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Creative is starting the year with a a new video-capable ZEN V, an unintentional leak shows. The company's US download page reveals the existence of a device nicknamed the ZEN V Video, complete with available firmware updates. No technical information is listed for the player, though a video-capable ZEN V is expected to require a larger screen and a higher capacity than the current model, which tops out at a 1.5-inch display and 8GB of storage. Larger-size ZEN players already reach 32GB of flash memory.
LG USA's efforts at CES are signaled by two new 60-inch TVs. The LCD-based LG60 and plasma PG60 are both claimed to set new design records as well as improve on video quality; the PG60 in particular achieves a uniquely 'frameless' look by using a single panel instead of multiple layers, eliminating the need for a border. It appears as though the set is a window rather than a portrait, LG boasts. While it goes without this advantage, the LCD model takes advantage of newer technology to slim down to less than 1.8 inches thick, cutting back on some of the bulk from the rear of the design.
Logitech tonight followed up earlier announcements with updates to both its Squeezebox wireless music hubs and Harmony universal remotes. The Squeezebox Duet is the first new Squeezebox since Logitech acquired the device's parent company and gives much more control than previous models: the remote (pictured) builds in a 2.4-inch color LCD and gives both more precise control as well as the option of viewing album art, RSS feeds, and other information without turning to a computer or the main hub. A new scroll wheel and simplified interface also helps find content more quickly.
(Updated with Palm Wanda) Both HP and Palm are set to launch new phones this year that will escalate the competition in the smartphone business, according a series of BGR leaks from European carrier Vodafone's 2008 roadmap for the UK. Codenamed the Silver, HP's device will be styled after Research in Motion's BlackBerry Pearl and even include the latter's SureType keyboard, suggesting support either for RIM's own "push" mail or a close emulation of it through Office Mobile. However, the Silver will allegedly outperform the Pearl with a far faster 7.2Mbps HSDPA connection and both GPS as well as Wi-Fi in a single device. It should sell for ₤250 ($368) and ship roughly in July, though whether it will support US cell frequencies is unknown.
Nokia's rumored E71 smartphone may already have been confirmed, courtesy of a live shot circulated on the web. The image appears to confirm beliefs that the device would be considerably smaller than the E61i it is expected to replace, reducing the width without significantly affecting the QWERTY keyboard at its heart. It also validates beliefs that the keypad will change slightly from the earlier device. New is a chromed, rounded edge that suggests Nokia will promote the device to more style-conscious home users in an attempt to compete with RIM's newer BlackBerry models.
Three new models recently joined Erector's Spykee Skype-capable robot: Spykee Cell, Spykee Vox, and Spykee Miss. Like the original Spykee, the three new robots feature a video camera, MP3 player, loudspeaker, and VoIP capabilities, while the latest versions include an iPod dock in their front. Using a computer, users can control Spykee's movements remotely to patrol about their houses. As with the first model, users design and build their own custom robot according to their tastes or needs. Pricing for Vox, Cell, and Miss has not been released; the original Spykee goes for $370.
Hitachi's presence at CES will be dictated by a new series in its Director's and UltraVision HDTV catalog. Dubbed the Ultra Thin 1.5 line, the new LCD screens stress a thinness that lets them fit into exceptionally tight home theater environments. Regardless of display size, each earns its namesake through a cabinet which is just 1.5-inch deep. Every set is also quiet and stylish, even at the back where many companies neglect their sets, Hitachi says. All models include support for HDMI 1.3 with Deep Color, while all 1080p models also have 120Hz panels that eliminate most traces of motion blur.
Accessory maker Logitech will have two products available at the CES show floor geared towards home theater PCs, according to information released ahead of the show. The diNovo mini (pictured at top) scales back the full-size diNovo Edge to a compact form. In addition to smaller keys, it switches from a general trackpad to a directional pad and includes specialized media controls; in home theater environments such as Windows Media Center, the controls let users adjust sound and steer media playback without needing a separate remote. The smaller diNovo is officially intended for Windows XP and Vista systems and should be available later in January. Pricing is expected to reach $100.
The HD DVD Promotional Group tonight reacted to Warner's abandonment of HD DVD for movies by canceling its Consumer Electronics Show keynote on short notice. The organization does not say the keynote is being removed permanently from its scheduled but says it has "postponed" the event without a new date, according to the announcement. Discussions are said to be underway with the group's partners and are widely expected to determine how Toshiba and other HD DVD backers approach the format at the show. A statement from the organization says it remains committed to the "quality and affordability" of the disc format.
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