Monthly Archives: November 2008

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Fujitsu LifeBook N7010 NotebookFujitsu today released the first notebook PC that includes a secondary touchscreen display. The 4-inch touchscreen is embedded above the desktop replacement machine’s keyboard. It can be used to control media or launch applications without accessing the main screen. The 16-inch notebook uses Intel’s Centrino 2 processor technology (dual-core Intel Core 2 Duo SU9300 Ultra Low Voltage processor). The LifeBook N7010 offers a removable dust-filter, spill-resistant keyboard, and shock mounted hard drive, as well as up to 6.15 hours of battery life.

Full Specifications:

  • Intel Centrino 2 Technology
  • Intel Core 2 Duo SU9300 Ultra Low Voltage Processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • Optional SSD (Solid State Drive)
  • Integrated eSata Port
  • Gesture-enabled Touchpad for Convenient Navigation, Zooming, and Panning
  • Blu-ray optical Drive
  • 16" Wide-Aspect Crystal View Display
  • ATI Radeon HD 3470 Graphics with 256MB GDDR3 Dedicated Graphics Memory
  • Integrated 1.3MP Webcam
  • Built-in 802.11a/g/n Wi-Fi Wireless and Bluetooth
  • HDMI Port
  • Removable Dust Filter
  • Spill-resistant Keyboard
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Operating System

The Fujitsu LifeBook N7010 will be available on 10th November for $1,499.

10

Archos 5 Media PlayerBuilding on the success of the Archos 605 WiFi, Archos has now released the new Archos 5 portable media player.  The units feature a new, faster Texas Instruments central processor, a larger screen (exceptional quality), touch-screen operation, vivid colors, up to 720p resolution, plugin support (most cost extra), and more in a simple, intuitive design.  The Archos 5 supports MPEG, WMV, H.264, AVI, and DivX (versions 3.11, 4, 5, and 6) video formats as well as subtitled files.  Most operations are performed via the touchscreen.  Only the power button and volume controls are separated from the touchscreen operation.  The Archos 5 media player has a fixed battery life, following the new trend of many current devices.  Battery life measures at about 4 hours and 30 minutes during video playback, and 12 hours and 30 minutes during audio playback.

The exterior design of the Archos 5 is made of stainless steel, which provides for a very solid build quality.  However, it also results in the player being highly prone to smugging and fingerprints

The new player also boasts Internet operations such as web browsing and email.  streaming video is also available.  While some Internet TV content appears clear and smooth, other services yield jerky, low resolution content. Of course, this is not under the control of Archos, but it is worth mentioning nonetheless so that buyers are not surprised.

The Archos 5 is compact at 5”x3”x.5”, with a weight of .55 pound for the 60GB version and 5”x3”x.75”, with a weight of .66 pound for the 120GB and 250GB versions.

Available accessories for the unit include the DVR Station, which allows customers to connect the Archos directly to a television for recording TV programs onto the device or transmitting content from the media player to the TV. GPS and Webcam accessories are also available.

Prices

  • Archos 5 60 GB Internet Media Tablet:  $339.49
  • Archos 5 120 GB Internet Media Tablet:  $389.49
  • Archos 5 250 GB Internet Media Tablet:  $439.49

ASUS UFOTO UF735 USB LCD Monitor / Photo FrameDisplaylink USB video technology introduced the possibility of secondary USB monitors to the technology community.  ASUS has now successfully extended this technology to create a unique product, the ASUS UFOTO, which combines the functionality of a photo frame and a secondary monitor. It is a 7" monitor that allows a high resolution display of up to 800×400 pixels (720×480 viewing area).

It serves very well as a photo frame because as a standalone gadget, it is able to store over 700 photos with its in-built 128MB memory. The product features auto image rotation for vertical or horizontal placement. If the in-built memory is not enough, adding additional storage devices is also possible. The UFOTO supports CF/FD/MMC/MS/xD cards and an external USB flash drive. It can be plugged into an AC power source, or it can operate on its own, drawing power from its in-built rechargeable battery. It even allows photo searching by specific dates. Several  popular image formats are supported, including JPG (the most common), BMP, and GIF.

The UFOTO looks very elegant sitting on a desk or hanging on a wall. Left on its own, it is able to display a huge number of photos in a slideshow. To make the slideshow more interesting, it is also possible to play MP3 while the slideshow is displaying.

Similar to full-size LCD monitors, the UFOTO is also capable of adjusting its brightness according to the surrounding ambiance automatically. For example, when the surrounding light dims, the display adjusts itself until a comfortable level is attained. This is to ensure that the photos are always displayed in the best possible light.

The other primary function that the UFOTO serves is as a secondary LCD monitor. When plugged into the USB port of a desktop computer, the display can be synchronized to either look exactly like the parent monitor or display a totally different application altogether. This is useful for being able to see your screen from another location or running multiple applications concurrently without cluttering up monitor space.

For those who are concerned about the design of the unit, the ASUS UFOTO comes in three cool colors: star silver, blush pink, and sky blue. It has a shiny exterior casing, which makes the appearance highly compatible with Apple desktops and laptops.

Finally, note that the ASUS UFOTO is designed to be a simple piece of hardware. As the USB video technology is still in its infancy, do not expect the UFOTO to be able to display advanced 3D graphics. However, the technology at its current stage is ideal for displaying photos, playing music, or even watching videos. Available at a mere 06kg, the UFOTO is perhaps the smallest monitor around with this much functionality.

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HDPC Smartphone and UMPC HybridHDPC stands for Hybrid Portable Dual Computer.  The device originates from the consumer’s need for a portable device that is able to perform complex functions. When someone needs a light weight and small device that is able to perform like a desktop computer, a Smartphone could be a very attractive option.

The problem with many Smartphones is that they use a proprietary operating system. In other words, the OS that is used is different from the normal Windows OS that most computer users are familiar with. This means that applications for the Smartphone are limited, and it is rare for developers to venture into developing applications solely for the Smartphone OS, which causes consumer to consider other options.

Laptops and netbooks work like the personal desktop, but they can still be considered bulky when compared to a gadget the size of a phone. The UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC) comes very close to meeting the needs of many consumers, but it does not include phone functions.

Fortunately, Korean company MIU managed to find a way to integrate phone functions into the UMPC. They call this the HDPC, which is actually a hybrid of the Smartphone and the UMPC. The HDPC runs on the Windows operating system. This means that the consumer is able to use the HDPC to launch any applications developed for the Windows OS. In addition, the owner of the HDPC can also use it as a normal phone.

It is not uncommon to see Chinese companies bundling several key features together in one device. On top of computer and phone functions, the HDPC also has a digital TV receiver built into it. Two cameras are built into the device as well – one is for video chat (VGA) and the other is for taking photographs (3 megapixels). Obviously, the goal is to have as many functions as possible, packed into a single device to ensure consumers do not have to bring multiple devices along while on the move.

Although the HDPC device may appear rather bulky at first glance, many consumers actually welcome the multiple functions offered by the HDPC. One can use it to play music, play videos, work on Microsoft Word documents, and even watch TV. These functions have never been realized in a single device. The HDPC is a sleek looking device. One may easily mistake the HDPC for an ordinary Smartphone but on closer examination, the top half of the device can actually be flipped open to reveal a Qwerty keyboard underneath.

Enthusiasts will eventually have to weigh several factors before making a purchase. These factors include the above mentioned features, the weight, and the price. Obviously, the features and weight (at less than 400g) are looking good. So that leaves the price. It has been stated on various news sources that if the price is around the $500 range, this can be one of the most tempting gadget to acquire.

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Western Digital has released the new WD TV external HD media player that works in conjunction with one or two external hard drives to playback video, audio, and view photos at up to full high definition quality (1080p).  The device automatically sorts video, audio, and image files into corresponding categories for convenient navigation.  The player’s interface presents the option of thumbnail or filename browsing.  Thumbnails are extracted from movie cover art, album covers, and photos.  The media library functionality can also view all media files by type in a single menu, no matter the physical location of the files.  Multimedia content can be arranged into categories such as album, artist, genre, and date.  Similarly, search is provided by title, artist, genre, filename, and partial filename.  For photo viewing, the WD TV supports custom slideshows with transition effects and background music, as well as zooming and panning.  Video and music playback supports all the common commands you would expect, such as fast forward, rewind, pause, etc.

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The WD TV offers HDMI and composite video connections. ArcSoft MediaConverter 2.5 is included with the packaging for photo, video, and audio file conversion in case file compatibility is an issue at any point.  However, the WD TV player provides comprehensive format support. 

Video formats supported include AVI (MPEG-4, XviD, AVC), MPEG-1/2, WMV9, MOV (MPEG-4 and H.264), MKV, and H.264.  MP3, WMA, OGG, PCM WAV, AAC, FLAC, AIF/AIFF, and MKA are supported for audio.  JPG, GIF, PNG, TIF/TIFF, and BMP image formats can be viewed.  PLS, M3U, and WPL playlist formats are also recognized.

Aside for the player itself and the conversion software already mentioned, the packaging also includes a stand for WD My Passport hard drives (although any type of USB drive can be used), a remote control, composite AV cables, AC power adapter, and installation guide. The WD TV provides a simple, affordable solution for playback of PC video formats.  Note that the WD TV does not currently offer network support/streaming functionality.

Pricing for the WD TV is expected to be around USD $125.00, and will be available through all major retailers.

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Outlet SwitchMany of today’s gadgets use power even when they are not turned on (usually due of lights or LED readouts).  There are numerous examples of this ranging from stereos to computers.  The power used is usually not very much, but if you’ll be away from home for an extended period of time or are particularly power conscious, the Outlet Switch can be a handy alternative to unplugging power cords.  In some cases, the glow of powered off gadgets can even be irritating, which is another benefit of the Outlet Switch.  It’s also useful for those that have power cables well-organized since unplugging devices can cause extra work when they have to be reorganized.  The Outlet Switch sells for $8.98, and can also be purchased as a package of two ($8.98) or four ($15.96).

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AutoImager DiscountAutoImager is a full-featured batch image editing and converter software for 140+ formats (JPG, JPEG2000, PDF, etc). Complete command-line operation and an entire arsenal of editing features (batch resize, flip, rotate, crop, trim, and much more). Formats include AFP, ANI, AWD, BMP, CAL, CGM, CLP, CMP, CMX, CUR, CUT, DGN, DIB, DRW, DWF, DWG, DXF, DWG, EMF, EPS, EXIF, FAX, FPX, GBR, GEM, GIF, ICA, ICO, IFF, IMG, IOCA, ITG, J2K, JBIG, JIF, JPEG, JTF, LBM, MAC, MDA, MODCA, MSP, PBM, PCD, PCL, PCT, PCX, PDF, PGM, PLT, PNG, PNM, PPM, PS, PSP, PSD, PTK, PTOCA, RAS, SCT, SGI, SHP, SMP, SUN, SVG, TIFF, TGA, XBM, XPM, XWD, WBMP, WFX, WMF, WPG, etc.

With over 150 configurable command-line options, it’s easy to create batch files to automate routine image editing/conversion tasks. You can run the software on a schedule and leave the routine image processing tasks to AutoImager. Entire in-house imaging procedures can also be automated with ease, utilizing the command-line support provided.

Download AutoImager Here
 

Joe Tex from Shareware Junkies has written a review for AutoImager that gives newcomers an idea of what to expect.

"The installation of AutoImager is easy and intuitive, you can place the program files where you want them. The first time you run AutoImager you are informed that you have 15 days to try AutoImager before you must purchase it. Fair enough.

First of all I want you to take a look at this:

AutoImager Review

Pretty neat, huh? As you can see AutoImager is "Batch are Us" IPlus you can also tell from the screenshot that not only can you process a whole bunch of images at once, you can preview the effects. Take a look at the bottom part of the Screenshot, there you see in the "Apply Filters" section all of the filter effects you can apply. Nice stuff.

Batch Image/Photo Editing Operations:

Add Noise, Anti-Alias, Auto-Trim, Average Bending, Border Remove, Brightness, Buttonize, Color ResolutionColored Gray, Contour, Contrast Crop, Cylindrical, Deskew, Despeckle Dilate, Dot Remove, DPI Resolution, Edge Detector Emboss, Erode, Etch, Flip Gamma Correct, Gaussian Blur, Glow, Gradient Grayscale, Half-Tone, HistoContrast, Hole Punch Remove Hue, Impressionist, Intensity Detect, Invert Invert Text, Laplacian, Line Remove, Line Segment Max Filter, Median, Min Filter, Mirror Mosaic, Motion Blur, Multiply, Oilify Old Photo, Pixelate, Polar, Posterize Prewitt, Punch, Radial Wave, Resample Resize, Ripple, Rotate, Saturation Sharpen, Shear, Smooth, Sobel Solarize, Spherize, Stretch Intensity, Swirl Underlay, Unsharp Mask, Waggle, Wave Wave Shear, Wind, Zoom Blur, Zoom Wave and more!

You can work with and do conversions on these file types AFP, ANI, AWD, BMP, CAL, CGM, CLP, CMP, CMX, CUR, CUT, DGN, DIB, DRW, DWF, DWG, DXF, DWG, EMF, EPS, EXIF, FAX, FLI, FLC, FPX, GBR, GEM, GIF, ICA, ICO, IFF, IMG, ITG, J2K, JBIG, JIF, JPEG, JTF, LBM, MAC, MDA, MPG, MSP, PBM, PCD, PCT, PCX, PDF, PGM, PNM, PPM, PSD, PLT, PLT2, PBM, PCL, PDF, PNG, PTK, RAS, SCT, SGI, SHP, SMP, SUN, SVG, TIFF, TGA, XBM, XPM, XWD, WBMP, WFX, WMF, WPG, and more!

Well if you got this far you are probabaly drooling in delight with how much work AutoImager is going to save you. Plus I’m sure that you are thinking of the things that with AutoImager you can do that you didn’t even think possible before.

Run don’t walk to get AutoImager!"

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