New York To Get WiFi From Their Buses This Year

We all love the internet, from the ability to check up on your friends the other side of the world to the ability to read your favourite news sites while on the go. The problem though is that you often find yourself looking for a connection, be it from your mobile service provider or a nearby router. New Yorkers won’t have that problem later this year as they look to give you access to WiFi from their buses.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is looking to deploy the first 70 buses which will be equipped with WiFi in the second or third quarter of this year. Currently, the MTA expect the new buses to expand, with 18 buses’ coming to Manhattan, 70 in Brooklyn and 209 in the Bronx area alone.

Alongside the WiFi feature, the new buses will include LCD screens to bring you the latest information and 55 USB charging ports, for those times when your phone is about to die before a busy meeting.

While the new buses are a new feature and will replace up to 40% of the buses currently running under MTA, their old buses will also be updated with WiFi and USB ports, meaning that no matter which bus you get, eventually you’ll be able to charge your phone and finish your episode on Netflix without having to be late to your friends party.

Apple Looking at OLED Screens For 2017

Every year we are bombarded with new phones, featuring upgraded parts or new features, they come and go as quickly as the seasons. For several years, Apple has been releasing their iPhones, a series of phones that have received just a bad reputation for being just that, a series of phones that seem very similar to the last. That could change in 2017 with Apple looking at OLED screens for their next generation of iPhones.

Apple is known for their high-end machines, offering quality at a price. Many say the same about their iPhones, with quality coming at a price some consider too high to pay. With a faster processor and 3D touch technology, many were convinced that the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus were a symbol of Apple’s “repeating” business model, with little changing from phone to phone.

Switching from LCD to OLED would be a big step for Apple. OLED offer thinner, lighter and more flexible screens, which when combined with their high energy efficiency would mean that Apple’s screens would feel better, combined with their more vivid colours would present a whole new generation of viewing for the iPhone.

While the rumours that Apple could introduce OLED screens in 2017, many are sceptical about this time line and think that you may have to wait till 2019 before you see an iPhone with an OLED screen. With companies like Samsung already using OLED technology, waiting several years before introducing it to your iPhone may do nothing more than hinder already dwindling iPhone sales.

Philips V800 Flip Phone Is in the Pipeline

Remember when the flip mobile phone design was all the rage? For some of you, this may seem an impossibility owing to the now ubiquitous smartphone look. Well, it looks as if Dutch Electronics Company Philips is set to release a new product by the name of the V800 flip phone to consumers.

Below is a summary of the key features along with a selection of images to convey this product.

  • The Phone Weighs 206g
  • The casing size is 8x60x19.1mm
  • It utilizes a Quad-core 1.5GHz processor
  • The Phone has two identical screens and a IPS LCD touch screen with a resolution of 1280×720
  • It is equipped with 13 Mega Pixel rear camera and 5 Mega Pixel front camera
  • The Phone runs on Android 5.1 system.

Below are images of this phone, as you can see, it looks noteworthy, the colours are atmospheric dark gray for the outer casing while the keyboard has a gold colour design which gives the phone a more luxurious feel.

There is no word as yet as to the pricing or release date, but it could be on the horizon when you consider it has passed through the TENAA (China’s wireless regulator). The phone may also have a limited appeal when you consider the flip phone design is now predominately sold within the Far Eastern market.

Image courtesy of wikimedia

LG Releases the G4’s Display Details

LG just released some information about the display that will be on the flagship G4. The 5.5″ QHD (1,440×2,560) LCD will have 538 pixels per inch and have an amazing 120% colour gamut. LG achieves this feat by using a blue LED with red and green phosphors instead of yellow like other LCDs have.

The display no doubt is being touted as one of the G4’s best features, and accurate colours isn’t the only thing the display improved on. LG says that it offers a 50% higher contrast ratio than competing QHD LCD panels, and also says that it is 30% brighter without using extra energy.

The new displays will have darker blacks and sharper images thanks to a tech that involves UV light being used when making the panels. It says that it allows the liquid crystals to align evenly, preventing light leakage. Another new tech called Advanced In-Cell Touch (AIT) makes the screen very sensitive and claims that it can respond to touch commands even when wet. Many are understandably eagerly awaiting the April 24th unveiling of the G4 and thankfully we now know a little more about the device.

Nikon Introduces The 1 J5, a Mirrorless camera that takes 4K Video

Nikon just introduced a new addition to its 1 series of mirrorless cameras, the J5.  The J5 has a new 20.8MP VFI CMOS sensor, an XPSA image processor, an ISO range of 160 to 12,800, NFC, and WiFi.

The brand new camera also has a 3″ high res tilting LCD that can flip up and be used from the front for selfies.  The camera can take 1080p video at 30 or 60 frames per second, and there is also an option for 720p video that records at 120fps.  While Nikon did see fit to allow it to capture 4K video it can only record it at 15 frames per second.  The camera is also great at taking still shots in continuous-shooting mode, up to 20 fps with focus enabled and 30 or 60 fps when locked.  The camera will be released soon and will start at $500.

BitFenix Pandora Aluminium Chassis Revealed

The latest BitFenix chassis has just been revealed and it’s unlike anything they’ve ever done before, in fact, it’s unlike anything anyone else has done before! The BitFenix Pandora features a brushed aluminium design, a slim MATX form factor and it even features an integrated LCD logo on the front panel.

The chassis features a super clean exterior design with curved aluminium panels that come with tool-free fittings. The chassis has a slim 160mm profile; that’s just big enough to fit an ATX power supply.

The front panel comes equipped with a customisable BitFenix ICON 2.4″ TFT screen, meaning you can add your own logo, photo or what ever you like to the front of the case via a simple drag and drop software interface. The screen is connected to your system via a motherboard USB header.

BitFenix have also put in extra effort to ensure the chassis is compatible with high end components, with room for graphics cards of up to 350mm, PSUs of up to 180mm and radiators of up to 240mm x 120mm.

There are three 120mm fans pre-installed in the chassis, two in the front and one in the top, with all intakes fitted with easy to remove dust filters. Depite the slim form factor, BitFenix have also equipped the chassis with some cable management solutions.

The chassis will be available in black or silver, as well as with an optional windowed side panel for those who love to show off their builds. If you just want the stock chassis, you can even get it without the ICON display to help keep your costs down.

Thank you BitFenix for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of BitFenix.

Smartphone AMOLED Panels Said to be Cheaper than LCD in Two Years

LCD panels have been previously used in smartphones and are still being used in most smartphones today. However, the newest display technology on the market is the AMOLED panel, used in smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 or Note 3, providing improved image quality, but at a much higher price than the LCD panels.

Manufacturers still use the LCD panels in order to bring smartphones at a much cheaper price, having the AMOLED panel’s price at 10-20% higher than the LCD. In an example, it is said that a 5-inch 1080 x 1920 pixels AMOLED panel is said to be 16% more expensive than the LCD counterpart. The good news is that as time passes, new technology becomes more demanding and prices drop. This is said to be the case for the AMOLED panel as well, having said that it will even out or be even cheaper than a LCD panel within two years.

“Until recently there have been few breakthroughs in the production of AMOLED displays, and the OLED industry seemed to be facing hard times,” said DisplaySearch’s Jimmy Kim. “If AMOLED costs fall below LCDs, as expected, it would lead to more opportunities for the OLED display industry, greater competition with LCD, and more choices for consumers.”

It is said that AMOLED production has recently started in China as well as Korea, with expectations for higher demand in the near future. Also, Korean manufacturer, Samsung, is said to have made significant achievements with its Quad HD 1440 x 2560 pixels screen by improving its grayscale and color accuracy, along with its brightness.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information

EIZO Anounces the 6mm Ultra-Slim Frame 23.8″ FORIS FS2434 Gaming Monitor

EIZO has just announced its latest addition to its gaming monitor series, the FORIS FS2434, featuring a 6 mm Ultra-Slim frame, vivid display colours and EIZO’s “Smart” technologies for a more delightful gaming experience, having the monitor said to be ideal for RTS, MOBA and MMORPG genres in terms of PC gaming, as well as all genre types in terms of console gaming.

The 6 mm frame is said to consist of a 2 mm bezel and 4 mm border at the LCD panel edges, creating a smooth viewing when in a multi-monitor working environment, as well as providing an immersive gaming experience. Also, the FORIS FS2434’s IPS LCD panel along with its wide 178 degrees viewing angle is said to provide vibrant colors with few contrast changes, while the extremely low 0.05 frames input lag is said to provide no delay between signal input and image display on the screen.

Being a FORIS FS monitor, the 23.8″ 6 mm frame FS 2434 display also comes with three of EIZO’s own Smart technologies in order to improve visibility and clarity during gameplay. The first is Smart Insight 2, available in the “Game” preset mode, having it identify and enhance dark areas of an image by increasing the brightness in order to make it easier to see enemies. The FS2434 also adds an extra feature to the Smart Insight 2, having it enhance saturation in addition to brightness in order to bring greater contrast between characters and the background in a game.

The second technology is Smart Resolution, having it analyse an image for noise and blur in order to correct the blur without accentuating the noise, having to adjust only the areas where it is most needed. The third is Smart Detection, where the technology identifies the designated area on the screen where a video or game is played and applies the Smart Ironsight 2 or Smart Resolution whenever required.

Other technologies included in the FORIS FS2434 consist of the LED backlit, having it be controlled by a hybrid direct current and high-frequency pulse-width modulation in order to grant a flicker-free viewing at all brightness levels, as well as having a remote control and the company’s G-Ignition utility software. The G-Ignition is said to grand gamers access tp download presets created by professional gamers from gaming.eizo.com or export the user’s own customised colour modes to other gamers who also own a similar display. The software can also be used to assign hotkeys in order to quickly turn the monitor’s power and mute to ON/OFF, adjust the colour mode and aspect ratio.

In terms of connectivity, the FORIS FS2434 comes with two HDMI and one DVI-D ports, having it be compatible with PCs, consoles, Blu-Ray players and cameras. In addition, a USB 3.0 hub featuring one upstream and two downstream ports grant users the ability to connect to USB 3.0 storage devices or even connect their keyboard and mouse directly to the monitor. Also, the line-out jack allows for external speakers to be connected directly to the monitor as well, while the headphone jack grants further audio functionality.

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

GammaTech Announces the DURABOOK R8300 Fit For Extreme Environments

It looks like GammaTech Computers Corp. has just announced a new rugged notebook, the DURABOOK R830, addition to its notebook lineup. It is said to be certified with MIL-STD-810G and IPS65 specs, for short to withstand abusive harsh environments and is suitable in areas of operation normally encountered in military, utility and public safety sectors.

“It is easy to produce a computer that works well in a climate-controlled environment, where Mother Nature is held at bay,” remarked Jen Chen, GammaTech president. “It is something entirely different, however, to engineer a computer to withstand long exposure to wind, dust, rain, and extreme temperatures as well as surviving bumpy rides, drops, and working in sweltering heat or frigid temperatures. Designed specifically for outdoor usage, our new R8300 notebook offers unsurpassed performance, even in the most hostile environments.”

To describe the certifications even further, the MIL-STD-810G certification stands for extreme sock, drop, vibration and temperature environments, while the IP65 certifies equipment for water and dust resistance. Besides the latter, GammaTech has also received two more certifications for the DURABOOK R8300, the MIL-STD 461F, ANSI/ISA 12.12.01 as well as ATEX Zone 2 for operation in hazardous locations.

In terms of specs, the DURABOOK R8300 is powered by a 3rd Generation Intel i-Core LV /ULV CPU i-Core i7-3555LE or i-Core i5-3437U mobile processor, two DDR3 SODIMM slots which support 4 GB, 8 GB or 16 GB RAM each, all configured on a mobile Intel QM77 Express Chipset. It also provides USB 3.0 support, Intel AMT 8.0 with enhanced manageability and security, Intel Rapid Storage Technology with RAID support for enhanced performance, power management and data protection, as well as Intel Smart Response Technology and Intel Anti-Theft Technology which can disable a lost or stolen PC and reactivate it without worrying about compromising data.

The DURABOOK R8300 has a 13.3-inch TFT touchscreen LCD display featuring direct-sunlight readability for operating in extremely right and sunny environments, such as the desert or an extremely lit room. The HDD is also a plus, having a quick release storage capability, making it easier to swap 500 GB or 750 GB HDDs just by turning a couple of knobs, as well as having SSD configuration capabilities. If additional space is required, a 5.25-inch multi-slot type optical disk drive is available for another hard disk.

When it comes to security, both the administrator and boot password protection is available to configure, having the Absolute Computrace feature allowing remote management for continual tracking and securing all endpoints within a single cloud-based console. The TMP 1.2 as well as Kensington lock is provided for additional security when needed.

The notebook offers a wide range of connectivity options, such as a mini card slot for Wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.0 Class 1 combo card, a built-in antenna, a built-in WWAN antenna, one M2 card slot for the WWAN Type 3042-S3-B module, a built-in SIM card slot, a GPS module with built-in GPS antenna and an optional Intel Dual Band Wireless 6235 802.11AGN antenna. What keeps this indestructible PC ‘alive’ is one Lithium-Ion battery which provides 8 hours battery life. A second battery can be accommodated in a second slot for an additional 4 hours worth of operation.

The GammaTech DURABOOK R8300 is said to be available starting from the second quarter of this year, having a customization feature available for unique customer requirements.

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

Lighter PS Vita Heading To North America This Spring

The lighter and slimmer PlayStation Vita was released in Japan at the end of last year, and a few days ago it was also launched in the UK, now Sony have confirmed that the new hardware will be heading to the US as part of a $200 combo that will include the Vita version of Borderlands 2 or God of War 1 and 2.

The Wi-Fi-only version of the PS Vita Slim features a quad-core ARM Cortex A9 Core processor, SGX543MP4+ GPU, 512MB of RAM, 128MB of VRAM, and a resolution of 960 x 540. It measures 183.6 x 85.1 x 15mm and weighs 219g, 5 per cent lighter and 20 per cent slimmer than the original Vita.

One of the biggest changes in the Vita slim is that Sony have dropped the expensive OLED display in favour of LCD, this goes a long way to improving battery life on the hand held, something that will prove useful on those long journeys when you’re away from a plug socket.

Thank you Pocket Lint for providing us with this information.

Iconia W4 Windows 8.1 Tablet Announced By Acer

Acer presents the new 8.1-inch Iconia W4 tablet running Windows 8.1 and the 4th generation Intel Atom processor. Compact enough to hold in one hand yet spacious enough for comfortable viewing, the Iconia W4 brings mobile productivity and media consumption to the next level.

It targets consumers and professional users who want a tablet that’s easy-to-carry and convenient for all the multitasking they do – all in one sleek device. It comes preloaded with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013, at no additional expense, for managing documents and an optional ultra-slim and portable keyboard for those who need to type as well.

Equipped with an IPS technology display, the Iconia W4 provides consistent images, color and brightness from a wide range of viewing angles, up to 170 degrees, ideal for sharing. Furthermore, Zero Air Gap technology removes the air between the touch panel and LCD module, reducing reflection and boosting readability even under sunlight. The Iconia W4 features a 16:10 ratio with 1280×800 pixel resolutions, a 2MP 1080P front camera, and a 5MP rear camera with autofocus that supports 720p/1080p at 60 FPS/30FPS respectively for great photos and videos.

Driven by the 4th Generation Intel Atom 1.8 GHz processor, users can enjoy a smoother video playback, gaming and web-browsing experience. For true one-hand tablet usage, the built-in tablet portrait mode provides a pleasant one-page experience whether users are checking apps, browsing the web, reading or even responding to emails and social media posts.

Windows 8.1 includes several new and intuitive features, such as InstantGo which makes the tablet ready to go at any moment by keeping data and apps refreshed and up-to-date even when the screen is off, by maintaining an internet connection.

The Iconia W4 comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 so users can create and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint docs virtually anywhere, while an optional full-sized keyboard enables more productive typing on the go.

In addition, sharing content and data between the Iconia W4 and other devices is convenient through its range of ports. The Micro HDMI port provides easy audio-video connections to an external display for sharing presentations and other content. It also has Micro USB for connecting to devices like phones, for transferring files or for power charging. Plus customers will always have room for content and data on the Iconia W4 – it comes with either 32 GB or 64 GB of internal storage, and supports an additional 32 GB of storage capacity via the microSD.

What’s more, the Iconia W4 also features a sleek design that is slim and lightweight – it weighs only 415 grams and measures 10.75 mm thin, so it’s easy to take anywhere.

Accessories for extra productivity and protection
A variety of optional accessories make the tablet experience more enjoyable and productive.

  • Acer Crunch Keyboard – Acer offers a state-of-the-art, ultra-slim Crunch Keyboard fitted in a soft synthetic leather cover that easily folds outs while also serving as a tablet stand. The stylish 5.3 mm (0.21 inches) thin silver keyboard offers Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity and is rechargeable via Micro USB.
  • Acer Crunch Cover – made with durable microfibers, the Crunch Cover folds out into a tablet stand with multiple angle settings to suit each user’s reading preferences. The slim-fit cover keeps clear of all ports and is available in several fashionable colors.
  • Acer Power Bank – it offers up to 4 hours extra battery life for tablets and up to 30 hours talk time for cell phones. A LED Light indicator displays battery and charging status. Small enough to fit in a small pocket, it weighs only 100 gr.
  • Other options include the protection film, passive stylus, and Traveler adapter kit.

Availability and Pricing
The Acer Iconia W4 will be available from end of January with a starting price of €299.

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

Archos’ First LTE Smartphones To Debut At CES 2014

Archos has revealed some 4G LTE smartphones that the company is thinking of showing at the upcoming CES 2014. Namely, the Archos 45 Helium 4G and 50 Helium 4G are Archos’ first LTE smartphones which will be released on the market. Both devices will have Android 4.3 pre-installed, with a future upgrade to Android 4.4 undergoing development. The smartphones also boast a 1.4GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm processor, an Adreno 305 GPU, 1080p HD video capture, and 1GB RAM.

The Archos 50 Helium is going to be a higher-end handset, having a larger 5-inch 720p HD LCD display, 8-megapixel camera, and 2-megapixel front-facing camera. It also has a 2,000 mAh battery and a higher price tag of $250 off-contract to go with it. The Archos 45 Helium 4G is said to be an entry-level handset, having a smaller 4.5-inch display with a 854×480 FWVGA resolution, a 5-megapixel main camera, a VGA front-facing camera, and a smaller 1,700 mAh battery. The more budget Helium is reported to have a price tag of $200.

If you haven’t associated Archos with smartphones, you’re not alone. The company is better known for audio and video equipment, with its newer tablet and smartphone efforts more active in European markets than in the US. While these two rise to the top of Archos’ portfolio, they’re positioned to bob around the midrange in terms of their features and specs.

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

Samsung To Begin Production Of Its Galaxy Note 3 Lite Smartphone

There has been rumors of a low-end version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 called the “Galaxy Note 3 Lite” lately. Samsung did not announce anything specific about the Lite version so far, but it appears that Korean ETNews\( via Chip Loco) reports that the Galaxy Note 3 Lite is already in production.

According to sources, Galaxy Note 3 Lite will not be smaller than the current Note 3, having the same 5.68-inch screen on it. The difference between the two is that the Lite phone will come with a LCD screen, as opposed to AMOLED currently found on the Note 3. Samsung is said to be manufacturing 500,000 Galaxy Note 3 Lite in January and afterwards another 1,500,000 in February. The company hopes that the Lite version will account for around 30% of the sales for the Note 3 lineup.

What Samsung wants to gain through this move to launch the Lite version of the Note 3, nobody really knows. Having two similar devices on the market, one slightly cheaper than the latter, will in fact affect the sales of the more expensive one, that is only logical. Yet Samsung is known to play with similar strategies in the past.

Thank you Chip Loco for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Chip Loco

Apple’s iPads Could Be Challenged By Samsung’s AMOLED Tablets Next Year

Samsung could be working on new high-end tablets with AMOLED displays according to South Korean Web portal Naver. Following some industry rumors, Naver said that Samsung is working on a 8-inch screen tablet and a 10-inch screen tablet. Both will come with AMOLED displays, which are designed to be faster, thinner, and brighter than the LCD counterparts. Rumors also point out that the tablets are going to be part of Samsung’s premium line-up, meaning they won’t come cheap.

“We were the first to commercialize AMOLED back in 2007. This year we successfully produced 440 ppi [pixels per inch] high-resolution AMOLED….we also launched the first curved AMOLED displays,” Kinam Kim, CEO of Samsung Display, said last month during a presentation at the company’s analyst day in Seoul, South Korea.

One of the tablets will reportedly be released early next year, at the same time as Samsung will launch the Galaxy S5. Samsung is aiming to compete with Apple’s iPad and iPad Mini by offering higher-end tablets with two screen sizes. The iPad Air and the new iPad Mini still use LCD screens but are equipped with the Retina Displays to enhance their resolution. Samsung outfitted its new curved Galaxy Round smartphone with an AMOLED display and sees the high-quality display as the future.

Thank you Cnet for providing us with this information

iPad Air Dethroned By Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 In Terms Of Display Quality

While the iPad Air is receiving a lot of praise, Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX took it in a display shootout, and won apparently. When DisplayMate Technologies tested the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, the iPad Air, and Google’s Nexus 10, the Fire 8.9 “leapfrogged into the best-performing tablet display that we have ever tested,” according to the results posted Monday.

The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 significantly outperformed “the iPad Air in brightness, screen reflection, and high ambient light contrast, plus a first-place finish in the very challenging category of absolute color accuracy,” DisplayMate continued.

The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 also was rated tops in power efficiency, compared with the Air and Nexus 10. But that doesn’t mean the Air didn’t receive any plaudits. Both the Fire and the Air have very accurate colors, image contrast, and picture quality, DisplayMate said. “They are most likely better and more accurate than any display you own (unless it’s a calibrated professional display),” the display testing firm said.

DisplayMate also revealed the display technologies that the Air and Fire use. The Fire has a Low Temperature Poly Silicon (LTPS) LCD — that’s the type of screen tech typically used in LCD-based smartphones. The Air uses an IGZO Metal Oxide LCD — “significantly better than the a-Si amorphous Silicon LCDs being used in most current displays,” according to DisplayMate. One of the reasons that the Nexus 10 got a relatively low score was because its display tech is aging.

“The 2012 Google Nexus 10…is at the end of its annual product cycle,” DisplayMate said. “Presumably the soon-to-be-introduced 2013 Nexus 10 will take care of that.”

Thank you Cnet for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Cnet

Philips 242G5 144Hz LCD Gaming Monitor Review

Introduction


Over the last few months, monitors that are built for gaming have been cropping up within the marketplace and at last people can get a panel that compliments their high performance gaming system, delivering better image quality and faster refresh rates with a typical 144Hz refresh rate. The refresh rate is the key part to what sets this new type of panel apart from the rest of the crowd. As I’ve highlighted before, it’s all and well having a GPU that can pump out in the region of 100fps, but if your monitor is only running at 60Hz as the vast majority do, then it can only show a maximum of 60 frames per second itself. As a result there are frames that have been rendered effectively going to waste and it may be one of those frames that could make a crucial difference to the outcome of a tournament for example.

This is where the new 144Hz standard comes into play. With this higher refresh rate, the panel is able to display up to 144 frames per second. This means that not only are those extra frames not going to waste, but the image will appear to be much smoother and fluid in motion as scenes are displayed.

Recently I took a look at one of these new 144Hz panels from AOC, namely the G2460PQU and on the whole I was impressed with the quality of the build and the feature set on offer, but most importantly, the difference that the faster refresh rate made to not only game play but also during day-to-day usage.

Philips as some may or may not know is related to AOC through a parent company known as TPV. Whilst the two rand names run side by side, it is worth noting that some aspects of the monitors from each brand may appear to be the same, but on the whole they are run as two completely separate brands within the market place.

Philips ship the monitor in is probably one of the biggest boxes that I’ve seen for a screen of this size. The box is wrapped in a bold space styled scene with an image of the screen itself and along the lower edge are a set of smaller images highlighting certain aspects of the screen.

With everything taken out of the box, it’s immediately apparent why the box is so thick. Where most screens come with the base plate completely separate from the rest of the stand, the 242G5’s stank is one complete unit and as a result the dimensions of the box are increased. Alongside the stand and the LCD panel, there are a set of manuals and an information and driver CD, IEC power cable, USB3.0 cable, two display cables (VGA and DL-DVI) and finally an OSD remote control pad.

EIZO Releases World’s First 240 Hz Monitor for Gaming

EIZO Limited today announced the 23.5-inch FORIS FG2421, the world’s first gaming monitor with a 240 Hz refresh rate. The FORIS FG2421 also features a low input lag and gaming preset modes that were developed with professional gamers to make it ideal for first-person shooter, racing, fighting, and other fast-action genres.

The FORIS FG2421 comes with a new feature called Turbo 240 that surpasses the 120 Hz refresh rate of conventional gaming monitors. Turbo 240 converts 120 Hz signals to 240 Hz by controlling the blinking of the LED backlight. This high refresh rate along with a response time of less than 1 ms produces the smoothest image display available on a gaming monitor.

The FORIS FG2421 is the first gaming monitor with a refresh rate of 120 Hz or more to use a VA (vertical alignment) LCD panel. The VA panel provides a wide viewing angle of 176° and a high native contrast ratio of 5000:1 for deep blacks. This high contrast ratio increases visibility in dark scenes making it easier to spot enemies.

EIZO developed its own integrated circuit to minimize the input lag or the time it takes for commands from a keyboard, mouse, or controller to appear on the screen. With a 60 Hz input signal the input lag is less than one frame and with a 120 Hz signal it is less than 1.5 frames.

HDMI, DisplayPort, and DVI-D ports provide connectivity with PCs, consoles, Blu-ray players and cameras. A USB hub with one upstream and two downstream ports lets users connect peripherals such as a mouse and keyboard to the monitor. A line-out jack for connecting to external speakers and a headphone jack provide further functionality.

It packs plenty of other features too like shareable colour profiles, a smart image scaler and more. It certainly sounds like one epic monitor and if we are lucky we would hope to have on in for review later this year. Personally I haven’t even made the leap to 120Hz yet, but I can see pro gamers falling over themselves to check this one out. The FORIS FG2421 is available at retailers now.

Thank you Eizo for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Eizo.

Sharp Shifts Focus On Producing IGZO Panels

Sharp, the world-renowned manufacturer of quality display panels that are used across a range of devices, has announced that they will be converting their TV display manufacturing plant to increase production of energy-efficient IGZO panels for Smartphones. IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) panels are known for their excellent color reproduction, viewing angles and most of all, extreme power optimization (to the tune of 90% lesser power consumption when compared to traditional LCDs).

The screens are more energy-efficient because they don’t need to be refreshed constantly to prevent an image from flickering. Sharp says a standard amorphous silicon display may refresh itself 60 times a second when an image is on the screen, while IGZO refreshes itself only once a second. It can also pack more pixels into the displays for a higher-resolution screen.

Hopefully, after expanding production at their Kameyama plant Sharp will be able to produce enough volume to be able to supply their panels across the border as well. People will love to see next-gen flagships with IGZO panels compared to the likes of Super AMOLED and Super LCD.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of NextPowerUp.

Panasonic To Stop Production Of Plasma Screens Next Year

If the rumours are true and Panasonic really are pulling out of the plasma TV trade next year, then this is indeed a sad day. Not only are Panasonic one of the few companies left in the world that actually make plasma screens, but the ones they currently do make are some of the best home cinema screen in the world.

Many people have jumped to LCD and LED tech for their screens, but Plasma has been loved by home cinema enthusiasts for many years as it can often offers better black levels, bright colours and some of the best colour reproduction when compared to its LCD/LED counterparts.

The end of their plasma line would mean Panasonic would have to close their Amagasaki plant, which would then be put up for sale next year.

It seems likely to suspect that this will all go ahead, the plasma side of Panasonic’s business has been loosing money for a few years now, despite the critical acclaim of their Viera range, especially the TX-P60ZT65 which won the European home cinema TV of the year 2013-2014.

While I will mourn the loss of another great range of plasma displays, maybe it is time to lay it to rest as 4K OLED technology may be the way to go and could be the perfect thing to soften the blow.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Panasonic.

Samsung & LG End Year Long Patent Dispute, Time To Focus On Being Competitive

Both Samsung and LG have finally called an end to their year long dispute over display technology patents, which resulted in multiple lawsuits being opened as the two companies locked horns in the court room.

Back in December 2012, Samsung sued LG as they believed their has been stealing Samsung LCD technology. Then in September 2012 both sides sued each other over OLED technology, LG claimed patent infringement and Samsung said they were stealing information from key employees.

“It was agreed that we two should focus more on cementing our leadership in the global market by cooperation, instead of engaging in all-consuming patent disputes,” said Samsung Display in a recent statement.

“What’s most important for both of us is upgrading our competitiveness globally,” said LG in their recent statement.

This is a rare and wonderful thing in the technology industry, or any industry for that matter! It is common place for companies to be locked in eternal legal battles with their rivals and the fact that the two have effectively kissed and made up is great news for consumers, especially now that the companies are going to focus on competitiveness, innovation and a generally healthier level of rivalry that can only benefit both companies and end users even more that a bunch of lawsuits would.

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information.

LG Display Develops First Intel WiDi PC Monitor

LG Display have just unveiled what they are claiming is the first LCD panel display with Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) technology. The new monitor from LG Display uses a 23.8 inch LCD panel and is fully compatible with Intel’s Wireless Display broadcasting display standard WiDi which allows users to easily stream content from their notebook or desktop to this monitor.

While their are WiDi compatible monitors on the market already LG’s new display is the first to build the WiDi processing directly into the display’s controller, not simply add a separate PCB and chip which runs alongside the main display controller. This allows for a more native WiDi experience and the technology will allow smaller and more cost-effective WiDi solutions.

LG’s new 23.8 inch WiDi LCD monitor is currently being displayed at Intel’s IDF event in San Francisco from today until September 12th.

No pricing or availability is currently available. We only know it will be cost-effective relative to current Intel WiDi monitor solutions that are on the market right now.

Image courtesy of LG Display

Asus ProArt PA249Q 24″ AH-IPS LCD Monitor Review

There are many components within a system setup that are mandatory for the system to be usable or even perform for that matter,and these days there is so much focus from vendors to consumers alike about getting the best for the money and at the same time to avoid compromising on performance or quality. Take power supplies, they are a prime example of the obsession of most users and rightly so – I would not dream of putting a power supply in to a system where I thought the quality was not up to standard. After all, if that fails, then it can be ‘bye bye’ to your system and an expensive repair bill.

What does the quality of a power supply have to do with a monitor I hear you ask? Well it is a notable fact that for a large percentage of users, so much focus is put in to the system and the graphics output, a consequent side step is made around deciding what screen is going to be used to display the graphics. Take a moment to think about it, you’ve spend the best part of £1500-2000 on your top end system, but then skimp out on a £100-150 panel, because it ‘does the job’ of displaying your top end system’s output. Doesn’t make a lot of sense really – does it?

Since LCDs have been around, the introduction of LED backlit panels vastly improved the quality of the image that we saw on the screen with better depth of colour and brightness to go with it. More recently, the IPS (In-plane Switching) panel has made the LCD screen even more clear and crisp with superior colour output as well as wider viewing angles and more importantly for gamers, a faster response time.

With nearly all users these days using LCD screens, getting the true colours out of the panel is nigh on impossible and whilst there are expensive calibration kits available that will assist in doing so, for a large number of the panels on the market, this is going to be a battle against the odds to get things just how they should be.  But why should we be looking for perfection? If you’re a graphic designer or someone who does a lot of photo or video editing, the answer is a no-brainer really, it makes a hell of a difference when getting the work right – first time.

Bringing that bag of challenges to the design table, the R&D team at Asus have been busy working away to get a panel to market that will tick all the boxes for graphics designers and gamers alike with a pre-calibrated panel that will give near perfect colour outputs whilst offering up a 1920×1200 resolution that will give some extra pixel real-estate to play around with over a 1080p panel. Bring forward the PA249Q a 24″ IPS panel that offers all this plus more, but the real question is, is Asus’ pre-calibration really that noticeable to the eye?

The PA249Q comes in a relatively colourful box, showing off the screen in both its portrait and landscape orientations. On the lower half of the box there are a number of logos, some which have a significant feature within this panel such as the Adobe RGB colour profiling, a supreme level of colour accuracy and a factory colour calibration.

 Before we move on to the panel itself, there are a number of accessories to sort  through, including VGA, DVI and DisplayPort cables, a USB3.0 lead, an EU power cable (although regional SKUs will have the required cables included), quick installation guide, Asus VIP notice and a CD with the manual on. Additional to these, there is a pack with Velcro cable ties in which is a welcome addition to keeping everything tidy behind the scenes and most importantly a dedicated report for the calibration of this particular panel.

Asus PA249Q ProArt 24″ IPS Monitor Overview Preview

Asus are one of the only brands in the market at the moment who really have the facility to delve into multiple areas and different product segments. It seems that every time they venture into another market, they seem to come up trumps with a fantastic reception from customers. With this in mind, they have been developing monitors for a fair few years now and even now, they are regarded as some of the highest-end, best monitors money can buy without going into the realms of the Dell UltraSharp series or Apple monitors.

Stemming from this success, they have created this beast of a monitor that we’re taking a quick look at today which is part of their ProArt series of monitors, featuring an pre-calibrated AH-IPS panel, 99% AdobeRGB colour representation and aimed at a specific market of designers and artists alike. With it’s 16:10 1920×1200 resolution it gives extra desktop estate when needed and is LED-backlit to give a crisp, clear picture.

It’s also packed full of connectivity options with native DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI and D-SUB VGA giving the user multiple choices and a big highlight of USB 3.0 functionality for those needing speed when using the likes of photoshop and large RAW image files.

The specifications from a first glance certainly seem impressive with some very nice viewing angles, PiP support and plenty of connectivity options, so lets take a quick overview of the monitor itself.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64-5Gi3K21Y[/youtube]

Great first impressions from this monitor, and some really nice features for the budding artists in the market. A personal highlight for me comes with the USB 3.0 connectivity options, as USB 2.0 really is a bit of a dying breed now, especially with files getting much larger in size which Asus have clearly thought about, as this monitor is aimed at consumers and professionals who will obviously be dealing with large images such as RAW photos taken on a DSLR. I’m also very excited to see the ruler etched into the monitor frame, giving print professionals a nice guide to use when using the likes of Adobe Illustrator.

Overall, a very nice monitor from the initial unboxing and overview, and in the next coming weeks, we will be playing with its functionality to see if its the perfect device for the task its aimed at. Without expensive monitor calibration equipment, it’s hard to fully test a monitor, but with a subjective mind, we can hopefully show who this type of product is aimed at, and why it is suited perfectly for that job and task at hand.

Have Asus managed to make another award-winning product, in yet another product segment? If so, we can only assume good things for Asus to come in the near future, as they already have the motherboard and VGA component market pretty much sewn up which some elite products already in the market. Monitors and phones are just another stepping stone for them, and who knows; maybe world domination is next? Of course I kid, but we can only see more good things to come if this initial overview is anything to go by.

Samsung buys 3% stake in Sharp for a whopping $112 Million

Sharp and Samsung have done business together in the past, but after Sharp confirmed that they will receive 10.4 Billion Yen/ $112 Million from Samsung for a 3% in the company, the relationship is about to be reinvigorated. Samsung isn’t the only one who have invested in Sharp, Qualcom committed a $120 Million investment to Sharp, but they’ll need to pay half of it by end of 2012 and other half by the business year ending of March 31.

Japanese company Sharp has been struggling with the commitment to provide both their larger LCD TV panels and small to medium sized panels for mobile and tablet devices for some time now.

While Samsung will still use its supplies of LCD panels for its smartphones via its affiliate Samsung Display Co., WSJ’s blog update predicts that this move would help Sharp to reduce its dependence on Apple and even prevent the possibility of Apple getting exclusive display panels.

To those who don’t know, Sharp has been working on its IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) display panels which will allow much higher pixel density with less power consumption. As this technology can  beused to smartphones, tablets and such portable devices, this is the turnaround opportunity their looking for as they predict that there will be strong demand for such panels. Qualcomm also will be collaborating on IGZO and MEMS’ power-saving development for the screens. Alas, because the Japanese based display maker is still struggling with lesser production, they were reduced to making it available for few smartphones and tablets in Japan only.

Over the past 18 months, the company has tried layoffs, voluntary retirements, reducing pay and even selling their assembly factory in the effort and hopes to jump back into profitability by 2014. However, since its predicted that the company would be facing a record breaking 450 Billion Yen loss, they are taking even more aggressive moves to stay afloat.

Via: Techspot 

Foxconn to release a 70 inch LCD TVs for April

Technology giant Foxconn Electronic is apparently working on a 70″ LCD TV that is said to be released in April 2013 in Taiwan which will be released in other countries after a short while.

According to the report by Digitimes, Foxconn would also be most-likely to release a LCD TV with a resolution of a whopping  2840 x 2160 Ultra HD during the second half of 2013, but the size of the panel is not yet determined.

It is also reported that Foxconn may be setting up their TV assembly production by constructing 10 more lines in their existing assembly lineup in China which would cost the company $3.4 Million to meet up with the demands of TVs in China.