By Richard Menta 1/8/07
It is CES time again and while the weather here in the northeast is a spring-like 72, it will only hit the low 60's out in normally hot Las Vegas where the event takes place. To hint this unusual switch in the climate is a sign something ground breaking will appear is more the stuff of overheated film epics than news. So I guess we will stick with the interesting, but mostly mundane, offerings that arise from the annual show and begin with the first item of our interest to emerge.
Samsung has announced a new MP3 portable, the YP-T9B, which is a new Bluetooth-enabled portable. It might be noted that here it is the T that stands for Bluetooth not the B. That's important because Samsung also announced a non-bluetooth version the player called the YP-9B. Naturally, the company is hyping bluetooth as their answer to the iPod. "The future of consumer technology lies in convergence and Samsung is leading the trend by offering the multifunctional T9B device", said company SVP Dongsoo Jun.
The Samsung 9B series is available in 2GB and 4GB capacities, below the 8GB top end available from the iPod nano and the San Disk e280. Considering that Samsung is a manufacturer of flash memory this seems an odd ommission for a new high-end portable. The 9B has a 1.8 inch QCIF+ LCD screen and offers photo as well as MPEG4 playback.
The YP-T9B and 9B come with an FM tuner that also allows you to record broadcast content over the air. The unit also has a built-in mic, part of an interface system that allows users to take calls from a bluetooth-enabled phone without switching devices. That's part of the convergence Jun alluded to. Samsung has not yet announced pricing or availability, but figure it will go on sale here in the states by May.
Other MP3 stories:
The Digital Media Winners of 2006
The Digital Media Losers of 2006
The 8GB Sansa e280 is available on Amazon