The Beats by Dr. Dre badge has usually been attached to headphones and the occasional laptop or smartphone. We’ve never really seen it attached to dedicated speakers, however, and that’s where both an FCC filing and a sighting at UK retailer HMV’s online store raise a few eyebrows. The House that Dre Built appears on the edge of launching the Beats Pill, a Bluetooth wireless speaker with four drivers and a shape that more than explains the medicinal name. While we don’t know just how much of that signature Beats thump we’ll get, we do know from the FCC that the Pill can serve as a speakerphone, carries an aux-in jack and will last for a typical 8.5 hours on its USB-rechargeable lithium-ion battery. There’s also signs of a red version of Beats’ Mixr headphones coming at the same time. HMV has publicly scoured its pages of any trace of a ship date or price for the Pill, but cached copies point to a £170 ($276) price and a release around September 28th — not necessarily trustworthy figures, but they may be in the ballpark. Our only question is whether or not we’ll get a dose of the Pill in the US.
The writing’s been on the wall for some time now, with this having been considered a done-deal back in March, but now the two parties involved are going public. Beats Electronics, the house that Dre built, is acquiring the MOG music streaming service, adding a little content to its brightly-colored can offerings. No word on cost, but MOG is said to have raised $33 million in funding to date, so that might give you a ballpark figure. It’s also unclear how or whether Beats-investor HTC might be involved in this new relationship, but if recent happenings are any indication, don’t go expecting too much on that front.
HP has been very eager to take the Envy line in an Ultrabook direction, leaving performance hounds a bit wanting. Much to their (and our) relief, the full-fat Envy 15, Envy 17, and Envy 17 3D have all made the leap to Intel’s latest round of Ivy Bridge processors. Along with the 2.3GHz to 2.7GHz quad Core i7 chips we all know and love, the Envy 15 and regular 17 can get a dual 2.5GHz Core i5 to keep the price slightly closer to Earth. All of them ship with an equally upgraded AMD Radeon HD 7850M to give games that extra jolt of energy, and you won’t find one with less than 6GB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive. Should you like the Envy’s current formula and just wish it had that much more oomph, you can pay a post-discount $1,100, $1,250 or $1,530 to bring one to your door.
If there’s one thing we took away from our jaunt at CES, it’s this: consumers’ appetites for mainstream laptops haven’t waned all that much. Even in the Ultrabook category, Intel expects half of the models to go on sale this year will have 14- and 15-inch screens — as strong an indicator as any that lots of folks aren’t yet ready to give up their slightly larger screens, their discrete graphics, their (gasp!) optical drives. While HP recently announced its first Ultrabook for the consumer market, the Envy 14 Spectre, it’s fully fleshed out its premium Envy series to include two additional models for people who crave more oomph.
The Envy 15 is the medium-sized member of the crew, with a 15.6-inch screen and the same overhauled design you’ll find across the Envy lineup. Delightfully, too, it marks the return of HP’s eye-popping Radiance display, and also comes with a generous two-year warranty and full copies of Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements. And with a starting price of $1,100, it sharply undercuts the 15-inch MacBook Pro, while taking direct aim at other high-end 15-inchers, like the Dell XPS 15z and Samsung Series 7 Chronos. So how does it stack up? Meet us after the break to find out.
In the followup, Monster will pump eight new headphone lineups featuring due out this year, Monster is also noted to have brought in 60% of its own revenue from Beats by Dre, and now plans to shift its focus on older demographics, such as executive types, which the brand never exactly catered to. Notably, Businessweek also states that Beats Electronics will retain to the rights to the headphone’s iconic design, sound-signature and branding. Considering Beats’ partnerships reign far with companies like HP and HTC, things probably won’t be all doom and gloom for the company — but the amount of time left to pick up your very own JustBeats likely just got slim. Hit up the source link below for more details.
The Motorola RAZR and Samsung Galaxy Nexus seem to be the two Verizon LTE juggernauts enjoying the lion’s share of the spotlight, with the HTC Rezound’s sandwiched smack dab between the two of them. But that doesn’t mean the device has any less to offer — you might even say it’s entitled to some bragging rights. It’s not the thinnest phone, nor does it have Ice Cream Sandwich (yet), but being the first carrier-branded handset in the US boasting a 720p HD display should carry a lot of weight.The Rezound — as you might have gathered from the name — is also the first HTC gizmo in the States to integrate Beats Audio. So does it fare well against its LTE competition? Is it enough to take your mind off of the Nexus? Read on below to find out.
The HTC Sensation XL has landed, leaving a sizable footprint behind. While it picks up the naming convention from HTC’s previously dual-core flagship series and some Beats audio accreditation on the way, it looks pretty damn familiar to another member of the family. Yes, the family’s Windows Phone flagship, the Titan certainly tickled our fancy — no other phone had landed on that nascent OS with such a screen. But the Sensation XL faces phones both bigger (and only slightly smaller) in the increasingly crowded world of Android. At around $723 (£450), is the XL’s single-core processor enough? Is that glossy WVGA screen still sharp enough at this size? How does this one compare to previous Sensations, and perhaps more importantly, Samsung’s even bigger not-so-heavyweight? Keep reading after the break to find out.
As expected, the HTC made the Rezound official at today’s event in New York. Also, as expected, this is one multimedia-centric phone we’re looking at here, starting with its big and bright 4.3-inch 720p Super LCD display. Despite its decently large screen size, the phone is surprisingly light and feels nice in the hand. Unlike Motorola and Samsung, however, the company wasn’t all that focused on thinness with the Rezound, and the thing rocks a slightly convex back — not unlike the HTC Vivid on AT&T, which has a prominent hump on the back cover. However you slice it, though, it’s a great looking phone. The company clearly put some though into the appearance of the device, with its textured back featuring red accents — a clear reference to the company’s partnership with Beats. If you read our review of theSensation XE, you know HTC’s design philosophy didn’t change much in its journey across the Atlantic.
Unfortunately, the company wasn’t showing off those custom Beats earbuds for our demo, and we had to settle for an over-ear pair — naturally, we rocked a little Dre on the thing. As you’d expect, the sound is extremely bass-heavy. You can thank Beats for that, no doubt. Interestingly, HTC apparently didn’t devote all that much time to the volume buttons on the side of the device, which aren’t quite as responsive as we’d like. The music continues to play, even as you launch other apps, which can be bit a distracting when you’re trying to stream a video using the phone’s LTE radio. For the record, that video loaded quite quickly.
The latest version of Sense (3.5) — last seen on the HTC Rhyme – runs smoothly here, thanks to the 1.5GHz dual-core processor inside. Flipping through home screens is breezy, as is launching the camera app the company talked up during today’s event. The Rezound is coming at you on Verizon November 14th for $299. Until then, have a gander at our gallery of preview shots and rock out to a hands-on video after the break.
HTC Rezound shows off its Vigor with leaked press shots, Beats Audio demo, HD video samples (update)
HTC’s set to unveil its newest mobile creation in a just a few hours, and you can bet that it’s likely the 4G LTE-enabled Rezound seen above. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a purported pre-release unit and even some colorful renders, but today Pocketnow has snagged what appears to be the first official press shots of this rumored 1.5GHz device. The leaks don’t stop there, though, as videos of the Rezounds’s Beats Audio capabilities and HD video-chops have recently popped up on YouTube — this courtesy of user worldofjohnboy, who’s had his hands an early-run unit for some time now. Questions still remain regarding any official specs and that supposed November 10th release date on Verizon, but we’ll surely find out in just a few hours. In the meantime, you’ll find the trio of aforesaid videos just past the break, and more info at the links below.
We had some hands-on time with HTC’s new European Android flagship a short while back, but it wasn’t nearly enough to answer all our questions about how the 4.3-inch, 1.5GHz dual-core XE compares to the original 1.2GHz Sensation, or whether the implementation of Beats Audio was anything more than a cunning scheme cooked up between the manufacturer’s marketeers and Dr. Dre’s agent. Now, though, this phone has been our closest companion for long enough to reveal its true colors. They’re red, primarily, but there’s a whole rainbow of detail right after the break.
Guess who’s back? HTC let us play with the new and improved Sensation XE in London last night and we even managed to find a secluded spot to bop our heads to the integrated Beats Audio and packaged YourBeats headphones. The XE is very similar to the original 4.3-inch flagship Sensation in terms of hardware, except there’s a 300MHz clock-speed bump to 1.5GHz, a slightly larger 1750mAh battery and also a packaged 16GB (instead of 8GB) microSD card. But aside from that, we expect it’ll be the audio credentials and related marketing hype that will attract most attention when the device reaches shelves later this month. Current Sensation owners probably won’t even consider the upgrade unless they’re chronic Dr. Dre fans, but what about those with more sticky icky icky devices? Should they be enticed by all the fuss? Click past the break if you think rap’s changed and you want know how we feel about it.
With a Sandy Bridge refresh, a new 14-inch mainstream laptop, and a redesigned netbook, HP’s latest crop of consumer systems offers a little something for everyone. First up, there’s the 14-inch Pavilion dv4 (not to be confused with the metal-clad dm4), which bears the same Imprint finish and CoolSense technology as its siblings and ushers in a striking cobalt blue color option, as you can see in the photo above. Look for it on May 18 with a starting price of $600.
Then there’s the revamped Mini 210, which swaps last year’s not-too-glossy plastic lid for candy-colored lids, and adds a seamless touchpad, edge-to-edge 10.1-inch display, and a flush six-cell battery promising up to 8.8 hours of battery life — an upgrade over last year’s standard four-cell. Spec-wise, nothing has changed from the current 210, except for the addition of Beats Audio, something you’ll find across HP’s notebook lineup. It’ll be available on June 15 and cost $300 for the charcoal version — alas, you’ll have to pony up $330 for one of the punchier colors. For now, be sure to check out our video hands-on.
Lastly, HP did the predictable and refreshed the high-end Envy 14 with Sandy Bridge CPU options and USB 3.0. It also promises an improved touch experience — something we bemoaned in our review last year — with a trackpad that uses optical sensors to analyze your multitouch gestures. That will go on sale June 15 for $1,000 and up.
Now, you’d think ColorWare would be working furiously to release some flashy iPad 2s, but that’s not what we’re getting today — instead we now have a pair of Monster headphones to complement that ever-so-necessary neon Dyson Air Multiplier we assume you’ve already added to every room in your tastefully decorated mansion. These very limited edition ColorWare “Chrome Beats” headphones don’t actually have any color, but they admittedly do look pretty slick, excepting the $1,000 price tag necessitated by this perfect storm of overpriced branding. ColorWare is only decking out 50 of these ‘cans, so grab that platinum card and head over to our source link to get your pair.