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The iPhone once again leads Consumer Reports' smartphone ratings, beating competing products such as the Palm Pre and BlackBerry Storm. The organization considered Apple's new 3GS handset to lead in categories such as battery life, multimedia, navigation and Internet browsing, while integrating a superior display.
iBuypower has launched its latest line of gaming computers, the Paladin XLC series. The systems are each built with Asetek's 240mm radiator liquid-cooling components. The basic configurations are powered by Intel's Core i7 CPUs, with at least 6GB of DDR3 memory and 1TB of storage.
Hammacher Schlemmer has introduced The Only 3D Web Camera, a new webcam that records three-dimensional videos. The device integrates two cameras which record slightly different images that are combined to create a stereoscopic image. Video is captured with 800x600 pixel resolution at 15 frames-per-second, with the ability to focus on objects as close as 12-inches away. The camera can also provide 2D picture-in-picture or side-by-side videos, along with typical webcam feeds.
Apple and NVIDIA may be engaged in a fierce dispute that could exclude NVIDIA graphics chips from future Macs, according to sources reportedly aware of the talks. They claim to SemiAccurate that Apple views NVIDIA's proposals for renewed deals as "arrogance" and that much of the argument centers on the overheating material that triggered widespread failures in all GeForce 8400M and 8600M mobile graphics chips. The Mac firm has had to extend MacBook Pro warranties for up to three years and may be skeptical of NVIDIA's insistence that newer models aren't at risk of the same problem.
Philips has priced its 56-inch, 21:9 aspect ratio Cinema 21:9 HDTV it first introduced just after CES in January. While release dates are still unknown, the TV will cost the equivalent of about $7,400 in Europe. The unique aspect ratio results in a complete absence of horizontal black bars without distorting the image found in movies that are shot in the widescreen format.
While today, July 1st, was the agreed-upon deadline between cable operators and consumer electronics companies to support the new Tru2Way interactive digital cable standard, it's now learned today that none of the cable operators will meet or come close to this date. The new standard is due to replace CableCARD, and does not require a standalone set-top box, instead being integrated into devices such as TVs, DVD or Blu-ray players from existing electronics manufacturers. While cable companies such as Comcast, Time Warner and Cox Communications will not have the necessary support for the interactive service, execs from Samsung and Panasonic said good-faith effort has been made to deliver on the promises.
UK-based Elonex International has partnered with the UK division of Borders to release its first 6-inch eBook Reader. Users can download ebooks via Borders' eBook Download Store. The reader is just over a third of an inch thick and weighs 6.5oz, with a battery life that is claimed to last 8,000 page turns. The e-Ink screen is said to be two and a half times sharper than a conventional display and can be red in direct sunlight. Users will have the ability to choose from one of eight font sizes and turn the reader horizontally for a wider viewing area.
AT&T on Wednesday announced it will soon begin offering the BlueAnt Q1 voice controlled Bluetooth headset at its retail locations and online store. The headset, first released at the start of April, has noise-cancelling functionality and allows users to control it via voice commands. Integrated multipoint technology lets users pair up the headset to up to two different handsets at the same time.
The previously promised cap on roaming rates for phone calls made from cellular devices went into effect today. The European Commission-mandated cap applies to calls made throughout the 27-country union, and is estimated to save consumers as much as 60 percent in cellular phone bills. The new limits will drop the price of making a call in a country other than one's home to the equivalent of 61 cents per minute, excluding sales tax, from 65 cents. Receiving calls will fall from 31 cents to 27 cents.
Zer01 today kicked off the launch of its self-titled Zer01 Mobile cellphone service. Roughly as promised, the service uses custom software and a unique network trick to funnel both data and voice through a VoIP system rather than the usual network, bypassing most of the costs associated with running a usual cellular plan. To exploit the uncapped data, it now has built-in access to NetMovies downloads from the company's front-end app.
Wireless provider Cellular South on Wednesday announced it will soon sell its own subsidized 3G-capable netbook, the 10.1-inch Dell Inspiron Mini 10. Its version, like that for AT&T, holds an internal 3G modem that supplies long-range data access wherever the carrier has coverage. As a CDMA carrier, though, Cellular South will use EVDO instead of HSPA.
Palm's UK event for the Pre will likely reveal O2 to be the sole carrier if tips are authentic. More than one source has told The Guardian that earlier rumors are true and that Palm is likely to imitate Apple's strategy for the island nation, which both gives O2 sole network rights and Carphone Warehouse the only third-party rights to sell the phone on O2's behalf. Reportedly, it has also echoed O2's coup for the iPhone by thwarting an attempt by Orange to land the same deal.
The sequel to NVIDIA's Ion platform could be much faster than its predecessor when it ships, leaks today would show. While the current graphics and chipset combo is based on the GeForce 9400M and has just 16 visual effects cores, Fudzilla now hears that it will have 32 cores, potentially doubling the amount of simultaneous effects it can handle at once. The difference will have the most dramatic effect on 3D but could also impact general-purpose computing tasks that need CUDA or OpenCL.
T-Mobile's Dash 3G smartphone, announced for the carrier in mid-June, has been given a launch date and price just a week ahead of when it reaches stores. The complete overhaul of the Windows Mobile phone should arrive on July 8th, priced at $170 with a two-year contract. The original Dash is currently being discounted and trades for just $50 on similar terms.
Versions of the Sony Walkman have now been on sale for 30 years, notes Agence France-Presse. The first version of the product went on sale July 1st 1979, based on the sketches of engineer Nobutoshi Kihara, and sold 30,000 units in two months. By 1989 cumulative Walkman sales had exceeded 50 million, and today, numbers are said to be over 385 million. The company has since lost much of its ground to Apple, which has sold over 200 million iPods in eight years.
Large PC builders are dragging their feet when it comes to environmental promises, claims Greenpeace. The activist group has once again updated its Guide to Greener Electronics, which assigns relative rankings to major high-tech corporations. A new development is the assignment of "penalty points" to major PC builders, including HP, Dell and Lenovo. The companies have delayed plans to strip PVC and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from computers, Greenpeace says, and in the case of HP, none of its current systems have reduced toxicity.
The next-generation USB 3.0 interface may reach customer PCs before 2009 is out, despite an earlier report to the contrary. Industry members believe Taiwan-area PC makers will be the first to release computers equipped with USB 3.0, as working prototypes of the interface, which promises 5GBps transfer speeds, are abundant at computer technology shows. These included PC hosts transferring data to connected external SSDs and interoperability between components from different vendors.
Sprint today confirmed that its version of the BlackBerry Tour will run head-to-head against the Verizon model this month. The former will ship its Tour on the same day, July 12th, and for the same $200 on a two-year contract. It will also handle world roaming thanks to the addition of quad-band GSM and EDGE as well as European 3G, but it should bring access to Sprint-specific music downloads, TV streaming and a custom NASCAR app.
Toshiba today at last said it will hold a launch event for its TG01 smartphone. The July 9th gathering in London is expected by SlashGear to mark the formal start of sales for the Windows Mobile handset in Europe; it's already on sale in Japan as the NTT DoCoMo PRO T-01A and should be available not just in the UK but Germany, Spain and possibly other countries.
Pioneer on Wednesday brought out four new home theater receivers to its flagship Elite lineup, including the top-rung SC-27 and SC-25, as well as the slightly lower-end VSX-21TXH and VSX-23TXH. All four have a customized USB/composite cable that allow users to integrate their iPhones and iPods into their home theater audio systems. Once connected, the Apple devices can be controlled via the systems' remote controls, and their content sent to 2nd and 3rd zones setup in the home. The SC-series units are meant to reproduce Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks found on more advanced Blu-ray discs. Both have a Direct Energy HD Class D amp based on ICEpower.
Microsoft has picked the ad firm that will represent its "Pink" smartphone interface, sources said Wednesday. AdWeek hears that a contract bid has been won by McCann Erickson's TAG group, trumping others. The leak doesn't include any details of what "Pink" involves but adds that McCann already handles advertising for Windows Mobile, supporting the phone connection.
Palm today told the UK press that it will hold an event July 7th regarding the Pre. The company stops short of confirming it as a launch event, but it's commonly assumed by Pocket-lint and others that the gathering next week will provide details of Pre with GSM and HSPA-based 3G and will likely include a release window as well as details of which carriers will sell the smartphone. Pricing is also a possibility.
Dell on Tuesday announced it will add mapping features to its Inspiron Mini 10 netbooks starting next week. The Wireless 700 add-on combines both an internal GPS card from Broadcom and Wi-Fi triangulation technology from Skyhook Wireless to find its own location, which allows it to operate both indoors and outdoors. Indoors, Wi-Fi access points are used to determine the location via their respective and mapped hardware addresses. Outdoors, or when the line of sight to a satellite is available, it reverts to the assisted GPS chipset for a more accurate, network-independent view.
eMachines today gave a new look to its least expensive ET series desktops along with hardware upgrades to match. Like the recent EL1300 slimline PC, the ET1300 and ET1810 shed the company's previous black-and-silver look for a sleeker, glossy white. They all also make NVIDIA's lower-end graphics standard for slightly faster than usual performance in the category.
HP today stepped up the power of its xw9400 workstations with the addition of AMD's six-core Opteron 2400 series to the mix. Also nicknamed Istanbul, the chips give a system as many as 12 cores. HP maintains AMD's view that the chips offer about 34 percent more performance per watt when compared to earlier quad-cores, which often use the same amount of energy.
Foxconn today tried to deflect rumors that it was building the slim PS3. Following a newspaper's claim yesterday that the new Sony console was to be shipped by Foxconn for next month, the assembly firm has filed an official stance with the Taiwan Stock Exchange that turns down commentary on the rumor, citing "customer confidentiality." Pegatron, which has been rumored to share responsibilities for making the new system, hasn't formally responded to the apparent leak.
Alienware today quietly introduced its own desktop display built both for gaming and movie viewing. The OptX AW2210 is intended as a multi-role display with a 21.5-inch, 1080p LCD that has not only DVI for computers but, in a rarity for the class, dual HDMI ports. Viewers can hook up a pair of HD sources like a Blu-ray player or game console and maintain their native aspect ratios without losing access to the computer.
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