nvidia

If you are a PC gamer, then you will probably remember the days of lugging around a heavy 10-pound machine, just so you could claim the ability to run Crysis on max settings. Gaming laptops of the past were fat, heavy, and had battery life so short that you could blink and the laptop would be dead. Now, Razer has introduced a refresh to their seemingly impossibly thin Ultrabook gaming machines.

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Nokia announced the Lumia 2520 Windows RT 8.1 tablet at its conference in Abu Dhabi earlier this month. Microsoft had already unveiled the Surface 2, but which tablet is more appealing? According to Qualcomm executives, the Nokia RT tablet is the one to invest in, with a "clear advantage" over the Surface 2 with regards to the speed of the processor, graphics power and wireless connectivity.

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Believe it or not, Microsoft is working on a second-generation of Surface devices. If you had any doubts, you can put those to rest.  But what exactly is going to be powering the different variants of Surface? Most of you are really wishing for a Haswell version of the Surface Pro (I am), but what about RT? Comments from Nvidia’s CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, indicate that you’ll find some more magic from Nvidia.

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Acer’s Aspire S7 has been one of the most beautiful Windows 8 Ultrabooks we have seen to date; today, the company announced an update of the machine with Intel’s latest Haswell CPU.

The S7 was a near perfect machine (see our mini-review) and the latest revision updates the two biggest complaints with the notebook – low RAM and terrible battery life. The new Haswell microarchitecture features a new advanced power-saving system that should give the system a bit of a boost in the mobility department. In addition, Acer has increased the battery from 4,680 mAh to 6,280 mAh (an almost 35% boost). As far as the RAM is concern, it has been doubled from 4GB to 8GB – perfect for anyone needing to get some intense Photoshop work done.

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Turning to other matters today, it looks like the silicon maker ST-Ericsson will soon be a thing of the past, or at least significantly de-fanged.  The company is now set to be broken up with employee layoffs and the remaining legacy continuing as STMicro.

This is relevant only because back in 2011, ST-Ericsson publicly claimed a deal with Nokia to help supply their chipsets on their emerging line of low-cost Windows Phones. Indeed, their NovaThor chipset was supposed to rival that of Qualcomm, who has had a dominant role with Windows Phones from its inception.

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First off, we would like to thank everyone for submitting their entries. The fun and creativity put into your entries was definitely on display. We really appreciate the time and effort put in to each and every entry… so THANK YOU!

Second, a BIG THANKS to our friends @NVIDIA. They've stepped up to partner with us on a few contests now, and for their continued support, we offer much thanks. Show NVIDIA a little love and give them a follow @NVIDIA and @NVIDIATegra.

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Reminder: Spring into TEGRA Contest Ending Soon!

Quick reminder for all that the 'Spring into TEGRA' contest is ending real soon (March 1st at 11:59 PM EST)... so be sure to check out the contest details below and submit your entry for a chance to win one of TWO Tegra-powered tablets! Details after the jump...

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Gaming on Windows 8 tablets (and the platform as a whole) just got a whole lot cooler with a demonstration of the Unreal Engine 3 running on an ASUS Windows RT tablet. Powered by NVIDIA's Tegra, the tablet was shown today running the engine flagship demo Epic Citadel at IFA Berlin. 

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NVIDIA has released a press statement detailing the company's interest in working with Microsoft to use their Tegra 3 quad-core chips in Windows 8 PCs. The move is somewhat expected with Windows 8 being able to run on ARM architecture. It was only last year that we reported on the rumour of NVIDIA bringing the Tegra 3 to Windows Phone by 2013, and Windows 8 demos were shown with NVIDIA chips.

The two companies have been working on a program to distribute test devices to software developers and manufacturers. Speaking of Windows 8, have you got your paws on the Windows 8 consumer preview yet? It's available as a free download. View the NVIDIA press statement below.

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For some reason, everyone is planning for 2013. Guess we should start picking out our clothes now as Nvidia evidently has plans for Windows Phone, three years after knocking it and the same year that Samsung is reportedly dropping the OS.

Nividia's Tegra chipsets have been around for awhile now, heck they even powered the ZuneHD. But besides some Android handsets, they have been absent from the Windows Phone side, leaving plenty of room for mega SoC maker Qualcomm to ride high.

In a leaked roadmap from Heise.de, we can see that in 2013 Nvidia is looking to power Windows Phone handsets using their Tegra/Icera combo "Grey" chipset. Reportedly featuring a 28mm manufacturing process and 2G/3G/4G communication capabilities (something Nvidia is missing now), the chipset looks to be as powerful as Qulcomm's offering but with some Nvidia GPU oomph.

We're still trying to make sense of the layout of this slide, but it is interesting to see Windows and Windows Phone lumped next to each other--reaffirming the notion that both OSs will become closer together, especially as Windows 8 moves to ARM processors.

Source: Heise.de; via: Fudzilla; Thanks, @darkhorse166, for the tip!

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Last we heard from NVIDIA, they were talking a little smack about Windows 7 on tablets and not getting much love from phone OEMs (despite a push starting two years ago to get in on Windows Mobile).

And while the Zune HD features the original Tegra, not much has been revealed about the Tegra 2's plans outside of 'it's coming'.

Now it looks like LG is the first major smartphone OEM to commit themselves to the powerhouse CPU coming out Q4 of this year. The Tegra 2 is no slouch, featuring 

...the first mobile dual-core CPU, the only ultra low-power NVIDIA GeForce(r) GPU and the first 1080p HD mobile video processor. Taking full advantage of the two speedy 1 GHz processors sharing the workload in Tegra 2, consumers can experience up to 2x faster web browsing and up to 5x faster gaming performance over single core processors running at 1 GHz. NVIDIA's leadership in graphics also delivers flawless 1080p HD video playback, console-quality gaming and amazing 3D capabilities.

Sounds quite promising and LG intends such a CPU for their Optimus line, which includes Android and Windows Phone 7 devices, though no word on whether both OSs will get the Tegra 2 treatment.

All of this sounds good, what with Intel getting ready to re-enter the market and Microsoft perhaps unfairly committed to Qualcomm, we say the more the competition the merrier.

Finally, no word on whether those current LG devices featuring Windows Phone 7 (C900/E900) have a Tegra 2 or Qualcomm, though we're leaning towards the latter. Who knows about production-ready devices though. We'll keep an eye out.

Read the whole press release after the break...

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This week has been a somewhat exciting one if you've been following the annual Computex show in Taipei.

For one, Asus demonstrated their Eee pad, which sadly won't be out till first quarter 2011. The 12-inch EP121 features Intel's Core 2 Duo CULV processors, Windows Embedded Compact 7 for the UI (and Windows 7 too?), and a supposed 10-hour battery life. The battery here is the killer part if true as that's where the competition, along with 'instant on', is really gaining momentum.  The device is also powered by Nvidia's Tegra video processor, which leads us to...

Despite being featured on an unfinished Windows tablet, Nvidia President and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang had no problem distancing himself from such devices and backing Android, stating

Windows is too big and it's too full featured for smartbooks and tablets

The good news is that we finally have an operating system to unite behind. Android is an operating system that has gained a tremendous amount of momentum all over the world 

Zing. While most of us would agree with such an assessment, it's a bit rough when it comes from one of your featured partners. The issue here is Microsoft's intention to use Windows 7 and only Windows 7 on tablet devices, eschewing a Windows Phone 7 type device which many seem to want. In addition, Google's Chrome OS is finally launching in the fall, which should increase the competition even more with HP/Palm's WEbOS tablet.

So everyone is doing a mobile OS for tablets except Microsoft. This should end well.

Finally, Paul Thurrott recently explained why he thinks the iPad is a consumption-but-not-contribution device, something we've been saying for awhile on our podcasts. This reason is similar to what Microsoft told Engadget on why they want to use a full-fledged OS instead of a mobile one for tablets. While that argument holds true for installing desktop software, it doesn't seem really address how consumers are actually using these devices these days.

We say let the market decide. Microsoft, put out different tablets, one featuring Windows 7 and another featuring Windows Phone 7. No one will confuse them. Seriously, we think you're betting on the wrong horse here and Android, iPad, Chrome and even HP/Palms's WebOS are going to put the hurt on you're tablets by Spring 2011.

[via PC WorldEngadget, WinSuperSite, Raw Story & PreCentral]

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