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HP early today is making an aggressive push into touchscreen PCs with two key updates to its TouchSmart home all-in-ones. The TouchSmart 300 and 600 add true multi-touch input and have significantly expanded use for the technology: they can not only use pinch-to-zoom, flicks and other gestures in the general operating system thanks to Windows 7 but in several new touch apps for the systems' custom front end. They can now navigate Hulu or Netflix streaming video, stream Pandora or Rhapsody music, or update and follow Twitter feeds all primarily using touch.
HP in gearing up for Windows 7 added two newer touchscreen PCs to its mix. The TouchSmart tx2 convertible tablet now makes better use of its multi-touch display both in the OS as well as in the new apps specific to HP's TouchSmart front end; users can watch Hulu or Netflix from the touch interface as well as update Twitter or stream Pandora and Rhapsody music. Unlike most such screens, the tx2's input isn't solely finger-oriented and will work with a stylus as well.
HP on Tuesday centered its pro PC updates for Windows 7 on a new high-end tower and two frugal notebooks. The Elite 7000 desktop is HP's new high-end outside of workstations and runs on Core i5 and i7 processors and has a new black, metal case more suited to a desk than the workmanlike old models; it's also the first desktop in the category for HP that allows SuSE Linux in place of Windows. Graphics have been given a large boost and can scale to as much as either a GeForce GT 230 or a Radeon HD 4650.
HP's sub-label Compaq tonight received three upgraded systems to ready itself for Windows 7. The Presario CQ61z refreshes the familiar 15.6-inch CQ60 with a more modern 2GHz AMD Sempron whose choice helps put the system at a particularly low $400 price (post-rebate) even while brand-new. The refresh further adds Mobility Radeon HD 4200 video in place of the older NVIDIA hardware but still has 2GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive.
HP's large-scale introductions on Tuesday brought about one of the largest multi-touch displays available. The LD4200tm produces a 42-inch, 1080p picture but uses a combination of infrared and imaging sensors to recognize two-point gestures such as pinching to zoom. Opting for this approach is less costly than a capacitive touchscreen as it only needs to detect when light is broken rather than wire up the entire display.
Epson this morning introduced its PictureMate Charm photo printer. The portable printer can produce 4- by 6-inch full color prints and has a 2.5-inch LCD screen as well as a memory card reader that lets user print photos without a PC. It can produce a borderless color photo in just 37 seconds, and gives users the option of producing black and white photos as well as changing the layout options.
Dell on Monday offered two new product shots of its upcoming Adamo XPS" ultra-thin laptop. The highly stylized laptop, which was unveiled in early September, is thinner than the Apple's revolutionary MacBook Air--under 10mm thick. Although few details have been disclosed, the ultra-sleek laptop appears to rely on a unique, underside hinge to reach its dimensions.
TRENDnet has released its latest Mini Wireless N Speed USB Adapter, the TEW-649UB, in the US. The adapter connects a users computer to a wireless N network, providing a significantly faster alternative to a wireless G connection. The model TEW-649UB is about 1.3 inches from end-to-end, making it only slightly larger than a US quarter. The device utilizes advanced wireless encryption to protect a users data and Wi-Fi Multimedia Quality of Service, which prioritizes video, audio and gaming traffic data.
BFG on Monday ventured into mobile computing for the first time with the Deimos, an 18.4-inch desktop replacement notebook meant for gamers. Like the Phobos desktop, video performance is the centerpiece and always has at least dual GeForce GTS 260M graphics; top-end models have twin GeForce GTX 280M chipsets. Unusually, none of the systems use Core i7, capping off at a 2.53GHz Core 2 Extreme, but in return they all have at least two RAID-striped hard drives with the option of a third drive for either a backup or to make 1.5TB of combined space.
The BlackBerry Storm 2 should finally appear this week and represent RIM's best hope for challenging the iPhone, leaks claim today. British newspaper The Guardian states as a matter of fact that the touchscreen BlackBerry is due to launch this week first through Vodafone as the 9520 and that it will be priced with a plan inexpensive enough to lure iPhone users, as it will only need a £30 ($47) monthly plan to use versus £34 ($54) for Apple's handsets.
(Update #2 with T-Mobile plans) T-Mobile may let Sidekick owners affected by the permanent data loss drop their contracts and move to other phones, one subscriber says today. At least one customer reports to Gizmodo that he has been offered an early exit from his contract as well as having the option of buying a T-Mobile G1 for the same $130 price new or eligible customers would pay. BlackBerries and other smartphone-class devices have also been made options.
Western Digital has updated its WD TV Live Media Player by releasing its successor. Like the original, the new player has a USB 2.0 slot for thumb drives, external drives or PCs, along with an HDMI port to connect it to TVs. New features include DLNA and Bonjour support, letting users access their home networks and stream multimedia via the Ethernet port.
Airline Lufthansa revealed it will soon offer improved cellphone and Internet services on its long-distance flights, bettering those offered from other airlines. According to a Monday WSJ report (subscription required), the German company will partner with Panasonic to offer the connection services, called FlyNet, on flights between Europe and North America in the next few months before expanding the service to all of its planes and routes.
Wireless provider Sprint on Monday began shipping its first slider phone that supports its Nextel Direct Connect push-to-talk service, the Motorola Debut i856. The Debut lets users switch from an active push-to-talk call to an interconnect voice call with a dedicated button. The handset also has a built-in MP3 player with dedicated external music controls and a 3D Audio equalizer.
The launch of the Palm Pre on O2 could generate more attention than the iPhone did just two years earlier, a TNS study finds today. About 26 percent of 1,000 UK residents polled say they will or probably will buy a Palm Pre for its October 16th British launch; by comparison, only 17 percent planned to get an iPhone when it debuted in fall 2007. Switching is considered just as probable, as 32 percent of those on other UK carriers said they would be willing to switch to O2 to get the Pre.
HP's Mini 311 is already slated to get a performance upgrade if the company's own service manual reflects the real product. The current version is limited to the lower-power Ion LE graphics core as well as 1GB of RAM and a 160GB hard drive, but myHPMini has discovered that the manual references the full-power Ion chip as well as configurations with 2GB or 3GB of RAM. Storage would likewise get a boost with an option of a much faster 80GB SSD as well as 250GB or 320GB hard drives.
Arthur Levinson has resigned from Google's board of directors, according to an official statement. The company is terse on details, noting only that Levinson has been with Google since April 2004, and that the resignation is immediate and amicable. "Art has been a key part of Google's success these past five years, offering unvarnished advice and vital counsel on every big issue and opportunity Google has faced," reads a quote from company CEO Eric Schmidt.
Vodafone UK today added three touchscreen smartphones to its roster that in most cases represent world premieres. The Sony Ericsson Satio is now finally shipping after having been detailed in May and is the handset designer's first Symbian S60 smartphone; besides full third-party app support, it's considered a high-end media phone with a 12-megapixel camera, a 3.5-inch touchscreen, GPS and Wi-Fi. For Sony Ericsson, the phone is a symbolic first as one of its first major devices to use microSDHC cards instead of Memory Stick Micro for storage.
Detailed specs of not one but two 12-inch Eee PC notebooks have been revealed recently. One of the new Eee PCs, the 1201N, was first spotted in Asia last month. Now, the unofficial specs for the 1201N and 1201HA are known and they include a 12.1-inch, 1366x768 resolution display. The specs reportedly come from leaked ASUS documents.
A major, avoidable error by Microsoft caused the permanent Sidekick data loss from over a week ago, sources said this weekend. Multiple tips to Hiptop3 claim that Microsoft had no backup of the Storage Area Network (SAN) used to hold Sidekick information and lost the data when Hitachi encountered a failure during an upgrade. The company may now have little choice but to start fresh and have users re-sync data from their Sidekicks once a fresh SAN is ready.
ASUS' Eee Keyboard is nearing production status, as it has been spotted in an FCC filing recently. The Eee PC is a fully functional PC into the form factor of a large wireless keyboard and integrates a 5-inch, 800x480 resolution touchscreen. The PC has already been slated for an October release date as of this summer.
Intel's mobile Internet device (MID) platform is unlikely to get any significant traction versus smartphones even years into its life, a study from the Information Network says on Monday. Although Intel has very frequently pushed the category, which usually has a screen between five and eight inches and focuses on basic Internet access, it's only expected to sell a fraction of what smartphones will manage. MID numbers should swell from just over 3.1 million shipped to 37.5 million in 2012 but will be easily eclipsed by their phone rivals, which will jump from 185.3 million units to 365 million over the same period, or nearly ten times more units than MIDs.
QNAP today upgraded one of its most mainstream network-attached storage servers by launching the two-bay TS-210. A major replacement for the TS-209, it has both a more home-friendly, sleeker look but also jumps from a 500MHz processor to 800MHz. The extra speed better handles intense network traffic, particularly RAID 1 mirroring, without bogging down.
LG Display today staked out a minor first for e-book readers with a prototype of the Solar Cell e-Book. The 6-inch device has its own solar panel and, since e-paper consumes little power of its own, can significantly extend its battery life even with only a 9.6 percent efficient solar charge. LG estimates another full day of reading if the Solar Cell is exposed to sunlight for four to five hours.
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