Months back, there was lots of talk about smartbooks and how they would come to be more popular than or at least as popular as the netbook segment. That never really happened and so far there is only a handful of smartbooks on the market. The netbook segment has also begun to cool with sales still growing, but nowhere near as fast as netbooks were growing before.
The latest new smartbook to land on the market is the Efika MX Smartbook. The new device can be purchased right now for $349. That price seems a bit high to me since you can get some netbooks for less than that with more performance. The big promise of smartbooks is longer battery life.
If you are looking forward to getting your hands on the Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet and don't want a contract with a carrier it will cost you. The Samsung Tab has landed on Amazon and the pre-order price for the machine is listed at 799 euros. That is a lot of money and most people will opt to buy one through a carrier that will be subsidizing the price of the Android tablet.
Other speculation has the Tab selling in the $200 to $400 range depending on subsidies. You can bet the higher-end of that range is where the tablet will land. The Galaxy Tab is an Android tablet in case you have been living under a rock. Reports are that O2 will offer the thing for 99 euro with a 27.50 euro monthly contract for data.
We have teamed up with Taiwanese motherboard maker ASRock to give away four of its newest motherboards that come with handy and first of the kind USB 3.0 front panel support. Up for grabs is the X58 Extreme6, P55 Extreme4, 890FX Deluxe4 and 890GX Extreme4.
"USB 3.0 interface will become the mainstream in the coming future. As the pioneer in motherboard industry, ASRock pays special attention to detail in order to provide consumers with premium quality and user-friendly motherboards. To facilitate the computing operation, some of ASRock USB 3.0 motherboards are exclusively equipped with Front USB 3.0 Panel. The ASRock innovative Front USB 3.0 Panel can support 2 additional USB 3.0 ports besides the I/O panel.
As usual, ASRock motherboards always give you more than you expected. We offer more than enough SATA, eSATA and even USB 3.0 connectors. For Intel platform, P55 Extreme4 comes with 4 SATA3 and 4 SuperSpeed USB3.0 ports (2 on free-bundled Front USB3.0 Panel, 2 on back panel), it is the world's first motherboard supporting Front USB 3.0 technology! For AMD platform, 890FX Deluxe4 and 890GX Extreme4 also equipped with 4 USB 3.0 ports and even provide more SATA3 connectors! Simply connect the Front USB 3.0 Panel between the USB 3.0 header and chassis, users can enjoy a more convenient computing environment!"
The developers at MeeGo have released some screenshots for their upcoming OS, and these are a lot more polished than the leaks that have come before. From differing screenlock mechanisms to the two different multitasking views with a changeable size of cards, amount of card overlap, zoom, and speed of carousel, MeeGo seems to be delivering on the promise of a highly customizable UI that will make creative Nokia users happy.
The Star Wars R2-D2 edition Droid 2 has a lot of Android fans talking, and a contest by Amazon has released a matching peripheral: The R2-D2 Edition dock that perfectly matches the handset.
In a "treasure hunt" type of contest, the lucky winner David Holt followed clues to a Star Wars book on Amazon. After copying the ISBN number of that book into a code input screen, he unlocked photos of the dock and won himself both a free handset and the dock. Not a bad way to drive interest in a new handset as well as introduce a new item.
Apple TV may be exciting, and there are some big fans of the Boxee Box, but a new partnership is looking to provide the same services as these two subscription services without two major pieces: The box and the price. LG and Plex have announced a partnership that will look to bring Plex software into LG's Netcast TVs and Blu-ray players.
Plex enables the same type of technology that is presented in the boxes coming from Apple and Boxee without the box. You can stream content with Plex from an OSX machine to your TV, iPad, or iPhone. The big name online streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer are all supported. PC and Android support are supposed to be in the works.
NVIDIA officially announced the latest lineup addition to their family of mobile graphics processors with the 400M series. Seven total new processors are coming: the GTX 470M and GTX 460M monsters aimed at "enthusiast users," as well as the GT 445M, GT 435M, GT 425M, GT 420M and GT 415M, which will be geared more towards mainstream users.
These GPUs will support stereoscopic 3D video as well as NVIDIA's 3DTV Play software for full 3D video playback capability. Also included is NVIDIA Optimus, which shuts off the GPU automatically when graphics-heavy processing power is not required to save battery life. These GPUs have officially been slated for upcoming notebooks from Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba, Dell, Samsung, and Asus.
Toshiba, a leading Japanese electronics maker, has done a voluntary recall of 41,000 laptops nationwide due to overheating issues that could make the laptops a possible fire hazard. In a notice released by Toshiba, they state that "The notebook computers can overheat at the notebook's plug-in to the AC adapter, posing a burn hazard to consumers."
The laptops that are involved in the recall are the Satellite T135, Satellite T135D and Satellite ProT130. 129 reports of overheating and case plastic melting have already been reported by owners of these laptops, with two minor burn injuries and two minor property damage reports being made as well. A software program that detects overheating and shuts off external power has been made available by Toshiba as well.
With all the things that the iPad is capable of doing, I can see people wanting a way to mount the thing to the wall easily. Being able to wall mount the iPad is a good way to watch video while you are in bed or use the iPad to view recipes in the kitchen. If you have a home automation system with iPad controls, mounting it to the wall makes a cool touchscreen control.
The trick is getting the iPad securely mounted to a vertical surface. A new system called the PadTab has started shipping as of today. The system is a very simply setup with a square section that attaches to the iPad or other tablet and a WallTab that can be placed on any vertical wall or surface.
I am glad that the days of the gigantic wireless receiver for wireless mice and keyboards are gone. Today just about every maker out there uses small receivers for their wireless gear that you can plug into a USB port and just leave there. The small devices don't block the USB ports around them either, which was an issue with large receivers of the past. The average flash drive is still a large and bulky gadget that looks like those old receivers though.
LaCie has unveiled a new flash drive called the MosKeyto that is just about as small as those little nano wireless receivers. The MosKeyto measures a scant 21 x 16 x 10 mm and weighs 10g. Despite the small size of the storage device, it has a decent amount of storage with 4GB and 8GB versions available. This might be the perfect external storage device for netbook users running out of storage space.