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Electronista handles Huawei's huge handset
Huawei is at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, as you might have guessed, and they're showing off their Ascend Mate phablet. The 6.1-inch Ascend Mate -- that is: six and one-tenth actual inches -- showed up on video late last year, but it sort of had to be seen to be believed. Topping even Samsung's Galaxy Note II, does the new Ascend Mate's extra girth give it an edge over other phone-tablet hybrids?
S9 breaks from traditional form factor
All of the biggest companies at CES introduced Ultra HD televisions, but Samsung's S9 arguably brought the most distinctive design. Electronista stopped by the company's CES booth to take a closer look at the unique televisions, which float the display panel inside a larger square frame.
Ubuntu's mobile OS impresses in our brief look at it in action
We got a chance to check out a demonstration of Ubuntu's mobile operating system that was announced at the start of the year. It was running on a GSM-version of the Galaxy Nexus, and was certainly impressive when viewed from a close distance. The graphics look clean and smooth, without any hiccups on what is an older, though one-time flagship device.
Some sort of Facebook announcement scheduled for January 15
The stock price of Facebook has surged to over $30 in the last 48 hours, apparently due to the social network sending out invitations to "come and see what we're building" this coming Tuesday in its Menlo Park, California headquarters. The share price surge marks a high mark for the stock since at least July.
Flexible system uses Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
Pure recently announced several products destined for the US market, the Jongo modular audio system. The lineup enables users to enjoy synchronized audio in several rooms throughout the home, streamed from iOS or Android devices and manageable through dedicated apps. Electronista stopped by Pure's booth at CES to experience the new system ahead of its official release.
Proposal frees spectrum in the 5GHz band, aiding Wi-Fi congestion
At the Consumer Electronics Show, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced a proposal before the FCC to open up a "substantial" quantity of additional wireless spectrum for Wi-Fi, which would in theory allow for increased speed on wireless devices. The spectrum to be made available currently belongs to several Federal agencies such as the Department of Defense, and is mostly unused at present.
VAIO T lineup to evolve this spring
Earlier this week Sony announced the evolution of its VAIO T lineup with the addition of an updated 14-inch model and a brand new 15-inch model. Sony was stringent in providing any actually specs or pricing for the new models and have only given "spring 2013" as a vague release date. However, both the T14 and T15 were present on the show floor so Electronista stopped by the booth to take a look.
Prevents swapping out screenshots to confuse buyers
In a policy change, Apple is altering the rules regarding screenshots associated with apps in an effort to prevent copycat devs from submitting a true set of screenshots of their app during the approval process and changing them later to resemble other, more popular apps. The practice can confuse buyers into purchasing an app that appears to be like a top-selling one, only to find out that the online screenshots don't match the actual program.
AMD targets premium market
AMD is currently showing off its 2013 products at CES, where the company announced a partnership with Vizio. The latter company has integrated the latest A10 APU in its 24-inch all-in-one, which we had a chance to try out before it arrives on the market later this year.
Sony brings $200 double DIN Bluetooth receiver to CES
Sony's car audio booth at CES had a number of new and not-quite-ready for primetime technologies on display along with a new double DIN head unit, the WX-GT90BT. It is compatible with Sony's App Remote, which lets users control their compatible Android-powered smartphones through the car radio and vice versa through the dedicated app.
Chips aimed at portable devices
AMD reiterated details surrounding its 2013 APU lineup at CES, where Electronista sat down with company executives to learn more about the company's strategy and try out several devices that integrate the latest chips. The system-on-a-chip (SOC) families include Temash, geared for tablets; Kabini, optimized for ultrathin notebooks; Richland, built to optimize performance and battery life; and Kaveri, the top performer with Steamroller CPU cores.
Subscription gives DVD rental credits at RedBox kiosks
CEO of RedBox Instant by Verizon Shawn Strickland announced at the Consumer Electronics Show that the highly-anticipated offering will launch before the end of the first quarter of 2013. The service, currently in invitation-only beta testing, was rumored to have launched at the end of December but was held up by unspecified technical issues.
Tablets -- mostly iPads -- to surpass notebook sales this year
NDP DisplaySearch has announced that it expects worldwide combined tablet sales, lead by Apple's iPad, to outsell combined notebook sales in 2013 for the first time ever. It also says that smaller tablets -- again led by the iPad mini -- will become the dominant size this year, a fairly obvious conclusion given sales over the holidays. The company says 7-to-8-inch tablets should account for about 45 percent of all tablet shipments, while the 9.7-inch full-size iPad and its competitors will slip to 41 percent of shipments. Overall, tablets will sell about 240 million units compared to notebooks' 207 million, a rise of about 64 percent year-over-year.
Enclosure provides up to 440MB per second
FirmTek, a storage solutions provider for Apple Macintosh and PC systems, today announced the MiniSwap U3. Claiming it to be an "industry first" and ideal for 2.5-inch solid state (SSD) and hard disk drives (HDD), the miniSwap/U3 enclosure provides trayless, hot-swap, USB 3.0 external enclosure support for Mac and PC computers.
Valve CEO explains hardware plans, user-generated Steam future
Gabe Newell has confirmed that Valve Software will release its "Steam Box" in the future, and it will run on Linux. The Valve CEO spoke about how, in working with multiple technology partners, creating Steam-powered hardware was like herding cats, that the company's own hardware offering would be based on a narrowly-focused set of values, and the potential user-generated future of Steam itself.
Smart Watch shown at CES
Earlier today Pebble held its first official press conference to announce that the Kickstarter-funded smart watch will beginning shipping on Jan. 23. Electronista was present at the event and had the chance to briefly try out the device.
Cuts price on existing 2m Thunderbolt cable
Apple has released a new patch for the MacBook Air, EFI Firmware Update 2.6. The code is intended strictly for the current "mid-2012" models, but solves several problems. These include bad colors when connecting HDMI displays, an issue with Windows that caused problems when booting, and a freezing glitch caused by unplugging a Thunderbolt device before waking from standby. The firmware is a 4.76MB download, and requires OS X 10.8.2.
Model 1512 aimed at home users, Gaming Edition Plus for video gamers
Hauppauge Digital, a developer and manufacturer of TV tuners and HD video recorders, has launched two new models in its line of high-definition video recorders. One model, the HD PVR 2 Model 1512, is geared toward home media enthusiasts; the HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition Plus, on the other hand, is designed for advanced gamers. Both units will be available at retail in February, and as yet no pricing has been announced.
We check out Pioneer's touchscreen head units, most of which connect to iPhone 5
Car audio gear maker Pioneer Electronics debuted a number of new wares at the 2013 CES show, including three new double DIN navigation receivers from its AVIC range and three multimedia-focused DVD receivers, two of which fold out from a single DIN slot. All six don't ship until March, so the early look was appreciated.
Protected 10.1-inch slate joined by 7-inch Android tablet
Panasonic has updated its Toughpad range of tablets with a pair of ruggedized offerings. The Toughpad FZ-G1, aimed at outdoor and vehicle-based users, is the company's first to run Windows 8 Pro, while the Toughpad JT-B1 is a heavily protected 7-inch Android tablet for use by mobile workers in public-facing and heavy-duty industries.
Adds Typeahead, People Search support
Social network Twitter has updated the Mac version of TweetDeck, its most advanced official client app. The v2.3.1 release brings Mac features up to par with those for Chrome and other platforms, for instance adding Typeahead to searches, predicting what a person is about to type. An extension of this is People Search, presenting a list of people in a user's Twitter community based on entered text.
Budget tablet loses Wacom active digitizer, removable battery
Dell has created a budget version of its Latitude 10 Windows 8 tablet for more price-conscious customers. The new essentials level offers a configuration that drops some aspects of the original, such as being able to remove the battery or have support for a Wacom active stylus, in order to put the slate's price down to as low as $500.
We get to check out JVC's upcoming KW-NSX600 and NSX700 head units
Over at the JVC booth at the CES show in Las Vegas, the company had its latest head units on display that feature MirrorLink connections for Android and Symbian-powered phones. This allows users to control their smartphone and access content from them on the new KW-NSX600 and KW-NSX700 head units. The former sports a fixed 6.1-inch touchscreen, while the latter gets a motorized 7-inch touchscreen, both sporting WVGA resolutions.
Microsoft demos Youm-based Windows Phone prototype
Today Samsung unveiled a new flexible OLED technology, dubbed Youm, during a second-day keynote at CES. To demonstrate the technology the company brought in Microsoft, which showed off a prototype Windows Phone device. Microsoft also presented video from a lab test, in which a display was projected onto an entire room for the sake of an Xbox game.
DTS impresses with surround quality audio tech
We were drawn to DTS' CES booth by the odd visual of dancers breaking it down to Usher tunes in a miniature house somewhat reminiscent of the Hollywood Squares set, but we stayed to check out the company's Headphone:X technology. DTS promises that users will be able to experience a "home theater in your pocket" by reproducing the sound experience of an 11.1 surround sound experience using only a set of headphones. You hear a lot of big claims at CES, so initially we were skeptical. We were wrong.
1080p display and Atom chipset
Lenovo followed up its CES computer announcements with several cellphone unveilings, introducing the K900 alongside several other phones. The flagship phone caught our attention, as one of the first to be powered by Intel's Clover Trail Atom platform, and we had a chance to handle the company's new flagship phone at a CES media event.
Family-sized tablet lacks pixels, hopes to pack fun
Electronista is still here amid the backpacks and foot traffic at the Consumer Electronics Show, checking out the newest and most untouched in, well, consumer electronics. We stopped by Archos' booth yesterday to check out the Gamepad, and we also took a bit of time to go hands-on with their 13.3-inch FamilyPad, an oversized device whose name explicitly describes its purpose: it's for the family. Along with the FamilyPad, Archos had their keyboard-enabled Gen 10 devices on display, and we were pleasantly surprised by what we found there.
Factory creating 15,000 Pebble watches per week
The Pebble smart watch will be shipping to backers on January 23rd. Company CEO Eric Migicovsky made the announcement at CES, adding that the e-paper timepiece will be shipping in batches, and is good news to Kickstarter backers that have waited for the wrist-based gadget, including through a number of production delays.
May point to over 5.4 million in Verizon iPhone sales
Verizon activated 9.8 million smartphones during the last quarter, the carrier has announced. The data comes from an 8-K filing made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um notes that in Q4 2011 Verizon sold 7.7 million smartphones, of which about 56 percent were iPhones. If the same ratio were applied to Q4 2012, that would indicate close to 5.5 million iPhones. Verizon is so far only saying that the 2012 quarter showed a "higher mix of Apple smartphones," without clarifying whether that means year-over-year or quarter-to-quarter.
Whispersync for Voice, Time-to-Read reaches discontinued ereader
Amazon has released a firmware update for the Kindle Touch e-reader, effectively turning it into a Kindle Paperwhite, the device's successor. Update 5.3.2 includes a number of changes and features to the onboard software, including a new user interface, enhanced parental controls, and the ability to navigate graphic novels and comics.
Bracketron announces tablet-friendly in-car mounts
Bracketron has added two more mounts to its range of mobile device holders. The Mi-T Grip Dash Mount attaches to a dashboard or any hard surface using suction, and provides a low-profile way of holding an iPad mini or small tablet in a vehicle. A more-conventional Universal Tablet Window Mount performs the same task, but has a reinforced articulating arm and 360-degree rotating head for precise positioning from a glass surface. Prices and a release date have yet to be revealed, but are likely to be around $30 each, based on previous releases.
Should mean iPhone 5 will be first T-Mobile phone
T-Mobile USA will start selling the iPhone in about three to four months, says CEO John Legere. The executive made the comments at CES during an interview with Reuters. Although the carrier has previously confirmed plans to sell Apple products, it has never before explicitly mentioned the iPhone and set a narrow timeframe. Legere adds that the company's plans to end phone subsidies should take effect in the same window, the tradeoff being contract-free phones with lower monthly rates than most US carriers.
Procision GC-PX100 capable of recording 600fps footage
JVC has unveiled a number of camcorders at CES, a number of which features Wi-Fi connectivity. The premium Procision GC-PX100 is said to be designed for fast-moving action filming, while the eight-model Everio line includes entry-level and mid-range camcorders using a new 2.5-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS image sensor.
May suggest Cook will spend week in China
Earlier on Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted at a Chinese reseller, Dragonstar, AppleInsider notes. The vendor is based inside the China World Shopping Mall in Beijing. In a photo, Cook can be seen talking with store staff; one of the other people in the image appears to be Apple's senior VP for worldwide product marketing, Phil Schiller.
Deadline issued for user migrations to Skype service
Microsoft has announced the date when it will shut down Windows Live Messenger. Users of the messaging service will have until March 15th to migrate over to Skype before the servers are shut down for most of the world, with mainland China being the sole market left using the service due to Skype being run by a company called TOM.
Video recommendations offered to eight app users
Cox Communications has shown off a new version of its mobile app, which it hopes will give a more personalized TV experience to customers. Jointly developed with Cisco, the new mobile application will offer access to 90 live TV channels, on demand content, personalized video recommendations, and will also function as a remote control for the Cox TV program guide, Trio.
MusicTiles for iPad features music by Peter Gabriel
Highly respected recording artist Peter Gabriel has teamed with a robotics professor, Henrik Hautop Lund on MusicTiles a new app for iOS. The app allows users, musical and non-musical, to remix songs by manipulating modular tiles into different sequences. Users can record their own version of a song and email to their friends or share it on musictiles.com.
Light, human sensors adjust monitor brightness automatically
NEC Display has extended its MultiSync EA range with a 24-inch LED-backlit IPS monitor. The EA244WMI screen has many of the same features, such as the wide 178-degree viewing angles and standard 1920x1080 resolution, as its 22-inch predecessor that was released four months ago, but in a larger screen size.
T-Mobile makes new product announcements at CES 2013
T-Mobile has partnered with MLB in a multi-million dollar deal. T-Mobile will provide MLB with an on-field communication system powered by its 4G network. Among other uses, the first use will be to allow managers to communicate with coaches in dugouts.
Magnetic keyboard kit option available for tablets
Gigabyte has revealed a pair of tablets at CES, both running Windows 8 instead of Windows RT. The S1185 is an 11.6-inch slate with a Full HD resolution IPS display, while the 10.1-inch S1082 tablet is aimed more at the business market rather than consumers, with its focus on energy efficiency and higher-capacities of storage.
Lenovo K900, first with Intel dual-core phone CPU
Lenovo has used CES to debut the K900, the first device to feature Intel's first dual-core CPU for smartphones. The chip is the first from the forthcoming Clover Trail+ platform, the Atom Z2580 clocked at a speedy 2GHZ. As it is based on the same architecture as the 2GHz single-core Medfield processor powering the Motorola Razr i, the addition of the second core no more than doubles the performance of the new chip over its predecessor.
Apple unveiled its own default browser, changed music forever
In the midst of a CES that is more about Apple than ever before -- despite the obstinate refusal of the company to have any presence at it -- two of Apple's reinventions that formed a core part of the OS X experience have had birthdays this week. Ten years ago on Monday, in January 2003, Apple created its own Internet browser: Safari. Twelve years ago Wednesday, iTunes was born from the purchase of SoundJam MP and debuted at the 2001 San Francisco MacWorld.
Move forced by settlement-induced FTC Consent Order against Google
As expected, following the admonishment that it received from the Federal Trade Commission, Google and Motorola Mobility have moved to withdraw its complaints against Microsoft relating to the standards-essential H.264 video compression patent with US International Trade Commission. Google is seemingly obeying the terms set forth with the FTC that were made public at the end of last week.
Expands port options, Thunderbolt version coming in Q4
Henge Docks, well known for its MacBook Pro docking stations, has announced a new model at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas: the Horizontal Dock, a $249 combination riser and docking station specifically for the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro. The new dock stands in stark contrast to the company's vertically-oriented AirDock and Henge Docks that allow users to run and hook monitors to MacBooks with the lid closed.
Targus shows off new touch pen for Windows 8
Electronista took the chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of the show floor and try out Targus' new Touch Pen for Windows 8. The product is a combination of a small receiver that attaches to the side of any display and a stylus designed for safe use on all screen types. Setting up the device is as simple as attaching the sensor to any screen up to 17 inches in size, and using the pen to tap all four corners of the screen. After calibration the sensor can then be removed and replaced without needing to recalibrate. The pen itself is similar in size and weight to a traditional fountain pen, but features a soft bristle tip like that of a paintbrush.
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