News Archive for 07/02/06

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Matsunichi demos video player with iPod dock

02/06, 4:50pm

Matsunichi iPod Video Dock

Taiwan's Matsunichi has quietly previewed the iPF7 iPod video dock. A twist on the company's longstanding digital photo frame, the dock is a completely self-contained music and video system for Apple's player. Any fourth-generation or later dockable iPod can play music, photo, or video through the dock's 7-inch display and speakers; in the case of music, track information will appear on-screen. Basic control of any media is possible courtesy of a touchscreen interface.

Other sources beyond the iPod are supported, Matsunichi notes. A multi-format reader and a USB 2.0 port will both play files directly from CF, SD, and external drives as well as transfer favorites directly to an integrated 128MB of flash. The iPF7 can also relay its video through RCA or component output and will sustain 4 hours of video playback when using battery power instead of an AC adapter or a computer's USB port. No release date or pricing has been set, but a US release is likely given the company's presence in the country. [via AVING]

ASUS rolls out GSM phone with Skype, webcam extras

02/06, 4:00pm

ASUS J501 Media Phone

ASUS on Tuesday expanded its burgeoning phone line with the J501. The black slider distinguishes itself through tight integration with PCs as a companion device. Its Bluetooth can be used not only with headsets and for data sync, but to pair with a nearby PC and serve as a Skype phone to avoid eating into free minutes on a cellular plan. The onboard 2-megapixel camera will even work as a webcam for photos and videos when linked to a PC through USB, ASUS is keen to add.

AAC and MP3 audio music playback are possible through the J501 when the phone is loaded with a microSD card for storage. MPEG-4 video playback and an FM radio are also available. Battery life is rated at 2.5 hours of active talk time. The phone operates with a tri-band GSM receiver and should be available first in ASUS' southeast Asian home for $300. See a full photo after the jump.

Genius releases digital notepad, tablet

02/06, 3:30pm

Genius Notepad and Tablet

Genius has just unveiled a pair of new digital pen tools. The G-Note 7100 is the firm's latest entry into digital notepads, designed for students and others who want to translate their hand drawings and notes to the computer. Two differently colored pens write information both on standard A4 paper as well as to its 32MB of flash memory, which stores roughly 100 pages as images that can be sent later to a computer through USB. The 7100 will be ready soon at a price of $159.

A second announcement, the MousePen 8x6, is a more conventional tablet for sketching on the computer itself. Its stylus has over 1024 gradations of sensitivity and is complemented by a series of "hot cells" around the edges for shortcuts to common functions. A three-button mouse and a copy of Corel Painter are bundled with the mouse to help get users started. It should also be ready soon for $99.

Samsung releases B680 fashion phone

02/06, 2:55pm

Samsung B680 Fashion Phone

Samsung today began updating its phones for Spring, starting with its new B680 clamshell. The slim handset is designed for women and sports a characteristic floral print on the outer shell as well as a uniquely-styled keypad and visual interface. Its features are still strong, Samsung claims, as it includes a DMB receiver for Korea's digital broadcast TV as well as a 1.3-megapixel camera, EVDO broadband, and MP3 playback.

The B680 is currently available through Korea's SKT. A version for North America hasn't been announced and would likely require a change from DMB to Verizon's MediaFLO for mobile TV.

Kyocera's rotating clamshell phone

02/06, 2:40pm

Kyocera W51K phone

Intended for Japan, Kyocera's W51K is an unusual clamshell phone in that the display can swivel 180 degrees, enabling a more compact shape when the keypad isn't needed. That may be frequent, since the phone also has a 1seg digital TV tuner, and can play downloads from the Lismo media service run by KDDI. An optional charger features a subwoofer, and sits the phone on its side, where it can still play widescreen video on a 2.7-inch display. More conventional features include an FM tuner, plus a microSD slot and 65MB of internal memory for holding local audio and video files. The W51K is out now in metallic blue, orange and silver colors.

Thanko carries USB charger for Wiimotes

02/06, 2:20pm

Thanko USB Wiimote charger

Online retailer Thanko today revealed the USB Remote Charger for Wii. The adapter fills the gap left open by Nintendo's use of disposable batteries for the console's affectionately nicknamed "Wiimote" controller. A combination cradle and battery replacement, the charger swaps out Nintendo's official battery pack with a rechargeable unit and a USB-based charging cradle. This system is especially useful for the Wii, Thanko says: because the Wii has two USB ports of its own, two controllers can charge directly from the console while freeing up wall outlets. A single charge lasts for 25 hours of play and can be refilled in 3.5 hours from the console or in 2 hours from a computer or the optional AC adapter.

Shipping in late February, the charger should be available from Thanko for $29 by itself, or $54 in a pair. The AC adapter should be ready at the same time for $11. [via New Launches]

New Novatel EVDO Rev. A card for Sprint networks

02/06, 1:55pm

Novatel EVDO Rev. A

Shipping in late February is the Merlin EX720, produced by Novatel for the Sprint Power Vision Network. This is the company's third Revision A card for the company, following the USB-based U720, and the PC Card-based S720. The EX720 is essentially an ExpressCard version, capable of upload speeds between 350 and 500Kbps and downloads between 600Kbps and 1.4Mbps. A GPS function allows users to not only pinpoint their location, but through Power Vision, discover nearby restaurants, gas stations and other amenities. The card requires Mac OS X 10.4 or Windows 2000, and should ship through Sprint channels for an unknown cost.

Imaginarium readies kids' phone with camera, music

02/06, 1:55pm

Imaginarium Cam1

Spanish toymaker Imaginarium today revealed its new Cam1 phone for children. Hoping to break from the volume of kids' phones that strip nearly every feature, the company says its phone will have the media features of even more expensive handsets. A 2-megapixel camera is built in and gets clearly labeled navigation buttons that resemble a more traditional camera body. The same controls double for playing MP3s; a set of earbuds is packed with the phone to get a child started. Its housing is also ruggedized against the inevitable shocks and other abuse by first-time phone users. Read through for more details and a gallery.

Helio launches direct-download cellphone music store

02/06, 1:05pm

Helio Music Store

Helio today announced Helio Music, the cellular carrier's initial venture into music download stores. Subscribers to the virtual network provider's service will have the option of buying music from four major US music labels for playback directly on Helo's phones, beginning with the company's iconic, Samsung-made Drift.

A unique element of the service is the flexibility in download options, Helio boasts. Price will be dictated by the device used to buy a given song: a direct download to the cellphone will cost $1.99 per track, but those who can afford to wait until they reach home will have the option of buying the same music from a PC for 99 cents. In both cases, the music will be available to play on either device without paying extra. Owners can even buy gift downloads that can be redeemed on another Helio phone, or "beg" a fellow subscriber to do the same, the carrier adds.

New Sony-Ericsson PC Card, headsets

02/06, 1:00pm

Sony PC Card and headsets

The stream of Sony-Ericsson news continues with the announcement of three new phone headsets and a PC Card. The premier headset is the HBH-PV710 (pictured), which uses Bluetooth 1.2, and features a swivelling ear hook and a battery that provides up to 12 hours of talk or 12.5 days of standby. The body of the unit is silver by default, but can be changed with the bundled red and brown covers. The HBH-PV702 has the similar option of white or black covers for its dark gray body, but is otherwise a stripped version of the PV710, having a fixed hook and a shorter battery life, amounting to eight hours of talk and 8.3 days of standby. Lastly, the HPM-75 is simply a corded stereo headset, equipped with a call answer button and a jack that allows different headphones to be used. Different earbud sizes are included in the box. The 710 should ship this quarter; the 702 and the 75 are due in the second.

BlueAnt headset with LCD, vibrate mode

02/06, 11:45am

BlueAnt V12 headset

BlueAnt is boasting a number of features for its new Bluetooth headset, the V12. One of the more notable is vibration for incoming calls, which may be common on cellphones, but is rare for a device meant to be worn on the head. The headset also has an LCD display, which shows a 12-digit caller ID, as well as battery and volume levels. The V12 remembers the last ten calls moreover, and can be hooked up to a phone to check status through a Micro-USB neckstrap. The headset can pair with up to five Bluetooth devices and uses noise reduction to eliminate ambient sounds. A lithium-polymer battery provides up to 12 hours of talk time, or 15 days of standby. The list price of the V12 is $80, but J&R is taking preorders for $60.

Kodak intros its first inkjets, promises "revolution"

02/06, 11:30am

Revolutionary Kodak Inkjet

Kodak on Tuesday hoped to make waves by introducing the EASYSHARE All-in-One range, its first-ever line of inkjets. The designs should revolutionze the typical approach to the normally costly world of inkjet printing, Kodak claims: instead of placing the printer head on the ink cartridges themselves, which drives up the cost of refilling each color tank, the heads are fixed inside the printer itself. This literally cuts the price of refilling a tank in half, according to the company. Pigment-based inks and a better placement system also help reduce wasted prints. More after the jump.

Sony-Ericsson's low-cost phones

02/06, 11:10am

Low-cost Sony phones

In addition to its Walkman and Cyber-shot phones, Sony-Ericsson is also premiering four less expensive candybar models. The K200 and the K220 are each equipped with a VGA camera, which can be used for picture messaging, but in each case is limited to 40 shots in 2MB of internal memory. The two phones are also dual-band GSM units that can only browse the web at GPRS speeds. The K220 does benefit from an FM radio however, which supports up to 10 presets. It will ship in blue or white, whereas the K200 will come in black or gold.

The J110 and the J120 omit the camera, but are otherwise similar, including the FM radio tuner on the higher-end J120. The one notable difference is the use of larger buttons, which should make the phones somewhat easier to use. The J120 will only come in black, but the J110 will be available in gray, purple or cream colors. All four phones will ship in the second quarter of 2007. Click below to see a photo gallery.

Fujitsu brings MacBook-like P7230 ultraportable to US

02/06, 10:50am

Fujitsu P7230 Hits US

Fujitsu today announced that the LifeBook P7230 is now ready for the US. Available last month in southeast Asia, the 10.6-inch widescreen system shares the same minimal design philosophy as the MacBook but reduces size and heaviness: a complete system weighs only 2.6 pounds. The new LifeBook is also one of the few notebooks to ship with an LED backlight that improves battery life and image quality alike, Fujitsu says. Running time is still estimated at a comparatively long 6 hours.

More details and larger photography can be found after the jump.

Wal-Mart beats Apple to all-studio movie downloads

02/06, 10:05am

Wal-Mart Video Store

Wal-Mart today revealed its new Video Downloads store, representing not only the company's first video download service but also the first such service by a physical retailer. The retail giant also shocked many today by announcing that it had successfully negotiated licenses with the six major American studios -- including Apple's close iTunes partner Disney -- giving it the largest catalog of any online video service. An estimated 3,000 movies and TV shows will be available on launch, compared to the 600 of the iTunes Store.

Read through for pricing and further details.

Much-touted W880 Walkman phone, W610 debut

02/06, 9:05am

S-E W880 and W610 Official

Even higher-profile among Sony-Ericsson's phone announcements on Tuesday are the company's two new Walkman phones. The W880, nicknamed the "Ai," has finally received its official specifications after both a company teaser and earlier leaked photos. The phone is Sony-Ericsson's slimmest ever to date, measuring only 0.37 inches thick; that's as thin as a CD case, the company says. Despite the thin shape, the phone still makes room for a 2-megapixel rear camera, a forward-facing VGA camera, and UMTS broadband in its initial form. Music playback also lasts for 18 hours, while even the normally taxing phone use lasts for 6 hours. A 1GB Memory Stick Micro provides ample initial storage for songs.

As hinted at by Swedish news, the phone is due for Europe and other markets within the next few weeks; a North American version has yet to be announced but may be a variant of the also-announced W888c, a Chinese version which goes without the front camera or largely Euro-centric UMTS broadband.

A full-size photo as well as details of the American-friendly W610 follow after the jump.

Sony-Ericsson intros Cyber-shot cameraphone duo

02/06, 8:20am

Sony K810 and K550

Sony-Ericsson today revealed its lineup of phones for next week's 3GSM conference in Barcelona, including two cameraphones in the Cyber-shot line. The pictured K810 is an upgrade to the current K790/K800 that brings UMTS mobile broadband to the previously EDGE-only design, allowing photo bloggers to upload images from the 3.2-megapixel camera at a quicker rate, according to the company. Shortcuts to advanced camera settings and an automatic photo correction tool also help with photography. Sony-Ericsson plans to ship the tri-band GSM phone first to Europe in the Spring in blue and ivory colors; a China-only version known as the K818c will ship without 3G wireless support at the same time.

Click through for details of the US-bound K550, as well as photos of both models.

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