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Transform in Style with the New ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T

Announced at Mobile World Congress in February, the new ASUS Transformer Pad is a powerful, yet affordable, tablet with a host of features onboard. Available in three stylish colors, the ASUS Transformer Pad is aptly named thanks to the mobile dock that allows it to transform from a tablet into a notebook. When docked, total battery life is rated up to 15 hours, while also increasing productivity with a full QWERTY keyboard, multi-touch touchpad and USB/SD Card ports.

Housed in the Transformer Pad is a powerful NVIDIA Tegra 3 Quad-core CPU, ASUS SonicMaster technology for an incredible audio experience and an 8MP auto-focus camera that shoots crystal clear photos. The Transformer Pad is running the Android 4.0 operating system (Ice Cream Sandwich) that is upgradable and features exclusive software for added productivity.

Linux Creator Linus Torvalds Receives One of World's Highest Technology Honors

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Linux Creator and Linux Foundation Fellow Linus Torvalds is a Millennium Technology Prize laureate. This prize, determined by the Technology Academy of Finland, is one of the world's largest such prizes with candidates sought from across the world and from all fields of technology.

The Millennium Technology Prize is awarded every two years for innovations improving the quality of human life and encouraging sustainable development. Universities, research institutions, scientific and engineering academies, and high-tech companies from around the globe make nominations. The International Selection Committee, nominated by TAF Board, reviews the nominations and determines the year's laureates. The Board makes the final decision on who will be the recipients of the prize, which is together established by Finnish industry and state.

Wintel Tablets Aim to Push Down iPad Market Share to 50% by Mid-2013

With a new line of Atom processors optimized for low-power devices, and Microsoft's touch-optimized Windows 8 operating system, the Wintel (Windows+Intel) alliance aims to reduce the stranglehold that Apple iPad has over the tablet market, all the way down to 50 percent. The duo also aim for this to happen as relatively early as by mid-2013. What makes this an ambitious claim by Wintel alliance, is that while iPad currently holds over 70 percent of the tablet market, it's not that Wintel tablets hold the remaining 30 percent. A bulk of iPad alternatives are tablets running Google's Android operating system, and ARM processors. It would be interesting to see the outcome of this Mexican-standoff in the making (between Windows+Intel, Android+ARM, and Apple iPad), at the end of 2013.


Source: DigiTimes

AMD and Google in Race to Buy Out MIPS

AMD and Google are locked in a race to buy out MIPS, an application processor architecture designer competitive to ARM. AMD comes from a decades old presence in the microprocessor industry, while Google is a satrap with smartphones, tablets, and other mobile computing devices thanks to its Android operating system. With Microsoft opening up to ARM architecture with Windows 8 RT, it is in Google's interests to hedge its bets on an alternative machine architecture to both x86 and ARM. The easiest way to that is buying out MIPS and funding development of powerful processors based on it. For AMD, it's a bid to stay competitive in the low-power processor market as Intel began making inroads to smartphone processor market.

Source: Bright Side of News, Image Courtesy: X-bit Labs

Force Media JF-UFDP4S Flash Drive Plugs Directly to Your Portable Devices

Here's a unique USB flash drive, which has both standard and micro USB type-A connectors, that allow you to plug it to both PCs with standard USB ports, and portable devices such as smartphones and tablets, which have micro-USB ports. The JF-UFDP4S from Force Media, is what its makers are referring to as the "Perfect Media". It provides 4 GB of storage, over both interfaces, and talks to hosts over USB 2.0 (480 Mb/s).

It is a conventional-looking capped bar design, only that both its ends are capped, with a connector on each end. To prevent misplacing caps, each cap can be attached to the top of the other cap, on the other end of the drive. When plugged in via its standard connector, it works as a normal USB Mass Storage device, while with its micro-USB interface, it works plug-and-play with Android driven smartphones, tablets, and smart portable media players that have USB OTG support. Measuring 18.0 x 73.1 x 9.2 mm (WxDxH), it weighs about 39 g. Its main body is covered with a sheet of aluminum. Slated for mid-April, the JF-UFDP4S from Force Media is priced at 1,980 JPY (US $24).

Source: Hermitage Akihabara

Intel Shows off "Letexo" Slider Hybrid-Ultrabook

At IDF Beijing, Intel showed off an almost unique new class of Ultrabook devices which could be sold by various notebook OEMs in the future, codenamed "Letexo". This is a tablet + slider ultrabook, similar in form (albeit larger) to the ASUS EeePad Slider, except that it has an Intel processor inside, and runs Windows 8 (the EeePad Slider was NVIDIA Tegra 2 and Android 3.0 driven). When slid down, Letexo is almost as compact and functional as a tablet PC, with its multi-touch screen, letting you take advantage of Windows Metro UI; when slid up, a keyboard and trackpad are revealed, letting you use it as just another laptop. Perhaps Letexo is intended to be a large-scale effort by Intel to bring about a transition between laptops and tablets, by shaping people's usage patterns towards more touch-based interface.

A video presentation follows.

TVPlug Combines Router, NAS, Media Center Into Single Device

Here's a unique device that renders three others obsolete, the TVPlug, by a Korean manufacturer of the name. This device combines the functionality of a WiFi-N router, a NAS server, and a home media center into a single device. The device includes a MIMO-capable 802.11 b/g/n wireless router with one WAN and two LAN ports. It provides two USB 2.0 ports, which connect to any USB Mass Storage-compliant devices (be it flash drives, portable hard drives, or even drive boxes. The device can act as a media server for all your iOs/Android devices (smartphones, tablets, and smart media players). Lastly, it can also play back videos to a TV.

Source: Akihabara News

Princeton Intros Bluetooth Virtual KVM

Japanese company Princeton took the concepts of Bluetooth input devices for tablets and smartphones, and turned it around. Its newest creation, the PSC Bluetooth KVM, is a combination of a USB Bluetooth 3.0 dongle, Bluetooth input device driver model, and its own software, that lets you use the input devices that are connected to your PC/laptop (your wired keyboard and mouse), with your Android, iOS, or Windows Mobile smartphone or tablet. This could come particularly handy to those who have their iPads on a stand, next to their PCs on their desks, as you could instantly give input to the iPad, and get things done faster. The PSC Bluetooth virtual KVM, from Princeton, is priced at 4,980 JPY (US $61).

Source: VR-Zone

inXtron Akitio MyCloud Pro NAS Pictured

inXtron showed off its newest small-business NAS server at Intel Storage Forum, the Akitio MyCloud Pro. As the venue might suggest, this 2-bay desktop NAS is powered by Intel x86 architecture. inXtron even put is logic board for display, which revealed it to be driven by an Intel Atom D425 single-core (HTT-enabled) processor, with its usual NM10 chipset. The board also revealed several interesting components, such as two 2-port USB 3.0 controllers, giving out two ports on the rear panel and two for the front-panel, via a standard header.

The primary storage controller is the Intel NM10 chipset itself, the NAS uses a USB DOM (disk-on-module) it boots from, to hold its operating system. The primary network interface is a 1 GbE, driven by a Realtek-made PHY. Interestingly, the board has a vacant mini-PCIe slot, on which WLAN cards can be installed. The MyCloud Pro supports two SATA 3 Gb/s hard drives in the 3.5" form-factor. It supports all modern NAS features, such as UPnP-AV, NFS, FTP, Samba, but DLNA wasn't mentioned. The OS also includes a Bit-torrent client, and Apple iTunes-compatible music server. inXtron has apps for Android and iOS smartphones, with which you can use the phone to control the NAS. inXtron is targeting a sweet price-point under US $200, with the Akitio MyCloud Pro NAS.

Source: VR-Zone

Don't Expect Better Browser Performance from New iPad: Futuremark Peacekeeper Team

Futuremark, the world leader in performance benchmarking software, today released the first benchmark results for the new iPad using Peacekeeper, its free to use browser speed test. While web pages may look sharper on the new iPad’s improved display, the benchmark results show that the browsing performance of the new iPad is the same as the iPad 2, suggesting that the computational processing power in both devices is near identical. http://peacekeeper.futuremark.com/results?key=stats

Peacekeeper is an HTML5 based browser performance test that can be used to measure and compare the performance of any browser on any Internet capable device, from desktops and notebooks, to tablets and smartphones. What’s more, as a device's browser performance is strongly linked to the power of its CPU, Peacekeeper offers a straightforward way to compare the performance of competing devices regardless of differences in operating system.

Elecom Also Intros Collapsible Bluetooth/USB Keyboard

Elecom also introduced the TK-FBS039E, a wireless keyboard that can be folded along a hinge, making it easier to carry. When opened up, the keyboard measures 260 x 91 x 11 mm (WxDxH), but when folded, it measures 133 x 91 x 23 mm, roughly as big as a portable HDD. The keyboard is both wireless and wired. When wireless, it uses Bluetooth, and Bluetooth HID interface to work with iOS, Android devices, and PCs; when wired, it uses USB with common USB HID driver. When wired, it also charges its battery. The keyboard features a simple 66-key QWERTY English+Japanese layout, with sufficient key travel to provide tactile feedback comparable to notebook keyboards. It is available in black (TK-FBS039EBK) and white (TK-FBS039EWH) color options. Slated for early~mid-April, the TK-FBS039E from Elecom is priced at 7,350 JPY (US $89).

Source: Hermitage Akihabara

Firefox 11 Launches Today

Over two months after launching Firefox 10, and backing it up two two security updates (10.0.1 and 10.0.2), Mozilla is almost ready with the stable version of Firefox 11, which it is reportedly launching later today. Mozilla posted what was supposedly Firefox 11 stable on its FTP, before redacting it, citing that the build is not actually stable, and that QA was still on.

Firefox 11 will introduce several new features, including performance improvements. To begin with, Firefox 11 supports the SPDY protocol, all pages are loaded on SSL with SPDY, which is both faster and more secure. Firefox' bookmarks and preferences migration assistant will now support Google Chrome, letting users migrate from Chrome to Firefox. Firefox Sync will now also synchronize addons between sync'd PCs. Lastly, Firefox 11 is said to include more feature-rich developer tools. The Android version of Firefox 11 will ship with Adobe Flash, for Android 2.3 and earlier.Source: PCWorld

Elecom Unveils New Projection Keyboard

Yesteryears' tradeshow queen, projection keyboards are seeping into the markets. Elecom is one of those propagating it. The Japanese company unveiled TK-PBL042BK, a wireless projection keyboard. All it requires is a flat surface (such as a desk top), and for the host to support Bluetooth or USB interfaces. The keyboard follows a host interface model that's natively supported by iOS and Android.

With PCs, it works over common Bluetooth HID driver model. Apart from Bluetooth, the device can also connect to a host over USB, and work as a USB HID keyboard, while charging its battery. The device projects a keyboard onto a flat surface, and tracks your fingers pressing against the projected buttons. Measuring 38.0 x 29.0 x 75.0 mm, it weighs 77 g without battery. The rechargeable battery supports up to two hours of continuous use. Slated for early-April, the TK-PBL042BK from Elecom is priced at 28,875 JPY (US $352).

Source: Hermitage Akihabara

TechPowerUp Application Now on Android Market

Can't stay a moment off TechPowerUp? Have school/college already figured out, and find the class boring? Find your daily commute over public transport worth something more than social networking and repetitive gaming? Do zombies run the IT at your work, that blacklist sites you love? We know how you feel, so do we. So we figured out we could put TPU on your Android smartphone, with more features, and to run without a bloated mobile web-browser. Presenting the very first TechPowerUp Android application! We started this project a few weeks ago, after gauging your interest in a recent front-page poll.

The TechPowerUp application is now on the Android Market. It is heavily optimized for small-screens, including screen scaling, and performance. It gives you access to our News, Reviews, and Forums; complete with all our content. Don't just read our stuff, comment on them. Now you're never too far away from your TPU.

DOWNLOAD: TechPowerUp Application for Android smartphones (free)

Windows 8 Has a Killswitch

Microsoft's Windows 8 is reported to come with a "killswitch", which can by flipped by Microsoft to delete malware downloaded from its App Store by unsuspecting customers. Last year, Google's Android Marketplace was swarmed by malware disguised as popular applications from various other publishers. These applications were bought and downloaded by unsuspecting users. When word reached Google, it flipped a killswitch with Android that instantly removed these bogus applications across thousands of devices. It's not just Google, Apple too has a similar killswitch with which it keeps its App Store users safe from malware.

News of killswitches with Windows (in-turn the PC platform), isn't going in too well with advocates of privacy and free-speech, who fear that Microsoft's planted killswitch gives it unwarranted power to remotely erase applications and user data (connected to these applications), without the consent of the user. It could then be used as a potential censorship tool, or even an anti-competition tool, by synthetically-engineering market-shares of software used by people.Sources: Businessweek, VigilantCitizen

Windows 8 x86 in Q4-2012, Windows 8 ARM in Q2-2013?

Even as there's quite some buzz around Microsoft's next major version of Windows, there are reports such as one from Bright Side of News citing "multiple sources close to Microsoft, or inside [it]," revealing the tentative launch schedule of the two main branches of Windows: for x86 platforms (client and enterprise), and ARM (for tablets and compact computing devices). Windows 8 for clients and enterprise (x86 architecture), will get up to 5 months' head-start over the much hyped ARM version for tablets. It is expected to be launched some time in Q4 2012, while the ARM version, some time in Q2 2013.

Intel and AMD can rub their hands as they both have extremely compact x86 processors fit for the tablet form-factor planned, and can woo tablet designers to opt for their solutions and get Windows 8 tablets instead of waiting for the ARM version of the operating system. Tablet vendors with mature ARM-based designs can always opt for Google's Android operating system, which will see no major competition for the greater part of this year.

Source: Bright Side of News

ASUS Also Unveils the Transformer Pad 300 'Affordable' Tegra 3 Tablet

In addition to officially announcing the Full HD-capable Transformer Prime TF700T flagship, ASUS today also revealed another 10.1-inch tablet powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 3 4-PLUS-1 processor, the Transformer Pad 300.

Codenamed TF300T, this new model measures 263 x 180.8 x 9.9 mm, it weights 635 grams, and features a plastic chassis (colored in red, white or blue), a 10.1-inch (1280 x 800) Super IPS capacitive touchscreen, a 1.2 GHz Tegra 3 chip, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of built-in storage (plus 8 GB of ASUS WebStorage), a microSD card slot, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1.2 MP front camera, and a battery enabling up to 10 hours of operation (battery life goes up to 15 hours when the tablet is connected to the separately-sold keyboard dock).

ASUS' tablet also comes with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity, a micro HDMI port, an accelerometer, an ambient light sensor, a gyroscope, an e-compass, GPS, and it runs Android 4.0 (aka Ice Cream Sandwich). The Transformer Pad 300 is said to cost $399.

Source: Techinstyle.tv

ASUS Crams 1920x1200 Pixels Super IPS+ Display Into 10.1" Transformer Pad Infinity

Till Apple's 2048x1536 pixel Retina Display materializes with the iPad 3, ASUS can stake claim to having a 10-inch tablet with the highest pixel-density on its display. The new Transformer Pad Infinity (formerly known as Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF700T in its CES exhibition), packs a 1920x1200 Super IPS+ display with a capacitive touchscreen. The tablet is convertible to a netbook by attaching a base dock that gives it a keyboard and trackpad. It is driven by NVIDIA Tegra3 4+1 core processor clocked at 1.60 GHz, with a customized version of Google's Android OS.

Source: Anandtech

Huawei Announces the MediaPad 10 FHD Quad-Core Tablet

Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, introduced the world's first 10-inch quad-core tablet today at the Mobile World Congress 2012. The HUAWEI MediaPad 10 FHD is a fast-performing tablet with unsurpassed audio-visual entertainment features including a Huawei 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, Google Android 4.0 operating system and a 10-inch IPS high definition display screen.

"Most consumers use tablets for entertainment purposes such as gaming, viewing multimedia content, browsing the internet and reading e-books," said Richard Yu, Chairman of Huawei Device. "We have created the HUAWEI MediaPad 10 FHD to excel in all of the entertainment capabilities including speed, power, web-browsing, high definition display and audio, and packaging it all in a compact and portable body."

Global Tablet PC Shipments Down 30%

Shipments of tablet PCs is bound to go down by 30% in Q1 2012, according to market research carried out by DigiTimes. The various vendors will ship 14.97 million tablet PCs in the first quarter of 2012, dropping 30.6% on quarter but rising 77.6% on year. This figure can be broken down to 11 million iPad 2 and iPad 3 units, and some 3.97 tablets comprising of various other models than iPads. Shipments of these non-iPad tablets will decrease by 50.8% on quarter and include 1.5 million Kindle Fires and 300,000 Nook Tablets, DigiTimes Research said.

Of all the tablets shipped in Q1 2012, 26.3% will run Android, and 13.3% will be running Texas Intruments' processors, the research said. Taiwan-based ODMs alone will comprise a huge 90.25% of all tablet shipments in Q1, of which Foxconn will account for 83%, followed by Quanta Computer with 9.6%, DigiTimes Research indicated.

Source: DigiTimes

ViewSonic Reportedly Prepping Windows 8 Tablets

Monitor connoisseur ViewSonic is said to be working on several Windows 8 tablets to complement its already available Android-powered ViewPad line. The Windows 8 devices are supposed to have a 10-inch touchscreen with a 'high resolution' which might mean (or, at least we hope it means) 1920 x 1200 pixels like on the upcoming Asus Transformer Prime TF700T.

Unfortunately there’s no confirmation as to the platform (x86 or ARM) used by ViewSonic for the Windows 8 tablets. We'll probably have to wait until Computex for that info.Source: Digitimes

Google to Buy Motorola Mobility

Today Fox Business is reporting U.S. and European regulators approved Google Inc's $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility on Monday and said they would keep a sharp eye on the web search giant to ensure patents critical to the telecom industry would be licensed at fair prices. The U.S. Justice Department also approved an Apple Inc -led consortium's purchase of a trove of patents from bankrupt Canadian company Nortel Networks.Both the Justice Department and European antitrust authorities said that they would monitor how patents are used to ensure they comply with antitrust rules. Antitrust enforcers on both sides of the Atlantic are concerned that patents essential to ensuring communications devices sold by different companies work together are licensed for a reasonable fee.

Apple Launches New Attack on Samsung Phones

Apple seems to have a revolving door for legal actions as of late. Today the Chicago Tribune is reporting Apple has asked a federal court in California to block Samsung from selling its new Galaxy Nexus smartphones, which use Google's newest version of Android, called Ice Cream Sandwich, alleging four patent violations including new features such as a voice-command search function.

Galaxy Nexus, the official debut of which was delayed by Samsung in October to pay respect to Apple's co-founder Steve Jobs, is the first phone running on the newest Android version before the platform is widely adopted by hardware manufacturers such as HTC Corp and Motorola Mobility. HTC and Motorola are also in separate patent disputes with Apple. In a lawsuit filed last week in San Jose, Apple said the Galaxy Nexus infringes on patents underlying features customers expect from Apple products. Those include the ability to unlock phones by sliding an image and to search for information by voice.

Steam Mobile App Available to All

The Steam application for iOS and Android devices, announced last week, is now available to all gamers around the world.

Launched last week in a closed beta, the Steam app allows gamers to chat with Steam friends, browse community groups and user profiles, view screenshots and user-generated content for their favorite games, read the latest gaming news, stay up to date on unbeatable Steam sales, and more.

Valve Announces Mobile Steam App, Closed Beta Now Available to iOS and Android

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the beta release of the Steam application for iOS and Android devices.

With the Steam app, gamers around the world may chat with Steam friends, browse community groups and user profiles, view screenshots and user-generated content for their favorite games, read the latest gaming news, stay up to date on unbeatable Steam sales, and more.
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