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Dell company executives announced the re-design of keyboards for the new Latitude notebook. The new keyboards offer backlit keys, enhanced tactile feel, new key spacing and other features. The new Latitude project began two years ago with the engineers and designers first focused on developing a world-class keyboard. All aspects were considered and improved to offer better feel and usability.
Ultra-portable laptops are quickly gaining popularity, as individuals demand a more mobile computing lifestyle. According to Gartner, an IT research and advisory company, shipments of mini-notebook computers are expected to surpass 5 million units in 2008. Mini-notebooks are defined here as computing devices with a screen size of 5 to 10 inches that can run a full version of client operating system such as Windows XP or Linux. Dell, Qualcomm, HP and MSI are introducing new mini-notebooks this year.
Zpower, a provider of silver-zinc battery technology, announced the inclusion of their silver-zinc cells in a major notebook computer in 2009. Zpower claims their batteries have run-times up to 40 percent longer than comparable Lithium-ion cells, while simultaneously offering safety and environmental advantages. Zinc-silver batteries have almost been forgotten about but improvements in materials and manufacturing processes have brought them to compete in a market currently dominated by Li-ion cells.
Plenty of buzz surrounds Intel's Larrabee GPU project, especially with the SIGGRAPH conference taking place this week in Los Angeles. The Larrabee GPU is being developed for release in 2009 or 2010 by Intel to compete with NVIDIA and AMD/ATI products. The new graphics chip will use multiple, complete x86 processor cores. NVIDIA has presented their viewpoint on the situation, questioning many of Intel's claims about Larrabee.
According to a Dell executive, featured in a video (below), the company's new E4200 and E4300 Latitude laptops that will ship in the next 30 days will support Dell's instant on feature, called Latitude On. While the software to make the feature work will not be available until closer to the end of the year, the two laptop models will ship with hardware that will support it. Latitude On promises to give users near-instant access to often used tasks such as email and calendar functions, as well as other communication programs.
Electronista on Tuesday had an opportunity to listen to Dell executives on camera following the PC maker's Latitude introduction that reveals the company's approach to targeting systems such as the MacBook Air. The firm says it isn't worried about the competition from Apple, Lenovo, or other rivals as the Latitude "brackets" these systems; the E4200 is smaller and lighter than the Air through its use of an ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo processor, while the 13.3-inch E4300 uses a full-power Core 2 Duo and has an optical drive bay absent on these competitors.
Dell today launched its all-new line of Latitude laptops, comprised of the 12-inch E4200, 13.3-inch E4300, 14-inch E6400, 15.4-inch E6500, as well as the 14-inch E5400 and 15-inch E5500. All of the business systems feature a new instant-boot function that allows users to access email the Internet without waiting for Windows to load. Likewise, all have wide-area wireless and a fingerprint scanner for security, with 3G, GPS and WiMAX optional extras. One of the highlight features of the new Latitudes is their claimed 19-hour battery life, which is unprecedented in the laptop world.
Check out our photo gallery from Tuesday's Dell Latitude introduction event, including photos of the new Precision models and their unannounced 17-inch model, after the break.
In order to stop losing subscribers, wireless phone and data provider Sprint is reportedly considering drastically cutting the rates of its phone-as-modem monthly plans, from $40 to $15 per month. While the move would not make more money for Sprint on an individual customer basis, the added customer base would the company in the long run by encouraging more customers to add data to their service.
As promised, Sony on Tuesday announced the availability of its newest entertainment pack, which includes a special edition PSP gaming console. The limited edition bundle combines a metallic blue PSP portable gaming console with the newly released Madden NFL 09 game and other accessories. The Madden NFL 09 Limited Edition Bundle also include the NFL's In Just One Play UMD movie, a 1GB Memory Stick Duo and a voucher that will allow buyers to download the Beats game from the PlayStation Network for free, saving users roughly $10.
Soundmatters recently unveiled the newest addition to its SLIMstage series of all-in-one speaker systems, the SLIMstage40. The speaker features eight internal amplifiers to achieve its 170W power rating, and uses imaging to provide a listening experience to mimic a 5.1-speaker set-up. As everything down to the control unit and remote control is part of the 3.3-inch high unit, which houses 13 separate drivers, there is no need for an additional A/V receiver. A subwoofer is also optional, but not required, according to Soundmatters.
Averatec, TriGem Computer Inc.'s brand name, is admitting to jumping on the proverbial bandwagon and is working on introducing a netbook to the highly competitive market. The new, unnamed laptop will slot in under the company's 12.1-inch 2575 notebook, replacing it as its smallest offering, and, like the majority of competing products, will also use an Intel Atom processor.
In order to help users of its professional HD camcorders, Sony has introduced three new, larger media storage devices, the company announced on Tuesday. The company introduced a 32GB version of an SxS PRO Memory Card, a 16GB CompactFlash memory card, and 60GB version of its Hard-Disk Unit, the PHU-60K. The SxS PRO is the first 32GB solid-state memory card in the business, Sony boasts, and can transfer data at up to 800Mbps. The card is compatible with Sony's PMW-EX1 and PMW-EX3 HD camcorders.
Western Digital on Tuesday announced it has began shipping its previously announced VelociRaptor hard drive with a 300GB capacity. While the drive itself is a 2.5-inch unit, it is encased in a 3.5-inch frame that acts as a heatsink for the 10,000RPM disk. WD claims its newest, backplane-compatible Velociraptor offers twice the storage capacity and a third faster performance than the Raptor drives it replaces while running at a lower temperature.
Kingston today has set a new ceiling for its storage with a 32GB version of its Elite Pro SDHC card. The capacity is enough to store as many as 6,000 10-megapixel JPEG shots or six hours of low-bitrate HD video; users of Canon's new VIXIA camcorders can still shoot nearly three hours of full-quality footage. The card is fast enough to handle both formats without stuttering with a guaranteed Class 4 (4MB per second, or 32Mbps) transfer speed.
Dell's upcoming E netbook will come in a 10-inch version, industry contacts reportedly say. Past leaks have previously pointed only to 8.9- and 12-inch models but are now joined by a claim of an in-between version. The system isn't detailed but would allegedly positioned as a more common model with between 400,000 to 450,000 systems shipped worldwide per month versus just 250,000 for the 8.9-inch system.
Intel has announced the availability of a new solid-state drive, a variant of the Z-P230. While a 40-pin ZIF version for PATA connections remains available, Intel has introduced a new PCIe "mini-card" model which is even smaller. The PATA model is itself said to be four times smaller than a normal 1.8-inch mechanical hard drive. Read and write speeds remain at 38 and 10Mbps, respectively.
Dell's high-end gaming division, Alienware, has announced that it will be adopting AMD's new Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card effective immediately. The card combines two GPUs into one board, and features 2GB of DDR5 RAM as well as DirectX 10.1 support; maximum performance is rated at 2.4 teraflops. Due to its size the card is only being offered in the company's three desktop systems, the Area-51, Area-51 ALX and Aurora.
Dell today launched the new Latitude line, ushering in a significant refresh of its business systems. The new models have a new streamlined design with the choice of multiple shell colors and take cues both from recent PC designs like the Studio as well as the MacBook Pro; the new systems now have backlit keyboards, a magnesium shell designed to be strong, and an extra-thin design. The mainstream models are the thinnest ever in the mid-size class, the Texas-based company claims, while its ultraportable E4200 model weighs as little as 2.2 pounds.
NVIDIA on Tuesday gave its existing customers a bonus through the GeForce Power Pack, a new set of drivers that expose new features to certain GeForce cards. The upgrade takes advantage of the more universal nature of the effects processing cores in GeForce 8-, 9- and GTX-series cards to drive tasks that would normally depend on the main CPU. All these cards can now speed up physics in games and other apps that support PhysX; in specially enabled game maps with the new physics turned on, a mid-range GeForce 9800 GTX+ is nearly three times faster than the ATI Radeon HD 4850 that NVIDIA hopes to beat.
Dell today accidentally tipped its hand early by revealing its new Precision line of notebooks ahead of an expected announcement today. The new design is targeted not just at pro workers but also the design conscious and involves a sleeker, minimalist design with colored shells. The systems also have performance unparalleled even among newer notebooks, Dell claims: the systems have the choice of Intel's new quad-core mobile chips, two 500GB hard drives in RAID, and a presently unmatched 16GB of total DDR3 memory.
NVIDIA this morning made official upgrades to its Quadro FX notebook line that carry over lessons learned from the desktop GTX and mobile 9800M lines to pro-level graphics. Each chip is now capable of not only accelerating video but performing general computing at the same time using NVIDIA's CUDA language. The change lets the graphics processors work alongside the main system processor to speed up digital media editing, scientific calculations, and other more universal tasks.
Nokia on Tuesday announced the launch of its 3610 Fold clamshell. The Fold is a close but entry-level cousin to the 3555 and similar phones with a near-seamless back claimed to be more comfortable than on normal flip phones. A 1.3-megapixel camera and Bluetooth put it above previous budget phones that often strip out one or both features. A two-inch 240x320 resolution screen is found inside, while a 1.36-inch display provides basic call info on the outside.
NVIDIA's mobile graphics faliures may be only the sign of a larger problem affecting desktop hardware as well, says a claim by the Inquirer. Four video card makers have allegedly reported unusually high failure rates in boards made using NVIDIA's G92 and G94 chips, which are used for most mid-range GeForce 8800-series cards, 9800-series cards and the high-end 8800M notebook series. The 9600 GT is also said to be affected.
AMD is readying itself for a division into two companies in a matter of weeks, according to a new claim by alleged industry insiders. While the company has already talked about separate initiatives to focus the company, termed Asset Light and Asset Smart, this is now expected to include an upcoming announcement that the company will split into two distinct entities. A core company will continue developing AMD's processors and chipsets; a second will be dedicated solely to manufacturing at the chip maker's existing factories.
Fujifilm this morning confirmed its inadvertent leaks with multiple FinePix camera updates ahead of next month's Photokina camera expo. The 10-megapixel S2000HD ultrazoom slightly improves the earlier S1000fd with a longer 15X zoom, 720p widescreen movie capture as well as 16:9 ratio still shots, and the option of exchanging resolution for speed at either 6.8FPS (at five megapixels) or 13.5FPS (at three megapixels). Unusually for the camera class, the S2000HD will run on AA batteries when it ships in September for US pricing of $300.
Lenovo on Tuesday pushed into an unfamiliar area with the ThinkPad W700. The system is the PC builder's first 17-inch system and is unusual in its focus on artists, designers, and other visual editors that would often choose Macs instead; the area to the right of the trackpad includes a stylus-oriented digitizer that can be used for precise drawing in content creation tools. It can also be mapped for the entire screen and serve as a full trackpad replacement.
AMD on Tuesday debuted its ATI Radeon HD 4800 X2 series of graphics chips, including its flagship ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 dual-CPU graphics cards; the combination, it claims, delivers 2.4 teraFLOPS of processing power and its value-oriented sibling ATI Radeon HD 4850 X2. The new cards combine two ATI Radeon HD 4800 series GPUs using a faster PCIe 2.0-based interconnect and 2GB of frame buffer memory. Launched in New York City this week, the GPUs are based on the advanced 55nm design and offer DirectX 10.1 support for advanced gaming and ATI CrossFireX for maximum performance: ATI says that the efficient use of all four GPUs in a dual ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 CrossFireX configuration will bring more than three times the performance (using 3DMark Vantage v1.01 benchmarks) of a single ATI Radeon HD 4870 card in many games.
Android is allegedly closer to release than previously believed, according to one insider who foresees a September 17th, 2008 pre-order date. The news comes after many in the industry pushed the highly-anticipated Google-produced open source operating system back to 2009. T-Mobile is expected to see Android via the HTC Dream (G1), which will supposedly ship in white, brown, and black finishes, and will sport a 3G data connection.
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