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A major change to the PlayStation 3 could come before the system is replaced, claims an anonymous contact within Sony. While the game console's Cell CPU and other core components remain intact, much of the device will change to fit the device into a home theater system. Its Blu-Ray drive's loading mechanism and output layout will change to integrate the PS3 with other components of a home theater; the adaptation could even include a change that puts the console at the heart of a home automation system, another Sony contact said. Regardless of exact hardware, the software is said to be changing to support output besides a TV alone.
AT&T is in the last stages of preparing demo booths for the iPhone that could dwarf many others, says a well-placed source. The store displays will be far larger than most at three feet wide and a full seven feet tall, guaranteeing that the Apple device will stand out versus many of the smaller and non-exclusive showfloor models. Each booth will also have exceptional power requirements, with a separate power supply instead of drawing on collective power adapters. The change is so great that stores will actually need to partially rewire their stores to accommodate the change, the tipster said.
Not to be left out of the growing number of notebook leaks, ASUS today had several of its portables revealed in advance of Intel's Santa Rosa platform announcement. The first systems to ship from the worldwide PC maker will cover the basic spectrum ranging from near-ultraportables to desktop class systems. At the start is the 13.3-inch W7S, which serves as the reference for performance in the company's lineup: though starting with a 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo using an 800MHz bus, the small widescreen PC will also have the yet unannounced 128MB GeForce Go 8400 for relatively fast video and 160GB for storage. It will be upgradable to as much as a 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo and 2GB of RAM.
US-based NuVision on Thursday sent out two new versions of its Deep Black LCD TV for those wanting full HD in a dedicated home theater. The company's 42-inch 42LCM1 and 47-inch 47LCM1 share the 1080p native resolution of many sets but are designed for higher-end home theater crowds. Each is unusually bright at 500cd/m2 for the 42-inch model and 600cd/m2 for the larger version. The figures keep each TV visible even in very bright rooms, says the TV designer. Also common to both and geared to the serious home theater audience is an in-house NiCO image processing engine for the namesake deeper blacks and an RS-232 port for linking the sets to a home automation system. Connection options include HDMI, component, S-video, and RCA hookups.
Acer will herald the launch of new processors from AMD and Intel with a completely new notebook design, the company revealed this week through a teaser page this week. Dubbed the Gemstone, the core design was developed with help from automaker BMW and replaces the old Aspire models. The shape, hinted at in the teaser, is intentionally curvy like sports cars and is dominated by the black shell that inspires its name. Although meant to suggest premium PCs, the shell means buyers "won't see a difference in price," according to Acer CEO J. T. Wang,
In contrast to reports from the likes of the Associated Press, the OLPC XO laptop may never have Windows preloaded, according to Software and Content president Walter Bender. Ars Technica is told there is currently no agreement for a Windows version of the computer, even one with Microsoft's $3 version of XP. The confusion may be attributable to Microsoft's participation in the OLPC developer program, which should see applications developed for the XO, but not necessarily an operating system.
Samsung has announced a successor to its F300 Ultra Music phone, known in the United States as the UpStage. The F308 is almost closer to a companion, as the key difference is a switch from CDMA to GSM, which is more broadly supported. The camera has also been upgraded from 1.3 megapixels to two, though, and other highlights include an FM radio, Bluetooth, and 100MB of internal memory. The phone of course retains the F300's primary feature, which is separate dialing and music controls on opposite sides, complete with their own displays. No pricing or distribution information is currently available. [via Mobile Whack]
Dell is readying two new notebooks based on AMD's new 65nm Turion 64 X2 processors, according to European suppliers. The 14- or 15.4-inch D531 and the exclusively 14-inch D631 will compare closely to the Intel-based D630 but use the lower-cost AMD chip to provide dual-core speed. The swap also provides the side benefit of the yet to be announced Radeon X1270: the new chip brings AMD-based systems up to par with the relatively fast integrated graphics of the Intel-oriented X1250.
Not be confused with the KE970, LG's new KU970 is expected to ship soon to Singapore and Australia, with Europe and other Asian countries to follow. The phone is a 3G slider equipped with HSDPA, enabling downloads as fast as 3.6Mbps. On the front is a VGA camera for video calls, and on the back is a two-megapixel still counterpart. It continues to have a mirrored 2.2-inch screen, and it will of course support Bluetooth and MP3 playback. Arrival in North America is likely far into the future, as LG has yet to introduce earlier Shines to the continent. Click through for a larger, more detailed photo. [via I4U News]
Completing its series of phone announcements for the developing world, Nokia on Thursday morning wrapped up with some of its lowest-cost phones ever. The 1200 and 1208 alike serve villages and other areas where even owning a cellphone by itself is difficult. Either phone shares the call timer from the 1650 for cost-sensitive owners as well as small phone carriers that may want to parcel out very basic phone plans. The two also have a multi-user phonebook that keeps separate contacts for up to five people; this lets whole families share a phone without mixing each other's phone lists, Nokia says.
Koobox, one of the few vendors specializing in home Linux systems, has just introduced its latest configurations. Designed to be strictly functional, the new Essential system is only equipped with a Celeron D 356 processor, with 256MB of RAM and an 80GB hard drive. The stock optical drive is just a CD-RW model, and if users don't already have a spare display, they'll have to buy a CRT or LCD of their own. It does however come with an optical mouse and 2W stereo speakers, as well as the OpenOffice productivity suite. The stripped-down Essential system costs $300; for $339, users get a DVD-RW drive, plus SurfSafe and VirusSafe for website blocking and anti-virus protection.
AMD today delivered a much-needed upgrade to its mobile Turion 64 X2 chips with the advent of new models built on a 65 nanometer process. The smaller CPU die lets the processors run cooler, consume less power, and also improve performance; the semiconductor firm hasn't released benchmarks but should be closer to Intel's Core architecture.
Also integral to the new chips is the M690 platform, AMD says. The mainboard chipset allows the updated Turion 64 X2 to enter a low-power mode named display cache that avoids accessing system memory, raising battery life to a full five hours. Systems using integrated graphics also get a boost with Radeon X1200 video built-in that can outperform Intel's current GMA 950 in games and Windows Vista's Aero Glass interface.
Continuing its launches for regions newer to cellphones, Nokia on Thursday unveiled three models for the more style-conscious. The 2505 (shown) is one of Nokia's rare CDMA models and is geared towards users in developing areas who care about a sense of style but need more essentialist features. The flip-phone's outer shell includes a quick flashlight for those regions where power isn't a certainty; it also has an FM radio for music instead of less prevalent digital music. Its etched keypad and completely smooth backing are alternately designed to make the phone easier to use and sleeker than normally crude entry phones, Nokia says. The 2505 should be ready for most of the world later in the spring with prices varying from country to country.
T-Mobile is claiming it will be the first in the United States to offer the Vista-influenced Windows Mobile 6 to its customers. Beginning on May 4th, owners of the carrier's Dash phone will be able to download the upgrade to their desktop, and in turn install it on top of Windows Mobile 5.0. The primary benefits will be Windows Live search and chat functionality, and better e-mail display, with all the graphics and HTML formatting allowed by a PC. All Dashes will be preloaded with Mobile 6 beginning in June.
Research in Motion today rolled out its first full-size, media-savvy phone in the form of the BlackBerry Curve. Also known as the 8300, the Curve picks up the same features as the Pearl but adds the full keyboard of the 8800. A 2-megapixel camera as well as an enhanced media jukebox and photo editing tool come preloaded on the smartphone. A full 3.5mm headphone jack lets headphones plug in without an adapter and tune into as much as 2GB of music on a microSD card.
Alltel is today boasting of having one of the thinnest phones available in the US: the Samsung Wafer, also known as the R510, has arrived and brings the style of the T-Mobile Trace to Alltel's CDMA network. Weighing only 2.7 ounces, the slim candybar phone still holds a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and a microSD slot for media storage. In Alltel form, it also brings the provider's widget-like Celltop layer for checking news, weather, and other data over EVDO broadband.
The Wafer sells for as little as $50 when paired with a $50 rebate and a two-year service plan; it can also be had outside of a contract for $240.
Creative today made clear its ambitions by introducing the Zen Stone, its first completely screenless music player and the first aimed at beating the second-generation iPod shuffle. Claiming to be even simpler than the Apple device, the Stone is loaded through drag-and-drop file transfers. It's also more intelligent, Creative says: the device can recognize folders and will let the owner skip between them to limit in-order or random play to a particular album or playlist. Music is supported in MP3, WMA, and WAV as well as Audible audiobooks.
Nokia this morning used a press event in New Delhi to roll out its new series entry phones, promising to deliver genuinely useful extras to countries that often go without. Two of the phones highlighting the launch are the 2760 (pictured) and 2630. Both include Bluetooth, a VGA camera, and an FM radio for music; the 2760's larger clamshell design also makes it possible to record video, a rarity in any phone of its class. The 2630 further stands out among handsets, says the company: the device is the thinnest ever Nokia phone, measuring just 0.39 inches deep and appealing to those looking for a truly sleek phone despite a lower budget.
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