Author Archive | Jacqueline Emigh

CES 2011: Samsung Previews Slider Tablet, Air-like Ultraportable

Samsung's TX100 Slider PC

With so many mobile PCs hitting the market, hardware makers are doing all they can to differentiate their products, a trend particularly evident right now among tablets vying to unseat Apple’s iPad. Samsung is differentiating to the hilt with two Windows 7 mobile PCs unveiled on the eve of CES: a new “slider” tablet PC, and a slimline ultraportable notebook.

Samsung previewed both the TX100 — also referred to as the Slider PC 7–and the Notebook PC 9 at a news conference during CES Press Day on Wednesday in Las Vegas, amid a flurry of Samsung TV announcements.

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CES 2011: More Internet Video to Flow to TVs, PCs and Smartphones

Wednesday is Press Day here at CES, a day when major consumer electronics players like LG, Netgear and Intel traditionally make big announcements in advance of the full show that starts tomorrow. If there’s an underlying message here in Las Vegas so far, it’s that companies are getting the word that consumers want to view more content–whether Hollywood- or user-generated–from and over the Internet, on devices ranging from TVs to PCs and smartphones.

In delivering a roadmap of LG’s TV plans for 2011 today, Tim Alessi, LG’s director of new product development for home electronics, listed “more content to watch”  – together with connectivity to home networks and easier-to-use 3D TV – as the three key linchpins for the year ahead.

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CES 2011: Lenovo Intros Consumer Laptops and Desktops by the Dozen

Desktop PCs are standing flat where they are, as some pundits see it, but Lenovo plans to give them a leg up on lots of levels in 2011.  Beyond literally dozens of new multimedia-intensive IdeaPad notebooks for consumers and ThinkPads for businesses, Lenovo’s product rollouts at CES 2011 will also include new IdeaCentre PCs that could help to reimagine the all-in-one category by adding fresh features for TV watching, gaming, and 3D entertainment.

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CES 2011: New ThinkPads for Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses

At CES in Las Vegas this week, Lenovo will try to up the ante on rivals like Acer, Dell and HP with a veritable full house of new PCs, including new ThinkPad Edge models for small- and medium-sized business users incorporating new rapid boot-up technology, videoconferencing, and “crossover” home entertainment.

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AT&T Labs Mashes Up Voice, TV, Gestures, and Twitter

“Watching TV is supposed to be fun, right?” asked AT&T’s Michael Johnston. In a press event at the AT&T Labs in New York City, Johnston and other researchers showed off  iRemote, Talkalytics, and dozens of other projects now under way for using AT&T’s long-time Watson speech recognition together with search, gestures, and Twitter analysis.

With all the hundreds of TV channels available today, it can be harder than ever to figure out what to watch, Johnston observed. But through a new iRemote app currently in development, you can speak voice commands into a smartphone to get an immediate list of “all reality shows on Thursday night”–and other categories of TV programs small enough to easily digest — on your TV screen.

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Nookcolor: The Third-Party Android App Story

Barnes & Noble has been intimating that Android applications for the upcoming color version of its Nook e-reader will be different from those already downloadable from Google’s Android Market. But exactly how?  For one thing, people accessing Android apps on the Nookcolor tablet won’t necessarily even need to know–or care–anything about Android, explained Claudia Romanini, the head of Nook developer arm Nookdeveloper, in an interview this week.

Instead, developers creating apps for the Nook e-reader will be urged to build “reader-center apps that will blend in seamlessly with our reader’s tablet environment,” she told me.

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Barnes & Noble Takes the Wraps Off of Nookcolor and Android Developers Program

Well beyond its seven-inch–yet iPad-like–color screen, Barnes & Noble’s new Android-based Nookcolor is packed with new features that include a video-capable magazine library, ArticleView, e-book “borrowing,” and much more, as demo’d at a New York City launch event on Monday night. B&N is in it for the long haul with the color e-reader, with an upgrade to Android 2.2 planned for early next year–and don’t expect the price to budge soon from $249.

Along with Nookcolor, B&N also unveiled a new library of children’s books called Nook Kids, plus the bookseller’s first application development program for Android.

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Sprint Plans a Bevy of 4G Devices, But Where’s the Galaxy Tab 4G?

While boldly talking up intentions for more phones, PCs, and sundry other 4G devices in New York City this week, Sprint also issued a press release announcing that its edition of Samsung’s Android-based Galaxy Tab tablet will be available nationwide on November 14 for $400, with a choice of two 3G wireless plans.

“We will have a lot more 4G devices,” Sprint VP of Business Marketing Tom Roberts told me on Monday at a customer and press launch event for Sprint’s 4G services, now set to start November 1 in the New York City metro area.

With WiMax rollouts also slated for San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston some time in the near future, Sprint and its partner Clearwire will have penetrated more than half of the major US metro markets by the end of this year, said Roberts.

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Dell Launches XPS Laptops with 3DTV Play and Optimus

Dell is today launching three new laptops which deliver a multifaceted upgrade to its entertainment-oriented XPS series, adding new features that include NVidia 3DTV Play, built-in Optimus switchable graphics, and a Webcam capable of HD video streaming.

With the new 15-, 16-, and 17-inch models, Dell’s XPS family now becomes a trio instead of a duo, replacing the 13- and 16-inch models rolled out in an earlier product line-up refresh in 2009, said Kellie Mater, Dell’s senior laptop merchandiser, at a press briefing I attended in New York City.

At starting prices ranging from $899 for the new 15-inch XPS laptop to $949 for the 17-incher, the upgraded XPSers cost about twice as much as the refreshed Inspiron R models introduced by Dell just a few months ago, which begin at $449.

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iRobot Sneak Peek: JamBots, LanDroids, and TransPhibians

Aside from Dilbert, most cartoon characters don’t get a chance to inspire tech companies. But Rosie the Robot of The Jetsons is definitely an exception, says Colin Angle, the CEO of iRobot. Angle helped to show off robots this week ranging from the company’s Roomba vacuum cleaner and PackBot 510 military robot to squishable JamBots camouflaged to look like an octopus and a crab.

At a tech showcase in New York, Angle contended that he founded iRobot some 20 years ago because the robotics industry had failed to create actual robots that could follow the example set by Rosie, a major player in the 1960s futuristic TV cartoon series.

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