Measuring about an inch thick and weighing a mere three pounds, Toshiba claims its Portégé R700 is the world's lightest 13.3-inch full-performance ultraportable equipped with an integrated DVD drive.
"Portégé ultraportable laptops are not only a demonstration of Toshiba's superior engineering and craftsmanship, but our ability to innovate to meet the demands of businesses," said Carl Pinto, vice president of product development, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division. "The Portégé R700 delivers the ultimate mobile experience at breakthrough prices that businesses have been waiting for, providing both performance and battery life within an extremely thin and light, yet durable form factor without compromising key features such as an integrated DVD drive."
Aimed at the business user, pricing starts out at $890 and includes a Core i3 350M processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory, DVD burner, two dedicated USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA/USB combo port, memory card reader, Intel HD graphics, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
Several upgrade options abound, including Core i5 and Core i7 processors, and solid state drive options.
I have a problem with my second DVD drive: Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. My system is a home-built Biostar TA790GXB A2+ motherboard with an AMD Athlon II X2 250 running at 3GHz, a GeForce GTS 250 videocard, 8GB of RAM, two 500GB Hitachi hard drives, and Windows 7 32-bit, with all the required updates installed. There is also an LG CH08LS10 SATA Blu-ray ray drive (assigned drive F by Windows).
Now to the problem: drive E. Sometimes it runs, sometimes it doesn’t, and there is no rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes it starts fine, recognizing DVDs or CDs and burning DVDs and CDs as necessary, and runs well all day. Sometimes it starts and won’t even recognize any CD or DVD (to read or to burn) I put in it—and won’t all day.
Originally, I had installed an LG SATA DVD drive. When it acted up as described above, I replaced it with a BenQ DW 1640 from my old computer. It’s an IDE drive. Same thing happened. No problem with the Blu-ray drive.
So, there you have it. Two different drives, using different controllers on the motherboard but malfunctioning the same way. Any ideas? Does Win7 think people shouldn’t have more than one, or more than one type of, burner? Is there some jumper I should be moving or software setting I’m missing? Did I just find a Win7 bug?
Paramount has taken the opposite stance to that of their fellow Hollywood studios regarding DVD rental service Redbox. Warner Bros., Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox have all extracted a deal from Redbox that sees them making movies available only after a 28 day waiting period. This is intended to drive sales of the newly released discs. In reality, it most likely just drives consumers mad. Paramount has agreed to allow Redbox to rent movies the day they are made available for sale.
The rental landscape is changing rapidly with services like Netflix and Redbox. Redbox offers rentals for $1 per night. Paramount seems to be taking note of the boost Redbox is offering. " There hasn't been a cannibalization of DVD sales from Redbox, and Redbox was allowing us to expand our business and ultimately make more money," said Paramount Home Entertainment president Dennis Maguire.
Netflix has gotten the same treatment from Warner Bros., Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox, but it may be different with Paramount. When they work out their next arrangement, Maguire said they will go in with similar intentions. Do you frequent a local Redbox? Would a release window make you more likely to purchase a movie?
Thanks to our friends over at Warner Home Video, we've got twenty-one (21!) copies of The Book of Eli to give away. Here's what Warner says about the film:
Eli (Denzel Washington) walks alone in post-apocalyptic America, carrying the last copy of a book that could become the wellspring of a revived society. Or in the wrong hands, the hammer of a despot. Eli keeps his blade sharp and survival instincts sharper navigating a savage wasteland and coming into conflict with a menacing warlord (Gary Oldman) set on possessing the book.
Own it on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and rent it with Movies On Demand 6/15
What do we say about the movie? That's its awesome. And furthermore, that it was screenwritten by ex-PC-Gamer-EIC and occasionalNo BS Podcast guest Gary Whitta, which is also awesome. So what do you have to do to win a copy?
Warner Bros. on Thursday announced it has expanded its "DVD2Blu" upgrade program. Effective immediately, consumers who spend their hard earned cash building up their DVD collection can begin swapping their movies for Blu-ray versions starting at $4.95 per title.
There are nearly 90 Warner Bros. flicks to choose from, including Gran Torino, The Bucket List, Ocean's Eleven, Get Smart, Freddy vs. Jason, Pride and Glory, and a whole bunch more. Most of the titles can be had for the above mentioned $4.95 fee, while a handful cost $6.95.
The DVD2Blu program was first launched in 2009. Consumers who want to upgrade are provided with a postage-paid envelope to mail their existing DVDs in, sans case. For orders over $35, the service offers free shipping, otherwise it runs another $4.95 per order.
It might be a little late in the game, but hoping to cash in on a few stragglers who have yet to upgrade their home theater to Blu-ray but plan on doing so, Universal continues to experiment with dual-format 'Flipper" discs.
"Consumers now have the ability to watch their favorite romantic classic, thriller, or action flick on Blu-ray, DVD, and PlayStation 3 players on one disc," Universal said. "With complete utility in one convenient package, each side of these Universal favorites includes the entire movie as well as all available bonus features, with the Blu-ray side featuring exciting exclusives such as BD-Live."
In other words, a single disc combines a 9GB DVD on one side and a 50GB Blu-ray on the other. Most Blu-ray players sport backwards compatibility with standard DVDs, but we can see this being popular with folks on the verge of upgrading. This will, of course, depend on how the pricing shakes out, and that's not something Universal has yet announced. We'd also like to see some current blockbuster titles make the list. This is actually the second wave of Flipper discs from Universal, which includes The Jackal, Traffic, and Out of Africa 25th Anniversary Edition.
So what do you think, will dual-format Flipper discs finally catch on?
Building a thin and light ultraportable notebook means making a few concessions, and in some cases, that includes removing the optical drive. Not so with Gateway's new EC series, the company's first ultraportable to sport an integrated DVD drive. Kicking off the new series is the 11.6-inch EC14D01h.
"Customers understand how convenient it is to have a notebook PC that is portable enough to take nearly anywhere to stay connected and have fun -- and the new EC14D01h brings a new element of entertainment to customers with the ability to watch DVD movies, play games on CD and DVD and more," said Chris Chiang, product manager for Gateway Canada. "The integrated DVD drive in such a compact device will be a huge benefit for customers who want the flexibility to enjoy and share different movies, music, photos, and more stored on a DVD or CD."
Other hardware consists of an Intel Peniu. SU4100 ULV processor (1.3GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 800MHz frontside bus), integrated Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics, 4GB of DDR2-667 memory (upgradeable to 8GB), 320GB hard drive, memory card reader, Wi-Fi, three USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and S/PDIF, multi-gesture touchpad, 6-cell battery,a nd Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
Gateway said it will begin shipping the EC14D01h later this month in Canada for 580 moose bucks ($574 USD). No word on when, or if, Gateway plans on shipping this one south of the border.
Warner Bros. had made it clear last August that it was not going to let movie rental services eat into its revenues by hurting DVD and Blu-ray sales. Now, it has concluded negotiations with Netflix, the largest movie rental service, and got its way. Netflix will only be allowed to rent out the film studio's DVD titles 28 days after they go on sale. As for the studio's end of the bargain, it has agreed to charge a reduced fee besides pledging more of its films to Netflix for its streaming service. Other studios are also expected to reach a similar understanding with Netflix.
The four-week delay is not without precedent. Universal, 20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers had imposed exactly the same rider on the sale of DVDs to Redbox, prompting a lawsuit from the movie rental company against the three studios. “The 28-day window allows us to continue making our most popular films available to Netflix subscribers while supporting our sell-through product,” Warner Home Video president Ron Sanders said in a statement.
Although USB flash drives have become the most popular way to transport project files between systems, you're probably looking for a cheaper way to distribute presentations, music, photo, or video compilations. For these jobs and others, creating a CD or DVD make more sense. However, there's plenty of confusion at home and the office when it comes to what media to choose and how to write your files.
Read on to discover our ultimate guide to CD and DVD media, burn strategies, and freeware CD and DVD burning programs.
Basically, Amazon has linked its sale of DVDs/Blu-rays with its Video On Demand service. In it you can buy for viewing, either streaming or using the PC-only Unbox Video Player, loads of movies and TV shows. (Like you can on iTunes or Netflix or iReel or Hulu or Blockbuster or...) When you purchase a select movie on DVD or Blu-ray, a standard definition version of the movie is added to your Video On Demand library. (A quick search of Amazon shows 313 titles fall under the term “select”, including The National Parks: America’s Best Idea on Blu-ray--so what are you waiting for?)
Amazon’s motivation for the promotion, which is being offered for a limited time, is unclear. Janko Roettgers, of NewTeeVee, speculates it’s an attempt to boost sagging sales of physical media. The preference for digital or streaming versions of movies appears to be cutting into profit margins. Adding a digital version could just be the incentive needed to get physical media sales back on track.
And it might also be that having a digital copy simplifies matters for people viewing ‘on the go,’ which is increasing in popularity. Engadget, for example, reports that about 10% to 12% of movies bought with a digital copy have that digital copy activated. (The figure was 20% for purchasers of The Dark Knight.) In this vein let’s not forget the increasing popularity of home streaming media networks. Could be that people are tiring of being tied down to a TV and a DVD player. Amazon might just be testing these waters.