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News of the day

  • 750 GB and 1 TB 2.5'' drives from Toshiba
  • Nvidia announces the 197.13 WHQL drivers
  • Tests: Panasonic TZ10, Samsung 46C7700 3D /DVersus
  • GTX 480 & 470 availability
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     750 GB and 1 TB 2.5'' drives from Toshiba
      Posted on 26/03/2010 at 13:07 by Benoit
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    Standard hard drives continue to up their capacities to give ever more affordable pricing per gigabyte. 2.5" drives are also following this trend and Toshiba have today announced 750 GB and 1 TB 2.5" 5400 rpm drives.

    The MK7559GSXP offers a capacity of 750GB with two platters in a 9mm high case. This standard format means it will fit in most laptops on the market. The MKxx59GSM drives have three platters and capacities of up to 1 TB. This series uses a 12 mm casing however, reducing the number of compatible laptops.

    These drives should be available in the course of the month of April, for OEMs.



     Nvidia announces the 197.13 WHQL drivers
      Posted on 26/03/2010 at 12:43 by Benoit
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    We’ve been talking about this recently, NVIDIA had removed its 196.75 drivers following a problem with management of the cooling system of cards. Following this, a beta driver was made available, the 197.13.

    Nvidia has now made the 197.13 WHQL drivers available. They are identical to the 197.13 betas, but are certified. No other innovations, except this certification, which is nevertheless indispensable for some.

    The 197.13 WHQL drivers can be downloaded here. Note also that for Starcraft II fans, the 197.25 betas are the drivers you should use.



     Tests: Panasonic TZ10, Samsung 46C7700 3D /DVersus
      Posted on 26/03/2010 at 11:59 by Vincent
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    I know lots of you have been eagerly awaiting this moment, so drumroll please … the Samsung UE46C7700 will today be the first active 3D TV to enter our product survey.

    It features edge LED backlighting and 200 Hz Motion Plus technology for smooth-flowing pictures, not to mention 2D-to-3D conversion. It’s also got plenty of multimedia functions with DLNA compatibility, the Internet@TV content service, PVR-Ready functionality and an integrated multimedia player. It’s worth bearing in mind that our UE46C7700 is one of Samsung’s pre-issue models, although the picture quality is not likely to change much between this and the final version.

    To help us get the best out of the TV’s 3D functionality, Samsung lent us their BD-C6900 3D Blu-ray player and the 3D version of the film Monsters vs. Aliens. So were we impressed? Find out in our product test.

    > Product Test: Samsung UE46C7700 3D Television




    Samsung's increasingly large range of touchscreen handsets has another new member: the Monte (also known as the S5620, or the Player Star 2).

    Showing off the updated version 2.5 of the TouchWiz interface, running on the in-house OS and offering 3G+, WiFi and a 3.2 Megapixel camera, it seems to be targeting anybody who wants a connected phone in their pocket that's 'ready to go'.

    But what's it like? Let's take a look …

    > Mobile Test: Samsung Monte




    In spite of stiff competition from the latest generation of huge-screened, feature-rich GPS units, there’s still a market for more compact models. The Navigon 2410 is one such small-sized sat-nav that’s easy to carry around. Its pedestrian mode is certainly worth taking a look at too. Could it be the perfect pocket PND?

    With its stylish design, Navigon’s 2410 is not much bigger than a mobile phone. It has a comprehensive range of route guidance features and it’ll do pretty much everything you need to help you reach your destination on time, whether on foot or in the car.

    > GPS Test: Navigon 2410




    A revision of the WDTV for you today. Some good ideas but do the changes make it the perfect product for those looking to set themselves up at the lower end of the price range?

    What a surprise when we discovered, by accident we have to admit, the existence of a new revision of the WD multimedia centre, the Western Digital WD TV. Known as the "WD TV rev2" let’s see what innovations it brings.

    > Media centre test: the WD TV rev2




    Sennheiser began spring cleaning its extensive range of headphones a few months ago, which is why these two headphones, which have such similar names, are actually very different …

    The HD 201s are designed for use at home, plugged into your computer, TV or stereo.

    The HD 202s, on the other hand, are descendants of the HD 212 Pros, and are aimed at professional DJs.

    > Headphone Tests: Sennheisers for the home or on the decks




    From HP's Photosmart family of touchscreen multifunction inkjet printers, I've been testing the Photosmart and Photosmart Plus, two clones of the Photosmart Wireless, which we tested back in January.

    The Photosmart has a small display, only part of which is touch-sensitive, and doesn't come with WiFi.

    The Photosmart Plus has a larger touchsreen, which is much more attractive and user-friendly. Inside, though, it's just like the Wireless, so we're expecting to get the same quality of printing, speeds and running costs, especially as both printers use the same cartridges.


    > HP Printers: Photosmart and Photosmart Plus




    We'll admit it: we didn't make that much of a song and dance about it earlier, but along with the Panasonic TZ10 and Sony HX5V, we've also been testing their challenger form Nikon, the S8000. We weren't sure if we were going to get all three tests ready on time, so we decided to tell you more about the first two, as the third, without either a wide-angle lens or GPS, is a little different. But we're finished, and so here are the first three superzoom compacts of 2010 …

    > New Superzoom Compacts: Panasonic TZ10, Sony HX5V, Nikon S8000




    Cameras are often said to be similar in structure to the human eye, as both systems use a lens and light-sensitive components to ‘see’ the surrounding environment. So why, then, do digital cameras take photos that sometimes look completely different to what our eyes see?

    How can two perceptions of the same scene be so different? Why can’t technology just mimic what our eye does? Read on and I’ll do my best to explain.

    > Why doesn’t my camera capture a scene exactly how I see it?




    If the Logitech Performance MX and Razer Abyssus mice have got one thing in common, it's that they're anything but modest!

    Logitech's mouse comes right at the top of its range, and is supposed to unite the manufacturer's know-how, ergonomic research and quality materials. But can it beat our all-time favourite, the G500?

    Razer's mouse might cost a little less, but it's no less ambitious. Announcing a 'back to basics' approach, and getting rid of all of the unnecessary extras, will the Abyssus have the essential ingredients of a great mouse?

    > Mouse Tests: Logitech Performance MX and Razer Abyssus




    Two new monitors are on their way to our product survey today. Some of our readers have high hopes for one of them, whereas the other has a handy PowerSensor to help save electricity.

    The HP LP2475w is a 24-inch monitor with a 6 ms IPS panel, a height-adjustable stand mounted on a rotating base, plus a portrait mode. The list of connections is pretty impressive too, with HDMI and DisplayPort sockets to name but two.

    The Philips 225P1 may only have DVI and VGA entries but it has another trick up its sleeve: a presence sensor that can help cut down your electricity bill and boost your monitor’s lifespan.

    > LCD Monitor Test: HP LP2475w and Philips 225P1




    Media centres are constantly evolving, offering web connectivity, new services and more ways of creating video jukeboxes. But what does the future hold, and what do the main players have planned for the months ahead? Our series of interviews hopes to answer these questions, and more besides.

    To start with, we talked to the management of Syabas, the parent company of media centre manufacturer PopcornHour, which successfully drove the market forward at a time when growth was relatively static by developing incredibly flexible products. For them, a media centre isn't a product that's fixed in time: it evolves, adding new features not just via firmware updates, but also with tools developed by users themselves.

    The topics we covered include the new Flash-based interface, controlling your media centre with a mobile, the competition from HTPCs and what benefits web services can offer.

    > Interview: Syabas and PopcornHour: media centres, mobiles and markets




    At a time when when everyone’s talking tablets, HP and Asus haven’t yet had their last say in terms of mobile devices and are still offering very interesting products: an ultra-portable touch screen that converts into a tablet from HP (the tm2) and a slim nicely designed netbook from Asus (1201NL).

    With the HP Pavilion TouchSmart tm2, you can see that HP is no novice when it comes to ultra-portable touchscreen laptops. You can convert it into a tablet just by rotating the screen and this machine has plenty of advantages in terms of battery life and performance.

    After the Eee PC 1201N which surprised us nicely, Asus has decided to bring out a lite (and cheaper) version of its ION model. The Asus Eee PC 1201NL retains the same design and has an Atom and ION based configuration in Windows XP.

    > Laptop Test: HP Pavilion TouchSmart tm2 and Asus Eee PC 1201NL




    Today we're looking at the much disputed territory of mobile machines that is also much coveted by electronics component manufacturers.

    The two US giants, Intel and Qualcomm, are jostling for position, certainly not holding back when it comes to areas dominated by the other. Their common objective? To make the most of the lucrative opportunities offered by convergent products and gain a presence under the hoods of smartphones, notebooks, smartbooks, tablets, netbooks and other MIDs.

    > Intel, Qualcomm: the mobile market under assault




    LCD or plasma? The debate still rages on, so to decide once and for all, what could be better than a fight between two heavyweights: the LCD Sony W5500 and the Panasonic G15 plasma.

    On the left, we have the Sony W5500, an LCD TV, backlit with fluorescent tubes, powered by the popular XrossMediaBar interface and one of most popular TV tests we published last year. Opposite it, the Panasonic G15. Because it uses a plasma screen, this TV should be able to offer great contrast and wide viewing angles.

    Let battle commence!

    > TV Duel: Sony W5500 LCD vs Panasonic G15 Plasma




    As sat nav systems become more affordable and more readily available, the number of functions they offer also seems to be growing. In fact, even entry-level models now come equipped with a huge range of features. To stand out from the ever-growing crowd and find new ways to appeal to drivers, manufacturers are pushing the standards higher and higher. So will Navigon’s 8410 top-of-the-range GPS meet the needs of the most demanding drivers?

    A brushed steel finish, 5-inch capacitive glass screen, 3D views and voice recognition are just some of the features on offer in the Navigon 8410. With the exception of connected services, which are only available on LIVE models, this high-end sat nav is packed with functions and has pretty much everything you could ask for.

    > GPS Test: Navigon 8410




    The Canon Pixma MP270 is the definition of an entry-level multifunction printer. Apart from a few details, it provides the same printing speeds and quality as the manufacturer's professional models, which, if the Pixma MP640 is anything to go by, can cost up to four times as much.

    Canon is offering a basic set of services (printing, scanning and copying), without any extra options that would probably go unused on a product like this.

    Unlike more advanced printers, the MP270 uses a single cartridge for colour printing, with cyan, magenta and yellow all in the same cartridge, rather than available separately.

    > Printer Test: Canon Pixma MP270



     GTX 480 & 470 availability
      Posted on 26/03/2010 at 11:44 by Marc
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    While the official announcement of the GeForce GTX 470 and 480 is expected tonight, they won’t be available straight away. Initially, the cards were supposed to become available around April 6 but it looks as if they’ll actually come online a week to ten days later. Confirmation of our suspicions with respect to Inno3D and its "ready for delivery" cards (sic).


    In terms of quantities, we now know that the cards will be available only in their hundreds at first. This is of course very likely to have an impact on the sales price which will no doubt be quite a bit higher than the retail price recommended by NVIDIA. This situation will last as long as availability is restricted.


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