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KFE's DC500 sports the ubiquitous face of Hello Kitty, one of Japan's most successful long-term brands. The camera itself is a modest 5MP model, limited to ISO 100 sensitivity and 4x digital zoom (as opposed to optical). Its 32MB of internal memory can only be supplemented by SD cards ranging to 1GB. It does however have four stops of exposure compensation (-2.0/+2.0), and it can record up to three minutes of video at 640x480, or four minutes at 320x240. A computer with Windows 98 SE or greater is required. The DC500 is selling online for 12,800 yen ($108).
Korean manufacturer Woojin is deploying the Tenbuno, a 19-inch LCD monitor with a smaller, 8.4-inch screen mounted on top. The monitor can be flipped upside-down to reverse positions. The displays are meant to be used for separate purposes, such as watching TV or movies on one while web browsing on the other. The quality of the smaller display is substantially less than the main one though; whereas the 19-inch screen has 8ms response, 700:1 contrast, and resolutions up to 1280x1024, the 8.4-inch screen is limited to 800x600, 10ms response, and 350:1 contrast. Pricing and availability of the Tenbuno outside Korea (if any) is presently unpublished.
Philips has just launched two new premium HDTVs in advance of the holidays. At the forefront is the company's 63PF9631D (pictured at left), one of the largest plasmas available at 63 inches. Though capable only of 1080i, the display has a USB port to directly play images and music from attached cameras or music players. Smaller but more feature-laden is the upcoming 47PF9441D (right), according to the company. This 47-inch LCD will be capable of a full 1080p resolution. Both sets will have Philips' Pixel Plus 3 HD, which is said to upscale even lower-quality DVD video to the displays' native resolutions, as well as dual HDMI connectors and virtual Dolby surround from their chin-mounted stereo speakers. The 63-inch system is already shipping to stores for $6,000 while its 47-inch counterpart is being readied for a December launch at a price of $3,000.
PBteen's Ultimate Display Speaker Shelf not only supports speakers, it has a pair built in. Each satellite is five inches on a side and can produce 10W of power. The only control of note though is a volume knob, and there's a single input jack for connecting devices like radios and iPods. The shelf is available in white or navy blue for $129. PBteen also makes complimentary lines of furniture, such as the Ultimate Display Case ($279) and the "shadowbox" shelf ($89), but none are equipped with their own speakers.
System builder Lenovo on Thursday launched the completely new Y series of portables under its mainstream 3000 label. As the company's first clear break from signature features inherited from IBM's ThinkPads, the Y series shifts attention towards media playback with the introduction of Lenovo's custom Shuttle Center controls. A scroll strip and button on each computer (pictured) lets the user quickly navigate and play music or videos through a custom Shuttle Center media management program. The flagship Y400 model also incorporates a 2-watt subwoofer into its chassis despite having only a 14-inch screen, better-suiting it to music without external speakers. The simpler, 13.3-inch Y300 model exchanges this audio performance for a webcam that can be used both for conversation and security, according to Lenovo: bundled software uses face recognition to grant access to the system without a special reader.
Both the Y300 and Y400 have a DVD rewriter drive as standard and are driven by Core 2 Duo processors as well as GeForce Go 7300 chipsets for added 3D performance. Lenovo plans a simultaneous launch of the Y-series variants for December 15th in southeast Asia; a North American launch is likely, but hasn't been announced. Photos of the two systems are available after the jump.
Equalizer's High Frequency watch uses a combination of LCD and LED lights to simulate a stereo's graphic equalizer display. There is in fact only one LED light in the watch, which helps minimize power drain on the product's lithium battery. After putting on a brief show, the bars in the display drop, leaving just two lights behind to indicate the time according to a row of numbers. The face of the watch is mirrored to create a glossy shine, while the strap is made of stainless steel. The watch is further described as being waterproof. It can be bought in silver or black from a number of websites, such as Audiocubes ($179) or TokyoFlash (ą17,800/$151).
Merging cellphone aesthetics with audio players, Thomson today officially revealed its Black Diamond music jukebox. The device, also known as the EH308, earns its title through an entirely glossy black casing that hides all but the most essential controls and reveals only a blue, touch-sensitive navigation pad, echoing the minimalism of LG's Chocolate cellphone. Thomson adds that the Black Diamond uses an 8GB mobile hard drive which can improve the transfer speed of songs. Media support extends to MP3 and WMA audio, photos, and video in either MPEG-4 or WMV format. With a built-in battery that can provide up to 15 hours of continuous playback, the Black Diamond will be available soon for $300.
Coby has begun carrying the unique C341, a portable stereo with its own integrated flash music player. The internal jukebox can play MP3 or WMA music stored either in its 256MB of flash memory or from removable SD cards. It can also be treated as a self-contained voice recorder, according to Coby, as it can not only record voice but encode audio to MP3 in real-time. An FM radio is standard and the player can serve as an alarm clock that wakes users to their choice of music. The 11-inch system is designed for portability and comes with both a shoulder strap and four C-cell batteries for traveling, though Coby doesn't provide a battery life estimate. The company says its boombox is compatible with both Macs and PCs and ships from Amazon for $55.
As with Samsung's U740, Sony-Ericsson's newly announced W44S (to be offered by Japanese provider AU) will feature a pivoting screen that switches between portrait and landscape modes to assist with viewing landscape images. Unlike earlier phones, however, the CDMA-based W44S is designed by Sony-Ericsson as a near-complete replacement for many other portable devices and is the very first Japanese phone to include a tuner for digital broadcast radio. The handset further includes a wide screen with a Bravia processing engine, a 1Seg tuner for Japan's native mobile TV format, and support for FeliCa smartcard technology that can be used to shop and gain secure access from the phone itself. Owners can additionally buy music and videos from KDDI's Lismo direct download service. AU will carry the W44S in Japan by mid-December but has not listed the price. Click below to see full-sized photos.
In a slew of announcements meant to coincide with next week's large-scale Black Friday sales, Vizio today revealed both a new 42-inch plasma display as well as a series of new LCD TVs. While the pricing will initially be limited to a one-day Costco sale, the VP42 will be the first plasma TV of its size to reach a $1000 price level while still offering real HD resolutions, Vizio claims. A slight upgrade to the existing P42, the VP42 carries over many of the existing features such as 720p/1080i video support, a built-in ATSC tuner for HDTV broadcasts, and HDMI input.
A further highlight today is the VX20LHDTV, a 20-inch LCD that Vizio says is the least expensive 720p-capable TV with an ATSC tuner in the market at $400. The company has additionally released the VX32L ($700), VX37L ($1000), and higher-end Gallevia GV46L ($1,650) LCD sets at sizes of 32, 37, and 46 inches respectively. The company did not mention the exact improvements found in these models but expects them and the VP42 to be available in time for Black Friday sales events at stores such as BJ's, Costco, and Sam's Club.
Sony's oft-maligned PlayStation 3, which is due to launch tomorrow, is an "engineering masterpiece" that provides much more performance for the money than Microsoft's Xbox 360, according to a component pricing breakdown performed by market researchers iSuppli. The report reveals that the price of the PS3 is dramatically lower than the actual assembly costs, the entry-level 20GB model costing Sony an estimated $806 despite its $499 official price. The difference results in a $307 loss to Sony for every system sold that dramatically outweighs the price difference of the Xbox 360 Premium model, which loses only $76 per console. Click through for further information about the breakdown.
By the end of the year, Cingular will be adopting the LG CU400, says Mobiledia. The GSM phone will stream clips from Cingular Video at 15fps, as well as live content from MobiTV and MobiRadio. A VGA camera will shoot stills at 640x480 or video at 320x240, the latter of which will be transmittable via MMS. Photos will be alterable on-camera for size, brightness, and white balance, among other factors. The phone will also support features such as e-mail, Push-to-Talk and Bluetooth 1.2, but interestingly, there is no mention of MP3 playback, nor any sort of storage media. Video and photo files should however be transferrable through a USB cable.
In an unusual collaboration, Microsoft and appliance designer Salton have announced the Melitta Smart Mill & Brew, a coffee-maker that displays real-time weather information from MSN. It specifically uses MSN Direct, a wireless delivery service. Weather information is broadcast across the FM band in over 120 North American cities, and then received automatically by the Mill & Brew and displayed on an LCD panel. There are no subscription fees for the service. The product is a part of Microsoft's SPOT (Smart Personal Objects Technology) initiative, which has already seen MSN Direct watches from Fossil, Swatch, Tissot and others. The Mill & Brew costs $200 and be found at shops such as Amazon and Sharper Image.
British cellular carrier 3 has unveiled its new X-Series phone range, combining flat-rate Internet access plans with the first cellphones using the Symbian OS to support Sling Media's SlingPlayer Mobile for connecting to their home TV service. Using either the Nokia N73 or Sony-Ericsson's W950i (pictured), subscribers can access home TV -- including cable, satellite, and Europe's Freeview over-the-air digital broadcasts -- through a Slingbox tuner connected to their home theater. The support extends to features present in the previous Windows Mobile version of SlingPlayer and can remotely program a PVR to record shows.
3 further includes a series of other Internet-based programs with the two phones, shipping them with the ability to make free calls to Skype users, access media from a home PC through Orb, and monitor eBay auctions. The lack of bandwidth restrictions on all of these services means that X-Series owners can use these features as often as they like, 3 says. The service will be available from 3 beginning December 1st in the UK; other service areas are expected to follow in early 2007.
UAC this morning introduced the MC88, a small keyboard designed primarily for the Mac mini. The 88-key device is uniquely built to support both Macs and Windows PCs, UAC says. Beyond clear labels that identify Mac keys and their Windows equivalents, the MC88 can use the F13-F15 keys as the Print, Scroll Lock, and Pause keys normally used in Windows. The keyboard has all Mac-specific keys and comes with a second USB 2.0 port as well as a Y-splitter USB cable to connect additional peripherals. Available in black or white, the MC88 is currently available in Japan with both English and Japanese lettering for a suggested price of $83 US.
As previously reported, iRiver today introduced the Clix 4GB media player. In addition to the increased capacity, the new Clix has been upgraded in appearance to distinguish it from the existing 2GB version, iRiver says. In place of the borderless white backing, the 4GB model has an all-black exterior with a chrome border. The bew Clix continues support for MP3/OGG/WMA audio, JPEG photos, MPEG-4 video, and Flash-based games. iRiver plans to sell the 4GB iteration for $200 and has lowered the price of the 2GB model to $169. An official launch date has not been announced.
Nikon on Thursday released its D40 entry-level digital SLR. Previously hinted at by an early product posting, the D40 retains the same 6.1-megapixel sensor as the D50 but trims features and size to appeal to first-time DSLR users. The camera sheds a built-in auto-focus motor as well as a separate status display, and limits the focus areas to three. However, the camera also inherits features present only in the newer D80 and D200 cameras, according to Nikon. This includes support for SD cards larger than 2GB, user definable auto ISO modes, and an improved processing engine. The D40 further adds features designed explicitly for beginners such as in-camera image retouching and settings recommendations. Crucially, the company says, its price is far lower than for many basic DSLRs: the D40 ships in December for $600 while including an 18-55mm, 3X zoom lens with an integrated auto-focus motor. Additional photos follow after the jump.
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