News Bits: HP Long-Life Batteries, Netbooks Are On Top, Google Chrome Out Of Beta

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HP to offer batteries that last 3 years

HP is planning to use a new battery in its notebook computers that can last three years of normal usage before losing their maximum capacity. Boston Power’s Sonata battery uses lithium-ion technology like most current notebook batteries. It can recharge in only 30 minutes and is less prone to overheating. Today’s notebook batteries typically only last slightly over a year before losing capacity.

The Sonata batteries will be sold under the Enviro brand next year by HP on select notebook models; customers will also be able to purchase them as replacement batteries. HP will offer a three-year warranty on the batteries. No information on pricing has been released.

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Omega-series ASUS notebooks coming in 2009

ASUS is planning to launch an Omega-series notebook computer brand in 2009. It will be priced between US$600-900 and target the higher-end side of the entry-level market. ASUS plans to ship eight million of the notebooks next year.

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Netbooks are bright spot of computer industry

Although the fourth quarter PC market this year is not looking good, there is some good news. Netbook shipments increased 1.6x quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter of this year; most large notebook brands have entered the market. DisplaySearch expects the netbook market to increase to about 14 million units by the end of this year.

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Seagate cuts OEM drive warranties to 3 years

Seagate announced today that it is cutting the warranty on its non-retail, bare drive OEM hard drives to three years from five. Seagate’s retail hard drives will still carry a five-year warranty.

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Google Chrome web browser now out of beta

Google’s Chrome web browser is no longer in the beta stage; the 15th update for the browser on Thursday marked the end of it. Google has improved plug-in stability and performance, increased start-up and page loading times, and better bookmark features. In addition, Chrome features improved security features such as Safe Browsing.

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