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HP recently unveiled additional specifications for the UMPC 2133, the company's ultraportable designed to compete with the Asus EeePC, and placed a tentative ship date of April 7th on the device. According to Engadget, the UMPC 2133 will feature a choice of a 1.2GHz and 1.6GHz VIA C7-M processor, as well as a VIA Chrome 9 graphics chipset. Choices of Windows Vista Home Basic and Business, as well as SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop are available. Pricing for the computer starts at $550.
Garmin today unveiled the GPSMAP 495, a feature-rich trimmed down version of the GPSMAP 496, providing pilots with SafeTaxi airport diagrams, Smart Airspace, AOPA Airport directory data, and several other features. Garmin bills the device as an intermediary model to the 296 and 496, combining features from the 496 but maintaining a price close to the 296. Garmin is currently selling the GPSMAP 495 for $1600, and will be shipping in early April.
Electronics giant Samsung has introduced a new compact camera, the L210. The camera's sensor is rated at 10.2 megapixels, and it supports light sensitivity up to ISO 1600. The lens is equipped with both 3x optical zoom and hardware image stabilization; this in turn is combined with software image stabilization, in theory allowing clear images in otherwise impossible lighting.
Toshiba on Wednesday showed off a talking, learning robot it calls the ApriPoko, which asks questions and learns remote control functions to make jobs such as turning on various electronic devices a voice-operated task. Users can tell ApriPoko to switch channels or turn on the TV when they're out of remote range, which operates on line-of-sight. Still a prototype, the robot functions by asking questions from its chest-mounted speaker. Once it detects an infra-red signal from a remote, it will ask what function just took place; it then commits an answer to memory thanks to a built-in microphone and sends a corresponding IR signal when it hears the same words in the future.
Verizon is putting pressure on the Federal Communications Commission to make switching away from cable companies easier, Reuters reports. The company observes while phone companies will often handle the switchover from one carrier to another themselves, cable subscribers must typically get their own cable disconnected. This discourages people from switching, Verizon argues, "entrenching the cable incumbents' dominant market position."
Dell and multiple other top-tier PC makers today said they were facing the extended effects of a shortage of notebook batteries. Following a fire earlier this month at an LG Chem factory, Dell has encouraged it to boost prices of additional lithium-ion battery packs in an effort to preserve their reduced supply. There were no immediate plans to raise prices for regular systems, though the company would prefer not to offer a definitive statement, according to spokesman Jess Blackburn.
Users on Wednesday said that Dash had begun shipping the Dash Express, its Internet-connected GPS unit. The long-delayed 4.3-inch widescreen device draws attention as one of the first constantly Internet-aware navigators: fellow Dash owners can share points of interest and traffic data between each other and have map data updated almost in real time. Drivers can also run live Yahoo Search updates and send both addresses as well as Google Earth landmarks from their home computers.
Some extra features have been added to Windows Mobile 6.1 since the last time it was previewed, a phone update reveals. A media version of the new Motorola Q9 with Wi-Fi comes with v6.1 pre-loaded, and has support for features such as AT&T's Video Share service, and the ability to upload directly to a Windows Live Space. The home screen has been updated with more music and media options, and the camera interface has been improved in general.
ASUS' upcoming Eee PC 900 will have multi-touch features in its trackpad when it arrives on US shores, according to a new FCC filing. A user guide posted as part of the US agency's testing process reveals a trackpad with controls similar to (but simpler than) those found on the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Unlike most notebooks, the 900 will allow both for two-finger scrolling as well as a "pinch" gesture to zoom into photos and some documents.
Panasonic on Tuesday announced an update to its convertible tablet notebook, the Toughbook 19, that includes a newer chipset and more standard and optional memory. The next generation Toughbook 19F now includes a Core 2 Duo processor at 1.06GHz and twice as much standard memory, at 1GB versus 512MB, as well as a newly optional integrated camera. RAM is also expandable to 4GB, as opposed to 2GB with the earlier version.
Nokia has announced a new GSM phone, the 6300i. A variant on the current 6300, the phone's primary feature is the ability to make both cellular and VoIP calls. The latter are possible over Wi-Fi, an option which may save money when in range of an open hotspot. The phone is also able to browse the web and download applications over Wi-Fi, and can store as many as 2,000 numbers in memory.
Amazon MP3 is quickly catching up to iTunes despite having been on the market for only a fraction of the time, according to new data. Launched in September, the web-based music store is now ranked second in the US only to Apple's service and is the highest-ranked store to offer all its tracks without digital rights management (DRM). The success is credited largely to the lack of copy protection, which allows songs to be played in nearly any modern operating system as well as any portable devices, including historically locked-down devices such as the iPod or the Zune.
After earlier reports of its ultraportable PLC-XW60 launching in Japan, Sanyo announced it on Wednesday for the North American market. Sanyo claims that at 3.6 lbs and with 10.4- by 2.17- by 7.4-inch dimensions, the XW60 is the industry's lightest and smallest XGA (1,024x768) resolution LCD projector. Designed for traveling businesspeople and light-duty office use, the XW60 attains its size thanks to a lamp that is 39 percent smaller thanks to a smaller reflector while a plastic aspherical plastic lens is 44 percent lighter than a glass one.
Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has managed downlink speeds of up to 250Mbps in field testing of LTE (Long Term Evolution), a company announcement claims. LTE, often dubbed 4G broadband, is expected to eventually replace the current worldwide 3G standards, HSDPA and HSUPA. LTE should allow individual cellphone users to reach download speeds of up to 20Mbps; this at least two and a half times faster than the fastest 3 and 3.5G deployments, still used in a minority of public networks. Most 3G connections are over five times slower.
Motorola today started early on its CTIA expo announcements with word of the DH02, a sequel to its DH01 mobile TV handheld. The new version replaces the side controls of the original with a touchscreen interface that uses simpler icons and scrolling for its navigation. The new version also adds support for GPRS and HSDPA cellular Internet access to use the TV for two-way online features.
Digg and Pownce co-creator Kevin Rose claims to have obtained extra information about the launch of a 3G-capable iPhone, according to an update on Twitter. Following earlier claims about an updated iPhone on this weekend's Diggnation podcast, the social software developer claims to have received additional confirmation from a 'high-level VP' at a company working with Apple who says an updated device will ship in June with both support for faster networks as well as with truer GPS support.
Multiple cable providers as well as other key technology companies are helping fund Sprint's still young WiMAX-based Xohm network, according to tips provided to the Wall Street Journal. Those allegedly aware of the situation explain that the 4G, wide-area wireless network is slated to receive as much as $1 billion from cable giant Comcast to help expand the Sprint service beyond its three-city trial; opposing cable providers Time Warner and Bright House are also believed to have pledged support of up to $500 million and $200 million.
Super Talent this morning aimed at eliminating some of the barriers to solid-state drives with news of what it says is the world's thinnest large-capacity model. The FSD56GC25H measures the same 12.5mm as some taller notebook drives but holds a full 256GB of storage, allowing it to slot into the same 2.5-inch or larger Serial ATA bays as conventional drives while holding a comparable amount of data. The design is not just 40 percent thinner than other 256GB drives but also relatively fast, reading data at 65MB per second and writing it at 50MB per second.
Motorola today said it would spin off its Mobile Devices and Broadband & Mobility Solutions divisions as separate, public companies. The decision stems from a review of the divisions started by the company in January and is meant to increase the focus of the two previously connected groups. The yet to be renamed Mobile Devices group will concentrate solely on designing cellphones, other handhelds, and the relevant software; Broadband & Mobility will devote its attention primarily to the back end of technology and include the infrastructure for large-scale Internet services as well as the modems and other equipment used at home, Motorola says.
ASUS on Wednesday confirmed previously rumored plans of a touchscreen Eee PC. Company sales VP Kevin Lin explains that at least some versions of the 8.9-inch Eee PC 900 will include the touch input as an alternative to the built-in trackpad. Software that might take advantage of the panel was not discussed. Some systems may also incorporate GPS support for navigation, Lin added, also noting that the local price for the systems was likely to reach $500.
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