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Anora is selling the Wenge TV Hi-Fi Stand, a product that holds plasma and LCD TVs away from walls and other fixed locations. Its name comes from the variety of wood used in its construction. Displays are anchored to the wenge boards, which can then be rotated via the center column. Pigeonholes are included between the boards for storing CD and DVD cases. A frosted-glass shelf sits further down, ready to hold larger items such as books and players. Pricing for the stand is unknown, but the only Anora retail outlet is located in Washington DC.
Though best known for using unconventional shapes to produce its sound, Bose on Wednesday released a new set of multimedia speakers that it says focus on portability. The satellites of the Micro Music Monitor system are small and light enough to be held easily in each hand without sacrificing top-end power, suiting them to both desktops as well as portable audio sources such as iPods and laptops, Bose says. While many portable speakers operate at a fixed output level regardless of their source, the Micro Music Monitor satellites can operate either at 20W per channel when connected to AC power or 2W per channel when driven by AA batteries. This gives listeners the option of using the same speakers at or away from home. As the 2.0 speakers sound better than many larger systems, according to Bose, their quality and flexibility will support a price equivalent to $427 US when they become available December 1st in Japan. A North American launch is possible but has not been announced.
The virtual network operator Helio is set to replace its swiveling, Samsung-made Kickflip phone with a new, more conventional design from the Korean company, according to an image provided by an anonymous source. The new device, named the Drift by Helio and codenamed the Astropop by Samsung itself, more closely resembles the latter's typically Korea-only slider phones but sports features similar to the Kickflip, which was recently discontinued by Helio. Early information reveals that its primary enhancement over the outgoing model will be the addition of a Bluetooth transmitter that can both sync with a host PC as well as connect to A2DP-supporting wireless headsets and speakers. The Drift will be released next month, though the source hasn't specified whether its price will vary significantly from the $200 of the Kickflip. The full leaked image is available after the jump.
As many as 58 percent of current iPod owners may make their next MP3 player a Zune, according to a web survey conducted by ABI Research. The company contacted 1,725 American adults and teenagers, and of the number that said they were likely to buy an MP3 player in the next 12 months, 58 percent of existing iPod owners said they were "somewhat" or "extremely" likely to pick a Zune. Of the users that owned other MP3 players, 59 percent chose the Zune. Conversely, only 15 percent of iPod owners said they were "not very" or "not at all" likely to buy Microsoft's player. More details following the jump.
Without any prior announcements, Cingular has begun offering the new Motorola V365 handset. The service provider characterizes the V365 as a toughened phone designed to survive common abuse, a fact reflected in its rubber-coated outer shell as well as the internalized antenna. This upgrade to the prior V360 is similarly designed with more than just phone use in mind, Cingular adds. The handset supports push-to-talk instant voice as well as EDGE broadband; a predictive texting feature is said to improve SMS texting as well as e-mail and instant messaging. A microSD card slot gives owners the further option of playing up to 1GB of music. Subscribers can buy the phone for $250 by itself or $100 as part of a two-year contract.
MyLight today launched the MarkLight, a portable light designed to fit in unconventional locations. Originally intended for books, the MarkLight centers around a thin, malleable strip that can be slipped in between pages to be used as a bookmark as well as a reading light. Because of the even illumination provided by its three LED lamps, the MarkLight can also be used to light the keys of a laptop's keyboard or act as a small stand-alone lamp, according to MyLight. The device lasts for up to 40 hours on two AAA batteries and comes with several different skins, including real and simulated leather, nylon, or plush cloth. Versions dressed in real leather ship today for $20; lights with the remaining covering options will be available soon for $15.
While portable DVD players are gradually losing influence with the introduction of video-capable iPods and other media players, luxury goods producer Amadana has just unveiled a high-end DVD unit for those who prefer the quality of the disc format. The VP-110 Portable DVD Player is larger than most challengers and has a 10-inch widescreen LCD that can display movies at their full quality with Dolby Digital sound. Owners should also be satisfied with the player as a physical object, Amadana writes, and to this end the player has touch-sensitive playback controls as well as a genuine bamboo inlay for the outer shell. Lastly, Amadana says it has adapted the DVD player to more recent technology and supports both DivX and MPEG-4 videos from either discs or removable SD cards. In accordance with its features, the VP-110 is currently available for the equivalent of $1094 US before tax.
Accuratus has produced the 142, a Skype-based mouse phone distinguished by a flip-phone design. It functions as a standard USB mouse until a call comes in, at which point opening the phone lets you answer. Mouse resolution is 800dpi, and an LCD screen shows caller ID for all Skype conversations. The phone can also be used for voice chat through Yahoo or MSN Messenger, though in doing so, the keypad becomes inactive. A built-in speaker allows hands-free use. The 142 requires Windows 2000 or XP to run and can only be bought for £40 ($76) from Ceratech. Click below to see full-sized images.
Sharper Image recently introduced its first child-oriented speaker set, the iPulse Bear. Covered in either brown or white fur, the bear has a belly pouch with a hidden minijack cable that can plug into an iPod or any small music player, though the company says its design takes advantage of the iPod nano's bottom-mounted headphone jack to expose the main screen. Lights on all four paws light up in time with the rhythm and volume levels of the music produced from built-in speakers. By default, the iPulse Bear is powered by four C-cell batteries so that it can quickly be carried into a child's room; an optional $10 AC adapter is also available for owners who expect the bear to remain still during most listening sessions. Sharper Image ships the bear itself today at a price of $40.
Having begun shipping its AMD-based desktops in September, Dell today released its first portables using non-Intel processors. Buyers can now order the Inspiron E1501, an AMD equivalent to the Intel-based E1505 model. Unlike the latter, the E1501 is aimed directly at basic users and is equipped with a 1.8GHz Sempron, 512MB of RAM, and a 60GB hard drive in its base $549 configuration. The system can be custom-built to include as much as a dual-core 1.8GHz Turion 64 X2, 2GB of RAM, and an 80GB hard drive. Bluetooth, dedicated graphics, and other options have been stripped from the model to emphasize its economy focus. Factory-stock models are available immediately.
Hong Kong exporters Brando are selling dock speakers with the unusual ability to support several different kinds of devices. The key is a set of adapters, which provide varying levels of functionality depending on the product. iPods (3G and up) are able to charge, play music, and sync with iTunes; Sony-Ericsson phones can do charging and music, while Nokia phones and Sony's PSP handheld are limited exclusively to music. Other players must rely on a line-in cord for music support. The dock comes with an English manual and a dock-to-PC USB connection, and is selling for $58.
The Korean electronics reseller Royche is now offering a mouse that it says resolves the primarily complaints about wireless mice. Made by A4Tech, the NB-57D eliminates the need for the additional weight and charging requirements of cordless mouse batteries by generating power through electromagnetic induction: a USB-connected mousepad supplies energy to the mouse as long as it remains on the pad's surface, Royche says. The mouse also has relatively advanced controls, ranging from a button that emulates a double left-click, a Microsoft Office shortcut button, and image zoom. No price is listed for the NB-57D, which is shipping now in Korea and may be found through importers as well.
Hungarian site Mobil PortŠl claims to have information about the LG KE800, a Western version of the Korean KV6000 luxury Chocolate phone. The 800 will reportedly be an upgraded model, featuring a 2MP camera, an FM receiver, 128MB of memory, and a two-inch screen with over 256,000 colors. Bluetooth, USB, and a microSD slot will be built-in. The phone will have also have tri-band (900/1,800/1,900MHz) support for GSM, with the EDGE protocol being used for broadband. Supported sound files will include AAC, AAC+/++, MP3, and WAV. Pricing and release information is unavailable. Click through to see larger photos.
Wal-Mart on Wednesday inadvertently revealed additional details of the Zune ahead of its official launch. While news that the Zune would ship preloaded with music has long since been established, an update to Wal-Mart's pre-order page for the Zune this morning reveals Microsoft's plans to spur subscriptions by offering a 14-day trial subscription to its Zune Pass. The $15 per month service mimics the subscription features of existing stores such as Napster and URGE and will let Zune owners download an unlimited number of songs while their subscription remains active, deleting the songs afterwards. Microsoft has often cited the Zune Pass as an advantage over the iPod and iTunes, which typically require a-la-carte sales.
Details of the official Zune website follow after the jump.
Hela's new Glider Mouse aims to improve the ergonomics of mice. By building the Glider for a central position behind the keyboard, Hela says they've eliminated repetitive stress injury caused by constantly reaching out to the side. Soft wrist-rests make using both devices more comfortable. The mouse itself is meant to behave somewhat like an air hockey paddle, and is useable by left- or right-handers. Buttons and a scrollwheel are actually located around the rim of trackpad. Configuration is handled mainly through a series of 12 switches, requiring no additional software. The product comes in 15.7- and 18.9-inch models, and can be mounted off-desk if desired. Hela is selling the Glider for £199 ($380) including VAT.
Canadian cellphone users now have the choice of two new style-oriented phones, according to the Ontario-based carrier Rogers. Subscribers who need a full-featured media phone can now opt for the Sony-Ericsson K790 (pictured), a quad-band GSM world phone with a high-resolution, 3.2-megapixel camera and xenon flash as its central features. The handset is capable of connecting to Rogers' EDGE mobile broadband access and can play either FM radio or AAC/MP3 music stored on Memory Stick Micro cards. Rogers now sells the K790 for $250 with a three-year plan or $410 without.
The company also says that those less in need of features can chose the RAZR V3t, an inexpensive V3i alternative previously available in the US from T-Mobile. The V3t lacks iTunes or EDGE support but maintains the 1.23-megapixel camera, GPRS Internet access, and media playback. The V3t costs less than half the price of the V3i at $99 Canadian for a 3-year contract and $270 as a stand-alone purchase. Both it and the K790 are shipping today.
Hitachi revealed today that it plans to dramatically increase both the capacity and speed of laptop drives in the coming year. The company says that it will introduce new models in its 2.5-inch Travelstar range that peak at 250GB of storage while still operating at reasonable speeds, according to the company. The increase is the direct result of Hitachi's own perpendicular recording technology, which allows for far more bits per platter and increases both the density of the drives and access times for their data. The 250GB model is expected to rotate at 5,400 RPM and will launch in the second half of 2007; current models at this performance level reach only 160GB. Hitachi also said today that it would ship a 7,200 RPM, 200GB mobile hard drive in the first half of 2007 that outperforms by a wide margin the 4,200 RPM models featured in recent laptops from Alienware and Apple. The company further predicts that it will be shipping 750GB drives for portables by 2010 thanks to perpendicular recording.
Sony claims it has produced the world's lightest laptop computer, according to an announcement made in Japan today. The new VAIO G-series weighs 898 grams (1.98 pounds) without an optical drive, or 984 grams (2.17 pounds) with the drive included, giving it an exceptionally low weight despite the 12.1-inch screen that defines its frame. The G-series achieves this figure by using a shell entirely made of carbon fiber, Sony says, reducing the weight without compromising its strength. The company has also employed an LED-backlit LCD and a lack of extensive cooling to reduce the overall thickness of the case to less than one inch.
Click through for details of battery life, performance, and a photo gallery.
Understanding that many laptop owners use their systems as desktop replacements, Logitech today revealed its Alto hybrid keyboard and laptop stand. The design solves two of the main ergonomic problems with laptops, Logitech says, by both elevating a laptop's display to eye level and providing a comfortable, full-size keyboard. The keyboard attaches to the computer through USB, avoiding the proprietary format of a docking station, and includes two additional USB ports for external storage, mice, or other peripherals that typically remain at home. Logitech notes that the Alto is intended for most Windows laptops weighing 9 pounds or less. The company expects to ship the keyboard to Europe in December, and North America in January for $100 US.
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