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Lenovo Reports Third Quarter 2011/2012 Results

Lenovo Group reported results for its third fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2011, highlighted by record highs in quarterly sales, pre-tax income and market share, and the 11th quarter in a row that Lenovo has grown faster than the industry as a whole. For the ninth quarter in a row, the Company grew faster than any of the top four PC manufacturers, a result of Lenovo's continued focus on balanced growth across all geographies, customer segments and product lines. During the third quarter, Lenovo recorded its highest-ever worldwide market share of 14.0* percent, and its highest-ever market share in China of 35.3 percent, an increase of 3.7 and 3.1 share points year-over-year respectively.

During the third fiscal quarter Lenovo's pre-tax income increased 59 percent year-over-year, to a record high of US$192 million.

Android 4.0 Demonstrated on AMD-powered Tablet

While it may not be as high profile as the Windows 8/ARM pair, Android/ x86 is still a match with potential. It certainly has a long way to go but progress is being made, and proof of that progress was seen at CES 2012 where AMD showcased a MSI WindPad 110W tablet running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).

The WindPad 110W packed a Z-01 APU (two x86 cores @ 1.0 GHz, Radeon HD 6250 graphics), 2 GB of RAM, and was available for some hands-on time, unlike the Tegra 3-powered Windows 8 tablet also seen at CES. Things weren't perfect with the 110W/Android 4.0 mix as the tablet did experience occasional freezes but keep in mind it's all a work in progress. People interested in converting their WindPad 110W from a Windows device to an (experimental) Android tablet can download the Android 4.0 for Brazos ISO via this page.

Buffalo Demonstrates 802.11ac Technology At CES, Develops Routers and Media-Bridges

Buffalo Technology, a global leader in the design, development and manufacturing of storage and wireless networking solutions, has validated its commitment to innovation by showcasing 802.11ac technology on the show floor at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Operating in the 5 GHz space, the next generation wireless technology boasts unmatched wireless speeds of 1300 Mbps, approximately three times faster than 802.11n.

Accompanying the 802.11ac technology is the class leading Buffalo AirStation WZR-1750H wireless router; combined, they provide complete backward compatibility with 802.11a, 11b, 11g and 11n, in addition to offering 2.4 GHz transmission speeds up to 450 Mbps and exceptional coverage. The WZR-1750H provides consumers with total aggregate wireless throughput of 1750 Mbps.

Samsung SUR40 For Microsoft Surface Now Shipping

Samsung Electronics America Inc., a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Corporation and the number one worldwide brand of professional commercial display LCD products, is demonstrating its digital solutions leadership at a showcase event featuring the Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface and a variety of applications from development partners at the National Retail Federation (NRF) conference, being held Jan. 16 and 17 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York in Room 1A17 (on Level One of the convention center).

Available now through Samsung channel and reseller partners, a CES Best of Innovations 2012 award-winner, the Samsung-Microsoft collaboration incorporates Microsoft Surface 2.0 software and touch technology into an interactive and engaging 40-inch Full HD LCD that can be used horizontally as a table, mounted vertically on a wall or embedded in other fixtures and furniture.

2012 International CES Sets Show Record at 1.86 Million Net Sq. Ft. of Exhibit Space

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced today that the 2012 International CES is the largest in the show's 44 year history, with 1.861 million net square feet of exhibit space. The previous record was 1.857 million net square feet of space at the 2008 International CES. Owned and produced by CEA, the 2012 International CES, the world's largest tradeshow for consumer technology, runs through Friday, January 13 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In other show news, a keynote address by Ericsson's Hans Vestberg, the Innovation Power Panel with leaders from Ford, Verizon and Xerox, a Brand keynote from executives from AT&T, Walmart, Facebook and GE, an LIT keynote from eBay's John Donohue and a keynote from YouTube's Robert Kyncl were mid-week highlights of the 2012 International CES.

Mushkin Unveils Three New SSD Product Lines at CES

Mushkin unveiled three new lines of consumer solid state drives (SSDs) at CES, the Chronos GO, Atlas, and Scorpion. Chronos Go is a series of simple SSDs in the 1.8-inch SATA 6 Gb/s form-factor, Atlas is a series of mSATA SSDs based on a fast controller that takes advantage of SATA 6 Gb/s interface, while Scorpion is a line of ultra-high performance PCI-Express SSDs. At the heart of all three is SandForce SF-2281 SSD controller. Chronos GO is available in Standard and Deluxe variants, both offering sequential read speeds up to 565 MB/s, and write speeds up to 525 MB/s, with 4K random write performance of 90,000 IOPS. These drives are available in capacities of up to 480 GB.

Next up are the Atlas mSATA drives. These include standard and deluxe variants, too, with the same sequential read speeds of up to 565 MB/s. It's just that the deluxe variant offers slightly higher write speeds of up to 535 MB/s, while the standard one stays at up to 525 MB/s. These drives will be available in capacities up to 240 GB. Both Chronos GO and Atlas lines will be available sometime in Q1, 2012.

ECS H77 Black Series Micro-ATX Motherboard Pictured

Apart from the Z77H2-AX, ECS showed off a mainstream socket LGA1155 motherboard based on the H77 "Panther Point" chipset, in the micro-ATX form-factor. The H77 chipset has the same feature-set as the Z77, except it lacks Rapid Storage Technology, and overclocking features. Out of the box, this board supports next-generation "Ivy Bridge" Core processors.

The LGA1155 socket is powered by a 6-phase VRM. It is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots supporting dual-channel DDR3 memory; and a PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slot. Other slots include a PCIe 2.0 x1, and two legacy PCI slots driven by an ITE-made bridge chip. Storage connectivity includes two SATA 6 Gb/s, and four SATA 3 Gb/s, all wired to the PCH. Display connectivity includes DVI, D-Sub, and HDMI. Other connectivity includes 8-channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, and four USB 3.0 ports (all driven by the PCH). The board uses cost-effective electrolytic capacitors on all circuits that don't deal with large currents, only the power conditioning circuits have solid-state capacitors.

ECS Z77H2-AX LGA 1155 Motherboard Showcased at CES 2012

Not to be outdone by the competition, ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) has brought with it at CES 2012 a couple of motherboards based on Intel's upcoming 7 Series chipsets - one is a micro ATX model powered by the H77 chip, and the other is an ATX solution boasting the Z77 flagship silicon, the Z77H2-AX.

Part of the ECS' Black Series, the Ivy Bridge-supporting Z77H2-AX features a black PCB, a 12-phase power design, a quad-heatsink cooler, four DDR3-2600 memory slots, six SATA ports (two are surely 6.0 Gbps), and three PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots.

The Level 10 M Mouse by Thermaltake and BMW Designworks

This must be the coolest high performance mouse to be seen in some time. The Level 10 M mouse designed by Thermaltake and BMW is being introduced at CES 2012. Featuring a very high tech design, the shape can be physically adjusted to fit optimally in the palm of the hand by turning a screw on the top. It also features a perforated skin, to help deal with sweaty palms better during intense gaming sessions. The release date and price are yet to be announced as are more detailed specifications such as the tracking technology used and the DPI resolution.

The mouse was exclusively shown to Tom's Hardware.

Intel's Dodgy Ivy Bridge DX11 Demo: That Ultrabook Tested

Yesterday, we reported on Intel's embarrassing gaffe at demonstrating racing game F1 1 2011 running on a prototype ultrabook with an Ivy Bridge processor, where it was really just a video. Since then, AnandTech has seen that game play on an Ivy Bridge notebook just fine, but the best proof has come now, where they got hold of the actual ultrabook at the centre of the controversy and tested it with that game. The result? It works just fine, like we suspected. It looks like Intel just need a little PR makeover, is all. Video proof follows.

uTorrent Use Surges To 150M Per Month, Announce New Consumer Electronics Partnerships

BitTorrent, a leading peer-based technology company, today announced that the company's flagship BitTorrent Mainline and µTorrent software clients have grown to over 150 million monthly active users worldwide.

In December 2011, the classic BitTorrent Mainline client boasted over 20 million users, while the legendary tiny-but-mighty µTorrent client grew to over 132 million users. The numbers represent an aggregate count of both software clients running on Windows, Mac, Android and Linux platforms.

The company also announced four new strategic "BitTorrent Certified" device partnerships at CES in Las Vegas including TVs, set-top boxes, media adapters, and Blu-ray players. BitTorrent Certified devices are designed to enable consumers to discover, play, share and move all types of personal media, regardless of size, type or format, so that they can play high-quality content in their living rooms. New certification partners include:

ViewSonic Previews Innovative Displays, New Tablets at CES 2012

ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of computing, consumer electronics and communications solutions, will showcase innovative new products during Pepcom Digital Experience, held during CES 2012. These new offerings include a 7" Android 4.0 tablet and innovative displays that leverage the company's 25-year heritage in the industry and focus on the future of workplace computing.

That Dodgy Intel Ivy Bridge DX11 'demo' at CES 2012

That Dodgy Intel Ivy Bridge DX11 'demo' at CES 2012 (UPDATED)

Word has been flying round the internet about Intel's dodgy Ivy Bridge DX11 'demo'. Intel's Mooly Eden, VP, PC Client Group was attempting to demonstrate a racing game on a prototype laptop - 'ultrabook' - fitted with an upcoming 22 nm Ivy Bridge processor with a racing wheel attached and allegedly rendering DX11 graphics. However, as is very apparent at the start, it's actually a video, because the control panel for the free VLC video player pops up for a few seconds. Eden then 'drives' a car and after a few seconds puts up one hand and then the other, because as he says "they are driving it from backstage". However, there was no one driving the game "backstage", as it was just a video and Eden doesn't say anything about this at any point in the presentation.

This gives conspiracy theorists lots of ammunition, as perhaps the game was actually played on a high powered desktop PC with NVIDIA or AMD discrete graphics cards? What game was it? Eden doesn't say. "IB can't really do these graphics!" they cry and so on. Sure, man 'didn't' go to the moon, either... However, we believe that while yes, there was a bit of deception going on, it was nothing more than a white(ish) lie. Why? Because Ivy Bridge comes out in April and people aren't going to forget this demo. They will immediately put IBs DX11 graphics to the test with similar games and if it doesn't deliver, Intel will have a lot of egg on its face. Here's what Intel had to say about this demo in an official statement:

iTwin Launches Multi Functionality, Expands Secure Remote File Access to Workgroups

iTwin Inc., the company that created iTwin, the world's first 'limitless' secure USB device for remote file access, today announced its new iTwin Multi functionality. This free iTwin upgrade enables users to share files stored on a computer with multiple people at the same time.

With iTwin Multi, multiple users and workgroups can simply and safely connect multiple iTwins to the same computer to remotely access, edit and share files, without the headaches associated with email, VPN, or remote access software. For example, using iTwin Multi, field sales reps can remotely download or upload the latest confidential client contracts and proposals. Similarly, small businesses such as CPA firms can securely share large accounting files and other sensitive data with multiple clients.

SteelSeries Kana, Kinzu V2 Pro Edition and Kinzu V2 Gaming Mice Announced

SteelSeries, the leading manufacturer of premium-quality, competitive gaming peripherals, today at the start of the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, introduced a new line-up of gaming peripherals. Kicking off the mouse category for SteelSeries in 2012 is the SteelSeries Kana, also known as the Designed by Gamers mouse; and two editions of the new version of the SteelSeries Kinzu, the SteelSeries Kinzu v2 and SteelSeries Kinzu v2 Pro Edition. The SteelSeries Kana mouse was introduced to SteelSeries fans in the Designed by Gamers Campaign as Mouse 1.1, which gave more than 300,000 gamers the design choice and where 60,000 "Likes" determined the winning Black 1.1 design.

"With the Designed by Gamers campaign, it was the first time we asked our fans and followers to choose a design for us, and we were incredibly proud to see the response from the community - it makes sense that consumers, specifically our consumers want to have a say in what we're creating, said Kim Rom, SteelSeries CMO. "This new line-up of mice were each designed to fulfill the needs of different types of players, especially those who may not need all of the customization that can be found in the SteelSeries Sensei."

ASUS Dual-Socket LGA2011 Motherboard Pictured

At CES, ASUS showed off its latest workstation motherboard designed for 2P socket LGA2011 Sandy Bridge-EP eight-core processors, the Z9PE-D8-WS. By the looks of it, it might not be having the voltage-delivery muscle of EVGA's SR3, but it is filled to the brim with connectivity. Each socket is powered by a 14-phase Digi+ II VRM, there are numerous other power domains. The board draws power from a 24-pin ATX connector, two 8-pin EPS connectors, and a 4-pin Molex.

The sockets are each wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, giving this board the ability to hold up to 256 GB of RAM. There are seven PCI-Express 3.0 x16 expansion slots, from which four (blue) are x16 capable, and three (black) x8 capable. There are as many as 10 SATA ports, of which six appear to be 6 Gb/s capable. In terms of connectivity, an ASpeed AST2300 provides basic display and management over IP functions; there are two gigabit Ethernet interfaces driven by Intel-made controllers, two USB 3.0 ports, 8-channel HD audio, and a number of USB 2.0 ports. ASUS demonstrated this board by running two 2P capable unknown processors, three latest NVIDIA Tesla GPU compute cards, and an ASUS-made graphics card. Unlike with EVGA SR3, which is technically a workstation motherboard designed for enthusiasts, the Z9PE-D8-WS is intentioned to be a workstation motherboard only.

CES 2012 - We got you covered!

CES is officially kicking off on the 10th of January and we are in Las Vegas to bring the latest hardware news. The team is ready to go and eager to jump into the fray, having arrived on the 7th of January. With many manufacturers present, the show is bound to be the busiest one yet and you may follow our coverage on our CES 2012 Live Coverage page - just click the link below!

VIA Labs Unveils USB2Expressway Dedicated Bandwidth Technology

VIA Labs, Inc., a leading supplier of USB 3.0 integrated chip controllers, today announced its proprietary USB2Expressway Dedicated Bandwidth Technology for USB 3.0 Hubs which dramatically improves USB 2.0 performance when multiple devices are utilized. USB 3.0 Hubs featuring the technology eliminate USB 2.0 bandwidth limitations by providing full, dedicated bandwidth per port, allowing multiple USB 2.0 devices to be connected and operated at their maximum capabilities.

USB 2.0 provides 30-40MB/s of actual throughput, and this is shared across all connected devices. When multiple devices such as external hard drives, flash drives, and webcams are connected, they share available bandwidth which results in severely degraded performance. Compared to USB 2.0, USB 3.0 offers 10x more bandwidth and allows transfers as fast as 300-400MB/s. VIA Labs USB2 Expressway Dedicated Bandwidth Technology allows USB 2.0 devices to utilize USB 3.0 bandwidth, eliminating bandwidth bottlenecks and freeing each connected device to reach its maximum performance potential.

Marvell Showcases 'Classroom 3.0' Technology at CES 2012

Marvell, a worldwide leader in integrated silicon solutions, today announced new education solutions designed to enable "Classroom 3.0," a connected, secure learning environment that simplifies and speeds the deployment of technology to students around the world. Marvell's collaboration with Stanford University has resulted in the Marvell SMILE Plug, the first plug development kit designed to turn a traditional classroom into a highly interactive learning environment. Designed to engage students in critical reasoning and problem solving, the SMILE Plug creates a "micro cloud" within a classroom that is completely controlled by the teacher. Marvell also announced that it has extended its relationship with the One Laptop per Child Association (OPLC) on a number of new products, including the upcoming OLPC X0 3.0, a low cost, low power tablet designed for education.

Sony Quits Consumer OLED Display Business - For Now Only?

There has been excitement recently, that the much-anticipated next generation OLED display technology for consumer TVs and computer monitors will finally make an entrance in the market in 2012. Fuelling this, was the announcement last week that LG is to showcase their OLED TV at CES this month. Sony was also due to introduce OLED TVs to consumers. However, this plan has now been shelved, according to The Daily Yomiuri, with Sony only continuing to sell this technology to corporate customers such as broadcasting companies, along with the associated research and development into better displays. The reason for dropping the consumer market is partly due to poor business performance in this area, so Sony cut back on capital investment, which in turn reduced its price competitiveness with its Korean rivals such as LG and Samsung.

This is a shame, because for a healthy and good value OLED TV and monitor market, there need to be many players competing with each other, which will drive down prices and increase product quality over time. However, if OLED takes off in the consumer space, it seems very unlikely that Sony wouldn't return to it eventually.
Sony XEL-1 OLED TV.Picture credit: engadget

Turtle Beach Announces New Gaming Headsets and Lifestyle Headphones

Turtle Beach, the market leading pioneers of the console gaming headset category, today announced their line of new products being unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show this year. Cutting-edge technologies being introduced in these products range from new interference-reducing dual-band 2.4/5 GHz Wi-Fi RF wireless tech, customizable Dolby Surround Sound speaker angles and a new line of mobile lifestyle headsets designed for gamers on the go. All newly announced Turtle Beach products will be available for demonstration along with the full product assortment, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall 1 - Booth #21327, during the International Consumer Electronics Show from January 10 to 13, 2012.

AOC Develops a 22-inch USB-powered Monitor

Having already released a 15.6-inch display (the e1649Fwu) that gets both signal and power via USB, AOC is upping the ante this year and at CES 2012 it will showcase a bigger USB monitor. Named e2251Fwu, the display in question is just 10.6 mm thin and features a 22-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) panel, an LED backlight, a 5 ms response time, a dynamic contrast ratio of 20,000,000:1, a maximum brightness of 250 cd/m2, a removable stand, and, of course, USB connectivity.

The e2251Fwu will ship in February and will cost $199.

Plantronics Unveils GameCom 780 7.1 Headset

Plantronics unveiled its latest headset for professional gamers, the GameCom 780. The headset is probably scheduled to be launched at CES, but a presentation related to it was leaked to the web. The GameCom 780 is a large-sized over-the-ear headset with a rounded quadrilateral shape instead of round, the optimally fit the contours of the ears. While it's 2-channel, it features virtual 7.1-channel surround.

It connects to the PC over USB, and packs a native logic that processes Dolby Headphone and Dolby Pro Logic IIx technologies. Each of the two cans features a 40 mm driver. The cans are suspended on hinges and can swivel to fold the headset up for transportation. The head band is thickly cushioned. The noise-cancelling microphone is suspended by a hinged-armature. The headset has a braided 2 m long USB cable.

MSI Launches GT685 Gaming Laptop

MSI is rolling out its new generation GT685-the ultimate gaming machine. In addition to featuring the Intel second generation Core i7 quad core processor, it is the first laptop to sport the nVidia GeForce GTX 580M, the world's fastest discrete graphics card, 32G DDR3 of memory, and accelerated dual hard disk architecture. It comes with Dynaudio and THX TruStudio Pro smart wrap around sound as well as a full HD screen. You'll be impressed by how smoothly online 3D games play and with the edge that your new GT685 gives you against opponents.

The machine won the CES 2012 award for product innovation, seen by many as the highest honor of the high tech industry. MSI, where designing high-end record-breaking gaming notebooks is par for the course, will continue to design faster, more powerful notebooks that follow in the tradition of its gaming NBs best epitomized in the MSI GT685. The GT685 utilizes the wildly anticipated nVidia GeForce GTX 580M top-end discrete graphics card which boasts 384 more CUDAs (Compute Unified Device Architecture) than the previous generation with advanced 256 bit broadband and 2GB GDDR5 of display memory. You will be awed by how smooth 3D games run and the new edge you enjoy in battles will help you rack up wins.

In Win Unveils XFrame Limited Edition Open-Frame Chassis

In-Win Development Inc. has today announced its new limited edition, open-frame chassis - the XFrame. Now professional PC builders, PC modders and overclockers can truly test, benchmark and tweak, anyway they want to, anytime they need thanks to the easy, open design that allows fast, on-the-fly changes.

In-Win's innovative X design shape provides both strength and rigidity, while also allowing the frame to stand vertically or sit horizontally on its non-slip rubberized feet. Compared to standard open-frame chassis that can only sit horizontally, this gives XFrame users an additional degree of freedom.
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