News Bits: Acer 9800 on Display, Asus HD-DVD Notebooks Unveiled, New Power Saving Seagate Notebook Hard Drives

by Reads (15,447)

Acer Aspire 9800 20″ Screen Notebook on Display

At Computex, Acer showed off its new 20″ Aspire 9800 ‘notebook’. It is one of four machines Acer introduced that has a built-in HD DVD drive.

The display measures 20.1″ and has a WSXGA+ (1680×1050) resolution. Graphics horsepower is provided by Nvidia’s GeForce Go7600 with 256MB of dedicated memory. Internally, the 9800 has two TV tuners, one analog and one digital. Thankfully, it also features a DVI-D port to connect to HDTVs, through which it can pump out HDCP-protected content.

The Aspire 9800 is based on Intel’s Core Duo processor, and has a number of other features including 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0, two SATA hard drives (240GB max), and plenty of ports. And let’s not forget about the integrated 1.3MP webcam.

Other notebooks with HD DVD drives include the Aspire 9110, 9510, and 5760, which all are more portable than the mothership 9800.

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Asus HD DVD Notebooks unveiled

Acer wasn’t the only manufacturer to introduce notebooks with HD DVD drives – Asus showed off its 17″ W2J. It features an HD DVD drive along with an integrated analog and digital TV tuner and sub-woofer.

The W2J is based on the Centrino Duo platform and 945PM chipset, along with an Asus 802.11a/b/g WiFi adapter. Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity is standard, as is a TPM (Trusted Platform Module).

The graphics adapter is a fast ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256MB of its own GDDR3 memory. RAM capacity is up to 2GB DDR2-667, the hard drive capacities ranging from 80-100GB.

The Asus W1J is a 15.4″ notebook with essentially the same specification as the W2J, also featuring an ExpressCard and HDMI port. The W1J is part of Asus’ carbon fiber lineup.

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Seagate’s revolutionary notebook hard drives

Seagate launched three new families of notebook hard drives under the Momentus name. The most interesting of them all is the Momentus 5400 Power-Saving Drive (PSD), which adds 256MB of flash memory to a SATA300 2.5″ drive. The drive also features 8MB of cache memory as on many other drives. The highest capacity available is 160GB with two platters and four read/write heads.

The flash memory can be used to store system files, which allows Windows Vista to boot quicker. Seagate says that the drive will allow Vista to come out of hibernation 20% faster than a conventional hard drive.

Another advantage with drives featuring a bank of flash memory is that once all your files are loaded, the hard drive power consumption can be reduced by 50%. The Vista tie-in tells us that this drive may not ship until January 2007. Seagate has not said whether the drive provides any benefits under Windows XP.

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Conroe-based notebooks a possibility

Although the upcoming Intel Conroe is designed for the desktop, Intel does not deny the possibility of seeing Conroe-based notebooks. According to Jerry Kao, Intel’s regional marketing manager for mobile products in Taiwan, Intel is not opposed to notebook manufacturers making notebooks based on the Conroe. He explained that since both the Conroe and the Merom share a similar architecture, it is hard to rule out the possibility.

Kao also said that notebooks employing desktop CPUs would be confined to certain market segments, making their impact on the mainstream models insignificant. Sources at Taiwan Notebook makers pointed out that 17- and 19-inch notebooks featuring Conroe processors would be attractive to performance-seeking gamers, or those looking for a desktop replacement.

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Dell’s Inspiron 700M series reaches the end

Time to say goodbye to the 12″ Dell Inspiron 710M; it no longer appears within the navigation of Dell’s site and thus a sign that the 700m series of Dell laptops has succumbed to the XPS M1210 12.1″ laptop.  You can still get to a Dell 710m buying page with this link, and use a coupon code KZGPSLKHK$B60G to get $475 off, but that code expires next Thursday and after that it is likely curtains.

Microsoft readies 12 security patches

On June 13th, ‘Patch Tuesday,’ Microsoft will release twelve updates, the largest since February of last year. Nine are for Windows, two for Office, and the last for Exchange. It is known that at least one of the Windows updates is ‘critical,’ as well as one for Microsoft Office.

Microsoft did not provide details as to what vulnerabilities will be patched as is normal with advanced notifications.

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Interesting Links

Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 Preview

Vista Customer Preview Program Begins

AMD confirms new mobile core



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