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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Olympus confirms new high-end Four Thirds DSLR 'currently under study' following vague Facebook post

By Zach Honig posted Aug 20th 2012 3:46PM

Olympus confirms new highend Four Thirds camera in the works, doesn't offer up further detail

Visitors to Olympus' UK Facebook page were met with some "BREAKING NEWS!!" on Friday. According to the post, the camera maker is developing a new DSLR that would theoretically offer focusing performance on par with the OM-D, while providing native compatibility with the company's high-end Zuiko Digital ED lenses, such as the 90-250mm f/2.8. We reached out to Olympus reps in the US, who added the following:

"A new camera body is currently under study to complement our line of Zuiko Digital Specific Four Thirds lenses. However, Olympus has NOT issued a press release on this new camera body."

With Photokina just a month away, it's unclear whether or not this new mystery DSLR will make its debut there, but it's certainly a possibility. As for looks -- that's anyone's guess, though the company's social media arm opted to include a picture of the E-5, which serves as Olympus' current full-size flagship. You'll find the full Facebook post at the source link below.

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Leaked iPad mini part shows up as we get closer to a possible fall launch

When the iPad was announced in January 2010 it forced the consumer electronics industry to scramble to create a competitive product. The first iPad “killers”, take the Samsung Galaxy Tab or the HTC Flyer for example, were basically Android smartphones with a larger screen. It wasn’t until early 2011, when Google launched Android 3.0 Honeycomb, that the search giant actually had a tablet operating system to offer their partners. Sadly, Honeycomb was garbage, and by then the thinner and lighter iPad 2 had already hit the market. Then something happened. A light bulb turned on. Companies began to realize that there’s no point in competing in the 10 inch tablet space with Apple, so why not invent a new 7 inch tablet market? And with that the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Barnes & Noble Nook, and several other tablets were born. The most recent of such tablets, the ASUS manufactured Google Nexus 7, has been widely praised as being the first actual iPad competitor worthy of your money. At $250 for the 16 GB version it’s also a steal.
So the obvious question is will Apple make a 7 inch tablet? Rumors about a smaller iPad have been circulating for about a year already, but now we’re starting to see more and more evidence that it’s actually coming. The image above, which comes from the French website NowhereElse
, shows what’s allegedly the iPad mini’s flex cable. Supposedly Apple is going to announce a smaller iPad at their next event, which is unofficially due to take place on September 12th.
The key question here is price. Apple offers the third generation iPad for $499, and the second generation iPad for $399, so does that mean a smaller iPad would go for $299? That’s only $50 more than the 16 GB Nexus 7, and for that amount of cash you’ll get access to all the applications in Apple’s ecosystem, plus what we can only assume to be better build quality.
Hopefully we’ll be able to tell you more in about four weeks.
Related Posts with Thumbnails Stefan has been writing about the mobile phone industry since November 2006. He also spent 14 months at Nokia between 2008 and 2009, but has since purchased a Nexus One and an Apple iPhone. He's watching Windows Phone like a hawk, hoping it'll get better with time.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sony Xperia SL with 1.7 GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.0 official

Sony Xperia SL has made an early appearance on the Sony website. It was supposed to be announced at IFA 2012 next week. It looks similar to the Xperia S that we reviewed in April, but pack in a faster 1.7 GHz Dual Core Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processor and comes with Android 4.0 out of the box.

Other features are similar to the Xperia S including a 4.3 inch (1280 x 720 pixels) HD Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine, 12MP camera with LED flash, 1.3MP front-facing camera, 3.5 mm audio jack, FM radio with RDS, NFC, 3G, Bluetooth with A2DP, WiFi, DLNA and aGPS. It has 27.8GB internal memory (up to 25.8GB user-accessible memory).

It would be available Silver, Black, White and Pink colors. It says coming soon on the Sony site, but no details about the availability or the price yet.

Related Posts with Thumbnails Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. His current phone is Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. You can follow him on Twitter @ssrivatsan and on Google+

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Nokia Asha 311 Photo Gallery – Rose Red and Dark Grey

The Nokia Asha 311 is currently one of the hottest new devices in the market. No, it does not pack a quad core processor or a 41MP camera but it does bring a surprisingly potent package at an irresistible price point.

While we work on the review to bring you the low-down, how about a short photo gallery to check out the phone ? Click through to take a look at the Nokia Asha 311.

We really like the dual tone finish of the Asha 311. The lower part of the phone is finished in a matte material while the upper half of the back is glossy. A fingerprint magnet for sure but the target audience might find the extra ‘bling’ particularly attractive.

The budget minded device has a 3inch screen with WQVGA (400×240) resolution. Not particularly impressive but it gets the job done. Viewing angles are surprisingly decent.

We’ve reached the point where even budget devices come with higher end feature such as Gorilla Glass as standard . The transmissive LCD screen on the Asha 311 is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass which should offer a degree of protection against scratches.

Two hardware keys are present on the bottom bar of the bottom allowing you to answer or end calls without requiring to look down at the screen. The end call button also doubles up as power key. We really liked the level of feedback provided here. We’ll have the full review up in a few days, in the meanwhile fire away any  queries you might have about the Asha 311 in the comments section !

Related Posts with Thumbnails Dhruv Bhutani is a tech enthusiast who tries to keep a tab on the latest and greatest in the mobile and telecom sector. He is currently using an iPhone 4S and a Nokia Lumia 800. Catch him on Twitter @DhruvBhutani , you can also reach out on Facebook and Google+

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Xiaomi MI-2 with 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, Android 4.1 announced in China

Xiaomi MI-2, successor of first MIUI Phone has been announced in China. It packs in high-end specs such as 4.3-inch (1280 x 720 pixels) IPS display, 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor with Adreno 320 Graphics, 2GB of RAM and 2000 mAh battery with optional battery pack of 3000 mAh. It runs on MIUI ROM based on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean).

Xiaomi MI-2 specifications
4.3-inch (1280 x 720 pixels) IPS display with 342 PPI resolution1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor with Adreno 320 GraphicsAndroid 4.1 (MIUI ROM)10.2 mm thick and weights 145g.8MP camera with LED flash, with f/2.0 large aperture and 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps, 720p recording at 90 fps2MP front-facing camera2GB RAM, 16GB internal memory3G HSPA 42 Mbps , WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4/5 GHz) with Wi-Fi Streaming, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, USB OTG, MHL (HDMI)2000 mAh battery
The Xiaomi MI-2 is priced at 1999 Chinese yuan (US$315), which is pretty good deal for a quad-core phone. It is expected to go on sale in China in October. There are no details whether this phone would be available outside China.

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Toshiba Satellite U845 review: an inexpensive Ultrabook worth considering

Toshiba's most recent Ultrabook offerings have something of a split personality. On the one hand, there's the Satellite U845W, a high-end machine with solid quality and a funky, 21:9 display. Announced alongside it, though, was the Satellite U845, a more modest sort of machine for folks who can't afford to spend $1,000 on their next laptop. Starting at $750, it offers all the specs you'd expect from a mid-range laptop: Ivy Bridge, Intel Wireless Display and a backlit keyboard. And, given that it's a slightly larger Ultrabook, it also makes room for key ports like HDMI and an Ethernet jack. But the U845 is hardly the only 14-inch thin-and-light on the block, and it's definitely
not the only sub-$800 system aimed at the back-to-school crowd. Read on to see if there's enough pizazz here to make this a memorable machine.

With the exception of that widescreen display, you might have assumed the U845 shared the same design as the U845W. In fact, though, there's more than just that "W" separating the two: what we have here is a much more modest design, one befitting a lower-end Ultrabook. Though it has a brushed metal lid and palm rest, the bottom side is made of plastic, as is the keyboard panel and bezel. That bezel aside (it sure is glossy!), the design is otherwise pretty tasteful, with a spun metal power button and discreetly located LED lights.
In a similar vein, build quality is nothing to write home about, but you also could do a lot worse. Press hard enough on the palm rest and you'll notice a little flex. On the plus side, the hinge feels fairly sturdy; the lid doesn't wobble when you set the laptop down, which is something we can't say about every notebook we review.
And though the U845 is fairly chunky for an Ultrabook, at 4.1 pounds and 0.8 inches thick, it makes up for that heft with a robust selection of ports. Over on the left edge, you'll find an HDMI socket, along with USB 3.0 and separate headphone and mic ports. Move to the right and you'll see two USB 2.0 ports, an SD card reader and an Ethernet jack (huzzah!). Sure, if we could, we'd flip the ratio of USB 3.0 to 2.0 ports. Otherwise, though, this is a comprehensive arrangement. Certainly, it beats Vizio's Thin + Light, which is missing both an SD slot and that wired internet connection.
DNP Toshiba Satellite U845 review
If there's one thing tying together the high-end U845W and the humble U845, it's those shallow, whisper-quiet keys. If we could change anything about the keyboard, it would be the travel, especially since this is already a pretty thick Ultrabook. After all, it doesn't seem like adding cushier keys would have been an issue, as it would be with a skinnier machine. As with Toshiba's other Ultrabooks, too, the keys also feel a little squat -- wide, but vertically short. Still, we rarely struck a key we didn't mean to press. We also appreciate that Toshiba more or less got the proportions right: the Enter, Shift and even arrow keys are big enough that touch typists should have no problem hitting them without looking.
Given how many trackpad disasters we've seen lately (see: the ASUS Zenbook UX31A, Vizio Thin + Light), it's refreshing how relatively easy the U845's is to use. For the most part, we had no problems dragging the cursor where we wanted it to go, and were also able to pull off two-finger scrolls without a hitch. Occasionally, the cursor would jump to random parts of documents we were working on. As annoying as that is, though, it at least didn't happen regularly.
DNP Toshiba Satellite U845 review
No surprises here: the U845's display has a 1,366 x 768 resolution, which is almost a certainty on a laptop in this price range. The reflective finish means you might have a difficult time if you're working on a plane and need to dip the screen forward when the guy in front of you leans back. Still, you should be able to watch a movie with a few friends crowded around -- just dim the lights to cut down on glare.
Unlike Toshiba's higher-end laptops, you won't find any Harman Kardon speakers here, which means you can expect good-enough volume, but distant, tinny sound quality. Just like on every other laptop in this category, naturally.
Like many newer Ultrabooks, the U845 packs Intel's Wireless Display technology, which makes it possible to stream 1080p movies to a big-screen monitor or HDTV. You can also mirror your desktop, if enhanced productivity is what you're after. Whatever it is, though, you'll need to pony up for a compatible set-top box if you want to take advantage of this feature.
Toshiba Satellite U845 (1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U, Intel HD Graphics 4000)Samsung Series 9 (13-inch, 2012, 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U, Intel HD Graphics 4000)MacBook Air (2012, 1.8GHz Core i5-3427U, Intel HD Graphics 4000)Note: higher scores are better
Our test unit ($880 as configured) comes with a 1.7GHz Core i5-3317U -- the same one used in similarly priced Ultrabooks, like the Lenovo IdeaPad U310 and Sony VAIO T13. At this price, you'll also get 6GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive coupled with a 32GB SSD and, of course, Intel's HD 4000 graphics. All told, its performance is roughly on par with similarly specced machines (read: Core i5 systems without all-flash storage). In PCMark Vantage, for instance, its score slightly trails the U310 and T13, but they're all clearly in the same ballpark. Its maximum I/O performance (108 MB/s reads and 84 MB/s writes) also trails the other two machines, but not by much. Even its boot time lags just
behind the others, but we're talking about a 21-second startup versus 17 or 20 seconds.
If you've read a few of our Ivy Bridge laptop reviews, you know by now that the newest HD 4000 chipset provides a nice boost over last year's HD 3000. Still, it's by no means a magic bullet for gaming. In Call of Duty 4
, for instance, our frame rates hovered around 19 to 20 fps, and that was at the default resolution (1,024 x 768). And that's par for the course, really: we've tested this game on many an Ultrabook by now, and aside from models with discrete graphics, we haven't cracked 30 fps.Samsung Series 9 (15-inch, 2012)Samsung Series 9 (13-inch, 2012)Samsung Series 5 Ultrabook (14-inch, 2012)Samsung Series 9 (13-inch, 2011)
What is it with all these heavier, bigger-screened Ultrabooks that don't pull their weight in battery life? If you take a look at the table up there, you'll notice with many of the 14-inch Ultrabooks -- the Samsung Series 5, Acer Aspire M5, HP Envy 14 Spectre -- the battery life scores tend to be clustered in the five-hour range, falling short of several smaller Ultrabooks. In our formal battery test, which involves looping a video off the drive with the display brightness fixed at 65 percent, the U845 lasted five hours and 12 minutes. That's slightly better than the other laptops we mentioned, but only by a few minutes and in general we'd like to see these larger Ultrabooks justify their heft with longer runtime.
DNP Toshiba Satellite U845 review
Though most of the bundled software consists of Toshiba-branded apps, you'll find some bona fide crapware from other companies. These include shortcuts to Amazon Links, PriceGong and Savings Sidekick. There's also a trial version of Norton Internet Security, a less surprising addition to the mix. As for those Toshiba apps, they include eco Utility; PC Health Monitor; Resolution+; ReelTime, for quickly retrieving documents using a timeline; Service Station; Sleep Utility; Recovery Media Creator; Online Backup, Media Controller; Laptop Checkup; Face Recognition; Disc Creator; Book Place; and Bulletin Board (it is what it sounds like).
The U845 has a one-year warranty -- typical for a consumer laptop.

Right now, there are two pre-built configurations of the U845 on Toshiba's website, which means you won't have the chance to customize things like hard drive size or memory allotment. You've already heard about the $880 version we tested with the Core i5 processor, 6GB of RAM and 500GB hard drive. On the lower end, there's also a $750 model with a Core i3 CPU and 4GB of RAM. It, too, has 500GB of HDD storage, but in this case it's paired with a 16GB SSD, not a 32GB drive. As you'll see, even that lower-priced unit doesn't seem like such a hot deal when you find that other PC makers are offering similar specs for less money.
Take the Sony VAIO T13, for instance. That machine starts at $770 with an Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor (not Core i3) with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive / 32GB SSD. And if it sounds like we're obsessed with specs, know this: the T13's battery life is slightly longer and, as we established, its performance is a bit faster, too. Design-wise, the two offer similar build quality.
Another deal that looks good (on paper, at least -- we haven't tested it!) is the Dell Inspiron 14z, which starts at $700 with a Sandy Bridge Core i3 processor, 6GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive with a 32GB SSD. Even if you paid $750 for an Ivy Bridge Core i5 model you'd be getting more for your money than you would with Toshiba. All that said, because we haven't tested the 14z, we can't vouch for its keyboard, trackpad, battery life or performance -- all important factors to consider, of course.
Moving onto Lenovo's IdeaPad U series, you can choose from either the 13-inch U310 ($639 and up) or the 14-inch U410, which starts at $749 (note: we're quoting web-only prices from Lenovo's site). In many ways, the U310 is more similar, even though it has a smaller screen than the U845: it starts with a Core i3 Sandy Bridge processor and a 500GB hard drive (disks with flash storage attached are available as an upgrade). The U410, meanwhile, is roughly the same size as the U845, but it comes standard with a 1GB NVIDIA GeForce 610 GPU. Also, the U410's hard drive spins at 7,200RPM by default, though it's not coupled with an SSD for faster boot times. Speeds and feeds aside, we've been very impressed with the U series' classy design and super comfortable keyboard.
Another good value: the Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M5, which for a similar price of $780 offers a Core i5 CPU (again, a boost over Core i3), 6GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive with a 20GB SSD. For $830, it includes a discrete NVIDIA GeForce 640M LE GPU with 1GB of RAM. As it happens, we appreciate its keyboard, graphics performance and narrow bezels, too.
In contrast, we're less impressed with the specs you'll get on HP's Envy Sleekbook 4t. At $650 (after instant savings), it has a last-gen Sandy Bridge Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB drive, sans SSD. It does have a tasteful, understated design and decent battery life -- we'll say that much -- but in our testing we've been pretty underwhelmed by the jumpy trackpad.
DNP Toshiba Satellite U845 review
If you're in the market for a thin and light, not-too-expensive laptop, the Toshiba Satellite U845 isn't exactly a slam dunk, but it's certainly worth considering. While the build quality, battery life and overall performance are about on par with competing machines, we've tested models with more comfortable keyboards, and if you do your homework you'll find laptops offering better specs for the same money. On its own, though, the U845 is a dependable choice, and matches up well against its competitors, even if it doesn't beat them wholesale.

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Sony NEX-5R and NEX-6 allegedly get pictured, flaunt WiFi logos

In early August, an Indonesian POSTEL listing revealed two new mirrorless NEX shooters in Sony's pipeline, both reportedly rocking wireless LAN chips. Now VR-Zone
seems to have come across certification photos of the two cameras, each modeling -- you guessed it -- its very own WiFi logo. As expected, this puts Sony's ILC range inline with the wireless smorgasbord it laid out at CES, eschewing less native, accessory-based solutions. VR-Zone wagers that the NEX-5R will sell for about $700, and pegs the NEX-6 somewhere around $1000. Better start saving -- hit the source link below for a better look at where your pocket money might be going.
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