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Product designer Matthias Lange has revealed a new design that he hopes will solve some of the more common problems with carring digital jukeboxes. The Pocket Player gently curves the entire shell to make sure the device fits comfortably around the leg while on the move, and to prevent cracks or other stress while the wearer sits. Controls and the LCD are also placed on the top to make them both accessible and visible without having to fish the player out of its hiding place.
Currently just a concept, the Pocket Player is being pitched by Lange as the latest entry in his portfolio and may see a release in the next few years from interested companies. [via Gizmodo]
Samsung today updated one of its most unique computer LCDs. The dynamic contrast ratio of the CX971P now jumps from 1,500:1 to a much stronger 4,000:1, making it a better choice for artists as well as movie watchers and others who depend on truer colors. The change doesn't affect the rest of the design, Samsung says. The display still uses the company's trademark MagicRotation feature to adjust not just elevation and tilt but also the diagonal angle. The S-shaped stand also helps eliminate the clutter of a separate power supply.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs today in an open letter to the public revealed that the Cupertino-based company is aiming to unveil its first Macs with LED backlight technology some time this year, confirming reports from earlier this year. LCD displays with LED backlighting consume less power, provide better color uniformity, make for a thinner design, and negate the need to include Mercury in the manufacturing process. "We plan to introduce our first Macs with LED backlight technology in 2007," Jobs wrote. "Our ability to completely eliminate fluorescent lamps in all of our displays depends on how fast the LCD industry can transition to LED backlighting for larger displays." The announcement foretells of liquid crystal displays with lower power consumption, improved color uniformity, and thinner LCD designs that should fit nicely into Apple's goals as an innovative company that produces some of the most competitive devices on the market. [corrected]
Toshiba is also contemplating installing Linux on its systems, Toshiba Italy computer division manager Luigi Cattaneo has revealed. The executive told the business paper Il Sole 24 Ore that the only way to compete against Acer and HP, which together own more than half the Italian market, was to sell notebooks below 500 Euros ($680) -- necessitating Linux, which is nearly free to use compared to Windows.
"The corporation is seriously discussing this, and we're carefully evaluating the option," a translation of Cattaneo's comments reads. "We don't want the door to close in our face if a business upgrades [to Linux] and we can't do it."
One of the first truly portable options for 4G mobile Internet was approved by the FCC this week, Internet provider Clearwire has announced. The company revealed that a new Motorola-made WiMAX card in the latter's wi4 Expedience line has been certified for use in the US, letting owners of notebooks with PC Card slots connect at up to 1.5Mbps in real-world speeds anywhere Clearwire operates. The design doesn't require a direct line of sight to the wireless tower and means subscribers can genuinely roam rather than stay tied to a bulky external modem, the company says.
Vonage fought back against Verizon late yesterday, arguing that a US appeals court should "vacate and remand" an earlier ruling in favor of the latter provider that would have shut out Vonage's Internet phone service from using any of Verizon's networks.
The sudden change was triggered by a critical patent decision on Monday, Vonage said. A US Supreme Court ruling over a car's gas pedal has set what could become a crucial legal precedent by blocking patents for "obvious" evolutions of an existing design, forcing inventors to focus on truly original leaps in technology.
Memory specialist Lexar has released its new ExpressCard SSD (solid-state) drives made for convenient backup and memory expansion on laptops with ExpressCard 34 slots, such as the MacBook Pro. Unlike most flash drives, each of the storage cards ships with automatic backup software, allowing specific files and folders to be copied on a daily, weekly or monthly timetable. The software can also recognize multiple computers and will only copy based on the settings unique to a computer's particular ID. Compatible with Mac OS X, Windows Vista users will also be able to treat the drives as removable ReadyBoost caches for increased system performance in place of normal storage. Models with 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB of space are said to be available today with the former two being priced at $130 and $200; no price has yet been listed for the 16GB product. [via DailyTech]
More concrete details about Dell's upcoming Latitude D630 have surfaced, European resellers say. The 14-inch notebook will be based on Intel's upcoming Santa Rosa with the attendant faster system bus and integrated graphics, claim sources, but should also function as a showcase for the latest in other technology. In addition to the solid-state drive option released in April, the portable should also have the option of hybrid hard drives with a flash-based cache for cutting down boot times and overall responsiveness. Faster 802.11n Wi-Fi will be an option along with expansion up to 4GB of RAM.
Attempting to wedge its way into the home computer market, Pioneer is preparing the BDC-2202 (not pictured), a new Blu-Ray computer drive. Due for release in June, the primary draw will be its price: $299, substantially less than many other Blu-Ray drives, which are often sold for $500-700. This also slips it under the psychologically important $300 barrier. Sacrifices have been made however, as while it can burn CDs and DVDs, it is unable to burn any sort of Blu-Ray media. Blu-Ray reading speeds are listed at 5x for regular BD-ROM/R/RE discs, and 2x for double-layer formats.
Wholesaler ComputersPlus has secured four new ASUS laptops (not pictured) to sell to vendors; the interesting point is that they are based on Intel's "Santa Rosa" platform, which has only just begun to be adopted by third parties. The two most attractive systems are likely to be the S62E and the S96S, which are 14.1- and 15.4-inch systems, using new Core 2 Duo processors rated at 2.0, 2.2 or 2.4GHz. More importantly, front-side bus speeds have been raised for Santa Rosa from 667MHz to 800MHz.
Creative stirred interest ing its flagging Zen music players late yesterday by hinting at a major update to its Zen music player line. The company's US president Craig McHugh garnered attention during a financial conference call by maintaing an unusual level of secrecy around the company's future players, breaking the company's typically very open policy.
"We do have something very exciting coming in the MP3 area," he said. "[But] we wanted to wait for the press release and the global launch."
The sizable European carrier O2 has secured an exclusive on an HTC phone design, which under O2's purvue will be known as the XDA Argon. Its main highlight, aside from smooth aesthetics, is an unusually large QVGA screen, measuring 3.5 inches. The phone is otherwise fairly standard, having features such as Bluetooth, WiFi, 64MB of RAM and a two-megapixel camera.
It is in fact sub-standard in some respects, since it is a tri-band GSM phone with no broadband, and it comes loaded with Windows Mobile 5 rather than 6. The screen is likewise limited to 65,536 colors. These tradeoffs do save some money however, as the price tops out at £100 ($200) without a contract. The design exclusive expires in July. [via The Register]
Digg.com has been at the center of a backlash, according to the company's co-founder Kevin Rose. The voting-based news site started a controversy when posts were made linking to Boing Boing's posting hexadecimal code for the AACS decryption key used by HD DVDs, which effectively allows programs to play the normally protected movie format. The company initially tried to suppress the submissions by deleting posts and associated comments, citing requests by intellectual property holders to take the information down or else risk legal action.
Haier, better known in the United States for its refrigerators, has announced two new laptops for South Korea. Both are intended to fairly compact budget systems, but they are not without some performance. The 13.3-inch T31G, for instance, uses a 1.73GHz Core 2 Duo processor, and a 128MB GeForce Go 7400 for video. It also has a 1.3-megapixel webcam and 802.11a/b/g wireless. There are three main limitations to the system: it only has an 80GB hard drive, plus 512MB of RAM, and an optical drive which can read DVDs, but not burn them. It does however burn CDs.
The company's other laptop is the W18 (pictured), which has virtually identical specifications, but differs in a couple of key respects. Its screen is measured at 12.1 inches -- and despite its smaller size, it ironically has a larger hard drive, holding 120GB. Prices and release dates were not available at press time.
Quickly following last month's news of the GeForce 8600, NVIDIA today unveiled the GeForce 8800 Ultra as the new flagship in its video card line. The official release confirms earlier specs with higher clock speeds across the board compared to the earlier 8800 GTX. Memory speed jumps the most from 1.8 to 2.16GHz for extra bandwidth; the internal shader processors also step up from 1350MHz to 1500MHz while the core increases from 575MHz to 612MHz. The increases mean a performance boost of about 10 to 15 percent compared to the earlier top-end card, NVIDIA says.
Memorex this morning launched its TravelDrive 2007 of flash drives. The new edition takes its cue from jack-knives with a swiveling design that keeps the storage safe; when closed, the memory sits in a soft-feel outer shell that provides an extra layer of protection. The memory portion is also given a metallic color to help sort multiple flash drives visually rather than by text labels, as well as a wrap-around LED to prevent removing the drive while it sends data.
Speaker creator Altec-Lansing on Wednesday released the inMotion iMV712, a new speaker dock for the iPod that transforms into a small-scale home theater. Owners of the fifth-generation Apple music player can play videos on a large, 8.5-inch LCD embedded in the front of the system. Any Dock Connector iPod can take advantage of an enhanced sound stage, says the company. A four-inch subwoofer enhances the bass reponse compared to most speaker docks; the three-inch satellites also use Altec-Lansing's Sound Field Expander technology to widen the typically narrow stereo effect of all-in-one units.
Early information about HP notebooks based on Intel's Santa Rosa architecture has been leaked, courtesy of the company's own product pages. All three of the company's main entertainment PCs, including the 17-inch dv9000 as well as the dv6000 and dv2000 (PDF), will have the choice of either the 1.8GHz or 2GHZ new-generation Core 2 Duo, complete with an 800MHz system bus and faster Intel X3100 graphics for those models that don't use dedicated video chipsets; the dv2000 will also have the option of a legacy 1.67GHz Core 2 Duo for the sake of the 14-inch system's price.
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