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Dell has released the Vostro A90 in the U.S. market, following previous availability limited to Japan. The device is geared for business users, with features similar to the consumer-oriented Inspiron Mini 9. The base-model offers an 8.9-inch display, 512MB of memory and an 8GB SSD, with options for 1GB of RAM and a 16GB SSD. Customers are limited to Windows XP Home Edition as the pre-installed operating system.
An apparently separate leak has appeared to confirm at least some details of the Zune HD posted earlier this morning. Pointing to sources within Microsoft, Neowin claims the player will ultimately earn its name through the use of an NVIDIA Tegra mobile processor, which will handle both core processing as well as graphics functions. While the exact chip isn't specified, it's likely to be the APX 2600, which supports 720p video, full OpenGL effects, and HDMI yet which can still fit into a media player-sized casing.
Gartner Research on Wednesday released a report detailing PC shipments for the first quarter in the U.S. and abroad. HP took the lead in the domestic market, pushing Dell out of the top spot, while Mac sales showed a slight decline of 1.1 percent compared with the first quarter of 2008. The analysts believe Apple's lackluster performance can be attributed to higher ASPs compared with competitors, although its "deft control" of inventories protected against further shipment decline.
Carmaker and Toyota offshoot Scion announced on Wednesday it is putting in a redesigned base head unit to all 2010 Scion xBs without raising the car's price. Compared to the head unit it replaces, both of which are manufactured by Pioneer, the new stereo has an organic electroluminescent (OEL) display, a USB connection and a subwoofer RCA output. The USB port is located in the center consoler, along with a cable for iPods and an 3.5mm aux-in jack. Pioneer also integrated an Advanced Sound Retriever (ASR) software into the head unit that aims to restore the full range of a compressed digital audio track.
A number of codenamed AMD CPUs and mainboard have revealed by a couple of leaked confidential slides that reportedly originated from AMD and were given to Expreview. A platform dubbed Tigris be launched sometime this year and will include a "Caspian" 45nm CPU with up to two cores and DDR2 800MHz memory support. It will be paired with AMD's RS880M-series and SB710 chipsets, providing a ATI M9x era graphics chip with DirectX 10.1 support that gives HD video decoding as well as DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort connections for video and PCIe Gen 2 support. There will be support for 12 USB 2.0 connections as well as a pair of USB 1.1 connections and six SATA connections.
Samsung Electronics America on Tuesday announced it has launched eight new data projectors in four series, including the portable P400, the classroom-oriented and LCD-based L220 and L300 and Data-series D300 and D400 and three new models in the A-series meant for multimedia viewing in homes comprised of the A400, A800 and A900. The P400 is meant to be taken from boardroom to meeting room, with its sub-2lb weight, best in-class brightness at under 150 ANSI lumens from its LED light source. Its bulb is rated at 30,000 hours of life, and there are standard VGA and RCA composite video inputs, along with a built-in speaker and a screw for mounting on tripods.
Apple is poised to ship fewer Macs to the US year-over-year in a quarter for the first time in multiple quarters, according to early estimates from IDC. Researchers believe Apple will have shipped 1.13 million Macs in its home country in the first quarter of 2009, or a 1.2 percent drop versus the same stretch one year earlier. The company will have ultimately gained a slight amount of market share, moving from 7.2 percent to 7.6, but will also been one of only two firms in the top 5 computer vendors to have shipped fewer systems in winter 2009 than in 2008, with Dell being the other exception.
CyberPower on Wednesday released its high-spec graphics processing workstation, the Power Mega 1000. The headline specs of the PC include Intel's new 2.66GHz Core i7 processor set on an X58 Chipset SLI/CrossFireX-capable mainboard and NVIDIA's Quadro NVS 420 x16 PCIe graphics card, which is capable of driving up to four 30-inch displays. This can be achieved by connections on the card that are comprised of a dual DisplayPort/dual-link DVI port.
AT&T on Wednesday announced the launch of a new service that lets subscribers on the same joint family plan track each other's locations thanks to their mobile devices. Called AT&T FamilyMap, the service lets parents or other account owners log into a website from a home or office computer or their own Internet-enabled smartphone and request the current location of other members on the group account.
D-Link this morning started shipping its PowerLine HD Ethernet Adapter Starter Kit. The bundle creates the equivalent to an Ethernet connection between a router and a device and stands out for its bandwidth: at 200Mbps in peak conditions, the kit has twice as much room as basic Ethernet and should reliably stream HD video over a local network. D-Link sees the adapters as ideal for game console and Slingbox owners who might need a fast connection but for whom Wi-Fi either isn't reliable or quick.
National Geographic has teamed up with Cellular Abroad to offer one of the few official dual-SIM handsets inthe US with the Duet D888, made by Beyond E-Tech. The tri-band GSM phone ships with a Cellular Abroad international SIM card and has a slot for a second SIM card chosen by the user. This effectively allows users to make and receive calls from and to two separate numbers, and allow them to retain the same handset when traveling abroad while using a local network and not incur roaming charges.
Microsoft today said it had been given a second extension by the European Commission to prepare a response against antitrust charges that it has unfairly controlled web browsers. Having already been given a first extension that gave it until April 21st, the American firm has until April 28th to provide its own stance and early defense against the claims. Why the added time is required hasn't been formally explained.
Toshiba Corp has developed a new type of lithium-ion cell for electric vehicles that uses a new lithium titanate material for its negative electrode and thereby boosts its energy density compared to current cells to 100Wh/kg, Tech-On reported on Wednesday. Samples of the new, more efficient cell will begin shipping in the fall of this year, and other specs include a capacity of 20Ah along with an output density of 1,000W per kilogram. This compares favorably to Toshiba's current cells used in electric bicycles, which have just a 4.2Ah capacity and a 67Wh/kg energy density.
Research in Motion's co-CEO Mike Lazaridis in an interview today shot down claims by Apple about push data and background apps on mobile devices. The executive argues to Laptop that RIM is more experienced at sending live updates through the 15 years of BlackBerries and that Apple's claims of severe battery life hits with background apps aren't well-founded. To Lazaridis, true background apps are feasible as long as the software is properly optimized.
Korea's LG has announced on Wednesday that it has sold 20 million phones equipped with QWERTY keyboards worldwide. The majority of the sales came from North America, where the first LG QWERTY phone was the VX9800 introduced on the Verizon network in 2005. The announcement comes less than a week after LG said it has shipped more than two million touchscreen Cookie handsets.
Electronics giant Philips is drawing a close to its public efforts in 3D imaging, a Dutch site reports. The company is noted to be closing its 3D Solutions division entirely, and putting an end to the production of displays using its WOWvx technology. The technology is unique in the industry for simulating 3D on an LCD TV, without requiring viewers to wear special glasses. The cost and/or inconvenience of such glasses has traditionally been a major obstacle to the adoption of 3D displays.
Samsung's previously leaked S8000 is now known through a Russian store slip (since pulled) to be the first in a series of phones that center on a new interface. Nicknamed the Cubic, the phone will have an updated version of Samsung's TouchWiz interface that adds a 3D "cube" of information that puts different information on different surfaces, such as calling information and widgets. While no shots are available, it should likely resemble LG's S-Class 3D interface.
Taiwanese PC maker Acer and China's Lenovo will release new all-in-one PCs sometime in 2009, say industry sources in Taiwan, according to a Wednesday DigiTimes report. Acer will come out with an 18.5-inch model that will be manufactured by Wistron but remain branded as an Acer product. Lenovo, after launching its first all-in-one, the 21.5-inch A600, will reportedly come out with an entry-level 20-inch C300 in May, along with a C100 and quad-core B500 in August, while an ultra-thin A300 is said coming in October.
Microsoft today updated its Zune Originals with a collection of custom engravings that center on spring. The six pieces of art that make up the collection were made by the creative duo APAK as well as individual artists Carolina Melis and Linn Olofsdotter. The patterns are free and apply to any of the flash or hard drive-based Zune models. The spring Originals don't replace any existing artwork and sit alongside the Artist, Tattoo and Zodiac collections.
Nokia's 5800 XpressMusic touchscreen phone may become the centerpiece for the company after surprisingly strong sales, according to analyst estimates. Where the company only officially said it had shipped 1 million units between December and January, GC Capital's Tero Kuittinen now determines that Nokia should have sold 2.5 million of the device just in the first three months of 2009, indicating exceptionally strong sales for a single model.
Acer on Wednesday updated its Aspire notebooks for the US with more details of the 3935 and 8935 models destined for the country. The 3935 is Acer's most direct competition for the unibody MacBook and measures just 1 inch thick while weighing less than 4.2 pounds. It also centers on a 13.3-inch, LED-backlit screen but has a 16:9 ratio, 1366x768 resolution and a bronze-colored aluminum skin. Also partly influenced by Apple are a chiclet-style keyboard and a multi-touch trackpad for scrolling and zooming.
Motorola in Mexico earlier this week announced the upcoming release of the MOTOROKR W6 handset, which hopes to combine music with a set of fitness-tracking apps. Users can enter their name, age, sex, weight and height into a fitness app that will then create a training plan based on that information. There is also a timer that keeps track of the duration of workout and the theoretical number of calories burned. The handset can export this information into a Microsoft Excel document for tracking progress over time.
LG Germany today accidentally revealed the company's plans for the Viewty II in a company blog post ahead of an official schedule. Since admitting that the information had been posted a "few days" early in a retraction, the company confirms that the photo-centric handset will have an 8-megapixel camera and a new emphasis on video; a simpler interface will let users flip to video and video capture in a true 480p (720x480) resolution, or much higher than the at best 640x480 used by competing phones.
A new rendering of Microsoft's in-development Zune HD has surfaced that appears to be authentic, along with potentially dubious claims about hardware features. The new image obtained by WMPowerUser shows both the front and back and suggests a design somewhat influenced by the first-generation iPhone, where the primarily aluminum design has a black strip on the back. It also has an interface reminiscent of Zunes but with a more touchscreen-friendly interface.
Dell's upcoming Inspiron Mini 11 ultraportable should ship in mid-summer, Taiwan's Commercial Times newspaper hints. Although the specific model isn't mentioned by name, PC assembly contractor Compal is claimed to have received orders for a Dell "ultra-thin notebook" using Intel's Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) processors that will be delivered in August, matching the description of the portable. Lenovo and Toshiba may also pick Compal to build CULV systems.
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