Asus E-TV: 42″ LCD TV with Built-in Linux PC

Not much is known about the E-TV other than that it will sport a 42″ LCD screen with an integrated Linux-based PC. The E-TV is due in September 2008. The E-TV is an extension of Asustek Computer’s fairly successful Eee PC. The Eee PC is a fairly affordable 7″ notebook PC that allows for simple communications and cloud computing. Pricing is not known but compared to regular 42″ LCD TVs the E-TV will require a premium of just $200, tops.

In my opinion, any non-detachable PC on a TV is doomed to fail. The PC and the TV develop at very different paces. The top-of-the-line PC today becomes mainstream in about one year. On the other hand, the creme de la creme TV of today can last for a lot longer, often 5 years or more. Of course, when there is a complete technology transition such as from CRT to LCD, high-end TVs can become next to worthless rather quickly. And this is what is happening now.

What I would have liked to see instead is a E-TV that connects to and works well with the Eee PC, offering a basic but very large display for the Eee PC that allows for cloud computing and TV watching. Simple and affordable.

Source: Xbit Laboratories, Gadgetell, Ubergizmo

[tags]ASUS,, LCD TV, Linux, PC, 42″[/tags]

Lenovo X300: 13.3″ LED Backlight Notebook PC

Lenovo X300

LCD Size: 13.3″
Aspect Ratio: 16:10
Pixel Format: 1440 x 900
Backlight: LED
CPU: Intel Merom Santa Rosa Dual Core Hybrid LV CPU at 2.0GHz
HDD: 64GB
SSDRAM: Up to 4GB DDR2 PC2-5300
Ports: USB 2.0 (3), Firewire, DisplayPort, ExpressCard, Ethernet (Gigabit), etc.
Wireless: WiMax or HSDPA
Battery Life: 4 hours
Weight: 2.5lbs
Other: GPS

Lenovo X300

Computerworld: Ultra-light and ultra-thin notebook PCs are, as expected, getting more publicity. You can thank Apple for that. Apple sparked a new genre of ultra-thin notebook PCs with its introduction of the MacBook Air at MacWorld 2008.So, Lenovo has entered the ring with the X300. The X300 might not be as sexy as the MacBook Air, but it is lighter, by 0.5lbs.

The LCD is more advanced as well, sporting 1440 x 900 pixels compared to just 1280 x 800 in the MacBook Air. The X300 also has a faster CPU: 2.0GHz versus 1.6GHz or 1.8GHz. The wireless options are quite a bit better too giving you the choice between WiMax or HSDPA compared to just WiFi, even if it is the improved 802.11n variety.

The X300 got the MacBook Air beat in another area as well: 3 USB ports versus just one. Finally, and the knock out punch is a built-in GPS for the X300.Feature wise, the X300 offers significantly more than the MacBook Air.

However, there is just one thing that the X300 doesn’t have: sex appeal. Now why is this important? Well, if you are pitching a mega project to your client and you pull out a X300, the X300 is a non-issue, meaning that it doesn’t hurt you but it doesn’t help you either. On the other hand, if you pulled out a MacBook Air, my guess is that the potential client would be slightly impressed. The MacBook Air, by design, simply exudes sexiness that most cannot ignore.

Am I down on the X300? As long as the price is reasonable, no. I think the X300 is a very smart buy for corporate folks that need a durable box that says, “I’m solid, durable, reliable!” In my opinion, the MacBook Air is for folks that would rather drive a red two-door convertible rather than a fully-optioned SUV. The convertible is a one-trick pony: drive in the sun with style. On the other hand, the SUV can get you almost anywhere in comfort.

Update 2008.06.23: Lenovo has cut the price of its ThinkPad X300 by around $160, bringing down the total cost of owning the ultra-portable notebook PC to around $2580 for the lowest package (additional 3 cell bay battery).

Update 2008.12.13: Walt Mossberg had some things to say about the X300. The X300 weighs only a bit more than the MacBook Air but has all the ports, an optical drive, and a removable battery. Mr. Mossberg correctly points out that the X300’s SSD-only configuration makes it an expensive box, starting around $2500. I like the $1800 price of the MacBook Air that uses a traditional HDD (4200RPM is a bit slow though), and that’s why I purchased one a couple of days ago.

Update 2008.12.14: A thinkpads.com Support Community user, moore101, posted some pictures of the X300. The user disassembled items that are removable including the optical drive, SSD, battery, and keyboard. He noted how quiet and light the X300 is.

Samsung LN70F91BD: 70″ LCD TV with LED Backlight

Samsung LN70F91BD

Size: 70″ (178cm)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Pixel Format: 1920 x 1080
Brightness: 500 cd/m2
Viewing Angle: 178/178
Response Time: 5ms
Color Gamut: 105% NTSC
Contrast Ratio: 500,000:1 (dynamic, local dimming)
Backlight: LED
Input: HDMI (3)

70″ LCD TV with LED Backlight

This is Samsung’s largest LCD TV at 70″ that I could find on Samsung Korea’s website that is available for sale right now. It has all the features that hint at a brilliant picture. The only thing that I am not sure of is whether it features 120Hz or not. The 5ms response time should be quite fast but without 120Hz you will still experience some motion blur. The LED backlight has local dimming capability that generates an astounding contrast ratio of 500,000:1. Wow. The design is nice and simple with a piano black glossy finish, which is a nice touch. Unlike other designs that I saw at CES, I don’t see any possibility of big blue lights pulsating, which would be a really big distraction when you’re trying to enjoy a movie. The price? If you need to ask…

Source: Samsung Korea

[tags]Samsung, 70″, LCD TV, LED Backlight, 1920 x 1080, Full HD, 1080p, HDMI, Dynamic Contrast, Local Dimming[/tags]

We Feel Fine

We Feel Fine

I’m not even sure if I can explain this adequately. Jonathan Harris and Sepandar Kamvar has been “harvesting human feelings” from weblogs since August 2005. The”We Feel Fine” system searches through the world’s blog posts for the phrases “I feel” and “I am feeling” and then records the rest of the sentence and then logs what the feeling is. The image above might be a static image but the actual application is quite interactive. Have a go and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well designed this application is. I was.

I was introduced to this fantastic merging of technology and art by my friend Rodney over some coffee at Starbucks. I want to believe that I am an artist inside with a fine mixing of technology all throughout. That’s why I love beautifully designed stuff, from elegantly simple spoons to the wonderfully techno-fantastic iPhone. The “We Feel Fine” application can be the start of something new. By tapping the unlimited multimedia content on the Internet, we can start getting a “feel” for what is out there and this seems to be one of the most interesting implementations so far.

Source: We Feel Fine

Vizio GV47LF: 47″ 1080p LCD TV

Vizio GV47LF

Size: 47″
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Pixel Format: 1920 x 1080
Contrast Ratio: 1600:1
Viewing Angle: 178/178
Brightness: 500 cd/m2
Response Time: 8ms
Input: HDMI (2), S-Vido, Component, Composite (2), RGB
Price: $999 (refurbished)

Vizio GV47LF 47″ 1080p LCD TV

Nothing extra special about this LCD TV, but it being a Vizio, you can expect the price to be spectacularly low. And the GV47LF doesn’t disappoint. At TigerDirect, you can get a 47″ 1080p LCD TV with very decent specs for a mere $999 (refurbished). The box itself looks fairly decent as well. Now, bear in mind, you don’t get fancy features like 120Hz, dynamic contrast ratio, 10-bit color, etc., but the price might be too good to pass up for some. Especially since Superbowl is coming up…

One comment about refurbished products: If I can get a really good price for a refurbished product, I have no qualms about purchasing one. Most products are not built with 100% quality and something sometime will go wrong. A refurbished product is a product where that something went wrong and was fixed. So, in a way, you get a product that has the weak spot already fixed.

Source: TigerDirect

[tags]Vizio, 47″, 1080p, 1920 x 1080, Full HD, LCD TV, HDMI[/tags]

18.5″ LCD Monitor Panels

Do you we need more sizes in the LCD monitor market? Well, yes, according to AU Optronics (AUO) and Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT), two Taiwan-based LCD manufacturers. This is in light of consumers just getting used to 17″ wide LCD monitors. We saw 19″ wide LCD monitors grab quite a bit of attention in 2007. CPT is slated to introduce 18.5″ panels in 2H’08.

Why are they doing this? Well, they want to, sort of, fool the customer. And they should be very careful about this. With a 18.5″ panel, you can technically go about stating that it is a 19″ LCD monitor and in tiny letters say that the actual visible diagonal length is 18.5″.

Monitor set manufacturers have tried to pass a 15″ monitor as a 17″ monitor in the past, in the days of CRT monitors.  But the courts decided that that was a big no-no and slapped them hard. That’s why, if you remember, most CRT monitor boxes had two sizes on them: one for the diagonal size and another for the diagonal size that you can actually see.

There is a saying, “History repeats itself .” This is largely the result of us not being able to learn from our mistakes. And if CPT and AUO go with this plan, history certainly will repeat itself.

Source: DigiTimes

[tags]AU Optronics, AUO, Chunghwa Picture Tubes, CPT, LCD Monitor, 18.5″, 17″, 19″[/tags]

Sony mylo COM-2

Sony mylo COM-2

Display Size: 3.5″
Pixel Format: 800 x 480
Wireless: 802.11b/g
Camera: 1.3MP
Video Support: MPEG4 SP/ASP, AVC Baseline (up to QVGA 30fps, 384/768 kbps)
Keyboard: Backlit
Availability: Now, ship date 2008.01.28
Price: $299

Sony Mylo Com 2

Sony has updated its mylo Personal Communicator to COM-2. The device has many merits. It looks better, the keyboard is backlit (now you can use it in the dark), and the LCD got a lot bigger with a lot more pixels to look at.

One of the best features of the mylo (previous generation included), in my opinion, is Skype via WiFi. Wherever you have a WiFi connection, you can make free phone calls to other Skype users and for a very cheap price make calls to anyone. I have a Skype Pro account that lets me call anyone anywhere for a very reasonable price, from my Skype phone and my computer. This might not be such a big deal to many, but for me, it is. I have an iPhone but I cannot communicate via voice when I travel to Korea. That’s because Korea does not have a GSM network. And even if it did, since I kept my iPhone locked, the existence of a GSM network would just mean extremely high-priced phone calls allowed by AT&T. With something like a mylo, that limitation no longer applies as long as I can find WiFi hotspots there. Speaking of WiFi hotspots, you get free access to Wayport hotspots (McDonald’s, IHOP, Hertz, some hotels, etc.) until the end of 2009, which I think is a great deal.

Another cool feature is the 1.3 megapixel camera, which should be adequate enough for taking quick snaps. I believe the original mylo did not have a camera. In terms of the display, the COM-2 has got it right. It is a 3.5″ TFT LCD that has a pixel format of 800 x 480! This is much higher density than the iPhone, which is limited to 480 x 320 pixels with the same size, 3.5″. Nokia’s N810 Internet Tablet also has a pixel format of 800 x 480 but with a larger sized LCD at 4.13″. I expect browsing the Internet will be quite a bit improved from the original 320 x 240 screen. I’m looking forward to actually playing around with the mylo COM-2 at my local Fry’s Electronics soon.

Source: Sony via Engadget

[tags]Sony, Portable Media Player, PMP, 3.5″, 800 x 480, MPEG4[/tags]

Sharp AQUOS X Series LCD TV

Sharp AQUOS X Series LCD TV

Size: 37″, 42″, 46″
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Pixel Format: 1920 x 1080, Full HD, 1080p
Contrast Ratio: 15,000:1 (dynamic), 2000:1, 900:1 (living room contrast)
Brightness: 450 cd/m2
Viewing Angle: 176/176
Frame Rate: 120Hz
Color Processing: 12-bit
Other: CCFL-based backlight unit (BLU)
Input: HDMI (3), DVI-I, D5 (3), S2, RCA (3)
Availability: March 1, 2008

Sharp Aquos X Series LCD TV

Sharp Corporation announced its new AQUOS X Series of LCD TVs in three sizes: 37″, 42″ and 46″. According to Sharp, the X Series AQUOS is the industry’s thinnest at just 3.44cm (less than 1″) in depth at the thinnest part. Thin is definitely in. If you intend to hang one of these X Series LCD TVs on your wall, the more flush it is with the wall, the better it would be aesthetically. I look forward to most high-end LCD TVs to shed thickness this year. What I would like to see in the distant future is a TV that’s just pure display with little else.

Source: Sharp via Engadget

[tags]37″, 42″, 46″, Sharp, LCD TV, 1080p, 1920 x 1080, Full HD, Dynamic Contrast, HDMI[/tags]

HP Pavilion HDX Entertainment Notebook PC

HP Pavilion HDX Entertainment Notebook PC

Size: 20.1″
Pixel Format: 1680 x 1050 or 1920 x 1200
Aspect Ratio: 16:10
Output: HDMI, VGA
Price: $1999 and up

HP has introduced a gigantic notebook PC, the Pavilion HDX Entertainment Notebook PC. You can find out the entire specification here, but I will focus on the LCD on this post. Unlike Dell’s monster 20″, the XPS M2010, which is limited to a pixel format of just 1680 x 1050, the Pavilion HDX has an option to get a 20.1″ with 1920 x 1200. Now this is much better since you can get 17″ notebook PCs with 1920 x 1200, but that can generate smallish fonts (with default DPI settings on XP and Vista). I wouldn’t lug this around, but I would definitely consider the HDX as a real desktop replacement capable notebook PC. With 4GB of DDR2 RAM, a 120GB 7200RPM SATA dual hard drives, a nVidia GeForce 8800M GTS with 512MB topped off with Intel’s Core 2 Extreme CPU blazing at 2.8GHz, this machine will more than meet most user’s demand for performance. Good move on HP’s part for offering a 1920 x 1200 option on a 20.1″ display, which should be more than usable.

Source: HP via Engadget

[tags]Notebook PC, HP, 20.1″, 1680 x 1050, 1920 x 1200, HDMI[/tags]

Sceptre x24wg-Naga: 24″ LCD Monitor just $299.99

Sceptre x24wg-Naga

Size: 24″
Aspect Ratio: 16:10
Pixel Format: 1920 x 1200
Contrast Ratio: 4000:1
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Response Time: 2ms
Viewing Angle: 160/160
Input: DVI, VGA

I was going through my email this morning and in came an email flyer from Tiger Direct. I glanced at some of the smaller sized LCD monitors and came up to the Scepter 24″. The price is quite unbelievable for a 24″. For those that simply need the number of pixels (1920 x 1200) and do not mind the limited viewing angles, the price of $299.99 is a great deal. The 160/160 viewing angles suggest that this is using a TN LCD panel, which is not the greatest, but for just $300, the performance hit might just be swallowable considering the price. TN panels generally have faster response times and the Scepter x24wg-Naga delivers with a quick 2ms. If you like playing games on the PC and are on a budget, this might be a good choice.

Source: Tiger Direct

[tags]Sceptre, 24″, LCD Monitor, 1920 x 1200, DVI[/tags]