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Dell tonight is continuing a string of major PC updates with both a new Inspiron notebook as well as a desktop. The Inspiron 13 promises to challenge the MacBook and other 13-inch portables by pushing the cost well below others while also providing dimensions and features that aren't always carried over into budget notebooks. The system weighs a relatively light 4.5 pounds but still finds room for a slot-load DVD drive, touch-sensitive media controls, and a sturdier, one-piece "barrel" hinge versus the two-hinge design of larger Inspirons.
HP on Monday addressed which of its laptops were impacted by the recent Nvidia defect, citing 24 different models that range as far back as November 2007, when HP began covering failed GPUs under warranty. The issue affects HP's Pavilion dv2000, dv6000, and dv9000 series laptops, and the Compaq Presario V3000 and V6000 series as well. HP is offering an updated BIOS for the affected machines, and is offering customers a complete set of diagnostic instructions, for determining whether a model is affected by the problem.
Dell tonight leapt into the mini desktop business with the Studio Hybrid. The system is described as the company's "first step" in eco-friendly PCs and uses notebook components to dramatically reduce both its size and power draw; where a tower uses a 300-watt supply, the Hybrid uses well under 65 watts and is 80 percent smaller than even a mini tower, the company tells Electronista. The company also promises that the system "leaves the Mac mini behind" with the option of a Blu-ray drive for HD video, HDMI video out, an 8-in-1 card reader and the choice of a TV tuner.
Pentax tonight gave entry-level photographers an extra option through the 10.1-megapixel Optio E60. Its standout addition is a 32-96mm equivalent wide-angle lens that helps frame wide portrait shots, scenery, or other very horizontal subjects. Its beginner focus includes a fully automatic mode that changes all settings itself, though the camera adds face detection and ISO-based blur correction that also help more experienced owners.
Feeling the pressure from aggressive competition, closeBell Canada is cutting 15 percent of its management workforce. Bell says it's cutting 2,500 non-union workers. Canada's largest telecommunications company is cutting its management hierarchy from 11 layers to a maximum of eight. The company is slimming down as part of a $52 billion dollar privatization plan funded by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and several US partners, according to the Canadian Press. Bell missed out on a chance to sell the iPhone, because it operates a CDMA wireless network which does not support Apple's mobile device. It also faces a new competitor in the wireless marketplace.
Dell has quietly slipped out the S2409W. The 24-inch screen is Dell's first to switch from a normal 16:10 ratio to a wider 16:9. Although this sacrifices resolution, dropping from 1920x1200 to 1920x1080, the resolution matches the 1080p output of Blu-ray movies and most other HD formats and results in a larger overall picture for those and most other widescreen videos. An HDMI input gives the S2409W a direct video input for movie players and game consoles.
Samsung today took the wraps off four new printers, with the CLP-315, CLP-315W and CLX-3175FN color laser printers for the small or home office market as well as small workgroups along with the laser SCX-4828FN to add to its monochrome multifunction line. The SCX-4828FN is designed for use in office workgroup environments, with the ability to print, copy, scan and fax, capable of printing up to 30 pages per minute.
Apple is dropping Intel's reference platform in favor of custom circuitry, according to a new rumor floated by AppleInsider. Although every Intel-based Mac has to date used Intel's stock chipsets but with a custom layout, Apple is now purportedly using little to none of Intel's own components in favor of outside parts. Whether this involves licensing components from an outside firm or even custom-designed chips is unknown, though Apple would keep using Intel's processors.
ASUS recently announced it will soon start shipping its Xonar D1 7.1 audio card for PCs, responding to its customers' requests to offer a higher-performance PCI version of its PCI Express and 5.1-channel Xonar HD card. The new card combines Dolby Home Theater and DirectSound HW support for multimedia and gaming applications, respectively. The card also promises to deliver nearly distortion-free sound, thanks to an advanced Digital-to-Analog Converter, helping it to achieve a 116dB signal-to-noise ratio.
The US Federal Communications Commission is said today to be preparing a ruling that would find Comcast violating rules for filtering traffic on its cable Internet service. While the regulatory body's chairman Kevin Martin has already said the ruling won't involve fines, the decision will reportedly ban Comcast from its current practices, which specifically throttle all BitTorrent traffic and certain peer-to-peer services in an attempt to minimize the price to Comcast for supporting the data.
LG on Monday said it has struck deals with US cable providers to get support for tru2way, the new two-directional HD video standard. A memorandum of understanding between LG and six US cable providers should see the latter offer support for tru2way on their networks, letting HDTVs from LG and other set makers supply HDTV with interactive options such as video on demand or more advanced programming guides without needing a separate device.
Casio today tipped Verizon's hand early with the announcement of a new g'zOne ruggedized phone. The Boulder shares the same dirt, shock, and water resistance as earlier models but adds push-to-talk (PTT) over its EVDO Revision A-based 3G access for instant conversation during a nature hike or field work. Also a centerpiece is a digital compass that appears on the clamshell phone's external LCD for quicker trail navigation and the option of using the phone as an LED-based flashlight.
The next generation of MacBooks will mark a radical change to the company's trackpad design, says a new rumor. Both the regular MacBook and the MacBook Pro will allegedly switch to glass-surfaced trackpads that allow multi-touch gestures. It's unspecified as to whether the change will also add new gestures beyond the simpler pinch, rotate, and swipe motions used with the existing MacBook Air and MacBook Pro or will just make gestures easier to perform.
Release dates for RIM's BlackBerry Bold cellphone have been leaked, a report claims. Though having missed its July 25th release date, Rogers' Canadian version of the phone is still expected to ship first, on July 29th. Next is believed to be the Vodafone UK edition, shipping August 1st, followed by the T-Mobile Germany model, coming August 4th. An O2 variant is expected sometime in September.
Samsung this morning upgraded its Q1 Ultra UMPC with a pair of crucial new trim levels. The Q1U-CMXP is the first North American model to build in a 3G cellular Internet connection that supports HSDPA data over AT&T's network in the US, giving it online access beyond just Wi-Fi. It otherwise carries the same specs as the reference Q1 Ultra with an 800MHz Intel A110 as its processor, 1GB of memory, and an 80GB ultraportable hard drive running Windows XP. It should be available now for $1,499.
The launch of the iPhone 3G has affected Verizon's sales since launch but only in a small way, the company said today when discussing its latest quarterly results. In response to a question during the US phone provider's conference call for its spring figures, the company argues that the Apple device had a "minimally short-term impact" on Verizon since the July 11th launch and that the handset's influence was "disproportionately less" than could be expected for the respective market shares of AT&T and Verizon.
VIZIO today provided early details of three new display lines, including the company's first true hybrid display. Known so far as the VMM Monitor, the 26-inch LCD will have dual HDMI inputs but also DVI and VGA as well as RCA audio inputs for built-in 3W speakers. The TV maker promises a more desktop-capable design with a relatively thin bezel, a glass front panel, and the option of tilting or swiveling the image. VIZIO expects the VMM to appear in August for $450, or less than many stand-alone HDTVs at the same size.
Fabrik's home label SimpleTech today launched a new suite of external hard drives headlined by the [re]drive, its first consciously green hard drive. The new disk is shelled with both an aluminum frame and natural bamboo covers that let the user recycle the external casing much more easily than the plastic from most drives. Choosing these materials also has the upside of cooling the 3.5-inch disk inside without needing fans that add to noise and power draw.
Samsung on Monday added to its "Touch of Color" computer displays with three multi-role versions. The 22-inch, 1680x1050 T220HD as well as the 24- and 26-inch, 1920x1200 T240HD and T260HD share the same two-tone look of the originals but add an ATSC/ClearQAM tuner that picks up unprotected over-the-air HDTV broadcasts; they also add one front and one rear HDMI input for users who want to attach a game console, Blu-ray player or similar device at the same time as a computer.
Motorola will break up its Home and Networks Mobility group in a move which is likely meant to prepare for a potential sell-off, according to a memo obtained by the Wall Street Journal. The company will purportedly create three divisions; two will involve networks and see Motorola divide its networking efforts into a Cellular Networks group, for traditional cell service, as well as a Broadband Access Solutions group that handles wide-area wireless technology such as Long Term Evolution (4G) or WiMAX. The third will handle all digital video, including cable boxes, DVRs, and IPTV.
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