Gran Turismo, launching October 1 with the PSP Go, was the headlining PSP game during Tuesday's E3 Sony press conference. It wasn't the only ammo Sony had. However, it seems like the biggest in terms of holiday 2009 impact. Polyphony Digital announced a "full game" with 800 cars, 35 tracks, 60 track layouts, and four-player play over local ad-hoc along with car trading, almost like Pokemon.The other big announcment, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, was called a "true sequel" to the Metal Gear Solid series by Hideo Kojima, who appeared onstage to show … Read more
Israeli start-up SolarEdge has developed electronics to squeeze enough inefficiencies out of solar panels' wiring to make an array up to 25 percent more productive.
The company plans to disclose the details of its technology on Wednesday at the Intersolar 2009 conference in Munich, as well as to announce that German solar installer Gehrlicher will offer SolarEdge's products.
SolarEdge is seeking to address a number of performance problems common to solar power, such as lost electricity production from partial shading or converting direct current to household alternating current in an inverter. The company has raised about $35 million since … Read more
I'll be completely honest: LCD computer monitors intended for graphics professionals are not my area of expertise. Most of the monitors I've reviewed have been consumer-focused.
Monitors like the Dell SP2309W and Samsung P2370, while great for gaming or just looking nice in your apartment (respectively), would not be caught dead on the desk of a graphics professional. (Of course, if I'd found a monitor could actually die at all, well, I probably would not be writing this, as the prospects of an inanimate object possessing a soul would be far too exciting to continue sitting at … Read more
We've already checked out one Samsung LED-based LCD TV this year, the UNB7000 series, but that's not gonna stop us from reviewing the less expensive version, logically called the UNB6000 series. The verdict? Still expensive, stylish and solid performing, minus a few issues like a fluctuating backlight and less than stellar uniformity.
In fact, aside from Yahoo Widgets, available on the 7000 but not on the 6000, the two edge-lit LED-based LCD displays (whew!) are basically the same. The 7000 uses a skosh more power and gets the tiniest bit blacker, while the 6000 gives ever-so-slightly better shadow … Read more
As HDTVs become more common--some would say commoditized--TV makers go to ever-greater lengths to justify higher price tags. Nobody is going as far as Samsung this year. The company is the only one thus far to announce a full lineup of edge-lit LED-based LCDs which cost a mint yet offer the most advanced technology and design you can get--at least until OLED comes along.
Each model among the three series of Samsung's "Luxia" lineup measures just 1.2 inches thick, thanks to that LED lighting system, which is also responsible for the TVs' excellent energy efficiency. The … Read more
Samsung announced its new lineup of "LED TVs" at CES in January, and gave CNET editors a walk-through today to preview the technology. The company also set prices, and as expected, it'll cost you a fortune to take one of these thin models home.
The name "LED TV" sounds simple enough, but it's important to remember that these inch-thin sets are actually otherwise normal LCD (liquid-crystal display) TVs that use LEDs (light-emitting diodes) instead of the standard fluorescent backlights. But it gets even more confusing. We've reviewed LED-based LCD displays before, most recently the Sony KDL-55XBR8 and Samsung LN46A950--the two best-performing LCD TVs we've ever tested. A lot of the credit for those TVs' excellent picture quality can be attributed to their local dimming technology; groups of LEDs behind the screen can be dimmed or turned off to achieve those deep, inky blacks we all love so much.
The 2009 Samsung LED TVs we're previewing here do not utilize local dimming, so we don't expect them to match the picture quality of the local dimming sets. Of course, we'll know more once we can review one. In the meantime, we'll refer to the new displays as "edge-lit LED-based LCDs." More complex, we know, but also quite a bit more accurate.
The slideshow above goes into the nitty-gritty behind, or along the edge of, the technology. The short story is that the LEDs themselves are arranged along all four edges of the screen, and a special "light guide" sends light toward the middle. The result, according to the company, is similar uniformity characteristics to standard backlit LCD displays.
Edge-lit LED-based displays are also 40 percent more energy-efficient than standard Energy Star-certified LCD sets, and measure just 1.2 inches thick.
The downside is that they're extremely expensive. The cheapest model, the 32-inch UN32A6000 ($1,599), will cost more than twice as much as the company's standard 1080p 32-incher, model LN32B530 ($749) does.… Read more
As if 240Hz, 1080p/24 compatibility and contrast ratios in the millions aren't confusing enough, get ready for more product differentiation in the LCD TV space: two different kinds of LED lighting schemes. On one hand are relatively tried-and-true "local dimming" LED-based LCDs, which generally give great picture. In the other are "edge-lit" LED-based LCDs, which if the new Sony KLV-40ZX1M ($3,999) is any indication, do not.
We're sure the distinction won't stop marketers from trying to equate the two, however, and simply call them all "LED TVs," expecting consumers to assume that all LED-based LCDs give great picture. In fact, one company, Samsung, has already said it wants to create a separate "LED TV" category to differentiate the more-expensive, higher-tech-sounding sets from their lowly fluorescent-backlit cousins.
Also, who knows, maybe Samsung's upcoming edge-lit models, namely the 6000, 7000, and 8000 series HDTVs announced at CES, will perform better than the Sony KLV-40ZX1M we just reviewed. Lighter black levels and imperfect uniformity hampered its picture--as you might expect, the edges of the picture were brighter than the middle (go figure!). It sure looks cool though.
RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky wrote in a recent report that he believes Apple will debut a $99 iPhone and an iPhone 3G with updated performance for $199 and $299 sometime in June or July.
I'm sure some are getting excited at the very thought of a $99 iPhone, but I think we should all wake up and realize that for that $100 savings (assuming the new iPhone 3G will be offered at $199 and $299, like Abramsky says), we're getting a sub-par phone.
And although there will be a difference in data plan pricing, once again, it's not that great. Abramsky believes the low-end iPhone model will have a $15-per-month data plan, compared with the iPhone 3G's expected data plan price of $30 per month.
Assuming that's true, we would save just $19 to $23 per month by owning the low-end model if we amortize the initial cost savings and the data plan costs over two years and one year, respectively. Would that really make someone want the cheaper iPhone? Not me.… Read more