30 May 2009

NVIDIA Unveils Two New Notebook GPUs

When it comes to graphics solutions, notebook users aren't really blessed with much of a choice. Most of the time, we're only get to choose from either a watered down desktop variant or (*gasp*) an integrated graphics solution.

Let's face it. That sucks.

Hopefully though, all that will change thanks to the release of two spanking new notebook GPUs from NVIDIA. Named the GeForce GTX 280M and the GeForce GTS 160M, this duo promisses to push the gaming experience on your notebook to the next level.

NVIDIA claim the GeForce GTX 280M to be up to 50% more powerful than what's on the market now, and by utilizing NVIDIA's SLI technology, two GeForce GTX 280M chips can be paired up on a single notebook.

No word on the pricing or availability yet, but then again, these are notebook GPUs and are rarely available for puchase on their own. However, it seems that ASUS and MSI are already showcasing notebooks that feature these new GPUs at CeBit, so it's just a matter of time.

(Source: NVIDIA)

World’s thinnest laptop, Adamo from Dell

Dell just recently unveiled the world's thinnest laptop, the Adamo series which Dell's calls the pinnacle of craftsmanship, design and feature.

The Adamo features a chassis milled from a single piece of aluminum with precision detailing and a scalloped backlit keyboard and a high definition edge-to-edge glass 13.4" LCD display. 128GB solid state hard drive, draft-N WiFi and Bluetooth™ are standard while integrated mobile broadband support is optionally available.

Powered by Intel Core 2 Duo running on DDR3 memory, the Adamo is capable to last up to almost 5 hours of usage on a single charge running on Microsoft Vista Home Premium.

Available in Onyx and Pearl colors, the Adamo also comes with a broad range of complementary accessories including external hard drives, external optical drives, USB drives and a unique line of bags from TUMI but only in the US.

Certainly with this being a premium item and Dell's flagship no less, it comes with a premium price too, starting from RM7399.

Canon releases the HD Rebel T1i

Canon has just launched its first entry level DSLR: the Rebel T1i. The T1i has 15.1 megapixel and utilizes the DIGIC 4 chip which provides the same sort of image setting adjustment as the high end 5D Mark II.

The T1i is a HD video recorder too, capable of recording resolutions of 720p at 30 fps or 1080p at 20fps, far surpassing Nikon's D90. It is also able to record up to 4GB or 12 mins of 1080p video in MPEG-4 format.

Normal light sensitivity range are from ISO 100 to ISO 3,200 but with the special dark scene mode, it could go from ISO 6,400 to ISO 12,800, matching its much expensive siblings. A "creative full auto" mode allows amateurs to adjust aperture, exposure or shutter speed with ease. All shown via the huge 3" LCD display which also supports live view and face detection.

Expect the T1i to hit stores in May with the bod-only priced at USD800 (~RM2900). The kit which includes a 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 image stabilizing lens will also be available for USD900 (~RM3300).

To accompany the T1i, Canon has also launched the Speedlite 270EX as a replacement for the 220EX. When coupled with the T1i, it merges with the camera's interface so it could be controlled directly from the camera itself. The price for the 270EX has not been announced yet though.

Nikon D5000 Announced

Nikon Inc. today introduced the new D5000, a DSLR camera aimed at photo enthusiasts and those new to DSLR photography. Leveraging on Nikon's expertise and technologies found in its pro-level DSLRs, the 12.3-megapixel D5000 enables users to capture not only high resolution images, but HD video as well.

The D5000 features a 11-point auto focus system with Scene Recognition System with Face Detection and a versatile 2.7" Vari-angle LCD monitor with Live View, an important tool for capturing those difficult angle shots. It also activates Subject Tracking autofocus which automatically locks onto a moving subject, even if it leaves the frame and returns. Also featured are Face Pririoty AF, Wide Area AF and Normal Area AF.

The D5000's D-Movie Mode allows users to record HD movie clips (1280 x 720) at a cinematic 24 frames per second with sound and are recorded onto an inserted SD or SDHC memory card and saved as Motion JPEG AVI files for easy editing with widely available video editing software.

The 12.3-megapixel CMOS sensor is coupled with Nikon's exclusive EXPEED™ image processing system which is capable of delivering clear and low noise photos from the normal ISO range of ISO 200 to 3200, and the expanded range of Lo 1 setting of ISO 100 or a Hi 1 setting of ISO 6400.

The D5000 will be available late April or early May with an estimated price of around RM3100 for the kit which includes the AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens while the standalone body retails at around RM2700 (Prices are rough estimates after conversion from USD).

Brush Up Your Photography Skills At The EOS Academy

Here's a piece of good news for all you folk that have recently jumped onto the DSLR bandwagon, and have yet to master the wonders of your new camera. The EOS Academy will be conducting photography workshops which have been specifically tailored to teach you the basics of digital photography, as well as various techniques on how to use your EOS digital cameras to their maximum potential!

Divided into two seperate workshops, you can choose from either the Basic Workshop or the Essential Workshop, based on your current photography knowledge.

The Basic Workshop has been designed with EOS 1000D and EOS 450D owners in mind, and this 2 hour course aims to highlight each of these DSLR's unique functions and how you can fully utilise them creatively. Course fee for the Basic Workshop is RM50 per pax.

As for the Essential Workshop, this course has been tailored for beginners with little or no previous experiences with DSLRs. This 1 day course teaches the basic operations of the EOS DSLRs and is suitable all EOS owners. Course fee for the Essential Workshop is RM220 per pax and includes lunch.

More information on the courses can be found on the EOS Virtual Community website here: http://tinyurl.com/djgo8t

Pacemaker, the 60GB pocket DJ solution from Tonium

Designed to fit snugly in medium to large sized palms, the Pacemaker features 60GB of storage, two "turntables" and a mixer all in one small package. You'll also get access to two audio channels - one for output, the other for cueing - a one-touch beatmatching button, a full set of audio effects, as well as a crossfader.

Retail for this baby is a rather steep US$499.99, and since it's not officially available here it will probably cost more to get it from a reseller but that's not going to stop us (me) from wanting one bad. More information on the Pacemaker can be found on the official website at: http://www.pacemaker.net/

BlackBerry opens FaceBook channel

Over the recent years, Facebook has helped many small businesses grow on the Internet. These days however, it's not just the indie set ups that are on Facebook, as more and more "official pages" are springing up from mainstream consumer brands.

The latest brand to follow this suit is BlackBerry - or more specifically BlackBerry Asia.

Their new fan page on Facebook which was only recently launched already has over 19,000 "fans" to date, and features first-hand updates on BlackBerry activities in the region such as photos from all the recent launches around Asia Pacific, information on all the BlackBerry devices that are currently in the market, as well as an open discussion board for like minded individuals to share tips, tricks and their grievances with the each other. There are also various other freebies on the page such as links to free applications, games and wallpapers.

Check out the BlackBerry Asia Fan Page on Facebook for yourself at: http://www.facebook.com/BlackBerryAsia

P1 WiMAX rolls out new WiFi enabled modem

Remember that new "desktop series modem" from P1 I was larking about during my trip to JB for the WiMAX Conference not too long ago? Well, it looks like the modem has finally managed to find it's way out of the engineering labs and will be unleashing WiMAX, WiFi and voice (over-WiMAX) functionality to homes very soon.

Called the DV230, this next-gen desktop unit was developed with the help of previously collected customer input and integrates WiFi router functionality to deliver truly wireless, hassle-free Internet connectivity to multiple users from one device with just one connection.

“The DV230 WiMAX modem is designed based on customers’ feedback. These customers have enjoyed the high-performance wireless benefits of P1 W1MAX and want an easy-to-setup device to share the speed and performance of P1 W1MAX without the associated costs of purchasing additional equipments. The DV230 delivers this and makes next-generation wireless broadband access affordable. As a customer-centric telco, we will continuously improve our product and service offerings to always deliver what our customers want and fulfill the P1 brand promise of providing broadband for all,” -- Michael Lai, Chief Executive Officer, P1.

The DV230 is also future ready with next-generation voice capabilities. The device is equipped with a port that allows normal phones to be plugged straight into the modem. This will offer the option of future product and service upgrades to P1’s subscribers without incurring much additional costs.

The DV230 is available with 12- and 24-months subscription plans. As an added bonus, the DV230 is provided free with two years warranty for the device when customers subscribe to selected 24-months P1 W1MAX plans. Users of the current DS300 modem (a.k.a. the alarm clock) can upgrade to the DV230 by purchasing a unit from the P1 Paddock at RM499.

PenDrive's Wireless SoundBox

A USB transmitter is all that is needed to be plugged into the PC and the Wireless Soundbox will be able to reproduce any sound being played, placed anywhere up to a respectable 25 meters. Its digital transmission also means it is noise free within that range.

A single transmitter is able to support up to 20 of these speakers and it even has support for 8 independent channels.

Of cause with all things wireless, the Wireless Soundbox is battery powered by 4 rechargable batteries, which should last for about 10 hours of operation.

You could also use it with your iPod as it also comes with a line-in jack and soft touch keys for the volume control, which could also be controlled using the PC.

Look out for it at retail outlets sometime in June this year at a SRP of RM249.