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Sprint has slipped out the LG LX160 clamshell phone as a new entry offering for its network. Built to provide just enough extra features without affecting the price, the LX160 makes Bluetooth its most advanced feature and supports hands-free calling as well as tethering to a PC as a makeshift modem. The handset likewise makes better use of its legacy 1XRTT link than some starter handsets by serving up e-mail, instant messaging, and web browsing. LG omits a camera but allows the phone to receive picture messages.
Designer Dae-Ki Hong has developed an original audio player concept that eschews interface conventions. Called the Ball Player, Hong's prototype does not use buttons or a clickwheel, but rather a trackball, located in the middle of a small square-shaped chassis. Listeners on the go simply roll the ball towards one of the four icons (volume up/down, track forward/back), and the player will execute the appropriate command. As the ball rolls, icons illuminate in response. For added convenience, Ball Players laid on a desk can be controlled by moving up and down or side-to-side, much in the same style as a mouse. No final products are currently planned from the prototype. [via Yanko Design]
Microsoft's latest version of Windows is too risky to implement for the important computers managing the 2008 Olympic summer games in Beijing, said the event's computer supplier and sponsor Lenovo. The ThinkPad manufacturer's chairman Yang Yuanqing warned that a new and likely unstable OS such as Vista "could have some problems" if it were brought into an environment where reliability is important, such as tracking athlete statistics. All of the 12,000 critical systems will run the 6-year-old Windows XP, while Vista will only be allowed on shared terminals for the athletes where the danger of a crash is low, Lenovo said.
Unveiled just last week for the Singapore market, the 16GB version of the Zen V Plus is now being sold in the United States. The product is remarkable in that it has more memory than any similarly-priced flash player on the market, and in fact, it has twice as much storage as Apple's iPod nano. It also supports AVI video, in addition to MP3, WAV, WMA and Audible audio formats. The American Plus is being sold for $250; like the Singapore version, only a black-and-white color scheme is available.
Two new Samsung cellphones are said to be US-bound. The first is the A517, headed to AT&T, and notable mainly for having UMTS broadband; it also has a 1.3-megapixel camera though, as well as a microSD slot, and touch-sensitive controls on the top exterior.
The T539 meanwhile is headed to T-Mobile, but instead of using touch-sensitive controls, it has a ring-shaped direction pad, circled in green illumination. Other features are comparatively limited, as while it also has a 1.3-megapixel camera and music playback, it is merely a quad-band GSM phone and there is no mention of external storage. Prices and release dates remain unknown. [via Engadget]
HTC today revealed that its upgraded version of the X7501 Advantage hybrid smartphone is shipping to the US. As promised, the finished version runs Windows Mobile 6 Professional, which preloads Office Mobile for completing basic work using the slide-out keyboard and 5-inch touchscreen. The device additionally preserves the 3G wireless access provided through HSDPA and includes a GPS receiver that optionally links with TeleNav routing services provided by a few carriers in the region. The 3-megapixel camera, 8GB hard drive, and miniSD slot have also survived the transition.
Japanese computer builder Tsukumo is planning to release the AeroMini, another variant on the ultra-slim form factor preferred within Japan. Unlike some similar systems however, the AeroMini is well-equipped: it runs a 2.4GHz, desktop-quality Core 2 Duo processor, and it comes stock with 2GB of RAM, rather than the 512MB or 1GB typically linked with slim systems. The hard drive is a 5,400rpm 120GB model, and ports include one FireWire and four USB 2.0 connections. The tower also includes DVI output and an SD/xD/Memory Stick reader. It should ship towards the end of the month, with prices starting at 69,800 yen ($589). [via Akirabara News]
Nokia's N800 Internet handheld will be the first known device to support Sprint's upcoming WiMAX network, according to statements from Nokia's open-source chief Dr. Ari Jaaksi. The tablet would probably keep Bluetooth and Wi-Fi onboard for peripherals and short-range networks, but would draw on Intel's WiMAX technology to connect at 4G speeds virtually anywhere within coverage. Linux would continue as the N800's OS and would be instrumental in grafting support to the device, Dr. Jaaksi said.
Nokia and its Nokia Siemens Networks label today officially put its weight behind the open access rules for the 700MHz band auction in the US, explaining that the need for any winning bidder to expand the network and support any device will play into the company's newer wireless technology: Nokia Siemens Networks already has a base station system for cellular towers that already supports 4G speeds through WiMAX and could easily be adapted to future 700MHz connections, the company said.
Every Xbox 360 could have HDMI video output within a month, according to a new but credible rumor. Although current buyers can only choose the Xbox 360 Elite if they need or want the all-digital format, the update would add HDMI to the standard Xbox 360 and the Core model, giving every system full support for 1080p even on HDTVs that block the resolution through component video. The HDMI upgrade would arrive simultaneously with cooler processors to maximize the impact of the upgrade, according to the report.
Previously rumored, Microsoft has now officially released its Performance and Reliability and Compatibility and Reliability updates to Windows Vista. While not yet on Windows Update, the patches are nevertheless official, and address issues which have deterred many users from upgrading from earlier versions of Windows. The first of the two packs deals primarily with moving large files, which in some cases has taken inordinate amounts of time. It is also said to fix poor memory management, plus screensaver problems and losing TCP/IP when coming back from hibernation.
Canon expects to release its hotly anticipated EOS-40D digital SLR early next month, says an insider at Best Buy that leaked the camera's stocking info and UPC code. The camera is now due to reach shelves by September 2nd and is now known to have all the features previously revealed through early leaks as well as minor new additions: the 40D picks up the more recent DIGIC III imaging processor absent from the 30D and will also borrow several features from other cameras in the EOS line, ranging from the dust removal system, true spot metering, and a five frames per second burst rate.
Cellular phone carriers must allow rivals to connect to their networks for roaming purposes, and at a "reasonable" cost, the Federal Communications Commission has declared. The decision was made in response to a long series complaints made by a variety of groups, who say that the larger American carriers often charge exorbitant fees to subscribers on smaller networks -- sometimes as much as $0.79 per minute on top of regular rates. The carriers must also allow automatic connections for roaming, where equipment is compatible.
TiVo today released version 2.5 of TiVo Desktop, its software for synchronizing media between PCs and TiVo's recorders. The new edition brings the iPod into the fold of supported devices and will automatically import converted media files from a connected Apple media player into the iTunes library. Viewers can also now use TiVo Desktop with Windows Vista, play either DivX or XviD clips and shuttle them between the PC and a networked device, and reconvert any video already transfered across the network regardless of the profile.
The Russian design house Gresso today formally unveiled the two models that make up its new Avantgarde cellphone design. The Luna and Sol (pictured) continue the company's practice of using very exotic materials for its designs. The main shell is built out of African blackwood aged at least 200 years and ensures that each handset's finish is unique. The backing and main keypad are built from a scratch-resistant titanium while the front navigation key and (on the Sol) number buttons are finished with gold Roman numerals. The Luna's keypad is more conventional but still laser-etched.
HTC is already planning to improve on the foundations of the Touch smartphone just months after its launch, claims the source of a new leak. The Nike, also known as the 5500, would add a sliding number pad to the phone for users who would rather have physical keys for dialing, launching e-mail, or typing. The expansion would additionally bring 3G Internet access over HSDPA and UMTS and would accordingly include a small front video camera for live calls. The screen would be slightly smaller at 2.6 inches but would preserve the custom touch interface loaded on top of Windows Mobile. GPS may also be onboard, according to the tip.
JVC this morning added the Alneo S to the flash players that dominate its home market. The electronics firm breaks with some other challengers in the class by including both a line-in jack that records audio to MP3s and a pair of unique shortcut keys. One button instantly switches to a music search regardless of where the listener might be in the menus. An extra control automatically cues a playlist of up to 30 favorite tracks. Though small, the player's four-line OLED display keeps battery life up to 20 hours when playing MP3 or WMA songs.
ASUS today promised the best of both worlds and released the U3. The 13.3-inch, 3.8-pound system competes head-on with Sony's VAIO SZ by offering speed not normally known for the class; though the system can be configured with as little as a Celeron M, certain models are driven by as much as a 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo. Every model is equipped with a 128MB GeForce 8400M GS and HDMI output for full HD video decoding, ASUS adds. Distinct to the U3 is a slot that can be pre-installed with any one of three add-ons: a 3G modem for cellular broadband, a GPS unit for mapping, or a Turbo Memory cache to speed up disk response.
Garmin this morning announced its second product of the week. The Forerunner 50 (link active soon) sport watch is the first that automatically synchronizes exercise info over the air. By plugging in a USB wireless adapter into a host computer, just bringing the watch within range of the system immediately sends distance, speed, and heart rate information to help keep track of a regular cycling or running routine. Sensors themselves are intelligent and automatically turn on whenever they have stats to send, according to the company. Data can also be uploaded online to share or compete with fellow athletes.
MacAlly today hoped to refine home audio with the TunePro flat-panel clock radio for the iPod. Based on NXT flat speakers that consume far less space than usual on a nightstand or tabletop, the TunePro replaces the front grilles often seen on these systems with a mirror-finish screen that blends the look of the speakers into any given room. The design also gives MacAlly freedom to hide the LED display normally so conspicuous on these sets. An intelligent alarm system wakes owners up to either the iPod, the built-in AM/FM tuner, or a buzzer and can do so gradually, slowly raising the volume rather than jumping to full power.
T-Mobile on Wednesday kick-started its phone lineup with the Samsung Blast. Also known as the T729, the Korean slider is one of the few phones to implement a SureType keyboard outside of RIM's BlackBerry smartphones, speeding up e-mail and text messaging for users usually forced to use T9 input. The messaging focus is driven home with an e-mail client that supports webmail from Google and Yahoo as well as conventional e-mail, instant messaging and SMS texts.
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