Back in December, the the USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced that a next-generation of USB connectors was under development. The new standard, dubbed “USB Type-C,” introduces a new design, a smaller overall footprint, and usability enhancements such as a symmetrical, reversible connector that doesn’t require users to worry about orientation when plugging in (much like with Apple’s Lightning connector.) It will also allow manufacturers to create thinner and sleeker product designs and scale for future USB performance standards with a transfer speed up to 10Gbps. Today we get our first look at what the cable and connectors will actually look like with a rendering courtesy of Foxconn (via TheVerge). Read more
Following the official announcement of Samsung’s 8-inch Galaxy Note smartphone and tablet hybrid, Asus today made things official for its own 7-inch tablet with built-in 3G calling capabilities. We’re not exactly sure if consumers are asking for a 7-inch or larger device for making calls, but the addition of an HSPA+ radio is on top of otherwise decent specs compared to its competitors. Dubbed the FonePad, Asus said the device includes a 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2420 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 1,280-by-800 HD display, and a PowerVR SGX540 GPU. The Fonepad also packs a 4,270mAh battery that Asus said should bring around 9 hours of battery life.
As for availability, Asus said the Fonepad would arrive to customers in the U.K. sometime in late Q2 of this year with prices starting at £179 (inc VAT) for the 16GB variant.
The company also announced another phone/tablet hybrid today, the next-generation PadFone. Asus has released previous generations of the device including a smartphone and tablet dock that allows users to quickly switch from the tablet form factor to a smartphone. It announced it is upgrading the smartphone portion to a 5-inch, 1080p display, while the 10.1-inch tablet gets a new 1,920-by-1,200 display and upgraded internals (via Engadget):
Analogix, the company behind the SlimPort accessory that allows the Nexus 4 to output HD audio and video via its micro-USB port, today announced the next device to include support for the technology: the LG Optimus G Pro. We noticed SlimPort in the specs when LG just recently announced the quad-core, 5.5-inch, 1080p smartphone, but today Analogix confirmed in a press release it would indeed be a SlimPort-enabled device. The SlimPort technology, demoed by Analogix in the video above, allows users to output 1080p video and audio to any HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA or DVI-enabled TVs, projectors and monitors via its SlimPort accessories. We had a chance to try the technology on a Nexus 4 at CES this year and were very impressed with demos of graphic intensive 3D games running smoothly on the big screen while simultaneously charging the device.
“With SlimPort, LG is able to deliver unprecedented functionality at a lower cost, because of its streamlined design and standard USB connector,” said Dr. Ramchan Woo, division leader/smart phone platform division of LG Mobile Communications Company. “SlimPort unleashes content from the Optimus G Pro smartphone, making it a snap to share and enjoy videos, games, photos and more on any screen.”
The full press release from Analogix is below: Read more
We posted a leaked spec sheet late last month that showed off what appeared to be an upcoming 14-inch Chromebook from HP. HP has officially announced the new Chromebook today. While it might have a 14-inch display two inches wider than any other Chromebook, it also happens to be more expensive than Samsung’s latest offering at $329. That’s significantly more than Samsung’s latest $249 model.
HP offered up full specs on the device that is available to order through the company’s website now. Not only is the HP Pavilion 14-c01us Chromebook more expensive, it’s also heavier than Samsung’s offering at 4lbs compared to 2.5lbs. Battery life is unfortunately the same story with an approximate 4.25 hours quoted compared to the 6.5 hours Samsung’s Chromebook offers. If you can get past that, the new HP device packs in a 14-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit (1,366-by-768-pixel), 1.1GHz Intel Celeron 847 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB SATA SSD, HDMI, USB 2.0, as well as an Ethernet port.
The Samsung Chromebook has been the top-selling laptop on Amazon since it launched; Acer reported that Chromebooks make up 5-10% of US shipments; and in the first two months of 2013 Google announced two new devices from two new partners, Lenovo and HP. In the Enterprise, Google just announced 2,000 schools have deployed Chromebooks and businesses like Kaplan, Dillard’s and Quality Distribution are using Chrome devices as well.
HP’s hoping consumers will opt for the larger display, keyboard, and additional ports for the extra $80, but we’re not too excited about the battery life.
There have been rumors that Samsung has a new lineup of Galaxy tablets in the works, possibly set to make an appearance next month at Mobile World Congress. Today, SamMobile claimed to have confirmed details of the upcoming Galaxy tabs, citing a “Korean insider,” and provided new information for the Galaxy Tab 3 lineup codenamed “Santos”.
According to the report, Samsung has both 7-inch and 10.1-inch variants of the new lineup in Wi-Fi and 3G configurations. The tablets will also include 5-megapixel cameras, but we don’t get any other details in terms of hardware specs on the four Santos models including GT-P3200, GT-P3210, GT-P5200, and GT-P5210. The report said the tablets are expected to launch in early 2013 in 16GB and 32GB variants.
There was also mention of a Samsung GT-P8200 tablet codenamed “ROMA.” The report didn’t provide many details, but AndroidCentral pointed out the product number isn’t too far off the “GT-P8110″ of the Nexus 10.
SamMobile also provided exact specs for the Samsung GT-N5100 Galaxy Note 8.0 it first posted about last week. The full specs for that device, expected to pop up during MWC next month, are below: Read more
Samsung has unveiled a new version of the Series 3 Chromebox this afternoon, a Mac mini-like device offering quick-and-easy access to Chrome OS. We plan to get a closer look at CES 2013 next week, but for now we know the new version of the Chromebox is pretty much the same hardware as the 2012 version, just featuring a new coat of plastic. It features a 1.9 GHz Intel Celeron B840 processor, Intel HD graphics, 4GB of RAM, 16GB SSD, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, 2W mono speaker, 6 USB 2.0 ports, a DVI port, headset jack, and 2 Display Ports. The 2013 model is now available in the UK for 279 GBP ($453.50), with no word on a US release. However for those who cannot wait, Amazon offers the 2012 model for $315. We’ll have more soon, but in the mean time you can find a photo of the back arrangement after the break. It moves away from the Mac mini look, eh? [Samsung via Liliputing]