Posted by James Trew | Filed under Techie Stuff
We'll forgive the extremely nice folk behind the PDJ when they claim to have the first fully self-contained portable DJ set-up. But that's not to say that there is nothing new here -- in fact there's plenty. The PDJ is a rectangular slab of refreshing creative optimism. On each end is a touchscreen display that shows a virtual turntable, and in the middle is a small mixing and FX section. So, already the PDJ will be familiar in set-up to any DJ who picks it up (something the Pacemaker couldn't claim with its proprietary interface). The mixer section has rotaries for volume, FX and additional functions (more on this later). The most important thing, however, is the onboard audio interface which crucially means you can monitor in headphones before unleashing your mix onto the world. This sets it apart from pretty much every other mobile app out there that, at best, requires you to use an audio splitter (to the detriment of your sound). Of course, you're going to need some music to play, and there's 2GB of internal storage to let you do just that. If that's not enough, or you want to load up your latest jams right away, there's an SD card slot to let you do just that (up to 32GB). Beyond headphones, there's a line out for connecting it to a sound system, and a line in and microphone jack for adding external sound to the set. The brochure claims it offers 12 hours of battery life too -- rechargeable by mini USB. On the software side, the two virtual turntables respond to touch, and button controls (for cue / play / pause). In addition to the virtual turntable, there are also sample player and one-shot screens. We got out paws on the PDJ here at NAMM, so fade past the break for our impressions. Gallery: PDJ Portable DJ system hands-on
Gallery: PDJ Portable DJ system hands-on
At about 286 grams, the PDJ is light to hold, but sits in the hand comfortably. Your thumbs naturally find their place hovering above the virtual decks, but the unit it plenty light enough that you can hold it with one hand, while using the other for more dexterous performance manoeuvres. The rotaries and crossfader in the middle section are plastic, but feel solid enough. This is, after all, a lightweight portable device. The LCD touchscreens let you get hands on with your music, as DJs are wont to do, and it's responsive and intuitive enough. Thankfully, most of the key functions (cue, volume, fade, loops etc) have hardware controls too. To reach the extra functionality (more in depth EQ, sample player and so on) you swipe the screen to the left or right accordingly to bring up the relevant screen. It's in these cases when the dual-mode (rotate and click) Function A/B rotaries come in handy, and the interface for controlling these extra tricks is surprisingly natural / responsive.
The PDJ makes the usual claims about being able to scratch and so on. And you can. But as with all these smaller, touch-digital devices, it's more of a party trick than anything else. No biggie though, as the meatier features are the beat sequence and music-pad sections. These let you bring your own audio into your set, trigger samples and build beats and jams on the fly -- much more suitable to a digital device such as this. While we only spent a short time with the PDJ, it's easily one of the most fun devices that we've seen here at NAMM. Purists might malign the constant attempts to shrink and gameify DJing, but we say you're thinking about it too much. Throw one of these in your bag, and the next time you're on the train and want to mix in headphones, or find yourself at a party, the PDJ will suddenly make a lot more sense. How much and when you say? Well expect to pay about $600 for the privilege sometime around late spring or summer.
Billy Steele contributed to this report.
Posted by Sean Buckley | Filed under Techie Stuff
NVIDIA's Tegra 4 powered handheld looks a lot like a typical game console, but it isn't. You could say that its operating system sets it apart, or its knack for streaming PC games, but that's not it -- it's that Shield won't be sold at a loss. Although many consumer game devices eventually turn a profit, they often hit the market as a loss leader, herding gamers into a closed ecosystem and securing a revenue stream for the manufacturer -- every Nintendo, Xbox or PlayStation game made funnels a small licensing fee to the owner of the platform. NVIDIA, on the other hand, isn't a game company, it's a hardware manufacturer. "We'll make our money by selling the device to gamers," NVIDIA stated on the company blog, explaining how Sony and Nintendo do business. "This time-honored approach isn't one we're taking with Project Shield... ...our goal with it is to design and sell a truly great piece of hardware, one that fits comfortably in your hand, delights your eyes and blows out your ears." NVIDIA's still dancing around the subject of price, of course, but the message is clear: Shield is probably going to hit your pocketbook more like a tablet than a portable games console.
Filed under: Cameras
After witnessing the fall of the DS, DSi, 3DS and PlayStation Vita, it's no surprise to hear that the Neo Geo X has succumbed to the talents of the homebrew community, but it is a little shocking how easy the handheld was to conquer. Upon cracking the device open, enthusiasts were surprised to find no copy protection to speak of -- just a lightly glued MicroSD card. The folks on the Neo Geo forum wasted no time experimenting, and soon found that the handheld's Bios and game ROMs can be successfully swapped for new games or custom loaders. Substitute files need to retain the name of the file they replace, and swapped games remain mislabeled in the Neo Geo X menu, but the trick has already allowed some users to install the popular AES Unibios. The community hopes that the discovery will eventually allow them to tweak the handheld's TV-out resolution and enable manual switching between AES / MVS game modes. It's hardly a "hack," considering the SD card is completely unprotected, but it's a good start. Check out the source link below to peer at the device's insides, or just to watch the community in action.
Filed under: Gaming
Source: Neo Geo
Posted by Alexis Santos | Filed under Techie Stuff
Gaming consoles are the usual candidates to go under a screwdriver for miniaturization into portable packages, but Nathan Morgan set out to do something different: transform the hacker-friendly Raspberry Pi into a mobile rig. Thus, the Pi-to-Go was born. The portable's custom 3D-printed case packs a model B revision 1 Raspberry Pi, a 640 x 480 LCD screen and a QWERTY Keyboard with a built-in touchpad. Other internals include a Samsung-made 64GB SSD (with a 1GB swap partition), a rechargeable battery that provides more than 10 hours of juice, a 4GB SD card and support for WiFi and Bluetooth. Morgan's even published build instructions, 3D printer files and a parts list necessary for replicating the box. Not accounting for the 3D-printed case, cobbling together your own Pi-to-Go setup should ring up at just shy of $400. For the entire build breakdown and more images of the rig, hit the bordering source link.
Source: Parts-People Blog
Mario's alma mater may be looking at its next big console to bolster its stumbling net income, but it won't be raising its bottom line on hardware alone: Nintendo says the Wii U is going to be sold at a loss. While this is par for the course for most game consoles, loss leader products are somewhat of a new trend for Nintendo, which only started selling hardware at a loss recently. On the upside, company CEO Satoru Iwata says the 3DS is back in the black, finally selling for a tidy (though unspecified) profit after dropping its price late last year. Nintendo expects business to pick up down the road, but says circumstances will keep it from attaining "Nintendo-like" profits in this fiscal year.
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Posted by Daniel Cooper | Filed under Techie Stuff
When it comes to your device being the "world's thinnest" or not can be decided by a single millimeter. Just days after Toshiba unveiled its 9mm-thick 500GB external hard drive, ADATA has knocked a little more off its own enclosure and declared victory. It's releasing the DashDrive Elite HE720, a stainless steel USB 3.0 drive that measures in at 8.9mm-thick, and size is not the only department where it's making an end-run around ol' Tosh -- it's also $25 dollars cheaper, costing $90. In more mundane news, users who pick up the unit are entitled to snag a 60-day trial of Norton Internet Security and it'll be available shortly.
Filed under: StoragePermalink | | Email this | Comments
Posted by Mark Hearn | Filed under Techie Stuff
Sony announced on Monday that it will introduce a new line of external batteries for smartphones and tablets. Shipping in capacities of 3,500 to 7,000mAh, these external juice boxes weigh around 198 grams and measure 130.6mm by 12.9mm, making them about the size of a modern smartphone. Charging devices via USB, Sony claims that these portable pick me ups can be recharged up to 500 times and can charge most smartphones in an hour and a half. If toting another smartphone-like device around doesn't sound ideal to you, Sony will also be releasing smaller "stick-type" (think flash drives) external batteries in assorted colors. Both battery types are set to launch this fall, with prices ranging from 2,300 yen ($30) to 7,000 yen ($90). Wouldn't it just be easier to sell a marginally thicker phone with world-class battery life? A boy can dream...Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Posted by Billy Steele | Filed under Techie Stuff
New portable storage options from Western Digital are breaking cover once again. This time around, the outfit has announced the My Passport Edge and My Passport Edge for Mac. These external hard drives tout USB 3.0 connectivity and 500GB capacities for packing those work files or carrying that Springsteen collection with you at all times. As the name of the Apple-labeled option suggests, it's well suited for your MacBook and works alongside Time Machine right out of the box -- all from the comforts of an aluminum shell. The premium exterior and Mac-friendly tech will cost you a bit more, though, as this version is priced at $119 while the regular offering will set you back $109. If you're looking to save a few bones and don't mind a plastic housing, you can take solace in the fact that the PC unit features an automatic backup function thanks to WD's SmartWare. The pair is available now, but if you're looking for a bit more info, consult the full PR below.
Gallery: Western Digital My Passport Edge
Filed under: StoragePermalink | | Email this | Comments
Posted by Joe Pollicino | Filed under Techie Stuff
If you looked at the photo above thinking Dr. Martens got into the portable speaker game, you're not so far off. Jabra's taken its Bluetooth headset know-how and blended it with a footwear-inspired design to create its first portable speaker, the $200 Solemate. At first glance the shoe theme does seem a bit silly, but don't let that fool you as this Bluetooth 3.0 speaker packs some notable specs -- especially pitted against the Jawbone Jambox. Available inblack or white, the features rubberized casing that's shock- and water-resistant, and can be supplemented with an included waterproof soundbag (similar to the Braven 625). Taking it a step further, the unit actually has a "heel tab" for carrying purposes and a replaceable sole, which also serves as a storage point for a handy 3.5mm cable.
Gallery: Jabra Solemate press photos
Moving onto to its less quirky features, at the front you'll find a duo of acoustic tweeters separated by a subwoofer with a passive bass radiator on the back -- all together they pump out up to a whopping 120dB of volume. On top are two volume buttons, along with a multifunction button for commanding calls and enabling its Voice Guidance feature. Lastly, the right side houses two indicator lights (battery and Bluetooth), a power and pairing switch, a 3.5mm jack and a micro-USB input for charging and direct digital audio connection. According to Jabra the unit is "about the the size and weight of a water bottle," and you can expect to get around eight to ten hours of use per charge. We'll be giving you our in-depth impressions of the speaker before long, however, the Solemate will be up for pre-order today at the likes of Best Buy and Amazon, and set to release on September 2nd if you're already interested. Check out the press release after the break for more details in the meantime.Permalink | | Email this | Comments