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Electronista has taken a closer look at the Pre smartphone unveiled at CES. The device is noticeably smaller in person than it seems in previous images. Despite the smaller screen, the display still appears crisp and vivid. The company matched the 480 by 320 pixel resolution of the iPhone, while reducing the overall screen size to fit the smaller housing. Video playback seemed smooth as the Pre played an H.264-encoded movie trailer. Reaction time and flow of the menu items was also clean, without any choppiness or apparent delay.
At its CES press conference on Wednesday, LG unveiled a pair of Blu-ray players with a world-first NetCast entertaintment Access, featuring access to streaming HD movies from Netflix, the CinemaNow library and YouTube videos. While both can bring the videos to users' living rooms, only the BD390 sports 7.1-channel audio support, Wi-Fi connectivity and 1GB of built-in memory. Either can access online Blu-ray features such as BD Live and BonusView content and users can connect their thumb flash and external drives via USB connections for playback of MPEG4, JPEG, MO3 and WMA formats.
Targus is demonstrating new products at both CES and Macworld Expo. In San Francisco, the accessory maker unveiled a new line of "eco-friendly" laptop cases and bags for the Aluminum MacBook Pro and at CES, Targus is touting a new line of laptop cooling devices for PCs and Macs.
Sony Ericsson has staked out a position at CES with three new phone launches. Leading the field, the W715 is an improvement on the older W705 that adds GPS to the Walkman slider and thus support for both turn-by-turn directions and finding points of interest on the ordinarily music-centric phone. It continues to offer a 3.2-megapixel camera, 3G and Wi-Fi with DLNA media sharing along with signature music functions like shake-to-shuffle control over random play and smart playlists based on moods.
Sony has based its BRAVIA introductions at CES around three core series that each promise a different focus. The company's attention centers on the VE5, a new line that pushes low power consumption above all. A new hot cathode fluorescent lamp, or HCFL, lets Sony illuminate the screen but consume 40 percent less power on average than a cold cathode lamp TV. The screen also has a true power-off switch to avoid draining energy on standby and has both motion and light sensors to automatically dim the screen when no one is watching or night allows a darker picture.
Cloud Engines has announced Pogoplug at CES, a small device that connects a user's external hard drive to the Internet. The device is designed to make network-attached storage simple and only involves attaching the Pogoplug to a home router and the drive in question to the plug. A web front end lets users then gain access to all the information on the drive regardless of the location. The plug itself is compatible with any USB 2 hard drive or memory stick, while the Pogoplug website can be used with any web browser.
NVIDIA's appearance at CES comes with the launch of new flagship desktop graphics cards as well as new mobile chipsets. The dual-chip GeForce GTX 295 and GTX 285 are both built on a more efficient manufacturing process that lets the company either ramp up clock speeds (on the 285) or double the number of chips (on the 295). The 285 is now NVIDIA's fastest single-GPU card and comes with a 648MHz core and 1GB of memory at 1.24GHz while the 295 behaves as though it were two GTX 260s with a 576MHz core and 1.79GB total of 1GHz memory. NVIDIA claims the 285 is about 30 percent faster on average than the Radeon HD 4870 it competes against.
Continuing a bevy of electronics announcements, Sony has debuted three new Cyber-shots, beginning with the W220 and W210. Both are rated at 12.1 megapixels, and equipped with 4x optical zoom. The cameras are also able to reach ISO 3200 sensitivity, and have options for automatic face, smile and scene recognition. The one distinguishing aspect is image stabilization, as only the W220 uses true optical stabilization instead of digital.
Nokia's turn at CES saw the company launch American versions of two of its phones. The E63 is surfacing in the US as an unlocked device and adds support the 850MHz band for 3G on AT&T, with GSM and EDGE supported on both AT&T and T-Mobile. Like the reference version, the E63 is considered a budget counterpart to the E71 and uses a plastic shell, a lower-resolution 2-megapixel camera and the absence of GPS to reduce the price. A 3.5mm headphone jack partly compensates for the difference.
Sony has announced a a variety of new camcorders, divided into hard drive-, flash- and DVD-based models. The hard drive models consist mainly of the HDR-XR520V, 500V, 200V and 100. Equipped with a CMOS sensor and a supplementary Memory Stick slot, each is capable of recording 1080p video and 12-megapixel stills; the 520V incorporates a 240GB hard drive, able to hold as much as 101 hours of video. The camera additionally includes a built-in GPS receiver for geotagging, and optical image stabilization.
Addressing an important gap, Sirius XM today introduced the MiRGE. The radio fulfills a promised update and is the first to support both Sirius and XM channels in one device. It can switch between either on the fly gives either network the same features, including as many as ten presets and a dual view display that shows both the currently playing station as well as the channel browser. A buffer caches up to 60 minutes of programming for pausing and skipping.
Palm at CES launched the Pre (pronounced "pree"), its latest smartphone featuring a touchscreen and slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The device runs on the new webOS operating system which supports third-party app development and takes advantage of the touch interface. It also pushes the high-end of smartphones with a 3-megapixel camera, EVDO Rev. A, Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth, GPS, 8GB of storage and a new TI processor that offers notebook-level performance. The 3.1-inch touchscreen offers a 480x320 resolution, while a separate gesture area below the screen is used for several controls in addition to a center button.
Epson has launched its latest tool for scanning photos, documents, and 3D objects, Epson Perfection V30. The scanner features 4800x9600 DPI optical resolution, and a high-rise 180-degree lid for 3D objects. In addition, the Easy Photo Fix software will automatically restore color restoration to faded pictures. Four one-touch scanning buttons on the side provide quick e-mail, copy, automated scanning, and create PDF abilities. Epson Perfection V30 requires no warm-up time and offers lower power consumption by using Epson's energy-efficient ReadyScan technology
Continuing its efforts in Las Vegas, Dell today released the G2210 and G2410. The 22- and 24-inch screens are both LED-backlit and focus on eco-friendliness. While the lighting is their point of distinction and roughly halves the amount of power consumption at just 20W, the body itself is made partly of recycled material and is about 20 percent smaller, using less material. Image quality also sees a distinctive benefit and sees the contrast ratio jump from 1,000:1 in static mode to 1,000,000:1 when the LEDs' dynamic lighting is invoked.
JVC is promoting three new home theater systems at CES, the TH-G31, G41 and G51. All three feature 5.1-channel surround speakers, with power rated at 1,000W; these attach to a receiver which decodes DTS and Dolby Digital input, while providing HDMI video output and 1080p upconversion. A front-facing auxiliary input allows additional connections. The G31 is the simplest of the three, providing no extra improvements.
Sony on mid-Thursday crowned its Cyber-shot news at CES with the DSC-G3. The camera is both one of Sony's few Wi-Fi equipped cameras but is the only one to include its own web browser. The addition not only allows for basic web use on the 3.5-inch touchscreen but also streamlines photo and video uploading; users can post images to Flickr, movies to YouTube, and other similar actions without having to return home to a computer. A streamlined landing page improves the experience in particular for sites like Picasa.
Korea's Samsung has introduced two new LCD monitors at CES, the P2370L and the 2233RZ. The former is a 23-inch display, whose main feature is a white LED backlight instead of the flourescent type used in most LCDs. This is claimed to produce better color results, as well as contrast, which is listed as an extremely high 2,000,000:1. The monitor additionally sports a 2ms gray-to-gray response, and resolutions up to 1080p; input comes in the form of DVI-I, which supports both DVI-A and DVI-D sources. The display should ship in the first quarter of the year for $399.
Dell today used CES to launch its first gaming desktop to use AMD processors in place of Intel's. The XPS 625 mid-tower shares the same custom-lit aluminum case as the XPS 630 but switches to an AMD 790FX-based mainboard and can be equipped with one of several overclockable Black Edition processors up to and including the 3GHz, quad-core Phenom II just introduced at the same time. All video card picks are equally AMD-based and scale up to dual Radeon HD 4850 cards in CrossFire mode.
ViewSonic today ventured into relatively unknown territory for itself by launching its first, full-fledged computers. The VieBook (content to come soon) is its take on the netbook and carries specs similar to most other models using a 10-inch display, with a 1.6GHz Atom, 1GB of memory, a 160GB hard drive, a 1.3 megapixel webcam and Bluetooth rounding out its feature set. The system will ship in February for $429 and comes preloaded with Windows XP.
Creative on Thursday announced its Sound Blaster for iTunes is being displayed at CES (booth 30651). Designed for use through the iTunes interface, Sound Blaster plugs into the USB connection on a PC or Mac, and plays back music through Creative wireless speakers or headphones while enhancing the quality. Sound blaster also works in users pre-existing speaker systems equipped with Creative Wireless Receivers. Users can select up to four different receivers for music playback.
LG has announced a host of new LCD monitors at CES, concentrating on the M237WD, a new 23-inch display. The panel is unusual in that it doubles as an HDTV set, mainly through the inclusion of 1080p resolution and an ATSC tuner. It is designed in the cinema-standard 16:9 ratio instead of 16:10, and features built-in stereo speakers as well as a bundled infrared remote. Dynamic contrast is rated at 30,000:1, and response time is pegged at 5ms.
NVIDIA on Thursday took the wraps from GeForce 3D Vision, its first stereoscopic 3D setup meant for home users. The add-on combines a set of glasses with a USB-attached IR emitter and certain new displays to generate 3D imagery for games, movies and videos without the blur or flickering that often creeps up in many stereoscopic setups. It also supports more common gaming setups and works with two-card SLI without special configurations.
Creative today finally confirmed the nature of the Zii. The one-time mystery device is now known to be a processor platform based on the notion of very generalized, software-based cores known as Processing Elements: the "stemcell" element from earlier teasers refers to an ability to repurpose any of the cores for a particular task. The process mimics the unified shaders processors of current video cards and is said to provide supercomputer-like acceleration without needing a large processor or a large amount of energy.
Verbatim has announced three of its latest products, ExpressCard SSD, Store 'n' Go Micro USB drive, and the Speaker Keyboard. The ExpressCard/34 is a solid-state drive (SSD) that provides plug-in storage at 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. With read speeds up to 125MB/s and write speeds maxed at 30MB/s, the storage device also comes equipped with NTI Shadow 4 to enable automatic backup every time a change occurs.
SanDisk on Thursday unveiled the third generation of its Solid State Drive lineup with an emphasis on making them available to the public. The company promises drives that are both inexpensive and fast through a combination of cheap multi-level cell (MLC) memory, a new memory controller and its ExtremeFFS file system. Even in flash memory's historically weak performance with sequential data, SanDisk estimates 200MB per second reads and 140MB per second writes. That's about five times faster than a 7,200RPM hard drive, the company believes.
T-Mobile this morning volunteered to use CES as the venue to introduce a trio of new phones for its network. The company's long in progress Shadow update completely reworks the design but continues to embrace the same basic philosophy of a jogwheel for control and a slide-out, SureType keyboard. The new model, however, builds in Wi-Fi with HotSpot Calling and carries a faster 260MHz processor to help drive its Windows Mobile 6.1 platform.
AMD marked the start of CES with the formal debut of the Phenom II, its first mainstream 45 nanometer processor. The upgrade is based on the same core "Shanghai" architecture as recent Opterons and gives a roughly 20 percent speed boost over the previous-best 2.6GHz chip through changes that involve an optimized design with more instructions handled per clock, 4MB of total extra cache, and support for up to the same 1,333MHz DDR3 memory as rival systems from Intel. The design is also now much more tolerant of high clock speeds and will run up to 3GHz in stock trim.
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