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Sonos on Monday unveiled the CR200, its latest multi-room system controller. The device diverges from the button-based layout of the company's other controllers, instead utilizing a 3.5-inch color touchscreen as the primary interface. The display offers 640x480 resolution and capacitive technology for improved response and accuracy compared to a resistive screen found on many other devices.
The upcoming Sony Ericsson XPERIA X2 handset was the star in a recently found video, confirming the 3.5-inch OLED touchscreen smartphone will run on Windows Mobile 6.5. The video also shows Sony Ericsson's in-house Panels user interface, though no other new details are revealed. Sony Ericsson has been teasing the public with the XPERIA X2 for a while now, without officially releasing any specifications. The video of the device suggests a production version is still a ways off, as the Windows Mobile 6.5 OS does not have a heavy Sony Ericsson influence.
Pegatron, a subsidiary of ASUS, has built a prototype netbook that uses the same ARM Cortex A8 chip on its Freescale iMX515 CPU that's in the Palm Pre smartphone. In the nameless netbook, however, the chip is clocked at 1GHz rather than the 600MHz in the Pre. While the clock speed is lower than that in the majority of Intel Atom-powered netbooks, the Pegatron netbook's CPU is capable of playing back 720p HD movies and supporting 3D games.
VTech on Monday availability of its LS6245 wireless home phone with an integrated digital answering macjine that can connect both landline and cellular calls. At the same time, users can pair the system with up to eight Bluetooth devices, such as cell phones or headsets. Thanks to the speakerphone on the base station or the optional add-on handset, users can have to have two conversations at the same time, with one being a landline call and the other from a paired cellular line.
ASUS is now selling its Eee PC 1004DN in Taiwan, a Monday NetbookNews report says. The 10.2-inch netbook sports a 1024x600 resolution display and a 1.66GHz Intel Atom processor and 1GB of RAM, with its unique in-class feature being a DVD burner. It is also the only netbook to sport Intel's GN40 chipset, complete with the GMA 4500 integrated graphics processor.
Dutch electronics firm Philips is launching into Android phones of its own in the near future, PCOnline has confirmed today. The Chinese site says the V808 will have the familiar 480x320 touchscreen common to many Android phones and should also have a 3.2-megapixel camera with video capture. If true, the phone would focus more heavily on GPS than usual and come with newer GPS software as well as a mounting kit.
Western Digital has introduced new, 750GB and 1TB portable USB drives as a part of the My Passport Essential SE line. Models are approximately the same weight as their counterparts in the My Passport Elite series, but slightly larger. The SEs are USB-powered, and on Windows systems equipped with sync software and 128-bit encryption. A titanium silver finish decorates the outside of what are effectively external versions of WD's new notebook drives.
Epson recently announced the upcoming release of its Stylus Photo PX650 all-in-one printer, which it aims at digital photographers who the company thinks will get better quality prints than labs can produce. PC-free printing is made possible thanks to a 2.5-inch LCD screen and a memory card slot, or via PictBridge compatibility with digital cameras. The PX650 can also scan and copy prints thanks to its 1,200DPI resolution scanner.
Acer's AspireRevo nettop, notable for being the first PC to sports NVIDIA's ION platform, will be getting an upgrade soon, according to a Monday Fudzilla report. The single-core Atom CPU will be replaced in favor of a dual-core Atom, though clock speeds will remain the same, at 1.6GHz. At the same time, there will be double the RAM standard, at 4GB, and storage space will be bumped to 320GB from 250GB.
The European Union on Monday greenlit using 900MHz airwaves for both 3G and 4G cellular data in the continent. A change to the GSM Directive now lets existing 3G technology, like UMTS, operate on the same lower frequency as GSM and will give it both longer range and higher practical speeds than the 1,800MHz and 2,100MHz bands used today. It won't be dependent on a particular format and is built with upcoming 4G formats like Long Term Evolution or others in mind.
Google has recently released the code for its Donut update for its Android operating system to software developers. Much like the earlier Cupcake, Donut will be part of the next-generation Android operating system rather than the whole system itself. Notably, the new release not only adds support for CDMA phone networks but also brings multi-touch support, a universal search function, text-to-speech, automated back-ups and a redesign for the camera application, among other changes, to the existing T-Mobile G1 and HTC Magic Android handsets.
Boingo today expanded an already existing deal with Verizon to provide Wi-Fi for subscribers. The new agreement gives those using either Verizon's DSL or FiOS Internet services free Wi-Fi access on many of Boingo's hotspots, such as those at coffee shops and airports. Whether the deal extends to international hotspots, and when it will be fully ready, hasn't been clarified at the time, though the two companies will be linked for at least the next four years.
Storage device maker RunCore on Monday announced it has added to its recently announced range of PRO IV solid state drives (SSDs), meant to replace old hard drives in users' PCs and Macs. The drives range from 32GB up to 256GB with a variety of interfaces and sizes. SSDs are much more efficient than hard drives, as there are no moving parts. This also makes them more resistant to physical damage such as drops, quieter and faster.
Novatel has opened the MiFi web server's Common Gateway Interface to developers, according to an announcement. Third-party companies should as a result be able to access the onboard processors of MiFi hotspots, enabling broader software support and as well as MiFi uses beyond a straightforward Internet connection. A programming guide has been published on Novatel's developer site; the API should support both current and future MiFi hardware.
Toshiba is said today to be expanding its flash memory production in a way that may hint at continued large orders from Apple. Although it will push its factories making NAND flash memory for handhelds to about 90 percent capacity in August, the electronics giant is still believed by DigiTimes to be warning most companies that its on-demand stock will be short, a typical sign that a major firm is snapping up most of the extra supply. Apple is considered the most likely candidate both through its usual high demand for flash memory as well as its $500 million deal to guarantee supply in the long term.
Samsung on Monday announced it will soon bring out its own e-book reader, the 5-inch SNE-50K, in its home market of South Korea. Users can also make notes on the device, unlike competing e-book readers from Amazon and Sony. While content will not be downloaded wirelessly straight to the device, it can be transferred from a PC, originating from a local bookstore chain. Other than the 5-inch screen and its 600x800 resolution, there is 512MB of onboard storage, slotting it between the Kindle and Reader in terms of space.
Panasonic this morning swelled the ranks of its Lumix cameras with three new models that all have new features. The FZ35 replaces the FZ28 as the company's ultrazoom and adds a new High Dynamic mode that improves the high dynamic range (HDR) of a scene, bringing detail back to overly bright highlights and darker shadows. A pseudo-manual mode known as My Color gives control over brightness, contrast and saturation with live previews of each, and a faster autofocus system that helps both for action scenes as well as capturing 720p video.
Verizon this morning reported mixed results for its spring quarter but promised that Palm's new smartphone would reach its network. Although the carrier's revenue was up 11.3 percent from year to year at $26.9 billion, its actual profit was down 21.2 percent to 52 cents per share. Its subscriber based jumped to 87.7 million but was helped mostly by acquiring Alltel; it added 1.1 million customers outside of the takeover and was slightly slower than AT&T.
Sony is rapidly accelerating production of the PlayStation 3 in what may be a sign of confidence in its upcoming 120GB slim model. Tips from integrated circuit (IC) distributors sent to DigiTimes have Sony ordering enough of their parts on average to make 1 million of the game consoles just for this summer, or twice the rate that was seen in the spring. The rate is said to be high enough that demand is outstripping supply at Renesas, which makes the key chipsets for the PS3.
The second generation of the small multimedia device from mintpass, the mintpad, may use the Android operating system rather than the current model's Windows CE OS, says a Monday Pocketables report. The original device sports a 2.9-inch touchscreen and plastic body, with other planned improvements to the new device including a larger screen, metal body and the additions of WiBro (Korean WiMAX) and GPS.
TriGem today moved its US PCs somewhat upscale by shipping the Averatec N3400. Thanks in part to its aluminum shell, the 13-inch portable is one of the thinnest in its class at between 0.4 and 0.98 inches thick but still uses a regular notebook processor in the form of a 2.16GHz Pentium dual-core. It's also one of the lightest in its category at 3.8 pounds and manages this by bundling a USB-based external DVD burner instead of adding weight to the system's insides.
Ricoh on Monday improved on its flagship point-and-shoot model and rolled out the GR Digital III. Sharing the same basic body design as the GR Digital II, it still outputs 10-megapixel shots but generates less noise and also shoots up to a much wider aperture of f1.9, producing a more DSLR-like shallow depth of field as well as allowing more light in. It also brings shutter priority to supplement the existing aperture priority mode and has a 3-inch, 920,000-pixel LCD with more than three times the resolution of the camera's predecessor.
Samsung today unveiled a new ARM processor that could show the direction for future smartphones. Nicknamed Hummingbird, the design uses the same Cortex-A8 architecture as the chip in the iPhone 3GS but clocks at 1GHz, significantly higher than the 833MHz of its previous best. The feat is accomplished both by a smaller, more energy-efficient 45 nanometer process as well as partly customized circuits designed to handle the load.
RIM today formally launched the long-in-development BlackBerry Curve 8520, its first more consciously low-end QWERTY smartphone. The device trims costs compared to the 8900 by using a lower-resolution 320x240 screen and a 2-megapixel camera but also marks a number of firsts in control for BlackBerries: it abandons the trackball for an optical trackpad which is ostensibly both smoother to use but also more durable. It also has dedicated media keys at the top to pause or skip tracks without having to look at the screen.
Western Digital today reached a symbolic milestone in notebook storage today by launching two new Scorpio Blue notebook hard drives above the 500GB mark. The new versions reach 750GB and 1TB each by fitting just over 333GB per platter. While the drives are 12.5mm tall and therefore unlikely to fit most notebooks outside of desktop replacement models, the design both points to the future and is deemed particularly useful for external drives, where the extra space is more valuable.
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