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Posts tagged ‘Toshiba’

18
Apr
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Toshiba’s ultra-fast microSD cards will let you shoot like a pro with small cameras


Blown away by Toshiba's microSD UHS-II card

It’s easy to find fast storage if you have a big camera, but not so much if you have a very tiny mirrorless cam that uses microSD cards — more often than not, you’re stuck in the slow lane. You won’t be held back for much longer if Toshiba has its way, though. The company has just revealed the first-ever microSD cards to meet the speedy UHS-II spec, giving them the same performance as the quickest full-size SD storage — and up to eight times the write speed of Toshiba’s earlier microSD lineup. Data reads, meanwhile, are nearly three times faster.

The upgrade should help even smaller cameras and smartphones shoot burst photos as quickly as some pro hardware, and 4K video recording will be relatively pain-free. Toshiba is only providing samples of 32GB and 64GB cards to chip and gadget makers at this stage, and you’ll need to check that whatever device you get supports UHS-II before you splurge on the newer flash memory. However, it shouldn’t be long before you can get truly rapid-fire photography from a device that fits in your pocket.

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Source: Toshiba

16
Apr
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Toshiba’s vision for Project Ara extends to wearables and beyond


Project Ara is primarily focused on building a modular smartphone in the hopes of changing the industry, but is that the only type of mobile device on the drawing board? Absolutely not. An executive at Toshiba, one of Google’s partners on the project, just revealed that his company’s vision of the concept goes beyond smartphones. Shardul Kazi, Senior VP and Technology Executive at Toshiba, posited that devices like smartwatches (and beyond, he says) could also take advantage of Ara’s blocky component modules, which allow you to mix and match whatever features and components you want to have.

During his presentation at the Ara Developer Conference, Kazi showed the above slide depicting a module being removed from the Ara phone and placed into a wearable device. Indeed, just as the handset has an endoskeleton which makes it possible for blocks to attach to the phone in the first place, a future wearable could certainly be constructed the same way. Kazi’s example here relates to activity trackers with 9-axis sensors and Bluetooth LE, but it’s not limited to just that particular use case; such a thing would be wide open to the imagination of module makers and developers.

Kazi’s quick to point out that this is purely an idea at this point and isn’t actually in development. Still, it goes to show how easily adaptable this kind of platform could be to other form factors — if consumers love using modular smartphones, might they feel the same way about modular tablets, smartwatches and other wearables? Naturally, the folks behind Ara don’t want to bite off more than they can chew — just putting together a phone in less than two years is a job and a half for the team, after all — but it makes sense to see how many other ways the same tech can benefit our lives.

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10
Apr
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Death of Windows XP can’t quite reverse slowing PC sales


Microsoft Delays Next Version Of Windows Until 2007

The official end to Windows XP support may have sent many companies into a panic, but it was good news for PC manufacturers this winter… well, sort of. Both Gartner and IDC report a big increase in PC shipments during the first quarter thanks to companies scrambling to replace old XP computers at the last possible moment. However, the two analyst groups note that the sudden spike only managed to soften ongoing declines in PC shipments, rather than reverse them. Depending on which research firm you ask, the number of PCs on the market dropped between 1.7 percent to 4.4 percent year-over-year. That’s better than what system builders have seen over most of the past two years, but it’s not exactly a recovery.

As for the companies that came out on top, it’s a familiar story. Market share gains largely went to major players like Lenovo, Dell and HP, while the biggest blows came to a long-suffering Acer as well as small vendors. What happens next is less than certain, though. Gartner believes that the tablet boom isn’t hurting PCs as much as it used to, and expects upgrades from XP to help shipments over the course of 2014. IDC, meanwhile, isn’t so optimistic. Although the outfit sees the tablet market slowing down as it matures, it’s not anticipating a turnaround for computers any time soon.

[Image credit: AFP/Getty Images]

Gartner's worldwide PC market share estimates for Q1 2014

Gartner's estimates for PC market share in the US during Q1 2014

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Source: Gartner, IDC

31
Mar
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Toshiba Encore review: an 8-inch Windows tablet that struggles to stand out


Toshiba Encore review: an 8-inch Windows tablet that struggles to stand out

Toshiba is no stranger to Windows tablets, but what we’ve seen to date has typically been targeted at businesses or has otherwise been… limited. In that sense, the Encore is something special. It’s not just the company’s first 8-inch Windows tablet — it’s the first aimed at a truly broad audience. That said, it faces stiff odds. Acer, Dell, Lenovo and others have comparable slates on the market, in many cases with similar features. Toshiba would have to do something truly out of the ordinary to stand out. And frankly, it doesn’t. While the Encore is a worthy device, you’ll have to be particularly enamored with its design to ignore its rivals. Read on to see what we mean.

Hardware

With certain exceptions, the design language of Toshiba’s mobile devices has typically been plain — a textbook example of form chasing function. That’s undoubtedly true for the Encore. Its “sunray silver” plastic back is reminiscent of the company’s lower-end Satellite laptops, and it neither feels nor looks premium — even Acer’s Iconia W4 seems upscale by comparison. The Encore makes up for this in sheer practicality. It’s comfortable to hold, and the textured back adds just enough grip that you won’t get nervous using it one-handed. The surface does a good job hiding fingerprint smudges, too. The Encore is also one of the heavier 8-inch Windows tablets we’ve seen at 0.97 pounds, although it’s not much thicker than Dell’s Venue 8 Pro, at 0.42 inches. Indeed, we had no objections to the added weight during prolonged browsing or gaming sessions.

The rest of the Encore’s design mostly checks the right boxes, delivering extras that you don’t always see on its peers. At the top, you’ll see micro-HDMI video output (not present on Lenovo’s Miix 2 or the Venue 8 Pro) alongside the usual headphone jack, a micro-USB port and one of two microphones. Meanwhile, there’s a microSD card slot on the left for extra storage, stereo speakers on the bottom, a 2-megapixel camera in the front-right corner and a sharper-than-average 8-megapixel shooter at the back. You’ll get either 32GB or 64GB of flash storage inside, much like other tablets in this class.

Toshiba Encore ports

Toshiba could stand to improve the hardware keys. The power button and volume rocker at the upper right are easy to reach in most orientations, and they’re particularly well-suited to a portrait view. However, they’re almost flush with the body; it’s difficult to identify them purely by feel. There were a few times where we accidentally cranked the volume instead of putting the tablet to sleep. And the capacitive Start button can be frustrating — it occasionally ignores input, forcing you to either poke the key multiple times or use the on-screen task switcher. The button isn’t a dealbreaker, but we’d rather have the more conventional (and more reliable) buttons from Acer and Dell.

Display and sound

Toshiba Encore display

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: The Encore has an IPS-based, 1,280 x 800 LCD screen that offers rich colors at virtually any viewing angle. Yes, Toshiba is closely following the template for screens in 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablets. And that’s mostly a good thing. It’s a delight to browse photos and videos on this device. There are a few differences that separate the Encore’s visuals from the rest of the pack, however, and they’re not all for the better. This is one of the brighter displays we’ve seen in the category, and it’s easily visible in most lighting conditions. There isn’t support for active styluses like on the Venue or ASUS’ VivoTab Note 8, though, and Acer’s optically bonded display is better at cutting out unwanted glare.

We also can’t help but wish Toshiba had sprung for a higher-resolution panel, if only because we’ve seen the difference it makes elsewhere. The 1080p screen in Lenovo’s ThinkPad 8 is noticeably sharper, let alone the greater-than-HD displays in mobile OS tablets like Apple’s iPad mini with Retina display or Samsung’s Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4. It’s not terribly likely that you’ll consider these $400-plus models if you’re looking at the much cheaper Encore, but it would be nice to see that higher-end technology filter down to lower-cost equipment.

You probably won’t be yearning for better audio quality, though. The speakers can’t replace a good set of headphones, but they’re loud enough to be heard clearly in a moderately noisy environment. Still, they’re unmistakably louder than Acer’s reedy-sounding equivalents. We didn’t detect much strain at full volume, either. We haven’t had the chance to directly compare the Encore’s output with that from the Venue 8 Pro, but having two speakers versus Dell’s one can only help with audio clarity.

Software

Toshiba Encore's default apps

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Windows 8.1 is virtually tailor-made for small tablets like the Encore. It lets you shrink Live Tiles to save you from scrolling, provides more thumb-friendly keyboard shortcuts and gives you quick access to the camera from the lock screen. While we can’t say that everyone will like Windows’ heavily gesture-driven interface, we felt at home before long. This is certainly the platform of choice if you want to run two apps at once, such as a chat client and a browser. You can do that with a few Android tablets, but it’s a bit more elegant here — many Windows 8 apps are designed to run side by side with others.

You’ll also have a solid (albeit not outstanding) selection of programs to choose from. Many media apps come in touch-native Windows versions, including those from the big TV networks and music-streaming services like Pandora. Some of the most tablet-savvy apps have only shown up relatively recently, such as Flipboard’s curated reading app and Nokia’s Here Maps. You won’t find some mobile titles (notably Instagram and Vine), and developers like Apple, Mozilla and Valve aren’t porting existing software to the modern Windows environment. Still, we haven’t been hurting for app choices in a while.

Having Windows 8.1 also grants access to the classic Windows desktop, which is useful if you absolutely, positively have to run a legacy app on your tablet. It’s not a panacea, mind you. As we’ve stressed before, the older interface just isn’t intended for an 8-inch screen. Many buttons and scroll bars are too tiny, and you can’t assume that your favorite release has been optimized for touch. We’d rather have the option than make do without it (as with Windows RT), but it’s best reserved for those moments when you have both a keyboard and mouse close at hand.

Toshiba Encore running Flipboard

Toshiba has largely resisted the urge to load the Encore with extra software. There are just a handful of modern Windows apps beyond what Microsoft normally supplies, most of which are big-name titles. Amazon’s Kindle and shopping apps are here, as are BookPlace, eBay, iHeartRadio, Netflix, Symantec’s Norton security suite, Toshiba Central (for support), Toshiba TruCapture (for recording whiteboard notes), Xbox 360 SmartGlass and Zinio. The highlight on the traditional desktop is clearly the full copy of Microsoft Office Home & Student, although you will have to activate it. Besides that, you’ll only get a smattering of Toshiba support apps. It’s a very reasonable mix, although we quickly grew tired of the Norton bundle’s out-of-the-box tendency to nag about protection.

Performance and battery life

Tablet PCMark7 3DMark06 3DMark11 ATTO (top disk speeds)
Toshiba Encore (1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3740, Intel HD graphics) 2,479 2,068 E339 / P210 177 MB/s (reads); 74 MB/s (writes)
Acer Iconia W4 (1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3740, Intel HD graphics) 2,538 2,089 E340 / P211 174 MB/s (reads); 70 MB/s (writes)
ASUS Transformer Book T100 (1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3740, Intel HD graphics) 2,461 2,113

E338 / P209

123 MB/s (reads); 58 MB/s (writes)
Dell Venue 8 Pro (1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3740D, Intel HD graphics) 2,343 1,986

E299 / P164

86 MB/s (reads); 45 MB/s (writes)

The Encore doesn’t deviate from the script when it comes to hardware. Much like other budget Windows tablets, you’ll find both a quad-core, 1.33GHz Atom Z3740 processor and 2GB of RAM under the hood. That doesn’t sound like much, but don’t let the modest numbers fool you — the Atom chip’s Bay Trail architecture gives Toshiba’s slab plenty of power for the interface and lightweight apps. There isn’t any noticeable dip in performance when running two apps at once, for that matter.

Intensive tasks like desktop-oriented 3D games are generally off-limits. We could play Half-Life 2 well at low-to-medium detail, but BioShock Infinite just wasn’t an option. The Encore is far more adept with mobile-oriented titles like Halo: Spartan Assault, which are silky-smooth. Whatever you’re doing, you won’t scorch your lap; the Encore got warm when we pushed it hard, but nothing more.

Toshiba Encore tablet close-up

Not surprisingly, there’s no clear performance edge over other recent entry-level Windows tablets. The Encore was largely neck and neck with its competitors in processor-focused tests, including the 416ms score we saw in the SunSpider browsing benchmark. The flash-based storage is about as speedy as it is on the Iconia W4, but we did observe a slightly pokier nine-second boot time. We won’t grouse too much about the similarity in results, since you’re still getting a pleasantly hitch-free tablet experience.

The middle-of-the-road battery life may be a tougher sell. We got eight hours and 45 minutes of runtime from the Encore while looping a video at half brightness (lower than on Acer’s tablet, to get comparable illumination), with WiFi retrieving email and social network updates. That’s better than the Miix 2 and Venue 8 Pro, but a full hour behind what Acer can manage. It’s also well below Toshiba’s official 14-hour estimate, which is based on a mixture of browsing, video and standby time. The company’s figure is realistic; we managed two days of real-world use before having to recharge. Even so, it’s proof that you need to read the fine print for official claims like these. The Encore’s battery is good, not great, under a heavy load.

Tablet Battery Life
Toshiba Encore 8:45
Microsoft Surface 2 14:22
Apple iPad Air (LTE) 13:45
Nokia Lumia 2520 13:28 (tablet only) / 16:19 (with dock)
Apple iPad mini 12:43 (WiFi)
Apple iPad mini with Retina display 11:55 (LTE)
Apple iPad (late 2012) 11:08 (WiFi)
ASUS Transformer Book T100 10:40
Apple iPad 2 10:26
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 10:04
Apple iPad (2012) 9:52 (HSPA) / 9:37 (LTE)
Acer Iconia W4 9:50
Nexus 7 (2012) 9:49
Microsoft Surface RT 9:36
Apple iPad 9:33
ASUS Transformer Prime Infinity TF700 9:25
Acer Iconia W3 9:21
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 8:56
Sony Xperia Tablet Z 8:40
Toshiba Excite Write 8:13
Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 7:38
HP Slate 7 7:36
Nexus 10 7:26
Dell Venue 8 Pro 7:19
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 7:18
Nexus 7 (2013) 7:15
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 7:13
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 6:55
HP SlateBook x2 6:34 (tablet only) / 8:49 (keyboard dock)

We’d add that the 8-megapixel rear camera isn’t the upgrade it appears to be over the 5MP units in the Iconia W4 and Venue 8 Pro. If anything, it’s a step backward. The Encore’s sensor produces more noise in low light than Acer’s, and blown-out scene highlights (such as bright windows) are more conspicuous. The rear camera probably won’t be a make-or-break factor in your purchase unless you’re one of the precious few people who buys a tablet with photography in mind. Even so, we’d prefer that Toshiba had focused on image quality over resolution.

Configuration options

Toshiba Encore on our favorite website

As of this writing, you only have two choices among Encore tablets. A 32GB model will set you back $300 if you buy from Toshiba, while its 64GB sibling costs $350. If you’re a savvy shopper, you can pick up the 32GB variant for less; it currently goes for about $280 at Amazon. At any rate, we’d strongly suggest that you get the 64GB edition if you can –we were down to less than 4GB of space (out of 23GB available) on our 32GB test unit within a matter of days, and that’s without a significant media collection.

Moreover, there aren’t any major first-party accessories to speak of; we could only track down a basic snap-on case. Unlike Acer, Dell or Lenovo, there are no docks or keyboard cases to turn the Encore into a miniature workhorse. Third-party peripherals thankfully exist to pick up some of the slack, but this does mean you’ll have to search around if you’re bent on getting a keyboard or protector.

The competition

Toshiba Encore showing its main rival

If you look at specifications alone, Toshiba’s slate does little to distinguish itself. It has the same processor, the same storage and the same underlying technology as much of its competition. It even starts at a similar official price these days (Toshiba originally charged $330).

Look closer and it gets more complicated. The Encore fares best against the Miix 2 and Venue 8 Pro, with the healthy battery life and micro-HDMI video that its rivals lack. Dell and Lenovo mostly rely on sales pricing to lure you away; it’s common to find either of their tablets selling for less than $250, making them great bargains when every dollar counts. The Venue and VivoTab Note 8 both have pen support in their favor, although ASUS’ $330 asking price hurts the VivoTab’s chances.

As you may have gathered by now, it’s Acer that gives Toshiba the real thrashing. The Iconia W4 has tangibly longer battery life, and it’s easier to find at low prices (it’s $250 at Amazon as we write this). While the Encore does have a brighter display and an easier-to-hold design, the Iconia counters these with reduced glare, better mechanical controls and a higher-quality rear camera. If the tablet industry narrowed down to just these two devices, Acer would emerge as the winner more often than not.

Don’t be quick to balk at paying $400 for a ThinkPad 8, either. It’s one of the few Windows tablets this size with a 1080p screen, and it has options for both 4G and 128GB of storage. That said, it doesn’t claim a decisive victory over the Encore. We’re in the midst of reviewing Lenovo’s tablet, and we’ve found that it has both a mediocre six-hour battery life and a scratch-prone chassis. All told, you may prefer Toshiba’s machine simply because it can take some abuse.

Wrap-up

Toshiba Encore on a stack o' books

You might think we’re down on the Encore based on the complaints littered throughout the review, but that’s not true. We genuinely enjoyed our time with it, and it’s safe to recommend if you can snag one at bargain-basement pricing. The battery life and performance are up to snuff, and there are no cavernous holes in the feature set — so long as you weren’t expecting an imaging powerhouse, anyway.

For us, the real problem is that there are few reasons to pick the Encore over something else. It’s not the best at anything, unless you’re in love with its silvery shell. If you want extended battery life, you should turn to Acer; if cost matters the most, go with Dell or Lenovo; if you like to jot down handwritten notes, choose ASUS or Dell. Toshiba has done a fine job with its first foray into 8-inch Windows tablets, but not the exceptional job it needed to rise above a sea of competitors.

Daniel Orren and Edgar Alvarez contributed to this review.

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26
Mar
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Toshiba 128GB Flash Drive Has the Speed and the Security in One Device


At the end of February Toshiba announced a new line of TransMemory Pro EX II USB Flash Drives to the world. The announcement brought along two new devices, a 64GB version and a 128GB version. The big to do about the thumb drives were the transfer speed read/writes and the added security functionality. Needless to say, it all sounded to good to be true, so we needed to find out for ourselves.

Toshiba TransMemory 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review

What’s in the box

  • 128GB USB 3.0 TransMemory Pro EX II Flash Drive
  • Warranty information

The Toshiba TransMemory Pro Flash Drive measures in at 2.2 x 0.8 x 0.4 – inches ( 55.88 x 20.32 x 10.16 mm) and weighs in at 0.5 ounces.

Toshiba TransMemory 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive ReviewThe flash drives casing is solid aluminum that helps make it more durable and not to mention looks and feels pretty good.

It does have a set of holes in the rear to thread a wrist strap, like from a camera, or a keychain ring through for safer travels. You will also find that the cap that covers the front USB plug has a safe home on the rear, kind of like a pen cap.

Toshiba TransMemory 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review Toshiba TransMemory 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive ReviewLike every other storage solution out there, you don’t actually get 128GBs of free space. There is approximately 119GBs of actually user storage available on the one we have right now, but the Toshiba says there is around 115GBs of user storage. The reasoning is that a portion of the memory is locked up for software and functionality.

The new TransMemory Pro has two primary selling points of interest. The first being the theoretical speeds. According to Toshiba, the drive will read at up to 222 MB/s and write at up to 205 MB/s. Compared to the Sandisk Connect Wireless and previous SD card tests, that is approximately 13 times faster. Those numbers are dictated only if your current connected device uses USB 3.0 and not USB 2.0.

The second major selling point is the EX II Pad Locker software that is included on the drive.

Toshiba EX II Pad Locker Securoty AppThis handy little application is where you can create a protected partition that can be password protected. This can be a small portion of the drive, or the whole thing. It will accept up to 21-single spaced characters which include numbers, letters and symbols. You can add a password hint if you would like as well.

EX II Pad Locker P{ad locker Flash Drive 

The real kicker though, if you forget that password, there is no recovering it. You can only format the drive to wipe the block. Don’t forget to copy it off the drive before you set up the or remove any restriction blocks also as it wipes the drive. If you happen to forget though you can get the software again from Toshiba.

The flash Drive is also Microsoft ReadyBoost Ready as well.

How does the Toshiba 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Perform?

Desktop PC

The first thing I did to test the drive was connect to a USB 2.0 port on an older PC and then ran CrystalDiskMark.

Toshiba DriveSecond, I connected the drive to a USB 3.0 port on a newer computer and ran the same software.

Toshiba Drive USB 3.0 Port testingAs you can see in the images above, there is a huge difference. We know that a USB 3.0 port and compatible hardware will much faster, but sometimes seeing the proof is better than reading reading about it on a package. Interestingly enough, this is slightly faster than what Toshiba has listed of 222MB/s read and 205MS/s write.

I wanted to give the numbers a test in a real world condition too. To do that I just grabbed my phone and opened up the stop watch. Then I transferred a 1.0GB movie file from my PC desktop to the drive, once on the USB 2.0 port and once on the USB 3.0 port.

USB 2.0 – File transfer to the drive took approximately 35 seconds from the time I dropped the file and the transfer window closed.

USB 3.0 – File transfer to the drive took approximately 6.5 seconds from the time I dropped the file and the transfer window closed.

Not an exact science, but in the real world every users file size will vary and so will their computer equipment. In the end, it shows that the speed between 2.0 and 3.0 with a 3.0 flash drive does make a world of difference if you have a patience issue.

OTG Cable to a Moto X

The next thing I did was use a USB OTG cable and connect the drive to a Moto X.

Toshiba 128GB TransMemoryPro USB 3.0 Flash Drive Moto X USB OTG Cable 

You can see the drive appearing in the list with ES File Explorer. I easily accessed it and played the movie file on board. However, once I set up a protected area that was password protected, I wasn’t able to view or access any files on either the ‘public’ side or the ‘protected’ side. I fully expected to have access to the ‘public’ side of the drive and just not see the ‘private’ side at all.  I had to reformat back to a full drive for the Moto X.

Google Chromebook (Acer)

The final device available to me to connect the drive to is our Acer C710 Chromebook. That is their first Chromebook. The Acer quickly and easily accessed the drive without the ‘private’ section set up. When I connected the drive with both a ‘public’ and a ‘private’ partition set up, it was able to access the ‘public’ side without issue. The ‘private’ side didn’t appear at all, which is good, but you can’t run a .exe program that is required to access the program to input the password to access the ‘private’ side.

What I like about the TransMemory Pro 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive 

What isn’t to like? Even on a USB 2.0 port the speeds were double that of the SanDisk Connect Wireless, which topped out at about 17.6 MB/s. While the SanDisk drive isn’t necessarily relevant, it is a reference that we have covered. The aluminum housing is well crafted. The lid fits securely on both sides. There is nothing more annoying than losing the lid to your drive.

What I don’t like about the TransMemory Pro 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive

While I understand the OS and compatibility issues, I would have liked to find a way to access the ‘private’ side of the drive with an Android app and a Chrome app. I am sure they are capable of creating one. It is a minor issue, but considering the amount of users who use Chromebooks and Android devices as their primary work device, having access to the added security would make these appeal a little more.

Overall thoughts

Even with the restriction of not being able to access the ‘private’ section on Chromebook or Android at all, the drive is still worth your time. It is very possible that Toshiba will look into support for them, but I wouldn’t bank on it in the near future. The storage size and the speed is fantastic. If you need a fast large storage USB drive and primarily work with Mac and Windows, then you can’t go wrong with this little guy. Adding in that app and the ‘private’ section with an encrypted password, and you have a real winner.

The new drives come in the 128GB version that we just reviewed, as well as a smaller 64GB version. The 128GB will set you back $199.99 on Amazon, but the 64GB isn’t making an appearance yet. Toshiba on the other hand has them both available and for a slightly lower price tag at the moment. The 128GB is listed for $169.99 and the 64Gb is listed for $99.99. Limited time offer through March 31st 2014  though, so order fast.

 

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12
Mar
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Toshiba sticks to what it knows with new LED HDTV range


Toshiba’s already spilled the beans on its 4K TV line-up for this year, and right on cue, it’s just revealed the new range of 2014 LED sets that might interest us folk still clinging on to the regular HD era. The entry-level 3 series gains a number of new recruits, all with some smart TV features, baked-in WiFi and Freeview HD, in the UK at least. The L3 range is full HD, with 40- and 48-inch options, while the lone W3 model is a 32-inch, 1,366 x 768 affair. With the same resolution and screen sizes from 24 to 40 inches, the D3 series also have DVD players on board, and all of the above are slated for launch in the US and UK later this month.

The new L54 duo, available in 40- and 48-inch full HD flavors, include all the same features as the 3 series, with active-shutter 3D and 2D to 3D conversion, to boot. Making a step up to the L64 42- and 47-inch pair grants you Toshiba’s more advanced “Cloud” smart TV platform, with DVR capabilities and WiDi support. You’ll lose 3D credentials, but gain a bunch of buzzwords that speak of improved image and audio quality, as well as support for Toshiba’s mobile apps. We reach the top end with the L74 series of 42-, 47- and 55-inch models. These have all the features of the L64 range, plus passive 3D and Toshiba’s own CEVO picture and audio processing technology. All models in the L54, L64 and L74 crews are due to hit shelves during the second quarter.

Also arriving before July are a trio of speaker setups to complement your new set. There’s a simple 40-watt sound bar, and two sound bar/subwoofer combos. The “Mini 3D Sound Bar II” is the smaller of the two, as the name suggests, with 90 watts of total power and Bluetooth/NFC alongside probably all the physical connectivity options you might need. Unlovingly named “SB3950M1,” the bigger combo is much of the same, but with 150 watts of total power to make your eyes rattle just that little bit more.

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25
Feb
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Toshiba: TransMemory Pro USB 3.0 Flash Drive in 64GB and 128GB


While cloud storage is easily one option for keeping all your information, photos and documents easily at hand, there is still a place and a use for physical storage devices. Just yesterday SanDisk announced a new 128GB micro SDXC card. Today we hear from Toshiba and their latest offering. The new TransMemory Pro USB 3.0 Flash Drive.

Toshiba TransMemory Pro USB 3.0 Flash Drive

The new Toshiba TransMemory Pro will come in a 64GB and a 128GB size offering and obviously utilizes USB 3.0 for speedy transfer. Toshiba states that the flash drive reads at speeds up to 222 MB/s and writes up to 205 MB/s. Obviously making it extremely snappy. Other benefits include built-in security software and encrypted password protection. It will also let you set up your own public and private partitions.

While this isn’t Android news specifically, the specs and the press release are definitely up the tech users ally and we thought some of you out there might be pretty interested to hear about this little beast. The drives say they are PC and Mac compatible, and we can only assume that using an OTG cable to an Android device would work as well. If we get our hands on one any time soon we will be sure to give it a test on few various devices.

Price wise is up there in the clouds for many with the new TransMemory Pro 64GB at $129.99 and the 128GB at $199.99. However, the price points are pretty on point for the capabilities and size compared to some others we have seen.

Anyone been waiting or looking for a exceptionally quick high capacity USB 3.0 flash Drive? The press release said they are available at Toshiba.com, but I couldn’t find them yet.

6
Feb
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The science behind having two cameras in the HTC M8 i.e. a dual-sensor camera


TThe science behind having two cameras in the HTC M8A lot of noise was made yesterday when we spotted an alleged leaked photo of the HTC M8‘s backside. The contention arose, not only due to claims of ‘photoshopping’, but the back of the HTC One’s successor was adorned with what appeared to be two cameras, raising questions of why this would even be necessary. Even if the HTC M8, or HTC One 2, or whatever it will be called, does not eventually release with two cameras on its back, I thought it would be insightful to take a look at the science behind having two cameras in the HTC M8, or more accurately, why a dual-sensor camera is preferable to the standard one camera affair.

To understand why you need two cameras at all, we must first take a look at the Lytro Camera. The Lytro introduced in 2011 a type of technology that would change photography as we know it; in standard photography, your camera focuses on one object and once the picture is taken, the focus of the photo is unable to be changed. The Lytro is able to get around these restrictions by capturing the light field around the entire designated photo area. What this means is that photos from the Lytro can be examined later on and refocused at the users discretion. That a look at what the results can be:

The science behind having two cameras in the HTC M8Both images seen above were taken at the same time; the only difference is that instead of being restricted to focusing on one object, which can potentially be the wrong object, the Lytro allows you to retrospectively change what you are focusing on. As you can see, the Lytro Camera technology is something that can potentially revolutionize photography as it reduces the need for specific apertures.

Along these lines of developing a mobile camera with comparable capabilities, Toshiba actually announced the TCM9518MD module last year which they said would be capable of Lytro-like photography, allowing you to refocus your pictures after taking them. While the module isn’t quite in mass production yet, it looks like plenty of phone manufacturers, like Apple and Nokia, have been hot on Toshiba’s tail trying to develop similar technology, and you can probably see why.

The science behind having two cameras in the HTC M8Which brings us to the rumour that the HTC M8 will have a similar dual-sensor camera. If a dual-sensor camera does make it into the new HTC flagship smartphone, it would be a definitive step in putting the Taiwanese manufacturer back where it wants to be: back at the top of the Android charts after an extended hiatus.

Would you like to see a dual-sensor camera in the HTC M8? Was yesterday’s leak was actually real? Let us know what you think of the technology in the comments below.

Source: Digital Trends (1), (2) via The Phoblographer

5
Feb
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Toshiba Chromebook arrives in the US and UK, slightly pricier than expected


Back at CES, Toshiba told us that its new Chromebook would be shipping on February 16th. It appears, though, the company has decided to make it available ahead of time, as the 13-inch Chrome OS laptop is now up for grabs in the US and UK. In a small twist, however, Toshiba is listing the Haswell-powered Chromebook for $300 on its website, a small bump over the $279 price it was announced with earlier this year. That said, retailers like Adorama and Amazon do have it for around $280, so you could still enjoy that lower price after all. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, Amazon’s selling the Toshiba Chromebook for £249, with shipments expected to begin February 10th.

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Via: Android Community

Source: Toshiba

4
Feb
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Toshiba’s new drive could take the headaches out of networked storage


Toshiba Canvio Home drive

There aren’t many network-attached hard drives for the home, and those that exist aren’t always easy to use… not unless you enjoy drive mapping, anyway. Toshiba may just make the experience simpler with its just-shipped Canvio Home, though. This sequel to the Canvio Personal Cloud takes some of the guesswork out of setting up and finding your storage on your home network; if you just need to drag-and-drop files, you could be up and running within minutes. The Canvio Home also introduces official Mac support. As before, you can access the Canvio Home from anywhere (including Android and iOS apps), and it will stream media to local DLNA-capable gadgets. Toshiba is selling a 2TB version of the new disk for $200, while its 3TB sibling costs $260.

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