News Bits: Lenovo Y300 and Y400 Unveiled, Charging Wirelessly, Apple AMD-based Laptop?

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Lenovo unveils Y-series notebooks

Lenovo this week unveiled its Y-series notebooks in China, they are aimed at the consumer market with reasonable pricing and multimedia functionality.

The Lenovo Y300 is a thin-and-light notebook featuring a 13.3" screen, slot-loading optical drive, and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce Go7300 graphics card. The Y300 also features a webcam, but it is not simply a webcam – it also lets you log into the computer. That’s right – it acts in the same manner as a biometric fingerprint scanner, and can recognize a user if they simply look into the webcam. The Y300 weighs 2.2kg.

Lenovo’s other Y-series, the Y400, features a 14.1" display and has a stronger multimedia feature set. It does not feature a webcam, although it does have a 2-watt subwoofer built-in.

Both the Y300 and the Y400 will be available in Asia Pacific on December 15; pricing will be released at a later date.

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Charging devices wirelessly could soon be a reality

The Christian Science Monitor is running an article about how electricity broadcast through the air may become a reality. Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla thought about transferring electrical energy through the air more than a century ago. As an ever-increasing amount of people carry portable electronic devices, from laptops to iPods, there is a need to eliminate all wires, even those used to recharge the devices.

In San Francisco on Wednesday at a physics conference, a group of researchers detailed a method that would allow electronic gadgets to be recharged by leaving them within a few meters of an energy source. Wireless energy transfer is an attractive idea. It could help compensate for the limited battery life of today’s devices, and some devices could not use any batteries at all and operate right from the power source.

Wireless energy transfer would not be harmful to people, because the enery would only jump to a receiving device that resonates with the originating source. Marin Soljacic, assistant professor of physics at MIT, says "We are fairly optimistic that the safety issues will be OK."

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HP reports strong Q4 results

November 16th – HP today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter, which ended October 31st. Net revenues were $24.6 billion, a 7% growth year-on-year.

On a year-over-year basis, notebook revenue grew 24% , while desktop revenue was flat.

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Apple AMD-based laptop in the works?

It has been claimed that Apple is currently preparing a notebook based on an AMD processor by sources within Taiwan’s manufacturing community, although the claim is not very clear. The claim is based on an increased demand for capacitors.

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Sony VAIO C-series notebooks are hot items in Taiwan

The Sony VAIO C-series notebook, based on the Intel Core 2 Duo processor, are likely to become hot items due to agressive pricing. The entry-level C-series is based on a Core 2 Duo T5500, features a discrete Nvidia GeForce Go7400 graphics card, and has an MSRP of NT$39,800 (US$1,213), which is 33.7% lower than the average selling price of Sony’s VAIO notebooks in Taiwan this year.

Sony said that its 14.1" VAIO FJ series and 15.4" FE series made up 50% of shipments this year. The other 50% was made up of the 13.3" SZ and 11.1" TX series. Sony’s agressive pricing of the C-series is likely to go head to head with Apple’s forthcoming Core 2 Duo-based MacBook.

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Microsoft gives out copies of Vista Ultimate, Business to beta testers

Microsoft is giving a full copy of Windows Vista Ultimate or Vista Business to those beta testers part of the Windows Vista Technical Beta Program who submitted at least one bug. The testers will be given a product key and will be able to download the operating system; nothing will be mailed.

Microsoft’s Vista has been five years in the making now, and the participants of the Windows Vista Technical Beta Program were very important in helping Microsoft get Vista out the door.

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