Acer rode the netbook wave to coast past Dell in the global PC market in 2009, but its stay at the number two spot was brief as Dell came back in the second quarter of 2010 to retake that position. If one fad led to Acer’s sudden rise in 2009, another triggered its slide past Dell in 2010.
According market research firm iSuppli, Acer continues to slide in face of some stiff competition for its consumer-focused computer products from iPad and other media tablets, affording second-placed Dell an increasingly stronger sense of comfort. Hit the jump for Q4 2010 PC shipment numbers from iSuppli.
Those holding their breath for Lenovo’s AMD Fusion-toting ThinkPad x120e ultraportable will have to keep doing so until March 8. The notebook was originally scheduled to begin shipping today, but Lenovo has pushed back the launch to next month for reasons unknown to us. However, we do know a lot of other things about this machine, including its innards and price. All that after the jump.
Internet Explorer 9 has hit the release candidate milestone and Microsoft is behaving like any browser vendor would when its browser reaches a new development milestone. You guessed it right, Redmond is touting the blazing speeds brought along by the Release Candidate. Read on for a complete list of enhancements.
Soon after HP acquired Palm last April, then CEO Mark Hurd stated the company’s desire of taking webOS “beyond smartphones.” The company today gave the world a better look into the operating system’s future beyond smartphones at its “Think Beyond” event in San Francisco, lifting the curtain on a 10-inch webOS tablet. But for those who think that tablets are just as far as HP is willing to go with its “beyond smartphones” strategy for webOS, the world’s leading PC vendor is out to surprise you. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s “hit the jump” time once again.
Linux has always been the go-to operating system for governments and non-profits trying to empower technology-starved people around the world with cheap, no-frills computers. So it is no surprise that the UK government has chosen the open-source OS for subsidized computers that will soon be offered to those Brits that are yet to log on to the internet (around 9.2 million) under its Race Online 2012 scheme, an initiative that the government there believes can help UK become the first nation in the world to have its entire population online.
Under this scheme, both PCs and internet connections will be subsidized so as to lure internet holdouts. The starting price for the affordable PCs will be just a shade over $150 (£98), with subsidized internet connections costing $14 (£9) per month. The PCs will include a flat-screen monitor, keyboard, mouse, warranty, dedicated telephone helpline and delivery, according to a BBC News report. The initial goal is to sell around 8,000 PCs during the 12-month trial period.
Dell showed off a prototype of the Dell Inspiron Duo convertible netbook a few months ago, and it admittedly looked pretty pie in the sky. But Engadget is reporting today that the device will be available for purchase in the first week of December for $549. Customers will be able to add a special speaker dock for $100 extra, and a larger HDD is also an option.
The Duo appears, at first, to be a regular netbook. The 10.1-inch screen folds down to make it a convertible tablet, but the mechanism is unlike any we've seen before. The screen rotates within the frame, then the hinge closes normally with the screen now facing out. The internals are standard for a netbook these days. You're looking at a dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, a Broadcom Crystal HD GPU, and Windows 7 Home Premium.
The computer's screen is a capacitive multitouch display, and rotating it into tablet mode will bring up the more finger-friendly Dell Stage UI. This attention to detail might actually make this a desirable product. Will your mouse be hovering over the 'buy' button come December?
Microsoft re-introduced Windows 7 Family Pack in October to coincide with the first anniversary of the launch of the operating system. If you don’t already know, the family pack gives you three upgrade licenses of Windows 7 Home Premium for $149.99, when a single upgrade license alone costs $119.99. But if that sounds like a great deal to you, just wait till we tell you about the limited-time discount Dell is offering on the family pack. The family pack is available for $119.99 – three upgrades for the price of one – from Dell’s online store. However, only when you add Windows 7 Family Pack to your cart does the discount reveal itself.
When Apple recently updated its MacBook Air family of ultraportables, it switched the range entirely to solid-state storage for the speed boost flash memory provides. But it went against the grain by opting for an onboard storage solution, as opposed to the conventional way of wedging it all into an SSD enclosure. This was done in order to make the Air even more ethereal than before.
In fact, the Blade X-gale ultra-thin SSD modules are reportedly same as the ones inside Apple’s ultraportable notebook. According to MacRumors, not only do both come in identical capacities (64GB, 128GB, and 256GB), but also have the same part numbers. The Blade X-gale drives are capable of a maximum sequential read speed of 220MB/s and a maximum sequential write speed of 180MB/s.
"Delivering a product that enables superior user experience in a smaller footprint is the ultimate goal," noted Scott Nelson, vice president, Memory Business Unit, Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. "The density of MLC NAND enables the creation of smaller form factor high density storage solutions, and Toshiba, as the technology leader for NAND storage solutions, will continue to innovate in this space."
Adafruit Industries is looking for the first (and probably the only) OK Prize laureate. What’s that you say? The Open Kinect Prize will go to the first person to deliver open-source software drivers for Kinect. Just to make sure that bragging rights and Microsoft’s wrath are not all that the eventual winner gets, the DIY electronics kit supplier has announced a $2,000 prize.
Adafruit has this to say about its maiden “X Prize type project” on its blog: “Anyone around the world can work on this, including Microsoft Upload your code, examples and documentation to GitHub. First person / group to get RGB out with distance values being used wins, you’re smart – you know what would be useful for the community out there. All the code needs to be open source and/or public domain. Email us a link to the repository, we and some “other” Kinect for Xbox 360 hackers will check it out – if it’s good to go, you’ll get the $2,000 bounty!”
Adafruit initially promised a $1,000 bounty, but later doubled it after Microsoft expressed its displeasure at the OK Prize. A MS spokesperson informed Cnet that the device features a number of software and hardware safeguards to reduce the possibility of tampering. Also, the company has vowed to “make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant.”
How excited are you about the prospect of using Kinect with a PC?
While there is no dearth of solutions for streaming PC-based movies, music and pictures to your TV, the PC games in your personal collection are still “unstreamable.” Enter AfterCAD, and its GameString Adrenalin service, and personal PC game libraries will become just as “streamable” as other media content.
So what exactly is GameString Adrenalin? AfterCAD is calling it “personal cloud gaming.” It essentially allows for PC games to be played remotely from within any Flash- or HTML5-enabled web browser. The company has even posted a video (below) of World of Warcraft being played on Google TV.
"Our GameString technology represents the next generation in cloud gaming as it doesn't rely on downloads, plugins, java or obscure codecs to work. The proof is in the fact it works with the Google TV right out of the box while other cloud gaming services will have to write an app to run it on,” said Chris Boothroyd, CEO of Aftercad.
“For Game Publishers looking to leverage the cloud to spice up the production values for Flash based social games, it is clear our approach is the way of the future and the way to go."