Creative is starting the year with a a new video-capable ZEN V, an unintentional leak shows. The company's US download page reveals the existence of a device nicknamed the ZEN V Video, complete with available firmware updates. No technical information is listed for the player, though a video-capable ZEN V is expected to require a larger screen and a higher capacity than the current model, which tops out at a 1.5-inch display and 8GB of storage. Larger-size ZEN players already reach 32GB of flash memory.
LG USA's efforts at CES are signaled by two new 60-inch TVs. The LCD-based LG60 and plasma PG60 are both claimed to set new design records as well as improve on video quality; the PG60 in particular achieves a uniquely 'frameless' look by using a single panel instead of multiple layers, eliminating the need for a border. It appears as though the set is a window rather than a portrait, LG boasts. While it goes without this advantage, the LCD model takes advantage of newer technology to slim down to less than 1.8 inches thick, cutting back on some of the bulk from the rear of the design.
Logitech tonight followed up earlier announcements with updates to both its Squeezebox wireless music hubs and Harmony universal remotes. The Squeezebox Duet is the first new Squeezebox since Logitech acquired the device's parent company and gives much more control than previous models: the remote (pictured) builds in a 2.4-inch color LCD and gives both more precise control as well as the option of viewing album art, RSS feeds, and other information without turning to a computer or the main hub. A new scroll wheel and simplified interface also helps find content more quickly.
(Updated with Palm Wanda) Both HP and Palm are set to launch new phones this year that will escalate the competition in the smartphone business, according a series of BGR leaks from European carrier Vodafone's 2008 roadmap for the UK. Codenamed the Silver, HP's device will be styled after Research in Motion's BlackBerry Pearl and even include the latter's SureType keyboard, suggesting support either for RIM's own "push" mail or a close emulation of it through Office Mobile. However, the Silver will allegedly outperform the Pearl with a far faster 7.2Mbps HSDPA connection and both GPS as well as Wi-Fi in a single device. It should sell for ₤250 ($368) and ship roughly in July, though whether it will support US cell frequencies is unknown.
Nokia's rumored E71 smartphone may already have been confirmed, courtesy of a live shot circulated on the web. The image appears to confirm beliefs that the device would be considerably smaller than the E61i it is expected to replace, reducing the width without significantly affecting the QWERTY keyboard at its heart. It also validates beliefs that the keypad will change slightly from the earlier device. New is a chromed, rounded edge that suggests Nokia will promote the device to more style-conscious home users in an attempt to compete with RIM's newer BlackBerry models.
Three new models recently joined Erector’s Spykee Skype-capable robot: Spykee Cell, Spykee Vox, and Spykee Miss. Like the original Spykee, the three new robots feature a video camera, MP3 player, loudspeaker, and VoIP capabilities, while the latest versions include an iPod dock in their front. Using a computer, users can control Spykee’s movements remotely to patrol about their houses. As with the first model, users design and build their own custom robot according to their tastes or needs. Pricing for Vox, Cell, and Miss has not been released; the original Spykee goes for $370.
NiXPS has quietly released new versions of its key software, which is geared toward supporting Microsoft's XPS document format. View 2.0 allows users to browse XPS files, flipping through pages at will using either a table of contents or the thumbnail view. A Quick Search function highlights all results on a page when searching for keywords or phrases. Edit 2.0 lets users both edit and view XPS files, and offers functions such as merging and extraction, conversion to the PDF format, and the creation of personalized mail and other documents from previous XPS files.
Efiko Software recently unveiled iClueless for iPhone and iPod touch users, a web-based software suite that enables users to find near anything on the internet. iClueless can find both the standard and mobile versions of a web page, enabling it to customize the browsing experience for either WiFi or the 2G network. The application can search Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, ESPN, Amazon, and many other service listings. iClueless is available free of charge, and works through the embedded Safari browser on either device.
Hitachi's presence at CES will be dictated by a new series in its Director's and UltraVision HDTV catalog. Dubbed the Ultra Thin 1.5 line, the new LCD screens stress a thinness that lets them fit into exceptionally tight home theater environments. Regardless of display size, each earns its namesake through a cabinet which is just 1.5-inch deep. Every set is also quiet and stylish, even at the back where many companies neglect their sets, Hitachi says. All models include support for HDMI 1.3 with Deep Color, while all 1080p models also have 120Hz panels that eliminate most traces of motion blur.
Accessory maker Logitech will have two products available at the CES show floor geared towards home theater PCs, according to information released ahead of the show. The diNovo mini (pictured at top) scales back the full-size diNovo Edge to a compact form. In addition to smaller keys, it switches from a general trackpad to a directional pad and includes specialized media controls; in home theater environments such as Windows Media Center, the controls let users adjust sound and steer media playback without needing a separate remote. The smaller diNovo is officially intended for Windows XP and Vista systems and should be available later in January. Pricing is expected to reach $100.
The HD DVD Promotional Group tonight reacted to Warner's abandonment of HD DVD for movies by canceling its Consumer Electronics Show keynote on short notice. The organization does not say the keynote is being removed permanently from its scheduled but says it has "postponed" the event without a new date, according to the announcement. Discussions are said to be underway with the group's partners and are widely expected to determine how Toshiba and other HD DVD backers approach the format at the show. A statement from the organization says it remains committed to the "quality and affordability" of the disc format.
Now AAPL Stock: 97.9 ( + 1.47 )
Comixology fires up $6 all-you-can-read service
Amazon-owned Comixology has launched an all-you-can-read comic subscription service. After a 30-day free trial, for $6 a month, subscribers can draw from a large selection of the Comixology library, minus Marvel and DC comics. For now, the service is US-only. http://bit.ly/1WMAOft
QuarkXPress 2016 now shipping
Quark is now shipping QuarkXPress 2016, the newest version of Quark's graphic design and desktop publishing software that now features near-WYSIWYG fixe HTML5 publishing as well as improved operability with InDesign and Illustrator and support for multi-Color Gradient Blends, OpenType Stylistic Sets, a Color Picker (Eyedropper tool), Touchpads for Pinch and Zoom (Mac only) and more. Users on any previous version of QuarkXPress (versions 3-10) can upgrade to version 2016 for $350, while QuarkXPress 2015 users can upgrade to 2016 for $180; new licenses are available for $850 (education licenses are available for $90). http://bit.ly/1OL23Pu
Kanex debuts GoPower USB-C for MacBooks
Kanex today introduced its GoPower USB-C, a portable power solution designed to charge a USB-C MacBook on the go along with an iPhone or iPad simultaneously. Featuring 15,000 mAh of power--capable of charging an iPhone 6s seven times or the USB-C MacBook one full time--the GoPower USB-C Portable Battery features one 3A USB-C port and one 2.4A port for other devices, priority charging detection technology and a pass-thru charging to your devices when the battery is plugged into a power source. http://bit.ly/1TKaf8z
i.am+ EPs earphones are Apple Store exclusive
Musician turned consumer electronics entrepreneur Will.i.am has launched a new pair of Bluetooth wireless earphones, dubbed the i.am+ EPs. The new earphones are an Apple Store exclusive, and feature large 14mm drivers and aptX support for high-quality wireless streaming. The i.am+ EPs support A2DP controls, have a 30-foot range and can last up to six hours on a charge. The design is said to be inspired by the "iconic shape of vinyl records," and are made from spun metal and paired with a woven fabric cord. When not in use, the EPs magnetically click into place around the neck. The iam+ EPs are available now at select Apple Store and Apple.com for $230, are available in gold-on-black or black-on-black. http://bit.ly/1OKVlt2
Ultimate Ears debuts UE Roll 2 speaker
On Tuesday, audio accessory maker Ultimate Ears unveiled a new version of the UE Roll Bluetooth speaker. The new UE Roll 2, which sells for $100, looks identical to the previous version, but gets about 15 percent louder. In addition, the unit now supports a Bluetooth source signal up to 100 feet away, an improvement on the original's 65-foot limit. While both the old and new versions of the UE Roll offer an IPX7 waterproof rating, the company now includes a blow-up "floaty" with the speaker to avoid the risk of prolonged exposure. The new unit will begin general shipping next month. http://bit.ly/1TJWE0Z
Philips launches Hue White Ambiance bulbs
Philips latest HomeKit-compatible Hue light bulbs have hit the market. The new Hue White Ambiance bulbs are designed to allow users to control their color temperature to enhance either focus, or create a more relaxing tone. Combined with the latest update to the Philips Hue app, the new bulbs can be set according to user "routines." The "wake-up" mode gently turns up the brightness of the bulb, while conversely, the "go to sleep" mode gradually reduces the color temperature and brightness. The Philips Hue White Ambiance starter kit retails for $130, while single bulbs sell for $30. http://bit.ly/1TJT3Qn
Pluggable Technologies three-display USB-C dock
Peripheral company Plugable Technologies today launched the industry's first wave of USB-C docking stations with both Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode support. The Plugable UD-CA1 Docking Station integrates support for both of these new capabilities, along with the full set of standard USB docking features like wired network, audio, and extra USB ports. Model UD-ULTCDL builds on this, adding support for three total displays using DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology. The UD-CA1 retails for $129, with the UD-ULTCDL selling for $179, and available soon. http://bit.ly/1TrVVTJ