Weighing in at a mere 2.20lbs, hailing from the house of Dell, please welcome the Dell Inspiron 910 (Mini Note) – the supposed Eee Pc killer. The Inspiron 910 specs have fallen into the safe hands of our buddies at Gizmodo, who claim to have covertly accessed the 910 web documentation.
The Dell 910 Mini Note will feature an 8.9” WLED screen, a 1.6GHz single core Intel Atom processor, up to 1GB memory, maximum of 16GB Flash SSD storage, three USB 2.0 ports, WLAN and mini card support for Bluetooth. As for the OS, it will either boot Ubuntu 8.0.4 or Windows Xp. From the looks of it, the netbook will be powered by a 4-cell battery as there is no mention of a 6-cell battery. The tech blog further suggests that the netbook might end up on store shelves as early as August 22nd.
The WiMax Forum has formally approved three licensed spectrum profiles for WiMax, 2.5 GHz, 2.3 GHz and 3.5 GHz. Intel’s primary focus hitherto has been on the 2.5 GHz spectrum profile as it is used in the U.S – Clearwire will roll out its WiMax service in three U.S cities later this year. The chip maker has announced that its WiMax chipset will support frequencies beyond 2.5 GHz in 2009.
Although it didn’t specify the exact spectrum profiles it plans to support, it is safe to assume that the remaining two profiles approved by the WiMax forum will be on the list. As WiMax networks in various countries around the world operate on either 2.5 GHz or 3.5 GHz, it is very obvious that Intel will soon support them. But Intel stopped short of announcing any release dates.
The most popular method of purchasing a notebook remains buying a prebuilt machine and calling it a day. That slaps in the face of enthusiasts who know they could do just as good of a job putting together a laptop, but there just aren't as many options to go the DIY route as there are in the desktop arena. The good news is, that list is growing.
Asus and OCZ both already offer whitebook solutions, and today Antec announced that is launching a new line of standard components for the mobile computing market. Referred to as common building blocks (CBB) and developed according to a common set of specifications initiated by Intel, the interchangeable components takes away much of the guesswork from would-be system builders hoping to go the DIY route.
"Our new line of mobile product components offers system builders for the first time the ability to configure and build laptop computers specifically for their important accounts, and to fully support them in the field," said Scott Richards, Antec senior VP. "We are proud to be the pioneer global provider of these products to the channel, helping system builders penetrate mobile computing markets that were previously closed to them."
Do you find the notion of building your own notebook appealing?
All eyes continue to be glued to Intel and its upcoming Core i7 (Nehalem), but AMD has a product release in the wings too, this one for the server market. The struggling chip maker said it's planning to release a new server platform in the second half of 2009 currently code named Fiorano. Built to take advantage of AMD's upcoming 45nm Shanghai processor, Fiorano represents the company's first foray into the server chipset market instead of using chipsets from Nvidia and Broadcom.
The Fiorno platform will fully support the company's chip-to-chip technolgy called HyperTransport 3 while also offering a new virtualization technology called IOMMU, which allows for the virtualization of the system's I/O traffic. Support for the second generation PCI-Express will also be included, but the same can't be said for DDR3 because of cost concerns.
"it will hit once the price of DDR3 comes down," said John Fruehe, who handles worldwide channel market development for AMD's Server and Workstation Division. "The back half of next year is about the time the process changes in DDR3 will happen that will allow the prices to come down."
The first AMD platform to use DDR3 memory will be called Maranello (previously known as Piranha).
Yesterday Google announced on its Android Developers Blog that it is releasing the Android 0.9 SDK beta. A crude SDK build was made available in November, 2007 to give a dekko into the Android mobile platform. The Android 0.9 SDK gives developers a better chance to unravel the OS before the release of version 1.0. The release of 1.0 shouldn’t be far off as the first Android-bearing phone will be soon launched by T-Mobile, a member of the Open Handset Alliance. It is called the Dream and has been developed by leading smartphone manufacturer HTC, another key member of the consortium behind Android. To get your hands on the 0.9 SDK beta and Google’s development roadmap head over to the official blog.
With Asus, Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, MSI, and everyone else offering mini-notebooks, it might be easier to list which companies aren't jumping on the netbook bandwagon than vice versa. But is the recent hype surrounding ultraportables just a passing fad, or is it here to stay?
If it is a passing fad, research firm Gartner says to expect the craze to stick around for at least a little while. The firm reports that worldwide mini-notebook shipments are on pace to reach 5.2 million units in 2008, with 8 million expected to ship in 2009. However, by 2012, Gartner says the market could balloon to nearly 10 times the size it is today with the potential to see as many as 50 millin units sold.
"The demand for mini-notebooks will be driven by several factors: by their small form factor and small screen, their light weight, their price, their ease of use and their basic, but sufficient, PC functionality," said Annette Jump, research director at Gartner. "Mini-notebooks are likely to attract a variety of users with different usage scenarios."
If Gartner's predictions hold true, the ultraportable market will have shifted from low-cost education PCs to consumers in both mature and emerging markets, including some business buyers. The research firm says the largest growth opportunities for mini-notebooks are in the consumer subcategory, which will eventually account for about 70 percent of all ultraportable sales.
Tom’s Hardware reports that IBM and its chip development partners (which includes AMD), revealed that they beat Intel in creating the first functional 22 nm SRAM cell. Unfortunately 22nm processors are still 3 years out. This will put the pressure on Intel to make sure it keeps its manufacturing lead. Intel presented its first 32 nm SRAM cell wafer last September and is not expected to show 22 nm SRAM cells for another year.
While for the foreseeable future it seems likely that Intel will remain on top in CPU performance, this announcement means that we could be looking at a shakeup within three years unless Intel starts cranking away in research. We can certainly hope for things to heat up in the processor wars again. We don’t want Intel to become complacent about it’s position in the market.
The most popular game in the social activist fraternity and political circles currently happens to be “blame the videogames.” However, there are ardent gamers and researchers galore to even out the scales. Once again, fresh studies have reinforced the value of games in enhancing cognitive and perceptual skills among children; creating a breed of hyper-dexterous surgeons; and bolstering scientific reasoning capabilities in gamers. All said, there is a slight blemish with one of the studies having found that violent games lead to more violent behavior among gamers. Make the "jump" for all the justification you need to keep playing games.
Come December, directory assistance will hit the web in a big way, and it has nothing to do with the online yellow pages. Instead, ICANN has approved the creation of a new domain name, .tel, which will serve to offer a one-stop surfing destination to look up contact information on what it hopes will eventually include every individual and corporate entity.
ICANN says that .tel sites are stored within the DNS systems so that information can be "quickly accessed on any device from a game console to a PC to a mobile phone." Regardless of the vehicle, navigators could, for example, head over to WillSmithMPC.tel to gain access to a wealth of contact information, including address, phone, Facebook URL, IM, Twitter, and whatever else the MPC editor-in-chief chose to share. Companies can purchase a domain name too, meaning you could visit MaximumPC.tel to see who's on staff and other contact information for your favorite magazine.
The new Telnic-owned domains will go on sale this December with initial registrations reserved for trademark owners. General availability opens up to public on March 24, 2009. Pricing yet to be announced.
Another social news voting system gets added to the web today as Yahoo opens up its Buzz to the public. Prior to the public release, only about 400 publishers could contribute new links to the service, though anyone could see them and vote buzz up or down what they consider to be the most/least interesting news stories.
The release comes with little fanfare or hype, an interesting move for a service that hopes to contend with similar sites like Digg and Reddit. Separating itself from the pack, Buzz's algorithms also analyze search engine popularity rather than remain purely community driven, and Yahoo's editors still program the Yahoo.com front page.
While it's far too early to predict how Buzz will fare, the social service could gain some traction both by leveraging other Yahoo communities, and by luring participation by having some of the most popular news items posted on its main page.