Boy oh boy has 3D technology come a long way since the advent of those horrendous blue and red glasses that are still around today. Taking the technology to a new level, Sony says it has developed a 360-degree 3D display, which it plans to show off during Tokyo's Digital Content Expo 2009 this Thursday.
Sony says no goofy glasses are required to view the stereoscopic, 24-bit color image, which measures just 96 x 128 pixels. The image is viewable from all angles, but Sony didn't say if you'll be able to see the side of the image, depending on where you're oriented in relation to the display.
It's just a novelty at this point, but as research and development continues, Sony said it could see this technology being used as a 3D photo frame or in videophones.
As competition starts to heat up, we don't know who -- if anyone -- will emerge as the dominant ebook player, but if judging on looks alone, Plastic Logic's new "Que" might just take the crown.
Named after the English alphabet letter and not the Spanish equivalent for "what," the sleek-looking Que has received a glossy black finish that wasn't present in previous prototypes. And while this isn't always the case in real life, the Que has more going for it than just good looks.
The Que's letter-sized 8.5 x 11 inch screen boasts a "shatterproof" design and also includes a capacitive touch layer that won't interfere with the e-ink display. Users will be able to sketch and manipulate documents with it, and on the connectivity front, the Que features AT&T 3G and WiFi.
Despite all the Que has going for it, Plastic Logic insists it isn't going after the Kindle market, and will instead focus on providing a comprehensive platform for mobile professionals.
The busy guys and gals over at Acer have put the final touches on the company's revamped AspireRevo R3510-U9012 "one-liter nettop." Kicking things up a notch over its predecessor, the refreshed PC now sports an Intel dual-core Atom 330 instead of a single core Atom 230.
It also comes built around Nvidia's Ion platform, 2GB of DDR2 memory, a 160GB hard drive, six USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, eSATA, WiFi, and Windows 7 Home Premium, fast becoming an obligatory OS in any new OEM setup. Not a bad spec sheet for a $330 nettop.
"The AspireRevo is a practical and highly adaptable nettop for the home -- powerful enough to take on games but so thin, it can be neatly hidden from view," said Susan Hu, Desktop Product Manager for Acer America. "It's also energy-efficient and quiet."
One of the coolest features of the AspireRevo is its ability to connect to the back of an LCD or TV panel with a VESA attachment. In essence, you could turn your swank LCD HDTV into a respectable all-in-one. And did we mention it's only $330?
Display technology seems to be reading for some pretty amazing leaps if the flexible display prototypes from Hewlett-Packard, Philips and Samsung pan out. Besides being incredibly thin, these displays can be bent, stretched, even folded. But just how durable are they?
In an interesting twist on the game whack-a-mole, a video posted by luxury1004 on YouTube suggests pretty darn durable. The video shows a hammer being taken to a Samsung AMOLED display. The 2.8-inch, 20 micrometer thin display, playing a clip from Gran Turismo 5, comes out unscathed.
Michael Dell’s attendance at a Silicon Valley dinner sponsored by the Churchill Club seems to have devolved into a pity party, as the founder and CEO and founder of Dell Computers laid into netbooks. Dell is reported to have said: “Take a user who's used to a 15-inch notebook and then give him a 10-inch netbook. He'll say 'Oh, this is so cool, it's so lightweight.' Then 36 hours later he'll say the screen's not big enough, give me my 15-inch back." Which he followed up with this: “For a replacement machine or for a high-end machine, it's not what we'd recommend.”
Excuse me, Michael, but your company sells netbooks; the Mini-10, for example. And, its a fair guess, people who buy these know what they are getting themselves into with the smaller screens, tiny keyboards, and underpowered processors. While it’s fair to note that netbooks are poor substitutes for ‘real’ notebooks, it doesn’t appear that’s buyers are necessarily purcashing netbooks as replacements for notebooks. Perhaps Dell is channeling his inner rage over the extraordinarily low margins on netbooks?
On a happy note, Dell likes him some Windows 7. "If you get the latest processor technology and you get Windows 7 and Office 2010, you will love your PC again," Dell said. "And we actually have not been able to say that for a long time. It's a dramatic improvement." So Windows 7 is good because you’ll now need to buy a new computer; a new Dell computer.
Metadot this week launched a couple of new Das Keyboard models, including a silent version that trades in the company's famous click-action for a less audible click. But more on that in a moment.
The bigger release is the new Das Keyboard Model S. Unlike previous versions, the Model S comes packed with several new features, including media functions (control mute, volume, play/pause, stop, previous track, next track, and sleep with "simple keystrokes"), a pair of USB connectors -- one for connecting the keyboard and the other to provide power to the built-in USB hub, which can be used for charging USB devices -- an external PS/2 adapter, full n-key rollover, and compatibility with KVM switches.
Metadot is also now offering a silent version, which is somewhat ironic given that part of the Das Keyboard's claim to fame is the satisfying click action. Nevertheless, Metadot says the quieter plank tones things down with keystrokes that have a "slightly softer feel and isn't nearly as loud," but was quick to add that the quieter version still provides the type of tactile and audible feedback as its predecessors. Make of that statement what you will.
Both models will start shipping before the end of the month, however they're both also available for pre-order. The Model S sells for $129 with choice between labeled (Professional) or blank (Ultimate) keys, while its quieter companion, available only in labeled form, retails for $135.
In our August 2009 ultraportable notebook roundup we fell hard for Toshiba’s Portégé R600—the lightest, sleekest ultraportable notebook we’d ever tested. At $2,150, however, that notebook isn’t cheap.
This month we tested Toshiba’s more affordable ultraportable, the Portégé A605, to see how this consumer-class model compares with its fancier business-class kin.
In looks, the two machines are quite different. While the R600 wowed us with its silver, svelte stylishness, the A605 looks more commonplace. Inside and out, it’s adorned with that shiny black plastic you see everywhere these days, which looks really good… until you smudge it. Its keyboard, thankfully, has the same fingerprint-proof silver coating as the R600’s, and more importantly, sports the same full-size dimensions that make typing on it easy. The A605, which measures 11.3x8.8x1.2 inches, is close in size to the R600, just not as wafer-thin, and it’s a noticeable three-quarters of a pound heavier. Like the R600, the A605 offers a generous selection of ports and expandability options, including a USB/eSATA port (in addition to two standard USB ports), an ExpressCard slot, and an SD media reader.
Corsair on Thursday announced its new 64GB Flash Survivor USB drive, which the company claims is the "most rugged high-capacity flash drive on the market." And by the looks of things, they're probably right.
Encased in CNC-milled, aircraft grade aluminum, Corsair says the new drive is pretty much indestructible. Each unit comes molded in a shock-dampening collar and EPDM seal, providing water-resistance up to a depth of 200 meters. Corsair notes that reviewers have dropped, baked, boiled, microwaved, and even run over the Survivor with an SUV in an attempt to show just how durable the drive really is.
"The new 64GB Flash Survivor takes the industry's most popular rugged USB drive and takes it to the next level, with a huge amount of storage space, plus best-in-class performance," said Jim Carlton, VP of Marketing for Corsair. "The 64GB Survivor is ideal for storing and transporting your music, videos, pictures, and other important files, safe in the knowledge that your data will be safeguarded inside the Survivor's protective shell."
The drive is available now with a street price around $170. To help justify the cost, Corsair says each drive comes bundled with a USB extension cable and dog tags, and comes backed by a 10-year warranty.
To kick off the new year, Intel plans to start shipping its Atom N450 processor clocked at 1.66GHz, which is slightly faster than the 1.60GHz Atom N270. At $64, it's also slightly more expensive by a couple of Hamiltons.
But if you're holding out for a faster Atom chip, you may consider waiting until March when Intel starts selling its Atom N470 chip for $75. The upcoming part will kick things up a notch with a 1.86GHz clockspeed, or 200MHz faster than the N270. That's a pretty significant boost in the Atom world, even if the amount of cache (512KB) remains unchanged.
Both new chips will fit in the same FCBGA8 socket that current netbooks use. That means you can also expect some new desktop Atom chips in the pipeline, though details are scarce at the moment.
So much in life is unknowable. Will the economy rebound? Hard to say. Will oil prices skyrocket? Maybe, maybe not. Will Brangelina add to their brood? Frankly, we don’t care. But one thing’s for sure: Technology is ever-changing and each year guarantees new advances for the PC user.
As we do every year around this time, we got on the horn with our industry contacts—experts in their respective fields—and pressed them for details about what new and exciting hardware power users can look forward to in 2010. Some of what we learned was expected (SATA speeds will double), some came from out of left field (six 30-inch panels on a single videocard?!), and some just plain make sense (like a Nehalem chip for the masses).
Read on to find out how your personal computing landscape stands to be altered in the year ahead.