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Sony tonight fulfilled expectations with the launch of a new, high-end Reader. The PRS-700 is one of the first and few devices to mix the use of an e-ink display with a touchscreen interface and is said to make interacting with books more natural; users make swiping gestures with their fingers to turn pages and use a stylus to select text, run a search or make notes with an on-screen keyboard. Sony also bills itself as the first to build in an LED-based reading light to supply a clear view without having to turn on a potentially intrusive outside light.
D-Link on Wednesday introduced its Xtreme N Dual Band Gigabit DIR-825 router which, for the first time, allows its USB port to turn into a virtual-network USB that will support external hard drives and other USB devices. Made possible by D-Link's SharePort technology, the new feature lets users connect network attached storage devices and printers to their wireless networks. D-Link's older USB Wireless-N routers can be updated with the same functionality thanks to a firmware update that will include the SharePort feature.
Desktop and notebook computer maker HP on Thursday launched the special editions of its dv5t and dv4t notebook PCs with the 15.4-inch Pavilion dv5t SE and 14.1-inch Pavilion dv4t SE. While identical to the regular dv4t and dv5t entertainment notebooks in terms of optional hardware specifications, the special edition notebooks feature unique body covers. The dv5t SE is covered in a ceramic white body with a leaf design around the keyboard and touchpad as well as on the outside of the lid, while the dv4t has a midnight blue color and images of crashing waves imprinted onto it.
At the Biz-Ex conference in Hollywood on Tuesday, Philips introduced 56-inch prototype HDTV panels that are capable of displaying 3D images thanks to their 3,840x2,160 resolution and proprietary technology. Unlike the recent 3D plasma setup from Panasonic, the Philips system does not rely on special glasses to bring 3D images to viewers. Instead, the Quad Full Autostereoscopic 3D HDTVs rely on high-speed data delivery and four times the pixels of current maximum HDTV resolution.
MP3Tunes announced on Thursday that the Recording Industry Association of America's copyright infringement lawsuit against its CEO, Michael Robertson, was dismissed by New York District Judge William H. Pauley III. The lawsuit against MP3Tunes will proceed as planned, however. The lawsuit, headed up by EMI Music and 14 other music RIAA-supporting labels alleges that MP3Tunes infringed on copyrights as it offers an online music storage service, allowing users to upload their music collections and access them from virtually anywhere.
Meizu's long-in-production M8 phone could be available in a month's time, company head J. Wong has told visitors to its company forum (link may be broken as of press time). Although suspected of releasing in December, the M8 is now said by the executive to be nearing a launch in late October or early November. Pricing is less definitive but is now heading towards the equivalent of an unsubsidized $350 in the phone's home country of China following Wong's canvassing of the community for a price it would accept.
T-Mobile USA's version of the Pearl Flip 8220 will only cost slightly less than the Curve when it goes on sale, a T-Mobile rep claims in a forum post at TmoNews. The BlackBerry clamshell will purportedly sell for $150 for new users agreeing to a two-year contract and should climb to $200 for one-year plans. Existing subscribers who qualify for a full upgrade will pay $18 more to trade up, while a full retail price will cost $350.
Nokia on Thursday introduced a range of headphones, including the wire-free Bluetooth BH-504 set alongside the wired WH-500, WH-202 and WH-800 sets. The BH-504 set doubles as a headset and features echo cancellation and noise reduction technology built in for clearer conversations. The headphones sport dedicated music controls including a volume adjustment. The folding headphones are battery-powered and rated at 7.5 hours of playback time, 9 hours of talk time and can stand by for 90 hours.
Verizon is about to launch two Motorola phones that include one of the latter's first touch phones for a major US carrier, a leaked ad obtained by Phone Arena suggests. The Krave ZN4 (pictured) is similar in many ways to the China-oriented MING series and is dominated by a touchscreen with a transparent cover; new to the American phone is live digital TV with a MediaFLO tuner, a full HTML browser and faster Internet access over EVDO Revision A.
As a companion to news of the 5800 XpressMusic touchscreen phone, Nokia today also kicked off the formal launch details of its Comes With Music service. The company now plans to ship the inaugural, modified 5310 XpressMusic on October 16th and will sell it exclusively through Carphone Warehouse for 130 pounds ($230). As promised, the handset will come with one year of unlimited access to music and will let owners keep any downloaded tracks if they choose not to renew the subscription. Pricing for a renewal still isn't available.
Not finished with its LCD introductions from earlier in the week, Dell today introduced two more screens that are this time aimed at business users. The 20-inch E2009W and its slightly larger companion the 22-inch E2209W shed the rounded look of recent displays for a squared design that includes an iMac-style hanging display stand and controls blended subtly into the corner rather than conspicuous buttons.
Nokia today at a special event launched the 5800 XpressMusic, the company's very first touchscreen phone and the company's only close competitior to the iPhone. The handset is primarily focused on its music but carries an extremely sharp 640x360, 3.2-inch display with haptic feedback to simulate physical button presses when touched. It also continues Nokia's emphasis on strong cameras with a 3.2-megapixel sensor, dual LED flashes and a front VGA camera for video calling on carriers that support the feature. Assisted GPS navigation, Wi-Fi and 3G data over HSDPA (including US frequencies) also put it on par in some areas with its American rival.
Apple's newest iPods are unlikely to have much impact in Taiwan, despite the popularity of the products around the world, an industry publication observes. DigiTimes notes that the prices of NAND memory, and LCD screens between 2.8 and 3.5 inches, have allowed local companies such as T.sonic and Ergotech to release extremely cheap 8GB media players, costing between $3,000 and $3,500 NT ($94 and $109 US). Some generic "white-box" players may even cost as little as $2,500 NT, or $78 US.
H20 Audio, a UK manufacturer of marine audio gear, on Thursday announced the release of its Surge and Amphibx line-up of waterproof headphones and armbands for MP3 players, iPods and cellphones. The products let swimmers, runners and watersports participants listen to their music in wet environments, and are guaranteed to protect users' portable audio players and deliver music at depths up to nearly 12 feet. The Amphibx cases have a clear touch window that allows operating the click wheel and touchscreen functions on Apple's iPods and iPhones.
The recently unveiled KP500 handset from Korean manufacturer LG got more details on Thursday in terms of its specs and pricing as they pertain to the North American market. The touchscreen device will feature a 240x400 3-inch display capable of displaying a virtual QWERTY keyboard while a built-in motion sensor will tilt the orientation as required. Unlike previously believed, the built-in camera will be a three-megapixel shooter instead of five and will support recording 12fps video. The quad-band handset will support GPRS and EDGE data networks, but omits 3G.
Fujitsu senior product director Paul Moore in an interview published today revealed plans by his company to introduce multi-touch computers while simultaneously downplaying the significance of the technology. Following in the footsteps of an early development in Dell's Latitude XT, Fujitsu tells Wired it plans to release PCs in mid-2009 that accept multi-finger gestures but plans to limit these to fixed and convertible tablet PCs rather than extend them to all its notebooks.
Along with its new displays, Acer today marked the US release of the Aspire Predator, the company's first dedicated gaming PC. The copper orange tower is designed for access with a sliding front bay cover, front ports and a tool-free hard drive cage accessible from the outside; it also comes with built-in liquid cooling and three PCI Express X16 slots (plus one X8) to support multi-card graphics.
The third generation of Samsung's BlackJack line for AT&T should get a new name along with a substantially new design, a promo leak to BGR shows. Now called the Epix, the internally named i780 will keep the QWERTY keyboard of the earlier phones but switch to a much more advanced design that includes a mini-touchpad in place of the directional pad as well as direct touchscreen interface for Windows Mobile 6.1; 3G over AT&T's HSPA network and real GPS are also understood to be givens for the design.
Acer on Thursday brought out the US version of the G24, a 24-inch LCD the company claims has the highest contrast ratio to date. The announcement was made at the same time as the company introduced its Predator gaming PC system, naming the G24 its ideal companion. The widescreen 1920x1200 display uses dynamic picture adjustment to reportedly reach a TV-like 50,000:1 contrast level and also touts a claimed 2ms gray-to-gray pixel response time suited to gaming.
Sirius XM drew a quick close to speculation today by announcing the availability of the A La Carte and Best Of radio features promised with the merger of the two satellite radio stations. The former service debuts with the equally new Starmate 5 radio and lets users custom-pick their stations in blocks rather than having to accept Sirius XM's default options.
VUDU upped its stakes in the online movie rental arena today by confirming a rumor and introducing some of the first 1080p online movie rentals. Labeled as HDX, the format is roughly twice as sharp as the 720p offered for most VUDU and Apple TV movies but attempts to avoid some of the compression artifacts that often crop up in attempting to shrink HD video to download-friendly sizes. A new algorithm known as TruFilm focuses the available bandwidth on rendering complex portions of the scene while reducing the data for simpler areas, producing what the company believes is a small video file without introducing visible color or resolution drops.
Apple's entry into the mobile phone space was a "big favor" to the cellphone business by shaking it up, Nokia chief Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo said Thursday. The executive notes that Apple's roughly 14-month presence in the market has produced a "credible competitor" that has led phone buyers to expect more from devices, pushing Nokia and others to improve their hardware and software. The Finnish company now sees the iPhone as a threat but also says it has yet to formally take on Apple's touchscreen model.
Nintendo this morning carried on a transformation of the DS handheld into a full-fledged media device with the DSi. The update to the once gaming-only system adds an SD card slot and 512MB of internal memory that are both key to significantly expanded features that put it into closer contention with the iPod touch and other media devices with gaming as a central feature. An outer three-megapixel camera and inner VGA (0.3 megapixels) camera that can respectively be used to snap outside photos or personal portraits; built-in image apps and games alike can use the feature.
Fujitsu and Western Digital are allegedly in conversation over the purchase of Fujitsu's hard drive business sector, an inside source tells Reuters. Despite fierce denial on Fujitsu's part, the news sent the company's share price shooting up 3.3 percent on the Nikkei market to ¥620 (~$5.80), since Fujitsu's hard drive unit is currently losing money. The sale talks come as Fujitsu faces increased competition from Seagate and others, as well as plummeting storage prices.
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