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Panasonic has updated its semi-rugged Toughbook 52 notebook, adding an option for a 13.3-inch touchscreen LCD. The new display could prove suitable for outdoor use, featuring 1000 nit brightness combined with an anti-glare and anti-reflective surface. The company claims battery life up to 8 hours with the touchscreen, while the standard 15.4-inch variant will provide 7 hours of life with the P8400 CPU or 4 hours running the P8600.
Adding fuel to the recent rumors of an Apple tablet computer, the company has been awarded several patents for components that could be used in such a device. Both filings carry the title "Display Housing for Computing Device" and describe several different configurations, with the noteworthy design integrating the computing components directly behind the screen.
Congress has approved legislation that will delay the digital TV transition until June 12, providing more time to prepare older devices for the change, according to Reuters. The switch deadline had initially been scheduled for February 17th, although an estimated 20 million individuals would not be ready in the next few weeks. Obama backed the latest change, recognizing concerns that the unprepared group contained mostly low-income, elderly and rural households.
Acer may not be unveiling just one new smartphone at the Mobile World Congress in Spain on February 16th or soon thereafter as this photo leak proves. The new Acer handset is a rebranded version of the E-Ten Glofiish DX900 and is the result of Acer's buyout of the smaller company in 2008.. The two differ only in a few superficial aspects, such as new colors on the exterior.
Wireless provider T-Mobile topped the rankings in the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Wireless Customer Care Performance Study - Volume 1, scoring 755 out of a possible 1,000 points and edging out competitors Verizon Wireless, at 749, and Alltel, which scored 744 points. The survey asked customers to rate their experiences when dealing with T-Mobile via a phone call with either a live rep or an Automated Response System, in person at a retail location and via the Web.
On Wednesday, Panasonic announced the release of two network security cameras with the BL-C101A and BL-C121A. Both are meant for home or business monitoring, and allow users to see what they see over an Internet-connected PC or cell phone. The BL-C101A is simple to connect thanks to its single-wire interface, while the BL-C121A only requires a power cable as it has a built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi radio and internal antenna. Either can capture MPEG-4 video and JPEG images at the same time.
What is believed to be the first look at the upcoming Acer smarpthone has been leaked on Tuesday, although there are no new clues as to the phone's specifications and features. The first indication of Acer's entry into the phone market came last week, when the company extended an invitation to a press conference on the evening of February 16th, right before the start of the Mobile World Congress in Spain. The low-quality photos do reveal a full QWERTY keyboard and an advanced swiveling design for the reported touchscreen.
The previously announced Motorola W233 Renew handset is now available for purchase at wireless provider T-Mobile for about $10 on a two-year contract. The W233 Renew is the first handset to use recycled plastics in the construction of its housing that includes recycled water bottles. It's therefore recyclable, and Motorola is touting the handset as the first totally carbon-neutral cell phone.
The $10 Sakshat laptop from India turned out to be neither at its official introduction, as it is now said to cost $30 and is little more than a computing device and not a full-function notebook as previously expected and advertised, according to a Wednesday report. The device, sized at 10 by 5 inches, is reportedly capable of nothing more than storing data accessed by connecting it to an actual computer.
Online retailer RapidRepair will soon offer an upgraded 240GB hard drive for both refreshes of the 5th-generation iPod with video. The upgrade comes in the form the 1.8-inch, 240GB drive from Toshiba introduced last year. The dual-platter drive has a PATA interface and spins at a fast 4,200RPM speed in spite of its small footprint, improving loading times over same-size hard disks.
Bernstein Research's Toni Sacconaghi has made several bold predictions, suggesting that an iPhone nano could arrive without the ability to run apps and browse the Internet. He expects that the standalone music player market will continue to shrink, driving customers to trade iPods for cell phones that can also play music. A significant majority of those customers would find the iPhone too expensive, primarily because of the data service plans that average over $70 a month.
Canadian wireless provider Fido on Wednesday announced it is offering the BlackBerry Pearl 8100 smartphone from Research in Motion. Only available in black, the handset is being priced as low as $25 CAD on a three-year voice and data plan. The lowest-priced data plan is the $15-per-month unlimited Personal Email on BlackBerry.
Korea's Samsung has produced what it claims to be the world's first 40nm DRAM memory. Though only available in a 1GB DDR2 format, the memory is already said to have been certified for Intel's GM45 Express chipset, which was made available for notebooks late last year. The new DRAM marks a shift down in size from 50nm, and should theoretically consume less electricity, generating less heat as a side effect.
AT&T may end up acquiring some of the resources Verizon has to auction off to complete its buyout of Alltel, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. The iPhone-carrying provider is reportedly one of the stronger bidders for the estimated $3 billion in cellular coverage, spectrum and other assets that the US government has determined should be sold to competitors to maintain a level playing field. AT&T could gain as many as 2.1 million new subscribers if it purchased all the assets.
In-depth plans for Microsoft's SkyBox sync service have been leaked, according to anonymous sources said to be "well-connected" to the matter. A v1.0 beta of the service is expected to go live in mid-February, and provide basic backup, restore, management and sharing functions for cellphone data. The service should also be free, due to an advertising-laced web portal.
MIMO has recently introduced two 7-inch auxiliary monitors, the UM-710 and the touchscreen UM-740 that plug in to PCs and Macs via a single USB 2.0 port for both video signal and power connection. Either screen sports an 800x480 resolution and can display whatever users drag onto them from their primary desktop display. The monitors can be rotated to a portrait view in addition to the default horizontal orientation.
T-Mobile's version of the Samsung Memoir has had nearly all of its details show early today thanks in part to a preview of the carrier's February Scoop issue by CellPhone Signal as well as specs sent to Unwired View by an anonymous source. The 8-megapixel touchscreen cameraphone is now near-certain to launch on February 25th but now appears limited to EDGE for data, with no mention of HSDPA or UMTS for the 1,700MHz band.
Panasonic is the latest in a string of large electronics companies based in Japan to predict a loss for the 2008 current fiscal year due to the slow economy and the unfavorable exchange rates offered by a strong yen. As a result, the company plans to cut nearly 5 percent of its workforce, amounting to some 15,000 workers. At the same time, 12 percent or 27 manufacturing sites will be closed down. The company now expects to post a $4.26 billion net loss in the fiscal year that ends March 31st.
Time Warner during a financial results call today revealed that its experiment in metered data use on its cable Internet service should expand to new areas in 2009. Without entering into specifics, the company's cable chief Glenn Britt says that more cities will be subject to the program, which charges users for usage at fixed intervals up to a 40GB cap. It's unknown whether the feature represents a larger trial or a formal rollout.
Sonnet Technologies says it will debut five new products at the NAB Show, Fusion DX800RAID storage system, Fusion F3 RAID storage system, Tempo SATA Pro ExpressCard/34, Pro Dual CompactFlash (CF) Adapter ExpressCard/34, and the Fusion F2 1TB Portable Storage System. The DX800RAID is an eight-drive RAID SATA storage system with a built-in Serial Attatched SCSI (SAS) expander which enables up to 16 eight-drive enclosures to connect to a single Sonnet RAID controller. The device offers read and write file transfer speeds of up to 680MB/sec and 640MB/sec, respectively.
Google today expanded its mapping service with a social component known as Latitude. The feature lets either smartphone owners, Chrome users, and those running a special iGoogle gadget identify their current locations to friends or to track their own friends both for coordinating meetups or to follow them on trips. Users can send e-mail, Google Talk, SMS and status update messages to others directly from Latitude; calling is also possible on phones.
Pentax on Wednesday spurred sales ahead of the PMA expo by slashing prices on its mainstream digital SLRs and launching a handful of new K2000 kits. The 14.6-megapixel K20D mid-range camera is getting an immediate $100 discount that lasts until February 22nd; the K2000 flash bundle that carries an 18-55m lens and an AF200FG external flash is also dropping permanently to $600. The special white K2000 bundle is also seeing a price reduction to $680.
An internal Sprint end-of-life (EOL) list obtained by BGR hints that Palm may be ready to ship the Pre in May. The touchscreen smartphone will effectively replace the Treo 755p and is listed as appearing in late May, arriving about a month before the end of Palm's official first-half 2009 target. Retail staff are already believed to be training for June, suggesting the retail launch may be scheduled for slightly after the in-stock date.
Fujifilm today had its turn at pre-PMA expo launches with three compact cameras, including one it says is the most flexible ever. The FinePix F200EXR's 12-megapixel sensor is adjustable in a special EXR mode that lets users either opt for the full resolution or else step down to 6 megapixels for difficult conditions: it can either switch to a high-sensitivity mode for low light or a wide dynamic range mode to bring out detail in shadows or bright lights. A second drop down, to 3 megapixels, will let the camera shoot as high as ISO 12,800 in extreme conditions where flash isn't an option.
A new mobile phone is coming to AT&T's lineup, according to Phone Arena. The LG Neon will be an Americanized version of the KS360, the Neon features the same full QWERTY keyboard and 2.4-inch touchscreen with an onscreen numeric keypad to dial numbers when the phone is closed. If the new phone is similar to its reference model, users can also expect a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and FM radio.
Garmin and ASUS on Wednesday morning announced a strategic alliance to design and sell co-branded mobile phones, including the launch of a new phone at the upcoming mobile conference in Barcelona, Spain and rebranded nüviphone (as the nüviphone G60), which was announced last week. According to the companies, both Garmin and ASUS have already begun joint development on a mobile phone product line, which will be known as the Garmin-Asus nüvifone series. The companies, which will leverage the companies' navigation and mobile telephony expertise, expect to bring to market several Garmin-Asus nüvifone models in 2009, including a new model at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, February 16-19, 2009.
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