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ASUS is in the finishing stages of prepping a new range-leading GPS unit, says a new leak from GPSAndCo. The R700 will separate itself from other high-end mapping systems by relying on microSD cards for add-on storage instead of full-size SD. The change will let ASUS offer a full feature set while keeping the device just over half an inch thick with a 4.3-inch screen. New mapping software should be part of the package, according to the claim. The R700 should additionally become one of the few GPS devices with a Traffic Message Channel (TMC) receiver built-in, requiring only a subscription to receive real-time traffic warnings. MPEG-4 videos will also be playable from memory, as will AAC, MP3, and WMA music.
An ad for Best Buy's Thanksgiving deals has been posted online in advance of its street date, revealing some notable planned discounts. In the computer department, an eMachines desktop will be available for just $200 with a 17-inch LCD, while a pair of notebooks from Compaq and Sony will be only $400; under cameras, a Canon Digital Rebel XT with a 75-300mm lens is being priced at $550. Deals under the home theater department include a Toshiba HD-A3 player for $200, a 1080p Samsung Blu-Ray player for $400, and a 300W Harman receiver for $200. Finally, under video games, an Xbox 360 console is being bundled with Guitar Hero II (and its controller) for $350. See below for more listings. [via BlackFriday.info]
The Xbox 360 is likely to gain support for playing the long-requested DivX video format, a DivX official has inadvertently revealed at a JP Morgan conference. Company presenter Kevin Hell was apparently caught off-guard when asked about how the Xbox 360 would interact with Microsoft's update to its Windows Media Extender feature that provided DivX support, at first confirming the addition outright but backtracking to say only that DivX was holding "discussions with Microsoft" over the prospect. The addition would provide enthusiasts with native support for many of their videos without having to use special software on the Xbox itself or a nearby PC to transcode videos on the fly.
While Packard Bell has largely disappeared from the North American market, it is still very active in Europe, where it has introduced two new media players. At the fore is the Eclipse (right), the company's first player that handles both music and video. Aside from MP3, WAV and WMA audio, it supports MP4, WMV and XviD movie clips, which are played on a 2.2-inch screen with 65,000 colors. A lithium-ion battery should last through 22 hours of audio, but no video figures are available. The Eclipse comes in 2, 4 and 8GB sizes, and sports other lesser abilities such as voice recording and FM radio.
AMD hopes to boost the speed of its video cards by returning to the formula first seen in the years-old Rage Fury MAXX card, according to a purported leak of a presentation slide by the Inquirer. Radeon HD 3870 X2 would incorporate two chipsets on one board; although each would be clocked lower at a minimum 750MHz versus the 825MHz of the single-chip design, the pairing would improve performance dramatically without all of the expense or space consumption of two separate cards. Each Radeon chip would also have 512MB of memory to itself that would clock as high as 2.25GHz to ensure swift communication between both graphics units.
Nigerian elementary schools should still receive mainly Linux machines instead of Windows models when a large batch of Intel Classmate notebooks arrives, writes InfoWorld. Linux vendor Mandriva had signed a deal to provide support and a custom operating system to 17,000 Classmates for Nigeria, but the company deploying the computers for the government, Technology Support Center, at one point decided it would reformat the notebooks and install Windows XP.
Game peripheral designer Wolf King has developed a radically revised gaming keyboard that could be released soon, a new FCC filing shows. The new controller -- known so far only by its DK-2788UH codename -- would include the company's signature, circular first-person shooter key layout of the Wolf King Warrior but would add a similar pad to the right for typing. Gamers could chat with gamers or otherwise interact outside of the game without needing the bulk of a full-length keyboard.
Research in Motion this week sued rival cellphone manufacturer LG for trademark infringement in a Los Angeles court, claiming that several of the latter's phones are unfairly profiting from their similarity to the BlackBerry name. LG's style-oriented Black Label series of phones such as the Shine and specific Chocolate phone color schemes such as Black Cherry and Strawberry might cause confusion for buyers unaware of the difference, RIM says. The complaint would collect damages and also block LG from using the relevant names for its products. Though it is believed to be responsible for naming the Chocolate models, Verizon is not named in the lawsuit.
The new 40GB PlayStation 3 does use an improved version of the Cell processor, Sony Computer Entertainment head Kaz Hirai has confirmed in an interview. The company had issued conflicting messages about the console but now says that the new budget PS3 uses a processor made on a 65-nanometer process that both cuts down on power use and the need for active cooling. Even though the system's NVIDIA-made RSX graphics chip is still using older 90-nanometer technology, the improvement cuts peak power use from 380 watts to 280 and drops the volume 6 decibels to a quiet 30dB ideal for watching Blu-Ray movies, Hirai notes.
Nokia is poised to launch its N82 media phone as early as next week, according to a new teaser site for the Nseries line and official invitations. The cellphone maker intends to host events both at its headquarters in Espoo, Finland and in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles that should introduce at least one new device expected to be a media-savvy companion to the gaming-focused N81.
In a move potentially surprising to foreign observers, Korean giant Samsung has declared that it will no longer sell any consumer goods (such as TVs and MP3 players) to the Japanese market. While the company has been phenomenally successful in regions such as the US and Europe, beating out many rivals, the Japanese market has been extremely tough; this, says the Associated Press, is attributable to intense competition from native electronics makers such as Sony, Sharp and Panasonic. Samsung will instead concentrate on business-to-business sales within the country, which last year amounted to over 99 percent of $9 billion.
YouTube today rolled out the Multifile Uploader, a new tool that lets users send multi-part videos or similar clips to the online video site without manually starting each download. A dedicated program available today for Windows and soon for Mac automatically queues the files without requiring a browser, the company says. No timetable has been given for the Mac software.
Samsung has announced an unusual new phone, the SGH-T578H. Key to its distinctiveness is support for TD-SCDMA, a protocol found exclusively in China, and at present only in 10 major cities; it does however support speeds up to 2.8Mbps, pushing the still-rare feature of 3G in the country. In 2008 the protocol will be upgraded to handle HSDPA, increasing speeds and potentially broadening compatibility. The phone is meanwhile capable of quad-band EDGE, GSM and GPRS, making it suitable for use inside and outside of China. TD-SCDMA is only available through a dual-band receiver. The T578H is merely a prototype, but will likely have a commercial equivalent in the near future.
Without a formal announcement, Dell has released the Precision M2300, a workstation-oriented version of its Latitude D630. The 14-inch system is the smallest Precision to date and is claimed to bring pro-class performance to a more portable level. Every model has a Quadro FX 360M for mobile 3D rendering and boosting the Windows interface when used with Vista; the display is also much sharper at 1440x900 versus the 1280x800 of most of Dell's other models. It can also be configured with as much as a 2.6GHz Core 2 Duo to match or beat the performance of many larger notebooks.
Sony may have to shift its strategy for Blu-Ray to compete with HD DVD, chief executive Sir Howard Stringer said [free sign-up required] late yesterday at a presentation in Manhattan. The company head described the competition's new phase has been described as a "stalemate" as the advantages of a technically superior format and wider movie format support have eroded in recent months. Sony and other backers of Blu-Ray have not normally been concerned about cost and could compete largely on the "merits" of their format until Paramount's defection to HD DVD for nearly all its movies, reducing the incentive for home theater enthusiasts to hold out for exclusive titles.
Miglia today launched the TVMini2, which the company claims is the smallest USB device of its kind made specifically for Macs. The TVMini2 provides access to portable digital TV tuning, and enables users to transfer recorded files directly onto an iPod, iPhone, or Apple TV. Miglia's Mac-only digital tuner is designed to allow access to all other ports, and allows users to pause live TV using a feature dubbed "Déjà vu." A "Timeshift" recording feature also enables users to pause, rewind, and record chosen TV programs. The TVMini2 is already available for $120, and requires any Mac with built-in USB 2.0 connectivity running Mac OS X 10.4 or later. HD resolutions require at least a dual G5 or Intel-based Mac.
Microsoft's trumpeted Surface multi-touch table displays are encountering delays in reaching the market, according to a report from CNET. The Redmond, Washington-based company had originally planned to ship production versions of the technology by the end of the year to businesses such as Sheraton hotels and T-Mobile retail shops but is now pushing back the debut to spring 2008, pointing to issues customizing the Surface table design and software for each business.
Korean communications giant SK Telecom today announced it was increasing its stake in Helio by $70 million, granting SKT unofficial control of the American cellphone provider and taking it away from partner firm EarthLink. The former had promised as much as $270 million in September but now says it has already provided $70 million of that amount to the virtual network operator. Aside from granting more control over Helio's ultimate direction, the investment will be used to expand Helio's still small subscriber base and improve the phone lineup, which includes the well-received Ocean but has rarely included more than three devices at any given time.
AirLive today released the WN-5000R, its entry into the field of Draft 2.0-capable 802.11n wireless routers. Rather than tout a theoretical maximum speed, the company claims the network device produces a significant increase in real-world speed; the combination of multiple-in, multiple-out antennas and optimized transmitters produces 120Mbps of usable bandwidth. This is frequently six times the practical speed of 802.11g and offers longer range in the process, the company claims. In contrast to some newer routers, the 5000R is low-profile and more likely to fit in a tightly-packed setup.
ASUS is developing a computer that should do for desktops what the recently launched Eee PC will do for notebooks, company marketing president Jonathan Tseng told the press today. The executive would not go into details other than to explain the system would not include a display of its own and would likely be low-priced. The notebook distinguished itself by running a customized version of Linux and storing information on a small flash storage drive, allowing it to use relatively low-cost hardware and software while running relatively well.
Sprint and Clearwire today announced they would halt their shared WiMAX plans, putting an end to their plans for a nationwide 4G network. The companies cited a mutual inability to resolve "complexities" in the agreement but explained that they would continue to explore deals for development, roaming, and similar plans. Sprint's immediate WiMAX plans are not affected by the deal and will still see the first commercial launch of the wide-area Internet service next year, according to the company.
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