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Toshiba may soon launch a small portable computer that would straddle the line between UMPCs such as Nokia's N810 and netbooks from the likes of the Eee PC and MSI Wind, according to a recent PC Authority report. The size and lack of a keyboard scream UMPC, but hardware and specs are very netbook-like. Preliminary specs for the 5.6-inch UMPC-like device include an Intel Atom processor sitting on a motherboard that's half the size of the one used in the company's Portege R500 notebook.
A ROM update for the HTC Touch Diamond was released on Wednesday, giving the phone a few added capabilities, with the addition of the 850MHz GSM band for calling -- but not 850MHz 3G over HSPA for data -- and a quicker response from the TouchFLO 3D touchscreen interface chief among them. Users who perform the upgrade will also be able to use the EDGE data network.
UK-based Revo Technologies recently announced it will launch the first product to combine Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), Internet and FM radio reception, along with iPod docking capabilities. The iBLIK RadioStation also supports Wi-Fi Internet radio, RDS text data for FM stations and MP3 media streaming capability from Mac or PC computers. The unit also has a built-in alarm clock.
Dell this afternoon provided a list of its notebooks affected by a chronic graphics chip flaw as well as a firmware fix that should reduce the risk of the problem. The company is the first known PC vendor to do so and says that its new updates modify the fan behavior on each of the notebooks to make sure they remain cooler than normal and thus prevent the heat problems that trigger the failures.
Any attempt by Microsoft to release a Zune-branded phone would clash with the very fundamentals of Microsoft's mobile operating system business and with the partners it depends on to succeed, according to early observations by Jupiter Research analyst Michael Gartenberg. He warns that the frustrations with success in the market that led to the creation of the Zune media player don't exist with Windows Mobile. While companies selling Windows Media-compatible players and the relevant protect music format had largely struggled before the Zune launched in November 2006, Windows Mobile is still considered successful with 20 million copies sold for various devices in the company's fiscal 2008.
Sanyo has branched out into gaming peripherals with the launch of the Contact Charger for Wii. The add-on combines an Eneloop nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable battery pack with a cradle to give a Wii remote both a longer active use time of about 6.5 hours as well as a much simpler way to recharge for the next session. As suggested by its name, the remote doesn't require a proprietary connector and is sensitive enough to work even with the Wii's protective jacket in place.
Buffalo has claimed a first in the industry with the announcement of the first-ever Blu-ray drives to record at 8X speed. The external BR-816U2 and the internal, Serial ATA-based BR-816FBS will equally write even 50GB dual-layer discs at the new speed, theoretically completing a single-layer disc in as little as 15 minutes. The drives also burn rewritable Blu-ray discs at 2X and record both CDs and DVDs.
The existence of a separate, North American version of Nokia's N85 has been revealed, a new report claims. While a basic UAProfile for the phone appeared online several days ago, Nokia has today posted a second one, labeled "Nokia N85-3." Based on Nokia's past behavior with phones like the N95, it is expected that the 3 designates a North American variant.
Microsoft has finally completed the OLPC version of Windows XP, the company has announced. The scaled-down operating system has been released to manufacturing, and is being installed on select versions of the OLPC group's XO notebook, intended mainly for schools in poor countries. The computer uses bare-bones components to reduce cost to approximately $200, such as a smaller screen and flash-based program storage.
The upcoming MySpace Music service may ultimately be run by another major online music store, say alleged sources for TechCrunch. The social networking site is described as most likely picking Amazon MP3 to handle the commerce behind the store but is also said to be entertaining offers from other companies, including Apple and RealNetworks. No commitments have yet been made.
Gateway on Friday revealed that it will formally quit direct-order sales of PCs and other products and offer its lineup only in retail stores. The surprise move ends the business that underpinned Gateway's early success in the 1980s and 1990s but is described as bringing the American company's approach in line with that of its parent company Acer, which took over Gateway last year and itself offers computers only through resellers. Moving to a single model is also said to save on costs by simplifying Gateway's sales process.
ASUS is planning to extend the Eee PC's capabilities within the next few months, according to one report. Although the company's Atom-based Eee PC 901 is already estimated to get near eight hours of maximum battery life, a future upgrade due in the last half of 2008 should give it "whole-day" battery life that potentially gives it an edge over challengers. It will also offer an Internet-based storage option similar to those offered by Dell and others and will help compensate for the limited built-in storage.
AT&T hopes to block the proposed joint venture between Clearwire and Sprint for nationwide WiMAX service over regulatory issues, according to a Federal Communications Commission filing. While claiming not to be opposed to the deal on a basic level, AT&T argues that the FCC should stop the merger under claims that both Clearwire and Sprint are avoiding the full government scrutiny necessary to go ahead with their project, giving them an unfair advantage over AT&T and other carriers.
Microsoft's just-launched Windows Vista image campaign should include videos that hide the Vista name and rely on users' actual experiences to promote the operating system, the company tells CNET in an interview. Similar to a blind taste test, the software developer has conducted a series of demonstrations where it gave Vista the fake name "Mojave" and asked XP users hesitant about the upgrade to try a purportedly "new" operating system. Over 90 percent had a positive reaction without preconceptions affecting their judgment, Microsoft claims.
Intel already plans to upgrade the Core 2 Duo processors for its Centrino 2 mobile platform with a new range-topping model, a new leak says. With its present mobile chip line topping out at 2.8GHz, the semiconductor firm is reportedly set to introduce a 2.93GHz model that would share the same 1.07GHz system bus and 6MB cache and which would still keep its power usage down to a peak 35 watts, rendering it efficient enough to run in thin-and-light notebooks while offering performance close to the 3.06GHz Core 2 Extreme.
HP is developing a lower-cost version of its Mini-Note portable, the company has admitted this week. The company's Australian Market Development head Jerel Chong says there will be a "lower cost" device similar to the current model (known as the 2133) but which "won't be as durable" as the existing system and is primarily meant for retail, where the Mini-Note is generally unavailable and would often compete against lower-priced offering such as ASUS' base Eee PC models or the Acer Aspire one.
Samsung today said it prospered in the spring quarter based primarily on its cellphone and LCD businesses. The Korean company says it sold 45.7 million phones between April and June, a 22 percent boost over spring 2007. Many of these phones were also mid-range or premium models, with over one million Soul 5-megapixel cameraphones being sold; sales of pricier 3G phones jumped 41 percent, the electronics creator says.
A source close to the internet radio service Slacker alleges that the mobile audio device manufacturer is exploring the iPhone and BlackBerry as viable platforms, with an app "about ready to launch" on the devices. Laptop Magazine writes that the app supposedly will allow users to both stream and cache content for offline playback. The service functions similar to those of Pandora and Last.fm, in that users can hear recommendations based on their interests.
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