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Intel's profits gained 12 percent for the third quarter, exceeding Wall Street estimates, despite lackluster sales numbers. The company reported profits of $2 billion compared to $1.79 billion from last year, which increased the earnings per share to 35 cents from 30 cents. The chip manufacturer expects healthy profit margins for the fourth quarter ending in December, however the current economic uncertainty makes for difficult performance forecasting.
Toshiba on Tuesday announced some detail hardware and software changes to its Satellite range of laptops, including the 13.3-inch U405, 14.1-inch M305 and M305D, 15.4-inch A355 and A305. The Satellites get quicker Intel and AMD processors, ranging from 2.0GHz to 2.26GHz processors from the former and 2.0GHz and 2.1GHz CPUs from the latter. A few new features are also added to some of the Satellites, including Toshiba's face recognition software for access to the computer via the webcam and USB Sleep-and-Charge ports that will charge the batteries of compatible devices even when the laptop is in standby mode.
Panasonic will bring a Blu-ray recorder and player combo to the US market in the first half of 2009, according to a Tuesday report from HD Guru based on a trip to the CEATEC convention in Japan. While no other details are known about the recorder itself, prices in Japan for the recorders that use Blu-ray laser technology have dropped significantly, with the report having a Sharp Blu-ray burner priced at the equivalent of about $800.
The ongoing and recent rumors regarding a new format from Nikon are about to come to an end, according to a Monday report from a Dutch website that says an announcement is due for October 22nd. The new product will be revealed at renowned Danish photographer Steen Evald's studio in Copenhagen, and members of the press will be invited.
Toshiba on Tuesday announced the release of its TDP-WX5400U large venue projector, which features dual 280W lamps for a higher maximum brightness when used together. With both shining, the new projector sports a resolution of 5,400 lumens, and exactly half that, 2,700 lumens, when one is on. An added benefit of the dual-lamp set-up is the ability to continue a presentation on one lamp if the other burns out. To give users the flexibility of optimizing color and brightness settings, the TDP-WX5400U can be outfitted with one of two color wheels; a six-segment RGBCMY wheel and a standard four-segment RGBW wheel.
Pioneer has teamed up with Qflix to allow users to create DVDs from downloaded content from the video download site, the electronics company announced on Tuesday. The two Pioneer drives, the internal DVR-2920Q and external DVR-X162Q, feature Qflix DVD Download & Burn technology that allow users to save the downloaded movies and TV show collections from CinemaNow on a format that is easy to store, find and play. Like the Dell drives with Qflix technology introduced last month, the Pioneer burners will require special blank discs in order to create movies.
Motorola's first Android phone will be considered a high-end device but will have a unique angle, a Coroflot job posting found by AndroidGuys shows. While Android is said to be useful for both high- and low-end phones, Motorola's first device will be regarded as a smartphone. In a unique twist, however, the company says it will focus on "social networking" with the handset. The effort positions the phone as a device for mainstream users rather than the business audience Motorola has normally courted with its Windows Mobile-based Q series.
California electronics newcomer Quantenna today said it has developed chipsets that it believes should end the problem of adequate Wi-Fi coverage in most homes. The QHS450, QHS600 and QHS1000 all use a unique four-by-four MIMO (Multiple In, Multiple Out) antenna setup that not only reduces the amount of interference that often crops up in walls and other wireless devices but theoretically allows much more bandwidth than regular Wi-Fi. Where current technology hits 300Mbps in peak conditions, a network blanketed with the QHS1000 chip could top out at 600Mbps in data transfers, Quantenna claims.
Flip Video on Tuesday announced a partnership with CafePress to offer customers a no-cost option of creating their own exterior color designs for Flip's Flip Mino camcorder. CafePress, which specializes in selling custom designs on products ranging from to coffee mugs to t-shirts, will allow users to create, share and sell designs for the camera. Users who upload their designs can then earn commissions for themselves based on sales, or donate them to non-profit causes.
Apple's supplier has not only been named for its new MacBooks but considers the American company a significant client, industry contacts claim today. Well-known southeast Asian supplier Quanta is said to be Apple's sole supplier in 2009 and already considers the Mac producer a crucial component of its sales, with a full fifth of its 2008 shipments alone going to MacBooks. The exact number of shipments to Apple specifically hasn't been set, though its portables are said to be ensuring "strong" shipments of between 38 to 40 million portables to all vendors.
During Apple's notebook event today, the company launched a new 24-inch Apple LED Cinema Display, arriving in November and featuring a new mini-DisplayPort connection to attach to the latest MacBooks. The new display, rated at 1920x1200 pixels with 16.7 million colors, is styled in a similar fashion to the current line of iMacs, with a black border and minimal metallic edging around a glass-fronted glossy screen. It features an iSight camera and microphone built in with stereo speakers, all of which are fed through a single cable.
Lenovo on Tuesday introduced a new PC to its desktop offerings, with the H210. The PC will include a choice of Intel dual-core CPUs, as much as 4GB of system memory and hard disks as large as 640GB. Meant as an all-around PC for the entire family, the H210 sports facial recognition software for secure logging in, as well as a new technology it call Bright Vision that automatically adjusts the monitor's screen brightness based on the user's proximity and ambient lighting. The system will also warn users they are sitting too close to the screen to reduce eye strain. Both systems require an optional computer camera, however.
Apple is shipping a slate of new basic MacBooks, complementing its new MacBook Pros. The lowest-cost model has slid in price from $1,099 to $999, and retains a plastic casing, with no specially-backlit keyboard or display. More significant may be the company's new sub-range of MacBooks, which are being built in a similar fashion to the new MacBook Pros, and likewise use metal bodies, backlit keyboards, glass trackpads and LED screen backlighting.
Apple has formally announced the redesigned MacBook Air at its special press conference today. The company has confirmed the new "brick" construction, with a case milled from a solid aluminum block, instead of a combination of aluminum and plastic pieces. The processors come from Intel's "Montevina" generation and are offered in 1.6GHz or 1.86GHz variants. Like the new MacBook and MacBook Pro models, they also carry NVIDIA's new GeForce 9400M mainboard and graphics chipset and are said to perform 5X faster in video tasks than the GMA X3100 video in the previous model.
Check the extended section of this story for as-it-happens updates on Apple's new MacBook event.
A labor union intends to use today's Apple notebook announcement to gain support in a move against NVIDIA, according to a statement. Unite Here says it will use the event to persuade Apple workers to cooperate in any Securities and Exchange Commission investigations of NVIDIA, from which it is pushing for a chip recall. Apple is among many companies that build NVIDIA hardware into their computers, and the union says it has already provided fliers on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to employees of HP and Dell.
AT&T today delved into messaging-focused feature phones with four new devices. The Pantech Matrix (pictured) is the spiritual descendant of the Duo and carries the same dual slider that switches either to a full QWERTY keyboard or a number pad. It also carries a similar 1.3-megapixel camera and supports 3G audio and video streaming plus the carrier's music store downloads. It comes in blue, green and red trim and is priced at $80 on a two-year plan or $280 while contract-free.
Sony today made good on a summer promise by becoming one of the first to premiere a major movie rental on a networked video hub rather than releasing it simultaneously with or after its physical release. Owners of the company's Internet Video Link for its BRAVIA HDTV sets will have the option of downloading a rental version of Hancock from October 28th, or nearly a month before the November 25th street date. This will include both a 720p HD stream as well as both high- and low-bitrate 480p versions for those with slower connections.
AT&T on Tuesday morning quietly picked up the USBConnect Quicksilver as its latest external modem. The adapter made by Option uses a new Icera 3G chipset that supports all three major HSPA frequencies while creating one of the smallest devices available; the new adapter is small enough to come with a swivel cover that protects the USB port when the modem isn't in use. AT&T estimates real-world download speeds as high as 1.7Mbps and uploads as quick as 1.2Mbps.
Smartphone maker Palm on Tuesday announced it will soon release special edition Centro handsets for the Sprint network in Olive green and Vibrant rose in time for the holiday season. Apart from the new colors, the handsets also get a doubling of their built-in memory to 128MB, along with a few new applications. These include Facebook for Palm and Google Maps with My Location features. The former will allow users to quickly respond to messages, upload photos and videos and otherwise interact with the popular social network, while the latter will allows them to pinpoint their location and show nearby points of interest, as well as offer directions and updated traffic reports.
The increasingly widening scope of NVIDIA graphics failures now includes certain Apple and HP desktop systems, according to a pair of reports. Officially, HP now says that several variants of its Pavilion Slimline mini-tower using certain GeForce video chipsets have had their warranties partly extended to address the same symptoms suffered by notebooks with the defective parts, including a loss of video output and occasionally a refusal to start up altogether. The PC maker is extending the warranties on these problems for an extra year or up until December 31st, 2009 and will replace the mainboards for free under the plan.
InFocus Corporation on Tuesday announced the availability of its newest DLP projector, the X9, which is positioned in the company's offerings as a lower cost home theater projector, slotting in below the IN80-series. The X9 sports a native resolution of 720p and 16:9 aspect ratio, although it will support 1080i signals and 16:10, 4:3 and 5:4 ratios. Its brightness is rated at 1,800 lumens, while the contrast ratio is fixed at 2500:1. The 180W light bulb will last 3,500 hours, or 4,000 when in a 150W Eco Mode.
Toshiba today quickly followed up its Canada-first notebook launches with their American equivalents. The Portégé lineup gets three updates that include the R600, its ultra-lightweight 12-inch portable that weighs 2.4 pounds while still carrying a 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo, an internal DVD burner and up to a 128GB solid-state drive for storage; the upgrade further boasts a better LED-backlit, transflective display suitable for use outside. Prices start at $2,099.
Verizon today launched the Krave ZN4, Motorola's first touchscreen phone made solely for CDMA networks. The handset closely follows the design of the normally China- and GSM-oriented MING but is spun as a media-friendly device with a MediaFLO tuner for live digital TV, media player software, up to 8GB microSDHC storage, and a regular 3.5mm headphone jack. A two-megapixel camera and Bluetooth with stereo sound are also part of the core design.
Samsung this morning stepped up competition by jumping into the American notebook market with several models, including some of its most recent systems previously reserved only for Europe and Korea. The 13.3-inch X360 and 14.1-inch X460 headline the launch as Samsung's thinnest and lightest systems. As with the original version, the X360 is positioned against the MacBook Air with a 13.3-inch display and a slightly thicker (0.6 to 1.2 inches) body in exchange for a lighter 2.8-pound weight; it carries either a 1.2GHz or 1.4GHz ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo, either a 120GB hard drive or 128GB solid-state drive, and full expansion that includes three USB ports, Ethernet, as well as both HDMI and VGA out.
Toshiba’s on Monday announced two new Satellite Pro notebooks: both the Satellite Pro S300M and Satellite Pro S300 are value-/entry-level business laptops and now ship with a two-year warranty and port replicator support for (hot) docking. The 14.1-inch laptops include Fingerprint readers, business card reader software, and face recognition software for security by using the integrated webcam to grant/deny access to the laptop as well as fourth-generation EasyGuard Technology with PC Health Monitor, a preventative maintenance utility that continuously checks the performance and functionality of a laptop’s critical hardware components and will alert users when the system is in need of a tune up.
In advance of Apple's alleged sub-$1000 laptop announcement, Microsoft's vice president of Windows Consumer Product Marketing Brad Brooks claims that potential users will still be subject to a hidden "Apple tax". According to an interview with CNET, Brooks cites the lack of Windows or the cost of adding it to the machine as a defining factor, or the availability of technology like Blu-ray or HDMI. It is interesting to note the presence of Entourage on the Mac, however, since Brooks says the lack of Outlook on the Mac is a setback.
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