News Archive for 07/06/28

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Sanyo Katana DLX surfaces on Sprint site

06/28, 4:30pm

Sanyo Katana DLX Leak

A sequel to Sanyo's well-known Katana flip-phone is real and close at hand, a leak on Sprint's own developer site shows. Virtually complete, the handset should be at least as slender and will have all the staple features expected of a mid-range phone, including a camera with still and video capture support, Bluetooth, and EVDO mobile broadband. Media playback support should be broad with AAC audio and H.264 video joining more typical MP3, MPEG-4, and other formats. The now standard microSD card slot should be accompanied by 96MB of internal flash.

Sprint carries globetrotting BlackBerry 8830

06/28, 3:50pm

BlackBerry 8830 at Sprint

Sprint on Thursday revealed that it will be the second provider to carry the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition in the US, giving the subscribers to its network an opportunity to roam more easily beyond North America. Shifting to a black color versus the silver of the Verizon model, the smartphone will share the same unlocked SIM card slot and allow connections to GSM networks as well as its native CDMA. Customers will have the choice of either signing up for a custom Sprint plan or leaving the GSM card open to sign for another provider altogether if they expect to use an outside network for a long time, the company says.

Epson, Sharp, Toshiba to reap iPhone rewards

06/28, 3:25pm

Japan Reaps iPhone Rewards

Although Apple stands to benefit directly from selling the iPhone, some of the company's eventual challengers in the mobile phone world should also profit from the device, according to contacts within the display business. Japanese firms Sharp and Toshiba are said to be involved in manufacturing the LCD portion of the touchscreens that sit at the heart of the device, even though they themselves produce phones that should compete with the Apple either immediately (Sharp) or for eventual releases in Asia and Europe (Toshiba). Epson is also involved, the sources say.

MySpace TV goes live

06/28, 2:40pm

MySpace TV Live

Quickly validating its preview, MySpace today kicked off the launch of MySpace TV. A separate but closely-linked part of the company's social networking site, the page brings many of the channels and sorting features of YouTube but promises far stronger social tools: in addition to tracking favorite video producers, MySpace subscribers can also tag clips to put them into a profile and personalize a video channel based on their tastes and past viewing history.

Plantronics reveals all-day Bluetooth headset

06/28, 2:15pm

Plantronics Voyager 520

In addition to its wired headsets, Plantronics today also unwrapped a lone Bluetooth headset that will ship relatively soon after the iPhone's appearance in stores. The Voyager 520 is designed to be comfortable and technically capable enough to last an entire working day, with a soft ear hook and up to eight hours of continuous calls on a single lithium-ion battery charge. Call controls are also as simple as possible with the answer button doubling as a rocker switch for adjusting volume.

iPhone fever may top Win 95, Mustang

06/28, 1:40pm

iPhone Highest Buzz Yet

The buzz surrounding the iPhone may be as intense as those for some of the best-known product launches in history without requiring as much effort, according to analysts. An observation by expert Michael Gartenberg of JupiterResearch today notes that while Apple is likely to have spent roughly $100 million promoting the iPhone enroute to its Friday launch, the company's existing reputation and careful management of press should get the device more attention than Microsoft's August 1995 release of Windows 95 despite spending half as much on marketing.

Blu-Ray counters HD DVD with five free movies

06/28, 12:50pm

Blu-Ray Five Free Movies

The Blu-Ray Disc Association today raised the stakes in the HD format wars by launching a new promo it hopes will tip the balance. Countering a surge in HD DVD sales triggered by recent price cuts, the majority of Blu-Ray player manufacturers and film studios have agreed to give away five free movies with each new player. Movies can be hand-picked but will be drawn from a selection of 21 titles that varies from major releases such as Babel to older titles such as Species. The players themselves will include all models from major companies -- including the PlayStation 3, the news suggests.

iPod speaker system: multi-room, wireless

06/28, 12:25pm

Eos wireless speakers

Taking a stab at the speaker system market occupied by Sonos and others, IntelliTouch has debuted its Eos wireless satellite speaker system for use with the iPod. Using non-WiFi (but "WiFi-friendly) wireless transmission technology, the speaker system links up to four remote speakers, purportedly delivering interference-free CD sound quality (48Khz). The wireless transfer method uses error correction and a unique frequency hopping scheme for a real-world indoor range of up to 150 feet (50 meters) through walls, floors and ceilings. In open outdoor environments, Eos can broadcast in excess of 300 feet (100 meters).

Radeon HD cards receiving price cut?

06/28, 12:20pm

Radeon HD price cut?

In publicizing its new Radeon HD 2400 and 2600 video cards, announced as shipping earlier this month, AMD has apparently exposed lower prices. Whereas the 2400 series was previously intended to debut at a base of about $99, new figures suggest a range of $50 to $85; the 2600 cards, meanwhile, should cost no more than $149, rather than the former $199 limit.

No reason for the price change has been given, but competition from Nvidia may be the most likely incentive. The company recently released the GeForce 8400 GS, a comparable low-end card that costs just $69. In the mid-range, the 8500 GT is $89, and the 8600 GT is $150.

Visto brings corporate email to iPhone

06/28, 11:45am

Corporate email on iPhone

Visto today announced that it is offering corporate email functionality for Apple's iPhone along with end-to-end security. Through Visto, iPhone users can experience secure mobile access to current as well as legacy versions of both Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Domino corporate messaging platforms. Visto enables access that is easy to implement and administer, alleviating IT concerns regarding security as well as reliability, according to the company. Industry watchers cited the iPhone's lack of corporate email support as a major factor in the device's potential for adoption among business customers, as well as the question of whether the handset would support Microsoft Word/Excel documents. Apple answered that question with a recently posted online tour of the device which revealed support for viewing both types of documents in email messages.

Gateway updates artist-focused convertible tablet

06/28, 11:35am

Gateway E-295c & C-140

Gateway has updated its 14-inch convertible tablet PC, which is being sold now in home and professional versions. Both are directed mainly at animators and illustrators, since they come with a pen and digitzer by Wacom, who specializes in digital art. The pen has 256 levels of sensitivity for different effects, and will register contact even when used at a slant.

The pro version of the tablet is the E-295c, which can be configured up to a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor, and 4GB of RAM; similarly, buyers can stick with integrated graphics, or upgrade to a 128MB Mobility Radeon X2300 HD. Users can choose between Windows XP Tablet or Vista Business at no cost difference. The base price of the system is $1,549.

Altec-Lansing intros slim Powered Theater TV speakers

06/28, 11:25am

Altec-Lansing PT Speakers

Leaving the safe harbor of its traditional computer speaker business, Altec-Lansing this morning launched its Powered Theater line made just for home theater setups. The two-piece PT8051 and larger, one-piece PT7031 use NXT panel speakers to produce a full-room sound without the cabinet depth needed for conventional audio. The choice is an ideal fit for LCDs and plasmas where space is as much a concern as quality, Altec-Lansing says.

Leak shows iPhone prepaid as fallback

06/28, 10:55am

iPhone Prepaid Fallback

AT&T is eager enough to sell iPhones that it will even offer a prepaid option in extreme cases, the company has revealed through a leaked launch guide. While the provider will still insist that all normal sales choose a two-year contract, it will also ask to perform an advance credit check during the sales process that should offer a contract-free option: those with low or uncertain credit will have the option of choosing a GoPhone Pick Your Plan service that demands regular payments but doesn't set a mandatory term, according to the document.

Hitachi unleashes large 1080p LCDs, plasmas

06/28, 10:15am

Hitachi TVs June 2007

Hitachi on Thursday made one of its most substantial TV upgrades in recent months with both LCDs and plasma sets receiving a major improvement. Unlike some launches, every model in the upgrade is capable of a 1080 vertical resolution and focuses on large screens, the company says. Topping announcements is the Director's Series P60X901: at 60 inches, the plasma TV is the largest ever from Hitachi in the class and displays a full 1920x1080 picture. It also debuts a new interpolation technique, dubbed Reel60, that eliminates the juddering effect created by pulldown conversion of 24 frames-per-second film rates to the TV's native 60-frame speed. The 60-inch model and a smaller but equally specified 50-inch P50X901 will ship in August at prices of $8,000 and $4,300 respectively.

Verizon tries to counter iPhone launch

06/28, 9:40am

Verizon on iPhone Launch

Verizon today announced that its retail stores would remain open until 9PM on Friday, attempting to draw customers away from the high-profile launch of the iPhone. Some of the carrier's phone features may lure customers away, the company claims. The company pays particular attention to cost and notes that many of its phones cost $100 or less, including some music-capable versions.

"Customers can select a mobile phone that fits their style, their mood and best of all, their wallet," Verizon says.

Plantronics intros iPhone, notebook headsets

06/28, 9:15am

Altec-Lansing Upgrader

Plantronics and its sub-label Altec-Lansing today launched several new earphone sets, including a trio of headsets made for the iPhone and most cellphones. The Upgrader UHS 302, 306, and 307 each have inline microphones with volume control and a switch to flip between calls and music; the 302 is an over-the-ear design with clips to keep the pads at a proper fit, while the 306 and 307 both rely on in-ear tips with differences stemming from their choices of more quality-oriented SnugFit shape for the 306 and a stable, exercise-driven AirFit shape for the 307. Versions of these earphones without the microphone, named the UHP series, will also be available, Plantronics says.

Logitech rolls webcams with Carl Zeiss optics

06/28, 8:25am

Logitech Carl Zeiss Webcam

Logitech this morning chose to revamp its webcam line with two new webcams using optics previously reserved for dedicated photo cameras. Both the desktop-minded QuickCam Pro 9000 and QuickCam Pro for Notebooks use Carl Zeiss-made Tessar glass lenses that provide sharper pictures than normal webcam-grade or plastic lenses. They similarly share a refined autofocus system that can properly center on a subject slightly less than four inches from the lens. Both further record at a standard-ratio HD resolution of 960x720 at full speed, a useful addition for full-screen video.

Pentax debuts K100D Super digital SLR

06/28, 1:45am

K100D Super digital SLR

Pentax today update its entry-level 6.1 megapixel digital SLR camera: the K100D Super digital SLR, the newest member of the K Series, combines the Pentax Shake Reduction (SR) system, an innovative Dust Removal (DR) system, and full compatibility with Pentax SDM lenses. The camera now Incorporates the Pentax-original Dust Removal (DR) system, which was previously available only in more advanced models; it helps keep the CCD surface dust-free to ensure spotless images, while also offering full compatibility with Pentax SDM lenses. The camera is compatible with every Pentax SLR lens, offers a large 2.5 inch LCD monitor with 210,000 pixel resolution, and utilizes a friendly Mode Dial featuring Auto Picture and Picture modes as well as new Scene modes for simpler photography.

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