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Dell on Thursday officially took the wraps from the Studio. The line borrows design cues from the XPS but is priced and styled more closely to the budget Inspiron line and is pursuing the same mid-range, design-conscious audience as Apple and Sony. It comes in a relatively wide array of designer colors: users can pick a gray model with one of four colors for the trim or else have the entire lid given colors as bright as orange or purple. The portables also have more upscale features out of the box, such as HDMI video out, external SATA on some models, and faster overall processors and video chipsets.
Information Appliance Associates has come up with a solution for those torn between a BlackBerry and their Mac. PocketMac MacThemes for BlackBerry gives the handheld device the "look and feel" of the Mac. Traditional BlackBerry icons are replaced with Mac-like versions, complete with familiar colors and OS X style backgrounds. The PocketMac MacTheme is available for the BlackBerry 7100, 7200, 8100 Pearl, 8300, 8700, 8703e and 8800. The company says support for BlackBerry Bold is coming soon. MacTheme for BlackBerry requires OS X 10.4 or higher and sells for $10.
Research in Motion on Wednesday afternoon reported what it says are record results for its spring quarter. The company's revenue spiked 107 percent year-over-year to just over $2.2 billion based largely on shipments of BlackBerry devices themselves, which made up 82 percent of the revenue between March and May. The company delivered about 5.4 million BlackBerry smartphones and notes that almost 43 percent of these were new customers. About 2.3 million new BlackBerry push e-mail accounts went live in the same period, RIM says.
Dell recently began offering the GeForce Dual 8800M GTX upgrade kit to users who purchased the company's XPS M1730 notebooks before the end of January. The chip can now be purchased separately and turns the portable PC into a more viable gaming and entertainment platform, with features such as smooth HD video playback, dual DVI ports, and a maximum 2560x1600 external resolution support. Before now, and since January, the only way to get the XPS M1730 with the 8800M GTX was to order it as an option in a new notebook.
Sony is reviving talk of a PlayStation-branded gaming phone that may also mark a split between itself and Ericsson for at least one model, according to multiple sources speaking to Marketing Week. Separate contacts in Sony's native Japan as well as Korea tell the magazine that the phone would include elements of the PSP gaming handheld and that the process would be relatively simple, as components such as Wi-Fi are already well-suited to the device.
Matrox this afternoon began offering the M-series, a set of video cards it says includes the first to output to four separate displays by itself. The M9140 uses the Canadian company's own connectors as well as a set of adapters to output video to four displays at once without sacrificing resolution. Every display, whhether DVI or VGA, can reach a greater-than-HD 1920x1200 resolution, the company says. The achievement also comes while fitting the card into the space of a single slot and while still using passive cooling that renders the card perfectly quiet.
Bang & Olufsen today said it had struck a unique deal that would see a luxury condominum include the Danish electronics firm's technology. The upcoming Renwick building in Manhattan's SoHo area will see a BeoVision 8 32-inch LCD TV installed by default into every suite along with audio systems to match; the company's BeoSound 4 is also put into each condominium for listening to music through SD cards or CD, while a BeoLab 4000 one-piece speaker provides sound without taking up extra space.
Bell Canada has been made to disclose figures for the actual congestion of its Internet connections, according to Broadband Reports. The information was demanded by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which is responding to complaints that Bell has been throttling peer-to-peer traffic -- such as BitTorrent transfers -- as delivered to its ring of wholesale ISPs. By doing so, it is alleged, Bell made it impossible for third parties to compete with Bell's own Sympatico Internet service. The throttling was necessary to cope with network demands, Bell has responded.
Sony has updated the VAIO TP1, a Media Center PC based on an unusual puck-shaped chassis. The VGX-TP1DQ/B and VGX-TP1D are both equipped with two land-based digital TV tuners, HDMI output, and new video recording software. The DQ/B however is considered the top model, and is equipped with a Blu-ray drive, along with a 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of system RAM, a 500GB hard drive and a GeForce 8400M GT video card with 256MB of memory.
Apple has slipped in terms of environmental friendliness, claims Greenpeace. The activist group has published a new edition of its Guide to Greener Electronics, and whereas in the last rankings Apple jumped from 2.7 to 6.7 -- due to the release of the less toxic MacBook Air -- the company has since slipped to just 4.1, marking it as an offending company.
The next model year of Chrysler vehicles will have mobile Internet access as a staple feature, the American car company has said before an official announcement of the vehicles themselves. All of its 2009 models will have the option of UConnect Web, a service that will give the vehicles a 3G cellular Internet connection shared throughout the car over Wi-Fi. The service is intended to let passengers use notebooks and smartphones whenever the car is inside the cellular network's coverage area.
T-Mobile's Shadow II phone is real and will represent a first for Windows Mobile, claims an insider source. The device is now thought to be made by HTC and will be the first cellphone with the Microsoft to support cell-to-Wi-Fi call bridging when it sees use on T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home service, letting subscribers make unlimited calls from Wi-Fi that carry over to the cell network without interruptions.
Mitsubishi today committed to the final launch of its LaserVue sets. The world's first production laser-based HDTVs should be available in the summer and will be split into 65-inch and 73-inch screen sizes; by using laser light in place of normal lamps, either screen is much more accurate and can generate 200 percent of the normal NTSC color gamut while also consuming much less power. The 200 watts used by a LaserVue is said to be half that of a same-size LCD and a third that of an equivalent plasma set.
Verizon today began shipping its LG Dare touchscreen phone and has provided the device with its final launch price. The handset should be available online by Thursday and will be available through retail on July 3rd; the previously withheld pricing is now known to reach $200 after a $50 rebate and signing a two-year plan, matching the same price as the 8GB iPhone 3G that will launch just two weeks later.
Nikon's increasingly rumored D700 mid-grade DSLR camera has purportedly been photographed and may provide clues as to more of the feature set, according to a post at Evolife. The camera now appears to have a pop-up flash that would confirm its unusual status as a very high-end amateur camera as well as a mid-range professional model; the image also points to new and unusual 24-120mm lens with vibration reduction built-in.
Imation is pushing the size of its flash drives downwards today with the Atom Flash, its smallest ever storage of the kind. The drive is only slightly longer than a paperclip and is small enough to be tied to another mobile device or a set of keys without being a burden. The Atom is also considered relatively advanced with an aluminum outer shell, a password protection feature, and recognition as a ReadyBoost memory cache for Windows Vista users who would rather use it as a supplement to a PC with little memory.
The BlackBerry Bold's launch with AT&T has been pushed back again until August, says a tip from "high-level" contacts at AT&T speaking to BGR. The 3G smartphone had once been penned in for July but is now reportedly delayed another month to sort out issues with short battery life and overheating, both issues that were identified in past leaks. An exact release date isn't available.
VIZIO used an atypical Wednesday schedule to launch a major change in its HDTV lineup. The XVT series in 42-inch (SV420XVT) and 47-inch (SV470XVT) models is the budget TV maker's first line to use 120Hz LCD panels and gives even relatively cost-conscious users relatively artifact-free fast movement. Both are also comparatively sharp and vivid for economy HDTVs with a native 1080p resolution and a 6,500:1 contrast ratio.
A-DATA technologies has introduced the 'Turbo Series CF 350X', touted as the world's fastest CompactFlash card. Aimed at professional photographers and digital imaging professionals, the card offers peak 52MB/sec read and 47MB/sec write speeds, and comes in both 8GB and 16GB sizes. The card's speedy transfer rates are made possibly by utilizing the dual-channel UDMA 0-5 and MDMA 0-4 modes of high level digital cameras and only ussing original SLC (single level cell) flash memory. Priced at $80 for the 8GB card, and $210 for the 16GB version, both are shipping immediately.
Panasonic on Wednesday made its promised Japanese and North American introductions of the Toughbook CF-U1. The handheld is the first-ever rugged ultra-mobile PC based on Intel's ultra-efficient Atom processor and uses a 1.33GHz version of the chip to both run Windows Vista Business at reasonable speeds as well as to extend the U1's battery life: a unique twin-battery system gives the Toughbook between six and eight hours of real-world use and lets users hot-swap batteries for even more use without turning off the system.
AMD this morning publicly rounded out its video card updates with the full launch of the ATI Radeon HD 4800 series. The launch supports earlier low-key announcements but marks the formal appearance of the higher-end Radeon HD 4870; the double-slot card is said to be twice as fast as an equivalent Radeon HD 3870 card and performs at about 1.2 teraflops per second, or enough floating-point math calculations to generate help generate AMD's purportedly near-realistic Cinema 2.0 experience with high detail, many objects, and camera-like focusing effects.
Last reported in May, Virgin Mobile USA is set to absorb SK Telecom-owned Helio in a deal said to approach the former paying the Korean telecommunications firm almost $50 million, leaving SK holding 20-percent of company holdings. The Financial Times writes that the MVNO will dissolve its identity in favor of the more recognizable Virgin Mobile brand, and integrate its 200,000 users into Virgin's customer base of 5.1 million mobile users.
T-Mobile is readying a VOIP phone service that will allow its customers to use standard landline phones over any broadband network for only $10 per month. Similar to offerings from Vonage and Packet8, T-Mobile's nationwide service has already been tested in the Seattle and Dallas markets since February and is expected to launch on July 2 as T-Mobile AtHome; it offers unlimited domestic calls as well as features such as call waiting, caller ID, three-way conferencing, voicemail, call forwarding and other features as well as optional features such as CallerTunes (ringback tones). Users will be able port their existing home phone numbers, but T-Mobile will require customers purchase a wireless plan that costs at least $40 per month as well as a compatible T-Mobile Internet router: the "HiPort" router costs $50 (with a two-year contract) and works with any standard corded or cordless phone and plugs into any broadband connection.
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