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Casio has updated its Exilim camera line with the EX-Z6 and EX-Z7, reports Image-Acquire. The Z6 is a 6MP point-and-shoot, while the Z7 (pictured) differs mainly through a 7.2MP rating. Both cameras have a 2.5-inch LCD, 3x optical zoom, and a brushed aluminum exterior. The Z7 also has image stabilization in the form of Anti Shake DSP. The Z6 may have this technology as well, but the fact of this was unclear at press time. Casio has also been quiet about pricing and availability, though the presence of other Exilims in North America suggests the cameras will be here eventually.
Firebox is taking orders for the Homestar Planetarium, a star projector meant to be aimed at ceilings. Firebox claims the product uses the same lens as a full-sized commercial planetarium. Once a disc is inserted into the Homestar's drive tray, up to 10,000 stars are displayed for either the northern or southern hemispheres. Motors simulate the effects of the Earth's rotation, and shooting star displays can be toggled on or off with the push of a button. Separate discs are included for displaying constellation lines. The Homestar Planetarium is priced at £100 ($190) on Firebox's website.
The US division of T-Mobile said today that it has begun carrying the still-rare Dolce & Gabbana RAZR for its subscribers. Available as a stand-alone handset in the past, this special edition of the V3i is named after the well-known fashion designer and distinguished primarily by its use of a gold and silver finish for the entire body, a special "DG" keychain, and audiovisual references to Dolce & Gabbana. Technical features such as a 1.3-megapixel camera and media playback of files stored on microSD cards remain unchanged from the original. T-Mobile is now offering the deluxe RAZR for $300 with a service agreement.
A new Seagate hard drive is being manufactured with built-in encryption, the company says. The Momentus 5400 FDE.2 is designed for laptops and has a "DriveTrust" chip that controls all data sent or received. To run a laptop equipped with an FDE.2, users must first enter a password set when the laptop arrives. Seagate believes that future laptops may come with more elaborate security measures such as fingerprint readers or smart cards. Indeed, the drive seems to be targeted mainly at governments and corporations, who in some cases have had highly publicized data thefts. Although pricing for the product is undetermined, Seagate expects the initial rollout to happen early next year. DriveTrust chips will also be used for DRM control in DB35 drives, meant for entertainment products such as DVRs.
iHome on Monday previewed the iHM1B, a compact speaker system intended for the first-generation iPod nano. The cabinet-shaped design provides stereo sound while still safeguarding the iPod's body against scratches, iHome says. The enclosure also gives easy access to the iPod's click wheel and hold switch. SRS TruBass technology is built into the speakers to improve low-end frequency response. The iHM1B is currently available only in black and will ship for $30 later in the fall bundled with a water-resistant case; the status of a version designed for second-generation iPod nanos is unknown. Click through for a full-size photo.
Leaked official documents have revealed that Cingular plans to launch two highly-anticipated smartphones within the next two weeks, according to Mobility Today. An ad for the Treo 680 has surfaced online, revealing that the US carrier expects to be the first to launch the smartphone on November 5th. The leak also confirms Palm's claims that the device will be inexpensive relative to the previous 650, 700, and 750 versions: prices will range from under $200 when bought with a two-year unlimited data plan to $425 with no obligations.
Click through for details of the 8525 and photos of the revealed documents.
PQI has released a new USB flash drive designed to eliminate the need for a separate cap that can be lost. Using a mechanism similar to ballpoint pens, the U350 has a tab that can be pulled outwards to retract the USB connector when not in use, and pushed out until the port locks into place. The aluminum design is both stylish and space-efficient, according to PQI. All U350 models with file management software to backup and synchronize regularly accessed information, and are compatible with both MacOS X and Windows. Capacities range from 256MB to 4GB on the now-shipping U350. No pricing is yet available.
AMEX Digital has introduced the i Talk nano, a USB-based VoIP phone highly reminiscent of Apple's previous-generation music player. In addition to its conspicuous design, the i Talk nano is notable for its universal VoIP support, according to the company. AMEX officially supports the use of the phone for several different IP telephone networks, including Firefly, MSN, and Skype; both Macs and Windows PCs are supported, AMEX says. The handset supports service-specific features such as caller ID and has built-in speakers for hands-free calling. Echo and noise cancellation prevent unwanted audio from reaching the microphone. Available in black or white, the i Talk nano ships for $25.
Tomorrow, Microsoft plans to update the Xbox 360's Dashboard interface through the Xbox Live online service. All Xbox 360s with Internet access can receive the upgrade. Key among the Dashboard's new features will be 1080p support, fed through component cable. The feature is intended for games and downloadable videos, as there is no HDMI port on the main console. The update will also be needed to connect several new Microsoft products, namely the HD DVD drive, the Wireless Racing Wheel, and the Zune. Users will also be able to play video files from more external media, such as CDs, DVDs, USB 2.0 flash drives, and 360 Memory Units. Gamers will note that the Live Arcade has be streamlined with features such as automatic trial downloads and faster game launching. For a complete list of Dashboard updates, click here.
Virtual carrier Boost Mobile is selling Motorola's i835, a phone marketed towards a female audience. Available in white, purple, or black, the phone flashes lights in time with MIDI ringtones and has floral stenciling on the exterior. AgION anti-microbial coating is intended to keep the surface germ-free. More technical features include GPS, wireless Web access, voice notes and multimedia messaging, and a walkie-talkie mode through Nationwide Boost. All three versions of the i835 are being sold for $130.
The creators of the legendary ColecoVision console have returned to the market, shipping the Sonic Handheld, a portable unit loaded with over a dozen older Sega games. Titles in the mix include "Alex Kidd," "Altered Beast," and "Sonic Triple Trouble." Handhelds with pre-loaded games are not a new development; most, however, do not feature games from a reputable name such as Sega. Target is currently selling the Sonic for $50 online and at retail.
Microsoft's Zune music player won't arrive until months after the November 14th North American launch, reports Britain's New Media Age. Citing the delay in finding a partner to help build the Zune Marketplace online music store that forms an integral part of the the overall Zune strategy, Microsoft's Dene Schonknecht indicated that preparations have fallen far short of expectations.
"The earliest date it will be in the UK is towards the end of 2007. However, it could easily be 2008... we're way off launch," he said.
Microsoft has yet to officially reveal the Zune Marketplace beyond providing details of its points-based system, which resembles the company's existing Xbox Live Marketplace. This latest news, however, confirms that Microsoft is outsourcing the infrastructure of its music store in the same way it has based the Zune player around Toshiba's earlier Gigabeat S. [Subscription required for full NMA article]
Pro audio hardware designer BOSS is now producing the Micro BR, a portable audio recorder the company notes is scarcely larger than an iPod. Capable of playing back four tracks simultaneously and recording two, the Micro BR can also match each of the playback sources to eight previously recorded tracks, dubbed V-Tracks, for a total of 32 simultaneous instruments or vocals. Musicians can further add any of 300 drum patterns to their production, use a dedicated guitar input for a live instrument, or apply live time stretching and center cancel effects.
Songs on the Micro BR are recorded to removable SD cards in either uncompressed or MP3 formats; approximately 65 minutes of single-channel audio can fit on the included 128MB card, Boss says. The recorder can integrate MP3 files placed on these cards into mixes and play them back in isolation as well. BOSS is now delivering the Micro BR for $230.
British nightclub owners/music merchandisers Ministry of Sound have released another self-branded music player, according to Tech Digest. In addition to playing MP3s, the MOSMP075 also plays FM and DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) radio, which can be recorded directly to the player's internal memory. The device comes with a pair of in-ear headphones, an internal rechargeable battery, and a pre-loaded album. A 512MB model is being sold for £120 ($227) and a 1GB model is going for £180 ($341).
As a follow-up to its Canadian 007 Edition TX-series, Sony today introduced a suite of VAIO computers and peripherals whose style and theme link closely to the upcoming movie Casino Royale. While the American release of the 007 Spy Gear TX remains unchanged and includes the same Core Solo-based computer, privacy screen, and camera, Sony has added an ultra-mobile PC counterpart in the form of the 007 Spy Gear UX (pictured, left). It too ships with a custom, Bond-themed attaché carrying case and a DSC-T50 camera; however, the privacy screen is replaced with a Bluetooth GPS receiver that provides real-time mapping to the UX from any location it can receive a signal. The 007 Spy Gear UX will be available November 10th for $3,200.
Lastly, both the 007 DSC-T50 bundled with the TX and UX models, as well as a black 1GB 007 MicroVault USB flash drive, will be sold separately, according to Sony. These will be available for $600 and $60 respectively at the same time as the new portables.
ATI has launched a new mid-range videocard, the Radeon X1650 XT. Its feature set is similar to higher-end cards like the X1950 Pro, except that it has half the pixel-shader processors, and memory is limited to 256MB of GDDR3 versus 512MB of GDDR4. It also lacks DirectX 10 support, but the card does support Shader Model 3.0, so this may just be a software issue. Advantages to the card include CrossFire dual-GPU support, and a PCI Express x16 bus that also functions with AGP 8x, using an external bridge chip. The estimated MSRP of the card is $149.
Cellphone carrier Verizon is set to release two new versions of its most popular recent cellphones tomorrow, as revealed by the early posting of splash pages for the new devices. The provider will release both the LG Chocolate and MOTOKRZR K1m in shades of white that contrast sharply with the more conventional, glossy blacks of earlier models. While the white Chocolate retains largely the same design, the white K1m gains a subtler, two-tone blend of gray and white. The updated phones keep the same features as before and are also expected to share earlier pricing, as the white Chocolate and KRZR editions will ship for $130 and $200 respectively with a two-year contract. Click through for a gallery of the new handsets.
Known primarily for its business-oriented line of projectors, Sanyo has just released what it says is an unparalleled home theater LCD projector, the PLV-Z5. The 720p-capable system achieves a uniquely high 10,000:1 contrast ratio; this is a feat unheard of for LCD projectors, Sanyo claims. The improved image quality is made possible in part by including separate irises for the lamp and the lens, allowing the Z5 to selectively darken scenes both by changing the color settings of the image itself as well as the lighting applied to the final picture. The Z5 can also project a 100-inch image from as close as 9.8 feet away, the company says.
The projector's home theater emphasis is equally reflected in its format support: dual sets of both component and HDMI inputs are included for high-definition sources, while RCA, S-video, and VGA are provided for connecting to earlier standards as well as Mac and Windows PCs. Sanyo is shipping the PLV-Z5 now for $1,695.
Gateway on Monday revealed a new line of high-performance gaming systems designed to rival similar moves by Dell and Hewlett-Packard. The FX530 shares the earlier FX510's cooling-efficient BTX case but updates the CPU and video performance beyond Gateway's traditionally conservative levels. Those who order the system with a 2.93GHz Core 2 Extreme can ask for the processor to be overclocked at the factory with full warranty support -- a feature rarely offered by other system builders, Gateway claims. Buyers can now also equip the system with dual X1950 CrossFire Edition video cards for added 3D performance. In a concession to the enthusiast community, Gateway has also added the option of metallic side-panels in multiple colors.
The FX530 is slated to ship in three stock models. he FX530XG ships with a 2.67GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM, dual 150GB high-speed hard drives, and dual X1950 CrossFire cards for $2500; the XL adds the Core 2 Extreme and a 24-inch display for $4000; lastly, the deluxe XT version increases the default RAM to 4GB and equips the system with dual 750GB hard drives for a price of $5000. All three variants are available beginning today.
Plextor today unveiled its first external DVD drive that breaks the 8X speed threshold for writing dual-layer discs. The PX-755UF can record a full 8.5GB, DVD+R disc at a 10X rate, suiting it to making backups of downloaded and purchased movies, Plextor says. The drive is also capable of writing to dual-layer DVD-R discs at 6X and can record a single-layer DVD in either format within six minutes, according to the company's tests. Plextor has also provided ports for both FireWire 400 and USB 2.0 connections, both of which are supported for MacOS X and Windows PCs. The PX-755UF will be available in mid-November for $159.
Though details of its new device have already surfaced, Nokia today officially announced its first mapping-oriented handheld. The 330 Auto Navigation is intended as a dedicated GPS unit and includes a 3.5-inch touchscreen in addition to the dedicated quick-access and navigation buttons revealed last week. The device is intended to streamline European driving, Nokia says. To this effect, the company is bundling the 330 with a 2GB SD card that contains route data for almost all of Europe -- enabling drivers to visit multiple countries without swapping cards, according to the company.
Additionally, the 330 includes the previously mentioned multimedia features for entertainment between destinations, allowing the device to play MP3s, photos, and videos through its built-in speakers. Nokia hasn't yet specified exact formats beyond MP3 audio. Shipping by the end of 2006, the 330 is expected to sell for 360 Euros ($458 US) when it launches in its native Europe. No details of a North American release were given. A photo of the 330 in its car mount is available after the jump.
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