Tag Archive | "dual core"

Intel Dual-Core Clover Trail for Phones, Tablets (And Win 8) Due Today

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Very quickly before we go to the next meeting I want to relay some reliable information I’ve had this morning about Intel’s next generation phone and tablet platform.

Clover Trail (and CloverTrail +) is likely to be launched today.

The platform is Dual Core (that’s likely to be 2×1.6Ghz for Win 8 and Android Tablets) and there will be a version for smartphones.

Z2580 is the name of the platform.

More later today.

Huawei MediaPad 7" Honeycomb Tablet Hands-on

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I managed to get a Huawei Mediapad for a few weeks to trial. I only managed to get a few hours in with the device today and snap off a couple of low res pictures from my phone but I’ll follow up with an in-depth overview and some high quality photos in a few days. In the meantime if you have any tests you want me to run on the Huawei MediaPad leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do.

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Before I give you a few quick thoughts, you can find full specs at the Huawei MediaPad tracking page in our mobile device database.

I compared it to an iPad 2 and like the Galaxy Tab found it to be roughly half the size of the Apple unit. The unit is pocketable, just, but cargo pant-pocketable none the less.

The screen is great — sharp, bright, and very responsive. The device itself is nicely built and feels solid in the hand. The Huawei MediaPad is heavier than the Galaxy Tab but it feels like the same form factor so if you are happy with the size and feel of the Galaxy Tab you’ll likely be happy with the MediaPad too.

I don’t have a lot of apps installed yet and not a lot of media on it to slow it down but I was pleasantly surprised by how fast it is. Everything is snappy and very responsive. Apps open fast, media plays almost instantly and overall the processor doesn’t seem to struggle with anything.

If the pricing comes in at the right level, I think this device will sell very well.


Chippy is also looking forward to the Huawei MediaPad, and is actually considering trading up his much-used and loved Galaxy Tab for it. Though the tab has treated him well for over a year, Chippy says that he’s overdue for the benefits of Honeycomb in a 7″ form-factor. The upcoming dual-core Galaxy Tab Plus is likely to be a potent competitor to the Huawei MediaPad, especially when it comes to availability.

Quanta Snapdragon-powered Honeycomb Tablet Turns Up at Computex [video]

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Tweaktown shared a video of a new Honeycomb tablet that stands out form the crowd because it’s running a Qualcomm snapdragon processor. It’s made by Quanta, one of the world’s biggest contract PC manufacturers. It’s only a prototype but the first look video shows it has some good capability.

It uses the MSM860 processor which is dual-core and a competitor to the Tegra 2 which all major Honeycomb tablets have used so far. Qualcomm has no intention of selling the device but is looking for a manufacturer to bring it to market. The tablet looks to be nicely put together and the Company has a good pedigree of creating quality stuff given that they manufacture the iPod Touch and iPhone for Apple.

Here’s hoping they find someone to release it with:

HTC Unveil New Flagship Handset, The Sensation

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Its not difficult to understand how HTC posted $33.8b market capitalisation figures for the last quarter. HTC’s early Android adaption has propelled the company from a small Taiwanese manufacturer to a global player, overshadowing both Nokia and RIM with the market cap figures.

HTC-Sensation-2HTC’s popularity is ever increasing with both tech savvy and those new to the smartphone world, a theme they will hope to follow with the announcement of their newest flagship handset, the Sensation [product database].

Powering this new “multimedia superhero” is a 1.2Ghz dual core Qualcomm MSM8260 Snapdragon with a powerful Adreno 220 GPU, 768MB of RAM and 1GB of user accessible storage which can be expanded with the use of a microSD card. The multi touch 4.3inch S-LCD screen runs at a qHD (540×960) resolution, offering up HTC’s newest version of Sense (3.0) and Android 2.3, Gingerbread.

This new version of Sense includes customisable lock screen widgets displaying quick information on items like stocks and weather and also allows you to unlock the device by dragging an application icon into a circle, taking you straight to said application. Also on board is HTC’s Watch service, allowing downloadable movie rentals or purchases but on this occasion, unlike the Flyer, access to OnLive’s game streaming service is notably missing.

Europe is expected to see the HTC Sensation around May, with Vodafone getting a month of exclusivity in the UK. It will be released in the US as the Sensation 4G on the T-Mobile network sometime this summer.

You can track the HTC Sensation in our product database and see the press shots in the gallery.

Multi-core superphones could Benefit From Honeycomb.

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I don’t know if you’ve seen the pdfs yet but the whitepapers published by Nvidia last week are worth spending an hour going through if you’re interested in ultra mobile and low power computing.

The two pdfs focus on the benefits of high performance graphics and multiple cores in mobile computing. While I’m yet to be convinced that I need 1080p decoding and gaming graphics on my mobile computer, I do see that improved user interfaces and acceleration of some elements of the web page and web application process is beneficial. After reading the reports I’ve also come away with positive thoughts about multicore computing as a way to save battery life. The theory is simple – high clockrates need higher voltages and more power in exponentially rising amounts and so running two cores at a lower clock to complete the same task can result in power savings.

In podcast 63 at Meetmobility, Al Sutton of Funky Android, an Android consulting company, highlighted why he thought Honeycomb would appear on phones. His theory is based on the fact that Honeycomb is the first version of Android to be built with multicore platforms in mind and the supephones will therefore benefit. The Dalvik environment that applications run in is multicore-aware and will attempt to use multiple cores to speed up (and lower the power cost) of jobs that run in it. That feature alone could help every application running on Android without any programming changes in the application. With smartphones heading in the multicore direction, Honeycomb brings advantages and unless there’s a new multicore aware version in the 2.x branch, Honeycomb could be the way to go for multicore smartphones.

So why don’t silicon experts Intel use multiple cores in their Moorestown platform? The platform runs up to 1.8Ghz I understand so wouldn’t it be better to run 2 cores at, say, 1Ghz? Cost of silicon, size and complexity are probably in the equation and there’s probably a marketing advantage in using a higher clockrate but you would think that if this theory of more cores x lower clock=less power is true, Intel would be doing it too considering how badly they want to get into smartphones. Perhaps it is because much of the software out there isn’t truly multi-threading enabled and the advantages are limited. Where a program runs on multiple cores at a lower clockrate but only utilises one it means that the operation takes longer to run and the system can’t get into an idle state as quickly and the power used is way higher. Just leaving a wifi and screen on for a small extra time will negate any potential advantage.

It’s complex stuff but my feeling right now is that multiple cores are going to bring advantages. We’ll see, in time, if the Honeycomb-for-superphones theory is correct and we’ll see if Intel goes that route for Moorestown and Medfield too.

Samsung N350 First Impressions (Post Live Review)

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Although the technology behind our live review on Friday evening wasn’t too stable, I’m happy to report that the N350 is. Apologies to all those that experienced the dropouts. With a free video streaming service I guess there’s not much we can complain about but we’ll do our best to improve it next time.

We’re testing the Samsung N350 because it’s one of, if not the lightest netbook on the market. Not only that but it’s a dual-core Atom netbook using the N550 processor at 1.5Ghz. For those who already have a netbook and are looking to upgrade without having to increase the weight, the N350 has to be at the top of the list. Not only is is running the N550 CPU but there’s easy access to the DDR3 RAM for an upgrade and a standard 2.5” SATA drive that can be replaced with an SSD if you want to improve ruggedness. (Disk upgrade will void the warranty though.) Unfortunately there’s no 3G in this version but there’s a covered SIM card slot and space on the motherboard so clearly there are plans to release a 3G-capable model. The only thing you have to think carefully about is the battery life. More about that below.

The matt  screen and good build quality – I’m typing stress-free and almost silently on my train journey to Duesseldorf this morning – add to the quality package and it looks like Samsung have once again done a great job. You’ll pay 20-50 Euro more for the N350 than for other, similar netbooks but for mobile use, it’s worth it.

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When Intel introduced the Dual-Core Atom this year they demonstrated high quality video playback. Sure, the performance is better but don’t get too excited about very high-end video. For one, you’ve only got a 1024×600 screen with VGA out. Secondly, that all-important benchmark of 720p YouTube is hit-and-miss. In our tests we didn’t see smooth playback at all. Offline videos do work well though with 720p at high bitrates possible. We saw a 4mbps DivX playing with just 25% CPU load, an H.264 at 2mbps playing at 40% load and a 7.5Mbps WMV at 40% load. All this is happening through the CPU and not through dedicated video hardware.

In our CrystalMark test we saw an impressive 36000 which the highest we’ve ever tested on a stock netbook. The CPU score and memory speed was impressive. An SSD could push that score up a lot higher though as we’re only seeing average disk performance. In practice the disk seems quite  good though with a boot taking just 40 seconds. We got from cold boot to Wifi-On in just 55 seconds. Return from standby is quick too with Wii available in 10s. There’s a ‘quick boot’ option which we worked our way through but despite the 10 minute set-up, it did’t bring any huge improvements in cold boot. Maybe we need to look further into that because it sounds like a good idea, at least.

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Easy access to RAM upgrade.

Battery life could be an issue on the N350. With 80% of the battery left we’re seeing an impressive 5hrs left but that’s the good side of the story. The range of battery drain on the N350 ranges from an impressive 3W, (again, the best we’ve ever seen on a netbook) up to well over 10W. 12W is probably the limit but with Wifi connected, screen level to 50% (brighter than most people will require) and a few Flash-enabled browser tabs open while you do some web work, you’ll see an average 10W drain. It’s no worse than any other netbook but it will drain the battery in about 3.5hrs. Fortunately the device idles down well. We’re typing away happily at 25% screen brightness, Wifi and BT off in power saving mode and 5hrs seems possible. For those just wanting to do some word processing, it’s a good result from a 33Wh battery.

So what is the Dual-core CPU bringing? We mentioned the better video performance above but one of the main things we’ve noticed is the smothness of the Win 7 experience. We’ve experienced a certain amount of lag in previous Windows 7 netbooks that we’ve tested but this build seems to match the requirements of Windows 7 very well. OK, were only running Windows 7 Starter edition here but that doesn’t deter from the fact that the N350 is a product that works smoothly. The other advantage we’ve noticed is the speed and smoothness of browsing. We’re using Firefox 3.6 with Flash enabled and there’s a definite improvement over previous generation and single core Pinetrail netbooks. Although we haven’t tested it, we suspect a 2GB RAM upgrade and an SSD would turn this into quite the performer for both speed and multitasking although don’t expect to render those videos in much less time than on a normal netbook.  As a reference point, we’re seeing about 20% improvement in the SunSpider result under Chrome. 1300ms isn’t too bad and that 20% figure is what you should expect as a general improvement over-all. Dual-core doesn’t directly translate to 2x performance!

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The N350 is delivering a smooth, quality and highly mobile netbook experience and one we’re very happy with. The battery life is definitely something to think about and most mobile workers are going to want to invest in at least a second three-cell battery.  Those wanting a high-end Flash video experience will want to evaluate requirements tightly too. At 1060gm and with RAM and SSD upgrade possibilities, the N350 is one to take a closer look at if you’re wanting a highly mobile full computing experience.

We’re using the N350 at the MeeGo Conference in Dublin this week so check back for more long-term thoughts soon. This review written on-the-go using the N350, the  Nokia N82 for photography and a Samsung Galaxy Tab as a 3G access point.

Samsung N350. The 1000gm Netbook arrives soon for Live Session.

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Heads up! If you’re interested in a mobile netbook with a touch more oomph! than your average Atom N450 based device you’ll want to tune in here over the next few days because the Samsung N350 dual-core Atom netbook is on its way.
The N350 is one I’ve had my eye on as a possible upgrade to my trusty Gigabyte Touchnote so it will be coming with me to Dublin and the Meego conference next week where it will get a good workout. Before that though, we need to do a live review with it and JKK and I are planning to get busy with it at 2100 CET (Berlin) on Friday. As always with the Friday sessions, bring a bottle of your favorite tipple!
I’ll  update here or on twitter @chippy with any changes to the plan.

Update: Session is over. I’ll be writing up the results of the testing for Sunday14th – Summary: It’s a high quality netbook but we only got 3.5hrs (estimated based on 2hrs of tests) of battery life. A six-cell battery is available for a rather shocking 130 Euros. The total weight with the 6-cell would be about 1200gm.

First Pics: Dell – Dual-Core Win7 Tablet – Inspiron DUO

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Just shown at IDF. This is going to be available later this year.

The frame spins round to reveal a keyboard. We’ll tray and get more pics soon.

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The device is codenamed Sparta but will be called the Inspiron Duo.

Raon Everun Note. Should they make an 8.9" version?

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130+ comments seems to indicate a serious amount of interest in the Raon Digital Everun Note that we’ve been talking about over the last few days. There are concerns about the battery life and the credibility of the CrystalMark tests and slight disappointment that it doesn’t have a swivel screen but on the whole, people seem to be very interested. I’m guessing a lot of orders for the SC3 just went on hold until independent info becomes available and its probably because of the thought that there might be a ultra mobile PC on the horizon that satisfies even the most demanding of road warriors. (more after the pic…)

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