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ASUS, the world's most prolific PC manufacturer has been in the spotlight recently over its branded PC's, in this case UMPC's, which have set in motion an entirely new genre of affordable, easy to use laptops.
"Eee" as it became known is now set to sell the next phase of production (5 million units), with two of every three units sold being loaded with a Microsoft Windows operating system. The other one third of those units will contain the Linux operating system that has been sold in earlier units of this small, highly useful mobile laptop.
According to a quote from Reuters; Asustek Chairman Jonney Shih said at a press conference that the Microsoft operating system would be Windows XP and will be priced around $390 to $400 USD.
From the same article, Lillian Lin, Head of Marketing mentioned that sales were strongest in Europe, with Asia Pacific and China coming in second. It seems clear that Asustek has now learned what VIA Technologies have known for a long time; that the low income households and consumers also want to tap into the digital world of electronics and PC's.
The Eee PC is certainly a positive step in that direction. You can read more here.
There has been plenty of talk of MSI's upcoming potential Eee PC killer and finally some details are starting to emerge through the cracks.
During CeBIT, MSI showed off its tentatively named Wind low-cost notebook. It includes a 10" LCD which ups the Eee's best of 9 inches and will use Intel's low power consuming Atom processor from 1GHz to 1.6GHz and each notebook will come with a minimum of 1GB of DDR2 RAM.
It will be fitted with a standard 2.5" notebook hard drive but reports suggest that an SSD option will be available if you are willing to spend the extra money.
It will come with a 6-cell battery which is said to provide 6 - 7 hours of battery life and will come preinstalled with Linux with a Windows operating system a later option.
If the reports we are seeing are correct, it is said to sell from about $450 USD all the way up to the high-end configured model, which will set you back a little over $1,000 USD, and of course takes it right out of the low-cost notebook market.
There has been plenty of exciting news come out of the CeBIT trade show in Germany on the VGA front but one subject which we didn't see getting as much attention as it has is competitors to the almighty ASUS Eee PC.
We have already seen products demoed by Acer, GeCube and anothers and now Taiwanese motherboard maker ECS gets into the game to spice things up even more.
During the trade show, ECS were showing off its G10IL notebook which should end up costing less than $500 USD but doesn't disappointed in the features department.
While ECS could have used some more imagination in the naming department, the potential "Eee killer" sports a stylish white finish and even comes with 3.5G HSDPA support built-in. it also has all the usual goodies such as three USB 2.0 ports, single webcam, Ethernet and a 56Kbps modem. There is no mention of wireless or Bluetooth support but you would think it would be a given considering it packs in a HSDPA data card.
We will hassle ECS once they get back to Taiwan and learn more about it and report back to you.
ASUS has just announced it will begin shipping its Eee PC with Windows XP pre-installed.
This news has been floating around for a while and many users were able to install XP themselves as the Eee PC is capable of running the Microsoft operating system. ASUS didn't mention any pricing details in its press release or if they will still ship the Eee PC with Linux but we assume they will as by pre-installing XP, it will add a price premium.
Groundbreaking ASUS Eee PC Provides Greater Ease to Work, Learn and Play
Taipei, Taiwan, March 5, 2008 - Amidst great expectations, ASUS today launched the ASUS Eee PC pre-installed with Microsoft Windows XP. This new offering of the ever-popular Eee PC promises to let users enjoy an efficient online and work management experience with the incorporated Windows Live and Microsoft Works features. This will help create additional opportunities for students and other personal PC users who desire a portable and affordable PC to easily access the Internet virtually anywhere.
Read the full press release here.
GeCube is displaying its small black Genie PC at CeBIT which is clearly built to rival the mighty and hugely successful ASUS Eee PC.
The Genie weights in at just 950 grams (30 grams heavier than the Eee) and measures 230 x 146 x 33mm making it similar in size and weight to the Eee. It will come with a built-in 2200mAh LI-ion battery which offers up to 3.5 hours of battery life. It has built-in USB 2.0 interface with 10/100 Ethernet and appears as if it will be bundled with 802.11b/g wireless and Bluetooth dongle.
No surprises here, it includes Linux on an unspecified X86 CPU which we hope to learn more about soon. The screen is capable of an 800 x 480 resolution and it appears as if it includes no less than two built-in web cameras.
We will visit GeCube when they are back in Taiwan to learn more about this interesting device. We will try and steal one while they are not looking!
According to Engadget, the ASUS Eee PC is set to get an upgrade.
The specifications mentioned are 1GB of RAM up from 512MB, a 9" display, up from 7" display (8.9" to be exact), up to 12GB of SDD storage capacity an increase for the 4GB standard model and 8GB deluxe model, and last but not least, the price goes from 299 to 399.
While all these specs have not been confirmed, the rumor mill seems to be accepting them as a foregone conclusion. There is a Press event later today at CeBIT and all should be revealed then.
For pictures of the new EEE PC go here.
If it has anything to do with the ASUS Eee PC, it is big news!
Today ASUS issued a statement in regards to its "Warranty Void If Removed" seal over the single SODIMM slot on some models of the their hugely popular super ultra portable and affordable notebook.
The press release states: ASUS Computer International ("ASUS") recently received feedback from one of its valued customers with questions concerning the purpose of a seal stating, "Warranty Void If Removed" over the access door to the single SODIMM slot on some models of the ASUS Eee PC. ASUS wishes to assure its customers that merely breaking or removing this kind of seal will not void the ASUS Limited Warranty. Although ASUS recommends that customers use ASUS-approved service facilities and components, ASUS is committed to honoring the terms of its Limited Warranty and making sure that its customers are free to make appropriate hardware and software modifications and upgrades, regardless of whether the service is performed by an approved facility, a non-approved service provider, or by the customers themselves. ASUS will replace the warranty label with a label to warn users that ASUS will not be responsible for the damage caused by improper hardware change.
ASUS is taking steps to make sure that the seals in question are no longer used in its products that are intended to be sold in any country where these stickers are not permitted.
The press release is up on the ASUS USA website here.
Dell has finally launched its XPS M1530 notebook which is the latest addition to its thin and light XPS models, which got popularized by the M1330. We're not sure if a 15.4-inch widescreen notebook can ever be classified as thin and light, but Dell has done its best to compact it together as much as possible. You're looking at a notebook measuring 357x263x35.1mm (WxDxH) although the height varies from 23.7 to 35.1mm. It weighs in at 2.62kg, which isn't too bad considering that many budget 14.1-inch models aren't far off this kind of weight.
There's a wide range of customizable options and the CPU range includes either a T5250 or a T5450 for the cost conscious buyer or anything from a T7250 to a T7800 for those looking for some extra performance. The XPS M1530 can be configured with up to 4GB of DDR2 667MHz memory and up to 320GB hard drive space depending on the kind of drive you want and SSD is also an option. It comes with a slim-line slot-loading DVD writer as standard and this can be traded in for a Blu-ray drive for an additional US$500.
The graphics power comes from either a 128MB GeForce 8400M GS or a 256MB GeForce 8600M GT, the latter should allow you to play games at full resolution, as to our dismay, the only screen resolution option is 1,280x800. This means that you can't watch Blu-ray movies at full resolution, as you're limited to 720p. Considering that Dell has several other models of 15.4-inch widescreen notebooks with higher resolution displays, we find this really odd.
Other features include HDMI, an Express card slot, a built in 2Megapixel webcam, various WiFi and 3G data options and Bluetooth. The XPS M1530 is available with either a black lid, or for US$25 you can have a choice between a white or a red lid. Pricing starts at US$999 for the "good" model with the "best" going for US$1,499. It's not as yet available in Australia, but with the XPS M1330 costing about AU$300 more than its US counterpart, we'd expect the XPS M1530 to be similarly priced.
Alienware has finally put up its AREA-51 m15x and m17x preview page, but neither model is available as yet. The pictures of the notebooks on the site appear to be renders as well, although Engadget has scored a whole bunch of pictures from the launch event in the US, although some are on the blurry side.
We're looking at some very powerful notebooks here as both models will feature a mobile Intel Core 2 Duo Extreme processors and our guess is that it'll be the X7900 rather than the X7800, but you might get a choice between the two. Graphics power comes from the just launched GeForce 8800M GTX and the m17x will even be available with a pair of these cards due to its larger formfactor.
Still not happy? How about features like up to 4GB of DDR2 667MHz DDR2 memory, two or three hard drives, Blu-ray burner and fancy user selectable LED backlight colours? It's all there and so is 1,920x1,200 displays, HDMI ports and it even looks like FireWire 800 has been given the nod. The m17x even has an optical S/PDIF output of the type you normally find on amplifiers or standalone DVD players.
Of course things like HD audio, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Express card support, memory card reader and a multitude of USB 2.0 ports are all thrown in for good measure. We're not so sure about the design being a hit, it looks sort of a mix between Mac Pro meets Tron with a touch of Saitek gaming keyboard design thrown in for good measure.
It will even be available with two lid designs (thank you Alienware), as you have a choice between the Skullcap design and the Ripley design and in this case subtle has to be the way to go, as this notebook is already screaming "steal me, steal me" just by having all those fancy lights glowing around the screen edge.
We doubt very much that either model will be all that portable considering all the hardware that Alienware has loaded them up with, but as a Lanparty machine which could possibly even replace your desktop system, they're not a bad option, if you can afford one, since we're not expecting either model to come cheap once they arrive in the first quarter of 2008.
It's been a long time coming for the mobile GPU sector of the market, and finally the wait is over. For those of you who are big on powerful gaming notebooks, you'll be excited to know NVIDIA have just officially launched their new 8800M series of notebook GPUs.
Up until now, the pre-gen "GeForce Go 7950 GTX" was as good as it got for gaming performance; it was in fact faster than the more recent 8600M GT and 8700M GT mobile GPUs.
The new 8800M series fixes that problem though. The lineup comprises two models on a 256-bit bus, the GTX and GTS. Clockspeeds are said to be identical on both with the core clock operating at 500MHz, shader clock at 1250MHz and memory clock 800MHz. However, the GTX sports 96 stream processors whilst the GTS has 64 to play with. Both are derived from G92 which the desktop 8800GT card uses.
There's a few reviews out there looking at these new mobile GPU parts, you can find them here :-
NVIDIA's official press announcement can also be found here.
SANTA CLARA, CA-November 19, 2007-This holiday season a new era of PC games, featuring advanced new graphics effects, will immerse gamers in cinematic realism like never before. Games like Crysis, Unreal Tournament 3, and Call of Duty 4 are sure bets to be at the top of the holiday gift list for the significant gamer in your life. And to supply the best visual experience when playing these new games, a new generation of notebook PCs equipped with ultra-modern GPUs (graphics processing units), such as the just-released GeForce® 8800M notebook GPUs from NVIDIA, will soon be available for order from notebook makers.
The new NVIDIA GeForce 8800M GTX and GeForce 8800M GTS score the highest on industry-standard benchmarks for GPUs in their class and are the perfect complement for the new generation of DirectX 10 games for the gamer on the go.