Archivi giornalieri: 09/03/2011
It’s not often we see a single product grace these pages and then remain “current” for half a dozen years, but the successor to Logitech’s heralded Z-5500 speaker set is just now touching down. Logi’s Surround Sound Speakers Z906 offer 5.1 channels of oomph, a 500-watt (RMS) amplifier, digital / analog inputs, yet another remote to add to your (prayerfully dwindling) collection and a dedicated control console. This particular set is both ready and willing to sync up with a cornucopia of sources — everything from your TV to your game console should feel right at home. Head on past the break for the full specifications list, and if you’re game, you can exchange $349.99 (or £329) for a set later this month.
Comfort is certainly the aim for Philips’ new SH series headphones, and they certainly have a compelling case. The magic behind these lightweight cans is FloatingCushion, which is essentially just memory foam that seals nicely around your ears for both comfort and reduced audio loss. Simple, but seemingly effective. No word on whether these softhearted headphones will make it to the US, but according to Pocket-lint there will be six of these in total, of which being a Bluetooth SHB9100 model, an over-the-ear SHP8000, and two folding compact SHL9000 variants (one with in-line remote and mic).
7digital and RIM are back in bed with news that the BlackBerry PlayBook will ship pre-installed with access to 13 million high-quality (320kbps) MP3 tracks from the London-based media company. At launch, the deal affects the US and Canada only, with more countries promised in 2011. PlayBook users will be able to search and preview tracks before purchasing with a discovery assist provided by 7digital’s music recommendation engine. The whole kit will be previewed this week at South by Southwest where we hope to get some hands-on time. Full press release after the break.
We’ve never had a use for Google Instant Search on mobile, so we didn’t expect much when Google’s Instant Previews invaded the smartphone realm as well. You know what? They’re actually surprisingly useful. Instead of trying to cram additional information into Google’s already-crowded mobile website, Instant Previews adds a little magnifying glass next to most every result instead, and clicking on the magnifier brings up a series of cached thumbnails of each page that you can scroll through in portrait or landscape modes. It’s a very visual way of finding what you’re looking for, and more importantly, it’s quick even over 3G, saving time and mobile bandwidth that would otherwise be spent clicking through links one by one. Rather than decipher that long-winded explanation, though, why don’t you try it out for yourself or watch our video demonstration after the break?
Imagine, if you will, business travelers gallivanting across the globe with nary a care in the world — secure in the fact that should they lose their laptop by hook or by crook, they can disable it with a simple text message. Well, the dream is now a reality as Intel has put its third-gen vPro technology in Sandy Bridge Core i5 and i7 business chips, giving users the ability to lock down and reactivate a PC remotely via SMS. Not exactly a fresh idea, but nice to see it passed on to more modern chipsets. To further simplify the lives of IT professionals, the new version of vPro also has an encryption login requirement upon awakening from sleep mode, 1920 x 1200 resolution remote management, and host-based configuration to allow the set up of countless PCs at once. Of course, that assumes your employer’s willing to pony up for Chipzilla’s new gear — the economic downturn’s almost over, right?
The smart folks over at ComptonSoft are looking to provide a GPS receiver to your mobile device in a rather unconventional way. TetherGPS links up your Android phone’s GPS to the Nook Color by means of WiFi — either on the same network or via a WiFi tether — because the Nook Color is lacking in the standard usable Bluetooth department. After connecting the two devices, it makes a second link by running a TGPS server on the phone and a TGPS client on the Nook. The two devices are then intertwined in a blissful, all-you-can-GPS buffet of routes and roads. For the most part, the Nook’s location-aware Android applications, such as Google Maps, will draw from this connection for location data and use it as if there were a GPS receiver on board. TetherGPS is up for grabs for $2.99 on the Android Market, and there’s also a free “Lite” version for those who only need GPS for five minutes at a time — we’ll assume you know who you are.
After HP dropped its TouchSmart 2, myriad manufacturers jumped on the all-in-one touchscreen bandwagon — and Asus has a new 27-inch beaut riding shotgun. Unveiled at CeBIT last week and dubbed the Asus All-in-One ET2700, this prototype machine comes with ten-finger multitouch, 178-degree vertical and horizontal viewing angles, SonicMaster audio, and some decidedly Apple-inspired aesthetics. Details on price and specs shan’t be revealed for a few weeks, so the video below must suffice to sate your all-in-one appetites — patience is a virtue, after all.
We got a peek at what the Philips/Funai combo has in store for North America during CES, but at today’s Philips Pulse event in Barcelona it showed off even more of its 2011 plans. Most distinctively, while it’s using FPR passive 3D glasses technology (calling it Easy 3D) in some of its new TVs just like LG & Vizio, it will break from those two by continuing to offer active shutter displays as well, branded 3D Max. If your main interest is one of those sweet 21:9 ultrawidescreen displays (pictured above) you can get it either way as a Gold or Platinum series product while the regular 16:9 sets are divided with the 7000 series featuring Easy 3D and 3D Max slotted for higher end 8000 and 9000 series products. All of the TVs mentioned here and higher end (7000, 5000 series) Blu-ray players include Smart TV features which means Net TV apps including catch-up TV where applicable, recording to USB, sharing from media from WiFi-connected devices and the ability to control the device with a Philips app on your iOS or Android phone. Check the press site for more details, model numbers and the like, but there’s no word yet on pricing or availability.
It sure took ‘em long enough, but ViewSonic’s dual-booting ViewPad 10 has finally, really, actually made it to America. A few days after the iPad 2 most likely sucked any remaining wind out of its sails, mind you, but it’s quite possible that the target market for an Android 1.6 + Windows 7 tablet couldn’t care less about a similar one from Apple. If you’ll recall, this one’s rocking a 10.1-inch touchpanel (1024 x 600), 1.66GHz Atom CPU, 2GB of RAM, Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera and a version of Android we forgot about in 1994. You’ll also find a microSD slot and a copy of Windows Home 7 Premium (with a 16GB SSD) or Windows 7 Professional (with a 32GB SSD). Still interested? Just wait until we tell you all about the $599 and $679 price tags, respectively.
We’ve seen some pretty interesting and insanely unique watches in our time, and just when we thought we’d seen it all, artist Olivier Demange whips up this timepiece concept — dubbed Konect — that packs a wide range of features and looks futuristic while doing so. Embedded in this Tron-esque gadget watch is a Bluetooth radio that’ll act as a receiver — yes, you can finally fulfill your lifelong dream of using your watch to communicate (only if you’ve strapped a paired BT headset to your skull). You’ll also find proper controls for music playback, a button to answer and end calls, a removable USB stick, and well, a way to tell the time. Judging by the renders, we’d say finding out when it is might take more than a second or two, but you can be sure that we hope to see this thing on our wrists sometime. Check out the concept in video form below the fold — and yes, we know, House!
You may have laughed off the assertion made by BridgeCo’s VP of Sales and Marketing back at CES, but the man’s looking downright prophetic now. Apple has just nailed down yet another major player in its efforts to take over the streaming media world with AirPlay, as Pioneer’s VSX-1021 launched today as the first of eight AirPlay receivers the company has planned for 2011. It’s a 7.1 channel affair that supports wireless playback of iTunes libraries so long as you fork over a few extra dollars for the AS-WL300 wireless LAN adapter. You’ll also need an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or a Mac / PC with iTunes 10.1+, and the new AVR should show up immediately as an available AirPlay device. This particular one will sell for $549, and if you’re looking to spring, you should also know about Air Jam and iControlAV2 — two new (free) apps that turn iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 4.2 into sources for the aforesaid AVR. The latter actually enables full-on control of the receiver from an iOS device, while the former should do a fine job of handling the song selection during your next part. Hit up the source links for the nitty-gritty, and if you venture down beyond the break, you’ll find overview videos for the device shown above as well as the Air Jam app.