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A survey conducted by Reuters indicates that of people expressing interest in the Zune, 35 percent see it as an upgrade to an existing player. This contrasts with a figure of 18 percent for those looking at an iPod. Notably, however, 80 percent of respondents picked an iPod as their first choice of player, with 70 percent saying so without having to be prompted. Only seven percent of the survey group chose the Zune. Less than a month ago, ABI Reasearch was predicting that as many as 58 percent of current iPod owners would defect, as well as 59 percent of the rest of the market. This may take a while to happen though if it does at all, since the iPod is still dominating with 63 percent of unit sales compared to the Zune's nine.
Differentiating its design from the laptop-style shape of the past, Philips today launched the PET830, a new portable DVD player that relies on a portrait-like stand to sit the device upright when viewed on a flat surface, providing a comfortable viewing angle in these situations while reducing the size of the device when carried on the road. Its resemblance to hard drive-based digital media players is echoed in its playback support for DivX and MPEG-4 video files as well as MP3 and WMA songs. Philips has not mentioned price or availability but considers the PET830 a premium model.
The forthcoming HP-T5064 (pictured) will have what Samsung is calling its Multi Media Center (MMC), a hard drive that can store broadcasts as well as media transferred from a PC. While the size of the drive has yet to be revealed, it will be attached to a WiFi receiver for extra convenience. Samsung plans to demo the 50-inch set at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show, which has already listed the T5064 has an Innovations Honoree. Another Honoree is the MMC-less T5054, which nevertheless shares some qualities with its sibling. Both displays will be the same size, and should boast high contrast displays as well as automatic wall-mount adjustments. CES 2007 is scheduled for January 8th to the 11th in Las Vegas.
Averatec today launched its 1500-series notebook, the company's newest lightweight portable, through its Korean parent company Trigem. Built as an ultraportable in the vein of Sony's VAIO TX, the 1500 is designed for efficiency, according to Averatec. Taking advantage of the reduced dimensions of its 11.1-inch widescreen, the 1500 weighs only 3.4 pounds and is 1.2 inches thick despite the limits of its smaller frame. It also conserves power through use of an ultra-low voltage 1.06GHz Core Solo and 1GB of RAM. A 100GB hard drive is also part of the stock configuration. The Averatec 1500 will be available in Korea soon for $1,973; a North American release is seen as very likely but has not been confirmed. Read more for a photo of the open system courtesy of Akihabara.
Cingular and Pantech together announced today the availability of the Pantech C3, an updated version of the company's popular C300. The newer handset is still the world's smallest clamshell camera phone, according to Pantech, measuring only 2.7 inches long and 1.7 inches wide when closed. The new edition adds audio and video messaging that was previously impossible with the C300 model. This latest update also continues to incorporate a VGA camera, GPRS Internet access, and support for mobile e-mail through AOL, Hotmail, or Yahoo. Cingular is also offering colored faceplates to personalize the fashion-oriented phone. Already on offer today, the phone retails by itself for $190 but can be purchased for $40 with a two-year service plan.
Cingular today launched a pre-launch page for its own edition of Research In Motion's BlackBerry Pearl. Confirming earlier reports, the Cingular-specific version will add a push-to-talk feature and should feature an interface customized to reflect the American provider's services. Features such as the 1.3-megapixel camera and Bluetooth support remain similar to the version available at T-Mobile and other carriers. Pricing for the phone is expected to begin at $580 without obligations or $180 with a two-year contract. An official launch date is still unknown.
Microsoft has developed a new, simpler remote in tandem with the impending launch of Windows Vista, according to an updated version of the company's Vista Product Guide. In contrast with the reference design for the XP edition of the controller, which has received criticism in the past for its complexity, the Vista edition (listed on page 159 of the Microsoft document) has only one, clearly identifiable circle of buttons for basic controls and conspicuous navigation keys above the standard number pad.
While the company does not indicate any plans to produce the remote itself, the device will likely form the basis for system builders' own remotes and could significantly improve the usability of Windows-based home theater PCs when Vista makes its official debut on January 30th. A full-sized image can be found after the jump.
Revolabs' new Solo TableTop Wireless Boundary Microphone is designed primarily for conference calls, but will allow any small group of speakers to share a single unit. One or more TableTops are simply laid flat while they transmit to a receiver, which can be located as far as 100 feet away. Mics are charged individually in the Solo Desktop Charging Tray or up to eight at a time in the Executive Charging Tray. A full charge of a TableTop requires two hours and should last about eight. To guard against interception, Revo has equipped each mic with 128-bit encryption. The corporate nature of Revo's sales means you'll have to contact them directly to inquire about orders.
DLO today launched multiple new accessories today to charge, play, and protect Microsoft's recently launched Zune media player. Of these, the company touts its new TransDock micro for its innovative design. Rather than opt for a conventional design that fixes the player to the bottom, DLO's FM transmitter attaches through a cable that frees the Zune to be more easily controlled or hidden away. Plugging into a car's 12-volt port, the TransDock micro charges and powers the Zune while connecting to a user-chosen FM station. The TransDock is available today for $70.
Launched simultaneously with the new adapter is the Power Pack ($40), a bundle that includes an AC adapter, car charger, and a USB cable; the Action Jacket neoprene exercise case with an armband and belt clip ($30); the Jam Jacket silicone shell ($20); and the Leather flip case ($35). All these accessories are also expected to ship today.
Sony-Ericsson is working on an updated version of its K610 handset, according to a report by Hungarian site Terminal. Called the K620, the ostensibly mid-range cellphone will receive features more reminiscent of the company's high-end devices. Similar to the K790, the K620 wlll ship with a 3.2-megapixel camera useful for taking full-quality still photos without cropping. Sony-Ericsson will also upgrade memory dramatically to accommodate the larger image sizes, increasing built-in storage from 33MB to a full 100MB. Other notable features, such as a forward-facing VGA camera for video calls as well as UMTS broadband support, remain intact from the K610. No launch details have been revealed, though in its initial K620i incarnation the phone will ship primarily to Europe and will require changes for a possible North American release.
Mvix is now shipping the Wireless Hi-Definition Media Player, an aggregrate box which serves network content to your TV. Computer content is pulled via Ethernet or 802.11b/g/pre-N wireless; alternately, users can hook up an external USB drive, or any 3.5-inch internal IDE drive. The latter two must be bought separately. Video is sent to a TV through DVI, component, S-Video and composite connections, and audio is passed through stereo or 5.1 RCA cables. Many different file formats are supported: a partial list includes AAC, AVI, MPEG, MP3, MP4, VOB/IFO, WMV, DivX, and XviD. Video resolutions can scale as high as 1080p. Mvix is selling the device for $329 as of December 1st, but those willing to wait can have one from ThinkGeek for $300.
Claiming a record-setting level of battery performance, Seagrand today unveiled its XR003 X-REX flash player. Central to the claim is a 1620mAh lithium-ion battery, which provides a full 168 hours -- one week -- of continuous playback. Despite this, the battery takes only four hours to recharge completely, according to Seagrand. The X-REX also brings with it a suite of audio recording methods, including FM radio, line-in, and voice. Playback support extends to MP3 and WMA songs. Seagrand plans to ship both 1GB and 2GB versions of the player on December 1st in Japan for the equivalents of $153 and $196 respectively.
Relying on a concept similar to LocationFree or the Slingbox, Axion's iPTV Anywhere allows owners to watch programs away from their TV sets. CrunchGear reports that the product consists of two components: the Anywhere Box, which captures content from a broadband Internet connection, and the Wireless Monitor, which displays the video on a 7-inch widescreen. Should you want to browse media beyond TV, content (namely MP4 files) can be transferred to the Monitor through an SD card or USB. Information on pricing and availability is presently undisclosed.
Chip developer AMD will announce its Quad FX platform and related processors today, according to a report by Japan's Impress. Previously known as 4X4, the architecture uses a variant of NVIDIA's nForce 680 chipset to allow both two dual-core processors and as many as four NVIDIA-based graphics cards in a single system. The former was an option previously limited only to more expensive, workstation-grade Opteron systems and promises an extreme level of parallelism dubbed "mega tasking," according to NVIDIA. In a demonstration to the Japanese press, a quad-core, quad-GPU testbed was able to process two 3D games and two HD video streams simultaneously.
AMD will accordingly launch a new line of flagship gaming CPUs today, Impress writes. Ranging from 2.6GHz to 3GHz, the new dual-core processors are based on Opteron designs but will be much less costly to run for home gamers, requiring only standard DDR2 memory and a relatively inexpensive nForce 680a mainboard. AMD is expected to price the chips themselves well below its own Opterons, with prices set at $599 (2.6GHz), $799 (2.8GHz), and $999 (3GHz) versus the $1,099 price of a 2.8GHz Opteron 2200. Availability has not been confirmed.
BitTorrent, the creators of the peer-to-peer technology often blamed for Internet piracy, have today announced a deal in which it will legally distribute movies and TV shows from an increased number of providers. Fox, G4, Kadokawa Pictures, Palm Pictures, Lions Gate, MTV Networks and Paramount have all agreed to publish media on the BitTorrent website. This comes in addition to earlier deals with Warner Brothers, Egami Media, Hart Sharp, Koch Entertainment, and The Orchard. Movies will generally be released the same day as their DVDs, with the exception Palm, which intends to release at least some films to BitTorrent before their theatrical debuts. All movies will be released on either a Download-to-Own (DTO) and/or a Video-on-Demand (VOD) basis. TV shows will be DTO only. Initial titles set to release through the new deal include "24," "13 Tzameti," "Ghost in the Shell," "South Park," and "Spongebob Squarepants." BitTorrent's online marketplace will go active in February 2007.
Hitachi this morning revealed the latest entry in its i.µ's digital audio players, the G1. Though the small, 1GB unit can play MP3, WAV, or WMA music for an industry-standard 12 hours, it can also record as much as 70 hours of WAV audio. This makes it ideal for music listeners who frequently attend long business meetings, the company claims. Also seeking to add an element of style to the normally basic flash player market, Hitachi conceals an OLED display within the shell and conceals most non-essential controls. Available in Japan beginning December 8th for an open price, the player will ship with three preloaded songs from the Japanese pop group Bonn.
The entertainment division of NEC on Wednesday updated its XR line of high-end home theater plasma displays. The 42-inch 42XR5, 50-inch 50XR6, and 60-inch 60XR6 all feature substantially improved power consumption, minimizing a common complaint about the devices; owners can expect 22% less power use, NEC says.
Other changes are minor to the already high-end sets, which sport NEC's own AMX Cafe Duet programmable interface for linking the sets with automated home theaters. All three systems also share a bonded color filter to reduce the effects of glare and an automatic gamma correction system to maintain contrast ratios in brighter rooms. Dual HDMI inputs as well as VGA are also standard. The company has not yet revealed availability or pricing.
JVC has announced the DLA-RS1, a D-ILA home theater projector capable of 1080p and a 15,000:1 contrast ratio. This may be an Americanized version of the DLA-HD1. The RS1 is nevertheless notable for achieving its contrast natively, eschewing technologies such a dynamic iris, and instead working to concentrate as much light as possible into the viewing area. JVC's three-panel LCOS technology is further designed to reduce "rainbow" effects in images by eliminating the color separation wheel. A 2x zoom lens should enable the RS1 to fill screens ranging from 60 to 200 inches. Two HDMI inputs (PC and HDTV HDCP) are provided, and component, composite, and S-Video connections are supported as well. An RS-232 port lets the projector function with standard automation systems. The RS1 should go on sale for $6,295 in the first quarter of 2007.
Portable audio experts iHome will release three compact speaker systems this January, according to a second pre-release announcement of CES 2007 honorees. Highlighted amongst these is the iH85 (pictured), a portable iPod system that iHome says is designed especially for cyclists. While exact details have not been published, the tube-shaped stereo houses the iPod in a secure shell, preventing it from slipping out during harsher rides. The system is also water-resistant and is bundled with an external remote to control songs while at speed.
Details of the other speaker systems and complete photos are available after the jump.
Long-time music jukebox maker MPIO has recently launched a 2GB version of its exotic FY700 player. The device centers around a modular bottom connector that allows the player to be worn in any one of multiple combinations through accessories: attachments exist to wear the player on an arm or wrist, as a carabiner on a bag, or around the neck through a lanyard.
The FY700 also differentiates itself through the use of smart recording, MPIO says. Instead of requiring a button press, the player can record FM radio or voice based on volume, saving memory. Audio support is provided for MP3 and WMA music, which can be loaded by either Macs or Windows PCs and played for up to 20 continuous hours on a single AAA battery. The player ships now from Advanced MP3 Players for £79 ($154); a North American release is likely but has not been confirmed. A full photo is available after the jump.
Samsung is developing a sleeker counterpart to its unique speaker-equipped YP-K5 music player, according to an unintentional revelation today by the organizers of the Consumer Electronics Show. The CES 2007 honorees site has inadvertently published information about the YP-K3, an as-yet unannounced flash music device from the Korean company.
While many details remain unknown, the information reveals that the K3 model will be extremely slim where its similarly-styled K5 predecessor's speaker adds thickness. The K3 is also confirmed to have an atypically large 1.8-inch OLED display, a JPEG photo viewer, and an FM radio. A release date is likely to follow shortly after the player's January introduction. Click through for a full photo.
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