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Big-box retailer Big Lots is selling an unknown Evesham GPS unit, Navigadget observes. The product is not in Evesham's existing line-up, though it does resemble the Nav-Cam 7700, which sells for $294 at Amazon. Among other features, the Big Lots Nav-Cam has a 3.5-inch touchscreen, 2D and 3D modes, voice guidance, and pre-loaded maps of the entire United States. For $229 it comes with a charger, a mounting kit, and a USB cable.
JVC on Thursday marked the introduction of the GR-D750 digital camcorder. The Japanese company proudly claims that the miniDV camera is the first of its kind to feature a 34X optical zoom, allowing especially close shots between F2.0-F4.7 without sacrificing quality through digital scaling. Although not an HD-capable camera, the D750's 0.68-megapixel sensor can adapt to either standard aspect or widescreen ratios. Still shots are possible at an effective 0.34-megapixel resolution. JVC begins deliveries of the camera to Japan in January for an undetermined price and should echo this release in North America shortly afterwards.
A test service has been launched in New York City that will let Americans pay for items wirelessly through their cellphones. Called simply the NYC Mobile Trial, the test is a collaboration between Citibank and cellphone designer Nokia that takes advantage of near-field communications (NFC) to tap a subscriber's bank account or MasterCard and transmit money directly to stores, which are currently limited to select retail shops and subway stations. Japanese cellphone users have been able to use NFC systems such as FeliCa to pay for service in recent years, but the technology has generally met resistance in North America due to less refined cellphones and security fears.
New York City residents have until December 20th to sign up for the Mobile Trial and will receive a custom Nokia phone alongside free access to the payment service, but will need to hold both a Cingular wireless plan and a Citibank account.
Microsoft's upcoming Windows Vista is an advance for Windows that also contains even subtle Mac influences as well as curious regressions beyond Windows XP, according to an early review of the final version by New York Times tech columnist David Pogue. While major features such as system-wide instant searching and the Gadget bar are immediately useful enhancements over Windows XP that show at least partial inspiration from Mac OS X Tiger, there are also subtler similarities -- such as the drag-and-drop Explorer sidebar and 3D chess software -- that draw a clear connection, Pogue writes.
"You get the feeling that Microsoft's managers put Mac OS X on an easel and told the programmers, 'Copy that,'" he says.
BenQ today transformed one of its desktop LCDs into a fashion piece with the FP785+. The different approach to the company's existing 17-inch screen covers the display frame with artwork from a choice of two Giuseppe Castiglione paintings housed in Taiwan's National Palace Museum: buyers can choose either the flowered "Everlasting Verdure of the Immortal Calyx, An Album of Flower Studies" or the more masculine "Ayusi Scattering Rebels with Upraised Spear." Underneath is the company's fundamental LCD design, which promises a 6ms response time, 700:1 contrast ratio, and a 1280x1024 resolution. A four-watt stereo speaker system is mounted on the display's chin while ports for DVI and VGA are hidden on the back. BenQ warns that only 1,300 of the limited edition FP785+ will be made, but does not list the price or availability beyond Taiwan. [Via Chip Chick]
Lindy this morning started shipping the USB MiniCam Pro. It tackles the low lighting problems that affect many webcams, the company says, by integrating two sets of lighting into the camera body. Separate infrared and white-light LEDs illuminate the subject without washing out the resuling picture. The device also plugs into a Mac or Windows PC's USB port with a bendable neck to provide a more natural viewing angle for video recipients. An optional model with a permanent stand is also available. Lindy ships the MiniCam Pro immediately for £22 ($43).
Intel has released a special, unlocked version of its mobile Core 2 Duo chip that lets the user freely increase the clock speed. Quietly introduced at the same time as the M1710 with Blu-Ray, the T7600G chip operates at the same 2.33GHz clock speed of Intel's fastest mobile processor but lets enthusiasts freely increase the core clock rate and the system bus speed to push beyond official limits. The CPU is an exception to the normal roadmap that can't be obtained as a separate part, Intel says. Dell will configure any M1710 with the unrestricted Core 2 Duo for an additional $275 beyond the regular 2.33GHz model. The system builder has not said whether or not it will honor the warranty on overclocked systems.
Atlantis has today struck a balance between handheld GPS units and larger in-car versions with its X-5600. Measuring 5.6 inches, the touchscreen is readily visible in a car but does not consume the 7-inch bulk of many in-car systems, mounting instead to the visor or windshield. The mapping system is also rare among mainstream GPS devices in its inclusion of video inputs for alternate video sources and has dual video inputs to convert the X-5600 into a backup camera monitor or a TV for DVDs and games.
Map data for the US (including Puerto Rico) is preloaded on a 1GB SD card along with points of interest, and can be restored from a DVD backup. With free space on the removable storage, owners can also play MP3s or view photos. Amazon carries Atlantis' navigator for $500.
Vazio said today that it would fine-tune the conventional laptop stand with its iDock mount. Where most such stands only have two or three distinct angles to rest the laptop and can still create an uncomfortable viewing angle, the iDock features eight. Vazio notes that orizontal movement is another speciality of the design, which can swivel more readily than fixed stands.
Cooling and expansion take equal precedence in the iDock, with two quiet 3500RPM fans placed underneath the laptop to actively cool the system while four USB ports add connection options for regularly used peripherals. Vazio produces the stand in black, gray, silver, and white and says the stand is available internationally, though no price is yet available.
BenQ has announced the X710, an update to the X720 that shipped in October. While functionally similar to the 720, including support for ISO levels up to 4,000 in video (1,200 in still), the 710 increases the megapixel count to 7.2 and expands the LCD size to a full three inches -- larger than the vast majority of digital cameras. BenQ is also promoting a technology called the Sliding Lens System, which the company says produces sharper and clearer images at the corners of the frame. The lens itself is a Super Multi-Coated (SMC) Pentax. Pricing and release dates for the X710 have yet to be revealed.
Electronics giant JVC on Thursday revealed two new HDTVs that it claims are some of the thinnest rear-projection LCD sets in the world. Both the 58-inch HD-58S998 and the 65-inch HD-65S998 have a newly-revised concave mirror and optical engine that dramatically widens the projecting angle, allowing JVC to reduce the depth of the cabinet on a similarly massive scale. The largest of the two sets is 11.6 inches thick, making both screens thin and light enough to safely rest on stands designed for direct-view LCD and plasma displays, according to the company. Their heat management also vents hot air to the sides rather than the back and opens the possibility of wall-mounting the cabinet.
Read through for more details and a profile photo illustrating the thinness of the S998 line.
Made by Terratec, the creators of the NOXON iRadio, the Headset Master 5.1 USB promises "true" 5.1 surround-sound with a set of six mini-speakers. No supported encoding standards are identified, but the headphones do have an onboard signal processor. A microphone simplifies voice communication, and an integrated remote lets you adjust bass, boost and volume functions without reaching for separate controls. The headset does however require its own set of software drivers to function. Terratec is selling the Headset Master directly for €60 ($79) including VAT.
Samsung's mobile division today announced the Robin (pictured), a convertible handset with a unique dual-flip mode. Previously revealed as the U740, the Robin can either open vertically to be used as a clamshell phone or lengthwise to serve as an e-mail and text messaging device. Its keypad is intelligent, Samsung claims: the phone can dynamically reassign keys depending on the active mode, changing number keys to letters and vice versa. A 1.3-megapixel camera, dedicated music controls on the outer shell, and EVDO will complete the package.
Verizon should be the initial carrier for the Robin in North America when it debuts in the near future, though Samsung's handset will compete directly with Verizon's existing enV handset. The LG-made phone flips in a single direction but places traditional cellphone controls on the outside.
The new Skype Video Phone by 3J has the unusual feature of a VGA CMOS camera, which can send live video to other users so long as they have the same phone and/or a computer. Receiving phones display video at up to 30fps on a VGA LCD screen. It connects to Windows XP computers via a USB 2.0 cable, and has a full-sized telephone keypad for dialing contacts and Skypeout numbers. MSN and Yahoo Messenger are supported alongside Skype. The phone also boasts noise reduction, echo cancellation, and full-duplex (simultaneous) communication. AmperorDirect is selling a variant of the phone for $57. [Via Chip Chick]
Microsoft has produced an internal video satirizing Apple's recent "Get a Mac" ad campaign, according to Engadget. The ad, originally uploaded by ZuneBoards but allegedly created by Microsoft itself, gently but openly praises the Zune over the iPod, criticizing the Apple player for its lack of WiFi music sharing and its easily-scratched front face. It also praises the Zune's optional brown color and theZune Marketplace for its use of points, pointing out that iTunes customers have to provide credit card information where Zune owners can rely solely on prepaid cards purchased for either the Zune or the Xbox. See the video after the jump.
The X9i watch by Suunto is made for outdoor sports and survival enthusiasts who need to know where they are and where they've been. At the heart of the watch is a 12-channel GPS receiver with three feet of precision, but the watch also incorporates a compass, an altimeter, and a barometer. Track Back and Find Home buttons point in the right direction if you get lost. You can plan and review routes using Suunto's Trek Manager software, and the Track Exporter package links with third-party applications such as TOPO! and Google Earth. The latter enables you to quickly share your trips with others, plotting them on a 3D map with visual touches such as flyovers. Amazon is selling the watch for anywhere between $374 and $699, depending on whether or not certain discounts apply.
Motorola today launched a special edition of its increasingly widespread KRZR cellphone. Dubbed the KRZR Fire, the new model replaces the conservative black and blue color schemes of the versions available in Europe and North America with a bright, metallic red. The red theme continues on the inside of the phone as well, Motorola says, as the blue keypad backlighting has turned red as well. Functionality is the same as the existing KRZR with a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.0, and a microSD slot for music and video storage. The color is currently available solely in Korea, but may find its way to other regions in the near future. Click through for a complete photo.
ezGear has just begun shipping the ezPlay. In sharp contrast to most portable DVD players, which are self-contained viewers with built-in screens, the ezPlay uses the compact, round shape of portable CD players like Sony's Discman line and relies on an outside display for watching video. The portability allows it to be used with the company's own ezVision video glasses for viewing movies while traveling. Standard video connectors are available to connect the player to TVs, the company says. Support for Dolby AC-3 and DTS surround sound decoding is built-in, and the drive can also play less ubiquitous video formats such as DivX files or SVCDs. ezGear's DVD system will be available this week for $120.
LG this morning introduced the UP3Flat, a screenless flash music player that aims to challenge the iPod shuffle while retaining LG's distinctive styling. Heavily influenced by the Chocolate phone line, the bar-shaped player emphasizes minimalism at the same time as it retains efficiency. The front face contains only volume controls and LED status lights; track navigation and other controls are placed discreetly on the side and give control over the player's extra abilities. LG adds that the player has its own safe mechanism for connecting to a PC, as the built-in USB connector is retractable and eliminates the need for an easily-lost protective cap or cable.
Playback support extends to MP3, OGG, and WMA songs, with battery life rated at approximately 10 hours. Voice recording through an internal microphone is also possible. LG currently sells the UP3Flat in 512MB, 1GB, and 2GB versions in China and Korea for prices beginning at $50. A full size image can be found after the jump.
Concrete information about Sony-Ericsson's mysterious "Ai" cellphone has surfaced, according to sources on the Esato forums. While the phone was previously confirmed as Sony-Ericsson's first RAZR rival, emphasizing slimness and style over sheer features, the phone should compete strongly against even other Sony-Ericsson models. The 9.4mm-thick (0.37 inches) bar phone will be one of the first from the company to support the faster HSDPA mobile Internet standard, the source writes; notably, the phone will also abandon the company's longstanding interface for Sony's signature Crossbar interface from the PS3 and PSP consoles. A forward-facing camera will also make its appearance.
The phone is currently named after tennis player Ai Sugiyama but should be dubbed the W880 upon its release, revealing its ultimate role as a Walkman music phone. Reflecting this, the Ai will have controls that speed access to music and a 1GB Memory Stick Micro to load songs. The story source estimates that an official launch is planned for mid-February to coincide with the 3GSM cellphone expo. Click through for complete photos.
Samsung this morning launched the CX225MD, a unique entry into the world of smaller LCD TVs. The Korean company hopes to span the gap between large, 1080p-capable HDTVs and the smaller but frequently limited TVs used for personal viewing by using a computer display. The 22-inch Samsung is capable of accepting a 1080p image -- a feat previously impossible with similar TVs -- but uses a lower-resolution 1680x1050 panel taken directly from the company's own computer line. Appropriately, the display is a blend between its computer origins and its new TV focus, with both HDMI input and a TV tuner complementing the connection for a PC's video card. The screen should have a fast 5ms response time suitable to console gaming and movies. Pricing and availability are unknown, though the CX225MD is likely to ship to North America under a new name.
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