While we haven’t yet been able to independently confirm the report, Samsung Hub claims that a new addition to Samsung’s Galaxy family is set to be introduced at next week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The device, dubbed Galaxy Player, will be an Android-powered portable media player that will take on the iPod touch. According to the report, it will essentially be a Samsung Galaxy S without the cellular connectivity, featuring a 1GHz processor, a 4-inch WVGA touchscreen display (LCD, not AMOLED), T-DMB, SoundAlive audio enhancement technology, dual cameras, HD video playback support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and the Android 2.2 OS. Samsung Hub states that the Galaxy Player will be available in three sizes, 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB, though pricing and a firm release date are not yet available. More →
A triple dose of good news today for those who resent Apple’s stranglehold on the PMP market. Not only is the Zune HD now on sale starting at $219.99, but Microsoft has finally come clean and admitted that in the upcoming months it plans to bombard the Zune faithful and converts alike with apps such as Twitter for Zune and Facebook for Zune, and games like Project Gotham Racing: Ferrari Edition, Vans Sk8: Pool Service and Audiosurf Tilt. Not only that, but Zune HD owners can also look forward to streaming HD video to the Xbox 360 as well as the ability to purchase and rent TV shows, movies and more. Microsoft, this is yours to mess up… Please don’t. Anyone have a shiny new Zune HD squarely in his or her sights today?
As if anyone had doubts surrounding the legitimacy of yesterday’s Zune HD leak, today Microsoft confirmed availability for September 15th and let it be known that pre-orders for the black 16GB and platinum 32GB models are now being filled through Zune.net, Microsoft, Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart. In case you’re waiting on the other five colors that the Tegra-powered portable will be available in at launch, you’ll just have to sit tight for now. Don’t cry though — maybe we can cheer you up by letting you know that pricing is now 100 percent confirmed: $219.99 for the 16GB model and $289.99 for the 32GB model. We’ll take six of each, thank you.
We have to admit it… We’re a little afraid. Afraid of what you might ask? Afraid that all this hype surrounding the now-reportedly confirmed Zune HD is going to be the height of excitement with regards to the device. Hype is good, hype is great, but you need something special to follow the hype in order for it to stick. Let’s take a look at the known specs:
- ~3.6-inch OLED full touchscreen
- NVIDIA Tegra powered
- 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB versions
- HDMI Connection to stream straight to your TV
- HD Radio
- Web browser
- Wi-Fi compatible, with wireless marketplace
- Released, early fall
- International release of the Zune device itself
- Home AV packs, Car packs, Charge packs
Sounds good and fun, but there’s definitely nothing so far that would (or should) draw much attention. HD radio? Mmm hmm. The Zune platform is supposedly in the midst of an overhaul which is nice but we need a wow-factor here. The average consumer is most definitely not going to pass on an iPod Touch and scoop up a Zune HD because of a high resolution display and HD radio, that’s for sure. Long story short, we hope Microsoft learned something from its experiences with the current Zune model.
Back in December, we gave the COWON S9 our hands on review treatment shortly after its release here in the US and to paraphrase, we liked it. A lot. As far as audio quality, battery life and affordability we still haven’t found a competitive offering that can top it. One area where the S9 has been limited however, is storage. Apparently COWON got the hints as the company has just announced the availability of a new 32GB model in Korea. What’s more, the new bigger build rings up at 379,000KOR (US$286) — a substantial $113 less than the 32GB iPod Touch which, in our opinion, can’t even come close to touching the S9 where sound quality is concerned. We’re hoping the new S9 model makes its way over to the states ASAP at a similar price point because our smaller version is pretty full right now. As an aside for those of you who currently own an S9, COWON has pushed out version 2.2 of the firmware — be sure to download it and get your update on.
[Via PMP Today]
Back in January after we learned that Zune sales and platform revenue was down $100 million under the previous quarter, we asked whether the Zune was ultimately doomed to die an unglamorous death or if Microsoft had an ace up its sleeve. Last night, Engadget posted some images that they feel, based upon some chitchat with sources, are of an upcoming touchscreen PMP known as the Zune HD. Because of the lack of anything other than a few promotional shots we’re going to have to resort to the age-old game of speculation when discussing the Zune HD, but if all of this turns out to be true we think it reasonable to expect that the Zune HD would ship with a display that approaches 720p and (based upon our measurement of the screen in the images) an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 — one of two standard aspect ratios used by mainstream films. But as we say so often in the tech blogging world, we shall see. Would a Zune HD have any chance of finding its way into your pocket or has the Zune ship already sailed for you?
Wow. Creative looks to be building up to what will either be the most exciting announcement of CES, or yet another let down from the world of portable players. According to a new email sent from Creative to those who signed up for updates on the Zii website, something massive is brewing at Creative that has over 10 years of work, 10,000 man-years and over one billion dollars behind it. That’s a pretty impressive investment, Creative. Here’s the email:
Zii is StemCell Computing
Thank you and congratulations on the early registration.
You are now part of a privileged group that will witness the life changing event of 2009. You will be invited to join a new movement that will experience revolutionary breakthroughs.
Everything you know is about to change.
Drawing our inspiration from the intelligence of Mother Nature – who through over a billion years of evolution has designed the basic building block of life: the stem cell – we have created a stem cell-like silicon that is able to grow and multiply into different solutions and ecosystems.
With an investment that spans over 10 years, over a billion dollars and over 10,000 man-years, the world is poised to experience a breakthrough that will better lives beyond our imagination.
Even in the midst of these turbulent times, you will discover incredible recession-friendly business opportunities that enable you to thrive and prosper.
To find out more about Zii and how it can change your life, visit our booth (booth #30651) at CES 2009, or go to Zii.com from 8 January 2009 for updates.
We’re not sure what else Creative could say to hype this one up short of claiming the Zii cures the common cold and rubs your feet after a long day at the office. Rest assured we’ll be paying close attention to Creative’s CES announcement and if it turns out to be a big bucket of flop, well, at least Creative’s PR firm did its job.
Are you still wrestling to bring your Zune 30GB back to life after it crapped out the other night? If so fear not, for Microsoft has published the official “solution” which will supposedly fix all of your troubles. It’s not a quick fix (though it is very easy), but at least if all goes well you’ll be able to have some tunes to listen to to occupy your mind from your blistering hang-over.
My Zune 30 is frozen. What should I do?
Follow these steps:
- Disconnect your Zune from USB and AC power sources.
- Because the player is frozen, its battery will drain—this is good. Wait until the battery is empty and the screen goes black. If the battery was fully charged, this might take a couple of hours.
- Wait until after noon GMT on January 1, 2009 (that’s 7 a.m. Eastern or 4 a.m. Pacific time).
- Connect your Zune to either a USB port on the back or your computer or to AC power using the Zune AC Adapter and let it charge.
Once the battery has sufficient power, the player should start normally. No other action is required—you can go back to using your Zune!
Well, there you have it. Microsoft’s solution to the Z2K9 issue is to let your Zune’s battery die and not plug it in until the big, bad leap year is finished with. Microsoft, do we even need to say how disappointed we are? You try to fight the MP3 juggernaut that is the iPod but your mighty warrior is brought down by a leap year? For shame.
Everything you know is about to change… That is the tag line found on a Creative teaser page tied to a brand new processor the company will be unveiling at CES next month. Dubbed Zii, the new processor comes along side a newly-trademarked phrase, “Stemcell computing,” which bears absolutely no meaning at this point in time. As such, the only thing we can say with any certainty about the upcoming announcement is that Creative does not intend to market the new chip to pro-lifers. Marcom initiatives like this often make sensational claims in an effort to build hype but we still have some big expectations as Creative fan sites claiming to know what the company is up to seem pretty excited as we get closer to the announcement, now just over a week away. The new chip is reportedly intended for use in “a variety” of upcoming products though we have no idea what those products might be or how the Zii might benefit them. So sound off in the comments – what do you guys think Creative has planned for CES and more importantly, will it even matter as far as Creative’s US market share is concerned?
Last week we showed you an unboxing of COWON’s latest Portable Media Playing creation and you had to know we’d be following it up with a full-on review. We wanted to take a little while to play with the S9 and cover every square inch of its functionality before bringing you a hands on review and now that we’ve had a few days alone with this puppy, we’re ready to dish. Hit the jump to dive in.
Well look at what the cat dragged in! COWON’s sexy new S9 found its way over to BGR HQ and we decided to go ahead and unbox it for you – you know, holiday spirit and all. The mock ups of the S9 make the device look insanely attractive and truth be told, in person it doesn’t disappoint. So while we take some time to check the unit out and put our thoughts together, head on over to the unboxing gallery and feast your eyes on the latest and greatest from COWON.
After information on the new Zunes was leaked this past week, Microsoft decided to play its hand before Apple and officially release the details on the upcoming new Zunes. Hardware changes are somewhat ho-hum but software changes are something just short of fantastic (for a Zune at least). Let’s start with the hardware. As we previously mentioned, the new Zunes will get some additional storage space with capacities being boosted to 120GB for the hard drive model and 16Gb for the flash model. The 120GB will take the place of the current 80GB model and will keep the same price point of $249. The 16GB model will come in at $199 and both new models will sport a glossy black finish. Lets not forget about the current 8GB model. It will see some flashy blue coloring (as shown in the above photo). Add in a $30 price drop bringing the new price down to $149, and you have a nice little player on your hands. Now onto that software, hit the jump to read about the software changes and to see some Qik video of the new Zune in action.
Some folks on the AppleInsider forums are engaged in a heated debate over this blurry photo of an alleged iPod nano 4g. The leaked photo shows a bright orange nano in plastic retail packaging that bears quite a striking resemblance to the nano images leaked by Kevin Rose a few weeks back. Notice anything unusual about this leaked photo? Something like the offset dock connector and tall plastic packaging that screams “iPod nano 2G” and “I photoshopped this pix last night at 3AM”! In our own Photoshop hack, we rotated Rose’s leaked picture and put it side by side with this new photo. Judge for yourself. Is this a sneak photo of the iPod goodness to come or another crude Photoshop fake?