Display technology seems to be reading for some pretty amazing leaps if the flexible display prototypes from Hewlett-Packard, Philips and Samsung pan out. Besides being incredibly thin, these displays can be bent, stretched, even folded. But just how durable are they?
In an interesting twist on the game whack-a-mole, a video posted by luxury1004 on YouTube suggests pretty darn durable. The video shows a hammer being taken to a Samsung AMOLED display. The 2.8-inch, 20 micrometer thin display, playing a clip from Gran Turismo 5, comes out unscathed.
Michael Dell’s attendance at a Silicon Valley dinner sponsored by the Churchill Club seems to have devolved into a pity party, as the founder and CEO and founder of Dell Computers laid into netbooks. Dell is reported to have said: “Take a user who's used to a 15-inch notebook and then give him a 10-inch netbook. He'll say 'Oh, this is so cool, it's so lightweight.' Then 36 hours later he'll say the screen's not big enough, give me my 15-inch back." Which he followed up with this: “For a replacement machine or for a high-end machine, it's not what we'd recommend.”
Excuse me, Michael, but your company sells netbooks; the Mini-10, for example. And, its a fair guess, people who buy these know what they are getting themselves into with the smaller screens, tiny keyboards, and underpowered processors. While it’s fair to note that netbooks are poor substitutes for ‘real’ notebooks, it doesn’t appear that’s buyers are necessarily purcashing netbooks as replacements for notebooks. Perhaps Dell is channeling his inner rage over the extraordinarily low margins on netbooks?
On a happy note, Dell likes him some Windows 7. "If you get the latest processor technology and you get Windows 7 and Office 2010, you will love your PC again," Dell said. "And we actually have not been able to say that for a long time. It's a dramatic improvement." So Windows 7 is good because you’ll now need to buy a new computer; a new Dell computer.
Metadot this week launched a couple of new Das Keyboard models, including a silent version that trades in the company's famous click-action for a less audible click. But more on that in a moment.
The bigger release is the new Das Keyboard Model S. Unlike previous versions, the Model S comes packed with several new features, including media functions (control mute, volume, play/pause, stop, previous track, next track, and sleep with "simple keystrokes"), a pair of USB connectors -- one for connecting the keyboard and the other to provide power to the built-in USB hub, which can be used for charging USB devices -- an external PS/2 adapter, full n-key rollover, and compatibility with KVM switches.
Metadot is also now offering a silent version, which is somewhat ironic given that part of the Das Keyboard's claim to fame is the satisfying click action. Nevertheless, Metadot says the quieter plank tones things down with keystrokes that have a "slightly softer feel and isn't nearly as loud," but was quick to add that the quieter version still provides the type of tactile and audible feedback as its predecessors. Make of that statement what you will.
Both models will start shipping before the end of the month, however they're both also available for pre-order. The Model S sells for $129 with choice between labeled (Professional) or blank (Ultimate) keys, while its quieter companion, available only in labeled form, retails for $135.
In our August 2009 ultraportable notebook roundup we fell hard for Toshiba’s Portégé R600—the lightest, sleekest ultraportable notebook we’d ever tested. At $2,150, however, that notebook isn’t cheap.
This month we tested Toshiba’s more affordable ultraportable, the Portégé A605, to see how this consumer-class model compares with its fancier business-class kin.
In looks, the two machines are quite different. While the R600 wowed us with its silver, svelte stylishness, the A605 looks more commonplace. Inside and out, it’s adorned with that shiny black plastic you see everywhere these days, which looks really good… until you smudge it. Its keyboard, thankfully, has the same fingerprint-proof silver coating as the R600’s, and more importantly, sports the same full-size dimensions that make typing on it easy. The A605, which measures 11.3x8.8x1.2 inches, is close in size to the R600, just not as wafer-thin, and it’s a noticeable three-quarters of a pound heavier. Like the R600, the A605 offers a generous selection of ports and expandability options, including a USB/eSATA port (in addition to two standard USB ports), an ExpressCard slot, and an SD media reader.
Corsair on Thursday announced its new 64GB Flash Survivor USB drive, which the company claims is the "most rugged high-capacity flash drive on the market." And by the looks of things, they're probably right.
Encased in CNC-milled, aircraft grade aluminum, Corsair says the new drive is pretty much indestructible. Each unit comes molded in a shock-dampening collar and EPDM seal, providing water-resistance up to a depth of 200 meters. Corsair notes that reviewers have dropped, baked, boiled, microwaved, and even run over the Survivor with an SUV in an attempt to show just how durable the drive really is.
"The new 64GB Flash Survivor takes the industry's most popular rugged USB drive and takes it to the next level, with a huge amount of storage space, plus best-in-class performance," said Jim Carlton, VP of Marketing for Corsair. "The 64GB Survivor is ideal for storing and transporting your music, videos, pictures, and other important files, safe in the knowledge that your data will be safeguarded inside the Survivor's protective shell."
The drive is available now with a street price around $170. To help justify the cost, Corsair says each drive comes bundled with a USB extension cable and dog tags, and comes backed by a 10-year warranty.
To kick off the new year, Intel plans to start shipping its Atom N450 processor clocked at 1.66GHz, which is slightly faster than the 1.60GHz Atom N270. At $64, it's also slightly more expensive by a couple of Hamiltons.
But if you're holding out for a faster Atom chip, you may consider waiting until March when Intel starts selling its Atom N470 chip for $75. The upcoming part will kick things up a notch with a 1.86GHz clockspeed, or 200MHz faster than the N270. That's a pretty significant boost in the Atom world, even if the amount of cache (512KB) remains unchanged.
Both new chips will fit in the same FCBGA8 socket that current netbooks use. That means you can also expect some new desktop Atom chips in the pipeline, though details are scarce at the moment.
So much in life is unknowable. Will the economy rebound? Hard to say. Will oil prices skyrocket? Maybe, maybe not. Will Brangelina add to their brood? Frankly, we don’t care. But one thing’s for sure: Technology is ever-changing and each year guarantees new advances for the PC user.
As we do every year around this time, we got on the horn with our industry contacts—experts in their respective fields—and pressed them for details about what new and exciting hardware power users can look forward to in 2010. Some of what we learned was expected (SATA speeds will double), some came from out of left field (six 30-inch panels on a single videocard?!), and some just plain make sense (like a Nehalem chip for the masses).
Read on to find out how your personal computing landscape stands to be altered in the year ahead.
Proof positive that laser printing is alive and well, Samsung on Thursday announced half a dozen new laser printer models for immediate availability in Taiwan.
Included in the lineup are two monochrome laser printers, the ML-1915 and ML-2580N, and four monochrome laser MFPs (multi-function peripherals), the SCX-4600, SCX-4623F, SF-650, and SF-650P. All six units boast Samsung's AnyWeb and Print Screen Button technologies, the company said.
The new models fit in with Samsung's plan to compete with Hewlett-Packard to become the largest laser MFP vendor in Taiwan, and to become the third largest vendor overall, DigiTimes reports.
D-Link’s DIR-685 Wi-Fi router generated a lot of buzz at CES this past January. And when we took a gander at its spec sheet, we thought it a contender for Best of the Best in the router category; something that would finally displace the Linksys WRT600N, which is becoming hard to find. Alas, ’twas not to be.
The problem certainly isn’t with the DIR-685’s feature set: This router is absolutely loaded with goodies. The 3.2-inch color LCD can inform you of the router’s status and configuration; present digital photos from Flickr, Picasa, and Facebook; display RSS feeds, such as sports scores, weather reports, and stock quotes; and a lot more (this is one router your significant other won’t insist be hidden in a closet).
Next up, there’s a 2.5-inch internal SATA hard drive bay, which can turn the router into a NAS box (complemented by a built-in FTP server and BitTorrent software). There are two USB ports featuring D-Link’s SharePort technology, which allows you to plug in both an external hard drive and a printer and share these devices with any computer on the network. The router’s four-port gigabit switch automatically powers down any ports not in use to save a modest amount of energy.
Earlier this week Intel reported better than expected numbers and said it was confident about the future ahead, which seems to be the theme for the quarter. No. 2 chip maker AMD said today that it lost money in the third quarter -- $128 million to be exact , or 18 cents per share -- which is less than the $134 million the company lost one year ago.
AMD's revenue took a backward slide to the tune of 22 percent, settling in at $1.4 billion. The silver lining is that analysts had expected AMD's loss to be in the neighborhood of 30 percent, so by that token, AMD is actually doing pretty well when graded on a curve.
Like every other company in the tech industry, AMD took a hit to its bottom line because of weak computer sales in the first half of the year. However, the chip maker's shipments actually rose from the previous quarter, driven in large part by strong demand for mobile processors.
It's been 8 months since AMD finalized its manufacturing spinoff deal, but a weak economy and slumping tech sector have made it difficult to discern what effect the deal has had on AMD's numbers.