News Bits: ExpressCard EVDO, Trail Blazer Dell, Another Intel Concept Laptop, Notebook Makers Report Good March

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Novatel Wireless Delivers Samples of World’s First EV-DO and HSDPA ExpressCards

Novatel Wireless today announced development of the first EV-DO and HSDPA 3G external PC ExpressCards, using the /34 slot. Pre-commercial samples have already been delivered, which are being developed in accordance to agreements and purchase orders from Novatel’s primary customers — notebook manufacturers and major carriers.

CEO of Novatel, Peter Leparulo, says their products consist of PC Cards, embedded solutions and fixed mobile convergence solutions, using both EV-DO and UMTS/HSDPA technologies. To quote. “No competitor can offer these benefits to carrier and OEM customer channels, giving us a distinct competitive advantage.”

“Our ExpressCard development further enhances our leadership and demonstrates our close working relationship with both key operators and notebook manufacturers. With another form factor in our product portfolio spanning both major technologies, we become more important as a partner of choice in our key markets.”

Dell exec says they take their own lead

Although it may seem that Dell is a follower that’s on Microsoft’s and Intel’s leash, Kevin Kettler of Dell says they often blaze their own trails and do things their own way. Dell is active in establishing technologies, but also it’s the “kingmaker to emerging technologies.” Kettler gave examples of how Dell has gone its own way in an interview at LinuxWorld Conference and Expo. Dell went its own way even over objections from Intel and Microsoft.

Kettler said Dell was responsible for many technologies in desktop computers and servers, and Dell deserves credit for standards such as 802.11 wireless networking, PCI Express communications technology, and 64-bit extensions to Intel’s x86 line of microprocessors. Their claims have caused conflicts between it and other allies, though.

According to analyst Roger Kay at Endpoint Technology Associates, Intel and Microsoft had more power in the past. Not many computer manufacturers were dominant enough to set terms, and there were very few alternatives when it came to buying chips or operating systems. Today, that has changed, and there are more power struggles because of major consolidation in the numbers of PC sellers. Kay says, “And overall, Dell does indeed hole more power than in the past.”

Both Intel and Microsoft has fallen somewhat out of step with Dell — read more about it here:

Link to Cnet

Toshiba announces world’s first notebook with HD DVD-ROM drive

April 10th – Toshiba announces the world’s first notebook to have an HD DVD-ROM drive. The Qosmio G30/697HS will be avaliable in Japan mid-May.

In addition to being able to read HD DVD discs, the G30 can also read and write traditional CDs and DVDs (including DVD+/-RW DL and DVD-RAM). It will feature a 17″ WUXGA display, two integrated TV tuners (one analog, one digital), an Intel Core Duo T2500 (2.0GHz) processor, and Nvidia GeForce Go7600 graphics.

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AMD Versus Intel antitrust case progress

   

A few weeks ago, Judge Joseph Farnan set a date for Intel and AMD to set an agenda — April 20th.

The Delaware district court has published the proposed agenda, and although it is still subject to the Judge’s approval, there are proposed stipulations “which suggest some documents are likely to be sealed.”

Intel and AMD have served and given written responses to document requests, and begun collecting responsive materials. The total production could be — get this – “hundreds of millions of pages.”

Read the rest here: Link to The Inquirer

Intel to reveal laptop that doubles as an LCD TV

On Monday, Intel showed off a concept design of a PC where it folds up, with the screen facing away from the keypad, then slips into a docking station to be used as an LCD TV.


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The docking station itself is unique — it looks like an LCD TV stand, and has speakers on either side of the screen. Once the ‘laptop’ is placed in the stand, it turns from a laptop into a TV. Of course it’s “only a concept aimed at generating new ideas,” according to officials at the Intel Developer Forum. It is meant to save space and the cost of purchasing a laptop and an LCD TV.


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Another one of Intel’s concepts showed how an extra part on the back of the screen, similar to a monitor stand, held the screen higher than the laptop. The stand could be moved, allowing the user to fold the screen over the keyboard and watch movies “comfortably on an airplane or any other confined space.”


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Taiwanese Notebook makers reporting strong growth in March

After clearing inventories, Taiwan’s leading notebook manufacturers saw significant growth in March. Compal Electronics reported the highest sequential revenue growth in the top four players.

“Quanta Computer remained on top in both shipments and revenues in March. Industry sources indicated that Quanta shipped 1.5 million notebooks last month, up more than 15% from 1.3 million units shipped in February. It shipped a total of 4.1 million notebooks in the first quarter this year, up about 25% on year, the sources added.”

“Compal saw revenues for March grow 33.1% sequentially to NT$23.1 billion, up 36.1% on-year. Revenues for the first quarter reached NT$59.7 billion, up 19.2% on year.”

Compal set a monthly record for themselves, with notebook shipments for march totaling 980,000 units said sources.

“Wistron, which overtook Inventec as Taiwan’s third-largest notebook maker in the fourth quarter of last year in terms of revenues, remained ahead of Inventec in the first quarter this year. Wistron also had the strongest revenue growth in the first quarter among the top four notebook makers.”

What is very interesting is that for Inventec, orders for new notebooks from HP and Toshiba came out to NT$19.7 billion in march, a 28.5% sequential boost.  Inventec is reported to be making notebooks for Fujitsu and Acer in the second half of this year as well.

More here

Skyhook Wireless announces Beta avaliability of ‘Loki’ location-based Internet search

Skyhook Wireless announced at CTIA WIRELESS 2006 the Beta avaliability of Loki, which is a location-based Internet Search, content navigation, and location-sharing browsing toolbar. Skyhook’s WiFi positioning system (WPS) automatically defines a user’s physical location, and the toolbar can turn a WiFi-enabled notebook into a virtual GPS device. It also integrates the location into the user’s Internet search, browsing, and communications. To quote, “For the first time, Internet user’s can easily integrate their view of the digital world with their physical location.”

Loki comes preconfigured with several ‘channels’, samples of which include:

  • Plot a location on Yahoo! maps
  • Email that location to a friend
  • Find the nearest Thai restaurant or anything near you
  • Search for the cheapest nearby gas (gasbuddy.com)
  • Find your local movie of choice (Fandango)
  • Get local weather and news
  • Easy driving instructions
With a single click of the mouse, users can find the nearest resturant, hospital, coffee shop, gas station – you name it, Loki will find it.

Link to Loki

Web Hosting on a Condo of Mac Minis

In news of the weird, and slightly un-laptop related, if you’ve been looking for a colocation for your Mac Mini or have the desire to say run a web server on a Mac Mini in a hosted environment, then check this site out where they advertise not a rack of servers but rather a Condo of Mac Minis.

Link to MacMiniColo

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