Tired of hearing about unaffordable displays that are light years beyond what you have in front of you right now? Yeah, well so am I. Doesn't mean I'll stop reporting on them though, 'cause misery loves company.
At the 2009 Integrated Systems Europe in Amsterdam, SIM2 Multimedia and Dolby Laboratories unveiled what they refer to as "the latest in high-dynamic-range (HDR)-enabled LCD flat-screen display technology featuring Dolby Vision." Called the SIM2 Solar Series, the new displays will be available in the second quarter of this year.
SIM2's Solar Series is a 47-inch LCD display … Read more
Q: I was wondering why U.S. carriers have not picked up Nokia's N-series phones. Why wouldn't a carrier like AT&T or T-Mobile want such high-end handsets to attract customers? - Zoheb
A: There are a few answers, Zoheb, but they all boil down to money. More so than in other countries the cell phone market in the United States has long centered on the service rebate. Carriers discount phones to attract customers and their contracts, while customers are trained to expect free or discounted handsets. While this dynamic is beginning to change due to the growing popularity of unlocked phones, service rebates largely rule the day here.
Though the rebates have their upside--customers can get $200 knocked off the price of a nice smartphone--they have their downsides as well. And I'm not talking about service contracts. Rather, the widespread use of service rebates has helped to "dumb down" the cell phone selection in the United States. With notable exceptions, carriers tend to keep their phones below $300 to make them as affordable as possible.
The problem with the N-series phones is that they cost well over $500 (the fancy Nokia N96 is $776 unlocked). So even with a service rebate they're going to remain pretty expensive. Sure, there will be customers like yourself who will be willing to buy one, but that's not enough incentive for a carrier to buy a several thousand of them. Instead, they're going to pick handsets that will sell in the biggest numbers.
We also have to remember that the N-series phones are complicated with a lot of different features. U.S. carriers tend to be in the driver's seat when it comes to choosing phones for their lineups. They have a lot of say in how the phone looks and what features it has. Thanks to the iPhone and the T-Mobile G1 this is also beginning to change, but they still like to exert their control. I'd wager than the N-series phones are simply too complicated for U.S. carriers. There are too many parts and features that the carriers can't control. Also, I'm sure that carriers haven't figured out how to monetize all the services on a handset like the N96. That's yet a another deterrent against picking it up.… Read more
Once in a while you get something and like it so much you wonder why you hadn't gotten it a long time ago. Or, as in my case, why you didn't use it.
This happened back during CES. I was given a headset from iHarmonix, the Platinum i-Series, as a freebie. I didn't have a chance to really use it until just now and asked myself why I waited so long.
The headset's sound is much better than that of Apple's OEM included with the iPhone. For the first time, I can enjoy the bass and really control the multifunction button (that ends calls as well as controls music playback), thanks to its round shape and larger size. The iPhone's included headset has a very tiny button that's hard to press on. It was almost impossible for me to make a successful jump to a previous track.
What I like best, however, is the fact that the Platinum i-Series is black instead of having the same white color as Apple's headset. Now I can blend in without people looking at me and thinking, "Oh I know, you got an iPhone, all right."… Read more
This show starts out as the Recycle, Reduce, Re-Use Episode. Shortly into the show, we realize how poorly thought out a theme that was. Wow, it's been a long break.Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 121
Pee-powered battery (that technically runs on water or juice too) (Thanks Cianna!)Quit smoking or be forced to wear these clothes made from cigarette butts Breathalyzer key chain lets you see if you’re drunk while on the highway
With Funai licensing the Philips brand in 2009, things have gotten a little confusing about just what's going on with Philips home audio and video products. But it appears that all the products that Philips announced at CES 2009--including the new 7000 series Flat TVs--are true Philips products. Philips had already planned out its 2009 line and Funai Electric will be taking over the production of that line this year.
Thus far, details are scant on just when the new 7000 series LCD TVs will be released and how much they'll cost. However, they do have a new … Read more
Dell's done it. HP's done it. Toshiba's done it and so has a slew of other notebook vendors, and finally Gateway comes on board.
Gateway introduces it first notebook PC with a 13.3-inch wide-screen display, hitting the sweet spot display and size for the mobile user. However, with a starting weight of 5.3-pounds, it is a bit heavy for a 13-incher.
The UC series has a round touch pad, black, brushed-aluminum keyboard and palm rest, brushed-aluminum barrel hinges, metallic trim, and rounded edges and corners.
Beginning January 8, the Gateway UC Series will be available … Read more
There's more than one way to do a wireless MP3 player, and building it directly into a set of headphones may seem like the easy way out, but it gets the job done. Plus, there are none of those audio-fidelity issues you might run into with technologies such as RF and Bluetooth, which is probably why Sony elected to take this route with it's new W-Series Walkman. This 2GB MP3 player is built into a set of impressively small earbud-style headphones and sports a palatable price tag of just $69.
As you might expect, the W-Series Walkman has … Read more
Much like Apple, Sony likes to keep its Vaio products aimed at mid-to-high-end buyers and generally eschews the budget end of the market (although there are actually a handful of sub-$600 Vaios we've reviewed fairly favorably).
When it comes to Netbooks, it's no different; Sony's entry into the very hot minilaptop category shares a lot with Netbooks such as the Dell Mini 9 or Asus Eee PC, but clearly goes out of its way to avoid being lumped in with them.
The P-series Lifestyle PC is one of the smallest laptops we've seen; it is almost similar to a UMPC, but with a traditional clamshell laptop design. The widescreen 8-inch 1600x768 display and tiny keyboard make for a form factor that has roughly the same footprint as a standard white business envelope, and is less than 1-inch thick, weighing 1.4 pounds.
To fit a reasonably full-featured PC into a chassis this small, some sacrifices had to be made, and we're worried the lack of a standard touch pad (instead there's a ThinkPad-like pointing stick), will keep this new system from being as useful as it could be. It does, however, include a 3G mobile broadband antenna, 802.11n Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth, with mobile broadband service provided by Verizon.
Like several other laptops we've seen recently, there's a pre-Windows instant-on operating system, which uses the familiar Sony cross-media bar menu found on the PlayStation 3 and handheld PSP consoles. Once you boot into Windows, instead of the XP variety found on most Netbooks, it has Vista, although the 2GB of RAM (up to 4GB capacity) should help it run smoothly.
Sony told us it was planning on marketing this almost clutch-size laptop specifically to women, but we didn't take them seriously until we saw these lines in the official press release:
"Designed for the fashionista in all of us, it's the ideal companion..." "The spacing between keys has also been engineered to help reduce typing mistakes making it perfect for long fingernails."
The P-series Lifestyle PC will retail for about $900, and options include solid state (up to 128GB) or standard hard drives and a variety of colors, including garnet red, emerald green, onyx black, crystal white, and classic (matte) black, with matching accessories including a fitted leather case. More photos are after the jump. … Read more