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Samsung today announced the launch of its G400 (site not updated), the latest dual screen clamshell at CeBIT in Hanover, Germany. The G400 inherits the look and feel of Samsung's 'Soul' with a unique premium exterior and graphical user interface design identity, boasting a high gloss metallic finish with a hairline texture. The G400 also offers a new series of graphical user interfaces (GUIs) that provide three different options for users: GUI skin allows users to personalize the user interface with various options like background images, fonts, and colors. The G400 is slated for shipment in European countries starting in June (pricing was unavailable).
Canon today released the MX7600, an office AIO printer claimed to bring Pigment Reaction (PgR) technology downmarket. PgR is touted to make text and images more vivid on plain copy paper. The technology works by coating paper with a clear layer of ink from its own cartridge before spraying on the actual content, turning it into coated media, which produces superior quality and durability, according to Canon.
AT&T and Florida's state government today revealed that they had settled a lawsuit over alleged billing fraud for $2.6 million. The agreement brings an early end to a complaint which accused the carrier of misleading customers by promising free ringtones and other downloadable content but masking charges for the download itself. In addition to the fine, the company says it will more closely monitor its own marketing to ensure that any download fees or other costs are clearly marked.
In an interview with the British publication Amateur Photographer, Sigma founder Michihiro Yamaki has revealed that his company is already working on successors to its yet-to-be-released DP1 compact camera (pictured right). Although no specifications have been published, the DP2 and DP3 are expected to be announced by the end of the year, and will presumably share in common the same sort of full-frame sensor that reduces noise while still increasing sensitivity. Most compacts and even DSLRs use cropped technology, which also artificially shifts the focal length of lenses.
Mitsubishi Electric is calling it quits after 25 years in the mobile phone field due to a competitive market and discriminating and demanding consumers, and will focus instead on more general communication-related business, according to the company. Mitsubishi is taking immediate steps, stopping launches of newly developed models and cutting off its supply -- about 2 million phones in fiscal 2008 -- to NTTDoCoMo, Japan's mobile communications giant and the primary cellular carrier in the country.
In addition to having announced a new Eee PC, ASUS has revealed several other computers at CeBIT. Among these is the Ares, a desktop system meant for high-end gaming. It operates on a Core 2 Extreme processor, and supports up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM, as opposed to the more conventional DDR2. It can further be configured with up to 4TB of hard drive space, while graphics support includes NVIDIA's recent three-way SLI technology. The system's case, finally, features built-in liquid cooling. No prices or release dates have been published.
Google's primary video site YouTube is quietly increasing the quality of its videos, viewers have found over the weekend. The Flash-based site has begun re-encoding the web versions of its videos when possible, increasing their resolution from 320x240 to 480x360. Audio quality has also improved to include stereo AAC audio versus the lower bitrate mono sound of before, users note. The improvement primarily applies to newly uploaded videos, which are automatically produced in both the regular and high-quality versions, but is also being applied to older videos. The extra quality currently remains optional and must be activated by adding a tag to the address of the improved videos.
Qualcomm was dealt a second blow in its lawsuits against Nokia today by the UK High Court, rendering invalid some of the company's accusations of patent infringement against the cellphone maker. Following a similar defeat in the US through the International Trade Commission, Qualcomm was informed that its power control and savings management techniques were not infringed by any chipsets inside Nokia's GSM-based cellphones. Qualcomm says it is "actively considering" appealing the decision and receiving permission to change its patent to eliminate the technical disputes that led to the new ruling.
ASUS' rumored 8.9-inch version of the Eee PC has been formally unveiled, say reports from this week's CeBIT expo in Germany. While there is no evidence of WiMAX support, the notebook should be enhanced in a number of other respects, such as a larger trackpad and support for resolutions up to 1024x600. Despite theoretically consuming more power, the new Eee's battery life is said to range between 2.5 to 3 hours.
Finland's Nokia has announced a new mid-level phone, the 6124 classic. The phone's primary feature is 3G broadband, which can be tethered to a computer to act as a modem. The classic also has a two-inch display though, and can expand its internal memory up to 8GB, using an unspecified type of memory slot.
The most unusual component for a mid-level phone may be its camera, which while having a standard two-megapixel resolution, is also equipped with flash and a built-in panorama mode. The 6124 classic is an S60-based phone and should ship in the second quarter of next year; it will only, however, be carried on Vodafone networks at that time.
IOGEAR today unveiled its Mobile Digital Scribe, a functional pen with a digital receiver that stores up to 50 pages of notes and images which users can upload to a computer. The pen works on any paper and uses standard ink refills, while an ultrasonic transmitter and infrared sensor capture hand movements and a receiver attached to a notepad stores up to 50 pages of data. The Mobile Digital Scribe is compatible with 12 languages and works with Windows Vista as well as Microsoft Office 2000 and newer. The pen is priced at $130.
Electronista has received its example of Apple's new Penryn-based MacBook and is putting the system through its early paces. In the meantime, we've collected a series of initial impressions as well well as a gallery of photos. Unpacking the system is, if anything, even more of an exercise in minimalism than with the model just released in the fall. The most conspicuous change is what's absent: without the once-standard Apple Remote, the box feels almost empty, with a conspicuous gap where the controller would have been. Space was clearly not a concern with the decision to abandon the now $19 option.
Navigation mainstay TomTom has announced two new GPS units, the GO 730 and 930. Successors to previous models, one upgrade comes in the form of graphics, which have alpha blending and a more elegant user interface; the software will now also display lanes for upcoming turns, and even sign posts or 3D renderings for potentially confusing intersections.
Each unit has further been enhanced with a technology called "IQ Routes," which takes into account the average speeds of a road at different times, and will thus give a more realistic sense of driving time. This is likewise used to find alternate routes which are nevertheless faster than linear ones.
Amazon is contemplating major changes to its Unbox service to compete against rivals like iTunes and Netflix, say Unbox users sent a new survey. The online reseller is reportedly gauging customer interest in letting Unbox customers purchase HD versions of both movies and TV shows, providing an edge in content quality over most alternatives; most services such as the Apple TV's iTunes access and the Xbox 360's Video Marketplace currently allow only either rentals in HD or purchases in standard definition. The service may also allow users to download the documentaries and other special features normally stripped out of online purchases and rentals, Amazon hints.
Acer today said it would acquire E-TEN, best known for its relatively successful Glofiish line of smartphones. The deal is described as worth more than $290 million and is primarily intended to help Acer explore "entirely new solutions" in the mobile world, according to the purchasing company. Both companies' executive teams have approved the deal and say they expect the necessary government approval to clear by the summer of this year.
Sony has revealed a new technology it says will make large hard drives possible even with notebooks. Rather than use a traditional magnetic read/write head, the new development uses a hybrid of magnetic and optical technology to greatly increase the density: while the storage itself is similar, media is written to disk using a laser. The extremely small, precise nature allows it to fit far more bits of data on any given area. A full terabit (125GB) can fit on a single square inch -- five times the space of conventional hard disks, Sony says.
Expanding its P-series notebook series, Samsung today launched an early wave of CeBIT announcements with the P200. The thin, 12-inch notebook competes in the increasingly heated ultraportable field and promises an unusually tough case that can handle day-to-day use without the fragility of some small computers. The small size also does not preclude respectable battery life, according to Samsung: the standard battery provides just over 3 hours of real-world use, thanks in part to the use of more recent (though unspecified) Core 2 Duo processors.
Nokia on Monday sought to democratize some of its higher-end technology by releasing its 6650 clamshell. Though a relatively basic flip phone on the surface, the device both supplies 3G Internet access over HSDPA as well as live, data-assisted GPS for route finding. The phone also stresses media playback with external touch controls for music, microSD for storage, and an FM radio for listening when digital content runs low. A 2-megapixel camera with flash also supplies better photography than most phones in the class.
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