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Japanese company Everex, which does have some North American presence, is preparing two potentially interesting StepNote laptops. The high-end model is the XT500J (pictured), a 17-inch system capable of resolutions up to 1440x900. It is powered by a 1.6GHz Turion 64 X2 processor, uses up to 4GB of RAM, and has a 256MB GeForce Go 7600 card for graphics. The computer is also equipped with Vista Home Premium, a DVD burner and a four-in-one card reader, but hard drive space is limited to 120GB. The cost should be 129,800 yen ($1,086).
Italians should now be able to buy a new, limited edition of Sony Ericsson's K800i phone. The device is now Ferrari-themed, and is clad in the car maker's familiar red-and-black scheme, with the iconic horse emblem stamped into the back. The phone is otherwise unchanged, sporting (in its Italian configuration) a dual-band GSM receiver with support for single-band UMTS. The central feature of the phone is its camera, which is a 3.2-megapixel autofocus unit with xenon flash. Other recent Ferrari-edition phones have included the Motorola RAZRmaxx V6 and the Vertu Ascent Ferrari 1947. This year marks the 60th anniversary of Ferrari. [via mobileblog.it]
Phone carrier O2 Germany has begun selling the Xda terra, the first shipping phone to be loaded with Windows Mobile 6 Professional. The terra is based on HTC's Herald design, and is a quad-band GSM phone with WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0, and EDGE broadband. A two-megapixel camera is onboard, and like its Mini S predecessor it should have a slide-out keyboard. With a two-year contract from O2 the phone costs €80 ($109); in O2 retail stores, it can be bought without contract for €520 ($707). [via the unwired]
NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce 8800 Ultra has had final details leaked that show close competition with the Radeon HD 2900 XTX, say sources. Set to make a 'soft' launch on May 2nd, as with the AMD-made card, the Ultra is now known to be largely a minor update meant to claim the performance crown from the rival chipmaker. Clock speeds will dictate the changes, according to claims. Memory will see the largest gain, jumping from 1.8GHz effective speed to a less restrictive 2.16GHz; the core, however, will only increase slightly from 575 to 612MHz. This may ultimately limit the gains to higher resolutions for users uncomfortable with overclocked GTX models.
The Japanese branch of Clarion is near launching the MAX9700DT, an extremely high-end GPS unit. Particularly important is its support for two digital TV formats: the 1Seg mobile format, and DMB-T for higher quality, where accessible. Should that not be enough, it also has DVD and MiniDisc players, SD and Memory Stick slots, and a 40GB hard drive which can be loaded with MP3, WMA and ATRAC files. iPods can be connected and controlled through the seven-inch touchscreen.
Actual navigation benefits from the rare feature of a first-person 3D view, complete with textured buildings in select regions. 2D windows provide overviews and guidance. The 9700DT will go on sale in June for 341,250 yen ($2,855). [via Tech.co.uk]
The iTunes Store may soon have multiple labels whose music goes without copy protection, according to an e-mail notice. A message reportedly sent to partners encourages interested music labels to speak with Apple about changing their offerings to a format without digital rights management, reflecting the changes prompted by the EMI deal early this month.
"Many of you have reached out to iTunes to find out how you can make your songs available higher quality and DRM-free," the note said. "Starting next month, iTunes will begin offering higher-quality, DRM-free music and DRM-free music videos to all customers."
Lenovo today gave an early look at a special notebook designed to commemorate Beijing's hosting of the 2008 Olympics. Known as the Xiang based on the 110-meter hurdle gold medal winner of the same name from the 2004 Athens event, the portable reflects the "Cloud of Promise" philosophy behind the computer builder's design for the official Olympic torch: the outer shell is covered in China's signature red, while both the inside and outside are decorated with swirling clouds.
Microsoft has unveiled the release of another exclusive version of the Zune. Referred to as the Adult Swim edition, a customized version of the player was used as a replacement for a conventional introduction to the animated TV network's new programming: rather than hold a central presentation, attendees at a New York City event were given the player preloaded with a main video presentation as well as full episodes of several new TV shows. Music and photos were also bundled in, said Adult Swim.
Microsoft is dealing with mixed blessings in its lineup, the company's latest quarterly financial results have shown. The three-month period ending in March was largely positive for the software developer, which saw its revenue jump 32 percent to $14.4 billion despite the typical seasonal slump. The change was in part expected due to the near-simultaneous launches of Windows Vista and Office 2007, which triggered a flurry of software and PC upgrades in January. However, the company added that even these new releases fared better than predicted -- suggesting that hints of poor sales were ill-founded.
Produced by Doa Korea, the Slim G4 may be one of the smallest mice ever devised. It is only 0.2 inches thick, and when extended, 3.7 inches long -- but it is able to collapse to half that length for travel, and stores inside a laptop's PC Card slot. Moreover, a spool underneath the mouse allows users to store the USB cable without taking up more space. Inside the mouse is an optical sensor; controls include two buttons and a touchpad in place of a scrollwheel. Four colors to choose from include blue, pink, ivory and silver. No pricing is immediately available. [via Akihabara News]
AT&T stepped further into the world of video calls today with the launch of the LG CU500v. Similar at first glance to the original phone with HSDPA for 3G wireless, the upgrade brings support for the American carrier's first attempt at live video calls, dubbed Video Share. The feature allows the 1.3-megapixel camera to deliver one-way live video that can alternate from user to user during a call. As before, the camera can also swivel for photography or recording video of the outside world.
Despite reports to the contrary, both Wal-Mart and Chinese manufacturer Fuh Yuan are now saying that no deal has been struck to flood the US with low-cost HD-DVD players. Although Wal-Mart's denials have been terse, a statement issued by Fuh Yuan suggests a misunderstanding; Wal-Mart merely wants to know if such a deal could could be struck, and at what cost and quantity. Thus Wal-Mart may still be planning to sell low-cost players in its stores, but possibly from a different manufacturer, and/or at more or less than $299. [via Ars Technica]
One of the other recent visitors to the US Patent Office is Intel, who have patented a technique for making flexible mobile displays. Two screens are used, with each pixel being represented by ring connecting the two sides. Particles inside the rings adjust the reflectivity (brightness) of the pixels through controlled magnets.
Intel's exact plans for technology are unknown -- while the company does make processors for cellphones and other mobile devices, it has never ventured into displays before, which suggests a desire for deeper involvement in the mobile realm. Flexible screens should allow for more rugged and/or stylized devices, less susceptible to breaking when dropped. [via Unwired View]
The One Laptop Per Child notebook (known as the XO) is seeing its price increase and its software support grow, the project's leader Nicholas Negroponte said today. The small portable, which was famously targeted at a $100 price per unit for developing countries, saw its price swell from an already higher $150 to $175 on Friday after component prices were factored in. The OLPC head hasn't explained the price increase but implied that component pricing was the culprit, suggesting that the price will ultimately reach the $100 goal in the next few years as components become cheaper over time.
The first Nokia 3G cellphone to arrive in North America is the N75, now at AT&T. Real-time video calls do not appear to be supported however, only video messages, plus the recording of locally-saved clips. The two-megapixel camera can of course do still images as well, and has 10x zoom in that regard, but only 8x for video. The 3G capabilities are only somewhat put into play when using Cingular Music and Video, since the phone can stream content instead of merely downloading. At full price the N75 costs $400; with a two-year contract and a mail-in rebate however, that price can be brought down to $200. [via Boy Genius Report]
Sony on Friday launched a surprise upgrade to its Cyber-shot S-series in the form of the S800. Despite its role as a point-and-shoot compact, the new camera's lens is capable of a genuine 6X optical zoom. This is the strongest ever for any compact Cyber-shot, Sony says. The lens is suitable for long-range shots as well as macro photography as close as 0.8 inches from the glass. Image resoluton is also a priority with an 8.1-megapixel sensor and a special ISO 1250 mode that can be forced for low-light shooting.
Apple is pushing one of its instrumental flash memory suppliers to the breaking point, according to contacts within the memory industry. Those said to be close to talks between the iPod maker and electronics giant Samsung claim that Apple has ordered an exceptionally large number of NAND flash memory chips from the South Korean firm that the sources claim should cover all iPod and iPhone models for the second half of the year.
BenQ has just announced the US release of the W500, its latest venture into home theater projectors. The three-LCD system can display a true 720p picture and has an HDMI input for accepting virtually any HD signal, including 1080p. The firm's trademark Hollywood Quality Video processing engine is also in place for removing per-pixel motion artifacts and improving the overall picture. BenQ claims a home theater-sized 1,100 lumens of brightness and a 5,000:1 contrast ratio at picture sizes up to 100 inches across. Analog video is covered with dual component, VGA, RCA, and S-video ports.
BenQ this morning released a new HDTV set as part of a larger move towards HD. The SH3741 is the company's second 37-inch set with a full HD, 1080p resolution but with a faster 6ms pixel response for action scenes. It also manages a static 1,500:1 contrast ratio but has dynamic gamma adjustment to highlight details without sacrificing blacks and more obvious high-contrast scenes. Dual HDMI and component input jacks handle HD up to the full 1080p resolution; VGA connects the display with PCs.
The Taiwan arm of BenQ is shipping the SH3741 today for the equivalent of $1,500 US, and should be available in other areas soon. A US release is less likely.
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