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  • Engadget Primed: are multi-core chips worth the investment?
    Primed goes in-depth on the technobabble you hear on Engadget every day — we dig deep into each topic’s history and how it benefits our lives. Looking to suggest a piece of technology for us to break down? Drop us a line at primed *at* engadget *dawt* com.


    My, how times have changed over the last eight months. At CES 2011, we ecstatically witnessed the introduction of mobile devices with dual-core CPUs and drooled over the possibilities we’d soon have at our fingertips. Now, we look down at anything that doesn’t have more than one core — regardless of its performance. Not only are these new chips quickly becoming mainstream, Moore’s Law is in full effect with our handheld devices since tri-core and quad-core systems are just over the horizon. We can’t even fathom what’s in the pipeline for the year 2015 and beyond (we don’t think we’re too far away from that 3D shark seen in Back to the Future 2).

    Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here, however. After all, we first need to wrap our puny human minds around the idea of what this newfound power can do, and why it’s changing the entire landscape of smartphones and tablets. In this edition of Primed, we’ll focus on why multicore technology makes such a difference in the way we use our handheld devices, whether we should even consider purchasing a handset with a single-core chip inside, and why one-core tech is so 2010. Check out the whole enchilada after the break.

    Continue reading Engadget Primed: are multi-core chips worth the investment?

    Engadget Primed: are multi-core chips worth the investment? originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 29 Jul 2011 17:15:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • AT&T announces throttling plans, gently reminds us why the T-Mobile acquisition is so great

    AT&T today officially confirmed what so many had expected for some time now: the carrier will be throttling select users’ unlimited data plans. The move, which takes effect on October 1st, is a response to a “serious wireless spectrum crunch,” according to a message issued today. The changes will not affect most customers, according to the company, primarily targeting those who fall within the top five percent of heavy users in a given billing cycle. Once the new period begins, speeds will be restored. Even with this new plan in place, however, the company says that the spectrum problems still won’t be resolved — it does have a simple solution, however, explaining that “nothing short of completing the T-Mobile merger will provide additional spectrum capacity to address these near term challenges.” Full text after the break.

    Continue reading AT&T announces throttling plans, gently reminds us why the T-Mobile acquisition is so great

    AT&T announces throttling plans, gently reminds us why the T-Mobile acquisition is so great originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 29 Jul 2011 17:03:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Sony VAIO Z review (2011)

    We see countless laptops come and go through the seasons, but a rare few have built up something of a following. Make no mistake: the Sony VAIO Z, a skinny ultraportable brimming with cutting-edge technology and powerful innards, is that kind of gem. So when it disappeared from Sony’s online store earlier this year, more than a few techies took note. After all, the Z is part of a small fraternity of notebooks that combine an impossibly lightweight design with performance worthy of a larger system. People who missed out on the last-gen Z wondered when they’d next get the chance to buy, while some lucky folks out there with thousands to burn started itching for something thinner, something lighter, something… better.

    Well, it’s here. The 2011 VAIO Z is, indeed, thinner, lighter, and more powerful. It also might not be the Z you were expecting. Whereas the last generation combined it all, cramming in an optical drive and switchable graphics, this year’s model leaves much of that at the door — or, at least, in an external dock that ships with the laptop. This time around, the Z has no optical drive, and packs just an integrated Intel graphics card on board. (Don’t worry, it does squeeze in lots of other goodies, including standard-voltage Sandy Bridge processors and expanded solid-state storage.) If you want that Blu-ray burner or the stock AMD Radeon HD 6650M graphics card, you’ll have to plug into the Power Media Dock, an external peripheral that uses Intel’s Light Peak technology.

    That’s quite the gamble Sony is taking — after all, the company is essentially betting that you won’t need to do anything too intensive while you’re on the go. On the one hand, this inventive design is sure to intrigue the Z’s usual early adopter fanbase. But will it satisfy those who always liked the Z because of its no-compromise design? And then there’s the issue of that $1,969 starting price, a likely stumbling block for people trying to decide between this and an equally thin, less expensive ultraportable. What’s a well-heeled geek to do? Let’s find out.

    Continue reading Sony VAIO Z review (2011)

    Sony VAIO Z review (2011) originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 29 Jul 2011 16:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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