Ok, it's not by much, but world's biggest is world's biggest especially notable when it comes in a package this small. Toshiba just busted up its own record for 1.8-inch drive capacity with this new 250GB MKxx29GSG series disk spinning at 5,400rpm -- the previous 240GB 1.8-incher announced a few weeks ago is stuck with a slower PATA interface more suitable to portable audio players. That makes this 8.0-mm thick, 3Gbps SATA hard drive ideal for ultra-slim, ultra-portable laptops requiring snappy (and cheap compared to an equivalent capacity SSD) data access by your applications. At least it will be when it begins mass production in November.
It's being called the Satellite Arizona 10X for some reason, but here's the Toshiba NB105 we spotted the other day getting the video treatment. Still no word on pricing or availability, but unless you're a crazy Tosh fanboy or super into the portable DVD player-looking design, we're certain you can find another netbook with a 1.6GHz Atom to keep you warm in the meantime. Video after the break.
Whoa, boy -- HP just went loony on us tonight, and in the midst of everything else, we found a new pair of HDX notebooks. Kicking things off is the X16, which boasts a woefully under-pixelated 16-inch 1,366 x 768 resolution display, a 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo P8400 CPU, NVIDIA's 512MB GeForce 9600 GT, 4GB of DDR2 RAM, a 320GB 5,400RPM hard drive, dual-layer SuperMulti optical drive and built-in WiFi / Bluetooth. As for the beastly X18, you'll find a lot of the same kit internally, but the 18-inch 1,920 x 1,080 display is one we can really salivate over; additionally, this one ups the ante with twin 250GB HDDs and a Blu-ray reader. Each unit includes the essentials: an Ethernet port, multicard reader, integrated Altec Lansing speakers, ExpressCard slot, four USB 2.0 sockets, audio in / out, HDMI / VGA and a 4-pin FireWire connector. Both units should ship later this month starting at $1,249 and $1549, respectively.
We know -- there's a certain sect of you out there that just goes bonkers whenever a new mouse and / or keyboard is released. Unfortunately, we'll be catering to the other 99% with this one. Alongside a few new laptops, a new desktop and a pair of digiframes, HP is also unveiling a whole host of input peripherals this evening. Up first is the HDX Laser Mouse, which features five programmable buttons, on-the-fly DPI switching up to 2,400, five individual setting profiles and USB 2.0 connectivity. Next up is the Wireless Comfort Desktop, which includes a spill-resistant Wireless Comfort Keyboard, a Wireless Vector Mouse (800 DPI), a USB wireless receiver and four AA batteries (imagine that!). Last, we've got the Laser Gaming Mouse with VoodooDNA, which cranks the DPI up to 3,200 and includes VoodooDNA GUI software. As for pricing, you're looking at $39.99, $79.99 and $59.99 in order of mention.
We got a look at HP's latest and greatest, and it's a mixed bag. For starters, we just can't stand HP's consumer laptops (not to be confused with the company's rapidly improving business lineup), and the HDX16 and HDX18 seem to revel in all that's wrong about HP's consumer approach -- no matter how many million units they move. The glossy trackpad is difficult to use, the overly-glossy screen is bad enough in press shots, and a downright pain in real life, and the glossy, chrome-ish exterior is gaudy and over the top -- did we mention glossy? It's one of those love-it-or-leave-it affairs, and we really could leave it. The new, larger TouchSmart IQ800 (pictured) has a lot more going for it, and the hardware is quite elegant, but it seems to share many of the problems its touchphone brethren face: the software isn't quite there, and therefore almost might as well not be there at all. Everything seems half-baked, and not ready for full-time use. The display felt a little "dull" to the touch, with a somewhat laggy response, web browsing is difficult and pointless, and the music app puts manual labor back into playlist creation. It's a decent "home screen" for a living room PC, there are some neat, beautiful gimmicks that would be fun to show off to house guests, and all the elements are in place for a really great touchable desktop experience -- we really do want to love this thing -- but HP needs to devote a little more cash and QA time to this side project to get it over the "hump."
Back in May we brought you some more data on the upcoming 3M pocket video projector, but only guesses on its release date: now we know it's September 30th. The palm-sized MPro110 has a VGA and composite video input, so it'll be good for either your laptop or portable gadgets with video-out. It's got manual focus, but no speaker—but for most purposes I guess you won't miss that. The guys at PopSci liked it, noting that it's pretty basic but projects nicely onto walls, desks, paper and people in a variety of lighting conditions. We'll have to wait to closer to the launch to hear more details, but the gizmo is set to cost $359.
We're not really sure if Microsoft is peddling a revolution here or just the mousing tech flavor of the month, but we've got ourselves a much better idea of where things might be going. After that little "Say Goodbye to Laser" teaser turned our pointing device world upside down, a reader spotted this MS Explorer Mini Mouse with "Blue Track" technology over on Amazon.de. Coincidence? We're guessing no. We followed a bit more of the PI work done by our fine commenters and discovered Blue Track to be based on a blue LED combined with a wide-angle lens that's supposed to work on more surfaces than laser and optical. Microsoft only really seems to be aiming this at the portable spectrum, hence the wireless adapter and miniature size, so perhaps Blue Track isn't the end of laser after all.
Blaupunkt's TravelPilot nav units have never really stood out from the pack, but it looks like that's about to change -- the new TravelPilot 700 and 500 feature an integrated camera that displays realtime video with nav overlays on their 16:9 screens. That's definitely a novel and intriguing feature, but there's not a lot of information on how it works or what kind of hardware is under the hood to keep it running smoothly -- with the 700's estimated list price of $740, we're guessing it's pretty beefy. Both units also feature voice control, DVB-T traffic, live traffic, Bluetooth, and the usual PMP features, and the 700 also has a browser, email app, and VoIP client that work over Bluetooth tethering with your phone. Yeah, definitely intriguing -- hopefully we'll see this thing make it Stateside soon. Video after the break.
Toshiba is offering up a nice respite from the inane quantity of LCDs and, um, more LCDs at IFA this year. The SD Multi Tool and the SD Photo Editor are two touchable handhelds, offering up some beefy features where similar devices lack, and also skipping over some of the more traditional MID OS features that might put these over the top -- a confusing mix, but again, not an LCD, so we're hooked. The SD Multi Tool is the real wild one, offering dual 3.5-inch touchable (finger or stylus) LCDs, rated at 960 x 480 each if the spec sheet is telling the truth -- that could be a combined resolution. The device offers wireless connectivity of some sort, and can handle web browsing, email, videos, photo editing and pretty much anything else that isn't an actual phone call -- though it can't be tough to squeeze some VoIP in there. Meanwhile, the SD Photo Editor really earns its "SD" moniker with dual SD card slots, while the Multi Tool just has one microSD slot. The Photo Editor runs a similar OS, but seems distilled down to mainly the photo browsing and editing functions, with a bit of PMP functionality thrown in we hope. A 5-inch WVGA screen with 16 million colors should be plenty of room to work your magic. No word on what OS is under the hood, but it seems to be mostly homegrown Toshiba fare. We know the Multi Tool does HDMI out, and we'd hope the Photo Editor does as well, since they're both supposed to hit in 2009 for a similar price point: around $300 US. If the shots below aren't enough for you, check out the coverage at Engadget Spanish.
TomTom is really pushing the connected capabilities of its navigation devices with this new x40 LIVE series, which hit IFA this year as rumored. The GO 940 LIVE, GO 740 LIVE and GO 540 LIVE include a "new and extended" version of IQ Routes, which can adjust your route for predicted and actual road conditions, based on historical data and TomTom's HD Traffic feature. The units include Safety Alerts for alerting to speed cameras, Fuel Prices, and Local Search, which is powered by Google and allows you to plan a route to your search results. Also onboard is voice command and control, letting you plan routes and make phone calls using only your voice. The series will be available in the UK, Germany, France, Netherlands and Switzerland this fall, starting at £299 (about $544 US). LIVE services are £10 a month. Unfortunately, the versions we played with at IFA didn't have a live connection, but software looks easy to access and easy to use. Too bad the actual hardware looks circa 2003.
Google finally released (as long expected) their own Web browser, called Google Chrome. At first glance, I'm unsure why I would use this instead of IE or Firefox. There does not appear to be a built-in RSS reader, nor any easy way of subscribing to feeds, nor a user friendly RSS view. It's quite disturbing to me to see the stripped tags-text view, which I thought we overcame several years ago. Arggg! Google's going backwards.