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Fujitsu today broke away from its usual focus on business users by unveiling the LifeBook V1010. The system pushes costs down by using components Fujitsu has normally avoided in favor of faster but often pricey business-oriented parts: it uses a 1.86GHz Pentium dual-core, 1GB of memory, and an unusually large 120GB hard disk that provide practical speed without eating significantly into the price. A 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo version is also available for those who need faster performance or 64-bit software.
Philips has released a new media player targeting the lucrative mid-sized market. The SA9345 holds between 2 and 4GB, and has a 1.8-inch color screen; its main attractions are likely to be touch-sensitive controls, and size, at just over a third of an inch thick. It plays MP3 and WMA audio files, as well as FM radio and WMV video. The last is limited to 24fps, but software is provided for conversion from formats including AVI, MOV, MPEG-1/2/4 and even VOB (DVD) files. The 4GB player is claimed to play up to 20 hours of audio or two hours of video, although according to a conflicting report, music may be limited to 10 hours, possibly on the 2GB model.
Hitachi today upgraded its 3LCD projectors with the CP-A100, a projector designed for professionals and schools but also useful for most any presentation. The flip-up design is capable of casting a 60-inch image from as close as 1.4 feet; this lets users cast a genuinely visible image without creating a shadow or having to choose an awkward position for the system. Ethernet is built-in and is integral to the design, especially in a boardroom or classroom. An E-Shot feature lets a notebook or other nearby PC send four photos over the network to display them without using external storage; administrators can directly steer one or more of the projectors or else keep track of details such as lamp life without having to visit the A100 in person.
Art Lebedev Studio's long in development Optimus Maximus keyboard has cleared the FCC and will also include an ample amount of storage for its unique design, the company said in its newest project blog entry. The wireless keyboard has successfully passed both the CE and FCC tests needed for the hardware to be sold in the US, allowing the Russian company to export its design. As part of the news, the company also announced that it would ship the Optimus with a 512MB, 150X speed SD card to store all the icons that will appear on each key's individual OLED display as users change programs and keyboard layouts. Users can swap out cards if they need to swap layout sets between computers or if they have many programs to run.
Best Buy intends to get a headstart on "Black Friday" Thanksgiving sales by selling a Gateway notebook below $300, according to the retailer's flyer for some areas this week. The retailer intends to price the retail-only ML6230 for $299 after an immediate discount -- halving the price of the already inexpensive system, the ad reads. The 15.4-inch system is basic and ships with a 1.6GHz Celeron M, 512MB of RAM, and Vista Home Basic but also includes an 80GB hard disk and a DVD burner. A 4-in-1 card reader and 802.11g are also standard despite the price.
Google's mobile phone project is actually a software-only project meant to compete against licensed mobile OS competitors like Symbian or Windows Mobile, says a purported insider from the industry speaking with the International Herald Tribune. While some had projected that the result would be an actual device, the new report dismisses notions of Google-branded hardware; any hardware seen by earlier sources was a demonstration model made as a proof of concept, according to the new report.
iPhone/iTouch Dev members, who have been working steadily for weeks, say they have discovered a way to "jailbreak" iPhone 1.1.1 (i.e., to enable file-level access to the OS on the device). The developers are quick to note however that the jailbreak is nowhere near ready for official release, rendering many applications inoperable until they are recompiled and disabling the iTunes Store without "major hacking." Apple launched the iPhone in June with a policy that allowed only Web-based applications to run on its cellular phone, but hackers quickly found ways to circumvent this restriction which they termed jailbreaking and began feverishly writing "native" applications for iPhone which ran using the device's trimmed Mac OS X operating system. Apple in turn released a statement warning iPhone owners that unlocking their handsets for use with other carriers could damage the devices, rendering them inoperable. Shortly after the press release spread Apple issued an update -- iPhone 1.1.1 -- which rendered numerous unlocked iPhones useless.
Jammie Thomas, the defendant who recently lost her file-sharing case initiated by the RIAA, says she is appealing the $220,000 verdict. Thomas has been fined $9,250 per track for sharing 24 songs via Kazaa; she denies even having a Kazaa account however, and is now challenging the verdict based on one of the instructions given to her jury. Instruction 15 suggested that Thomas should be found liable if she made the songs available through a file-sharing network, "regardless of whether actual distribution has been shown."
Envision this afternoon fought to lower the barrier for entry into HDTVs with the L32W661, a 32-inch display geared towards students and others who might not have the space or money for larger screens. It should ship for $649 but will be one of the few in its class to offer meaningful input and image quality; in contrast to the earlier W698, the W661 brings dual HDMI inputs that gives users space for an HD DVD player or a PlayStation 3 without disrupting their main TV link. Envision also musters a 1,200:1 static contrast ratio and a 178-degree horizontal viewing angle that prevents color shifts for multiple viewers.
Seagate on Monday grew the variety of its notebook drive line with the Momentus 5400 PSD, the company's first ever hybrid storage. The 2.5-inch drive's rotating storage is backed by 256MB of flash memory that caches frequently accessed data, including before boot time. Cutting the amount of disk access nearly cuts typical power consumption in half, from 0.78 to 0.45 watts; it also significantly reduces startup times, letting even the characteristically slow Windows Vista jump from 40 to 32 seconds despite the notebook drive's 5,400RPM rotation speed.
In a bid to lure holiday buyers, Microsoft says it will soon add two games apiece to variants of its Xbox 360 console. Accompanying the standard Xbox 360 (formerly known as the Premium or Pro) and the Elite will be "Forza Motorsport 2," a realistic racing simulation, and Activision's "Marvel Ultimate Alliance," a top-down superhero action game. The bundle should take effect by Hallowe'en, and is estimated to be a $90 savings over buying the games and consoles separately.
Samsung this morning launched a new high-end computer LCD aimed at pleasing both home theater users and home users moving up to larger displays. The 24-inch SyncMaster 245T continues the trend of including HDMI input with larger screens but also a more friendly environment for playing game consoles and HD movie readers. Motion Picture Acceleration purportedly helps improve image quality for movies and similar sources; a unique picture-by-picture mode also splits the view into two halves to let users watch shows over one source without interrupting web browsing or other activities on another connection.
(Updated with final terms) Vonage and Sprint together announced on Monday that they had settled their ongoing patent dispute for $80 million, including $35 million for infringement allegations, $40 million for future licenses, and $5 million for unknown services. The deal tentatively allows Vonage to avoid paying the $69.5 million it would have owed Sprint for patent costs alone after the latter successfully argued that Vonage's VoIP calling service infringed on more than 100 patents relating to switching between IP and analog phone networks. In return, Vonage will license the relevant Sprint patents and so escapes any future legal confrontations between the two companies.
Sony's recently announced 40GB PlayStation 3 is coming to North America just under a month after the Ruopean release, according to an anonymous industry source. Supporting claims by a major retail buyer, the tip would have Sony release the model in the US on November 2nd for $399. This would be slightly later than the October 28th date purported by a Best Buy leak but would otherwise confirm expectations. Like the European model, the US 40GB system would also remove PS2 backwards compatibility, two of four USB ports, and a multi-format card reader.
22Moo has unveiled a new range of video eyewear and Bluetooth accessories for Apple's iPod and iPhone that includes a pair of sub-$200 35-inch video glasses, a 3D supported portable DVD player with video glasses, Star-Trek-inspired high resolution video eyewear, and an A2DP dongle bundle with a stereo Bluetooth headset for iPod and iPhone owners. The Argo MP/3G-2 is a new type of compact personal display that uses a unique optical system to offer the equivalent of a 35-inch screen at a six foot distance, boasting 0.3 megapixels (320 x 240) of resolution designed to compliment a video iPod or Microsoft Zune with a direct connection. The device works with numerous other gadgets that support an AV output, including game consoles like the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox or the Nintendo Wii. The MP/3G-2 is lightweight, and features a detachable light shield as well as earphones. 22Moo's Argo MP/3G-2 eyewear is priced at $200.
Boost Mobile today upped the style of its handsets with the launch of the Motorola i425. The device is the provider's thinnest ever at 0.47 inches thick but still offers the walkie-talkie instant calls that the company says are extremely popular on its iDEN-based network. It also offers many of the features of better phones on other networks with mobile web access, multi-network IM chat, and assisted GPS navigation. Users can also load true music ringtones rather than the simpler MIDI tones.
American cellular carrier Alltel today launched Alltel Wi-Fi, a new service specifically for users who want to bring their short-range wireless devices online in public places. The plan teams up with Boingo Wireless and lets any user of a Wi-Fi-equipped notebook or smartphone connect both to Alltel's own locations as well as "thousands" of North and South American hotspots. The Internet connections peak at speeds up to 2.4Mbps and provide a real alternative to EVDO cellular access, according to Alltel.
Dell is close to releasing a new notebook with many of the same audience and features as the MacBook Pro, according to a new leak made by Engadget. The XPS M1530 would be the first 15.4-inch system in the Texas-based PC maker's performance line since the launch of the original XPS, but would be targeted at users equally interested in thin-and-light systems as in performance: the complete chassis should weigh as little as four pounds without a battery, according to the report. It will also optionally sport a 1440x900, LED-backlit display similar to that of the MacBook Pro that should both cut down on the overall thickness of the display as well as improve battery life and color accuracy.
Altec Lansing has introduced its new iMotion iM414 Zune speaker system. Listed as "coming soon", the company promises immersive, crystal-clear sound using full-range custom-designed speakers surround effect technology, and bass enhancement technology that delivers advanced bass -- without a subwoofer -- via the twin bass-enhanced neodymium speakers. The portable system can either be AC or battery-operated for up to 24 hours of battery life and can charge the Microsoft Zune via the built-in dock.
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