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Rimax has introduced the Mystic, a media player that happens to double as a VoIP phone. To engage VoIP mode, users simply plug the USB cable into a PC. When it's not taking phonecalls, the Mystic can listen to FM radio, play ACT, MP3, WAV, and WMA audio files, or play MPEG-4 video converted to the AMV format. JPEG photos can also be stored. The Mystic is being sold now in three different formats: 512MB (£56), 1GB (£70), and 2GB (£90). The 512MB player comes with white and orange covers, while the 1 and 2GB models come with an additional green cover. At present there seems to be no domestic American distribution.
Los Angeles' clothing designer Kenpo has just introduced 15 new iPod jackets that it says target virtually every need. The expanded Kenpo Jacket line ranges from light windbreakers to heavier bubble and snowboarding jackets for both men and women. All the new models use ElekTex' smart fabric to provide five navigation buttons on the left sleeve that pause and skip tracks for the iPod, which is hidden in a specially-padded inside pocket. The design can be machine-washed and doesn't require any batteries to run, Kenpo says. Jackets vary in price between $89 and $189 depending on the style and will be available soon at clothing stores such as JC Penney and Nordstrom's.
Lenntek has unveiled the HookUp, a tandem Bluetooth receiver and remote that the company believes will more effectively bridge the audio of cellphones and iPods. The receiver connects to the Dock Connector on fifth-generation iPods and uses an intermediary remote to handle basic audio controls on both the iPod and a Bluetooth-equipped cellphone. As with similar remotes, the HookUp automatically pauses music when it detects an incoming call and resumes when the call ends. This lets owners safely pocket both devices until more advanced functions are necessary, according to Lenntek. The company ships its Bluetooth adapter today from Amazon for $130.
Toshiba will soon offer three free discs with every purchase of an HD-DVD player, writes High-Def Digest. Starting November 1st and ending February 28th, customers will receive a mail-in order form that will let them choose one disc apiece from three different studios (Warner, Paramount and Universal). Notable titles to choose from include "Apollo 13," "Blazing Saddles," and "U2: Rattle and Hum." Click through to see the complete list. The move would seem to be an escalation in the HD media wars, following Sony's decision to bundle the Blu-ray "Talladega Nights" with the first 500,000 Playstation 3s. Toshiba is demonstrably winning the conflict though, since Home Media Retailing has reported that HD-DVD discs are outselling Blu-ray discs three to one.
Fujitsu-Siemens is touting its new Pocket LOOX N100 as both a useful GPS unit and as a truly portable media player. The N100 uses a 2.8-inch touchscreen instead of the more commonplace 3.5-inch display. This shrinks the system to a size that can fit on a keychain, the company says. It maintains the same features as larger models and can track multiple potential routes as well as thousands of points of interest. However, Fujitsu-Siemens notes, the N100's compact size makes it a superior portable media player. Support for AAC, MP3, and WMA songs is possible simply by transferring songs from a computer via USB, giving the hybrid device compatibility with both Mac and Windows systems. A 1GB miniSD card is bundled with the system and comes preloaded with maps of the GPS unit's native Europe. The N100 is shipping today for £250 ($472 US) after tax.
Samsung has announced the VLUU NV7 OPS, a high-end consumer camera initially headed to the Korean market in October, says AVING. Though the NV7 will have a 7.2MP CCD sensor and 7x optical zoom, the most unusual aspects of the camera are the body size and the anti-shake technology. The unit will actually have two anti-shake systems: Advanced Shake Reduction, and the centerpiece Optical Picture Stabilization (OPS). The body meanwhile will be a mere 0.8 inches thick, which is less than a third the girth of the competing Canon S3 IS. The NV7 will also be able to charge via USB and record MPEG-4 video at 30fps and 640x480 resolution.
Accessory maker Maximo Products has just introduced an FM transmitter that helps Sansa e200-series owners enjoy the same listening options as iPod owners. The SAN-360 is designed simply to power the SanDisk player through a car's 12-volt port while streaming the player's music through an integrated FM transmitter. The design takes advantage of the Sansa's dock connector to minimize cabling. Maximo's transmitter can be set to address nearly all of the available FM band, from 88.1 to 107.9MHz, and has three memory presets for quick access to known clear frequencies. Maximo doesn't currently list a price but is shipping the SAN-360 shortly.
O'Neill has developed a backpack for outdoors enthusiasts who want to record their expeditions as well as any traveler who wants to capture video without a conspicuous camera. The H3 CamPack includes a micro camera lens in its right shoulder strap, and a joystick on the left to aim the lens. Any standard DV camera can connect to this lens or a second, goggle- or helmet-mounted lens to obtain video without endangering the actual video device, says O'Neill. A Bluetooth transmitter has been added to enable hands-free calling, and the backpack can interface with any docking iPod to use the shoulder straps as basic music navigation tools. The H3 already ships in Europe at stores such as Air-Head for £220 ($415 US). North American availability hasn't been determined.
Finis is currently shipping a unique digital audio player made solely for swimmers. Where most music devices rely on headphones that vibrate the air, the SwiMP3 uses bone conduction to register the sounds immediately on the wearer's inner ear. This provides superior sound quality, according to Finis, and lets swimmers listen to music underwater without concerns about water infiltrating the earpieces or rushing water noises interrupting the music. Controls are mounted on the back of the swimmer's head to avoid interfering with performance swimming. Music playback is limited to MP3s stored on 128MB of built-in flash, but the SwiMP3 works with both Macs and Windows. It can be found at stores such as Waterproof Music for $200.
While news of the lower-end Nokia 330 media player has only just surfaced as an inexpensive counterpart to the 770, the latter's successor is already well into development, forum members at Internet Tablet Talk have discovered. A photo and preliminary details of the upcoming handheld appeared courtesy of an anonymous source that confirmed Nokia's plans to improve on its earlier design. The 870 is expected to be slightly larger horizontally, improving the resolution and visibility of the design for web browsing. A webcam has also been added, and an enlarged speaker grille suggests an increased focus on VoIP communication, say reports. Few other details are known, though mobile broadband access and WiFi are widely anticipated. Click through for the complete photo.
Keeping mice small is essential for portable computing, and Samsung has stepped up with an unnamed super-slim mouse, AVING reports. The mouse has five buttons but is just 0.3 inches thick and 3.7 inches long. A semi-automatic cable winder tucks the USB cord inside the body. The scrollwheel, meanwhile, is lit with an LED light and scrolls by rotating left and right rather than up or down. A similar design exists in the Anyzen UM10, which appears to be directly licensed from Samsung and differs mainly by being even smaller (3.1 inches in length) and purple instead of black or silver. Click below to see it. The UM10 is identified as having 800dpi resolution.
Fisher-Price recently began shipping the Kid-Tough FP3 Player, a digital jukebox the toy maker has designed with pre-schoolers in mind. The FP3 has oversized buttons and an icon-only interface to help children navigate their music without help. The bundled headphones are properly sized for younger listeners' ears and the player itself is built to survive the shock of a sudden drop, according to the company. Inside, the player stores up to two hours of music on its integrated flash storage and has an SD card slot to store extra music. Fisher-Price preloads the device with six songs and two stories, giving parents the option to either purchase more through an online Fisher-Price store or to import their own CDs. Power is supplied through two AAA batteries. Already available, the latest Kid-Tough device sells for $70.
Polaroid has introduced the i639M, a digital camera meant to raise breast cancer awareness. The camera comes in three shades: pink, light pink, and magenta. It should be noted however that unlike Apple and the Product Red iPod, Polaroid is not donating any proceeds to charity. The camera is a 6MP model with 3x optical zoom, a 2.4" LCD, and 16MB of built-in storage to go with its SD card slot. It can also record WAV audio and MPEG-4 video. The i639M is on sale for about $150 at retailers such as Target and Circuit City.
Normally known for its emphasis on professional artists, Wacom has recently introduced Colorelli, a combination computer tablet and game targeted at children aged 5 and up. Through a series of artistic and design-oriented games, players are encouraged to both develop creative expression as well as learn practical drawing skills; the system was designed in tandem with educators and child psychologists, Wacom says. The tablet has many of the same features as the company's professional models, including a 5-inch by 3.6-inch active drawing area, a 512-level pressure-sensitive pen, and a 1000 DPI effective tablet resolution. The game requires a 1.2GHz Windows XP system with a DVD drive, but the tablet itself connects via USB and should be compatible with both MacOS X and Windows PCs. Wacom is shipping Colorelli first to Europe on November 6th for 60 Euros ($75 US).
The Dubai-based i-mate has recently shown off a new Pocket PC phone called the K-JAR, says PDAFrance. The design is based off the company's existing JASJAR model. Like the JASJAR, the new product will not only sport a QWERTY keyboard, but also a pivoting display. The K-JAR will have a 2.8-inch QVGA screen, as well as Bluetooth, WiFi, and 64MB of RAM with 128MB of ROM. The OS is Windows Mobile Phone Edition. Curiously, the K-JAR will omit the 3G radio that was in the JASJAR. It's undetermined if and when the K-JAR will come to North America, but i-mate's past efforts to breach the market suggest the phone could be a weapon in the struggle.
Microsoft's recently announced plan to offer Vista upgrade coupons as a means of shoring up computer sales during the holiday is "another Microsoft stumble," according to ZDNet's Adrian Kingsley. The coupon system, which offers different upgrade paths from Windows XP systems bought between October and March depending on the XP edition, is criticized by Kingsley for allowing widely varying discounts that may only serve to confuse buyers.
"Microsoft has taken what should be relatively easy and made it far too complicated by handing too much control over to the PC vendors," he says.
JVC is dipping its toes into the realm of iPod docks with the RA-P10, a portable stereo system. It has a remote control, 4W per channel, and an FM tuner with 20 presets, but what may really attract some is the ability to run on six AA batteries. Other stereo docks can require D-size, or a proprietary battery that has to be charged. An AC adapter is included if you have access to a socket, which is probably wise to use if you want to charge your iPod through the dock. Some miscellaneous features of the P10 include an LCD display, a snooze alarm clock, and room temperature display. The system is out now for $130.
Edifier is preparing a speaker dock designed explicitly as a bedside alarm clock. Dubbed the MO, the device holds the appearance of a conventional alarm clock but replaces the conventional watch hands with an iPod cradle that both charges the iPod and uses its built-in alarm function to play the owner's choice of song through integrated speakers. The central position of the iPod is also useful for viewing its on-screen clock, Edifier adds. The speaker system is compatible with all dockable iPods, including the iPod nano and video. No pricing or availability has been set. A full photo is available after the jump.
Photos have appeared showing a new Samsung smartphone that will soon arrive at Verizon, according to contributors from HowardForums. Initially discovered in FCC testing, the U710 is an answer to LG's VX9900, also set to be carried by Verizon. While it resembles a music phone on the outside, including dedicated external music controls and an accordant display, the bi-directional clamshell design opens to reveal a QWERTY keyboard suited to e-mail and texting. Features are expected to be rich, sources report, including a 3.2-megapixel camera, EVDO broadband, and enhanced Bluetooth support that can transmit all audio -- not just that from a media player or other specific programs -- to nearby wireless headphones or speakers. The phone's menus are also notable for supporting visual themes, a feature previously absent on many Samsung handhelds. No launch information has been given, though the existence of the Verizon branding on the U710 points to a release in the near future. Click through for a photo gallery.
In what it describes as a Hollywood first, Nokia said on Thursday that it will bundle a full-length movie with one of its premier cellphones. A new N93 edition will ship with a 512MB miniSD card that stores a complete copy of the action movie Mission: Impossible 3, optimized in resolution for the phone's smaller screen but running at the same 25 frames per second as in theaters. While the movie is copy-protected and can't play on a computer or another memory card, Nokia warns, the file can be transferred to a host PC for safekeeping to make room for more essential information. The MI:3 bundle won't raise the price of the N93 and is shipping now to most of Europe; a North American edition hasn't been announced.
Everex today claimed that it has produced a laptop with record-breaking low power consumption. The StepNote NC1500 uses a 1.5GHz VIA C7-M mobile processor, minimizing the effect of the CPU as the single largest contributor to a portable computer's overall power consumption. The result is a maximum 12 watts of power use at peak performance, Everex says. A combination of this and the use of low-energy S3 integrated graphics and a 4200RPM hard drive produces as much as 20% additional battery life while still offering a 15.4-inch display and built-in 802.11g wireless. The choice of components also helps trim costs as well, according to Everex. Despite the inclusion of a DVD rewriter, the NC1500 is shipping for $498 in a standard configuration that also includes 512MB of RAM and a 60GB hard drive. The company says its newer StepNote should be available now at Wal-Mart as well as some computer resellers.
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