ASUS Eee Top: 15.6″ All-In-One for $499.95

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ASUS Eee Top Specifications

I wish I would have had the Eee Top when I was in college. Perhaps I would have done less gaming, and the memo application would have helped me to keep track of my assignments and projects.

That’s a quote from Legit Reviews regarding the ASUS Eee Top. The Eee Top is a touch-enabled all-in-one from ASUS. It features a 15.6″ 16:9 aspect ratio sporting a 1366 x 768 pixel format. But don’t let that HD-capable LCD fool you.

DVD OK The integrated Intel GMA 950 isn’t up to the task of playing back 720p HD content. Just stick with SD or VGA or 640 x 480 and you’ll be fine. DVD playback should be good to go too.

No Up & Down Viewing at odd angles is a hit or miss occasion. Images can be easily viewed going left and right. But don’t go up and down–you won’t see much.

Affordable The Eee Top is basically a touch-enabled netbook that’s blossomed in size and looks. The all-in-one seems to work quite well for everyday practical applications, like the memo application for instance. The introduction price was $599.99 but Buy.com has it for just $499.95. A mighty good deal if you ask me.

MOTO Development Group: Scalable Multitouch Prototype

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True Multitouch MOTO Development Group, based in San Francisco, has been working on its scalable multi-touch prototype display or Sensing Screen. The 19″ LCD monitor prototype uses a capacitive sensor to enable true multitouch–meaning more than two fingers.

Scalable MOTO Development Group’s multitouch technology can be scaled to 50″ and larger. This can be considered a breakthrough using capacitive touch technology to scale to display sizes bigger than 50″.

High Resolution The capacitive touch technology features very high resolution that can detect very small movements of the fingers. In the video below the Sensing Screen detects tiny pressure movements of the finger. Definitive position sensing is another aspect of the company’s multitouch technology that does not exhibit ghosting or aliasing when two fingers cross an asix. Continue reading →

Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) Reports First Quarter 2009 Results

chi_mei_optoelectronics_cmo_core_valuesChi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) is the second largest LCD manufacturer in Taiwan, behind AU Optronics (AUO). CMO announced its first quarter 2009 results on April 28, 2009. The news was a mixed bag. Net sales increased but the company posted a net loss.

Major Loss TFT LCD net sales increased 1.3% quarter over quarter to NT$44,260 million in the first quarter. CMO however posted a gross loss of NT$15,953 million for a gross margin of -36%. Operating loss came to a total of NT$20,690 million with a margin of -46.7%. These results are not so good.

Shipments Up CMO’s large-sized (that means 10-inch and larger) LCD panels increased 16% quarter over quarter to 13.3 million units in the first quarter. Blended ASP (average selling price) for large-sized LCD panels dropped 14% quarter over quarter to US$94. Continue reading →

Dell Studio One 19 Available Now for $699

Dell Studio One 19 Specifications

Dell’s sleek all-in-one is now available in the US. The 18.5″ TFT LCD can be equipped with multitouch capability and sports a 16:9 aspect ratio with a 1366 x 768 pixel format. Add an Intel Quad Core processor with NVIDIA’s GeForce 9400 and the Studio One becomes quite a performer. As you can see from the picture above you can opt to get the wireless keyboard and mouse to be wire free. If you want to be completely wire-free there’s also the option to get built-in WiFi. Nice going Dell. Dell’s Studio One is now available for $699.

Fujitsu FMVLUC50N: 5.6″ Convertible UMPC

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Fujitsu FMVLUC50N Specifications

Display: 5.6″ Touch Transflective TFT LCD
Aspect Ratio: 16:10
Pixel Format: 1280 x 800
Webcam: 1.3 Megapixel
CPU: Up to 2.0GHz Intel Atom Z550
RAM: 1GB
HDD: Up to 120GB 4200RPM 1.8″ Hard Disk or 64GB SSD
Connectivity: WiFi ABGN, Ethernet, VGA, USB (1), Bluetooth
Storage: CF, SD
OS: Windows XP Home/Pro or Vista Ultimate
Colors: Blue, Earth Silver, Black, Silver, Pink, Beige
Weight: 600g
Availability: Japan
Price: Starts at JPY103,500 (about US$1076)

Tiny & Fast Fujitsu’s FMVLUC50N is one of the first netbooks or UMPC (because it’s so small) that make use of the faster Atom processors from Intel. The 5.6″ netbook sports the upgraded Atom: 1.6GHz Atom Z530 or the faster 2.0GHz Atom Z550. The tiny LCD features a whopping 1280 x 800 pixel format. You will most definitely need to get pretty close to the screen to see anything. The FMVLUC50N is extremely small as you will see in the video after the jump. Continue reading →

VholdR ContourHD: World’s First HD Wearable Camcorder

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VholdR ContourHD Specifications

Image Sensor: 5 Megapixel CMOS
Video Capture: 1280 x 720 at 30fps, 858 x 480 at 60fps in MOV (H.264 with AAC Audio)
Lens: 135-degree Wide Angle (HD)
Connectivity: USB
Adjustability: 192-degree Lens Swivel
Storage: microSD (2GB included)
Other: Water, Shock, Vibration, Impact Resistant
Weight: 4 oz (116g)
Availability: May 15, 2009
Price: US$280

Nifty The world’s first HD wearable camcorder: VholdR’s ContourHD. It’s got lasers too–two of them–to line up your video: turn on the lasers, rotate the lens until two laser points are horizontally aligned. The ContourHD uses TRail Mounts to connect to just about anything: goggles, helmet, handlebars, vehicle, etc. With all of the action that this HD camcorder is going to see the folks at VholdR incorporated a new microphone that reduces wind noise. Good move.

You can record 60 minutes of 720p HD with 2GB (included). Maxed out at 16GB you can record 8 hours of crazy action footage. Of course the Lithium Ion battery (thank goodnes it’s removable) will run out in about 2 hours. Make sure to pack a few more.

Tough & Fast The ContourHD’s body is made of anodized aluminum and tough. It is water, shock, vibration and impact resistent. The HD camcorder boots up in under 5 seconds and has fast transfer speeds: “Transferring gigabytes of videos only takes a few minutes.”

SED is Alive

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Do you remember SED? SED stands for Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display. SED technology was developed by Toshiba and Canon that had the picture quality of a CRT but with a thickness of a LCD. As you can see from the diagram above, SED dramatically thins the basic CRT design that generates high picture quality: blacker blacks than even a KURO. SED was thought dead after taking legal bullets from Applied Nano Technologies. But Canon appealed and won and then bought Toshiba’s stake in SED. Read “SED Back on Track” for the full story.

Now comes news from Peter Putman at Roam Consulting in his Display Daily article “NAB 2009: The Season of Their Discontent” that SED is alive and well.

… a source within Canon told me at the show that the SED is still very much alive as a pro monitor technology. Indeed, a Canon SED engineer from Japan was quietly making the rounds in the Las Vegas Convention Center to scope out the competition.

If SED is indeed alive and well, we can expect it to have died a TV and resurrected as a professional monitor for the broadcast market. I’m sure it will be quite expensive: unfortunate, but at least there is hope that some day a SED pro monitor will end up on eBay for a more reasonable price.

Samsung I7500: Touch OLED Android Smartphone

Samsung I7500 Specifications

Display: 3.2″ Touch AMOLED (Active Matrix OLED)
Pixel Format: 320 x 480 (same as Apple’s iPhone)
Camera: 5 Megapixel with LED Flash
Connectivity: Quad-band GSM, Tri-band HSDPA (900/1700/2100MHz), WiFi, GPS
Storage: 8GB Internal, MicroSD up to 32GB
Battery: 1500mAh Lithium Ion
Dimensions: 115 x 56 x 11.9mm (4.5 x 2.2 x 0.47″)

samsung_i7500_android_amoled_touch_smartphoneRaising the Bar Samsung is advancing the top-of-the-line with its I7500, announced on April 27, 2009. The Samsung I7500 will be available in major European countries from June 2009. There are two fantastic features of the I7500: one is hardware and the other is software.

OLED The I7500 sports a 3.2″ touch-enabled AMOLED (Active Matrix OLED) display. OLEDs are great for their great colors, power savings and extreme thinness. The OLED display sports a 320 x 480 pixel format, which is what you find on Apple’s iPhone. But the iPhone is a TFT LCD so most likely photos, videos and everything else will look much better on the I7500.

Android I don’t like Windows Mobile or Symbian. But I do get excited about Android, Google’s open source operating system for smartphones (and Netbook 2.0). Samsung’s I7500 will be the second major smartphone to make use of Android and that should prompt some of you out there to start drooling. I am not sure if the I7500 will feature a slide-out QWERTY keyboard like T-Mobile’s G1.

8GB Unlike most other smartphones (with the iPhone being an exception) the I7500 comes with plenty of storage space: 8GB. And unlike the iPhone it has a MicroSD card slot that can add an additional 32GB.

The touch OLED, Android, Samsung combination will be a potent competitor in the race to be the ultimate smartphone. Availability in the US has not been announced for the I7500 but I’m hoping Samsung will decide to ship it here in the same month of June.

Samsung R522: 15.6″ Mainstream Notebook

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Samsung R522 Specifications

Display: 15″ TFT LCD with LED Backlight (Glossy)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Pixel Format: 1366 x 768
Webcam: 2.0 Megapixel
GPU: Intel GMA X4500M HD
Graphics Port: HDMI, VGA
CPU: 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6400 with Intel Express GM45 Chipset
RAM: 4GB 800MHz DDR2
HDD: 320GB 5400RPM Hard Disk
Connectivity: USB (3), USB/eSATA (1), Ethernet, ExpressCard/54
Battery: 4-Cell 4000mAh Lithium Ion
Dimensions: 376 x 256 x 37mm (14.8 x 10.1 x 1.5″)
Weight: 2.5kg (5.5lbs)

Glossy 16:9 Samsung‘s R522 is a mainstream notebook PC sporting a 15.6″ TFT LCD with a LED backlight. As you can see from the picture above, it is glossy: a good thing and a bad thing depending on what you like. The 15.6″ LCD features a 16:9 aspect ratio with a pixel format of 1366 x 768: great for watching HD video content via Hulu.

It looks great… It also has a decent base spec, very good connectivity and excellent battery life. However, it is let down by truly dreadful speakers and the lack of both Draft-N Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

That’s a quote from Trusted Reviews‘ final verdict. I’d like to add a couple more observations.

Weak GPU The R522 is not a graphics powerhouse thanks to the integrated GMA X4500M HD from Intel but it should do quite well as long as you’re not playing the latest graphics-intensive games. There are two graphics ports: HDMI and VGA. I would recommend going with an all-digital connection via the HDMI port for crisp text and graphics.

Netbook 2.0

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No Windows, No Atom The new generation of netbooks, Netbook 2.0, will eschew Microsoft’s Windows and Intel’s Atom and instead run on ARM processors and Linux operating systems. Google’s Android, the new open platform operating system for smartphones, is a possibility too. ARM processors are used in almost 90% of mobile phones and naturally sip even less power than Intel’s Atom. According to ARM there could be up to 10 ARM-based netbooks debuting this year. Microsoft will need to sit out since Windows cannot be run on ARM processors at the moment*. Continue reading →