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PC, notebook, monitor and related hardware manufacturer Dell has recently began offering its Studio XPS 13 notebook PC preloaded with the Linux-based Ubuntu operating system. The 13.3-inch notebook otherwise has the same key specs as its Windows Vista-powered counterpart, including the same 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, though some of the available options between them differ. For example, users can upgrade to a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo on the Ubuntu XPS 13, while those who opt for the Vista system have a choice of a different 2.53GHz and a 2.66GHz CPU.
Toshiba has recently introduced a KDDI handset known as the biblio that, in addition to voice support, will double as an e-book reader as well. Instead of an electronic paper display like ones found in established e-book readers, such as Amazon's Kindle, the biblio makes do with a traditional 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen with an extra-long 480x960 resolution. The handset will have 7GB of internal memory for storing content that can be expanded thanks to microSDHC memory cards up to 8GB.
A rumor today suggests Microsoft is planning to partly repeat its anti-Apple ad strategy when it launches a major new search engine. AdAge hears that Microsoft plans to spend between $80 million to $100 million advertising Bing, the final version of a radically revised search engine codenamed Kumo and meant to compete with Google, Yahoo and other top-tier search engines. At least initially, the ads created by marketing firm JWT won't target Google directly but will instead suggest something wrong with today's search engines and push Bing as the alternative.
Wireless providers NTT DoCoMo and Telefónica on Monday announced that the TG01 full touchscreen handset, Toshiba's first, will launch in their respective markets of Japan and Spain. The Japanese version, called PRO T-01A, will arrive sometime in June, while Spain will get the TG01 in July.
O2 could be the first and possibly only carrier to offer both the Palm Pre and iPhone side by side, an apparent source said Sunday. The Guardian hears that the British division of the cell provider will pick up a GSM version of the Pre and plans to ship it by the holidays. Its launch is delayed mostly due to the American launch, where an expected shortage is likely to make international releases unfeasible until later in the year. Bell isn't expected to get the Pre in Canada until August.
Japanese wireless provider KDDI will soon launch the second solar-powered cell phone, with the SH002, built by Sharp. The solar panel built into the backside of the handset will, in 2 hours of exposure to the sun, charge the battery to provide 10 minutes of calling time or 140 minutes of standby time. A 1.1-inch electronic paper display shows the charging efficiency and status of the solar panel and battery. The phone is also IPX5/7 rated for resistance to water exposure.
A leak of Sprint's guide to the Palm Pre for business late yesterday has revealed key details about the launch of the smartphone, including Sprint's attitude towards both the iPhone and T-Mobile G1. In its comparison unearthed by Engadget, the carrier touts less direct features as an advantage, including the built-in camera flash, a hardware keyboard and the Synergy feature that merges multiple contacts and calendars. Sprint also boasts the least expensive unlimited service with a $100 plan compared to the $150 for an iPhone on AT&T and $125 for T-Mobile.
The world's largest cellphone maker, Nokia, has quietly and unofficially launched its application, music, video, widget and ringtone marketplace called the Ovi Store on Monday in Australia, along with Ireland and Singapore, with more markets expected to be announced in the short-term. According to a Monday report, the Ovi Store is accessible from web-enabled Nokia handsets running on Symbian S40 and S60 operating systems and needs to first be downloaded from the Extras category or home page of the Download section, once it's refreshed.
Shuttle has recently announced it will show two new additions to its PC lineup at the Computex show in Taiwan at the start of June. The Embedded Slim-series systems, the XS92 and XS92F, will be powered by VIA's Nano CPUs, with the former getting the faster but more power-hungry L-series processors while the latter will be powered by the highly energy-efficient U-series of Nano chips. All come in very small enclosures that fit into spaces tighter than Shuttle's usual small form factor cases would allow.
KDDI unveiled its summer 2009 roster of phones and headlined it with one of the most advanced video-capable phones available. The Hitachi Hi-Vision Cam Wooo has a 5-megapixel camera capable of not only playing but shooting 720p video with true 3X optical zoom, autofocus and image stabilization. It records at a relatively high 9Mbps bitrate and can handle up to an hour of continuous shooting. An HDMI output similarly provides full-resolutino viewing, and a microSDHC slot provides the bulk of storage: an 8GB card can take 2 hours of video at maximum quality.
Nokia's long-in-progress sequel to the N800 series tablet may largely be a more advanced version of the N97 smartphone, a leak on Monday hints. Possibly called the N900, MobileCrunch claims it would have a 3.5-inch touchscreen and a slide out (if non-tilting) QWERTY keyboard but would carry a much sharper 800x480 resolution, a faster TI OMAP processor and 1GB of memory thanks to a 768MB virtual memory cache. It would run the Linux-based Maemo OS instead of Symbian.
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group's (SIG) website has revealed that the high-end Motorola Alexander may soon be released in various markets as the Somerset. The sliding QWERTY handset was first spotted in August of last year, and is expected to have a 5- or 8-megapixel camera. Considering the source, the only specs confirmed include Bluetooth hands-free profile 1.5, object push profile and a dial up networking profile support, among others.
Lenovo completed its PC introductions today with a nettop as well as a low-cost, mid-size notebook. The IdeaCentre C300 has a 20-inch display and a DVD burner like many full all-in-ones but uses a 1.6GHz Atom 230 to drive down costs. It has a distinctly fashion-oriented design and comes in a more exotic red as well as black or white.
Sony on Monday inadvertently spoiled its own plans by revealing a pair of mid-grade digital SLRs. The electronics giant's Canadian warranty registration page gives the option for the A500, A500S, A550 and A550S; these are believed to be body-only and kit versions. Other references aren't available and so don't provide actual specifications.
Lenovo chose Memorial Day to launch a range of PC updates that include a world-first. The IdeaPad S12 is the first netbook to have an option for NVIDIA's Ion platform and overcomes one of the performance setbacks for netbooks: the advanced graphics can fully decode 1080p HD in hardware and is capable of 3D that would be off limits for Intel-based video. It also helps drive visuals on the newly enlarged 12-inch, 1280x800 display or the (optional) HDMI output.
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