It didn't take long for HTC to go official with the Desire 600. Interestingly, it picks up on several of the new Sense 5 features revealed alongside the HTC One, including its fingertip-baiting BlinkFeed for social network and news updates. BoomSound and the ability to craft video highlights from your photos and clips also make the transition, although apparently not the burst-capture Zoe mode. Hardware-wise, there's a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 200 quad-core processor, with a 4.5-inch Super LCD2 display (at 960 x 540 resolution), an 8-megapixel primary camera capable of up to 720p video capture and a front-facing 1.6-megapixel shooter. The Desire 600 picks up the same dual front-facing speaker setup of the One, although rather than a global appearance, it's currently headed to Russia, Ukraine and the Middle-East for now, landing early this June in white and black options. However, we've already spotted a China-bound version for China Unicom's WCDMA network, the Desire 606w, and if we're honest, we'd probably be happier to see the rumored M4 make an official showing. Now, where's that Desire 200?
Twitter Cards are meant to enhance a user's -- er, advertiser's -- tweets with relevant links and photo previews. Three such cards currently exist, but today the social network introduced a new one: the Lead Generation Card (marketing speak, much?), which essentially lets users accept discounts and provide the required personal information directly from a business' tweet. The feature is located within a brand's expanded tweet: you simply click a button, and your email address and handle are passed along. Essentially, it's autofill for Twitter, which you'll either love or hate. For its part, the site says this feature simplifies the user experience, and it promises your personal info is sent directly and securely to the company you've specified. Currently, a few brands are beta-testing the card, and Twitter says a global launch is soon to follow.
With Computex just around the corner, MSI has taken the wraps off what can truly be described as a next-gen gaming laptop. According to CNET, the 17.3-inch GT70 Dragon Edition 2 will pack a yet-to-be-announced Haswell chip alongside an equally mysterious NVIDIA GTX780M GPU that is claimed to deliver a 3DMark Vantage score of 36,000 -- in other words, roughly equivalent to the benchmark stat you'd get from a desktop rig containing an Ivy Bridge Core-i5 and a full-size GTX670, if the boast happens to be true. A SteelSeries-branded keyboard is in attendance, alongside multiple SSDs in Raid 0 config and three video outputs, all contained within a 21.8mm-thick package that weighs 2.9kg (6.4 pounds). Lesser variations will bring the weight down to 2kg (4.4 pounds) by reducing screen size to 14 inches and switching to a less frenetic GTX760M. Expect pricing and availability details once the big Taiwanese expo gets underway.
Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 7- and 8.9-inch slates have only seen limited shores since they were formally announced, but today the company said they're now available for pre-order in more than "170 countries and territories around the world." We could try and list all the new tablet markets, but it's easier to say that until now, they've only found spots in Amazon stores in the US, Europe and Japan. We're not surprised to see the hardware get a much wider release, given that the e-tailer revealed its plan to take the Appstore global last month. The only other nugget in the PR is an expected shipping date of June 13th. Head over to your local Amazon portal to confirm if your region is one of the lucky 170.
Update: Amazon's issued a second PR saying those international plans for the Appstore are no longer plans -- it's now up and running in "nearly 200 countries."
Google Ventures has a reputation for backing tech winners early on -- it gave a boost to this little startup called Nest, for example. It wants to exert influence every step of the way, however, and it's launching Google Capital to make this happen. The new fund is investing in firms that aren't quite so young, but are doing "amazing things" aligned with Google's interests, according to general partner Mike Pearson. While Google Capital won't make its formal debut until the summer, it has already invested in three unnamed companies; we wouldn't be surprised if we learn a lot more about the fund a few months' time.
Lenovo's just announced its Q4 and full year 2012/13 financial results, and it's touched new highs on the two most important indices. It earned $127 million on $7.8 billion in revenue for the quarter and $34 billion for the full year, both records for the company, while netting $635 million in profit for the full year -- another all-time high. The only sore spot for Q4 was Lenovo's laptop business, which dropped two percent over last year to $4.2 billion, but that's a far milder plummet than many PC makers saw -- thanks to a 74 percent revenue growth in China. Otherwise, desktop PCs held flat for the company at $2.4 billion during an otherwise down period, and it held firm as China's number two smartphone manufacturer, seeing shipments grow at 206 percent year-over-year, double the average rate. It remains to be seen if Lenovo can continue to buck the downward PC trend that's continued unabated with the release of Windows 8 -- but if not, maybe we'd finally see some of its smartphones over here.
HTC's Desire line of mid-range Android smartphones have typically used the alphabet to denote different models, but the company is now switching to numerals. At least according to a Taiwanese certification page, we can expect a Desire 200. Some leaked benchmark results also indicate that a Desire 600 will head to market.
We don't know much about the Desire 200 apart from its name. It's listed as the HTC 102e on the certification page, and there's plenty of speculation that this handset is the G2 we heard about earlier this year. It's a different story for the Desire 600: the benchmark results indicate this device sports a 960 x 540 (qHD) display with an unspecified 1.2GHz chip. The benchmark sheet also reveals this is a dual-SIM model destined for Europe. That's it for now, but more details are sure to follow shortly.
AMD isn't focusing all its attention on its entry-level mobile APUs today: it's also providing details for the faster Richland-based models. The new A6, A8, and A10 mobile variants fall under the Elite Performance badge, and theoretically beat Intel to the punch with up to 71 percent faster 3D graphics than the current Core i5 family. They also muster about 7.5 hours of battery life with web use, or about an hour longer than we saw in the previous generation. The roster includes both regular power (35W) and low-voltage (17W to 25W) APUs, in dual- and quad-core editions.
We're more interested in how well the chips play with other devices and software, however. Besides the face and motion gesture recognition that we've seen before, AMD touts a new take on Wireless Display with low enough latency for game sessions, support for 1080p60 video and native Miracast sharing. The Richland upgrade also introduces a new Dock Port standard that can feed both USB 3.0 and up to three external DisplayPort screens through one cable. If you like what AMD is pitching, you won't have to wait to try it -- Elite Performance APUs have already been shipping with MSI's GX60 and GX70, and other vendors shouldn't be far behind.
Chevy just announced pricing for its 2014 Spark EV. The all-electric compact will retail for $27,495 before incentives, such as a $7,500 federal tax credit and up to $2,500 in state and local credits. All told, you could drive the car home for less than 18 grand, and California residents will net HOV (carpool lane) access to boot. The two-door vehicle ships with a 21kWh battery pack, giving you an estimated range of 82 miles on a full charge. You can also add on DC Fast Charging capability, letting you recharge up to 80 percent in about 20 minutes at select stations. Alternatively, you can charge up using a 240-volt system in about seven hours. The car also includes Chevy's MyLink infotainment platform, the RemoteLink smartphone app and three years of OnStar service. It'll be available at select dealers in California and Oregon by mid-June.