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Two upcoming phones from LG have been revealed. Click below for photos. At CES is the KU950, whose screen can be tilted sideways to reveal a keypad and a VGA video camera. This camera is crucial to the phone, as LG is highlighting its videoconferncing ability, which is unusual in that most 3G phones can only do two-way video. The 950 will also have a 1.3-megapixel still camera, plus Bluetooth, a microSD slot, and a TV tuner. Plans for North American deployment have yet to be formalized, but LG expects Verizon to carry a pared-down version this quarter. Somewhat ironically, the Verizon edition will be missing the conferencing option.
China will soon be receiving the KG208, a rare example of a candybar Chocolate phone. Features will be relatively limited, highlights being music playback and a 1.3-megapixel camera. Supported audio files are MP3, WMA, and AAC/+/++. External microSD storage is complemented by 64MB of internal memory. [Via DailyTech, SlashPhone]
Microsoft will add gaming to its Zune media player, according to a Bloomberg report. Speaking to journalists at a formal dinner during CES, Microsoft Xbox VP Peter Moore said that the Zune's 3-inch screen made it an ideal handheld gaming platform and could beat the iPod's recently added downloadable game support.
"I love the interface, I love the screen," Moore said.
The feature would add a degree of iPod feature parity with the Zune, which has been struggling to find momentum since its November 14th launch. Adding gaming to the device could bring it into further competition with the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP, Bloomberg's Avi Levy suggests, as the two Japanese consoles both share Wi-Fi support for multiplayer games. Microsoft has expressed a willingness to expand the Zune's wireless abilities beyond player-to-player media sharing but has so far declined to reveal definite plans for gaming or other features.
Korean music player designer iRiver at CES officially revealed the W10, its first jukebox to use Wi-Fi. Rather than use the wireless technology for simple sharing or transfers, the company says its device uses Wi-Fi to locate the owner: a system developed by Skyhook named the Wireless Positioning System uses the geolocation of one or more nearby Wi-Fi access points to find the user's position. The W10 is then able to guide its owner with NAVTEQ maps towards a nearby point of interest such as an ATM system or a restaurant. Using ground-based access points instead of satellites means the system works even indoors or in heavy interference from buildings, Skyhook says.
Beyond its signature wireless feature, the 3-inch touchscreen player stores up to either 4GB or 8GB of MPEG-4 and WMV movies as well as MP3 and WMA songs. Expansion for more memory is handled through a miniSD card slot and an FM tuner is built in for listening to live broadcasts. iRiver ships the W10 in April for an undetermined price.
Famously associated with photography, Polaroid is nevertheless pushing hard into the media player realm, demonstrating unnamed 30GB and 80GB models at CES. The 30GB player will have a 2.8-inch screen while the 80GB model will expand to 4.3 inches. Little else is known about the players except that they'll be WiFi-enabled, permitting connections with other Polaroid electronics.
Polaroid is also launching a new photo backup device (presumably the CGA-02540, pictured), which plugs into a computer's USB port and automatically copies all supported image files without prompting. Inside the unit is a 2.5-inch hard drive, which should store at least 40,000 photos, though perhaps more or less depending on the size and quality. Software support is in place for online photo sharing and printing. The device should be ready in the first quarter of 2007.
Verbatim has expanded its Store 'n' Go line of USB drives, introducing an 8GB flash drive and a 12GB general model. The flash drive is compatible with systems running Windows 98SE, Mac OS 8.6, and Linux 2.4.0 or greater; it should be noted, however, that the security software will not be Vista-compatible until a new version is released later this month. The 12GB drive will up the Mac requirements to OS 9, but will have the U3-like Mobile Launchpad for access to applications like e-mail. It will ship later this month for $179, while the 8GB should be out now, though the cost is unknown.
Alongside its AppleTV and iPhone announcements, Apple silently launched a major revision of its Airport Extreme Base Station. The new design is influenced by the AppleTV and Mac mini and uses the extra space given by the design to greatly expand its connection options. Support for the previously rumored draft version of 802.11n is present, providing connection speeds up five times faster than 802.11g in a dedicated network with up to twice the range, the company says. Apple has also provided long-requested support for 802.11a wireless networks and four Ethernet ports, three of which are dedicated to computers and devices attached to the local network. The USB port similarly gains an Airport Disk feature that lets it share files from external hard drives. The updated router will be available in Feburary for $179 and can be pre-ordered immediately from the Apple Store.
Apple today announced its highly anticipated iPhone, a combination cellphone, Internet communicator, and music player. Described as a "revolution of the first order" by Steve Jobs, the phone relies almost exclusively on a 3.5-inch screen with multi-finger touch control to place calls and SMS text messages, control media, and communicate with the Internet through e-mail or the Web. Unlike other smartphones, Apple says, the device includes a full desktop operating system -- Mac OS X -- with support for full-size programs such as Safari and Dashboard-style tools for Google Maps, weather, and more. A quad-band GSM phone, the device connects to the Internet through EDGE or Wi-Fi and lasts for up to 5 hours of talk time or 16 hours of music.< Accessories include a Bluetooth headset and earphones.
Although announced today, the phone will be available in North America beginning in June due to FCC certification, the company says. Cingular will be the exclusive carrier in the US. Releases are due in Europe by the fourth quarter of this year while Asia will see the iPhone in 2008. Apple expects to price a version with 4GB of storage at $499 and an 8GB model for $599.
In addition to the iPhone, Apple today formally revealed AppleTV, the company's new media hub for streaming audio, photos, and video from local computers to a home TV. Previously codenamed iTV, the device connects to a network through Ethernet or Wi-Fi, including the 802.11a and 802.11n standards supported by the company's new Airport Extreme Base Station and recent Intel-based Macs. New to the device since its early appearance in September is the implementation of a sync system and a 40GB hard drive: instead of relying exclusively on computers attached to the network, the AppleTV can sync with iTunes on a preferred Mac or PC and store local copies of media from the computer for access at any time. Up to five computers are recognized on a network at once, Apple says.
The hub connects to any TV that supports component or HDMI input and can display video as high as 1080i or 720p on widescreen HDTV sets, according to the company. Audio is handled via either RCA stereo or optical audio. Apple plans to ship the iTV in February for $299 and is accepting pre-orders now at the online Apple Store.
Dell has launched a three-prong assault on CES, confirming the existence of new flat-panels, the Home Media Suite, and most importantly, the H2Ceramic (H2C) Edition of the XPS 710. Using a technology previously codenamed Black Ice, the H2C cools its components in a two-step process: first through a liquid-to-air heat exchanger, and then with ceramic thermoelectric modules to shift the heat away. The computer will definitely need it, as the base model ($5,499) uses a quad-core Core Extreme overclocked to 3.2GHz, as well as twin GeForce 8800 GTX graphics cards. Other specs of the system include 4GB of RAM, two optical drives, and two 160GB, 10,000rpm hard drives.
Electronista will be following news from Steve Jobs' presentation at MacWorld San Francisco, which begins today at 9 AM Pacific (12 PM Eastern). Many expect Apple to preview an updated version of Mac OS X Leopard, new editions of the iLife and iWork suites. Hardware announcements such as the iTV media hub and the heavily-rumored Apple phone. Please click "read more" on this story for updates, but be advised that Electronista and other sites are likely to experience slowdowns under heavy use. Any new announced products should be available through the online Apple Store.
A couple of smaller new products from Sony are the VAIO UX Premium Micro PC, and the VAIO WA1, also known as the the Wireless Digital Music Streamer. Click through for photos of both. As its name suggests, the WA1 lets you listen to computer audio elsewhere in your house via a wireless connection, using either an established network or a more direct "peer-to-peer" setup. A USB network interface is being bundled with the device. Formats supported by the WA1 include unprotected AAC, MP3, and WMA, as well as Sony's proprietary ATRAC. The company is pushing Live365 as the primary source of Internet radio. In addition to streamed content however, the WA1 can also hold 128MB of music onboard and play it directly from 8W stereo speakers. Control is handled through a remote, a touchscreen, or another audio player connected through a line-in port. Analog and S/PDIF outputs let you connect to a home stereo. A release date as yet to be announced, but it should retail for $350.
SanDisk and several partner corporations have announced USBTV, a technology for quickly playing digital video on a TV. Sidestepping the option of media servers, USBTV drives will be essentially be flash-based media players, to which owners will drag-and-drop desired videoclips. An onboard processor will automatically convert files into a playable format, and once a drive is connected to a TV, preloaded guide software (and a remote) will let users to choose what they play. Initial USBTV players will require a special cradle to output to an AV port, but SanDisk is hoping that some future TVs from the likes of LG, Pioneer and Mitsubishi will permit direct connection. The popularity of USBTV may be hampered by DRM restrictions however, with copying being limited at the behest of movie and TV studios. The first USBTV products should be ready this spring.
AMD's graphics division ATI at CES revealed the TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner, the world's first PC-attached tuner that can both play and record HDTV signals from more than just unencrypted over-the-air broadcasts. The tuner accepts the CableCARD adapters offered by many HD-capable TV providers and will allow live viewing of any HD television, such as ESPN or HBO; with approval from content providers, programs can also be saved to a computer and streamed to the Xbox 360 or any other Windows Media Center device. An Avivo video decoding system eliminates the compression artifacts and other anomalies that surface even in HD broadcasts, ATI says.
While available at the end of January to coincide with the launch of Windows Vista and its new Media Center functions, the tuner won't be sold separately, the company says. Instead, system builders and third-party companies are expected to build the new TV Wonder directly into new desktop and laptop computers or else offer the tuner as an external device (pictured).
Pioneer at CES announced a pair of new in-dash navigation systems in its AVIC series. At the top is the company's new AVIC-Z2 system, which adds dramatically improved address finding to the DVD and information hybrid device. By using the extra storage afforded by the nav system's built-in hard drive, the Z2's Tele Atlas database contains exact positioning for 45 million US street numbers; this brings driving directions closer to the exact building rather than its general location. The extra storage also lets Pioneer provide a much larger than average 12 million points of interest and exact voice feedback that alerts the driver to turns by name. XM NavTraffic support for live road condition updates by satellite, Bluetooth, and optional direct iPod control round out major features. The Z2 will be ready in April with a 7-inch motorized touchscreen for $2,200.
Occuyping the mid-range is the simultaneously announced AVIC-D3 (pictured), which the company previewed at SEMA last year. The company promises to bring high-end features into a more mainstream shape and has incorporated both optional iPod control and XM NavTraffic into the double-DIN sized navigator, which relies on a 6.1-inch fixed touchscreen for input. Bluetooth is also carried over from its more advanced counterpart. The D3 will be ready in March for $1,000.
Pioneer's new Blu-Ray drive follows after the jump.
The Panasonic entry into CES is the LIFI line of LCDs, named after a technology developed by Luxim. The companies claim that LIFI uses a new type of lamp, one-eighth the size of a conventional HID (High Intensity Discharge), allowing LIFI sets to power on in a fraction of the time. This is helped by the absence of electrodes in LIFI bulbs, which should also contribute to a longer lifespan, as electrode degradation can cause diminished brightness or even damage to the surrounding material. Two sub-lines of the LIFI will be coming in 2007: the LCX models will be limited to 720p, while the LCZ models will reach 1080p. Both ranges will have 50-, 56-, and 61-inch sizes, and be capable of 3,000:1 contrast, plus 20W of output from the built-in speakers. SD slots, PC input and three HDMI ports will come standard. The 56- and 61-inch LCXs are expected in April, with all three LCZs shipping in May. No prices have been published.
MediaREADY thos morning refeshed its media center range by introducing the MC-PRO, its highest-end system yet. The new edition is said to improve audio quality by including D2Audio's Intelligent Digital Amplifier, a device that improves audio decoding above and beyond the integrated surround sound audio. Performance has also been upgraded from the single-core, 2.8GHz Pentium 4 of the previous MC (pictured) to a dual-core Athlon 64 X2 with enough power to decode high-definition video. An appropriate dual ATSC/NTSC tuner is built in to provide those signals, MediaREADY notes. Few other details have been released at CES, though 802.11g Wi-Fi is standard in the system. Launch information is expected to follow shortly after the conclusion of this week's CES expo.
NEC on Tuesday said it will be the first to launch a 26-inch LCD for computers. The new MultiSync LCD2690WUXi adds the large, 1920x1200 display to the company's color-accurate line of displays for artists and other visual professionals. The 1920x1200 screen is not only the largest of the kind but also the first to use X-Light Pro, a technology that uses the display's own luminance and color sensor to ensure a consistent light level across the entire screen. The panel is also based on more color-friendly IPS technology with a 12-bit color look-up table that produces better color levels and grayscales. The resulting image matches up to 92% of the NTSC color gamut, 93.4% of the Adobe color triangle, and 87.8% of the NTSC triangle, NEC claims.
Triple inputs for DVI-D, DVI-I, and VGA allow a mixture of analog and digital sources; extended display cables as long as 30 feet for digital and 100 for analog can be attached without a degraded signal. The 26-inch model, as well as the similarly-equipped 24-inch LCD2490WUXi, are expected to arrive in Feburary for prices of $1,699 and $1,499 respectively.
In addition to its new MING and RIZR media phones, Motorola has just announced the Q Pro, a version of the company's popular Windows Mobile smartphone built to appeal to more demanding business users. Coated in black, the previously leaked device is preloaded with viewers for Microsoft Office and PDF documents, as well as a Word-compatible text editor; a 512MB miniSD card stores backups of the software. Enhanced data encryption, password layers, and logging also prevent valuable data from reaching intruders. Notably, the phone's 1.3-megapixel camera can be selectively disabled -- a crucial feature for workplaces where any camera-equipped cellphone could be a security risk, Motorola adds. Hardware remains similar to the original model and includes Bluetooth plus support for EVDO broadband. The Q PRO is available immediately from Motorola itself, though pricing is unlisted.
Read more for details and photos of the Bluetooth headphones and iPod adapter.
Sony at CES debuted a series of new TVs in its Bravia line. Topping the announcements is the company's KDL70XBR3, the company's largest ever TV at 70 inches and also promises the best image quality of any Sony TV to date, according to the company. As with the new Samsung 81 series, the new XBR3 model will feature LED backlighting and support HDMI 1.3's deep color for improved accuracy; its 10-bit LCD panel can also run at 120Hz for smoother response times in action scenes. Sony anticipates shipping its signature TV in February for $33,000.
The electronics maker also discussed ts new Bravia Internet Link technology. Starting with the upcoming S3000 series of Bravia LCDs, owners of Sony sets can buy an optional adapter that will provide access to simplified Internet content suitable for control with a TV remote: RSS news feeds, streaming video, and other content will be supplied by partners such as AOL and Yahoo. The access will be easy to manage using the Xross Media Bar (XMB) interface borrowed from the PlayStation 3 and PSP, Sony says. The Bravia Internet Link should be available by the time the S3000 line ships in sizes between 26 and 46 inches in Spring this year.
Details of the OLED prototype follow after the jump.
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