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HP's CES introductions are being headlined today by an entirely new entry to its desktop line. The Firebird 800 is built with help from the Voodoo sub-label and aims to take up the minimal amount of space of a small form factor desktop with the performance of a full tower, thanks to new Intel processors: new set of Core 2 Quad chips consume just 65W of power without losing features over previous 95W versions. A custom liquid cooling setup also cuts back on fan noise from the chip and simultaneously frees up space for accessing RAM and the two drop-in notebook hard drive bays.
Samsung Electronics has extended its line of full-HD digital camcorders with four new models - the HMX-H106, HMX-H105, HMX-H104, and HMX-H100. In addition to full HD video, the new H-Series offers a renowned Schneider Kreuznach Varioplan HD lens with Optical Image Stabilization, H.264 and internal Solid State Drives to provide onboard memory. Samsung's new flagship HMX-H106 features an internal 64GB Solid State Drive (SSD), increasing both write performance and dramatically reduces power consumption. The company claims that when actively reading and writing data, Samsung's SSD technology consumes approximately 1/8th of the power of a comparable HDD.
Ahead of CES, Pentax on Tuesday announced two compact digital cameras: the Optio P70 and Optio E70. The ultra-slim PENTAX Optio P70 digital compact camera offers 12 megapixel resolution, a 4X optical zoom (equivalent to 27.5mm-110mm), and a wide angle 28mm lens; The Optio P70 features metal body and is available in multiple colors. Other features include a 2.7 inch high-res, wide-angle view LCD panel, and new Pixel Track Shake Reduction technology decrease shake in low lighting. The Optio P70 also offers Advanced Face Recognition that tracks up to 32 faces in 0.03 seconds as well as both Smile Capture that automatically releases the shutter when subjects smile and Blink Detection to provide alerts when subject's eyes are closed.
HP in its pre-CES run-up introduced its first major update to its Mini 2100 netbook. The Mini 2140 replaces the Mini-Note 2133 and abandons VIA's C7-M processor in favor of a 1.6GHz Intel Atom that HP claims should extend its battery life and cool it down compared to the hot-running older model. It also switches from the original 8.9-inch screen to a 10-inch model and now has the pick of both the original, extra-sharp 1366x768 display to a lesser 1024x576 panel which is both lower-priced and less demanding on the graphics chipset.
HP's pre-CES launches today include two new Pavilion notebooks, one of which marks a first for the company's choice of processors. The 12-inch dv2 is one of the first systems to carry AMD's new Athlon Neo processor and uses a 1.6GHz version of the chip to provide ultraportable dimensions closer to a MacBook Air without cutting too deeply in terms of performance or price, unlike the aluminum chassis and Intel Core 2 Duo S of the Apple system; this and an LED-backlit display help keep the weight down to 3.8 pounds and the case down to between 0.93in and 1.29in despite the use of traditional notebook hard drives. HP likewise promises a 92 percent sized keyboard in the normally tight spaces of ultraportables.
ezGear has announced the latest addition to its series of ezSpace Wall-Mount UFO surge-protector outlets. Created as a round UFO style, 6 outlet plug expander, with built in 1050 Joule surge protection, the device contains enough space for a large plug or transformer on each outlet. Equipped to plug directly into a power outlet on the wall, the ezSpace UFO comes with a screw to secure the wall mount tightly to the outlet. The device offers a maximum current of 1875W, and a line voltage of 125V AC.
LaCie has unveiled its latest external devices, the d2 DVD burner and a dual-drive RAID system. The DVD burner is driven by Windows XP Embedded and touts a maximum write speed of 22x. Users can choose from a USB 2.0 connection or FireWire, and write to DVD-R, DVD-RW, Dual Layer, CD-R or CD-RW media. The drive also features LightScribe technology for burning custom labels directly onto the discs.
EZQuest has revealed the Cinema Pro, a new RAID storage system geared towards video editing. The unit provides 16 bays in a 3U rack format, allowing for up to 24TB of capacity. It uses a 20Gbps external PCIe bus, and transfers approximately 900MBps in RAID 0 mode, or 870MBps in RAID 5; 1, 1E, 3, 6 and JBOD configurations are also supported. Tasks on the Pro are aided by an 800MHz Intel processor equipped with 2GB of SDRAM cache.
In its attempts to quickly build up its 3G voice and data network, AT&T is knowingly reducing the signal strength of its existing 2G network used by the first-generation iPhone, Motorola's BlackBerry and RAZR and other handsets, according to a Friday Open for Business report. AT&T is said to have shifted some of its transmitters from the 850MHz 2G band to the 1,900MHz band in certain areas. AT&T subscribers and owners of 2G cellphones are finding weaker signal reception in areas that previously had strong reception, with the only fix available while remaining with AT&T being to upgrade their hardware to 3G devices.
Japan's Fujitsu says that it will debut the ScanSnap S1500M, a new scanner, at booth 520 during this week's Macworld Expo. The hardware (not pictured) is said to incorporate a new "intelligent" resolution function, as well as a redesigned interface built for Mac OS X 10.5. Business card scanning should be improved, and the package includes a bundled copy of Acrobat 8 Professional for document editing.
JVC is due to show off the world's lightest HDTV set at the CES show on Wednesday, with the that tips the scales at just over 11lbs. While not the thinnest 32-inch HDTV, it's near the top with a near 0.28-inch (7mm) profile. The company promises technology used for the prototype 1080p-capable TV will be made commercially available before the end of 2009.
G-Technology on Monday announced the upcoming release of a range of external drives housing the first 2.5-inch solid state drive. The company's G-DRIVE mini SSD is available in 120GB and 250GB capacities, while the RAID 0/1 G-RAID mini SSD can be had in 250GB and 500GB versions. G-Technology is marketing the drives to users who need to transfer large amount of data in the field, such as professional photographers, based on SSD's inherent resistance to shock and temperature extremes compared to traditional hard disk drives.
Samsung will try to stake a claim for the world's thinnest Blu-ray player when it unveils its CES offerings, a leak ahead of the event reveals. The unnamed movie reader will be as thin as many DVD players and should measure just 1.5 inches thick; few features are available, though the player will have a more rounded look than earlier Samsung players and is likely to carry Blu-ray Profile 2.0 support for live Internet features.
XtremeMac on Monday announced it will display the Micromemo accessory for the fourth-generation iPod nano that will allow users to make voice recordings on the Apple device. The digital voice recorder features a detachable omni-directional microphone mounted on a flexible neck. The Micromemo connects via the nano's dock and uses the device's battery for power.
MSI on Monday has topped off its PC lineup with the X-Slim 320, a new crossover between netbooks and full-size notebooks. The system is based on the familiar Intel Atom chip but uses a 13.4-inch, 16:9 ratio LCD that simultaneously provides a more comfortable view but also lets MSI slim the system down to extremely thin levels: the computer uses a tapered design patterned closely after the MacBook Air that measures just below 0.8 inches at its thickest point and weighs 2.9 pounds. Despite this, MSI finds room for Ethernet, three USB ports, an SD card reader and VGA output.
Altec Lansing recently introduced its BackBeat 903/6 Bluetooth headset at the currently ongoing Macworld Expo and will also display them at the CES show later this week. The headset, developed with cooperation from Bluetooth earpiece maker Plantronics, stays in place thanks to the use of both ear canal-sealing ear buds and ear hooks. Plantronics' dual-mic AudioIQ technology is incorporated into the headset to increase call quality and raise call volume depending on ambient noise levels.
Elgato has announced the release of its EyeTV Hybrid USB TV Tuner Stick for North America, along with updated software, EyeTV version 3.1, which allows users to watch and record TV. The new software brings with it an electronic TV Guide and a feature called Smart Series Guides that allows the recording of a series of episodes of a user's favorite show. Users can also search the guide by genre and lock out certain programs or channels via the integrated parental controls. Maximum video resolution support is limited to 1080i.
Dell today chose to avoid a direct CES announcement for the Inspiron 15, its long-expected overhaul of its staple 15-inch notebook. The new model is cosmetically much closer to the wedge-shaped Inspiron 13 and switches from a 16:10 aspect ratio display to a 16:9, 1366x768 screen deemed better for movies. Extras that have been common to the Inspiron 1525 carry over and involve at least Blu-ray, Bluetooth and a webcam.
Samsung announced on Monday that certain HDTVs in its 2009 line-up will feature the Internet@TV content service first introduced this past summer. The service will be made possible thanks to the Yahoo Widget Engine, an applications platform in its fifth-generation that will bring Internet connectivity to users' living rooms via a number of what the company calls "TV Widgets." Initially, users will be able to check their stocks and news headlines and also browse Internet-based videos and photos as well as interacting with friends.
MSI today outlined its plans for CES and confirmed the presence of the company's first all-in-one nettop. The Wind NetOn (shown) competes against ASUS' Eee Top and also described as one of the fastest; in the US-specific AE1901 model, the 19-inch system will come with a dual-core 1.6GHz Atom that should significantly improve performance while keeping power use down to just 50W. IT and the other 16- and 22-inch systems have yet to receive full details but should come with 16:9 ratio, 1366x768 touchscreens (1920x1080 in the 22-inch version) that simplify their respective interfaces.
Amazon.com announced on Monday that it has teamed up with Roku to offer Amazon Video On Demand video service via the Roku Digital Video Player. Roku already streams movies from Netflix and will now give its users access to more than 40,000 movies, including new releases, and TV shows offered by Amazon.com. Other than via the Roku player, Amazon's VOD service can already sync with PCs and Macs, TiVo set-top boxes and Sony's BRAVIA Internet Video Link.
Storage maker Iomega has announced the Home Media Network Hard Drive, a new external device shipping in the next few weeks. The drive is a form of network-attached storage, meant primarily for sharing music, photos and video between computers, TVs, and game consoles such as the Xbox 360. It connects to an existing router via gigabit Ethernet, and unlike similar devices, relies on a custom version of Linux to serve Mac and Linux computers as well as Windows-based ones. Users can stream media via iTunes, UPnP and DLNA formats.
Best known for its add-in video cards, BFGTech on Monday stepped into the PC arena with its first full computer. The Phobos is meant to exploit BFG's expertise with video cards and will come with as many as two GeForce GTX 295 cards with liquid cooling to produce a quad SLI video setup. It will also have an uncommon, eight-inch front touchscreen that lets users not only track system performance but manually tune the system's overall speed and play both music and video.
iLuv made its presence felt for CES today by launching the iMM183, its latest take on iPhone and iPod speaker docks. The new model supersedes the earlier iMM173 and chiefly adds support for weather text alerts from NOAA and SAME that automatically come through on preset radio channels; the feature lets users archive as many as 10 notices for ongoing situations and has an LED warning to catch the owner's eye when a new alert is available.
At the Macworld expo due to kick off tomorrow in San Francisco, CA, NEC Display will demonstrate its newest desktop display for graphics professionals, the 26-inch MultiSync LCD2690WUXi². Based on the existing LCD2690WUXi display, the new monitor has a wider color gamut panel, covering 97.8 percent of the Adobe RGB color spectrum versus the older model's 91 percent, as well as delivering greater blue coverage and brightness uniformity.
UIQ today said it would file for bankruptcy, effectively ending the mobile operating system's role in the cellphone market. The move follows six months of job cutbacks and is directly credited to the effective abandonment of the platform by supporters Motorola and Sony Ericsson, both of whom have joined the Symbian Foundation and are more likely to use this than the related but separate UIQ software for future cellphones.
In addition to its just-updated HD models, Canon on Monday has also seen fit to revamp its standard definition camcorders with CES in mind. The FS22, FS21 and FS200 are trimmed in size and as much as 17 percent smaller than their FS1x equivalents. The FS21 and FS22 also hold more internal storage and carry 16GB and 32GB respectively of flash memory, with the latter option holding as much as 7 hours and 20 minutes of video at full quality. SDHC cards are usable on all three devices.
Ultimate Ears, owned by Logitech, announced on Monday the upcoming release of its MetroFi line (not pictured) of noise-isolating earphones. The MetroFi 170 and MetroFi 220 are compatible with iPods, iPhones and more generic music phones and MP3 players thanks to their 3.5mm stereo jack and are designed to offer 16dB of noise isolation. The earbuds ship with three pairs of silicone ear cushions that conform to the shape of a wearer's ear to isolate them from ambient noise.
Canon this morning unveiled a complete overhaul of its camcorder line starting with its VIXIA HD camcorders. The HF S10 and HF S100 are both the first Canon video cameras to sport the new DIGIC DV III chip and produce better overall image accuracy while adding support for live face detection, an improved auto exposure system and the ability to capture 8-megapixel still photos. Either can also record 1080-line AVCHD (H.264) video at up to the maximum 24Mbps supported by the spec.
Freescale began its year today by introducing a new i.MX chip it hopes will gain a foothold in netbooks. The i.MX515 is based on the same ARM architecture shared by many smartphones and set-top boxes but is tuned for the higher performance of the mini notebooks, with clock speeds ranging between 600MHz and 1GHz. It also touts rare support for DDR2 memory and an integrated OpenGL graphics core capable of both 3D as well as accelerated 2D, such as video in Adobe's Flash Lite.
Seagate today preempted CES by launching a major update to its Barracuda drives. The 7200.12 is the first desktop hard drive to fit 500GB of data on to a single platter and manages to hold 1TB by using just two platters versus as many as four on other disks. Condensing the data improves reliability by reducing the points of failure and also improves performance through sheer density. Seagate itself estimates sustained transfer speeds of 160MB per second and thus competes more closely with some solid-state drives.
Lenovo today abandoned its traditional business desktop focus with its first all-in-one IdeaCenter PC. The A600 is billed as a home entertainment computer and comes with a rare motion-sensitive remote similar to the Nintendo Wii remote or Gyration offerings: users can play games or otherwise control the onscreen cursor by gesturing at the PC rather than using a directional pad or mousing on a flat surface.
LG on Monday marked a first for TVs by saying that it will unveil a line of TVs at CES this week that have built-in support for Netflix viewing. The feature will let anyone with a $9 or higher Netflix subscription stream an unlimited number of movies from their Watch Instantly queue, including HD; while creating the queue is dependent on web use outside the TV, the set can rate movies and otherwise has full control over playback. Each of the relevant sets will have an Ethernet jack built-in to make the connection.
Intel and Adobe today said they have struck a deal to optimize Flash for the CE 3100, Intel's system-on-a-chip design for TV set-top devices. The processor's combination of graphics and processing is deemed fast enough to run both a full desktop-level version of Flash as well as the traditionally cellphone-oriented Flash Lite and is meant to bring the animation and interface technology to networked media hubs, Blu-ray players and TVs themselves that previously would have had to go without the format.
While some details were leaked last week, Samsung offered some more insight into its CES announcements. On Sunday, Samsung said it has developed the "world's thinnest" TV and expects to unveil several ultra slim HDTVs at CES. According to a new report, the new HDTVs are expected to be only 6.5mm thick - about 2mm thinner than the firm's last product; the HDTV's will range from 40-inches to 55-inches and will support Samsung's Motion plus technology (240Hz) and Samsung's LED backlight technology; however, Samsung's newest model does not have a built-in tuner or receiver within its unit, but said it comes with a separate external tuner device. [via Akihabara News]
Lenovo on Monday debuted its latest midrange "multi-touch" IdeaPad Y Series laptops that are smaller, thinner and lighter than the previous generation as well as its first 16-inch widescreen laptop, the IdeaPad Y650 built from Carbon Fiber. The IdeaPad Y Series, which also includes Y550 and Y450, focuses on HD entertainment and shares the same "modern soft black design" with an interlocked hexagon pattern on the top cover along with a discrete copper accent around the perimeter of the laptop. The carbon fiber-based IdeaPad Y650, allegedly the thinnest and lightest laptop in its class, weighs less than many 15-inch laptops -- only 5.6lbs and is just one inch thick at its thinnest point.
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