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BlackBerry PlayBook prices cut by half and more gadget news

Last updated on: December 29, 2011 18:15 IST

BlackBerry PlayBook prices cut by half and more gadget news

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Here's all the latest in the world of gadgets and gizmos that you may have missed this month beginning with how Research In Motion is tempting you to buy the PlayBook.

If you were itching to pick up RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook at a bargain, you have till Saturday, December 31, 2011 to enjoy the new slashed prices. Now selling for half its original pricing of Rs 27,990, the 16GB PlayBook will retail for Rs 13,490 during the limited period offer.

The 32GB and 64GB models of the PlayBook have received their share of dramatic price cuts as well, at Rs 15,990 and Rs 24,490, respectively, compared to their original Rs 32,990 and Rs 37,990 pricing.

While the BlackBerry PlayBook was not exceptionally well-received globally, no-one denied its capabilities in some spheres, including the hardware. Consumers could always load the Android operating system of their choice on the device. However, even with that incentive (albeit effort-laden) and the reduced price -- the PlayBook does not still become too appetising a bargain.


Image: BlackBerry PlayBook
Photographs: Rim.com
Tags: RIM

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LG Prada 3.0 debuts in S Korea; to arrive in India in Jan 2012

LG's latest Android-based smartphone LG Prada 3.0 has been launched in South Korea and is expected to hit the Indian shores in January 2012. LG had recently unveiled the Prada 3.0, which has been designed by famous Italian fashion label Prada. Apart from the stylish design, the phone offers serious hardware.

The LG Prada 3.0 runs on Android Gingerbread platform. The device has a 4.3-inch IPS LCD 'NOVA' display, similar to the LG Optimus Black but slightly improved at 800 nits of brightness. The LG Prada is powered by a dual-core 1GHz Cortex-A9 CPU and features an 8MP camera with 1080p HD video recording, a 1.3MP front-facing camera.

On connectivity front, the Prada 3.0 supports Bluetooth,GPS, and Wi-Fi a/b/g/n.

The LG Prada 3.0 has been priced around $778 (Rs 41,000), which is definitely on the higher side. It's unlikely that LG will offer the Prada 3.0 at the same price tag in price-sensitive market such as India.

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Image: LG Prada 3.0
Photographs: Lg.com

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Samsung to review Android 4.0 ICS upgrade plans for Galaxy S

Samsung is not too unexpectedly rethinking its earlier stance after dropping the rather shocking news that it would not be updating its top-selling Galaxy S family devices with Android 4.0 ICS. Samsung is a very popular brand for Android devices in the country, and we hope it finally reveals detailed and widespread update plans, like LG, Motorola, and Sony Ericsson already have.

As noted by our earlier report, Samsung had said the hardware and software of the Galaxy S devices would make it difficult to optimise the upgrade, but that hadn't held it back from including the similarly-specced Nexus S in its list of Ice Cream Sandwich recipients.

The latest news, that Samsung is reviewing its upgrade process for the Galaxy S family and 7-inch Galaxy Tab, was spotted in a MSN Korea report.

Samsung has yet to officially confirm the truth behind this however.

The first Android 4.0 ICS devices, the Huawei Honor and Galaxy Nexus, are expected to arrive in January next year.

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Image: Samsung Galaxy S
Photographs: Samsung.com

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Nokia 603 available online in India, at Rs 14,285

The Nokia Belle-powered Nokia 603, which till now had not been officially released in India, is now retailing online, at Letsbuy.com, for Rs 14,285.

The Nokia 603 is roughly the same phone as the Nokia 600, which was released back in October this year at Rs 12,999, with a few differences.

The Nokia 603 has a ClearBlack IPS LCD display, instead of the Nokia 600's TFT LCD. The Nokia 603's display is also larger, at 3.5-inches, compared to the Nokia 600's 3.2-inch display.

Other features on the Nokia 603, in addition to the Nokia 600 features, include USB-on-the-Go support, active noise cancellation with dedicated mic, microSIM card slot, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Quick Office document editor, and TV-out.

Common specifications include a 1GHz processor, 2D/3D graphics HW accelerator with OpenVG1.1 and OpenGL ES 2.0, 5MP fixed focus camera with 720p HD video recording, as well as such connectivity options as HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps, Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP and EDR, NFC, microUSB 2.0, stereo FM radio with RDS, GPS with A-GPS support.

The Nokia 603 weighs in at 110 grams, and has a 1,300 mAh battery, rated to deliver 68 hours of battery life, 8.7 hours of talk time and 540 hours of standby time.

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Image: Nokia 603
Photographs: Nokia.com
Tags: Nokia , RDS , NFC , EDR , GPS

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Rumours: Galaxy S III coming in Feb 2012; Galaxy S 3D in the works

Rumours of Samsung's next flagship smartphone, Samsung Galaxy S III are back in the news. According to the latest reports, the Samsung Galaxy S III will be launched in February 2012, at MWC 2012. The new Galaxy SIII is expected to come with a quad-core processor. The last round of rumours had suggested that the S III would feature a new Exynos processor, the Exynos 4412. Also, the new Exynos processor is rumoured to be an ARM Cortex A9-based quad-core unit.

According to unwiredview.com, the Galaxy S III is likely to feature a large HD (1280 x 720) Super AMOLED Plus display, LTE connectivity, and the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich platform. Other things to expect from the S III are a 12MP camera and 2GB of RAM.

Separately, reports suggest Samsung is also working on a 3D smartphone. Dubbed as the successor to the Samsung Galaxy S, the Galaxy S 3D is expected to be launched in the second half of 2012. The Samsung Galaxy S 3D is likely to feature an autostereoscopic Super Amoled HD Plus display with 1280x720 pixel resolution. The screen size of the 3D device is expected be between 4.2-inch to 4.65-inch.

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Image: Samsung Galaxy S II; This picture is only for representational purpose
Photographs: Samsung.com

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Windows Phone LG Fantasy photos leaked, bearing 4-inch IPS display

Multiple images of a yet to be announced LG device have hit the Internet. The rumoured new device, dubbed LG Fantasy, will run on Windows Phone 7 operating system. The LG Fantasy is likely to be launched in the first quarter of 2012.

The information regarding the new LG Windows devices was posted by a member of XDA Developers, who reportedly obtained a pre-production unit from a tester in Romania. The phone reportedly features an 8MP camera, a front facing 1.3 megapixel camera, 8GB internal storage and runs a 2nd gen 1GHz processor.

The benchmark tests run by the owner in Romania and shared on the XDA-developers forums show the LG Fantasy is faster than the HTC Radar.

 If the photos posted by the XDA member are to believed, the LG Fantasy appears to be a mid-range device. However, we may see more updates on the new device at the CES event, scheduled to be held in January 2012.

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Image: Leaked picture of LG Fantasy
Photographs: Lg.com

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Reports: Nokia prepping a new flagship smartphone, Lumia 900

If reports are to believed, Nokia is prepping a new Windows Phone operating system based device. The rumoured device, dubbed as the Nokia Lumia 900, does not have physical buttons on the front panel. A leaked image posted by My Nokia Blog suggests that Nokia is likely to launch its next flagship smartphone at the forthcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to be held in Las Vegas in January second week.

The Nokia Lumia 900 will be accompanied by other new Nokia smartphones as well.

According to reports, the Nokia Lumia 900 will feature a 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display and will come with the latest Windows Phone Tango update. The Lumia 900 is reportedly powered by a 1.4GHz processor and features an 8 megapixel rear camera with single LED flash. The upcoming Nokia smartphone is likely to sport a front-facing camera and is expected to come in a variety of colour options.

The rumours of new Nokia flagship device come in the backdrop of reported battery issues in the newly launched Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone. However, Nokia has clarified that the battery glitch is likely to have minimal India impact.

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Image: Nokia Lumia 900; This picture is only for representational purpose
Photographs: Nokia.com

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Raspberry Pi, the $25 Computer Coming in January 2012

Raspberry Pi, possibly the cheapest functional computer that you can buy, will be available this January.

Raspberry Pi is a rather compact -- credit-card sized -- computer that packs quite a punch despite being just $25. In this small cheap package lies a computer that:

  • Uses the Broadcom BCM2835 chipset
  • Has an ARM11 processor of 700Mhz
  • Has 128MB RAM
  • Can run Linux and the plethora of software available for it
  • Can connect to a TV via RCA or HDMI
  • Can play back audio via 3.5mm audio jack or HDMI
  • Can play videos in HD
  • Supports USB2 devices
  • Is powered by a mere 5V over micro USB

Other than that, being a computer a number of devices, such as a keyboard, mouse, webcam, mic etc can be added via USB. Another model featuring 256MB RAM and an ethernet port is available for just $10 more -- for $35.

Note that you cannot run Windows on it, since it is an ARM-based computer, however Raspberry Pi will support a number of Linux distros, which can be run off the an SD card. It is unlikely Windows 8 for ARM will run on it either, considering the specifications of the device. Additionally, you cannot run Windows applications on it via Wine, since Wine is not an emulator but a compatibility layer, and Windows applications are compiled for x86 / x86_64.

Raspberry Pi is a great educational tool and a very cheap way to get into computers. Raspberry Pi will be available worldwide when it launches next month, however the shipping costs to India might just take away a bit from its low-price charm.

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Image: Raspberry Pi
Photographs: Nokia.com
Tags: ARM , USB , HDMI , RCA , RAM

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Facebook's Timeline coming to iPad next month

If reports are to believed, Facebook's Timeline will be available for the iPad users by January 2012. It's notable that the Timeline is already available for the Android and iPhone users. The iPad version of Timeline was slated to be launched in mid December, but got delayed due to some bugs and technical snags.

According to reports, Facebook wanted to leverage the iPad's graphics and touchscreen abilities. Facebook has said that the iPad version of Timeline requires more delicate coding than the conventional smartphone applications. The reports of Timeline for iPad come months after Facebook launched its iPad app.

Facebook had rolled out its Timeline profile earlier this month. The social networking site had also released a mobile version of the Timeline. Later, it was also made available on Google's Android platform. A few days later, Facebook brought the Timeline to the iPhones.

The iPad users can presently access Timeline via Facebook's mobile site using a browser. However, the Timeline reportedly does not work very well through the browser on the iPad. With the arrival of Timeline, the iPad users will be able to access the full functionality of Facebook. They can also add or replace the cover photo for their Timeline.

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Image: Facebook Timeline for iPad

Tags: Facebook

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