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ASUS on Monday unveiled a new ROG XG Station, a mobile video system designed for laptops, which hosts an Nvidia GeForce 8600GT graphics card with 256MB of DDR3 memory. The device attaches to a laptop through the Express Card slot to provide enhanced gaming performance on those with integrated graphics processors such as the GMA 950. The ROG XG Station earned the company an honorable mention at the Red Dot design awards.
Dell is being accused of breaking two promises it has made to customers, pertaining to its continued support of the Microsoft Windows XP platform, next-day repair service, and promotional financing plan. A note from the computer manufacturer's Small Business sales team reveals that its earlier plans to offer Windows XP on machine sales past Microsoft's June 30th deadline are null and void, instead stating that it would cease to offer the operating system past June 30th.
Verizon Wireless has both confirmed and launched the W755, a new clamshell phone by Motorola. The phone sports a metal finish, a 1.9-inch display and a 1.3-megapixel camera; its primary feature however is music playback, and to that end touch-sensitive music controls are located on the exterior face of the device. A microSD slot is capable of expanding storage up to 4GB, and audio can be streamed to stereo Bluetooth headsets.
The Amazon Kindle e-book reader on Tuesday received a 10 percent price reduction along with free two-day shipping from the online store. The hot-selling device, launched in 2007, has suffered a supply shortage back in March due to demand overwhelming the screen supplier's production capability. While Amazon has not released numbers, it is estimated more than 50,000 Kindles have been shipped in the first quarter of the year.
At Tuesday's corporate strategy meeting, Hitachi announced it would continue to pursue with its money-losing HDTV panel manufacturing along with recovering HDD sales as core businesses. Company president Kazuo Furukawa maintains panel production will remain the company's core business because demand is growing globally, as one of three reasons for the newfound focus.
LaCie on Tuesday unveiled a new Blu-ray disc burner, capable of writing to single-layer media at 4x speeds across Firewire or USB 2.0. The drive retains LaCie's durable d2 aluminum casing and boasts whisper quiet operation while burning 25GB and 50GB BD-R and BD-RE media, in addition to all common CD and DVD formats. LaCie is offering the dual-interface Blu-ray burner for $650, available from LaCie directly and authorized retailers.
Intel is pushing back the launch of its Centrino 2 notebook platform to July 14th, claims a new rumor from TG Daily. The news from insiders allegedly near Intel would have Intel not only delay its launch of newer processors and chipsets past June but force the company to scrap a planned debut at the Computex show on June 3rd. The delay is said to be a combination of both hurdles relating to FCC approval for the 802.11n Wi-Fi chipset as well as flaws with integrated graphics chipsets found by Intel late into development.
The industry's biggest in independent contract chip manufacturer, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, announced Tuesday it is considering raising prices for higher-performance chips due to the rising costs of doing business. While the supplier hasn't announced which chips will face the price hike or how much prices would go up, its many customers, including ATI, NVIDIA and VIA, would likewise adjust their prices to reflect the change to the public at large.
Sony Ericsson's XPERIA X1 smartphone will be one of the company's most powerful when it ships later this year, says a just-published white paper (PDF) from the company. The Windows Mobile 6.1 device will have twice as much memory as most any other smartphone at 256MB and will also carry 512MB of built-in flash storage on top of whatever is added through the microSD slot.
NTT DoCoMo today announced it will release 19 new handsets in its new FOMA 906i- and 706i-series this summer. The eight flagship 906i phones are highly featured and sport capabilities North American mobile markets are not yet supporting. This includes the DCMX mobile credit card and iD mobile credit payments, as well as 1Seg mobile TV streaming on their Full Wide VGA (typically 800x480) screens.
The One Laptop Per Child project's XO2 notebook will use an improved form of multi-touch display when it ships, says Mary Lou Jepsen of the display's creator company, Pixel Qi, in a new interview with Laptop. Instead of using an iPhone-like technique that sandwiches the touch-sensitive layer in between the glass and an LCD, the XO2 will use an in-cell touchscreen where the receptors are woven into the display itself. The process both saves money by reducing the production to a single part and also produces a brighter screen without the need for a surface layer.
The Canadian government today officially began its wireless auction for the 2GHz band, setting the groundwork for a potentially significant change in the country's cellular business. Similar to the recently completed 700MHz auction held by the FCC in the US, the auction will let a total of 27 companies bid on licenses to operate wireless networks in different regions. The Canadian auction differs by having the government dictate bidding increments for early stages and asking companies to match each bid.
Vodafone had mixed news on Tuesday as the company announced the departure of chief executive Arun Sarin just as the company turned to profit for its latest full year of results. The senior official explains that the company's shift from a yearly loss of $10.8 billion in 2007 to a $13.2 billion profit today suggests that he has accomplished his goal of reviving the company and that it was time to move on to a new position; European regional chief Vittorio Colao will take Sarin's place when the latter's departure takes effect after a company general meeting on July 29th.
Windows 7 will represent a gradual change over Vista, rather than a dramatic one, according to Microsoft's head of Windows engineering. "We're very clear that drivers and software that work on Windows Vista are going to work really well on Windows 7; in fact, they'll work the same," says Steven Sinofsky. "We're going to not introduce additional compatibilities, particularly in the driver model," he adds. "Windows Vista was about improving those things. We are going to build on the success and the strength of the Windows Server 2008 kernel, and that has all of this work that you've been talking about. The key there is that the kernel in Windows Server '08 is an evolution of the kernel in Windows Vista, and then Windows 7 will be a further evolution of that kernel as well."
Details of AMD's planned announcements at Computex have emerged, OEM sources for TG Daily are said to claim. The Puma platform is expected to be launched at the beginning of the show, June 3rd, and will feature the "Griffin" CPU, now named the Turion Ultra. Also said to be included is the RS780M, a mobile version of the 780G chipset; on this will be a Mobility Radeon 3200 graphics chip, and Wi-Fi receivers from the likes of Atheros and Broadcom.
Microsoft expects sales of phones with Windows Mobile to grow at least 50 percent per year for the company's next two fiscal years, according to statements made by the company's Asian OEM manager Eddie Wu on Tuesday. The company reiterated that it hopes to sell 20 million phones over its fiscal 2008 but also expects that number to grow by another 50 percent to 30 million for 2009. Such growth is considered the "minimum" and should ideally climb higher, Wu says.
AT&T this morning launched the Pantech Breeze, one of its rare phones aimed at newcomers to cellphones, seniors, or just those who want quicker calling. The phone's signature feature is a row of three quick call keys that can be set to any phone number, saving the trouble of hand-dialing or adding contacts. Pantech also supplies the phone with a deliberately simplified phone menu and a large keypad that doesn't require the experience of most handsets.
LG this morning said it has started shipping a quintet of home theater systems that are tailored equally to traditional home theater and audio setups as well as portable digital audio. The flagship LHT888 is tuned by Mark Levinson and puts out 5.1-channel surround through a 700-watt speaker system with wireless rear channels. Its host receiver can both play DVDs as well as play media from USB devices, including iPod-specific navigation as well as more generic mass storage. Video can be upscaled as high as 1080p through the HDMI connection, which also supports CEC multi-device control when attached to Blu-ray players, TVs, and other devices that support the standard.
Omnivision today said it has developed a new camera sensor that should radically improve the quality of photography from cellphones. A variant of the company's OmniBSI chip technology allows the company to fill each individual pixel on the sensor with much more light than previously possible by literally flipping the sensor upside down and lighting its back. In doing so, the company says it can pack a much more dense sensor into the same space as an equivalent model. An eight-megapixel sensor can already fit in the space occupied by a three-megapixel sensor today, the company says.
Creative has for now shelved its plans to develop a Wi-Fi capable player, the company's Nordic product manager Jan Hvidberg has revealed in an interview. The senior official confirms the one-time existence of the ZEN Share but says that there were "technical complications" developing the player that prompted the company to drop the project. The executive doesn't rule out the possibility of a future player with wireless but for now shelves hopes of an immediate release.
VIA this morning set out its version of the future for micro notebooks with the OpenBook. The 8.9-inch portable is the sequel to last year's NanoBook and earns its name through its uniquely open-source chassis. Unlike most stock designs, the blueprints for the outer panels are put under a liberal Share Alike version of the Creative Commons license: this lets third-party PC makers freely remake the outside of the notebook without the trouble of negotiating for a license. The shift will give many companies a unique PC of their own that gets to market for less money and more quickly than rivals, VIA hopes.
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