Gigabyte Unveils EL-20-3700-32GB IoT Gateway Solution

Internet of Things, or IoT for short, is the next big thing in the digital revolution. To say it as simple as possible, IoT basically connects devices with each other and the internet in order to provide the data where it’s needed. We see a lot of new hardware being released in this sector and while some are completely new and independent, others bridge the gap between old-school legacy devices and the new IoT devices.

Gigabyte’s new EL-20-3700-32GB Intel Bear Ridge IoT Gateway Solution is just such a device as it will allow companies to connect sense, filters, process, analyzing and actuation while securing and managing machines and data. It supports onboarding, monitoring, diagnostics, and remote control of devices that otherwise would be unconnected.

It is built with an Intel Pentium N3700 Processor that is based on the Airmont microarchitecture and it’s Intel’s leading tri-gate 14nm process. The System on a Chip quad-core processor is designed to be very power effective and can drive both computing and graphics performance with a maximum power envelope of just 6W.

Besides the N3700 CPU, the EL-20-3700-32GB offers 32GB eMMC flash memory and two SO-DIMM DDR3 slots for up to 8GB 1600MHz memory. It sports two Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports powered by a Realtek RTL8111HS controller and four USB 3.0 ports. The two HDMI ports can handle resolutions up to 4K and the unit also features surround sound via a Realtek ALC255 controller.

Other options include one Full-size Mini-PCIe slot for 3G module or mSATA storage and one Half-size Mini-PCIe slot for the pre-installed WiFi+BT module. Speaking of which, the module is an Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 3160 which supports IEEE 802.11b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0.

Further, you’ll find an SDXC card slot and three user-configurable LEDs, and a micro-USB connector with OTG support. The full unit will be unveiled and presented at the Embedded World in Nuremberg in a couple of weeks.

Feature Highlights

  • Intel Pentium processor N3700
  • 2 x SO-DIMM DDR3L slots
  • 2 x GbE LAN ports (Realtek RTL8111HS)
  • 32GB onboard eMMC memory
  • 1 x mSATA slot
  • 1 x SDCX card slot
  • 1 x SIM card slot

Should you want to build the unit into a more enclosed space and not have it as a standalone unit, then Gigabyte also offers the motherboard on its own and the IoT board can be found under the product name MZBSWFP.

The Gigabyte EL-20-3700-32GB will be available at AVnet after it has been officially launched at Embedded World.

New Augmented Reality App Lets You See Radio Waves

In the modern era, radio waves are everywhere, from crisscrossing Wi-Fi signals, cellular signals, GPS, Bluetooth and many others. Yet we often aren’t aware of them, with human perception limited only to the visible light spectrum of electromagnetic waves. However the new augmented reality app, Architecture of Radio, seeks to give us a glimpse into the invisible world of data around us. When you point a device running the app in a direction or move it around, it creates a view of spherical waves emanating from radio wave sources, overlapping and crossing over each other, like waves in the sea.

The app works by compiling data about radio wave sources from public databases, including 7 million cell towers, 19 million Wi-Fi routers and a number of satellites. Access to this data allows the app to provide the user with a display of the signals in their area. Unfortunately, this relegates the app to more of an artistic curiosity than a truly useful application, as the app does not gather data in real-time from nearby devices, meaning that potential uses of such an application, such as testing ranges on wireless hardware are nonexistent. However, the app is still technically impressive, as collating and visualizing the volume of data stored in its source databases is no simple feat.

The app is to be featured as a piece at the ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe in Germany, by its designer Richard Vijgen. However for those who want a little bit of invisible art for themselves, the app can be downloaded now on iOS, with a version for Android in the works.

Image credit to Architecture of Radio

TP-Link Announces VR900 AC1900 WiFi VDSL2 Modem Router

TP-Link were recently in the news as the company behind Google’s fancy new OnHub router, but they’re also working on their own products. The latest which just has been released is the AC1900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit VDSL2 Modem Router, the Archer VR900. The Archer VR900 offers a versatility of connection options, making it suitable no matter which type internet connection you have. At the same time, the VR900 offers great speeds with its AC1900 wireless signal as well as great coverage thanks to beam-forming technologies and three external antennas.

For maximum flexibility, the DSL and WAN input on the TP-Link VR900 support VDSL, ADSL, fiber, and cable connections. You can even use it for with your 3G and 4G dongles when connected to the built-in USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports.

The Archer VR900 utilizes the latest 802.11ac wireless standard to deliver data at speeds of up to 1900Mbps. Simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi provides excellent stability and eliminates wireless interference by transmitting and receiving on both 2.4GHz band and 5Ghz bands. You’ll get up to 600Mbps via the 2.4Gbps band and up to 1300Gbps via the 5GHz band. The modem router also has four Gigabit Ethernet ports for the best possible and wired connection.

The Archer VR900 is built around a 1GHz processor that should deliver enough power even for data-intensive tasks. No need to worry about speed caps because you’re using a lot of connections at once. Connect all of your network-dependent devices and let the VR900 balance the load to avoid bottlenecks at the processor level.

Nelson Qiao, assistant general manager at TP-LINK UK Ltd, says, “As the foundation of your home network, choosing the right router is an important decision, complicated by the various connection types. The VR900 takes the guesswork out of getting the right type of router so customers get the latest wireless features for high performance networks now and in the future, even if they change ISP.”

TP-Link VR900 Key Features and Specifications

  • AC1900 Simultaneous Dual-Band Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz 600Mbps + 5 GHz 1300Mbps)
  • Beamforming Technology
  • 3 High-Performance Antennas
  • 1GHz Internal Processor
  • 1 USB 3.0 Port and 1 USB 2.0 Port
  • 4 Gigabit LAN Ports
  • Web Interface for Easy Setup

UK Boasts Fastest Average 3G and 4G Speeds in the World

A new report has revealed that the UK has the fastest average 3G and 4G mobile internet speeds in the world, with figures over twice as big as the second ranked country. Akamai, producers of the quarterly State of the Internet report, has complied figures that show UK citizens to enjoy average mobile internet speeds of 20.4Mbps, which is a 27% increase on the previous quarter’s figures, and more than double that of second-place Denmark, which has an average speed of 10Mbps.

At the top of the table, the UK has bested such nations as Sweden (8.9Mbps), Russia (7.5Mbps), and the US (a meagre 4Mbps). The lowest-ranked country is Vietnam, with an average speed of 1.3Mbps.

In terms of peak speed, though, the UK was decimated by Australia, where the natives enjoy glorious speeds of up to 149.3Mbps, compared to the UK respectable 90.0Mbps.

“We saw generally positive results across all of the key metrics during the first quarter of 2015,” David Belson, Senior Director of Industry & Data Intelligence at Akamai and editor of the report, said. “The increase in global broadband speeds demonstrates an ongoing commitment to higher standards.”

“While connectivity will continue to differ across many regions, we see the highest broadband speeds in countries/regions with high population densities and strong government backing or support, as well as those that foster competition among internet providers,” he added.

Thank you The Inquirer for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of The Independent.

EE Unveil Action Camera with Built-In 4G

At a small event this morning in London, the UK’s largest mobile service provider EE unveiled the next stage of their “Connected Vison” plan. The 4GEE action camera.

It is essentially a GoPro camera, but has built-in 3g and 4g connectivity so you can stream your crazy videos direct from your device. You will be able to add it to your monthly plan for £10 per month and will be available from Jue 16th. So what are the specs?

  • 13-megapixel sensor
  • Can record at 1080p @ 30 FPS, 720p @ 60 FPS, 480p @ 120 FPS,
  • Still image capture resolution :(4288×3216).
  • Live streaming is limited to 720p @ 30 FPS.
  • F/2.8 lens
  • 4GB internal memory
  • SD Card Slot
  • 2260mAh internal battery

Streaming of the video will be done via EE’s own video streaming platform, Skeegle. This then uses permission from Facebook to decide who can view your streams. It will ship with several accessories. Once of which will be a Viewfinder Watch (for setting up your shot), an underwater enclosure that’s good at depths up to 60 meters and also an adapter to allow you to mount it on GoPro tripods and other accessories.

All this 4g streaming talk makes me wonder about data usage and caps. One hour of streaming will use around 1GB of data, EE charge roughly £30 for 5GB of data per month. You could buy the camera outright (£400) and then you get 2gb of data per month, for the year. You’ll also be able to get the camera on contract, with a £50 one off charge, then £15 per month after for 2GB of data allowance. Pretty tight eh?!

Thank you to ArsTechnia for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of ArsTechnica

Globalgig and D-Link Team up to Bring 4G Router into Your Home

Globalgig and D-Link have released a new router based on 4G technology to give you the ability to have multiple devices connected wherever you might be. The D-Link DWR-922 comes with the standard cable, NDN and ADSL ports to connect to the internet traditionally, but it also features a SIM slot for a 4G mobile data SIM should you wish to run it off 4G entirely.

It is said that D-Link will be selling the router along with a Globalgig 4G SIM and $30 starting credit through its website. While Globalgig offers fast 4G internet through its Optus’ 4G network in Australia, it also has some great deals through its flat-rate 3G mobile broadband net access in 84 countries. Tariffs for roaming stretch from $20 for 250m and up to $70 for 5GB.

Staying connected in today’s era is something everybody is trying to achieve, and with the D-Link DWR-922, users won’t have to rely on a hotel or other venue for internet when travelling abroad. D-Link is selling the router bundled with a Globalgig SIM and $30 starter credit for 5GB of 4G in Australia and 1GB abroad for $249.95.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information

Mobile Power Consumption – Attention Turns to Network Connections

In today’s fierce market, manufacturers have designed ever more power efficient processors and displays; this has resulted in attention being turned to another of the most power-hungry components, the modem.

“The modem is, without a doubt, one of the most crucial parts of the smartphone in today’s connected society. With 4G LTE, users consume orders-of-magnitude more data than with 3G. Increased consumption, paired with the advent of cloud technologies, requires that smartphones always be connected to the network—always sending data back and forth. As a result, the modem and RF frontend have become pivotal components of the smartphone in enabling connectivity and doing so without impacting battery life.”

Coinciding with becoming more efficient, modems also strive to become more powerful, something that typically doesn’t go hand in hand without innovative leaps in technology, similar to new nano-processes in processors.

Moor Insights & Society have published a research paper delving in-depth into throughput, power consumption and antenna tuner capability offerings from Samsung and Qualcomm; this research paper can be found here.

Thanks to Moor Insights & Society for sharing this information with us

700MHz TV Spectrum to Be Used for Mobile Data in UK

Ofcom has announced that the 700MHz part of the digital TV spectrum is to be cleared for mobile data use. By 2022.

The new initiative means some digital TV signals will be moved to a new band, while mobile data will take over 700MHz, giving much more bandwidth to networks who are finding more and more people are using more and more mobile data.

The advent of 4G means mobile data is now a much more viable way to get your internet connection, whether that be via a mobile device or even for a PC. However, mobile data is incredibly constrained, with only limited amounts of bandwidth and not yet complete enough coverage.

This all means higher prices, and mobile data is easily the most expensive way to get an internet connection, with all its usage caps included.

This new plan, which should be ready by 2022, “will bring considerable benefits to citizens and consumers” according to Ofcom, hopefully making it easier and cheaper to get access to mobile data and its increased speeds.

Source: Gizmodo

Samsung Rolls Out its Exynos ModAP SoC with Integrated LTE

South Korean smartphone manufacturer, Samsung, has just announced its latest SoC addition, the ModAP chip, which features an integrated 4G LTE radio. While the company was mostly focusing on their handsets in the past, it looks like it now wants a big piece of the SoC market as well.

The processor itself is said to boast only a Quad-Core processor on a 28 nm HKMG process architecture, compared to its Exynos 5 chips which boast Octa-Core processors. Looking at the SoC market, the only manufacturer available to produce LTE-enabled SoCs was Qualcomm, having Samsung’s flashgrips powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon chips. However, Samsung seems to want to stop depending on Qualcomm’s SoC and start making their own hardware for their handsets, with the possibility of making their SoC available to other smartphone manufacturers as well.

It is said that the Exynos ModAP SoCs have the ability to support the 4G LTE Release 9 of 3GPP and Cat 4, FDD and TDD, as well as legacy 2G and 3G mobile interface support. Although Samsung did come a long way with its SoCs, it is still behind Qualcomm and its Cat 6 LTE-enabled chips, capable of speeds up to 300 Mbps. Even so, Samsung states that thanks to the Exynos ModAP SoC, handsets will be able to boast high-resolution cameras and offer features such as video recording in high quality or playing back graphics in higher quality.

Thank you The Times of India for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Daily Tech

Data Roaming Charges To Drop 55% In EU From July 1st

As a result of the recent European Commission ruling that is due to come into effect from July 1st data roaming charges will fall across the European Union. In the European Union all network carriers will not be allowed to raise prices higher than EU maximum rates. The most significant of these decreases in charges is with data roaming, the price per MB of data will fall from €0.45 to €0.20, that’s $0.61 to $0.27 and £0.36 to £0.16. The price of making calls, receiving calls and sending text messages will all decrease as well by around a quarter.

Additionally from July 1 mobile providers can offer you a specific roaming deal before you travel and they can allow you to choose a local mobile provider for data services. The future also looks fairly bright for EU travellers as the EU Commission is currently working to eliminate roaming charges altogether, the EU may not be something everyone agrees with but I’m all for less data roaming charges when travelling!

Vice President of the European Commission, @NeelieKroesEU, responsible for the Digital Agenda said: “This huge drop in data roaming prices will make a big difference to all of us this summer. But it is not enough. Why should we have roaming charges at all in a single market? By the end of this year I hope we see the complete end of roaming charges agreed – the Parliament has done their part, now it is up to Member States to seal the deal!”

Source: Europa

Image courtesy of Europa

EE to Offer Voice Calls, Text Messaging via Wi-Fi

UK wireless carrier EE is launching a program for subscribers to make voice calls and send text messages over Wi-Fi, promising sound quality better than what’s provided by Skype.

The company has invested upwards of £275 million to try to eliminate white spots throughout the UK. Many customers living and working in parts of the UK with poor phone coverage complained about the inability to receive calls and text messages.

The Wi-Fi calling is scheduled to launch this call, EE confirmed in a press statement. In addition, here is what Fotis Karonis, EE Chief Technology Officer, said:

“Our Wi-Fi calling capability will let customers make calls where they have access to Wi-Fi but not to the mobile network. The customer experience is seamless because it’s the same as making a network call and uses the normal call interface of the handset. This is a major part of our strategy to invest in giving customers the ability to make a call wherever they are, and we’re confident that this service can make a big difference to people in homes and large offices across the country, especially in the most rural areas, that don’t have mobile coverage.”

It’s a clever offering from EE, understanding that clients living in areas with poor 2G, 3G or 4G network coverage still should have the ability to make and receive dependable phone calls.

Thank you to EE for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Bristol Bulletin

Lenovo Announces The YOGA Tablet 10 HD+ Sporting a 1920 x 1080 Pixel Display

Aside from its battery life, the Lenovo YOGA Tablet 10 has been quite a disappointment in terms of performance and expectations. Nonetheless, the company has just announced that it will try its luck one more time with the announcement of its successor, the YOGA Tablet 10 HD+.

The HD+ version has the same screen size as its predecessor, a 10-inch IPS display, however the resolution has been tweaked from half HD to full 1920 x 1080 10-point multi-touch as per the ‘HD+’ name. It features a Quad-Core 1.6GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, a 2GB DDR2 RAM, 16GB or 32GB internal storage and a microSD card slot for up to 64GB additional space.

Aside from the above, the YOGA Tablet 10 HD+ features a 1.6MP front camera and 8MP rear camera, 3G connectivity via a microSIM slot, GPS with A-GPS support, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, dual front-facing speakers, a 9000mAh battery and runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS which is said to be upgradeable to KitKat.

The YOGA Tablet 10 HD + retains the key design and technologies users find in the original YOGA Tablet 10, starting with its incredible up to 18 hours of battery life, the tablet’s signature three modes: Hold, Tilt and Stand; as well as deploy the new and improved kickstand that extends from the tablet’s battery cylinder to position it in Stand Mode.

In terms of pricing, the YOGA Tablet 10 HD+ will be available in stores this April with a price tag of $349 / £210.

Thank you Guru3D for providing us with this information

Lumia 1320 Battery Test Show It Beats Nearly All Android Competitors In Web Surfing

The Lumia smartphone has its appeal, and together with the Windows Phone 8 tiles, it really does brighten your day. And the mid-end Lumia 1320 looks to be one of the best budget phones so far. It has a great design, big screen, light-weight and fair specifications. Latest news also bring some more good news for people who spend more time outdoors than on a couch inside the house.

According to GSM Arena battery test benchmark, the smartphone has scored big on the battery side as well. The Lumia 1320 scored similar points in 3G talk time tests as the Lumia 1020, 22 hours and 13 minutes, a mere 6 minutes behind the BlackBerry Z30 and 6 hours behind the Lumia 1520. When it comes to web browsing, the Lumia 1320 scored almost 12 hours (11:58 minutes to be more precise), which is not too bad given its 6″ IPS LCD screen. It is reported to be ahead of nearly all Android competition, having the Sony Xperia C score 12 hours and 45 minutes and HTC One Max 11 hours and 20 minutes.

Now, for the more interesting part, the video playback. The Lumia 1320 has reportedly scored 9 hours and 17 minutes, beating the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3’s time of 8 hours and 34 minutes. However, the Lumia 1320 should have been expected to score similar to the Lumia 1520 or 1020, however the latter handsets scored 12 hours and 31 minutes and respectively 13 hours and 12 minutes. This indicates that the Lumia 1320 needs a little optimization in utilizing resources when playing back videos.

Overall, the score really does match the Lumia 1320’s performance, and even price. The handset is priced at $429.99 on and £366.99 on

Thank you

Chrome Update To Reduce Data Consumption Up To 50% for iOS and Android Users

Google announced an upcoming update to Chrome for iOS and Chrome for Android will feature a way for you to save on your data usage by as much as 50%. According to a survey from Pew, 20% of U.S. adults do the majority of their surfing on a mobile browser. The only problem with depending on your mobile browser is the consumption of data when you’re not connected to a Wi-Fi network. If you’re depending on a 3G/4G connection to your mobile operator to hook up to the internet, you could find your monthly data allowance spent before you know it.

However, Google has reportedly found a way to deliver data more efficiently. Once you receive the update, you can use Chrome’s data compression and bandwidth management on your iOS or Android device, and cut your data usage in half. At the same time that you’re saving precious data, you are also protecting yourself against malicious websites by using Chrome’s Safe Browsing.

After the update, users can go to the Bandwidth Management section inside the application’s Settings, and then use the Reduce Data Usage feature. Turn the toggle switch to on and your browser will start saving data. And this menu will also show you how much bandwidth you are saving each month by using Chrome.

Google has also announced that it will be adding Google Translate to Google Chrome for iOS in the next few days. That will make translating foreign websites on your Apple iPhone and Apple iPad a snap. And finally, the upcoming update for the Android version of Chrome will allow you to create shortcuts to your favorite websites right from your homescreen.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information

Experiment By High School Students Prove That Plants Don’t Grow Near Wi-Fi Routers

Wireless routers and Wi-Fi is deemed necessary by many people all around the world, but it appears that the impact on health is severe. There have been multiple studies in the past suggesting the negative impact they may have on humans but the latest research could be the most compelling yet. And it comes from a group of high school students.

Five students came to the conclusion that sleeping near their cell phones at night caused them to have problems concentrating during school the next day. Intrigued, the students asked if they could study the effects of cell phone radiation on humans but the school simply didn’t have the resources to make it happen.

Instead, the students opted to perform testing on a Wi-Fi router which is comparable to the radiation levels put out by cell phones. They placed six trays of lepidium sativum seeds, a garden cress grown commercially throughout Europe, in a room with two Wi-Fi routers. In another room, the same number of seeds were placed without routers.

Over the next 12 days, the students examined an interesting phenomenon. The seeds in the room without the routers had blossomed into healthy plans while those in the room with the routers were either dead or hadn’t grown at all.

The students received top honors in a regional science fair but more importantly, a professor of neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden was so impressed that he wants to repeat the experiment in a controlled scientific environment.

Thank you Tech Spot for providing us with this information

Qualcomm QFE1100 Envelope Tracking Chip To Improve Nexus 5 Battery Life

According to latest news, Qualcomm has revealed that the new Google Nexus 5 not only features the company’s fastest mobile processor, the Snapdragon 800 SoC, but also features a certain Qualcomm QFE1100 envelope tracking chipset, which is a front-end for OEMs to design global 4G LTE compatible devices, like the Nexus 5. This isn’t the first time that the QFE1100 is being used in a Smartphone. Samsung was first to the finish line with the Galaxy Note 3, launched nearly two months ago.

“The Nexus 5 also utilizes the Qualcomm QFE1100 feature, an important component of the upcoming Qualcomm RF360 Front End, a comprehensive, system-level solution that allows OEMs to develop a single, global 4G LTE design.”

Qualcomm states that the new chipset offers 30% lesser heat and 20% decreased power consumption. Thanks to the improvements made by the chip designer, the Nexus 5 will last longer while being used over 3G/4G networks than any other device with a similar battery capacity and internal specifications.

“The QFE1100 feature is the world’s first envelope tracking (ET) technology for 3G/4G LTE devices and offers significant performance improvements, including reduced heat by up to 30%t and decreased power consumption by up to 20%, enabling thinner form factors with longer battery life.”

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of Anandtech

Prestigio To Launch Luxury MultiPad Tablets

The Prestigio brand has just released two slate models with a luxury design, the MultiPad 4 Diamond 7.85 and MultiPad 4 Diamond 7.85 3G, measuring only 8.3 mm / 0.3 inches in thickness and come boasting an aesthetically pleasing aluminum chassis.

The MultiPads are certainly eye-catching due to their extravagant diamond cut, hence the “Diamond” name given. The MultiPad 4 Diamond 7.85 is a Wi-Fi model powered by a Rockchip chipset RK3188 CPU and has a Quad Core graphic card Mali 400MP. The device features an IPS display and has 16GB of given memory, though users can increase to 32GB via the microSD card. Prestigio also offers 5GB of free storage in-cloud and a 2.0MP rear camera is also available onboard.

The MultiPad 4 Diamond 7.85 3G bundles a MediaTek MT8389 chipset with PowerVR SGX544 graphic card. Naturally it has HSPA+ connectivity plus Bluetooth, GPS and FM radio. The slate can also be used to place phone calls and send texts. This time there’s two cameras and the same 16GB of internal storage.

Users should be able to get their hands on the new tablets in November and despite their luxury finish, they are quite affordable. The Prestigio MultiPad 4 Diamond 7.85 will be available for €169 / $228 / £142, while the 3G version will retail for €199 / $268 / £167.

Thank you Softpedia for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Softpedia

Nokia Lumia 1520 Full Specifications And Pricing Revealed

Some fresh reports from NokiaPowerUser have revealed the specifications and pricing for the upcoming Nokia Lumia 1520 handset, pictured above. The key specifications can be seen below:

  • Display: 6 inch AMOLED PureMotion HD+ display at 1920 x 1080 which is 367~ PPI
  • CPU: 2GHz MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 quad core processor
  • GPU: Adreno 330 graphics
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Operating System: Windows Phone 8
  • Internal storage: 32GB or 64GB
  • Cameras: 20.7 megapixel rear with Zeiss Optics (panorama compatible)
  • Connectivity: MicroSD and Nano-SIM
  • Network support: 4G (LTE), 3G (HSDPA) and 2G (GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 all versions)
  • Dimensions:  152 x 81 x 8.7mm
  • Weight: 176/185 grams (AT&T/Global versions)
  • Battery:  3400 mAh with inbuilt wireless charging for the global variant
  • Colours: Black, White, Yellow and Red

The handset is expected to launch on October 22nd and will be made available first on AT&T on November 2nd. On contract the device will cost $299 while SIM-free and off-contract it costs $699. Global availability is expected for December.

See more details on the Nokia Lumia 1520 here.

Image courtesy of EVLeaks

Lenovo Reveal A1000, A3000 And S6000 Budget Tablets – $164, $229 And $329

Lenovo has just announced the availability of three budget Android powered tablets – the A1000, A3000 and S6000. The main focus of the new three tablets is to offer consumers solid value for money and the pricing of $164/£109.99, $229/£149.99 and $329/£199.99 reflects that.

First is the Lenovo A1000, pictured above, this packs a MediaTek 8317 dual core 1.2GHz Cortex A9 ARM processor. The OS of choice is Android 4.2 and the display runs at a resolution of 1024 x 600 across a 7 inch LED display. 1GB of memory, 16GB of storage, b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0 and a 1 year warranty top off the rest of the specifications. The A1000 is available in black or white. You can check the Lenovo A1000 out at the Lenovo store here.

Next is the Lenovo A3000 which is similar to the A1000 but with stronger hardware. At its core is a MediaTek 8125 quad core 1.2GHz Cortex A7 processor paired with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The display is the same 7 inch size with the same 1024 x 600 resolution but uses an improved IPS panel. Bluetooth 4.0, b/g/n WiFi and a 1 year warranty finish off the specifications. The Lenovo A3000 is also available with 3G, and in black or white. You can check that out at the Lenovo store here.

Finally Lenovo released the S6000 tablet. This 10.1 inch LCD IPS tablet uses a MediaTek 8125 Quad Core processor based on an ARM Cortex A7 design and this runs at 1.2GHz. The OS is Android 4.2 and the display sports a 1280 x 800 resolution. 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and a one year warranty top off the specifications. This tablet is available in black only with 3G and non-3G versions. The Lenovo S6000 is available from the Lenovo web store.

Images courtesy of Lenovo

Second-Gen Surface Tablets Have No 4G LTE Support – WiFi Only

ZDNet reports that Microsoft’s second generation series of Surface tablets will not have 4G LTE support. In fact the second generation Surface tablets will apparently have no cellular connectivity at all – they will be WiFi only. Clearly Microsoft hasn’t learnt its lessons from the failure of the previous generation of Surface tablets. At best consumers will look to Microsoft partners like ASUS, Acer, Lenovo and so on to provide Windows 8.1/RT tablets with cellular connectivity, at worst they will simply use Android or iOS instead as cellular connectivity is a vitally important buying consideration for most consumers in the market for a tablet.

Connectivity aside, the second generation Surface RT is expected to have an Nvidia Tegra 4 at its heart with 8 hours of battery life and a ClearType 1920 x 1080 display. The second generation Surface Pro will be powered by an Intel Haswell Core i5 processor and will have a larger battery to provide around 7 hours of battery life. The second generation Surface Pro also has a full HD 1920 x 1080 display. More details on all the second generation Microsoft Surface tablets will be revealed on September 23rd at Microsoft’s official press conference.

Image courtesy of Microsoft

MSI Announce MS-9A29 Fanless PC, Features 3G-Ready SIM Card Slot

MSI always seem to be expanding their portfolio of products, having just dipped their toes into gaming keyboards recently, and today they’ve unveiled a mini fanless industrial PC for the embedded system market. The MS-9A29 is an Intel Atom based mini PC designed for industrial applications. The system features wall mounting options and is ideal for space critical applications. The MS-9A29 is bundled full of connectivity to give it a wide range of uses. It features dual Gigabit LAN, serial connectors, WiFi and 3G. In terms of storage there is mSATA, SATA and Mini-PCIe. Dual displays are provided by HDMI and VGA outs.

The bottom of the MS-9A29 features a removable cover to easily access the mainboard and swap out any RAM, connectivity modules, hard drives and other components that need maintenance. MSI claims they are pioneers in offering both 3G support and an integrated SIM card holder.

Key Features:

  • Slim and compact size that is perfect for space-critical applications
  • Ready-to-attach to LCD monitors with simply one screwdriver and optional bracket
  • Intel Atom processor with ultra low power and fanless design, a perfect cool solution for automation
  • Support DDR3 SO-DIMM memory up to 4GB
  • Dual independent displays with VGA and HDMI outputs
  • Dual Gigabit LAN for high-bandwidth communications
  • Dual Mini-PCIe for expansion (one with SIM holder), offering more application possibilities
  • Versatile options for networking: Gigabit LAN and optional WiFi/3G by Mini-PCIe
  • Removable bottom cover design for internal Mini-PCIe (WiFi/3G?), SATA, memory, and serial connection
  • Designed with 3G SIM-card holder onboard ready for 3G Mini-PCIe application
  • Support mSATA for solid state disk option, offering faster data access and reliable storage
  • Two openings on rear panel reserved for 3G/WiFi antennas
  • Can be mounted on wall or monitor (with bracket)

For more information, visit the product page.

Image courtesy of MSI

Raspberry Pi Sim Card Add-On Provides Mobile Connectivity

The Raspberry Pi has been one of the most versatile and popular little mini computers of recent times. The Raspberry Pi has spawned a whole generator of small form factor ARM System boards, many of which are actually better than the Raspberry Pi itself. That said the reputation of Raspberry Pi is so strong that people continue to develop new innovations for it, the latest is a Sim Card add-on module.

The draft KickStarter project is aiming to create the “SparqEE CELLL v1.0” add on which allows for Cellular connectivity. The goal is to develop a Cellular add-on board for the Rasperry Pi and Arduino system boards. The kit will provide a cellular module, USB power cable and all the cables needed to get going. It will allow you to connect to a mobile network providing you have a valid SIM with data access.

The project aims to raise $70,000 to get going. The price for a development kit will be $69 for the first 100 plus $10 shipping outside the USA. After those have sold the price will then become $79 plus the same $10 shipping outside the USA. Considering the Raspberry Pi is cheaper than that it could have a tough time swaying some people. Would you spend $70 to get your Raspberry Pi mobile internet connectivity?

Image courtesy of SparqEE (Kickstarter)T

71% Of European Wireless Internet Traffic Is Done Via WiFi

Despite the coverage of 3G and 4G becoming more important and discussed in Europe apparently WiFi still dominates Wireless Internet Traffic quite significantly. Of all Wireless Internet traffic 71% goes via WiFi meaning only the other 29% goes via other wireless internet alternatives like 3G, 4G, HSPA, GPRS, Edge and so on. The results from the EU Study led the European Commission’s Vice President Neelie Kroes to call for more of the wireless spectrum to be made available for WiFi.

 “WiFi is a huge success. It’s a win for everybody involved. I will make sure the European Commission helps to spread use of WiFi through extra spectrum and lighter regulation,” Kroes said. 

Furthermore she claims that we need a way to let users share WiFi networks on the go so that the internet can be accessed at home or at work by everyone.

Do you prefer WiFi, 4G, 3G or any other Wireless Internet service? Let us know your thoughts

Image courtesy of the WiFi Alliance

Computex: MSI Show W20 3M AMD Powered 11.6 Inch Windows Tablet

MSI has been showing off a very unique tablet at Computex 2013, that is an AMD “Temash” SoC powered Windows 8 tablet. The reason it is unique is it is one of the first AMD powered tablets using the brand new Temash System On Chips. The AMD A4-1200 “Temash” SoC present in this MSI W20 3M tablet runs at 1GHz on each of the two cores. The display it powers is a 1366 by 768 11.6 inch IPS panel with 10 point touch.

The device features 2GB of low profile DDR3 RAM and a 128GB mSATA SSD for storage purposes. 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 3G and optional LTE provide the wireless connectivity options. Another nifty feature MSI have implemented is finger print log in. The device is charged by USB but MSI didn’t specify battery size or expected battery life. The device measures in at less than 9.9mm thick and weighs less than 750 grams.

Pricing and availability are still TBA.

Stay tuned to eTeknix for more Computex coverage in our Computex section.

Image(s) courtesy of eTeknix at Computex

Apple Patent Wars Continue Preventing Sales In United States

The United States International Trade Commission, “…which serves the public by implementing U.S. law and contributing to the development and sound and informed U.S. trade policy.” as stated in their mission statement.

In upholding their policies the U.S. ITC has issued a limited exclusion order, cease & desist order for Apple iPhone 4 and 3GS, iPad 3G , and iPad 2 3G all of which are AT&T models. Apple violated a Samsung patent covering technology used in sending information over wireless networks. though President Barack Obama can veto this decision, or it can be blocked by an appeals court, if the ruling stands it will restrict the importation of the listed iPhones and iPads designed to work on the AT&T network.

The patent will not affect the newer Apple products including the iPhone 5 and the 4th Gen iPad.

Apple and Samsung seem to have been duking it out for quite some time now, it seems that every couple of weeks there is a new story about Samsung and Apple fighting about something. Patents are important for companies, at the same time, there are a lot of patents that have gone unused, that could be very useful to some people. Patents protect companies who spend thousands, hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in developing a technology, a patent protects a company who invents in the technology to produce a product without interference from other companies that might have stolen the tech.

There is quite a bit of information on this patent and the issues brought forth above, if you’re interested in doing more research on this topic here are a few useful links.

Google has a copy of the patent available on their system, HERE. Which explains it as “Apparatus and method for encoding/decoding transport format combination indicator in CDMA mobile communication system”

U.S. ITC has published their investigative history HERE. And their ruling can be found HERE.

Original image courtesy of

Google Study Shows Internet Is Getting Faster

We are always making huge leaps forward in technology yet is this ever actually reflected in changes for everyone or just for the technologically elitist among us? Well Google’s latest study would suggest we are all benefiting. Advances in desktop internet technologies, fiber optic and broadband, as well as in mobile internet technologies, 3G and 4G, are seeing everyone’s internet experience get faster. As the graph above shows the desktop market experienced a marginal increase in average page load time versus 2012 while the mobile market achieved a huge improvement shaving off nearly 3 seconds of the average mobile page load time of 2012.

If we have a look at some regional trends we can see Japan, Sweden, the United Kingdom, USA, Russia, Vietnam, China and Germany have some of the fastest desktop internet connections.

While in the mobile markets Japan, Sweden, Germany, USA, the United Kingdom, Canada and China all have some of the fastest mobile internet. Germany, China, Canada and the USA made some of the biggest leaps forward in mobile internet performance.

In terms of year on year performance changes in desktop internet everywhere improved with exception to some African countries (Madagascar, Gabon, Burkino Faso and Algeria), Syria, Central Asian Countries (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikstan) and East Asian countries (China and Vietnam). Africa, Asia and South America experienced some of the largest general improvements.

The story with mobile internet was also a similar one as only Ukraine, Estonia and Norway declined according to available data while everyone else improved to some extent. North America, Australasia, China, India, the Middle East and Europe made some of the most rapid improvements while South America, Africa and Asia had relatively slow progress.


Galaxy Note 8 Now Comes With $25 Google Play Credit

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 is an excellent Android tablet that will no doubt prove very popular with Android and Samsung lovers alike. The new Galaxy Note 8 tablet from Samsung was released just a few days ago. If you aren’t aware of the key specifications, then you can see those below:

  • Chipset: XMM 6262 and Exynos 4412 (1.6 GHz x 4)Bearer – HSPA + 21Mbps 850/900/1900/2100
  • Memory – 2GB (RAM), 16/32GB
  • microSD (up to 64GB)
  • OS / Upgrade – Android Jelly bean 4.1
  • Battery – 4,600mAh
  • GPS – A-GPS (3G/LTE), S-GPS(WiFi) + Glonass
  • Wireless Connectivity -WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5GHz) – WiFi Direct, AllShareCast, BT4.0, USB2.0
  • Camera / Flash – 5MP AF + 1.3MP
  • Display – 203.1 mm (8″) WXGA (1280 x 800, 189ppi) TFT
  • Dimension, Weight – 210.8 x 135.9 x 7.95 mm, 345g (3G/LTE) / 340g (WiFi)
  • UI / Web Browser -Android + Samsung / Android Browser / Chrome Browser (GMS)
  • Connectors -3.5mm Earjack, 11 pin MicroUSB

If the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 wasn’t tempting enough in itself then Samsung are offering $25 of Google Play Credit for you to grab some apps, films, games or whatever suits your needs. All you need to do is get your Samsung Galaxy Note 8 powered up and connected to Wi-Fi then visit this page and register. You need to fill in your model, serial number and MAC address then within a few minutes you should received a gift code to your email account.

What are your thoughts on Samsung offering $25 credit? Does it make the $399 price tag more acceptable?