March 28, 2012 00:27 by Jeremy
Today, the car makers BMW and Toyota have decided to pool their forces together in an effort to research the next-generation of Lithium-Ion batteries and battery cells. More specifically, they'll be focusing on "increasing the performance and capacity of lithium-ion battery cells".
This isn't the first time they've made headlines together, however: back in Dec. 2011, the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) concerning a "mid-to-long-term collaboration on next-generation environment-friendly technologies", so today's news really shouldn't be a shocker.
Originally, the vehicle-giants were to focus on the application of lithium-ion battery cells towards hybrid and electric cars. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that our smartphone or laptop batteries won't get a nice boost in research as well.
Sources: motorauthority (Li-Ion batts), motorauthority (MOU)
March 22, 2012 17:10 by Jeremy
What happens when you put Sprint CEO Dan Hesse and HTC President Jason Mackenzie in one room together? ...Actually, we're wondering the same thing, because that's what will happen on April 4th. An email-invitation was sent out to several press members, saying the duo will announce their "latest collaboration".
Many are speculating that it could be the HTC One X, nicknamed the "Jet" - a smartphone that sparked interest in Mobile World Congress. With a quad-core 1.5GHz processor and a pretty 4.7-inch screen, who wouldn't be interested? Well, just under 2 weeks until we find out!
In any case, why not check out a battery, charger, or other accessory for your current phone?
March 22, 2012 01:15 by Jeremy
New iPad owners, beware: there's been a lot of talk revolving around whether iPads are now "too hot". Forums have been abuzz with Apple customers repeating this complaint, but the question remains: does it get dangerously hot?
According to tests run by Consumer Reports, "The New iPad gets up to 13 degrees hotter than the iPad 2 when playing a game." This was tested by running the famous iPad game Infinity Blade II for 45 minutes while propped up and charging. Overall, the New iPad hit a high of 116 degrees Fahrenheit!
Previous tests and reports by Consumer Reports also concluded that laptops/netbooks could reach up to 120 degrees, at which point it may begin to damage bare skin over time. However, that doesn't seem to be a major point of worry, as most users also note that the iPad only gets "overly warm".
Apple's PR Truly Muller commented to AllThingsD, "The new iPad delivers a stunning Retina display, A5X chip, support for 4G LTE plus 10 hours of battery life, all while operating well within our thermal specifications. If customers have any concerns they should contact AppleCare." Whether this turns out to be as bad as the iPhone 4's AntennaGate scandal remains to be seen.
Sources: ConsumerReports 1, ConsumerReports 2, AllThingsD
March 19, 2012 23:49 by Jeremy
The latest iteration of Apple's tablet, the New iPad, is just as good at staying alive as its predecessors. Ever wonder how it manages to stay on for so long though? Especially in today's age, when battery-life is definitely a major factor in people's choices for laptops, smartphones, and other accessories.
Turns out, the New iPad has a whopping 42.5Whr battery. Quick flashback: the original 1st-generation iPad had a 24.8Whr battery, while the iPad 2 had a 25Whr battery. And while the New iPad is only 0.6mm thicker than the iPad 2, one just has to wonder: how in the world did Apple do that? According to arstechnica's teardown (note: Consumers should not try this at home), Apple simply managed to "more efficiently pack in the components - and increase the overall device thickness ever so slightly". No magic here, folks.
No matter how much you want to stare at the battery out of curiosity, tearing the device apart is always dangerous and likely shouldn't be done. And as fun as it is, professionally taking it apart is definitely still a better option than dropping it - which is proven to be fatalfor the iPad, if squaretrade's blog and video is any indication.
March 13, 2012 00:49 by Jeremy
NEC's unveiled their newest prototype of their Ultra-thin organic radical battery (ORB) today, measuring in at 0.3 mm. These batteries are not only small, but also flexible, and can be attached to integrated circuit (IC) cards. The IC cards themselves aren't too think either (measuring around 0.73 to 0.76mm thickness on average).
The power behind NEC's latest ORB is enough to match a Li-Ion battery. That's not to say that it'll run your laptop, but ratio-wise, it delivers a higher power output and faster recharging speeds. Currently, these new batteries have a capacity of 3mAh, which should be enough to perform 2,000 display screen updates, 360 consecutive flash firings and 35 location transmissions on just one charge. As far as longevity, these ORB's retain 75% of their charge/discharge capacity even after 500 cycles, similar to the performance of Li-Ion smartphone batteries.