Fast, stable (so far), and nearing release, it seems everyone is looking forward to Windows 7, Microsoft's upcoming operating system that looks to be superior to Vista in almost every way. But there's one area in which Vista has the upper hand, and it could prove to be an important one, Dell says.
"If there's one thing that may influence adoption, make things slower, or cause customers to pause, it's that generally the ASPs (average selling price) of the operating systems are higher than they were for Vista and XP," Darrel Ward, director of product management for Dell's business client product group, said in a phone interview with CNet.
Ward was referring to the multiple flavors of Windows 7 that are sure to appear, and in light of the tough economic times, he said it's "naive" for Microsoft increase its prices on average and still see higher sales.
"I can tell you that the licensing tiers at retail are more expensive than they were for Vista," Ward added.
Ward did note that the momentum behind Windows 7 is noticeably bigger than it was with Vista, and save for a few hiccups, driver readiness looks "pretty healthy." But will it be enough to justify higher price points?
The general consensus is that Logitech's latest gaming keyboard, the G19, is better in nearly every way than the G15 it's poised to replace. And if you want to get your hands on one, you finally can, but you'll have to order it from Dell. According to tech news site Engadget, Dell somehow managed to snag a 30-day sales exclusive on the keyboard.
We've already posted a hands-on impression of the G19 way back in January of this year, which you can read here. The most notable improvement of the G19 is the inclusion of a bright 320x240 tilting LCD screen. Users can view the time, resource load, VoIP communication data, and even watch YouTube videos on the nifty display, in addition to a host of other uses.
More macro keys are found on the G19, along with the ability to adjust the color of the backlight. All in all, it's a worthy successor to one of the most popular gaming keyboards on the market.
The G19 is available now through Dell for $180 (plus tax and shipping).
Like, OMG! Netbooks are soooo cute! But "once you get beyond how cute they are, you'll find that netbooks can do a lot more than check your mail." For example, they can help you 'Get healthier' (tech tip #2) by tracking exercise and food intake at free online sites, and to 'Eat better' (tech tip #3) by finding recipes online. You can even 'Get Organized' (tech tip #4), because "Remember the Milk is a free, tweakable online task manager." Or use a netbook to 'Chill out' (tech tip #5).
These are all real tech tips, and they're all listed on Della, Dell's new microsite dedicated to helping women shop for notebooks without focusing on all those manly GHz and GB abbreviations. The new site pays particular attention to the Dell Mini 10 and Studio notebooks, making it a point to convince women that these laptops won't cramp their stylish lifestyle.
While no word had been shared about the potential of an Android netbook from Dell, a hastily released press release from a company called Bsquare has gone ahead and confirmed it (presumably, without Dell’s permission).
The press release (which is posted after the break) states “Bsquare Corporation (BSQR - News), the leading software solutions provider to the global embedded device community, today announced it is porting Adobe's Flash Lite 3.17 technology onto Dell Netbooks running Google's Android platform.”
Bsquare had attempted to remove the information hoping that no one would be the wiser, but the quick eyes of the Internet don’t miss a thing – including rogue press releases.
While the existence of an Android based netbook has been confirmed, no additional details have been released.
Billed as the "affordable, portable, internet companion," Dell appears to be readying its Mini 10v netbook for a retail release later this month. You may be more familiar with the Mini 10v as 'Bear,' or model 1011, both of which have appeared in previous roadmaps.
No matter what you call it, the new Mini looks to be another run-of-the-mill netbook. Gone is the Z-series Atom, to be replaced by the much more prominent Atom N270 (1.6GHz, 512KB L2 cache 533MHz frontside bus). Other standard-fare specs include a 120GB hard drive, 1GB of memory, a 1.3MP webcam, and Windows XP.
Uttering what every geek longs to hear (albeit admittedly not from an OEM), Dell says it's new multitouch Studio 19 all-in-one PC "Begs to be Touched." Those touches first came from Japan, where the Studio 19 debuted a month and a half ago, and is now being brought to the States for local groping.
Starting at $800, a base configuration includes an Intel Pentium Dual core E5200 processor (2.5GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 800MHz frontside bus), 3GB of DDR2-800 RAM, a 320GB 7200RPM hard drive, integrated Nvidia GeForce 9200 graphics, slot load DVD burner, and Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit. Several configuration options are available, including upgrading the proc to a Core 2 Quad Q8200 (2.33GHz, 6MB L2 cache, 1333MHz frontside bus), 4GB of RAM, up to a 750GB hard drive, GeForce 9400 integrated graphics, and slot load Blu-ray player.
All but one of the configurations come with an 18.5-inch touchscreen LCD with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1366x768 resolution. Only the $700 model doesn't include touchscreen functionality, as well as less RAM (2GB) and Vista Home Basic 32-bit.
Anyone interested in Dell's 8.9-inch Vostro A90 netbook had to hop on a plane (or make other travel arrangements) and cruise over to Japan, but that's no longer the case. The A90 is now being offered in the States, and for a fraction (one-third) of the price.
On the hardware front, the lightweight 2.36-pound netbook sports a pretty basic spec sheet, including Intel's Atom N270 processor (1.6GHz, 533MHz frontside bus, 512KB L2 cache), up to 1GB od DDR2-533 RAM, an 8GB or 16GB SSD, integrated Intel GMA950 graphics, WiFi, 0.3MP webcam, and Windows XP.
The Vostro A90 is available now starting at $350, with the slightly higher end configuration running $425. Tack on another $5 for the patriotic Rolling Stones sticker via Stickerville.com.
In what sounds like a simple formula for success, Dell plans to combine one good thing with another good thing for what it hopes will turn out to be a great thing. Or to be less vague, Dell, who offers both SSDs and encrypted drives, will start adding encrypted SSDs to its notebook lineup sometime this summer.
Samsung will manufacture the drives, which will come in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities to start. The self-encrypting drives will automatically encrypt data as it is being saved, "an industry first" for SSDs, according to Samsung and Wave Systems.
"Benefits of hardware encryption over today's software-only encryption approaches include faster performance, better security, and an 'always on' feature," Samsung and Wave Systems said in a statement. "Because encryption keys and access credentials are generated and stored within the drive hardware, they never leave its confines and are never held in the operating system or software."
No word yet on exactly when Dell will implement the new SSDs or at what price points.
Rumor has it you can hear chants of 'Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi!' emanating from HP's corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, California. That's because the former No. 2 OEM has dethroned Dell for the No. 1 spot for most PC shipments in both the U.S. and worldwide markets, according to Q1 data released by IDC. And it did so largely on the strength of netbook sales.
"Tight credit and economic concerns have certainly taken a toll on PC shipments in the last couple quarters, but the move to portables, fueled by mininotebooks and falling prices, has mitigated the impact," said Loren Loverde, an analyst with IDC.
Including netbooks and everything else, HP managed to ship 4.1 million units in the U.S., which was enough to edge out Dell, who shipped 3.9 million. Acer was a distant third with 1.5 million, followed by Apple with 1.1 million and Toshiba with just under 1 million.
On the global stage, HP put a bit more distance between itself and Dell, shipping 13 million units compared to Dell's 8.7 million. Acer, meanwhile, closed the gap by shipping 7.3 million.
Another leaked slide has made its way to the web, this one showing Dell talking up a Mini 11 netbook. What's most intriguing about the Mini 11 is that Dell plans to configure the netbook with Windows Vista, and not XP or Linux.
Not a whole lot of information is made available through the leaked slide. The Mini 11, with its 11.6-inch HD display, looks to come configured with a 250GB hard drive and 2GB of memory. Dell promises "laptop like performance and keyboard," and also claims the Mini 11 will be "very thin and light." Interestingly, Dell doesn't list an Atom processor -- or any processor -- for the Mini 11, perhaps suggesting a refreshed Atom might be on the way.
If the slide proves accurate, look for pricing to start at $500.