Archivi giornalieri: 10/01/2012
When we first caught wind of Sensic’s head-tracking 3D Smart goggles a few days ago, we couldn’t help but think of it as a Sony HMZ-T1 on Android-flavored steroids. We’ve just spent some time with the prototype here on the show floor playing a virtual demo that had us smashing buildings in a virtual world — notably running entirely on the headset, thanks (in part) to its 1.2GHZ dual-core CPU. If you can’t tell from the picture, the headset is absolutely massive. In-hand it’s quiet hefty, but once it engulfed our noggin, we found that it was actually quiet well-balanced and comfortable, to the point that we almost forget that it was on our head – almost. Notably, this proto is a “one size fits all” type deal rght now, so we did have to wrap a circle-scarf around our head to keep its 1280 x 1024 screens within our eyes view. Thankfully, our horn-rimmed glasses did fit inside with no issue.
So, what’s it like? An array of cameras on it’s face scan the environment to react to your heads position and any movement you make. We were able to spin, tilt, walk around and even jump, with the virtual world on screen following suite — all while looking like a confused and lost puppy to anyone passing by. We’re told video refreshes at 60hz, but sadly, we were faced with stuttery visuals in our use. The unit is also capable of tracking hand movements, but we can’t say we were able to make use of the privilege — instead, a controller made up for the interim. Considering that Sensic’s head-tracking 3D goggles do all of the above in a completely self-contained fashion, we can’t help but think that there’s lots of potential for the tech. The question remains, however, as to whether the experience and the hardware can be smoothed to bring the Minority Report-style of AR closer to a retail reality. Head on past the break for a video of us trying out Sensic’s headset for ourselves– trust us, you’re in for a treat.
Of the two monitors Samsung announced last week, the Series 7 was decidedly the middle-of-the road number. But that’s not saying much, seeing as how its big brother, the Series 9, is Sammy’s first consumer display with a plane line switching panel, and has a 2560 x 1440 pixel count. The Series 7, available in 24- and 27-inch sizes (both 1080p), uses the same matte, 400-nit, SuperBright Plus panel you’ll find on the newly announced Series 9 laptop, and as ever it looks bright and clear, even in the face of some oblique viewing angles. For the money ($600 and up), it also has built-in WiDi and MHL, along with an integrated TV tuner. So far as we can tell, after having seen it in person, the biggest thing you’ll lose once you step down from the Series 9 (aside from the PLS bit) is design flair. Whereas the Series 9 has a slim aluminum build with glowing touch controls, the Series 7′s glossy surfaces pick up fingerprints quite quickly. (Then again, this more or less rocks the same design as last year’s Series 9 flagship, so how bad could it be?) Have a peek at our shots below, and stay tuned for a separate look at the Series 9 — for whatever reason, the one on display at tonight’s press event was powered off for the night, so we’ll be back sometime soon when we can show you that high-quality PLS display in the buff.
Gemini unveiled the original FirstMix last yearand now it’s just introduced two more models for the beginner DJ. The FirstMix I/O looks little more than a revision of the original, with some minor aesthetic tweaks, although we’ve not yet been given full specs for a proper comparison. The FirstMix Pro, however, definitely brings a little more to the DJ booth. We spy what appears to be three hot-cue buttons on each deck, expandable to six via a shift function, as well what looks like a three channel EQ. Loop-in and out buttons also make an appearance, along with — most significantly — a 3.5mm headphone jack, which suggests a built-in sound interface for pre-cueing. Gemini wants $129.95 for the FirstMix I/O and $199.95 for the FirstMix Pro and both come bundled with MixVibes LE. Fans of the original can now pick it up for a reduced $79.99. Check the PR after the break for the run-down.
There’s no time better to announce new storage cards than at CES — there’s just so many new toys to plug them into. SanDisk’s new SDXC card is available in both 64GB and 128GB sizes, with the latter capable of packing in around 10 hours of HD 3D video. Both cards will boast read speeds of around 45 megabytes per second — the ‘world’s fastest’, we’re told, but that could be a heady claim during the high-speed turnaround of CES. No date’s been offered up yet for when they’ll hit stores, but when they do, expect the 128GB beast to set you back a feisty $400, while the 64GB card will ask your wallet for $200.
Meanwhile, fans of the embeddable kind can expect to see iNAND Ultra make itself known in 2012. Promising a tiny footprint and sizes up to 64GB, expect to see more of SanDisk’s 19nm flash tech to make plenty of appearances in future teardowns — it’s apparently been designed for mobile operating systems.
You’d think that with Tegra 3 shipping in the Transformer Prime and all, we’d know everything there is to know about the new SoC. Apparently not. NVIDIA just announced DirectTouch, a technology exclusive to its Tegra 3 platform that uses that bonus fifth core for to improve touch detection. So what does a low-power core have to do with the touch experience, you say? Essentially, what’s going on is NVIDIA’s PRISM Display technology separates color and backlight intensity to save battery life while preserving fidelity. In a demo, the technology looked mighty smooth, though we’ll need to get hands-on ourselves and see the technology in action for more than five seconds before we can weigh in on its utility.
Now that Lenovo’s let it all out, it’s easy to understand how it approached CES, and the days leading up to it. Thursday was ThinkPad day, yesterday was for all manner of consumer swag and today, Monday, is all about eye-catching designs. In addition to unveiling the Yoga convertible tablet, the company introduced the IdeaCentre A720, what it says is the world’s thinnest 27-inch all-in-one. Similar to the HP TouchSmart 610, which debuted around this time last year, it has a display that can be tilted between 5 and 90 degrees, the idea being that that 10-point multitouch panel will be easier to use if it’s lying at a near-flat angle. Spec-wise, it’ll be offered with various Intel Core i processors, discrete NVIDIA graphics and up to either a 1TB HDD or a 64GB solid-state drive. Expect it to hit sometime in the first half of this year, starting at $1,299.
Panasonic’s Lumix line is celebrating a whole bunch of new entries this week at CES. The FH series is expanding with two new slim additions, the DMC-FH6 and DMC-FH8. Both models do 720p video at 30 fps and rock Leica lenses and 5x optical zoom. The 16.1 megapixel FH8 has a three-inch LCD and shoots HD videos in MP4. The 14.1 megapixel F6 captures HD video in JPEG format and features a 2.7-inch display. Both new entries in the SZ series, meanwhile, feature 10x optical zoom, three-inch LCDs and 25mm ultra-wide angle Leica lenses. The SZ7 does 14.1 megapixel images and 1080p video, while the SZ1 goes 14.1 megapixels and 720p on the video front.
Also debuting this week is the LUMIX DMC-S2, a 14.1 megapixel compact shooter with 4x optical zoom and 720p video capabilities. The point-and-shoot also features Panasonic’s panoramic mode for stitching together images and auto retouch to adjust contrast and brightness in photos on the fly. As for pricing and availability? Not so much. Panasonic has promised such things a month prior to release — whenever that might be. Lots of pertinent press info after the break.
The Samsung Series 9 debuted at an odd time, before “Ultrabook” was a buzz word, and when a 2.8-pound laptop was novel enough to warrant a $1,649 price tag. A year later, it returns at an even more pivotal moment: Ultrabooks are cropping up by the dozens, and while their specs are similar to what the original Series 9 had to offer, they cost hundreds less. So with that as the backdrop, Samsung just announced a pair of slimmed-down, redesigned Series 9 laptops: a 13-inch remake, priced at $1,399 and up, and a new 15-inch form number that will cost $1,499-plus when the two go on sale next month.
Though consumers are likely to draw comparisons between that 2.5-pound 13-incher and the umpteen other ultraportables hitting the market, Samsung isn’t positioning the Series 9 laptops as Ultrabooks, but rather, premium, top-tier machines. Still, for something that’s not an Ultrabook, the brothers Series 9 certainly look the part: both pack Core i5 processors, 4GB of RAM, 128GB SSDs, six-hour batteries and backlit keyboards — Ultrabook-like specs if ever we’ve heard them. Even the 15-inch model is missing an optical drive, and isn’t much larger than the last-gen Series 9.
What separates them from your garden-variety $900 box, though, is a solid unibody aluminum design and a heartbreakingly beautiful display: a 1600 x 900 panel with a matte finish (!) and 400 nits of brightness. But is that worth shelling out an extra few Benjamins? We’ve just spent weeks playing with an early, pre-production version of the 13-inch model, and while we’re going to withhold final judgment until we review a production-grade system, we already have quite a bit to say about the design. So grab a warm beverage, settle into your comfiest chair and meet us past the break for an in-depth preview.
Samsung’s CES 2012 press conference is going on right now, and it’s unveiling new products including the top of the line ES8000 LED model that packs a dual core CPU to run its apps, and an integrated camera and microphone for “Smart Interaction”. Beyond that, the “Smart Evolution” feature will let users swap out that dual core processor for something heftier later on if they want to upgrade. Finally “Smart Content” is the umbrella term for a wave content and apps including, of course, Angry Birds, and an upgraded version of AllShare that pulls from the cloud, and can even control other compatible devices. The ES8000 edge lit LED line ranges in size from 46- to 65-inches, and features Smart Interaction cameras and mics for videoconferencing as well as voice and gesture control. Check after the break for the press release with all the details, or follow along with our liveblog.
We’ve been hitting Fujitsu phones for a while, looking in awe at the super-thin gear that remained firmly in the hands of the Japanese. Fortunately the Consumer Electronics Show is the perfect time for the company to further tease us with a product that might just make a trip to the west. Yesterday we got our mitts onto the Arrows Mu and today we’ve got a really special exclusive: a first look at the prototype of the quad-core packing Arrows super-phone. So, what delights are tucked inside and is this going to be the phone of 2012? Head on past the break to find out.
It’s official! As expected, everyone’s favorite giant superphone, the Samsung Galaxy Note, is finally making its way to the US — and with a dash of LTE, no less. The mini tablet will be available on AT&T in both carbon blue and ceramic white for an undisclosed price sometime in the near future. Specs are almost identical to its global sibling — 5.3-inch 1280×800 HD Super AMOLED display, S Pen, Android 2.3.6 (Gingerbread), 1GB of RAM, 16GB of built-in storage, up to 32GB of additional storage via microSD card, 2,500mAh battery, eight-megapixel 1080p AF camera with flash and two-megapixel front-facing camera. Like its stablemate, the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket, AT&T’s Galaxy Note receives a brain transplant with a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU (presumably a Qualcomm Snapdragon S3) replacing the 1.4GHz dual-core Exynos processor. Beyond support for AT&T’s speedy LTE network, the device includes UMTS/HSPA+ (21Mbps) and GSM/EDGE world radios. This US variant will also be available with a number of accessories, including a desktop dock, a spare battery charging system, flip cover cases (available in multiple colors) and the Galaxy Note S Pen holder kit.
This week, Canon reinforced its commitment to not producing a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera by launching the PowerShot G1 X. The company’s latest G-series camera is by far the most powerful, and most expensive model, ringing up at $799.99 — approaching (and in some cases exceeding) DSLR territory. Its pricing and spec list imply that the G1 X could be a DSLR competitor, but is it? No, not by a long shot. Instead, the company’s most powerful compact cam is designed to be a companion to cameras in Canon’s DSLR line, acting as a second, third or fourth shooter to professional photographers. The G1 X includes a 1.5-inch (18.7 x 14mm) 14.3 megapixel sensor — which puts it in almost the same class as APS-C models, but with a fixed 4x, 28-112mm optical zoom lens and a compact camera form factor, it’s a completely different beast. So is the G1 X able to justify its nearly $800 price tag? Join us past the break to find out.
Is this not the craziest thing we’ve seen at this year’s CES? Behold the Nikiski: an Intel prototype with a see-through touchpad that stretches across the entire palm rest. It’s unclear who makes the laptop, but Intel was keen to gush about that sprawling touch panel. Mr. Eden demonstrated some effective palm rejection, so that if your hands brush the touchscreen while you’re typing, you won’t lose control of the cursor. If this seems senseless, given how spacious trackpads already are, know that this panel doubles as a secondary display that can show webpages and other content when the laptop is shut. It looks like Intel’s got it on display here for the press to play with, so we’ll be getting hands-on as soon as we can.
As it seems to do every year, Netgear’s chosen the Consumer Electronics Show to unveil, well… everything under the sun. Up first, the outfit’s launching its WN2500RP, a universal dual-band WiFi range extender ($89.99) that runs both 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands concurrently. Over on the home networking side, the Powerline 500 Nano and N900 convert a conventional wall outlet into a high-speed network connection, with the former shipping this quarter for $119.99 and the latter this summer for $79.99. Over on the non-product side, Netgear’s trumpeting its reception of CableLabs DOCSIS 3.0 certification for the industry’s first voice and data gateways (CGD3700B / CGE3700B) with concurrent dual-band WiFi. Head on past the break for specifics across the whole line.
As expected, ASUS is bringing a bit of netbook Flare to CES 2012. The company just got official with the Eee PC Flare 1025C, 1025CE and X101CH netbooks, and we’re not going to waste any time getting down to the details. The 1025C ships with a 1.6GHz Atom N2600 dual-core GPU, integrated Intel UMA graphics (720p output), a 10.1-inch LED display (1,024 x 600), 1GB of DDR3-1333 memory, a 5,400RPM hard drive, built-in Altec Lansing stereo speakers, 0.3 megapixel webcam, a trio of USB 2.0 ports, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, an Ethernet port, 2-in-1 media card reader and VGA / HDMI outputs. The whole thing tips the scales at 2.7 pounds, while offering a six-cell (56WHr) battery that’s supposedly good for some ten hours of usage. It’ll ship with Windows 7 Starter, with $299 getting you one in gray, blue, red, pink or black next month. The Flare 1025CE ups the ante with a 1.86GHz Atom N2800 dual-core CPU, with the asking price edged up to $319.
Moving right along, the 1225B is a 12.1-incher with a 1.6GHz AMD E-450 dual-core chip, integrated graphics, a 1,366 x 768 native resolution, 2GB of DDR3-1333 memory, a 5,400RPM HDD, two USB 3.0 sockets (and a lone USB 2.0 socket), WiFi, a 0.3 megapixel webcam, Bluetooth 3.0 and a 2-in-1 media reader. It’ll weigh in at 3.1 pounds and tout a six-cell battery, with Windows 7 Home Premium (32-bit) running the show. As for colors? Ah, colors. It’ll ship next month in black, red and white. Finally, the Eee PC X101CH hits the entry-level buyers, with $269 netting you a 10.1-inch panel (1,024 x 600), inbuilt graphics, 1GB of RAM and the usual complement of ports. All told, we’re looking at fairly expected updates since the last major waveof netbooks, but we’ll withhold judgment until we see just how well those new Intel chips due in the benchmarking / battery test departments.
Belkin announces WeMo home automation system; controls electrical outlets with your smartphone, motion
If you’re looking to control the electrical outlets of your home or apartment via your newfangled smartphone, Belkin has you covered. The company has unveiled the first two products of its newly launched WeMo line of home automation technology. The WeMo Home Control Switch is a plug that doubles as a programmable on / off for any device from lighting to coffee pots. Alongside the outlet power control, the WeMo Motion Sensor will detect your movement and when used in tandem with the Home Control Switch, can be programmed to power on electrical items in reaction to motion. Both pieces of the Belkin kit require the free WeMo app and will set you back $49.99 and $59.99, in order of mention. These two initial products will be available in the US in March, with more devices coming in the Fall.