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If trends continue, laptop computers will begin outselling desktops by 2011, says the research firm IDC. While the desktop market is expected to grow by 3.8 percent year-on-year, with a short-term burst provided by Windows Vista, these figures are still outweighed by laptop estimations, pegged at 16.1 percent per year. Last year saw laptop shipments increase by 26.3 percent to 82 million, while desktops were relatively stagnant, growing by less than two percent to 140 million.
The trend may be attributable to two factors. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the number of Internet users with home wireless doubled between 2005 and 2007, encouraging increased use of computers away from a central location. Meanwhile, notes the BBC, wireless is also becoming more prevalent in public locations, and many workers are now travelling enough that they can justify the cost of a laptop. [via BBC News]
The upcoming Magic380 by Mango Research (not pictured) is a unique GPS unit for two reasons: aside from being one of the rare devices to be usable both handheld and in a car, it calculates position entirely through software, eliminating the need for a baseband processing chip. This is said to actually improve performance, despite the absence of dedicated hardware. What it does have is NXP's swGPS Personal program, and a 32-bit Samsung processor, with ports to accept add-ons such as real-time traffic input. The size of the touchscreen is unknown, but if it resembles the Magic377, it is estimated to be about 3.5 inches.
Known more in North America for its laptops, Lenovo has revealed its first Windows Mobile 6 phone for the Chinese market. The ET600 is a Pocket PC using the Professional edition of WM6, but is otherwise relatively standard, featuring 64MB of RAM, 128MB of ROM, a two-megapixel camera and a microSD slot. Connection options appear to be relatively limited however, since while it does have Bluetooth, it's a tri-band GSM phone with no sign of broadband or 802.11 WiFi. Though the phone may make an appearance in other Asian countries, it's unlikely to arrive in North America. [via mobile.163.com]
Dedicated Blu-Ray movie players have reached the $500 price level for the first time, an online listing has revealed. Amazon is now selling the Samsung BD-P1000 for $500, undercutting the official $900 price by a wide margin for the 1080p-native device. The Samsung unit is also the first to match the price of the previous record-setter, Sony's PlayStation 3, which currently sells at a loss to compete with Microsoft's Xbox 360.
Word of the cut arrives just a day after news of Toshiba HD DVD price drops, prompting speculation that the rival disc formats are beginning a new price war to maintain their hold. HD DVD has recently been struggling as the PlayStation 3 has spurred relatively higher numbers of Blu-Ray movie sales. [via TG Daily]
MSI has unveiled a new series of notebooks it hopes will win based on style. The 12-inch, widescreen S262 YA stands out with the choice of multiple colors for the lid: Aegean Sea Blue, Fresh Grass Green, and Marguerite Rose Pink are some of the options, the system builder says. The updated S262 also comes standard with a Core 2 Duo, a DVD rewriter, and a 3-in-1 card reader but weighs only 4.4 pounds due to its small stature, MSI points out.
Exact pricing depends on the configuration and country; however, it should be available soon in many of the regions MSI serves, potentially including the US. [via PC Launches]
A poster to Esato claims to have acquired pictures and specifications for a new Sony Ericsson phone. If real, the phone is either the W890i or the W910i, and is a slim slider with a two-megapixel autofocus camera. The design is also reported to share the metallic style of the W880i, which should arrive in North America by the middle of 2007. 3G and non-3G versions may be available, which (if again true) would likely be to cater to markets where broadband services are inadequate. No other details are available -- click below for larger photos. [via SlashPhone]
Motorola is the prime candidate for buying Palm, an anonymous investor in the Treo manufacturer said on Wednesday. The source claimed that Motorola was now leading the pack of four companies that had been previously been competing to buy Palm, and confirmed that the former could be ready to announce a $2 billion deal as soon as Thursday.
Although Nokia had reportedly been leading the bids in recent days, the shareholder said, both Motorola and Palm have realized that they both stand to gain from a merger by fending off major competitors, singling out Apple as Palm's greatest fear.
Skype has discovered a relatively untapped ruling that could force cellphone manufacturers and carriers to open up their devices to voice over IP and other software, according to a report from yesterday's Von Show. A petition made by the software developer to the FCC points to a 1968 ruling which allowed a radio device named the Carterfone to link a two-way radio to the phone network. The legal decision set a precedent which ultimately allowed dial-up Internet access and fax machines to be used on phone networks regardless of the exact owner.
No company has so far taken advantage of this freedom for services on cellphones, Skype said, arguing that the habit of Verizon and other US carriers locking out third-party sofwtware was no different than blocking specific TV models from watching a given program.
Danger is creating a messaging-focused version of the Sidekick phone for T-Mobile, according to new details. To be called the Sidekick ID, the device will drop hardware unrelated to its core abilities: Bluetooth, a digital camera, and the microSD card slot used to store music and images will disappear for the sake of pricing.
The ID will still maintain much of the top-end Sidekick 3's advancements, the source says. Beyond the version 3's trackball, the budget Sidekick should have improved software and will be preloaded with T-Mobile's myFaves for reaching favorite contacts. Crucially, the price should be half that of the full Sidekick, shipping for $150 with a two-year plan when it becomes available in the spring. The full image is available after the jump. [via CrunchGear]
AMD (formerly ATI) has substantially improved its upcoming next-generation Radeon card, according to a set of new photos and tests. Photos have surfaced showing that the R600, to be known as the Radeon X2900 XTX, will no longer need the extra-long board seen in earlier leak while still containing 1GB of memory and an 800MHz core speed.
The card is also faster than NVIDIA's GeForce 8800 despite its unfinished software drivers, the leak reveals. Using 3DMark 06, testers have successfully reached a score of 9700, edging out the more refined GeForce 8800 GTX by 200 points. While pricing remains unknown, the new Radeon is expected to ship in small numbers by mid-April (possibly in time for the Mac Pro) with larger quantities arriving in May. More photos can be found after the break. [via VR-Zone]
AV specialist Monster has launched a series of cables specifically targeted at the newly-shipped Apple TV. While not functionally different from most cables, the iTV series does use a gray-on-white motif, and supports all the ports an Apple TV dock can use, which includes component and HDMI 1.3 video, as well as analog and fiber-optic sound outputs. Each product also has a Duraflex protective jacket, and in the case of the fiber-optic cable, an inner jacket said to reduce disruptive internal reflections. The other cables use contacts plated with 24-karat gold. The HDMI cable is the most expensive at $60; the component cable is $40, while the audio cables are priced at $30 for fiber-optics and $25 for analog.
Pharos has finally begun selling its first smartphone, the PTL600. First announced in January, the phone is notable for focusing primarily on its GPS functions, since it includes a SiRFStar III receiver, and millions of points of interest preloaded in its software. Owners can even get directions to Outlook contacts. The phone is also loaded with mobile versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, among other Microsoft applications, and can use its microSD slot to load music and videos.
Rounding out the hardware is an FM tuner, EDGE broadband, a two-megapixel camera, and wireless in the form of Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11b/g. Pharos is also selling another version of the 600 called the 600E, which is different only in that it contains no GPS software, requiring buyers to find their own. Newegg is selling the 600 for $700, and the 600E for $540. [via Ubergizmo]
Apple is planning far more than just the introduction of new creative software at its NAB event, according to T3. The publication cites a well-placed source who claims that the Mac creator will introduce not only an expected upgrade to Final Cut Studio but also the hardware and operating system that will take advantage of its technology. Both Mac OS X Leopard and an eight-core Mac Pro will make their official debut at the April 15th presentation, the informant says.
Although unverified, the information correlates with earlier revelations. Apple's UK branch recently leaked Mac Pro details on its website, and PiperJaffray analyst Gene Munster recently estimated Leopard's release during the same mid-April window. No mention was made of whether Final Cut Studio would see a benefit from the new OS X update.
Console gadget maker SplitFish today aimed at gamers making the transition from PCs to the PlayStation 3 with its freshly announced FragFX game controller. The USB-based controller splits up the traditional gamepad design into a mouse and wand combination. A mouse on the right-hand side helps with aiming in first-person shooters such as Resistance and has the familiar PlayStation buttons on its side for those games that require them. Switchable sensitivity lets it dial down movement speed for precise movement.
Transcend is shipping the JetFlash 2A, a USB 2.0 flash drive with the unusually large maximum capacity of 16GB. Transcend estimates that this is enough to hold roughly 4,000 songs or 150,000 photos. Aside from being compatible with Windows Vista's ReadyBoost feature, the drive also comes with Transcend's JetFlash elite software, which enables options such as AES encryption and automatic data backup. Amazon is selling the 16GB version for $224. [via Shiny Shiny]
Ultra-mobile PC specialist TabletKiosk has unveiled the TufTab, a UMPC hardened against the conditions often found in construction work or simply by everyday users who regularly travel with the handheld. The rubberized case is resistant to dust, rain, and vibration and includes a fingerprint reader for security-conscious owners.
A single model will be available, the company says. The v7112XT will emphasize longevity with a 1.2GHz ultra-low voltage Via C7 processor and 1GB of RAM to reduce disk access. A 40GB hard drive and 802.11g Wi-Fi are also built-in. TabletKiosk hopes to ship in mid-April at a base $1,699 price with Windows XP. Choosing openSUSE Linux, a relatively rare option for UMPCs, drops the price by $75.
The new DVR Xpander by Apricorn is an option for people who find their DVRs filling up too quickly. By attaching and formatting an Xpander, users can add up to 500GB of storage, amounting to 280 hours of standard-definition programming or 60 hours of high-definition programming. This amount is roughly halved with the less expensive 250GB version. While the Xpander is not compatible with every DVR unit, it should operate with any DVR that has an eSATA port, such as the TiVo Series 3, or the Scientific Atlanta 8300 -- commonly issued by Cox and Time Warner. The 250GB Xpander is on sale for $129, while the 500GB disc is $199.
Dell on Wednesday introduced a brand new desktop PC, the EC280. The computer is the first to result from the company's Global Consumer initiative and is geared towards the Chinese market, where many are buying computers for the first time: the system ships with Windows XP Home instead of Vista, and uses a 1.2GHz Celeron M to reduce the cost and trim both the cost and case size to a minimum.
A base system with currently ships for the equivalent of $336 but includes 512MB of RAM, an 80GB hard drive, and a DVD reader; a $388 version halves the storage and memory but includes a 17" CRT. Either can be ordered today and ships by March 23rd.
LG this morning added to its rapidly expanding Shine phone lineup with two models for avid TV viewers. Both the Shine TV and Shine Folder TV add support for Korea's homegrown T-DMB standard for watching digital broadcasts on the road; each stows a compact aerial inside its body but keeps its earlier dimensions. The two also feature the same 2-megapixel camera and 2.2-inch main display of the original, with the Folder also gaining a 1.1-inch external LCD.
Click through for added details and a larger shot of the Shine TV Folder.
InfoSonics today unwrapped its verykool cellphone range. Made by Korea's VK Mobile, the line is built for GSM networks in the Americas and almost all center around music and other media playback. Topping the line is the i700 (shown): the slider design packs dedicated music controls below its 2.2-inch screen and packs a 2-megapixel camera as well as 32MB of free internal memory with room for more through microSD cards.
More details and photos follow after the jump.
NEC has quietly introduced its LCD2470WNX display for performance and pro users. The 24-inch screen is one of NEC's first to handle HDCP encryption for protected videos and has passed certification for Vista. The display maker also touts an extremely flexible stand that both pivots the display for portrait mode and adjusts for angle and height. A thin bezel also helps the 2470WNX fit into multi-display setups.
The screen itself is said to have strong performance, with a 1,000:1 contrast ratio and a 6ms response time. A special dynamic video mode automatically adjusts color for different programs to help artists and video editors. NEC further equips the 2740WNX with DVI/VGA inputs and a USB hub, and lists the display as available now for $820 in black or silver.
T-Mobile today officially ended speculation by carrying the RIZR Z3. The release comes more than a week after an expected mid-March product launch revealed in a leak, but otherwise confirms that the phone will arrive with all features intact: a 2-megapixel camera, a microSD card slot, and Bluetooth with stereo audio suppoort all come with the device. Specific to T-Mobile are support for its My Album quick link to the phone's media library and myFaves support for more easily calling friends.
Significantly, the T-Mobile version of the RIZR is not just the carrier's most advanced Motorola phone but also the first official use of the phone in North America. The handset reaches stores today for $100 with a two-year service plan or $250 by itself.
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