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Hoping to create the perfect environment for frequent instant messaging users, Solid Year has developed the ACK-2230UMSP, a keyboard that combines video and voice in a single controller. The special input device is the first known keyboard to include a webcam, which is concealed in a flip-up swivel stand to maintain privacy as well as provide a more comfortable viewing angle. Voice chat is equally accounted for, says Solid Year, by an integral microphone and speaker. VoIP is a special priorty, as ten buttons are dedicated to Skype control alone while twelve more commonplace media buttons can quickly pause or resume music and videos. Onboard plugs will also attach higher-quality microphones and speakers. The company has not provided a price or release date but intends to ship the 2232 to OEMs worldwide.
Accompanying similar releases by fellow Japanese firms Fujitsu and NEC, Hitachi on Monday previewed a set of computers tailored to Microsoft's forthcoming Windows Vista. Its new Prius One W is a showcase for the Media Center features of Vista Home Premium and incorporates up to two tuners, digital and analog, for playing and recording live TV. Appropriately, the system revolves around a 20-inch widescreen LCD and stores up to 320GB for video recording. The One W will be available in Japan at the same time as Windows Vista on January 30th, shipping in either a basic W35 model with a 3.06GHz Pentium 4 and single tuner or the W37, with 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo and dual tuners.
For core computing, Hitachi says it will also launch the Prius One S, a 17-inch standard ratio all-in-one with a more modest 250GB hard disk and less powerful processors. A base model with a 2.53GHz Celeron D and no tuner will ship on January 30th, as will a 3.06GHz Celeron D edition with a single digital tuner.
Nokia has updated its Bluetooth headsets with three new models meant to be both light and stylized. The basic BH-100 is designed for newcomers to earpieces who want a simple device, weighing only 11 grams (0.4 ounces) and shipping with a variety of different-colored earloops for personalization; it lasts for 6.5 hours on a single charge of its lithium-ion battery. It will ship early this year for an unspecified price.
More advanced are the BH-201 (pictured) and BH-301, each of which add more complex voice activation, dialing, and volume controls. The former has three different earbud sizes and an earpiece wheel that spins for an exact fit, lasting 5.5 hours per charge; the 301 boosts longevity to 7 hours and is customizable with multiple covers. Both will be ready alongside the BH-100 early this year. Photos of all three are available after the jump.
In a major expansion of its models, Audiovox has just revealed a slew of devices that tap into XM Satellite Radio's network. The X2G-100 (pictured) is the second iteration of the company's XM2go portable XM receiver and adds a new set of headphones with a built-in antenna, greatly improving reception when on foot. It also trades the silver of the pioneering model for a metallic black. The X2G should be available in February but has not received a price.
The electronics maker has also created a new line of XM stereos built around a variant of the radio network's XM Mini-Tuner known as the CNP2000 ($30). Five models -- ranging from the XR100 Desktop Radio to the DV7600XM Home Theater System -- can all accept the pocket-sized XM adapter, which instantly adds XM tuning without the need for a dedicated receiver. Audiovox did not commit to a time window for a launch but says all its offerings will be ready soon. Click through for photos and summaries. [via Orbitcast]
The Korean handheld producer IOPS today provided a glimpse of its upcoming X11 media player. Built with a circular navigation pad similar to that of the iPod, the aluminum-clad device is one of the slimmest video-capable players in existence at 0.35 inches thick, the company argues. AVI, DivX, MPEG-4, WMV, and XviD video is supported at a full 30 frames per second on the 1.3-inch LCD. IOPS' device will also play music in MP3, OGG, and WMA forms and provides JPEG photo viewing as well as an FM tuner. Battery life and pricing remain unknown, but the X11 will ship soon in 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB editions. A Korean release is planned and will likely be followed by a North American introduction at a later date.
Video chip designer NVIDIA is in the finishing stages of developing more mainstream GeForce 8-series cards, according to a reported leak by Chinese site Beareyes. The GeForce 8600 (shown) and 8300 will occupy the mid- and low-range areas respectively, adding the unified shader hardware of the GeForce 8800 to the rest of NVIDIA's cards while cutting down on the complexity that adds to the overall cost. The 8600 will use 64 shader units at most, half that of the range-topping 8800 GTX; the 8300 will use half again at 32, Beareyes claims.
Each model line will in turn be split into different speed grades, the site reports. The 8600 will be available in a 350MHz GT version with 48 shaders as well as a 500MHz Ultra variant with the full 64 shaders, while the 8300 is divided into the GS and GT editions clocked at 500MHz with 24- and 32-shader chips respectively. Memory will also be clocked as low as 1GHz for the 8300 GS and as high as 1.4GHz for the 8600 GT. All four editions are expected to debut in early March at prices of $79 and $99 for the 8300 series as well as $129 and $179 for the 8600 series. A lower-cost 8800 GTS with 320MB of memory (down from 640MB) will also be ready for $299. [via The Inquirer]
Fujitsu today introduced its first 2007 computers, including a rare hybrid HDTV and PC. The DESKPOWER TX90U is one of the first all-in-one computers to include a full-size HDTV screen: measuring 37 inches, the panel is capable of a true 1080p resolution and is large enough to watch from a comfortable distance, Fujitsu says. The computer inside is similarly designed to play and record HD video. A Blu-Ray drive is built into the PC component of the higher-end TX95 models for playing and authoring up to 50GB dual-layer discs; every model, the company says, accelerates playback through Intel's new, lower-cost 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo and an ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 graphics chip with 256MB of memory. A minimum 400GB hard drive and a digital TV tuner add PVR functions to the computer, which can record any analog signal as well as over-the-air digital broadcasts. Fujitsu will ship the DESKPOWER to Japan by February, with a basic model using a DVD-RW drive and 1GB of memory shipping for $4,125 and a 2GB Blu-Ray version retailing for $4,980.
Details of the company's new notebooks can be found after the jump.
Newton Peripherals, formerly just the maker of the MoGo Mouse BT, has expanded its product line with the new MoGo Dapter and MoGo Mouse X54. The latter is a three-button Bluetooth mouse, which stores inside your laptop's ExpressCard or 54 Card slot, charging at the same time. Like the BT, the design of the X54 is so thin that the scrollwheel has been replaced with a touch-sensitive surface. The pictured MoGo Dapter, meanwhile, can add Bluetooth 2.0 support to virtually any recent PC or Mac. The adapter is just 0.4 inches long and plugs into a USB port, for a maximum throughput of 3Mbps. Up to seven devices can pair with the unit. Windows 98SE or Mac OS X 10.2 is required. The Dapter is selling for $50; the price of the X54 is unknown, but the BT sells for $70 at Gateway.
While most professionals would swear by the viewfinders in their SLRs, the Zigview S2 by Argraph gives you the option of treating an SLR like a compact. The S2 plugs directly into compatible eyepieces, displaying images on a 2.5-inch LCD that can be rotated 300 degrees, or flipped up and down 180. The display can be separated entirely using a video transceiver cable, extending up to 40 feet away. The S2 also expands possible shutter options, offering release by cable, motion detection, and interval (0.5 seconds to 99 days). Only certain cameras can take advantage of this. Adorama and B&H Photo are selling the device for $470.
Apple, Inc. may well have secured the first direct-download rights to The Beatles' music catalog, according to a source speaking with extensive Beatles news site Abbey Road Best. The deal would see music label Apple Corps. launch its initial venture into online music on Valentine's Day, timing the release to help promote the recent Beatles and Cirque du Soleil collaboration album Love. Apple, Inc. would be granted three months' exclusive access not just to Beatles downloads but also the newly remastered versions of the British pop group's earlier albums in any form, Abbey Road Best claims.
Read through for more details.
A slate of new computers have been released in Japan by NEC. Click through for more photos. Chief among these may be the new LaVie C LC950/HJ laptop, which not only has an internal Blu-Ray drive, but also an HDMI output for external displays. Resolution on the PC's own 15.4-inch LCD is limited to 1280x800 though, so it can't display 1080i or 1080p. It runs on Windows Vista and uses a 2GHz Core 2 Duo and a Radeon X1600.
Another Blu-Ray computer is the Valuestar W VW990, an all-in-one desktop with a 32-inch, television-style display, which sits on top of the console-like case. It further comes equipped with a 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo, a GeForce Go 7600, 1GB of RAM, and two 400GB hard drives. Resolution is again something of a constraint, with the slightly better figure of 1360x678.
Toshiba today revealed the Qosmio G30/97A, the world's first notebook with the ability to write HD DVD-R discs. Previously hinted at during the company's CES announcements, the updated G30 can now burn discs in the next-generation format as well as DVDs and CDs, allowing for much larger backups and for owners of HD video cameras to author movies at their native resolution; a single-layer 15GB HD DVD-R will hold 2 hours of footage, Toshiba says. The new model retains the 2GHz Core 2 Duo, GeForce Go 7600 graphics, and HDMI video output of its predecessor but offers much larger storage, containing as much as 320GB spread across dual hard drives. A digital tuner is integrated and will record as much as 37 hours of HDTV or 362 hours at analog resolutions.
The 97A version of the Qosmio is equally the first PC from the company to ship with Windows Vista, bundling the media-friendly Home Premium edition of the OS. Office 2007 Personal will also make its first appearance with the company. Toshiba expects to ship the new G30 in Japan at the same time as Vista on January 30th for an unlisted price; a North American equivalent is certain and should be ready soon afterwards.
European carrier Vodafone today launched a new line of cellphones meant to commemorate the company's link with McLaren, the famous race car designer. Special editions of Sharp's GX29 and 3G-equipped 770SH (pictured), as well as the Samsung Z720, will reflect the Formula 1 team's current chromed silver and red livery, also shipping preloaded with ringtones, visual themes, and a racing game all tied to McLaren's racer. The phones will be available soon for prices near those of the standard phones. Click through for a full photo of the 770SH. [via Pocket-Lint]
The Canadian division of Dell is facing a lawsuit filed in Ontario's Supreme Court over the quality of its portable PCs. A group of system owners from the province contend that many of the company's previously launched entry-level notebooks -- including the Inspiron 1100 and 5100 series -- were sold to users despite known design flaws that would overheat the inside of the system, potentially damaging the mainboard and rendering the PCs inoperable. Some Inspirons have also shut down without warning under the stress of the high temperatures, says Joel Rochon of the representing lawfirm Rochon Genova.
"It would appear as though it's a systemic problem that's inherent to all of these Inspiron models. At least, that's the feedback we're getting," he says.
Although currently limited to those who have talked to the law firm, the suit may reach class-action status in several months and entitle anyone with an affected system to a settlement if the claim is validated. The alleged flaw does not appear to be connected with the recent Dell battery recall, which was ultimately linked to defective Sony batteries.
Imation today began shipping the Odyssey, its unique take on external hard disks. Instead of tying the hard drive to a specific case and chipset, the Odyssey is a USB 2.0 docking station that accepts hard drives in removable cartridges. This lets owners easily swap hard drives without having to unplug cabling, and also saves the trouble of replacing the entire enclosure and PC interface when new hard drives are upgraded, Imation says. Each drive comes with its own copy of EMC's Retrospect software to simplify automated backups and can automatically apply AES encryption to files for security. The Odyssey ships in 40GB ($249), 80GB, ($299), and 120GB ($349) models and works with both Mac OS X 10.3 or later as well as computers running Windows 2000, XP, or 2003.
System builder ASUS on Monday revamped its Lamborghini VX line with the VX2, an update to the company's distinctive portable built to showcase Windows Vista. Although exact details remain unannounced, the 15-inch widescreen notebook uses the most recent Core 2 Duo processors and updated graphics and is said to improve both in performance as well as security. The system continues its clear links with the Italian automaker and ships with an automotive-grade black or yellow paint finish and a blend of lightweight materials associated with Lamborghini's supercars, including an aluminum-magnesium alloy and carbon fiber. The choice keeps the weight down to under 5.4 pounds despite the large frame, ASUS says. Models should begin shipping today, but pricing will vary by exact models and by region.
[Updated with new pricing] T-Mobile this morning began offering a white edition of the BlackBerry Pearl. The new color, appropriately dubbed "pearl white," is unique to the cell carrier and is meant to match the phone's signature trackball. All the bundled accessories have been tinged white to fit, T-Mobile says. The new edition is functionally similar to the existing piano black model and shares the same carrier-specific features, including myFaves support for unlimited calling to five favorites and access to the provider's EDGE Internet access. The new Pearl is available immediately for $150 when linked to a two-year plan, and retails by itself for $350. A full photo is available after the jump.
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