As if it weren’t hard enough keeping your house safe from debt collectors these days, now you have something else to worry about: a falling German satellite called ROSAT. The German Aerospace Center has estimated that the hunk of decommissioned, extra-orbital metal will enter the atmosphere sometime between 7:30pm ET tonight and 1:30am ET tomorrow. It’s unknown whether any of the thing will survive re-entry, but the 1.7 ton telescope mirror onboard very well may, striking the surface at a hasty 17,398MPH. The agency doesn’t know where it will fall, but did reassuringly say that it won’t hit Europe — German scientists basically telling the rest of the world to spend all night worrying while they doze away, peacefully. At least it won’t be taking any of its orbital brethren with it…
Achtung: German satellite to crash down tonight, won’t land in Germany originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 22 Oct 2011 18:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, german aerospace center
It was just last week that we got to take home the Acer Aspire S3, the first Ultrabook to go on sale here in the States. Unfortunately, it doesn’t live up to the pillars laid out by Intel: its performance trails similar machines, its battery craps out early and the design, while portable, is too chintzy to make it a bellwether for skinny Windows laptops. Our verdict, in a sentence, was that you’d be better off getting a MacBook Air, or at least considering other Ultrabooks — namely, ASUS’ line of Zenbooks.
As it turns out, one showed up on our doorstep just a few days later. In many ways, the UX31 is everything the S3 is not: it has a gorgeous all-metal design and comes standard with an SSD and 1600 x 900 display (not to mention, a case and two bundled adapters). And with a starting price of $1,099, it undercuts the entry-level (and similarly configured) MacBook Air by two hundred bucks. So is this the Ultrabook we’ve all been waiting for? We suggest pouring yourself a large beverage, settling into a comfy chair and meeting us past the break. We’ve got a lot to say on the subject.
Continue reading ASUS Zenbook UX31 review
ASUS Zenbook UX31 review originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 21 Oct 2011 16:25:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Tags: asus ux31
You heard that Nikon is releasing a couple of mirrorless compacts, right? Well, the ten megapixel J1 and V1 models are both on sale from today, sticking to their schedule despite the terrible flooding in Thailand that has already delayed a separate Nikon announcement scheduled for Tuesday as well as impacting heavily on Sony’s camera production. The metal V1 is priced at $900 including a 10-30mm, f/3.5 max aperture kit lens. Meanwhile, the plastic J1 is going for $650 with the same glass and we’ve already subjected it to some full review scrutiny.
Nikon J1 and V1 compacts now available for mirror haters everywhere originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 20 Oct 2011 07:57:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, nikon v1
It seems like only yesterday that eFun was talking up its Nextbook Premium8 tablet (okay it was two weeks ago), but the company is already pitching the latest entry in the line. The Nextbook Premium9 has a nine-inch display, in keeping with the Southern California company’s fairly straight-forward naming convention. The slate runs a basic version of Android 2.3 (though the company assures us that a Honeycomb upgrade is on the way) and packs in 4GB of memory (expandable via a MicroSD slot), a built-in speaker, a two megapixel front-facing camera and, as a bit of a throwback, a mini USB port.
We had a bit of trouble on the software front — the tablet froze up on us a few times during our hands-on trial, in spite of the 1GHz processor inside. The hardware itself is a bit more promising, however. It’s actually a pretty slick little tablet that has a nice feel in hand, thanks in part to its brushed metal rear — though the tablet does feel a bit on the thick side. The asking price for the Gingerbread slate is $299, though the company made a point of letting us know that it’ll likely be a bit cheaper when it goes on sale in November / December, running consumers closer to $269 — better, sure, but perhaps still not low enough to bring too many folks over to the eFun way.
Zach Honig contributed to this report.
Continue reading eFun Nextbook Premium 9 tablet hands-on (video)
eFun Nextbook Premium 9 tablet hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 19 Oct 2011 20:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Sintering is a common process for creating copper heat sinks that involves packing powdered metals into a particular shape and baking it in a vacuum. A funny thing happens though, if you leave out the vacuum part of the equation: you don’t get a solid shape, but a porous pile of particles with hollow, nanowire whiskers sticking out of it. The serendipitous discovery could lead to a new way to make heat sinks for everything from CPUs to boilers at power plants. Now researchers at MIT are trying the process with practically every material they can get their hands on. Of particular interest is zirconium, which could be used with fuel rods in nuclear reactors to improve efficiency. The idea of whisker-covered heat sinks may sound strange, but the potential for improving thermal management across a range of applications is huge. Just don’t try and pet it — these things tend to get a little toasty.
More efficient heat sinks could sport nanowire whiskers originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 17 Oct 2011 21:08:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, nano wires
You didn’t think the latest iPhone would be saved from Colorware’s
paint-dipped hands, did you?
Lo and behold, the company’s swatches are currently ready for application on the 4S
. Similar to its iPhone 4
treatments, you’ll be able to spice up your device — and its earbuds — with a mixture of glossy, metallic and soft-touch coatings (excluding mainly the front face, which remains stock black or white). Colorware’ll gladly
sell you a fresh 16 or 64GB model for a whopping $1,500 or $1,700, respectively, or you can mail yours in to get a Benetton-esque makeover for just $250.
Colorware spills its inks on your iPhone 4S, charges dearly for it originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 16 Oct 2011 05:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, case mod
, stock black
Back in May, when we first got hands-on with ASUS’ UX21
laptops, it was to be one of our first encounters with the kind of ultrathin PC that Intel’s now marketing as Ultrabooks. Since then, a lot’s happened — we’ve seen a handful of similarly skinny
notebooks, with Acer’s Aspire S3
beating them all to market. Now, more or less on schedule, ASUS is ready to follow suit. The company just announced that its line of Ultrabooks — make that Zenbooks! — will go on sale in the US tomorrow, October 12, starting at $999 for the 11.6-inch UX21 and $1,099 for the 13.3-inch UX31. If you’ll recall, they weigh in at 2.4 pounds and 2.9 pounds, respectively, and thanks to those aluminum alloy bodies, glass trackpads and all-metal keyboards, they just happen to be two of the finest-looking Ultrabooks we’ve seen to date. Other specs include USB 3.0, Bluetooth 4.0, a SATA III SSD, ultra low voltage Core i5 and i7 processors and two-second resume time — the same claim Acer’s making with its Aspire S3. While the 11.6-incher has 1366 x 768 resolution, the 13-inch model’s panel steps up to 1600 x 900. And when it comes to battery life, the UX21′s rated for five hours of runtime (or seven days’ standby), while the UX31 lasts a longer seven hours (or ten days).You heard the company — these are landing tomorrow — but until then feel free to revisit our hands-on
for your requisite close-up shots and video.
ASUS Zenbook UX21 and UX31 headed to the US October 12, starting at $999 originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 11 Oct 2011 14:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, asus ux31
, breaking news
Do we really need another wireless charging system that’s incompatible with industry standards? Murata seems to think that we do. The company’s prototype uses neither conductive nor inductive transmission, instead bringing its new capacitive coupling technology to the cordless charging mix. Capacitive coupling uses square transmitter and receiver electrodes, instead of the coils used with Qi devices. It also doesn’t require a physical connection like near-obsolete conductive tech, which dictates that both the charging pad and receiving device use metal connectors that must be joined to transfer current. The Murata system is far from being production-ready, with only 70 percent efficiency (30 percent of electricity is lost during transmission). The sample the company had on hand can support 16 watts of output with a maximum of 2.1 amps, making each pad capable of charging several small gadgets, or one larger device, like a laptop.
Murata seemed more interested in demonstrating the concept behind capacitive coupling than actually proving that it works — the laptop we saw “charging” was a plastic mockup, though the base did glow red when the laptop’s charging pad came into contact (though it also glowed blue at times, as you can see in the image above). We did take a close look at an iPhone case, however, which appeared to be remarkably thin — much thinner than models from Powermat, for example, though the case does extend below the dock connector. Another advantage of the square electrodes is that you don’t need to place devices in a certain position on the mat in order for them to charge — they simply need to be positioned within the general charging area. We take a closer look in the video after the break.
Continue reading Murata Wireless Power Transmission System supports laptops, we go hands-on (video)
Murata Wireless Power Transmission System supports laptops, we go hands-on (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 05 Oct 2011 07:33:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
, tokyo japan
If you’re all hot and bothered by today’s announcement from Apple, there’ll be a new way for AT&T customers to snatch up the iPhone 4S. Later this evening, Ma Bell expects to introduce a gem into the App Store that lets users check their upgrade eligibility, and beginning Friday, October 7th, customers will be able to pre-order the A5-wielding beauty from the comfort of their current iPhone. Of course, we’ll be sure to provide an update as the final details become available. Who’d have thought your current handset would play such an active role in its own demise?
AT&T goes meta: your iPhone 4S upgrade is just an app away originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 04 Oct 2011 22:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Faster delivery is always better when it comes to pizza, Thai food and now… drugs? Doctors seem to think so as they’re experimenting with a new method of delivering medicine to the bloodstream via tiny nanotubes powered by rocket fuel. By storing healing meds within the platinum-coated metal tubes, doctors have been able to propel the tiny vessels up to 200 times their own length per second — faster than swimming bacteria. It works as such: by introducing a hydrogen peroxide/water solution, the platinum reacts, sending it zipping forward and catalyzing the peroxide into water and oxygen. The downside? Even though the fuel is only .25 percent peroxide, it’s still slightly toxic — so it looks like it’s back to the drawing board until they can develop a safer alternative. Spiders, perhaps? Check out the video demonstration after the break.
Continue reading Researchers say nanorockets could deliver medicine quickly within the blood
Researchers say nanorockets could deliver medicine quickly within the blood originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 03 Oct 2011 23:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.