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Archos 7 Home Tablet sees revision 2, with Android 2.1 and faster 800MHz CPU

The Archos 7 Home Tablet was something of a disappointment, and Archos has shipped bigger and better things since, but the firm isn’t done with the original affordable Android slate quite yet. We’ve confirmed with Archos that a “v2” revision is now shipping in Europe with three things the original lacked — an accelerometer, a relatively recent version of Android (2.1) and an 800MHz Rockchip CPU. Make no mistake, those are still budget specs, and you’ll almost certainly still have to hack your own Android Market on to get a full quota of apps, but it’s not like you’re paying any more for the extra oomph. The updated version has been spotted at Expansys for the same $200, which might actually might make it one of the best bang-for-the-buck tablets out there. Look how far we’ve come.


Russia's first GLONASS phone an 'iPhone 4 competitor,'

As the story goes, Russia-based AFK Sistema’s subsidiary Sitronics (along with US’ Qualcomm and China’s ZTE) have developed the first smartphone to use GLONASS — specifically one with a 90nm GPS-GLONASS chip. It’s been called, in so many words, the “Russian answer to the iPhone 4” by the Powers That Be, and without getting into key details like platform and specs, we know officially the phone is going on sale in Russian sometime in March for 10,990 rubles (about $360 in US).

For other details on the device, we seek more unofficial (and therefore not 100 percent confirmed) sources, like the notably well-connected Eldar Murtazin. According to him, we’re looking at the ZTEmodel A918, an analog of the A916 with Android 2.1, a 3.2-inch QVGA screen, FM radio, and 2 megapixel camera — yeah, hardly an iPhone 4 competitor, if you ask us. That version is supposedly launching on MTS for 7,500 rubles ($246), meaning the GLONASS-equipped equivalent has a 3,490 ruble ($114) markup. And the March release? Apparently in limited quantities, with mass production not coming until second half of 2011. Unfortunately, we’re not sure this one’ll be making an appearance at CES for further inspection. Check out the video after the break for a cameo of the device featuring Putin, Russian billionaire (and head of AFK Sistema) Vladimir Yevtushenkov, and Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov.


HTC Media Link DLNA streamer review

Apple’s AirPlay might be getting all the attention lately but it’s hardly the first solution for wirelessly streaming media to the television. Far from it. In 2003, the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) formed with its first set of interoperable products hitting the market in 2004. Since then, the alliance has certified thousands of products supported by more than 245 member companies, 29 of whom are listed as “promoter members” including such heavyweights as Sony, Nokia, Samsung, Toshiba, Verizon, AT&T Lab, LG, Qualcomm, Cisco, Microsoft, Panasonic, Intel, HP, and Motorola. Pretty much everyone butApple. Recently, HTC joined the DLNA ranks with the introduction of two smartphones — the Desire Z and Desire HD — and a tiny media streamer known as the HTC Media Link, HTC’s first attempt to gain a foothold in the living room. Over the last week we’ve been testing the Desire Z (a Eurofied T-Mobile G2) with the Media Link, lazily streaming video, music, and images around the house using a myriad of sources and controllers from Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, and Western Digital.

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Is Apple Planning A Holographic 3D TV?

If patents are to be believed, Apple is working on the creation of the world’s first glasses-free 3D display that would produce holographic images using a screen made up of “pixel-sized domes” that would be read differently by the human eye depending on where they’re viewing from.

The patent itself explains the technology like this:

An exceptional aspect of the invention is that it can produce viewing experiences that are virtually indistinguishable from viewing a true hologram. Such a “pseudo-holographic” image is a direct result of the ability to track and respond to observer movements.

By tracking movements of the eye locations of the observer, the left and right 3D sub-images are adjusted in response to the tracked eye movements to produce images that mimic a real hologram. The invention can accordingly continuously project a 3D image to the observer that recreates the actual viewing experience that the observer would have when moving in space around and in the vicinity of various virtual objects displayed therein. This is the same experiential viewing effect that is afforded by a hologram.

It’s not known at this time whether Apple would use this technology for 3D television or some other application. The company released a statement that it does not comment on patents.


Cowon D3 Plenue is an Android 2.1 based portable media player, looks pretty slick

We got an email this morning about a new Android-based PMP, the first one running Android 2.1. Granted, it doesn’t look like it’s anywhere near stateside from the shots we’ve seen, but that doesn’t keep it from looking pretty awesome. According to the article sent to us, the Cowon D3 Plenue has:

  • Android 2.1
  • 800×480 3.7 inch AMOLED Display
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • WLAN 802.11 b/g
  • gravity sensor
  • vibration feedback
  • terrestrial DMB
  • FM Radio
  • E-Book
  • Photo Album
  • vocabulary
  • Twitter
  • More applications

The D3 Plenue will come in black and purple, with capacities of 8, 16, and 32 GB, along with a MicroSD expansion slot to rock your tune capabilities even further. Be sure to hit the break for a full gallery of pics, and let us know what you think in the comments


ASUS teases Eee Pad and Eee Slate ahead of CES launch

Seems like all these CES vendors have wised up to the fact that announcing their new products amidst a maelstrom of new product announcements tends to be slightly counterproductive. So, naturally, they’re spending their December carefully teasing out little pre-release details. It’s ASUS’ turn today, who clearly isn’t content just telling us about its Eee Pad / Slate / Tablet / Chopping Board and has decided to dish out some candid hardware shots. What we see above is a USB 3.0 port embedded within a very slinky keyboard panel, which itself seems attached to a touchscreen display (with Android buttons!) up top. It’s looking more like a tablet PC (presumably with a pivoting screen) than a tablet, which is corroborated by other images at the source link. Two devices are included in this teaser picture set, with the other looking like it has a slider keyboard (see it after the break) — none of it is definitive just yet, but it makes for a good guessing game to fill the time until the big show kicks off in Vegas next week.


Lenovo LePad and U1 Hybrid

Believe it or not, it’s been almost a year since we caught a look at Lenovo’s IdeaPad U1 Hybrid, and while we’ve heard numerous times that the device and a new tablet part — the LePad — were still kicking, we’ve got some rock solid evidence this time around. Okay, we got some of the best evidence out there — pictures and early impressions of the China-bound 10.1-inch LePad tablet and its U1 dock / shell. Now, we don’t want to get your hopes up too much — we didn’t get to spend all that much time with either of the units and they were in very early form, but that didn’t stop us from playing around with both of them and taking some notes. Interested? We thought so. Hit the break for a short rundown and don’t forget to peruse the gallery below on your way. Read more »


Dell Venue launched in Hong Kong

Isn’t it fun when you hit the right place at the right time? We just happened to be chillaxing in Hong Kong when Dell chose the city for the Venue’s global launch (and it’s actually hitting the shops slightly ahead of South Korea), so a quick hands-on is inevitable. As we’ve seen previously, this HK$3,999 (US$514) handset is essentially the Venue Pro’s Android 2.2 cousin sans, sporting the same curved (or “Shear Design”) vibrant AMOLED display at 4.1 inches and 800 x 480, but missing the slide-out keyboard. Under the hood lies a 1GHz Snapdragon with 1GB ROM and 512MB RAM, along with the usual microSD expansion, 1400mAh battery, 8 megapixel AF camera with LED flash, Bluetooth 2.3 EDR, WiFi and AGPS.

There aren’t any surprises in terms of software — the Venue shares the same snappy Stage UI and Swypekeyboard with the Streak, except for the lack of landscape orientation for the homescreen (and that’s with orientation enabled in system settings). As for hardware, the killer feature here is the screen, and we found its curved Gorilla Glass to be surprisingly nice for our thumbs while swiping across it. The AMOLED panel underneath is also vibrant with great viewing angles. Elsewhere, build quality is almost solid bar the squeaky battery door, but at least it provides some grip. That’s all we got for now — we’ll delve into more details in our forthcoming review, so stay tuned.


Motorola Milestone 2 review

The Motorola Milestone 2 looks to build on the successes of its forebear namesake. For a time, the Milestone/Droid was pretty much the only high-end QWERTY Android device out there, until HTC threw their hat into the ring with the HTC Desire Z. Although there are lower-spec options, like the LG GW620 and Motorola’s own Dext, this is where the duel is drawn: HTC vs. Motorola, QWERTY keyboards at 20 paces.

The Milestone 2 is the half-brother of the Verizon Droid 2 which you’ll find in the US. The most significant change over the Milestone – aside from the new hardware – is the inclusion of Motoblur. Motorola told us this was in response to customer feedback, perhaps realising that pushing the Milestone 2 as a “business” device solely because it had a physical QWERTY keyboard no longer made sense. After all, aren’t business folk also social human beings?

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