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Some news from Apple's Macworld San Francisco keynote may have slipped out inadvertently, the official expo site reveals. Mentioned on a presentation page for Volcano Wireless, Apple is allegedly preparing 802.11n versions of its Airport Extreme platform, dubbed "X2" and "X4." The page claims theoretical speeds of up to 600Mbps, and other features such as beam focusing, greater range, and MIMO (Multiple-In Multiple-Out) support for better signal stability. None of these technologies are in current incarnations of Extreme. Though one of the two Volcano presentation days is already over, interested parties can attend the next one January 9th at 11:15AM Pacific time, just 15 minutes after the Apple keynote ends.
While the vast majority of the Samsung phones in Las Vegas have already been announced (such as the BlackJack), one new product is the SGH-a727. A CES Innovations Honoree, the phone is a quad-band GSM phone supporting EDGE and HSDPA broadband, which will allow for music downloads and instant messaging via AOL, MSN and Yahoo. Files are stored on microSD cards, and device connections can be made through Bluetooth and/or USB 2.0. A 1.3-megapixel camera is included as well, though it's unclear whether it can record video as well as stills. No service providers are currently attached to the phone.
HP's gaming-oriented division VoodooPC today introduced its ENVY HW:201 gaming notebook at CES. The largest ever portable from the company, the 20-inch model is purposefully built for those gamers who value performance but still need occasional portability for game parties or other events. Video is instrumental to this speed, as up to two 512MB GeForce Go 7950 GTX graphics chips can be ordered with the system and provide performance rivaling even faster desktops, VoodooPC boasts. Professionals seeking 3D modeling performance can opt instead for a Quadro FX 2500M.
Also grouped in pairs are the CPU and storage, as a dual-core Turion 64 X2 rests at the system's core and is accompanied by two 160GB hard drives in a RAID 0 stripe, forming a continuous 320GB of storage. The gaming system builder says its giant notebook is shipping today in any one of several colors, though pricing remains unavailable. A photo of the new ENVY can be found after the jump.
Like other TV manufacturers at CES, Sharp is aggressively promoting its new LCDs. These will be coming mainly through two Aquos lines, the D62Us and the D92Us. The former is playing host to revisions of the 46-inch LC-46D62U and the 52-inch LC-52D62U. Each will support 1080p and use Sharp's Advanced Super View/Black TFT technology, enabling a dynamic contrast ratio of 10,000:1 (2,000:1 native). Tuners for ATSC, QAM and NTSC signals will be built in. Response times should go as low as 4ms in "Fine Motion" mode. The updated D62Us will arrive in October for $3,500 and $4,800.
The D92Us are completely new, representing the luxury end of Sharp's production. Three LCDs will be availble: the LC-42D92U, the LC-46D92U and the LC-52D92U, sized at 42, 46 and 52 inches. Improvements over the D62Us will include a third HDMI port, 15,000:1 dynamic contrast, and 120Hz frame rate conversion, which should aid eyes irritated by the 60Hz standard on most LCDs. An RS-232C terminal will allow blending into home automation systems. The 46D92U and 52D92U will be out this month for $4,200 and $5,300, with the 42D92U following in April for $3,500. Another, 65-inch TV called the LC-65D93U will ship in April for $11,000, but despite the name, will have the same features as the D92Us.
LG and Samsung today said they would be the first cellphone makers to bring mobile digital broadcast TV to the US. As part of a deal with Verizon, the Korean companies plan to release phones with support for the MediaFLO live TV format developed last year. Subscribers to Verizon's V CAST Mobile TV service will have the choice of watching eight live mobile TV channels from CNN, ESPN, and NBC without the need for an Internet plan. While TV-like services have been available in North America in recent months, these plans have frequently involved pre-recorded, downloadable clips.
The handsets accompanying the launch are LG's VX9400 (pictured), a swivel phone whose display rotates horizontally to better for TV broadcasts, and Samsung's u620, a more conventional slider. Both phones will have 1.3-megapixel cameras, Bluetooth, and EVDO broadband access and will launch at the same time as Verizon's TV service in the first quarter of this year. Photos of both the LG and Samsung offerings can be found after the jump.
Storage device maker SanDisk is today announcing three new media jukeboxes that target rivals Apple, Creative, and Microsoft. The View (shown) is the company's first foray into video-specific players and adds a much larger, 4-inch widescreen LCD for viewing still photos and videos. The design stays slim (0.66 inches) and can play video for as long as 4 hours by using flash storage instead of a hard disk, according to the company. 8GB of memory is built in but can be expanded by as much as 32GB thanks to an SDHC card slot. The View will also be uniquely HD-capable and can send video as sharp as 1080i to an HDTV. Exact format support is currently unavailable but includes MP3 as well as Windows Media audio and video. The View will be released early this year for $300.
To be released soon is the Express, a basic 1GB music player that plugs directly into the USB 2.0 port of a computer rather than a separate cable. An FM tuner adds both radio listening and direct radio recording while a microSD card slot can potentially triple its capacity with an additional 2GB of storage. Battery life for music is rated at 15 hours, due in part to an energy-efficient four-line OLED screen. The Express is currently expected to ship in March for $60.
Read through for details of the Connect player with Wi-Fi and photos of all three new players.
Motorola this afternoon unveiled two new music-oriented, Linux-based phones. The MOTORIZR Z6 (pictured, left) revamps the earlier RIZR Z3 and is the first Motorola phone to bundle support for the latest protected WMA songs, supporting individual tracks as well as unlimited-access subscriptions from stores such as Napster and URGE; support for AAC and MP3 songs as well as FM radio broadens its appeal, according to Motorola. Dedicated music keys replace some of the general-use buttons from the Z3 model. A 2-megapixel camera and 3G wireless support carry over from the earlier edition. Motorola plans a release in Spring.
Completely new is the MOTOMING (right). Its design emphasizes simplicity and contains only the display, basic navigation buttons, and a clear cover; control is handled through a touchscreen that handles both dialing and handwriting recognition for text messages. Though lacking support for Windows Media subscriptions, the phone can play AAC and MP3 songs in addition to FM radio. Internet access is provided through EDGE. The MING will ship in advance of its more complex RIZR sibling and is due this quarter. Read through for larger photos.
ViewSonic is showcasing several new products at CES, including TVs, monitors, and a unique projector. The PJ258D is DLP projector with a docking station, allowing video iPods to output directly to the system without cables. iPods can be charged simultaneously while playing. The projectors are further promoted as being light at less than four pounds, and supporting resolutions up to 1024x768, at a brightness of 2,000 lumens with 2,000:1 contrast. Other external inputs include VGA and S-video. The PJ258D will go on sale this quarter for the cost of $999.
The company's first 1080p LCD TVs are the N4261w and N4661w, measuring in at 42 and 46 inches. Both sets will have 8ms reponsse times and ATSC/NTSC tuners, though the 4261 will have 1,500 contrast and 450 nits of brightness, compared to the 4661's 800:1 contrast and 500 nits. A lower-end option is the 26-inch N2652w, which will however have similar performance to the 4661. Another set debuting at CES is a 37-inch model with an iPod video dock, but this is merely a prototype. The 2652 will ship in February for $699, while the 4261 will come in March for $1,799. Plans for the 4661 will only be announced in the second quarter.
Cellphone partnership Sony-Ericsson today added two new phones to its Walkman music player line. At the highest end of the spectrum is the now official W880, nicknamed the "Ai." Although the company provided few official details beyond a teaser image for the handset (pictured), previous leaks confirm that the phone will be one of the most advanced Walkman phones and will have HSDPA as well as a front-facing video chat camera. Sony-Ericsson promises a release by mid-2007.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is the W200, a simpler model the company hopes will serve as an ideal starter for music phones. The W200 shares the same quick access button for the Walkman music player but foregoes some of the technologies that regularly price other phones out of reach. The phone is equipped with a VGA camera and supports GPRS for Internet access, and comes pre-supplied with a 128MB Memory Stick Micro that holds enough AAC or MP3 songs for a playlist. Versions of the phone will be ready for the US, Europe, and other regions by the spring of this year. Click through for a profile photo.
Contrasting sharply against its existing line, Sling Media today announced the SlingCatcher. While similar to the Slingbox line in style, the SlingCatcher is meant instead to challenge Apple's forthcoming iTV by streaming content from networked PCs to a TV. Importantly, the hub can access media even from remote PCs: the SlingCatcher is not limited to local networks, the company stresses. Output for component, HDMI, RCA, and S-video signals will come standard, as should Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections for linking the device to a network. Sling's hub will also bring two new programs, dubbed SlingPlayer for TV and SlingProjector, which will help send content from a computer to the TV; some content may not even need that software, the company says. The SlingCatcher will arrive in mid-2007 for a price under $200.
Sling today further announced new extensions of its SlingPlayer software, adding support for Palm OS handhelds and Windows Vista to the program that lets owners watch their home TV through the Internet. New HP notebooks will also see a version of SlingPlayer that ties into the computer maker's QuickPlay function, letting Slingbox owners watch their home TV without first booting Windows. All three updates should be available this quarter.
Three new Nokia products are being shown at CES this year, including a phone, a camcorder and the company's next-generation "Internet tablet." Click through for photos. The N800 is an upgrade to the previous 770, having a a new ergonomic design, faster processors, a full-screen QWERTY keyboard, and better connections using either WiFi or a Bluetooth phone. A webcam has been integrated as well. While users will be able to send text messages and VoIP calls through a number of services, new to the 800 is specific support for Skype, which allows calls to landlines. The N800 is selling in the United States and parts of Europe for $399.
The N93i is a digital camcorder, recording MPEG-4 video at up to 3.2 megapixels and 30 frames per second. The camera also features a macro mode and 3x optical zoom, but is more notable for being able to upload directly to Vox, a new photo/video sharing service run by Six Apart. WLAN wireless is built in, as is GSM, EDGE, and WCDMA. Editing can be done in basic form on-camera, or more elaborately using the bundled Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0. Beyond recorded video, the N93i can play MP3 files, FM radio, and streaming mobile TV. It should ship in Q1 2007 for €600 ($780).
HP on Monday formally introduced its TouchSmart PC (PDF) at the CES show in Las Vegas. Previously known under its Crossfire codename, the iMac-like all-in-one is another of Microsoft's Windows Vista showcases and is designed as a central computer that can handle virtually every need of a typical home. In addition to running the new OS, the new media center is based around a 19-inch touchscreen used for quick access to news, programs, and weather; the tactile interface is also useful for a custom version of HP's Photosmart software that allows photo retouching through finger and stylus presses.
The TouchSmart is also TV-friendly, the company says. Analog NTSC and digital ATSC tuners are part of the design and can be used to both play and record video to the computer's 320GB hard drive. The system is powered by a dual-core 1.6GHz Turion 64 X2 and ships with 2GB of memory, GeForce Go 7600 video, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. The TouchSmart PC should be ready in time for Vista's launch at the end of this month, though pricing is still unavailable.
A full-sized photo of the TouchSmart, as well as official details of the tx1000 tablet, are available after the jump.
As a part of its CES offerings, Acer has announced new upgrades to its notebooks and small form-factor PCs. On the desktop are the AcerPower 1000 and 2000, which are reputedly one-tenth the size of a conventional PC at less than eight inches tall and 2.5 inches wide. The systems are also said to be extremely quiet, producing less than 26 decibels of noise. The new 1000 runs an Athlon 64 CPU, up to 2GB of RAM, and a GeForce 6150 videocard; storage consists of a Dual-DVD optical drive and an 80GB hard disk, but the machine does have built-in Ethernet and 802.11b/g wireless. The 2000 improves on these specifications with a Core 2 Duo, a 160GB hard disk, and a Super-Multi (DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD-RAM) optical drive. The 2000 will come preloaded with Windows Vista Business as well, compared to the default of XP Pro on the 1000. Both models have a substantial eight USB ports to facilitate expansion. The computers should be on sale for $579 and $649.
Toshiba today introduced the Portégé R400, an ultraportable tablet PC the company holds as a showcase for Windows Vista and its own design. The R400 is built to keep current with a user's information at all times and can update its calendar and e-mail information on a edge-mounted LCD through Vista's ActiveNotifications technology -- even while the system is in suspend mode, Toshiba says. To help, the company has integrated EVDO broadband alongside Wi-Fi to keep the system connected in remote locations.
The new tablet is also the first notebook anywhere to support a completely wireless port replicator, the company claims. Using the high speed of Ultra Wide Band, the replicator can stay attached to all of the user's peripherals without needing a physical connection to the portable itself. A fingerprint reader is also part of the system. Toshiba's newest Portégé will ship along with Windows Vista on January 30th; a base model with a 1.2GHz Core Duo, 1GB of memory, 80GB of storage and Vista Business will retail for $2,599.
A full photo, as well as news of Toshiba's first notebook capable of writing HD DVDs, can be found after the jump.
Sony opened its presence at CES with a plethora of new VAIO PCs that join the company's Digital Living System line of media center PCs. Standing out among the launches is the TP1 Living Room PC (pictured), a premium challenger to Apple's Mac mini. Its cylindrical white design signals its role as a centerpiece for a home theater, Sony says, a fact reflected in the system's features: the TP! sports both analog and HDTV broadcast tuners as well as HDMI output, allowing it to serve even HD-quality audio and video through a single cable to a TV. The system achieves its small size by using a mobile Core 2 Duo processor but still integrates a 300GB hard drive, a dual-layer DVD rewriter, built-in Wi-Fi, and a dual-format CompactFlash/Memory Stick card reader. Sony plans a launch in March for $1,600.
Accompanying the TP1 is the more advanced XL3, an update to the XL series that brings the company's home theater PC further into high-definition. The new version adds not only Blu-Ray but also a one-way CableCARD reader, adding two new sources of HD video to the previous generation's ATSC digital broadcast tuner. Performance has been upgraded to handle the extra demands, according to the company. A desktop Core 2 Duo processor, a GeForce 7600 GTL video card, and 2GB of RAM promise glitch-free playback even when other tasks run in the background. Storage has also been increased to 500GB for extra recording space. The XL3 will launch at the same time as the TP1 for a price of $3,300.
Click through for a photo of the XL3 as well as details of the range-topping VAIO RM.
Software giant Microsoft at its CES keynote unveiled two new technologies bolstering the company's inroads into the living room. Leading the efforts is Windows Home Server, a new software platform designed to share content from multiple computers in one location, even when those computers are shut off. The software automatically backs up and stores files from systems on a local network and can also perform a remote backup through a special Windows Live address. Music, photos, and videos can be shared to any attached Windows Media Center device, Microsoft says.
The technology is expected to make its debut in HP's new MediaSmart Server (PDF), a dedicated hub that will serve as many as ten separate users at once. The server is driven by a 1.8GHz AMD Sempron processor and has both four internal SATA drive bays and four USB 2.0 ports for storage, providing potential room for up to 6TB of storage when using 750GB drives. In addition to supporting the inherent file and media sharing of Windows Home Server, HP's device also allows Mac and Linux file sharing as well as remote program and system control through any Internet-connected PC. HP expects to ship the completed MediaSmart Server in the fall for an unspecified price.
Details of the Xbox 360 IPTV initiative can be found after the jump.
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