News Archive for 07/10/12

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Sony rolls out fresh VAIO G2 ultraportable in Europe

10/12, 4:35pm

Sony VAIO G in Europe

Sony today spread the availability of its VAIO G2 notebook to Europe. The 12-inch, ultralight (2.2-pound) notebook now runs on an ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo but is capped at 1.06GHz versus the 1.2GHz model available in Japan. Nonetheless, the system also has the choice of a 64GB solid-state hard drive that greatly improves load times and extends battery life; Sony has revised its estimates slightly to give the G2 an 11.5-hour runtime when put into its most energy-efficient mode and using a high-capacity battery. A normal, lighter battery peaks at seven hours, according to Sony.

AT&T iPhone rival gets name, date?

10/12, 4:15pm

AT&T Vu and Vu2?

AT&T's version of the CU920, a relative of the Prada phone, may already have more specfic release information. An accessory vendor is claiming to have learned that the 920 (misidentified as the Prada) will ship to AT&T in the first quarter of 2008, overshooting a December 2007 release date. It will furthermore be given a different name under its new carrier, the "Vu2."

Preceding or accompanying the release of the Vu2 will of course be the "Vu," what is said to be a modified LG Shine. AT&T is reported to be altering the Shine's user interface, a statement that may be supported by other accounts. These changes are claimed to have delayed the Vu past an intended September release date, though no new date is given. [via JAVOedge Blog]

Xbox 360 Arcade box, details finalized

10/12, 3:45pm

Xbox 360 Arcade Box Leak

Microsoft's Xbox 360 Arcade replacement for the Core system has received even further confirmation today, courtesy of an inside source sending a photo to Ars Technica. The console is known to not only include a 256MB memory card and five preloaded games (including Pac-Man and Uno) but will also upgrade the entry-level system to a wireless gamepad. HDMI output is also likely to appear, though the system will continue to bundle an RCA video cable to keep its costs low.

MS applies for iPhone-like interface patent

10/12, 3:40pm

iPhone-like MS patent

Microsoft has filed a continuation application for an existing patent describing a user-interface similar to the one used by Apple's iPhone. Microsoft's application, titled "Extensible, filtered lists for mobile device user interface," aims to provide an improved user interface for mobile devices by providing access to data as well as services from multiple software applications through a group or list of items. "Each group or list can include multiple items, which can be associated with data or tasks from multiple applications," the patent filing reads. "The set of groups of items can be both customizable and extensible to allow users to locate and utilize data and tasks relevant to the particular user. The set of item groups can provide users with a filtered view of content available through the mobile device, enhancing access to subset of data and tasks available on the mobile device."

i-mate intros JAMA 101, 201 smartphones

10/12, 3:25pm

i-mate JAMA 101 & 201

Smartphone specialist i-mate has announced two new JAMA devices, the 101 and the 201. The former is the more advanced of the two, if only because it uses Windows Mobile 6 Professional. It also has a 2.4-inch touchscreen however, and features Bluetooth and a two-megapixel autofocus camera with flash. 128MB of ROM can be supplemented by microSD cards. Limitations comes mainly in the form of a 300MHz Samsung processor, and the lack of Wi-Fi or UMTS, instead having just tri-band GSM/EDGE. Talk time is four hours with a standby of slightly more than six days.

Telus brings HTC Touch, S640 to Canada ahead of US

10/12, 3:15pm

Telus HTC Touch and S640

Telus today surprised the North American market by releasing two of HTC's more desirable phones in Canada, ahead of any official US launch. The HTC Touch takes the popular GSM touchscreen phone from Europe and adapts it to CDMA networks. In Canadian form, the device is also set to run at 3G speed with EVDO and will run even faster with an impending EVDO Revision A software upgrade, Telus says. It shares the same 2-megapixel camera and Windows Mobile 6 Professional interface as the original Touch and should be available now for as little as $150 Canadian with a three-year plan or $500 without any contract.

New NEC portable promises 14+ hours battery life

10/12, 2:35pm

NEC VersaPro UltraLite VC

NEC today stepped up its claims of long-term performance with a new variant on the VersaPro UltraLite Type VC. The VY10A C-4 version of the 12-inch notebook achieves an almost unheard-of 14.5 hours of battery life in the right situations; a combination of an ultra-low voltage 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo, a good battery, and a power saving mode are responsible for the feat, NEC says. A system can also weigh as little as 958 grams (2.1 pounds) and is just over one inch thick while still sporting a semi-rugged outer casing.

AT&T to offer LG iPhone rival

10/12, 1:55pm

LG CU920 Coming to ATT

AT&T is poised to launch a second full touchscreen phone that will compete with the iPhone, says a source leaking photos of the device to Gizmodo. The American carrier is expected to receive the CU920, a close relative of the Prada and KU990 available so far only in Europe; like either predecessor, the phone will be dominated by a touchscreen and have little more than call and answer buttons on the front. However, the CU920 will have support for American-standard 3G over HSDPA, the insider claims -- potentially giving the LG device an advantage over the iPhone, which uses the slower EDGE protocol.

Sony preps 7.1-channel wireless headphones

10/12, 1:35pm

Sony 7.1-channel headset

Sony Japan is nearing the release of an extremely high-end set of wireless headphones, the MDR-DS7000s. A successor to the 5.1-channel DS6000s, the 7000s now simulate 7.1-channel surround sound, using a separate decoder box that supports AAC, DTS, DTS-ES and Dolby Pro Logic IIx. The box also has inputs for two optical audio devices and a single analog source, and can support several headsets simultaneously. Users are nevertheless more free from base stations, as the 7000s have been upgraded with onboard controls for volume and surround modes, as well as an AC adapter that allows direct charging.

Nokia N95 gains native Google Maps with GPS

10/12, 12:45pm

N95 Google Maps GPS

Nokia's popular N95 smartphone today received a specialized version of Google Maps Mobile that promises features absent from other devices, including the iPhone. The updated version is now native to the Symbian Series 60 OS used on most of Nokia's smartphones and explicitly recognizes the N95's GPS unit. Users can pinpoint their exact locations and receive driving directions that change depending on the position, unlike Apple's implementation. The utility will additionally save locations directly to the phone's contacts to find them again more easily, Google says.

Xbox 360 Arcade confirmed through sightings

10/12, 12:25pm

Xbox 360 Arcade confirmed

Photos of retail displays appear to confirm the existence of the Xbox 360 Arcade, a new low-cost version of Microsoft's game console. While the current low-end model, the Core, had its price cut to $280 in early August, it has been seen as increasingly irrelevant, as it comes with a wired gamepad and no default games or storage. The Arcade by contrast will come with a 256MB memory card, and a wireless controller like that for the standard and Elite 360s.

Fujitsu launches new Japanese notebooks, desktops

10/12, 11:45am

Fujitsu laptops, desktops

Targeting the company's Japanese home, Fujitsu is launching several new notebook and desktop PCs. Of the former, the high-end is represented by the FMV-H8250, which has a 15.4-inch display with a native resolution of 1920x1200. Inside is a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo T7700, running on an Intel Q35 Express motherboard.

The A8250 (pictured) represents a dramatic drop, moving to 1280x800 resolution, and a 1.73GHz Celeron M 530 processor. The B8250 shrinks to a 1024x768, 12.1-inch display, and also relies on a 933MHz Celeron M 523 chip; as an ultra-low voltage notebook though, battery life should be extended. The H8250 and A8250 will ship in late November at prices of 346,500 ($2,944) and 152,250 yen ($1,293), while the B8250 should be ready later this month for 202,650 yen ($1,722).

Universal crafting anti-iTunes service?

10/12, 10:45am

Universal Anti-iTunes

Universal Music Group is attempting to form a subscription service whose primary purpose would be to unseat iTunes from its comfortable position at the top of the digital music industry, according to a claim from BusinessWeek. Called Total Music, the service would break from the traditional model of selling music by receiving direct control from labels themselves: Universal at a minimum would offer a subscription rate of $5 per month but would ask cellphone carriers and device makers to subsidize the cost themselves, effectively providing some users a free, unlimited service. Though it would initially add to up-front costs, the reduced need to buy albums would more than offset the expenses of a subscription, Universal reckons.

BenQ unveils mirror-finished T33 music phone

10/12, 9:15am

BenQ T33

BenQ concluded its week with news of the T33, a new music-oriented slider phone designed for ease of use above all else. A side music key automatically cues up the music player regardless of where the user might be in the interface, helping manage AAC and MP3 tracks. The number pad also implements a unique, wave-like design which is said to be easy to use for dialing while also being fashionable. MicroSD cards up to 2GB hold the phone's pre-recorded media as well as photos or AVI and MPEG-4 videos captured using the 2-megapixel camera. An FM radio tuner is also available as an alternative source of entertainment, BenQ says.

ASUS, BenQ developing iPhone clones?

10/12, 8:40am

ASUS and BenQ iPhone Clone

Taiwanese companies are planning to hop on the touchscreen phone bandwagon to capitalize on the iPhone's perceived success, claim anonymous industry contacts. ASUS and BenQ, which have typically focused on limited 'feature' phones or else smartphones with traditional number pads, are both said to be developing primarily touch-driven phones for professional users. Windows Mobile 6 would be standard, and the feature set would skew towards higher-end features like 3G Internet access and GPS navigation, the sources alleged. It was too early for definite specifications, though the report would have the ASUS and BenQ devices on shelves within the first half of 2008, roughly a year after the iPhone's announcement and launch.

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