News Bits: Apple iBook Widescreen, Dell Indirect, No Pentium M Desktop, MSN 7.0

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Apple to Sell a Widescreen iBook by Christmas and 15.4-inch iBook by 2006

As the widescreen format for laptops becomes more and more popular we knew it would be only a matter of time before we’d see a widescreen iBook.  According to reports from Taiwan where Apple iBook’s are manufactured, Apple placed an order with Quanta computer, a major Taiwanese notebook manufacturer, to make a 14.1-inch widescreen version iBook.  It is expected this widescreen iBook will be announced and in the stores by the end of 2005, ready for Christmas.

Apple will take the iBook widescreen with it’s 14-inch model this Christmas (non-widescreen 14-inch model displayed)

In addition to this it looks like Apple will be producing a 15.4-inch screen iBook, to be manufactured by Asustek of Taiwan.  Asustek also markets its own notebooks under the Asus brand worldwide.  The 15.4-inch iBook should be out in 2006.


Apple iBook Reviews: iBook Review 1 / iBook Review 2

Dell Indirect?

Many people have a hard time spending $1,000 or more on a laptop when they can’t see it in person.  If you’re buying a Dell laptop, unless you know somebody that already owns a laptop you’re interested in buying, then you’re stuck just looking at pictures online or reading reviews at sites such as our own.  For whatever reason, this doesn’t bother too many Americans and Dell leads the USA in sales of laptop computers.  However, in countries such as China and India where Dell is trying to expand, people are very reluctant to buy online or spend large amounts on things they have not seen and felt.  So when Dell reported revenues this week and analysts found sales were levelling off, Dell was asked if they’d look at selling through retail stores to boost sales.  The answer?  No.  Dell refuses to move to selling in retail stores like HP and Toshiba do.  Dell insists its direct sales model over the web allows it to keep costs down, and customers like that.

Will you be seeing the Inspiron 9300 in your local retail stores?  Dell says no.  Analysts say, why not?

But analysts argue that sooner or later Dell might have to cave in and come up with some solution to allow more people to buy Dell laptops in stores.  Especially in markets outside of the U.S.  Dell says no way.  We’ll see if that changes over time as they try and keep growing!


Pentium M will not be put in desktop PCs

There has been some speculation of late that the highly successful Pentium M processor would be marketed by Intel as being used in desktop PCs and that they would design a chipset for such a machine.  After all, the Pentium M is a cool running processor that has proven it can keep pace with some Pentium 4 processors and serve well in notebooks made for gaming.  Intel also demo’d a digital home concept PC that had a Pentium M, leading some to believe the next step for the Pentium M was into a full-fledged desktop PC.  But Intel denies this.  In an interview with Sunil Kumar, director of Intel chipset marketing, the question was asked:

“The Pentium M processor is a part of the “digital home” concept now. Does this mean Intel will develop desktop chipsets for the Pentium M? Or will mobile chipsets be used for digital home applications based on the Pentium M?”

to which Sunil replied:

“Currently we aren’t designing desktop chipsets for the Pentium M platform. The announced inclusion of the Pentium M in the digital home concept is an attempt to target a very specific application, small-form-factor entertainment PCs. As users want them to be quiet, miniature and “cool-looking,” we have decided to bring the Pentium M into this arena.”

So there you have it, no Pentium M processors for desktop PCs.  For now at least.


MSN Messenger 7.0 Released

Microsoft has released MSN Messenger 7.0 with offerings such as free voice calls, PC to mobile text messaging, and PC-to-PC video calls for users with a webcam.  I’d be happier if they could just fix the issues that cause the messenger service to go offline every month or so for at least a day.




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