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Several image leaks allegedly show upcoming Leica cameras, the X1 and M9, according to Leica Rumors. Unconfirmed specs point to a full-frame 18.2 megapixel sensor on the M9, up from the current 10 megapixel component. The camera is also claimed to offer improved noise performance at high ISO settings, while adding an SD card slot and a free copy of Adobe Lightroom.
Samsung this evening took advantage of advances in hard drives in the past few weeks to upgrade its external hard drives. The S3 Station desktop drive now jumps to 2TB (from 1.5TB) while the S2 Portable climbs from 500GB to 640GB. Either attaches through USB and have extras like automated backup and a "secret" partition for private data.
Sony is preparing an "ultimate" iPhone clock radio that would serve as a hub for several types of media at once, a slip confirmed today. Temporarily seen on a product page (cached), the ICF-CL75iP would have a 7-inch LCD that would not only show music info and the time but show photos from an iPhone or iPod. It would also support videos, though the Sony Insider tip is unclear as to whether these may be limited to AVI, MJPEG and MPEG-4 movies loaded to 1GB of local storage through a USB port.
YouTube could be forging a deal that would give it paid movie rentals, a leak this evening may have revealed. Google's video streaming site is reportedly in talks with Lionsgate, Sony and Warner to host streaming versions of titles. The WSJ source understands that a rental would typically cost $4 but that pricing would be consistent with other video-on-demand services; the standard price would be in line for Apple's new but standard-definition releases.
Toshiba recently added a new, 640GB capacity model to its Portable External Drive range. The drive weighs just six ounces, adding to its portability. Users also don't need to carry around AC power supplies, as the device gets its power and transfers data over a USB 2.0 connection. There is an 8MB buffer, and users can create password-protected folders on the drive.
Microsoft today provided an unusual response to apparent leaks of a $400, 250GB Xbox 360 Elite gaming console on multiple retailers. When queried about the system by CNET, a Microsoft representative neither confirmed nor denied the existence of the system, saying only that the company has made "no such announcement." Such a response doesn't necessarily confirm the console but is uncharacteristic for a company that has flatly denied Blu-ray drive rumors in the past.
Sony on Wednesday introduced three new BRAVIA HDTVs for Europe. The V5800, W5800 and Z5800 have three tuners for receiving satellite (DVB-S2), over-the-air terrestrial (DVB-T) and cable (DVB-C) channels in standard definition or HD, nullifying the need for separate set-top boxes. The LCDs output at 1080p and also get a CI+ port for cards that allow access to subscription channels. The V5800 has a traditional 60Hz display panel, the W5800 gets a 100Hz display, while the Z5800 uses a 200Hz panel.
Kodak on Wednesday announced it has released the ESP 3250 and ESP 5250 all-in-one inkjet printers, which are said to have the lowest overall ink replacement costs. Either has an intelligent paper tray system that can adjust settings based on paper type and size to reduce mistakes. Print speeds are rated at 30 pages per minute in black and 29 pages in color for either model.
A Bluetooth Special Interest Group document indicates that the upcoming Samsung Behold 2 handset, spotted earlier at the Wi-Fi Alliance and due to arrive at T-Mobile, will be running on the Android operating system. The new document indicates the SGH-T939 will be a GSM phone with a 3.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen that gives users access to "Google Mobile services and full web browsing at blazing speeds."
Novothink has introduced the Surge, a case for the iPod touch that integrates solar panels to charge the device. The panels are claimed to output 5.5V at 100 mAh in full sun, while a built-in 1500 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery offers 120 percent capacity compared to the iPod's internal battery.
Sony this afternoon geared up for the impending launch of Gran Turismo for the PSP by launching a special Limited Edition Gran Turismo pack. The special run mates the older, UMD-based PSP-3000 in silver with a copy of the racing game, a 2GB Memory Stick Pro Duo, and download codes for the in-game version of the white Corvette ZR1 seen on the cover, a free movie from Sony's PSN video store and 10 songs from its Mac- and PC-ready Music Pass service.
Sony at its IFA show presence added a pair of 2.1-channel PC speakers, including what it claims as a first for integrating iPhones and iPods. The 60W SRS-GD50iP has its own dock in the central controller to play audio from any of the dockable Apple devices or just to keep it charged. A toggle button lets users switch between this and the regular sound output from the computer.
FCC broadband head Blair Levin today pushed for more access to wireless spectrum as part of his organization's plans to expand broadband Internet access in the US. Pointing to complaints that there isn't enough available, the official suggested that the FCC could use the technology not only to grow coverage in rural areas where landlines are impractical or simply to improve the bandwidth available to everyone. He added that the extra spectrum could even be necessary as more wireless devices come online and saturate existing networks.
V-MODA on Wednesday announced it has started shipping its Faze metal headset, made to work with Apple's iPhone and iPod, as well as other smartphones including BlackBerries, the Palm Pre and other MP3 players or devices with a 3.5mm audio jack. The in-line microphone has a call and music control button that can answer and end incoming calls, as well as pause and play music, in addition to fast forwarding it.
Sony Ericsson today launched its long-in-the-making sequel smartphone. The XPERIA X2 updates to Windows Mobile 6.5 and gets the more touch-friendly interface changes of the new OS. The company's own panel interface has an improved panel interface with a more natural, Cover Flow-like navigation in landscape mode and time-sensitive organization that can bring different panels to the front, such as games in the after hours. It can also bring up missed calls or messages quickly and has speedier access to media playback.
Nokia on Wednesday tailored itself to Americans with the Mural, an AT&T-only clamshell. The phone is one of the US carrier's few fashion phones and lights up in one of several user-selectable colors, including blue, red, green, orange, purple and pink. There are dedicated music keys on the exterior of the phone, allowing users to navigate their music libraries while keeping the shell closed.
Sony has announced an initiative to bring 3D visuals to several of its products, beginning sometime in 2010. Central is a 3D-compatible BRAVIA TV, which should use a frame-sequential display, and require active-shutter glasses. The company is promising a high framerate, as well as a 1080p resolution for each eye. No prices or narrowed release dates have been suggested.
Sony at its IFA keynote previewed an entirely new category of ultraportable. The VAIO X series will use a low-voltage Intel processor (either Atom or CULV) but will have a carbon fiber shell instead of aluminum or another bulkier material. Changing to the very light but stiff body gives it a record-setting weight of just 1.5 pounds, or half as much as most netbooks and ultraportables like the MacBook Air. It also slims the system down to just half an inch thick across its entire case.
Creative today entered touchscreen players in earnest by launching the ZEN X-Fi2. Unlike the currently developer-only and Android-based Zii Egg, the new model is a direct replacement with a custom interface for its 3-inch touchscreen that simplifies the controls. The namesake X-Fi audio engine has also been given a boost and should restore details lost to audio compression not only in music but FM radio and video.
Microsoft late Tuesday revealed that it's discontinuing every non-touchscreen Zune in its lineup. While the company previously said the Zune HD was replacing the flash players, staff in the media player team have told journalist Paul Thurrott that the hard drive-based Zune 80 and Zune 120 have also ceased production and that sales of these and any remaining Zune will only continue until they run out of stock. It's not certain how long this will last.
Today at the Nokia World show, Nokia provided the full, finished details of its Booklet 3G netbook. The 10.1-inch portable is now known to sport a 1280x720 resolution display and will run a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM, and Windows 7 preloaded onto its 120GB hard drive. The 16-cell is key to Nokia's controversial battery life claims and is rated at up to 12 hours. As before, the machined aluminum chassis measures less than 0.8 inches thick and weighs less than 2.8 pounds.
HTC used the start of IFA in Berlin to introduce a new range-topping smartphone. Previously codenamed the Mega, the Touch2 is the first phone set to ship with Windows Mobile 6.5 and gets the Microsoft platform's more touch-friendly interface as well as the more accurate Internet Explorer Mobile instead of Opera from earlier models. The latest version of HTC's own TouchFLO nonetheless sits on top and provides surface access to calendars, contacts, media and the web without having to navigate through the deeper interface.
As expected, Panasonic today launched the Lumix GF1, its own take on the idea of a rangefinder-like Micro Four Thirds camera. In addition to being slightly smaller than the Olympus E-P1 it shares its system with, the GF1 has a surprise fix for the absence of built-in flash on its competitor: the corner opposite the grip has a hidden pop-up flash that properly distances the illumination from the lens. No viewfinder is built-in, but an optional electronic viewfinder provides 100 percent coverage regardless of lens.
Nokia marked the formal start of its own Nokia World show by launching three more phones, two of which are meant to bolster the company's stance in touchscreen phones. The rumored and now confirmed N97 mini is a rare fix for an existing design and shrinks the touchscreen smartphone slightly; it uses a smaller 3.2-inch, 640x360 display (down from 3.5 inches) and drops the dedicated directional pad in favor of arrow keys tucked into the slide-out, tilting QWERTY keyboard. Software also gets an upgrade with support for much more intuitive flick scrolling, more home screen widgets and updated Ovi Maps, though these will reach the full-size N97 in October as a free patch.
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