News Bits: MacBook Air Problems, Lenovo Slim Adapter, Penryn in Dells Soon

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MacBook Air has problems

Apple has documented several issues with the new MacBook Air on its website. The MBA has an issue with external monitors as detailed in the following excerpt: "If your MacBook Air is closed and an external display is your only display, you may notice a  reduction of throughput for wireless networks that use the 2.4-GHz band." Other issues include slow connection speeds when multiple Bluetooth devices are connected, and some routers that do not work with the Remote Disc feature. One of the biggest issues is with Boot Camp and Windows – users must have the external CD drive in order to install Windows, it will not work via Remote Disc. And finally, some headphones will not work properly with the MBA because of its recessed headphone jack.

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Lenovo introduces new slim power adapter

Lenovo introduced a new slim AC/DC combo power adapter today for its ThinkPad and IdeaPad notebooks. It is designed to charge not only the notebook but other devices as well, including cell phones and PDAs. It is 33 percent smaller than the company’s previous combo adapter and only about one-half inch thick. According to the press release, it is "roughly the size of a deck of playing cards."
The slim 90W adapter is currently available for $119 via and Lenovo business partners.

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NVIDIA on Feb. 4 acquired AGEIA Technologies Inc, a producer of gaming physics technology. NVIDIA plans to bring GeForce-based PhysX cards to gamers with the company’s technology.

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Dell to offer Penryn in notebooks soon

According to a post on one of CNET’s blogs, Dell will be offering the new Intel Penryn Core 2 Duo 45nm processor in its notebook computers "within a week or so". The Penryn processor has not seen widespread adoption yet.

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Hotswap batteries: the next big thing?

Most current notebooks allow the battery to be swapped. However, the notebook must be shut down in order to make the swap. Hotswap Batteries change this – the laptop does not have to be powered down any longer. Hotswap batteries allow users to swap batteries without shutting the computer down. A Hotswap-enabled battery has a second power outlet on it which connects to the laptop’s power jack. Once connected, the power from the new battery keeps the laptop running while the exhausted battery is taken out; the new battery is then swapped in and powers the laptop, and the cable can be removed. The Hotswap batteries are currently being offered to manufacturers of laptops and other mobile devices.

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The Xbox 360 Elite laptop mod

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Image courtesy Gizmodo

Bejamin Heckendorn has created an Xbox 360 Elite laptop. It is based on one of the new Xbox 360s with the 65nm chipset, has a 17-inch 720p widescreen display, and a 120GB hard drive.

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