Microsoft’s more powerful version of its Surface tablet finally has a release date. Surface with Windows 8 Pro comes to market February 9. It comes packed with Intel’s Core i5 processor and it supports apps available in the Windows Store as well as legacy programs that run on Windows 7 and other previous OS’. More Pro advantages: this slate sports a 1920 x 1080 full HD display, 4GB of RAM, a fast USB 3.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort, and a pen with Palm Block technology. The Pro starts at $899 for the 64GB model; alongside it is a 128GB model that will sell for $999. Unlike the RT version, the Pro doesn’t come bundled with a keyboard cover. The Touch Cover and Type Cover sell separately for $119.99 and $129.99, respectively.
In addition to fully fleshing out the Pro’s future release, Microsoft announced a new pricing option for the Surface for Windows RT. This is the 64GB model but it ditches the keyboard cover to sell for $599. It joins the standalone 32GB model ($499), the 32GB model with Black Touch Cover ($599), and 64GB model with Black Touch Cover ($699).
And there’s more. Microsoft is adding more to its Surface accessory lineup. Three new limited edition Touch Covers featuring funky designs in red, magenta, and cyan are coming soon; they’re priced at $129.99. Also on deck is a wireless Wedge mouse whose design is inspired by the modern look of the Surface; it’s priced at $69.95.
Take a look at the Surface with Windows 8 Pro, along with the new accessories, in the gallery below.
Shorty after pushing out their next-gen Wii U, Nintendo let loose another new hardware release. The Wii Mini is a miniaturized version of the original Wii featuring an updated matte black with a red border design. It comes packaged with a matching red Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuck Controller. At just $99 the Wii Mini is steal for casual gamers who’ve fully embraced motion control gaming. To lower the price to such an affordable level, Nintendo removed the console’s Internet capabilities and GameCube backwards compatibility. The Wii Mini is designed exclusively to play Wii games, and that’s it. “It’s a great value for first-time Wii owners who just want to jump in and experience all the great Wii games that helped usher in a revolution in motion-controlled gaming,” says Ninty in a press release. For the time being, the redesigned Wii will ship exclusively in Canada come December 7. I find it interesting that it’s not simultaneously releasing Stateside, and I’d be surprised if it didn’t penetrate our marketplace soon.
Marvel’s “Phase One” Blu-ray collection was supposed to come out in September but it was delayed due to lawsuit involving the suitcase packaging. After months of silence, the company is finally engaging with its fanbase with new details surrounding the long-anticipated collections that includes all Marvel Phase One movies–namely Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor (in 2D/3D), Captain America: The First Avenger (2D/3D), and The Avengers (2D/3D)–plus loads of other content including “special access to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s most confidential archives, including a top-secret Bonus Disc filled with never-before-seen deleted scenes, extended scenes, featurettes and more, including “And Then Shawarma After” featurette.” The collection also includes “exclusive memorabilia (prop reproductions and artifacts) from the motion pictures,” not excluding the redesigned suitcase and the glowing Tesseract.
Marvel apologizes for the delay in the best way they can: by stuffing the Blu-ray set with new bonus material and a look at “Phase Two” material. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige recently spoke with EW and spilled the beans. “We went back to the editor’s assembly of each film and discovered some rare moments that dropped out of the films early on and had not been released on prior discs,” he said. The new material will allow fans “to catch the connective tissue that paved the way toward the Avengers assembling.” He added, ”We spent an embarrassing amount of time compiling the ‘Shield Files’ included in the box set to be sure that each character’s file was full of great, movie-accurate props and Easter eggs, which help tie all of the Phase One films together.” And as for the sneak peek at Phase Two? Owners can expect “footage, concept art, and a few new surprises,” he teased. “Also, look for a nod to Iron Man 3 in the Tony Stark S.H.I.E.L.D. file in the box set.”
The 10-disc, limited edition collector’s set (now called Marvel’s Cinematic Universe: Phase One Collection) is now up for preorder at Amazon for $197.10 and it’s aiming for release on April 2. Additional pics below and an alternate ending to Thor after the break!(Click here for more…)
The latest member to join the Droid smartphone family is the Droid DNA by HTC and it’s the most powerful one yet. Right off the bat you’ll notice its 5-inch, true 1080p HD super LCD 3 display (440 pixels per inch) with Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protection. It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, specifically a quad-core 1.5GHz CPU that’s paired with a high-performance GPU. Android’s latest and greatest Jelly Bean operating system comes preinstalled along with HTC Sense 4+. The backside camera specs go like this: 8-megapixel f/2.0 28mm wide-angle lens, 5-level automatic flash, backside illuminated sensor (BSI), superfast autofocus, 1080p HD video capture. The 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera features f/2.0 88-degree ultra-wide angle lens and also captures full HD video. Beats Audio is on board, as is “a unique, 2.55-volt, built-in headset amplifier and dedicated amp for the external rear-speaker to help boost the audio signal to deliver crystal clear sound with less distortion, even at maximum volume.” WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC are here as well. It is 4G LTE capable. It packs a 2,020mAh battery. And as far as measurements go, the DNA is 9.73mm thick and weighs 4.86 ounces.
The Droid DNA is arguably the best and most powerful handset Verizon Wireless offers today. Well, technically it releases Wednesday, November 21st, but you can preorder it now if you like. Sign a new two-year contract and it’s yours for a reasonable $199.99. PR after the break. (Click here for more…)
On the same day that Microsoft launched Windows Phone 8 and detailed a hardware lineup, Google decided to announce new hardware along with a new version Android.
Google leaves it up to many third party smartphone manufacturers to develop devices to run Android. Once in a while, however, the search engine likes to inject its own cream into the crop with devices branded Nexus. The next smartphone featuring vanilla Android is the Nexus 4 and it’s a collaboration between Google and LG this time. Here are the hard specs: 4.7-inch WXGA True HD IPS Plus display (1280 x 768 resolution, 320ppi) with Corning Gorilla Glass 2 protection; Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor; 2GB RAM; 8 megapixel rear camera with 1080p video recording and 1.3 megapixel front camera; 2,100mAh battery promising 15.3 hours talk time and 390 hours of standby; 8GB and 16GB storage capacities; WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth; supports NFC and wireless charging; ports include Micro USB, SlimPort HDMI, and 3.5mm headphone jack; it’s 9.1mm thin and weighs 139g; and it supports 3G (WCDMA) and HSPA+ networks. The Nexus 4 comes loaded with the latest version of Android (Jelly Bean 4.2) and it releases November 13 at $299 (8GB) and $349 (16GB); it will be sold as an unlocked device at those prices in the Google Play store. Buy the 16GB model from T-Mobile with a new two-year contract and you can get it for a more affordable $199. On launch day it will be available in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Spain and Australia and it’ll start to roll out to Europe, Central/South Americas, Asia, CIS and the Middle East beginning in late November.
Google is already in the tablet game with the Nexus 7, and today they’ve decided to up their game with an even larger slate to directly compete with Apple’s iPad. A collaboration with Samsung, the Nexus 10 packs–you guessed it–a 10.055-inch WQXGA display with an incredible 2560 x 1600 resolution (300 ppi) and Corning Gorilla Glass 2 coat of protection. Other specs include: dual-core Cortex A15-based 1.7GHz Samsung Exynos 5250 processor; Mali T604 GPU; 2GB RAM; 5 megapixel rear camera and 1.9 megapixel front camera; front-facing stereo speakers; 9000 mAh battery promising 9 hours of continuous video playback and 500 hours of standby; 16GB and 32GB storage capacities; WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth; supports NFC; ports include Micro USB, Magnetic Pogo pin charger, Micro HDMI, and 3.5mm headphone jack; and it’s 8.9mm thin and weighs 603g. The Nexus 10 too comes preinstalled with Jelly Bean 4.2 and it releases November 13 at $399 (8GB) and $499 (16GB); these slates are WiFi-only.
Google’s original Nexus 7 slate is seeing an update. The 8GB model is no longer offered; in its place are 16GB ($199) and 32GB ($249) flavors. Available today are those WiFi-only models, and come November 13 a 32GB model with WiFi and HSPA+ data (with AT&T and T-Mobile in the US) will sell for $299.
In addition to announcing a new smartphone and tablet, Google injected new life into Android with the latest version of Jelly Bean 4.2. Photo Sphere allows you to take pictures in every direction and stitch them together for immersive panoramic images; Gesture Typing brings Swype-like interaction to the virtual keyboard; support for multiple user accounts gives your friends and family their own personal spaces on a single device (this feature is limited to tablets only running v4.2); Daydream allows you to personalize your screensaver with photos and news; and Google Now and Google Search have been updated with more cards and an enhanced interface, respectively. For more, click the source link below. (Update: The Google Search app for iOS has been updated with improved voice search that rivals Siri. Download here, video demo after the break.)
And just like that, Google has their very own lineup of Android-powered Nexus devices in three different sizes. Get a closer look at the Nexus 4 phone and Nexus 10 tablet in the galleries embedded above; after the break there’s video.
Apple intros 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, updated Mac mini & iMac, fourth-gen iPad & iPad mini
On Tuesday Apple took the stage for the second time in two months to announce a slew of new hardware. The 13-inch MacBook Pro has been gifted a Retina display to match its 15-inch brother, the Mac mini packs the latest specs, the iMac slimmed down in a major way, a fourth generation iPad with Retina display replaced its six month old predecessor, and the tablet now has a smaller companion in the iPad mini. Read on for the full rundown organized by product category.
13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
This summer Apple introduced the “next-generation” MacBook Pro with a 15-inch model featuring a Retina display with a resolution of 2880 x 1800. This week the 13-inch model received a similar upgrade. The new MBP sports a 13.3-inch display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 (that is 4x the number of pixels than the previous 13-incher). Apple is calling it “the world’s second highest resolution notebook display” behind the 15-inch MBP with Retina display, of course. The screen promises rich color, deep blacks, 29 percent higher contrast ratio, 75 percent reduced reflection, IPS for 178 degree viewing angle, and 300 nits brightness. The optical drive is gone, and this allows for a slimmer design; the new MBP is 0.75 inches thin (20 percent thinner than before) and weighs 3.57 pounds (almost a pound lighter), making it the lightest MBP ever. It features a FaceTime HD camera, backlit keyboard, left and right speakers, glass multi-touch trackpad, built-in WiFi, Bluetooth, and 7 hours of battery life. Ports along the left side include MagSafe 2, two Thunderbolt ports, one USB 3 port, a headphone jack, and dual mics; on the other side there’s an SD card slot, one HDMI port, one USB 3 port. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display specs start at 2.5GHz dual-core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 128GB flash storage for $1699. Now shipping.
Apple’s MacBook lineup includes 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pros with and without Retina displays and 11 and 13-inch MacBook Airs.
Jump after the break to see the new Mac mini, iMac, iPad, and iPad mini. (Click here for more…)
Like clockwork Barnes and Noble has outed new slates to compete head-to-head with Kindle’s new Fire tablets. There’s two of ‘em, a 9-inch and a 7-inch, and they take aesthetic tips from their predecessors Nook Tablet and Nook Color, so let’s dive right in.
The 9-inch Nook HD+ boasts a full HD display (1920 x 1280 resolution, 256 pixels per inch) and it’s powered by a 1.5GHz OMAP4470 dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM. It’s lightweight at 515 grams and promises up to 10 hours of reading and 9 hours of video playback. As far as ports go there’s a 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack, one HDMI-compatible port, microSD, and a charging port. WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth are built-in. It comes in a black “slate” color in 16GB ($269) and 32GB ($299) storage variants. The HD+ is up for preorder today and goes on sale in November.
The 7-inch Nook HD packs a 720p display (1440 x 900 resolution, 243 pixels per inch) and it’s powered by a 1.3GHz OMAP 4470 dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM. It’s even lighter than it’s more powerful sibling at 315 grams and its battery promises nearly the same life expectancy. The ports, expanded memory, and wireless connectivity remain the same. It comes in not one but two colors–black “smoke” and white “snow.” The 16GB models will sell for $199 and the 32GB models will go for $199 when the HD releases this November. Like the HD+, it’s available for preorder today.
So if you’re in the market for a new device that delivers reading experiences (books, magazines, newspapers), video and music playback, and apps, the competition (read: Google, Amazon, Apple) just heated up.
At this year’s Tokyo Game Show, Sony announced a new smaller and lighter PlayStation 3. This marks the second time the PS3 has gone under the knife since its debut in 2006. Here are the most significant changes, according to the PlayStation maker:
Thanks to a complete redesign of the internal architecture, the volume and weight of the new PS3 has been reduced by more than half compared to the very first PS3 model with a 60GB HDD, and by 20% and 25% respectively compared to the current PS3. By adopting a sliding disk cover, the new PS3 continues with the characteristic sleek curved body design, which fits various places in the home and enables users to enjoy an array of entertainment content.
Starting September 25, Sony will sell the newly redesigned PS3 in a $269.99 bundle that includes a 250GB HDD, a copy of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception: Game of the Year Edition, and a voucher to download bonus content for the game DUST 514. About a month later on October 30, a 500GB varient will release and come bundled with Assassin’s Creed III; pricing is still TBD. A white version and one with 16GB Flash storage were also unveiled, but these are exclusive to Japan for now. Browse the gallery below for a closer look at the even slimmer PS3.
Also announced at TGS is that PlayStation Plus is coming to the PS Vita. If you’re already a member of Plus on the PS3, there will be no entry fee to port your status to the portable. If you’re a new subscribers you’ll be able to choose from two options: $18 for 90 days or $50 for one year. Plus features for Vita include an Instant Game Collection, discounts for games and DLC, online game storage, automatic updates and trophy sync. Plus for Vita launches this November.
Lastly, Sony announced that PlayStation Mobile is coming to smartphones and tablets on October 3. PSM promises to bring “PlayStation-like” game experiences to PlayStation-Certified devices. Said devices will come from partners like HTC, Fujitsu, Sharp, and of course Sony.
And in related PS news, the augmented reality experience known as Wonderbook will ship November 13. For $79 you get the hardcover Wonderbook that’s filled with AR codes, a PlayStation Eye camera and a Move controller, and the Wonderbook launch title featuring source material from J.K. Rowling Book of Spells. This bundle is all that’ll be available this year, but Sony says to look forward to next year when new Wonderbook titles Diggs: Nightcrawler, BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs, and others from Disney will come out to play.
Nintendo announces Wii U pricing, availability & launch window titles, details Nintendo TVii service
66 days. That’s when Nintendo’s next generation home console the Wii U releases. Calculating… the Wii U ships November 18, 2012. Consumers will have two SKUs to choose from: a $299.99 basic set and a $349.99 deluxe set. The basic set includes an 8GB Wii U console and GamePad splashed in white, one GamePad stylus, the sensor bar, an HDMI cable, and AC adapters for the console and controller. The deluxe set adds a Wii U console stand, a Gamepad cradle and stand, a deluxe digital promotion for redeemable points in the Nintendo eShop, and the Nintendo Land game. This slightly more expensive model also upgrades the internal storage to 32GB and switches the console and GamePad’s color to black. The console stand, GamePad stand and cradle will be sold separately, along with the Wii U Pro Controller. Nintendo has confirmed that they won’t be separately selling GamePads at launch since games don’t support two at once just yet.
More than 50 games will be available for Wii U adopters during a launch window that extends from launch day to March 31, 2013. In typical fashion, Nintendo has a Mario game in the mix along with the anticipated Pikmin 3 but you may be surprised to discover many high profile third party games coming to the Wii U as well including Call of Duty: Black Ops II from Activision, Assassin’s Creed III from Ubisoft, and Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition from Warner Bros. Jump after the break to view the full list of launch windows games.
In addition to announcing the Wii U’s pricing, availability, and games lineup this week, Nintendo also previewed a new service that takes advantage of the GamePad. It’s called Nintendo TVii and it serves as an interactive second screen experience playing on the way you “find, watch, and engage” entertainment content. It’s a free service that functions as a “personalized program guide,” collating TV shows, movies, and sports from services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, live TV, and your DVR (if it’s powered by TiVo). The user interface is straightforward; click Movies and you’ll be able to browse a collection of flicks provided by the streaming video companies you subscribe to. Click one and it will begin to play on your big screen TV. During the course of the movie, your GamePad is a second screen that provides additional information pertaining to the content that’s being played. While a TV show or movie is on, you can access social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Nintendo’s own MiiVerse to share and comment on what you’re watching and interact with your friends. The Sports section shows you scores from your favorite teams; tap a scoreboard for additional information related to that game and if it’s playing in your region you can hit play to watch it on your TV. Jump after the break to watch a video demonstration.
The Wii U is up for preorder today at GameStop. Get a closer look at the HD-capable console in the gallery below. PR after the break.
On Wednesday Apple unveiled the next-generation iPhone and it’s called the iPhone 5. They also used their stage time to discuss iTunes+iPod, showing off a redesigned iTunes Store for iOS, a simplified version of iTunes for desktop, and showcasing the next-generation iPod nano and touch. We begin with the top story…
The iPhone 5 is a beautiful piece of hardware made entirely of glass and aluminum. It’s the thinnest and lightest iPhone to date, measuring at 7.6mm thin (that’s 18% thinner than the iPhone 4S) and weighing 112 grams (20% lighter than the 4S). Apple’s calling it “the world’s thinnest smartphone.” The screen has grown for the first time to 4-inches, boasting a Retina display with 326 pixels per inch and a resolution of 1136×640. The additional screen real estate allows for a fifth row of apps in the home screen, and all of Apple’s apps take advantage of it. Third party apps will see the letterbox effect, but developers can easily tweak their apps to also fill up the screen properly. The iPhone 5 also features 44% more color saturation than it’s predecessor and integrated touch sensors in the screen make it 30% thinner than before outputting a sharper image and less glare in sunlight.
The bigger screen is just the tip of the iceberg. The new iPhone packs ultrafast wireless with built-in GPRS, EDGE, EV-DO, HSPA, HSPA+, DC-HSDPA, and, yes, LTE. In the U.S., LTE will be provided by Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. A single chip does voice and data; also inside is a single radio chip and a dynamic antenna. 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi is there as well.
The newly designed-by-Apple A6 chip features a CPU that’s 2x faster than before, with 2x faster graphics as well. The chip itself is 22% smaller than the previous A5 processor. Apple managed to make battery life better, too. It goes like this: 8 hours of 3G talk time, 3G browsing, and LTE browsing; 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing and video playback; 40 hours of music playback; and 225 hours of standby time.
Both the back-facing iSight camera and the front-facing FaceTime camera have been upgraded. The iSight cam features an 8 megapixel sensor (3264×2448) with backside illumination, hybrid IR filter, five-element lens, and fast f/2.4 aperture. The 25% smaller design also boasts a dynamic low light mode, spatial noise reduction, a smart filter for improved color matching, better low-light performance, and faster photo capture (40% faster than the 4S). 1080p HD video recording is still here with improved video stabilization, face detection, and the ability to take photos while recording video. The back-facing camera can also take panoramic shots now thanks to a simple enhancement in the Camera app in iOS 6. Moving to the front side, the FaceTime camera takes 1.2 megapixel photos, shoots 720p HD video, and features backside illumination, face detection, and FaceTime over cellular (with Verizon and Sprint only).
Audio is better with three built-in microphones located in the front, back, and bottom of the phone. The improved speaker design is 20% smaller than before and features a five magnet transducer, a noise-canceling earpiece, and wideband audio for better phone call performance.
Say goodbye to the nearly decade old 30-pin dock connector. Apple announced the new Lightning connector that is found in the iPhone 5. It’s 80% smaller than its predecessor, it’s all-digital with an 8-signal design and adaptive interface with improved durability and get this–it’s reversible, meaning you can plug it into the bottom of your device face up or down. Apple will sell a 30-pin to Lightning adapter for those who own accessories like sound docks that were strictly designed with the 30-pin connector in mind.
Apple spent time detailing the next version of their mobile OS, and you can read all about iOS 6 right here. It brings Apple-designed Maps, the new app Passbook, and enhancements to Notification Center, Safari, Mail, Photos, and Siri (among over 250 new features) to the iPhone and its brethren. It’s available as a free upgrade to iPhone 4S, 4, 3GS, 3rd-gen iPad, iPad 2, and 4th-gen iPod touch owners on September 19.
Now it’s time to talk pricing and availability. The iPhone 5 features a two-tone exterior and will come in two hues: black/slate and white/silver. It’s priced exactly like the 4S was: $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB), $399 (64GB). It’s available for preorder starting Friday, September 14 and ships one week later on September 21 in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. A week after that it releases in 20 more countries, and by December it will ship in 100 countries with 240 carriers around the world. In other news, the iPhone 4 (8GB) is free and the iPhone 4S (16GB) is dropping to $99 effective immediately.
(Click here for more…)
The third major tech company to take the spotlight this week was Amazon. On Thursday they updated their e-reader and tablet lineups with the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Fire HD.
The Kindle Paperwhite is the fifth-generation Kindle e-reader and it houses “the most advanced e-reader display ever constructed,” says Amazon. How so? It contains 212 pixels-per-inch making room for 62% more pixels than before and this allows text to appear crisper and clearer and images are sharper and richer. In addition, the blacks are blacker and the whites are whiter thanks to 25% higher contrast. What Amazon is really touting here is the patented front-lit display that makes reading with or without natural or artificial light a better experience. With the light left on all the time, the Paperwhite will still give you 8 weeks of battery life. The new e-reader packs a 6-inch capacitive touchscreen for input; there are no physical buttons for page-turning. Amazon describes its size like this: “[it's] thinner than a magazine [at just over a third of an inch thin] and weighs less than a typical paperback [weighing 7.5 ounces].” Software enhancements include Time to Read, a feature that helps readers know the amount of time it will take them to finish a chapter or a book; X-Ray, a feature that lets readers see all passages across a book that mention ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics that interest them, as well as more detailed descriptions from Wikipedia; WhisperSync for Voice that allows readers to start an audiobook on one device and pick up where they left off on another; and new typeface options. A Wi-Fi only version of the Kindle Paperwhite goes on sale October 1 for $119. A 3G version will sell for $179. Preorder today.
In addition to introducing a second generation Kindle Fire (more on that device soon), Amazon added two new Android-based devices to the Fire family. The Kindle Fire HD comes in a 7-inch and 8.9-inch versions. The larger display model features 254 pixels per inch with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 (1080p full HD). The smaller display model has a lower resolution of 1280 x 800 (720p). New LCD technology reduces glare by 25% compared to the third-generation iPad. Also, integrated IPS allows for wide viewing angles. Other specs include: 1.5GHz dual-core OMAP4 4470 processor (in the Fire HD 8.9″), 1.2GHz dual-core OMAP4 460 processor (in the Fire HD 7″), Dolby Audio with dual stereo speakers, a front-facing camera for video chat, and built-in Bluetooth, HDMI-out, and 40% faster WiFi (compared to the latest iPad) thanks to dual-band support, dual antennas, and MIMO technology. To size ‘em up, the Fire HD 8.9″ is 8.8mm thin weighing 20 oz. and the Fire HD 7″ is 10.2mm weighing 13.9 oz. Amazon shares that the smaller model gets 11 hours of battery life. Software enhancements include X-Ray for books, movies, and textbooks, allowing users to augment their tablet experience with expanded information from Wikipedia, IMDb, and YouTube; and FreeTime, a set of parental controls that allows parents to limit their kids’ screen time by content type. Pricing and availability. The Fire HD 8.9″ comes in four flavors: WiFi-only 16GB ($299), WiFi-only 32GB ($369), 4G LTE 32GB ($499), and 4G LTE 64GB ($599). For $49.99 customers can receive 4G LTE from AT&T, 250GB of data per month for one year, plus 20GB of Amazon Cloud storage and a $10 credit in the Amazon Appstore. The Fire HD 8.9″ is up for preorder today and goes on sale November 20. The Fire HD 7″ comes in two flavors: WiFi-only 16GB ($199) and WiFi-only 32GB ($249). These are in direct competition with Google’s Nexus 7 tablet. They’re also there to preorder and will release sooner on September 14.
Now I told you I would return to the successor of the original Kindle Fire. Amazon is still calling it the Kindle Fire, and it still features the same 1024 x 600 non-HD 7-inch display. What’s changed? It’s got a 40% faster processor for better performance (1.2GHz dual-core OMAP4 430), twice the memory (1GB), and longer battery life (8.5 hours). The sole 8GB model goes on sale September 14 for $159.
Want to know what the rest of the Amazon e-reader line looks like today? In addition to the Kindle Paperwhite, the latest generation OG Kindle is still hanging in there. A slightly updated new model ships September 14 with 15 percent faster page turns and at a lower price point, $69 (ad-supported). Also still available is the Kindle Keyboard with 3G for $139 (ad-supported) and the giant Kindle DX with 3G at $379.
Get a closer look at the new Kindle Paperwhite e-reader and Kindle Fire tablets in the galleries below (in order Kindle Paperwhite, Fire HD 8.9″, Fire HD 7″, OG Fire). After the break, video and PR.
Following in Nokia’s footsteps, on Wednesday Motorola announced three new additions to its Droid RAZR smartphone lineup. Let’s start with the most basic of the bunch denoted M and work our way to the long-lasting beast of a phone known as MAXX.
The Motorola RAZR M features an edge-to-edge 4.3-inch qHD (960 x 540) Super AMOLED Advanced display, a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera that can record 1080p video, a 0.3 megapixel front-facing camera, and an NFC chip. The compact, Kelvar strong 4G LTE phone is available September 12 for an affordable $99 after a $50 rebate and signing a new two-year contract with Verizon Wireless. It’s up for preorder today.
The RAZR HD and RAZR MAXX HD boast a larger 4.7-inch 720p Super AMOLED HD display, the same 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, 8 megapixel shooter, front-facing camera, NFC chip, 4G LTE, and Gorilla Glass and Kelvar protection. The main difference between these two siblings is battery life. While the HD packs a decently sized 2,500mAh battery, the MAXX HD runs off a massive 3,300mAh battery that promises 32 hours of standard usability (13 hours of straight video playback, 21 hours of continuous talk time, 8 hours of web browsing over 4G LTE). Exact pricing and availability have not been shared at this time, but Moto says customers can expect the HD and MAXX HD to release “before the holidays” with VZW.
In addition, Motorola has specified that all three smartphones will ship with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on board and they will be upgradeable to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean by the end of the year. Pics in the galleries below (in the order M, HD, MAX HD), and there’s video and PR after the break.
Update (10/14): Verizon has specified that the Droid RAZR HD & RAZR MAXX HD will go on sale October 18.
Halo 4 lands November 4, and to celebrate the start of a new trilogy from developer 343 Industries Microsoft is coming out with a limited edition Halo themed Xbox 360 console decked out in a grey-and-blue hue. $400 will net you the 320GB console, two Halo themed wireless controllers, a wired headset, a standard edition copy of Halo 4, and tokens for exclusive in-game and avatar marketplace DLC. What is typically a green glow around the console’s power button and the controller’s Xbox button is replaced by a blue glow to match the overall color scheme. Also, the console features in-game sound effects that can be heard when you turn the console on and press the disc eject button. If you want a slice of the Halo hardware without putting down four Benjamins you can opt to get the wireless controller that will sell standalone at $60 that same day. Get your preorder on at Amazon today. Soak it all up in the gallery below.
[Via Major Nelson]
Have you been waiting patiently for Marvel to come out with an ultimate collector’s edition of all their superhero movies produced thus far? This should exceed your expectations. This September Marvel will release “Marvel Cinematic Universe – Phase One: Avengers Assembled”, an extensive Blu-ray bundle that includes the following movies: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor (2D/3D), Captain America: The First Avenger (2D/3D), and The Avengers (2D/3D). The 10-disc collection also includes a bonus disc labeled “The Phase One Archives” that’s filled with “never before seen, classified information.” Each Blu-ray disc comes packaged in a sleeve featuring exclusive artwork by Matthew Ferguson that “distills each film to its most iconic element.” A pile of “top-secret dossiers” make up the bundle, too. All of this is packaged inside a S.H.I.E.L.D. containment case that also houses a glowing Tesseract. It doesn’t get any cooler than this, people.
The “Phase One” collection comes out September 25 and is now available for preorder at Amazon for a reasonable $139.96. Be sure to get a closer look at the exclusive artwork in the gallery below. After the break there’s a clip. If this is all too much for you, also know that The Avengers is coming to Blu-ray and DVD standalone on the same day (9/25); these can also be preordered at Amazon today.
Get ready for a mouthful. The Droid Incredible 4G LTE by HTC is now available on Verizon Wireless. Phew! Now, spec time. The latest Droid sports a 4-inch (960×540) super LCD qHD display and is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. An eight megapixel rear-facing camera comes complete with autofocus, LED flash, BSI, f/2.2 and 28mm lens, and a front-facing camera enables video chat. As its name indicates, this Droid takes advantage of Verizon’s speedy 4G data and it can act as a mobile hotspot and share its 4G LTE connection with up to 10 Wi-Fi-enabled devices. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is on board, as is the latest version of HTC’s customizable skin Sense 4. You can order one direct from VZW for a cool $149.99 after a $50 rebate once you sign the dotted line for a new two-year contract. Look in the gallery below to view the handset at various angles. PR, per usual, is after the break; and so is a video!
Perhaps this is something Nintendo should have announced at their underwhelming E3 press conference. On August 19 the company will release a jumbo-sized version of the 3DS handheld. The Nintendo 3DS XL (or LL in Japan) features a 90 percent larger viewing area up top with a 3D screen that measures 4.88 inches diagonally. The bottom screen has grown too to 4.18 inches. Gamers will also notice an updated form factor and “battery life [that] outperforms that of the original Nintendo 3DS.” The 3DS XL will ship with a 4GB SD card and come in red and blue models. The MSRP is $199.99. August 19 also happens to be the same day the anticipated title New Super Mario Bros. 2 comes out; no coincidence there.
Says Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime: “No other hand-held entertainment experience compares to the fun of Nintendo 3DS. With the launch of Nintendo 3DS XL on Aug. 19, consumers will be able to enjoy the great lineup of current and upcoming games on an even grander scale. Plus, Nintendo 3DS XL gives owners even more real estate on their screens to enjoy entertainment applications like Nintendo Video and Netflix.”
In other Nintendo news, it has been announced that a new Super Smash Bros. title is in the works for both the Wii U and 3DS. Developers Sora and Namco Bandai Games are working on it.
On May 20 the Samsung Focus 2 will enter the marketplace and make the jump to Windows Phone and speedy 4G LTE easier at an extremely affordable price. For $49.99 (after signing a new two-year agreement with AT&T), customers will get a smartphone that packs a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, a 5 megapixel camera that supports 720p video capture, a front-facing VGA camera for video calls, and a single-core 1.4GHz processor. The Focus 2 will be sold in a fresh coat of “pure white” and come loaded with the latest version of Windows Phone (7.5, that is). Sign up to be alerted to the phone’s release right here. PR after the break.
Announced in January, the Nokia Lumia 900 smartphone has been tagged with an imminent release date and an affordable price point. The Lumia 900, which will soon become the first Windows Phone to boast 4G LTE, releases into the marketplace on April 8 at $99.99 after a two year contract with AT&T. The handset features a 4.3-inch (800 x 480) AMOLED ClearBlack display, a Carl Zeiss 8 megapixel camera with large aperture (F2.2) and wide angle focal length (28mm) and LED flash that supports 720p HD video capture, and a front-facing camera for video calls. It runs the latest version of Windows Phone, that is 7.5 aka Mango. The Lumia 900 will come in cyan blue and matte black flavors on the 8th, and later on April 22 a high-gloss white version will release. Preorder today. PR after the break.
Warner Bros. is readying the most comprehensive Harry Potter movie collection ever released. The “Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection” 31-disc box set contains the following: all eight Harry Potter movies on Blu-ray, DVD and UltraViolet Digital Copy; more than 37 hours of special features including all previously released materials and more than 10 hours of new to disc bonus content; and 5 hours of never-before-seen material. Deathly Hallows part 1 & 2 can be watched in 2D or 3D if you have a TV that can handle it. Unfortunately, there is one major gripe that fans will find in this amazing collection: only the first two films in the franchise–namely Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and the Chamber of Secrets–include both the theatrical versions and extended cuts. The other six films only come with their theatrical versions. Will Warner release an even more epic box set including the extended cuts of the rest of the films and more bonus footage? That is still unknown.
But if you truly are a loyal Potter fan then there’s no denying how great this collection really is. Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection in all its elaborate design, comes out September 7 for $500. Head over to Amazon to preorder today; the e-tailer is selling it for a more digestible $349. Jump after the break to watch the collection come to life (you’ll see what I mean) and there’s also a first look at new bonus footage featuring a young and old Rupert Grint. A lengthy press release further details what you’ll get. (Click here for more…)
As we get closer and closer to the launch of the PS Vita, Sony is making it harder to resist the temptation to purchase the powerful mobile gaming platform. On Friday the company added a new bundle to the mix. At $299 the “special launch day” bundle will get you the PS Vita (3G + WiFi) hardware, an 8GB memory card, an AT&T DataConnect Session Pass that’s good for 250MB of data, and a free PlayStation Network game. Sony is also adding to the previously announced “first edition bundle.” In addition to the the PS Vita (3G + WiFi) hardware, a 4GB memory card, a copy of the Little Deviants game, and a limited edition case, early adopters will also receive an AT&T DataConnect Session Pass (250MB) and a free PSN game upon activating 3G on the device. This bundle will run you $349 and is now available for preorder. Order it today and receive the Vita a week before its official US release that is February 22. As for the newly announced “special launch day” bundle? That’ll release on the 22nd and will remain on shelves for a limited time “in the few days that follow.”