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The windows Mobile field in North America is dominated by wide, typing-focused models such as the Motorola Q and the new Nokia E62. A new phone from Taiwanese manufacturer HTC provides a slimmer, more portable option. The handset, branded as the Cingular 3125 to reflect its exclusive carrier in the US, is the first Windows Mobile flip-phone available in the country according to the companies involved in the partnership. HTC's smartphone supports common Windows Mobile features such as "push" e-mail and Mobile Office for viewing documents, but is also prepared for more mainstream users through the inclusion of a 1.3-megapixel camera, dedicated music controls alongside the external LCD, and a microSD slot for storing up to 2GB of songs. Bluetooth for peripherals and EDGE mobile broadband support are also standard. Cingular is shipping the 3125 today for $300 with a two-year contract.
Following in the steps of CBS' Innertube portal, NBC has announced that it will begin streaming several of its major primetime shows, including The Office and Studio 60 on Sunset Strip, for free in their entirety through its website beginning October 1st. The on-demand playback will be ad-supported and will also be accompanied by a higher-resolution version of the web-based NBC Universal player currently used for highlights and previews at the network's video site. The announcement continues the gradual shift by television networks towards Internet streaming and video downloads as conventional television ratings drop.
Microsoft today announced a series of new desktop combinations and stand-alone mice, all of which take advantage of Bluetooth wireless connections and laser tracking for mouse input. The pictured Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000 has the world's first rechargeable backlit keyboard, according to Microsoft. The design of the 8000 automatically adjusts keyboard brightness to ambient light levels and can recharge both the keyboard and mouse through a single docking station. It as well as the also announced 7000 and 6000 models also have a buttons designed for Windows that launch the Start menu, Media Center, and Gadgets (in Vista). The 6000 ships this month for $100 while the 7000 ($150) and 8000 ($250) ship in January and February respectively. Click through for details and photos of the new Microsoft wireless mice.
Laptops capable of surviving military-grade conditions are often expensive and small. General Dynamics' GoBook XR-1, for example, is limited to a 12-inch screen by its extra padding and is priced out of reach of many soldiers. A better alternative may be one of the two new models in Twinhead's Durabook line. The D13RI (pictured) has a magnesium alloy case and spill-proof keyboard that help it pass US military standards for shock and spill resistance, but yet has a 13.3-inch widescreen and weighs just under 6 pounds. The 14-inch D14RI also exists for those who would prefer a standard-ratio screen. Both models use older Celeron M or Pentium M processors and ship with 256MB of RAM, but they put rugged laptops within reach of many people through prices of $999 (D14RI) and $1099 (D13RI) and are available today.
While the repercussions of Apple's just-announced full-length movies have yet to be felt, the move is likely to cause contention and possible fallouts in the movie industry, according to the BBC. The online video download market has already seen a large number of new entries, including Amazon and AOL, all of which are either competitive or interdependent. It would be impossible for all of these companies to survive, says analyst Aleksandra Bosnjak. Though Apple was a relative latecomer to music and succeeded with the iPod, the company is now faced with the difficulty of competing against the movie studios' own DVD releases and television networks' pay-per-view movie features. The BBC notes that the early Apple iTV announcement was likely announced to prove Apple's commitment to providers and generate support.
Moving or traveling abroad regularly causes significant problems for cellphone users. Cellphone service at a new destination may use a different network or give poor reception using the existing network. This problem is especially tangible for Koreans: as they regularly travel to Japan for business and vacations, many of their phones cease to function on the island nation's unique JCDMA networks. Samsung's new V920 phone address this exact problem as well as any other user who may need to change networks as they change areas. The thin slider design includes CDMA, GSM, and JCDMA radios, opening the possibility of connecting not just to Japanese or Korean networks but also those in Europe and the Americas. Samsung is offering the V920 first to Korean buyers for the equivalent of $522 US.
It remains to be seen whether or not the iRiver N20 will arrive in North America, but in its place the new 2GB iRiver S10 is more than capable as an ultra-compact music player. Measuring 1.65 by 1.18 inches on the surface and 0.43 inches thick, the Korean-designed player approaches the new iPod shuffle in size despite the extra volume added by a 1.15-inch OLED display. iRiver accomplishes this by using its trademark directional click controls (first used with the larger Clix) inside the display border to eliminate all but the most essential buttons. MP3, OGG, and WMA audio support are standard as well as BMP image viewing. The existence of a screen shortens battery life to 8 hours from the iPod shuffle's 12. iRiver has not yet announced a release date or price for the S10.
Yesterday we reported the unveiling of Panasonic's new projector targeted at more demanding home theaters. Fellow Japanese manufacturer has issued a response in the form of its new PowerLite Pro Cinema 810. The three-LCD design advances on the earlier Cinema 800 model by greatly increasing the flexibility and image quality so crucial to movie viewing. The optical zoom has been expanded from 1.5X to 2.1X; this gives more options for placing the projector without shrinking the size of the picture. Contrast for the 720p image has been doubled to a very strong 10,000:1, and Epson has added an HDMI input to ensure that copy-protected video displays at full resolution. The truly dedicated also have the option of the new 810 HQV model similar to the standard version but with a new Hollywood Quality Video processor that Epson claims is much better at adjusting to ambient lighting or fast-motion scenes. Both models will be available through home theater installers in October at prices of $2,999 and $5,999 respectively.
A long-time ally of Intel, Dell surprised many with its announcement that it would use AMD processors across both its desktop and portable lines. The first fruits of the new partnership were realized by Wednesday's release of two new Dell desktop systems that target basic users. At the entry level is the Dimension E521, a counterpart to the Intel-based E520 that was also introduced today. Dell configures the $329 base model with a Sempron 3400+ 32-bit processor, 512MB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive and a DVD/CD-RW combo drive. Dell also released the small form factor Dimension C521 (pictured) with similar features for $359. The system builder is continuing its signature practice of complete customization with these models and will let users upgrade to as much as an Athlon 64 X2 5000+ processor in addition to graphics, memory, and other internal upgrades. Both models can be ordered today and are expected to ship in early October.
Few companies make direct attempts to sell budget laptops using style; aside from the exception of Apple's MacBook, most manufacturers focus on cost as the deciding factor. The new Sony VAIO N-series (PDF) is notable as an open challenge to Apple's current budget system. Available with either black, white, or wenge brown, the N-series is a "chic" laptop meant to work well with interior home design, according to Sony. The 15.4-inch portable uses a relatively modest 1.86GHz Core Solo processor but gains a standard 8X DVD rewriter as well as an 80GB hard drive. An ExpressCard/34 slot and Memory Stick Pro slot are also standard features. Sony has priced the VAIO N competitively against the MacBook and will sell the N for $1000 when it becomes available in early October. The company is slated to accept pre-orders today at the SonyStyle website. Click through for additional photos.
As mobile graphics chipsets are inherently tied to the laptops that use them, their introductions are almost always shared by another computer manufacturer. Such is the case with NVIDIA's new GeForce Go 7700, which today accompanies the launch of ASUS' new A8Js portable. While the computer as a whole is advanced for a 14-inch laptop and includes a minimum 1.66GHz Core 2 Duo, 60GB hard drive, and Bluetooth 2.0, what distinguishes the new ASUS system its the new NVIDIA graphics. The GeForce Go 7700 is capable of many more parallel instructions than the outgoing 7600 model, containing 12 processing pipelines instead of the earlier model's 8. It also doubles the amount of standard video memory: in the ASUS design, the GeForce Go 7700 carries 512MB of onboard RAM that gives the A8Js a tremendous advantage in texture-rich games or in accelerating 3D across the multiple displays made possible by the system's included DVI port. The new laptop should initially ship to Europe and select Asian countries in September; North American details and pricing have not yet been announced.
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