High-tech product releases announced the week ending October 5 include the iPhone 4S, Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet and new Kindle e-readers, a video-camera hybrid, Nikon's J1 and V1 cameras, and Toshiba’s REGZA 55X3 TV.
An updated iPhone with artificial intelligence
The iPhone 4S comes in the same shell as its iPhone 4 sibling but has more battery life, a better 8MP camera, 1080p HD video recording, a dual-core A5 chip for faster performance, and an improved antenna design.
The best features, however, are found on the phone’s software: Apple’s Siri personal assistant uses AI to understand spoken requests. The new Notification Center, free messaging app and iCloud syncing are just a few of the 200 new features found in the phone’s new operating system, iOS 5. The iPhone 4S will be available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the UK on Friday, October 14. The worldwide roll-out to an additional 22 countries will take place by the end of October. Pricing will range from $199 to $399 in the US with a two-year contract.
Amazon seduced the press and consumers with the announcement of its inexpensive Android-based tablet, the Kindle Fire. The device features a 7" full color LCD touchscreen, a cloud-accelerated web browser, free cloud storage, Amazon Whispersync, a dual-core processor and WiFi (but not 3G). Kindle Fire owners will have access to loads of content including more than 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, apps, games, books and magazines via Amazon’s various online stores. The Kindle Fire is priced at an inexpensive $199. It is available for pre-order now and will start shipping on November 15.
A lightweight e-reader that your wallet will love
The newest Kindle e-reader on the market has been shrunk down by 18 percent into a pocketable device with an even smaller price. The gadget has the same 6" display as its predecessor but weighs 30 percent less at 170 grams. The new Kindle is available now for $79.
Kindles that like to be touched
Amazon’s first touchscreen e-Reader, the Kindle Touch, is an easy-to-use e-reader with a long battery life. The device comes in two versions one with 3G and WiFi connectivity and the other with WiFi only. It has a 6” screen, a text-to-speech feature, free cloud backup, Whispersync, fast page turns, a two month battery life and can hold up to 3,000 books. The Kindle Touch is priced at $99. The Kindle Touch 3G is priced at $149. Both devices are available for pre-order now and will start shipping on November 21.
A HD video-camera hybrid that can shoot in super-slow motion
JVC’s video/still hybrid camera, called the JVC GC-PX10, harnesses the power of a high-speed imaging engine to shoot Full HD 1920x1080/60p video and capture 12 megapixel stills. It offers rapid-fire still shooting of 8.3 MP at 60 shots-per-second (for a total of up to 130 shots total per burst) or 12 MP stills at 30 frames-per-second. It can also shoot super-slow motion video at 300 frames-per-second at a VGA (640 x 360) resolution for up to two hours.
JVC’s GC-PX10 will also be released later this month for $899.95.
Nikon's first interchangeable lens cameras
The J1 and V1 cameras mark Nikon’s debut in the interchangeable lens cameras market. The Nikon 1 cameras sit in between the company’s high-end DSLR range and its less expensive compact Coolpix lineup. They feature a 10.1 MP CMOS sensor that can capture still images at up to 60 frames-per-second and can shoot 1080i video at 60 frames-per-second. The Nikon J1 and V1 will be available on October 20. The Nikon J1 camera with 10-30mm lens kit will be priced at $649.95. The Nikon V1 camera with 10-30mm lens kit will be available for $899.95.
Toshiba’s REGZA 55X3 television (aka the 55” ZL2 in Europe) sports a huge 3,840x2,160 pixels resolution -- four times that of Full HD. Toshiba’s REGZA 55X3 TV provides glasses-free 3D viewing for up to nine different viewing positions by tracking the viewer’s actual positions in front of the screen with a built-in camera. The TV also comes with built-in WiFi, DLNA, remote-control operation via iPhone and Windows 7 compatibility. Toshiba’s REGZA 55X3 will be available in mid-December 2011 in Japan. A spokesperson for the company said pricing is still being confirmed.