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Starting in November, Motorola is rolling out the P790 portable cellphone charger, Stuff reports. The device is shaped like the company's PEBL phone and will hold two complete phone charges before needing its own plug-in. To use it, an owner simply connects the charger to a phone's mini-USB port. A Bluetooth headset can be charged simultaneously if you opt for the extra dual-charging adapter. Gadget.ca claims the P790 will weigh 2.8 ounces, use a 1,700 mAh battery, and cost $30.
British site Gizoo is marketing Lightwave Color-Changing Speakers. Ready to be plugged into stereo systems and portable music players, the speakers register your beats and pulse along in up to three different patterns and 12 different colors. If you'd rather the setup stay with a particular color, a switch allows the speakers to alternate between "beat" and "static" modes. The gear is presently available only from the UK for the cost of £50 ($93 US).
Fujitsu on Tuesday dramatically expanded its LifeBook range of laptops with three new models, one of which shows clear design inspirations from Apple's entry-level portable. Colored completely in pearl white, the A3110 is an unusually stylish computer from the normally utilitarian PC builder. It also has a unique Crystal View feature that Fujitsu says can automatically improve the visual quality by adjusting the brightness, contrast, and sharpness of the onscreen image when turned on through a special button on the laptop. A 1.8GHz Turion 64 X2, 2GB of included RAM, and built-in slots for ExpressCard, flash memory, and PC Card adapters help the A3110 perform well in the mid-range laptop market. Fujitsu is shipping this model today for $1,399; a 1.66GHz Core 2 Duo equivalent, the A6010, has also just been launched for $1,419 in a more sedate black-and-gray color scheme.
Click through for details and a photo of the HD DVD-equipped N6420 laptop.
Sony Ericsson will ship its LocationFree software with the P990i smartphone, says The Register. LocationFree base stations allow TVs and movie players to broadcast to mobile phones, Sony's PSP gaming handheld, and nearby Macs and PCs with Internet access. The new bundle will see software pre-loaded onto the P990i's MemoryStick. If you've already bought the phone, you can download LocationFree from the Sony Ericsson support Website. The move is strongly reminiscent of Sling Media's decision to provide its SlingPlayer software on Symbian-based platforms. Like a LocationFree base station, the Slingbox sends video to Internet-capable devices.
Already known for undercutting the MacBook and other high-profile compact laptops in terms of price, Averatec has just released its new 2300 Series laptop as a distinctly lower-cost alternative to the Dell XPS M1210 and other full-featured ultraportables. The 2300 shares the same 12-inch, 1280x800 screen as its competitors, but uses the inexpensive 1.6GHz Turion 64 X2 dual-core processor to allow for more RAM and storage without significantly affecting the basic performance or price: the current configuration ships with 1GB of RAM, a 100GB hard drive, and a dual-layer DVD rewriter as standard. Averatec's computer is also light at 4.08 pounds and comes preloaded with Windows XP Media Center for those who use their laptops as portable televisions. In spite of these features, the company says the 2300 Series is now available for $849.
While LG's Chocolate phone is currently a centerpiece of Verizon's phone lineup, the US carrier is set to introduce a much more advanced smartphone in coming weeks, according to information obtained by SlashPhone. Product photos of the upcoming LG VX9900 were uncovered today which clearly show the phone branded by Verizon for its release in America. Though not formally announced, the VX9900 is known to be a slider phone in the vein of the T-Mobile MDA that exposes a full QWERTY keyboard underneath a conventional phone layout. LG similarly intends the new device to be media-centric and has built in a 2-megapixel camera with optical zoom and a microSD card slot for games and music. Bluetooth and EVDO support are virtually certain as well. A formal release timeframe remains unknown, but the finished state of the photography points to the phone becoming available through Verizon before the end of the year.
A gallery of the photos is available after the jump.
Target is selling the Blast Pod Audio Rocker, a less expensive alternative to other chairs with built-in speakers and AV inputs. The Audio Rocker embeds three-watt speakers in the headrest along with a 10-watt amplifier. Accepted inputs include sound from TVs, VCRs, DVD players, and of course, music players such as the iPod. The frame is built of hardwood, with Dacron padding and a microfiber surface. The product is retailing for $100 in pink and navy blue. For similar features and pricing but more colours, you can also try the Blast Pod Video Game Rocker, sold in red, black and brown.
Among several other releases, Sanyo Epson has announced two ultra-sharp new LCD displays. The first is a 7-inch display of the sort commonly found in car navigation systems and portable media players. While not unusual by itself, the screen resolution is an unheard-of 1920x1280, matching the 1080p resolution of larger HDTVs. The sharpness would allow in-car GPS to display greater detail as well as support the full quality of Blu-Ray or HD DVD discs. Almost as sharp is the company's 2.6-inch TFT screen, capable of handling resolutions up to 1024x768 at 500 dpi. While this latter resolution is not as immediately useful, the relative abundance of mobile TV in Japan will likely see the smaller screen used for cellphones and portable media players.
AutumnWave has released a new external HDTV tuner that it says is ideal for dorm rooms or anywhere else where watching TV may be constrained by cables and free space. The OnAir GT plugs into a computer through a USB cable and can receive over-the-air analog (NTSC) or digital (ATSC) broadcasts up to the maximum 1080p of HDTV. It also includes co-axial and S-video inputs for conventional services such as cable or satellite TV. While the company's claim to being first to market with mobile HDTV is questionable -- the EyeTV Hybrid and PCTV HD Pro Stick already offer the feature -- AutumnWave's inclusion of an external antenna and PVR software that can queue as many as 80 shows in advance distinguish the tuner from more basic models. The OnAir GT is already shipping for $179 and currently requires Windows 2000 or XP.
Laptop security is an increasing problem for larger businesses, says the computer maker Neoware. To address this, the company today released what it believes to be one of the first thin-client laptop computers. The m100 translates the same principles behind thin-client desktops to the portable format: instead of including a hard drive or other writable storage, Neoware's new laptop connects only to cellular, Ethernet, or WiFi networks and accesses all of a given company's files and programs remotely. Since there is no local data to steal, Neoware says, laptop thieves are much less likely to discover sensitive corporate or government information. This is reinforced by a write-protected operating system: the user is unable to change the OS on the 512MB of built-in flash storage while the system itself can. The 15-inch system ships with either Linux or Windows XP Embedded for prices of $759 and $799 respectively; the Windows version will be available first in October, while the Linux equivalent will be ready soon.
ZyXEL is pushing HomePlug AV, a pair of Ethernet adapters designed to enable home networking through power and TV cables. The PLA-400 (powerline) and the PLA-402 (powerline/coaxial) adapters should provide 200 Mbps throughput, and are being positioned as ideal for the rollout of IPTV, which could be far more difficult to set up if relying on regular Ethernet cables or even a wireless router. No drivers will be required to install HomePlug. The scheme should be compatible with standard 10/100 Ethernet connections, and will support up to 16 total connections per home. Basic encryption will come in the form of 128-bit AES. The PLA-400 will be ready in November for $94, while the 402 will come in December at $114.
The relatively dormant I/OMagic has returned to the marketplace, offering 250 GB and 320 GB external hard drives. The latest in the GigaBank series isn't particularly remarkable, since the drives use USB 2.0 and speeds of 7,200 rpm, but they do offer 256-bit Blowfish encryption. More importantly, they're priced at $150 and $180 US respectively. They can be arranged vertically or horizontally, and are compatible with Windows ME, 2000 and XP.
After initially releasing its SlingPlayer Mobile software only for Windows Mobile smartphones, Sling Media is now opening the program to users of Symbian-based phones. The program will let owners of Nokia phones such as the pictured N75, most Sony-Ericsson models, and many others running a recent Symbian OS stream live TV from a Slingbox tuner attached to their home theater. The Symbian version will require either 3G wireless Internet or WiFi to connect to the home system but can also control some personal video recorders, allowing the user to both navigate the shows themselves as well as queue them remotely. Although SlingPlayer Mobile launched originally in North America, its developer says Asian and European countries will be the first to receive the Symbian edition before the end of the year, with a version adapted for North American cellphone networks to follow soon afterwards.
Samsung will be demonstrating what it calls "the first 70-inch full-HD LCD for consumer TVs" at the FPD International 2006 conference, scheduled for October 18th to the 20th in Yokohama, Japan. The company claims it will have the largest LCD display in mass production; the largest LCD period is probably Philips' 100-inch Ambilight FlatTV prototype. The Samsung TV will, however, have a 120 Hz refresh rate, which is twice as fast as most LCDs and 20 Hz faster than some other high-end competitors. Production on the new TV line will begin "early next year." No price or availability has been published.
As part of its global battery recall, Sony has said it will now exchange at least 90,000 of the laptop batteries from its own VAIO laptops, says Japan newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun. The recall primarily affects systems sold in China and Japan that were made with certain serial numbers of Sony's VGP-BPS2B and VGP-BPS3A battery packs as well as any batteries sold individually. The company also says that laptops sold outside the area were affected, but has not yet released an official figure; roughly 300,000 batteries worldwide will need to be replaced, according to Nihon Keizai Shimbun estimates. The exchange program will bring the total number of potentially dangerous Sony-made batteries to over 8 million after larger recalls issued by Apple, Dell, and other computer manufacturers.
Having already introduced its high-end X1950 technology, ATI on Tuesday announced a mainstream video card in the line which also marks the introduction of a new feature. The X1950 Pro is ATI's first graphics chip to include the company's CrossFire multi-card circuitry inside the main processor; previous cards required a separate chip and a dedicated video port, forcing users to buy a special master card. The X1950 Pro only requires included bridge cables similar to NVIDIA's SLI.
The X1950 Pro is also targeted at the mid-range, says ATI, and is scaled down accordingly: its core speed is 575MHz instead of the XTX variant's 650MHz and has had its pixel pipelines reduced to 36 from 48. While not as quick, this has the benefit of producing a single-slot card that should fit into smaller cases and run quietly. The 256MB X1950 Pro is expected to ship today for $200 from ATI itself; other vendors such as Sapphire are also participating in the launch with varying prices.
Though mini-keyboards aren't anything new, Hong Kong exporters Brando are selling a "USB Mini Multimedia Keyboard" that's just over nine inches long and comes with 20 special control buttons. Everything from Web browsing through to sleep and media player functions is represented. Also touted as being quiet and ergonomic, the keyboard connects to USB and PS/2 ports on any Windows system past (and including) Windows 95. Its American price is listed at a cheap $24 plus $3 in shipping.
Toshiba today unveiled what it says is one of the most portable projection systems anywhere. Its TDP-FF1AU is light enough at 1.1 pounds to be carried in most bags, even alongside a laptop; at 5.5 inches wide, the projector is similarly small enough to fit in those bags as well. Importantly, this is also accompanied by power-saving technologies that make the FF1AU one of the few projectors capable of operating solely on battery power. The DLP-based system uses an LED light source that doesn't require large amounts of energy or cooling fans, allowing the projector to run for approximately two hours on a lithium-ion battery, according to Toshiba.
The FF1AU is primarily designed for standard-definition signals and can display up to an 800x600 picture received through S-video, RCA, and VGA input. A USB connection is also built-in to view photos directly from external storage. Toshiba says its projector is available now for $699.
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