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Microsoft tonight confirmed the existence of the Zune HD, its first-ever touchscreen media player. The company readily acknowledges that the player is meant to compete against the iPod touch and will have a 3.3-inch, 480x272 OLED screen with a multi-touch interface. It earns its name through the first inclusion of a portable HD Radio tuner for digital broadcasts as well as HD video playback through a special dock. For the first time on a Zune, the HD will also use its Wi-Fi to browse the web and should come with a special version of Internet Explorer designed for touch.
Koyono has released the latest addition to its Apple accessory line, the Chill Pill. The device, used with an iPod, iPhone, or notebook, is made of two speakers that magnetically connect in order to reduce size for storage. The Chill Pill uses a rechargeable internal battery and can be used for up to 8 hours.
Hewlett-Packard has recalled 15,000 batteries contained in notebooks distributed across China, as the lithium-ion cells are known to potentially overheat, according to Reuters. The affected devices include HP Pavillion, Compaq Presario and HP Compaq models manufactured between late 2007 and early 2008. China's quality-control regulator, AQSIQ, suggests the batteries pose a fire hazard when used in extreme conditions.
AT&T will soon add two new high-end LG handsets to its lineup if these leaked images from the wireless provider prove to be real. The first, tentatively scheduled for a release late in August, is the Opera TV, though the placeholder image is believed to be that of the current Arena. Specs on the Opera include a 3-inch display with 480x800 resolution, a 5-megapixel camera, and 7.2Mbps HSDPA data network access. As the name suggests, FLO TV support allows users to watch mobile TV programs.
UK online retailer DeviceWire is now offering an unlocked version of the HTC Touch Pro2 smartphone. When the page was first put up, 50 examples of the handset were reportedly available. The Touch Pro2 has a QWERTY keyboard along with a 3.6-inch, 480x800 resolution touchscreen. There is quad-band GPRS voice network and EDGE/HSPA data network support, along with an integrated GPS sensor, a Wi-Fi radio and Bluetooth functionality.
A Monday leak has revealed that Pantech's Aladdin handset may be coming to wireless provider AT&T in mid-August. The candybar device has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard for texting, which is its main mission, as it is otherwise fairly basic in its specifications. There is a 1.3-megapixel camera, assisted GPS functionality, stereo Bluetooth support and a Video Share mode for one-way calls. It should support protected Windows Media tracks in addition to usual mobile formats.
Intel today provided early official details about Nehalem-EX, the architecture that will form the foundation of the chip maker's highest-end Xeon processors. The design will stand as Intel's first eight-core processor and, thanks to Hyperthreading, will run as many as 16 program threads at once. It will also have the most bandwidth of any design with four QuickPath interfaces, which create a point-to-point link between the CPU, memory and peripherals. Each core will have as much as nine times the bandwidth of present-day Xeon 7400 processors.
Taiwan's handset manufacturer HTC is due to release an Android-powered smartphone in China in June, its chief executive Peter Chou told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. The phone will be a version of the Magic, the second Android-powered handset from HTC that went on sale in Europe recently, although with custom software from China Mobile, the world's biggest wireless provider, at about 500 million subscribers. With the Magic, HTC hopes to double its China sales to 1.6 million.
Sanyo Japan has recently announced the upcoming release of two of its in-dash navigation and entertainment systems, the NVA-GS1609FT and NVA-GS1409DT, each equipped with a solid state drive (SSD). Dubbed AV Gorilla, the double-DIN head units sport 480x240-pixel 7-inch LCD touchscreen displays. The NVA-GS1609FT has a 16GB SSD, half of which is dedicated for storing map and navigation data. The other 8GB can be used to rip music from inserted CDs at up to 12x speeds or 8x speeds while simultaneously playing back the music. DVDs are supported, but cannot be ripped.
AT&T's planned move to HSPA+ service for its next-generation 3G should be accompanied by at least two computer networking devices when the network goes live, as a slide leak late Monday has revealed the carrier's plans. A Sierra Wireless notebook card nicknamed the "Triple Lindy" should lead the charge, Engadget says, and will have a dual-stage enclosure that can either work as a regular ExpressCard/34 adapter or else plug into a PC Card adapter for use on older notebooks. It could reach the theoretical peaks of the service at 21.1Mbps downstream and 11.5Mbps for uploads.
Japan's Seiko Epson on Tuesday announced it has discovered a way to produce large-panel organic light-emitting diode (OLED) HDTV sets. A new discovery in inkjet technology allows a more uniform deposition of organic material during the manufacturing of OLED panels, solving the issue of uneven layering in large screens. This breakthrough will allow Epson to make 37-inch and larger OLED HDTVs.
Intel's Core i5 processor platform has been pushed back until September, according to claims by those producing mainboards for the platform. The delay would move the launch from the original July and is purportedly meant to clear out stock of earlier designs due to the poor economy. When it does launch, the desktop processor range will reportedly start with 2.66GHz, 2.8Ghz and 2.93GHz processors in bulk prices of $196, $284 and $562 along with a matching mainboard chipset, the P55, costing $40 in volume.
Zeebo today said its unique game console has started shipping to its first market of Brazil. The game system will cost $247 but, as promised, is rare in having free 3G access; users can download games over the local cellular network without having to pay for a separate Internet connection. The launch edition also comes with three full 3D games -- Brain Training, FIFA 09 and Need For Speed: Carbon -- as well as permission to download ports of the first two Quake games as well as Prey.
JVC today shipped an LCD TV it bills as the first specifically geared towards digital SLR photography. The Xiview LT42WX70 emphasizes color accuracy first and covers both all of the sRGB color gamut used for HDTV but 96 percent of the Adobe RGB space as well; the trick promises a relatively accurate display that can be used for quick photo proofing or just as a means of viewing images at a large size. About 52 different visual settings, as well as consistent 2.2 gamma, help calibrate the display to achieve its intended effect.
Samsung Mobile on Tuesday confirmed an earlier report by announcing wireless provider US Cellular will soon add the Samsung Gloss SCH-u440 flip-phone to its lineup. Also known as the Cleo, it has an unusual design with a QWERTY keyboard and borrows design cues from a makeup mirror. Bluetooth support, a 1.3-megapixel camera and music playback functionality are also onboard.
NAD Electronics on Tuesday has announced the upcoming release of its Masters Series M2 Direct digital amplifier for home audio and theater setups. The result of a 10-year research project, the M2 is said to be the industry's first true digital amplifier available to customers. NAD compares the amp to a Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) that drives a loudspeaker directly. It is rated to provide 500W of dynamic power on its two channels. NAD is also touting the M2 as being the first to fully exploit HD audio source files, the first to include digital error correction and use it to reduce distortion.
Microsoft has posted 64- and 32-bit versions of Service Pack 2, a major update for Windows Vista and Server 2008. The downloads measure 577 and 348MB respectively, and include all of the key Windows updates produced since the debut of Service Pack 1. New devices and hardware platforms are also said to be supported, such as Bluetooth 2.1, 64-bit VIA CPUs and Blu-ray data recording.
NEC Japan has recently announced the upcoming release of its business-grade 10.6-inch netbook, the VersaPro UltraLite type VS. Most notably, the netbook weighs just 1.6lbs and is 0.62 inches thick. The low weight is achieved thanks to a magnesium frame that is die-cast and by exclusively offering a solid state drive, while the thinness comes from a careful design and shuffling around of the internal components. The 10-layer baseplate for the mainboard does not sit directly underneath the keyboard, for example, and a traditional heat sink for the CPU was done away with.
Microsoft has potentially signaled its plans to clear out stock of its current-generation players through word of an upgrade plan that may start in June. The program as described by Zune Scene would mostly be intended for Zune 30 owners out of warranty and would give them large discounts on second-generation players that vary in scope depending on the storage of the player. Moving to a basic Zune 4 would drop the price of a Zune 4 down to $70, or $30 off its usual cost; the exchange would provide $70 off a Zune 16 or higher, providing the strongest incentive to trade in for one of Microsoft's newer players.
Apple's upcoming revision to the iPhone could be the first to split the line into multiple versions based on the network, a supposed leak said on Tuesday. Rather than stick to a one-size-fits-all approach, the company is claimed by iLounge to be offering iPhones with different network speeds depending on the region. Those in the best-equipped countries will get iPhones with 7.2Mbps 3G; other countries would still have 3.6Mbps 3G, while a third phone would be specific to China.
TeliaSonera has become the first carrier to set up a commercial-ready 4G site based on the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard. Located in Stockholm, Sweden, the tower is part of a larger network that will be ready in 2010 and promises much faster Internet than 3G. Ericsson, which helped build the site, says 4G can reach a theoretical peak of 160Mbps; real-world speeds are likely to be much slower but still above the 7.2Mbps peak of existing 3G.
LG today began shipping its LH55 TVs to stores. Having made its first appearance at CES, the line uses traditional cold-cathode fluorescent lighting but has a scanning backlight that boosts the LCD panel's refresh rate to 240Hz, significantly improving detail in fast-moving scenes. Most current TVs still use either regular 60Hz or 120Hz panels.
AT&T may be the home to one of the first headlining devices for Windows Mobile 7, a slide from a leaked presentation shows. The LG Monaco would be a full touchscreen smartphone with a 3.2-inch, 800x480 display and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard underneath. The new Microsoft OS is claimed by Engadget to be the centerpiece, however, and may require that the device support multi-touch, a level of input previously off limits to Microsoft devices that have so far been forced to use single-touch, resistive touchscreens.
The European Commission today pressed music labels on switching to a Europe-wide licensing strategy for music that would let Apple and others run stores for the entire continent. Citing early agreements with EMI as well as French agency SACEM, antitrust Commissioner Neelie Kroes argues that labels need to follow suit and switch from their current country-by-country approach, which forces iTunes and other stores to segregate their audiences and musicians to collect pay through local agencies rather than a single source.
Sony on Tuesday showed rare conservatism by giving its VAIO P netbook an option for Windows XP. The P50 variant lets the mini notebook skip Vista for the faster, less demanding older OS while trading few features. It loses only Sony's in-Windows media software but still gets access to the instant-on OS for media playback and other basics outside of Microsoft's platform. It also boosts the minimum storage from 60GB to 80GB.
After an early opening for some areas, Nokia today formally launched the Ovi Store worldwide. Accessible both through the web and through a downloadable app, the service is Nokia's own contender against the iPhone's App Store and puts both third-party apps, N-Gage games, podcasts and videos in a central location. It's primarily intended for Symbian S60 phones such as the 5800 XpressMusic as well as most recent Eseries and Nseries smartphones, including the imminent N97.
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