Aiming to offer a long-term storage option in disc form, Sony and Panasonic have announced the new Archival Disc format that will store between 300GB and 1TB per disc. The companies are bigging up the non-HDD form factor for its hardiness to temperature and humidity. They’re also promising “inter-generational compatibility” between different formats as the standard matures — but we’ll believe it when we see it. While the initial team-up was signed back in July last year, the current roadmap suggests we’ll see the first 300GB discs from Summer 2015. Storage upgrades will follow, in line with signal processing improvements, with high linear density processing (which all sounds good) supposedly set to offer up to a magical one terabyte of space per disc. We’ll just go ahead and throw away all these Blu-rays.
Panasonic promised it would deliver a GH mirrorless camera capable of recording 4K video for under $2,000, and now we know just how far under that is. The Lumix GH4 camera body and its 16MP CMOS Micro Four Thirds sensor will cost $1,700, while the optional YAGH pro audio/video interface unit is available for an extra $2,000. The pre-order listings on Panasonic’s website currently show an estimated ship date of late April. EOSHD.com confirms the same information from retailers like Adorama and B&H, which also have their pre-order buttons ready. Check out our hands-on impressions of the camera and Panasonic’s own 4K demo reel if you need some convincing about how it will measure up to its predecessor, the GH3.
Filed under: Cameras
Panasonic, while a hugely famous name in consumer electronics, isn’t exactly the first name that comes to mind when you think of smartphones. That’s probably because they only made their first Android smartphone in May 2013, and decided to exit smartphones in its entirety only a few months later in September. Well, their farewell may have been a bit premature as Panasonic has revived their smartphone operation, launching the Panasonic P31 today.
The Panasonic P31 will have a 5-inch 854×480 resolution display with a MediaTek processor clocked at 1.3GHz, along with 1GB RAM, 8GB storage with microSD support, and a 2,000mAh battery. Connectivity features include all your basics with Bluetooth, GPS, 3G, and Wi-Fi and will be running Android 4.2. The device will also have dual-SIM capabilities which is almost expected for phones that launch in India as the P31 is.
While the P31 looks vaguely reminiscent of the Galaxy S4/Galaxy Note 2 design, there’s obviously not much in the way of hardware that is comparable to those devices, nor should you expect it to as the device will be launching for the price of Rs. 11,990 (approxiamately $195 USD). This puts it in the same playing field as the new Nokia X family of devices, which perhaps suggests that even Panasonic sees this extreme-budget section of the market as a possible area of growth. There’s been no indication that the P31 will be seen anywhere other than India, though.
What do you think about the Panasonic P31? Would you considering getting on of these if it were available where you are? Let us know your opinion in the comments.
If you’ve been dreaming of a Tesla but can’t afford a Model S and its $70k+ sticker price (before tax credits), the company is announcing a major step towards building an electric vehicle in your price range. CEO Elon Musk has targeted 2017 for building a vehicle that costs half that, and has released details (PDF) of the “Gigafactory” he expects to have building batteries by then. The company predicts that by 2020, it will pump out more batteries alone than the world manufactured in 2013, keeping prices down while Tesla ramps up production on the unnamed “Gen III” vehicle.
To do that, it’s raising $1.6 billion from a group of investors — rumors suggest Model S battery provider Panasonic could be in for as much as $1 billion — in a pair of bond offerings, with an option for an extra $240 million. The plant isn’t built yet of course, but Tesla has pointed out four southwestern states (Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada or Texas) as possible locations, ideal for its solar and wind renewable energy plans. The plant will lower costs by working on the raw materials, cells, modules and battery pack enclosures all in one place, employing as many as 6,500 people.
- Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) February 26, 2014
Filed under: Transportation
Panasonic may have bowed out of the consumer smartphone game, but gadgets for businesses are a completely different story. That’s why the Japanese company came to Mobile World Congress with a new pair of rugged Toughpad smartphones in tow. You can’t mistake them, despite their identical looks, because one runs Android 4.2.2 and the other has Windows Embedded 8 Handheld — and we just got a chance to see what they’re made of.
The Toughpads are well over an inch thick, but the heft is valuable since it helps the duo resist dust, drops, and liquid. Sadly, we didn’t have a bucket of water to hurl the things into, and drops on the carpeted floor of Panasonic’s press room weren’t as satisfying as we’d hoped. These Toughpads are modular (if not as stylish as other concepts we’ve seen). Some of the components lodged in the Toughpads’ backs can be unscrewed and swapped out completely, so folks who can’t think of anything to do with a barcode scanner can kiss it goodbye.
The company may bristle at our use of the dreaded s-word, preferring instead to call them tablets, but come now: if it looks like a smartphone, and makes calls like a smartphone, you’re not fooling anyone. That said, both Toughpads sport the same slew of rubberized buttons, port flaps and 8-megapixel rear cameras. The internals aren’t the same, though: The Windows Embedded version features a 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip while the Android model got stuck with a pokier 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4. Both devices felt snappy and responsive, and the 5-inch, 720p screens were better than you’d expect considering these things are meant to take a beating.
The thing to remember here is that you’re not going to waltz into a big box store and see one of these on the shelf. These Toughpads are designed for being tossed around warehouses and construction sites, not in and out of your skinny jeans. The prospective price tag just drives that point home: they’ll run you about 130,000 yen ($1,300) when they officially launch later this year.
Matt Brian contributed to this report.
Last year, Panasonic introduced a Toughpad and after few months they decided to decline on smartphones, but then they changed their mind. At Mobile World Congress 2014, Panasonic unveiled the Toughpad FZ-X1, a rugged smartphone running on Android, and the features are good enough as well.
- 5-inch (1280 x 720 pixels ) touch screen with 500 cd/m2 brightness to avoid sunlight reflection
- 1.7 GHz Qualcomm S4 Pro (APQ8064T) processor.
- Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)
- Water and Dust proof, IP65/IP58 certified
- 8MP camera with flash
- 1.3MP front-facing camera
- 2GB RAM, 32GB Internal memory
- Dedicated Security core – FIPS 140-2 Level 2 compliant
- Drop resistant from a height of 3 meters, MIL-STD 810G compliant
- 4G LTE/ 3G (HSPA+ 21 Mbps), WiFi 802.11 a/b / g/n/ac Bluetooth 4.0, Satellite GPS, micro HDMI
- 6,200mAh hot-swappable with up to 14 hours talk time and up to 1000 hours standby
It will go on sale in Japan by the end of August with a price tag of 130,000 yen ($1,300), and then sooner or later, it will land in Europe and US region as well.
Are you planning to grab one? Tell us about it in the comment box below.
The post Panasonic introduces Toughpad FZ-X1 smartphone at MWC appeared first on AndroidGuys.
When Panasonic said that it was done making smartphones, it meant it. The 5-inch Toughpad FZ-E1 and FZ-X1, you see, are very small tablets that just happen to make calls, okay? Both come with a 5-inch 1,280 x 720 LCD display, 2GB RAM, 32GB of on-board storage and a microSD card slot. Another way in which these devices aren’t smartphones are in the connectivity stakes, after all, you wouldn’t see a smartphone with 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, HSPA+, WCDMA, EV-DO, 3G and LTE radios, not to mention HD Voice, GPS and GLONASS, would you? Since these are Toughpad devices, they’re both ruggedized to withstand drops, dust and water to MIL-810G, IP65 and IP68 — so you can use the device’s 8-megapixel camera and 1.3-megapixel front-facing lens in any conditions. There’s also a staggering 6,200mAh battery tucked inside, which the company promises will keep you trucking for 14 hours of continuous use and up to 1,000 hours of standby. The only real difference between the two
smartphones small tablets is the choice of operating system, with the E1 running Windows 8 Embedded and the X1 packing Android 4.2.2. There’s no specific word on pricing, but we could expect ‘em to retail for around 130,000 yen ($1,300) when they both drop later in the year.
Source: Panasonic (Translated)
You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours — all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
Flappy Bird was so young, but alas, all good things must come to an (abrupt) end. Despite its rapid rise to fame, the game’s developer Dong Nguyen had it removed from both the App Store and Google Play earlier today. Click the link for the story.
Panasonic’s recently unveiled Lumix GH4 4K camera doesn’t have a release date yet, but a few professionals have already taken it for a test run. Click through for some sample photos and footage from the company’s latest shooter
What’s cooler than a regular, stationary fish tank? One on wheels, of course! Thanks to a company called Studio Diip, your aquatic pets can enjoy the mobility of a house on wheels. This clever contraption roams your abode based upon the movements of your fish. Follow the link for more.
HTC is expecting its next quarter to be the worst yet. The reason? CEO Peter Chou attributes the decline to the company’s lack of mid-tier products, promising that it will bounce back with a new, compelling portfolio of affordable devices. Click on through for details.
Filed under: Misc
It’s been a mere couple of days since Panasonic unveiled its next-generation GH camera, the LUMIX GH4. But, since there’s no release date information as of yet, chances are it’s going to be a little while before interested parties can take this new shooter out for a spin. Luckily, Panasonic has already let some professionals have their go at its GH4; Hungary, Japan and Northern Kenya are all places where sample photos were taken, and there’s also an incredible 4K video (embedded after the break) that was shot in Yucatan, Mexico. The results produced by Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds camera are definitely impressive, but we wouldn’t have expected any less from something that could be priced at around $2,000. For more, head to the source link below, where you’ll find the entire set of pictures and some extra behind-the-scenes stuff.
Panasonic’s GH4 clearly packs serious 4K video chops, but pricing and availability remain TBA (hands-on)
Long gone are the days when digital cameras were just for still photographers. In fact, with its GH4, it’s easy to argue that Panasonic is putting an even greater emphasis on video capture — of the 4K variety, in this case. The Lumix GH4, teased as the “next GH” just last month at CES, offers tremendous advantages over its predecessor, the GH3. Perhaps most notable are the camera’s 4K capabilities. This year’s model can shoot both 3,840 x 2,160 and a 4,096 x 2,160 “cinema 4K” format at 30 frames per second with a 100 Mbps bit rate. If you’re willing to settle for 1080p (at 60, 30 or 24 fps), Panasonic’s also added a 200 Mbps option, with 100 and 50 Mbps offerings available, too. You can capture clean HDMI video with an external recorder at 4:2:2 8/10-bit output, while a (relatively gigantic) interface unit mounts on the bottom and adds four SDI outputs with support for 4K (4:2:2/10-bit), time code, two XLR microphone inputs and a 13.8-volt Canon terminal for external power. That accessory also includes phantom power controls and LED audio level readouts.
There are significant improvements on the stills front, too. There’s a new 16-megapixel CMOS Micro Four Thirds sensor, which should benefit video captures as well. The camera supports a sensitivity range of ISO 200-25,600 (compared to a 12,800 max with the GH3), while the viewfinder has been boosted with a very sharp 2.36M-dot OLED panel and the 3-inch main tilt-and-swivel display now has a higher-res 1.04M-dot OLED screen. Panasonic is also emphasizing performance improvements, including a new 0.07-second focus speed, 12 fps burst mode or 7 fps with AF tracking and a shutter rated for 200,000 total clicks. The body is still constructed of magnesium alloy, and it’s splash- and dust-proof. Expect to snap more than 500 stills with a full charge. There’s also SDXC UHS Class 3 compatibility — you’ll need a latest-gen card to capture 200 Mbps video internally.
What we don’t have at this point is pricing or a ship date. At CES, Panasonic quoted a price below $2,000, and considering the improvements over the GH3, which currently retails for about $1,000 (and will remain on the market), we wouldn’t be surprised to see a final MSRP near the $2k mark. Reps promised more information on the availability front next month, and while the info rollout has been anything but speedy, we’re inclined to think the GH4 will be worth the wait.
Filed under: Cameras