Toshiba had last year chosen its Qosmio range of notebooks to lift the curtain on its SpursEngine chip, which is a co-processor based on the Cell Broadband Engine found in the PS3. SpursEngine-powered Qosmios are capable of some impressive graphical feats like real-time graphics processing and video upscaling (SD to HD).
Toshiba’s new Qosmio laptops, which bear the might of its quad-core SpursEngine chip, will arrive in Japanese stores on Friday with the promise of enhancing internet video. Two previous iterations of the Qosmio used the immense power of the SpursEngine at their disposal to upscale DVD video, but left streaming video untouched.
Toshiba recently updated their line of Qosmio and Dynabook laptops with upgraded graphics and processing power.
The Qosmios will come in two flavors, including the 18.4-inch G50 ($3,421) and the 15.4-inch FX ($2,119). Relative newcomer, the 14.1-inch Dynabook SS RX2 (pictured), will come with a 128GB SSD, and cost $2,840. All of these will come with Intel Core 2 Duo processors and Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT graphics processors.
Though, unless you’re currently living in Japan or are willing to import one of these from overseas, you won’t be getting your hands on one of these anytime soon. Currently, they’re only available in the land of the rising sun, with no mention of plans to bring them to these here United States.
At this point in the game, we can pretty much recite the core configuration of any new netbook that might appear, and it goes something like this. A 10.1-inch display (give or take an inch), Intel's Atom N270 processor (1.6GHz, 533MHz frontside bus, 512KB L2 cache), 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, three USB 2.0 ports, WiFi, Bluetooth, a mutlicard reader, and various other odds and ends. So it comes as no surprises that Sharp's Mebius PC-NJ70A follows that blueprint almost to a tee, if not for the combo trackpad / secondary display.
That's right - the PC-NJ70A's trackpad serves double duty as a secondary display with an LCD built right into the palm rest. Protected by a hard transparent material, the little LCD pushes pixels at a respectable 854 x 480 resolution, automatically adjusts brightness levels based on surrounding light, and supports handwriting recognition via the included software.
So far, street prices in Japan are hovering around ¥80,000 (about $817USD). No word yet on when, or if, Sharp plans to sell the Mebius stateside.
Back in February, we brought you an article called Give Windows a Clean Start, which explained all the details about how to properly perform a system-cleansing reformat, without losing your valuable data. It covered important steps like salvaging product keys, deactivating apps, prepping iTunes and making backups. The original article was written for desktop PCs, and although nearly all of the techniques also work for laptops, we thought a supplement about how to install laptop drivers on a fresh Windows install as called for.
Sure, almost all laptops come with recovery discs or recovery partions, so a full reformat is rarely absolutely necessary, but there are a number of reasons you might want to do it:
2. You want to reformat and upgrade or downgrade to Vista or XP.
3. You’ve managed to truly, thoroughly hose your laptop beyond all recognition, and you lost your restore disc.
If one of the above applies to you and you have a retail Windows install disc, then give your laptop a clean start!. First, check out the original article for advice about saving your data, then read on to learn what software you'll need to install after your reformat.
Perhaps further underscoring the benefit of owning an ultra-small, lightweight netbook, a woman was killed recently by a laptop computer that was lying flat on the backseat of her car before it smashed into her head following a fender bender.
Police say Heather Storey, who was hit by a tow truck, would have walked away from the scene unscathed had the laptop not been in the backseat. Or in a laptop bag. Or secured properly. Or in the front seat.
Our condolences go out to Storey's family and friends, and our warning goes out to you: Secure those gadgets before hitting the road.
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.
The summer looks bright for Acer, who has announced a pair of new notebooks, one of which it plans to release in June. Sitting at opposite ends of the spectrum, the thin and light Aspire 3935 will ship as a 13.3-inch notebook, with the 8935G checking in at a much larger 18.4 inches.
Packed into the smaller 3935 will be Intel's Core 2 Duo T7350 (2GHz, 3MB L2 cache, 1066MHz frontside bus) processor on the chip maker's GM45 chipset, 3GB of DDR2-1066 RAM, integrated 4500MHD graphics, a 250GB SATA hard drive, 8X DVD burner, Wi-Fi, touch sensitive hotkeys, and various other goodies adding up to a 4.18-pound laptop.
Moving up to the 8935G adds a larger display, one of several Intel Core 2 Duo processors, discrete ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4670 graphics, a combo 4X Blu-ray drive and DVD burner, four USB 2.0 ports, up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, and up to 1TB of hard drive space. The added horsepower and screen real estate means the 8935 will weight more than twice as much as the 3935, checking in at 10.1 pounds. Interestingly, neither laptop comes with an SSD option.
Acer says the Aspire 3935 is available now at major retailers nationwide starting at $900. The Aspire 8935G will be available stateside in June with pricing and further specifications still to be determined.
Just this week MSI announced their latest laptop, the GX403 featuring a ‘turbo button,’ which juices up your CPU, giving you the most gaming power possible.
The GX403 will come with an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, Windows Vista Home, the Intel PM45 chipset, a 14.1-inch 1280x800 display, a maximum of 4GB DDR2, and an Nvidia GeForce GT 130M GPU. And, to help you out when you take this bad boy on the road, it’ll come with 802.11b/g/n wireless and the option of a six or nine-cell battery.
And, as for that fabled “turbo mode,” it’ll only work when you’ve got your laptop plugged in to a power source (sort of a no brainer), but there’s no solid information as to what exactly it does.
It's been a little over a year when we first heard about Intel's Anti-Theft Technology (ATT, of no relation to the telcom), which purports to give LoJack for Laptops a run for its money. Fast forward to today and it looks like Asus will be the first to implement the security scheme, who just announced plans to equip some of its notebooks with Intel's ATT.
"With the incorporation of Intel Anti-Theft PC Protection technology in Asus P30 and P80 notebooks, professionals can now conduct their businesses with greater assurance and without the fear of dire ramifications in the event of theft or loss," said Mr. Henry Yeh, GM of Asus Notebook Business Unit. "This added security capability in our P Series commercial notebooks makes it the definitive mobile companion for the professionals of today's fast-paced market."
According to Asus, users who have their compatible P Series notebook stolen can send a "poison pill" remotely. By doing so, the notebook is rendered inoperable and shuts down. The embedded security chip also allows for tracking the notebook, and if the stolen laptop is ever recovered, a local passphrase or recovery token brings the PC back to life.
Compatible notebooks are available now, Asus says.
Your laptop is pretty cool by today’s standards, but designer Hao Hua has something entirely different in mind for the future. That machine of the present that features an archaic hinge has served humanity well, but he plans to fit all that inside a fancy tube, making an already easy to carry machine, even easier.
The D-Roll (short for “digital roll”) concept allows anyone carrying one of these portable babies around with them to sling it under their arm, much like a purse. And, when you need some quick computing power, your screen will come out on one side and the keyboard will slide out the other.
While this is only a concept for what the portable computer of the future may look like (for some reason, the idea of carrying a murse just doesn’t sit right with me), it is an interesting look. Who knows, it might not be far off!