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While not the zenith of desktop replacements, the new Zieo N500-HD laptop by Evesham contains impressive components. It runs on a 2.2GHz, T7500 Core 2 Duo processor, and has 2GB of DDR2 RAM, as well as 1GB of Intel Turbo Memory. The hard drive meanwhile is a 150GB 5,400rpm model, and the video card is Nvidia's newly-released GeForce 8600M GT, containing 512MB of video RAM. The 17-inch screen has a native resolution of 1680x1050.
Other highlights include (but are not limited to) Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, an ExpressCard slot and an HDMI port. Despite the system's name however, buyers cannot choose an HD optical drive, and are instead limited to a DVD writer. The N500 is now on sale, with configurations starting at £1,099 ($2,172). [via The Register]
Philips has provided an early glance at three new LCDs in its Ambilight series that showcase the company's expertise with lighting. The 42-inch 42PFL9832D, 47-inch 47PFL9732D, and 52-inch 52PFL7432D all share the company's trademark Ambilight system for dynamically changing colored lights behind the display to fit the mood in supporting movies. More important, the company notes, is a drastic change in the LCD panel. Each of the 1080p displays now refreshes at 120Hz for twice the responsiveness in action movies and games. LED backlighting is also new and cuts down power while also boosting color accuracy.
Samsung has patented technology pointing the way to a pair of future smartphones. According to diagrams submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office (click below), users may be able not only to slide out speakers or a QWERTY keyboard, but crane displays upwards for a more PC-like experience, even resting phones neatly on a desk. The concept is similar what was demonstrated in the YP-K5 music player, but with sharper angles that may make devices more convenient. Unfortunately for the public, as with most patents, there is no indication of if and/or when Samsung will bring its ideas to fruition. [via Unwired View]
The much-anticipated Nokia 8600 could drop as soon as Friday, based on a series of ads belonging to British cellphone shop Carphone Warehouse. Scheduled for a May 25th launch, the mid-range successor to the 8800 Sirocco is now labeled the Black Magic due to the mix of a smoked-glass cover with an "organic" light effect through the on-screen interface and the body of the phone itself. Additional details have also appeared that reveal 128MB of internal flash to back up the microSD slot. FM radio provides extra music beyond MP3s and other digital files.
Japanese outfit Buffalo has begun selling two new Blu-Ray drives, which are remarkable in several respects. The BRC-5125U2, for instance, is actually an external USB 2.0 drive, something virtually unseen in the realm of HD computer hardware. Both the U2 and the internal FBS-BK can also read single-layer BD discs at speeds of up to 5x, though this figure drops to 2x with double-layer discs. Meanwhile, the full plethora of CD and DVD discs (with the exception of DVD-ROM) can be burned at speeds ranging from 4x to 32x. The FBS-BK is 53,000 yen ($436), while the U2 is 63,700 yen ($524). [via Impress Watch]
Dell will wrap up the last of its Santa Rosa updates in the near future, a handful of escaped hardware details show. The M4300 Precision should become the PC builder's fastest portable workstation with a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, a maximum 4GB of memory, and unnamed dedicated graphics likely from AMD's FireGL or NVIDIA's Quadro platforms. Draft 802.11n and a finger print reader should also form the baseline.
The D630 ATG will also become available soon, say sources. This direct replacement for the semi-rugged D620 Latitude ATG will fit the newer 2GHz Core 2 Duo chip and start with a minimum 60GB hard drive and a DVD burner. While unconfirmed, its graphics will likely center around Intel's GMA X3100 as a substitute for the GMA 950.
Eizo today unveiled a trio of large LCDs targeting both the home and business crowds. Headlining the collection is the HD2451W. Reflected in its name, the 24-inch display focuses on receiving HD content: the screen is one of the first for computers that ships with dual HDMI inputs, allowing multiple sources such as HD DVD players or game consoles to connect and display at a native 1080p. Other sources can attach through a DVI port with HDCP encryption as well as VGA, RCA, and S-video. The display can de-interlace 1080i images while maintaining a contrast ratio as high as 3,000:1, Eizo says. Static contrast is measured at 1,000:1. Response times are said to be quick, averaging 6ms but never venturing beyond 16ms.
Two of the USA's largest general retailers will be the first to carry the new GE digital camera range, General Imaging revealed today. Three models are expected to reach both Kmart and Sears and will include special store-only versions of one model. The basic 7-megapixel A730 will be available to both companies in GE's glossy black, but the 8-megapixel A830 will be available in different colors depending on the store: a white version will appear only at Sears, while Kmart will sell the same camera in blue. A navy-tinted version of the ultra-compact, 7-megapixel G1 (pictured) will also reach Sears outlets.
Creative has joined the ranks of electronics makers with wireless streaming technology. The company's Xmod Wireless uses Wi-Fi to send audio to a matching receiver, connected to speakers or an amplifier up to 100 feet away; the difference with the Xmod is that it uses the 24-bit X-Fi "Crystalizer," which uncompresses music files to restore fidelity. Tracks can likewise have simulated surround-sound through Creative's CMSS-3D.
Critical for some users may be the ability to stream music hampered by DRM. Since the Xmod actually replaces a sound card instead of attaching to one, it is treated as legitimate output, and hence should work with music bought from sources such as iTunes. A remote allows users to control track selection without a direct line of sight. A kit with one Xmod and one receiver costs $200, but customers will soon be able to buy extra receivers separately.
Lenovo today posted a teaser page for a new, special edition for the company's higher-end ThinkPad portables. The ThinkPad Reserve Edition has received no details but implies the use of a leather-bound shell in its theme, much as ASUS has done with a handful of its own notebook models. The system is also likely to use a Santa Rosa-generation Core 2 Duo processor in the wake of the ThinkPad T61 and other recent systems upgraded to the faster chips. Its performance, while unknown, is expected to be stronger than the inexpensive and more accessible Xiang Olympics notebook.
Rounding out Pandora's announcements is the news that SanDisk will featuring the service on an original MP3 player, already developed to prototype form. The player is physically similar to the Wi-Fi-enabled Sansa Connect, and will also share the use of Zing, a service that allows downloading streamed tracks, as well as mixing them in with pre-existing local playlists. Still unknown is when the player will be out and at what cost, or even what sort of file storage it will use. Owners will most likely be able to buy tracks directly from the player, but this is unconfirmed. [via TechCrunch]
Meizu today said it was planning an exceptionally thin version of its M6 media player. Titled simply the M6se, the updated version would use newer processors, a thinner shell, and a thinner battery to reduce the thickness of the player to 7mm, or less than 0.28 inches -- roughly equaling the thickness of Apple's iPod nano despite the larger 2.4-inch LCD and the enhanced performance needed to decode movies as well as more demanding audio codecs such as OGG. Battery life is the only sacrifice, Meizu says, with the lithium-ion unit dropping from 700mAh to 500mAh.
Sony today revealed the imminent release of the 1.80 PlayStation 3 update, a firmware patch the console maker says will add several key features to the 7-month-old system. Highlighted in the announcements is HD upscaling of standard-definition content, according to the company. When using HDMI, owners will have the option of upsampling DVDs -- as well as PS1 and PS2 games -- to as high as the full 1080p resolution of some HDTV sets. The feature can improve the image quality of older sources and help them match the native size of most HDTV sets.
Global electronics maker Mio has launched its latest GPS unit, the C317, in South Korea. Though primarily intended for 2D and 3D GPS navigation using a SiRFstar III receiver, it also has a DMB TV tuner, which (through picture-in-picture) can be used to watch shows even while the navigation software is in use. The unit has a 4.3-inch touchscreen, and stores map data on 256MB of internal memory, or more through SD cards. A points-of-interest search engine can locate places based on the first few characters of a name. Shoppers can now buy the 317 for 349,000 won, or $375 US. [via AVING]
Japanese home products specialist has launched the SD Zabady, a digital audio player notable for one key reason: it is waterproof. It can safely be placed in a shower or next to a bathtub, as well as less risky environments, such as a kitchen sinktop. The Zabady has 128MB of internal memory, which is filled with MP3 and WMA files through a USB cable. Its name however comes from the SD slot, which adds up to 2GB of extra files. Three alkaline batteries supply power, and it should be available soon in black or silver for 15,750 yen ($130). [via Akihabara News]
EdgeCameras today revealed a series of new cameras made just for drivers and riders wanting to capture their travels in digital form. Every system includes an NTSC-resolution tube camera as well as a small DVR unit that records footage to SD cards; owners can also send media directly to a computer through a USB cable. Multiple systems also include custom mounts or storage, EdgeCameras says. While the basic EdgeCam100 sports basic attachments and is intended to record solely to Archos jukeboxes and other portable media players, the company also produces the EdgeCam 1000 with a crush-resistant and watertight shell for bikes and other off-road vehicles. A 1GB SD card is also included to record without relying on bulkier and shock-prone devices.
Another front in Pandora's integration offensive is home electronics, to which end it has formed a partnership with Sonos, makers of the Digital Music System. The hardware allows users to listen to Internet radio or digital music files anywhere in their house, through a main wireless relay and a series of sub-stations connected to speakers; Pandora will allow owners to create up to 100 custom radio stations using the Sonos Controller, selecting favorite songs and artists, and rating what comes on the air.
British communications giant BT and Sony on Wednesday announced a joint effort to turn the PlayStation Portable into a voice-over-Internet phone device. Using the handheld's existing Wi-Fi connection as well as the newly released Sony Go!Cam camera/microphone hybrid attachment for the region, owners will have the flexibility of calling PCs, other PSPs, and real-world cellphones or landlines. The service will at first work only through BT's public hotspots as well as user's home connections, according to the telecom firm, but should expand to distribute the necessary software to another 100 countries so that local providers can implement the same strategy.
Apple is likely planning one or more updates to its Mac line that will coincide with its upcoming WWDC event in San Francisco, says a new report from PiperJaffray analyst Gene Munster. The researcher expects at least the MacBook Pro to receive an update at the event, pointing to the unusually long wait for a replacement since the Core 2 Duo upgrade released last October.
"On average the pro-level laptops are updated every 182 days," Munster says. "And the current models were launched 209 days ago."
Sony's American editions of the next-generation VAIO BX have been revealed, courtesy of the business section of the company's website. The 14-inch, standard-ratio BX740 and 15.4-inch widescreen BX760 all use Intel's new processor platform with an 800MHz bus as well as improved GMA X3100 integrated graphics when not using dedicated video through AMD's Mobility Radeon HD 2300. Every model also ships with 802.11n Wi-Fi as well as a fingerprint reader for security; the BX740 alone, however, has the option of an internal EVDO adapter for connecting to Sprint's cellular Internet service.
Online music provider Pandora today announced multiple deals to land its radio streaming service on devices, including a key deal with Sprint. Subscribers to the cell service with both an EVDO data plan and a compatible phone will be able to create a customized Internet radio stream similar to Pandora's existing web-based service: searching for an artist or individual song can automatically generate radio with music from similar artists, guaranteeing that the selection will be relevant without requiring extensive editing. Listeners can also approve or reject songs as they reach the queue and can save stations directly from the phone rather than rely on their computer accounts.
The new 80GB PlayStation 3 is being considered as an option for the US, according to Sony Computer Entertainment's Satoshi Fukuoka. While the larger-capacity game system was previously said to have been an exclusive for Korea, the Sony spokesman noted that the US and other areas could see added storage if the market demands it.
"Increasing capacity for models is one of the options," Fukuoka said today. "We make such decisions depending on the needs of the market, and every country is different."
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