Archive for February, 2010

Boxee Beta arrives on the Apple TV

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Finally completing the circle again after the beta launch last month, Boxee has made its latest version available for the Apple TV. Available via an updated Launcher for those already running the Alpha version or ATVUSB-Creator for everyone else it should bring the facelifted UI and features Windows, OS X and Ubuntu users have been enjoying. Getting some 1080p oomph out of your set-top box will be difficult however, with no support for the Broadcom Crystal HD add-on “yet” and while performance has improved h.264 playback may still be limited even in this new version. Mash the read link and follow instructions to get moving, but feel free to bounce any thanks or issues towards the forum posters, XBMC coders and the rest of the posse who made this update possible.

Acer launching thin, Calpella-based notebooks this summer?

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Acer launching thin, Calpella-based notebooks this summer?

The progression of ever-faster notebooks seems to have dwindled, but the quest for thinner and lighter goes on. Acer is said to be finding the balance between those two goals with its next suite of thin performers, starting with a range of mid- and high-end portables based on Intel’s Calpella series of processors, the Nehalem spin-off that we haven’t heard much about lately. Sizes are said to be 13-, 14-, and 15-inches, all will be manufactured by Wistron, and all said to be one inch thin at their thinnest point — hopefully not much thicker elsewhere if they want to turn heads. These higher-performing machines will eventually phase out Acer’s CULV offerings, which apparently have had unimpressive sales thanks to a perceived lack of performance by consumers. We can’t imagine where they got that idea

Dell Mini 5 to be the vanguard of ‘a family of tablets’

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Well isn’t this good to know. The Mini 5 isn’t even coming out for at least another month, yet already we’re hearing Dell has big plans for what’s to follow. Wired has the dish straight from Neeraj Choubey, GM of Dell’s tablet division, that there will be “a family of tablets” which will “scale up to a variety of sizes.” It appears there will be a common feature set throughout the forthcoming portfolio, so it’s likely going to be Android all the way, while Choubey also shared his company’s intention to bundle “inexpensive data plans” with the new devices — indicating a belief that carriers will accede to such ambitious ideas. And speaking of network operators, in a separate interview with Laptop, the loquacious gentleman has confirmed that Dell’s working with AT&T on bringing the Mini 5 to the masses. Good to know, indeed — now how about a release date?

Haleron’s 7-inch iLet Mini HAL costs $199, ships March 1

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Want a tablet computer sans all the brand loyalty drama and eye-opening prices? Haleron‘s got just the thing for you with its iLet Mini HAL. Its humble spec brings only a 600MHz VIA CPU and 128MB of DDR2 RAM to the table, but it runs Android 1.6 and if all you want is a tablet to access the web with, do you really need more? Additionally, the onboard 2GB of flash storage is augmented with 10GB of cloud storage and the cheap expandability that’s on offer via flash memory cards or USB drives. The iLet Mini HAL costs $199 with shipping starting next week, and we’ve been reliably informed that there’ll be no additional charges no matter how many poor Space Odyssey jokes you decide to make.

Microsoft’s SideWinder X4 reviewed: a decent choice for the budget gamer

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Microsoft’s anti-ghosting claims were recently put to the test by the good folks over at Tom’s Guide, and if you’ve been holding off on pulling the trigger to make sure it really lives up to the hype, you can finally cut loose and part ways with your hard-earned Greenbacks — maybe, anyway. For those unaware, Microsoft designed the SideWinder X4 to handle up to 26 key presses at once (it’s a “pro gamer” thing, we’re told), but it also allows for macro recording and profile / mode switching. According to the critics, the X4 is a step backwards in terms of design, particularly when compared to the flagship SideWinder X6 (which can be had for around $40 right now). Essentially, they could only really recommend it for those that actually do have ghosting issues when gaming, though they confess that said crowd is a relatively tiny one. But hey, don’t take our word for it — hit the source link and discover the truth for yourself.

Qisda QD060B00 e-reader hits the FCC

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We’ve already seen MIDs, high-res phones, and a few other odd devices from Qisda since it spun off from / encompassed BenQ, and it looks like it’s now trying its hand at another e-reader as well. Still no official word about this one, but the device does look like it’ll hold its own with a 6-inch capacitive touchscreen (16 levels of gray), along with built-in WiFi, a microSD card slot for expansion, and support for all the basic formats you’d expect (including ePub and PDF) — the e-reader itself is also Linux-based. Coming from Qisda, it’s also possible that this one will be picked up by someone else and rebadged before its released, although there’s no indication of that just yet. There are plenty more pics (both internal and external) to be found at the link below, however, along with the device’s user manual.

NVIDIA Optimus-equipped ASUS N61JV-X2, N71JV-X1 hit the US

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Well, we’d heard the first NVIDIA Optimus-enabled laptops would roll out at the end of the month, and lo and behold, the first NVIDIA Optimus-enabled laptops have rolled out at the end of the month. Right now, those include ASUS’ N61JV-X2 and N71JV-X1 models, which are just the first of five laptops that will be available from the company, and each of which cost the same $900. That’ll get you a 16-inch screen and Core i5-430M processor on the N61JV-X2, or a 17.3-inch screen and a Core i3-350M processor on the N71JV-X1, along with the same switchable GeForce GT 325M graphics, 4GB of RAM, and 500GB hard drive on each of them. Still unclear on what NVIDIA has brought to the table with Optimus? Check out our hands-on for some more details and a few benchmarks.

JooJoo ship date pushed to March 25 due to manufacturing issues

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Well, that didn’t take too long. Just a day after we pondered the shipping status of Fusion Garage’s JooJoo tablet, the company’s come clean and told us shipping will delayed to March 25 because of a manufacturing issue with the tablet’s 12.1-inch capacitive screen. Yep, it looks like it’s going to be at least 27 more days until you’ve got a JooJoo of your very own — which means, of course, that Fusion Garage will now be trying to launch this thing during the same week Apple’s scheduled to launch the iPad. Ouch. To its credit, Fusion Garage says it’s not happy with the delay and has promised a free accessory to pre-order customers to make it better — we’re told it’s likely to be the $30 stand. We’ll see if that’s enough to hold back the effects of Cupertino’s coming media blitz, but either way we’re quite excited about making a tablet sandwich at the end of March. Full PR after the break.

Samsung’s E6, E101 and E61 e-readers shown on video

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We were fortunate enough to get a quick moment with Samsung’s new assortment of e-readers back at CES, but the cool kids over at Notebook Italia were able to get the E6, E101 and E61 on video. There’s little doubt that these look awfully different than all of the other me-too options on the market, and the touch input seems to be extraordinarily responsive based on the demonstration. Speaking of which… hop on past the break to have a look yourself, cool?

Motorola Devour goes hands-on, hits Best Buy for $99 this week.

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We’ve got Motorola’s latest Blur handset in hand, Devour-ing ill-advised puns like it’s a full time job. You can check out this aluminum slider in all its consumer-friendly glory in the gallery below, see it sized up against big brother Droid right below that, and there are some initial impressions and a video walkthrough after the break.

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