Sharp and TDK are doubling down on Blu-ray disc storage capacity, each introducing a prototype capable of storing up to 100GB of data, up from the current standard of 50GB. The prototypes make use of a four-layer disc, up from the present maximum of two, and are capable of recording data at 72Mbps, again double the current level of 32Mbps.
While TDK hasn’t disclosed its underlying technology, Sharp’s advancements come from the substitution of dielectric film used for recording data on a Blu-ray disc with aluminum oxynitride. Sharp also makes use of a pulse operated blue-violet semiconductor laser with an optical output as high as 500mW. The laser’s oscillation wavelength of 405nm is capable of writing at 8x speed on three- and four-layered Blu-ray discs.
While the prototype technology holds promise it’s speculative at this point. The Blu-ray Disc Association, which sets the standards for Blu-ray discs, has specifications only for single- and dual-layer discs. Without an adjustment to the standards it doesn’t make economic sense for Sharp or TDK to move beyond the prototype stage. And even if they did the sad fact is current Blu-ray players aren’t able to handle anything over 50GB.
If you think you're excited about the launch of Windows 7, you should check out Toshiba, who today announced a boatload of laptops ready for the OS's release.
Running the gamut from netbooks to full-blown desktop replacements, the lowest model in Toshiba's upcoming totem pole includes the 10.1-inch NB200 netbook series. For $400, you'll find a typical spec sheet consisting of an Intel Atom N280 processor, 1GB of DDR RAM a 160GB hard drive, and other decidedly netbookish specs.
Further up the pricing ladder is Toshiba's Satellite A500 series, which will sport a 16-inch HD screen. Underneath the hood, users will have a choice between an Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD Turion II Ultra foundation. Pricing starts at $590.
Towards the top sits the Satellite P500 series. These laptops will come with an 18.4-inch HD screen and also give users a choice between an Intel or AMD processor. Some models will also include a Blu-ray player and illuminating LED backlit keyboard.
And then there's the Qosmio X500 desktop replacement laptop, which will be available in two configurations. One will come with an 18.4-inch HD screen, 320GB hard drive spinning at 7200RPM, and 4GB of memory, while the other will boast two hard drives and a 64GB SSD, along with 6GB of memory. Pricing will start at $1,450 and $1,900 respectively.
Toshiba has plenty of other models on tap for an October 22nd launch, and so will everyone else. Stay tuned!
The Zalman CNPS line (especially the long-lived 9000 series) is known for its distinctive copper-finned air coolers, which are nearly always organized in a circular pattern around the fan. This arrangement worked well for a long time, with the CNPS9700 and 9900 garnering rave reviews in these pages. But all the top-performing coolers we’ve tested recently (July’s Thermalright U120-eXtreme and August’s Noctua U12P) have had one thing in common: a skyscraper formfactor, whereby a tall stack of closely packed cooling fins jut upward, with one or more 12cm fans strapped to the side. Now, Zalman is getting in on the game with its latest CNPS cooler, the 10X Extreme, which takes the skyscraper-and-12cm-fan design and adds variable-speed fan control.
The Zalman CNPS 10X Extreme sports five heat pipes running through a closely packed array of black nickel-plated fins. It’s a great look, and proves that Zalman doesn’t just do copper well. The fan remote can be slotted into the plastic cowl at the top of the heatsink or, more usefully, be routed to the outside of your case with the included extension wire. The fan has three auto-speed settings: low (up to 1,500rpm), mid (up to 1,950rpm) and high (up to 2,150rpm), and one manual dial, for fine-tuning between 1,000rpm and 2,150rpm.
SanDisk on Tuesday announced that it has begun shipping flash memory cards based on the company's X4 flash memory technology. Chips built using the new technology hold four bits of data in each memory cell, or twice as many as the cells in conventional multi-level cell (MCL) NAND chips, the company said.
"The development and commercialization of X4 technology represents an important milestone for the flash storage industry," said Sanjay Mehrotra, president and chief operating officer, SanDisk. "Our challenge with X4 technology was to not only deliver the lower costs inherent to 4-bits-per-cell, but to do so while meeting the reliability and performance requirements of industry standard cards that employ MLC NAND."
SanDisk called the shipment of X4 memory a "necessary evolution" for the industry, noting that the technology will result in a cost advantage for consumers.
Gizmodo managed to get its hands on the first product shots of Barnes and Noble's e-book reader, which will enter what's shaping up to be an increasingly crowded cage match with the likes of Amazon, Sony, Asus, MSI, and several others.
We're still a week away from Barnes and Noble's official unveiling, but according to Gizmodo, the e-reader will feature a black and white e-ink screen similar to the Kindle, but with a multitouch display like the popular iPhone. The top screen size checks in at 6 inches with an 800x600 pixel resolution, while the bottom touchscreen portion will boast 480x144 pixels.
Pricing is not yet known, but word on the Web is that Barnes and Noble plans to offer significant discounts on the books it publishes compared to the print editions.
Home entertainment company GlideTV on Tuesday announced a new device the company says combines the functionality of a keyboard, mouse, and AV remote all rolled into one.
The GlideTV Navigator, as it's being called, won the 2009 Best of Innovations Award at CES earlier this year. It includes a remote, charging station, USB wireless receiver, and works with Windows, Mac, Sony's PlayStation 3 console, and any set-top box that supports standard mouse and keyboard HID devices, the company said.
"Up to now, consumes who wanted to connect a computer to the TV to take advantage of digital content had to bring office equipment to their living room, making the experience bulky and cumbersome," said Chris Painter, President and founder. "With the Navigator, GlideTV brings simplicity to accessing internet-based entertainment and ushers in a new era for computing in the living room."
Some of the Navigator's features include backlit AV buttons, dedicated Esc, Enter, Back, and Function keys, an on-screen keyboard (Windows only), and rechargeable battery. GlideTV says its remote will work with all the media apps you're used to using, including Windows Media Center, iTunes, Boxee, SageTV, Firefox, and more.
Acer, the world's third largest PC maker, unveiled its Aspire 578PG notebook., the company's first laptop with a multitouch capacitive screen. Unlike competing models from HP or Lenovo, Acer didn't integrate touch optimized software of its own to run on top of Windows 7, but users will still be able to pinch, zoom, two-finger scroll, and perform other standard multitouch gestures.
Inside the 15.6-inch LED notebook sits an Intel Core 2 DuoT6600 processor (2.2GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 800MHz frontside bus), 4GB of DDR2-667MHz memory, a 320GB hard drive, ATI Radeon HD 4570 graphics with 512MB of dedicated DDR3 video RAM, an 8X DVD burner, webcam, HDMI port, four USB 2.0 ports, 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium.
Acer says its new notebook will coincide with the launch of Windows and be available starting October 22 at "leading retailers" for $800.
The Aspire One D250 comes with a 10.1-inch screen, with a resolution of 1,280 by 720; a 1.66GHz Atom N280 processor; and a 160GB hard drive. Battery life, according to Acer, is 3.5 hours, with a long-life battery capable of 7.5 hours available as an option.
The first is 147 GB Ultrastar C15K147, Hitachi’s first 15,000 RPM 2.5-inch 6 Gb/s Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) hard drive. Hitachi claims the C15K147 has 11 percent higher sequential performance and 23 percent faster seek times when compared to its 10,000 RPM version. The C15K147 uses 50 percent less power than a similar 3.5-inch drive, due to Hitachi’s patented Advanced Power Management technology.
The second is a new 600 GB Ultrastar 15K600, a fourth generation 15,000 RPM 3.5-inch drive with either a 6 Gb/s SAS or 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop (FCAL) interface. Hitachi claims the 15K600, which also comes in 300 GB and 450 GB versions, to be the largest capacity 15,000 RPM 3.5-inch enterprise drive available.
Both drives come with the Trusted Computing Group’s (TCG) Enterprise A Security encryption to protect data.
The drives, each with a 5-year warranty, are now shipping. No pricing information was available.
So you want a Netbook, but you’re not crazy about dealing with a slow computer? You’re in luck. The recently leaked specs for the upcoming ASUS Eee PC 1201N should make any geek’s wallet feel a little too heavy. The 1201N is said to be packing a 1.6 GHz Atom N330 Dual Core CPU paired with 3GB of RAM. The standard configuration will have a 320GB hard drive as well.
The thing that really sets it apart is the video. The 1201N will be rocking the Nvidia ION chipset (Geforce 9400M), which will be pumping video to a 12 inch display with a resolution of 1366x768. You can also expect an HDMI out with the ION chipset.
There will also be a less powerful version, the 1201HA, with a standard Atom chipset and Intel graphics in the same 12 inch chassis. No pricing information is available right now. Release date is also a mystery. The fact that they both run Windows 7 indicates they won’t be available until after Windows 7 is released on October 22.