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AMD Phenom II
AMD marked the start of CES with the formal debut of the Phenom II, its first mainstream 45 nanometer processor. The upgrade is based on the same core "Shanghai" architecture as recent Opterons and gives a roughly 20 percent speed boost over the previous-best 2.6GHz chip through changes that involve an optimized design with more instructions handled per clock, 4MB of total extra cache, and support for up to the same 1,333MHz DDR3 memory as rival systems from Intel. The design is also now much more tolerant of high clock speeds and will run up to 3GHz in stock trim.
OWC debuts Quad Interface
OWC has announced its latest Mercury Rack Pro Quad-Interface four-bay Rack Mount Hardware RAID at Macworld Expo (booth S-2218). Designed for audio/video production and data/network operation centers, the quad interface RAID storage server supports up to four 2TB 3.5-inch SATA I/II hard disk drives providing a maximum of 8TB total storage and works with FireWire 800/400, USB2, and eSATA. Simple configuration of the hardware RAID settings is possible through the rear panel selector switch, enabling either mirror or stripe RAID functions without using software.
OQO model 02 Plus
OQO in a late-night announcement revealed the model 02+, a significant revamp of its veteran UMPC. The new version is said to be the first ever PC to have an OLED display and, as a result, has a much more colorful, 1,000,000:1 contrast touchscreen that is also more visible outdoors. Without the need for a backlight, it also improves battery life. OQO claims that, in tandem with changes underneath, the 02+ lasts about 20 percent longer with 3.5 hours of use on a normal battery and 7 hours from an extended pack. It also accepts both finger and stylus input.
Microsoft CES 2009 Keynote
Microsoft helped open CES on Wednesday night with an introductory keynote. We were at the event and and provided live information plus photos as they became available; Microsoft in particular provided details of a Windows 7 beta for the public. Click through for the events in reverse chronological order (all times are Eastern).
Photos: South Hall
We have more Expo showfloor images from the South Hall at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Crows on the day after the Phil Schiller keynote were heavy, especially at the Axiotron booth, featuring the new 15-inch Modbook. Microsoft, Dr. Bot, Griffin, Roxio and Nikon were getting heavy foot traffic as well. G-Technology (Booth No. 1544 S) had possibly the most unique display on the floor, a G-DRIVE Mini that had survived being run over by a FedEx truck was being used in a semi-crushed state to serve up video for a laptop.
Samsung TVs at CES 2009
Samsung on Wednesday overhauled its TV range with both altogether new models as well as updates to existing sets. At the top, the new 6000, 7000 and 8000 series LCD sets are all dependent on LED backlights and so have much higher contrast ratios than fluorescent-lit TVs; Samsung hasn't published numbers but in previous generations has managed 1,000,000:1. They all also have built-in Internet access and, on the 7000 and 8000 models, use the new Internet@TV service to access content news and media from Yahoo, including Flickr, as well as YouTube streaming videos. 6000 models get Samsung's InfoLink service that supplies news through RSS feeds.
Sony's Webbie HD cameras
Just ahead of CES, Sony took the opportunity to unveil two new cameras designed to capture and upload MP4 video and photos directly to the Web. The MHS-CM1 and MHS-PM1 Webbie HD cameras capture high-definition video (1440x1080/30p) and 5-megapixel still photos and automatically connect to websites via USB connection to your PC> The software makes it possible to quickly upload content online in a few simple clicks. Sony offers two portable designs in three colors---eggplant, orange and silver.
Panasonic 3D HD at CES
At its CES press conference on Wednesday and a day ahead of the show's official opening day, Panasonic North America's CEO Yoshi Yamada announced the company will work on integrating a 3D HD 1080p standard for TVs, kicking off with a 3D Blu-ray disc by 2010. To reach the goal, the company is working with Hollywood film producer James Cameron who is using Panasonic's specialized gear to film his upcoming blockbuster, Avatar, using the 3D HD tech. The company announced it will also launch its Panasonic Hollywood Advanced Authoring Center (PHL-AC) on February 1st.
Sony Walkman X and W
As part of its CES campaign, Sony on Wednesday updated the Walkman line with two models that enter uncharted territory for the company. The Walkman NWZ-X1000 is its first touchscreen media player in North America and aims squarely at the same field as Apple's iPod touch or the Samsung P3. The player claims a much more vivid picture through a 3-inch OLED touchscreen which is both more color-rich and quicker to respond than LCDs. Sony also asserts that the X series is easier to control as it has hardware side controls that can be used in addition to finger input.
Wozniak, contest, bundle
In brief: The Expo has brought around several discounts, bundles and promotions. Aquafadas has released three promotional bundles that offer users savings of over $100 on some of their software products. We-Envision has announced a contest that will provide the winner with a copy of all 25 We-Envision iPhone applications. Meanwhile, Axiotron has announced that Steve Wozniak will again be partaking in a presentation promoting the newly announced ModBook Pro.
Sony VAIO P
Sony tonight at its CES pre-show conference unveiled its long-expected VAIO P. The frequently leaked device is Sony's approach to netbooks but also explicitly takes on tablets and smartphones through a unique, extra-long design with an 8-inch 1600x768 screen and pointer-only mouse control: the system is small enough to fit in many pockets, Sony claims. The wide design has the side benefit of giving the mini PC a much larger keyboard than most systems its size.
Keynote Remote, iHandy
Escape ($3) is a port of the classic 2D puzzle game originally programmed for the uDevGames 2002 Macintosh programming contest. In Escape the player users bombs, teleporting pads, push blocks, keys, cannons, traps, and more to solve various puzzles. Players must also avoid various obstacles such as shooters and guards while working towards the end. The iPhone port is a complete replica of the original with no features left out.
Griffin Technology has launched its latest audio offerings at Macworld with the SmartTalk Bluetooth headset. Equipped with dual-microphones in the earpiece, the device compares sounds between the two microphones to figure out what is the user's voice and what's background noise. This helps the headset filter out any unwanted background and wind noise to provide better quality sound for the listener. With the in-ear fit and sound isolation capabilities, users are also expected to receive improved inbound audio clarity.
Samsung haptic P3 player
Samsung today also unveiled a new widescreen portable multimedia player: the P3 leverages the company's EmoTure interface with true haptic feedback. On display at CES (Booth No. 11033), the slim media player is made of reinforced die-cast metal (to prevent fingerprints and scratching) and sports a 3-inch WQVGA TFT-LCD touch screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Confirming a previous leak, Samsung's upgraded EmoTure touch interface with true haptic feedback offers a variety of physical feedback sensations on every command gesture -- from swiping a finger across the screen, to switching audio tracks, to holding down a digital button for fast-forwarding video. In addition, the new Music Hot Touch Key, located just below the touch screen, allows users to instantly access favorite music features and selections without needing to cycle through multiple menus.
Samsung Blu-ray at CES 09
Samsung has launched a multi-tier approach to CES that includes the third generation of its Blu-ray players. The BD-P4600 is the company's first player to show the "touch of color" design trait and is designed primarily for thinness: at 1.5 inches thick, the player can not only better fit into some AV racks but can be wall-mounted or placed on an angled stand. It also offers subtler touch-sensitive controls and the full Blu-ray Profile 2.0 feature set with Internet access through either Ethernet or a bundled 802.11n Wi-Fi adapter.
LaCie LaCinema Classic
LaCie has begun selling the LaCinema Classic, a new hard drive intended to serve as a media streamer for TVs. Users first connect the drive to a Windows, Mac or Linux system via USB, where they load the Classic with music, photo and video files; supported formats include JPEG images, MP3 or WMA audio, and DivX, XviD or MPEG-4 AVI video. A variety of subtitle files can be used as well. Once the files have been copied, the drive can be connected to a TV, where media can be browsed with a remote.
Sharp AQUOS at CES 2009
Sharp today joined its rivals in updating its TVs by introducing three key new ranges to its AQUOS models. Leading the group is the BD series, one of the few HDTV lines to include a built-in Blu-ray player. The feature not only lets owners play HD movies without occupying an HDMI port but is also designed to be much more automated than a typical home theater: inserting a Blu-ray movie automatically activates the TV and begins playback.
Samsung at CES unveiled several products including new LED TVs, Blu-ray players, an SSD camcorder, MP3 player and a point-and-shoot camera that also records HD video. The LED TVs include the 8000, 7000 and 6000 series, each featuring high contrast ratios, refresh rates between 120Hz and 240Hz, and power consumption claimed to be 40 percent less than comparable LCD models. The flagship model is slightly over an inch thick and can be mounted just .6 inches away from the wall.
NETGEAR at CES
NETGEAR is using CES to announce several new products, beginning with new routers. The WNDR3700 is an 802.11n dual-band router, supporting both 2.4 and 5GHz frequencies. It is additionally equipped with gigabit Ethernet ports, and a USB port intended to connect network storage. Connection stability is enhanced by the presence of eight antennas. The DGND3300 is another dual-band 802.11n router, but whose main features include twin (NAT and SPI) firewalls and the ability to serve as a repeater.
Casio at CES 2009
Casio today upgraded its Exilim cameras with the first two point-and-shoot cameras ever to shoot at extremely high frame rates. The EX-FC100 and EX-FS10 both take conventional pictures at 9 megapixels but have a new imaging engine that can record lower-resolution videos at up to 1,000 frames per second, allowing extremely slow motion footage despite the cameras' compact footprints. They can also step down to 6 megapixels to burst shoot at 30 frames per second and will record 720p movies at the same speed.
First Look: ModBook Pro
Axiotron is putting the finishing touches on its second Mac notebook tablet conversion, MacNN got a first-hand look at one of the near-final prototypes. Based on the newest MacBook Pro, the ModBook Pro bears little resemblance to its Apple parent. Gone is Apple's new all-aluminum chassis, replaced by a black machined-aluminum case and a specially-designed glass screen with a slight matte finish. Under the hood, the Apple internals fit snugly in the study custom-made shell.
iToner 2 update
Ambrosia Software has released iToner 2, the latest update to the company's custom ringtone application that enables users to create personal ringtones for the iPhone. By placing MP3, AAC, WAVE, or AIFF audio files into the iToner window, songs can be synced to the iPhone for later use. Features of the new version offer a cropping ability where users are able to scrub the sliders to the desired section of a song before syncing, over 40 pre-created custom ring tones, and ClearTone technology to help optimize audio to match the iPhone speaker's capabilities.
First Look at iWork '09
A First Look at iWork '09: Apple's senior marketing VP Phil Schiller announced iWork '09, with new templates across the board, support for sharing documents across the Internet via the new iWork.com, and numerous new features for Pages, Numbers and Keynote, which make up the suite. Schiller also announced a combo package of iWork and iLife. Keynote has added support for managing presentations from an iPhone or iPod touch.
JVC Everio at CES
JVC on Wednesday gave its Everio camcorders a complete makeover for the new year. The HD line revolves around a 3-megapixel CMOS sensor that captures a native 1080p, 60 frames per second signal and includes a new image processing engine that records at up to the full 24Mbps bitrate of AVCHD and offers face detection while still consuming about 30 percent less power. The HM200 uses only SDHC cards for storage while the HD300 and HD320 models carry 60GB and 120GB hard drives for much more capacity. These last two also have both SDHC and microSDHC card slots to offload their content.
Memorex at CES
Electronics builder Memorex has announced a collection of new audio-video systems, generally focused around support for Apple handhelds. The Mi9490P is nominally a slot-loading CD player with an FM radio, but also features a dock on top which supports both iPods and iPhones. Output is rated at 30W, and the stereo also features an LCD with track display and adjustable equalizer settings. A related system is the Mi4290P, an alarm clock. Though it drops the CD player and equalizer, and is capable of just 10W of output, the clock retains an FM tuner and LCD display along with support for iPods and iPhones. Dual alarms allow couples to wake at different times.
Commander/Napoleon - OS X
Freeverse and Slitherine today announced two new game title -- one for the iPhone and one for Mac OS X. The developer noted the upcoming release of Commander - Napoleon at War for the Mac OS X as well as the release of SlotZ Racer for iPhone/iPod touch. Commander: Napoleon at War is the second game in the Commander series, taking the Commander: Europe at War engine "to the next level." Building on its predecessor, Commander: Napoleon at War is a high-level turn-based strategy game that brings the same simple and intuitive gameplay mechanics from the WWII setting to the Napoleonic era, designed to create a different and even more compelling gaming experience. The company said the exact release date was unknown and did not disclose pricing or system requirements.
iPhone contracts fell 50%
Canadian wireless giant Rogers on Wednesday said that it had only activated 130,000 iPhones in the fourth quarter of last year -- about half has many as the previous quarter. Citing the global recession and slowing consumer demand, the Bloomberg report said that about 130,000 iPhone 3Gs were activated in the period ended December 31, compared with 255,000 handsets in the third quarter. The company said it gained 199,000 wireless subscribers in the fourth quarter.
Toshiba Cell TV and REGZAs
Toshiba this afternoon outed its CES offerings and centered them on its TVs. The Japanese firm says it has produced the first prototypes of TVs that use a Cell processor to handle its image processing. The performance of the chip, which is already shared with the PlayStation 3, is strong enough to handle very high resolution video processing but can also encode live HD and easily handle network video streaming. An example 55-inch set can not only play 4K (3840x2160) resolution video but upscale 1080p footage to the higher resolution while reducing the amount of noise and other artifacts.
IGG shows iBiz 4 upgrade
IGG Software today announced iBiz 4, a full-version upgrade to its application for time-tracking, billing and project management as well as the upcoming release of iBank Mobile, a native iPhone application designed to complement iBank 3, its personal finance application. iBiz 4, due in the first quarter of this year, offers new animated graphs (powered by core animation) and a completely new iCal sync engine for projects, events, to-do lists, invoice due dates with alarms, and other timeline-driven aspects of project or billing management. Version 4 also features new Statements to generate an overview of all past billing activity -- users can select to generate invoices and payments from a specific date range, or select specific items to include in statements. iBiz 4 also adds new templates for statements, invoices and reports.
Creaceed Hydra 2.0
Creaceed (booth S-332S) this week unveiled version 2.0 of Hydra, its HDR photography application. According to the company, Hydra creates an High Dynamic Range (HDR) image which is "much closer to what one can actually see." The program is available as a Mac application or as the "the only" HDR plug-in for Aperture. Version 2.0 offers a new "Perceptive" default tone mapper for improved and more natural results and "Homography", the new default alignment technique that is very useful for small distortions. It also adds "The Loupe," a new tool for real time 1:1 full quality preview.
LG TVs at CES 2009
LG today made its 2009 HDTV range known and is centering its advances both on sheer image quality and on turning its TVs into full-fledged media hubs. The 55LHX is LG's thinnest TV ever and uses a combination of a breakout box and LED backlighting to reduce the set to just one inch thick. The illumination on the set is also advanced even compared to other LED-lit sets and produces a 2,000,000:1 claimed contrast ratio. It equally delivers a fast 240Hz panel that should eliminate motion jitter and holds four HDMI ports with Deep Color as well as a USB port for viewing content from external storage.
MS on Office, Apple tax
Roughly 77 percent of American Mac users are running some form of Office for Mac on their computers, Microsoft's Mac Business Unit claims. The proportion is thought to be unusually high, particularly in light of Apple's first-party iWork suite, which offers functionality similar to Office and has been available for several years. Microsoft admits, though, that there is little to compare the 77 percent figure against, given that it has not conducted such studies in the past; similarly, there are no numbers available for countries outside the US.
Voyager Q, NuCube
NewerTech has announced two new products at Macworld Expo: Voyager Q Hard Drive Docking Base and NuCube (booth S-2322). Voyager Q is a docking platform for any standard 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch SATA I/II hard drive (up to 2TB capacity) that includes four interfaces for users to choose from: FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0, and eSATA. The NuCube features a thick 3/8-inch clear acrylic case for the Mac Mini that holds the device in a vertical position and is equipped with non-skid rubber feet, to help keep it in place. Heat tested to insure the mini stays cooler while vertical; the case offers full access to the CD-ROM drive slot and rear ports.
PersonalBrain 5.0 ships
TheBrain Technologies has released PersonalBrain 5.0, the latest version of its information visualization and organization software. Offering a dynamic interface that enables users to link all ideas, files, and Web pages, it helps users better understand their information, see hidden connections, and "liberate themselves from linear file organization." Version 5 includes integration with many Mac OS X technologies, including Spotlight, QuickLook (for fast document previews), Address Book, iCal, and Apple Mail. It also includes an "outline" view that enables a broader view while retaining the flexibility of a networked structure, offers visual tagging to help find information quicker, and includes a new presentation mode that enables full screen visualization.
JVC TeleDock and J300 Sets
JVC on Wednesday rolled out the second wave of its TeleDock hybrid TVs as well as a raft of conventional mid-size sets. The 42- and 46-inch P500, as well as the 32-, 42- and 46-inch P300 all improve the TeleDock formula by significantly expanding the functions of the built-in iPod dock. Apple devices connected to the TV can now show their music and video title and other information directly on the screen and can play music even while watching regular TV content or browsing media stored on the set's TV port.
ATTO Xtend SAN iSCSI
In addition to demoing its FastStream RAID controller, ATTO has updated its iSCSI Software Initiator for Mac OS X/Xtend SAN with new enterprise-class features to provide better security and automation for medium- to large-installations. Xtend SAN now supports HeaderDigest and DataDigest with error level 1 processing -- which is used to guarantee the integrity of iSCSI header data. The new Xtend SAN Command Line Interface (CLI) enables almost complete automation of iSCSI target management. According to the company, this benefits larger installations where there is a need to execute commands in script or batch modes from workstations with minimal to no user interaction is required.
MBP battery swap costs
Apple has confirmed the pricing and steps needed to replace the battery in the new 17-inch MacBook Pro, a report indicates. Due to a new power-efficient design, the battery cannot easily be replaced by owners; instead, an Apple spokesperson says, people will have to bring their Pros to an Apple Store or an authorized reseller, where they will pay a fee of $179. This should cover the cost of installation, the new battery, and safe disposal of the old battery.
SoftRAID 4.0 demo at Expo
SoftRAID on Wednesday announced SoftRAID 4.0, a major upgrade to its RAID management software for Mac OS X. Expected to be demonstrated at MacWorld (booth 342), version 4.0 will be released by the end of Q1 2009 and will bring RAID enhancements to improve the rebuilding process -- especially on large volumes. With Fast Mirror Rebuilds, SoftRAID keeps track of which parts of the volume are used when a mirror disk is not present, and only rebuilds those sectors when the other mirror disk is reconnected. This allows users to rebuild there mirror volumes in minutes rather than hours.
SDXC Card Format
The SD Association today revealed first details of SDXC (Secure Digital Extended Capacity), its sequel to the current SDHC standard for flash cards. The format uses the exFAT file system to dramatically increase the maximum storage space from the arbitrary 32GB of SDHC to a full 2TB and would be enough to hold roughly 4,000 RAW photos or 60 hours of HD footage. Notably, the format also no longer sacrifies speed in the process, according to the organization. Unlike SDHC and other card formats, the fastest speeds should be possible even at the 2TB limit.
REAL Server 2009 in Feb.
REAL Software, the producer of the REALbasic development platform, has announced plans to release updated server software in February. REAL Server 2009 is said to have been overhauled with an event-based asynchronous architecture, and now uses Multi-Version Concurrency Control, which is said to improve both concurrency and scalability. The latter aspect has been improved throughout the program, in theory allowing over 10,000 concurrent connections.
Livescribe has announced its Livescribe Desktop software for the Mac. On display at Macworld Expo (and previously available as a beta version), Livescribe Desktop works with the company's Pulse Smartpen to allow audio and written notes recorded to be transferred into the Mac. Although first created for Windows XP/Vista, the software offers Mac-only features such as export/sharing of notes as PDF files, the ability to change the on-screen ink color of digital notes, and AAC export for audio files for iTunes compatibility.
Intego releases updates
Intego has released new versions of VirusBarrier Server 2 and VirusBarrier Mail Gateway 2, along with ContentBarrier X5. Virus Barrier 2 and Virus Barrier Mail Gateway add improved scanning and bug fixes. Server 2 scans every file that is copied to the Mac OS X server it protects, and scans all files that are launched on the server. If it finds a virus, it quarantines the file or files, and sends logs to administrators alerting them of the activity. VirusBarrier Server 2 can also be set to run scheduled scans of local and network volumes. It requires Mac OS X (Server) 10.4 or higher and is now available starting at $300.
BBerry Curve 8900 T-Mobile
T-Mobile today became the first American carrier to pick up the BlackBerry Curve 8900. The full-QWERTY smartphone is the same as the stock version already reviewed here but switches to supporting T-Mobile's HotSpot Calling service for its UMA feature, which lets it make calls on its built-in Wi-Fi and bridge these seamlessly to the GSM phone network and back. It also adds hooks for the company's myFaves calling service and comes bundled with a 256MB microSD card.
Expo showfloor shots
Apple gets a lot of attention at MacWorld, but its the Mac fans and hundreds of other exhibitors that make the show such a spectacle. Here's an inside look from the show floor, including a shots of former Mac evangelist Guy Kawasaki. Other galleries include 17-inch Unibody MacBook Pro, a closer look at iWork '09 and iLife '09, Apple's Expo booth, and Schiller's Expo Keynote.
Safe Eyes Mobile
InternetSafety.com has announced the mobile version of its Safe Eyes for the iPhone and iPod touch. Originally created for the Mac and PC, Safe Eyes Mobile is filtering software that enables iPhone/iPod touch users to control what content can and cannot be viewed while surfing the web. Working as its own browser, the program contains many features found in Safari including multiple page capabilities, bookmarks, and zoom capabilities. Using the company's web-based interface, owners can simply log into a password-protected account to change any desired settings or block specific categories for different users.
iTunes app tracking
AdMob has devised a way to perform outside tracking of download numbers at the App Store, according to announcement. The mobile advertiser says it has launched a new Download Tracking initiative, whose primary goal is to monitor the conversion of clicks on ads to app downloads. As a result of early testing for apps like TapDefense and Urbanspoon, however, AdMob says it has already managed to discern general trends in the app industry.
Phanfare Photon for iPhone
Phanfare has released a version of its photo and video sharing software for the iPhone and iPod touch, Phanfare Photon. The application allows users to upload and store photos and videos onto the company's website, where they can be imported to any device using Phanfare (and also stored online as backup). Users can also edit their photos and leave both the original and the edited version on the website. When viewing photos in the program the 100 most recent albums are synced to provide viewing when offline (or users can simply view all their albums when online using Safari).
i1166 Portable Player
iLuv has announced the latest in its line of Portable Multimedia Players for iPod and DVDs, the i1166 9-inch. Complete with a docking station for the iPod that charges the device while providing full remote control, the i1166 also offers video output for TV connectivity, and compatibility with DivX videos. Display functions are offered to allow multiple subtitle, angle, and audio options, plus a fast motion playback and zoom operation.
VIZIO at CES 2009
VIZIO today launched itself into the high-end TV sphere in earnest with a CES lineup that includes features still rare among higher-end brands. The 55-inch VF551XVT is the HDTV maker's first set to carry an LED backlight and uses the technology's local dimming to produce an effective 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, giving it deeper blacks closer to better plasma TVs. It also uses a 120Hz panel that maintains detail in fast movement and has five HDMI ports. VIZIO expects a release during the summer for $2,000.
Coladia games for Mac
Coladia has announced Destination: Treasure Island and Cleopatra: a Queens Destiny, two new point-and -click adventure games for the Mac OS X and iPhone. In Treasure Island, players take control of Jim Hawkins four years after the adventure recounted in Robert Louis Stevenson's novel. Jim receives a message from Long John's parrot, Captain Flint, stating that he has buried a treasure on Emerald Island, where he retired, and needs Jim to get there before enemy pirates arrive first.
Intelliscanner mini ships
IntelliScanner (Booth No. 537S) has announced its IntelliScanner mini cubed. The scanner uses barcode technology to automatically organize household items like movies, books and wine. The mini offers personalized asset tags and new software features for managing home assets, managing items for insurance records and sharing items with friends. The scanner is portable, with a rechargeable battery and retains scanned info until it can be synced to a Mac via USB.
SMHEART LINK demo
iTMP Technology has introduced SMHEART LINK, a new technology that is aimed at bringing new health and fitness capabilities to iPhone and iPod touch users. SMHEART LINK is described as a wireless bridge that enables an iPhone or iPod touch to double as a heart monitor and cycling computer. It can collect data generated by fitness sensors such as heart rate chest straps and cycling sensors on bikes and then send it to an iPhone for display and tracking.
Analysts on MW09
Only one real story came out of yesterday's keynote speech by Phil Schiller, write analysts with Needham & Co. Despite the announcement of new versions of iLife and iWork, as well as a 17-inch unibody MacBook Pro, the most important revelation is said to be the switch to DRM-free music and variable pricing at iTunes. Even this may have minimal impact, Needham suggests.
Garmin at CES 2009
Garmin chose Wednesday to reveal its full slate for CES and led off with a new top-end model for its nuvi GPS units. The 4.3-inch widescreen navigator updates the 880 with a lane assist mode that also includes a junction view: drivers are not only told which lane to use for the next change but also shown the layout to properly follow through the next exit or intersection. It further brings an upgraded set of MSN Direct data services and now lets owners check their airport flight status as well as more detailed weather with Doppler maps, better movie listings, local events and the option of sending maps and routes from a computer.
500GB External Hard Drive
Toshiba SDD has launched the latest in its personal storage devices with the 500GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive. Designed to be USB powered only, and complete with an internal shock sensor and ramp loading technology for drive and data protection, users can store files, music, video, or any form of digital memory. Capacity for the device theoretically provides storage for either 142,000 digital photos, 131,000 digital music files, 222 of DVD-quality video, or 58 hours of HD video. The hard drive also contains pre-installed NTI Shadow software to allow backups to start automatically while running in the background.
Dell Studio XPS Notebooks
Dell today held an early, low-key launch for its promised Studio XPS notebooks. The 13-inch Studio XPS 13 and 16-inch Studio XPS 16 are both treated as Dell's new upscale competition against the MacBook and come with a new black-and-silver trim as well as new, edge-to-edge display and a revamped keyboard unlike the company's other models.
iPhone May Use Broadcom
Apple may be turning to Broadcom for the cellular hardware in future iPhone models, say Taiwan-area manufacturers allegedly aware of the changes. Although the company currently uses Infineon chips for the phone's core functions, the insiders claim to have seen circuit boards for either revised or future iPhones with unnamed Broadcom parts for the cellular baseband and RF functions. The swap could suggest a partial or complete replacement of Infineon for the next wave of Apple's devices.
SanDisk 16GB Mobile Ultra
SanDisk continued its CES news on Wednesday with word of updates to its Mobile Ultra cards. The company now has 16GB versions of both its microSDHC and Memory Stick Micro cards that double the company's previous best capacity without sacrificing performance. Faster transfer speeds let them support higher-resolution video capture, live GPS and other features that sometimes bog down with more basic mobile storage.
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