From the makers of the ill-fated 3DO game console comes the “Jungle” handheld gaming system. Let us rephrase the last line for accuracy's sake: from one of the four manufacturers of the … . If you haven't guessed it already, we are talking about Japanese consumer electronics company Panasonic.
With the 3DO debacle buried under tons of “time sand,” Panasonic is gearing up to invade the handheld gaming space on the back of an upcoming portable device focused entirely on online gaming and MMORPGs. The Jungle, as the device is called, reportedly runs a Linux OS, and according to Fudzilla, features a Tegra chip.
Not a lot is known about the Jungle. Even the official site only features a video teaser and a sign-up-to-stay-updated form at this stage.
Panasonic on Monday announced its MW-20 digital frame, but unlike most other photo frames, this one pulls double-duty as a stereo system with full support for your iPod and iPhone devices. It will even charge them while they're plugged in.
"The Panasonic MW-20 has a stylish and slim design that will complement any home decor and given its versatility to display photos, videos, play music and even charge an iPhone – we think this will be a welcomed addition this holiday season," said David Fisher, Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "Beyond its design and versatility, the MW-20 is also a powerful gadget – with exceptional sound quality to listen to music and a large nine-inch screen to view digital photos and videos."
Equipped with a high-res adjustable 9-inch screen, the MW-20 works in both portrait and landscape mode and can be hung on the wall. It comes with 2GB of built-in memory, plus an SD memory card slot.
Look for the MW-20 to ship in late November for $250.
The Panasonic Toughbook has always been the gold standard for butterfingered executives, but the new CF-C1 actually offers up more than just rugged good looks, it’s actually a convertible tablet. The swivel around display boasts a resistive touchscreen which normally wouldn’t impress us, but the ability to register gloved input certainly gives it an edge over anything we’ve seen in the capacitive world.
By default the new Toughbook tablet sports a 2.4 GHz Core i5, your choice of spindle or SSD based storage, along with all the wireless connectivity options you would ever need including optional 3G. At $2,700 were are going to suggest that only the super clumsy need apply, but it’s always interesting to see what these guys come up with from an industrial design standpoint.
At the time of its theatrical release, many in the consumer electronics industry hoped that “Avatar” would usher in a new era in home entertainment, an era where 3D is no longer a novelty but the norm. James Cameron's magnum opus didn't disappoint and is now viewed by many as a watershed in 3D's march to the living room.
However, its upcoming release on 3D Blu-ray is unlikely to strengthen the case for 3D's place in the living room. Panasonic execs have confirmed that the Avatar 3D Blu-ray disc will be exclusive to the company's Viera 3D TVs when it arrives in December, 2010.
According to a TWICE report, the 3D Blu-ray disc will only be available as part of a bundle with “Viera 3D TVs and related equipment” for an unspecified period of time after launch.
"For the consumer, there is really no better way to experience 3D in the home than with this particular disc," Victor Carlson, Panasonic's consumer marketing VP, told TWICE. "This is the perfect marriage between this blockbuster made for 3D and what we think is the ultimate home entertainment system for enjoying 3D using our TV sets."
You can now add "rammer resistant" to the list of rugged marketing bullets attached to Panasonic's Toughbook UI handheld computers.
If you're not up to snuff on your Construction 101 course, a rammer is a sort of jackhammer with a flat surface that, among other things, is used to break up pavement. So naturally Panasonic opted to strap a Toughbook UI to the rammer while burying a second one under ground...UNDER the rammer.
Sure, no one's ever going to attach a Toughbook UI to a rammer out in the real-world, but the demonstration does show just how vibration resistant these tough little PCs are.
This was all caught on camera and uploaded to YouTube, which you can view below.
Spanish language website Clipsnet.net has the scoop on Panasonic's upcoming SDT750, the first consumer level video camera capable of recording scenes in 3D.
A front converter integrates two lenses to capture images from different angles, though it can also function as a traditional camcorder by popping off the 3D attachment.
Other features include 5.1 channel surround sound, SDXC card compatibility, Panasonic's Hybrid OIS (Optical Image Stabilizer), high-speed burst shooting, a manual ring, and several proprietary tidbits.
Panasonic this week introduced several upgrades to its existing Toughbook 19 rugged convertible tablet PC, including the addition of an Intel Core i5 540UM processor clocked at 1.2GHz (with Turbo Boost up to 2.0GHz).
Other features include 2GB of DDR3 memory (expandable to 8GB), a 10.4-inch LED backlit touchscreen display, 160GB SATA hard drive (optional 128GB SSD), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, two USB 2.0 ports, SD card slot, and other ho-hum specs.
The real selling point here is the rugged design. According to Panasonic, the Toughbook 19 exceeds the MIL-STD-810G certification and can withstand a six-foot drop. The hard drive is shock-mounted and the magnesium alloy case has been certified for all kinds of nasty conditions, such as sand storms and heavy rain.
The Toughbook 19 is available now starting at $3,400 street.
Panasonic today released what it claims is the "most powerful fully-rugged mobile computer" on the planet, the Panasonic Toughbook 31.
"The Toughbook 31 combines the best of three worlds – mobility, performance and ruggedness," said Erik Reid, mobile client marketing director, Intel Corporation. "This is achieved by combining the high performance of the Intel® Core™ i5 and i3 Processor technology with the ruggedness of the Panasonic design which enables users to perform compute intensive applications in almost any kind of conditions."
The Toughbook sports a 13.1-inch screen rated at 1,100 nits. Processor choices include an Intel Core i3 350M (2.26GHz), Core i5 520M (2.4GHz), or Core i5 540M (2.5GHz). Other specs include 2GB of DDR3 1066 memory (expandable to 8GB), up to a 250GB hard drive, HM55, QM57, or Radeon HD 5650+QM57 video controller, Wi-Fi, HDMI, four USB 2.0 ports, webcam, and other odds and ends. But the Toughbook's real claim to fame is its rugged design. Panasonic says the new model is certified to MIL-STD-810G and beyond, giving it protection from drops of up to six feet, as well as protection against water and dust.
Panasonic's Toughbook 31 is available now starting at $3,800.
Apparently it doesn’t matter whether you love the idea of 3D TV, or hate it. The industry is going full speed ahead with the 3D roll out. See, today was a momentous day for 3D TV, when the very first consumer 3D TV supporting the new standards was sold (sort of). Best Buy in Manhattan sold Brad and Ashley, a couple from the upper west side, a $2900 bundle consisting of a 50-inch Panasonic TV, a Panasonic 3D capable Blu-Ray player, and one pair of 3D glasses.
The event was clearly a PR move; the first Samsung 3D TVs have been popping up in Best Buy showrooms and Amazon pages for weeks. After completing the purchase, the lucky owners were deluged with questions by reporters that apparently had nothing better to do. You’ll soon be able to swing by your local Best Buy to get the same bundle, but don’t expect the same sort of treatment.
Anyone purchasing 3D TVs and Blu-Ray players will be waiting a while for content. DirecTV has promised 3D channels will be available by June, but movies will be slow to arrive. The most recent Ice Age film will be out “soon” and Avatar should arrive later this year. But there’s still the problem of the 3D glasses, which currently cost $150 each. Will consumers shell out for extras, or will there be a lot of BYO3DG (bring your own 3D glasses) Superbowl parties? We don’t even know if Brad and Ashley got a second pair. Maybe Ashley will just have to squint really hard.
Panasonic’s campaign will start in 300 Best Buy stores in major U.S. cities (with 1,000 stores by the end of the year), where special 3D video sections will be constructed to show off Panasonic’s wares. Panasonic will also sweeten its deal with consumers by undercutting Japanese MSRP by 30% or so. A 50-inch 3D TV is expected to go for about $2,500. Unfortunately, these Panasonic models will lack the web access functions commonplace on their Japanese versions.
Panasonic reports a goal of selling one million 3D TVs globally during this fiscal year, with half of those being sold in the United States. Panasonic figures this will give it a 50% share of the global market for this new product niche.