Archivi giornalieri: 02/09/2011
Philips’ line of smartphone-connected sound systems has been all up on iOS for quite sometime, but now Fidelio’s ready to show Android some love. The outfit just outed three new Android-ready speaker docks — the AS851, AS351 and AS111 — and is set to debut the flossy Fidelios at IFA this week. These new docks are so anxious to get close to your Android handset, that they’re rocking a micro-USB connector that adjusts in three dimensions to allow just about any phone to stand tall in portrait or kick back in landscape. Either way, the phone syncs the jams via Bluetooth and a dedicated app. The biggie of the bunch, the AS851, promises “lifelike, distortion-less music” and 30 watts of RMS power, while the smaller AS351 lets you take the show on the road with both AC and battery options and bumps 10 watts of RMS. The smallest of the three, the AS111, is dubbed as a bedside companion. There’s no word on pricing or when the docks will have your Android getting up with the get down, but we do have full PR for you after the break.
Pirate Bay founders launch ‘copyright respecting’ BayFiles sharing site, still dream of a life on Sealan
It ain’t often that the hated few have a genuine change of heart, but it sounds as if the folks who founded The Pirate Bay are tired of sailing the same seas. After years of turning a blind eye to content mavens across the globe, Fredrik Neij and co. have launched what appears to be a legitimate file-sharing site — one that’s “respectful of copyrights.” For all intents and purposes, BayFiles is yet another alternative to RapidShare and MegaUpload, acting as a cyberlocker that allows anyone with a web browser to upload files to share via a unique URL. Unregistered users will be limited to a 250MB upload, while standard members get bumped to 500MB and paying ‘Premium’ members can share up to 5GB per link. According to the terms of service, content that “violates third-party copyrights” cannot be uploaded, and folks who routinely ignore said words could face account termination. Head on down to the source to get started, and if you fall in love, you can pony up €5 a month, €25 for six months, or €45 for 12 months to claim your membership.
HTC just threw two new Windows Phone handsets down on the table and politely requested that we be impressed. The high-end Titan (previously leaked as the ‘Eternity’) is indeed an awe-inspiring brute, wielding a 4.7-inch SLCD display, 8MP rear camera and 1.3MP front-facing snapper to take full advantage of Mango’s newfangled Skype integration. Its over-sized guts include a single-core 1.5GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and up to 16GB of fixed flash storage. Meanwhile, the Radar (which also recently leaked out as the ‘Omega’) comes significantly less pumped in order to meet a lower price point and — we suppose — the expectations of a more mainstream audience. It can be seen as an updated Trophy, with similar weight and dimensions, plus the same 3.8-inch LCD, 1GHz processor clock speed, 5MP rear camera resolution, RAM and maximum 8GB fixed storage. The key upgrades involve the cameras: HTC says it has an improved 28mm wide-angle lens on the rear, plus of course there’s the front-facer, which is unfortunately only VGA. Although HTC intends to update its existing WP7 range to Mango starting in mid September, the Titan and Radar will be the company’s first innately Mango-fied devices when they arrive in early October. What do we make of them? By all means, click past the break to find out.
If we’re going to spend $599 on a phone for our phone, it needs to offer unparalleled audio quality, absolutely seamless device integration, and a drop-dead gorgeous design. Invoxia, a new entrant to the world of VoIP telephony, claims to have created just that, with its NVX 610. The desktop unit uses an iPhone (or iPod touch or iPad) app as its control interface — the hardware itself includes only touch-sensitive volume, mute, speakerphone, and voicemail keys. With the exception of accessing your iOS device’s address book, however, all of the phone’s hardware is self-contained. Calls are processed using the built-in ARM Cortex-A8 processor, and can be made via Skype or any third-party SIP. You can also take incoming iPhone calls using the handset or speakerphone, but all outgoing calls are processed using VoIP, not your iPhone’s mobile network. We took a peek at the NVX 610 at IFA, and definitely liked what we saw. Jump past the break for our initial impressions, and a (somewhat noisy) intro video from Invoxia CEO Serge Renouard.
From what we saw, the NVX 610 appeared to be conceptually sound, though because of connectivity issues we were only able to listen to a simulated demo mode. The device connects to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad using the 30-pin dock connector, or over Bluetooth (a built-in connector and attachments can fit a variety of iPhones and iPod touches, and you can connect your iPad using an Apple-supplied dock connector cable). Renouard insisted that audio quality was identical when making actual phone calls, and if that’s really the case, we could easily see this replacing both corporate desk phones, which can sometimes cost close to the 610′s $600 retail price, and conference room speakerphones, which occasionally cost even more. And since the device can access your iPhone or iPad’s address book, being able to use multiple phones in the office while maintaining access to all of your contacts could prove invaluable.
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Toshiba knew what we wanted at today’s IFA press conference, and naturally, it saved the best for last. The company unveiled its AT200 tablet at the show today, and really, as predicted, the thing does seem like a serious competitor to Samsung’s popular Galaxy Tab 10.1. The tablet is quite thin and well-built (it was on lock down, so we can’t quite attest to its “lightest” claims), unlike a number of its Android brethren. The brushed metal backing also adds a level of sturdiness lacking in the Galaxy Tab 10.1′s plastic rear.
Viewsonic has been taunting us a slew of slates for months, one of which we even got to manhandle way back in February. It seems the company is finally ready to deliver its ViewPads to the public though, and announced the availability of three models at IFA. The ViewPad 10pro has been around the block a few times by now and, after a limited run earlier, the Android 2.3 and Windows 7-running tablet will hit shelves on September 5th starting at €499 ($714) for the WiFi only version. Next up is the oft-teasedViewPad 7x, a 7-inch slice of Honeycomb that sports the custom, 3D ViewScene skin. A definitive date hasn’t been set for this 8GB, Tegra 2-powered device, but it’s expected to land before the end of the month for €349 ($499). Last, is the budget-minded ViewPad 7e. We don’t know much about this device, outside of the fact that it sports a 4:3 screen, most likely of the 7-inch variety, but it seems safe to assume we’re looking at another Android device. One with relatively low-power internals considering its estimated €169 ($242) price when it lands sometime in Q4.
Creative isn’t nearly the aural force it once was, but it’s still a respected name when it comes to headsets and — gasp! — sound cards. Here at IFA, the outfit has busted out a new range of Sound Blaster (yeah, seriously) gaming headsets for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Mac platforms. The 360-friendly Sound Blaster Tactic360 Sigma is being revealed with a steel core headband design and 50mm audio drivers, not to mention separate voice and game audio controls. Moving right along, the Tactic360 ION slims down with a pair of 40mm drivers, while the Tactic3D Wrath Wireless caters to Mac / PC users who’d rather not sweat the whole “cable” thing. The Tactic3D Omega Wireless does likewise for console gamers, and for those infatuated with three-dee, the outfit’s new Recon3D audio platform / sound cards sound give you reason to celebrate. Full details are posted up after the break, for those who find themselves strangely intrigued.