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Flip Video today countered the threat of the iPod nano as a camcorder by launching a redesigned Flip Mino HD. The pocket camcorder has a sleeker, silver-hued design but focuses most on addressing gaps in its design: the new version doubles storage to 8GB, enough for two hours of video, and has a much larger 2-inch LCD (up from 1.5 inches). Other upgrades include the HDMI output from the Ultra HD as well as more responsive touch-sensitive buttons.
Nintendo's next-generation DS may be powerful enough to rival the current iPod touch in terms of power if a purported source is accurate. Contacts at BSN say NVIDIA has won a contract with Nintendo to use a variant of the Tegra chipset in a future handheld. Which model would be used is unknown, but it's still expected to be a single-chip design and may be a second-generation Tegra rather than the existing component.
Intel today says it recorded one of the best fiscal quarters in its history and owed it almost exclusively to notebooks. The chip maker generated $9.4 billion in revenue during the summer, an eight percent drop from a year earlier but a sharp 17.5 percent jump from this spring. The surge is the best the company has seen in the past 30 years, Intel says.
A rumor today claims that Apple is developing software to expose FM radio tuning for certain models of the iPhone and iPod touch. The software would likely have the same feature set as the current iPod nano and could tag songs to buy them in iTunes; the Internet connection would appropriately give the option of buying the song immediately instead of waiting for the next computer sync. Though not discussed by the source, the DVR-like live pause mode is a probable addition as well.
Fujitsu in Japan is showing off a range of new desktop and notebook PCs, including the Deskpower F/ER-series all-in-one desktop and MT Series and Biblo NF/ERs notebooks. The F-series offer a model with a 23-inch, 1920x1080 or 20-inch, 1600x900 multi-touch display. Powering either is Intel's 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, along with 4GB of RAM. Options include a Blu-ray model, 1TB of combined hard drive space and a choice of digital and analog TV tuners.
Clickfree has introduced its latest flagship automatic backup portable hard drive, the C2, on Tuesday. It allows for the automatic importing of music from iPods and iPhones, burning backed up files to CDs and DVDs and extracting of e-mail attachments. All contained files are protected with 256-bit Hardware-Based Encryption.
TomTom on Tuesday released specs of its upcoming portable navigation device, the XL 335S. It sports a 4.3-inch touchscreen, text to speech capability that reads out street names and TomTom's IQ Routes technology. This feature uses the data collected from fellow TomTom users and other sources to not only gauge the distance but the speed of flowing traffic as well. The device contains maps for the US and Canada, along with some 7 million points of interest.
Catering explicitly to home theater computers, GlideTV today produced an unusual controller known as the Navigator. The bowl-shaped peripheral has a trackpad for mouse pointing but is surrounded by AV controls and a directional pad that ease navigating through common apps. It can steer through Front Row and iTunes on Macs, Windows Media Center, and platform-independent apps like Boxee or SageTV.
Barnes and Noble this afternoon sent invitations to the press for its frequently rumored October 20th press event. The bookseller is short on details but exactly mirrors leaks in describing it as a "major event in our company's history." Most expect the event to involve Barnes & Noble launching a self-branded e-book reader that would be designed by Plastic Logic.
AT&T announced on Tuesday it will begin shipping the first ever BlackBerry Bold in white since the smartphones's launch in 2008. The handset will be available online starting on October 18th, and while pricing hasn't been announced, it is likely to mirror the black version's $200 contrat price. Specs are also unlikely to change, with the same HSPA-based 3G network support, integrated GPS and Wi-Fi.
Plastic Logic today denied reports that it would have a color e-book reader ready by spring. The company tells PCPro that the Barnes & Noble contact was "misinformed" and further insists he wasn't speaking in an official capacity for the American book retailer. A color reader is still in development but isn't due to ship this year, a spokesperson says.
Openmoko on Tuesday began shipping its WikiReader, a portable device that aims to bring Wikipedia offline. It contains over three million Wikipedia articles in English and doesn't connect to the Internet to get the information, instead storing the Wikipedia database on a microSD card and gets free, quarterly updates from the Wikipedia website. The device uses a monochrome touchscreen for navigation, which includes an on-screen keyboard and support for the site's well-known hotlinks.
HP this afternoon held a rare UK-first debut for one of its notebooks. The Pavilion dv8 is now HP's largest non-HDX notebook and carries an 18.4-inch, 1080p display that lets it replace a desktop. A 1.6GHz Core i7 and a dedicated GeForce GT 230M also put the dv8's performance closer to that goal.
Hitachi has released two new hard drives on Tuesday, both turning at the fastest-possible 15,000RPM design. Part of the Ultrastar series, this includes the company's first 2.5-inch drive with the extra speed, the C15K147, and the firm's fourth-generation 3.5-inch drive, the 600GB 15K600. Either has a 6Gbps SCSI (SAS) interface, though the latter can be had with a 4Gbps Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop (FCAL) interface as well. The 15K600 also has one third more the capacity of its predecessor while claimed to be 23 percent faster.
The iPhone for Bell should arrive near the very start of November and will have very familiar device and plan pricing, according to Electronista sources. People familiar with the plans say the iPhone 3GS and 3G are both due to arrive on November 4th, which should also mark the formal start of the Canadian provider's HSPA-based 3G network. The news is corroborated by earlier word of Telus training ending at the same time and suggests Bell and Telus will have their networks and iPhone sales ready at the same time.
Blockbuster on Tuesday launched its On Demand digital rental service over TiVo DVR boxes. The online rentals stream to users through TiVo's Series2, Series3, HD and HD XL DVRs and include a mix of both newer titles as well as older classics. The number of offerings will be expanded in the near future.
AT&T today said it would bring the Nokia Booklet 3G to the US as its most advanced netbook. The US version of the portable will ship preloaded with Windows 7 and arrive on the same day as the OS, October 22nd, as a Best Buy exclusive. It will sell for $299 when attached to a two-year, $60 monthly data contract but should still be less expensive at full price than the European version and will cost just $599 by itself.
Sanyo has released the first pair of its Dual digital camcorders that support the iFrame video format with the VPC-HD2000A and VPC-FH1A. iFrame is a newer video format meant to make it easy to import, edit and share videos. The new models have a dedicated iFrame video recording mode that uses the same format that is used to edit on a computer to speed up the process.
Stepping even further beyond its familiar realm of in-ear buds, Shure today added the SRH750DJ over-ear headphones to its roster. These are tailored to DJs and audio editors and have pivoting ear cups made explicitly for turntablists or producers who need to quickly remove one earpiece during a mix. Shure vows balanced audio out of the 50mm drivers but also both strong bass and an extended high-end.
SanDisk achieved a technical milestone today by shipping its first products based on four-bit-per-cell (4BPC) storage. Both standard SDHC and Memory Stick Pro Duo cards now use the much denser storage (versus existing 2BPC or 3BPC) to carry all their storage on 64-gigabit (8GB) chips; the move lets even a 16GB card use just two chips and should scale to allow for 64GB and larger-capacity cards in the future. It should also have implications for solid-state drives and others that depend on multi-level cell storage.
One day after it was spotted for sale at Best Buy, Western Digital officially introduced its second-generation WD TV Live HD Media Player. The device is capable of playing back full 1080p videos from attached thumb or external drives, as well as networked computers, on an HDTV.
AMD's graphics label ATI today extended its next-wave hardware into the mainstream. The Radeon HD 5770 and Radeon HD 5750 scale back to a 128-bit memory bus and significantly fewer effects cores but still have the full DirectX 11 and OpenGL 3.x feature sets of the 5800 series as well as support for multi-display Eyefinity. They remain dual-slot cards but consume much less power at 108W peak for the 5770 and 86W for the 5750.
Microsoft's launch next week of Windows 7 could paradoxically help Apple's Mac sales, analyst data shows today. Broadpoint AmTech researcher Brian Marshall notes that, historically, every major Windows release in the past 10 years has coincided with a significant spike in Mac purchases either during the same calendar quarter or within a few quarters afterwards. The effect was particularly pronounced for Vista, as Mac sales surged in fall 2007 and have been very high ever since.
JVC on Tuesday exported its first-ever pocket camcorder to US shores. The Picsio GC-FM1 is one of the few cameras its size to record in 1080p (albeit 4:3) at a full 30 frames per second with image stabilization. It also has a 720p, 60FPS shooting mode and a toggle to switch to 8-megapixel still image shooting. All movies are captured in H.264 (AVCHD) in a format that can be immediately sent to iMovie, iTunes or YouTube without being transcoded first.
Sonos adapted to the changing nature of its market today through the ZonePlayer S5. Rather than bundle a dedicated controller or a bridge unit, the S5 depends on either the iPhone app or computer software to let an iPhone, iPod touch, Mac or Windows PC on the local network steer all its playback. It still provides access to all the same media streaming sources, such as an iTunes collection, Internet radio (including Deezer/Last.fm/Pandora/Rhapsody/Sirius), NAS drives and the device's aux input.
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.
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