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Codenamed the Nurian Z1, Hannuri Biz's forthcoming UMPC is principally an electronic dictionary, but boasts a superior set of features. AVING reports that the PC has a WiFi receiver capable of streaming audio and video in real-time; the unit furthermore has desktop-like web browsing, thanks to Windows CE 5.0 Professional. The clamshell design of the Z1 highlights a five-inch color touchscreen, and typing is made simpler through a fully-equipped QWERTY keyboard -- something even the M*free will lack. The size of the PC is still small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. It should ship to South Korea next February at an unknown price.
With the wealthy carrying around an increasing number of portable electronics, a new NEC concept offers hope of a less cluttered future. The P-ISM is a series of five pens which network with each other, providing complimentary functions. At the heart of the system is the cellphone pen, which can be substituted with another device such as a PDA, but also doubles as a handwriting input. Another pen is a camera scanner, while the remaining ones include a small projector, a laser keyboard, and a personal ID key with cashless pass abilities. P-ISM gadgets can connect to the Internet through a cellphone connection. Unfortunately, the system is merely a concept at this stage.
Japanese firm E-Blue has just unveiled its La Feel mouse, hoping to replace the media buttons found on many newer keyboards with controls that are closer at hand. In addition to handling common navigation tasks like skipping forward or backward through websites, the top-mounted buttons on the La Feel can quickly pause or play media files, adjust volume, or skip through songs. Additional control is given through the four-way scroll wheel and the high-precision 800 DPI optical sensor undearneath, the company says. Versions can be found with blue or red shells and are available now for a currently unlisted price.
Mandylion's Password Manager was originally designed for the United States military, but is now available for general sale. The device creates and stores up to 50 different logins, codes and other safeguards, with passwords in particular being definable by rules such as length (up to 14 characters) and the mix of letters and numbers. Reminders can be set to change information after a given period, such as 90 days, a year, or so on. Though the Manager is controlled with only five buttons, it has a number of protective features, including an LCD with a limited viewing angle and a self-destruct option should you be in danger. The product is sold in numerous different quantities, from $250 for five tokens (a limited-time offer) to an unspecified price for 25.
Startup company WildCharge today revealed that it will use the CES expo in January to introduce what it hopes will be a revolutionary new method of recharging most personal electronics. In place of individual and often proprietary plugs, the currently unnamed technology uses a thin plate that transmits the electricity through the devices themselves, reaching the power input through absorption. Such a technique eliminates the necessity for wires and even works across different power requirements, the company claims; multiple devices can be revitalized on the same conductive surface regardless of their exact needs. The only special requirement is a base plate underneath each item. No price has been given, but WildCharge fully anticipates shipping the power source in early 2007.
Providing an alternative power source for devices during camping trips and other outdoors activities, Brunton today launched its SolarPort 4.4 charger. The sun-driven power source unfolds to reveal panels that will recharge any USB device that draws 4.4 watts or less of energy, such as a digital camera or GPS unit. A general power connector is built-in for devices without proprietary connectors, and a bundled cradle will also power most rechargeable AA batteries.
The SolarPort is flexible, according to the company: a voltage switch can toggle the output between 6V and 12V for more sensitive electronics. Owners can further link as many as three SolarPorts together without cabling to increase the total charging power. Brunton officially sells its charger for $120.
Inland said today that it has begun selling its Serina cooler for high-demand notebooks. The aluminum pad is powered by a wall outlet and uses silent fans to actively cool the system above, venting heat from the back even when the notebook obscures the top exhausts. Inland also positions its cooler as a port extender for the host computer's features. When connected to a Mac or Windows portable, the Serina acts as a three-port USB hub and includes a multi-format card reader that accepts CompactFlash, Memory Stick, SD, and multiple additional flash standards. Inland's pad is available immediately from TigerDirect for $80.
Oppo on Thursday upgraded its DVD players with the DV-981HD. The 981 serves as a major revision of the company's earlier 971 and now supports upscaling DVDs to a full 1080p HD resolution, up from the 720p/1080i limits of the earlier model. The company says it has also adapted its output to reflect modern HDTVs: the component video of the 971 has been swapped with an HDMI port that can fully drive the 1080p signal as well as its accompanying surround sound. Oppo says the player retains a strong emphasis on audio with co-axial, optical, and RCA surround jacks as standard.
Multi-format playback support is broad and includes higher-end music discs such as DVD-Audio and SACD as well as DivX- and XviD-encoded video files; this extends even to subtitles and other computer-centric features of these files, Oppo states. The DV-981HD has just begun shipping for $230.
Alltel this afternoon has revealed an additional phone in its range. The BlackBerry 8703e brings one of Research In Motion's more popular smartphones to the provider with the addition of mapping functions. Similar to the Samsung U520 announced earlier today, the 8703e gains access to Alltel's Axcess Mobile Guide for live GPS positioning and directions. Adopters of the Alltel version will also find preloaded software such as Handango's direct-download software store and Handmark's Pocket Express live news and search tool.
The hardware is comparable to previous editions of the 8700 series, with Bluetooth and EVDO support standard. This edition can also fall back to more modest 1XRTT speeds in areas where EVDO is unavailable, the company says. Alltel is shipping its latest BlackBerry immediately for $520 at full price and $250 with a two-year agreement.
Smartphone developer HTC is nearing completion of the first device in the company's next wave of devices, according to leaked product and roadmap information. Named only the Vox, the phone is likely to signal HTC's first use of the Vista-influenced Windows Mobile 6, also known as Crossbow. The Vox is expected to go without a touchscreen in favor of a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, but will have an unusually large 96MB of RAM and should be accompanied by a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and WiFi.
HTC currently plans to release the Vox in spring 2007, according to the roadmap. Its intended markets remain unclear, but the company's specifications note that the phone is a quad-band GSM device with EDGE support; as such, it should become available in the US through Cingular or T-Mobile. Read through for a complete image.
Palm has agreed to pay $44 million for a permanent licence to the source code for Palm OS Garnet, which is currently owned by the Japanese firm Access. Palm lost the rights to its cellphone OS when it created a separate software outfit called PalmSource, which decided to remake the OS with a Linux core. This attracted Access, who bought PalmSource in September of 2005. Under the new deal Palm can modify Garnet in whichever way it likes, but for the moment, both companies have agreed to retain code compatibility. The latest phone to use a variant of the Palm OS is the Treo 680.
Displaying at the Seoul International Invention Fair, Korean manufacturer MIU has revealed the M*free, which the company describes as a "hybrid dual portable computer" (HDPC). AVING observes that aside from working as a UMPC running Windows, it's also a DMB phone, and a plug-in module adds functions such as a digital camera, MP3 playback, and USB file transfer. The screen can stand upright, lay flat, or close in either facing over the QWERTY keyboard for applications that don't require typing. The M*free should ship to South Korea in the first half of 2007 and cost somewhere between 700,000 and 800,000 won ($764 and $873). Click through for more photos.
Panasonic this morning revealed a pair of new 3CCD camcorders using the enhanced compression of AVCHD to improve their picture quality and recording time. At the forefront is the HDC-SD1 (pictured): the camera is the world's smallest and lightest 3CCD HD-capable camera, Panasonic says. This is accomplished by the use of SDHC memory cards for storage. Although no moving parts are needed to record information, the extra capacity of the new SD format allows for 4GB or more of video. The included 4GB card can hold an hour of 1920x1080 HD, according to the company. The more conventional HDC-DX1 exchanges this flash memory for dual-layer recordable DVDs and can write as much as 40 minutes of HD directly to a mini DVD disc.
More details and photography after the jump.
Working at the University of Central Florida, members of the Belfield Research Group have developed a storage system which can hold up to 1TB of information. Dubbed Two-Photon 3D Optical Data Storage, the system uses two different wavelengths of light to write smaller, "sharper" bits to a photochromic surface. While this concept isn't new, the Belfield discovery was how to then read the data without overwriting -- a solution that involves using a different set of wavelengths that won't trigger a reaction. By layering several photochromic surfaces together, it's now possible to store as much as 1TB in a disc only slightly thicker than a standard DVD. Commercial application of the technology is a few years away, however, since Belfield is working on reducing the required laser power.
Japanese accessory maker Elecom today shipped its simple M-EKUR mouse. The USB controller is built expressly for households where both left- and right-handed people regularly share control of a single computer, including a switch on the back of the mouse to instantly reverse the button layout so that mousing is practical from either side of the desk. Its shape is also symmetric for equal comfort and is small enough to be used by children, Elecom says. An 800 DPI optical sensor provides a higher level of accuracy as well. The M-EKUR will be available in the next few days in neon green and orange colors for $22 each.
Alltel on Thursday began offering the Samsung U520, a flip-phone that marks the debut of two features new to the company's lineup. The U520 is the first to support the company's Axcess Mobile Guide, a GPS-based direction service: owners can find and plan routes to destinations, including receiving voice directions during the trip. Equally new is support for the A2DP Bluetooth audio profile. While already gaining popularity with other carriers, the profile lets Alltel subscribers pair the Samsung phone with Bluetooth stereo devices such as wireless headphones or speakers.
Other components of the U520 reflect the phone's mid-range audience, according to Alltel. A 1.3-megapixel camera records photos and videos; music playback is supported for MP3 files, and EVDO broadband is optional. The carrier starts pricing at $270 for the phone by itself but discounts the phone at $100 when bought with a two-year contract and rebate. The Axcess Mobile Guide is available for $10 per month or $3 for a one-day pass.
Samsung used its presence at the ITU Telecom expo to reveal the i718, one of the company's few Windows Mobile smartphones as well as one of the few phones launched first for the Chinese market. A more advanced parallel to the E890, the i718 shares a common reliance on a touchscreen for input -- an essential feature for the handwriting recognition needed in China -- but enhances virtually every feature. While Windows Mobile provides easier access to office documents, the display has been enlarged to 2.8 inches, and the camera in turn has been upgraded to a 2-megapixel sensor. Samsung has also added explicit playback support for videos, including MPEG-4 and WMV.
Notably, the phone is a quad-band GSM phone, allowing its use in North America as well as in China and most other cellphone-aware companies. Samsung has not detailed plans for the handset outside of China but has recently obtained FCC approval for the device, paving the way for a later release in the US. A profile photo follows after the jump.
Display manufacturer BTC today demonstrated its ZEUS 5000 hybrid LCD. Intended primarily as a 22-inch computer display with a 1680x1050 resolution and input through DVI or VGA, the new ZEUS model also ships with an integrated analog TV tuner. Co-axial, RCA, and S-video inputs are also built in to accommodate these sources. BTC claims an effective 1,000:1 contrast ratio and a 5ms response time quick enough for movies and TV shows. The display is described as Vista-ready and includes HDCP support for encrypted videos in the new version of Windows. Pricing is unavailable, though the ZEUS 5000 is shipping today.
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