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Sony has announced a voluntary recall of several VAIO series notebooks after receiving customer reports of overheating, including one of a customer suffering minor burns.
Affected models fall into the VGN-TZ100, VGN-TZ200, VGN-TZ300 and VGN-TZ2000 series. If you have one of these you should stop using your notebook immediately and contact the company to see if you need a repair, even though Sony says only a small number of units are affected.
Sony describes the issue as a wiring problem that could lead to overheating particularly around the notebook's hinge.
Sony is offering free on-site inspection and, if necessary, repair. Alternatively you can ship the notebook to a company service center.
You can find more information including contact details here.
Here's one for the nostalgia freaks, the once mighty Commodore name is set to rise again, this time as a 10" netbook.
Those of us who honed our early tweak skills in front of brown on beige keyboards, typing PEEK and POKE commands out of magazines, and loading software from cassette tapes, the Commodore UMMD 8010/F is likely at least stand out among likes of the Eee and Wind, even though its only link to the VIC 20, C64 and Amiga is its name.
The netbook also sets itself appart from the majority on the hardware front with its use of Via's 1.6GHz C7M CPU rather than the Intel Atom. Whether this was due to costs, availability or something else we're not sure, but it does mean we may see future models supporting the impressive Via Nano.
Other specs include the previously mentioned 10" screen, 1GB RAM, 80GB hard drive, Ethernet and Wi-Fi, and optional Bluetooth. A card reader, VGA out and USB ports are also included. Available colours are black, white, grey and pink (what is it with manufactures and pink netbooks?)
Pricing is said to start at £325, with Windows XP and Linux versions available. Sadly no mention of an Amiga OS4.0 option as yet.
During NVISION, NVIDIA's fancy new show held just the week after IDF, Scott over at Tech Report managed to get his hands on Gigabyte's upcoming M912V netbook - he even managed to get some Gigabyte booth babes to pose for the photo and that is the type of thing we like to encourage.
The girls are suited up in skimpy pink outfits... oh crap - focus on the tech side of it! Yes, err, well it has an Intel Atom processor, 1GB of DDR2 memory, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 1.3 megapixel webcam as well as three USB 2.0 ports. Specs wise that should put it right up against most new ASUS Eee PC and performs pretty close to each other.
Where the M912V netbook excels is that it features a 8.9" screen with 1280x768 resolution and it is touch-sensitive, swivels 180 degrees and even folds down for tablet-style usage. According to the report, "The M912V is slated to ship next month, and will be coming to North America at a starting price of $799. The demo unit we saw had a 160GB mobile hard drive, although up to 250GB is possible. The OS choices should include the tablet edition of Windows XP and Windows Vista Basic. Prices should drop once the M912V settles into the market, although the initial price tag doesn't seem too bad considering the functionality involved. This is no cut-rate laptop, but it is a pretty well-appointed ultraportable tablet PC for well under a grand. Gigabyte may even integrate an antenna and digital TV receiver into a future version of this netbook to further sweeten the deal."
There is plenty more information and pictures over here.
Dell is making a concerted effort to attack ASUS' Eee Portfolio, according to this report from Engadget.
Citing this article from DIGITIMES, it is claimed that Compal Electronics, the beneficiary of Dell outsourcing the production of over two million notebooks in Q3, will also be working with a 10" netbook, expected to launch in October.
Previous indications suggested, that Dell's E-Series netbook offerings would consist of 8.9" and 12.1" iterations, however it appears that the company is striving to broaden the horizons and desirability of its new range by dabbling, in some diversification.
Round Rock, TX based Dell, clearly expects to ruffle feathers at Apple and ASUS, with the 10" model being associated with monthly shipment figures in the region of 400,000 to 450,000.
With the E-Series looking rather dashing, it seems apparent that this market segment is about to get that little bit more crowded and it will take not only brains, but also brawn, to succeed.
ASUS is getting trendy and upmarket with its Eee portfolio.
Aiming to now tap in to a more sophisticated segment of its intended marketplace, the Eee PC S101 has now been, revealed, thanks to HKEPC.
Going for a slick colour palate choice, the Eee PC S101 will clearly turn heads and may even, end up dropping the Eee PC name tag, causing ASUS to diverse, yet again, from a more boutique-like viewpoint.
Taking the limelight from its, current, Eee PC 901 sibling, it is immediately apparent that ASUS has accomplished a feat by slimming the thickness of the S101, down, to between 16 and 21 millimetres. This does not prevent the S101 from touting its 10.2" display, or drawing attention to itself with its SSD storage options.
Expected to be fuelled by a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom CPU paired with an Intel 945 GME solution, storage capacity will come courtesy of either, as already mentioned, SSD solutions of 32 GB or 64 GB. This will place the S101 at either a $699 or $899 price point, depending on the storage capacity chosen.
ASUS is clearly upping the ante in its quest against Apple, with the S101 appearing to openly challenge the domination of Apple's MacBook Air.
That isn't all however. In proving its commitment to the Eee brand, DIGITIMES reports that ASUS has launched Eee Storage and Eee Download initiatives, both to provide Eee PC users with added functionality.
Eee Download offers a choice of roughly 3000 game and software titles for Eee PC users to utilise, with compliments. This is a stepping stone, apparently, to the establishment of an online store that will allow Eee PC users to download, amongst other content, music.
Notably, whilst the service will initially be available to the Chinese-language market, it will be rolled out not only to the rest of the Eee PC segment but also, it is claimed, to other ASUS notebook and motherboard lines too.
Eee Storage, as its name indicates, provides Eee PC users with 20 GB of online storage capacity, providing drag-and-drop functionality, for ease of use.
Tech Connect has learned from a slide shot posted over at Engadget in China that ASUS plan to keep their Eee PC lineup fresh and lively a good distance into the future. Where we have already seen the introduction of 700, 900 and 1000 series Eee PCs, the slide shot reveals no less than six more upcoming models split into two additional market segments; PRO Fashion and Ultimate.
While all current Eee PCs are going for the "Smart Casual" look, the upcoming portable PCs are included in the "PRO Fashion" and "Ultimate" categories. The 'fashionable' models are the 1000HV, 1002SA, 1002HA and T101 with a decent guess being that all will have 10-inch LCD screens with at least the 1000HV and 1002HA being equipped with hard drives.
The 'Ultimate' models prepped by Asus are the S101 and S91 and they are supposed to be the MacBook Air of the netbook world due to their light weight and slim body. Since all this info should actually be under wraps we don't have a release date for either new model. But we can wait.
By default ASUS' Eee PC 900/901 netbooks are limited to a maximum of 20GB flash storage with 4GB onboard. However, Buffalo comes to the rescue and today announces two solid state drives designed to replace the lower capacity flash drives in these units.
Available in sizes of 32 and 64GB, this offers quite a bump in storage space to allow for much more flexibility in the way users can operate their Eee PC 900/901 netbook.
Buffalo has said these two replacement drives will become available sometime during September with the 32GB model hovering around $150 and the 64GB $300.
Thanks to TechConnect for the scoop.
ASUS is clearly taking no chances with its Eee PC range. The ASUS Eee portfolio has been attracting and lapping up a great deal of media coverage recently, whilst ASUS can hardly be accused of storing all its eggs in one basket.
Spreading the Eee brand thinly appears to be at the forefront of the ASUS strategy, as details of how the upcoming Eee PC 904 HD is set to differentiate from its peers, are the topic of this report from Electronista.
We touched on the planned new Eee PC parade, earlier this week and, the story has developed further.
The 'HD' branding is, by accounts, proudly announcing the fact that the SKU features storage capacity, handled by a hard drive rather than a solid state drive.
It is believed that this enhancement will improve storage prospects, without any reflection on the price point. Previous iterations of the Eee PC that came preloaded with Windows XP, had the balance tipped against the favour of storage capacity, due to OS pricing, however this is something ASUS wants to change.
ASUS is aiming to boost the usability factor of its upcoming Eee PC 904/905 models, as these images from Eee PC News portray.
As we reported yesterday, by combining an 8.9" display unit, with a larger 10" chassis, ASUS is able to make inroads by furnishing the new Eee PC models, with a larger, deemed more usable, keyboard. The larger 10" chassis is a pass down from the Eee PC 1000 that we took an exclusive inside look at recently.
Whilst rumours of improved battery life and storage capacity are still just that, it appears that ASUS is following in the footsteps of competitor, MSI, by adopting a similar approach as seen in MSI's Wind U90.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.
If anyone out there is missing the original Eee PC design which had a dinky 7" panel flanked by two black plastic borders, you may be happy to hear ASUS is planning to recreate the look with two new models, the Eee PC 904 and 905.
Both models will combine the larger 10" chassis currently available in the Eee PC 1000 (see here our exclusive inside look) with the 8.9" panel of the Eee PC 901. In effect ASUS is taking all the inconvenience of the bulkier form factor and spicing it up with the smaller 8.9" display, although to be fair you won't be losing any pixels as both the 901 and 1000 series have a resolution of 1024 x 800.
On the plus side, you will get the 1000's larger keyboard, and ASUS is also said to be considering upping battery life and storage capacity, although if they do that you can be sure pricing will go up as well.
Read more over at Digitimes.