Photos: 2006 fall tech preview

A lot of the year's coolest tech comes out in the fall, right before the holidays.

CNET Reviews staff
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Canon's latest ultracompact camera weighs less than four ounces and measures less than an inch wide, but it packs in 7 megapixels and can shoot in movie mode. We're showing the autumnal "twilight sepia" body, but the camera will also come in red, blue, and gray. Look for it in October.
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For another 7-megapixel ultracompact option, check out Sony's DSC-T50. The Cyber Shot also sports a 3X zoom and a 3-inch LCD touch screen for fingertip navigation of the camera's functions. It will be available in October in the pictured red, as well as in black and silver.
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At last, Pentax has made the leap from 6 megapixels to 10 in its latest digital SLR. The camera also features Pentax's Shake Reduction system, which uses gyros to detect and to compensate for motion. The K10D will be available with lens or as body only, starting in November.
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If you love your iPod, more can only be better, and that's what the latest upgrade offers: a whopping 80GB of memory, a longer-lived battery, and a sharper screen. That adds up to an improved video experience, and Apple's queuing more TV shows and movies to take advantage. When you consider that the forthcoming TiVo Series3 has 250GB of memory, it's pretty impressive to imagine 80GB of entertainment in your pocket.
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Microsoft's never been shy about taking on other manufacturers, but the company may have a tough slog trying to capture the MP3 flag from Apple. The 30GB Zune player will feature one unusual feature: limited Wi-Fi that enables file sharing with other local Zune users. So far, the device's size, pricing, battery life, and exact release date remain a mystery, and we haven't seen the Zune Marketplace, Microsoft's version of the iTunes Store. But stay tuned--as soon as CNET has more information, you'll get the scoop.
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Creative's new portable video player (PVP) features a big, beautiful, 4.3-inch wide screen. It's heftier than its predecessors, but while that added bulk means more weight, its magnesium body also means the W will stand up to backpack bashing. A bonus: the Vision is compatible with TiVo To Go, so you can get your TiVo programming in the palm of your hand. If you want a better video experience than the iPod offers and you don't mind more bulk, this PVP may be right for you.
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Want a little PDA in your PVP? Though it houses fewer gigs than Creative's Zen Vision:W, Archos's player has one big mark in the plus column: Wi-Fi. That means you'll be able to send and receive e-mail, surf the Web, and download content wirelessly on the device, and with the 604's touch screen, all of those features should be easy to navigate. The PVP should drop in September, and we'll have more details and our evaluation as soon as it does.
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This isn't what we picture when we hear hatchback. BMW's new coupe is sleek, silver, and stylish, and its sturdier structure should mean that it handles better than the Roadster. The car debuts in September--stay tuned for our full review.
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Honda hasn't announced a release date yet for its compact SUV. However, the CR-V will feature Honda's voice-command navigation and a new, 270-watt, seven-speaker stereo system. Presumably you'll want to voice-navigate while that stereo is turned down.
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If you want sport and utility in your vehicle but don't want the bulk of an SUV, the Tiguan may fit the bill. Volkswagen will be showing the car at the Los Angeles Auto Show in December, and it will hit streets sometime in 2007.
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That sexy hardtop? It's a quartz plate, like a watch face, that's been pressure tested against breakage. The Krzr also features a 2-megapixel camera, records up to 25 minutes of video, and stores up to 2,000 contacts, including addresses. We still haven't heard when it will hit the market, nor which carriers will have the phone, but we wouldn't be surprised if it's a hit.
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Nokia likes to call this N series a "multimedia computer"--perhaps so that you'll be impressed by the features rather than the pocket-stretching size. Indeed, the N93 does pack in a lot of media: photo (3.2 mexapixels with 3X digital zoom), video, and a music player. This GSM phone also has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0. As yet there's no U.S. carrier, but CNET users are already buzzing about it.
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The T719 is Samsung's first phone to use BlackBerry Connect. For a quadband smart phone in flip format, it's slender and lightweight, with a bright screen. Into that slim profile, the T719 fits a 1.3-megapixel camera with video capabilities, a speakerphone, and Bluetooth. We hope to have the phone in hand by the end of September, so check back for our full test-drive.
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Perhaps someone at Sony Ericsson is a yoga fan--it would explain why this color's called Hatha Violet. The company is pitching the W710i as a fitness phone, and accordingly, it comes with an armband and an integrated pedometer. But the main selling point of this Walkman phone, besides its 2-megapixel camera, is the music: a digital music player, FM radio, and a stereo Bluetooth profile that will let you listen to music through a wireless Bluetooth headset. So, you'll be able to rock out while you work out.
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For those whose laptop goes everywhere with them--and takes a beating accordingly--Panasonic has introduced a series of business-friendly, ruggedized notebooks. While not up to military spec, these can survive a one-foot drop. The CF-Y5 runs on Intel's Core 2 Duo processor, offers a 14.1-inch screen, and weighs in at 3.7 pounds.
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Fall colors aren't limited to maple trees and MP3 players; Sony's updates to the VAIO N line will ship in three tasteful colors: black, white, and brown. That's because the laptops are meant to match your home decor. The new Ns should also match your upgrade needs and budget, with a Core 2 Duo processor, a 15.4-inch wide screen, and a sticker price of about $1,000.
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If you play as hard as you work, Toshiba's game-friendly P105 may be your machine. With a 2GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce Go 7900 graphics card with 256MB of VRAM, and a 200GB hard drive, it should have all the juice you need to play the new fall games.
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So far, we have a positive but mixed review of Apple's new iTunes. We like Cover Flow (pictured), which shows album or movie art as your files play; gapless playback; and the addition of movies and games to the store. On the downside, those features eat up processor muscle; there aren't as many movies as we'd like, nor the high resolution we'd like; and users have reported some buggy behavior. On the whole, though, it's worth the upgrade from iTunes 6.
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It looks like we're going to have a browser rumble in October. Both Mozilla and Microsoft are releasing their latest Net apps then. Among other new features, Firefox 2, code-named Bon Echo, offers antiphishing protection (pictured) and automatic session restore.
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Also due in October, the latest version of IE 7 promises improvements to performance, stability, and security. On the more superficial side, the interface will now include tabbed Web pages (pictured). Unfortunately, you can't preview those pages via mouseover, as you can in the Opera browser.
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Palm trees, cars, and crime...it must be Grand Theft Auto with a Miami Vice-style theme. If pastels make you feel like shooting something, you'll get your opportunity October 17, when the game hits the street.
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That gadget on the left is the Wii Remote, Nintendo's answer to the gamepad. It includes a motion sensor, so that your hand movements are translated onscreen to swing a sword, pass a football, and so on. The Wii is available November 19 and includes one game, Wii Sports, in the box. On release day, there should also be some 30 classic games, such as Donkey Kong and Super Mario 64, with another 10 retro games released each month following. Our favorite thing? The $250 price tag.
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A bottom-price Blu-ray DVD player goes for a grand, but you can get Sony's game console/Blu-ray player for $500 to $600. Blu-ray discs pack in more data, 50 to 200GB, compared to the 8.5GB of a standard DVD, which the Wii and Xbox 360 run. That means the PS3 has the potential to offer much richer games, with better graphics and extra content. On the other hand, $500 is a lot to pay for a game console, and we'll have to see if the PS3 and its games are worth the dough. Look for our full review November 17.
24 of 29 CNET Networks
Your home theater is nothing without an A/V receiver as its hub, and this season promises many new models. Denon's AVR-2307CI ($800) sports many of the features of the AVR-2807 (an Editors' Choice winner) but for $300 less. If, like most of us, your home theater gear is a mishmash of vintage components (VCR, DVD recorder, an older game console) and new, high-definition products, this Denon can help you manage them with minimal mess: it has two inputs for HD components and converts analog sources to HDMI as well, so that you only need a single HDMI cable running from receiver to TV.
25 of 29 CNET Networks
One remote to rule them all: isn't that what every audio/videophile craves? Logitech has a history of making user-friendly remotes that you set up through an intuitive, Web-based interface. To that the Harmony adds a first for Logitech, a 3.5-inch, color touch screen. Other conveniences include a battery that recharges in the device's cradle and, in addition to the usual infrared signal, radio frequency and Z-wave wireless so that commands can penetrate walls and other obstructions. That adds up to a lovely gadget, but would you be willing to pay $500 for it?
26 of 29 CNET Networks
Are you a TiVo fan or a TV glutton? The new Series3 may answer all your time-shifting needs: it can record two HD programs at once while playing back a third that it recorded earlier. It also adds home networking and Internet connectivity, although you can't stream programs to another TiVo or to a portable device or a PC. The other downside? The cost of that functionality is $800, plus $13 for monthly service, on top of your regular cable bill.
27 of 29 CNET Networks
Mitsubishi's front projector comes with two superlatives: it's the first 1080p LCD we've heard of, and it's the least expensive ($4,500) projector of any type. Will you get more than you pay for? Check back soon for our review.
28 of 29 CNET Networks
Can you ever have too much plasma? Samsung's latest is not the biggest plasma TV you can buy--it's only 63 inches--but it's two grand less than Panasonic's 65-inch plasma. And it goes without saying that you'd need a nice, big room to fit the TV, let alone to take advantage of that much screen.
29 of 29 CNET Networks
We liked last year's KDS-R60XBR1 so well that we gave it an Editors' Choice award. Now Sony's releasing a successor, also a 60-inch rear-projection TV with side-mounted speakers and the addition of a third HDMI input.

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