It’s been just over a month since Google unveiled its gorgeous and affordable $249 Samsung Chromebook only to surprise us days later with an even cheaper system, the $199 Acer C7 Chromebook. At first glance, these two laptops are very similar, both in purpose (cloud-based computing on a budget) and in specs (11.6-inch display, dual-core CPU, 2GB of RAM), but there are significant differences under the hood. Samsung’s offering achieves its svelte form factor, 6.5-hour battery life and attractive price via a fully integrated and fanless ARM-based design while Acer takes a more conservative approach — cramming standard off-the-shelf components like a 2.5-inch hard drive, small-outline memory module, mini-PCIe WiFi card, and Intel Celeron processor into a traditional netbook-like chassis. Does being $50 cheaper make up for the C7′s lack of sex appeal and short 4-hour battery life? What other compromises in performance and build quality (if any) were made to achieve this lower cost? Most importantly, which budget Chromebook is right for you? Find out after the break.
Gallery: Acer C7 Chromebook review
Looks like we can kiss goodbye to any lingering politeness in the rivalry between these two UK chip houses, because the smaller one has just embarked on a cheeky expansion. Having been known mainly for its PowerVR graphics processors, not least in many Apple products, Imagination Tech could potentially push into the CPU arena too, through its $60 million acquisition of MIPS Technologies. Just Like ARM, MIPS designs low-power RISC processors for consumer electronics, but it has generally focused on smaller chips for devices like routers and TVs rather than smartphones and tablets. In addition to a portfolio of 82 exclusive patents, a squad of 160 MIPS engineers will now be transplanted to Imagination, where they’ll no doubt be debriefed and reassigned to conquering the world. Meanwhile, in some sort of flanking move, ARM has paid a far higher sum of $170 million to gain access to a number of other MIPS patents.
Imagination Technologies snaps up CPU designer MIPS in an attempt to wrestle ARM originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 06 Nov 2012 06:41:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
According to Bloomberg Apple is considering a move away from Intel chips for its cherished Mac line. The move would be the third major CPU shift for the brand which has previously relied on Motorola 68000 and Power PC chips. The move away from Intel could also mean a move away from x86 as Apple has been heavily invested in its own ARM-based chip designs in recent years. Bloomberg’s sources suggest that Cupertino is actively working on a version of its tweaked ARM architecture that would run inside Mac PC, in particular its laptop products could stand to benefit from its battery sipping design.
The change will not happen immediately. In fact, the sources said such a move was years away, potentially not happening till 2017. But, as the gulf between “mobile” and “desktop” products begins to shrink and the boundaries blend, it would only seem to make sense that Apple would look to leverage its high-profile purchase of P.A. Semi to good use and inch ever closer to being a completely self-reliant corporate entity. We don’t think it’s any secret that Apple would, if it could, design and manufacture every component itself.
Filed under: Apple
Apple may ditch Intel chips in Macs, says Bloomberg originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 05 Nov 2012 16:09:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Google’s Nexus 10 tablet has arrived, designed to serve as Android’s flagship answer to the iPad and Surface. But is the thing worth its weight in salt? We compared the Nexus 10 to the other top new tablets to find out.
On the guts front, the Samsung-manufactured Nexus 10 is more or less in line with the other big name tablets, matching or exceeding the specs of the competition in most categories. Under the hood is a 1.7 GHz dual-core Exynos CPU with 2 Gigs of RAM and a 10.1-inch screen delivering a 298 ppi in a 2500×1600 resolution package.
While the CPU isn’t the quad-core Tegra 3 that the Surface has, it is the most pixel dense screen we’ve seen to date. However, if it is based around the Pentile subpixel technology that has caused issues with previous Android displays, some may have gripes with the display.
The Nexus 10 isn’t the lightest or thinnest tablet, measuring in at 0.35 inches thick and 1.33 pounds. But it does have a massive 9000 mAh battery which gives it the ability to play HD video for 9 consecutive hours. Basically, it will last a long time.
Then there’s storage. Starting out at 16 gigabytes, and maxing out at 32GB, the Nexus 10 offers the least storage of all the competition, though one can argue that with so much being cloud based, 64 gigabytes is a luxury more than anything else.
Of course, specs mean nothing if the OS software doesn’t take proper advantage of it, but given the fact that Google is directly involved with this device, and the consistent excellence of the Exynos processors, the Nexus 10 certainly looks promising. [Nexus 10]
Intel may have recently spilled its Q3 guts for 2012, but we highly doubt that the chip maker planned on outing its forthcoming projects for next year. An alleged internal slide makes the claim that the silicon giant plans to introduce a 10-core Xeon E5-2600 V2 Ivy Bridge-EP CPU in the third quarter of 2013. Compatible with Socket R LGA 2011 motherboards, this brute will max out at 20 threads through HyperThreading. Packing 30MB of L3 cache, this unannounced Ivy Bridge supports up to 1866MHz of DDR3 system RAM. If these specifications have whet your appetite, the Xeon E5-2600 V2 is only the tip of the iceberg — Chipzilla is said to also have a 12-core processor in the pipeline as well.
Intel roadmap reveals 10-core Xeon E5-2600 V2 Ivy Bridge CPU originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 17 Oct 2012 21:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
As the initial wave of iPhone 5 reviews hit, it looked as if Apple’s dual-core A6 processor was sporting a clock speed of around 1GHz. We saw reports (and confirmed with our own handset) ranging between 1.00 and 1.02GHz, but a new Geekbench build (v2.3.6) has today revealed a horse of a different color. According to Primate Labs’ own John Poole, the latest version of the app — which landed on the App Store today — “features a dramatically improved processor frequency detection algorithm, which consistently reports the A6′s frequency as 1.3GHz.” In speaking with us, he affirmed that “earlier versions of Geekbench had trouble determining the A6′s frequency, which lead to people claiming the A6′s frequency as 1.0GHz as it was the most common value Geekbench reported.”
When we asked if he felt that the A6 was capable of dynamically overclocking itself for more demanding tasks, he added: “I don’t believe the A6 has any form of processor boost. In our testing, we found the 1.3GHz was constant regardless of whether one core or both cores were busy.” Our own in-house iPhone 5 is regularly displaying 1.29GHz, while a tipster’s screenshot (hosted after the break) clearly display 1.30GHz. Oh, and if anyone wants to dip their iPhone 5 in a vat of liquid nitrogen while trying to push things well over the 2GHz level, we certainly wouldn’t try to dissuade your efforts.
Apple’s A6 CPU actually clocked at around 1.3GHz, per new Geekbench report originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 26 Sep 2012 19:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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