The word is Panasonic will introduce an Intel Atom-based mini-tablet to its Toughbook line on Wednesday. Our colleagues at CNET Asia saw the unit earlier this year, which featured a 5.6-inch touch-screen display and a thin strip of QWERTY thumb keys below it. If you value ruggedized protection over usability--or really enjoy thumb typing--this mini rugged tablet might hold some attraction. Unknown is the price, but with the Asus Eee PC and its slew of imitators on the scene now at prices as low as $399, this Toughbook tablet had better come in low if it wants to … Read more
Watch your latest YouTube creation, show the photo album of your trip to Thailand, and then check in to see how far your Yahoo stock has tanked--all without leaving your couch or using an external box (e.g. Apple TV). That's Panasonic's new Viera Cast system in a nutshell--just don't expect an ideal experience with this first generation technology.
Available on the high-end TH-46PZ850U and TH-50PZ850U plasma televisions, Panasonic's Viera Cast system isn't exactly the first of its kind--Sony's Bravia Internet Link and HP's MediaSmart TVs, and Samsung's A650 line all offer … Read more
In an effort to improve upon the light sensitivity characteristics of its prosumer AVCHD camcorders, Panasonic has switched to a new three-chip MOS system dubbed "3MOS" for its newly announced HDC-SD100 and HDC-HS100 models. The company claims the new sensors provide about twice the photo-sensitive area as the CCDs used by its last-generation model, the HDC-SD9. However, Panasonic did not indicate the resolution of the chips; it's likely relatively low, as most three-chip solutions tend to be. As I guessed, the chips are fairly low resolution--520,000 pixels for 16:9 video--and they're tiny, 1/6-inch … Read more
Panasonic has confirmed to CNET that it still intends to deliver Tru2way TVs to the market before the end of 2008. A company representative e-mailed us with the following statement:
Panasonic's Tru2way-enabled VIERA HDTV is in the certification process at CableLabs. Panasonic expects to deliver Tru2way-enabled VIERA HDTVs to the market in time for the holiday season.
Of course, the company's expectation does not equal a guarantee that we'll see the product on store shelves before the end of the year. But it does represent an affirmation that Panasonic is actively working to address the alleged issues … Read more
Update: Subsequent to the publication of this story, Panasonic has released a more detailed statement on the status of its Tru2way TVs.
CableLabs' Tru2way got a big boost last month when Sony signed on with a pledge to design and deliver TVs that incorporate the standard, bolstering an already impressive list of backers. The Web was flooded with optimistic reports of a post-cable box Valhalla where you could simply buy a Tru2way TV, screw in your coaxial cable, and have plug-and-play access to your 1,000-channel universe. Before those miracle TVs hit the market, however, they need to be certified by CableLabs--and there are rumors that the initial trials aren't going well. According to IP Democracy, the initial certification tests for Panasonic Tru2way TVs were unsuccessful--to say the least. The post cites "folks close to Tru2way" as calling the Panasonic tests a "'disaster of spectacular proportions'" that resulted in "'dozens and dozens' of bugs."
In an attempt to verify those dire--but anonymous--quotes, we contacted Panasonic and CableLabs for their responses.… Read more
If you're trying to reduce the amount of time you spend in front of the television, Panasonic's new high-end plasma HDTV is so not the gadget for you. It's sleek, huge (even in its smallest 46-inch iteration), and offers instant Web connectivity.
The PZ850, part of the company's Viera line, connects to YouTube and Google's Picasa Web album straight from the TV. You can also get weather from five chosen locations and Bloomberg news and stocks that are updated every 15 minutes. Put an SD memory card into the HDTV and you can view high-definition … Read more
Sony signed an agreement with the country's six largest cable companies Tuesday to develop a TV that will receive cable services without the need for a set-top box.
The Japanese electronics giant will make an LCD set based on the Tru2way cable platform introduced in January at CES by Comcast. Tru2way allows interactive cable services to be integrated directly into devices.
Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision, and Bright House Networks have all agreed to develop the technology behind Tru2way.
Sony's not the first consumer electronics company to announce a device based on the platform, … Read more
Zirconia isn't just for ring-shopping fiances on a budget anymore. The diamond imposter is now being used to make earphones, of all things.
Panasonic's latest buds have been made with the material because it's apparently good at reducing distortion, according to Akihabara News. Another unusual feature of the RP-HJE900 earphones--one that will undoubtedly be more noticeable--is their removable cables. It's not entirely clear why one might want those, unless you habitually bury your buds deep into the aural canal and want a breakaway safety feature.
We detailed Panasonic's full plasma lineup earlier this year, but having just returned from a press event devoted to the flagship TH-PZ850U series, it feels incumbent to reiterate some of the cool new features of these expensive sets.
The coolest? A demo at the event proved that the 850Us can stream YouTube videos, right on the TV screen with no PC required. The TV's "Viera Cast" interface allows you to search YouTube by keyword, sort videos by popularity, or access your own list of favorite videos, for example. During the demo we were treated to a video of a laughing baby, the (no-surprise) current champ of the popularity list. According to Panasonic, the entire catalog of YouTube videos is available on the TV, although it may take a day or two for a new one on the site to appear on Viera Cast. The TV can also access Picasa, Google's photo sharing site, so you can view digital photos stored at your (or someone else's) Picasa account directly on the big screen.
You may have read about Panasonic's Neo PDP plasma technology, and even caught a glimpse of the prototypes at January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. However, they could actually be coming to retail stores as early as June 2009 after initial May production from the Japanese company's P5 plant, Panasonic's latest plasma panel manufacturing facility currently undergoing construction in Amagasaki, Japan.
The lineup includes a petite 24.7-millimeter-thick 50-incher and its larger-than-life 150-inch sibling. The latter also offers four times better image details over standard full-HD TVs with a native 4,096 x 2,160-pixel … Read more