Hot on the heels of Matra's MS1 comes yet another human / electric-powered hybrid bike, but Marcus Levison-Hays' Electrobike Pi definitely rocks a more unorthodox design. This blindingly red transporter "combines the lightweight portability of a bicycle with speed and self-propulsion more akin to a motorcycle," as it includes a 36-volt pack of NiMH batteries that provides "about one horsepower" to the 58-pound device. The unit can be fully charged "from any standard household outlet in 2.5 to 3 hours and can run for 25 to 30 miles," and according to a report from the LA Times, the 20mph maximum stock speed can be increased to around 46mph "with a little after-market hot rodding." Granted, the base price on this thing is said to be around $7,500, so it looks like the most of us will have to stick with the trusty Huffy ten-speed for the time being.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Vertu crafts second Ferrari phone for $25K


See, here's the thing about Vertu phones: anyone who's wealthy enough to afford one probably wants (and can afford) more than one, probably doesn't care about newfangled goodies like 3G or a large, high resolution display, and probably keeps a Ferrari or two in the garage. On that note we give you the "Ascent Ferrari 60," the Nokia division's second Ferrari-themed handset. Unlike the first -- which happened to also be an Ascent -- the Ferrari 60 features a shift gate on its posterior instead of a brake pedal, which clearly makes it worth the €18,000 (about $25,370) asking price. Of course, that hefty cost of admission also nets you an elaborately fashioned storage box, a Vertu Aerius headset, and an actual valve out of a Ferrari F1 car, so the 60 lucky sons of guns that grab this thing are in for a treat (if valves and outdated Bluetooth headsets are your thing). Check it out at Nokia's London, Paris, Singapore, and Hong Kong locations.


Canon's PowerShot SD870 (also known as the IXUS 860 IS in some parts of the world) isn't exactly the sort of camera that offers a lot of surprises, but the folks at PhotographyBLOG decided to check it out nonetheless, and they apparently found quite a bit to like about it. Calling it the "best IXUS model that we've reviewed," they found the camera delivered consistently solid images, although as is often the case, they recommend staying away form the highest ISO settings. They were also especially impressed by the cameras small size and larger than usual 3-inch LCD, as well as its 28mm wide-angle lens. On the downside, that small size and big screen comes at the expense of an optical viewfinder, and they found that the camera dragged a bit in the continuous shooting mode. Those factors seem to have been far from deal-breakers, however, with PhotographyBLOG bestowing an impressive 4.5 out of 5 rating on the camera.


With yesterday's leak, Gateway's press conference was a bit short on surprise this morning, but the Gateway One is indeed official, and it really doesn't look half bad. The one mystery left was the screen, which turns out to be a 1400 x 900 19-incher, which feels a bit small in this day and age, but leaves the One's footprint at an acceptable size. Other niceities include dual easy-swap hard drive slots accessed by lifting off the back cover of the computer, and adjustable tilt through a stand in the back. The included mouse, keyboard and remote are all wireless and pre-synced with the computer, while the web-cam is a USB add-on accessory which comes in the box and can be perched up top, and the top-end One comes with a USB TV tuner as well. Otherwise the specs are as expected, with prices ranging from $1,300 to $1,800 and late October availability.


It's been nearly a year to the day since Toshiba unleashed a slew of VARDIA updates -- the RD-A600 notwithstanding -- but recently the firm got official with four new combo recorders. Starting things off is the October-bound RD-W301 (¥90,000; $785), which is the only newcomer to record to HDD, DVD and VHS, and it also includes a 300GB drive, HDMI / S-Video / composite outputs and a hybrid TV tuner. The RD-E301 (¥80,000; $698), which is also slated to ship next month, shuns the VHS crowd but maintains the other features already mentioned. As for the RD-S301 (¥90,000; $785), it keeps the 300GB hard drive but doubles the amount of built-in hybrid tuners and tosses in an Ethernet jack for good measure. The flagship RD-S601 ups the ante even more with a DV input, i.LINK connectivity and a 600GB HDD, and should be available for ¥120,000 ($1,047) when it lands alongside the S301 in November.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

D-Link's DGL-4500 Gaming Router in the wild

Dlink 4500

With that pesky FCC spilling the beans this week on the DGL-4500, D-Link was forced to show it off at tonight's Showstoppers event in NY before it was fully ready for prime time. They didn't have any extra info on the device, and they tucked away a similar Xtreme N router clad in white when we walked up, but at least we got to check out the pretty OLED and run through a few menu options. We also spotted that DUB-9240 wireless USB kit D-Link announced in July, which we found pleasingly minimal.


It's been quite some time since we've heard from Zipit, but the company is hitting back with a second version of its trendy Wireless Messenger. The Z2 doesn't deviate too far from the original's design, but the keyboard left a lot to be desired during our limited playtime. As expected, this handheld unit works on any WiFi network and supports AOL, Yahoo and MSN IM platforms so users can carry on multiple conversations. Furthermore, you'll find an integrated music player (dubbed MyTunez) that can play back files stored on your miniSD card or tunes streamed from the 'net, and the MyPhotoz feature lets you view photo slideshows, too. For those interested, it'll be available next month for $149.99, and if you hadn't already noticed, a host of hands-on photos are waiting below.


With nary an AT&T agreement in sight, Nokia has gone out on a limb to launch the unlocked N95-3 today, bringing the all the original N95's goodness back for a second round with a few key changes. Most notably, of course, is the presence of HSDPA on the 850 and 1900MHz bands, but other modifications include a higher-capacity battery, recessed camera lens (sans protective shutter this time around), twice the RAM, and availability in black and "dark sand" (for the rear only -- the front's always silver). Grab it starting today in Nokia's flagship stores in New York and Chicago for $699.


Evidently, loosing the DSM-750 Extender for Windows Media Center just wasn't enough for D-Link, as the firm seemingly felt the need to give loyal (and to-be) owners of the DSM-520 Wireless HD Media Player a nice bonus. Starting today, buyers of the aforementioned digital media adapter will have access to "more than 200 online channels," as the unit can now take advantage of active-TV technology. The service reportedly "allows easy access to internet video and entertainment sites with a remote control," and it also uses a "content aggregator developed by MediaMall Technologies." Some notable channels include Comedy Central, CinemaNow, Google Video, Movielink, ROOtv Music Videos, Akimbo, MTV, Musicmatch, Napster, VH1, ESPN and FOX Sports, and there's also international content out there for those willing to branch out. The expanded DSM-520 should be shipping momentarily for $249.99, and existing owners can snag the update gratis on October 4th.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Samsung's Armani phone


All hail, all hail, official pics of the Samsung / Armani mashup: the Armani phone. Here's the haute couturey poop: tri-band 900/1800/1900 GSM, 3 megapixel camera, 2.6-inch 262K color QVGA touchscreen LCD, Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support, microSD expansion, full Internet browser, and support for H.263, AAC/MP3/WMA audio and MPEG-4 video. Fine and dandy but this little guy also features a haptic feedback user interface like Samsung's SCH-W559 handset loosed long ago in China -- "users can feel an immediate mild vibration when they touch icons on the display." How you like them Apples, Apple? The Prada-esque slab currently measures in at 87.5 x 54.5 x 10.5-mm and 85-grams; less after it starts making regular, post-meal trips to the toilet following its November European release.


Unfortunately for those in America, you aren't likely to see either of Sanyo's latest GPS units, but for those dwelling in Japan, here's the low down. Up first is the fairly attractive NV-SD580DT, which boasts a 1seg tuner, integrated media player, FM transmitter, built-in one-watt speaker, 5.8-inch display, and an SD expansion slot. The slightly less stunning NV-SB260DT (shown after the jump) packs a 4.5-inch screen and omits MP3 playback, but retains most of the other features on the aforementioned sibling. Both units are set to hit stores next month, and while the NV-SD580DT will ring up at ¥117,600 ($1,021), the NV-SB260DT will demand ¥103,950 ($902).

Flip Start

If you've coughed up ~two grand for one of FlipStart Labs' tiny clamshell PCs, we'll wager that you've already got a pretty decent compact digicam in your arsenal, but in case you've been cursed -- as many us have -- with convergencitis, you can now pick up an accessory that turns your FlipStart into a pretty bulky three megapixel camera. As its name suggests, the $150 Snap Camera clips securely onto the unit's lid, immediately ready to capture up to five megapixel stills via interpolation or VGA video at 30fps complete with sound. Downsides include the lack of an optical zoom and the obvious physical protrusion, but we're sure such trifles have never stopped you before.


While there's still no official word of a North American release of Toshiba's WiFi-packin' Gigabeat T401, it looks like those round these parts can now get their hands on its slightly less-capable counterpart: the WiFi-less Gigabeat T400. Apart from the lack of WiFi, this one looks to be identical to the T401, with it packing 4GB of NAND flash memory, a 2.4-inch QVGA display, and support for WMV video, along with MP3, WMA, WAV and WMA Lossless audio. According to Toshiba, you can also expect about 16 hours of audio playback and 5 hours of video playback from the player's rechargeable battery. It also looks like Toshiba's decided to tone down the color options from the Japanese release, with the player now only available with your choice of blue, pink, or orange trims, each of which will set you back $120.


We knew Starbucks was kicking off its new partnership with Apple on October 2nd, but apparently the 'bucks is pulling out all the stops for the launch with a 50 million song giveaway to start things off. From October 2nd to November 7th, baristas across the country will be handing out 1.5 million "Song of the day" cards each day, which can be redeemed at Apple's iTunes store -- though most stores won't have the free iTunes functionality set up for redeeming your prize in-store by the time the promotion ends. There will be 600 stores in New York and Seattle offering up free iTunes downloads via laptop, iPhone or iPod touch on October 2nd, with San Francisco to follow in early November. Starbucks will also start selling "digital release" cards that let you download a specific album online. Starbucks promises to upgrade a quarter of its stores to iTunes-fi by the end of the year, and roll out the functionality to its entire chain of WiFi shops by the end of 2009.


Sony has a nice new line of upgraded AR series laptops on offer, with options for Blu-ray and CableCard in the mix. The main differences are pretty straightforward: The $1,700 AR630E sports the Blu-ray drive alone, the $2,400 AR660U does the CablecCard thing, and the $3,300 AR690U does both. The laptops run Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 and T7500 processors and Vista Home or Ultimate -- the AR630E gets the short end of the stick in both cases. Other standard features include a 1.3 megapixel webcam, 1440 x 900 or 1920 x 1200 17-inch display, 8400M GT and 8600M GT NVIDIA graphics, dual 160GB SATA HDDs and HDMI out. All three models should be out around the 2nd of October.


BenQ's really pulling out all the stops with its new DC-T800 camera, a followup to that T700 camera it was showing off in March. The T800 adds an extra megapixel... and not a whole lot else. In its defense, the T700 was already a pretty well appointed camera, with a 3-inch touchscreen and "super shake-free" functionality, and there's nothing wrong with adding a megapixel to that 0.59-inch thick getup. The T800 also boasts of Face Tracking, in-camera photo editing, 2000 ISO photos, 6400 ISO movies and 30fps 640 x 480 MPEG-4 recording. You should be able to find the T800 just about everywhere that isn't the US sometime in October.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

iHome intros the iHC5 mobile phone dock


Looking for a totally elaborate, complicated, and kind-of-ugly dock for your iPhone or media-playin' mobile device? You're in luck, because iHome is about to deliver the goods... big time. Enter the iHC5, a remote-controlled, Bluetooth-equipped, 4-speaker-sporting pile of accessory goodness. The system -- which is made to handle all kinds of phones -- features AVRCP and A2DP profiles, has dual alarms for getting you out of bed, and has a line-in for hooking up your CD or MP3 player. Sure, it's not the coolest looking thing in the world, but if you really need a self-contained docking solution for your mobile phone, you could do worse, couldn't you? No word on a release date, though it'll cost you $149.99 when it hits shelves.

Fujitsu Enon

Kyotaro Nishimura is a mystery writer from Japan with his very own museum, which now -- thanks to Fujitsu -- has a shiny new guide robot. The droid in question, a friendly helper named Enon, will autonomously move to the entrance of the museum to greet guests, will guide visitors through the exhibits by using gestures (and its chest-embedded LCD screen), and will play video greetings from Mr. Nishimura, amongst other tasks. This iteration of bot (called a "service robot" by Fujitsu) is just the first in a planned long line of human-esque, automatons. The company hopes to introduce security and package transport bots in the future. The future looks bright, humans.


Although BenQ prefers to market its MP622 and MP622c projectors to the suits, we see no reason these bad boys can't be carted home after the nine-to-five for a little fun. Both DLP units sport a 1,024 x 768 (XGA) resolution, a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, ultra-quiet 26dB noise level whilst running in economy mode, and a sexy "midnight black high gloss exterior." The MP622 offers up 2,700 ANSI lumens while the MP622c musters just 2,200, but you'll find VGA / S-Video / composite video inputs on each to compliment the audio in jack and integrated speakers. Word on the street puts these two units on store shelves later this month, with the MP622 ringing up at around $999 and the MP622c costing $849.

Sony PSP

Just launched in Japan, Sony's got high hopes for its 1-SEG digital TV tuner -- and with over seven million Japanese PSPs now capable of viewing high quality video over the air (complete with EPG), we can't blame Sony for it's optimism. The only way you'll get one of these, though, is if you pack your sorry self up and move on overseas -- or find a way to set up a pirate 1-SEG cell, anyway. It'll might just be worth it though, the whole mobile TV experience we saw on this tuner was pretty smooth, with near-instant channel changes and that slick guide, to boot.


Nearing on a year from its first unveiling, it's nice to finally see the Headplay Personal Cinema System head mounted display "out and about." That Visor headset is stilling rocking support for up to XGA resolutions with a pair of single LCoS micro-displays that are supposed to reduce eye strain, while the Liberator "brains" of the operation accepts composite, component and S-video inputs, while also playing media off of its built-in CompactFlash slot and USB ports.

Finally, the Navigator remote acts as the hook-up for the included earbuds, and allows you to control the system and settings. In addition to plain old flat content, you can view stereoscopic 3D games and movies if you've got the right hardware to plug into. The Headplay is available now online, and goes for $499, or $549 with an internal rechargeable battery. Unfortunately, all we've got for pictures is those same old renders we saw at the start of the year, but hopefully Headplay will hit the true wild soon enough.


It's not the first such unit we've seen, but car stereos with SD card slots instead of CD players are still rare enough to get our attention, which is exactly what Blaupunkt has managed to do with its new Melbourne SD27 system. If that's a bit too limiting for you, you can also make use of Blaupunkt's optional iPod and USB/Bluetooth adapters, which will let you grab music off any suitably equipped MP3 player or cellphone. You'll also, of course, get an AM/FM radio with 25 preset station options, and a plain old 3.5-millimeter auxiliary input to plug in the audio device of your choice. If that's not too much change for you to handle, you should be able to pick up a Melbourne SD27 now for a suggest retail price of $160.


Wenger -- makers of the famous Swiss Army line of knives, watches, and accessories -- appear to be readying a sort-of-serious-looking new media controller / presentation / wireless mouse combo. As you can see by the above photo, we caught the multi-faceted model out on display chumming it up with its less stylish and expensive mouse-companions. The slick finish looks nice, but honestly, it doesn't seem like a great combo for sweaty, gaming hands. Maybe PowerPointers or media fans will have more luck. No word on price or availability, but we'll keep you posted.


Not satisfied with just the TV watching crowd getting their fix today, ViewSonic also introduced a plethora of monitors for the gaming and budget-minded sets. Up first is the 19-inch VX1940w ($249), 22-inch VX2240w ($349) and 19-inch VX1932wm ($249), all of which sport a two-millisecond response time, 300 nits of brightness and DVI / VGA inputs. The latter sports a 1,440 x 900 resolution and a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, while the other two offer up a 1,680 x 1,050 native resolution coupled with a 4,000:1 contrast ratio. Moving right along to the Value series, the widescreen 19-inch VA1926w (WXGA+), 20-inch VA2026w (WSXGA+) and 22-inch VA2226w (WSXGA+) displays all feature 2,000:1 contrast ratios, 300 nits of brightness, DVI / VGA connectors, and five-millisecond response times. Oh, and for those not needing 16:9, the VA926 offers up a 1,280 x 1,024 panel. In order of mention, you'll be looking at $229, $249, $279 and $259 pricetags on the four Value monitors. Phew, got all that?

Intel demos iPhone-like MID of the future


Intel just keeps banging out the hits from IDF. After the handful of McCaslin "next-quarter" and "coming-soon" UMPCs we saw from the chipmaker (and associates), Intel started busting out prototypes from its forthcoming Menlow chipset, using smaller, 45nm Silverthorne CPUs, and the 2009/2010 offering Moorestown... which is the bad-boy you're looking at in these photos is based on. In a rather obvious homage to the iPhone, the chip-kingpin presented this do-anything, go-anywhere MID (provided you can cram this French-bread-sized device into a pocket). The device will feature a 45nm CPU as well, plus all kinds of goodies like integrated WiFi and WiMAX, and apparently 24 hours of battery life on a single charge. Obviously, this product will probably never see the light of day (at least not in this form factor), but then again -- you never really know.


D-Link International, the world's leading supplier of network products, unveils the newest member of the Network Storage range - the D-Link 2-bay Network Storage Enclosure (DNS-323). It offers all of the essential features required to share documents and files across the network. "The DNS-323 expands our range of network storage equipment that provides the industry's latest technology at an attractive price. At the same time, it protects past investments through interoperability with existing network equipment," said Mr George Wong, Marketing Director of D-Link International Pte Ltd.

With Serial ATA and RAID support, the DNS-323 supports up to 2 internal Serial ATA drives for maximum compatibility. RAID 1 technology ensures that important files are backed up regularly to mirrored hard drives while a built-in FTP server makes accessing stored files over the Internet easy.


Logitech has unveiled the Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 and the Logitech QuickCam Pro for Notebooks, featuring lenses designed in an exclusive collaboration with Carl Zeiss, one of the world’s leading optics companies. Logitech’s exclusive collaboration with Carl Zeiss ensures that the QuickCam Pro 9000 and the QuickCam Pro for Notebooks are the first webcams to meet Zeiss’s standards for lens design and manufacturing.

Logitech did not stop with Carl Zeiss optics. The Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 and QuickCam Pro for Notebooks webcams also use a premium autofocus system for fast, fluid focusing that eliminates the inconvenience of manual focusing. With Logitech’s autofocus system, the webcams compensate for changes in image-edge sharpness. Logitech’s autofocus system refocuses images in less than three seconds and helps ensure that images remain crisp even in extreme close-ups (up to 10 cm from the camera lens). Both webcams work effortlessly with popular video messaging applications, including Skype, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger and AIM. The Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000 and the Logitech QuickCam Pro for Notebooks are expected to be available in September 2007.


Lenovo reinvigorated the desktop PC space today with the ThinkCentre A61e ultra small form factor desktop. As the company's smallest, quietest and most energy-efficient desktop yet, it has a footprint the size of an average telephone book, whisper quiet performance and choices of energy-efficient, 45-watt AMD Athlon™ X2 dual core and AMD Sempron™ single core processors.

The ThinkCentre A61e desktop marks Lenovo's first product with EPEAT Gold status, the highest designation a product can achieve in the ranking. Operated by the Green Electronics Council, EPEAT ranks products on a variety of environmental attributes from energy efficiency to materials use to recyclability. Many organizations use this tool to help make purchasing decisions. Recognized for its environmental attributes, the ThinkCentre A61e desktop uses up to 90 percent reusable/recyclable materials as well as 90 percent recyclable packaging. It also can be powered by an optional solar panel. The desktop surpasses the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Energy Star® 4.0 criteria with its 85 percent efficient power supply. As the first desktop in the industry to run on energy-efficient AMD Athlon™ X2 dual core and AMD Sempron™ single core processors, it can help users save up to 50 percent in energy costs annually over previous models.


Hard to believe that Wacom has been around for a quarter century, but this month marks its 25th year in business. To celebrate, the firm is introducing a trio of Intuos3 Special Edition pen tablets in a variety of sizes including 6- x 8-, 6- x 11-, and 9- x 12-inches. Each tablet touts "a refined and sophisticated black and gun metal gray color scheme," Wacom's Classic Pen to compliment the Intuos3 Grip Pen, an accessory kit, and a transparent overlay "to substitute with the traditional gray overlay." All three units play nice with both Macs and PCs and can be snapped up for $369, $409 and $489 from smallest to largest.

Samsung YP-P2

We know you can't wait to get your sweaty, smearing mitts all over Samsung's little YP-P2, AKA the "palm theater" (the company's words, not ours). Well, it looks like you won't have to wait much longer, as the eighth wonder of the media player world has just made an appearance on Amazon.com, with an option to put the 8GB, widescreen, touch sensitive, Bluetooth equipped iPod-challenger in your cart and do some serious checking out (provided you have an extra $249.99 laying around). Now, don't go spilling your beverage on yourself rushing over to the site, because even though you can pay for the thing, Amazon is still listing the player as "In stock soon," so while you'll be able to impress friends and family members with the news of your purchase, you won't actually be able to show it to them.

Islide skateboard

Granted, the whole Segway-esque skateboard idea has been tossed around (and patented) before, but Tal Ofir decided to conjure up his own design, anyway. Dubbed a "motorized skateboard for an urban environment," this transporter touts a centrally placed wheel and a "computerized weight balance unit" to keep you upright, and it seems that it would be constructed primarily from epoxy and fiberglass. Reportedly, Ofir is fielding interest from potential investors who'd like to make this thing the next Razer scooter, but attaching any sort of hip factor to it will not be a simple task.


LG's LN800, which is already available in certain locales such as Australia, is reportedly headed to Europe. Word on the street claims that this LN700 successor will tout a four-inch 320 x 240 resolution display, a SiRFstarIII GPS chipset, NAVTEQ maps, a 276MHz Centrality Atlas 2 processor, 64MB of RAM, an SD expansion slot, integrated speaker, three hours of battery life, text-to-speech, and a built-in image viewer / audio player. Additionally, the LN800T (which includes a RDS-TMC traffic receiver) should land right alongside its lesser-spec'd sibling later this month, and while the LN800 can purportedly be had for €200 ($277), the LN800T will require €100 ($139) more.


You wouldn't think you'd be able to fit a GSM phone, PDA (with stylus), and regular old "watch" functions into into a "stylish" package like the IMOBILE Flying C1000... but you'd be wrong. Dead wrong. Feast your eyes on the latest and greatest wrist-related marvel out of China -- a tiny phone with a touchscreen, Bluetooth support, 60MB of RAM, a video / audio player, a mini USB jack, and possibly a camera (though it's quite hard to tell from the photos). The watch seems to share at least guts (if not design) with SMS Technology's M500, and of course we've seen phone watches and PMP watches, but never before has it all been pulled together in such an "attractive" package. The C1000 also appears to be both 2G- and 3G-ready, thus allowing you to browse large, image-heavy webpages on the tiniest screen ever made. No word on price and availability, but you can be sure the Engadget staff is doing everything possible to get the team equipped with these.

E51 Nokia

While Nokia didn't exactly choose the quietest day to launch its latest handset, the E51 is getting official, regardless. This candybar-styled device was designed with the suits in mind, as Nokia even touts its ability to "integrate tightly with corporate telephony systems (PBX) through Nokia Mobile Unified Communications solutions." Specs wise, you'll find a two-inch 320 x 240 resolution screen, two-megapixel camera, video streaming / playback with support for H.264 and Real codecs, video calling capability, integrated 802.11g, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, FM tuner, miniUSB, IrDA, GPRS / EGPRS and HSDPA compatibility, up to 130MB of memory, a microSD expansion slot, quad-band GSM and WCDMA 850/2100 support, and up to 4.4-hours of talk time (or 13 days in standby). The E51 is slated to ship globally in Q4 for €350 ($485) sans a contract.


You've waited, you've watched, you taken Houses of the Holy out of rotation in anticipation... and now it's here. That's right folks, effective today, the Bowers & Wilkins totally wild Zeppelin iPod dock is available for mass consumption. If you'll recall, the bizarre looking conversation starter sports a five-inch woofer, glass fiber cones, a 100-watt amp, and video outputs (so you can also watch The Song Remains the Same or footage of the Hindenburg tragedy on your HDTV). You can hit your local (select) Apple Stores and grab one of these $599 beauties, or you can do it the old-fashioned way and buy it online.


Wow, talk about being on a roll. Not even a week after unleashing the awfully-titled TLKR walkie-talkie, Motorola is gettin' even more platitudinal with its new duo of MOTOLIVN landline phones. Both units tout location-free bases, "eco-mode" for saving energy, ten ringer melodies, a built-in speakerphone, and up to ten-hours of talk time (100-hours in standby). The D7 is said to be available in silver with a blue-backlit screen, while the D8 range can be picked up in black or white and comes Skype-enabled for those interested. Both handsets look to be available right now in Germany, and while the D7 starts at €49.99 ($70), the D8 gets going at €69.99 ($97).

Monday, September 17, 2007

Takara Tomy's i-SOBOT


We're not exactly sure how much we trust i-SOBOT's MySpace page, but if you're a believer, this creature will be headed to America real soon. Interestingly, it purports that the primary reason for making the leap to the US is to "study our culture," which is likely a suave way of suggesting that its totally scoping out our defenses as the clan back home develops a sufficient takeover strategy. Nevertheless, word on the street has this bad boy landing stateside before Christmas for $300 - $350, so there's still a few months left to prepare for the seemingly inevitable invasion.


More than a year after its initial tease, the Dash Express receives a much needed makeover in preparation for its overdue commercial outing. The WiFi, cellular, and GPS packing navigator with two-way traffic updates and travel-time forecasting now features a larger 4.3-inch display, louder speaker, beefier internal battery, and power connector on the dash mount instead of the navigator. They've also axed the button clutter up front by introducing a pair of touch-sensitive buttons along top: one makes a volume button appear on the touchscreen while the other brings up the menu. Although well behind their initial launch projection, the fact that they have the time to fine-tune the design is a pretty good sign that a revised Q1 2008 launch date is in the bag.


The new iPod nanos are exhibiting screen problems for a small subset of owners, whereby the screen doesn't appear to be completely level within the casing. More than a dozen people have reported the issue on Apple's Support forums, with most reports saying video appears tilted slightly to the left. Apple is replacing units that exhibit the problem, although judging by some anecdotal reports, entire batches at certain stores have the problem, making replacement a far from adequate solution. Fortunately, it appears as if it's possible to notice the issue with the nano inside the box. At least now we'll know what the problem is if we run into any gadget fans with crooked necks.

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Speakers capable of 360-degree sound projection seem to be all the rage these days, with German Physiks the latest to get in on the omni-directional action. The Loreley Mk IIs go in for the whole alien style look too, with several extremely funky drivers arranged in a vertical formation. Backing up the drivers are 10" passive radiators and two 12" inverted dome subwoofers kicking out the lower frequency sounds. Audiophiles will likely jump all over these high end speakers: the rest of us will just balk at the $165,995 price tag, going up to $200,000 if you want a carbon finish. Cheapskates can look, but not listen.


Let's hope you have a few dozen credit cards primed and waiting, because at 2PM EDT today, HP is letting loose its limited run of 518 HP Blackbird 002 Dedication Edition PCs. You can score one of the sexy / powerful / spendy machines for $5,500. That price gets you an overclocked Intel Core Exreme QX6850 processor, dual NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultras, 2GB of RAM, a 160GB 10,000rpm HDD and a 500GB 7200rpm drive, liquid cooling for the CPU and GPUs, a Voodoo Razer mouse and keyboard, and decent bundle of games to get you started. If this doesn't quite sound like your style, you can always hold out until october, when configurable machines will become available, ranging from $2,500 to $7,100 in price.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Samsung's SGH-F700

samsung f700

Those paying attention should know full well by now that Samsung's SGH-F700 (you know, the Croix) is set to make everyone not a Vodafone customer uber-envious here soon, but just in case you missed it, Sammy is making sure you're up to speed. The handset will boast a three-megapixel camera, a 3.2-inch 432 x 240 resolution touchscreen, QWERTY keypad, Bluetooth 2.0, USB, a microSD expansion slot, HSDPA, and an integrated media player that handles H.263 / H.264, MP3, and AAC formats.


We'd heard about Wacom's small and inexpensive Bamboo input tablets a few months ago, but it looks like the company is getting ready to ship both the $79 Bamboo (aimed at casual photo retoucher) and the $99 (small) and $199 (medium) Bamboo Fun, which costs more because it comes with a mouse and is apparently more fun.

Both models feature four ExpressKeys, the "touch ring" zoom / scroll controller, and a textured surface designed to emulate the feel of a real pen on paper. Both models should work well with both OS X's InkWell and Vista's Tablet features, so those of you interested in eating up Martha should keep your eyes open.


Not satisfied with simply unveiling a single set of new earbuds today, Sennheiser decided to roll out four new flavors for your ears' enjoyment. Up first is the CX 400 ($99.95), which touts a short cord ideal for arm-worn MP3 players, but does include a three-foot extension cable for other applications. Upping the ante is the CX 500 ($129.95), which enters as the flagship unit in the Classic lineup and arrives in a trio of colors. The CX 55 Street ($79.95) boasts a bit more bass than the other guys, and the CX 95 Style ($139.95) places its emphasis on lookin' good whilst parked in your ear.


Look, we know how hard it can be to put out a fire with your typical, under -the-sink extinguisher. Sure, the flames are brightly colored and searingly hot, but it can be difficult to know where to aim that thing sometimes. Enter the BullsEye Fire Extinguisher Training System, which combines a laser-equipped, mock extinguisher, and a digital, on-screen "fire" display. Thanks to the BullsEye technology, you and your family and / or friends can learn to put out fires from the safety and comfort of your home or office, without actually have to burn down your safe, comfortable home or office.

Friday, September 14, 2007

New Logitech Cordless Mouse


Logitech has launched its Logitech VX Nano Cordless Laser Mouse for Notebooks. The mouse’s plug-and-forget nano-receiver provides highly mobile notebook PC and MacBook users with a mouse that simplifies life on the road. Because the USB receiver is so small and is nearly flush with the notebook, people no longer need to constantly plug and unplug it when moving from place to place.

To maximize productivity, the VX Nano mouse features the MicroGear Precision Scroll Wheel. When the wheel is in hyper-fast scrolling mode, people can fly through long documents with the flick of a finger. To shift to the precise, click-to-click scrolling mode, people need only press and click the scroll wheel.