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One of the first companies to release faster Blu-Ray technology is Panasonic, which has announced its intention to produce 4x recordable Blu-Ray discs to accompany an upcoming computer drive. Most Blu-Ray technology is still rated at the default "1x" level; Panasonic's technology will allow writing at 144Mbps, enabling 1GB of data to be transferred in a single minute. Both 25 and 50GB formats will be available, and another touted advantage is a new film layer, which should reduce write errors by 90 percent by preventing the accumulation of dust. Exact prices and release dates are as yet unknown. [via CDRinf]
The winner of a Korean design contest sponsored by Intel and Samsung is the Egg, a PC designed more like a TV dinner tray than a conventional computer. Aside from fitting its keyboard underneath, the primary attraction is its modularity: to connect devices like a camera, disk drive or media player, users simply place them in divots on the top of the tray. High-speed wireless technology is used to transfer data.
Second place in the contest was the Turning Lamp, which is powered on by pulling a cord, and can switch between music, movie or general PC functions by rotating the 'lampshade' -- the computer itself. Another notable entry was B-Membrain, shaped like a wizard's hat, but actually fairly practical in that the cone is used to project the display. Photos can be seen by clicking below. [via AVING]
IP communications firm Brevisys today generated controversy with news of its upcoming deeda handhelds. Each of the company's three new devices not only shares the same philosophy of an exclusively touchscreen-based interface but shares similar features and clear visual cues inspired by the Apple phone's interface.
[digg this] The most obvious parallel is the Pi, according to even the company's own claims. A 3.6-inch, 800x480 touchscreen controls both a phone as well as Wi-Fi Internet access, music, and video on 8GB of flash storage.
Intel is teasing the media with hints about its new Mobile Internet Device (MID) platform, which will be unveiled more fully at tomorrow's Intel Developer Forum in Beijing. MID attempts to remedy problems currently plaguing the UMPC market, namely high prices -- while the computers may be less expensive than most laptops, their broad featuresets have kept them priced more in the range of business users, rather than home ones. Intel's strategy involves scaling the computer back: using an embedded version of Linux rather than Windows XP Tablet, and shrinking the screen to four to six inches. The proposed processor is a dual-core model running between 600 to 800MHz.
Nokia today revealed that it would be the latest to jump in with WiMAX support, according to a statement it made at the Web 2.0 Expo today. Although 3G and 3.5G wireless technology have only taken hold in Europe and North America within the past one to two years, the Finnish cellphone creator already plans devices will use the 4G-level WiMAX standard to help make its widgets, web browsers, and other tools work at real speeds of 2Mbps or more away from Wi-Fi hotspots.
No devices were named, but the first should be ready in early 2008 to coincide with Sprint's WiMAX network in the US and similar deployments around the world. Nokia joins Samsung and Motorola in supporting the Intel wireless standard.
The Leopard delay announced last week may be a sign of software development trouble for the iPhone, according to checks with component makers by research firm iSuppli. The group found that part suppliers are still slated to deliver the ingredients for the Apple device on time, suggesting that all the problems with the device rest with its software alone. Apple reportedly pushed the iPhone's release ahead slightly from the rumored June 11 launch to late June to overcome the difficulty.
"We're hearing it's mostly an issue with the complexity of the device," said iSuppli analyst Jagdish Rebello.
The Japanese branch of NEC has expanded its LaVie series of laptops with upgrades to four different lines. The most powerful of the group is the 15.4-inch LaVie C, which supports WXGA+ resolution, and can be configured with several high-end components including a Blu-Ray player, a 2GHz Core 2 Duo processor and a 512MB Radeon X1600 video card. An HDMI output is provided as well.
From there performance begins to drop dramatically, aiming at a more mainstream market. The L Advanced Type is limited to a 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo and Radeon Xpress 1250 graphics; the J falls to a 1GHz Core 2 Duo, and the L Basic Type uses a Celeron M430 or Sempron 3400+ CPU, combined with a Radeon Xpress 200M. NEC does not sell its LaVie systems in the United States, although they may presage changes in the company's overall strategy. [via Akihabara News]
Pioneer this afternoon upgraded its AVIC handheld GPS receiver with the AVIC-S2. Similar in some aspects to the 3.5-inch S1, the S2 adds a dedicated MP3 software player with a 10-band EQ for fine-tuning the music. The AV device maker also touts the S2 as a complete speakerphone replacement with Bluetooth, a microphone, and speaker saving the trouble of reaching for a cellphone to answer a call.
A 1GB SD card is bundled with the GPS system that stores complete maps of Canada and the US as well as 1.7 million points of interest. It should ship in late April at a price of $400.
The Nokia N800 is the latest device to support Orb Networks' MyCasting technology, following other products like the Sony Playstation 3. MyCasting allows remote access to media on a computer, such as photos, videos and music. Users can also watch live TV, and even control software DVR functions, playing the results as they become available. The service is free, only requiring a program download and access to a WiFi point. Nokia is demonstrating MyCasting at this week's Web 2.0 Expo.
Camera producer DXG this afternoon rolled out its latest union of multiple devices into one: the DXG-589V is both a VGA-resolution video recorder and a 5-megapixel still photo camera, but also has consciously PlayStation-influenced buttons that combine with a swiveling LCD to turn the handheld into a gaming system with the 20 2D and 3D games sharing space on SD cards with images. The 589V adds yet more features as a portable media center with MP3 audio and MPEG-4 video playback as well as the ability to capture analog video from sources beyond the camera itself.
This latest entry in DXG's line is shipping for $200 with a bundle of image and media editing tools. SD cards up to 2GB in size are optional.
G-Technology has announced a pair of external storage enclosures with extremely high capacities. Peak storage belongs to the G-Speed eS, which supports up to 4TB using 7200rpm SATA II drives, and has a 3Gbps interface. A four-lane PCIe adapter is included. Reflecting the target audience of media producers, the enclosure is capable of multistream 1080/60i workflows, including 10-bit, 1080i protected-mode playback using two units and a RAID 5 configuration. It is both Mac OS X and Windows XP compatible, and should ship in June for prices starting at $999.
Intel today released one of its few self-made PCs, this time focusing on pros and those with small businesses. The Intel Storage Server comes equipped either one or two Xeons -- including the quad-core Xeon 5300 -- making it one of the fastest two-unit rackable PCs available. The taller design also allows for major storage, topping out at a large 9TB of Serial ATA storage spread across a dozen drive bays. Eight RAM slots provide room for 16GB or more of memory despite the small size.
The server ships in a basic model without a hardware RAID controller for $2,800 with the choice of Linux or Windows; adding the RAID feature increases the price to $3,600. Both should be ready by May.
Gadget maker Atree was ambitious on Monday and revealed the UJ10. The device is not only one of the thinnest of its kind at 0.4 inches but boasts an extraordinary number of features for its size. Besides support for rarer audio standards such as OGG and a relatively large 2.2-inch LCD for MPEG-4 and WMV movies, the UJ10 also finds room for DMB mobile TV, an FM tuner, and voice recording.
The Korean firm expects to ship versions with 2GB and 4GB of flash memory in its home country at an unknown price, but is unlikely to release the media player outside of its home territory without removing DMB support.
Taking advantage of the ongoing NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) convention, Panasonic has revealed several pieces of pro video hardware, notably a collection of cameras. The AJ-HPX3000 is the new peak of the P2 range, costing $48,000, and being able to record 10-bit, 4:2:2 1080p video using three 2.2-megapixel CCD sensors. AVC-Intra support will come standard when the camera ships in September. Cheaper and more imminent is the AG-HPX500 (pictured), which only records up to 1080i, but supports 32 HD and SD formats and has four P2 card slots. Anywhere between 64 and 256 minutes can be recorded depending on the DVCPRO quality selected. The HPX500 will arrive in May for $14,000.
HaiVision Systems today announced that its OSCAR H.264 encoder now supports direct-to-QuickTime audio video streaming. The OSCAR is a compact H.264 MPEG-4 AVC encoder designed specifically for video streaming and IPTV applications that offers CIF, half resolution, and full resolution (SD or D1) encoding or decoding at up to 1.5Mbps. Users can direct the OSCAR to a QuickTime Streaming Server to accommodate a large number of unicast streams. Both the OSCAR encoder and decoder are already available, with the encoder priced at $3,700.
TomTom on Monday at last unveiled the ONE XL, an adaptation of its streamlined ONE with a wide 4.3-inch, 480x272 touchscreen to replace the standard 3.5-inch (320x240) display. The extra space is useful for both the extra visibility of GPS map details and for a new feature: the XL brings in support for RDS traffic alerts that tie into the map and help avoid congested spots during a drive. Bluetooth 2.0 for hands-free calls is built-in with extra support for TomTom's location-based Buddies system for spotting nearby friends on the road.
The device maker is planning a worldwide launch in May with the US release of the XL priced at $400, whicn includes preloaded maps of both Canada and the US.
ASUS today demonstrated its eagerness by prematurely revealing its first mid-range GeForce 8-series card on the web. Dubbed simply the EN8600GTS, the board will use NVIDIA's GeForce 8600 GTS chipset to bring all of the 8-series' features to a lower price, including 128-bit color and a unified shader model. A 675MHz core and 2GHz effective memory speed are confirmed by the news.
The particular card arriving from ASUS will carry 256MB of memory and dual DVI outputs with HDCP encryption for certain Blu-Ray and HD DVD movies. ASUS also promises bundled adapters for HDTVs and VGA displays, and optionally ships the card with a copy of Stalker. Pricing is unknown but should reach the $230 mark expected for the official release tomorrow, when the EN8600GTS and other cards should become available.
Though remaining a "coming soon" page on the SanDisk website, Amazon.com already has a listing for the Sansa Shaker, a forthcoming MP3 player. Little has been revealed, but it does mark a radical departure from other SanDisk players such as the Connect -- immediately noticeable is the shell, which is designed like a musical instrument, and has volume and track controls located on rings at the top and bottom. These may be operated by rotating the rings, rather than pushing buttons. Also unusual is inclusion of a built-in speaker on top, and an undisclosed "Shake" feature, possibly some form of playlist shuffle.
The player will go on sale sometime next month, coming in blue or pink colors, suggesting that children are its main audience. Memory will initially be limited to 512MB, but this can be expanded with an SD slot. A price of less than $50 is suggested. [via Anything But iPod]
Intel kicked off its Developer Forum this morning by discussing its upcoming 45-nanometer Core 2 Duo mobile processors. Based on the Penryn architecture due late this year, the smaller manufacturing process allows for processors that run cooler, faster, and for longer than today's 65nm chips. The design will also bring SSE4 vector extensions for better media performance as well as improved power-saving technology. Despite the collection of advancements, however, Microsoft says the technology is in such an advanced state that its dual-core version of the chip was demonstrated today in a working notebook.
Nokia today claimed to beat its rivals to an important release with the introduction of Widgets, its own approach to mini applications on its Symbian 60-based cellphones. Much as with the iPhone and its Mac OS X roots, the Nokia Widget solution uses a combination of Ajax and other web technology to provide single-purpose mini applications: a WeatherBug tracker monitors temperatures and weather radar, while others cover Amazon shopping, chat, and other common online tasks.
Although demonstrated today, Nokia's technology will reach third-party developers by the summer and should result in finished widgets for the N95 and other phones running the more advanced Symbian version.
Toshiba claimed to set records on Monday by launching its 200GB Portable External Drive. The storage figure is the highest ever achieved for a notebook-sized hard disk and can hold the entire media library of most users: Toshiba estimates as many as 52,000 songs or 88 DVD-quality movies. As with earlier storage, the 200GB model is bus-powered and comes with NTI Shadow backup software for automatically preserving files.
The 200GB black aluminum drive works with both Mac OS X Panther and Windows 2000 systems or later, and sells today for $230; Toshiba also sells lower storage capacities starting at 100GB for $130.
Sony launched its efforts at the NAB video expo today with the XDCAM EX, a new budget pro video camera that marks one of the company's first high-end cameras with movement-free storage. The new XDCAM records raw MPEG-2 video at up to 50Mbps 4:2:2 to flash memory by using the faster ExpressCard 34 format found in modern Mac and Windows notebooks. Sony's own SxS high-speed cards can store up to two hours of HD video on a 16GB card (8GB will also be available) that can then be transferred to a portable in the field. Video is recordable at a full 60Hz in either 1080i or 720p with 1080p possible at 30Hz or a film-grade 24Hz.
Hoping to add a level of luxury to one of its most popular cellphones, Nokia today launched the 8800 Sirocco Gold. Its whole body is plated in 18-carat gold with white gold highlights; taking a cue from its own Vertu line by coating the LCD in sapphire to make it almost entirely scratch-resistant. A matching Bluetooth earpiece and desk stand exist for those who want to complete the effect, Nokia says.
The Gold model carries the same hardware as other Sirocco Editions, with a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and 128MB of internal flash memory. The special edition ships now for 1,000 Euros ($1,337) in some of Nokia's key markets. Click through for a larger shot.
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