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In advance of the coming winter, Vavolo is selling Warmmi USB heating slippers, wrapped in fake brown fur. There are no software functions to the slippers - users simply plug them in for a charge. They can be warmed temporarily, or else left plugged in for continuous heat. Each pair comes with a USB cable and costs $22. Vavolo is also selling Warmmi USB heating gloves, which are instead made of gray fleece and come with two separate USB cables. These cost $21 per pair.
The new PN-300, offered by Verizon Wireless, is unique for the ironic reason of removing extra features for the sake of cost and simplicity. There is no camera on the phone, nor can it play music or videos. It does however offer text messages, voice-activated dialing, a screen with 65,000 colors, and the ability to record 30-second voice memos. For users with vision or hearing problems, M4 hearing aid compatibility is supplmented by a larger set of buttons and fonts. The PN-300 can be had for as little as $30 with a two-year contract.
Though important specifications have yet to be shared, Chinese manufacturer Ramos has announced three new media players in a series called the Q. The Q10 (pictured) is modelled after the newest iPod Nanos, and will come in blue, green, black, pink and silver. The Q12 resembles a U2-edition iPod, and the Q15 has a larger LCD screen but measures just 0.3 inches thick. Prices and distribution information are also unpublished, but it's worth noting that several Ramos players have been exported from China, such as the RM300 (under different aliases). Click through for photos of all three players.
ThinkGeek today started carrying the iAXE USB Guitar for aspiring computer musicians. The instrument relies solely on the computer's sound output when connected through USB, allowing the guitar to mimic virtually any instrument and saving the need for a conventional amplifier. ThinkGeek ships the Mac- and Windows-compatible guitar with Audacity software for multi-track song recording and Guitar Combos for emulating many real-world amplifiers and guitars. The guitar itself is designed to match many conventional guitars with a maple neck, three single-coil pickups, and 5-way switching; it can also work as a more traditional instrument when attached to an amplifier. The store currently stocks the iAXE for $100.
While genuine "retro" headphones that cover the whole ear may not be hard to find, Panasonic's new RP-HTX7s come equipped with modern colors and electronics. Available in green, black, white, and lighter shades of blue and brown, the sets have 1.6-inch drivers for better bass, and can produce 1,000mW of power. Frequency response ranges from a low of 7Hz to a maximum of 22KHz. A gold-plated, four-foot stereo cord can be lengthened with a bundled 6.6-foot extension. AudioCubes is selling the headphones for $59.
Pinnacle expanded its TV tuner lineup today with its range-topping PCTV To Go media hub. The company says its newest PCTV device improves on the remote-access TV formula established by the Slingbox by building in an 802.11g wireless system, avoiding the need for an Ethernet cable or a wireless bridge. The result is the ability to control and stream TV from any broadband-equipped PC with Pinnacle's viewer software installed, even programming a DVR attached to the system. Viewers on the local network can also watch video at DVD quality and record it directly to their PCs. Though not required, Windows XP Media Center will see the PCTV To Go as a live TV source. Pinnacle hopes to deliver its new tuner late this month for $250.
LG today published details of its new GBW-H10N Blu-Ray drive. Claimed by the company to be the fastest Blu-Ray recorder yet, the H10N can burn a write-once, single-layer disc in the new format at 4X, double the previous maximum of other drives. This allows for the full two hours of native video supported by a standard disc to be written in 30 minutes. The drive can additionally burn rewritable Blu-Ray discs and has a large 4MB buffer to prevent write errors on with the newer format. Backwards compatibility is provided for both DVDs and CDs, the former recording at 12X for a write-once disc and 8X for rewritables. LG hasn't disclosed pricing for the drive but expects to ship it soon to stores across the globe.
The BOMU-W24A/BL is a wireless, dual-function mouse from Japanese maker Buffalo. Reading from an optical sensor when laid flat, the W24 turns into pointer when picked up, switching to internal gyroscopes similar to those in Nintendo's Wii remote. Configuration is handled through the included Gyrotool software. The mouse has a range of 32 feet from the USB 2.0 dongle, and will last 96 hours after a nine-hour recharge in the provided cradle charger. Making use of Gyrotool requires a Windows 2000/XP computer with DirectX 8.0 or higher. The W24 goes on sale in Japan later this month at the cost of 19,780 yen ($168).
French electronics maker Alcatel recently revealed its OT-E801 cellphone. Made to appeal to more cost-conscious music listeners, the E801 sheds common secondary features such as Bluetooth or cameras in exchange for thorough music support. Alcatel's latest phone has dedicated music controls along the left edge and a microSD slot preloaded with a 128MB card that can hold approximately 50 MP3 songs, according to the company. The slot can support as much as a 2GB card for more demanding listeners. An additional benefit of its minimalist focus is battery life, Alcatel says, as the E801 can handle a full 10 hours of continuous talk time and 250 hours of standby. It currently ships in Britain for £40 ($76) with pre-paid phone service. No word has been given yet of its North American release.
Bella has unveiled the DV Keyboard 3, a desktop keyboard with built-in controls for video editing and other creative work. Central to the design is a jog wheel that can scrub through audio and video clips; the wheel and accompanying buttons can also be used for more general tasks such as scrolling through documents, Bella says. The keyboard also sports two USB 2.0 ports for attaching iPods and other peripherals, and can be bundled with a NeoLite gooseneck lamp add-on to illuminate the keyboard in a dark studio. The DV Keyboard 3 is compatible with both Macs and Windows PCs and is qualified for use with several major video editing programs such as Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, and Sony's Vegas. It ships later in November for $130.
Verizon will be adopting the SCH-U740, a scaled-down version of the Samsung U710. Both units share QWERTY keyboards, and a rotatable screen that can function in portrait or landscape mode, but the U740 is limited to a 1.3MP camera instead of a 3.2. The phone does however feature Bluetooth, WAP 2.0 web browsing, EVDO broadband with VCAST music and video, and a microSD slot for holding audio, photo, and video files. The display renders 262,000 colors at 176x220. The U740 should be available with Verizon by the end of the year. Click through to see full-size images.
Addressing the frequent problem of stray headphone cords, Print Wear has released its mpTees line of music-oriented T-shirts. Each model has a hidden cord pass-through for earbuds or headphone cords as well as a pocket that can protect most any portable player while ensuring that it remains still even during particularly active moments, Print Wear writes. The company suggests that the mpTees line is ideal for exercise or other situations when freedom of movement is important. The clothing range ships in close- and loose-fit short-sleeve lines as well as a long-sleeved version for colder weather. Currently available only in bulk, mpTees are expected to sell individually in stores soon for an unspecified price.
The typically audio-focused company harman/kardon has announced that it will take its first steps into the GPS market with its upcoming Guide + Play receiver. As indicated by the name, the device will feature a heavy media playback component, playing music as well as MPEG-4 and Windows Media videos on SD cards ranging up to 4GB in storage. Media browsing is expected to be more advanced than with most other GPS handhelds and will have an easy song browser that sorts by artist, genre, and other metadata instead of simply displaying folders. The company further promises a very portable system: the Guide + Play is scarcely larger than its 4-inch screen and will last an unusually lengthy 5 hours when away from a car adapter or wall outlet, according to harman/kardon. It should ship in January for $499.
Radiient's Select-4 is an HDMI hub which allows four separate HDMI inputs to share a single output. The company claims support for resolutions up to UXGA, 1080p, and beyond, with a repeater maintaining signal quality at distances extending to a hundred feet. Another advantage of the unit is automatic input detection, eliminating the need to manually switch inputs as you move between devices -- the hub monitors activity and switches accordingly. Normally priced at $399, Radiient is currently discounting the Select-4 at $299.
Maxell today said it has revealed its first iPod speaker system. The MXSP-1000 uses its bar design to its advantage, according to the company, by supporting wall mounts for small apartments and other areas where available space is a priority. Its low profile is equally well-suited for tabletops or resting underneath computer displays. Supporting all dockable iPods through a top-mounted connector as well as an auxiliary input jack for other music players, the MXSP-1000 produces 9.6 watts of stereo output which the company claims is augmented by the use of aluminum cones. The new Maxell speakers ship in black, silver, and white colors for $85 US in Japan. No details were given of a North American launch. See a complete photo after the jump.
Microsoft is planning to tightly integrate its own web-based video service with its new Zune media player, according to a report by news site Playfuls. Taking advantage of its own Soapbox web video site, which began invitation-only beta testing in mid-September, Microsoft will give Zune owners the opportunity to download top videos from Soapbox that will be posted weekly on its Zune.net website in the near future. The feature would convert downloaded clips into a format that would be transferred to the Zune music software and which could be played directly on the Zune device itself. The move could potentially upset an existing strategy by Google, which offers downloads of submitted videos in an iPod-compatible format but doesn't currently integrate with iTunes or other video-capable software. Industry expert Om Malik has recently suggested that Microsoft rival Apple investigate partnering with a viral video site such as YouTube -- a site since acquired by Google -- as a means of increasing the popularity of its video-capable iPods.
Verizon on Wednesday officially released its widely anticipated VX8600 handset. Known alternately as a flip-phone Chocolate equivalent or under LG's own Black Sapphire name, the VX8600 is now shipping from the US cellphone carrier for $130 with the combination of a two-year contract and an instant rebate. Features remain as expected, modifying the original slider phone's features only to add an external display with music controls. Support for Verizon's own V CAST music store is also integrated. The company hasn't yet confirmed the pricing of the phone without a contract, though earlier reports set the cost at $250 before rebates.
Scientific imagery company Aven has begun producing the iLoupe, a camera that the company says is the first microphotography camera that can truly be used in the field. It achieves its compact size by mounting a small, 60-150X microscopy lens on top of an otherwise standard Canon SD600 point-and-shoot camera, turning it into a field microscope. An LED light built into the lens helps illuminate subjects in between cracks or other dark areas. The mount can be removed at any time for conventional photography. The design is targeted primarily at crime scene investigators, factory inspectors, and scientists who may need detailed photo evidence but may not have access to specialized equipment, Aven says. The iLoupe is available now; Aven asks buyers to contact it for pricing.
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