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O2 is now shipping its XDA Orbit smartphone to the UK, says The Register. The product is known elsewhere as the HTC P3300. The Orbit has the P3300's built-in GPS functions, but is also coming with CoPilot Live, a satellite navigation suite commonly favored by O2 rival T-Mobile. The phone runs Windows Mobile 5.0 and has 64MB of RAM, 128MB of ROM, and can expand its storage with a microSD slot. Its camera is rated at 2 megapixels, and the display is a 2.8-inch LCD with 65,536 colors. USB, Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11b/g connections should be supported. Business customers can buy the Orbit for prices starting at £85 ($166).
The Pocket Photo Album, sold by Crazy About Gadgets, is an inexpensive means of storing and viewing important photos. Up to 56 images (of unspecified size) can be transferred to the Album through a USB cable and bundled software, after which files can be browsed individually or in a slideshow mode. The display is a 1.1-inch LCD screen. A rechargable lithium battery supplies the Album with up to three hours of continuous power. CAG is offering the product for £35, or about $70 US. It comes with a keyring, USB cable and carrying pouch.
Fujifilm's Pivi MP-300 is a photo printer that, weighing only half a pound when loaded with paper and batteries, can be carried in the same bag as a compact camera. Owners transfer an image to the printer via a USB, infrared or PictBridge connection, and from there the 300 will print a 5 megapixel image in approximately 38 seconds. Different image sizes may take more or less time. Prints are full-color, but roughly the size of a playing card. The MP-300 is currently available exclusively in Japan for the equivalent of $127 US.
Crayola today revealed its first digital jukebox, the simply-titled Crayola MP3 Player. The child-oriented player has a simple interface and dual audio jacks for sharing music; both earbuds and headphones are bundled with the device to let children and parents alike listen in comfort, according to the crayon maker. Although the player can store only 256MB of MP3 or WMA music, Crayola also includes an SD card slot to add as much as 2GB of additional storage. Power is provided through a single AAA battery, though the company does not list battery life. Crayola says its MP3 Player is available today from the company online store for $50.
Roadmaster USA on Tuesday released two new hands-free kits for drivers. Both of the VR3 Hands-Free Speakerphones have active noise cancellation and echo suppression to maintain call quality, but differentiate on convenience, according to the company. The more advanced BT200V model (pictured) has a built-in LCD that displays caller ID and call waiting, giving the driver the option of accepting or rejecting calls in advance as well as providing a call history. It also eliminates the need for wires by running on a lithium-ion battery that can be charged by a car's 12-volt outlet. The LCD model ships today for $70.
The company is also touting its simpler BT100P adapter for those with less demands. While screenless, the more basic model plugs directly into the 12-volt port and thus requires no batteries. It ships with an external earphone set to counteract noise and retails for $40.
APC is selling five new notebook cases in its Power Ready line. The cases are designed to protect devices like cellphones, PDAs and laptops, sheltering them with extra padding and organizing their cables into nearby pockets. They're specifically meant to be used with the APC Universal Power Adapter, which can charge up to three devices simultaneously through air, auto or standard AC power outlets. The Power Ready cases allow this to be done without removing the devices in question. When an outlet is unavailable, APC suggests the Universal Notebook Battery, which can charge a device while sitting inside a custom pocket. Cases in the Power Ready line include the Saddle Bag ($60), Slim Backpack ($50), and Roller ($90).
MadCatz today announced its Arcade GameSTICK for the Xbox 360, a controller made explicitly for playing the vintage games from the Microsoft console's Xbox Live Arcade service. The design replaces the left analog pad with a full-sized stick, suiting it to arcade games and their frequent dependence on a single analog control. The stick is also capable of spinning a full 360 degrees, MadCatz adds, and can plug into a PC thanks to its USB cable. The console accessory maker hopes to give owners a sample of available games and ships the GameSTICK with full copies of Frogger, Time Pilot, and Astropop. MadCatz expects its new arcade stick to ship to stores December 19th for $50.
Hoping to please both 3D designers and home users alike, 3Dconnexion today revealed its SpaceNavigator add-on. The controller responds to input in all directions through its controller cap, allowing architects to make height adjustments to buildings or map software owners to quickly zoom into a new locale. Two programmable buttons also give users easy access to predefined functions such as auto-zooming, 3Dconnexion says.
Currently compatible with Google Earth and the basic design tool SketchUp, the device has an SDK that will let any developer implement support for the SpaceNavigator in their software. The hardware works with Windows XP but is expected to gain Mac support in 2007, according to the company. It ships today at a price of $59 for individual users and $99 with a corporate license.
Though Blu-ray and HD-DVD may represent the cutting edge of video playback, the Arcam FMJ DV139 is meant to exploit the possibilities of standard DVDs. The player's onboard processors can process DivX files and upsample video to 1080p, which is in turn matched with a corresponding HDMI port. Stereo, S-Video, component, composite and SCART ports are also present. Audiophiles can make use of the player for both DVD-Audio and Super Audio CD discs, which is a rare feature in the current marketplace. Supported decoding standards include Dolby Digital, Pro Logic II and DTS 5.1. Toroidal transformers help ensure powerful sound output. Arcam will be shipping the DV139 to the United Kingdom next month for the price of £1,800 ($3,486).
Blackmagic has introduced the Intensity, an HDMI I/O card for Macs and PCs. It's a PCI Express device that requires Mac OS X or Windows XP. The two HDMI ports allow video to be transferred at HD quality in 720p or 1080i, or SD quality in NTSC or PAL. Two audio channels allow sound to pass through at the same time. Aside from displaying HDTV, Blu-ray or HD-DVD signals, owners can also do live mixing of two HDV cameras using a pair of Intensity cards and Blackmagic's On-Air 2.0 software. Web and TV broadcasters can send the content to a video deck for broadcast using one of Blackmagic's DeckLink cards. The Intensity should be on sale by the end of the week for $249.
Large-scale retailer Wal-Mart today unveiled its first direct-download video store with what it says is a unique approach to downloads. While the company plans to launch a beta test that allows customers to buy movies and TV shows solely as downloads, its new service will primarily accommodate DVD buyers at its stores: buyers of certain DVD movies, beginning with Superman Returns this Wednesday, will be able to purchase download versions of the same movies for an additional price. Prices will vary between $2 for a portable-quality edition for handhelds to $4 for a hybrid download that includes both the portable version and a full-quality copy for computers. A file format was not specified but is likely to involve protected Windows Media files similar to those of its existing music store.
The retailer has been historically resistant to video downloads, frequently seeking instead to protect its often lucrative DVD sales which dominate the US market. Wal-Mart has in the past been accused of threatening Apple for its movie download service, and has alternately been rumored to have engaged in talks with the same company to minimize the impact of a likely decline in physical sales.
TRENDnet has released a new USB 2.0 wireless adapter based on Atheros' Super G technology, which boosts the performance of 802.11g networks from 54Mbps to 108Mbps. The TEW-445UB is an extremely compact unit with a single antenna, but does sport a power output of 23dBm, and also uses Atheros' eXtended Range technology to reduce deadspots. Lower transfer rates are supported using 802.11b and the draft 802.11e standard. Multiple forms of encryption are available, namely 64, 128 and 152-bit WEP, WPA/WPA2, and WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK. TRENDnet claims a maximum range for the adapter of 164 to 328 feet indoors and 492 to 984 feet outdoors. The 445UB should be shipping now for the price of $72.
Having previously updated its mainstream line of portables to the faster Core 2 Duo processor, the company quietly improved its flagship ThinkPad T60 to use the new chip. Both the standard T60 and the workstation-oriented T60p can be upgraded to use as much as the top-end, 2.33GHz processor. Other performance details for the systems have also been upgraded with all stock systems shipping with at least 1GB of RAM, a 60GB hard drive, and the option of integrating broadband from Cingular or Verizon as well as adding Mobility Radeon X1400 graphics.
Additionally, the company says it will introduce a new, 15.4-inch widescreen option -- the first wide-aspect choice in the normally conservative T60 line. Buyers will have the choice of 1280x800 or 1680x1050 displays and will have access to the same features as standard-ratio models. Prices for the refreshed line range from $1,549 for a 1.66GHz widescreen T60 model with Intel GMA 950 video to the $4,149 T60p with a 2.33GHz processor, 2GB of memory, and a Mobility Radeon FireGL V5250 workstation-class graphics chip. All models are available this week.
Cellphone provider Verizon today revealed that it will give access to YouTube videos on its phones. The feature, which launches in December, would see subscribers to the company's V CAST video service gain access to highlighted videos as well the ability to post videos directly from their phones using a five-digit code as an identifier.
YouTube notes that the deal is not exclusive and that the video hosting site, recently acquired by Google, is shifting its efforts towards Internet-connected mobile devices. Though neither company involved is willing to discuss the exact terms of the deal, a Verizon spokesman said that the provider is increasingly turning to more lucrative music and video plans as the cost of regular voice service continues to fall.
At a press event in Amsterdam, Nokia on Tuesday launched three new cellphones built for the mid-range as well as a single entry-level model. Leading the announcements is the 6300 (pictured), a thin bar-shaped phone built for style. The new device is only 13.1mm (0.52 inches) thick and has features not always seen in phones its shape, such as a 2-megapixel camera, FM radio, and 135MB of built-in memory with support for up to 2GB more via microSD cards. Nokia expects the device to sell for €250 ($328) without a contract when it and the other three models ship in early 2007.
Notably, the company has also released a new dual-mode phone, the 6086. The handset is one of the few announced phones to explicitly support the Unlicensed Mobile Access used by T-Mobile and other providers, a technology that lets callers automatically switch from a traditional cellular network to WiFi to save roaming costs. The device is also a true world phone with quad-band GSM and should ship for €200 ($262).
Details of the remaining phones and a photo gallery follow after the jump.
Motorola this morning officially released its handset for the developing world, the MOTOFONE, to the international market. The phone was previously announced this year and is designed to reach communities where such devices were previously impractical. A high-contrast, plastic e-paper display consumes little power, is easy to read in daylight, and resists the cracks or dust likely to affect more fragile LCDs, Motorola says. The interface also avoids using text, relying instead on audio, icons, and numbers that allow even the illiterate to use the MOTOFONE properly. Simultaneously, however, the phone retains Motorola's more recent ultra-thin design and is intended to provide a sense of style even to poorer regions, according to the company.
Two versions of the phone are scheduled for launch. Debuting today is the F3, a black GSM-based model that ships to India immediately and to other countries within the next few weeks; the F3c (pictured), a silver CDMA phone, is expected by the end of 2006. Motorola has not specified which countries are likely to receive the phone next, but has not ruled out a North American release.
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