In today's news roundup:

  • Word has it that many notebook manufacturers are thinking of ditching the x86-based hardware typically used in the assembly of such devices in favor of ARM-based alternatives, and that there is a chance that such ARM-powered notebooks could be making their appeareance on the market even before the year ends;
  • Crocus has claimed to have developed what could possibly be the world's first example of a universal memory standard that can be configured to replace SRAM, DRAM, NAND, NOR and OTP while still using the same manufacturing process;
  • Nokia has reportedly showed off its first working Windows Phone 7-powered smartphone;
  • Samsung has captured the attention of consumers once again by giving a surprise look at its as-yet unannounced Series 3 budget notebook line at the Digital Experience tradeshow in New York;
  • Benchmark Reviews have a go at the recently-released Duke Nukem Forever game running under NVIDIA's 3D Vision technology, and
  • Rockstar Games has confirmed that the company plans to bring L.A. Noire over to PCs.

Hardware news

OCZ Technology RevoDrive X2 100GB PCI Express SSD Review @ Bigbruin.com
Description: OCZ Technology has another winner on its hands with the RevoDrive X2 100GB PCI Express SSD! It is hard not to be impressed by an SSD that offers read speeds of up to 740MB/s and write speeds of up to 690MB/s. A variety of tests were run on the RevoDrive X2 and a collection of five other "high speed" SSDs, and the RevoDrive X2 was consistently dominant.

OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G 240GB SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
Description: The SandForce SF-2200 controller does all the heavy lifting, pushing out listed reads of 559MB/s and writes of 527MB/s. This is almost exactly what we saw on the benchmarks in terms of max performance so OWC was true to their specifications. Fresh off of testing the OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240 GB drive we felt others would have a tough time topping its performance but OWC came through with a drive that eked out better scores more often than not. OWC is going to garner a lot of attention if they keep putting out products like the 240 GB Mercury EXTREME Pro 6g SSD as we found it to be the best overall performing SATA III drive we have tested to date…

QNAP TS-412 Turbo NAS Review
Description: As one of QNAP's most affordable 4-bay NAS, we were unsurprisingly drawn to the TS-412. The device is fetching only $40 more than the older TS-410, but considering its Marvell processor runs 50% faster (800MHz versus 1.2GHz), we feel the TS-412 is a better value, and so we've opted to review it instead.

NZXT H2 Classic Silent Mid-Tower Case Review @ OCIA.net
Description: NZXT introduces the newest design in their Classic series, the H2 Silent mid-tower. Building upon the success of their previous Hush mid-tower and Whisper full-tower chassis, the H2 incorporates the latest case upgrades and technological advances into a compact mid-tower frame, utilizing quieting features and a classic styling that practically screams NZXT.

X86 notebook manufacturers buy into ARM processors
Description: If industry sources close to Digitimes are to be believed, more ARM architecture notebooks are on the way, possibly before the year's through. Although ARM systems running on Android appeared from Lenovo and Toshiba before quickly flopping, this time round we expect ARM really wants to make a go of it. Now that there's a quadcore CPU there is a chance it could pick up. ARM's big idea is that it can manage low power consumption very well, not to mention the comparitive pricepoints for its pricing.

Habey EMC-600B SFF Mini-ITX Chassis Review @MissingRemote
Description: The Wesena ITX7, HDPlex H10.ODD and Vidabox vCase3 are all great cases with a direct focus on HTPC aesthetics and each has their pros and cons. The one con almost always present when discussing HTPC chassis is PRICE–SFF chassis with home theater A/V focused designs are frequently over the $100 price range, not including the power supply. What Habey is offering in their EMC-600B enclosure is a stylish aluminum SFF chassis for mini-ITX only that occupies a tiny footprint with a nice appearance to fit just as appropriately in your A/V stack as in your bedroom–and it includes a power supply, all for under $70.

Universal memory at least? Crocus developed NAND-like MRAM, to replace replace SRAM, DRAM, NAND, NOR and OTP
Description: Crocus developed a new technology called Magnetic-Logic-Unit (MLU), which is an evolution of their Thermally Assisted Switching (TAS) MRAM technology. MLU can be configured in several ways, and so could potentially replace SRAM, DRAM, NAND, NOR and OTP. And all those capabilities are manufactured using the same simple wafter process – with different design architecture.


Consumer Electronics and Software News

AC Ryan PlayOn!HD2 Media Player Review
Description: Today I'm going to talk about AC Ryan's PlayOn!HD2 media player. Just recently I took a look at KWorld's media player and this follows suit. One of the negative impressions I had with the KWorld player, however, was the UI. AC Ryan has not made the same mistake, believe me. AC Ryan's PlayOn!HD2 media player has an absolutely gorgeous user interface – I fell in love with it the second it booted up. No low resolution, low quality, quickly-put-together UI; it was a polished, well thought-out, high-resolution UI. Tick!

Razer TRON Legacy Gaming Mouse And Mat Bundle Review @ Real World Labs
Description: Whether or not you are a huge fan of both TRON movies the latest TRON LEGACY Gaming Mouse and Mat bundle by Razer is bound to leave you speechless with its design, glowing colors and lightning fast performance.

Nokia's first Windows Phone: images and video, codenamed 'Sea Ray'
Description: Ok, this one's odd. In fact, we didn't believe the images until a video just surfaced showing Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, foolishly asking a crowd of people to "put away their cameras" for the unveiling of something "super confidential," codenamed "Sea Ray." Naturally, a few people ignored the plea for "no pictures please" and, indeed, someone leaked what appears to be a Nokia-produced video of the unveiling to the blogosphere. What is it? Why, it's Nokia's first Windows Phone. While it looks nearly identical to the just announced N9, the different LED placement on the back (in line with the same 8 megapixel Carl Zeiss lens) confirms it's a new device as does the additional hardware button (for shutter release, we presume) along the side. And the fact that it's running Windows Phone 7 Mango seals the deal. See a few more shots and the full uncut video (and relevant snippet) after the break.

ARCHOS 35 Home Connect and ARCHOS 35 Smart Home Phone introduced
Description: ARCHOS has just announced two new Android devices for the home – the ARCHOS 35 Home Connect, an Android-based web radio and the ARCHOS 35 Smart Home Phone, an Android DECT Phone. In addition to functioning like regular web radios and home phones, the devices can also work like regular Android devices meaning you’ll have access to apps, themes, and so on. Talk about customizing your home appliances to match the furniture.

Samsung Series 3 gets live, unofficial reveal
Description: Samsung gave a surprise look at its as-yet unannounced Series 3 budget notebook line at the Digital Experience tradeshow in New York. The Series 3 will be available with a wide of screen sizes, and use a range of AMD and Intel CPUs. The chassis for the Series 3 has the same look as the premium Series 9, mimicking the look of brushed metal. Some of the Intel-based notebooks will have WiDi.


Gaming news

Duke Nukem Forever 3D Vision Experience @ Benchmark Reviews
Description: After a 14 year gestation, Duke Nukem Forever has finally arrived. Those of us who played the original Duke Nukem games after weaning ourselves from Doom and Quake have finally had our patience rewarded, but adding a little frosting to the cake is the fact that Duke Nukem Forever was coded to take full advantage of NVIDIA's 3D Vision technology: it's a "3D Ready"-qualified game. Benchmark Reviews takes a look at this irreverent take on the FPS genre in 3D.

L.A. Noire Coming to PC
Description: Speaking on its official website, Rockstar said "L.A. Noire's robust feature customization includes keyboard remapping and gamepad functionality to both optimize and customize performance and user experience. Along with increased fidelity and improved graphical enhancements, the PC version will also feature 3D support for an even greater sense of interaction and immersion within a painstakingly detailed 1940s Los Angeles."