ASUS hit the news headlines pretty hard yesterday with the release of its AiGuru SV1 Skype videophone.
It left some wondering what the point of it is was since if you have a PC and a webcam, you can do the exact same as this thing which is selling on the Skype website for a rather pocket hurting $300 USD.
Nevertheless, the folks from Engadget managed to track one down and had a bit of a hands-on play with one. The device is pretty funky looking, has a nice enough interface but the let down is the actual video quality.
Check out the gallery of pictures over at Engadget, right here.
HTC today took the covers off its latest phone and this one is a truly a stunning gem of a product. Say hello to the Touch HD - it's packed with features we don't even know where to begin.
Oh yes, starting things off it gets a fancy large 3.8-inch wide-screen 480 x 800 WVGA display. That is a full one inch larger than the original Touch. HTC also packs in its TouchFLO 3D user interface over the top of the installed Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional operating system. HTC reckon its interface is much better than what Microsoft came up (and we wouldn't disagree agree with that), making it quicker and easier to call people, access messages and so on.
There are two cameras on this baby - the main one is a 5 megapixel with auto focus and a second VGA level camera for video calls. HTC pack in a fairly generous 512MB flash ROM for storing photos and ringtones and whatever else and there is 288MB of RAM to power the phone, which is more than usual. It uses the Qualcomm MSM7201a 528MHz processor too which will provide plenty of speed.
As far as connectivity goes, you get pretty much the works: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz WCDMA / HSPA: 900/2100MHz. HSDPA 7.2 Mbps, 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR and GPS/AGPS.
At press time there was no details on pricing, however it will be available sometime in Q4 of this year. You can find more details over at the press release we uploaded here.
The beautiful city of San Francisco, CA is hosting Apple's 'Let's Rock' event and as expected, a number of iPods have managed to get a mention in the roll call.
With Apple not forgetting its roots, Engadget first reports on the iPod classic, which at $249, gets a storage capacity upgrade to 120 GB and now bears the sole responsibility for the iPod classic name, on its shoulders.
How about the 4th generation iPod nano? $149 and $199 for the 8 GB and 16 GB flavours, respectively, with nine colour choices on the palate.
Add a wider display and what is apparently, the thinnest iPod ever, and you could overlook the claimed 24 hour battery life for music playback, together with a host of other enhancements.
Now into futuristic mode, the iPod touch features a slimmed down steel case, hardware volume controls and a built-in speaker too. It boasts a claimed 36 hour battery life for music playback and comes in at $399 for the 32 GB, $299 for the 16 GB and $229 for the 8 GB options.
Despite featuring the same display as its predecessor, the UI has got some love and attention and the Environment hasn't been ignored either.
Word has come in from Nokia that they have now begun shipping their latest flagship phone, the N96. Nokia refer to it as more of a "multimedia computer" with Carl Zeiss optics 5 mega-pixel camera, 16GB internal memory (expandable to 24GB using microSD cards - a big plus), live TV, WLAN and HSDPA support, GPS, 2.8" display, built-in stereo speakers, MPEG-4, Windows Media Video and Flash Video playback, N-gage gaming; the list goes on and on.
Espoo, Finland - Nokia today announced the availability of the much anticipated Nokia N96, its flagship multimedia computer in the iconic Nokia Nseries range. It boasts live TV, 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, turn-by-turn voice navigation, 16GB of internal memory that can be increased to 24GB with an optional microSD card, superior sound and music, N-Gage gaming and a stunning 2.8" display. First shipments of the Nokia N96 have started and it will be available with an estimated retail price of EUR 550 before taxes and subsidies.
"The Nokia N96 is mobile entertainment at its best, a fitting flagship for our Nseries range. It defines convergence by blending phone and multimedia options seamlessly with the unique Nokia Nseries dual slider that makes discovering and sharing experiences easy. Watch live TV and video, take high quality photos and geotag them to specific locations or directly upload them online via the fast internet connection - it is all about taking mobile entertainment and communication to the next level," says Jonas Geust, Vice President, Nokia Nseries.
Amongst much wrangling and dragging of heals, Intel enthusiasts may finally be able to partake in some NVIDIA SLI goodness, or so this report from Expreview would have us believe.
Unrevealed sources have suggested that by selling its BR04 chipset to Intel, the Santa Clara, CA based company has effectively given its blessing to Intel, to incorporate SLI support into its upcoming X58 platform.
This doesn't mean, however, that we could reasonably expect to see SLI support filter in immediately. It is cited that at some $30, the BR04 adds to manufacturing costs and interestingly, an X58 powered SKU built on reference design, will not be able to support the BR04 without a change in PCB layout. This adds a further headache to the ever so diminishing margins of manufacturers and will undoubtedly result in a new pricing precedence being set.
Lastly, on this score, it is claimed that if a partner wishes to offer two iterations of an X58 powered platform, one with SLI support enabled, and one without, they would require two separate PCB layouts, effectively throwing commonality of PCB design (and therefore cost savings), out of the window.
What does NVIDIA get out of the equation? Well, apart from being able to compete with AMD in the multi graphics card arena, on an Intel chipset powered platform, NVIDIA has apparently received an Intel QPI license, in return.
However, NVIDIA isn't currently expected to immediately throw its own LGA 1366 chipset solution into the ring, yet will concentrate its energies on the LGA 1160 socket, due in 2009, which will first support another Nehalem microarchitecture derivative, the Intel Lynnfield.
Apparently, with the LGA 1160 platform utilising DMI to link to the Southbridge, NVIDIA fancies hedging its bets here and for now, avoids the effort (and cost) of dealing with Intel's new QPI architecture.
So, is NVIDIA going for mid-range and leaving high-end, high bother to Intel?
COMPUTEX TAIPEI 2008 HTC has just launched their latest Touch Pro mobile phone, inspired by the highly anticipated Touch Diamond with a few more business oriented enhancements; one of the highlights being the slide-out five row QWERTY keyboard for easier entry of information.
Some of the other stand-out features of the Touch Pro include HTC's TouchFLO 3D technology which provides a touch-sensitive control for device interaction, HSDPA 7.2 Mbps and HSUPA wireless access and a beefier battery over the Diamond's which allows for up to eight hours of talk time.
The official product page can be located here For a full run down on the HTC Touch Pro's feature-set.
The Touch Pro features HTC's innovative TouchFLO 3D, a new touch-sensitive control for device interaction, broadband-like speeds with HSDPA 7.2 Mbps and HSUPA wireless connectivity. Unlike the Diamond, the Touch Pro sports a much larger battery capacity of 1350mAh allowing for up to 8 hours of talk time and a microSD memory card slot.
Other features include 512MB flash, 288MB RAM, GPS capabilities, 2.8-inch VGA touch screen and 3.2-megapixel camera equipped with video calling.
Last week MWg launched two new Windows Mobile 6 based phones in Hong Kong at its lavish launch event.
The two new models launched were the Atom V and Zinc II. From Expansys in the UK, the updated Zinc II will set you back a steep £449.95 (inc tax) but it looks to have the features to match the price tag.
All those pennies will get you a Samsung 500MHz processor, 256MB Flash ROM and 64MB RAM, UMTS Tri-band, GSM Quad-band and HSDPA 3.6 Mbps for fast downloading, Bluetooth v2.0 and 802.11b/g WLAN, 2.8" TFT QVGA (Touch Screen) as well as a slide out QWERTY keyboard for fast typing. It is listed as being due on Sunday 11th May.
The Atom V is the cheaper version costing £399.95 (inc tax) but does not lack on the features front at all. With this model you'll get a slightly faster clocked Intel XScale PXA 270 520MHz processor, same amount of memory but it sees a newer HSDPA 7.2Mbps chip being used - if you can find a network to take advantage of those huge mobile download speeds. It also comes with FM radio and GPS built-in. Over at Expansys in the UK it is listed as being in stock right now.
Our review samples are on the way and we'll take a good close look at them just as soon as we can!
There is great news for those iPhone users who hesitate about hacking their baby fruit.
What am I on about? Well, the Pwnage Tool is out and according to a Gizmodo article, it seems as if the hacked phones are completely free of bugs worth mentioning. What should also be noted is that the latest Version 2.0 firmware needs to be installed for the applications to be PWNED.
Last month we wrote an article about how the SDK has enabled hackers an insight into the Apple "worms's eye view" of the proverbial fruit slice called an iPhone. For those of you still wondering what I'm talking about, please read it all here.
You can get the iPhone PWNED hack tools here.
Things are certainly very hot and steamy on the mobile front with no signs of slowing down.
Nokia has just announced an update to its funky N810 Internet Tablet mobile device. It is a device to get Internet access pretty much anywhere with 4.13-inch touchscreen, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, built-in webcam for video calls, Mozilla-powered browser, integrated GPS / media player, 2GB of internal memory and a microSD expansion slot.
This summer we will get a look at one of the first ultra mobile devices to get 4G internet through the N810 WiMAX Edition. WiMAX is still a relatively new connection but gaining ground rapidly and we will see more and more WiMAX networks popping up all over the world along with devices supporting them.
The N810 WiMAX Edition is pretty much the same as the regular N810 with just a darker case and keyboard. As our friends over at Engaget point out in its hands-on preview, the real magic is under the hood.
Sign me up for one of these babies ASAP please!
The last few days have seen an increasing number of articles hinting that Apple is close to releasing a new iPhone model, either to replace the current one, or as a high-end version of the current one. Those rumors are all because NAND memory manufacturers have received a large order from Apple. You can read more about it here or here.
Looking deeper beyond the rumors, another article confirms that Apple will launch an advanced version of the iPhone handset, with 3G capabilities towards May or June. Steve Jobs has mentioned many times that the convergence of so many technologies inside the popular handset means a balancing act of which features should be present now verses which one's should be introduced later. He has also emphatically stated that there will be an iPhone with 3G technology.
Apple's use of EDGE, instead of 3G, has given online linkup speeds of 2.5G for the current model using a combination of mobile phone towers, and Wi-Fi networks. Nevertheless, the extra bandwidth expected on a 3G phone will always be welcome when considering how much one downloads from the net. In addition, the 3G option will enhance iTunes download speeds, allowing for more income in less time for the Apple giant of the music world.
Furthermore, Sandisk, an extremely large user of NAND chips has been having a bear season with its stocks, understandably so, since the memory chip market is all but saturated. SSD is believed to be the savior of this flagging sector, but the flash Solid State Disk market has only just begun. With the likes of Apple (Macbook Air), and ASUS (Eee PC) pushing the demand for those technologies. The article can be viewed here.
Nokia's N95 enjoyed a massive amount of fanfare when it was first announced and released with it still being one of the most feature-rich mobile phones on the market, also with one of the highest price tags.
Months ahead of its release, the folks over at Mobile-Review.com have taken the upcoming N96 mobile phone for a spin in a heck of a lot of detail.
(Yep, sorry for the huge shot but well worth it!)
The reception quality provided by the N96 is up to Nokia's standard, nothing to worry about here. The vibro alert is moderate strength-wise. The N96's two loudspeakers are pretty average as far as their volume is concerned, in fact on this front it is in line with the Nokia N81.
Basically, with the prototypes we got our hands on, it is impossible to judge the N96's real build quality or UI speed and reliability, so we can either wait for new updates to hardware and software or just sit idle until we get a chance to play around with a commercial edition of the handset.
The N96 is set to arrive in August - September 2008 and will retail for around 550 Euro in Europe (whereas in Russia its price tag will float around the level of 1000 USD, especially during its first months on the market). This phone is heavy both on video and television, that's why its feats won't be particularly craved here, in Russia. And given that there are other offerings to come that will offer similar specs under their hoods (USB speed, memory structure), there is no point in paying a premium for the Nokia N96 and getting a bunch of pretty much useless abilities for good measure. On top of that, the N96 is rather a stand-alone device in Nokia's range; it by no means aims to appeal to each and everyone as the top-of-the-line solution in spite of its index.
On a more interesting note - the Nokia N95 8Gb, upon its release, went for 570 Euro, which is in line with the Nokia N96's reported price tag and even a tad above it. But there are no far-reaching conclusions to be made here, except for one thing - 16 Gb storage will become par for the course starting late 2008, as a couple of affordable (relatively, though) N81-esque models will come out sporting this much memory onboard.
Read the full review over here.
The guys over at Gizmodo rumbled across some news from the Dev Team who are working towards overcoming Apple's "proprietary networks" in different areas.
The idea being that an unlocked phone is worth buying, rather than succumbing to Apple's insistence that you sign on with a specific carrier in order to enjoy the full service of applications. The recent release of the SDK has enabled key coding concepts to be understood and overcome, with little chance of Apple being able to stop the PWNED phones from activating even with a patch. Choosing your own carrier for a phone you bought and paid for is part and parcel of the free world, and PWNED believes you should have it.
Check out the video below.
The Dev Team insist that this is a "True unlock" and that Apple will have difficulty closing the breach. So if you have a PWNED iPhone, you can install any application, even if it is not "Apple approved". Read more here.
Apple launched the Software Developers Kit (SDK) for the iPhone last week.
It will allow independent software developers as well as home users to create programs to work on the iPhone and iPod Touch. The SDK was promised at the MacWorld convention in January earlier this year, and true to promises the SDK is now available for both the iPhone and iPod touch.
The launch was heralded by an event at the California Apple HQ in Cupertino.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said "We're excited about creating a vibrant third-party developer community with potentially thousands of native applications for iPhone and iPod touch."
The SDK will work on a Mac using Xcode and a beta form of the interface builder is available for download now at the iPhone Developer Program website.
This report stemming from Reuters, gives a futuristic impression of what Nokia plans for mobile phones in conjunction with Cambridge University's nanoscience centre.
From a device that can "morph" to fit the function you need, it will fit on your arm as a wrist watch, then can be unwrapped to form a interactive PDA, furthermore is will be self-cleaning (with some sort of nano-membrane that will automatically disperse anything that comes into contact with it). To top it off, they predict it will be able to tell you if fruit is ripe or not through chemical sensors.
Take a look at this clip and see for yourself.
The whole project is believed to be based on scientific research currently in progress, so despite how fanciful it all seems, the future phones will incorporate some, if not all of these features within the next 10 to 15 years.
While Chinese phone maker Meizu was absent from CES in Las Vegas earlier this year, they promised to many a working demo at CeBIT in Germany and managed to deliver.
Thomas over at Engaget managed to spend some time with one of the company reps in the booth for a short video preview of the Apple iPhone-like M8 mini One phone. The phone which is on display is a very early prototype but it gives you an idea at what can be done when you have passion and the ability to copy others ideas.
They probably should have went along with a translator but take a look at the video that they uploaded to YouTube just below.
Will it ever reach the market? We doubt it but interesting nevertheless.
Tabbed as a premium "energized communication" experience for a mobile life, the new X1 from Sony Ericsson promises to be everything that the iPhone is and much more.
Of course it is based on newer technology than the iPhone and comes from one of the world's leading multimedia mobile phone makers, so it is bound to be a hit.
What is interesting to note is that the product itself is designed and manufactured by HTC (High Tech Computer Corporation), who are responsible for products like the "Touch Cruise" and the "HTC Shift".
The X1 is a combination of design and manufacturing from the HTC giant and the marketing prowess from Sony Ericsson adding their finishing touches and leading service on the Windows Mobile media device.
From a touch-sensitive screen, to shortcut icons, and a nifty sliding "curved Qwerty keyboard", the focus of the product is to redefine the premium mobile market and combine your internet, music, pictures and video into an all-in-one multifunctional PDA/Multimedia mobile device.
E-TEN have just recently introduced their latest Pocket PC Phone dubbed the Glofiish X650. This is quite a feature-rich little offering with all-in-one connectivity options, full VGA display, built-in FM tuner/transmitter and much more.
The handset's dimensions are just 107 x 58 x 14.7mm with a weight of just 136g.
You can learn more about its feature-set within the official announcement here folks.
E-TEN first introduced the option for a VGA display in May 2007 and since then has added several more models to its product lineup aimed at different customer needs. The latest X650 is designed to appeal to those seeking a compact, full-featured device that is also affordable.
A VGA display offers several significant benefits to the user. The greater resolution (four times higher than that of a typical Pocket PC Phone) enables a larger proportion of a document, calendar, map, or web page etc. to be displayed on screen at once, increasing productivity. Additionally, the higher pixel density means that text appears sharper and easier to read while pictures and video appear more detailed. VGA is set to become one of the key specifications for Pocket PC Phones in the coming year.
4 million iPhones have been sold to date according to Steve Jobs at the recent MacWorld conference in San Francisco. When considering the market was exclusively limited to the USA up until the third quarter in 2007, then this has to be considered quite a feat.
In addition, Apple has promised that towards the end of February they will release the Software Developers Kit (SDK) to allow developers to create iPhone applications on their own steam. This is definitely a good move to generate more support and enthusiasm from iPhone end-users (As if Apple really needs more buzz).
That's not all and according to Jobs, any iPhone or iPhone Touch user can upgrade their product by downloading the latest patch to tap into the following awesome features:
- Maps with location (Using Google and Skyhook databases through WiFi tower & Cell tower triangulation)
- Webclips -customized website settings.
- Customize your home screen with 9 different setups.
- Send multiple sms's at once.
- Navigate films via Chapter, activate subtitles and adjust language settings for your region.
- Lyrics support for any songs you can stream the lyrics below karaoke style while the song is playing.
If I owned an iPhone I would definitely fall under the Apple spell. I wish all companies could follow Apple's example and think of the customer and their desires first. Apple is in a very healthy state.
3G network operator 3 has announced a new Skype co-branded handset which goes under the slightly naff name of the 3 Skypephone. None the less, it's a matter of what you get here that's the big deal, as it offers owners of the handset to make calls via Skype or chat with your Skype friends on the handset, for free.
Yes, you read that right, 3 is offering the Skype service for free, although there's of course a catch, although it's not as bad as you might think. Depending on the type of user you are, you either have to top up your pay as you go service with at least £10 a month (this being in the UK where the phone launches later this week) or just pay whatever contract you're on, which you'd be doing anyhow with a normal handset.
The handset itself will retail for £49 in the UK which is about US$101, but it's unclear what it will cost in the rest of the world. 3 will be following up the UK launch with handset availability some time later this year on its other networks across the world, including Australia.
The handset might not be the best looking or the most fully featured on the market, but it does at least have most of the kind of stuff you'd expect to see such a 2 Megapixel camera, a micro SD card slot, MP3 playback, Bluetooth and 3G connectivity of course. It will be available in black as well as white with either blue or pink highlights.
We borrowed the video above from T3 in the UK which gives you an idea of what's on offer. You can find the UK product page here
Nokia has finally started to ship the 8GB version of its N81 as well as the standard version of the N81 globally. Both handsets features a wide range of multimedia features and Nokia even goes as far as calling them multimedia computers which we can't quite agree with. None the less, the N81 series has support for audio and video playback and supports a wide range of formats such as MP3, AAC, ACC+, WMA, WAV, RealVideo 8/9/10, MPEG4, H.263 and H.264.
But one of the big sellers is the inclusion is Nokia's gaming platform, N-Gage and the handsets ship with Space Impact Light and demo versions of Fifa soccer 2007 and Asphalt 3: Street Rules. More games will be available for download later this year. The N81 series also uses a new 3D multimedia menu system which Nokia claims will make it easier to use digital content and internet services on the N81.
Other features include 3G connectivity, quad band GSM, a 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP, FM radio, a 2 Megapixel camera with flash and a front mounted camera for video calls. The N81 also has a micro SD card slot for memory expansion and both models feature a 320x240 2.4-inch display capable of displaying 16.7 million colours.
One feature we really like is the built in 3.5mm audio jack which enables you to easily attach any standard pair of headphones for music listening. The N81 should retail for around AU$580 with the N81 8GB coming it at a very steep AU$692, ex GST.
You can find more details about the N81 8GB here
Creative has officially launched its Aurvana X-Fi noise canceling headphones today and these premium headphones will go up against products like the Bose Quiet Comfort 2. They're priced at the same costly US$299.99, well, the Aurvana's are actually 99 cents more expensive than the Bose Quiet Comfort 2's. Creative better prove that they're worth the money if they intend to sell them, but the features are quite impressive.
To Creative's defense, the Aurvana X-Fi's features Creative's X-Fi Crystalizer and CMSS-3D technology which should help improve the quality of most sound sources, something no other noise canceling headphones does. All features are easily enabled via three buttons on the side of the headphones, although we're not sure how you're supposed to see the blue LED's when you're wearing them. There's also a built in volume control, again located on one of the headphones rather than on the cord.
According to Creative, the Aurvana X-Fi's reduce up to 90 percent of ambient noise, which seems pretty good as most noise canceling headphones manages about 80 percent or so. The ear pads are made from memory foam that should make them comfortable to wear even during long flights. Battery life is claimed at up to nine hours from two AAA batteries, so it might be worth investing in some rechargeables. The Aurvana X-Fi's will still work as headphones without batteries, but you won't gain any of the functionality.
The cable measures 1.5m and it comes with a 1.5m extension cable if the first one isn't long enough. Also bundled are a 6.3mm adaptor and a dual mono adapter for use with airplane connectors. The headphones are supplied with a storage bag to protect them from wear and tear when you're not using them.
The Aurvana X-Fi's are available now and you can find out more here