
devices or in retail boxed versions.                                   Intel is of course doing its best to sell the new Atom
                                                                       CE5300 platform and to drum up some consumer interest
Bloomberg is reporting that the OS will in fact be finished
                                                                       Intel has put a blog post detailing the advantages of Atom
sometime this summer and that Microsoft is preparing a
                                                                       CE5300 SoC's making it sound like set-top-boxes based on
partner event for next month where it will detail its Windows
                                                                       it will be the ultimate convergence devices. Intel is bragging
8 strategy, especially with regards to timing and marketing.
                                                                       about console level graphics and if they're comparing
We'd expect more details to slip out into the public after that
                                                                       themselves to the Nintendo Wii then they might be right, but
event, although as we know, things can change quite quickly
                                                                       considering that the graphics core should identical in terms
in this industry, but Microsoft needs to get its new version of
                                                                       of performance to the Cedar Trail based Atom processors,
Windows out in a timely manner if it wants to hit the holiday
                                                                       it's no PS3 or Xbox 360 graphics.
season.
                                                                       On the other hand we have no doubt that the CE5300 series
As for ARM based devices it appears that Microsoft is
                                                                       of SoC's will offer more than enough performance to handle
working with a few select partners for the initial launch
                                                                       media playback of all types, in no small amount thanks to
and Bloomberg reports that the upcoming ARM devices are
                                                                       a dedicated video decoder. As we mentioned earlier, some
being quality controlled by Microsoft as to meet the highest
                                                                       models will also sport a hardware video encoder which
standards. There's no doubt that is an important launch
                                                                       should make it a good solution for PVR's as well. Intel is also
for Microsoft, as if the ARM version of the OS and the
                                                                       hoping that the Atom CE5300 will do double duty as a home
accompanying devices prove to be a flop, Microsoft might be
                                                                       gateway and act as a cable modem, router and VoIP gateway
out of the ARM market space until the company has a new
                                                                       beyond the regular set-top-box features on offer.
version of Windows.
                                                                       The real question here is how well Intel can compete with
Apparently three of the ARM based partner devices at launch
                                                                       ARM based solutions which have traditionally dominated
will be tablets, but it's not known how many devices will
                                                                       this market space. It's worth keeping in mind that many set-
launch in total. We're hearing rumours of Asus Transformer
                                                                       top-box products aren't always produced to be as cheap as
like devices being popular among some of the partners,
                                                                       possible, even though cost is always a consideration. Cable
but we'd also expect a range of new interesting devices
                                                                       TV companies generally want products that lasts as long as
like Lenovo's Yoga convertible notebook. The question is if
                                                                       possible and that are upgradable, especially when it comes
the fairly limited version of Windows 8 which will run on
                                                                       to being able to offer new features to their customers that
ARM devices will be enough to satisfy consumer demand,
                                                                       they can charge an extra service fee for and here an x86
considering that so far it's been an OS on productivity
                                                                       chip might be a winner as it's far more flexible than many
devices rather than on consumption devices. It'll be even
                                                                       ARM solutions. Then again, most consumers have no idea
more interesting to see if Microsoft can appeal to its target
                                                                       and couldn't care less about what's inside their set-top-box,
market with the new devices we'll see, or if it'll prove to be
                                                                       so we'll see how this one plays out.
a tough sale, just as the case has been with most Android
based tablets.
                                                                       Microsoft Xbox projector
Intel announces the Atom                                               helmet patent shows game
CE5300 media processor                                                 console plans
family                                                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-xbox-projector-helmet-
                                                                       patent-shows-game-console-plans/15293.html
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-announces-the-atom-ce5300-
                                                                       March 21st, 2012
media-processor-family/15294.html
March 21st, 2012




                                                                       It has come to light that software developer Microsoft has
                                                                       patented a gaming helmet and projector eyeware for the
                                                                       Xbox, which could be a planned feature for the company's
                                                                       next-generation console.
About a month and a half ago VR-Zone revealed Intel's Atom
CE5300 series of media processors (also known as                       It has come to light that software developer Microsoft has
Berryville) as well as Intel's plans for Tizen and now Intel has       patented a gaming helmet and projector eyeware for the
officially announced the Atom CE5300 platform at the IPTV              Xbox, which could be a planned feature for the company's
World Forum in London. Intel also had some of its partners             next-generation console.
at the show, displaying their very first set-top-boxes based
on the new platform.


                                                                                                                                              10
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                        Published by: VR-Zone

The Redmond, Washington-based firm has been secretly                   degrees Fahrenheit after a very short period of use, such as
working on the gaming accessory since September 2010,                  10 or 30 minutes.
according to Patent Bolt, and has two versions in the work,
which could revolutionise console gaming in the same way
that the Wii did.                                                      Some reports show that the new iPad 3, technically known
                                                                       as “the new iPad,” can overheat so much that users get an
                                                                       error screen telling them that it must cool down before being
The two variations are a helmet and glasses, both of                   used. While this might help prevent the risk of burns or fire,
which feature two projectors, which project virtual gameplay           it will do little to appease angry customers.
imagery into the room, bringing the industry one step closer
to holographic gaming.




The patent suggests that the projectors will be partially
transparent so that users can see both the projected virtual           DisplaySearch previously suggested that the new iPad had
objects and the real terrain and objects behind them, helping          display problems, thanks to its higher-resolution “retina”
bring gamers closer to the dream of actually being fully               display. It requires twice the number of LED lights and
present in the game environment. Of course, this might                 consumes a lot more power, which could explain the
only work with gimmicky games that involve, for example,               overheating issue.
finding or interacting with objects in one's house, rather than
full-blown blockbuster titles.
                                                                       Apple included a more powerful processor in the tablet,
                                                                       which required a bigger battery in order to keep battery life
There is also no guaranteeing that Microsoft will successfully         similar to that of the iPad 2. The company claims that the
develop this technology, or that it will be used in the Xbox           iPad 3 could be used for up to 10 hours on a single charge, but
720, but it certainly needs a new approach to consoles if it is        many users are not even getting a tenth of that time before
to compete with the Wii U, which is taking advantage of the            the device overheats.
tablet computer boom by adding a tablet controller.
                                                                       Apple has already sold three million of the new iPad, but
                                                                       several users have reported that they are returning the
                                                                       device, which could cost the company million of dollars if the
Users report iPad 3                                                    problem is widespread enough.
overheating problem
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/users-report-ipad-3-overheating-
                                                                       Apple has so far failed to respond to the issue.
problem/15291.html
March 21st, 2012
                                                                       Image Source: Remle M.


                                                                       Project Titan stealing World
A growing number of users are reporting that Apple's third-            of Warcraft developer talent
generation iPad, which launched last week, is overheating to           Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/project-titan-stealing-world-of-
such an extent that it cannot be held.                                 warcraft-developer-talent/15290.html
                                                                       March 21st, 2012
A growing number of users are reporting that Apple's third-
generation iPad, which launched last week, is overheating to
such an extent that it cannot be held.


Multiple reports from consumers of the latest tablet
computer show excessive temperatures like 96.8 or 117


                                                                                                                                              11
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

Blizzard, the game studio behind the popular Warcraft,
Starcraft and Diablo series, has revealed that its Project        The problem with running two MMOs is that it might end up
Titan massively multiplayer online (MMO) game is taking           competing with itself, with many veteran World of Warcraft
developer talent away from its highly-successful World of         players likely willing to try something new. Since MMOs take
Warcraft (WoW) title.                                             up a huge amount of time for gamers it can be difficult to
Blizzard, the game studio behind the popular Warcraft,            juggle both, so the success of Project Titan may come at the
Starcraft and Diablo series, has revealed that its Project        expense of its existing flagship game.
Titan massively multiplayer online (MMO) game is taking
developer talent away from its highly-successful World of
Warcraft (WoW) title.
                                                                  Free mobile apps drain
“There are people that had worked on the ‘World of Warcraft’      battery power
team that now work on [Project Titan] where we’ve had like        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/free-mobile-apps-drain-battery-
a slow trickle of expertise,” said Tom Chilton, game director     power/15289.html
for World of Warcraft. “Meanwhile, we’ve also hired people        March 21st, 2012
and trained them over the last four to five years to take the
place of some of the people that have gone to work on the
other games.”


Blizzard's MMO remains the global leader with over 10             Free mobile apps use considerably more battery power
million players at the end of 2011. However, it has been          than their paid equivalents, due to resource-hogging
steadily losing subscribers since its peak record of 12 million   advertisements, according to a study by Purdue University.
in 2010, with rival games like Star Wars: The Old Republic
likely to blame.                                                  Free mobile apps use considerably more battery power
                                                                  than their paid equivalents, due to resource-hogging
                                                                  advertisements, according to a study by Purdue University.


                                                                  Researchers at the Indiana-based university found that
                                                                  third-party advertising services that are attached to free
                                                                  apps consume a significant amount of power, with one
                                                                  example accounting for 75 percent of the app's total energy
                                                                  consumption.


                                                                  Popular bird-flinging game Angry Birds was one of the main
                                                                  test apps employed, with the report finding that the game
                                                                  itself only used 20 percent of the total energy output. A
                                                                  whopping 45 percent of power was used to find out the user's
                                                                  location in order to provide targeted advertising, which the
                                                                  remainder of the power provided.


                                                                  Another issue that was discovered is what is called a “3G
                                                                  tail,” where a 3G connection is left open for up to 10 seconds
                                                                  after a download has been completed, resulting in a needless
                                                                  loss of power, and a potential data charge for the user.



Despite work on its top-secret Titan MMO, which some
believe could be a “World of Starcraft” or perhaps a new
franchise altogether, the studio remains committed to World
of Warcraft, with plans to release another expansion, Mists
of Pandaria, some time in the future, most likely this year.


“I do believe there’s room for us to have two highly successful
MMO games,” Chilton added. “I don’t feel like there’s going
to be a time where we just say ‘OK, everybody on the WoW
team, pack it up you’re moving over to the Titan MMO.’ I
don’t see that as being a realistic probability. I think we’re
going to try to staff up both teams and actually end up with
two large, strong MMO teams.”

                                                                                                                                        12
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                Published by: VR-Zone

While the advertising model allows developers to create free            launch when the tag has been scanned. The Xperia sola also
content, the study's author, Abhinav Pathak, said that energy           comes with "floating touch" navigation, which only works
optimisation needs to be taken more seriously.                          for web browsing and manipulating the live wallpaperon
                                                                        the home screen. It sports a 3.7-inch Reality Display with
                                                                        Mobile BRAVIA Engine and is equipped with 1GHz dual-
The tests were made using popular apps on both the Android              core processor. The Sony Xperia sola will be available in Q2
and Windows Phone mobile platforms, but tests could not                 this year.
be conducted on Apple's iOS due to the company's software
restrictions. The findings are likely to be the same, however.          Sony Xperia U


Battery life is becoming an increasing concern for mobile
users, as smartphones and tablet computers consume huge
volumes of power, particularly if the user leaves apps like
email and Facebook running in the background. Battery
technology has not developed at the same pace, which means
that energy conservation is critical if users want to get a
decent amount of time out of a single charge.


Image Credit: Tomasz Sienicki


Sony Singapore offers
integrated entertainment
across devices and screen
sizes
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sony-singapore-offers-integrated-
entertainment-across-devices-and-screen-sizes/15286.html
March 21st, 2012




Today, Sony Electronics Singapore showcased their new
products including BRAVIA TVs and Xperia Android
smartphones, which bring about integrated entertainment
and communication to users, and letting them have the
convenience of sharing the content on different platforms.
Sony Xperia sola
                                                                        The first thing that caught our eyes on Sony Xperia U is
                                                                        the illuminating transparent strip on the phone that can
                                                                        adapt its colors to match the display. The Xperia U is
                                                                        powered by 1GHz dual-core processor and features 3.5-
                                                                        inch Reality Display powered by Mobile BRAVIA engine,
                                                                        5-megapixel camera with fast capture and high definition
                                                                        recording, and incorporates xLoud and 3D surround sound
                                                                        audio technology. It will be available in Q2 2012.


                                                                        Sony Xperia P




The Sony Xperia sola was announced last week, and today
we managed to get a hands-on of a working prototype. The
smartphone features Near Field Communication, and with
the Smart Tags, you can personalize the type of apps to
                                                                                                                                  13
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone

                                                               PRO and Motionflow XR 800 technologies that provide
                                                               crisp, seamless video viewing. It is also fully Internet-
                                                               connected with built-in 3D that offers an immersive
                                                               cinematic experience.


                                                               First retail GEFORCE GTX
                                                               680 pixelated
                                                               Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-retail-geforce-gtx-680-
                                                               pixelated/15287.html
                                                               March 21st, 2012




                                                               The first images of a retail GTX 680 have appeared online
                                                               thanks to Overclock.net forum member "ironman86" - a
                                                               lucky lad who managed to get hold of a GIGABYTE model,
                                                               box and all. The card with a designated model name
                                                               of GV-N680D5-2GD-B strictly follows NVIDIA's reference
                                                               design apart from some exclusive GIGABYTE sci-fi themed
                                                               artwork.
                                                               The first images of a retail GTX 680 have appeared online
                                                               thanks to Overclock.net forum member "ironman86" - a
                                                               lucky lad who managed to get hold of a GIGABYTE model,
                                                               box and all.




The Xperia P is designed to deliver an ultra-bright viewing
experience with Sony’s WhiteMagic display technology on its
4-inch Realityy display powered by Mobile BRAVIA Engine.
It is equipped with 1GHz dual-core processor, 8-megapixel
rear camera, and is NFC-capable. On the left is the SIM card
slot, HDMI output and microUSB port. The camera shutter,
volume control and power button are on the right. The Sony
Xperia P is also scheduled to launch in Q2.                    The card with a designated model name of GV-
                                                               N680D5-2GD-B strictly follows NVIDIA's reference design
                                                               apart from some exclusive GIGABYTE sci-fi themed
                                                               artwork.




                                                               These photos also allow us to confirm that the power-
Sony has also introduced their new range of BRAVIA TVs         connector arrangement does indeed comprise two 6-pin
- the flagship HX, elegant NX and entry to mid-level EX        sockets.
series. The Sony HX855 and NX650 feature the company’s
distinctive Monolithic design and Corning Gorilla Glass
for durable screens. The HX855 incorporates X-Reality

                                                                                                                                   14
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                        March 21st, 2012




                                                                        SSDs might still be the hot topic in storage, but considering
                                                                        the high costs per GB, hard disk drives aren't going anywhere
                                                                        any time soon. Seagate has announced that it has managed
                                                                        to reach storage densities of 1 Terabit per square inch,
                                                                        something the company claims will allow for twice the hard
                                                                        drive capacity of today within the next few years.
Be sure to head over to the source multiple times over                  SSDs might still be the hot topic in storage, but considering
the coming days where the forum post will continue to be                the high costs per GB, hard disk drives aren't going anywhere
updated with additional benchmark results.                              any time soon. Seagate has announced that it has managed
                                                                        to reach storage densities of 1 Terabit per square inch,
                                                                        something the company claims will allow for twice the hard
Report: AMD Radeon HD 7990                                              drive capacity of today within the next few years.
Specifications                                                          For now the technology is only on a demo stage and it's based
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/report-amd-radeon-hd-7990-          on Seagate's HAMR or heat-assisted magnetic recording
specifications/15285.html                                               technology. It allows Seagate to store roughly 2 million linear
March 21st, 2012                                                        bits per inch which leads to the 1 Terabit per square inch
                                                                        claim, or as Seagate puts it 55 percent higher than today's
                                                                        620 Gigabit per square inch density ceiling.
                                                                        Seagate is expecting that its first generation of HAMR drives
                                                                        will come in capacities of around 6TB for 3.5-inch drives
                                                                        and 2TB for 2.5-inch drives. The company is expecting the
                                                                        HAMR technology to be able to scale to somewhere between
AMD is preparing to release the Southern Islands / HD 7000              5 to 10 Terabits per inch and as such allowing for 30 to 60TB
flagship, codenamed New Zealand, to be branded Radeon                   3.5-inch drives and 10 to 20TB 2.5-inch drives over a 10 year
HD 7990. As expected, the 7990 will be a dual-GPU card,                 period from the introduction of the first HAMR drives.
based on 2 x Tahiti.
AMD is preparing to release the Southern Islands / HD 7000
flagship, codenamed New Zealand, to be branded Radeon
HD 7990. As expected, the 7990 will be a dual-GPU card,
based on 2 x Tahiti.
In essence, HD 7990 will be 2 x HD 7970 downclocked,
Crossfire'd and cramped into a single GPU. There will be a
total of 48 CU covering 4096 SP and 256 TMU. HD 7990
will feature a total of 6GB GDDR5, 3GB per GPU. The
clock speeds are down mildly from the HD 7970, settling at
850 MHz core and 5 GHz memory. Judging by these clock
speeds, it is likely the HD 7990 will ship with a ~375W
TDP and the same non-standard 2 x 8-pin power connectors
configuration featured in HD 6990 and GTX 590.
The 7990 is expected to release in early April, following
shortly after the release of GeForce GTX 680 later this week.           As for now, Seagate hasn't announced a launch date
On release, HD 7990 will take over the fastest graphics card            of any HAMR based hard disk drives and it looks like
crown, at least until NVIDIA challenges with a dual-GK104               the technology will be a lot more demanding in terms
chip, possibly GTX 690. HD 7990 will be in with a fighting              of mechanical design compared to traditional hard disk
chance of becoming the most expensive reference gaming/                 drives. That said, we have little doubt that Seagate and its
consumer graphics card at release, eclipsing GeForce 8800               competitors will find ways to overcome this within the next
Ultra's $829.                                                           few years and we'd dare to guess that at launch we'll see
                                                                        larger capacity drives than Seagate is currently expecting
                                                                        to launch, simply based on the fact that Seagate is talking
Seagate hits 1Terabit per                                               about 3TB and not 4TB drives in its press release and
square inch                                                             making comparisons to these, rather than the larger, already
                                                                        available 4TB models.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/seagate-hits-1terabit-per-square-
inch/15284.html                                                         Keep in mind that we're most likely two to three years away
                                                                        from retail products and hard disk drive densities are likely
                                                                        to increase before then using currently technology, or some
                                                                        interim technology. Once we move beyond HD resolution
                                                                                                                                    15
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                     Published by: VR-Zone

content and with the ever increasing pixel density of digital            • Gain breakthrough & predictable performance with
cameras and all other kind of content that people store on                 ColumnStore Index
hard disk drives, something else is going to have to keep the            • Help enable security and compliance with new User-
industry moving forward until HAMR arrives.                                defined Roles and Default Schema for Groups
                                                                         • Enable rapid data discovery for deeper insights across
Download Windows Server                                                    the organization with ColumnStore Index
8 Beta and SQL Server 2012                                               • Ensure more credible, consistent data with SSIS
                                                                           improvements, a Master Data Services add-in for
RTM Final                                                                  Excel, and new Data Quality Services
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/download-windows-server-8-beta-
and-sql-server-2012-rtm-final/15275.html
                                                                         • Optimize IT and developer productivity across server
March 21st, 2012
                                                                           and cloud with Data-tier Application Component
                                                                           (DAC) parity with SQL Azure and SQL Server Data
                                                                           Tools for a unified dev experience across database, BI,
                                                                           and cloud functions


                                                                      SQL Server 2012 is now available, while the availability of
Keeping in line with its strategy of releasing public previews        Windows Server 8 is expected during 2012.
of their next-generation software, Microsoft has released
public beta versions of their next generation operating
system and SQL for the enterprise.
                                                                      Judge rules Megaupload
Even with all the problems around the development of the              court order was unlawful
consumer version of Windows 8 for both X86 and ARM                    Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/judge-rules-megaupload-court-
architectures, the development of enterprise software is              order-was-unlawful/15283.html
going its course.                                                     March 21st, 2012

Windows Server 8 or potentially "Windows Server 2012"
represents the next generation server operating system,
succeeding Windows Server 2008 R2, while SQL Server
2012 will succeed SQL Server 2008 R2 database suite. In
order to prepare for the public rollout of the enterprise
software, Microsoft announced downloadable versions of
the beta OS and trial version for the finalized, Gold version         A New Zealand judge has ruled that the court order used
(RTM) of SQL server.                                                  to seize a number of possessions belonging to Megaupload
                                                                      founder Kim Dotcom was unlawful, which could see the
If you’re interested in downloading the software and                  items being return to him.
checking how it fits your enterprise needs or just want to get
your feet wet, you can visit the following websites to learn          A New Zealand judge has ruled that the court order used
more and download the software.                                       to seize a number of possessions belonging to MegaUpload
                                                                      founder Kim Dotcom was unlawful, which could see the
As the name states, Windows Server 8 shares a lot in                  items being return to him.
common with Windows 8, but the two are quite different.
Windows Server 8 is effectively the sixth generation of server
operating systems (3.11 for Workgroups, NT 4.0, 2000,                 Luxury cars, giant TVs, jet skis and jewellery were among
2003, 2008) and with this one, Microsoft is heavily focusing          the stash seized by police in a raid on Dotcom's £20
on the virtualization and the cloud itself, as well as on             million property, which led to the closure of the file-hosting
building and distributing desktop and mobile applications.            service over allegations of copyright infringement and fraud.
This is the first OS to fully integrate the virtualization            However, a series of government and police errors means
features which began to appear with consumer and server               that the court order employed should not have been granted.
versions of Windows 7 (Server 2008). Microsoft claims
Windows Server 8 will be built not to crash, even when whole
services go down. Only time will tell if they delivered the key       The New Zealand government and police admitted that
features right.                                                       they made five separate procedural mistakes when filing the
                                                                      initial court order, resulting in it no longer having any legal
                                                                      power. It seems that in their eagerness to nab the man and
No doubt about it, SQL Server is the most used server                 his colleagues they did not pay close enough attention to the
in today's world and SQL Server 2012 looks to bring on                proper paperwork procedures. If similar carelessness was
numerous improvements since 2008 R2. One of key features              employed in charges against Dotcom, or in the extradition
is "AlwaysOn" technology that looks to keep both WS8 and              filing, it could result in him getting off on a technicality of
SQL Server alive. According to Microsoft, this is the list of         law.
key features:

   • Deliver required uptime and data protection with
     AlwaysOn

                                                                                                                                          16
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                               • FIFA 10 for PlayStation Portable and Wii
                                                                               • The Godfather II for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
                                                                               • EA Sports MMA for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
                                                                               • Need for Speed ProStreet for PlayStation 3 and Xbox
                                                                                 360
                                                                               • The Saboteur (loss of The Midnight Club access) for
                                                                                 PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
                                                                               • Spare Parts for PlayStation 3 Xbox 360




However, Dotcom's possessions will not necessarily be
return to him, as his legal team demands, because new
documents have been filed for the seizure and confiscation
of not only the existing items, but additional assets that were
uncovered in the raid.


Dotcom's lawyers say that the asset seizure initially left the
man without money to fund a legal defence, a situation made
all the more grave now that it has been revealed that the
court order was not legal.


The judge will make a decision soon regarding whether or
not Dotcom's items should be returned to him.                               "As games get replaced with newer titles, the number of
                                                                            players still enjoying the older games dwindles to a level
                                                                            -- fewer than 1% of all peak online players across all
Image Credit: Getty Images                                                  EA titles -- where it's no longer feasible to continue the
                                                                            behind-the-scenes work involved with keeping these games
EA to cut online support for                                                up and running," EA said. "We would rather our hard-
                                                                            working engineering and IT staff focus on keeping a positive
several games                                                               experience for the other 99% of customers playing our more
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ea-to-cut-online-support-for-several-   popular games."
games/15282.html
March 21st, 2012
                                                                            The vast majority of the games are two or more years old,
                                                                            but that will be small comfort for those who are regularly
                                                                            enjoying playing them online. It is understandable, however,
                                                                            that EA made this decision, given the low population on
                                                                            these game servers.


Electronic Arts (EA) has decided to pull online support for                 The online access to these games will be removed on 13 April.
a number of its games, including some popular older sports
titles.
Electronic Arts (EA) has decided to pull online support for
a number of its games, including some popular older sports                  iPad 3 and other tablets
titles.
                                                                            causing injury
                                                                            Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ipad-3-and-other-tablets-causing-
                                                                            injury/15281.html
The affected games are:
                                                                            March 21st, 2012


    • BOOM BLOX Bash Party for Wii
    • Burnout Revenge for Xbox 360
    • EA Create for PC, PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360
                                                                            The growing number of tablet computers, including Apple's
    • EA Sports Active 2.0 for PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox                  new iPad launched last week, are causing increasing reports
      360                                                                   of neck and shoulder injuries, according to a leading doctor
    • EA Sports Active NFL Training Camp for Wii                            in the field.

                                                                                                                                                    17
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

The growing number of tablet computers, including the new
iPad launched last week, are causing increasing reports of        Huawei strikes back at
neck and shoulder injuries, according to a leading doctor in      Creative with countersuit
the field.                                                        Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/huawei-strikes-back-at-creative-
                                                                  with-countersuit/15280.html
                                                                  March 21st, 2012
Dr. Tony Kochhar, who specialises in shoulder problems and
repetitive strain injury (RSI), said that he is now seeing more
than 20 patients a week with what is becoming known as
“iPad shoulder.”


“Holding the tablet lower down means users have to gaze
downwards more sharply,” said Kochhar. “This is increasing        Last month, Creative Technology sued Chinese networking
the pressure on their joints.”                                    and telecommunications equipment and services company,
                                                                  Huawei, over the failure of the WiMAX broadband project.
                                                                  And Huawei has filed a countersuit against Creative for US
iPads are not the only devices responsible for this sharp rise    $8.23 million over the termination of the project.
in shoulder injuries, as other handheld devices like e-readers
are also creating similar problems, as is holding a mobile
phone between the ear and shoulder when attempting a do-
it-yourself hands-free style.




                                                                  It was only about a month ago when Creative has sued
                                                                  Huawei for US$9.4 million (S$11.7 million) for the failure
                                                                  of the WiMAX broadband project, and that the Chinese
Kochhar provided some tips for avoiding injury when using         company was unable to deliver the network performance
an iPad or other tablet. He recommends that users correct         as stated in the supply contract. In 2010, QMax
their posture by keeping the screen level with the face, rather   Communications, a subsidiary of Creative Technology, has
than hunching over it, as is usually the case. Ideally this       contracted Huawei to set up the WiMAX broadband network
would involve a stand, but if users are holding it up to their    in Singapore. And now, Huawei has filed a countersuit
face they need to switch arms periodically or risk causing        against the local company for US$8.23 million (S$10.4
arm injury.                                                       million) in unpaid goods and services as well as the
                                                                  'wrongful' termination of the WiMAX broadband contract.

Gentle stretching of the neck and shoulders every hour is
another good way to ward off injury, as is taking regular         ASUS launches Eee PC 1025
breaks, the tried and trusted advice when it comes to
working on any form of computer for a long period of time.        Flare series, world's fastest
                                                                  netbook with 2 sec resume
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-launches-eee-pc-1025-flare-
Finally, Kochhar suggests that users should watch for the
                                                                  series-world-s-fastest-netbook-with-2-sec-resume/15278.html
early signs of “iPad shoulder,” such as aching over one side of
                                                                  March 21st, 2012
the back of the shoulder blade or pain down the upper arm.


Apple might be planning a post-PC future, but properly
aligned and positioned desktop PCs probably remain the
most suitable devices to avoid strain while doing long-term
work.
                                                                  Who says netbooks are going to extinction? ASUS has
                                                                  recently announced their new Eee PC 1025 Flare series
                                                                  which claims to be the world's fastest netbook that can
                                                                  resume in just two seconds.

                                                                                                                                         18
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                      Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                      core mobile processors will launch at the same time as the
                                                                      desktop counterparts after all.
                                                                      The three new models from HP are the Pavilion dv4-5000,
                                                                      dv5-7000 and dv7-7000, a 14-inch, 15.6-inch (1366x768
                                                                      for both models) and a 17.3-inch (1920x1080) model
                                                                      respectively. All three models feature the HM77 chipset and
                                                                      judging by HP's YouTube videos of the three new models we
                                                                      can expect to see SSD caching on at least the dv5 and dv6
                                                                      models. Currently only the dv5-7000 is available in multiple
                                                                      SKUs, but we'd expect HP to flesh out its line up over time
                                                                      once more CPU options become available.
                                                                      Starting with the dv4-5000 you get the Core i7-3610QM
                                                                      which is clocked at 2.3GHz, 4GB of DDR3 1600MHz
                                                                      memory, a 1TB 5,400rpm hard drive, a DVD drive and
                                                                      interestingly a GeForce GT 630M GPU with 2GB of
                                                                      dedicated DDR3 memory suggesting that HP doesn't seem
The ASUS Eee PC 1025 Flare Series netbook sports a new                to think that Intel's IGP in Ivy Bridge is good enough for
design with several color options, and incorporates 1.8GHz            the intended market for its Pavilion series of notebooks.
Intel Atom Cedar Trail dual-core processor, which claims              Other features include an Intel 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi card,
to offer four times the graphical performance to previous             Bluetooth (HP didn't specify which kind), Gigabit Ethernet,
generations while consuming less power. It also supports              two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, HDMI, D-sub, a
up to 2GB of DDR3 memory, up to 500GB hard drive, and                 pair of audio jacks, a memory card reader and an HD
comes with Smart Camera with 4x zoom, built-in USB 3.0,               webcam. The dv4-6000 comes in at 2.17kg and measure
DLNA, and Wi-Fi Direct connectivity. The netbook features             344x234x33.5mm (WxDxH).
the proprietary ASUS Super Hybrid Engine II with Instant              The dv6-7000 isn't that different, as the base SKU is nearly
On technology that offers two-second system resume from               identical in terms of features to the dv4-5000 with the only
sleep mode, and up to 21 days of standby. It also supports            difference being that it comes with a third USB 3.0 and a
Blu-ray 2.0, and full high definition 1080p video playback            smaller 750GB hard drive. The higher-end SKU gets a 1TB
via HDMI output. With the built-in data security features, it         drive and 8GB of RAM, but this appears to be the only
ensures zero data loss, with user data automatically saved to         difference between the two SKUs. The dv6-7000 weighs in
the hard drive when the battery drops below 5%. Available             at 2.57kg and measures 378x247x32.5mm (WxDxH).
in eleven different colors, including Addict Pink, Mysterious
                                                                      The dv7-7000 differs by having the Core i7-3720QM CPU,
Blue, and Plucky Purple, the ASUS Eee PC 1025 Flare
                                                                      but it also comes with 8GB of DDR3 1600MHz memory as
Series netbook is now available in Singapore at S$499.
                                                                      standard, as well as having a pair of 1TB 5,400rpm hard
Users will also receive 3GB of cloud storage space on ASUS
                                                                      drives. It also gets upgraded graphics in the shape of an
WebStorage.
                                                                      Nvidia GeForce GT 650M with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. The
                                                                      only other addition we could spot was a Blu-ray writer. The
HP let slip a three Ivy Bridge                                        dv7-7000 is of course the largest and heaviest model out of
                                                                      the three at 3.15kg and 416x274x35.2mm (WxDxH).
notebook models
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/hp-let-slip-a-three-ivy-bridge-
notebook-models/15279.html                                            Samsung GALAXY S III to
March 21st, 2012
                                                                      launch in May?
                                                                      Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-to-launch-in-
                                                                      may-/15277.html
                                                                      March 21st, 2012



Despite not being expected to launch until June after Intel
pushed back the date for its upcoming Ivy Bridge processors,
HP has revealed three new notebook models featuring the
new processors. Two of the models feature the same quad
core Core i7-3610QM processor with the third sporting a               The Samsung GALAXY S III is going to be launched soon,
Core i7-3720QM, suggesting that it's possible that the quad           and there have been many leaked photos of the Android
core mobile processors will launch at the same time as the            smartphone online. But the latest one seems to be the
desktop counterparts after all.                                       real deal, from a Powerpoint slide with the name of PR
Despite not being expected to launch until June after Intel           agency (WeberShandwick) at the bottom.
pushed back the date for its upcoming Ivy Bridge processors,
HP has revealed three new notebook models featuring the
new processors. Two of the models feature the same quad
core Core i7-3610QM processor with the third sporting a
Core i7-3720QM, suggesting that it's possible that the quad

                                                                                                                                           19
March 21st, 2012                                                                                                Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                     used first to the main memory, and then retrieving it from
                                                                     that main memory right away. These two steps alone could
                                                                     waste up to a microsecond per each transfer - and this adds
                                                                     up to quite a bit if you look at thousands of transactions every
                                                                     second.


                                                                     So, in DDIO, at least with Intel I/O adapters and new E5's,
                                                                     the adapter will send the requested data directly into the
                                                                     CPU L3 cache, for the immediate use by the processor, as
                                                                     you can see on this illustration:




The photo of the Samsung GALAXY S III shows an extremely
thin bezel around the display with a front button below
it. The phone is also very slim and has both front and
rear camera; the overall design looks to be an authentic
Samsung's style. According to sources, the GALAXY S III is
scheduled for launch on 22 May. The home screen shows five
touch icons at the bottom of the display, which Interestingly,
are currently only available on the GALAXY Note. Unless
it means the GALAXY S III has a similar 5-inch display, it
will not make sense to incorporate the five touch icons on
smaller screens. It seems doubtful that the company have the
GALAXY S III join the 5-inch camp to vie with its GALAXY
Note. It is still too early to draw conclusions, let's wait and
see when the Android smartphone is announced.


Intel's Direct I/O in Xeon E5
- Workstations and servers
today, gaming systems
tomorrow?
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-direct-io-in-xeon-e5--
workstations-and-servers-today-gaming-systems-tomorrow-/15276.html
March 21st, 2012




                                                                     Compared to it, a similar classic approach would take at least
                                                                     two to three memory trips for each write or read operation,
                                                                     as you can see on the comparison picture above for the other
The new generation dual Socket 2011 Xeon E5 platform has
                                                                     way around, sending data to the I/O controller.
one rarely mentioned, but important, capability - receiving
the I/O data from, say, storage or network, directly into
                                                                     Basically, data access ops associated with creating the I/
the CPU cache, rather than going to and from the main
                                                                     O packet are satisfied from within the cache, avoiding the
memory. Direct I/O (DDIO) could be used even beyond
                                                                     cache misses occurence for the software running on the CPU
workstations and servers, though... how about low-latency
                                                                     and the related main memory data fetching, which of course
high end gameplay?
                                                                     consumes time. Then, the I/O controller read request is done
DDIO idea was obviously coming from the server world,                from that same cache, without evicting that data and causing
where thousands of network requests, or data from storage            possible cache misses if the software re-uses it.
arrays, could be coming in and out of the server every second.
In the old days, the on chip caches were limited in capacity,
and priority had to be given to the local code and data used         Now, all that is great and fine for the servers and
by the CPU.                                                          workstations, especially low latency dependent apps like
                                                                     high frequency trading and all general Net server usage
However, the new generation high end processors have large           models. The 10% to 20% latency reduction that can be
caches - 20 MB L3 in the case of Xeon E5 parts - and a lot           obtained could also find its use in our home PCs too
more could fit in there. So, there could be alternative to the       - how about massive multiplayer gaming scenarios? A
old process of sending the arriving I/O data that needs to be        combination of reduced network I/O latency, and storage I/

                                                                                                                                  20
March 21st, 2012                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone

O latency from dedicated PCIe SSD controllers, for instance,       come this spring, while the “Family F1 game” will be released
could be noticeable in a very intensive online gaming setup.       during this holiday season.


The good thing is, DDIO is completely transparent, needing
no software enablement as long as compliant I/O adapter
ICs are used. Since the Core i7 39xx parts come from the
same dies as Xeon E5 series, Intel could enable DDIO on
them as well - it'd be a good extra capability to keep their
market niche in the face of arriving mainstream quad core
Ivy Bridge processors. How about that?


Codemasters and Formula
One Extend Partnership,
Multiple F1 Titles Coming
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/codemasters-and-formula-one-
extend-partnership-multiple-f1-titles-coming/15274.html
March 21st, 2012




We have received news that Codemasters has extended the
partnership with the Formula One World Championship
Ltd., which will result in even larger number of F1 games on
multiple platforms.
Ever since Codemasters poached the F1 license from
underwhelming Sony Computer Entertainment, the
company delivered solid entertainment to millions of fans
worldwide. To be more precise, F1 2010 and F1 2011 sold in
over 5.5 million copies, bringing over 300 million dollars in
revenue.
This is significantly more than Sony was able to achieve after
they paid 200 million dollars to Formula One Management
and released a series of mediocre arcade games.
Building on that, it comes as of no surprise that Formula
One World Championship Limited, a group behind the sport
- decided to convert the original two year license into a
multiyear agreement which will see the arrival of multiple
titles oriented to all audiences.
According to Codemasters, we can expect F1 expanding in
the following direction:

   • F1 20xx titles - new simulation games targeting
     popular consoles and PC
   • F1 Online - new freemium (free-to-play, pay for
     premium) management game
   • Unannounced "family-oriented" F1 title (read: F1 for
     kids)

According to Bernie Ecclestone, the CEO of Formula One
Group, "Codemasters has created some of the best and most
successful FORMULA ONE games to date. We and the
teams work closely with them and look forward to creating
more award winning games together in the future."
The new F1 2012 title will follow in September, a year after
F1 2011 and two years after F1 2010. The F1 Online will



                                                                                                                              21
March 23rd, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone




VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks!
  VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly
                                                                  In fact, Blizzard is planning so far ahead that it has also been
  publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the
                                                                  pitching ideas for its sixth expansion, which will likely be
  geeks.
                                                                  several years away. Sams said he is “pretty geeked up” about
                                                                  the plans he's seen.
Blizzard planning "multiple
expansions" after World of                                        Blizzard recently admitted that BioWare's MMO, Star Wars:
                                                                  The Old Republic, was partially to blame for its falling
Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria                                       subscriber numbers in World of Warcraft. It is hoping that
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blizzard-planning-multiple-   its panda expansion brings many players back, but teasing
expansions-after-world-of-warcraft-mists-of-pandaria/15335.html   about future expansions is likely also intended to keep
March 23rd, 2012                                                  existing gamers who might be fearful about the future of the
                                                                  title.




Blizzard has promised that there will be several more
expansions for its popular massively multiplayer online
                                                                  First Hackintosh Ivy Bridge
(MMO) game, World of Warcraft, after the release of its           system up and running
upcoming Mists of Pandaria expansion.                             Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-hackintosh-ivy-bridge-system-
                                                                  up-and-running/15336.html
Blizzard has promised that there will be several more
                                                                  March 23rd, 2012
expansions for its popular massively multiplayer online
(MMO) game, World of Warcraft, after the release of its
upcoming Mists of Pandaria expansion.


Despite moving developer talent away from its flagship title
to its secretive Project Titan MMO, Blizzard still has big
plans for World of Warcraft in the years to come.                 Despite there being over a month until Intel is expected to
                                                                  launch its Ivy Bridge processors, benchmarks are popping
                                                                  up left right and centre on the internet and now the first
Blizzard's COO Paul Sams said that the company is already         Hackintosh with an Ivy Bridge CPU has been spotted. The
in the early stages of development of its fifth expansion,        system in question is running a Core i7-3770K CPU at stock
the successor to the as yet unreleased Mists of Pandaria.         clock and is putting in some decent benchmark results.
This stage is mostly about developing the ideas and lore that     Despite there being over a month until Intel is expected to
shape the landscape, classes, and other aspects that end up       launch its Ivy Bridge processors, benchmarks are popping
in an expansion, but Blizzard is keen to point out that it is     up left right and centre on the internet and now the first
working on new stuff for its aging MMO.                           Hackintosh with an Ivy Bridge CPU has been spotted. The
                                                                  system in question is running a Core i7-3770K CPU at stock
                                                                  clock and is putting in some decent benchmark results.
                                                                  We should start with a word of warning here though for
                                                                  those planning on building their own Hackintosh with an
                                                                  Ivy Bridge CPU, as until Apple releases Ivy Bridge based
                                                                  systems, a patched kernel is needed to get the system to boot.
                                                                  The lack of support from Apple also means that an Ivy Bridge
                                                                  based Hackintosh could be fairly unstable compared to one
                                                                  running on supported hardware.




                                                                                                                                            1
March 23rd, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                         March 23rd, 2012




                                                                         Apple has patented an idea for a universal TV remote that
                                                                         will turn your iPhone into a copy of any existing TV remote,
                                                                         potentially replacing standard remote controls altogether.
                                                                         Apple has patented an idea for a universal TV remote that
                                                                         will turn your iPhone into a copy of any existing TV remote,
                                                                         potentially replacing standard remote controls altogether.
As far as the details, well, they come from renowned
Hackintosh website tonymacx86 which has had a few
exclusives like this in the past. Beyond the Core i7-3770K the           The technology works like this: a user takes a photo of their
system was kitted out with 8GB of DDR3 2400MHz memory                    remote using their iPhone and uploads it to the iCloud,
and a GeForce GTX 580 graphics cards. As for the rest of the             where it is analysed. Apple then automatically sends back
specifications we don't really know what was being used, but             a virtual copy of the physical remote to the iPhone, which
with an overall 64-bit Geekbench score of 13453 this system              should then work with the TV in question.
is no slouch.

                                                                         The universal remote software will also take advantage of
                                                                         iPhone cameras and microphones to determine the current
                                                                         state of a TV, such as if it is on or off, or if the volume needs
                                                                         to be adjusted. This could, however, present some potential
                                                                         privacy issues and may not make it into the final product, if,
                                                                         indeed, it ever gets developed at all.




                                                                         Google previously developed technology for its Google TV
                                                                         service that allows Android smartphones to be used as
Apple is expected to launch Ivy Bridge products later this               remote controls, but Apple's idea extends beyond its own
year, although with Intel's delay of the mobile parts, is                territory by offering to become a skeleton key for the entire
possible that Apple has delayed its launch schedule as well.             TV market.
We'll just have to wait and see how things play out, but
we have no doubt that Apple will launch both desktop and
mobile Ivy Bridge based systems within the next few months.              The potential problem with this idea, aside from the fact that
Hit the source for more screenshots and benchmark details.               it will be a logistical challenge to achieve, is that copying
                                                                         existing remotes might present some legal difficulties for
                                                                         Apple, particularly if some TV manufacturers have patents
Apple patents universal                                                  to back up their remotes.
iPhone TV remote idea
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-patents-universal-iphone-tv-
                                                                         It is believed that this technology will be worked into a new
remote-idea/15334.html
                                                                         iPhone in the future, rather than being rolled out to existing
                                                                         models.



                                                                                                                                        2
March 23rd, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone


                                                                    Nvidia Kepler GPUs - back to
Facebook buys IBM patents                                           games, away from compute?
                                                                    Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-kepler-gpus--back-to-games-
to protect from lawsuits                                            away-from-compute-/15332.html
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/facebook-buys-ibm-patents-to-   March 23rd, 2012
protect-from-lawsuits/15333.html
March 23rd, 2012

Facebook has bought a whopping 750 patents from IBM in
efforts to protect itself from patent infringement lawsuits.


The patents in question cover areas relating to software            Nvidia's first 'Kepler' generation GPU, the GK104-based
and networking, according to a person close to the matter,          GeForce GTX 680, is finally out officially. The benchmarks
though how strong the patents are is not yet clear.                 show high game performance, but is - compared to the old
                                                                    'Fermi' at least - GPU compute performance pushed aside
                                                                    here?
To understand the scope of this acquisition, Facebook
currently has 56 patents and 503 patent applications                Some months ago, when I chatted in Shenzhen with Simon
awaiting approval, significantly less than the portfolio it         Moy, the ex-Nvidia man who designed the first GPU vertex
bought from IBM. This takes it from a very weak position in         shader for them, and brought the GPU compute idea
the patent world to an extremely strong one.                        into the reality, we discussed the impacts that replacing
                                                                    the hardwired 3-D acceleration with fully programmable,
                                                                    increasingly CPU-like, graphics processors suited also for
                                                                    compute tasks, would have. One agreed impact was, at the
                                                                    beginning, loss in some 3-D performance metrics tied to
                                                                    the fully hardwired accelerators but gain in the other new
                                                                    routines that may in return help back even with the gaming
                                                                    3-D experience, such as complex effects and physics.
                                                                    The overall consensus was that, in the long run, it is that
                                                                    extra compute performance that will bring more aggregate
                                                                    benefit than just pure 3-D gaming hardware. And, I guess,
                                                                    that's what to some extent guided Nvidia 'Fermi' GeForce
                                                                    5xx generation designers few years ago.
                                                                    It seems that, despite the even more fine grained
                                                                    architecture, the new 'Kepler' generation is back to the
                                                                    gaming acceleration focus. Nvidia was under high pressure
                                                                    to deliver the new benchmark winner ever since AMD took
                                                                    the clear GPU lead with the HD7970 as the first 28nm
                                                                    high end graphics processor implementation. The GK100,
                                                                    successor to the GF100 and GF110 in GTX580, was supposed
Yahoo recently sued Facebook for the alleged infringement           to be the high end Kepler chip to bring the performance lead
of several of its patents relating to privacy, advertising and      back to Nvidia on most fronts, but for reasons known really
sharing, core areas of Facebook's business. The acquisition         only to Nvidia itself, that chip never materialised. Instead, it
of IBM patents is likely a response to this and similar             was the 'mid-high end' successor to the GF104 found in the
lawsuits as the social networking giant realises the threat         GTX560 cards, the GK104 we see now, that had to take the
posed by rival firms with a better patent standing.                 high end battle position.
                                                                    You've surely already seen the endless slides published all
“We expect the number of patent and other intellectual              over the web today about the brand new gaming features,
property claims against us to grow,” the company wrote              effects and yes, very decent game benchmark results for the
in its initial public offering (IPO) filing in February. “We        new part. Our Lennard has covered those in detail earlier
may introduce new products, including in areas where we             today, and most sites have shown Nvidia's architecture
currently do not compete, which could increase our exposure         slides. The change from SM shaders to more fine grained
to patent and other intellectual property claims.”                  SMX is, obviously, the most noticeable change at the
                                                                    hardware architecture level.
                                                                    However, something else was worth observing - the GPU
The financial terms of the transaction are not known, but           compute performance of the new part was lacking, in fact
Facebook is believed to have paid several hundred million           it was slower than the GTX580 on about all compute
dollars for the portfolio.                                          benchmarks. It is kind of understandable, since the GK104
                                                                    chip in it was to originally replace the GF104 (GTX 460) -
                                                                    which also didn't focus on compute, being not the high-end
                                                                    offering at the time. So, the crippled 1/12 double precision
                                                                    FP rate vs single precision is seen as OK, if compared with

                                                                                                                                         3
March 23rd, 2012                                                                                               Published by: VR-Zone

the similar ratio on the HD7870, which was (supposed) to        GPU in their consumer cards should be let to enjoy it, since
be its main competitor. Of course, the other problem is that    it is all already in the hardware, and it will create some extra
its single precision FP is also seemingly identical to the      goodwill as well. Why cripple it?
HD7870, a mid range US$349 card.

                                                                Beats by Dr. Dre headphones
                                                                clone selling at US$42 in
                                                                China
                                                                Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/beats-by-dr.-dre-headphones-clone-
                                                                selling-at-us-42-in-china/15331.html
                                                                March 23rd, 2012




                                                                It is quite common to see people wearing the stylish Beats
                                                                by Dr. Dre headphones on the streets or in the subway these
                                                                days, as the popular headphones claim superb audio quality
                                                                for music listening. It seems that in mainland China, which
                                                                is well-known for producing counterfeits, has create knock-
                                                                offs of the audio product and selling at just US$42.




However, Nvidia is positioning the GTX680 squarely against
the HD7970 now, and that's a big difference - HD7970 has
waaay faster single precision FP, and many times faster
DP FP, thanks to keeping the DP FP rate at 1/4 of SP
FP, basically not crippling it to force users into plonking
thousands of bucks for an otherwise similar 'pro' card.
Since the GPU compute apps have become increasingly
popular - look at even Adobe and other big names - curtailing
the FP performance just to push overpriced pro parts would
constitute ripping off the customers. What if, for instance,
Intel (or AMD) crippled the FP performance on their
consumer Core i7 processors just to ensure that whoever
needs more math capabilities MUST buy the otherwise
identical, but more expensive, Xeons? Everyone would cry        Beats Electronics, LLC was founded by hip-hop/rap artist
foul, wouldn't they?                                            Dr. Dre and Interscope-Geffen-A&M Records chairman
So, while blocking the extra FP in a US$ 200+ card may          Jimmy Iovine, which produces products under the brand,
be acceptable, a US$ 400 or higher top-end 'cream of the        Beats by Dr. Dre. Monster was given exclusive rights under
crop' should not have such crippling 'features'. One may say    a five-year contract to produce and develop Beats-branded
'who cares, this card is only for gamers', but the point is -   headphones. Last year, HTC acquired 51% majority of the
thanks a lot to Nvidia and its GPU (CUDA) compute promo         stake of the company, and Monster have also decided not to
efforts too- many PC apps these days do benefit from this       renew their contract.
acceleration, and an increasing number of them used double      There have been a wide range of Beats by Dr. Dre products
precision FP for the sake of, ehm, extra precision.             on the market - Beats by Dr. Dre Studio High-Definition
I am quite sure that the planned GK110 part, which now          Headphones, Beats Solo HD, Beats Tour with ControlTalk
should be the true follow-on to the GF110 from the GTX580       and even Beats by Dr. Dre 'HeartBeats Lady Gaga' In-Ear.
card, should have better GPU compute performance when it        And in China, they can cost from 1000 yuan (US$159) and
comes out. The point is, don't cripple the FP - the users who   up; quite close to the standard retail price everywhere.
really want Quadros and Teslas will buy them for the sake of    Alas, factories in mainland China have produced their own
their larger memory, expert support and validation anyway,      imitations of the headphones. For those who aren't aware
but those of the users who want to have the FP benefits of      could purchase the Beats by Dr. Dre clone headphones
                                                                                                                                     4
March 23rd, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone

with carrying case and in authentic looking box, all for just         March 23rd, 2012
270 yuan (US$42). No clue whether the audio performance
would be similar or better than the original though.




                                                                      Some not too blurry pictures of what appears to be an
                                                                      upcoming Android 4.0 handset from Samsung has made
                                                                      an appearance online and one of the pictures gives us the
                                                                      model name, GT-i9300. This may or may not be the much
                                                                      anticipated Galaxy S III, but at this point in time it's anyone's
                                                                      guess.
                                                                      Some not too blurry pictures of what appears to be an
                                                                      upcoming Android 4.0 handset from Samsung has made
                                                                      an appearance online and one of the pictures gives us the
                                                                      model name, GT-i9300. This may or may not be the much
                                                                      anticipated Galaxy S III, but at this point in time it's anyone's
                                                                      guess.
Panasonic Eluga waterproof                                            What's certain is the fact that the GT-i9300 was designed for
                                                                      Android 4.0, as it uses the new on-screen soft menus, rather
smartphone to retail in Japan                                         than capacitive or hardware buttons below the display.
on 29 March                                                           Samsung has instead moved its logo to a position below the
                                                                      display, which is quite unusual for a Samsung device.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/panasonic-eluga-waterproof-
smartphone-to-retail-in-japan-on-29-march/15330.html
March 23rd, 2012




Besides faster processor, bigger screens and slim, stylish
body, many phone makers are focusing on the durability
of the device - how resistant it can go against water, dust,
shock etc. The new Panasonic Eluga, which claims to be
waterproof, is going to be launched in Japan next week, on
29 march.
At last month's Mobile World Congress, Panasonic unveiled
their new 4.3-inch Eluga, which claims to be waterproof. The
smartphone is scheduled to launch in Japan on 29 March by
NTT DoCoMo, though pricing details have yet to be revealed.
However, the Panasonic Eluga started selling in UK last
week, at £399 (US$630), which is quite expensive. The
Panasonic Eluga measures 7.8mm thin and weighs 103g. It
sports a 4.3-inch OLED touchscreen (960x540) and claims
to be resistant to water and dust. Internally, it is powered by
a 1GHz TI OMAP processor with 16GB memory and features
Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, 8-megapixel
camera (without flash) and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
According to the company, Android 4.0 ICS upgrade will
come in Q2 2012. The phone will also be launched in other
European countries in April.


Pictures of Samsung's GT-
i9300 leak, could be the                                              According to Phone Arena where the pictures appeared, the
Galaxy S III                                                          GT-i9300 is likely to feature a 4.7-inch display or close to
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/pictures-of-samsung-s-gt-i9300-   that size at least. A few of the pre-installed apps, such as
leak-could-be-the-galaxy-s-iii/15329.html                             S Planner and S Memo suggest that it should at least be a
                                                                      Galaxy S series device, as these apps can also be found on the
                                                                      Galaxy Note. Even so, the GT-i9300 doesn't look anything
                                                                      like the earlier pictures that leaked of what was said to be the

                                                                                                                                     5
March 23rd, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

Galaxy S III, so it's entirely possible that this is a different   apparently ideal on an 11.6-inch display at either 1366x768,
device.                                                            1920x1080 or 2560x1440 resolution.
                                                                   Another interesting aspect of Microsoft's blog post on the
Windows 8 screen resolution                                        subject of displays and resolution for Windows 8 is that
                                                                   the company is asking developers to build apps suitable
recommendations suggest                                            for higher resolutions and as such wants developers to use
2560x1440 tablets                                                  scalable vector graphics rather than traditional bitmaps.
                                                                   This is due to the fact that scalable vector graphics will
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/windows-8-screen-resolution-
                                                                   look good at any resolution, whereas bitmaps generally look
recommendations-suggest-2560x1440-tablets/15328.html
                                                                   terrible at non-native resolution. This wasn't done as a direct
March 23rd, 2012
                                                                   response to the new iPad, as Microsoft is offering tools to
                                                                   developers that allow them to preview what their Metro
                                                                   apps will look like at various screen sizes and resolutions,
                                                                   something that should hopefully improve the look of Metro
                                                                   apps when Windows 8 launches later this year.
Microsoft has apparently decided that Apple's retina display
on the new iPad just doesn't cut it, as the company has            Nvidia reveals GeForce 600M
released details covering common screen sizes for Windows
8 which points towards tablets – or slates as per the diagram      line-up alongside the GTX 680
– with resolutions of up to 2560x1440 pixels which equates         Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-reveals-geforce-600m-line-
to 291 DPI on a 10.1-inch device.                                  up-alongside-the-gtx-680/15327.html
                                                                   March 23rd, 2012
Microsoft has apparently decided that Apple's retina display
on the new iPad just doesn't cut it, as the company has
released details covering common screen sizes for Windows
8 which points towards tablets – or slates as per the diagram
– with resolutions of up to 2560x1440 pixels which equates
to 291 DPI on a 10.1-inch device.
Apple's 9.7-inch iPad manages 264 DPI, or slightly higher          There's no doubt that Nvidia's GeForce GTX 680 has proven
pixel density than 11.6-inch Windows 8 tablets which will          itself to be a serious performance contender and although
offer a pixel density of 253 DPI with a 2560x1440 display.         we don't know what Nvidia is planning below the GTX 680,
These appear to be for high-end devices only, so don't expect      the company did also announce its range of mobile GPU's
this to be the standard for Windows 8 tablets when they            alongside it. The GeForce 600M series will at least initially
arrive, as Microsoft is also listing 1920x1080 and 1366x768        consist of 10 new GPU's, of which three are high-end GTX
as supported screen resolutions.                                   models.
                                                                   There's no doubt that Nvidia's GeForce GTX 680 has proven
                                                                   itself to be a serious performance contender and although
                                                                   we don't know what Nvidia is planning below the GTX 680,
                                                                   the company did also announce its range of mobile GPU's
                                                                   alongside it. The GeForce 600M series will at least initially
                                                                   consist of 10 new GPU's, of which three are high-end GTX
                                                                   models.
                                                                   The "standard" models can be seen in the table below and
                                                                   ranges from the very basic GeForce 610M to the GT 650M.
                                                                   There are some oddities here though and they're not that
                                                                   easy to spot given the model names. The GeForce 610M, GT
                                                                   620M, GT 630M and GT 635M are in fact not based on the
                                                                   Kepler architecture, but rather the older Fermi architecture.
More importantly though, if you have a device with a               However, Nvidia is said to be making these new mobile chips
resolution of 1024x600 or 1280x720, which in the first case        using TSMC's 28nm manufacturing process, to the actual
is just about every single netbook – apart from the slightly       GPU's should be smaller and cooler running that the mobile
worse 1024x576 resolution – you won't be able to run the           GeForce 500-series of GPU's.
Metro UI. We can't think of a single notebook or screen with
1280x720 resolution though, albeit there were a few TV's
with this resolution in the early days of LCD TVs. That said,
Windows 8 will support any display with a height of at least
768 pixels, so even old 1024x768 displays will work with the
Metro UI.
Microsoft has also worked out what it thinks is the ideal
sweet spots for pixel density on various resolution displays,
as well as the ideal touch target size, i.e. how big the object
you're touching will be on the screen at any given pixel
density. As such, a touch target size of around 9mm is

                                                                                                                                           6
March 23rd, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone

As for the new Kepler based GPU's, all three GT models have
384 shaders/CUDA cores and a 128-bit memory interface.           Game sales surpass video
First up we have the GT640M LE which is a slower clocked         sales in UK for first time
GT 640M which for some reason features much lower                Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/game-sales-surpass-video-sales-in-
memory bandwidth than the GT 640M, despite that the GT           uk-for-first-time/15326.html
640M LE has an equally wide 128-bit memory bus. Rumour           March 23rd, 2012
has it that at least some GT 640M LE cards will be re-
branded Fermi based GPU's, but we're uncertain if this is
actually the case or not and it's not something we've heard
anything about.
Besides clocks speeds and memory bandwidth the GT 640M
LE and the GT 640M appears to be identical and there's           Computer game sales have surpassed sales of videos for the
little else to see here. The faster GT 650M is again another     first time in the UK in 2011, according to a report by the
very similar part, although in this case Nvidia has provided     Entertainment Retailers Association.
specific clock speeds for the GPU depending on the memory
type it's paired up with. When DDR3 is being used with the       Computer game sales have surpassed sales of videos for the
GT 650M it will be clocked at 850MHz, but if GDDR5 is            first time in the UK in 2011, according to a report by the
being used, then the GPU will be clocked at 735MHz. The          Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).
other GPU's only feature an "up to" GPU clock speed, so it's
pretty clear from this that Nvidia doesn't want the GT 650M
                                                                 The videogame industry is now the biggest entertainment
to compete with its higher-end parts.
                                                                 category in the UK, with £1.926 billion earned in 2011 alone,
The high-end parts start with the GeForce GTX 660M and           over £100 million more than the £1.802 billion made in the
this is the first part that only supports GDDR5 memory. On       video sector and nearly double the £1.066 billion made on
a hardware level it appears to be identical to the GT 650M       music.
with 384 shaders and a 128-bit memory interface. However,
the GPU is clocked higher at 835MHz and it's likely that it'll
be paired with faster memory in most scenarios, although it      In terms of percentages, the games market in the UK ruled
has the same theoretical peak memory bandwidth as the GT         40.2 percent in 2011, with video closely following at 37.6
650M. On feature that comes into play here though is SLI         percent and music trailing behind at 22.2 percent.
support, as only the GTX models support SLI, albeit we're
not sure how many notebook makers would opt to offer a
machine with a pair of upper mid-range cards in SLI.             This is good news for the games industry, which is also set to
                                                                 get tax cuts from the UK government this year.




This brings us to the GTX 670M and GTX 675M which are
simply re-branded Fermi chips that used to be known as the
GTX 570M and GTX 580M. The GTX 670M features slightly
higher clock speeds than the GTX 570M, but this isn't likely
to have a huge impact on game performance. The GTX 675M
is identical to the GTX 580M, despite Nvidia's attempt at
confusion on its own website by listing the shader clock for     Falling sales in brick-and-mortar stores have not affected
the older GPU's and the core clock for the rebranded models.     the overall growth of the games market, as more people are
                                                                 moving to digital downloads, as well as apps on smartphones
Nvidia has of course provided scores of benchmarks and           and tablet computers, which makes access much more direct
other figures to back up its new and re-branded GPUs and         and cuts down on packaging and storage costs.
if you hit the source link you'll find all of those. The only
problem is that most of them aren't comparable in any
sensible way. What we don't doubt is Nvidia's claim that         Digital delivery of game content now accounts for 26 percent
its new GeForce GT 640M is twice as efficient as a GTX           of the games market in the UK, so there's still plenty of room
285M from 2010, yet fitting in much slimmer notebooks. In        for growth before games stores die out completely. However,
fact, the example Nvidia is giving shows the GT 640M in an       we are already seeing the doom of local stores after GAME
Acer Timeline Ultra M3 Ultrabook and we also know that           recently announced that it would be closing its hundreds of
Gigabyte is planning on using the same GPU in its upcoming       stores across the UK.
Ultrabooks.



                                                                                                                                          7
March 23rd, 2012                                                                                                       Published by: VR-Zone

"This is a dramatic time for the entertainment market,” said
Kim Bayley, director general of the ERA. “It is an historic
development for the games sector to have overtaken video
last year. Video has long been the biggest entertainment
sector. Sales so far this year, however, suggest video is not
going down without a fight."


Sales for the first 11 weeks of 2012 show that video is selling
twice as much as games, but that will likely change as the
year goes on and big games release. The Wii U's launch and
big budget game releases around Christmas will likely make
up a huge portion of the game market in the UK for 2012.


Image Credit: Getty Images


Apple's new iPhone to launch                                           No other details are known about the device, which will
                                                                       likely follow suit with the new iPad by being called “the new
in Q2 with bigger display                                              iPhone,” but we can probably expect a faster processor and
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-s-new-iphone-to-launch-in-   a bigger battery to cope with the increased power demands,
q2-with-bigger-display/15325.html                                      providing it does not lead to the same overheating problems
March 23rd, 2012                                                       that are plaguing the new iPad.


                                                                       A release date in the second quarter of the year will mean
                                                                       that the iPhone 4S, which released in October 2011, won't
                                                                       have even been out a full year, which might upset fans who
                                                                       parted with hard-earned cash for a very limited upgrade of
Apple's next iPhone is expected to release in the second               features.
quarter of this year, with a bigger and better “retina” display.
Apple's next iPhone is expected to release in the second               An artist's impression from Ciccarese Design shows a
quarter of this year, with a bigger and better “retina” display.       different "teardrop" shape for the device, but it is not yet
                                                                       clear if this will be employed for the finished product.
South Korean media, the Maeil Business Newspaper, cited
anonymous industry sources for its claims that Apple's                 Image Credit: Ciccarese Design
impending sixth-generation iPhone will feature a 4.6-inch
display, significantly larger than the 3.5-inch display on all
previous models.                                                       BioWare outlines new Mass
                                                                       Effect 3 ending plans
This would put the new model in direct competition with                Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/bioware-outlines-new-mass-effect-3-
Samsung's Galaxy S II, which has a 4.5-inch display on                 ending-plans/15324.html
the Rogers model, and could lead to claims that it is                  March 23rd, 2012
“slavishly copying” Samsung's designs, an accusation that
Apple previously levelled at the company.


The display is also expected to feature a higher resolution
capable of full high-definition, improving on the existing             Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of game studio BioWare, has
“retina” display of the iPhone 4S and echoing a similar move           reassured fans of its popular Mass Effect series that the
made with the latest iPad, which was released at the end of            company is listening and that changes to the controversial
last week.                                                             ending of the third game in the series are on the way.
                                                                       Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of game studio BioWare, has
                                                                       reassured fans of its popular Mass Effect series that the
                                                                       company is listening and that changes to the controversial
                                                                       ending of the third game in the series are on the way.


                                                                       Muzyka said that he believes that Mass Effect 3 is the best
                                                                       game BioWare has developed and that it was incredibly
                                                                       painful to receive negative feedback about it. He said the
                                                                       studio's first instinct was to defend the work, pointing out


                                                                                                                                             8
March 23rd, 2012                                                                                            Published by: VR-Zone

high review ratings, but that it ultimately had to respect its       (ED: Due to the limited amount of time and deliberate
fans and accept the criticism.                                       obstruction by hostile parties who will remain anonymous,
                                                                     we will review the card as is first and publish a technical
                                                                     piece on the new Nvidia Kepler architecture later today or
The outcome is that Casey Hudson, executive producer for             tomorrow.)
Mass Effect 3, is getting the team back together to work on “a
                                                                     Here we have the ASUS GTX 680 2GB, based off NVIDIA's
number of game content initiatives” which Muzyka said will
                                                                     reference design. We won't be too surprised to see custom
help answer questions, provide more clarity, and aid with
closure for those who have enjoyed the trilogy's storyline so        Direct CU variants later.
far.




                                                                     Card measures 10 inches long (shorter than HD 7970 @ 11.5
Muzyka was careful to highlight that the company needs               inches) and takes up 2 slots.
to strike a balance between addressing fan feedback and
keeping the artistic integrity of the original story, which
means that the resulting changes may not please everyone.
He also said that some of the feedback BioWare has received
was destructive rather than constructive and that it won't
support or respond to this type of comment, which he
likened to attacks on individual members of the team.


BioWare also plans to release additional Mass Effect content
and games, though it did not specify what these updates
might be. More details on the story ending update will be
released in April.


ASUS GTX 680 2GB
Overclocking Review: Win
Some Lose Some                                                       NVIDIA deployed a 6+6 pin PCIe connector (theoretically
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/asus-gtx-680-2gb-overclocking-   means up to 75+75+75W of power draw) on this board with
review-win-some-lose-some/15322.html                                 a new stacked layout. If we look closely on the PCB we can
March 23rd, 2012                                                     see unused solder points for another 6 pins, implying that
                                                                     there could be other SKUs with higher power requirements.




After a long and turbulent few months filled with much
speculation and deliberate misinformation, we finally have
NVIDIA's belated response to the the 28nm AMD Southern
Islands GPUs - the Geforce GTX 680 (current name, among
former identities). In the first of many Keplers that we will
be evaluating, we take a look at ASUS's reference offering
and see if its indeed a worthy contender (or pretender) to
the reigning king of the hill Radeon HD 7970. Overclocked
benchmarks also included!
Introduction and Specifications



                                                                                                                               9
March 23rd, 2012                                                                                                   Published by: VR-Zone

I/O Panel - We get a full sized DP, HDMI connectors (why           not accounting for fancy GPU Boost throttling) and a
not their mini/micro variants?) as well as single-link and         commendable 1.5GHz GDDR5 (6GHz) on the memory. With
dual-link DVI outputs. We are not a fan (get the pun?) of half     only 2GB of framebuffer and a 256 bit memory bus (as
height exhaust holes as it creates unnecessary turbulance          opposed to 3GB and 384 bit on the cards they are competing
and kills the possibility of single slot water cooling             with), this disparity will come into play in bandwidth starved
                                                                   scenarios like high (ahem multi-monitor) resolutions and
                                                                   scenes with complex textures. Like all the other cards this
                                                                   year, the GTX 680 comes with PCIe 3.0 support which is
                                                                   currently only (unofficially) supported by Intel's enthusiast
                                                                   Sandy Bridge-E and the upcoming Ivy Bridge mainstream
                                                                   chips.




Back of card - would really prefer a backplate here to prevent
short circuits, considering that a lot of vital soldering points
are exposed.




                                                                   EVGA GeForce GTX 680 hits
                                                                   1842 MHz under LN2
                                                                   Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/evga-geforce-gtx-680-hits-1842-
                                                                   mhz-under-ln2/15323.html
                                                                   March 23rd, 2012




                                                                   A day before GTX 680's official release, famed overclocker
                                                                   kIngpIn managed to hit a blistering 1842 MHz on the GTX
This card has got one of the most spartan bundles ever - only      680 at EVGA's Taiwan R&D Center.
a double Molex to 6-pin PCIe convertor and the mandatory           A day before GTX 680's official release, famed overlcocker
manual/driver CD.                                                  kIngpIn managed to hit a blistering 1842 MHz on the GTX
                                                                   680 at EVGA's Taiwan R&D Center.




By default, the reference cards are clocked just over 1GHz
on the core (which is the trend for new cards now,

                                                                                                                                         10
March 23rd, 2012                                                                                                        Published by: VR-Zone

The overclock was achieved using a modified PWM section
done by TiN and under LN2 (yeah the default PWN will not
be able to hold so stay tuned for their FTW and Classified
versions), with the core hitting -150C. The system used was a
Core i7 3930K, overclocked to 5.5 GHz with memory running
at 2400 MHz and using the latest Precision X overclocking
utility. The system was benchmaked using 3DMark 11,
scoring a remarkable 14912 in Performance preset.




                                                                         The Google Street View and Google Earth team have gone all
                                                                         the way to the Amazon Basin to collect ground-level images
                                                                         of the rivers, forests and communities in the Rio Negro
                                                                         Reserve. On World Forest Day, the search engine giant have
                                                                         made these images available via Google Street View feature.
                                                                         According to Google, more than 50,000 still photos were
                                                                         stitched together to create the 360-degree panoramic views.
                                                                         Well, you can now take a virtual boat ride, stroll along paths,
                                                                         take a forest trail hike, or visit other communities, all on your
Though remarkable, kIngpIn's 3D Mark 11 score was                        PC. Check out the Amazon Forest, Rio Negro, and the Street
narrowly beaten by Elmor's HD 7970 @ 1800 MHz, scoring                   View gallery.
P15035. Of course, this is done with full tesallation turned
on, if not, it will be nearly 1K higher.
Here's a short note from kIngpIn on his forums:
  Setup is capable of 16k single card regardless when
  pushed all the way and today we got 1900 stable, we
  think 2ghz is possible with more tuning. Just need
  more time. Tried 2 cards on Ln2 to obtain this result
  so far...its all modding that makes this frequency
  possible
More at VR-Zone Chinese.


You can now go Google
Street View on the Amazon
Basin                                                                    Ivy Bridge can hit memory
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/you-can-now-go-google-street-view-
on-the-amazon-basin/15321.html
                                                                         speeds of over 3GHz on four
March 23rd, 2012                                                         DIMMs
                                                                         Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ivy-bridge-can-hit-memory-speeds-
                                                                         of-over-3ghz-on-four-dimms/15320.html
                                                                         March 23rd, 2012




Not everyone are unable to travel long hours to South
America and have the opportunity to experience the beauty
of the Amazon forest and river. Well, what if you can view it
at the comfort of your home and workplace? In conjunection
                                                                         If you're into overclocking, then the news that Intel's
with World Forest Day, Google has provided the Street View
                                                                         upcoming Ivy Bridge processors can reach memory speeds
of the Amazon Basin.
                                                                         of over 3GHz is going to be exciting news in itself, but the fact
                                                                         that it can be done on four DIMMs is just insane. Intel has
                                                                         obviously done some serious improvements to the memory
                                                                         controller in Ivy Bridge compared to Sandy Bridge, but we're
                                                                         most likely going to have to wait to the launch to find out
                                                                         exactly what Intel has done.
                                                                         If you're into overclocking, then the news that Intel's
                                                                         upcoming Ivy Bridge processors can reach memory speeds
                                                                                                                                             11
March 23rd, 2012                                                                                                         Published by: VR-Zone

of over 3GHz is going to be exciting news in itself, but the fact
that it can be done on four DIMMs is just insane. Intel has
obviously done some serious improvements to the memory
controller in Ivy Bridge compared to Sandy Bridge, but we're
most likely going to have to wait to the launch to find out
exactly what Intel has done.
Overclocker Sin0822 has posted screenshots of a Gigabyte
Z77X-UD5H motherboard which has been paired up with an
Intel Core i7-3770K running on a base clock of 102.37MHz.
The memory is overclocked to an insane 3,276MHz using
four unspecified G.Skill modules rated at 2,666MHz with a
latency of 11-13-13-36 and a 2T command rate which isn't
terrible latencies considering the high speed the modules are
operating at.



                                                                           The Nikon D800 features a 36.3-megapixels FX-format
                                                                           CMOS sensor and new EXPEED 3 image processing engine
                                                                           that offers fast image processing and card recording, as well
                                                                           as image playback and transfer. It also offers 51-point Auto-
                                                                           Focus system, 100% video finder coverage, high ISO range
                                                                           of 100 to 6400 which can be expanded to 50-to-25600,
                                                                           supports full HD video recording in FX or DX format, and
                                                                           dual card slots for a CF card and SD memory card. The Nikon
                                                                           D800 is retailing at S$4,488 (body only) in stores now.
                                                                           Nikon D4




Apparently the UEFI has a 29.33 divider for the memory,
something you can't get with Sandy Bridge and this is part
of the reason for the high memory overclock. Sin0822 also
claims that higher speeds are possible using fewer DIMMs,
so in other words, we can expect even higher memory
overclocks in the future from the Ivy Bridge platform. It'll
be interesting to see how high memory overclocks the Ivy
Bridge platform will bring and we doubt we'll have to wait
long for more record breaking memory overclocks. Hit the
source links for more details and screenshots.


Nikon Singapore unveils
pricing for D800 and D4
                                                                           The Nikon D4 is the next-generation flagship digital SLR
digital SLR cameras                                                        camera to incorporate the new FX-format 16.2-megapixel
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nikon-singapore-unveils-pricing-for-   CMOS image sensor with EXPEED 3 processing engine. It
d800-and-d4-digital-slr-cameras/15319.html                                 also features a wide range of ISO sensitivities, from ISO 50
March 23rd, 2012                                                           to ISO 204800, Multi-area Mode full HD movie recording
                                                                           with three image area options, and faster and more accurate
                                                                           AF with 51 focus points. The Nikon D4 is selling at S$9,799
                                                                           (body only) in stores now.


                                                                           Zynga acquires OMGPOP,
Eager to get the Nikon D800 and D4? Well, Nikon Singapore
has just announced that the D800 and D4 digital SLR
                                                                           developer of Draw
cameras will be selling from today, 22 March, at selected                  Something, for US$200
Nikon authorised dealers.
                                                                           million
Nikon D800                                                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zynga-acquires-omgpop-developer-
                                                                           of-draw-something-for-us-200-million/15315.html




                                                                                                                                              12
March 23rd, 2012                                                                                              Published by: VR-Zone

March 23rd, 2012                                                     March 23rd, 2012




                                                                     More details are out on a new low cost 7-inch tablet from
                                                                     Toshiba which had some of its pre-release photos leaked out
Are you playing Draw Something on your mobile device?                at the beginning of January. We now know the official model
Well, for those who do not know, or have yet to be asked             name for this tablet, LT170 and its final appearance looks
by their friends if they are playing, Draw Something is              much like the one seen back in January with a black and blue
a social drawing and guessing game application which is              color scheme.
growing in popularity. Developed by OMGPOP, the app has              More details are out on a new low cost 7-inch tablet from
been downloaded more than 35 million times, and it is no             Toshiba which had some of its pre-release photos leaked out
wonder social network game development company, Zynga,               at the beginning of January. We now know the official model
has plans to acquire the company.                                    name for this tablet, LT170 and its final appearance looks
                                                                     much like the one seen back in January with a black and blue
                                                                     color scheme.
                                                                     Thanks to details leaked via Notebook Italia we now have a
                                                                     bunch of specs to share about the LT170. First and foremost,
                                                                     it happens to be powered by a 1GHz Freescale i.MX53 SoC
                                                                     (System-on-Chip) which comprises a single Cortex A8 core
                                                                     and is paired with 512MB of DDR3 memory.
                                                                     Storage comes in the form of 8GB flash memory as standard
                                                                     which can be expanded upon thanks to the inclusion of a
                                                                     microSD slot as well as the ability to connect other external
                                                                     storage devices via the micro-USB port. Other features
                                                                     include a front mounted 0.3MP webcam and rear facing
According to online reports, Zynga has acquired OMGPOP,              2MP camera, an accelerometer and ambient light sensors.
and while the exact price has not been revealed, it was said         This little 7-inch (1024 x 600) Android-running tablet
to be at around US$200 million. OMGPOP is a New York-                weighs in at just 362g and is 11.5mm thick. It's powered by
based game company that has developed many free online               a Li-ion battery which Toshiba says will provide up to seven
multiplayer games such as 9Ball Pool, Balloono Classic,              hours of use in video playback mode.
Hamster Battle, and Tracism. But it was only six weeks ago,
that Draw Something was launched which catapulted its
fame on the world wide web.
Draw Something is an Apple iOS and Android game whereby
a player choose a word from three difficulties - easy, medium
and hard - and draws it out. Another player, either random
or friends of the player, will have to guess the word using the
twelve given alphabets that are given. Note that the word can
be three letter or more, and some of the available alphabets
are meant to throw you off. Guessing the word correctly will
earn both players coins, the game currency which can be
used to purchase more colors or bombs that will remove the
unwanted excess alphabets during your guess.
Zynga has been known for developing similar copycat-like
products and the company can produce a game similar
to Draw Something and make it bigger and better. Some
analysts believed that OMGPOP could worth as much as
US$1 billion. Sounds similar to the story of Roy Raymond,
founder of "Victoria's Secrets" in the late 70's and later
sold for US$4 million; Victoria's Secrets is worth over US$5
billion as of FY 2009. But hey, technology companies could
be different, and US$200 million is a large sum of money
anyway.


Toshiba outs the LT170 7-
inch Freescale SoC powered
Android tablet
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/toshiba-outs-the-lt170-7-inch-
freescale-soc-powered-android-tablet/15318.html

                                                                                                                                13
March 23rd, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                 The video editor addresses these symptoms hereon in the
                                                                 simplest way possible. If a video is uploaded YouTube can
                                                                 sense if it could do with some adjustments and will alert
                                                                 the user via a notification bar on the upload page offering
                                                                 to fix it up - upon doing so an updated version will be
                                                                 placed alongside the original allowing you to compare the
                                                                 differences and decide which you'd like to go online.
                                                                 The animated video demonstration below animates the
                                                                 above information, while the new features are now available
                                                                 to try out for yourself in the YouTube video editor.

                                                                            Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.)


                                                                 MSI GEFORCE GTX 680 now
                                                                 listed in Europe for 492 Euro
                                                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/msi-geforce-gtx-680-now-listed-in-
                                                                 europe-for-492-euro/15316.html
                                                                 March 23rd, 2012




                                                                 A little more substance has been provided to support
                                                                 the rumour of a $499 (ex. taxes) price tag on NVIDIA's
                                                                 GEFORCE GTX 680 thanks to an early listing on an MSI
                                                                 model by European retailer PC Components.
                                                                 A little more substance has been provided to support
As for pricing, apparently it will strike at 299 EUR (just       the rumour of a $499 (ex. taxes) price tag on NVIDIA's
under US $400) and can already be found for pre-order at         GEFORCE GTX 680 thanks to an early listing on an MSI
select online retailers.                                         model by European retailer PC Components.
                                                                 This MSI branded GTX 680 with a respective model name
                                                                 of N680GTX-PM2D2GD5 has an associated price of 492€
YouTube adds darkness and                                        (incl. VAT) and 416.95€ (excl. VAT) which lines up pretty
shakiness fixes via its video                                    closely with the US $499 price point we've heard whispers
                                                                 of previously.
editing tool
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/youtube-adds-darkness-and-
shakiness-fixes-via-its-video-editing-tool/15317.html
March 23rd, 2012




YouTube's built-in video editor has just been updated with
a couple new features that many uploaders can benefit from
in submitting a better presented video. A common issue
can be seen with YouTube videos uploaded daily where
the camera wasn't held still enough to do away with the
general shakiness (unless they've gone to the extent of using
a tripod), while another common symptom can be related to
augmented darkness levels.
YouTube's built-in video editor has just been updated with       The listing on PC Components also includes an image
a couple new features that many uploaders can benefit from       of MSI's box art for its new GTX 680 card which
in submitting a better presented video. A common issue           confirms a number of features including NVIDIA GPU
can be seen with YouTube videos uploaded daily where             Boost Technology, 3D Vision Surround (supporting up to
the camera wasn't held still enough to do away with the          three displays from the single card), 2GB memory running
general shakiness (unless they've gone to the extent of using    at 1502MHz (6GHz effective), a core clock of 1006MHz
a tripod), while another common symptom can be related to        (1056MHz with boost) and a 195W TDP.
augmented darkness levels.

                                                                                                                                      14
March 23rd, 2012                                                                                                    Published by: VR-Zone


Samsung Premium Suite
                                                                         March 23rd, 2012


software upgrade available to
GALAXY Note
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/samsung-premium-suite-software-
upgrade-available-to-galaxy-note/15314.html
March 23rd, 2012
                                                                         CeBIT might be past us for this time, but we still have a few
                                                                         titbits left from the show that we want to share. First up
                                                                         is ECS' H61H2-TI mini-ITX motherboard which might not
                                                                         sound all that exciting at first, until you realise that it has a
                                                                         unique feature in the shape of HDMI input.
                                                                         CeBIT might be past us for this time, but we still have a few
Samsung has announced Premium Suite software upgrade                     titbits left from the show that we want to share. First up
for the GALAXY Note, which will offer additional features                is ECS' H61H2-TI mini-ITX motherboard which might not
including new S Pen applications that are optimized for use              sound all that exciting at first, until you realise that it has a
with the device, as well as the new Google Android 4.0 Ice               unique feature in the shape of HDMI input.
Cream Sandwich OS.




                                                                         In all fairness, the HDMI input is more like a pass-through as
                                                                         this slim-line board will most likely be connected to a display
                                                                         via a LVDS or eDP interface and as such the HDMI input
                                                                         will allow you to connect another device such as a notebook
                                                                         or a games console to that display and use it like any other
                                                                         display. This is a feature that Apple offers via a DisplayPort
                                                                         input on its 27-inch iMac, but this is the first time we've seen
Samsung Korea has announced the Premium Suite software                   this done on a motherboard for an All-in-One PC and via
for GALAXY Note users worldwide from Q2 2012. The                        HDMI.
software will include additional multimedia features, new
S Pen optimized applications, as well as upgrade to Google
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. The
Premium Suite will include My Story, an S Pen optimized
application that lets users create personalized digital cards
for friends or family using any type of content including
notes, video content, photos, text or voice.
To celebrate the Premium Suite upgrade announcement,
the company is providing special offers to all GALAXY
users as an official launch partner of Angry Birds Space,
the new blockbuster mobile game. A special package of
30 challenging levels – ‘Danger Zone’ – will be available
for free if unpacked within the three-month period. And
there is also an exclusive GALAXY Note level for all
Samsung GALAXY users. For more information, visit http://
samsung.angrybirds.com/galaxynote


ECS has unique mini-ITX
board for AIO designs
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ecs-has-unique-mini-itx-board-for-
aio-designs/15313.html
                                                                         The other features of the motherboard is far less exciting,
                                                                         although it's by no means a bad board, as it offers a pair of
                                                                         mini PCI Express slots, one full-size (which can be used as
                                                                         an mSATA slot) and one half-size, two SATA connectors, a
                                                                         pair of SO-DIMM slots, HDMI output, two USB 3.0 ports,
                                                                         two USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet and a pair of audio
                                                                         connectors. Keep in mind that this is a low-profile or thin
                                                                                                                                       15
March 23rd, 2012                                                                                                  Published by: VR-Zone

mini-ITX motherboard and that's a pretty decent feature set.          In what appears to be the real deal, an Nvidia marketing
At least there's some innovation of offer here from ECS and           video has leaked just ahead of the GeForce GTX680 launch.
it's really quite strange that no other manufacturer of AIO           The video details some of the new features we can expect to
systems have done this before.                                        see, as well as it confirms the earlier leaks of what was said
                                                                      to be GTX680 cards.

Broadcom launches new GPS                                             In what appears to be the real deal, an Nvidia marketing
                                                                      video has leaked just ahead of the GeForce GTX680 launch.
chip, does indoor navigation                                          The video details some of the new features we can expect to
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/broadcom-launches-new-gps-chip-   see, as well as it confirms the earlier leaks of what was said
does-indoor-navigation/15312.html                                     to be GTX680 cards.
March 23rd, 2012
                                                                      Nvidia is making some bold claims about the GTX680 in
                                                                      the video and although the card in question might very well
                                                                      feature the fastest GPU out there when it launches, but
                                                                      we're really curious about the power consumption and noise
                                                                      level and here Nvidia claims that we're looking at a really
                                                                      power efficient chip that shouldn't be as noisy as previous
                                                                      generations.
When it comes to GPS chips, Broadcom isn't the first
                                                                      First up of the new features is GPU boost, something similar
company we think of, but its latest addition to its growing
                                                                      to Intel's Turbo mode, but it appears to be far more limited.
family of GPS chips – or GNSS receivers as they are starting
                                                                      If you look at the screenshot below from the video, it's
to become known as with additional navigation systems
                                                                      adjusting the clock speeds on the fly, but he gains are at
launching – offers indoor navigation with the help of "other
                                                                      least according to that particular scenario in the 10's of MHz
wireless technologies".
                                                                      rather than the 100's. GPU boost only works in games that
When it comes to GPS chips, Broadcom isn't the first                  aren't very “power hungry” in terms of actual electricity
company we think of, but its latest addition to its growing           which means that the GPU heats up less and as such the
family of GPS chips – or GNSS receivers as they are starting          additional thermal envelope allows for small overclocks.
to become known as with additional navigation systems
launching – offers indoor navigation with the help of "other
wireless technologies".
Some of these other wireless technologies are Wi-Fi and
Bluetooth 4.0 low-energy beacons (where available), sensors
and NFC technology to help with indoor navigation in say a
shopping centre for example. The BCM4725 as the new chip
is known as also incorporates support for satellite-based
augmentation system or SBAS which allows for ground
stations to further enhance the navigation abilities of the
device containing the new Broadcom controller.
Also integrated in the BCM4725 is support for the GPS and
GLONASS satellite navigation systems as well as support for
                                                                       Next up we have FXAA which is a new type of anti-
QZSS or Quasi-Zenith Satellite Systems which for example
                                                                      aliasing which Nvidia claims doesn't take a “performance
Japan will be using to further improve navigation accuracy.
                                                                      hit” like traditional anti-aliasing technologies. This will be
Broadcom claims that the BCM4725 is 50 percent more                   interesting to see in action, especially if it's as good as Nvidia
power efficient than its previous generations of GPS chips            claims.
and that it thanks to the 40nm manufacturing process it
                                                                      For PhysX Nvidia has added some new features such as
will also take up 44 percent less PCB space inside devices.
                                                                      dynamic fracturing of objects which means that an object
Broadcom has also integrated more features, such as a
                                                                      will break differently every time it breaks, unlike in the past
low noise amplifier to reduce the BOM cost for the device
                                                                      when an object had limited ways into which it could break.
makers. The BCM4725 is available as of right now and
                                                                      Nvidia has also managed to improve hair effects, although
Broadcom is currently shipping it to its partners, although
                                                                      we'll have to wait and see if this will actually end up in a game
it'll likely be quite a while before the first devices start to
                                                                      in the future, as otherwise it's mostly a pointless addition.
appear with the new chip.
                                                                      Finally Nvidia is making a big deal out of 3D Vision Surround
                                                                      with up to three displays, but considering the additional
GeForce GTX680 marketing                                              cost of displays and active shutter glasses we have a feeling
video leaks                                                           this isn't going to be a major selling point as far as most
                                                                      consumers are concerned. The GTX680 can also handle four
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/geforce-gtx680-marketing-video-
                                                                      displays simultaneously, although Nvidia still has at least
leaks/15311.html
                                                                      one more to go before they catch up with AMD when it comes
March 23rd, 2012
                                                                      to multi display support.




                                                                                                                                     16
March 23rd, 2012                                                                                           Published by: VR-Zone


Commodore USA brings back
the Amiga, of sorts
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/commodore-usa-brings-back-the-
amiga-of-sorts/15310.html
March 23rd, 2012




It appears as if Commodore USA is milking its brand names
for as much as it can and the company has now launched
its first Amiga branded product, the Amiga mini. It's a
pretty decent looking mini-ITX system in what appears to
be a custom made aluminium chassis, but we'd say that the
company is pinning its nostalgic buyers hope a little bit too
                                                                     The Amiga mini is a breath taking US$2,495 (S$3,155)
high.
                                                                     making it an insane purchase considering you put together
It appears as if Commodore USA is milking its brand names            something similar for far less money. Oh and Commodore
for as much as it can and the company has now launched               USA is also offering SSD upgrades for both models at US
its first Amiga branded product, the Amiga mini. It's a              $495 for 300Gb [sic] and US$995 for 600Gb [sic]. We're
pretty decent looking mini-ITX system in what appears to             fairly certain that Commodore USA won't be seeing too
be a custom made aluminium chassis, but we'd say that the            many orders for either system, but maybe there are a few
company is pinning its nostalgic buyers hope a little bit too        nostalgic people out there willing to pay the price.
high.
The Amiga mini chassis has an engraved Amiga logo on
the front with a Commodore logo on the top, as well as
a Commodore logo on the front and that's about as much
Amiga that there is to be had. In fact, the company has done
very little with the system as it sports a Zotac Z68-ITX WiFi
Supreme motherboard with an on board GeForce GT 430
GPU which is paired up with 1GB of DDR3 memory. To the
board, Commodore USA has added a Core i7-2700K CPU,
16GB of DDR3 1333MHz memory, a 1TB 2.5-inch hard drive
and a Blu-ray drive.




Commodore USA has also launched the VIC mini which has
an identical chassis minus the Amiga logo. Internally we're
looking at the Zotac D2700-ITX WiFi Supreme motherboard
that features an Atom D2700 processors paired with a
GeForce GT 520 with 512MB of DDR3 memory. In this
case you only get 4GB of DDR3 1066MHz memory due to
limitations of the CPU, but the two systems are otherwise the
same beyond the motherboard specific features.
Both models are available in silver or black and you can
buy either as a barebone, although in this case we're talking
about a chassis and the Blu-ray drive for a fairly steep US
$345 (S$435). If you thought that was bad, then wait until
you here the price of the actual systems. The VIC mini comes
in at US$995 (S$1,259), although that also gets you a copy of
Commodore USA's free Commodore OS Vision pre-installed
as well as a pair of restore discs.




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




VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks!
                                                                       The technology could potentially be used in multiple fields,
  VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly                         including by the military and criminals. Soldiers could use it
  publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the            to plan stealthier attacks, while thieves could use it to hide
  geeks.                                                               from the thermal cameras on police helicopters, providing,
                                                                       of course, they can steal the technology in the first place.

Scientists make
                                                                       The military has already taken advantage of similar
breakthrough in thermal                                                technology to make a tank look like a car to heat-sensing
cloaking technology                                                    devices. While it does not make it completely invisible, it
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/scientists-make-breakthrough-in-
                                                                       does recreate the shape of the device in terms of generated
thermal-cloaking-technology/15366.html
                                                                       and detected heat, leading to new tactics in warfare.
March 27th, 2012

                                                                       Scientists have been trying to discover ways to develop an
                                                                       invisibility cloak for a number of years now, an idea that was
                                                                       once thought to be impossible, but now looks limited only by
                                                                       time and research.
Scientists have made a breakthrough in demonstrating how
technology can be developed to make people or objects
appear invisible to thermal-imaging devices, bringing us one
step closer to science fiction-style cloaking.                         Nvidia Tegra 4 to get GPGPU
Scientists have made a breakthrough in demonstrating how               i.e. GPU Computational
technology can be developed to make people or objects
appear invisible to thermal-imaging devices, bringing us one           Capabilities, Kepler Inside?
                                                                       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-tegra-4-to-get-gpgpu-i.e.-gpu-
step closer to science fiction-style cloaking.
                                                                       computational-capabilities-kepler-inside-/15361.html
                                                                       March 27th, 2012
The researchers at the Institut Fresnel in France have shown
how optical cloaking using transformation optics can be
applied in a way to prevent heat from being seen by heat-
sensing equipment, effectively masking the object from
                                                                                          In the discussions surrounding the
detection.
                                                                       launch of NVIDIA Kepler (GK104 - GTX 680 and GK107 -
                                                                       GT 640M) architecture, we learned a lot of interesting details
"We can design a cloak so that heat diffuses around an                 from NVIDIA engineers and marketing staff. Interested in
invisibility region, which is then protected from heat," said          GPGPU in a smartphone?
Dr. Guenneau from Institut Fresnel. "Or we can force heat to
concentrate in a small volume, which will then heat up very
rapidly."
                                                                       Lenovo launches Enterprise
                                                                       App Shop for Android
                                                                       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lenovo-launches-enterprise-app-
                                                                       shop-for-android/15364.html
                                                                       March 27th, 2012

                                                                       Lenovo has launched the Lenovo Enterprise App Shop, a
                                                                       mobile app store for businesses that use Android-based
                                                                       tablet computers.


                                                                       Anyone running a device with Android version 3.1 or higher
                                                                       will be able to access Lenovo's new app store, which works
                                                                       similarly to the Apple App Store or Android Market, but
                                                                       offers a range of business-orientated software and the
                                                                       ability for IT managers to control app purchases, licences,
                                                                       distribution and management.


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

The Shop features a variety of management services, such           example, that would be 4.4 Trillion HD movies. All this data
as a vetted catalogue of enterprise apps free of malware           is going to have to be stored somehow and this is where
or offensive content, custom management and corporate              Intel is hoping to cash in with a wide range of products from
approval process, private corporate app publishing, volume         the data centre all the way down to home storage products.
purchase pricing for discounts, and easy enabling and              Much of today's presentations talked about the data centre
disabling of apps, giving businesses considerable control          and "Ubiquitous storage across the cloud" which Intel claims
over the apps employed by their staff, while not gaining           is the future of storage.
direct control over the devices themselves.




                                                                   What Intel is talking about here is three different things,
                                                                   federation between public and private data to allow for
                                                                   securely shared data, automated solutions that reduce
                                                                   time spent on managing the storage systems and client
                                                                   aware systems that optimize the way the data is delivered
                                                                   depending on the device used to access the data stored on
                                                                   the cloud. Intel is hoping to reach these goals by 2015, but
                                                                   it's going to be tough to reach them considering a fair few
                                                                   technical hurdles, least not in the world of software.

"With the influx of personal and mobile devices in the
workplace, it’s critical for companies to manage the
proprietary and third-party applications their employees are
using,” said Mark Cohen, VP of Ecosystem and Monetization
at Lenovo. “We created an app shop designed specifically for
the enterprise featuring LDAP integration and cross Android
platform support to facilitate IT management while giving
users the apps they’re demanding to boost productivity.”


The Lenovo Enterprise App Shop is available immediately
throughout the world, except China.


Intel Storage Forum 2012
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-storage-
                                                                   Another subject that was touched upon was the importance
forum-2012/15365.html
                                                                   of technologies such as data deduplication and compression,
March 27th, 2012
                                                                   especially as we're moving away from mechanical drives
                                                                   and towards SSDs in many high-end server environments.
                                                                    However, even more regular storage solutions can save a lot
                                                                   of space using these technologies and Intel is implementing
Earlier today VR-Zone attended the Intel's Storage Forum           more and more of these features into its storage products.
2012 in Taipei, Taiwan and although the company didn't             Another feature targeting online storage providers is what's
reveal any big news at the event, one message was very             known as thin provisioning where a user's allocated space on
clear this year and that is that Intel is investing heavily into   a server is only allotted as it's being used up and this is a way
storage solutions. At the event Intel talked about everything      of saving on disk space in as much as all users don't require
from entry level "Personal Cloud" devices, to SSD's, 10Gbps        instant use of all their allotted storage space.
Ethernet all the way to Xeon powered solutions.
                                                                   As for the small business and SoHo/Home market, Intel
Earlier today VR-Zone attended the Intel's Storage Forum           is hoping to win over users by promoting the "Personal
2012 in Taipei, Taiwan and although the company didn't             Cloud" or what to date has been known as a NAS or Network
reveal any big news at the event, one message was very             Attached Storage. Intel is expecting the average user in this
clear this year and that is that Intel is investing heavily into   market segment to generate in excess of 4GB of data per
storage solutions. At the event Intel talked about everything      day come 2015 and this is where smaller, more affordable
from entry level "Personal Cloud" devices, to SSD's, 10Gbps        network attached storage solutions come into play.
Ethernet all the way to Xeon powered solutions.
Come 2020, mankind is expected to store an insane 35
Zetabytes of data, that's 35 followed by 21 zeroes, or as an

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

                                                                  them all here. At the end of the day, Intel has to rely on
                                                                  its partners, as although the company makes a selection of
                                                                  servers, the company can't cover all of its customers' needs
                                                                  by itself.


                                                                  EA launches Tiger Woods
                                                                  PGA Tour 13
                                                                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/ea-launches-tiger-woods-pga-
                                                                  tour-13/15362.html
                                                                  March 27th, 2012




However, Intel has found that it's hard to reach this market      Electronics Arts (EA) has launched Tiger Woods PGA Tour
due to in part the lack of awareness of this type of product      13, the latest golf simulation game on both the Xbox 360 and
and in part due to the difficulty of actually understanding       PlayStation 3.
how a NAS works and how to configure. Admittedly NAS
products have improved in leaps and bounds over the past          Electronics Arts (EA) has launched Tiger Woods PGA Tour
few years, but compared to a USB attached storage device,         13, the latest golf simulation game on both the Xbox 360 and
a NAS is a big step into the unknown for anyone with              PlayStation 3.
more basic technical knowledge. Intel is looking into ways
of how to make this market space more aware of this type
of product, as well as ways of how to co-operate with its         The game, which comes in a normal edition and a Masters
partners to sell these products into this market. Sadly the       Collector's Edition, features a revamp of the swing mechanic
presentation didn't really offer any solutions to the problem     to allow over 62 million combinations of customised shots,
and it's not an easy nut to crack until the day you can simply    online support for competitive gameplay, and a Tiger Legacy
plug one of these devices into a network and thy more or less     Challenge mode for reliving the legend's most memorable
configure themselves.                                             golf achievements.

The presentation about 10Gbps networking talked mostly
about it being an ideal solution for reducing cable clutter       The PlayStation 3 version is Move compatible and Xbox
and as an alternative to running a Fibre Channel network,         360 version is compatible with the Kinect, allowing users to
especially as Intel's 10Gbps NIC's can run FCoE and iSCSI         play golf with no controller. It is even responsive to gamers'
for "free" as Intel put it, as they don't charge extra for        voices.
these features. The SSD presentation touched upon how
reliable Intel's SSDs are compared to the competition and
of course on the kind of performance gains you can get
by mixing in some SSDs in a high-end storage solution,
especially with regards to IOPs which is important in certain
implementations.




                                                                  “We focused on making Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 13 the
                                                                  most immersive golf experience ever,” said Mike Taramykin,
                                                                  VP and GM of Tiger Woods PGA TOUR. “Fans have the
                                                                  opportunity to chase and win one of sport’s most highly
Sadly Intel didn't talk about any new or upcoming products        coveted accomplishments, the Green Jacket, play with or
at the event, but several of Intel's partners had new product     against friends with our online Country Clubs mode and
on display at the event, but we'll cover those in separate news   incorporate their authentic swing in the game with Kinect
posts as there were far too many products for us to go into       integration. Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 13 is the total package.”

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



The Masters Collector's Edition features a few extras,
such as exclusive access to the Augusta National Golf
Glub's Tournament Practice Facility and its Par 3 Course,
a presentation on the Green Jacket, and five additional
courses.


The game retails at $59.99 for the normal edition and $69.99
for the Masters Collector's Edition. It has shipped in North
America and will be available in stores worldwide from 30
March.


ZALMAN soon to release
VF3000-equipped HD 7950
graphics card                                                        This cooler does require three expansion slots however, but
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zalman-soon-to-release-vf3000-   it is said to provide temps that are up to 20c lower than
equipped-hd-7950-graphics-card/15360.html                            AMD's reference cooler is capable of.
March 27th, 2012




Following their entry into the AIB (add-in board) graphics
card biz toward the end of last year, photos of a particularly
interesting specimen from ZALMAN have leaked online
ahead of launch; a HD 7950 based offering from the
company which boldly shows non-reference attributes upon
first glance.
Following their entry into the AIB (add-in board) graphics
card biz toward the end of last year, photos of a particularly
interesting specimen from ZALMAN have leaked online
ahead of launch; a HD 7950 based offering from the
company which boldly shows non-reference attributes upon             The clock rates on this card are apparently left at the
first glance.                                                        reference clock speeds, but with this beefy cooler strutting its
                                                                     stuff there should be no issues getting a solid overclock when
                                                                     taking the manual approach. With that said, apparently
                                                                     ZALMAN is also working on bringing a factory overclocked
                                                                     model to market in the near future as well.




The upcoming card, dubbed ZALMAN HD7950-Z uses a
custom colored PCB and is paired with ZALMAN's own
VF3000 series cooler that comprises a large aluminum fin
arrangement with copper heatpipes and two large red LED-
lit fans.




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

                                                                         The case measurements come in at 450 x 200 x 420
SAMA deliver boldly on value                                             mm (WxDxH) with both ABS and SECC/steel used for
with Nighthawk 2 mid tower                                               its construction. The interior is all-black along with the
                                                                         exterior, while the side panel sports a red acrylic window and
case                                                                     protrudes slightly outward. The case's front I/O consists of
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sama-deliver-boldly-on-value-with-   four USB 2.0 ports and audio jacks. It would have been nice
nighthawk-2-mid-tower-case/15359.html                                    to have seen a USB 3.0 port or two in place of the USB 2.0
March 27th, 2012                                                         ones, but I guess we can't have our cake and eat it.




A Chinese case maker by the name of SAMA has emphasised
and delivered on value with its newly introduced Nighthawk
2 mid-tower which gives a host of features and aesthetic
inclusions mostly only seen in more expensive chassis'.
A Chinese case maker by the name of SAMA has emphasised
and delivered on value with its newly introduced Nighthawk
2 mid-tower which gives a host of features and aesthetic
inclusions mostly only seen in more expensive chassis'.


                                                                         The Nighthawk 2 can accomodate graphics cards measuring
                                                                         up to 300mm long along with up to four 5.25" devices and
                                                                         six 3.5" using a tool-free mounting system.




For just 299 RMB (about US $48) SAMA also impresses in
the cooling setup out of the box on the Nighthawk 2. Where
cases in this price range are lucky to have a rear exhaust and /         In all, quite the bang for your buck and a well worthy
or front intake fan, The Nighthawk 2 features a 120mm red                candidate for a budget build.
LED-lit front intake, a 120mm situated between the 3.5-inch
drive cage and motherboard tray, a 120mm at the rear as well
as two 120mm fans positioned up top.                                     Rovio Entertainment buys
                                                                         over Futuremark Games
                                                                         Studio
                                                                         Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/rovio-entertainment-buys-over-
                                                                         futuremark-games-studio/15358.html
                                                                         March 27th, 2012




                                                                         Futuremark is known for developing computer benchmark
                                                                         applications for home users and businesses such as
                                                                         PCMark7, 3DMark11 and PowerMark. And it seems that the
                                                                         company has been acquired by Angry Birds creator, Rovio
                                                                         Entertainment.


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




From Rovio's website, the company has acquired                            Marriage Central, a non profit organisation promoting
Futuremark Games Studio, though there was no mention                      healthy marriages, has recently launched "Our Love
how much it paid for the benchmark software developer.                    Journal" app as part of the opening of its annual
This is also the second acquisition by Rovio, the first being             celebration of marriages called Real Love Works 2012. The
Kombo Animation Studio in June last year. Coincidentally,                 app is possibly the first-ever marriage app designed for
the announcement came just after the launch of the new                    married couples. With "Our Love Journal" iPhone app, you
Angry Birds Space, which is released on iOS, Android, Mac                 can capture and share experiences, interests and memorable
and PC (including books, merchandising and animation).                    moments that you encounter in your daily life or even when
                                                                          on dates. All you have to do is snap your favourite moments,
VR-Zone was one of the media who has received a
                                                                          edit, and sync it with your loved ones. They wouldn’t have
farewell note from Futuremark CEO, Jukka Mäkinen, who
                                                                          an excuse not to remember your favourite things now. The
mentioned that the company will renew their focus on
                                                                          "Our Love Journal" app is available for free on the iTunes
creating great benchmarks and performance measurement
                                                                          app store.
software for gamers, home users, small businesses and the
IT industry. "This year will see a new version of 3DMark that,            - Tag menu for tagging photos (i.e. Food we like, Activity we
for the first time, will allow a direct comparison of gaming              like, Events we like, Stuff we like, Places we like)
performance across operating systems and form factors, as
well as a new version of PCMark for Windows 8."
                                                                          ZTE Android phone with Intel
Marriage Central launches                                                 mobile processor to launch
"Our Love Journal" app for                                                2H 2012 at US$160?
                                                                          Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/zte-android-phone-with-intel-
couples to archive their love                                             mobile-processor-to-launch-2h-2012-at-us-160-/15355.html

experience                                                                March 27th, 2012

Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/marriage-central-launches-our-love-
journal-app-for-couples-to-archive-their-love-experience/15356.html
March 27th, 2012




                                                                          ZTE is one of the industry partners that Intel has
                                                                          announced at Mobile World Congress last month to enhance
                                                                          smartphone portfolio. And the Chinese telecommunications
                                                                          equipment and systems company has unveiled that their
For the blissfully wedded couples, here's a must-have app                 phone will be available in the second half of this year.
for your iPhone - "Our Love Journal". The app is free to
download and lets couples archive and recall their shared
experiences on their phones, as well as prompt on ideal date
suggestions, special anniversaries, and marriage enrichment
programmes organised by Marriage Central.




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

                                                                        have hands-free viewing and great comfort even if you
                                                                        choose to orientate it for typing. It also offers a clever stylus
                                                                        storage feature and a secure hand strap that will prevent
                                                                        misplacement or accidental slip while on the go.
                                                                        Targus Versavu 360° Rotating Protective Case & Stand




Today, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments have dominated
the smart devices processor market, and chip giant
Intel is waiting for the opportunity to penetrate this market,
especially in China. Last weekend, ZTE said that in the
second half 2012, it will launch Intel-based smartphone with
extremely attractive price point. According to reports, ZTE's
smartphone will be equipped with Intel Atom Z2000 mobile
processor and runs Google Android OS. The company
                                                                        This Versavu 360° Rotating Protective Case and Stand has
also mentioned that the price will be around 1000 yuan
                                                                        a patent pending mechanism that allows the iPad to rotate
(approximately US$160). At the Mobile World Congress in
                                                                        within the case for comfortable viewing in portrait and
February, Intel has announced partnership with Orange,
                                                                        landscape modes. It also has a storage for stylus and secure
Lava International, Visa and ZTE to push smart devices
                                                                        hand strap for holding or carrying while on the move.
using Intel processors.
                                                                        Available in Calypso Pink with Charcoal Gray, Bone White
                                                                        with Charcoal Gray and Black faux leather and Indigo, the
Targus introduces new                                                   Targus Versavu 360° Rotating Protective Case and Stand is
                                                                        retailing at S$99.90.
protective and functional                                               Targus Vuscape Protective Case & Stand
cases for the new iPad
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/targus-introduces-new-protective-
and-functional-cases-for-the-new-ipad/15354.html
March 27th, 2012




With the recent launch of Apple's new iPad,
accessories maker Targus has also introduced their new
range of protective and functional cases in various
stylish colours for the mobile device in Singapore. Check
them out at your nearest Apple authorized resellers,
Challenger and retailers.
Targus has unveiled its latest range of seven new protective/
functional cases with ease of use for the new iPad. The cases           The Vuscape Protective Case and Stand provides additional
come in a range of stylish, vivid colours including bright              protection for the iPad with an extra padded interior shell.
orange, cool indigo and calypso pink. For the classy but                It has a soft, smooth inner lining that keeps the iPad safe
subtle individuals, the new cases are also available in chic            from scratches, dust and fingerprints. The exterior is easy to
Black faux leather and classic Bone White.                              clean and comes in Black faux leather, Bone White, Calypso
                                                                        Pink and Indigo. For those who are interested, the Vuscape
Among the cases is the Targus Versavu 360° Rotating
                                                                        Protective Case and Stand is retailing at S$85.90.
Protective Case and Stand for the new iPad which
boasts superior protection, is water resistant and has a                Vucomplete Back Cover
luxurious-to-touch cover while smooth and comfortable
to hold. The soft lining interior also helps to protect
the tablet from bumps, scratches, fingerprints, and dust.
The case features a 360° smooth rotation functionality that
offers different standing and viewing positions. You can

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

                                                                           news. SingTel is bringing in the 3G/WiFi version of the PS
                                                                           Vita handheld game console which will begin retailing from
                                                                           14 April.
                                                                           Here are the price plans available from SingTel which offer
                                                                           theoretical download speeds of 7.2Mbps and free bundled
                                                                           local data usage. Note that the plans are with 24-month
                                                                           contract.


                                                                           Sapphire launches the Pure
                                                                           Platinum A55V
                                                                           Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/sapphire-launches-the-pure-
                                                                           platinum-a55v/15352.html
                                                                           March 27th, 2012



Compatible with Apple Smart Cover, the Vucomplete Back
Cover also features a smooth inner lining that protects the
iPad from scratches. The superior quality of the exterior case
is also easy to clean. The Vucomplete Back Cover has a price
tag of S$39.90 and comes in stylish Orange, Calypso Pink,                  Having chatted with Sapphire back at CeBIT a couple of
Indigo, Bone White, and Charcoal Gray.                                     weeks ago, we knew the company is planning on taking
                                                                           a slightly different direction for its future motherboard
                                                                           products and the Pure Platinum A55V looks like it's a step
SingTel offers 3G and Wi-Fi                                                in that direction. What we're looking at is a fairly basic
version Sony PlayStation Vita                                              motherboard for AMD's APUs, without being a feature
                                                                           stripped board like what many of Sapphire's competitors are
with plans                                                                 offering when it comes to the A55 chipset.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/singtel-offers-3g-and-wi-fi-version-   Having chatted with Sapphire back at CeBIT a couple of
sony-playstation-vita-with-plans/15353.html                                weeks ago, we knew the company is planning on taking
March 27th, 2012                                                           a slightly different direction for its future motherboard
                                                                           products and the Pure Platinum A55V looks like it's a step
                                                                           in that direction. What we're looking at is a fairly basic
                                                                           motherboard for AMD's APUs, without being a feature
                                                                           stripped board like what many of Sapphire's competitors are
                                                                           offering when it comes to the A55 chipset.

It was about a month ago when Sony Computer                                The slot layout is fairly basic with a single x16 PCI Express
Entertainment Hong Kong launches the PlayStation (PS)                      slot, two x1 PCI Express slots and three PCI slots, but as
Vita at 313 Somerset in Singapore. And today, local                        AMD's APUs don't support more than one discrete graphics
telecommunication company SingTel has announced it will                    card, this is unlikely to be an issue for those considering this
be offering the 3G/Wi-Fi model of the handheld game                        motherboard. The standard six SATA 3Gbps ports are all
console with attractive price plans.                                       present and it's the only area where Sapphire hasn't added
                                                                           anything in terms of functionality.




The Sony PS Vita that was launched in Singapore last month,
is the Wi-Fi only version. For those of you who are eagerly
waiting for the 3G and Wi-Fi model, here's some good

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

                                                                      the company is working on new 802.11ac hardware that is
                                                                      looking like a big step up from its current hardware. Edimax
                                                                      has teamed up with Broadcom for the hardware and its
                                                                      initial products will feature simultaneous dual band support.
                                                                      Taiwanese Edimax is generally known as a company that
                                                                      is offering budget routers with fairly antiquated UI's, but
                                                                      the company is working on new 802.11ac hardware that is
                                                                      looking like a big step up from its current hardware. Edimax
                                                                      has teamed up with Broadcom for the hardware and its
                                                                      initial products will feature simultaneous dual band support.
                                                                      So far no model names have been decided upon, but we're
                                                                      looking at some pretty serious hardware here. The router
                                                                      processor is a 600MHz Intensi-fi chip from Broadcom based
                                                                      on MIPS32 architecture and it sports Gigabit Ethernet
                                                                      support, has dual PCI Express interfaces, a built in USB
                                                                      2.0 host controller and DDR2 memory support. The 2.4GHz
                                                                      802.11n module appears to be the BCM4331 which supports
                                                                      speeds of up to 450MHz as per the little sign next to the
                                                                      router. The only downside here is that the 802.11n module
                                                                      gets stuck with PCB antennas which isn't fantastic, but an
                                                                      acceptable trade-off on a product like this.




We're quite surprised to see features like dual BIOS, a
POST80 debug LED, power, reset and clear CMOS buttons
on a board at this price point. One feature we can't quite
figure out is the inclusion of a front USB 3.0 pin header, yet
we can only locate one USB 3.0 host controller and it appears
to be connected to the rear USB 3.0 ports and the board isn't
sharing the same PCB as one of Sapphire's other models.




                                                                      On the 802.11ac side of things we presume that we're looking
                                                                      the BCM4360 which is a three stream 802.11ac chip rated
                                                                      at speeds of up to 1.3Gbps, although Edimax sign states
The rear I/O isn't overwhelming, but it's got enough ports for        1.35Gbps. The BCM4360 uses 80MHz wide channels and
your average user with a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, two           256-QAM modulation as well as beamforming on both the
USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, 5.1-channel audio and a D-           transmit and receive end to manage these kind of speeds. It
sub, DVI and HDMI port. Overall not bad for what should be            has a PCI Express interface and if you look at the PCB you'll
a fairly affordable board and if Sapphire's new strategy is one       see that the 802.11ac module is connected to the main PCB
of offering more affordable motherboards with an improved             via a mini PCI Express slot.
feature set, this isn't a bad first step in that direction.


Edimax working 802.11ac
router and USB dongle
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/edimax-working-802.11ac-router-
and-usb-dongle/15351.html
March 27th, 2012




Taiwanese Edimax is generally known as a company that
is offering budget routers with fairly antiquated UI's, but

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

                                                                       Blizzard is contemplating releasing a console version of
                                                                       its upcoming hack-and-slash role-playing game Diablo III,
                                                                       promising that it will be “a true Blizzard-level experience.”


                                                                       Paul Sams, the company's COO, told CVG that the game
                                                                       would need some tweaking from the PC version, but that
                                                                       a console version makes sense and that a decision to go
                                                                       forward with this idea would not be made primarily for
                                                                       financial reasons.


                                                                       Blizzard admitted that a console version would depend on
                                                                       how many hoops it has to jump through with the console
                                                                       manufacturers. It said that if it is incredibly difficult or costly
                                                                       to do, it would make the company think twice, but even then
                                                                       it would not automatically rule out the possibility.

The router doesn't appear to be a final product though and
we're solely basing this on the fact that there are empty
spaces for what appears to be a second mini PCI Express
card, USB ports and various other components. Hopefully
Edimax will at least go with a similar design for the final
product.




                                                                       A console port of the game might depend entirely on the
As for the USB adapter we're most likely looking at                    success of the PC version, which will release on 15 May, with
the BCM43526 which as the sign says, offers dual band                  many fans cautious after considerable ruckus was caused
operation with speeds of up to 300Mbps for 802.11n and                 when a community manager told players to lower their
up to 900Mbps for 802.11ac. The only problem here is the               expectations, a recommendation that was refuted by the
limitation of the USB 2.0 bus at 480Mbps, so it's unlikely             game's director. A last-minute decision to axe player-versus-
that this type of product will ever achieve their theoretical          player combat from the game and release it in a later patch
maximum speed. Either which way, we can't wait until we                did not help the situation.
get our hands on some 802.11ac hardware to test, as it should
make a huge difference during large file transfers, if nothing
                                                                       Sams did not give any possible timeframe for the release of
else.
                                                                       a console version, but given how long it took the company to
                                                                       develop the game for the PC it could be years away. He also
Blizzard considering Diablo III                                        did not specify which consoles would get the game, but we
                                                                       imagine it would want to release on more than just one of
console version                                                        the available platforms.
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/blizzard-considering-diablo-iii-
console-version/15350.html
March 27th, 2012

                                                                       Apple's new iPad draws 2A,
                                                                       charges from Gigabyte Z77
                                                                       motherboard
                                                                       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/apple-s-new-ipad-draws-2a-charges-
                                                                       from-gigabyte-z77-motherboard/15349.html
Blizzard is contemplating releasing a console version of
its upcoming hack-and-slash role-playing game Diablo III,
promising that it will be “a true Blizzard-level experience.”
                                                                                                                                          10
March 27th, 2012                                                                                                 Published by: VR-Zone

March 27th, 2012                                                 a few smartphones, but none of them drew in excess of
                                                                 600-700mA.


                                                                 Microsoft and Nokia to invest
                                                                 18 million Euro in mobile app
One downside of Apple's many hand held devices is that           development
they draw a lot of power when charging and the latest iPad       Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-and-nokia-to-invest-18-
is even more power hungry, especially when the battery is        million-euro-in-mobile-app-development/15348.html
running low. As such it's getting to the stage where most        March 27th, 2012
computers will no longer be able to charge Apple's portable
devices, although for DIY:ers it's less of an issue as many      Microsoft and Nokia have agreed to invest up to €18 million
motherboards can deliver more power to the USB ports and         in app development for the Windows Phone platform.
in in the case of Gigabyte's new Z77 boards, the new iPad is
no match.
                                                                 The duo launched the AppCampus program at Aalto
One downside of Apple's many hand held devices is that           University in Finland, which will run for the next three years,
they draw a lot of power when charging and the latest iPad       encouraging students to develop apps for both Windows
is even more power hungry, especially when the battery is        Phone, Symbian and Series 40, though the primary focus will
running low. As such it's getting to the stage where most        likely be on Microsoft's operating system.
computers will no longer be able to charge Apple's portable
devices, although for DIY:ers it's less of an issue as many
motherboards can deliver more power to the USB ports and         “AppCampus offers an unprecedented opportunity for
in in the case of Gigabyte's new Z77 boards, the new iPad is     entrepreneurs to put their ideas into practice and create
no match.                                                        world-class mobile products,” said Klaus Holse, president
                                                                 of Microsoft Western Europe. “We want to turn a new leaf
                                                                 in the mobile industry and foster Finland’s role as a center
                                                                 of excellence for mobile technology. Such investment into
                                                                 early-stage concepts has rarely been seen in this sector, and
                                                                 this demonstrates how highly both Nokia and Microsoft
                                                                 value Finnish mobile expertise.”




As you can see in the video below, the iPad in question only
had seven percent battery life remaining and at this point
it's sucking 1.98A. That's a lot of power and we were told by
Gigabyte that they've seen it hitting just over 2A. That said,
as you might've noticed from the picture above, this quickly
drops once the iPad begins to charge, but considering a
standard USB 2.0 port only delivers 500mA and even a USB
3.0 port will only deliver 900mA, you have to wonder how
much Apple cares about PC owners.
In all fairness, Gigabyte isn't the only company to deliver      Apps are key to the success of a mobile operating system
extra power to mobile devices that sucks extra juice to reduce   and one of the primary reasons people choose Apple devices
their charging time, but many laptops and brand name             over those of rivals, due to the extensive library of apps
desktops doesn't offer this ability and if they do, they won't   available. Android is quickly catching up, but Windows
be able to do it at close to 2A. The power draw is dynamic as    Phone is lagging behind considerably.
you can hear mentioned in the video, but even so, charging
new Apple devices from a standard USB port might soon be
a memory of the past.                                            The problem for Microsoft, and Nokia as the primary phone
                                                                 manufacturer of Windows Phone devices, is that developers
                                                                 are reluctant to invest the time and money in creating an app
In this specific case we used the On/Off Charge port on the      for Windows Phone, as the rewards are currently limited
Gigabyte motherboard, as the port auto detect Apple devices      compared to the two dominant platforms. In order to make
and will deliver as much power as the device requests. For       it more rewarding it needs apps to attract customers, making
a laugh, once we'd shot this little video, we also tested with   the situation a viscious cycle, with the only solution being

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

active investment from Microsoft and Nokia, which the duo                new features to help it steal the top slot form Nintendo, or at
have finally decided to do.                                              least keep it in second place ahead of Sony's next PlayStation.


Microsoft to launch $100                                                 Of course, until Microsoft or another trustworthy source
Xbox Lite before next-gen                                                validates this rumour we cannot take it for granted that this
                                                                         is what will happen. It could even be an elaborate ruse to
console                                                                  keep Microsoft's real Xbox 720 plans under wraps, such as
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/microsoft-to-launch-100-xbox-lite-   speculations that it will feature a tablet controller, no disc
before-next-gen-console/15347.html                                       drive, and a projector gaming helmet.
March 27th, 2012



                                                                         Nokia's Lumia 800 to get WiFi
                                                                         tethering by the end of the
                                                                         week
Microsoft will launch a $100 Xbox Lite next year before                  Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nokia-s-lumia-800-to-get-wifi-
releasing its next-generation console sometime afterwards,               tethering-by-the-end-of-the-week/15346.html
according to leaked plans.                                               March 27th, 2012

Microsoft will launch a $100 Xbox Lite next year before
releasing its next-generation console sometime afterwards,
according to leaked plans.

                                                                         It has become apparent via a meeting between carrier H3G
A well-known leaker of Microsoft plans, a user who goes by
                                                                         and Nokia in Milan, Italy that the Finnish handset maker is
the name MS Nerd, shared that the Xbox Lite, previously
                                                                         planning to provide internet tethering support on its Lumia
codenamed Xbox Loop, will feature an ARM processor,
                                                                         800 series devices by means of a software update before the
will be significantly cheaper than existing models, and will
                                                                         month is out.
launch in late 2013, possibly just in time for the Christmas
shopping season.                                                         It has become apparent via a meeting between carrier H3G
                                                                         and Nokia in Milan, Italy that the Finnish handset maker is
                                                                         planning to provide internet tethering support on its Lumia
It's not exactly clear what will be axed from the Lite version           800 series devices by means of a software update before the
to make it so cheap, as it will run games, media apps and                month is out.
will work with the Kinect. Its graphics power might be toned
down or Microsoft might just be taking a big hit on its profits
from it to make it more affordable.




                                                                         Internet sharing was possible out of the box on Nokia's
                                                                         Lumia 610 and 900 smartphones and it's been said that the
                                                                         feature will be made available on the Lumia 710 in the near
The next-generation Xbox, codenamed Xbox Next, which                     future as well.
suggests a potential deviation from the expected name of
                                                                         In relative news, as a reminder there is a new firmware
Xbox 720, will launch some time after the Xbox Lite, but if
                                                                         update on the horizon for Lumia 710 and 800 phones,
the Lite launches in late 2013 it means we might not see the
                                                                         build 12070 promising better battery life and many other
Next until 2014 or possibly later, giving Nintendo a further
                                                                         improvements.
time advantage on its launch of the Wii U this year.


A new version of the Kinect is also expected to launch in
2015, which could coincide with the release of the new
console. This would give Microsoft enough time to develop

                                                                                                                                              12
March 27th, 2012                                                                                                        Published by: VR-Zone

                                                                        Express 2.0 lanes integrated directly into the chip package.
Intel's Valleyview Atom SoC                                             The NM10 IOH only supports four PCI Express 1.0 lanes, so
will come in multiple SKUs                                              this should allow for improved performance when connected
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-valleyview-atom-soc-will-   to PCI Express add-in cards and peripheral chipsets.
come-in-multiple-skus/15345.html                                        The SoC also sports a pair of SATA 3Gbps ports, SDIO
March 27th, 2012                                                        support, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, of which
                                                                        one supports USB 3.0 OTG, a built in Gigabit Ethernet
                                                                        MAC and as previously mentioned support for DisplayPort,
                                                                        eDP and HDMI output. Some SKUs will also supports the
                                                                        MIPI-DSI display interface and the MIPI-CSI interface for
We've already reported on the basic information that has                cameras. Intel has also added Blu-ray playback support for
leaked so far about Intel's upcoming Valleyview Atom                    automotive entertainment solutions.
SoC, but it appears that Intel is planning a range of                    The battery operated SKUs will only support LPDDR2
SKUs for various markets according to information that                  memory, but the general SKUs will support DDR3L memory
has reached VR-Zone. In fact, the information that was                  and even have ECC support as reported earlier. Valleyview 2
leaked is with regards to Valleyview together with the                  will as far as we're aware be the first Atom core to support
information we've received points towards a replacement for             dual channel memory – note that ECC memory is only
the embedded E600 series of Atom processors which makes                 support in single channel – and it will also be the first Atom
sense considering Advantech's roadmaps.                                 core to support up to 8GB of memory. It almost looks as if
We've already reported on the basic information that has                Intel is finally getting ready to drop its Celeron processors
leaked so far about Intel's upcoming Valleyview Atom                    and bring its Atom chips up into its more grown up processor
SoC, but it appears that Intel is planning a range of                   family, at least if the features of Valleyview2/Bay Trail is
SKUs for various markets according to information that                  anything to go by.
has reached VR-Zone. In fact, the information that was
leaked is with regards to Valleyview together with the
information we've received points towards a replacement for             NVIDIA's New Dawn for
the embedded E600 series of Atom processors which makes                 Kepler is on the way
sense considering Advantech's roadmaps.                                 Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-s-new-dawn-for-kepler-is-on-
Let's start by clearing up the naming scheme a little bit,              the-way/15344.html
as Valleyview or Valleyview 2 as the embedded version is                March 27th, 2012
known as, is the name of the Atom core and not the actual
SoC. The SoC is known as Bay Trail, in the same way as the
Cedarview core being part of the Cedar Trail processor. Intel
will be offering two versions of Bay Trail, one for standard
desktop style applications and in-car infotainment systems
as well as one intended for battery optimized usage. We're              Dawn, NVIDIA's beloved fairy who first made her
not entirely sure if there will be a consumer version, but Intel        appearance in a tech demo almost a decade ago will soon
did at least have a Valleyview Atom core at some point, so it's         be making her return to coincide with Kepler. Dubbed "New
possible that Intel will offer up a future Atom D or N model,           Dawn", this will be the official tech demo for Kepler and is
but we'll just have to wait and see how things develop.                 said to be more or less a retake of the original, only with the
As for Valleyview 2/Bay Trail we're looking at a highly                 obvious vast improvements across the board in the level of
integrated 22nm SoC that will feature two or four cores.                detail on tap.
As revealed in the previous leak, we're looking at vastly               Dawn, NVIDIA's beloved fairy who first made her
improved performance and as you can see from the picture                appearance in a tech demo almost a decade ago will soon
below, we're talking four to seven times the performance,               be making her return to coincide with Kepler. Dubbed "New
albeit this is expected to be over the Atom E600 series which           Dawn", this will be the official tech demo for Kepler and is
featured a 400MHz version of the PowerVR SGX 535 core                   said to be more or less a retake of the original, only with the
from Imagination Technologies, so it might not be quite as              obvious vast improvements across the board in the level of
impressive as first thought.                                            detail on tap.
                                                                        While Dawn made her debut in amazing detail dating back
                                                                        all those years ago, that's nothing compared to what the likes
                                                                        of Kepler can do for us. NVIDIA will have Dawn looking
                                                                        far more lifelike than before with significant improvements
                                                                        to the environmental elements, including more realistic
                                                                        physics, hair animation and overall a far greater level of
                                                                        detail.
                                                                        Kepler will allow NVIDIA to use a level of tesselation in
                                                                        this tech demo that its rival may possibly not be able to
                                                                        accomplish (irrespective of whether or not a hack becomes
                                                                        available down the road to execute it).
Most of the NM10 IOH has been integrated into Valleyview
2/Bay Trail and as such the new SoC will have four PCI                  We don't have a formal release date for the New Dawn yet,
                                                                        but it's expected to arrive for download via NVIDIA.com and
                                                                                                                                            13
March 27th, 2012                                                                                                         Published by: VR-Zone

GeForce.com sometime soon. In the meantime, enjoy the
short sneak peek below :-

           Unprintable Content (Video, Flash, etc.)




Beefy BF3 patch arrives for
PS3 tomorrow (Xbox 360 and
PC soon)
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/beefy-bf3-patch-arrives-for-ps3-
tomorrow-xbox-360-and-pc-soon-/15343.html                                 From the front, the HTC T328w (also known as One V)
March 27th, 2012                                                          looks like a combination of the Desire S and Wildfire S,
                                                                          though the rear looks more like the HTC Explorer. It is also
                                                                          available in a variety of colors - black, white, blue, pink
                                                                          etc. The phone has dual-SIM support, measures 9.3mm thin
                                                                          and weighs 114g. It features a 3.7-inch WVGA touchscreen,
                                                                          1GHz MSM7227 processor, 512MB RAM and 4GB storage
The official Battlefield Blog site has let us know to expect a            (expandable to 32GB via microSD card slot). At the rear is a
chunky BF3 patch tomorrow for PlayStation 3 owners and is                 5-megapixel camera and the T328w runs the latest Android
confirmed to be coming for the Xbox 360 and PC versions                   4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS with the new HTC Sense 4.0.
very soon.                                                                The phone also incorporates Beats Audio and SRS WOW
                                                                          HD audio technologies for impressive audio enjoyment. The
The official Battlefield Blog site has let us know to expect a            HTC T328w is reported to retail at an attractive 1999 yuan
chunky BF3 patch tomorrow for PlayStation 3 owners and is                 (or US$317).
confirmed to be coming for the Xbox 360 and PC versions
very soon.
The patch will roll in a significant number of tweaks and
balances, while a particularly noteworthy mention is the
"Rent a Server" feature that the update will make available
on the Xbox 360 and PS3. There will be more info coming
out about that functionality this time next week.
The full fix and additions list is a mile long, but you can head
over to the source to catch all the details.


HTC T328w dual-SIM phone
to retail at US$317 in China
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/htc-t328w-dual-sim-phone-to-retail-
at-us-317-in-china/15340.html
March 27th, 2012
                                                                          LG Optimus LTE P936 shows
                                                                          up on FCC
                                                                          Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/lg-optimus-lte-p936-shows-up-on-
                                                                          fcc/15339.html
                                                                          March 27th, 2012

The new HTC One series smartphones are going to be
launched soon, and apparently, the pricing for the dual-SIM
HTC T328W (or HTC One V) has been revealed. The Android
phone is reported to be priced at 1999 yuan (or US$317) in
China.
                                                                          Korean company LG has been busy with the introduction
                                                                          of three new phones at the recent Mobile World Congress.
                                                                          And it seems that a new Optimus LTE P936 smartphone has
                                                                          appeared on Federal Communications Commission (FCC).




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

                                                                          Japanese Planex Communications might not be the most
                                                                          well-known maker of Wi-Fi routers, but the company has
                                                                          managed to come up with an interesting solution for those
                                                                          that want to save space, a Wi-Fi router that goes inside the
                                                                          whole in the wall where a power socket would normally be
                                                                          fitted. This means that the router doesn't take up any space,
                                                                          but it does also limit its functionality a bit.




This year, it seems that 4G LTE is widely sought after as
we see many phone makers coming up with their new LTE
flagship phones. According to reports from GSM Dome,
LG has a new smartphone, Optimus LTE P936, which
has appeared on FCC. The Optimus LTE P936 is said to
feature a large 4.6-inch touchscreen display with 1280x720
resolution and 320ppi pixel desnsity. It is powered by
1.5GHz Snapdragon processor, runs Google Android 2.3.6
Gingerbread and equipped with 8-megapixel rear camera
with LED flash that can capture videos in 720p HD
resolution. We would probably hear more news about the
Optimus LTE P936 in the coming weeks, and it is likely the                The MZK-KR150N as the router is called needs to be wired
phone will receive Android 4.0 ICS update soon.                           directly to the mains wires inside the socket and as such a
                                                                          qualified electrician needs to do the installation according to
Planex to launch Wi-Fi router                                             the company. The WAN connector is also located here, so in
                                                                          other words, if you can't easily get an Ethernet cable into the
that replaces your wall                                                   power socket, this product isn't for you.

socket
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/planex-to-launch-wi-fi-router-that-
replaces-your-wall-socket/15338.html
March 27th, 2012




                                                                          On the upside, you end up with only a Wi-Fi antenna sticking
Japanese Planex Communications might not be the most                      out of the wall socket and that's as much space as the router
well-known maker of Wi-Fi routers, but the company has                    will take up. As you might've guessed by the model name,
managed to come up with an interesting solution for those                 the MZK-KR150N only offers speeds of up to 150Mbps
that want to save space, a Wi-Fi router that goes inside the              over 802.11n Wi-Fi, although the router also has a single
whole in the wall where a power socket would normally be                  10/100Mbit Ethernet port.
fitted. This means that the router doesn't take up any space,
but it does also limit its functionality a bit.

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

                                                                          upcoming Linux 3.4 kernel being set in stone. However, at
                                                                          the same time, details have also appeared on roadmaps from
                                                                          Advantech, a Taiwanese IPC maker that gives additional
                                                                          details as to what to expect.
                                                                          The first details were spotted by Phoronix as they found
                                                                          details with regards to patches for the upcoming Linux
                                                                          3.4 kernel that stated "ValleyView is a CedarView-like chip
                                                                          but with an Ivybridge graphics core." This in itself is very
                                                                          interesting, as it shows that at least on the desktop side, Intel
                                                                          is planning on moving away from the PowerVR graphics
                                                                          cores that the company has been relying on for its past
                                                                          couple of generations of Atom processors.
                                                                          Other details unearthed by Phoronix include support for
                                                                          two DisplayPort interfaces (most likely eDP and a regular
                                                                          DisplayPort) and HDMI output, a new interrupt architecture
                                                                          and Turbo Boost support, albeit somehow done differently
                                                                          than on Ivy Bridge.




The router has a power and WPS button on its "facia" and
there's also a small switch that allows you to set it to router
or access point mode. It's actually a really clever solution for
extending Wi-Fi coverage in larger homes or offices where a
single router won't be enough, at least as long as you can get
an Ethernet cable from the router to a suitable wall socket
easily enough. What we'd really like to have seen integrated
into the MZK-KR150N is support for power line networking,
as this would've eliminated the need for an Ethernet cable to
be used for the network connection.


The MZK-KR150N should launch early next month in Japan
with a retail price of about US$119 (S$150) which is a tad on             Shortly after Phoronix discoveries, The Verge managed to
the expensive side considering the basic spec of the product.             dig up some roadmaps from Advantech that gives us a few
                                                                          additional details as to what to expect. According to a few
                                                                          upcoming products from Advantech the Valley View Atom
Intel's Valley View Atom SoC                                              SoC will feature the Balboa Pier chipset – a bit of trivia here,
leaks, said to have Ivy Bridge                                            Intel's 440LX chipset was codenamed Balboa – although as
                                                                          Valley View is said to be a 22nm SoC, it's very likely that the
level graphics                                                            chipset will be integrated into the CPU package or the CPU
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-valley-view-atom-soc-leaks-   itself.
said-to-have-ivy-bridge-level-graphics/15337.html
                                                                          The Advantech roadmap further details one to four cores,
March 27th, 2012
                                                                          four times the graphics performance, although it doesn't
                                                                          really state compared to what, but we'd presume the current
                                                                          Cedar Trail Atom processors, support for between 4 and 8GB
                                                                          of DDR3 memory and interestingly enough ECC support
                                                                          making Valley View a much more interesting solution for the
                                                                          IPC and entry level server market and finally what appears
                                                                          to be native USB 3.0 support.
Quite often Intel is the best source when it comes to its own
product leaks and this time around its upcoming Valley View               Valley View isn't expected to launch until very late this
Atom SoC has leaked thanks to in part to the fact that Intel              year or early next year, but it could potentially be the most
has had to submit graphics driver information in time for the             interesting Atom processor to date, especially as it seems
upcoming Linux 3.4 kernel being set in stone. However, at                 like Intel has given up on pushing its Atom processors as a
the same time, details have also appeared on roadmaps from                castrated, low-budget alternative. Judging by the rumoured
Advantech, a Taiwanese IPC maker that gives additional                    specifications, we have a feeling that Valley View won't be as
details as to what to expect.                                             cheap as the current Atom processors, but it'll likely depend
                                                                          a lot on what's available from the competition.
Quite often Intel is the best source when it comes to its own
product leaks and this time around its upcoming Valley View
Atom SoC has leaked thanks to in part to the fact that Intel
has had to submit graphics driver information in time for the

                                                                                                                                        16
March 29th, 2012                                                                                               Published by: VR-Zone




VR-Zone.com | Tech News for the Geeks!
                                                                       March 29th, 2012
  VR-Zone | Stuff for the Geeks is a bi-weekly
  publication covering the latest gadgets and stuff for the
  geeks.


MediaTek combines 802.11ac
                                                                       ASRock, originally spun off from ASUSTeK almost a decade
and Bluetooth 4.0 into a                                               ago, has risen from its humble beginnings to become the 3rd
single chip                                                            largest motherboard vendor behind ASUS and GIGABYTE
                                                                       in terms of volume shipments. Their growth has been
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/mediatek-combines-802.11ac-and-
                                                                       attributed to an aggressive pricing strategy coupled with
bluetooth-4.0-into-a-single-chip/15397.html
                                                                       feature-filled offerings to give them the competitive edge.
March 29th, 2012
                                                                       With the recent acquisition of legendary overclocker Nick
                                                                       Shih to augment their R&D team, we can expect them
                                                                       to scale greater heights. Today we preview an impressive
Taiwanese MediaTek might be famous for creating low-cost               and well rounded board - their upcoming Fatal1ty Z77
feature phone and entry level smartphone processors, but               Professional!
the company also manufactures a wide range of other chips.             Front Box - The use of Jonathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel's likeness
Last year MediaTek merged with Ralink and MediaTek’s                   and trademarks reveal ASRock's target buyers for the board
new 802.11ac/Bluetooth 4.0 combo chip has most likely                  - gamers with wads of cash.
been born out of that merger.
Taiwanese MediaTek might be famous for creating low-cost
feature phone and entry level smartphone processors, but
the company also manufactures a wide range of other chips.
Last year MediaTek merged with Ralink and MediaTek’s
new 802.11ac/Bluetooth 4.0 combo chip has most likely
been born out of that merger.
The new chip is called the MT7650 and it combines
dual band, single channel, 433Mbps 802.11ac Wi-Fi with
Bluetooth 4.0 + HS into a single chip for use in mobile
consumer platforms and MediaTek claims that this is a
world’s first. The MT7650 is backwards compatible with
802.11n, Bluetooth 3.0, as well as Bluetooth 2.1. It also
supports Wi-Fi Direct and Wi-Fi Display, two technologies
that should start to become more useful this year as wider
support is being enabled.
The press release initially made us read "mobile consumer              Rear Box View: A cluttered feature listing full of marketing
platforms" as smartphones and tablets, but the last line of            hyperboles
the feature list states support for Windows 7, Windows 8
and Linux, so it looks like the MT7650 is primarily targeting
fairly large mobile devices such as notebooks. There’s no
mention of interface, but we presume the MT7650 is a USB
device. MediaTek didn’t supply any availability date for the
MT7650, but we’d expect it to arrive in consumer devices
sometime in the second half of the year.


First Looks: ASRock Fatal1ty
Z77 Professional
Source: http://vr-zone.com/articles/first-looks-asrock-fatal1ty-z77-
professional/15384.html




                                                                                                                                  1
March 29th, 2012                                                                                                Published by: VR-Zone

The Fatal1ty Z77 Professional is a stunning beauty. Decked
out in a black and red colour theme (hmm... familar)
together with gold capacitors, most neutral observers will
buy this based on its looks already. This board also features
an incredible amount of components and meticulous
engineering, which we will detail in the next few sections.




                                                                 A quick look and comparison