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The arrival of HTC's Dash at T-Mobile was noticed by many, but since then word has been received that another phone from the prolific smartphone builder will arrive at a US carrier soon. The TyTN, a phone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, is now set to ship to with the simple name of the Cingular 8525. This Windows Mobile device is expected to be especially feature-filled and compares well against the MDA and similar offerings from T-Mobile. A 2.1-megapixel camera, 802.11g wireless, as well as the option of multiple mobile Internet standards (EDGE, HSDPA, and UMTS) will all be present.
Appropriately for such a high-end system, online sources have confirmed that the price of the 8525 will mirror its role as a miniature multimedia computer. One of Cingular's future handhelds will cost $475 with a two-year contract before rebates; this may limit its accessibility, but those who absolutely depend on its online abilities may consider it a small sacrifice. Click through for a more detailed profile of the phone in its TyTN (originally codenamed "Hermes") guise.
Key Ovation today unveiled one of the few true ergonomic keyboards designed specifically for Mac users. The Goldtouch for Mac splits the keyboard layout into two distinct halves that can change their angle by 30 degrees in either direction to get a comfortable fit. All features specific to Mac keyboards are present, including Command and Option keys, an eject key, and volume controls. Key Ovation boasts that the quality of the keyboard is such that Apple itself has used the earlier, generalized version of the keyboard for its workers. "That was tremendous validation for the keyboard," says Key Ovation General Manager Stephanie Gilbert. The Goldtouch for Mac is now available for $140 and can be accompanied by a stand-alone keyboard, wrist rest, or vertically-oriented mouse.
Every business traveler is concerned about safeguarding private business data when away from work; not every removable drive is capacious or secure enough to be trusted with that information. Kingston addressed both problems today by releasing two new DataTraveler USB flash drive lines. The DataTraveler Secure adds password protection with 256-bit AES encryption to any files stored on a special section of the drive. This security method is strict enough to also prevent brute-force cracking: if ten successive failed passwords are entered, the DataTraveler Secure locks the information outright. An upcoming Privacy Edition of the drive will be even tougher to break, using hardware encryption instead of software and protecting data with a more complex password routine. All models are waterproof to four feet and will work with Windows Vista's ReadyBoost to serve as a temporary cache for the future OS. Ordinary DataTraveler Secure models are shipping now with prices ranging from $33 for 512MB to $244 for 4GB. The Privacy Edition will arrive in January at the same capacities for an unspecified price.
Cellphone owners who like to carry files and media with them often reach the storage limitations of their handhelds quickly. A typical microSD card holds no more than 2GB of information at any one time. This is particularly noticeable for owners of Nokia's N80 Internet Edition, who may have bought the phone specifically as a mobile substitute for their computers. This is why Nokia today said that the N80 would be the first phone to be integrated with Orb's MyCasting service: instead of transferring information to a memory card, users can simply stream any media stored remotely on their computer and play it from the phone. Orb's software even records TV and can give remote access to the resulting video clips. No charge is expected for the feature aside from data charges that stem from the owner's cellphone plan. The feature should accompany the N80 Internet Edition phones when they ship to North America in November.
HTC's new challenger to the Motorola Q has had a long development history: known initially as the Excalibur, the new smartphone has long since been suggested as a prime candidate for T-Mobile USA's emphasis on data-savvy models. The speculation and doubts have been put to rest on Wednesday by the official release of the T-Mobile Dash, a provider-branded version of HTC's design. The Dash is designed with Internet use in mind and has a touchstrip along the side for scrolling through e-mail or websites; it also includes EDGE support and WiFi for connecting to the Internet either through the cellular network or a local hotspot. A 1.3-megapixel camera gives the Dash an extra advantage over Motorola's handset.
Specific to T-Mobile is support for the company's myFaves feature that lets subscribers have unlimited calling to any of five friends or family, regardless of the carriers they use. T-Mobile will start shipping the Dash on October 25th for prices ranging from $350 without a contract to $199 with a two-year plan. See a full photo after the jump.
Previewed at Apple Expo 2006 in Paris, ViewSonic has formally released in the US what it says are the world's first displays made with iPods in mind. The ViewDock line sports an iPod dock built directly into the display stand and can play audio directly from any supported iPod through integrated stereo speakers and a subwoofer. Four USB 2.0 ports and an 8-in-1 card reader to use the ViewDock as a hub for input or storage devices. New in today's announcement are the presence of a microphone for voice chat as well as audio input to play outside sources through the existing speakers.
Two models are being introduced today: the premium VX2245wm is a 22-inch display with a 1680x1050 native resolution, while the 19-inch VX1945wm reduces the resolution to 1440x900 without sacrificing features. ViewSonic is shipping both screens today at $299 for the 19-inch model and $449 for the 22-inch version.
Though announced at the same time as the US-oriented Z550a, the Sony-Ericsson Z558i as originally released was intended mainly for Europeans. The cellphone maker inadvertently revealed today trhough an FCC filing that the more exotic Z558i will arrive in the US soon. Though otherwise an average flip-phone with Bluetooth and a 1.3-megapixel camera, the Z558 is unique for including a touchscreen and stylus for handwriting recognition as well as simplifying other functions that would normally be handled through buttons. While pricing and the choice of providers are still well away from being known, an FCC appearance usually means that a formal launch will take place within the next several weeks. A regular photo of the Z558i is available after the jump.
Users of more recent laptops with ExpressCard slots who would like to subscribe to the latest mobile broadband from Cingular or T-Mobile no longer need to resort to a USB adapter. Novatel, one of the main suppliers of mobile broadband cards, said today that it had begun shipping its new Merlin XU870 ExpressCard/34 adapter to carriers. The device supports both the 3.6Mbps maximum speed of HSDPA and also supports earlier or less common connections such as UMTS (soon to be used by T-Mobile USA), EDGE, and GPRS. The XU870 works with MacBook Pros through a downloadable driver as well as Linux and Windows PCs; Novatel says it should make its way to relevant carriers by the end of the year.
With notable exceptions, most speaker docks are built explicitly for the iPod. Few music players beyond Apple's models have enough clout to justify the support. Microsoft's impending Zune is one of those influential players, according to Zune team member Bill Wittress. One of the first accessories set to arrive with the player will be an Altec-Lansing speaker dock named the M604, pictured at right. The dock is largely a reworking of the existing M602 made for iPods, but gains a darker shade to suit the black and brown colors of some Zune models. Notably, this demonstrates that the Zune has been designed to work with accessories in much the same way as the iPod, playing music through its data port while charging at the same time. Accessories such as these are expected to closely follow the Zune's arrival on November 14th and may give Microsoft's jukebox an early advantage over lesser-known rivals. Click through for a larger photo.
Noise-canceling earphones in the past have either sat directly in the ear canal, blocking ambient sounds without any choice, or else have required an active system that generates a counter sound -- and requires a battery to function. The Altus headphones from Sony, just announced today, draw on the advantages of both while having the weaknesses of neither. The over-the-ear headphones block outside noise by controlling diaphragms inside each cup through a single, passive switch. The Altus can either allow the diaphragms to move easily, allowing ambient noise into the headset when a lack of awareness might be dangerous, or fix them in place to block everything but the intended source. As the system doesn't draw power, noise cancellation is always an option regardless of how long the headphones are used.
The Altus headphones also improve the frequency to 80KHz; this gives a level of accuracy that wasn't possible in earlier portable headphones, says Sony. Though large, the headphones can be folded to be more portable and are shipped with a pouch for traveling. Expect to see the Altus available in stores by November for $150.
The original Belkin TuneStage gave iPod owners a simple way to play their music through a home stereo without having to dock the iPod itself. Belkin today refreshed the streaming device by announcing the TuneStage II, a new model that reflects the advances in technology made since the original appeared in the summer of 2005. Its most significant addition is a volume control function for video-capable iPods and both iPod nano generations: these newer music players can control the volume of the TuneStage II itself, turning the iPod into the "ultimate remote control," according to Belkin. The TuneStage II can also charge an iPod through a USB cable and has upgraded to the more recent Bluetooth 2.0 standard for wireless transmitting, improving the connection speed and reducing both interference as well as power consumption. A 60GB iPod with video can play music through the system for seven continuous hours, according to the company's claims. The updated TuneStage will ship in late November for $150.
Music listeners and game players know that surround sound speakers are frequently underused; stereo sources effectively strip a 5.1 system of its advantages, and many spaces leave little room for the extra satellites. Logitech's announcement on Wednesday of its new X-540 speakers acknowledge this reality and present new options for the budget audiophile. A button on the main controller can toggle a matrix mode that simulates a 5.1 surround signal from any stereo output, putting the rear channels to better use. The satellites themselves are also more flexible than average and can be ceiling- or wall-mounted as well as stood upright. Logitech has also taken into consideration the common problem of placing the center speaker near an LCD display: a clip ships with the X-540 to mount the speaker on top of most flat-panel systems. Logitech says its new surround system delivers 70W of sustained power and should be available in November for $100. Click through for a photo of the clip mechanism.
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