While China isn’t exactly known for creating original products when it comes to their own design, once in awhile we’ll be surprised at the devices they can come up with. Case in point, Oppo’s first ever smartphone, the X903. Running on Android, this phone sure doesn’t fail in the looks department but it is only mediocre when it comes to specs, especially when put up against other high-end devices from other manufacturers. But hey – what were you expecting? The X903 packs a 1GHz processor with 3D graphics accelerator (manufacturer not mentioned), an 8-megapixel camera (supports 720p HD video recording), 3G, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a very interestingly-skinned Android 2.2 operating system. Judging by screenshots of the device, it looks like a cross between iOS and Android, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on how you feel about it. No word on pricing or release date
Huawei has made its MediaPad tablet official, billing the slate as the world’s first 7-inch Android 3.2 Honeycomb model. Built around an IPS capacitive touchscreen, the 10.5mm thick MediaPad runs Qualcomm’s 1.2GHz dual-core processor and has twin cameras – a 5-megapixel autofocus unit on the back, supporting HD video recording, along with a 1.3-megapixel webcam up front for video calls – together with HSPA+ 14.4Mbps connectivity and an HDMI port.
There’s also WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth, support for 1080p Full HD playback and a battery which, Huawei reckons, is good for over six hours of battery life. That should put it roughly in line with the HTC Flyer, though of course the Flyer runs Gingerbread not Honeycomb. Huawei has also confirmed that Flash Player 10.3 is supported and that there’s 8GB of internal storage along with a microSD card slot.
The Facebook and Twitter apps will be preloaded, as will Document To Go and Let’s Golf. Huawei will also be throwing in support for its Hispace cloud system, though full details are yet to be confirmed. Unfortunately there won’t be a WiFi-only model, Engadget reports, with Huawei apparently prioritizing carrier distribution.
US availability is tipped for Q4 2011, with pricing yet to be announced. The key difference between Android 3.1 Honeycomb and this new 3.2 version is supposedly that Google has tailored it to suit 7-inch slates. That should help Acer feel more comfortable about releasing the delayed Iconia Tab A100 later in the year.
Sony Electronics is taking the next step toward bringing the big screen experience to a wider audience with the introduction of the VPL-HW30ES front projector. Incorporating Sony’s latest panel technology and dynamic lamp control system, fans of movies, sports and gaming have the opportunity to enjoy unrivalled 2D or 3D entertainment, with stunning images that are nearly three times as bright as Sony’s current 3D home projector.
Utilizing Sony’s SXRD™ (Silicon X-tal Reflective Display) technology, the VPL-HW30ES delivers full high definition video including 3D, using high frame rate 240Hz panel drive projection technology. When viewers don the new active shutter 3D glasses (TDG-PJ1 sold separately), the front projector with the 3D transmitter (TMR-PJ1 sold separately) delivers a crisp and bright image on the screen. Sony’s new lamp technology enables 3D display that is brighter and also reduces the cross talk that can diminish the clarity of the projected image.
Part of the Sony’s ES line, this projector will be available in the United States through a network of high-end A/V specialists and custom installers. Also available in a bundle with two pairs of 3D glasses and transmitter, is the VPL-HW30AES.
The VPLHW30ES supports a wide variety of 3D formats including frame packing, side-by-side, and top and bottom. Only Sony products offer support this range, so viewers can enjoy the widest variety of 3D including Blu-ray, broadcast and photography. The projector is also equipped with 2D to 3D conversion function to simulate 3D video and pictures using 2D content. It also features two-way RS232 and an IR input for simple and seamless integration with third party automation systems.
“The VPL-HW30ES is part of Sony’s strategy to expand 3D for home front projectors,” said Charles Speidel, vice president, Sony Electronics’ Home Audio and Video Division. “This uses the same SXRD cinematic display technology to enable high resolution, high contrast and faster refresh rates, delivering incredible pictures and full high definition on a big screen, even in 3D. Whether watching movies, sports or playing video games, this projector, offers consumer the ultimate theater experience in their living room.”
The new projector offers independent 2D/3D picture modes; users can optimize the display based on content being viewed for cinema, sports, gaming or photo viewing. With Sony’s SXRD panel and Advanced Iris 3 technologies, the VPL-HW30ES features dynamic contrast to 70,000:1 while delivering 1,300 lumens output. The VPL-HW30ES also supports HDMI1.4a which not only includes 3D support, but also Deep Color and x.v.Color for natural, vivid reproduction of colors. Sony’s video processing which includes Motionflow with Dark Frame Insertion and Mosquito and Block Noise reduction and 24p True Cinema capabilities recreates a sharp film-like image.
Sony’s new TDG-PJ 1 3D glasses (sold separately) have a matte black finish inside the frames to optimize viewing of projected images and reduce reflections; are lighter (2.1oz vs. 2.8oz); rechargeable; and offer longer viewing times (30 hours continuous watching on a single 30 minutes charge) when compared to the first generation.
Remember Dimenco? A four-man splinter group of former Philips employees, the company has been hard at work refining its glasses-free 3D display tech and today some of the earliest fruit of its labor is going on sale. Nissho Electronics in Japan is beginning sales of a 52-inch LCD panel that can pump out full 1080p of 3D vision without requiring any headgear from the viewer. Initially, this big lenticular display will target businesses, who’ll be among the few to be able to afford the ¥1.7 million ($20,820) asking price. Other specs include a 2,000:1 contrast ratio, 8ms response time, 700 nits of brightness, and a 60Hz refresh rate. The 3D on this TV is actually described as a unique “2D + depth” implementation, which can also be used to convert 2D images in real time. Great, now take a zero out of that price, ship it westwards, and watch the sales really take off.
Early reviews of Fuji’s FinePix Real 3D W1? Not so hot. However, a year later the $450 refreshed W3 seems to be doing better, scoring a “Recommended” review over at Photography Blog. The camera’s dual 1/2.3-inch, 10 megapixel CCDs and 3X zoom lenses are carried over from before, but a new design and more user-friendly interface is said to make a huge improvement — even if it’s still too easy to stick a finger over either of the two light portals up front. Build quality is solid and the new 3.5-inch, glasses-free 3D LCD on the back is called “impressive,” far brighter than last year’s parallax barrier. The machine will capture 720p 3D movies and can save both 3D MPO images and 2D JPEGs simultaneously, meaning your holiday snaps are future-proofed even if you haven’t jumped on the 3D bandwagon just yet.
Flip Video’s other notable partnership in the new Designed for Flip accessory program is iGo, who have put together a pico-projector for the company’s UltraHD and MinoHD camcorders. Unlike the Mikey for Flip, which physically snaps onto the bottom of your Flip, the iGo Portable Projector uses an adapter cable; it also has regular A/V, composite video, stereo audio, mini HDMI, VGA and microUSB inputs.
That actually makes for a reasonable flexible pico-projector in its own right, and the iGo is capable of a 1200 x 800 picture in either 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio and with 20 ANSI lumens brightness.
Summit Semiconductor and Hansong Technologies have teamed up to offer the first full 7.1 complaint HDMI wireless audio hub to home theater fans. The device is a small HDMI audio hub that has AV receiver connectivity and high definition audio decode capability. The device is aimed at use with digital TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, and more.
The device has optical and coax digital audio inputs and supports DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD audio format. It also has stereo analog inputs for devices like the Wii, iPhone, and MP3 players. The hub also has calibration features built in to optimize the sound for the room.
The hub is compatible with all Summit Wireless enabled speakers. Once set up and paired with the appropriate speakers the system can send audio wirelessly to speaker systems ranging from 2.0 to 7.1 so you don’t need to run wires all around your home.
ASUS’ VG236H was quietly announced back at CeBIT, but the 23-inch 3D monitor is just now getting around to making itself known to worldwide retailers. On sale now for a penny under $500 (which includes the complete $180 NVIDIA 3D Vision kit), this 1080p display has also managed to hit the test bench over at Hot Hardware. Critics over there found that it was amongst the nicest looking TN (boo) panels out there, and that the third dimension had no issue popping out on command. In fact, they had little to complain about, noting that it “consistently hit the mark in their testing [while producing] a fantastic image, whether it be 2D, 3D, work or play.” Granted, it’s not like you’ve too many options when it comes to snagging a 3D LCD, but at least we’re hearing this particular one is worth a look (or three).
Just as the MPAA is preparing to offer movies to customers at home while they’re still in theaters by limiting playback to DRM-protected digital outputs only, the HDCP protocol they rely on may have been cracked wide open. All devices that support HDCP, like Blu-ray players, set-top boxes and displays with HDMI inputs, have their own set of keys to encrypt and decrypt protected data and if keys for a particular device are compromised, they can be revoked by content released in the future which will then refuse to play. Now, posts have been floating around on Twitter about a supposed “master key” which renders that protection unusable since it allows anyone to create their own source and sink keys.
Who discovered this and by what technique isn’t immediately clear, but as early as 2001 security researcher Niels Ferguson proposed that it could be easily revealed by knowing the keys of less than 50 different devices. Hardware HDCP rippers like the HDfury2 and DVIMAGIC have been around for a while and various AACS cracks easily allow rips of Blu-ray discs but if this information is what it claims to be, then the DRM genie could be permanently out of the bag allowing perfect high definition copies of anything as long as the current connector standards are around. While it’s unlikely your average user would flash their capture device with a brand new key and get to copying uncompressed HD audio and video, keeping those early releases off of the torrents in bit perfect quality could go from difficult to impossible
Apple has sliced roughly half of the metal off its old Mac Mini and re-released the starter computer as a box that now looks a lot like the Apple TV. And it has an HDMI port.
Does this mark the death knell for Apple’s “hobby” project, we wonder?
Like the Apple TV, the new Mini has an built-in power brick. Yet it measures 197 x 197 x 36mm.
As standard the new, slimmer Mini sports a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of 1067MHz DDR 3 memory, 320GB Sata hard drive and Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics.
There’s an SD card slot on the back, plus four USB 2.0 ports and a Firewire 800 connector, Gigabit Ethernet and Mini DisplayPort. The machine has 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 too.
Apple said the power supply for Mac mini has been reduced from 110W to 85W and is now up to 90 per cent efficient.
The machine costs £649, and there’s a server version for £929. The latter lacks an optical drive, but contains two 500GB HDDs, 4GB of Ram and a 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo.
Same size as the Apple TV, has an HDMI port like the Apple TV – will the Mac Mini replace that machine? Well, it’s telling that the current verision of the Apple TV has been dropped from the front page of the online Apple Store.