Tag - Gemstone
Acer on Monday added three 16:9 ratio notebooks to its media-centric Gemstone Blue designs that all focus on price over raw performance. The 15.6-inch, LED-backlit Aspire 5739G is the fastest of the trio with a 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, an 8X Blu-ray drive and a GeForce GT 130M for video. It comes with a multi-touch trackpad and ships at the end of June for a particularly low $750, making it the least expensive new Blu-ray notebook today.
NVIDIA on Tuesday officially unveiled the next major upgrade to its notebook graphics lineup. The GeForce 9M series is built on a new, multi-core graphics engine that the electronics designer claims is as much as 40 percent faster than earlier 8M chipsets. Video encoding is up to five times faster, the company claims. The new design is also home to the first mobile chipsets with Hybrid SLI; notebooks can switch off the dedicated video and revert to integrated graphics to save power while on battery or when running less demanding tasks.
Computer shipments will still crest above 300 million in 2008 despite an economic slump triggered by the American housing market, according to a new study by IDC. The growth in notebooks is predicted to drive roughly 12.8 percent growth over the course of the year to reach roughly 302 million; of those, just over 45 percent (136.3 million) will account for portables, the research group says. Most of this comes from users either switching to a notebook or buying a computer for the first time because of the form factor and reduced prices, both of which render them more useful to newcomers than desktops.
Acer will reveal a new concept design for a notebook PC tomorrow, the company has announced today. The computer builder is short on details but says the debut will represent a "worldwide launch" for the new style, suggesting a major update rather than a minor change to an existing design. The introduction is likely to involve the company's new 16- and 18.5-inch media notebooks, both of which will include extra-wide 1080p displays as well as a Blu-ray drive.
Acer took advantage of the immediate wake of CES' opening to revamp one of its larger Aspire notebooks. At 17 inches, the 7720 is intended as a full substitute for a desktop but tries to balance between this and cost: the system uses a new budget Core 2 Duo clocked at 1.66GHz but balances this with 2GB of RAM and a 256MB GeForce 8400M GS that offloads much of the graphics work for games, HD video, and Vista itself from the CPU. It also carries a relatively large 250GB hard drive.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE