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.
A survey by Softchoice has found that nearly nine in ten corporate PCs are capable of running Windows 7. This is in stark contrast to just a few years ago when, at the launch of Windows Vista, only 50% of existing corporate PCs were powerful enough for the upgrade. While it may be tempting to just install Window 7 on the existing hardware, many of these PCs are aging quickly.
According to Dean Williams, Services Development Manager for Softchoice, “Around the 42-month mark of a computer's life cycle the support costs shoot up substantially." By that point, any gains from not upgrading are countered by the increased cost of support.
Many machines in the survey were closing in on this 42-month mark. IT departments will have some tough choices to make as far as upgrading goes. While many of these PCs can run Windows 7, it may not be worth the hardware headaches. Softchoice strongly recommends considering replacements for PCs of this age. So in IT, 42 really is the answer to everything.
Gartner, Inc’s gloomy forecast of a 5.6% decline in PC sales for the third quarter of 2009 didn’t quite pan out. Instead, Gartner is reporting a modest 0.5% increase, with 80.9 million units shipped worldwide. Sales were driven by the consumer market, with its insatiable demand for low-priced mobile PCs (i.e., netbooks).
Global leaders were Hewlett-Packard, with a 19.9% share, followed by Acer (15.4%) and Dell (12.8%). Dell was, however, tops in the U.S., with a 26.2% share of the market, followed closely by Hewlett-Packard with 25.7%. Acer finished out the top three with a 13.9% share.
Gartner predicts that the introduction of Windows 7 will have little impact on PC sales for the 4th quarter. According to Gartner’s Mikako Kitagawa: “Recent OS releases have not been a growth driver in the PC market.” But, Windows 7 could be a catalyst for an overdue hardware replacement cycle. Ms. Kitagawa expects some interest in hardware upgrades from consumers and business through the holiday season, and an impact in 2010 as the corporate market begins to react to the release of Windows 7.
The G110 personalization starts with backlit keys, in your choice of red, blue, or any combination of red and blue (which makes purple!). There are 12 programmable “G-keys” and three “M-keys” which allow you to assign up to 26 single keystrokes, multi-key macros, or complex LUA scripts for each game you play. Logitech’s contribution to the keyboard arms race is the inclusion of integrated USB audio, simplifying the hook-ups for in-game chatter.
Logitech expects to have the G110 in the stores in November for a suggested retail price of $79.99.
Remember when notebooks were simple portable PCs? That's not the case anymore, and today's units boast all kinds of tricks, whether it's multitouch capabilities, or unveling the "world's first" 3D laptop, as Acer has done with its Aspire 5738PG.
Acer unveiled the 3D-capable laptop during a press conference on Tuesday. The lappy uses a combination of in-house software, a special screen coating, and polarized glasses to achieve the 3D effect.
"The display has been coated with a special 3D film that clings to the panel pixel by pixel, enabling the LCD technology to deliver a 3D visual feast," Acer stated. "Slip on the cool polarized eyeglasses that filter the images and you're ready to dive into an extraordinary 3D adventure."
According to Acer, its TriDef 3D Experience software makes it possible to view all of your 2D videos and photos in 3D. Moreover, it comes with a tool that enables 2D to 3D conversion for games and apps supporting DirectX 9 or above, the company said.
It's official - the touch revolution is in full force and you can expect to see several product announcements from companies jumping on the multitouch bandwagon. The latest is from Acer, who announced its sleek looking Aspire Z5610 all-in-one PC.
The touch-enabled Windows 7 PC sports a 24-inch high-def touchscreen with full multitouch support, and its backed by a spec sheet that's at least serviceable. The all-in-one's DNA consists of an Intel Pentium Dual Core E5300 processor, ATI Mobility Radeon HD4570 graphics, 4GB of RAM, and a 320GB hard drive. So while you probably won't be playing Crysis, there's enough muscle to handle some casual gaming when you take a break from groping the display.
Look for the all-in-one to ship in time for the holidays at just $900.