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Sony Playstation 3 Firmware 3.50 Is Out; Supports Playback Of 3D Blu-Ray Movies

Sony has just pushed out a firmware update for the PlayStation 3 which adds support for playback of 3D Blu-Ray movies. Of course to playback 3D Blu-ray movies on your PS3, users need to make sure that they have a 3D compatible TV.PS3 3.50 Firmware update

Other changes in this firmware update includes :

* Facebook Integration: Developers will be able to create PS3 games that have deep interaction with Facebook. Once compatible PS3 titles are available, PS3 users can choose to access their information on Facebook including user name, profile, photos and friends list to enhance their gameplay experience.

* Grief Reporting Function: Users can send claim reports directly from the XMB for any inappropriate messages they receive from other PlayStation Network users. This feature is accessible from the option menu of the messages list in the FRIENDS category.

Users need to set their HDMI setting on Auto, and the PS3 will automatically detect your 3D supported TV and do the rest for you.

(Source)

Blackberry Tablet Coming Next Week

Blackberry TabletAllegedly, Research in Motion (RIM) is planning to launch the Blackberry Tablet as early as next week, during the Blackberry Developer Conference in San Francisco. The conference is starting on September 27 and will go on until September 30.

According to WSJ, the rumored Blackberry tablet, also known as the Blackpad or the Surfbook, will be unveiled during the DevCon and will run the QNX OS, as we reported earlier.

RIM plans to eventually migrate all its smartphones to the QNX OS as well.

The Blackberry tablet will have a 7 inch touchscreen display and a camera. It will be tethered to the Blackberry, so you can use your Blackberry’s data connection to access the internet of the tablet. It is being manufactured by Quanta Computers, Taiwan.

The Blackberry tablet should be available by the end of 2010.

RIM Blackberry Tablet To Be Called SurfBook?

Research in Motion, the creators of the famous BlackBerry have filed a trademark in Canada for SurfBook. According to rumors this is probably going to be name for the upcoming BlackBerry tablet.

RIM SurfBook Trademark

According to the trademark unearthed by Tablets Unleashed, the trademark has been filed to the word SurfBook / Surf Book with the Canadian government. The trademark application was filed on August 9th, 2010 and has several users according to the Wares section. So is this what the new BlackBerry Tablet will be called?

HTC Android Tablet Rumored to be in the Works

Apparently, HTC isn’t just working on a Chrome OS tablet with Google, it is also planning to launch an Android tablet soon. Digitimes reports that Pegatron Technology, a Taiwan based notebook manufacturer has recently received orders to build an Android tablet for HTC.

The rumored HTC Android tablet sports some great hardware – it will be powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 platform and has 2 GB RAM. It has a 32 GB internal SSD and will have a 7 inch or 10.1 inch capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. It will be much more powerful than both, the Apple iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab. It will also sport Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as GPS.

It will also support the Android Market (which leads me to think that it will likely have a 7 inch display) as well as Chrome Web apps (weird, but Digitimes seems to think so. Maybe it will be a dual boot tablet with both Chrome OS and Android).

HTC Android Tablet

It will apparently be priced at around $790. Pegatron hopes to break into the top four notebook makers worldwide with this contract (which, again, is weird considering these are tablets, not laptops or even netbooks).

The details seem a bit fuzzy, but an Android tablet by HTC cannot be ruled out. In fact, it would be a logical next step for the company.

Motorola To Launch Android Tablet in Q1 2011

Motorola Android TabletMotorola is one of those companies which has been riding the Android wave and has successfully leveraged the power of Android to become a major player in the mobile smartphone market.

It has been one of the most loyal backers of Android, other than HTC and Samsung. Its latest launches – the Droid X and the Droid 2 have been hits and are selling quite well.

Now, the tablet fever has caught on with many manufacturers and scores of Android tablets are slated to launch by the end of 2010, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab and tablets by Viewsonic, Archos and Toshiba.

Motorola, however, has remained silent on this topic, it hasn’t formally announced yet that it’s working on any tablet. Other than the leaked Verizon roadmap for 2011, there has been no mention of any Motorola Android tablet in the press.

Yesterday, however, Motorola’s CEO, Sanjay Jha stated that Motorola plans to launch an Android based tablet by early 2011.

“Nearly everyone in this business is clicking on all cylinders.

I will only develop a tablet if it is sufficiently compelling. Hopefully, that is early next year.

I see the tablet market as an opportunity; no cannibalization with smartphones. iPad is more an extension of iPhone than a migration of a Macintosh. I think that is a natural expansion for us.

The convergence of mobility and computing is very important for us. There could be more form factors that are more smartphone-centric.” said Jha.

Google has officially stated that Android 2.2 Froyo isn’t optimized for the tablet form factor. Android 3.0 Gingerbread will be launched by the end of 2010, so we can expect the Motorola tablet to run it, instead of Froyo.

Source: Yahoo

Viewsonic Unveils the Viewsonic G Android Tablet

We have already checked out the Viewsonic ViewPad 7, which was quite an impressive device. However, compared to the Samsung Galaxy Tab, it was pretty bland.

Today, details of the new Viewsonic G tablet were unveiled. It will be an Android 2.2 Froyo tablet which will run on the Nvidia Tegra platform. Like the Viewpad 7, it will run only Android 2.2, and won’t be a dual boot tablet.

Viewsonic G Pad Tablet

It has excellent hardware specifications. It comes with a 10.1 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. It is powered by the Nvidia Tegra2 platform and comes with 1 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage with support for up to 32 GB microSD cards.

It looks pretty slim and stylish and comes with a 1.3 MP webcam, a USB port and HDMI. It also offers Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity. It can easily handle 1080p HD video playback and has around 10-12 hours of battery life.

It surely looks like a great iPad alternative, now only if Viewsonic can get the software right.

Source: HotHardware

Boxee Box Home Entertainment System – Available for Pre-Order

boxee-logoBoxee is a social media service that started out as freeware for creating HTPCs (Home Theater PCs) that can run on Windows, Mac and Linux. They’ve partnered up with the famous D-Link company, which is better known for manufacturing routers, to create the Boxee Box.

The Boxee Box is a basically a small computer (set top box) that joins your TV to your internet connection. It allows you to play media files from your home network or tons of content off the internet. You’ll find thousands of popular TV shows, movies and music in addition to many of the popular sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pandora.

Here’s what the Boxee site says about this new product.

    • Play what you normally watch on your computer   (whether it is on the Internet or your home network) on your TV
    • Tailor the Internet experience to a huge flat screen
    • Do it in full HD, 1080p with 5.1 surround whenever possible
    • Share the stuff you watch with your friends and see what they are watching
    • Use a simple remote rather than a keyboard and mouse

What’s it look like? What’s in it?

It looks odd to me. Here’s a peek at it.

boxee-box-by-dlink

It comes with a unique RF remote controller that has navigation buttons on one side, and a qwerty keypad on the other side.

boxee-box-remote

They promise that the Boxee Box is easy to set up. In general, you plug it into the outlet, connect it to your TV, then Boxee pops in to tell you how to connect to the internet via your home network. If you have a previous Boxee account, it will import all of your settings and services.

Here’s what the some of the screens look like.

boxee-screen1

boxee-screen2

I was not able to find out what operating system that they use in the box, but it runs on the the Intel CE4100 system-on-a-chip, which is a new Atom style processor. Here are the system specs quoted at Amazon.

• Dimensions (LxWxH): 4.5″ x 4.5″ x 4.6″

• Language Support: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish

• Network Protocol Support: IPV4, ARP, TCP, UDP, ICMP, DHCP Client, DNS Client, DDNS Client, HTTP Server, Samba Client, RTP/RTMP, VPN: PPTP, DLNA 1.5 (DMP)

• Wireless: 802.11n/g/b

• Ports: HDMI 1.3, 10/100 Fast Ethernet, 2x USB 2.0, Optical Audio (S/PDIF), Analog Audio (RCA L/R)

• Memory Card Support: SD, SDHC up to 32GB, MMC

• Audio Formats: MP3, WAV/PCM/LPCM, WMA, AIF/AIFF, AC3/AAC, OGG, FLAC, DTS, Dolby Digital/Dolby True HD

• Video Formats: Adobe Flash 10.1, FLV/On2 VP6 (FLV/FV4/M4V), H.264 AVC (TS/AVI/MKV/MOV/M2TS/MP4), VC-1 (TS/AVI/MKV/WMV), MPEG-1 (DAT/MPG/MPEG), MPEG-2 (MPG/MPEG/VOB/TS/TP/ISO/IFO), MPEG-4 (MP4/AVI/MOV), DivX 3/4/5/6 (AVI/MKV), Xvid (AVI/MKV), WMV9 (WMV/ASF/DVR-MS)

• Image Formats: JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF

• Playlist Formats: M3U, PLS, WPL

• Subtitle Formats: SRT, SUB, SSA, SMI, ASS

• Supported Resolutions: H.264: 1080p at 30 fps, 1080i at 60 fps; WMV9/VC-1: 1080p at 30 fps, 1080i at 60 fps; MPEG4: 1080p at 30 fps, 1080i at 60 fps; MPEG2: 1080p at 30 fps, 1080i at 60 fps

• Two-Sided RF Remote: with 4-way navigation and full QWERTY keypad

Where to get it?

The Boxee Box is available as a pre-order for $199.00, exclusively at Amazon (in the US) and Best Buy / Future Shop (in Canada). The units are scheduled to start shipping in November and the cost will increase to around $230.

You can download the Windows, Mac and Linux software here.

Conclusion

I have a feeling that the Boxee Box will do well, but they have some stiff competition coming from Google TV, Apple TV and even Microsoft. I think they’d do much better at a price point closer to $100.

Apple iPad Wi-Fi Models Finally Hit China

Today, Apple in a press release has officially announced the release of the iPad in China. The Apple iPad has been an astounding success for Apple.Apple iPad The tablet device has been breaking all sorts of sales record for the Cupertino Company. Even after five months of its launch, Apple is still struggling to meet the demand for the iPad. Apple however has launched only the Wi-Fi sporting models of iPad in China.

It was earlier this summer that Apple had launched its flagship store in Shanghai. The iPad will be available at all the Apple retail stores and authorized Apple resellers from September 17. Users who will be buying the iPad from the Apple retail stores will be getting a free Personal setup service so as to customize their iPad. The 16GB model of the iPad will cost CNY3988 which roughly equals to around $600 while the 32GB version will be available for CNY4788. The top of the line 64GB version will cost CNY5588.

All these prices when converted to U.S dollars are roughly 20% higher than retail price of the iPad in the U.S.

Nvidia GTS450 Officially Announced

The mid-range Fermi core competitor from Nvidia is finally here! The Nvidia GTS450 will take on the current mid-range king the AMD Radeon HD5770. The GTS450 is based on a scaled down version of the GF104 core. The GF106 core features 192CUDA cores, 16ROPs and a 128-bit memory band with. GTS450 The default clock speed of the card stands at 783 MHz and 1566 MHz for the graphics core and the graphics memory respectively.

“The GeForce GTS 450 makes huge strides in expanding DX11 capability to the masses,” said Sid Meier, Director of Creative Development, Firaxis Games. “Civilization V plays beautifully on the GTS 450 and looks even more amazing with 3D Vision technology.”

The GTS450 is also light on your power bill as it only features a single six-pin power connector. The card also supports Nvidia 3D Vision and SLI technology. The card will be available starting from today from all the major graphic card add-in partners which includes Asus, EVGA, MSI etcetera. The retail price of the GTS450 is around $129.

Early reviews suggest that the GTS450 is a decent competitor to the AMD 5770. The only problem? Its nearly a year late to the market!

Samsung Galaxy Tab coming to Verizon, AT&T and Sprint

We did expect the Samsung Galaxy Tab to have a grand launch, but we didn’t know it would be this good.

According to a recent report by WSJ, the Samsung Galaxy Tab will apparently be available with three major US carriers – Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel and AT&T. It will be officially launched in the US on September 16.

The Galaxy Tab, though more expensive than the iPad, will retail in the $200 – $300 price range with a contract. The Apple iPad is available only with AT&T and isn’t subsidized at all.

In Europe, the Galaxy Tab will be available with Vodafone and will be priced at around €699 for the unsubsidized version.

Samsung aims to ship more than 10 million tablets by the end of 2011. The Galaxy Tab, which was unveiled at IFA 2010, Berlin runs Android 2.2 Froyo with the TouchWiz UI and has a 7 inch capacitive touchscreen display with a 1 GHz processor and 512 MB RAM.

Samsung Galaxy Tab