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Advanced Technetix has launched its Consumer Products Division with the Visual Remote, a device for adjusting your iPod without taking it out of a bag or pocket. Buttons let you navigate menus and song playback, which are both displayed on a backlit LCD screen that runs out to a pair of earbuds. Power is drawn from the iPod's battery rather than an external supply. Though the current Remote is wired, Technetix promises a wireless one in the near future. No information is available on pricing or sales locations for either model.
Furniture maker Sligh recently announced home office workstations made to recognize the reality of increasingly device-laden users. The Family Communication Center, to be sold as a mahogany desk cabinet (pictured) or a black hutch, is designed with hidden connections for computers, including Ethernet, USB, and power cabling, as well as multiple recharging ports for cellphones and other portable devices. An iPod dock is built directly into the desk as well. Although neither desk will ship until the spring, Sligh says, the company is investigating several more modernized designs, such as one made from bamboo. The mahogany version is expected to retail for $2,945; the more exotic black variant will be available for $3,395.
Normally a minor player in digital cameras, Samsung has uncovered the SDC-K60, AVING reports. The camera is a barreless point-and-shoot that will nevertheless have 3x optical zoom and a 6MP CCD sensor. ISO sensitivity will extend to 1600, whereas many point-and-shoots stop at 800. Two variants of the camera will be available: the "plain" K60 (pictured) will come in three colors (red, silver, black) and have a 2.5-inch LCD screen, while the K65/DMB will have a 3-inch 16:9 screen and support DMB TV. Click below to see the latter.
The Italian design firm Brionvega is now producing the Cuboglass, a style-oriented TV the company intends as both a showpiece and a functional screen. While the set is a conventional tube design, it takes advantage of this by blending the screen into a scratchproof glass cube; when turned off, the TV aspect of the design is virtually invisible. This transforms the set into artwork, says Brionvega. Accordingly, the Cuboglass is transportable and ships with an aluminum carrying case. The company has built the system for Europeans and includes the continent's SCART input alongside more universal RCA connections. Online retailer Singulier is selling the Cuboglass today for 950 Euros ($1,196 US).
In more Alienware news, the company is upgrading its Media Center PCs with the DHS A, says Sci Fi. Made to resemble an amplifier, the A will attempt to live up to the promise by supplying 1,000W of amplification. On the video end the system will be equipped with multiple HDMI connectors, as well as a hard drive that starts at 160GB but can be expanded to 1.5TB. An Athlon 64 X2 processor will run the content while being bolstered by AMD Live! features such as a sleep mode and 7.1 surround sound. DHS A machines will launch next year starting at a price of $1,000.
Alienware today said it has helped alleviate the common limitation of desktop replacement portables, a shortage of hard disk space, by introducing an update to its flagship 17-inch laptop. The newest edition of the Aurora m9700 features two 200GB, 4200RPM hard drives similar to those found in the new MacBook Pro. Though these drives are slower than lower-capacity models, the drives can be combined into a single RAID stripe for a contiguous 400GB of storage -- the most ever in a laptop, Alienware says. The company estimates that as many as 100,000 songs or 67 games could fit on an otherwise empty drive. The Turion 64-based computer remains a performance system and includes as many as two 512MB GeForce Go 7900 GS graphics chips. The refreshed m9700 customized with the 400GB option starts at $2,249 and is available in blue, green, or silver.
Panasonic has officially announced its first 50-inch, full HD plasma display. While luxury plasmas such as Pioneer's Pro models and Panasonic's own 65-inch screen have been capable of a native 1080p resolution, the TH-50PF9UK signifies the first time a 50-inch plasma has achieved this sharper image for well under $10,000, according to the company. As with many other high-end plasma models, this newest display is intended as the centerpiece of a custom home theater and eschews built-in speakers, a stand, and integrated TV tuners in favor of wall mounting. Notably, HD-capable input is limited to component and DVI ports; an adapter is necessary for HDMI-equipped movie players and consoles. Panasonic is readying the 50PF9UK for a November release at a price of $5,995.
While solar-powered radios are common realities, Soltronix has just recently introduced a receiver that no longer requires an external solar cell. Its solar headphone radio mounts thin, flexible solar panels in the headband itself, recharging the battery without the risk of obstructing sunlight or the extra bulk of an external receiver. A single hour of sunlight can provide one to three hours of radio, Soltronix claims, and the device can build its charge even while it plays. A full charge lasts an estimated 20 hours; should the solar power deplete itself, a rechargeable AAA-sized NiMH battery can provide additional listening time. Select Solar and other British online stores can export the radio for £25 ($47 US).
Korean company Axxen has announced the i-egg, a digital audio player that also doubles as a pair of speakers, writes AVING. The egg "breaks" apart to create better stereo separation, and at the same time reveals a volume knob and an SD card slot. In addition to playing its own files, the speakers can also accept input from a PC. A USB port and a headphone jack are located on the back. MP3 and WMA files are supported. The player should ship in Korea sometime this month; click through to see an open i-egg.
Nokia is planning to release a scaled-down version of its 770 Internet Tablet, online sources have revealed. Known so far only as the Nokia 330, the handheld will trade the 770's emphasis on web browsing and communication for a greater media focus. Besides playing DivX videos, MP3 music, and photos, the device will also have a built-in GPS receiver for navigation on its smaller, 3.5-inch display. Little information is available beyond what has been revealed so far in leaked photography, say reports, though the official nature of the product shots and the accompanying feature set reveal an imminent Nokia 330 launch at a price far lower than that of its Internet-enabled predecessor. Click through for a full photo.
To support the spread of its EVDO Revision A service across the United States, Sprint will introduce its first mobile USB broadband modem in November, says Slashphone. The Novatel Ovation U720 will plug into any laptop's USB port, allowing wireless access to the Sprint Power Vision Network. Sprint is already selling PC Card modems under different pricing plans, with some being free or reduced in price if the user signs a Power Vision contract. The U720 is essentially a USB incarnation of the Merlin S720.
The popular retailer Brookstone today unveiled what it hopes is a definitive replacement for conventional thermometers. Similar to the Dashboard weather widget in MacOS X, the Wireless Weather Forecaster automatically obtains the latest five-day weather forecast for the user's city from AccuWeather, indicating both the temperatures and expected conditions. Where the device differs is its independence from computers, Brookstone says. The forecast is obtained solely through radio signals, eliminating the need to synchronize with a computer; an intelligent location finder automatically sets the weather to the nearest known city and includes four nearby cities' weather information accessible through a simple dial control. Owners can also subscribe to a paid premium service that will let the Forecaster display the weather in more distant areas. Brookstone has already begun shipping the device for $85 through its website.
GPS units with color touchscreens are becoming increasingly common, but few if any have as many features as the GPS01, being produced by Hong Kong company Sunlike. Aside from managing GPS functions the unit is also capable of playing MP3 and WMA music files, as well as AVI, ASF and WMV videos. Media is loaded through a CF Type II card slot. The most significant aspect to the 01 however is the inclusion of a cellphone, which will let you send and receive calls through GSM. This ties in with GPRS (900/1800/1900) data service. The one problem with the product is availability -- at present, the only place to order it is from international traders Alibaba, who don't quote a price on their website.
A group of developers has produced an early version of what it says is an ideal computer for Internet cafés, schools, and other environments where Internet access is the primary need. The Linutop is a compact, Linux-based desktop with only the most essential components. Instead of an internal hard disk or optical drive, the Linutop relies on 512MB of flash memory preloaded with Linux and free software such as AbiWord for office work, Firefox for browsing, and GAIM for instant messaging. Expansion is limited to four USB 2.0 ports, audio input and output, Ethernet, and VGA; the computer can also use a WiFi adapter, according to the designers. While performance is modest with only an AMD Geode procesor and 256MB of RAM, the low power and fixed storage of the Linutop ensures completely silent use. The developers haven't yet priced the system, though they anticipate an extremely low cost for individuals and institutions alike.
Americans longing for the high-end phones available in Europe and Asia may be glad to see these photos, which show a Cingular-branded version of the Nokia N75. Nokia has said in the past that the phone would be coming to the US in the fourth quarter of 2006, but irockash's post is the first news of a narrowed time and provider window. The poster's source claims a November timeframe. The N75 has a number of features, such as the Symbian OS, a 2MP camera, a 320x240 screen, and up to 2GB of memory through microSD. Bluetooth and EDGE/GSM are built-in, as are external buttons for music playback. Supported sound formats include AAC, eAAC+, M4A, MP3, and WMA. Click through to see the forum photos.
Catering to both traditional and modern listeners, iLuv recently began shipping its new i9200 speaker system. The main receiver contains four vertically-mounted CD loaders and a CD changer, allowing audiophiles who prefer physical media to quickly exchange discs while keeping favorites close at hand. Less conventional listeners, however, can also play MP3 CDs or connect their iPods via a universal dock that supports all dockable iPods, according to iLuv. The i9200 also integrates an AM/FM alarm clock radio and has auxiliary inputs. Models ship immediately in either black or white for $250. A photo of the white version is available after the jump.
An ASUS phone will make a rare appearance in the US, according to a new FCC filing. The document reveals that the O2 XDA Graphite, a slim candybar phone, has recently been approved by the American testing agency. The handset is focused on phone use but runs Windows Mobile 5 and should support most smartphone software that isn't heavily dependent upon a keyboard. The O2 XDA will be relatively advanced but is not expected to be a breakthrough device: a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and a 2.2-inch screen are increasingly standard features in newer cellphones. Music support is equally welcome with MP3, WMA, and WAV playback for songs stored on microSD cards.
However, an unusual element of the filing is the device's support for UMTS mobile broadband, a technology normally found only in European phones. While the feature may be disabled for its American release, its presence may point to the O2 XDA's use as apart of T-Mobile's American UMTS service set to begin in 2007. ASUS has not officially announced the phone for the country. Larger photos are available after the jump.
Ricoh is producing a special Commemorative Model of its GR Digital camera, meant to promote the 10-year history of the GR line. This edition will have an 8MP sensor with a fixed-mount 28mm lens. The change most obvious to newcomers will be the shell art, designed by Japanese illustrator Katsuya Terada. The shell will be enveloped in a blue sky motif with stylized angels in select portions. Only 1,000 cameras will be available when the Commemorative Model ships on November 24th. Pricing and availability have yet to be mentioned however, so it's unknown whether the camera will make it to North America.
British cellphone carrier Orange has today partnered with stereo manufactuer Acoustic Energy to produce an Orange-labeled Bluetooth speaker set that can connect wirelessly to most Bluetooth cellphones or any device that fits the A2DP audio profile. The stereo, known only as the Bluetooth stereo loudspeaker system, produces 20 watts of power through two satellites that can either be separated from the main receiver for an improved stereo effect or remain attached for a more compact shape. An auxiliary input is included as a fallback for wired music players. Orange plans to sell its Bluetooth loudspeakers by the end of the month for £90 ($169) after tax.
Ultra has just previewed a new, splashproof music player that the company boasts can withstand use at the beach or by the poolside. Encased in rubber trim, the Hydra is sealed tightly to prevent the occasional contact with water from damaging the electronics inside. The trim also helps the jukebox better-resist the drops and scratches common to everyday use, Ultra adds. As a player, the Hydra has features relatively common to inexpensive flash devices, such as MP3 and WMA playback, FM radio, and voice recording. Power is supplied solely by rechargeable AAA batteries for a maximum of 8 hours. Compatible with both Macs and Windows PCs through its support for drag-and-drop music transfers, the new player ships in 1GB ($40) and 2GB ($60) versions next month.
Having formalized their merger today, AMD and ATI have also announced that the combined company will be working on a CPU with a built-in graphics processor. In contrast to current integrated chipsets, which are typically soldered into the mainboard and more closely resemble stand-alone cards, the new AMD concept, codenamed Fusion, would merge the circuitry for graphics processing with the CPU core itself. This will improve the performance per watt of later CPUs, AMD argues.
The tighter integration would also significantly improve the performance of normally slow integrated graphics, as the delays in sharing graphics data with the CPU or system memory would be dramatically reduced. However, AMD has said that it doesn't intend to lock out other graphics options and will still include PCI Express slots for standard video cards, including those from its former ally NVIDIA. Fusion processors should ship in production form by late 2008 or early 2009, according to AMD.
Relatively dormant as a smartphone developer, HP on Wednesday introduced a new iPaq phone to the US through the cellular service provider Cingular. The xw6920 series is designed as a portable office, says HP, and includes the connection options to follow suit: in its Cingular guise, all 6920 models will have support for EDGE and GPRS mobile Internet, Bluetooth, WiFi, and a GPS receiver. Two versions accompany the introduction. The xw6925 incorporates a 1.3-megapixel camera for photos and videos; the base xw6920 goes without this feature both to save costs and to be accepted in high-security offices. Both are available today directly from HP; Cingular's business unit is expected to offer models soon starting at $360 with a two-year contract.
Samsung has quietly unveiled a new computer LCD which marks a first in color accuracy. The SyncMaster XL20 is the first desktop screen to incorporate an LED backlight. The more natural color tone and much more even illumination greatly increases the overall color gamut to a level useful for artists and photographers, Samsung says. Over 114% of the NTSC television standard's range is reproducible, and the Adobe RGB color palette is properly supported; this allows even the more difficult emerald green and dark purple hues captured by many DSLR cameras to be shown faithfully, according to the company's claims. Appropriately, the XL20 ships with a hood to shelter the image from nearby lighting and has inputs for both DVI-I (backwards-compatible with VGA input) and DVI-D (pure digital) video sources. A USB hub is also built-in. No pricing or availability has been announced.
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