Monthly Archives: November 2012

Microsoft Surface Pro to have half the Surface RT’s battery life


How much does battery life matter to tablet users? Microsoft may soon find out, first-hand.

Microsoft went public today with pricing for its Surface Pro PC/tablet devices — the Intel-based ones running Windows 8 Pro that will allow users to run their existing third-party apps on the Desktop. The 64 GB version will be $899; the 128 GB version, $999. (Both prices include a pen, but no Touch or Type keyboard/cover. So add another $120 to $130 for that.)

Pricing is not all the team shared about the Microsoft-branded Surface Pros, due out in January 2013.

Surface Pros are going to get about half the battery life of the Surface RTs. Surface RTs get between eight and ten hours of battery life, based on various estimates I’ve seen (and my own personal experience on mine).

The Surface team Twitter account confirmed the battery-life plans in a November 29 tweet to @Shahroom:

For me, that’d be a deal breaker. With a tablet, I count on not having to lug a power cord around. Other readers of mine say they plan to use the Surface Pro like a PC, so they are less worried about only getting four to five hours of battery.

Why the low battery life? Surface Pro, as Microsoft officials announced a few months ago, uses the Intel “Ivy Bridge” (generation 3) Core i5 processor. It doesn’t use the lower-power-consumption/higher-battery-life Atom/Clover Trail and it doesn’t use the fourth-generation Core Haswell.

Some had hoped/wondered if Microsoft’s decision to deliver Surface Pro after Christmas was related to a last-minute substitution of a more powerful Intel processor. But that isn’t the case, a Microsoft spokesperson reconfirmed when I asked today. Surface Pro uses the Intel Core i5.

If you want to see the rest of the Surface Pro specs and how they compare to the Surface RT ones, you can download the PDF of Microsoft’s comparitive spec sheet from a few months back. It’s still accurate.

There are trade-offs in every device. Do you think Microsoft made the right choice between processor power and battery life on this one?

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Posted by on 30/11/2012 in IT


Apple Begins Selling Unlocked iPhone 5 in US Online Store


Apple has started to offer the iPhone 5 unlocked in the US Store, following reports indicating that they would go live sometime tonight.

Pricing is as follows: 16GB is $649, 32GB is $749, and 64GB is $849. Shipping times are currently at 1 week.

While Apple has offered the unlocked iPhone 5 in other countries, today marks the first time where they sell them in the United States online store.

Retail stores are also said to begin selling the unlocked device soon.

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Posted by on 30/11/2012 in IT


Apple SVP Bob Mansfield Cashes in $20 Million of AAPL Stock


Apple SVP Bob Mansfield has cashed in 35,000 shares of his AAPL stock at $582.21 a share for a total of $20,377,507.50, reports TNW.

Mansfield was awarded options on stock in 2005, which fully vested in 2009. He let go of some early this year at a price of $452, and this marks the second big batch so far. Mansfield is still in posession of 29,548 shares and stands to take possession of another 150,000 shares in June of 2013 and March of 2016 if he stays with the company. The values of the shares cashed in today run from $582.00 to $582.88 so the above price is a weighted average.

Mansfield is currently the Apple Senior Vice President of Technologies. On June 28, his retirement from Apple was announced; however, it’s said several senior engineers on his team vociferously complained over Dan Riccio as his replacement. Then in August it was announced that he would stay on to work on future projects. In October the company announced that Mansfield had been appointed to SVP Technologies.

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Posted by on 30/11/2012 in IT


Tesla boosts Model S base price by $2,500 for new 2013 orders


Think you’ll be ready to take the plunge on a gorgeous Tesla EV come January 1st, 2013? The Model S base model will cost you $59,900, a $2,500 increase over the original sticker price, which will remain in effect through the end of this year. Canadians will also be subject to a price hike of 2,600 CAD. Fortunately, you still have until “end of day” on December 31st to take advantage of 2009 pricing, so if you’re able to get your finances in order within the next month, it’ll surely be worth your while. Find the full scoop in the PR after the break. by engadget

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Posted by on 30/11/2012 in IT


Dell’s $1,549 Ubuntu-based XPS 13 goes on sale, $50 more than Windows variant

What once was just an internal skunkworks project, Dell’s Project Sputnik has taken off with the release of the XPS 13 Developer Edition. The thin and light darling of the Ultrabook crowd is now shipping with a Precise Pangolin Ubuntu build pre-installed, along with feature-complete drivers that ensure maximum peripheral compatibility right out of the box. Also bundled in the XPS 13 are a couple of Project Sputnik’s open source tools — Profile Tool and Cloud Launcher — that are designed to help developers install and deploy their projects quickly and efficiently. The hardware packs quite a punch, with either an Intel i5 or i7 Ivy Bridge CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256 GB SATA III SSD. All that Linux goodness comes at a cost, however — the Developer Edition retails for $1,549, which is around $50 more than the Windows equivalent. Still, it might be well worth it for one of the best specced pre-assembled open-source laptops we’ve seen to date. by engadget

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Posted by on 30/11/2012 in IT


Apple begins selling unlocked iPhone 5 in the US, starting from $649


It’s that special time of the year… that is, when Apple decides to unfetter the iPhone for US shoppers. The Cupertino crew has quietly started selling the iPhone 5 in an unlocked, off-contract form that will work on GSM, HSPA+ and (if you’re in the right countries) LTE networks. There’s few surprises versus what we’ve seen in years past, or in other regions: the unlocked iPhone 5 ships in the same capacities and colors as the carrier-bound model, and starts from $649. That’s still expensive for those still used to buying on an agreement, and it won’t represent as much bang-for-the-buck as a $350 Nexus 4. If you’re yearning for the LTE the Nexus 4 lacks and don’t mind living in an iOS universe, however, Apple is ready and waiting. by engadget

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Posted by on 30/11/2012 in IT


Intel rumored moving to non-upgradable desktop CPUs with Broadwell


For many, the very definition of the custom desktop PC is the ability to upgrade the processor, choosing a $300 retrofit instead of a $1,500 whole-system replacement. We might have to kiss that symbolism goodbye if sources at Impress Watch, SemiAccurate and ZDNet are genuinely in the know. They claim that desktop processors built on Intel’s future, 14-nanometer Broadwell architecture will be switching from contacts based on a land grid array (LGA) to a ball grid array (BGA) that could dictate soldering the chips in laptop-style, rather than putting them in an upgrade-friendly socket. The exact reasons for the supposed switch aren’t available, but there’s speculation that it would be mutually beneficial for Intel and PC manufacturers: Intel would have more control over motherboard chipsets, while builders could save money on assembly and conveniently drive more outright PC sales. Intel hasn’t confirmed any of the strategy, so we’d still be very cautious before making any presumptions. If real, though, the switch would be glum news for chipset makers, motherboard makers and most of all hobbyists; even though socket changes have made CPU upgrades tricky in the past, having the option removed altogether could put a damper on the do-it-yourself community. by engadget

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Posted by on 30/11/2012 in IT

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