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Playing catch-up with competitors Hitachi and Samsung -- both of which have begun shipping 500GB laptop drives -- Toshiba has finally announced a new 400GB high-capacity drive along with a new line-up of high-performance 7,200rpm 2.5-inch HDDs. The new 400GB drive boosts areal density to 477Mbit/s (308Gbpsi) to achieve a capacity of 400GB on just two platters and is touted as its "low-noise flagship model." The new 400GB notebook drive (MK4058GSX) is expected to hit mass production in September and will target both notebook PC and consumer electronic applications; however, the company expects to ramp up production of its higher performance 7,200rpm models of its current drives next month, including the 320GB (MK3254GSY) model and the smaller 80GB, 120GB, 160GB and 250GB capacities.
Samsung on Tuesday unveiled two digital cameras: the NV100 HD pocket digital camera with an impressive 14.7 megapixel resolution and the NV9 pocket camera with 10.2MP. The Samsung NV100 HD boasts a 3-inch touchscreen, 3.6x Schneider Kreuznach zoom lens, face recognition features, smile and blink detection, and up to ISO 3200 sensitivity. In addition, the camera's tin CCD records images with up to 4,384 x 3,288px resolution, allowing it display HD resolution on HDMI-compatible HD displays (via the optional docking station). The camera can also record HD video with 720p resolution (1,280 x 720px) at 30fps.
Sandisk on Tuesday introduced the "WORM," or "Write Once Read Many" SD card for professional uses such as storing evidence in police investigations, court testimony, medical records and electronic voting. Sandisk claims original data written to WORM cards are "effectively locked" and there is "no physical way to alter or delete the files." If stored properly, the company claims, WORM SD cards have an archive live of up to 100 years.
Google, Viacom, and the Football Association of England have all reached an agreement after the latter two firms brought charges of copyright infringement to the video-based social networking site YouTube. Reuters reveals that while the service normally specializes in user-created content, YouTube also hosts many segmented commercial productions, despite the action being against its End-User License Agreement.
Fujitsu today introduced six new notebooks and tablet PCs based on the Intel Centrino 2 mobile platform announced last night. The two tablet PCs are the LifeBook T5010 and T1010, both sporting a 13.3-inch display. The main difference between the two is the use of the Centrino 2 vPro business chipset in the T5010 and the regular Centrino 2 in the T1010, with less security and no remote access options. The T5010 also features a modular bay that allows the optical drive to make room for a secondary battery.
Korean communications giant SK Telecom is discussing buying out third-largest American cell carrier Sprint, CNBC claims. Although technically smaller than Sprint, sources say SKT hopes to bring a private equity group into the deal that would give it enough financial clout to complete the deal. The Korean company allegedly wants any takeover to occur on friendly terms and is proceeding slowly, with any possible agreement still uncertain and weeks away at the earliest.
Sony on Tuesday announced that it would launch a lower-cost PlayStation 3 with an 80GB hard drive. The new version will have the $399 price and "same functionality" as the 40GB model but hold twice the storage, leaving more room for movies from the company's new PlayStation video service as well as more downloadable game content and personal media. Sony doesn't say whether the functionality will include software emulation of PS2 titles or whether the system will ship standard with a Dual Shock 3 gamepad.
Sony at its E3 press gathering this afternoon formally introduced a Video section to the console side of the PlayStation Store. Users of the PlayStation 3 will be able to buy or rent content from most major studios, including not just its own Sony Pictures but also Disney, Fox, NGM, Paramount, Warner, and other smaller studios. The company is uniquely one of the first to allow TV show purchases in HD as well as in standard definition, and prices them at $2 each; movies can be rented in either resolution for typical prices of $3 to $4, with permanent movie downloads selling for $10 to $20.
Sony today helped the PlayStation 2 towards the end of its life with news of a new bundle for the console. The Lego Batman bundle ties the black version of the game system with both a copy of the upcoming Lego Batman game as well as a DVD version of the new Justice League: New Frontiers superhero movie. The system is otherwise the same as the slim PS2 and comes with a lone DualShock 2 gamepad when it ships in the fall for $149.
Monday night's launch of the new Intel Centrino 2 notebook platform, unveiling of the 45nm, 3.06GHz Core 2 Extreme mobile processor and announcement of 14 total forthcoming chips was covered last night, but there is room to expand on Intel's presentation. The company stressed its new focus, showing that laptop computers are increasingly outselling desktops.
Acer today unveiled information on nine new notebooks that take advantage of the recently introduced Intel Centrino 2 platform that uses faster processors and a 1,066MHz system bus, among other changes. The four new Aspire-line notebooks will also sport WiMAX functionality and be tailored for the multimedia user, while the five TravelMates notebooks are geared towards business users. While Acer has been thin on details, the company did reveal some information on the new notebooks.
iHome today said it has started shipping the ZN9. The stereo system is the first clock radio dock for Microsoft's player and can play live audio from a Zune 4, 8, or 80 as well as use the portable device as the source of music for the alarm; the device's AM/FM radio or a simple buzzer is also an option. Like iHome's iPod equivalents, the ZN9 also permits setting an alarm that varies for weekdays and weekends, and users can also set gradual wake or sleep timers to fade the volume.
Memory and computer builder OCZ has announced its own, custom version of Intel's Centrino 2 platform. The OCZ interpretation comes in the form of a "whitebook" portable system labeled the OCZNBIM17A, which supports the top-end mobile version of the Core 2 Extreme processor, the X9100. The system is also capable of supporting two AMD M88XT video cards in SLI mode, or a single GeForce 8800 GTX by Nvidia. RAM extends up to 4GB of 1,066MHz DDR3 RAM.
Nintendo at E3 today expanded on yesterday's unveiling of the Wii MotionPlus. The add-on device for the Wii Remote uses a built-in spatial sensor that allows for very precise swings, twists, and rotation: a sword swing can be reflected exactly onscreen, while holding the Remote sideways gives players the ability to twist the throttle in a jet ski game or toss a Frisbee as well as they can in real life.
Computer builder Overdrive PC has announced a new collection of custom-built systems. The machines use a process the company dubs "HyperClocking," a means of overclocking processors while retaining safe power levels; the systems are however divided between a variety of different price levels, beginning with the $1,500+ SmallBlock gaming PCs. These use at least Core 2 Duo E8400s clocked at 3GHz, and 512MB GeForce 9800 GTX cards.
Nintendo at its E3 press conference today introduced the WiiSpeak, a microphone add-on for its Wii game console. The device is designed to lay on top of even flat-panel TVs and lets users participate in multi-user chats during games, including Animal Crossing: City Folk. Nintendo hasn't said whether the chat function will be available outside of games but notes that it's limited to existing Wii friends.
Lenovo may be the next large PC maker to enter the mini notebook field, according to reports from those in the notebook business. The company plans to expand its IdeaPad yet again to include the G series and will target the line both at budget notebooks as well as the mini notebook field led by the ASUS Eee PC, Acer Aspire One, and other very small systems. Specifics of this system are vague, though most of these systems now use an Intel Atom processor and come with flash-based storage as well as an option for Linux.
Intel's first quad-core notebook processor will be ready by next month, says the semiconductor firm's Singapore marketing chief Sujan Kamran. Although the official declines to provide details, the processor is expected to be clocked at 2.53GHz and carry the same 12MB of Level 2 cache as desktop quad-core chips. It would be badged as a Core 2 Extreme processor (the QX9300) despite the clock speed gap between itself and the 3.06GHz dual-core model already made public.
Microsoft today argued that US House and Senate Judiciary Committees that the proposed Google/Yahoo deal, claiming that Yahoo's agreement to support ads through a non-exclusive deal is anti-competitive and would allegedly hurt innovation. The legal counsel for Microsoft, Brad Smith, expresses fears that Google would control as much as 90 percent of online advertising, allowing it to dictate prices and force companies to advertise through it for proper exposure. He also warns that Google could potentially have a monopoly on Internet services.
HP on Tuesday used the wake of its Centrino 2 announcements to reveal three new Photosmart printers that include an allegedly record-setting model. The A630's 4.8-inch touch LCD is the largest of any totable photo printer and allows upwards of 300 potential editing touches to be made to photos on the printer itself; a simpler A530 model goes with a smaller screen but is characterized as the least expensive photo printer capable of larger 5-by-7 inch prints.
Microsoft continued its string of E3 hardware announcements today with two new Xbox 360 gamepads, including the company's first gamepad bundle. Those who buy the Limited Edition Red Wireless Controller get both a unique, special-run color of the console peripheral but also get a Play and Charge Kit that supplies both the extra power of a color-matching lithium-ion pack but also the USB cable to recharge the battery without interrupting gameplay.
The upcoming Dell E mini notebook may finaly make its appearance next month and may be one of the least expensive, claim alleged insiders. The 8.9-inch portable will have the same 1.6GHz Atom processor, Linux, and flag storage storage of many similar devices but will purportedly sell in August for just $299, or $80 less than the Acer Aspire One that has held the price crown in the class for just a matter of weeks.
Logitech is expanding its game controller lineup for E3 with new PlayStation 3 and Wii peripherals. The Driving Force Wireless wheel is Logitech's first to go without a direct connection to the Sony console and uses a custom 2.4GHz adapter and transmitter that are said to be lag-free. The device is built to never need an elaborate setup to be comfortable for driving; a built-in rest lets the new wheel sit on a lap, armrest, or most other common gaming spots without having to construct a special driving environment.
With announcements from HP, Lenovo, and Sony, Toshiba also took the opportunity to announce (and ship) new Centrino 2 versions of its recently announced notebooks for faster networking, better performance, and improved battery life. The Satellite Pro S300 laptop, updated with latest Core Duo processor and Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD, offers Toshiba's fourth-generation EasyGuard technology, sleep-and-charge USB ports, optional SSD/flash-memory drive configurations, built-in docking capabilities and Webcam with business card reader software (starts at $1,2993). For its business-oriented Tecra models, Toshiba is using Intel's Centrino 2 with vPro micro-architecture to manage and secure mobile workforces using hardware-assisted remote isolation, diagnostics and repair: the Tecra M10 has a starting MSRP of $1,399, while the Tecra A10 pricing has yet to be determined.
In addition the ultra-portable X200 and U330, Lenovo on Tuesday morning announced its new Centrino 2 ThinkPad SL notebooks as well as new IdeaPad notebooks. The trio of black-glossy covered ThinkPad SL notebooks, targeted to small- and medium-size business includes the SL300, SL400 and SL500; all offer built-in high speed mobile broadband connectivity along with Centrino 2's 802.11n networking, the latest Core 2 Duo processing, and new software that helps with data recovery, Internet connection setup, and a new optional service package featuring on-line data backup and on-site warranty repair. Some models also offer the now-in-vogue (but optional) Blu-Ray DVD player and optional webcam as well as support for HDMI/VGA for both high-quality and legacy connectivity to external video displays.
Bolstering the Intel Centrino 2 launch, HP on Tuesday said it was shipping new Centrino 2-versions of its recently debuted business notebooks. The new notebooks feature the Centrino 2 platform's 802.11n networking, longer battery life, better performance, a faster 1,066MHz system bus, DDR3 memory support, and new vPro features for advanced IT management. In early June, the company launched its durable, aircraft-inspired HP EliteBook Notebook PC as one of 10 newly designed business notebook lineup. As HP's first rugged notebook, the EliteBook is designed to survive both cosmetic and internal damage with anodized aluminum on the palm rest, an external scratch-resistant shell, a magnesium honeycomb cage, and an anti-twist 14-inch display along with a shock-resistant hard drive and spill-proof keyboard -- all of which help meet US military-grade 810F levels for survivability in extreme temperatures as well as vibrations and very damp environments.
Lenovo tonight had its turn at upgrading to Centrino 2 with two new notebooks that are billed as blurring the lines between ultraportables and full-power models. The ThinkPad X200 is Lenovo's first major X series update since the X300 but is smaller than both the X300 and its rival MacBook Air while keeping many features and only thickening a tenth of an inch to 0.8 inches. Although it uses just a 12-inch display, the X200 still finds room for up to a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo on the new Intel platform as well as up to a Blu-ray optical drive.
Sony on Monday unveiled the VAIO SR series ultraportable notebook, offered in five colors, and offering users a Centrino 2-based computing experience. The SR is constructed from magnesium alloy in night black, sunset pink, glossy pink, classic silver, and glossy silver, weighing in at just over four pounds with a 13.3-inch LED-backlit screen. The SR series features a MacBook style keyboard: integrated, with squared, and raised keys. This prevents debris from getting under keys easily, while also providing a more comfortable typing experience.
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