News Bits: Asus Eee PC 2, New Vigor Notebooks, Toshiba Announces New Hard Drives

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Asus to launch second-gen Eee PC in Spring 2008

Asustek Computer’s goal in the next three years is to become one of the top five notebook manufacturers. The currently hold an eigth or ninth place rank. The company’s brand business made up 36 percent of their overall sales in Q1 2007 – the Eee PC will become a focus of the brand business. Asustek plans to ship 200,000 – 300,000 Eee PCs by the end of  2007 and plans to ship 3 million or more next year.

Asustek is planning to introduce a second-generation Eee PC in April of 2008. It will feature Intel Merom processors, which will help to lower the power consumption from the current Eee PC’s 11W TDP to 7W TDP. The fan may be removed to reduce noise and power usage.

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Vigor announces new notebook PCs

Vigor Gaming Computer has announced a series of new notebook computers incluidng an entry-level model and a high-end desktop replacement gaming notebook. A total of five new models are being offered.

The top-of-the-line system is the 20-inch Atlantis PRO, which is powered by dual-core AMD Turion X2 processors and features up to two Nvidia GeForce Go7950GTX graphics cards. The notebook can have up to two 250GB hard drives and has a WSXGA+ resolution screen. The Atlantis PRO starts at $2,799 MSRP.

The Artorius PRO is built on the new Intel Santa Rosa computing platform. It features Nvidia GeForce 8700M-GT DirectX 10 graphics and a 17-inch WUXGA resolution screen.

The Ares PRO is a 15.4-inch desktop replacement featuring Intel Core 2 Duo desktop processors up to 2.93GHz. It has an MSRP of $1,899.

Finally, the Ares is the mainstream model. Starting at $1,299, it features a 15.4-inch widescreen display, Intel Core 2 Duo processors, a WXGA or WSXGA+ resolution screen, and an Nvidia 8600M-GT graphics card.

Vigor Gaming Website

Toshiba introduces 160GB 1.8-inch hard drive

Toshiba today announced two versions of its new 1.8-inch hard drive, the MK1626GCB (160GB) and the MK8022GAA (80GB). Both are designed to be used in portable devices such as media players. The 80GB drive is shipping while the 160GB drive is still being sampled. The 80GB drive is thinner and lighter than the 160GB version because it only has a single platter.

Toshiba has employed new technology in the drives, including an improved read-write head and a magnetic layer that increase storage density.

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Acer focused on U.S. market

Acer currently holds a slipping rank in notebook sales in China, which has spurred speculation of mergers. Acer made a statement saying they are more focused on the U.S. and European markets at this point in time, and views China as a second key market that it will actively pursue once it establishes a strong foothold in the U.S./Europe. Acer says it is not giving up on China; they have a plan to spread globally for the best long-term growth. Acer plans that Gateway will secure its position in the U.S. market.

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Toshiba puts 120GB on a single 1.8-inch platter

Toshiba announced that they have put 120GB on a single 1.8-inch platter using Discrete Track Recording (DTR). Toshiba is the first company to use the technology on a hard drive. Toshiba plans to start mass production of hard drives using the technology in 2009.

Currently, Toshiba’s highest capacity 1.8-inch hard drive uses 80GB platters.

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