Tag Archives: Toys

LG’s smartphone plans for second half of 2011 leaked

The Prada K2 could figure to be one of LG’s flagship Android phones for the second half of 2011.

(Credit:
Pocketnow)

LG’s smartphone lineup for the rest of the year has found its way online, and as one might expect, there’s plenty of
Android on the horizon. Pocketnow has obtained the images and details for at least six devices scheduled to drop between now and December. Based on these early specifications, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that LG likes to cater to new smartphone buyers. Yet, that’s not to say it doesn’t have any serious contenders in its lineup.

Kicking things off in the short term, the LG Gelato is expected to arrive at Sprint and possibly T-Mobile. According to Pocketnow, there will be two versions of the handset with the difference being NFC support. Indeed, specifications such as an 800MHz processor, 3.2-inch display, and 3-megapixel camera point to a wallet-friendly Android device. I’d be surprised if any carrier asks for more than $50 for this handset, but the NFC variant, expected in the fourth quarter, should command a few more bucks.

Staying with low-cost models, the LG E2 should have a 3-megapixel camera and what appears to be a smaller screen than most Android phones. The LG Univa follows in the fourth quarter and will have an 800MHz processor, a 3.5-inch display and 5-megapixel camera. Handsets like these are a strong indication that LG would rather go after the larger demographic of new smartphone buyers instead of competing with super phones. This strategy has proven to work for the Optimus One line so it makes sense that LG would like to replicate it with new models.

The LG Victor, due in the next two months should fit nicely as a mid-range model with its 3.8-inch display and single-core 1GHz processor. Additional hardware for this Gingerbread handset could include a 5-megapixel camera on the back, a front-facing VGA camera for video chat, and DLNA support.

The LG Prada K2 looks to occupy space at the top of the food chain when it debuts in the fourth quarter. Early specifications point to a 4.3-inch NOVA LCD display, dual-core processor, and 16GB of storage. The Android 2.3 Gingerbread phone also features an 8-megapixel camera on the back with a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera.

Just because LG appears to have its eye on the low end of the spectrum doesn’t mean it can’t compete near the top. Such is the case with the LG P930 “K” which is listed as having a screen in the realm of 4.5-inches and a pixel density that may rival the iPhone 4. LG’s name has been tossed around more than once when it comes to the next Nexus handset. And something like this, couple with a new operating system like Ice Cream Sandwich sounds like quite the holiday treat to me.

It’s possible that LG has more to come and that this list could change completely. Astute readers may recall seeing another LG handset with a unique sliding keyboard and T-Mobile branding.

Article source: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19736_7-20082055-251/lgs-smartphone-plans-for-second-half-of-2011-leaked/?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave

Apple’s MacBook Air goes into Intel i5 hyperdrive

Into a 0.68-inch high enclosure, Apple has dropped a modern engine where a poky one used to be. That new powerplant would be Intel’s newest power-efficient Core i5 processors, of course.

2011 MacBook Air.

2011 MacBook Air.

(Credit:
CNET Reviews)

Where a Core 2 Duo–introduced way back in 2006–used to be, the new MBAs use spanking new Sandy Bridge chips introduced this year. Intel’s newest chip design is two generations removed from the Core 2 Duo. And that means you get nice design extras like processors that overclock automatically when applications demand bursts of speed. Intel calls this turbo frequency.

So what’s under the hood specifically? The i5-2467M (11.6-inch model) and i5-2557M (13.3-inch) processors, running at 1.6GHz (with turbo speeds up to 2.3 GHz) and 1.7GHz (can turbo up to 2.7 GHz) respectively.

There is also an option for an 1.8GHz Core i7 (add $100), which by all appearances is an i7-2677M that turbos to 2.9GHz. The i7 has a slightly larger cache, 4MB versus 3MB for the i5s. A larger cache typically means better performance.

And these processors deliver on performance–in tandem with fast solid-state drives. CNET Reviews’ Dan Ackerman has run some initial tests (below) that are indeed impressive. (Also see CNET Reviews’ product pages here and here.) The Multimedia Multitasking and Adobe Photoshop CS3 show impressive gains for both 2011 MBA models. And Apple iTunes encoding results show that we’re talking about more than a small performance uptick.

CNET Reviews initial benchmark scores for MacBook Air Summer 2011

CNET Reviews initial benchmark scores for MacBook Air Summer 2011

(Credit:
CNET Reviews)

The i5s and i7 used in the ultra-skinny Air are not gas-guzzlers. They’re Intel’s most power-efficient i series chips–what Intel used to refer to as ULV or ultra-low-voltage. All are rated at a cool 17 watts, rather the 25 or 35 watts for mainstream Intel laptop processors.

Intel’s HD Graphics 3000 is also built into the chip. Nvidia’s graphics chipset is no more. But there is no performance hit to speak of. And, besides, in the MBA enclosure’s cramped quarters, the Intel-only layout apparently makes room for Thunderbolt-related circuitry, according to iFixit’s teardown.

And for those willing to crack open an Air, the solid-state drive (ranging up to 256GB) is not soldered on the logic board, iFixit said. So it’s user upgradable. That said, you’re out of luck if you need extra RAM.

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20081556-64/apples-macbook-air-goes-into-intel-i5-hyperdrive/?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave

Star Wars: The Old Republic preorders now available

At long last, Bioware’s highly anticipated Star Wars MMORPG is almost here.

(Credit:
BioWare/LucasArts)

A slight disturbance in the Force was felt this morning after BioWare, LucasArts, and EA announced that Jedi and Sith everywhere can now preorder Star Wars: The Old Republic for a limited time.

Three versions of the highly anticipated MMORPG are available: Standard ($59), Digital Deluxe ($79), and the whopping Collector’s Edition ($149). A pre-order FAQ answers some common questions for curious padawans. Those who order soon get access to the virtual world early and obtain special items to make questing easier.

Star Wars fans have clamored for the title since its reveal in late 2008, with an expected release date later this year. According to the official pre-order site, here is a breakdown of the three editions:

(Credit:
BioWare/LucasArts)

The Standard Edition of Star Wars: The Old Republic comes with all the essentials you’ll need to get into the game, including the game software and 30 days of game time. The Standard Edition will be available in both physical copies that will be sold at most video game retailers, and a digital edition that’s exclusive to Origin.com.

(Credit:
BioWare/LucasArts)

The Digital Deluxe Edition of Star Wars: The Old Republic is available exclusively through Origin and comes with both the game software and 30 days of game time. In addition, the Digital Deluxe Edition of Star Wars: The Old Republic comes with the following digital items that your characters can use in the game:

  • Flare Gun: Fires flares into the air.
  • Training Droid: Hovers at your side for combat assistance.
  • HoloDancer: Project your own holographic dancer.
  • HoloCam: Keep visual records of in-game adventures.
  • STAP (Single Trooper Aerial Platform): Sleek and unique in-game vehicle.

(Credit:
BioWare/LucasArts)

The limited Collector’s Edition of Star Wars: The Old Republic can only be purchased physically. Packaged with 30 days of game time and all the virtual items included in the Digital Deluxe Edition, the Collector’s Edition comes with a number of physical and digital collector’s items you can’t get anywhere else:

  • The Journal of Master Gnost-Dural: 111 pages of notes and sketches by the revered Jedi Master from the early years of the Great Hyperspace War between the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire. Features never-before-seen artwork and all-new information. 
  • Darth Malgus statue: The villainous Darth Malgus comes to life with this exclusive 9-inch collectible statue from Gentle Giant studios.
  • The Old Republic Galaxy Map: 14-by-20-inch at-a-glance look at the known galaxy.
  • Security Authentication Key Fob: Keep your Lightsaber and credits safe with this custom Security Authentication Key Fob for your game account.
  • Music of Star Wars: The Old Republic CD: 17 orchestral music tracks from The Old Republic.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic game: The full Star Wars: The Old Republic game on DVD-ROM in a collectible metal case.

The following virtual in-game items are exclusive to the Collector’s Edition: 

  • Exclusive Mouse Droid: A faithful droid to join you on your adventures.
  • Exclusive Collector’s Edition Store: Unique in-game store with a dynamic array of items to assist you from your humble beginnings through your journey to become a galactic legend.

There’s little doubt this will be one of the biggest Star Wars games in recent memory, picking up the pieces from the recently marked-for-death Star Wars Galaxies MMORPG. Galaxies, run by Sony Online Entertainment, had an incredible rise in popularity, only to fall from grace after a series of changes to gameplay. Could SW:TOR refresh a stagnant MMORPG market, one that has been dominated by World of Warcraft for years?

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20081389-1/star-wars-the-old-republic-preorders-now-available/?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave

Panasonic adds AA-powered LS5 to Lumix lineup

(Credit:
Panasonic)

Compact cameras powered by AA-size batteries are a rarity these days and when you do find them they’re either large megazooms or budget-priced entry-level compacts. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS5 announced today is the latter, but at least Panasonic didn’t make it without value.

Instead of sticking a slow, narrow lens on the LS5, it has a 5x, 26mm wide-angle lens with a maximum aperture of f2.8. That’s wider and longer than you typically find in this class and while the f2.8 aperture probably won’t give you a shallow depth of field for anything other than macro shots, it should allow you to get better results in low-light conditions. (Unfortunately, the largest aperture with the lens extended is not nearly as good: f6.5.)

Panasonic also included optical image stabilization and the ability to record movie clips at 720p HD resolution at 30 frames per second. Shooting modes are geared for automatic snapshots, though, so you won’t find aperture and shutter-priority controls.

Look for the Panasonic Lumix LS5 in November. No pricing will be announced until October, but it has to be less than $150 to compete with Canon’s PowerShot A1200, which has a similar lens and an optical viewfinder.

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20081198-1/panasonic-adds-aa-powered-ls5-to-lumix-lineup/?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave

‘Mobile Man’: Nokia green envoy made of old phones

Nokia robot

Mobile Man, who’s made of old phones from head to toe, takes a reading break at a Beijing post office.

(Credit:
Ji Lu/ChinaFotoPress)

I really want to believe this Nokia robot made of used cell phones is just out to promote green living. But what if it’s sitting there quietly on the bench reading Go Green magazine just to throw us off? Nokia couldn’t let it read “Robopocalypse” in public or we’d be on to its true intent.

OK, maybe I’ve just been listening to too many Eric and Donald podcasts.

For now, I’m going to take Nokia at its word that it built the aptly named “Mobile Man” to promote cell phone recycling in Asia as part of its global push to get consumers to reuse and recycle old handsets rather than toss them in a drawer, or–worse yet–the trash.

In collaboration with the postal service in Beijing, the Finnish mobile giant is giving free movie tickets to those who turn in old phones at more than 40 Beijing post offices.

All they have to do is put their handset in a designated envelope and they’ll also get a receipt that lets them stay updated on the status of their phone as it gets dismantled and recycled. Cell phone materials that can be recovered and reused include plastic, nickel, copper, iron, and aluminum.

During the green push in Beijing, Mobile Man, who’s fashioned from more than a thousand mobile phones and accessories, will randomly appear at city postal branches to promote green gadget habits and show off its polymer pecs.

Related links
? Getting rid of your old cell phone
? On Call: Best carriers for recycling your phone
? Nokia kiosks collect phones for recycling

Made in Singapore, Mobile Man is a nonmotorized creature standing about 6 feet tall and weighing some 44 pounds. It looks like a robot, but it technically really isn’t one as it can’t do much autonomously save for sit around reading about bursting landfills and making people feel guilty about not being green.

Three Mobile Men currently exist, but only one has been hired to work the Beijing post office circuit. We’re not sure where the other two are, but we’d be happy to see them in a post office near us as long as they don’t start guilting us out about not calling our mothers enough too.

While e-waste is a concern across the range of gadgets, the constant stream of new phone models, coupled with consumers’ desire for the hottest new gear, means the shelf life of cell phones can last only months.

Nokia, for its part, has taken other steps to encourage cell phone recycling, including installing automated, touch-screen kiosks across the central Klang Valley of Malaysia that make it easy to drop off old phones.

child checks out Mobile Man

A boy in China checks out Mobile Man’s unusual knee joint.

(Credit:
Nokia)

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20080538-1/mobile-man-nokia-green-envoy-made-of-old-phones/?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave

Lenovo doesn’t give up on Windows tablets, announces IdeaPad P1

Lenovo IdeaPad P1: 10-inch Windows tablet.

Lenovo IdeaPad P1: 10-inch Windows tablet.

(Credit:
Lenovo)

Amid Lenovo’s unveiling of several
Android
tablets, a Windows alternative still remains. The IdeaPad P1, also announced today, adopts a similar appearance to the Android IdeaPad K1 tablet, but with a Windows 7 operating system and PC-oriented specs and features. It’s like an
iPad that runs Windows.

Lenovo IdeaPad P1 (photos)






The 10.1-inch 1,280×800-pixel multitouch display also works with an optional stylus. A 0.3-megapixel Webcam handles video calls, but the IdeaPad P1 conspicuously lacks a rear camera. The rear panel comes in either Clementine orange or Silver gray, resembling the back of a Netbook.

The IdeaPad P1 comes with either 32GB or 64GB of SSD storage and up to 2GB of RAM. OS options cover the gamut from Windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Professional. Connection options are sparse: a single USB 2.0 port, a microSD card reader, a SIM card slot for optional 3G, and a docking port. The P1 also has 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

As far as processor speed, it’s a bit unclear; the 1.79-pound tablet has a 1.5GHz Intel processor (exact type thus far unspecified), along with integrated Intel HD graphics, which have proven decent thus far for basic gaming. A two-cell battery offers up to 6 hours of battery life, according to Lenovo.

Who, exactly, would want a Windows tablet instead of an Android tablet or iPad? We’re not trying to be critical, but one of the biggest hurdles facing Windows tablets has been Windows 7 itself and its tablet-targeted applications, or lack thereof. Windows 7 supports touch, but it always feels glommed on in smaller touch-screen tablet environments. Windows 8 might begin to solve these issues, but for now, it seems that companies like Lenovo haven’t given up hope. Lenovo App Manager, installed on the IdeaPad P1, aims to offer better app discovery and app switching. We haven’t seen it in action yet, but Windows tablets have a lot of work to do as far as offering a user interface and experience that’s anywhere close to what’s already available on the iPad and other Android/WebOS alternatives.

The IdeaPad P1 has no price yet, and will be available sometime in the “fourth quarter 2011.” We remain intrigued, but skeptical.

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20080773-1/lenovo-doesnt-give-up-on-windows-tablets-announces-ideapad-p1/?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave