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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Google Glasses in your car


A new report from Wired.com is cluing us in on some plans that Mercedes has to integrate Google Glass into its vehicles. The company is said to be working closely with Google to bring Google Glass technology to its high-end line of luxury cars. The company already has a functioning prototype that appears to work very well.

mercedes_is_working_on_integrating_google_glass_into_their_vehicles

During a demo, Wired's Damon Lavrinc said that he was able to acquire door-to-door navigational directions that were being sent straight to the tiny piece of glass in front of his eye. "We definitely see wearable devices as another trend in the industry that is important to us," says Johann Jungwirth, Mercedes' North American R&D President & CEO. "We have been working with Glass for roughly six months and meeting with the Google Glass team regularly." 

Refreshed iPad mini display production is ramping up


We are to expect a refreshed, high-res "Retina" iPad mini later this year, with a new report stating that the production on these display units is getting close to the 2012 launch level.

rumortt_refreshed_ipad_mini_display_production_is_ramping_up

This means that we should be close to mass production of the refreshed slate from Apple, hopefully. The original iPad mini was unveiled to the world in November 2012, and in Q3 of 2012, it was reported that production had been increased for the slate's display. IHS iSuppli are now reporting that production volumes on the Retina panel for the refreshed iPad mini are similar to the launch levels from 2012.

IHS iSuppli thinks that LG are going to be the primary supplier of the high-res panels, with Sharp joining the supply chain shortly after.

ASUS ROG Maximus VI Impact (Intel Z87) Mini-ITX Motherboard Review



asus_rog_maximus_vi_impact_intel_z87_mini_itx_motherboard_review

I'm not going to go into too much detail on the Mini-ITX platform because the chances are if you're a fan of the platform like myself, you would've read our recent coverage of Mini-ITX boards that have arrived recently. One thing we do notice about the platform, though, is that come launch time of a new chipset, most companies don't pay too much attention to it.

Saying that, though, the one company that seems to always be ready with a Mini-ITX board at launch of a new chipset is ASRock. The ASRock Z87E-ITX did a good job of impressing us. It came in at a good price and was pretty much everything you'd expect from a Mini-ITX motherboard. More recently, though, we saw both MSI and GIGABYTE bring Mini-ITX boards out. Both the MSI Z87I and GIGABYTE Z87N-WIFI impressed us and really gave us a few more options.

When it comes to the major motherboards players, the only company that was missing from the Mini-ITX game was ASUS. Well, that is until today. I must admit when it came to pulling the new ASUS Maximus VI Impact out of the box, I found myself extremely impressed. It was all looking very good for ASUS from first glance. But what we really couldn't wait to find out was just what this new motherboard from ASUS was capable of. So, let's not delay any longer, and just get stuck straight into it.


Package


asus_rog_maximus_vi_impact_intel_z87_mini_itx_motherboard_review

asus_rog_maximus_vi_impact_intel_z87_mini_itx_motherboard_review

While the box of the Maximus VI Impact may be small, thanks to the opening flap on the front, we've got an absolute wealth of information on offer. The whole design is very typical ROG and the front gives us the model number and a couple of logos. Opening up the flap, you can see across the top some of the main features are highlighted. This includes the SupremeFX Impact audio component, along with the mPCIe Combo II card, which offers a ton of features for something so small.

asus_rog_maximus_vi_impact_intel_z87_mini_itx_motherboard_review

asus_rog_maximus_vi_impact_intel_z87_mini_itx_motherboard_review

As we move to the bottom of the box, we can see some of the included software technologies like GameFirst II and RAMDisk, along with mention of Daemon Tools Pro and Kaspersky Anti-Virus being included at the bottom. In the middle, you can see a lot of focus is being placed on the Impact Power system. The back of the box goes on again to highlight some of those main features that are covered and give us a run down on the main specifications and a look at the I/O plate at the back of the board.

asus_rog_maximus_vi_impact_intel_z87_mini_itx_motherboard_review

asus_rog_maximus_vi_impact_intel_z87_mini_itx_motherboard_review

Starting to move inside the box you can see the standard inclusions like User Guide, Driver CD, four SATA cables and our rear I/O back plate. Along with that you can see we've also got an extra cable that plugs into your front panel connector. Those leads are then extended making plugging in everything just that little bit easier. Moving away from here, though, is where the bundle becomes a lot more interesting.

asus_rog_maximus_vi_impact_intel_z87_mini_itx_motherboard_review

Above you can see the SupremeFX Impact adapter that is installed to the motherboard. We'll take a closer look at how it connects in the next page. While we see so many motherboards just offer a Realtek solution for Audio, with this we get ROG SupremeFX Impact 8-Channel High Definition Audio. A clear step up from so many other motherboards.

asus_rog_maximus_vi_impact_intel_z87_mini_itx_motherboard_review

Along with the SurpremeFX Impact we've also got an antenna for the wireless card that is installed on the included mPCIe Combo II card that can be seen above. Along with the wireless card that includes support for Wi-Fi 802.11 A/C and Bluetooth 4.0, we have a NGFF (M.2) or Next Generation Form Factor port. Aimed to replace both mPCIe and mSATA, this new connection is optimized for SSD performance and one we should see show up more and more in the coming months.

Friday, August 30, 2013

HTC One Max will feature fingerprint scanner under rear cam


With rumors of a fingerprint scanner on Apple's iPhone 5S debunked, the rumor mill has turned to a new smartphone and leaked photos that are said to be of a fingerprint scanner on HTC's upcoming One Max smartphone. In the image below, you can see what appears a black square below the One Max's camera lens. The photo is quite pixelated, which instantly throws red flags for me.

leakedtt_htc_one_max_will_feature_fingerprint_scanner_under_rear_cam

For now, we will take website ePrice's word and assume that the HTC One Max will indeed feature a fingerprint scanner and assume that this photo is the real deal and that it's not just a black piece of tape. Assuming that it is real, I am left asking the question, "what would we use a fingerprint scanner for?" It may be cool to unlock your phone with your fingerprint or use it for password authentication, but is it really needed in today's smartphones?

Before I close this article out, I really would like to send a request out to all those leaksters out there who provide the world with early photos of unreleased devices. Please take higher quality photos! In the case of this photo, there is a perfectly good HTC One right beside the One Max. As a One owner, I know that the image quality would been far better than what was posted.

AIO 3D Printer now on Kickstarter

Kickstarterbound AIO Robotics Zeus copy machine prints, scans and faxes 3D objects
As the god of gods, Zeus has a tremendous list of assets at his disposal. A 3D printerthat can also scan and transmit objects, however, has until now been out of reach. AIO Robotics is gearing up to introduce the Zeus of the modern world, an all-in-one machine that duplicates 3D objects, even when they're not nearby. The device, which will make its Kickstarter debut on September 4th, will function in much the same way as a traditional all-in-one printer, with the obvious advantage of being able to create three-dimensional objects. Pricing has yet to be announced, but the creators expect Zeus to cost less than a Makerbot Replicator and Digitizer combo. It's also forecasted to be "the most reliable and usable 3D printer so far," according to a RepRap forum post. Time will tell.

Ovum reveals IBM and Adobe are ahead in the race to become the enterprise digital marketing platform provider of choice‏

With mega-vendors investing tens of billions of dollars to gain a foothold in the enterprise digital marketing platforms market, Ovum reveals that IBM and Adobe have the short-term advantage thanks to the strength of their branding propositions. According to the global analyst house, the key to vendor selection is in their services offerings and strategic directions, rather than just product functionality.
In the first report to provide a strategic perspective on the complete end-to-end digital marketing landscape, Ovum evaluates the products, services, and brands of the six mega-vendors from the buying perspective of an enterprise CMO or a Head of Digital. Ovum finds Adobe has the strongest proposition from a CMO perspective, whereas IBM has the strongest proposition from a CIO/IT perspective, standing them ahead of Oracle, SAS, Salesforce, and Teradata. In terms of overall product capabilities, all of the vendors are relatively comparable, reinforcing the importance of looking past functionality to the bigger picture when choosing a strategic partner.
“Don’t over-emphasise features and functions when evaluating digital marketing platforms. These are fast and easy for other vendors to replicate,” suggests Gerry Brown, senior digital marketing analyst at Ovum and author of the report. “Focus more on the vendor’s strategic fit to your business, including the quality and depth of relationships and a shared vision for the future of modern marketing in a digital world.”
Ovum’s research goes on to suggest that vendor selection should revolve around compatibility with existing IT architectures and databases, ability to articulate a cogent solution to a defined marketing operations challenge, and the comfortableness of forming a long-term potentially highly intimate relationship with the vendor. “CMOs are under pressure to consolidate and rationalise their many existing digital marketing products and services. CMOs need a single, unified, and consistent platform for a complete realtime view of the customer activity to enable the activation of relevant and timely marketing campaigns and sales engagements,” comments Brown.
Conversely, it is recommended that vendors move away from a product-centric approach. Vendors must provide true business solutions, appropriate services, and attractive branding to be successful in digital marketing. An important enabler is a complementary partner ecosystem that includes advertising agencies, marketing services providers, management consultants, and systems integrators. Adobe is the only mega-vendor that can currently boast maturity here. Equally, it is also important to embrace a triumvirate vendor-CIO-CMO working model, and only IBM has really grasped this nettle.
“Enterprise customers need to form strategic business relationships with their digital marketing vendor partners, so shared values and mutual trust are imperatives. Marketing in the future will need to act and react in realtime. Vendors will have their work cut out to become more fleet of foot and agile in operations, rather than just product acquisition. It’s essential that vendors mirror the way that marketing is now operating within their enterprise clients,” concludes Brown.

Lexar Professional 64GB XQD Memory Card Review

Back in 2010, SanDisk, Sony and Nikon announced a joint adventure that would create a new memory standard for HD camcorders and high-res DSLR cameras. This new standard would use the PCIe interface for data transfers, allowing for data rates up to 500 MB/s with storage capacities touching 2TB.


This storage medium as we now know it is called XQD, and to date only Sony and Nikon use it in their high-end products (Nikon D4 and Sony XDCAM). In July 2012, Lexar announced that they would support the new format, and today we bring you the Lexar Professional 64GB XQD memory card in review. Marketing specifications of the XQD card call for a minimum sustained read of 168MB/s. Included with the XQD card, Lexar offers a free copy of Image Rescue 4. The 64GB XQD comes with a lifetime warranty.

lexar_professional_64gb_xqd_memory_card_review

The Lexar Professional XQD shares most of its aesthetic design with previous Professional products from Lexar.

lexar_professional_64gb_xqd_memory_card_review

Thursday, August 29, 2013

NuForce NE-700M Earphones With Microphone

nuforce ne 700ma
Although the trend of our times demands from pretty much every electronic device to be connected wirelessly to others i doubt we will see the end of wires any time soon since as we all know they do allow data (regardless of type) to be transferred better and faster. This is even more important to audiophiles since audio streaming using both Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi connections is indeed inferior to that of regular wired connections and thus i don't think the day when they will choose to replace that is near. Needless to say the same applies for earphones but with the current number of available models in the market from low and up to enthusiast grade ones choosing the right one for you is not an easy task even if you know what you want. Naturally high and enthusiast level audio products always tend to cost many times more than low/mid-end ones but fortunately Nuforce with their latest NE-700M earset aims to change that for the best.
NuForce was founded with a singular vision: to provide consumers, audiophiles, and audio pros stunning sound with classic and elegant design. Since then NuForce products have earned the loyalty and passion of consumers while getting top marks from the most prominent publications and press in the world. NuForce is more than just products - it's about making highest-quality sound part of an everyday lifestyle. Our growing array of home and portable products bring music and movie sound to life while providing inspiration, transporting you to another place, and making you feel more connected to your recordings and soundtracks, wherever you are. As music is a universal language everyone can appreciate and enjoy, NuForce products are sold around the world. We remain firmly committed to providing the highest-performance consumer electronics adhering to the most stringent quality standards, and ensuring integrity and value in every product.
It just takes a look at the NE-700M earset to know that it's not your average product but since looks may deceive let's check its specifications sheet. So the aluminum chassis NE-700M feature two 8mm titanium coated drivers each with a frequency response of 20Hz-20KHz, 16Ohms impedance and a sensitivity of 105dB (+-5). That's not all however and so the NE-700M also come ready with an in-line Omni-directional microphone featuring a sensitivity of -38dB (+-3) allowing you to make calls with a compatible device such as an iPhone (however just like every other similar earset in the market it's not compatible with every smartphone out there even if it does have an 3.5mm plug). Personally i just got back from my very short vacation period but I’ve been using the NE-700M earphones with mic for almost 12 days in total so let's take a close look and see how they did.
 

HTC One Max will feature fingerprint scanner under rear cam


With rumors of a fingerprint scanner on Apple's iPhone 5S debunked, the rumor mill has turned to a new smartphone and leaked photos that are said to be of a fingerprint scanner on HTC's upcoming One Max smartphone. In the image below, you can see what appears a black square below the One Max's camera lens. The photo is quite pixelated, which instantly throws red flags for me.

leakedtt_htc_one_max_will_feature_fingerprint_scanner_under_rear_cam

For now, we will take website ePrice's word and assume that the HTC One Max will indeed feature a fingerprint scanner and assume that this photo is the real deal and that it's not just a black piece of tape. Assuming that it is real, I am left asking the question, "what would we use a fingerprint scanner for?" It may be cool to unlock your phone with your fingerprint or use it for password authentication, but is it really needed in today's smartphones?

Before I close this article out, I really would like to send a request out to all those leaksters out there who provide the world with early photos of unreleased devices. Please take higher quality photos! In the case of this photo, there is a perfectly good HTC One right beside the One Max. As a One owner, I know that the image quality would been far better than what was posted.

General Motors to add wireless chargers on some 2014 car models

Smartphone wireless chargers are easier to find than ever, but built-in inductive systems for cars? Those we don't see often. According to Bloomberg, General Motors will incorporate wireless charging systems for phones on some of its 2014 car models, joining the ranks of Toyota and Chrysler. Unlike the chargers aboard the 2013 Avalon and the Dodge Dart, however, GM's cars will (officially) be the first ones to use Powermat. When the carmaker first announced a $5 million stake in Powermat in 2011, it said the Volt will be the first to offer the wireless charging perk. A two-year delay might have changed GM's plans -- it originally wanted to launch an in-car system in 2012 -- but we won't know for sure until the company releases official details.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

AKiTiO Neutrino Thunderbolt 120GB Aluminium SSD Enclosure Review

As Thunderbolt begins to take center stage in the external storage market, many manufacturers have jumped on-board, one of which is AKiTiO. AKiTiO specializes in creating professional storage options targeted for the most part, at Macintosh users.


The latest product to come out of the camp at AKiTiO is the Neutrino Thunderbolt Edition, and as the name suggests, it is a Thunderbolt equipped external storage device. This isn't your standard Thunderbolt storage device, as AKiTiO has stepped up their game offering the Neutrino with solid state storage over the traditional spinner.

The Neutrino Thunderbolt is equipped with the Intel 330 Series SSD for the 120GB capacity and the SanDisk U100 SSD for the 256GB capacity. AKiTiO backs their Neutrino Thunderbolt with a two year warranty.

akitio_neutrino_thunderbolt_120gb_aluminium_ssd_enclosure_review

Adding to the scope of delivery, we found AKiTiO to include the Thunderbolt cable with the device, making this a true plug and play storage solution.

akitio_neutrino_thunderbolt_120gb_aluminium_ssd_enclosure_review

If you have seen any of AKiTiO's Neutrino devices in the past, then it would come as no surprise that the Thunderbolt edition shares the same design characteristics. The outer shell is a single piece of aluminium, which you can see at the bottom houses a heat sink to aid in cooling the drive.

Via Tweaktown

Eurocom adds AMD Radeon HD 8970M in CrossFireX to Scorpius high performance, fully upgradeable Laptop

Eurocom has added the AMD Radeon HD 8970M in CrossFireX to the Scorpius high performance laptop.
The Scorpius is equipped with dual MXM 3.0B slots rated for 100W GPUs and is ready to SLI or CrossFireX some of the most powerful graphics cards on earth. The Scorpius was designed from the beginning as a no compromise, high performance system.
The EUROCOM Scorpius has a variety of configuration levels created from supporting Intel Core i7 processors up to Extreme Edition, dual graphics cards support, from NVIDIA GeForce, AMD Radeon and professional level NVIDIA Quadro options.
The EUROCOM Scorpius has support for up to four storage drives, one being mSATA, with RAID 0/1/5/10 capability.
The Scorpius has 4 memory slots ready for up to 32GB of dual channel DDR3 1600MHz 204 pin SODIMM.
The long list of configuration options, in the Scorpius, allows customers to choose the exact price point that fits their budget, with no unneeded components adding to their price.
EUROCOM Scorpius with AMD Radeon HD 8970M Detailed Online Benchmarks, with select screen shots.
AMD Radeon HD 8970M Benchmark Summary:
3DMark Vantage: P34970
3D Mark 11: P11228
Unigine Heaven 4.0 fps: 95
Unigine Heaven 4.0 Score: 2394
Unigine Heaven 3.0 fps: 147.8
Unigine Heaven 3.0 Score: 3724

Cinebench 11.5 OpenGL: 84.87
Cinebench 11.5 CPU: 7.47

SPECviewperf 11 64 bit
Catia-03: 9.96
Ensight-04: 51.4
Lightwave-01: 31.58
Maya-03: 15.02
Proe-05: 3.21
Sw-02: 29.43
Tcvis-02: 7.64
Snx-01: 15.63
AMD Radeon™ HD 8970M Series GPU Feature Summary:
Process: 28nm
Architecture: GCN
850 MHz Engine Clock
1280 Stream Processors
4 GB GDDR5 Memory
1200 MHz Memory Clock
256-bit GDDR5 memory interface
2304 GFLOPS Single Precision compute power
144 GFLOPS Double Precision compute power
DirectX 1.11 graphics
Shader 5.0

The first production batch of Jolla smartphones fully booked with demand from 136 countries

 The first production batch of Jolla smartphones has been fully booked by consumers and selected sales channels. Jolla launched its first smartphone at the #JollaLoveDay event in May. At the same time, Jolla kicked off an online pre-order campaign, which reached its first batch limit by mid-July. Online pre-orders were received from 136 countries in all.

“We are delighted to see this great worldwide interest towards our very first device. When you see someone wearing an ‘I am the First One’ T-shirt, you see a proud future owner of Jolla,” says Tomi Pienimäki, CEO of Jolla. “For those, who missed the first opportunity, we are now doing our best to offer a second chance, a new batch of Jolla smartphones later in the autumn. I encourage everyone interested in Jolla to sign up at jolla.com and be the first to know about any new developments, such as the opening of the next pre-sales campaign.”

The first Jolla is targeted to begin shipping by the end of 2013, starting in Europe. The Jolla phone production programme is proceeding as planned and sales will start in Finland with DNA, the first operator in the world to offer Jolla smartphones.

Omate TrueSmart watch launches on Kickstarter

Omate TrueSmart watch launches on Kickstarter, works with or without your smartphone
Yes, it's another crowdfunding campaign for a smartwatch. The latest competing for your backing dollars comes from upstart Omate, which has today launched its TrueSmart watch on Kickstarter. The hook here is that the watch will work as standalone device without a smartphone, letting you make calls, send texts or, as the company suggests, even pair it with Google Glass for some fully-wearable computing. As with other smartwatches, though, it can also act as a smartphone companion to serve up notifications and the like, and the company is hoping that developers will tailor their apps and create new ones specifically for the device; it's simply running Android 4.2.2 underneath Omate's custom launcher, which the company notes is rootable for those so inclined.
As far as the hardware goes, you'll get a 1.54-inch color display (240 x 240 resolution), a 1.3GHz dual-core Cortex A7, a built-in 5-megapixel camera, 4GB of memory (with up to 32GB supported via microSD), a micro SIM card slot for 3G connectivity, and an IP67-rated water-resistant design (available in black only). Those on board will have to pony up at least $179 to back the device, which is expected to ship in October or November.

Beats Electronics looking to end HTC partnership

WSJ Beats Electronics looking to end HTC partnership
Whatever you feel about Beats' audio, you can't help but think that the company'spartnership with HTC hasn't really worked out. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Dr. Dre and Co. are planning to buy back the phone maker's remaining 25 percent stake in the business -- just a year after HTC reduced its stake by half. Either way, we're hoping that this potential separation helps HTC get back to winning ways and frees up Dr. Dre to resume prescribing those pills he's now so fond of.

Shopping cart for your website

As the world becomes increasingly invested in technology, many businesses have had to change with it. More and more consumers are beginning to make their purchases online which has created a higher demand for online storefronts. While this might be great news for computer guru's, many business owners end up spending additional time and resources to maintain their online storefront. One way to significantly reduce the overhead costs associated with operating an online website is to sell online with 1ShoppingCart. Services like this take the worry out of e-Commerce by allowing business owners to easily manage their online store.

Services like 1ShoppingCart present special value to business owners by offering customized features that are designed to simplify their online stores. For example, instant store updates allow e-store operators to update their store at any time. Whether they are looking to add new products, remove discontinued items or change the status of an item that is temporarily back-ordered, this feature allows them to do so with just one click of a button. Order alerts are another unique feature offered by these services. Order alerts allow store operators to receive a text message or email the moment an order comes in. This allows them to fill the order more quickly and keep their customers happy. It also gives them more control by allowing them to monitor the volume of orders on specific days and at specific times.

As the world shifts towards e-commerce, services like this allow store owners to make sure they are not left behind.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

TDK A73 Wireless Boombox

tdk boombox a73a
Listening to my favorite music tracks in high volume levels has always been one of my favorite hobbies and that applies not only when I’m at home or in my car but also when I’m on vacation (like now). However although both when I’m at home or in my car I’ve made certain to have a decent amount of volume to cover my needs the same does not really apply when I’m away since the majority of portable speakers are not much larger than a can of soda and thus the volume levels produced (although quite good in some cases) are nowhere close to the ones a complete speaker system is able to. Well luckily this industry never ceases to amaze me and so today we will be taking a look at the latest wireless portable speaker by TDK the quite massive A73 Boombox.
TDK Life on Record, a leading global brand with a rich audio legacy, is dedicated to personalizing and enhancing audiophiles’ ever-evolving digital music lifestyles. TDK Life on Record audio products are carefully crafted to focus on performance, marrying a clean, striking design with the precision and flexibility of modern technology. This world-class line of premium audio products delivers a warm, authentic, high-fidelity entertainment experience. The TDK Life on Record logo is a trademark owned by TDK Corporation and is licensed exclusively to Imation Corp., a leading global developer and marketer of brands that empower people to capture, save and enjoy digital information. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
When we first saw a presentation of the A73 Boombox we thought it would be just another Bluetooth wireless portable speaker just slightly bigger to accommodate the 2.1 configuration, boy we were wrong. The A73 Boombox is actually LARGE and by that i mean almost as large as the old stereo cassette players people used to carry around on their shoulders back in the 80's and early 90's when they wanted to stir things up. Luckily the A73 Boombox is quite thinner and weighs a lot less so there are some differences with the "past" however that doesn't change the fact that this is by far the largest portable speaker we've used to date. I only need to tell you that it features two 13cm passive radiators, two 5cm full-range drivers and a 13cm subwoofer all in the same package. All that's really left is for us to see just how much size really matters in terms of sound output and that's exactly what we've been doing for the past week with exemplary results.
 

Microsoft explains Outlook outrage

Microsoft resolves Outlookcom outage, offers explanation and longterm fix
It may have taken three days, but Microsoft has officially resolved its Outlook.com outage -- and it has both explanations and long-term solutions for affected email users. Trouble began with the failure of a caching service for Exchange ActiveSync. The resulting deluge of reconnection attempts promptly overwhelmed company servers; a slow recovery was necessary to avoid another meltdown, Microsoft says. To prevent repeat incidents, the tech giant is both upgrading its network capacity and implementing a more elegant error handling system. While the fixes likely come too late for some users, they suggest that Microsoft has learned a hard lesson about thefragility of online services.

Chrome has a massive market share


Just how powerful is Google's grip on the global web browser market share? Very powerful. The Mountain View-based giant claim 43% of the global market with Chrome.

google_chrome_chews_up_43_of_the_global_web_browser_market

In the US, just 36% of Internet users use Chrome, which is one of the world's lowest rates. Internet Explorer is still dominant - I don't know how or why - in the US, with 30%. In South America, Google is king with 63% of the market.

Asia seems to favor Chrome, where Google see 49% of the market in its hands. Worldwide, Google take 43%, Internet Explorer takes 25% and Firefox scoops up 20%.

Via Statista

Monday, August 26, 2013

Eurocom adds AMD Radeon HD 8970M to Ivy Bridge based Racer 2.0 High Performance, Upgradeable Notebook

Eurocom has added the AMD Radeon HD 8970M to the Ivy Bridge based Racer 2.0 VGA upgradeable laptop.

The addition of the MXM 3.0b spec AMD Radeon HD 8970M offers gamers and enthusiasts a new level of ultra high performance graphics to upgrade their existing Racer 2.0 or configure into their new system.

Eurocom is always striving to allow upgradeability of legacy systems to allow customers the opportunity to upgrade their system to improve performance and life span.  Eurocom engineers have recently finished stress testing and verifying the performance and operation of the 8970M in the Racer 2.0.

The AMD Radeon HD 8970M GPU has 1,280 compute cores running at 850MHz with 4 GB GDDR5 memory running at 1200MHz.  With full DirectX 11.1 support, the 8970M offers a great gaming experience for all PC titles.  AMD App Acceleration uses GPU compute to accelerate and improve image quality, video playback and overall computing performance.

“At Eurocom, we have offered fully upgradeable notebooks to our clients for many years because we believe very strongly in the long term benefits it offers our clients; VGA upgradeability allows users to extend lifespan of their equipment without compromising performance ” Mark Bialic, Eurocom President.

The EUROCOM Racer 2.0 is a 15.6” small form factor Mobile Workstation utilizing the Intel Mobile HM 77 Express Chipset with support for the full line of 22nm Ivy Bridge Processors, support for up to three storage drives. The Racer 2.0 supports 32 GB of DDR3-1600 memory.

EUROCOM Racer 2.0 with AMD Radeon HD 8970M Online Benchmarks

AMD Radeon HD 8970M Benchmark Summary:
3DMark Vantage: P24013

3D Mark 11: P6513

Unigine Heaven 4.0 fps: 47.6
Unigine Heaven 4.0 Score: 1198

Unigine Heaven 3.0 fps: 71
Unigine Heaven 3.0 Score: 1789

Cinebench 11.5 OpenGL: 71.84
Cinebench 11.5 CPU: 7.22

SPECviewperf 11 64 bit
Catia-03: 8.21
Ensight-04: 49.57
Lightwave-01: 23.49
Maya-03: 9.69
Proe-05: 2.97
Sw-02: 22.82
Tcvis-02: 5.66
Snx-01: 14.42

AMD Radeon™ HD 8970M Series GPU Feature Summary: 
Process: 28nm
Architecture: GCN
850 MHz Engine Clock 
1280 Stream Processors
4 GB GDDR5 Memory
1200 MHz Memory Clock
256-bit GDDR5 memory interface
2304 GFLOPS Single Precision compute power
144 GFLOPS Double Precision compute power
DirectX 1.11 graphics
Shader 5.0

OUYA - the Android-powered Console Review



ouya_the_android_powered_console_review

I backed the OUYA close to day one on Kickstarter, back in July of 2012. Fast forward to July 2013, and we're here with a review on one of Kickstarter's most successful devices.

ouya_the_android_powered_console_review

OUYA is from the mind of Julie Uhrman, who raised millions on Kickstarter to get the Android-funded console to the market. After months and months of waiting, it's finally here, but it really isn't what I expected.


If you're expected a glorious, positive-filled review, you might want to close your browser tab, because I'm not that impressed. I've read some other reviews on OUYA, which were positive, but there just isn't much to talk about when it comes to OUYA.


Specifications, Pricing and Availability


ouya_the_android_powered_console_review

For just $99, you do get a decently powerful Android-based console. First off, we have an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB of LPDDR2 RAM, 8GB of on-board flash storage, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth LE 4.0, and HDMI to connect to your TV (or display).

ouya_the_android_powered_console_review

Moving onto the controller specifications, we have a single wireless controller included in the OUYA box, which works on 2.4GHz RF. The controller itself includes the "standard game controls", which consist of: two analog sticks, d-pad, eight action buttons and a system or 'OUYA' button.

The controller is quite easy to open up to install the AA batteries. I would've preferred to have had a rechargeable controller, but I'm sure the team at OUYA were just trying to keep the costs down, and not supplying rechargeable lithium-ion batteries would definitely be a cost-saver.

ouya_the_android_powered_console_review

ouya_the_android_powered_console_review

Moving into the final piece of the specifications: Software. We have Android 4.0 running on the OUYA console, with a custom TV user interface. It looks great, it's sleek and easy to navigate, too. There's an integrated custom game store included as well. You can root the OUYA without voiding warranty, as the OUYA team are happy for you to mess around with their Android-powered device.

I do wish I could run standard Android apps from the Google Play Store on OUYA, as that would've opened up a gigantic door for the company. Locking themselves to just OUYA titles, really hurts.