Panasonic on Thursday afternoon grew its fixed-install projector line by two with brighter, longer-lasting DLP models ideal for large rooms and theaters. Both the standard-ratio PT-D5700U and widescreen PT-D5100U swap in a new, AC-power lamp (versus the DC of earlier models) that puts out 6,000 lumens of brightness -- significantly more than their 5,000-lumen predecessors and about three times more than the average home projector. This in tandem with an improved 10-bit color processing technique also helps clean up HD video signals while sharpening them, Panasonic says. The change in current also has the side benefit of putting less stress on the electronics and ups the useful life of the lamps to 3,000 hours when using a darker, low-power mode.
Canadians can now have access to HSDPA-based 3G wireless through Rogers in several major cities, according to unofficial reports. Although the carrier has made no formal announcements of expanding its network beyond a Toronto debut, users in Calgary, Edmonton, London, Montreal, and Ottawa have all mentioned their phones detecting the presence of the networks in parts of the respective cities, indicating a build-out of the faster cellular Internet access beyond its original location. Signals can be intermittent and reveal that the upgrade is still in the early stages, subscribers say. Completion of the core network is expected in earnest by early 2008.
The online retailer CTI Miami has obtained information on a variety of upcoming HTC phones, which may be of particular interest to subscribers on CDMA networks. A notable example is the Vogue, which is a CDMA version of the Touch, often compared with the Apple iPhone for its large touchscreen and similar interface gestures. Also being converted is the Excalibur, which will become an upgraded model called the Iris (S640), complete with a two-megapixel camera, 256MB of ROM and assisted GPS.
Microsoft's share of the music player market is continuing to climb, according to preliminary details of a new study published by market researchers NPD. The group notes that the lone 30GB Zune held 11.3 percent of the US market for hard disk-based players in May, a modest but significant increase from the 9.9 percent seen in January. Reasons were not given but the increase in sales is widely believed to be the result of both special edition pink, red, and Halo 3 Zunes as well as store discounts over the course of the spring, which dropped prices to as low as $199 at some large retailers.
Microsoft can apply the multi-touch technology stemming from its Surface computer table even to notebook computers, the company has revealed in a demo video. Researchers at Microsoft's Cambridge, UK location have modified a standard Dell notebook to include infrared detectors behind the screen, achieving the same effect as the cameras in Surface without the associated size. The technology can apply the same dragging, pinching, and tapping motions and applies them to an otherwise standard Windows Vista install which still accepts normal input, researcher Steve Hodges demonstrates.
While phones designed in China tend to remain in that country, US carrier MetroPCS has decided to adopt the C88, created by ZTE and recently submitted to the FCC for approval. One unusual aspect is its aesthetics, which involve copious amounts of gloss on both the keypad and the exterior, unlike many other budget-level phones; similarly, its closed shape mimics the Motorola RAZR. The phone is also notable for storing unspecified media on microSD cards, and having a USB port to sync with a computer; a camera, two color displays and stereo Bluetooth round out known features. MetroPCS has not indicated when the C88 will be available for purchase. [via Phone Scoop]
Samsung today showcased a new addition to its Sens notebook line. The Q70 is based on Intel's Santa Rosa platform and shares in the faster Core 2 Duos using an 800MHz bus, 802.11n wireless, and GMA X3100 video in base models while staying small with a 13.3-inch screen; more advanced versions also pick up a GeForce 8400M graphics chipset. Its hybrid glossy black and brushed-metal shell also houses Bluetooth, a 6-in-1 card reader, and a DMB tuner for watching over-the-air digital shows.
Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) today unveiled its TuneStik with Remote, a combo wireless FM transmitter with an RF remote control for iPod playback and control in the car or anywhere an FM radio exists. The TuneStik features a 30-pin pass-through dock connector that enables users to combine the device with nearly any other iPod accessory, adding an RF remote with a 40-foot range and an FM transmitter to that accessory. The TuneStik snaps on to the iPod dock connector, enabling users to find a frequency on an FM stereo to match that of the iPod using the TuneStik remote control. The device offers four programmable presets, and syncs as well as charges the iPod. The TuneStik with Remote is priced at $60, and works with any dockable iPod model.
Quietly releasing its new card simultaneously with the Tesla platform, NVIDIA today added a new budget card to its home-friendly GeForce 8 series. The GeForce 8400 GS drops the price of entry to the more advanced unified shader graphics of the line by sharing the 16 shader processors, 450MHz core clock speed, and 800MHz (effective) DDR2 memory of the GeForce 8500 GT but halving the bandwidth to a 64-bit interface. While slower for 3D, the card includes NVIDIA's PureVideo HD for accelerating the entire HD video decoding process for Blu-Ray, HD DVD, and other videos encoded in H.264, MPEG-2, or VC-1. It also provides the full DirectX 10 support recommended for Windows Vista, NVIDIA says.
Samsung today refreshed one of its better-selling designs using modern components: the S480 is based on the E700 that has sold 10 million plus units worldwide but upgrades its look and feature set. In addition to large internal and external LCDs, the camera steps up to 1.3 megapixels and is accompanied by Bluetooth as well as an MP3 player for music. The flip phone is also equipped with thoroughly modern wireless, linking to the Internet through EVDO and making wireless payments through supporting networks.
iRiver on Thursday teased with information about the W10, its unique blend of Internet and media jukebox functions first mentioned at at CES this year. The pocketable handheld brings familiar media player functions to the table such as MP3/WMA audio, MPEG-4/WMV video, and an FM radio tuner; courtesy of Wi-Fi, however, it also shares Internet access and uses a specialized positioning system to simulate GPS mapping by judging the location relative to Wi-Fi hotspots. New in the updated page is mention of voice over IP; the 3-inch touchscreen uses an interface similar to the iPhone's for calling and taking messages, according to iRiver.
Japan's Sotec Direct has launched the DS3040, a new compact PC. Its tower is so small, in fact, that it is not much larger than many "thin client" computers. Cost is another advantage; with a 17-inch LCD, it can cost just 74,800 yen ($605). Base specifications include a 2.66GHz Celeron D processor with 512MB of RAM, along with an 80GB hard drive and a DVD combo drive. Video is supplied through an intergrated Intel chipset.
The default operating system is Windows Vista Home Basic, but buyers can upgrade to Home Premium, or downgrade to XP Home; similarly, the display can be swapped with a 19-inch model. Running until June 28th is a free offer to upgrade the hard drive from 80 to 160GB. [via Impress Watch]
Sky, the Korean high-end division of Pantech, has announced a new slider phone called the TV IM-S230. Key to its appeal are three features: the first is a minimalist yet luxurious aesthetic, concentrated on an elaborate metal direction pad. The S230 is also conspicuously thin for a slider, measuring less than 0.4 inches thick even when closed. Lastly, it has a DMB TV tuner, which is not common in Korean sliders of the same general shape. Other hardware advantages include a 2.2-inch screen and a 1.3-megapixel camera; software features include MP3 playback, a document viewer, and an electronic dictionary. Given the phone's branding, it is unlikely to leave Asia. [via Akihabara News]
Matching its camera releases, HP on Thursday expanded its Photosmart printers with two photo-oriented models and a full all-in-one unit. The D7260 and D7460 draw on six inks to print a 4-inch by 6-inch photo at full quality as quickly as 10 seconds, HP estimates. Standard images can also print at a rate of 34 pages per minute in black and white and only slightly slower at 33 pages per minute in color. Each also has a 3.5-inch touchscreen for basic PC-free image editing and a multi-format card reader for loading photos directly from a camera. The D7260 ships in August for $149; the premium D7460 adds Ethernet and wireless networking and launches at the same time for $179.
Apple may use power adapters to help prevent the theft of portable devices, a patent granted today shows. The company has developed a concept which would selectively disable the power adapter for an iPhone, iPod, MacBook, or similar hardware when it becomes clear that the device is no longer being used with permission, forcing the battery to run dry or limiting device functions themselves until certain conditions are met. Triggers could be as simple as a timer but could also include more complex situations such as wandering outside of a set geographical area, according to Apple. The power supply could also be set only to work with a general device class or even the system that originally came with the adapter, Apple says.
NVIDIA today added a third desktop graphics series to its lineup. The Tesla is the first graphics chipset explicitly built for both graphics and high intensity, general-purpose computing. Programs written for the chip maker's CUDA software platform can not only use its 3D performance (drawn from the GeForce 8800 and Quadro FX 5600) but also repurpose the shader processors for advanced math. The massively parallel nature leads to tremendous gains in performance compared to regular CPUs, NVIDIA claims: in science, calculations have seen speed boosts from a relatively small 45X to as much as 415X in processing MRI scans for hospitals. Increases such as this can mean the difference between using a single system and a whole computer cluster to do the same work, the company adds.
HP kicked off its summer on Thursday by launching several new Photosmart point-and-shoot cameras, including one with the largest touch interface to date. The 8-megapixel R937 (pictured) is controlled chiefly through a very large 3.6-inch touchscreen that helps edit and sort photos before they leave the camera; owners using the camera with Windows Vista or other photo editing tools can tag photos with keywords. On-camera editing also provides for slimming, spot removal, and red-eye correction, HP says. The camera comes with 3X optical zoom as well as digital anti-blur adjustment, and should be available in August for $300.
Sling Media today launched a new upgrade to SlingPlayer Mobile that adds support for Windows Mobile 6, letting upgraders and more recent cellphones such as the HTC Mogul stream TV from a Slingbox to their handheld over an Internet connection. Beyond the compatibility boost, the pocket player also gains some functional improvements, the company says: more devices are controllable from phones, while the remote control has also seen a visual refresh. Users of the British version also get a customized language and channel logos.
Creative Technology today introduced its Creative ZEN Stone MP3 Plus player, a featherweight 2GB MP3 player with FM radio, a clock and stopwatch, voice recording and more. The company, which also debuted a complementary portable speaker system, claims the new 2GB player can store up to 1,000 songs and that it offers a battery life of up to 9.5 hours. Like the Creative ZEN Stone, the Creative ZEN Stone Plus comes in six high-gloss colors: black, white, red, blue, pink and green, and features a smooth contoured design, so "it feels naturally comfortable in your hand."
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