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September 2004

Thursday 30 September

  • Casio Cassiopeia DT-10 VGA Pocket PC (10:44) - Casio has surprised everyone by coming out with a new VGA Pocket PC. The Casio Cassiopeia DT-10 VGA Pocket PC seems to be designed mostly for business use and is touted as shock resistant (1m drop) drip proof and dust proof. The Casio DT-10 features a 3.7" VGA LCD screen, 27hr claimed battery life, 416MHz processor, SDIO and CF card slots, 128MB RAM, 64MB ROM, Bluetooth, and 802.11b Wi-Fi. The Casio DT-10 Pocket PC is 5.5" x 3.2" x 1.0" and weighs 10.6oz. The DT-10 will be available in Japan in November. (akihabara news via engadget)...
  • Sager Laptop Review (10:09) - Engadget has a review of the very nice Sager 3790 laptop. The Sager 3790 has either a 1.5GHz to 2GHz Centrino processor, 256mb to 2gb RAM, 40gb to 80gb hard drive, 15.4" 1920 x 1200 pixel screen, 128mb Radeon 9700 graphics, 4 in 1 card reader, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, and lots more. The price is very good in comparison to other high end laptops: A configuration with 1.7GHz processor, 512mb ram, and 60gb hard drive is just $1795. order the 3790 from Sager read the review at engadget...
  • 0.85" Hard Drives from Hitachi and Samsung (10:05) - Toshiba have announced they will be volume producing 0.85" hard drives by the end of the year. These drives are likely to have a capacity of 2 or 3 GB. Samsung are also in the R&D stage of producing a 0.85" hard drive. Once these drives are being produced we will probably start seeing them appear in cell phones and future Pocket PC models. (samsung story : hitachi story : via engadget)...
  • Sandisk 8gb CompactFlash (08:25) - Sandisk have announced the availability of an 8gb Ultra II (60x speed) CompactFlash card. The 8gb Ultra II CompactFlash card will be available in November and will retail for $959.99. As camera megapixel resolutions keep going up, with typical consumer cameras needing 1 or 2 MB per shot, basic SLR digital cameras needing 3 to 8 MB per shot, and professional digital cameras needing 9+ MB per shot, it is good to see storage card technology keeping up so we can still have 200+ highest quality photos on one card. (press release)...
  • Dell Axim X50 Price and Release Date (08:17) - Quote from Aximsite forums: Ok, so I just talked to Dell Customer Chat, and I got an official launch date, preorder date, and pricing. If you don't believe me talk to Dell Chat yourself. Anyways on to what we've all been waiting for... 416 x50 $299 520 x50 $399 624 x50v $499 They all feature CF and SDIO card slots. Launch Date: October 10 Order Date: October 12 (aximsite via pocketpcthoughts)...
  • Kyocera Contax i4R (07:32) - Contax (a brand of Kyocera) has announced a new high quality small digital camera: The Contax i4R. The Contax i4R is just 3.7" x 1.5" x 0.8" and weighs 3.1oz. It has a fixed length 65mm f/2.8Carl Zeiss lens that can focus down to 2 inches, an 8x digital zoom, and a 4 megapixel sensor. Other features of the Contax i4R are: SD memory card slot, sliding flash/lens cover, 9 point autofocus, 640x480 30 frames/second AVI movie recording, and usb 2.0 connectivity. The Contact i4R will be available in 3 colors: black, silver, and red, and it should cost around $450 when it is released in mid-October. (press release)...
  • Contax launches i4r clean-lined 4-megapixel digital camera (07:30) - Contax launches clean-lined 4-megapixel digital camera Carl Zeiss Tessar T* lens and RTUNE technology for crystal-clear images Hamburg, September 27, 2004 – A slim body, sharp eye and a speedy heart: Contax is launching the i4R to coincide with Photokina 2004. This is the first in the new Contax “i” range. In addition to a fast Carl Zeiss lens and the RTUNE image processor for unlimited continuous shooting, other impressive features of this pedigree digicam are its small size, perky design and low weight (90g). The Contax i4R will be available in Europe in advance from mid-October at a price of €398. “The “i” in Contax i4R stands for individuality, innovation and ingenuity. These are the core values of this camera,” states Dirk Hülsermann, Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager at Yashica Kyocera. “In the Contax i4R we have developed a camera whose design generates emotions, which creates outstanding images and...
  • The Man Bag (06:08) - jkOnTheRun took a look at the Axible gadget storage bag, also known as "The Man Bag". The Man Bag tries to fill a tricky product niche: a small bag for the guy who has too many things to fit in his pockets (phone, pda, book, keys, etc etc). Why is that a tricky niche to fill? simple: it must absolutely definately positively be impossible for the bag to be mistaken for a purse. Did jk's Man Bag pass the "man purse" test?, check out his review and see. Man Bag review at jkOnTheRun...

Wednesday 29 September

  • Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard Review (12:52) - PocketPcThoughts has reviewed the Think Outside Stowaway Bluetooth keyboard. The Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard is a very small (5.5" x 3.9" x 0.5") box that folds out for form a good sized (9.9" x 5.8" x 0.5") 4 row QWERTY keyboard. The Stowaway Bluetooth Keyboard should work with any bluetooth equipped pocket pc (or a pocket pc wit a socket bluetooth SD or CF card) as well as many bluetooth equipped smart phones. The list of compatible devices on the Think Outside site is a little out of date and doesn't specifically mention any of the new VGA Pocket PCs although they should work with the keyboard without problems. (pocketpcthoughts full review)...
  • Mamiya ZD Medium Format Camera (09:38) - Mamiya has announced a medium format digital camera: The Mamaya ZD, as well as a camera back: The Mamiya ZD Back. Medium format is the preferred solution for many professional photographers, having a wider field of view and larger more detailed pictures than regular 35mm film. This concept translates equally well to digital cameras: The Mamiya ZD has a 36x48mm 22 Megapixel Full Frame RGB Square-structured CCD sensor compared to the 17x13mm sensor of the Olympus E300, or the 24x16mm sensor of the Nikon DX2 SLR Digital Cameras. The Mamiya ZD is expected to cost over $10,000 so it is strictly for serious professional photographers. letsgodigital has a hands on review Gizmodo has the full specs...
  • Sony NW-HD2 Network Walkman (09:24) - Meet the new Sony, same as the old Sony. I4U found a Japanese press release announcing the Sony NW-HD2 network walkman, successor to the NW-HD1 network walkman released just a few months ago. Excitment was mounting: would it support MP3 instead of the proprietary ATRAC format?, would it have a color screen?, would it have a larger hard drive than 20gb?, would it be more relaistically priced? Unfortunately all they seem have changed on the the Sony NW-HD2 network walkman is the color: you can get it in silver, pink, or blue. The Sony NW-HD2 network walkman will be available in Japan October 10th, and probably the US soon after that. (via I4U)...
  • Griffin radioSHARK (09:17) - Griffin have announced that their radioSHARK desktop AM-FM radio is now shipping. I know, desktop AM-FM radio doesn't should very gadgety or interesting, but the radioSHARK is more like a Tivo for radio that integrates with iTunes and iPods. The radioSHARK is controlled through your PC or mac and connects via a USB port. With the radioSHARK you can set presets for station and schedule recodings of radio programs. Programs recorded with the radioSHARK are saved to iTunes and can be synced with an iPod for portable listening. The Griffin radioSHARK is available at griffintechnology.com for $69.99. (press release)...
  • Griffin Begins Shipping radioSHARK Desktop AM-FM Radio (09:15) - Griffin Technology Press Release For Immediate Release Griffin Begins Shipping radioSHARK Desktop AM-FM Radio Desktop radio includes time shift recording, automatically syncs with iTunes and is Mac & PC compatible NASHVILLE, TN – September 29, 2004. Griffin Technology Inc., innovator of exciting hardware and software products for the Mac and PC, today announced it has begun shipping the much-anticipated radioSHARK, a desktop AM-FM Radio with time-shift recording capabilities. Compatible with both Mac and PC computers, radioSHARK allows users to listen to and record their favorite AM or FM radio broadcasts. The radioSHARK allows the recording of scheduled radio events or as a way of ‘pausing’ live radio. This gives the listener the ability to return where they left off minutes, or even hours later. The radioSHARK sells for $69.99 and is now shipping. It is available for sale at http://griffintechnology.com and the Apple Store. The radioSHARK connects to and is...
  • SanDisk Introduces First 8GB CompactFlash (08:30) - SanDisk Achieves Breakthrough Performance with 90nm NAND/MLC and Advanced Controller Technology to Boost Capacities for Popular Ultra II High-Speed Memory Cards Photokina 2004 SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 30, 2004-- SanDisk Introduces World's First 8-Gigabyte ULTRA II CompactFlash Type I Card; Leads In Capacity and Performance for Memory Stick PRO and SD Formats SanDisk(R) Corporation (Nasdaq:SNDK) announced today that its Multi-Level Cell (MLC) and advanced controller technology have allowed it to quadruple the capacity of its high-speed SanDisk Ultra(R) II cards. SanDisk now offers the world's first 8 gigabyte (GB) CompactFlash(R) Type I card and 4GB SanDisk Ultra II Memory Stick PRO(TM) and 2GB SanDisk Ultra II SD(TM) cards, and maintains their award-winning minimum write speed of 9 megabytes per second (MB/sec.) and minimum read speed of 10MB/sec.(1) The new high capacity SanDisk Ultra II cards are designed to be a reasonably priced, high performance solution for the photography channel and were...

Tuesday 28 September

  • Sandisk Extreme III Memory Cards (09:56) - Rob Galbraith got the scoop from Sandisk on their new line of CompactFlash and Secure Digital cards. The Extreme III series, like the Panasonic cards announced today, are capable of 20MB per second data transfer speeds. The official announcement of the Extreme III series will come tomorrow, with 1GB and 2GB Extreme III CompactFlash cards shipping in October, and 1GB Extreme III SD cards shipping in November. There will also be new card readers shipping on December, as well as 4GB CF and 2GB SD Extreme III cards announced but with no ship date. The scoop from Rob Galbraith...
  • Panasonic Pro SD Memory Cards (09:38) - Panasonic has announced 2 new SecureDigital (SD) memory cards that use a fancy new LSI architecture to achieve read/write speeds of 20MB per second (or 133x speed for comparison to CD writers and CompactFlash cards). The Panasonic Pro High Speed series of cards comes in 1GB and 512MB versions, and the cards will be available in October. Price is not yet known. full press release. (via dpreview)...
  • Panasonic Pro High Speed Series (09:33) - Press Release: Osaka Japan -- Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE:MC), best known for its Panasonic brand products, today announced it will introduce "PRO HIGH SPEED Series" 1GB and 512MB SD Memory Cards this Fall that doubled the internal data transfer rates. These two SD Memory Cards use Panasonic's new LSI architecture and proprietary high speed technology to achieve a data transfer speed of up to 20MB/s.1 Named the "PRO HIGH SPEED Series", the new memory cards will feature distinctive, newly-designed labels and packaging. Sale of the memory cards worldwide is scheduled to begin in October. In Japan, 1GB and 512MB SD Memory Cards will be available on October 15, without manufacturer's suggested retail prices. New Product Feature Outline The new PRO HIGH SPEED Series SD Memory Card can achieve data transfer speeds of up to 20MB/s for an SD Memory Card when used with SD products that comply with...
  • Bluetooth Blackberry 7290 (08:27) - So, does that make it a blueberry? Research in Motion have just released the first Blackberry phone/organizer that has bluetooth built-in: The Blackberry 7290. The Blackberry 7290 is being offered through O2 in the UK, Ireland and Germany from November 2004, and surpisingly in the US through Cingular from October. The Blackberry 7290 is 4.4 x 2.9 x 0.8 inches and 4.8 oz. It has 32mb RAM, 5 hrs talktime, color display, and QWERTY keyboard. Price of the Blackberry 7290 in the US will be $190 with a new 2 year service agreement. (via engadget)...
  • iPAQ hx4700 Review (07:34) - Pocketnow has reviewed the HP iPAQ hx4700 VGA Pocket PC. The iPAQ hx4700 features a 4" VGA (640x480 pixel) screen, 128mb ROM and 64mb RAM (with 135mb of that available for user storage), 624mhz processor (same as my favorite Dell X30), wireless 802.11b and bluetooth 1.2, and both SDIO and compactflash expansion slots. The iPAQ hx4700 is big: 5.2 x 3.0 x0.6 inches and 6.6 ounces but that is to be expected considering the large screen. What did they think of the iPAQ hx4700? they loved the screen and speed but didn't like the design and price so much. Read their review for the details. (pocketnow review)...
  • British Telecom: Head in Sand (07:20) - In the UK the main (formerly only) phone company British Telecom (BT) just doesn't get it. According to BT's Graham Whitehead "The internet is dead, or dying; it's full of viruses, worms and porn, you have to wear a kevlar suit before you go online," he said. "BT is creating a private network, which will be joined to other private networks, to which we will add voice over IP." He also thinks the low uptake of broadband in the UK is due to people not seeing a need for broadband in their daily lives. I disagree: the low uptake of broadband in the UK is directly related to a certain company (BT) trying to control and overcharge for broadband connectivity, limiting competition and stifling innovation. I am so glad I moved from the UK to the US and got away from that kind of attitude and inward thinking. The US...
  • Buy Gas with your Watch (07:07) - Casio have announced a new watch in Japan that lets you pay for gas at Exxon gas stations that support Speed Pass. The watch will be available in Japan from October 22nd and will cost 26,000 yen (about $230). In related news, a gallon of gas will soon cost more than this watch. Personally I like the idea of technology being built into watches as a watch is the one thing I am guaranteed to be carrying all the time, however I would much prefer it to be in a watch that looks nice, not a big lump of plastic that looks like a refugee from the 1980's. (via wristdreams)...

Monday 27 September

  • Olympus E300 Digital SLR (17:21) - Olympus have announced a new digital SLR camera at the Photokina trade show. The Olympus E300 is an 8 megapixel digital camera with a 17.3mm x 13mm sensor, and it is the third digital SLT offered by Olympus that uses their FourThirds technology. Other features include lots of manual controls, CompactFlash storage card, pop-up flash, 1.8" LCD, and 1500mAh battery. The Olympus E300 comes as a kit with a new 14-45mm Zuiko Digital lens (equivalent to 28-90mm on a 35mm film camera). The Olympus E300 is 5.8" x 3.4" x 2.5" and weighs 1.3lb without the lens. Pricing has not yet been announced....
  • Plextor PX-716 (15:46) - FREMONT, Calif. - September 27, 2004 - Plextor® Corp., a leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance digital media equipment, today announced the new PX-716 series DVD±R/RW drive. With high-speed 16X DVD+R and 16X DVD-R recording, the PX-716 gives users the ability to create, edit, and share customized DVDs and CDs in less time than ever before . The drive achieves blazing fast 16X CAV performance on recommended 8X DVD+R media, and burns a 4.7GB DVD in less than six minutes. Available in both internal (ATAPI) and external (USB/FireWire) versions, the new drive also supports dual-layer DVD media, enabling users to burn up to four hours of high-quality MPEG-2 video on a single 8.5GB DVD disc in approximately 28 minutes. The PX-716 features Intelligent Recording, a combination of technologies designed to achieve high-quality recordings across a broad spectrum of media with varying grades of quality: - Intelligent Tilt - Precise laser...
  • Matias iPod Armor Mini Review (13:13) - matias ipod armor mini review
  • 205mph Speeding Ticket (11:51) - Did he or didn't he? Minnesota State Patrol claim they clocked a teenager by the name of Samuel Armstrong Tilley speeding at 205mph over a measured quarter mile on his Honda RC51 motorbike. A regular RC51 can "only" go 165mph, so either something was wrong with the speed measurement or Tilley made some major modifications to his bike. The 200mph+ club for motorcyclists is an exclusive club, achieving 200mph over a quarter mile is something usually reserved for well planned events at places like the bonneville salt flats. If Tilley keeps behaving like this he will be up for a Darwin Award soon. (more from CNN)...
  • OQO Price and Features (08:17) - The long delayed OQO handtop PC may finally be about to be released. Rumors abound that it will be released in early October at a price of $1899. The OQO runs windows XP but it a lot more like a mini tablet pc. The OQO is tiny, 4.9" x 3.4" x 0.9", and weighs 14oz, but manages to pack in a 1GHz transmeta processor, a 20gb hard drive, 256mb RAM, a 800 x 480 pixel 5" lcd screen, QWERTY thumb keyboard, 802.11b and bluetooth wireless. One downside to the long development cycle is that some of the specs are no longer as impressive as when the OQO was first announced. For the high price of the OQO I would like to have seen 1 40gb or 60gb hard drive, 512mb RAM, USB 2, 1024 x 768 pixel resolution, and a faster Transmeta efficeon processor. I also don't like the...
  • 60gb MP3 Player (07:55) - Toshiba has announced new models in their Gigabeat line of MP3 players, including the first MP3 player with 60gb storage capacity. The Toshiba Gigabeat F series also has a 2.2" color QVGA (240 x 320 pixel) display, USB 2.0 connectivity, and an 11 hr battery life. The Toshiba Gigabeat comes in 3 sizes: 10gb, 20gb, and 60gb. The 60gb version will hold up to 15,000 songs and will be available in December. Press release and specifications (via gizmodo)...
  • Fly into Space with Virgin Galactic (06:39) - Richard Branson and his Virgin company have announced a deal with Burt Rutan creator of SpaceShipOne to lauch a commercial space flight service. The new service, Virgin Galactic, aims to fly 3,000 people into space in the next 5 years. Virgin Galactic will operate a fleet of 5 space ships based upon Rutan's SpaceShipOne, which is expected to win the X-Prize for the first privately funded flights into space. Virgin is investing up to $100 million into the venture and they expect flights to start in 2007. The price of a ticket: about $200,000 (including 3 days training)....
  • Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II (05:35) - FORE IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 16.7 Megapixels of Righteous Resolution: IN THE STUDIO OR ON THE ROAD CANON’S NEW EOS-1Ds MARK II SLR TAKES PRO DIGITAL TO THE NEXT LEVEL OF IMAGING EXCELLENCE With the Highest Resolution, Lowest Noise, Truest Color And Fastest Burst Rate In Its Class, The EOS-1Ds Mark II Digital SLR Is The One Pro Digital Even Medium-Format Film Holdouts Will Love LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., Sept. 21, 2004 – At long last, catalog and commercial photographers, stock photographers, studio portrait specialists and other professional photographers of every stripe and specialty can capture brilliant high impact images and enjoy the speed, economy, flexibility, increased workflow and productivity that only digital offers, with Canon’s new 16.7 megapixel EOS-1Ds Mark II SLR. “The EOS-1Ds Mark II digital SLR camera establishes a new benchmark of innovation and excellence not only for Canon but for our industry as a whole and particularly for the...
  • Audiobooks on your Cellphone (05:08) - Audible has started working with Sprint to put spoken word audiobooks on Sprint PCS smart phones. The first device that will work with Audible audiobooks is the Samsung SP-i600 smartphone. It will be interesting to see how usable the interface is and how much you can store on your phone: the SP-i600 only has 32mb memory, a lot of which could already be used for photos, email, contacts etc. You can get $50 off the Samsung SP-i600 when you commit to an Audible subscription. Audible.com (msmobiles.com via Engadget)...
  • Accessory Lineup for the Nintendo DS (05:06) - Mad Catz Announces Accessory Lineup for the Nintendo DS SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 24, 2004--Mad Catz Interactive, Inc., the world's leading third party video game accessory manufacturer, today announced its prominent lineup of accessories for the much anticipated Nintendo DS(TM). The accessories will begin shipping in North America in conjunction with the launch of the Nintendo DS this November. "We are excited to be creating and offering the first third-party accessories for the new Nintendo DS," said Darren Richardson, President and CEO of Mad Catz, Inc. "With its revolutionary new features such as touch screen input, voice recognition and wireless communication, we are confident that the new DS will generate an excitement for the new accessories Mad Catz has to offer." Protective carry case stylistically designed to keep your DS protected from minor bumps, drops or scratches. Screen protector, with a textured surface, adheres instantly to your DS screen to protect...
  • Lexar ActiveMemory (05:02) - Lexar Revolutionizes Professional Digital Photography Workflow with New ActiveMemory System COLOGNE, Germany, September 27, 2004 – Lexar Media, Inc. (Nasdaq: LEXR), a leading marketer and manufacturer of high-performance digital media and accessories, today at Photokina (Hall 1.2, Booth-058) introduced the ActiveMemory TM System, a technology designed to optimize digital photography workflow to achieve enhanced productivity in and out of the photo studio. The first products to support the ActiveMemory System are certain Professional CompactFlash TM cards, new Lexar Professional FireWire and USB 2.0 card readers, and Photo Mechanic TM 4.5 professional image browsing software. At the center of the ActiveMemory System are ActiveMemory-enabled Professional CompactFlash cards that can store user preferences and host device settings in a protected area on the card. These settings can only be modified by the host application that created them and can be used to auto-configure multiple ActiveMemory-enabled products within the system. These settings are...
  • 1GB xD Picture Care Announced (05:00) - Fujifilm announces 1GB xD-Picture Card™ High capacity, ultra-compact digital camera media available in early 2005 27 September 2004 Fuji Photo Film Co., Ltd. and Olympus Corporation have today announced the joint development of a new 1GB version of the ultra-compact xD-Picture Card™ digital camera storage media. The new xD-Picture Card™ M1GB* will be available commercially from the first quarter of 2005. The xD-Picture Card™, launched in September 2002, has earned a popular following as an ultra-compact digital camera storage media format. The new 1GB version was developed to meet customer requirements for larger capacity storage. The xD-Picture Card™ M1GB is based on the latest high-density MLC (Multi Level Cell) memory technology, making it possible to pack 1GB of capacity in an ultra-compact (20mm x 25mm x 1.7mm) card. This new technology offers storage capacity potential of up to 8GB. Fujifilm will continue to boost the performance of the xD-Picture Card™...

Saturday 25 September

  • Lexar 80x 1GB Compactflash $50 (12:21) - Amazon.com has a great deal on high-speed compactflash memory cards at the moment. You can get for the Lexar Professional 80x 1gb CompactFlash card for $50 (after $30 rebate expires 9/30). Note: if you see a price higher than $80 then Amazon is sold out and they are defaulting to a seller such as Office Depot or Tigerdirect. Wait for Amazon to have them back in stock at the lower price. Do you really need a high speed card? well a regular card has a write speed of 600kb a second, but this card has a write speed of 12mb a second. We will have a review in a couple of weeks looking at a number of high speed cards and seeing where they come in useful (hint: if you want to take advantage of the 5 shot per second burst speed on the 8.2 megapixel Canon 20D camera...
  • Nintendo DS Launch Date (07:42) - Looks like I was right in August 13th when I said the Nintendo DS game system would launch before thanksgiving. Nintendo have just confirmed the DS will launch in the US on November 21st at a price of $149. The Nintendo DS features two 3 inch LCD screens with the bottom screen touch sensitive like a PDA, it has a port for connecting a microphone, wireless connectivity (both 802.11 and a proprietary Nintendo system), 16 channel sound, and two processors. (thanks portagame)...
  • BMW H2R (07:26) - BMW have announced that their H2R Hydrogen Gas powered car has set nine world speed records with a top speed of 174 mph. The BMW H2R also went from 0 to 60 mph in under 6 seconds and produces 232 horsepower. The BMW H2R is, unfortunately, just a single seat test car based upon the engine from the BMW 7 series, and even if you could buy one you would spend most of your time searching for gas stations that sell hydrogen. (BMW press release)...

Friday 24 September

  • Altec Lansing inMotion Review (16:12) - altec lansing inmotion ipod speaker system
  • Griffin iBeam (15:57) - Just the other day I was thinking "hmm, wouldn't it be great if I had an accessory for my iPod mini that turns it into both a laser pointer and a flashlight". Guess what, Griffin Technology just launched that exact accessory. The Griffin iBeam plugs into the speaker socket of the iPod and iPod mini and comes in two parts: one is a mini flashlight and the other is a class IIIA laser pointer. The Griffin iBeam is available from griffin for $19.99...
  • Maxtor Onetouch II 300GB External Drive (12:06) - Maxtor has announced 2 new Onetouch II external hard drives based upon their DiamondMax 10 series of hard drives with 16mb of cache. The Maxtor Onetouch II has Firewire and USB 2.0 connectivity (but no network connectivity), a onetouch backup button, and a drivelock feature for security. The Maxtor Onetouch II drives come in 250gb and 300gb versions and are available for preorder at a price of $330 for 250gb and $380 for 300gb. No ship date is given....
  • Logitech MX1000 Laser Mouse Review (12:00) - Hardware Central has posted a review of Logitech's new mouse, the MX1000, that uses a laser instead of the usual optical sensor. The laser is said to be 20 times as accurate as a normal optical mouse. The MX1000 is wireless and has a cute little battery status monitor on the side. Hardware Central liked everything except the price of the Logitech MX1000. (review)...
  • No Toshiba e830 in the US (11:45) - Toshiba has confirmed to BargainPDA that they will definately not be releasing the e830 VGA Pocket PC in the US. This is a shame as the e830 seems to be a great Pocket PC: 4" VGA 640x480 screen, Bluetooth and 802.11b, 520mhz processor, 128mb RAM 32mb ROM, SDIO and CompactFlash expansion slots, 5.3 x 3.0 x 0.6 inches. If that isn't bad enough, Toshiba announced that they are pulling out of the US PDA market completely, which seems like a silly decision considering how poor HPs recent Pocket PC releases have been. (more at BargainPDA)...
  • iRiver H320 coming to the US (11:31) - Dapreview.com has found that the iRiver H320 20gb MP3 player is available in the US for $329 with a ship date of October 6th. The iRiver H320 features a large color screen that you can use to view photos, USB 2.0 file transfer, 20gb storage, voice recorder, FM tuner, support for MP3 WMA ASF WAV and OFF, and a 16hr battery life. (via dapreview)...
  • Sony Network Walkman to Support MP3? (11:22) - My biggest complaint about the Sony Network Walkman was that it didn't support the standard MP3 format, instead making people convert their music to Sony's proprietary ATRAC format. Sony has done a bit of an about face and announced they start supporting MP3 format on flash based music players. Their is no info yet on whether they will extend this to their Network Walkman hard drive based player. If only Sony would ditch their Memory Stick flash card formats and switch to the industry standard CompactFlash or Secure Digital cards: their incompatibility stopped me from buying any Sony PDAs, cameras, or music players. More from news.com...
  • Sandisk Shoot & Store (09:38) - SANDISK BREAKS THE $10 PRICE BARRIER ON SHOOT & STORE FLASH MEMORY CARDS New Price Points For Shoot & Store Line Aimed At Accelerating The Adoption of "Consumable" Usage Model For Flash Cards As Permanent "Digital Negatives" Sunnyvale, CA, Sept. 15, 2004 – Delivering on its previously announced strategy to grow the consumable market for flash memory cards, SanDisk® Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) has introduced new, lower prices for its Shoot & Store™ line of flash storage cards that are sold in supermarkets, drug stores and other mass-merchant outlets. Effective August 30 in the U.S. market, the 50-photo* (32-megabyte) card, priced previously at $14.99, now has a suggested retail price of $9.99. The price of a 100-photo* (64MB) Shoot & Store card has been reduced from $24.99 to $14.99. These price changes are being applied throughout the Shoot & Store product lineup, which consists of CompactFlash®, SD™, Memory Stick PRO™ and, in...
  • Canon Eos 20D Shipping Now (08:41) - Amazon.com has just started shipping the Canon Eos 20D Digital Camera. If you want a good balance between high end professional digital camera and affordability this is currently the best choice. For $1499 you get the camera body without a lens but I would recommend paying the extra $100 to get the camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens. Full specs below. Canon EOS 20D 8.2MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens $1599 at Amazon.com Canon EOS 20D 8.2MP Digital SLR Camera (body only) $1499 at Amazon.com...
  • Maxtor OneTouch II (08:38) - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, September 20, 2004 at 5 AM PDT NEW MAXTOR ONETOUCH II DRIVE RAISES THE BAR IN CONSUMER BACKUP Maxtor Brings Consumers the First External Backup Solution to Feature Simpler Backup, Added Security and More Powerful Restore Capabilities MILPITAS, Calif., September 20, 2004?Simple, safe and powerful describe the new Maxtor OneTouch(TM) II drive, the next generation of Maxtor Corporation's (NYSE: MXO) award-winning external drive family that allows consumers to easily back up family photos, MP3 music collections, and other important personal and business data with a simple touch of a button. No high tech knowledge is required to set up the new drive, giving consumers no excuse to not backup their computers. Leveraging the company's first-to-market leadership and proven expertise in external storage and push button backup, the new Maxtor OneTouch II drive offers an exclusive version of Dantz(R) Retrospect(R) software for easy backup, a Maxtor DriveLock(TM)...
  • METASONIX TX-1 Agonizer (08:36) - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SEPTEMBER 20, 2004 Presenting the METASONIX TX-1 Agonizer SPECIAL EDITION. It sucks even harder. ----------------------------------------------------- NOTE: a large photo of the Agonizer Special Edition may be found at the following address: www.metasonix.com/TX1big.jpg ----------------------------------------------------- Earlier this year, we put out a horrific noise-box. It had an insulting press release. It had sadomasochistic cartoons right on the front panel. And in spite of all this, AND repeated warnings NOT TO BUY IT, the original Metasonix TX-1 Agonizer became the fastest-selling product in our company's history! The entire limited run was gone in 2 months. And even after they were gone, people were screaming for more. So how do we follow up such an ATROCITY? With MORE ATROCITY, of course. Presenting the Special UNACCEPTABLE EDITION of the Agonizer. It chews genitals even harder. It's a CELEBRITY genital chewer. Word. So, like, what makes it more awful? We've changed some of...
  • Zi Corporation’s eZiTap (08:34) - Zi Corporation’s eZiTap™ integrated into commercially available Voq Professional Phone™ First Mobile Phone with eZiTap™ embedded; Targeted for the European and North American Markets LONDON, UK AND CALGARY, AB, Canada, September 21, 2004 – Zi Corporation (Nasdaq: ZICA) (TSX: ZIC), a leading provider of intelligent interface solutions, today announced the Voq Professional Phone™, made by Sierra Wireless (Nasdaq:SWIR) (TSX:SW) with integrated Zi predictive text technology, is available in key European and North American markets. The Voq phone is available through Dutch carrier KPN, U.S. retail channels, and through key European distributors including A&C Systems, Cedros, Daimler, Dangaard, Hugh Symons, Speeka, Xacom, and Yes Telecom for sale in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Nordics, Switzerland, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Zi’s eZiTap is integrated with Microsoft Windows Mobile software for Smartphones by the Zi Input Method Editor (IME). The Voq Professional Phone is the first phone on the international...
  • Fable Breaks Sales Records in First Week of Release (08:28) - September 23, 2004 Fable Breaks Sales Records in First Week of Release Roleplaying Adventure Blockbuster Sets Stage for Spectacular Holiday Season for Microsoft Game Studios Microsoft Game Studios today announced that Fable, the ground-breaking Xbox® roleplaying adventure game, has had an amazing start at retailers across North America in its first week of release, breaking records and selling through more than 375,000 units (grossing roughly $18.7 million U.S.). Fable sets the stage for a spectacular holiday season for Microsoft Game Studios by paving the way for titles such as Halo 2, Blinx 2 and MechAssault 2. Sales records are being broken at retailers throughout North America: the game was EB Games' biggest first-week sales for any Xbox title ever; it broke Game Rush's first-day sales record for any game; it is the No. 1-selling overall title on any platform last week at GameStop and is the fastest-selling Xbox game at...

Wednesday 22 September

  • No posts... apologies (17:50) - Apologies for no posts yesterday or today.... I am away at an internet conference and get this: the high speed internet in the conference hotel isn't working! Daily postings will resume Friday, until then check out Gizmodo or Engadget for you daily fix of new cool gadgets....

Monday 20 September

  • Bose SoundDock for iPod (11:24) - Bose has put out the press release for their Bose Sounddock speaker system for the iPod and iPod mini (which we mentioned on September 1st), here's what they had to say: The Bose SoundDock system includes a proprietary acoustic design that delivers clear, full sound across the entire musical spectrum. Using an integrated system approach, the amplifiers, equalizers and speakers are matched; there is no need for the user to make complex adjustments to ensure superb acoustic performance. Patented integrated signal processing automatically adjusts tonal balance, so music sounds natural at any volume. The Bose SoundDock system works with third and fourth-generation iPods, as well as the iPod miniand includes an infrared remote that can control the iPod from across the room. The system charges the iPod while in use, or when docked. The Bose SoundDock digital music system measures 6 5/8″x 11 7/8″x 6 1/2″ deep. It features...
  • Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II (11:10) - Info is slipping out on the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II professional digital camera that may be officially announced later this week. The Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II is supposed to feature a 16.7 megapixel sensor (4992 x 3328 pixels), have both CF and SD memory card slots, larger buffe (4 images per second up to 11 images RAW or 32 JPEG), and more tweaking options than a mere mortal will ever need. More detailed features of the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II are: ISO: 100-1600 (ext 50-3200), 45 AF-points, 1/8000-30 sec, 2 inch 223,000 pixel LCD TFT Screen, 20 Personal preferences with 65 instances, 27 Personal functions, and weight of 1215g + 335g battery (NP-E3). (thanks gizmodo)...
  • How TV and HDTV Work (10:40) - ecoustics has posted a brief but very useful article on how TV and HDTV work, including a simple explanation of the different digital formats: 480i: Picture transmits at 60 interlaced fields per second (30 frames per second). Same number of scan lines and frames per second (fps) as analog, but provides a slightly improved image merely because of digital transmission method. Provides surround sound-capable digital audio that matches CD-quality Known as Standard Definition Television (SDTV) 480p: Same number of scan lines as analog, but sent progressive-style (60 complete fps) resulting in an even more improved picture. Capable of Dolby Digital Audio. Known as Enhanced Definition Television (EDTV) 720p: Higher resolution picture with 720 scan lines, sent at 60 complete fps. Provides Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround This is HDTV 1080i: Even higher resolution (1080 scan lines), but fewer frames per second. (60 fields per second, equal to only 30 complete...
  • Tapwave Zodiac 1 Review (10:26) - The Tapwave Zodiac 1 games console has been reviewed by hardextreme.org. The Tapwave Zodiac 1 is an interesting use of the Palm OS: designed from the ground up as a game console not a PDA it features 32mb RAM, 200mhz ARM processor, bluetooth wireless, 2 sd card slots, and 3.8" 480x320 screen and costs $299. There is also a Tapwave Zodiac 2 available with 128mb RAM for $399. Hardextreme gave it 10/10. Full review...

Friday 17 September

  • Piel Frama Case Review (15:43) - Piel Frama leather case for dell axim X30 with extended battery
  • ATI TV Wonder USB 2.0 Review (13:49) - The ATI TV Wonder USB 2.0 is an external TV tuner for PCs (mostly useful to notebook owners) that sends uncompressed video images from an aerial, composite video cables or an S-video cable through a USB 2.0 connection to your PC or notebook. TrustedReviews got hold of an ATI TV Wonder USB 2.0 card and tested it out, they liked it despite the lack of a remote control. TrustedReviews review...
  • Shuttle SB81P Review (13:23) - Bittech reviewed the Shuttle SB81P XPC small form factor pc. The Shuttle SB81PC is a small computer case, 350w silent power supply, and motherboard: you have to add a processor, memory, hard drive, CD/DVD drive, keyboard, mouse, etc. The Shuttle SB81PC is 12.7" long, 8.3" wide, and 8.7" high, this is a little larger than many shuttle cases but it allows the building of a more powerful system. The Shuttle SB81P supports socket 775 pentium 4 and celeron 800/533MHz processors, up to 2GB of DDR 400 RAM, up to 3 3.5" SATA hard drives and a 5.25" optical drive (DVD/CD), and has 2 expansion slotS: a PCI slot and a new PCI Express slot for more powerful graphics. Overall Bittech liked the performance, silence, and style but didn't like the onboard graphics. Full review...
  • Asus A730 Available Now (in Taiwan) (07:54) - Someone in Taiwan found the Asus A730 VGA Pocket PC in a store so they took it out of the box and took a ton of great photos. Asus A730 Photos The Asus A730 also features bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi, 64 or 128mb RAM, SDIO and Compact Flash expansion slots, Intel 520MHz processor, 3.7" VGA (640x480) screen, and a 1.3 megapixel digital camera. Should be available in the US soon for $500 for 64mb with bluetooth or $600 for 128mb RAM with bluetooth and Wi-Fi. (thanks pocketpcthoughts)...

Thursday 16 September

  • Roadwired Pod Review (17:37) - roadwired pod gadget bag
  • iPod Mini Humidity Problems (05:43) - On my recent gadget review trip I encountered a problem with my iPod mini and I am wondering if anyone else has had the same problem: Inside my hotel room it was cool (68 degrees) and the air was dry, outside it was 95 degrees and very high humidity (glasses and camera lens steamed up immediately when going outside). Most days I relaxed by the pool and listened to music or audiobooks, but one day the iPod mini wouldn't startup, the screen stayed blank. I know the battery was fully charged but the iPod mini wouldn't work at the pool or later that day in the room. I left the iPod mini in my room and the following day it worked perfectly again, my guess it was the humidity and the mini needed to dry out before it would startup again. Anyone else encountered a similiar problem with an...
  • Nikon D2X Professional SLR (05:17) - Nikon has announced a new professional digital SLR camera: the Nikon D2X. The Nikon D2X has a 12.4 megapixel sensor and captures up to 5 frames a second (or 8 frames per second at 6.8 megapixels). One really interesting feature is that the Nikon D2X supports a 802.11b/g Wi-Fi wireless transmitter/remote control. Another unusual feature of the Nikon D2X is a secure interface between the camera and a conpact flash card using encryption keys and/or passwords (only works with some planned Lexar CF cards). More details and the press release below. (full specs from Nikon)...
  • Hummer not Big Enough? (05:02) - Are you tired of everyone having a hummer?, tired of being able to fit into parking spots?, want to really look like you are making up for having a small *blank*? Then the International CXT may be the pickup for you. Based on International's line of dump trucks and snowploughs, the CXT can tow up to 6 tons, seats 6, and has all wheel drive, 6 speed automatic transmission, and air brakes. Expect the CXT to cost about $100,000, and at over 21 feet long expect it to be a real bitch to park outside the grocery store. On the bright side, at 9 feet high you will be able to see over the little Volkswagon Beetle you just crushed into the highway....

Wednesday 15 September

  • Gmail and Gadget Giveaway (Ends 9/30) (15:52) - Reminder: On September 30th we will hold a drawing of all newsletter subscribers for the following prizes: A 1GB Google Gmail Account (6 subscribers will win an account) An Audia-X FM Transmitter A Fossil Wrist Net Smartwatch A Ultra Products Ultraviolet light tube set and 18" rounded IDE cable For your chance to win a free Gmail account or one of the other gadgets on offer all you have to do is subscribe to the ShinyPlastic.com Mailing List - we send at most one email a week and promise never to give away or sell your email address or other information. The Mailing List is new: at the moment there are so few subscribers that each subscribers has more than a 10% chance to win a prize. More information and privacy policy...
  • MDA Compact Pocket PC Phone (15:41) - Brighthand has got the info on the MDA Compact Pocket PC Phone from HTC (formerly known as "magician"). The MDA compact is going to be smaller than most Pocket PC phones on the market: 4.25" x 2.3" x 0.7", and will weigh 5.3oz. The MDA compact will also be more powerful than some competitors: packing a 416MHz XScale processor, and offering 64mb RAM, 64mb ROM, and has an SDIO expansion slot for more storage space and/or Wi-Fi functionality (bluetooth is already built-in). The phone portion of the MDA Compact will be Quad-band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), making it usable in Asia, Europe and the US, and the MDA Compact will run the Phone Edition of Windows Mobile 2003. The MDA Compact will be available in Europe in November and I hope it will be offered in the US sometime after that (hint hint T-Mobile... please)....
  • Axim X50 Photos (15:29) - Update: More photos and full specs of the Axim X50 and X50v are available on our sister site: VGAPocketPC.com Photos of the Dell Axim X50 Pocket PC have been posted on russian forums handy.ru. These look a lot more realistics than the fakes from a couple of weeks ago and match the internal photos of the Axim X50 posted on the FCC site. If these Axim X50 photos are accurate then it confirms the rumors of the X50 having both a SD and a Compact Flash card slot. Also showing up on the FCC site is a letter extending the confidentiality request for the Axim X50 until November 8th (it used to be September 24th) so it looks like there are some production delays. Photos below, other features of the Axim X50 include VGA (640 x 480) screen, 128mb memory, and support for both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 1.2....
  • Suunto n3i Slim SPOT watch (14:57) -
  • 1GB Compact Flash $82 (14:16) - Storage card prices keep going lower and lower, it used to be that a good price was 1gb of Compact Flash memory was $150 after sending in for a rebate, but now you can get 1gb of brand name Compact Flash (from Sandisk) for $82 from buy.com with free shipping!. I take a lot of photos and it is great to not have to worry about swapping compact flash cards around, especially with a high mega-pixel digital camera. 1gb is 64 times the storage capacity of the compact flash card typically included when you buy a digital camera. Click here for the $82 1gb Compact Flash...
  • Back from Hurricane Ivan (07:31) - I'm back a day late from vacation thanks to Hurricane Ivan clipping Cancun where we were staying. All my gadgets survived the strong winds and 25+ foot waves (they all got some good wind survival tests on our 11th floor hotel balcony at the height of the storm) and we survived a day stuck in our hotel with not much food and no alcohol! (alcohol sales were banned by the local government during the hurricane warning period). One casulty of the vacation was my iPod mini, the difference in humidity between the hotel and the beach killed it. There will be a gadget review every day for the next few days as well as all the regular gadget news....

Thursday 2 September

  • Life is a Beach! (17:31) - There will be no posts to ShinyPlastic.com from September 3rd to 13th as my wife and I are away on vacation putting lots of great gadgets to the test. (This is our first long vacation with no work in 2 years, so no computers, no cell phones, just portable gadgets, sun, and margaritas.) Continue reading to see photos of what we will be reviewing the week we return...... Also don't forget to join our free mailing list and be entered for a chance to win a Smart Watch, an FM Transmitter, or one of six Google Gmail accounts....

Wednesday 1 September

  • MSN Music Store (21:47) - Microsoft has quietly launched a beta of their much anticipated music download site. The site will be integrated into version 10 of Windows Media Player and visitors can currently buy and downlaod music for 99 cents a track. The full launch of MSN Music will be in October and Microsoft hopes to have one million songs online soon. MSN Music Store...
  • Bose SoundDock for iPod (14:19) - Bose has announced a high-end speaker solution for the iPod and iPod Mini at the Apple Expo Paris show. It is priced at $299 and will ship October 15th. Sound quality is said to be very good for it's size (just like any other Bose product). Not a lot else is known except that it has a wireless remote control and works with 3rd and 4th generation iPods as well as the iPod mini. 9/20 Update: More info from a Bose press release Shop for Bose Products...
  • 3 New Dell Color Laser Printers (13:35) - Dell has announced their first 3 color laser printers; the 3000cn, the 3100cn (photo) and the 5100cn, and they are priced to sell. The Dell 3000cn color laser printer is described as an affordable network-ready color laser for small or home offices. The 3000cn features up-to 2400 image quality (IQ) resolution, enabling high-quality color printing. It prints black text at speeds of up to 25 pages per minute (ppm) and color up to 5 ppm. The 3000cn is 16.7" x 16.5" x 17" and weighs 54.5lb, it sells for $449. The Dell 3100cn color laser printer is described as an office color laser printer that grows with the business, it features the same resolution and print speeds as the 3000cn but comes standard with extra input drawers for greater paper handling capacity and a greater toner capacity. Because of its larger toner sizes, it can deliver a lower toner...
  • Dell Axim X50 Rear View (07:38) - The picture yesterday of the Dell Axim X50 pocket pc is definately a fake: the shape is nothing like a photo of the rear of the device that has shown up on FCC docs. Most of the details on the Axim X50 are being held under a confidentiality request until 9/24 but there is some info in the FCC docs: 1100mAh removable battery with 2200mAh battery available (expect our friends at Mugen to have an even more powerful battery out soon for these). At least 2 versions (we expect 3): One Axim X50 with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a 3.7" 640 x 480 screen, 624MHz processor, and 128mb or 64mb RAM. Another Axim X50 with Bluetooth only, a 3.5" 240 x 320 screen, 520MHz processor, and 64mb RAM. We expect the third Axim X50 (not mentioned in the FCC docs as it doesn't have wireless) to have a 3.5" 240...
  • Walmart's $600 Laptop (07:25) - We haven't talked about this before but Walmart has got into the laptop business. If you are looking for a basic laptop for back to school or around the house then this is worth considering as it is just $598 (with no rebate forms or other tricks). The specs are really good for the price: Athlon XP-M 1600+ processor, 14.1" LCD screen, 40gb hard drive, 128MB RAM, DVD drive, 802.11b Wi-Fi wireless, and Windows XP. Only bad part of the spec is the 128mb memory but it has an upgrade slot to add more DDR SO-DIMM memory (up to another 512mb). Walmart ECS 14" Laptop with W-Fi: $598...
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ShinyPlastic is brought to you by Search Network and operated by Mark:

Mark is a thirty-something guy living in New York who loves to own the latest tech gadgets but also loves a positive bank balance.

Mark visited gadget sites that list every upcoming gadget but dont let you buy them, and coupon sites that list great deals but don't tell you what is hot; hence Shiny Plastic, how to get the nice Shiny Plastic tech gadgets without ruining your credit.

Mark reviews every fun gadget that he buys, searches other technology sites for interesting items, and regularly searches all the online stores for the best deals.
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