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Showing at the Automotive Engineering Exposition, Toshiba has revealed two new technologies which may soon find their way into commercial products. The biggest of the two may be a car-based HD DVD player, the first of its kind, developed in conjunction with Alpine. The few facts known about it include the existence of a working prototype which is large in girth, and that a public release should happen sometime in 2008.
The second technology is a unique LCD display that integrates an optical sensor for each pixel. This means that rather than relying on standard touch technology, it can be controlled by finger shadows during the day, or finger reflections when operated at night. The display also uses no film coating, improving cost, brightness and contrast. No timeframe has been set for commercial use, but Toshiba is reportedly eager to put the LCD into production. [via Tech-On]
Microsoft is already ahead of its shipment targets for the Zune, Microsoft Entertainment head Robbie Bach has revealed today in an interview. The executive noted that Microsoft has sold "a little over a million" of the 30GB players by late May, putting it ahead of the million-unit target set for June. Zunes also have a "pretty typical" attach rate per player for songs bought from the Zune Marketplace, Bach said, though the company hopes to expand its online shop beyond its traditional layout. He further hinted that the Zune's Wi-Fi could be used in the future for more than just Zune-to-Zune sharing after eventual software upgrades.
Although already contributing to Intel's Santa Rosa platform, BenQ is expanding its offerings through the Joybook S32. A compact laptop, its screen measures 13.3 inches, and it forsakes a dedicated graphics card for an integrated X3100 chipset. It also forsakes processor power, since the CPU is an 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo; as it is a Santa Rosa laptop however, it does benefit from an 800MHz front-side bus.
RAM can be configured between 512MB and 2GB, while the hard drive can be sized between 80 and 160GB; the optical drive can be either a 24x combo model or an 8x Super Multi. Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11a/g/n come standard. The S32 is being built in black and white, and should ship to Asia by the end of June. [via PC Joint]
Toshiba today introduced the Gigabeat Vx01 series, a new upgrade to its video-focused media player line but also one of the last devices to use Microsoft's Portable Media Center interface. The handheld sends off the interface quietly discontinued in 2006 by providing extra storage of 40GB and 80GB (versus 30GB and 60GB) for music and video, including protected WMA 10 and lossless WMA 9 tracks; it also includes a new 4-inch widescreen display with a full 16.7 million colors. Japan-only buyers also get the advantage of an improved 1Seg digital TV broadcast tuner with better reception and programming guides. Sound quality takes a step upwards through treble compensation, Toshiba says.
Verizon used its Memorial Day holiday to announce that the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition has begun shipping to its retail shops. The smartphone not only brings the 8800 design to Verizon's CDMA network but is also the provider's first device to support roaming on European and some other international networks thanks to a dual-band GSM radio; owners can subscribe to the carrier's $65 Global BlackBerry Service to also receive the device's trademark push e-mail anywhere they can connect to the service.
Dell plans a radical overhaul of the XPS M1210 notebook for its jump to Intel's Santa Rosa architecture, an anonymous tipster claims. The 12-inch gaming portable will not only rely on the faster CPU but should use GeForce 8400M video and will be one of the first Dell notebooks to support unified shaders in DirectX 10 or OpenGL. Ergonomic changes will be even greater, the source boasts. The use of LED backlighting will improve color and help slim the overall case design substantially. Other changes will bring the weight down from 4.4 to 4.0 pounds and introduce a slot-load DVD rewriter in place of the tray loader used today.
The iPhone is in everyday use by engineers, according to one Silicon Valley-area blogger. A visit to a local restaurant in the southern San Francisco Bay area caught an Apple employee using the device openly, browsing the web and taking photos with the 2-megapixel webcam; the employee readily admitted to being involved with the development team, according to the writer. Whether or not the device was still in a late testing phase was uncertain. The screen was nevertheless said "crystal clear" even from two feet away and was housed in a body identical to the model shown at Macworld in January.
Carphone Warehouse has begun selling the Nokia 8600, a new phone that translates the 8800 Sirocco's design to a mid-range device. As shown through early ads, the handset draws on the sliding keypad cover of the 8800 but uses a unique smoked glass shell that shows the keys underneath; predictions for the internals were also validated and very close to the higher-end model. A 2-megapixel camera, EDGE Internet access, and music playback either for MP3 files (through 128MB of onboard memory or microSD) as well as FM radio. Bluetooth with stereo support helps for wireless headphones and speakers.
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