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For the price of $200 and some custom configuration, PC owners may be able to buy an inexpensive HD-DVD drive, writes UNEASYsilence. Microsoft's HD-DVD add-on for the Xbox 360 can apparently be installed to a PC with little effort. After connecting the player to a Windows XP machine via USB, users need only download these drivers to make it work in programs like WinDVD. Mac computers can detect the hardware, meanwhile, but can't play movies due to a lack of software support. Native HD-DVD drives for computers often cost several hundred dollars more than Microsoft's player.
Wealthy amateur photographers may be interested in the Minox DC 1011 Carat. Not only is the body of the camera covered in 24-carat gold, the lens is surrounded by ten, 0.02-carat diamonds, each measuring 0.08 inches. In practical terms the 1011 has image stabilization, a 10.1MP sensor, and a 2.5-inch LCD screen. Photos and video can be stored in 32MB of internal memory, or else a maximum 2GB of external memory through an SD card. Videos are recorded in VGA resolution. Binoculars.com is selling the camera for $1,699, which comes shipped in its own wooden case with accessories like a lithium-ion battery.
Dual today released its XDVD8182 an in-car head unit designed explicitly with iPod support in mind. It occupies only one standard DIN slot but is capable of playing CDs, DVDs, and iPod content courtesy of a retractable 7-inch touchscreen. The unit supports virtually all functions of dockable iPods attached via a bundled link cable, including music, photos, and videos. It can similarly display all relevant track information, Dual says. The device also includes MP3 and WMA disc support and can connect to 5.1 surround sound speakers, external displays, or rear-view cameras for larger cars. Dual has made the XDVD8182 available today for $699.
Confirming earlier indications that the company is compensating for perceived losses to its music business, Universal on Monday accused all owners of music players beyond Microsoft's Zune of stealing music, according to Billboard. Universal CEO Doug Morris made the public revelation that the music label refused to license its content to Microsoft's online store without royalties, arguing controversially that his company required compensation outside of direct music sales regardless of whether or not Universal artists' music is ever copied to the player. More details follow after the jump.
X-Treme Geek is selling the JukeMaster 100, which, as the name suggests, is designed to operate like a miniaturized '50s-era jukebox. Owners insert a standard or MP3 CD into the back, and use the letter and number buttons on the front to queue up a particular song. Lights and record-player samples are triggered as the songs load. A holder for index cards lets you browse titles, though the only included cards are for the bundled album, "100 Hits From the '50s & '60s." Music is fed through headphones, integrated speakers, or a line-out jack connected to an external system. The JukeMaster 100 costs $249 and is available now.
A third iPod speaker system unveiling was made today by Jensen, which demonstrated its new JiMS-200 iPod alarm clock. The system is unique for its concessions made to owners of smaller iPods. In contrast to most docks, the JiMS-200's Dock Connector can slide to the left to let iPod nanos dock with the stereo while remaining centered, Jensen notes. The JiMS-200 further adds a dedicated USB port away from the main dock which is meant to play audio directly from a first-generation iPod shuffle. Other uncommon addtions include an external FM antenna for improved reception and a retractable headphone cable to plug the system into external audio hardware. Jensen retails the unit for $80. A basic version without the USB port and fewer radio presets, the JiMS-190, is also available for $60. Click through for a photo of the clock in its optional black.
Known in North America primarily for its hard drive-based Gigabeat models that form the foundation of Microsoft's Zune music player, Toshiba today unveiled newer versions of its P-series players aimed at beginning music listeners. The new 1GB (P10K) and 2GB (P20K) models improve controls over their larger counterparts by including a separate selection button below the company's signature touch-sensitive directional pad, reducing the need for side buttons. Users also have the choice of alternate faceplates for each model, as with cellphones: the Gigabeat can swap between green, pink, or white covers to personalize the look. Both versions build in a rare line-in recording feature that captures audio directly from a microphone or stereo without the need for a computer, according to Toshiba. The P10K and P20K are expected to sell for $120 and $150 US respectively in their native country as of December; a North American launch isn't planned but is possible due to English-language menus.
Japanese electronics maker Diasonic said today that it hopes to address the common lack of flexibility found in most iPod audio systems with its newly announced iPod Dynamic Speakers. While the stereo can remain in one piece for travel or a better use of space, both of the 3-watt satellites can detach from the base to deliver better stereo separation. Accordingly, the Dynamic Speakers also include a button to toggle an enhanced stereo effect. A bass boost feature also improves the low-end frequency response. In portable mode, the speakers can play for up to 8 hours using four AA batteries; plugging the system into an AC power outlet saves battery and can charge the iPod. Diasonic's latest system is compatible with all dockable iPods through a universal adapter and ships in black or white trim for $68 US. Click through for an image of the detached setup.
While most phones offered in Canada are direct counterparts to American equivalents, Rogers Wireless today said it now carries an uncommon variant of the Chocolate named the TG800. Unlike the previous VX8500 model carried by Verizon and Canada's Telus, the TG800 more closely follows the original Korean design and abandons the circular control pad for a larger, subtler scheme built directly into the slider phone's outer casing. It also retains the signature checkerboard number pad that had been removed for the initial North American edition. Importantly, the phone gains a world phone functionality not present in virtually any other model: a quad-band radio lets the TG800 connect to any GSM network while roaming across the globe, a feature partially absent from the CDMA-based VX8500. Rogers offers the new Chocolate for $150 CDN with a three-year contract and $320 as a stand-alone handset.
Sprint is now selling Motorola's ic502. Though mostly a standard walkie-talkie phone, the product has the unique advantage of supporting both iDEN and CDMA frequencies, allowing it to function on Sprint, Nextel, and even Verizon networks. The walkie-talkie mode can also be used off-network within a specific range. Sprint further touts the phone's toughness, noting that it complies with the US military's 810F standard for resistance to dust, shock, and other environmental factors. The ic502 is selling for $50 after rebate and a two-year contract.
GalleryPlayer on Monday said it had launched a unique new TV network designed to let HDTV owners use their sets as artistic backgrounds. Comcast subscribers now have the option of viewing GalleryPlayer On Demand, a collection of user-selectable art programming. Viewers can pick from themed slideshows taken from several major art galleries and photography experts, including the Museum of Modern Art and National Geographic. Each slideshow is accompanied by music and is intended to use the high resolution provided by HDTV sets to showcase paintings and other artwork that would otherwise be inaccessible, GalleryPlayer says. Themes will often focus on specific artists such as Da Vinci or subjects like space photography. Comcast is offering the programming free to subscribers of its On Demand digital cable service.
Cingular has formally announced its deployment of the BlackJack smartphone by Samsung. The 3G device will run Windows Mobile 5, and make use of EDGE broadband to deliver content through Cingular's BroadbandConnect service. Aside from video clips and Web browsing, Cingular will be offering what claims is the first subscription music service for US cellphones, including downloads from eMusic, Napster, and Yahoo. Owners will also be able to receive 25 XM radio channels through XM Radio Mobile. Other features of the phone will include a 1.3MP camera, stereo Bluetooth 2.0, and a QWERTY keyboard. The BlackJack should ship November 16th for as little as $200, but only after signing for a $100 rebate, a two-year contract, and specific voice and data plans.
Evesham in the UK today claimed that it has produced the lightest and smallest complete laptop on the market. The new Light Book weighs only 2.6 pounds despite including an internal DVD rewriter and has a surface area only slightly larger than its 12.1-inch screen. Although this is heavier than the recently introduced, 2.2-pound Sony VAIO G, the casing holds space for more features such as fingerprint security and a four-in-one card reader. Its size also doesn't preclude ample battery life, according to Evesham. A low-voltage Core Solo helps the Light Book last for as much as 5 hours on battery power. Evesham will sell the Light Book soon for £999 ($1900) with 512MB of RAM and a 60GB hard drive.
Another Honoree for the Innovations 2007 Design and Engineering Awards is the Info SD card, by Taiwanese company A-DATA. Solving a perennial problem of flash memory, the Info will be the first SD card with an integrated, bi-stable display, indicating exactly how much memory is left at any given time. "Bi-stable" simply refers to the fact that the display will always active, needing no electricity once the card is removed. The Info SD should premiere in January at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Motorola is planning a stylish budget phone that may undercut KRZR or even the RAZR in price, according to photos and early details uncovered by Hungarian site Terminal. Dubbed the W550, the flip-phone is a cross between the slim, metallic design of the RAZR with the more practical design of the W220 recently launched in the Middle East. Features are substantially upgraded, however, as the W550 includes a 1.3-megapixel camera that can record video as well as still images. Also replaced is the basic, icon-driven external display of the W220 for a true LCD screen. A microSD slot is built in for file storage. Terminal hasn't obtained pricing or launch details. Full photos are available after the jump.
BlueAnt will be releasing the Z9 Bluetooth headset in early 2007, says SlashPhone. It was recently declared an Honoree for the International CES Innovations 2007 Design and Engineering Awards. The product will have a slate of notable features such as echo suppression, noise cancellation, dual microphones, and the ability to switch instantly between multiple pairings. It should come with a tie clip for attaching to clothing when not in use, and it will produce different ringtones for contacts and unidentified callers. The battery should support up to seven hours of talk time or 180 hours of standby. Pricing has yet to be determined.
iLuv is today shipping the i1055 portable video player, a unique handheld that can play both conventional DVD discs as well as video from any fifth-generation iPod. A 7-inch screen on the front is connected to both a DVD drive and an iPod dock on the back, allowing the i1055 to play videos from either format in a single device. Other functions are supported as well, such as playing VCDs and audio CDs from the disc drive or music and photos from the iPod. The system is completely portable, according to iLuv, and can play video for as much as 2.5 continuous hours through its built-in NiMH battery. An AC power cable and a 12-volt car adapter are also packed with the handheld, and the former can recharge an iPod even during video playback. iLuv has launched the i1055 in black and white editions for $230, though it can now be found at Buy.com for $180 before shipping.
Sprint today began carrying Samsung's newer M500 clamshell phone. Serving as a replacement for the earlier A920, the M500 sheds nearly a third of the thickness of the 0.95-inch outgoing model at 0.68 inches while still improving features. The new handset also incorporates 50MB of internal memory to accompany its microSD card slot and sees an upgrade to Bluetooth 2.0, improving speed during file transfers or using the phone's EVDO broadband in conjunction with a PC. A 1.3-megapixel camera and GPS route finding have been carried over from the A920. The M500 supports all of Sprint's recent music and video download services and can be had from the carrier today for $80 with a two-year agreement or $280 by itself.
Japanese firm MiniPC on Monday released one of its fastest small form factor PCs, the LS800. It resolves one of the most common problems of its size class, a lack of internal storage, by mounting the main system cooling fan to the side. This allows two desktop hard drives to be mounted while still providing room for a full, X16 PCI Express graphics card slot. The design also stays cool through the use of mobile processors and can be built using chips varying from the budget Celeron M to the 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo, according to MiniPC. The company ships the LS800 in late November for $579 in a barebones configuration.
iHome today introduced its new, compact iH26 iPod alarm clock. Designed as a portable system for travelers seeking both an alarm clock and iPod playback in their hotel rooms, the iH26 has a low-profile design that can fit in a small carrying case. Unique to this model versus the earlier iH5 is a built-in dock for the first-generation iPod shuffle: the new alarm clock can play music directly from the iPod shuffle and charge it as well as a Dock Connector-based iPod at the same time, iHome says. The system can also wake to any audio device plugged into the auxiliary input jack. Listeners can also use a sleep timer with its own separate volume level. Versions of the iH26 ship in black, white, and silver from iHome for $100.
Nintendo plans to ship a version of its forthcoming Wii console with DVD movie playback later in 2007, according to an announcement today by software developer Sonic. Although Nintendo has previously confirmed that it intends to produce a DVD-capable console for the Japanese market, the company has until now declined to commit to any particular timeframe. The move further reinforces Nintendo's narrow focus on gaming, as the company's revelation of the late addition of DVD playback accompanies the imminent release of next-generation movie disc players such as Microsoft's Xbox 360 HD DVD player as well as the PlayStation 3.
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