Desktop 2.1 stereo speakers offer affordable, clear sound, but need more punch
Desktop computer speakers sit in a weird area of limbo: many consumers have forgone the era of desktop listening for the privacy and versatility of headphones. Others see their usefulness in work spaces, when large surround systems or wearing a pair of headphones for hours isn't an option. What about consumers looking for a budget set of speakers that can be used in a number of spaces, without sacrificing on sound? Desktop users could have a possible solution with the Logitech Z213 multimedia speakers. Does the $30 speaker set warrant consideration, or is the money better spent towards a more expensive set up? Find out in our review.
Sony, Kenwood and Pioneer's flagship head units
In the midst of a hall packed with countless car audio and multimedia devices were the latest offerings to come from major brands such as Pioneer, Kenwood and Sony. While some brands appear to have followed more of an evolutionary path than revolutionary, others, like Sony, have revealed new head units with substantially more technology than was available just last year.
QNAO updates NMP-1000 with support for 1080p
QNAP has refreshed its NMP-1000 with the new NMP-1000P adding 1080p support to its networked multimedia player. While there is little to cosmetically distinguish between the two models, the NMP-1000P has significantly upgraded internals and an improved user interface. Powering the new system is a Sigma Designs SMP8643 system-on-chip running at 667MHz. It offers better internet services, improved hardware and software decoding and can be integrated with home AV systems by USB, or eSATA connections to a user's PC or Mac.
LaCinema multimedia drive
LaCie has announced the US release of its LaCinema Rugged multimedia storage device. The drive features HDMI output and HD upscaling, allowing content to be viewed on an HDTV. Users can load video, images, and music onto the drive via USB 2.0, and then play or view content from any television. The Rugged features aluminum shell protection, combined with internal anti-shock absorbers and an exterior rubber bumper. Users can view the content by navigating the graphic menus of the user interface.
GamePark's PSP fighter
Korea-based GamePark has released official information on its newest portable gaming and multimedia system, the Wiz GP2X. The system is built around a 2.8-inch OLED touch screen that delivers 320x240-pixel resolution. The Wiz will play MPEG4, XVID and DiVX videos, and be compatible with Flash Player 7, in addition to playing homebrew games that don't have to go through a lengthy licensing process. In addition, GamePark promises new releases, homebrew and otherwise, every month.
Comixware SE v3.0 ships
Yi.magination Studios this week released Comixware SE v3.0, its interactive storytelling software. The company says the application marries multimedia presentation/editing and an interactive player/editor into a single system designed for both content creators and views. In addition, both viewers and authors can modify and remake other user’s multimedia presentation in Comixware’s object-oriented authoring environment. Version 3, codenamed SE, is a major revision that includes a new file system with a new modular architecture that allows users to integrate movie-making tools along with other modules such as a Movie Exporter or vendor assets.
Iomega's ScreenPlay Drive
Iomega on Wednesday announced the release of its portable ScreenPlay HD Multimedia Drive with a 500 GB capacity. The NTFS-formatted drive can be hooked up to a high definition TV via its HDMI or component video outputs, among others, to play HD content. Navigating the photos, music and video content on the drive is accomplished via an included remote control and on-screen interface.
IK Multimedia has announced the release of SampleTron, the second virtual instrument to be released from the Sonik Instruments range. SampleTron is a virtual instrument workstation featuring the a complete collection of authentic 'Tron' and other vintage keyboards instrument samples. The library includes 17 rare instrument sounds, together with a "Powered by SampleTank" engine, offering sample-based virtual instrument plug-in for every popular DAW and also as a standalone application for Macs The Tron anthology includes 2 GB of sounds, 640 presets and 260 multi-samples from 17 Mellotrons, Chamberlins , and their derivatives like the Optigan , Rhythmaster and more.
Direct Connect handsets
Sprint today unveiled the LG LX 400, Motorola V950, and Samsung Z400/Z700 series phones, rounding off a landslide of announcements from the carrier at the CTIA Wireless 2008 Conference [1|2|3|5|6|7]. The LG LX 400 features a 1.77-inch main display, and works on both 1900 and 800MHz frequencies. It also features Sprint's Direct Connect push-to-talk network, as well as several multimedia communications options such as PCS Picture Mail, text, voice messaging, and email. Bluetooth connectivity and a 1.3-megapixel camera are also included.
Amplitube 2 Duo launched
IK Multimedia today unveiled AmpliTube 2 Duo, a version of its AmpliTube 2 software that is bundled with Notion Music's Progression – an application for creating, learning, and distributing music. When combined, IK claims the pair allows users to create custom sounds using "ultra-accurate" sound models. IK Multimedia and Notion are offering AmpliTube 2 Duo from IK's website, but pricing is not readily available. Existing IK customers can crossgrade for $270.
Everex mini dual-core PC
Everex today unveiled the Everex mini, a Mac mini-styled CPU that features the company's own gOS 2.0 running on a dual-core processor. An Intel T2130 dual-core mobile processor powers the PC, while using a 120GB HD for storage and 512MB of RAM. For multimedia, Everex chose the Intel GMA950 graphics processor and Realtek ALC268 audio hardware, and the system includes a DVD+/-RW drive. The Everex mini will be available from Newegg.com for $500 on March 1st.
Sony debuts new speakers
Sony today unveiled a pair of 'personal field speakers' (site not updated) that act similar to headphones as well as new multimedia speakers designed to produce high quality audio. The company's new PFR-V1 personal field speakers are designed to create a listening field around the ears, projecting music through two 1-inch die-cast aluminum speakers connected with a headband made of lightweight duralumin metal. Sony's PFR-V1 personal field speakers are slated for shipment in April for around $500.
IOGEAR unveils new switch
IOGEAR today unveiled the Dual-Link DVI KVMP & MultiMedia Switch (site not updated, alternate switch shown at right) at Macworld Expo. The 2-port switching device allows users to share a Dual-Link DVI display, USB keyboard, mouse, and 7.1 surround-sound between two computers. The Dual-Link DVI KVMP & MultiMedia Switch supports seamless switching and consistent resolutions among computers with various operating systems by remembering the monitor's optimum parameters, according to IOGEAR. IOGEAR plans to ship the new switch for $400 in February.
HP unveils multimedia PCs
HP today unveiled four new desktop computers that it will be showing at CES 2008, three of which are designed primarily for home theatre owners while one is ideal for digital photo enthusiasts. The Pavilion Slimline s3330f uses a smaller tower chassis that is a third the size of a conventional PC. While small, the s3330f upgrades to an AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core 5400+; the option of a dual-format Blu-Ray/HD-DVD player allows users to view high definition movie content, and connects with home theatre systems through an HDMI connector. An integrated TV tuner allows television recording, and the Nvidia GeForce 8500 graphics card can run DirectX10 games. The HP Pavilion Slimline s3330f will be available along with the other systems in February for $950.
Bee Docs' Timeline 2.0
Bee Documents has released Bee Docs' Timeline 2.0, an update to its timeline software that is redesigned from the ground up to support multimedia-rich timeline charts. "Bee Docs' Timeline 2.0 software allows Mac users to create beautiful and interactive timeline charts in mere minutes," the company said. The latest release is designed to work with Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and is priced at $40.
Sonnet 21-in-one reader
Sonnet today unveiled its new 21-in-one Multimedia Memory Card Reader and Writer ExpressCard/34 product, allowing users to read information from and write information to over 21 different media card types. The card, designed to sit flush with the edge of a MacBook Pro, the reader will take media from MP3 players, digital cameras and picture frames, cell phones and other devices that use Memory Sticks, MMC, SD, XD, among others. Sonnet is selling the device for $30, and requires a MacBook Pro running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger or later.