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Be.ez has launched the LArobe Netbook sleeves, a new line of protection sleeves designed to fit a variety of 10.2-inch and 8.9-inch netbooks. Initially created for Apple Notebooks, each sleeve is made with low resilience polyurethane, offers 5mm of protection, and helps keep the netbook free from scratches while in the sleeve. The LArobe Netbook 10.2-inch is available in 2Pink, 2Blue, 2Green, Black and White, and RedKiss colors, and is compatible with MSI Wind, ASUS 1000, ASUS S101, Medion Akoya mini E1210, Samnsung NC10, and Samsung 310 netbooks.
Aliph in a low-key intro tonight revealed Jawbone Prime, the third generation of its Bluetooth headset. The Prime gets a slight cosmetic redesign that includes new, more varied colors but revolves around an updated noise cancellation engine that adds another 6dB to 9dB of outside sound reduction through the namesake jaw-based method. The mechanism is also designed to work more reliably when the jaw isn't in contact and particularly to reduce wind noise.
The European Union has prepared a draft decision in an ongoing antitrust case against Intel that appears to be approaching completion, according to the Wall Street Journal. Unnamed sources familiar with the matter claim the EU will seek a fine against the company, although the draft can be modified as it continues through the process.
Marking thh sixth-anniversary of the Opteron processor, AMD has outlined its future server architecture and its dual-path roadmap that will focus on both developing low-power processors as well as performance on a platform level. Having introduced its Opteron EE processor on Wednesday morning, says its next-generation "Istanbul" processors are now expected to ship in May and its "Magny-Cours" processors due in the first quarter of 2010. AMD promised that the "Istanbul" will be compatible will existing processor sockets but that "Magny-Cours" features a new format known as Direct Connect Architecture 2.0. In 2011, the company expects that it will deliver Opteron chips codenamed "Interlagos" with 16 cores on its high-end "Maranello" platform.
Rokland has announced its next generation of wireless USB 2.0 adapter, the RokN generation 2, an 802.11n draft 2.0 device geared toward Mac users. The new wireless adapter works with Mac platforms, Windows 2000, XP and Vista, and numerous Linux variations. The Gen2 device brings Wireless N to macs that are otherwise limited to B- and G-series connections, an advantage in a household where one legacy computer could slow an entire N-based network.
Today's featured DealNN deal is on the HP 17-inch LCD flat panel monitor from TigerDirect.com. It is regularly priced at $149.99, but has been reduced to $99.99, and until 4/30/09 a mail in rebate offer is available that cuts the price again to $68.99. The HP monitor has a contrast ratio of 800:1, a maximum resolution of 1280 x 1024 and 5ms response time.
DigiTimes reported on Wednesday that Compal Electronics reduced the budget and other resources for mobile Internet devices (MIDs) as the company believes the future of the market segment is uncertain. The report cites unnamed industry sources for the information, and Compal itself has confirmed that some of its MID focus was shifted into netbook development. It will continue to ship MIDs in smaller volumes.
Palm is now offering unlocked GSM Centro smartphones for $199 in cobalt blue, ruby red or glacier white. The aging handset was first spotted in the summer of 2007, and it hasn't changed since. The handset sports a full QWERTY keyboard with rubber buttons, 64MB or 128MB of built-in storage space and a 320x320 pixel display. A microSD card slot lets users add 4GB of storage space to the handset.
District of Columbia Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly today extended the oversight of Microsoft's compliance with an antitrust ruling by 18 months to May 12th, 2011. The move follows a Department of Justice request for a second extension and comes supported by Judge Kollar-Kotelly after she determined that the ability to watch Microsoft's actions was in a "much better place" than when an extension was signed late last year.
Known for making Skype headsets, Chinese company SkyNote is teasing with its prototype Alpha 680 netbook based on Google's Android platform. The device is conceived more as a larger smartphone-class device and has features that reflect the change: the screen is just 7 inches and has a resolution of 800x480, while the ARM11 processor clocks at just 533MHz. The 128MB of RAM can be doubled, while the 1GB of storage space is upgradeable to 4GB.
Warner Bros. has launched a new trade-in program that allows owners of high-definition movies on the now-defunct HD DVD format to trade them in for the same title on the surviving Blu-ray format. Known as Red2blu, the promo lets owners trade up to 25 HD DVD titles produced by Warner for the same title on Blu-ray. A $4.95 charge applies to each movie, as well as the associated shipping and handling costs of $6.95 for each Blu-ray title.
While Intel's new GN40 graphics chipset for the Atom N280 CPU is, in theory, capable of playing back 1080p HD video, in practice it does not, thanks to the limitations placed upon it by Windows XP. As confirmed by Chinese website HKEPC, which reviewed a GN40-equipped ASUS EeePC 1004DN netbook with Windows XP, the configuration was not working properly in decoding 1080p video. This is due to XP only having DirectX Video Acceleration 1.0 (DXVA 1.0) available, whereas the GN40 requires DXVA 2.0 and DirectX 10. As virtually all netbooks ship with XP, the GN40's HD video playback ability goes largely wasted on the new system.
An iSuppli cost breakdown today of Amazon's Kindle 2 reveals that the e-book reader ultimately costs a relatively small amount more to build than an iPhone, or roughly half the actual $359 price. Where an iPhone 3G cost $174.33 to make when new, the Kindle 2 costs $185.49 after factoring in both the raw parts as well as assembly. The most expensive component is E-Ink's 6-inch digital paper display, which by itself costs $60; the screen is needed both to provide a natural feel but to let users read even when the unit is otherwise powered down.
LG Electronics and DivX on Wednesday announced more than 200 of LG's new line of digital TVs are the first to have the ability of playing back full DivX 1080p videos. The LH50-, LH70-, LH85-, PS70- and PS80-series HDTVs from LG, among others, are DivX Certified, and can play DivX HD videos from connected PCs or the Internet via a device connected to the TV's USB slot.
AT&T is handing out a memo to sales staff that encourages them to counter the Palm Pre with a set of pre-made talking points promoting the iPhone. The note slipped through PreCentral points to objective data, such as the Pre's lack of music sync software, the absence of a 16GB version, and its inability to roam outside of North America. However, it also makes more questionable arguments, claiming that the multi-touch aware webOS is "not intuitive," that the App Catalog is "unproven," and that the iPhone is mostly metal and glass where the Pre is plastic.
Taiwan's ASUS on Wednesday launched the 1-inch thick P30A business notebook, first spotted early last month, which is powered by a 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo ULV processor. There are two SO-DIMM sockets that can support 4GB of RAM. The notebook uses a 13.3-inch, 16:9, LED-backlit display with 1366x768 resolution and an anti-glare coating. ASUS opted to use a magnesium alloy for the PC's chassis and gives the hard drive a free-fall sensor to reduce the amount of data loss in a drop.
Nokia's Comes With Music unlimited download service has performed well short of expectations, analysis by UK research group Music Ally says. The firm estimates that only 23,000 people have bought the special phones equipped with 1 year of music service and says the number is exceptionally low given the amount of advertising. The UK was the first country to adopt the service and is considered a potential sign of Comes With Music's performance elsewhere.
On Wednesday, Toshiba announced it has added the Mini NB200 netbook to its UK lineup, which shares specs and is largely a rebadged version of the just-announced Dynabook UX headed for Western markets. Both use the same 10.1-inch widescreen LED-backlit display with 1024x600 resolution and near full-sized keyboard. The same options will be offered, with a standard 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor or the more powerful 1.66GHz N280 Atom sitting on the same 945GSE mainboard.
The European Union Parliament today voted in favor of a plan from the European Commission to cap roaming rates for cellular service in any of its member states. The motion takes effect July 1st and will particularly cut data and text messaging costs. Internet access out-of-country will be limited to €1 per megabyte at wholesale rates, or far less than the €1.63 charged today. Text messaging will also drop sharply with individual messages costing no more than €0.11 versus an average of €0.28.
Following AT&T's disclosure of its Q1 financial results, indicating more than 1.6 million iPhone activations, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has calculated that Apple may have reached sales of over 3.7 million iPhones overall for the quarter. Apple Store purchases and international shipments were combined with the AT&T number to estimate the total global sales.
Panasonic on Wednesday introduced its new flip-out in-car navigation and entertainment head unit, the 7-inch touchscreen CN-HX3000D. The 720p, Windows Automotive-powered unit has GPS functionality, is compatible with Google Maps, and has a 40GB hard disk drive built-in that handles both points of interest as well as a user's own media. The optical drive can play back DVDs in 5.1-channel surround sound or broadcasts from the 1Seg TV Tuner. An HDMI port lets users connect the also just-unveiled CY-BB1000D Blu-ray drive, endowing the CN-HX3000D with the ability to play HD video.
HP this morning formally unveiled a mild redesign of the Pavilion dv3t. The 13.3-inch notebook is HP's lightest Intel home notebook at 4.9 pounds but is positioned as both fast and longer-lasting. It can use up to a 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo and has options for 8GB of RAM and dedicated GeForce 105M G video, but will run for up to 4.25 hours (with wireless off) on the stock battery and up to 7 hours on an extended 9-cell pack, both thanks in part to an LED-backlit display.
Apple is tipped to get one of the largest practical OLED displays as early as this summer, a rumor from Australia's Smarthouse. Reportedly, a senior executive from LG Display says Apple will use a newly-developed 15-inch screen for a "brand new" notebook due in June and will be one of the first companies anywhere to use the screen. It wouldn't show up in other companies' products until a hybrid TV and computer monitor appears in the fall.
Seagate on Wednesday seized on the eco-friendly trend with the launch of its Barracuda LP (Low Power) hard drives. The disks have the same capacities as regular desktop drives, up to 2TB, but throttle the rotation speed back from 7,200RPM to 5,900RPM. This and other optimizations help cut the active power use by as much as half versus regular drives. The company also aggressively claims that the LP series uses about 25 percent less power than competing hard drives.
Hoping to compete on energy over speed, AMD today launched a new take on its pro-level processors in the form of the Opteron EE. The processors, which AMD claims are the lowest power quad-core x86 processor, are a functional match for the latest Opterons but use just 40W of average power; the use is less than the 55W of the already modified Opteron HE and far less than the 75W or more of full-power Opterons. The chipmaker considers the EE ideal for blades, rackmount servers and other systems which are often part of densely packed clusters.
AT&T this morning posted results for the first calendar quarter of 2009 that it attributed significantly to its performance with the iPhone. The company had a net gain of 1.2 million new cellphone subscribers but says that it activated 1.6 million iPhone 3G devices, suggesting that the users of Apple's handset are offsetting potential losses at the carrier. AT&T also credits the iPhone for preventing a slide in the company's wireless operating income margin, which has been kept high at 40.9 percent, and for more than doubling the number of smartphones on the network in the past year: about 31.7 percent of the 61 million subscription phones are in the smartphone class.
Sonnet at NAB this week is demonstrating the Qio, a unique media card reader/writer that includes a built-in E4P SATA host controller that gives it hooks for external hard drives as well as flash cards. The device has dual P2, SxS and CompactFlash slots. An included adapter supports SD, XF and other card formats. Four eSATA ports are located on the back panel.
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