Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Apple Updates iMac Line

CUPERTINO, California—July 27, 2010—Apple® today updated its all-in-one iMac® line, widely praised as the world's best desktop computers, with the latest Intel Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 processors and powerful new graphics. Starting at $1,199, the new iMac line is the fastest ever with dual-core processor speeds up to 3.6 GHz, quad-core speeds up to 2.93 GHz and discrete graphics including the powerful ATI Radeon HD 5750. The new Magic Trackpad, with a smooth glass and aluminum design, gives iMac users the same intuitive Multi-Touch™ gestures that Mac® notebook customers have come to love and is available separately for $69. 

“We took the world’s best all-in-one and made it even better,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “With the latest processors, high-performance graphics and signature aluminum and glass design, customers are going to love the latest iMac.”
Dual-core Intel Core i3 and Core i5, and quad-core Core i5 and Core i7 processors set a new benchmark for iMac performance. The processors feature an integrated memory controller to access the system memory directly, allowing the new iMac to take full advantage of its faster 1333 MHz memory. New discrete ATI Radeon HD processors deliver incredibly smooth, crisp graphics for the most demanding 3D games, creative software and technical applications. iMac displays feature IPS technology to deliver a brilliant image across a wide 178 degree viewing angle. The SD card slot on the iMac now supports the SDXC format to handle the latest high-capacity storage cards. Customers of the 27-inch iMac have the option to order a 256GB solid state drive (SSD) as a primary or secondary drive. The iMac SSD supports up to 215 MB/s data transfer rates for faster startup and application launch times.

Every iMac comes with Apple’s innovative Magic Mouse and customers can also order the new Magic Trackpad as an option. The Magic Trackpad brings the intuitive Multi-Touch gestures of Mac notebook trackpads to the desktop. With its glass surface, the wireless Magic Trackpad enables users to scroll smoothly up and down a page with inertial scrolling, pinch to zoom in and out, rotate an image with their fingertips and swipe three fingers to flip through a collection of web pages or photos. The Magic Trackpad can be configured to support single button or two button commands and supports tap-to-click as well as a physical click. 
Continuing Apple’s commitment to the environment, Apple’s desktop lineup is a leader in green design. The iMac meets stringent Energy Star 5.0 requirements and achieves EPEAT Gold status.* iMac features LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. iMac uses PVC-free components and cables, contains no brominated flame retardants, uses highly recyclable materials and features material-efficient system and packaging designs. A new Apple Battery Charger provides a convenient and environmentally friendly way to always have a fresh set of batteries for your Magic Trackpad, Magic Mouse and Wireless Keyboard. The Apple Battery Charger is available for $29 and comes with six long shelf life rechargeable batteries.

Every Mac also comes with Mac OS® X Snow Leopard®, the world’s most advanced operating system, and iLife®, Apple’s innovative suite of applications for managing photos, making movies and creating and learning to play music. Snow Leopard builds on a decade of OS X innovation and success with hundreds of refinements, core technologies and out of the box support for Microsoft Exchange. iLife features iPhoto®, with breakthrough ways to organize and manage your photos by who appears in them and where they were taken; iMovie® with powerful easy-to-use features such as Precision Editor, video stabilization and advanced drag and drop; and GarageBand® which offers a whole new way to help you learn to play piano and guitar.

Pricing & Availability
The new iMac line is shipping now and available through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. 
The new 21.5-inch 3.06 GHz Intel Core i3 iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,199 (US), includes:
  • 21.5-inch 1920 x 1080 LED-backlit display;
  • 3.06 GHz Intel Core i3 processor with 4MB shared L3 cache;
  • 4GB 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable to 16GB;
  • ATI Radeon HD 4670 discrete graphics with 256MB GDDR3 SDRAM;
  • 500GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
  • slot-load 8x SuperDrive® with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
  • Mini DisplayPort for audio and video output (adapters sold separately);
  • AirPort Extreme® 802.11n wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • iSight® video camera;
  • Gigabit Ethernet;
  • four USB 2.0 ports;
  • one SDXC SD card slot;
  • one FireWire® 800 port;
  • built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
  • Wireless Apple Keyboard, Magic Mouse.
Configure-to-order options include up to 8GB of RAM.
The new 21.5-inch 3.2 GHz Intel Core i3 iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US), includes:
  • 21.5-inch 1920 x 1080 LED-backlit display;
  • 3.20 GHz Intel Core i3 processor with 4MB shared L3 cache;
  • 4GB 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable to 16GB;
  • ATI Radeon HD 5670 discrete graphics with 512MB GDDR3;
  • 1TB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
  • slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
  • Mini DisplayPort for audio and video output (adapters sold separately);
  • AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • iSight video camera;
  • Gigabit Ethernet;
  • four USB 2.0 ports;
  • one FireWire 800 port;
  • one SDXC SD card slot;
  • built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
  • Wireless Apple Keyboard, Magic Mouse.
Configure-to-order options include a faster 3.6 GHz Core i5 processor, 2TB hard drive and up to 8GB of RAM.
The new 27-inch 3.2 GHz Intel Core i3 iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,699 (US), includes:
  • 27-inch 2560 x 1440 LED-backlit display;
  • 3.20 GHz Intel Core i3 processor with 4MB shared L3 cache;
  • 4GB 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable to 16GB;
  • ATI Radeon HD 5670 discrete graphics with 512MB GDDR3;
  • 1TB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
  • slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
  • Mini DisplayPort for audio and video input and output (adapters sold separately);
  • AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • iSight video camera;
  • Gigabit Ethernet;
  • four USB 2.0 ports;
  • one FireWire 800 port;
  • one SDXC SD card slot;
  • built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
  • Wireless Apple Keyboard, Magic Mouse.
Configure-to-order options include a 3.6 GHz Core i5 processor, 2TB hard drive, 256GB solid state drive (SSD) and up to 16GB of RAM.
The new 27-inch 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US), includes:
  • 27-inch 2560 x 1440 LED-backlit display;
  • 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 processor with 8MB shared L3 cache;
  • 4GB 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable to 16GB;
  • ATI Radeon HD 5750 discrete graphics with 1GB GDDR5;
  • 1TB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
  • slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
  • Mini DisplayPort for audio and video input and output (adapters sold separately);
  • AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • iSight video camera;
  • Gigabit Ethernet;
  • four USB 2.0 ports;
  • one FireWire 800 port;
  • one SDXC SD card slot;
  • built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
  • Wireless Apple Keyboard, Magic Mouse.
Configure-to-order options include a 2.93 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 processor, a 2TB hard drive, 256GB solid state drive (SSD) and up to 16GB of RAM.
Additional accessories include: Magic Trackpad, Apple Battery Charger, wired Apple Mouse, wired Apple Keyboard, wired Apple Keyboard with numeric keypad, Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter, Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (for 30-inch DVI display), Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter, Apple Remote, the AppleCare® Protection Plan; and pre-installed copies of iWork®, Logic® Express 9, Final Cut® Express 4 and Aperture® 3.

*EPEAT is an independent organization that helps customers compare the environmental performance of notebooks and desktops. Products meeting all of the 23 required criteria and at least 75 percent of the optional criteria are recognized as EPEAT Gold products. The EPEAT program was conceived by the US EPA and is based on IEEE 1680 standard for Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products. For more information visit www.epeat.net.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple is reinventing the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

Panasonic's 3D Lens

Panasonic's 3D Lens Makes Third Dimension Dabbling PainlessWe've seen Panasonic's 3D camcorder, but the company is also releasing a standalone lens that will allow otherwise stock still cameras to shoot 3D.
It's a lens of Micro Four Thirds proportions, built specifically for the LUMIX G line of cameras...though the nature of the Micro Four Thirds standard means that this lens may very well work on similar cameras from Olympus as-is, and even brands like Samsung with proper adapters. Impressively, it manages to shoot 3D content even onto a single CMOS chip without retrofitting the internals of the camera. That's good news in that, even if you don't like 3D, at least the industry knows better than to require a whole new camera to have it.

We have no price, and in terms of a date, all we know is that it's coming by the year's end. And sadly, rumors of each lens coming with a personal-sized bucket of blue body paint are still unconfirmed.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Panasonic's new Lumix lineup: LX5, FZ40, FZ100, FX700, and TS10 all official

Monday, July 19, 2010

Japan's Sharp to release biggest-capacity disc


Japan's Sharp to release biggest-capacity disc
TOKYO (AFP) - – Japanese electronics maker Sharp said Friday it will release a recordable Blu-ray disc this month that can store as much as four seasons of a television drama series.
The world's first triple-layer disc has a capacity of 100 gigabytes, twice as much as the dual-layer discs now on the market, Sharp said.

The write-once disc will be available in Japan from July 30, with the price expected to be about 5,000 yen (60 dollars) each. Sharp will also sell recording machines compatible with the format.

The format allows users to record about 12 hours of terrestrial digital television broadcasts, or 8.6 hours of satellite digital broadcasts, at their original high-definition image quality, the company said.
If the image quality is lowered, recording time can be boosted by up to 10 times to make it possible to store a library of four entire seasons of a TV drama series on a single disc.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

N-Strike Stampede Blaster

So This Is What Nerf Guns Are Like 
Now, Huh? 

After discovering video games, I didn't really keep up with my old friend Nerf. But last night I got to shoot (and get shot by) the Stampede, a new, fully automatic Nerf rifle with a tripod and replaceable magazines. What!?

Just like robots and movie violence and Halloween costumes, Nerf guns are getting more realistic with each passing year. The N-Strike Stampede Blaster, the first fully automatic dart clip Nerf weapon, is the most realistic to date. Maybe not realistic in the sense that it looks just like some real gun that any military uses, but real in the sense that it looks like the yellow version of something that could fire bullets and fatally wound someone.

The Stampede has a detachable shield to protect you from enemy darts, an extendable tripod for prone Nerfage, and a general badass look that will make you feel like you're a Halo soldier whose gun happens to be canary yellow.

The upside of it being a toy and not a real crazy ass rifle is that it comes with a toy price tag: the Stampede will retail for $50 when it's available September 9.
So This Is What Nerf Guns Are Like 
Now, Huh?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

LCD panel technology primer

June 30th, 2010 in .Blogs .How to Guides .Tech


If you’ve stepped into an electronics superstore with the intention of buying an LCD monitor recently, you’ve probably been assailed by hundreds of stickers filled to the edges with specifications. The usual suspects are screen size, native resolution, contrast ratio, aspect ratio, refresh rate, viewing angle and response time. While these figures alone should provide you with ample information to make a considered purchase decision, having an awareness of the major technologies employed in the manufacture of these flat panel displays will enable you to zero in on one that best suits your needs — and to sift out the real gems among the chaff.
Here’s a quick look at the most prevalent technologies.


Twisted Nematic (TN)

Commonly used in low to middle range LCD monitors, TN panels are characterised by extremely quick response times and wallet-friendly price tags. The fast response times — as low as 2ms — enable them to display fast-paced sequences with no ghosting (blurred images) and digital noise, making monitors based on TN technology attractive to gamers with a penchant for first person shooters (FPS games).
As their low cost suggests, however, TN panels are predictably the poorest performers in terms of colour reproduction and contrast ratios. Photography aficionados who engage in serious digital imaging will likely be irked by their inability to display accurate blacks as well as the full spectrum of 16.7 million colours. TN panels also offer the narrowest viewing angle out of all the LCD panel technologies, which means that users who aren’t positioned right at the centre of the screen will experience compromised visuals (images may appear washed out, for example). Another common complaint about TN panels is the fact that dead pixels show up as bright spots, making them very noticeable to the naked eye.


In-Plane Switching (IPS)

The choice of graphic design professionals, IPS panels deliver sharper images, accurate colours (the full complement of 16.7 million colours) and the widest viewing angles among the LCD panel technologies available today. With IPS panels, graphic artists can be assured of better colour fidelity and consistency regardless of the viewing angle. An added boon is that, unlike TN panels, dead pixels on IPS panels are black, making them a lot less distracting.
On the downside, IPS panels suffer from lengthened response times, usually ranging between 6ms and 16ms. If you’re a fervent FPS gamer, you should avoid any IPS monitor with a response time in excess of 8ms, as there is a good likelihood of ghosting occurring during game play. IPS panels are also substantially costlier than TN equivalents, but models priced for mainstream consumers can still be found with some determined searching.


Vertical Alignment (VA)

Designed to deliver improved visual quality over TN panels while offering better affordability than IPS panels, VA technology straddles the gap between TN and IPS from a capabilities standpoint — leaning more toward the latter. VA panels produce the most accurate blacks among all LCD panel types due to their higher contrast ratios, and decisively trump TN panels — but not IPS panels — in the viewing angle and colour reproduction departments.

A major drawback of VA panels, however, is their slow response times — typically poorer than both TN and IPS. This makes them generally unsuitable for fast paced gaming. They are also susceptible to colour shifting — the discernible change in colour and brightness that occurs when the user changes his or her viewing angle — but less so than TN panels. Advances in VA technology have alleviated this issue to a fair extent, but it might still pose enough of a problem for graphic design professionals.
Despite these flaws, users who work primarily with documents and who don’t require fast response times will appreciate VA panel-based monitors for their ability to deliver IPS-like performance at a more attractive price.

There you have it. I hope that the basics above will enable you to navigate the vast and all-too-confusing world of LCD monitors with greater precision and confidence.