AMD announces Radeon HD 8000M GPU lineup

AMD have officially announced details of the first mobile GPUs in the Radeon HD 8000M series, the first of which are due in Q1 2013. Following the success of the HD 7000/7000M GPUs and the GCN architecture, the new SKUs will be built on the second generation GCN architecture, with many enhancements in both performance and power saving features.

AMD's second generation Graphics Core Next architecture for the mobile market is said to show a performance increase of at least 20% in most of the applications tested, compared to equivalent SKUs from the Radeon HD 7000M series. This is combined with improved power saving features, including the ability to seamlessly switch between a discrete GPU and an IGP, determined according to current requirements. Additionally, when only part of a GPU is being used, the unneeded GPU cores are powered off, further aiding in power management and battery longevity.

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Oregon Scientific Meep kids tablet review

We've seen quite a few kids' tablets recently, and the Meep is yet another vying for your attention. At £130 it's more expensive than a £90 LeapPad 2, but cheaper than the nabi 2 and Kurio 7.

Like the latter two, this is an Android tablet running Ice Cream Sandwich, which is much more evident than usual. However, as you'd expect, it's pretty locked down, so your kids can't muck around with settings that would cause any problems.

As we'd expected, the screen is a fairly low-resolution 7in display with 800x480 pixels (the same as the Kurio). This makes text look pretty blocky and jagged (and there's a lot of small text in the pre-loaded apps which is hard to read because of this), but you don't notice this so much in images.

Viewing angles are poor, just like the Kurio, and colours invert if you tilt the Meep too much. In the camera app, the shutter and zoom controls disappear and reappear as you tilt the screen a little. The display is fairly dim, too, so you'll need to set it to maximum brightness.

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Acer Aspire V5-171 Notebook Review: The Death and Rebirth of the Netbook

Introducing the Acer Aspire V5-171

With all of the coverage we've done of ultrabooks in recent months, it's easy to forget that the big vendors are still out there plugging away with more basic, fundamental designs. Intel has expanded the definition of "ultrabook" enough that most consumer-grade systems being made available still fall into those categories, but ultraportables still bear a pretty substantial premium. At the same time, tablets coupled with the persistently dire performance of Atom have turned netbooks into a virtual flash in the pan.

There's a gap in the market that vendors like Acer, HP, and ASUS are quietly serving, though. It's clear from the way netbooks took off that consumers are interested in a small, inexpensive, portable notebook with just enough performance, and that's something you're not getting with ultrabooks. As you're going to see today, there's a lot to be gained if you're willing to sacrifice a little bit of Z-height. We have the Acer Aspire V5-171 on hand today. Acer is asking just $550 for an 11.6" notebook featuring an Ivy Bridge i5 ULV chip and 6GB of RAM, so what's the catch?

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