News Bits: Asus Lambo Notebook, Wal Mart Eco-Friendly Laptop, AOL Dial-Up Increase

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Asus Prices Up Lamborghini Laptop

On February 23rd, Asus gave more hints on what is inside its new Lamborghini-branded notebook, which was announced in January. For starters, it will be based on the Centrino Duo platform, with “more than 1GB of memory”, and a 120GB hard drive.

There will be two models, one in yellow, one black. The “VX1″ will feature a 15” display, yet weigh less than “most” 14″ notebooks on the market.  The Lamborghini notebook is expected to be priced between 1,599 and 1,799 British Pounds ($2,800 to $3,150 USD). Ouch!

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Environmental-Friendly Notebook by Wal-Mart and Toshiba

February 22nd Wal-Mart and Toshiba have combined efforts to produce a notebook that will be “RoHS-compliant” (Restriction on Hazardous Substance). RoHS is a European Parliament measure, which restricts using certain hazardous substances in electrical/electronic devices.

Although the United States has no law similar to RoHS, Wal-Mart is hoping that by complying with the Parliament measure, PC manufacturers would be encouraged to not use substances such as lead, mercury, and candium in their products. After July 2006, Wal-Mart will only sell RoHS-compliant computers.

The first RoHS laptop is a Toshiba Satellite A55-S1064 with the following specifications:

  • 1.6GHz Intel Celeron M processor
  • 512MB DDR2 memory
  • 15″ Trubrite display
  • Atheros 802.11b/g Wireless LAN
  • 40GB Hard Drive
  • CDRW/DVD Combo drive

Price? Less than $700.

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AOL Raises Dial-Up Prices to Encourage Migration to Broadband

AOL is the number one provider of dial-up internet access in the United States. Although DSL keeps getting cheaper, it still has yet to match dial-up, and often the low prices for DSL are promotional only.

“We’re doing this because a majority of AOL members will be able to get high-speed connections and access to the AOL service for this new price.” spokeswoman Anne Bentely said Tuesday. “Hopefully it’s an encouragement for them to get high-speed connections.”

AOL is definitely taking risks here, as about 75% of its customers are still on dial-up. But why take the risk? Dial-up isn’t exactly cheap to maintain, incorporating a number of factors.

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Dell’s PC Shipments Expected to Grow 20 – 25% in 2006

Based on order volumes with notebook contract makers in Taiwan, estimates are for 14-million Dell PCs (includes notebooks and desktops) to be produced this year.  That’s a 20 – 25% increase over 2005.

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No More Second-Hand Electronics in Japan

Beginning on April 1st, 2006, the Japanese government is iniating a new plan to rid the world of terrorism no more selling of second-hand electronics. All electronics manufactuered prior to 2001 will not be able to be sold on the second-hand market.  The government’s logic isn’t exactly clear in this, but “apparently it is concerned that a second hand gadget could be turned into a weapon in the right hands and banning their sale will stop this.” Or, perhaps there is another reason?

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The World’s Biggest Windows Error

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This past weekend in Times Square, New York, the world’s largest Windows crash occured.  A two-storey electronic bilboard froze and a giant Windows error showed up. It appears the whole thing was caused by a DirectX error!

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