Say what you will about Microsoft, but they’ve always made pretty good mice in our book. The Redmond giant’s new BlueTrack technology has made for some fairly lust-worthy pointing devices. Though, the pricing has been high thus far. Their newest offerings though, are priced at a mere $30 or less.
The Wireless Mouse 3500 is a smaller mouse aimed at notebook users. It has five buttons and the hand-contorting form factor common on notebook mice. The going price is $30. The Wireless Mouse 2000 is a more generously sized standard mouse with five buttons and a tilt wheel. This one also retails for $30. Finally we have the Comfort Mouse 4500. This unit is basically just the 2000 with a wire instead of wireless technology. This model will run only $25.
If you aren’t sold based on the price alone, the new BlueTrack mice are available in an assortment of colors to brighten your work station. Microsoft has gotten some kudos for the BlueTrack technology, and these new mice make the technology more accessible than ever. You might see these inexpensive mice in your office soon.
Every portable computer, from the brawniest desktop replacement to the tiniest netbook, has one thing in common: terrible speakers. There’s no shortage of powered speaker systems on the market—some of which are very good—but what’s the point of using a laptop if you have to tether it to a box to get good sound?
Klipsch has a better solution: The ProMedia 2.1 Wireless uses a USB transmitter to send audio from the host PC to the speakers over the airwaves. The speakers themselves are all hardwired, with the amplifier tucked inside the subwoofer. And lordy, what a subwoofer it is. There’s a 6.5-inch long-throw, side-firing driver housed inside a bass-reflex enclosure with a front port. The sub cabinet also houses the wireless receiver and the 200-watt amplifier that powers all three channels. Klipsch claims line-of-sight range of 30 feet and our experience backs that up. If you’re looking for a wireless audio system that will send audio from a computer in one room to speakers in another, this isn’t the right solution.
There was a time when computer keyboards were little more than bland, beige planks with nary a unique feature to be found, but that certainly isn't the case anymore. Today there are tons of higher-end keyboards to choose from, the latest of which comes from Adesso.
Adesso's newest entry into the 'not-just-another-plank' category consists of the WKB-4200UB, a wireless keyboard thanks to its 2.4GHz RF combo controller, giving the keyboard a range of 30 feet.. There's a touchpad nestled over to the side, but even so, the WKB-4200UB still boasts a full-sized QWERTY keyboard.
The touchpad isn't the only unusual feature. Adesso says you can use multiple units in the same room, a trick made possible because of 6500 IDs on 12 different channels.
Everything's fine over at Verizon, folks, and you can still expect 4G wireless service to materialize sometime later this year. Or so says Dick Lynch, the company's executive vice president and CTO.
Speaking during a press conference at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Lynch reiterated that Verizon Wireless is on track to launch its commercial LTE (long-term evolution) service later this year. There's good chance it will come to fruition sooner rather than later, as Lynch said his company is in the final testing phase, otherwise known as "Phase 4," of its LTE technology. Within the next two months, he expects testing to be completed in Boston and Seattle.
Verizon hopes to launch its service in 25 to 30 markets throughout the U.S. by the end of the year. First-run solutions will consist of offering laptop owners USB air cards that access LTE. Later on, expect to see mobile devices with embedded LTE trickle into the market.
The biggest challenge, says Lynch, has been getting voice to work over LTE, and while more work remains to be done, he said the issue is getting resolved.
Adobe on Monday announced it has joined the LiMo foundation, an industry consortium "dedicated to creating the first truly open, hardware-independent" Linux OS for mobile devices.
The move will have Adobe bringing its Flash platform to the LiMo platform, enabling developers and content providers to create apps that can run on LiMo devices.
"Bringing the Flash platform to LiMo opens up a significant opportunity for Adobe to further its goals of open standards and multi-screen interoperability of rich mobile content," said David Wadhwani, general manger and vice president, Flash Platform Business at Adobe. "Following the goals of the Open Screen Project, the openness of Linux and the Flash platform represent a common vision to enable consumers to engage with rich Internet experiences seamlessly across any device, anywhere."
In addition to Adobe, the LiMo foundation said it also added ELSE Ltd. MobiTV, and SRS Labs to its ranks.
If you owned a pair of Sennheiser's PX 210 BT headphones, you'd never have to pause another Maximum PC podcast again, even when you have to use the bathroom or duck downstairs to check on the laundry. Not only do these headphones cut the cord in favor of a Bluetooth connection, they also come with a range of 33 feet.
On the technical side, Sennheiser's cordless headset comes constructed with Neodymium magnets and Duofol diaphragms for "excellent sound reproduction," apt-X technology support for audio compression duties, a collapsible design with a metal-reinforced headband, and integrated track and volume controls.
The set also comes with an audio cable for those times when Bluetooth isn't an option. Other accessories include a multi-country chargers, USB charging cable, rechargeable battery, and carrying case.
A professor of electrical engineering at Penn. State and his research team managed to get an infrared signal to transmit data at 1Gbps. Optical networks have a host of potential advantages over traditional radio networks such as more security, less interference, and obviously speed.
The research pair seemed to think that by their calculations, there is much more bandwidth to be found using infrared light. The new technology is touted as the future of wireless communications as the RF spectrum continues to be gobbled up and overly congested.
Trendnet’s TEW-639GR 802.11n router is an ugly duckling that will never grow into a beautiful swan. It also just happens to be the fastest router we’ve tested in some time. It performs well at range, includes a Gigabit Ethernet switch, and with an $80 street price, it’s cheap, too!
The three external antennae aren’t to blame for this router’s homeliness—in fact, we welcome that design choice if it accounts for the router’s excellent performance. Rather, it’s the ultra-cheap plastic shell and the glowing indicator light that screams “wireless router!” like the vacancy sign at a no-tell motel that make this device look so cheesy.
Before we dive into a discussion of what this router can do, let’s cover any limitations that might be deal-breakers for you. This is a single-band router that operates on the 2.4GHz frequency band only, so if your air space is crowded with other people’s APs or you’re looking for a router to pair with your dual-band media streamer, look elsewhere. Likewise if you’re using a VoIP device, since the router’s quality-of-service features are limited to enabling Wi-Fi Multimedia. Lastly, Trendnet didn’t outfit the TEW-639GR with a USB port, so you can’t set it up to function as network attached storage or use it to share a printer over your network.
In an attempt to attract more business travelers, Amtrak announced plans to offer free wireless Internet service on some of its high-speed trains traveling between Boston, New York, and Washington, USA Today reports.
Amtrak's timing comes as more airlines begin to adopt Wi-Fi service of their own, which is one reason Amtrak has followed suit.
"That's part of it," admitted Cliff Cole, an Amtrak spokesman. But "It's more about our initiatives to add services for our passengers and create a better riding experience."
And it's been working, says Cole, who points out that Amtrak's share of the market between New York and Washington, compared with the airlines, has risen to 61 percent from 50 percent from September 2004 to June 2009.
Adding Wi-Fi to the designated routes is just the beginning. Amtrak said it plans to expand Internet availability to its Northwest regional trains, and eventually offer it beyond the East coast.
The lawyers at AT&T have got fantastic job security. Last year, the telco giant was sued over ringtones, internet speeds, and lack of features. The first AT&T lawsuit of 2010 could be a doozie: charging its customers fake taxes.
Yep, you heard it right. AT&T has been collecting sales tax on its iPhone users’ data plans, which is a no-no according to the federal Internet Tax Freedom Act. The act bans most taxes on internet access, which arguably includes the iPhone data plan, until the legislation is up for renewal in 2014. However, like any other law, it can be (and is) interpreted and enforced in different ways throughout the country.
The lawsuit has been filed in Georgia, Indiana, and Alabama where an individual agreed to bring the complaint to a judge. The lawyers at Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson and Gorny hope the judge certifies the case as a class action lawsuit, which will get far more people involved.