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Joint venture LG-Philips LCD on Monday unveiled a new LCD technology that the company says could result in larger screens on many more devices. By integrating the driver circuitry into the LCD panel itself rather than requiring a separate board, the screen can reduce the practical size of the bezel surrounding the screen to just 1mm (0.04 inches) thick. This allows for an LCD 10 percent larger than in the past in the same physical area, LG-Philips says.
Mainly targeting businesses, NEC has launched a new "thin client" desktop PC, the US110. The computer is small enough to fit in a person's hand, and jettisons most normal features, including optical drives and a substantive hard disk; instead, it is meant to connect to a virtual private network (VPN), where files and programs are kept in earnest. It does however have enough memory to run Windows CE, and enough processor power to handle functions such as VoIP or playing back MPEG and WMV video files. Ports allow the connection of sound, monitor and various USB devices. The 110 should be available in Japan October 29th for 49,000 yen ($418) before tax. [via Impress Watch]
Fabrik has updated two parts of its SimpleTech backup line, the Pro Drive and the Duo Pro. The latter takes its name from its twin hard disks, allowing it to perform in both RAID 0 and 1 configurations; enabling RAID 1 lets a user keep working within moments of a default drive's failure. The new Duo Pro supports capacities up to 2TB, and introduces a combo eSATA/USB 2.0 interface for extra flexibility. Prices start at $400 for 1TB, but raise to $800 for 2TB.
Microsoft's new Zunes have been tested and should have the same audio performance as their equivalent iPod models but run lower in terms of video, according to an update from Zune marketer Cesar Menendez. Both the Zune 4 and Zune 8 flash players will manage up to 24 hours of continuous music playback using 128Kbps Windows Media files, but a shorter four hours of video with 500Kbps Windows Media videos versus the five of an iPod nano playing H.264 clips at the same resolution. The Zune 80's larger battery will afford 30 hours of music but will be limited to the same four hours as its smaller counterpart. Apple's 80GB iPod classic and both iPod touch models are estimated at about five hours of video playback. Wi-Fi was switched off in both Zune tests, according to the report.
Communications chipmaker Broadcom today revealed that it had developed the BCM21551, the first major cellphone processor to include both 3G cellular data access as well as other technologies in a single chip. The chip is ready for current and near-future mobile Internet access with connections to HSDPA networks (such as AT&T, Rogers, and some European networks) peaking at 7.2Mbps in ideal downloads, and the fast-upload HSUPA at up to 5.8Mbps; new, however, are the inclusion of a radio receiver for picking up calls as well as an FM radio tuner and an integrated Bluetooth module. These give any future phone using the chip true high-speed Internet connections without requiring a separate processor and the increased size or reduced battery life that often comes with the extra hardware, Broadcom says. Legacy access to GPRS, EDGE, and other legacy connections are also built in.
First previewed alongside the R600 in September, the R300 navigator by ASUS has finally had photos and individual specifications revealed. As previously suggested, the unit has a 3.5-inch touchscreen, and a 400MHz Samsung processor; loading data is handled primarily through microSD, though it also has a Mini-USB port, and it can perform hands-free functions through Bluetooth 2.0. An FM radio tuner is built-in, and users can also load AAC, MP3 and WMA audio, as well as MPEG-4/H.263 videos.
T-Mobile today became the first carrier in the US to pick up the RAZR2 V8, the rarest version of Motorola's thin clamshell phone. The new design is limited to 2.5G Internet access over EDGE but compensates with 2GB of built-in flash memory that helps the device fulfill its media-savvy role. Two songs and a one-month trial for Napster's subscription music service help users get started, T-Mobile says. Unlike the V9 or V9m, the V8 is also the only RAZR2 to run Motorola's more advanced, Linux-based MAGX interface instead of the older Synergy code and should run more smoothly while elegantly handling more features.
SALAGAR Sonics took wraps off the Symphony S210 self-amplified speaker at the 2007 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. The new speaker incorporates SALAGAR X-ACT active digital crossover/controller technology with four switch selectable programs to optimize (according input and input source and room setting) the frequency response and sensitivity of the speaker. It also includes Class D amplification from ICEpower, a division of Bang & Olufsen. A separately sold SALAGAR BL-1 Interface accepts input from iPods and other MP3 players, adjusting input from mini-jack connections. This bypasses the loss of signal volume and dynamics normally inherent with direct connections. The Symphony S210 is available direct in five different woods and eight standard automotive grade paint finishes at $8,000 per pair. Speaker stands sold separately and range from $175 to $700 per pair. The SALAGAR BL-1 Interface is priced at $150.
In advance of the PhotoPlus Expo, Canon today expanded its EF telephoto lens line to include models geared alternately at indoor and outdoor photographers using the company's EOS digital SLRs. The EF200mm f/2L IS USM includes its namesake large aperture of f/2 to adequately focus on a subject in the low light of an indoor environment at long range. This can be extremely useful for both indoor sports or portraits, Canon says. A second model, the EF800mm f/5.6L IS USM, replaces an earlier EF600m f/4L lens and is built for professionals who need high detail at even more extreme distances.
Intel today at its Developer Forum in Taiwan demonstrated one of the first working examples of its mobile quad-core processor as well as new cooling technologies that will help run the chip in the future. Part of the chipmaker's Penryn architecture, the chip was shown in early form running the recently launched game Enemy Territory: Quake Wars at high speed during an opening speech by Intel mobile VP Mooly Eden. The CPU required larger-than-normal cooling equipment given the rough state of the processor, but was stable despite its 847 million transistors and a typical peak usage of 45 watts versus the 35 of today's Core 2 Duo processors, the Intel executive said.
Syntax-Brillian, best known as a budget brand, has formally announced the introduction of two new large-screen LCDs in its Olevia line. At the top is the 265TFHD (pictured), sized at a massive 65 inches; the set is 1080p compatible, and features a thin bezel with removable speakers as needs dictate. The design of the set is strictly focused: other highlights include a QAM tuner for decoding cable HD, RS232 networking support, and a collection of ports such as two HDMI and two component inputs. Firmware can be upgraded via USB, though this is apparently the only use for the connection.
The Japanese division of Seiko Epson says it has developed a new OLED technology with a much longer life, which it has already implemented into a prototype display. OLED is said to offer advantages such as fast response, large viewing angles and extreme contrast; one of the main problems however has been battery life, which while sufficient, has been less than that on CRT, LCD or plasma screens. Epson's new eight-inch screen should theoretically last over 50,000 hours, more than 13 years if viewed 10 hours per day; by contrast, Sony's upcoming XEL-1 TV set previously pushed the limit to 10 years.
Nokia today made the surprise announcement of the 2135, one of Nokia's few handsets to both run on CDMA phone networks and to ship to the US instead of developing countries. An emphasis on simplicity means the device largely strips the media features in the name of cost and ease of use; without Bluetooth or a camera, the most advanced elements are a speakerphone and a 60-second voice memo recording function. Talk time is rated at 3.5 hours but is supported by a long 11 hours of standby, Nokia says. Its phonebook is comparatively large for entry phones at 400 entries.
Motorola today announced that it was buying a 50 percent stake in UIQ, the phone interface behind some of Sony-Ericsson's more advanced phones such as the P1 and W960 (pictured). Although financial terms were unavailable, the deal gives Motorola joint control of the software and lets it co-develop enhancements that filter into its own phones, such as the already available RIZR Z8. The move also accomplishes the larger goal of making UIQ truly platform -independent, Sony-Ericsson says: other phone makers will receive an equal licensing scheme if they want to use the OS on their own devices.
Nokia this morning began shipping the N95 8GB and also introduced a special model at the same time. A new Spider-Man 3 edition takes advantage of the relatively large storage to pre-load a full copy of the recent movie on the phone; the larger 2.8-inch screen and the built-in speakers make it an ideal fit for watching movies on the road, Nokia says. The bundle also brings movie-themed alert sounds, a wallpaper, and access to downloadable content in some areas. With 8GB of space, the features still leave room for other media clips.
Hitachi's Global Storage division on Monday revealed a new technology in its labs that could quadruple the amount of available storage in just a few years. Called current perpendicular-to-the-plane giant magnetoresistive (CPP-GMR), the invention shrinks the drive head to between 30 and 50 nanometers versus the 70 of today's best shipping drives. It also compensates for the signal noise problems that would come along with the reduction, Hitachi says. A new magnetic film, improved patterning, and noise reduction make sure the drive can write as it normally would at the larger size, eliminating a density barrier that many have believed would be impossible to break with today's tunnel-magnetoresistive (TMR) drives by allowing smaller data bits on the drive without interference.
AMD's graphics division ATI today introduced a trio of new TV tuners, all of which are aimed at bringing digital TV to a wider range of home theater PCs. The company's TV Wonder 650 Combo USB is designed to accept dual sources and will record either one analog or digital signal while playing the other, including unencrypted HDTV. The device also sports a ClearQAM tuner for picking up unprotected digital cable. It also has an FM tuner to pick up radio, the company says. AMD packs a custom media center interface for Windows as well as Internet access to DVR functions with the $149 tuner, which ships today.
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