More details have started to emerge regarding Asus' rumored e-book reader, and what we're finding out could spell bad news for Amazon and Sony. According to the Times Online UK, Asus' version is coming soon and will be the world's cheapest digital reader, undercutting the competition without skimping on features.
Citing a spokesperson for Asus in the UK, the upcoming e-book reader will sport a hinged spine so that it more closely emulates the experience of reading a book. Users will be able to see text on one screen while surfing willy nilly on the web over on the other. It's also possible that one of the screens may end up with a virtual keyboard. Perhaps best of all, Asus has decided to ditch a monochrome display in favor of full-color.
According to the report, Asus said it is considering a budget and premium version, the differences of which have yet to be determined. Either way, look for at least one Asus-branded e-book reader to surface later this year for around $150.
Sony on Wednesday announced its new VAIO X ultraportable laptop during the IFA 2009 expo in Berlin, Germany. The 11.2-inch ultrathin lappy bests Apple's MacBook Air in portability by measuring just 0.55-inches thick compared to the MacBook's 0.76-inch frame.
Official specs are still being finalized, though the one being shown off at the expo boasted an Intel Atom processor. Sony says its ultrathin will come with built-in 3G wireless and a new all-day battery that "will set the new standard for stamina," which supports the notion that the final version will come with an Atom chip inside.
Other details are few and far between. It has a carbon fiber chassis and weighs about 1.5 pounds, but other than that, there isn't much else to go on, including price and availability.
It's been about a year since Google first launched Chrome, and while the minimalistic (in terms of interface) browser brought forth some innovative features and architectural advantages over competing browsers, it hasn't been able to touch Microsoft's Internet Explorer market share. Google's hoping a new distribution deal with Sony will help change that.
As part of the deal, Sony will ship Chrome on new Vaio PCs. But it doesn't stop with Sony. Google is also in talks with other computer makers to strike similar agreements in an effort to promote its browser, as well as a potential deal to make Chrome available to users who download the RealPlayer software. TV advertising is also in the works.
Google claims the sudden effort to push Chrome to the masses is to prevent Microsoft's dominance from holding back development and ensuring that browser technology evolves as fast as it can. But there are financial implications at risk as well. In Bing, Microsoft finally has what could turn out to be a viable alternative to Google's search business. If Chrome were to truly challenge Internet Explorer in the browser wars, it would go a long ways towards staving off Bing.
With the recent introduction of the PS3 Slim, Sony also introduced a new piece of tech within it – a 45nm cell processor.
The newer, slimmer version of Sony’s powerhouse will reportedly lose its Linux support and won’t come with any kind of backwards compatibility with PS2 games. However, it’ll come with a larger 120GB drive onboard, and the improved CPU. According to a video posted by Sony on their US website, the processor is based on IBM’s Power architecture, and was a joint venture between IBM, Sony and Toshiba. No word yet on what the GPU is, but we do know that the folks responsible for making it are Nvidia.
The PS3 Slim will be available on September 1 for $299.
Remember that whole fiasco with Nvidia graphics-based notebooks giving up the ghost because of a "weak die/packaging material set?" That manufacturing defect ended up costing Nvidia millions of dollars in warranty repairs. It also led to extended warranties by some OEMs, the latest of which is Sony.
"Sony, in cooperation with Nvidia, has been looking into any possible effect to Vaio notebooks with Nvidia graphic processors. Until recently we had not identified any Vaio models that were affected by this issue," Sony said in an eSupport USA notice.
The statement went on to disclose that a "very small percentage" of Nvidia-based Vaio PCs may exhibit "distorted video, duplicate images, or a blank screen" because of the faulty GPU.
According to Sony, affected models include the Vaio VGN-AR1xx, VGN-AR2xx, VGN-AR3xx, VGN-FZ1xx, VGN-FZ2xx, VGN-FZ3xx, VGN-FZ4xx, VGC-LT1xx, and and VGC-LT2xx series. For those who need repair service because of a failing GPU, Sony said it will provide a three year warranty extension.
Sony on Tuesday announced it has launched a new type of lithium ion secondary battery using olivine-type lithium iron phosphate as the cathode material.
What exactly does that mean? According to Sony, both high-power and long-life performance in a single package. The company claims olivine's robust crystal structure and stable performance make the material an ideal fit for use as a cathode material. In addition, Sony says its new battery technology is able to charge rapidly.
Sony has already started shipping the first battery to use the olivine material, which the company sells under its Fortelion series branding. It holds a capacity of 1.1Ah with 80 percent capacity retention after 2,000 charge-discharge cycles, and is able to recharge to 99 percent of its full capacity in 30 minutes, Sony says.
While Amazon's Kindle seems to receive most of the attention surrounding e-book readers, don't count Sony out of the running. On the contrary, Sony has started tweaking its marketing strategy to better compete with the Kindle.
Last week, Sony introduced two new e-book readers at comparatively affordable price points of $200 and $300, with the higher priced model sporting a touchscreen interface. In addition, Sony reduced prices at its online e-book store for new releases and New York Times best sellers by $2 a pop. And finally, Sony has also started offering a handful of newer titles for free from authors such as Brenda Jackson, James Patterson, and others.
"I think the trend toward lower-priced devices will help to encourage adoptions, and it also helps that Sony's best sellers will now be priced at $9.99 -- down from $11.99," said Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst for Forrester Research. "Even though there are many books priced lower than $9.99 in their online store, just being able to add this price point has psychological appeal."
Epps went to say that while Sony is moving in the right direction, it still needs to do more to make it easier for consumers to find the e-book content they're looking for through its online stores.
For those of you that are looking to get a Windows 7 Vaio from Sony, don’t plan on using the Windows XP mode to run applications, because it won’t be included with the systems.
According to Sony’s Xavier Lauwaert Windows 7’s XP mode will be disabled due to security reasons. According to one of Sony’s engineers, they’re “very concerned that enabling VT would expose our systems to malicious code that could go very deep in the Operating System structure of the PC and completely disable the latter.”
Apparently Sony still plans to enable XP mode on some machines, but as to which models they choose or when it’ll be available, nobody knows.
Sony today released a pair of new e-book readers the company hopes will help put it in a better position to do battle with Amazon's popular Kindle. As such, Sony also plans to reduce all new releases and best sellers at its e-book store from $11.99 down to $9.99 each.
On the hardware front, Sony's new Reader Pocket Edition weighs 7.76 ounces and sports a 5-inch display. There's enough memory to store 350 standard e-books, but no expansion slot for memory cards. Users can expect about two weeks of use before having to recharge the battery. The pocket-sized reader is available in navy blue, rose, and silver with an MSRP of $200.
As the name implies, Sony's new Reader Touch Edition ups the ante with a touchscreen display, which supports finger or stylus enabled note taking with the virtual keyboard. It comes with five adjustable font size and expansion slots for both Memory Stick PRO Duo and SD cards. This one comes in red, black, or silver with an MSRP set at $300.
For as long as Sony’s PlayStation Portable has been on the market, it’s been a juicy target for hackers. With burly hardware (for a handheld) and a gorgeous screen, it just begs to play homebrew, and lots of PSP owners have cracked their devices to do just that. Unfortunately, Sony has had other plans for their handheld, and has released dozens of firmware updates and several hardware revisions to make it harder to hack the PSPs handheld.
As such, there’s no one hack that works on all PSP, and in fact some PSPs are completely unhackable. There is, however, one fairly easy method that works on most consoles, which is what we’ll illustrate in this article.