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Samsung today used its AnyCall brand to launch the B6700, nicknamed the Card Phone. The bar phone earns its title through a short but wide stature, which isn't much larger than a credit card at 3.4 inches tall. The design recalls calculators and is even complemented by a calculator-style flip case, Samsung says.
Its features are rich despite the diminutive size, with a T-DMB tuner capturing mobile digital TV and a 2-megapixel camera at the back for still shots and video. MP3 playback is also a staple. The Card Phone is actively carried by Korea's cell provider KTF in black and silver editions, though it's unclear as to whether or not it will find its way to other regions in the future. Click through for a profile photo.
Optimus keyboard creator Art Lebedev Studio today provided an early look at the Verbarius. A natural-language clock, the Verbarius tries to liven timekeeping by expressing the time the way many people do in conversations, randomly choosing between descriptions such as "twelve thirty-six A.M." or "twenty-four minutes to one." It can also read the time in four other languages, ranging from Art Lebedev's native Russian to French, German, and Spanish. The studio also aims for a minimalist effect and hides the LCD in a solid glass block that appears to float the words in space.
The clock isn't due to ship until November, when it will export for $183; the company is accepting pre-orders today, however, and is offering a discount that drops the price to $158 if ordered before September. [via Engadget]
Though preceded by products like the CAREt Handheld, Intel is expanding the use of computers in medicine with the Mobile Clinical Assistant, being tested in England but already on sale in the US. Whereas the CAREt has a small screen and a limited keypad, the MCA is a full touchscreen tablet, and adds other hardware such as a digital camera for documenting wounds, and an RFID scanner for drugs and wristbands. Aside from these uses, the tablet can also be used to make referrals and instantly view test results. The convenience is not an inexpensive one, however: a base Motion Computing model costs $2,199.
The Pantech PN-810 is about to become Helio's first texting-focused phone, a recently-exposed FCC filing has revealed. With its confidentiality agreement expired, the government application has revealed a Korean-made slider which distinguishes itself from the Samsung F520) by using three separate layers. Beyond the front layer's screen and navigation buttons, a second shelf extends to reveal a keypad for dialing while a third slides out for messages.
Outside of GPS, its other features closely match the Drift, Helio's current flagship: a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and EVDO broadband are standard. A release timeframe remains vague for the PN-810 but should approach quickly given the phone's original FCC presence in November. Larger photos follow after the break. [via Phone Scoop]
The well-known VoIP carrier Vonage may be about to leap into the cellphone business, according to BusinessWeek. Speaking to analysts in a recent financial call, the company let slip news that it would soon sell a dual-mode phone that would support both cellular networks and Wi-Fi, raising the possibility that the company could soon become a virtual network operator in the vein of Amp'd Helio while keeping its trademark VoIP access to save costs indoors or at public access points.
Other details were hidden in the announcement. However, the news points to the probable use of Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) phones such as the Motorola A910, which use Wi-Fi to automatically switch between cellphone and Wi-Fi networks for cheaper calls. T-Mobile has already revealed its own UMA service set to go online later this year.
Kingston today hoped to raise the ceiling on its HyperX line of RAM by introducing its first truly high-speed 4GB RAM kits. The 4GB Low-Latency Kit uses a pair of 2GB DDR2 800 sticks that, despite their storage, still manage to cut the memory timing to a low CL4. This creates the headroom for overclockers to tweak their systems without drawing too much power, says the memory maker.
The 4GB is already available from Kingston's online shop for $500, while individual 2GB sticks with the same high performance sell for $250.
SoundTech today expanded its LightSnake line beyond its familiar audio gear to produce a line of strictly computer-oriented cables. The highlight of the launch is a new iPod cable: using the company's "Live When Lit" technology to its advantage, the connector charges and synchronizes any click wheel iPod while also flashing along its entire length to signal that data is being sent across the cable -- a useful way of not only locating the cable, but also for diagnosing the iPod or the attached computer.
Other additions to the LightSnake line include a USB extension cable and multiple USB A-to-A and A-to-B cables for cameras, printers, and other devices that need a PC connection. Each cable will be available for $50 by the end of March.
Finnish cellphone designer Benefon this afternoon overhauled its TWIG series of GPS phones with three new models, each running Microsoft's newer Windows Mobile 6 to bring Office Mobile and "push" data to every one of its devices. Every handset is equipped with both a touchscreen and a keypad to make calling, document viewing, and navigation easier.
Leading the announcements is the TWIG Totem, which Benefon says is the first world phone with faster HSDPA mobile broadband regardless of where it travels; besides GPS, it also features a sharp 3-megapixel camera and Bluetooth 2.0. Following the Totem is the TWIG Monolith, a similar design that drops HSDPA and uses a smaller 2-megapixel camera but gains Wi-Fi, as well as the TWIG Talisman, a simpler Europe-focused phone without Wi-Fi. All three are due in June. No pricing has been announced, but the Totem may find its way to North America thanks to its international support. [via GPS Gazette]
I-O Data on Wednesday introduced the LCD-TV241XBR-2, its new flagship LCD. The 24-inch screen replaces both a computer display and a TV at once thanks to its inputs. Though any computer can attach through DVI or VGA, the screen doubles as a full analog and digital set -- especially for game consoles such as the Wii and Xbox 360, says the firm. The layout includes a pair of RCA audio connectors each for the S-video and Japan-native D4 inputs, allowing game consoles or DVD players to leave their audio cables plugged into the 5-watt speakers while switching to another source. An integrated TV tuner further provides an easy means of receiving analog broadcasts.
Characteristically for its size, the TV241 is capable of 1920x1200 when attached to a Mac or PC and will display the video of an Xbox 360 or other true HD signals at their native 1080p ratio. It ships to Japan before the end of this month for $1,016.
Another movie-focused laptop is the W2PC Mobile Home Theater, newly announced by the German division of ASUS. The high-end variant (the 7M016C) is equipped with an HD DVD DL drive and a 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo, as well as a 17-inch 1080p screen, and an HDMI port. The videocard is a Mobility Radeon X1700, and European buyers can tune into either analog or DVB-T TV. Memory includes 2GB of RAM and a 160GB SATA hard drive. The 7K017C cuts this down to 1GB of RAM and a 120GB drive, and further strips out the HD DVD drive and 1080p support. It does, however, come with a Super Multi 8x DVD drive. At present, both laptops are on sale only in Germany and Austria.
Joining the fray of high-end, HD-ready laptops is Samsung, whose new M55 combines a Blu-Ray drive, a 2GHz Core 2 Duo, and a 17-inch screen capable of full 1080p resolution. This makes the computer ideal for movie playback away from the TV. The computer is well-equipped in other regards as well, having 2GB of RAM, and a GeForce Go 7600 videocard with 256MB of VRAM. Rounding out the specifications are a 120GB SATA drive, and numerous connection options, such as Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11a/b/g. The computer has only been announced for Korea so far, but like other Samsung products it may well come to North America. [via Akihabara News]
Samsung is readying an addition to its SyncMaster displays that will rely solely on USB, according to a claim by DigitalWorld. Known only as the 940UX, the 19-inch LCD would toss aside both DVI and VGA connectors to plug into a computer's USB port. Instead of relying on a graphics chipset, the display would use the CPU to power its video. This would have the advantage of allowing as many LCDs as the computer's USB ports and performance will allow, according to the French news outlet.
The 940UX is scheduled for an introduction at the CeBIT show in mid-March. No pricing has leaked in advance, but the new monitor will likely run only on Windows XP and Vista systems at first due to the need for special drivers.
In an unconventional approach, Western Digital has designed its new My Book World Edition drives as consumer-level network storage. While they operate as normal external hard drives on a local basis, owners can connect them to the Internet, and use integrated Windows options to save and copy from any location without an FTP client. Perhaps more importantly, only a drive and its Internet connection need to be on for transfer to work; this means that a business traveller, for instance, could shut off his computer but still access important documents from a continent away. There are two models of the World Edition: a 500GB basic version, and the 1TB World Edition II, which can mirror a computer's contents in real-time using RAID. Both drives come with backup software, a gigabit Ethernet port, and a USB 2.0 port for added storage. The basic drive is retailing for $279; the World Edition II is $499.
StereoVision this morning began shipping the 3D VuCAM. Melding a pair of 3.2-megapixel cameras with a set of 40mm-lens binoculars, the VuCAM captures stereo images from up to 150 feet away from its subject or as close as 15 feet. The resulting 3D effect images are stored in a simple JPEG format, but can either be viewed though 3D software on a PC or directly on a 3D-capable display through an RCA output; they can also be previewed on the binoculars themselves through a pop-up LCD. Onboard memory is limited to 128MB of flash but can be bolstered by CompactFlash cards. The binoculars plug into any computer through a USB 2.0 port and should be available now for an unlisted price.
Extending its reach, S1Digital today introduced its ProLine series of media centers. Hinted at by its name, the range is intended for (but not limited to) professional installers who hope to make a home theater PC the center of a much larger custom setup. Each model can fit into an AV equipment rack and has RS-232 ports to join with a home automation system. All of them also share enough performance to play 1080p movies without trouble: a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, GeForce 7600GT video card, and an HD DVD or optional Blu-Ray drive will play movies at their native resolution through an HDMI output. Dual HD and standard-definition tuners, 7.1-channel audio support, and a diNovo Edge Bluetooth keyboard are also standard.
AT&T (still known as Cingular) has officially released the BlackBerry 8800 for its subscribers. As was promised last week, the Canadian smartphone is shipping with a slightly customized body and interface and a push-to-talk feature. The new BlackBerry otherwise holds close to the quad-band GSM, EDGE broadband support, and Bluetooth 2.0 features of the reference device.
Pricing is set at the anticipated $300 when joined with a two-year service plan, but increases to $500 for those who prefer to buy the 8800 from the American carrier outside of a contract. AT&T should have the phone online and in stores today.
Cellphone maker Alcatel and Elle magazine today revealed the Elle No. 3 ahead of Paris Fashion Week. Quickly following the No. 2 edition released last year, the third model drops the clamshell design for a slider with chrome trim and a RAZR-style metal keypad. The shape also helps slim the phone down to only 0.66 inches. Modernizing the phone is also key: a sharper 1.3-megapixel camera and a dedicated row of music control keys help the phone keep pace with other media-savvy devices. An iPod-like circular control pad also features prominently. Read through for more and a larger image.
BlueTraks on Wednesday launched what it claims is a unique Bluetooth hands-free kit for cars. The BT-211 mounts into a double-sized DIN slot in a car's center column and handles almost every function of a paired Bluetooth phone, providing for hands-free calls (including voice-activated dialing) and quick access to contacts. However, its hard-wiring to the car's audio system gives it a distinct advantage, according to BlueTraks. In addition to lowering the volume during a call, the BT-211 can link to and charge a dockable iPod through a front-mounted USB port and control the Apple player through a 4.2-inch touchscreen. Most of the core features are intact: drivers can play a specific audiobook or song as well as shuffle the library or individual albums.
The kit should be available through dealers this Spring for an unlisted price, and will be followed up in the second half of the year with versions ready for optional GPS mapping and satellite radio.
Nokia this morning helped launch Paris Fashion Week by introducing the Special Edition of the Nokia 7373. The collaboration with Giambattista Valli customizes both the phone and its carrying case to fit the Italian fashion designer's sense of style: the Black Chrome version (shown) turns a glossy black and comes with a black case using a crystal strap and the namesake black chromed skull for an ornament. The Powder Pink version appropriately swaps out black for pink and replaces the crystal strap with necklace-like pearls.
Click through for added details and a photo of the Powder Pink model.
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