News Bits: AMD Processor Price Cuts, Sony VAIO TX3 Announced, Skooba Skin Convertible Laptop Sleeve

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 AMD to counter Intel’s pricing campaign

Later this month, AMD will launch its own pricing campaign in order to compete head on with Intel. Sources said that AMD has come up with a new pricing solution in spite of tight production capacity and possible impacts to profits.

Sources indicated that AMD will slash the prices of four models in its single-core Athlon 64 lineup by 20 to 30 percent in mid-June. Further price reductions will take place on July 24th; dual-core Athlon 64 X2 CPUs will take a 25-50% hit in price, and the single-core, budget Sempron series will be reduced by 10 to 15%.

In the mean time, Intel is also expected to signifigantly reduce the prices for its Celeron, Pentium 4 and Pentium D series upon the launch of its Core 2 Duo (Conroe) next month.

The sources further indicated that AMD’s K8L serires (quad-core upgrade of existing K8 architecture) will not be available until 2007.

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Sony Announces TX3 ultraportable

Sony has released an update to its ultraportable TX2 series notebooks – the new TX3. Instead of the TX2’s ULV Pentium M processor, the TX3 features new Core Solo (1.06GHz, 1.2GHz) or Celeron M (1.06GHz) processors as the major change and a built-in digital TV tuner being another big upgrade.  Other than that, the notebook is mostly unchanged from the current VAIO TX2


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External appearances haven’t changed a whole lot. Standard features include:

  • 512MB RAM (expandable to 1.5GB)
  • Super-Multi DVD burner
  • 40-80GB hard drive
  • 2 x USB 2.0
  • Firewire port
  • 802.11a/b/g wireless and Bluetooth
  • 3-in-1 media reader
  • PCMCIA Type II slot


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Weighing in at only 2.8lbs, the TX3 achieves up to ten hours of battery life standard (with Core Solo), an increase of two hours from the TX2. Battery life is up to seven hours with the Celeron M processor. It will be available in premium blue, black, white, and pink. It is slated to launch shortly in Japan for around $2,000USD, and will make its appearance in the States shortly.

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Compal cuts notebook shipment target for Q2

Compal Electronics lowered its on-quarter notebook shipment growth by a weighty 5 to 10%, down from an originally estimated 15%, according to the president of the company, Ray Chen. Sources showed how the slower-than-expected sales of Dell’s business notebooks, in addition to the start of the World Cup early this month have had a negative impact on Compal’s notebook shipments.

Compal estimated that its shipments would exceed over one million units in June, bringing the total shipments for Q2 to 2.78 million.

To make light of the situation, Chen stated that the increased demand for notebooks in Q3 should boost shipments, yielding 25-30% record sequential growth. Their target of shipping 15 million notebooks for 2006 remains the same.

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TechEd 2006 and Microsoft Office

Earlier today, Microsoft announced server-based application customization tools for Office Enterprise 2007. Integrated search capabilities will also be included, along with work flow management, a distributed storage and retrieval system for structured data (the “Business Data Catalog”), and one more – “Web Site and Security Framework.”

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Applian Technologies introduces the Replay Slingcorder

June 12th – Applian Technologies announced the Replay Slingcorder, the ‘first and only PC Software that captures TV broadcasts directly from the Sling Media SlingBox.’ Travelers can now record their SlingBox TV feeds, and watch them anywhere, even if no Internet connection is present.

All recordings are duplicates of the original Slingbox TV stream, and are stored as Windows Media files for playability on any PC.

CEO of Applian Technologies, Bill Dettering, said in a statement:

“Our research showed that the only real shortcoming of the Slingbox was the lack of a recording feature. Using our expertise in recording streaming video, we’ve been able to deliver a solution that makes an already excellent Slingbox product even more useful. Our beta testers have been delighted with the video quality and ease of use of Replay SlingCorder.”

The Replay Slingcorder is immediately available for purchase from Replay-Slingcorder.com for $29.95. A free demo is available.

New “Skooba Skin” converts from laptop sleeve to tote

June 12th – The latest product from Skooba/RoadWired, the Skooba Skin converts from a padded laptop sleeve to a handheld carry bag and vice-versa with the flip of a flap. It is designed to protect the computer while being carried inside another bag or suitcase, or when the laptop along is all that needs to be carried.

The manufacturer says that simplicity and “purity” were primary goals in development of the product. There are no zippers, buckles, or similar to be found anywhere on the bag. A unique, patent pending configuration takes their place. According to the manufacturer:

“Once the laptop is slid into its protective interior, the mirror-image flaps overlap one another like folded hands one inside the case and one out and the outer flap fastens in place with a simple, concealed Velcro tab to close the sleeve. Switching to “tote mode” is as simple as pulling the flaps straight up and mating them together, where matching, contoured cutaways line up to form the carrying handle.”

   

The Skooba Skin is available in three sizes and 7 fabric/color combinations. Suggested retail prices range from $29.95 to $39.95. More information can be found by visiting SkoobaBags.com or RoadWired.com.

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