AT&T finally seems ready to admit that this whole Android thing isn’t just a flash in the pan. The carrier that brought you the iPhone will be launching five Android phones in the first half of 2010. The announcement was a bit short on details, but there were some clues as to which handsets to expect.
AT&T plans to offer a Motorola handset with a “unique form factor”. This can only be the Moto Backflip we told you about recently. This phone is “blessed” with an awkward looking reverse clamshell design and a lack of Google apps (in the prerelease version at least). The announcement also said Dell’s first smartphone would be coming to the network. That clearly means a version of the Mini 3i with US 3G bands.
The remaining phones are to be HTC devices. No details on what these might be. Knowing HTC’s penchant for repackaging the same hardware, these phones could end up being variations of the Hero. We may see some of the phones spied in the leaked roadmap from a few weeks back. Any AT&T customers planning to buy into the Android craze?
Gateway jumps on the Intel Atom N450 bandwagon by introducing the LT21 series netbook. As with most netbooks rocking the newly minted Atom chip, battery life benefits the most, with Gateway claiming up to 10 hours of run time.
"Netbooks have been firmly embraced by consumers as an incredibly convenient, easy-to-use way to stay connected, be more productive, and stay in touch," said John Nguyen, product marketing manager for Gateway. "Gateway LT21 Series netbooks are designed to go anywhere for use by anyone, as their sleek form factor and intuitive design naturally fit into how people live and connect today."
The new netbooks check in at 2.76 pounds and measure about an inch thick thin. Hardware will vary by model, though Gateway did provide specs for one model, the LT2118u. In addition to the Atom N450, this 10.1-inch model will come with 1GB of DDR2-667 RAM, 250GB hard drive spinning at 5400RPM, Intel GMA 3150 graphics, multi-card reader, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, multi-gesture touchpad, webcam, 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Starter.
Gateway says the LT21 series will be available later this month starting at $300. The aforementioned LT2118u will run $350.
America loves split personalities -- how else do you explain Hanna Montana's rise to stardom? -- and that's exactly what Lenovo aims to deliver with its new IdeaPad U1 laptop/tablet hybrid.
"The IdeaPad U1 hybrid notebook is a game-changing technology in the PC industry that lets users switch their PC experience within a single device to match their dynamic lifestyle," said Liu Jun, senior vice president, Idea Product Group, Lenovo. "By fusing the functionality of a notebook with the slate tablet's rich multitouch entertainment and mobile Internet experience, U1 provides consumers the freedom to choose the device they prefer for any activity."
On the portability front, Lenovo says the IdeaPad U1 has a footprint slightly smaller than a sheet of notebook paper and weights just 3.8 pounds. And in terms of the hardware, the hybrid notebook sports an 11.6-inch HD LED display and Core 2 Duo SU processor. Remove the outer display, however, and it transforms into a tablet with a Qualcomm ARM Snapdragon processor.
Other features includes 4GB of RAM (512MB in slate/tablet mode), a pair of USB 2.0 ports, eSATA, VGA, HDMI, 4-in-1 memory card reader, and a 1.3MP webcam.
USB 2.0 may have reigned supreme for most of 2009, but now it's USB 3.0's time to shine in the limelight. Wasting no time in the new year, Seagate used CES to unveil its BlackArmor PS110 USB 3.0 portable external hard drive "performance kit" designed for laptops.
"As people continue to amass vast libraries of high-definition photos, movies, and music, the storage needs of US households are forecast to grow more than ten times between 2009 and 2013, and the average digital media storage requirements will exceed a terabyte by 2013," said Kurt Schreff, vice president and principle analyst of Parks Associates.
Seagate's latest BlackArmor extrnal HDD kit packs a 500GB 7200RPM 2.5-inch portable hard drive, power cable, and PC Express card. And because it's built around the new SuperSpeed USB 3.0 spec, Seagate says you can expect sustained transfer rates in the neighborhood of 100MB/s, which is three times faster than current USB 2.0 devices, the company claims. That boils down to transferring a 25GB HD movie in about 4 minutes, compared to 14 minutes using a USB 2.0 drive.
Seagate says the new drive is available now with an MSRP set at $180.
Ambidextrous road warriors unite, Asus has your weapon of choice. The NX90Jq notebook sports not one, but two touchpads, one on each side, which should be music to any armchair DJ's ears.
Specs are are pretty sparse, but what we do know is that the NX90Jq boasts an 18.4-inch high definition display made even larger by Bang & Olufsen's ICEpower speakers. There's a Core i7 processor hiding inside, as well as Nvidia GeForce GT 334M graphics, dual drive bays, slot-in Blu-ray drive, and USB 3.0 support.
Do you think mobile location-sharing service Foursquare is pretty cool, but you live out in the suburbs? If you answered that with a resounding ‘yes’, it’s your lucky day because Foursquare is now playable anywhere. Users can now user their mobile phones to “check-in” no matter where they are. Previously, the service was limited to a few dozen metropolitan areas.
There are currently official applications for iPhone, Android, and WebOS, with a Blackberry app in the works. Increased adoption of these apps will be key to helping Foursquare fend off challenges from Gowalla, Brightkite, and Loopt. Gowalla’s game-like interface is the closest to Foursquare, and they are rumored to have a big pile of venture capital money they can bring to bear.
Most existing users of Foursquare won’t notice much of a difference. The service will now use a given radius to determine which friends’ check-ins to show you; it previously just used the Foursquare supported metro area. Special badges will still exist for specific cities, but the general ones will be available everywhere. Have you used Foursquare? Does it best the competition?
This morning, Google officially launched the Nexus One, the newest flagship Android phone, and the first that Google is selling and marketing themselves. A lot has already been said about the Nexus One, but now all the details are official.
Read on to find out what you need to know about the Google Nexus One.
If there's something in the water at ECS, it must not taste very good, at least not in the company's notebook division. But there's probably another reason why more than 100 members of the OEM's notebook staff have resigned from the company since the second quarter of 2009.
One such reason is because Shuttle managed to pluck the ex-general manager of ECS's notebook business, who also headed up Unwill, to operate its New Notebook Ecosystem alliance. It's no coincidence that nearly half of the employees who left ECS landed at Shuttle, most of which were previously in the Uniwill team, DigiTimes reports.
The exodus has ECS scrambling to retain customers as several clients in China and South America are considering taking their business to Shuttle. And in an effort to prevent something like this from happening again, ECS has asked its current employees to agree to non-compete clauses in their employment contracts, though a representative for Taiwan's Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) warns that such clauses may not be enforceable below the management level.
Another day, another Atom N450-based netbook launch. This one comes courtesy of Toshiba, who on Monday announced its version of a next-gen netbook, the mini NB305.
"Our first netbook in the U.S. market stood out from the competition because we fixed what was broken in the previous generation of netbooks," said Carl Pinto, vice president of product development, Toshiba, Digital Products Division. "As the category continues to evolve, we're pushing the envelope even further to deliver the next generation that again exceeds customer expectations with better performance, an even higher battery life rating, and smarter features that enhance the mobile computing experience."
In addition to cruising along with Intel's Atom N450 processor, Toshiba says the mini NB305 comes with a full-size keyboard and full-size touchpad. The 10.1-inch netbook also features 1GB of DDR2-800 memory (upgradeable to 2GB), up to a 250GB HDD along with Toshiba's Hard Drive Impact Sensor technology, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, three USB ports (one of them Sleep-and-Charge capable), a memory card reader, webcam, a 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Starter Edition.
The mini NB305 will go on sale on January 12 with prices ranging from $350 to $400.