Good news for all you gamers on the go, the rumored PlayStation Phone is looking to be much more than a rumor. New pics of the Sony Ericsson device have popped up online, and according to Engadget, these pics do "in fact [show] the PlayStation Phone you've long been waiting for."
A slide-out gamepad gives users access to the familiar PlayStation controller that's remained largely unchanged since the PSOne. There's a 1GHz Qualcomm chip inside, 512MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM, and a screen measuring 3.7 to 4.1 inches.
On the software side, previous reports had the PlayStation Phone pegged with Android 3.0 (Gingerbread) with a phone-specific skin. There's also talk of a new section in the Android Market dedicated to games that will run on the PlayStation Phone.
Still no word on whether this will come out in 2010 or slip into 2011.
So what if Asus and Garmin recently broke up, at least it was amicable and the two sides can still remain friends, right? Apparently so, as Asus managed to sweet talk Garmin into giving it sole rights to distribute Garmin navigation software on Android handsets. All Asus has do in return is slap the Garmin Navigation trademark on the back of said handsets.
These devices will be bear Asus' own branding and will launch sometime in January of next year. And while Garmin has agreed not to cooperate with other Android smartphone makers, it does plan to launch free software on Apple's Appe Store and RIM's BlackBerry App World, Asus said.
Several wireless carriers plan to offer Samsung's Galaxy Tab starting in November, but none before T-Mobile, which today announced it will begin selling Samsung's upcoming slate on November 10, 2010.
"Customers want richer, deeper interactions with entertainment and online content through connected, portable mobile broadband devices that are small enough to carry and big enough to share with friends and family," said Jeremy Korst, director of broadband products and services, T-Mobile USA. "T-Mobile’s unique offerings on the Galaxy Tab paired with the power of T-Mobile’s new network allow us to bring a truly differentiated portable entertainment offering to market."
We've covered the Galaxy Tab ad nauseum up to this point so we won't rehash the specs, but will point out that T-Mobile will offer the device starting at $400 with a 2-year service agreement on a qualifying broadband plan. For the sake of comparison, here's how the Galaxy Tab breaks down with other carriers and distributors:
Sprint: $400 with 2-year data plan, available November 14
Verizon: $600 outright (no data plan required), November 11
Best Buy: $500 outright (Wi-Fi only), no announced release date
You can sign up for email alerts for the Galaxy Tab from T-Mobile here.
As far as ViewSonic is concerned, you can forget any talk of an iPad killer emerging. Apple's magical slate is going to snatch up 50 percent of the projected 45 million tablet sales in 2011, ViewSonic predicts, and the display maker will be thrilled if it can claim 10 percent of what's left. That comes out to over 2 million units.
ViewSonic plans to bring its ViewPad 7 device to the North American market sometime this year, which launched today in Taiwan for what amounts to around $480 in U.S. currency. The ViewPad 7 runs Android 2.2 and is a couple of inches smaller than the iPad, but it isn't the only tablet ViewSonic has on tap. The company also plans to release a 10-inch version with an Intel Atom N450 processor and dual-booting OSes (Windows 7 Home Premium and Android 1.6), and a 5-inch model somewhat along the lines of Dell's Streak. In addition, ViewSonic announced plans to release a 9.7-inch tablet built around Nvidia's Tegra 2 platform, which if priced right might have the best shot at helping ViewSonic reach its 10 percent goal.
One advantage ViewSonic's Asia Pacific president Alan Chang notes is that unlike some of its competitors, ViewSonic doesn't have related product lines (smartphones, netbooks) that could end up cannibalized by tablet sales.
There's a new tabletop Internet radio device from Grace Digital Audio featuring Pandora. According to Grace Digital Audio, it's the first tabletop radio to incorporate 1-button control of Pandora.
"Grace's Model GDI-IR2550p is the first and only tabletop radio that incorporates the same features that Pandora listeners use on computers and smart phones, including 1-button access to the thumbs up/down song selection and play/pause functions," the company said. "Listeners can also skip, play, pause, and even bookmark songs directly from the remote and front control panel."
The Internet radio provides access to over 50,000 radio stations, podcasts, and on-demand content. It's available now for $170.
Sennheiser's probably best known for its line of high-end earphones primarily for listening to music on the go, but the company also offers a line of gaming headsets. That line got a little larger today with the introduction of a handful of new units, including the new flagship PC 360.
The PC 360 is the followup to the PC 350. It combines open-air speaker technology with a noise canceling microphone into a headset that's purportedly comfortable to wear with "velvety-soft ear pads and large ear cups."
There's also the PC 163D with virtual 7.1 channel, 360-degree audio, the slightly larger PC 333D also with virtual 7.1-channel sound that adds Dolby Headphone technology into the mix, and the PC 330 G4ME featuring closed acoustics with a flip-up design similar to a DJ's headset.
The PC 360 ($300), PC 163D ($210), PC 333D ($240), and PC 330 ($160) are available now.
With the semi-recent price cuts to both the Kindle (Amazon) and Nook (Barnes and Noble), the pressure is on the also-rans to make a compelling argument for themselves. Kobo's getting some help doing that courtesy of Borders.
From now until October 31, 2010, Borders is selling the vanilla version of the Kobo eBook reader for $100, down $30 from it's regular $130 price tag. By vanilla, we mean it doesn't come with Wi-Fi, a standard feature on both the Kindle and Nook.
While the reduced pricing is only temporary, we wouldn't be surprised if it stuck through the holiday shopping season, or indefinitely. For the sake of comparison, the Kobo Wireless eReader with Wi-Fi sells for $140.
In related news, Amazon recently announced that it's new generation Kindle is selling better than ever, selling more devices since launch than the company did during the entire fourth quarter of last year. That's what Kobo -- and every other also-ran -- is up against.
Several days after details about the WD TV Live Hub surfaced on the internet, Western Digital today launched the set-top-box that boasts a few additional features over previous WD TV devices. It is a network media streamer, DLNA-compliant media extender and 1TB hard drive all rolled into a single $200 package.
You can not only use this networked media player to view media content, whether it be locally stored or Internet based, on your TV, but also stream local content to any DLNA/UPnP compatible device, including game consoles, Blu-ray Disc players and other WD TV Live media players.
Despite its versatility, the WD TV Live Hub is missing something very basic -- Wi-Fi. Perhaps Western Digital was hoping that the Hub’s other features would offset its lack of Wi-Fi.
As expected, Barnes & Noble announced the Nook Color today at their event in New York. The device ditches the eInk monochrome screen used by the Amazon Kindle and regular Nook. In its place is a 7-inch IPS color touchscreen. The resolution is a very reasonable 1024x600, and it will come with a special anti-glare film. There is also Wi-Fi, a microSD card slot, and no 3G right now.
This device is utilizing more elements of the underlying Android system, but it is thoroughly skinned. It is clear this is a reader first and foremost. But users will have access to music, the browser, social networking, and a few select apps like Pandora. Since this is significantly different from the stock Android platform, developers looking to get their apps on the platform will have to use a Barnes & Noble supplied SDK.
The Nook Color will sell for $249 when it comes out on November 19. The bookseller is looking to get people reading magazines and newspaper on this device, in addition to regular books. Barnes & Noble may be calling this part tablet and part reader, but they may find that it isn't good enough at being either. Do you think this device is going to succeed?
Dr. Raymond M. Soneira, President of DisplayMate Technologies, has never been one to mince words when it comes to holding display maker's feet to the fire. He's made a name for himself by shattering myths perpetuated by those whose jobs it is to hype and market LCD panels of all shapes and sizes, an attitude that meshes well with our "Minimum BS" motto. So when Dr. Soneira told us he wrote a lengthy piece on why existing brightness controls and light sensors in today's displays are effectively useless -- particularly on the iPhone, Android devices, and HDTVs -- we took a coffee break to read what he had to say.
"Although consumers currently don't pay much attention to them, the Automatic Brightness control and LIght Sensor on smartphones and HDTVs has a major impact on displayed image quality, screen viewability, and readability, as well as preventing eye strain and headaches when the screen is too bright or too dim for the current level of ambient lighting, which varies considerably," Dr. Soneira explains.
According to Dr. Soneira, "most smartphones and HDTVs run with the screen considerably brighter than it should be, which wastes a lot of power in addition to causing eyestrain." Throwing some hard numbers into the mix, Dr. Soneira points out that HDTVs use as much as 75 percent of the total TV power, which oftentimes translates to over 200 watts. With 330 million TVs in the U.S. alone beaming content 600 billion hours per year, "that adds up to a considerable amount of wasted energy, money, and oil."
Because of this, one would think smartphone and HDTV makers would pay particular attention to automatic brightness schemes, but according to Dr. Soneira's extensive lab testing, that isn't the case. Not by a long shot.
Hit the jump to learn more about what Dr. Soneira has dubbed "brightnessgate."