News Archive for 07/08/29

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Systemax ships 14-inch Assault Ruggedized notebook

08/29, 7:10pm

Rugged 14" laptop ships

Systemax Manufacturing today unveiled its 14.1-inch Assault Ruggedized notebook. The portable computer comes equipped with a magnesium alloy case that features an anti-shock design, as well as a spill-resistant keyboard and touchpad. The exterior is designed to protect an Intel Core Duo processor (up to 2.33GHz) driven by the Intel 945GM chipset, up to 4GB of memory, an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator with DirectX 9 graphics, and up to 160GB of 5,400 RPM SATA hard drive storage. Two built-in stereo speakers accompany three USB ports and either Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Vista. Systemax claims the notebook can handle a fall from 29-inches away from an impact surface, and demonstrations show testers pouring water over the keyboard with no effect on the running device. The 14.1-inch Assault Ruggedized notebook is priced from $999 for the base model, and the company allows customers to custom configure each notebook to taste.

LG unveils all-touchscreen KS20

08/29, 4:30pm

LG KS20 touchscreen phone

In advance of the IFA 2007 expo in Berlin, LG has exposed the KS20, a product which follows the increasing trend of phones with an all-touchscreen interface, such as the Apple iPhone. The KS20 more closely resembles the design of LG's KU990 and Prada phones, but has a smaller, 2.8-inch screen, filling less of the phone's frame. Preserving its place in the high end though are features like 3.6Mbps HSDPA, video calling and Bluetooth 2.0, as well as Windows Mobile 6, push e-mail and a two-megapixel camera. The phone should launch in Europe during the fourth quarter. [via AVING]

AT&T rethinking approach to non-iPhone GPS?

08/29, 4:25pm

ATT Restores BB 8820 GPS

AT&T may have backtracked on an apparent decision to cripple GPS in the BlackBerry 8820 under online pressure, according to a new report. Previous sources had accused the American carrier of insisting that Research in Motion deliberately restrict software GPS support in the BlackBerry to favor the iPhone, boosting the Apple phone's marketability but forcing users to pay for monthly TeleNav service to use mapping on the 8820. The discovery of the arbitrary restriction and the subsequent negative press are said to have made AT&T reconsider the decision, however, and the BlackBerry 8820 is now set to allow any compatible software use its GPS service, the report claims.

Imation ups Odyssey disk cartridges to 160GB

08/29, 4:20pm

Cartridges hit 160GB

Imation has released new Odyssey removable hard disk cartridges in an expanded 160GB capacity. The Odyssey solution includes an external docking station with a USB 2.0 interface and a hard disk cartridge, containing a 2.5-inch SATA hard drive. The docking station is compatible with all Odyssey cartridges -- including the current 40, 80, 120 and 160GB capacity cartridges and all future, higher-capacity cartridges. Shipping with the Odyssey is EMC's Retrospect software for backup and recovery as well as 256-bit AES encryption. Imation-branded Odyssey systems range in price from $190 to $300, based on capacity.

New USB HSUPA modems for broadband access

08/29, 3:55pm

Sierra USB HSUPA modems

Sierra Wireless has announced two new USB cellular modems, the AirCard 880U and 881U. Unlike most of their HSPA brethren, the pair is based on HSUPA technology, which in this case allows improved speeds of 7.2Mbps down and 2Mbps up. By contrast, most HSDPA connections are limited to 3.6Mbps down and 384Kbps up. The cards remain compatible with HSDPA, as well as general UMTS, EDGE, and GPRS data services. Also notable is the inclusion of internal batteries, which keep power levels where needed if a USB supply is not enough. The 881U is designed for North America, while the 880U is meant for Asia and Europe; the cards should ship to all regions in September.

Sony-Ericsson W580i (Rogers) hands-on

08/29, 3:30pm

W580i Hands-On

The W580i is the latest Walkman phone to arrive in North America, and we at Electronista managed to get our hands on a final unit with the Canadian cell provider Rogers to put it through its paces. While we're still too far away from a final verdict, our initial impressions suggest that it's a decidedly better choice than the Samsung m620 and could be a realistic proposition for those who want a music phone without the investment required from the iPhone. Read ahead for more first impressions and a gallery.

HP leaks images of unknown PC

08/29, 3:20pm

HP Virtus image leak

Several images have leaked of an upcoming HP computer, simply known as the Virtus. The price, release plans and even specifications for the system are entirely unknown, but the elaborate blue dragon art on the front suggests that it may be connected to VoodooPC, which HP acquired last year. This is bolstered by April statements from Rahul Sood, one of VoodooPC's founders and the current CTO of HP's gaming division. Sood indicated that HP wanted to pursue gamers more aggressively, and was thus planning more high-end desktops and laptops by the end of 2007.

Report: flash memory overflow without Apple

08/29, 1:55pm

Flash Oversupply and Apple

Flash memory producers could actually suffer from oversupply this fall without Apple's help, say new estimates from southeast Asian researchers. Although initial reckoning suggested that Samsung's unprecedented factory power cut and the subsequent loss of millions of chips could have reduced world supply of NAND flash by as much as 20 percent, the industry as a whole is said to have quickly recovered from the blow and may only see a shortfall of three to four percent in September. Prices for the chips, which are used in many handheld devices, could quickly settle down after the surge triggered by panic after Samsung's mishap.

Pioneer AVIC-N4 mixes DivX, iPod, XM traffic support

08/29, 1:00pm

Pioneer AVIC-N4

Pioneer today rolled out its AVIC-N4 full-size nav system for cars. Although it opts for storing map data on DVD instead of hard drives, the N4 frees the slot for audio and movies through a rare memory system that caches information for just the trip ahead; it also allows for over 12 million points of interest, far more than traditional SD cards. Owners can also do more than just play traditional CDs and DVDs, Pioneer says. Built-in decoders handle DivX video as well as audio in AAC, MP3, or WMA form. The new AVIC will intelligently control attached iPods and Sirius or XM satellite radio tuners, but gives XM subscribers live traffic updates with a supporting XM NavTraffic tuner.

The iPhone, from Nokia

08/29, 12:55pm

The iPhone, from Nokia

It has an accelerometer that detects physical orientation, a full-face, stylus-free touchscreen and can scroll through photos with the flick of a finger; but it isn't an iPhone. During today's "Go:Play" event, where the company made several sweeping announcements, Nokia showed a brief demonstration video depicting a concept phone (due to ship sometime next year) that bears striking resemblance in form and functionality to the iPhone. The video was demoed alongside the introduction of a new device-specific music store, and Nokia's immediate threat to the iPhone, an updated version of the N95 handset with 8GB of flash storage.

Panasonic readies Bluetooth-armed audio player

08/29, 12:45pm

Panasonic Bluetooth player

Panasonic's Japanese flagship has released the SV-SD950N, the newest audio player in its D-snap series. It can play AAC, MP3 and WMA files, but its key feature is Bluetooth, something normally reserved for third-party add-ons. This allows it to accomplish things like transfer files to cellphones, or listen to music on a car stereo with a Bluetooth receiver. The player is further notable for its 60-hour battery life, and bundled noise-cancelling headphones, said to eliminate 83 percent of ambient sound. Files are loaded on the player through an SD slot, to which end Panasonic has included a 1GB card. The 950N is selling for approximately 25,000 yen ($218).

Moto RAZR2 V9m goes live with Verizon

08/29, 11:30am

Moto RAZR2 V9m at Verizon

Verizon today began selling the RAZR2 V9m, becoming the first American carrier to actually sell Motorola's premium flip phone following earlier announcements. The shipping version ships in black with a copper-effect metal shell and supports Verizon's V CAST music and video download services as well as assisted GPS routing through VZ Navigator. As promised, the 2-megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth, and EVDO broadband are untouched in the selling version.

Sony brings A800 video Walkman to US

08/29, 11:00am

Sony A800 Walkman in US

Following months of availability in Canada and Europe, Sony today quietly released its first video-capable Walkman player in the US. The A810 series is a near-direct translation of the original with a 2-inch LCD large enough to play video in either H.264 or MPEG-4. Sony also provides JPEG photo viewing and music in AAC, MP3, or WMA formats; battery life runs up to 33 hours for audio and a record 8 hours for video, the company estimates.

Nokia unveils Music Store, XpressMusic phones

08/29, 9:55am

Nokia 5610 and Music Store

Nokia today provided full details of its new Nokia Music Store, one of the first device-specific music stores available. Similar to more computer-focused stores, the service provides a wider catalog of "millions" of songs and includes systems for recommending music based on past purchases. Users can also tag songs rather than buy them to create a wish list for a later purchase, Nokia says. And in contrast to most mobile stores, all songs are encoded in 192Kbps Windows Media format rather than a heavily compressed format that translates poorly to listening on quality headphones or a computer.

Nokia rolls out N95s with 8GB, US-based 3G

08/29, 9:00am

Nokia N95 8GB and US 3G

Continuing its announcements, Nokia today has also launched two versions of its popular N95 smartphone. The expected N95 8GB coats the previously silver phone in black and adds its namesake 8GB of flash storage to turn the device into a full-time portable media player replacement. Nokia estimates about 20 hours of video or 6,000 songs in a highly compressed eAAC format (2,000 at normal quality). Its screen has also been expanded to 2.8 inches -- one of the largest for an N-series, the company says. The 8GB model is due to ship in the fall for 560 Euros ($763) and is likely to show in North America as an unlocked device, similar to the original.

Garmin intros Edge cycling trackers with GPS, fitness

08/29, 8:20am

Garmin Edge 605 and 705

Garmin on Wednesday doubled the size of its Edge line of cycling devices with the 605 and 705. Each adds a 2.2-inch color LCD with support for true navigation over GPS rather than just coordinates; but unlike automotive units, riders can set the unit to adapt to previous routes or record shortcuts that might not register on traditional maps. The 605 also uses GPS to track altitude, Garmin says. Either system also stores information on speed, inclines, and any connected fitness trackers for heart rates as well as pedal power and rhythm. Cyclists can use most of these to set targets for an upcoming ride and upload the data through Garmin Connect, a web-based utility that stores and compares exercise information over time.

Nokia intros N81 gaming phone, expands N-Gage

08/29, 7:40am

Nokia N81

Confirming early reports, Nokia today launched several phones and began with a new entry into its N-series lineup. The N81 is one of Nokia's first devices to explicitly support the N-Gage gaming platform outside of the original N-Gage phone. The new entry includes dedicated keys for gaming as well as for music and is meant to be used on its side like a traditional gaming handheld. Outside of games, the interface also replaces the familiar tabs of many Symbian phones with a pane-based system that Nokia claims will help navigate media more quickly.

Glowing LightSnake USB-to-MIDI cable debuts

08/29, 1:05am

USB-to-MIDI cable

From SoundTech comes a new MIDI-to-PC cable dubbed the LightSnake USB MIDI, which features a function that causes the cord to glow when properly connected. The cable connects with any standard MIDI instrument or controller and plugs directly into a system's USB port. It delivers MIDI In and MIDI Out for communication with a vast array of musical devices including keyboards, samplers and more, and works in conjunction with software like Sony Acid Music Studio and Apple's GarageBand. SoundTech says the LightSnake USB MIDI is fully plug and play compatible with Windows XP and Vista as well as Mac OSX, with no drivers necessary. The cable is 10 feet in length, and priced at $80.


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