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Thread: Anandtech News

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    #1021

    Anandtech: Fractal Design Arc Midi: The Mid Tower You've Been Waiting For?

    The more enclosures we get in, the more amazed I am at just how competitive the market is for $99 cases. That market is made only more competitive by younger, hungrier companies like BitFenix and Fractal Design, along with new entries from Corsair and NZXT. In another welcome change of pace, these enclosures tend to be slicker, more streamlined, and less gaudy than the gaming cases of yore while providing oftentimes excellent thermal and acoustic performance. With those things in mind, today we look at our first of hopefully many cases from Fractal Design: the Arc Midi.
    We've heard a lot of requests for a Fractal Design case review, and the company answered by sending us their $100 offering. Targeting the popular mid-tower segment with a reasonable price and good features, let's see just how well this newcomer can stand up to the competition.


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    #1022

    Anandtech: Samsung and Google Cancel Unpacked Event - May Delay Nexus Prime and Ice C

    Google and Samsung had scheduled an event, Unpacked: Google Edition, for October 11th, but the companies today reported that the event has been canceled. It was expected that Samsung would release a new smartphone, which has been referred as both, Galaxy Nexus and Nexus Prime in reports. Google was also set to launch the next version of Android (4.0) called Ice Cream Sandwich. The new Samsung phone would have run the new Android obviously.
    No concrete reason for the cancelation was given, although Samsung said that they felt that "it wasn't the right time to announce a new product". This suggests that the companies decided to postpone the event due to Steve Jobs' death, and if this is the case, it's a very respectful call towards Steve. The event is set to be rescheduled at a later date but no further details have been given yet.
    Source: Telegraph.co.uk



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    #1023

    Anandtech: SilverStone Strider Plus - 500W Modular Power

    SilverStone is a well known brand for high-quality (and expensive) cases. Beyond that they offer a large selection of power supplies. They have SFX-PSUs for HTPCs, redundant PSUs for server and workstations, and standard ATX PSUs for "normal" PCs. Today we take a look at a product from the latter category. The SilverStone Strider Plus 500W is a fully modular PSU with 80 Plus Bronze certification, going for a very affordable $60. That sounds interesting so far, so let us see if the internal design and measurements can satisfy.


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    #1024

    Anandtech: Acer Aspire S3 Available This Week for $899

    Acer hasn't had the best year, falling behind in global PC sales from its former perch at No. 2, just behind HP. Their announcement today that their first Ultrabook, the Aspire S3 would be available this week, and at a positively cut rate $899 is a strong move to build itself back up. You'll recall Ultrabooks are an Intel backed initiative to produce thin, lightweight laptops based around their CULV Sandy Bridge processors. By "Intel backed" this isn't just a name and a concept, Intel has committed $300M to help companies develop and market their variants. The power-sipping, modern processors are just one part of the concept; SSDs feature prominently in all models, as does a target price of $999, and a target battery life of 5 hours. Rapid sleep and wake times are also notable, though the speed of these seems very manufacturer dependent.
    The 13.3" S3 delivers a 1366x768 resolution on its LED backlit display, in an aluminum/magnesium chassis just a tick over half an inch thick at its thinnest point, and weighing just under 3 lbs. These are all characteristics that we'll encounter repeatedly as other Ultrabook models become available. The thin frame finds room for two USB ports along with a full size HDMI port on its back side, while audio jacks and a card reader grace its sides. The full size chiclet keyboard and large multitouch trackpad are par for the course and the system is being offered in a metallic grey with a fingerprint resistant finish. Connectivity comes in the form of 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless along with Bluetooth 4.0+HS, and a 1.3MP webcam rounds out the exterior specs.
    Inside the S3-951, you'll find the Core i5-2467 whose two cores can operate at 1.6GHz, or up to 2.3GHz on a single core, along with 4GB of RAM on the Intel UM67 chipset. Acer's Ultrabook will feature not just an SSD, 20GB in size, but also a 320GB HDD for expanded mobile storage. It's unclear whether the SSD will serve as a boot drive or exclusively to store sleep state. Note that the UM67 chipset does not support the Z68's Smart Response Technology that Anand discussed previously, but all ultrabooks sport enhanced wake from sleep times thanks to their SSD requirement and some chipset optimizations.
    In the case of the S3, we're looking at a 2 second wake from sleep time (which really doesn't seem like that big a deal--resume from hibernation is what typically requires 30+ seconds). Another highlight is the 50 day stand by time. This is where the SSD's non-volatile memory really comes in handy. When left in sleep for longer than 8 hours, or a user definable time, the S3 will enter a Deep Sleep state that allows for this absurd stand by time. It can wake from Deep Sleep in just 6 seconds. Stand by times aren't the only area where the S3 should excel, the 3-cell 3280 mAh integrated battery is said to be good for 6 hours continuous usage. We can't wait to get our hands on one to test these battery life figures (though we'll likely pass on testing that stand by number).
    All of this will be available this week for that tempting $899 MSRP, a welcome value when not that long ago thicker, heavier and less potent machines were competing in the same price range for the "thin and light" crown. This is only the start though, with many OEMs expected to announce their products in the coming days and weeks.
    Gallery: Acer Aspire S3 Available This Week for $899





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    #1025

    Anandtech: Samsung Stratosphere: LTE and QWERTY for $149 [UPDATED]

    With Palm essentially dead, and RIM undergoing a less than smooth transition, it seems at times that more companies are going after the suits and ties crowd that have been ardent devotees the the former mobile giants. And so, in the press release today announcing the Samsung Stratosphere, the first LTE device on Verizon Wireless to include a QWERTY keyboard, the bulk of the text involves the business features of the device, with just a few lines to discuss media features and a single mention of playing games. Nonbusiness types might have a few nice things to say about the Stratosphere, though.
    Sporting a 4" SuperAMOLED WVGA display, a 1 GHz Hummingbird SoC, 1.3 MP front-facing and 5 MP rear-facing cameras and running Gingerbread, the Stratosphere is basically, a Galaxy S. So, this may be last years internals, but the reportedly slim form factor, keyboard and LTE may strike a note for those itching to upgrade. There's no mention of TouchWiz, though the press stills feature its familiar home screen. Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync is present for e-mail, calendar and contacts. Cisco's AnyConnect provides corporate VPN connectivity, and Sybase Afaria provides remote device management, so work issued phones can be wiped by IT when you leave yours in a cab.
    We're curious just how thin the device might be, certainly Samsung has experience building devices that compete on thin, but thin QWERTY is hard to do. To find out, check your local Verizon store Oct. 13th, and if the upgrade bug bites you this'll ring up to $149 on contract after a mail in rebate.
    UPDATE: We got the Stratosphere's dimensions in and are including them in a comparison chart below, and at 0.55" thick, this isn't Galaxy S 2 territory, nor was it expected to be. It is however thicker than its most recent competitor on VZW, the Droid 3, whose 0.51" doesn't have to make do with the additional LTE chip. Still, it is comparable to other LTE stablemates and to other QWERTY's on the market.
    Physical Comparison
    T-Mobile MyTouch 4G Slide Motorola Droid 3 Samsung Stratosphere Samsung Droid Charge
    Height 122 mm (4.8") 123.3 mm (4.85") 126.0 mm (4.96") 129.9 mm (5.11")
    Width 66 mm (2.6") 64.1 mm (2.52") 64.5 mm (2.54") 67.5 mm (2.65")
    Depth 14 mm ( 0.55") 12.9 mm (0.51") 14.0 mm (0.55") 11.90-14.96 mm (0.47"-0.59")
    Weight 184 g (6.49 oz) 184 g (6.49 oz) 164.4 g (5.8 oz) 143 g (5.04 oz)
    CPU 1.2 GHz Dual Core Snapdragon MSM8260 1 GHz Dual Core Cortex-A9 OMAP 4430 1 GHz Hummingbird S5PC110 1 GHz Hummingbird S5PC110
    GPU Adreno 220 PowerVR SGX 540 PowerVR SGX 540 PowerVR SGX 540
    RAM 768 MB LPDDR2 512 MB LPDDR2 512 MB LPDDR2 512 MB LPDDR2
    NAND 4 GB NAND with 8 GB microSD Class 4 preinstalled 16 GB NAND, up to 32 GB microSD ?? 2 GB NAND + 32 GB microSD preinstalled
    Camera 8 MP AF/Dual LED flash, f/2.2, 1080p30 video, VGA front facing 8 MP with AF/LED Flash, 1080p30 video recording, VGA (0.3MP) front facing 5 MP with AF/LED Flash, 480p video recording, 1.3 MP front facing 8 MP with AF and LED flash, 720p30 video capture, 1.3 MP front facing
    Screen 3.7" 800 x 480 S-LCD 4.0" 960 x 540 RGBW LCD 4.0" 800 x 480 SuperAMOLED 4.3" 800 x 480 SAMOLED+
    Battery Removable 5.62 Whr Removable 5.65 Whr ??? Removable 5.92 Whr




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    #1026

    Anandtech: Netflix Abandons Qwikster, Will Continue Sending DVDs by Mail

    In a terse blog post this morning, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced that Netflix no longer planned to split its streaming and DVD-by-mail businesses into two companies with two distinct web sites, citing that such a move would make things "more difficult" for consumers.
    This ends the drama that began last month, when a much longer and occasionally apologetic blog post announced that Netflix would be splitting into two companies: the first, still dubbed Netflix, would handle the on-demand streaming, while a new company, Qwikster, would now handle the mailing of DVDs. Consumers, already smarting from recent price hikes, objected to the idea of having two entirely separate accounts, sites, and queues to manage where there had previously been one, and condemnation of the move was near-universal.
    As such, the company is staying as it is for now, and the Qwikster URL now redirects to the Netflix homepage. Hastings also claims that Netflix is now "done with price changes," though he made no mention of the Gamefly-style video games-by-mail service that was to launch with Qwikster.
    Source: Netflix



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    #1027

    Anandtech: LG's Optimus LTE: 329ppi with 4.5-inch 1280 x 720 True HD IPS Display

    Present day, high-end Android smartphones are offered in two display resolutions: 800 x 480 (WVGA) and 960 x 540 (qHD). With the upcoming release of Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), we expect the high-end Android phones to embrace even higher resolutions including 1280 x 720.
    Samsung already announced a 720p version of the Galaxy S II, and the upcoming ICS launch vehicle is widely expected to boast a 720p display as well. As a prominent LCD panel vendor as well as a player in the smartphone space, LG is hopping on the 720p Android bandwagon with the Optimus LTE.
    The Optimus LTE uses what LG is calling its True HD IPS display. The True HD IPS panel measures 4.5-inches diagonally and has a pixel density of 329 ppi courtesy of its 1280 x 720 resolution (slightly higher than Apple's Retina Display at 326 ppi). Todays release doesn't reveal any other panel specs, but we do have a few shots of it below courtesy of LG.
    Like the Galaxy S II HD LTE, the Optimus LTE is being introduced first in Korea.
    Gallery: LG's Optimus LTE: 329ppi with 4.5-inch 1280 x 720 True HD IPS Display





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    #1028

    Anandtech: Remote Desktop Beta Extension Brings Remote Access to Chrome

    Google today introduced a beta version of its Chrome Remote Desktop functionality for the Chrome browser and Chrome OS. This functionality, news of which first made the rounds several months ago during Chrome OS's debut, comes in the form of an extension now, but Google's intent is to eventually roll it into the stable builds of its browser and OS.
    Once downloaded and installed, the 19MB extension is added to the list of Apps on Chrome's default home page. After giving it permission to view your email address, you can establish a connection between any two computers running Chrome (whether Windows, OS X, Linux, or Chrome OS) and the extension by using a twelve digit number provided by the host computer.
    In my brief test connecting my Windows computer to my Mac, the software worked as intended, though input was a bit laggier than using Microsoft's Remote Desktop protocol or Apple's Screen Sharing. Google suggests that the software could be used both in a help desk capacity, where an expert would share the user's screen to provide technical assistance, or to run legacy or "fat client" apps on Chrome OS. If Google can improve the functionality's responsiveness, it may just give enterprises another reason to consider Chrome.
    Source: Chrome Web Store



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    #1029

    Anandtech: Mass Effect 3 To Include Cooperative Multiplayer Mode

    The third and final leg of Commander Shepard’s journey won’t be a lonely one. BioWare confirmed today that Mass Effect 3 will include four-player co-op gameplay via Mass Effect 3: Galaxy at War.
    According to an official forum post by BioWare’s Chris Priestly, “Players can choose from a variety of classes and races, form an elite Special Forces squad, and combine their weapons, powers and abilities to devastating effect as they fight together to liberate key territories from enemy control.” The “entirely optional” Galaxy at War system will have players teaming up to on missions to impact Shepard’s “Galactic Readiness” level, which will affect the final battle against the Reapers.
    Aware of fan anxiety that the addition of a multiplayer mode might negatively affect the core of Mass Effect 3, Priestly reiterated that a separate Montreal studio was opened to handle Galaxy at War’s development and that players will be able to reach the “the highest levels of success in the single player experience alone.”
    BioWare plans to reveal more particulars of the multiplayer and Galaxy at War as we approach Mass Effect 3’s March 2012 release.
    Source: BioWare



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    #1030

    Anandtech: Intel Focuses on Tablets, Winds Down Digital Home Group

    Intel's Digital Home Group (DHG) is responsible for the consumer electronics versions of the Atom SoC family. Last year we saw the launch of the Boxee Box and Google TV, both based on the Intel DHG's CE4100 Atom SoC. At the time Intel had grand plans for the Atom CE line, however today things have changed.
    The DHG as we knew it is no more. Intel will continue to focus on CE applications of its SoCs however it will focus exclusively on the IP set-top media processor and gateway/cable businesses. Intel's information is somewhat vague but it's my understanding that the Digital TV processor business is what's being axed, and this is the group that ultimately sold into Boxee/Google TV.
    The engineers working in the DHG have since been folded up into the newly formed tablet organization under Doug Davis. The folks working on the Atom CE parts arguably had even more mindshare penetration than those working on the smartphone/tablet Atom SoCs, so the move can only be a good one as the two groups will be able to combine expertise and experience.
    This move could also be a sign of things to come. Intel sees synergy between the tablet and the TV. Perhaps Intel sees the future of Boxee Box/Google TV offerings as being driven by a tablet rather than a stationary set-top box? It seems odd at first glance for sure, since there's obviously a benefit to having something permanent outside of your TV. But if you've already got a cable box, maybe a tablet is a better way to extend its functionality rather than adding another box to the stack.



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