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HP this morning revived its sleeping Envy label for two new systems targeted at the same slim but high-speed designs as the MacBook Pro. The Envy 13 and 15 are both housed in aluminum-and-black shells and drop the usual optical drive to shed weight and thickness: the 13-inch model is relatively light at just over 3.7 pounds and is 0.8 inches thick, while even the larger 15-inch system is slightly over 5.1 pounds and under an inch. Both also draw on Monster's Beats PC audio to produce better built-in audio than most notebooks, get color accurate displays, and have a MacBook-like trackpad nicknamed the "clickpad" that hides the main button underneath the surface.
As part of a shift to ultra-thin notebooks, HP tonight launched two crossover 13.3-inch notebooks that it hopes are both fast and portable. The ProBook 5310m is unofficially the most portable full-performance notebook ever with an 0.93-inch thick body (versus Apple's 0.94 inches) and a 3.8-pound weight; it accomplishes the feat through an aluminum shell without an optical drive and, unusually, by giving the option of a full-speed 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo as well as a CULV-based 1.2GHz Celeron dual-core. Using the Celeron gives the system as much as 7 hours of battery life using the stock 4-cell battery.
HP's launches today have included the company's first Pavilion All-in-One PC, the MS200. The system borrows the same core design principle as the iMac and balances the entire computer on an angled stand; compared to Apple's full speed computer, though, the MS200 is consciously treated as a step above nettops and is meant as a dorm room or kitchen PC. The new offering is based on a 1.5GHz Athlon X2 and brings Radeon HD 3200 integrated video that can offload much of the 3D acceleration and movie decoding work.
Filling out some of HP's multiple portable launches today are two important updates to its Mini netbooks. At the head of the updates, the Mini 311 is HP's first crossover and centers on NVIDIA's Ion chipset. The graphics and system core gives the netbook 1080p video decoding (outside of Flash) and much faster 3D than Intel's solution but also helps smoothly drive the significantly larger 11.6-inch, 1366x768 display.
In amidst its launches today, HP updated its MediaSmart Server line with an unusually strong emphasis on Mac support. Even as they're based on Windows Home Server, the EX490 and EX495 both can be administrated over the network using the current version of Microsoft's Remote Desktop Client for Mac. They can also be used directly to recover a Mac from a Time Machine backup created on the server and have a new media aggregator that automatically pools content from Macs and Windows PCs based on the media type, the individual computer or a given folder.
HP on Tuesday announced the release of its new family of desktop PCs aimed at businesses, in the form of the Compaq 6000 Pro and HP Compaq 6005 Pro. The main difference involves the choice of CPUs, with the Compaq 6000 Pro available with a number of Intel chips, including various Core 2 quads, Core 2 Duos, dual core Pentiums and Celerons, while the Compaq 9005 Pro can be had with chips from AMD's Sempron, Athlon II, and dual-core, triple-core or quad-core Phenom II processors.
HP as part of its sweeping Tuesday updates announced it will soon begin shipping seven new business oriented LCD monitors, including the 17-inch HP Compaq LA1751g, 18.5-inch HP LE1851w, 19-inch LA1905wg and LA1951g, 20-inch HP LE2001w, 22-inch LA2205wg and 24-inch LA2405wg. The five new HP Compaq LA monitors share most if not all specs, with the same 1,000:1 static contrast ratio (3,000:1 dynamic), 250cd/m2 brightness (300cd/m2 in the LA2405wg) and 5ms pixel response times. They all also sport DVI, DisplayPort and VGA video inputs.
Chitika, an online advertising network, has released a study indicating that iPhone users are least likely of all mobile users to click through mobile ads. The study of mobile Internet usage vs. non-mobile usage covered 92 million samples, with roughly 1.3 million click-throughs from mobile users. It showed that non-mobile users clicked through at a .83-percent rate, while mobile users were generally 50 percent less likely to click on an ad as opposed to non-mobile Internet users.
The fledgling startup Spawn Labs has launched a new device that allows users to play their gaming console from remote locations. The service works in a similar way to Slingbox, but with two-way communication for playing games in real-time. The remote capabilities also expand options for multi-player games, enabling friends to compete on the same device but from miles away.
Nintendo will finally react to Microsoft and Sony price cuts with one of its own, a Toys R Us flyer leaked on Monday appears to show. The ad obtained by Kotaku shows the Wii dropping from $250 to $200 for the regular bundle, which packs in Wii Sports. The cut would allegedly take effect for the last week of September, when the ad for the new price is supposed to run.
Clearwire Communications on Monday announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with WiMAX operators UQ Communications of Japan and Yota of Russia to allow international roaming. This would involve the three parties collaborating on business and technical aspects, as well as other WiMAX operators and Clearwire's Global Alliance Partner Program members.
CTL has introduced its next generation 2Go Classmate PC, and the first to sport a 10-inch display. The 2go Classmate PC E10 is another rebranded Intel Classmate PC, which itself was developed to compete with the OLPC XO Laptop. All are made to serve as educational tools in developing and developed nations alike. The 10.1-inch form factor allows for the use of a keyboard that is 90 percent the size of that of a conventional notebook, which is better than the 77 percent of the older, smaller models.
AMD will launch its ATI Radeon HD 5700-series GPUs, including the Radeon HD 5770 and 5750, in October, according to sources at graphics card makers. A Monday DigiTimes report maintains that ATI will also release Radeon 5800-series graphics chips on September 22nd, while the 5870 X2 (R800) has been slated for November.
The Eee Keyboard from ASUS will be out in the European and North American markets this October, a company executive a href="http://macnn.com/rd/140719==http://www.pcworld.com/article/171905/asustek_eee_keyboard_coming_in_october.html" rel='nofollow'>said on Monday. The October date given to PCWorld corroborates with an earlier report for the release of the device, which incorporates a 5-inch touchscreen and full PC functionality into a standard-size keyboard.
Microsoft this afternoon took down most of its Zune online system for maintenance, including the Marketplace and the web, ahead of the launch of the Zune HD and its accompanying new PC software. The update involves a pre-planned but major revamp of the underlying service and won't see the service go live until the "early hours" of the 15th, just before the hardware and software updates are available.
Intel has clawed back market share to where it makes more than four fifths of the revenue from processors in PCs today, iSuppli said today in a new study. The company now has 80.6 of the revenue from all processors in the computer business; it represents just a slight increase from the winter (79.6 percent) and from the same period a year earlier (79.1 percent) but is the highest level seen since 2005, when Intel reached an all-time high of 82.4 percent.
Apple's new iPods and other flash-based devices have sparked an industry-wide shortage in the NAND memory they use, unofficial industry contacts claimed today. Samsung, one of Apple's primary suppliers, is claimed by DigiTimes as having cut its supply of flash memory to Taiwan companies in half. Other companies are faring worse, as Hynix and Toshiba have only promised "limited supply" while Micron has simply said it has no spare supplies at all.
Intel on Monday headed up its Developer Forum with word that it has started manufacturing its first processors based on a 32 nanometer (nm) process. The shrink from 45nm, nicknamed Westmere, should improve performance by increasing the density of the processors by about 30 percent while reducing the amount of power used; the gesture lets Intel boost clock speeds without drawing extra battery life or generating more heat.
A Polish website claims to acquired the first photos of the Leo, an upcoming HTC smartphone. The device is immediately distinguishable through its touchscreen, which covers nearly the entire front surface and is believed to measure approximately 4.3 inches. Leaked data points to resolutions up to 480x800, and the phone is likely to use a resistive touchscreen, in light of the presence of Windows Mobile 6.5. Only WM7 will introduce support for more sensitive capacitive screens.
PC accessory maker Targus on Monday announced the upcoming release of a whole slew of accessories and carrying cases for notebook and smaller netbook PCs, including mice, cases, presenters, cooling solutions, USB hubs and more. The new mice are compatible with both PCs and Macs, and ship with Energizer MAX batteries for long life out of the box. The first of the new products, the Bluetooth Comfort Laser Mouse has a 33-foot range and sports a 1,200dpi sensor, along with a 6-month battery life. It's priced at $40.
Motorola's first Android-powered phone, the recently introduced Cliq, will arrive at wireless provider T-Mobile, according to a recent BGR report. A leaked PowerPoint slide from the carrier shows a timeline for the device, among others, though the source says a newer slide does actually show October, and not November, as indicated in the outdated screen capture. Another indication that the roadmap is old is use of a different handset's image as a stand-in for the Cliq.
Bowers & Wilkins on Monday reached out with a lower-priced version of its more audiophile-grade iPhone and iPod speaker dock. The Zeppelin Mini drops the ovoid shape of its predecessor but is noticeably smaller and still produces a very high 100W of total power. Also, a new rotating dock lets iPhone, iPod touch and iPod nano owners keep their devices in landscape mode for Cover Flow or movie watching.
JVC today brought over an Americanized version of one of its more advanced flash-based camcorders. The Everio GZ-HM400 is an upgraded version of the earlier X900 with a barrel-shaped body, a sharper 10-megapixel sensor and an improved 10X optical zoom lens. It can shoot 1080i video at the full 24Mbps bitrate of AVCHD (H.264) and brings familiar special features like 600FPS slow-motion shooting and 9-megapixel still shots.
TomTom today chose the US as the venue for its first large-format GPS units. Both the XXL 530S and XXL 540S have 5-inch touchscreens that are easier to read from further away. They logically have the more advanced features of most TomTom mapping units with Map Share for user-created data, a newer UI and IQ Routes that change the route based on past traffic behavior.
Casio, Hitachi and NEC took defensive steps to protect their cellphones today and said they would merge their handset businesses into a single joint venture. The deal leaked earlier will see NEC join an existing Casio and Hitachi venture but largely take it over; NEC will have a 66 percent stake while Casio and Hitachi will have 17.3 percent and 16.7 percent respectively. All three will share their technology, production and other efforts as part of the deal.
SanDisk on Monday announced the release of the fastest CF memory card range in the industry, meant for professional DSLR photographers, with its Extreme Pro series. The cards are fast at 90MBps, or twice as fast as previous SanDisk products, thanks to a new SanDisk Power Core Controller that better exploits the UDMA bus. They are also available in the industry's largest capacity as well, at 64GB.
Rogers today officially deployed its HSPA+ service in Canada. The service has a peak speed three times faster than its existing HSPA network, at 21Mbps, and is launching in a much wider area than originally promised. Where the company had initially planned only to release it in the Greater Toronto Area, the initial rollout brings HSPA+ both to Toronto as well as to Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver.
Dell in a low key move has brought two new 24-inch desktop displays to its home country. The UltraSharp U2410 is its first almost fully color-accurate display at the size thanks to its IPS (in-plane switching) panel and covers both 100 percent of the sRGB color space as well as 96 percent of Adobe RGB. It has color calibration of its own and produces a relatively vivid 80,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio (1,000:1 static) with 12-bit internal color rendering.
LG today released its first smartphone based on Android rather than Windows Mobile. The GW620 teased earlier is a high-end model with a 3-inch touchscreen and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Most details aren't mentioned, but the company has already hinted the phone will have a 5-megapixel camera, 3G and a 3.5mm headphone jack, and it will come with all of Google's preloaded apps for chat, maps, YouTube and other services.
Apple today quietly reshuffled the prices of the Apple TV for the first time since the 160GB model was added in May 2007. The company has reduced the price of the 160GB model to $229 (from $329) and has dropped the original 40GB model (once $229) entirely. Apple hasn't mentioned any feature set changes for the one remaining model.
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