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Samsung today unveiled its new series of 24- and 25.5-inch LCD monitors designed for entertainment and multimedia use. The pair of monitors support resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 with full 1080p HD resolution, HDMI inputs, and built-in multimedia speakers. Built-in multimedia speakers allow users to seamlessly participate in teleconferences or listen to videos and audio presentations without the need to use or purchase separate speakers. Samsung's 2493HM monitor is available for $600, while the 2693HM is priced at $700.
Three computer builders showed the clearest signs of growth in US PC shipments over the course of last year, according to a new study by IDC. Preliminary estimates by the research group show that while the US market for computers grew relatively slowly at a flat 7 percent, Acer, Apple, and HP performed the most consistently ahead of others in final results. Acer showed the single highest percentage of growth at 292 percent year-over-year courtesy of its acquisition of Gateway but still showed strong enough growth as a combined company to claim fourth place in the US market at 5.5 percent of all PCs shipped to the country.
XtremeMac has used the relative quiet of the second day of Macworld to build up its iPod speaker line with the Tango X2. The revamp of the bookshelf system is about 30 percent smaller than the Tango Studio but tucks away an AM/FM radio with a stealth display and six station presets. This helps it operate independently of an iPod and in tighter spaces despite including a full 2.1-channel setup with tweeters, dynamic drivers, and a subwoofer, the company claims. An aux-in jack at the rear also improves its longevity by supporting virtually any device with a minijack output.
G-Technology, just absorbed by rival Fabrik, has announced two upcoming external hard drives. The first of these is a new version of the G-RAID mini, raised in capacity from 500GB to 1TB. The Mini is intended to be a portable RAID drive, using a striped (RAID 0) configuration. FireWire 400, 800 and USB 2.0 connections are available; when using FireWire 800, the drive is said to be fast enough to stream multiple video layers in apps such as Final Cut Pro. The drive is further equipped with a fan and heat sink, making is less susceptible to failure. It is Mac and PC compatible, and should ship sometime in March.
Although Apple is making an aggressive push into movie rentals and other fields it has not tried before, much of the electronics industry is still headed in the wrong path and misjudging its audience, company head Steve Jobs has said in a new interview with the New York Times. The executive particularly cautions that while the iPhone's own success is uncertain, Google may have unintentionally damaged its own efforts to influence the mobile world with the Android operating system by creating a conflict of interest where its own OS will compete against rivals who may also carry Google software.
Sony-Ericsson has sold more than 100 million phones in one year for the first time in the company's history to make a dramatic stride in marketshare, the handset maker announced today as part of its latest quarterly financial results. The partnership between Japanese and Swedish firms managed to sell 103.4 handsets over the course of 2007, amounting to slightly more than 9 percent of the market and fourth place overall. The gain is a full 2 percent over what the company claimed in 2006 and is credited by Sony-Ericsson to triumphs with several of its Walkman-themed music phones, including the W580i (pictured).
An Italian publication says it has obtained information on a new, high-end smartphone by Samsung, the i900. Its centerpiece is the rare feature of a 3.5-inch touchscreen, mimicking Apple's iPhone except in the use of a smaller 240x400 resolution. The phone is well-equipped in other areas as well however, namely its HSDPA receiver, which is capable of speeds up to 7.2Mbps -- twice as fast current American networks can manage. Other wireless connections include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0.
Toshiba has introduced several new external hard drives, in a bid to upgrade both capacities and appearance. All the drives now have a smaller footprint, and in some cases the option of three different wave-like color patterns: red, gray and green. Currently out is a new 2.5-inch drive, boosting the capacity of the series to 320GB. 160 and 250GB versions remain available; the 320GB model is $200.
The company is also debuting completely new 1.8-inch drives, sized at 60, 80 and 120GB. These will be ready in the spring at unannounced prices, though it is known that they will come with backup and encryption software. [via Mobile Magazine]
TV builder Syntax-Brillian, generally known for its low-cost Olevia TVs, has announced a new partnership with its more famous competitor, Sharp. Reuters notes that hrough the deal, Sharp will supply Syntax with at least 700,000 LCD panels in 2008, more being an option if public demand supports it. Syntax and another company -- Taiwan's Kolin -- will also have the option of buying a 65-inch, 120Hz panel from Sharp, until the end of September 2008. This could mean an upgrade is coming this year for the existing 65-inch Olevia set.
Apple's claim to have the world's thinnest notebook in the form of the MacBook Air may not account for a 10-year-old notebook, says a claim from CNET. Although as thin at every point, the 1998-era Mitsubishi Pedion maintained a uniform thickness of 0.72 inches when closed, just slighly thinner than the new MacBook's 0.76-inch figure at its thickest point. This came despite a smaller 12-inch screen and considerably older technology, which included a 233MHz Pentium MMX. The HP co-developed notebook used magnesium instead of aluminum but also required a unique design to reach its dimensions.
Intel's fastest-ever mainstream quad-core processor has been delayed at least a month, say alleged insiders from mainboard suppliers. While originally pegged for a launch in January that follows just two months after the earlier 3GHz model became widely available, the new 45 nanometer chip has been pushed back to February and potentially March. No explanation has been given for the delay, which is set to take place even though the 3.2GHz processor is still estimated to cost $1,399 each in bulk -- about $400 more than the next-quickest model.
Sharp on Wednesday took the unusual direction of building a compact home theater in its AQUOS Audio lineup that doubles as a complete stand. While larger models exist, the AN-ACD2 is designed not only as a 150-watt, 2.1-channel receiver and stereo but also as a stand for an HDTV set; with at least AQUOS HDTVs, any 37- to 42-inch set can be supported by the entire device. It also includes a deliberate gap that allows at least two devices such as a Blu-ray player or a cable set-top box, according to Sharp.
Potentially creating a major ripple effect in software, Sun today said it would acquire MySQL in a deal worth roughly $1 billion. The buyout gives Sun control over the most significant open-source database in the world but will also give MySQL distribution deals with Dell, IBM, and Intel that it would never have had otherwise, according to the two merging companies. Although the maneuver is expected to help Sun's preferred Linux and OpenSolaris systems integrate the database, the acquisition is also reportedly aimed at improving development of MySQL for Mac OS X and Windows.
The FCC should reach a decision as to whether or not it will approve the Sirius and XM merger before the end of March, the organization's chair Kevin Martin says in a new update. Without committing to a set date, the official says the FCC is most likely to reveal its opinion in the first quarter of the year and would end anxieties about the tie-in between the two satellite radio providers, both of whom hoped to finish the deal by the end of 2007. Settling the merger will still need approval from the Department of Justice, but the FCC will not necessarily wait for this to make its decision known, Martin says.
Helio this morning announced the widespread availability of the Mysto. Previously only available in a Korean version for those willing to get the device early, this conversion of Samsung's Ultra U600 slider continues to revolve around Helio's signature GPS features but adds a pair of crucial software features. Called Tellme, the first feature lets users find nearby locations through simple speech: holding a button and mentioning the name of a store will find the nearest location and provide directions. Equally new to Helio is WHERE, a set of GPS-connected web widgets that adds geotagging to Twitter posts, finds nearby gas stations, or checks local weather without the need for entering information by hand.
Acer is planning to join the increasingly crowded micro-notebook field headlined by the ASUS Eee PC and the just-launched Everex Cloudbook, according to a new report by Taiwan's Commercial Times. While there are few details, the computer maker is expected to launch systems with 8- and 9-inch LCDs and will even share AU Optronics with ASUS as a display manufacturer, the claim says. The tip would indicate an 800x480 screen that would match a future Eee PC expected in April.
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