I myself am surprised that it took General Electric this long to produce digital cameras for the mass market. They are very careful about it though, acting as just a licensor while General Imaging from Japan will manufacture the GE-branded cameras. At PMA '07 last week, four different lines of digital cameras were unveiled, consisting of the A, E, G, and X series. The A-series targets the entry level market, while more advanced shutterbugs can settle for the E-series. For those who are always on the go, the compact G-series is the perfect for this purpose, while the X-series sacrifices size for more heavy duty specifications. Cameras from all four lines will be released in mid-April, so start saving today.
Seriously, the advent of Skype has made communicating with other people all over the world affordable, but there are still some of us who want more - for instance, low phone bills without messing around hardware-based VoIP services and yet want quality that surpasses Skype calls. magicJack could be the solution, as this device resembles a USB flash drive and comes with a phone jack behind. When plugged in, the magicJack will install the necessary software automatically, enabling you to hook up any regular house phone and start making calls to both landline and cellphone numbers for free. Other features include caller ID, call forwarding, and call waiting. There is no word on pricing, and I still wonder whether there are any access charges attached to the magicJack.
The iTower Omega comes with a quartet of speakers and a couple of subwoofers, all lined up along its body. At the top of its head lies a universal iPod dock for you to place your favorite MP3 player the moment you get home. How many of you actually use iPod towers in your homes? I personally think that speaker docks would find a much wider range of audience because we humans like to stick to tradition. After all, the iTower Omega ought to be used in homes with no children or pets running around since it doesn't look like the most stable item in the house anyway. For $300, I would've expected the iTower Omega to come with a remote control at the very least.
BenQ looks set to join the UMPC fray by releasing its very own ultra mobile PC before 2007 is over, if word from market sources are correct. Any UMPC release won't cannibalize BenQ's existing line of Joybook notebooks, but rather, complement it. Other than that, there is no further word on the specifications that we gadgetheads clamor for all the time. In other news, you can bank on BenQ to release more smartphones and UMA-compliant dual-mode handsets in Q3 this year as well.
Microtune has released the MicroTuner MT2170 input tuner that runs at 1GHz, making it the industry's first to do so based on the CableLabs DOCSIS 2.0 specification. This means cable equipment manufacturers will be able to come up with devices that feature data transfer speeds of more than 160Mbps at a wider bandwidth (100MHz). The new MT2170 improves on its predecessor by featuring smaller tuner footprint and better power efficiency. Sampling of the MT2170 will begin in Q2 2007 for under the $5.00 mark in volume quantities. I guess we will see cable modems and CoIP set-top boxes sporting this new input tuner next year.
I don't know why is there the need to bling up everyday items, perhaps to satiate our need for significance in this world? Anyways, if you have a little too much dough in your bank account and do not know how to spend it, why not pick up this Nixon Diamond Rotolog watch that comes studded with 1,851 diamonds? Yes, you read that right. 764 of these puppies are full cut white diamonds while the remaining ones are full cut black diamonds. Weighing in at a total of 9.25 carats, the Nixon Diamond Rotolog definitely makes you a tempting target for snatch thieves whenever you wear this out. It costs a bomb, but I suggest you pick up a Knuckle Blaster Stun Gun to go along with it.
How many computer speakers truly stand out in terms of design? Bear in mind we aren't talking about high end sets that cost more than half a grand, but the standard 2.1 set up which graces most desktops. The Sonicum PC Speakers might pump out a mere 15-watts of sound when released this May, but they certainly come in a unique angle. In fact, when viewed from the side, the Sonicum PC Speakers look just like the speaker icon in Windows. If you place your order before April 6, you can pick up a set for $80, but those who missed the boat will have to fork out an additional $40. If you want something different for your desktop, you won't go wrong with a pair of Sonicums.
Let's see - there is very little to separate one PMP from another these days in terms of features, leaving other points such as pricing and design to duke it out. Insignia upped the feature ante by offering Bluetooth compatibility with wireless headphones, making it the perfect device to tote along when you head out of the house. Features include a 2.2" LCD display (could've been bigger), a built-in FM tuner, internal 4GB flash memory, and a microSD memory card slot in case that is not enough. The small size (0.6" thin and weighs 2.4 ounces) makes it a truly portable machine. Best Buy is currently offering the Insignia PMP for $159.99. Hopefully the battery life will be that of a decent amount.
Folks at ARINC have successfully developed the eFLYBOOK which targets a very niche market - pilots. This e-Ink viewer consists of an interactive tablet that stores maps, charts, forms, and other documentation that pilots need to fill out on each flight. The contrast ratio makes it easy on the eyes, as looking at the display from any angle is the equivalent of reading a book. The eFLYBOOK features an 8.1" display and measures a mere 0.5" thick, weighing 13.7oz. Out since July last year, the eFLYBOOK can be purchased for $1,499.
Those who are looking to pick up the 8GB Zen V Plus (see photo on right) from Creative will be able to choose from a black and red version later this month for $210. If you can't wait until then, why not ship one over from Singapore? In other news, Creative has also issued a statement that it will send the Vision: M and Vision: W portable media players to the fat house, measuring 0.75" and 0.87" in thickness respectively. That is effectively 15% slimmer when compared to previous dimensions. This round of hardware refresh won't come with a higher price tag, so consumers will still pay the same.