Losing a laptop full of travel photos and bookmarks hurts, but losing the laptop and USB decryption key for a high-ranking Royal Air Force officer stings just a tiny bit more. Great Britain authorities are on the hunt for suspects in a high profile laptop theft, but you might be surprised to learn that it is but one of 66 so far this year, bringing the grand total up to 658 machines in the past four years.
I’m not sure whats worse, the fact that top-secret information is contained on mobile computers at all, or that the thief managed to sneak it out of the Ministry of Defense, an ultra secure government facility without anybody noticing. “This has the potential to become one of the most serious security breaches at the Ministry for a very long time” said a spokesman for the MoD. “An investigation by the MoD police is ongoing and it would be inappropriate to comment further”.
According to Intel stolen laptops cost companies almost $50,000 per year, per machine, so I don’t even want to speculate on what a laptop full of “top secret” government data would fetch. I suppose the only consolation is the fact that so many are stolen, I doubt anything contained on the laptop was still a secret anyway.
GPS tracking? Biometric readers? Anyone else have a few suggestions for these guys? Clearly they need them.
Sources from panel makers say there's a shortage of LCD monitors, a problem they attribute to monitor makers and brand vendors having lower-than-usual panel inventory levels, news and rumor site DigiTimes reports.
The sources note that panel makers were expecting a low fourth quarter and took to reducing output, but are now being caught off guard by a flurry of orders now that panel prices have dropped below cost levels.
A panel shortage doesn't bode well for the mobile market, which is expected to ship a ton of notebooks going into 2010. This has notebook makers scrambling to secure LED supplies as they compete with LCD TV makers for inventory. LED-backlit LCD TV shipments are expected to increase six-fold to more than 30 million units in 2010, with LED-backlit notebooks expected to account for 80 percent of the 160 million notebooks (not counting netbooks) to be shipped next year.
How much battery life does your laptop or netbook have? I don't know. I bet you don't know either. Or, at the very least, you're probably relying on a manufacturer's statement as to just how much computing time you can get on a fully charged battery. But as you well know, your battery life can vary depending on how you use your laptop: If you're rocking the brightness at maximum, keeping an active Wi-Fi on at all times, and burning your CPU at full-blast, you're going to run through your available power far faster than if your laptop was doing little-to-nothing.
Sure, you can hover your mouse over the battery icon of your Windows taskbar to estimate just how much juice is left in the pitcher. But if you want a more comprehensive analysis of how your portable PC will perform at full-blast under whatever conditions you've set up, you'll need to turn to a third-party utility for the full breakdown.
And as it just so happens, I have the perfect piece of freeware in mind: Imtec Battery Mark. Click the jump to find out more about this awesome laptop battery tester!
Ahh, batteries. The bane of any laptop user. It always feels like you just never have enough juice to finish whatever it is you're trying to do on your portable PC. And as the minutes count down on you notebook's battery estimation, you do everything you can to squeeze working time out of your laptop. You crank down the brightness to a near-dusk level. You disable the Wi-Fi in the hope that the Web pages you've physically downloaded will be enough to allow you to finish your work. You even quit out of as many applications and extra processes as you can think of to terminate--maybe a more idle CPU will make for an extra minute or three.
While doing the "Battery Dance" is an unavoidable part of portable computing, you don't always have to be caught off-guard by the ol' low battery warning. Not only are there a handful of applications that give you more details about your remaining battery life than Windows' default notifications, but there are also a bunch of utilities that you can use to squeak as much time out of your laptop battery as possible. Even better, a few of these utilities even automate this process in the background--you won't have to click a single button to reap the benefits of their tweaks.
Provided you still have some juice left in your laptop, click the jump. With luck, we'll be able to get you some extra battery life so you can finish the article...
We were expecting Seagate to lift the wraps on its 7mm thick thin hard drive next month during CES, but we guess the HDD maker just couldn't wait. Rather than wait a month, Seagate today announced the Momentus Thin drive, which the company claims is the "world's thinnest 2.5-inch hard drive" designed for ultraportables and entry-level laptops.
"The Momentus Thin drive promises to help computer makers differentiate on mobile-computing form factor and better compete in the fast-growing markets for thin laptop PCs and netbooks," said Dave Mosley, executive vice president of Sales, Marketing, and Product Line Management at Seagate. "Seagate is committed to helping its OEM and system integrator partners meet market demand for thinner laptop PCs and plans to expand storage capabilities for thin laptops as demand for these slimmer models continues to grow."
At just 7mm in height, the thin drive is 25 percent slimmer than traditional 9.5mm, 2.5-inch laptop hard drives. Seagate's Momentus Thin is so far available in 160GB and 250GB capacities, both of which come with an 8MB cache buffer, SATA 3Gb/s interface, and a 5400 RPM spindle speed.
Seagate says it will begin shipping its new drives to OEM and integrator partners in January 2010.
If you haven't gotten it by now, thin is definitely in, at least in the world of PCs. One company who's already been around the ultrathin block a time or two is MSI, who has just added its new X-Slim X600 Pro to its lineup of super skinny notebooks.
Including the 6-cell battery, the X-600 Pro weighs a scant 4.63 pounds and boasts a thickness of just 2.5cm, or a little under an inch. Adding to the sex appeal is a luminous scratch-resistant coating with silver accents.
On the hardware front, the X600 Pro packs the "latest" Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of DDR2 memory, up to 640GB of storage space, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330, 1.3MP webcam, optional Blu-ray drive, optional Bluetooth, 2-in-1 media card reader, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, three USB 2.0 ports (one of which serves double-duty as an eSATA port), HDMI, and Windows 7 Home Premium.
Are netbooks evolving into ultrathin form factors right before our very eyes? It's too early to tell, but clearly there's a market for super thin notebooks, or so it would seem, given the attention manufacturers are putting into the segment. The latest is LG, whose ultrathin XNote LGX30 now appears in the FCC's database.
Not to be confused with the Ion-based X30, the XNote LGX30 is an 11.6-inch netbook sporting a 1366 x 768 resolution. It comes with an Intel Atom processor inside (no mention of which one), along with a solid state drive, Intel GMA 500 graphics, Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and a built-in webcam. Windows 7 ties it all together, and though you can't see it very well from the pictures, the LGX30 does have a trackpad, which boasts support for multitouch gestures.
A 3-cell battery rounds out the package, bringing the total weight to just 1.74 pounds. No mention on when it will be released, but don't be surprised to see this one turn up at CES next month.
We have to admit, this is getting a little ridiculous (in a good way). Not only are 17-inch notebooks routinely checking in at well under a $1,000, but thanks to Onkyo, you can now buy a dual-screen laptop for less than 10 Benjamins.
These aren't ginormous screens, mind you, but Onkyo's DX laptop packs two, 10.1-inch screens each running at 1366 x 768. Not earth shattering, but should be enough to satiate mobile warriors looking to extend their desktop beyond what's typically been possible.
Other hardware includes an AMD Athlon Neo MV-40 processor clocked at 1.6GHz, ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics, 2GB of memory (expandable to 4GB), a 320GB hard drive, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Windows 7 Home Premium in 32-bit flavor.
So what's the caveat? You have to live in Japan to pick one up for under $1,000, where it currently sells for ¥84,800 (about $966). Those of us in the U.S. will have to go through GeekStuff4U, where the same model runs $1,195.
In the future that Acer chairman JT Wang envisions, ultra-thin notebooks with exceptional battery life will rule the mobile PC market, and to help get there, he's been urging Intel to focus more heavily on the ultra-thin segment. And Wang may be right, but why aren't we there already?
According to Wang, HP and Dell are to blame for holding the ultra-thin market back from its true potential. The reason, he says, is because both companies have dropped their mainstream notebook prices to $399 to compete, even though lightweight and skinny laptops are what consumers really want.
That's a bit of a curious statement coming from Acer, the same company notorious for low-priced parts, including notebooks. But Wang holds firm in his stance, saying that since HP and Dell haven't been pushing the ultra-thin market in the U.S., Intel has been misled into thinking there just isn't much demand.
Going forward, Wang predicts Acer's ultra-thin notebooks will account for about 30 percent of its total notebook shipments in 2010.
Ultra-thin notebooks tend to be sleek, sexy, and expensive. By our count, that's two out three desirable qualities, which leaves the door wide open for an OEM to ship an ultra-thin that doesn't put the hurt on the wallet. Would you have guessed Dell would be the one to step through?
Dell, the same OEM responsible for the $1,500+ Adamo, is making headlines once again for an ultra-thin notebook, only this time the price will be in reach of the mainstream audience. Enter the Vostro V13, a 3.5-pound ultraportable measuring a scant 0.65-inches thick, the same as the Adamo. But at only $449, the Vostro V13 is the third of the price of the least expensive Adamo.
It gets even better. At $450, you're probably expecting an Intel Atom processor inside, but that isn't the case. Geared towards business travelers, the 13.3-inch V13 will sport an ultra-low voltage (ULV) Core 2 processor along with 4GB of DDR3 memory. Details remain sparse, but according to reports, it will also ship with Bluetooth and 802.11g/n support, as well as an integrated webcam and microphone.