News Bits: CompUSA Closing, Asus U6 Ultraportable, OLPC Now Shipping

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CompUSA to close all stores

After putting $2 billion into CompUSA, Carlos Slim will exit the U.S. consumer electronics market by closing down the last of the company’s 100 stores. The stores wil remain open until the end of the year. CompUSA did about $4 billion in sales last year, but this year sales were expected to dip to $1.5 billion with the store closures last year. Lately the business has not been profitable.

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Asus introduces U6 series notebook computer

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Asus today introduced the U6 notebook computer, a 12.1-inch ultraportable based on the Intel Centrino Duo processor technology. Its main features are dedicated graphics, SmartLogon face recognition technology, and Trusted Platform Module data encryption. The notebook is housed in piano-paint and leather and the screen is LED backlit. Other features of the U6 include a built-in 8-in-1 card reader, fingerprint reader, and webcam.

There are two different versions of the U6: the U6S and the U6E. The U6S has the Intel 965PM chipset with Nvidia GeForce 8400 G graphics, while the U6E has the 965GM chipset with integrated Intel X3100 graphics.

The U6E will retail for $1,749 USD and the U6S $1,799. The U6S will be available through select Best Buy stores and, while both models will be available through Asus dealers nationwide.

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Asus says Eee PC warranty still valid after breaking seals

Asus made an adjustment to the warranty on its Eee PC. Asus says it is okay to break the "Warranty Void If Removed" sticker, though the company still recommends using its approved service facilities. Asus wants to make it clear that customers "are free to make appropriate hardware and software modifications and upgrades, regardless of whether the service is performed by an approved facility, a non-approved service provider, or by the customers themselves."

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See our review of the Asus Eee PC

OLPC XO laptops have started shipping

The OLPC XO laptops are finally shipping today; many of those who participated in the Give One, Get One program should be getting their laptops before Christmas with plenty of time to spare.

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TwinMOS shows off DDR3-1333 RAM SO-DIMM for laptops

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TwinMOS has introduced a DDR3-1333 SO-DIMM RAM module for notebooks. It has a maximum frequency of 1333MHz and runs on 1.5V compared to 1.8V for DDR2.

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IBM jointly develops 32nm processor technology

IBM has announced it has jointly developed 32nm processor technology with AMD, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd, Freescale, Infineon, and Samsung. The chip size has been reduced by 50% compared to the previous technology. 32nm technology will increase the rate of implementation of a material called "high-k/metal gate"; the high-k metal gate chips save about 45% of total power and improves system performance by about 30 percent.

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